African American History, Uncategorized

BHM: Hidden History

We are amid Black History Month, this month we take the time to honor our heroes and teach others about our heroes. The main reason I enjoy Black History Month is that every year I learn about one person who I had no previous knowledge of, I am no spring chicken so learning about these people now is not something I am proud of. Knowledge of these great black people should be common.

Through my school years and my children schools’ years during Black History Month, we would discuss mainly the same individuals. The individuals discussed are extraordinary people, but the list of people was limited. The people we would discuss were Martin Luther King Jr, Harriet Tubman, and Frederick Douglass; I enjoyed learning about them but each year it was basically the same information being regurgitated. I think it is a shame that our children are not taught about the vast number of great Black people in this world. Take the movie Hidden Figures, I knew nothing of these great women, oddly enough many well educated Black people knew nothing of them as well. Can you imagine our little black girls being taught about these extraordinary black women for the last 50 years, the impact of this knowledge may have had on our community? There countless other Black people who are not well known and should be. People such as Frederick Douglass Patterson, Bernard Harris, Reginald Lewis, Guion Bluford, Bessie Stringfield, Dr. Shirley Jackson and Lonnie G. Johnson just to name a few. There was a time when Black people could not hold a patent, so who took credit for all those inventions? What would Black wealth look like if Black people did hold the patents to their inventions?

My point to this is to say it is truly a shame that we do not know about our heroes in the same way we know about other race’s heroes. There people who idolize traitors to this country like, General Robert E. Lee but these same people dismiss Black people with great accomplishments. I believe there is a reason to hide this history from us and the rest of the world, by allowing this information to become common knowledge we would realize the greatness in ourselves and America would have to admit it would not be great without us

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African American History, Uncategorized

A Conversation About Racism

My family is from a small town in South Carolina, my grandfather was born in the early 1900s, so I know that members of my family have had experiences racism, discrimination, and evil. Having said that growing up my family never spoke about these experiencing, I believe that it was never spoken about for several reasons. One I think they wanted us to come to our own conclusion about people, they would warn us about certain dangers or how to approach situations, but the conversation was never presented with racial overtones. Another reason I believe it was not talked about is they did not want it to be a mental obstacle. No one has ever said these are the reason, I do not know if this was the correct way to handle the situation, but everyone is successful and good human beings.

I remember as a little boy going to my grandfather’s retirement party and at the party, all these white men were giving these speeches glorifying my grandfather. I was so proud of my grandfather, but I could help but think how any man of any color could have a disparaging word to say about my grandfather. I could not imagine a man disliking my grandfather based on the color of his skin, so I resigned myself to believe my grandfather did not experience racism and I left the subject alone. Fast forward over 30 years, now I am at a funeral of my uncle and again I witness these white men speaking favorably of my uncle. Once again pride filled me, but those old questions came back to mind, how could someone hate or treat these great men differently based on their skin color. So, when we got back to the house I decided I want to have a conversation about racism.

Started by asking my mother and uncle about their experiences with racism growing up in South Carolina, they began to tell me stories about having to travel to school through the woods because they would see the Klan coming down the road. Instead of having to confront the Klan they would rather travel through the woods. My mother told me a story of her childhood friend, whom I have known my entire life, her friend was being harassed by a white girl, the girl was their age but one day the friend could not take the harassment anymore and beat the little white girl’s ass. After the beating, they were so scared that the Klan or the Sheriff would come looking for them even though her friend was defending herself. I heard a similar story about my wife’s grandmother, but her grandmother had to leave the south because the Klan did come looking for her. I believe she was 13 at the time, so imagine a child having to leave her family because she may be killed and/or raped by white men.

My uncle decided to discuss his experiences while serving this country, my uncle was in the Navy and he was stationed on the USS Intrepid. He told me how he would not be allowed in places while in uniform because he was black, I know we have seen this happen in movies but to hear it from someone’s mouth offers a different experience. He did say that his white shipmates would refuse to patronize any establishment if he and the other black Navy men were not allowed in. The feeling of risking your life for a country and the people of this country and they do not respect you or the uniform you are in is heartbreaking.

After witnessing the pain, the horror, and the disappointment on their faces I now understand why in the past we never had a conversation about racism. I decided to end the conversation because them reliving their pain began to hurt me and the conversation was no longer productive in my opinion. You know things must hurt a person when they can remember every detail about an event that happened 50 or 60 years ago.

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African American History, African History, Racism, Uncategorized

White Out: The Whiting of the World

After having a conversation with some youths, I determined that they were under the impression that much of the world is Caucasians. The lead me to wonder how did this mindset come to be? Do other people in different parts of the world believe the same thing? Do other people in different parts of the world believe that being white is superior?

With regards, the young men I was speaking with I can understand why they thought the much of the world’s population are Caucasians. Most of the people they see on TV, in schools and in positions of authority are Caucasians. I then remembered watching a video interview with a Reggaetón rapper Tego Calderone, in this interview he talked about being discriminated against because he has darker skin and appears to black instead of looking more like would some people would envision Puerto Ricans resemble. This led me down a different path of thinking, I began wondering how someone could discriminate against someone who has the same culture, speaks the same language, and they live their entire life on the same island. I may be naïve on somethings but for me, I understood the discrimination here in the United States because black people and white people are different culturally, the institution of slavery, the disparity of laws towards black Americans, and the economic benefits to discrimination. With Tego the only difference is the tone of their skin.

Before I go on I must admit I am not as well versed on world history as others, but I have not read or heard of any other time in history before slavery in America where discrimination based on skin color was prevalent. I may be wrong if so please inform me. If I am right, has racism and discrimination in America infected the rest of the world? I started to recall stories that I have read and heard where people of darker skin being treated differently around the world, South America, Asia, Australia, and Europe. If so, I find this fascinating that a small percentage of the world’s population have convinced the rest of the world that is better to be white.

I hope I am wrong on all my assertions. If I am right this means white people do not have to discriminate against black people we will do it to each other. Racism is on auto-pilot!!!!

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African American History, Uncategorized

Sore Losers

What does the statue symbolize? All this anger surrounding the removal of some statues is amazing to me. Do these people realize a woman has lost her life because a person became insanely upset over a statue? How many of them actually knew who Robert E. Lee was before it was decided to remove his statue? Did you celebrate Robert E. Lee’s accomplishments? Did Robert E. Lee have a positive effect on America?

These statues and flags are symbols of hate and separation, so why are they so important to these people? All these symbols that they idolize are symbols of losers. Why do people who believe that they are superior and they are the superior race choose symbols that reflect inferior, sadistic individuals? Well, maybe they are attracted to the sadistic aspect of the individuals. These people carry the Nazi flag but Germans do not idolize Nazism. Hitler is regarded as one of the evilest men to walk the face of the earth and this is the person you choose to align yourself with? I believe this questions their humanity and civility. Ironically, in my opinion, most of these people who are in support of these statues and other symbols of hate are cowards. I remember growing up the Neo-Nazis and Skin Heads being vicious people who were willing to kill and die for what they believe in. These new alt-right people appear to be cowards, many of them crying about getting arrested and claiming to be law-abiding citizens when approached by authorities. I think many of them join these groups to be a part of something because they believe there is no other place in America for them. That’s maybe the reason they idolize Robert E. Lee because instead of dying on the battlefield he surrenders like a coward.

If all your symbols are losers does that mean you are destined to lose? The world is comprised of people of color, so instead of trying to kill us and keep us oppressed, they should give it up because they are outnumbered. Hopefully, the day will come when they realize black people are not their enemy.

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African American History, News Media, Police shooting, Racism, Uncategorized

The Obama Effect: Race in America

With the election of Barack Obama, it was thought that America has made advances on race but are we absolutely sure that country has made advances? Has the election of Obama created more hate groups or White Supremacist Groups? Has the election of Obama created more racial tension in America? I ask these question because after the events that have taken place in Charlottesville Virginia this weekend it seems like there have not been any advancements. As many have stated in was reminiscent of the 60’s.

Obama won the popular vote during each election based on these results this meant that the majority of the country saw past race and voted for whom they believed was the best candidate. The election of Obama was a historical event, I think many people thought this was a huge advancement in race relations in this country but it seems that a small of a fraction of the country was not pleased by this. I do not have statistical data or historical data to back my opinion but it appears to me that the racial tension has escalated with the election of Obama. The killings of unarmed black people seem to have increased but one can argue these killings have always taken place and the introduction of social media has just made us more aware of these incidents. It seems the number of hate groups, Neo-Nazi, White Supremacist and Alt-Right organization have increased or have become more visible since Obama’s election. The election of Donald Trump has also fueled many of these groups, they believe they have an ally in Trump. Trump cabinets would suggest that they do have an ally, his remarks regarding the tragedy in Charlottesville suggest they have an ally. Regardless of who is aligned with whom we must be prepared for whatever is coming.

We all thought the election of Barack Obama meant the pendulum of racism had swung to the side of righteous, equality, and love of all mankind now it seems that the pendulum has swung back to the side of evil, hate, and inhumane thinking. Will the pendulum swing back or are we stuck in evil and hate? If we are stuck will this be the end of America?

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African American History, Uncategorized

Where is Our New Black Wall Street

By now most of the people have heard of Black Wall Street but those of you who have not.  Black Wall Street was the name of a small suburb of Tulsa, Oklahoma named Greenwood. Greenwood existed in the early 1900’s it was community comprised of black people. The Town of Greenwood had 100s of businesses, including 21 churches, 21 restaurants, 30 grocery stores, two movie theaters, a hospital, a bank, post office, libraries, schools, law offices, private airplanes and a transportation system. During this time the dollar would circulate anywhere from 36 to 100 times before leaving the community. This was a prominent community until 1921, when white people and the city official bombed, burned the city down and murder most of the residents. I mention this because it has been almost 100 years since Black Wall Street, so where is the new Black Wall Street? Why hasn’t there been another Black Wall Street? Where there ever be another Black Wall Street?

With the state of the country today I believe another Black Wall Street is needed. The rash of the police killing of black men, women, and children. The mass incarceration, the miseducation and the resurgence of racism it is time we start really working on re-creating several Black Wall Street towns. There are several black leaders and educators who have been talking about this for years such as Dr. Claud Anderson. I think it is overdue that we rally behind them and make an effort to implement a plan to re-create the Black Wall Street model.

I know there will be a fraction of people who will seek to destroy these communities but we will be able to have our own police force. With our own police, the killings of black people by people who are sworn to protect the public would decrease. After solidifying the police force we can start to build a small army to protect us from outside interference.

Black people may be a small part of the population but our spending dollars have a huge impact on the country. Keeping our spending dollars within our communities will have a huge impact on the country, the company that we do business with outside of our communities will become dependent on our money and therefore they will play role in protecting us from outside forces.

As far as locations there are several Ghost Towns for sale, Ghost Towns are small towns that may have been abandoned and the state has put them up for sale. There are enough wealthy Black people to help fund this project and many of them will help because they will realize they are dependent on us for them to keep generating income.

We have almost everything we need to create the next Black Wall Street, we have the leadership, the finances, the manpower and the capability. The only thing missing is the mindset that we can achieve this goal. And maybe it is not having that mindset that led me to the question “Where is Our New Black Wall Street”?

 

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African American History, News Media, Racism, Uncategorized

The “N” Word is Back in the News

Recently in the news, the “N” word has gained the spotlight again. Someone painted the “N” word on the fence of LeBron James home and Bill Maher chose to use the word during his weekly show on HBO. I know I am writing this some time after all the hype around these situations but I wanted to wait to see if the impact of these two high profile celebrities being involved with the use of this word would change anything.

The word being painted on LeBron James’ home is horrible but the thing that I found more reprehensive was the comments from black people about the situation. In particular Jason Whitlock, Mr. Whitlock stated because LeBron is rich and famous LeBron does not experience racism like other people of color. For me the fact that anyone experiences it is the problem, and for LeBron James to experience it sends a strong message. The message is no matter how rich, famous or how many fans you have there are people who will view you as less than them. How do you tell a child that no matter what he or she accomplish in life they will be looked down on by a group of people. I have read somewhere that Yvette Carnell has agreed with Jason Whitlock in part, I admit I have not seen her video yet regarding this topic. The reason I have not watch the video is because I have respect for Yvette but from what I heard I disagree with her on this issue. I heard Yvette believes LeBron should have addressed other issue regarding the plight of black people earlier. I offer this instead of condemning a man for not being awoke before congratulate him for waking up now. No one has the right to measure the pain that LeBron has felt from having this word written on his property.

The Bill Maher situation was difficult for me because I am a faithful viewer of his show, I am not agree with his position on all topics but I generally like his show. Bill Maher tried to make a joke and as a comedian he should be allowed a certain amount of latitude, that’s what I hear from some people but on the use of the “N” word I disagree. Someone mentioned there are terms associated with other groups that people will dare not say in a public forum, so why so comfortable saying the “N” word? I watch the show after he said the word on HBO, there are two things I took away from the show regarding his use of the word. One, I agreed with Ice Cube so what if black people use the word other races cannot under any circumstances use the word. Two, the atmosphere seemed like we are supposed to be grateful that Bill Maher apologized. He apologized because people were upset that he used the word, he did not apologize because he used the word. If just a few people complained about his use of the word would he have apologized?

I stated previously I wanted to see if these situations would improve race relation or have a positive impact, just as I thought nothing positive came from these situations. In a way, the person who painted the word on LeBron James fence has won because the conversion about the issue has created a further divide between us. People are discussing that the fact he is rich racism does not impact him the same way instead of rallying on his side.

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