Wednesday, 07 August 2013 09:06
Comedian and Civil Rights activist, Dick Gregory, used to say that he spent ten years in Mississippi, one night. Nina Simone, in 1963, wrote and sang a song called "Mississippi Goddam", in response to the killing of Medgar Evers, in Mississippi, and the bombing death of the four little girls, in Alabama. Nina, who was known to use a gun on certain occasions, chose writing the song as opposed to going out to shoot somebody, where she says, "Alabama's got me upset, Tennessee made me lose my rest, but Mississippi Goddam, and I mean every word of it."
Tuesday, 30 July 2013 19:35
The Trayvon Martin case, and other recent events, reminds many Black Americans, especially those of us who are older, of our past. Last week I wrote of a Black Pasadenan woman who was arrested for calling the Pasadena Police to stop a potentially brutal fight between her two sons. She was in bed at her home when the fight broke out and called the police. She gave a clear, concise recorded statement to the 911 operator and asked for help and gave a description of the events and her location.
For some reason, the police became so enraged at the mother that they arrested her and charged her with public drunkenness after they had her to come outside of her house and onto the walkway leading to the sidewalk. To add insult to injury, in the report, written by Officer Hamblin and approved by a Sergeant Alainiz, the mother was called a Bitch. Specifically, Hamblin wrote he asked her a question and she "BITCHED UP".
Wednesday, 17 July 2013 07:16
Trayvon Martin becomes another martyr for the seemingly never ending civil rights struggle. Trayvon joins Emmett Till, Medgar Evers, four little girls killed in the bombing of the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and thousands of other African Americans who have been killed primarily because of their race.
Martin, a seventeen year old black kid, was shot and killed by a twenty-nine year old white male, George Zimmerman, who, without a basis other than Martin's race, felt that a young black man in his neighborhood was suspicious. Zimmerman was determined that, unlike others who had been observed in the neighborhood and got away, Trayvon must be stopped before he got away.
Tuesday, 09 July 2013 18:52
Fannie Lou Hamer was born in 1917 in Montgomery, Mississippi, the youngest of twenty children. She died in 1977, after years of Civil Rights activism. She is mainly known for working to get the vote for Blacks in Mississippi. In 1963, she was one of the organizers of the Mississippi Freedom Summer. It brought Black and White students from across the nation to work on voting rights for Blacks in the South and Mississippi, in particular.
The Freedom Summer led to the creation of the Mississippi Freedom Party that attended the Democratic National Convention in 1964. There, a compromise was offered to seat two members of the Freedom Party, as long as it didn't include Hamer.
Wednesday, 03 July 2013 06:46
When young people today look back at Black history, and specifically 1963, they must be confused. The confusion comes when they compare 1963 to our living history today, in 2013. The year, 1963, was a banner year for civil rights. We lived the poet's lament that talks of pain and pleasure. Kahlil Gibrahn wrote in "The Prophet", "Your joy is your sorrow unmasked." Paul Laurence Dunbar wrote about life saying, "A crust of bread and a corner to sleep in, a minute to smile and an hour to weep in, a pint of joy and a peck of trouble and never a laugh but the moans come double; And that is life! A crust and a corner that love makes precious with a smile to warm and the tears to refresh us; And joy comes sweeter when cares come after, and a moan is the finest of foils for laughter; And that is life!"
A child, today, stands in the midst of a battle over the N-word. White celebrity chef Paula Deen got fired from her million dollar jobs for using it. Trayvon Martin used it, but got killed by someone who considered him nothing more than the N-word, and said it. Former crack dealers like rappers Jay Z, dope smoking Snoop Dog, and former gun toting, gangster rapper 50Cent, proudly still make millions pronouncing it in rhyme.
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