There are times when each of us should take leave of ‘self’ in order to truly see. Our lives do have purpose even if we know not the purpose. Have a useful, purposeful, and committed 2014 New Year.
In my thirst to learn and grow, I listen to what people say and I hear some things that are unsaid by others. I see that which is oft-times unseen and I tap into my ancestors for overstanding. I allow myself to hear and feel as I welcome and seek the wisdom that comes with Black consciousness.
We who are Black must be grounded in who we are. The trappings of temptation abound and many of us wake up one night to discover that we, too, are lost in lascivious lifestyles that are void of purpose and commitment – void of Blackness.
Do not idolize or put on a pedestal any man, woman, or child. None of us is perfect. We are human and we are all capable of doing wrong and making mistakes. Some of our mistakes and wrongs afford us and others additional opportunities to learn and grow.
Material possessions do not make any of us better than others. Attributes that matter include involvement in and supporting us who give of ourselves for the betterment of future generations.
We who are Black must look at accountability and we must keep it relevant to who we ‘really’ are and what we should be about…. Excuses and apologies are not attractive; we must ‘keep it real’!
Offers to compromise our Blackness and to sell-out our fellow Blacks have been around for a long time. The lures include money, sex, drugs, the facade of power, authority, stardom, celebrity status, a ‘position’ – you name it, the lures are plentiful. Know that temptation can be a very powerful magnet.
So, we who are Black must be aware. We must periodically give ourselves a self-constructed litmus test. We must not get so caught up in ourselves that we become arrogant and think we are above temptation. Strength demands awareness. And, we must remember that ‘as long as there is breath, there is hope’. We must love each other in spite of our mistakes. Again, ‘as long as there is breath, there is hope’. Undying Love for Black People!
My litmus test measures who I am. And, it measures how far I have – or have not — progressed along the line of Black commitment. As pointed out in an earlier post: ‘many are called, few are chosen’…. I truly believe that I was ‘chosen’ and my life had — and continues to have — ‘purpose’.
I am in awe at the force that brought the likes of Marion Barry, Rev. David Eaton, Stokely ‘Black Power’ Carmichael (lka Kwame Ture), KoKo Hughes, Chuck Stone, Francis Welsing, Calvin Rolark, Betty Diggs, myself, and so many others together in DC during the 1960s. Our commitment and work ignited a ‘Black’ force that reverberated throughout the world. So many things were accomplished and we truly did ‘raise the bar’. Many many people have benefitted as a result of the things we did and the actions that we took to bring about real change for Black people and all people.
In remembering the past, I think about Martin (Dr. King) and his ‘side’ trip to DC to speak with some of us before he returned to Memphis. I think about Martin’s words – which I recorded — questioning whether or not White folk, in fact, had a conscience. I think about the fact that Martin and I both knew that he would likely never return from Memphis and I remember that he was okay with whatever the future held for him. I remember our talk and I remember that the ‘word’ was out that Martin would be killed if he returned to Memphis….
There are a lot of stories yet to be told. Fact is, however, most of the stories from the 1960s and 1970s Black Movement will remain untold….
Feel free to share this BlackAngryWomen blog with others. We are all works in progress. Do YOU know what time it is? http://BlackAngryWomen.com/
October 28, 2014 at 7:27 am
Hi–you mention working with Kwame and Marion Barry and others in D.C. in the 1960s. I’m working on an authorized biography of Chuck Stone (who as you likely know passed away April 6 of this year), and I’m looking for any STORIES or details about Chuck that you could share with me. Were you a member of the Black United Front with Chuck and Kwame? Did you ever work with Chuck on any of his projects in the years after Adam Clayton Powell was denied his seat in Congress and Chuck (with three small children and a wife) lost his job and had to turn to writing his books and his novel KING STRUT to keep his family from starving to death. 1967-1970 were tough years for Chuck. What do you recall about him. Would you call him a ‘blackangryman” in those years? Anything you offer will help me. For what it’s worth, I was Chuck’s best friend for the last 34 years of his life. I loved him, and miss him. I am, by the way, a white Mississippian, a generation younger than Chuck (I’m 69, Chuck was 89 when he died in April). He was a hell of a man, funny, dedicated, and as he loved to say “swinging.” We had so much fun together, over the years, often sharing lecture tours (and we taught together for many years). THANKS for any help you can give me. –Dennis Jackson
October 30, 2014 at 5:00 am
To: Professor Dennis Jackson:
I knew ‘Black’ Chuck Stone and I worked alongside Chuck, Stokely Carmichael (lka Kwame Ture), Rev. David Eaton, and others in the ‘original’ Black United Front – established 9 January 1968. It was beyond a ‘calling’ for me to serve as the Front’s ‘Recording Secretary’ … and to help in organizing the DC Front.
Many of US have stories we could share relative to ‘Black’ Chuck Sumner Stone. My dilemma is in deciding which ones are okay to share.
The Black United Front was founded on 9 January 1968 in DC. Stokely, myself, and others pulled together a listing of ‘Black’ men and ‘Black’ women and at 9:30 PM that evening we began the process of establishing a Black United Front. NO Whites were allowed or permitted at our meeting which was held at the New School of Afro-American Thought, 2026 – 14th Street, N.W. in Washington, DC. Our initial meeting was by ‘invite’ only and only those Black folk on our list were admitted to the meeting — NO EXCEPTIONS. Chuck Stone was amongst the names on our invited list. At that initial meeting, we established a ‘temporary’ Board of Conveners for the Black United Front. Alphabetically, Chuck Stone was number sixteen (16) on the 17-member Convener Board. Some of the other names — Louise Barrow, Marion Barry, Stokely Carmichael – Chairman, Rev. David Eaton, Rev. Walter E. Fauntroy, Dr. Nathan Hare, Calvin Rolark, Sterling Tucker….
From the onset, Chuck Stone was an integral part of the DC Black United Front. At the initial meeting on 9 January 1968, Chuck stated “What will we do when we leave this room tonight? We must come up with some sort of program that we can reach the community with. This program must encompass Black pride and self-respect. We must undertake concrete things and show that the Black United Front has done more than just talk and form a Front.”
On 19 March 1968 a permanent Board of Conveners was elected by the Body of the Black United Front — Chuck Stone was alphabetically number 19 on that 21-member Board of Conveners.
Chuck Stone was a man of words — significant and precise words. On 25 June 1968 Chuck Stone helped craft the Black United Front’s “Black Manifesto on the June 24th Trick Bag”. The ‘Black Manifesto’ was in response to SCLC’s failure “to honor the commitment made by our late and beloved brother, Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr….” The ‘Black Manifesto’ effectively put both Andy Young and James Bevel on blast….
Chuck was a ‘worthy’ Black man who shared parts of himself with genuine delight. He was angry and unapologetically ‘Black’. Yes, Chuck Sumner Stone was a “BlackAngryMan”. Chuck’s experiences and the experiences of his family, our ancestors, and ‘Black’ peers shaped him and his ideology. Chuck ‘wore’ the outward smile while his heart ached and burned for righteousness.
Chuck did not limit himself. He spoke about family, interactions, words, wars, accountability, and more. Chuck was vulnerable and felt pain. He was sensitive and, similar to Nina Simone, sought not to be misinterpreted. Chuck cared about injustice in America and the lack of equity. Racism was a conscious constant. When riled, Chuck was a force to behold! Yes, he had his moments. Chuck was persistent and stubborn and he argued well and effectively.
The written word was important to Chuck and he took strides in checking and re-checking.
The Chuck Stone I knew never wore his credentials on his sleeve. He related to — and embraced — all Black people. He knew our plight and the whys. Chuck spoke often about the debt owed Black people by a racist America. He both acted and initiated responses.
I smile as I write regarding Chuck Sumner Stone. He had a magnetic personality that spoke to who he was. Chuck’s truthfulness — even when ‘at fault’ — was much appreciated by yours truly.
Don’t Forget Our Reparations!
Lulu R. Stroud-Johnson; ‘A Black Parent Speaks’; 4016 SE 174th Avenue, Apt. 3; Portland, OR 97236. Phone: 971-222-9750. Go to: https://blackangrywomen.com/ E-Mail: BlackParentSpeaks@juno.com
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