Black Angry Women

Ask Yourself: Why Aren't You Angry?


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Black With No Way Out

Life can be a mix of so many things – good and bad and in between. Tellingly, there are times when the chickens, in fact, do come home to roost.

Child abuse is bad in any form. Child abuse at the hands of adults employed by Portland (Oregon) Public Schools is only UNknown by those who truly do not know.

BlackParentSpeaks feels inclined to ‘tell the truth and shame the devil’ as my ‘late’ friend and confidant ‘Black’ Mrs. Matthews often said.

We received the call asking that we attend a private meeting called by the then-Superintendent of Portland (Oregon) Public Schools. We were told that our presence was vital and we were told the location.

Neither Mrs. Matthews nor BlackParentSpeaks knew beforehand the turn that that meeting would take. We had no clue as to what would be revealed at that off-site meeting and, apparently, neither did the then-Superintendent of Portland Public Schools (PPS).

Mrs. Matthews and I arrived at the location early – as was often our tendency. As others arrived – including the then-Superintendent, we were told the ground rules. I expressed that I would be recording the meeting for however long I was able. All who were present agreed.

We were told that changes in staff were being considered at a particular PPS elementary school. US community members and PPS administration persons who were at the ‘private’ meeting were told that staff at the ‘particular’ school had quietly contacted the then-Superintendent with demands.

As the meeting and discussion progressed, we were informed that staff of the ‘particular’ elementary school would be arriving soon to testify in confidence as to ‘why’ their demands should be met. The then-Superintendent said that the promise had been given to school staff that whatever each said in the meeting would be kept confidential. The Superintendent explained that staff was worried about possible retaliation — thus, the need for confidentiality.

The Superintendent asked if I — BlackParentSpeaks — would honor the staff’s request for confidentiality. I responded that I was still going to record the meeting. I did, however, agree to honestly consider the request because I knew that retaliation was a reality.

Staff from the school arrived and the then-Superintendent laid down the format. Each staff member was to speak with us in private – without other staff being present to overhear what was said. The Superintendent also informed all that I – an active and known ‘Black’ community member — would be recording the meeting.

The Superintendent assured staff that whatever each said would be held in confidence by the Superintendent’s office. I expressed that if anyone had problems with me recording the meeting, I would leave. All agreed to me staying and recording the meeting.

One by one each staff member entered the area where we were and told his and/or her story. The stories were ugly and foul. We were told of inappropriate sexual contact between particular staff and particular elementary-school-age-students. We were told of many wrong things at the school, however, the sexual abuse of children was uppermost in my thoughts as I continued to listen. Appalled, I kept my silence as I scanned the faces of all who were present.

At some point, I forgot about the recording and was nudged by Mrs. Matthews as a reminder to continue recording the meeting.

Eventually, we had listened to all the staff who had came to express their displeasure with the Principal and to present their ‘demands’. (As information, every staff person who testified before us was White.)

I proceeded to call each staff member back into our area to answer my questions. My questions included:

l. Did you personally or any other staff member – to your knowledge — ever tell the Principal about the child sexual abuse at the hands of PPS staff at the school?

2. If you are telling us the truth now, why did you deny that such had occurred years ago when you were contacted by the parent and the media regarding sexual abuse by staff at your school?

3. How many other children, to your own personal knowledge, were or have been sexually abused at your school?

4. Why have you waited until now to reveal this and why in this kind of a forum?

5. Did you personally witness sexual abuse at your school?

6. Why did not you stop staff and protect the child?

7. Did you personally or any other staff member – to your knowledge – ever contact the Superintendent of PPS regarding knowledge of the abuses you are now revealing to us?

8. Why did you and other staff decide to deny the abuse and to falsify facts even when one child and her parent went public on TV claiming that such abuse had happened at your school?

9. Has any child at your school ever told you that he or she was fearful of or being sexually or inappropriately ‘touched’ by a teacher or other staff member at your school?

As I asked question after question of each of the staff members, it became more than evident that I was angry and blamed all who had knowledge of the now-revealed sexual abuse. I was not concerned about any of the other allegations – only the sexual abuse of children!

When the school staff was eventually told they could leave, those of us who sat in judgment stayed. The then-Superintendent was also angry and surprised by the revelations; such was stated by the Superintendent to each staff member who testified before us.

If memory serves me well, no one revealed the name of the little ‘White’ child who had reported the abuse to her father so many years ago. I remembered a report on TV – a little child who indicated that she had been subjected to sexual abuse at the school. I vaguely remembered her father – looking angry and then confused as staff at the school denied the child’s allegations. I remembered thinking at the time that surely, if such had happened, at least one of the teachers at that school would have spoken up and defended the child. Instead, all denied that such had occurred – they maligned that little child! Wow!

The meeting I am writing about now was years after the TV news report. I pictured the blurred face of the little child in my memory bank. I recalled the news report on TV. I had no way to know who that child was. I had no way to reach out to that child or her father. There was nothing – absolutely nothing that I could do and I knew that. In spite of that realization, I was angry.

After laying down my demands for CHANGE at that school, we left – with everyone agreeing to my terms.

Sometimes, even BlackParentSpeaks finds herself between a rock and a hard place.

Nuff’ said.

‘Don’t forget our reparations’.

Feel free to share this BlackAngryWomen blog with others. http://BlackAngryWomen.com/

We are all works in progress.

Undying love for Black people!


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Black With Sticks – ‘We Did It Our Way’

White people are the perpetrators of ‘White’ racism – plain and simple. Whites have relied on fear and the façade of never-ending power in their attempts to cause Blacks to feel insecure and helpless. White people allow the notion that Blacks must go along to get along (with them).

BlackParentSpeaks asks – What people in their natural minds would ever choose to imitate the beyond-ugly behaviors and actions of White people!? It is White people who have spawned hatred, ravaged, raped, killed, scalped, stolen, castrated, hung (strange fruit), tarred, whipped, enslaved, and oppressed. The history of White people is horrible and ‘outside’ comprehension for some of US.

In spite of the history, presence, and legacy of White people, BlackParentSpeaks remains convinced that ‘as long as there is breath, there is hope’. As long as there is breath, a White person CAN embark on a road leading towards his or her redemption.

I am reminded of a White female child who lived with her White family in the vicinity of my Black family’s house on NE 12th in Portland, Oregon. That child and I attended the same elementary school at the time. I was a young ‘Black’ student at Irvington Elementary School solely because Whites-in-power had ‘mandated and forced’ me to integrate ‘White’ Irvington School. It was the 1950s.

‘White’ Irvington School had rules that befuddled my young ‘Black’ mind and I was a serious and curious soul with an independent, stubborn and quiet nature. Although I was but a third grader at Irvington, I quickly felt and experienced the racist resentment of Irvington’s ‘White’ community – teachers, parents, students and others.

The White child who lived in the vicinity of my family’s house was a ‘chip off her family’s racist block’. That child’s mouth was a ‘racist’ garbage can and her mind was similarly cluttered. Earlier, she had learned the painful lesson of spewing racist words while in reaching distance of yours truly. As a result, she learned to shout her racist filth at me while safely out-of-reach. Accordingly, I soon learned to ignore the White child’s racist words and I accepted that the White child was a reflection of her White family.

One day as I was walking alone through the halls of Irvington School, I barely heard what sounded like a muffled voice and cries. Looking around to make certain that I was not observed, I took a detour in the direction of the sounds. And, although I had been told to never ever open the door which, I believe, led to the boiler room – I extended my hand and slowly and quietly opened that door.

Drawn to the sounds, I saw a White male teacher and the White child who lived in the neighborhood of my family’s house. The blood I saw stunned me and I quickly and quietly exited the area and left the school – running all the way home. In my ‘young’ mind, I believed that the White male teacher had by now ‘killed’ the racist White child who lived in the neighborhood of my family’s house.

Thank heaven that my daddy was home when I ran through the front door of our house.

I told my father what I had heard, what I had done, and what I had seen. I identified the White male teacher and the child and I looked to my father for answers. Daddy asked me if the teacher or anyone else had seen me and I said ‘no’. In the wake of my fears, Daddy told me not to worry and to stay home – he assured me that that teacher was NOT going to kill me….

Daddy and my mother talked in private and then Daddy told me that he was going to the White girl’s house and he would soon return. Daddy told me not to tell anyone else what I had witnessed.

Upon Daddy’s return, he explained to me that what I had seen was “White folks’ business” and he assured me that the White child was not dead. Daddy explained that White folk were different than us Blacks and he told me that changes would immediately be made for me and any other Black students at Irvington Elementary School!

Daddy phoned other Black adults and some came to our house. The next day, Daddy met with the White Principal of Irvington School and told him what would and would not be allowed with respect to Black students.

Changes did happen. However, racism at Irvington Elementary School continued and the White community remained UNwelcoming and abusive.

As information, the White child’s family soon moved – as did many of the other White families in the neighborhood. As for the White child, she appeared to lose her rambunctious and mouthy personality following what I had witnessed at Irvington. I do not believe that I ever again heard that particular White child utter a racist word. Instead she seemed subdued and withdrawn afterwards.

During the time closely following the Irvington Elementary School incident mentioned herein, I did not know what had caused the White child’s dramatic personality shift. As an adult, however, I believe I have come to overstand at least one of the reasons she CHANGED….

‘Don’t forget our reparations’.

Feel free to share this BlackAngryWomen blog with others. http://BlackAngryWomen.com/

We are all works in progress.

Undying love for Black people!


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Black Integrated Thoughts and Memories

BlackParentSpeaks’ father was a wise Black man of great knowledge and patience. He modeled an ‘undying love for Black people’. Daddy loved my mother and he loved us children. Daddy was our protector in a racist ‘White’ America bent on killing off the ‘Black’ man, ‘Black’ woman, and ‘Black’ child.

My father’s nature fascinated me and often I, while a child, consciously and unconsciously imitated Daddy’s ways and style. My handwriting mirrored Daddy’s and my language and talk and thoughts largely developed by way of Daddy’s teachings.

While I was a child, I marveled at my father’s ability to speak and communicate in multiple languages and ways. I often watched and listened as my father acted as an interpreter in various situations involving non-English speaking folk.

Daddy handled most – if not all – of the Black, Spanish-speaking, Chinese, Russian, and Roma business in Portland, Oregon. And, on a regular basis, Daddy and I visited the home of a non-verbal ‘White’ couple and Daddy handled their business affairs by way of signing. Daddy likewise handled business for people without sight. I was forever and constantly learning while in the company of my father.

My father was not one to wear his credentials on his sleeve. Although Daddy had graduated Colorado College as the first ‘Black’ Phi Beta Kappa, Daddy seldom – if ever – wore his pin. Rather, Daddy’s pin was kept at home in a dresser drawer.

Daddy often explained that it was not important that other folk know that you know something; rather, it is important that you know that you know. Daddy also said other things that have remained a part of my persona throughout my life….

My father was a master electrician, plumber, and more. He liked working with tools and constructing devices. Daddy built a monstrosity of a printing press and we used the press to print business cards, invoicing materials, posters, etc. Daddy liked playing around with numbers and he geared me towards appreciating numbers as well.

Daddy was likely the fastest typist I have ever personally encountered. Initially learning to type by way of my father, I eventually found myself typing over 90 words a minute without errors. But, Daddy was quicker and just as accurate! I enjoyed challenging my father even though I always lost the challenge – smiles.

Because the ‘White’ elementary school in Portland, Oregon that I was forced to integrate did not provide me – a ‘Black’ student — with a language structure foundation, my father stepped in and guided me. Daddy showed me short-cuts in learning language and developing structure. As Daddy had taught me to do with math, Daddy showed me how to check my words, spelling, and sentences. Daddy explained punctuation, complete thoughts, and more. Daddy created challenging word games for his ‘kiddies’ and I enthusiastically played those games with delight.

Similar to my father, I read – and continue to read – quite a bit. Like my father, I also write quite a bit. Often, I write during the wee hours of the night and the early hours of the day. I lean towards conscious communication with our ancestors and spirits during such hours as well.

‘Purpose’ is often lacking in the lives of many. Folk with relatively considerable financial wealth have a tendency to horde, squander, demand, and seek more by way of greed. Solutions to societal ills elude them (or, quite frankly, do not interest them) because their hollow professions of concern lack substance, intent, and wisdom. What many fail to overstand is that today is short-lived and their money does NOT entitle them….

I am reminded of the day when I – BlackParentSpeaks — was so rudely approached by a man of considerable financial wealth and power. Although I was in ‘deep’ conversation with fellow Blacks at the time, the man chose to have several of his employees interrupt our gathering in order to ‘immediately’ speak to me. The man-of-financial-wealth was ‘White’; I am ‘Black’. Needless to say, I REFUSED the man-of-financial-wealth an audience.

The following day, BlackParentSpeaks was again approached by employees of the ‘White’ man-of-financial-wealth and I was offered upwards of a hundred thousand dollars, a car, and a house of my own if I were to accommodate the man’s wishes. Without the slightest hesitation, I refused. Later that day, the man-of-financial-wealth personally approached me. After telling him what he could do with his ‘offer’, I told him that if he ever wanted to reach out and truly ‘help’ in the fight for racial justice, he should again look me up. I have not been contacted by him since….

As I write these words, I smile. I smile knowing that I have maintained my ‘Black’ sense of integrity, involvement, and commitment. I have NOT sold out nor have I hocked my ‘Blackness’.

No, I do not own a home – no money to buy one. Yes, my 20-year-old car is sorely in need of repair and my bank account often hovers at a $10 balance. And, I sometimes make the rounds picking up empty soda water cans to redeem for deposit. Yet, I smile for I am convinced that I was ‘chosen’ (many are called, few are chosen) and I have been – and continue to be — blessed with a ‘purposeful’ life. Black Power!

‘Don’t forget our reparations’.

Feel free to share this BlackAngryWomen blog with others. http://BlackAngryWomen.com/

We are all works in progress.

Undying love for Black people!