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Black Handshake – 26 November 2016

Black Handshake – 26 November 2016

The moment we are born, we begin to die.  BlackParentSpeaks overstands the truth of that statement.

I was young once upon a time and intimately and boldly entrenched in the Black ‘Movement’ for justice and freedom.  I fought the good fight and I fought it hard and long…. Fear did not change my involvement or commitment to righteousness.  ‘White’ laws meant little — if anything — in comparison to right and wrong/justice and injustice.  Unselfish service and sacrificial loyalty helped in guiding my actions and thoughts.  BlackParentSpeaks assertively lived a purpose-filled ‘Black’ life. Today, in the twilight of my years, BlackParentSpeaks continues to live a life firmly embedded in ‘Black’ righteousness and justice — Don’t forget our reparations!

God blessed me in more ways than I can ever fully enumerate.  Amongst my first blessings was being born ‘Black’. My parents did not smoke, drink alcohol, or cuss.  They were faithful to each other and they had a good marriage; I can only remember them arguing on one occasion as information.  During my childhood years, my father was my go-to person.  My ‘Black’ father – Daddy – was always encouraging and supportive no matter what I did or did not do.

I was always a serious child — full of energy and curiosity. As a c.3-year old, I sometimes ventured out on my own, got lost — but I never felt fear or uneasiness. Usually, the Portland (Oregon) Police would find me and an officer would lift me up, sit me on his motorcycle or in his car, and take me to the patrol house. I became quite familiar with the Police — even as a young child. My boldness was something to behold and the Portland Police treated me with the respect and admiration my personna demanded.

I liked going to the Police precinct for a number of reasons. The officers called me ‘Little Lulu’ and I enjoyed conversing with them just as I enjoyed conversing with other adults. Because I enjoyed singing, I often belted out songs while wandering the streets of Portland. And, when the Police did find me, I oft-times offered to sing them my ‘signature song (Search Me Lord)’ — but only if they got me a chocolate ice cream cone. Needless to say, the Police always obliged my request although on one occasion an officer made a mistake and brought me a vanilla ice cream cone which I immediately rejected. The officer who made the ‘mistake’ was quickly admonished by the other officers and told to go out and get ‘Little Lulu’ a chocolate ice cream cone as she requested…. On each occasion, I only sang AFTER I had received and eaten my chocolate ice cream cone — smile.

My father never fretted over the person that I was. In fact, he encouraged me to be me. Daddy’s only caveat was that I realize and consider the possible consequences of my actions and inactions. Daddy also told me that it is better to do something than to go away and later wish that you had done something…. And, Daddy schooled me on the difference between ‘Black’ thought and ‘White’ thought as well as the difference between ‘White’ folk and ‘Black’ folk.

I grew up working in my father’s multiple businesses. Daddy’s businesses included accounting, moving and storage, sales, painting and wallpapering, etc. Daddy was an electrician, a plumber, an inventor, a printer, a writer, an unbelievably fast typist, a scientist, a runner, a golfer, a coach and referee, an educator and tutor, a pianist, and MORE. On top of everything else, Daddy was an exceedingly good cook — although he dirtied way too many dishes when he cooked meals at home. It seemed like there was nothing that my father could not do.

Daddy lived an ‘undying love for Black people’ life. He valued loyalty and overstood what ‘truth’ really meant.

My father’s parenting skills were phenomenal.  It seems that he always took great delight in his 13 children and he believed in the power of explanatory words and patience.  The chatter of young voices and the patter of children’s feet along with the laughter and seriousness were welcomed by Daddy.

Daddy was a man of immense overstanding and knowledge.  He listened and he engaged me and my siblings and others in countless activities and pursuits.  Early-on, Daddy saw my ‘Blackness’ and he guided and schooled me accordingly.

My father expressed particular beliefs and values that continue to resonate with me to this day.  Example:  A man should never hit a woman.  ‘If a woman holding a baseball bat comes at a man, it is far better for that man to try to run away than for that man to put his hands on the woman.’  Example:  Man is human.  ‘Never put any human being on a pedestal.’  Example:  Do not get ‘caught-up’ in the accolades nor the criticisms.

Being an adventurous and curious young child, I sometimes  asked Daddy when I would be old enough to finally leave home and personally explore the world.  Daddy’s response:  ‘YOU will know when you are ready to REALLY leave home and your father will know as well….’  Life, for me, was serious and I listened with my eyes, ears, and heart.

‘Little Lulu’ appreciated and valued the experiences and stories shared by her elders and others.  I heard the older Blacks as they spoke of racism — slavery, drag racing, and more.  I listened and I felt and I contemplated.

By the time I reached the age of 16, I knew I was truly ‘ready’ to leave home — as did my father.  I took the train and traveled alone from Portland, Oregon to California.  From California, I traveled with others — via car — to Michigan.  Although I considered remaining in Michigan, I chose to return home a few weeks later in order to complete my high school years in Portland.

While still in high school, I received an unexpected and unsolicited job offer from US Attorney General Robert Kennedy.  My moving expenses and more would be covered if I accepted Kennedy’s offer.  Needless to say, I was excited and sorely tempted, however, Daddy convinced me to turn Kennedy down.  Interestingly, years later I received an offer to work for Robert Kennedy’s brother — Senator Edward Kennedy.  I turned down that offer as well….

Don’t forget our reparations!  Do YOU know what time it is?

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Undying love for Black People

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Black Is Not White…. 2 November 2016

After yet another very emotional bout with racism and disgust, BlackParentSpeaks feels a need to write and share. My journey is real and it seems that my purpose has always been.

In order to both survive and ‘live’, Black folk must begin to internalize truth. Fact one: White folk do not like Black folk. Fact two: White folk will continue to rationalize their racist words and behaviors as long as they believe they are able to skirt responsibility and blame. And, Fact three: There are significant and obvious differences between White people and Black people.

Essential to ‘Black’ survival is the knowledge that each and every Black life has been impacted as a result of slavery and racism.  Words can never adequately express Black people’s suffering at the hands of White folk.  Both White men and White women are guilty and both should be consciously and actively seeking forgiveness while donating to BlackAngryWomen and/or other entities of racial truth and assistance.

The ‘White’ mindset portends and espouses that we are all one people — Black folk and White folk. The truth is that we are different and a truly ‘Black’ mind is NOT in sync with the ‘White’ mind.  Not only is there difference in our thoughts, there is a difference in how we think.  Our motivations differ and our ‘Black’ values and morals conflict significantly with ‘White’ norms, ‘White’ judgments, and ‘White’ readings.

In ‘Black’ life, it is not okay to address Black men and Black women as ‘boys and girls’.  In ‘Black’ life, it is not respectful for young folk to address elders by their first names without the Black elders extending invitations to be called by their first names.  ‘Black’ life speaks to overstanding and has an ‘undying love for Black people’ foundation.  ‘Black’ life learns from our ancestors and listens to our elders.  ‘Black’ life does not look for — nor does it seek — the acceptance or approval of others’.  ‘Black’ life is about nation building and unity.

I am always aware and conscious of my ‘Blackness’.  I embrace myself with love and appreciation.  I like who I am and I am truly grateful for my journey.  I have seen the beauty of ‘Black’ commitment and loyalty in folk like me.  I have witnessed the strength of Black people and shared in the joys of victory while overstanding sadness and loneliness as fellow warriors ‘gave up the ghost’….

Brother Stokely ‘Black Power’ Carmichael (lka Kwame Ture), Rev. David H. Eaton, Brother Marion Barry, Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., Brother Ralph Featherstone, Brother Halim Rahsaan, Sister Eleanor Matthews, and so many many more.

Food for ‘Black’ thought:

(a) If you want to die, go to a hospital.

(b) It is often wiser to be proactive as opposed to reactive.  However, it is sometimes better to do and/or say something than to go away and wish later that you had done or said something.

(c)  Click the Donate button at the top right of BlackAngryWomen and donate now if you are so inclined.  Remember to forward BlackAngryWomen posts to others. 

(d)  It is NOT okay for adults to whip or beat children.  Adults should be creative, loving, and patient when motivating and interacting with children.  An adult should never  verbally or physically abuse a child.

(e)  Pick an opportune moment this week and turn off and put out-of-sight your phone for a minimum of 5 to 7 hours.  If you are able to do this, you may experience a true sense of relief and accomplishment afterwards.

‘Don’t forget our reparations’.

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/

Undying love for Black people!

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Black President Barack Obama — 6 December 2015

US President ‘Black’ Barack Obama’s address to the Nation tonight (6 December 2015) was such a disappointment and complete with revisionist historical facades and UNtruths.

The United States has NEVER employed true equality for Black African-Americans — nor has America repented and appropriately addressed the issue of racial equity. Truth is, Blacks were enslaved in America at the time of its founding. Our enslavers were ‘WHITE’ — please stay cognizant of this fact and do not fall for any hype to the contrary — no matter who postulates such ignorance, stupidity and/or MISinformation.

WE ALL need to hear the truth from our ‘Black’ President and not some made-up ‘political’ hype meant to comfort ‘Whites’ at the expense of us Blacks. ‘Black’ President Barack Obama needs to ‘tell the truth and shame the devil’….

America needs to clean up its own house and stop trying to sweep its dirty truth under the rug….

In tonight’s Presidential address to the Nation, ‘Black’ President Obama could have — and perhaps should have — spoken to terrorists’ killings perpetrated under the ‘guise’ of Christianity. Our President could have talked about America’s recent Planned Parenthood shootings and the murders of Blacks at the hand of law enforcement persons, etc. And, our ‘Black’ President could have ‘spoken for days’ relative to ‘White’ Christian ‘missionaries’ and others who facilitated and engaged in America’s slave trade….

Fact is that America has a lot of problems that are NOT ‘properly and effectively’ being addressed! An example of the many many many problems faced here at home include: Homelessness, a failing and flawed educational system. unemployment and underemployment, hunger, insensitivity, an ever-widening gap between the super-wealthy and the poor, and more. Embedded in all of America’s problems is the ugliness of RACISM!

BlackParentSpeaks offers the following comments to US President ‘Black’ Barack Obama and the media: America is NOT the world’s moral determinant or judge. And, words and expressions like “terrorists” and “innocent people” are problematic and over-used at best….

‘Don’t forget our reparations’.

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Undying love for Black people!

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Black Glimpse of Yesterday

Some gifts that are given to us by God should not be played with — at least that is the belief of BlackParentSpeaks.

The ‘late’ Stokely Carmichael — lka Kwame Ture — said that most difficult in life will be the commitment to ‘live for our people’. Brother Stokely expressed that anyone can die. Stokely’s thoughtful question was ‘Can YOU live for our people?’

BlackParentSpeaks has been intimately and honestly ‘involved’ in the Black Movement for what seems like a lifetime and before. My commitment has remained intact and I have, thus far, maintained my integrity. No lures, no temptations, have swayed my commitment to my people nor my commitment to justice and righteousness.

God blessed me to work alongside of such now-widely-known Brothers as Stokely — lka Kwame Ture, Marion Barry, Martin Luther King, David Eaton, Chuck Stone, and others. I witnessed our journeys together as we shared militancy, actions, emotions, thoughts, purpose, and death. Each of us was unique and yet the same. We dealt with entrapments, barriers, threats, detainments, and ever-present dangers to our livelihood, families, friends, and selves.

As part of my unique talent, I was allowed much. I remember my ‘argument of the century’ with Imamu Baraka– eka LeRoi Jones. I recall my refusal to ‘discuss’ with H. Rap Brown. And, I recall my persistent disagreement with some of the positions espoused by most-serious and astute brother Malauna ‘Ron’ Karenga. I well remember the likes of CORE’s Roy Innis and what he did that caused me to feel ‘total’ DISrespect and contempt for him! I likewise remember Andy Young and James Bevel and their ‘betrayal’ (read: “A Black Manifesto on ‘The June 24th Trick Bag’ from The Black United Front of Washington, D.C.” passed unanimously on 25 June 1968).

I think about my times of travel with the son of the Ambassador to Pakistan, the meals and talks at the home of Tanzanian Ambassador Gosbert Rutabanzibwa, my time at the OSOB while working for Senator Stephen M. Young of Ohio, dancing with Representative Charles Diggs, and more. I remember turning down a job offer from the ‘late’ Robert Kennedy and later turning down a job offer made by his brother Senator Ed Kennedy. I smile as I recall my refusal to allow Black actor Robert Hooks to pay for my meal at Ed Murphy’s Supper Club in DC.

And, I smile wryly as I remember law enforcement ‘taking me in’ for questioning because I traveled on an airplane with Dr. King’s brother — give me a break! I think about government attempts to ‘involve’ me in prison breaks and alleged ‘contracted’ killings. I remember the FBI questioning of my parents and others in the Portland, Oregon area relative to my childhood, activities, etc. As my father told me later, my father told the agents that they should be out eradicating ‘White’ racism rather than wasting monies harassing his daughter….

I remember law enforcement agents telling me that there was a contract out on my life and me telling them that the ‘moment we are born, we begin to die’…. I remember UNwanted searches, wiretaps, and more. I recall my response to law enforcement during questioning relative to Brother Muhammad Ali: ‘I knew nothing and could remember even less’.

Today, I think about the Sister who suffered a miscarriage following a scary and unexpected invasion of her home by law enforcement. Officers with guns had busted into her home as she lay in her bed. News of the invasion quickly traveled throughout DC and the ‘Word’ was that I would likely be the next target. Strapped brothers including Rev. David Eaton and Marion Barry immediately stepped forth to protect me from experiencing a similar illegal ‘surprise’ invasion….

I have always been a child of God and God has known me from the very beginning. God blessed me to work with amazing and committed individuals — Black folk devoted to righteousness. Many of the folk who I worked so intimately with have likely already ‘given up the ghost’ and moved on. BlackParentSpeaks, however, remains on earth for whatever God’s reason….

BlackParentSpeaks’ vigilance and commitment to righteousness continues. Whatever the final chapter, it has yet to be written.

‘Don’t forget our reparations’.

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/

Undying love for Black people!

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Black Waters and Live TV – 26 August 2015 Two ‘White’ Journalists Shot Dead

What makes some people feel they are — or should be — immune to violence? America was built on violence and we who are ‘Black’ still await an end to the daily racist violence perpetrated against us by Whites. We also await our 40 acres and a mule….

We live in a violent society. Every single day, Black people in America are subjected to direct and indirect racism. Racism is violence.

Black complaints are generally dismissed by Whites-in-power and White-thinking and White-acting folk. Commissions and bodies charged with investigating racial and equity complaints are often little more than an extension of the wrongdoing. And, because of the absence of ‘true’ redress — the lack of a just resolution, the Black victim is dismissed while ‘the band plays on’. The guilty party rejoices and revels in glee; and sometimes becomes even more emboldened as a result of NOT being held accountable for racial and equity wrongs.

BlackParentSpeaks does not know the interactions that happened between employees and former employees of WDBJ TV station in Virginia. However, the workplace ‘racial’ division is evidenced by the ‘Black’ alleged shooter’s official workplace complaint(s). Furthermore, the now-dead ‘Black’ alleged shooter reported that he was subjected to “racist” comments, etc. Reports that the former WDBJ employee ‘Black’ Flanagan/Williams complaint was dismissed by the EEOC means absolutely nothing to BlackParentSpeaks.

Contrary to what is often reported in and by the traditional media, shootings are seldom — if ever, senseless. Be aware. There are times when what goes around, comes around. Hold yourself and others accountable. Do not enable any form of racism. It is NOT okay to bear false witness and coverup for racist acts. Silence is NOT okay for it only serves to further embolden such ugliness. Be informed. Do not enable Whites at the expense of Blacks.

I hope that White people who read this really listen and hear my words. Still waters run deep and Black pain needs to be acknowledged by everyone. White employers should reevaluate their policies relative to racism and equity. And, they need to look at their stats. Are complaints, in fact, truly resolved? Are Black employees listened to and heard? Are there ‘real’ consequences for racial discrimination? Are there ‘real’ consequences for racist language? Black employees do have the ‘right’ to a racist-free work environment!

BlackParentSpeaks hopes to be able to read the alleged c.23 page final words of ‘Black’ Flanagan/Williams in the future. His ‘alleged’ recording of the shooting can now be viewed at: http://breaking911.com/flash-new-video-shows-killer-bryce-williams-in-july-road-rage-incid ent-watch/

‘Don’t forget our reparations’.

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/

Undying love for Black people!

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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’.

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We are all works in progress.

Undying love for Black people!


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Black Natural Hair and Mental Slavery

The c.1967 journey to Black ‘natural’ hair freedom came by way of defiance and happenstance for BlackParentSpeaks. I was working as Secretary to Attorney Julian Dugas in DC – the nation’s capital – at the time. My employer was the Neighborhood Legal Services Project/Program (NLSP).

The morning BlackParentSpeaks went from ‘pressed’ hair to ‘Natural and Black’ hair is quite revealing. As was normal, I had gotten up for work and washed my hair with the intent of pressing same before leaving for work. Suddenly, there was an unexpected knock at my apartment door.

Quickly, I walked to the door and opened it to let in my sister who had recently moved to DC by way of California. We embraced and began sharing memories as I agreed to introduce her to ‘particular’ Blacks in the DC area.

Caught up in the excitement of my sister’s visit, time flew. After an hour or so of ‘talk’, my sister reminded me of my UNpressed hair and my job. She said words to the effect of ‘Oh, I had better leave now so that you will have time to press your hair before going to work…. There is no way that you can let ‘White’ folk see your nappy hair.’

Without missing a beat, I dismissively replied to my sister that she need not rush as I had no intention of pressing my hair. I told my sister that I was going to wear my hair ‘natural’ to work.

My sister became increasingly livid as she first urged and finally DEMANDED that I either press my hair or get a permanent! She expressed that one of the worse things I could do was to go to work with ‘nappy’ hair…. My sister spoke of my upbringing and told me that it would reflect on our family name if I were to show my ‘nappy’ hair to others.

Stunned by my sister’s assertions and words, I reacted telling her that I was NOT ashame of my ‘natural’ hair and that I would wear my hair however I chose to wear my hair.

My sister angrily made the decision to leave my apartment after acknowledging that she obviously could not change my mind.

Following my sister’s exit from my place, I hastily grabbed a blue strip of material and beautifully wrapped my natural hair before heading off to work. In my opinion, my ‘look’ was both refreshing and stunning and I had no reason to expect anything less than accolades.

The Director of NLSP was ‘Black’ attorney Julian Dugas. I was Mr. Dugas’ Personal Secretary – offered the job by him following his ‘questionable’ handling of my racial discrimination case against the Agency for International Development (AID). My work desk was directly outside Attorney Dugas’ office as information.

Roughly 30 minutes to an hour into the work day, Attorney Dugas rather loudly confronted me about my head wear. Simply put, Mr. Dugas shouted “What the hell is that on your head!???”

I responded that I was wearing a head wrap.

Mr. Dugas angrily ordered me to take my head wrap off as he went back into his office and slammed the door.

In accordance with Attorney Dugas’ orders, I UNwrapped my ‘natural’ hair and continued to do the business of the day.

Shortly after my removal of my head wrap, Attorney Dugas stood before my desk and demanded that I not report to work again with ‘natural’ hair or a head wrap. I responded in a firm and equally ‘loud’ voice the following:

“Mr. Dugas, you have two choices. Either you will see a head wrap every day that I work here or you will see my ‘natural’ hair. You decide….”

Mr. Dugas’ response – ‘Well, I’d rather see your ‘nappy’ hair than a head wrap.’

The negative outbursts and reactions BlackParentSpeaks received from fellow Blacks in response to my ‘natural’ hair helped me in my overstanding resolve. We — who are Black — must be defining in our purpose to both break and remove the shackles of mental enslavement.

‘Don’t forget our reparations’.

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/

Undying love for Black people!

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‘Black’ Militant & Revolutionary Marion Barry ‘Gives Up The Ghost’ in 2014

‘Black’ Militant & Revolutionary Marion Barry ‘Gives Up The Ghost’ in 2014

On 23 November 2014 ‘Black’ Brother Marion S. Barry ‘gave up the ghost’ in America’s Capital — Washington, DC. This BlackParentSpeaks ‘WORD’ is a brief look at — and about — Marion Barry the ‘Black’ man!

Marion and BlackParentSpeaks began our relationship as active ‘Black’ militants, revolutionaries, cohorts, intimate friends, confidants and more during the 1960’s Black ‘Movement’.

Marion Barry – what can I say?!

Marion was a worthy and memorable force to say the least. He was focused and relevant. Marion led by doing; he was an activist and Black people throughout DC – the nation’s Capital – loved him. Marion paid his dues and he was – like many of US – beyond deserving of respect, loyalty and more.

Marion spoke the language that we ‘over’stood. He was fearless in his beliefs and actions. Marion was consistent although sometimes unpredictable. He was serious about life. Marion was a true ‘player’ – a runner who also focused on US sisters.

Marion had an obvious penchant for Black women. We sometimes lamented that if ‘Whites’ were ever to ‘get at’ Marion, it would be through a sister because Marion was attractive to the sisters and often ‘tempted’…. But, Marion was Marion.

Marion was serious about who he was – ‘Dear God, please do not let me be misunderstood’….

Marion was ‘real’ and he ‘shared’ with me. When Marion drifted from who he was, it bothered him greatly. Perhaps the most notable occasion involved young Rufus ‘Catfish’ Mayfield. Marion and I ‘talked’ more than once after what happened. Marion felt ‘painful’ guilt; at times, I wonder if Marion ever truly made amends….

Marion and I and Rev. David Eaton and Stokely Carmichael and Lester McKinney and, and, and – the list goes on.

Marion and I – at times – communicated by way of a personal ‘code’. On at least one occasion, that led to a suspected bomb threat.

I am reminded of ‘Black’ actor Robert Hooks who happened into ‘Black’ Ed Murphy’s DC Club one day and soon ‘offered’ to pay for my drink. It was obvious that Brother Hooks was intending to ‘show-up’ Marion because Hooks ‘talked trash’ about Marion and the ladies…. Hooks ‘assumed’ I was Marion’s ‘date’. I ‘thanked’ Hooks for the offer but explained that Marion would pay for my drinks and anything else I ordered. Later that evening, Marion and ‘Murph’ and I shared hearty laughs….

Marion was a genuine brother who did not shy away from trouble. Marion Barry looked trouble in the eye and took action. I remember Marion showing up at my DC place-of-residence prepared to protect me from the violent advances of law enforcement. I, also, remember Marion ‘kicking in the door’ of the police paddy wagon and what ensued thereafter…. The ‘truths’ go on and on. I sometimes think about Marion and the ‘bug’ he sometimes drove. I think about Marion’s romantic and sensitive sides and more.

I recall a time when Marion and others got into an ‘alleged’ protracted gun fight in buildings along the streets of DC. Law enforcement had cordoned off the area of the ‘alleged’ shootings…. Upon learning of the situation, yours truly intervened to bring a ‘peaceful’ end to the stalemate with no resulting charges.

Marion could be relentless and persistent – a man who did not give up or give in. The DC bus ‘MAN’cott was Marion’s ‘baby’. Home Rule was Marion’s ‘baby’.

During one of the DC Black United Front (BUF) meetings, I refused to give in to the wishes of BUF Board member Marion Barry. Marion felt he could persuade me otherwise. Marion stated that he and company would come to my DC home with force. I responded that if Marion and company did show up at my place, I would ‘blow’ him away first…. Following that exchange, Marion and I BOTH burst out in laughter.

‘Black’ Marion S. Barry was a man worthy of respect and loyalty. He was true and he was human. Marion shared love, pain, and hurt as he gave to the struggle in spite of…. Marion opened doors and provided employment to DC’s ‘Black’ youth and others. He paid his dues and more.

BlackParentSpeaks remembers ‘Black’ Marion S. Barry as a man of substance and love.

‘Don’t forget our reparations’.

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/

Undying love for Black people!

http://BlackAngryWomen.com/