Black Angry Women

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‘Black’ Havana Bites the Dust — A Loving Life of Meaning and Purpose

Havana Kathleen Stroud-Nasserghandi ‘gave up the ghost’ at age 63 in the year 2020.  REST IN PEACE.  Love you forever, your ‘older’ sister Lulu – BlackParentSpeaks.  (Picture shows Havana with son Moses who is Havana’s youngest of two sons.)

Like so much in life, there is often a back story to who each of us was, is and – if time allows – will become. This intimately personal journey is intended to provide only a tiny glimpse into the life journey of my baby sister – the baby sister of BlackParentSpeaks.

In c.1957, baby Havana was the thirteenth child born into the ‘Black’ Stroud family. Daddy suggested that my baby sister be named Havana because his wife, my mother, was named Havana. My mother concurred with the name choice.

Similar to her sisters, Havana was strong-willed and able. Havana had amazing wit and a mind that simply would not quit. Like other children in the Stroud family, Havana grew up playing checkers and jacks, shooting marbles, jumping rope, running, reading, learning math, speaking both English and some Spanish…. Havana had her own style and was a quick study in whatever she undertook.

Baby Havana’s father was a Black man of immense love, patience, overstanding, talent, abilities, innovation and creativeness, knowledge and more. Daddy was well known and rather frequently ‘hated upon’ throughout some of the ‘White’ areas of Portland, Oregon and beyond.

Often, the Strouds of Portland, Oregon received ‘hate’ mail, phone calls and more from White folk who resented the Black presence of the Strouds. Both the Oregonian newspaper and the Oregon Journal newspaper received and, at times, printed hateful writings directed at and mentioning ‘Black’ Mr. Stroud – writings that came from some of the newspapers’ White readers. Mr. Stroud was a legend who did not shy away from a fight! Rather, Mr. Stroud confronted White America head-on and voiced that ‘what does not kill a Black man can make that Black man stronger….’

Baby Havana grew up in an area where color lines were clear. White stores often did not allow Blacks to freely browse and/or shop. In fact, some White businesses posted signs that read ‘no Blacks allowed’ or words to that effect. In spite of the ugliness of racism, however, Baby Havana grew and thrived. She learned at the feet of her Daddy and reached academic heights that put her on front street. Before Havana’s teen years, Havana’s acuity and ability in preparing income tax returns was given national attention by the ‘late’ Johnny Carson.

Havana attended ‘White’ Grant High School in Portland, Oregon. While a student at Grant, Havana took off from school and traveled with the ‘late’ Stokely Carmichael (lka Kwame Ture) and BlackParentSpeaks on speaking and organizing engagements throughout the states of Oregon and Washington. At the time, my mother was concerned for the safety of Havana and worried that Havana would miss out on her schooling at Grant. Daddy, however, expressed to my mother that ‘Havana will learn far more on the road with Lulu (BlackParentSpeaks) and Stokely than she will ever learn at Grant’. Thus, Havana accompanied us….

After three years of academics at Grant, Havana graduated. Prior to graduating, Havana was notified that she would receive a full-ride scholarship to a ‘Black’ college on the east coast. Havana was thrilled but expressed that she knew of a fellow Black student who had his heart set on attending said ‘Black’ college. Havana told my father that the other student could only attend said school if he had the full-ride scholarship that she had earned. Havana found herself ‘torn’ between joy and regret; and, a family discussion that included my father, Havana and me ensued.

In short order, Havana decided to contact the ‘Black’ school. After discussion and negotiation, Havana agreed to decline the scholarship and the school agreed to award the scholarship to the other Black student. That Black ‘male’ student never knew or learned the back story of his scholarship. That is an example of who my baby sister Havana was….

BlackParentSpeaks finds herself becoming too emotional to further go into detail as to who Havana was.

A few days ago, BlackParentSpeaks was contacted and informed that her baby sister Havana had passed away as a result of a microwave started fire. I have been told that the fire totally destroyed Havana’s residence and personal belongings. Havana was 63 years of age.

Any and all who read this BlackAngryWomen post need to be aware and informed.

Take care and please, DO NOT FORGET OUR REPARATIONS!


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White Confession – Jewish Holocaust in Germany….

BlackParentSpeaks did not ask to be approached nor did BlackParentSpeaks know what she was about to be told by an unknown-to-her and rather gaunt White gentleman.

As BlackParentSpeaks sat alone in a public venue, a White man sauntered up to her and asked if he could talk to her. The man warned that what he was about to say would perhaps be too much for BlackParentSpeaks to listen to. The man expressed that if his words became too difficult to listen to and hear, BlackParentSpeaks would simply need to tell him so and he would leave.

I looked up at the man and indicated that it was okay for him to sit next to me and speak the words that appeared to be so heavily on his mind.

The man sat down and proceeded to talk. What I heard from the White man’s lips and mouth was beyond anything I could have imagined at the time.

The man indicated that he was German and had been intimately involved in the Jewish Holocaust in Germany; whether willingly or unwillingly he was not certain. He spoke intimately of what he and his family had repeatedly done with respect to the Jewish people. The things he told me were way beyond anything I had read or heard about relative to the Holocaust.

As the man spoke, he avoided looking directly at me. Rather, it was as though he was in a state of both ‘confession’ and depression. Me, I was transfixed in my seat and soon purposely took my eyes off of him as I began to stare straight ahead.

Yes, BlackParentSpeaks listened to and heard the man’s words – horrific words explaining the ‘why’ of his involvement. His words were about what he, his family and other Germans did to the Jewish people in Germany. As the man spoke his words, it was as if he was back in Germany and revisiting that period of his life and the lives of his family members. He expressed that he did not know if he even had a choice for it was his duty to do as he was told to do.

After what seemed like a long three hours or so, the man asked me if God would forgive him for what he had done. He asked me if what he had done was too terrible for God to forgive.

I hesitated in responding so as to purposely and carefully choose my words.

I told the man that I could not answer him. I told him that what he had done and the question of God’s forgiveness could only be answered by God in my belief. BlackParentSpeaks urged the man to talk to God in private….

At the end of the man’s ‘confession’ to me, he thanked me for allowing him to speak and to say all that he felt burning inside of him. After expressing his gratitude to me, he slowly rose from his seat, stood erect, took several deliberate breaths and walked away.

Me, I could not bring myself to long follow the man’s departure with my eyes. Instead, I remained seated and dwelled upon the things the man had ‘shared’ – the intimate details of what the man had said to me….

Periodically, I remember the events of that occasion. I have jotted down notes pertaining to what was told to me; however, considering the horror revealed, I am hesitant in sharing beyond those I shared same with around the time of my encounter.

BlackParentSpeaks wonders whether even Jewish people know the extent of what was done to them. BlackParentSpeaks wonders if ‘knowing’ would be helpful or devastating and haunting to learn.

BlackParentSpeaks does not know the answer. Do you?

Was BlackParentSpeaks ‘chosen’ to hear the man’s confession? Was BlackParentSpeaks racially selected to hear the man’s confession? Or, was it just a matter of happenstance that BlackParentSpeaks was approached? Was any other person asked to listen prior to BlackParentSpeaks?

Be Informed and Be Aware.

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

Feel free to share this BlackAngryWomen blog with others.  We are all works in progress.

Undying love for Black People

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Trump Nation Has Arrived – Can We Talk?

‘Trump Nation’ has arrived and is now solidly in our faces.  People worldwide are watching as some question, some fume, some rejoice, and some simply ignore.  The problems and issues facing both America and  U.S. President Donald J. Trump are plentiful at best.

For some time now, America has been — and continues to be — on a downward course.  Greed, materialism, and selfishness have become the norm while homelessness, poverty, and racism have joined hands and became visible for all who choose to see.  Reality is that racism, selfishness and greed and the uncaring nature of ‘White America’ were the faire of the day long before Donald J. Trump’s 2017 U.S. Presidential Inauguration.

K thru 12 public education has long been  a cruel joke in many places throughout this nation.  Discrimination, gouging, usury, the absence of common courtesies abound while cruelty and self-indulgence and wastefulness are touted with arrogant entitlement.  The rich crave and take more while the poor get poorer and poorer.

Grown women speak of themselves as “girls” (as a person thinketh, so shall a person be….) while seeking approval, assurances,  and/or acceptance.  Fakeness, pretense and dishonesty abound while people become more and more easily manipulated.  There is an ever-increasing lack of self-respect, knowledge,  and common sense.

BlackParentSpeaks knows virtually zilch relative to our President, Mr. Donald J.  Trump; and, I venture to ‘assume’ that he, likewise,  knows absolutely nothing relative to BlackParentSpeaks.  That said, I offer the following to the readers of this BlackAngryWomen post.

First and foremost, I applaud all who are politically active.  I appreciate all of the protests and protesters who are bent on holding President Trump’s ‘feet to the fire’.  America touts a ‘concept’ of freedom and justice.  People have a ‘legal’ right and a duty to speak out and to take ‘appropriate’ and ‘effective’ action…. (Please, do not ask BlackParentSpeaks to define ‘appropriate’ or ‘effective’.)

Even before Donald J. Trump officially entered the U.S. Presidency race, BlackParentSpeaks voiced that Mr. Trump would likely win if he declared himself a candidate.  The fusion of politics, racism and more — as well as Mrs. Hillary Clinton’s perceived coldness and ‘baggage’, etc. — led BlackParentSpeaks to declare that Trump would win if he ran.

Today, Donald J. Trump is President of the United States of America.

Shortly after Mr. Trump’s victory, BlackParentSpeaks voiced that President Trump would prove to be the greatest U.S. President, in recent history, to unite people both inside and outside of the United States.  Given sufficient time, whether perceived as good or bad, U.S. President Donald J. Trump will prove to be the ‘Great Uniter’.

From the vantage point of BlackParentSpeaks, President Donald J. Trump is viewed as a man of strong  belief and conviction.  He has been shaped and formed by way of his experiences and ‘albeit limited’ interactions and environment.  Although rooted in racism, Donald J. Trump has feasted on the pudding.  Trump is a man who will do it his way unless he is either stopped or fittingly informed, challenged, and convinced otherwise.

BlackParentSpeaks advocates ‘Black Power’ and firmly opposes (‘White’) racism.  BlackParentSpeaks writes firsthand relative to the multitude of debts owed by White America to Black America.  BlackParentSpeaks offers up just a few of the many many many racial evils and wrongs committed by and/or enabled by ‘White’ America.  WE who are ‘Black’ must never forget and WE must not enable ‘White’ America to deny, rewrite or misconstrue, or feign forgetfulness.

BlackParentSpeaks congratulates Donald J. Trump on his U.S. Presidential win; and, BlackParentSpeaks looks forward to expanded activism, mobilization, and unity.  Who knows, perhaps President Trump will step forth from his ‘comfort zone’ and sign an Executive Order that will forthright make initial nontaxable and noncountable-as-income $39,000.00 reparation payments to US who are the Black victims of White America….  Can we talk?

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!

 

 


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Racism, White Folk, & Portland – Oregon Grant High School ‘Former’ Principal Dr. Myra Rose

There was once an administrator at Portland, Oregon’s ‘White and Racist’ Grant High School who had collaborated in the destruction and racist ugliness heaped on Black students at the school. This administrator rose to become a ‘top’ administrator at Grant and she believed herself to be a ‘part’ of the ‘White’ Grant High School community.

One evening (c.1990s) BlackParentSpeaks received a call at home. The person who called identified herself as a Dr. Myra Rose, the Principal of Grant High School in Portland, Oregon. The person asked that BlackParentSpeaks attend a Grant High school meeting which would be held in the school library. Without inquiring as to the reason for the request, BlackParentSpeaks agreed to be present at the meeting.

Upon entering the library of Grant High School, BlackParentSpeaks quickly took note of the hundreds of people present. The crowd ‘appeared’ to be overwhelmingly – if not totally — ‘White’. BlackParentSpeaks also inventoried the ‘cold’ stares she received upon entering the Grant library. After a couple of ‘failed’ attempts to initiate introductory talk with folk present in the library, BlackParentSpeaks retreated to a chair, near the front of the library, and sat down alone as she observed and waited for the meeting to begin.

Grant High School Principal Dr. Myra Rose addressed the ‘White’ gathering with her resolve to ‘begin accepting and including’ Black students in the school’s opportunities…. Dr. Rose said that ‘she and the White community of Grant’ had heretofore purposely and intentionally excluded and damaged Grant’s Black students. Dr. Rose alluded to ‘higher powers’ and being held accountable for the harm she and others had inflicted….

Dr. Rose told the crowd that she had wrestled with the words to speak to them. She said that in the end, she knew that she had to be truthful about the racial harm and damage she had been a part of…. Dr. Rose expressed that she had to change her ways and that Grant’s ‘White community’ had to be truthful and change as well. She spoke about ‘a New Day’….

Near the conclusion of the meeting, Dr. Rose explained her ‘intent’ to begin including Black students in the school’s offerings and opportunities and more.

BlackParentSpeaks listened intently as she recorded the words of Dr. Rose at that initial meeting. I also glanced around at some of the White faces in the library. I both felt and saw extreme anger and ‘hatred’ focused on Grant Principal Myra Rose.

At the conclusion of the meeting, Dr. Rose motioned for me (BlackParentSpeaks) to hang around so that we could talk in private — it was then that I noticed the presence of one other Black face in the library gathering as information. That person and I exchanged ‘pleasantries, etc.’

Grant Principal Myra Rose and I spoke in private and via telephone on multiple occasions following that ‘initial’ library meeting. There were times when Dr. Rose felt torn between doing that which was right and doing that which was wrong. She felt pained and saddened by the ‘hatred’ directed at her by Grant’s ‘White’ community following that library meeting. Dr. Rose expressed that ‘although she was Jewish’ she did not know that the ‘White community’ would react so viciously towards her.

Outcries for Dr.Rose’s removal from Grant were made by both ‘White’ adults and ‘White’ students. The hatred expressed by the ‘White’ community was vile and open. Needless to say, the demands of Grant’s ‘White’ community were met and Dr. Myra Rose was transferred from Grant. Upon learning of the ‘official’ reassignment of Dr. Rose, many ‘Whites’ (including ‘White’ students) expressed their loud delight both within and outside of the school.

Today, there is a Myra Rose Scholarship fund for Grant High School graduates. And, now YOU know at least a part of the ‘rest of the story’….

‘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?

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Undying love for Black people!

 

 

 

 


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‘Black’ Mrs. Lurene (Dixon) Campbell ‘Gives Up The Ghost’….

Once again, BlackParentSpeaks is experiencing a ‘moment’ of sadness and loneliness and anger….
My sadness and loneliness is due to the ‘passing’ of a dear dear friend and co-patriot — Mrs. Lurene (Dixon) Campbell.  My anger is due to the continual presence of racism and discrimination that ‘Black’ Mrs. (Dixon) Campbell faced while working in Portland (Oregon) Public Schools specifically.
BlackParentSpeaks met ‘Black’ Mrs. (Dixon) Campbell many years back (c.1990) by way of Portland (Oregon) Public Schools.  Lurene was transferred to work at Portland’s ‘racist and White’ Grant High School and became Integration Specialist at Grant.  Almost immediately, we became ‘Sisters-in-the-struggle’ to hold Portland’s ‘racist’ Grant High School accountable to its ‘Black’ and other ‘marginalized’ students.
UNsurprising to both of US, racist ‘White’ threats and acts against our comfort and safety ensued.  In at least one instance, a ‘White’ teacher at Grant attempted to recruit students in his class to harm both Lurene and I and particular Black students present at the school.  Immediately upon ‘learning’ of the violent nature of the teacher’s ‘intent’, I and Lurene personally ‘encouraged’ the teacher to both privately and publicly back off!
Near the end of my/our confrontation with the ‘White’ teacher, the teacher expressed emotional remorse, apologized tearfully, and both privately and publicly called-off his ‘recruitment’ of students to do US harm, etc.  That incident is but one of the many many many racists situations Lurene, I, and other Black adults, and Black students dealt with and/or handled at Portland Public Schools Grant High.
My words to Mrs. Lurene (Dixon) Campell are simple –
(Mrs. Dixon) Lurene:  YOU fought and fought for US throughout your years with Portland (Oregon) Public Schools.  Many establishment folk who ran — and continue to run — this inherently racist school system tried to shut you down.  You remained strong and determined and did NOT give in.  Instead, you continued to remain true to your Blackness and to our ‘Black’ young people and other ‘marginalized’ students in spite of the costs to your career, etc.  I will always and forever love you.  WE fought the ‘good’ fight and we won….
*************
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We are all works in progress. Do YOU know what time it is? http://BlackAngryWomen.com/

Undying love for Black people!

==========

Teacher and School Leader Remembered

Lurene Patrah Campbell

6/27/2017, 10:52 a.m.

Lurene Patrah Campbell, a retired educator and school administrator, is being remembered after she passed away on May 8, 2017.

Lurene Patrah Campbell
Lurene Patrah Campbell, a retired educator and school administrator, is being remembered after she passed away on May 8, 2017.
She was a native of Texas and graduated from Macedonia High School in Texarkana, Texas as valedictorian for the Class of 1963. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Education from Huston–Tillotson University in Austin, Texas. She also received many certifications and a Master of Science in Education from Oregon State University. She was a member of the Delta Theta Sigma Sorority.
She began working for Portland Public Schools as a biology teacher in 1968 and taught at Marshall and Jackson High schools from 1968 to 1985. In 1986, she worked in the Director of Instruction Office as a science resource teacher for the Franklin-Marshall Cluster. During the years of 1987- 1991, she held several different administrative and teaching positions within the school district.
She was part of the staff involved when the Portland schools carried out Desegregation Implementation Plans. She worked in the school district’s public information and communications office and was coordinator of cultural diversity reports for state and federal compliance. She retired from Portland Public Schools in 2006, but remained active in the community.
She was a long time and active member of New Hope Missionary Baptist Church, serving in a variety of positions. Later she supported the Northwest Voices for Christ Ministries and served as a minister and spiritual counselor.
She was loved by so many people and will be dearly missed.


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Black & White Oregon and Plagues in America

Race confusion runs amok in America as the disconnect between individuals expands even within easily identified racial and ethnic groups.

BlackParentSpeaks has never been an advocate of segregation or integration as defined and designed by White folk.  BlackParentSpeaks does — and always has — supported ‘Black Power’.

Life was so much simpler when BlackParentSpeaks was a youngster.  Folk were either Black or White.  In other words, if a person was NOT ‘accepted’ as White by ‘White America’, that person was ‘considered’ and identified as Black or a ‘person of color’.

Clearly, I recall some of the multiple discomforts of public school integration here in Portland, Oregon during the 1950s.  Prior to that time, my childhood world was both loving and racially embracing and ‘Black’ schools were inviting and nurturing and educationally fun.

As a third-grader, BlackParentSpeaks was legally forced to ‘integrate’ to a ‘White’ school — namely, Irvington Elementary School in Portland, Oregon.  Although the ‘change’ was without question traumatic for me as a child, it exposed BlackParentSpeaks to up-close and in-my-face racism.  I was hurled into the ‘belly of the beast’ — White racism.

Today, having been both a victim and a survivor of racism — America’s White racism, has ‘helped’ in qualifying BlackParentSpeaks as a ‘truthful’ expert on White folk and racism.

Racism is the greatest impediment to ‘true’ Black success.  And, racism is the greatest impediment to White salvation.  No matter the color or ethnicity of a person, money and material hoarding and possessions do not equate to success nor does such equate to a person’s salvation.

Racism, poverty, homelessness and sub-par housing issues, hunger, health issues and health problems, school and library failures, unemployment and underemployment, gouging and usury, disconnects, selfishness and greed and the ‘rich get richer’ allowances, disrespect and a wanton lack of self-respect,  arrogance and a ‘me and mine’ mindset, are some of the many ‘domestic’ plagues facing local jurisdictions and  this nation.

All questions have answers and all problems have solutions.

Remember 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 DC Warrior Dick Jones — 2016 Sendoff….

I been both blessed and protected by a supreme power — a power that is beyond mankind.  And, yes, I am eternally grateful.  BlackParentSpeaks knows that she could not have survived the varied and many attempts to silence her ‘Blackness’ had God not been with her.

Reflecting — accurate reflecting — moves us forward.

BlackParentSpeaks has recently learned that DC ‘Black’ brother Dick Jones ‘gave up the ghost’ in year 2016.  Dick headed up and ran DC’s Concerned Citizens of Central Cardoza (4Cs) throughout my years in DC —  the 1960s and 1970s.  Dick Jones was a fighter and a quite forceful voice who ‘publicly’ worked to hold slum landlords and others accountable in the Washington, DC housing arena.

Dick Jones was a dedicated and true warrior in the DC-based ‘Movement’.  If memory serves me accurately, Dick was born in Philly and moved to DC prior to my arrival in DC.  I met Dick sometime between 1966-68 when he and several other brothers showed up at my DC apartment relative to a matter of ‘Black’ urgency.  Dick expressed that Attorney Florence Roisman (an unwavering and trusted Jewish attorney employed by NLSP in DC) had recommended that he seek my help.

The inhumane and racially-charged horrid situation explained to me that day by ‘Black’ brother Dick Jones sprouted a relationship between us that lasted throughout my years in DC.

DC’s Dick Jones was militantly responsible, brilliant, and a compassionate Black man who was active in the struggle for righteousness and accountability.  Although ‘Black’ brother Jones was publicly and primarily associated with DC housing issues, the breadth of his involvements and actions were unlimited.  Dick was a ‘no limits’ brother who both gave and did….

Brother Dick was a mighty representative for the Black folk who were perceived powerless by others.  Brother Dick was a ‘Black’ man who BlackParentSpeaks intimately knew, worked with, and loved.  He was an integral part of — and a contributor to — the Black Movement.

With undying love and appreciation, BlackParentSpeaks says ‘thank you’ to DC’s ‘Black’ Dick Jones.

‘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/

 

 


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BLACK – Can you dig it?

BlackParentSpeaks never chose to attend a ‘White’ high school in Portland, Oregon — let alone one that had a reputation of being racist, snobbish, and privy.  But, in spite of my protests, my Black parents decided that I would attend Grant High School and that decision was final.  1960s Grant High School was not a welcoming place for Black students.

Grant High School was located in a ‘White’ community 30 plus blocks from where my family lived.  White adults who lived in and around Grant did some ugly things to try to dissuade me and other Blacks from walking thru what they ‘claimed’ as their neighborhood as we walked the distance from our homes to and from Grant.  Some of the Whites trained their dogs to attack us, some Whites hollered racist things, and some young White children threw rocks and more in our direction as we neared and/or passed their White homes.  Navigating the Grant neighborhood often meant crisscrossing and jaywalking in order to avoid particular White homes that I knew were more problematic and/or dangerous than some of the other White homes.

The educational staff at Grant reflected the Grant community — overwhelmingly ‘White’ and racist.  Even when a fellow ‘Black’ student at Grant ‘gave up the ghost’, the Grant staff showed no compassion or concern as I broke into tears upon learning of his death that school day.  Instead, I was told by White Grant staff to ‘stop crying’ and straighten up, etc.  The coldness us Black students were shown was truly a harsh lesson for me to bear on that particular school day….

Because I have lived in the belly of the beast, I have an up-front and intimate view of ‘White’ folk.  Example:  White females are often covertly more racist in their actions and ways.

Being ‘Black’ and walking the halls of Grant High School allowed me to hear the racists words coming from the mouths of Grant’s ‘White’ students, teachers, administrative staff, etc.  I remember a school day assembly where a White student called herself entertaining  — she ‘entertained’ in ‘Black face’.

Many many many racial and racist incidents happened during my four years as a student at Portland’s Grant High School.  I remember the ‘F’ I was given in Gym because of the racist and inhumane policy my ‘White’ gym teacher mistakenly assumed I would consent to follow.  Following what happened, the ‘White’ female gym teacher was provided with  a bodyguard and I was rewarded with an ‘F’ grade….

Although I never wanted to attend Portland’s Grant High School, I have concluded that it was quite educational for me.  Going to Grant High School truly helped to better open my eyes to ‘Whiteness’ and racism and discrimination.

“Soldier Boy, Oh my little Soldier Boy…” I often sang the lyrics to that song in Art Class at Grant.  My teacher was White and, of course, the other students in my Art Class reflected Grant’s community.  Soon, one of the other students — an older male student — joined in and we, in unison, sang the lyrics to “Soldier Boy” together on an unplanned basis while in our Art Class.

Within days, I was called aside by my Art Teacher and told that I could no longer sang “Soldier Boy” while in Art Class.  The Art Teacher explained that my singing as a duet with “David” would no longer be allowed because the White females in the class liked David and they were angered that a ‘Black female and a White male’ were permitted to sing together in class.  My teacher expressed that the White females were ‘jealous’ and that they ‘wanted’ David for themselves.

I told my teacher, Mr. Read, that David and I did not have anything going on and that there was no reason for the White females to be jealous of me.  Mr. Read responded that he could not allow David and me together to continue singing in his Art Class because he had to satisfy the ‘racist’ desires of the White female students and their parents.  Mr. Read went on to express that David would still be allowed to continue singing in class because “David is White….”

To make a long story short, I responded telling  my Art Teacher that I too would continue to sing in class.  And, if he — Mr. Read — wanted me to stop singing, he would have to stop David from singing as well.

My defiance led to me being banned from Art Class. I was told by teacher Read and Grant administrative staff that I would be given an ‘F’ in Art and that I was forbidden to go to class for however long I refused to follow the ‘racist’ policy at Grant.  Thus, Art Class for me meant reporting to the Grant office where I would sit and think and do whatever I chose to do.

The day finally came when I looked up from my seat in the Grant office and saw the face of Grant High School Art Teacher Mr. Read.  Mr. Read asked me if I was finally willing to ‘give in’ and to stop singing with David.  I told Mr. Read that I would never ‘give in’….  Shortly after that, Mr. Read ‘gave in’.  Mr. Read spoke about racism and apologized to me for what he had demanded of me and what he had done to me.  He expressed that ‘guilt’ was eating away at him….

I accepted Art Teacher Read’s apology, resumed my studies in Art Class, and continued singing along with David to the displeasure of White female students and their parents.

The above is merely a glimpse into c.1960s ‘Black life’ in Portland, Oregon.  Can you dig it?

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!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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Black Fidel Castro

Cuba’s Fidel Castro ‘gave up the ghost’ c.yesterday at the age of 90.

With due respect, BlackParentSpeaks pays tribute to Cuba’s Fidel Castro — a supporter and friend of the ‘Black Movement’ in the United States.   It was doing the ‘Movement’ days that BlackParentSpeaks  came to know and truly appreciate Fidel Castro.  In fact, had it not been for Brother Lester, BlackParentSpeaks  would have travelled to Cuba at Castro’s invite.

Nuff’ Said.

With Undying love.

Don’t forget our reparations!


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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?

Feel free to share this BlackAngryWomen blog with others.  We are all works in progress.

Undying love for Black People

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