Black Angry Women

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Black Memories

Keeping it real means talking truth without apology to any of the readers of this BlackAngryWomen post. If any person feels offended, ask yourself why!

There was a time when Black people lived and socialized together and we welcomed that we were separate from White folk in the city of Portland, Oregon. White racism was an ever-present threat and force; and we Blacks knew well who our enemy was — both the White man and the White woman. Black interactions with respect to Whites was both formal and limited for the most part.  Our Black adults knew well the caustic, manipulative and dangerous nature of White people.

My Black father and other Black men and Black women established Black businesses designed to serve and service our Black community.   Blacks worked hard and creatively and many many Blacks bought homes and other income-producing properties.  Yes, Black communities have and can thrive and grow independently! 

Portland’s Black community was safe, peaceful, caring and supportive.  We knew each other and our children played and learned together.  Black youth knew the adults in our community and the adults knew and cared about us.  We who were young had genuine respect for our Black elders and we regularly heard and listened to our elders’ words of wisdom and advice.  Yes, Black youth loved dearly our Black elders and they loved us.  Black people visited the homes of each other at will and always we were welcomed. 

In the Black community of Portland, as neighbors, we helped one another without charge.  If there was a ‘known’ need, someone would step forth to fulfill that need. Black youth often carried a neighbor’s grocery bags inside the neighbor’s home.  Blacks often mowed neighboring lawns and shoveled the snow off the sidewalks.  While in grocery stores, Black youth often carried the grocery bags to a Black shopper’s car.  These were just a few of the many everyday practices that went unnoticed and that helped to develop Black youth into responsive and caring adults.  Uppermost, Black youth always showed and gave respect to our Black elders. 

So, the world was different when BlackParentSpeaks was a child.  And, the world was different when BlackParentSpeaks was a young and middle-aged adult.  I value and cherish the memories of times past.  Money and things meant little when compared to ‘Black’ human interactions.  We cared for each other, we valued each other and we looked out for each other.  We respected each other.  We listened to each other.  We had ‘Black’ self-love and we loved one another with few exceptions.  Urban Renewal (Black Removal), gentrification and school integration have been negatives for our Black communities across this country.  Hear my words:  Urban Renewal (Black Removal), gentrification and school integration have been negatives for our Black communities across this country.

Please do not fall prey to veiled and/or unveiled ‘White’ actions, rhetoric and other attempts to destroy and damage Black progress ever again…. Recognize that such attempts can be manifested by Whites, Blacks and others. Be Aware and be informed!

I urge our Black young and older Blacks NOT to become victims of their ignorance and/or lustful desires.  Reclaim your past and who you are intended to be.  Stop the clowning, stop the foolishness.  Stop selling yourselves, stop selling-out other Blacks, and stop gatekeeping for White folk!  Reach out and touch that which has been lost by you.  Appreciate those of us who gave so much with you in mind … Fannie Lou, Stokely ‘Black Power’ Carmichael lka Kwame Ture, Marion Barry, Sister KoKo, Brother Lester, Sister Betty, Brother Dick, Rev. David Eaton, Brother Martin, Brother Karenga, Sister Eleanor Matthews, Brother Featherstone, Brother Gaston, BlackParentSpeaks and so many many many more.   We did and gave with YOU in mind.  

Peace and Black Love!

Do NOT forget our Reparations.

 


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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!

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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!