Black Angry Women

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Black Enough Is Simply Not Enough….

Black Enough Is Simply Not Enough….

All questions have answers – even if you do not know the answers or do not like the answers.

There is seriousness in jest.

Being resilient does not mean that Black people should ever forget our horrendous and inhumane enslavement by Whites. Black resilience does not mean that we portend to not recognize racism.

Black people have been — and are –oppressed as a race; we do not have the choice or the luxury of individualism.

Black unity does not mean Black uniformity.

I have been asked if the end justifies the means. My answer is ‘No’. It is the ‘means’ that justify the end.

We who are Black should not be forever in the mode of, without compensation, teaching White folk about race and racism. I am tired of so-called White ignorance and the pretense of race ignorance coming from White lips. I am tired of the multitude of excuses made for racist White folk.

Racism is ugly and dangerous. Racism should not be excused or tolerated. And, if White folk or others want an education relative to what racism is and more, they should expect to — want to — pay for that education.

Reactions and responses to BlackAngryWomen have been both educational and reflective.

One of the more recent ‘Black’ interventions involved a racist posting in the workplace. In that situation, the White supervisor quickly apologized in writing to the Black employee, removed the racist workplace posting, etc.

BlackAngryWomen commends the Black employee – a ‘Black’ woman – for stepping forth, expressing her anger in writing, and making a difference….

‘As long as there is breath, there is hope….’

Be Involved!

‘Don’t forget our reparations’.

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Undying love for Black people!

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Black Is….

‘Black’ C. Sumner Stone Jr. (Chuck) said that ‘sometimes it takes White folk to politicize Black folk’. ‘Black’ Queen Mother Moore reminded us Blacks to ‘never forget our reparations’. BlackParentSpeaks urges us who are Black to ‘be informed, be aware, and be involved’. The Christian Bible admonishes some of us to ‘shake the dust from our boots and keep getting up’. There is wisdom in first feeding milk to a baby….

Blacks who are borne of Black mothers are Black. Blacks who are borne as a result of biological Black fathers are Black. No matter how many times or ways White folk attempt to narrow the defining of Black folk, we are Black. And, each of us should relish our Blackness and the responsibility and obligation that come with being Black. Undying love for Black people!

Contrary to ‘official and legal recordings’, my daddy was born in 1904 on Indian Territory on land later known as Chandler, Oklahoma. My father’s mother was 100% ‘Creek’ Native. My father’s father was Black. My father and all of his siblings knew they were Black – even my father’s ‘Native American’ biological mother knew that she had birth Black children! My father never shied from his Blackness; and, he fought long and hard against White racism.

As a Black child, my daddy regularly saw fellow Black peers herded together by adult Whites and left bloodied. As a Black child, my daddy watched in fear as adult Whites entertained themselves during weekend drag races at the expense of Black children who were bound to the back of racing cars. Daddy was protected ONLY because his mother had the foresight to hide him by covering him over with potatoes in the potato bin….

While a student in the White man’s elementary school, my daddy was forced to stand before the entire student body at a school assembly and apologize for having been born Black. My father was told that he had no choice in the matter lest his mother be made to suffer further at the hands of the town’s good White folk. During gym time at the elementary school and while playing a game of baseball, my daddy was purposely hit over the head with a baseball bat swung by a White classmate. Although my father was knocked out, not even a reprimand was given to the White child who loudly boasted that he – the White child — should get a medal for trying to kill his Black classmate – my father. On a daily basis, my Black father was pelted with rocks thrown by fellow White classmates and their White parents. This daily atrocity continued until my father’s uncle took a shotgun to the mob of Whites. Tellingly, my daddy never again set eyes on his uncle … ‘nuff said’.

Daddy saw his own Black ‘minister’ father terrorized and tortured and eventually blinded by a White doctor….

My daddy — a strong Black child — grew up to become a strong Black man who employed ‘undying love for Black people’ in all he did…. Daddy grew up to OVERstand the impact of slavery on the Black man, Black woman, and Black child. And, my daddy knew that Black people should never trust White people – plain and simple.

Like so many Blacks did at the time, Daddy travelled west to Oregon during the 1940s – lured by promises of a ‘better life’ and a less ‘hate-driven’ White community. And, contrary to official and legal recordings, I – Daddy’s daughter — was born in Vanport (name reflective of PORTland, Oregon and VANcouver, Washington). Whites, believing they have impunity, have falsely recorded history and events at will. I am a Black survivor of the 1948 Vanport flood.

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Some of the ‘interjected’ truths I share here include the following: Whites have pleasured themselves at the expense of Black people while claiming to love all of God’s children. (Do Whites ‘not’ see Black folk as God’s children?) White people have feasted off of Black suffering while creating and promoting visions of ‘strange fruit’. White people have a legacy of unbridled ugliness and worse. Whites are guilty of the unimaginable and they have reared up their White children in like fashion.

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Shortly before Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. went to Tennessee on the second trip that ended with his death, Dr. King came to DC to meet with a small and intimate body of us Black folk. As expected, I recorded that meeting, etc.

Although I will not go into detail, one of the things that troubled Dr. King was ‘whether or not, in fact, White people had a conscience’…. Dr. King expressed that if he outlived Tennessee, he would have to give serious thought to the question because his – Dr. King’s — whole nonviolent stance was based and predicated upon White people having a conscience….

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Vanport and Black Genocide in Oregon

Vanport and Black Genocide in Oregon

As an infant, I surmise that life was relatively simple for yours truly.  Growing in conscious awareness, however, I quickly saw the difference between Black folk and White folk.  And, as I survived the racist nature of Whites in Oregon, I gained firsthand insight into the ugliness of racism.

The Black community in Oregon was rich in culture, knowledge, wisdom, survival skills, watchfulness, and love.  Our elders were so very gifted and – in spite of the horrors many were privy to and subjected to – those who survived maintained their humanity.

Life was not easy for Black people in a racist Oregon.  The 1940s had brought a relatively high number of Black men and Black women and their families to the Oregon area.  We had been recruited and encouraged to move to Oregon to work in the Shipyards.  The government had helped in financing the building of a manmade city (think of ‘White’ Edgar F. Kaiser and today’s Kaiser Permanente) for us to live in.  Blacks were given verbal assurances by White officials that we would be safe and secure living in the manmade city named Vanport.

Following the ‘war’ years, however, the Black adults who remained in Vanport knew that we had lost our wartime usefulness to the Whites of Oregon.  Meetings were held and we Blacks were again repeatedly promised by White officials that we would be safe remaining in Vanport.  We were told that Vanport was secure and that we did not need to worry about the city flooding or anything else.

In short time, the White man’s word proved to be worthless and the city of Vanport flooded in 1948.

The Black adults who survived the 1948 Vanport flood often reminisced and – sometimes mulled over — the events and timeliness of the Vanport flood.  They expressed that the flood was an intentional racist attempt to eliminate their Black presence in Oregon.  And, although I was but a child at the time of the Vanport flood, I was always allowed to be present during adult talk and discussions.

In spite of the accepted ‘official’ government counts, the Black men and women who lived in Vanport knew firsthand that the number of Blacks who died in the flood was far greater than recorded in ‘official’ records.

I am a ‘Black’ survivor of Vanport.  My account of events is non-negotiable!  And, by the way, my Black family never received a dime in compensation for our losses nor did we receive any government assistance.  Likewise, we did not receive any help or even an apology from ‘White’ Edgar F. Kaiser who so richly profited as a result of Vanport.

Nuff’ said.

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A Black Journey in Portland, Oregon

A Black Journey in Portland, Oregon

Another post on BlackAngryWomen.com

My father was a Black man who wore his Blackness both outwardly and inwardly.  Daddy took great pleasure and satisfaction in being Black and he actively supported and worked towards the betterment of Black people throughout the diaspora.  Daddy did not waste time in conversation with Whites regarding racism.  Daddy simply stated a fact and ‘allowed’ Whites to determine whether or not the racial ‘issue’ had to go to a physical level….

A ‘good’ example of my father’s racial character (c.1950s) came shortly after he went to play golf on a previously all-White golf course in Portland, Oregon.  When confronted on the course by a mob-mentality group of White men intent on doing my father physical harm, Daddy stood his ground and refused to leave.  And, when the ‘mob’ moved to advance on my ‘Black’ father, Daddy swiftly pulled an iron from his golf bag and swung it around his head as he exclaimed to all that the ‘first one in is dead….’  Needless to say, the mob quickly dispersed and Daddy continued his game of golf without further interruption.

As a result of my father’s refusal to barter his freedom to ‘enjoy’ his game of golf, that previously all-White Rose City Golf Course became my father’s ‘second home’.  Daddy continued to regularly play golf on that course.  And, Daddy introduced other Blacks to the game and the course and the money that could be made there.

My father was always ‘aware’ of race.  He knew firsthand that White folk posed a never-ending danger to Black folk and Daddy schooled me – and other Blacks — accordingly.

If there ever was a hero on earth, it was my father.  Daddy did not kowtow to White folk nor did my father ‘allow’ Whites to joke about race or racial issues in his presence.

Amongst my fondest memories, as a child, was my daddy reciting the poetry of ‘Black’ Paul Laurence Dunbar in our home – a practice I continued with my own children and others.  I also remember both the respect and the sadness my father expressed when he spoke in ‘private’ detail relative to ‘Black’ Paul Robeson….

My father was a man of many many talents.  Along with speaking Creek, Latin, Spanish, and English, my father built his own printing press for use in the multiple businesses he started.  Daddy was an adept accountant, mover, electrician, plumber, painter, writer, golfer, and more.

Daddy’s morning routine included running a distance of 10+ miles, exercising outside our house, a cold shower, preparing breakfast for our family, singing, and often playing our family piano.  Daddy regularly managed all of the above before going to work or before going to play an AM round of golf on the golf course we nicknamed Daddy’s “second home” – Rose City Golf Course in Portland, Oregon.

My ‘Black’ father was a man who especially enjoyed the cold.  He played golf all year round — ice and snow did not deter him or his enthusiasm.  In fact, Daddy took great pleasure in playing golf during the winter weather when few, if any, White golfers were on the course.  In relatively short time, Daddy developed and established an annual golf tournament which he named the “Iceberg Open” at Rose City Golf Course in Portland, Oregon.

Under my father’s direction, I handled much of the advertising end (including write-ups and more).   All of the ‘Iceberg Open’ details – including rules, names, categories, scoring, payouts, etc. came from my father’s mind and creativity.   Following the c.3 day event, Daddy and I collaborated in writing up and printing the results and news pieces for the media.  As expected by my dad, the annual ‘Iceberg Open’ Golf Tournament was a fun and challenging success.

Integration at Portland’s Rose City Golf Course was not a smooth process for my father or the other Blacks he soon brought with him to the course.  Before steering other Blacks towards Rose City and the game of golf, Daddy schooled many on the reality of racism.  Daddy admonished all of us to be aware and prepared.  Daddy exclaimed that ‘a Black man knows better than to call the police in a dispute with a White man.  A Black man knows to handle the problem himself….’

There were many instances of racism at Rose City Golf Course, however, we Blacks handled the problems swiftly and effectively for the most part.  And, there was a silent agreement amongst all of the golfers that ‘what happens at Rose City Golf Course, stays in-house’.  I am reminded of an incident that required a Black golfer to pull a machete from his golf bag.  The Black golfer was playing golf with three White golfers and the Black golfer was ‘winning’.  Following the machete incident, that game of golf continued and the Black golfer won.  That was just one of the many racial incidents that occurred on the course at Rose City Golf Course.

Daddy never really ‘liked’ working under the control of others who dictated commands.  Accordingly, Daddy quickly began his own business which incorporated a variety of ventures.  Daddy, with overstanding and without restraint, provided jobs to Black folk.  Under my father’s tutelage, I learned such skills as writing, accounting, scheduling, organizing, management, typing, language, carpentry, pricing, racial and human relations, and more.  Daddy also advised that it is often better for me to do something than to walk away wishing that I had done something….

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Black Winners and Studies

Secretive and sensitive information was often anonymously relayed to me during my days and nights in the 1960s and 1970s Black Movement.  Whether or not the information was factual or a ploy, I know not.  However, I was faced with the task of evaluating the info and ‘wisely’ handling or not handling it.

Stokely ‘Black Power’ Carmichael (lka Kwame Ture) would say that living for your people will prove to be more difficult than dying for your people.  He explained that anyone can die.  Stokely’s question to me was:  Can you live for your people?

The emotional upheaval was heavy for yours truly.  I saw many of the brothers and sisters who gave and gave and gave literally ‘lose it’ behind their ever-reaching desire to bring about righteousness in America.  America was a cesspool of racism and Whites played that ‘race card’ with ease.  Whites openly argued that nothing-of-worth existed without White validation or White discovery.

Whites equated words like black and dark as negatives while equating words like white and light as positives.  Whites did not like Black people’s use of the word ‘Black’ in describing ourselves.  And, Whites were made uncomfortable when ‘Black’ was linked with the word ‘Power’.  Whites were sent off-kilter by Black men and Black women who rejected being called “girl” and “boy”.  A sister who wore a natural was looked upon with suspicion by Whites who felt it was a sting and a rejection of White values and limits.

Ralph Featherstone (Feather) — a young Black man in the ‘Movement’ — would often and regularly ask me if there was a ‘contradiction in a sister, clad in a mini-skirt, wearing a natural’.  Sadly, Feather died in a car bomb explosion before I ever had the insight or the wherewithal to answer his question.  For a myriad of reasons, Feather’s death – like many others’ — will likely remain etched in my memory forever….

We in the ‘Movement’ realized the seriousness of winning.  We knew that Black people needed to see us win.  Stokely emphasized that our people needed to see us win – regardless of the costs.

There was a real disconnect between Washington, DC’s ‘Black’ Howard University and the Black community of DC.  As we formed and organized the ‘original’ DC Black United Front (the Front), one of the many issues we confronted was the separation of Howard students from the community.  Folk in the community said that the Howard students thought they were ‘better than and different from’  the Blacks in the community.  They spoke of how the students shunned the community and rarely—if ever – lifted a finger to help the community.

In response to the Howard University ‘problem’, we in the Front knew we had to act.  After careful deliberation and strategizing, the Front decided to push for student involvement in the community as well as a Black studies program at the school.  We reached out to ‘active’ Howard students and they reached out to us.

We knew that administrators of Howard University would be most resistant to community involvement.  And, we knew that the strongest possible resistance would come from ‘Black’ Howard University’s administration to formulating a Black studies program at the school.  But, we were determined and, as Stokely explained:  When Howard falls, the other universities and colleges will prove to be ‘mickey mouse’ to us who mean ‘business’.

Stokely’s assessment and familiarity with Howard University was right-on-target.  Active resistance was employed by the University and the school ‘forced’ its students to organize sit-ins and more.  Eventually, Howard University’s administration responded by having its students tear gassed, etc. and the campus was soon ablaze in fire.  Vehicles were overturned and the campus appeared as a ‘war zone’.  In the end, however, the students and community won as Howard University agreed to a Black studies program and more….

Following Howard University’s agreement to institute Black studies, the DC Front sent letters to other colleges and universities reminding them of ‘what had gone down at Howard’….  Needless to say, the response received from other schools was overwhelmingly positive and inviting….  Thus, the advent of Black studies on campuses throughout America resulted from the blood and sweat of both the Black community and Howard’s Black students.

Stokely was never really comfortable with the label “leader”.  He saw himself as a community organizer and often spoke of himself in that manner.  In private and intimate conversations with me, Stokely shunned the idea of being referred to as a Black ‘leader’.

It is interesting that Stokely, Marion Barry, Rev. David Eaton, and so many of us came together in DC at a particular time to help in organizing and formulating a Movement that brought such impactful racial change to America.  How many people know that Stokely used to teach Sunday school to children, Marion studied Chemistry in school, etc.?  Each of us – and others — stepped away from that which was comfortable in order to fight the good fight.  What we accomplished was nothing short of a miracle.  We willingly gave our lives and our dreams to the ‘Movement’….

Black folk in the 1960-1970’s Black Movement knew each other.  It did not matter whether the organizers – or ‘leaders’ as some chose to be called – were from California; New York; Oregon; DC; Philadelphia; Atlanta; or NewArk, New Jersey….  We soon got to know each other as a result of our ‘Black’ activism.

I remember my first time meeting Stokely ‘Black Power’ Carmichael.  The DC head of the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (lka Student National Coordinating Committee) vouched for me, and Stokely and I immediately became fast friends and more.  Although I had spoken to David Eaton on numerous occasions via phone, I well remember the first time we met.  David and I, likewise, formed a fast and intimate friendship and more.  Often, we were involved in ‘political’ trips together and I became a part of his ‘family’.  I recall the first time I met Lester McKinney, Dick Jones, H. Rap Brown, Imamu Baraka, Malauna Ron Karenga, Jesse ‘the Country Preacher’ Jackson, and so many many others.

I learned a lot before I ever had the privilege of meeting particular people in the Movement.  I learned a lot while working with and for specific folks in and out of the Movement.  And, I have learned a lot since.  When I was but a child, my father told me that I would soon learn that the more I learn, the more I will grow to realize how ‘little’ I actually do know.  My Daddy was right!

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A Black Woman’s Strength

Looking back at the 1960s – 1970s Black ‘Movement’ from my most-intimate and involved vantage point, I am now comfortable in stating that there were sacrifices – great sacrifices.

My Oregon parents and their neighbors were questioned regarding me.  There were threats from America’s law enforcement community to my livelihood, my life, etc.  I was offered money, a leadership position, and ‘protection’ to sell-out.  My home was entered while I was away.  At least one attempt was made on my life.  I was relentlessly followed.  And, yes, there was more.

It was not uncommon for me to look up from my paid job with the Neighborhood Legal Services Program and see FBI agents coming to take me into custody.  At times, I was placed in handcuffs.  At other times, I was not handcuffed.

I was often escorted from my job, driven away in a car, and questioned at a different location – usually in a downtown DC building.  There were sometimes veiled threats.  At other times, I was told outright that I could or would be harmed if I did not cooperate.  Needless to say, I NEVER knew anything.  Therefore, I was NEVER able to give any information to the FBI or any of the other law enforcement ‘agents’ assigned to follow and monitor me.

I recall one occasion when I was taken away by two FBI agents and interrogated relative to an ‘alleged’ relationship between Muhammad Ali and a ‘Chicken Man’….  Although I responded that I had never personally met Brother Muhammad Ali and I had no idea who ‘Chicken Man’ was, the futile questioning continued.  Finally, after repeated questions, I was told that my life was in danger ‘because of my refusal to cooperate’ with law enforcement.

My position in the ‘Movement’ commanded a keen sense of awareness.  I was trusted with ‘sensitive’ information.   At times, I had to make split-second decisions.  I can truthfully say that never did I waver nor have I ever regretted any of the decisions I made with respect to the ‘Movement’.

Encouragement – for me – came from a c.93+ year old Black woman who mailed us (Stokely ‘Black Power’ Carmichael and me) a note with two dollars to help in the ‘Movement’.  Her note expressed her gratitude and faith in us to keep up the struggle.  She wrote that she could ‘die in peace’ knowing that we were continuing the fight for our Black people….  Letters and sentiments like that brought heaviness to my heart and tears to my eyes.  Our elder sister’s words-on-paper reinforced my commitment to righteousness.  Indeed, I was privileged and ‘chosen’ by a power beyond man….

Because our lives were intertwined with the ‘Movement’, caution and awareness were employed.  I became an intimate confidant of Stokely’s and Martin’s (Martin Luther King) and David’s (Rev. David Eaton) and others’.

I recall being driven around DC by the son of the Ambassador from Pakistan.  I recall dinners in New York and at the home of Tanzanian Ambassador Gosbert Rutabanzibwa.  I recall dancing with Charles Diggs.  I recall contemplating a move to Cuba and changing my mind.  I recall reading Chairman Mao’s ‘Little Red Book’ and the passage regarding men and oral sex.

I recall being ‘almost’ raped by a well-known ‘Black’ man (deemed a “leader” by the White media) who I fought and struggled with to the point of sweat-ridden exhaustion.  The man finally stopped his vicious assault on my person only after I managed to say that if he stuck his ‘thing’ in my vagina, I would tell the ‘world’….

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Black Dues and Hunger in America

Knowledge of the past can help us to avoid repeating the mistakes as we move forward.

It seems that life has always been about ‘purpose’ for me.  I have tried to be responsible and loyal while allowing myself the freedom to make mistakes.  While I was but a young child, my father told me that ‘it is better to do something than to walk away and later wish you had done something’.  That is one of the mantras in my arsenal.

While working with the Citizens Advocate Center in DC, I found myself in need of a secretary.   There were deadlines to meet and the Hunger In America report, which I was charged with coordinating, was a project of immense importance.  I quickly put the ‘word’ out that the Center was hiring.

After interviewing several Black prospective applicants, I went back into my office to make that all-important decision as to who I would hire.  While mulling over my choices, a rather shy looking young Black woman entered our offices.  I was summoned to the greeting area to meet and possibly interview the young woman for the secretarial position.  Although the lady had arrived late for her interview, I chose to hear her story.

The sister was in her twenties and she had dropped out of high school as a tenth grader.  She expressed that she did NOT know how to type, etc.  In fact, she was convinced that she would not be hired for the job because of her lack of secretarial skills and more.  As tears began to fill her eyes, she fidgeted with her clothes and nervously told me that she knew she should not have showed up for the interview and she apologized for taking up my time.

I quickly handed the young sister a box of Kleenex and got her a soft drink and told her that I had ‘all the time in the world to hear her story’.  After getting as much information as I could from the young woman, I told her that she was hired.  I expressed that her job as my secretary would be to ‘return to school’.  I expressed that she would learn how to file, how to type, English and more while working as my secretary.  As she continued to cry, I told her that she could start that same day or the next day – it was up to her!  And, as a welcome to the job, I handed her money from my purse.

The Executive Director of the Citizens Advocate Center was Edgar S. Cahn – a Jewish attorney.  Attorney Cahn was not initially pleased with my hire, however, after I explained my ‘reasons’, he quickly jumped on board to help.

The young woman I hired was in search of her ‘family’.   Her nine brothers and sisters — all children — had been removed from her care years prior by social workers who discovered the circumstance of their living conditions.  The young woman’s parents were both deceased and the woman had biological children of her own to support.  The woman feared that even her own biological children would be taken away by social workers because the place they were staying in was uninhabitable.

Quickly, I began making phone calls and sending out ‘feelers’ in an attempt to locate the young woman’s siblings.  Attorneys handled the legal turf as Black community activists and others stepped in with support and more.  Within a matter of weeks, we had the entire ‘clan’ together and we secured a large home in Northwest DC for the young woman and her ‘family’.  We furnished the place (two refrigerators were donated) and went shopping for clothing, groceries, and other items needed for their ‘home’.  Our ‘no-walls’ support for the family continued….

Later, I hired another employee for the Center and that sister assisted in putting together a thorough ‘first-ever’ report on Hunger In America.  To her surprise, I made a conscious decision to credit her on the final report.

BlackParentSpeaks contends that God provides us with countless opportunities to ‘do the right thing’ and to pay our dues.  In the Movement, some of us would sometimes quip that we were ‘over’paying our dues and paying the dues for all of us.  And, yes, I do know that there is an African proverb that states ‘behind jest is sometimes seriousness….’

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Black Purpose and 2014 New Year

There are times when each of us should take leave of ‘self’ in order to truly see.  Our lives do have purpose even if we know not the purpose.  Have a useful, purposeful, and committed 2014 New Year.

In my thirst to learn and grow, I listen to what people say and I hear some things that are unsaid by others.  I see that which is oft-times unseen and I tap into my ancestors for overstanding.  I allow myself to hear and feel as I welcome and seek the wisdom that comes with Black consciousness.

We who are Black must be grounded in who we are.  The trappings of temptation abound and many of us wake up one night to discover that we, too, are lost in lascivious lifestyles that are void of purpose and commitment – void of Blackness.

Do not idolize or put on a pedestal any man, woman, or child.  None of us is perfect.  We are human and we are all capable of doing wrong and making mistakes.  Some of our mistakes and wrongs afford us and others additional opportunities to learn and grow.

Material possessions do not make any of us better than others.  Attributes that matter include involvement in and supporting us who give of ourselves for the betterment of future generations.

We who are Black must look at accountability and we must keep it relevant to who we ‘really’ are and what we should be about….  Excuses and apologies are not attractive; we must ‘keep it real’!

Offers to compromise our Blackness and to sell-out our fellow Blacks have been around for a long time.  The lures include money, sex, drugs, the facade of power, authority, stardom, celebrity status, a ‘position’ – you name it, the lures are plentiful.  Know that temptation can be a very powerful magnet.

So, we who are Black must be aware.  We must periodically give ourselves a self-constructed litmus test.  We must not get so caught up in ourselves that we become arrogant and think we are above temptation.  Strength demands awareness.  And, we must remember that ‘as long as there is breath, there is hope’.   We must love each other in spite of our mistakes.  Again, ‘as long as there is breath, there is hope’.  Undying Love for Black People!

My litmus test measures who I am.  And, it measures how far I have – or have not — progressed along the line of Black commitment.  As pointed out in an earlier post:  ‘many are called, few are chosen’….  I truly believe that I was ‘chosen’ and my life had — and continues to have — ‘purpose’.

I am in awe at the force that brought the likes of Marion Barry, Rev. David Eaton, Stokely ‘Black Power’ Carmichael (lka Kwame Ture), KoKo Hughes, Chuck Stone, Francis Welsing, Calvin Rolark, Betty Diggs, myself, and so many others together in DC during the 1960s.  Our commitment and work ignited a ‘Black’ force that reverberated throughout the world.  So many things were accomplished and we truly did ‘raise the bar’.  Many many people have benefitted as a result of the things we did and the actions that we took to bring about real change for Black people and all people.

In remembering the past, I think about Martin (Dr. King) and his ‘side’ trip to DC to speak with some of us before he returned to Memphis.  I think about Martin’s words – which I recorded — questioning whether or not White folk, in fact, had a conscience.  I think about the fact that Martin and I both knew that he would likely never return from Memphis and I remember that he was okay with whatever the future held for him.  I remember our talk and I remember that the ‘word’ was out that Martin would be killed if he returned to Memphis….

There are a lot of stories yet to be told.  Fact is, however, most of the stories from the 1960s and 1970s Black Movement will remain untold….

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