Black Angry Women

Ask Yourself: Why Aren't You Angry?


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Black Trip and Black Slip

It seems that I have always respected and valued communication with my Black and Original ancestors. Although I admittedly do not always follow their counsel, I do look to them often for direction, overstanding, forgiveness and more.

On one particular night during my 1960s – 1970s ‘Movement’ days, Stokely ‘Black Power’ Carmichael (lka Kwame Ture) and I both felt a sudden uneasiness while riding through the streets of Washington, DC. Stokely was at the wheel of the car and I was seated in the passenger side. For no apparent reason, I felt a sudden uneasiness; squirmed and quickly turned around. Almost simultaneously, Stokely voiced a similar uneasiness.

As was often typical, Stokely and I saw that we were being followed by folk we ‘assumed’ to be FBI/CIA. This time, however, their presence in the car that trailed us was not met with ‘comic relief’ or gestures. Instead, Stokely and I instantly knew that the evening was not ‘intended’ to end well.

Stokely pressed down on the gas pedal hard as we raced through the streets of DC with the car that was following us in hot pursuit. Quickly, Stokely and I prepared for a probable violent confrontation should the car manage to overtake us. We overstood the seriousness of the situation….

As Stokely and I discussed tactics over the blare of our car’s radio, we spoke words to one another and to our ancestors. Stokely told me that he did not have his drivers license; we both knew that that fact alone would provide an ‘out’ for law enforcement to justify their ‘intended’ violence towards us. No matter the cost, Stokely and I both knew that we could not let that happen. Me, I did have my drivers license….

So, as our car raced on sidewalks and streets throughout the DC area, Stokely and I did what we had to do. (Today, I marvel at the protection and agility our ancestors provided us with….)

While gunning the pedal to the metal, Stokely and I somehow managed to change places with me winding up in the driver’s seat of the car.

Having made the switch while the car was in full motion, there was no time or way to adjust the driver’s seat, etc. to accommodate my shorter body frame. Stokely continued to operate the steering wheel throughout the duration of the ‘chase’ as I managed to slip my foot under his on the gas pedal. I kept my foot grounded on the car’s gas pedal as Stokely and I continued to travel the streets of DC.

Stokely and I drove through alleys, on sidewalks, on streets – you name it. And, although the pursuing car tried to continue the chase, we eventually – with the help of our ancestors – managed to leave that car in our dust.

In time, Stokely and I ditched the car and ran via our feet through various buildings and more until we reached a ‘safe’ destination amongst DC’s Black population. As Stokely and I sat amongst the safety of our people, we both laughed heartily and long and spoke of how we had managed to do that which many had thought to be ‘impossible’….

Needless to say, both Stokely and yours truly lived to fight another day and another night!

Undying love for Black people!

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‘Don’t forget our reparations’.

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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’….

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/

 

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