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Police Body Cameras ‘Trick Bag’…. ‘Black’ Michael Brown, Eric Garner and Others

BlackParentSpeaks is compelled to speak AGAINST the case of requiring local police officers to wear body cameras while on duty. Perhaps something in this BlackAngryWomen post will touch the raw nerve of each reader.

BlackParentSpeaks values both privacy and the ‘right not to incriminate self’ laws. Violations of ‘privacy’ abound and the ‘privacy of our homes’ is a precious remaining ‘right’ — at least in theory.

Requiring local police officers to wear body cameras while on duty is a misnomer at best and a violation of ‘right to privacy’ practices and theories.

Body cameras will not stop our police officers who are bent towards wrongful practices involving ‘general’ abuses or racist abuses of power. If we truly believe that body cameras are a solution, we are wrong.

Police wearing of body cameras while on duty makes us all subject to invasion of our ‘rights to privacy’. Footage and ‘supposed unaltered fluid footage’ will be available and in the public domain. Likewise, such footage will be kept for years lest the camera footage no longer be ‘considered and deemed’ relevant.

First, the efficacy of cataloging and storing continuous footage and ‘alleged’ footage from local police body cameras is both costly and ridiculous. Safeguarding such footage is another questionable task. Where will such be stored and who will be in charge of maintaining the integrity and security of such? Who will handle the cataloging of this massive endeavor?

Already, ‘hacking’ and viruses present a major problem for all – including the Pentagon and other government agencies. Leaks abound. We are inundated regularly with breaches to security. What makes any of us believe that body camera footage and ‘supposed’ UNtampered footage will be kept and maintained with ‘greater’ security?

When thinking about police body camera footage, at a minimum, we must think about the movie making industry. Daily, we watch our TVs and many of us view movies. Camera footage is altered, transposed, manipulated, deleted, and otherwise pieced together to present a fluid story for viewers to ‘feel’ and believe. We are able to change ‘original’ footage on our computers at home and at work. ‘Is it real or is it Xerox?’ Who will have the legal authority to certify whether police body camera footage is UNchanged or CHANGED and what about ensuing disagreements? Who decides and determines ‘integrity’?

Will the footage filmed by body cameras flow constantly into a central computer system located away from the police officer who is wearing the body camera? Or, will each body camera contain its separate film footage for later download into a central computer located in individual precinct locations or…?

What happens when and if an officer’s body camera becomes nonfunctional or has blips?

What will be the dollar value of a police body camera on the public and non-public market? Will a police officer’s safety be jeopardized as a result of his body camera? How many body cameras will be ‘lifted’ and/or ‘liberated’ and/or confiscated and/or simply ‘lost’?

What will happen if a police officer fails by accident or on purpose to ‘continually and consistently’ wear his or her body camera? Will there be ‘real and effective’ consequences? Will local police officers be subject to dismissal as a result? Will body cameras operate while police officers are using the bathrooms? Afterall, incidents can happen in bathrooms and all spaces. If there are exceptions, what will be considered an exception?

Will body camera footage be reviewed randomly or continually and constantly by an oversight group or body? Or, will the review of the footage be solely ‘triggered’ by officially-filed complaints? And, who is – in fact – allowed to file complaints against local police officers? Can a person who is UNinvolved in a police situation file a citizen complaint? Can anonymous individuals and entities file complaints that ‘trigger’ the review of police body camera footage? Will the media have access? Will individuals have access under ‘freedom of information’ laws and policies?

If body cameras do become law, all that is visible in a person’s home will be on camera if and when the police enter a person’s home! Homes will become ‘public-viewing’ spaces for all to see. People who have ‘desired’ items inside their homes can and will become visible prey….

A person’s home will no longer be private. Folk can anonymously summon police officers and police officers can mistakenly go to and enter the wrong home. Yet, if an officer enters that home, all will be recorded on camera footage to be viewed later….

What will happen if ‘suspected’ illegal substances or items are subsequently viewed on body camera footage? What will happen when police enter homes where people are UNclothed or viewed as improperly clothed? Will we be seen ‘naked’ on body camera footage and where will that footage go? Do we really believe that ‘integrity’ will be employed or keep us safe from public viewing?

How many citizens will be co-opted as a result of body camera footage? How many people will be discouraged from calling for help as a result of police wearing body cameras? What victim of abuse wants to be publicly viewed as a result of the requirement for body cameras! Who really wants a police person to enter his or her home while wearing a body camera that puts ALL and everyone inside on film?

Police wearing body cameras is NOT a solution to racist police brutality!

The requirement for local police officers to wear body cameras puts all at risk. Local police officers will also be targeted as a result. If body cameras are made policy or law, there will be occasions when police officers wearing body cameras will unknowingly enter spaces that subject them to danger as a result of their body cameras. Afterall, the body cameras will film what police officers fail to see….

Do not be tricked by emotions or alleged hypes. If police body cameras are made law or required, please ‘insist’ that all police officers everywhere in America be required to wear body cameras — without exception or excuse. And, insist that police body camera video be continuous and fluid while the officer is on duty — regardless of the situation and circumstances.

Be Aware! Be Informed!

Feel free to share this BlackAngryWomen blog with others. http://BlackAngryWomen.com/

Don’t forget our reparations.


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Racism 18: Death of ‘Black’ Michael Brown – Ferguson, Missouri ‘White’ Cop Shoots and Kills

It is Friday, 28 November 2014. As I sit here, my mind is focused on the countless Ferguson, Missouries and the continued and never-ending racist injustice heaped on Black folk here in a racist and ‘White’ America. My dear friend and confidant ‘Black’ David Eaton said it first to me and I repeat same here – ‘White’ America went from barbarism to decadence without a period of civilization in between.

In regards to the killing of UNarmed 18-year-old ‘Black’ Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, BlackParentSpeaks is heartened to see the reactionary expressions of anger that are coming from ‘Black’ America. Black people are shot daily by Whites who actually believe that they are entitled to injure and kill Blacks – without repercussions, redress, or outcry. Racism is ugly, dangerous, and deadly. A racist and collective ‘White’ mentality has allowed — and encourages — America to fill its graveyards and its prisons with millions of Black bodies.

Today, BlackParentSpeaks sees an increasing number of Black people who are tired of being terrorized, plantationized, oppressed, and contained by Whites. Think about the irony – oppressive and racist Whites projecting themselves as superior to US.

As a teenager in the 1960s, I was recruited and offered the top secretarial job with the Agency for International Development (AID) in DC. After listening to the wisdom of my ‘Black’ father, I accepted the position offered and left my home in Oregon and traveled to DC — at the expense of the Federal Government.

Upon arrival in DC, I was told that the Comptroller of AID expected me to be ‘White’ and I was DENIED the position I had accepted with AID ‘because they did not allow Blacks to work in the Comptroller’s office….’ Although my pay remained per our agreement, I was assigned to work in the secretarial pool. Needless to say, I was not happy and sought legal help from the DC Neighborhood Legal Services Project (NLSP).

America’s legal system permitted racism and racial discrimination and the NLSP attorney I contacted for help took advantage of my trust (In my words, he ‘purposely(?)’ failed to properly represent me.) Was I angry?

After expressing my anger and confronting the attorney accordingly, that attorney offered me the choice of accepting a top secretarial position with NLSP or ‘running home to Daddy and Momma’. Again, after talking to my father and ‘allowing’ that attorney to likewise talk to my father, I accepted the position offered by NLSP.

Even though I did accept the NLSP position, I remained angry and disappointed and I learned an invaluable lesson about mankind and trust. As I continued in my pursuit of justice, I sought the help of the DC Student Non-Violent (lka National) Coordinating Committee – SNCC.

Upon meeting SNCC Director ‘Black’ Lester McKinney and some of the brothers and sisters who worked with SNCC, I felt immediately drawn to offer my assistance in the fight against racism and oppression. My skills and abilities were beyond impressive and I knew that my help was needed because so much ‘appeared’ to be in disarray at the DC SNCC headquarters. So, instead of me getting help from SNCC, I became a ‘trusted’ volunteer on-the-spot!

In quick order, I began working with ‘Black’ folk like Stokely Carmichael (lka Kwame Ture), Marion Barry, Rev. David Eaton, Calvin Rolark, and others. I never accepted a penny for the work I did in the ‘Movement’ – rather, along with volunteering, I helped in financing the ‘Movement’. As information, South African singer Miriam Makeba also helped financially. Sister Makeba later married Stokely in New York. Before Stokely, Sister Makeba had been married to South African musician Brother Hugh Masekela.

Please excuse BlackParentSpeaks for getting off track in this post. This post is intended to be about what is currently happening in political Black America; therefore, I will now return to my original intent with regards to this BlackAngryWomen post.

BlackParentSpeaks is heartened to witness the reactionary expressions of anger and outrage that come from the souls of ‘Black’ America. Ferguson brings to mind the 1960s and 1970s ‘Movement’ which was similarly often triggered by the racist killing of a Black at the hands of ‘White’ America.

We Black militants worked tirelessly and faithfully in the ‘Movement’. We were unapologetically active revolutionaries who ate and slept the ‘Movement’ as we paid our dues and the dues of others’. And, as we refused to let others turn us around, we were likewise met by ‘White’ orchestrated cries of “they are destroying their own neighborhoods and communities”….

As buildings and structures went up in flames, as cars were overturned and burned, as merchandise was ‘liberated’ from stores, ‘White-thinking folk’ asked foolish questions and made foolish statements UNworthy of our response. WE kept our eyes on the prize and refused to be turned around. As ‘Black’ Brother James Brown once stated, ‘I rather die on my feet than sit in my seat’….

Racism has been — and continues to be — a reality in America. Whites have been out-of-control for over 400 years now. Whites have continuously terrorized Black folk in America and any and all ‘supposed’ lulls were due to ‘Black’ demands and actions. White folk are the oppressors. White folk are the racists! It is White people who think and/or project themselves as superior to US who are Black.

Stop for a minute and think of the ludicrousy of Whites who voice their sentiments of White superiority. Oppressive and racist Whites speak words that both decry and blame the oppressed – words that ‘attempt’ to blame US for our own oppression. Well, the victim is not to blame. Every time I look in the mirror I see a victim of White racism – me.

Just as I did not allow my White oppressors to dictate to me when I was young, I continue to NOT allow Whites to dictate my reaction to my oppression at their hands. To do otherwise would mean that BlackParentSpeaks is either a sell-out or out of her God-blessed ‘Black’ mind…. BlackParentSpeaks is forever indebted to her people, her ancestors; and, BlackParentSpeaks hopes and prays that she has served – and continues to serve — her ancestors well.

My people, my ‘Black’ ancestors, were forcefully and viciously enslaved and brought to this country – dubbed ‘America’ — in chains. My ancestors were maimed and killed. My ancestors were cut open and their limbs were cut off by their White oppressors. My people were castrated and hung from trees while White men, women, and children rejoiced over the sight while picnicking. (‘Black’ Nina Simone sang of the Strange Fruit.)

My people were whipped and raped. My ‘Black’ ancestors were torn from their families and sold to ‘White’ slaveholders who garnered wealth and material riches as a result of their inhumanity to us Blacks. My Black people were tricked and abused and used as ‘sport’ by treacherous and evil White men and White women. My ‘Black’ father, when a child, was saved from death by his Creek mother who hid him from the Whites intent on using him as sport in their weekly ‘White’ game of drag racing….

We who are Black must be vigilant in our pursuit of righteousness — a life free of fear and ‘White’ terror. We must hold White folk accountable. We must keep our eyes on the prize! We must be pro-active and we must make demands. We must keep our eyes on the prize! We must each decide the course of action we will each take in order to help liberate ourselves and each other in a racist America.

It is important to note that Black self-defense is NOT violence! Violence is what is inflicted upon Blacks in a racist America. BlackParentSpeaks emphatically states that Black people have a right to be angry. And, we have an obligation and a responsibility to express our anger in whatever way or fashion WE so choose…. ‘White’-oriented folk do NOT have the right to dictate or judge ‘Black’ reaction or ‘Black’ response to White terrorism. It is both logical and sane that Black folk REBEL and it is important that WE define and choose the words to describe what WE do.

Be Aware! Be Involved!

Feel free to share this BlackAngryWomen blog with others. http://BlackAngryWomen.com/

Don’t forget our reparations.


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August 2014 IS THIS THE FACE OF A KILLER KOP? ‘White’ DARREN WILSON in Ferguson, Missouri….

Wilson was earlier identified in a photo shared on Yahoo!, that was originally uploaded to Facebook by his father

 

IS THIS THE FACE OF A KILLER KOP? — The Ferguson, Missouri 6-Year Veteran ‘White’ Police Officer DARREN WILSON whose gun reportedly discharged multiple times and ended the life of Unarmed ‘Black’ 18-Year-Old Michael Brown on 9 August 2014.

NBC News has verified photos of Darren Wilson, #Ferguson police officer who killed #MikeBrown http://on.msnbc.com/1mXDPna
6:47 AM – 17 Aug 2014

+++++++++++++++++++

August 2014 IS THIS THE FACE OF A KILLER KOP? ‘White’ DARREN WILSON in Ferguson, Missouri….

BlackParentSpeaks has been aware, involved, lived and remained ‘Black’ long enough to witness the repeat of history over and over and over again.  White America continues to grapple with its racist past, present, and future. The 9 August 2014 killing of unarmed ‘Black’ 18-year-old Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri by Ferguson six-year veteran ‘White’ Police Officer Darren Wilson is a typical in-our-face reminder of racism and everyday life in America.

Overstanding the message sent as a result of the killing of unarmed 18-year-old ‘Black’ Michael Brown by ‘White’ Police Officer Darren Wilson, BlackParentSpeaks has visions of the 1967 Washington, DC Police killing of another Black youth – c. 18-year-old Clarence Booker. Youthful and unarmed Clarence Booker was shot and killed ‘allegedly’ as a result of the most-grievous crime of littering.  BlackParentSpeaks was one of the many many many Black folk who proactively ‘took to the streets’ of DC, organized, and demanded and ‘successfully’ helped in holding White folk accountable for their racist actions. OUR unrestricted and unlimited actions helped in forcing ‘real’ change in our nation’s capital.

This BlackAngryWomen post is written to the Black people of Ferguson, Missouri:

Do NOT let the media, White-thinking folk or others choose your words or actions.  White folk riot — Black folk do not!  We Blacks are involved in a rebellion — not a riot!  We have overwhelming reason, justification, and purpose for the actions we take in rebelling against injustice and racism.  WE Blacks are the victims of White racism.  WE are the victims of 400 plus years of slavery, discrimination, unpaid forced labor and more….  Black people can never even come close to reclaiming all that is owed us and our people!  That said….

Before any settlements or talks of settlements are had, BlackParentSpeaks offers the following bits of wisdom.

1. Demand and get in writing a legally binding agreement with ALL law enforcement agencies (local, City, County, State, and Federal) that clearly guarantees that NONE of the demonstrators, protesters (so-called “looters, etc.”) will be prosecuted for ANY so-called illegal activities that followed the killing of ‘Black’ Michael Brown by Ferguson, Missouri ‘White’ Police Officer Darren Wilson. This demand should be NONnegotiable. If not, the Police will pick you off one by one and file charges against you once the eyes of the nation and world are no longer watching or interested in the events in Ferguson, Missouri.

BlackParentSpeaks also strongly suggests that you require a public statement by a government official (perhaps your overseeing ‘White’ Governor Jay Nixon) expressing that the people’s anger and actions were overstandable and no prosecutions or charges will be imposed against any of the protesters or demonstrators or so-called “looters, etc.” who took to the streets following the killing of ‘Black’ Michael Brown. Further, any and all already filed charges or prosecutions will be dropped and/or dismissed. Note: Missouri ‘White’ Governor Jay Nixon might want to include in his statement a piece about ‘us all working together to heal the racist divide’ that has PUBLICLY surfaced as a result of the ‘White’ officer shooting and killing of unarmed 18-year-old ‘Black’ Michael Brown….

Contact Information for Missouri Governor Jay Nixon:
Missouri Governor Jay Nixon
216 State Capitol
P.O. Box 720
Jefferson City, MO 65102
Fax:(573)751-1495
Tel:(573)751-3222
email: mogov@mail.mo.gov
web: http://www.mo.gov/

2. Demand the return of all cell phones, Laptops, IPads, cameras, film, footage, pictures, text messages, and other items seized, confiscated, and illegally taken from demonstrators and protesters by law enforcement during the aftermath of the killing of ‘Black’ Michael Brown. In the event that any item is not returned in its original prior-to-seizure condition (as determined solely by the victim of the seized item), a lump sum government payment of $2500 is to be issued forthright to the victim. Further, that $2500 will NOT be counted as income to the victim under any charitable or assistance programs, local, City, County, State, or Federal programs or entities. And, the payment is NOT reportable on any income tax returns or used to determine eligibility for any government or private or charitable programs including Food Stamps, Housing, and other assistance and help programs.

All who had their personal property taken by law enforcement should ‘assume’ that texts messages, contacts, pictures, etc. have been copied and could be used in future attempts to create havoc and problems for them. Please do not underestimate the anger of those who are determined to ‘hush’ your righteous cries for justice….

Of course, there are other demands that must be put in place and there remains the charge to hold Ferguson, Missouri 6-Year Veteran ‘White’ Police Officer DARREN WILSON accountable….

I strongly urge the Black folk of Ferguson, Missouri and throughout these United States to recognize that the fight to lessen and end racism is serious business. Know that you are freedom fighters and you are not alone in this struggle. Please do not fall prey to ‘smiling faces’ or words designed to separate us from each other – no matter the race, job, or position of the person speaking the words.

BlackParentSpeaks says ‘Right-On’ to ALL who have taken to the streets in Ferguson. I say use ‘whatever means is necessary’ to get answers and righteous justice.

By the way, the audacity of a ‘White’ mindset to tell Black adults that they must stay inside and not venture outside of their homes because of a racially-discriminatory CURFEW is beyond angering to me! Do not let yourselves be corralled or caged. Simply put, Black people are human beings and Black people have the right to walk and travel the streets like any other people. Please do NOT let others frighten you into accepting  apartheid in Ferguson, Missouri.

‘Don’t forget our reparations’.

Feel free to share this BlackAngryWomen blog with others.  http://BlackAngryWomen.com/

We are all works in progress.

Be Aware!  Stay Involved!


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Black Lulu Learns, Swings, and Gets on Base

Travel Forward to the 1940s, 1950s, 1960s….

Growing up ‘Black’ in ‘White’ Portland, Oregon was not an easy task.  The times were such that the racism could suffocate and devour a ‘Black’ spirit.  Some of the ‘White’ businesses posted signs boasting ‘white only’ or some other equally offensive barrier indicator directed at us Black folk.

In spite of the open racism and the barriers put in place by Whites, Black development managed to flourish and thrive.  My ‘Black’ father started and operated ‘successful’ businesses that helped in supporting and sustaining our increasing-in-numbers Black community.

My father’s moving and storage business provided jobs primarily filled by the Black men and Black male youth of the community.  Daddy’s accounting business handled government-mandated reports and forms for the Black community while also supporting Chinese, Mexican, and Cuban needs.  Our family’s second-hand store (The 3 Js) had a rather steady stream of folk and often the store inventory was simply given away.  Our customers included mostly Blacks, Mexicans, Cubans, and Roma peoples.   The 3 Js also housed the humongous printing press that my father built and taught me to operate.

My mother’s multiple rental properties provided shelter primarily to Blacks, as well as Roma and other nonWhites.  My father maintained the properties – repapering walls, painting, replacing windows and doors, changing locks, laying new flooring, handling electrical and plumbing problems, and more….  While a young child, I often tagged along with my father and helped with maintaining the rental properties as I was able.

I remember one Black lady in particular – a lady my mother met on the street.  The lady was an ‘older’ Black woman who appeared alone and homeless.  My mother invited the lady in and my family soon moved the lady into our apartments.  We went shopping for food and other items necessary to make the apartment a ‘home’ for the lady.  My family made sure there was always phone service to the apartment and we took care of all the utilities and more.  My family also provided the lady – whom we eventually came to know as Mrs. Smith — with spending money.

Often, both my mother and I visited with the lady and listened to her ‘words’ and thoughts.  I felt comfortable in Mrs. Smith’s company and I learned a lot.  Always, my mother and/or I checked the refrigerator and kitchen cabinets and my mother and I would stock and re-stock the foods and drinks according to Mrs. Smith’s wants and decided-upon needs and more.  My mother felt really close to Mrs. Smith.  The time was c.1950-1960.

On a consistent basis – sometimes oftener than monthly – Mrs. Smith telephoned our family home and spoke of the government listening to her thoughts and spying on her via the walls of her apartment….  At those times, my father simply packed up supplies – including wallpaper and paints – and we went to the apartment and repapered and repainted the walls to Mrs. Smith’s peaceful delight.  My daddy told me that what Mrs. Smith said could be true – the government could easily be spying on her and others of us.  Daddy advised that we not discuss Mrs. Smith or her whereabouts with anyone outside our immediate family.

Daddy always seemed to have common sense solutions to any and all problems and he always showed patience and overstanding.  My mother and father took care of Mrs. Smith, who stayed in our apartments until the day she ‘gave up the ghost’….

The evolving names of my family’s businesses included the Williams Avenue Development Company, Stroud Service System, Stroud Moving and Storage, and more.  Although Daddy initially ran the businesses from our family home, he soon rented and leased buildings to house our businesses as well as the local NAACP…. Eventually, Daddy moved his businesses into a new building he contracted to purchase.

During the early days of our family businesses, Daddy and Mamacita used the same phone number for our house phone and our business location phone.  However, due to the volume of calls coming in, Mamacita and Daddy had sequential number phones installed at both our home and business locations.  And, as the population of Oregon grew, the number of digits in our phone numbers also increased.

My father was creative in all that he did.  Whether on the golf course daily and walking from hole to hole on his hands or doing pushups on the course while lining up his balls on the greens, Daddy was creative.  The ‘White’ golfers marveled at my father’s exceptional abilities on the course and often challenged Daddy in their veiled attempts to deflate what they perceived as Daddy’s unwavering ego.

Daddy was always a ‘family’ man and enjoyed the company of his children wherever he was.  Daddy often said ‘If I can’t take my children with me to a place, then your Daddy does not need to be at that place….’  Rose City Golf Course in Portland became what my siblings, my mother, and I jokingly dubbed ‘Daddy’s second home’.

Because Daddy was often at Rose City, he often conducted various aspects of his businesses from the club house.  Daddy was adept at all he did and he worked out the details of moving jobs, storage costs, and more by way of the phone located in the club house.  In fact, Daddy was so good at what he did that he seemed to always be on-target with regards to the time needed to complete a job, space requirements for storage and so on.

As a child, there were times when I went along with the moving men on moving jobs.  Although I was a child, I ‘carried’ my weight – lifting and moving household items and helping to pack and unpack the moving vans, etc.  And, at the end of the day, my father gave me the authority to pay the workers and I maintained the receipts and records.  Math was a favorite of mine and I was better-than-good at calculating.

My earliest memories include my father’s teachings.  Daddy taught me how to think.  Daddy taught me Math, English, Science, how to type, how to operate the printing press he had made, and more.  As a result of my father’s teachings, I was somewhat beyond the course offerings at the ‘White’ elementary school my ‘Black’ family was legally required to help integrate during the 1950s.

Integration at Irvington Elementary School in Portland, Oregon was unpleasant at best.  I was a third grader and faced the racial hatred of both the ‘White’ community of Irvington and its ‘White’ parents and their non-thinking and cruel children.

At lunch time, the White kids would open their milk cartons and splash the cafeteria floor with milk in hopes that I would slip and fall while walking in the cafeteria.  Always, when I was ‘allowed’ to get up from my ‘assigned’ seat to get my food, I prepared myself for the inevitable and somehow managed to avoid falling although I was often splashed with the milk thrown by the White kids.

The White adults in the school cafeteria refused to offer me protection.  Instead, the adults laughed along with the White children and encouraged more and more of the children to toss their milk in my direction.  And, at times, one or more of the adults would even dare to toss milk in my direction.  No matter the route I took to the food line, it seemed I was always subjected to such abuse and ugliness in the Irvington Elementary School cafeteria.

I remember my teacher Mrs. Spear especially because of her sheer ugliness towards me.  The White children in my class were relentless in their abuse of me and I attempted to get help from my White teacher, Mrs. Spear.  Needless to say, the teacher proved to be just as abusive in her racial hatred.  Mrs. Spear not only refused to help me, she heightened the abuse and enabled all of the White students to do to me whatever they chose.  Mrs. Spear openly stated that ‘my kind’ should not be going to Irvington School, etc.

Although I was a youngster, I knew that I had to be my own protector while at Portland’s ‘White and racist’ Irvington School.  The daily abuse I was subjected to was forming a knot in my stomach.  I knew that I was on my own and that I would have to do something to stop the abuse both in class and in the school cafeteria.

My father had always schooled me relative to racism.  Daddy had prepared me and he had told me that when I was ready to put an end to the racial abuse at ‘White’ Irvington Elementary School, I would know what to do….  Daddy had explained that he could not be with me daily at school, however, he would support whatever decision I had to make in order to protect myself.

Well, that moment of truth finally came.

One day, after continued abuse and mockery and more in ‘White’ Mrs. Spear’s class, I made one last ditch effort to solicit help from my teacher.  Mrs. Spear not only did NOT help, she pushed me and spoke ugly and uglier words to me while the ‘White’ students laughed and joined in.  Mrs. Spear told the class that they could take whatever they wanted to take from me, etc.

Following Mrs. Spear’s angry push, I stumbled back to my desk.  A White student named John came over to my desk, hit me, and ripped my pencil out of my hand. The lead from the pencil cut into the skin covering my hand.  John and the other White students laughed loudly and began to chant and tease me further.  My teacher Mrs. Spear also showed amusement before glaring at me angrily and speaking more ugly racist words.

As my stomach churned, I reached into my desk and took ahold of my ruler before approaching the ‘leader’ of the racist pack of White students – John.  I politely asked John to give me back my pencil – a pencil my father had engraved with the name of our family business.  John refused, laughed, and spoke ugly and uglier words as he threatened to ‘beat me up’.

In short order, I again demanded the return of my property.  John grew visibly angrier as he balled up his fist and attempted to hit me.  Needless to say, I was quicker and faster as I blocked his punch and simultaneously, as other ‘White’ students moved to descend on me, I took a firm grasp of my 3-edge ruler and swung it across John’s forehead.

The ruler broke off in John’s head and blood appeared to squirt out from his head as John proceeded to fall to the floor.  And, as John fell, I grabbed my pencil from his hand and ran out of the classroom, through the school and out the front door with a mob of Whites – including the teacher – in hot pursuit.

Being fast, I outran the mob and – thank God – my father was home when I dashed through the front door of our house.  I screamed to my Daddy that the Whites were going to “lynch” me because I had killed a ‘White’ male classmate – John.

Daddy calmed me down and assured me that no one was going to “lynch” me….  Daddy expressed that anyone so intent on doing me harm would have to kill him first.  Daddy asked me to tell him all of what had happened.  After that, Daddy took me back to school and we went directly to the Principal’s office.

The White Principal reached out to grab me when he saw my father and I enter his office.  Daddy, however, blocked the Principal’s hand and directed me to sit down.  Daddy sat down next to me as he listened to the hate-filled words the ‘standing’ Principal spoke.

During the course of the Principal’s tirade, the Principal stated ‘we all know John was NOT at fault because John comes from upstanding parents in this community….’  Quickly, my Daddy rose from the chair he was seated in and stood face-to-face in front of the Principal.  Daddy calmly and pointedly told the White Principal that ‘Lulu comes from UPSTANDING parents in this community….’

Near the conclusion of the meeting, Daddy told the Principal that he, my Daddy, was going to buy me another ruler just like the one that had broken off in John’s head.   Daddy then told the Principal that he was again directing me to use the ruler to protect myself if and when needed.  And, Daddy told the Principal that if he – the Principal — or any other White adult ever again attempted to harm me at school, he – my Daddy – would personally handle the adults himself.

Word of what had happened, my reaction, and my father’s response quickly traveled throughout the Irvington community and beyond.  Black adults openly applauded me for my bravery and strength.  My mother – who was ‘fragile’ — feared for my safety.  And, the racist non-thinking White kids at Irvington School decided to leave me alone as they quietly whispered to each other “Lulu is crazy”….

‘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 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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Pacific Northwest Racism – Black Death and the Railroad

Pacific Northwest Racism – Black Death and the Railroad

Like so many other places, the Pacific Northwest has its share of racist secrets — secrets that were, and still are, spoken about in private.  I am convinced that there are times when some secrets should be told in order to educate and remind us of the dangers and ugliness of racism.

Yes, I do believe that some secrets should remain secrets; however, this is one truly discomforting secret that BlackParentSpeaks has chosen to share with the readers of BlackAngryWomen.  This is the telling of a horrendous and tragic secret that involved racist Whites and the courageous Blacks who worked on the railroad c.1940s – 1960s.

I have always respected and looked up to my daddy, always.  Daddy was the epitome of what a man, father, husband, and protector should be.  Daddy was a Black man.  Daddy was highly respected and trusted by fellow Blacks:  men, women, and children.

One day, when I was still but a young child, Daddy sat me down in the music room of our big house and talked to me about my tendency of ‘putting him on a pedestal’.

Daddy explained that no man should ever be put on a pedestal and he went into great detail as to why….  That was the day I was ‘allowed in’ by my father – a ‘former’ porter on the railroad.

Daddy said that I needed to know — it might help me to know the truth as I grew in wisdom and knowledge.  That day, Daddy revealed to me what had happened to a fellow Black porter on the train and why he, my Daddy, had early-on quit the railroad.

My father — like many of the Black men here in Portland, Oregon — worked for the railroad during earlier days.  Daddy’s stint as a porter on the train had, by choice(?), been short-lived….

My recollection of what I was told by my father follows:

Daddy explained that a White woman had openly stated that she wanted to have a sexual encounter with a particular Black porter on the train.  The White woman had indicated that the Black porter ‘met her fancy’.  Needless to say, the Black porter ‘of her fancy’ was not interested.

My father and the other Black porters who were working on the train quickly discussed the situation.  They knew there was ‘danger’ in the White woman’s desires.  All of the Black porters agreed that it was best for that particular Black porter to switch places with one of them who had not met the White woman’s fancy.

Daddy and the other Black porters were keenly aware of the White woman’s anger as they politely listened to her racist words directed at all of them.  As the White woman’s anger intensified, ‘word’ soon traveled to all of the Black porters that the White woman had spoken to a White employee of the railroad.

What followed was horrific and I – to this day – continue to shed tears for all of the Black men who were there.  Their lives and other lives were changed in ways that words can never convey.

At an UNscheduled stop, the train came to a halt.  All of the train’s Black employees were ordered to get off the train.  Outside the train was a White mob carrying shotguns and more.  One of the White men in the mob identified himself as law enforcement.  Several of the White men had ‘restrained’ vicious dogs while others carried shovels.

The train’s Black employees were ordered at gunpoint to take the shovels and dig.  The hate-filled racist voices from the White mob grew louder and louder and all kinds of ugly language and comments were shouted at my father and the other Blacks.  The train’s Black employees did as they were ordered to do.

Eventually, the Black men were told to stop digging.  Soon after, one of the train’s White employees stepped forth with the White woman whose sexual advances had not been reciprocated.  The White woman was asked to identify the Black porter who had, according to her, attempted to sexually advance on her.

The White woman pointed to one of the Black porters and that porter was ordered — at gunpoint — to jump into the hole that he and the other Blacks had dug.  Protests and denials meant nothing to the White mob as they lunged at the Black man and fired shots in the direction of my father and the other Blacks.

Once the identified Black porter was standing upright in the hole, my father and the other Black men were ordered to fill the hole in with dirt.  Again, shots were fired and the still-restrained dogs continued to bark viciously.

When the dirt covered all but the neck and head of the Black man in the hole, the Black employees were ordered to stop filling in the hole with dirt and to step aside.  At that point, the restraints on the wild dogs were loosened by their White handlers.  The dogs wildly charged at the man in the hole and proceeded to rip-off and chew at the head of the Black porter who had been identified by the White woman.

My Black father and the other Blacks who worked on the train that day were forced to watch.  My Black father and the other Blacks listened to and heard the agonizing screams and cries coming from their fellow Black porter – their friend.

Following what seemed like an eternity to my Dad, my father and the other Black employees on the train were ordered to completely finish filling in the hole.  Daddy and the other Black employees were told that if they ever told what happened to anyone, they would meet a similar fate.

————-

(BlackParentSpeaks must pause now to wipe away the tears and to offer up a cry to God and our Black ancestors….)

————-

Being so young, I asked my father why he did not do something – why didn’t he speak up and stop the Whites from doing what they did?  Daddy explained that the Whites (including the White employee of the railroad) already knew that the Black porter had not done what the White woman had claimed.  Daddy said that there was nothing that he or any of the other Blacks could have done….

Daddy said that he and the other Black employees of the railroad made a pact to remain silent upon their return.  He explained that the Black man had a family here at home and that they, the Black porters, agreed to simply say that the man ran away with other women along the train’s route.

I have thought about and wrestled with that secret for many many years.  I have thought about that Black man and all of the Black lives that were destroyed and damaged that day.  I have wondered how many other Black men ‘supposedly’ ran away while working on the railroad.

My father chose to quit the railroad.  My father maintained his silence about what occurred as did the other Blacks who worked on the railroad.

I was allowed ‘in’ on the secret and it seems that the other Blacks who worked the railroad felt a degree of peace knowing that I, too, knew the secret.  Over the years, I listened to and learned from the Blacks who worked on the railroad – sometimes they spoke of that and other racist incidents they endured as Black employees.

Please be advised that for Blacks ‘working on the railroad’ came at a real price.  Both remaining employed and quitting took true strength.

BlackParentSpeaks dedicates this writing to the memory of all of our strong Black men and women who worked on the railroad during the 1940s, 1950s, 1960s….

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.

————-

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.

————-

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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The Renisha McBride Case and Avoidance of Race

Renisha McBride

Renisha McBride

According to a November 15, 2013 article on TheGrio.com, Renisha McBride’s family does not want race to be a factor in the prosecution of her killer. Renisha McBride is the 19-year-old Black woman who was shot in the face by a White man after she knocked on the front door of his house in Dearborn Heights, Michigan.  Ms. McBride was apparently seeking help after a car accident.

Renisha McBride’s killer, 54-year-old Theodore Wafer, said he thought McBride was trying to break into his house and that his gun went off accidently. Unfortunately, this has become an all too familiar scenario – a young Black person is gunned down after being “mistaken” for a “criminal.” The cases of 24-year-old Jonathan Ferrell in North Carolina and 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in Florida provide just two recent examples of similar incidents. Yet, in spite of this pattern, Renisha McBride’s parents have rejected even the possibility that their daughter could have been a victim of racial profiling.

According to TheGrio.com, “The parents want the public to imagine that McBride could have been anyone’s loved one, not a woman who was shot for being black.” And further, “Preferring to refer to McBride’s death as a ‘case of human profiling,’ [McBride’s father] asked the public to ‘think about the fact that any 19-year-old girl might be in a similar situation.’”

I pose a question to all who read this BlackAngryWomen blog.  Do the parents of ‘Black’ Renisha McBride want so much to believe in White acceptance of us (Blacks) that, even in the deeply tragic and personal circumstance of the killing of their own daughter, they have denied even the possibility that race could be a factor? This is deep, y’all.

I state, unequivocally, that the Renisha McBride case is racial. We cannot extricate Renisha McBride’s killing from the many other cases of young Blacks being shot dead due to racist perceptions of perceived ‘Black’ criminality. Nor should we want to.

We Blacks cannot ignore or deny racism out of existence. We will only experience racial justice when we call, and call out, racism by its name. Similarly, because race is still salient in this country, the public (and, by extension, potential trial jurors) will view this case through a racial lens no matter how many appeals McBride’s family makes to do otherwise.  The implications of the Renisha McBride case go beyond Renisha McBride. Again, this case falls within an all-too-familiar pattern of young Blacks being killed by Whites or “White-minded” individuals (George Zimmerman).

The outcome of the Renisha McBride case may affect the course of future cases. Even more, the McBride case could serve as a rallying point for people to fight or continue fighting for racial justice. That the parents and their lawyers have declared the case ‘non-racial’ is unfortunate; however, it should not dampen any of our efforts to mobilize.

We saw what happened in the George Zimmerman trial when the prosecution declined to bring up a racial motive in the case. Instead, the defense lawyers brought up race, to the benefit of George Zimmerman. The defense seized on the “creepy-ass cracka” comment that Trayvon Martin reportedly made in reference to Zimmerman, to show that Martin was the one doing the racial profiling. The defense created the impression that Martin pursued and “attacked” Zimmerman for his race instead of the other way around.  The defense also had several White residents of the neighborhood where Martin was killed testify that young Black males had been responsible for previous break-ins in the area and that they were terrified of potential future break-ins. Thus, the inference was that Zimmerman had a right to be suspicious of ‘Black’ Trayvon Martin.

Remember that Zimmerman was acquitted.

With Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy already stating that race will not be a factor in the prosecution of Theodore Wafer’s killing of Renisha McBride, I worry that his trial will go the way of the Zimmerman trial. If and when Wafer is acquitted, many of us will cry out in frustration and wonder how such an outcome could have happened, just as we did with Zimmerman. However, maybe we should start by looking at ourselves.

Racism is real.  We need to acknowledge and fight against it 24/7.


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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 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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