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Depiddy Lawn Jockey Gets Slammed on Faux

Nice one by Eboni Williams.

Why isn’t this clown in jail yet…For murder?

Fox News anchor swats down Sheriff David Clarke for disrespecting Rep. John Lewis

Controversial right-wing former Sheriff David Clarke got more than he bargained for when he tried to cast aspersions against the character and record of civil rights icon Rep. John Lewis (D-GA).

According to Mediaite.com, “Fox and Friends” weekend host Eboni Williams — who got her undergraduate degree in Communications and African-American studies before going on to graduate from Loyola University law school — decided not to let Clarke’s talking points go by uncontested.

When asked what he thinks of Lewis’ decision not to attend the opening of Mississippi’s Civil Rights Museum, Clarke — who was busted for plagiarizing sections of his master’s thesis at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, CA — said, “John who?”

“John Lewis — he was bloodied on the Selma bridge, Sheriff, when trying to protest voting rights and a variety of other things,” said Williams.

Clarke tried to smear Lewis as “the most irrelevant member of Congress” before Williams cut him off and said, “Sheriff let me say this to you. For you to say that nobody cares about John Lewis is inaccurate because I assure you that there are many people across this country that absolutely do care about him.”

The former sheriff — who is accused of allowing an inmate to die of dehydration in a Milwaukee jail and of forcing a pregnant prisoner to give birth on the jailhouse floor, resulting in the death of her baby — tried to run to the bogus Republican talking pointthat Democrats opposed the Civil Rights Act, which Williams corrected him on.

“I appreciate that history lesson but as somebody that holds a degree on the subject I really don’t need you to update me on who was required for Lyndon B. Johnson to pass the Civil Rights Act,” she said icily.

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Posted by on December 10, 2017 in Black Conservatives, Faux News

 

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The Black National Anthem

Remember singing this in the segregated elementary school I attended in Virginia. Remember proudly singing it at my brother’s and cousin’s graduation from Howard. Remember singing it instead of the Star Spangled Banner at events and protest marches in the 60’s and 70’s.

The Anthem was written by James Weldon Johnson

If you haven’t heard it or experienced it –

Black Americans Have Our Own National Anthem. Stand Up and Sing It With Us.

It has been around for 117 years, after all.

On a cloudy day in May 2015, several hundred Howard University seniors, myself included, filed into the school’s main quadrangle for commencement, a ceremony that kicked off with “The Star Spangled Banner.” I can’t honestly recall whether my fellow black students sang the words that day, but many typically did not. The America whose praises we were called upon to sing rarely returned the sentiment, and more often treated us like outcasts. We’d been reminded of this just weeks earlier, when Walter Scott of North Charleston, South Carolina, was shot in the backfive times while fleeing from a cop, the latest in a seemingly endless list of of black men to have their lives cut short by police officers.

But the crowd was galvanized as we moved to the next song on the program. It was one we usually sang as a matter of routine, but on that day we heard it as a rallying cry, and sang it proudly and passionately—fists raised skyward in defiant assertion of a blackness that we loved even if the rest of the nation did not. The song was “Lift Every Voice and Sing.” For us, it had another name: the black national anthem.

James Weldon Johnson (right) and his brother J. Rosamond Johnson review sheet music for “Lift Every Voice and Sing.”

Unless you attended one of the historically black colleges that pair “Lift” with the official national anthem at ceremonies and sporting events, or you spent a lot of time in black churches, in black civil rights spaces, or in majority-black grade schools, you might never have heard the song. But for much of the last century it was a staple of black life in America.

“Lift Every Voice and Sing” was first unveiled at a school showcase in 1900 marking what would have been Abraham Lincoln’s 91st birthday. It was penned by James Weldon Johnson, a graduate of the historically black Atlanta University (now Clark-Atlanta).

At the time, Johnson was a writer and the principal of a colored school in Jacksonville, Florida. (He later became a civil rights activist and US ambassador.) Members of the community had asked him to write a speech for the Lincoln affair. Instead, he wrote a hymn (his brother composed the music) and taught it to his 500 students. 

Their performance was a hit. The song caught on in black Jacksonville and began spreading throughout the South. Churchgoers would even paste the lyrics on the backs of hymnals, says Imani Perry, a professor of African American studies at Princeton University whose book about the song, May We Forever Stand, is due out in February. Black newspapers and journals published the lyrics to “Lift,” and by 1906 they were calling it “an anthem for the Negro people.” (Sheet music for the song was imprinted with the subtitle “Negro National Anthem” beginning in the 1960s.)  

Dr Carter and the WSSU CHoir at Ellington

During the 1910s, many black schools and colleges—Howard included—adopted “Lift” for their graduation ceremonies, and the K-12 schools incorporated it into “daily or weekly rituals” according to Perry: “So kids are singing it at segregated schools at assemblies—sometimes every morning.” The NAACP adopted “Lift” as its official song in 1921. (Johnson had become an executive in the organization.) And when Negro History Week (now Black History Month) was established five years later, Perry says, teachers started using the song to teach vocabulary and history.

Shana Redmond, a professor of musicology at the University of California-Los Angeles, says many of those teachers relied on “Lift” to “instill in their students those things that would best arm them” for a hostile world. “One of those things was about pride in self, about knowing your own heroes, your own ancestors.”

At the time Johnson wrote his hymn, lynchings had recently hit their peak in the South, the fall of Reconstruction remained an open wound, and offensive caricatures of blackness were pervasive. Patriotic odes like “The Star Spangled Banner” and “My Country ‘Tis of Thee” were popular, too, but black southerners were hungry for a cultural product that spoke to them.

“Lift” was that product. “It was the first widely circulated song that tells the story of black Americans, right at the time when black people are building institutional and civic life, as black people are imagining themselves,” Perry says. Johnson depicted blackness as “proud and prideful, as progressing forward, and as enduring, as empowered,” Redmond told me. “It was not solely an ode to this so-called Black Emancipator.” 

With words –

The 1814 poem that became “The Star Spangled Banner” was something radically different, coming from a slave owner who was open in his disdain for the black race. “There was a scorn for blackness,” Redmond says. Many historians read part of Francis Scott Key’s third stanza as a celebration of the deaths of slaves who escaped to fight against their captors, siding with the British during the War of 1812. “But it’s also, to a certain extent, that blackness was not considered, in the least, part of the republic.”

And whereas “Lift” speaks to a future black folks can aspire to, Redmond adds, the anthem “is really not about a future—other than a future already proscribed by what is assumed as a constant greatness.”  

So by 1931, when “The Star Spangled Banner” was officially codified as America’s anthem, black people already had a song they were treating as their own—which spread further as African Americans migrated north and west during World War I, seeking new opportunities and fleeing the violence of Jim Crow. Black intellectuals debated over whether black Americans fighting for inclusion and enlisting in the military to defend their nation’s overseas interests should insist on a separate anthem—Johnson, himself, preferred to call his song the national negro hymn. But there’s “no evidence,” Perry says, that black communities at large were “ambivalent” about the song.

During World War II, in fact, black servicemen, still in segregated units, sang “Lift” alongside the national anthem at sporting events and other formal assemblies on their bases, says Robert Jefferson, an expert on black military history at the University of New Mexico. “During the first half of the 20th century, that song is revered by the black American military.” 

The popularity of “Lift” waxed and waned over the years—it was usurped during the civil rights era by songs such as “We Shall Overcome” and “We Shall Not Be Moved.” But in the 1970s, amid the Black Power movement, it was sometimes sung with an air of resistance. “People are singing the song with raised fists, dashikis, afros,” says Perry, and black students at newly integrated schools fought to keep it in public school programs alongside the national anthem.

Indeed, the opening up of white spaces to African Americans has contributed to the song’s decline. Following the gains of the Civil Rights movement, black people participated less in civic groups that sang the song in their rituals, Perry says. In 1985—roughly 20 years after Congress passed a law mandating the integration of public schools—an Ohio State University sociologist found that about one-third of black college students could no longer identify “Lift Every Voice and Sing.” By that time, enrollment at black colleges and universities had dropped profoundly from their historic highs under Jim Crow. “It is inconceivable,” the researcher wrote, “that African-American college students of even a decade ago would have responded in this fashion.”

The spaces where black people hear “Lift” today are few and far between. We sometimes sing it in church, as I did growing up on the Southside of Chicago. It still can be heard at Black History Month programs and at formal gatherings of civil rights organizations like the NAACP and the National Urban League, and, of course, at HBCUs like my alma mater. But even HBCU students, decades removed from the song’s heyday, don’t necessarily feel connected to “Lift” in the way our grandparents or even our parents were, if my fellow Howard students and I were any indication. Few of us could sing past the first verse. My performance of it was usually pretty perfunctory. It wasn’t until recently that I really thought about the words and discovered how much they resonated with me.

Buried in the history of black people’s storied affair with “Lift Every Voice and Sing” is a lesson on why we feel differently from white Americans about the NFL players who kneel during the national anthem: Because our relationship with the nation has been so fraught, black people have long felt ambivalent about the symbols and rituals of white America—which is why “Lift,” written for us, by us, exists in the first place. Black folks are compelled to tell our stories on our own terms, and for us the story has been one of unceasing struggle and protest. How fitting, then, that we would use America’s symbols to ink ourselves into its narrative.

 
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Posted by on November 14, 2017 in Black History, BlackLivesMatter

 

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A Bit of History – How Kenny Washington Integrated the NFL in 1946

My local NFL Team, the Washington Redskins was the last NFL Team to integrate, as as such were perennial losers. They even passed on  drafting Jim Brown, who was one of the greatest running backs in league history. As such a lot of black folks in the Washington, DC area rooted for the Baltimore Colts of Johnny Unitas and John Mackey. The Colts had integrated their team in 1953, with George Taliaferro, Claude “Buddy” Young and Mel Embree.

70% of the players in the NFL today are black. Which provides an interestin context to the Chumph’s racist attacks on the players.

When and how did the NFL integrate? Well, it started in 1946 with Kenny Washington and Woody Strode (of movie fame).

Interesting is the history of “The Forgotten Four”, who integrated the NFL before Jackie Robinson integrated MLB.

The following provides a link to the full Documentary, which is free to watch.

 

 

 

 

 
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Posted by on October 20, 2017 in Black History, Giant Negros

 

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Kareem Cuts Loose

This IS – the Second American Revolution. Hopefully we can get rid of the hater in the white’s only house peacefully.

 

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar compares NFL fight to American Revolution

Weighing in on the simmering debate over football players kneeling during the national anthem, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar slammed President Trump and those who have criticized high-paid players for their apparent lack of gratitude.

“That’s pretty much what the British said about the leaders of the American Revolution — the wealthy were making money by colluding with the British, so they should just be grateful. Fortunately, those leaders couldn’t be bought off,” Abdul-Jabbar said.

“The implication here is that black athletes should be grateful that they’ve been invited to dine with the white elites and if they want to keep their place at the table, they should keep dancing and smiling and keep their mouths shut. The myth of the Happy Negro needs to be dispelled once and for all.”

In two interviews with International Business Times, the NBA legend said that he is encouraged that athletes are unifying in protest against racism that is “getting worse under the current administration” and against “the attempt to curtail the First Amendment by a rich, entitled white man who thinks only he should be allowed to speak freely.”

Responding to IBT questions on Sept. 26, after a weekend in which the NFL protests had accelerated, Abdul-Jabbar praised the now-unemployed quarterback who started the “Take the Knee” movement a year ago.

“It’s to Colin Kaepernick’s credit that he was willing to protest institutional racism when he was almost alone and without much power,” Abdul-Jabbar said. “His goal was to make America aware that there is an underlying racism present and that we need to address it. President Trump’s statements at Charlottesville and about the NFL proved to many Americans that Colin was right. It’s a testament to the bravery and commitment of all those other players, coaches, and owners across all sports who have joined in the protest.”

The former Lakers center — who remains the league’s all-time leading scorer — is no stranger to protest. He attended the famous “Ali Summit,” in which he and other high-profile athletes stood in solidarity with Muhammed Ali as the boxer refused to be drafted into the Vietnam War. He also boycotted the 1968 Olympics. In recent years, he has written books and columns about political issues — and has publicly tangled with Trump. During the presidential campaign, Trump sent Abdul-Jabbar a handwritten noteslamming a column he wrote in the Washington Post.

Abdul-Jabbar denounced Trump for saying protesting athletes should be fired.

“I can think of instances when a president’s opinion could be worthwhile, especially when trying to uphold principles of the Constitution or the well-being of the players,” Abdul-Jabbar told IBT. “However, Trump’s comments are direct attacks on the constitutional principles of free speech. For someone who has sworn to uphold the Constitution, this is either an example of immense ignorance or willful treason.”

But asked whether sports team owners should be allowed to fire players for speaking out on political issues, Abdul-Jabbar acknowledged owners’ potential concerns.

“Sports teams are a business and business owners have the right to punish players who the owners think might be harming their business,” Abdul-Jabbar told IBT. “There is a risk when a player chooses to protest. Hopefully, the owners will take into consideration what is being protested and the passive, non-violent method of protest.

“Two things are being protested right now. The original issue of systemic racism is still around and getting worse under the current administration. But the second issue that has brought so many athletes together is the attempt to curtail the First Amendment by a rich, entitled white man who thinks only he should be allowed to speak freely.”

Abdul-Jabbar also addressed the issue of white privilege, responding to a quote from Spurs coach Gregg Popovich, who recently said: “Race is the elephant in the room, and we all understand that unless it is talked about constantly, it is not going to get better. … People have to be made to feel uncomfortable; especially white people. We still have no clue of what being born white means.”

“Coach Popovich is absolutely right and he stated it eloquently,” Abdul-Jabbar told IBT. “Many white Americans are aware that white privilege is embedded in American society and are eager to fix this disparity. Others have been affected negatively by the economy so it’s hard to see how they have any privilege when they are struggling so much. Naturally, it angers them to be told they have an advantage yet still are fighting for survival. It’s like blaming them for not being more successful.

 

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Fighting Fascism – How the Nazis Tailored Discriminated Against Jews Based on American Jim Crow

Fantastic bit of history here. The neo-Nazis, white supremacists, and alt-right of today aren’t any different than Hitler’s Nazis.

Image result for tuskegee airmen

Tuskeegee Airmen

Image result for 761st tank

761st Tank Batallion

 

A brief history of black Americans fighting fascism — from WWII to Charlottesville

In July 1943, one month after a race riot shook Detroit, Vice President Henry Wallace spoke to a crowd of union workers and civic groups:

“We cannot fight to crush Nazi brutality abroad and condone race riots at home. Those who fan the fires of racial clashes for the purpose of making political capital here at home are taking the first step toward Nazism.”

The Pittsburgh Courier, a leading African-American newspaper at the time, praised Wallace for endorsing what they called the “Double V” campaign. The Double Victory campaign, launched by the Courier in 1942, became a rallying cry for black journalists, activists and citizens to secure both victory over fascism abroad during World War II and victory over racism at home.

There is a historical relationship between Nazism and white supremacy in the United States. Yet the recent resurgence of explicit racism, including the attack in Charlottesville, has been greeted by many with surprise. Just look at the #thisisnotwhoweare hashtag.

As a scholar of African-American history, I am troubled by the collective amnesia in U.S. politics and media around racism. It permeates daily interactions in communities across the country. This ignorance has consequences. When Americans celebrate the country’s victory in WWII, but forget that the U.S. armed forces were segregated, that the Red Cross segregated blood donors or that many black WWII veterans returned to the country only to be denied jobs or housing, it becomes all the more difficult to talk honestly about racism today.

Nazis and Jim Crow

As Adolf Hitler and the Nazi regime rose to power in the 1930s, black-run newspapers quickly recognized that the Third Reich saw the American system of race law as a model. Describing a plan to segregate Jews on German railways, the New York Amsterdam News wrote that Nazis were “taking a leaf from United States Jim Crow practices.”

The Chicago Defender noted that “the practice of jim-crowism has already been adopted by the Nazis.” A quote from the official newspaper of the SS, the Nazi paramilitary organization, on the origins of the railway ban stated:

“In the freest country in the world, where even the president rages against racial discrimination, no citizen of dark color is permitted to travel next to a white person, even if the white is employed as a sewer digger and the Negro is a world boxing champion or otherwise a national hero…[this] example shows us all how we have to solve the problem of traveling foreign Jews.”

In making connections between Germany and the United States, black journalists and activists cautioned that Nazi racial ideology was not solely a foreign problem. A New York Amsterdam News editorial argued in 1935:

“If the Swastika is an emblem of racial oppression, the Stars and Stripes are equally so. This country has consistently refused to recognize one-tenth of its population as an essential part of humanity…It has systematically encouraged the mass murder of these people through bestial mobs, through denial of economic opportunity, through terrorization.”

Victory at home

Image result for Double V CampaignWhen the United States entered WWII, African-Americans joined the fight to defeat fascism abroad. Meanwhile, the decades-long fight on the home front for equal access to employment, housing, education and voting rights continued.

These concerns prompted James G. Thompson, a 26-year-old from Wichita, Kansas, to write to the editors of the Pittsburgh Courier. His letter sparked the Double Victory campaign. Considering his service in the U.S. Army, which was racially segregated during WWII, Thompson wrote:

“Being an American of dark complexion and some 26 years, these questions flash through my mind: ‘Should I sacrifice my life to live half American?’ ‘Will things be better for the next generation in the peace to follow?’…‘Is the kind of America I know worth defending?’”

For Thompson and other African-Americans, defeating Nazi Germany and the Axis powers was only half the battle. Winning the war would be only a partial victory if the United States did not also overturn racial discrimination at home.

These ideals seemed particularly far away in the summer of 1943, when racial violence raged across the country. In addition to the riot in Detroit, there were more than 240 reports of interracial battles in cities and at military bases, including in Harlem, Los Angeles, Mobile, Philadelphia and Beaumont, Texas.

These events inspired Langston Hughes’ poem, “Beaumont to Detroit: 1943”:

“Looky here, America / What you done done / Let things drift / Until the riots come […] You tell me that hitler / Is a mighty bad man / I guess he took lessons from the ku klux klan […] I ask you this question / Cause I want to know / How long I got to fight / BOTH HITLER — AND JIM CROW.”Image result for Double V Campaign

The end of Hughes’ poem calls to mind the swastikas and Confederate flags that were prominently displayed in Charlottesville and at other white supremacist rallies. These symbols and ideologies have long and intertwined histories in the U.S.

The ConversationAdvocates of the Double Victory campaign understood that Nazism would not be completely vanquished until white supremacy was defeated everywhere. In linking fascism abroad and racism at home, the Double Victory campaign issued a challenge to America that remains unanswered.

Image result for Double V Campaign

 
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Posted by on August 22, 2017 in Black History, The New Jim Crow

 

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The Silent March

With the rise of the Second KKK, and the election of extremely racist President Wilson (Probably the most racist President until Trump in history), America was at War both in Europe and at home.

The KKK serially attacked 20 black communities in what were euphemistically called “Race riots” by the media of the time, as well as conducted lynchings. While the efforts and protests had an impact, what finally stopped the carnage was black folks shooting back – most notably in the attack on the black community of Washington, DC in July of 1919.

This peaceful March in 1917 set the stage for black resistance, and in many ways is the grandfather of today’s BLM Movement.

100 years ago African-Americans marched down 5th Avenue to declare that black lives matter

Silent Protest parade on Fifth Avenue, New York City, July 28, 1917, in response to the East St. Louis race riot. In front row are James Weldon Johnson (far right), W. E. B. DuBois (2nd from right), Rev. Hutchens Chew Bishop, rector of St. Philip’s Episcopal Church (Harlem) and realtor John E. Nail.(Credit: New York Public Library (public domain))

100 years ago African-Americans marched down 5th Avenue to declare that black lives matter

Nearly 10,000 African-Americans participated in the “Silent Protest Parade”

The only sounds were those of muffled drums, the shuffling of feet and the gentle sobs of some of the estimated 20,000 onlookers. The women and children wore all white. The men dressed in black.

On the afternoon of Saturday, July 28, 1917, nearly 10,000 African-Americans marched down Fifth Avenue, in silence, to protest racial violence and white supremacy in the United States.

New York City, and the nation, had never before witnessed such a remarkable scene.

The “Silent Protest Parade,” as it came to be known, was the first mass African-American demonstration of its kind and marked a watershed moment in the history of the civil rights movement. As I have written in my book “Torchbearers of Democracy,” African-Americans during the World War I era challenged racism both abroad and at home. In taking to the streets to dramatize the brutal treatment of black people, the participants of the “Silent Protest Parade” indicted the United States as an unjust nation.

This charge remains true today.

One hundred years later, as black people continue to insist that “Black Lives Matter,” the “Silent Protest Parade” offers a vivid reminder about the power of courageous leadership, grassroots mobilization, direct action and their collective necessity in the fight to end racial oppression in our current troubled times.

Racial violence and the East St. Louis Riot

One of the great accomplishments of the Black Lives Matter movement has been to demonstrate the continuum of racist violence against black people throughout American history and also the history of resistance against it. But as we continue to grapple with the hyper-visibility of black death, it is perhaps easy to forget just how truly horrific racial violence against black people was a century ago.

Prior to the “Silent Protest Parade,” mob violence and the lynching of African-Americans had grown even more gruesome. In Waco, a mob of 10,000 white Texans attended the May 15, 1916, lynching of a black farmer, Jesse Washington. One year later, on May 22, 1917, a black woodcutter, Ell Persons, died at the hands of over 5,000 vengeance-seeking whites in Memphis. Both men were burned and mutilated, their charred body parts distributed and displayed as souvenirs.

Even by these grisly standards, East St. Louis later that same summer was shocking. Simmering labor tensions between white and black workers exploded on the evening of July 2, 1917.

For 24 hours, white mobs indiscriminately stabbed, shot and lynched anyone with black skin. Men, women, children, the elderly, the disabled — no one was spared. Homes were torched and occupants shot down as they attempted to flee. White militia men stood idly by as the carnage unfolded. Some actively participated. The death toll likely ran as high as 200 people.

The city’s surviving 6,000 black residents became refugees.

East St. Louis was an American pogrom. The fearless African-American anti-lynching activist Ida B. Wells traveled to the still smoldering city on July 4 and collected firsthand accounts of the aftermath. She described what she saw as an “awful orgy of human butchery.”

The devastation of East St. Louis was compounded by the fact that America was at war. On April 2, President Woodrow Wilson had thrown the United States into the maelstrom of World War I. He did so by asserting America’s singularly unique place on the global stage and his goal to make the world “safe for democracy.” In the eyes of black people, East St. Louis exposed the hypocrisy of Wilson’s vision and America itself.

The NAACP takes action

The National Association for the Advancement of Colored Peoplequickly responded to the massacre. Founded in 1909, the NAACP had yet to establish itself as a truly representative organization for African-Americans across the country. With the exception of W.E.B. Du Bois, one of the NAACP’s co-founders and editor of The Crisis magazine, the national leadership was all white. Branches were overwhelmingly located in the North, despite the majority of African-Americans residing below the Mason-Dixon line. As a result, the NAACP had largely failed to respond with a sense of urgency to the everyday horrors endured by the masses of black folk.

James Weldon Johnson changed things. Lawyer, diplomat, novelist, poet and songwriter, Johnson was a true African-American renaissance man. In 1916, Johnson joined the NAACP as a field secretary and made an immediate impact. In addition to growing the organization’s southern membership, Johnson recognized the importance of expanding the influence of the NAACP’s existing branches beyond the black elite.

Johnson raised the idea of a silent protest march at an executive committee meeting of the NAACP Harlem branch shortly after the East St. Louis riot. Johnson also insisted that the protest include the city’s entire black community. Planning quickly got underway, spearheaded by Johnson and local black clergymen.

A historic day

By noon on July 28, several thousand African-Americans had begun to assemble at 59th Street. Crowds gathered along Fifth Avenue. Anxious New York City police officers lined the streets, aware of what was about to take place but, with clubs at the ready, prepared for trouble.

At approximately 1 p.m., the protest parade commenced. Four men carrying drums began to slowly, solemnly play. A group of black clergymen and NAACP officials made up the front line. W.E.B. Du Bois, who had recently returned from conducting an NAACP investigation in East St. Louis, and James Weldon Johnson marched side by side.

The parade was a stunning spectacle. At the front, women and children wearing all-white gowns symbolized the innocence of African-Americans in the face of the nation’s guilt. The men, bringing up the rear and dressed in dark suits, conveyed both a mournful dignity and stern determination to stand up for their rights as citizens.

They carried signs and banners shaming America for its treatment of black people. Some read, “Your hands are full of blood,” “Thou Shalt Not Kill,” “Mothers, do lynchers go to heaven?” Others highlighted the wartime context and the hollowness of America’s ideals: “We have fought for the liberty of white Americans in six wars; our reward was East St. Louis,” “Patriotism and loyalty presuppose protection and liberty,” “Make America safe for Democracy.”

Throughout the parade, the marchers remained silent. The New York Times described the protest as “one of the most quiet and orderly demonstrations ever witnessed.” The silence was finally broken with cheers when the parade concluded at Madison Square.

Legacy of the Silent Protest Parade

The “Silent Protest Parade” marked the beginning of a new epoch in the long black freedom struggle. While adhering to a certain politics of respectability, a strategy employed by African-Americans that focused on countering racist stereotypes through dignified appearance and behavior, the protest, within its context, constituted a radical claiming of the public sphere and a powerful affirmation of black humanity. It declared that a “New Negro” had arrived and launched a black public protest tradition that would be seen in the parades of the Universal Negro Improvement Association, the civil rights demonstrations of the 1960s and the Black Lives Matter marches of today.

The “Silent Protest Parade” reminds us that the fight against racist violence and the killing of black people remains just as relevant now as it did 100 years ago. Black death, whether at the hands of a Baton Rouge police officer or white supremacist in Charleston, is a specter that continues to haunt this nation. The expendability of black bodies is American tradition, and history speaks to the long endurance of this violent legacy.

But history also offers inspiration, purpose and vision.

Ida B. Wells, James Weldon Johnson and other freedom fighters of their generation should serve as models for activists today. That the “Silent Protest Parade” attracted black people from all walks of life and backgrounds attests to the need for organizations like the NAACP, following its recent national convention, to remember and embrace its origins. And, in building and sustaining the current movement, we can take lessons from past struggles and work strategically and creatively to apply them to the present.

Because, at their core, the demands of black people in 2017 remain the same as one of the signs raised to the sky on that July afternoon in 1917:

“Give me a chance to live.”

 
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Posted by on July 29, 2017 in The Post-Racial Life

 

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American Gods, Meet Mr. Nancy…On a Slave Ship

New series on Starz – at least episode 2 looks to be a heck of a watch…

‘American Gods’ Delivers a Powerful Black Lives Matter Message

Actor Orlando Jones—aka Mr. Nancy—opens up about the rousing speech his character delivers aboard a slave ship in the second episode of Starz’s thrilling new series.

It begins on a slave ship, in the cramped, fire-lit hull where stolen men sit chained by the hundreds. One man, face beaded with sweat and desperation, cries out to African spider god Anansi, the trickster: “These strange men have tied my hands,” he quivers. “…Help me from this place and I will sing to you all my life.”

The god appears, anachronistically dapper in a fresh-pressed purple suit and fedora. He laughs. Anansi, or Mr. Nancy as he’s called in America—one of the old-world mythological gods competing for worship in the fantastical universe of Starz’s American Gods—agrees to help. But first, he tells a story.

“Once upon a time, a man got fucked,” he begins. “Now how is that for a story? ‘Cause that the story of black people in America.”

He grins impishly at the men’s blank expressions, then remembers: “Shit!” he says. “You all don’t know you black yet. You think you just people. Let me be the first to tell you that you are all black. The moment these Dutch motherfuckers set foot here and decided that they white and you all get to be black—and that’s the nice name they call you? Let me paint a picture of what’s waiting for you on the shore…”

He stalks the room cavalierly, describing the life that awaits his believers in America. “You all get to be slaves,” he says. “Split up, sold off and worked to death. The lucky ones get Sunday off to sleep, fuck and make more slaves, and all for what? For cotton. Indigo. For a fucking purple shirt.”

There is a silver lining, he says: “The tobacco your grandkids are gonna farm for free is gonna give a shitload of these white motherfuckers cancer.”

Abject terror starts to fill the room. Mr. Nancy sneers. “And I ain’t even started yet,” he says. “A hundred years later, you’re fucked. A hundred years after that? Fucked. A hundred years after you get free, you still getting fucked on the job and shot at by police.” He points his finger like a gun and pulls an invisible trigger. “You are staring down the barrel of 300 years of subjugation, racist bullshit, and heart disease.”

The man who prayed to Anansi begins heaving, furious. “Angry is good,” Mr. Nancy says, pleased. “Angry gets shit done.” He unveils a daring proposal for the men: exact revenge on their captors by burning the ship down, taking their own lives along with it.

Frantically, the men break free of their chains and set fire to the ship, trading their lives to watch their captors burn. A small, purple-hued spider, meanwhile, floats safely out to shore on a piece of driftwood.

And this, we learn, is the story of how the trickster Mr. Nancy came to America.

American Gods, Starz’s brutal, brilliant adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s 2001 fantasy novel, opens each episode with a vignette like Mr. Nancy’s, telling stories of the bloodshed and sacrifices made by immigrants from around the world when coming to America.

Of course, Mr. Nancy (played mesmerizingly by Sleepy Hollow star Orlando Jones) and the hundreds of thousands of Africans sold and transported to America over the course of 300 years were not immigrants. They were stolen; they did not come by choice. That’s an important distinction—one that swaths of America including public figures (ahem, Ben Carson) would still rather forget.

Mr. Nancy’s thundering speech, then, is an essential reminder: it paints a current-day portrait of slavery’s legacy for black America, explicitly linking it to everyday forms of oppression like poverty, racial profiling, and police brutality. It’s a call to remember the shameful parts of America’s past, and to understand their living impact today.

 The Video – 

 
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Posted by on May 9, 2017 in Black History, BlackLivesMatter

 

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