Never Forget: The Emmett Till Story

IMG_0637Throughout America’s sorted and often shameful history, there have been many children murdered but the Murder in Money, Mississippi is the most infamous. It was this incident, the murder of a 14-year old black child from Chicago who supposedly whistled at a white woman in a grocery store whose death sparked the modern Civil Rights Movement.

The crime sounded clarion calls for a nation to wake up – just look at the photo. Till’s mutilated corpse circulated around the country mainly because of John Johnson, who published the gruesome photographs in Jet magazine, a predominately African American publication. The photo drew intense public reaction.

Till didn’t understand or knew he had broken an unwritten law of the Jim Crow South until three days later; when two white men dragged him from his bed in the dead of night, beat him brutally and then shot him in the head. That night the door to his grandfather’s house was thrown open, and Emmett was forced into a truck and driven away never again to be seen alive again. Till’s body was found swollen and disfigured in the Tallahatchie river three days after his abduction and only identified by his ring.

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Although his killers were arrested and charged with murder, they were both acquitted quickly by an all-white, all-male jury. Shortly afterward, the defendants sold their story, including a detailed account of how they murdered Till, to a journalist. The murder and the trial horrified the nation and the world. Till’s death was the spark that helped mobilize the civil rights movement. Three months after his body was pulled from the Tallahatchie River the Montgomery bus boycott began.

It’s been sixty years since the events of that fateful night, and I simply cannot find the words to describe this heinous crime that has yet to receive justice. Till was one of hundred of children murdered, then and now, at the hands of a racist system much like Trayvon Martin’s death or Michael Brown’s murder in our time. We will never know the significance of their life or contribution to the world.

I’ll end by sharing these words by Maya Angelou: “History, despite its wrenching pain, cannot be unlived, but if faced with courage, need not be lived again.” And that’s my Thought Provoking Perspective…

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The links below can better inform you of the facts:

The lynching of Emmett Till: a documentary narrative

By Christopher Metress
(free online book)

 

 

YOU MUST SEE THIS!!!

Purchase “Just a Season” today !!!


The Juice And The Race Card

pFJMtgl6S22Xjo6kW27YThis might be a harsh thing to say but I thought Charles Manson would be released from jail before OJ. Ok I was wrong! Yesterday the Juice was paroled bringing back the same outrage and vitriol from the past from white folk. Don’t be mistaken, regardless of what the law says “he will alway be guilty of killing this white woman”. It is the code that white folk live by and honor!

There is no accident that “they”, white folk, keep coming up with more and more slave movies. It is because they want people to think that is the totality of black history. To that point, it has been proven the first “Roots” was written by a white man, not Alex Haley! To be clear, there will be more slave movies to come. It is like Carter G. Woodson said, “If you control what a man thinks you don’t have to worry about what he is thinking.” They need to reinforce the principle theory of white supremacy!

In the early 1900s, there was a man named Jack Johnson who flaunted his wealth and white women in the faces of white society. They waged a campaign to destroy him, even passing a law making it illegal for a black man to consort with white women; the law is called the Man Act! He was the greatest fighter of his day, wealthy, and did remarkable things as the Heavyweight Champion. However, he broke the cardinal sin of consorting with white women and he was put in jail for his racial transgression!

I use this example because there was an athlete in the modern era named O.J. Simpson, who at the time, they said transcended race. He was a great running back, starred in movies, and was a popular pitchman for corporate America. His problem, like Jack Johnson, he consorted with and married a white woman. Unfortunately, she was murdered and naturally the spouse is the first to blame. Let me add that the first thing I was taught before becoming a man was to stay away from and leave white women alone. Historically, the worse thing a black man can do is to have relations with one! There was a time when a black man would be lynched for looking at one.

I digress, back to the point! I wrote a book a few years ago where I said there was no way in the world that could OJ have committed the murders as they claim. I said this for a very practical reason. They claimed this broken down athlete struggle with and stabbed two people; one was a fit young man who supposedly was a martial arts expert. They say OJ wrestled with the victims rolling around in a massive amount of blood, walks across the street and gets in a white on white Bronco and drive away. This is ludicrous because they only found a few drops of blood in the vehicle – not possible.

Looking closer at the case, they made the white woman and her family look like saints. But actually, or so it has been reported, she and the guy were surrounded by nothing but shady characters to include drug dealers and convicts. Also, it seemed like the families of these white people were also just a shady. The most significant piece of evidence, the glove, was found by a documented racist cop, but they never mention that part of the story.

So not only is the OJ situation made to be a lasting reminder of one of the major tenets of white supremacy – a black man must never screw a white woman. In this case, OJ was made to become the poster child so that the dominant society can brainwash and continue to remind other whites this is not appreciated and wanted. So this is what the continued hype is all about – there is big money in the “OJ did it thing”. It is big business. I would argue that the Kardashians have become famous, not because they have talent, take their clothes off or do porn; rather because of their families association with OJ. Actually, they claim one of those girls is his child.

I will admit that at the time OJ had forgotten he was black and had no attachment to black people but most black people at the time knew he did not do the killing. The court also agreed – finding him not guilty! But to white people that did not matter because of his behavior with white women and one was killed. As a result, up until yesterday he languished in prison serving a thirty-year sentence for what amounts to a robbery. Now to be frank, was he an idiot – YES but I can’t believe he murdered those people!

The advice I would give to a young black man – it is very dangerous to have relations with white women. I was taught stay away; they are dangerous to your life! History is full of examples – beware! And that’s my thought provoking perspective…

 


Commentary: Let’s Get Real

images (3)A few days ago something happened that was the white folk’s worst nightmare. A blond haired white woman was shot by a policeman. A black policeman; to my knowledge, a first and so far the usual support from the police union nor the NRA have yet spoken out or announce they have come to his aid. This is noticeable because there has been a black man, woman, and a considerable number of children have been murdered by the police, unarmed, all over the country and white folk did not seem to care but about six hundred this year alone!

No other developed nation in the world has 10% of that number. We are experiencing a full-blown crisis of police brutality in this country, but it’s hardly getting any coverage as Donald Trump absolutely sucks the wind out of the news cycle every single day. But this killing is – for America, it is known that the white is viewed as a prize and particularly if she is killed by a black man! Remember OJ?

Personally, I don’t think America is ever going to give a damn about police brutality until they see it destroying the lives of white families. That’s the American way. It’s what we’re basically seeing with the opioid crisis in our country right now. America seems to be coming to grips with the alarming crisis of drug addiction affecting and destroying white families. However, they never gave damn back in the day when “they” flooded black communities from coast to coast, with drugs. The level of humanity and compassion being shown to those affected by the opioid crisis is right. However, that same humanity and compassion were absolutely missing during the crack epidemic of the 80s and 90s or the heroin epidemic in the 60’s and 70’s. Then, America’s jails and prisons were stocked full with addicts and dealers alike.

This weekend in Minneapolis, the unthinkable happened. Police brutality the line when a beautiful, blonde haired, white woman, Justine Damond, a yoga and meditation instructor from Australia, who was just a few weeks away from getting married, was shot and killed by a black cop in Minneapolis police officer outside of her home. From all indications, Damond called the police herself when she believed she heard some type of disturbance in the alley behind her home. At almost midnight on Saturday, when she met the officers outside in her pajamas, an officer inside of the car shot and killed Justine. She wasn’t found to be carrying a weapon. The cops shot and killed an unarmed white yoga instructor in her pajamas who called them for help.

Police have so far refused to give any adequate details on why officers felt the need to shoot this woman. But local activists and leaders weren’t so worried about the initial statement from the department because every single officer in Minneapolis now wears a body camera but neither the body cam nor the car video was turned on. You know that is an excuse we’ve seen in numerous cases of police brutality against African Americans in this country.

In other words, the only witness besides the cops to the shooting is dead, no known footage of it exists, and all we will have left to go by is the word of the cops who did the shooting. If the past is any indication, we should expect the officers to corroborate each other’s stories and speak of how the yoga instructor caused them to fear for their lives. So the death of Justine Damond is dominating news headlines in the United States and Australia. If you can remember it took over a year for the news media to even mention Trayvon Martin!

This thought came to mind; Eric Garner, who was choked to death by the NYPD three years ago on video can be called the perfect face of police brutality victims. So is Sandra Bland. So is Tamir Rice. So is Amadou Diallo. So is Rekia Boyd. So is Jordan Edwards. So is Philando Castile. But I’ll be honest with you, I think a lot of well-meaning white people have looked at the most well-known cases of police brutality, and have seen a black problem that is simply unlikely to visit them like it is now visiting the family of Justine Damond.

They say when black people are killed by the police “why don’t you stop resisting” or it was the dead person’s fault because the police were scared for their life. For the past three years, almost one a week, black people across the country have been watching the horrors of police brutality and internalizing so much of the pain. Not one white person came forward instead they took up money for the cop’s. Maybe they will feel the pain of this event and address the serious issue of police brutality that we have been complaining about for decades! Oops this is different because this is a black cop and he will go to jail!!! And that is my thought provoking perspective…


Happy Birthday Nelson Mandela

4History, or those who write it, has an interesting way of minimizing actions of wrong doing done by the power of governments against anyone who challenges their domination. Mr. Mandela is the perfect example; when they talk about Mandela, they hardly mention that governments around the world referred to him as a terrorist, a convict, a communist, and a saboteur. In other words, he was most hated and an enemy of the state.

This has happened to other men such as Mahatma Gandhi and Dr. Martin Luther King, who were also labeled as dangerous and enemies of the state – both were assassinated, and there are some who say by the state. I make this comparison because these men became great heroes after their death. Mandela was no doubt one of the greatest heroes of the last century achieving it in life. What he achieved in South Africa even Mahatma Gandhi was unable to do in India, and Mandela did it in a way that respected all of humanity. This is Mandela’s greatest glory!

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Even his prison number 46664 (meaning prisoner 466 incarcerated in 1964) is now the name of humanitarian and charitable organizations. Mandela used his superior strength of will to turn those who opposed him into tools to make the world a better place. Mandela was a man who evolved above the pettiness of racial conflict, a man who saw with profound clarity that South Africa was not a Black nation, a Colored nation or a White nation. He saw South Africa as a great nation with opportunities for all people no matter their color, their tribe, their religion, or their culture.

Most people don’t know that the system used in South Africa known apartheid was derived from the racial practices of our own American south – only taken to the extreme! It was so dominant that blacks had to cross the street to avoid whites to include eye contact with them. It was a government rooted in real fear of a State that threatened dire consequences should a white person be assaulted or even insulted.

The Apartheid government was the most ridged and cruelest regime on the planet. For those who don’t know history, this government was firmly supported by the American government and Ronald Reagan in particular. If not for the powerful Black Lobby in the U.S. Congress, the United States would most likely have given South Africa even more support, including weapons.

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From the early stages of Mandela’s life, he fought against this brutal system of oppression which resulted in his being sentenced to prison on Robben Island for a third of his life. Another fact unknown to most is that strangely enough the name Robben Island means “island of seals” in Afrikaans. The power and support from most of the outside world was such that little information was available concerning the regimes atrocities. Virtually no articles were published in the North American mainstream media; according to the editors they were not interested in articles about terrorists.

The outside world heard very little about Nelson Mandela. Few heard about Stephen Biko’s murdered and the thousands of South Africans that were persecuted, as most of the world continued to do trade with South Africa as a strong pro-Western anti-communist power. They had even developed and tested their own nuclear weapon.

1Finally after years of struggle and hardship, apartheid was overthrown, and Nelson Mandela became the first Black President of South Africa. He was awarded the Nobel Prize for Peace. The U.S. presented him with the Medal of Freedom and the Soviet Union presented him with The Order of Lenin. Yet, he still officially remained on the list of people barred from entry to the United States.

In 1969 or anytime during the Seventies, the very idea that Nelson Mandela would one day be President of South Africa was an impossible thought. No one, not even Mandela himself could imagine such a possibility. It was simply impossible. Yet it happened. The impossible became possible and in achieving that position, winning the Nobel prize, Mandela gave a gift to all of us the gift of hope, the realization that no matter how daunting the situation, no matter how formidable the obstacles, that passion, courage and imagination can prevail.

We all die but few have lived as Nelson Mandela lived; few have achieved as much as he was able to achieve. I am happy that Mandela was able to live a long and remarkable life. He not only served his country with exceptional honor, but he has served all of mankind with dignity and amazing grace. The world surely has become a better place since he joined the human family.

In closing, this is Nelson Mandela’s most profound statement that will live in history as an inspiration. He stood firm for decades on the principle that until all South Africans enjoyed equal liberties. He said; he would not leave prison himself, declaring in his autobiography, ‘Freedom is indivisible; the chains on any one of my people were the chains on all of them, the chains on all of my people were the chains on me.’ Because of his epic fight against injustice, the entire nation is now free. We mourn his loss and offer our condolences to his family and the people of South Africa.

And that’s my thought provoking perspective…


Remembering Our Greatest Scholar: John Henry Clarke

c7712eabc765ef0a92ad0550618588f5--to-round-us-governmentJohn Henrik Clarke was one of the most brilliant, profound, and empowering educators of our time. He was born January 1, 1915 in Union Springs, Alabama and died July 16, 1998 in New York City.

His mother was a washerwoman who did laundry for $3 a week and his father was a sharecropper. As a youngster Clark caddied for Dwight Eisenhower and Omar Bradley “long before they became Generals or President,” Clarke would later recount in describing his upbringing in rural Alabama.

Ms. Harris his third grade teacher convinced him that one day I would be a writer but before he became a writer he became a voracious reader inspired by Richard Wright’s Black Boy.a vertern who enlisted in the army and earned the rank of Master Sergeant. After mustering out, Clarke moved to Harlem and committed himself to a lifelong pursuit of factual knowledge about the history of his people and creative application of that knowledge. Over the years, Clarke became both a major historian and a man of letters.

His literary accomplishments were very significant but he was best known as a historian. He wrote over two hundred short stories with “The Boy Who Painted Christ Black” is his best known. Clarke edited numerous literary and historical anthologies including American Negro Short Stories (1966), an anthology which included nineteenth century writing from writers such as Paul Laurence Dunbar and Charles Waddell Chestnut, and continued up through the early sixties with writers such as LeRoi Jones (Amiri Baraka) and William Melvin Kelley. This is one of the classic collections of Black fiction.

Reflective of his commitment to his adopted home, Clarke also edited Harlem, A Community in Transition and Harlem, U.S.A. Never one to shy away from the difficult or the controversial, Clarke edited anthologies on Malcolm X and a major collection of essays decrying William Styron’s “portrait” of Nat Turner as a conflicted individual who had a love/hate platonic and sexually-fantasized relationship with Whites. In both cases, Clarke’s work was in defense of the dignity and pride of his beloved Black community rather than an attack on Whites.

What is significant is that Clarke did the necessary and tedious organizing work to bring these volumes into existence and thereby offer an alternative outlook from the dominant mainstream views on Malcolm X and Nat Turner, both of whom were often characterized as militant hate mongers. Clarke understood the necessity for us to affirm our belief in and respect for radical leaders such as Malcolm X and Nat Turner. It is interesting to note that Clarke’s work was never simply focused on investigating history as the past, he also was proactively involved with history in the making.

As a historian Clarke also edited a book on Marcus Garvey and edited Africa, Lost and Found (with Richard Moore and Keith Baird) and African People at the Crossroads, two seminal historical works widely used in History and African American Studies disciplines on college and university campuses. Through the United Nations he published monographs on Paul Robeson and W.E.B. DuBois. As an activist-historian he produced the monograph Christopher Columbus and the African Holocaust. His most recently published book was Who Betrayed the African Revolution?

In the form of edited books, monographs, major essays and book introductions, John Henrik Clarke produced well over forty major historical and literary documents. Rarely, if ever, has one man delivered so much quality and inspiring literature. Moreover, John Henrik Clarke was also an inquisitive student who became a master teacher.

During his early years in Harlem, Clarke made the most of the rare opportunities to be mentored by many of the great 20th century Black historians and bibliophile. Clarke studied under and learned from men such as Arthur Schomburg, William Leo Hansberry, John G. Jackson, Paul Robeson, Willis Huggins and Charles Seiffert, all of whom, sometimes quietly behind the scenes and other times publicly in the national and international spotlight, were significant movers and shakers, theoreticians and shapers of Black intellectual and social life in the 20th century.

From the sixties on, John Henrik Clarke stepped up and delivered the full weight of his own intellectual brilliance and social commitment to the ongoing struggle for Black liberation and development. Clarke became a stalwart member and hard worker in (and sometimes co-founder of) organizations such as The Harlem Writers Guild, Presence Africaine, African Heritage Studies Association, the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History, the National Council of Black Studies and the Association for the Study of Classical African Civilizations.

Formally, Clarke lectured and held professorships at universities worldwide. His longer and most influential tenures were at the Africana Studies and Research Center at Cornell in Ithaca, New York, and in African and Puerto Rican Studies at Hunter College in New York City. He received honorary degrees from numerous institutions and served as consultant and advisor to African and Caribbean heads of state. In 1997 he was the subject of a major documentary directed by the noted filmmaker Saint Claire Bourne and underwritten by the Hollywood star Westley Snipes.

John Henrik Clarke is in many ways exemplary of the American ethos of the self-made man. Indicative of this characteristic is the fact that Clarke changed his given name of John Henry Clark to reflect his aspirations. In an obituary he penned for himself shortly before his death, John Henrik Clarke noted “little black Alabama boys were not fully licensed to imagine themselves as conduits of social and political change. …they called me ‘bubba’ and because I had the mind to do so, I decided to add the ‘e’ to the family name ‘Clark’ and change the spelling of ‘Henry’ to ‘Henrik,’ after the Scandinavian rebel playwright, Henrik Ibsen.

I like his spunk and the social issues he addressed in ‘A Doll’s House.’ …My daddy wanted me to be a farmer; feel the smoothness of Alabama clay and become one of the first blacks in my town to own land. But, I was worried about my history being caked with that southern clay and I subscribed to a different kind of teaching and learning in my bones and in my spirit.”

Body and soul, John Henrik Clarke was a true champion of Black People. He bequeathed us a magnificent legacy of accomplishment and inspiration borne out of the earnest commitment of one irrepressible young man to make a difference in the daily and historical lives of his people.

Viva, John Henrik Clarke!
Resource: Black College Online


Commentary: We Have “Not Overcome”

200_1000theLet’s be real, the ancestors left lessons and told us what to do. We know all the horrible tales of lynchings, rapes, murders, and the pacification of white folk never end. If they care so much about black people – they would have told the truth about history instead of creating hi-story, which are lies to cover-up their dastardly deeds. I want anyone reading this to ask yourself – does it really take 400 years to end the systematic system of racism?

I’ve lived through segregation and knew the evils of the Jim Crow system first-hand and what I see today not much has changed. In fact, I don’t think the wretched system of racism is worse. Justice is still unjust and black people are still viewed as “less than” as the Constitution says and you know white folk love them some constitution! You do know it say we are 3/5ths human and the Supreme Court decision made it law that “a Negro has no right that white man is bound to respect” in the Dred Scott Decision.

Just as they always done, they hold up a few to make it appear as if we have “overcome” or achieved some measure of advancement. Malcolm would have called some of these folks who keep telling us everything is alright – “House Niggers” – I will call them covert operatives. It was Solomon that said “there is nothing new under the sun.” This is a powerful statement because very little has changed since the 1960s, even though they remind us of this mythical dream!

If you look at history, you will see that it repeats itself; the system is designed to protect the system, and that system excludes black people. They would deport black people if they could but there is nowhere to send us – remember they kidnapped us! Malcolm told us that “Anywhere south of Canada was south”, meaning wherever you are in America you were subjected to discrimination regarding the “separate but equal” laws and racism is the unwritten law of the land.

I am not just saying this to be as I have been called, a “race baiter”. It is the honest truth but white fold are in denial that racism even exists. Republicans Party in particular want to turn back the hands of time and take back their country, which they did by electing Trump who is the embodiment of all that white supremacy means. Their attempts to suppress voting rights is in no way different than the poll taxes from the days of segregation, so this is not new either – it’s just the American political structure. There have been many ways to suppress people over time; unfortunately, black people have endured the brunt of these efforts.

So there continue to be “Black Codes” which are laws passed designed specifically to take away civil rights and civil liberties of African American people. However, the difference today is that they just use different codewords to make it politically correct. This is the reason conservatives speak of taking back their country and have a strong desire to uphold “States Rights”; because at the state level laws can be unimpeded by the federal government. You can see this clearly today by the upsurge in the police killings and corruption under the cover of law all over the country while the country rushes to save those on distant lands wasting trillions.

I wrote an article a few weeks ago titled “The Making of a Slave” to which I received a comment from a guy; I’ll call Mr. White Man. I should assume he was a white man because he vociferously defended the American way! In the article, I talked about the Willie Lynch Syndrome. This guy goes on to tell me or in his mind educate me on the subject by telling me there was never a Willie Lynch and that the supposed letter was debunked years ago. He went on to say that there was no truth to the myth. However, what he did not understand that true or not, there is a system in place to ensure black people “love and respect only” them.

He went on to say, “how sad that I write about the bad things in history; how lucky I am for all that America has done for my people, and I should leave that stuff in the past”. Normally I don’t take the time to respond to fools because my grandfather taught me a long time ago “never argue with a fool”. However, his comment proves my point that he knows the game is rigged against people of color. He also knows he benefits from a privilege decreed by the “American Way”.

Truth is those fools who sung that old Negro spiritual “did not believe “we shall overcome” either! Malcolm X once said that it is time to stop singing and start swing! Overcoming is not insight unless we fight!!! And that’s my thought provoking perspective…


The King Alfred Plan 

th (1)There are not many people who know about the King Alfred Plan. I first heard about it back in the seventies. What is the King Alfred Plan. It was a plan drawn up by the U.S Government to put black people and others in concentration camps. Since in the case of black people not having a place to be deported too. the plan was to build or find places to lock them up!

It was officially known as REX-84. The King Alfred Plan was a CIA-led scheme supporting an international effort to eliminate people of African descent. Although they claimed, its existence was fictional. Specifically, it defined how to deal with the threat of a black uprising in the United States by cordoning off black people and putting them into concentration camps in the event of a major racial incident.

The plan was drafted, allegedly, in the 50s to round up black people at the start of race riots; segregate them and move them to concentration camps or a separate location and kill them off, literally. This plan first appeared publicly in John A. Williams’ his 1967 novel, The Man Who Cried I Am, which was a fictionalized account of the life and death of Richard Wright.

We know the concept is not too much of a stretch because we know for a fact that J. Edgar Hoover devised intelligence programs (COINTELPRO) to monitor the movements of black militants and to eliminate them in the 1960s. As a result, word of the King Alfred Plan spread throughout the black community and the truth of its existence was often assumed to be unchallenged.

It also bears similarities to rumors in the early 1950s surrounding the McCarran Act, an anti-Communist law, in which political subversives were to be rounded up and placed in concentrations camps during a national emergency. As was done to the Japanese during World War II.

When his novel was first published, Williams photocopied portions of the book detailing the King Alfred Plan and left copies in subway car seats around Manhattan. The great performer and musician Gil Scott-Heron created the song “King Alfred Plan,” included on his “LP” in 1972 that takes the Plan at face value.

I did a little digging and found information online that have now been declassified. Of course, there is much more to this plan than is being released to the public. If you think that this kind of thing cannot happen in the America, think again. It has already happened! The only difference NOW is that we will not be so lucky because the problem with our people we have gotten too comfortable and satisfied with our plight. We trust in oppression and hardships that come with it.

Let me make it simple martial law, no-knock laws, or the Patriot Act! I am not a conspiracy theorist, but we now know that in regions all over the country, they can and do cordon off neighborhoods and bring in the National Guard in a matter of hours. The police force acts as an occupying force in every black community.

Some might say prisons are the precursor to the plan. I say, prisons are the unconscious result! Therefore, again, it is not much of a stretch to think they are preparing a place for you, and it’s not that place talked about on Sundays where this place has streets paved with gold or the cop’s will shot you down and kill you! And that’s my thought provoking perspective…


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