John Henrik Clarke: A Long And Mighty Walk

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A season is a time characterized by a particular circumstance, suitable to an indefinite period of time associated with a divine phenomenon that some call life. One of the first things I learned in this life was that it is a journey. During this passage through time, I have come to realize that there are milestones, mountains, and valleys that everyone will encounter. It saddens me that African American’s have had to endure more than any other culture!

Dr. John Henrik Clarke famously said, “History is a clock that people use to tell their political and cultural time of day. It is a compass that people use to find themselves on the map of human geography. History tells a people where they have been and what they have been, where they are and what they are. Most important, history tells a people where they still must go, what they still must be. The relationship of history to the people is the same as the relationship of a mother to her child.”

There are many ghosts of the greats who sacrificed so much for us to exist today. We would not have had our history known if it were not for the great historian Carter G. Woodson. We may not have succeeded in the civil rights movement without a strong Rosa Parks to push Dr. Martin Luther King into bring the civil rights movement to the forefront of America’s consciousness. Then came the Black power movement that was so strong and so serious that it gave even more urgency to the White House and the American government to change rather than prepare for violence.

Dr. Clarke was the powerful mind that many leaders of the Black power movement would come to for his knowledge. People like Stokely Carmichael, H. Rap Brown and the most notable of the all – Malcolm X. Clarke became Malcolm X’s chief consultant and best friend. His work with Malcolm resulted in one of Malcolm’s greatest speeches, indeed, one of the greatest 100 speeches made in America, “The ballot or the bullet.”

Dr. Clarke never wrote an autobiography, but he had a huge impact his teacher and what he left the minds of his people. Clarke was born in Union Springs, Alabama on New Year’s Day, in 1915. His was a family of poor sharecroppers. But they soon moved to Columbus, Georgia when he was about four years old. There, he met a school teacher named Eveline Taylor. Clarke said Ms. Taylor told John that she saw something special in him. She saw a thinker. And she said to him:

“It’s no disgrace to be alone. It’s no disgrace to be right when everyone else thinks you are wrong. There’s nothing wrong with being a thinker. Your playing days are over.”

Here’s a eulogy of him written by The Los Angeles Times:

John Henrik Clarke: Activist, Professor July 18,198

John Henrik Clarke never got around to writing his life story, which encompassed some of the more turbulent periods in American history.

Dr. Clarke is remembered as someone who put the forgotten history of Africa back into the textbooks and gave an analysis of history that wasn’t main stream and for this we honor him so dearly. This man who descended from a family of sharecroppers was born in 1915 in Union Springs, Ga. He left Georgia in 1933 going to Harlem where he became one of the greatest unsung heroes of our time.

His political and community activism began quickly when Clarke opposed the Italian invasion of Ethiopia in the 1930s. Later, he became a close friend of black activist Malcolm X. Clarke helped to forge a link between Africans and African Americans.

Clarke studied history and literature from 1948 to 1952 at New York University and later at Columbia University. During his career, Clarke edited or wrote 27 books. His editing work included the classic “American Negro Short Stories” in 1966. I just wanted to remind us of this man who brought into remembrance of our Great, Mighty Walk! And that is my Thought Provoking Perspective…


For The Descendants Of Africa

th (3)On this day as you, black people, celebrate Memorial Day take a moment to remember and pray for our ancestors who did not make it to this land. Millions died on the march to the African coast and during the Middle Passage. This in not meant to forget the thousands lynched and murdered once they arrived on America’s soil since that Infamous day in the summer of 1169.

The so-called Negro that was created has had only one desire since being removed from Africa was to obtain equality. African Americans simply asked America to honor the promise of freedom that it claims comes with liberty. Unfortunately, it has been four-hundred years, and that has yet come to pass. This is evident today as we witness a police killing of an unarmed black person every day.

I’ll quote Dr. King, who said “We were given a blank check”, and we would like to cash it – paid in full. Let’s be very clear, people of African descent are the only immigrates to come to this country against their will. Then to be forced into a life of bondage, which was then and is now immoral.

It is also worth mentioning, for the record, that “A Negro” was created by the wretched souls who arrived in America to lay claim to land that wasn’t even theirs. When I say, created I mean there was no such culture or nationality anywhere on earth before Europeans took the captives from Africa and brought them to America. The result was creating a nation of people placed in a strange land to live without a nationality. This was done specifically through the constitution and legislative laws sanctioned by the government.

From the very beginning, the Africans resisted their captivity and bondage that was to include the ungodly trip across the Atlantic that history calls the Mid-Passage. Once the captives arrived on land, be it in America or the Caribbean, there was rebellion.For the record, there is no such thing as a happy slave. There were and are plenty of happy house Niggers but not slaves.

There were many movements to obtain the promise of freedom like the Abolitionist Movement and Civil Rights Movements in varying forms. Not to mention, the many-many great leader born to affect change but killed by the wretched system of slavery and segregation. I won’t say they all failed, but I will say they did not succeed because equal treatment, particularly under the law, and freedom is still absent today.

Many African Americans continue to suffer from the untreated wounds of America’s forefathers and their asymptomatic behaviors. These behaviors were never unlearned and have been passed down from generation to generation. Over my relatively short lifetime, I have been referred to as Colored, Negro, Afro-American, Black, and an African American! All polite terms assigned to make known that people of African descent were not American citizens.

This legacy of dependency, apathy, and entrenchment of the American social order from the beginning provides clear evidence of those with a diabolical intent to bankrupt the souls of a people based on an ideology of supremacy. These stolen souls that exist today are people who bear the burden of a system that perpetrated, in the name of God, the greatest crime known to man.

The concept of African Americans being slaves, physically or mentally, is as old as the nation itself, designed to deprive a people of its culture and knowledge through sustained policies of control. To overcome these indignities, we must realize that education is the single most important ingredient necessary to neutralize the forces that breed poverty and despair.

Regardless of how much we are held down, it is our responsibility to find a way to get up, even if the system is designed to protect the system. The great Bob Marley reminded us to “Stand-up – Stand-up for your rights”. And that’s my Thought Provoking Perspective…


REMEMBER THE FALLEN

Memorial Day was started by former slaves on May, 1, 1865 in Charleston, SC to honor 257 dead Union Soldiers who had been buried in a mass grave in a Confederate prison camp. They dug up the bodies and worked for 2 weeks to give them a proper burial as gratitude for fighting for their freedom. They then held a parade of 10,000 people led by 2,800 Black children where they marched, sang and celebrated. Our history is American history!!!

To all who served and did not return from the battle. Today is the day we honor you! Thank you for the ultimate sacrifice. And that’s my Thought Provoking Perspective…

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71 Arrested Protesting Not Guilty Verdict For Cleveland Officer Who Fired 49 Shots At Unarmed Couple

Originally posted on News One:

Dozens of protesters were arrested after a Cleveland, Ohio judge found Officer Michael Brelo, 31, not guilty of felony involuntary manslaughter in the November 2012 shooting deaths of Malissa Williams, 30, and Timothy Russell, 43,CNN reports.

RELATED:Cleveland Cop Who Fired 49 of 137 Shot Barrage Killing Two Unarmed African Americans:NotGuilty

As previously reported by NewsOne, Brelowas one of 13 officers who gave chase after Russell’s car backfiring was allegedly mistaken for a gunshot. A total of 137 shots were fired, with Brelo firing 49 of them. The last 15 bullets were fired at point-blank range through the windshield after Brelo hopped on the hood of the car when it came to a stop.

Cuyahoga County Judge John P. O’Donnell decided that Brelo’s guilt could not be proved “beyond a reasonable doubt,” WKYC.com reports.

SEE ALSO:NAACP Monitoring Black Biker Discrimination In WakeOfWaco

WSMV…

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A Lost Soul: Divided He Stands

th (3)Every so often some person of color comes along who is simply offensive to the nature black people in every respect. In fact, these folk are a disgrace to black people everywhere. We know there has been many “House Negro’s” overtime. I recently watched a video of this character and frankly I was saddened by the words he spoke. More repugnant is that he is cloaked in the guise of a Reverend. The list is long of folks who share the same views with the likes of Carson [there new Negro], Connelly, West, Keys, Cain, Elder, Thomas, and unfortunately so many more. Many of their reputations are despicable to everyone but them and, of course, those of this ilk.

This man’s name is Jesse Lee Peterson, president and founder of The Brotherhood Organization of a New Destiny (BOND), which is an American religious nonprofit organization dedicated to a conservative agenda. He is a Tea Party darling, which means he is a black man who’s sold his sold to the devil or more aptly put a Black Klansman. He has hosted a cable TV program and a syndicated radio talk show.

I had not really heard too much about him and didn’t usually pay much attention to folks like this but after listening to him I was simply floored and embarrassed. Listening to him spew his venom had absolutely nothing to do with God or a ministry of any kind. But then the KKK burns crosses suggesting that their bigotry has something to do with God’s grace. It could be that his ministry is little more than a cult rather than a church. Or just his insanity! He gives credence to the term a sheep in wolves clothing.

I am going to be direct and to the point. For a black man in his middle sixties to have known segregation and racism to say he thanks “God and white people” for slavery adding if it weren’t for the slave trade, blacks might have never made it to the promise land and described slave ships as akin to “being on a crowded airplane”. This is beyond insanity!!!

As I researched this guy I found more troubling statement with one being, so he says women should not be allowed to vote:

“Women cannot handle power. It’s not in them to handle power in the right way. […] I think that one of the greatest mistakes America made was to allow women the opportunity to vote. We should’ve never turned this over to women. […] It was a big mistake. […] And these women are voting in the wrong people. They’re voting in people who are evil who agrees[sic] with them who’re gonna take us down this pathway of destruction. And this probably was the reason they didn’t allow women to vote when men were men. Because men in the good old days understood the nature of the woman. They were not afraid to deal with it. And they understood that, you let them take over, this is what would happen.”

Peterson once established an annual “National Day of Repudiation of Jesse Jackson” event that was held on a street corner outside his offices in Los Angeles, which received no public attention outside of conservative media. On September 21, 2005, Peterson penned a column for WorldNetDaily, in which he suggested the majority of the African American people stranded in New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina were “welfare-pampered”, “lazy” and “immoral”. Peterson also criticized New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin for blaming President George W. Bush for his lack of response to the crisis, stating that “responsibility to perform legally and practically fell first on the Mayor of New Orleans.

On February 28, 2006, as a member of a student panel discussion at the UC Irvine on a Muslim cartoon controversy, Peterson described Islam as an “evil religion”, and stated extremist Muslims “hate us [America] because we are a Christian nation, and we support Israel”.

In January 2010, Peterson issued a statement calling for the resignation of Republican National Committee Chair Michael Steele, saying “Michael Steele is a weak leader, and he needs to resign or be fired. We need someone who’s not afraid to boldly promote strong conservative Republican ideas. The only reason Steele is still RNC Chair is because he’s black, and the party is terrified of the implications of firing him.”

He has claimed, “Barack Obama hates white people, especially white men” and “Barack Obama is Jeremiah Wright Jr. He is the NAACP and the Congressional Black Caucus! He embodies the aspirations of every left-wing black group that wants to tear down this country and take power away from the “oppressive” white man. He’s not an obvious race hustler like Al Sharpton or Jesse Jackson, but Obama is a smooth pathological liar with a wicked heart”. WOW!!!

The reason I felt compelled to write this post to not introduce anyone to him in a positive way. Rather, to make you aware of who he is and call him out for his hateful language on serious issues of black America. More pointedly, he was on Fox News, and his remarks were so over the top on the killing of young black men that Hannity had to call it ridicules.

Yet, he when on and on about no black fathers in the home, which caused me to wonder if he knew it was the same government he praises that bear the responsibility for that. If, he does not let me remind him that the KKK members had fathers in the home and look at their behavior and often time they brought the whole family to lynching.

I can’t conjure any speech that would allow me to share my opinion of such a fool, and I use that loosely, because my mother taught me that if you can’t say anything good about someone – say nothing at all and saying nothing here speaks volumes. However, I won’t go as far as Brother Malcolm and call him a “House N-Word” but he does remind me of my Uncle whose name is “Tom”. And that’s my thought provoking perspective…


Cleveland Cop Who Fired 49 of 137 Shot Barrage Killing Two Unarmed African Americans: Not Guilty

Originally posted on News One:

Today, Cleveland judge John O’Donnell found Police Officer Michael Brelo not guilty in the shooting death of two unarmed African Americans who perished in a hail of 137 bullets in 2012 – announcing the verdict on the same day protests were planned in the Tamir Rice case.

On November 29, 2012, Officer Brelo fired 49 shots in the high speed police pursuit of Timothy Russell, 43, and Malissa Williams, 30, in which a total of 137 shots were fired by 13 police officers, killing them both. According to reports, the barrage of bullets started because a Cleveland officer believed a car backfire was a gunshot.

Local TV station WKYC reports that Brelo jumped on the hood of the car with Russell and Williams inside, and fired at least 15…

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The Origin Of Memorial Day

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Black folk celebrate every holiday with vigor, yet most don’t know the origins or the reason why. DID YOU KNOW? Memorial Day was started by former slaves on May 1, 1865 in Charleston, SC to honor 257 dead Union Soldiers, who had been buried in a mass grave in a Confederate prison camp. They dug up the bodies and worked for two weeks to give them a proper burial as gratitude for fighting for their freedom. They then held a parade of 10,000 people led by 2,800 Black children where they marched, sang and celebrated.

The truth is the custom of holding observances the laying of flowers on burial sites to remember and honor those who gave their lives in military service goes back many hundreds if not thousands of years. In the United States, that custom has long since been formalized in the creation of Memorial Day formerly known as Decoration Day. A federal holiday observed on the last Monday in May to remember the men and women who died while serving in the United States Armed Forces.

What we celebrate or know as the modern Memorial Day originated with an order issued in 1868 by Maj. Gen. John A. Logan, the commander in chief of the Grand Army of the Republic, for the annual decoration of war graves. Three years after the Civil War ended, on May 5, 1868, the head of an organization of Union veterans established Decoration Day as a time for the nation to decorate the graves of the war dead with flowers. Maj. Gen. John A. Logan declared that Decoration Day should be observed on May 30. It is believed that date was chosen because flowers would be in bloom all over the country.

The first large observance was held that year at Arlington National Cemetery. The ceremonies centered around the mourning-draped veranda of the Arlington mansion, once the home of Gen. Robert E. Lee. Various Washington officials, including Gen. and Mrs. Ulysses S. Grant, presided over the ceremonies. After speeches, children of Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Orphan Home and members of the GAR made their way through the cemetery, strewing flowers on both Union and Confederate graves, reciting prayers and singing hymns.

The story of Memorial Day, some say, began in the summer of 1865, when a prominent local druggist, Henry C. Welles, mentioned to some of his friends at a social gathering while praising the living veterans of the Civil War; it would be well to remember the patriotic dead by placing flowers on their graves. On May 5, 1866, the Village was decorated with flags at half mast, draped with evergreens and mourning black. According to the United States Department of Veterans Affairs, roughly two dozen places claim to be the primary source of the holiday. An assertion found on plaques, on Web sites and in the dogged local historians across the country.

In his book Race and Reunion: The Civil War in American Memory, Professor David W. Blight made the case for Charleston, South Carolina, as Memorial Day’s birthplace, as that city was the site of an obscure (possibly suppressed) May 1865 event held at a racetrack turned war prison. During which freedmen properly reburied hundreds of Union dead found there and then held a ceremony to dedicate the cemetery.

The official dedication ceremony was conducted by the ministers of all the black churches in Charleston with prayers, reading of biblical passages, and singing spirituals black Charlestonians gave birth to an American tradition. In so doing, they declared the meaning of the war in the most public way possible by their labor, their words, their songs, and their solemn parade of roses, lilacs, and marching feet on the old planters’ Race Course.

After the dedication, crowds gathered at the Race Course grandstand to hear some thirty speeches by Union officers, local black ministers, and abolitionist missionaries. Picnics ensued around the grounds, and in the afternoon, a full brigade of Union infantry, including Colored Troops, marched in double column around the martyrs’ graves and held a drill on the infield of the Race Course. The war was over, and Memorial Day was founded by African Americans in a ritual of remembrance and consecration.

Professor Blight termed it “the first Memorial Day” because it predated most of the other contenders…” he said. Today, this celebration has morphed into, as Howard Zinn remarked: “Memorial Day will be celebrated … by the usual betrayal of the dead, by the hypocritical patriotism of the politicians and contractors preparing for more wars, more graves to receive more flowers on future Memorial Days. The memory of the dead deserves a different dedication.”

I am a veteran and have yet to receive any gratitude for my service in the war came home and was less free than when I left. However, I am very grateful I survived the carnage and horrors of it! The fact is, if we could stop war there would not be a reason to celebrate this day! And that’s my thought provoking perspective…


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