This Case Reminds Me Of Jim Crow Era Justice

th-10Jury nullification occurs when a jury seems to ignore evidence, or the law was common in the segregated Jim Crow South, and white folk took pride in letting crimes against black people go unpunished. History is littered with such facts and that is what came to mind with Monday’s mistrial in the case of a white South Carolina police officer caught on video fatally shooting a fleeing, unarmed black after stopping him for driving with a broken taillight.

In the last few years, case after case reflect the debauchery of what is can only be called 21st-century lynchings! It is unknown how many such tragedies have occurred from the time black people were stolen and brought to America. Particularly since Reconstruction and the civil rights era where white defendants accused of crimes that left a black person cheated, abused, or dead were acquitted by all-white juries whose members could not see past race in assessing the evidence put before them. The most shocking case was that of little Emmett Till when his killers confessed but white people found them not guilty!

Though there was one black person on the jury considering the case of Michael T. Slager, the outcome was similar in a trial that was further complicated by the defendant’s being a policeman, which I should remind you were created to be slave catchers. History also shows juries are routinely reluctant to question the actions of an officer who had to act swiftly in a perceived life-or-death situation. This was not the case here; the officer lied in his report, tried to plant a taser, had an eyewitness and was recorded on video.

Slager was accused of murder and manslaughter in the death of Walter L. Scott, whom the North Charleston, S.C., the police officer stopped on April 4, 2015. A struggled ensued the cop said Mr. Scott supposedly took his taser and tried to use on him. Mr. Scott is seen running from Slager, who raises his Glock and fires eight shots at the fleeing man in about three seconds. Scott, at least 17 feet away, is hit five times in the back. Slager testified “I see him with a taser in his hand as I see him spinning around… That’s the only thing I see: that Taser in his hand.”

But Slager was either lying or delusional about his fatal encounter with Scott. The video also showed him dropping his Taser next to Scott’s body. It seems Slager has a fondness for the electrical device that can temporarily paralyze. Records show he accounted for 4 percent of all Taser use in 2014 by the 340-member North Charleston police force.

The jury saw that video at least a dozen times during the trial. But three days into deliberations its foreman, the lone black person on the panel, told the judge that one juror would not agree to convict Slager of either murder or a lesser charge of manslaughter, which would allow a sentence as little as two years. Urged to continue deliberating, the next day the jury reported that a “majority” was now undecided. A mistrial was declared.

They tell us the Slager will get another day in court; in fact; more than one. He also faces federal charges of depriving Scott of his civil rights. Meanwhile, Scott’s mother says she is putting her trust in a higher authority, which is what black people always do. “We are surrounded by a cloud of witnesses,” she shouted after the court proceedings ended with a hung jury. “He will get his reward. I’m just waiting on the Lord.” Shameful to believe that White Jesus will do anything!

In the meantime, the unsatisfactory outcome of the Slager trial with his guilt or innocence still up in the air despite what appeared to be enough evidence to come to a conclusion. This case has left a bad taste in the mouths of many black people – no a clear example of a return to Jim Crow status – it stinks!

But the authorities tell us that better police training and new procedures will solve the problem of police shooting unarmed black people. However, that does not address the issue of prejudice. And that’s my thought provoking perspective…


Black Leadership: Consistent Nothingness

2It has been said that leaders are born and not made. I want to take that cliché a step further and say that black leadership today, or “Our so-called leaders are not born, they are appointed” by those who do not have your best interest at heart (the oppressor). Think about that for a moment! Just because these people get media exposure or stand in front of a large crowd, does not make them your leader or someone who speaks for all black people.

Black people are too quick to have an emotional orgasm when it comes to these folks. The truth is, more often than not, these folks are bought, paid for, and have sold out. In other words, it’s about money, i.e., yes they sold-out! Can you remember being at a meeting where their message had your input? The debacle of last year with the NAACP is a good example of the dire state of black leadership. In this case, a white woman pretending to be black was elected to be president of that local chapter.

First, let’s understand that media is designed for one purpose, and that is to be a misinformation vehicle. Hence, by design it needs agents appointed/hired by those who control your thinking. Don’t you think “they” remember the truth and empowerment given by Brother Malcolm, which I believe was the reason, they killed him. They know history and remember Nat Turner and all will be done to make sure someone like him NEVER appears again. In other words, there is no leader today that is willing to give their life for the cause!

I am not going to call out anyone, in particular, because we know who they are; in fact, there is not one so-call black leader I would follow anywhere! For example, whenever there is a disturbance or uprising the first thing they do is prop up every preacher or anyone carrying a Bible to give the message of peace and non-violence! So the more important question is; why is it that we need a leader appointed by others? No other group or culture requires such misinformation agents or sell-outs in their mists. Is it something like a savior complex or is it the residual of slavery?

The African American culture has forever relied on a “Council of Elders” to guide and direct the lives of its people. These were people with wisdom, and let me say that wisdom is very different from education. In most cases, those who look like us that are put in front of us most often are sent with a script. Further, take notice to what they say and what topics they stay away from. These folks are called provocation agents, whose job is to make you believe what they are told to tell you to believe!

We have heard this term “Black Leadership.” Let me ask this; when did you vote for anyone of these talking heads. Our leader should be chosen by us – not appointed by others. Now, take it a step further; where are they leading us too! Compare it to the good reverend who leads you, in many cases, away from reality. Yet, like sheep, we follow blindly. We have to begin to think and not listen to false prophets!

The Freedom of Information Act has allowed us to obtain information about many of these so-called leaders, and their associates were government operatives while pretending to be on the front lines fighting for our struggles. These agents were with Malcolm and Martin and Garvey and trust me they are around today. Maybe it’s time that we become part of what’s called the “Common Sense Party” where you can see the forest for the trees! This might allow you to remove yourself from that mental bondage that makes you a slave.

I would suggest that you know who you follow and be careful of that messenger who claims to speak for you. So when you follow or believe a message of someone who calls them-self a leader, remember this; not everything that is faith can change things but nothing can be changed until you have faith. So don’t lose sleep over the opinions of sheep. Have faith in you! And that’s my thought provoking perspective…


Justice Denied: Not Deferred

2Since the beginning of recorded history, there has never been justice for the least of thee! This was never more evident than the treatment of black people. These people were enslaved and castigated from that horrible day the first twenty were dragged onto the shores of this place they call “merica”! They, white folk, claim to be so righteous and godly but their history shows anything of the sort. It’s been about four- hundred years now and nothing has changed; yet they want to transplant this form of injustice around the world as they did with apartheid!

They have lied in tell the histories story via what I call his-story which is a pack of omissions and lies fed to the unsuspecting and unknowledgeable people as truth. The problem is today technology is such most of the evil they have perpetrated cannot be so easily hidden, but somehow they still convince people that they should not believe what this see or their lying eyes!

Over the last few years, almost weekly we have police killing with no results from the system concerning justice. This includes unarmed men, women, and children mostly all black under color of law. Now the killing of a twelve-year-old is despicable, and frankly, a dog murdered in such away would get more justice and bring about a conviction. But the outcome in the affected communities lasts a few days, a few social media posts, and in effect nothing!

This brings me to the most recent atrocity – a North Carolina Jury Deadlocked in the case of Michael Slager. They claim justice is all about honesty and transparency when the fact is justice is blind and in this case blind as a bat! I’m all out of optimism and hope because the evidence shows this former office kill this man running away in the back, lied about what he did, and tried to plant evidence on the murdered man’s body. Millions of people saw this, and this jury could not find him guilty, and there are people who continually tell us that all is fair in the name of justice and the “police are the heroes.

No injustice, no single case of police brutality, was clearer and better documented than Officer Michael Slager repeatedly shooting Walter Scott, an unarmed black man in North Charleston, S.C., in the back as he ran far away. This case was filmed in real time by a bystander’s cell phone, an actual live witness, who was on his way to work and tens of millions of us saw the injustice with our own eyes. It was an execution.

After Slager had shot the fleeing man in broad daylight, he appeared to plant a Taser next to him. His story would later be that he shot Scott, a beloved veteran, and father because Scott stole the Taser, which was all a lie. Scott was running for his life. Knowing what we know now, he may have very well sensed that he was in immediate danger of being killed by Slager. Whatever the case, even though Scott was more than a dozen feet away, Slager aimed and repeatedly shot the man in his back and killed him.

After Slager fired the shots, he made no effort to show even a morsel of care, concern or urgency about the victim. The North Charleston Police Department did the right thing and fired him that same week. The video was indisputable proof for their white police chief to make such a decision. Prosecutors there did not drag their feet either. They charged Slager with murder, but also gave the eventual jury the option to convict on a lesser charge.

Now the result of Slager trial is that the jury is deadlocked or simply put could come to a decision on a conviction of guilt. If this is final, a mistrial will be declared. This was a heinous murder of Walter Scott that we all saw, which has shaken my resolve or any respect for our justice system. He shot a fleeing man in the back in cold blood. It was filmed. Not only did activists believe it to be an injustice, but local police and prosecutors also agreed.

Nonetheless, here we are. In what should have been an open and shut case that produced a certain conviction, we are learning that for somebody, the idea of convicting a white cop of killing a fleeing black man is simply an impossibility that we have now learn was a white juror. What has changed in this place the slaves called “merica”? and that’s my thought provoking perspective…


Hoodwinked

thPeople have been “Hoodwinked” as long as there has been the sense of power over other people. No matter how ridicules the idea or scheme the majority of people fall for it! I won’t go back to the beginning of time but let me just go back a few thousand years. Someone came up with the concept of religion, albeit stolen from Africa, refined it, altered and change it. Then somehow convinced the world that God gave his only son to the world to die for the sins of mankind. They also told the world that he was a blonde haired blue eyed man that came from a region of the world that had no white people.

Further, they told people that a building was his house, a church, and that he left earth to prepare a place for man; only if you believe in him! This was the main staple of oppression, slavery, and death the world over. The truth is the have been more death and wars started in the name of religion than any other concept in all of history. The moral crime as I see it is that they came up with this idea of tithing, which is those people who believe in the Father must pay God so that the believer does not go to hell. Surprising people do it faithfully, and you are probably guilty of doing this yourself.

I get it, as humans we have to believe in something or we perish – got it. But everybody will die and when they do they are put in the ground, and supposedly go to this place in the sky as your reward for believing. This kind of logic has work on people in many different aspects of life. For example, the new president while running for office told the people nothing pertaining to fact or truth – just believe in him!

In this election, whether those voters who voted for this guy, admit or not, it was based and driven by race. I would say what the president-elect has done and relied on this same principle as religion – telling people such outlandish things like I am going to build a wall and he is going to drain the swamp. I will suggest that none of this will ever happen. Just like your belief in the white man’s religion that says Jesus is coming back is not going to happen nor will this guy build a wall.

Herein is the problem; people are convinced to believe anything even if it does not produce little more than a dream or scheme. This is an old game, and it continues to work. America now has its champion, the face of White Supremacy and we shall see if Armageddon is going to happen. Whether it does or not, white people has reclaimed its racist posture and have been fooled into think they took their country back to the 18th century.

There are some of these so-called preaches claiming that this man is like one of Jesus’ disciples. I will tell you one thing for sure, like the church and its tithing only this guy and his cronies with get the money. So as we wait for Jesus’ return and the wall to be built neither will happen; my guess is that Jesus will come back before the wall is built. And that’s my thought provoking perspective…


On This Day: They Assassinated Chairman Fred Hampton

11There have been countless murders of black men, since the founding of America, but the assassination of Fred Hampton speaks loudly to the abuse and corruption of the American police departments. Since the Nat Turner Incident they, white folk, will never allow a black person to rise with suburb leadership skills. History demonstrates the penalty for such a strong black man is death!

On December 4th, 1969, Fred Hampton, an African American activist, and deputy chairman of the Illinois chapter of the Black Panther Party was murdered. Chairman Fred was assassinated while slept in his apartment during a raid by a tactical unit of the Cook County, Illinois State’s Attorney’s Office, in conjunction with the Chicago Police Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). This activity was in concert by the infamous seditious FBI program known as COINTELPRO designed to eliminate activist deemed by its director as “subversive.”

A public statement made to the news media a day after the assassination by FBI Special Agent Gregg York, “We expected about twenty Panthers to be in the apartment when the police raided the place. Only two of those black niggers were killed, Fred Hampton and Mark Clark.”

Chairman Fred, as he was known, was successful and revered for organizing young African Americans for the NAACP. He was quickly attracted to the Black Panthers’ approach, which was based on a ten-point program of a mix of black designed for the survival of the black community. Chairman Fred joined the Party’s nascent Illinois chapter SNCC’s organizer Bob Brown in late 1967.

Over the next year, Hampton and his associates made a number of significant achievements in Chicago. Perhaps his most important accomplishment was his brokering of a nonaggression pact between Chicago’s most powerful street gangs. Emphasizing that racial and ethnic conflict between gangs would only keep its members entrenched in poverty, he strove to forge a class-conscious, multi-racial alliance between the Panther Party, the Young Patriots, and the National Young Lords. Soon after the pact was formed they were joined by the Students for a Democratic Society, the Blackstone Rangers, the Brown Berets, and the Red Guard.

In May 1969, Hampton called a press conference to announce that a truce had been declared among this “rainbow coalition,” a phrase coined by Hampton and made popular later by Jesse Jackson. Jackson eventually appropriated the name in forming his own unrelated coalition – Rainbow/Push. This achievement marked him as a major threat in the eyes of the FBI, signaled his death.

Subsequent investigations have shown that FBI chief Hoover was determined to prevent the formation of a cohesive Black movement in the United States “by any means necessary. Hoover saw the Panthers, and similar radical coalitions forged by Hampton in Chicago, as a frightening stepping stone toward the creation of just such a revolutionary body that could cause a radical change in the U.S. government. They opened a file on Hampton in 1967 that over the next two years expanded to twelve volumes and over four thousand pages.

By May of that year, Chairman Fred’s name was placed on the “Agitator Index,” and he would be designated a “key militant leader for Bureau reporting purposes. In late 1968, the Racial Matters Squad of the FBI’s Chicago field office brought in an individual named William O’Neal, who had recently been arrested twice, for interstate car theft and impersonating a federal officer.

In exchange for dropping the felony charges and a monthly stipend, O’Neal apparently agreed to infiltrate the Black Panther Party as a counterintelligence operative. He joined the Party and quickly rose in the organization, becoming Director of Chapter security and Hampton’s bodyguard.

In 1969, the FBI Special Agent in San Francisco wrote Hoover that his investigation of the Black Panther Party revealed that in his city, at least, the Panthers were primarily feeding breakfast to children. Hoover fired back a memo implying the career ambitions of the agent were directly related to his supplying evidence to support Hoover’s view of the Panthers was “a violence-prone organization seeking to overthrow the Government by revolutionary means.”

Hoover was willing to use false claims to attack his political enemies. In one memo, he wrote: “Purpose of counterintelligence action is to disrupt the BPP, and it is immaterial whether facts exist to substantiate the charge.” Using anonymous letters, the FBI sowed distrust and eventually instigated a split between the Panthers and the Rangers, with O’Neal himself instigating an armed clash between the two on April 2, 1969. The Panthers became effectively isolated from their power base, so the FBI went to work to undermine its ties with other radical organizations.

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O’Neal was instructed to “create a rift” between the Party and Students for a Democratic Society, whose Chicago headquarters was only blocks from that of the Panthers. The Bureau released a batch of racist cartoons in the Panther’s’ name, aimed at alienating white activists, and launched a disinformation program to forestall the realization of the “Rainbow Coalition.”

In repeated directives, J. Edgar Hoover demanded that the COINTELPRO personnel “destroy what the Black Panther Party stands for” and “eradicate its “serve the people programs”. In early October, Hampton and his girlfriend, Deborah Johnson, pregnant with their first child, rented a four-and-a-half room apartment at 2337 West Monroe Street to be closer to Black Panther Party headquarters.

O’Neal reported to his superiors that much of the Panthers’ “provocative” stockpile of arms was being stored there. None of which was true but the paid government informant played the role of Judas bringing the powers of the state to kill him. To see how far great powers will go is shocking and a moral shame. Yet, it continues today with all the police killings of black people! And that’s my thought provoking perspective…


The Presidents And The Klu Klux Klan

th-3There is a lot of talk and concern about the president-elect’s connection to and associations with the Ku Klux Klan. I find that interesting because, if true, why are you alarmed because America has had many presidents that were owners and I would dare say all but a few were bigoted and racist. Whether the incoming president is racist is open for debate. However, the optics of what he had said and done strongly would suggest the answer is yes; so, why the shock and disbelief? America by its very nature is racist, and I would argue that most white folks are, to be honest.

There have been active KKK members on the Supreme Court as well as in all position in government and captains of industry. Don’t be shocked to know that at least five U.S. Presidents were members of the Ku Klux Klan. According to the Southern Poverty Law Center,” the KKK started in the summer of 1866 when six ex-Confederate officers decided to organize a social club. They decided to use the term “kuklos,” which means circle. After adding the word Klan, the name Ku Klux Klan was born.

In his book, “Setting the Record Straight: American History in Black & White,” David Barton details the political history of the KKK; noting that the original targets of the Klan were Republicans, both black and white, and that between 1882 and 1964, 3,446 blacks and 1,297 whites were lynched by the Klan.

Barton goes on to point out that the Klan has its roots in the Democratic Party and that the first grand wizard of the KKK, Nathan Bedford Forrest, was honored for his leadership at the 1868 Democratic National Convention.  For those who do not believe that the roots of the Democratic Party are racist, one only needs to note that not a single Democrat voted for the 14th Amendment which granted citizenship to former slaves.

Barton went on to say, “Although it is relatively unreported today, historical documents are unequivocal that the Klan was established by the Democrats and that the Klan played a prominent role in the Democratic Party.  In fact, a 13-volume set of congressional investigations from 1872 conclusively and irrefutably documented that fact.” To be clear, the Democrats of the 1860’s were more like what the Republicans are today. The following are the presidents that were active and known Ku Klux Klan members:

President William McKinley

The first U.S. President who was a KKK member was William McKinley, who was a former Union officer, according to kkk.org.  Not much is known about his involvement with the Klan, but many union men joined the KKK during its First Era during the Radical Republican’s anti-white Reconstruction Era.

President Woodrow Wilson

Woodrow Wilson was the second U.S. President to be a KKK member. According to Nick Ragone’s book, “Presidents’ Most Wanted: The Top 10 Book of Extraordinary Executives, Colorful Campaigns, and White House Oddities,” Wilson was known as a virulent racist and actually helped Klan membership skyrocket by providing screenings of The Clansman and Birth of a Nation for members of his Cabinet, Congress, and the Supreme Court. Wilson’s ideology helped pave the intellectual foundation of the campaigns of racist Dixiecrats Strom Thurmond and George Wallace. Wilson is also credited with allowing Washington D.C. to become Jim Crow territory.  He also never shied away from speaking publicly about the ‘benefits’ of segregation.

President Warren G. Harding

Warren G. Harding was the next president who was a KKK member. According to kkk.org and the book The Fiery Cross, Harding was actually sworn in at a KKK ceremony that was held at the White House by Imperial Wizard Colonel Simmons. Harding was not the only president to allow Klan activities to be held on White House grounds. Calvin Coolidge was a well known and active Klan member who allowed cross lightings on the Capital steps and also reviewed the giant Klan parades of 1925 and 1926 that were held in Washington D.C.

President Harry S. Truman

Harry S. Truman is the final U.S. President to have ties to the KKK that are known and documented. While he was not a prominent member, he did pay dues to the organization between 1920 and 1922. He eventually parted ways with the Klan due to their disapproval of his appointment of Roman Catholics to key political positions.

During the time that these Presidents were in office between 1882 and 1964, David Barton reports that 4,743 people were lynched. It was Republicans who led an effort to pass federal anti-lynching legislation, but Democrats were able to successfully ban those bills. History of the Democratic Party on their website conveniently leaves out party history from 1848 to 1900, avoiding publication of information related to the party’s racist roots.  Understanding the past is a vital part of not repeating mistakes in the future, and black people deserve to know that the party that many of them affiliate with actually has its roots in one of America’s most noted hate groups.

The new guy is not the problem, all he wants is the money; the problem is those people he puts around him! I have quoted Dr. Woodson many times where he noted that no matter who the president is black people will never get more than what they always got. And that’s my thought provoking perspective…

Most of this information was derived from an article posted on “I love black people.


Unsung Matriarch Of Civil Rights: Dorothy Height

The modern Civil Right movement has had many dedicated soldiers. We know the names of, Parks, Tubman, and others but one name seems to have been forgotten by most. She was just as dedicated as any of the greats. Her name was Dorothy Irene Height, who in my view should be called the Matriarch of the movement. Dr. Height established a national reputation as a graceful insistent voice for civil rights and women’s rights. She was a tireless crusader for racial justice and gender equality spanning more than six decades and regarded as the “Godmother of the Civil Rights Movement.”

Dr. Height was born in Richmond, Virginia. She moved with her family to Rankin, Pennsylvania near Pittsburgh early in her life where she attended racially integrated schools. She was admitted to Barnard College in 1929, but upon her arrival, she was denied entrance because the school had an unwritten policy of admitting only two black students. She pursued studies instead at New York University earning a degree in 1932 and a master’s degree in educational psychology the following year.

Dr. Height served on the advisory council of the White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities and the National Advisory Council on Aging. Her awards included 36 honorary doctorates from colleges and universities, including Harvard and Princeton. Also, Dr. Height was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, and on her 92nd birthday, she received the Congressional Gold Medal, the highest decoration Congress can bestow.

Dr. Height was among a coalition of African American leaders who pushed civil rights to the forefront of the American political stage after World War II. She was instrumental, and a key figure, in the struggles for school desegregation, voting rights, employment opportunities and public accommodations in the 1950’s and 1960’s. Dr. Height was president of the National Council of Negro Women for 40 years, relinquishing that title at the age of 95.

National Council of Negro Women is a four million member advocacy group consisting of 34 national and 250 community-based organizations. It was founded in 1935 by educator Mary McLeod Bethune, who was one of Height’s mentors. Dr. Height was a civil rights activist who participated in protests in Harlem during the 1930’s. In the 1940’s, she lobbied First Llady Eleanor Roosevelt on behalf of civil rights causes and in the 1950’s she prodded President Dwight D. Eisenhower to move more aggressively on school desegregation issues.

President Obama issued an official statement White House that reads as follows: Dr. Height was “a hero to so many Americans… Dr. Height devoted her life to those struggling for equality . . . witnessing every march and milestone along the way… And even in the final weeks of her life — a time when anyone else would have enjoyed their well-earned rest Dr. Height continued her fight to make our nation a more open and inclusive place for people of every race, gender, background, and faith.”

As a young woman, Dr. Height made money through jobs such as ironing entertainer Eddie Cantor’s shirts and proofreading Marcus Garvey’s newspaper, the Negro World. She went nightclubbing in Harlem with composer W.C. Handy. Dr. Height began her professional career as a caseworker for the New York City welfare department. She got her start as a civil rights activist through the Rev. Adam Clayton Powell Sr., pastor of the Abyssinian Baptist Church in Harlem, and from the pastor’s son, the Rev. Adam Clayton Powell Jr., who later represented Harlem in the U.S. House of Representatives.

In the 1940’s, Dr. Height came to Washington as chief of the Phyllis Wheatley YWCA branch. She joined the staff of the national YWCA board in 1944 through 1975. She remained on that staff with a variety of responsibilities, including leadership training and interracial and ecumenical education. In 1965, she organized and became the director of the YWCA’s Center for Racial Justice, and she held that position until retiring from the YWCA board in 1975.

Dr. Height became national president of the Delta Sigma Theta sorority in 1947 holding that position until 1957 when she became the fourth president of the National Council of Negro Women. She was a visiting professor at the Delhi School of Social Work in India, and she directed studies around the world on issues involving human rights.

During the turmoil of the civil rights struggles in the 1960’s, Dr. Height helped orchestrate strategies with major civil rights leaders including the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., Roy Wilkins, A. Philip Randolph, Whitney Young, James Farmer, Bayard Rustin and John Lewis. She later served as a Democratic member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Georgia. Congressman John Lewis said when Dr. Height announced her retirement as president of the National Council of Negro Women – “At every major effort for progressive social change, Dorothy Height has been there.” She was also energetic in her efforts to overcome gender bias, and much of that work predated the women’s rights movement.

Dr. Height was the most influential woman at the top levels of civil rights leadership, but she never drew the major media attention that conferred celebrity and instant recognition on some of the other civil rights leaders of her time. In August 1963, Dr. Height was on the platform with King when he delivered his “I have a dream” speech at the Lincoln Memorial. Less than a month later, at King’s request, she went to Birmingham, Ala. to minister to the families of four black girls who had died in a church bombing linked to the racial strife that had engulfed the city.

In 1995, Dr. Height was among the few women to speak at the Million Man March on the Mall led by Louis Farrakhan, the chief minister of the Nation of Islam. “I am here because you are here,” she declared. Two years later, at 85, she sat at the podium all day in the whipping wind and chill rain at the Million Woman March in Philadelphia.

She would often remark, “Stop worrying about whose name gets in the paper and start doing something about rats, and day care and low wages. . . . We must try to take our task more seriously and ourselves more lightly.” She also famously said, “If the times aren’t ripe, you have to ripen the times.” It was important to dress well she said, “I came up at a time when young women wore hats, and they wore gloves. Too many people in my generation fought for the right for us to be dressed up and not put down.”

“She was a dynamic woman with a resilient spirit, who was a role model for women and men of all faiths, races, and perspectives. For her, it wasn’t about the many years of her life, but what she did with them,” said former U.S. Secretary of Labor Alexis M. Herman. Dr. Height is a national treasure who lived life abundantly and for the abundance of others. She will be greatly missed, not only by those of us who knew her well but by the countless beneficiaries of her enduring legacy.

In my novel “Just a Season,” I talked about the “Dash” that will be placed on our final marker between the years of one’s birth and death that will represent the whole of a person’s life. I said that to say, this tiny little dash on Dr. Height’s marker will not adequately give enough credit for her outstanding life’s work. It should have an inscription that says – “Servant of God, Well Done.” And that’s my Thought Provoking Perspective…


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