Commemorating Malcolm X In His Own Words

226I am one who believes that Malcolm X, also known as El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz, was the greatest black man of our time. I was old enough to live and witness Brother Malcolm’s life. Today, everybody loves Malcolm, and rightfully so, but while he lived most people, black people included ran from him and his words like he was a blazing fire. I submit that most don’t know Malcolm or understand the sacrifices he made to open the eyes of his people.

I am proud to say, he was my hero and honored to have been enlightened by him. Therefore, the best way I could honor him on the day of his birth is to share some of the words he spoke, and I hope it will touch the souls of some and open your eyes.

A man who stands for nothing will fall for anything.

You can’t separate peace from freedom because no one can be at peace unless he has his freedom.

Change Is Only a Good Thing If You Change in a Good Way.

You don’t have to be a man to fight for freedom. All you have to do is to be an intelligent human being.

You’re not supposed to be so blind with patriotism that you can’t face reality. Wrong is wrong, no matter who says it.

Nonviolence is fine as long as it works.

I believe in the brotherhood of man, all men, but I don’t believe in brotherhood with anybody who doesn’t want brotherhood with me. I believe in treating people right, but I’m not going to waste my time trying to treat somebody right who doesn’t know how to return the treatment.

Speaking like this doesn’t mean that we’re anti-white, but it does mean we’re anti-exploitation, we’re anti-degradation, we’re anti-oppression.

Without education, you’re not going anywhere in this world.

Usually when people are sad, they don’t do anything. They just cry over their condition. But when they get angry, they bring about a change.

If violence is wrong in America, violence is wrong abroad. If it is wrong to be violent defending black women and black children and black babies and black men, then it is wrong for America to draft us, and make us violent abroad in defense of her. And if it is right for America to draft us, and teach us how to be violent in defense of her, then it is right for you and me to do whatever is necessary to defend our own people right here in this country.

Wrong is wrong, no matter who does it or who says it.

I believe in human beings, and that all human beings should be respected as such, regardless of their color.

Nobody can give you freedom. Nobody can give you equality or justice or anything. If you’re a man, you take it.

I believe in a religion that believes in freedom. Anytime I have to accept a religion that won’t let me fight a battle for my people, I say to hell with that religion.

The only way we’ll get freedom for ourselves is to identify ourselves with every oppressed people in the world. We are blood brothers to the people of Brazil, Venezuela, Haiti, Cuba — yes Cuba too.

You show me a capitalist, and I’ll show you a bloodsucker.

It’s just like when you’ve got some coffee that’s too black, which means it’s too strong. What do you do? You integrate it with cream, you make it weak. But if you pour too much cream in it, you won’t even know you ever had coffee. It used to be hot, it becomes cool. It used to be strong, it becomes weak. It used to wake you up, now it puts you to sleep.

In all our deeds, the proper value and respect for time determines success or failure.

My alma mater was books, a good library. I could spend the rest of my life reading, just satisfying my curiosity.

If you’re not ready to die for it, put the word freedom out of your vocabulary.

We do not condemn the preachers as an individual but we condemn what they teach. We urge that the preachers teach the truth, to teach our people the one important guiding rule of conduct — unity of purpose.

We declare our right on this earth to be a human being, to be respected as a human being, to be given the rights of a human being in this society, on this earth, in this day, which we intend to bring into existence by any means necessary.

When a person places the proper value on freedom, there is nothing under the sun that he will not do to acquire that freedom. Whenever you hear a man saying he wants freedom, but in the next breath he is going to tell you what he won’t do to get it, or what he doesn’t believe in doing in order to get it, he doesn’t believe in freedom. A man who believes in freedom will do anything under the sun to acquire… or preserve his freedom.

Power never takes a step back except in the face of more power.

Sitting at the table doesn’t make you a diner, unless you eat some of what’s on that plate. Being here in America doesn’t make you an American. Being born here in America doesn’t make you an American.

It is impossible for capitalism to survive, primarily because the system of capitalism needs some blood to suck. Capitalism used to be like an eagle, but now it’s more like a vulture. It used to be strong enough to go and suck anybody’s blood whether they were strong or not. But now it has become more cowardly, like the vulture, and it can only suck the blood of the helpless. As the nations of the world free themselves, the capitalism has less victims, less to suck, and it becomes weaker and weaker. It’s only a matter of time in my opinion before it will collapse completely.

Thank you for your life and wisdom. Maybe Brother Malcolm was right to call those people Devils! And that’s my thought provoking perspective…


BOYCOTT NOW!!!

1000History proves the actions of white folk are nefarious at best and amoral at worst! Nonetheless, Black people continue to pray, beg, and march for something that is basically as simple as being allowed to have the same rights as the so-called Constitution professes. This is really a big thing since it has not happened since the African was dragged onto the shores of America in chains nearly four-hundred years ago. Franking with this new regime is putting black people in concentration camps out of the question or slavery?

The entire world knows the history and condition of the black struggle, their long-standing grievances, fight for equality, and the many attempts to obtain basic human rights. The descendants of Africa have suffered greatly, which is no secret. Black people still, by enlarge, continue to hold onto this idea that one day “Jesus” is coming back to save them. People he is not coming back!

With the evolution of “black lives matter” and the so-called conscious movement, black people still practice what is defined as insanity – “Doing the same thing, expecting a different result”. Which I might add, doing this for hundreds of year and have not realized that the strategy of marching in protest does not accomplish anything. Sure, a march is good press for some of these “chicken pickin” Uncle Tom’s or sell-outs doing the bidding of white folk, which is to remain peaceful and keep you passive. I think you know I’m right because anyone whose aim is or was uplifting or making progress to achieve results were killed.

Of late we hear a lot of talk about putting black dollars in black banks – great idea but how many black people do it? I also believe that two of the most painful realities resulting from the civil rights movement was that black people were no longer Negro (i.e. black) and were told we were now a called a minority. Second, integration destroyed black businesses and destroyed the black parallel economy. If we were to respect the movement, we should do so by doing what Dr. King taught us and remember that the Montgomery boycott crippled the city of Birmingham! The only thing that hurts and causing white supremacy is to take away dollars!

We often hear the overused term revolution, which I believe has to be taken to result in any meaningful end. However, I believe a boycott on mass is the only way to obtain the meaningful end – redirect where and how you spend your dollars!

The fact is; it’s been a few hundred years since we’ve seen a Nat Turner or Gabriel Prosser! We have had prophets, among us to teach us how to overcome the wicked system of racism, but most did not listen. Elijah Muhammad and Malcolm X told us how to build a nation. DuBois and Garvey told us how to sustain a nation through education and economics.

However, it was Martin who showed black people how to get results in this grossly unfair system of injustice. Slavery was supposed to have ended in 1865. However, nothing meaningful happened until black people boycotted the Montgomery Transit System that made a major step in ending Jim Crow and segregation. Thanks to the courage and tenacity of Mrs. Rosa Parks. So the tactic of boycotting has been proven to work.

If you say you are conscious-minded a boycott is the only thing proven to work. Money is the only thing they understand – take it away from them; white folk and their businesses – KEEP YOUR MONEY and not buys or buy black. Make a commitment to not buy from their business or fund their enterprises.

I can assure you respect will then be afforded to the most disenfranchised community. Black people spend a trillion dollars a year with none of it staying in our communities. Let me put this in a way that anyone can understand; you can scream, riot, and march all you want but if you take away the money you will get results.

It is time to do the smart thing and boycott, stop spending, and taking away the money is the only way to get “their” attention. Unless and until black people realize that the only way to get equality and justice is to implement an economic boycott. Black people will be slaves forever! And that’s my thought provoking perspective…


Happy Birthday Smokey Robinson: A Musical Genius

16266194_1576646812351280_7451924563813283492_nThe prolific singer-songwriter William “Smokey” Robinson, Jr. is the most  prolific entertainer of our lifetime. A thousand years from now you will hear Smokey’s music. To prove my point, “My Girl” first recorded by the Temptations is timeless, and the recording sounds as fresh today as it did in 1965. Smokey is also a record producer, former record executive, and one of the founders of the music label that changed the world – Motown.

Robinson is most notable for being a songwriter, sure, but he was also the founder and front man of The Miracles, for which he also served as the group’s chief songwriter and producer. Robinson led the group from its 1955 origins as The Five Chimes until 1972 when he announced retirement from the stage to focus on his role as Motown’s vice president.

Smokey was born in Detroit and raised in the city’s North End section. At one point, he and Diana Ross were next-door neighbors, which he had known since she was eight. He later told reporters when he was a child; his uncle christened him “Smokey Joe”, which he assumed was a “cowboy name for me” until he was later told that Smokey was a pejorative term for dark-skinned blacks. He once said that he remembers his uncle saying to him, “I’m doing this so you won’t ever forget that you’re black.”

In August 1958, Robinson met songwriter Berry Gordy, who had recently stopped writing songs for Jackie Wilson after getting into a royalty dispute with Wilson’s label. Gordy took an interest in Smokey and his group to which Gordy was more impressed at the fact that Robinson was a writer than as a singer. Gordy agreed to work with them and with his help the Matadors released their first single. Following this, the group changed its name to The Miracles after Claudette Rogers replaced Emerson Rogers.

After a number of failures and difficulties with money, Smokey suggested to Gordy that he start his own label, which Gordy agreed. Following the forming of Tamla Records, later reincorporated as Motown, the Miracles became one of the first acts signed to the label. In late 1960, the group recorded their first hit single, “Shop Around”, which became Motown’s first million-selling single. Between 1960 and 1970, Smokey would produce 26 top forty hits with the Miracles.

By 1969, Robinson had voiced his opinion on wanting to retire from the road to focus on raising a family with wife Claudette and their two children, and to focus on his duties as Motown’s Vice President. However, the late success of the group’s track, “Tears of a Clown”, caused Robinson to stay with the group until 1972. Robinson’s last performance with the group was on July 1972 in Washington DC.

After a year of retirement, Smokey announced his comeback with the release of the album titled “Smokey” in 1973. The album included the Miracles tribute song, “Sweet Harmony” and the hit ballad “Baby Come Close”. That same year, former Beatle George featured the track “Pure Smokey” as a tribute to his idol. In 1974, Robinson’s second album, Pure Smokey was released but failed to produce hits.

Robinson answered his critics the following year with A Quiet Storm, released in 1975. The album launched three singles – the number-one R&B hit “Baby That’s Backatcha”, “The Agony & The Ecstasy” and “Quiet Storm”. With his nearly sixty years in the music industry, he is still one of the most respected and gifted musicians to grace the stage or play the game.

Try to imagine, what the world would be like if we had never been blessed with the legend known by the name – “Smokey” – we love you and thank you for paving the way. God Bless you and that is my Thought Provoking Perspective…

 


Black History: These Brave Courageous Men

16266194_1576646812351280_7451924563813283492_nIn the 1960s, there was a group of courageous black men from the communities of the southern states called the Deacons for Defense and Justice. It was an armed organization practicing self-defense methods in the face of racist oppression carried out under the Jim Crow Laws by local/state government officials and racist vigilantes. I remember this group of brave black men but because of their stance the Deacons are not written about or cited in the history book or by the Civil Rights leadership.

Their agenda of self-defense of the community did not fit the image of strict non-violence that leaders such as Dr. King espoused. The Deacons are a segment of the larger tradition of the Black Power movement a tradition dating back to slavery when Africans were chattel slaves to continue the fight for freedom. This refers to the idea that the traditional ideas and values of the Civil Rights Movement placated to the emotions and feelings of White liberal supporters rather than Black Americans, who had to live consistently with the racism and other acts of violence that were shown towards them.

Stokley Carmichael defines Black Power as: “The goal of black self-determination and black self-identity, Black Power, is full participation in the decision-making processes affecting the lives of black people and recognition of the virtues in themselves as black people… Those of us who advocate Black Power are quite clear in our own minds that a ‘non-violent’ approach to civil rights is an approach black people cannot afford, and a luxury white people do not deserve.”

The Deacons were a driving force of Black Power that Stokely Carmichael echoed. Carmichael speaks about the Deacons when he writes, “Here is a group which realized that the ‘law’ and law enforcement agencies would not protect people, so they had to do it themselves…The Deacons and all other blacks who resort to self-defense represent a simple answer to a simple question: what man would not defend his family and home from attack?” The Deacons, according to Carmichael and others were the protection that the Civil Rights needed on local levels, as well as, the ones who intervened in places that the state and federal government fell short.

The Deacons were not the first champions of armed defense during the Civil Rights Movement. Many activists and other proponents of non-violence protected themselves with guns. Fannie Lou Hamer, the eloquently blunt Mississippi militant who outraged LBJ at the 1964 Democratic Convention, confessed that she kept several loaded guns under her bed. Even Martin Luther King Jr., an icon of nonviolence, employed armed bodyguards and had guns in his house during the early stages of the Montgomery Bus Boycott.

In many areas of the “Deep South,” the federal and state governments had no control of local authorities and groups that did not want to follow the laws enacted. One such group, the KKK, is the most widely known organization that openly practiced acts of violence and segregation based on race. As part of their strategy to intimidate this community Negroes, the Ku Klux Klan initiated a “campaign of terror” that included harassment, the burning of crosses on the lawns of African-American voters, the destruction by fire of five churches, a Masonic Hall, a Baptist center, and murder.

Therefore, the Negro community felt it was crucial to have its own protection to curb this terrorism given the lack of support and protection by State and Federal authorities. Enter Earnest “Chilly Willy” Thomas and Frederick Kirkpatrick, founders of the Deacons of Defense in November 1964 to protect civil rights workers, their communities and their families against the Klan. Most of the Deacons were war veterans with combat experience from the Korean War and World War II.

There are many accounts of how the group’s name came about, but according to Lance Hill the most plausible explanation is: “the name was a portmanteau that evolved over a period of time, combining the CORE staff’s first appellation of ‘deacons’ with the tentative name chosen in November 1964: ‘Justice and Defense Club.’ By January 1965, the group had arrived at its permanent name, ‘Deacons for Defense and Justice.’” The organization wanted to maintain a level of respectability and identify with traditionally accepted symbols of peace and moral values portraying the organization as an innocent church group….”

Scholar Akinyele O. Umoja speaks about the group’s effort more specifically. According to Umoja, it was the urging of Stokely Carmichael that the Deacons were to be used as security for many marches and protection of many civil rights leaders. The Deacons had a relationship with nearly all civil rights groups working in the south that advocated and practiced non-violence. The willingness of the Deacons to provide low-key armed guards facilitated the ability of groups such as the CORE, SNCC, and NAACP to stay, at least formally, within their own parameters of non-violence.

An example of the need for self-defense to enable substantial change in the Deep South took place in early 1965. Black students picketing the local high school were confronted by hostile police and fire trucks with hoses. A car of four Deacons emerged and in view of the police, calmly loaded their shotguns. The police ordered the fire truck to withdraw.

This was the first time in the 20th century, as Lance Hill observes, “an armed black organization had successfully used weapons to defend a lawful protest against an attack by law enforcement.” Hill gives as another example: “In Jonesboro, the Deacons made history when they compelled Louisiana Governor John McKeithen to intervene in the city’s civil rights crisis and require a compromise with city leaders — the first capitulation to the civil rights movement by a Deep South governor.”

Roy Innis has said the Deacons “forced the Klan to re-evaluate their actions and often change their undergarments.” With the shift to Northern Black plight and the idea of Black Power emerging in major cities across America. The Deacons became yesterday’s news and organizations such as The Black Panther Party gained notoriety and became the publicized militant Black organization. However, let us not forget the impact of being the precursors and the empowerment of our people. And that’s my thought provoking perspective…

Deacons Of Defense


Black History: The Niagara Movement

16266194_1576646812351280_7451924563813283492_nI am one who is critical of most of the black so-called civil rights organizations. Mainly because they are funded by white people and dare, I say if you “follow the money you will get the answer” “he who has the gold makes the rules.” In the case of the NAAP, the fact of the matter is that it was formed by ‘White’ people for the purpose of advancing the economic interests of Jewish people in the United States.

In the beginning, Ida B. Wells was one of the original members, but when she began advocating for ‘Black’ people’s interests, they removed her from the organization. The only other black member was DuBois, who stayed for a short time, but eventually left. In more than one hundred years nothing much has changed. They still put a black face out there that can do nothing but grin!

The association’s charter delineated its mission:

To promote equality of rights and to eradicate caste or race prejudice among the citizens of the United States; to advance the interest of colored citizens; to secure for them impartial suffrage; and to increase their opportunities for securing justice in the courts, education for the children, employment according to their ability and complete equality before law.

In 1905, a group of thirty-two prominent African American leaders met to discuss the challenges facing people of color and possible strategies and solutions. They were expressly concerned by the disenfranchisement of Negro’s in the Southern states, particularly because of Mississippi’s passage of a new constitution in 1890. Also, in the early 1900s legislatures dominated by white Democrats ratified new constitutions and laws creating barriers to voter registration and more complex election rules. Black voter registration and turnout dropped markedly in the South; as a result.

Because hotels in the U.S. were segregated, the men convened in Canada at the Erie Beach Hotel on the Canadian side of the Niagara River in Fort Erie, Ontario. As a result, the group came to be known as the Niagara Movement. A year later, three whites joined the group: journalist William E. Walling, social worker Mary White Ovington, and social worker Henry Moskowitz. They met in 1906 at Harper Ferry, West Virginia, and in 1907 in Boston Massachusetts.

The fledgling group struggled for a time with limited resources and internal conflict and disbanded in 1910. Seven of the members of the Niagara Movement joined the Board of Directors of the NAACP, founded in 1909. Although both organizations shared membership and overlapped for a time, the Niagara Movement was a separate organization. Historically it is considered to have had a more radical platform than the NAACP. The Niagara Movement was formed exclusively by African Americans.

This conference resulted in a more influential and diverse organization, where the leadership was predominantly white, and most of whom were Jewish American. In fact, at its founding, the NAACP had only one African American on its executive board – Du Bois. It did not elect a black president until 1975, although executive directors had been African American. The Jewish community contributed greatly to the NAACP’s founding and continued financing. Jewish historian Howard Sachar writes in his book A History of Jews in America; “In 1914, Professor Emeritus Joel Spingarn of Columbia University became chairman of the NAACP and recruited for its board the early Jewish-American co-founders and members.”

According to Pbs.org, over the years, Jews have also expressed empathy (capability to share and understand another’s emotion and feelings) with the plight of Blacks. In the early 20th century, Jewish newspapers drew parallels between the Black movement out of the South and the Jews’ escape from Egypt. Pointing out that both Blacks and Jews lived in ghettos, and calling anti-Black riots in the South “pogroms.” Stressing the similarities, rather than the differences, between the Jewish and Black experience in America. Jewish leaders emphasized the idea that both groups would benefit the more America moved toward a society of merit, free of religious, ethnic and racial restrictions.”

Pbs.org further states, “The American Jewish Committee, the American Jewish Congress, and the Anti-Defamation League were central to the campaign against racial prejudice. Jews made substantial financial contributions to many civil rights organizations. About 50 percent of the civil rights attorneys in the South during the 1960s were Jews, as were over 50 percent of the Whites who went to Mississippi in 1964 to challenge Jim Crow Laws.

As a member of the Princeton chapter of the NAACP, Albert Einstein corresponded with Du Bois and in 1946; Einstein called racism “America’s worst disease.” Du Bois continued to play a pivotal role in the organization and served as editor of the association’s magazine, The Crisis, which had a circulation of over 30,000.

Moorfield Storey, who was white, was the president of the NAACP from its founding to 1915. Storey consistently and aggressively championed civil rights not only for blacks but also for Native Americans and immigrants. The board of directors of the NAACP created the Legal Defense Fund in 1939 specifically for tax purposes. It functioned as the NAACP legal department.

Intimidated by the Department of the Treasury and the Internal Revenue Service, the Legal and Educational Defense Fund, Inc., became a separate legal entity in 1957. Although, it was clear that it was to operate in accordance with NAACP policy. After 1961, serious disputes emerged between the two organizations creating considerable confusion in the eyes and minds of the public.

I am for anyone or group with the intention to benefit the dire state of the African American. However, during my research for this piece I only found a few significant achievements over its more than one hundred year history. It appears that this group is funded by whites, and it is they who guide policy in a way to silently suppress the “Negro” then and now. Think about it, if this organization was fighting for black people like the narrative implies – they would have been wiped out like all of the other groups fighting for the freedom of black people! And that’s my thought provoking perspective…


A Revolutionary Thought From The Past

They call black people lazy but this only occurred after we stopped working for free! We need to unite and seek and take action!


The Greatest Story Ever Told

462_160In thinking about the times in which we’ve lived I can say without a doubt our history ‘is the greatest story ever told’. I am always reminded of the ghosts of the greats who blazed a might trail for us to walk. Black History Month, as short as it is, should be celebrated and taught all year long! It is our responsibility. I was blessed to have had the good privilege to live during the civil rights era to witness groups and individuals fight to end racial segregation and the unequal treatment of black people, which we should never have had to fight in the first place.

Of all the things I am grateful for; is to have lived long enough to witness something ‘no one living or dead’ ever thought would happen. Which was to witness a Black Man elected to be President of these United States of America! To see him and his lovely family exhibit the style and grace representing black people in an extra exemplary way making us proud.

It would be my hope that all of us take this opportunity during Black History Month to reach one – teach one. Share the stories of our struggle with the children. I have added a few of the many significant events and some of the brave and courageous soldiers in the army that changed America or dare I say the world.

Events in the Civil Rights Movement

Solders of the Civil Rights Movement

I am reminded of Malcolm X who used to say “Make It Plain” which meant in essence to bring forth the knowledge. And that’s my Thought Provoking Perspective…


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