Category Archives: slavery

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…


Why Do We Celebrate America

What To The Slave Is The 4th Of July?
Independence Day Speech at Rochester, 1852

Frederick Douglass (A former slave himself, he became a leader in the 19th Century Abolitionist Movement) This speech courtesy of The Freeman Institute™.

fd1Fellow citizens, pardon me, allow me to ask, why am I called upon to speak here today? What have I, or those I represent, to do with your national independence? Are the great principles of political freedom and of natural justice, embodied in that Declaration of Independence, extended to us? and am I, therefore, called upon to bring our humble offering to the national altar, and to confess the benefits and express devout gratitude for the blessings resulting from your independence to us?

Would to God, both for your sakes and ours, that an affirmative answer could be truthfully returned to these questions! Then would my task be light, and my burden easy and delightful. For who is there so cold that a nation’s sympathy could not warm him? Who so obdurate and dead to the claims of gratitude that would not thankfully acknowledge such priceless benefits? Who so stolid and selfish that would not give his voice to swell the hallelujahs of a nation’s jubilee, when the chains of servitude had been torn from his limbs? I am not that man. In a case like that the dumb might eloquently speak and the “lame man leap as an hart.”

But such is not the state of the case. I say it with a sad sense of the disparity between us. am not included within the pale of this glorious anniversary! Your high independence only reveals the immeasurable distance between us. The blessings in which you, this day, rejoice are not enjoyed in common. The rich inheritance of justice, liberty, prosperity, and independence bequeathed by your fathers is shared by you, not by me. The sunlight that brought light and healing to you has brought stripes and death to me. This Fourth of July is yours, not mine.

You may rejoice, I must mourn. To drag a man in fetters into the grand illuminated temple of liberty, and call upon him to join you in joyous anthems, were inhuman mockery and sacrilegious irony. Do you mean, citizens, to mock me by asking me to speak today? If so, there is a parallel to your conduct. And let me warn that it is dangerous to copy the example of nation whose crimes, towering up to heaven, were thrown down by the breath of the Almighty, burying that nation in irrevocable ruin! I can today take up the plaintive lament of a peeled and woe-smitten people.

“By the rivers of Babylon, there we sat down. Yea! We wept when we remembered Zion. We hanged our harps upon the willows in the midst thereof. For there, they that carried us away captive, required of us a song; and they who wasted us required of us mirth, saying, Sing us one of the songs of Zion. How can we sing the Lord’s song in a strange land? If I forget thee, O Jerusalem, let my right hand forget her cunning. If do not remember thee, let my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth.”

Fellow citizens, above your national, tumultuous joy, I hear the mournful wail of millions! Whose chains, heavy and grievous yesterday, are, today, rendered more intolerable by the jubilee shouts that reach them. If I do forget, if I do not faithfully remember those bleeding children of sorry this day, “may my right hand cleave to the roof of my mouth”! To forget them, to pass lightly over their wrongs, and to chime in with the popular theme would be treason most scandalous and shocking, and would make me a reproach before God and the world.

My subject, then, fellow citizens, is American slavery. I shall see this day and its popular characteristics from the slave’s point of view. Standing there identified with the American bondman, making his wrongs mine. I do not hesitate to declare with all my soul that the character and conduct of this nation never looked blacker to me than on this Fourth of July! Whether we turn to the declarations of the past or to the professions of the present, the conduct of the nation seems equally hideous and revolting.

America is false to the past, false to the present, and solemnly binds herself to be false to the future. Standing with God and the crushed and bleeding slave on this occasion, I will, in the name of humanity which is outraged, in the name of liberty which is fettered, in the name of the Constitution and the Bible which are disregarded and trampled upon, dare to call in question and to denounce, with all the emphasis I can command, everything that serves to perpetuate slavery-the great sin and shame of America! “I will not equivocate, I will not excuse”; I will use the severest language I can command; and yet not one word shall escape me that any man, whose judgment is not blinded by prejudice, shall not confess to be right and just….

For the present, it is enough to affirm the equal manhood of the Negro race. Is it not as astonishing that, while we are plowing, planting, and reaping, using all kinds of mechanical tools, erecting houses, constructing bridges, building ships, working in metals of brass, iron, copper, and secretaries, having among us lawyers doctors, ministers, poets, authors, editors, orators, and teachers; and that, while we are engaged in all manner of enterprises common to other men, digging gold in California, capturing the whale in the Pacific, feeding sheep and cattle on the hillside, living, moving, acting, thinking, planning, living in families as husbands, wives, and children, and above all, confessing and worshiping the Christian’s God, and looking hopefully for life and immortality beyond the grave, we are called upon to prove that we are men!…

“What To The Slave Is The 4th Of July?” And Thanks my Thought Provoking Perspective…


Fourth Of July: Independence For Who

On this date, the 4th of July, America, white folk, got independence and wrote a document they called the Declaration of Independence in a nation that is as divided now as it was then on just about every level for every group but the Europeans. When revisiting our history, it reminds us how far we’ve not come. Please remember that 240 years ago slavery was the law of the land with all or just about all of the so-called founding fathers owned human beings as chattel. I guess you could say that this speaks to the character of these men.

The idea of Independence Day, commonly known as the 4th of July and a national holiday, which America commemorates the adoption of the Declaration of Independence declaring its independence from England. As was suggested at the time, Independence Day is commonly associated with fireworks, parades, barbecues, carnivals, fairs, picnics, concerts, family gatherings, political speeches and ceremonies. Oh, and lots of flag waving!

It was during the Revolution, the legal separation of the Thirteen Colonies from Great Britain on July 2, 1776. The Second Continental Congress voted to approve a resolution of independence declaring the United States independent from Great Britain. Thomas Jefferson the principal author of the document that Congress debated and revised the wording and finally approving it on July 4.

Historians have long disputed whether Congress actually signed the Declaration of Independence on July 4, even though Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, and Benjamin Franklin all later wrote that they had signed it on that day. Most historians have concluded that the Declaration was signed nearly a month after its adoption, on August 2, 1776, and not on July 4 as is commonly believed.

As we all know these famous words taken from the document: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” This makes one wonder what men they were talking about because by owning other men they surely did not consider black people.

Although this is a glorious day, there actually was not anything close to independence for most of the populous. Now, I like a good party as much as anyone, but this was not a party designed for anyone of color. In fact, I am positive that my ancestors who made that long captive journey in the belly of the beast across the Atlantic as a day of independence.

It is worth mentioning that not all the colonialists were keen on this whole independence thing either and by some accounts about a half-million were Loyalists to the British crown, and hung on to their royal connections. Now the author’s of His-Story, which is written by the victory, left out much of what really happened.

I will close with what is a remarkable coincidence, both John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, the only signers of the Declaration of Independence later to serve as Presidents, died on the same day: July 4, 1826, which was the 50th anniversary of the Declaration. Just a little piece of history another so-called Founding Father, who became a President James Monroe, died on July 4, 1831, thus becoming the third president in a row who died on this memorable day.

In spite of the fact that black people have never got equal treatment or thing they call liberty, then and now; what is it we have to celebrate! So enjoy the party’s and celebrate just being 3/4th human. And that’s my Thought Provoking Perspective…


Christianity Began With The Council Of Nicaea

th (11)It is well known, possibly a fact, that Black people are the most religious people on the Planet. They will out Pope the Pope! They have given more and gotten less for their devotion than any other people, yet most still believe in that which was created by Europeans – if you don’t know the code, it means white folk! Why because there is a lot of money in the name Jesus Christ.

The believers of the Christian faith are so devoted that most can’t see what’s in front of their faces. Interestingly enough, the Christian practice and the faith was imposed upon black people was stolen from the African culture, and some time under direst! I might add two things here: Jesus was not a Christian in his life, and there was no word G-O-D in any African language before the coming of Europeans. Also, the letter “J” used to spell Jesus did not exist until the 1600s.

A friend, a good Christian woman or as she claimed, tried to convince me as most Christians do to believe what she believes or perhaps tried to convert me to HER GOD. For whatever reason, she thought she was the only person who believes in the Almighty. The conversation started because she was preaching verses from the King James version of the Bible along with other falsehoods concerning Christianity. Being that I love history and know it, she made a huge mistake!

The discussion got heated, from her point of view, when I told her that King James was the King of England and lived around 1600. He commissioned his people to have his version of the Bible written, which is what she reads. She did not know that King James was a diabolical ruler, a homosexual, and actually killed his own mother. I ask her a question that every Christian should know. For example, I asked if she knew anything about the conference held in Nicaea. This staunchly religious woman had no knowledge of either, yet she claims to preach the “Word.” So I thought I would give her the history of Christianity, which, by the way, is very different from faith.

First, Jesus was not a Christian while he was alive, and it did not become a religion for many years after his death. From that point, I moved to the Council of Nicaea, which took place more than three hundred years after Jesus lived in 325 A.D. This historic meeting, by order of the Roman Emperor Caesar Flavius Constantine, by the way, was a murder, defined or created Christianity as we know it. Nicaea was located in Asia Minor, east of Constantinople. At the Council of Nicaea, Emperor Constantine presided over a group of church bishops and leaders with the purpose of defining the true God for all Christians and eliminating all the confusion, controversy, and contention within Christ’s church.

The Council of Nicaea affirmed the deity of Jesus Christ, painted by a European around the same time, and removed his blackness from the consciousness of the faith. There is no need to debate Jesus’ completion because, at that point in time, there were only two people in the region – Romans and Jews to which it is a fact that black people were the original Jew. At that conference, Constantine established an official definition of the Trinity – the deity of The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit under one Godhead, in three coequal and co-eternal Persons.

Constantine and this is debatable, a converted Christian, called for a council meeting to be held in Nicaea with the bishops of the Christian church to resolve escalating quarrels and controversy mounting to a bitter degree of disunity among the church leadership concerning theological issues. The failing Roman Empire, now under Constantine’s rule, could not withstand the division caused by years of hard-fought, “out of hand” arguing over doctrinal differences. He saw it not only as a threat to Christianity but as a threat to his rule.

Therefore, at the Council of Nicaea, Constantine demanded that the Christians settle their internal disagreements and become Christ-like agents who could bring new life into a troubled, beaten-down empire. Constantine felt “called,” to use his authority to help bring about the unity, peace, and love, all for which Christ stands. He and the bishops had reason to worry about the future survival of Christianity within the Roman world empire, let alone the survival of his world empire. The Council of Nicaea, led by Emperor Constantine, the main purpose was to save the Roman Empire – period! The meeting designed to settle differences control the minds of his subjects all to the glory of Christ. It is also important to note that “Christ” is not a name but a title.

The main theological issue and focus had always been about Christ or so His-Story tells us. Since the end of the Apostolic Age and beginning of the Church Age, Saints began questioning, debating, fighting, and separating over the question, “Who is the Christ?” Is He more divine than human or more human than divine? Was Jesus created, made or begotten? Being the Son of God, is He coequal and co-eternal with Father God, or less and lower in status than the Father? Is the Father the One and only True God, or are the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit the One true God? “True God of True God,” “One Being, Three Persons,” a tri-unity called “Trinity”? Jesus said, “Who do you say that I am?” (Matthew 16:15).

Once the Nicaea Council meeting was underway, Constantine demanded that the 300 bishops make a decision by majority vote answering the question – defining who Jesus Christ is. Constantine commanded the bishops create a “creed” doctrine that all of Christianity would follow and obey. This doctrine would be called the “Nicene Creed,” upheld by the Church and enforced by the Emperor.

The bishops voted to make the full deity of Christ the accepted position for the church. The Council of Nicaea voted to make the Trinity the official doctrine of the church. However, the Council of Nicaea did not invent these doctrines. Rather, it only recognized what the Bible taught, and systematized the doctrines. So it was here that Christianity as we know it was established.

The New Testament teaches that Jesus the Messiah should be worshiped and trusted, which was/is to say He is co-equally God and man. The New Testament forbids the worship of angels (Colossians 2:18; Revelation 22:8,9) but commands worship of Jesus. The Apostle Paul tells us that “in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form” (Colossians 2:9;1:19). Paul declares Jesus as Lord and the One to whom a person must pray for salvation just as one calls on Jehovah, Yahweh (Joel 2:32; Romans 10:9-13). “Jesus is God overall” (Romans 9:5), and our God and Savior (Titus 2:13). Faith in Jesus’ Deity is basic to Paul’s testimony and theology.

John’s Gospel declares Jesus the be the Divine eternal Logos, agent of creation and source of life and light (John 1:1-5,9); the “the Way, the Truth, and the Life” (John 14:6); an advocate with heavenly Father (1 John 2:1-2); sovereign (Revelation 1:5); the Rider on a white horse (Revelation 19:11-16); and the totality of the Son of God from the beginning to the end (Revelation 22:13). The author of Hebrews reveals the full deity of Jesus through His perfection as the highest priest, Melchizedek (Hebrews 1; Hebrews 7:1-3), and the full humanity (Hebrews 2). The Divine-human Savior is the Christian’s object of faith, hope, and love.

The Council of Nicaea affirmed the Apostles’ teaching of who Christ is – the One true God in Deity and Trinity with the Father and the Holy Spirit. When I shared this fact, my devoted Christian friend admitted she was not aware of this or that this is why the Catholic Church, the same church that sanctioned slavery, was to be the authority of the Word.

At the end of our conversation, I reminded my friend that King James’ twenty-eighth version of the Bible in many ways took a page out of history using the good book to solidify his reign. My point is simple: three-hundred year after Jesus lived Constantine gave us a version and sixteen-hundred years later King James did it again and not a word was written while Jesus walked the earth.

Believe whatever you wish but if you preach – know what it is you are preaching. God means “Good Orderly Direction,” and that power comes from within your spirit that produces knowledge and that knowledge coming from your soul is power! And that’s my Thought Provoking Perspective…

Read my article “Pimp’s In The Pulpit

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Did You Know: The Casual Killing Act

trumpcare2Back in the day, you know the place they mean when they say “take our country back” too; when racism was more blatant than today. The crimes of white folk against our people were so extreme that a law was required to ease their conscious for murdering black people. We know there are many crimes with one sanctioned by the Supreme Court, which ruled “there is no right that a black man has that a white man is bound to respect! Including the person’s right to life.

In 1669, an act was passed in Virginia called the casual killing Act so they could kill a black person without consequences.  The law established so that “if any slave resists his master and by the extremity of the correction should chance to die, that his death should not be a felony or punishable offense. Therefore, as history tells us we have lived through some troubling times and always in the name of God. Today, with the rise of the “alt-right” and its spiteful, vitriolic rhetoric seek to make naked racism, hatred, and misogyny acceptable again — even fashionable. Suddenly, it’s okay to hang nooses, beat up minorities, abuse women, body-slam reporters and threaten lynchings. Which the murder of unarmed black citizens is today’s equivalent.

The Casual Kill Act came into existence in October 1669 supposedly to give legal cover for the murder of slaves. Whereas the only law in force for the punishment of refractory servants resisting their master, mistress or overseer cannot be inflicted upon Negroes, nor the obstinacy of many of them by other than violent means suppressed, Be it enacted and declared by this grand assembly, if any slave resist his master (or others by his masters order correcting him) and by the extremity of the correction should chance to die, that his death shall not be considered a felony, but the master (or that other person appointed by the master to punish him) be acquitted from molestation, since it cannot be presumed that malice existed(which alone makes murder a felony) [or that anything] should induce any man to destroy his own estate.

If you were to compare the police to the slave catchers and those who run the system as overseers; you will see clearly why hardly ever does a policeman get convicted of murder for their deadly acts that result in murder. From this horrible act comes all of the murders, lynchings, rapes, and crimes inflicted by the people of the other hue with impunity! So to make sense of these continued kills – they have been given license to do so by law!

The murder and elimination of black people are built into the system – as they have tried to destroy and eliminate black people since that day in 1619 when they dragged us onto the shores of this evil place they called “merica”! And that’s my thought provoking perspective…


Remember Juneteenth: A Day Of Celebration

Celebrate Juneteeth and Father’s DayJuneteenth is the oldest known celebration that commemorates the end of slavery in the United States. This celebration dates back to 1865 June 19th that the Union soldiers, led by Major General Gordon Granger, landed at Galveston, Texas with news that the war had ended and that those enslaved were now free. Note that this was two and a half years after President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation – which became official January 1, 1863.

The Emancipation Proclamation had little impact on the Texans due to the minimal number of Union troops to enforce the new Executive Order. However, with the surrender of General Lee in April of 1865, and the arrival of General Granger’s regiment, the forces were finally strong enough to influence and overcome the resistance. Later attempts to explain this two and a half year delay in the receipt of this important news have yielded several versions that have been handed down through the years.

The story that is often told is of a messenger who was murdered on his way to Texas with the news of freedom. Another story is that the news was deliberately withheld by the enslavers to maintain the labor force on the plantations. Then there is yet another story that federal troops actually waited for the slave owners to reap the benefits of one last cotton harvest before going to Texas to enforce the Emancipation Proclamation. All of which, or neither of these version could be true. Certainly, for some, President Lincoln’s authority over the rebellious states was in question. Regardless, the conditions in Texas remained status quo well beyond what was statutory.

One of General Granger’s first orders of business was to read to the people of Texas, General Order Number 3 which began most significantly with:

“The people of Texas are informed that in accordance with a Proclamation from the Executive of the United States, all slaves are free. This involves an absolute equality of rights and rights of property between former masters and slaves, and the connection heretofore existing between them becomes that between employer and free laborer.”

The reactions to this profound news ranged from pure shock to immediate jubilation. While many lingered to learn of this new employer to employee relationship, many left before these offers were completely off the lips of their former ‘masters’ – attesting to the varying conditions on the plantations and the realization of freedom. Even with nowhere to go, many felt that leaving the plantation would be their first grasp of freedom.

North was a logical destination and for many it represented true freedom, while the desire to reach family members in neighboring states drove the some into Louisiana, Arkansas and Oklahoma. Settling into these new areas as free men and women brought on new realities and the challenges of establishing a heretofore non-existent status for black people in America. Recounting the memories of that great day in June of 1865 and its festivities would serve as motivation as well as a release from the growing pressures encountered in their new territory. The celebration of June 19th was coined “Juneteenth” and grew with more participation from descendants.

The Juneteenth celebration was a time for reassuring each other, for praying and for gathering remaining family members. Juneteenth continued to be highly revered in Texas decades later, with many former slaves and descendants making an annual pilgrimage back to Galveston on this date. A range of activities were provided to entertain the masses, many of which continue in tradition today. Juneteenth almost always focused on education and self-improvement. Thus, often guest speakers are brought in, and the elders are called upon to recount the events of the past. Prayer services were also a major part of these celebrations.

Dress was also an important element in early Juneteenth customs and is often still taken seriously, particularly by the direct descendants who can make the connection to this tradition’s roots. During slavery, there were laws on the books in many areas that prohibited or limited the dressing of the enslaved. During the initial days of the emancipation celebrations, there are accounts of former slaves tossing their ragged garments into the creeks and rivers to adorn clothing taken from the plantations belonging to their former ‘masters’.

Economic and cultural forces provided for a decline in Juneteenth activities and participants beginning in the early 1900’s. Classroom and textbook education in lieu of traditional home and family taught practices stifled the interest of the youth due to less emphasis and detail on the activities of former slaves. Classroom textbooks proclaimed Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation of January 1, 1863, as the date signaling the ending of slavery – and little or nothing on the impact of General Granger’s arrival on June 19th.

The Civil Rights movement of the 50’s and 60’s yielded both positive and negative results for the Juneteenth celebrations. While it pulled many of the African American youth away and into the struggle for racial equality, many linked these struggles to the historical struggles of their ancestors. This was evidenced by student demonstrators involved in the Atlanta civil rights campaign in the early 1960’s, whom wore Juneteenth freedom buttons. Again in 1968, Juneteenth received another strong resurgence through Poor Peoples March to Washington D.C. Rev. Ralph Abernathy’s call for people of all races, creeds, economic levels and professions to come to Washington to show support for the poor.

The future of Juneteenth looks bright as the number of cities and states creating Juneteenth committees continues to increase. Respect and appreciation for all of our differences grow out of exposure and working together. Getting involved and supporting Juneteenth celebrations creates new bonds of friendship and understanding among us. This indeed, brightens our future – and that is the Spirit of Juneteenth. And that’s my thought provoking perspective…

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Remembering: Fannie Lou Hamer

1Fannie Lou Hamer was one of the most courageous civil rights activist who was famous for saying she was sick and tired of the condition of black people, stood up and took a stand. She used a passionate depiction of her own suffering in a racist society helped focus attention on the plight of African Americans throughout the South. While working with the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) in 1964; Hamer helped organize the 1964 Freedom Summer African American voter registration drive in her native Mississippi.

Born Fannie Lou Townsend on October 6, 1917 in Montgomery County, Mississippi the daughter of sharecroppers, Hamer began working the fields at an early age. Her family struggled financially, and often went hungry. In the summer of 1962, she made a life-changing decision to attend a protest meeting. She met civil rights activists there who were there to encourage African Americans to register to vote.

Hamer became active in helping with the voter registration efforts, which few in Mississippi were brave enough to do. Hamer dedicated her life to the fight for civil rights, working for the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) after going involved with the struggle. This organization was comprised mostly of African American students who engaged in acts of civil disobedience to fight racial segregation and injustice in the South. These acts often were met with violent responses by angry whites.

At the Democratic National Convention later that year, she was part of the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party, an integrated group of activists who openly challenged the legality of Mississippi’s all-white, segregated delegation. For her devotion and commitment she paid a heavy price. She was beaten within an inch of her life. So brutally that it took months for her to recover but she never gave up the fight.

During the course of her activist career, Hamer was threatened, arrested, beaten, and shot at but none of these things deterred her from her work. In 1964, Hamer helped found the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party, which was established in opposition to the state’s all-white delegation to that year’s Democratic convention. She brought the civil rights struggle in Mississippi to the attention of the entire nation during a televised session at the convention.

The next year, Hamer ran for Congress in Mississippi but was unsuccessful in her bid. Along with her political activism, Hamer worked to help the poor and families in need in her Mississippi community. She also set up organizations to increase business opportunities for minorities and to provide childcare and other family services.

Hamer died of cancer on March 14, 1977 from cancer. The encryption on her tombstone denotes her famous quote, “I am sick and tired of being sick and tired.” I’ll ask, when will this statement impact your life, whereas you will affect change. Mrs. Hamer put her life on the line for freedom. The next time you look in the mirror, ask yourself – WOULD YOU? And that’s my Thought Provoking Perspective…

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