This is a clip from “State of the Black Union” a few years ago. What the Honorable Louis Farrakhan said then remains as relevant today as it was the day it was spoken! America has become a place for the rich not a place for the the people. Forget the politics of the man and listen careful to the message. Look to God and maybe we will overcome! And that’s my Thought Provoking Perspective…
Tag Archives: african american struggle
I’ve received many emails recently telling me that I have begun to get too political and that I should continue to empower the consciousness of those who have no real connection or understand of the greatest story ever told, which is the African American Diaspora. I received one particular email from a young lady who could not remember when we were Negroes. As a result of this surprising revelation I promised that I would re-post my Black History Month Series “The Twenty-Eight Days of Us.”
Therefore, as I promised this proud Black Woman thirsting for knowledge of self that I would provide her and you with the knowledge she seeks. But I can’t resist talking about that insanity of this political season because it is important to understand that we have, but one choice which is to not to elect the Trumpeter as our president.
What struck me by this request was a comment she made. She said, “make it plain my brother.” This was something that Brother Malcolm used to say, and I was an honor to have been connected to such a powerful statement. So I will do just that and “Make It Plain” starting with this post called “What Happened to the Black Family”!
I have seen a lot of life and at one point in a past life, I taught a college course called the Psychology of the Black Family. From time to time I go back and look through some of those old term papers from that class to which I become enthralled by the content. The assignment given to each student was to write a term paper on “The Breakdown of the African American Family.” As I read through some of the thirty or so papers, I found several very significant points and a common theme throughout the papers. I decided to capture some of the key points from those research papers to share with you.
During slavery, and from the 1800’s through the 1980’s, the concept of family was tight-knit, strongly woven, and the envy of most cultures. The African American family unit survived in spite of unimaginable cruelty and adversity. It is only recently, during the last thirty years or so that the African American family became dysfunctional and lost its direction. One has to think for some twisted reason we do not feel whole because, in many cases, we allow others define us.
I can recall a powerful statement made by one of the students who expressed that she thinks the different social pressures on black men and women have contributed to the weak traditional family structure. Black women have been able to achieve more economical and educational success than black men, leading to them being higher wage earners. This inequality has eroded black women’s reliance on men and their willingness to compromise on their needs or expectations, which in turn has led to resentment and disappointment on both sides.
Black women raise children, too often alone, and the bitterness that difficult task creates causes some women to make derogatory complaints against men in general, tainting their daughters and shaming their sons. Also, it seems that black women do not often hold their sons to as high a standard as their daughters, making them further vulnerable.
If the proper behavior is not modeled for young people, they have difficulty fulfilling those expectations. This creates the perfect ingredients for the dismal situations to occur in our community. She went on to say that a lot of that has to do with our values, and the lack of knowing the importance of loving our communities, our families, and ourselves.
These are 12 conditions expressed that continue to cause irreparable harm to black people:
1. The Vietnam War: Hundreds of thousands of strong, intelligent, hard working black men were shipped abroad to be murdered, returned home shell shocked, severely damaged, or addicted. Many of which were unable to get back on track after returning from war because the government abandoned them.
2. COINTELPRO: The covert actions of J. Edgar Hoover in the wake of the Civil Rights Era and the Black Power Movements all but insured that anyone speaking out against the governments wrong doings would receive either long prison sentences or bullets. This fear silenced our forward progression, fueling distrust, and removing many of our leaders as well as potential future leaders.
3. The Assassinations of the 1960’s: Left a huge void in leadership that has yet to be filled, particularly within the Civil Rights Movement to include within the community. Instead, a universal acceptance of the pimp/hustler image in popular culture that presented alternative heroes to black youth, which resonant in the form of Gangster Rap. This genre leads to the glorification of the criminal element amidst immature minds that lack familial structure. In addition to black on black crime and staying silent while black youth are murdered by other black youth.
4. The Feminist Movement: Backed by liberal white women to fight for the equal rights of women; the same rights most black men had yet to fully be granted. A lot of black women got lost in the rhetoric of how men were keeping them down, losing sight of the fact that black men were down there with them. To this day, the power exchange and infighting among black men and women, is sadly considered the norm, a tool enumerated by Willie Lynch.
5. Oliver North & the Contras: The volume of drugs, mainly crack cocaine that flooded the black community during the 80 to which most of the drugs came in on U.S. ships with the support of the Government. The CRACK era escalated death and incarceration rates, unwanted pregnancies, neighborhood prostitution and a culture of violence. Folks were selling their kids to hit the pipe, and selling their souls to sell what went in that pipe. This epidemic destroyed our community in ways slavery could never have done. This form of contemporary was the cruelest type of slavery imposed upon our communities.
6. Mass media brainwashing & mind control: The influences of propaganda and distorted images of beauty and male/female roles. Shows like Life Styles of the Rich and Famous, Dynasty, Different Strokes, and the Jefferson’s for example. The American conscious during the 80’s was money driven. Materialism became the idea that stuff defines you and others.
7. Education: The lack of proper education, financing support, and knowledge being taught by African American professionals. In addition our leaders and academics failed us as they fled the hood in droves for the suburbs during those crazy 80’s. Prior to this period, kids saw on a daily basis married couples that looked like them, even if they didn’t live in their households. Yet the great migration to greener pastures left a void in the community leaving it to be filled by the image of the hustler-pimp-thug, ruthlessness, and violence.
8. Communication: This speaks to education of self and listening to the wrong messengers. The communication of values – parents became unavailable to hand down family legacies, traditions and value systems. We’re like POW’s locked in the same building for 20 years, unable to converse thru cement walls confined by our persona’s, egos, insecurities, isms etc.
9. The Black Church: Many churches have lost their way. The business of religion is bankrupting our communities. Many churches are not touching the lives of those outside of the church most in need. Just like back in the day when it was the design of slave masters, who did so much wickedness to use this as a tactic by offering a bible and in most instances nothing more than pain and a promise of a better life to keep us in line. This is not the same as faith which was necessary to survive our struggles.
10. Urbanization – work and home were once connected. Parents were near their families and children understood work as a way of life. Urbanization helped create “latch key” kids and images of hard work disappeared while replacing it with material objects.
11. Social Services: The advent of the system of welfare that demanded the absence of the influence of the black man in the home. Before Claudine during the early 50’s welfare was a Midwestern farmer hook up and back then you HAD to be a complete family to apply. So the laws for welfare changed in the inner-city while many in the farm lands of Mid America started to change in culture to fit the application for welfare. For decades to follow, trillions of dollars in government spending on ineffective social programs in our cities have not by enlarge benefited the mobility of the family.
12. Segregation: Jim Crow Laws and Black Codes that prevented legal marriages, dehumanized people, and discriminatory practices in work/education left many African Americans unable to access resources necessary to build strong family bases causing disillusioned men/husbands/fathers to abandonment rather than face daily reminder of their “failure”.
It is these elements that continue to affect all black people and lastly, let us not forget slavery and the Willie Lynch Theory! So when you look in the mirror or just look at the picture I have inserted; I hope you will think about and understand that it is a designed plan, as it has been from the beginning to enslave a whole race of people. And that’s my THOUGHT PROVOKING PERSPECTIVE!
I think the trepidation of the title is appropriate in light of the circumstances of today, particularly as it relates to black people. Since the Trayvon Martin, Mick Brown, John Crawford, and Tamir Rice cases has, unbearably, consumed our consciousness they are now calling racism “bias.” All of these police killings were nothing more than new versions of lynchings, and we know from history that lynching black people is as American as apple pie.
Admittedly, we all know there is a long history of black people suffering from injustice in America. Does anyone remember the incident in “Rosewood”or Black Wall Street? By the way, Malcolm X famously said, “anywhere south of Canada is south”, which means injustice is embedded in the culture of America.
The Rosewood incident notwithstanding the countless events where black people and other people of color have come up on the short end of the long arm of the law. The police department where the Martin murder occurred has an unconsciously notorious history of abuse at the hands of the law. Before I go any further, let me state clearly that my interpretation of the police killings were nothing more than ASSASSINATIONS!
Let me go further and connect this to the age old theory of States Rights, which means in a society or at least the belief in a dynamic that those who feel entitled are now endangered species. The extreme elements then revert back to what is instilled in their consciousness that the promise of Manifest Destiny lives and embedded in their DNA.
America, today, where millions of white people out of work, a president of color, and some say outnumbered by a multi-cultural society has given rise to hate. This I would argue is a huge problem concerning the conversation of racism that has raised its ugly head in this continuous political environment. Maybe this is synonymous with what some call a cultural of whiteness with the feeling of entitlement being lost.
When we talk about race, the major problem that exits is that most of society believes it does not exist, which is the main element of white supremacy. For example, in 1963 85% of white people surveyed said black people had as much chance of receiving a good education as white children. Now, let’s look at this statistics! Brown v Board was decided in 1954 that gave us those profound words – “With all deliberate speed” but in fact it was not for 13 years that equal education showed any semblance of reality to the ruling in the form of education.
There were many whites in 1963 in the same survey that said, most whites thought everything was fine regarding race relation. They also said Dr. King was wrong to stir up the coloreds, and they were happy with their current state at the time. I will remind you that this was the same argument those who were ardent slaveholder and supporter of that immoral institution made at the time of slavery. Also, be reminded that almost all president up to Lincoln owned slaves.
So it is my contention that if the system is designed to protect the system – how can people of color who were referred to in the constitution as being less than human expect justice for all? I’ll leave you to answer this question. And that’s my Thought Provoking Perspective…
In a few days, we will be celebrating Black History Month. So the question is; what does that mean to you, us, and the world? It is an opportunity to remember the ghost of the greats who paved the way for us today. I suppose witnessing the first man of color, a black man, elected (twice) President of these United States is the most significant achievement to date.
Black people have come up from and through slavery, segregation, and to whatever they call the modern version of racism today. This is to include the brutality and wretchedness people of African descent have endured for hundreds of years; some good, but mostly despicable for a place that prides itself as the greatest nation on earth.
With that said, ?It’s been forty-eight years since the civil rights leader, icon, and dare I say martyred Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated, as he stood on the balcony of the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tennessee.There are streets named in his honor in every city across the country but in the cities where “The King” was murdered happens to be the last place to honor him with a street name. Dr. King gave so much to invoke change in a system that was nothing more than apartheid. Yet, nearly half a century later, the city of Memphis just a few years ago rename a one-mile stretch of Linden Avenue to Dr. M.L. King Jr. on the anniversary, April 4, of his brutal murder.
This prestigious honor has even taken place in foreign countries like Italy, which honored King by renaming streets after him in no less than ten cities. According to MLKStreet.com, as of two years ago, there are 893 places that have roadways memorializing King in 40 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. Not even in the entire state of Tennessee, much less in the city where King was murdered is there one street dedicated to his memory. Shocking isn’t it!!!
Journalist Jonathan Trilove in his book “Black America’s Main Streets” talks about how Dr. Martin Luther King streets serve as points of pride and struggle that speaks to black pride. Finding the most appropriate thoroughfare is often accompanied by the difficulty of convincing White folk that King’s impact and legacy is an inspirational one that provided a coalition of conscience all across the board. Former Memphis City Councilman Berlin Boyd, who helped lead the street-naming effort in Memphis said, “We never wanted to address losing Dr. King’s life here”. Maybe this is why any of the streets named in his honor are in the “hood”!
Commemorative movements are usually spearheaded by Blacks, and the renaming of streets has often been a controversial process that has been met with significant public opposition. The inscription of King’s legacy onto streets and the controversy that has surrounded it on numerous occasions has led to the placement of his name on minor streets or portions of roadways that are primarily populated by Blacks. Yet, King has a statue on the Washington Mall.
I wanted to share this thought because anytime danger appears, like protests or the possibility of a riot, his name and words are resurrected to quell unrest; while his name is never mention connected to anything progressive for the people, although he died for peace and helped people. As we remember Dr. King and others, let’s remember more than the few, rather the many who lived and died for equality and the black struggle.
Dr. King was more than the man who said, “I have a dream,” which is merely a way to reduces him for the purposes of “White guilt.” With there now being a monument and a national holiday in his honor; teach your children that he was one of many who fought the fight, lived and died to make our lives better in a system designed to protect the system – White Supremacy! And that is my Thought Provoking Perspective…
The year of our lord 2016 has arrived which comes with our new year’s resolutions. Last year was a very bad year regarding justice, civil rights, and what I would describe as a war on black people. My wish for the new year is the same prayer black people have been praying for nearly four-hundred years; STOP KILLING BLACK PEOPLE AND TREAT US FAIR.
Lately, I would like to take this opportunity to wish you and yours a Happy New Year and to express, humbly, my sincerest appreciation to all of my friends and everyone who follow’s THOUGHT PROVOKING PERSPECTIVES. This is also to include everyone who reads my words and to all who share my thoughts with others through social media platforms.
Thought Provoking Perspectives is designed to be a potent source of empowering knowledge to broaden the information base with those who share my passion for the written word.
Let me offer a personal thought:
“I firmly believe education is the single most important ingredient necessary to neutralize those forces that breed poverty and despair… You only have a minute. Sixty seconds in it. Didn’t choose it, can’t refuse it, it’s up to you to use it. It’s just a tiny little minute but an eternity in it! You can change the world but first you must change your mind.” @JohnTWills
We know about some of the horrible atrocities that have been inflected upon African Americans overtime. Of course, one of the most horrendous of them or what history has recorded as Black Wall Street that suffered the largest massacre of non-military Americans in the America’s history. The destruction of this community began Tuesday evening, June 1, 1921, when “Black Wall Street,” the most affluent all-black community in America, was bombed from the air and burned to the ground by mobs of resentful whites.
In a period spanning fewer than 12 hours, a once thriving black business district in northern Tulsa lay smoldering. A model community destroyed and a major Africa-American economic movement resoundingly defused. The night’s carnage left some 3,000 African Americans dead and over 600 successful businesses lost. Among them were 21 churches, 21 restaurants, 30 grocery stores and two movie theaters, plus a hospital, a bank, a post office, libraries, schools, law offices, a half-dozen private airplanes and even the bus system.
This historic event, you would think should be common knowledge – but not so. One would be hard-pressed to find any documentation concerning the incident, let alone an accurate accounting of it. Not in any reference or American history book documenting the worst incidents of violence ever visited upon people of African descent. This night of horror was unimaginable. Try if you will to imagine seeing 1,500 homes being burned and looted, while white families with their children standing around the borders of the community watching the massacre much in the same manner they would watch a lynching. It must have been beyond belief for the victims.
Many such events were witnessed and often enjoyed by the culprits for entertainment. I wonder if you were aware of this little known history fact: what the word “picnic” meant in America’s racial lexicon? It was typical to have a picnic on a Friday evening somewhere in America. The word was short for “pick a nigger” to lynch. They would lynch a Black male and cut off body parts as souvenirs. This went on every weekend in many parts of the country with thousands lynched in the first part of the last century.
I came across another incident that occurred in Little Rock, Arkansas in 1927. There was a racial riot that erupted over the lynching of John Carter, a black man who was the fall guy for the homicide of a 12-year old white girl named Floella McDonald. The child was found in First Presbyterian Church. Originally, the blame fell on the church janitor who found the girl along with his mixed-race son. The men were safely moved to a Texarkana jail before a mob demanded blood.
In a nearby city, a 38-year-old black man named John Carter had been accused of assaulting a white woman and her daughter. The angry white mob of 5,000 people found Carter, hung him from a pole, shot him and drug him through the streets. They took him to the black community and incited a riot, breaking into buildings, including a furniture retail store. The mob piled the wooden furniture and doors from the church together, set it on fire and burned Carter’s body at the intersection of 9th and Broadway.
The Arkansas National Guard was deployed to stop the riot, and upon arrival, found one of the mob members directing traffic at the intersection with the arm of John Carter. Fortunately, the black community leader had encouraged black families to stay inside, avoiding a large death toll during the massive tension.
Once the riot and killing of Carter went to trial, it was dismissed without indictment of anyone involved. The city was concerned about their national reputation in the media. They banned distribution of the black newspapers, The Chicago Defender and The Pittsburgh Courier, with fear that it would cause more tension.
To make matters worse, the town was still in search of the killer of 12-year-old Floella McDonald. On May 19th, Lonnie Dixon, the mixed-race son of the First Presbyterian Church janitor, was tried and convicted of murder. He was sentenced to death. After being under watch by the Arkansas National Guard during trial, Dixon was executed a month later. (Source: blackamericaweb)
There are milestones, mountains, and valleys that have encompassed the African American story to which I proudly say is the “Greatest Story Ever Told”. We must never forget for if we neglect the lessons of the past we are doomed to see them repeated. Life is not a race you run; it is a relay, and it is our responsibility to pass the baton. Our youth, the next generation, must be prepared and know when they look at our communities today that they came from a people who built kingdoms.
Let me leave you with this very simple idea. There are 42 million Black people identified in the 2010 Census, which makes up 13.6 percent of the total U.S. population. Suppose a contribution of $4.00 a week was place in a fund. Multiply that $4.00 x 4 weeks = $16.00 x 12= $ 192.00, then $192.00 x half all African Americans 20 million =’s $3,840,000,000.00. Understand that’s only half the African American population; now multiply that nearly four trillion times five. Get the point.
If this simply mathematical equation could be achieved – all of the ills of our culture could be erased. Hmmmm. And that’s my Thought Provoking Perspective…