Tag Archives: Black Power

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


Solutions!

1-In today’s world where race and racism that is at enormously high levels we must take act to end white folks grip on the black community. We have black people saying all kinds of thing about the future of black people; from the so-called conscious community to the Hotep folks to the sellout Negroes and the ever present mis-educated black folk. Particularly, those who continue to sell hope (preachers) which haven’t worked in four-hundred years.

They all have one thing in common; none are talking about solutions to the problem. We know and it is perfectly clear that white folk don’t want black people in America and are working hard to see that we are not here and that there will be no future. Number 45 and that ilk he surrounded himself with have virtually assured the White Supremacist of that with his election.

The solution is as clear as day and night, yet the so-called black leaders will not dare touch it. Frankly, the only thing white folk fear is their lives and money. We hear talk all the time about revolution but these folk, black leadership, does not preach that the revolution is in the mind and ultimately in the wallet! The first step to removing the yoke of oppression is to STOP GIVING THEM BLACK MONEY! Unless this is spent within the black community cannot move to successive step!

I have said many times that instead of giving countless dollar to some church, rather put that money in a fund to be of benefit to the community; but oh no, black folk, who are the most religious people on the planet, are still waiting for Jesus to come back and save them. Newsflash – he is not coming back nor is anyone else coming to save you. Therefore, the task is yours and yours alone to solve the problem – free your mind and you ass will follow!

If black people starve the white business establishment of black dollars as Dr. King showed us in the Montgomery Bus Boycott, begin to support, black businesses, and establish a black banking system; we could solve all of our problems. It is a fact the black people spend over a trillion dollar in their economic system; what if that money is spent with black businesses and put in a fund created for black people? I know you will say who is going to handle the money? But you will give some crooked preach your money and never question him when you know he is put there to further reduce you to servitude. In other words, just a pimp in the pulpit!

Look at it this way; there are about forty-two million black people in America. Suppose each person put a mere one dollar a week to support this effort – that is forty-two million dollars each week to be multiplied times fifty-two weeks; imagine multiplying that times five years (260 X 42 million) would be about 20 trillion dollars plus the money you will circulate within the black business by buying black. This is how to obtain freedom – money!

Don’t say it can be done. Let’s look at hiring for example. When is the last time you saw a black person working in an Asian-American business or Latin business establishment? I will answer that for you – you have not – not never! Which means it is essential that black people own businesses and hire black people. Also, buy black and support black business. The only thing that white folk understand is money and not having it! And that’s my thought provoking perspective…


Malcolm X Speaks At Oxford University

YOU MUST LISTEN TO THE MASTER SPEAKER


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