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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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The Origin Of Memorial Day

2Black folk celebrate every holiday with vigor, yet most don’t know the origins or the reason why. DID YOU KNOW? Memorial Day was started by former slaves on May 1, 1865 in Charleston, SC to honor 257 dead Union Soldiers, who had been buried in a mass grave in a Confederate prison camp. They dug up the bodies and worked for two weeks to give them a proper burial as gratitude for fighting for their freedom. They then held a parade of 10,000 people led by 2,800 Black children where they marched, sang and celebrated.

The truth is the custom of holding observances the laying of flowers on burial sites to remember and honor those who gave their lives in military service goes back many hundreds if not thousands of years. In the United States, that custom has long since been formalized in the creation of Memorial Day formerly known as Decoration Day. A federal holiday observed on the last Monday in May to remember the men and women who died while serving in the United States Armed Forces.

What we celebrate or know as the modern Memorial Day originated with an order issued in 1868 by Maj. Gen. John A. Logan, the commander in chief of the Grand Army of the Republic, for the annual decoration of war graves. Three years after the Civil War ended, on May 5, 1868, the head of an organization of Union veterans established Decoration Day as a time for the nation to decorate the graves of the war dead with flowers. Maj. Gen. John A. Logan declared that Decoration Day should be observed on May 30. It is believed that date was chosen because flowers would be in bloom all over the country.

The first large observance was held that year at Arlington National Cemetery. The ceremonies centered around the mourning-draped veranda of the Arlington mansion, once the home of Gen. Robert E. Lee. Various Washington officials, including Gen. and Mrs. Ulysses S. Grant, presided over the ceremonies. After speeches, children of Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Orphan Home and members of the GAR made their way through the cemetery, strewing flowers on both Union and Confederate graves, reciting prayers and singing hymns.

The story of Memorial Day, some say, began in the summer of 1865, when a prominent local druggist, Henry C. Welles, mentioned to some of his friends at a social gathering while praising the living veterans of the Civil War; it would be well to remember the patriotic dead by placing flowers on their graves. On May 5, 1866, the Village was decorated with flags at half mast, draped with evergreens and mourning black. According to the United States Department of Veterans Affairs, roughly two dozen places claim to be the primary source of the holiday. An assertion found on plaques, on Web sites and in the dogged local historians across the country.

In his book Race and Reunion: The Civil War in American Memory, Professor David W. Blight made the case for Charleston, South Carolina, as Memorial Day’s birthplace, as that city was the site of an obscure (possibly suppressed) May 1865 event held at a racetrack turned war prison. During which freedmen properly reburied hundreds of Union dead found there and then held a ceremony to dedicate the cemetery.

The official dedication ceremony was conducted by the ministers of all the black churches in Charleston with prayers, reading of biblical passages, and singing spirituals black Charlestonians gave birth to an American tradition. In so doing, they declared the meaning of the war in the most public way possible by their labor, their words, their songs, and their solemn parade of roses, lilacs, and marching feet on the old planters’ Race Course.

After the dedication, crowds gathered at the Racecourse grandstand to hear some thirty speeches by Union officers, local black ministers, and abolitionist missionaries. Picnics ensued around the grounds, and in the afternoon, a full brigade of Union infantry, including Colored Troops, marched in double column around the martyrs’ graves and held a drill on the infield of the Race Course. The war was over, and Memorial Day was founded by African Americans in a ritual of remembrance and consecration.

Professor Blight termed it “the first Memorial Day” because it predated most of the other contenders…” he said. Today, this celebration has morphed into, as Howard Zinn remarked: “Memorial Day will be celebrated … by the usual betrayal of the dead, by the hypocritical patriotism of the politicians and contractors preparing for more wars, more graves to receive more flowers on future Memorial Days. The memory of the dead deserves a different dedication.”

I am a veteran and have yet to receive any gratitude for my service in the war, came home, and was less free than when I left. However, I am very grateful I survived the carnage and horrors of it! The fact is, if we could stop war there would not be a reason to celebrate this day! Only the rich can truly celebrate this day because of the wealth they receive! And that’s my thought provoking perspective…


Do You Know What Is True Or Not

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A lie is an intentionally false statement for the purpose of deception. The practice of communicating lies is called lying, and a person who communicates a lie may be termed a liar. Generally, the term “lie” carries a negative connotation, and depending on the context a person who communicates a lie may be subject to social, legal, religious, or criminal sanctions.

Now, there was a philosopher named Voltaire who gave a more appropriated definition when it comes to history; he said that “history is a pack of lies played on the dead”. It was The first thing we must consider is that most of history is told by the oppressor, or as they say the victory, white folk, and everybody know they are not credible in any respect when it comes to telling the truth. All of the history they have told us is nothing more than fabricated and glorified tales told from the perspective of the conquers, which means the criminals!

Look at it this way: I have witnessed and seen things in my lifetime that I know to be true and then read about the events told later only to find out that the story has been changed to something other than the truth. So I am left with the conclusion that if I know a thing happened and later it is written differently; how can I believe anything they have ever told in what is now supposed to be a historical fact. This is very apparent in matters of race.

To this day they try to rewrite the history of the Civil War. For example, they continue to claim the war had nothing to do with slavery or race. In Texas, there is a major push to sanitized school books to remove all of the horrors of slavery. Let’s go back further and look at the Bible. We can now see the stories are taken from earlier civilization’s writing and more to the point; the main character could not possibly have come from that region of the world that did not produce a blonde haired blue eyed man.

Maybe a better example is the countless videos of police misconduct and shootings. Nearly every day one such video appears on television but they tell us we did not see what we thought we saw and the writers make the cop the hero saying that “his life was being threatened”! None of this makes sense but they change the narrative and most, at least, white folk will blame the dead or bring up his past history to make it so!

We are being duped and most people believe what someone has written or told to us. This brings me to today’s politics which will become history at some point. The so-called leader of the free world lies through his teeth and often many times on the same subject but he and his people call this alternative facts. Most think, in spite of his past actions or statements, that he is not a racist or misogynist! His actions surely would lead on to believe that he is! More importantly, his actions, so far, certainly shows his insensitivity and cruelty!

Let’s be clear his was elected to the office to erase President Obama’s legacy and to enrich the lives of his friends and family – simple! So I will close with this; if President Obama did anything close to what this guy, 45, has done that we know of, they would not only impeach him but will want him hung for treason! If I might, base on the Russian scandals being investigated, it might be a good idea to learn how to speak Russian because it appears America has been compromised! And that’s my thought provoking perspective…


Mental Conditioning: We Are All Brainwashed

Some have proclaimed that a slave was born. I disagree with this notion because a slave was made by means of a defined calculated, and well thought-out plan devised for the purpose of being a beast of burden. We know the reason for this atrocity was to build a nation stolen by others to obtain wealth. But what is not understood, en mass, is how it was designed to be sustainable and that varying forms reappear overtime and this footnote to history have been erased.

This reminds me of the powerful words Harriet Tubman expressed succinctly concerning the effectiveness of this system of mental conditioning. She was asked shortly before her death, if she knew how many slaves she freed while conducting the Underground Railroad. She did not think about it, replying quickly, “I could have freed a lot more, if they had only known they were slaves.”

From that day in 1619, when it is believed the first Africans were dragged onto the shores of Jamestown to today where we’ve witnessed the first man of color elected President of these United States (or as Jesse would put it – from the outhouse to the White House), there is no doubt that our story is the greatest story ever told.  As it was said in scripture, “the first shall be last, and the last shall be first.” But let’s understand that there was a plan, a sinister plan, conceived at some point to ensure that people of our hue remain the least of thee.

As the story goes, a British slave owner from the West Indies was invited to Virginia sometime during the year 1712 to teach his methods to slave owners. Willie Lynch was the name of the man credited with a speech delivered on the banks of the James River. It is noteworthy to mention that the James River was named for the diabolical King of England, who was ironically the same guy responsible for the twenty-eighth version of the cherished Holy Bible.

Lynch brought with him, as he put it, a foolproof method for controlling black slaves that will last for a thousand years. Consequently, it is believed the term “lynching” was derived from his last name as a way to pay homage to him for delivering this ingenious approach. The name Willie Lynch is interesting because it may be a simple play on words. For example, Will Lynch or Will he Lynch. Whatever the reason, it no doubt had significant psychological implications that played heavily on a naive race of people.

Lynch began his historic presentation with a warm greeting: “Gentlemen, you know what your problems are; I do not need to elaborate. I am not here to enumerate your problems. I am here to introduce you to a method of solving them. In my bag here, I have a foolproof method for controlling your black slaves. I guarantee every one of you that if installed correctly it will control the slaves for at least three hundred years. My method is simple…The black slave after receiving this indoctrination shall carry on and will become self refueling and self generating for hundreds of years, maybe thousands…..” The seeds of devastation were fertilized, and the process of destruction was underway for the making of a race into slaves.

In the speech, Lynch outlined a number of differences among the slaves. He stressed to his audience that they should take these differences and make them bigger. These differences included such things as age, color, intelligence, fine hair vs. coarse hair, tall vs. short, male vs. female. These tactics were not new; however they were more than likely put together collectively for this specific purpose for the first time as keys to control.

This short eight paragraph speech was profound in that it was the embodiment of the cruelest demoralizing agenda ever imposed upon a people since the days when the Romans crucified our Lord. As Lynch closed his speech that day, he said, “They must love, respect, and trust only us.” This is the key to producing a successful strategy. Whether this story is true or not is cause for speculation, however, as history demonstrates; a manufactured plan was developed by someone to achieve these results that continue to this day.

The Willie Lynch letter first appeared in the early 1970’s but gained widespread notice during the nineties, when it began appearing on the Internet. Since then, it has often been promoted as an authentic account of slavery during the 18th century, but its inaccuracies and anachronisms have led historians to conclude that it is a hoax. Let’s be honest; I don’t think any reasonable person would think that those persons present, if there was a meeting, took written notes. However, the same reasonable thinking person can see that there was a designed plan created by someone in order to sustain such division. It may have been something as simple as “divide and conquer.”

So let’s suppose the Willie Lynch story is a modern creation, either the concept was ingenious or the biggest urban myth ever. Then it begs the question, why are we still fighting amongst ourselves. Further, how can the ruling people, or anyone for that matter, justify a philosophy for building and maintaining a government which sanctioned murder, among other atrocities, to enslave human beings?  This I know, and mind you, I was not taught this in school nor did anyone explain that the government, through legislative sessions, passed laws to ensure that our bondage was sustained.

This wicked system was sanctioned by the church in the name of God. Therefore, it is important to understand, when the church endorsed slavery and the vehicle that drove it; this meant in the eyes of the system that God himself authorized this immoral agenda. If this was the mentality of the church, and it is a historical fact that religion sanctioned and justified enslaving people for centuries. It begs the question, does that mentality still exist? And that is my Thought Provoking Perspective…

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Has Religions Become A Jedi Mind Trick

1-The title may not actually describe what they, white folk, have done to us with us meaning the masses of people on the planet. Although, religion was supposed to be for the benefit of man but surely today’s religions have become the detriment of man. They have tricked us into an alternate reality where the truth is a lie. First, they created this fictitious character named Jesus, convinced us to worship and wait on him to come back and save us; when we know there is no way a blonde haired blue eyed white man could come from that part of the world let alone come back after 2000 years.

Worse yet, most of you call him father! Let me tell you that he is not your father nor is he coming back to save you. They tell you to suffer during this life so that you can go to a place where there are streets paved with gold waiting for you when you die! All of the lies are designed so the rich keep getting richer and well everybody else suffers in poverty! I hope someone will tell me what your religion has done for you other than make you feel better on Sunday and cost you money to support the church’s leader!

Let me give you the perfect example to illustrate my point. Every Christmas most of you tell your children the lie that a jolly old white man brings you gifts and he comes down your chimney. Well in most cases most of you don’t have a chimney and you buy the gifts that come into the house.  It is really simple, if you tell a lie often enough it is believed to be true.

Just think about it some of the things they teach you and you teach to your children, and those around you; it takes a special kind of stupid to think that we will ever break the chains of mental slavery.  Unless, we begin to teach the truth to your loved ones and not condition them to the lies of white supremacy! You must remember that there are more wars in the name of some religion that history can record!

The white man has caused irritable harm everywhere they have been on the planet. Their whole history is one of barbaric acts, raping, stealing and murder. This is true, even their own history tells us this, but we worship them and want to be like them. I was watching a show on the History Channel where they counted down the ten things that will destroy the world and not one of them was the evils of white folk! Base on the past history of brutally I would say white folk and their greed are the biggest threat to mankind’s existence! And that’s my thought provoking perspective…


Commentary: #45

trumpI have chosen not to say the name Donald Trump anymore because in my view he is an illegitimate president. Therefore, the number 45 is my identification for me. He must be feeling the heat of being the worst president in history but then that depends on your perspective. The numbers don’t matter because if you are a bigot, he is great to them because he is taking rights away from the “coloreds”. However, for all others, he is a disaster!

Since most sane people have come to realize that he is nothing more than a con-man and a huckster to which they know he plans to take away “white rights” too; can we assume it’s the beginning the beginning of the end of the Trump regime; it looks like it’s mighty close. There are people leaving his administration like there is a virus in the White House. We can only hope that Flynn’s testimony is damning enough to take the whole administration down with him.

With the surprise announcement that former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn, who was fired by the last president and this one, is seeking immunity from prosecution in exchange for his testimony before the congressional Intelligence Committees, which he will not get. #45 will see that they eat their own. Like with Watergate he will cop a plea, resign, and the VP will pardon him. Then we get a more dangerous president in Pence and the same cast of characters will remain in place. Not only do I think of Nixon with him but Reagan also, they don’t tell you this about Reagan, there were about thirty of his senior administration figures “went to jail” under him, they were also caught bringing drugs into America.

A former member of Bill Clinton’s White House staff and a veteran of multiple presidential campaigns, Claude Taylor tweeted out this bombshell last week, citing an “independent journalist” who said they have multiple sources stating that Trump is already considering his options in the wake of the ever-expanding Russiagate scandal. As he should be! But let’s not forget white folk made him president to do two things (1) to take back their country and two (2) to make Pence president!

It bears noting that there is a recent historical precedent for a presidential resignation under fire. In 1974 President Nixon tendered his resignation when it became apparent that he was about to be impeached and convicted over the Watergate break-in of the Democratic Party headquarters and caught lying about it. He was subsequently pardoned by his Vice-president, Gerald Ford when he took over the presidency in the wake of Nixon’s departure. So again, they are using the same playbook.

Now that Michael Flynn is scrambling to save himself by seeking immunity from prosecution, it is fairly safe to assume that he is responsible for something that would be prosecutable. Everybody #45 has appointed is a billionaire, corrupt or a family member.  So the question remains who else would be impacted or implicated in his testimony; if he were to appear before either of the congressional committees currently investigating the Russian interference in the election and the Trump campaigns ties to Russia. Everybody around him seemed to be have been connected to the Russia’s, who are suppose to be America’s adversary. The only thing true that #45 has said was that “the system is rigged”! Frankly, they could have asked any black person to know that!

I know his loyal bigoted friend will disagree but even they must agree that they would never have stood for the black president having accumulated so much scandal. While tweets from Twitter may not convince anyone of the veracity of the reports beginning to surface of a potential resignation, even some prominent Republicans are reaching the same conclusion or making suggestions of a looming impeachment may be a pipedream but this guy is in way over his head.

According to West Wing Reports, it is rumored that Former Republican National Committee chairman Michael Steele thinks that Trump will not finish his term and is advising his consulting clients to cozy up to Vice-President Pence. If this isn’t the beginning of the end of the Trump regime, it looks like it’s mighty close. We can only hope that Flynn’s testimony is damning enough to take the whole administration down with him. Let us not forget, his own FBI is investigating him!

The old heads know; we have seen this before and to sum up the state of affairs in America today “it’s a fine mess”! The only appropriate end to this regime will be jail for those involved and this administration so far is proving to be a disaster. Think about this; they will erase this part of history and make him a saint like they did with Reagan! And that is my thought provoking perspective…


Fight The Power!

PhotoFunia-2c3d3a4In the 1960s, the main mission was to obtain the freedom for black people. The symbol of solidarity was a raised clenched fist and the chant was “power to the people”. This sign of unity was also a sign of respect for one another.

It was a glorious time for Black America in the late 1960s because for a brief moment, it was awakened, they stand a stand and showed bravery as courageous black men and women demonstrate their pride for being black and began to acknowledge the greatness in their blackness.

During those days, there was an ill-fated war where the government drafted millions of black men during the Vietnam War. I can recall those fought and served were soon forgotten, but those who did were proud enough to take a stand by chanting “fight the power”! The response from the power, however, was told “America Love it or Leave it.” First, where were black people suppose to go? They took us from our place of origin, enslaved all brought here, and created a new race of people calling them Negro. So, the chant and the raised fist was a symbolic statement – “say it loud I am black, and I am proud”.

Looking back, I think what we learned was that the philosophy prescribed to us by the system and a continuous stream of unanswered questions and lies; like we see today with several wars, police brutality and blatant racism. The foundation of the civil rights movement was supported by a religious ideology full of unquestioned answers fooling people into the idea that all you need to do is just pray. While the system used the tried and true strategy of divide and conquer to kill the movement.

The movement’s protest strategy of marching in the 1950s resulted in a few crumbs after unrest and rage produce fear in the majority community – in other words among the powers that be. In those days, “they” could control information via what were virtually state-owned newspapers and the two or three television networks. The unrest of those days were rooted in racism, as is today, but today the genie is out of the bottle because of this thing called social media and video cameras in the hands of almost everyone. Think about it – it was social media that caused the Arab Spring uprising that toppled several regimes and dictators.

The American super-power was involved preaching morality and trying to impose democracy all over the world while doing unspeakable horrors at home and abroad. The government released a Senate Terror Report, which clearly appeared as if it was America that was the terrorist sponsored by the state. I will say as a person of color and a descendant of slaves, America never had any moral authority to advise or dictate anything close to a moral or human high-ground toward or for black people. Regarding what they released, black people have seen much of the same terror inflicted upon them right here at home under its apartheid-like system.

They system has not changed; NO – it’s still all about money. What I see that is different, however, is that the entire world sees and knows what is being done to black people in America and that what black America has been saying all along is true and a fact. However, the movement of this generation, Black Live Matters is speaking truth to power and is courageous enough to take a stand against racism and injustice. This movement comes with people of all stripes, colors, and creeds protesting around the world.

What we saw in the 1960s was more of a rehearsal for what some called a revolution. Brother Gil Scott-Heron called it “Winter in America” and he told us that the revolution will not be televised. There was a revolution, however, they called it the Arab Spring and it was televised! Gill appeared, at the time to be on to something. Hence, the government used tools like CONINTELPRO to cripple and killed any such notion. Now, as we can see today resulting from the atrocities of government agencies and police human-rights violations “the revolution is being televised”.

Let me add this about empires and religion, the Republicans, as did the Romans before them, cheered on the Lions, as the Christians were being fed to them in giant arenas for pure spectator enjoyment. Sort of like those lynching of black men and police killing of late. What these people are doing to black people in the streets of America in the name of “justice” is no different from what was done by the Roman state against its people. Remember how that turned out.

To those who have and are charged with killing and brutalizing people of color and the least of thee; I say to you – there’s no honorable way to kill, no gentle way to destroy. There is nothing good about racism or the war upon black and brown communities – it is simply Hypocrisy!

History tells us that those who make peaceful revolution impossible or fail to change a system when it is broken will make violent revolution inevitable. In the 1960s, they stopped using lynching and used fire hoses and dogs. Today, they use the police to shoot and kill. So I say, Fight the Power! And that’s my thought provoking perspective…

 RESPECT TO THE FALLEN

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