Tag Archives: memorial day

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…


REMEMBER THE FALLEN

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 2 weeks to give them a proper burial as gratitude for fighting for their freedom. Then they held a parade of 10,000 people led by 2,800 Black children who marched, sang and celebrated. Our history is American history!!!

To all who served and did not return from the battle. On this day we honor you! Also to the soldiers who innocently died unarmed in the streets at the hands of the police. Thank you for the ultimate sacrifice. And that’s my Thought Provoking Perspective…

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The Infamous Jamal Bryant Full Sermon: “I’m My Enemies Worst Nightmare”

I am sure all of you have heard about Reverend Jamal Bryant’s remark about “ho’s” from the pulpit, which appeared at the time out of bounds. In fact, I myself reblogged the social media news flash to which I regret. First, let me say I have no attachment to this guy but was drawn into something that did a disservice to this man’s message and for that I wish to offer an apology to Pastor Bryant and those who follow him.

I don’t want to sound arrogant and I don’t often apologize for much, but in this situation, after doing some research, I found the entire thirty minute sermon. What I discovered when taken in context – that sentence became irrelevant! I should not have followed the social media craze which was more than anything media distortion. Therefore, I offer a sincere apologizes to this man. I have added the full sermon, which had a more powerful and meaningful message.

I read somewhere that forgiveness is mine saith the Lord. Therefore, I judge not this man for any of his indiscretions; for that is his cross to bear. Right is right and the media craze was wrong – this time! He who is without sin case the first stone! And that’s my thought provoking perspective…

Listen and see for yourself.


Minus One: The Drew Smith Series

About the Book

book coverMinus One the Drew Smith Series prequel takes us back when the attorney launches his legal career.  Before the ink is dry on his license to practice law Drew Smith finds himself at the center of a murder mystery.  The recent law school graduate works as a hotel concierge and befriends two bellmen an Arab and a Latino, Medhat and Julio.  Like the three musketeers they bond in a fraternal friendship put to the test when Medhat is kidnapped after running up a drug tab he can’t pay. 

Rescued by Drew and Julio, Medhat then becomes the prime suspect in a string of murders.  Driven by their romantic entanglements the attorney is captivated with a pretty Latina whose father objects to her dating a Black man. Julio and his Filipina love find themselves expecting, and Medhat’s passion for blondes gets him snared in a femme fatale’s net. Minus One captures Drew Smith’s evolution from youthful indiscretion to a professional burdened with seriousness of purpose.

About The Author

picNorwood Holland is a freelance writer, lawyer, and author of the Drew Smith legal thriller series based on the capers of an urban trial attorney.  He is a graduate of Howard University School of Law with a bachelor’s degree in English from Fisk University where he studied under the renowned Harlem Renaissance author Arna Bontemps.  Holland favors D.C.’s local color in his fiction and currently writes the blog editorialindependence.com devoted to promoting independent authors among other things.

He has served in several government agencies including the National Labor Relations Board and a number of Washington’s top national law firms.  In the mid 90s Holland began freelancing for the local media.  Some of his credits include The Writer Magazine, the Examiner, and Black Literature Magazine.  Minus One follows up on the success of Sleepless Nights, the first in the Drew Smith Series.

Intimate Conversation with Norwood Holland

Welcome Norwood, Take us into the main character of Minus One?

My main character is the protagonist Drew Smith.  He’s an urban criminal law attorney and though he is my favorite he is not the most popular among my readers.  Most prefer his sidekick Julio.  I like Drew because he so complex.  Sometimes even though I created him I can’t even explain him.  In my latest release Minus One, readers or often frustrated and confused at why Drew let’s himself be manipulated by his new buddies Medhat and Julio, but Drew wants to accepted.  And Medhat is by nature a manipulator.  Readers expect Drew an alpha male to be in complete control but the book starts out with Julio and Medhat playing him for a fool.  But the situation evolves and reader has to move on and accept Drew’s behavior.  In the end, we see Drew is no fool and allowing himself to being manipulated is all part of his continuing education.

Drew is by far the smartest and as suave and charismatic as his two wingmen, Julio and Medhat.  Truthfully I love them all like a father I can’t favor one son over another.

Norwood, What Inspired you to write Minus One?

What inspired the story was a fierce argument I witnessed between the real life Medhat and Julio.  Even back then I knew their relationship had the makings of good story.  So I would say the characters of Julio and Medhat were inspired by a real life buddies Medhat and Julio, but that’s as far as the comparison goes.  I can’t emphasize enough that this is a work of fiction.  The novel has some unrestrained and indulgent sexual scenes all of which are a figment of my imagination.  I don’t want readers to get the wrong idea.  All the romantic relationships are mixed, racially and culturally, but the only one, Drew’s relationship with Nina is affected by racism.  The Latina’s father objects to her dating a black man.  The multicultural setting provides the book’s background yet at the dawn of 21st century race remains a major obstacle only for the Black man.  In addition to the suspense of solving the murder I think the reader will find interest in Drew’s reaction to and coping with the situation.

Tell us about your next release.

Snakehead is a story that deals with human trafficing and a corrupt F.B.I. agent.  The story was inspired by the headlines of two actual events (1) the sinking of Golden Venture, a ship loaded with human cargo that ran aground near New York City in 1993. Passengers had paid at least $30,000 each to be brought to the U.S. from China’s Fujian Province, expecting to arrive indebted but unnoticed.  The second event was the murder of Eric Robert Wone.  A young American attorney of Chinese descent who was mysterious murdered in DC.  The two real life events are unrelated but both involve the Chinese immigrant community.  I got creative in linking the two with a corrupt F.B.I. agent who has his own agenda.  When Drew Smith’s law school pal the Chinese-American is mysteriously kill his efforts to track down the killer are thwarted by the F.B.I. agent manipulating the legal system.

Connect with the Author

Email: norwoodholland@aim.com
Website:  http://www.norwoodholland.com/
Twitter https://twitter.com/Norwood22
Facebook https://www.facebook.com/norwood.holland

To purchase book: http://www.amazon.com/Norwood-Holland/e/B004Q26D4U/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1365085906&sr=8-1

Tour Schedule: http://wnlbooktours.com/norwood-holland/

http://johntwills.com


Save Our Children

1We the people are focused on the upcoming trial in Florida for the murder of Trayvon Martin. As this process begins hold your children, look at them and pray that something like this never happens to them.  In whatever way you can – let’s show our support and pray for Justice.

WE MUST REMEMBER AND NEVER FORGET!!! And that’s my Thought Provoking Perspective…

This video dates back to a month after the shooting with raw emotion from Trayvon parents. Put yourself in the shoes…

 


Covert Conspiracy Against Tavis Smiley

tavis-cornelThis is one of the few times I will ask for your opinion. What say you???

I am not a hater, by nature, I admire any person of color who is successful and has the courage to champion African America issues. Brother Smiley was one who fell into that category. Then he took a trip to a place I don’t understand. We’ve learned that Tavis believes he’s so important that the President of the United States is engaged in a covert conspiracy against him. In some of the reports he suggests there’s race at play in the very question and that he, Smiley, sees himself as a political martyr.

Most African Americans know that the president, we so strongly support, has not done too much for black people specifically. We had strong hopes that our issues would finally be corrected by him with the stroke of a pen. Most African Americans can see that he has been the most maligned person on the planet and that there is an element, from day one, who wanted and is doing everything possible to see our president fail. We expect James Crow, Esq. and his follower will and do create conspiracy’s – but not from Tavis!

There are reports that “Smiley told the Associated Press that members of the Obama administration, whom he didn’t identify, have successfully convinced sponsors to stop funding his ventures, including his anti-poverty initiatives.” The great Michael Cottman said in his commentary on black America Web that “the mere fact that Tavis failed to identify exactly who in the Obama administration “convinced sponsors” to stop funding his ventures, and exactly which sponsors he’s talking about, is particularly telling… If he had any evidence whatsoever to support his allegation he’d be holding one of his PBS “gibfests,” complete with “expert analysis” by the prince of gesticular verbosity, Dr. Cornel West, pointing his finger at the president, and condemning the people in the administration who were involved.”

I agree with Cottman that if he produced evidence of such a conspiracy or something to support his claim it would be a gift from God to Tavis’s credibility and by not doing so makes a reasonable person wonder “What’s the Deal”. Can you imagine what Darrell Issa could do with something like that in his House Oversight Kangaroo Committee, particularly when the GOP is on a presidential witch hunt?

Could this be something as remote as ego resulting from the president not attending the “State of the Black Union” hosted by Tavis during the presidents first presidential campaign? Or as Tavis has complained all over the media that “For the very first time in my career I haven’t been invited to the White House”. Or he have such a huge ego that made him think that he had enough clout in the Black community to challenge the first Black president of the United States.

The fact is Brother Tavis with two wars, the devastating weather events, the economy, the GOP, and frankly running the country; president Obama hasn’t given you a second thought since he’s been in office. As Eric Wattree wrote, and like just about everyone else in America, at least with good sense, could see that he doesn’t have to. Tavis and his sidekick Dr. West are making themselves look like perfect fools on their own accord, so the president doesn’t have to say, or do a thing.

Eric Wattree also wrote that “Tavis and West have become the new Amos & Andy of the Black community, and their trajectory is identical. They not only fail to represent Black interests, but they’ve become a major liability and embarrassment to many in the community.” Wattree wrote on another occasion that “The only thing that Tavis and West have to sell is the Black community, and once they lose that, which they’re currently hemorrhaging, they become a liability rather than an asset…”

When was the last time you watched the Tavis Smiley Show? The problem you face Brother Smiley is that you have no agenda and have nothing to offer. In other words you have become irrelevant? And that’s my Thought Provoking Perspective…

What say you???


Michele Bachmann Quits!!!

6New sources are reporting that Tea Party firebrand Quits. Bachmann said, “rest assured, this decision was not impacted in any way by the recent inquiries into the activities of my former presidential campaign or my former presidential staff.”

This might be clearly understood by Bachmann, but not by the FBI, the Congressional Ethics Office, the special prosecutor in Iowa, the FEC, and all the other agencies that are investigating her 2012 presidential campaign.

The media has taken the same excuse that they crafted for Sarah Palin, that she was an undisciplined conservative star who flamed out, and glued it on to Michele Bachmann. The problem is that in Bachmann’s case it doesn’t fit. It isn’t a surprise that Rep. Bachmann would deny everything surrounding the ethics investigations in her video. That is exactly what she is supposed to do. She is not going to admit that she is quitting because of allegations of misuse of funds, theft, and money laundering, among other crimes.

Michele Bachmann didn’t choose to quit on a whim. She quit as a preemptive strike to stop this scandal from either costing her the election next year, or bringing her down later. All together now -YEAH!!! And that’s my Thought Provoking Perspective…

THIS IS HOW SHE PUT IT!


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