Tag Archives: Nelson Mandela

Crispus Attucks

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There are so many misrepresentations, stories rewritten, changed, or just simply true facts unknown when it comes to historical significance regarding African American’s and American history. In fact, it was not until the 20th century that any of our history was even recorded. Another fact: most slaves or African Americans prior to the 20th century never received a certificate of birth. This brings me to the subject of the first Negro killed in the Revolutionary War for America’s freedom.

No much is known about Crispus Attucks and all we do know was produced by those who had a vested interest in using his name or color for their cause. Attucks was born into slavery around 1723, in Framingham, Massachusetts. He was the son of a slave father shipped to America from Africa and a Natick Indian mother. This is an important piece of evidence regarding his place in history. We are supposed to believe that a slave was on the forefront of the movement to free the nation from British rule.

Therefore, what is claimed or taught though history is that Attucks was supposed to be the first to fall during what’s called the Boston Massacre on March 5, 1770. Personally, I think this claim was to disguise the fact that the new land was a major purveyor of slavery where many states sanctioned such by law or what law there was.

What has been pieced together paints a picture of a young man who showed an early skill for buying and trading goods. He seemed unafraid of the consequences for escaping the bonds of slavery. Historians have, in fact, pinpointed Attucks as the focus of an advertisement in the 1750 edition of the Boston Gazette in which a white landowner offered to pay 10 pounds for the return of a young runaway slave.

“Ran away from his Master William Brown from Framingham, on the 30th of Sept. last,” the advertisement read. “A Mulatto Fellow, about 27 Years of age, named Crispas, 6 Feet two Inches high, short curl’d Hair, his Knees nearer together than common: had on a light colour’d Bearskin Coat.”

Attucks, however, managed to escape for good, spending the next two decades on trading ships and whaling vessels coming in and out of Boston. Attucks also found work as a ropemaker. As British control over the colonies tightened, tensions escalated between the colonists and British soldiers. Attucks was one of those directly affected by the worsening situation. Seamen like Attucks constantly lived with the threat they could be forced into the British navy, while back on land, British soldiers regularly took part-time work away from colonists.

On March 5, 1770, a Friday, a fight erupted between a group of Boston ropemakers and three British soldiers. Tensions were ratcheted up further three nights later when a British soldier looking for work entered a Boston pub, only to be greeted by a contingent of furious sailors, one of whom was Attucks.

The details regarding what followed have always been the source of debate, but that evening a group of Bostonians approached a guard in front of the customs house and started taunting him. The situation quickly escalated. When a contingent of British redcoats came to the defense of their fellow soldier, more angry Bostonians joined the fracas, throwing snowballs and other items at the soldiers.

Attucks was one of those in the middle of the fight, and when the British opened fire he was the first of five men killed, which is why he is claimed to be the first casualty of the American Revolution. However, as a runaway slave it is highly doubtful that Attucks would challenge the British authorities for a cause that he had no stake in.

In fact, this episode was nothing more than the actions of an unruly mob, and there was no war at the time. John Adams the second president of the new country represented the British Soldiers in court who fired the shots charged, though debate has raged over how involved he was in the fight. One account claims he was simply “leaning on a stick” when the gunshots erupted.”

Regardless, Attucks became a martyr and post-harmoniously received a statue as a hero. His body was transported to Faneuil Hall, where he and the others killed in the attack lay in state. City leaders even waived the laws around black burials and permitted Attucks to be buried with the others at the Park Street cemetery.

In the years since his death, Attucks’s legacy has continued to endure, first with the American colonists eager to break from British rule, and later among 19th century abolitionists and 20th century civil rights activists. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in his 1964 book, Why We Can’t Wait, lauded Attucks for his moral courage and his defining role in American history.

 


Nelson Mandela World Prophet

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Nelson Mandela was our generations and the world’s largest icon. Mr. Mandela is the face of freedom and the embodiment of courage as the South African anti-apartheid revolutionary. Know as an amazing politician who served as President of South Africa from 1994 to 1999 after serving twenty-seven years in prison. He was the first black South African to hold the office of president in the most reprehensible government on the planet.

Madiba, as he is called by the people of his homeland, was first elected in a fully representative, multiracial election. His government focused on dismantling the legacy of apartheid through tackling institutionalized racism, poverty and inequality, and fostering racial reconciliation. Politically Madiba was an African Nationalist and democratic socialist who served as the President of the African National Congress (ANC) from 1991 to 1997. Internationally, Mandela was the Secretary-General of the Non-Aligned Movement from 1998 to 1999.

His story is the greatest story of our time. Mandela served 27 years in prison, first on Robben Island, and later in Pollsmoor Prison and Victor Verster Prison. An international campaign lobbied for his release, which was granted in 1990 amid escalating civil strife. Mandela published led negotiations with President F.W. de Klerk to abolish apartheid in which he led the ANC to victory.

Controversial for much of his life, right-wing critics denounced Mandela as a terrorist and communist sympathizer. He nevertheless received international acclaim for his anti-colonial and anti-apartheid stance, having received 250 awards, including the 1993Nobel Peace Prize, the US Presidential Medal of Freedom, and the Soviet Order of Lenin. He is held in deep respect within South Africa, where he is often referred to by his Xhosa clan name of Madiba or as tata; he is often described as “the father of the nation”.

I am proud to say I have been in his presence and posed with his Ex-wife Winnie Mandela, which was the most cherished moment of my life. Few people come into the world unselfishly for the benefit of others. Mr. Mandela you suffering and struggle changed and uplifted the lives of millions. In your words “Amandla” – All power to the people.

Where you go, you will be judged by the work you’ve done. You have done your work, and the results of you toil will be an inspiration to the world for all eternity. Job well done; take your rest. You are my hero, and the world is thankful for your spirit. And that’s my Thought Provoking Perspective…

 


Nobody Loves Chris

2I watched the big bad “Christie’s Apology Show” yesterday and I have to tell you watching the “Big Fat Liar” movie would have been more entertaining. This guy who could be “King” reminded me of the reincarnation of “Tricky Dick” Nixon as Watergate unfolded. Poor Dick complained and sought pity as if he was clueless in the whole matter. Ok, I digress – Back to New Jersey!

This guy, let’s call him the Fat Man. Now, before you get angry. I chose this name [Fat Man] because there was a gangster I knew growing up who had his finger on everything that happened in town. He was brash, a bully, and almost everyone feared him because of his power. He was also known to exact swift and harsh retribution when he felt wronged or disrespected.

The Governor, sounded a lot like Tricky Dick, who famously said, “I am not a Crook” shortly before he was impeached, said “I am not a bully”. Oh, really! I read a New York Times [excerpt follows] piece a few weeks ago that would lead one to think differently base on his public outbursts and his personal style.

In 2010, John F. McKeon, a New Jersey assemblyman, made what he thought was a mild comment on a radio program: Some of the public employees that Gov. Chris Christie was then vilifying had been some of the governor’s biggest supporters. He was surprised to receive a handwritten note from Mr. Christie, telling him that he had heard the comments, and that he didn’t like them. “I thought it was a joke,” Mr. McKeon recalled. “What governor would take the time to write a personal note over a relatively innocuous comment?”

But the gesture would come to seem genteel compared with the fate suffered by others in disagreements with Mr. Christie: a former governor who was stripped of police security at public events; a Rutgers professor who lost state financing for cherished programs; a state senator whose candidate for a judgeship suddenly stalled; another senator who was disinvited from an event with the governor in his own district.

Now, the governor is dogged by another accusation of petty political revenge. Two close political allies ordered the abrupt shutdown of two local access lanes on the George Washington Bridge in September, grid locking Fort Lee, N.J., for four days. The borough’s mayor said it was punitive because he had declined to endorse the governor’s re-election.

The governor mocked the suggestion as preposterous. But Democrats in New Jersey — and privately, some Republicans too — say it would hardly be out of character for Mr. Christie. As the governor prepares to run for president, the accusation has reinforced his reputation as a bully.

“Every organization takes its cues from the leadership as to what’s acceptable and what’s not, and this governor, in his public appearances, has made thuggery acceptable,” said Assemblyman John S. Wisniewski, the Democrat leading the hearings that have exposed the role of the governor’s aides in the lane closings. “For the governor to say, ‘I knew nothing about this’? He created the atmosphere in which this is acceptable.”

It was the governor’s penchant for confrontation that first propelled him onto the national stage in 2010. As he pushed to cut public employee benefits, his staff celebrated video clips of him dressing down teachers at town hall-style meetings by posting them on YouTube. (“You want to come up here? Come up here,” the governor said to one teacher, a fellow Republican, who hesitated until the governor’s security state troopers gave him no choice. Wagging a finger, Mr. Christie lectured the man, then dismissed him from the hall.)

From then until now, the Fat Man has on numerous occasions has behaved in a manner unbecoming of a publicly hired official with a lot of which is on camera. Let me say, I don’t live in New Jersey and only know what I read but from what I have seen I will conclude that this guy acts much in the way the old gangster the Fat Man behaved. I don’t like to make predictions but I don’t think the Governor will live out this term in which he was just elected.

Finally, I don’t want another Tricky Dick in the White House and if you think he is a good bet. Then I have a bridge to sell you! And that’s my thought provoking perspective…


The Loss Of A Giant

09We received the heartbreaking news today that we’ve lost a giant. Amiri Baraka whose government name was Everett LeRoi Jones a native of Newark, New Jersey died today at the age of 79. After developing an interest in poetry and jazz in high school, Baraka attended Howard University, where he changed his name to LeRoi James. He earned his degree in English in 1954, and then joined the United States Air Force. After three years of service, Baraka received a dishonorable discharge for owning inappropriate texts.

In 1965, he became involved in the Black Nationalist poetry and literature scenes. Baraka then moved to Manhattan, where, in addition to attending Columbia University and The New School, he became a prominent artist in the Greenwich Village scene and befriended Beat poets such as Allen Ginsberg and Jack Kerouac. He published their and other poets’ work in the newly founded Totem Press.

In 1961, Baraka published his first major collection of poetry, Preface to a Twenty Volume Suicide Note. His 1964 play, The Dutchman, which addressed racial tensions and American blacks’ repressed hostility toward whites, gained him fame and acclaim.

09After a trip to Cuba, Baraka disassociated with the apolitical Beat movement in favor of addressing racial politics. The assassination of Malcolm X was a turning point in his life. Afterward, he disavowed his old life, including his marriage to Hettie Cohen and changed his name to Amiri Baraka. He became a black nationalist, moved to Harlem and founded the Black Arts Repertory Theatre/School. The company dissolved after a few months, however, and Bakara moved back to Newark and founded the Spirit House Players.

Baraka fully immersed himself in Newark, becoming a leader of the city’s African-American community. In 1968, Baraka became a Muslim and added the prefix Imamu, meaning “spiritual leader,” to his name. In 1974, however, he dropped the prefix, identifying as a Marxist.

Baraka is known for his aggressive, incendiary style. His writing is controversial and has often polarized readers. His poem “Somebody Blew up America,” a response to the attacks against the United States on September 11, 2001, was criticized for being anti-Semitic. His position as New Jersey’s poet laureate was stripped as a result of public outcry against the poem.

2A prolific writer, Baraka has penned more than 50 books, including fiction, music criticism, essays, short stories, poetry and plays. In 1984, he published The Autobiography of LeRoi Jones/Amiri Baraka. He’s taught at many universities, including the New School for Social Research, San Francisco State University and Yale University. Before retirement, he served as professor emeritus of Africana Studies at the State University of New York at Stony Brook for 20 years. Baraka lives in Newark, New Jersey, with his wife, Amina.

It is said that we are judged by the work we do – Dear Brother your work speaks for you. Thank you for your commitment in the struggle. Your voice for the voiceless, even if they could not understand your words; you voice was heard and you will be sorely missed. And that’s my thought provoking perspective…


“Sweet Destiny” Bernadette Watkins

About The Book

2It’s been nine years since the death of her father and Arianna wants to make sure that her mother is well.  Catherine Waters have two children, Sarina and Arianna, both are as different as night and day.  Arianna, a newspaper editor, is never satisfied.  Sarina, a dance teacher, cares for the happiness of others. Catherine raised both of her children to be upright citizens and taught them right from wrong.  She is the successful owner of Sweet Things Bakery.

It’s been a long time since Sarina has been in the coma, but Catherine and Arianna will not give up on her.  Nine years and she still lies there looking so peaceful and content.  The doctor asked Catherine before to let him know what she wanted to do, but never would she let go.  She always believed that Sarina would return home to this world as if nothing had ever happened.

Arianna and Catherine face many challenges with their loved one lying comatose for such a period of time.  Nevertheless, giving up was not an option.  They pray every day for Sarina to awaken.  No one knows what the future holds and no one knows what tomorrow brings.  Sarina’s family will move your heart and shine light for those in the dark.  There will be times when you’ll want to laugh and cry, but most of all this story will make you appreciate the gift of life.  This is a remarkable story and a great adventure for those who love to read fiction novels.  Catherine and Arianna remember to never let the waters run dry.

About The Author

09Bernadette Watkins is the author of “Sweet Destiny” and believes inspiration is the Key to Living Your Dreams! Sweet Destiny is a fairytale love story that everyone who loves to be inspired through words of love and poetry filled with inspiration and valuable information for everyone. She has also authored “Release The Ink” her first inspirational poetry book inspired by Mya Angelou.

Both of her novels can be found online at Amazon, Barnes & Nobles, Borders and more. In addition to her excellent writing Bernadette can be found on Blog Talk Radio where she interviews authors, poets, musicians, singers, entreprenuers and more. You may visit the site to listen to the archived shows: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/pro-motions . Her goal is to encourage many to live their dreams.

Release The Ink

     Inspiration is the Key
     My words and rhymes are all a part of me
     Isn’t about the color of my skin
     Doesn’t matter if I have any friends
     My words and rhymes is where it all begins
 
    3 Inspiration is the key
     To live more abundantly
     To focus on your dreams
     And make them a reality
     Words so bold and clear
     Written and spoken for
     The entire world to hear
 
     Inspiration is the key
     My poetry is a part of me
     We can’t breathe without the air
     What’s life without poetry there
     Poetic words simple yet influential
     Ready to inspire and full of potential
 
     So I grab the pen and release the ink
     Giving life to words within a blink
     Inspiration is the Key
     To writing great poetry 
 
 Visit Bernadette Watkins website:
www.BernadetteWatkins.com
 
John T. Wills

Happy New Year!!!

From the heart and soul of the author
of Thought Provoking Perspectives
I send a heartfelt prayer
to my friends, followers,
and each of you
the following:

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I have never been one to understand forgiveness and dare I say did not do so on too many occasions. Frankly, I am not sure why I am going to start now! But as we enter into the year of our Lord 2014, I have made a conscience decision and a New Year’s resolution to forgive those who trust pasted against me. With that said, I will not forget the error of their ways but I will release the burden of the pain caused and let your conscience carry the load. Therefore, my goal is to walk in faith and not by sight. And that’s my thought provoking perspective…


Watch Night’s Origin

2I love history because it’s like a clock that tells the story of the time that has past. However, history and the truth, is very different from HisStory. What we have been told is not, in most cases, true or fact. For example, most people have no idea where or why we celebrate most traditions. This is to include most of the “great stories ever told” – Christmas and Easter! The construction of religion drives our thinking as it relates to the direction of our lives.

So, regardless of what we are told, our faith causes us to believe. Let me just add that faith is believing true that which is unseen. I only need to remind you of the representation of the deity we worship because, in our heart of hearts, we know that this person in that picture could not have come out of that region of the world where Christ was born. Yet, our faith tells us to believe and most do not question what we are told. I know that made you go hmmm!

Here is another example: This year Americans will celebrate another anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation, which is another one of those misconceptions of history. The fact of the matter, Lincoln, did not free anyone with this proclamation. It was issued for and to the Negro’s held in bondage in the Confederacy and not the slaves of the northern states under his authority. Coming out of this came what has become known as “Watch Night” on New Year’s Eve, following an African American tradition dating back a hundred and fifty plus years.

The first Watch Night occurred on Dec. 31, 1862, as abolitionists and others waited for word via telegraph, newspaper or word of mouth that the Emancipation Proclamation had been issued. “A lot of it, at least the initial Watch Night, was really many of the free black communities… Yet for a people largely held in bondage, freedom is a powerful idea, and that’s what the Watch Night tradition embodies” says Lonnie Bunch, director of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture.

Most of us don’t know that part of the historical tradition. It has somehow been connected to religion and not its original origin which was the hope of freedom for African Americans held in bondage. So at midnight, many congregations will pray the old year out and the New Year in asking for God’s blessings. The truth is Watch Night is deeply rooted in the history of blacks in America; it is especially relevant at a time when the community is still struggling with sermons that should be designed to address the progressive and regressive moves we have been through as a people.

I will again remind you that the proclamation did not free anyone. The document that actually freed the slaves was the 13th Amendment. However, Lincoln’s goal was accomplished as the proclamation did change the character of the conflict from a war to preserve the union to a war for human liberation. In reality, it was a way to obtain the manpower by using black in what to that point was a losing effort. The cultural bandits have rewritten the truth. You are the holders of the light, and the light is the truth.

It was recorded that an enslaved person had a wonderful reminiscence of the event by saying, “I was on Master Johnson’s plantation and a soldier came, and he took out a little piece of paper and suddenly said we were free”. Now I ask whose plantation are you on! So I suggest that know what it is you believe to be true. So this year pay homage to the ghost of the greats that came before you in their honor. And that’s my Thought Provoking Perspective as I wish you and yours all the best in the coming year…


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