Tag Archives: revolution

Fourth Of July: Independence For Who

On this date, the 4th of July, America, white folk, got independence and wrote a document they called the Declaration of Independence in a nation that is as divided now as it was then on just about every level for every group but the Europeans. When revisiting our history, it reminds us how far we’ve not come. Please remember that 240 years ago slavery was the law of the land with all or just about all of the so-called founding fathers owned human beings as chattel. I guess you could say that this speaks to the character of these men.

The idea of Independence Day, commonly known as the 4th of July and a national holiday, which America commemorates the adoption of the Declaration of Independence declaring its independence from England. As was suggested at the time, Independence Day is commonly associated with fireworks, parades, barbecues, carnivals, fairs, picnics, concerts, family gatherings, political speeches and ceremonies. Oh, and lots of flag waving!

It was during the Revolution, the legal separation of the Thirteen Colonies from Great Britain on July 2, 1776. The Second Continental Congress voted to approve a resolution of independence declaring the United States independent from Great Britain. Thomas Jefferson the principal author of the document that Congress debated and revised the wording and finally approving it on July 4.

Historians have long disputed whether Congress actually signed the Declaration of Independence on July 4, even though Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, and Benjamin Franklin all later wrote that they had signed it on that day. Most historians have concluded that the Declaration was signed nearly a month after its adoption, on August 2, 1776, and not on July 4 as is commonly believed.

As we all know these famous words taken from the document: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” This makes one wonder what men they were talking about because by owning other men they surely did not consider black people.

Although this is a glorious day, there actually was not anything close to independence for most of the populous. Now, I like a good party as much as anyone, but this was not a party designed for anyone of color. In fact, I am positive that my ancestors who made that long captive journey in the belly of the beast across the Atlantic as a day of independence.

It is worth mentioning that not all the colonialists were keen on this whole independence thing either and by some accounts about a half-million were Loyalists to the British crown, and hung on to their royal connections. Now the author’s of His-Story, which is written by the victory, left out much of what really happened.

I will close with what is a remarkable coincidence, both John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, the only signers of the Declaration of Independence later to serve as Presidents, died on the same day: July 4, 1826, which was the 50th anniversary of the Declaration. Just a little piece of history another so-called Founding Father, who became a President James Monroe, died on July 4, 1831, thus becoming the third president in a row who died on this memorable day.

In spite of the fact that black people have never got equal treatment or thing they call liberty, then and now; what is it we have to celebrate! So enjoy the party’s and celebrate just being 3/4th human. And that’s my Thought Provoking Perspective…


Happy Birthday H. Rap Brown

3In the 1960s, during civil rights movement, there were several leaders of note. Most fell into two very distinct factions; there were the non-violent faction and the more aggressive revolutionary wing of the movement. As we all know, it did not matter which faction the leader participated in “they all were either killed or jailed.” One of the more aggressive and outspoken leaders from the revolutionary side was H. Rap Brown! He is famously known for statements like “Burn Baby Burn.”

His government name was Hubert Gerold Brown before changing it to H. Rap Brown and one of the most outspoken faces of the Black Power Movement. He served as chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) and as their Minister of Justice during the short-lived alliance between SNCC and the Black Panther Party. He became famous for his proclamations during that period saying “violence is as American as cherry pie,” as well as once stating that “If America don’t come around, we’re gonna burn it down”. He is also the author of his autobiography “Die Nigga Die!”

Brown like most of the so-called black radicals appeared on Hoover’s Ten Most Wanted list and was added after avoiding trial on charges of inciting a riot and of carrying a gun across state lines. Brown disappeared for 18 months and arrested after a reported shootout with officers. The shootout occurred after what was said to be an attempted robbery of a bar in 1971 in New York. His attorneys in the gun violation case were civil rights advocate Murphy Bell of Baton Rouge, and the self-described “radical lawyer” William Kunstler. Brown was scheduled to be tried in Cambridge, but the trial was moved to Bel Air, Maryland on a change of venue.

On March 9, 1970, two SNCC officials, Ralph Featherstone and William (“Che”) Payne, died on U.S. Route 1 south of Bel Air, Maryland, when a bomb on the front floorboard of their car exploded, completely destroying the car and dismembering both occupants. Theories of the origin of the bomb were disputed. Some say it was planted in an assassination attempt, others say it was intentionally carried by Payne to be used at the courthouse where Brown was to be tried. The next night the Cambridge courthouse was bombed.

He spent five years in Attica Prison after a robbery conviction. While in prison, Brown converted to Islam and changed his name from Hubert Gerold Brown to Jamil Abdullah al-Amin. After his release, he opened a grocery store in Atlanta, Georgia. He became a Muslim spiritual leader and community activist preaching against drugs and gambling in Atlanta’s West End neighborhood.

He is currently serving a life sentence for murder following the 2000 shooting of two Fulton County Sheriff’s deputies, both black, who were trying to serve a warrant on him. One deputy, Ricky Kinchen, died in the shooting. On March 9, 2002, nearly two years after the shooting took place, al-Amin was convicted of 13 criminal charges, including the murder of Deputy Kinchen. Four days later, he was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. He was sent to Georgia State Prison, the state’s maximum security facility later transferred to ADX Florence Supermax prison in Colorado.

He believed “there is no in between, you’re either free or you’re a slave”. I agree!!! And that’s my thought provoking perspective…


Remember: Tupac Shakur – Listen!

Black America has produced great and mighty people since our existence in this land. But the powers that be has always found away to minimize their importance. Funny thing about revolutionaries they die and the crime is never solved!


As Spoken By The King

200x200In light of the horrible state of race relations in America today. We see many murders at the hands of the law, the unequal justice, the corrupt penal system that has become nothing more than the 21st century’s version of slavery, and the unfair economic challenges imposed upon black people in America. Black people have a right to be angry when they are blamed for their current conditions as if slavery, Jim Crow laws, “black codes” and the historical legacy of mistreatment by the system of white supremacy that has had a long-term and devastating effects on the Black community.

Dr. King was a shining example of bravery and left us with some powerful words before his death that we should recall today in these trying times where racism has boldly reared its ugly head. White Supremacy main purpose is to subjugate, use, and to eliminate people of color, which is to be for the benefit of white people.

Dr. King understood this which explains why most of has words have been sanitized, removed or reduced primarily to “I have a dream”. However, as I look at the state of black America today, this dream was more like a nightmare.

Here are some quotes “they” would never tell you about:

“I knew that I could never again raise my voice against the violence of the oppressed in the ghettos without having first spoken clearly to the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today – my own government.”

“There is a magnificent new militancy within the Negro community all across this nation. And I welcome this as a marvelous development. The Negro of America is saying he’s determined to be free and he is militant enough to stand up.”

“You can’t talk about solving the economic problem of the Negro without talking about billions of dollars. You can’t talk about ending the slums without first saying profit must be taken out of the slums. You’re really tampering and getting on dangerous ground because you are messing with folk then. You are messing with captains of industry. Now this means that we are treading in difficult water, because it really means that we are saying that something is wrong with capitalism.”

“It is obvious today that America has defaulted on this promissory note insofar as her citizens of color are concerned. Instead of honoring this sacred obligation, America has given the Negro people a bad check, a check which has come back marked ‘insufficient funds.’”

“We know through painful experience that freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed. Frankly I have never yet engaged in a direct action movement that was ‘well timed,’ according to the timetable of those who have not suffered unduly from the disease of segregation. For years now I have heard the word ‘Wait!’ It rings in the ear of every Negro with a piercing familiarity. This ‘wait’ has almost always meant ‘never.’ We must come to see with the distinguished jurist of yesterday that ‘justice too long delayed is justice denied.’”

“The question is not whether we will be extremists, but what kind of extremists will we be? Will we be extremists for hate or for love? Will we be extremists for the preservation of injustice or the extension of justice?”

“If America does not use her vast resources of wealth to end poverty and make it possible for all of God’s children to have the basic necessities of life, she too will go to hell.”

“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.”

“If our economic system is to survive, there has to be a better distribution of wealth … we can’t have a system where some people live in superfluous, inordinate wealth, while others live in abject deadening poverty.”

“The hope of a secure and livable world lies with disciplined nonconformists, who are dedicated to justice, peace and brotherhood. The trailblazers in human, academic, scientific and religious freedom have always been nonconformists. In any cause that concerns the progress of mankind, put your faith in the nonconformist!”

“Somebody told a lie one day. They couched it in language. They made everything Black ugly and evil. Look in your dictionaries and see the synonyms of the word Black. It’s always something degrading and low and sinister. Look at the word White, it’s always something pure, high and clean. Well I want to get the language right tonight. I want to get the language so right that everyone here will cry out: ‘Yes, I’m Black, I’m proud of it. I’m Black and I’m beautiful!’”

“Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.”

“I must confess that over the past few years I have been gravely disappointed with the white moderate. I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the Negro’s great stumbling block in his stride toward freedom is not the White Citizen’s Counciler or the Ku Klux Klanner, but the white moderate, who is more devoted to ‘order’ than to justice; who prefers a negative peace which is the absence of tension to a positive peace which is the presence of justice; who constantly says: ‘I agree with you in the goal you seek, but I cannot agree with your methods of direct action’; who paternalistically believes he can set the timetable for another man’s freedom; who lives by a mythical concept of time and who constantly advises the Negro to wait for a ‘more convenient season.’”

“Society’s punishments are small compared to the wounds we inflict on our soul when we look the other way.”

“No one really knows why they are alive until they know what they’d die for.

Dr. King taught us a powerful lesson, which was the only way black problem could be solve was to boycott and starve the system through economics. If ever there was a time to wake up that time is now! And that’s my thought provoking perspective…

 


Prayer Saves – Help Haiti !!!

The pain that comes with living makes the journey seem almost impossible at times, and as we witness the devastation inflicted upon the country of Haiti is unimaginable. This tragedy makes it very clear that life is a fragile state of existence that most can’t fathom in its totality. In our daily lives we often take for granted how fortunate we are with the many blessings and comfort that we enjoy. The emotions I feel, not unlike yours, watching people who look like me in such misery and helplessness from this natural disaster that was unexpected and beyond their control is heart-retching.

I have always believed unless and until you suffer enough pain, then and only then, will you reach deep inside and feel the breath that God has breathed into your soul coming eye to eye with your destiny. This may or not prove to be true in this instance but I understand the meaning of faith, which is believing what is not seen and knowing it to be true. Many times I’ve pondered that remark along with many other reflections of those valuable lessons taught to me during my early Sunday school days. Therefore, I will begin this post with something I have not done via this blog – a scripture.

Colossians (3:12-15) comes to mind, “as God’s chosen people, hold and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called …” It is this call that each of us must answer for the benefit of others.

I know you have been watching the network news, listening to radio, and reading newspapers where today all eyes are on Haiti – but the question is “for how long”. It will take years and maybe generations to restore some semblance of life the Haitians once knew, which was far from wonderful to start with. We must remember that this is the place that the celebrated criminal Columbus landed in 1492 and historical records tell us from that day to this Haiti has suffered. I want to rebuke and say regardless of what that old senile pastor said, they did not make a deal with the devil. (VIEW THIS CLIP)

Haiti has a long storied history and therefore retains a very rich culture. Haitian culture is a mixture of primarily French, African elements, and native Taino, with some lesser influence of Spanish culture. The country’s customs essentially are a blend of cultural beliefs derived from the various ethnic groups that inhabited the island of what was once know as Hispaniola. In nearly all aspects of modern Haitian society European and African elements dominate.

Haiti is a largely Christian country, with Roman Catholicism professed by 80% and Protestants make up about 16% of the population. Haitian Vodou, a New World Afro-American Diasporic faith is unique to the country and practiced by roughly half the population. Religious practice often spans Haiti and its Diaspora as those who have migrated interact through religion with family. Haiti’s regional, historical and ethno-linguistic position is unique for several reasons.

Under French rule they enacted the Code Noir (Black Code) ratified by Louis XIV established rigid rules on slave treatment and permissible freedom. After years of brutality, Haiti became the first independent nation in Latin America, the first post-colonial independent black-led nation in the world, and the only nation whose independence was gained as part of a successful slave rebellion – the first of its kind. The success of the slave rebellion caused the newly elected Legislative Assembly in France to realize it was facing an ominous situation. In order to protect France’s economic interests, the Legislative Assembly needed to grant civil and political rights to free men of color in the colonies. The decision was confirmed and extended by the National Convention in 1794 when they formally abolished slavery granting civil and political rights to all black men in the colonies.

The Haitian Slave revolt model then spread throughout the hemisphere bringing about liberation to people in New Granada (now Colombia), Venezuela, Ecuador, Panama and Peru. America also benefited GRATELY as a result because it was the Haitian defeat of Napoleon Bonaparte that he sold most of France’s land holding in the central United States known as the Louisiana Purchase for penny’s an acre. So in spite of the country’s sorted and often difficult history that followed these events, this is a country largely forgotten by most world powers while these events changed the face of the world.

Yes, this country has had many brutal dictators, disasters, and strife. It is near the top of the world’s poorest nations but in spite of its problems over time nothing compares to what Haiti faces today. Therefore, with all good conscience and anyone who has any compassion for humanity? “HELP THE HAITIAN PEOPLE”.
If you are not able to or in your mind you think you cannot do anything to help I would suggest something very simple – PRAY!!! I believe prayer saves.

www.yele.org to make a donation.


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