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Some excerpts from "It was never about a hot dog and a Coke!" reprinted by permission of author. Some pictures from the 50th Anniversary commemoration of Ax Handle Saturday.
TOMORROW IS THE 55TH ANNIVERSARY OF AX HANDLE SATURDAY. Don’t bother to try and research this infamous day as the local TV press and local newspapers “blacked-out” all coverage, and the events leading up to Ax Handle Saturday. The only news coverage of any consequence you will find is in the Black press, especially the Florida Star and the Pittsburgh Courier. The major reason I wrote “It was never about a hot dog and a Coke!” was to counter the inaccuracies and the lies and the lack of real information. Many still do not know the story, and since the press blacked out all news about the sit-ins my book is the only documented account of what happened, with names, details, and sources.
White lunch counters were visible vestiges of segregation for us to demonstrate against the racist institution of segregation. Today it might seem passive, but 55 years ago, it was an unheard of confrontation to White comfort zones of segregation and many Whites responded violently in Jacksonville…as they did all over the South.
A few comments about Jacksonville, circa 1960. Jacksonville was the usual segregated city in 1960 with the usual racism, and the added natural boundary separation of the St. Johns River. The Duval County School system was separated into two divisions, the White division and the Negro division. Four Black high schools were strategically positioned in the city—Matthew W. Gilbert Junior Senior high school on the East side or “out East” as we used to say; New Stanton high school on the West side; Douglas Anderson Junior Senior high school on the South side; Northwestern Junior Senior high school (my Alma Mater) on the North side, and two Black Junior high schools, Isaiah Blocker Junior high school and James Weldon Johnson Junior high school, both of which “fed” into New Stanton high school. And of course this positioning helped forestall school integration. Looking back, you get the impression the Duval County School System wanted segregated Black schools to mark time educationally and not achieve even a reasonable modicum of educational success. Given the resources provided to Black schools and Black schoolteachers, it appeared the Duval County School System purposely went through the motions of educating Black students. Nothing else can explain such meager resources for a public education during those crippling years of segregation.
The Sit-ins began August 13, 1960. On that morning, we had more than 100 Youth Council members ready to go and demonstrate at Woolworth white lunch counter of 85 seats. In our Youth Council meeting that Saturday morning, we prayed and sang our freedom songs. Leaving Laura Street Presbyterian Church Youth Center on foot en route to Woolworth’s in groups of twos and threes alerted no one. We arrived at Woolworth a little after 11:00 a.m., well aware of what we were preparing to do. I called that morning the “beginning of a mission.” Understanding that “freedom is not free,” we had to step up to the plate; we had to stand up and be counted; we had to let everyone know what we were made of—all the clichés applied. We were not attending an after-school dance or a sock hop. Our mission was simple and serious.
Upon entering Woolworth, we planned to purchase an item to demonstrate that the store would accept our money. No problem there. However, if, Woolworth’s refused to serve us at the white lunch counter, we would use the earlier purchase to show the contradiction in Woolworth’s store policy—they would accept our money at one counter, while summarily refusing it at another. Each of us always made sure we had enough money in our pocket just in case they decided to serve us at the counter. We would later joke with each other about newspaper headlines that read, “Youth Council members arrested, not for sitting in, but for not having money to pay for the food they ordered.”
Each demonstration had sit-in captains, and only the captains would talk to the media. We did not want conflicting “official” comments. Alton Yates and I were captains of the first sit-in. After purchasing our items, and at an agreed upon signal, Youth Council NAACP members followed me, Alton, and Marjorie Meeks to the white lunch counter. Jacksonville’s sit-in era had begun. After sitting down, a white waitress announced loudly to all who could hear that “coloreds are not served at this lunch counter. This is the white lunch counter. The colored lunch counter is at the back of the store.” We did not move or say anything. White waitresses working behind the lunch counters began to huddle while giving us that “you don’t belong here” stare.
A little later, James Word, the manager of Woolworth, came and read a prepared statement that in effect said Woolworth reserves the right to refuse to serve anyone. He also gave us directions to the colored lunch counter. We still did not move. I told Mr. Word that we were here for service. He would later tell several of us that he was experiencing his first sit-in demonstration. I often wondered if he knew we were too. He gave the order to close the lunch counter. We continued to sit. Just in case Woolworth store officials decided to re-open the lunch counter, we had agreed to sit through the entire lunch period. A crowd of white onlookers began to assemble and show displeasure by shouting tasty morsels of racial epithets. They obviously blamed us for Woolworth’s decision to close the lunch counter.
Two weeks later on the morning of August 27, 1960, Mr. Pearson received several calls about very suspicious and unsettling activities in Hemming Park. He contacted Arnett Girardeau and Ulysses Beatty and asked them to ride with him downtown to Hemming Park. “As we approached Hemming Park,” Girardeau recalled, “we saw several white men wearing Confederate uniforms. Other whites walked around Hemming Park carrying ax handles with Confederate battle flags taped to them. A sign taped to a delivery-type van parked at the Duval and Hogan Streets corner of Hemming Park read, ‘Free Ax Handles.’ Small fence rails with shrubbery bordered that section of Hemming Park. [As we drove by,] we could see bundles of ax handles in the shrubbery. . . . No one attempted to conceal them. “We also saw three police[men] separately riding three-wheel police motorcycles. We watched as the police talked to the men dressed in Confederate uniforms. It appeared they were simply having a conversation. Certainly, [the police] were not questioning [the men]. As we circled Hemming Park, the police left.”
I arrived at the Youth Center the morning of August 27, 1960 unaware of the Hemming Park activities. I opened our meetings (as Youth Council NAACP President) with our usual prayer, not expecting this morning to be any different from other mornings. We sang our usual songs, including “We Shall Overcome.” Though our meetings became serious after we started the sit-in demonstrations, this meeting had a more serious bent. Mr. Pearson explained to us what he, Girardeau, and Beatty saw that morning at Hemming Park. He described the white men wearing Confederate uniforms, and the other white men with Confederate flags taped to ax handles. He told us about the free ax handles sign and warned, “There could be trouble today.” He tried to contact Sheriff Dale Carson to express his concerns, but didn’t reach him. Mr. Pearson said he would understand if any Youth Council members decided they did not want to demonstrate that day. We openly discussed our plan of action that day, and whether we would sit in. On the heels of the situation with Richard Parker (the White Student), we figured we would be facing the Ku Klux Klan in Hemming Park.
Several Youth Council members said we should cancel the day’s demonstration. We tried to stay strong and courageous and move forward. Yet a healthy fear of the unknown now played a big role in our conversation. My pastor, Reverend (now Bishop) Rudolph W. McKissick Jr. defines “healthy fear” as knowing the seriousness of your situation, which is an appropriate characterization of how we felt that day. Sometimes, when you face a situation like that the Youth Council faced that Saturday; you rein in the impetuosity of youth. Sometimes, the situation tests youthful mettle and resolve. Fear on one hand, and our interpretation of courage on the other, played a big part in whether or not we would demonstrate. I cannot really say what won the most points to demonstrate. Appropriately, we made our final decision after Mr. Pearson led us in prayer. We always joined hands and prayed at the beginning and the end of all Youth Council meetings. After the prayer that ended our meetings, we would say, “Together we go up, together we stay up”! Corny sounding perhaps, yet the times dictated we do everything in our power to reassure each other and reconfirm our faith in God.
After prayer, I took the first of only two votes by Youth Council members on whether or not to demonstrate. We voted unanimously to demonstrate. Someone defined courage as continuing forward even as fear tries to hold you back. Our determined courage overcame our healthy fear. However, instead of sitting in at Woolworth, in front of Hemming Park, we decided to sit in at W. T. Grant Department store, three blocks away from Hemming Park at the corner of Adams Street and Main Street. After the vote that Saturday, there were 34 demonstrators, including Arnett Girardeau. Though he was older than most Youth Council members, we decided to select Arnett as the sit-in captain because of our view that Arnett could better handle an awkward situation, if one occurred. No one quarreled with his selection.
The W. T. Grant Department store had a lunch counter, though it was not nearly as large as the one at Woolworth. Like Woolworth’s, Grant’s also had a “colored lunch counter.” When we walked into Grant’s, I remember seeing four police officers directing traffic at the corner of Main and Adams—or so it appeared to me.
After we sat at Grant’s white lunch counter, store officials summarily closed and turned out the lights—all usual and customary.
When we came out of Grant’s, and turned west on Adams, we could see in the distance a mob of whites running toward us. As the mob got closer, it became obvious they were swinging ax handles and baseball bats. In a surreal scene, they swung those ax handles and baseball bats at every Black they saw. It is amazing what the mind’s eye captures during tense split-seconds of confrontation. I remember seeing a television reporter or a camera operator from local television station Channel 12 on top of a car taking pictures—until someone knocked him off the car with an ax handle. Employees of stores along the block started locking store doors. If you were inside a store, you stayed inside; if you were outside a store, you could not get in. We had tried to prepare for most scenarios to be encountered during sit-in demonstrations, but nothing prepared us for an attack as vicious as this.
Although we would laugh later about trying to be cool while looking at those attacking us with ax handles and baseball bats, surviving the onslaught became our primary concern. Most people have held or felt a baseball bat, but not an ax handle. Ax handles usually are as heavy as a baseball bat and can inflict as much damage. They are made of solid wood sturdy enough to hold an ax, and you never forget its look in the hands of someone trying to maim you. BTW-There were no police to protect and serve.
The next day at an NAACP Youth Council Mass Meeting at St. Paul AME Church, I announced (as Jacksonville Youth Council NAACP President) a boycott of downtown stores and a boycott of the Florida Times Union Newspaper. We had previously asked Jacksonville Mayor Haydon Burns to appoint a Bi-Racial committee to discuss many of the issues facing the Black community at that time. He would not. But because we were boycotting downtown businesses, they wanted to meet with us to stop losing money. The NAACP, the Black Ministerial Alliance, the White Ministerial Alliance, and the downtown Chamber got together, and appointed a Bi-Racial Committee. It was rocky. Many Whites had never set down to talk with Blacks as equals about problems related to segregation and racism in 1960, yet they did not have a choice. Some Whites were insulted. As we later were told, Mr. Rutledge Pearson (my mentor and Youth Council NAACP adviser) and I were called communists and a lot of other choice descriptions by Jacksonville’s generous supply of racists. But the Business leaders on the committee had one problem…if they did not meet with us, there was no chance to work out any solution. After several months of acrimonious meetings, we reached a compromise plan to integrate the lunch counters in downtown Jacksonville. The plan was for Marjorie Meeks and I, who had just graduated from Northwestern Junior Senior high School and were now students at Edward Waters College, to eat at the White lunch counter in Woolworth Department Store (corner of Monroe and Hogan) for one week so that Whites would get accustomed to seeing Blacks eating there. WE did…and after that week…all of the lunch counters in downtown Jacksonville were integrated. Jacksonville Black History…Two students from Edward Waters College integrating the lunch counters in downtown Jacksonville. Small step, but God gave us that victory.
We were not large in numbers. But we did have right…and we did have God on our side. Most of the sit-in demonstrators in Jacksonville were high school students. In fact, the Civil Rights Movement was founded in the church and on a strong spiritual foundation. Tell our young people about the Great Legacy of who they are. WE fight against Racism and for Human Dignity and Respect.
The Struggle Continues. RLHSR.
We have a nation that kills brown people at will, with no repercussions. After hundreds of years of that shit, we finally have a movement exposing that atrocity, and Shaun King is a key figure in that movement. So how does the right wing respond? By "investigating" Shaun, and claiming that he's not Black, that he's faking it! Because, you know, being Black is the key to becoming a Fortune 500 CEO and a life of richness and success…. Heck, maybe those conservatives believe their nonsense that "the Blacks" have it so easy because of affirmative action and other "special" advantages.
THIS HAPPENS WHEN WHITE RACISTS AND HOUSE NIGGERS—who are really no integrity slaves with a price—team up to sabotage a movement, or try to anyway. White racist conservatives always have a place for Blacks in the "house" because they know they can purchase their very Black souls for a few dollars.
Then you have FOX-Lite CNN with the ridiculously stupid Don Lemon drinking all of the Kool-aid with a few uninformed Black ignorant analysts—Really?—along as drinking partners. And WE drink along with them because we as Black folks love to think something is right because we see it on TV and on CNN. We also love to watch Reality shows too and the TV series which make slander and scandal and ludicrous BS the order of the day.
Recognize the BS in the Media and then ask yourself WHY is a national network like CNN trying to help a civil rights movement…ANY civil rights movement by exposing someone whose background they never verified and whose ancestral information they never researched. They never have and they never will. Yet THEY get US every time. We are just gullible that way, and THEY know it.
The Struggle Continues. RLHSR.
I SPOKE TO A GROUP OF COLLEGE STUDENTS AND THEIR INSTRUCTORS THE OTHER DAY AND ONE OF THE BLACK STUDENTS—THERE IS ALWAYS ONE—DECIDED HE NEEDED TO TRY ME.
He said, “Mr. Hurst, Blacks from your era seem to be stuck in the past. You need to move into the 21st century. The things you all did in the past are no longer relevant today. You all did not do away with racism but we will. (I said to myself …Thank you Jesus. This is not a teachable moment …this is a wood shed moment.) Some of the following is paraphrased because I obviously I do not remember word for word everything I said but this as close as I can remember and there was more but you will get the picture.
So you think because we honor our past…our history…the Civil Rights Movement…our music…and acknowledge those Black giants on whose shoulders we stand and whose should you are standing, that as Black people we are stuck in the past? It is called respect. Respect for our Black Heritage…Respect for our Black Ancestors…Respect for our Black History… and Respect for who we are. You think that is “stuck in the past” for those of my era? You need to understand what respect is all about. And you think you have all the answers. Let’s talk about Blood…Sweat…Tears…Beatings…and Death. It is no Urban legend that many Blacks were beaten and endured horrendous pain and suffering and gave their lives so that you can enjoy things today of which you are so quick to complain. Blacks were beaten and killed as they sought to integrate schools. Blacks were beaten and killed during the Civil Rights Movement just because they were Black. It would not do me any good to rattle off the names of those Blacks in Struggle who marched and demonstrated and were beaten and who died because you probably would not know their names nor would you know what they did. That is the problem when you put your mouth in gear with nothing of substance to back it up.
Do you understand your history? Do You want to really understand your history? Do you think because you live in an integrated society and you can go where you want to go…see who you want to see…sleep with whom you want to sleep …eat where you want to eat…and live where you want to live that you have arrived? You woke up one day and things are as they are. How do you think YOU got here? Do you America and White America after kidnapping us from Africa decided they would do the right thing because it is the right thing to do and make Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness really apply to us? Struggle requires sacrifices which you are too young to understand. Do you understand we have been fighting racism since its creation during slavery? If you were not so quick to think you know everything you would study a heavy dose of your History which has apparently escaped you. Don’t tell me THEY did not teach it…because if you want to know WHO you are you would find the information yourself. You are in college. There are no excuses. Yes I am stuck in the past and many others of my era are also stuck in the past. Because we respect the Civil Rights Movement and names like Thurgood Marshall and Charles Hamilton Houston and William Trotter and Ida B. Wells and James Weldon Johnson and A. Philip Randolph and Denmark Vesey and Richard Allen and Absalom Jones and Daniel Hale Williams and Toussaint Louverture and Ella Baker and Fannie Lou Hamer and Ruby Hurley and Martin Luther King and Harry t. Moore and Harriette Moore and Vernor Dahmer and Medgar Evers. The list is endless. NEED I GIVE YOU MORE NAMES? Yes I am stuck in the past and I thank God that I have enough sense to understand and realize we have to work together and learn from the past to help us today and help YOU tomorrow. I revere and respect and honor those Blacks who gave their lives for me so I can work to make things better for you and for that I do not apologize. When you understand what racism is all about and understand how long the Struggle has existed and how long we have been fighting racism then you can explain to me how you intend to magically make it disappear. American is a racist country and will not do anything because it is the right thing to. You fight for equality and do not think it is a short and an insignificant fight.
So Until you understand the Struggle…and understand racism…and understand this is an ongoing war… keep your criticisms and your lack of understanding about who you are to yourself. Sometimes you cannot teach.
The Struggle Continues. RLHSR.
I watched a portion of the series Blood and Glory: The Civil War on the History Channel. White Historians and White History teachers—high school and college—White Authors and White Genealogists and White Historical Societies and your Garden Variety Racists have this ongoing Incestuous Love Affair with the Civil War. First of all NO WAR is honorable and the Civil War was certainly far from "Glorious," It is really a damn shame that more than 150 years after this racist war, we still talk about the Civil War and teach about the Terrorist Confederacy Government and the Confederacy army as they were somehow honorable. They were treasonous traitors and scoundrels given a blanket amnesty by racist President Andrew Johnson who was a slavery supporter, and a Confederacy sympathizer.
These same Civil War lovers and apologists almost always exclude the fact that the real reason this dastardly racist war was fought was SLAVERY! Racism in America started with slavery. Racism is a product of Slavery. The American Institution of Racism is a product of Slavery. Racism in America is aided and abetted by these same historians etc who claim the Southern Heritage Lie because their White Privilege allow them to say it and get away with it. Racism is as American as Apple Pie.
Some of America's illegal racist violence has been replaced with legal racist violence which is used by militarized police departments, and justified in the courts and in the Racist "Injustice" System. This all started with Slavery. Overt racism is still around and it is just as ugly today as it was many many decades ago. America is a perpetually Racist Country and because it is, I reserve the right to criticize America perpetually.
The Struggle Continues. RLHSR.
I HAVE A THEORY WHY SO MANY REPUBLICANTS ARE RUNNING FOR PRESIDENT—17 AT THE LAST COUNT—AND IT IS PRESIDENT OBAMA'S FAULT.
You see the White American Dream is One Day You Can Grow Up and Become President. But it was never a realistic dream for Black Americans. So when President Obama was not only elected the 44th President but also re-elected, he took two White American Dream opportunities from Whites to be President.
Can you imagine the conversation with some of John McCain's friends and family members and Mitt Romney's friends and family members? John (McCain) you can beat that Black fella from Illinois. It should be a cake walk for you. After all you are a decorated Military hero, a POW, and a long time senator from Arizona. You should be President. After all you White running against a Black. You will be a shoo-in. Well John was not a shoo-in and was beaten rather handily. In fact, had the cow manure knocked out of him. So then friends and others said to John, damn John You could not beat a Black for President? A FAILED AMERICAN DREAM OPPORTUNITY!!!
And then there was Mitt Romney…Wealthy…former Governor…and a former candidate for the Republicant nomination. After all Mitt, as his smoke-blowers-blowing-smoke-up-his-behind kept telling him, Obama winning the first time was a fluke. He certainly would not win re-election. Well he did. In fact, Romney was so sure he was going to beat that Black fella from Illinois that he did not write a concession speech. You looked stupid Mitt when you finally realized President Obama was beating your Ass. And that brings us to this current crop of Republicant Clowns. Their egos are telling all of them, you cannot die allowing a Black to be president in your lifetime. You just cannot do it. You Gotta Run. It is your White American Dream responsibility, and we have already lost 8 YEARS. So by President Obama snatching 8 years—2 terms—of the White American Dream, a lot of White Republicants were "beaten up" by their friends, family members, and their WHITE EGOS because they let a Black —and a Black Male at that—become President of the United States of America before them. So you see, it is President Obama's fault we have 17 Republicant Clowns running for President. They are all playing Catch-up. BTW Ben Carson does not count. Piyush Jindal does not either but he does not know it yet. He still thinks he is White.
The Struggle continues. RLHSR.
Apparently some Black professional ball players and in this instance Black NBA Players do not realize that is a Black face looking back them in the mirror. When a Black person is enjoying his or her 15 minutes of fame they cannot abide doing anything that is "Too Black." We have seen this in the political arena when Whites convince Blacks that being Too Black is not Statesman-like. Show you are diverse and fair-minded Black elected official are told. Can you say Jacksonville Florida? And we saw how that turned out. Yet Whites are always Politically White.
Black folks apparently enjoy going along to get along or as Michael Jordan, when asked why doesn't he get involved in more issues of the Democrat Party and especially those issues that affect Black people, infamously responded—"Republicans Buy Shoes Too." So Sheldon Edelson, a filthy rich Jewish person paid to jet some Black NBA players to Israel to break an international boycott against Israel for their treatment of the Palestinians+. This same Sheldon Edelson has bankrolled some of the most racist Republicants running for President. What does that make him? Do Black ball players think they are not called a Nigger when they are not around? Apparently their integrity and their souls are cheap and for hire. And somehow these pathetic Black NBA Players think they are not affected. How Patently Pathetic. Wait until your playing days are over Black Ball Player, and see who comes-a-calling and how your refuge will again only rest in the Black community. See if the rich White boys come to you so you can again forget you are Black.
The Struggle Continues. RLHSR.
This is an outstanding article and a great read.
This is also a smackdown —my words—by Dr. Loewen on the whole issue about so-called Civil War/Southern heritage and the reason for fighting the war. He challenges the many historians and authors collectively and the senior editor of a major textbook publishing company individually who have spoon fed US a mouth full of historical baby food. He also takes the overall textbook industry to task. What is at stake unfortunately is educating generations+ of young students with inferior, inaccurate, and even racist information. Over and over Loewen documents—as he has done in his books—that THE REASON FOR FIGHTING THE CIVIL WAR WAS SLAVERY. It really begs the issue for a country to say the reason for fighting a war about slavery was not slavery so they do not have to apologize for slavery. Losers in all of this are students who should be taught a truthful and accurate American History. They have not been taught and are not being taught; which is another reason why WE have an obligation to know the REAL TRUTH AND KNOW BLACK HISTORY.
The Struggle Continues. RLHSR.
Over the weekend, democratic presidential candidate Martin O'Malley was booed off stage at Netroots Nation after crowds of protestors demanded to know what he would do to help stem systemic racism if he were elected. O'Malley answered, in part: "Black lives matter. White lives matter. All lives matter."
Wrong answer, dude.
O'Malley fell into an all too familiar trap, telling a group of black activists who were demanding accountability on issues of racism that, actually, "all lives matter."
But why, exactly, is that phrase so problematic? On Reddit, user GeekAesthete broke it down with a perfect analogy:
Imagine that you're sitting down to dinner with your family, and while everyone else gets a serving of the meal, you don't get any. So you say, "I should get my fair share." And as a direct response to this, your dad corrects you, saying, "Everyone should get their fair share." Now, that's a wonderful sentiment — Indeed, everyone should, and that was kinda your point in the first place: that you should be a part of everyone, and you should get your fair share also. However, dad's smart-ass comment just dismissed you and didn't solve the problem that you still haven't gotten any!
The user continues:
The problem is that the statement "I should get my fair share" had an implicit "too" at the end: "I should get my fair share, too, just like everyone else." But your dad's response treated your statement as though you meant "only I should get my fair share," which clearly was not your intention. As a result, his statement that "everyone should get their fair share," while true, only served to ignore the problem you were trying to point out.
Then, the kicker:
Just like asking dad for your fair share, the phrase "black lives matter" also has an implicit "too" at the end: It's saying that black lives should also matter. But responding to this by saying "all lives matter" is willfully going back to ignoring the problem. It's a way of dismissing the statement by falsely suggesting that it means "only black lives matter," when that is obviously not the case. And so saying "all lives matter" as a direct response to "black lives matter" is essentially saying that we should just go back to ignoring the problem.
It's been hard for some to grasp the significance of saying that "black lives matter." Some, like O'Malley, later realize their errors and apologize. (He later said that he "did not mean to be insensitive in any way or communicate that I did not understand the tremendous passion, commitment and feeling and depth of feeling that all of us should be attaching to this issue.") But the confusion keeps coming up, again and again.
In the words of Alicia Garza, a #BlackLivesMatter co-founder, who made the distinction late last year in a post on the Feminist Wire: "When we deploy 'all lives matter' as to correct an intervention specifically created to address anti-blackness, we lose the ways in which the state apparatus has built a program of genocide and repression mostly on the backs of black people."
The Struggle Continues. RLHSR.
RACISM has finally surfaced to the level Blacks always knew was there and Whites acted was not there. That "underbelly of racism" has been there for some time. When you are Black and you live in constant racist insults and the sheer hatred based on skin color you know racism no matter how much it is denied by America and the woefully inadequate media. RACISM IS BRUTALLY REAL. Some Whites in this country like to ignore Racism and then pretend the Father of Racism, the American Holocaust called Slavery did not happen. Those Whites who do admit Slavery happened defend it by saying it was beneficial to the Africans they kidnapped from Africa to work for them for free therefore developing and allowing them to maintain a lifestyle they quickly enjoyed and became accustomed. Additionally these same White Pro Slavery Christians went to WAR to maintain that lifestyle which kept a race of people in chains just to to do their bidding and of course make them rich at the same time.
The American Institution of Racism came out of Slavery. Jim Crow Laws…de facto and de jure Segregation…The Nadir of Race relations…and the cowardly Ku Klux Klan and other cowardly "night rider" groups were all created to keep "the Niggers" in their place. Whites have enjoyed White Privilege and White Supremacy for so long and have directed how Blacks should think, that they do not now understand that if America is to survive THEY have to deal with the Racism THEY CREATED. If the conversation makes Whites and some Blacks uncomfortable—GOOD! We have ignored this 800 lb gorilla called Racism long enough. To the extent that America has sold a bill of goods to younger Black and Whites that America is somehow in a post-racial period. That is perpetuated by those who feel holding hands and singing Kumbayah …having superficial and meaningless conversation about race…lying about American history and teaching those LIES in the classroom…and sitting in integrated settings—remember Jacksonville's racial study groups?—will somehow change the landscape. It hasn't and it won't. Neither will Handkerchief Head Niggers who Whites always trot out to say how things are getting better. They aren't. A few "crumbs off the table" are no longer good enough. Racism will not go quietly…but it will GO!
Equality for all means just that…Equality for all. The Struggle Continues. RLHSR.
These are the words of Eric Wattree. A great writer and a friend.
"I absolutely LOVE being Black – and I'm not just saying that because it's expected of me. While I have the ultimate respect for the unique character of every race and ethnicity, if I'm reincarnated a thousand times, I want to come back Black each and every one of them.
Being Black in America gives one an education and perspective on life that you can't get anywhere else. That's not widely recognized, because public attention is often focused on the most dysfunctional in the Black community. But contrary to popular belief, that might not be an altogether bad thing, because it allows the excellence within the Black community time to incubate, untainted by the public eye. That's what allowed Barack Obama to explode upon the world stage as a fully developed powerhouse, and there are hordes of others just like him who are currently incubating in Black cocoons in suburbs and inner cities all over America.Another thing that's not widely recognized is that the “soul” that Black people are known for extends far beyond music. What's commonly referred to as "soul" is actually creativity, and as any cognitive scientist will attest, creativity is a primary indicator of advanced intelligence.
While many White people don't realize it, every day of a Black person's life they're forced to deal with some sort of bigotry, either blatantly overt, or subtle and covert. It's generally the latter. That's why many White think that Black people are being overly sensitive when we complain of racism. But, by just going through life having to routinely outwit bigots on a daily basis constitutes a constant workout of our intellectual abilities. Many Black people don't even recognize this. As a result, many take the growing power of their intellectual potential for granted. They don't recognize their growing intellectual power. They simply think racists are dumb, so they often squander their intellectual potential.
Charles Darwin would call what's referred to as Black "soul" as a unique adaptation to adversity, and the most insightful within the Black community recognize it as being much like a sixth sense that reaches the very depths of human understanding. When fully developed, it provides Black people with a unique grasp, empathy, and insight into the human experience. That's why Black people are so effective in conveying human emotion through music and the arts – so effective, in fact, that "soul" has been confused with emotion itself.
So Black people don't just live life, we experience it. We experience life in the exact same way that we experience music. As a result, we actually feel our environment, with the exact same passion that we feel a lonely bass struttin' through the back alleys of a slow and funky blues. That accounts for our swagger, but our "soul" also accounts for making us far more than swagger alone – a point we must get across to the more frivolous within our community.
So yes, I'm Black, and I'm very, very proud. I'm proud of who I am, and I also take great pride in my history – and that even includes slavery – because adversity constitutes knowledge, and that knowledge is what made me, me."
The Struggle Continues. RLHSR.