I HAVE LISTENED TO A BUNCH OF WHITE FOLKS AND BLACKS FOLKS ON FACEBOOK AND ON THE INTERNET GIVE THEIR OPINIONS ABOUT SINGERS LIKE GLADYS KNIGHT (AND OTHERS) PERFORMING DURING THE SUPER BOWL.
Although many felt it was disgraceful for Gladys to perform, many of you cannot divorce Gladys the singer, from Gladys, who apparently does not understand White American Racism, and even worse, Insulates White American Racism. Others refuse to understand and appreciate the reasons why Colin Kaepernick “took a knee.” Even if you cannot support Kaepernick and the Struggle, WHY give Aid and Comfort To Racism?
There is not a Bigger Gladys Knight fan walking the face of the earth than me, but it should not be my responsibility to teach a class called, “Being Black 101.” Black is a skin color, but Black is also a State of Mind. White American Racism challenges you daily as a Black person. It is left up to you to respond to those challenges, while at the same time taking a Stand to Show the Worth of YOUR Black Human Dignity and Respect.
The same goes with boycotting the NFL. Although it was a personal choice for many, including myself...I have not watched an NFL game in over two years...it was and is a commitment about taking a Stand for what you believe, and Supporting a Cause and a Continued movement against Racism. We should not have to to remember why Colin Kaepernick knelt. He “exposed” the NFL and its “Fraternity of Racist Slave Master Owners” as a Racist American Institution, up close and very personal for us. Colin lost millions when he knelt in opposition to Racism and Police Brutality. Some of us did not have a Damn thing to lose but inconvenience and TV viewing time, while supporting a noble cause and a demonstration against Racism, but WE HAD to have OUR NFL Football. Which is why White folks continue to play Black folks like a drum because many of us refuse to take a STAND on Anything. We will just call them...Bent Back Negroes.
You might not see "Colored and White" signs today as they were back in the day, but believe me, they are still there. Boycotts and Demonstrations and Marches and Picket Lines were necessary components of the Civil Rights Movement. We used any means necessary to fight Visible Vestiges of Segregation and Racism.
From Montgomery to Birmingham to Greensboro to Nashville to Jackson to Atlanta to Jacksonville to Tampa and ALL OVER the South...Blacks stood up and Sat down and Marched and Walked and Boycotted to show their opposition to White American Racism. Many of you today are the beneficiaries of the few who made sacrifices and withstood challenges and even lost their Lives to make America PAY that IOU Promissory Note of Centuries Ago...Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness as WE THE PEOPLE.
Some of you act as if the fight against Racism and the fight for your Human Dignity and Respect is over and not necessary. Anyone who could plainly see White America electing a Racist president and the reasons why, should readily understand the idiocy of that thought process.
For Gladys Knight and other Black performers to not understand the issues and not support those issues mean they do not understand White American Racism and certainly to do not understand the Value of Their Black Human Dignity and Respect...and THAT IS SAD!
The Struggle Continues!
I am very Proud of my African Ancestry, it is called Love My Blackness, even though my Hue of Skin might say to some that I am not quite “Black enough." For those who talk about the “degree” of Blackness of Kamala Harris, and even Barack Obama, because of their skin tone and their Mixed Ancestry, remember this, NONE of US can trace our ancestry purely “back to Africa.” We all have some “bi-racial” in us. But in America, ONE DROP of Black Blood, “makes” you Black--in addition to Being Black, is also a State of Mind. Leave the “she is too light-skin-did” and “she is not Black enough” under the rock where you found it. And that goes for anyone else that YOU judge as not being Black Enough based on how “light” they are.
The Struggle Continues!
My Understanding what Young Gifted and Black Really meant, began at age 11, when I transferred from Segregated James Weldon Johnson Junior High School, in the Negro Division of the Duval County School System, to Segregated Isaiah Blocker Junior High School, in the Negro Division of the Duval County School System, where Mr. Rutledge Pearson was an American History teacher.
I posted earlier this week, “If you are an educator in a oppressive system, you are either a Revolutionary or an Oppressor.” Mr. Pearson was a Revolutionary, who refused to teach a Racist American History, and would not use the Racist American History book, written by Racist White Historians, and approved for "Negro" schools. Books which only mentioned the names of George Washington Carver and Booker T. Washington, as if they were the ONLY Blacks to make salient contributions to this country.
In addition to telling us to "leave your American History textbook home', Mr. Pearson’s said this during my first day of his class, “Freedom is not Free. If you are not a part of the Solution You are a part of the Problem” ...and thus, my Civil Rights Journey and my Black History journey began. Mr Pearson was also the adviser to the Jacksonville Youth Council NAACP which I joined after an invitation to join came from him in his classroom.
After joining the NAACP Youth Council, I would later attend my first Jacksonville Branch NAACP Mass Meeting. The speaker was Jackie Robinson. NAACP Mass meetings were held in churches and they served a number of functions: they informed, since we did not have social media during these days; they provided news on the Civil Rights front, since we did not have Black news network reporters to inform; Mass meetings were always held in Black churches, which were the bedrock of the Civil Rights Movement.
Mass meetings and Mass meeting speakers, motivated and inspired and invigorated those of US in the Struggle. Understand, the Black community, even during these days of Abject Segregation and Racism, was not Monolithic. You had to deal with those House Negroes who were always “lurking” about to tell the “man” what was going on “among the Coloreds.” Dr. Freddie Haynes III during his Outstanding address at the Dr. Martin Luther King Breakfast sponsored the Jacksonville Branch NAACP...the Jacksonville Urban League...the Southern Christian Leadership Conference...and the African American Ministers Leadership Council...called them “BENT BACK NEGROES.”
I must admit I had a number of flashbacks as I listened to Dr. Haynes on Friday morning. It was as if I was transported back in time listening to some of the great Black preachers who used their pulpit, not to Pimp Black People...but to motivate, inspire, and invigorate, while helping Blacks People to understand they are Black, and You can get tired fighting Racism, But you cannot get Weary. That is, IF you ARE fighting Racism.
White America HATED Dr. King and eventually Assassinated Dr. King because White America considered Dr. King a Pariah, they harassed him through J. Edgar Hoover and the FBI, yet was intimidated by, who Dr. Haynes called, THIS Black Inconvenient Hero and Black Revolutionary. Dr. King was assassinated for who he was and what he stood for...and HE WAS BLACK. White America LIES as they disingenuously try to portray Dr. King as a Convenient Hero, Comfortable -for them- Sanitized version of “only a dreamer” preacher.
Rev. Haynes’ words and his honesty and his integrity and his principles are Sorely missing in the pulpit today. But suffice it to say, the Struggle will go on without the Black Pulpit Pimps who say nothing every Sunday... without the White Pulpit Pimps who preach Hatred and show their support of Racism every Sunday...and the Bent Back Negroes who Go Along to Get Along, and who benefit from others fighting Racism.
The Struggle Continues!
Excerpt from my Book, "Unless WE Tell It...It Never Gets Told!" Chapter 20...Richard Wesley Marshall.
Adjacent to the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial on the National Mall, and situated in a direct line between the Lincoln Memorial and the Jefferson Memorial, stands the powerful and majestic memorial honoring Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Congress passed joint resolutions in 1996 authorizing Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., to establish a memorial in Washington, D.C., honoring Dr. King. In 2011, the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial was completed and dedicated.
No one can begin to imagine the sincere pride that I had in the presence of this profound—and literally monumental—recognition of this great civil rights leader. Imagine, too, how surprised I was when I saw Richard W. Marshall, chief financial officer, listed as a member of the memorial project team. Richard was the Chief Financial Officer of the Dr. Martin Luther King Memorial and as such was responsible for handling more than 120 Million Dollars. It did not take me long to find out that this Richard Marshall was indeed my friend and former longtime neighbor. I could not have been prouder.
Richard Marshall, his late brother, George, and his (recently deceased) sister, Catherine, were my friends and next-door neighbors for more than ten years. Richard's late sister, Catherine Patricia "Trish" Marshall, and I graduated in the Northwestern Jr Sr High School First Graduating class in 1960. George graduated from Northwestern in 1961, and Richard in 1964.
Richard went to Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University (FAMU), graduating with degrees in accounting and economics. He began his career in 1969 as a staff auditor for Arthur Young & Company in New York City. During his summers, Richard organized programs to help churches and daycare centers in Harlem, while also assisting them with getting help for their financial books. When he went to work for General Motors in 1972, he relocated to Detroit, and established similar programs in Michigan. When Richard heard about the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial effort, he thought the project’s organizers could use his expertise.
He talked with Rod Gillum, the vice president of GM’s community relations—and now the chairman of the Memorial Foundation’s board—and Rod brought him on to work for the foundation. Richard and his wife moved to Washington, D.C., in June 2001, after GM had signed on as the lead Memorial’s sponsor and committed $10 million to the foundation. And as we are prone to say, the rest is history.
During the chapter, Richard and I had a great conversation about this Prodigious Commemorative undertaking and about the legacy of Dr. King, and what he meant to him. A few highlights...
Richard Marshall: “When I was in seventh grade, my next-door neighbor was a high school senior who was a leader involved in NAACP student initiatives. He talked a lot about Dr. King and I learned from watching and listening to him at school and in the neighborhood. My family and I started seeing a lot of civil rights marches on television, but it really brought it home that my neighbor was a young leader advocating for civil rights.” [Of course, I was Richard’s next-door neighbor. You never what you might do or say to impact someone.]
RH: What was the highlight of the dedication ceremony for you?
Richard Marshall: Listening to President Obama speak during the rescheduled dedication ceremony on the National Mall. It was a very historic moment, having the first Black President of the United States dedicate the first Memorial to an iconic Black civil rights figure on the National Mall. My hope has always been that the Memorial will serve as a beacon for global peace, a place for conversations that will keep the legacy of Dr. King alive to energize future generations.
The Struggle Continues!
ALL OF BLACK AMERICA AND WHITE AMERICA READ ABOUT ANDREW JOHNSON, the Young Black wrestler in New Jersey who was FORCED to cut his dreadlocks prior to his wrestling match OR Forfeit the match. This “do it or else” ultimatum was issued by a White wrestling referee official who said Johnson's hair was "improper" and took it upon his “White Self” to impose Racist punitive action.
Apparently, his haircut three weeks ago still didn’t comply with the rules when Johnson showed up for a routine check of his hair and skin prior to another wrestling match. Another referee told Johnson he’d have to cover his hair in order to compete. All of these Racist episodes occurred after Johnson had previously competed with his "Black hair and hair style." However, when Andrew’s mother asked about this latest hair issue, the ref explained it away. Instead, the ref said there was confusion over her son and another teammate. Yet when the match rolled around, there were NO OTHER wrestlers on either team wearing head coverings.
Hair styles and skin color go hand in hand. This is Pure Racism and a Perverted story which highlights White America's attempts to preclude Blacks in America ...and especially Young Blacks...from having a cultural identity free from "White" norms. Understand the Parameters of the American Institution of Racism....and IF you Understand them, sit a Young One down and explain IT to them.
The Struggle Continues.
Excerpts from my book, Unless WE Tell It...It Never Gets Told! and Chapter 29 - Racism and the American Presidency- Part I.
"WOODROW WILSON, who won both the 1912 and 1916 Presidential Elections, is often held up as an example of a “progressive” president, but many, myself included, consider him to have been a Racist in Presidential Clothing.
In order to win the African American vote, Wilson made the campaign promise that he could be counted on “for absolute fair dealing, for everything by which I could assist in advancing the interests of [the African] race in the United States.” But following Wilson’s election, his first Congress sent him some of the most racist legislation in the history of that body, and Wilson promptly signed it.
As president of Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson would not hire Black applicants; during that time, Princeton was the only major northern university that refused to admit Black students. On taking power in Washington, Wilson brought his own brand of racism with him, which included telling “darkie” jokes during his Cabinet meetings. He appointed many pro-segregation Southerners to his Cabinet, which allowed them to quickly change the way the federal government handled racial issues, and he used the power of the Presidency to impose widespread segregation in the federal government.
Having said during his campaign that he would improve the conditions of Blacks in the country.
After he was elected, President Wilson did nothing to make good on his campaign promises. In fact, he acted to re-segregate the federal workplace. Following the Civil War, Blacks had been employed in various federal jobs in Washington, D.C., and often the offices they worked in were integrated; in many departments, white clerks worked under Black supervision. Wilson’s Cabinet put an end to that, and in fact ended Blacks having access to federal jobs. Moreover, his Administration made it mandatory to include a photograph with any application for a federal position, which further facilitated the exclusion of Blacks from government jobs.
President Wilson allowed officials to segregate work areas of their departments, even segregating the lavatories. One reason given was that white government workers had to be protected from various contagious diseases, particularly venereal diseases, which Wilson claimed were widespread among Blacks.
President Wilson pushed for segregation of federal workers, systematically demoted Black civil servants, and claimed that nothing could be done to improve the situation of Blacks in the country. He refused to meet with Black leaders, to appear at Black conferences on issues of race, or to publicly denounce lynching. During World War I, President Wilson’s administration relegated Black soldiers to non-combat labor billets, claiming that they were incapable of fighting courageously. Under Wilson, the Navy allowed Blacks only to serve as “mess boys,” and the Marines did not accept Blacks in any capacity."
From then to now...trump...Woodrow Wilson...Racist presidents. Nothing has changed.
The Struggle Continues!
When you see The Racism in America Daily as EVIDENCED through social media...when you see the Racism of America's Racist president with words of rancor and vitriol Daily dripping from his lips...when you see Core Racist Attitudes of White Americans on display Daily...when you see the Daily Racism in American education...why would you doubt there was Daily Racism in centuries past when there was NO social media to record these everyday Racist occurrences?
Lying Racist textbook authors and historians and the Racist news media have helped to camouflage and suppress the impact of Racism and distort the Civil Rights Movement over the years because they have told an Incomplete and Dishonest American History story through their White Privileged eyes, while excluding the Salient contributions by Blacks.
American textbooks document a Dishonest American History without admitting it is Dishonest...Black and White American teachers teach a Dishonest American History without admitting it is Dishonest...and Black and White students internalize and learn a Dishonest American History without understanding it is Dishonest. And the Civil Rights Movement? Zilch. Nada. Crickets.
What additionally makes American History Immoral is White students can pick up a book and read about the contributions of those who look like them. Black students cannot pickup a book and read about the contributions of those who look like them. When Blacks and their salient contributions are purposefully excluded from the annals of American History as we have seen, the playing field is eternally uneven, unlevel, and unfair, and remains eternally uneven, unlevel, and unfair. In the eyes of those students, White Americans did everything and Black Americans did nothing. The daily damage to the psyche of Black students in a classroom because of America's Dishonesty and America's Racism is Criminal.
Most Americans would have you think Black people had little history besides the degradation of being enslaved in the American Holocaust called slavery. Blacks have significantly impacted the development of the social, scientific, political, and economic structures of the United States and the world. Credit for the evolving awareness of the true place of Blacks in history can, in large part, be bestowed on one man, Carter Godwin Woodson. Dr. Carter G. Woodson founded the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History (now the Association for the Study of African American Life and History) in 1915 and Negro History Week in 1927.
Once again as we approach Black History Month in February, WE must tell OUR Story. But WE must learn OUR Story First. Because Unless WE Know It and Can Tell It...It Never Gets Told! BTW...WE do not have to wait until February to Teach and Learn about Black History.
The Struggle Continues.
Rodney. L. Hurst, Sr.