Jul. 7, 2020

Celebrating Leroy Satchel Paige’s Birthday

Leroy Satchel Paige was in my opinion the greatest professional baseball player in this nation’s history. You name the player Babe Ruth, Willie May, Cy Young, Nolan Ryan, Barry Bonds, Mickey Mantle, Ty Cobb, Ted Williams, and so many more and Satch surpassed them on the baseball diamond. In 1965 on a September night Satch did something that should never be forgotten. Leroy Paige at the age of 59, or 65, or 69 pitched 3 innings against the Boston Red Sox. Paige retired 9 of 10 batters and allowed only one hit. Listen as I read an article that appeared on the 50th anniversary of that feat today. The article appeared in the Kansas City Star and was written by sports reporter the Sam Mellinger. I know many young people don’t know the name Leroy Satchel Paige but he is a legend in our illustrious African American history.

Jul. 5, 2020

It’s The Systemic Racist Institutions That Feed White Supremacy Not The Statutes

Tearing down century old statues of confederate rebels who believed in white supremacy is just a cursory step towards gaining any type of societal racial justice. Why? Because, those statues have already performed the job they were installed to do. They provided a sense of racial fear during the period of time we knew as Jim Crow America. Most of those statues were installed during the period of time when along with white mob justice, the statutes supported the need to instill fear and promote white supremacy. So, in taking them down or allowing groups of people to take them down it is simply a case of racial pacification.

Changing the names of professional sporting teams is as Malcolm X, told us in the 1960s’ another meaningless step, or action that provides black communities a sense of accomplishing something. What is the accomplishment? Well, for the team changing its name it is the ability to increase team revenues. You think if the Washington Redskins changes the team name to the Washington RedTails that Dan Snyder, team owner won’t see a significant boost in his team’s bottom line related to increased marketing? How many black folks will be sporting Red Tail uniforms next fall? How much of that increased team revenue is coming back to our black communities? I’m waiting?

Today, July 6, 2020, I am releasing another Stokely “Kwame Ture” Carmichael teaching moment. This quote comes from a speech Stokely gave in Berkeley, California in 1966. This how I reflect on how that quote has maintained its relevance for over 54 years. If change is truly going to occur in any of our lifetimes in this nation. That change must be the complete destruction of the foundations of institutional racism that continues too foster and promote the massive societal inequalities that exists in this nation in 2020. Those inequalities weren’t supported by statues or professional team names. Sorry. They were supported and are still supported by unfulfilled bills of federal, state, and municipalities that maintain the social and economic inequities without any legitimacy of real change.

So when is real change coming? Not when you take down a statue, or change a team name. No, change will come when those individuals with the racist institutions that promote and feed off those in real need of change are torn down. Because, it is those privileged few who hide behind these pacification tactics and continue to feed on all levels of division.

Jul. 5, 2020

Stokely Carmichael Teaching Moment

The 5th of July 2020

Jul. 4, 2020

The Black Blogger Writing and Speaking - Reflecting On The 4th Of July

Last year I created this post honoring the speech that Frederick Douglass gave related to the celebration of the 4th of July. I continue to be dispirited about America's 4th of July. Now, even more, so that the current resident in the supposed nation's house has decided to unleash military armaments in parade fashion in our nation's capital. It has always seemed questionable for Americans of African Descent to celebrate the 4th of July as some significant date in our black history as it relates to our acquired personal freedoms in this country. Yes, the 4th of July was the date that the white land owning colonists sent a message to England's King George in the form of the Declaration of Independence that it would no longer be under the rule of Great Britain's rule of monarchy. Yet the message never was intended to include freedom for any of our descendants who were held in the cruel institution of slavery.

So, when America lights the skies with fireworks each 4th of July it portents Black Americans to think long and hard about celebrating a date in history that only prolonged our status in the chains of a harsh condition of enforced slavery. Even when America formally won its independence from Great Britain after Yorktown slaves ships were still arriving on American shores filled with our ancestors. Each of the ancestors came to these shores with little or no hope of freedom. They were simply recognized as chattel property. Each faced a lifetime filled with the horrors that accompanied the immorality of American slavery. So, why do Black Americans celebrate the 4th of July? Didn't ancestor Frederick Douglass detail specifically that this celebration had no meaning to our ancestors?

The year of independence for Black Americans was supposed to have been finalized in 1870 when our male ancestors were given the right to vote by the 15th Amendment. This amendment followed the passage of the 13th and 14th Amendments that abolished slavery and gave all of our black ancestors the rights of citizenship and due process under the law. Yet America's callous history towards our black ancestors proved that paper laws never meant real black independence. Although, our black ancestors were always first in war sacrificing black blood for America's liberties. The true reciprocation of democracy by many whites towards our black ancestors was ignored. It actually wasn't until the years 1964 and 1965 that America implemented protections for citizenship rights as well as the right for our black ancestors to vote. That was only 55 years ago. Many black Americans living today remember the struggles that ensued battling for those rights.

Yet those battles don't mean that we accept the 4th of July, 1776 as the date of symbolic freedom. For in doing that we dishonor the historical fact that true black independence in America had to wait for another almost two centuries. My ancestors struggled in this nation for fair and equal treatment. I continue to struggle in this nation even in 2019 for fair and equal treatment. So, until true equality is a commonplace occurrence for all black Americans. It will be difficult for me, personally to celebrate white America's day of independence. When America truly honors the losses experienced by our black ancestors in a form of reparations and national apologies. Then, just maybe the 4th of July will become a true national day of recognition. Until then, it is simply the 4th day in the month of July, nothing less​, nothing more.

Jul. 3, 2020

Emancipation Day 1863 Frederick Douglass: Douglass Monthly

Day Two: The Portable Frederick Douglass: Project Uplift Literacy : Our Black History Need Not Ever Be A Black Mystery
The Blackman Read Aloud Hour Project

The Day of Jubilee Comes
Douglass Monthly, January 1863
In His Words My Voice
I continue to spend some time as I read from the book The Portable Frederick Douglass and learn about the man, his words, and his impact on American society.