Mar. 15, 2020

The Disappearance of Lloyd Gaines A Civil Rights Pioneer

Let’s spend some time learning about a civil rights pioneer 28-year-old Lloyd Gaines, who disappeared from the face of the earth in March 1939. 81-years-ago this intelligent graduate student who was challenging the system of segregation at the University of Missouri simply never appeared again after supposedly going out for stamps one rainy night in Chicago. Today, I will read an article written by Chad Garrison in April, 2007 that was published in the Riverfront Times. Lloyd Gaines is name that many in our communities will not be familiar with but he another example of the oppressive conditions our ancestors face simply because of the color of their skins.

Mar. 14, 2020

Melanin’s Glory

Melanin’s Glory

I love the word black
I love the word brown
I love the word tan
Even high yellow will make me turn around
I love that a few drops of melanin can cause one such beauty
More drops of melanin will make one’s ebony shine
Melanin is rich beyond one’s belief
Because melanin brings the body some relief
The rays of the sun release such power
Your melanin content places you high in God’s tower
So be you chocolate, mocha, or tan
Thank the one up above for that skin glowing power
In closing I say I love skin colors
From fair to the darkest hue
As long as you have some degree of melanin in you
You see melanin greatness is unparalleled
Melanin’s glory is God’s greatest story

Mar. 14, 2020

“I Am Sick And Tired Of Being Sick And Tired”

The Democratic Convention Atlantic City, New Jersey
Fannie Lou Hamer
Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party

On August 22, 1964, Fannie Lou Hamer spoke before the Credentials Committee at the Democratic National Convention. It was her responsibility to convince the Democratic Party to seat the elected delegates of Freedom Democratic Party of Mississippi over the segregated white delegates of the Democratic Party. This was prior to the passage of Voting Rights Act of 1965. During this remarkable speech Fannie Lou Hamer, a former sharecropper spoke about the her life as black person seeking political justice in the state of Mississippi. Fannie’s story represented similar stories of many black sharecroppers in southern states.

The very nature of Fannie Lou Hamer's presence at the Democratic National Convention was amazing in itself. Fannie Lou Hamer wasn't an educated person with scholarly degrees. Fannie was simply, a black woman who wanted full citizenship right in this nation. She wanted the right to participate along with every other black person in the state of Mississippi in the electoral process. The state of Mississippi had denied blacks the right to vote in 1890 when they created a stranglehold on the constitutional rights of blacks to be anything other than second and third-class citizens. That injustice had simply become unacceptable to Fannie Lou Hamer. So she put her life on the line to pursue her full citizenship rights as well as fight for those same rights for others.

On this August day in 1964, Fannie Lou Hamer demanded that the entire delegation of the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party be seated as the valid representatives for the state of Mississippi. The all-white Democratic delegation didn't reflect the state of Mississippi's population because blacks weren't allowed to vote in 1964 in the process of choosing national delegates. So powerful was Fannie Lou Hamer's presentation that day it caused such a disruption that President Lyndon Baines Johnson attempted to take away the televised audience's attention by scheduling an impromptu news conference. Fannie Lou Hamer's shadow of black independence, black awareness, black pride, black love, and black determination resides in every living black person today. We owe Fannie Lou Hamer's spirit an uncollected debt of gratitude to continue to fight for the equality in that nation that Fannie sought in her lifetime.

If that means fighting for reparations, then we must fight for that sacred debt payments as Fannie Lou Hamer would've fought for them tirelessly. If that means going to the ballot booths to vote then we must actively participate in the voting process religiously. If that means loving your brothers and sisters like Fannie Lou Hamer then we must do so unconditionally. You see although Fannie Lou Hamer left us 43 years ago, her spirit resides in every molehill, hamlet, town, and city in this nation. Fannie Lou Hamer loved this nation not for what it was but for the infinite possibilities this nation could offer if it simply walked past

Mar. 13, 2020

Salute To Fannie Lou Hamer

Nobody Free Until Everybody Is Free

Fannie Lou Hamer was quite a woman. Fannie Lou Hamer defied her environment, defied the circumstances that she was born into, defied the oppression that she encountered by her oppressors, defied the lack of educational opportunities that were given to her, defied the physical violence that was done to her, and defied all that questioned her determination and desire to make a difference for all black Mississippian’s seeking a better life, a freer life, a life bound with the rights this nation’s Constitution guaranteed people of color. Today, I remember Fannie Lou Hamer on passed away 43 years ago on March 14, 1977.

If you travel to Sunflower County, Mississippi you will see erected memorials to this incredibly powerful black woman. Now you must understand that Sunflower County, Mississippi was also the birth home of the segregationist US Senator James Eastland, for the better part of his life was dedicated to the goal of stepping on and crushing black rights, now only in Mississippi but the entire nation. Yet, if you travel to Sunflower County, Mississippi the name that is remembered isn’t that United States Senator but the name remembered is a former sharecropper who lifted up others in her big boat of justice. Nearly beaten within inches of her life for attempting to secure knowledge about citizenship rights for blacks, Fannie Lou Hamer persevered. Historians have said had Fannie Lou Hamer been a man her life works would’ve rivaled the greatest civil rights leaders of that era. Men like Evers, King, Carmichael, Lewis, Marshall all would’ve had to move over for Fannie Lou Hamer’s place of prominence for her unrivaled passion and strength.

So, today as we look back to a life well lived The Blackman Who Reads Aloud provides you in my voice the words and deeds in a poetic salute to the incomparable Fannie Lou Hamer on March 14, 2020. We must teach our youth about the magnificent works of Fannie Lou Hamer. Fannie Lou Hamer stood down the powers of institutional white supremacy. Fannie Lou Hamer forced a US President to blink in 1964. Fannie Lou Hamer had the absolute respect of Malcolm X. Fannie Lou Hamer was truly a queen of black liberty.

Mar. 13, 2020

You’re Fired Isn’t A Strategy

These Are Troubling Times
When Faced With Crisis We Got This

You have to understand that complexity of this current situation and why the media and the CDC have to trend lightly on how much information can be force fed the American public. Remember this fact America that those educated scientific professionals are dealing with nearly half of those who voted in our nation’s past Presidential Election in 2016. These folks voted for a man with no political experience and who spoke two words that made him their media darling. Those words “you’re fired”, enough said. This nation is in pickle and the leadership in the federal government controlling the impending doom of this coronavirus is as troubling as the coronavirus itself. For those looking for answers coming from 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue you cannot tell this deadly virus you’re fired.