Dec. 10, 2019

My Historical Hero

I love my history, my ancestry, my ancestors and I will not allow any of that history or not one of those ancestors to be covered up or ignored. Thank you Dr. Benjamin Quarles for injecting me with that spirit and pride of black historical consciousness.

Dec. 10, 2019

Remembering Robert S. Abbott

Today on the Black Blogger reflects I would like to look back 113 years to a kitchen in a Chicago apartment way hich housed a black brother with an astounding dream. He wanted to build an empire in the newspaper publishing business. Get this all this brother had was a quarter and a dream. Talk about being a bold dreamer. Not only did he only have a quarter he also was saddled in a racist nation with black skin. Yet, any barriers that may have been out in front of his dream were simply stepping stones to the miraculous achievement of his goal. This man, Robert S. Abbott, was the founding editor of the Chicago Defender, the voice of Chicago’s Black Belt. The Chicago Defender was also the voice for many blacks who resided in America’s own version of hell, The Jim Crow South.

Think about this just for a moment? Robert Abbott had a quarter which is worth about $6.78 in today’s money. With that quarter Robert S. Abbott changed the course of America. There were just a few around 50 semi-successful black daily, or weekly publications in this nation. Our black communities that had these publications that were considered the leaders in those communities Pittsburgh Courier, New York Amsterdam News, California Eagle, Atlanta Daily World, Baltimore Afro-American, Cleveland Call and Post, Los Angeles Sentinel, Philadelphia Tribute and The Norfolk Journal and Guide. Yet, historically when one thinks of a primary voice of the black community many think of that black weekly newspaper that began in a small kitchen apartment on the Southside of Chicago on May 5, 1905.

Robert S. Abbott’s initial Defender issues were four-page , six column handbills and were filled with local news items and clippings from other newspapers. The latter part is a semblance of what the Huffington Post does today online. Robert S. Abbott was a forward thinking man, a man beyond his time, a man whose dreams changed the landscape geographically, intellectually, economically, and socially of the entire country. He changed all that with a lucky quarter and a dream. Robert S. Abbott never used the words Negro or black to identify a proud people. Robert used the term RACE to encompass our people as a whole, Race men and Pace Women to separate us in terms of gender. That very thought endears me personally to this incredible man of vision.

It was the Chicago Defender that encouraged successfully the massive campaign shifting southern blacks north, west, and east that became known as “The Great Migration”. The movement of the Race from chains of the oppressive Jim Crow South to the Northern States of America. This migration was not of people moving from another nation to this nation. It was a movement of a great mass of people within the nation to the same nation. As matter of fact almost 1/2 million Black southerners moved to the North in a decade period between 1915-1925. If you want to learn more about this migration please read Isabelle Wilkerson’s magnificent book, The Warmth Of Other Suns. In that book Isabelle details the impacts the influence that the Chicago Defender had on this massive migration of a RACE of people.

Let’s get real again just for a moment. Do you think that Black Americans across this nation would have been aware of the many terroristic acts of violence perpetrated on our ancestors had not publications like the Chicago Defender not existed? The major white newspapers discounted the southern violence in many northern cities. The lynchings, the tortures, the burnings of our ancestors alive, the unjust murders, the white mob violence never moved to the front pages of New York Times, The Washington Post, The Chicago Tribute, Cleveland Plain Dealer or any other major white newspaper across this segregated nation during this period.

In period when our ancestors were not allowed to be educated in southern schools, not being taught to read nor write, Chicago Defender were being read aloud in secrecy in churches, barbershops, and homes across the south. Our ancestors were being introduced to writers like Langston Hughes, Walter White, and Gwendolyn Brooks. They were becoming conscious that their plight was not ignored by those who lived in other sections of this nation. All of this because Robert S. Abbott had a dream and a simple quarter which combined together changed the course this nation. Although the remnants of Robert S. Abbott’s dream still lives today online and I think still in print. The majesty of those remarkable times when our community was seemingly more committed to step up to the challenge of unity and growth are steadily disappearing.

We now have so many voices that don’t read anything that builds consciousness that drive personal growth. So many of our supposedly black publications are seemingly more concerned about the fact that a black woman bares her ass cheeks, or someone is deprived of some meaningless statue , or that Kanye West really has a renewed awakening of God. Or caught up in an imaginary rap beef between Nick Cannon and Eminem. A real beef existed when Jim Crow was on the streets of southern towns and cities. The Chicago Defender defended our basic rights when most of America was set on snatching them rights away. That’s why the name Robert S Abbott must be held in the highest esteem. He cared not only about informing Chicago but informing an entire black nation. So, you wanna put someone on a pedestal of fame put Mr. Abbott up high.

Dec. 10, 2019

Lizzo’s Ass Cheeks

"America's black communities are shook up with Lizzo’s fat round cheeks on display court side for all to see ages one to eighty. What exactly is a Lizzo anyway? Are we permanently distracted? Or our minds stuck in twirling circle of cultural confusion? Some could say that Lizzo’s ass cheeks are just an illusion but wow they sure as hell caused a seismic state of social confusion. Andy Warhol envisioned 15 minutes of fame but now that claim has been put to shame. It seems social media has altered forever Warhol’s game.

All the time we're distracted by this and that which is in most cases whack. The Trump Administration is protracting away our rights. Man they reaching way back to 1866 to dehabilitate us. These cats about to snatch away rights our ancestor's struggled for, rights bathed in the blood squeezed from our ancestors bodies, rights lined and tightened by the noose man’s rope of injustice on black men, women, and children hanging limp in oak trees. While we are shook up by Lizzo’s ass cheeks waving in the winds of ignorance. I mean folks even saying Lizzo defiant, my feelings are Lizzo’s compliant, damn sure not defiant. Ella Baker was defiant, Ida Belle was defiant, Fannie Lou was defiant, Lizzo she’s just compliant.

Our black communities aren't even putting up a hard fight. Catch hold of this bit of knowledge. Did you happen to catch a glance of the white man’s sight that night. You may have noticed they didn’t give even a slight of Lizzo’s ass cheeks that night.
We had better get woke because losing hard-earned judicial rights are hardly a joke and surely you won't get them back while inhaling on that toke confused by all that mind-numbing smoke. Tell me again why y’all shook up about Lizzo’s ass cheeks?

Dec. 8, 2019

December 9, 1971, Ralph Bunche A World Warrior For Peace Passed Into Eternal Peace

Many African-Americans think that the first African-American to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize was Martin Luther King Jr. Well. in reality, the very first Nobel Peace Prize awarded to a black man was given to Ralph Bunche for his tireless work done to secure peace in the Middle East.

I am sure that Dr. Bunche would surely question some of the decisions being made internationally now. Yet on this date December 10, 1950, in his words, my voice I celebrate the achievement of Ralph Bunche that elevated the posture of Black Americans on the world stage in 1950.

Today I honor his passing 48 years ago by spending some moments with one of the highlights of Dr. Bunche’s remarkable career. His winning of the Nobel Peace Prize.

Dec. 8, 2019

The Black Blogger "Colonel Charles Young" December 9, 1903 “Standards and Ideals of New Negrodom

I would like to take my audience back in time on JoeSmokeBlackThoughts to listen as I read the words of a speech given by a young Captain Charles Young, addressing campus students at Stanford University in Palo Alto, California.

This address was discussing the daily attacks that were being initiated by citizens of this nation against citizens who were also citizens through second class in so many regards to this nation as well. Captain Charles Young speech that was in direct opposition to Booker T. Washington’s philosophy of casting your buckets where you are.

Captain Charles Young was the first black captain in the armed forces of this nation. Charles Young was the first colonel in the US Army. Colonel Young commanded the Buffalo Soldiers as well. He was and is a name that our children should be taught about. If you don’t know the name don’t be disheartened because it isn’t a name that you will find in any history book primarily because of the color of skin. However the service he provided to this nation should not be ignored. He died in Lagos, Nigeria while on assignment for this nation.

Colonel Young’s remains are buried in Arlington National Cemetery.