Aug. 28, 2019

August 28, 1963 Josephine Baker Speaks On The Washington Mall Power To The People

On this day 56 years ago the only woman to be given a turn at the podium to speak was a dignified exceptional woman of courage and immense pride. She was a born an American citizen but when the racism and hatred of this nation were simply too much for her to bear. She moved to Europe for some semblance of equality. While she was in Europe this remarkable black woman who was known for her astounding beauty and talent became a nation's war hero. She assisted in bringing down the Nazi regime that was terrorizing European states and massacring people of the Jewish faith. When she arrived on August 28, 1963, to the podium. She arrived in the uniform of her new home of citizenship, France. The shame of this nation was that color was the sole reason why Freda Josephine Baker, born June 3, 1906, in St. Louis, Missouri wasn't able to live out her dreams in America. She had to cross the Atlantic to become a world-renowned super stage. Her stage talents were immense but more than those talents Josephine Baker was filled with courage and determination not to allow bigotry to stop her from attaining her goals. She strived in her lifetime to erase racial hatred and elevate the cause of humanity. So on this day, The Blackman Who Reads Aloud remembers Ms. Josephine Baker by reading the speech she gave on the Washington Mall, August 28, 1963.

Before Beyonce, Rihanna. Before Lena Horne, Dorothy Dandridge. Before Halle Berry, Eartha Kitt. Before all the black beauties that graced motion picture screens or entertainment venues, there was Josephine Baker. Josephine Baker was born on June 3, 1905, 114 years ago today. One year after the birth of Dr. Charles Drew. Josephine Baker was born in St. Louis, she was born Freda Josephine McDonald. Josephine Baker lived for 71 years and for those number of years, Josephine Baker was deemed the most beautiful woman who ever graced the planet. No matter the color of that woman's skin.

Multi-talented as a singer, dancer, artist, intellectual, and actress it was no world it seemed that Josephine Baker couldn't conquer except one, that being black in a white Jim Crow'ed America. She was defiant, confrontational, bold, proud, black and truly beautiful. She confronted bigotry in this nation head-on and when she felt that she had enough, Josephine Baker moved to a country that respected her talents and didn't constantly hold her skin color against her. Josephine Baker was a member of the French Resistance during World War 2. Her surveillance efforts against the German and French Nazis were indeed acts of courage. She placed her life on the line to defeat the axis powers of evil. You see Josephine Baker was, in fact, one of the most courageous women that ever lived. She was considered an exotic beauty but in reality, her exotic beauty was generated in many ways by the color of her skin.

Josephine Baker is remembered by most people as the flamboyant African-American entertainer. Josephine Baker earned fame and fortune in the city of Paris, France in the 1920s. Yet through much of her later life, Josephine Baker became a vocal opponent of segregation and discrimination. Josephine Baker often initiating one-woman protests against racial injustice. She often refused to perform in any venue that practiced segregation. Josephine Baker contributed to multiple causes that involved securing the civil and social rights of black peoples all around the world.

On August 28, 1963, at the age of 57, Josephine Baker would make history in Washington DC. Josephine Baker flew into National Airport from Paris, France. The city and country that had become her adopted homeland. She flew to the nation's capital the country of her birth to attend the March for Jobs and Freedom. The march is known historically now as the I Have A Dream March led by Dr. Martin Luther King and multiple civil rights organization throughout the nation. Josephine Baker, dressed in the uniform of the French Resistance was the only woman to address that crowd of 250,000 strong. Today, on Josephine Baker's birthday I read those words she spoke that day. Josephine Baker paved the path for every single black female and male performer that followed her in life. We must never forget her contributions or her courage in confronting the tides of hate that has continued to send waves of bigotry to so many still today.​

Aug. 27, 2019

August 28, 1955 "The Murder Of Emmitt Till" Timothy Tyson's Book The Blood Of Emmitt Till

The Blackman Who Reads Aloud Hour Project
The Blood Of Emmitt Till
Chapter 18 Killing Emmitt Till

The Blackman Who Reads Aloud reads chapter 18 The Murder Till from Timothy Tyson's epic book The Blood Of Emmitt Till on the 64th anniversary of Emmitt Till's murder in Mississippi. Emmitt Till was tortured, maimed, then clod bloodily for supposedly whistling at Carolyn Bryant in a grocery store in Money, Mississippi. Listen closely as I read Tyson words describing​ how these white savages took Emmitt Till's life. So descriptive, graphic and terrible was the beating it was truly hard for me to read this chapter today.

“The black novelist Chester Himes wrote a letter to the editor of the New York Post the day he heard the news of Milam’s and Bryant’s acquittals: “The real horror comes when your dead brain must face the fact that we as a nation don’t want it to stop. If we wanted to, we would.”

Chester Himes

Aug. 27, 2019

August 28, 1963 Taylor Branch The King Years The March On Washington

The Blackman Who Reads Aloud Project
The King Years
Taylor Branch Chapter 7

Today on the 56th anniversary of the March For Jobs and Freedom in Washington DC. I will do a reading of Taylor Branch's book The King Years which is a uses as its base the trilogy of the series The King Years. Chapter 7 focuses on The March on Washington. Please join me as I read-aloud​ what Taylor​ Branch wrote describing​ this momentous historical event in American history.

Aug. 27, 2019

August 27, 1963 William E. Dubois "BEHOLD THE LAND" October 20, 1946

On August 27, 1963, in Accra, Ghana at the age of 95 years William Edward Burghardt DuBois died. His death occurred on the eve of the March For Jobs And Freedom in Washington DC. The death of W.E.B. DuBois was announced to the crowd who were attending the march. This march would've have been the culmination of DuBois's life because of the participants in the march. They ranged the full spectrum of the races, religions, and creeds seeking justice against racial bigotry and hate. Today, in honor of Dubois life I am bringing back a reading of one of Dr. Dubois's last speeches given in this nation in 1946 before he made his pilgrimage to Africa.
On October 20, 1946, seventy-eight-year-old W.E.B DuBois delivered the address at the closing session of the Southern Youth Legislature in Columbia South Carolina. Although this was one of his last major orations, he used the occasion to inspire his audience to continue the struggle for racial justice to which he had devoted his life. Seventeen years later on August 28, 1963, many of these youthful attendees were present in Washington DC as adults seeking jobs and racial freedom. Dubois wouldn't live to see the actual March on Washington DC because he died on August 27, 1963. Yet, it was because of the intellectual fortitude and drive of black men like Dubois that the March On Washington came to be. Let's continue to acknowledge our historical elders even though we may have disagreements with some of their strategies. It was quite a challenge to step out against a system that would've easily eliminated you than to have to speak your mind.​

Aug. 25, 2019

Who Are You Empowering With This Message Mr. Church Leader?

This afternoon on Facebook I was confronted, appalled, disgusted, perplexed and utterly confused with this image. I don't know the church that would plaster this verse from the Old Testament's Book of Malachi on a bulletin board with a list of church congregants who failed to meet the standards of tithing. However, where ever this church is where I a member tithing or not. I would immediately rescind my members-only card. This is one of my major reasons with organized religion the drive to force individuals to make financial contributions to the church by use of threats of moral depravity. Our black communities throughout our experiences in this nation from iron shackles of bondage to invisible shackles of injustice have been faithful, courageous followers of the religions forced upon us by our oppressors. We as a people have conformed, customized and reinvented those religious beliefs to satisfy the needs that spiritual uplift demanded by the oppressive conditions that were prevalent in our homes, communities, and institutions. So when I see messages like this I get completely turned off to supporting this message as godly. If anything if you understand the Book of Malachi it talks of people who had turned away from God after being in the land of Judea after a century of the arrival by Moses.

If anything black people aren't in that position of turning away from God. As a matter of fact, black people have turned towards God for unanswered questions related to all of this world's problems seemingly heaped upon us as a people in this nation. Look around at our deprivations we face in this nation. We face economic deprivation, educational deprivations, institutional deprivations, health deprivations, our children are forced to consume lead water without any sense of this situation is resolved, and we still continue to fall behind all the racial groups in terms of group progress. If any peoples would have a reason not to tithe with a fervent belief it would be black people in this nation. Malachi, means messenger, God's messenger announcing the coming of the Prophet John The Baptist and Jesus Christ. God is calling mankind to repent of there evil ways, to move back to the way of godly acts. The sins of mankind were stripping away from the prosperity of mankind. Well, since the vast majority of blacks in this nation haven't experienced that prosperity how dare a church of God decide to make this shameful bulletin calling out its black congregants to fall in line, or else face the wrath of the coming of the new Messiah.

The vast number of blacks in this nation historically has been obedient and faithful to God's word. When everything around was crumbling the fact of the matter is that obedience and faith in God never wavered. It actually became stronger. So, please whoever would be motivated to place this ill-begotten bulletin board up shaming congregants to pay up or else. they need to take a long hard look at our black history in this nation. Because God didn't ask for simply monies in tithes. More than money God is asking his followers for faith in the most troubling of times. Black people in this nation have indeed paid that price in spades. I simply cannot fathom a church making such a demand. Yet, I remember as a young black boy seeing my brother being jacked up at church for his offering by the church's deacon. Times change but methods of deceitful actions by some churches remain the same. This photo is emblematic of why blacks step way from religion. Because the so-called leaders of specific churches simply don't have any idea about what the word of God is truly saying. That's my message for today. I hope I didn't offend anyone's religious sensitivities because that was not my intent. Martin Luther King talked about empowering the powerless, this bulletin board message is certainly not about empowering anything other than the church leader's ego.