Jul. 23, 2019

Lay Bare My Heart

I know that James Farmer isn’t as well known as other civil rights leaders. He isn’t as well known as Martin, Malcolm, or even Medgar. Our people sometimes overlook James Farmer’s greatness or his significant contributions in our struggle for human dignity.

I also know that towards the latter part of his life he supported Reagan but he also demanded reparations when other black leaders ignored that call for restitution for the institution of slavery.

I just finished reading the first two chapters of his powerful book Lay Bare My Heart, I can get a sense how powerful James Farmer’s personal will was to gain racial equality. Yes, he was an integrationist but he also had an enormous dream that this nation could live out the full purpose of the Constitution that every man, woman, and child deserved to have the rights of citizenship no matter their race, creed, or religion. Thirty years after his death this nation is still infested with the sickness of racial bigotry. We can only reach a more perfect union by learning from those who walked the paths before. We do that by learning our history.

So please join me as I read this tremendous book that details the civil rights experience of this great black American. I will be sharing his story on Facebook Live everyday around 5:00 PM EST as I continue my journey of sharing our enriched black history while elevating the goal of black universal literacy.


Jul. 23, 2019

July 23, 1863, The Birthdate Of Kelly Miller The Howard University Icon

Today, on the 156th birthday of an intellectual giant Professor Kelly Miller on Howard University. I will spend a few moments discussing just a few of his life achievements. Professor Kelly Miller, who was in many ways responsible for the early growth during those important beginning early years of Howard University which is located in Washington DC. Howard University has always been considered the Mecca of our black educational institutions. It was individuals such as Kelly Miller who laid the groundwork and the foundation for Howard University.

Professor Kelly Miller was a noted mathematician as well as a sociologist. Kelly Miller strove to bring about a sense of equality to our peoples during his lifetime. He never sought the limelight but he always sought human solutions to the black conditions we were caught in due to the bigotry of this nation.

​Professor Kelly Miller's lifetime contributions to the progress of our race of people could easily be overlooked. You have to understand that the magnitude of Kelly Miller's greatness was stifled not only by the white racists outside the Howard University community but also by the conditions that prevailed within the Howard University campus.

However, I refuse to allow any of our black historical greats in our black history to be forgotten. After I discuss Professor Miller's I will conclude my discussion of Professor Kelly Miller with a reading of a poem he wrote, I See And I Am Satisfied. This is my personal way of honoring his life achievement as well as diving into creative brilliance.

The Blackman Who Reads Aloud.

Jul. 22, 2019

The Blackman Read Aloud Hour

James Farmer lived for 79 years, James Farmer risked his life and his limbs to seek equality for blacks in this nation. James Farmer stood in the historic Riverside Church and demanded reparations for the descendants of slavery in 1985. James Farmer was fearless, defiant, and a proponent of absolute black power. The next book that I will read on The Blackman Read Aloud Hour will Be Lay Bare The Heart, The Autobiography Of The Civil Rights Movement starting Tuesday July 23, 2019, 30 years since James Farmer’s death.

Jul. 22, 2019

Why Didn't President Obama Sign An Executive Order For A Reparations Commission? Who Will?

Our black communities had our chance for a presidential administration that should have been favorable to establishing a National Commission for Black Reparations and Empowerment. While the votes of many of us lead to the election of President Barack Obama in 2008. We didn't actually hold President Obama's feet to the political fire to implement at least the John Conyers bill of establishing this Nation Commission for Reparations. Even after his reelection in 2012 when he no longer was in danger of losing his position as President. Our communities didn't address the issue to President Obama for establishing this vital instrument that was designed to research whether the United States owed to the descendants of ancestors who were held in slavery from 1619-1865.

Of course, I know what most people will say this, President Obama couldn't get a reparations bill through a contentious republican Congress and Senate from 2012-2016. However, that isn't the case for one strategy that we didn't ask President Obama to utilize was the tool specifically given to President to bypass the parties opposition. That tool, the Executive Order. The Execution Order has been utilized by numerous Presidents in this nation's history. Did you know that the Emancipation Proclamation was an Executive Order? Yes, it freed all slaves in territories in all the confederate rebel states not held by Union forces. It didn't apply to slaves held in the so-called border states of the Union by it did apply to the states in rebellion.

Did you also know that The New Deal was an Executive Order that was enacted by Franklin Delano Roosevelt in 1935 when he created the Works Progress Administration? Did you know that Harry Truman integrated all the armed services through an Executive Order signed in 1948? You see an Executive Order once signed by the President carries the power of law and compels all U.S. citizens, agencies, and businesses to follow the Executive Order. We were fooled into thinking that only Congress and the Senate had the power to implement a bi-racial panel or commission to research the possibility of securing reparations. That was simply not true. President Obama had the means and the opportunity to sign an Executive Order but simply didn't do it. Now, we are proceeding into the fifth century since the establishment of slavery and we are closer to securing reparations than we were when slavery was abolished in 1865.

Do you think we should hold President Obama responsible for his lack of support for a Reparations Commission Executive Order? Or did President Obama feel that the opening on the National Mall of the African American Museum was our reparations? I mean you have republicans saying that the election of Obama was this nation's payment for reparations to the descendants of slavery. What do you say? What do you think about the lack of presidential initiative from President Obama to move John Conyers bill from congressional action to an Executive Order? As I read The Debt which was written before President Obama took office. I wonder why we didn't press this issue more stridently during the last four years of his administration. Maybe if our communities had we wouldn't have been saddled with Donald Trump as President. Our voters would've been motivated to secure an election of a viable democratic candidate in 2016.

Just a thought? What do you think of the absence of President Barack Obama's Executive Order related to that needed Commission for the Study and Research of Reparations?

Jul. 21, 2019

The Worse Presidents From Grant to Trump Part 2

Yesterday, I started a fictional letter to Congresswoman Ilhan Omar regarding her statement that Donald Trump was this nation's absolute worse President. In that letter, I ended with the 17th President Andrew Johnson, who was only 1 vote from being impeached because of his racist actions that were directed at the recently freed slaves.

It was Johnson who could be considered the President who took it upon himself to deny our black ancestors a fighting chance of economic opportunities by taking back land that was given to those ancestors as a result of Field Order #15. The edict that leads to the term 40 acres and a mule. So, in my mind no doubt Andrew Johnson is number on the hit parade of worse Presidents.

You would have to say that our black ancestors had at least moderate success under the presidency of Ulysses Grant. Why, because the was during the time of black reconstruction. The election of 1876 was the beginning of the end of black reconstruction. If you read the book The Facts of Reconstruction by Congressman John R. Lynch it will detail how the presidential administrations of Rutherford Hayes, Chester Arthur, Grover Cleveland, Benjamin Harrison, William McKinley, Theodore Roosevelt, and Howard Taft were no friends of our black ancestors. I mean Theodore Roosevelt actually invited Booker T. Washington to the White House for a meal. The southern legislators were so up in arms that Teddy never attempted that feat again.

The reality of those presidential administrations was that they virtually ignored the mob violence that was being inflicted on our black southern ancestors. They ignored in many cases convict-leasing, peonage, sharecropping abuses, and lynchings that were running rampant in the former confederate rebel states by whites on the black citizenry. The executive branch of government literally closed the eyes of justice and allowed the enslavement of black citizens throughout the nation. I would ask that you read The Capitol Men to get a sense of how our rights were being snatched from us from the halls of American government.

The worse President in the 20th century, in my opinion, was one of the most educated of our nation's presidents, Woodrow Wilson. Wilson was a dastardly individual who created the atmosphere of hate that still exists in his nation up to this day. It was Wilson who segregated federal buildings, it was Wilson who supported the KKK's rebirth, it was Wilson who had the audacity to show D.W. Griffith's Birth Of A Nation movie in the people's house. I mean Trump is a terrible president but he isn't anyways close to Wilson, who was supposed to be a brilliant, articulate individual. Wilson used his brilliance to oppress and belittle black citizens. Trump may fiend intellectual brilliance but he hardly can fool any conscious person of that fact. Woodrow Wilson was brilliant but he was a race-baiter, a race-hater, a pure bigot with a bright mind. If you read Red Summer you will understand the atmosphere that Wilson created that lead to the race wars of 1919.

The presidents that followed Wilson, Harding, Coolidge, and Hoover were no supporters of our black ancestors either. The country was still abashed in public lynchings and mob violence. The Civil War Amendments were still only paper tigers with no true enforcement by either the legislative or executive branches of government. I mean you need only read from the writings of Dubois, Johnson, and other leading voices of that period to get the sense that the negro problem was a straight out invisible problem to these men. I would say that ignoring lynchings and mob violence is worse than anything Trump does by his speeches.

I could say this that Trump is the worse President for black Americans since the end of the Hoover Administration. Yet, FDR didn't create the Social Security System initially for black Americans. The vast majority of blacks at the implementation of Social Security worked as farm laborers and domestic workers both groups of workers were not a part of the system. Truman integrated the Armed Forces but he was no true friend of black Americans. Because even during his administration black bodies were being murdered and not one white person was ever convicted of the crime. Eisenhower was in office during the period where Emmitt Till was savagely murdered. Did he or his administration step in to support the conviction of Emmitt's murderers? You should read the book The Blood of Emmitt Till to get a better understanding of the atmosphere of racial hatred that created privilege whites enjoyed in 1955.

I will say that Kennedy and Johnson had civil rights agendas but neither had a sense that reparations were needed to solve the race issue in America. Wasn't it the Reagan administration that flooded our black communities with drugs and weapons to fund there illicit foreign policy adventures? Don't you think those actions were far more dangerous than Trump's? I don't give any president a pass in relation to supporting the black agendas. I respect Jimmy Carter who at least had a moral compass. Yet, how can anyone forget that Bill Clinton created the legislation that made mass incarceration of black men a commonality? This nation has had numerous presidents far worse than Donald Trump. He is simply the last in a long line of presidents who have been unresponsive to black issues. That is simply my opinion. One thing is for sure we cannot allow Trump another 4 years to implement his failed policies. So I ask that we go out and do something about it, VOTE HIM OUT IN 2020.