May. 4, 2019

The Black Blogger, A Quarter and A Dream, The Chicago Defender

The Blackman Who Reads Our Black History Aloud
Robert S. Abbott
May 5, 1905
The Chicago Defender

The Chicago Defender, The Pittsburgh Courier, The Los Angeles Sentinel, The New York Amsterdam News, The Afro American, The Atlanta Daily World, The Call And Post, The Liberator, and so many more black newspapers were responsible for maintaining channels for our ancestors during the time period of Jim Crowism when our black ancestors were most vulnerable to the oppressive conditions in the United States.

It was all these black media outlets that were responsible for getting out the truths of the cycle of repression that our ancestors were subjected to by bigotry, hatred, and white mob violence. The major white newspapers in this country virtually ignored the white mob violence that was perpetrated on our black ancestors. If these white newspapers reported any news coming from the black communities it always seemed to slant the stories towards scenarios that placed our black ancestors in a negative light.

So it of high importance that we understand just how vital these black newspapers were to maintaining the connections of truth and justice for our black ancestors. Some will say the number one newspaper for the black communities east, west, north, or south was the Chicago Defender. This paper was the dream of Robert S. Abbott who started his media empire in his Chicago Flat with no more than a quarter and a dream. Yet it was through Mr. Abbott's grit and determination that the Chicago Defender became the preeminent voice of the black community when our black community needed that voice the most.

So today I will spend just a few moments reading some history of the Chicago Defender and its historic black founder Robert S. Abbott. I mean look back at the various movements generated in black communities and you will find the handprints of the Chicago Defender. The great migration of southern blacks to northern cities was spearheaded by the Chicago Defender. The great civil rights movement was a featured reporting strength of the Chicago Defender. The cases of fierce racial injustice by southern whites were reported on by the Chicago Defender. All the great black sporting events especially negro baseball was promoted by the Chicago Defender.

So on this day May 5, ​1905, the greatest black newspaper of all time was founded by Robert S. Abbott. So I bring salutations for Mr. Abbott's achievements in the publishing industry. Had he not had the fortitude to sense the need to giving blacks a fair shake in the newspapers. It is no telling where we as a community would be today.​

May. 2, 2019


I just read in the Huffington Post that Minister Louis Farrakhan has been banned from Facebook and Instagram because Facebook has labeled Minister Farrakhan anti-semitic. Facebook has also banned a number of white supremacists for blatant racist posts. Prominent white ideologues such as Alex Jones, Milo Yannopoulos, Paul Nehlen, and Infowars have been banned as well.
This process of social media censorship is called deplatforming, which is a new word added to the lexicon on the English dictionary. I am more than a little disturbed by Facebook Inc. banning of Minister Farrakhan because I truly believe that his message provides black communities with positive qualities that can generate progressive community growth. You have to truly wonder if those powers to be in the majority community forced the issue related to Minister Farrakhan's banning. Did those decision-makers look at the totality of the community uplifting messages of self-reliance, self-respect, and educational uplift that is the center point of many of Minister Louis Farrakhan's talks?
It's easy to point out anti-semitic messages and ignore the other qualities of Minister Farrakhan's views. I would like to know the diversity of the decision-makers who were making these deplatforming decisions regarding those individuals who were banned today. Social media has become a powerful voice in messaging throughout not only our country but the entire world. So decisions regarding censorship cannot be made without deep thought and quantitive analysis of those individuals views.
I depend on both Facebook and Instagram to expand my blogging audiences. Initially, when I first starting posting my blogging links as well as my read aloud hours on Facebook I was censored almost on a weekly basis. Facebook deemed my posts as well as my reading as not conforming to the Community Standards. However, since August 8, 2018, I haven't had one incident of censorship or restrictions on either Facebook or Instagram. I haven't been in danger of being deplatformed so I guess I should be happy. Yet, I wonder what has changed? My messages focusing on black universal literacy, sharing black knowledge, and writing and voicing my provoked thoughts have been totally consistent. My guess is that someone actually took the time to understand that I was building a positive goal of black community uplift.
I guess someone in the corporate offices of Facebook Inc. needs to take a second look and listen to the totality of Minister Louis Farrakhan's messages?
May. 2, 2019

The Children's Crusade 1963 & The Literacy Crusade 2019

Today, my plan was going to be writing little something about the beginnings of the Children's Crusade which began on May 2, 1963, in Birmingham, Alabama. This historic show of immeasurable strength from the children in Birmingham, Alabama was one of the defining moments in our struggle for civil rights. Birmingham, Alabama was one of the most virulent, vicious, fearful, and malicious cities in the United States for black Americans. It was a segregated city where if you were black you were expected to know your place around that city's white folks. That place was your black throat essentially under the boot of white Birminghamians. I was going to write a detailed description of how fearless these children of Birmingham were for that week of protests. How these children faced the vicious seeds of hatred that were unleashed against them by the agencies of the law supposedly sworn to protect them. I would write about Bull Conner's vicious dogs, the powerful water cannons that sent many of them hurling through the air due to the force generated by the onslaught of the water, the burning tear gas, the batons of hate striking and breaking bones in their bodies, being arrested and being placed in cattle pens without any cover from the elements, and finally knowing all these actions would occur before they left the posting site of the protest the historically powerful Sixteenth Street Baptist Church located in Birmingham, Alabama.

Yes, I would write about the level of hate that was generated by the Ku Klux Klan because of the fearless actions of these powerful black children. That within four months these evil white men who were so outraged because of black children of Birmingham wanting more from life than being abused as future black adults simply because of the color of their skin. That on a Sunday in September these hate-filled whites placed a bomb loaded with TNT in the basement of that Sixteenth Street Baptist Church and killed four innocent little black girls attending Sunday School. This was the KKK's payback for the actions of the thousands of fearless children striving for freedom constitutionally guaranteed by this nation. Yes, that is what I was planning to write about how SNCC and the SCLC with the leadership of Martin Luther King Jr., James Bevel, Denise Nash, Ella Baker, and many, many others proved that hate would not win over the power of righteous truth.
Yes, that was my plan but all that changed when I read an article in the Baltimore Sun this morning and my directional provoked thought took a major bypass. The story wasn't about the impending resignation of Mayor Catherine Pugh. No, the news article was right in the alley of one of my most prominent objectives for our black community, universal black literacy. The focus of this article was the work of author Dwight Watkins, a resident of Baltimore City's Eastside and his efforts to motivate our black children to become strategic comprehending readers. I mean that brother and I must somehow get together because we are both on similar planes. You see in order for black children to make conscious educated decisions in their lives they must be literate comprehending readers. Every day, on social media I attempt to encourage that effort on The Blackman's Read Aloud Hour. Sometimes I wonder if I am in the wilderness alone fighting this battle. Yet, this morning I met via the Baltimore Sun a comrade in books who are fighting the same battle of encouraging black boys to read. It's a black male voice activating and encouraging black boys and men to understand the power instilled in literacy. So, that is why my direction changed from the 1963 Children's Crusade to the 2019 Literacy Crusade.
Our black communities can change, even those urban areas that may seem completely lost, like Baltimore City. However, the change won't be done overnight. The change must be done with a huge degree of determination and a desire for personal want-too. That want-too desire must include the need to be prepared to uplift each other's weaknesses and make those weaknesses personal strengths. I would like everyone on my blog page to read this article because it captivates the essential elements of my personal objective of erasing black illiteracy in our communities.
“Reading every day is the only way you can guarantee success for your life,” 
Dwight Watkins
May. 1, 2019

30 Minutes With The Prose Of Gwendolyn Brooks America's First Black Putlizer Prize Winner

Pulitzer Prize: is an award for achievements in newspaper, magazine and online journalism, literature, and musical composition in the United States. The award was established in 1917 by provisions in the will of American Joseph Pulitzer who made his fortune as a newspaper publisher and the Pulitzer Prize is administered by Columbia University in New York City.

On this day 69 years ago Gwendolyn Brooks became the very first African American to win a Pulitzer Prize, May 1, 1950. Ms. Brooks won the prestigious award for her poetry specifically for her work Annie Allen. It was a 43-year gap between the initial awarding of the Pulitzer Prize to the year that Gwendolyn Brooks won her award. It was another 19-year gap between Gwendolyn Brook's winning her Pulitzer Prize and Moneta Sleet Jr. winning the Pulitzer Prize for Photography for his incredible historic work Deep Sorrow.

Since that time of Ms. Brooks's Pulitzer Prize-winning effort numerous other black artists have dawned the stage and joined the Pulitzer Prize Winner Circle. Individuals such as Isabelle Wilkerson, Alex Haley, Rita Dove, Charles Fuller, August Wilson, William Rasberry, Wynton Marsalis, David Levering Lewis, Clarence Williams, Gerald Boyd, Toni Morrison, E.R. Shipp, Norman Lockman, Kirk Scharfenberg, Clarence Page, Suzan-Lori Page, Colbert I. King, Leonard Pitts, Edward P. Jones, Michel DuCille, Natasha Treadway, Irwin Thompson, Eugene Robinson, Annette Gordon-Reed, Lynn Nottage, Cynthia Tucker, John White, Tracy K. Smith, Moneta Sleet Jr., Charles Gordone, James Alan McPherson, Alice Walker, Robin Givham, and a just a few others. In addition posthumously Scott Joplin, Duke Ellington John Coltrane, Theolonius Monk each received citations for lifetime contributions to the arts.

However, the very first winner of the Pulitzer Prize was Gwendolyn Brooks and we must always recognize her poetic greatness. That is why I will spend a 1/2 hour reading aloud some of Gwendolyn Brooks's poems on my blog. Remember this day when Gwendolyn Brooks crashed the glass ceiling of racism and won deserved public recognition for her creative genius. Gwendolyn Brooks opened a closed door of racist thought and allow the light of wisdom and blackness to seep in. Thank you, Gwendolyn Brooks, for that marvelous achievement.​

Apr. 30, 2019

Building Something Substantial Is Almost Never An Overnight Mission, It Takes Time And Determination

It really is quite amazing that I have generated a significant following on my internet blog. When I first started my blog it was simply a tool to keep my mind fresh because of my physical disabilities had forced me to retire. Now, blogging by this black man along with my read aloud hour project has uplifted my spirits tremendously. I mean since really January 2016 my blog has grown from as few as 5 pageviews from my followers to multiple thousands of pageviews per day. It would seem that I have captured a significant social media audience.
I have viewed many, many blog sites during the past three years. During that period of time, I see the many challenges many bloggers have in gaining traction in viewers as well as increasing the number of page views. It makes me extremely satisfied that by the end of this year (2019) if I continue to create and focus on meaningful posts. I will reach a significant level of page views I can easily reach and pass 1,000,000 page views on my blog. The goal is in sight and I should be able to surpass that plateau within the next 6 months
That is that goal reached, I should be able to create a published book that will detail the highlights of my many posts. So, this afternoon I would ask that those who know about my blog continue to visit it. In addition, I am asking those of you who aren't familiar with the contents of my blog make a visit. The model of my information format is the sharing of black historical knowledge, black information about the experiences we share collectively, and the absolute uplift of our black communities across the country.
Over the next months, it is my plan to extend blogging opportunities to others. So that may share personal reflective stories as well as positive experiences that generate black communal uplift. So, on the last day of April 2019 join me in my quest to make my blog a significant voice for change in the black communities across the country. Please remember the initial motto I created back in the winter of 2016. Our black history need never be a black mystery to anyone in our community. We must uplift the knowledge bar and erase the illiteracy barrier to progress in our black communities.