Most Of What I Learned About Black History, I Taught Myself

Today is the last “official” day of Black History Month. I celebrate every day and continue to share knowledge on a regular basis.

There’s so much Black History that I didn’t learn in school. When I was 15 years old, I went to the library and borrowed Mary McLeod Bethune’s autobiography. My need to learn more led to me studying African Kings and Queens. I found this book. If you haven’t read it, it’s an empowering read:

Next, I discovered the various inventions that wouldn’t exist were it not for a Black man or woman. Here is a partial lists:

Then, I read Malcolm X’s autobiography and he woke up the militant spirit in me: “We declare our right on this earth to be a man, to be a human being, to be respected as a human being, to be given the rights of a human being in this society, on this earth, in this day, which we intend to bring into existence by any means necessary.” I became proud of my people and recognized we have persevered and succeeded against all the odds and obstacles that have been placed in our paths.

Finally, Fannie Lou Hamer made me even more proud to be a Black woman and honor her and others like her who secured my right to vote. Fannie Lou Hamer said, “Actually, the world and America is upset and the only way to bring about a change is to upset it more.”

In studying Black History, I found my voice. My voice to speak out about injustice and demand to be treated right. Studying Black History made me recognize I have a legacy of determination, intelligence and ingenuity pumping in my veins. I have no other choice but to be the best at whatever I set my mind to do. It’s in my DNA!

What Black History knowledge didn’t you learn in school?

*Book Review* One Person, No Vote – How Voter Suppression Is Destroying Democracy by Carol Anderson

When the votes were tallied for trump, I wondered how he won. Hilary Clinton won the popular vote, but lost the electoral college votes. The Electoral College consists of 538 electors. A majority of 270 electoral votes is required to elect the President. Your state’s entitled allotment of electors equals the number of members in its Congressional delegation: one for each member in the House of Representatives plus two for your Senators, (https://www.archives.gov/federal-register/electoral-college/about.html).

Voter suppression has led to millions of minorities being removed from voter rolls. In 2013, the Supreme Court stripper power from the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The Supreme Court’s decision allowed districts to change voting requirements without approval from the Department of Justice, (Anderson, 2018). Carole Anderson provides the history of voter suppression and discusses how voter suppression and gerrymandering has affected the voting rights of minorities.

Time and time again Republicans have cried voting fraud to further restrict minorities right to vote. Republicans have used voter suppression as a means to maintain political power. Carol Anderson outlines her research, which proves the extent Republicans and racists will go to restrict and eliminate the voices of the marginalized.

This book is a must read to understand the history of voter suppression and a call to action to reverse the damage that has already been done by voter id requirements and gerrymandering. Republicans have removed polling places, restricted early voting and instituted voter id requirements all in the name of eliminating voter fraud; even though voter fraud has been minimal. The truth is these actions were taken to maintain political power and racism.

We are already experiencing the results of voter suppression in our courts, in the murdering of minorities without accountability by the police, and in the laws that are being placed on the books. We have to educate ourselves and then fight the power! Fight so that everybody has their voices heard through voting.

An interesting part of the book was the outlining of Russia’s involvement in our 2016 presidential election. It is scary to read the lengths some will go to suppress minorities and elect someone that represents only their interests. This book further proves that racism is built into the foundation of the United States and may never be eliminated.

References

The Electoral College. https://www.archives.gov/federal-register/electoral-college/about.html

Anderson, C (2018). One Person, No Vote – How Voter Suppression Is Destroying Democracy. New York, NY: Bloomsbury Publishing

Black & Murdered in Amerikkka

The police murdered this young man! Another young, Black man killed by those who are supposed to serve and protect. Some wonder why we kneel, refuse to pledge allegiance to the flag (me), and continue to post about the racist things that happen daily😡😡😡😡 we post because of the consistent harassment and murders of Black people!

I’m so disgusted how we are daily treated like we don’t belong. We didn’t ask to be in America! Our ancestors were brought here against their will! The irony is all Americans are immigrants, but some White folks think they have some golden ticket that says America belongs to them. Well, just in case you haven’t been told lately – America doesn’t belong to you!

I’ll end my rant with Maya Angelou’s poem:

Still I Rise

BY MAYA ANGELOU

You may write me down in history

With your bitter, twisted lies,

You may trod me in the very dirt

But still, like dust, I’ll rise.

Does my sassiness upset you?

Why are you beset with gloom?

’Cause I walk like I’ve got oil wells

Pumping in my living room.

Just like moons and like suns,

With the certainty of tides,

Just like hopes springing high,

Still I’ll rise.

Did you want to see me broken?

Bowed head and lowered eyes?

Shoulders falling down like teardrops,

Weakened by my soulful cries?

Does my haughtiness offend you?

Don’t you take it awful hard

’Cause I laugh like I’ve got gold mines

Diggin’ in my own backyard.

You may shoot me with your words,

You may cut me with your eyes,

You may kill me with your hatefulness,

But still, like air, I’ll rise.

Does my sexiness upset you?

Does it come as a surprise

That I dance like I’ve got diamonds

At the meeting of my thighs?

Out of the huts of history’s shame

I rise

Up from a past that’s rooted in pain

I rise

I’m a black ocean, leaping and wide,

Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.

Leaving behind nights of terror and fear

I rise

Into a daybreak that’s wondrously clear

I rise

Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,

I am the dream and the hope of the slave.

I rise

I rise

I rise.

Picture This!


Would you be able to get over it? How about that happen a long time ago, so let it go?! I’m not racist; that was my ancestors. I don’t see color. We all are equal. The constitution is for all of us. Show your patriotism by standing and pledging allegiance to the flag.  

From the beginning, this country was built on my ancestors backs. Mass prison incarceration is modern day slavery. The very laws were not created as me being equal. My people were not counted as a whole being, but 3/5! While the forefathers were talking about liberty and justice for all, my people were being used as free labor; and if they didn’t comply murdered!  

So, the next time you want to tell me to get over it, or that happen a long time ago, which I have been told by White and Black people; picture this image and hush! This is my platform and I will use it to inform about issues that impact my people, me and those that empathize with our struggle.

Things That Make Me Go Hmmmmm…


You be the judge:

Please read the BuzzFeed article.

Here is an opinion post about this controversial new alternative for heroin addicts.

This site presents the treatment alternatives available for crack addicts.

This article discusses the impact of crack cocaine on Black America.

After reading the above articles and coming to your own conclusion, I’m interested to know your thoughts on Safe Injection Facilities.  I also want to know your thoughts on my opinion of preferential treatment being provided to White America in how drug abuse is treated and viewed when it’s a White America problem versus a Black America problem.

I’m Sick & Tired!


I’m sick and tired of people trying to tell me to get over it and deal with it he’s the president.
I’m sick and tired of hearing give him a chance. Who did he give a chance? Did he give Pres. Obama a chance? Did he try to facilitate positive change in our country? Did he give people that look like me a chance? Did he give women a chance? No he didn’t!
I’m sick and tired of  hearing it’s not that serious. You’re making a big deal out of nothing. When I heard Lil Hands state over and over he’s going to “make America great again,” while attempting to fill his cabinet with mega rich, predominantly White males who have little if any experience in the areas they are being nominated; it’s a big deal! When known White supremacist are being placed in key positions that can only “make America outwardly racists again,” it’s a big deal!

I’m sick and tired of hearing he’s all citizens of the United States president. I’ll still be shouting he’s not my president! I didn’t vote for him. We don’t share the same basic truth that all men and women are created equal. How can two walk together except they agree? It would be one thing if our differences in opinions were just politics. However, that’s not the issue. We don’t agree on foundational morals and ethics. Cheetoh Man has serious character flaws, and clearly he’s not willing to change because he’s always right!
I’m sick and tired of my own people. We complain, but don’t include a solution for our complaint. We allow the dollar to rule our decision making, when we should take a stand. In the face of opposition we can look through history and read where our people took a stand. They stood for something that mattered! Where is that today? Yet, these are the type of people we allow our children to emulate.

I’m sick and tired, yet I’m more determined than ever to be an instrument of change. I’ll talk about what I’m committing to do in my next post.

Korryn Gaines


All I’m saying about Korryn Gaines is treat Black women the way you treat White women in these situations. Look at this video from 2015 and tell me did she receive equal treatment. 

What irks me even more is Black women are the main ones showing zero empathy or compassion, but without any hesitation support a Black man without knowing the full story. 

Why do Black women find it easier not to support each other?! #korryngaines #sayhername

Police and White Woman

Racism & Hatred

  

Last night there was breaking news of a church shooting in Charlotte with little details.  This morning we wake up to the awful reality that a young, White man decided to enter a church, and after sitting for an hour (the unconfirmed report) stood up and allegedly said “I came to shoot Black people” and proceeded to do just what he said he came to do.  This is a horrific display of racism and hatred!

Since this tragedy, the above picture has bee my face.  I can’t bring myself to smile.  I must admit I am angry and said to a few people via text, I don’t want to look at any White people today! I know my coworkers haven’t done anything to me, but this was my genuine feeling.  It took me awhile to focus on my daily work.  I couldn’t stop thinking about the senselessness of this crime. I felt like those murdered where my family. 

I already knew the media would portray this young man as having a mental issue.  Just look at the pictures being posted of him.  The pictures make him look disturbed.  The media wants to induce us into a coma of believing this was simply a mentally disturbed young man, who just randomly went into Mother Emanuel AME Church last night.  However, that’s not true!! A young man, who hated Black people, chose a Black Historic landmark in Charlotte to display his hatred.

We are living in turbulent, traumatic times and we need to stop drinking the arsenic laced kool-aid that says racism is dead, and we have proof because we have a Black president.  Our children can go anywhere they want and be anything they want to be in life.  The only thing holding Black people back is their laziness and they want a handout!  Hogwash!  Have you viewed the news lately?  Have you read any articles lately?  Have you read any racist social media post lately?

Racism is alive and well, and racists are showing and telling us every day just how they really feel and we have some that are willing to even kill us to prove how much they hate us.  Wake up people!  We have work to do!

I Fell in Love with Black History

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I remember as if it were yesterday. The moment I fell in love with Black History. I was born in Chicago, IL and grew up in Cairo, IL. My first vivid memory of even receiving a glimpse of what my ancestors went through is when I saw Roots on TV. Roots provided a foundation for the treatment of Blacks in America. I was horrified and angry at the images that were seared in my brain.

Fast forward to what I was taught in school. Black History was not focused on as much as it should have been in school. I remember being taught year after year about the same few icons of Black History: Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Rosa Parks, Frederick Douglas and Harriet Tubman. That was pretty much all we were taught. While in high school I had to read an autobiography of a person of my choice and write a book report about the person. I wanted to write about a woman and decided to research and find a Black woman. I read some information about Mary McLeod Bethune and wanted to find out more about her. After reading about her life, I thought I could achieve whatever I wanted to achieve. I fell in love with Black History!

I searched and found more and more books about Black History and the achievements of Blacks. I read about Fannie Lou Hammer. When I read her story, I vowed to always vote! I would never belittle the privilege that my ancestors sacrificed their very lives for me to be able to simply cast my vote. The trial of the men that murdered Emmett Till instilled in me a willingness to perform my civic duty and partake in jury duty. Never will I miss the opportunity to make sure there really is a “jury of your peers” available to hear your case! I fell deeper in love with Black History!
As I continued my research, I learned of the great Black Kings and Queens and of the various inventions that were created by Black people! My self-esteem increased even more. I read Malcolm X autobiography and knew being militant resonated more with me than practicing civil disobedience. I refused to be mistreated and when presented with racial situations I spoke up and demanded to be treated like everyone else!

Today we have a school of thought that our children need to learn about some other aspects of Black History and we should be passed focusing on slavery and Civil Rights. Well, guess what?! Those aspects of our history are still relevant today because there are those who still only see us as slaves and living beneath them. We have to teach all aspects of our history until everyone understands the ramifications of slavery, racism and prejudices. Slavery and Civil Rights history needs to be taught until racism and hate are torn from the foundation of our nation.

PBS has programming this month that will provide a broader knowledge an appreciation of the contributions from African-Americans.  You can view the listings HERE

Yes, all those years ago I fell in love with Black History! When did you fall in love with Black History?