Welcome to Black History Month 2017

“:Unfortunately, though unsurprisingly to me, that ‘post-racial America’ failed to materialize.”

black_history_month_logo_250Last year, in the summer of all that is orange, a friend who is a minority woman, but not black, wrote, “I actually don’t enjoy talking about being a racial minority…” for all sorts of good and understandable reasons.”

I related. I wrote, “I LOATHE talking about being a minority. And do so at least once a year – you know the venue – because I think it’s important.”

“And I rail at not being considered ‘black’ by white people or ‘black enough’ by black people Continue reading “Welcome to Black History Month 2017”

2015 in review

All men and women living on the Earth.
Ties of hope and love,
Sister and brotherhood,
That we are bound together

2015This is that thing that Jaquandor does on December 31, but I do on January 1.

Did you keep your New Years’ resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

If I made one, it was to do less. I failed miserably, except when I had to because of the hernia operation, which felt really good, actually.

Did anyone close to you give birth?

Not that I recall.

Did you attend any wddings?

Affirmative: Ron and David, just a couple weeks ago.

Did anyone close to you die?

Well, yes, three people in the first six weeks of the year. Continue reading “2015 in review”

Connecting the historical dots: Ferguson to Charleston

“People should not spend their days mourning relatives they never knew from a war that ended 150 years ago, especially if that feeling is so paramount that it outweighs the sense of brotherhood they might feel toward fellow humans who are alive…”

Little Rock, 1957
Little Rock, 1957
At my relatively diverse, but still primarily white, church, I am the de facto organizer for Black History Month each February. I’ve noticed that 2016 will mark the 90th anniversary of what what was Negro History Week, designed by Carter G. Woodson in 1926. “Besides building self-esteem among blacks, [it] would help eliminate prejudice among whites.”

I think the argument that the United States is “post-racial”, now that Barack Obama has been elected President twice, has been pretty well negated by the events of the past six years. There are those who will seriously argue that because Obama, and for that matter, actress Halle Berry, had white mothers, they shouldn’t be considered black. Anyone passingly aware of the historic obsessive nature of the US government to define race Continue reading “Connecting the historical dots: Ferguson to Charleston”

Three-fifths of a person

“Representatives… shall be determined by adding to the whole Number of free Persons, including those bound to Service for a Term of Years, and excluding Indians not taxed, three fifths of all other Persons.”

three-fifthsWhen I was vamping while waiting for the speaker for an Adult Education class during Black History Month at my church, I preemptively pointed out that the reason we STILL talk about these issues is that they are not always that well known.

Making a very tangential point, I mentioned in passing the Three-Fifth Compromise. I took this on faith that everyone knew what I was talking about. It was in the original US Constitution:

Article 1, Section 2: Continue reading “Three-fifths of a person”

Unknown heroes: Charles Hamilton Houston and Lloyd Gaines

Lloyd Gaines had been denied entrance to the law school at the University of Missouri because he was black.

Charles Houston
Charles Houston

NAACP HISTORY: CHARLES HAMILTON HOUSTON

Born in Washington, D.C., Charles Hamilton Houston (1895–1950) prepared for college at Dunbar High School in Washington, then matriculated to Amherst College, graduating Phi Beta Kappa in 1915.

From 1915 to 1917, Houston taught English at Howard University. From 1917 to 1919, he was a First Lieutenant in the United States Infantry, based in Fort Meade, Maryland. Houston later wrote:

“The hate and scorn showered on us Negro officers by our fellow Americans convinced me Continue reading “Unknown heroes: Charles Hamilton Houston and Lloyd Gaines”