African Americans have a strong history in America. Each year the month of February has been commissioned as Black History Month. Although February has past, we thought it appropriate to remind our readers of the impact and influence of African Americans beyond Black History Month. As part our mission is to “Let the silent voice be heard.” I am compelled to do just that in this article.
The men and women of color who have fought bleed and died for this country are still alive. They are alive in our communities where whites and blacks live next door. They are alive in our schools where our children are receiving access to an education. Yes, they are alive here in me as I am able to write this article for the world to read and enjoy!
I take no real issue with Black History Month or as Mr. Trump now calls it, African American History Month. Either way, I am still brown, brown eyes and I think pretty darn smart.
Black History month isolates incidents of the past to perhaps bring up more pain from the past. Somehow as an African American/ Black/Colored/Negro woman I feel guilty if I do not say something or celebrate it in some way. That should not be the case.
I am proud God made me the way HE made me. There were times growing up where I felt that the girl with the blond hair was better than I was. Who told me that? I just somehow felt inferior. Maybe it was because her dad was rich, and my dad was poor. Come to think of it, that cannot be true, there were poor white people living around us too.
This may be hard for you to believe but growing up in Arkansas I had very little knowledge of prejudices. The way I felt had nothing to do with the way I was treated. If I was disrespected in anyway, I did not know it. As for my parents, that was a different conversation altogether. They told us their stories and like so many parents they passed on the stories of our grandparents.
Once a year, the Library of Congress, National Gallery of Art, National Park Services, Smithsonian Institution, National Archives and Records Administration, National Endowment for Humanities, and United States Holocaust Memorial Museum join in paying tribute to the generations of African Americans who struggle with adversity to have a voice.
I have great respect for what these organizations are doing; however, I do not see it making a huge difference in the social consciousness. When I heard the words thundered by members of the Black Lives Matter” organization my heart sank. I do not stand for hate of any kind in word or deed.
Since I live in a cave most of the time; this was news to me. I thought it just might be news to many of you, so here goes:
December 2014: New York the report states that these words were chanted “What do we want? Dead cops. When do we want it? Now.”
August 2015: “Pigs in a blanket, fry ’em like bacon.” (“Pigs” was a reference to police officers, and “blanket” was a reference to body bags.)
An affiliated radio program the following month, “It’s open season on killing white people and crackas.”
Enough, I cannot write anymore of these chants. If you know anything of Dr. Kings work; you will know the above chants are not a part of it! This makes me want to apologize for these individuals.
It is my personal belief we have given birth to children who have no interest in the efforts or sacrifices of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. or anyone who proposes to do good and heal our nation for that matter. This is a generation of gamers and gangsters who have no home go to and are accepting bribe by the millions to stir up strife and hatred. Some of these people are not Black and may be there for no other reason than to support unrighteousness acts.
I was torn for years as to which side I was really on. The side I am on is not Black nor White. I am on the side of God and Healing of our Nation. We cannot heal through division. We can only heal by becoming united. What makes me different is what makes me valuable, and I like that!
I know the history and I know what “your people did to my people” and, that was evil. Since I am not a time traveler ( not so you will notice), I cannot tell your ancestors what I think of that. But I am sure we can all agree these people are all dead. What we do have is an opportunity to retell their story. I love to write stories and this one I get to tell it the way I want.
My Side Of Things- The Story: I see you and I as brothers and sisters traveling through life hand in hand. We have no need to think about color of skin as there are much more important things to address. As a matter of fact, the skin is of no concern. It is all about living the life God intended beyond boundaries. You my white brother and sister see me through the same eyes you see yourself and I see you through the same eyes I see myself. Racism, segregation, culture diversity, Black History Month and Black Lives Matter, a group whose 3 letters I refuse to type. and all such hate focused groups will become extinct for “differences” is now nonexistent.
When my beauty is not seen as real beauty because of the color of my skin then we are still blind. When my lips and hips dictate how much pay; we are not traveling together. This road is narrow and few there be that find it. I pray in my lifetime we will experience this shift that will give way for me to allow you to be you and you allow me to be me and we both embrace that with joy!
Culture celebrations are wonderful! I am always up for a day off when I can get one. However, the celebrations should not bring more division. Remember a kingdom divided against itself cannot not stand. The very core of our humanity demands community. Not only family, city, but human community. Where we can truly all not only get along but enjoy the journey.
Let this silent voice be heard. I finally get to say the things that have been burning in my heart. In saying that, let me be a voice for those who understood captivity. These folk were witnesses and survivors of slavery. There are things I did not see nor experience. Here in their own words from the Library of Congress an interview with men and women who knew what it felt like to live in slavery.
John Little a former slave say it for me
“Tisn’t he who has stood and looked on that can tell you what slavery is,” Little said in 1855. “Tis he who has endured.”
“You wasn’t no more than a dog to some of them in them days. You wasn’t treated as good as they treat dogs now. But still I didn’t like to talk about it. Because it makes, makes people feel bad you know. Uh, I, I could say a whole lot I don’t like to say. And I won’t say a whole lot more.”
Fountain Hughes age 101 circa 1952 LOC
“I got my name from President Jeff Davis. He was president of the Southern Confederacy. He owned my grandfather and my father. Brought them from Richmond, Virginia.” George Johnson circa 1932 LOC
“Yes sir, I know what’s right and I tried my best to do what’s right in everything I do.” Uncle Bob Ledbetter circa 1940 LOC
“Well now, they tell me it was a, a year before the folks knowed that, uh, they was free. And when they found out they was free, they worked on shares, they tell me. Worked on shares, didn’t rent no land, they worked on shares. Now you know I was a boy, I’m about explaining to the best of my understanding. They say they worked on shares. I think they said it was, was it fourth, or third I think. They got the third, I think they say, what they made,??? after surrender.” Isom Moseley circa 1939 LOC
“And I remember and the Yankees stop here, and the Yankees stop right here on the courthouse square. I was a good size boy then. And then what they call Freedman Bureau, you hear tell of it ain’t you? And they prosecuting people you know, what they do, you know, and all like that, and I mean just as hard as they could. I’ve seen two mens they had they were punishing for what they do.” Uncle Billy McCrae circa 1940 LOC
“The highest bidder gets you. He’ll carry [you to (?)] his plantation. Put another one up there. Me highest bid, which ever one bid, gives the most, he’ll carry him to his plant, that the white, in the South. And they went to mistreating the, the colored. Getting children by the colored women. And all such as that, getting colored. And the white find it out, how they was treating them. They hurt them. And they come down here, the first war ever was in the United State was the North and South fought a war to free the colored” Charlie Smith 1976 LOC
“And he call me and told me to run down in the field and tell Peter to turn the people loose, that the Yankee coming. And so I run down in the field and, and whooped and holler, they done, he done told them Mr. [Gaeggles (?)] said turn the people loose because the Yankee coming.” Wallace Quarterman 1935 LOC.
When I hear words attempting to silence me regardless of who speaks them; I burn with fire! I want to get louder boulder more determined than ever to let my voice be heard. Perhaps that is part of the evolution.
I could say that I am “Black and I am Proud” but what I am going to say, Jesus loves us all and if we are going to walk with Him forever; we better get over skin-color-selves.