Sunday, September 30, 2012

A Blueprint for Accountability

I was being interviewed recently by a radio show host who asked a question that I had not thought much about. The question was “what was the message that I was trying to send and why did I create THOUGHT PROVOKING PERSPECTIVES?” It made me wonder if the 14,000 plus followers wanted to know the answer too. My response was simple – to empower the minds of mankind. I understand that word have meaning and are powerful. Therefore, if I can induce thought and cause one to see things from a different perspective – I say well done.

Some have commented that my topics are racial, liberal, and too long. I say they are detailed reminders of the ghost of the great who paved the way and wrote the Greatest Story Ever Told! And the perspective’s relating to the political topics; well, they are reminders that as much as things change they remain the same and that history is written by the victor to enslave minds. With that said, this Sunday morning I will not take you to church but I will give you the word!

Think about the message and maybe you can find the strength to make a difference. And That's my Thought Provoking Perspective...

“Just a Season”
Legacy – A New Season

Friday, September 28, 2012

A Poem For You

I was tagged in a message on FB from a thoughtful lady that caused me to stop and reflect.
The Rain Sent Them All Away
It was quiet in my shed
Their voices were dead
“Finally” I said,
No more voices in my head.
A pause from breaking bread
Pure silence instead
The rain issued a code red.
They all scurried & fled.
No noise to fill my bed,
No more dread.
Just peace instead.
Clarity in my head
Tranquility was fed
When the rain made them spread.
They were scared
I had flared
Looked to despair
But then I cared.
The rain had spared
So relief could be inhaled
Serenity exhaled.
Because the rain sent them all away.
Now I can pray
Present & here to stay…
This was a deep and powerful thought! Thank you Ask-sl Wells for giving me a moment of "tranquility in my Head". And that's my Thought Provoking Perspective...

“Just a Season”
 Legacy – A New Season

Thursday, September 27, 2012


This Thought Provoking Perspective from Earlene Williams Hancock who I have dubbed “The Minister of Explaining Stuff” a few years ago that remains as power and relevant today, in this political environment, as it was the day the thought was conceived. Let me share these powerful word and words that speak truth:

I remember, way back when, during the Civil Rights Movement how many of you and/or your predecessors spoke loudly from your pulpits against the injustices leveled against minorities in this country. If it had not been for your support of Martin Luther King, he might not have been as successful. We thank you for your sacrifice.

Many of you also spoke out against what was felt to be an unjust war in Viet Nam.  This country is also indebted to you for helping bring our young people home.
Strangely, however, I haven't heard much from you the past two years, while our country slipped deeper and deeper into a hateful, godless place.  You, as far as I know, have remained silent on the divisive racial attacks against one of the finest Presidents we've been blessed with in my lifetime.
Forgive me if I'm wrong, but I've heard nothing about the attacks on his religious beliefs, his legitimacy to be president of this country, the unprecedented insults hurled at him day after day, the ugly distortions of what he's trying to achieve for all Americans ~ and not just for those who voted for him.
The Tea Party movement leaves many of us stunned ~ we realize at its root, their behavior is a result of a deep-seated racism, simply because of the color of his skin. Many believed we were living in a post-racist society. One would think so, in 2010 (and now) ~ but I wasn't quite that naive, but Barack Obama gave me hope that I haven't felt in my entire life.
President Obama walked into the "perfect storm" on his Inauguration Day ~ and the Republicans wasted no time trying to derail his presidency. The facts are that the enormous problems he inherited were as a result of the Bush Administration's squandering a surplus gifted to them by Bill Clinton, throwing us into a war with Iraq that Bush knew wasn't warranted, banking deregulation that's cost millions of Americans their homes, and rewarding corporations for outsourcing the jobs of the middle class throwing them into the struggle of their lives just to survive. These same workers paid into the system for unemployment benefits, but now are worried, again, that those benefits will be held hostage by the Republicans.
I will not offer an opinion as to whether I think the separation of church and state is just or not ~ I do know that your nonprofit status could be in jeopardy or called into question depending on your actions.  Sometimes, though, we are all called to do what is right, no matter the consequences. 
I don't have statistics on all groups who failed to vote on November 2nd...but I've been told that only 10% of eligible black Democratic voters turned up at the polls. Young "first-time" voters also chose to stay away. The turnout was low across the board, except on the Right.  Would it have turned out differently had you encouraged your various congregations to get out and vote?  I'm almost certain it would have, because your flocks look to you for guidance.
Perhaps I'm completely wrong and each one of you did, in fact, repeatedly encouraged your members for weeks leading up to the election, to simply get out and vote ~ whether for Republicans or Democrats. Perhaps you've repeatedly addressed the disrespect shown at this President or at least touched on the vile racist environment we find ourselves in today. Perhaps you've also taken a stand publicly ~ if you have, I applaud you, but somehow I've missed that.
If not, I am humbly asking each of you to take a stand and speak in your churches, synagogues, mosques and cathedrals about a virulent atmosphere of hate that's permeating our society. Your congregants have to live and work in this society and it seems to me you'd want what's best for them, their children, and grandchildren.
Will you also commit to getting your membership motivated… to exercise their right to vote, reminding them that people struggled and many died so they'd have that privilege?  
Again, you are a powerful force and your membership will listen. I know you love this country as much as we all do...and we must all get involved to restore not just sanity, but decency in our political process, by doing what's right for all Americans, not just a privileged few.
I am not on anyone's payroll ~ although it certainly wouldn't hurt during these troubling times. I'm merely very concerned about where our country is headed and I implore you to get involved. May God/Allah continue to bless you.
These words speak volumes and I would suggest that being called by “God” to feed the souls of mankind – stand for justice and righteousness. Maybe that is why the Bible says there will be wars upon wars because you remain silent! And that’s my Thought Provoking Perspective…

“Just a Season”

 Legacy – A New Season

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

The Great Conductor - Part One

Harriett Tubman, in my opinion, was the most courageous woman who ever lived, and my personal hero. Hidden in the tiny “dash” on her marker is her life’s work of being the great conductor of the Underground Railroad, a scout, spy, and nurse during the Civil War. I don’t know what her marker actually says, but it should contain a simple inscription that says – “Servant of God."

Harriet Tubman was born Araminta Ross sometimes referred to as "Moses." The date of her actual birth is suspect because as a slave accurate birth records were not kept. Therefore, no one can say for sure as to the actual date. She always proclaimed her birth as 1825 but most historians believe she was born around 1820 or 1821.

After escaping from the slavery into which she was born, she made thirteen missions to rescue over seventy slaves using the network of antislavery activists and safe houses known as the Underground Railroad. She once remarked that she could have saved a lot more, if they had only known they were slaves. Her courage was that of unimaginable proportion because death was the penalty for such work.

Early in her life she was told that she was of Ashanti lineage from what is now Ghana where her grandmother was captured. Her mother, Rit, struggled to keep their family together as slavery tried to tear it apart. Edward Brodess sold three of her daughters separating them from the family forever.

Once a trader from Georgia approached Brodess about buying Rit's youngest son Moses; she hid him for a month, aided by other slaves and free blacks in the community. At one point she even confronted her owner about the sale. Finally, Brodess and "the Georgia man" came toward the slave quarters to seize the child where Rit told them: "You are after my son; but the first man that comes into my house I will split his head open." Brodess backed away and abandoned the sale.

Because Tubman’s mother was assigned to "the big house" and had scarce time for her own family, as a child Tubman took care of a younger brother and a baby. At the age of five or six, she was hired out to a woman named "Miss Susan" as a nursemaid. Tubman was ordered to keep watch on her baby as it slept. When it woke or cried, Tubman was whipped.

She told of a particular day when she was lashed five times before breakfast. She carried these scars for the rest of her life. Threatened later for stealing a lump of sugar, Tubman hid in a neighbor's pig sty for five days, where she fought with the animals for scraps of food. Starving, she returned to Miss Susan's house and received a heavy beating.

Tubman was beaten and whipped regularly by her various masters to whom she had been hired out. She learned to protect herself from such abuse by wrapping herself in layers of clothing, but cried out as if she was not protected. Tubman also worked as a child for a planter where her job was to go into nearby marshes to check the muskrat traps.

Even after contracting the measles, she was sent into waist high cold water. She became very ill and was sent back to her master. Her mother nursed her back to health, whereupon she was immediately hired out again to various farms. As she grew older and stronger, she was assigned to grueling field and forest work: driving oxen, plowing, and hauling logs.

Tubman's father Ben was released from slavery at the age of forty-five, as stipulated in a former owner's will, though his real age was closer to fifty-five. He continued working as a timber estimator and foreman for the Thompson family, who had owned him as a slave.

Several years later, Tubman contacted a white attorney and paid him five dollars to investigate her mother's legal status. The lawyer discovered that a former owner had issued instructions that Rit, like her husband, would be manumitted at the age of forty-five. The record showed that a similar provision would apply to Rit's children, and that any children born after she reached forty-five years of age were legally free, but her owners ignored this stipulation.

Around 1844, she married a free black man named John Tubman. Although little is known about him or their time together, the union was complicated due to her slave status. Since the mother's status dictated that of her children, any children born to Harriet and John would be enslaved. As a result of her master’s death the likelihood that Tubman would be sold increased and the family would be broken apart as their master’s widow would sell the family's slaves. Tubman refused to wait for her owner’s family to decide her fate, despite her husband John’s efforts to dissuade her.

She escaped to Philadelphia and returned to Maryland to find her husband. However, John had married another woman named Caroline. Tubman sent word that he should join her, but he insisted that he was happy where he was. Tubman at first prepared to storm their house and make a scene, but decided he was not worth the trouble. Suppressing her anger, she found some slaves who wanted to escape and led them to Philadelphia. John and Caroline raised a family together, until he was killed sixteen years later in a roadside argument with a white man.

To be continued – tomorrow!
And that’s my Thought Provoking Perspective…

Legacy – A New Season is available.

Saturday, September 22, 2012


Every now and again someone shares with me powerful words that I am compelled to pass on share with the world. A politically minded friend wrote this commentary to which I was so impressed that I should call her the Minister of Explaining Sh*t.This is very clear assessment of where we are today – “politically”.  

Thank you Earlene Williams Hancock for this powerfully correct commentary.
~ no pictures, no graphics...just straight talk. “In revenge, as in life, every action has an equal and opposite reaction…”. Two Democratic groups played a part in creating the CHAOS we're experiencing now: (1) Those who couldn't be bothered voting in 2010...and (2) The "intelligensia" bka/Progressives (some not all) who wanted to teach Barack a lesson because, as petulant children, they didn't get their "single payer"...-:( Be great if those people could look at the BIG picture ~ at least we have something! ...30 Million people including children are now covered under "Obamacare".

By staying away from the polls in 2010, guess what happened? • Teabaggers slipped into the House (63 damn seats!) • GOTP Governors were elected • State Legislatures turned RED! • ALEC (American Legislative Exchange Council) unleashed VOTER SUPPRESSION LAWS, as well as Stand Your Ground legislation! [Don't get me started about Trayvon!!!] • John Boehner became Speaker of the House and Eric Cantor, majority leader in the House!-:( • Republicans hatched their plan to OBSTRUCT every single bill that the President put forward...especially the AMERICAN JOBS BILL • For the first time in history, this country's credit rating was reduced because Boehner & The 'Baggers are willing to let this country get close to falling off the cliff...again • The Supreme Court upheld CITIZENS UNITED...allowing corporations to pour in millions of dollars to buy elections • Unions have been attacked • Women have been attacked • Social Security & Medicare are being attacked! ..... Our way of life is under attack!!!

Barack needs a Congress he can work with. Let's pick up 25 BLUE seats in the House and insure the Senate 60 filibuster-proof BLUE seats! There is no excuse in not voting in 2010...all politics is local and had you shown up, we wouldn't be going through this sh*t right now...nor subjected to the likes of Willard Mitt Romney...who's let you know how insignificant we are.

Do whatever you've got to do ~ get your paperwork together ---► go get your photo ID, if required ... and let NOTHING keep you from voting November 6th! LET'S GO ALL BLUE!!! GOBAMA / GODEMS!!! ..... or live to regret it! Let's get it together and...V ♦ O ♦ T ♦ E !!! ~ while we still can...
VOTE on November 6th like your life depended on it because it does! And that’s my Thought Provoking Perspective...
“Just a Season”
 Legacy – A New Season

Thursday, September 20, 2012

By Any Means Necessary

Malcolm X was no doubt one of the most profoundly significant, famous, and controversial African American leaders of our time. I cannot recall any other MAN, except maybe Dr. King, whose impact was so overwhelmingly felt by so many. The Minister Malcolm’s prophetic words spoken over forty-five years ago resonate as relevant today as the day they were spoken evoking the same emotions of truth.

February 21st is the anniversary, for lack of a better word, of Minister Malcolm X’s assassination at the Audubon Ballroom that has yet to be fully resolved in the minds of most of us. What I can say is that we lost a champion unlike anyone I have witnessed in my lifetime. Therefore, it would be blasphemy to dedicate an entire month to the ghost of the greats and not include the most articulate orator of our time.

I could go deeply into the making of this man but so many people, agencies, institutions and organizations have covered this great man’s brief life on earth in much more detail than I can. As you know, there is a vast sea of in-depth analyses, books, movies, and biographies on his life and philosophies. I will not try to rewrite history rather simply pay homage to the legacy of this great man as brief as I can, honoring him for his contributions to the African American Diaspora.

There are facts (known & unknown), suspicions and of course theories surrounding the assassination of Malcolm X, the impact it has had on our culture and the world the world. Like the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Malcolm X also had a dream. It began bathed in the tenets of anger and hatred, fostering economic independence on the shoulders of retaliatory separatism that ended with the swelling acceptance of a unified brotherhood and the replacement of hatred with peace and with the nagging thirst for international equality for all mankind.

As the story goes, early in Malcolm’s life a white teacher asked him what he would like to be and his answer was “a lawyer”. The teacher, who had encouraged his white students on their career choices, told Malcolm, “That’s no realistic goal for a nigger”. This statement discouraged a bright student to not seek his full potential leading to a life of crime. After being caught and arrested for carrying a concealed weapon he was sentenced to prison. While serving more than six years he began educating himself, converted to the Islamic faith and became a Black Muslim in the Nation of Islam (NOI).

After his release in 1952, Malcolm Little, now known as Malcolm X, went to Detroit and began to actively preach to the frustrated African American population about what Islam had to offer. It made no difference where he conducted his sermons and teachings, whether on the streets or in a temple. He spread the word to anyone who would listen.

It was not long before Malcolm became a favorite of Elijah Muhammad, the leader of the Nation of Islam. He was made a minister and began to travel from city to city, preaching the message, founding new temples and converting thousands of people to the faith. Two years later, Malcolm X became minister of the famed Temple Number Seven in Harlem, New York.

In April of 1964, Malcolm X made a pilgrimage to Mecca which led to his second conversion. He met brothers of the faith who were from many nations and of many races, black, brown, white, and all the sons of Allah. The reality dawned on him that advocating racial cooperation and brotherhood would help resolve the racial problems in America and, hopefully, lead to a peaceful coexistence throughout the world. Malcolm X’s transformed ideas and dreams reached full fruition and were ready for implementation. He changed his name, this time to El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz and found himself going against the system, but this time he would not be alone in the fight for equality and justice.

It did not take long for the reactionaries to strike out at Malcolm X. Members of the NOI resented what they thought were his attempts to supplant Elijah Muhammad. Government entities feared his involving the NOI in international issues, as well as his starting to lean too far to the left, while law enforcement officials looked upon him and his actions as radical, criminal and detrimental to society.

Early on the morning of February 14, 1965, Malcolm and his family were peacefully asleep in their home in Elmhurst, New York. They were suddenly awakened by the sounds of shattering glass and explosions. Several Molotov cocktails had been thrown through their living room window, engulfing the house in roaring flames. Malcolm and his wife, Betty, quickly gathered their children and rushed out of the burning house. Once safe, they stood outside in the cold air, watching as their home and possessions burned. It was never determined who had tried to kill them, though Malcolm did tell authorities he thought it may have been the NOI.

Just one week later at a scheduled appearance at the Audubon Ballroom, which was almost full on a cold February day with over 400 followers of Islam anxiously awaiting Brother Malcolm X. No uniformed police were visible inside the Audubon, but two were stationed outside the entrance although it was common knowledge that an attempt on Malcolm’s life was a real possibility. Inside the Audubon Ballroom, several dark-suited NOI guards were positioned near the stage and towards the rear of the room. As soldiers of the NOI, the militancy of the neatly dressed men was evident in their demeanor, as they surveyed the room, quietly watching the seating of late arrivals.

Malcolm X, his pregnant wife and their four children waited as a tense and nervous Malcolm X ordered two of his guards to take his family out into the hall to their seats in a box near the front of the stage. Seemingly irritated and exhausted, Malcolm X mentioned to his aides that he had reservations about speaking. Malcolm’s misgivings were reflected in his taut features as his restless eyes darted around the room as he listened to Brother Benjamin Goodman making his opening speech.

At approximately 3:08 pm, Brother Benjamin ended his speech and introduced Malcolm X, who walked out onto the stage to a lengthy ovation. Malcolm stepped up to a wooden podium and looked out at the audience. When the applause finally settled down, he offered the audience the Muslim greeting and smiled when they responded in-kind. Just as he began to speak again, a commotion broke out near the rear of the ballroom. Two men jumped up, knocking wooden folding-chairs to the floor, as one of the men yelled, “Get your hand out of my pocket!” As Malcolm responded with cool it there brothers, a loud explosion suddenly erupted in the back of the room, which began to fill with smoke.

Malcolm’s bodyguards and aides hardly had time to react as the well coordinated ruses effectively diverted their attention from him, allowing unopposed gunmen to begin their attack. A man rose from the front row and pulled out a double-barreled sawed-off shotgun from under his coat and fired twice at Malcolm.
Simultaneously, as Malcolm was falling backwards and clutching his bloody chest, two more men jumped up and fired pistols at him as they rushed the stage. Although Malcolm was down, the two men repeatedly fired bullets into his body before turning and running to flee the premises. More shots were fired as they ran.

Betty Shabazz shielded her children with her body beneath a bench. As soon as the shooting ceased, she rushed toward the still body of her husband as she screamed, “They’re killing my husband! They’re killing my husband!” When she reached his side she realized he was dead, despite the frantic efforts of followers trying to stop the flow of blood from his bullet riddled body.

Upon learning of the assassination of Malcolm X, the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. remarked that “One has to conquer the fear of death if he is going to do anything constructive in life and take a stand against evil”. We may never know all of the facts about who was behind the assassination or who ordered his death. But we do know that these assassins denied him the chance to act upon his newly formed convictions.
Today, the man and the name, Malcolm X, are known in America and throughout the world. He was a celebrated freedom fighter and motivating force to those whose future he had the vision to see, the will to stand up and fight for. Postage stamps and posters now bear his image out of recognition and honor for his final crusade.

The eulogy that actor Ossie Davis delivered at his funeral profoundly impresses upon us that, “However we may have differed with him, or with each other about him and his value as a man, let his going from us serve only to bring us together, now. Consigning these mortal remains to earth, the common mother of all, secure in the knowledge that what we place in the ground is no more now a man but a seed which, after the winter of our discontent, will come forth again to meet us. And we will know him then for what he was and is a Prince, our own black shining Prince! Who didn’t hesitate to die, because he loved us so.”

Malcolm X was a man who fulfilled his place in history and stayed true to his words: "It is a time for martyrs now, and if I am to be one, it will be for the cause of brotherhood."

A collection of Malcolm X Speeches

And That's my Thought Provoking Perspective!

"Just a Season"
 Legacy – A New Season

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

The Heartless Tin Man

There was a football commercial that aired a few years ago where a coach was asked did you know your opponent. The coach’s response was “they were who we thought they were”. The Plutocrat known as the Tin Man has now told us that he is who we thought he was! He could not have been more honest when he said:

"There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what. All right, there are 47 percent who are with him, who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you-name-it. That that’s an entitlement. And the government should give it to them. And they will vote for this president no matter what…. These are people who pay no income tax.... [M]y job is not to worry about those people. I’ll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives."

Some of Mitt’s supporters say these remarks were stupid and arrogant. I call this a disgrace for a man who could become the leader of the free world. It's worth noting that a good portion of the 47 percent who don't pay income taxes are Romney supporters. These people are seniors, many are lower-income Americans, soldiers, college students, and of course the Tin Man’s friends. So Mitt seems to have contempt not just for the Democrats who oppose him but also half of the American citizens according to him.

This is a guy that can only claim the best part of the Good Ol Boy’s convention was a senile old man talking to a chair. The Tin Man has now shown himself to be a bumbling fool and its time that he and the Boy Wonder be sent back to the Land of Oz because we have now seen the Wizard! It is hard to justify this “not so eloquent statement” as anything other than distain.

I cannot recall a presidential race in modern times that has had so little substance; yet so many untruths that have produced truth. So it seems this statement is devastating only because it shows he is “who we thought he was”! And that’s my Thought Provoking Perspective…

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

The Ghost of Jim Crow Lives

If you follow my blog, Thought Provoking Perspectives, and I hope you do, you know that I often write about issues concerning and pertaining to the African American Diaspora. I do so, hopefully, try to empower those who either don’t know our history or have forgotten it. Let me say, as I often do, tell you that I believe our history is American History and is “The Greatest Story Ever Told”.

As time has pasted I thought we had buried Jim Crow but I have come to realize that he lives. He is just modernized and now goes by the name James E. Crow. If you follow the current political environment you can surely see he is alive and well. Just listen to the revised version of the Citizens Counsel, i.e., the Republican or the Tea Party and you will see that the apartheid version of America’s sorted past. But I digress!

So in today’s post I will explain the term Jim Crow for those who don’t know! The term originated in a song performed by Daddy Rice, a white minstrel show entertainer in the 1830’s. Rice covered his face with charcoal paste or burnt cork to resemble a black man as he sang and danced a routine in the caricature of a silly black person. By the 1850’s, this cruelly belittling blackface character, one of several stereotypical images of black inferiority in America’s popular culture, was a standard act in minstrel shows of the day.

The term became synonymous with the wicked concept of segregation directed specifically toward African Americans in the late nineteenth-century. It is not clear why this term was selected. However, what is clear is that by 1900, the term was generally identified with those racist laws and actions that deprived African Americans of their civil rights by defining blacks as inferior to whites while identifying them as subordinate people.

It was around this time that its inception entered the lexicon of racial bigotry after the landmark U.S Supreme Court decision Plessy verses Ferguson in 1896 resulting from a suit brought by the New Orleans Committee of Citizens. The notion was devised as many southern states tried to thwart the efforts and gains made during Reconstruction following the Civil War.

They, the Committee of Citizens, arranged for Homer Plessy’s arrest in order to challenge Louisiana’s segregation laws. Their argument was, “We, as freemen, still believe that we were right and our cause is sacred” referring to the confederacy. The Supreme Court agreed and a policy of segregation became the law of the land lasting more than sixty years as a result of that crucial decision.

As a result of reconstruction African Americans were able to make great progress in building their own institutions, passing civil rights laws, and electing officials to public office. In response to these achievements, southern whites launched a vicious, illegal war against southern blacks and their white allies. In most places, whites carried out this war under the cover of secret organizations such as the KKK. Thousands of African Americans were killed, brutalized, and terrorized in these bloody years. I might add that anywhere south of Canada was "South" as this was the law of the land.

The federal government attempted to stop the bloodshed by sending in troops and holding investigations, but its efforts were far too limited and frankly were not intended to solve the problem. Therefore, black resistance to segregation was difficult because the system of land tenancy, known as sharecropping, left most blacks economically dependent upon planter/landlords and merchant suppliers. In addition, white terror at the hands of lynch mobs threatened all members of the black family - adults and children alike. This reality made it nearly impossible for blacks to stand up to Jim Crow laws because such actions might bring the wrath of the white mob on one's parents, brothers, spouse, and children.

Few black families were economically well off enough to buck the local white power structure of banks, merchants, and landlords. To put it succinctly: impoverished and often illiterate southern blacks were in a weak position to confront the racist culture of Jim Crow. To enforce the new legal order of segregation, southern whites often resorted to even more brutalizing acts of mob terror, including race riots and ritualized lynchings were regularly practiced to enforce this agenda.

Some historians saw this extremely brutal and near epidemic commitment to white supremacy as breaking with the South's more laissez-faire and paternalistic past. Others view this "new order" as a more rigid continuation of the "cult of whiteness" at work in the South since the end of the Civil War. Both perspectives agree that the 1890’s ushered in a more formally racist South and one in which white supremacists used law and mob terror to define the life and popular culture of African American people as an inferior people.

I want you to remember that words have meaning and power. Therefore, as we witness the already in progress, presidential campaign that you think about what you have heard and hear from the States Rights folks from the right-wing so-called conservatives. This guy vying to become president, as well as others seeking highly placed positions, understand this tried and true principle as they speak to the so-called real Americans and those who want to take back their country. “History is known and has repeated itself – and if we can’t remember, it will reappear”!

And that’s my Thought Provoking Perspective…

Purchase “Just a Season” today and know that Legacy – A New Season the sequel is available!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Back By Popular Demand

I’ve received many emails recently telling me that I have begun to get too political and that I should continue to empower the consciousness of those who have no real connection or understand of the greatest story ever told, which is the African American Diaspora. I received one particular email from a young lady who could not remember when we were Negro’s. As a result of this surprising revelation I promised that I would re-post my Black History Month Series “The Twenty-Eight Day of Us”.

Therefore, as I promised this proud Black Woman thirsting for knowledge of self; I will provide her and you that knowledge but I can’t resist talking about that insanity of this political season because it is important to understand that we have but one choice and that choice is to re-elect our president.

What struck me by this request was a comment she made. She said “make it plain my brother”. This was something that Brother Malcolm used to say and I was an honor to have been connected to such a powerful statement. So I will do just that and “Make It Plain” starting with this post called “What Happened to the Black Family”!

In a past life, one of many that I have enjoyed, I taught a college course called the Psychology of the Black Family. From time to time I go back and look through some of those old term papers from that class to which I become enthralled by the content. The assignment given to each student was to write a term paper on “The Breakdown of the African American Family”. As I read through some of the thirty or so papers I found several very significant points and a common theme throughout the papers. I decided to capture some of the key points from those research papers to share with you.

During slavery, and from the 1800's through the 1980's, the concept of family was tight knit, strongly woven, and the envy of most cultures. The African American family unit survived in spite of unimaginable cruelty and adversity. It is only recently, during the last thirty years or so that the African American family became dysfunctional and lost its direction. One has to think for some twisted reason we do not feel whole because in many cases we allow others define us.

I can recall a powerful statement made by one of the students who expressed that she thinks the different social pressures on black men and women have contributed to the weak traditional family structure. Black women have been able to achieve more economic and educational success than black men, leading to them being higher wage earners. This inequality has eroded black women's reliance on men and their willingness to compromise on their needs or expectations, which in turn has led to resentment and disappointment on both sides.

Black women raise children, too often alone, and the bitterness that difficult task creates causes some women to make derogatory complaints against men in general, tainting their daughters and shaming their sons. Also, it seems that black women do not often hold their sons to as high a standard as their daughters, making them further vulnerable.

If proper behavior is not modeled for young people, they have difficulty fulfilling those expectations. This creates the perfect ingredients for the dismal situations to occur in our community. She went on to say that a lot of that has to do with our values, and the lack of knowing the importance of loving our communities, our families, and ourselves.

These are 12 key factors expressed from my student’s outstanding research papers:
1. The Vietnam War: Hundreds of thousands of strong, intelligent, hardworking black men were shipped abroad to be murdered, returned home shell shocked, severely damaged, or addicted. Many of which were unable to get back on track after returning from war because the government abandoned them.
2. COINTELPRO: The covert actions of J. Edgar Hoover in the wake of the Civil Rights Era and the Black Power Movements all but insured that anyone speaking out against the governments wrong doings would receive either long prison sentences or bullets. This fear silenced our forward progression, fueling distrust, and removing many of our leaders as well as potential future leaders.
3. The Assassinations of the 1960’s: Left a huge void in leadership that has yet to be filled, particularly within the Civil Rights Movement to include within the community. Instead, a universal acceptance of the pimp/hustler image in popular culture that presented alternative heroes to black youth, which resonant in the form of Gangster Rap. This genre leads to the glorification of the criminal element amidst immature minds that lack familial structure. In addition to black on black crime and staying silent while black youth are murdered by other black youth.
4. The Feminist Movement: Backed by liberal white women to fight for the equal rights of women; the same rights most black men had yet to fully be granted. A lot of black women got lost in the rhetoric of how men were keeping them down, losing sight of the fact that black men were down there with them. To this day, the power exchange and infighting among black men and women, is sadly considered the norm, a tool enumerated by Willie Lynch.
5. Oliver North & the Contras: The volume of drugs, mainly crack cocaine that flooded the black community during the 80 to which most of the drugs came in on U.S. ships with the support of the Government. The CRACK era escalated death and incarceration rates, unwanted pregnancies, neighborhood prostitution and a culture of violence. Folks were selling their kids to hit the pipe, and selling their souls to sell what went in that pipe. This epidemic destroyed our community in ways slavery could never have done. This form of contemporary was the cruelest type of slavery imposed upon our communities.
6. Mass media brainwashing & mind control: The influences of propaganda and distorted images of beauty and male/female roles. Shows like Life Styles of the Rich and Famous, Dynasty, Different Strokes, and the Jefferson’s for example. The American conscious during the 80's was money driven. Materialism became the idea that stuff defines you and others.
7. Education: The lack of proper education, financing support, and knowledge being taught by African American professionals. In addition our leaders and academics failed us as they fled the hood in droves for the suburbs during those crazy 80's. Prior to this period, kids saw on a daily basis married couples that looked like them, even if they didn’t live in their households. Yet the great migration to greener pastures left a void in the community leaving it to be filled by the image of the hustler-pimp-thug, ruthlessness, and violence.
8. Communication: This speaks to education of self and listening to the wrong messengers. The communication of values - parents became unavailable to hand down family legacies, traditions and value systems. We're like POW's locked in the same building for 20 years, unable to converse thru cement walls confined by our persona's, egos, insecurities, isms etc.
9. The Black Church: Many churches have lost their way. The business of religion is bankrupting our communities. Many churches are not touching the lives of those outside of the church most in need. Just like back in the day when it was the design of slave masters, who did so much wickedness to use this as a tactic by offering a bible and in most instances nothing more than pain and a promise of a better life to keep us in line. This is not the same as faith which was necessary to survive our struggles.
10. Urbanization - work and home were once connected. Parents were near their families and children understood work as a way of life. Urbanization helped create “latch key" kids and images of hard work disappeared while replacing it with material objects.
11. Social Services: The advent of the system of welfare that demanded the absence of the influence of the black man in the home. Before Claudine during the early 50's welfare was a Midwestern farmer hook up and back then you HAD to be a complete family to apply. So the laws for welfare changed in the inner-city while many in the farm lands of Mid America started to change in culture to fit the application for welfare. For decades to follow, trillions of dollars in government spending on ineffective social programs in our cities have not by enlarge benefited the mobility of the family.
12. Segregation: Jim Crow Laws and Black Codes that prevented legal marriages, dehumanized people, and discriminatory practices in work/education left many African Americans unable to access resources necessary to build strong family bases causing disillusioned men/husbands/fathers to abandonment rather than face daily reminder of their "failure".
Lastly, let us not forget the Willie Lynch Theory! So the when you look in the mirror or just look at the picture I have inserted; I hope you will think about and understand that it is a designed plan, as it has been from the being, to mentally enslave a people. And that’s my THOUGHT PROVOKING PERSPECTIVE!