On this great holiday, go here to take the full version of the citizenship test. I correctly answered 45 out of 50. The question on the Indian tribes was one of the questions I incorrectly answered. Have a wonderful Independence Day and enjoy the patriotic music features.
A Facebook friend asked who were the black men in the photo. I was the first to respond. I recognized the first on the left, Charles Evers right away. He went on to be a mayor in Mississippi and go Republican. He was also the brother of the late civil rights activist, Medgar Evers. The other two black men in the 1980 photo with then Republican presidential candidate, Ronald Reagan are civil rights activists/leaders were Hosea Williams and Rev. Ralph Abernathy. These men endorsed Ronald Reagan for President. In my mind, I only remember Rev. Abernathy endorsing Pres. Reagan. I also remember my thinking that something was wrong with Rev. Abernathy for endorsing a Republican presidential candidate.
I tried to listen to and like Ronald Reagan as President, but back then, I was too engulfed in group black think. That had me viewing Pres. Reagan through the ‘Democrats only for blacks’ tunnel vision. So yes back then, I did mistake Ronald Reagan’s belief in keeping government out of the average American’s life as a cover for doing nothing about racial injustice. My thinking was also shaped by my Democrat voting parents and the legislative branch of government passing laws against segregation and against denying some legal citizens of color the right to vote in the 60s during my junior high years. Times grew different and finally so did my thinking.
Oh, the folks who are into labeling black people Uncle Toms for not seeing things through race as they see them! Alabama State Representative, Alvin Holmes is one of those folks. This man holds a B.S., M. Ed, M.A., and a LL.D degree; therefore, one would be surprised by his narrow racist thinking that caused him to call and defend his statement that Supreme Court Justice, Clarence Thomas is an Uncle Tom. He also did not like the fact that Justice Thomas married a white woman.
Rep. Holmes sounds so ridiculous! I am so thankful I escaped out of group black think. It is obvious that Rep. Holmes is very entrenched in group black think with roots growing down to the core of the earth. Hey, it is the human race and not viewing life through the tunnel vision of a particular race. Again, I must say that calling someone an Uncle Tom is really a compliment.
It surprises me how people do not know that Harriet Beecher Stowe based the Uncle Tom character in her Uncle Tom’s Cabin on Josiah P. Henson. Mr. Henson was born a slave who escaped to Canada and led hundreds upon hundreds of slaves to their wonderful freedom through the underground railroad. He was a Methodist minister and started a settlement house called the Dawn Institute in Canada which taught trades to people who had escaped enslavement. Read more here. So if you are ready to label someone an Uncle Tom, know that you are really complementing that person.
Note: Photo of Josiah P Henson and his wife, Nancy shared through the Zinn Education Project on Facebook
This annual Black History month celebration is just about over and so I will make this one citation in relation to it. The remarkable entrepreneur, Madam C. J. Walker, born Sarah Breedlove, is not only the first black female millionaire, but the first female millionaire who became one through building up a hair care business on her own and not through inherited family money.
Listen to her biographer who is also her great-great granddaughter, A’Lelia Bundles talks about Madam Walker who was born December 23, 1867 and died in May 25 1919.
Go here to hear about Madam C J Walker’s Model T car where you see her sitting behind the steering wheel (hardly any women drove a car in those times) and the other women sitting in her car in the above image.
The following is from a previous post on this blog and my former Opera blog with a few tweaks.
I can say that I do not agree with the direction of some of his political beliefs that went beyond fighting for equal rights for blacks and other minorities who experienced legal racial discrimination. But the fact that he non violently fought and put his life on the line for the civil rights of others will never diminish in my heart.
My recollection of Dr. Martin Luther King was one of taking a courageous stand against day by day racism and legal segregation. I remember the media reports of him spending time in jail for peaceful protests for rights for people of color that are so easily acquired today. I remember watching on TV former President Harry Truman, a Democrat calling Dr. King a trouble maker. When reporters reminded him that Dr. King had been given the Nobel Peace Prize, former President Truman’s response was, “I did not give it to him.” My mother and grandmother who were also watching TV with me were appalled at former President Truman’s remarks.
I remember various white people all over the country who were Democrats and Republicans also expressing that Dr King and other civil rights leaders both white and black were trouble makers. Some expressed as did the late Senator Barry Goldwater (as seen in the HBO documentary on him) that Blacks wanted their rights too fast and that they would have to wait. What was really being said is that yes we have denied you rights as citizens, which we enjoy, but you must wait until we are ready to do the right thing. Dr. King’s peaceful actions said NO in high volumes. I wonder if people who thought like the late Senator Goldwater, realized how wrong they were.
Martin Luther King was assassinated in the spring of my junior year in high school. On that day my father’s co-worker had a bit of a personal connection. His co-worker’s son in-law assaulted a passenger on a Philly bus. He assaulted the passenger for saying that Dr. King had died with the garbage. From a legal criminal standpoint, he came to regret assaulting that passenger. Dr. King was in Memphis Tennessee when he was assassinated to support sanitation workers’ protest of low wages and poor working conditions.
I believe Dr. King would not be happy today. I continue to agree with Aaron McGruder‘s creation (which is documented in Juan William’s book, Enough) of an Older Dr. King on his Cartoon Network show The Boondocks. Dr. King is in a Church looking out at high school dropouts, gangsta rappers in fistfights, young teenage mothers dressing scantily. He can hear them calling each other the “N” word. This older version of Dr. King looks out and says, “Is this it? This is what I got all those a-whippings for?”
We have to do better by his legacy