This Uncle Tom Labeling

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.Josiah P Henson and wife 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

Madam C J Walker

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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.

Remembering Martin Luther King in 2014

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

On This Day in 1947

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I am quite sure you recognize the first man on the right But if you do not, he is Baseball player Jackie Robinson. On this day in 1947 , the 28-year-old Jackie Robinson made his historic Brooklyn Dodgers debut. He became the first black man to play major league baseball in the 20th century.

Major League Baseball executive, Branch Rickey broke the baseball bosses’ gentleman’s agreement not to hire anyone from the negro leagues in those times. I have yet to see the movie,  42, so I do not know if they included these facts (at around 12:03 into the video) about both Mr. Ricky and Mr. Robinson. BTW, even though the entire Eric Metaxas speech in this video is not about Jackie Robinson, I highly recommend that you listen to all of it.

The actor, Harrison Ford who portrays Branch Rickey is comparing Jackie Robinson breaking the baseball color line to same-sex marriage. I definitely cannot go with such a comparison. How can anyone put a wrong sexual behavior on the same level as a person’s race? Read more here.

Early Interest In Presidents and a Quiz

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On this Presidents Day, I think back to when I was 9 and my parents bought a set of World Book Encyclopedia. With the set came a special book on the Presidents of the United States. That book of U. S. Presidents caught my interest. I was not into the politics aspect back then. What most interested me were the First Ladies, presidential children and how long the Presidents and First Ladies lived and what they did after they left the White house. It was an early learning interest outside of the required school mandates.

In the 5th grade, I had to write an essay on what I did at home when there was nothing to do. I wrote about reading up on the Presidents. I wowed my teacher with a few facts, such as Frances Folsom Cleveland being the youngest First Lady and not the widely reported Jacqueline Kennedy. Also, John Kennedy was not the youngest President. Theodore Roosevelt gets that title. My teacher told me I had her seeking validation on those facts and it astonished her that I was correct.

In honor of President’s Day, here are a few presidential quiz questions.

What president had been a hero in the Spanish-American War?

a. Ulysses S. Grant     b. Grover Cleveland     c. Theodore Roosevelt

What president signed the Indian Removal Act, thus forcing Native Americans from their homelands?

a. James Madison     b. Andrew Jackson     c. Franklin Pierce

Who is considered the author of the Declaration of Independence?

a. George Washington     b. Thomas Jefferson     c. John Adams

Go here to take the beginner level 10 questions quiz to get the answers.