Afroticity

hoodie-tmartin“You may choose to look the other way but you can never say again that you did not know.” Wiiliam Wilberforce

roland hayes

Roland Hayes, the brilliant tenor became the first African-American man to earn international fame as a concert vocalist. In 1942, Mr. Hayes’s wife, Helen and daughter, Afrika, sat in a whites-only area of a shoe store and were thrown out. When Mr. Hayes defended his family, he was beaten and he and his wife were arrested. The incident inspired Langston Hughes to compose the poem, Roland Hayes Beaten.

ethel waters 3

The Beulah Show, the first sitcom to star an African American actress, moved from radio to ABC TV on October 3, 1950, starring Ethel Waters for the first season. Hattie McDaniel, star of radio’s Beulah, joined the cast around September of 1951 but only filmed six episodes of the second season before falling ill. She was quickly replaced by Louise Beavers who stayed with the show until its cancellation in 1952.

heisman trophy 600“I’m not black, I’m O.J.,” a reference to an alleged quote from O.J. Simpson’s murder trial. Simpson was saying, as the story goes, that through fame and fortune he had managed to distance himself from the issues plaguing black men in America: poverty, police brutality, incarceration. I guess he was wrong. Continue reading “Afroticity”

Black Men Rise Revisited

Like the sun and the tide
Black Men Rise

Like the thing in you throat
the thoughts in your head
Black Men Rise

Though lies get us
lynched and castrated
denigrated and incarcerated
Black Men Rise

Though we take a knee
we do not bow
but raise Olympian fists
Black Men Rise

Though daily
taken off the count
through loss of liberty
and life
though we bleed
and die
as often as others
so we can all be free
we wait for a plate
and a seat
while others now get to sit
and eat

pressure on the wound
is no more than a finger in the leak
The damn will break
the land will flood
crops will be lost
and cows will drown

not still
but still
water runs deep

Black Men Rise

Dear Humanity; Black Men Rise

#BlackMenRise

Handstands & Other Feats by C. Z. Vasser