Black History

I realize now there is no DNA test that can tell me what line of African Kings I descended from. I wish I could say I came from Kush and my ancestors bathed in the confluence of the Blue and White Nile, but it ain’t going to happen and in the cosmic scheme of things, it really doesn’t matter. I’ve come to realize the most important thing I am is what I was yesterday and my firsts may come tomorrow. You cannot take that away from me.

I may or may not be a third generation something or other, but I am great in my eyes. I hope others see what I aspire to. I hope my head and heart see it that way, maybe you will too. I don’t assume to be perfect or even always good but I am the first and only me. I proclaim I am HUMAN as imperfect as that might be. I demand Human Rights, not civil rights, those meager things you give based on class and privilege, but the fundamental things that come with drawing breath. I realize those things are not universal or absolute but in this time and in this place I stand and say I AM A MAN and nothing you say or do not say will make that mutable.

So keep your history. I don’t need it. I will make history as I go. I don’t need accolades or letters after my name. I need not someone to mark my passing or carry on my name. Simply being me, I have planted a banner that will eventually tatter and fall, but it will have stood for me and I will have stood for something.

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”