Black People : ANOTHER SIDE OF BLACK HISTORY MONTH

Discussion in 'Black People Open Forum' started by info-moetry, Jul 10, 2005.

  1. info-moetry

    info-moetry STAFF STAFF

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    ANOTHER SIDE OF BLACK HISTORY MONTH

    [Col. Writ. 2/16/03] Copyright 2003 Mumia Abu-Jamal

    The idea of Black History Month has always filled me with
    ambivalence.

    On the one hand, there is understandable pride in the
    accomplishments of one's ancestors; people for fought long and hard
    for their place in the sun, against monstrous odds, and indeed,
    against American white supremacist terrorism. They used every
    means imaginable to sustain themselves against a system that was
    predicated and dedicated to their spiritual, psychological, and material
    destruction. When one studies the life of Harriet Tubman, or other
    freedom fighters like her, it is almost impossible not to be moved.

    On the other hand, the institutionalization of Black History Month,
    by corporate, and political America, has resulted in a kind of 'dead
    history', by which I mean the uses of advertising and even stamps, to
    promote historical figures, many from the distant past, who portray a
    'safe' side to a history that was, and is, anything but safe.

    This has resulted in the promotion of Black historical figures as
    one-dimensional icons, or advertising gimmicks, that reduce them
    to familiar names, but little else of substance. Thus, Martin Luther
    King, Jr. becomes the icon of choice, used by everything from
    insurance companies to dry cleaners to drum up business among the
    burgeoning black middle and working class. It has contributed to
    the *selling* of Black history, as something that looks, almost
    endearingly, to the past, as if there is not an awful lot of Black
    history to be made today. There is also a deep, troubling bourgeois
    factor in popular black history that seems to remember the
    well-to-do, yet ignores those who struggled from among the ranks
    of the poor, who didn't wear clean suits every day, and didn't think
    that the vote represented the end-all or be-all of the Struggle.

    I speak of the forgotten ones; those people who fought for freedom
    and Black Liberation, not at news conferences, or in editorial board
    meetings with bored journalists, but in the fields, in the shops, in
    the streets, among the people.

    In this new kind of bourgeois, safe, corporate Black history, people
    such as these make no real appearances. It's almost as if these
    agencies strive to create a kind of 'black history lite', that will
    not disturb the sleep or the stomachs of white Americans.

    This is a shame, and a disservice to both white, and black
    Americans, and all who really want to know about the history of
    this country.

    It is therefore fitting to recall those names of people who lived
    in the hearts and minds of their people, and who, in their own way,
    fought for freedom, but are rarely mentioned in most history books,
    and won't be seen on U.S. postage stamps (at least anytime soon,
    for capitalism, if anything, learns how to co-opt almost everything
    for profit, eh?). Here are a few:

    *Ola Mae Quarterman*: Long before the famed Rosa Parks refused
    to take a seat in the back of a Montgomery
    , Alabama bus, Ms.
    Quarterman, a bright, sensitive 18-year old girl boarded a bus in Albany,
    Georgia, and refused to move when the white driver ordered her to.
    She responded, "I paid my **** ten cents, and I'll sit where I
    please." When the segregationist-trained driver began to wag his
    finger in her face, she quite rationally responded, "Get your ****
    finger out of my face." What happened next was in some ways similar
    to what happened in Montgomery, and in other ways different.

    Ms. Quarterman was convicted of violating the segregationist
    laws, and sentenced to 30 days in jail. Dr. King even brought his
    fledgling organization down to Albany to respond to a campaign
    that was beginning to brew against this outrage. The differences were
    critical, however, for in Albany, the movement was divided. The
    president of the local college where Ms. Quarterman was enrolled
    expelled her, and the local support was so splintered that a
    disgusted King quit the city for home. Ms. Quarterman, alone, and
    without support, drifted into despair and depression. Her life
    options severely restricted in the apartheid South, she suffered
    what was diagnosed as "paranoid schizophrenia", committed to
    a mental institution, where she presumably remains to this day.
    (Question: Was *she* schizophrenic, or was the *system* of racial
    segregation and white supremacy?). Her life teaches us, not the
    impotence of resistance, but the necessity of united action in
    resistance to social wrongs. She was right; those who failed to
    support her, for any reason, were wrong.

    There are, of course, others whom we will doubtful glimpse on U.S.
    postage stamps; like Margaret Morgan, a fugitive captive who fled
    to Pennsylvania in the 1840s, and was seized by a slavecatcher,
    Edward Prigg under the draconian Fugitive Slave Act of 1793. Legal
    scholars may recognize the slavecatcher's name as a famous caption
    in the case, *Prigg v. Pennsylvania* (1842), but most Americans, if
    asked the identity of Ms. Morgan, would probably ask, "What picture did
    she star in?" She was at the center of the case, for her freedom
    hinged on the decision of the U.S. Supreme Court. 'Justice' Joseph
    Story (of Massachusetts) held on the side of the slavecatchers, and
    gave judicial blessing to the return of Margaret Morgan to a bitter
    bondage in the South -- *with her children--the youngest born into a
    'free' state*. The lesson? That freedom proceeds from the struggle
    for freedom, not from the courts of the rich and influential.

    Will there be any postage stamps to honor the historical
    contributions of Dr. Huey P. Newton, founder of the Black Panther
    Party? To Ramona Africa, the courageous fighter and resister who
    survived an urban holocaust on May 13th,1985? To George (or
    Jonathan?) Jackson? To Ruchell Magee-- a brilliant jailhouse
    lawyer whose work has led to the freedom of over 40 young(er)
    men, but who is perhaps the longest-held Black political prisoner
    in the Americas? To the great Seminole warrior, Coacoochee
    (also called "Wild Cat") who fought for Red and Black freedom
    from the American slavers, and his brother fighter, John Horse
    (Coacoochee & Horse fought over 400 American outlaws, soldiers
    and bandits in 1851 in northern Mexico, and beat them, with 60
    Seminole warriors)? We think not.

    Black History isn't 'safe', it's challenging, and troubling, and
    speaks to the lives we live now, under the illusion of "freedom".
    It
    ain't MLK alone, but the many who followed, and the many who did
    not.

    Why not jettison Black History Month, just as Black History Week
    was jettisoned?

    Why not a Black Liberation Month? That would concentrate our
    minds, not only on history, but on the sometimes painful lessons
    of history; but more importantly, it would point us to the undiscovered
    land that beckons us all -- the future.

    Copyright 2003 Mumia Abu-Jamal
     
  2. $$RICH$$

    $$RICH$$ Lyon King Admin. STAFF

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    some very inlighten infomationalized Historical side we should feel
    and know the affects of , their are so many not highlighted or talked
    about thankz for sharing this ..........
     
  3. OldSoul

    OldSoul Permanent Black Man PREMIUM MEMBER

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  4. Ralfa'il

    Ralfa'il Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Too often Black History is limited to the American experience.

    Are we not a people as old as humanity itself?


    I think Black history should stretch all the way back to our glorious kingdoms of Egypt and Ethiopia.


    Some may see this as a little controversial, but I think that once we've gained a measure of power over our educational system and the media....we should erase the part of our history of being enslaved.

    Just block it out as if it never took place either in the Americas or in the Middle East.

    If our children ask us how we got here, we'll tell them we've ALWAYS been here.

    Other great peoples have denied embarassing events in the past to bulster their self esteem and racial pride, why can't we?
     
  5. info-moetry

    info-moetry STAFF STAFF

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    Peace & welcome back,

    - First, what is embarrassing about slavery??

    - 2nd your post is a contradiction in and of itself...........you say you want to take the knowledge all the way back to Egypt in regards to 'Black History Month" - Yet, at the same time you want to block out slavery here and in the East & tell Our children that we were always here - then how could you teach them about Ethiopia & Egypt?? Do you think our youth is stupid that they would not make the connection & see that there has to be a missing link..................[/B]

    Did you not find any positive in our brother Mumia's message?????????????

    BLOCK OUT SLAVERY??
    that is impoossible as it is etched in our hearts, minds & souls...............

    - to think this means you are not even worthy of your own existance!!
    - to say it means you have no respect for those who allowed you to come into existance........................

    - maybe our ancestors should come back and just block you out as if you never took place................

    - now you want to lie to our children? Is this not what is being taught to them in the "killing fields" (educational system)?? You sound like your slave master..............

    - Ralf - You almost sound scared to be who and what you are

    Your post here is a shame & very very disrespectful to our ancestors. I don't know how you can look yourself in the mirror as a black man after saying what you just did Ralf...............This sounds like the reasoning of a selfish pale Arab who wants to erase all memory of the Black race & claim it for himself in the name of ALLAH and his PROFIT.............

    I would not have believed even YOU could stoop to this level of UN-conciousness............

    Ase'
     
  6. Ralfa'il

    Ralfa'il Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Info

    Thanx for the warm welcome.....brutha...
     
  7. info-moetry

    info-moetry STAFF STAFF

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    Don't mention it brother!
     
  8. Ralfa'il

    Ralfa'il Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Well.....

    :rolleyes: Brutha's obviously got a lot on his mind.....
     
  9. info-moetry

    info-moetry STAFF STAFF

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    Yeah, especially reading your post about how you want to erase slavery/our ancestors from our minds because it is more convienient for the weak who really have no love for them in the first place because they'd much rather be looking at something "cute"..............

    What we think, say and do justifies, or negates our existance..........surely ALLAH in the Holy Qu'ran has warned those who take his warnings for a joke (where have I heard this b4?)...........even in jest!

    "behold the dog returns to it's vomit"

    A-Salaamu-A-Laikum
     
  10. Ralfa'il

    Ralfa'il Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Your greetings are not returned.

    Don't give me any greetings of peace when you obviously desire conflict.


    Why do you keep using Islamic terms like A-Salaam Alaikum and quoting from the Koran when you obviously believe in neither the book nor the peace?

    I think this particularly is quite hypocitical of a man who calls himself "God" and also refers to others as God when Islam teaches there is only ONE God.

    If you have a problem with the religion of Islam or religion in general, then why don't you literally "get the hell" out of it?
    Stop using it as a shield to hide your polythiestic and diabolical intentions.



    As far as erasing slavery......


    Like I said, other great and powerful civilizations have manipulated the facts and created thier own history, why can't we?

    Historically speaking, far more whites have been enslaved than us but you don't hear them running around bragging about it and inserting the most horrible chronicles of their existance in every single history book as if that's all they are good for.


    Since you seem not to have a problem manipulating facts when it comes to your personal beliefs and Islam, why not put those crafty skill to some positive use and try to construct a history of black people that gives us a badge of honor instead of one of shame like being everybody's n*gga or donkey to ride.
     
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