Black Short Stories : History is Calling

Discussion in 'Short Stories - Authors - Writing' started by Harry Hyman, Oct 2, 2004.

  1. Harry Hyman

    Harry Hyman Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    History is Calling

    When I woke up this morning, my alarm clock went off. As I lay there in the dark listening to its ring, I thought about Benjamin Banneker, a black man, who in 1754 invented the first clock in America. I sat up in bed and switched on the lamp. The light startled my eyes. But it made me recall that when Thomas Edison threw that switch in Menlo Park, New Jersey, his lightbulb wouldn't have burned over six minutes if it wasn't for Lewis Lattimer, a black man, inventing that tungsten filament for the long burn. Because of just these two black men, America doesn't wake up late or in the dark. Then I went into the shower and turned on the hot and cold running water. I immediately thought of how my ancestors along the Nile River in Egypt, in Africa, had hot and cold running water centuries ago. So this was nothing new ! When I finished, I felt how warm it was in the house and thought about the fact that a black man named J. Standard invented the first oil heater in this country and a black woman named Sarah Parker had invented the gas furnace heater, testifying how Black creativity warms America.

    I opened the dryer door for some clothes and remembered George Sampson, a black man, who in 1892 invented the first clothes dryer in America as I scooped shirts and underwear into the basket. Then I pulled out the ironing board to press some pants and said thank God for Sarah Boone, a black woman, who invented the ironing board in America. I realized my History was all around me and I couldn't get away from it even if I wanted to. Then I put on my shoes and could almost see brother Jan Matzeliger, a black man in Boston, inventing that machine that sewed the upper part of the shoe to the lower part as I tied up the laces of my Bostonians. How fascinating that one black man's thought keeps everybody from going barefooted.

    I felt hungry and went to the kitchen for some food. I opened the refrigerator door and the blast of cold reminded me that T. Elkins, a black man, invented a refrigeration apparatus that prevented food from spoiling as I removed milk in a carton from the rack. And I couldn't forget that before him, a black man named Frederick McKinley Jones had invented a refrigerating apparatus in 1949 to be used on trucks that rumble across America bringing food from one point to another without perishing. History was calling me and I hadn't even left the house. I poured the milk over my cornflakes and sprinkled sugar to sweeten it. As the crystals fell, I thought of brother Norbert Rillieux, a black man, who took the juice of the sugar cane and converted it into those very crystal grains now falling. Domino and Dixie Crystals ought to be thankful to Norbert Rillieux. Where was their erected statue for his work ? I then wanted some biscuits. So I took out the biscuit cutter and said "Here we are again." Sister A.P. Ashborn, a black woman, invented a biscuit cutting machine for all the kitchens of America. Then, I fixed a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and Dr. George Washington Carver came to mind, remembering that he invented over 300 products from the peanut, as I spread the Jiffy over the bread. Next, I put the sandwich in a paper bag. Once more I said "Here we are again." A black man named W. B. Purvis invented a machine to mass produce paper bags not only for home use but also for industry.

    I put on my coat and walked into the morning cold and I'm sure it was colder for brother Matthew Henson, a black man, who arrived at the North Pole 45 minutes before Admiral Perry but not as cold as the educational system which has left him out of the History books. Then, while driving my car, I came upon a stoplight and said "Here we are again." Garrett A. Morgan, a black man, invented the stoplight in this land of America thus effectively controlling the flow of traffic. I then crossed railroad tracks and thought about Granville T. Woods, a black man, who invented a machine to get messages from one train to another to cut down on the accidents of the rails. America owes a debt of gratitude to Granville T. Woods. After I crossed the tracks, I had to stop at a bridge and said "There we are again." Because H.H. Reynolds, a black man, had invented the safety gate to hold back traffic on bridges as the boats sailed thru.

    When I reached my destination, I walked into the building and on the wall I saw the fire extinguisher and thought that if it wasn't for Thomas Martin, a black man, inventing it, this place could burn and no one would know how to put the fire out ! I reached for my pen to sign my check and who should come to mind but W.B. Purvis again, a black man, who invented the first fountain pen here in America. I realized that I was holding my History in my hands and that all day History was calling me to wake up. I heard it calling from Ethiopia. I heard it calling from the Nile valley. And when brother Dr. Carter G. Woodson, born in New Canton, Virginia heard it in 1926, he started fighting for that Negro History day and then a Black History week and finally we have our Black History month in February. And isn't it peculiar that we celebrate the people with the longest history for the shortest month and interrupt it for Valentine's Day, February 14th which is not part of our history and forget that this date is Frederick Douglas's birthday which is indeed part of our history.

    I realized that my History refocused my sight upon the momentous contributions that every civilized nation owes to this power of Black thought. No man, no house and no nation stands on solid ground without paying homage to the foundation which supports it because History develops the springs and motives of human action enabling you to not only see what was or what is but also to envision what can be. We have inherited a legacy and it testifies that we were engineered for success, designed for accomplishment and endowed with a seed of Greatness.
    One day you may hear a distant bell waking you. You may even hear a far off drum beat beckoning you. Don't worry ! It's only History calling long distance and urging you to wake up to this great future which marches towards tomorrow in the shoes of an unforgettable past. I'll never forget it. What about you ?

    HH
     
  2. Nubian One

    Nubian One Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    I realized that my History refocused my sight upon the momentous contributions that every civilized nation owes to this power of Black thought.

    WOW!!.. Nice piece
    Its good to look back in retrospect.. seeing from whence we as a people came and how far we've come.. but.. we wouldn't have made it this far we out those who laid the foundation for us.. they laidthat strong and sure foundation its up to us to continue the lagacy and build upon that which was laid..

    good job!!!
     
  3. $$RICH$$

    $$RICH$$ Lyon King Admin. STAFF

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    dis was the most greatest story of the history of our people
    these black mindz that makes our world go round pt.2 please
    Harry i want more of dis wow!!!!
     
  4. deepy

    deepy going above and beyond PREMIUM MEMBER

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    nicely put...and i won't forget...and i learned things in that enjoyable read
     
  5. EbonyQueen06

    EbonyQueen06 Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Woow that was so powerfl. It make me proud to be an African American Sistah :welldone:
     
  6. $$RICH$$

    $$RICH$$ Lyon King Admin. STAFF

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    uppin this story to be heard .............
     
  7. cocobutterskyn

    cocobutterskyn Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    creatively done

    we are a people who have proven
    our greatness by accomplishing great
    things in spite of the dehumanizing
    conditions forced upon us.


    Thanks for sharing this

    Coco
     
  8. Froggy1

    Froggy1 Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    major props man major props
     
  9. Tha-Emissary

    Tha-Emissary Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Your piece is as rich as our history and you have excelled at displaying the effects that Blacks from our homage have on every day life. I love every aspect of this piece and I think this should be nominated for a pulitzer or something, but if you don't win it you got my props!!!
     
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