Black Mystery Month (White Guilt’s Holiday).

As a writer, I’ve got to let you know that I AM NOT THE CREATOR OF THESE FACTS! Ain’t Black Love Something!? I cannot, have not, and will not, ever take credit for something that I didn’t write. Trust me, I’ll write my own thoughts at the end. “One of the greatest African rulers of all time, Mansa Musa (1280–1337) led the Mali Empire at the height of its power and creativity. He directly controlled the price of gold, and he has been described as the richest person in human history. Rebecca Lee Crumpler (1831–1895), the first Black woman in the United States to qualify as a doctor, opened her own medical clinic in Boston and dedicated herself to treating women and children who lived in poverty. She treated patients regardless of their ability to pay and often took no money for her work During the U.S. Civil War, more than 178,000 Black soldiers served across 175 regiments, making up 10% of the Union Army’s soldiers and representing the key to the Union’s victory. Though they were forbidden from signing up officially, a large number of Black women served as scouts, nurses and spies in the Civil War. A teenager named Claudette Colvin got arrested in 1955 for refusing to give up her bus seat for a white woman. Some local civil rights leaders saw the event as a chance to highlight the city’s unfair bus policy, but decided that Colvin was too young to represent the struggle. Still, Colvin’s act inspired Rosa Parks to do the same thing nine months later — and Parks’ arrest sparked one of the biggest civil rights campaigns of all time. Businesswoman Annie Turnbo Malone (1869–1957) became one of the first Black millionaires. Malone set up the Poro Company, which produced popular hair and beauty products for the Black community. She hired the young Sarah Breedlove (1867–1919) as one of her door-to-door sales agents and inspired Breedlove to build her own multi-million-dollar beauty brand. Acclaimed writer and poet Maya Angelou (1928–2014) had another noteworthy distinction: In 1944, she became the first female Black cable car conductor in San Francisco. Civil rights activist and campaigner Septima Poinsette Clark (1898–1987) helped to found nearly 1,000 citizenship schools, which contributed to helping Blacks register to vote. Described as a “forgotten pioneer,” Althea Gibson (1927–2003) was the first Black tennis player to win a tennis Grand Slam in 1956. She won 11 Grand Slam tournaments over the course of her career. Lewis Howard Latimer (1848–1928) invented and patented the carbon filament, which allowed lightbulbs to last longer than they did with the paper filament used in Thomas Edison’s design. (Latimer eventually went on to work for the Edison Electric Light Company. The ironing board (invented by Sarah Boone), the traffic light system (invented by Garrett Morgan), and the home security system (invented Marie Van Brittan Brown) all came down to us from Black inventors. Jean-Michel Basquiat was born on 22 December 1960, in Brooklyn, New York. His father, Gérard, was born in Port au Prince, Haiti, and his mother Matilde was a New York-native of Puerto Rican descent. In this multicultural home, the artist grew up speaking Spanish, French and English. The crown, Basquiat’s signature artistic motif, both acknowledged and challenged the history of Western art. By adorning black male figures, including athletes, musicians and writers, with the crown, Basquiat raised these historically disenfranchised artists to royal even saintly stature. Jean-Michel’s crown has three peaks, for his three royal lineages: the poet, the musician, and the great boxing champion. Paul Robeson was the first African-American to star as Othello on Broadway. At the time of his doctoral research in 1938, there was no way to separate blood components, and whole blood only had a shelf life of one week. In 1939, Dr. Charles Drew developed novel methods of separating plasma from erythrocytes and dramatically increased the shelf life of plasma to two months. Dr. Drews’s doctoral thesis was named Banked Blood: A Study in Blood Preservation and soon proved to be vital amid the pressing war concerns. Bantu Stephen Biko was a South African philosopher and anti-apartheid activist known as the forefront leader of the Black Consciousness Movement, which spread like wildfire in 60s and 70s in many parts of Africa. His ideas regarding the state of black people in the times of colonialism and his general viewpoint of life are collected in a series of articles, where he used the name ‘Frank Talk’. He is known among one of the strongest historical African figures who inspired students of the county to be a part of the anti-racism movements and to fight for their rights. Bayard Rustin was born on March 17, 1912, in West Chester, Pennsylvania, where he was raised by his maternal grandparents. Their home was often visited by NAACP leaders like W.E.B. Du Bois and James Weldon Johnson, and the influence of these leaders – and his civil rights-activist grandmother – led him to join the campaign against Jim Crow laws when he was still in school. At the age of five or six, Thelonious Monk taught himself to read music by picking out melodies on his family’s piano and looking over his sister’s shoulder as she took lessons. By the age of 13, he was playing at a local bar with a trio. He also played at the Apollo Theater’s famous weekly amateur music contests, but he won so many times that he was eventually banned from the event. Alvin Ailey was a choreographer who founded the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in 1958. It was a hugely popular, multi-racial modern dance ensemble that popularized modern dance around the world thanks to extensive world tours. His most famous dance is Revelations, a celebratory study of religious spirit. Ailey received the Kennedy Center Honors in 1988. Francisco Aguabella was an Afro-Cuban percussionist whose career spanned folk, jazz, and dance bands. He was a prolific session musician and recorded seven albums as a leader.” Now, it’s time for me to speak. Again, ain’t Black Love something!? To confine our history, impact, and overall influence on this Country to one month is absolutely ridiculous. To confine our history to one month is the comparison of praising the rim more than you respect the tire. Sure, the rims surely do shine in the light, but without the tire, where in the hell is it going? You get it. Honestly, Critical Race Theory has been taught in this Country since 1619. Again, CRITICAL RACE THEORY HAS BEEN TAUGHT IN THIS COUNTRY SINCE 1619. One race is clearly superior, while directly and inadvertently, another race is constantly reminded that it isn’t. The oppressor is considered the hero, while the oppressed is considered the villain. Please, make that make sense. White parents don’t want their White children to feel guilty about the sins of their White ancestors. However, African American children have become so saturated in shame and unknowing that they no longer seek what they should know in the name of simply getting along. We truly are Magical because we are the only trees on Earth that have managed to grow strong and tall without knowledge of our roots. The ancestors of the oppressors are still considered the heroes, while the ancestors of the oppressed are still considered the villains. If this Country is to grow stronger, it needs to embrace all of itself. It needs to accept that some wrongs need to be corrected. It needs to understand that a simple apology means so much more than a well developed smoke screen. It’s time for our Children to learn their truths. It’s probably going to take more than the month that White people use in order to feel cultured. It will take years. As I’ve said in the past, anti-racism is a verb. You’re anti-racist, so you’re going to be okay with me taking this time, right??? Patrick

This week, please do something for someone other than yourself for no reason at all other than to make their lives better. As always, if you make it to where you’re going, please don’t forget to leave a map for the rest of us. Always Choose Love Because Love Changes Everything…

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