“I had reasoned this out in my mind, there was one of two things I had a right to, liberty or death; if I could not have one, I would have the other.” Mother Harriet Tubman
I am dedicating all of my remaining posts this year to Black African American females because a race can rise no higher than its’ females. As in all of my posts, underlined words are links.
“The problem of the twentieth century is the problem of the color-line—the relation of the darker to the lighter races of men in Asia and Africa, in America and the islands of the sea. It was a phase of this problem that caused the Civil War.” from Dr. W.E.B. DuBois’ book, “The Souls of Black Folk.”
I live in Augusta, Georgia , which is two cities – 1 Black and 1 White. This past Saturday my girlfriend and I attended both “Mayfest” and “Arm Forces Day” celebrations, which were held in two adjacent counties, Richmond and Columbia respectively.
The Augusta “Mayfest” celebration was held in “May Park” which is situated on foursquare city blocks. One side of the park faces the Richmond County jail (which is across the street from the Sheriff’s Administrative offices). The second street faces Sentinel Offender Services, LLC, which is a private probation company, which has had a checkered history of overcharging many probationers. The third street faces the once, “All Black” cemetery and the fourth street abuts a Richmond County Sheriff facility.
During the few minutes (20 minutes maximum), we spent at this “Mayfest” celebration we were subjected to very loud rap music coming from the make-shift stage; too many half-naked, tattooed Black African American females ranging in age from early teens to senior citizens. In addition, there were numerous, tattooed Black African American males wearing their pants below their butts.
Of course, there was a multitude of infants and toddlers, who had nothing to do except roam around with “grown folks. There was also a handful of young adult White American females; a couple of vendors selling cheap jewelry and several others selling a variety of foods. The total number of attendees during the time we were there did not exceed three hundred.
After about twenty minutes, we saw more than we wanted to see; heard all that we wanted to hear and saw nothing that we wanted to buy, so we left. We then went to Columbia County to the Evans Town Center Park , which is in excess of twenty acres of beautifully landscaped, tree-lined park, including the Lady Antebellum Amphitheater and a dog-park, and the children’s area was larger than May Park.
When we arrived, there were thousands of attendees, with the overwhelming majority being White Americans, with less than one hundred (100) Black African Americans. There were numerous food vendors, including Firehouse Subs; Checkers; Chick Fi La, etc., in addition to the many vendors selling various types of souvenirs, including Confederate paraphernalia and other items. A large United States Army contingent from Ft. Gordon was there with various types of motorized vehicles and demonstration weapons.
The children had numerous inflatables to play on as well as other forms of entertainment. The musicians in the amphitheater played 70s R&B Soul music and the finale of the day consisted of a spectacular fireworks display, lasting more than thirty consecutive minutes.
By the way, we remained at this facility for over three (3) hours and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.
Question? Why do you suppose that Augusta, Georgia, home of James Brown and the Masters Golf tournament crammed it’s celebration into this foursquare block park when the fair-grounds was less than four blocks away? Could it be because it is located directly across the street from the jail?
Furthermore, the U.S. Army has a very large base here in Augusta, yet, no uniformed soldiers were visibly present, nor were there any military displays during our brief stay.
The organizers of the “Mayfest” never thought about asking the Army to provide soldiers and equipment because we were not celebrating “Armed Forces Day.” This reminded me of my first years in Augusta. Lucy Craft Laney High School (predominantly Black African American) had on it’s’ marquis, “Welcome Masters,” while Windsor Spring Elementary School (predominantly white at that time) had on its’ marquis, “Closed for Spring Break.”
Many of the Black African American teachers from Laney High School anxiously lined up at the “Masters” golf course (Augusta National) seeking jobs as waiters, housekeepers, drivers, etc. as the White American teachers took their families on vacation to Myrtle Beach, Disney World and other resorts.
White American children grow up exposed to the best of everything, while Black African American children grow up exposed to the worst of everything. Perception is critical, so childhood exposures determine adult expectations. Consequently, as a race, we Black African Americans have not because we expect not.
It never occurs to Augusta’s Black African American leadership that we are in the situation we are in because of their appalling leadership.
Oh, what a blessing it is that my people do not read, think or use common sense says the Pastors, Preachers and Politicians.