“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
From now on, I am dedicating all of my posts to Black African American females because a race can rise no higher than its’ women.
As in all of my posts, UNDERLINED WORDS are links.
This past Thursday morning I had breakfast with several members of “The Progressive Religious Coalition of Augusta” and their keynote speaker, Rev. Veronica Goines ,(the first Black African American female to have this honor) for their “9th Annual Interfaith Service of Celebration” honoring Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Two things struck me as peculiar. First, growing up Baptist, before every meal, a blessing was said. Yet, at this table of Clergy, no one said a blessing before we began eating.
The second thing, which was most poignant of all, there were two very prominent Black African American Baptist Pastors seated less than ten feet from us, yet, I was the only one at our table of “The Progressive Religions Coalition of Augusta” who recognized them, nor did it appear that the Black African American clergy recognize anyone at our table.
Later that evening I attended the program, which was wonderful. The children of the “Davidson Chorale” gave a masterful performance as did “Trio Intermezzo.”
Davidson High School consistently ranks among the top high schools academically in the nation in one of the academically worst school districts (Richmond County )in the nation. This is a future article I will write.
Rev. Goines gave a soul-stirring sermon on “Why Dr. King Still Matters.” I had to silently chuckle because, this was one of the rare times that I heard a Black African American Pastor preach, without a lot of yelling and screaming, resulting in he/she going into an asthmatic tirade.
Augusta, Georgia, the home of the “MASTERS” Golf Tournament(notice all letters in the sign are in caps and everyone in the picture appear to be White) will have its annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. parade.
The parade is today, Saturday, January 16, 2016, and will occur in the heart of a predominantly Black African American neighborhood as opposed to having it downtown on Broad Street.
By holding the parade in the heart of a predominantly Black African American neighborhood as opposed to downtown, assures that the overwhelming majority of attendees and participants will be Black African Americans, with a noticeable absence of a large presence of White Americans as well as Americans of other nationalities.
Those in the parade will be tossing candy into the streets for our little Black African American children to rush out and pick up, which I am among a very tiny minority that find this degrading.
Yet, I still wonder how all of this benefits Black African Americans. As I wrote in a previous post, “Black African Americans Have Become Processionary Caterpillars,” and this is one more example.
Growing up in Philadelphia, in 1967 I had an opportunity to go to a church two blocks from my home to hear Dr. King speak, and I chose not to go. During that time in my life, Dr. King’s views were opposite mine, because I was no longer a Christian, nor was I non-violent.
The thought of allowing a White American to hit, kick, spit, throw objects on me or even curse me and my remaining non-violent was very absurd. So no, I was never a supporter of Baba King during his lifetime, nor would I be a supporter of him if he were alive today and he maintained his belief in non-violent, passive resistance.
I posted an article on Baba King last year and I was glad of my research, because I learned more about Baba King than I ever knew. I always suspected that Baba King did not have much support among Black African Americans and I was correct. As late as 1968, Baba King was garnering at best, approximately 13% of support from Black African American churches.
Put another way, nearly 87% of Black African American churches and the majority of their congregations refused to support or follow Baba King during his lifetime. However, their reasons were different from mine.
In spite of their religious convictions, and dogma, their fears were deeply rooted in the power of White American males and the total control they had over the bodies, minds and lives of Black African Americans.
The number of Black African American churches who are supportive of Baba King is not that much different today in 2016, although they may give lip service to supporting him. The only difference is that their reason for not supporting his doctrine is not fear, but MONEY.
Too many of our churches have become ensnared by President George W. Bush’s “FBI” – Faith Based Initiatives which gives them “free” government money. They dare not bite the hand that feeds them by protesting against America’s “New Jim Crow”, less they lose their place at the “FBI’s” money trough.
In my research, I learned that on February 4, 1968, Baba King gave his “Drum Major Instinct” speech, which I call, “His Eulogy Speech,” because he told us exactly what he wanted and did not want said during his funeral. Did we listen? Absolutely not!
When Baba King preached his own eulogy, he said the following: “Every now and then I guess we all think realistically (Yes, sir) about that day when we will be victimized with what is life’s final common denominator—that something that we call death. We all think about it. And every now and then I think about my own death and I think about my own funeral. And I don’t think of it in a morbid sense. And every now and then I ask myself, “What is it that I would want said?” And I leave the word to you this morning.
If any of you are around when I have to meet my day, I don’t want a long funeral. And if you get somebody to deliver the eulogy, tell them not to talk too long. (Yes) And every now and then I wonder what I want them to say. Tell them not to mention that I have a Nobel Peace Prize—that isn’t important. Tell them not to mention that I have three or four hundred other awards—that’s not important. Tell them not to mention where I went to school. (Yes)
I’d like somebody to mention that day that Martin Luther King, Jr., tried to give his life serving others. (Yes) I’d like for somebody to say that day that Martin Luther King, Jr., tried to love somebody. I want you to say that day that I tried to be right on the war question. (Amen) I want you to be able to say that day that I did try to feed the hungry. (Yes) And I want you to be able to say that day that I did try in my life to clothe those who were naked. (Yes) I want you to say on that day that I did try in my life to visit those who were in prison. (Lord) I want you to say that I tried to love and serve humanity. (Yes)
Yes, if you want to say that I was a drum major, say that I was a drum major for justice. (Amen) Say that I was a drum major for peace. (Yes) I was a drum major for righteousness. And all of the other shallow things will not matter. (Yes) I won’t have any money to leave behind. I won’t have the fine and luxurious things of life to leave behind. But I just want to leave a committed life behind. (Amen) And that’s all I want to say.”
Instead of granting his last request, every year for the last 48 years, we speak about all of those things he asked us not to speak about. We repeatedly talk about all of his awards, while singing that tired old song, “We Shall Overcome Some Day.” We do not have a clue as to when that “Some Day” will be; nor what it is that “We Shall Overcome.”
What do you suppose Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. would say about Black African American males walking up and down our streets showing their behinds by “saggin,” (spell it backwards) or our Black African American females dressing like “hoochies” while wearing “skittles-colored hair?
What do you suppose Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. would say about the high Black African American school dropout rate and the high prison incarceration rate? What do you suppose Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. would say about the morally and spiritually bankrupt status of Black African Americans today? What do you suppose Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. would say about the financial state of Black African Americans today?
During my research, I learned that I was wrong about Baba King. From the first time I heard his name, I erroneously believed he was a contributing factor to the financial detriment of the Black African American race because I ignorantly believed he failed to stress the importance of economic growth and financial unity.
During Baba King’s last public speech on April 3, 1968, he said the following: “It’s all right to talk about “long white robes over yonder,” in all of its symbolism. But ultimately people want some suits and dresses and shoes to wear down here! It’s all right to talk about “streets flowing with milk and honey,” but God has commanded us to be concerned about the slums down here, and his children who can’t eat three square meals a day. It’s all right to talk about the new Jerusalem, but one day, God’s preacher must talk about the new New York, the new Atlanta, the new Philadelphia, the new Los Angeles, the new Memphis, Tennessee. This is what we have to do.
We are poor. Never stop and forget that collectively — that means all of us together — collectively we are richer than all the nations in the world, with the exception of nine.
We have an annual income of more than thirty billion dollars a year, which is more than all of the exports of the United States, and more than the national budget of Canada.
We just need to go around to these stores, and to these massive industries in our country, and say, “God sent us by here, to say to you that you’re not treating his children right. And we’ve come by here to ask you to make the first item on your agenda fair treatment, where God’s children are concerned. Now, if you are not prepared to do that, we do have an agenda that we must follow. And our agenda calls for withdrawing economic support from you.”
As Jesse Jackson has said, up to now, only the garbage men have been feeling pain; now we must kind of redistribute the pain.
But not only that, we’ve got to strengthen black institutions. I call upon you to take your money out of the banks downtown and deposit your money in Tri-State Bank. We want a “bank-in” movement in Memphis.”
Dr. Martin King, Jr. went to Memphis, Tennessee on the last day of his life and preached the necessity of pooling our financial dollars (like we did in Tulsa, OK) and spending it among ourselves. As he said, once pooled, our wealth is the equivalent of the tenth richest nation on this planet.
Shortly after his birthday became a federal holiday, his “Fraternity Brothers” (Alpha Phi Alpha, Fraternity Inc.) embarked on the most fiscally irresponsible task ever undertaken by Black African Americans.
First, the Alpha Phi Alpha leadership negotiated a $120,000,000.00 deal to build a memorial on the mall in Washington, D.C. Before anything could be done, Baba King’s children insisted on being paid (and they were paid) $800,000.00 for the use of his words and image.
Second, Alpha Phi Alpha then insulted every Black African American architect in the country, as well as every Black African architect in the world and selected Boris Dramov , a White Bulgarian American who is the president of the Roma Design Group to design the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. memorial.
Third, Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. insulted every Black African American sculptor and every Black African sculptor throughout the Diaspora, by going all the way to Communist China and selected China’s renowned sculptor Lei Yixin and he signed his name in his native language on the Martin Luther King, Jr. monument, for the world to see.
Go to the memorial’s website and figure out if you can read his name written in Chinese or if you can even pronounce his name. Do you think in 50 years that your progeny will be able to read and pronounce his name?
What makes this even more insulting to the memory of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. is the fact that throughout his “Civil Rights” years, J. Edgar Hoover and the FBI slandered him, with the help of COINTELPRO, as being a “Communist Agitator.”
Then Alpha Phi Alpha leadership inferred it “subliminally” by hiring a Communist Chinese sculptor to create the single greatest public tribute to Black African Americans in the world.
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was so displeased with the wasted spending and hoopla in the guises of honoring him, as well as the never-ending violence, racism and poverty among his people, that he asked GOD to send Hurricane Irene up the East Coast, forcing the cancellation of the originally scheduled dedication on August 25, 2011.
If he could speak to our hearts today, I can Imagine Baba King saying to us, “Instead of squandering Black African American’s wealth by enriching those of other races and nationalities, Alpha Phi Alpha, Fraternity Inc. should have spent the $120,000,000.00 creating jobs for Black African Americans.
Instead of spending that money on a “feel good” block of stone, they should have went to every major American city with a street or thoroughfare named in my honor (in blighted neighborhoods) and built hotels in my honor.
When we teach our history, we must teach the entire history truthfully, come what may. Whatever we teach about our history today, will become an indelible part of our history tomorrow.
Remember, in order to keep the dream alive, we must remain asleep, because nothing comes to a sleeper but a dream and sometimes that dream turns into a nightmare just like Sister Sandra Bland’s dream!
Oh, what a blessing it is that my people do not read, think or use Common Sense says the Pastors, Pimps and Politicians.