Wednesday, February 05, 2014

Imperialism: Facts, Perspectives & Solutions - Your World News

What is imperialism? How is it manifested in 2014? Thanks to Solomon Comissiong from Your World News, I was able to discuss this topic along with Abayomi Azikiwe, Ajamu Baraka, Dahlia Wasfi, Eric Draitser, Stephen Lendman and Michael Parenti.

Well worth your time.

Modern Day Lynching

“Lynch law was never repealed.” Glen Ford

Black people are still being lynched at a rate of one every day. The Malcolm X Grassroots Movement documented in a 2013 report, “Operation Ghetto Storm”, that a black person is the victim of an extra-judicial killing every 28 hours. We may hear the name of some of those individuals as in the case of Trayvon Martin, but he was joined by 300 other black people in 2012 whose names we didn’t know.

The killings are becoming more numerous and more brazen. Why else would Stand Your Ground laws exist, if not to give white racists permission to kill without fear of prosecution. Modern Day Lynching is the title of my most recent Black Agenda Report column. I wrote about the killings of brothers Carl and Garrick Hopkins in West Virginia and Mckenzie Cochran in Michigan and the brutal assaults on Darrin Manning in Pennsylvania and Charda Gregory in Michigan.

On the same day that my column appeared I learned of another horrific case. Alfred Wright was found dead in Sabine County, Texas. His throat was cut and his ear was cut off. If that is not a lynching I don’t know what is.

These murders are being committed in part because black people have stood down from their legacy of agitation and demands for justice. The crowning of a black prince/president just put the icing on the cake and silenced people who were always at the forefront of fighting for justice.

Where are the black elected officials? Where were they when Kwadir Felton was shot in the head and blinded by a cop in Jersey City, New Jersey and then convicted of assault?

To put it bluntly, they don’t give a damn. Texas congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee made this mealy mouthed statement about Alfred Wright’s murder.

“the Department of Justice will investigate and take appropriate action and will conduct a thorough and independent investigation into all the circumstances surrounding this tragedy and to take appropriate action necessary to vindicate the federal interest, protect the civil rights of all Americans, ensure that all persons receive equal justice under law.

We are all better off when the facts are discovered, the truth is discerned and the family and the community are at peace.”

If Jackson Lee cared at all she would have personally led a protest and an investigation in Sabine. Instead she speaks jibberish about federal civil rights prosecutions which never take place.

Black people are in very grave danger and in part because we won’t even say so. The predators are winning.

Sunday, February 02, 2014

Faithful Negros and Old Time Darkies

In the late 90s and early 00s I was an avid amateur genealogist. I discovered quite a lot of my family history and enjoyed it all very much.

Black people do face the 1865 brick wall but there is still a lot of information to be had. I have shared my discoveries and in turn been assisted by other family members with their information. I think of genealogy as a way of remembering and honoring my forebears.

Now thanks to digitization, searching is easier and more fun. I’m also planning to attend a family reunion in my grandfather’s hometown this summer and I’ve decided to resume my research and present it there. 

As a friend told me years ago, it is important not just to research one’s own family tree, but to learn from the history gathered along the way. In that spirit, I share with you an obituary that I discovered from 1895.

Death of Adam Prater

Adam Prater, colored, died at his home in this city on the evening of the 5th instant after a lingering sickness. Adam was a good citizen and belonged to the old time class of darkies whose number is gradually but surely diminishing. He was a hard working, honest negro, and attended strictly to his own affairs.

One by one this class of negroes is passing away. Between them and the white people there exists a peculiar bond which death alone can sever. We will never see any more like them for they belong to a different era. The affinity between those faithful old negroes and their former masters and mistresses is peculiar, for it is born of a different period and is the result of a mutual affection that can never be effaced.

Peace to his remains. Piedmont Inquirer, Saturday Morning, 7 Sep 1895, p. 1, c. 5.

I wish that we knew what Mr. Prater’s family had to say about him. I also wish we knew what he thought of his former masters.

If he was among the “old time class of darkies” he had good reason to be. Alabama in 1895 was no place to be a proud black person.  After all, being outspoken in 2014 can still be problematic. In 1895 it was just plain dangerous. Whatever else can be said of him, Adam Prater was probably a very smart man.