Speaking & Teaching

Mar. 19, 2019
The more I learn about Catherine Pugh's book deal with the University of Maryland Medical Center the seedy it gets. Now it seems that no one can actually identify if any books were distributed.  The remaining stock of those books sits unopened in boxes in a warehouse. I know the cost of printing books. The figure of $400,000.00 of the $500,000.00 doesn't quite add up. I believe that her kickback exceeded the $100,000.00 that Catherin Pugh said she profited from this shady deal. Catherine Pugh indicated that 100,000 books were printed which meant that each book would have cost $4.00 each to print which is extremely high for a paper cover book with no actual photos just illustrative drawings plus most likely stapled pages. In addition, only 8,700 books have been located in a Baltimore City Public School Warehouse which now the cost of printing those 8,700 books based on the $400,000.00 cost given by Catherine Pugh now drives that cost of production to nearly $46.00 per book which is not only astounding it borders on the unbelievable. There needs to be a full accounting of the entire $500,000.00 payment received by Catherine Pugh from the University of Maryland Medical Center Board of Directors. If these funds cannot be fully accounted for then Catherine Pugh must resign from her current position of Mayor of Baltimore City and the entire case should be turned over to the federal prosecutors, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation to pursue any criminal malfeasance on the part of Catherine Pugh and or any other member involved in the distribution of those funds by the University of Maryland Medical Center's Board of Directors.
Baltimore City school children are lagging behind other children in educational growth especially in the discipline of literacy development. If those funds were distributed to Catherine Pugh for books than maybe a better idea would have been giving the Baltimore City Public School a grant devoted to the purchase of actual health-related books to encourage healthy habits and build literacy development. Something about this entire situation seems awfully shady especially when you have an elected official shielding the exact perimeters of the entire deal. Former Mayor Sheila Dixon was drummed out of office and convicted for misuse of gift cards but this situation far exceeds those misdeeds. The residents of Baltimore City definitely should be provided a full accounting of this situation Catherin Pugh. They need more than your resignation letter from this board. the reality is that is the facts are drawn out clearly they need a resignation letter from your current position of Mayor. It surely doesn't take $400,000.00 to print the 8,700 Healthy Holly books that have been found. Also Healthy Holly in Baltimore City? Really, how about Healthy Habibah at least you could have given the child a historically relevant Swahili name. Habibah means beloved which is definitely far more in tune than Holly. Who in Baltimore City names their black child Holly?
You are an alumnus of my alma mater, Morgan State University, so I want to give you the benefit of doubt. Yet Nathaniel Oaks was also an alumnus of Morgan State University and he got his hands caught in the cookie jar of criminal malfeasance. So being a graduate of Morgan State University doesn't excuse criminal behavior and this situation is just too damn murky and slimy not to rub some grim not only on you but also on your entire administration. Why does our community continue to support the election of individuals who don't truly care about uplifting our communities but greasing their pockets?  I believe only about 30% of those registered to vote actual vote and the current mayor received only 36% of the vote in the only election that mattered in Baltimore the Democratic Primary in 2016.  We just have to do better in selecting who represents us in government. So that every resident can receive a square deal, not just the elected candidate who gets their pockets greased in a crooked deal.
Mar. 18, 2019

“Reparation (legal) ... In jurisprudence, reparation is replenishment of a previously inflicted loss by the criminal to the victim. Monetary restitution is a common form of reparation.”


First off let's understand this in the definition of reparation the criminal in the case of black reparations is and has always the white institutions in the United States that promoted the crimes of racist acts of injustice on Americans of African Descent. Those vaulted American institutions include but are not limited to federal, state, county and municipal governments from sea to shining sea from eastern borders to western borders from northern borders to southern borders; it includes educational institutions that intentionally deprived children of Americans of African of receiving comparable educational opportunities to children of white Americans; in includes the financial institutions that intentionally deprived Americans of African Descent of receiving equal opportunities to financial resources available to white Americans; to those same financial institutions that benefited from the depravation of Americans of African Descent including but not limited to the enslavement of Americans of African Descent but also the invisible illegal enslavement of Americans of African Descent that was instituted after the abolishment of slavery in 1865 by the 13th Amendment; it includes all private corporate entities that gained financial benefits from but not limited to the enslavement of Americans of African Descent because it is acknowledged that illegal enslavement of Americans of African Descent promoted financial gains by such corporate giants as US Steel, J.P. Morgan, and Standard Oil Company; it also includes but is not limited to many agricultural companies and private landowners which benefited from but not limited to the enslavement of Americans of African Descent; it also every major corporation that denied Americans of African Descent employment as well as economic opportunities simply due to the color of their skin; and finally but most importantly the entire justice system of the United States that placated and upheld the horrendous treatment of Americans of African Descent for nearly the entire period of the existence of the American Constitution.


So, reparations should not be considered a gift to Americans of African Descent. It is not a gift, nor is reparations in any form considered a gift. Reparation is the replenishment of previously inflicted losses by the American system to Americans of African Descent. You see in reality before the 13th Amendment was passed and ratified by the United States government and the majority of states a specific guaranteed for reparations should have been part and parcel of that 13th Amendment, it should have included the logistics of Field Order #15 that would have provided acreage along with financial enumerations to every freed American of African Descent. If not the 13th Amendment than surely the 14th Amendment that granted full citizenship rights to Americans of African Descent should have included a set-aside modeled land grant directing each state in the Union to provide land and available financial support to Americans of African Descent. Thereby Americans of African Descent would have had the ability to live in any and all regions of the United States now just the former southern slaveholding states. That provision would have forced former slaveholding whites to ensure that any facet of re-enslavement or attempts to re-enslave  Americans of African Descent would have be met with a mass movement of our ancestors to lands in other regions of the United States.


Make this clear reparations to Americans of African Descent is not a gift, reparations to Americans of African Descent is and should always been considered a Civil Right. The elements of reparations to Americans of African Descent should have been replenished with the passage of the Civil War American of African Descent Constitutional Amendments. To those who are confused let that confusion end immediately the wrongs incurred due to the horrendous, malicious, and murderous treatment of American of African Descent deserves a monetary restitution. It has been far too many years of inhumane treatment of Americans of African Descent to be ignored.   The movies Black Panther, Girl’s Trip, or Thurgood Marshall aren’t REPARATIONS. Especially considering the bulk of the dollars being pocketed are sent not to the black audiences that support these ventures. The National Football League, or the National Basketball League aren’t reparation especially considering the primary financial beneficiaries of the leagues aren’t the majority of black players who play the game but the white owners who run the teams and administer both leagues. Having a few black Hip Hop Moguls isn’t reparation especially considering the fact that these individuals are beholding to a white controlled recording industry structure that command and demands the ability to control content. Nor is the newly opened African American Museum on the Mall in Washington, DC, REPARATIONS. Nor is the Martin Luther King Monument on the Mall reparation. 


Reparation (legal) ... In jurisprudence, reparation is replenishment of a previously inflicted loss by the criminal to the victim. Monetary restitution is a common form of reparation.


Reparations the direct act by this government or nation  to drive the economic, educational, environmental, and judicial needle towards complete equality for the people of the darker hue. It is the actual payment due to darker skinned people who have suffered through the torment of this nation. The act of REPARATIONS is to make RIGHT those actions that actively were deemed illegal and morally wrong simply due to the skin pigmentation of the wronged individual. The systematic denial of rights for the past five centuries which has caused this widening gap of promise and possibilities for people of color in America. Until this gap of promise and possibilities evaporate. Then and only then will this nation have paid its debt to those who were denied the basic rights due to every citizen. People of color built the essential fabric of wealth that allowed this nation to prosper. The recognition of that debt must be reconciled. You cannot do that with the release of a 120-minute film, or a couple of edifices on the Mall and say the debt has been paid.


So while I will support the symbolic memorials to our ancestors. I know that each of our ancestors would've wanted true economic reparation solutions, not symbolic ones.  Although these memorials, films, sport figures, and entertainers are quite visible. It is an illusion to think that any of these entities exhibit the concept of true REPARATIONS.  Former Congressman Conyers of Michigan has constantly introduced legislation that would research options of deciding the terms of economic reparations for people of color in this nation. He has been repelled by leaders of both political parties in getting the legislative body of government to seriously consider his legislation. They will indeed build a monument to quiet the crowd but the economic inequality produced by systematic institutional racism still remains intact. It is seemingly as strong as ever as reflected in the current disturbed racial atmosphere that exist in this nation.


Martin Luther King Jr., Nat Turner, Fannie Lou Hamer, Malcolm X and every other person who fought for true equality of black people rights demand substantive payment.  That  insufficient economic check of inequity cannot be satisfied by a few symbolic appeasements. The payment that has been due for centuries must be paid in order for America to become the true symbol of democracy and freedom. The United Nations has even dictated that REPARATIONS are due black Americans. This issue has bounced around for almost a century and the people of color in this nation have paid a heavy price for America’s inaction. I believe the time has come for a serious discussion of REPARATIONS to come to the table of justice.  What better time than now? It is only fair.


Mar. 16, 2019
So many Americans of all races will say that today's Americans of African Descent shouldn't receive nor or worthy of financial reparations for the horrendous effects slavery inflicted on our ancestors from 1619-1865. This week I think I am proving that financial reparations are also due to today's Americans of African Descent for the horrendous conditions that have continued to exist in the United States from December 6, 1865, the ratification date of the 13th Amendment; April 14, 1868, the ratification date of the 14th Amendment; and February 3, 1870, the ratification date of the 15th Amendment; as well as May 17, 1954, the date that SCOTUS released the Brown vs. Board of Education, Topeka, Kansas. You can also add the date July 2, 1964, The Civil Rights Bill along with August 6, 1965, The Voting Right Act, because even these two bills which were supposed to level the playing field for Americans of African Descent have proven to be totally inadequate in addressing the inequality issue. So, the issue of economic reparations for Americans of African Descent stretches from June 1619 all the way up today March 16, 2019.
If you cannot understand the need for repayment for sins committed past and present by those who controlled power against Americans of African Descent than you simply do not have a handle on the virus of racial hatred, degradation, and violence that has been and continues to be inflicted on my black community today. Many white Americans simply have placed their heads in the sands of ignorance. They are unwilling to concede the wrongs of white society on people of color in this nation. Let me tell you again that the Era of Black Reconstruction, the so-called Second Founding of the United States lasted about a decade from 1865-1876, and then the entire system of reconstruction collapsed under the weight of renewed white racism and hatred directed at the former slaves by not only the white masters but also the United States government.
Until a true formal apology partnered with financial reparations is provided to the Americans of African Descent than the color line will continue separate blacks and whites in this country. The more history of the ill-gotten gains of whites provided due to the horrendous treatment of Americans of African Descent is uncovered. Then the elevation of racial tensions in this nation will continue to rise unfettered. You see injustice unmasked is a permanent stain on the democracy the United States of America is supposed to stand for. You cannot promote the principles of democracy when the greatest percentage of unprincipled has been and continues to be directed at a race of people who have stood by this country even when facing those acts of purposeful oppression.
Mar. 15, 2019


Mar. 15, 2019

The Blackman Who Reads Aloud
Presents: Robert Smalls
Speaking Black Truth To White Supremacy
Speech (1895)

A Word of Warning: A Former Slave Urges Constitutional Caution
"Since reconstruction times 53,000 negroes have been killed in the south, and not more than three white men have been convicted and hung for these crimes. I want you to be mindful of the fact that the good people of the north are watching this convention upon this subject. I hope you will make a Constitution that will stand the test. I hope that we may be able to say when our work is done that we have made as good a Constitution as the one we are doing away with."

"Smithsonian Magazine Article (2018)"
Fifty-three thousand dead is a staggering number—more than all the dead, wounded and missing at the Battle of Gettysburg. Even spread over the 30 years that had elapsed since Appomattox, that would be an average of 1,766 murders each year, or almost five each day, across the 11 former Confederate states.

So when you are in a discussion about black reparations understand that black oppression didn't conclude at the end of the Civil War and the elimination of the institution of slavery. Black physical, education and economic oppression extended far into the twentieth century. I mean 53,000 murders by white supremacists beware the ides of March, really, beware the ides of whiteness.