Speaking & Teaching

Jan. 15, 2019

"Historical Perspective
Republican Presidents

“First Andrew Johnson was deemed the worst Republican President for denying rights to just freed slaves then Herbert Hoover came along and depressed the entire land
then Richard Nixon held the mantle for his enemies lists and sneaky ass tricks he was the worst Republican President but then came George W. Bush Who took the crown away creating weapons of mass destruction on shores far away he was the worst Republican President but Donald Trump has surpassed them all as the worst Republican President he’s surpassed Johnson, Hoover, Nixon, and Bush in so little time Trump’s possibly guilty of treason and that’s ultimately the worst Presidential crime. Tomorrow many suffering Americans will be missing Food Stamps and children will go hungry that’s an even worst human crime. My question is this when will Mueller come back with indictments
so this cat can start doing some real prison time?”

#JoeSmokeBlackThoughts"

#JoeSmokeBlackThoughts
Jan. 15, 2019

"I simply cannot understand all these black folks posts about Trump feeding a college football team fast food at the White House. We got so many issues within our communities, why are we bitching about what a team eats at an irrelevant event of celebration? We need to be more concerned about the black children in this country who went to bed hungry last night or when to school today unprepared to learn because of conditions in their communities that restrict the learner's experience. Until we can solve our many problems what is served to football players at the White House is inconsequential. We have illiteracy problems, incarceration problems, economic problems, health problems, educational problems, and children who live in a constant state of hopelessness but I see these posts about fast food being fed to football players as an embarrassment to our communities, really? You really concerned about that meal when the government is shut down? When the reality is that most of America is 90 days from bankruptcy and this shutdown is edging many of our people closer to the economic cliff of despair? Wake up now and be conscious of what is going on around you. This is a time when we need to maintain careful vigilance of conditions in our communities. Personally, I really don’t give a damn if a college football team got feed burgers and fries."

"

#JoeSmokeBlackThoughts
Jan. 15, 2019

JoeSmokeBlackThoughts
Day Four
Salute To Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
December 5, 1955

Your 26-years-old just married, recently awarded your Ph.D. in theology and you have begun your ministry career in Montgomery Alabama. The furthermost thought in your mind is leading a movement for justice or civil rights in this new city you now call home. The deacons of the church you work at just let go of the previous minister, Vernon Johns because of his being a vocal dissenter of the treatment blacks were facing in the city due to Jim Crow mandates. Reverend Johns had been deemed too controversial, they were looking for a young moderate voice and because they knew the religious history of your grandfather and father in Atlanta, Georgia, the King's of Ebenezer Baptist Church, they considered you the safe choice.

However, on December 1, 1955, on a Montgomery, Alabama public transit bus a strong-willed black woman decided that enough was indeed absolutely enough. Rosa Parks decided that no longer would she simply allow the indignities and restrictions of an immoral Jim Crow to control her. It was time that the white powers of Montgomery, Alabama to recognize that Black Mongomerians were due the respect that was given to the white citizenry of that city. No longer would she accept bowing down to the city's rules of segregation simply because of the color of her skin.

The Supreme Court had overruled in 1954 the separate but equal doctrine of 1896 but that judgment was simply being ignored by the southern states, Alabama was one of the most confrontational states against equal rights for its black citizens. Southern states, hell, to be completely honest the entire nation, coast to coast was ruled by a power fed by the white institutions of racism. White Americans of all creeds and religions felt embolden and many of these White Americans felt that Black America was not capable of being full-classed citizens. In the south where Rosa Parks lived her entire life, Jim Crow had been the law of the land since the dismantling of Reconstruction almost 75 years earlier. Jim Crow forbids blacks from functioning as nothing more than a servant class to the whites who controlled every aspect of power.

So on the evening of December 1, 1955, Rosa Parks made a conscious decision to stand up or rather stay seated on that Montgomery City Public Bus. Her, stance, her arrest aroused the city. Rosa's action
against that dastardly racist system on refused by sitting and not moving Rosa Parks stirred a city infected by bigotry and hatred. Her act also aroused that 26-year-old minister to consider being the voice for change, the voice to bring down at least this one element of institutional racism. It was an international decision, it was a personal decision. I am not quite sure if those same deacons who sent Vernon Johns packing would've agreed for Martin King to be the spokesman had they truly understood the future ramifications.

So four days later, December 5, 1944, in a Montgomery, Alabama church a new heroic, fearless voice of a people was identified. Martin King announced that Montgomery Alabama's black citizens would no longer submit openly to racial oppression without direct action and united opposition. Martin King's voice and message along with the determined effort of the black citizens of Montgomery, Alabama motivated a core of Black Americans across this nation that hope did exist. The hope of being respected, the hope of being no longer ignored, hope of educating their children equally, the hope of the ability to compete for jobs and opportunities. Yet, before Martin King stepped to the pulpit that evening Martin King was perplexed as to whether he was the voice to deliver that message of hope. However, after this historic speech which I will read today. It was evident to the more than 5,000 people in those church pews as well as standing that Martin Luther King was indeed to man to deliver the message.

Until his murder 13 years, on the balcony of a Memphis, Tennessee motel this troubled nation and the world couldn't ignore Martin Luther King's passion for peace and justice. They tried to ignore his voice by the morality of his message was simply too strong for those who goal was maintaining ​and feeding racial injustice. Today, on the 90th birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King I provide my 4th and final salute magnifying his greatness. That evening in Montgomery, Alabama when Martin King along with the actions of Rosa Parks aroused a city bent on black suppression to open there eyes to the possibility of hope.​

Jan. 14, 2019

Before ​The 1963 Dream Speech, Martin Luther King delivered a speech on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial on May 17, 1957, at the Prayer Pilgrimage For Freedom. This rally formed the basis for the Jobs and Freedom Rally that was to occur 6 years later on August 28, 1963. This rally also was a celebration of the 3-year anniversary of the historic Supreme Court 1954, Brown vs. Board of Education doctrine that overturned the Plessey vs. Ferguson decision that legalized separate but equal.

In this speech, Dr. Martin Luther King spoke to 25,000 demonstrators on the topic, “Giving Us The Ballot”, on this day in the nation’s capital. It was during the time that the civil rights movement had seen a mythical victory in the Montgomery Alabama public bus boycott. However, it was during a period of time that Jim Crow’s oppressive hatred reigned supreme in the south as well as other regions of the United States. So, on day three of my birthday salute to Dr. Martin Luther King, I will bring you in my voice the speech that continued to illuminate the light of hope to the many who were hopeless in our nation.

#JoeSmokeBlackThoughts

Jan. 13, 2019

Three weeks before Dr. Martin Luther King was murdered in Memphis, Tennessee by a bullet drenched in hatred for his cause of social, economic, and civil equality. Dr. King visited Grosse Point, Michigan to make a speech. This post details my analysis and highlights words that embodied the major theme of that speech. At the time of this speech, Dr. King was no the national iconic figure he was in 1955, in Montgomery, Alabama, nor was he being held as the voice of a nation with his 1963 speech on the Mall in Washington; nor was he being identified as a savior with his letter from a Birmingham Jail; nor was he seen as the moral voice of a people fighting oppression on a bridge in Selma Alabama. On this evening in Grosse Point, Michigan it seemed everywhere Dr. King turned his enemies were closing in on him. Those enemies were not only white but many of these opponents were black. They had ridiculed Dr. Martin Luther King's stance against the Vietnam War, his move away from civil rights legislation to economic rights and income redistribution for peoples of color, and the young black members of the communities had ignored his pleas for non-violent confrontations. Martin Luther King Jr. was sensing that the battle for a nation drawn together by love was being torn asunder by increasing hate. So on this day, I will spend the second session of my celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. interpreting some phrases from that March 14, 1968 speech.

Grosse Point Michigan
March 14, 1968
WE SHALL OVERCOME

In the following passage, Dr. King referenced Thomas Carlyle, William Cullen Bryant, and James Russell Lowell. Today, I will go directly to each reference line and read the passage in Carlyle's case and the complete poems in the case of Bryant and Lowell. How many of us exacted that information before? Dr. Martin Luther King was one of the greatest orators in history. So today I wanted to provide more historical background.


We shall overcome because Carlisle is right. "No lie can live forever." We shall overcome because William Cullen Bryant is right. "Truth crushed to earth will rise again." We shall overcome because James Russell Lowell is right. "Truth forever on the scaffold, wrong forever on the throne. Yet that scaffold sways the future.” We shall overcome because the Bible is right. "You shall reap what you sow." With this faith, we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair, a stone of hope. With this faith, we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. With this faith we will be able to speed up the day when all of God's children all over this nation - black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old negro spiritual, "Free at Last, Free at Last, Thank God Almighty, We are Free At Last."