Provoked Saturday Thought
There Once Was A Time, Really
There was a time when building elevators operators were indispensable and most of these operators were black. There was a time when this nation's steel mills were churning out steel and those urban cities near those steel mills were flourishing. There was a time when our black middle class was driven by US Steel, Bethlehem Steel, Tennessee Coal & Iron Company all these companies required laborers specializing in hard grueling work. There was a time when the United States Postal Service was thriving a government agency making profits. You see there was a time when there weren't emails, text messages, video conferencing and not a hint of social media networks. Our black communities postal workers were thriving with secure jobs and outstanding benefits. There was a time in our black communities when laborers, federal workers, professionals, educators all resided in our communities and dollars earned were dollars that stayed in our communities. Yes, there was a time when earners spent their dollars in the only businesses that would respect them and their dollars. There was a time when companies actually had guaranteed pensions for it's retired workers along with a secured social security check. There was a time when reading and writing were skills to be perfected not neglected.
There was a time when our communities were restricted. There was a time when we couldn't shop in downtown department stores. Yes, there was a time when there were actually department stores downtown even those department stores that restricted our dollars. There was a time when black folks had tremendous obstacles just spending a dollar. There was a time when all the taxis in the cities were yellow and all the hackers in the cities were black. There was a time when the uber generation was defined by a black man unable to hale a taxi opening the door to initial ubers drivers blacks with cars. There was a time before the internet, cell phones, and messaging that people in our communities actually could carry on a decent conversation face to face, race to race, in any place. There was a time if you were black, 21 and you could vote you would vote because we understood the sacrifice shared by that right to vote.
There was a time when going to school in our community was a responsibility necessary to grow our cities. There was a time when getting an education wasn't considered a chore. There was a time when our educators of color were high in the highest regard. There was a time when learning was a source of power and knowledge of one's ancestry was defined by knowledge, not by one's DNA. There was a time only the black communities most difficult issues was dealing with getting down the number of folks drinking wine and gooch. There was a time when our black communities body counts were minimal even on the weekends. There was a time that even in our urban center's children could run and play all day and into the night without a care and returning home unharmed was not a dare. There was a time when urban cities were sprouting homeowners not growing disgusting vagrant houses.
There was a time when we knew our neighbors and actually when over their homes to borrow sugar. The was a time when we had neighbors and not an empty home. There was a time when love was here, there, and everywhere and even in the tunes, we sang. When Detroit, Philly, and Memphis were cities not of gloom they were vibing cities moving to special beats. There was a time that Harlem was our special place. Yes, my people there was a time when we actually thought that America could be our home. That is the time I long to return to. When our black communities were unified in a belief that they actually could find relieve and a belief in each other.