Speaking & Teaching

Dec. 8, 2019

Many African-Americans think that the first African-American to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize was Martin Luther King Jr. Well. in reality, the very first Nobel Peace Prize awarded to a black man was given to Ralph Bunche for his tireless work done to secure peace in the Middle East.

I am sure that Dr. Bunche would surely question some of the decisions being made internationally now. Yet on this date December 10, 1950, in his words, my voice I celebrate the achievement of Ralph Bunche that elevated the posture of Black Americans on the world stage in 1950.

Today I honor his passing 48 years ago by spending some moments with one of the highlights of Dr. Bunche’s remarkable career. His winning of the Nobel Peace Prize.

Dec. 8, 2019

I would like to take my audience back in time on JoeSmokeBlackThoughts to listen as I read the words of a speech given by a young Captain Charles Young, addressing campus students at Stanford University in Palo Alto, California.

This address was discussing the daily attacks that were being initiated by citizens of this nation against citizens who were also citizens through second class in so many regards to this nation as well. Captain Charles Young speech that was in direct opposition to Booker T. Washington’s philosophy of casting your buckets where you are.

Captain Charles Young was the first black captain in the armed forces of this nation. Charles Young was the first colonel in the US Army. Colonel Young commanded the Buffalo Soldiers as well. He was and is a name that our children should be taught about. If you don’t know the name don’t be disheartened because it isn’t a name that you will find in any history book primarily because of the color of skin. However the service he provided to this nation should not be ignored. He died in Lagos, Nigeria while on assignment for this nation.

Colonel Young’s remains are buried in Arlington National Cemetery.

Dec. 7, 2019

We as Black Americans have sacrificed way too much in this nation’s history not to participate in the right to place a vote in the ballot box. We heard Malcolm’s question related to the choice of either the ballot or the bullet. Yet our ancestors understood that in reality those bullets being shot were aimed at them simply because they desired the right of citizenship promised in 1870. Our ancestors weren't doing the shooting they were ducking and diving from those murderous white mobs. Far too long the battle to reach full citizenship in the United States has been determined by white mob violence. Far too long the battle to reach full citizenship has been determined by white legislators who controlled the ballot boxes and thus mandated the lack of growth in black communities. Far too long the federal, state, and municipal courts has judicially ruled to the benefit of only protecting those white institutions of white oppression. Our ancestors faced unbelievable odds in these United States. States that was seemingly only united in their efforts to oppress, suppress, malign, torture, and murder them. Why, were this tactics so common? Because the main objective was to silence any voices of change intent on erasing racial oppression.

Our ancestors were being hung on trees, burned alive, murdered, humiliated, savagely beaten because the sought rights ceded to them by the 13th, 14th and 15th Amendments. From Wilmington to Charleston, Rosewood to Greenwood, East St. Louis to Houston, Cambridge to Chicago, Birmingham to Jackson, Detroit to Harlem, Newark to Watts, Atlanta to Orlando, Montgomery to Memphis, Ferguson to Baltimore, Minneapolis to North Charleston from Reconstruction’s end to Tuesday’s vote, all of those Black Americans who can vote must vote. Our ancestors had to survive the Crow’s Jim and Jane who instilled racial hate of those of the colored race and sought to destroy black hope and black growth. Our ancestors lost so much from 1789’s decree of 3/5 of person but 5/5 property. Our ancestor’s faced the Chief Justice Taney’s 1858 judicial edict that enforced the creed of white superiority. Only seven years after getting the vote a compromise snatched that promise of true citizenship away. Our ancestors faced another judicial decree in 1896 that instilled almost 75 years of constant pain and none of humanities restrain. They knew separate would never be equal even if the law determined otherwise. So gleeful was the May 17, 1954 Brown vs Board Of Education decree that our communities would finally be lifted up. Yet, the lift came with only more broken promises and legislative avoidance. Our ancestors build this nation, our ancestors saved this nation, our ancestors died on foreign shores for this nation, our ancestors gave this nation the gift of voice, so yes my brothers and sisters when 2020 whether it be primary or general election comes we have no choice but to vote! Let’s no longer vote the best of two terrible candidates. Let’s force the candidate we choose to elevate to our demands rather than us stooping down to their broken promises.

Dec. 7, 2019

In American History, not just Black History in America, the black soldier has paid a debt to the continuation of the democracy of the United States that can never fully be repaid. Throughout every military engagements in this country; from the very first shots taken on the streets of Boston during the Revolutionary War, when Crispus Attucks was the very first person white or black to bleed for a nation, not yet born; to the last skirmish on the streets or mountainous ravine or gully of some war-torn middle-eastern nation; the American Blackman and woman has rallied to the defense of liberty and freedom. Even when freedom was being denied at home during the 2 great world wars, the battles in Korea, and in Vietnam. The Blackman has stood up against those odds to fight for Democratic ideals that were not being practiced on the home front but he elevated those principles of democracy on foreign shores.

In 1919 a century ago WEB DuBois wrote this magnificent essay in the Crisis Magazine speaking directly to the Black American soldier. Asking that he stand up against the repression and oppression that was being dished out all over this nation. Many of the words still ring true today. So, as I continue to celebrate the black experience and shine the beacon of light in the words of Dr. Dubois, and our ancestors who fought for world freedom; while being denied that freedom in the country of their home. Please remember this simple credo, our black history need not be a black mystery. Please visit my blog for today’s two posts and share them with others.

Dec. 6, 2019

In WW 1 & 2 Black Americans were considered for the most menial of duties in the armed forces. These men were considered incapable of being effective soldiers​, as a matter of fact, ​whites considered black enlisted were considered inferior mentally and cowardly. Well on this day Doris "Dorie" Miller proved those white bigoted officers, soldiers, and sailors wrong. Spend a moment reliving that day when Messman Miller delivered a courageous effort to save his shipmates and commanding officer from harm. He also took down a few of the enemy who may have discounted him as well. Now tell where is this brother's Medal of Honor? Doris “Dorie” Miller’s life ended when he was killed when the battleship Liscome Bay was sunk by a torpedo in 1943. It’s time for the nation to give Doris Miller his just due and award him the Medal of Honor for his heroic act on December 7, 1941. He’s been waiting 78 years for his just reward for his supreme acts of bravery.