Sep. 28, 2017

Rest In Peace, Hugh Hefner

In a period of extreme segregation and racial hatred of black men in America. When black men were being lynched and killed with reckless abandon. When sexual repression was being promoted and white women were identified as innocent creatures of absolute virtue. Playboy Magazine broke up the norms of sexual repression and also place black issues in the forefront of its editorial emphasis. I mean black men and naked white women in the same issue? Just how radical was this man? Can you imagine the reactions of white middle-class America when they saw a naked white woman on the cover along with the name Stokely Carmichael? Just imagine that for a moment? The most hated black man in the nation ordained on the cover with the virtuous white woman, not only a white woman but a buck naked white woman. Damn, that's something!

You gotta give mad respect to Hugh Hefner this morning. Mr. Hefner passed away at the ripe old age of 91 this morning. People may think that Playboy Magazine was always about the centerfold and full nudity. Yet it certainly was much more than that. Playboy Magazine was also a trailblazer for social and judicial equality for people of color as well.  Black people all over this country should indeed thank Hugh Hefner for stepping out on faith to deliver the message that all mankind deserved fair treatment. Some of my brothers and sisters will say "hell no" all Mr. Hefner did was to promote sexuality and place an emphasis on nudity. However, if you can fully comprehend and understand the period of time that Playboy was initially released. Black people were truly second-class citizens, we had no civil rights and were denied our voting rights. Hugh Hefner took a helluva lot of grief from white Americans because of Hugh's objective of expressing the ideals of civil rights for all people.

One thing that Playboy Magazine did with the feature "Conversation With" was giving voice to those individuals the other major media were ignoring. I mean you name them Newton, Gregory, Seale, Hamer, Carmichael, Malcolm, Cleaver, King, Davis (Miles & Angela), Baker, you can keep running down those voices that were ignored by mainstream white media were given the freedom without censorship to tell their stories without a sense of censorship. If you really want to be cognizant of the period of Playboy's initial popularity Hugh Hefner did, in fact, promote black activism when he could have easily still made money and ignored it. His readership was young, educated white males who ended up on the streets in the 60's-70's rebelling against the same institutional racist systems we were. He made the black attitude cool to those white people the hippies, the flower people, you see black was always cool to cool black people. Yet even our own black people didn't think all aspects of black was cool many still don't.

So this morning say a little prayer for Hugh Hefner because if God is indeed black and female. Hugh Hefner is on the dais tonight as the featured speaker in heaven.