Speaking & Teaching

Sep. 9, 2019

Today is a very important day in the compilation of black historical experiences for every black American of African Descent in this nation. Because it was on this day 104 years ago today, September 9, 1915, that in the City of Chicago, Illinois, 52 years after the Emancipation Proclamation was signed by President Abraham Lincoln that the Association for Study of Negro Life and History was organized. This organization was the brainchild of Carter G. Woodson who understood the importance that black Americans have a true knowledge of their history now only on these American shores but also understand that the history of black Americans reached back to the birthplace of civilization on the continent of Africa. In order to fully comprehend the magnitude of this organized effort to spread black knowledge. You need to understand the barriers that existed in this nation that carpeted black history to our communities in 1915. 52 years of freedom for enslaved black Americans had seen a revival and reverting of many of the same terrible murderous, depraved conditions that our black ancestors across this nation faced during slavery. You had Jim Crow laws not only across the southern states but across the entire nation. The vast majority of our black ancestors were either illiterate or subjected to educational conditions that encouraged illiteracy. The white history books not only in the south but across the nation denied any role black Americans played in the development of this nation's prosperity and freedom. There was literally a ban for black children attending school for no more than 4 months a year in the southern states. The educational environment that both students and teachers in those black-only schools were horrid, despicable, and unseemly. So, Carter G. Woodson recognized that without an educational historical intervention black history in this nation would be completely erased off the map and minds of black America. So, today I am celebrating this day with two posts. First the story of Carter G. Woodson and second the minutes from the first national meeting of the Association of Negro Life and History. Today, we celebrate Carter G. Woodson's accomplishments and dreams with Black History Month but in reality, Carter G. Woodson wouldn't be happy with the pigeon-holding of our black historical experience to one month a year. It was Carter G. Woodson's dream to fully immerse our true black historical experiences so that that could be studied each and every day in classrooms across this nation. When you think of black history today and every day it is my wish that you honor the man, Carter G. Woodson for that dream.

Sep. 7, 2019

One of the most impressive, historical, thought-provoking books that I have ever read on "The Blackman's Read Aloud Hour Project was the Warmth Of Other Suns, it was written by an HBCU Howard University Graduate, Isabel Wilkerson Class of 1983. Nine years ago today on September 7, 2010, this epic story of black migration within the United States by African Americans escaping the horrid racist conditions of the Jim Crow South was published. While many immigration stories are written and told of Europeans moving across the Atlantic Ocean to seek a new way of life as they moved away from their lives in their native lands. The Warmth of Other Suns tells the tale of the millions of African Americans who moved within this nation towards a life free of the oppression of bigotry and hatred they were facing in the South.

The Warmth of Other Suns details the epic migration of blacks to the East, West, and Central United States in vivid detail through the lives of Ida Mae Brandon Gladney, George Swanson Starling, Robert Joseph Pershing Foster, Isabel Wilkerson's parents and the millions of other African Americans who sought to seek a renewal of hope not in a foreign land but a land within the land they lived. What an outstanding book The Warmth of Other Suns is. This book which not only tells a series of magnificent stories but also provides the reader with a sense of hopefulness in dreaming for something more in his/her life. Every home, especially African American homes should have a copy of The Warmth of Other Suns in its home library. It quite simply is a masterpiece that should be owned and read for generations to read forever. There aren't many books that reach the level of excellence that The Warmth of Other Suns reach that is why I, The Blackman Who Reads Aloud recommends that you should own a personal copy. It is an excellent read-aloud book that will lead to a wonderful discussion of your own family's ancestry with your children. I so love for the diligent work and persistence that Isabel Wilkerson put in creating The Warmth of Other Suns. I celebrate the 9th anniversary of this, one of the first books I read on The Blackman Read Aloud Hour Project.

Sep. 6, 2019

We have a real issue in this nation regarding the basic tenets of American Government. We have way too many people in our communities especially in black communities that have no comprehension of how this American Republic is supposed to work. That is why it is easy for a candidates who don’t have our vested interest continue to remain in office. Also, many Americans didn’t know or understand how much judicial power we provided Donald Trump when he was elected President. Trump has already selected 2 Supreme Court Justices and with Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg experiencing cancer at 86 years of age.

Trump could actually be able to fill 1/3 of the Supreme Court’s 9 seats even if he isn’t re-elected in 2020 because Ginsburg may not make it pass the next 18 months. These Supreme Court Justices are lifetime appointees. Did you know that? Well I ran across this tidbit of a quote in the Washington Post this evening from Trump’s first appointee

“Despite their lifetime appointments, justices share a sense of fleeting fame. That is probably how it should be, Gorsuch said. But his worry is that Americans do not understand the structure of government and its institutions. Only about a third of Americans can identify the three branches, Gorsuch said. Another third can only name one branch of government. Ten percent thinks Judy Sheindlin serves on the United States Supreme Court. Judge Judy! He added, “I’ve got great respect for her, but she is not one of my colleagues.”

2/3 of Americans cannot identify the branches of government. Another 2/3 cannot name one branch of government and an amazing 10% of Americans think Judge Judy is a Supreme Court Justice. If that isn’t an indictment of our educational system I don’t know what is. I can bet you that if those numbers many in our communities especially black communities are suffering from this lack of knowledge. That is why I do The Blackman Read Aloud Hour Project to spread this important historical knowledge. Beginning next week I will be reading the book, Showdown The Circumstances That Lead To The Nomination If Thurgood Marshall To The Supreme Court by Will Haygood Beginning Monday.

It is my contention that ignorance of the law is no excuse. We must fully understand what we are up against. That why I will shift From Thurgood Marshall in the courts fighting for our freedom to Thurgood Marshall being elevated to the highest court in the land after being nominated by President Lyndon Baines Johnson In 1967. Join me on Monday, September 9, 2019 as I start this new book reading it from cover to cover in one hour chunks.

Sep. 5, 2019

Part Two
The Blackman​ Read Aloud Hour Project
Timothy Thomas Fortune
“IT IS TIME TO CALL A HALT”
January​ ​1890
Looking Back To Look Ahead Series

This speech was given​ in 1890 by Timothy Thomas Fortune, I believe it is one of the more powerful speeches ever given. It was a speech to the inaugural​ meeting of The National Afro-American League. It was so forward-thinking​ in the ​concept of political awareness that it amazed me. I do quite a bit ​of reading on our black history and this particular speech related to political alliances and independence presented by Mr. Fortune could still be as relevant in 2019 as it was in 1890. I hope that you take the time to listen to my reading but if you need to see it in its entirety​ simply​ visit BLACKPAST.com and read it for yourself. Wow!

Sep. 5, 2019

Part One
The Blackman Read Aloud Hour Project
Timothy Thomas Fortune
William Seraile

It is Timothy Thomas Fortune's birthday but in my series looking back while we look ahead. I think is about time that I spend a day honoring this man who was a newspaper editor and the dynamic​ voice of our black community. If one is to say someone was ahead of his time in terms of understanding power in organizing than Timothy Thomas Fortune was that person. His name isn't one that comes up in any history book but his influence in the progress of our people is substantial. It was Timothy Thomas Fortune who was instrumental in establishing the first national civil rights organization, The National Afro-American League. It was Timothy Thomas Fortune who spoke of demanding something substantive​ from the major political parties before giving them support. If Timothy Thomas Fortune was alive today he would be leading the charge for black political independence from every political party that wasn't serving the cause of black economic and educational progress. Please spend the day with The Blackman Who Reads Aloud Hour Project as I delve into this courageous​ black man of the media.