Speaking & Teaching

Aug. 11, 2020

Zora Neale Hurston was certainly no integrationist when it came to school integration. She was of the mind that why force yourself on a race that didn't want to be near you. In this post, you will see that Zora wasn't a proponent of following that old white mare.
64 years ago today Zora Neale Hurston wrote a​ historic letter to the editor of ​the Orlando Sentinel. In that letter which actually seems now quite prophetic​ . Zora Neale Hurston railed against the unanimous​ 1954 Brown versus the Board of Education, Topeka, Kansas which ruled that separate but equal schools were unconstitutional. As we look at this court decision from the prism of 2019. It seems that Zora was on to something because public schools are seemingly more segregated​ now than they were a decade after the Brown decision. In the letter,​ Zora Neale Hurston used the wise tale of the white mare and the mule. It seems that a mule will follow a white mare anywhere.

For this reason, I regard the ruling of the U.S. Supreme Court as insulting rather than honoring my race. Since the days of the never-to-be-sufficiently deplored Reconstruction, there has been current the belief that there is no great[er] delight to Negroes than physical association with whites. The doctrine of the white mare. Those familiar with the habits of mules are aware that any mule, if not restrained, will automatically follow a white mare. Dishonest mule-traders made money out of this knowledge in the old days.

"Lead a white mare along a country road and slyly open the gate and the mules in the lot would run out and follow this mare. This ruling being conceived and brought forth in a sly political medium with eyes on ’56, and brought forth in the same spirit and for the same purpose, it is clear that they have taken the old notion to heart and acted upon it. It is a cunning opening of the barnyard gate wit[h] the white mare ambling past. We are expected to hasten pell-mell after her."

Aug. 10, 2020

The Destruction of the Noyes ​Academy

The total destruction of "The Noyes Academy", August 10, 1835, in Canaan, New Hampshire. When Enlightenment's flame was extinguished by bigotry, racism, and ignorance by a mob of mob white people.​ This incident didn't happen down in the deep south? This travesty of injustice happened in the north. It happened in New Hampshire where supposedly sensible white folks lived. Yet humanity and morality left that environment because the white residents of Canaan, New Hampshire didn't want black children to be educated in their town.

So they proceeded as a white mob to move the entire school building from its location to the swamp. 500 white men and 100 oxen completed the task of destroying the Noyes Academy on August 10, 1935. After the mob destroyed the school they then turned their attention to terrorizing the students. They launched cannon shells at the homes where the students were staying and physically threatened them with harm. The students had to run away from the town in darkness for their own safety.

Two of the students became instrumental leaders in the black struggle for the destruction of the institution of slavery, Henry Highland Garnet and Alexander Crummell. Even though efforts to rebuild the school were attempted. Three years later in 1838, The Noyes Academy was burned to the ground. The struggle for the right for an opportunity to get an equal education in this nation has always been a struggle for black Americans.

Why reparations, because for 400 years this nation has mistreated, abused, terrorized, murdered, disengaged, miseducated, and ignored black Americans, that's why.

Aug. 8, 2020

Tomorrow The Blackman Read Aloud Hour Project starts a new book. Sunday evening, Howard University’s own Isabel Wilkerson’s new book CASTE: THE ORIGINS OF OUR DISCONTENT will be read from cover to cover in one hour chunks. Anybody who has followed my project knows that I felt Isabel Wilkerson’s last book the Pulitzer Prize winning Warmth Of Other Suns was one of my most enlightening, enhancing shares. It was one of the first books I shared when I started the project in June, 2016. So, join me Sunday, August 9, 2020 and be ready to listen to greatness from Isabel Wilkerson. On Facebook Live

Aug. 8, 2020

The Tragedy And Triumph Of Matthew Henson
Racism Carpets Matthew Henson's Historic Achievement

Today, we celebrate the birthday of Matthew Henson who was the first recognized Non-Eskimo​ to reach the North Pole. He was the first of many explorers who sought to be on top of the world. He reached that pinnacle on April 6, 1909,​ with Commodore Peary who arrived 45 minutes later. As with all black historical events in the early 20th century,​ Matthew Henson's historic accomplishment was swept under the carpet of racist ignorance until ​Matthew Henson had passed​ away. He was the ​constant companion of Peary during these Arctic expeditions but it was Peary who ​turned his ​back on Henson after returning to the United States. Today, I will read two articles that will detail the racism that Matthew Henson faced during his lifetime. Join me in recognizing the greatness of Mattew Henson whose body is now interred in the Arlington National Cemetary next to Admiral Robert Peary. He finally was recognized for his historic achievement but long after his death.

The post photo cover includes an image of Akatingwah carrying Anaukaq, the son she had with Matthew Henson, along with of course the great black explorer Matthew Henson.

Aug. 7, 2020

Today's historical moment in time takes us back 90 years to August 7, 1930, when 2 black men were lynched and one miraculously saved. Back in the dark days of Jim Crow America white mobs terrorized blacks throughout the nation. There was no talk of the lone wolf terrorist who stalked the communities of black America. It was the white mass wolf mobs that created hatred and mayhem not only in the former confederate states but in almost every region of this nation. 89 years ago we should never forget the names of Thomas Shipp and Abram Smith who were taken from a jail cell in Marion, Indiana by mobs thousands of so-called citizens white men.

Shipp and Smith were savagely brutalized, burned alive and shot and butchered with a crowd of 15,000 whites, men, women, and children watching in a carnival atmosphere. There was no trial for Smith and Shipp, they were no testimony from witnesses detailing the crimes that Smith and Shipp were accused of. The mob convicted them and carried out the sentence for all of this nation to see. The photos of the strange fruit hanging from the massive Indiana tree bore the illegitimacy of a twisted nation reveling in the racial hatred of whites against the entire race of blacks.