Speaking & Teaching
Six years ago the Honorable Mayor of Washington DC, Marion Barry died. Many residents in the District of Columbia called Mr. Barry, Mayor For Life for the many positive program he initiated in the city. Today, I remember not Marion Barry’s municipal career but his life before he moved to DC. When Mr. Barry confronted head on the racism and oppression of white supremacy in the Deep South as a founding member of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee(SNCC).
Happy 74th Birthday to the only person on this planet to beat President Barack Obama in any election is Bobby Rush. Barack Obama attempted to unseat 4 Term Congressman Bobby Rush in 2000. Bobby Rush was representing the 1st Congressional District and Barack Obama thought he was a weakened candidate who could be unseated. Well, what Barack Obama didn’t understand was that Bobby Rush’s relationship and commitment to his constituents was steeled with over 40 years of work attempting to build Black Power for not only the First District but for every African American resident of the City of Chicago. In the primary election the street-wised for Founder of the Chicago Wing of the Black Panthers, Bobby Rush, swamped Barack Obama 61% to 30%. This would be the only election that Barack Obama would suffer in his political career. My fraternity brother, Bobby Rush, taught Obama a hard lesson, a teaching lesson that in order to win in the urban areas of this nation, you had better come correct and pick your upcoming opponents carefully. Happy Birthday Bobby Rush.
To say posting this makes me so sad this evening is an understatement. George Nock, my fraternity brother and fellow Morgan State University alumnus has passed on to glory today. Legend’s Plaza on Morgan State University has just two pieces of George Nock’s remarkable works, the impressive bronze statutes of the historic football coaches Talmadge Hill and Earl Banks. I loved George Nock because he was in my mind such a beautiful human being. Rest Eternally in Peace George you made the world around you so much more beautiful. Your contributions will be everlasting.
When I think of the word incarceration historically, why does my mind slip to the injustice applied to African Americans in this nation? Is it because our ancestors were unjustly incarcerated on the slave ships passing throughout the middle passage on the way to this nation? Is because our ancestors were incarcerated while waiting to be auctioned off at the slave marketplaces? Slave marketplaces that even existed in the capital city of this nation. Is it because our ancestors were incarcerated at the many plantations and mansions while a legalized inhumane slavery existed? Is it because after slavery supposedly ended the incarceration of our ancestors continued with peonage, sharecropping, vagrancy laws, and convict leasing? Is it because our ancestors were incarcerated for attempting to fulfill citizenship rights supposedly bestowed on them with constitutional guarantees? Is because our ancestors were incarcerated attempting to feed their families because employment opportunities were denied to them? Is because all levels of government municipal, federal and state created laws and policies that created an atmosphere that developed the era of mass incarceration of African American men and women? When I think of the word incarceration, why do I think a special meaning is specially dedicated to the application of unjust slavery to primarily African Americans in this nation? If this nation would’ve spent more time repairing rather than denying African Americans rights. Why do I believe the word incarceration wouldn’t mean policies directed to suppress African Americans? Because, I truly believe the dollars spent incarcerating African Americans should’ve been spent on repairing the ills of unjust incarcerations.