Speaking & Teaching
"No one will know just how brain-damaged Antonio Brown is until he is on that cold steel slab and his brain is dissected for evidence of CTE. That's the problem with professional football at that time of Mr. Brown's demise no fans will be in the autopsy room cheering on the results. You may jeer Mr. Brown today for his actions yesterday but not one of you walks in his shoes or truly understands his condition. Because many of those players(college and professional) with that potential condition don't even remember the exact collision or collisions that caused the condition.#theblackblogger
To all those who ridiculed Antonio Brown yesterday especially black men. You all need to read William C. Rhoden's book 40 Million Slaves, you need to comprehend that these professional players are putting their ability to lead productive future lives on the line every week. Fans don't see it now playing out after the game crowd cheers end when players cannot get out of bed on Monday morning. Fans don't see it when retired players need all new joints just to walk up the stairs in their homes. Fans don't see it when former players cannot lift their children in their arms because of the damaged back injury incurred while fans cheered that player giving up his body to block an opponent. You don't see it when former Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Vince Jackson drank himself to death alone in a hotel room away from the cheers due to the brain injuries he unknowingly suffered playing the game while fans cheered him on. You didn't know how dangerous those in-game brain injuries were until you saw the violent actions of Aaron Hernandez, Jovan Belcher, and Phillip Adams. Were Rae Carruth's actions and decisions in 1999 impaired by Chronic traumatic encephalopathy? We won't know until Carruth's dead and his brain can be analyzed for damage. How much damage has been done by former players and even players that have been hidden from public view? So when Antonio Brown told the team's coaches that he wasn't healthy enough to play yesterday. Black fans especially shouldn't be jeering and castigating Antonio Brown they should be cheering him. Because when the cheering ends it's only going to be the loved ones and Antonio Brown himself taking care of the body that incurred those bodily injuries while you cheered him on.
Historical Perspective of Imani
Faith Once You Have It Nothing Can Shake You, Quake It And Only God’s Force Can Take You!
“Then said David to the Philistine, Thou comest to me with a sword and spear, and with a shield; but I come to thee in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies Israel, whom thou hast defied. This day will the deliver thee into my mind hand, and I will smite thee, and take thine head from thee, and I will give the carcasses of the host of the Philistines this day unto the beasts of the earth; that all the earth may know there is a God in Israel.”
1 Samuel 17
Imani can turn a simple rock into a force of nature that can take down a nation’s oppressors.
The last day of Kwanzaa honors the principle that must be the foundation or the rock that runs within each one of us. It binds us against the harsh winds of life that sometimes will place obstacles in our path of individual and community growth. Just as David faced his demons with the faith that somehow, someway he knew his God would shield him from his enemies. David faced insurmountable odds, yet he had a faith level that was as high as the skies above him. That is what Imani is all about it is the resolute desire that when all the odds are seemingly against you.
All one has to do is search within themselves and reach for power that ascertains each of our abilities to rise above all our circumstances and defeat the challenges that confront us. I truly believe that “our” ancestors fought against incredible odds that included bigotry, hatred, oppression, repression, depression, regression, violent evil intentions, and unheard-of inhumane actions because of the internalized force of Imani. Within our ancestor's capacity to withstand the storm and evil winds of a society hellbent on their destruction to not break from those bonds of Imani. The philosophy of Imani held each of them together who had it and allowed without it to develop Imani.
Imani lessened the pain when events took away from the loved ones lost in the struggle for human, civil, judicial, and social rights. So as we look around our blighted communities on this first day of 2019. We all must search for our degree of IMANI and we must assist those in finding their levels of faith. No matter how minuscule that level maybe it can be elevated, heightened, and magnified to shine brightly within us. That is why the seventh day of Kwanzaa focuses on FAITH because it is FAITH that will move that mustard seed of doubt and belief in self to a gigantic mountain of belief. Imani can turn the sense of hopefulness into a force of hope that no one or nothing can stop our eventual progression towards the greatness that is due to us.
Cinque’s faith was unyieldingly facing the oppressor’s crew of Amistad. Harriet Tubman’s faith was unyielding when she traveled into the belly of slavery to free the oppressed. Frederick Douglass’s faith and belief were strong as he sat in that train car heading to his eventual freedom from slavery. Mary Ellen Pleasant’s faith was unyielding when she put a million dollars in today’s dollar into the hands of John Brown to signal the end of the oppression of slavery. Booker T. Washington’s faith was unyielding when he ventured into Alabama to build a black historical monument named Tuskegee Institute. Mary McLeod Bethune’s faith was unyielding when born into illiteracy yet rose to the highest heights to create Bethune Cookman College and The National Association of Negro Women. Paul Robeson’s faith was unyielding when Mr. Robeson sought to fight the fight against the genocide of African American peoples in this nation. Uncle Moses’s faith was unyielding when he stood in the racially tinged courtroom and pointed to the murderers of his nephew Emmitt Till knowing he was potentially signing his death warrant. Malcolm X’s unyielding faith that he could refuse to continue a life of criminality to become one the singular black leaders this nation has ever produced. Rosa Park’s faith was unyielding when Rosa refused to give up her seat on that bus in Montgomery, Alabama. Martin Luther King Jr.’s faith was unyielding when he faced down the racist whites whose only goal was to silence his movement and his voice. The Freedom Riders' faith was unyielding when they decided to challenge the institutional world of southern segregation. The SNCC workers who traveled from the comfort of their northern and eastern homes faith was unyielding when they decided to venture into the belly of the beast of racism for Freedom Summer. Adam Clayton Powell’s faith emboldened him to challenge the bigotry and hatred of the American Government. The southern sharecroppers of Mississippi led by Fannie Lou Hamer’s insurmountable faith gave them the power to challenge the powers of the Democratic National Party and President Lyndon Baines Johnson. Bobby Seale and Huey Newton’s faith was unyielding when face to face with stormtroopers of Ronald Reagan’s California law enforcers and justice evaders, whenever challenges were presented faith was required and faith was found by those who seek justice.
Yes, there will continue to be rocky roads or obstacles but belief in unity, self-determined effort, collective work and responsibility, cooperative economics, unyielding purpose, creative thought, and action, tied to the faith in ourselves and others will secure the desired results. Our black communities will indeed overcome and the day will come when all of God’s children will seek love, not hate and truly build the community of man. That was I feel the original purpose of Kwanzaa it was meant to build a humane driven society. Let’s all reach for those principles every day we live.
When all those around you say it’s a waste
Heck, even your family leaves you with a bad taste
That’s when you had better make haste
You see you have to be the one who leads this dream chase
That’s why the most important theme is for YOU to keep faith
You see, YOU, are the most important cog in this here race
So make sure that you stand firmly and solidly in place
Don’t let disbelievers spin YOUR dreams aimlessly out in space
Some would love to see your brain encased in thick mace
However, stay around those you believe YOU are becoming an ACE.
So remember to score and soar realizing your dreams your indeed make you ROAR
You can defeat those Goliath’s that come at you with just a little more faith
The caravan inside you indeed keeps your dreams safe
Those barking dogs once defiant don’t stop you from being self-reliant
The words that they utter don’t have to make you stutter
Or make your dreams melt like hot butter
You see the life that you are living
Makes it possible for you to start giving
You see that dead lion over there you are certainly outliving
Find folks who believe and stay away from all that deceive
It’s vital that you perceive or your dreams well you will grieve
You have been caught by those nasty dream thieves
Finally, please affirm it will assure your inner self that you have confirmed
That dream YOU hold is not damaged it is gonna go and be met long-term.
You have just been REAFFIRMED and CONFIRMED.
So just remember the importance of focused alignment
It will protect against any destructive dream alignment
I hope that these seven days have bought you some knowledge and understanding of this black man's view of Kwanzaa. Let’s make this year 2019, the year that black bodies are left standing, and humanity and love of each other is what everyone in our communities is demanding. So have a great remainder of this first day of 2022 and I do hope you enjoyed my week of celebrating my historical interpretation of Kwanzaa's enlightened principles.
Sam Jones played college ball in Durham, North Carolina, during the height of southern segregated universities. The other university in town now a basketball powerhouse with mostly black 5 star athletes was at that time lily white. He came to North Carolina Central University for their great coach John McLeadon when into the for two years and returned to play for Coach McLeadon’s successor Floyd Brown in 1956. He averaged about 18 points a game in college was was known for his pinpoint jumper. After the 1957 season he was drafted by the Red Auerbach’s Boston Celtics to fill the role of backup guard behind starters Bob Cousy and Bill Sharman. Little did Red Auerbach know that the prize the team drafted sight unseen was going to become on of the greatest clutch shooters in NBA history. Just as he averaged 18 points a game at North Carolina Central, Sam Jones averaged 18 points a game for the Celtics where he and KC Jones formed a backcourt that carried the Celtics that won 8 rings together while Sam Jones won 10 rings personally as a Celtic. When the game was on the line in the closing down time for the W that’s when Sam Jones shined. Like taking his famed jumper over the outstretched hands of Wilt Chamberlain to take down the 76ers in a game seven decider, or the Lakers in game seven with that deadly jump shot. I remember going down to the Baltimore Civic Center and watching the Bullets play the Celtics and seeing those great Celtics teams and they were great teams. They played as one unit and played with precision. They would cut the Bullets up surgically and then Red Auerbach would light up a damn cigar noting another Celtics victory. Sam Jones seemed to make every shot he took which he didn’t but I never remember Sam Jones missing an open jumper. Every Sunday the Celtics would be featured on ABC’s game of the week playing either the 76ers, Lakers, or the Knicks it seemed. Sam Jones what a great player. Sam Jones died today at 88 years of age. You won’t see all those tributes that came earlier this week when John Madden died. Why? Because Sam Jones lived and played during a period when black ball players didn’t have media jobs after the games ended. Heck, Sam Jones retired to being a substitute teacher in Maryland not a cushy analyst job on National Television. That jumper though, sweet.