Category Archives: Historic Black Politics & Figures

The Soul Will Find a Way | By Kevin Alexander Gray


The Life and Times of James Brown

 At the start of the 1960s, my father Paul moved my mom Geneva, three older brothers, younger sister and me from Boston to rural Spartanburg County in upstate South Carolina. He’d fled the South in the 1940s, enlisting in the Navy. Twenty years later, he returned to an inheritance of eleven shotgun houses and a juke joint at the foot of a hill in a tiny, segregated, one way in – one way out community called Freyline.

Gray’s Grocery was on the sign over the front door between the two round, red  Coca Cola logos, but everyone called the gathering spot “the store”. Gray’s Grocery was where all the maids, janitors, textile mill workers, field laborers, wannabe slicksters, young and old, sinners and saints met on weekends to dance, drink, gamble, talk, cuss, have an occasional scuffle, fist, gun or knife fight, and generally let it all hang out.  

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Kevin Gray on James Brown – Part 1

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Filed under 1ST LOOK | KAG Book Promotion, 1ST LOOK | Waiting for Lightning to Strike, American Culture, American History, Black Culture | United States, Historic Black Politics & Figures, James Brown Recognition Project, Music History, R&B, Soul, South Carolina

Rev. Lucius Walker, Jr. | Aug 3, 1930 – Sept 7, 2010

IFCO / Pastors for Peace

Dear Friends,

Thank you for all of the expressions of love and solidarity.

Funeral services for Rev. Lucius Walker Jr. will be held at 10:00 am on Friday, September 17, 2010 at Convent Avenue Baptist Church in New York City. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to IFCO or Salvation Baptist Church and sent to IFCO, 418 W. 145th St. New York, NY 10031 or via the IFCO website.

Convent Avenue Baptist Church is located at 420 W 145th Street | New York, N.Y. 10031     http://www.conventchurch.org/directions.php Continue reading

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Filed under American Progressive Politics, Black Politics, Cuba, Friends & Comrades, Historic Black Politics & Figures, Human Rights, Latin America and The Caribbean, PASSINGS | HOME-GOING, The Latin Connection, Work of Comrades

Jesse Jackson Speech to 1988 DNC Convention

My right and my privilege to stand here before you has been won, won in my lifetime, by the blood and the sweat of the innocent.

Twenty-four years ago, the late Fannie Lou Hamer and Aaron Henry — who sits here tonight from Mississippi — were locked out onto the streets in Atlantic City; the head of the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party.

But tonight, a Black and White delegation from Mississippi is headed by Ed Cole, a Black man from Mississippi; twenty-four years later.

Many were lost in the struggle for the right to vote: Jimmy Lee Jackson, a young student, gave his life; Viola Liuzzo, a White mother from Detroit, called “nigger lover,” and brains blown out at point blank range; [Michael] Schwerner, [Andrew] Goodman and [James] Chaney — two Jews and a Black — found in a common grave, bodies riddled with bullets in Mississippi; the four darling little girls in a church in Birmingham, Alabama. They died that we might have a right to live.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. lies only a few miles from us tonight. Tonight he must feel good as he looks down upon us. We sit here together, a rainbow, a coalition — the sons and daughters of slavemasters and the sons and daughters of slaves, sitting together around a common table, to decide the direction of our party and our country. His heart would be full tonight…

C-Span Video – http://www.c-spanvideo.org/program/3504-1

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/jesse/speeches/index.html

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Filed under American History, American Politics, American Progressive Politics, Black Culture | United States, Black Politics, Civil Rights, Famous South Carolinians, Historic Black Politics & Figures, Political Ideology, Protest, Work of Comrades

Dr. Benjamin Hooks | “Are there no more cats to bell?”

Benjamin Lawson Hooks (January 31, 1925 – April 15, 2010)

Dr. Hooks erved as executive director of the NAACP from 1977 to 1992.  In this speech –  “Civil Rights and Social Justice: Past, Present and the Future” delivered at The Hooks Institute at The University of Memphis – Dr. Hooks’  asks: “Are there no more cats to bell?”

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Filed under American History, American Politics, American Progressive Politics, Black Culture | United States, Black Politics, Civil Rights, Friends & Comrades, Historic Black Politics & Figures, Historic Photos - People, Human Rights, Pan Africanism | Afrocentrism | Africana Studies

Stokely Carmichael speaks at the University of California’s Greek Theater, Berkeley, California, October 29, 1966

Stokely Carmichael, initially an acolyte of the Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. and his philosophy of nonviolent protest, became a leader in the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), but was radicalized when he saw peaceful protestors brutalized in the South.

In the mid 1960s, Carmichael challenged the civil rights leadership by rejecting integration and calling on blacks to oust whites from the freedom movement. Following his arrest during a 1966 protest march in Mississippi, Carmichael angrily demanded a change in the rhetoric and strategy of the civil rights movement. “We’ve been saying ‘Freedom’ for six years,” Carmichael said. “What we are going to start saying now is ‘Black Power.”

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Filed under American History, American Politics, American Progressive Politics, Black Culture | United States, Black Politics, Civil Rights, Grassroots Historical Figures, Historic Black Politics & Figures, Historic Photos - People, Human Rights, Pan Africanism | Afrocentrism | Africana Studies, Political Ideology, Protest, racism, Uncategorized, white supremacy

Asa G. Hilliard III | The State of African Education

American Educational Research Association Plenary Presentation 
Commission on Research in Black Education 
April, 2000 
New Orleans, LA

It took Lerone Bennett several decades to write his newest book, Forced Into Glory: Abraham Lincoln’s White Dream, meticulously documenting Abraham Lincoln’s white supremacy beliefs. Bennett shows that Lincoln’s “Emancipation Proclamation” was a conscious and necessary deception that did not free a single enslaved African.  Bennett then shows the carelessness of historians, and even the cover-up of the record by some, in order to let the myth survive. How ironic that many tears have been shed by those who choose the Lincoln Memorial as a symbolic site to celebrate African liberation,  while oblivious to those who truly sought to free Africans, not the least of whom were Africans themselves. Instead we honor an opponent of equality who openly espoused white supremacy views until his death. Then we accept a myth that is the opposite of the truth.

In many ways, the persistence of the myth of Abraham Lincoln as a liberator of Africans is a symbol of the contemporary response to the state of education of African Americans and of African people worldwide. So much of what we believe about our state is false. How do we account for this myth of the “Emancipator” and of “emancipation.” It is in the curriculum and in the culture at large, a belief in the face of all evidence to the contrary. And so, until this very time, we have a whole nation in deep denial. Continue reading

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Filed under Black Culture | United States, Black Politics, Education Policy, Historic Black Politics & Figures, Pan Africanism | Afrocentrism | Africana Studies, white supremacy

Huey P. Newton

February 17, 1942 – August 22, 1989    Huey Newton

Huey Percy Newton  founded the Afro-American Society and was a co-founder of the Black Panther Party, serving as its minister of defense during much of the 1960s. Later he turned to community service for the poor.

Newton was born February 17, 1942, in Monroe, Louisiana. The youngest of seven children, Huey was named for former Louisiana governor Huey Pierce Long.

The Newton family moved to Oakland, California, in 1945 to take advantage of the job opportunities created by World War II wartime industries. In Oakland the family moved often, and in one house Huey was compelled to sleep in the kitchen. Even though the Newton’s were poor and victims of discrimination and segregation, Huey contends that he never felt deprived as a child and that he never went hungry.

Newton, founded the Black Panther Party for Self Defense in 1966 with Bobby Seale. The organization advocated that Black Americans “bear arms in self-defense” against community repression by police. Among the tactics he employed was the institution of ”justice patrols” by armed Black men whose purpose was to monitor police actions and inform community residents of their rights when confronted by law enforcement.

In 1967 Newton was arrested and charged in the shooting of one policeman and the killing of another. His trial and subsequent conviction focused attention on the issue of police brutality.

Newton was considered a political prisoner. A national movement using the catch phrase ”Free Huey!” rallied people across the nation to the cause of civil rights.

After he served 22 months, his conviction was overturned due to a prosecution error in the trial.

In 1970, he was called to appear before the California State Senate Un-American Activities committee to answer charges that the Black Panther Party was a communist-run organization.

In 1974, Newton spent time as a fugitive in Cuba after being accused in the murder of a 14-year-old prostitute and of pistol-whipping his tailor. He returned to Oakland and faced two trials on the charges, both of which ended in hung juries.

ARREST IN MURDER OF NEWTON

INTERVIEW (1968) –

Huey P. Newton

“Revolutionary Nationalism- A good example of revolutionary nationalism was the revolution in Algeria when Ben Bella took over. The French were kicked out but it was a people’s revolution because the people ended up power. The leaders that took over were not interested in the profit motive where they could exploit the people and keep them in a state of slavery. They nationalized the industry and plowed the would be profits into the community. That’s what socialism is all about in a nut The people’s representatives are in office strictly on the leave of the people. The wealth of the country is controlled by people and they are considered when ever modifications in the industries are made.

The Black Panther Party is a revolutionary Nationalist group and we see a major contradiction between capitalism in this country and our interests. We realize that this country became very rich upon slavery and that slavery is capitalism in the extreme. We have two evils to fight, capitalism and racism. We must destroy both racism and capitalism.”

(Bio continues at ~ http://www.africawithin.com/bios/huey_newton.htm )

Alameda Courthouse

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Filed under American History, American Politics, Black Culture | United States, Black Politics, Civil Liberties, Civil Rights, Criminal Justice, Feminist Leaders, Historic Black Politics & Figures, Pan Africanism | Afrocentrism | Africana Studies, Police Abuse|Brutality|Killings, Political Ideology, Protest, white supremacy