We as a people had to endure the worst form of slavery in the history of the world and lost more Africans in transit than the Jews did in the Holocaust. However, Jewish people to their credit have made “NEVER AGAIN” an everyday reminder of the atrocities they suffered. But when slavery in America is mentioned, the descendants of the slave masters dismiss it by saying, “that was long time ago.” The double tragedy is that a number of colored folks agree with them by responding in the same manner.
Too many Blacks have forgot their own history and have completely failed to enlighten their families about the horrific conditions that were forced upon us. They would have us forget about the atrocities such as lynching, raping, selling family members off, injecting Black men with syphilis and the killings of young men such as Emmett Till.
I will never forget about an incident that occurred in Alabama, where in a third grade classroom, which consisted of 23 Black youths, only two, had an idea of who Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was. One said, “I think he was a preacher” and the other said, “I think he used to march.” That is not their fault, because once again we failed to teach them.
One of the greatest positives that came out of segregation was the creation of Black-owned businesses. They ran the gamut from shoeshine parlors to banks. Integration was the most contributing factor to the demise of Black-owned businesses. But it is my belief that the most detrimental action that afflicted us as a people is assimilation.
There was a period in the history of this nation that hundreds of thousands of all genders, races, ages, economic status and religions took to the streets and the results were untold numbers of opportunities were presented to Blacks. Now Blacks occupy positions throughout the political and corporate spectrum that we dared not dream of. However, too many of them no longer use the phrase “WE.” They have separated themselves and now refer to us as “THOSE PEOPLE.”
Yes, they are moving on up. Remember the sitcom “The Jeffersons”? The now successful Blacks sit in meetings with their newfound White associates and vilify other Blacks no longer based on color of skin (light complexion against dark complexion), but on the academic accomplishments against those who have limited formal education and if you have a police record you really get vilified.
They have lost touch. They have forgotten that some extremely important people have been arrested, namely John the Baptist, Jesus Christ, Gandhi, and thousands of unnamed persons during the days of civil disobedience movements.
There are some who describe themselves as ministers and suffer from that mentally crippling disease, an exaggerated sense of importance.
It was brought to my attention that some folks were disturbed about a column I had written. My dual response is “if the shoe fits wear it” and the other is if you are so inclined then let’s debate our different viewpoints in a public facility.
Please remember Kingsley Association as Malik Bankston takes youths on the Black College Tour and it’s their 27th year.
Congratulations and thanks are due him.
(Louis “Hop” Kendrick is a weekly contributor to the Forum Page.)