In my personal library I have a collection of books that cover a substantial number of Blacks who down through history have impacted the growth of Blacks in America. This week while I was trying to determine what the context of my column would be I began to reread some of the books.
The vilification of Blacks by other Blacks was not shocking because I was aware of it, but never the less it is still disturbing; it has occurred nationally and locally, yesterday and today. Are you aware of it, have you been a contributor? Following are some examples of Black men who were giants that were castigated.
l. Paul Robeson: Some referred to him as a communist and anti American.
2. Booker T. Washington was called “White folks lover and high class Uncle Tom.”
3. W.E.B. Dubois: “He was born with a silver spoon in his mouth and never knew poverty.”
4. Frederick Douglass: “Gifted orator, too eloquent and came over as too learned.”
5. Congressman Rev. Adam Clayton Powell was called “too progressive, too arrogant.”
6. Rev. Jesse Jackson: “too mercenary, only cared about money.”
7. Rev. Dr. Luther King Jr. was called a “trouble maker, agitator and will ruin Black owned businesses with integration.”
8. General Colin Powell was a Republican and not Black enough.
9. Honorable Thurgood Marshall: Alleged super smart Blacks stated that they resented Atty. Marshall fighting for affirmative action; they published a book titled how they made it on their own.
10. Locally the United Black Chairmen were responsible for providing a record number of jobs, which resulted into pensions and health benefits more than any group in history but it was said, “all the chairmen were uneducated persons, not one had a college degree.”
11. Nelson Mandela would not nationalize all industry in South Africa and he was branded by some as a sellout.
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(Louis “Hop” Kendrick is a weekly contributor to the Forum Page.)