Today is the one year anniversary of the killing of Ahmaud Arbery. The 25-year old Black man was simply jogging down the street minding his own business when he was followed, accosted and killed by three white men. After shooting Ahmaud Arbery to death the three white men stood over his lifeless body and hurled racial slurs.
Some in White America ask why does Black America need
BLACK LIVES MATTER ?
Can you say, George Floyd? Can you say, Breonna Taylor? The list goes on and on of the injustice of unarmed Black women and men killed by White supremacist; and often times nothing happens to the killers. Can you say George Zimmerman?
When Dr. Martin Luther King was alive often times he was speaking directly to White America. For example:
“History will have to record that the greatest tragedy of this period of social change was not the strident clamor of the bad people, but the appalling silence of the good people.”
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“Desire to know, and curiosity, which is a lust of the mind that a perseverance of delight in the continued.”–Thomas Hobbs
By Charles Micheaux
My wife is a lovely woman, often I wonder how was I able to meet and capture this remarkable life partner. After so many years of marriage I often catch myself day dreaming on how my life would be without her. This morning as she slept beside me I reveled in the reality she belongs to me and I belong to her. I think about the first time I saw her, it was at a costume party at the Ritz-Carlton in Chicago. I was dressed as Sherlock Holmes and she was dressed as a Witch, I think she was supposed to be the bad Witch from the Wizard of Oz. It was a beautiful night in June, early June because I remember my birthday had just passed. I am not from Chicago, I was there on business and a client of mine invited me to the costume ball. When I arrived I really had no plans to stay very long, I didn’t know anybody and I was already thinking about my trip to Switzerland. My client Jonathan Blank introduced me to a few people that I did not find interesting. I looked at my watch and planned to leave the party by 11:30. This woman walked by me and the perfume she wore really awakened something in me. I watched her as she walked to the bar by herself. I sipped my wine never taking my eyes off of her. She could see me from the mirror in front of her. I looked at my watch quickly and then she turned around slowly and then she smiled at me. I turned to look in back of me to see if she was really smiling at me. She raised her glass as if to give a toast.
I set my wine aside and walked slowly over to the bar. She turned back around facing the mirror, so her back was to me, but she was watching me from the mirror in front of her. As I got closer her perfume seduced me again. My tummy felt warm and sensual. When I reached the bar she turned to face me and the affair began.
“So, you are, let me guess…ah, you are, Sherlock Holmes the great detective…am I right?
We both laughed.
“Was it the hat, that gave me away?” I joked
“No it was the pipe.”
“Really…hmmmm…can I ask you a question?”
She smiled, “Sure, what you got?”
“Can I get you another drink?”
“Sure. I’m having rum and coke.”
“Excuse me bartender, yes, I’d like to order one rum and coke and two shots of Jack Daniels whiskey on ice. So, tell me, If you were stranded on an island and you had a choice of three books to chose, but you could only have one to help you survive on this island which book would you chose and why?
Here are the three books:
1.) The book of understanding
2.) The book of truth
3.) The book of knowledge
You can have one book to help you, which one are you going to take?”
She picked up her drink and took a slow sip.
“Hmmmmmm… let’s see, the book of truth…I don’t know, if you need anything in this world, you must have understanding. I’m taking the book of understanding.”
I set my drink down softly on the bar. And then asked her.
“So understanding is more important than truth?”
“No, I did not say that. I said, if I had to take a book it would be understanding. Do you have any children?”
“What does that have to do with the three books?” I questioned her again.
“I guess you don’t have any children…I am always pressing upon my boys the importance of understanding. As a parent it is our job to provide understanding so that our children don’t go down the wrong path.”
“I see your point. No, I don’t have any children. How old are your boys?
“They are both 12-years old; I have twins and there is never a dull moment in my household. So, now you tell me, which book would you chose?”
“I will have to go with the book of truth.”
“Really, why the book of truth?”
I breathed in her perfume and exhaled. “Well I believe in the Bible and to me the Bible is the book of truth.”
“How interesting…so that makes you Christian…right?”
“Yes. The perfume you’re wearing, what’s it called; I really the fragrance, it’s beautiful.”
“Why thank you, it’s called Diamonds by Elizabeth Taylor.”
There was a long pause for we both didn’t know what to say. I cleared my throat.
“Would you like to dance?”
She looked at me with a befuddled look on her face.
“By the way, my Name is Kelly…and you are?”
“I think it’s your perfume that has hold of me…I’m Peter, Peter Micheaux. Would you care to dance?”
“Let’s talk more…so Peter Micheaux are you married?”
I don’t know why, but I laughed at the question. “No. Are you married?”
She laughed and picked up her drink.
“I am recently divorced. And I have two wonderful sons and I am living my best life. I didn’t want to dance because I didn’t like that record and if you were married slow dancing with you would be a big NO-NO.”
“Another question for you: Why is the word abbreviation such a long word?”
“Would you be shocked if I told you I really am a Witch?”
“That depends…good witch or bad witch, which witch are you?”
“It depends on what mood I’m in…to your question:
“Why is the word abbreviation such a long word? “
I would say, to remind us how nice short cuts are. And tonight I’m a good witch, let’s dance.”
“Each and everyone of you have power, the will, the capacity to make a difference in the world.” –Harry Belafonte
Black History Month 2021
Harry Belafonte one of the most successful Jamaican-American pop star’s in history. Harry Belafonte is best known for the Hollywood film -Carmen Jones in which he and Dorothy Dandridge star. Harry Belafonte was also a very important figure during the Civil Rights Movement. He worked closely and tirelessly alongside Martin Luther King Jr. and often raised enormous sums of money for the Movement. Harry Belafonte was deeply loved by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and today he is cherished world wide for his altruism.
Over the past ten years I think I have written perhaps twenty essays on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., but this essay is the one I am most proud. In this essay we will explore the boyhood of young Martin Luther King Jr. and as we explore it gives us better insight into this man, this icon for the ages. Martin Luther King Jr. was born on January 15th, in 1929, in Atlanta, Georgia. Martin’s mother was a school teacher and his father was one of the most famous preachers in Atlanta. At six years old Martin’s two bet friends were two white boys, Tom and Billy–brothers. One day six-year old Martin went next door and knocked on the door to play with his two friends. Tom and Billy’s mother came to the door and upon seeing young Martin she frowned and then informed Martin her sons could no longer play with him. Martin asked the woman, “Why?” she told Martin because he was black and they were white and then she slammed the door in his face. Young Martin went back home and told his mother what happened to him. Martin’s mother being a school teacher did her best to explain this thing called “Jim Crow”but not by that name of course, but she tried to tell him how some white people treat black people. Martin never interrupted his mother as she explained it’s wrong to for white people to treat black people this way. Six-year old Martin proclaimed:
“But mother, I’m not black, I’m BROWN!”
I hasten to add Martin Luther King Jr. came into the world Michael King Jr. so at this time in his life he was called Michael. Martin’s father would change both their names some years later.
At the Atlanta film premiere of GONE WITH THE WIND on December 28th, 1939 ten-year old Martin Luther King Jr. appeared on stage at a charity ball dressed as a slave boy for the promotion of the movie.
On May 18th, 1941, twelve-year old Martin tried to hurt himself when he was told his beloved grandmother had just died from a heart attack. Martin had snuck away to go to a parade his parents told him not to go to, he went anyway and upon his return, his parents told him of his beloved grandmother’s passing. Martin Luther King Jr. went up to his room and jumped out a second story window intent on taking his own life.
In 1942 thirteen-year old Martin became the youngest assistant manager of a newspaper delivery station for the Atlanta Journal Constitution.
At age fifteen young Martin was selected to a high school state-wide speaking contest that was held in Valdosta, Georgia, some 100 miles from Atlanta. Martin and his English teacher boarded the bus on the way back to Atlanta and at some point during the trip the bus stopped to take on more passengers, as the bus began to fill up with white passengers Martin and his English teacher were told to give up their seats. Martin refused. Martin’s English teacher pleaded with Martin to give up his seat, for she knew they would kill him if he did not comply. So out of respect for his English teacher he gave up his seat and he and his English teacher had to stand up for that long 100 mile trip back to Atlanta.
In 1946 at the tender age of seventeen Martin Luther King Jr. gives his first sermon in his father’s church, the year was 1946.
“God isn’t some distant figure, high on a thrown in the sky, God is here. God is now. God is in each and everyone of you, you have value, you matter.”
–Martin Luther King Jr.
Martin Luther King Jr. had four heroes as a boy and they were, Jesse Owens the Olympic race champion, Paul Robeson the great actor, orator, Booker T. Washington the great educator and founder of Tuskegee University and the great agricultural giant George Washington Carver.
“Women, if the soul of the nation is to be saved, I believe that you must become its soul.”–Coretta Scott King
I have a picture on my desk of Viola Liuzzo and it’s there to always remind me that ONE person can make a difference. The social activist Marianne Smith is a woman who makes a difference! I had the good fortune to be introduced to her by my good friend Tammie Creed. Tammie spoke with such excitement about Marianne Smith that I wanted to know more about her, so I asked if she would do an interview. I follow Marianne Smith on Twitter.
Q.) What is your ambition for 2021?
A.) About six months ago, a group of us started working to bring the Poor People’s Campaign to Oklahoma. We’ve been trained by the National team and are working to expand our community throughout the state. I would love to see our organism, we’re not an organization, grow and be able to help more poor, homeless people. That’s my major goal for the year.
Q.) Where were you born?
A.) I was born in San Francisco, but raised in Gilroy, California which is about 1.5 hours south of San Francisco.
Q.) What college did you attend?
A.) I went to Gavilan Community College and San Jose State but never completed my degree because I got married and had children.
Q.) When did you become a social activist?
A.) I was raised in a socially active family so I don’t remember NOT being aware. I’m in my 60’s so when my parents marched with Martin Luther King Jr. and Cesar Chavez to organize the UFW, it was just normal happenings around the house.
Q.) When you hear the name Fannie Lou Hamer what comes to mind?
A.) Watching my parents watch the 1968 Democratic Convention on a black and white TV and celebrating everything about it. That’s what I remember.
Q.) How long have you been active in progressive Democratic politics?
A.) Again, I was raised in them. While I stepped away from being extremely active because I was raising children, I have always been involved in one way or another.
Q.) Who were your heroes as a young girl?
A.) My parents. My grandmother, although she died when I was in the 5th grade. She was the first female head of the County Social Service Office, and back then, that was huge for a woman. My Aunt Carmen who was an attorney, when I was young and a judge by the time she retired.
Q.) What is the best investment you have ever made?
A.) My children and grandchildren.
Q.) What is your ethos?
A.) My ethos: Treat others as you want to be treated. Equally!
Q.) Who’s is your favorite author?
A.) Just ONE??? That’s a tough one… I guess Kalhil Gibran because I refer to his writings whenever I need uplifting and or direction.
Q.) If you could have a gigantic billboard anywhere in your hometown with anything on it, what would it say?
A.) Don’t forget to smile at least once-a-day because life is too short not to.
“Don’t give up the race, we will cross the finish line one day.”
I am thrilled to have interviewed one of the most intelligent men on Twitter. Master Chief is known by his followers as the SAGE, the Philosopher, the Master Sailor to those of us who served in the US Navy. When I want advice on a situation I take it to the Master Chief and he never fails to give me sound advice. On September 11, 2020 I was perplexed over the lack of Twitter followers Reverend Warnock had; he had 25,000 followers on Twitter and his opponent-Kelly Loeffler had 45,000 followers on Twitter. I knew we had to change these numbers fast and in a hurry, I went to the Master Chief and I asked for his help. Master Chief made a call to action to his followers and BAM! After he made the action call I saw with my own eyes people checking in saying, “Roger That–Master Chief, in a period of less than 24 hours over 200 people began following Reverend Warnock on Twitter and the rally never did come to an end. Well, you know the rest of the story…Reverend Warnock won! For two weeks I thanked the Master Chief, I think I was becoming obnoxious, but he was graceful as ever.
Master Chief welcome and thank you -Sir for sitting down with me and doing this interview today.
Q.) When you joined the Navy where did you go for your basic training?
A.) Great Lakes.
Q.) What was your best experience as a young Sailor?
A.) Being stationed at NAS -Key West, I felt like I was back on the islands, dove for conchs with locals, had conch fritter, and salads, it was like heaven. Making E-4 in my first attempt.
Q.) During your career in the Navy who were your role models?
A.) My role models were actually the Old Black Salts (Sailors) that had been promoted and demoted more times than Carter had liver pills.
Q.) Out of all the places you have traveled around the world, which place was the most exciting?
A.) This is a hard question…I have been to 42 different countries and each had a unique attraction for me. Dominican Republic, the people know what happiness is all about, truly, a loving and sharing people. Switzerland because of it’s magical mountains. Switzerland gave me the opportunity to visit a glacier. Malaysia the land of beautiful jungles and beaches.
Q.) As a world traveler, do you have a favorite food?
A.) Oxtail and Rice & Peas.
Q.) What is the thrust of your Twitter platform?
A.) Getting people engaged in constructive dialogue, White people and People of Color being honest with their feelings, and taking time to know each other. And historically, how each group contributed to building America.
Q.) What is the ethos you live by?
A.) Honor. Courage and Commitment.
Q.) If you were writing a book about your life, what would the title be?
A.) The Stratification and Hierachy of Humans
Q.) If you could have a gigantic billboard anywhere in your hometown with anything on it, what would it say?
A.) Don’t give up on the race, we will cross the finish line one day.