Every Black American artist stands on the shoulders of Fannie Lou Hamer.
All of us, actors, writers, singers, filmmakers, poets, rappers, painters, and musicians.
We stand even now, in 2019, we stand on the very shoulders of the Fannie Lou Hamer’s of yesteryear.
The marches, the long hot marches, the beatings, the horrible ugly beatings, all the innocent precious blood shed on our behalf.
Poor Black Americans of the south carried the heavy load and they gave their all so that the younger generations to follow would be free. Today, we are billionaires, millionaires, and famous beyond all measure.
The question we must ask ourselves was first asked by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
“WHAT ARE YOU DOING FOR OTHERS?”
I am speaking directly to Black Artist today… what’s up?
What have you done for your community?
What do you contribute to Black History Month?
Can we stop and think about others less fortunate than us and then do something with all the resources
we have to make life better for somebody?
The success mode of travel we enjoy, the luxury lodging we so love, the fancy restaurants we like to eat ,the very top schools we love enrolling our children in, the right to vote like EVERYBODY else was paid for by the Fannie Lou Hamer’s of this world.
Who is Fannie Lou Hamer you ask?
She is a very important Black woman whose grandparents were slaves who picked cotton.
Her parents were sharecroppers on the same cotton plantation.
Fannie Lou Hamer was introduced to the cotton plantation when she was just six-years old and for
the next 18-years of her life she worked like a slave on that same plantation her grandparents had toiled from sun up
to sun down.
One day when the white plantation owner found out that Fannie Lou Hamer tried to register and vote he fired her
from her job after 18-years of service. Years later one of Fannie Lou Hamer’s daughter’s died as a result of being denied hospital care because of her civil rights activism.
In the early 1960’s Fannie Lou Hamer became a member of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC)
she also was an active member of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) two of the most progressive
organizations fighting for civil rights.
Let me echo loudly and clearly, we all stand on the shoulders of Fannie Lou Hamer.
All of us.
We would be nothing without the blood shed, tears swallowed yet faith never lost or given up.
During Black History Month we need to step-up roll up our sleeve and do for our communities what needs to be done.
Sometimes giving back means writing a check to a local community center, or a local senior citizen or homeless shelter.
Recently I learned that upon Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s death, Berry Gordy, the CEO and Founder of MOTOWN
sent his number one man down to Atlanta with the express orders from Berry Gordy; whatever they need in Atlanta give it to them. I’m told Berry Gordy rented every transport car from Augusta to Atlanta to transport artist and celebrities.
Berry Gordy also rented, paid for out of his own pockets hotel rooms for all the artist from MOTOWN and chartered a plane and flew all the groups down to Atlanta so they could pay their respect to Dr. King.
See friends, Berry Gordy knew like I now know, each and everyone of us, we all stand on the shoulders of a lot of
poor, too often uneducated Black People. Schools were not an option in so many places across the south.
So here we are, rich, famous, educated.
Are we really educated?
Do we really know the history of our race in America?
What is the take away you ask?
YOU-ME-WE stand on the shoulders of some really great human beings the like we seldom see or feel today.
Let’s be better than we were and give back with a spirit of humility and thanks for what was done for us.
Fannie Lou Hamer worked day after day, year after year raising public awareness about the unfair policies that kept Black Americans away from the ballot (Vote) her efforts helped pass the 1965 Voting Rights Act, which ban literacy tests and other barriers that were set up to keep Black Americans from exercising their right to Vote.
She is one of the most important woman of the 20th century.
Our children should be taught about her, for she is an American Hero.
Black History Month