Fannie Lou Hamer : Profile

“There is one thing you have got to learn about the movement.
Three people are better than no people.” –Fannie Lou Hamer

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.

Charles Micheaux
Black History Month
Atlanta*

Advertisements

Rashid Nuri Atlanta’s Sage of Urban Agriculture

“As a radio producer and journalist in Atlanta, Georgia I realized sometime ago that if there was anyone in Atlanta,
in the United States, or virtually anywhere in the world who understood the breadth of the history regarding food and
about organic production altogether, it was Rashid Nuri.
He taught us all.
With his mission of service to others, along with his skills, knowledge, and commitment, he has contributed immensely
toward the building of a compassionate and healthy community in Atlanta and beyond.”
–Heather Gray, Producer-
(WRFG-RADIO 89.3 FM)

–K.Rashid Nuri

Recently I caught up with Rashid Nuri and I had the pleasure to speak with him regarding his departure as the CEO
of Truly Living Well Center for natural urban agriculture in Atlanta.

Question:
Dr. Nuri, what is your ambition for 2018?

Answer:
Well, I will step away as CEO of Truly Living Well this year…
I will take on a new role in the organization. I’m one of the senior most people in the area of urban food.
Going forward, I’ll provide advice and support to Truly Living Well and other organizations.
On August 31st I will be 70-years old and that happens to be on a Friday!
That will be my last day as CEO; I will turn it over to some younger people with a different kind of energy.

Question:
Dr. Nuri, I know that you can live anywhere in the world, why did you chose to live in Atlanta?

Answer:
Well, Atlanta really choose me.
When I was living in Ghana there were these three ladies who came to the club where I used to hang out and we got to talking.They told me what they wanted to do and I told them what I was all about. I came to Atlanta in 2006 and I started Truly Living Well.

Question:
Dr. Nuri, has the black church in Atlanta embraced Truly Living Well?

Answer:
No.

Question:
Why do you think that is?

Answer:
Churches could do more outreach, churches could do more to be self sufficient, churches in my experience have not
embraced the local food movement as their own. They will have health fairs and such.
Most churches have a lot of land around them; I would like to see them get more involved and make the effort to help
people become self sufficient. I would like to see churches get more involved in community development in general.

Question:
When did you first become aware of George Washington Carver?

Answer:
My first connection to George Washington Carver was in elementary school.
There were a series of biographies and as a child I read a lot of biographies. In many of those biographies there is a lot of fantasy. Over the years through my continued interest in George Washington Carver I have developed a better understanding of what he’s done and the role he has had in this whole process and the contributions he made.

Question:
If you could have a gigantic billboard anywhere in Atlanta with anything on it, what would it say?

Answer:
Respect all creation.

Question:
What is the best investment you’ve ever made?

Answer:
The best investment I’ve made is my children and giving them a good education.

Question:
If you could sit down with Mayor Bottoms and share an idea, what would that idea be?

Answer:
The importance of urban agriculture, the local food economy, the development of the city, the important role that
urban agriculture is playing in solving just about any problem that you can come up with in the city.
Urban agriculture helps increase property values, reduces crime, it is an educative process for the community.
Urban agriculture helps people feed themselves, it creates jobs.


Truly Living Well Center for natural urban agriculture is Atlanta’s urban food center
It’s located at:

Truly Living Well Center
3353 Washington Road
East Point, Georgia 30344
(678) 973-0997
info@trulylivingwell.com

” The mission of Truly Living Well, is grow food, grow people, and grow community.”
–K. Rashid Nuri, Ph.D.
(Plant and Soil Science)

****************************************************************
Rashid Nuri joins Heather Gray the last Monday of each month to discuss Urban Agriculture in Atlanta
on her radio program ‘JUST PEACE’ the program airs from 6:00-7:00 PM.
JUST PEACE is a weekly program hosted and produced by Heather Gray.
WRFG RADIO 89.3 FM. Atlanta, Georgia.

Charles Micheaux
Atlanta*

Dr. Mae Jemison the definitive profile by Charles Micheaux

“Never limit yourself because of others’ limited imagination.”
–Dr. Mae Jemison

In 1987 biomedical engineer Mae Jemison applied for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s
(NASA) astronaut program. NASA received over 2,000 applications; 100 people were interviewed; 15 people
were selected for the astronaut program and Dr. Mae Jemison was one of them.
Dr. Mae Jemison was born on October 17th, 1956; she was raised in Chicago, Il, a graduate of
Morgan Park High School, from there she went on to Stanford University where she received her
Bachelor of Arts in African and African-American Studies, from Stanford she went on to Cornell University
where she received her doctorate degree in medicine.
June 1987 she was selected as the science Mission Specialist on STS-47 Spacelab.

“The first thing I saw from space was Chicago, my home town.
I was working on the middeck where there aren’t many windows, and as we passed over Chicago,
the flight commander called me up to the flight deck.
It was such a significant moment because since I was a little girl I had
always assumed I would go into space.” –Dr. Mae Jemison

 

Dr. Jemison has said on many occasions that she was inspired by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

“Dr. King’s dream was not a elusive fantasy but a call to action.
When I think of Martin Luther King Jr., I think of attitude, audacity and bravery.”
–Dr. Mae Jemison

Dr. Mae Jemison resigned from NASA in 1993 it is worth noting that Dr. Mae Jemison is the first
Black American woman astronaut to go on a space mission.
Dr. Jemison has also appeared on television as an actress, including the popular Star Trek: The Next Generation.

“Growing up…I was just like every other kid, I loved space, stars, and dinosaurs.
I always knew I wanted to explore. At the time of the Apollo airing everybody was thrilled about space,
but I remember being irritated that there were no women astronauts.”
–Dr. Mae Jemison

Charles Micheaux

Atlanta*

 

Hattie McDaniel the definitive profile by Charles Micheaux

“I sincerely hope that I shall always be a credit to my race, and to the motion picture industry.”
–Hattie McDaniel

The great Hattie McDaniel appeared in over 300 films in her long and amazing career in motion pictures.
Hattie McDaniel was born on June 10th, 1895; she first joined the Screens Actors Guild in 1934.
The film that immortalized her was ‘Gone With the Wind’; at first Hattie McDaniel did not think she had a shot at the role. The president’s wife, First Lady–Mrs Roosevelt actually wrote a letter to the film’s producer–David O Selznick
to ask if her own maid could be given the maid role in the movie.
Clark Gable , a friend of Hattie McDaniel stepped up and demanded that Hattie McDaniel be given the part as Mammy.
Though Clark Gable wanted her in the role she still had to audition and do a screen test for the role of Mammy.
Her audition left no doubt in anyone’s mind who should be cast in this most important role.
Once the film was complete the studio selected the film’s premiere to be held in Atlanta, Georgia.
Friday, December 15, 1939 all the stars of the film were there except Hattie McDaniel.
Prior to the film’s premiere David O Selznick fought hard to change the attitude of the White power structure in Atlanta. This fight went on for over a year; Selznick being Jewish knew full well the horrible sting of racism and it’s
ugly bitter foulness. Clark Gable upon hearing this became incensed and threatened to boycott the Atlanta Premiere
unless Hattie McDaniel would be allowed to attend. Hattie McDaniel went to Clark Gable and convinced him to attend the premiere without her.

The irony of the White Atlanta community is that black organizations performed at various events celebrating
the movie’s Atlanta premiere. A young ten year old black boy named Martin Luther King Jr. actually appeared on the stage at a charity ball dressed as a slave boy.

Hattie McDaniel was able to attend the Hollywood premiere of ‘Gone With the Wind ‘ on December 28th 1939.
In 1940 history was made yet again in the world of American Cinema; Hattie McDaniel won an Academy Award
for her role as “Mammy” she won for the Best Supporting Actress; no black actor had ever won an Oscar nor had any black actor even been nominated for such a high honor in American films.

I, Charles Micheaux have always been inspired by Artist like Hattie McDaniel because she taught us there is a way to reach your dreams, if there is the will to pursue them.
Hattie McDaniel has two stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and she was also honored with a Black Heritage Stamp
by the US Postal Service on January 29th 2006, the photo of her on the stamp is a picture of her as she received her
Academy Award.

Charles Micheaux
Atlanta*

ROSA PARKS –BLACK HISTORY MONTH SERIES PROFILE

“I would like to be known as a person who is concerned about freedom and equality and justice
for all people.” –Rosa Parks

Today, february 4th, 2018, we celebrate the 105th birth day of Rosa Parks, known the world over as the
“Mother of Civil Rights” in America. Only an arbitrary line divides the substantive meaning of the
Rosa Parks legacy. The story of Rosa Parks begins with the beginning of the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther king Jr.
On December 1, 1955 Rosa Parks took a defiant stance and decided for herself she would fight this ugly thing called
JIM CROW.
This act of supreme courage by Rosa Parks sparked protest from black and white people alike all across America.

In 1946 Irene Morgan refused to give up her seat for a white passenger in Montgomery, Alabama and she was arrested
but no protest followed; two months before Rosa Parks was arrested for refusing to give up her bus seat to a white
passenger a woman named Mary Louise Smith and Claudette Colvin, all black women, each was arrested for refusing to give up their seat to white passengers but yet there was no protest from the people.
The question is WHY?
Why was there no protest to support Mary Louise Smith, Claudette Colvin and Irene Morgan?
The answer is simple:
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. had not yet arrived in Montgomery,Alabama.
Dr. King was a God sent man, he was sent expressly for the purpose of leading the people in a city
grossly unfair to it’s black citizens. Once Dr. Martin Luther king Jr. settled in as the new pastor of Dexter Street Baptist Church all the right pieces were in place for God to do His work through Martin Luther King Jr.


Now with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. there was a new fresh wind blowing through Montgomery, Alabama and everybody
felt the electric charge in the air. The spark was lit by Rosa Parks and supporting her was soon to be the nation’s
greatest orator and clergyman. Dr. King was immediately selected to lead the protest against the city of Montgomery.
The fight went on for 381 days and some black people who refused to ride the buses would rather walk 20 miles each and everyday rather than give up the protest. The white bus company was at the brink of going out of business because of the powerful bus protest lead by Rosa Parks and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr ; the white bus company at the end of 381 days had lost $300,000 dollars in DIMES!

At the end of the protest sparked by Rosa Parks there was a new spirit not just in Montgomery, Alabama, but in America.
Once the white bus company agreed to all the terms set forth Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. spoke to the black citizens
of Montgomery and he told them they should resume bus transportation.
Yes, there was a new spirit born in Montgomery; because a small black boy was standing with his father and was seen warming his hands at the foot of a burning cross set by the KKK.
The black boy and his father used the fire set by the KKK to warm their hands and in their hearts there was no fear.

“Memories of our lives, of our works and deeds will continue in others.”
–Rosa Parks

Charles Micheaux
Atlanta*

VIOLA LIUZZO – PROFILE – UPDATE 2019

“We’re going to change the world.
One day they’ll write about us.
You’ll see.”
–Viola Liuzzo

Today we celebrate the first day of Black History Month 2019.
When I think of Black History my mind races back to the civil rights movement of the 1960’s and, as I grow
older I realize the greatest “Grand Prize” of the movement were the women, black and white who inspired the men
to fight harder and to keep the faith. These women, undeterred without ego to be in the front, the women,
Rosa Parks, Coretta Scott King, Juanita Abernathy, Evelyn Lowery, Marian Wright Edelman, Rachelle Hortowitz,
Joan Baez and last but not least Viola Liuzzo.
Today every black child smiles brighter and stands taller under a glorious and endless blue sky thanks to the great sacrifice of Viola Liuzzo.
Vilola Liuzzo was a white woman, a civil rights activist, housewife, and mother of five children.
A very large part of Viola’s involvement in the civil rights struggle was due to the fact she had a very
close relationship with a black woman named Sara Evans. The two women met in a grocery store where Viola worked as a
cashier. The two women shared similar views and support for equal rights. Viola Liuzzo like Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
held the strong belief that one person can make a difference and she saw herself as that person.

One day while she saw on TV the horrible events of “Bloody Sunday” she decided then and there she would get involved and do something, go to Selma, Alabama and offer herself for the cause of social justice for all Americans.
Viola Liuzzo packed a suitcase and told her husband to look after the children; her husband first protested but Viola had made up her mind. She explained to her husband in the most clear terms why she had to go:
“It’s everybody’s fight!”
Then she got in her car and drove over 1,000 miles all by herself to help Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in the
fight for social justice and freedom for 22 million black Americans. Once in Selma, Alabama Viola used her car
to transport other activist into the community and help register black people to vote.
During one transport of a fellow black activist the KKK pulled along side Viola Liuzzo and shot her in the face killing her instantly.

The KKK members responsible for her death went to trial and were all found not guilty despite overwhelming evidence against them. Viola Liuzzo died on March 25th 1965; she was only 39 years old. In the aftermath of her death, her best friend, Sara Evans, a black woman would go on and become the permanent caretaker of Viola’s five children.

Immediately upon hearing that Viola Liuzzo had been killed by a sniper’s bullet President Johnson came on TV to address the nation and here is what he had to say:
“MRS. VIOLA LIUZZO WENT TO ALABAMA TO SERVE THE STRUGGLE FOR JUSTICE.
SHE WAS MURDERED BY THE ENEMIES OF JUSTICE WHO FOR DECADES HAVE USED
ROPE AND GUN, THE TAR AND FEATHERS TO TERRORIZE THEIR NEIGHBORS.”
–President Lydon Baines Johnson

LEGACY:
The tragic killing of Viola Liuzzo did prompt the federal government to pass the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
In 1991 the women, the beautiful women of Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) placed a marker on the very spot where Viola Liuzzo was so violently killed.

Viola Liuzzo was THE GOOD SAMARITAN Jesus spoke of and Dr. King even has two sermons on THE GOOD SAMARITAN and out of all of Dr. Kings sermons those two are my personal favorite. Viola Liuzzo was that for 22 million black Americans and she leaves behind an indelible mark on the hearts and minds of all humanity, all who love justice and freedom.
We must in the black community teach our children about this heroic woman who marched among giants of the greatest movement for social justice in American history.

***************************************
This essay on Viola Liuzzo was shared with overĀ 79 websites!
I also want to say, each time I have gone to hear Martin Luther King III give a
speech he always lovingly speaks about the life and legacy of Viola Liuzzo.

Charles Micheaux

Atlanta*