“They that are whole have no need of the physician, but they that are sick.”
One day a leper approached Jesus, ringing a little bell and shouting “Unclean!” Unclean!” People ran away from this man in fear. The man walked slowly to Jesus and got down on his knees before our Lord and said, “Lord, if you are willing please cure me!”
Jesus looked at this man and filled with compassion, Jesus reached out and touched him on the hand, then said, “Be clean!”
Immediately, the leprosy left the man and his skin became soft and smooth; he was completely cured.
“We have seen remarkable things today.” –Mark 2:12
A few days later, Jesus was preaching in a small house full of people. Some people who traveled long to hear Jesus preach could not get into the little house. As the day progressed more and more people arrived to hear Jesus including a man who was completely paralyzed. This paralyzed man was carried by his friends, but their hearts sank when they saw the large crowd of people in front of them. They remained steadfast regardless, they were resolute in their quest to get their friend to Jesus. Carefully, they carried their friend up the outside steps and onto the flat roof of the house. They cut a large hole in the roof and gently lowered their paralyzed friend down into the house and landed him in front of Jesus!
Jesus saw the faith they had and he said to the paralyzed man, “Get up, take your mat, and go home.”
Everyone watched in astonishment as the man stood up, gathered his mat and walked off glad.
“We have seen remarkable things today!” –Mark 2:12
What I loved about the second story is how these Christian brothers did not falter in their quest to help their paralyzed friend. They overcame all obstacles put in front of them. We should all be so blessed to have friends like these.
In the beautiful name of Jesus, most gracious, most merciful Jesus, I pray oh Lord, I may be able to be the kind of friend in these two beautiful stories of your love and mercy. I want to be the friend that would carry a friend and deliver them to You that they may be healed also.
“Each friend represents in us, a world possibly not born until they arrive, and it is only by this meeting that a new world is born.” –Anais Nin
The great novelist Louis Stevenson said, “A friend is a gift you give yourself.” I believe this with every fiber of my being. Our friends are the family we selected, not the family we are given. Often times the friends we’ve selected are the best family we could have ever wished for. James Baldwin & Maya Angelou were very close friends, even most cherished friends. Kahlil Gibran goes on to say,
“Your friend is your needs answered. He is your field which you sow with love and reap with thanksgiving.” Sometimes, we see things in our friends that they don’t see in themselves and when this occurs we have a duty, a responsibility to tell them what we see. We may see some amazing talent that they have, that they never realized they had. We may see trouble, a new pattern of self-destruction because of drugs or excessive alcohol consumption. A true friend takes on the responsibility of sounding the alarm and yelling loudly–“FIRE!”
A story that best illustrates cherished friends is what happened with James Baldwin and Maya Angelou. James Baldwin released his novel ANOTHER COUNTRY and his publisher threw a big party in his honor. James Baldwin called Maya Angelou and asked her to come to the party as his guest. Maya gladly accepted the invitation and she came full of poise and charm; James Baldwin’s publisher was fascinated by Maya Angelou and he asked her many questions about her life. She told him her story. He told her, there was a book there, a book to be published by him! Yes friends, FRIENDS are the gifts we give ourselves. That invite by her cherished friend–Jimmy Baldwin changed Maya Angelou’s life and put her into the history books.
The very last time I saw Maya Angelou was at James Baldwin’s funeral, where she gave the eulogy for her cherished friend–Jimmy Baldwin.
“My best investment is my marriage to my wife, who I call My Most Beautiful.”
–Edward Russell Jr.
Good morning, Edward Russell Jr., so we finally made this happen. This interview is a long time coming. I have been following you on Twitter for the past two years (@FitRealEsateA1) and you really are one of the most inspiring voices on Twitter. Thank you–Sir for granting me this interview this morning.
So, let’s get to it!
Q.) What is your long term ambition?
A.) My long term ambition is to create a generation of intelligent, confident, and vocal young people who have a sustainable and resourceful toolbox that will help them champion tangible change. A change that will help drive an ambitious cultural change.
Q.) Where do you see yourself in five years?
A.) In five years I want to be healthy and still present in the curation of the next moment. Whatever the journey is, has already been formatted, all I have to do is execute it. Tomorrow is not promised, so today I plant seeds, for in time the youth will harvest.
Q.) I assume, you live in the Sunshine State, were you born in Florida?
A.) I actually live in California, the Golden State. I was born in Boston, Massachusetts, in 1971. My parents, my sister and I moved to California in 1972.
Q.) Where is Solano County located?
A.) Solano County is located in Northern California about 45 miles northwest of San Francisco.
Q.) Who were your favorite heroes in high school?
A.) My heroes in high school were my mother and father and Jackie Robinson. My mother worked as a machinist and cleaned the homes of white people in the hills to buy us a home. My father, who lived in Rhode Island, owned his own truck and was a cross country truck driver. When I found out about Jackie Robinson, I remember thinking, “How could someone excel at such a high level with class and dignity, while enduring such a great deal of hate?”
The tenacity of all three of them had to endure against all odds has always been something I aspire to have.
Q.) What’s your favorite book?
A.) My favorite book is “Make Me Wanna Holler” by Nathan McCall. It was the first book I ever read cover to cover and I was 22-years old. I didn’t remember how I came across it, but something in it resonated in me so much that I read it in three days. I was not a reader!
Q.) Do you have a favorite quote?
A.) My favorite quote:
“It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men.”–Frederick Douglass
Q.) What is the best investment you’ve ever made?
A.) My best investment is my marriage to my wife, who I call My Most Beautiful. She has the same tenacity my mother had. Its her stubborn love to stand with me and endure hardships,that forced me to recognize and deal with my baggage full of demons. I am a better man because of My Most Beautiful.
Q.) What does B.R.U.H. stand for?
A.) B.R.U.H. is an acronym for Brothas Raising Up His. I started this non profit in 2020 to provide mentors for young black and Latino females and males. Now, in a little over a year, it has blossomed into everything I never imagined. We offer free English and Math tutoring, emotional and nutrition support, and we are currently creating a equestrian therapy camp for young black females.
Q.) What is your all time favorite movie?
A.) My favorite movie is “A Piece of the Action” with Sidney Poitier and Bill Cosby.
Q.) If you could have a gigantic billboard anywhere in Solano County, with anything on it, what would it say?
A.) My billboard would say,
“Education through communication.” –Edward Russell Jr.
Thank You Mr. Russell and all best wishes to B.R.U.H.
Hey Family, you can follow Edward Russell Jr. on Twitter @FitRealEstateA1
“We are behind, is where I see us right now. I just pray the damage isn’t irreparable.”–Tammie Creed
Each year I profile four of the most fascinating people I know and Tammie Creed is truly, one of the most fascinating people I know. I follow her on Twitter and each day I learn something new and I giggle at least four times during the day over something she posted with a clever remark. Tammie is super smart, bold, noble, courageous and filled with wit.
You can follow Tammie Creed on Twitter @tlccourville
Thank you Tammie Creed for granting me this interview, it’s great to speak with you again.
Q.) What are your feelings right now in light of the voter suppression happening in Texas and Georgia?
A.) When I think about America and what makes this country great, to me, it is the fundamental right to be heard, to have the right to speak up and speak out by the way of my vote. Without that right, we reside in an authoritarian state. When I think of all the battles fought and lives given for that inalienable right which is slowly being taken away. I am ashamed for the lives lost in vain. The United States begins and ends with the right to vote.
Q.) Many people think Texas is blue, what do you think? Do you agree?
A.) Texas may very well have turned blue, but because we looked away for many years the Republicans were busy at work making sure the minority stayed in power. The extreme measures being taken to keep the majority silenced makes it hard to know whether or not Texas is blue. Until further proof I do not feel that it is blue.
Q.) Do you think there will be a blue wave in 2022?
A.) Regarding a blue wave in 2022, if I’m being honest, I don’t know if I see that happening. We turned out in record shattering numbers in 2018, but Congress having regained power after that we had the rug pulled out from under our feet. We followed the same path in 2020 but it wasn’t enough. Our messaging is not aggressive as Republicans. Once we got power in 2020 again we drug our feet. The number of voters that are exhausted and worn out is frighteningly high. The Democrats have not been aggressive enough since 2018. The electorate feels like we are not being heard. All I can do, once again is show up and try to help turn out the vote next year, but I am not hopeful. My party’s leadership has been weak. Seems like no one’s being held accountable for anything. The situation is beyond infuriating, it’s frustrating and exhausting.
Q.) What is your ambition for the rest of the year?
A.) To survive with my heart not hardened, my spirit not broken.
Q.) Where were you born?
A.) I was born in Monroe, Louisiana, I moved to southward Lafayette in 1998.
Q.) How long have you been active in politics?
A.) I guess you could say I was born into a progressive way of thinking. From as far back as I remember my father’s mission in life was to empower those who had been left behind. When I was a little girl I remember my father working for CAP ( Community Action Program) and then onto economic development of the parishes along the Delta. Because of my father I have always been able to see, really see people and have empathy. I know,it is incumbent upon all of us to help others thrive and prosper. It only improves ALL our lives when we take care of one another. So, yes, I have always been a Progressive Democrat.
Q.) With so many Twitter followers what is the thrust of your platform?
A.) I don’t know that I have a specific platform. I got on Twitter in 2016 simply because it was the most expedient way to receive news. I am a blue dot in a red sea. I do not have democrats around me. Twitter afforded me the opportunity to connect with thousands of people, I no longer feel like an island, so I try to use my platform to help others connect. The more of us that connect and feel safe to speak freely, the better chance we have to make change. The better chance we have NOT to be silenced.
Q.) What is the best investment you’ve ever made?
A.) Carrying on what my father taught me, to be beautiful from the inside out and leave no one behind. I would include my cancer policy.
Q.) Have been vaccinated for COVID-19 yet?
A.) I have been vaccinated for COVID-19 as soon as vaccinations were made available. I wasted no time, I was in line to get it done, and I’m grateful my 17-year old daughter begged me to get her vaccinated as well.
Q.) Why is the word abbreviation such a long word?
A.) LOL… to remind us how nice short cuts are.
Q.) If you could have a gigantic billboard anywhere in Austin, Texas with anything on it, what would it say?
A.) “Whatever you did NOT do for one of the least of these, you did NOT do for me.”– Matthew 25:45
Anything less, is at its core, not Christian. And you will have to answer to Christ for turning your back.
There is no barrier to success which diligence and perseverance cannot hurdle.
Every man and woman should cast aside their skepticism regarding the Negro’s ability as a motion picture star.
Motion pictures have become one of the greatest revitalizing forces in race adjustment.
There has been but one picture that incited colored people to riot and still does. That picture is “Birth of A Nation.”
I want to see the Negro pictured in books just like he lives, so I formed my own book publishing firm and write my own books.
The time is at hand–the Negro must be more self-supporting
I use my films to help elevate the race.
One of the greatest tasks of my life has been to teach the colored man he can be anything.
We want to see our lives dramatized on the screen as we are living it, the same as other people.
My long experience with all classes of humanity had made me somewhat of a student of human nature.
What I like best is a good story with a moral.
I try to write more on Sunday.
Honest, intelligent criticism is an aid to the progress of an effort.
The point being that it is an intricate task, not to say a most expensive one, to film periods gone by.
The poor guys down south want to see some pretty legs–dancing and beautiful girls. We’ve got to satisfy them.
My results…might have been narrow at times, due perhaps to certain limited situations, which I endeavored to portray, but in those limited situations,the truth was the predominate characteristic.
I did not by any means want to fall in love with a white girl. I had always disapproved of intermarriage, considering it as above all things the very thing that a colored man could not even think about.
Your self image is so powerful, it unwittingly becomes your destiny.
Oscar Micheaux had a strong social conscience and indomitable spirit that we should all try to find in ourselves. –Charles Micheaux
(He spoke these words as he crossed the Rubicon River on to conquer his enemies.)
It has been said Julius Caesar began to excel in everything he attempted when he turned 40-years old. He was an orator, politician, writer, and beloved general of the Roman Army.His ambition was the transformation of Rome from a small republic into a conquering empire with himself as emperor. Julius Caesar rose to prominence in the first century BC conquering France, Belgium and Germany. He was the most beloved general of the Roman Army. The senate, led by Pompey was in fear of Caesar’s growing popularity and they even ordered him to disband his army. Julius Caesar refused the order.
He kept his army intact and he and his men marched on the Capitol, crossing the Rubicon River- in this most decisive moment he uttered:
“The die is cast.”
Julius Caesar and his men were on the move and nothing on earth would stop them or turn them around–a civil war ensued. His brilliance in warfare was unmatched and as his foes realized Caesar’s forces were superior they did retreat. Julius Caesar pursued his enemies across Europe and ultimately into Egypt where Pompey was killed and beheaded by the Egyptians; they handed over the severed head to Julius Caesar as a gift. Julius Caesar was said to have wept. There was a sadness in having to kill a former comrade of the Roman Army. While in Egypt Julius Caesar fell in love with Cleopatra and he made her queen of Egypt. When Julius Caesar returned to Rome he ruled as a dictator; it even occurred to observers that Caesar wanted to be recognized as a king. When he was addressed by some senators, he chose not to rise from his seat-this was an admission that he did not consider them his equal.
THE IDES OF MARCH ( March 15)
A senator named, Gaius Cassius sought out other senators in a plot to assassinate Julius Caesar on The Ides of March. Soon Cassius won the approval of sixty men ready to carry out the assassination of Julius Caesar . On March 14th, Caesar gathered with friends at his home and someone brought up the subject of death. They talked about the best death. Caesar is reported to have said: “A sudden death would be best.”
On the morning of March 15th, Caesar’s wife, Calpurnia begged Caesar not to go to the senate that day for she dreamed he would be killed.
Just before Julius Caesar entered the senate building he saw a soothsayer who warned him sometime before of The Ides of March.
Caesar smiled and replied, “The Ides of March have come and gone.”
The soothsayer quickly replied and warned again: “But not gone.”
Caesar brushed by and walked to his seat in the senate and a signal was given to start the attack. Caesar fought back. He was startled when he saw his dear friend-Brutus rushing toward him with dagger too. Caesar stopped fighting his attackers and Brutus struck Caesar with his dagger and Caesar staggered a few feet and then fell to the floor at the foot of a statue of Pompey and there he died.
Julius Caesar is a important historical figure like John F. Kennedy,
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and like both of these men he too was assassinated by political conspirators.
This is the most difficult essay I have ever written and perhaps the most difficult I will ever write. It is a gruesome story only to be equaled to the 1963 bombing of the black church in Birmingham where four little black girls were killed. On June 17th 2015 Dylann Roof carried out a depravity unimaginable and beyond all thoughts of humanity. Myra Thompson led the prayer group that evening and she read the parable of the sower in “Mark” chapter 4.
“The sower soweth the word…but Satan cometh immediately, and taketh away the word that was sown in their hearts.”
The prayer group at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church came together at 8:00 P.M. and at 8:20 P.M. Dylann Roof entered the historic black church wearing a bulging fanny pack. Inside the fanny pack there was a.45 caliber Glock pistol and seven fully loaded magazine clips. Dylann Roof took a seat next to Reverend and South Carolina State Senator Clementa Pinckney. Reverend Pinckney handed Dylann Roof a Bible.
Thirty-five minutes later as the parishioners eyes were closed for the benediction Dylann Roof removed his .45 Glock pistol and took aim at Reverend Clementa Pinckney and shot him three times at point blank range. Dylan Roof then pointed his gun at 87-year old Susie Jackson and he shot her more than ten times! Each victim of his assault was hit repeatedly with gunfire and at the very end of this gruesome massacre there were over eighty shell casings on the floor. Two women who survived the attack said Reverend Pinckney managed to run twenty feet toward the office door in which his wife-Jennifer and his six-year old daughter-Malana were. Reverend Pinckney collasped before reaching the door which protected his family.
A very strange thing happened right after the shooting someone called the police to make a bomb threat against the “Courtyard Marriott” Hotel located at 125 Calhoun Street; the church is located at 11o Calhoun Street. The police were dispatched to 125 Calhoun Street to secure the area which unwittingly complicated the church shootings police investigations. Dylann Roof went out the back door of Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church casually walking back to his car then driving off into the night. The next morning, 250 miles away in the town of Shelby, North Carolina Dylann Roof was pulled over by local police and arrested.
2.) How did Dylann Roof know what time to go there?
3.) Why did Dylann Roof kill on June 17th and not June 30th?
4.) Why is the date of these killing so important?
5.) Why did Dylann Roof kill Reverend Clementa Pinckney first?
6.) Was Dylann Roof a programed assassin?
7.) Did Juneteenth serve as motivation that the massacre take place on June 17th?
8.) What is JUNETEENTH?
Juneteenth or June 19th is considered the date when the last slaves in America were free. Juneteenth serves as a milestone to remind all Americans of the long hard battle for Black Americans to get their freedom and end slavery. Each year Juneteenth is a festival of which African Americans can come together to observe and reflect the Emancipation Proclamation.
On Tuesday, January 3rd 2017 almost two-years after the massacre a jury of nine white and three blacks found Dylann Roof guilty on 33 counts, then Judge Richard M. Gergel imposed a sentence of death to Dylann Roof. Days before sentencing Dylann Roof’s mother-Amy Roof cried out loudly, shouting at the top of her lungs,
‘I’M SORRY! I’M SORRY! I’M SORRY!!!”
She waved her arms. She jumped up and down. She collapsed onto the floor and did suffer a heart attack. Dylann Roof never turned around to see or look on his mother. No, he just looked straight on and displayed not a morsel of remorse or sadness.
On January 20th, 2020 Dylann Roof’s lawyers are seeking a new trial because they claim he was insane at the last trial in which he was allowed to defend himself. This saga continues and the pain to each family still runs deep. Nine innocent, peaceful Black Americans were killed simply because of the color of their skin and their African heritage.
“Start where you are, with what you have. Make something out of it and never be satisfied.”
–George Washington Carver
(July 24, 1931)
George Washington Carver the world’s greatest agricultural scientist of the 20th century and perhaps the most accomplished American of the 20th century. Over the years I have given countless lectures on the life of George Washington Carver and before ending my talks I always remind my audience that in my world George Washington Carver without any doubt is the most accomplished American of the 20th century. I speak mainly to black audiences and too often some wanna be black intellectual will take issue with my claim, this same joker, or these same jokers only know what they have been taught in white schools. White schools that have failed black children for the past 100 years or more, telling the true history and legacy of black Americans has never been the mission or fundamental purpose of the white school system. The jokers I speak of have no clue who George Washington Carver really was; George Washington Carver has no equal in stature by any man black or white in the 20th century.
Why do I speak with such confidence?
Well for one thing I am one of the top scholars in the world on the life of George Washington Carver, I hasten to add the beloved Dick Gregory could have written a number of great books on Carver as well. While Dick Gregory was alive I did not know who knew more about Dr. Carver, him or me, but it was never an important issue for either of us. Many years ago when I was a professional stage actor in New York City I was approached and asked to portray George Washington Carver in a an Off-Broadway stage play. I took on the role gladly and during my research on the man I thought my head would explode. I was transformed!
I continued my study of the great George Washington Carver long after the play was over and I retired from the theatre’, however since that time I have read over a thousand essays on George Washington Carver and every single book ever written on the man. I have read the works of scholars from all over the world, so I speak with authority and supreme confidence from my over thirty years of study and for this reason I do not need popular approval from wanna be talking heads who think themselves intellectuals of the first order. Any black American who lacks the knowledge of the true history of his or her people is a clown, a joker, a fool who proves to be an empty bottle of hot air which serves no need or purpose to anyone.
The accomplishments of George Washington Carver are really too many to list, but let me give you a few that stand out in my mind. George Washington Carver had 325 global products made from peanuts alone. George Washington Carver had 155 global products that were made from “Sweet Potatoes.”
George Washington Carver invented shoe polish; shoe wax. During World War I George Washington Carver replaced textile dyes that were being imported from Europe and he was able to produce over 500 different shades for the U.S. Military. In 1927 George Washington Carver invented a process for producing paints and stains from soybeans. George Washington Carver has had a long history for serving his country, why in 1918 he was called before Congress to help save the crops of Southern farmers; during his talk Thomas Edison was in the audience and afterward Thomas Edison asked George Washington Carver to come work for him at a yearly salary of $100,000 with a guaranteed signing bonus of $200.000.
George Washington Carver refused the money.
He did however give away many ideas and products to Thomas Edison without any expectation of compensation. He gave away ideas to Henry Ford; and actually showed him how to start what we now know as a Plant–being the structure for assembly for mass production. George Washington Carver dedicated his life to helping uplift the life of Black Americans through education at the Tuskegee Institute. He taught at Tuskegee for 47 years up until the very day he died.
Today if you took a poll and asked who was the most accomplished black American of the 20th century many would say Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. I stand at the opposite end of the room and as a scholar and someone who loves history I would say take a very good, very hard look at the life of George Washington Carver.
Let’s look at the life of both these men?
First off, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Had great parents, I mean this man had a great mother and father. The resources that were provided to young Martin Luther King Jr. one would be hard pressed to find in a normal upper middleclass family. Martin Luther King Jr. never went to bed hungry and he was never without shoes on his feet. He had great role models to help shape him (Dr. Benjamin Mays) and all the gifts that one can bestow on a young man who grew up as a prince.
Now let’s look at the beginnings of George Washington Carver.
Let’s see now, he was born into slavery.
He was traded for a broken down race horse as a slave boy.
He was castrated by his white slave owner.
He was not allowed to attend white schools.
He does not have a single role model to follow.
He never knew his father.
George Washington Carver did not even know the actual date of his birth.
How does one overcome such injustice?
All the crap that can be heaped on a life was put on the shoulders of George Washington Carver and somehow this man came out on top. I tell you the truth, George Washington Carver is the most accomplished American of the 20th century!
In 1938 Hollywood made a movie called, “Life of George Washington Carver.”
Did you know… George Washington Carver is the only American that has two US Naval Ships named after him?
Did you know… George Washington Carver is the only American that has two US Postage Stamps in his image?
Did you know… George Washington Carver has a 50-cent coin of his likeness with a value of $1,000?
Did you know that… more schools in America are named after George Washington Carver than any other American living or dead?
George Washington Carver passed away on a cold morning of January 5th 1943.
I speak as a man who truly loves the legacy and remarkable life of the great George Washington Carver, and please, if you know of a person more accomplished in the 20th century please let me know, my e-mail is firstname.lastname@example.org.
I’ve made this offer 1,000 times and still I wait…
“When a man has given his best, what else is there?” –General George S. Patton–U.S. Army
Crispus Attucks was a black man, he was the very first person to die for freedom during the American Revolution. He was born in Framingham, MA, he was part Native American and part Black American. His mother was of the Natick tribe of Native Americans. Crispus Attucks stood six feet, two inches tall and at the time the average man was only five feet, seven inches tall. Crispus Attucks was a merchant seaman who had traveled the world; he spoke four languages. Crispus Attucks was also an icon of the anti-slavery movement of the 18th century. He was in fact the most out spoken and most eloquent speaker against colonialism, British tyranny and racism. The first shots for freedom heard around the world were the two shots that killed Crispus Attucks. Upon the death of Crispus Attucks his fellow white American countrymen and women took up arms to fight the British to the death for the freedom of America. The fight for freedom raged on for over five years and it all started with the blood of this most beloved American freedom fighter named Crispus Attucks. Crispus Attucks was born into slavery in 1723 and as a teenager he dreamed of being a freeman; one night slipped aboard a merchant ship and as the ship left the Boston Harbor and set sail to far away lands he soon was hired as a seaman and shortly after that he bought his freedom. During this period sailors often hunted and killed whales with harpoons. The whaling captains valued the output of Crispus Attucks. Whale blubber was big business, the blubber was used for making candles and lamp oil. Crispus Attucks would often return to the city of Boston but on the evening of March 5th 1770, he joined his fellow patriots. Yes, Crispus Attucks fought alongside white men and women against the British soldiers for America’s freedom. British soldiers shot and killed Crispus attucks and he fell back into the arms of his fellow Americans the Revolution for freedom in America began. This important event is known today as the Boston Massacre. In Boston Commons there is a monument that honors Crispus Attucks in Boston, Massachusetts.
“How incongruous to think that I, a little Galveston colored boy, should ever become the acquaintance of kings and rulers of the Old World, or that I should number among my friends some of the most famous persons of America and of the world.” –Jack Johnson
(1st. Black Heavy Weight Boxing Champion)
Jack Johnson was the first Black American world heavyweight boxing champion.
White folks saw and felt Jack Johnson as one really bad Negra.
Black folks on the other hand saw and felt Jack Johnson was one really bad Nigger.
In the 1990’s I was asked to portray Jack Johnson in a very famous stage play called,
THE GREAT WHITE HOPE; it is a an enormous stage production with some twenty actors in total; I do not know of any play that has more actors in it. During the months of research on the life of Jack Johnson, I soon discovered too, that Jack Johnson was really a bad ass Nigger! I mean this in the most endearing way; Jack Johnson was the most outstanding black man of his times.
Jack Johnson was born on March 31, 1878 in Galveston, Texas.
He had 104 fights, 73 wins, 13 losses and he held the world championship belt from 1908 -1915.
Jack Johnson disturbed white America so bad that they would not allow another black man to compete for the heavyweight championship for twenty-two years, from 1915- 1937 black men were barred by the white establishment from getting an opportunity to fight for the “grand prize” of boxing.
In 1937 Joe Louis is allowed to fight for the heavyweight championship and it had been twenty-two years since a black man held the title and that black man was Jack Johnson. One of the many conditions Joe Louis had to agree to before he would get a title shot was to never, ever, have his picture taken with a white woman. He also had to agree that he should never gloat over beating the crap out of a white opponent. Jack Johnson really put the scare in white America and Joe Louis too.
The world heavyweight boxing championship belt is the “grand prize” of athletic sports since Onomastos won the belt at the thirteenth Olympic Games in Greece in 880 B.C.
On December 26th 1908 in a twenty-round boxing match for the world championship Jack Johnson became the first black man to become the heavyweight boxing champion of the world. There is a catch phrase associated with Jack Johnson and it’s called, THE GREAT WHITE HOPE; white America saw Jack Johnson as an abomination and they searched high and low for a great white boxer to whip his black ass and teach him his place in White America. Their search was in vain, they never found a white boxer to put Jack Johnson in his place or the place they felt he should be in.
Jack Johnson would not bend for white America, he was determined not to conform to what white America thought he should be. Jack Johnson was his own man, he was highly intelligent, and he knew the power given him being the world
heavyweight champion. He was wealthy beyond any black man’s wildest dreams, he also did things so outlandish white America thought he was crazy.
Jack Johnson was married four times, all of his wives were white women and his first wife , Etta Duryea killed herself because she found out Jack Johnson was having an affair with another white woman. In October 1912 Jack Johnson was arrested under the Man Act, which had been passed to stop Jack Johnson from bringing white prostitutes across state lines. A white woman named Belle Schreiber, daughter of a Milwaukee policeman was the woman Jack Johnson was charged.
Jack Johnson posted $15,000 bail and before his court date he sailed off to Paris, France. When he arrived in Paris he was hailed as a king. In the whole of Europe there were no laws preventing Jack Johnson from loving or being out in public with white women; it is noteworthy, Jack Johnson was a man who believed in marriage. In public and private he was a fine gentleman to each of his four white wives. I hasten to add, Jack Johnson was a wicked exhibitionist.
When he traveled abroad he carried no less that twenty suitcases and he also transported two of the most exotic automobiles money can buy, he wore Mink coats and Russian hats. The truth be told, white women sought him out and were introduced to him by other white men.
The rub to white America was Jack Johnson was a very, extremely wealthy Nigger that did not know his place.
His profile was worldwide, he was bigger than America, I dare say no athlete, not even the great Muhammad Ali was a
bigger sports figure in the world than Jack Johnson. After his fights riots broke out in all 50 states of the United States; blacks were hung from trees all over the South after Jack Johnson would beat some white boxer in the ring. White America could not stomach the fact that Jack Johnson beat the crap out of every great white hope they put in front of him. In Europe Jack Johnson was treated like a movie star; the crowds adored him wherever he showed his smiling face, in Paris, Brussels, Berlin, Vienna, Budapest, St. Petersburg, Madrid, Rome and even London. Only in white America was Jack Johnson looked upon as an abomination. Jack Johnson was not only the world heavyweight champ he was also an accomplished bullfighter (Matador) in Barcelona, Spain and in Paris, he worked as an actor. He was also a great entrepreneur in his home city of Chicago. In Chicago, Jack Johnson opened up a very elegant cafe called, “Cabaret de Champion” and on the walls of his cafe there hung a Rembrandt that he purchased while in Europe. Unlike many other prizefighters Jack Johnson was well read and he acquired enormous culture from his world travels and his contacts with leaders of art, science, politics, and industry. Jack Johnson loved listening to classical music and he even played the viol.
In October 1936, as an actor he played the role of Rhadames, the Ethiopian general in the Chicago Grand Opera’s production of Aida.
“Of course, I had dreams and desires that are common to youth, but never in the wildest moments of my boyhood imagination did I vision myself the champion fighter of the world and the first man of my race to attain that distinction. Never did I imagine myself in the picturesque costume of a Spanish matador, or the victor in the bullfighting arena, surrounded of the festival in historic Barcelona.”
I hasten to add, the very first bullfighting he took part in as a matador he killed three bulls in one day at Barcelona.
The Great White Hope is a Pulitzer Prize Winning play and it was later turned in to a feature film; in the stage play on Broadway and on film the actor was the great James Earl Jones. In the ad to sell the movie the quote read:
“JACK JOHNSON COULD BEAT ANY WHITE MAN IN THE WORLD.
HE JUST COULD NOT BEAT THEM ALL.”
( Film Director)
Charles Micheaux and Lisa Denton star in “The Great White Hope.”