Category Archives: Black History

Free Screening of Unchained: a documentary about generational trauma and healing in African American families


Come early if you want a seat. Local church leaders are featured in the documentary.

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March 4, 2017 · 11:04 am

Taking stock on Dr. King’s birthday

Today marks what would have been Dr. King’s 79th birthday. It is always good to see what has changed for the better and where growth is still needed in race relations. Senator Obama’s legitimate chance to become our next president speaks volumes as well as his ability to move beyond tired arguments (despite the efforts of some in the media to keep the focus on his race).

One stat, though, should give us pause. How many African American senators have we had in our country’s history?

2  in the 19th century. From Mississippi. Before the set back from reconstruction policies
3 in the 20th century. One from Mass (in the 60s), Mosely-Braun in the late 90s (Illinois) and Obama now (also Illinois). Cong. Harold Ford made a bid to represent Tennessee in the Senate but was turned back. So were two others (Mass and Maryland).  

Think about this. Only one from key abolitionist, Eastern Seaboard states. So much for pushing for equal representation. 

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Filed under Black History, News and politics, Race, Racial Reconciliation

Langston Hughes’ “Negro Mother”

I confess that I’m not much a fan for poetry. I didn’t get much exposure to it despite my love for reading. I guess I liked stories that were fleshed out much more. However, this week, I read this beauty of Langston Hughes to my children. I share it here with apologies to the person who holds the copyright.

The Negro Mother   

Children, I come back today
To tell you a story of the long dark way
That I had to climb, that I had to know
In order that the race might live and grow.
Look at my face–dark as the night–
Yet shining like the sun with love’s true light.
I am the child they stole from the sand
Three hundred years ago in Africa’s land.
I am the dark girl who crossed the wide sea
Carrying in my body the seed of the free.
I am the woman who worked in the field
Bringing the cotton and the corn to yield.
I am the one who labored as a slave,
Beaten and mistreated for the work that I gave–
Children sold away from me, husband sold, too.
No safety, no love, no respect was I due.
Three hundred years in the deepest South:
But God put a song and a prayer in my mouth.
God put a dream like steel in my soul.
Now, through my children, I’m reaching the goal.
Now, through my children, young and free,
I realize the blessings denied to me.
I couldn’t read then. I couldn’t write.
I had nothing, back there in the night.
Sometimes, the valley was filled with tears,
But I kept trudging on through the lonely years.
Sometimes, the road was hot with sun,
But I had to keep on till my work was done:
had to keep on! No stopping for me–
I was the seed of the coming Free.
I nourished the dream that nothing could smother
Deep in my breast–the Negro mother.
I had only hope then, but now through you,
Dark ones of today, my dreams must come true:
All you dark children in the world out there,
Remember my sweat, my pain, my despair.
Remember my years, heavy with sorrow–
And make of those years a torch for tomorrow.
Make of my past a road to the light
Out of the darkness, the ignorance, the night.
Lift high my banner out of the dust.
Stand like free men supporting my trust.
Believe in the right, let none push you back.
Remember the whip and the slaver’s track.
Remember how the strong in struggle and strife
Still bar you the way, and deny you life–
But march ever forward breaking down bars.
Look ever upward at the sun and the stars.
Oh, my dark children, may my dreams and my prayers
Impel you forever up the great stairs–
For I will be with you till no white brother
Dares keep down the children of the Negro Mother.

This poem first printed in 1931. This edition published in Dark Symphony: Negro Literature in America. Edited by J.A. Emanuel & T.L. Gross (Free Press, 1968). 

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Filed under Black and White, Black History, Civil Rights, Racial Reconciliation

Black History Fact 2

Here’s a fact I found on We’ve come a long way in the last 41 years. And yet not nearly far enough. Why do I say not far enough? Notice the overreaching of Tucker Carlsonto try to disparage Obama’s church connection. He attacks Obama’s church for its racially exclusive theology (which is clear they do not espouse). The problem here is that a black church can’t talk about black pride but Carlson doesn’t own that white churches have been racially exclusive (not in their words per say but in their power structures) since forever.  


Sammy Younge

In 1964, Sammy Younge, a Tuskegee Institute student, helped form the Tuskegee Institute Advancement League and participated in boycotts and campaigns to integrate local restaurants and public pools. In the summer of 1965, Younge was among the group of students who were beaten while trying to attend a white church in town.

In 1966, at the local service station, Younge was killed by the white attendant. The murder touched off immediate demonstrations, including rallies, protests, and riots amongst the students at Tuskegee and people in the community.

The man who shot Younge was found innocent by an all white jury. He claimed he shot him in self-defense after an argument over the restroom. The threat of further violence finally forced Tuskegee’s Black leaders to act. They won a city ordinance banning discrimination in hotels and restaurants.

In the fall of 1966, they elected Lucius Amerson the first Black sheriff in the South since Reconstruction, despite the lack of support from Tuskegee Black leaders who felt a Black sheriff could not be elected.

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Filed under Black and White, Black History

Black History Moments

Since February is Black History month, and since most of us know so little of our shared history I thought I’d do a weekly spot highlighting a important but little known factoid…so here’s on one Percy Julian… Continue reading


Filed under Black and White, Black History, Civil Rights