Tag Archives: Albemarle Tradewinds

Quanah Parker

This is the last of Black History Month and I was asked to do one more but with a twist. The twist will be not of a Black person but to give honor to an American Indian. Indians are seldom mentioned when it comes to doing something great but with just a little research shows there are many.

               I could talk about this great nation being taken from the Indian. I could talk about the ‘Wind Talkers’ that helped win WWII. I even could talk about the Indians that lead the wagon trains across the west to help White people settle their lands. But this blog installment is about a man that led his people from certain extension. I will write this in the way I write for The Albemarle Tradewinds Magazine of which I am a regular contributor for their music column and special interest column.

Quanah Parker

                                               (1845-February 24, 1911)

               Quanah Parker was a war leader of the Kwahadi (Antelope) band of the Comanche nation. Quanah (Comanche, ‘smell, odor’) was born about 1850 on Elk Creek just below the Wichita Mountains to Peta Nocona and Cynthia Ann Parker. Cynthia Ann Parker (born c. 1827), was a member of the large Parker frontier family that settled in east Texas in the 1930s. She was captured in 1936 (c. age nine) by Comanches during the raid of Fort Parker near present-day Groesbeck, Texas.

               At the battle of Pease River, as the American Forces (U.S. 2nd Cavalry and Texas Rangers) Quanah Parker and his brother were the only warriors to escape by horseback. After his father’s death, Horseback, the head of the Nokoni people, took Quanah and his brother under his wing. Horseback taught them the ways of the Comanche warrior, and Quanah grew to considerable standing as a warrior. He left and rejoined the Kwahadi band with warriors from another band. Quanah Parker surrendered and was taken to Fort Sill, Indian Territory where he led Comanches successfully for several years on the reservation.

               Quanah Parker was never elected principal chief of the Comanche by the tribe, but the U.S. government appointed him principal chief of the entire nation once the people had gathered on the reservation and later introduced general elections. He also became a primary emissary of southwest indigenous Americans to the United States legislature. In civilian life, he gained wealth as a rancher, settling near Cache, Oklahoma. Though he encouraged Christianization of Comanche people he also advocated the syncretic Native American Church (of which he founded), and passionately fought for the use of peyote in the movement’s religious practices.

               He was elected deputy sheriff of Lawson in 1902. After his death in 1911, the leadership title of Chief was replaced with Chairman; Quanah Parker is thereby described as the “Last Chief of the Comanche,” a term also applied to Horseback. He is buried at Chief’s Knoll on Fort Sill. Many cities and highway systems in southwest Oklahoma and north Texas, once southern Comancheria, bear references to his name.

               Quanah is only one person out of many, many more. Take the time to research and read about them. I squashed Quanah’s bio down to a few words, there is quite a bit more. I hope all of you have found this piece interesting. Let me know.

Black History

This is Black History Month and I have been thinking a lot about who I would write about and could not make up my mind. Everywhere a person looks there is something about someone that need to be recognized this month. Then the more I thought about it the more I wanted to beat myself up because the answer is all around me.

               I have an article in Albemarle Tradewinds Magazine (www.albemarletradewinds.com) normally giving the bio of old Black jazz artists (I am usually next to the last page), occasionally I write about someone other than a jazz artist when the editor/owner ask. Therefore, what I am saying is every month I write about a Black person that overcame the odds against making it in the United States of America. Why, you may want to ask me, do I say in the United States of America? My answer is many talented Black people moved to another country and had a better life. Some left the United States and was given the opportunity that was denied them and succeeded. Some of the jazz artists I wrote about lived in other countries for the peace and tranquility they could not have at home.

               It is unfair that a month must be dedicated to have people think about and know Black people that have contributed to and made possible the well being of all. People only think of recent times; however, Black people have contributed for a few thousand years. Using only one fact…Blacks built the Pyramids, the stones are so close a piece of paper cannot slide between them (by the way, the Pharaohs were Black).

               The great majority of people know that Socrates and Plato were well educated and as they taught others, great knowledge was passed on. What is seldom known or told is they were taught in the schools and library in Alexandria Egypt (the library is still there). Most rich people of European countries usually had Black slaves from Africa teaching their children. Brainiac Blacks have always been around but as the Europeans began to grow stronger, they also started to change history, taking credit for most things, using Black slaves in the background.

               I know most people are yelling that it is not the way it was or is. I am only saying, believe it or not, we would not be living as well as we are now if not for the intelligence and teachings of Black people. Yet, a month is dedicated toward a few achievements when the numerous accomplishments are all around us. The people from the pass are forgotten and the people that are here today are passed by un-noticed. It has happened to me and it have happened to many people I know.

               So, Black History Month does not mean anything to me because every day, past and present, is a day that a Black person did something great. As you watch the impeachment trial remember this. Washington D.C., streets and important buildings were designed and built by Black people (slave and free) but most people do not know that fact. There is so much about so many things that is Black that even I am considered ignorant about the history. I know just enough to get me into trouble.

               (by the way, check out my other blog… www.faithingodministries.net )