Tag Archives: Black History

Musing

Just as I thought, this year is starting out with a bang. As it is said, ‘no rest for the weary’, it is a true saying. I have a lot of things on my plate, don’t have room for anything else at the moment. It is also said that staying busy and/or active keep old bones like mine spry. Nothing is ever said about being tired (smile 🙂 ).

I’m staying busy. I have a Tuskegee Airman program at the Virginia War Memorial coming up, red sport coat and all (see photo). Here at Imperial Plaza the Resident Council and the Activity Committee have a lot to do, like I’m not busy enough. That does not include things with my wife, trips, a few specialty doctor appointments (nothing serious), activities here at Imperial Plaza and I can’t forget my part-time job (always something to do there). I have been at the part-time job a lot lately because so many people are out sick (two were admitted into the hospital). I guess all the activity keep me from all the sickness that is going around. Don’t have time to stop now, gotta keep moving (smiling again).

Don’t rave about the intermittent warm weather we are having since the extreme cold we experienced a little while ago. Remember, January and February can become madding in Virginia where, at times, you’d think you are in the arctic. Yet, I have noticed many people at Imperial Plaza outside with coats open (being stylish), wearing short pants and, at the malls wearing flip-flops. Cold is cold and the older a person get the more the coldness have a bad effect on the body. This may have been okay in a person’s youth but a senior’s body may or may not feel uncomfortable. All of a sudden, this adverse effect from the cold will take a toll on the body. Flu, pneumonia or bad colds can mean catastrophic illnesses that a senior may or may not be able to fight off. It is better to be cautious than to suffer the consequences.

Had a birthday a few days ago. Thanks to all that sent me a birthday wish, THANKS! I worked on my birthday, as usual. Someone asked me why, I told them I can count the number of no work birthdays on one hand. As a senior, I hate to think of birthdays because the older you get the fewer you have left, if any. Not many remember my birthday anyway so I don’t fret, it’s just another day but I better not miss their birthday..

I have been monitoring Facebook, especially the Hahn Hawk page. There have been a lot of activity lately, the comments and pictures have made me realize I’m not young anymore. Most of the guys on the site were just kids when we were there, I was middle aged, now they are having grand-kids, etc. and I have great grand-kids. I served in Viet-Nam but people here served in WWII and The Korean War, they look at me as a youngster. I say that to say this, stay young as you want to be by moving around and keep your eye on the weather, protecting yourself accordingly.

Black History Month is here. Keep in mind what the sacrifices were for. Pray for us that were on the front lines and continue the fight for us. Not only for Black people but for all people. There are factions that are against this and there are many that want to do harm, however, fight on and maybe, one day, the clouds of hate will part and the sun will shine.

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Black History Programs

With February being Black History Month I was a little busy. Actually, the way I feel about it, there should be some way Black History is incorporated into each and every month. There is too much history, up front and much, much more hidden (think about the movie Hidden Figures), that is relevant and should be remembered. I have thought about the direction I wanted to go while writing this particular blog but there are many directions and my mind was mixing them all. I think I have a grasp of it for now.

I did not want to write anything that I have read or heard about. I want to give you personal experiences, experiences that are in line with what I am writing. My mind seem to drift off the main subject and I could write much more than I post. I’ll try to make it short and to the point although it is difficult when writing history or about historical figures. For instance, when I wrote about The Last Graduating Tuskegee Airman, I only wrote about the time before he went into the military up to his graduating as a Tuskegee Airman. If I had written his entire story (I have him telling it to me on an over an hour long digital audio recording).

I was a part of one program where I was portrayed as Sen. Obama and then as President Obama. I read his speech when he was running for president and his farewell speech (I used my radio voice from my radio days). That was a nice program and I was told I did well. The audience was very small and I only counted three Black people in the place. Imperial Plaza have enough Black residents to fill the auditorium yet they come to very few programs and this was about them and for them. Yet, they complain there aren’t any programs for them, etc.

The second program was at the Virginia War Memorial. I was on the stage panel for a discussion plus a question and answer period. There were six of us and among us were Tuskegee Airmen, a woman (Army Retired) whose story would make you think of one of the women in the movie Hidden Figures), Viet Nam and the Iraq era. I can’t tell you who was more interesting, the Tuskegee Airmen or her. My input into the program did not hold a candle to theirs and I could have been listening all day to their stories.

The crowd was small and , here again, there should have been many more. After the panel stories, question and answer period, we went outside for a wreath laying. Franklin Military Academy presented The Colors and I assisted in the wreath laying ceremony. We pledged allegiance to The Flag, a female Franklin Academy Cadet sang the National Anthem and a cadet blew “Taps” on his trumpet. The weather co-operated. PBS was there and it aired the next morning and the papers were there but I did not see the article. All of it was beautiful. I could do this all year, not only during February.

The thing I am sad about is for the young people. Most are not interested in history, especially Black history. They know about some of the famous Black people but they do not know about the small things that were accomplished. Most do not want to know who did what or why. They seldom understand what the conditions and hold backs were. I have even found they have a lot of misconceptions about ancient history, like the Pyramids or the oldest operating library in the world. Things like this are important to me, personally, and it helped shape my mind and all my actions through life. The few that soak up history seem to be better because of it.

All of us on that stage at the Virginia War Memorial was a tiny sample of the history that is sort by historians. It was sad only three of four kids were there to hear about the tiny portion of history from the people that produced it. Yes, I am a part of it although I rarely talk about it. It started with Civil Rights and ended at my retirement from the military.

To those before me and/or accomplished more than I have, thank you. To those that are learning about past history, keep digging. There is a treasure trove to find. And, as I have said before, you will never know who you may be talking to because most will not say unless asked. That person may have a background that would shock you. Keep digging…