Tag Archives: Black

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 )

We Endured

THIS AN EXTRA TEGA227…THIS IS AN EXTRA TEGA227…THIS IS AN EXTRA TEGA227

Last week a fellow chapter member of the Tuskegee Airmen Association, Inc. Sent me an article from the New York Times (NYT Opinion by Caroline Randall Williams, You Want a Confederate Monument? My Body Is a Confederate Monument https://www.nytimes.com/2020/06/26/opinion/confederate-monument-racism.HTML). After reading the well written article, all sorts of additions went through my mind and I decided to share a few thoughts with you.
Most White people claim to know history and especially the struggles of the Black person. They say they can feel our pain and sorrow. I don’t think they realize how deep it goes because most White people can trace their ancestry, most Black people cannot. They do not really understand why we can only trace our DNA to a country or area. They do not understand how painstakingly our history and culture was removed as if it never existed. We were told we were nothing, never would be anything and never had anything until they came along to save us. History does not bear that out although they tried to erase and/or distort history.
Against our will we were bought to this country in chains with untold many dying along the way. We were forbidden our language, it was forbidden to teach us to read and write, it was forbidden to gather in groups except to slave in the hot sun and, not least, to speak unless spoken to and it was always with a bowed head. If any law, written or unwritten, spoken or unspoken, we were whipped, beaten, shot, butchered, or hung. The women were constantly raped, and the offspring were either kept for the fields or sold. We were taught the Bible and christen ways although the White people did not uphold those values. After learning the christen way, we could only go to our church unless a White person was there to observe. The offspring, although some were indistinguishable from their White owners, were told that one drop of Negros blood made a person Black no matter the color of their skin. Humm…there are not many White people that do not have a drop of Black blood in their veins. I know some that went to school with me and later passed for White.
This country was built on the backs of Black people. There would not be a United States of America without the labor or ingenuity of Black people. Why did I use the word ingenuity? Let us think back to the days of the Pharoses and beyond. These people were not as Elisabeth Talyor, who portrayed Cleopatra, they were Black people, living in Egypt on the continent of Africa. The oldest operating library in the world is in Alexandria, Egypt. Plato, Socrates and many others studied and received advanced education there. The world still does not understand how the pyramids were built nor why they are still standing, just to name a few things.
As I said in recent blogs and a few before those, we Black people have endured a lot and is still enduring. We have endured inferior education and had to learn more than the White person to obtain a job. While obtaining a job, we received lower pay for the same or more work than the White person and a promotion is out of consideration. I could go on and on but, in a nutshell, the Black person gets shafted in everything that goes on simply because they are Black. We have endured a lot and, still, all that is said is for us to stop complaining because they are working on it and to suck it up. It is the same thing that have been said for years and years and, maybe, more years to come. However, we will endure.

 

I Could Be Next

I never think about racist people because, all my life, in every facet of my life, they were always there. Sometimes overtly but most times covertly, always there. It is impossible for White people to understand living through constantly watching your back, looking over your shoulder all your life, knowing they are always there. Literally. In fact, before I reached my teenage years, it was natural to be forever on guard for the comment, subtle action, where I am always, escape routes, and other things White people never have to consider as a life mechanism for protection.
As a child, as far back as I can remember, I was taught how to act, what to say and not say, around White people. I was especially taught to be on watch for the police and, as a child, I have seen the aggressive actions police have toward Black people. I learned that what a White person does and say is always right and a Black person is considered wrong while doing or saying the same exact thing.
It was drilled into my head many times that as a Black person, applying for a job, would have to know two or three times as much, be much better at, if not perfect, and present a better dress and attitude to even be considered than a White person. I remember my first real job where I did almost everything there was to do on the job except, I could not touch the cash register, I had to wait for a White clerk to receive the payment. I still remember some of the rude remarks made to me or about me when all I was doing was my job, silently. A White person would never bear that nor understand that. To the Black people, I was a big successful person because I was the only Black person working in an all-White store.
While in the military I endured, over and over, many rude comments, missed promotions, uncalled for actions but I made it to retirement. I was told, to my face (after the Bill of Rights was passed), that I could not be in a particular corps of military duty because I was Black, it took me three years to finally make it into the outfit and another four years to be its leader. However, I had to endure many, upon many racist attacks. I constantly watched my back and trusted no one at all.
Upon retiring from the military, I joined the police force and immediately met racism that was everywhere within the force. I have seen racist actions, heard racist comments and endured every type of racism there is. Who could I turn to? What could I do? Who could I trust? No one. If I did or said anything I could be like my cousin, the first Black policeman of the same force years ago, setup and killed.
Yes, I have been around it and have seen it all my life and the marching today are echoes of when I marched in the ‘60s. In my blogs, this one and http://www.faithingodministries.net, I often have said that history repeats itself with the only difference being the date. Blacks have died for thousands of years (it goes back to before the Pyramids) because of racism and it is not over yet. Although I would like to see the end of it all, I won’t hold my breathe. I have lived a full and interesting life and, today, I still watch my back. I am still very, very careful. I could be next. I could be stopped by the police for anything at all. I could be erroneously accused by a White person and be killed for being Black. I am in my 70s and I could be next.

 

Black History

I will hit upon, just a fraction, a topic that would take a book to cover. Black History. This is a topic that some would say there is just a little of because they are ignorant of or just don’t want to see the facts. I say this because for many, many decades other races have attempted to quench Black History, a history that goes to the beginning of mankind itself.

I’ll start with Lucy. You know, the oldest bones ever found, and the bones were found in Africa, a continent of Black people. But, let us go to Egypt where the Pharaohs were, and pyramids are. Egypt is on the continent of Africa, Black people. Therefore, the Pharaohs were Black as well as all the people. Moses was found floating in a basket and the Pharaoh reared him as his own and the people never knew any difference. Therefore, Moses had to have been Black. Moses was Jewish, and Jesus, King of the Jews, had to have been Black.

Everyone remembers Socrates and Plato, great men. Most people don’t know that they studied at Alexandria which is in Egypt, which is in Africa, a library that is still in operation today. That mean Black men and Black institutions taught these men, men that others say are greater than the teachers (I truly doubt that), in the oldest library still in existence today.

The Black people of Egypt were so good in math and other things that the Pyramids and other things still exist today. Building, mortuary, writing, and many other things were honed by Black people. They even dabbed in pharmaceuticals, some still used today (one is aspirin). These were not ignorant nor lazy people. Other races of people constantly call them dumb, ignorant, non-human, incapable of learning anything, and on and on and on. We are harming ourselves today and only a few is taking advantage the inherent heritage that is within Black people.

When you look at the modern people, there are many, many Black people that show the brilliance that was given freely to others for thousands of years. No one wanted to be with nor work with Black people although Black people normally gets the hardest, dirtiest work but the job gets done with perfection. Remember all the wars the USA have been in and Black people have always been there (Buffalo Soldiers, Tuskegee Airmen, to name only a couple). We had a President of the United States, although through eight years of office the Republican Party stated over and over that they will not work with or approve anything that he did, and I personally think he did a fantastic job with the opposition against him. Now they are undoing everything he did, whether good or bad, just because he got it pass Congress somehow.

Black people seldom get the credit they deserve when the credit is due. Most good accomplishments are claimed by someone other than the originator. I have seen a lot of credit given long after the person is dead, seldom to a living Black person. It is the same as giving flowers to someone that have died. I rather smell the flowers while I am alive, I can’t smell them when I am dead. It’s the same with Black History, let me read it or hear it now. Let me be proud of my forefathers now. Let us teach the children about our greatness now, later is too late, Black History is now.

 

Taking Advantage of Retirement

I will write, again, about being retired and all the fun that is out there to be taken advantage. But, there are others, in my retirement community, that want to just sit and complain about this and that and rarely, if not ever, take advantage of the magnitude of opportunities. I promised to give a little more of my travels and/or taking advantage of the opportunities, not only here at Imperial Plaza but outside the gates of the community. But, first I must say, there are numerous things to do and most are free and what is not free is very cheap.

Everyone here know my wife and I love the casinos and the last one was a stay at the Sands Hotel and Casino/Mall in Bethlehem, Pa. (Sunshine Bus Tours). To say the casino was huge is not a dream but the truth. Of all the casinos we have visited, that was the largest. The hotel room was very large and cleaned daily whether we wanted cleaning or not. There was a cards tournament going on and the number of people playing (must have been in the hundreds) would not fit in Imperial Plaza’s auditorium. It was a nice trip…

The Activities Department, here at Imperial Plaza, have been doing a great job. Among the many trips (I’ll name two) was the fishing trip at the mouth of the Chesterpeak Bay and the Atlantic Ocean and the latest trip was on (The Alliance) a schooner on the York River. We sailed out of Yorktown and, after sailing in the triple mast (sails) schooner, had lunch at Outback in Williamsburg, Va. This Wednesday is to the Maryland Live Casino/Mall, can’t miss that, and, two months from now, a trip to the casino in West Virginia (Charlestown).

I just found out that a Richmond Mayoral Debate will be held here and I am wondering how many residents will attend. People here have so much apathy toward so much yet they can sit around in the lobby area and gripe about everything. I didn’t care about Richmond politics until I started living here. Now that Richmond is my city of residence and where I vote (we have a voting precinct in house), I am very interested and there is a need to know before I vote. Since there is a voting precinct here, I wonder how many residents vote, especially the Black vote. I have found the Black people here show more indifference than most and participation is seldom, with the exception of very few.

A few days ago I was talking with a couple of people about cities and, out of the blue, I was asked “what makes a city a city?” and I had to stop and think a second. It came to me about a conversation I had with a ranking postal official in North Dakota. I had wondered what made such small towns in North Dakota designated as cities. Some of the cities in North Dakota are smaller than our large trailer parks here in Richmond. This man told me that all the place needed was an operating post office and it could then become a city on it’s own. Well, Imperial Plaza don’t have a post office per se, but it does have package pickup, stamps, mail delivery and mail pickup. To top that off, Imperial Plaza have a bank, store, restaurant, doctor’s office, pharmacy, etc. All the places some cities in the USA don’t have and that includes having police, buses, barber shop, beauty parlor, etc. The resident don’t have to leave the premises for anything that is needed. We are a city within a city but without our own zip code. Now I don’t want to hear anyone saying I didn’t name this or that because I purposely didn’t mention everything. There is so much here to mention that I don’t want to attempt naming everything because I know I will miss something.

So, until the next time, I want everyone to be careful out there because any bad thing can happen at any time. Just be vigilant and careful but don’t go off the deep end and take matters into your own hands. Let the proper people do that and respect them for doing a great job in spite of the miniscule few that put a taint on their name. Peace Out

facebook-20160918-101543(I’m hoisting the foresail by myself but the teenager, in the blue cap, was suppose to help me)

Thinking of MLK

Listening to Martin Luther King’s speeches, for his birthday celebration, made me really think of those days compared to today. What mostly comes to mind is the sliding backwards of the People of color and the Black on Black crimes growing dreadfully fast. There are many reasons for this up tick in these crimes coupled with the flagrant disregard to the mighty works of MLK and others, starting from the first slave bought to these shores until now.

There were always the occasional crime within the Black community. That’s in all communities. However, it was never as frequent as it is now. It usually came from an argument stemming from a night of drinking and partying, as now. It was never the random fracas that happens now. The Peace Marches were all orderly and ALL provocations came from law enforcement or the representation there of. We, as kids to adults, conducted classes on how to registrar to vote, how to vote, etc. We taught, as kids to adults, how to protect yourself against fire department’s water hoses, the police dogs and battery upon the body. I say “we” because I was involved also. This is first hand knowledge.

The one thing that is different today is education. It was instilled in all of us, during those days, to study and study hard. To never give up studying and then more. And, this was happening although we knew that getting to the top rung of the ladder was impossible, that a Black person could only go a little ways up. Today it is not so. A Black person can go as far as possible, even as President of the United States.

Then there is the reason why a Black person can’t go far, other than education. It’s having a criminal record. Not many Blacks, especially men, are without some sort of record. There are not many jobs that does not require background checks and/or security clearances. People are hollering that there are too few Black policemen. How many, that want to be a policeman, can pass a background check? Not many. And, most that can pass a background check prefer some other job. It’s a vicious circle but education is still the center. Martin Luther King talked about that many times and it’s still talked about today. However, kids, today, don’t take education seriously. They study just enough to graduate and no more. They only want to know what is needed, not anything and everything like it was done in days not too long ago. Education was talked about since the sixteen hundreds, when the first Black came to America. That is why it was illegal for a slave to read or have any other type of education. Why do we still have to push this fact? Have Blacks forgotten our history or, even, been taught our history? Why fight/kill each other and hold our people back?

Martin Luther King had a dream as well as all of us. We have gotten far but there is still a long way to go. There should never be an area, in the Black community, I am hesitant to travel. There should never be a time that I look at another Black man and wonder if he is dangerous or not. After all these years, I should never have to listen to a Black person and hear ignorance, an uneducated person. I am perplexed over all of this. After all those peace marches, it was mostly for naught. My scars were gotten for nothing. Why?

I’ve been fighting inequity all my life. This was during childhood, in the military and after the military until today. Don’t believe it is so? Look at the Academy Awards. Again, why? Will this ever get right? World history say…NO. The best we can do is keep it as low keyed as possible and, as I say, “keep on keeping on”. There are inequities all over the world, in every culture and it’s been this way since the beginning of time.