Picture it. The year is 1918. The country’s been at war for a little over a year. Black soldiers are drafted to fight for the freedom of some other people in another country, meanwhile, they are stuck doing the most menial jobs (even the ones who enlist degree’d up are shoveling the shit), and their bosses, all white, get to call them niggers all day, and its nothing they can do about it. Then back at home, in America, the patriotic, good white women and men of the south and putting up record numbers of confederate statues to commemorate the losers of the Civil War (According to a report published by the Southern Poverty Law Center, the erection of confederate monuments coincides with two periods of extreme violence against Blacks – between 1900 and 1920 during the enactment of Jim Crow and between 1950 and 1965 during the civil rights movement.).
Then over in the peachy-keen state of Georgia, in the first week of May, 11 black people, one being Mary Turner, were lynched by an angry white mob. Mary Turn, 19 years old and nearly nine months pregnant, publicly admonished the white mob that lynched her innocent husband. She was subsequently dragged from her home and then framed by mainstream media as leading the plot to murder white farmer Hampton Smith. All of the papers told of how Smith’s watch was found in her home; none of them talk about how the mob dragged her from her home, lynched her, riddled her body with bullets, cut her baby from her belly…the black newspapers report it. So much of history has been digitized, and it’s so easy to look at these actual records. It is so easy to be informed. Free thinking is what you do after you smoke a joint, informed is what you are after you actually read.
Meanwhile, black people, the NAACP specifically, are trying real, real hard to keep Birth of a Nation off the movie screen because they understand how even the presumption that a black man would defile a white woman is the only provocation angry mobs need to justify their terrorism. There is a reason why thousands of black people are leaving the south in droves, trying to make new homes in the north or the west, where, prayerfully, they might have just a moment’s peace. The NAACP, bless their hearts, were keeping records of the violence experienced by blacks, primarily in the south, but not exclusively. You can actually read the NAACP’s records for yourself. Find out history from the niggas who were actually there, making it. All of the NAACP’s records are available at the Library of Congress in Washington, DC. They have a cute little finding aid, you just put in the keywords and boom, information literally at your finger tip.
Then on top of all of that, Jim Crow said you can sit nowhere, you can’t go nowhere, you can’t read nowhere, you can’t work nowhere, you can’t live nowhere, you can’t get coffee there, and you can’t get chicken and waffles there, and you definitely can’t golf there, and you can’t sit on this corner, and you can’t even hardly go in your got damn house depending on where your light bill is sent too.
Then the next summer, black soldiers are home and they are fired up because they know, America knows, that they done played their part, they went to war, they did their jobs, they helped y’all win, and they didn’t even fuss real hard about it, they put their head down and they got it done. And you know what, it’s coming up on a year and they realize, nothing has changed, so they start signing up for the NAACP because got damn it, they want the rights they got damn fought for. They tired of this shit. No sooner did the NAACP membership go up when angry white mobs across the country, like 25 cities and towns, just started killing people. So many black men and women died that summer/fall, they call it the Red Summer of 1919.
And now I have to ask – who would choose that? Like for real, who would choose that? But if that’s what you define as choice, then that is what they did, they choose to endure ALL OF THAT so you could climb your black ass on TV and say whatever you want. They did all of that for you too.
Anyway, I feel how hard it is living in 2018 but at least I got the Internet and Infinity Wars and Bob’s Burger and Love and Hip Hop and in a few days, Black Panther whenever I want it, to distract me. Can you imagine going through all of this with nothing to distract you?
In The Middle: Of A ‘Black Parade’
12 Year-Old Keedron Bryant Signed to Warner Records
“OOHHH THANK YA” is all Keedron Bryant had to say on social media when news finally came out that he had signed a record deal with Warner Records.
Amidst all the difficult news we’ve been facing these past few weeks, we wanted to give you something to smile about. You might remember Keedron Bryant, the 12-year-old boy who went viral after posting a video of himself singing “I Just Wanna Live,” a song written by his mother that tells of being Black in America and just wanting to live.
Keedron’s performance was noticed by everyone from former president Barack Obama, who referred to him and posted the performance in a statement on the murder of George Floyd, to comedian Ellen Degeneres, who closed her show with his full video.
Just when we thought this story couldn’t give us any more feels, it was announced that Keedron was officially signed to Warner Records and his viral hit would be released on all platforms Friday, June 19, otherwise known as Juneteenth, a day marking the end of slavery in America.
Congratulations are definitely in order for Keedron Bryant.
Netflix CEO Donates $120 Million to HBCU’s
Netflix CEO, Reed Hastings, along with his wife, Patty Quillin, are donating $120 million dollars in total to Morehouse College, Spelman College, and the United Negro College Fund. The $120 million will go towards scholarships for the students. Each college will get $40 million.
According to the United Negro College Fund, this is the largest single donation by individuals.
In a statement Hastings and Quillin said, “We’ve supported these three extraordinary institutions for the last few years because we believe that investing in the education of black youth is one of the best ways to invest in America’s future.”
This isn’t Hastings’ and Quillin’s first time donating to HBCU’s and minority education. In 1997, the two began supporting the KIPP charter school network which helps black and latino students. In 2016, Hastings created a $100 million dollar education fund for black and latino scholarships.
“HBCUs have a tremendous record, yet are disadvantaged when it comes to giving. Generally, white capital flows to predominantly white institutions, perpetuating capital isolation. We hope this additional $120 million donation will help more black students follow their dreams and also encourage more people to support these institutions — helping to reverse generations of inequity in our country,” says Hastings and Quillin.