Gifted children like Stevie Wonder are born, not made even by musical producers like Motown who understood gifts like Stevie and Martin Luther King are ultimately about the pursuit of goodness.
We have to wonder, what if more writers were better educated to write and tell stories about the functional faith helpful and useful to impact the minds of youth? Perhaps even getting their attention to listen and hear good news? Three generations, a hundred years later, not far from Richmond, a young chaplain at Virginia State University, Reverend Braxton, knowledgeable of his Virginia ancestors during famed Day of Jubilee was renowned for beginning each weekly assembly of approximately 2500 faculty, staff and students by pronouncing:
How rare it is to find a soul quiet enough to hear God speak."
With quiet established young Reverend Braxton would lead assembly in reciting the Lords Prayer, followed by a College Dean who would then introduce honored speakers such as Dr. John Hope Franklin and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The assemblies were never a "soul train" of entertainers to celebrate the birth and emergence of glorious future youth like "Cool and the Gang" in the pursuit of "feeling good." Yet, the reality is that far more youth were and are impressed by words of musicians than ever uttered by scholars like Dr. King who hoped they would use their gifts and talents to help propagate the virtues of faith, hope and love found in songs of many artists such as Stevie Wonder (above right) whose love songs mattered in the generation of goodness attitudes.
Most people in Virginia were not equally interested in what they saw and heard, for the better or worse of what matters, including delivery of the good news witnessed by Nancy Lee. The bad news is that relatively few writers are researching and telling stories about functional believers in various geographic areas. Urban fiction is not conducive to knowledge and understanding of the functional faiths by which men, women and children do more than simply survive. Indeed, excepting rare years and circumstances, most have had to travel to learn and work or find work: not sit and wait for the Lord who HIMSELF was a mobile young man, walking and riding in the cause of goodness.
The site is mostly about aspects of American history that matters most to us because our ancestral generations are buried in America's soil, bequeathing us with X and Y chromosomes of many generations and centuries herein. We have researched demographics, economics, geographies, histories and various literatures including oral histories to better understand not simply who, but also which generations saw and heard the spirit of goodness (celebrated on Christmas Day) in 17th, 18th, 19th and 20th centuries. Yes, laced with generations and degenerations in the cause of goodness (but by and for who, when, where, why and how?)
Classifications in the cause of Rome or contents of character seen and heard in the spirit of Christ, not always defined in the context of organized religion or religious and political authorities over the powerless? The really new stories for new generations to research and write have a lot to do in digging into functional philosophy of life brought forth by Jesus, a young believer, opposed to much of: African, Hellenist, Pharisee, Roman and philosophical thinking on matters such as punishment and redemption? Our fascination is that his life's story set forth in the Book of Matthew outlines new beginnings of inherent moral worth fostering a philosophy of life in which "Motherhood Matters" in generating young men who do not glory in killing one another and others of any cause or color.
Slogans like "Black Lives Matter" though well intended, are not movements to address punitive and redemptive doctrines floating in color-coded cultures. Drug and ignorance induced Boyz of the Hood rap out fear and rage in degenerate killings not containable or observable by laws. Realities are the power to punish via lethal force is in the passions of many enraged law enforcement officers, and far exceeds empowerments to redeem among Judeo-Christian judges who hear and see "just us" (Richard Pryor). In such are the scenarios of killings and law cases. So, therein must we wonder about the writer imagined views and artistic settings of daily enacted human tragedy in degenerated lives that always begin with motherhood. Does the story begin with mother of the dead youth or the shackled one awaiting sentencing as another lost generation birth?
Enlightened and educated young writers and artists have a lot of topics on which to begin their stories. Fear or love, that is the question we ponder when seeing another news broadcast about new tragic killings in old streets? Aristotle professed expertise about the nature of tragedy reasoned the beginnings to be with males as the superior beings (subject to fearing the gods and overall god Zeus). By contrast the birth and doctrinal philosophy of life about and by Jesus of Nazareth set forth that natural births by new mothers partnered with earthly fathers are new beginnings that can overcome potential tragedies via faith in goodness summarized to be:
(1) Love GOD, (2) Honor thy mothers and fathers and (3) Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.
Our generational critique of any modern would-be or want to-be movement for goodness, whether in Africa or America, is that better motherhoods generate it into existence, and fathers and mothers matter in boys escaping the wrath of those who would destroy or kill them for many reasons. So, we are well reasoned to start with GOD of our fathers and fathers' fathers indoctrinated in our mothers before birth. Based on what we have read Nathan the Prophet was one of Mary's fathers with a belief in GOD affording her something to believe in greater than herself, a mystery indeed in the faith to be believed or not. We believe in this nurturing of children by their mothers to be emotionally healthy.
There is evidence from many past generations identified in our generation tables that mother's milk/witness is the essential empowerment ingredient that too many mothers do not have because it was never given by their mothers or mother's mothers.
A story told about Abraham Lincoln when he was boy of nine years age is that: his mother on her death bed said to him "Abraham, I am going on a long journey and shall not return; but I want you to Love GOD and be kind to your sister Sarah." Mothers matter in what boys do in seeking empowerment and what they do when power is in their hands to heal or kill. Mothers have power not given to any many or all women; and, for sure illiterate mothers have the power to corrupt by ignorance and neglect.
Like it or not the past classification era of power versus empowerment matters that new generations understand: African-American cultural beliefs and dynamics varied in different geographic regions and were never monolithic or desired to be in Africa or America regarding the person or spirit of Christ. Even today the devout Akan Christians in regions like Ghana, West Africa believe they are never alone because their ancestors are forever with them, and in fact each have been "born again" from among one and the same. If indeed, Africans like Betty's Mother had any beliefs about God Almighty or her ancestors before coming to Jamestown/Williamsburg, did she bring such beliefs with her?
If so, it is possible that young men and women like her fostered the "Living Christ" beliefs in places like 17th century Virginia before churches were allowed or tolerated among slaves. On the other hand if Africans did not have souls as many slave-traders believed: there was nothing salvageable and useful except her body to be had and used by soulful Christians and Jews who best loved property and their liberty to have it as a him or her allowed by law. Many enlightened and educated Europeans would learn in the 18th century that many Africans were not only soulful in their ancestral based faiths; but also believers in divine creation known by names other than GOD.
Pursuits of goodness by organized or disorganized believers may have a common spiritually, but not always a commonality in religious behaviors or practices such as: singing and dancing in commemoration of significant spiritual events/matters during which we saw and heard most churches and political authorities avoid and/or condemn. It was not glorious to witness young John Lewis, marching within the spirit of Christ: nearly beaten to death for challenging the laws and rules of 20th century Caesars in America. Obviously, Lewis had the virtue of "courage" that Jesus deemed too heavy a burden for most believers to carry; but not for the chosen few mindsets like Lewis and his fellow believers to whom so many of "the least of us" owe so much in our virtues of faith, hope and love. His story about beliefs and values inherited and held dear matters that: new generations see and hear functional good news, not simply new dance steps, though pleasure is not condemned.
Our disappointment with most (not all) churches is that most youth mothers and fathers (and those to be in a few or more years) are living in neighborhoods of many church doors essentially closed to their embracing the functional faith that includes topics such as labor and learning versus luck and fame/glory. It is little wonder as to why degenerations prevail in depressed locations, not to be confused as being communities. Like it or not functional Christianity is always about: (1) multi-generation evangelization which is always about recruitment of children in the congregating of believers which is thus always about: (2) organized outreach to help and counsel new generations of mothers avoid raising up anti-Christ attitudes and behaviors, epitomized by the truly ruthless Romans in which a few raised hell over the many.
In a way, we were shocked into action by a Hollywood Oscar Award presentation entitled "Glory." It was a artistic commemoration of the 1965 voting rights march across the historic Edmund Pettus bridge in Selma, Alabama; and, like the award winning movie "Glory" starring Denzel Washington many years before: .... the producers apparently influenced by a LA/LA (Louisiana/Los Angeles cultural heritage) up from slavery did not comprehend that pursuit of goodness in Christ was never intended or realized as glory for or to believers. Roman legionnaires marched for glory (and good pay).
Jubilation, yes! The Civil Rights struggles, like the Civil War a hundred years (three generations) before via Emancipation Patriots was never glorious as some new generations imbued with Pentecostal offshoots of Southern Evangelical fervor are tempted to believe. Overcoming or experiencing violence was never glorious. Rather, it always was and is a Jubilee, not glory like Roman mindsets seek and celebrate. It is very difficult for writers to interject the faith into their characters without comprehending how it exists beyond the rituals of prayer and organized religion.
Never alone! My great-grandmother Nancy Lee Bannister, born abt 1825 (like my other perhaps gifted and talented ancestor Madison Hemings Jefferson, born 1805) inheriting a mother's faith, hope and love: taught herself to read and write. And I was told by my Aunt Nancy (a lifelong Methodist) that "Grandma Nancy" believed in the spirit of goodness before, during and after the ante-bellum era of glorified make-believers about inferior and superior human beings. Grandma Nancy taught my grandfather to sing below gospel hymn for my Aunt Nancy and me to see and hear. I am compelled to believe she wanted her descendents to know about matters that mattered in the pursuit of goodness born on Christmas Day, and remembered by many as the Living Christ: believing themselves as "Never Alone." We have researched and strived to understand how, when, where and why some Virginians like Nancy believed Christ was always with her empowerment to pursue goodness.
Power versus Empowerment Pursuits? Pursuits of Glory or Pursuits of Goodness?
Cora Lee Frog Finney Hill, born 1907 was a believer and as a child probably loved to play and sing this hymn by an unknown writer that helped define for her what her own parents and grandparents saw and heard in Virginia, the land of various functional beliefs and faiths, but believers beyond rituals.
College educated in Virginia, she proudly looked down from her historic campus, in wonder at the ever flowing Appomattox River to somewhere. No functionalist on her campus ever mistakenly saw and perceived their flowing river as the Mississippi River song made famous by singer Paul Robeson: written and presented on Broadway by writers who never knew Virginia.
Their showboat songs could not reminisce about pain and suffering began in Jamestown in year 1619, and by functional faith of believers like Lincoln and Douglass: it was ended at Appomattox Court House in April 1865. Indeed, river songs and tales also matter to people who have seen and heard songs about Jubilee aspirations. To graduate as a teacher and future mother to raise up a new and better generation, Professor John Gandy required young women like Cora, and men too, to write a near word perfect composition about their philosophy of life, essentially in Christ. Cora recalled the first 50 years after slavery was ended, with the fall of Richmond, a Jubilee Celebration in Christ occurred in year 1915 at Tuskegee and most other thankful Black Colleges.
It is and was sort of like the mystery in her faith as to how goodness comes into existence to be seen and heard? Even then, back in the 1920s, it was not easy to join higher education reasoning to a faith few people knew or cared about. The world was about power and glory to the conquerors, not empowerment for goodness sake. She had lived through World War I that killed 50 million people and would live to see World War II kill another 50 million before propagation of racism was perceived and proclaimed by Hollywood as evil. Movie-makers did not condemn the money-making movie "Birth of a Nation" reportedly a early American inspiration to Adolph Hitler who reasoned evil as akin to goodness, enslaving and killing.
Millions of early 19th century immigrants to America from Europe saw and believed the cited screen production of life in America: disrupted by existence of African-Americans evangelized and treated as White Christians. And, in Cora's functional faith centered in Christ, it was three generations spanning over 100 years between her ancestral young men marching into the liberation of Richmond; and their faithful cousins with Dr. King crossing the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Birmingham wherein lived tens of thousands of descendents of enslaved laborers (including coal miners) during the Civil War had been shipped from the rebel war industries in Richmond. Generations in pursuit of goodness to overcome, not glory. It is amazing indeed that so many thousands of laborers in the mills and mines of mine and mill places like Birmingham, Pittsburgh and Richmond had family ties beyond knowledge of most scholars.
Old degenerations in sands of time or new generations rooted in observable foundations? Colors and Causes? Mothers and Fathers? Boys and Girls? Categories and Classifications? Training and Education? We think that it matters a lot as to world views and visions expressed by artists and writers. Hip-hoping from nothing to nowhere with music minus love, hope or faith to inspire or motivate who, when and where?
We decided to republish this site (taken down in year 2010) that our musing matters might be helpful and useful to writers who wish to validate their own inherited faith as Americans, without denigrating that of others such as offspring of 20th century immigrants having acquired some knowledge but: ... lacking understanding of "minorities functional histories" before immigrant family comings via Ellis Island. The Civil War and Civil Rights should not be viewed a trivia pursuits by artists and writers to make folks laugh.
Researching and publishing stories about clans such as the Robinson linkages of gifted and talented offspring like Bill (Bojangles) Robinson, Jackie Robinson, Jesse Robinson (Jackson), and Michele Robinson matters: that new generations should also wonder about profound mysteries in the generation of goodness among "the least of us." Which functions mattered? X-Chromosomes? Y-Chromosomes? Who generates it? And, for what purpose? Our big bang theory question is whether or not functional families are possibly generated by a single generation of X +/- Y = ? Minds + sex = generations matter.
Yet, faith matters in new generation writers (unlike August Wilson who was not nurtured in historic spiritual matters up from slavery) understanding why faithfulness are not one and the same as organized religion and rituals seen and heard by some playwrights. We do not believe non-believers understand vast differences between functional faith and organized religion; albeit faith helped generate congregations of believers who joined DNA and generated churchmen like Jackie Robinson and Martin Luther King.
How did spirit of goodness in HIM pass through generations into WHO/YOU? Are characteristics inherited? Who joined reasoning to whose faith? Is there a spiritual connection between mother and birthed child? If so, does African origin matrilineal heritage traditions matter in connecting new minds to old matters like "Queen of the South" cited by Matthew and depicted in below left image. So, what mattered to the gifted and talented born in prior generations?
Where do functional stories begin. Do writers write only about bodies or do they include spirits that matter such as dreams seen and heard? Many believers who saw Dr. King visibly inspired in final moments of his famed 1963 speech delivered in Washington, D.C. were convinced the "I Have A Dream" sermon was superior reasoning joined to his functional faith. Dreams matter, and it is amazing indeed as to who interprets a dream.
We are concerned that without functional inspiration from successful mothers, so many of "the least of us" are/have abandoned functional faith that not only rescued Disciple Peter from jail, but also Dr. King and Nelson Mandela seen and heard. What is history anyway other than stories told and passed on from one generation to another by gifted and talented men and women. Every mother has a history but not functional faith.
It matters that new generations understand the psychological armor internalized by many mothers like Nancy Lee type past believers. Not all mothers can read and write, but it is a certainty in the journeys up from slavery the functional and real gospel music by artists like Mahalia Jackson when heard was very helpful and inspirational to mothers and others. If indeed, music is the universal language then it is understandable that she was instrumental in conveying Dr. Kings essential elements in his sermons about faith, hope and love we digest in Stevie Wonder songs. So, what dare we think about degenerate blues and raps? Has any goodness been generated by music minus the human virtues that believers seek?
Since Mahalia was born, composing and singing before ever meeting the young drummer in Christ, many African-American believers would later believe they both were the instruments/hidden hands of the Living Christ long ago embraced by ancestors gone but not forgotten. Women like Nancy Lee and her grand-daughter Nancy, wondered and believed that Frederick Douglass, Harriet Tubman and Sojourner Truth were of, by and for that same spirit in the cause of goodness. A earthly trinity, seen and heard, for believers to wonder about: men and women who were born, nurtured, inspired and motivated to be functional disciples in the Living Christ. Perhaps there was or is an algorithm in the functional faith teaming different age-groups/generations in the same functional cause? We raise the question not about religion but beliefs held dear by past generations, like the Akans.
If mass media writers, producers, directors and performers do not understand victories in Christ are not pursuit of glory or power: what about "the least of us? " What is it they do not understand? Who writes the stories they read? Or music new mothers hear? It matters that new generations understand the vast philosophical differences between Martin Luther King, Jr. and those who opposed him. What did Frederick Douglass believe? Do beliefs matter? More than courage? More than faith? More than hope? More than love? How do writers and actors characterize beliefs they do not have, want nor believe any of "the least of us" ever had in overcoming historic bad news? Sort of like the term coined by basketball champion Bill Bradley in his book "Moving Without the Ball." Indeed, pursuit of goodness is not simply about slam dunks or sermons. It 's about what matters in making matters better and more fruitful and digestible for new generations.
Below Jeffersonian minded overview link to various site timelines and topics is intended to help new writers grasp that rebellion in pursuit of goodness spans generations and is not "Gone With The Wind" or "Color Purple" analogies that are box-office success and help shape public attitudes facing new generations.
We believe there are many thousands of non-antebellum and non-urban fiction stories yet to be written and told by new generations ignorant of fathers that mattered in overcoming "whatever, when and where." For example, who, how, when and where did young men like William Lee, born abt 1756, a very well-known patriot, learn about the gospels of Jesus Christ: distinguished from dominant Judeo-Christian beliefs? The British account of the French and Indian defeat of General James Braddock offers some insight about the likely life-style and experiences of William Lee's father. We, his descendents proclaim here and now that John Lee was his father and William had the God-given right, like Madison Hemings to believe himself born of a known patriot father and mother! And, the courage to say so, and tell offspring.
Our research at Mount Vernon and beyond sought answers to many questions. Question #1 always is: how does goodness come into existence? Was William Lee, born abt 1756 born with cavalry traits inherited from the man he believed was his father John Lee, born abt 1724 a veteran of the French and Indian War: or simply made by horse mounted master George Washington to be a Hollywood imagined faithful and loyal riding companion "Tonto?" Or, as we descendents dare to believe: Lee was one of some three dozen future military Aides de Camp to George Washington as the Commander-in-Chief of the Continental Army of some three hundred thousand young men inclusive of Native Americans like the Ceasar Generations young men below.
And there were more than 5,000 free, indentured and enslaved Black and Mulatto men like William Lee: years before enactment of U.S. constitution in 1787 codified him as less than others, and helped inspire the coming of ante-bellum winds that blew in engulfing three generations (abt. 1770 - 1860) of constant movements by Black, Mulatto, Native and White Americans. While most women were more or less stabilized free or enslaved, the majority of young men moved about as property, others as dispersals, and the rest as owners and agents of change.
Understanding this period of American history gives new generations of believers better insight as to why some ancestors (not all) came to believe in a "Living Christ." Many believed their witness generated births of thousands of functional saviors like Douglass, Lincoln and the .... Emancipation Patriots they saw and heard in the flesh.
We have tried to research generations of long-term goodness attributed to their lives. Some ancestral believers, such as William Lee the grandfather of Nancy Lee (image above right) were much more than legally defined "slave/servant." For goodness sake, we hope to convey her beliefs to new generations of scholars and writers that her grandfather William Lee was inevitably linked to the Lee Clan in Virginia via virtue of his father's sperm who perhaps was also a believer in Jesus Christ.
And, he was thus linked (like the biblical fathers) to successor generations via natural means and methods not subject to empirical data based reasoning of scholars: born two centuries later without a heritage to even contemplate revolutionary happenings that happened in America among a lot of people like William Lee who believed in a "Living Christ." In fact, a mystery in Lee's faith is that his descendents have numbered far more than that of any signer of the 1787 constitution that defined him as three-fifths of a person: categorized and classified as chattel property to be bought and sold.
Their beliefs were without modern formations or pronounced visions (not unlike the biblical Hebrews before they had any rabbi dwellings and organized leadership); but there occurred a revolutionary fervor in hearts and minds of a number of men like William Lee without church buildings and well-fed circuit preachers/bishops. When William Lee was born, people of his color and kind had no functional authority or rights to believe anything other than what individual slave owners, such as George Washington, allowed them to believe. Descendents of William Lee claim the rights to not believe many Americans such as Robert E. Lee who reasoned slavery to be modified goodness. We have reasoned our cousin did not know: what he did not want to know about slavery and y-chromosomes.
So, the stories still need to be researched and written as to how beliefs in a Living Christ came into existence among men like William Lee. Who told him and them about Jesus, as the Living Christ. Why such a love affair that has spanned generations? Was it the young inspired Francis Asbury who came from England to America in 1771 to spread a revolution that included Harry Hosier his wagon driver (above right) who may have preached to William Lee? Certainly not churches that believed and defended Judeo-Christian doctrines that established and sustained American chattel slavery in his life-time.
Our approach seeks to join reasoning to our inherited functional faith that spirit of goodness (Living Christ) spans multiple generations .... ignored by beneficiary generations (# 65-66) historians, writers and even lawyers like Clarence Thomas who has proclaimed "I am an American who just happened to be born Black." But, he is a reminder as to why more than a century was required to generate a rebellious spirit in enough X and Y sources chromosomes for a functional revolution in body and spirit; albeit the vast majority sat still and quiet perhaps waiting to be enlightened and educated to be free to think. Thomas has three years of law school on his resume, but apparently knows little or nothing about physical and meta-physical revolutions and revolutionary thinking about and among "the least of us." We think it matters as to what was seen and heard (including women, wars and liberties), and held dear by some ancestors who we believe: believed in a ever-present Living Christ, not evidenced by generations of offspring almost too numerous to count even though intent of many founding father lawyers, like James Madison (picture on right) was to hold harmless their numbers by reclassifying them as less than men.
Our philosophical approach to research is that one has to seek goodness to be found via His coaching : 1. Love GOD; 2. Honor thy mothers and fathers; and, 3. Do unto others as we would have them do unto us. So we began by keeping it simple: Where, when and which ancestors loved GOD? Did they seek to honor their mothers and fathers? How? Justice Thomas to his historical shame avoids discussing this functional Christian mandate, as do many others, by praising some Catholic Nuns as though a legitimate substitute in his adopted faith. We do not know what his inherited faith was, but want him to comprehend that his ancestral DNA in the spirit of Christ obviously mattered more than nationality. We urge that Thomas and others who can afford it to seek Christ in their DNA chain, and perhaps honor memories of HIM seen and heard.
Many Lee descendents know and believe they too are sons and daughters of the American Revolution in which their ancestor William Lee honorably served with, for and by the side of George Washington. Master opportunists like Clarence Thomas have always avoided and slept through revolutionary generations in pursuit of goodness. Both Black and White, Native and Hispanic, in Church and State, they are: more like Roman autocrats, not revolutionaries. Many have made clear they do not want to know America's moral heritage included some "least of us" mothers and fathers in pursuit of goodness. We are determined to honor our diverse African, Native-American and European heritage in America such as our ancestor Lee Lowry, born 1863 whose great-grandfather William Boggs Lowry, born abt 1744 also served in the revolutionary war of 1775-1883. And, we have also inherited his victory alongside George Washington.
The site seeks to historically note and outline stories about ... our beloved ancestors Thomas Findley Lee, born 1859 the son of Nancy Lee Banister, born abt 1825 portrait on top right, daughter of Rose (Carter) Lee, born 1788 and grand-daughter of William Lee, born abt 1756 documented by George Washington for his Relative Issues armed body guard service in the revolutionary war of 1775-1783. And, yes he helped row the boat that carried George Washington to fame and glory. It matters to us that our ancestor William Lee, in harms way, crossed the Delaware River with George Washington. Thomas F. Lee seated in picture on left was proud to be a great grandson of William Lee, patriot and grandfather to his (below right image) patriot grandson and my cousin William (Billy) Lee born in 1929. Billy and I grew up together in Pittsburgh and heard family stories about our ancestor William Lee as the mail carrier for Mount Vernon; and like his father who was a mail carrier William Henry Lee, born 1894 during World War I in France and the U.S. Postal Service, he also became a postal employee after his honorable discharge from military service. He joined his father and uncles as functional benefactors to American society, not simply color-coded beneficiaries.
Note: Naming of William Henry Lee likely suggested by Nancy Lee Banister, born abt 1825 who died in 1912 knew Lee (White) histories as her own.
We too are descendents of a man who was also a believer, American patriot and revolutionary war veteran; more than simply a slave and valet as described by most race-matters historians. William Lee served honorably in the First American Revolution along with others of his color and kind we dare not forget without diminishing our own sense of self and offspring as Americans who have also served. To me and mine, he was a functional human being, much more than a Margaret Mitchell definition of a ante-bellum slave. He was also a horse-mounted mailman, and valued by the Mount Vernon residents like George and Martha Washington.
I dare not remember my dear cousin Billy, accidentally killed in an auto accident while doing his job as a mailman: without recalling that my famed ancestor William Lee also experienced postal service accidents. Not surprising we have found that artists, churchmen and writers of fiction are not now and have seldom been inclusive of African-Americans as benefactors in American history and society. Too many have redefined slaves and their descendents as creatures/sources of nothingness, and post Civil Rights era affirmative action privileges in "people of color" analogies that exclude functional men like them. Their X and Y chromosomes matter more than most writers care to research.
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