Our goals and hopes are to help generate more scholarly interest and "story telling" about lives of functional saviors and sources of family and community formation. It is about many causes and colors in the generations and pursuits of "goodness" born on Christmas Day as beginning of the first new generation up from several millenniums of bad news, ... so bad that only scholarly enlightened preachers can even begin to comprehend its magnitude covering the earth within all continents and kingdoms.
The birthing of Jesus by his mother Mary in Bethlehem about two thousand years ago, ... is how we set our compass magnetized for true readings by any other name and descriptions to research and envision pursuit of goodness by mother and child such as: Mary X Robinson, born abt 1774. Our hopes are that gifted and talented new screen and song writers will help generate good news for preachers and teachers to at least think about, ... in citing great literatures others have written in other times and places.
For poets, preachers and other imaginative and enterprising minds, the site is perhaps a Greenwich Meridian route for enlightened and educated youth of African heritage seeking to navigate life without getting lost in seas of make-believe such as occurred with gifted and talented O. J. Simpson. He was challenged in the enlightenment era of athletes like Willie Mays who on at least one known occasion tried to counsel the future hall of fame sensation about his arrogant attitudes and behaviors.
Whether heathen or not, Simpson's glamorous route to success, sex, love and power ought not be denied as attitudes and behaviors endemic among many men and women of African heritage, ... who negatively affect "the least of us" lifetimes and beyond. We have cited the above testament of reality about any philosophies espoused in contradiction to traditional and accepted "faith, hope and love" philosophy. We have tried to single out some relative families engaged in getting on and up in the world without "juicing" others as "juiced" by Hollywood. We think it is now time for enlightened and educated African-Americans, who have seen it all come and go, to speak out about what is most obviously at course with so many bright youth redefining victorious virtues and values. "OJ" is perhaps the poster boy but not the only example of gifted and talented bad attitudes and behaviors.
Dudleen Wilkerson Lowry Lee, abt 1975
The site is targeted on gifted and talented scholars and writers born in generations #66 (birth years 1950-1979) and #67 (birth years 1980-2009). Our hopes are to challenge the growing cultural dynamics threatening to re-introduce dysfunctional values (like a wet blanket) onto "the least of us." Without the institution of marriage reflected in the 1880 U.S. Census Data correlated by the Mormon Church, we could not even have began the challenge of researching African-American family dynamics "up from slavery" for this website. For folks able and willing to travel outside the United States, it is enlightening to learn that for most places on earth and even in the U.S. during its early years, ... marriage was never easy or simply two lovers.
Indeed, many, not all our ancestors believed they were brothers and sisters in the spirit and body before ever meeting to love and mate. We have taken that cue in trying to understand the culture that caused so many men and women up from slavery to address each other and even strangers as: mother, sister and brother? Cora Lee Hill Atkins noted that in the post-Civil War period of over four million ex-slaves, many were indoctrinated by preachers to believe their faith would reveal lost mothers and siblings to them. And, for at least a generation after the war, roadways were filled with seekers such as Samuel and Spencer Jones.
We believe that marriage matters in not only defining identity of offspring but also relationships within their own generation that will allow them to accept others even the ones they marry, .... first and foremost as brothers and sisters, which is the essence of Christian doctrine: "Love ye one another." The site is not about propagation of marriage but reflecting generations of goodness that flowed from it, including integration of America to be as we now have and hold that every child is born "somebody," not a nobody. We do want learned youth to carefully consider that children being born and certified without named fathers is a return to the states of nothingness that existed in the not distant past when we were without community. It is irrational for any mother in the short-term or long-term to deny a child knowledge of his or her biological father.
We believe writers of African heritage everywhere ought continue Dr. Martin Luther King's aspirations seeking to integrate (not simply litigate and mitigate) cultures that honor (not denigrate or destroy) fathers and mothers in the pursuit of goodness. As Spike Lee might note: it all boils down to which gifted and talented minds can be trusted to "do the right thing" We think it is not right for writers to rationalize that lesser endowed mothers can successfully manage to generate goodness in offspring without benefit of grandparents, spouses, uncles, aunts, siblings or cousins and friends for their offspring. Mothers are not gods. But, we hasten to add that as was with Mary, mother of Jesus, we believe mothers can be vessels of GOD if they choose to accept the attending philosophy of life.
We believe every free-born person has a God given right to know his/her patriarchy in life, liberty and pursuit of happiness, ... not to be denied or hidden by mothers or others as existed with chattel slavery. It was an abomination with attitudes and behaviors that ought not be forgotten. Scholars and writers should never forget that marriages among people of African heritage were discouraged or not allowed in much of America prior to 13th Constitutional Amendment. The matter is a lot more than simply about property and inheritance rights but more so is reflective of the adopted culture looking to the future, rather than dead ancestors as sources of goodness. Indeed, most African-Americans have never lived in Africa; but, have a lot of Africa's worst cultural values in them. In much of Africa and rest of the world, it is now clear to gifted and talented leaders that for medical and other reasons, both the father and mother's heritage are important for child development. Leaving no child behind begins with mother-wit!
Grandma Ida Ann Wilkerson Lowry abt 1938
Thereafter chattel slavery, the separation of procreative men and women was often coerced including welfare as we once knew it; and by 19th-20th century was reinforced via criminal codes plus military enlistments and conscriptions. What a great writer does not know or include can help entertain but hurt the cause of racial integration for men or women. Did Alice Walker's book adapted for screen-play by Stephen Spielberg help reawaken 19th century anti-Black male demons?
Her book "The Color Purple" skipped over realties like the Buffalo Soldiers and Spanish American War in which young Black men excelled. Did she unwittingly inspire Hollywood to exclude Black men from epic films like "Searching For Private Ryan?"
One purpose of site is to help fight epidemic "dumb-down" of too many gifted and talented youth. Many perceive cultural, geographic and historical source dynamics about "the least of us" ... through visions of non-scholars who earned fame and money:
"writing tales of degenerate behavior in pursuit of folly that enlightened and educated screen-writers and actors ought not propagate as a community characteristic up from slavery in love or war."
How do Hollywood movie makers and viewing audiences around the world perceive Black men to be or have ever been in war or peace? How many movies reflecting heroics by other racial and ethnic groups ever portray men of African heritage as being equal in virtues and values. Indeed, some Black men have been blind, cripple, cowardly and crazy in the irrational environment of war and rumors of war; but, not all of them all the time, everywhere in all wars. It is not the fault of government that these perceptions dominate Hollywood writings.
The National Archives are a wonderful institution open to all without regards to race, creed or cause but when writers deliberately seek to denigrate African-Americans in historic events such as winning of wars, it is sheer racism whether the writers are Black, White or just lazy. It matters a lot as to what gifted and talented minds think and propagate for mass viewings by young men and women, ... far more than what preachers say on Sunday mornings.
As an example, most writers and audiences now perceive that African-Americans were the last ethnic group of mass migration (after Jews, Irish, Italians, Serbs, Syrians and Polish) into Pittsburgh despite numerous facts that sizeable populations of such existed there since at least the Revolution and certainly the Civil War. Why? Because Black scholars have failed to document the experiences and realties of prior generations, leaving such to people like August Wilson who by any measure was a prolific writer but non-scholar about African-American histories.
August Wilson's ancestors did not serve in the Great Emancipation and Wars for Mexican Independence or Spanish-American Wars. So far as can be determined, ... neither on his father or mother's side was there any service in World Wars I and II, the Korean and Vietnam Wars, nor the Christian Leadership Campaigns for Civil Rights. Our ancestors did and we are determined to not allow such writers to redefine our histories to suit their view of the Hill District or any other place to be remembered, ... such as Bethel AME Church as the center for recruitment activities that generated young men like Congressional Medal of Honor recipient:
Rank and organization: First Sergeant, Company F, 6th U.S. Colored Troops. Place and date: At Chapins Farm, Va., 29 September 1864. Entered service at: ------. Birth. Pennsylvania. Date of issue: 6 April 1865. Citation: Gallantly seized the colors, which had fallen near the enemy's lines of abatis, raised them and rallied the men at a time of confusion and in a place of the greatest danger.
In order to have recruited two regiments of U.S. Colored Troops there had to have been at least 30,000 Black folks living in the area during era of abolition activity preceding Civil War.
Road to Freedom
Virginia was right across the Allegheny, Monongahela and Ohio Rivers from Pittsburgh to which many African-Americans escaped. The Lower Hill District of August Wilson's knowledge did not include the Mother Bethel African-Methodist Episcopal Church that included men like Civil War Major Martin Delany. And, non-scholars and scholars alike assume that since he was such a smart and award winning author, such people and places obviously did not exist or have any stories worth being told.
Tara Lowry Robinson Martin Williams Edwards
Xernona Clayton, founder of the The Trumpet Foundation that seeks to recognize and award the best and brightest in the cause of goodness; ... will tell you that she and other mass media focused pioneers like Jesse Jackson fought a long and hard fight to help generate opportunities for youth like Tara Edwards. Tara is the former Pittsburgh region television news journalist, on left, who shares the Atlanta spirit of smiling faces we now see every day. Getting them admitted and graduated at prestige institutions like the University of Michigan, Rutgers and many other places where the best and brightest are trained was a battle royal. As Joe Lewis might have said: "Ma, I glad I won." Yes, we fought the good fight and think we won.
But, the struggle must go on to encourage gifted and talented youth to fight the great fights for goodness sake less "the least of us" be left to the whims and wrath of people who are not. CNN in Atlanta has given us an example of what gifted and talented Black news givers can do and inspire for "the least of us." Cities like Pittsburgh suffer from a lack of Atlanta depth in mass media deeds and doing that inform and inspire Black youth. True, most cities, if any, in America are not like Atlanta in which people of African heritage all over the world now view as a cultural hub. It is why Tyler Perry and many others are now located therein pursuant their professions. Gifted and talented youth therein truly seem to "love ye one another."
Our hopes are that enlightened and well educated young minds like Tara Edwards will consider researching and producing television documentaries for commercial and public TV stations. There is a dire need for scholarly Black journalist types to take on topics such as the near disappearance of organized baseball sponsorship and aspirations among Black boys in the Pittsburgh region wherein her ancestors with far less money and opportunities once learned and played the game. We believe the absence of such is a serious signal about decline of integration realities on fields of dreams in the American dream of families and community evolvement among African-Americans.
Documentaries are critical in the new process via which goodness is pursued. Since at least the 1960s, television documentaries have inspired what the screen-writers write about. Playwrights rationalize what they see and hear, as August Wilson did with "Fences" which is not a story about Josh Gibson but many viewers think so.
We believe it is an affront to many of "the least of us" to depict existence of "make believe community" for movies and television wherein it did not or does not exist. Writers and artists have long-lasting residual effects among librarians, readers, viewers and others wherein English is the language of empowerment and respect by people who matter a lot in shaping public opinion as to who is deserving of Christian fellowship. Images matter in the mass public mind about people and places.
Hollywood black-buster horror films beginning with "Birth of A Nation" were very influential in America during first three decades of the 20th century wherein America had a total population of about 100 million including 10 million African and Native Americans. It not only inspired expansion and success of the Ku Klux Klan into northern industrial states and labor unions; but, also served as a model propaganda tool for Nazi Germany that had a population of about 70 million 10-15 years later. Instead of African and Native Americans as inferiors removed to make way for new births, the German film-makers substituted six million Jews and Gypsies who they categorized and classifying as needed removals.
For better or worse, people of African heritage owe a lot, if not most, of their cultural heritage during the past ten generations to change in attitudes and behaviors that occurred among Anglophiles, ... our favorite clearly being John Wesley. Our great grandmother Adaline Frog Kyle thought Wesley was one of the greatest men in history next to Jesus; but we doubt that she ever conveyed such thoughts to the Armstrong and Dillard families that owned her in Southwest Virginia.
Herein lies the mystery in power of faith had and held dear: hate the sin but not the sinners. So, grandma did not need courage to tell slave owning White folks that she viewed them as sinners, ... merely faith that Christ would end slavery. Her minister told her that Jesus (not Paul) said so in a Roman Empire of which 70 percent of the inhabitants (Jews and Gentiles) were officially classified as slaves to be liberated by the good news propagated among believers in Africa, Asia and Europe.
The English language empowered men like Reverend John Wesley and Reverend Francis Asbury to circumvent and overpower prevailing Latin dogma in Church and State for changes we can only marvel to comprehend. Wesley recruited and ordained Asbury who is the Christian that ordained Reverend Richard Allen who used his perceived power to recruit and organize the thousands and tens of thousands of people of African heritage in Philadelphia, New York, Pittsburgh and beyond on behalf of "the least of us" still in bondage. London based Libraries have a lot of data that escape minds of people who write but not read a lot.
We rejoice there are generations and colors of believers up from the ugly past whose ancestors labored for community in functional body and spirit of "goodness" that has triumphed (though often rejected and abused by many Blacks, Whites and Native Americans.) We want new mothers and children to be-do better than what is propagated by many writers and entertainers for them to read, hear and see.
We want poets, preachers and teachers to tell youth about real non-biblical Sarah types of the Family Robinson that came into existence with U.S. Constitution legalizing human beings as commodities bred for labor, sex and trade. Clearly by now, it is self evident to even Alice Walker that men like Jackie Robinson and women such as Michelle Robinson Obama were generated by family virtues and values, ... not rape and rage against men.
Fraser C. Robinson III, born 1935
Books of Samuel still to be written by functional believers are all about the reality rappers claim to see and hear. Black writers have not learned how to tell their own stories that youth need to hear about their own triumphs in overcoming adversities imposed by others. Samuel lived to see his prayers answered.
Tell youth that within two generations many heavy hearts generated more than 3,000 young men named Robinson as U.S. Colored Troops during the great emancipation war. Tell them they can believe what they want to believe but believe what others have seen and heard in ending of the hated and hurtful institution. Let Black poets write about songs of wonder and faith as Langston Hughes and others tried to do for past generations in the pursuit of goodness.
Poetry By Julia Ward Howe
Zyra Yvonne Lowry Robinson Martin
We want them to rationalize that families come into existence and are sustained by fathers and mothers over multi-generations seeking goodness.
Consequently, we believe families give functional cause and substance to communities of caring for "the least of us" such as learning to labor, relative doctrines, music lessons, marching bands, little league baseball, and other adult organized and sponsored activities that teach boys and girls to respect and tolerate one another. Our hopes are for scholars and writers with the aspirations and abilities to research and tell stories that matter in the faith and hopes of new generations to learn and pursue better and more useful lives.
Our view is the functional church of our best and brightest ancestors came into existence, not by buildings and temples but by such means as occurred with other anglophile ethnic groups. The Seven Sisters Colleges (like Smith and Sarah Lawrence) that sent hundreds of volunteer teachers and nurses (via the Freedmen's Bureau) into the ex-confederate states did not seek to build places to preach but instead to institutionalize facilities for learning and character building. These were the feminists we most admire even though modern men of means managed to take over and redefine social work doctrine to be something all together different than originally practiced.
Menu on left below affords an overview of topics generated and commemorated such as courage, faith, hope and love by multi-generations of West African, East Asian (especially Cherokee, Creek and Seminole Native American) and West European (especially Anglo Saxon) heritages we have seen and heard in pursuit of goodness.
Our theme (thesis) is that pursuit of goodness (like the interstate highway system) is best measured by a philosophy of life about generations of it rather than individual achievements such as Civil War patriotism (in which young men mattered much more than matrilineal heritage most African-Americans have internalized or postulated). We want contents of character by youth to be-do as better Americans, not less.
Indications are that too many people of African heritage, unlike most other ethnic group cultural dynamics, have little caring or knowledge about patriot ancestor functions in wars or liberation movements thereto and made possible as a result. We hope this site can be helpful to those who do care to research and learn about functional benefactors of all Messianic colors in life, liberty and pursuit of goodness/happiness. It is more than "big mamas and colored girls." It links past, present and futures.
We want to tell what we think our generation (birth years 1920-1949) saw and heard about preceding benefactor generations of youth (18 to 26 and 27 to 35 male and female age-groups) UP from the world existing prior to ending of World War I-II reigns of terror. The site wants to make certain that youth know many men of African heritage contributed to winning the wars of liberation other ethnic groups routinely proclaim and propagate as achievements. Our issue here is that writers who exclude or skip over existence of Black men in wars and rumors of wars during human history are not "keeping it real" and fuel the exclusions in future Hollywood make believes.
Rose Alice Wilkerson Lowry, born abt 1903
Topics are more or less set forth in the context of patrilineal family generations listed alphabetically on the menu as long-term (sustainable) attitudes and behaviors in pursuit of goodness. Many people of African heritage in Africa, the Americas and Caribbean have a matriarchal cultural heritage; and we believe these cultural dynamics are not only proven inferior by five hundred years of observation but directly contributed to and reinforced degenerations during and after era of chattel slavery.
For example, matriarchal cultural dynamics are clearly reflected in attitudes of well-meaning men and women who lobbied to name Pittsburgh's newly erected African-American cultural center in memory of Frederick August Wilson Kittel (African-Jewish heritage). We think it matters a lot as to what youth generations are given to see and believe as their heritage; and especially so for youth, parents and teachers of other ethnic groups, ... who have even less knowledge of African heritage cultural contributions to the greater American culture shaped by long-lasting ideas that matter in how people live their lives.
August Wilson was chosen for gifted and talented youth to commemorate rather than someone like Robert L. Vann (African-Cherokee heritage) who helped generate opportunities for many Black writers and artists including Billy Eckstein, Earl Gardiner, Lena Horne and other Pittsburgh greats in world of music masters. Indeed, they all labored long and hard for a place at the table, ... not crumbs thrown to undeserving sidemen and underlings.
Of course we are prejudiced in our judgment of the matter because the social dynamics that Wilson describes in his writings are typical of what most Whites perceived: inferiors to be observed and tolerated but not integrated. And, that is our point about August Wilson or anyone else that seeks or sought to redefine the values of previous generations up from slavery. For at least one hundred years after slavery ended, most educated people of African heritage even in Pittsburgh were agreed the desired cultural dynamics were via people doing good at their craft, ... not bad news.
Nancy Harriette Hemings Butler Lee Story
If August Wilson's writings about African-Americans in Pittsburgh's past are a reflection of cultural achievement, ... then few if any of the men and women now employed at institutions like Carnegie Mellon University and other bastions of learning deserve to be there. What kind of people and values generated them? Where have they come from? Did Pittsburgh ancestors propagate or share their virtues and values; or that described by August Wilson. He was not representative or reflective of African-American cultural dynamics that built twenty-eight mother churches in the Pittsburgh Hill District that fueled more than 200 more in the many outlying areas covering five counties. Fortunately, the Pittsburgh Courier and its great photographer Charles "Teenie" Harris helped document African-American cultural dynamics that writers like August Wilson never cared to know.
Seen and Heard By Pittsburgh Courier
We do not know whether or not August Wilson was a member of any churches but we assuredly state that anyone who has not breathed and lived in the dynamics of the Black Church does not know beans about African-American culture. Who could ever imagine the culture of Pittsburgh excluding sports like baseball and football? It is akin to evoking claims of representing Jewish culture but not Judaism. Even worse, it is very much akin to the pseudo scholars who cite the emancipation proclamation but ignore caring or knowledge about the 43,000 young Black men who died in the Civil War to make it real. It is best that we not seek to glorify any one person when seeking to evoke recognition of the cultural heritage of African-American contributions to the greater society.
Old-timers who remember the Lower Hill District that existed before August Wilson's observations as a teenager, ... are struck by suspicion that barbershop tales overheard about the infamous "Ma Brown's" house of ill-repute may have inspired August Wilson's award winning play entitled "Ma Rainey's Black Bottom" in a Chicago setting about down-river blues singers. Ma Brown's famous remarks to disgruntled customers were often repeated, and week-end killings by men in a drunken rage were all too common on Logan Avenue.
But, can African-Americans afford to allow generations of Americans to perceive that is or was what most of our ancestors were or wanted us to be. So far as we know, there are no positive image plays, if ever written, published about Black Pittsburghers for theater goers to even imagine better lives than envisioned by August Wilson. In fact, White theater goers are left with the impression that inferior people deserved to be treated the way they were, ... in the not distant past.
Why We Are
By comparison with Wilson's writings, Robert L. Vann's functional contributions for integrating millions of "the least of us" among White Americans included activation of nationwide information that fueled networks of over 400,000 nationwide weekly readers in the:
Black Churches Black Colleges NAACP Urban League Women's Clubs
Above organized entities propagated works for equal opportunities and civil rights now enjoyed by millions of people who know not the functional heritage of African-Americans that many seek to honor and patronize. It is most evident that now deceased self-educated writer August Wilson and his literary fans had very limited access to or knowledge about gifted and talented functional African-Americans such as Robert Lee Vann, Esq. in Greater Pittsburgh Region of over 100 zip code areas/municipalities dating back to at least the American Revolution. Men and women lived then and there, where the mills and mines beckoned those of courage, faith, hope and love into the places lesser folks would never know in the great cause of raising up new and better generations.
Ignoring him and other African American enterprise and cultural leaders like Dudley Fuqua was akin to Hollywood thinking that somehow the contributions of Al Jolson above were equal to or greater than giants like Louis Armstrong in pursuit of goodness in music. Jazz is an art form introduced by African-American musicians like Billy Strayhorn who studied and labored many years and decades to create something of value to themselves and others. It is the pride and joy of cultural achievement by African-Americans unsurpassed via any other art form in the integration of America as we now know it. We owe these men and women our greatest respect and are obliged to teach youth the virtues and values of faith in learning to prepare, practice and play. The below picture is an amazing example of what jazz has done. But, in the valley of the blind "the one eyed man is always viewed as King, and his words as their gospel."
We fail to see how August Wilson plays have defined or advanced African-American cultural acceptance and integration in American society as did jazz music, ... played every day over radio and television of Pittsburgh and cities all over the world. Given the power by benefactors, Pittsburgh matriarchal oriented cultural dynamics chose to name their African-American Cultural Center in honor of a man who had no known affiliation with any of the cultural dynamics listed above: reflective of more than one hundred years persistent contributions to American culture including writers and artists sponsored by the Pittsburgh Courier. Mrs. Robert L. Vann literally adopted and sponsored the brilliant Billy Eckstine who was born and died in Pittsburgh where his jazz roots originated and flourished throughout the world bringing honor and respect to a city he loved more than anywhere. Black and White women loved him, and great musicians admired his creativity in the arts. Perhaps even more important to African-American cultural expression was that he was also a believer and participant in the faith.
We perceive a growing conflict with aspirations and goals of African-American achievements during the first fifty years after emancipation. Most freshmen and sophomore literature courses for gifted and talented university level youth have exposed them to writings by great scholars like Dr. Edward B. Du Bois, and even Dr. Carter G. Woodson. But, we do not think many modern writers have had benefit of enlightenment about actual societal functions by gifted and talented men and women of color in the earlier generations. There were and are many, with more to be born, God willing!
To help readers and writers better understand the generation of attitudes and values among the gifted and talented that preceded our generation, we have republished on the web (first published in year 1919 commemorating the Jubilee Year of 1915 that occurred 50 years after ending of Great Emancipation War in 1865. It was sanctified by the death of Booker Taliaferro Washington beloved by millions but not all lives he impacted.)
The color most remembered is not make-believe purple wherein fatherhood is clearly disdained, and young men deemed cowardly and useless. Rather that writers should learn and write about red blood of many hundreds of thousands of souls in mines, mills and military services along with livery and railroad men like John Henry. These were the courageous hands (not share-crop and domestic servant employment) that left slavery and serfdom to fight, learn and earn cash money that helped liberate and finance millions of mothers and children in pursuit of goodness. Site includes their legacies before, during and after chattel slavery, persecution and wars.
Not to Be Forgotten Legacies
Was there a genealogy and/or spiritual purpose for or in their lives, or a mere coincidence of human conception? Consider possibilities that your genealogy has a purpose. Perhaps give greater meaning and purpose to your ancestral benefactors now past? How deep are your roots in the creation of your attitudes? Who paid the bill for you to now be you? We acknowledge there are many ministers and teachers of the good news such as Robinson Generations of African-American offspring in many endeavors and locations where great struggle was waged and won for "the least of us" in the search for goodness. Why does Randall Robinson or Jesse Robinson Jackson care? Indeed, our souls were lifted to wonder in amazement when Nelson Mandella was freed from a prison system in which most people expected he would eventually die; but, not the spirit within two Robinson descendents who orchestrated world-wide public opinion that demonstrated once again for the whole world to witness what it is to keep the faith and hope alive. And, upon Mandella's first visit to the United States, the two cousins wrapped an Akan Kente cloth around Nelson's neck reminding him and us that we are wrapped in the same spirit of goodness, ... if we choose to seek it even though a long-term journey spanning generations.
Defending The Spirit
What role does mass media play in lives of you and yours? Who is on your face-book page? Generation #66
Great stories by educator-writers like Cyrene Williams and her cousin Darnell Martin are yet to be written about gifted and talented youth like their uncle Harold Martin up from Lowry, Martin, Robinson and Wilkerson generations of African, Asian (Native-American) and European ancestors integrated for labor and/or love that generated useful lives by self and other believers like their fathers in the virtues and values proven true.
By now you have no doubt learned that classical thought defines courage as the most important virtue but who defines and declares its existence in Black men? Many writers, both men and women, have tried their best to inoculate English speaking and even foreign societies with beliefs that Black men were not courageous, just crazy at best. Prejudice still prevails and dominates thoughts about men that mattered in making it possible for men of means and power to ever consider granting the civil rights now so often cited.
Civil Rights Pioneers
"We call upon the President and Congress to declare war on Japan and against racial prejudice in our country."
Double V Campaign
"We were at war, and in war you don't have friendly relationships, you're out to kill each other. That's how it was at the Courier. We were trying to kill Jim Crow, and racism. They didn't seem to understand that we had every right to fight for full citizenship at home if we were expected to give our lives overseas."
Edna Chappell McKenzie, journalist/historian
The Black Press
On the eve of World War II, the double V campaign by Pittsburgh Courier and other Black media leadership perceived the need to propagate images of courage and competence in conjunction with movements for employment rights in the financially attractive war industries. Many liberal souls like Robert L. Vann, owner of the Pittsburgh Courier newspaper insisted that all young men, both Black and White, ought be given the opportunity to achieve the status of flying like an eagle. The greatest problem to be overcome were common mass media views that all people of African heritage (unlike categorizations and classifications applied to Whites) were essentially all the same in both gifts of intelligence and characteristics, ... mocking birds and entertainers at best.
Generation # 65
Men like Marvin Williams and his brother-in-law Lewis Emmet Lowry Robinson Martin had "the right stuff" in abundance along with values to master World War II era state of the art technologies even though screen-writers and actors too often portray otherwise. Too few writers, Black or White, have dared write about patriots among the least of us in a nation that highly values it, ... ranging from George Washington and the founding fathers to young men and women in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Testing before entry into training by Emmett and his brother Album (Buster) Lowry Martin along with thousands of other applicants (including Percy Sutton) confirmed gifted and talented percentile (2 to 10 percent) of African heritage young men was the same as found among White applicants. First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt had helped shatter the myth by many scholars and writers that young Black men were inherently less than other men in not only courage, faith, hope and love but also dexterity and determination to learn and master matters of complexities in the military, industries and technologies. The story is told in family circles that Album Martin, who was very bright and later became a judge in New York, ... was less interested in flying than proving to himself, father and brother Emmett that he also "had the right stuff."
The U.S. Army Air Corps had established the Psychological Research Unit 1 at Maxwell Army Air Field, Montgomery, Alabama, and other units around the country for aviation cadet training, which included the identification, selection, education, and training of pilots, navigators, and bombardiers. Psychologists employed in these research studies and training programs used some of the first standardized tests to quantify IQ, dexterity, and leadership qualities to select and train the best-suited personnel for the roles of bombardier, navigator, and pilot.
Generation # 65
The Air Corps determined that the existing programs would be used for all units, including all-black units. At Tuskegee this effort continued with the selection and training of the Tuskegee Airmen.In an effort to subvert the unit before it could commence operations, the War Department set up a system to accept only those with a level of flight experience or higher education, criteria intended to exclude most applicants. The attempts to derail the unit by setting high standards of entry requirements, ensured that only the most able and intelligent were able to join, contributing to the ultimate success of the all-black combat flyers.
We believe the fights in plights by people of African heritage are not easy for best and brightest writers to comprehend. But it must be done to help uplift "the least of us" especially potentially gifted and talented boys and their mothers who are inclined to believe what they hear and see on television and movie screens as somehow true. Screen-writers have an awesome challenge to not endorse or propagate imaginary attitudes and behaviors "the least of us" have to internalize as unbearable burdens unlike values existing in other ethnic and racial groupings. For example, what ethnic group can imagine a talented tenth to exclude the young men that fought for their lives, liberties and happiness?
Imitations of life in Harlem or any other place on earth are "whistling Dixie" when imagining the "talented tenth" to mean mostly artists, musicians and novelists like "little Jimmy Baldwin" seeking acclaim and fame among the kind of people he most admired in Greenwich Village and Paris. Baldwin did not write about or speak for the kind of Black men now proven to have helped others generate goodness on behalf of Asians and Europeans he admired. Again, we do not condemn his story-telling achievements in the literary world. Rather, we want youth to understand his anger and frustration about racism did not inspire successful struggle that overcame racial discrimination in industrial jobs, civil service employment, military services, sports and other functional activities Black families dealt with.
Lewis Marshall Robinson Martin, born abt 1895 His generation #64 included not only distant cousins Jackie Robinson and fathers of Jesse Jackson, Randall Robinson, Michelle Obama and many other Robinson heritage believers, but also the same challenges to be courageous and faithful in a time and place where the opposite was more often not expected in both war and peace.
Far too many writers are apparently inclined to view or find acceptable the well-entrenched theme of characterizing Black men in cowardice colors or portraying the worst of us (alcoholics, addicts and felons) as a norm for "the least of us." Is the contempt earned and deserved? There are now and have always been a very obvious mass media preference for stories about Black male imprisonment and degenerate lives than that of civil or military services documented to have been helpful and useful to both our nation and "the least of us."
Fallacy of the Consequent
Negative characterization issues did not begin with Black men in Vietnam wherein even men like Colin Powell and Milton Olive were ignored or deleted when casting characters for screen-plays that seemingly always portray "the least of us" as crazy or stupid at best. And, Black actors get paid for it just as Willie Best who made a lot of money mocking Black manhood. Less anyone chooses to forget, we remind youth that in the 1930s, many Hollywood productions were used by Nazi Germany in their race superiority propaganda.
Another Untold Robinson Story
It is past due time for Hollywood elites and significant others to commit themselves to challenging denigrating characterizations of Black men as less than all other human species in the context of courage, faith, hope and love. Youth, especially boys, need heroes in their mind's eye to develop healthy attitudes about self worth relative to others in their generation. Gifted and talented writers and artists are not sources of the problem but deputies of it.
And it is downright unhealthy for them to perceive people of African heritage as statistically or functionally of no consequence in great wars (Revolution, Civil, Spanish-American, WWI, WWII) that changed the world they live in for the better. Maxie Cleveland Robinson the former network anchor for ABC News during the Vietnam War was undaunted in his criticism to friends and associates about the need for integrity in reporting war news. Max was a champion in the call for self integrity by Black journalists. He certainly had the Robinson spirit of goodness up from a lot of ancestors down in Virginia and beyond haunting him. He grew up in Richmond at a time when it mattered to many men and women to remember that Maggie Walker was a good, honest and solvent banker even though the federal reserve had closed her down after the stock-market crash of 1929. For enlightened and educated Blacks in Richmond, what mattered most to them is that she kept her integrity in the face of power, ... and never succumbed to it.
Unlike Ed Bradley of CBS News, Max perceived correctly that Vietnam was the first fully integrated war in American history and important for the public to not perceive Black men as less than others in wars or peace. Unlike Juan Williams who was recently fired for negative remarks about Moslem travelers, ... Max was essentially fired for refusal to anchor negative news stories about Black men in Vietnam as a means to improve viewer ratings.
Far Greater Significance Than Harlem Rennaissance
We think perhaps the big difference between these two newsmen was that Bradley relished opportunities to be successful by denigrating images of other young men in his age group, ... unlike Max Robinson with a long heritage of courageous generations of men that mattered in acts of courage such as his above cousins and Richmond born cousin Bill Bojangles Robinson on left. Cousin Bill served as an infantryman in 369th Regiment during World War I fighting to save the world for democracy before he taught Shirley Temple how to dance. He refused to accept denigrating Hollywood roles for Black men.
Max Robinson's attitude was that indistinguishable men in harmony performing their duty was not news desired by TV network producers and directors to compete for ratings. Bradley on the other hand was more or less an opportunist who took advantage of the war to tell what his New York City based bosses wanted him to see and hear like "The Bloods of Vietnam" with ghetto rags around their heads, getting high and buying sex from Vietnamese prostitutes. It was this haunting memory of Vietnam era portrayal of Black men that prompted Colin Powell and other senior officers (especially those of African heritage) to demand change in means and methods of reporting during the Gulf War 1990-1991. Powell used his power to encourage the United States Government to not allow mass media whims to trash "the least of us" in order to gain favorable viewer writings. And, that is exactly what was desired as evidenced by a TV drama only a year or so later starring Denzel Washington as a disgraced Army officer with wrongful death of a tank crew during the Gulf War, ... even though no such accident ever occurred in WWII, Korea or Vietnam war experiences by Black or White tankers. So, who wrote the script and why?
Draftees out of uniform and behaving badly was something the public would change channels to see and hear. Unlike Bradley, Max had many childhood and college friends from Richmond, Virginia in Vietnam as officers like Wilson Barnes and Jackson Rozier, Jr. Max knew they were nothing like what Bradley seemed to find for millions of American nightly viewers of CBS News. And, when the war was over and anti-war sentiment gone, the public view (including Black women) of Black men in general, young ones in particular, was worse than it was before the war. Alice Walker's popular book published after the war basically reiterated that Black men were basically bad.
It is and was a very old problem, dating back to the era of William Lee's Story, as to how mass media and its sustaining academia chooses to portray men of African heritage relative to the virtues of courage and faith, and even virtues of hope and love. As Jesse Robinson Jackson long ago surmised that otherwise loving minds of many men and women, even among the Romans, have consistently sought to denigrate hope for a better life among "the least of us" and destroy elements of courage propagating it. Jesse, Dr. King and our other beloved and legitimate ministers of the good news have usually downplayed the virtue of courage since it is not one that Jesus emphasized. Indeed, most people seeking goodness are not courageous.
Yet the lives of some truly courageous men and women of African heritage are a cause for us to suggest youth of African heritage ought to know more about them. It is a lot more than "lovin" somebody on Saturday night or Sunday morning. Nor is it found among most Hollywood cast characterizations. Our site is not about Hollywood heroes like John Wayne and Gregory Peck but rather the men and women of exemplary courage because writers have not yet written the stories that ought to be produced for youth generations to digest as their heritage to hold dear.
D-Day Exclusions By Hollywood
John Noble Roberts (image on right) was only 19 years of age when he experienced the horrors of D-Day that included having a leg blown off by German artillery. Scholars should not fail to free associate the D-Day 1944 contribution of Roberts and men like Sylvester McCauley (Rosa McCauley Parks brother) walking across the beaches and minefields at Normandy. His marching was nearly 20 years before the great march in 1963, continuing a long struggle to overcome a lot of barricades and obstacles that lesser men and women freely avoided and/or tolerated. Less anyone misunderstand, Normandy was dangerous for days during and after D-Day on June 4, 1944; with not only fighting to secure the invasion force but also to care for sick and injured along with finding and burying dead bodies and pieces. It was then and now the worst of times for men like Sylvester to see and smell horrors of war.
He marched with same faith as that of his sister Rosa who would sit down so others might be encouraged to stand up in the pulpits of Montgomery, Alabama. They had the inherited virtue of courage. Hollywood writers, directors and actors have rarely, if ever, free associated courage by young Black men at war with virtues and values in pursuit of goodness. Hollywood moguls produced hundreds of film during and after World War II dealing with virtues and values of soldiers, sailors and marines. Only one movie featured an African-American and Actor James Edwards characterized him as a coward made a man because a White psychologist used the "N" word to anger him into walking again.
Home Of The Brave_1949 film
Until very recently, most American audiences had no idea that African-Americans fought and died in all of America's wars as most other ethnic groups singled out for display of courage above and beyond the call of duty.
Famed Hollywood Director John Ford was a good friend of actor Woody Strode who was both an All-American football team-mate of Jackie Robinson and a World War II veteran like Jackie. In a feature film about the Korean War and staring Gregory Peck, ... Woody was cast as a cowardly Black man. Like most other Black actors, he was likely happy to accept the role that would help him earn a lot of money. Ford characterized and directed many westerns and war movies but castings about courage always starred box-office draws like John Wayne who was not an All-American athlete and had in fact successfully avoided military service during World War II.
Even in the making of movies about the famed U.S. Marshalls and Deputy Marshalls that made the wild west safe for settlement and the rule of law, .... researchers and writers had to have reviewed reams of records about men like renowned Deputy U.S. Marshall Bass Reeves who was the best ever. It would have been impossible for a screen-writer to tell the story of famed federal hanging Judge Ezra Parker without reading about men he hired to enforce the law. Yet Hollywood screen-writers and directors like Ford used such data to cast men like John Wayne in the lead roles about courage. Like Strode, Bass Reeves also shared Native American ancestry among thousands of men and women with African heritage in the once wild west. Their multi-lingual numbers included various men and wives in four regiments of Buffalo Soldiers that helped escort, protect and provide for the safety and security of those who would remember their ancestors as first.
It is not scholarly to speculate about Who's On First or was first in African-American pursuits of integrating liberty, education, government, mass media, military, sports or any other endeavor of goodness in American life. It is terribly painful for many men of African heritage to understand that most writers have no idea as to what gifted and talented Black men have seen and heard. It is no wonder that urban poor mothers no longer foster baseball for their sons nor even organized basketball leagues, ... unlike suburban soccer moms who sustain dozens of game and practice fields of dreams. Any child who does not at least understand baseball is unlikely to pursue the American dream. Children and youth games matter more in human development than pretentious preaching and praying.
Our question for all gifted and talented youth to consider with their fresh minds and potentials is: how does goodness come into existence? By adventure, education, friends, labor, laws, luck, money, prayers, reading, skills, work, wars or all those things? Yes, plus a lot more to be considered in ancestral journeys UP from them and theirs to you and yours? Was there a genealogy and/or spiritual purpose for or in their lives, or a mere coincidence of human conception? Consider possibilities that your genealogy has a purpose. Perhaps give greater meaning and purpose to your ancestral benefactors now past?
Scores of interviews during the past thirty years have convinced us that most writers of African heritage are very deficient in their knowledge about ancestral lineages and lives of "the least of us." Writers, especially novelists, write what they imagine to be or have been feasible, likely or possible based on views gleamed from the literature and screen-plays of others. But, their academic courses in American literature depicted Margaret Mitchell's view of Black men in Georgia after the war being crazy, lazy, useless and a threat to good women. The racism of Mitchell's book viewing the Ku-Klux-Klan as a necessary evil, was not removed by simply deleting blatant chapters and pages for the screen-version. It is a theme that still dominates Hollywood screen-plays because such is a proven way to generate box-office hits. It is no surprise that Alice Walker wrote what she did about "the least of us."
African-American ancestors also mattered in pursuit of goodness even though excluded in great screen plays and other Steven Spielberg money makers like Saving Private Ryan The movie heaped credits and praise on every ethnic group in America excepting African-Americans. Were there any African-Americans, like Rosa Parks brother on D-Day or within the bloody aftermath, ... when the so-called greatest generation mattered greatly in fighting for matters that still matter most? Who did research for the movie?
I am French and I live in Normandy. I teach at the University of Caen. There were a few black veterans at D Day memorial events in Normandy but I was shocked not to see any representation of black troops in the many exhibits since there were apparently 18OOO black soldiers at Normandy Beach on D Day. The people in charge of the Muséee pour la Paix told me they were deeply sorry but they have no pictures, letters or anything representing black soldiers. The representatives of the city of Caen and region gave me the same answer. They would like to exhibit documents if they can find any. If I can help gathering information from veterans' families, even stories orally passed on, I will be more than glad to transfer them to the appropriate authorities. In any case I intend to do research on the issue at the archives of St Lô. As a French person I have felt immensely grateful all my life to all the soldiers, black and white, who came to fight in Normandy. Alice Mills
Honor Restored by Researcher-Journalist
People of African heritage ought not blame screen producers like Stephen Spielberg above for excluding Black men from matters that matter greatly. Many people of African heritage among the Hollywood Black researchers and scholars have not generated the reference material for his screen-writers to use in making their great films such as referenced above. There were thousands of military and naval units in the Allied order of battle during the Normandy Invasion and the majority were British and Canadian with Black men integrated in their forces.
The American forces were the minority and had African-Americans segregated in fast and furious functions designated as combat support and combat service support units. The bad news is that dating back to at least the Revolutionary War, very few of the best and brightest writers who happen to be born Black (most of them also women) have ever taken time and energy to research and write about what Black men at war have seen and heard. Or for that matter, men at work in the mills, mines, factories and places other than cotton and tobacco fields preferred by most writers who think they know. And most men who write are not the kind who can or care to interview those who fight, whether Black or White! The ones with talent to tell tales that ought to be told for youth to know seem to be inflicted with the disease of mindless wonders. We think the plight of not knowing what to research and write about "the least of us" is due to a lack of philosophy on what to seek?
We are dismayed by hordes of gifted and talented youthful writers (such as former New York Times writer Jason Blair) in pursuit of short-term success generating long-term "nothingness" for "the least of us." The results thereto concern us that so many youth obviously lack belief systems proven true in what we have seen and heard climbing UP such as: values for legitimate enlightenment, education and enterprising lifestyles generated from virtues of courage, faith, hope and love. Therein was the disaster of what happens with a perhaps gifted or talented youth who happen not to be enlightened in the cultural values of people who hired and advanced him, ... believing that he shared the values of admired men like Dr. King.
Jason reminds us very much of a talented (possibly gifted) young man Why We Are about his age that we hired to help us develop our websites and learned to our horror the existence of degenerate character contents that almost always exploit trust placed in them, ... regardless of how much they are financially rewarded. Among African-Americans, cocaine addiction is a major factor at issue that needs to be addressed by novel writers in order that families and communities might be really saved from within. All institutions, church, state and enterprises ought to be aware and alerted regarding any obviously gifted and talented youth, ... who are too busy or otherwise inclined to circumvent college/university degrees that more or less attest character traits to at least have been trusted by professors of knowledge.
A more recent example is a new movie by gifted and talented screen-writer David Merritt; and apparently propagating different values in quest for Success, Sex, Love and Power by five young men in Los Angeles. And, like many other newly emerged Black screen-writers, he does not advance the inherited philosophy of life and faith that generated his life, liberty and opportunities to pursue happiness with works that help uplift himself and "the least of us." Indeed, we fear for African-American youth if gifted and talented ones use their superior mental powers to exploit rather than inspire, motivate and educate others in virtues and values of the greatest philosopher in human history inclusive of: Africa, America, Asia, Caribbean and Europe generations. The problem is long-standing in that writers cannot write about matters they know little or nothing about, ... made worst by lack of education: plus seeking that which fosters ignorance in the making.
In fact, Phyllis Wheatley probably did not know William Lee rode with her hero George Washington. It is a major deficiency in the cultural heritage of memories never known or kept most evident on Memorial Day when "the least of us" stay home while patriarchal and paternal cultures show respect for their earthly family functional saviors. Most African-Americans have no idea as to what functions their ancestors performed in WWI or WWII even though the government has excellent archive records about them that grandma never knew.
The problem has been that of resources to perform scholarly works for which there is no fame, glory or academia tenures versus works done in pursuit of goodness about "the least of us." For African-American youth in particular who aspire to being chosen among the best and brightest, ... they ought be told triumphant stories such as the Tuskegee Airmen. They labored, learned and mastered technologies and training that helped save the world in one of its greatest hours, days, weeks, months and years of need. Emmett was one (his brother Album Lowry Robinson Martin was another) among a million plus African-American young men in uniform forces opposing those organized and deployed by Hitler, Mussolini and Tojo.
And, Emmett's brother-in-law Marvin Williams was one of a million plus other young men and women of African heritage in America executing skills and training in building the ships, planes and other armaments needed by America and its allies to win the war. For youth not familiar with the story of men of color who learned to soar like eagles, ... we have revised this page to help tell their story. We believe enlightened and educated youth are being unfaithful to the faith many inherited from known generations during the past two centuries, ... if they remain silent about facts that adversities were overcome by virtues and values including courage, abilities, education and determination.
Robinson Genetic Heritage of Faith and Hope
Jesse and Jackie Robinson are excellent examples about the mysteries in our faith that we and no one else knows when, where and how or in which generation or name the virtues of courage, faith, hope and love are conceived or will emerge as a blessing to "the least of us." And, because the genetic realities are not known even by mothers, ... the inherited matrilineal faith dictates loving what God has genetically joined together, not necessarily the Pauline Christian view limited to marriage pronouncements by preachers and priests. There is a persistent belief that fans and school teachers will not patronize books or other media depicting courageous men of color. Faith, hope and love are OK and even crazy, but never courage such as exhibited by Robinson Generations?
Year 1965-1968 marked the Second Jubilee Years ... sanctified by passing over of JFK, MLK and RFK among other courageous souls on behalf of "the least of us." The Third Jubilee if there is to be one will perhaps be years 2015-2016, provided gifted and talented scholars and writers of African heritage view it as such. We are very concerned that so many writers commemorate imagined unenlightened and uneducated souls in the traditions of folly; rather than commemorating our inherited moral worth as human beings up from nothingness. Youth ought never forget that doing nothing (being cowardly) generated nothing of value. We want gifted and talented youth to think about the functional Christian movements to end: (1) international slave trade (2) slave raid-wars (3) chattel slavery (4) southern terrorism (5) agricultural serfdom and (6) Black heathenism still alive and raising hell among "the least of us."
There were distinct movements in the pursuit of goodness by multi-generations, ... despite many pretentious preachers who know little or nothing about American history and functional heritage such as: ... how the enlightened and educated African-Americans learned to travel across racially restricted America during times and places wherein many enterprising Black women owned and operated rooming houses for boarders, working offspring and even children of relatives who needed more than a house for them to live in.
THE GREEN BOOK, NOT JUST BIBLES
There are questions to be examined in teaching a functional faith "the least of us" can use and bank on earth. But, who is telling them? We hasten to add that people of African heritage in Africa, the Americas, Asia and Europe have never been monolithic in cause, color, virtues, values, attitudes or behaviors. Integration with other cultures and lands have normally been viewed under different conditions about the past, present or future. Education, at its best, helps youth comprehend these realities that can not be reasoned away by color coded ideology.
How does spirit and functions of goodness come into existence? Luck? Learning? Moral inheritance? Screen-writers and movie producers in past 40 years of the post Southern Christian Leadership Movement may have unintentionally helped rationalize many matters like murder and incarceration rates now four to five times the rate anywhere in the world. Yet the reality is that degenerations of many people with African heritage backgrounds existed for a long time before and after the international slave trade and chattel slavery. So what?
Artistic and novelist movements away from religious centered belief systems generated values that challenged the old leadership but also the relevance of fatherhood, family and even motherhood. Drug crazed and/or bad girls and boys-n-the-hood Hollywood media images help drive box-office success; but much more importantly the mean spirited and/or mad constituents of law makers and enforcers with functional power to help or hurt "the least of us?" We perceive that modern African heritage writers need to see and hear more musings by scholars in their past, ... before embracing degenerate values about success, sex, love and power that brought on godlessness in Africa and the United States. In our view, too many performing artists (rappers and others) have sold their souls to propagate degenerate attitudes and behaviors among "the least of us" no less so than existed during the slave trade generation of people who valued money more than pursuit of goodness that is our Christ by any name.
Rhode Island Slave Traders
Many of our ancestors in generations #57 thru 63 saw and heard Armageddon prophecy in 17th, 18th and 19th centuries Africa and the Americas. Youth ought never forget to wonder about approximately 43,000 ancestral souls killed during Civil War fighting and the 175,000 mostly veterans murdered by terrorists in the first year afterwards. We dare not neglect to know those who gave up their ghost to lynch mobs during the next fifty years. So, what is Armageddon? When John of Pathos wrote his famed prophecy, was he predicting the fall of Rome as an example of evil beings and doings constantly undone and made right by the righteous generated in the philosophy of Jesus?
Twentieth Century world wars were indeed Armageddon for those who saw and heard hell on earth by air, land and sea that killed men with guns: ... and sailors in a sea of fire, farmers in the fields, children in their beds, and even hiding rabbis, priests and preachers praying and pretending to be seers. The chickens came home to roost in Asia and Europe forcing a change in values by those who were not dead or dumb. A hundred million violent deaths during 1914-1945 made evident the need for not only reformed Judaism but also liberation theology by many (not all) Christians and Jews, including Black ones.
Some survivors were thus inspired to help "the least of us" courageous believers like Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in pursuit of goodness. So far as we saw and heard, the new kingdom on earth already came in our functional faith (minus hype) and will stay if new generations labor and learn to keep it. Bad attitudes yield bad behaviors, ... and at best goodness requires multi-generations of pursuit by both "colored girls" and "colored boyz to men" less they perish as many surely do. We believe that people of all colors best look to the son for philosophical moorings that energize life, not rainbow daughters of the moon contemplating more death and destruction as though the past and present are not enough.
Generations of Goodness?
Menu on left lists some generations that have made the great climb and still climbing. What virtues and values will Generation #68 (birth years 2010-2039) inherit? Can mass media minds of generation #67 formulate sustainable doctrine for #68 without first conceptualizing beliefs in matters before and beyond their own lives? We think there is an ever existing challenge to understand how goodness comes into existence. Never easy or simple to detect and understand regardless of what preachers might shout on Sunday mornings or writers might conceive. So what?
Far too many millions of Black boys and girls who "just grew" have never seen or known enlightened and educated people of African heritage, especially males, who have labored for love and money. Unfortunately, many who have benefited from parents who did work for a living have used their writing abilities to denigrate the thoughts that most men and women are compelled to work for love of God and families. Worst still, mass media including pulpits are gods for many of the poor and sick who need a lot more to lift them up.
Our grave concerns are that too many performing artists and screen-writers in this mass media age are propagating cultural dynamics (inclusive of hair, jewelry and plastic surgery) that encourage unsustainable lifestyles by mothers and offspring. In too many cases, there is degeneration, not generation of goodness. We are seeing a drastic departure from themes by graphic artists like Alex Beujour whose images on right and above tend to project traditional faith and wisdom weaving sustainable generations in pursuit of goodness.
Throughout human history, not all cultures or environments in which they bred have been sustainable by mankind or nature. Slavery beginning with polygamy came into existence due to cultural weaknesses, ... not strengths. The dark side included not only men kidnapping women and children for slavery; but, women seeking power by betraying and even poisoning men (Black and White) who trusted them. And, the worst results of unenlightened and uneducated children is that most grow to be worse than parents who birthed them, contributing to the plight of degeneration we have seen and heard. So, who can help save-uplift "the least of us?"
What Do African Screen-Writers Think?
Clearly, most gifted and talented adult males and females of African heritage in Africa and abroad have decisively different world views reflected in their homes, labors, neighborhoods, churches, schools and literature. Tyler Perry is both talented and very successful in making the most money compared to African heritage peers in the movie industries of Africa, the Americas, Caribbean and Europe. He is a spark-plug for many of our observations about different perspectives regarding the African-American past and present relative to a future hoped for but obviously not guaranteed for anyone. Evidence of these differences can be found among many African-American screen-writers who suggest or seek to delete and/or redefine basic virtues and values; and thus rationalize a new doctrine of:
(1) success, (2) sexuality, (3) self-love and (4) power.
Does such conflict with the traditional doctrine up from slavery:
(A) personal courage, (B) faith in goodness, (C) hope for new generations and (D) love of others.
Is the pursuit of success a measure of personal courage or reflections in our dark past? If sex is wonderful, is there a natural purpose of goodness for it to be so? If the greatest love is for self, then "the least of us" doctrine is without hope in our historic interpretation? And, power over who and for what purpose? Helping, hindering or hurting others? Many enlightened and educated people of African heritage up from what they knew was true when their non-believer ancestors toiled as slaves, .... embraced the new doctrine espoused by Jesus as their own personal course in Philosophy I.
True, the many we refer to were the relatively few that comprised the gifted and talented of their day such as: Frederick Douglass, Henry Hyland Garrett, George Washington Williams, Harriet Tubman and others we dare not forget. But they were enough to lead the lesser endowed (often reluctantly) into lives of legalized liberties to be free.
Hear their music and read the tales of their testimonies dating back at least to the American Revolution, and the doctrine they lived by is very clear for those who would accept it. We dare not remain silent in the cause of "the least of us" faced by clear and decisive contrary doctrinal declarations on screen for digestion by millions seeking happiness. So, how and who are the new interpreters about love by "colored girls" loving self first. Did Harriet Tubman and Sojourner Truth think like that?
Other mothers that mattered, like pretty and smart Rose Alice Wilkerson Lowry Martin sacrificed her desires for nice clothing, jewelry and other comforts in order to raise up a new generation that included daughters and sons that have mattered so much in the lives of others, including those who unwittingly propagate false doctrine?
We are not propagating organized religion but as scholars indoctrinated in the philosophy of life espoused by Jesus the question must be asked: what will the new proposed doctrine of selfishness procreate and generate? More happiness for mothers with hair from India, and priceless jewelry to be seen at show and tell churches or Hollywood award ceremonies? People of African heritage, especially from West Africa ought to know better by now as to what happens when one or more generations of adults greatly love themselves but neglect children. Perhaps twenty-five or thirty years of living well as many have done, but then what follows?
The scholarly question for youth to ponder is what do "the least of us" need to believe in addition to self? Whether gifted and talented Jews like Matthew heard it or imagined such to be true, ... they reasoned that men and women, especially youth, need something far greater than themselves to believe in. Indeed, the Jews beginning with Moses may have foisted their beliefs on the world as some scholars have suggested; but their success as writers was mainly because no one in the successive empires of the Egyptians, Assyrians, Babylonians, Nubians, Aksumites, Greeks, or Latins, .... had anything better to inspire, motivate and educate people to "get along with others." The question as to how groups of people get along and up in the world is a matter of philosophy as to themes chosen by various writers. Black writers winning awards on Broadway and in Hollywood may enrich themselves but further impoverish souls who still need a dependable, maintainable, sustainable and teachable philosophy to live by.
Jesus said to him, “‘you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.”
(Matthew 22:37 – 40)
In fact, without the philosophy of life espoused by Jesus, ... most Blacks (including Muslims) would still be down and out without allies among Africans, Arabs or Jews, nor White Catholics and Protestants. The mentality of gals and guys who used to sell drugs or sex is no different than that of now dead sinners who used to sell sex and slaves to coastal traders. Writers have free-will to believe what they choose to propagate but are urged to think deeply about the minimal balance minds impacted by their thoughts of what might be or could be such as: a death and destruction dealing drug dealer who miraculously becomes a community benefactor? No one in Harlem or the other urban centers has ever experienced such; but it is no less believable than persistent themes about bad women being good mothers to boys who somehow become healthy, wealthy and wise without benefit of Christian enlightenment and education.
The "Big Mama" theme from slave plantation days is still alive and well entrenched in Hollywood. The notion most often propagated is that such women without a lot of energy or traditional virtues, ... are nevertheless energetic and virtuous to inspire growing boys and girls to become good men and women that matter in lives of helping others. Who turns the switch to generate enlightenment? Brotherhood, fatherhood, neighborhood, motherhood, sisterhood or heathen youth rapping out lyrics without melodies about what they have seen and heard of success, sex, love or power?
How is power measured, turned on or off: by health, guns, money, men, women, procreation, voting, education, religion, etc.? So who is right, wrong and why? Hopefully, gifted and talented youth will read, research and wonder about self-evident population increases and decreases reflecting generations and degenerations. When, where, how? Whose time-lines will new writers use to pursue goodness or alternatives? How and where will they be educated to gain knowledge and understanding?
How is goodness pursued? Scholars of African heritage, of all the people on earth, ought by now be educated enough to warn degenerate writers: "we have been there and done that" recently as the 18th century when some Kings and Queen-Mothers in Africa were among most successful and certainly wealthy monarchs on earth. And, let us be clear to note these men and women had free-will and many with very superior IQ levels equal to other monarchs on earth.
Most monarchs such as the Akan Kings (modern day Cote de Ivoire and Ghana) employed "Couriers of The Word" such as man on right dressed in historical garb during an anniversary celebration in Kumasi. (not to be confused with John 1 of Anglican-Methodist-Presbyterian Christian faith now added and internalized in the Akan culture including a bible rewritten in Twi language by English speaking Akans).
"Twi" was and still is the language of empowerment (along with English and French) among the Akan Kingdoms in West Africa. It is quite unlike slave trade mediums such as Swahili in East Africa. The Twi language evolved from a cultural and dynamic literary heritage inclusive of musical instruments and sounds. The rhythms, sounds and tales of New Orleans confirm it (though the great river city is distinguished by Catholic-Baptist-Pentecostal Christian faith nurtured in after-math of at least three (3) enslaved and four (4) born-free generations). Linguists (like modern-day preachers) were able to speak entertaining dialects but were generally feared and disdained by men who had to pan gold, chop timber, haul salt, farm and fish for women to pay tithes. And frequent gatherings occurred to hear "The Word" (surrounded by the king's wing chiefs and armed young men often sent out to collect or raid for unwanted children, disobedient daughters, promiscuous mothers and convicted felons to be sold as slaves).
The lands and people, including slaves functionally belonged to their spiritual father who were very much like and a predecessor for African-American church gatherings and tithes. It is silly to imagine all or even most African-American Akan ancestors sold to the European slave castles were innocent victims or warriors captured in battles unknown. Albeit, weaker cultural groups, like the Ga and Ewe, without armies to defend them often were victims of Asante might. African-Americans have many ancestors that came from the innocent coastal fishing villages of the Ga and Ewe cultures forced to flee from as far away as their Igbo roots and relatives in Nigeria. Their stories are many yet to be told.
The best linguists sweetened their tithe collection duties by telling and entertaining the faithful, especially mothers and children, ... with what they wanted to hear and see about their Akan cultural heritage (such as the famed animated Tales From Ashanti that entertained adults and children long before being rewritten and retold in America). Keep in mind that Akans were and are of matrilineal cultural dynamics wherein mothers (not to be confused as women in the western sense) had and have genuine political and economic power. Blood-line inheritance is determined by mother-hoods who effectively select nominees in both government and chieftaincy to lead them. Akan fathers (like traditional Black Church deacon and trustee boards) generally affirm what the mothers want! (But, often with disastrous consequences such as the market-women instigated American-British encouraged Ghana Army rebellion against President Kwame N'krumah because of his ban against non-essential frivolous consumer imports like wigs, nail polish and liquors by an economy that lacked foreign exchange to pay for it).
Scholars and writers of African heritage in America and Europe have many tales to tell and write about when they take time to seek and learn about generations of goodness despite the bad news of present and past. Those with money to spare ought sail the great Blue and White Nile River tributaries to see and hear the ancient biblical reference kingdoms like Meroe and Aksumite Empire where great kings and queen-mothers long ago had their powers taken away. Makeda was a real mother, not make believe. She had success, sex, love and real power unlike any found in "Madea." And, maybe Makeda is waiting for writers to help tell her story.
Perhaps educated colored girls like Paulette Williams (Ntozake_Shange) daughter of Surgeon Paul Williams, an enlightened and well educated man, ... have had enough of distorted histories and will research and write about the African mother of the great King Solomon. She was a colored girl who as a blood princess of ancient Egypt helped make King David successful in relationships with Pharaoh who dominated the now days Middle East. It is a Black feminist story for daring writers who have the courage to research what might be helpful in healing poor colored girls from the dogma of being preached to but not taught how to read about sex, love and power in real places.
Alex Haley like Columbus, was a sailor who learned to overcome fear propagated by secular and non-secular beliefs. In fact, the first fear to overcome was that of deep waters and navigation of the world he was born into, rather than the very limited geography and single generation focus of Black writers like James Baldwin. He became a model writer in pursuit of goodness after he overcame traditional ignorance and fears about his identity and that of other people (including women and children) of African heritage.
Rather than follow Haley's comet model with bits and pieces of documented truths, many gifted and talented minds are using Hollywood "Gone With the Wind" formulas for make-believe success, sex, love and power not among but far beyond realties about "the least of us." Obviously, Black writers cannot write about something they know little or nothing about including men and women who mattered.
It is unhealthy psychologically for millions of women, Black, White or any color to imagine themselves less than a child of God and cry out for glorification as victims of men by any means. No, not even Mary, the mother of Jesus did so; and surely no one recalls the sweet loving mothers of Martin Luther King, Jr. and Joe, John and Robert Kennedy ever proclaiming themselves as victims of men. The stories need to be told and written about women of means that mattered, not house madams of jute joints as role models to be admired and emulated. The literature about African-Americans and works adapted for the screen are terribly unbalanced. The workings about victim-hood are a form of unintended propaganda audiences are flocking to see about the inferiority of Black folks, especially Black men. Any people or places all over the world digesting enough such money making movies ... are filled with thoughts of people deserving of disdain as a group: past, present and future in which superior persons are expected to raise up new and better generations to inherit and inhabit the world born into. So what is success? Making money?
The problem we see is that virtually all White audiences and most Black audiences have no idea that women like Jean Hamilton Walls above or even real parents of women like (Ntozake_Shange) ever existed. Why do so many Black feminist writers imagine success, sex, love and power via women of means not acceptable or praised anywhere on earth? Rather than write about real pursuits of goodness, like gifted and talented children have been observed to often believe of themselves, ... too many writers are using their superior minds to make-believe heroes and heroines in environments of nothingness. We are hopeful that with new-found wealth, many are now beginning to venture into the geographies of Africa, the Americas, Asia and Europe to learn more and write better stories that matter for something helpful in our historic pursuit of goodness.
African Slave Trade
Kings and authorized raider-traders had power to exploit "the least of us" ... made feasible by polygamous lifestyles, selfish mothers and ruthless attitudes by young men (not unlike modern-day drug distributors) who killed more Africans than any physicians ever healed. We ought never imagine that polygamy is goodness, ignore attitudes of mothers that perpetuate it and expect offspring to pursue different results. Many families of African heritage in the Americas and Europe have had to overcome realities of polygamy that scattered offspring away from each other as potential sources of courage, faith, hope and love. Yet, we know prison statistics and other data sources reveal many souls fallen and unable to get up in the absence of family values by any other name or description.
If writers glorify matriarchal-polygamous cultures, what can be expected in short-term, mid-term and long-term years? What goodness is hoped for beyond make-believe heroines like Tyler Perry's "Madea," and other Hollywood generated "Big Mamas," and "Mammies." Who is defining goodness for who? What works do screen-writers imagine to be the pursuit of goodness? The Color Purple? What about real mothers' such as seamstress who sewed and hemmed every day so their sons could attend places like Meharry Medical College and learn to help heal "the least of us" from ignorance like botched abortions?
Do enlightened and educated military age young Black men still matter? As craftsmen? electrical workers? mechanics? miners? liverymen? policemen? sailors? soldiers? Who motivates, educates and coaches who, how and why to pursue goodness? How do enlightened and educated folks measure success? How do we know where people of African heritage are going if most writers have little or no knowledge about their own past or inherited faith, labors and learning that functioned to generate better and more fruitful lives.
"This is like deja vu all over again." [Yogi Berra]
Who is fooling who with millions of children bordering on and/or born of polygamy, promiscuity, illiteracy and incarceration rates akin to those fifty years after slavery ended? Were the great jubilee celebrations in year 1915 false pride and a waste of time in the achievements of African-Americans in re-establishment of families? Many women, including perhaps the first Black millionaire like Madam Walker, ... perceived that women should be loved and beautified including the home but not neglect matters like music and other lessons for children such as honoring their fathers, known and unknown.
Our web is not about propagating organized religion or the Bible as Literature; nor do we exclude it to placate non-believers. We have seen and heard two consecutive generations of many African-Americans (births 1920-1949 and 1950-1979) exploit and neglect inherited faith up from slavery and post-slavery experiences. But, we have also seen and heard men like Dr. Martin Luther King and Dr.Vernon Johns among other champions in our functional faith about the pursuit of goodness spanning generations. The site is intended to pose a lot of questions for new generations to think about, especially beliefs, faith, and values thereto. The "Atlanta Rhythm" we have seen and heard began a long time ago even before Gladys Knight and the Pips were born in the bosom of mother-love.
Our first questions for all gifted and talented youth to consider with their fresh minds is: how does the spirit of goodness come into existence? Can goodness be born and inspired without pursuit of same? In the worst cases of our African heritage, too many look for good minus functional virtues. What about Courage? Who has functional Faith? Hope for what and how? Love of who and what? Writers use the terms often. How is it defined in the pursuit of success?
What's Love Got To Do With It
Yes, there is a lot more to be considered in ancestral journeys UP from them and theirs to you and yours? The voyage begins with the virtue of courage and thus about whether or not any ancestors were courageous enough to serve in any of the great struggles for liberty. Question: Who categorizes and classifies behavior of African heritage men, women and children? During good times? Bad times? Think back about all the Hollywood characterizations that Black and White youth saw and heard during the forty years preceding Hurricane Katrina. Are there any Black actors in Hollywood who still do not understand why the Red Cross folks were afraid to venture into New Orleans following the flood?
Many, many, many movies and TV stories about Black men in prison and block-busters such as the 1981 Escape From New York in which all of Manhattan Island has become a federal prison colony to contain "the least of us." It successfully portrayed animal like attitudes and behaviors led by Isaac Hayes as the self-proclaimed Duke of New York. And, when the real floods and storms came, ... the mass media culture and government officials with very few exceptions, expected to see and hear the same that Black actors had so often characterized about "the least of us." Yes, indeed, college educated Black actors with middle-class backgrounds studying how best to read scripts portraying "the least of us" as heathens to be avoided and feared.
NBC media commentators like Tucker Carlson immediately proclaimed New Orleans flood victims as "animals" and host Don Imus generated daily skits portraying the Mayor of New Orleans as a criminal thug akin to the Isaac Hayes characterization. Federal Emergency Aid workers and the Red Cross, especially female employees, were deathly afraid to go into harms way. The worst part of the story uncovered by Spike Lee and others in their documentary is that even New Orleans police chief Eddie Compass had been pre-indoctrinated to believe the worst about "the least of us." The pen is indeed mightier than the sword that can at best pierce the heart, ... but written words have images that are implanted in the mind which can make cowards out of men with the means to be brave. When the flood came, the chief stayed at his desk and read reports called in from policemen who were not near or where they claimed to be witnessing bad news by bad Black men.
Are and were African-American men ever courageous or simply crazy per Hollywood screen-writers and actors? Who comprised the "talented tenth" during the Emancipation War? World Wars I-II? Racial Integration Movement? Who paid the price for what? Or do people and places "just growed up" like Topsy described by writer Harriet Beecher Stowe in her famed novel about chattel slavery and later inferences that African-Americans did not value, sacrifice sons or account for liberty? Who decided that folks living in Harlem during the turbulent world of the 1920s-1930s were only interested in good times? Recreating themselves? Not raising families? Not seeking education and skills to labor? Not their kinfolks in distress down home? Not the bombs being dropped on Ethiopia? Who has told so many Black women writers that Black men no longer matter? Coincidental?
Trivia Pursuit Organization of Black Screenwriters
So our site is about both virtues and values of the past and present for functional lives pursuant goodness in a meaningful existence rather than imitations of life that great screen-writers are often able to brilliantly create. It is not about present popularly proclaimed pretentious spiritual fathers to fatherless boys, nor past pretenders like Father Devine who bilked gullible women by claiming to be God. Other imitators of the Roman Catholicism faith (born of the Latin culture that generated Rome and emperors referred to as Papa) have long and continue to foster titles for themselves such as "Daddy Grace" and "Spiritual Father." Historically, unenlightened and lowly educated Black women have been the sources of empowerment for men who would be their father superiors. For most of them, thoughts by other men, including fathers of their children, ... are ignored as many gladly tithe away money that ought be spent on tutoring, music lessons, little league, scouting, travel, fishing and all the other American middle-class values most do not embrace. The deficiency in values did not begin in the United States and there is a very long history of poor women filling hope chests with "dysfunctional faith" that disregards children.
Roman Robes and Gowns is an example of imitations of lives we ought not embrace. Roman Emperors such as Tiberius with unique hairstyles and beards gowned themselves in White and purple trim robes to be admired and worshipped as spiritual fathers. Tiberius was also the emperor that appointed Pontius Pilot who crucified Jesus.
The reports that Eddie Long on left allegedly induced many thousands of people in Atlanta to perceive him as a spiritual father is nothing new. It is just another matter enlightened and educated men and women of African heritage have had to overcome in helping uplift "the least of us."
While many Black men have seen and heard enough to respectfully "fear" God, ... many women have been induced by preaching to love men imagined to be somehow more than seen and heard by enlightened and educated men like Julian Bond. Why? Maybe women are more impressed by how a man looks and entertains them than his behaviors? Perhaps building great temples like the Romans did is a projection of success, sex, love and power ordinary husbands do not have to make wives feel good and secure from depression and projected threats of any kind including death.
The Color Purple
Because many dependent women want to believe in someone they see as better than their experiences with grandfathers, fathers, uncles, brothers, and cousins and others observed or not known? Like it or not, boys born of women who happen to be of African ancestry do indeed have or had natural fathers that ought not be denied in minds of mothers. It is irrational to imagine rights to deny conception truths.
To Kill A Mockingbird
Our criticism of many colleges and universities is they have helped propagate the belief system set forth by great writers of the past that Black men should be viewed and treated as one would view and appreciate a "mocking bird" not to be harmed or frightened away. Too many have unwittingly served as bully pulpits for propagating myths about Black male inferiority in virtues that matter: courage, faith, hope and love. Brock Peters like Sidney Poitier grew up in the Caribbean. He believed in and accepted coaching and cues from the movie director as to how Black men behaved down south (proud but fearful, a contradiction of terms). Peters played the character, though different from his perception of manhood experienced in the Caribbean and New York where men like himself displayed courage even in the face of adversity and death.
Big and strong Black men like actor Brock Peters were thus imaged and cast as cowardly victims, ... unless strong willed virtuous White men became their saviors. The problem with such make-believe stories is that truths are crushed to the earth allowing men and women to believe that bad was not and is not so bad as others might want them to believe. It breeds contempt for others, especially Black men. It is how public opinion is made and kept alive and well in America for "the least of us" who just happen to be young Black males mostly getting worse believing what they hear and see.
Alabama Black Bird Songbook
While make-believe lawyers and judges of good intentions may have lived in Alabama, the more documented realities are its histories of real judgments, events and places that writers ought not ignore in telling what the least of us have seen and heard. But, the Mockingbird scenario is what audiences want to see and hear, and is a strong theme in Hollywood movies and winner of many television and screen-play awards diluting the harsh realities of what was seen and heard in Alabama before, during and after the Civil War even unto the lifetime experiences of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
African-American scholars and writers are terribly guilty of silence and even themselves characterizing gifted and talented Black men to fit least common denominator profiles by Hollywood box-office moguls. And, there are many who like Peter before them simply lack the courage to openly identify with champions in the faith, like Jesse Robinson Jackson. How many times during the past thirty years have we seen Black media personalities, including actors deny having a favorable opinion about Jesse and his ministry of facilitating hope for the least of us. And some with heads bowed at the altar of anti-Black this and that sentiments including the affirmative actions that benefited them, ... had the audacity to use the term "bleeding heart liberal" in describing Jesse. Even so, Jesse and others of his calling offered condolences when Clarence Pendleton suffered and died from a massive heart attack. We believe Pendleton like many others who find it profitable to denigrate "the least of us" ought never forget the spirit for life, liberty and pursuit of happiness for "the least of us" emerged from our beliefs, not political ideology.
The spirit of American freedom was born of courage in Massachusetts at a time and place when very few later beneficiaries of it, ... dared imagine that liberation from tyranny, slavery, polygamy, and serfdom was a Christian calling rooted in philosophical yearnings far above and beyond the ideas of organized religion and government. A generation of Black, White and Native American women in the 1740s-1750s gave birth to thousands of common boys (free and slave) who miraculously grew into courageous men nurtured with virtues heretofore believed to be held only by the educated elite.
Crispus Attucks above has been described by many writers as not so much a patriot with values for liberty but rather a paid hoodlum, runaway slave, disgruntled seaman and anything but a courageous man in the great initial fight against the overwhelming might of the greatest power on earth. And the same pundits about history have never allowed for the notion of York as a slave to William Clark ever being anything more, and thus without undaunted courage accepted about others in the great expedition.
American writers, including a lot of women like Alice Walker have always been taught or inclined to doubt and diminish images and and imaginations of undaunted courage among men of African heritage prior to the emergence of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Jim Brown, an icon among Black men and football fans, ... made himself persona non-grata in Hollywood by refusing to portray himself in any role less than courageous. For some reason or other, we have to suspect there are some York or Robinson traces way back when, ... in Jim Brown's DNA.
So far as we have been able to determine, York, his wife and offspring were likely sold by the Clark family down river to places like Alabama and Georgia where prices were high for big strong bucks and fertile female slaves. General William Clark, ancestor to the modern General Wesley Clark threatened to do so, and likely did. We do not know but believe at least one or more U.S. Colored Troops enlisted with surname of York might be related.
The Lewis and Clark Expedition Plus York
Common men born of common (and especially slave) mothers were not expected to have a philosophy of life, other than obedience and faithfulness to their superiors in land, liberty, and litigation. But a uniquely Christian flame was lit in Boston that spread far beyond its boundaries into the hearts and minds of men and women for at least a hundred and fifty years (five generations). The Continental Congress, American Declaration of Independence, Revolutionary War and Constitutional Conventions were mere beginnings in the faith that would generate men and means to not only end chattel slavery but pursue goodness for "the least of us" throughout the earth, both Jew and Gentile.
Onward Christian Soldiers
54th Massachusetts Regiment of "the Least of Us"
Massachusetts was by far a bastion of the anti-slavery movement and when war came, it generated 73 regiments with approximately 147,000 men (including two composed of African-Americans led by White officers). Many of the young men conscripted or volunteered were born in Ireland and migrated to America during the great 1840s potato famine that uprooted millions and changed America. Over 14,000 of these young men died in the war and fatalities likely included one or more of the approximately 132 Fitzgerald and 127 Kennedy young men likely related to the Kennedy's we know and love. And, as with Colonel Robert Gould Shaw (right), we believe their lives were not spent in vain but rather certainly sacrificed in the onward march of Christianity as we know it.
Our view is that much of the problem lies in the family history of most Black writers and actors who have little or no functional knowledge about the functions performed by Black men during American wars that have occurred in every generation since at least the 1750s. The issue is very important. Stories by grandma in matriarchal oriented generations more often than not excluded matters they neither saw or heard, such as occurred with Adaline Frog following the Civil War. She did not tell what she did not know, loved her husband Charles Kyle but was anxious to avoid bad news about killings and war. And, she apparently did not know about his other wife/wives and children. Following the death of Charles, perhaps murdered in Tennessee by the KKK, ...she avoided the subject except to speak kindly of him to grandson:
William Thomas Frog Kyle Atkins Federal Writers Project
So far as we have been able to determine the Federal Writer's Project funded during the depression employed a lot of scholarly women writers from places like Sarah Lawrence College and Smith College who interviewed ex-slaves like Adaline about their lives but few if any men such as Ellis Kile/Kyle who had fought the good fight. Their views and attitudes about young Black men came from other sources. On the other hand, women writers like Margaret Mitchell had references to ex-confederate soldiers in the fight to keep slavery including post-war murders by the wondrous character "Ashley Wilkes" of young Black men who had dared rebel against them. The book helped shape 20th century American attitudes towards African-Americans, especially young Black men deemed both unworthy and threatening to women such as emulated in the famed book by another Sarah Lawrence alumni Alice Walker. Both writers depicted young Black men to be less than, never equal to other men and women.
Wilkes family characterized by Margaret Mitchell and portrayed by Hollywood glamorizing slavery:
Ashley Wilkes – The gallant Ashley married his unglamourous cousin, Melanie, because she represented all that he loved and wanted in life, that is, the quiet and happy life of a Southern gentleman of the "Twelve Oaks" plantation. In that role, Ashley fulfilled what was expected of him as civil war drew near. He became a soldier for the Confederate cause though he personally would have freed the slaves his father owned had the war not erupted, or at least that is what he claimed. Although many of his friends and relations were killed in the Civil War, Ashley survived to see its brutal aftermath. Ashley was the object of Scarlett's daydream devotion, even throughout her three marriages. She became obsessed with unobtainable Ashley. Believing that she was in love with him, Ashley became the "perfect man" in the mind of Scarlett, leaving her unable to love another.
Melanie Hamilton Wilkes – Ashley's wife and cousin, her character is that of the genuinely humble, serene and gracious Southern woman. As the story unfolds, Melanie becomes progressively physically weaker, first by childbirth, then the effects of war, and ultimately illness. She had her own unique inner spirit of perserverance, as did Scarlett. Melanie loved Ashley and Scarlett unwaveringly, and dutifully supported the Confederate cause, revealing the naivete of her character.
It is a story that might be helpful in addressing the age-old question in scholarly Christian thought. Why does "goodness" come into existence? Is it physical, spiritual or both? Does it transcend generations? A related question is whether or not goodness can be pursued minus seeking to be a good offspring and sibling to others in pursuit of goodness? Were World War II soldiers pursuing goodness in fighting against evil that killed millions of innocent souls?
If Black men had refused to serve in segregated military forces, would the cause and benefits of desegregation have occurred sooner or later? It is akin to suggesting that if their ancestors had not served in the Civil War on behalf of the Union, ... emancipation would still have occurred?
Marching Toward Victory
The Civil War beyond any reasonable doubts proved that Black men had the courage to fight. Mass media propaganda since at least the revolutionary war had insisted that men of African heritage were inferior because they lacked the most important of virtues ... courage.
Feats of courage by the Buffalo Soldiers and even federal marshals like Bass Reeves were systemically removed from publications by the mass media. The great Frederick Remington spent ten years living and riding with the all-Black 10th Cavalry Regiment in combating the Apache and other hostile Native Americans, ... but always portrayed them as White in his famous art sketches published back east.
And, the same New York media later decided that San Juan Hill in the Spanish-American Was was not captured by the famed Buffalo Soldiers as the army saw and heard, ... but rather editors dishonestly proclaimed victory was achieved by the patchwork militia regiment of untrained unprofessional "rough riders" organized by Teddy Roosevelt.
Worse yet, if young men had proved to be too inferior for service based on the nation's first use of mass IQ testing, ... would there have been any rational reason for Eleanor Roosevelt and other friendly folks to perceive separate but equal doctrine as wrong? We would add that judging a person's before and after generations is also important in understanding long march challenges overcome in the spirit that King and other believers such as A. Philip Randolph and the Kennedys held close. African-Americans in the military services were indeed, dating back to the Civil War, ... the first group to march for what current generations now enjoy as civil rights. It is silly to imagine goodness began in 1950-1960s.
GO TELL IT ON THE MOUNTAIN
For all believers and even agnostics, behold below the countrymen of two men in Papua New Guinea who in turmoil of the Pacific War in 1943 came, saw and acted to "keep hope alive" not simply for the crewmen of P.T. Boat 109, ... but also for "the least of us" not yet born such as President Barrack Obama and others into the light of a better and brighter world. The men of African heritage who sought and found "wisdom's child" to help "the least of us" were fishermen for goodness sake.
In London we were fortunate enough to interview Charles K. Siniu on my left who is an official in the Maritime Transport Division in government of Papua, New Guinea. As guests at the Marne Hotel, owned by a business woman from Nigeria, we quickly learned the fellow occupants from Papua New Guinea were countrymen of Biuku Gasa and Eroni Kumana rescuers of our beloved 35th President of the United States. So far as we can determine they were fishermen of functional courage who practiced their Christian faith in daily challenges of the sea all around them. Their islands and sea in 1943 included Japanese patrol boats, sailors, soldiers and ships determined to drive the allied American, Australian and British forces out of the Solomon Islands that Japanese Empire had invaded and occupied in their quest to master and control.
Millions of people migrated to the Solomon Islands from Africa upward of 50,000 years ago across expansive Pacific Ocean long ago, and over many millennium evolved into many village based small tribal groupings and languages. By the time, John F. Kennedy arrived with the U.S. Navy many Solomon Islanders had been evangelized and assimilated in generations of Christianity evolved from philosophy of Jesus in a world that categorized and classified them as savages with a heritage of cannibalism, barbarism, tribalism and all the other definitions of inferior human beings. Yet we know that too was overcome by propagation of virtues and values matured and nurtured by many generations of belief and effort in the cause and matter of a common humanity that many have never believed in or wanted for "the least of us."
Their story that became part of ours is not the kind African-Americans will ever hear from anyone on the National Public Radio Network excepting perhaps Tavis Smiley who has tried for years to generate enlightenment of Americans about events and people that ought to matter for goodness sake. Like Sinbad, he is a preacher's son and very careful to not denigrate the faith that has made millions of people functional in their climb up from slavery.
We do not know the names of disciples or denominations that obviously labored for love of Christ in New Guinea but John F. Kennedy likely knew and understood the Black men confronting him may have been sent to help rather than harm him. JFK was more than a scholar in that having read widely and very quickly, ... he was able to apply knowledge gained to conclude quickly that Gasa and Kumana might be helpful.
Indeed they were, having been sent by Australian coast watchers to find him if he would receive them. Had they failed or Kennedy's men refused to accept their offer of friendship, African-American history during the past 60 years would have been quite different indeed. The Allied forces would still have conquered the vast Pacific expanse below including the Solomon Islands, ... but racial persecution and segregation as we knew it worldwide would have continued unabated throughout the 20th century. True, the spirit of goodness may have emerged in another man or woman but who, when, where and how?
Americans In Port Moresby, Papau New Guinea
The dark past was overcome by the spirit of goodness among believers we could see and hear like the Kennedys who saw us when and where "the least of us" needed functional Christian fellowship such as the Peace Corps. JFK announced recruitment, training and sending of young men and women when and where pretentious prophets would never go and do anything but wait and wonder.
Reading about racism and the various discourses of learning about it, such as the writings by serious Black writers is good for those seeking to gain greater knowledge. But it ought never become a substitute for understanding that many, many, many young Black men dating back to the first and second American revolutions for liberty paid a dear price for it. Neither emancipation from slavery nor the acquisition of civil rights ever occurred without prices in blood being paid by a lot of young men who generated no heirs to remember them excepting the gifted and talented who can tell their stories.