Born during Christmas week of year 1930 in Believer Generation #65, Harold Martin, Sr. passed away in the love and comfort of his New Jersey home after experiencing his 81st Christmas and having successfully lived a life with wife Barbara that joined superior reasoning to the faith inherited from mother and father. His moral worth was inherited long before he ever walked as a man and labored in the acquisition of material wealth.
Harold never sold his inheritance in goodness, and certainly unlike any African-American men of means described or mentioned in literature that craft-skills minded urban high school boys will ever see. Craft tools and machinery exposure at an early age at home, in his neighborhoods and schools sparked Harold's aptitudes and attitudes in learning to seek and use technologies, such as watch making that he mastered before venturing as a pioneer in the plastics extrusion industry.
Harold Martin was neither a tyrant or victim of circumstances "like a jobless useless father" writers normally use to characterize Black men in the cause of nothingness. And, let it be clear and understood that Harold Martin was not afraid to employ men of limited means without him. He was a hands-on functional church for men and women that mattered to him. He was his own father's son of a coal miner who indoctrinated him to understand the functional church is about helping others labor in pursuit of goodness: even down in coal mines where lights are dim and burdens heavy. And wherein young men internalized real gospel music matters.
Harold was born during the same pre-war time-frame as several famed story-teller writers; but, their stories without exception negate or ignore heritages of men like Harold. Why? Toni Morrison (image on right) likely does not know about men like Harold and his siblings.
Her famed "Song of Solomon" is about a caged dreamer's life, not generations of visionaries in pursuit of goodness that youth ought to know about including the gifted and talented African Hebrew King Solomon whose wisdom and outreach to neighboring lands: and perhaps helped inspire the visionary President Kwame Nkrumah (a devout scholar and believer) nearly three millenniums later.
The functional songs of Solomon matter and are very significant in the enlightenment of sexually active young and old men that urban fiction writers profess to know and care about, .... but avoid less their prejudices be diminished about matters they know not that they know not, excepting "colored girls" hyped gossip and lies about the few, if any, men of African heritage they have ever known or loved.
Dr. Robert Edward Lee (below/right), a citizen of Ghana and dentist by profession, was born in South Carolina, a likely descendent of William or Frank Lee (owned by George Washington), assumed to be a unknown cousin to Nancy Lee above; and a Lincoln University classmate of visionary believers Kwame N'Krumah, Thurgood Marshall and Nnamdi Azikiwe. He devoted much of his time providing inspirational details about the aforementioned to young men and women, before his passing over at age 90.
"Uncle Bobbie also made significant contributions to music in Ghana, often singing his broad repertoire of spirituals and classics at the Ridge Church, on Ghana Broadcasting Corporation (GBC) TV, and at numerous other gatherings." Source: GNA
Despite his many decades of singing and talking about the heritage of a "Living Christ" along with voices of his close friends Dr. N'Krumah and Dr. Edward Du Bois (a fellow believer) who had founded the Fisk Jubilee Singers, he also was categorized and classified by western mass media writers as a godless Marxist believing in the ideology of the atheist journalist Karl Marx rather than philosophy of life espoused by Jesus: adapted by their own ancestors who publically baptized, enlightened and educated them in that faith.
President John F. Kennedy Kennedy Generations knew and believed N'Krumah to be a fellow Christian believer in Christ, not Marx who was long dead but feared in minds of many men outside of Africa. It is still amazing that so-called conservative and neo-conservative scholars in America were so able to build a climate of fear and powers to be about Africa after the death of President Kennedy. Like the alleged weapons of mass destruction claims by many who influenced the invasion of Iraq; there is no evidence (merely reasoning) that godless Marxism and threat of communism was engulfing Africa: as opposed to historic European initiatives seeking markets for their export products like old fishing vessels and new shoes.
Non-believer writers in New York, London and elsewhere did not care to understand or write about 19th century American inspired Pan-Africanism: see George Washington Williams vowed to end European colonialism; but rather they envisioned, categorized and classified the threat of Marxism as embracing make-believe threats like Patrice Lumumba and even the angelic functional Methodist: Nelson Mandela (men they never interviewed or traveled to see or hear). It matters that writers and character actors examine contents of character, not prejudices in the minds of many liars in sheep and wolf clothing.
Youth believers are challenged to not emulate talents exhibited by Jason Blair imitating past masters of deceit in journalism that even deceived the New York Times (he derisively called his master's house.) Was he afraid to travel or simply a talented youth filled with urbanized fictions? Why do these many young and talented writers not travel about America and the other worldly locations wherein men and women have mattered: to build their stories about men and women of visions that matter in generating knowledge and understanding among new generations?
Perhaps talented and trained to write, but not learned and traveled beyond mined ghetto rage and raps. Such is not the sources of songs to inspire pursuit of goodness vented by men, former boys such as Thurgood Marshall and Nnamdi Azikiwe (below images) who also read and understood matters about the great wisdom of the biblical King Solomon.
Youth learning is all about what they see and hear including literary descriptions of African heritage manhood, and they have to travel and understand geography also matters. They are what they consume, nothing more. Far too many stories that too many youth among "the least of us" are required to read, see and hear are about women and children victims of virtue less men, ... not those who are victorious in the faith and functions of ous lives such as:
Far too many post World War II African heritage writers embraced Margaret Mitchell and literally stripped African American manhood of victories gained. Most of these writers including Richard Wright and James Baldwin in the genre of Harriet Beecher Stowe have written about dysfunctional men, women and children victimized by tyrannical men, ... overcome by "victorious women like Scarlet O'Hara and Oprah Winfrey refusing to live as victims." Historically, Alice Walker's "Color Purple" will long be remembered as a famed literary achievement that helped millions of viewers rationalize southern Black male denigration, ... as reasons not consistent with facts about functional family formations and relationships during first decades of 20th century such as:
Though professed to be learned about Black men, none of their characterizations reflect any abiding virtues and values in pursuit of helpful and useful lives by them. To make matters worse, most if not all such fiction have no historical reference useful in advancing the pursuit of goodness among denigrated women and children.
Earning a good living and many awards on Broadway writer August Wilson color coded and trashed an entire generation of aspiring African-American manhood in Pittsburgh and other urban centers of potential employers, who viewed and agreed with his characterizations about undeserving young Black men unfit to be husbands or fathers.
Whatever is or was wrong in their lives was not a classical tragedy or racism by Whites, but rather it was their own damn fault, according to Wilson's back alley memories gleamed in the impoverished Lower Hill District of Pittsburgh (not to be confused with the much more affluent Upper Hill District adjacent to Oakland wherein exists a huge university complex that enlightened social workers like Nancy Lee about Black Pittsburgh not seen and heard by August Wilson).
Black men who lived in the aspiring years of 1930s, 1940s and 1950s loved and patronized sports heroes like Joe Lewis and Josh Gibson just as White men adored Lou Gehrig and Babe Ruth who like Gibson had their careers and lives ended by the human tragedy of disease. But, such love was trashed, beginning in 1960s with a new generation of writers like Melvin_Van_Peebles
The difference of course is that Broadway made money on heathen passion plays of "black trash" but has never hosted a play trashing White heroes, turning their memories into that of undeserving "white trash."
Are Black men inherently inferior "trash" with undeserved personal liberties to be unfit as fathers or husbands? It's a nagging reminder of what writers like August Wilson claim they saw and heard, but not in the pursuit of goodness among aspiring Black men in the Pittsburgh mills, mines, factories or baseball diamonds with many souls like Dave Pope.
Dave was a believer, even before his career with Cleveland Indians baseball team was a devout believer with a father up from Alabama-Georgia dirt fields, like Josh Gibson. And he and his brother Will Pope knew and praised Josh, and mourned his passing: a brother in Christ. But, August Wilson did not know about, see or hear Will Pope, a baseball pro in the Negro Leagues and lived in the Hill District, admired and respected by young Black men.
Wilson's plays have often been portrayed on college campuses all across America for viewings by the nation's future employer executives and human resource directors who know little or nothing about Black men in the American fabric they see and hear. Who would want to integrate with or employ the kind of characters found in his plays based on observations in one zip code area of metro Pittsburgh's 100 plus that African-Americans have lived, labored and died in for nearly two centuries?
Wilson was not baptized into a faith that generated more than 100 churches in the Pittsburgh of his playwright observations. A legacy seldom discussed is that in Wilson's fan base, normal Black men are rarely interviewed, and even less often selected for employment around women who want them held harmless. His widely propagated views matter very much about past generations of men, women and children, ... perhaps to detriment of new generations already burdened by heritage of:
The problem with urban fiction writers with characters, so widely characterized in portrayals by men like Denzel Washington, that in gaining awards and rewards for themselves, they have helped indoctrinate a wide public negative perception of African heritage males, inclusive of Harold Martin whose brother and lifelong best friend, and cousin to my son Paul Lawrence Brady, Jr. born 1959 who was a LA police officer.
He is and was nothing like the characterization for which Denzel won his Oscar award portraying an African-American man not fit to be a law officer in a place and time, wherein African-Americans struggled to integrate a society that feared hiring them less they behave as Denzel characterized in "Training Day."
In fact Denzel has been a well-paid professional poster-boy for anti-integration sentiments that have long existed against integrating Black men in conditions of stress adversity situations, even during the Civil War. Like the biblical Esau who sold his heritage in order to eat well, Denzel's pursuit is best defined as money matters, not inspiring or serving the cause of goodness like Harold and his siblings who also valued ney, but not at at any costs to their heritage. Harold's brother and brother-in-law were police officers and his eldest brother served as a municipal judge rebuking Denzel's famous movie line "I am the law".
I suspect the difference is they were nurtured by a spiritually engaged grand-mother (Sara Robinson), mother (Rose Lowry Martin) and father (Lewis Martin). Father Lewis was a World War I combat veteran (along with a cousin Bill (Bojangles) Robinson (image on right) of the famed Harlem Hell-Fighters Regiment in France and their return with doctrinal beliefs to help generate and raise up "a new Negro."
It certainly inspired Bojangles and many others including Marcus Garvey, another devout believer, to reject black-face minstrel performances degrading African-American man-hood to be as heathens like Denzel portrays. Indeed, Robinson rejected many Hollywood roles viewed as demeaning to Black men. He and others like him probably avoided a lot of money matters in the artistic world of aspiring and talented men and women like Josephine Baker (below left).
Harold's great feat in the pursuit of goodness should not be taken lightly by those of us still living. Harold Martin was much more than a wealthy business tycoon; and, we have tried to tell his story to be interesting and thought provoking to youth that like to read and wonder about matters that mattered to men like him, his father and father's fathers back to beginnings,
... of which most writers and actors (especially many aspiring politicians, preachers and professors acting with pretentions of great wisdom) are neither enlightened or interested. Shine your light to help "the least of us" rise is an old standard challenge to every new generation of gifted and talented believers. The issues are not about religion, but that of youth beliefs about functional victories in real lives. We urge youth to at least read the four gospels to gain knowledge and understanding of men like Frederick Douglass and Marin Luther King Sr. and Jr.
"We have the victory, Christ is risen" so said young John Mark according to 1st century historians recalling that Roman authorities in Alexandria arrested and dragged him behind a horse drawn chariot through the streets for all would-believers to see and not believe. So, after two millennium, ... did functional folks like Harold Martin think of Mark as a victim or victor? We think an argument can be made that John Mark was victorious over the mighty and ruthless Roman Empire; but only if readers believe his life mattered in the spread of goodness they now aspire to have and enjoy like: personal liberty.
Within the context of generations with people like Mark and Martin in pursuit of goodness, ... they best be remembered as spiritually victorious; and, ought not be defined to be victims as many feminist writers love to do in the makings of heroines like "poor Eliza" and "Miss Scarlet." There are victims but the ark of history leans toward the victorious who helped generate goodness.
The Romans (rulers and dominant power for most of world known to them) wanted Mark to be perceived as a victim, not a victor in his faith that threatened their doctrine: emperors of Rome were gods. As we understand the early Christian scholars (mostly Africans, Greeks and Jews) ... Mark was the gifted and talented son of Disciple Martha who was at the cross, Easter morning tomb and ministered to Peter after his escape from jail. We are inclined to believe she was the person who nurtured, inspired, educated, and perhaps motivated Mark to interview and write what Peter had "seen and heard." Martha and Mark were courageous and all about action, like our beloved Martin that millions of modern-day "born-again Romans" in America loved to hate.
Thus said about beliefs that millions of activist believers (such as Alexander Crummell on right) in many generations have held sacred, ... the question remains as to how and why goodness comes into existence? Crummell (1819-1898) was a gifted and talented Native New Yorker a few generations before the music was sang by jazz artist Esther Phillips.
Historian Dr. John Hope Franklin in writing about Crummell notes that Crummell was born free in "the big apple" and was the first African-American college graduate (1832), ... a beneficiary of affirmative action by Queen's College (Episcopal folks) in London like William Wilberforce) opposed to slavery. Crummell was of a generation in pursuit of goodness, and good writers are challenged to not delete it.
Has goodness ever been about a single generation, began or ended with a person like the majestic Reverend Crummell (or the mythical King Arthur) who functioned well as an educator and Episcopalian minister in the hard fought victory to be seen and heard? Who was he to be considered a victorious believer? What and who constitutes victory? Money and writers? Temples and actors? While Frederick Douglass and many other believer-disciples spread the gospel for personal liberty of the enslaved, ... Crummell focused on spreading the good news of generating family formations among free men and women as a critical prerequisite to enlightenment, education and enterprise in Africa, America, and the Caribbean.
In the latter years of his life, he expressed satisfaction that men like the future Harold Martin's grand-fathers were adapting the "acquisitive principles" necessary to build and sustain useful families in the functional cause of procreating ever-lasting life on earth (more or less Episcopal doctrine about permanent and useful good versus being dead and pronounced as saved). Crummell would have liked Harold Martin because of his functional reasoning joined to the faith of his fathers about family formations, learning and enterprising lives.
Harold is our newest poster boy for espousing the view that goodness was born on Christmas Day, ... and spans generations for those who would join superior human reasoning to inherited faith (not defined as or excluding organized religion) from their own lineage in pursuit of functional goodness.
We perceive that Harold was such a man. He was one of many men of property and wealth faced with challenges to struggle and overcome two millennium of ruthlessness, greed and enterprises, ... that objectively were not in the Jesus generated cause of goodness by any name including entrepreneurs. The heritage of Harold Martin or anyone is only important to the extent of one's faith about the generation/manufacture of goodness in life and material.
Knowing his heritage meant trying to understand what his own ancestors had seen and heard in their pursuit of goodness named Jesus by Mother Mary who matters much because human beings are born of generations of mothers in pursuit of happiness/goodness like Ida Ann Wilkerson Lowry, born abt 1866. Harold Martin was not born of inherited wealth nor self-made as some writers might be tempted to assume. Indeed, Harold was part of a faded past larger than himself, ... and ignoring those essential elements of information negates his humanity and leaves him vulnerable to race-based characterizations (inferior beings).
Sherman Hemsley below was an excellent example of good intentioned racial characterizing of successful independent businessmen of African heritage in the New York Metro Region. Busy-body rude sarcastic buffoon updating the Amos and Andy show that millions of viewers adored, and millions more of the "new Negro" disliked! In casting his role and stereotype, the objective was humor not a likeness of men like Harold, and the show was very successful but nothing to use inspiring boyz to men.
So, what was Harold Martin besides founder of a family owned business in which he tirelessly worked until his passing over in the cause and course of the promised ever-lasting life; best defined by existence of generations in Christ. Herein is and was the challenge in writing about Harold Martin or any other deceased person we knew and loved.
He was born into and remained a legitimate family man all the minutes, hours and days of his life, ... avoiding challenges of many millionaire men to remain faithful.
We make this point of emphasis for writers and character actors about the lives of successful men of money and means more often than not characterized as having emotional demons and conflicts in their so-called private lives. We perceive that most writers and actors would perceive the Harold Martin story too good to be realistic appraisal of a 20th century man of African heritage, ... unless he passed for White.
Harold began his professional endeavors in the post World War II era when and where the society was still very racially discriminating, ... but rapidly changing for the better primarily due after-math realties about the race-based Jewish Holocaust in which millions of souls were categorized as "not White" in a demonic process of classifying who could be assimilated and those to ultimately be exterminated.
Harold Martin and perhaps hundreds or thousands of other young men like his brothers were beneficiaries of changing societal attitudes in places like New York City. Many reformed Jews and others (tempered by the obvious color bars) removed some discrimination barriers of long-standing such as technical skills training and employment, ... admissions to law schools, firemen and police academies.
Behavior of young men such as his brothers admitted into the world of daily privileges and rights of young White men in their generation was not an imitation of life but an affirmation they "had the right stuff."
It was easy for the Martins and many other victorious families of African, Asian and European heritage to view and treat others of other colors with love and respect, ... having been raised in a multi-racial multi-color heritage of at least three generations.
Harold and the other Martins are an excellent example of African-American families that have been able to overcome the color bar that Dr. Dubois long ago recognized to exist among Americans of many colors and heritage. African, Asian and European heritages have manifested multiple colors, hair grades and characteristics by which many people have judged "who is and who is not" worthy of love and respect. Harold treated business associates and employees with warmth and courtesy extended to family members; and, avoided association with predators he did not want integrated with family members.
Our view is that color and race-based reasoning confronted Harold as with most men of wealth and power that matters in the lives of many others. Who gets fired, hired or even retired (such as his father's bad experience) are always about the challenge of joining reasoning to one's faith (belief system).
Harold strongly believed in affirmative actions to open public and private opportunity doors and passageways he had seen and heard closed to himself and family members like his father.
Fellow New Yorkers like Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan (on right) never interviewed, wrote about or invoked the thoughts of functional believers like Harold Martin, ... who perhaps believed affirmative action priorities should include schools teaching and licensing fatherless boys to drive automotive vehicles as a critical function for apprenticeships and functional employment.
Harold was a believer in the philosophy and teachings of Jesus, maybe still is if his stated beliefs of seeing his mother again proved true? He was not a telling and parading type Christian but acted daily in hiring and helping others. We think he did so as a believer of Christ in addition to profit. We especially remember him as an employer during and after the national consumer gasoline shortages that erupted in year 1979, ... Harold was a pioneer among New Jersey business firms providing free transportation for employees to and from work. Self serving perhaps, except for fact that most fellow employers did not.
We especially want the gifted and talented youth in his extended family of fathers, mothers, aunts, uncles, offspring, nephews, nieces, in-laws, and cousins by the dozens to remember him as one of them in the body and spirit he believed in, but seldom talked about. So, let us profess our beliefs that he "acted" in his faith more than many functionally gifted men we feel comfortable enough to write about in a past most clearly joined to dynamic futures in pursuit of goodness.
It has been an old-age adventure for us to try "connecting the dots" of known and unknown folks who matter now, ... and obviously generated souls that mattered in the past decades and centuries of people, places and events "seen and heard."
We believe that novel writers about America past, ... too often skip over or ignore realties of the 17th and 18th century that existed and shaped America before the American Revolution, wagon trains went west or immigrants landed at Ellis Island in search of perceived opportunities for a better life. As an example, few if any writers address the social revolution among Anglo-Americans that generated many African-American Christian believers, movements to end slavery and migrations to Canada, England, Sierra Leone and Liberia.
Ellen Gibson Wilson is one writer who offered valued insight about the failures and success of early pioneers in freedom, ... with liberty to move. Indicators are that African-Americans with the surname Roberts are likely descendents of 18th century east and west movements from Virginia to Liberia and Louisiana. Whatever the facts might be, many descendents are now joined in body and spirit with lineages such as the Martins.
In a brief discussion with Robin Roberts during a wedding reception for his niece and her nephew, Harold noted that he was focused on the future, ... evidenced by the close attention and support always given to family youth. One might say Harold waded and wondered in the water of our human gene pool. Now Harold, his father and extended family are definitely of one body and spirit in their common past and future,
... yet to be better researched and written. We hope the writers begin with the virtue of courage to persevere, ... perhaps genetically inherited by folks like Harold and his father who never surrendered to degenerate values and behaviors routinely characterized for men of African heritage!
After fifteen years researching, writing and publishing what matters to us, ... we know no other way that joins reasoning to our own sense of inherited functional faith that pursuit of goodness in education (including skilled labor training), employment (including military and naval services) and enterprise (inclusive of farming, manufacturing, mining and transportation) should not be hidden from new generations less they be ignorant of their patrilineal and matrilineal benefactors,
... more or less generated as depicted in visual art on right by graphic artist John Holyfield. We dare to state that Nancy Lee Banister and Harold Martin were born of love, and helps answer the question "How does goodness come into existence?"
It's a telling image about love, quite different than what is depicted by Hollywood type degenerate artists who imagine themselves to be "creators". The literary history depicting people of African heritage leaves much to be desired for new generations of believers.
We are especially concerned that future gifted and talented professors and writers not be entrapped by literary works misrepresenting historical experiences and denigrating our unique existence as American believers tried and true to HIS cause (not color Black, Brown, White or even Purple as some folks desire) for life, liberty and pursuit happiness, ... long denied but overcome by sacrifices of the few for the many in 19th and 20th centuries. We dare quote Winston Churchill: "Never did so many owe so much to so few" like:
Mary Matters is about believers and non-believers we have seen and heard. We have seen and heard in our lifetimes that goodness/happiness is and was born of Mary matters,
... attesting that enlightened healthy youthful mothers (in the cause of goodness) matter far more than financial wealth; albeit many philosophers, politicians and preachers perceive otherwise and subsequently fail to join reasoning to their faith so often proclaimed (facts are that most people are unable to do so).
We believe there were and are many mothers of African heritage truthful to posterity about fathers of their offspring regardless of records and writings of slave owners, tax (tithe) collectors, census takers,
... and even modern day birth certificates often found to be at conflict in DNA tests revealing that some mothers are not truthful (prompting us to exclude many alleged offspring of fathers living and dead). However, it appears evident that goodness emerges via moral truth that fathers on earth matter.
Our targeted readers are relatively small: the gifted and talented (Dr.Dubois described "talented tenth" born in each new generation) perhaps old spirits born again to help research and write better stories beginning with philosophy of Jesus HIMSELF ... as many educated teenagers like Nancy H Lee, born August 1904 and Cora Lee Frog Finney Hill, born June 1907 believed was about a lot more than preachers, singing and Sunday worship.
Christ was more than a source for worship, but more so for a philosophy of life that gifted and talented youth to learn, compare and perhaps be and do better as result of learning goodness.
Val Victorians in academic pursuits and long useful lives, Cora and Nancy knew who they were and believed courageous believers like Frederick Douglass and Martin Luther King, Jr. were latter-day functional disciples of HIM they worshipped as Lord. They were enlightened and educated well enough to understand that most ministers of the gospel, though highly faithful they might be, ... lacked functional courage and stamina to generate behavioral change commanded of disciples.
Evidence again surfaced when preachers convened at Black Baptist Convention not only feared to embrace and endorse the Southern Christian Leadership Movement of Dr. Martin Luther King, but refused to allow King to deliver a speech to them.
They must certainly have interacted with each other as civic leaders in the Western Pennsylvania cause of Christian community matters, and perhaps common interests in Lee kinfolk matters. And they mattered to us so much in fact that we are inclined to emphasize their observations gained in Ohio, Pennsylvania and Virginia.
The site is not designed to propagate organized religion ... but begins with the life and philosophy of Jesus because only therein have we found the virtues and values affording beginnings that generated outcomes we believe were in pursuit of goodness:
(1) courage in facing danger, disaster, disease, and death exemplified by
(2) mentally and physically healthy living exemplified by the
(3) free will with functional liberty exemplified by the
(4) happiness helping others to be useful and loved exemplified by the Martin-Robinson Roots
Harold and Michelle's Robinson roots have allowed us to research and ponder some amazing possibilities of common genetic characteristics, origins and experiences African-Americans have seen an heard because of a lot of gifted and talented youth, ... who happened to be Robinson offspring that not only loved one another as commanded by Christ but also the rest of us rejoiced by Michelle and so many other possible Robinson cousins like Jack Roosevelt Robinson, born abt 1919. We have not attempted to document birth certificates and other standards like DNA sequences so much as reliance on "what we have seen and heard" in the spirits of many Robinson and other folks known to have existed. We believe there was a connection.
Harold's motto "it's all about connections" was about a lot more than business ... connecting his superior knowledge/beliefs with faith in the pursuit of goodness. So it is with us when we fail to join our reasoning and documentation about Robinson or any other goodness generated offspring with our faith that Christ spans generations and parables for sure. To be sure about it, the African-American heritage seen and heard since the 17th century is all about the mechanics.
Too many, perhaps most, preachers are so functionally disconnected with about African-American experiences in their faith, ... they do not know how to tell youth generations relevant stories about the faithful in Christ seen and heard who also passed over waters escaping bondage.
Telling youth about "crossing the Red Sea" but not crossings by their known ancestral believers is an example of Booker T. Washington's criticism about improper use of the bible by plantation type preachers. But, who is at fault? How many of the God given gifted and talented writers of the past hundred years have been helpful in the cause of new and better YOU?
James Weldon Johnson and other leaders of the NAACP did their best to help enlighten young men and women like Harold Martin's father and mother in the process of joining reasoning with the faith that overcame chattel slavery. Their best efforts did not overcome the power of bible-waving pretenders who obviously misunderstood their true calling was not to go preach but to "go plow." But and however there were many in the multitudes who soon learned that preaching could be easier and more profitable than plowing their way "out and away from Pharaoh. Yet, there were thousands more before the NAACP was created who had hitched mules and yoked oxen to carry their women and children into the liberty denied by the peculiar institution of chattel slavery.
When preachers proclaim "the miracle crossing of the Red Sea" how do believers raised up from past connections connect their beliefs with new generations of gifted and talented youth who want to hear and see Hollywood generate stories about how courageous young Bailey boys to men (including Frederick Douglass) got over from places like Eastern Shore Maryland and Virginia. Who are the Bailey folks? What, where and when are the connections with what matters to gifted and talented youth who think about such?
Most preachers and teachers simply can not. In the absence of literature and art connecting people of exemplary methods and means with faith in a "Living Christ" most are tongue tied in the minds of gifted and talented youth "up from slavery." It is reasonable to tell youth that many (not all) enslaved African-Americans believed Jesus would do for African-American slaves what Moses accomplished for Jews enslaved in Egypt. Telling both stories is spreading the good news, Robinson style like:
There are a lot of Robinson's for writers and artists to digest, beyond Jackie Robinson as our hero, and Michelle Robinson in the White House and same spirit in pursuit of goodness. Is it possible? What do youth believe? Are there connections existing beyond color? This discovery of scientific knowledge that evolved by chemists after World War II enlightened technology minded watch-makers like Harold who believed something of value could evolve from a miniscule substance, ... like procreation of life itself connections of matters that science constantly seeks to understand how and why miniscule matters connect.
Jesus as the master teacher reportedly once queried his student-disciples with question: "What is it that ye do not understand?" Indeed, understanding is rooted in beliefs and faith that goodness can and does occur even when the multitudes fed by five loaves of bread and a few fish lack abilities to internalize it.
There was a time in recent history of generations in Christ that cash money earned by a relatively few thousand Black coal miners fed tens of thousands of relatives who hungered to survive. Kanawha County was a major coal production region in Virginia before secession and became part of West Virginia continuing with many Black miners with relatives in Virginia mining locations like Midlothian.
Harold Martin's great-grand-father Lensey Robinson, born abt 1857 was such a man traveling and working in coal mines that paid cash money to courageous young men with the strength and stamina to trek under-ground where other men had not gone before. And some men like Lensey who was Virginia born, ... treked over-land to distant location coal mines such as Iowa and West Virginia. Research about Lensey helped us better understand roots of the life-long friendship connections between Harold Martin and the Carter family offspring; and Carter, Lowry, and Robinson South Carolina and New York connectivity's.
We heard the story that prior to establishing his plastics extrusion enterprise in the 1960s, Harold Martin noted to family members that it is hard to believe plastic sheeting can be gained from a hand full of resin beads; but he believed and had faith that such could occur. We believe Harold Martin was an excellent example of people who can be described as "functional believers in the body and spirit" of goodness. There are in fact various types of believers including those willing but unable to function at life's end.
We hope our site is a repetition about good news matters tried and true for new generations to know about previous ones and their functional disciples in the pursuit of goodness. African-American history did not begin in America or with the bible, and writers would do well to at least read works by Oxford educated historian Dr. J.C. deGraft Johnson (picture on left).
The site also includes bad news seen and heard (high and low, both foreign and domestic) so as to help incite gifted and talented youth choose paths in pursuit of goodness versus folly/nothingness that generates nothing in the cause we hold to be holy including multi-generation of life, liberty and pursuit of happiness.
Dr. deGraft Johnson like Kwame N'Krumah (on right) was born and baptized a Christian in Africa to Akan parents in a distinguished (royal) chieftaincy lineage predating fall of the Ghana Empire during same years around 1076 A.D. that William of Normandy invaded England, killed Saxon King Harold and changed human history. Both men had seen and heard gifted and talented family members tell them about the slave raiding and trading by Africans, Americans, Arabs, Berbers, Portuguese, Danes, Dutch, and English, ... all for profit and many of them with religious fervor contrary to the cause of goodness.
Indeed, our understanding is the Savanna based Akan Kingdom located in outer reaches of the Ghana Empire had wisely escaped destruction of the empire by young zealots in the name of Islam; by having their hundreds of towns/villages trek more than a thousand miles southeast into the forests of modern day Republics of Cote D'Ivoire and Ghana. Like the children of Israel from Egypt, the displacement journey upwards of hundreds of thousands men, women and children, ... at least two generations passed before finally conquering indigenous natives and settling into new locations under a new hierarchy of kings, queen-mothers, paramount chieftains and wing chiefs of young men able and willing to fight for their common interests.
In due time, about 400 years after fall of the Ghana Empire, the Portuguese in era of Prince Henry sent a flotilla of warships in year 1441 C.E. to build a castle at El Mina, Ghana, ... not just to trade for gold nuggets sold by the Akans; but rather they threatened and used cannon bombardments to force the Akans to sell them slaves, including many ancestors of modern day African-Americans.
For the learned writers with earned doctorates in philosophy there is a need for them to comprehend philosophical differences not defined as religion ie. Baptist, Buddhist, Catholic, Christian, Coptic, Episcopalism, Hindu, Islam, Judaism, Methodism, Orthodoxy, etc. or ideology such as: aristocrcracy (aristotle), communism, conservatism, fascism, liberalism, libertinism, pan-africanism (not recognized in mainstream dictionaries.) We agree with Thomas Jefferson that philosophy of life espoused by Jesus is the greatest human history, ... and not to be confused with organized religions-ideologies by men of means to ends other than goodness.
We have heard the hip-hop generations of rapid rage and youth rebellion lyrics that have surpassed the blues and polluted hope/love songs of past generations. Jesus was a courageous and fast-moving rebel; and all generations have needed rebels at heart like Jesse Jackson, .... real quarterbacks in the huddles and on the line (not pretenders) to generate change necessary for better and more fruitful lives. Without guys like him, Black men would still not be able to get licenses to even operate taxi's. We dare to wonder about significance of it all? Do legacies of love matter? Who has knowledge? How is it gained? Certainly not the rituals of nightly bible-studies by semi-literate elderly folks paying tithes and living to die and do what in heaven? For who?
Nothing wrong with reading and review of what most scholars have regarded as the world's greatest literature along with Shakespeare, ... to help youth gain knowledge and understanding of people and places in the world into which they were born. In fact, there are many books in the bible for youth to read and wonder about in exercise of their free-will to believe or not believe biblical writings attributed to Saul/Paul urging slaves to be faithful to owners. So, most liberation minded serfs in Europe and slaves in America chose to focus on teachings from the Books of Mark, Matthew, Luke and John, ... not Paul who essentially was loved by slave owners including the Ethiopian priest-hood (image on right) very much influenced by the Roman Eastern (Byzantine) Empire.
"Done got baptized" by artist Ted Ellis is image of a story that gifted and talented youth ought want to understand what would exist if past believers had not. What existed before them? Most Africans before and after enslavement believed in God Almighty, ... but belief in Jesus (not ancestral worship) generated the liberation movements (organizing) to end their collective bondage. Indeed, Nat Turner was a preacher to be long remembered by historians. We surely want to believe what we have seen and heard by aggressive spirits of the Robinson lineage in the pursuit of goodness. They are a convenient example of what we want youth to ponder as they contemplate why gifted and talented and ancestors of a minority among the African-American majority founded and built over 40,000 churches within 50 years after slavery ended in 1865.
Harold Martin's beloved grandmother Sarah Robinson, born abt 1880 born to parents who had been slaves in Virginia ... was not only a functional believer but a fundamental source (daughter, wife and mother of coal miners with minds that mattered for "the least of us") in what Virginia Union type scholars in 19th century described as life, liberty and pursuit of happiness/goodness.
Many mothers like Nancy Lee and significant others (especially children) had been in the multitudes in Richmond that greeted Abraham Lincoln in April 1865, ... a truly perceived religious experience by African-Americans liberated from bondage. With hundreds and thousands of U.S. Colored Troops and Sailors moving proudly through Richmond, some who gathered were able to comprehend that young Black men also shared in the victory that violently set them free. Yet, we dare not ignore that many liberated African-Americans like Lee Lowry, born 1863 had both genetic and compassionate relations with the confederate rebel families that had held them in bondage. The war had many brothers against brothers, fathers against sons and cousins against cousins and uncles.
Many Richmond believers perceived Lincoln to be their Moses in whom African-Americans as descendents of people who had been "lifted out of bondage by Pharoah" ... to be born again as freemen (and women and children) to enter into the promised land on earth. Very few older men, women and children had seen and heard the battles by young men who struggled and often died to liberate them. But, some beneficiaries in Richmond (like the Robinson old women) knew that many of their young cousins, nephews and cousins had paid the ultimate price in the blood and name of Christ, ... not Moses or Lincoln. We hope, they would have hoped such young men among the 43,000 colored troops killed were able to hold onto their faith, as with Harold Martin, ... when death came.
Many who died would soon be forgotten and unknown as gifted and talented youth like Booker T. Washington ignored fact that tens of thousands of African-American courageous young male lives proved freedom was not free. Booker T. avoided ever publicly praising Douglass-Lincoln. And, he certainly avoided any praise for young men who had died in the cause of liberation, ... such as William Johnson on right who was court-marshaled, found guilty and hanged as a deserter duly witnessed by fellow colored soldiers in his unit. There were men of all colors who were unable to hold onto their courage, and often deserted.
And, among African-Americans less than half the enslaved young men like Ellis Kile/Kyle, born abt 1845 and relatively few young women had the courage to escape slavery and join the liberation movement. It was Frederick Douglass who convinced Abraham Lincoln that men of African heritage were not all helpless, hopeless ignorant and cowardly as described by popular writers of the day, ... men and women, north and south, Christians and Jews. An important point to understand is that not all or even most people of African heritage in 1860 were of the same color or classification whether free or slave. Native Americans, African slaves (including fishermen), and European immigrants had sexually integrated since at least the 17th century. On the eve of America's civil war a lot of free men with a heritage of slavery were primed and ready for the great struggle engulfing their generation.
Like America itself, the civil war included men of many colors, sizes and relationships that modern writers seldom acknowledged to exist among African Americans. Douglass himself had a White father like many thousands of young men and women of African heritage living in free states and Canada. We especially applaud those courageous young men who left their Canadian sanctuaries for return to United States and enlistments in the federal forces fighting the confederate rebels.
Following the rebel attack on Fort Sumter, President Lincoln on April 15, 1861 called for 75,000 volunteers in regiments activated via federal authorities and governors of the various states including those in rebellion. Many African-Americans seeking enlistments were turned away but quite a few were able to enlist, fight and die as White men without heirs to commemorate their services to secure liberty for "the least of us." A good example was/is:
with questions or comments about this web site.