Interesting POV. A lot of truth in there.
This article is not meant to be racist in any way, especially since the author was black. The article presents some pertinent material which should be considered today.
a very good article and so true!
Richardson is a black contributor to the Macon Telegraph.
'Back when we wuz Negroes'
By Charles E. Richardson Posted on Sun, Jul. 31, 2011 in the Macon Telegraph, Macon, GA.
There was a time until the early 1960s when the terms to describe those of African descent, like me -- African-American or Black or Afro-American -- were almost unheard of.
I remember a distinct conversation with a friend discussing descriptive terms for ourselves in 1963 or '64. The term "black" was just coming into vogue and he didn't like it one bit. "Call me a Negro," he said, "but don't call me black." Now, the word "Negro" (publications used a lower case "n") has almost become a pejorative, so I was a little surprised when my pastor, the Rev. Willie Reid, used it during Thursday's revival. "Back when we were Negroes," he said, and listed several things that were different about black life in America back then. That got me to thinking.
Back when we wuz Negroes in the 1950s, "only 9 percent of black families with children were headed by a single parent," according to "The Black Family: 40 Years of Lies" by Kay Hymowitz. "Black children had a 52 percent chance of living with both their biological parents until age 17. In 1959, "only 2 percent of black children were reared in households in which the mother never married." But now that we're African-Americans, according to Hymowitz, those odds of living with both parents had "dwindled to a mere 6 percent" by the mid-1980s. And check this, in Bibb County, more than 70 percent of the births in the African-American community are to single mothers.
Back when we wuz Negroes and still fighting in many parts of the country for the right to vote, we couldn't wait for the polls to open. We knew our friends, family and acquaintances had died getting us the ballot. Dogs and fire hoses were used to keep us away and still we came. But now that we're African-Americans, in a city of 47,000 registered -- predominately black voters -- more than 30,000 didn't show up at the polls July 9.
Back when we wuz Negroes, we had names like Joshua, Aaron, Paul, Esther, Melba, Cynthia and Ida. Now that we are African Americans, our names are bastardized versions of alcohol from Chivas to Tequila to C(S)hardonney. And chances the names have an unusual spelling.
Back when we wuz Negroes, according to the Trust For America's Health's "F as in Fat," report, "only four states had diabetes rates above 6 percent. ... The hypertension rates in 37 states about 20 years ago were more than 20 percent." Now that we're African-Americans, that report shows, "every state has a hypertension rate of more than 20 percent, with nine more than 30 percent. Forty-three states have diabetes rates of more than 7 percent, and 32 have rates above 8 percent. Adult obesity rates for blacks topped 40 percent in 15 states, 35 percent in 35 states and 30 percent in 42 states and Washington, D. C.
Back when we wuz Negroes, the one-room church was the community center that everyone used. Now that we're African-Americans, our churches have lavish -- compared to back-in-the-day churches -- community centers that usually sit empty because the last thing the new church wants to do is
invite the community in.
Back when we wuz Negroes, we didn't have to be convinced that education was the key that opened the lock of success, but now that we're African-Americans, more than 50 percent of our children fail to graduate high school. In Bibb County last year, the system had a dropout rate of 53.4 percent. Back when we wuz Negroes, the last thing a young woman wanted to look like was a harlot and a young man a thug, but now that we're African-Americans, many of our young girls dress like hootchie mamas and our young boys imitate penitentiary custom and wear
their pants below the butt line.
If I could reverse all of the above by trading the term "African-American" for "Negro," now tell me what do you think I'd do?
Charles E. Richardson is The Telegraph's editorial page editor
Interesting POV. A lot of truth in there.
...SCOTUS says we're right...You don't like it. I'm sorry you don't like it. I guess that's a problem for you. Some people don't like gays. Some don't like alcohol. Some don't like meat. ~michaelzwilliamson
Food for thought. Thanks for sharing Oldgrunt
"Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well armed lamb contesting the vote."
~ Benjamin Franklin (maybe)
Spot on. But it is as much the fault of white liberals as it is blacks. It wasn't enough to remove Jim Crow laws and enact other legislation to give blacks an equal starting point. We had white guilt legislation such as affirmative action. We forced welfare programs and settled poor families into section 8 housing. We didn't want to seem racist, so we said "no matter how many kids you can afford, just keep having them and we'll support you. We also made the race-baiters like "the reverend" Jesse Jackson and Al sharpton into celebrities. Do you remember prople bringing lawsuits trying to get "reparations" (money) because their grandparents or great grandparents were slaves?
Don't get me wrong. At the begining of our evolution into "civil rights" things like affirmative action were a good thing. There was still enough racism that it was needed. At one point deep inour history we also needed labor unions to keep big manufacturers from continuing things like child labor and unfair wages and unsafe factories. Both of these have outlived their usefulness, but will never go away because there are politicians that thrive on them and union leaders that would be out of a job.
To Often, Honesty is a bitter pill. Someone who dares to open the flood gates of truth would soon be labeled a Tom. Speaking for the White man and against the Black Man.
There are many in the Black Community who never want the Young Black person of today to look back and accept blame for their failings.
Never do they want it viewed that living on assistance for your entire lifetime is a bad thing.
Where are the dreams? Not those of the Great Martin Luther King Jr., But those of an inspired individual. Dreams that extend far beyond the neighborhood.
Much Of Martin Luther King Jr.'s Dream was realized for the most part many years ago. I will grant you that some parts have not come to be in some segments of society, But for the most part, The Dream came true, and to many rolled over and went back to sleep.
Here is the Speech.
I am happy to join with you today in what will go down in history as the greatest demonstration for freedom in the history of our nation.
Five score years ago, a great American, in whose symbolic shadow we stand today, signed the Emancipation Proclamation. This momentous decree came as a great beacon light of hope to millions of Negro slaves who had been seared in the flames of withering injustice. It came as a joyous daybreak to end the long night of their captivity.
But one hundred years later, the Negro still is not free. One hundred years later, the life of the Negro is still sadly crippled by the manacles of segregation and the chains of discrimination. One hundred years later, the Negro lives on a lonely island of poverty in the midst of a vast ocean of material prosperity. One hundred years later, the Negro is still languished in the corners of American society and finds himself an exile in his own land. And so we've come here today to dramatize a shameful condition.
In a sense we've come to our nation's capital to cash a check. When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir. This note was a promise that all men, yes, black men as well as white men, would be guaranteed the "unalienable Rights" of "Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness." It is obvious today that America has defaulted on this promissory note, insofar as her citizens of color are concerned. Instead of honoring this sacred obligation, America has given the Negro people a bad check, a check which has come back marked "insufficient funds."
But we refuse to believe that the bank of justice is bankrupt. We refuse to believe that there are insufficient funds in the great vaults of opportunity of this nation. And so, we've come to cash this check, a check that will give us upon demand the riches of freedom and the security of justice.
We have also come to this hallowed spot to remind America of the fierce urgency of Now. This is no time to engage in the luxury of cooling off or to take the tranquilizing drug of gradualism. Now is the time to make real the promises of democracy. Now is the time to rise from the dark and desolate valley of segregation to the sunlit path of racial justice. Now is the time to lift our nation from the quicksands of racial injustice to the solid rock of brotherhood. Now is the time to make justice a reality for all of God's children.
It would be fatal for the nation to overlook the urgency of the moment. This sweltering summer of the Negro's legitimate discontent will not pass until there is an invigorating autumn of freedom and equality. Nineteen sixty-three is not an end, but a beginning. And those who hope that the Negro needed to blow off steam and will now be content will have a rude awakening if the nation returns to business as usual. And there will be neither rest nor tranquility in America until the Negro is granted his citizenship rights. The whirlwinds of revolt will continue to shake the foundations of our nation until the bright day of justice emerges.
But there is something that I must say to my people, who stand on the warm threshold which leads into the palace of justice: In the process of gaining our rightful place, we must not be guilty of wrongful deeds. Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred. We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline. We must not allow our creative protest to degenerate into physical violence. Again and again, we must rise to the majestic heights of meeting physical force with soul force.
The marvelous new militancy which has engulfed the Negro community must not lead us to a distrust of all white people, for many of our white brothers, as evidenced by their presence here today, have come to realize that their destiny is tied up with our destiny. And they have come to realize that their freedom is inextricably bound to our freedom.
We cannot walk alone.
And as we walk, we must make the pledge that we shall always march ahead.
We cannot turn back.
There are those who are asking the devotees of civil rights, "When will you be satisfied?" We can never be satisfied as long as the Negro is the victim of the unspeakable horrors of police brutality. We can never be satisfied as long as our bodies, heavy with the fatigue of travel, cannot gain lodging in the motels of the highways and the hotels of the cities. We cannot be satisfied as long as the negro's basic mobility is from a smaller ghetto to a larger one. We can never be satisfied as long as our children are stripped of their self-hood and robbed of their dignity by signs stating: "For Whites Only." We cannot be satisfied as long as a Negro in Mississippi cannot vote and a Negro in New York believes he has nothing for which to vote. No, no, we are not satisfied, and we will not be satisfied until "justice rolls down like waters, and righteousness like a mighty stream."¹
I am not unmindful that some of you have come here out of great trials and tribulations. Some of you have come fresh from narrow jail cells. And some of you have come from areas where your quest -- quest for freedom left you battered by the storms of persecution and staggered by the winds of police brutality. You have been the veterans of creative suffering. Continue to work with the faith that unearned suffering is redemptive. Go back to Mississippi, go back to Alabama, go back to South Carolina, go back to Georgia, go back to Louisiana, go back to the slums and ghettos of our northern cities, knowing that somehow this situation can and will be changed.
Let us not wallow in the valley of despair, I say to you today, my friends.
And so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.
I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal."
I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia, the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.
I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.
I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.
I have a dream today!
I have a dream that one day, down in Alabama, with its vicious racists, with its governor having his lips dripping with the words of "interposition" and "nullification" -- one day right there in Alabama little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers.
I have a dream today!
I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, and every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight; "and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed and all flesh shall see it together."2
This is our hope, and this is the faith that I go back to the South with.
With this faith, we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope. With this faith, we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. With this faith, we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day.
And this will be the day -- this will be the day when all of God's children will be able to sing with new meaning:
My country 'tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing.
Land where my fathers died, land of the Pilgrim's pride,
From every mountainside, let freedom ring!
And if America is to be a great nation, this must become true.
And so let freedom ring from the prodigious hilltops of New Hampshire.
Let freedom ring from the mighty mountains of New York.
Let freedom ring from the heightening Alleghenies of Pennsylvania.
Let freedom ring from the snow-capped Rockies of Colorado.
Let freedom ring from the curvaceous slopes of California.
But not only that:
Let freedom ring from Stone Mountain of Georgia.
Let freedom ring from Lookout Mountain of Tennessee.
Let freedom ring from every hill and molehill of Mississippi.
From every mountainside, let freedom ring.
And when this happens, and when we allow freedom ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God's children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual:
Free at last! Free at last!
Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!
A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state,
the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.
During the last presidential election Biden made a comment to a mostly black audience that the republicans want to put them back chains. The truth is it's the liberals that have the black community in chains. Being as most liberals are democrats it's the democrat party that wants to keep them in chains. The democrats want to keep them in ghetto's and uneducated. They need them to keep coming to Santa Clause for their needs. This is what keeps them in power.
"You can get a lot accomplished if you don't care who gets the credit" - Ronald Reagan
Ok, here is my version of the modern Liberal translation of the aforementioned speech: (red parts are the original speech)
Here is the Speech, as it would be edited, paraphrased and bastardized by Al Sharpton:
“But one hundred years later, the Negro still is not free. One hundred years later, the life of the Negro is still sadly crippled by the manacles of segregation and the chains of discrimination. One hundred years later, the Negro lives on a lonely island of poverty in the midst of a vast ocean of material prosperity. One hundred years later, the Negro is still languished in the corners of American society and finds himself an exile in his own land.” This is why we must use HUD to redistribute our people into neighborhoods they cannot afford, and do it at the expense of the people. Why?
Because “America has given the Negro people a bad check, a check which has come back marked "insufficient funds. . . We refuse to believe that there are insufficient funds in the great vaults of opportunity of this nation. And so, we've come to cash this check”
Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred. We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline. We must not allow our creative protest to degenerate into physical violence.
But we are forced into violence! We are made to join the Bloods and the Crips to seek justice. “We can never be satisfied as long as the Negro is the victim of the unspeakable horrors of police brutality. We cannot be satisfied as long as the Negro’s basic mobility is from a smaller ghetto to a larger one. We can never be satisfied as long as our children are stripped of their self-hood and robbed of their Skittles all because they were wearing a hoodie!
And of course, Big Al would bypass the greatness of the speech by only remembering part of the dream, such as “I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, and every hill and mountain shall be made low,” Which obviously means that Dr. King wanted redistribution.
He would completely skip the points that defined the speech beyond what was needed in the 60’s which are:
“I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal."
“And there will be neither rest nor tranquility in America until the Negro is granted his citizenship rights.”
Good article, Grunt. You could almost change the title from, "Back When We Wuz Negroes," to Back When We Were Americans" and apply it to everyone.
Who are the militia? Are they not ourselves? Is it feared, then, that we shall turn our arms each man gainst his own bosom. Congress have no power to disarm the militia...Tenche Coxe, The Pennsylvania Gazette, Feb. 20, 1788.
Whodat, I'm not sure I agree with your interpretation of "every valley exalted, every mountain made low". I don't think its so much about redistribution as it is the poor and the ghettos would be even with the white man's poor, and the hardships no greater than the hardships of the white man.
But to each his own opinion.
do people realize that Africa is a continent , not a race of people
never leave your cave ... without your club Mark Walters