Make Some Noise for the Color Black

darkwaterThis may sound like a very unusual request, but I am going to ask everyone to make some noise if you agree with me that the color black has been denigrated and abused far too long. The noise is to signal all those who have accepted the definition “Black is wicked, black is ugly, and black is evil,” that a change is going to come. The great scholar, Dr. W. E. B. Du Bois, made some noise back in 1920 in his essay, “The Souls of White Folk,” found in his book, Darkwater, when he boldly exclaimed that the European and dominant American cultures have extolled the color white while debasing other colors, including black. He wrote, “Everything good, efficient, fair and honorable is white; everything mean, bad, blundering, cheating, and dishonorable is yellow, a bad taste is brown, and the devil is black.” All colors are equated with negative qualities with the exception of white. According to Dr. Du Bois, yellow and brown get pretty low grades but the lowest is the color black. So that is why I am making a request that anyone who wants to join me to change those definitions should make some noise for the color black.

black is the color of strength

authorsI made some noise when I invited twenty-three writers to provide me with an essay, short autobiography, or biographical sketch about the African American culture for publication in an anthology celebrating the beauty, grace and strength behind the word black as in Black America. The result has been the release of Black Is the Color of Strength. All of the writers who chose to participate shared a common goal, and that was to present this country and the world with a range of well written works, accentuating the positive qualities found within the Black culture in this country The last section of the book is titled, “Legacies of Courage” and features short sketches on such giants as Dr. Maya Angelou, Reverend Fred Shuttlesworth, Ida B. Wells-Barnett, Fannie Lou Hamer, Ella Baker and Shirley Chissolm. There is a short essay on the Tuskegee Airmen and a final work called, “The Love That Forgives.” It recounts the bombing of the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama in September 1963, and the unique ability of Black Americans to forgive. This anthology is available for review on our website and on Amazon.com.

firesbookI made some more noise when I decided to tell our story our way and wrote a historical novel about the Tulsa Riot of 1921 titled, Fires of Greenwood. The novel chronicles the real-life events that led to the horrendous slaughter of American citizens, during this country’s turbulent racial past. I have also brought to life, the debate between Booker T. Washington’s accommodationist approach to segregation and Dr. W. E. B. Du Bois’ advocacy for a more radical protest, against the evils confronting Blacks during the early years of the Twentieth Century. This novel is an excellent primer for those who are interested in tracing the history of racial violence in this country, and why racial turbulence continues to confront us today. It is available for review on our website and on Amazon.com.

DrDiopDr. Mateen Diop made some noise when he wrote an excellent book, Inner City Public Schools Still Work. Dr. Diop shares with all of us concerned about the future of public schools, how they can still serve as effective tools for teaching our children. The key, according to Dr. Diop, is dedication and concern for those innocent young minds that are starving for knowledge. He challenges the notion that charter schools are superior to public schools, and gives examples to back his argument.  However, he agrees that both are useful institutions for teaching our children. In one very interesting section, he takes the reader through his own experience as a principal of an inner city school and how his staff, under his leadership, changed the entire learning environment, and increased the children’s scores far above just passing on state examinations. Dr. Diop’s book will be available through Prosperity Publications in August of this year. It is available for review on our website.

TMoffettAttorney Toschia Moffett made some noise when she meticulously interviewed and then wrote, The Spiritual Journey of a Legend, about the life of one giant of a preacher in Gaffney, South Carolina. Dr. Reverend James W. Sanders was one of those brave heroes that led the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960’s He did his work right in the city of Gaffney, challenging segregation in all its manifestations. This is the story of a man whose life’s journey begins in a segregated schoolroom in Union, South Carolina in 1933, and reaches its pinnacle of success when he is invited to the inauguration of President Barack Obama in 2008. Toschia points out how the Christian faith can still serve as a vehicle for social change and economic improvement, in the Black communities. Congressman James Clyburn of South Carolina, who was one of the many admirers of Reverend Sanders, wrote the foreword to the book. This book is available for review on our website an on Amazon.com

drsandersbook

The late David Floyd made some noise when he wrote about his extraordinary climb from a young man who graduated from high school reading at the second grade level, and in 2014 received his Doctorate Degree in Accounting. In his autobiography titled, Through My Mother’s Tears, David shares with the reader the tremendous obstacles he faced growing up in poverty in Freeport, Texas.  He recounts the personal humiliation and his rejection by others because of his dark skin color, and because he could not read. Despite all the obstacles, and with sheer determination, David turned a tragic beginning into a glorious victory in his life’s journey. This book is a must read for all educators interested in knowing, from a first hand account, how the education system can fail to help a child who always had a desire to learn, and for those who have lost hope and need a source of inspiration to keep on fighting for a better life. David’s book will be available through Prosperity Publications and on Amazon.com in July of this year.

chrispittardChris Pittard made some noise with his coming of age story, The Transmanaut Chronicles, about his brother, two friends and him. These four young men take off on a trip from El Paso, Texas to San Francisco, California, making stops in San Diego, Los Angeles and Oakland. Chris, who is an attorney in San Antonio, has given us a refreshing book, not about young men who are slinging drugs, chasing women and killing each other. It is the kind of book that young men and women can read and recognize that if these four boys can challenge life at an early age and commit to great accomplishments, then they can also do the same. Chris’s brother, Dana Pittard, is a Major General in the United States Army and his two friends are IT Specialists working for the United States Government in Washington, D.C. Attorney Pittard’s book is available through Prosperity Publications or Amazon.com.

These writings represent just the tip of the iceberg of the works that Prosperity Publications will publish over the next six months. The company plans to release the second in the trilogy on the color black, titled, Black Is the Color of Love, in August of this year. It is a series of short stories accentuating the love and courage of our ancestors. These fictional stories complement the non-fiction works found in Black is the Color of Strength.

The company will also release the personal memoirs of the great Hall of Fame basketball genius, George Gervin, in October of this year. The one man, who is responsible for the San Antonio Spurs moving from the ABA to the NBA and made them into a competitive team, is determined to write a different kind of book from what you usually get from an athlete. He is determined to tell how after basketball he dedicated his life to building a school for young people that often make wrong choices in life, and end up being locked up and forgotten about by society. He has taken those young people and provided them with an environment conducive for learning and, therefore, giving them a second chance to succeed in life.

iceman

We invite you to visit our website at www.prosperitypublications.com and make some noise with us. If you find one or two of these works interesting, we further invite you to make some more noise and purchase them when available. You will not regret it because these books are entertaining, enlightening and most important empowering.

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5 Comments

Filed under Black Culture, Black History, Black Literature, Blackness, San Antonio, TX

5 responses to “Make Some Noise for the Color Black

  1. Chris Pittard

    Great article. But I may be a little biased 😊

  2. gtalkspolitics

    What a beautiful tribute….

  3. jeriwil

    Jon Stewart’s monologue on June 18, 2015, reminded me of the declaration made by Richard Wright, White Man, Listen, to wit:

    Stewart’s reaction to the killing of nine parishioners of the Mother Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church, June 16, 2015:

    Completely dumfounded, Stewart raised poignant questions regarding treatment of terrorists in United States and United States involvement in terrorists in foreign lands. How can we quell acts of terrorism in other lands, when we have benign involvement and in some instances, almost totally amnesia when similar acts occur in the United States. He goes on to enumerate the loss of life, the complete disabling conditions brought on our young people out fight terrorism in other lands and return to the United States with such crippling disabilities, and not being able to receive the appropriate treatment because of an ineffective governmental agencies tied to the hips of an incorrigible group of persons comprising the Congress of the United States. In addition to loss of life and absence of health care for returning veterans, the depletion of United States treasury to fight terrorist ills in distant lands borders on criminal behavior. Talk about being on the “dole’…Well, according to members of the media, numerous wars have been fought on “the dole” Yet, the powers put so-called welfare recipients on this “infamous dole.”
    Sherrilyn Ifil, NASCP Legal Defense and Educational Fund recently recalled the denunciation of Home-land Security Secretary Janet Napolitano by Republicans and others for a report warning of the threat posed by right-wing extremists and white supremacists. She declared, “If you call yourself a patriot, you say you love this country, first and foremost you care about the safety of the citizens.” This falls in line with Jon Stewart’s viewpoint of terrorists, no matter where they are, and especially if they are home grown.
    Going further, she said, “What we have seen too often is the safety of African American citizens sacrificed for the purpose of partisan gain. People are afraid to say the truth. Allowing they to traffic in the tools of white supremacy like the Confederate flag. This has to stop.” Continuing with another strong point, “Such extremists are out thee and we can find every single one of them, but we have the law enforcement apparatus in this country that is reported to be one of the best in the world. However, it will take a different approach for law enforcement to use their power to find these kinds of individuals and to stop this radicalization.”

    Instead of coming to the table for another kind of talk, rather than “the talk between blacks and whites on the race issue,” perhaps there should be a talk among whites themselves on the race issue. Bring it out in the open, honestly, within those “meltables” [Nell Painter] ethnic groups clustered under the wide umbrella of whiteness as designated on official government rolls. Maybe, just maybe, what you, the seat of power and the gathering under the aforementioned wide umbrella, wanted was a republic with democratic principles, but what you found was that you could not handle it. Can it be said today that this democratically principled republic is at bay? Going further, can it also be said, “never have so few hated so many, meaning that it has been brought to bay by its own conscience, by the juggernaut, economics, and the ceaseless pressure brought to bear upon its grim penchant for insisting that the world was its and its alone. Subsequently, intellectually the power structure of the republic with its weakened or ill-fated democratic principles came to know that what was bad for the victim of racism was also bad for the republic, i.e., what was bad for an individual was a horror for society.

  4. jeriwil

    An Unholy or Holy alliance Between Christianity and Capitalism
    and the Impact of Blackness

    Thoughts to ponder about Frederick Williams’ fantastic tome, The Fires of Greenwood, following a reading of Kevin Kruse’s essay centered on the alliance between capitalism and Christianity:

    Quite recently Kevin Kruse let the public in on an unknown relationship between economics of capitalism and Christianity. He allows that on the collusion of Christianity and capitalism, one message is that the two are soul mates. The systems are synonymous in that each individual rises and falls according to merits. In other words, if you’re good you go to heaven, if you’re bad, you go to hell. And so it would naturally follow that in capitalism if you’re good you make a profit and you succeed, if you’re bad you fail. But what about Abraham Lincoln’s claims that labor is prior to capital; without labor, there is no capital? Lincoln’s words:

    Labor is prior and independent of capital. Capital is only the fruit of labor and could never have existed had not first existed. Labor is superior of capital and deserves much the higher consideration.

    For, without labor, there was no capital. In this instance, the large pool comprised by Mexicans, Blacks and Poor Whites, and some Native Americans who remained in the area; these groups brought forth immense yields which gave powerbrokers decided advantage through a social construct.
    Now the question to ponder is, “What happened to the union of the dynamic duo in Frederick Williams’ The Fires of Greenwood? Did the people not rise according to their merits, their labor? Did they not make a profit and succeed? Was what they accomplished something “bad”? “Bad labor?” How had they, the citizens of Greenwood, failed? Did they not follow the principles of capitalism and Christianity?
    In The Fires of Greenwood, the reader takes a walk through the black community, finding it not so much unlike other communities of color. There are the optimal number of aficionados whose job is to keep relationships with power structure tempered with cool heads when turmoil is sensed in the distance. They also become the body of the controlling unit through their influence. Through their leadership, the narrative reveals lives with a mindset of social, religious, fraternal and patriotic themes along with traditional business enterprises on small scale and some moving on to another level. Disagreements arise, but calmness settles in. And with continued investing in their cultural capital for upward mobility, on a grander scale of business enterprises, their power of agency pushes the community ahead, outdistancing many other African American enclaves in similar cities.
    The careful reader picks up the irony and the psychology of race streaming through out. It is a tangible thing but untouchable. It is palpable but not physically evident. The very presence of a Black Wall Street flies in the face of long held beliefs about the low level intellect of blacks due to their defective African genetic pool. [In what way did the people of Greenwood have defective gene pools? Of course, there was one other group according to some historians; it was the Irish, labeled as people born with the Darwinian defect. Therefore, they were not quite white or were considered as the “free unwhites.” [Nell Painter, The History of White People]
    Would not a black-owned Wall Street enterprise in the black community of Greenwood be an anomaly considering the stain of a fixed black inferiority stemming from the accepted pseudo scientific claims of the 18th century? Notwithstanding the unjustifiable atrocities committed against Blacks because of their prosperity, Williams’ narrative stem line taps into a related twist from a similar historical event which called forth a rhetorical, namely: “Wouldn’t any reasonable person conclude that it was not the Nordic but the Negro who belonged to the superior race?” [Kevin Boyle, Arc of Justice]
    Peering deeper inside Williams’ reporting of the Tulsa incident, the reader finds evidence to support a positive response to the question posed by Boyle. For example, socio-economic status of denigrated persons of African descent, the victims of prejudice, rose to levels of an upper class financially: professionals, business entrepreneurs, etc., whereas socioeconomic levels of their antagonists in similar confrontations clustered around mostly middle and lower class of European not-so-white whites. Working across blurred lines of class status, Blacks united and stood up for their integrity and their independence. They were willing to go up against all odds to defend their right to exist. It was a fight for the right, for justice, and for freedom. But it was a freedom with boundaries much like the illusive freedoms sparingly allotted to the ancestors of Tulsa’s residents of the early twentieth century, who, by the recordings in historical publications, received the same characterization of denigration as the Negro received from the Britains, the dominant power structure as the country made its way westward, its Manifest Destiny. They, too, were labeled as slothful and lazy along with many more distasteful nomenclatures.

    It was God who gave US the land, so claimed the Cabots in their mission to spread Christianity in the New World. If so, would that same God leave the Negro and other groups such as the Native Americans bereft of the same endowments of intellect and wherewithal to worship and live their lives according their cultural values? Or did concern for the spread of Christianity eclipse the viability of others whose way of life sustained their beliefs and their culture? But then, the Brits’ apology for their dastard deed, the “right of discovery principle,” in reference to land acquisition, according to historians, was that removing Native Americans from their savage way of life to a life filled with Christianity was a fair exchange; it would be to their benefit. Heathens, they would no longer be. Hmm, that has a familiar ring. Was that not the same justification for enslaving Africans, that is to remove them from their savage and heathen ways?

    The “come to the table moment” for the umbrella dwellers, the white ethnic groups, can be better understood if they discuss racial matters among themselves. As a starting point, consider the Colorado State Senator’s line of thinking regarding a meaningful healing process for the recent Charleston massacre.

  5. jeriwil

    The voices of Richard Wright and James Baldwin stream into the present reminding us a few provoking thoughts. Wright invites the power structure to listen to a few observations. To begin with, he allows that it was not your courage or racial superiority that made you win in all those fields of conquer, nor was it the racial inferiority or cowardice of the conquered that made them lose, i.e., the Asians and the Africans. Notwithstanding the four centuries, it took; it could have been done in fifty years. For, you had the motive, the fire power, the will, the religious spur, the superior organization, but you dallied. Why? You were not aware exactly of what you were doing. You didn’t suspect your impersonal strength, or the impersonal weakness on the other side. You were as unconscious, at bottom, as were your victims about what was really taking place. Even today, as a politically based power structure with all your political weapons, you remain the sole responsible agent, the sole instigator of all that has gone awry. In history as in law, men must be held strictly responsible for the consequences of their historic actions, whether they intended these consequences of not.

    What you, the seat of power, wanted was a republic with democratic principles, and what you found was that you could not handle it. It can be said that this democratically principled republic was at bay. And never have so few hated so many, meaning that it had been brought to bay by its own conscience, by the juggernaut, economics, and the ceaseless pressure brought to bear upon its grim penchant for insisting that the world was its and its alone. Subsequently, intellectually the power structure of the republic with its weakened or ill-fated democratic principles came to know that what was bad for the victim of racism was also bad for the republic, i.e., what was bad for an individual was a horror for society.

    Baldwin, using Wright’s “frog perspective,” the looking or examining events or situations in terms of “an above,” and a “below” another facet of the world of the seat of power. Such power is seen and felt by those who are looking from below upwards. From these minions cast below come the wishes that the ruling class would read, for his own sake its appallingly oppressive and blood history known all over the world. If they did, what would see would be a disastrous, continuing, present, condition which menaces them, and for which they bear an inescapable responsibility. But they appear to lack the energy to change the minions’ condition; they would rather not be reminded of it.

    Baldwin, continuing, looks upwards sees inside the world of the seat of power and perceives the how’s and why’s of the who’s. What is perceived is a history which flatters; after all they wrote it. It mirrored a people impaled on their history like a butterfly on a pin, incapable of seeing or changing themselves or the world. In other words, this painful place in which most of those “above” find themselves are dimly, or vividly, aware that the history they have fed themselves is mainly a lie, but they do not know how to release themselves from it, and they suffer enormously from the resulting personal incoherence. Through Wright’s “frog perspective,” they are still trapped in that factory of historical memory, where at an unbelievable human expense, unnamable objects are produced.

    The incoherence is heard nowhere more plainly than in those stammering, terrified dialogues white Americans sometimes entertain with that black conscience, the black man in America. The nature of this stammering can be reduced to a plea: Do not blame me. I was not there. I did not do it. My history has nothing to do with Europe or the slave trade. [And there is always the inevitable shifting of blame]. …It was your chiefs who sold you to me. I was not present on the middle passage. I am not responsible for the textile mills of Manchester, or the cotton fields of Mississippi… and so on with the rest of sorrowful milieu of atrocities attributed to government officials which they now despise…I have nothing against you, nothing. What have you got against me? What do you want?

    …But in another gathering, secretly, however, the white man remains proud of that history for which he does not wish to pay, and from which materially, he has profited so much…And in another gathering on that same day in the most private chamber of the black man’s heart always, he finds himself facing the terrible roster of the lost, the dead, black junkie, the defeated, black father, the unutterably weary black mother, the unutterably ruined black girl. And so we find that the dichotomy remains.

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