Category Archives: Uncategorized

14 December 2016

Another 18 months have gone by and the 2016 nearly everyone would agree was one for the books.

The clear concept of 28 Black was something that I truly enjoyed developing and got good feedback on. I can see writing more often, blogging throughout the year, but it does change this thing entirely and I have considered starting a completely different blog. Instead, I’ll keep this name/title and will post at least once a week. I might do some wild back dating because I have things that reach back a month or so, so I might as well put those things here.

In another spot I might blog about Napa, food and wine. We’ll see, but this blog will probably not touch on those topics much and will mostly be related to news of the world, its effect on me, and possibly items related to African-American history as they or their anniversaries occur.


The Trini Connection – Lord Kitchener, Calypso King

Part of my family is from Trinidad, but according to my father, nobody liked Calypso. Well, his mother didn’t and apparently her children weren’t wild about it. When I finally got my hands on a Lord Kitchener CD in the 1990s, I felt like I’d found the key to my family’s humor.

Here’s “If You’re Brown,” and you may say this point of view is dated.

After all, there’s a black man in the White House and (it goes without saying) a Black First Lady and children.

On that note, here’s one more Kitchener tune: “If You’re Not White, You’re Black.”

What I like about Kitchener is that he wrote and sang about these topics.

Here’s some more information about Lord Kitchener:
http://www.tntisland.com/kitchbio.html

(Never mind the typos/run-together words.)

On this 4th Day of Black History Month, I honor Lord Kitchener (April 18, 1922 – February 11, 2000).


February 2nd, 2014 – Canada’s Viola Desmond

Canada’s Viola Desmond, because why not start with a little controversy. If you search for African-Canadian heroes, Viola Desmond’s name is one of the first delivered. Desmond was a successful business woman born on July 6th, 1914 in Halifax, Canada, and passed away in New York on February 7, 1965.

According to Wikipedia, in 1946, Desmond went to the movies and sat down in the orchestra section reserved for “whites only”, declining the balcony where regulations would require her to sit. She was forcibly removed from the theater and charged with tax evasion. As wild as the tax evasion charge sounds, the Canadian government justified the charge because to the taxation difference between ground floor tickets and balcony tickets. The amount in question? One cent.

The Viola Desmond event became the most publicized racial event of that time in Canada. Desmond would lose the case, and the racist policies continued at that theater. During the trial Desmond was supported by the Nova Scotia Association for the Advancement of Colored People, and in turn when Desmond’s lawyer returned her fee after losing the case, Desmond contributed the sum to the NSAACP.

Between the import of Desmond’s actions and that it involved rebellion against the segregated seating, Viola Desmond is sometimes referred as the Rosa Parks of Canada. There are those who would argue against that moniker, but Desmond’s actions did help to move Canada toward racial equality.

It would be 66 years after the event that the Lieutenant Governor of Nova Scotia would grant Desmond a posthumous pardon via Royal Prerogative.

Two years ago on February 1, 2012, Canada Post issued the Viola Desmond stamp.

bhm-violadesmond


28Black – 2014

It’s Black History Month, 2014! Yes, it’s the shortest month, but I decided back in 2011, that I would use it, use the designation, for my own purposes.

If you’ll look at 2012, you’ll see that most of February went without a single post. In fact, there was only one post, on February 1, 2012. That was my dad talking about his hero Paul Robeson one morning. Most of my Black history thinking for the rest of that month was focused on my father. And the same thing happened for Black History Month, 2013. My father passed away on July 15, 2013. I miss him a lot and will be thinking of him a lot during this month as always.

One thing I’ll do differently this year is instead of limiting the posts to writings on Americans, I may include people of African descent in other countries, with a focus on places outside the United States where my family lives and has lived. That list includes Barbados, Bermuda, Canada, and Trinidad and Tobago.

Now, before we start taking on the coming events, milestones and reminiscences of 2014, I’ll close with a look at February 1, 2012. The lone BHM post of 2012:

One of the things that I appreciated the most about the experience in my first year of 28Black was the time I spent reflecting on my elders who have passed. I found myself wondering about their experiences, their reactions to Black figures and prominent events in early 20th century American History. I wondered if my great uncles enjoyed Jelly Roll Morton, Ma Rainey. I would have loved to have seen their faces or heard their reactions when Joe Louis won the heavyweight championship.

The first year of 28Black made me hungry for time travel.

I can’t travel back in time, but I can confer with this 81-year-old I know to see where his memories might take us. This year I’ll spend some time checking in with my father for his take on people, issues, politics and other things related to being black, and in recognition of Black History Month.

Here’s a teaser:

Background on the Peekskill Riots:
Peekskill Riots – Wiki