Posts Tagged ‘KKK’

Paul Robeson: An Extraordinary Man Part 1

Paul Robeson was a phenomenal man. His accomplishments seem to defy human possibility in any era, but particularly during a time when the USA was a rabidly racist country.  He was an outstanding scholar, athlete, actor, singer, freedom fighter and international people’s champion.

Robeson was a citizen of the world who not only fought for the rights of Blacks in America, but for the working-class throughout the globe including the Soviet Union and China.  He also forged close alliances with various trade unions, Welsh and Canadian miners and other groups.  The fact that he spoke more than 20 languages, including Russian, Chinese, Arabic, Yiddish, German and several African languages, made him more effective.  Robeson was also very well-versed in world culture.

He was born in Princeton, New Jersey on April 9, 1898. His father was an escaped slave who graduated from college and became a minister, and his mother was a Quaker school teacher who died when he was young.

Robeson was a bright student who entered Rutgers University in 1915.  He was an outstanding athlete, a member of Phi Beta Kappa and in 1919 the class valedictorian.

In 1921 Robeson married Eslanda Goode. That same year he played for the Akron Pros, an integrated NFL team coached by Fritz Pollard, the NFL’s first Black coach. He ended his career in 1922 and a few months later graduated from Columbia University Law School. Sadly, his law career was derailed by racism.

In 1924 he appeared in Eugene O’Neill’s “All God’s Chillin,” a controversial play that paired his character with a white wife who kisses his hand.  The KKK threatened to kill him because of this.  In 1925 Robeson performed in “Showboat” in London.  “Ole Man River” would become his signature song.

In 1930 Robeson performed Shakespeare’s Othello on the London stage and received 20 curtain calls on opening night. He was invited to perform at Buckingham Place.

In addition to being a Broadway star, Robeson was an international celebrity who enjoyed an illustrious film and stage career that spanned decades.  His performances also include: “Shuffle Along,” “The Emperor Jones,” “Song of Freedom,” Oscar Michaeaux’s “Body and Soul,” and “King Solomon’s Mines.”

In 1937 he founded the Council on African Affairs, an organization that supported anti-colonial movements.  During the Spanish Civil War that same year, he brought about a cease-fire for several hours when both sides stopped to listen to him sing from the front lines in Madrid.

Robeson led a Black delegation before the Baseball Commission in 1943 to petition for the removal of racial barriers in pro baseball. This led to the hiring of Jackie Robinson.

In 1946 he and Albert Einstein co-chaired the 100 Day Crusade to End Lynching, and in 1951 Robeson presented a petition to the UN charging the US with Black genocide.

Rap, Hip Hop and “Killa Nig*a” Part 2

sorry if you received this twice.

This might not be news to most, but I didn’t realize the degree to which the directive “killa nig*r” or some variation of that, appears in rap music.  I still don’t.  I provide two rap songs as examples of this dangerous practice, below.  For the most part, I paraphrase and condensed the lyrics unless otherwise indicated. But first here’s a letter that an organization might send to some of these rappers one day:

Dear Killa-Nig*a-Type Black Rappers:

Isn’t it odd that our groups have something in common?  We both view Blacks as “nig**rs” which is akin to seeing them as dispensable subhumans, particularly Black males.  As you probably know, our organization has a long history of ending the lives of nig**rs in a variety of creative ways.

We listen to a lot of rap music and judging from your lyrics we’re on the same page. For this reason, we are awarding you honorary memberships in appreciation for the wonderful “Killa Nig*a Campaign” you mounted years ago. It certainly helps further our cause.  Your lyrics condition people to not only devalue Black lives, particularly Black males, but to end those lives as well. And millions of fans enjoy your music so much that they spend a lot of time listening to it and thereby indoctrinating themselves.  What’s learned with pleasure is learned full measure.  Thanks for lightening our workload. Keep up the good work!

Warm Regards,

KKK Grand Wizard

P.S. We blast your music at all of our meetings and many of our members play it in the background when they drive their pick-up trucks over “nig**rs.”  Thanks again.

_________________________________

RAP LYRICS

Project Pat – “Break Da Law 2001”

  • I’m kicking in doors “put a nigga on his ass,” if he talks trash I’ll put him in a body bag….
  • I’m not playing with you fool. If you get an attitude watch me use my tool.
  • I lock and load and let it loose (blood). Shove the gun down your throat you’ll inhale bullets like they’re smoke.
  • I’m gonna kill “you bitches” and leave a sunroof in your head.
  • Anyone of you niggas want some? I’ll blow their ass off with a double barrell shotgun.
  • It’s that nigga from the project “ready man to kill a ho.”
  • Put that thing to your head squeeze the trigger let it blow.

Young Buck – “Kill Me A Nig*a” (This chorus is sung 3x)

  • I’m not from around here nig*a, “but you can bet.”
  • I got a group of killers with me, “I got scraps on deck.”
  • “And I feel like” I’m gonna kill a nig*a.
  • “I feel like” I’m gonna kill a nig*a.
  • You think you’re gonna rob me? Who?
  • “And I just might” kill a nig*a.
  • “I think I might” kill a nig*a)

I will continue this series in a few days.  Will inform you of the date one day in advance.  THANKS FOR VISITING. In the immortal words of James Brown, “Please, Please, Please, Please” leave comments.

Jonathan Kozol Social Justice Champion

“Jonathan’s struggle is noble.  What he says must be heard.  His outcry must shake our nation out of its guilty indifference.” –Elie Wiesel 

An article  on the “Community Village” website informs us that Jonathan Kozol will be taking part in the panel discussion “Vision for America: A Future Without Poverty” on Thursday, January 17 at George Washington University in DC.  I know this will be an event worth seeing. http://www.scoop.it/t/communityvillage

Jonathan Kozol is an outspoken critic of the separate and grossly unequal education poor children are receiving throughout this country.  His books and lectures expose the “tremendous assault upon inner-city kids and their teachers” and bring attention to the federal courts and how they’ve been dismantling Brown vs Board of Education since the 1980s and thereby allowing “apartheid” to exist in classrooms.

Kozol is a white man who grew up as a child of privilege in Newton, Massachusetts, just outside of Boston.  He graduated from Harvard University in 1958 where he majored in English Literature and then went off to Oxford after receiving a prestigious Rhodes scholarship. While attending school in Oxford, England he spent time in Paris, France learning how to write fiction and non-fiction from Richard Wright, Williams Styron and other writers.

In 1964 the KKK murdered civil rights activists James Chaney (a Black man), Andrew Goodman and Michael Schwerner (both white) outside of Philadelphia, Mississippi.  In response to this tragedy Jonathan visited a church in the Black community and asked the Black pastor if he could be of use.  Kozol wound up serving as the reading teacher at the church’s Freedom School.  He enjoyed the kids so much that when they returned to public school in September he tried to get a teaching job at their school so that he could remain in their lives. Initially he was a substitute teacher because he was not certified to teach, but later he became a 4th grade teacher in the segregated Boston school system.  In 1964 and 65 he left his affluent neighborhood and moved to the poor Black neighborhood where his students resided.

Kozol is a tireless advocate who has devoted nearly 50 years of his life to social justice.  He’s spent much of his time among inner-city children who are some of the “poorest of the poor.”  Many of his students know hunger, homelessness and many have fathers in prison.  More than a few have witnessed at least one murder and/or know someone who was murdered. Given what these children are subjected to before they even enter the classroom, Kozol believes that “a truly good society” would offer them the best education a rich society can afford.

His first book, “Death at an Early Age: The Destruction of the Hearts and Minds of Negro Children in the Boston Public Schools” was a searing exposé of the Boston school system in the 60s.  This book and many of Kozol’s other works are required reading for Education Majors at most universities.  The titles include: “Savage Inequalities,” “The Shame of the Nation,” “Rachel and Her Children: Homeless Families in America,” etc.