End Black History Month Now

african-american-history-monthA version of this article ran in February, 2012.

Despite being the self-described “Angriest Black Man in America,” I agree with many whites who argue that Black History Month (BHM) should be abolished.

But we agree for totally different reasons.

They want it abolished because they’re either, at best, racially insensitive or, at worst, just plain racist. That’s why they take the emotionally based position that BHM is nothing more than some reverse racism entitlement nonsense that gives credit to a whiny race of shiftless people who have always received much more than they have ever given to America and the colonies.

Furthermore, they claim, BHM is unfair to white ethnics whose ancestors came here through Ellis Island and were subjected to harsh discrimination. But, they contend, instead of complaining, their ancestors simply fought through it, pulled themselves up by their own bootstraps, and in just a few generations became educated, successful, and even prosperous members of society, living the American Dream.

Moreover, they say, they never needed no damn English, Italian, German, Polish, or other history month because their superior actions spoke louder than inferior words. Therefore, they opine, BHM should be abolished.

Good conclusion. Bad reasoning.

Read more »

What Philadelphia Lost When it Lost Dr. Walter P. Lomax Jr.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., head of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, sits up in his hotel room bed in Philadelphia, Feb. 10, 1968 while being examined by Dr. Walter Lomax, a Philadelphia physician. On the physician's orders Dr. King canceled his appointments and speaking engagements for the day because of a throat ailment. Dr. King has been in Philadelphia for past two days recruiting followers for proposed march on the nation's capital in April. (AP Photo)

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., head of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, sits up in his hotel room bed in Philadelphia, Feb. 10, 1968 while being examined by Dr. Walter Lomax, a Philadelphia physician. (AP Photo)

On this past Thursday at 8:30 a.m., 81-year-old Dr. Walter P. Lomax Jr. passed away. “So what?” you ask. “What’s the big deal?” you ask. “Don’t old men die every day?” you ask.

The big deal, I answer, is that he wasn’t just an old man. The big deal is that he was and is a great man.

Dr. Lomax was a prominent physician, prosperous entrepreneur, and selfless philanthropist. The youngest of four children and a graduate of La Salle University and Hahnemann University Hospital, he opened his first medical office in a row house near his South Philly family home in 1958.

That small-scale clinic expanded over the years to six top-notch medical centers with 22 physicians who provided quality care regardless of income.

Read more »

American Slavery Was Born 394 Years Ago on Tuesday

A version of this article ran last year.

As you take your lunch break tomorrow in Center City, stroll over to Front and Market where the historic London Coffee House once stood, and celebrate the institution that made America one of the wealthiest and most powerful countries in the world, the institution born exactly 394 years ago on Aug. 20, 1619: the institution of slavery. In fact, it was at that site in downtown Philly, where black men, women and children were bought and sold like cattle and like tools.

On that fateful date nearly four centuries ago, as noted by English settler John Rolfe, a wealthy tobacco planter and the so-called husband of Pocahontas, “ … there came a Dutch man of warre that sold us twenty and odd Negars” in the Virginia Colony at Old Point Comfort (now Fort Comfort in Hampton). They were the first enslaved blacks in a land that would become the United States of America.
Read more »

How 3,000 Desecrated Black Graves Were Found, and Saved, in South Philly

What if 3,000 Italian or Irish or Jewish or Polish men, women and children from one of the most pivotal periods of American history were buried in a cemetery in Philadelphia? Do you think there would be a city landmark or a state monument or a national treasure to honor it?


But what if, instead, there were 3,000 African descendants buried in it? There would be no landmark, no monument and no treasure. Quite the contrary, it would be a forgotten trash dump morphed into a city playground. That’s exactly what happened — and is still happening — in South Philly to a former church cemetery.

Read more »

America Is Soft on Terrorism

The cowardly murderous attack on innocent and defenseless men, women and children at the Boston Marathon on April 15th was terrorism. Accordingly, if preliminary reports prove correct, then Dzhokhar Tsarnaev and his dead brother Tamerlan, who killed three people and wounded about 170, are terrorists, and the survivor should be tried and, if found guilty, punished harshly—like all terrorists.

But punishment of the most egregious terrorists hasn’t happened in America, and it’s still not happening anywhere in this country—including in Philadelphia. Read more »

How Philadelphia Will Celebrate Watch Night/Freedom’s Eve

On December 31, 1862, at around 7 p.m., enslaved black men, women and children unknowingly created something that cultural historians would later refer to as Watch Night/Freedom’s Eve. It was a direct result of Abraham Lincoln’s anticipated January 1, 1863 so-called Emancipation Proclamation.

Read more »

5 Reasons Not to Vote for Obama (and 10 Reasons to Vote Against Romney)

Let me confess—or brag—that I am a Pan-African socialist, which means I support a unified and culturally conscious Africa that has an economic system that constitutionally guarantees food, clothing, shelter, education, health care, jobs and human rights. And I support the applicability of this type of socialism for black people throughout the Diaspora, including in the U.S., and for white progressives as well as all revolutionaries here too. Read more »

Speaking of Cutting Off People’s Hands, Happy Columbus Day!

Imagine, if you will, that the man who murdered your entire family, raped your daughter, sister, and mother before killing them, tortured your son, brother, and father before killing them, and then robbed you of your home before moving in is celebrated with a party each year by his friends whom he had later brought in to take over your neighborhood. Well, that’s exactly the outlandishly evil shit that Columbus did and the outlandishly racist shit that his friends in Philly and America are doing. Read more »

Apparently, No One at PHA Has Seen Poltergeist

At 301 West Queen Lane, which intersects with Pulaski Avenue, a “Burial place for all … Negroes … and Mulattoes as they Die in any part of Germantown forever” was created. Matthias Zimmerman purchased the land in 1755 specifically for such use. Although there were many burials between 1755 and 1766 (and for 161 years until 1916), the first known documented burial, from the March 24, 1766 records of the Upper Burial Ground of Germantown, was that of Christian Warmer’s “dead negroe … child.” Powerful cultural stuff. Powerful American history. You’d think that such a local site—arguably the oldest black public cemetery in America—is a public memorial for black, white, brown, yellow and red residents and international tourists alike. You’d think that Philadelphia officials would respect it as the century-and-a-half-old hallowed ground where free and enslaved black men, women and children were buried. But you’d think wrong. Instead of honoring these historic ancestors, those city bureaucrats—specifically, representatives of the Philadelphia Housing Authority—are perturbing them. Read more »

« Older Posts  |  Newer Posts »