Black on the Fourth of July

This week America celebrated the Fourth of July.  I don’t do a lot to observe the holiday because I do not have a lot of family in the area and I don’t have much experience cooking on the grill.  I don’t have children so I don’t buy fireworks.  But I did enjoy the day off and even when I have had to work on the Fourth of July I enjoyed the holiday pay.

This year on social media I saw numerous posts and tweets being circulated encouraging Black people not to celebrate the Fourth.  Some of the social media messages even criticized Black people that do observe the Fourth of July.  I found these memes to be annoying and arrogant.  “Woke” people on social media often come across that way.

Look.  I get it.  I totally understand why so many Black people feel the way they do about the Fourth of July.  Blacks were enslaved in 1776 and the freedoms that this country is supposed to offer her citizens were never intended to be enjoyed by Blacks.  When you consider the culture of America when the Bill of Rights and the Constitution exposed how hypocritical and callous this country is towards Africans.

But despite what Blacks have faced throughout American history we are the greatest patriots of all.  America as we know it would not exist without Blacks.  The U.S. has the biggest economy the world has ever seen and it was built by Black labor.  In history class American students learn the phrase “Cotton is King” which refers to the juggernaut which was the cotton industry in the 1800s.  It wasn’t savvy business decision that made cotton king it was slave labor and brutal, savage force that made cotton king.

The cotton industry of the 1800s supported the textile industry of the early 1900s which was closely related to the northern Industrial Revolution.   The Industrial Revolution gave opportunities to European immigrants in the North East.  Without Blacks immigrants never would have had an America for which to come.

African Americans are only about 12% of this country and we only live in a few areas but we have influenced the culture in many ways even though we often don’t receive recognition for our contributions.  Blacks have influenced American music, cuisine, sports, fashion, politics, fine arts and sciences.  Without us American culture would be bland an utterly unrecognizable.

I’m not sure that the world had ever or has ever seen anything quite like the American Civil Rights fight of the 1960s.  A group of people that have been reviled and thought of as farm animals in the land where they were born stood up to the U.S. federal and state governments and won in mostly peaceful demonstrations.  People that have had their features mocked and ridiculed proclaimed that Black is beautiful and the said loudly that they were Black and proud.  That took bravery.

Since the 1960s other groups have mimicked the Black civil rights movement.  I don’t believe the feminist, LGBT or immigrant civil rights movements would have ever taken shape without the Black movement first.  Once again we provided inspiration for others in this country.  As far as immigration is concerned Blacks once again paved the way for the way for the next wave of newcomers in the late 20th and early 21st centuries.  Most of these immigrants come from brown countries and they would not have stood a chance if African Americans hadn’t stood up to White racism first.

We’ve been here trying to make America great all along.  No one really has tried to hold America accountable for her actions they way Blacks have.  We believe in the Constitution and Bill of Rights more than anyone.  Because we actually support all Americans having the same rights.  So if you don’t want to celebrate the Fourth of July then don’t.  But if you see other African Americans enjoying fireworks, a cookout or a day at the lake don’t judge and spare us the self righteous “woke” routine.

My family has probably been in this country about seven generations now and they sacrificed greatly for me to have the opportunities that I have in this country.  I’m proud to be an African American and the Fourth of July can be seen as a day to salute patriots and freedom fighters such as Harriet Tubman, Malcom X and Angela Davis.

We deserve to be protected by police instead of targeted by them.  We deserve equal opportunities and access to quality jobs and education.  And se deserve life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness in this country that those that came before us suffered greatly for.

 

 

Why I Love Gabby Douglas

Simone Biles is the gymnastics star of the 2016 Olympics.  She performed beautifully and is as cute as she can be.  The story of her road to Rio is an inspiring American dream that will bring tears to your eyes.  Simone deserves to be the belle of the ball.  But I absolutely love Gabby Douglas.  She is a mature champion that has represented our country well.

During the Olympic trials I could tell that Gabrielle had changed since the London Olympics.  She has matured and become a young woman as opposed to the bubbly, eager girl we met in 2012.  Gabby Douglas is reserved, poised and focused.  She carries herself like a sophisticated lady that is in Brazil to win medals, not entertain or be anyone’s pet.

Gabby Douglas is a refreshing change from many of the young women that are paraded in front of us and lauded as celebrities.  She is not a young woman that is on TV or in magazines for the purpose of arouse men.  She is not there to be funny or cute.  She is there to win.

There is something a little steely about Gabrielle Douglas this go round.  But I love it.  I see the same character in Russia’s Aliya Mustafina.  Aliya competed in the London Olympics and has probably completed her gymnastics career.  She and Gabby are not little little girls any more.  They are veteran champions with youthful, beautiful stalwart exteriors.  God bless them.

It seems that Gabby Douglas has been criticized during the Rio Olympics.  I don’t take Twitter jabs very seriously because I know that people will complain and find fault in anything.  The criticism of Gabby Douglas is rooted in sexism and racism.  American culture wants Black women to be clowns on some level.  Attractive young women are asked to be bimbos.  Black Americans prefer to put light skinned women with European features on a pedestal.  Gabby Douglas is none of that but still successful and there are some that hate it.

All I can say is watch out Simone Biles.  Today you are America’s sweetheart.  Enjoy it because you deserve it all the spoils of victory.  But I hope the fickle American public will be kind to you when you when you compete in Tokyo in 2020.

Proposition L

This November voters in the Kansas City area will be asked to decide whether a small tax increase should be implemented in order to improve the Mid Continent Public Library system.  Ordinarily I wouldn’t think twice about a measure such as this one.  I always vote in favor of improvements to schools, mass transit, parks and other city services even if I do not benefit from those services directly.  I think that libraries are important public resources that should be supported and utilized by the public.

However, I worked for MCPL for more than two years.  I was very disappointed by my observations and the way I was treated when I worked for them.  I will say that MCPL is a great library system.  They offer many invaluable resources to their patrons and I loved being a part of that organization.  I wanted to have a career there and I could have happily seen myself working there for many years to come.  But I am an African American woman and there is a strong hillbilly factor in Missouri that can be a barrier to progress.

MCPL is run by a bunch of hillbillies that do not appreciate diversity on any level.  They don’t support it in their collection and they don’t support it in their staffing.  If you need proof stop into any MCPL branch and you will most likely see White women.  That’s all they really want to hire.  I am an avid reader, I have years of customer service experience, I love literature, have three college degrees one of which is a Masters degree.  During my two and a half years as an employee of MCPL I applied to work as a full time employee around forty times.  I think I was interviewed twice.  I was never offered a full time position.  I was never told that I needed to improve in any area in order to become a full time employee.  I don’t think I fit their image of what a librarian should be.

I think that the lack of diversity in the library branch employees is a problem.  Minority communities have lower literacy rates than Whites.  I think that a library system that serves communities with large African American or first generation American population should do more to reach that community and increase literacy in those communities.  The Mid Continent Public Library System is primarily concerned with White soccer moms.  I am not White nor am I a parent so there is not reason for me to support an institution that is not looking out for my interests.

I think that it would be a powerful message to young minority patrons if they see a more diverse staff at the library.  As it is now it would appear to young eyes that literature is solely in the hands of White women and it is not for a young Black or Hispanic boy.  I think that it is the responsibility of librarians to encourage literacy and readership for everyone.  The library system should do more to recruit more male and minority including bi lingual library staff.  There should also be more programming that will encourage reading among young boys and minority children.  They will never do this at MCPL because they are uncreative, racist, Mid western hillbillies with one track minds.

Their collection lacks diversity.  Last May my hero Cam Newton was on the cover of “Ebony” magazine with his mother for Mother’s Day.  I wanted to save myself a few dollars and look at the magazine in the library.  They didn’t have it.  “Ebony” magazine was no longer on their shelves.  “Ebony” is a very old and widely read publication in the Black community.  The that MCPL no longer makes copies available to their patrons in print tells me something about their feelings about diversity and their African American patrons.

When I worked there African American patrons would ask for help finding popular African American Authors.  Quite often the books were not in the libraries collection or there were very limited copies that were not available due to loss or damage.  I had similar experiences when patrons wanted books in Spanish.  Of course the library has some books by African American authors and some books written in Spanish.  But if MCPL really wanted to encourage literacy among groups that fall behind in literacy they would do a lot more.

If MCPL did not think it was important to support African American or Spanish speaking authors and readers I have no reason to think that they will be any different with a bigger budget.  They will just continue to do more of what they’ve been doing.  I’m going to vote no on Proposition L.  If you’re not doing anything for my community I would rather keep my money to myself.  Let the White soccer moms pay the extra taxes.  MCPL lives for them anyway.

Happy Birthday Cam Newton – Shannon in Kansas City

Yesterday was Cam Newton’s 27th birthday.  Glory be to God for that marvelous creation.  I hope he enjoyed a great birthday.  I absolutely love that man and I would probably marry him if given the chance.  He is incredibly handsome, sweet natured, big hearted, outgoing, friendly and prosperous.  God Bless him.

This may sound a bit strange but another reason that I love him is his choice in female companionship.  His girlfriend,baby mama fiancé or whatever is a single mother and she worked as a stripper at some point in her life.  I pass no judgment on anyone that makes that career choice.  Heck, life is tough, bills need to be paid and the baby needs shoes.  I’m glad to see that Cameron isn’t judgmental towards women either.  It’s a refreshing change.

Social media is a hobby of mine and I am shocked to see how many men, particularly Black men, pass judgment on women based on their sexual history or at least their perceived sexual history.  Black men and their sycophant Black women love to degrade Black single moms or anyone that they can label a slut via social media.  They put modest women up on a pedestal but these men probably don’t have modest morals themselves.

On Mother’s Day Cam posted a really sweet message to his lady.  It’s really nice to see a man praising the woman that he chose to impregnate.  I’ve been privy to  conversations where men have nasty attitudes towards women they once love or were at least found to be attractive but now they ha

Their attitude is that unvirtuous, single mothers are not deserving of love once they’ve made choices that they deem as foolish which lead them to be unmarried and pregnant.  Meanwhile, Black men are not held to any standards of purity whatsoever.  These Black single moms didn’t get there by themselves.

I think it’s lovely that Cam Newton fell in love with a stripper and I hope he marries her.  I think it’s great that Cam Newton does not judge women based on puritanical standards of sexuality and purity.  It’s nice to see a man fall in love with a woman’s character, intellect and beauty as opposed to choosing them based on how many lovers they may have had in the past.

I wish Cameron and Kia the very best.  I’m hoping that their story will become a Lifetime movie one day.  I’m not a fan of Disney, Prince Charming type movies but I would certainly watch that one.  If things don’t work out between Cameron and his son’s mother I hope he will marry me.  I’m quite a bit older than him but hey, he seems like an open minded guy that doesn’t judge women by society’s harsh standards of what makes a woman worthy of love and attention.

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