Let me apologize in advance, but for the last time. My new mission will be to never let the past horrors of slavery and lynchings primarily rest until this country and White people in general deal with the fact that bigotry and racial oppression still exist and it has caused tremendous harm to Black and Brown people. The prison industrial complex is one way that racism has continued in this country.
Prison is modern day slavery– and prison reform is needed. White liberals and others need to take a collective stand to not only change how excessive prison sentences are administered to minorities but also how bigotry is responsible for select minorities being locked up and locked out!
I’ll use this medium to scream out loud until there is no breath in my body. I’m excited to take on this anointed journey to tell stories of our past to heal our present and restore our future. Yes, let’s make America really GREAT!
I’m also apologizing in advance to those who may want for Black history to be buried deep in the bottom of sunken slave ships in the Atlantic Ocean with all the slaves who went down with ships that they overthrew during their unexpected voyage. These were the Mandigo Warriors who didn’t wanna face being locked in bondage, therefore they did what they knew how to do, and that was to fight!
That’s one story that has been hidden in history books. The fact that these courageous Black Africans being transported to foreign land actually came together and took over ships are heroic tales never told. And most of those ships either became lost at sea because the slaves had no way of navigating them back to their homeland or the ships sank after fires were started from battles waged between the slaves and the White transporters.
I recently watched “60 Minutes” when their new correspondent, Oprah Winfrey, interviewed the intellectual and dynamic Bryan Stevenson, who highlighted his new exhibit in Montgomery, Ala., about the lynching of Black men, women, and children. The National Memorial for Peace and Justice and the accompanying Legacy Museum opened to the public on April 26 of this year.
As the founder and executive director of the Equal Justice Initiative, Stevenson expressed that the Museum is a gruesome look at racial terrorism perpetrated on African Americans in the United States from the end of the Civil War until the 1950s. It’s an awesome display of history and a vow to never let America forget its ugly past. He talked about how it’s even more important now that our current president has unlocked the door to White nationalities to feel emboldened to openly display their hatred for people of color and/or immigrants.
The incredible display shows how Black men and women along with their children were lynched like a sport after White communities left church on Sunday afternoons. They even advertised the lynchings in advance so Whites and their families, including small children, could come to see and to mainly frighten Blacks to stay in their place. Black men were hung for things such as asking to vote, or troublemakers who advocated for additional opportunities and resources. And when the White mobs couldn’t find the Black man being hunted, they lynched his wife and his kids.
Racism is a disease that needs to be treated and/or cured if we as a nation are to really be a great America. We must look at how the past has contributed to transforming our present-day country. For instance, White people have had an eight-generation head start on Black America. Therefore, I’m asking for an apology from the forebearers who’ve benefitted from privileges that Black folks have not been allowed to enjoy. And it started centuries ago when lynchings destroyed the hopes and dreams of tens of millions of Black people who only wanted what freedom promised. They were denied that chance to enjoy the fruits of their free labor during slavery and even after slavery ended.
All the slaves had to pass down to their children’s children was that maybe their masters would be different and more understanding than a generation of slave masters before. They couldn’t even promise their children freedom, just a life of forced servitude.
As I conclude, I wanna be the first to salute my Black people. Because the more I continue to educate myself about Black history, I also find great joy and excitement in knowing that throughout all the horrible ordeals past and present that Black folks have stayed focused on fulfilling their desires to enjoy all aspects of the American dream. There isn’t a place in corporate, public service, not for profit, academia and etc…. that Black people have not excelled. That makes me proud. I still often wonder how did we do it!
Carl D. West is the CEO/Publisher of TBTNews and founder of the TRUTH 4 Literacy Foundation, Leadership Luncheon, Legend and Pioneer Awards, all powered by Midwest Gap Enterprise.