More of what you didn’t and won’t ever learn in school
Big Mouth came into the barbershop, opened up his briefcase, took out the 2016 Black History Month calendar and showed it to the Ways and Means Committee. They passed it around, and everyone gave it a “thumbs down.”
Just Chillin asked, “What does this have to do with Black History?”
“Here’s what: Google Rebecca Skloot. Buy the book, read about her and learn…”
Black history is Rosa Parks, Jesse Owens, Tommy Hines and John Carlos at the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City. Black history is Jim Brown, Stokely Carmichael (aka Kwamé Touré), Thurgood Marshall, Paul Robeson, Marcus Garvey, Adam Clayton Powell, Jr., Jackie Robinson. He said, “A life is not important unless it impacts other people’s lives.”
The people who put out that Black History Month Calendar should be embarrassed and ashamed of themselves for short-changing those who want to learn about our history. But it’s obvious that they have no shame. How can you have Black History Month without mentioning Henry Langdon? Canada’s greatest ambassador, the late great, Oscar Peterson; Americans still think he was born in the USA. Until they go to Ottawa and see a big statue of his likeness at the National Arts Center.
Black History Month is Oliver Jones, the world’s greatest Jazz pianist. Black History is Rufus Rockhead (Rockhead’s Paradise); Black History is Ben White who helped organize and start the Veteran Taxi Company when veterans returned from “the War” and couldn’t find jobs. Nobody cared that you just defended your country, but nobody would offer them a job (Economics); Black History Month is one of the greatest inventors the world has ever known (if not even by name), Elijah McCoy. Americans also believe that he was born in the USA; Black History Month is Juanita Westmoreland Traoré, personal friend of the late, great Nelson Mandela; Black History Month is the late, great Percy Rodriguez, born and raised in Montreal; Black History Month is the late Herbie and Ossie Carnegie, and Manny McIntyre, of whom one of the greatest players ever in the NHL, Hall of Famer, Jean Beliveau, said should’ve been in the NHL. “They had the connection, but were the wrong complexion.”
Black History Month is Dr. Elrie Tucker; Black History Month is George Grant, Real Estate tycoon and owner of two successful businesses; Black History is Dr. Trevor Payne who sells out Place des Arts every year; Black History is when St. Henri, a.k.a Little Burgundy in South-West Montreal (“yearly income per capita: $4,920, Juvenile Delinquency Ratio; ranges from 60 to 80%, the highest in Montreal, with theft and property damage accounting for the majority of crimes committed, according to a Statistics Canada Report, July 20, 1979 report).
There was a patch of land directly across from the NCC that the city wanted to build Condos on. Led by the late Richard Lord and many concerned citizens in high places, pressure was put on the city. The end result is that today you have an outdoor basketball court which produced some of the finest student athletes in North America who went on to university on scholarships at major universities across America. It also produced a top quality basketball academy in the summer, Trevor Williams and Wayne Yearwood, Olympian, who also coached Canada’s national team, and Aubrey Merriman who moved to California.
Professor said, “That’s Black History!”
Black History is Rev. Charles Este of Union United Church; Black History is when Nelson Mandela came to Union United Church; Black History is July 1954 when twelve Black children drowned on a camping trip; there’s nothing to remind people of that tragedy.
There was an “Amen!” from the Ways and Means Committee.
The Genius said, “Black History will be Black History when ‘the Calendar’ is not one that embarrasses Black people and other nonwhites…those who have two drops of Black Blood. Tiger Woods, that Cabalasian (whatever that is), and Oprah Winfrey, who found out she was Black when she was refused entry to that store, Hermes, in Paris, France.”
Dropout said, “Tell Tiger Woods to come to Montreal and walk into a department store; the police will think he’s shoplifting and put a gun to his head like they did with baseball Hall-of-Famer Andre Dawson, who was the tour guide for the President of the United States, Barack Obama, when he visited the baseball Hall of Fame. That’s Black History.”
Black history is all the Blacks and other nonwhites who work in the hospitals, especially doctors who save lives, like Dr. Keith Matthews, one of North America’s top Urologists.
Black History is P.K. Subban’s $10 donation to the Shriners Hospital.
And in 2002, the West End Sports Association, with the help of the alumni and concerned citizens made a donation of books, magazines and comic books to the same hospital. And Daniel Taillefer of the Shriners Hospital (Canada) wrote, “The letter signed by Aubrey Merriman is quite eloquent and covers a point that is often overlooked by authorities: in education you must learn to walk before you can run. How can we expect children to crave higher education when they cannot even be bothered to pick up a book simply for the pleasure of discovery…”
“Pleasure!” That’s a key word here. Discovering something new is nothing less than pleasurable. Which is how we must see and learn about history.
We learned and continue to learn about other peoples’ history; it’s time we and everybody else learn about ours…
Shouts of “Right on! Right on! Amen…!” reverberated as the members of the Ways and Means Committee all stood up applauding…
Professor asked the Committee to quiet down, “There’s a lot more to say, but before I go, let me say one last thing: Black History is the symbol of ‘white supremacy’ and heavyweight champion of the world, which was always dominated by white folks. They always talked about Jack Dempsey, but he never fought a Black fighter… It was always about the great white hype… until Jack Johnson—a fearless man with attitude even in those racist times—was allowed to fight for the heavyweight championship of the world and became the first Black heavyweight. That’s Black history.”
There was another “Amen!” from the Ways and Means Committee.
“See you guys soon,” Professor said as he headed to the