The barbershop was crowded. It’s always crowded because Blacks do not have social clubs; they think they have, but they really don’t. Like other ethnic groups who plan and organize events… and important matters, like how do we (Blacks) become city councilors.
All the regulars were talking about the usual topics. Where were Butch Johnson and Marcel Scott in 2014 for the Kenny Rockhead Invitation Pool Tournament, because Wayne “Sniper” Thomas won again. Was Wayne “Sniper” Thomas as good as he thought he was?
One of the Regulars of the Ways and Means Committee asked, “Do those people at the Round Table for Black History Month know Wayne “Sniper” Thomas, who used to live near Oscar Peterson and Oliver Jones and has a deep history of what went on back in the day in Montreal where Blacks were concerned?
Schoolboy said to Money, “What are they talking about when they say Blacks have no social clubs?” Money said, “Here’s what they mean. Listen to me very carefully.”
If Blacks had successful social clubs they would be doing business through the social clubs.
“Like what?” asked Schoolboy.
“I’ll give you a perfect example. There are lots of products that are imported in Quebec, and among those products are items that you cannot sell in Quebec because the writing on the product is not also in French. If these so-called social clubs in Montreal wanted to make money, they would buy the products and sell the products in Ontario. This is not a dream, this is reality.”
Bigmouth said, “Give me an example.”
Money said, “Sure, shampoo and Argan oil cannot be sold in Quebec because there is no writing in French on the bottle, it’s only in English, it’s a 12 oz. (354ml) – it sells for 900 on eBay.
You buy it for $4 and sell it for $6; if you buy in volume, the price will drop. There are women’s accessories like wonder bras that sell for $20 or more. These social clubs can buy them for $1, volume, the price drops. Tis is how to be an entrepreneur, you buy and sell. Black camisoles $1.50, hairbrush $3.10 packs ankle socks $4.50, white camisole halter $2.50. Bathing Suit $6, and all this can be done online. This is how you do business; this is how you start small and build.
Many years ago, El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz (Malcolm X’s Muslim Name) used to talk about Afro-Americans opening small business. He went to France and they would not let him into the country. So he did an interview at the airport, saying: “I did not know France was a satellite of the USA. Now if you were a student of Paul Robeson, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X, you would know that Malcolm X would not be invited to the City Hall for Black History Month, and he would not be on a calendar.
If you read the Eulogy to Malcolm X by actor- Director-writer Ossie Davis, part of it states, “There are those who will consider it their duty, as friends of the Negro people, to tell us to revile him, to flee, even from the present of his memory, to save ourselves by writing out of the history of our turbulent times. Many will ask what Harlem finds to honor in this stormy, controversial and bold Captain – and we will smile.
Many will say turn away! Away from this man, for he is not a man but a demon, a monster, a subverter and an enemy of the Blackman. And we will smile. They will say that he is of hate. A fanatic, a racist. Who can only bring evil to the cause for which you struggle!
And we will answer and say unto them: did you ever talk to Brother Malcolm? Did you ever touch him, or have him smile at you? Did you ever really listen to him? Did he ever do a mean thing? Was he ever himself associated with violence or any public disturbance? For if you did you would know him. And if you knew him you would know why we must honor him: Malcolm was our manhood, our living, Black manhood! This was his meaning to his people. And, in honoring him, we honor the best in ourselves…
It goes on and on, Google it and read the whole eulogy, and ask yourself, would Malcolm X want to be on the Black History Month Calendar? Remember Malcolm X was an extremist. When asked, Malcolm X are you an extremist? His answer was, “Yes, I’m an extremist. The Black race here in North America is in extremely bad condition. You show me a Black who isn’t an extremist and I’ll show you one that needs psychiatric attention.
Professor Leon Jacobs will tell you all about Malcolm X. He used to listen to him on the corner in New York City on Saturday night when he was visiting NYC back in the day.
A lot of people say and think they knew Malcolm X, like they say they knew Nelson Mandela, and we all know in the barbershop that Judge Juanita Westmoreland Traoré knew him.
When they asked Malcolm X, are you a hate teacher? His answer was “White man call yourself a hate teacher because you invented hate. Call yourself a racist because you invented the race problem.
And when he was asked about leaders his answer was “Do you realize that some of history’s greatest leaders were never recognized until they were safely in the ground?
Malcolm X would have enjoyed Dr. Charmaine Nelson, Professor Adelle Blackett, Aubrey Merriman and the regulars of the Ways and Means Committee.
Genius said “After looking at the Black History Month Calendar (2015) and watching CTV, you have to go back to what that fella Bryan Bishop wrote in Community Contact, Dec. 18, 2014. “I am not sure what the prognosis is for the next 100 years, but if past performance is an indicator of future behavior, then we are in serious trouble. And in Community Contact June 12, 2014 “How do we navigate and raise our game?”
Just Chillin asked Professor, “What’s wrong with those people at the Round Table for Black History Month? Professor said, “Nothing, they all mean well, it’s all about economics, Puff Daddy (or P. Diddy) said it’s all about the Benjamins. Again, if someone from the Round Table asked someone from the Ways and Means Committee, “What time is it? The answer would be, “You had a chance to buy the NCC, you had a chance to buy the Black Studies Centre, you had a chance to buy that beautiful church on St. James corner of Vinet, and now you have a chance to buy that restaurant on the corner of Notre Dame and Atwater, it’s closed, it was a LaBelle Province. Montreal has 185,000 Blacks, but do they have a cultural sense of business?
The barbershop was crowded as it always is, the cheques came in. everybody was in a good frame of mind.
Rufus the barber put up his hand for quiet. He was cutting a youngster’s hair. He said, “I read the latest calendar for Black History Month, I heard the latest reviews from everybody. I heard good, bad, very good, and very bad. I believe in that saying “If you can’t say something good about somebody, say nothing.”
Genius, put up his hand and said, “I don’t believe that, but continue, “Rufus said “don’t interrupt me while I’m interrupting you.”
Rufus said, “If I was doing the calendar I would’ve consulted the Ways and Means Committee and Montreal’s only Black Newspaper, Community Contact, you dig. You only need 12 people, remember it’s supposed to be Black History Month.
I would put very important Blacks on the calendar, like Jackie Robinson, Adam Clayton Powell Jr., Rosa Parks, Thurgood Marshall. Hank Aaron, Maya Angelou, Marian Anderson, Dick Gregory, Oscar Micheaux, Fannie Lou Hamer, Judge Juanita Westmoreland-Traoré, Charmaine Nelson, Louis Armstrong, Andrew Young, Jack Johnson, Dr. Charles Drew, Jesse Owens, Father Devine, Muhammad Ali, James Baldwin, Elijah Muhammad, Marcus Garvey, Malcolm X, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Oscar Peterson, Oliver Jones, Cripus Attucks, Paul Robeson, Sojourner Truth, Harriet Tubman, Nat Turner, WEB. Dubois, Adelle Blackett, Aubrey Merriman, Egbert Gaye, Bobby White, Dr. Elrie Clifford Tucker. I could go on and on. Remember, the calendar only comes out once a year. George Grant, Daisy Peterson, Marlene Jennings, but I doubt if this will ever happen… Rufus Rockhead.
The legendary Rufus Rockhead, Rev. Charles Este, Percy Rodriquez, Richard Lord, Dr. John Carlos, Jim Brown, Barack Obama, Clarence Thomas, Langston Hughes, Ossie Davis, Ruby Dee, Sidney Poitier.
Again, said Rufus the barber, if I was doing the calendar with the Ways and Means Committee this is what I would do, I’ll bet you this Roundtable never heard of one of the best urologists in North America, Dr. Keith Matthews or the oral surgeon Dr. Dexter Johnson who has three dental clinics and lives in Quebec. Milton Sealey, Dr. Trevor Payne, Dan Hill, Alex Haley, Rev. Darryl Gray
All of these people should be on the Black History month Calendar, but again, I doubt if it will ever happen.
There was an “Amen” in the barbershop.