In the span of two days, this week in May of 2017, two incidents of racial hatred demonstrate that America’s race problem is far from solved.
On the brink of the NBA Finals, basketball superstar LeBron James’ home was spray painted with a racial epithet. The very next day, authorities find a noose among the artifacts and exhibits at the National Museum of African American History and Culture.
Lebron James responds:
“Hate in America, especially for African Americans, is living every day.”
Response from the National Museum of African American History and Culture:
“Today’s incident is a painful reminder of the challenges that African Americans continue to face.”
~ Lonnie Bunch III Founding Director
Dear Black America:
It was good to have you visit, and to lay eyes on you and give you a wide-open embrace. I love you in all your hues, and do’s and views.
I admire your tenacity, creativity, and innovation. I remember you, and I celebrate your valor, swagger, intellect, and style. You have done all of us honor, and made our country greater than it might have been. I am proud of you.
I hope you can see, from the care we have given in preparation of your visit, that we deeply appreciate you.
It is our privilege to welcome all visitors. But your company is especially cherished. Please, don’t let too much time pass, before I see you again.
With all, due, fondness,
National Museum of African American History and Culture.
On June 27, 2012, the Montford Point Marines (the first, black WWII marines) were awarded the Congressional Gold Medal in a ceremony at the U.S. Visitors Center.
Gunnery Sgt. Mack Haynes Sr Montford Point Marine
Some 20,000 African American Marines received training at Montford Point between 1942 and 1949. More than 400 of them, mostly in their 80’s and 90’s today got their due.
Read more at: The Detroit Free Press
I came across an intriguing, short film Henry Browne Farmer dramatizing the life of a Black, American farm family in the early years of WWII, one of the themes in my novel, Long Way Home: A World War II Novel.
Canada Lee, Narrator Henry Browne Farmer
Black stage and screen actor, Canada Lee narrates this film which, even at 10:42, drags. The filmmaker is a bit of an auteur (note his overly fond use of the schmaltzy soundtrack and the too-long, panoramic shots) but the landscape of 1942 life in Macon, Georgia rings true. Continue reading
I took note again this year that the Fourth of July compels many Americans to fly the stars and stripes in front of their homes. But as I traveled around the region (greater Washington metropolitan area; as well as a trip to Baltimore), it seemed to be white (and not Black) neighborhoods that had most of the red-white-and blue on display.