Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Enslavement to Emancipation, a Work in Progress

US Slavery ended 150 years ago. At that time, some of my great grandparents were slaves and some had been born free in families that had been free for many generations. The last surviving slave, Sylvester McGee died in 1971 that’s just 44 years ago that should give us an idea of just how far we’ve come, considering how recently our civil status in this country has been upgraded officially from slave to free. Keeping in mind that many if not most of our people, at the beginning of the 20th century were still unable to read or write and were subjected to the worst treatment that the white power structure could get by with dishing out. Among such ill-treatments were second rate educational facilities, limited access to the judicial and electoral system, unfair exclusion from economic opportunities and general exclusion from mainstream society. Much of what was wrong then is continuing to affect today but we are making progress.

Thursday, December 24, 2015

A Black Man Pulls Klansmen Out of the KKK

How A Black Man Pulls Klansmen Out of the KKK#NewsOneNow Race In America: Author and musician Daryl Davis, a Black man shares how he converts active KKK members.Watch portions of the #NewsOneNow Race In America Special -
Posted by Roland Martin on Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Wake up America! The Lesson of Muhammad Ali

Even as our government was preparing to sacrifice untold lives, Muhammad Ali, a Black American Muslim, at great personal risk to his own health and safety, went to a hostile Iraq and arranged the release of 15 American hostages. Ask the families and friends of these people if #BlackLivesMatter or if all Muslims are suspect? 

Don't allow politicians to divide Americans more than we already are.

Americans can be united or divided.  You decide on election day.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Monday, December 14, 2015

Let The Sun Shine In

Follow "The African Children's Choir" on Facebook or Google.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Dothan Police Department Planted Drugs on Young Black Men

Police Impunity Reigns

Dothan Police Corruption
Leaked Documents Reveal Dothan Police Department Planted Drugs on Young Black Men For Years, District Attorney Doug Valeska Complicit

Doubts raised about report that racist Dothan, Ala. police planted drugs on young black men

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Student from #Africa Tazed to Death. Cop gets 30 days.

Hand cuffed and shackled 
A Georgia cop responded to a domestic violence call involving a bipolar black man. After restraining the man, he tased him to death.  See Huff Post report.

Come on now people, it's time to give even more support to "Black Lives Matter". As much as the organization seems to upset some people, it would appear that those involved have to get even more proactive and creative when it comes to getting the point across that Black lives really do matter. We can't continue to allow this kind of slaughter to continue and those criminals who commit these acts off with a slap on the wrist.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Mother Africa 'Circus of the Senses'

CIRQUE MOTHER AFRICA, a spectacular celebration created in Africa by an African, Winston Ruddle, and pounding with the heart of Africa, is coming to New Zealand next month.
It will open at the Founders Theatre, Hamilton, on September 7 and continue its thrilling New Zealand tour with shows in Wellington, Auckland and Christchurch
Worldwide Cirque MOTHER AFRICA has thrilled two million. The show is filled with joy, emotions, surprises and amazement. Showing the full circus range of juggling, contortionists, high-wire acts as well as live music, dances and beautiful costumes, the two-hour program really is a sparkling event.
Contortionists Lazaraus and Hassani from Kenya and the Ramadhani Brothers, presenting hand-in hand artistry, are firm favourites with crowds.
The “Adagio Act” from Tanzania is astonishing. It’s a slow, very aesthetical dance where a couple shows slow motion movements by using leverage forces. “Icarus Games” is the name of a juggling act. Two artists juggle with their colleagues in the air by using their feet. Fast, colourful and swinging, that’s how the program is presented: The “Hoola-Hoop Act” with “a thousand hoops around a beautiful woman’s waist” and the “Diabolo Act”, where the diabolo flies high from one rope to the other.
The “In Africa Band” delivers a traditional sound, played with the “Kora” an instrument that comes from the African West Coast. With its 20 strings it sounds like a mixture between guitar and harp. Three beautiful ladies from South Africa and Zimbabwe are the lead singers, creating a warm and powerful sound together with the In Africa Band.
Cirque MOTHER AFRICA combines the best of all the classic circus elements. Forty artists from the length and breadth of the African continent – Ethiopia, Ivory Coast, Benin, Zimbabwe, Tanzania, Guinea, South Africa -- performing in intoxicating colours and extraordinary costumes and masks.
And doing it all-stops-out for two breathtaking hours.
And it has an unforgettable and unique dimension, something that no other circus can match: the infectious rhythm, the dance and the soaring music of Africa. At the heart of this spectacular circus is pulsating music. 
Mark Rafter, the producer of Cirque MOTHER AFRICA, says he saw Cirque MOTHER AFRICA while producing a show in Germany. ‘I wasn’t expecting too much, to be frank, but when I saw the show I loved it! I thought, “It’s a Cirque De Solei with a twist from the heart of Africa.
‘More than quarter of the Cirque MOTHER AFRICA company are musicians. They play modern and traditional African instruments - and, yes, we have no vuvuzelas!
‘But we do have the world’s prettiest ‘ring master’. Mtshali Sibongile Prudence, from South Africa is a vivacious dancer and singer with a sparkling sense of humor who informs and entertains the audience when she’s not performing.’

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Mixed up Media Messages

CNN news reporters ask the very controversial question,
"Does Islam promote violence"
to Iranian-American author and religious historian Dr. Reza Aslan from a very
generalistic point of view.

Are these people really paid to not think and listen? How can we
respect or trust a newsperson who is so anxious to make their own
personal point, that they don't even bother to try and  hear plain facts?

Young Turks discussing media messages

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

New democracy constitution in South #Africa November 18, 1993

 November 18, 1993
Black and white leaders in South Africa approved the new democracy constitution that gave blacks the vote and ended white minority rule.

A side note.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Racial Turnabout

This video an amazing statement on American racism.

In case you missed the point the following videos will help.

Remember this?

Monday, October 26, 2015

Friday, October 23, 2015

Thursday, October 22, 2015

The Strolling Series by Cecile Emeke

The Voice of the Young African Diaspora, ms Emeke is the media roll model we need.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Media Representation and #Africa

This is part of the conference Media Representation and Africa: whose money, whose story? which was held at SOAS, University of London on 20 February 2015.
(The sound gets better after 4 minutes)

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Travels in West Africa

Travels in West Africa by Mary H. Kingsley

LibriVox recording of Travels in West Africa, by Mary H. Kingsley. Read by Kehinde. Mary Henrietta Kingsley (13 October 1862 – 3 June 1900) was an British explorer and writer who greatly influenced European ideas about Africa and its people. Kingsley was an outspoken critic of European colonialism, a champion for indigenous customs, and a dedicated campaigner for a revised British policy which supported traders and merchants over the needs of settlers and missionaries.

 see also
Travels in West Africa, Congo Francais, Corisco and Cameroons

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

UK Black History Month - Benin

The city of Benin was burnt to the ground and the Oba’s palace was destroyed and looted of its magnificent and valuable bronze and ivory sculptures which were sold off to pay for the expedition. There are over 1,000 Benin bronzes in various public and private collections, many in Germany and the USA, and around 200 at the British Museum.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Maggie Lena Walker's Grave.

I don't know if this is still like this but if it is, something has to be done.

Friday, September 25, 2015

"Secret Daughter" by June Cross

June Cross tells the very moving personal story of her mixed race experience in this youtube video.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Frances E. W. Harper, born September 24, 1825

Frances Ellen Watkins Harper, African American lecturer, author, and suffragist, was the best known Black poet since Phillis Wheatley. Her antislavery verse, Poems on Miscellaneous Subjects (1854), sold thousands of copies and  “The Two Offers”(1859) was the first short story published by an African American. Touring Southern Freedmen’s communities, she lectured on education and morality as racial uplift, and denounced white racial violence. Her suffrage work was long-standing. In the split among suffragists over the 15th Amendment, Harper favored voting rights for Black men; she affiliated with the American Woman Suffrage Association, and delivered speeches at its conventions.

Born in Baltimore of free Black parents, she was orphaned before she was 3. Reared by an uncle, whose school for free Blacks she attended, Harper was first a teacher, then a lecturer for the Maine Anti-Slavery Society. She married Fenton Harper in 1860, but was widowed within 4 years and returned to lecturing. Her Southern travels resulted in several narrative poems. She became head of the African American department of the Woman’s Christian Temperance Union. She helped organize the National Association. of Colored Women’s Clubs and became vice-president. She died in Philadelphia at 85.

Published on Jan 27, 2015
"LibriVox recording of Iola Leroy by Frances E. W. Harper. Read in English by James K. White This is the story of Iola Leroy, a free-born, mixed-race woman who passed as white. Her true racial identity eventually discovered, she was kidnapped and sold into slavery. Later freed by the Union Army, she journeyed to find others of her family who had been disunited from each other and strewn across the south by the forces of slavery. In the process she also struggled to improve the economic and social station of African Americans. Iola Leroy is a story about race and gender roles during the antebellum and post-Civil War eras, "passing" and the associated socio-political consequences. (Summary by James K. White)"

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Cecile Emeke is still at it. The Young Black Voice.

 The Strolling series by the young producer Cecile Emeke is, in my opinion, one of the best things to happen in Black media in recent years. Ms Emeke is in the act of combining the power of social media with her knack for video storytelling and presenting the voices of young artculate and efflorescent Black people from various localities (so far in Europe). She is giving them the opportunity to freely express their feelings with regard to the various cultures that they find themselves at once immersed in and excluded from. The series is not only one of the few outlets that allows these young people to vent their feelings but at the same time it demonstrates clearly their diversity. Each subject has his or her own unique story about their impressions and experiences in their particular society which, I feel, were very well told.
 I see that this is a work in progress and I hope we will all recognize and support this effort for the valuable service that it brings to the people of the African diaspora wherever we find ourselves. I also hope that the series will stimulate others to share their talents with us while creating works that unify us to the same degree as Cecile Emeke is doing.
I am so impressed with the work this young woman is doing. I hope we are sharing these videos to the max.

Click here to visit Cecile Emeke's Youtube channel

Monday, September 21, 2015

Black Wall Street & Domestic Terror

Oklahoma is the location of the worst two acts of domestic terrorism in US history.
The worst took place in the Greenwood district of Tulsa.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Ass Backward Texas "Just Us"

Kid with a homemade clock treated like a terrorist.

Cop terrorizes woman over a traffic warning resulting in her death.... nothing

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

100th Anniversary of Association for the Study of Negro Life and History

 September 9, 1915 The father of Black history, Carter G Woodson, founded the
Association for the Study of Negro Life and History on the 50th anniversary of
the end of slavery... After 100 years it is still active. ASALH

The Greatest Black Generation: African Americans and the Civil War from Daryl Scott on Vimeo.

"Woodson earned a bachelor of letters degree from Berea, B.A. and M.A. degrees from the University of Chicago, and in 1912 a Ph.D. in history from Harvard University. He did all this while teaching full-time in Malden, W.Va. (1898-1900), serving as principal of Huntington's Frederick Douglass High School (1900-1903), and teaching in the Philippines (1903-1907). In 1907, while traveling on a six-month world tour, he conducted research at various libraries and studied for a semester at the Sorbonne in Paris. 

"The Cause" Takes Root

In 1909 Woodson moved to Washington to work on his dissertation at the Library of Congress and teach in the District of Columbia public schools. Originally assigned to teach the eighth grade at Thaddeus Stevens School, Woodson soon transferred to Armstrong Manual Training School -- a vocational and technical high school, and in 1911, to M Street High School -- an elite black academic institution. 
Washington's African-American schools had incorporated black history into the curriculum at all levels, and Woodson's commitment to the study and teaching of black history was solidified during his tenure there (Goggin 1993, 31). 
In April 1915 Woodson published his first book, The Education of the Negro Prior to 1861. In June 1915 he traveled to Chicago to participate in the Exposition of Negro Progress (held to commemorate the 50th anniversary of emancipation) and to research and write. In September Woodson founded the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History (ASNLH), which he incorporated upon his return to Washington. Historians August Meier and Elliott Rudwick wrote of Woodson's effort: 
"Coming to intellectual maturity amid the tide of disenfranchisement, sharecropping, Jim Crow and mob violence that marked what Rayford W. Logan has termed the 'nadir' in the fortunes of American blacks during the post-Civil War era, Woodson sought to build and popularize a serious interest in Negro history at the apogee of popular and scientific racism in Western thought" (Meier & Rudwick 1986, 2). 
Woodson, like many Americans who came of age during the Progressive Era, believed that education was a catalyst for social action and an agent of social change. He believed that the history of African peoples in Africa and in the Americas would inspire black pride, "uplift the race" and destroy white racist beliefs and prejudices. Declared Woodson in a speech at Hampton Institute: 
"We have a wonderful history behind us. ... If you are unable to demonstrate to the world that you have this record, the world will say to you, 'You are not worthy to enjoy the blessings of democracy or anything else.' They will say to you, 'Who are you anyway?' ... Let us, then, study ... this history ... with the understanding that we are not, after all, an inferior people. ... We are going back to that beautiful history, and it is going to inspire us to greater achievements. It is not going to be long before we can sing the story to the outside world as to convince it of the value of our history ... and we are going to be recognized as men" (Meier & Rudwick 1986, 9). 
Woodson's commitment to the ASNLH was firmly rooted, and "the cause" became his life's passion and work. While the association was not the first organization established specifically to promote African-American history -- black intellectuals had founded the American Negro Historical Society of Philadelphia in 1897 and the Negro Society for Historical Research (Yonkers, N.Y.) in 1912 (Winston 1973, 19) -- Woodson singlehandedly made it the most successful and long-lived of its kind. 
Just four months after establishing the association, Woodson published the first issue of the Journal of Negro History with money borrowed against his life insurance policy. The Journal provided a forum for black and white scholars to publish research on African-American history and culture and devoted a substantial portion of its pages to reprinting little-known primary documents. 
Both the price of the Journal and the association's membership fees were kept low so as not to be prohibitive to the majority of African-Americans. This policy made it necessary for Woodson to contribute his own money and rely on white philanthropy. As a result, Woodson selected the association's officers and executive board members primarily on their ability to contribute or raise funds. Although the financial burden would have been lessened by affiliating with a black college or university, Woodson --fiercely independent -- adamantly refused such an affiliation and always stressed his autonomy. 
&3A Brief Career in Academia. While working incessantly to promote "the cause" and to raise funds for the association, Woodson continued teaching and, in 1918, became principal of Armstrong Manual Training School. After just a year at Armstrong, Woodson became discouraged by the lack of support given to vocational education. He left to accept a position at Howard University and to begin his most fruitful decade. 
That decade, however, did not begin smoothly. Joining the Howard faculty in the summer of 1919 as dean of the School of Liberal Arts and head of the history department, Woodson saw his new position as an opportunity to earn more money to contribute to the association, a chance to train young black historians that he could recruit to "the cause" and an occasion to devote more time to research and writing. However, he soon found himself locked in a series of disputes with J. Stanley Durkee, Howard's 11th (and last) white president. 
Coming to the university in 1918, Durkee, an energetic and autocratic Congregationalist minister, was determined to shape the university to his own liking by reorganizing the entire academic structure and centralizing all authority, including that of the previously independent professional schools, in his hands. (Wolters 1975, 94-99). 
In the winter of 1920, Woodson publicly criticized Durkee for damaging academic freedom by removing from the university library Elbert Rhys Williams's Seventy-Six Questions on the Bolsheviks and Soviets after a complaint from Sen. Reed Smoot. That spring Woodson balked at Durkee's order to monitor faculty attendance at daily chapel service and exacerbated their differences by organizing, without Durkee's permission, a series of continuing-education courses for Washington's public school teachers. Infuriated by Woodson's actions, Durkee rejected Woodson's conciliatory gestures and fired him before commencement in June 1920 (Goggin 1993, 50-53). 
During Woodson's brief tenure at Howard, he introduced courses in black history in the School of Liberal Arts and organized the graduate program in history. Earlier efforts by Kelly Miller, Alain Locke, and others to institute courses in black studies and race relations had been rejected by Howard's predominantly white board of trustees. Historian Michael R. Winston attributes this rejection to the fact that "courses on race would help to more firmly identify the institution as black, and there were many who held fast to the conviction that Howard ought to be an institution for the education of 'youth' no matter what the realities of racial segregation in the United States" (Winston 1973, 21). 
In late June, Woodson accepted with gratitude an invitation to become dean of the College Department of West Virginia Collegiate Institute (now West Virginia State College). "

An Essay on Carter G. Woodson

Civil Rights Act, Sept. 9, 1957

"In 1957 Clarence Mitchell marshaled bipartisan support in Congress for a civil rights bill, the first passed since Reconstruction. Part III, a provision authorizing the Attorney General to sue in civil rights cases, was stripped from the bill before it passed. The Civil Rights Act of 1957 created a new Commission on Civil Rights to investigate civil rights violations and established a Civil Rights Division in the Department of Justice headed by an assistant attorney general. It also prohibited action to prevent citizens from voting and authorized the attorney general to seek injunctions to protect the right to vote. Although the act did not provide for adequate enforcement, it did pave the way for more far-reaching legislation."

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Music of/for the March for Jobs and Freedom

The soundtrack of the day and music inspired by the day.

The Big Six 1963 Organizers of the March For Jobs and Freedom

The Big Six Organizers of the March For Jobs and Freedom
and Bayard Rustin

Malcolm X, "March on Washington Deceptive"

Malcolm X believed that the march was manipulated by the wealthy establishment.

March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom - August 28, 1963

Updated 27 August 2015-

 52 years ago I boarded a bus destined for "the March on Washington"along with two dozen or so other South Jersey teens. We didn't all know one another but we had become acquainted while we waited with some apprehension for the bus to arrive. The bus wasn't full and there were also a several adults. In those days this was about a four and a half hour bus ride. During the first half hour of the trip the person responsible for our bus gave us instructions on how to behave under different conditions, which included the possibility of arrest or harrassment, riot or calm - the point being we didn't know exactly what to expect. We were all northern raised teens and actually represented quite a diverse group considering the fact that we were all from rural and small town areas of Burlington and Camden counties in Southern NJ, the mix included Black, Jewish, White, Native and Asian teens. We all had some experience with local sit-ins and boycotts, and picketting but this was something that was out of our territory so we didn't really know how it would play out. We sang all the movement songs on the bus ride which were all very inspirational and as we arrived in DC along with thousands of other busses the energy was magical. We could see that the people we passed in the streets were all in high spirits and very positive. Even the weather was perfect. We got our instructions for meeting the bus for our return trip and we were cut loose in the city. It was truly amazing. We all more or less went our separate ways since the bus I went on wasn't part of a group. I just strolled through DC meeting kids from all  over the country and exchanging addresses and finally drifted to the Mall and sat in the grass as the music and the speeches got started. In all of this day I saw not one altercation and the mood was such that everyone present was fully aware of the part each one of us played on that momentous occasion. I think that most of the people there that day were active in there own local day to day struggles, but from that day on we understood just how much, we were not alone or isolated and this breathed renewed resolve into the movement to put the nation on the right pathof liberty and justice for all. Heady stuff but then it was something we were committed to. It's hard to believe that 50 years later, in spite of some changes that we still have so far to go. I suppose really, that every day, we have to remain in a state of vigilence for the cause of universal justice and as long as new people keep being born, the work will never be completely done.

For Jobs and Freedom: A Black Nouveau Special | Program 

National Archives and Records Administration


U.S. Information Agency. (1982 - 10/01/1999)

ARC Identifier 49737 / Local Identifier 306.3394. Scenes from Civil Rights March in Washington, D.C., August 1963. People walking up sidewalk; gathering on Mall, standing, singing. Lincoln Memorial, Washington Monument, crowd gathered on the Mall. People marching with signs, many men wearing UAW hats. People at speakers podium, men with guitars. Crowds outside of the White House, sign: The Catholic University of America. Band, people marching down street. Many signs, including All D.C. wants to vote! Home Rule for DC; Alpha Phi Alpha; and Woodstock Catholic Seminary for Equal Rights. Lincoln Memorial with crowds gathered around reflecting pool. People singing and clapping at speakers platform. Signs, people clapping. Man speaking, woman playing guitar and singing at podium. More speakers and shots of the crowd. A chorus, NAACP men in crowd. Close-ups of people in crowd with bowed heads. Shots taken from above of White House. More speakers, including Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. Women at podium singing We Shall Overcome. Crowd swaying, singing, holding hands.

March on Washington program

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Friday, August 21, 2015

Nat Turner's Slave Revolt

August 21, 1831
Nat Turner ~ leads slave revolt in Southampton, VA

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Kids Who Die

A Movement Grows #Ferguson

Poem by Langston Hughes
Narration Danny Glover
Video created by Frank Chi and Terrance Green

Monday, August 17, 2015

Marcus Mosiah Garvey Born: August 17, 1887

#Africa Hidden Meanings in Congo Music

"Viewed through the lens of music, the Congo presents a stark contrast. From the ravages of the slaving Portuguese, to King Leopold's virtual slave state in the late 19th century, through the monumental corruption and ruthless oppression of the regime of Mobutu Sese Seko that ended in 1997, this African heartland has known a history of unrelieved brutality and sadness. And yet, its cities have produced some of the most innovative and ebullient popular music the continent has known in the past century. Beginning in the 1950s, when Congolese music began to be distributed on vinyl records, it found admirers and imitators throughout East, West and Central Africa, and in much of southern African as well. With Congolese-born ethnomusicologist and author Kazadi wa Mukuna and arts educator and community scholar Lubangi Muniania as guides, this Hip Deep program will delve into the untold stories and messages disguised within the lyrics of Congolese songs."

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Civil Rights Activist Julian Bond Dies at 75

Julian Bond

Born: January 14, 1940 (age 75), Nashville, Tennessee, United States

Died: August 15, 2015, Fort Walton Beach, Florida, United States

Spouse: Pamela Horowitz (m. 1991), Alice Clopton (m. 1961–1989)

Parents: Julia Agnes Washington, Horace Mann Bond

Children: Jeffrey Alvin Bond, Julia "Cookie" Louise Bond, Phyllis Jane Bond-McMillan, Horace Mann Bond II, Michael Julian Bond

Organizations founded: Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee,Southern Poverty Law Center

I suggest you make the time to watch these  videos.

Violence is black children going to school for 12 years and receiving 6 years' worth of education
Julian Bond

Black in Brazil

  1. Brazil has the world's second biggest black population after Nigeria, the largest number of people of Japanese ancestry outside Japan, and more people of Lebanese or Syrian extraction than the combined populations of Lebanon and Syria.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Killer Mike Render Interview at The Breakfast Club Power 105.1

Killer Mike Interview at The Breakfast Club Power 105.1

Mike talks police accountability, Black participation, truth and reconciliation and more.

Voting Rights Act (1965)

... during the civil rights movement many people struggled, organized and even died for the right to vote in this country.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Real News from IMixWhatILike

Are you tired of NEWS that's skewed?

Synonyms: askew, aslant, atilt, cock-a-hoop, cockeyed, crazy, crooked, listing, lopsided, oblique, off-kilter, pitched, skewed, slanted, slanting

IMixWhatILike Real News Network

News from a Black perspective is a badly needed  service that we should not take for granted. Follow this link if you're interested in seeing reportage that is not automatically placing Black people in a negative light as regards to the issues.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015


and what are we doing about it?

Silent Protest Parade July 28, 1917

Silent Protest parade on Fifth Avenue, New York City, July 28, 1917, in response to the East St. Louis race riot. In front row are James Weldon Johnson [far right], W. E. B. DuBois [2nd from right], Rev. Hutchens Chew Bishop, rector of St. Philip's Episcopal Church [Harlem] and realtor John E. Nail.]

JULY 29th, 1917

Ten Thousand African Americans March in New York City to Protest Racial Violence

On July 29, 1917, prominent news sources reported that nearly 10,000 African American men, women, and children had staged a silent march down Fifth Avenue in New York City the previous day. In what is considered one of the first public demonstrations by African Americans in the 20th century, the NAACP mobilized thousands of members of the black community in the New York “Silent March” or “The Negro Silent Protest Parade.”
Formulated by James Weldon Johnson, this march was intended to be a public response and criticism of the racial violence that had been committed against African American communities in the United States that summer, particularly in the East St. Louise riots. Threatened by a growing African American labor force, a group of white men gathered in the downtown area of East St. Louis in May 1917 and began attacking and beating unsuspecting African Americans to death. That July, an armed white mob drove into black residential areas and opened fire on men, women, and children; when black residents shot back and accidentally killed a police officer, riots erupted. Whites flooded the black community, shooting black residents as they fled, lynching black people from street lamps, and burning black homes and businesses to the ground.
The thousands of marchers in New York City were also spurred to action by the racially-motivated murder of 17-year-old Jesse Washington, who was lynched, burned, and dismembered by a white mob in front of the Waco, Texas, City Hall on May 15, 1916.
The silent marchers communicated their frustration to the nation by holding signs and banners, but without speaking one word. Children led the march wearing white, followed by prominent NAACP members like W.E.B du Bois and a banner that read “Your Hands Are Full of Blood.” The American flag was also carried as a reminder of the democratic ideals that failed to protect African Americans. This march launched the NAACP's public campaign against lynching and racial violence.

Down  Fifth Avenue

They   piled  them  tier   by  tier  while   the  crowd   in  silence watched   them.
And  as  the  pile  rose and  spread,  to  many  it  seemed
Like  the red .blood of Russia welling  from  a mortal  wound. And  some  saw  red  fagots  of  freedom  rising  and  kindling
 fire  that  would  warm  all  the  world. But  no  man  there  could  tell  the  truth   of  it.

The   crowd  makes  way  for  them.
The mob of motors-women in  motors footmen  in  motors, Manhattan's  transients   in  motors,  life's   transients   in motors-has cleared  and  disappeared.
And   their   mothers   and ·their   children,   their   wives,  their lovers  and   friends,   are  lining   the  curb   and   knitting and  whispering.
The flags are  floating  and  beckoning  to  them,  the  breezes
are   beckoning   and   whispering   their   secrets,
That the  city  has  hushed  to  hear,  while  trade  and  trivial things  give  place.

And  through   the  crowd,  that  holds  its  breath   too  long,  a restless stir  like  the starting of troubled  breathing  says, "They are  coming."    And  the  distant   beat  of  feet  begins
to  blend  with  the  beat  of  laboring  hearts;
 And  the  emptiness  that  missed   beat  in  the  heart   of  the city   becomes  the   street   of  a   prayer   and   a   passion.
This  is a street  of  mothers  and  their  sons-for an  hour  in the  life  of  Manhattan.
And  today  makes  way  for  them.

The past  makes  way  for  them.
This morning's  discontent yesterday's  greed, last year's uncertainty,  are  muted   and   transmuted  to   surging urge  to  victory.
Spirits  that  stood  at  Bunker  Hill  and  Valley  Forge,  Ticon­
deroga,    Yorktown,      Lundy's   Lane,     Fort   Sumter, Appomatox are  resurrected   here;
With  older  fathers   and  mothers  who  farmed,   and  pushed frontiers   and  homes  for  freedom  westward   steadily;
With  freedom's   first   grandfathers  and   forerunners,   whu grew   to  hold   hill   towers   and   forest   fastnesses and range   the  sea  and   all   its  shores  and  islands  for   the right  to live  for  liberty.
And   their  blood  beats  in  these  boy hearts,  and   their  hill­
bred and  sea-bred strength is stirring in  these feet  that beat  their   measured   cadences  of  courage.

For  now  the  tide  is  turning eastward   at  last.
And   the  sound  of  the  fall  of  their  feet  on  the  asphalt   IS the sound  of  the· march  of  the  waves  of  a  tide  that  IS flooding-
Waves  that  marched  to  the  western  coast  past  forests  and plains,  mountains  and  deserts,  and  wrought   their  work in   world  gone  by.
 And  the  ripple  of  the  ranks  of  these  regiments  that  march to  suffer  and  to  die,  is  the  ripple  of   great   brown river  in  floodthat  forges  seaward;
And  the  ripple  of the light  on eyes and  lips that  watch  and work,   is  the  swelling   of   greater   flood  that   forces them  to go.
And  the  ripple  and  arrest  of light  on  dull  gun-barrels   that
crest  their   flow  are  runes  of   ritual   spelled  in  steel and  a service  enduring.
And  each  beat  of  their  feet  and  each  beat  of  their  hearts is   word   in   gospel  of  steel  that   says  the  nations through   ruins grow  one  again ;
When  God's  drill-master War  has welded  nations  in  ranks
that  their  children   may  serve  Him   together. 
For   tomorrow   makes  way  for  them.

John  Curtis  Underwood

Down  Fifth Avenue
Author(s): John  Curtis Underwood
Source: Poetry Vol. 12,  No. 3 (Jun., 1918), 
Published by:  Poetry Foundation

A report on the East St. Louis Riot