One thing you should probably now about me is that I have spent some time in the south. Not the glamorous south like Miami or Atlanta or South Lake Tahoe, but the ugly south. I’m talking about places like Florence, South Carolina and Tupelo, Mississippi and Pall Mall, Tennessee. These are places where they don’t celebrate Black History Month, mostly because they still use the term “colored.” Most of my time there was spent trying to explain to people the ridiculousness of their statements.
“You do realize the inaccuracies of what you are saying, don’t you?” I would ask. “Certainly you
are aware black is an absence of color, and white is the amalgamation of all color. Thus, YOU are the true coloreds here. I mean, it’s simple additive color theory.”
My statements were often met with silence and cold stares. Sometimes there would be mumbled statements of my “highfalutin education,” and how “Jesus didn’t make no color theories,” and how I should hope that this same “Jesus” will save my “soul.”
I guess I shouldn’t be surprised, as white tends to reflect all things. White takes nothing in, it absorbs nothing. Have you ever heard of a white hole? I thought not. I should have expected that these southern whites (the true coloreds) would not pick up what I was putting down.
Having put this in perspective for you, I will now honor 5 great moments in black history:
The Black Plague: In the mid 1340s African scholars deemed the European countries were on a course for disaster. They knew if these European countries weren’t stopped there would be a rise in war, intolerance, and National Socialism. In an attempt
to stop the coming future, these scholars employed a team of bacterial researchers who developed the Bubonic (which means black) plague and sent it off to Europe on the backs of warrior rats. While the Plague was not 100 percent successful it did put off the social ills the scholars foresaw for about 550 years.
Black Coffee: It’s said that coffee was named for a young Ethiopian shepherd, Kaldi, who noticed his goat herd would get a little wiry after eating the berries of the Pamgrier plant. In reality, coffee was named BY a time-traveling, Ethiopian goat shepherd, who traveled to the mid-1970s and saw a screening of Coffy. When he returned he concocted a brewed beverage made from the seeds of the berries of the Pamgrier plant. He found this drink to make him very energetic. He then proclaimed “I like my brewed beverages like I like my blaxploitation films—black and keeping me up all night. Thus, I shall call this drink ‘coffy.”
In this case, Coffee was simply a transliteration of “Coffy” from the American English dialect of African-American urbanites of the time. Much the way the common American name “Nia” is to the Arabic term “Niyyah” which means to devote all of one’s actions to Allah.
Kaldi then finished off his coining of the term “coffee” by saying, “and don’t give me any of that creamer bullshit.”
The Hollywood Blacklist: The legend of the Hollywood Blacklist is similar to that of the passenger manifest in Lost, except this list features better actors and is much more satisfying to follow. The blacklist was crafted over 10 years from 1947-56. The sacred seer of Hollywood, then-actor Ronald Regan, chose the names of the Hollywood Ten. These are the only ten black actors and directors who will ever be allowed to win major Academy Awards. In Regan’s own words. “We are talking about winning awards here. We’ll nominate a bunch black people, and it’s an honor just to be nominated you know, but like 10 non-white folks are gonna win these awards, at the most. Also, I will go on to become president and pretty much castrate the middle class. Thank you.” Spike Lee’s name is not on this list.
The Black Hand: There is the popular myth that Archduke Franz Ferdinand was assassinated by Gavrilo Princip’s Black Hand over a sandwich, leading to the outbreak of World War One. This myth has been propagated over generations, twisted into a form of racial code and now has many eastern European, white
folks (the true coloreds) believing that a man with a black hand eating a sandwich is very likely to shoot you in the backseat of your automobile.
Blackstreet: No diggity. I’ve got to bag it up.