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‘The Negro is a marked race’

6 Nov

“Not many generations out of slavery, and forging our own existence despite heavy odds, the Negro is a marked race, hence our activities share the spotlight of constant scrutiny. when we reach the height of success none will be able to deny us our rightful share of recognition and applause. We should strive to leave great footprints in the sands of time,” my father writes below.
But I cannot help but think that 75 years later it’s still not so easy.  In this so-called “post-racial era,” the struggle continues. I’m sure my father could not have imagined that in his children’s lifetime America would have a black president. And though Barack Obama has reached the “height of success” by any measure, he continues to be a member of a “marked race.” Conservatives cry that they “want to take their country back,” which is code for we want to take the country back to a time when having blacks in power was only a dream. They call him elitist, which is code for “uppity Negro.”

I also found the last item, about the assaults on domestics by the men they work for, interesting. That’s one subject that was not broached in The Help.

As he did when he wrote about the illegal numbers, or so-called “policy games,” Ebenezer expressed sympathy  for prostitutes, who he referred to as “pavement pounders.” He argued that the lack of legal means available for these men and women to support themselves made it almost impossible for folks to avoid “easier money.”

“When social and economic agencies move to protect their youngsters vice crusades will not be necessary; when they do not – vice crusades will be ineffective,” he said.

P. S.: I’m still trying to find a source of information on the Mills brothers and the incident my father notes regarding their being barred from watching white baseball players play in Detroit.

The New York Age, March 23, 1935

The Lindbergh kidnapping, from many angles

30 Oct

Ebenezer weighs in on the trial of Bruno Hauptmann, the man sentenced to death in the Lindbergh baby kidnapping. My father, having been a court reporter before he was a columnist, was apparently fascinated by the trial. He also had a few things to say about the racial implications of the story. William Allen, the truck driver who found the corpse in the woods, was apparently a “Negro” who got little recognition. He also drew parallels with this case and the trial of the Scottsboro boys. In both cases, suspects were tried in the media, as well as in the courts, but Hauptmann got a fair trial,  my dad says, the Scottsboro boys did not. Of course, questions still remain as to whether the Hauptmann was framed, but we get his point.
I like the final item about the white girl who defied her parents by marrying a “mulatto” man. But my favorite is closer to the top when he talks about his hobbies: eating, catching a good show and drinking good gin occasionally.”  Hear, hear! I’m headed to a show at the Herbst Theater in San Francisco tonight and am looking forward to a great dinner with friends.  And, yes, I’ve been known to enjoy a Bombay martini and a Tanqueray and tonic more than occasionally. Once again, the apple does not fall far from the tree!

The New York Age, January 19, 1935

A riot breaks out in Harlem

17 Oct

The New York Age, March 30, 1935

All quiet on the Harlem front, but Negro inferiority complex remains

17 Oct

 

The New York Age, April 6, 1935

 

Guest column: Probable causes of the Harlem riot

18 Sep

The New York Age, April 13, 1935

Missionaries: Stay home and convert your own damn lynchers!

17 Sep

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