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Bernice King – Speaking Truth

Black History: Special Delivery!!

The 2021 King Holiday has Bernice King, daughter of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., sharing some POWERFUL tweets today! Y’all better stop taking her daddy’s quotes and legacy out of context! Check out the tweets below.

Please don’t act like everyone loved by father. He was assassinated. 1967 poll reflected that He was one of the most hated men in America. Most hated. Many who quote him now and evoke him to deter justice today would likely hate, and may already hate, authentic King.” -Bernice King

Source: https://twitter.com/BerniceKing

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr’s Reflection On The Unequal Distribution Of Power In America

Black History: Special Delivery!!

As we commemorate the 2021 MLK Holiday, The Black Mail Blog has been sharing some little known facts and quotes from Dr. King. We hope you have enjoyed these posts.

In his book, Where Do We Go From Here: Chaos To Community, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. addresses the “unequal” distribution of power between black and white people. Where Do We Go From Here challenges the nation at a time of both intense struggle and opportunity. King was very concerned that white liberals in particular were perhaps more interested in symbols rather than substance of the movement. He questioned whether or not they truly were invested in equal distribution of power. A powerful quote from the book, “There is nothing essentially wrong with power. The problem is that in America power is unequally distributed.”

History Of The King Holiday

Black History: Special Delivery!!

It took 15 years of advocating before the King holiday was signed into law. The late Congressman John Conyers of Michigan first introduced a bill for a federal holiday in 1968 just 4 days after King’s assassination. Each year for 15 years, Conyers with the support of the Congressional Black Caucus continued to advocate for the holiday. Finally, in 1983, the King holiday was approved. It would take until the year 2000 for all 50 states to adopt the holiday.

Sources:

https://www.ajc.com/news/state–regional-govt–politics/john-conyers-and-the-uphill-battle-honor-mlk-birthday/Dx8jhl0KJANrvMAZ9ApUCO/

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/john-conyers-who-first-proposed-an-mlk-holiday-marks-50-years-in-congress/2015/01/18/998d4ba2-9d08-11e4-bcfb-059ec7a93ddc_story.html

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/obituaries/john-conyers-death-american-politician-congress-detroit-martin-luther-king-holiday-a9185526.html

A Second Tragedy Occurred At The Lorraine Motel On April 4, 1968

Black History: Special Delivery!!

Dr. King’s assassination was not the only tragedy to occur at the Lorraine Motel on April 4, 1968. After witnessing his assassination Lorraine Bailey, (wife of the owner) had a stroke and later died. She was also the switchboard operator. This is partially why there was a delay in getting an ambulance to the hotel. The motel was African American owned and operated and hosted many black celebrities and influential figures.

Sources:

https://www.wmcactionnews5.com/story/37871830/daughter-of-lorraine-motels-owners-recalls-day-mlk-died/

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2018/03/28/lorraine-motel-mlk-assassination-witnesses/1071959001/

https://www.civilrightsmuseum.org/news/posts/the-famous-lorraine-motel

Remembering Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Where Do We Go From Here? – Part 2 of 3

Black History: Special Delivery!!

Today our nation celebrates the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday! To honor the legacy of Dr. King, we bring you another quote from Dr. King’s book, Where Do We Go From Here: Chaos Or Community. Published in 1967, it was Dr. King’s 4th book and the last one he wrote before his assassination in 1968.

In Where Do We Go From Here, King looks forward as the civil rights movement transitions into a new phase. King was certain that this new phase would also bring on new challenges as African Americans would expect to see the rights they had fought to achieve continue to remain enforced by the U.S. government. King also believed that the fight for equality would continue with the African American community continuing its struggle for living wages, fair housing, and education.

Our second quote being shared from Where Do We Go From Here is: “In the days ahead we must not consider it unpatriotic to raise certain basic questions about our national character.” -Dr. Martin Luther, King, Jr.,

Predatory Blending

Black History:  Special Delivery!!

Today, I came across a quote I shared on social media on “predatory blending”. It is just as true today as it was 11 years ago and inspired more reflection to flow from my pen:

Beware of “Predatory Blending”.  Your associations should embrace you not erase you. -Enid Gaddis, Black Mail Founder

I created the term, “predatory blending” to describe the assimilation that can be expected from black people or other people of color as we navigate, infiltrate, integrate, and situate ourselves in various settings from employment, entrepreneurship,  community involvement, civic engagement, education, etc.

There are times when our “acceptance” or even or “eligibility” for inclusion is based on our ability to assimilate. Assimilation leads to erasure. When assimilation is required for acceptance, the often hidden but powerful forces of “predatory blending” are at work.

Don’t allow your wisdom, wit, and work to be manipulated and re-worked so that your influence and imprint is watered down and unrecognizable. Don’t let systems and shysters mine the riches of your intellect and innovation co-opting it for causes that refuse to accept the totality and phenomenality of your essence and presence. Bring the fullness of YOU into these spaces. Refuse to be erased.

“That Knee” – Tribute To George Floyd

Black History: Special Delivery!!

The vicious murder of yet another black life has left me reeling once again. “I can’t breathe”…..AGAIN. Rest In Power George Floyd. 1946 – 2020. My pen was inspired to express the pain of another black life violently taken from our midst. The title of this piece, “That Knee” (Copyright 2020 – All Rights Reserved).

“That Knee” By Enid Gaddis

Hoodie vs. Gas Mask

Black History: Special Delivery!!

Rep. Bobby Rush (Left), Rep. Matthew Gaetz (Right)

On March 5, 2020, Rep. Bobby Rush (D-IL) highlighted the difference in treatment that he experienced in 2012 when he wore a hoodie and sunglasses on the house floor to protest the death of Trayvon Martin. Rush was forcibly removed from the house floor by the seargent-at-arms for violating its decorum code. Fast forward to 2020. Republican Rep. Matthew Gaetz came onto the floor with a full gas mask to call attention to the COVID-19 virus. While he was asked to remove the gas mask, he was not removed. Gaetz is white and Rush is African American.

In response to the difference in treatment, Rush tweeted, “In 2012, I wore a hoodie on the House Floor to make a statement about the deadly consequences of racial profiling. On Wednesday, @RepMattGaetz wore a gas mask in the chamber, making light of an epidemic that has killed 14 Americans. Guess which one of us was forcibly removed.” Gaetz defended his actions by saying that the gas mask was “medically necessary”. However, gas masks are not normally considered to be medically necessary.

Sources:

https://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/486303-dem-congressman-notes-difference-between-his-hoodie-protest-and

https://mashable.com/article/viral-gas-mask-hoodie-tweet/

The Louisiana Native Guards:  1st Black Military Unit To See Combat During The Civil War

Black History:  Special Delivery!!

Louisiana Native Guards

The Louisiana Native Guards was the first all-black military unit of the Union Army to see combat action during the Civil War.  The more well known 54th Massachusetts Infantry is often credited with being the first black unit to see military action. However, the Louisiana Native Guard’s entry into combat preceded the 54th’s by a few months. Continue reading “The Louisiana Native Guards:  1st Black Military Unit To See Combat During The Civil War”

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