The legendary Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin, belted out in her song: “R-E-S-P-E-C-T, find out what it means to me!” Take a minute to consider what respect means to you. People from diverse cultures may differ in interpretation and perception. Dictionaries offer slight differences in their meaning and application.
My life began in the Jim Crow South, in Houston, Texas. I remember the segregated world I was born into … the separate water fountains, the back of the bus, the going around to the back door of Mr. Fontnoe’s grocery store to buy milk for my mother and grandmother. I recall the segregated section of the movie theaters – and the long, seemingly endless net partitioning the giant sandy beaches, separating the “Colored” folks from the “Whites.” Can you imagine that it once was a reality, a segregated beach!
Hubert Harrison (1883-1927), the “father of Harlem radicalism” and founder of the militant “New Negro Movement,” is a giant of our history. He was extremely important in his day and his significant contributions and influence are attracting increased study and discussion today. In this 90th year since his death in 1927, let us all make a commitment to learn more about the important struggles that he and others waged. Let us also commit to share this knowledge with others.
Gen. George Armstrong Custer (1839-1876) paid the ultimate price for the sins of certain white people of his time who committed damn near every type of crime against humanity upon the indigenous peoples of this country. So much so that many different tribes of indigenous peoples came together, some who were sworn enemies, to fight and defeat their common oppressor. Here in 2016, once again, many different tribes of indigenous peoples, and not just from this country but from around the world, have come together to defeat their common modern day oppressor.
Malcolm X Day San Francisco is part of a national effort to declare May 19, the birthday of Malcolm X – El Hajj Malik El Shabazz – an official holiday. Malcolm X Day will be celebrated in San Francisco’s Bayview Hunters Point District on Sunday, May 17, with free outdoor music and guest speakers. Performers include local rappers and poets Selassie, Talia Monet, Jabari Shaw and Ras Ceylon.
The legendary Sifu Bill Owens has trained 121 black belts in the 40 years since he founded Cascos Martial Arts Academy at 7415 MacArthur Blvd, Oakland. He himself is a world renowned champion as well as a teacher of a range of martial arts from Karate and Wun Hop Kuen Do to Filipino Stick Fighting and Brazilian Capoiera. Right now he needs 60 new students. Stop by or call him at (510) 638-9990.