Wednesday, December 9, 2015

What Is Race? The Series

Right-to-left: 
Barack Obama and sister, Maya Soetoro
Mother Ann Dunham
Grandfather 
Stanley Dunham
 Hawaii (early 1970s)

There is more to race than the color of one's skin.

Multi-cultural, multi-racial, multi-ethnic, multi-national Americans of all ages and backgrounds struggle with the issue of race. 

This series is not intended to answer all the questions Americans and the world have about race in the United States. This series is intended to present points of view for consideration and discuss on the questions of race in America.

This series deals with the a question that has plagued the United States since it's inception. The question of race emerged in the economic dispute between the original Americans Colonies after the American Revolution over the issue of slavery. The founding fathers, many of whom were slaver owners, grappled with the problem, which eventually led to the Civil War and the era of Jim Crow laws. 

The race battle raged through the next century and erupted into the Civil Rights movement, exploding onto American streets through the Montgomery Bus Boycott, led by Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King, becoming a central topic of conversation with my mother during the 1950s when bus travel was our primary mode of transportation. 

What Is Race? Part One: Conversations With My Mother
What Is Race? Part Two: My Mother, Race Relations Adviser
What is Race? Part Three: My Mother - On Jim Crow's Children
What is Race? Part Four: Who is Jim Crow?
What is Race? Part Five: How to Conquer Racism



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    Bigmama Didn’t Shop  At Woolworth’s  Sunny Nash

Hard Cover

Amazon Kindle
Sunny Nash author of bigmama didn't shop at woolworth's
Sunny Nash is an author, producer, photographer and leading writer on U.S. race relations. 

Sunny Nash writes books, blogs, articles and reviews, and produces media and images on U.S. history and contemporary American topics, ranging from Jim Crow laws to social media networking. Sunny Nash is the author of Bigmama Didn't Shop At Woolworth's (Texas A&M University Press), about life with her part-Comanche grandmother during the Civil Rights Movement.

Sunny Nash’s book is recognized by the Association of American University Presses as essential for understanding U.S. race relations. Nash's book is also listed in the Bibliographic Guide for black studies at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in New York; and recommended for Native American collections by the Miami-Dade Public Library System in Florida. Nash uses her book to write articles and blogs on race relations in America through topics relating to her life--from music, film, early radio and television, entertainment, social media, Internet technology, publishing, journalism, sports, education, employment, the military, fashion, performing arts, literature, women's issues, adolescence and childhood, equal rights, social and political movements--past and present—to today's post-racism.

ushistory.org homepage

© 2015 Sunny Nash. All Rights Reserved Worldwide.
 www.sunnynash.blogspot.com 
~Thank You~



Sunday, August 30, 2015

What is Race? Part Five: How to Conquer Racism

A glimpse at Jim Crow--where we have been and where we should be going


When I was a little girl, my mother warned me that some segments of society wanted me to have low expectations to decrease my potential to shine. "Jim Crow," she said.

"Controlling competition controls society," she said. "Keeping you out by any means possible could ensure a place for their own. So, enforcing low expectations among certain people is a ploy of Jim Crow." 

My mother's expectations for me were very high--higher than I thought I could achieve. She wanted me to spend part of my summer reading books she brought home. Then I had to travel to some other part of the country to see different things. She made me write letters to relatives and collect the stamps on their return mail. At the time, I had no idea why she was torturing me so with piano lessons, dancing classes, tennis, swimming, etiquette, correct language usage, good grades. 

"High expectations for yourself are the only way you can conquer racism."

"I can change racism?" I asked.

"No," she yelled. "Did I say you could change racism? You can't change racism!"

"Then what?" I asked.

 "Conquer racism!"

"How?"

"You have to out-spell, out-read, out-write, out-speak and out-everything else better than you think you can, if you want to get somewhere in this low-down, crooked, one-sided Jim Crow racist system," she said. "If you don't, out-do what you think you can do, you will be forever trying to fight your way up with no weapons! And that is how you conquer racism! 



This video, a Book Trailer for my book, Bigmama Didn't Shop At Woolworth'sabout life with my part-Comanche grandmother during the Civil Rights Movement, is for those who want a glimpse of the Jim Crow past in order to learn from it. My book was recognized by the Association of American University Presses as essential for understanding U.S. race relations and recommended by the Miami-Dade Public Library System in Florida for Native American collections. Views have reached 4,481. I would appreciate you helping the views climb to 5,000 before the end of the year. Thank you.

What is Race? The Series:


Thank you for visiting. Please come again. 

SUBSCRIBE & FOLLOW


    Bigmama Didn’t Shop  At Woolworth’s  Sunny Nash

Hard Cover

Amazon Kindle
Sunny Nash author of bigmama didn't shop at woolworth's
Sunny Nash is an author, producer, photographer and leading writer on U.S. race relations. 

Sunny Nash writes books, blogs, articles and reviews, and produces media and images on U.S. history and contemporary American topics, ranging from Jim Crow laws to social media networking. Sunny Nash is the author of Bigmama Didn't Shop At Woolworth's (Texas A&M University Press), about life with her part-Comanche grandmother during the Civil Rights Movement.

Sunny Nash’s book is recognized by the Association of American University Presses as essential for understanding U.S. race relations. Nash's book is also listed in the Bibliographic Guide for black studies at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in New York; and recommended for Native American collections by the Miami-Dade Public Library System in Florida. Nash uses her book to write articles and blogs on race relations in America through topics relating to her life--from music, film, early radio and television, entertainment, social media, Internet technology, publishing, journalism, sports, education, employment, the military, fashion, performing arts, literature, women's issues, adolescence and childhood, equal rights, social and political movements--past and present—to today's post-racism.

ushistory.org homepage

© 2015 Sunny Nash. All Rights Reserved Worldwide.
 www.sunnynash.blogspot.com 
~Thank You~



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Monday, June 29, 2015

MLK: Prepared To Lead

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.


Martin Luther King, Jr. Boston University
Martin Luther King, Jr.
Boston University
1959 (BU Photo Services)

Exceptional performance was the prize for Martin Luther King--education, credentials and awards--that demonstrate preparation for leadership of the Civil Rights Movement. 


We might as well face it. Most of us are not prepared for the type of leadership it takes to change the world. There seems to be a growing attitude of automatic acceptance of personal ordinariness today, complacence, "Oh, whatever." And people, including children, seem to be growing up willing to accept the notion of "mediocre" as normal, worthy of a trophy for simply signing up for the team--no field time and certainly no outstanding play, which is not just a sports theory. This applies to all areas of once-competitive activity. 

However, unsubstantiated accomplishments of unworthily-trophied team members can be smashed in a second when faced with the dedication of real performance and competition; for instance, a Spelling Bee smack down! Unfortunately, many students avoid participation if they are required to participate in strenuous preparation. 

"Oh, well, whatever." Give 'em a trophy anyway for signing up.

Unearned trophies promote the feeling that doing better makes no more difference than doing worse. Why try harder, when there will be a trophy at the end for simply putting on the uniform or signing on the dotted line. So what if no effort goes into it? Could that be a cause of personal low expectations? At the end of the game, only the player really knows if he or she played his or her best game--the moment of realization.
  • Do people know if they played their best game? 
  • If they know they did not play their best game, what is their attitude? 
  • Do they pretend they did their best? 
  • Knowing they didn't do their best, do they make a plan to improve?
  • Or do they dismiss the whole thing with, Oh, whatever."


Lyndon Johnson & Martin Luther King
Lyndon Johnson
& Martin Luther King
Dr. Martin Luther King prepared for leadership. He was more than a gifted speaker; he was a highly intelligent man, proof of which showed in his education, academic credentials and power of persuasion. It took more than a notion to convince those in power to support his civil rights efforts. All said and done: He was a hard worker. I'd put money on that.

"There comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular, but he must do it because Conscience tells him it is right." MLK

The kind of conviction espoused in the quote above requires preparation of the ultimate kind. We might as well face it. Most of us are not prepared for the type of leadership it takes to change the world. Changing the world means getting things done and being good at those things, striving for excellence, whether achieving excellence or not, not being discouraged, continuing to move forward with conviction toward a goal. 

Early in his education, King skipped both ninth and twelfth grades, tested his way out of high school at age 15 before graduation. He entered Morehouse College, where he earned Bachelor's degree in sociology. He received a Bachelor of Divinity from Cozier College, while also studying at the University of Pennsylvania. In 1955, three months before Rosa Parks sparked the Montgomery Bus Boycott and hurled King into national prominence, he received his Doctorate of Philosophy in Systematic Theology from Boston University.


Preparation takes hard work.


Honorary Degrees from U.S. and international colleges and universities. During his lifetime and posthumously, Dr. King also was awarded:

1957 - Doctor of Humane Letters, Morehouse College; Doctor of Laws, Howard University; Doctor of Divinity, Chicago Theological Seminary
1958 - Doctor of Laws, Morgan State College; Doctor of Humanities, Central State College
1959 - Doctor of Divinity, Boston University
1961 - Doctor of Laws, Lincoln University; Doctor of Laws, University of Bridgeport
1962 - Doctor of Civil Laws, Bard College
1963 - Doctor of Letters, Keuka College
1964 - Doctor of Divinity, Wesleyan College; Doctor of Laws, Jewish Theological Seminary; Doctor of Laws, Yale University; Doctor of Divinity, Springfield College
1965 - Doctor of Laws, Hofstra University; Doctor of Human Letters, Oberlin College; Doctor of Social Science, Amsterdam Free University; Doctor of Divinity, St. Peter's College
1967 - Doctor of Civil Law, University of New Castle Upon Tyne; Doctor of Laws, Grinnell College, Grinnell, Iowa


Martin Luther King Receives Nobel Peace Prize, Coretta King (right)
King Receiving Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo, Norway

CREDIT: Rev. Martin Luther King congratulated
by Crown Prince Harald & King Olav
Mrs. Coretta King (right) 
UPI Photo 1964 Dec 10. Library of Congress
At age 35, Dr. King was the youngest man in history to receive the Nobel Peace Prize. The second American after Theodore Roosevelt, Dr. King is also the second African American in history to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. The first African American to win the Nobel Peace Prize was Ralph Bunche in 1950 and the third black recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize is President Barack Obama.


Scholarly and Leadership Awards received below and others listed in the Archives of the Martin Luther King, Center for Nonviolent Social Change, Inc. in Atlanta, Georgia.


1957 - Among Time’s most outstanding personalities
1957 - Who's Who in America
1957 - NAACP Spingarn Medal Recipient
1957 - National Newspaper Publishers’ Russwurm Award
1958.- Guardian Association of the Police Department of New York, Second Annual Achievement Award
1959 - Among New Delhi, India, Link Magazine’s sixteen world leaders who contributed most to the advancement of freedom
1963 - Time Man of the Year
1963 - Laundry, Dry Cleaning, and Die Workers International Union’s American of the Decade
1964 - United Federation of Teachers’ John Dewey Award
1964 - Catholic Interracial Council of Chicago John F. Kennedy Award
1968 - Jamaican Government Marcus Garvey Prize for Human Rights (posthumously)
1968 - Southern Christian Leadership Conference Rosa Parks Award (posthumously)

Leadership is more than standing in front of a crowd and giving a speech. Leadership means teaching by example. 


MLK Arrested in Montgomery, Alabama, 1958
MLK Arrested in Montgomery, Alabama, 1958
We might as well face it. Most of us are not prepared for the type of leadership it takes to change the world. And we will never deliver an I Have a Dream Speech. But we can prepare ourselves and our children to do better than our parents, grandparents and other ancestors were able to do with Jim Crow on their backs.

After all, didn't Dr. King expect us to do just that? 

If not, what was it all for?



-30-


Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Martin Luther King vs. Malcolm X: Who was more radical?

Radical in Different Ways


Martin Luther King & Malcolm X meeting

Martin Luther King & Malcolm X

Critics compared Martin Luther King and Malcolm X, saying that X more accurately reflected a growing sentiment of young people in the black community, attitudes that created the Black Power Movement.

And King, they said, represented the old tradition of turning the other cheek.

Looking at the way these two men approached change, one would think that Martin Luther King was the elder of the two, choosing nonviolent protest; and Malcolm choosing "any means necessary." The elder being part of an older generation and the radical one being of the younger generation. The truth is Malcolm X was four years older than King.
  • Martin Luther King, born January 15, 1929
  • Malcolm (X) Little, born May 18, 1925

Some observers came to believe that Martin Luther King was not radical enough, professing the nonviolent style of protest, intended to shame the aggressor into a different behavior, even providing specialized training for protesters of the nonviolent persuasion, teaching them to resist the urge to fight back. Is peaceful resistance a radical approach? Some critics say peaceful resistance is more radical than fighting back  because it is such an unexpected reaction. 

While, on the other hand, Malcolm X stood for an "any means" approach to change, also radical because this approach had been prohibited by Jim Crow tradition, making a violent retaliation mob punishable by lynching to create extreme community fear.

Young Teenage Malcolm X (Little)
Malcolm Little 
Young Martin Luther King just out of college
Martin Luther King
These men of the same generation were diametrically opposed in their tactics. Could one reason have been their backgrounds?

Both their fathers were ministers, but that may be where their similarities ended. 

Martin was born and raised in a stable, two-parent comfortable family home. Malcolm's father's activism caused the family to move frequently and may have caused the father's death when Malcolm was four years old. Afterwards his father was killed, his mother suffered a breakdown and was placed in a mental institution. Malcolm and his seven siblings were split up and placed in orphanages and foster homes. 

Malcolm X (Little) Jail Mugshot

Malcolm (X) Little Mugshot
MLK Morehouse 1948
Malcolm became a street hustler, drug dealer, thief and prison convict. Martin attended college and amassed degrees and scholarly awards. Could their lives have accounted for their approaches to social change?



Malcolm X Speaking to Crowd
Malcolm X
Martin Luther King Speaking at Podium
Martin Luther King
It is a well accepted fact that Martin Luther King and Malcolm X were quite different in the way they sought social justice.

Although, they shared common ground. 







Malcolm X meets Martin Luther King, Jr.

Martin Luther King based his approach to protest of Jim Crow treatment on nonviolence. Malcolm X based his his approach to protest of Jim Crow treatment on violence or "any means necessary," in his words. In your opinion, did either approach make one safer than the other?
  • Malcolm X was assassinated on February 21, 1965. 
  • Martin Luther King was assassinated on April 4, 1968.