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Ancestor Comedian Richard Pryor had a funny bit about Black people in horror movies. He said that Black people would enter a haunted house and hear a ghostly voice say, “hello.” Pryor said the likely answer would be “goodbye.”
Pryor’s funny gag lines were prior to the current-day horror films where Black actors are among the headliners.
In honor of Pryor, here’s a haunted story in recognition of Halloween.
Gwen McKinney is a podcaster, writer and thinker. Check out her podcast (see it in her own words/voice) and join the conversation. FYI: German Holocaust survivors in the U.S. and abroad, receive regular reparations from that government. Also, South Africa, Canada, Austria and France provide financial restorative justice.
Proud to share our latest podcast, Reparations: Beyond Acres and the Mule. Along with the policy implications, reparations comes with the human saga. We feature scholar/historian/civil rights champion Mary Frances Berry who shares the story of Callie House, a formerly enslaved washer woman who struck the first blow for repatriation and repair as the little-known mother of the reparations movement. We also give voice to a multigenerational chorus of sister warriors including Rosemarie Mealy, Nkechi Taifa, Robin Rue and Dreisen Heath. True to our mission, the podcast advances narratives that unerase the truths of Black women, often maligned and marginalized in both the historical and contemporary record. Please take a listen HERE from our website or visit whatever streaming service you prefer for Unerased Kitchen Table Talks.
We’d be thrilled if you’re so moved to help us amplify this episode. I suggest the following tweets:
1. How can you measure the damage from 4 centuries of bondage and soul pillage? In the latest @UnerasedBWS podcast episode, we explore the human toll of reparations. Tune in, subscribe, share!
2. Will we see reparations come to fruition? Meet advocates from the National African American Reparations Commission leading the way to institute federal reparations laws in the latest @UnerasedBWS podcast episode. Tune in, subscribe, share! https://unerasedbws.com/reparations-beyond-the-acres-and-the-mule/
With praise and appreciation!
|NEGRO SPIRITUALS AND WORK SONGS|
During slavery and afterwards, workers were allowed to sing songs during their working time. This was the case when they had to coordinate their efforts for hauling a fallen tree or any heavy load. For example, prisoners used to sing “chain gang” songs, when they worked on the road or some construction. But some “drivers” also allowed slaves to sing “quiet” songs, if they were not apparently against slaveholders. Such songs could be sung either by only one or by several slaves. They were used for expressing personal feeling, and for cheering one another.
|NEGRO SPIRITUALS AND THE UNDERGROUND RAILROAD|
The Underground Railroad (UGRR) helped slaves to run to free a country. A fugitive could use several ways. First, they had to walk at night, using hand lights and moonlight. When needed, they walked (“waded”) in water, so that dogs could not smell their tracks. Second, they jumped into chariot, where they could hide and ride away. These chariots stopped at some “stations”, but this word could mean any place where slaves had to go for being taken in charge.So, negro spirituals like “Wade in the Water”, “The Gospel Train” and “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot” directly refer to the UGRR.
It’s October and that means baseball is in full swing. Do you know how many of your ancestors were a part of Black Baseball stardom? Since 1858, the game of baseball has featured sluggers, great pitchers, fielders and speedsters who have defied the odds and have mostly gone unnoticed.
Let’s dust off the ancestral home plates and locate your family members who were the stars on playing fields long forgotten or never researched. Start with the year 1858.
In 1925, Historian, Dr. Carter G. Woodson published a report that he stated was expensive to publish and difficult to compile. Yet, he did it.
“The aim of this report, like that on Free Negro Owners of Slaves in the
United States in 1830, is to promote the further study of a neglected aspect
of our history. As stated elsewhere, most of these free Negroes “have
been forgotten, for persons supposedly well-informed in history are surprised to learn today that about a half million, almost one-seventh of the
Negroes of this country, were free prior to the emancipation in 1865. It is
hardly believed that a considerable number of Negroes were owners of
slaves themselves, and in some cases controlled large plantations.”
As the second Black man to receive a degree from Harvard University, he also became a dean in the school. He was a journalist and well published author, including the historic, standalone read, The Mis-education of the Negro.
Read the report by clicking on the link and downloading the 50+ page document derived from the 1830 U.S. Census. You may find your ancestors in the records.
Enjoy your Freebie Friday!
I (Ann) moved back to the Atlanta area in the first months of 2020. You know the rest: The COVID-19 restrictions started and it limited my reconnections and great adventures to my favorite places with the best folk.
Although the health and safety precautions must be adhered to, my first local museum visit will be APEX.
If you are in D.C., it should be the National Museum of African American History and Culture.
In my hometown of Omaha, Nebraska, please visit, Great Plains Black History Museum.
In the few museums listed above, strong advocates brought them into existence. My friend, Dan Moore, is the champion of the APEX Museum. Bertha Callaway is the proactive instigator of the Great Plains Museum.
To help you get to your local destination, this wikisite is helpful. If you need to add content site, please provide information so that others may benefit:
This is a sortable table. Click on the column you wish it sorted by.
The hundreds and perhaps thousands of special salutes to our favorite and newest ancestor, former U.S. Secretary of State and General Colin Powell, is a collective valuable lesson for all who write about our ancestors’ lives.
3 P’s for producing great obituaries
On many occasions, I (Ann) have been designated to write obituaries about my family, friends and even former work colleagues. Obituary writing is a skill and talent. It is not the time for careless regards of facts. There are professional obituary writers whose purpose is to provide professionalism to the sometimes rough passages we often read in programs and on websites during times of bereavement.
My “P’s”( for obituary writing:
- Plan the obituaries before the relative’s or friend’s transition(s). This seems morbid, yet it is a practice that learned and demonstrated in my first journalism course taught by Nellie Dixon at Clark College (now Clark Atlanta University). I followed the same practice when I became a journalism instructor. Professional media outlets assign reporters to write obituaries about famous persons before the deaths of those individuals. It may seem sad to some to realize this occurs, yet it does.
- Prepare your loved ones’ obituaries. As part of the planning and preparation, if possible, record, photograph and speak about your relative, friend during their active lives. I know of a professional videographer who recorded his favorite aunt. That recording on his mobile device is part of the obituary and legacy moments for the family.
- Produce the content. Organize all materials according to themes that emerge from their lives. Write your first draft.
Seek help from those who know
When the inevitable occurs, you are ready with the necessary information. It is best to listen to family and friends who send virtual messages or whose personal visits include conversations about the deceased person(s). You may hear something that adds a new name or important life event about the loved one(s).
You may also wish to enlist the assistance of a professional such as my friend, Dr. Tony Burks.
Dr. Tony Lamair Burks II first learned the art and craft of storytelling from his four grandparents in lower Alabama. He is an award-winning education expert who coaches and trains leaders for excellence as chief learning officer of LEADright. His stories about school and life have appeared in newspapers, blogs and books around the world. He has written six books and contributed to four. He is passionate about helping others tell their stories. For over a quarter of a century, he has written, co-written and ghost-written obituaries and funeral orations. He has served as the interim director of a publishing house, and he currently leads a series of interactive workshops — Unleashing Your Untold Healing Story and Writing Your Story — to help others unearth and release stories that have been held deep within.
Writing tips from other pros
How to Write a Great Obituary
- Announce the death. Start off the obituary by announcing the death of the loved one. ..
- Provide general biographical information. Include some biographical information such as birth date, upbringing, education, marriage information, accomplishments, and work history.
- Make it personal. To write a great obituary, it’s important to capture the spirit of the loved one who has passed.
- Listing the family members. While you don’t have to mention every nephew and cousin by name, it’s important to write a general overview of the family members who passed away.
- Funeral information. Provide the date, time, and location of the funeral. Also include information regarding donations, flowers, or condolences.
- Review for mistakes. Check, check, and check again. Once you are satisfied with the finished product, pass it off to a friend or a dispassionate third party for review.
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