Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Childhood Memories of O'l Jim Crow

     For over 90 years Jim Crow laws were in effect in the United States. The reconstruction period only lasted for a decade after the civil war. In 1966-67, I was 7 or 8 years old, Jim Crow laws were still in effect. I remember riding in the back of the bus, with my mom. We had to pay at the front of the bus, get off, run to the back entrance and re-board before the bus driver drove off. Mom liked to go shopping downtown but, we could only go to “certain stores” that would allow "Colored" people to shop. The clerks watched us like hawks and we could never try on the clothing or shoes. I remember having to squat in the bushes sometimes because "the colored" could not use public restrooms. They were designated for "whites only!" Many places did not even provide separate and unequal restrooms for Blacks.

I remember my Mom would always pack a nice boxed lunch of cold chicken, or Tuna Fish Salad with potato salad, or pimento cheese sandwiches with home backed cookies and fresh fruit and a thermos of milk, Iced Tea or Cool-Aid. So, when we passed by a Grill, Lunch counter or café, and smelled hamburgers or hotdogs and complained that we were hungry; Mom would tell us to wait. She would take us to a park and spread out a blanket. There we would have an outing together for lunch. Mom and Dad loved us and sheltered us from hate in as must as they could. They never explained Jim Crow laws to us. When we would see and asked if we could go swimming at the pool, or to a carnival, or an amusement park, they just didn't say anything.

The paradox of the move to Integration and Civil Rights over Human Rights and Indigo empowerment, was the Black Doll/ White Doll studies, actually enable Caucasians to feel comfortable to sleep in their beds, knowing that After 400 years of oppression, dehumanization and disenfranchisement, Melaninated people preferred and identified with Caucasian, and European Assimilation, more than their own African cultural identity!

  I contend that it was the complicity of Caucasian women- Mothers, Teachers, Nurses, Secretaries, Clerks, Cashiers, Bank Tellers,  waitresses, for example who refused to serve blacks at lunch counters. Then, they put their blonde, brunette, or red hair, along with their hock of spit, in our food when they finally had to give up Ol' Jim Crow...

So now we have the “right” to give away our money and our most talented people, to the prosperity of caucasian owned Corporations, businesses and society, and neglect our own lunch counters, dry cleaners, Manufacturing, Neighborhoods, banks and boutiques!

Desegregation and integration only opened a gateway to an even larger chorale of Mass incarceration and impoverishment. We were still red lined. We have learned that you cannot legislate against hate and hateful people. Instead of being isolated into a concentration camp we now must compliantly maneuver and dwell among the society that despises us. We buy from them, we practice their version of religion, we speak their language, we fight in their wars, we take our children to their schools, we eat their diet and buy food as from their grocers, we even build their empires from other conquered peoples.

Caucasian women, Teachers, Clerks, Nurses, Tellers, etc. and Middle class values of the suburban housewives who only hired Melaninated Mothers and Wives as maids, cooks, Baby Sitters and menial servants, to revisit the dehumanization of the old dirty south, Antebellum Plantations. Caucasians had the urgency then to put Indigo People in "a place" in their world that secured the safety of their illusions of race supremacy. Caucasian women supported Jim Crow Laws with their compliance, voice and vote! Hillary Clinton was around at this age. She must have witnessed the same shame and injustices; and reflected on the complicity of her parents and grand parents. While caucasian women enjoyed an elite, privileged "June Cleaver" life, aloof from that same racist system! It was white, women teachers who refused to teach the Ruby Bridges', all across the U.S. and marked down their IQ tests by 20 points. Worst of all, it was Caucasian women who lied and cried rape to provoke a defense of their honor, then to promote the lynching deaths and imprisonment of thousands of Black Men and boys. It was Caucasian women who sewed, mended, and cleaned the bloodstains from the KKKlan robes that their sons, daughters, husbands, brothers, fathers, uncles and Grandfathers wore! Even today, elite non-Black mothers go along with the racist status quo, and raise their children in private “Gated” communities, far away from public housing. As Black females, we had to maneuver around so many obstacles just to maintain our humanity, dignity and self respect. We must regather our families back together again as Eco-Gnomes and regrow inherited wealth. We must assess our human capital of Talents, Gifts, and Skills. Marriage is the merger of 2 families, not just 2 people. We Must have 3 or more Children- No more Abortions. Our elders and disabled should be incorporated as a necessity among our family, not as extensions. Grandparent should invest in their Grandchildren. ...

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