Right after I got back to Albany, after my mother’s funeral in February 2011 in Charlotte, NC, I attended the church service of my current congregation. It was Black History Month, and I had helped organize the events, but did not participate much in them. I’m standing in the congregation, rather than singing in the choir Continue reading That damn song about ancestors
I wrote, on Facebook:
FACEBOOK wrote to me:
Why am I not seeing a movie?
If you aren’t seeing A Look Back movie when you visit facebook.com/lookback, it may be because you have not shared very many things on Facebook. Depending on how long you’ve been on Facebook and how much you’ve shared, you’ll see a movie, a collection of photos or a thank you card.
Continue reading My first Facebook unfriend
Every Black History Month, I put together some recent articles about race for the adult education class in my church, and how the reason we still have Black History Month is because there’s still weird stuff going on. This year was better/worse than ever, with items like the issue of some noted cases of Shopping While Black or even Working While Black.
Hey, that Duck Dynasty guy said HE never saw any racism when he was growing up with black people, so it’s a good chance that racism never really existed at all.
But this really bowled me over: Study Finds White Americans Believe They Experience More Racism Than African Americans.
Continue reading 13 o'clock: racism in reverse?
Jaquandor, who continues to be western New York’s finest blogger, wrote, even before I asked him to Ask Roger Anything:
May I ask, what’s YOUR response to the question that ALWAYS gets asked in February? I’m referring, of course, to “How come there’s no WHITE History Month?” Anymore I just snort and say “That’s all the other ones. We just don’t announce it.” Problem with that response is, it doesn’t always get taken as the sarcasm it is.
I really hate hearing that question, with its pouty tone and its implication that racism is over and we need to just stop talking about it.
Let me tell you some of the things we talked about at my church in late January and February:
Continue reading How come there’s no WHITE History Month?
It’s not the warmer weather that I’m longing for, it’s a bit of sanity. February was Black History Month and is always brutal for me at church. I try to fawn off responsibilities to others, but, like a boomerang, they keep coming back to me. Lining up speakers, getting approvals, making sure equipment is set up, putting information into the church bulletin, etc.
Sunday, February 24 was a prime example. Go to the 8:30 a.m. service to make sure the guest preacher has shown up. Afterwards, accompany him to a place for him to rest until the 10:45 service. Make sure the 9:30 adult education speakers are there, and make sure they are set. Make at least some of the choir rehearsal, which starts at 9:30, but my cloning ability is frayed. Sing in the choir at 10:45 service, and also do presentation of the ceremonial kente cloth, and read prayers of the people. Continue reading Looking forward to NEXT month
Every year for the past several, I have become the point person for the Black History Month celebration at my church. It is not a position I’ve ever sought, but it has obviously sought me. I had called a meeting of potentially interested parties in early December, so that I might offload some of the responsibility. But I was so sick, not only did I not go to church, I had forgotten that I had called the meeting until after the fact. Opportunity missed; so it goes.
At the end of the first adult education hour, which featured a guest speaker, I recommended that people view Slavery by Another Name, a new PBS documentary based on Douglas A. Blackmon’s Pulitzer Prize-winning book, narrated by Laurence Fishburne (pictured) before the following session. Some folks did watch, and it is interesting to note that it was a piece of American history that most in the room were oblivious to. My wife and I had seen the film at an advanced showing at UAlbany a couple weeks earlier.
From a description of the book: Continue reading Black History Month and Segregation Denialism
My wife and I got a babysitter last Friday night so we could take the bus – MUCH easier than trying to find parking at the uptown UAlbany campus – and watch Slavery by Another Name, “a 90-minute documentary that challenges one of Americans’ most cherished assumptions: the belief that slavery in this country ended with the Emancipation Proclamation.” Though the film will be premiering on PBS, Monday, February 13 at 9pm ET / 8pm CT (check local listings), the real draw of viewing it early on a bigger screen was to be able to see the director of the film, Shelia Curran Bernard, and the writer of the book upon which the film was based, Douglas Blackmon, who I had seen before.
Narrated by actor Laurence Fishburne, “The film tells how even as chattel slavery came to an end in the South in 1865, thousands of African Americans were pulled back into forced labor with shocking force and brutality. Continue reading Slavery by Another Name PBS documentary