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Buy a book, not a slave

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Buy a book, not a slave.

This is a touchy subject, so work with me.

Hip HiP Hurray! It’s Black History Month. But slow your roll Gym Shoes, what’s it all about? I get so tired of the multiple questions. You know, like , which of the following was the first black man on the moon:

A) John H. Johnson

B) John Hope Franklin

C) Jean Baptiste Pointe DuSable

D) Jesus

Okay, that’s a trick question but Mr. DuSable died a pauper, but yet, he is remembered as a symbol of African American ingenuity and self-reliance. Boy, that’s something to remember.

Here’s another great question. Who was the first “woman” Heavyweight Champion?

A) Maggie Lena Walker

B) Mary McLeod Bethune

C) Madam C. J. Walker

D) Cynique

This answer is obvious. We know black women will spend a fortune on their nappy head, so the answer is Madam C. J. Walker. Are you kidding me, without her, more black women would be putting their money in a bank like the one Maggie Walker owned, instead of trying to look like white women.

Next: Who gave the most?

A) Dred Scott

B) Crispus Attucks

C) The Buffalo Soldiers

D) O J Simpson

Lets see, Dred Scott won his freedom, but wait, they sent him back to slavery less than 2 years later. Crispus Attuck was sold from massa to massa but he eventually escaped to freedom. He then became the first man to die at the Boston Massacre. Now that’s something to shout about. The Buffalo Soldiers ran up San Juan Hill in Cuba in 1898. By the twentieth century they could only run their mouths. They were not “allowed” to fight. But look at us now! Ali Said “hell no, I won’t go”. It looks as if O. J. is the winner. He had to give up white girls.

Next: He or He?

Booker T Washington the “Great Apologist” or William Monroe Trotter the “Guardian”?

Next: Who’s the greatest, She or She?

Harriet Tubman, the union nurse, scout and spy or Oprah?

That question is a gimme, right?

Next Question: Who was the most militant.

A) Frederick Douglas

B) Malcolm X

C) Nate Turner

D) Phillis Wheatley

This is not a trick question. Phillis Wheatley dared to be the first black to publish a book and only the second women in the United States to publish a book of poetry.

I say we should spend less time and money answering questioning on slavery. We are losing ground. What happened to The New York Freeman, The Liberator and The Crisis? Who’s read The Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man? What director/producer is making the most “black” money.

Don’t take your kids to a Jeopardy game of “Name That Black Slave”. Take them to a book store.

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Hummm. Are you suggesting our history is unimportant?

Would you believe that this page, every february, is one of the most frequently visisted AALBC.com pages: http://aalbc.com/fun/black1.htm

While the questions are kinda played (especially after one has become long in the tooth). Perhaps you are suggesting that the information be obtained from a book. If soe I'm all for that too. but I would not dispense with the questions. We all don't assimilate information the same way.

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Oh no Troy, I wouldn't be surprised in the least. That's a very good page. Of course history is important. Here's my thang. Without a doubt it inspires further discusion. I was merely suggesting that "answers" alone are like a hotdog bun without the hotdog.

In reference to inspiration, I am reminded of people that go to church and throw their hands in the air and holla like they just don't care. They say AMEN!, preach pastor. When the choir stops singing and the lights go out, so does their praise.

So now we are sitting at the table of Black History Month. Excuse me Troy, could you pass me a little of that "Richard Allen".

Troy: Certainly Carey, btw, did you know his master was a kindly gentleman?

Carey: You're kidding me?

Troy: Nope, he let Richie buy his freedom.

Carey: Are you talking about the son of Miss Maddie and that one cracker... I mean Quaker, Benjamin Chew?

Troy: YES! You do know that he was instrumental in establishing the African Methodist Episcopal Church?

Carey: Really? Is that why we are now called African Americans?

Troy: I think so.

Carey: Okay Troy, if you're so smart, who said "Too long have others spoken for us!"?

Troy: That's easy, Helen Keller.

Carey: That's funny Troy, pass me some of that John Brown Russwurn.

Troy: Okay Carey, but you better put some of this Cornish on it.

Carey: OH Yeah! We don't have but a month to grease like this so you know I'm gonna throw down. So you're up on Samuel E. Cornish?

Troy: Nope, but it sounds good.

Carey: Hey Troy, do we have any sweets?

Troy: Boy, are you serious? Don't you see that Josephine "the" Baker?

Carey: But Troy, I am looking for some real soul food. I don't see any dirty rice or Condoleezza Rice? I like my Louis "Rich" Farrakhan slow smoked in some Tiger Woods.

Troy: That's not slave food! Be quiet, white folks get riled up when you mention those delicate morsels.

Carey: Do we have a bunch of greens?

Troy: No, we do not, but if you promise not to tell anyone, we have some Ralph Bunche. I bet you don't know anything about that?

Carey: Well Troy, your eyes may shine and your teeth my grin, but that's not slave food... so it's a sin. Look Troy, somebody might come in here and ask us for the right answers. I mean, if they ask us what we are eating and we say Muhammed Ali instead of William Wells Brown, we could be in big trouble. What are they gonna say when we are licking our fingers and soppin' up some Barack Obama? Look at you, wipe that Colin Powel off your face. Am all for a little adventure but I'm trying to stay at the table. Remember, we only have a month.

Troy: Carey, you're right. Try some of this Frederick Douglas. After you slam that down, we are going to get ugly on some of that Thumper.

Carey: THUMPER! Is that slave food? I think I've seen that over at Mr Johnson's house.

Troy: You're silly, Carey. I was trying to tell you that Thumper is bringing his Red Velvet Cake.

Carey: I know you're not talking about the Wizard of Books & Movies? You can't be becuase er'body knows that boy don't know nothing about cooking. Hurry, call him and tell him to bring some slave food. Ask him if he has any William Wells Brown.

Troy: You're probably right. Maybe I should tell him to bring some music.

Carey: ARE YOU NUTS?! You know Thump doesn't play anything but Aretha Franklin and Etta James.

Troy: Well, what wrong with that?

Carey: Come on Troy, stop thinking like a mental midget. First, when Thumper starts playing Aretha's "Jump To It", you don't want to see him do his Mr Brown. That's some ugly mess. Besides, this is a slave celebration. We need some of that moaning music.

Troy: OuuuuWeeeee Carey, have you tried some of this Isaac Murphy? You know that's slave food. It has something to do with horses.

Carey: Yuck! Cats eat horse meat. But I do love me some Isaac Hayes. You know, "by the time I get to Phoenix"

Troy: If you don't stop running your mouth, by the time this month is over, we will be looking real stupid, cuz we'll be real hungry.

Carey: I don't know what "we" are going to do, but am going to buy me some books.

Troy: Book?! Do you know how to read?

Carey: Oh, you got jokes. Of course I know how to read. I've been reading about Oprah and ...

Troy: Hush your mouth boy! Here, put some of this Harriet Tubman in your mouth. Are you trying to spoil the party? Besides, you can't even put hot sauce on Oprah. That's already too strong. But we can always warm up some Harriet Tubman. Yes sir, that's fine slave food.

Carey: You're right again ol'wise one. You did say "We all don't assimilate information the same way". But Troy, I've never seen much of this food that you are giving me.

Troy: Duh! That's why we are having this great feast. See Carey, negroes like you need to know this food exists. And you know what, white folks need a little bump of this too. They need to know every closed eye ain't sleep.

Carey: But Troy, the eat chitterlings too

Troy: Stop being stupid, Carey. They need to know they left a little cream in our coffee.

Carey: Yeah, and I hate that.

Troy: Well, we are the hate that hate created.

Carey: What?!

Troy: Eat boy, just eat. That's too deep for you. Keep your eye on that pig. You can't handle the truth. You'd probably gag on some prime rib.

Carey: Forget you Troy. I got your fat pig. You go right ahead and crame your face with a plate of T. Thomas Fortune cookies. I am going to buy me a double stack of books. Soon as my feet stike zion, am gonna lay down my heavy burdens, I'm gonna put on my robe in glory/ am gonna shout and tell my story/ am gonna tell him all about my struggles/ my soul looks back and I wonder how I got over.

Troy: No you didn't! Did you just try to drop the deal breaker? I mean, I've been to church and I recognize a gospel song when I hear one. So now you wanna bring God to the table. See Carey, God knows my heart.

Carey: Yes he does Troy, and he knows what you do... at all times!

Troy: What are you trying to say, Carey? Are you saying my heart is not in the right place, and that we shouldn't be filling up on slave food!

CareY: No, that's not what I am saying. Well, where is Thumper? Did he bring his old school music? I was going to put on Aretha. I love this line... "company is alright with me every once in awhile, but when me and my baby start making love" ... It's time for the slaves to move around.

Troy: I think I gotcha. Perhaps you are suggesting that the information be obtained from a book. If soe I'm all for that too.

Carey: Bingo Baby! Now you're cooking with Crisco. I am not Paul Harvey, but I want to hear the rest of the story. Er'bdy can't stand the truth. But I want to know what's really going on. Listen Troy, put down that pork chop and lend me your ear. I am not Big Red from the Five Heartbeats, and you are not their manager, but I am trying to put some money in yo pockets and some knowledge on your brain. I am tired-tired-tired of hearing regurgitated slave stories. I know some negroes like to wax poetically about days gone by, but What About A Time Called Now? Let the slave ship ride off into the sunset. Make my funk the P-Funk, I love to get funked up! I do not look in caskets. If I did, I'd be taking my eyes off the prize.

Pass the peas.


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I did not know you could do that with Thumb Nails.

Hey Carey that was pretty creative. But as the cliche goes if we forget the past we are doomed to repeat it. As the Jews say we must never forget.

We can move on but we can not, must not, forget our history, what little we still know... even if you are tired of hearing it.

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