Welcome to Native American Heritage Month 2016

I love this post!


nodapl #NoDAPL protests, 2016.

Welcome to Native American Heritage Month, which in the US is in November. During this month I try to do some posts having to do with Native America, particularly that of the US.

Here is my current working list of possible posts, listed in alphabetical order. There is no way I can do them all in a  month. I will be thrilled if I get ten of them done. If you have a suggestion, please add it in the comments below.

  • Aleut prison camps
  • Algonquian languages
  • Andrew Jackson
  • Attawapiskat First Nation
  • Aztecs
  • Bartolome de Las Casas
  • Cherokee Freedmen
  • Choctaws
  • Columbian Exchange
  • Crazy Horse
  • Dakota Access Pipeline (#NoDAPL)
  • Dead Indian Land
  • Doctrine of Discovery
  • Eastern Woodland
  • Leonard Peltier
  • Lumbee
  • maize
  • Manhattan: the 1500s
  • Manhattan: the 1600s
  • Mayan calendar
  • Munsee
  • Native Americans and police brutality
  • North America: the last 13,000 years
  • Pine Ridge Reservation
  • Seminoles
  • Two Spirit
  • UN Declaration on the…

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Zoot Suit Riots



The Zoot Suit Riots (1943) took place in Los Angeles and lasted for about a week. It started out as fighting between White US servicemen and pachucos, Mexican Americans who wore zoot suits. But soon Mexican, Black and Filipino Americans were being beat up whether they wore zoot suits or not. And Whites, some of them off-duty policemen, were helping the servicemen. Amazingly, no one was killed.

Zoot suits had a long jacket, wide lapels and baggy trousers with tight cuffs (pictured below). They were sometimes worn with a long chain and a wide-brimmed hat. It was a Black American fashion that soon became a Mexican American one.


Pachucos were Mexican Americans who wore zoot suits, listened to jazz, had their own slang, hairstyles, dances and so on. Their female counterparts were pachucas. Like many youth subcultures, it offered them an oppositional identity counter to their (square Mexican) parents and the (racist Anglo American) mainstream.

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“Maybe Wesley Morris could do a brief follow-up piece (or a bit of performance art?) on the subject of all the comments so far to his article. They make his point, and miss his point, in a way that is tragic because they simply do not hear. Or seem afraid. I’m sure part of it is simply inability to see/contemplate the human body in general, but much of it also has to do with refusing to accept or look head-on at how racism still shapes our culture, decades after abolition and the civil rights movement. They want this racism, and the intimate way it threads through our culture, to remain unspeakable. Triply ironic since, due to the fact that the slavery was so closely tied to rape, black and white Americans are not just fellow citizens but also biologically family, kin — we are deeply related.”- CS


So true, Sista Ann! Preach! Despite Trump’s hazing on nonblack POC, those groups will get their “gift of whiteness” sooner or later while keeping the foot on Black and Multiracial Blacks. One Drop Rule is still the rule despite multiculturalism.


The history and cruelties of racist white supremacy has been a long and entrenched part of the USofA for centuries.

The genocide of Native Americans, the race-based enslavement of Black Americans, the racial pogroms, banishment, massive rapes of Black women and girls as young as 7-,10-,12-years-of-age, the lynching spectacles of brutality (torturing-burning for hours and the keeping of body parts as souvenirs), the nightmare of 90 years of Jane Crow segregation, the evil and viciousness of anti-miscegenation laws against the legality and respect of marriages between different racial groups, the racial profiling, redlining, gerrymandering, racial restrictive covenants, the illegal subprime loans————those are just a few of the hells this so-called nation has committed against millions of people.

Then along came the following directive issued in 1977 that was supposed to be a start to remedy the effects of this long history of racial subjugation.

The Office of Management and Budget…

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Sophia Nelson’s Views on IR

Sophia Nelson has written an article regarding society’s pushing IRs on Black women:

“My nieces (the apple of my eye) are the product of a black father (my brother) and a white mother. Sure, my preference in life was always to marry a black man, and to see my brother with a black woman. That is normal. I think all of us if we are honest envision that we will marry someone who is most like us in terms of our culture, faith, values, and life goals. I always cringe when people are not honest that we are all basically raised to stick with our own kind. Particularly black women more than any group on the planet.”

“Lest I find my own Peter Edelman in the world (he is the white, Jewish husband of legend Marian Wright Edelman, Children’s Defense Fund) who understands my unique journey and responsibility as a black woman in America. They married in the 1960s–at a time when black marriage was illegal in the south. She hailed from Mississippi and he worked for RFK in the Justice Department. They are married still. I believe they are soul-mates, in part because he was/is an active participant in her fight for justice, equality, and liberation for poor children in America. Very rare to find a white man who can marry a sister like that and support her 100%.

‘But I must say that I have evolved on this issue in a deeply personal way over the past year, so much so that it surprises even me. I have realized that black men and women need to RETURN to one another, UNDERSTAND one another, and HEAL with one another. It is time for us to LOVE one another and BUILD our families. It is a national tragedy that so many beautiful, kind, loyal, and good black women are being left to live alone and die alone. It is the root cause of so much pain, hardship and brokenness for sisters everywhere. Much of it caused by damaging stereotypes and myths about who black women are.’

Our ancestors paid such a price for us to get to this point. Our black grandmothers and grandfathers endured hate, cruelty, and hardship so that we could have better for our children. Yet, so many of us confuse integration with assimilation. And that is a problem. Sisters don’t be deceived dating a white man is not the silver bullet cure all for what ails you. They are men still. Fraught with challenges, opinions, and all the normal guy stuff. And if you choose to date or marry one, be forewarned that you will spend a lot of time dealing with hair questions (why don’t you wash it everyday, why don’t you swim, etc.), family questions, cultural issues, why this and why that. You will be asked to “get over” the black stuff–and you will be challenged that your view of the world as a black woman is somehow not reality and that you are “making it up”. Interestingly, you will not have many questions because you have to be black in a white world everyday. YOU GET IT! The challenge is he often WILL NOT!

Or like Halle Berry found out some will have issues with their kids being called “black” when they are 50% white. Like Halle, I believe in the 1 drop rule–I did not invent that rule–America did–white men did. Just saying.

My point is this–yes, there are 1.8 million more black women than men. Yes, there are more women than men on the planet. So??? People are still happily dating, marrying and thriving in love. I just am a bit concerned that the purported solution to our problems as black women now is said to be “dating a white boy”. I disagree. Black love is still alive and well. How ironic that black women would turn to white men for love and comfort after our journey began here 400 years ago being raped, dishonored, and owned by white men. I know that no-one wants to go there. But we need to go there sisters. We need to take our definition as “woman” back and heal ourselves so we can love our men, and they can love us in return (yes they need to heal too and they have issues too!). This is far more complicated that we want to deal with.

The key is do we have the courage to work at it–and realize that we have so much to give one another before we all run off and say I need a white man, white woman, brown man, brown woman, red one, yellow one, whatever. Conquer YOU first and the rest will follow.”

It’s very ironic that mainstream media is pushing IRs on Black women, given our painful history. When we push back against it, we’re being called “racist”, or “bigoted”, blind to their own prejudices. They just project their longstanding racism/ethnocentricism onto us, scapegoating us while they believe in their arrogance and lies with ease.

Statement from Author & Women’s Advocate Sophia A. Nelson, Esquire:

A new book written by Stanford University Professor Ralph Richard Banks titled, Is Marriage for White People? How the African American Marriage Decline Affects Everyone (in stores this September) is causing quite the stir.   The provocative, headline-grabbing book (ironically inspired by former DC school teacher Joy Jones about her conversation with an African-American sixth-grader who suggested that marriage was in fact for white people) uses United States Census Bureau Data to analyze marriage patterns and trends of “middle class blacks”.   The book comes to the controversial conclusion that black women (professional upwardly mobile black women being the most affected group by the so-called marriage gap) should turn away from black men and instead marry out-side of their race (emphasis on turning to white men).

Let me be unequivocal as someone who just wrote a top-selling, award nominated non-fiction book (riddled with groundbreaking never before done research and expert analysis) about the lives of 21st Century black women (which included black men in that research as well as white men and women, Latinos) that Professor Banks is just dead wrong in his analysis and conclusions. There is NO silver bullet for Black Women in America to address the “marriage gap”-“wealth gap”-“health gap”-“love gap”-“Wellness gap”-“Career gap”. PERIOD. Dating white men, is the least of what will save us as black women and give us the fulfilling lives we seek.

Bank’s book like many others before it, once again uses a provocative title, that draws the attention of the mainstream white media, major news outlets and radio to signal that something is broken and amiss with black love, black relationships and black families.   It is not. In our study a full 33% of black men and women were happily married, thriving, raising their kids and building lives together.   The truth is this: There can be no meaningful analysis of marriage trends between black men and women without dealing with the total experience of black people in this new generation and over the past 40 years.

What ails black women, is what ails all of us in the black community.   Lack of financial resources to help our families, lack of equal opportunity in the workplace, lack of self love and care, lack of spiritual connectedness, lack of healing, lack of forgiveness, and lack of belief in ourselves that we can be together as black men and women, build families, and build communities as our ancestors did under the pain of slavery, Jim Crow, and the Civil Rights era.   The majority of us in the black community are not middle-class and not well educated.   And Banks is right to consider what is going on with those of us who are in the “professional” class.   My book, like Bank’s book narrowly focuses on the black educated middle class (for me it was women) because it seems to be the demographic struggling most with healthy dating, lifestyles, and marriage. Professional black women are the most talked about, studied, and ironically invisible group of women in the United States.

Where Banks goes amiss is that, unlike what I wrote in“Black Woman Redefined” he does not get to the WHY black relationships may be in peril, and he does NOT offer a real tactical and meaningful way OUT of the situation at hand for black men and women.   This is where we part company.


1. Our families and children are at stake and although I write in chapters four and five of my book   that black women must indeed expand our dating options ( I am in love with someone Male and Caucasian)-I am not prepared to, nor would I ever suggest that we should “abandon” black men, lower our standards, date “beneath” ourselves, or worse.


2. To suggest that we do so means we are giving up on 400 years of history and I cannot sign on to that.


3. Moreover, to suggest that if sisters date out the race, brothers will come running back to us is silly at best.   Our issues as black women must be addressed outside of whatever is going on with black men.


4.   Fact: we as black women despite our many successes are still trying to deal with low self-image, anger issues, sexual abuse and abandonment issues with our fathers, obesity, depression, and more that runs much deeper than what Banks is peddling for his 15 minutes of fame and media attention.


If the black community wants to have a serious discussion about how we care for, tend to, and heal our broken relationships, family structures and the like, Black Woman Redefined and a host of other well written, positive, affirmational, instructional books are the place that discussion can and should begin.   As for Professor Banks, I am disappointed that someone with so much to offer is offering our children and young people an outlook that is bleak, negative, and damaging to the future of the black family.

 Sophia A. Nelson, Esquire is a journalist and author of the new non-fiction book, “Black Woman Redefined: Dispelling Myths and Discovering Fulfillment in the Age of Michelle Obama (Benbella May 2011).

I could go on and on about women like my white ex-sister in law and her white father: who suggested I should be sued when I wrote “Black Woman Redefined” in May 2011, because I dared to put a photo (with copyright permission from the famed photographer) of me and my two bi-racial (black nieces) with me in a chapter that I devoted to them, so that one day when they grew up to be black women (and they will no matter how much the white side of their family doesn’t like it) they would have a road-map, a tool to help them navigate being a black woman in America.
Those same two nieces (now 17 and 13) are now forbidden to see my black mother (their paternal grandmother) and I, as their mother is divorcing my black brother. And she has alienated the children systematically from him and us in a most vicious way.  Even in our own families, as black women, when our brothers marry white women, we are expected to cater to them and be “nice”. Not offend or upset their delicate nature. All while they can disregard, be rude, be unkind, and consistently remind us of the fact that we should suppress our blackness and deny our culture.


History’s repeating itself.


Unknown to many citizens of this so-called nation, is one of the most un-well-known coup d-etats that occurred on American soil.

Another coup d’état, among many, had also occurred in Colfax, Louisiana on  Easter Sunday, April 13, 1873.

The second-most known coup e’tat took place in Wilmington, North Carolina.

In 1896, Republican bi-racial coalition government of Blacks and Whites held offices in the city of Wilmington. Racist white supremacist Democrats hungered to bring this legitimately elected government down and put in its place an illegitimate government in their fear of a supposed “negro domination” government. In 1894, Ben “Pitchfork” Tillman, who uttered demonic venom towards Black political suffrage,  exhorted the blood-thirsty racists:  “Be a white man, or be a nigger, you have got to make a choice!”, epitomized White male fear of racial and gender anxiety of the bi-racial government so much that the Democrats used political violence and intimidation to bring down the legitimate…

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Joseph Kahahawai

Evil travesty of justice that fueled the need for statehood so that future injustices won’t happen. RIP Joseph Kahahawai.


joe-kahahawaiJoseph Kahahawai, Jr (1909-1932), a Native Hawaiian American boxer, was accused of raping Thalia Massie, a White woman. He was shot dead in what the White press called an honour killing. The Massie Affair was huge news across the US in 1932.

On the night of Saturday September 12th 1931 in Honolulu, Hawaii, Thalia Massie told police she had been raped by four or five men. It was clear that someone had beat her up. But since it was pitch dark and she was drunk, she did not know what the men looked like. The only thing she could remember about their car was a flapping top.

Meanwhile, Kahahawai and four of his friends were out drinking and nearly got into a car accident. In the argument that followed Kahahawai slapped a Hawaiian woman, who then called the police. Their car had no flapping top.

After Kahahawai’s…

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Vern’s Venting: Convenient Outrage

Ain’t it sad.



By Lavern Merriweather

I can’t even begin to tell you how many times I have gotten into arguments with people on YouTube and elsewhere on the web about crime statistics. Many white folks love to whine and complain that it’s us black folks who commit more crime, because we have an overwhelming conviction rate. When I politely remind them that the race of the people who are judges, lawyers and juries has a lot to do with that, I either get crickets or a defensive attitude.

The picture up top is of a loser named Brock Allen Turner. Turner, an all-American jock, raped a girl recently at a party on the grounds of his college Stanford University. The girl was said to be drunk and unconscious giving Turner free access to have his way with her. If not for the heroic acts of two Swedish foreign exchange students, Turner would…

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Over at Rachel’s Tavern, she has put up a post discussing how whites bestow “honorary whiteness” upon black people,  http://www.rachelstavern.com/?p=876

She states the following:

Personally, I think there are big gender differences in whites willingness to view blacks as “honorary whites”-I think black men are much more likely to get honorary white status than black women. I have a hard time articulating why I think this in 2 sentences or less. Broadly speaking I think it is related to the double discrimination that black women face, but I think there are other reasons, which we could expand on in this discussion.”

I responded:

Black males receive it (honorary whiteness) more than black females.

Black women facing both sexism from BOTH black and white men, as well as men of other races.

Black women are looked at as less capable (sexism) because they are women, add to that the racism…

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Vern’s Venting: Whiteness Will NOT Be Mocked

Preach, Mama Vern! That essay is so right on the money. They can demonize Black men without consequence, but knives are out when any of us criticize, or joke when it comes to evil deeeds of White men.


By Lavern Merriweather:

At this year’s Cannes film festival, a French comedian named Laurent Lafitte made a disparaging comment about noted director Woody Allen. In reference to sex abuse allegations of his adopted daughter Dylan that have recently resurfaced, Lafitte made a rape joke. He even compared Allen to the other kiddie rapist director Roman Polanski.

Well, his daring, unflinching humor upset actress Blake Lively, the star of Allen’s latest movie. Blake berated Mr. Lafitte for being tasteless and said his joke was offensive.

Now, I have a whole host of reasons why I think that Blake can seriously shove it up her perfectly tone ass.

The main one is that Allen is a public figure and has been one for some time. So, he is fair game. On top of that, the guy’s behavior is just flat out weird and creepy, no matter how many people want to be his…

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