Friday, February 4, 2011


Quick... Rabbi Marvin Hier? What, his name is not on the Who's Who of great black leaders? Well, of course not. How about Simon Wiesenthal, have you heard of him? Of course you have... I think? Rabbi Marvin Hier is the Dean and Founder of the Los Angeles based, Simon Wiesenthal Center.

But Carey, what does that have to do with Black History Month?
Well, I can show you better than I can tell you. Come on, I'm gonna take you by a friend's house. He's actually a turtle but lets listen in on a conversation between him and The Wizard. There they are over there, over there by that Wishing Well.

*Hush up, be quiet, listen*

Wizard: "Twizzle Twazzle Twizzle Trone, time for this one, to come home"

Little Wannabe Turtle: *yelling* "Help me Mr. Wizard... Mr. Wizard, MISTER WIZARD!"

Wizard: "How many times I tell you? Be just what you is and not what you is not. Those that do this, are the happiest lot"

Listen, the turtle had a propensity to ride off on journeys that could be called "Fool's errands". He once found himself defenseless in the face of a fire breathing dragon. All his fantasies sounded real sweet -in the books - they also looked real good. But he soon found out that there's nothing like the real thang.

Wizard: "Come on good buddy, we're taking a trip"

Little Tudor Turtle: "Where are we going?"

Wizard: "We are going to Black History"

Little Tudor Turtle: You mean black history month?
Wizard: Actually there's noo such thing as "black history" month, so come along.
Turtle: "Wait, I already know about the peanut and the spook who sat by the door. I mean, last years, during Black History Month, we learned about Lorraine Hansberry and Adam Clayton Powell."

Wizard: "Well my bumpy shelled little friend, Lorraine Hansberry did not write "The Spook That Sat By The Door". So come along, I think you and a few other people (Negroes) need a little schooling... I think you need the real thang.

Little Turtle: Wait, that's by Marvin Gaye & Tammy Terrel... "ain't nothing like the real thang baby"

Wizard: See, that's what's wrong with some Negroes. They know all there is to know about sport and play, and can sing like the birds, but are they passing down the real thang?

Turtle: But Mr. Wizard, what's this real thang that you keep talking about?

Wizard: Shut your mouth and you might learn something. Look at those happy-go-lucky Negroes over there. Down there, sitting at that round table.

The scene shifts to a room full of black faces. It's an auditorium filled with youth and their parents. On the stage, at a chalk board, a young black kid hurries to write a name...

He can be heard saying the letters as he meticulously forms their outline.

Black kid: "T.H.E T.U.S.K.E.G.E.E A.I.R.M.E.N."

The Crowd: "That's right!" "That's my son!" "Tell the truth Boy" "That boy is smart!"

After a series of questions, another black youth is seen standing at the chalk-board.

He begins: "W.I.L.L.I.A.M W.E.L.L.S B.R.O.W.N"

The Crowd: "SAY IT LOUD BOY!" "Oh shit, we gotta battle now" "Oh lawd, dem boys knows what they talkin' bout"

The little turtle is excited because he had never heard of many of the championed black heroes. But the Wizard had seen enough. The Wizard had seen history in all it's ugliness. Consequently, he thought those jovial Negroes, those image conscience leaders of the black race, needed a taste of the real thang. With a crisp movement of his magical wand, he appeared on stage in front of the mesmerised and stunned crowd.

Wizard: "Hear Ye, my mislead black friends. Black History Month should be just what it is and not what it's not. Negroes that know the real truth, is the happiest lot. And, btw, that's a lot"

Crowd: "Get outta here you crazy white man. We are free to do as we please"

Little Tudor Turtle: "Come on Wiz, lets get out of here, they're all hyped on that Jeopardy game of "Name That Negro". And see, I can understand their disdain because I don't know what you are trying to say, either.

Wizard: "Do you remember the name Simon Wiesential? Well, he was a Nazi Hunter. Today... TODAY, I am talking about the retched inhumanity of slavery. See, the Jewish community didn't spend their time and money on feel good board games. They didn't have time for that nonsense. They built a center that sees over 1/2 million visitor a year! It was founded to challenge visitors to confront bigotry and racism and to understand the Holocaust in both historical and contemporary context. They know they can't afford the luxury of ever forgetting the REAL thang. The American Negro is tranquilized. They rest with their bellies full of special holidays and passes to the good neighborhoods and good government jobs and good straight hair and light skin"

Little Misguided Tudor Turtle: Please Mr. Wizard, you're making me feel uncomfortable. Besides, slavery wasn't as bad as the Holocaust, so we should just let it go. If I was a slave...

The Wizard: "Hold it right there, the Jews were some of the first slaves and I am going to let you have your wish. I am going to take you back to the shores of Africa. I'm going to be with you, but you will not be able to see me, but you will be able to hear me. When you have a problem, speak to me and I'll respond"

Little Turtle: "BUT!"
The Wizard: But nothing, lets go.

The little turtle has again made his move too soon. The wizard waved his magic stick and the turtle was off to Africa. We see he's a proud king standing over his flock. He's in the Congo. It's a hot and humid summer day. He hears a cry from far off in the brush. Then the scene changes. We hear the voice of the little turtle.

Little Turtle: *yelling* "Mr Wizard!" "Mr Wizard!"

Wizard: "Be quiet my son, there's nothing you can do now. You're in the bottom of a dark and dank slave ship"

Little Turtle: "But where is my father?" "Where is my mother?"

Wizard: "It doesn't matter now, you will never see them again. Conserve your energy and hold on to life. How do you feel?"

Confused Little Turtle: "My back is on fire and there's an awful smell around me"

Wizard: "That smell is death! That man chained next to you died several days ago. The man laying above you is dying of dysentery. That substance on your chest and the rest of your body, is his bowel movement, and the feces of several slaves in the tiers above him. Lay still, that pain in your back is your flesh being rubbed off by the movement of the ship. Please hold on. Only one third of you will make it through this middle passage. You are not even half way there. STAY ALIVE!"

Turtle: "But where am I, and where am I going?"

Wizard: "you are in a place that some would call a living hell, and you are traveling to an evil land"

Hundreds of days later

Weak and dying little Turtle: "Mr. Wizard, why have we stopped and what is that sound hitting the ship?"

Wizard: "You have arrived at your new home. It is a place called America. You are a slave. You are chattel that will soon be owned by an exploiter of black humans. Your wife is on another ship. Your sister died in the middle passage. While your brother was being lead to the top deck of his dungeon, he jump into the sea. He could no longer bare his pain. You may never see your wife again. It's possible that she may not want to ever see you again, because she will be raped and brutalized by her new slave masters. The product of those brutal attacks, her children by her new master, will also be slaves to be sold, or to be used to produce more slaves. Those sounds that you hear outside of the ship, are the bodies of slaves that were thrown overboard from several miles out to sea. They died in the final leg of the journey and their bodies have drifted inland. The Governor of the state of South Carolina is appalled at the sight of those bodies. Not because of the death of humans but because of the stench of the bodies floating in his harbor"

Suffering Little Turtle: "OH HELP ME LORD, I don't want to be a slave anymore! How many are like me? How many of my people have died"

Wizard: "You asked how many have died on this journey? MILLIONS! This has been going on for hundreds of years. The Holocaust lasted a few years. There will be a severe price to pay for your freedom, if you ever achieve it!"

Turtle: "I will run, I'd rather die trying to gain my freedom, than to live a life that's less than a dog's"

Wizard: "Run then, when you get a chance, run, and may God be with you"

Several years later, the little turtle that wanted to be a slave is seen withering in pain. He tried to escape his bondage.

Turtle: "Mr. Wizard, what is this pain!? What is happening to me"

The Wizard: "You have been branded like cattle with hot irons for your repeated attempts to run to freedom"


The little turtle is seen holding on to life. He has been castrated for his last attempt at freedom. Other slaves are seen hanging from tree with their genitals stuffed in their mouths. Word has spread that hundreds of freed black are being burned at the stake for a protest in the State of New York. However, the resilience, courage and spirit of the black man can not be broken. Angola Warriors started an uprising on the coastline of South Carolina. They tried to make it to a free colony in the State of Florida. They failed, all were killed.

Wizard: "Twizzle Twazzle Twizzle Trone, time for this one, to come home. "How many times I tell you? Be just what you is and what you is not. Those that do this (people and turtles) are the happiest lot"

The Little Turtle and the Wizard sat down for a long conversation. The wizard explained to the turtle that some Negroes believe they have arrived and thus, feel no need to pass down the real thang. They are content with their month of celebration and have forgotten their real past struggles. They's rather dress to impress and win the big prize that goes along with knowing that famous black negro. The Jewish community has places like the Simon Wiesenthal Center. The Black American has the NAACP and Black History Month.
I am suggesting that although Black History Month highlights many great accomplishments of African Americans, our true gains/rewards can be attributed to many that are left off the championed list of who's who, or at the very least, there stories are minimized to a safe a sanitized version. Truth be told, it wasn't Martin Luther King who inspired the USA to change some of it's evils, it was individuals like Malcolm X, Angela Davis and The Black Panthers. Never in the history of mankind has the oppressor relinquished it's stronghold on the oppressed without violence or the treat of it. On another note, how many blacks know the whole story of Dred Scott and Marcus Garvey? I wonder how many people know that Dred Scott was sent back to slavery, and how Marcus Garvey was stopped by being sent to prison on a bogus charge? Black History Month does not tell the whole story. It should be renamed to Uncle Sam's rendition of black history: The Edited Version - The Safe Way.


Big Mark 243 said...

Didn't some white people get together and start the NAACP? They may have been well meaning and all, but when as a collective people you cannot advocate on your own behalf, you are doomed to a second class status, if that.

This is actually in my strike zone, but I am in a little bit of discomfort and can't talk like I want to. But the middle passage was like an indoctrination for the eventual seasoning in the West Indies and the perfected dehumainzation that was slavery in

The 'Willie Lynch speech' pretty much describes what the lasting effects of slavery has meant to black Americans. From the self-loathing to asinine practice of dividing ourselves along shades of blackness, we give up the idea that we have 'suffered' when we have all this good stuff falling from the table to gorge ourselves on...

Anonymous said...

Another example of preaching to the choir? The people who need to read this as a reminder are not the ones who will read this blog post, I guarantee you.

It is important for us to teach/pass down our own history to the next generation. We cannot rely on others to do it for us. What I know about my history was either from my parents or my own research. In school, black history did not get even a cursory glance.

CareyCarey said...

Mr Anonymous, it's unfortunate that you decided to comment under a hidden name. I wanted the pleasure of having you backup your gaurantee.

First, the most vicious virus known to man is a negative thought. It spreads it's root in the mind of the receiver and thus he spreads it to another. In a sense, the same can be said about a positive thought.

Now, over the last year, thousands have visited this blog. They've come from every state in this United States and over 40 different countries. And now you are here. Consequently, although you may view this post as preaching to the choir, I know a few visitors have carried "the message" forward. And, several people have hit my e-mail to talk about the specifics of one post or another.

I don't know if you've read many of my postings but this is what I consider a personal blog, in that I share much of my life journey. In doing so, it's my hope that if I am honest and open about my struggles and my rewards (personal self discovery), someone might be able to relate to one of my "journeys" and in such, it may give them an insight to how they can handle a similar situation. So, my suggestion to you, Mr anonymous, is to dig a little deeper before you make such an ambiguous statement. In fact, I am inviting you to read my posts "babies mommas drama" and "for over 80,000 days there has been a white man in the white house" and "they were much more than coon" and my latest: "Kingfish 20ll" and "They're blowing smoke up your ass- one more time". After you do, come back and we'll talk.

@ Mark, yes, The NAACP was largely funded by whites. That's a whole new discussion. And I agree, there's much to be said concerning the dividing of ourselves along MANY MANY lines.

Maxine said...

You might be rightCarey. Maybe it should be black NOW month :)

Anonymous - you never know who might stumble in here and get educated!

Madam Z said...

Carey, your story of the "Wizard" and "Turtle" is spellbinding. It's almost beyond belief that human beings could be so horribly cruel to one another. Whether through the Holocaust or slavery, the suffering that the victims endured is horrifying. NEVER AGAIN!