What is the Black Church’s Responsibility?

You’ve probably heard of the latest uproar in our community concerning the black church. Recently, Presidential hopeful Donald Trump hosted a; well let’s not even give it a name. The billionaire who is seeking the Republican Party’s nomination to run for President of the United States in 2016 had chosen few Black Pastors to attend a meeting. The Nov 30th meeting billed as “Donald Trump meets with Coalition of African-American Ministers. It went on to name some of the most media-visible pastors and added, “Live from Trump Towers.” The public was offered several ways to watch this gathering. To keep it fair, I understand those invited were not all Trumps supporters. Some chose to go just to see what this particular candidate had to say or how he would address problems in our communities.

If I’d known about the event beforehand would I have watched on TV? No, because I already know Donald Trump. What I know of him, his politics over the last few years is enough for me to pay no attention to him.

From all I’ve read and surmised Trump was at best seeking an endorsement and at the very least seeking and bringing attention to his campaign. The question on the table was there for the consumption of those watching as well as those in attendance.  Would this event show or make him a viable candidate that could attract the vote of the black community?  A tall order given the rhetoric he has spouted the last few months.

Right after the meeting, a few pastors found the microphones of an eager national media. They wasted no time in stating what a wonderful meeting it was and how they had met a man that was true to his convictions, etc., etc. One of two went so far as to say, we need to take another look at Trump as he is not who he is portrayed to be in the media. At that the black community yawned.

Upset at the entire spectacle, Baltimore Poster, Reverend Jamal Bryant was quoted as stating about those in attendance, “ They are prostituting themselves and, in essence, the black church.”  A couple of ministers who attended were a guest on Roland Martin’s TV1 News One Now show. Martin, who thought the entire meeting was “a waste of time”, asked his guest if there were any relevant substance gained from the meeting. In short the collective answer was no.

Some in social meeting took this incident to ask a potent question. What is the black church responsibility in our community?  As it always is in social media, opinions were all over the place with most upset at the pastors for allowing themselves to be a pawn in Trumps media circus. People posted their opinions on Facebook and other social sites. Most of the comments centered on the role of the church. Again, it’s a question that concerns me as both a community advocate and church member in my little town.

I don’t pretend to speak for anybody but myself in any written matters. But…just for the record, the church is not the police department. In response to some who think the church should do what to the drug dealers and other criminals in the community? The church is made up of community people and as such goes about trying to follow the word of God as noted in the Bible.

The real question for those who always seem to overstate the church’s responsibility is what should the community do about the dealers and criminals in their midst? Whenever and wherever that questions answered, then the community could seek the church’s assistance in developing programs and assistance for those in need of services that are no longer available because of political or financial reasons.

But the bottom line, the church is in the business of saving souls, Hands on Biblespreading the word of God, and providing a place for its members and all who want to worship. I would imagine if you ask any pastor, they would tell you it’s a full-time job just keeping their members entrenched in the word of God. Pastors, Deacons and Ministries are there to assist or provide the tools and interpretation of the Bible parishioners require to be saved and act as a good Cristian. Anything outside of actions that meet those goals is either a bonus from the church or what one would call extra curriculum activities. I have no problem with any pastor advocating his members to exercise their right to vote in all elections. The clergy can implore our cooperation and discussion with city, county, state and even national political offices to facilitate improvement within our community.

There is always going to be a Pastor, Preacher, or Evangelist, who goes outside of what they are supposed to be in the name of God. Every week or so, there are questions in my mind as to how some supposed man of God can justify their belief in Jesus Christ while spouting viewpoints that goes against the word of God. In the end, they are human and have their agenda when it comes to most of their actions and rhetoric.

More importantly to me, is the fact that some in the black community who are so very quick to criticize our churches role don’t belong to a church. Nor do they even attend a church in any community.  Do You want to find out the churches role, get more involved in your community church? All you need to do is attend a church of your choice, join and become involved in the church business.

There is no doubt the church can have a tremendous effect on their community. But also, keep in mind that the church is comprised of members of your community. Your church pastor serves at the members convenience.

Any church will do their members bidding if enough of the members make it a priority. At least, they will do it in the disguise of their mantra. So as for that little performance by Donald Trump or any candidate that is looking for the black vote, the church is a great place to troll for votes.

On the other hand, any prominent clergyman or woman can suggest endorsing a candidate for its members. The vote is still up to each and every member. And just as there are black Republicans and you wonder why given their rhetoric over the years. Some black person will back some idea, cause or individual that makes you wonder if anybody is home in their brain. And you can bet their action will lead off Fox News and all the ultra-conservative media spots. But that is really old news by now. We all know what side our bread’s buttered on as the old folks use to say.

Peace, make it a day in which Jesus Christ would be proud of you,

 

Codis Hampton II

Follow Hamp at https://twitter.com/#!/HampTwo   

Subscribe to this blog at  http://wp.me/p65rCa-6N

Join us at the live broadcast of our bimonthly BTR Shows at http://www.blogtalkradio.com/hampscornerofamerica

“In my latest book, Remember Moz, Gracie & John Hampton’s First-Born, I wanted to tell the world about a unique individual. Not because he happened to be my father but to explain who he was, where he came from, and how he evolved into the man he became up until his death. In doing so, I wrote of his ancestor’s roots back to and through the Civil War. The inclusion of his birth and upbringing in the heart of Arkansas, or Jim Crow country, add southern reluctance to learn why our country involved itself in a bloodthirsty four-year exercise in the first place? Then you begin to understand why, our parents behaved the way that they did. See if I captured the essence of this paragraph.” Get the book via the Authors Page at http://outskirtspress.com/webPage/isbn/9781478766056

Or visit my Amazon.com Authors page at http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B017TYFKBI?ref_=pe_1724030_132998070

 

Our Parent Company and sponsor is CHIIA Group, online at https://hcofa.net/

 

 

 

Copyright 2011 Codis Hampton II, all rights reserved. A bi-weekly blog for your enjoyment

What Am I Thankful For In 2015?

What am I thankful for on this Thanksgiving? Where do I start? First of all, I am thankful for being the child of Doreatha (Childs) and Codis Hampton. Two people whom I dearly loved and will miss through eternity. And my heavenly father for placing me in their care and guidance in the first place.

I am thankful for having such wonderful siblings as my sisters, Delores, Carol, and stepsister, the late Johnny Mae. And let me not forget my little brother James Edward. I was the oldest and should have been the most responsible, but forgive me when I strayed to the dark side in my late teenage and young adult age.

That was a period when all five feet four of me thought to be cold blooded, hardcore and tuff was a prescription for survival in this country. The streets of Milwaukee called for guile, cunning, a bad attitude and short fuse. At least that is what I thought at the time. The first words out of my mouth to anyone who disagreed with me on any subject was F_ _ _ you, followed by I will kick your M-F A_ _. It made no difference if the guy was 5’4” 140lbs or 6’4” 250 lbs. My only suggestion to the person was to bring a lunch because it’s going to be an all-day fight to the finish. I won some and lost others. In fact, have you ever seen a group of different size dogs on the street or in a yard? The smallest runt of the pack is always barking the loudest, jumping up and down. The others may not even bark, but that runt is lunging at you as you walk by and seems to want to tear one of your limbs off your body. I was that runt.

I was mad at the world, didn’t care who knew it and was not planning on passing the age of twenty-one. And if that was to come to pass, I was going down swinging at my foe.  Along the way, I found out a simple truth. It didn’t matter who won, my body still felt the pain from being in a fight. ThanksgivingAll praise is to God; I got over and lived through that phase. I also give thanks to a three-year service in the US Army which helped me mature in a manner I never knew existed for a black man in this country.

I’ll tell you some other people who knew what I was  learning the hard way. And that is my mother, father, grandmother, grandfather, uncles, Aunts and adult cousins. If I had listened to them in the first place, well…that phase in my life could have been spent more productive maybe resulting in a master degree in something or the other. I have no regrets. That is what it took for me to get to 2015. Now it’s just another reason for me to be thankful today.

I am grateful for having met my wife, Sandra along the way. For our children, Shawn Lynn, Richie and Brandon, now grown and finding their way in life, I am all so proud of their accomplishments. They are down to earth people who are real and see life as it is not through rose colored glasses. My wife and I tried to raise them in the way we were raised hoping they would be better and avoid some of our mistakes. The fact that they are alive and well is a blessing in itself.

Today, I can say; I have family and friends that I keep in contact with, some daily, weekly, others monthly, and yearly. There are friends and family I haven’t touched bases with in a while who know me well enough to know I still care and think about them. As in life, there have been disagreements with family and friends causing them to fall out of touch for whatever reason. They should know; I’m not a person who holds a grudge or harbor some dislike for them because of some incident between us. Thank God, I can say, I’m not that kind of person today. I have evolved and continue to do so. I am a better person than I was years ago, last year and several months ago, as I continue to work on me every day. I am certainly thankful for that.

Make no mistake about it. I go through what you all go through on a daily basis. We have to deal with rude and obnoxious people in the grocery store or other retail outlets. Making a phone call to a vendor while trying to correct their billing error can be challenging. Is it me, or am I correct in concluding that customer service is lacking at too many of our service industry companies these days?  Sometimes it’s as though the Human Resource Office in these companies have hired a staff of incompetent, uncaring, and impatient individuals to answer their phones and yet call themselves a customer service representative. Most of time, I feel I should send them an invoice for helping them do their job. You feel me? But then, over the years I’ve learned not to let a person or persons put me in a bad mood for the day. I deal with it at that time with that person and move on; it’s that simple. And for that change in my personality, I am thankful to Jesus Christ.

I am oh so thankful for the new people I am meeting in my life. Some of which, I have never personally met or seen, but often communicate by phone as if we’ve known each other for a lifetime. I’ve met most of these new friends and contacts in connection with my church, BTR Show, publication of books or my role as their tax preparer.

Every day many of these people or colleagues give me hope there is a better day coming for our people of color and communities across this nation. We share a common goal for the human race and specifically for the black race. These are people of all colors who demonstrate on a daily basis that they are community driven first rather than only seeking profit for their endeavors. It is these people, along with my upbringing that keeps me going and selfishly giving of my time for my community.

I am so thankful to my Savior for guiding me as I take the actions required to give and contribute in my way to our community.  To say that I’ve evolved into a good husband, father, citizen and black man in 2015 is an understatement in my view. I’ve found peace with myself, my God, my family, friends and everyone else. And for that, I am eternally thankful this Thanksgiving.  Happy Thanksgiving to you all, may you find the same type of contentment in your life.

Peace, make it a day in which Jesus Christ would be proud of you,

 

Codis Hampton II

Follow Hamp at https://twitter.com/#!/HampTwo   

Subscribe to this blog at http://wp.me/p65rCa-6t

Join us at the live broadcast of our bimonthly BTR Shows at http://www.blogtalkradio.com/hampscornerofamerica

“In my latest book, Remember Moz, Gracie & John Hampton’s First-Born, I wanted to tell the world about a unique individual. Not because he happened to be my father but to explain who he was, where he came from, and how he evolved into the man he became up until his death. In doing so, I wrote of his ancestor’s roots back to and through the Civil War. The inclusion of his birth and upbringing in the heart of Arkansas, or Jim Crow country, add southern reluctance to learn why our country involved itself in a bloodthirsty four-year exercise in the first place? Then you begin to understand why, our parents behaved the way that they did. See if I captured the essence of this paragraph.” Get the book via the Authors Page at http://outskirtspress.com/webPage/isbn/9781478766056

or visit my Amazon.com Authors page at http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B017TYFKBI?ref_=pe_1724030_132998070

 

 

Our Parent Company and sponsor is CHIIA Group, online at https://hcofa.net/

 

 

 

Copyright 2011 Codis Hampton II, all rights reserved. A bi-weekly blog for your enjoyment

Don’t Drink the GOP’s Brand of Government Kool-Aid

Every time there is a natural disaster who do we call for help? What about if some terrorist drop a bomb in New York City, other US land, or US presence via ship or whatever anywhere in the world? What happens if you need to regulate an industry from taking advantage of the common man and woman in the US Street? The point is that we look to our United States Government to solve those problems.

No one calls up Donald Trump, The Koch Brothers, Russ Limbaugh, or California’s Silicon Valley tech billionaires. In those instances, the only entity that can take on, address or solve those issues. And that is the United States Government. By the way, that is the same organization that wrote the rules of commerce those billionaires used to become wealthy.

As we enter this political election sphere leading up to the nomination and eventual election of a new president and members of Congress, we are confronted with the same concoction. I call it The GOP’s brand of Government Kool-Aid. You will probably recognize parts of the formula. The indigents are as follows,

Start with the base flavoring, one small package of ultra-conservative Sugar Substitute.

Add two tablespoons each of Super PAC Cash, Various Right-Wing Media, Erroneous Polls, Right-Wing Christians, Tea Party Rhetoric and Fox News. Make sure they are all lemon-lime flavored to give it that tangy taste.

Slice up a Secession Orange, only found in states like Texas, etc. to give it that States Rights wholesome flavoring.

Kool Aid - CopyPour in two gallons of plain water, top it off with a few ice cubes to make it a cool drink and serve at Media parties, election campaign offices, and to attendees at all political gatherings.

There should be a warning on the packaging of this concoction, but there isn’t. The warning would state; Beware of drinking this type Kool-Aid as it will destroy your compassion toward your neighbor, fellow US & world citizens and lead you to vote against your best interest.

Whatever speech uttered by one of their candidates always includes the two mantras of the Republican Party political platform, Govt. should not be in any private business affairs and States Rights overrule the US Govt. Rights. It’s a concoction they serve that works well all the time. A word of caution, avoid mixing any socialist ingredients otherwise you will ruin the batch.

I am saying this because in a little over fourteen months we are going to select another President, Vice President, members of the House of Representative, and Senators. Who we choose will have a definite impact on our country’s priorities. Will it be more governmental involvement where it should have oversight or no government involvement at all except to protect corporate interest? Will our president be a man or woman of the people or a corporate puppet? It’s just that simple.

Here is one very, very important note that you must remember. Whichever party is the majority in the House of Representatives and Senate runs that congressional body. That means they will run the agenda that their members vote on or bring up for a vote.

And the final piece of this important political process reviews to remember. The next president will have his pick of who will be the head of government agencies, i.e. The IRS, Social Security Department, Food and Drug Administration (FDA), etc. Those agencies act as the watchdog to protect you, the average citizen in the street. The question, which candidate do you think will serve your needs, or which one will serve corporate needs? Those are the issues in the next election.

And let’s not forget, in the case of a vacancy the president will make a recommendation as to who will sit on the Supreme Court. A reminder should be the 5-4 split on most decisions now favors the Republican Party. A show of hands…or think about it, who do you think the Republican Party represent? Don’t say what you heard on Fox News, CNN, or MSNBC. Who do you really think the Republican Party represent, given the actions they have taken in the House of Representatives over the last few years? How about the present Senate? Do you think they care about Black Lives Matter, Climate Control, Minimum Wage, Women’s or Equal Rights, or the Voting Rights Act? Look at what they have done, not what you hear on the news or your buddy tells you. How many of their sons and daughters have served in the military or fought in a war? They’ve had one theme going on over the last six years, Damn President Obama, the Antichrist and repeal Obama Care. Of which they have spent a lot of money telling you it’s a stupid law. They have no plan to replace it. And immigration, should I go on? Now do you see why I am asking you not to drink their brand of Government Kool-Aid?

For added measure, I am going to solicit help in articulating the following,

**RESPONSIBILITIES OF CITIZENSHIP

Citizens of the United States, it is clear, have a great many rights that give them freedoms all peoples hold dear: the freedom to think what they like; to voice those opinions, individually to their elected representatives or collectively in small or large assemblies; to worship as they choose or not to worship at all; to be safe from unreasonable searches of their persons, their homes, or their private papers. However, the theory of democratic government holds that along with these rights come responsibilities: to obey the laws; to pay legally imposed taxes; to serve on juries when called to do so; to be informed about issues and candidates; and to exercise the right to vote that has been won for so many through the toil and tears of their predecessors.

The responsibility that can make the most lasting difference, however, is getting involved in the political process. “Proponents of participatory democracy argue that increased citizen participation in community and workplace decision-making is important if people are to recognize their roles and responsibilities as citizens within the larger community,” says Craig Rimmerman, professor of political science, in his book The New Citizenship: Unconventional Politics, Activism, and Service. “Community meetings, for example, afford citizens knowledge regarding other citizens’ needs. In a true participatory setting, citizens do not merely act as autonomous individuals pursuing their own interests, but instead, through a process of decision, debate, and compromise, they ultimately link their concerns with the needs of the community.”

Tom Harkin, U.S. Senator from Iowa, says that the kind of activists who fueled the earlier civil rights, anti-Vietnam War, and environmental movements are now focusing their energies “closer to home, organizing their neighbors to fight for such issues as better housing, fair taxation, lower utility rates, and the cleanup of toxic wastes…. Cutting across racial and class and geographical boundaries, these actions have shown millions of people that their common interests far outweigh their differences. [For all of them], the message of citizen action is the same: ‘Don’t get mad, don’t get frustrated, don’t give up. Organize and fight back.”

         **VIRTUAL COMMUNITIES

Some concerned American voters have chosen to stay involved by being in touch with their elected officials, in particular, the president and their senators and representatives. They have written letters, sent telegrams, made telephone calls, and gone in person to the official’s office, whether in Washington or in the home state or district. During the past few years, however, a new medium of communication has burst upon the scene and given voters extraordinary power — the power to learn what is going on in their world, to comment on those events, and to work to change the things they don’t like. This medium is the Internet, the World Wide Web, the Information Superhighway. Whatever it is called, it is changing politics in America, rapidly and irrevocably.

** Source: U.S. Department of State, entitled ‘Government of the People: The Role of the Citizen.’

So the next time, you are having a debate with your family, neighbor, or friends, realize who is responsible for the individuals that represent us in Washington today. Indirectly, we are the Government. They represent us, so it is up to us to determine if this is the type of Government we want.

I am not advocating overthrowing the US Government. In fact just the opposite; I am saying more of us need to get involved with Government. Voting, Community organizing with the help of the Internet, demonstrating, letter writing, and phone calls to our personal and other US districts representatives always lead to action by the same. No matter what you might hear from uninformed or self-promoting political analyst, these tactics do work. It is the number of people that are advocating a particular idea that implement change for the better and all involved.

For the record, I’m not a fan of people storming the stage of an event, interrupting the speaker and shouting “What are you doing about our people getting shot by the various policemen around the country.” Yes, they should be confronted wherever feasible but not at a major speaking engagement. All you are doing is giving the other side ammunition to say…”I told you those people are crazy and violent.” Let’s be smart and efficient about our protest. And yes target Republicans, Democrats, and Independents. We need to hear more than a thirty second TV ad. And by all means, once they are elected, hold them accountable for their promises. We should press for fair-minded actions, not political party-speak that favors who donated to their campaign. The Constitution begins by stating “We the People, in order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, Insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, etc. etc.” You think they were trying to tell us something, give us a hint on how we as a society should behave?

Peace, make it a day in which Jesus Christ would be proud of you,

Codis Hampton II

Follow Hamp at https://twitter.com/#!/HampTwo   

Subscribe to this blog at http://wp.me/p65rCa-5h

Join us at the live broadcast of our bimonthly BTR Shows at http://www.blogtalkradio.com/hampscornerofamerica

Get my latest book, a collection of my Blogs/Articles from 1999 through 2014. It’s entitled The Episodic Thoughts of Hamp. Go to the following Authors page link for details. http://www.outskirtspress.com/webPage/isbn/9781478746232

Our Parent Company and sponsor is CHIIA Group, online at https://hcofa.net/

Copyright 2011 Codis Hampton II, all rights reserved. A bi-weekly blog for your enjoyment

Why Do We Rush To Get Everywhere?

Every now and then I remember the words of a class instructor from back in the day. I was attending a Semi-truck driving course in Plymouth Indiana. It was during the time when I was searching for any profession that would allow me to take care of my newly growing family as a married man. This class was one of a few I took hoping to land, as my father use to call them, “A good job.”

The instructor reminded us all as we prepared to get practice time behind the wheel of semi’s that particular day. He warned, “Remember this…there is an accident up the road. If you hurry, you can get in on it.”

Everybody is always in a hurry. They say, and I repeat, they say they don’t have time. Or the old standby, “Hurry up, I’m running late.” Most automatically add the word “again” to “I’m running late.” Do you notice we never seem to catch up? Frankly, I am not even sure if some of us would recognize what we were chasing if we caught up with it. If you are not careful, you may pass it moving so fast. You’ve heard the saying “Can’t see the Forrest for the trees.” And what is it? That, my friends, is the real question. What are we really chasing?

As youngsters, we were trying to get in all the playtime we could before our parents asked us to come into the house. We chased the opposite sex as teenagers. As young adults, sometimes our chase of that main squeeze became our number one priority with a career as number two. However the numbering, the chased took on a serious note. Because we were also chasing a standard of living, to live life the American way. You remember, “Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.”

And let’s say you, sooner rather than later, found them both and all that they encompass. With that being, a good mate, young children, a decent place to live, and a good paying job (or career) to support all those other things. Maybe you’ve been one of the fortunate who is a professional sports player or blessed as an entertainer. If not, and we are talking about today. Most households have both parents working to make ends meet. Whichever …you’ve finally made it. Now what, are you going to slow down, stop rushing all over the place? No…because now your nickname should be Mr. or Mrs. Paranoid. You remember how it use to be compared to how it is…and now your number one priority is to keep what you have. You have got to keep producing, rushing before somebody catch you and take some or all of those things away. Then there is the possibility that you may do something to lose one or more of the things that are currently making you happy. That is if you are happy. It’s difficult to be happy and paranoid at the same time.

There is safety and comfort in a family unit. At least it was back in the day. Today we are not spending as much time with each other as we have in the past. Teenagers are somewhat on their own whether one or both parents are at home. They tend to be self-absorbed with smartphones, tablets and talking with friends. Yet we, including them are still in-a-hurry and normally chasing something or the other. Mostly it’s ourselves because we’re constantly running out of time. Life does have an expiration date. We don’t know when but we do know it’s a certainty.

I remember prior to retirement I made punctuality part of my D&A. It was a fetish to get away from the term “Color People Time.” Now I find myself not being able to calculate how long it is going to take me to get to the freeway from my house. This, knowing the way that I drive, it’s not going to take me as long as some people to navigate my way through traffic. I might add that I am a defensive driver, not a reckless speeder. Defensive driving is another mindset I learn at the semi-truck driving school. Mind you, we are not talking about commute traffic. While in my car, I sometimes smile as I become impatient with a particular driver. In these cases, my mother would often yell at the same type driver, “I wish I’d known you own this street (or highway), I would not have come this way.”) So in retrospect, I am still in a hurry to make appointments on time.

The point is we don’t really have to hurry. If we take the time to give ourselves enough time to avoid being pressed for time. That would include timely appointments and the biggie…reaching a certain prosperous station in life. One thing that I have learned over the years is if there something for you…that God has in store. You will get it. It may not be in the time frame that you had in mind, but it will be there waiting for you whenever you get there. Our Father in heaven is not going to give someone else your blessing. He does not work that way.

Don’t get me wrong. I am not a religious fanatic, or someone who can quote the Bible from start to the finish. Many, who’ve read my articles, know how I’ve described how the Catholic practices and beliefs had me questioning God Almighty as a teenager attending St. Benedict de Moor. It took me a long while, but I have reconciled my faith in Jesus Christ and all that he embodied. Although, as an acquaintance of mine said the other day, “I’m not quite there yet.” This was his answer to an unsolicited question of did he feel as forgiving as Christ was and is. That would be my answer too. For this articles view, I am simply stating that even if you do not believe in Christ. And you choose to look at it another way. The fact is, life will provide what you have coming and you don’t have to rush to get it. That is the exact point of this article.

No matter, how fast we attained certain things like food, shelter, a good mate, fame and a workable annual income that supports you and yours. After securing all those needs and other things that come with that, most will not be satisfied. I will just state here, Google or Bing Maslow’s “Hierarchy of Needs.” Study his pyramid and think about life.

You simply cannot rush to success. It has to come to you. You can and should prepare, by continuing to put in the work to handle it once received. Oh, a few might get it early in life and lose it just as quickly. And…success for some might mean an entirely different thing to others. You know the hashtag, “It’s complicated.”

So the advice here is to take your time. Save yourself a lot of stress, wear and tear on you and your family’s nerves. Whatever is for you will come, sooner or later, to you. Just make sure you are aware enough to recognize it, especially those progressive steps. Sometimes it looks like we are going backward instead of forward but that is not true. No matter whom we are, we learn something new every day. That alone is progress because you are better today than you were yesterday. You have to take advantage of the circumstances leading up to your blessing. And just as important, live life one day at a time, one moment at a time and you will find yourself enjoying it more if you slow it down. I’m just saying…

Peace, make it a day in which Jesus Christ would be proud of you,

Codis Hampton II

Follow Hamp at https://twitter.com/#!/HampTwo   

Subscribe to this blog at http://wp.me/p65rCa-4s

Join us at the live broadcast of our bimonthly BTR Shows at http://www.blogtalkradio.com/hampscornerofamerica

Get my latest book, a collection of my Blogs/Articles from 1999 through 2014. It’s entitled The Episodic Thoughts of Hamp. Go to the following Authors page link for details. http://www.outskirtspress.com/webPage/isbn/9781478746232

Our Parent Company and sponsor is CHIIA Group, online at https://hcofa.net/

Copyright 2011 Codis Hampton II, all rights reserved. A bi-weekly blog for your enjoyment

Mount Olive of Bradley County AR

I am fascinated by our people who suffered the humiliation of Slavery and subsequently the Jim Crow era of the South. I have a profound, deep respect for people who were not only able to survive but thrive while raising a family.  Personally, my tolerance for pain is very low and my patience with racist people? Well, let’s not even go there.  We will just say, there are days when I feel diplomatic and somewhat forgiven. And then there are days, when I am not feeling it, don’t have time for it, and will rise up on a fool if they don’t get out of my face.

As I write this article, I remember the times I would stop by my grandmother’s apartment. I was in my twenties, at a time when I was hurrying to get somewhere but really didn’t know where I was going. Grandma Gracie lived by herself in a little ground floor studio apartment around seventeenth and Vliet Street in Milwaukee. That had to be around 1965 or 1966. I always liked to stop by and have lunch, eat one of her teacakes while visiting with her. Sometimes I would bring her something, a packaged pastry or candy bar from the corner store. She liked the company but was always in grandmother mode. “Junior, you moving too fast…boy why you in such a hurry?” she’d ask. “Have you found you, somebody, to settle down with?” “Naw mama…but I am having a ball looking,” I would respectfully answer in the street lingo of the times. She would just look at me, shake her head and smile. “That’s all right, you’ll learn someday.”

We would sit there and chat about this, that and the other. She would ask about daddy and the rest of the family. I would report that all was well. She would tell me stories of how she had to tell the doctors at Milwaukee Country General Hospital “what is what” about her health. “I told him, you better stop poking me so hard otherwise Um gonna have to cut you.” “Grandma you didn’t pull your knife on the doctor again did you,” I’d ask while chewing my food. “Naw, but that old fool knows, he better not mess with me.”  “I am sure after that time you chased him down the hall, they all know you,” I would say the both of us laughing about that particular incident. After a couple of hours, I would excuse myself, telling her I’d see her no later than next week and hurriedly leave after getting a hug and kiss. More than likely, I was headed for my favorite hang out at the time, Loves Hideaway Bar. It was only about four blocks up the way.

While walking I would laugh at some of the escapades Grandma had caused, been in, around or ended. She, like a lot of her peers from Bradley County Arkansas, was a woman who didn’t take any stuff from anybody of any color. Later on in my life while researching the book I wrote based on her life I learned of the hardships our people had to endure living in Jim Crows South. And that is when the reality of it all hit me.

For those who are still with us, we ought to kneel down, wash and massage their tired feet.  They survived knight riders and other racist terrorism. Or at the very least, keep in mind the humiliation, mental and physical pain they endured as we look into their tired old eyes. Try to imagine some of the things they have seen and heard in Jim Crows south during their lifetime. Young white boys that had too many beers, looking for a darkie to tease, abuse, and push around. I’ve have heard a few black folk make statements like, “Don’t start bringing up those days. It’s over and I am glad I don’t want to have to deal with it.” I just shake my head and say, those people are the reason we are here. We are the reason they took all of those insults, beatings, and sometimes hangings. So, a little respect for those who came before us is in order…please.

You want to know who you are.  Look across the dinner table at your mother or father. Talk to your grandparents if you are lucky enough to have them around. Ask your older uncles or aunts what it was like living in Bradley County when they were barefoot children. They didn’t have a television, radio, or even electricity. The comforts of hot running water or indoor bathroom facilities were not part of their house.

How about the right to vote? Or be educated with the most current educational tools, or even work for a fair labor rate?  When you get a chance, look up the word sharecropping on the internet. Read all about the land owner’s requirements and how they tried to bind sharecroppers to a lifestyle of servitude. Look up and read books about the great migration of the Negro race from the south. Think about reasons why, reasons other than the primary one of searching for a better life. You will realize our folks decided that living in the south was like a dead end job at the time.

In fact go back to pre-Civil War days. Yes slavery, that time that some of us would like to erase from our consciousness and maybe our history. Look at that famous picture; it’s in all the documentation, on the internet, books, and films. They show you a not too old black man with his back to the photographer. He has so many whipping scars on his back it looks like a design of some sort until you realize what the whip has done to this man’s skin. Have I got your attention yet?

It places the importance of such places as Mount Olive in perspective. Imagine if the ground, trees and foliage could talk, what stories it could tell you about your people. Think of the contradictions between how white folks worshiped, calling themselves christens, all while wholeheartedly supporting slavery of black people. An example of that solid Southern support can be found in the following Civil War era 16” x 21” propaganda poster. It begins by announcing in a bold headline…

“SOUTHERN DEMOCRACY! The object of the Southern Rebellion and its Northern allies is to render Slavery universal. Under the names of Democracy, they seek to deprive labor of all its rights. Read what the Leaders say: The theory of free labor is a delusion. Slavery is the natural and normal condition of the laboring man, WHITE or BLACK. –De Bow’s Southern Review. The enslavement of the laborer is right in itself, and does not depend upon difference of completion. -Richmond Enquires….Make the laboring man a slave, and he would be far better off.- Fitzhugh’s Sociology…Thus the “Democrats,” North and South pronounce free society a failure, and feel labor a curse. Slavery is a blessing to be extended over all men who labor whether black or White.”

This idea came from and was no doubt written by the cream of high society. One thing is clear, they don’t really care who gets the work done as long as it gets done and garners them all the profit and a bare minimum amount of expense. After reading this poster, I bet some poor white people was able to see the writing on the wall, while suddenly realizing that these planters didn’t really give a damn about them either. A sobering thought for whites who thought they were just as special as the masters and mistresses.  Nevertheless, and by the grace of God, the Civil War ended with the Union intact and the end of slavery as they knew it.

It was a long and hard road for those who were once slaves to find their way in this new environment.  Amidst this chaos sprouted, one of many in the South, a community of black folks. It is noted that Mount Olive began as a safe haven for black land owners. Land as low as fifty cents per acre attracted homesteaders from surrounding states at the time. These settlers did as white settlers around the country. They built a community with entities that communities needed to function, such as a church, school and stores that sold or barter goods and services. Some of which they didn’t have or couldn’t grow. Every month or so, such items were brought into the area by steamboat on the Saline River. And therefore by the grace of God, and their belief in the same, they acted as the unincorporated community they were by raising families.

They built log cabins for housing. Women ‘wore homespun dresses, knitting their socks and stockings.’ Their first church was called Camp Ground. Its seats were made from split logs.  By 1883, they bought a little church that was near the center of the community, naming it Mt. Olive.

The Mount Olive community was the benefit of funding from a favorite project of philanthropist Julius Rosenwald. His School Fund was established to build schools for the specific education of black folks.  In 1927, the Mt. Olive Rosenwald School, located on Bradley Road 45 was built. The wood frame building, one of five such schools built in Bradley County during that era, has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places since 2004.

That is why they have these Homecomings in the South. It’s like walking on hallowed ground that once supported our ancestors.  You get to see and feel the hot sun they endured during field duty.  There is nothing like visiting these type events that are so connected to our great grandparents and other relatives from that era. Call Hostess/Host Princella & MacArthur Davis at 870-226-7011 for details.

Let us embrace how our ancestors spoke, conducted business, lived their lives with morality, cooperation among other members of their community. We should remind the world that those people who many categorized as simple, uneducated by societal design and thought to be nothing but chattel was able to make away for us to be here. Let us show the world who we are and where we came from. What if the world doesn’t care? Oh well, it does not really matter because it’s not the world that we wish to honor. It is those millions of black folks brought to this land in chains and their offspring and thus…ourselves.  It’s the culture borne out of poverty and a lifestyle of survival and the necessity to cope with life. It is the way we sing, dance, eat, dress, and yes even pray and forgive that we are honoring today. For with the events happening in the way it did, we are a stronger people for it. We may be forgiving of the past, yet we are also cognizant of the future.  As a people, we embrace it with open arms. It is great to be black and alive.

Peace, make it a day in which Jesus Christ would be proud of you,

Codis Hampton II

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