There is so much to do in LA*. SO MUCH!
But I don’t get to do any of it this weekend.
Because I’m going to get drunk have a mini-reunion in Vegas with my cousins.
Which is awesome ‘cause I don’t know if you know this but my family is sofa king awesome. (woo! Work filters gonna have to WORK to catch them curse words today)
This shouldn’t be a surprise at all because…have we met? I had to get it from somewhere
OK. I haven’t really met ALL of y’all, but MOST of y’all. But you must’ve heard about me ‘cause how did you get here? (Not sorry!)
Also, I’m kiddin’. I’m glad you’re here. And you better be too. ‘Cause you don’t get to quit me.
Because I care (AND because you don’t get to choose the lead ins) lemme tell y’all ‘bout some stuff you can do in LA If you’re around this weekend and don’t have stuff to get into:
Friday: You can go to the Music Center and they have dance lessons and DJs for freeeee!
Saturday: Cinespia is showing Sabrina (one of my faves) at Hollywood Forever. I mean, yeah, it’s at a Cemetery, AND now that the hipsters know about it you gotta deal with a bunch of kids with weird mustaches eating fancy food/drinking PBR while talking about their fixie bikes. BUT. YOU get to bring in your own food and booze and with enough liquor even hipsters are tolerable, so there’s that.
Sunday: MLK Sit-In. Also free.
Why am I talking about a protest on this lovely summer afternoon?
(And here y’all were thinkin’ that it’s not February and there’s no BHFOTD but in typical “I have lots of work to do, so lemme take this time to drop some history on y’all” fashion, HERE I AM)
I wanted to tell you that TODAY in 1917, Between 8,000 and 10,000 African-Americans marched down 5th Avenue in New York City in a protest known as The Silent Parade.
The purpose of the parade was to protest lynching and anti-black violence. The parade was precipitated by the East St. Louis Riots in May and July 1917, when between 40 and 250 blacks were killed by white mobs.
The ferocious brutality of the attacks and the failure of the authorities to protect innocent lives contributed to the radicalization of many blacks in St. Louis and the nation.
Men, women, and children carried placards that read:
“MOTHER, DO LYNCHERS GO TO HEAVEN?; “GIVE ME A CHANCE TO LIVE”; “TREAT US SO THAT WE MAY LOVE OUR COUNTRY”; “MR. PRESIDENT, WHY NOT MAKE AMERICA SAFE FOR DEMOCRACY?; AND “YOUR HANDS ARE FULL OF BLOOD.”
My bad. THESE are the photos from 1917.
The march was organized by an ad-hoc group formed at St. Philip’s Church in Harlem. James Weldon Johnson was a key organizer of the “Negro Silent Protest Parade.”
As the protesters marched silently down 5th Avenue, Boy scouts distributed fliers from the NAACP.
NAACP literature outlined the objectives and goals of the march:
We march because by the Grace of God and the force of truth, the dangerous, hampering walls of prejudice and inhuman injustices must fall.
We march because we want to make impossible a repetition of Waco, Memphis, and East St. Louis, by arousing the conscience of the country and bringing the murders of our brothers, sisters, and innocent children to justice.
We march because we deem it a crime to be silent in the face of such barbaric acts.
We march because we are thoroughly opposed to Jim-Crow Cars, Segregation, Discrimination, Disfranchisement, Lynching, and the host of evils that are forced on us. It is time that the Spirit of Christ should be manifested in the making and execution of laws.
We march because we want our children to live in a better land and enjoy fairer conditions than have fallen to our lot.
If I were into commentary (and I’m not, OBVIOUSLY) I’d talk about how in June of 2012, there was AGAIN a somewhat silent protest on 5th Ave to protest NYPD’s stop and frisk policies, which the organizers say single out minority groups and create an atmosphere of martial law for the city’s black and Latino residents. OR I’d talk about how many protests, and marches there have been after every murder of black people that basically state the same thing but almost 100 (99, if we’re gonna get exact) years later.
But yannow. I’m not. I’m just here so y’all learn some stuff about black history.
Nah. This one isn’t from 1917 either. But I guess it coulda been.
*note: I occasionally send BHFOTD emails randomly throughout the year. This one was originally sent on 7/28, but I got enough requests to blog it that I gave in to the harassment. HERE Y’ALL GO. Just be aware you missed all the fun stuff I mentioned because it was all last week.