Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Jim Crow, Cotton, and The Constitution. The Great Emancipator was a BIGOT.

Some one once said that the secret of success is to start from scratch and to keep on scratching.

Fleecey locks and black complexions,
Cannot forfeit nature's claim.
Skin may differ, but affection dwells
In white and Black the same.
If I were so tall as to reach the Pole,
Or to grasp the Ocean at a span;
I must be measured by my soul,
For the mind is the measure of the man.

A lot of confortable people were born on third base, and they go through life acting as if they had hit a triple; when in actuality, they have never even been up to bat.
Not me; I was on the team but not in the Line-up when I was called to pinch hit. I managed to get on base and had advanced to third base when I decided to try to steal home.

You see, I drew my 1st breath in Millington, TN; but I was born in New London, CT. Most people have a 9 month gestation period. Mine lasted 17 yrs & 9 mo. My first 17 yrs were spent living in and under a repressive Jim Crow apartheid system of de jure segregation. That gave me the mental, physical, & spiritual strength to survive outside of the womb of Jim Crow.

Inside my Jim Crow world I existed on the edge of American Society, on a Lonely Island of Poverty in the midst of a vast Ocean of material prosperity.

A crust of bread, and a corner to sleep in;
A moment to laugh and an hour to weep in;
A pint of joy to a peck of troubles,
And never a smile,
But the moans came double,
And that is life.

Segregation was the Rule, The Law; that meant that most Public Facilities were OFF-Limits to me. No libraries, motels, hotels, amusement parks, public parks, swimming pools, etc.. Life consisted of little more than a crust of bread and a corner to sleep in, a moment to laugh and an hour to weep in, a pint of joy to a peck of troubles and never a smile but the moans came double. In those 17 years, I never traveled more than 50 miles from home, and that was by school bus. I started riding the school bus at age 4 to my all Black school, pass many larger all White schools. [http://]
My first airplane ride was from Mem,TN to NYC, enroute to New London, CT. That began all things new for me. It was on that American Air Lines 737 that I came down the Birth Canal, and at 20,000 feet GOD slapped my butt and I took my first breath of fresh air. Life began. I was born.

New London, CT was the home of the United States Coast Guard Academy. As the valedictorian of my high school graduating class, I had been tendered an appointment to the Academy.

Let me tell you about the Memphis that I knew in the 40’s and 50’s.
Memphis, TN, down in Dixie, on the banks of the Mississippi River, where Cotton was King, and we worshiped him diligently 3 months of the Year, and paid Homage the other 9 months.

Memphis, TN, was the home of Beale Street, William C. Handy, B. B. King (the Beale Street Blues Boy), Bobby Blue Bland, and Admiral Benbow Inn.

Tennessee was the Heart of the Old Confederacy, One of the original States to secceed fm Union 1861. Tennessee is the birth place of the Knights of The Order of The White Camelia, aka Klu Kux Klann, in 1867 in Pulaski, TN. Col Nathan Bedford Forrest claimed that they were the reincarnated souls of dead Confederate soldiers come back to keep the freed slaves "in their place".[ http://]
Tennessee produced 2 U.S. Presidents; Andrew Jackson, and Andrew Johnson. Both were impeached.
Blacks had been locked out of the political process since the Second Reconstruction. However, sometime during the 1970s and 1980s a real revolution took place in the South. Ordinary people stopped fighting the Supreme Court desegregation rulings and decided to get on with life and living. The Black segregated parts of town where original American art was being created in the clubs and honky-tonks of Beale Street were revitalized. Then Black soul music, rhythum and blues, and jazz were marketed to the world by Sun Records, Jerry Wexler, Watts Stack Records, Colonel Tom Parker, and Dewie Phillips, among others. B B King, Bobbie Blue Bland, Solomon Burke, Rufus Thomas, Sam Moore, Booker T and the MGs, Aretha Franklin, and Isaac Hayes became drawing attractions. Tourists from around the world came and spent a lot of money.
Local Black entertainers were courted by national political candidates. Some, like Isaac Hayes, the Black Moses, made endorsements. In this billboard Isaac Hayes can be seen endorsing Congressman Steven Cohen, a white candidate who was running against a Black candidate, Nikki Tinker.

Nikki Tinker ran for Tennessee's 9th Congressional District.

Her primary battle against incumbent Steve Cohen has gained national attention as Tinker's campaign went negative against the white congressman. One of Nikki Tinker's campaign ads drew the ire of Senator Barack Obama as being divisive and hateful.
The most incendiary part of the ad: "While he’s is OUR churches clapping his hands and tapping his feet, he was the only Senator who thought OUR kids shouldn’t be allowed to pray in school."
When the absentee ballots were counted, Cohen had 81% of the vote. It never went below 79% and his winning total was 79.34%. Harold Ford and the Association of Armenian Americans had supported Nikki Tinker. The Armenians had deep pockets and gave substantial financial support to Tinker. According to Kirk Cartozian, owner and ceo of Cartozian Associates of Downey, California, the primary reason is that Steve Cohen has denied that there was an Armenian Genocide. Tinker finished with 18.64%. Rahm Emanuel, Nancy Pelosi and Steny Hoyer has also backed Nikki Tinker.

It was interesting that before Tinker let loose with her barrage of vicious,negative ads Cohen was only leading with 65%. Negative ads work with some voters, not so much with predominately Black Democratic voters in Memphis. “It says Memphis has come a long, long way and that people who were counting on racial voting to prevail are thinking of a Memphis that doesn’t exist anymore,” Cohen said. “The people of Memphis are more sophisticated voters that deal with issues and someone’s record and not simply race.”
Capitol Hill Police and local Memphis law enforcement have launched separate investigations of Congressman Steve Cohen’s forced removal of Armenian American journalist Peter Musurlian, a personal friend of Kirk Cartozian, from an August 6th press conference, reported Armenian National Committee of America - Western Region (ANCA - Western Region) told PanARMENIAN.Net.

Musurlian reportedly spoke with officers from the Memphis Police Department as well as Capitol Hill police, describing Rep. Cohen’s angry tirade and physical attack on the reporter. Memphis television and radio stations provided extensive coverage of the altercation, along with Rep. Cohen’s subsequent ethnic slurs directed at Armenian Americans.
"Rep. Cohen’s violent and bizarre actions against Musurlian are, taken in the most charitable light possible, conduct ill-befitting a Member of Congress," stated ANCA Western Region Board Chairman Vicken Sonentz-Papazian. "We know of at least two ongoing criminal investigations and I suspect the House of Representatives will be instituting disciplinary proceedings against Rep. Cohen for both his criminal assault and defamatory remarks toward the Armenian American community once Congress returns. Equally disturbing is Rep. Cohen’s characterization of both Musurlian, a veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces, and Armenian Americans as killers and assassins. This incident raises serious question as to whether this man is fit to remain a Member of Congress," concluded Sonentz-Papazian.
Cohen made disparaging references to Musurlian’s ethnicity, referring to him repeatedly as "that Armenian guy" and Armenian-Americans as "those Armenians," going so far as to generalize Armenians as assassins and killers. "There have been Armenians who assassinated and killed many people including people in this country," stated Rep. Cohen, "and I don’t rest very comfortable with one of these fellows coming into my home."

Musurlian, who served as a journalist for the U.S. Armed Forces covering the conflicts in Bosnia and Croatia, traveled to Memphis to document the days leading up to the August 7th Democratic primary between first-term incumbent Steve Cohen and challenger, former civil rights lawyer, Nikki Tinker, for LA based Horizon Armenian Television. Musurlian works for a public access TV station in Burbank, California, in addition to running his own production company, Globalist Films.
Members of the Armenian National Committee of America – Western Region (ANCA-WR) met with long time friend and supporter Congressman Howard Berman (D-CA-28) on August 5, 2008 to discuss issues relating to the Armenian American community. Congressman Berman serves as Chairman of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs (HCFA).

"The Armenian American community deeply appreciates Chairman Berman’s keen awareness of and respect for human rights," stated ANCA-WR Executive Director Andrew Kzirian. "We shall work closely with the Chairman in the future to ensure that genocide denial has no place in the United States," he added.

Memphis is the home of the Lorraine Motel, where Rev Dr. Martin Luther King was assassinated in 1968.

In Memphis, I stood at the back of the Bus, did not use public toilettes, or water fountains unless they had signs that read "COLORED ONLY". To do otherwise to get me assaulted or arrested, because that was the LAW.

To this day I have never been inside the Memphis Public Library.
One day the old Public Library was torn down and a new modern public was built. It was named for Benjamin Hooks the first Black head of the Federal Communications Comission.

In August 2008 when I visited the Benjamin Hooks Public Library and applied for a library card, the clerk asked me if I had ever had a Memphis Library card? I said no. When I lived here I was not allowed inside the Memphis Public Library. The elderly white lady from Maryland looked perplexed. So, I explained to her that until 1968 the official policy concerning public accomodations was that Blacks were not allowed inside the public library. Memphis was a segregated city. There were signs on the door that said "FOR WHITES ONLY".

If California were Tennessee in the 50’s and 60’s, I would not be allowed to go to Disneyland, Universal Studios, Raging Waters, Kirkorian Theater, The Embassy Suites Hotel, The Los Angeles Public Library, or to eat in MIMI’s Cafe, Denneys, Hometown Buffet, or Sambi’s, and all my school books would be the ones that were thrown away from white or mexican or asian high school students.
In those days there were only two races or colors, as far as the U. S. Census Bureau was concerned. They were Black and White. You were one or the other. If there was one drop of African blood in your veins, you were Black. That was the application of "The One-Dreop Rule".
Every body else was White. Even in Memphis, if you were pure blooded African, you could use the Segregated public accomodations just like whites. However, if you were a so-called Negro, that is to say, a miscegenated descendant of former African slaves, then you were prohibited from using public accomodations. [http://]
We lived, moved, and had our being under, Doctrine of Separate but Equal, the progeny of the Supreme Court Case of PLESSY v FERGUSON. But in the midst of Plessy v Ferguson, the Light was shinning in the dark places. It was the Light of the Great Society, of President Lyndon Baines Johnson (LBJ).
LBJ was the Greatest President EVER of the U.S.A. for Black people, because he gave us Head Start, The Civil Rights Act, The Voting Rights Act, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act and the EEOC Guidelines to Equal Employment; that is, all the fruits of The Great Society. He was a white southerner who believed that, "together, We Shall Overcome". He gave us Free Food; milk and cookies each morning before school; That was after we had morning prayer and Bible reading over the public address system. Most people are surprised to find out that Abe Lincoln is not revered in the Black Community. Most people think that Lincoln freed the slaves, but he did not. Most people think the Civil War was fought to free the slaves, but it was not. You see, the freed slaves and their African-American descendents are the only Constitutionally protected Class in America.
The 13th, 14th and 15th Amendments were added to the US Constitution because of the African Americans.
Lincoln did not free the slaves, Congress did when the 13th Amendment was ratified.
On 1/31/65, The 13th amendment passed the House of Representatives. On 12/18/65 it had been ratified by 27 STATES and became a Constitutional Amendment. (Lincoln was shot and killed 4/15/65)
Lincoln did not write the first Emancipation Proclamation, he copied his and stole it from a General in the Western Territories.
Lincoln wanted to and had plans to send all the Africans, slaves and free back to Africa.
Ask any Central American history student and he will tell you about the King of Nicaragua, William Walker (1856). William Walker was a Special Agent Provocateur of President Lincoln. He was dispatched to conquer Central America (like Davey Crocket and others had taken Texas from Mexico)
Lincoln planned to turn Central America into an ALL Black Zone with harbor for shipping the Blacks back to Africa.
North America was to be All Anglo European White enclave, and South American was to be inhabited by Spanish, Latino and Indian people.
This is American History. William Walker conquered Nicarauga and declared himself King.
Four countries Recognized him and established diplomatic relations. The USA was the first.
When Walker was killed in Costa Rico by Juan Santamaria, their national hero, Lincoln saw no alternative but to fight the Civil War, to keep the Southern States fm leaving the Union.
This period of American History did more to shape our Social Fabric than any other.
Here are some Supreme Court cases that codified the LAW with respect to African Americans.
Dread Scott v Sandford (1857)-a lousy decision written by Chief Justice Roger B. Taney (USCG named a ship after him) said that Blacks were not citizens of the USA, they are property, chattel. [http://]
Blacks were not included in the Preamble to Constitution "WE the People, in order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the Common Defense, promote the General Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to Ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution of the US of America.
PLESSY v Ferguson (1896)- It legalized JIM CROW and said that separate but equal facilities for Blacks do not violate the Equal Protection of Laws provisions of the 14th Amendment. [http://]
BROWN v Bd of Education (1954) said segregated facilities are a violation of the 14th Amendment guarantees of Equal Protection of Laws.
That was 50 years ago, and We just celebrated 50th Anniv of BROWN v Bd of Education in 2005. [http://]
As a cadet at the Coast Guard Academy I wrote a paper in my American History class on the History of Segregation in America. I read the Sandford case and the Plessy v Ferguson case. They facinated me. It never entered my mind that I wanted to become an attorney. I just wanted to be a good Coast Guard officer. I wanted to make the world safe for democracy. About five years after graduation, while I was stationed in Juneau, Alaska, I had a vision.
One night while I was hovering on the brink of sleep, I heard the voice of God say to me "Be a lawyer!" That was it. I called Coast Guard Headquarters and asked to be reassigned to Washington, D.C., because I wanted to attend George Washington University Law School. [http://]



Blogger ichbinalj said...

First Black Navy Diver Dies
Associated Press | July 26, 2006
RICHMOND, Virginia - Carl M. Brashear, the first black U.S. Navy diver, who was portrayed by Cuba Gooding Jr. in the 2000 film "Men of Honor," died Tuesday. He was 75.

Brashear died at the Naval Medical Center Portsmouth of respiratory and heart failure, the medical center said.

Brashear retired from the Navy in 1979 after more than 30 years of service. He was the first Navy diver to be restored to full active duty as an amputee, the result of a leg injury he sustained during a salvage operation.

"The African-American community lost a great leader today in Carl Brashear," Gooding said of the man he played alongside Robert DeNiro, who was Brashear's roughneck training officer in "Men of Honor." "His impact to us as a people and all races will be felt for many decades to come."

In 1966, Brashear was assigned to recover a hydrogen bomb that dropped into waters off of Spain when two U.S. Air Force planes collided.

During the mission, Brashear was struck below his left knee by a pipe that the crew was using to hoist the bomb out of the water. Brashear was airlifted to a naval hospital where the bottom of his left leg was amputated to avoid gangrene. It later was replaced with a prosthetic leg.

The Navy was ready to retire Brashear from active duty, but he soon began a grueling training program that included diving, running and calisthenics.

"Sometimes I would come back from a run, and my artificial leg would have a puddle of blood from my stump. I wouldn't go to sick bay because they would have taken me out of the program," Brashear said in 2002 when he was inducted into the Gallery of Great Black Kentuckians. "Instead I'd go hide somewhere and soak my leg in a bucket of hot water with salt in it - that's an old remedy I learned growing up."

Brashear faced an uphill battle when he joined the Navy in 1948 at the age of 17, not long after the U.S. military desegregated.

"I went to the Army office, and they weren't too friendly," Brashear said in 2002. "But the Navy recruiter was a lot nicer. Looking back, I was placed in my calling."

Brashear, the son of poor sharecroppers in Sonora, Kentucky, quickly decided after boot camp that he wanted to become a deep-sea diver.

"Growing up on a farm in Kentucky, I always dreamed of doing something challenging," he said. "When I saw the divers for the first time, I knew it was just what I wanted."

In 1954, he was accepted and graduated from the diving program, despite daily battles with discrimination, including having hate notes left on his bunk.

He went on to train for advanced diving programs before his 1966 incident.

"He kept to himself personally, but his military life was an open book," said Junetta Brashear, his first wife, who lives in Portsmouth, near Brashear's home in Virginia Beach.

She said Brashear's health started to deteriorate about three years ago, but that he had experienced problems ever since the amputation.

Brashear married childhood friend Junetta Wilcox in 1952, and had four children - Shazanta, DaWayne, Phillip and Patrick - before their divorce in 1978. He later married Hattie R. Elam and Jeanette A. Brundage.

3:17 PM  
Blogger ichbinalj said...


Born in Vermont, Thaddeus Stevens moved to Lancaster, Pennsylvania, where he helped establish the state’s Republican Party in 1855. Three years later, he was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives, soon becoming an outspoken abolitionist as well as effective legislator. In 1860, he was re-elected with 96% of the vote. The firm backing of his constituents was all the more remarkable considering that he was as married to a black woman, Lydia Smith, as a white man could be in those days. Only four years ago was it discovered that Stevens had built in his backyard a secret hiding place for slaves escaping via the Underground Railroad.

When President Lincoln was sworn in, the federal government had only $3 million on hand. In those days, the House Ways and Means Committee handled both appropriations (Ways) and taxation (Means), making its chairman, Thaddeus Stevens, the most powerful Member of Congress. Though the position had not yet been established, Stevens also served unofficially as Majority Leader. During the special session of July and August 1861, Stevens bulldozed right over parliamentary obstacles thrown up by obstructionist Democrats, having the Speaker of the House, whom he had hand-picked, call the House into special session so that the rules could be suspended. He then made sure the President received the necessary funding for the war effort.

Rep. Stevens led the charge for passage of the Pacific Railroad Act, the Land-Grant College Act, and the National Banking Act. He also was instrumental in establishing the first national currency, the greenback. Way ahead of his time, Stevens championed the rights of Native Americans and Chinese immigrants. And, it was Thaddeus Stevens who proposed that each family of emancipated slaves receive 40 acres and a mule.

After Confederate rebels burned down his iron foundry, wiping him out financially, friends gave him $100,000, but Stevens donated the money to charity, saying “We must all expect to suffer by this wicked war.” Not just an idealist, he was a very witty guy. Hearing that a Republican congressman intended to duel a Democrat with a bowie knife, Stevens suggested that a dung fork would be more appropriate.

History books written by rebel-sympathizing Democrat professors have burdened modern Americans with a distorted image of Thaddeus Stevens and other Republicans radically opposed to slavery. It is an absurd myth that the Radical Republicans were bent on vengeance against the defeated Confederates. In fact, Stevens adamantly opposed treason trials for any defeated Confederates. He even volunteered to defend Jefferson Davis in court should he ever be put on trial. In any event, there would have been no rebel punished whom President Lincoln or President Johnson could not have pardoned.

In early 1866, Democrat President Andrew Johnson helped defeat Stevens’ bill for black suffrage in the District of Columbia. Stevens then oversaw the drafting of the 14th Amendment and introduced it into Congress. His fight to pass the amendment, though eventually successful, was difficult since not one Democrat in the House or Senate voted for it.

Overlooked by so many history books written by Democrat professors is the fact that the former rebels were almost completely in charge of the South for the first two years after Appomattox. Not until March 1867 were Republicans able to dissolve the neo-Confederate state governments, when Republicans overrode President Johnson’s veto of Thaddeus Stevens’ Reconstruction Act. In an inadvertent tribute to the heroic Republican, caricatures of Stevens and Lydia Smith are the villains of that pro-Ku Klux Klan movie, Birth of a Nation.

At death’s door and no longer able to walk, the 76-year old Stevens managed the prosecution at the impeachment trial of President Johnson. Just before his death, Stevens helped convince a reluctant House of Representatives to appropriate the money to pay for the purchase of Alaska.

Thaddeus Stevens died in Washington, DC with Lydia Smith at his bedside. An honor guard of black Union army veterans stood at attention while his body lay in state in the Capitol. In an unprecedented tribute to their beloved leader, Republican nominated him for another term, and in death he would win a nearly unanimous victory. Some 20,000 people, half being freedmen (former slaves) from the South, attended his funeral in Lancaster, where he had insisted on being buried in a racially-integrated cemetery and with the epitaph “Equality of Man before his Creator.”

The chaplain of the U.S. Senate delivered this eulogy: “God give to Vermont another son; Lancaster, another citizen; Pennsylvania, another statesman; the country, another patriot; the poor, another friend; the freedmen, another advocate; the race, another benefactor; and the world, another man like Thaddeus Stevens.” Amen.

Michael Zak’s article is adapted from his book Back to Basics for the Republican Party, a history of the GOP from the civil rights perspective.

Copyright © 2006 Salem Web Network. All Rights Reserved.

10:22 AM  
Blogger ichbinalj said...

Supreme Farce
By Thomas Sowell
Tuesday, December 12, 2006

It might be a hilarious comedy routine to have a group of highly educated judges solemnly expounding on something that everybody knows to be utter nonsense. But it isn't nearly as funny when this solemn discourse about nonsense takes place on the Supreme Court of the United States -- and when most people are unaware of what nonsense the learned justices are talking.

The issue before the High Court is whether local authorities have the legal right to make students' race a factor in deciding which school to assign them to attend.

The parent of a white student is complaining because he is not allowed to go to the school near where he lives but is instead being assigned to a different school far away, in order to create the kind of racial mix of students the local authorities are seeking, in the name of "diversity."

Those of us old enough to remember the landmark 1954 Supreme Court decision in Brown v. Board of Education will see a painful irony now, since that case began because a black girl was not allowed to go to a school near where she lived but was instead assigned to a different school far away, because of the prevailing racial dogmas of that day.

The racial dogmas have changed since 1954 but they are still dogmas. And flesh-and-blood children are still being sacrificed on the altar to those dogmas.

Some of the learned justices are pondering whether there is a "compelling" government interest in creating the educational and social benefits of racial "diversity." If so, then supposedly it is OK to do to white kids today what the Supreme Court back in 1954 said could not be done to black kids -- namely, assign children to schools according to their race.

What are those "compelling" benefits of "diversity"? They are as invisible as the proverbial emperor's new clothes. Yet everyone has to pretend to believe in those benefits, as they pretended to admire the naked emperor's wardrobe.

Not only is there no hard evidence that mixing and matching black and white kids in school produces either educational or social benefits, there have been a number of studies of all-black schools whose educational performances equal or exceed the national average, even though most black schools fall far below the average.

My own study of successful all-black schools was published 30 years ago in The Public Interest quarterly. Since then, there have been other studies of similar schools across the country, published by the Heritage Foundation in Washington and by scholars Abigail and Stephan Thernstrom, among others.

There have also been all-Chinese-American schools that exceeded national norms. How have such schools managed to succeed and excel without the "compelling" need for a racial mixing of students?

Look at it another way: Have black kids bussed into white schools had their test scores shoot up? No -- not even after decades of bussing.

Some black students -- in fact, whole schools of them -- have performed dramatically better than other black students and exceeded the norms in white schools.

Yet this phenomenon, which goes back as far as 1899 and included an all-black school within walking distance of the Supreme Court that declared such things impossible back in 1954, is totally ignored.

Are such things exceptional? Yes. But the mystical benefits of "diversity" are non-existent, however politically correct it is to proclaim such benefits.

Hard evidence shows that students of all races can succeed or fail in schools that are racially mixed or racially unmixed.

The latest variation on the theme of mixing and matching by race is that there needs to be a "critical mass" of black students in a given school or college, in order for them to perform up to standard.

Not only is there no hard evidence for this dogma, such hard evidence as there is points in the opposite direction. Bright black kids have benefitted from being in classes with other bright kids, regardless of the other kids' color.

All this is ignored in the Supreme Court's supreme farce.

Thomas Sowell is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institute and author of Basic Economics: A Citizen's Guide to the Economy.

11:37 AM  
Blogger ichbinalj said...

Roddy Law, a Memphis attorney said this about Nikki Tinker:
"Stunningly beautiful, flawlessly dressed, seemingly cosmopolitan and well educated, Pinnacle Airlines Attorney Nikki Tinker looks nothing like the plantation throwback and sellout that she is.

Yes, Children, she ain’t nothin’ but a corporate mammy and Trojan horse for white supremacist capitalist patriarchy.

A protégé of Harold Ford, Jr, Tinker is an agent of the Memphis corporate power structure and has been running behind her corporate slave master, Phil Trenary, CEO of Pinnacle Airlines, like a 21st century Mammy."

11:26 PM  
Blogger ichbinalj said...

During the forties, Memphis Blacks continued chafing under the dictatorial rule of E.H. “Ed” Crump, the local political boss who ruled both Memphis and Tennessee for over forty years.

Crump ran a sophisticated operation in which his operatives paid the poll taxes of African Americans and he voted them for his slate of candidates. Crump supported white supremacy and never backed a Black candidate. For years, most could be bought off with copious amounts of walking around money, beer and barbeque.

11:28 PM  
Blogger ichbinalj said...

G. Wayne Dowdy penned an article in the Journal of Negro History entitled “The White Rose Mammy: Racial Culture and Politics in World War II Memphis.” He wrote, “…forty years of Crump rule allowed Blacks access to the political process through him or his subordinates. Better schools, housing and city employment were results of this alliance between white and black. To be sure, the relationship was at best an unequal one, leaving most African Americans with little protection from the overall practice of white supremacy. Indeed, when individual Blacks challenged Crump and the local Democratic Party, retribution followed.”

Population changes as a result of the war swelled the Black population to 41% and racial tensions increased and dissent from the Black community followed. Dowdy takes up the story, “As this unrest was spreading, the White Rose Laundry Cleaners erected a mechanical sign on Linden Avenue, which was not very far from prominent Peabody Avenue where Mayor Chandler and Mr. Crump both lived. The sign depicted an African American woman, dressed in traditional mammy garb, bending over a wash tub.”

11:32 PM  
Blogger ichbinalj said...

“Founded by Jewish immigrant Henry Klyce in 1928, the White Rose Laundry was representative of the economic importance of the local Jewish community. Nominally a minority, the Jews of Memphis had almost completely assimilated into the prevailing white southern culture. Several Jews even held important posts within the Crump organization. The depiction was apparently done in a humorous fashion, with the woman bending over and revealing her undergarments. Many Blacks saw little humor in this and instead were angered.”

African Americans protested and wrote Mayor Chandler, “The advertisement represents a complete effrontery to Negro people, in its subtle although effective ridicule of the race.” Chandler intervened on behalf of the offended African American community and asked the owners of the White Rose Laundry to take down the offending mammy sign. While it is unknown the extent of Boss Crump’s involvement in this case, what is known is that nothing of consequence happened in Memphis without his consent and the sign came down, although when is not remembered.

11:33 PM  

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