Celebrating African Americans

Published on 17th August 2009

History affirms that African Americans have done more towards the obtainment of equality in the United States than other ethnic group. Where of which other ethnic groups, victimized by white racism, such as Asians, Latin’s, Native Americans etc had painfully accustomed their lives around America’s blatant system of white institutionalized racism, African Americans unified themselves and fought against it.  

During the 1960’s African Americans fought white institutionalized racism on every front using militant means, non violent civil disobedience methods and through Black lawyers pleading their cases for equality within America’s Supreme Court. The brilliant organization and mobilizations of mass bus boycotts, marches, freedom riders, and sit ins that were peacefully conducted through the unified protest of civil disobedience by African Americans was remarkable and demonstrated an immense degree of Black unity.  

These methods of civil disobedience gave the world images of African Americans being violently attacked by Whites and not violently responding to them in return.  These images touched the hearts and consciences of others, gaining national and global support that eventually lead to white America abandoning its blatant and legalized forms of Jim Crow racism. The degree of unity and organization demonstrated among African Americans then was extraordinary and arguably remains unrivaled by any other group in the history of America. 

African American contribution towards the advancements in the fields of science and technology during and following reconstruction has also been remarkably astounding. This was made evident by the overabundance of patent applications submitted by African American inventors to the U.S. Patent office. Many of us know that the Wright Brothers invented the airplane but most of us are deliberately eluded of the fact that the motor and the propeller required to fly the airplane were invented by African Americans. It was also an African American that performed the first open heart surgery, made advancements on the light-bulb, invented the method used for blood banks around the world etc…These significant contributions are especially miraculous considering they were done under such racially oppressive conditions and so relatively shortly after slavery.  It was even an African American that invented the cell phone; an invention that has impacted the entire world and millions of people. 

What is more, the premise that there exists an innate proclivity for divisiveness among African Americans is also totally inaccurate. This premise is inconsistent with the true history of African Americans.  While perhaps difficult to believe, Black unity (Umoja) was historically, the cornerstone of the African American community and a crucial factor in the survival of Black America for more than four-hundred years of White racial oppression.  It is credited for the success of the Underground Railroad system that secretly led to the escape of hundreds of African slaves to the North.  Black unity and cohesion also contributed to the survival of millions of African Americans not only during slavery, but also during the aftermath of brutal Jim-Crow era lynching and through the financially crippling years of the United States’ great depression era.  Black unity was the most significant factor in the success of the 1960's civil right movement.  

This factual and positive narrative of Africans Americans is deliberately never heard within America’s educational system or within its media. In fact their common portrayal of African Americans is deploringly contradictive of what has been presented here. Within the American society, African Americans are most often depicted as the race and or group that can’t get it together, being intellectually inferior, more prone to crime, as having health disparities and diseases and as being societal burdens that have contributed very little if anything at all to the American way of life.  

Despite what is most often presented in the U.S. media, most crimes are not being committed by Black males and nor are Black women the largest recipients of welfare and affirmative actions.(White women are)  Also regardless of the prominent showings of Black athletes that marry white women, most Black men in the United States do love, prefer and most often marries Black women.  In addition the down low gay life style is not highest among Black males and nor are Black women more prone to possessing the most abrasive and rudest attitudes among their gender.   

Furthermore, the belief that Blacks don’t enjoy reading is also totally fallacious, because Black readership is at its all time highest. For never before have there been more published African American authors, publishers and Black owned book stores. The Johnson publishing company, for example, is one of several African American publishing companies that have made the fortune five hundred list almost exclusively on the backs of millions of Black readership alone. Thirty years ago the popular Jet Magazine was published once a month now it’s published once a week. If African Americans are reading less today, how then is this possible? 

The more pressing question is: why are African Americans being so grossly inaccurately portrayed within the United States media?

Franklin Jones


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