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Thursday, January 18, 2018

Happy Belated Birthday To Michelle Obama



On being hired to be 

  Viola Davis said,
I didn't look the way I thought I would look
I had an idea in my head
and I didn't see
[Then] I said why not?
And I think 
that's where it all begins
That question of 
"Why Not?"

Why can't I be sexy? 
I reject the notion -- in the past-- that dark skinned women cannot be beautiful 
I reject the fact that if I take my wig off and do a whole scene with my fro that somehow that that is taboo 
I reject the fact that i have to be a size 2 
I reject the fact that I have to be likeable, I'd rather be interesting. Nobody asks Robert Deniro in Taxi Driver, or James Gandolfini or Anthony Hopkins, "Were you concerned that you were likable in SILENCE OF THE LAMBS?"
...Somehow you [have to] reject all the things that people told you, you were...
* * * * *

10 of Viola Davis Tips and Clips on Success 

(Keep in mind, you don't have to watch. You can just listen with the video in the background and let the wisdom passively flow into you)

MY OTHER FAVORITE TIP: Have confidence in your decisions.
WE always to feel that decisions are pretty...We always want to believe decisions that decisions easy And sometime's they're a SOPHIE'S CHOICE, ya know. 
And sometimes a person's motives are absolutely pure. But to the outside eye they look very dysfunctional...


Wednesday, January 17, 2018


definition from wikipedia --

"The federal judge who earlier this week ordered the reversal of President Donald Trump's decision to end the program protecting so-called Dreamers said in a new ruling Friday that it is "plausible" that Trump shut down the program for racial reasons.
"These allegations raise a plausible inference that racial animus towards Mexicans and Latinos was a motivating factor in the decision to end DACA," U.S. District Court Judge William Alsup wrote, referring to the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program bestowing quasi-legal status and work permits on undocumented immigrants who entered the U.S. as children...."


Trump's "sh*thole" countries comment, which finally led to news outlets to accept that Trump is a racist, may have come after this specific judges decision to suspend Trump's decision making on DACA. I'm thinking Trump has undermined his own case. But he has the ace in the hole. The Liar-In-Chief has the ability to stack the courts, including the Supreme Court, in white supremacists favor.



A repost 

Apparently Izabel had done a few things she shouldn't have. When  her father decided he'd had enough, he shaved her head and video taped it. The following is the audio from recording: 
“The consequences of getting messed up, man, you lost all that beautiful hair,” a male voice can be heard saying from behind the camera. The video pans down, where long locks of black hair are scattered on the ground. “Was it worth it?”
“No,” she responds quietly.

“How many times did I warn you?” he asks.

“A lot,” she replies, barely audibly.

She jumped from a bridge onto an interstate a few days later. One news article calls Izabel a "troubled teen"

Yeah, troubled by having an abusive parent.
Ms Cool, the police spokeswoman, said she believed Izabel had killed herself because she believed things she had done in her past had shamed her family. “This was her way of apologizing to everyone,” she said. (

Troubled by having an abusive parent doesn't always end in suicide. But this is still a form of abuse.

 Anybody who would

1) shave her head

2)put the head shaving on video for others to see


for Izabel to see for herself over and over again


 at her,  or glaring at her, or beating her over the head with what she did wrong multiple times a day. Because that's what self-righteous abusers do.

The psychological beating in addition to the shame of exposure took a few days to do its work. She killed herself a few days after the video was published.

There a few websites around the way that say Izabel didn't kill herself because of getting her head shaved.  They are saying the father is blameless because he didn't actually put the video on the web himself. They are saying that, based on her practice suicide notes, Izabel killed herself because of what she did.

Clearly, Faux News and the rest do not understand what how shaming someone works.

Successful shaming gets the child to be ashamed of what they did - not angry at the shame-er.

Furthermore, a successful child abuser gets the child to angry at what they did not angry at the abuser.  Abused children are torn screaming from the arms of a mother or father that has broken their arm in anger 3 different times.  The child will apologize for being bad over and over and over.

It doesn't look to me like Izabel was much different from the abused child so far. She wrote 8 suicide notes. At least one of them absolved her father.

If this was this father's first time into the abuser's circle, I feel sorry for him. I actually do. I cannot imagine the pain. Even if he denies his role in his daughter's death I have to imagine I wouldn't be able to stand up under the weight of that knowledge either. Maybe I'd have to deny it to myself in order to go on living.

But we should  not stop telling Izabel's story because this isn't about him. It's about other parents out there thinking about doing the same thing.

We'll never know if Izabel was mentally ill outside of the abuse she suffered.  From what I've read it she seems like she was an angsty, lonely teenager even before the shaming video. However, lots of girls are at 13.

The thing I do know is this.  Other children are not mentally ill outside of the abuse they suffer. I know other children can be crushed by this father's behavior - and not always in ways that are immediately discernible to the untrained eye. Sometimes there isn't a suicide to point at and say, "Ah Ha!"

I would not dismiss Izabel Laxamana as mentally ill. And even if you do, I wouldn't dismiss her father's treatment of her as anything less than abusive and having had a costly effect.

Let me say it again: Izabel Laxamana was shamed to death.

Her father shaved her head in order to punish her and convince her that what she did was horrible and shameful.
He was so successful that Izabel even  showed friends the video - either she herself or one of her friends put it on the internet. Her father was so successful that i
n her 8 suicide notes, Izabel said she couldn't live with what she'd done and told her father she loved him and that  it wasn't his fault.  

A successful shaming gets the child to be ashamed of what the shamer says they did - not angry at the shamer. 

A successful child abuser gets the child to angry at what they did not angry at the abuser.

And I really hate the phrase "slut shaming" but it couold that's part of this too. Rumor has it Izabel sent a suggestive photo of herself to a boy and that it made it onto the internet- and that this was what she was shamed for --when already ashamed. If this is true, wonder if the boy liked it or mocked her for it or shamed her for it too? 

That poor child.


Note: *Most child abusers are reportedly women because the primary caretakers of children in the world are primarily women. But I can't help but think when men go over the top with an aggressive and/or abusive punishment that a lot of women think it's okay to stand around wringing their hands.

I reposted this because I saw video of another man doing this just last month. Rumor has it he is in jail. I hope that's true and that this "seemingly" mild form of abuse that isn't mild at all is the reason why. 

MARK THE DATE: 01/11/18

This is the date that Trump finally became a racist as far as the white run main stream media in the U.S. is concerned. Finally, white run news agencies have stopped normalizing Trump, have finally stopped reporting Trump as having said"racially charged" things. Now the white main stream media (w-MSM) is finally saying he is "a racist." All it took was Trump referring to all African countries and Haiti "shitholes"

Was it the worldwide reaction that pushed U.S. news outlets to finally properly acknowledge Trump's racism, a racism most black and brown people living outside New York recognized a decade before the first birther comment aimed at President Obama? (Those living inside New York read Trump for filth multiple decades ago.)
Or maybe the white Main Stream Media finally caught on to the fact that Trump just might be as racist as he sounds when the white supremacist news sites welcomed Trump back into the fold as a result of his sh*thole remarks on 01-11-2018 ?

Nice of white run U.S. news outlets to finally catch up -- way too damn late to stop this facist racist #$%$# from becoming President.

But at least the wMSM could see well enough to follow along behind Black Women, followed by the rest of the planet 14 months and 3 days too late.

The fourth estate in the U.S. is way too close to the worthless end of the spectrum. For the most part, white main stream news outlets report what the majority of citizens are indicating they are indicating they are ready to hear.

And the majority of white people in this country hate hearing the word "racist" applied to a white man, especially when they (63% of white men, 53% of white women) elected that white man to the highest office in the country -- even when they decide that man they elected is "rude" or "boorish" or "politically incorrect."

On 1/11/18, the w-MSM was forced forward, was forced to start stating the obvious, that Trump's a racist, when majority black countries outside the U.S. refused to take Trump's "sh*thole countries" comment without using the word "racist" to describe the remarks and the man who utter the remarks. The w-MSM section of the fourth estate in the U.S. does not see itself as helping to maintain white supremacy, but it absolutely should.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018


Mara Brock-Akil is responsible for bringing us the black feminist content of GIRL FRIENDS and BEING MARY JANE. And now she and her director husband are bringing a black superhero to television.

BLACK LIGHTENING is coming. And it looks like his super-powered daughters are coming through too!

Some of you, may recall that Ava DuVernay was asked to do THE BLACK PANTHER before the current director was signed. I was disappointed she didn't get to do it. But I recently saw DuVernay's trailer for A WRINKLE IN TIME, which she did instead of PANTHER, it looks awesome.

Now Mara and her husband Salim are bringing us a black superhero in a weekly television show, which is even better news.

Not to be too petty. But Fox passed on this show first. Thank goodness, because Fox has made a mess of all the black shows I've seen there....except for one show that I can't stand anyway. Sorry Taraji.

In the meantime, here's everything you need to know about the Black Lightening character from the comic books. 

"Black Lightning was born Jefferson Pierce, and grew up in the Southside of Metropolis (which just sounds crazy in 2018) in a section known as Suicide Slum (jeez). He originally had no powers, with his abilities being given to him through a special belt he wore. It was later written that Black Lightning was indeed a metahuman with the power to control electricity. He could even turn himself into electricity, causing him to be nearly invincible, and has the power of absorbing energy to heal himself, as well as make himself stronger.

For a while, though, Pierce didn't want to be a superhero. He was a gold medal-winning Olympic decathlete, who wanted to make the Southside better for his wife (Lynn) and his daughter (Anissa; more on her later). Pierce became the principal of Garfield High School, bent on making change from the inside of a city where his father, Alvin Pierce, was murdered. On the outside, gangs like The 100 were wreaking havoc on the Southside, as were politicians like Tobias Whale (an albino who ends up becoming Black Lightning's arch nemesis)...

Read More:


updated 1 16 2018

Trump’s “Shithole Countries” Comment Exposes The Core of Trumpism To White People


Trump’s racism isn’t incidental to his political appeal. It’s the core of it.

The president of the United States just interrupted an immigration meeting in the White House to tell a group of presumably surprised lawmakers that the United States was “having all these people from shithole countries come here.”
...The sheer racism of the comments would be shocking coming from any other president. The heartbreaking, and terrifying, thing is that it’s not the least bit surprising coming from Donald Trump.
This is a man who launched his political career by pushing a conspiracy theory that the first black president was not actually born in America. This is a candidate who rocketed to the top of the GOP primary polls by calling Mexicans rapists. This is a president who has repeatedly attempted to act on his campaign pledge to ban Muslims from entering the United States, who has said that Haitian immigrants “all have AIDS” and that Nigerians live in “huts.”
It’s not just that Trump has consistently and unambiguously expressed beliefs like this — though he has. It’s that his willingness to say these things, out loud, is the core of his political appeal to his vaunted base. Trump won the GOP primary and the presidency not in spite of his xenophobia and racism, but because of them.

...Political scientists who study race and immigration find that they have played a central role in the transformation of American politics. Democratic support for civil rights legislation and mass Latino immigration led to a sea change in American voting, wherein white voters who feel high levels of racial resentment shifted en masse into the Republican Party....

Read More:

Every time I read "white voters who feel high levels of racial resentment shifted" as published by a news agency dominated by white mostly male journalists, I keep wondering what this means in reality.

In my mind, imperfectly trying white people trying to be allies were in the democratic party and covert racists.
To me, this is an always and forever situation. 

That's why I figured about a third of all white people would vote for Obama in 2008. As I recall, I wasn't that far off. And I think the number of white people voting against the Orange Racist was 37% which is higher than that third I was looking for. 

So I'm trying to figure out who white journalists and mostly white researchers think moved to the republican party.

Do they really think all the white bigots -- even those who adore paternalism but who likely hate Trump-- all moved to the Republican party? 

I kinda doubt it.

I would tend to think that there were paternalistic sounding white people who were stone cold white supremacists in their heart of hearts found the courage to express their true feelings once they saw a black man in the white house in 2008. Them I'm guessing they were further emboldened by Trump's Birther movement which he later rode into the White House in 2016.

In other words, I believe some percentage of the coverts became overts --white racists, that is-- then moved into the republican party so they could follow their leader. But I do not believe the paternalistic white supremacist who thinks black and brown people can't help being inferior moved to the republican party. I think they're self-righteously happy in the democratic party as they are "on the right side of things"

I've spoken to too many of the true white paternalistics over too many years to ever believe they moved to the republiKKKlan party.

So I guess the question becomes which white people are white journalists and researchers  defining as having "high levels of racial resentment" -- because I thought all of what I call "the overt racists," the ones who believe the same thing Trump has always believed and expressed, were already in the republican party.  
There are hip-hop songs going back decades that express this belief too.

To express my thoughts on this a different way, I'm saying I don't think these high resentment white people simply moved from the democratic party to the republican party.
Or maybe I should say they did move, but they were created first. 

That is, I think there were 
low-level white resentment folk 
in the democratic party
 some of whom had white supremacist sentiments 
that experienced a huge growth spurt 
within their hearts 
upon seeing the first black president 
in the white house. 

Then Trump's birther movement came along and poured gas on that ugly @$$ fire and they became overt white racists. THEN those newly overt white racists moved to the republican party where they belong.

In other words, there wasn't just a shift of white supremacist from one party to another. There was an increase in the number of white supremacists....same as there has been an increase in the number of white supremacist hate groups in this country.

And that [white] hate group increase corresponds to President Obama being elected too.

The thing that give me hope is that there has been a blossoming resistance in about one-third of white people as well. But I'm not giving that one-third any damn cookies because it shouldn't have had to get THIS OBVIOUS for them to believe what black and brown people have been saying for decades.

Dear White Left, 

WE KNOW WHO HATES US even when it is subtle much less when it's as obvious as the Racist Orange Orangutan. 

So I suggest you take a page out of my book

If a large number of Latinos say so-and-so is talking in code and he's an ethnoracist, I believe them instead of assuming their stupid or overly sensitive. I believe them even if I can't hear the coded ethnoracism myself. I believe them because I believe Latinos are just as intelligent as I am, as my group is. 

I believe in equality which isn't believing in sameness.

If a large number of Asians say so-and-so is talking in code and he's an ethnoracist, I believe them instead of assuming their stupid or overly sensitive. I believe them even if I can't hear the coded ethnoracism myself. I believe them because I believe Latinos are just as intelligent as I am, as my group is. 

I believe in equality which isn't believing in sameness.

If a large number of Muslims say so-and-so is talking in code and he's an ethnoracist, I believe them instead of assuming their stupid or overly sensitive. I believe them even if I can't hear the coded ethnoracism myself. I believe them because I believe Latinos are just as intelligent as I am, as my group is. 

I believe in equality which isn't believing in sameness.
* * * * *
White people, in large numbers, have not been able to believe in equality in the same ways that a lot of black and brown people have because they don't know oppression from a dominant culture that e-races them. They don't experience the e-race and racist-code-talking sounds like normal speech or minor errors -- which is why I hate the term "microaggressions"  There's not a damn thing "micro" about most of the things that fall under that heading. 

White people have interrogate whiteness. This means they have to know how white people have interacted with racial others from the beginning of this country. There's no way to understand now without understanding that past the current was built upon. Taking in a solid understanding of anything is like building a house that way

This means white people have to learn their true history with black and brown people because it was whitewashed in school -- if it was taught at all. All people, not just white people, believing all the good and detailed things they learn about white history while reveling in their ignorance about the details of anybody else's history is the bedrock of white supremacy and internalized racism for black and brown folks too.

This country will elect someone worse than Donald Trump if the vast majority of white people aren't pulled back from white supremacy or black and brown people can't out vote them with about one-third of white people backing us up.

And even if we, black and brown people and a minority of white people, can out vote the white supremacists, they are going to make our lives hell for a good long while.

So the white people that are "woke" have work to do. Because we aren't cleaning up after you anymore. That time of peaceful protest where white folks beat, spit on, shoot, and arrest protesting black people are gone. That time is not coming again.

If white people want peace they better create some damn peace, right after they have whatever level fight is necessary with racist Uncle Bucky and Aunt Becky at the Thanksgiving Dinner table at the Christmas Dinner Table and every summer family reunion you attend. 

Declaring "We'll I'm not like that!" is not good enough.


Monday, January 15, 2018


“I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the Negro's great stumbling block in his stride toward freedom is not the Ku Klux Klanner, but the white moderate, who is more devoted to ‘order’ than to justice; who constantly says, ‘I agree with you in the goal you seek, but I cannot agree with your methods of direct action’; who paternalistically believes he can set the timetable for another man's freedom.”

-Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., “Letter from a Birmingham Jail”

* * * * *

If Martin Luther King were alive today I think maybe he'd look at Bernie aand 'nem, see the how hard the Bernie Bros tried to cover for the Trumpthuglicans as "white working class" instead of "white working racists" and know for a fact that a lot of today's white hard-left isn't any better than yesterday's white moderates.

I find it incredible that Trump was able to be as racist as he is before the white mainstream news casters were finally willing to call Trump's words and the man himself "a racist" on January 11, 2018 not "racially insensitive" and 'not racially charged" but a "racist."

...after having ignored almost all of Black American Women for an entire year.

Ninety-four to Niney-six percent of black women voted for Hillary Clinton when most of us either had no feeling for Hillary at all and a lot of younger black women flat out hate her for the "super-predator" comments  (because they are unaware that most of all of white people loved that remark in polls in the 1990s...or she never would have said it)

Black women voted to block Trump because we knew that the ugly orange is either a closet KKK member, same as his Daddy, or just happens to see the world in the very same way as the average KKK member. 

And the people who couldn't see that in him were not confused. There was nothing to be confused about. 


Donald Trump’s long history of racism, from the 1970s to 2018



Zaid Jilani
...The backlash from the [white] liberal establishment that had once praised King for his civil rights campaign came as hard and fast as his allies had feared. 
In all, 168 newspapers denounced him the next day. Johnson ended his formal relationship with King. “What is that goddamned nigger preacher doing to me?” Johnson reportedly remarked after the Riverside speech. “We gave him the Civil Rights Act of 1964, we gave him the Voting Rights Act of 1965, we gave him the war on poverty. What more does he want?” 
The African-American establishment, fearful of Johnson’s reaction, also distanced itself from King. 
The NAACP under the leadership of Roy Wilkins refused to oppose the war and explicitly condemned the effort to link the peace and civil rights movements. Whitney Young, the leader of the National Urban League, warned that “Johnson needs a consensus. If we are not with him on Vietnam, then he is not going to be with us on civil rights.” Jackie Robinson, the celebrated African-American baseball player and civil rights advocate, wrote to Johnson two weeks after King’s speech to distance himself from the civil rights leader: “While I am certain your faith has been shaken by demonstrations against the Viet Nam war, I hope the actions of any one individual does not make you feel as Vice President Humphrey does, that Dr. King’s stand will hurt the civil rights movement. It would not be fair to the thousands of our Negro fighting men who are giving their lives because they believe, in most instances, that our Viet Nam stand is just....” 

I don't think I'll ever be able to evaluate any war as "good." But the decisions that led to multiple escalations of the Vietnam War over decades were just heinously self-serving, decisions that likely wouldn't have been made by white presidents if the people living in that section of the world had been white too.

The lies the government told to get support for the Vietnam War broke white people's faith in the federal government rather permanently. 

Try to find a way to see Ken Burn's documentary VIETNAM on PBS and watch it over a few nights. Learning our history, even the ugly parts is part of learning who we are as Americans.

If we know the ugly parts of ourselves, we can push back against our own bad impulses and make better decisions. I believe this. I feel this is true at the individual level and at the group level, which means I think this is true at the level of nation as well.

We have to know our history. We have to know what our government has done in our name in the past in order to know what they are capable of doing in our name now.

We are our country. We have to take responsibility for what's being done in our name.

Martin Luther King understood that.



Video: MLK: Beyond Vietnam -- A Time to Break Silence(full speech)


If you're looking for a hero lesson instead of a history lesson, this is not that post. That's coming later today. 

THIS post is a more three dimensional history of Dr. Martin Luther King. This post is about MLK's legacy for black girls and black women.


“Doc thought of a wife as a support worker, not a partner,” says Garrow, whose [Pulitzer Prize winning] book details Coretta Scott King’s frustration with her husband’s insistence that she devote all her energy to her family." 

“I remember [ranking Southern Christian Leadership Conference member] Dorothy Cotton saying to me in 1979 or 1980 that if Martin had lived, he would have had an awful lot of growing up to do on gender issues.”
Read More: 

"To be fair, there are moments in which King shows gender enlightenment:  

To a mother of seven who wrote in complaining that her husband wouldn’t use birth control. King said, “It is a serious mistake to suppose that it is a religious act to allow nature to have its way in the sex life . . . women must be considered more than ‘breeding machines....

And after a stay-at-home mom lamented that her husband had never given her spending money, King all but called the situation immoral."

To me these "enlightened moments" signal that Martin Luther King was a decent human being with an ability to be fair and discerning with female human beings....sometimes.  
He informed an unmarried woman grappling with whether to have sex that “real men still respect purity and virginity” and instructed an abused wife to determine whether there was anything within her personality to justify such treatment

Martin Luther King saw women as less than.  And he saw women in general and black women specifically as "less than" in much the same way that white people see black people as "less than." And this failure of his colored his judgment and changed his behaviors in critical areas of life. 

Some will say that King's sexist outlook on life, was "just the way things were back then" --in the very same tones that white people use when talking about their ancestor's deadly racism.  Some will say that his sexism had little impact. But the truth is King's sexism had outcomes in his marriage, the movement, the black community, and his legacy.

Martin's advice in Ebony, placing the responsibility for an affair on a wife's shoulders: "When a woman asked what to do about her husband's extramarital affair, King told her to think of what the other woman might have to offer that she did not. What faults of her own might make her husband look elsewhere? "Do you nag?" King asked her."

Martin is clearly expressing the idea here that boys will be boys if you're not enough of a woman to keep him. And some attitudes travel in packs. Boys will be boys also encompasses it's only natural for a man to have sex anyway he can have it if he's been away from home for a while. 

A lot of men and women believe this to be true. However, let us remember that it doesn't appear that Malcom X believed this. I won't say he never, ever cheated. How would I know? But I get the distinct impression from the way Malcom X reacted to finding out Elijah Muhammad was sleeping around on his wife that he did not betray Betty Shabazz, not in this particular way-- that he did not settle into the 'boys will be boys'  attitude that so many of the black male civil rights leaders did, according to Ralph Abernathy's King biography.   
Michael Dyson, about their roles in marriage: "King was in constant conflict with his wife about her role. She wanted to become much more involved in the movement; he wanted her to stay home and raise their children." Source: "I May Not Get There With You", by Michael Dyson, p. 195.

If King had seen his own infidelity as a betrayal instead of "Well, I'm not perfect," if he had resisted seeing sleeping with other women as something that just naturally and unavoidably happens to married men when they are away from home a lot, he probably wouldn't have fought Coretta on her wanting to be with him on the road and involved in the movement.

How Martin and Coretta handled their marriage seems like a small and personal thing, but 
if Coretta had been with MLK in the 1950s and 1960s more often, she probably would have been able to blossom as a civil rights leader earlier, as a women's rights leader earlier while Martin was still alive.

And if Ferdinand Barnett and Ida B Wells-Barnett could support each other and be activists together and separately while raising 4 children in the early 1900s, then Martin and Coretta could have done it in the 1950s and 1960s. 

"That's just the way it was back then"

doesn't hold water

for racists or sexists.

If King had the ability to be a visionary when it comes to race, then he could have used that same vision on gender equality. Ferdinand Barnett had enough vision to have a mutually supportive relationship with Ida B. Martin Luther King chose not to  have that vision. He chose.  And he chose badly. He chose in a narcissistic fashion that seems way too familiar, frankly. 

If Martin and Coretta had been an actual team, how different a human being would Martin Luther King grown into by the time of his death?

Some will say but "What about the children?"

And I say "What about the children" as well.

I say the children are better served when one parent does not betray the other one. I say that a balance can be struck between a woman being with her husband, being with her children, and each dealing with bouts of extreme loneliness. Grandparents could have been used more effectively....if importance was placed on fidelity from the beginning. I say it is better to not hear that your father cheated on your mother. I say it is better to not hear your mother essentially say, 'I don't know what you're talking about....It didn't matter anyway. Our relationship was on a higher level than that'

I'm sorry. But these sort of fictions, the truth coming out a little at a time, will tend to have an impact on an adult child's life. 

And I'm certain that teens, if not children, having to hear that men like Martin Luther King betrayed their partners while adults minimize the impact of that betrayal has can have an effect on an entire community.  Can't it? How many people, nowadays, will tell you that stepping out on a wife is just "one of those things?" 

So I ask again: How different a human being would Martin Luther King  Jr. have grown into by the time of his death if Coretta had been by his side as a partner  -- instead of held behind him just a little bit?

As a result of Coretta's influence, how much better would the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) been for black women, as an organization, sans Martin Luther King's leadership in sexism?

How different would The March On Washington have been for black women sans his leadership in sexism?

Septima Clarke, Ella Baker, Dorothy Height, Pauli Murray, and Anna Arnold Hedgeman would all struggle with sexism within the Civil Rigthts Movement. Septima Clarke said the bulk of this unequal treatment for women was coming from Dr. King.

This disrespect for black women was revealed during the March On Washington when only one black woman was allowed to speak during the regular program--after Anna Arnold Hedgeman battled mightily for it to be otherwise. Daisy Bates, former President of Arkansas Chapter of NAACP, leader of the Little Rock Nine, who had an eight foot cross burned on her lawn was allowed to speak for a little more than 60  seconds.*

Rosa Parks and Gloria Richardson attempting to speak (rather than sitting mute)  on the day of the March resulted in them being put in cab and sent back to the local hotel. And they were in that cab during Martin Luther King's "I Have A Dream" speech. 

See William P Jones Book
 The March on Washington: Jobs, Freedom, and the Forgotten History of Civil Rights

Read More About The "Rampant Sexism At The March On Washington"

When you look at Martin Luther King from a black female perspective, it becomes clear that just like this Abraham Lincoln speech 
was really for white men only - 

Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal...

Abraham Lincoln 

This Martin Luther King speech 
was really for black men only - 

I am happy to join with you today in what will go down in history as the greatest demonstration for freedom in the history of our nation.

Five score years ago, a great American, in whose symbolic shadow we stand today, signed the Emancipation Proclamation. This momentous decree came as a great beacon light of hope to millions of Negro slaves who had been seared in the flames of withering injustice. It came as a joyous daybreak to end the long night of their captivity.

 But one hundred years later, the Negro still is not free...

Martin Luther King has had a lasting impact on this country.

As bad as race relations are now with the police murders, white racists were a lot more deadly prior to The Civil Rights Movement. White racists didn't need a badge to kill without impediment. Therefore, we should always be thankful for King's having been here for us. He's had a lasting and positive effect on us all.

But it seems reasonable to suppose that Martin Luther King's failures have had a lasting effect as well.

Too many things in the black community get stuffed into the 'Well, he's not perfect' bag AND/OR 'We're just going to pretend that didn't happen' bag so we can seek to repeat hero-stories instead of histories. Our habit of doing one of these two things is evident in how the Bill Cosby rape allegations have been defended by too large a percentage of the black community. And please note that Bill's lack of loyalty to Camille, his betrayal of Camille was being ignored long before the rape allegations.  

Coretta seemed to excuse Martin in order to preserve his legacy, no doubt. She almost had to have done this for us just as much as she did it for him, herself, and her children's privacy. And his infidelities, no matter how numerous, are truly a private affair. Coretta is the one that should have graded him as A+, A- or B+ as a husband and father based on her own criteria. But Martin Luther King as a black husband setting an example for other black husbands? For that he gets an "F" --especially since the Ralph Abernathy biography suggests that Martin never created a chance to redeem himself with his wife. 

So black men and black women will have to look to men like Malcom X for a stand up guy. And that's okay with me. While I've come to the conclusion that I wouldn't have agreed with Malcom X at every stage of his development, he had the ability to grow and change. 

Malcom X changed from petty thief to leader. After his visit to Mecca, he changed his mind about white people's ability to be allies. He also changed his mind about putting a human being, Elijah Muhammad, on too high a pedestal.

In hindsight, I don't think I would have seen as much potential for change in Martin Luther King had I been around him in the 1960s. But if he had changed, if he had allowed Coretta to fully bloom while he was alive, if Coretta had been seen as the strong version of herself instead of his appendage while he was still alive, I wonder if the entire black community would be stronger, would be more firmly partnered between male and female.

If Coretta had been Martin's partner, more often by his side instead of always left home as "supporter"  while he was alive, maybe the black female created #BlackLivesMatter might not have needed #SayHerName" to draw attention to black women as if black women matter too. "Straight Outta Compton" might not have gone to movie theaters, touted as wonderful as if "bitches and hoes" sung to young black men over and over hasn't done a job on the minds of black men everywhere.

Still, the cloud Martin Luther King created via sexism had a silver lining. His ill treatment of black women at the March on Washington forced some of them into becoming founding members of (and join) the National Organization for Women. 
(Yes, white feminists were disappointing too. But not AS disappointing. Black women couldn't possibly have expected as much as they do from black men. That's never possible in my opinion)

If Martin had lived to be 80 or 90, the world would have changed around him. If he'd lived to get to be 80 or 90, maybe he'd have been a follower instead of a leader on the woman front. And maybe that's okay. 

I think it's okay that he was a very flawed man and a great leader, both. I think most of our leaders were. And I think we'd all know that if we could stop reacting to white opinion by
 substituting  hero lessons for history lessons every chance we get. 

So many black leaders, artists, and writers have had failures that we refuse to learn anything about. And in refusing to know their shortcomings, we refuse to truly examine how these people came to be the people they were.  If we refuse to know who our heroes really were we cannot follow in their footsteps. We cannot follow angels and Gods. When we follow the false positive image of someone, what else can we do but let ourselves down....and then give up.

By creating false images of real heroes, we stop ourselves from learning where the stumbling blocks are down the road. I, for one, like learning from other people's mistakes. I don't have to experience every single stupidity that this life has to offer for myself. I really don't.

Besides, deciding to study a person's successes only is like trying to become a successful basketball player like Mike Jordan by only studying his highlight reels instead of learning about how many times he missed when he first started practicing his lay ups.

We, as black people, have to become more dedicated to searching for history lessons rather than hero lessons. I know I am not willing to settle for anything less at this point.

Are you?

I don't demand perfection in my heroes. But I do demand that the truth be told about their flaws and that we examine the ways in which those flaws caused damage. If the word "forgiveness" is a curse word to you, then this will be a problem.  I hope you work it out. 

In the mean time, please know that black girls should be reading their own history as written by black women who focus on the black female perspective. There's nothing like it for giving strengthening a girls self-worth.  And black boys probably need to read the same things even more.


Point #1: Sexism in the Civil Rights Movement did not exist in a vacuum.

"The sexism that was present in the Civil Rights Movement was a continuation of oppressive mentality that existed in the larger U.S. culture, which was and is a white, male-dominated culture." --> Correction: While the preceding statement is true enough, it is also true that sexism in Africa predates white people. And sexism survives, to this day, in African cultures that barely experienced any white colonialism. 

Black women do travel here from Africa. And they have mouths to tell the real story. Let's keep it real folks. 

Point #2: The leaders of the Civil Rights Movement never intended to end all forms of oppression in the U.S
Point #3: The Civil Rights Movement has served as a model for other social justice movements.
Point #4: Women contributed significantly to the Civil Rights Movement. 

If the Montgomery Bus Boycott began what's known as "The Civil Rights Movement" and Martin Luther King became famous as a result of that boycott, then you should know that Black Women of the Women's Political Council of Montgomery, led by Jo Ann Gibson Robinson, conceived of, planned and executed that boycott.  Black men came along later and extended it after it was successful the first day.
Black women didn't just "help" They led

 Everybody, but especially black women need to read black history written by black women.

SUGGESTION 1 When and Where I Enter: The Impact of Black Women on Race and Sex in America

SUGGESTION  2 Montgomery Bus Boycott and the Women Who Started It: The Memoir of Jo Ann Gibson Robinson

Point #5: Martin Luther King Jr. and other male Movement leaders remain heroes.

Point #6: By acknowledging the imperfections of the Civil Rights Movement's male leaders, we recognize not just their humanity, but [our own] as well.
"In his impressive volume, Soul of a Citizen, Living with Conviction in a Cynical Time, author and scholar Paul Loeb explores the ways in which everyday citizens excuse themselves from activist efforts.
He writes:  Chief among the obstacles … is a mistaken belief that anyone who takes a committed public stand, or at least an effective one, has to be a larger-than-life figure, someone with more time, energy, courage, vision or knowledge than a normal person could ever possess. This belief pervades our society, in part because the media tends not to represent heroism as the work of ordinary human beings, which it almost always ..."


*-Josephine Baker was allowed to speak prior to the regular program at The March On Washington. And, as I understand it, she is not on the handbill (that described the program) handed out that day.

But please note, that black women who stayed in THIS country, fought, bled, led, and repsenting those that died for the cause were not allowed to speak. But a woman --regardless of various current definitions of "sexual freedom" --  whose place was understood as 'sex object' prior to her retirement and performed stereotypical black jezebel, supporting "animalistic" race images on stages for the white French was allowed to speak.