Send a Tweet
Most Popular Choices
Share on Facebook 15 Share on Twitter Printer Friendly Page More Sharing
OpEdNews Op Eds    H4'ed 9/26/19

Bayonets and 15 Sticks of Dynamite, September 15, 1963

By       (Page 1 of 2 pages)     (# of views)   3 comments
Author 89170
Message Dr. Lenore Daniels

The Four Spirits sculpture, unveiled at Kelly Ingram Park, September 2013
The Four Spirits sculpture, unveiled at Kelly Ingram Park, September 2013
(Image by Wikipedia)
  Details   DMCA

When people lack a critical understanding of their reality, apprehending it in fragments which they do not perceive as interacting constituent elements of the whole, they cannot truly know that reality---Paulo Freire, Pedagogy of the Oppressed.

Sometime in 2006 and 2007, independent bookstores and the public libraries in the Madison Library system in the self-proclaimed progressive state of Wisconsin decided that texts on history and social justice, particularly if written by black authors, no longer had market value and were simply taking up valuable space on library shelves. That is how I came to possess my second copy of the socialist E. Franklin Frazier's classic Black Bourgeoisie. I owned a copy of the book in my late teens. Another throw-away book was the late black journalist Louis E. Lomax's The Negro Revolt. There were others. Thrown into the mix was the historian Eric Foner's Reconstruction. Today, who needs to read a classic historical work on Reconstruction?

In 2006 and 2007, America was in the thick of the "post racism" era. Those ridding Madison of those troublesome authors with their reminders about the past and it's legacy were thinking in terms of their children, mainly white children in K -12 and in college, attending the two -year tech college and the University of Wisconsin Madison (where the department of African American Studies, at the time, shortened the faculty list and, of course, course offerings). In yet another capitalist crisis, the desperation of some white parents to see their children "succeed" isn't troubled by matters of slavery's legacy ( that is, the reality of children privileged by race )nor is it troubled by 150 plus years of officially legal and unofficially practiced disenfranchisement and discrimination.

So in 2006 or 2007, who talked about healing ? If anything, it was white America that had been wounded. White Americans suffered from "lazy" blacks on welfare. And the immigrants (meaning the Mexicans and Haitians stealing jobs from white Americans) are such a menace to what it means to be an American. Liberal Americans have done enough for "whinny" African Americans and people, as Trump succinctly labeled countries with predominantly African and Indigenous descendants recently, from "shithole countries".

And most of America believed this to be true in 2006 and 2007.

How far has America traveled from Barack Obama's first election as president in January 2009 and his last day in office in January 2017? How far has the country traveled from days when the "Founders" desired freedom from the British and the retention of the Northern and Southern colonies "property"? All of their property the land and the human labor that tilled the soil!

*

There had been other bombings, but for the children, the four little girls, in particular, it was another Sunday. A day to dress up and look pretty. After all, they were children that happened to live in an area of Birmingham, Alabama called Dynamite Hill where the target of white terrorism encircled black homes and churches.

Earlier in the year of 1963, on May 10 th , some of their fellow mates, children and teens, marched in the streets under the leadership of Rev. James Bevel and others in protest against the policies and laws that encouraged Alabamians, working class men and women, housewives, pastors, politicians at the state and local levels, and law enforcers to engage in a practice of violence against the blacks. Children joined the protest, walking out of classrooms to fill the streets, marching in protest of injustice only to be greeted by grown men with fire hoses, blasting full on their small bodies while other children faced charging dogs. Under the leadership of Eugene "Bull" Connor. it was all about "safety" not justice for the elected Commissioner of Public Safety in Birmingham. By day's end, nearly a thousand children, behind bars, sang "We Shall Overcome."

"You must understand," Chris McNair, the late father of Carol Denise once explained, "that a Bull Connor can not exist without the nods of the status quo people. You know, the big boys in any town. He can't exist without them. He may be the person who actually does the talking; but believe me the Bull Connors have the blessings of someone else."

McNair could have made this statement ten years ago, last month, last week. Yesterday. This is America where the violence of collective nods toward inequities inflicts wounds. It's not a matter of African Americans "playing the race card," or holding an "ancient grudge." The wounds, as foundational as the violence of conquest and enslavement, follow even little children as they play on the way to church.

I doubt if they knew anything about another child, the 14-year old Emmett Till, murdered in 1955. In this year, 2019, appearing on the Internet, is an Instagram photo featuring two young white men each sporting rifles and each standing on either side of Emmett Till's Memorial plaque at Old Miss. The memorial plaque is riddled with bullet holes.

The image went virile: Americans couldn't believe their eyes! Only "official," swastika wearing and Confederate flag waving "white supremacists," or only the "sick," that is, as Trump chimed in, "the mentally ill," could possibly do such a thing in a country. But in 2016, educated white women joining working class men in lines at the polls voted for Trump. What had these young white men, been taught to think about black people ? What had they been taught to preserve at all cost? What history had been deliberately held back from their home and classroom education?

On this morning of September 15th, 1963, the little black girls wouldn't have thoughts about the body of that boy child, recovered from the Tallahatchie River, showing evidence of how he was tortured, forced to endure the hate and savagery of adult men honoring the ideology of white supremacy.

And Americans asks themselves today, who would think of hurting children? Who would think of detaining and caging children? Babies? But so much forgetting is an American way of being. A virtue: forget and move on. Children were captured too. For sport, some were bayoneted by French or Spanish slave merchants in front of horrified mothers, like so many babies snatched from their mother's breast today. Horrified mothers witness to the spirit-killing practice that is just as inhumane as the one's practiced by Europeans with bayonets.

Next Page  1  |  2

 

Well Said 2   Valuable 2   Must Read 1  
Rate It | View Ratings

Dr. Lenore Daniels Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

Activist, writer, American Modern Literature, Cultural Theory, PhD.

Go To Commenting
The views expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.
Writers Guidelines
Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
Support OpEdNews

OpEdNews depends upon can't survive without your help.

If you value this article and the work of OpEdNews, please either Donate or Purchase a premium membership.

STAY IN THE KNOW
If you've enjoyed this, sign up for our daily or weekly newsletter to get lots of great progressive content.
Daily Weekly     OpEdNews Newsletter
Name
Email
   (Opens new browser window)
 

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

Have You Had Enough of the Madness of Capitalism? Is It Time To Consider What Marx Really Said?

America's Embrace of Willful Ignorance

Get Out!: Harassment of Black Americans Has Historical Roots in American History

The All-Too Familiar American Narrative: Justice is too Scary! Witness 40 in Ferguson, USA

Me Too: Abuse of Power and Managed Inequality

This Isn't Kafkaesque. It's the Moment Americans Created

Comments

The time limit for entering new comments on this article has expired.

This limit can be removed. Our paid membership program is designed to give you many benefits, such as removing this time limit. To learn more, please click here.

3 people are discussing this page, with 3 comments


Dr. Lenore Daniels

Become a Fan
Author 89170
(Member since Jul 29, 2013), 3 fans, 42 articles, 62 comments, 1 diaries
Not paid member and Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in Not paid member and Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in Not paid member and Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in Not paid member and Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

  New Content

History matters! But Americans would prefer to forget! So cycles of violence continues.

Submitted on Thursday, Sep 26, 2019 at 2:53:57 PM

  Recommend  (3+)
Help
Indent

Floyd Tolar

Become a Fan
Author 21438
(Member since Sep 8, 2008), 221 comments
Not paid member and Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in Not paid member and Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in Not paid member and Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in Not paid member and Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

Reply to Dr. Lenore Daniels:   New Content

If you want to put the average American to sleep, start talking about our history... It makes me want to knock heads together.

Submitted on Thursday, Sep 26, 2019 at 10:10:11 PM

  Recommend  (2+)
Help
Indent

David Watts

Become a Fan
Author 10429
(Member since Jan 31, 2008), 13 fans, 20 articles, 28 quicklinks, 2321 comments, 27 diaries
Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

Reply to Dr. Lenore Daniels:   New Content

Powerful article. It makes my stomach churn an angry, sad, sickening churn. But ... thank you for posting real, hard-hitting history...

Submitted on Thursday, Sep 26, 2019 at 11:28:09 PM

  Recommend  (1+)
Help