Two of the Greatest — Malcolm X & Muhammad Ali
"I am America. I am the part you won’t recognize. But get used to me. Black, confident, cocky; my name, not yours; my religion, not yours; my goals, my own; get used to me." — Ali
“Confusion is a gift from God. Those times when you feel most desperate for a solution, sit. Wait. The information will become clear. The confusion is there to guide you. Seek detachment and become the producer of your life.” —RZA
This blessed my soul today.
"From all sides pressure is put upon the Negro artist to deny his culture, his roots, his selfhood. How many black writers have you heard engage in this abject self-denial: "I am not a Negro writer. I am a writer who happens to be a Negro." But the truth of the matter is that we black Americans are all Negroes (African Americans, if you prefer) who happen to have become writers, painters, lawyers, subway motormen, doctors, teachers, ditch diggers, pickpockets, hustlers, or whatever. We see life from the vantage point of being Negro. A creative writer writes out of his particular frame of reference, which is the sum total of his life’s experience, and he had better come to terms with it as hurriedly as possible.
Yet from Hollywood to Broadway to Madison Avenue, I hear variations of the same refrain: “John, why do you insist upon writing about Negroes? Why don’t you write about people?” As often as I’ve heard that one, it never fails to jar me, laboring, as I have, under the illusion that Negroes are people. Another goes like this: “The thing I liked about your story, John, it was universal. It could have been about anybody.” Well— I submit that a story that could have been about anybody is probably about precisely nobody at all. Negroes are the only people in this world who are set apart because of who they are, and, at the same time told to forget who they are by the same people who set them apart in the first place.” pg. 28
—— Published in 1965
*John Oliver Killens is one of my all-time favorite writers. My favorite books by him are Cotillion & Youngblood.
"It has to be admitted that it is impossible for American society as it is now constituted to integrate or assimilate the Negro. Jim Crow is a built-in component of the American social structure. There is no getting around it. Moreover, there is no organized force in the United States at present, capable of altering the structural form in society, the American society.
From the Negro, himself, must come the revolutionary social theories of an economic, cultural, and political nature that will be his guides for social action — the new philosophies of social change. If the white working class is ever to move in the direction of demanding structural changes in society, it will be the Negro who will furnish the initial force.”
—- Harold Cruse, taken from the essay, Revolutionary Nationalism and the Afro-American published in the 1968 anthology Black Fire
Harold Cruse’s most critical work is his book, The Crisis of the Negro Intellectual. The commentary offered in this collection of essays are relevant today, in spite of the book’s initial publishing in 1967.
The photo above is in connection to the last post of the bill of sale for slaves. This is an actual slab from an auction block that was located in downtown Memphis during that dreadful period of history. Memphis used to be a bustling port city because of its proximity to the Mississippi River. Slaves were transported by riverboat to downtown Memphis to be auctioned off. For several years, there was a street named Auction until it was changed most recently.