Tag Archive: segregation


I’ve made it a point to live in a few cities which were unkind to my black American slavery ancestors, partly due to my years as a radio disc jockey and lately, just because we can now. The latest was in Virginia, the state which, ironically, is the setting for the 2016 movie, “Loving”, which I recently rented from the public library after seeing the trailer prior to a different film.

Directed by Jeff Nichols, this isn’t just a romance story as its title might suggest. The Lovings and this “Commonwealth” state were the centerpiece for a landmark US Supreme Court case, Loving v Virginia and the 1967 decision which erased laws that made interracial marriages criminally illegal in the United States. I didn’t know this – or probably forgot the nuances of that high school American history lesson – until watching this movie revived those facts. This was going on while I was a young teen growing up in New York City where everybody went steady with anybody you liked! Wow. Scary.

“I’m pregnant” are the first words uttered by Mildred, played by Ruth Negga (interesting surname for this type of story, don’t you think?) to which Richard Loving, played by Joel Edgerton (famous for his role in “Black Mass”) replied, “Good. That’s real good.” The progress of the story tries your patience to get into, but is worth the wait. It could be categorized a docu-drama and used as a teaching tool!

All through the film, I kept asking, “who ratted them out?” Getting rousted out of bed in the middle of the night and offed to jail by the mean ole KKK-ish sheriff, played to the hilt by Marton Csokas (“Noah”, “The Equalizer”, “Aeon Flux”), cold southern drawl and all. “That’s no good here..” – pretty good for a New Zelander – just for being in love. They even threw Mildred in jail while pregnant and in her bath robe! One thing that hasn’t changed to this day is a woman getting pregnant out of wedlock, I noticed. Richard didn’t hesitate to ‘make an honest woman’ out of Ruth, however. You’ll see some slightly amusing “city-country-city” cultural moments among the uncomfortable heartbreak.

This is a reminder of many shameful episodes of America’s racial integration past, the vestiges of which some among us still struggle to eradicate. Watching it conjured emotions of anger, sadness and resolute hope deep inside. I couldn’t help wondering if this is why Virginia gives me a kind of weird vibe sometimes; like suppressed parsimony is in its soil.

During the end credits, they show photos of the original couple portrayed and I cheered the Casting Director, Francine Maisler.

I feel this film with four stars and can’t help wondering how the Supreme Court would have ruled if the man was a black American and the woman Caucasian; would it have even gotten the same attention and to the Chief Justices?

Pickhit: Thank you to WordPress for noticing that this is the date of my 10th anniversary here. Thank you, dear reader for reading my words!

Here we are, will it be a Happy New Year, 2019?!

When Author David Hunter found my ACX.com narrator profile and contacted me to read his book as an audio-book eighteen months ago, honestly, I thought it was another random scam attempt comin’ at me.

However, when I ginned-up my skeptical courage and contacted him via email, his enthusiasm for my chops (radio DJ talk for “voice”) was infectious! Suddenly I remembered the 1970s LIFE cereal commercial tag line, “Hey Mikey! He likes it!”

I invite you to join in our growing experience early in this clean year. Here I am, a (currently) former music radio personality, aka “Disc Jockey” with much left in my tank, trying to remain viable among changing media seas, in-concert with an Author who has written importantly, educationally and sociologically to help a specific ethnicity of mankind, exploring uncharted waters. You can listen to and purchase with a special discount promotion via itunes by right-clicking on this reference to open in a new tab or window:

https://www.audible.com/pd/I-Flunked-Sambo-University-10-InvisibleSchools-by-Which-African-Americans-Learn-to-Look-down-on-Their-Own-Genetic-Heritage-Audiobook/B07CJNHZGK

Also available on Amazom and Audible.com (an Amazon company), complete with link under the cover art to hear a sample of my reading. I couldn’t believe how patient and positive Mr. Hunter was throughout the months-long process of recording/producing each chapter and attending credits, because that kind of adulation is what I got used to in radio and which is suddenly sorely absent in the current corporate landscape of my earlier fun broadcasting on-mic career, sadly.

As for the book itself, I could not have written such a persuasively enlightening masterpiece that is so possibly controversially precise, because I avoid or am weary of the whole “race thing” in America. That is for others to cause. My eyes glaze-over when I hear and see the so-called current “President” of the United States of America waffle on violent race rallies and cavort/encourage with the radical fringe of insecure and mentally challenged anachronisms who attach a hue to the word “supremacists”. It is so passe`.
In my world, and as I hope in yours and most of today’s earthly humans, as the mid-1980s classic song by Jimmy Cliff says, “We All Are One”.

So now…to lighten things back up, for those of you who don’t know about the “Mikey” I mentioned above, I cannot resist plopping-in the video of that classic TV commercial of my youth below.

Enjoy and please travel with a good audio-book,(hopefully this one) soon!

I thought this was “settled”!  Then came a lull and apparently Uncle Sam allowed too many colored immigrants to become “citizens” without qualifying them as to the history of how American Blacks fought to overcome segregation and conduct ourselves correctly while raising our kin to do likewise. The police are not our enemies – this is not the 1960s!  So to you newbiees, Cocoanuts from the Caribbean and you from wherever you are who is reading this post, I ask, “If you had a choice of skin colors, which one would YOU choose?”

I remember when this song came out and WWRL AM 1600 in New York City (Woodside, to be exact) played it.  It was a cause célèbre because the late Curtis Mayfield and The Impressions had, once again, articulated an argument musically that was going on at the time. I don’t agree with all of the words the lyrics have to say, but the song, unfortunately, still resonates today.

Therefore, it amazes me that it is still a source of American political and social illness here in 2015!

Yet I know why: I am like Curtis Mayfield and The Impressions in that we are Black Americans; descendants of slaves on this continent who came up via the American south lands and whose parents ultimately and after the American Civil War into the beginning of the twentieth century, migrated northward on the east coast. Over time in the mid-to-late twentieth century, “the man” [angry white man establishment who still did not want to embrace us, who were never any threat to the slave master] allowed a whole influx of similar looking people from Caribbean and continental Africa into the continental USA, who have no clue as to the struggle or gains we made and that Curtis Mayfield and The Impressions sang their song unto.

With just a little bit more education and love for our nation would make for a better world for you and for me.”

Please choose your choice of skin colors in the “comments” below – and I will tell you mine, which I told my parents, waay back in the 1960s when I was a little boy! They were surprised, lol

ALL lives matter.

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