Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Kings Legacy for Sale $$$$$

A couple of weeks ago while listening to Npr I heard a story of how Dr. Kings children were planning on auctioning his papers. http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=5511144, These papers included handwritten drafts of his I have a Dream Speech, A letter from the Birmingham jail and his acceptance speech for the Nobel Peace Prize, along with hundreds of other documents detailing. Dr. Kings thoughts and actions during the civil rights movement.

These documents date from 1946-1968. The documents were to be auctioned by the world famous auction house Sotheby's

The collection was expected to be sold for between 15 million and 30 million dollars. The King children insisted that the collection be sold in one lot and preferably to a university or museum that would allow the documents to be viewed by the public and for study by scholars, students ect. Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin and former Mayor Andrew Young put together a group of civic and business leaders who were able to come up with the enough money to but the whole archive.

Although the amount agreed upon by the Kings and the purchasing group is unknow, it is known that Southeby's were going to auction them for the amount of $15 to $30 million dollars. This is a blessing for Kings home town of Atlanta, Georgia because the Smithsonian Institute and Duke University were interested in purchasing Kings papers. fortunately the papers will go to Kings Alma mater More house. For this I am truly relieved. But my question is am I the only one who believes that it was wrong of Kings Children to sell the papers and that they should have been donated? I find this whole escapade to be a little disgusting. I wonder anyone else feels the way I do. other . Mark Bey

Monday, June 26, 2006

Bad Negroes
I have always been inspired by black men and women of past times who stood up and risked life and limb to protect themselves, their children and property. As you may or may not know the criminal justice system was rigged in an obvious and most offensive way against black folk.
Their have been numerous accounts of whites walking into town and murdering black folk in broad daylight never to be charged with a crime.
If their was a trial an all white Jury would usually rule that their wasn’t enough evidence to convict the accused white man or it was self defense, or in the case of lynching it would be ruled, " died at the hands of persons unknown". In fact black people were not even allowed to testify against whites in their own or family members defense.In spite of hundreds of accounts of extra legal killings and murders of black Americans no white person was convicted of murdering blacks until the 1940’s.

During this time millions of blacks migrated to northern areas because of job opportunities and less harsh racial oppression . The situation in the south was no less than state and federally allowed terrorism against black american citizens. James Weldon Johnson was almost lynched by the Florida State Militia for walking in public with a light complexioned African American woman, who the white folks thought was white. Into to this mix steps the bad Negro/ Negress or BN's . These folks male and female deserve major kudos for the shining example of race pride and courage they displayed in the face of the most offensive assualts against their humanity.
A nice percentage of these BN’s ended up swinging from a rope, in jail, whipped, maimed, and or ran off of their land. These BN’s came in the form of slaves and escaped slaves, as well as free people of color. With names such as Frederick Douglass, Robert Smalls (captain smalls)http://www.robertsmalls.org/, Hariett Tubman (black Moses) http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/aia/part4/4p1535.html , whom the great John brown referred to as General Tubman. and Ida B Wells who carried a pistol on her persons and promising to take a few of the lynch mob with her. Over the years their have been thousands of BN’s such as Nat Turner, Dangerfield Newby, Jack Johnson (first black heavy weight), Emitt Till ( Ill be blogging about him in minute), Ned Cobb (All gods Dangers) and a whole lot of others. http://www.nathanielturner.com/allgodsdangersnateshaw3.html .These BN’s existed everywhere across the country and they should all be given respect and love from the entire black community. At a latter date I will be blogging about these and other BN’s .
P.S I consider John Brown a BN, as far as Im concerned his strike against Harpers Ferry, West VA more than qualifies him. Stay tuned I will be blogging more about BN's in the near future. Peace Mark Bey

Wednesday, June 21, 2006


On June 19 1865 General Grangrer (
http://ngeorgia.com/history/granger.html) read General Order No. 3 announcing the abolishment of slavery for all times in the United States of America. Although some slaves had been freed earlier in the war, in that part of Texas slavery was still the way of the world for African Americans.

President Lincoln first issued the Emancipation Proclamation shortly after the battle of Antietem,
http://www.civilwar.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=1727&Itemid=39 however with no Union Army around to enforce the Proclamation slavery continued until General Granger rode into Galveston Texas and told the slaves and their owners that slavery was forever abolished.
General Granger also told the slaves they were free to stay and work out terms with their master, or they could leave and go wherever they wanted. Some freed people stayed some left. Their have been lots of accounts of freed people being murdered on for leaving their former masters. Hundreds of freed people caught in between returning Confederate Veterans and Union Army protected Zones were slaughtered by the returning Confederates.It has been said Lincoln wanted to issue the proclamation sooner but didn’t feel like he had the political capital because of the defeats the Union army was suffering. After the Union victory at Antitiem

Lincoln issued the proclamation and 2 and half years later General Granger announced the total and forever abolition of slavery.So Juneteenth is the celebration of when the last slaves where freed in America. Celebrated on June 1865 to combat the day General Granger and his soldiers delivered the news of General Lees surrender, the end of the war and freedom to those still in bondage.Juneteenth has been celebrated by some African Americans since the end of the civil war especially in the south. Originally Juneteenth was a day of remembrance and celebration with some slaves making a pilgrimage to Galveston, Texas. As African Americans were able to save enough money to purchase property, they were able to host Juneteenth celebrations on land that they owned and paid for. These celebrations featured food and drinks, dancing, reminiscing and prayer.

Their are accounts of white landowners trying to break up Juneteenth celebrations because they didn’t want to give African Americans laborers the day off, however most Landowners allowed their laborers to have the day off some even donated food or money. During one of the early celebrations of Juneteenth the Rev. Jack Yates held a fund raiser that yielded $1000.00 along with enough money to purchase Emancipation park in Houston , Texas.

Juneteenth continued to be celebrated by the African American community throughout the south until the crippling economic realities of the great depression laid waste to millions of peoples fortunes, life savings, ect. African Americans who were already suffering from crippling poverty as well as blatant racial intimidation, where left without any extra money to celebrate Umpteenth or most other holidays. So having more urgent and pressing needs Junteeth was not widely celebrated and was somewhat forgotten in the African American community until the civil rights movement of the 60's and 70‘s.

In 1980 the Texas legislator passed a law making Juneteenth (
http://www.elecvillage.com/juneteen.htm) an official holiday. The passing of this legislation was made possible due to the efforts of Al Edwards, an African American state legislator from Texas. Nationally known museums such as the Smithsonian, the Henry Ford Museum have both started sponsoring Juneteenth-centered events. No doubt as African Americans work their way up the social and economic latter more of us will celebrate and honor June 19 or Juneteenth as a day of reflection that all Americans not just African Americans can be proud of. Major Kudos to the Freed people for making Juneteenth a day that all of the world will come to know, love and respect. Mark Bey

Friday, June 09, 2006


I have a question. I live in N.E Washington DC. Over the last 4 years I have been noticing that people mainly youth are smoking weed right in public. Now I don’t want to argue over the morality of smoking weed right now, however it is illegal and young black people are breaking that law every single day. In Washington DC this is something that I see just about everyday. Every single day hundreds (if not thousands) of black kids are breaking the law. Everyone in the black community knows that this shit is going on. In fact I think it would be impossible for black people to know that black teens are smoking weed in front of kids.

Let me tell you about my typical day. On my way home (I bike), I easily pass several black teens and adults smoking weed right in plain view of kids playing. In a typical day I must see at least 50 kids all of this smoking weed. All of these in my 1 hour ride home. The last time I checked smoking weed was against the law ESPECIALLY IN PUBLIC. Now if I see fifty kids on my way home from work how many kids do all other black dc residents see smoking weed. I would think thousands.

So why do we allow these kids to smoke weed in front of the entire community. Why do we allow these kids to smoke weed instead of looking for jobs, reading and writing. Or learning how to create their own business.

Does anyone really believe that we can compete with the rest of the world under such circumstances. This is the bottom line I am not a nosy person, I mind my business, I really do not know what’s going on in everyday community life. So, If I am noticing these kids smoking weed in front of everyone. Then our entire community most being noticing it as well.
If we notice it but don’t stop it. Aren’t we giving it sanction, aren’t we saying by default this is something we will allow to happen in our communities.

Under those circumstance why don’t we just create a manifesto that says it is ok for , anyone to smoke weed in our communities and neighborhoods, in front of toddlers and great grandmothers. It should also say, Hey World Us black people think that it is alright to smoke weed in front of kids. Hey World Us Black people don’t mind if thousands of black kids break the law every single day all of this happens in front of thousands adults. . But hell we cant do that, that would be to much truth for most of us I think.

If we are going to allow this to happen in front of kids why should anyone on the planet respect us. After all it says to me that we have very little respect for ourselves. Why shouldn’t the rest of the world follow the same status quo that black folk are setting.? Mark Bey

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Mrs. Linda
(The tale of how a pushy woman can drive a brotha into the arms of golf)

When I was a kid, my parents would sometimes send us to Ms. Linda's when they went to Mississippi. Mrs. Linda and my parents went way back and knew each other from Natchez, Mississippi. You see I was raised in Oxon Hill Maryland. My parents are from Mississippi and so are Mrs. Linda and Mr. Bob. When my parents went on vacation or had pressing business that called for them to travel home sometimes we would be dropped at Mrs. Linda's. Being from the burbs it was a welcome change of scenery. Spending 2 or so weeks in DC with more freedom than we had at home was something that we cherished every year. At Mrs. Linda’s we got to stay out later, stay up later and live a life of freedom we normally didn’t live at home. Anyway Mrs. Linda was pretty much like our parents, liked to laugh, smoke, drink, play spades, basically had that authentic southern down home realness, brutal honesty and openness to friends and neighbors.
One thing that I vividly remember about Mrs. Linda is that she and her oldest son Craig had an antagonistic love hate relationship going on. They were constantly at each other’s throats. Not a day went by when she didn’t yell at him. She yelled at everybody to tell you the truth. Including yours truly. She also whupped asses. Including yours truly. She even yelled at her very mild mannered husband (Mr. Bob) whom everyone liked, Ill speak more about him later. When it was time to come in and eat, she yelled, when someone had finished taking their bath, she might yell for you to come wash your ass, when you had done something she didn’t like of course she might yell. But at the same time one always felt loved by Mrs. Linda she was a wonderful cook, a very loving person, very maternal, but even by liberal standards she would be considered just a tad bit too pushy.
Sometimes shed even cut on you (in a loving but stinging way). And Lawd have mercy! how Mrs. Linda could cut one to pieces if she caught you slipping. Mrs Linda could also light that ass up as well and I can never forget that belt she used when talking or yelling didnt get her point across. That was one scary looking belt, if there was a Hall of fame for sinister looking belts the belt she used on our hindparts would have a strong chance of being inducted. Anyway Mrs. Linda could bring the heat by, sparing the rod, yelling or cutting you to pieces. The whole family (ceptin for Mr. Bob) had a fondness for cutting each other as well as others. Mrs. Linda had passed her skillz at cutting folks down to the entire family.
The undisputed champion of cutting was her son Craig, who was also a smart mouth. Her son was her most avid and talented pupil indeed. Craig was one of the funniest people I’ve known in my life. Anyway not a day went be when I didn’t hear Mrs. Linda screaming at somebody for something. But the odd thing is Mrs. Linda who was overweight, had high blood pressure and was on medication for it still did more yelling than anybody in the house. She was constantly saying things such as " yall aint gone run my pressure up I works to damm hard", while screaming it at the top of her lungs.I would often watch as Mrs Linda brought Mr. Bob his steaming plate of food at dinner time. Mr. Bob usually sat at the couch watching TV while he ate.
During these times it would not be unnormal to hear Mrs. Linda yelling at Mr. Bob. She might yell at him if he opened the hot sauce wrong, or if he couldn’t get the salt or pepper shaker to work (in which case she might walk over and open it for him), or it could be for something like not mixing his potatoes properly. I mean all of those things literally by the way. It was more than obvious even to even to a young kid such as me, that Mr. Bob was Mrs. Linda's favorite target. But to be truthful everyone in the house hold was a potential target to Mrs.
Anyway one morning we were eating breakfast. It was me, my little brother, Craig and Mrs. Linda. Mrs. Linda was giving it to my little brother, I think it was because of how he was eating, she was questioning him on why he was eating a certain way, I don’t remember if was eating too fast, slow or was putting to much food in his mouth at one time. However this was in keeping with Mrs. Linda's normal behavior. In the middle of her grilling my little brother, her son Craig announced for everyone present to hear that one time the babysitter had tried to tell him how to eat and he’d just turned around and stole her. Everyone in the room started laughing, I mean it was one of those times where you try not to laugh out of respect for an adult but no one could hold their laughter in, the more we tried the funnier it got. So not being able to hold it in everyone present just went ahead and laughed freely (everyone except Mrs. Linda).
As for Mr. Bob this guy was one of the most mild manner and humble people I’ve ever known. I never knew Mr. Bob to bother or get mad anybody.In fact, I dont ever remeber him raising his voice. I never knew anyone other than his wife to be upset with him. His mild and quite manner was the exact opposite of his wife and made for an interesting and striking contrast. Their was one thing about Mr. Bob I did not understand. That was his love of golf, Mr. Bob really, really loved golf. Other than his family golf was the only thing Id ever known him to be committed to and this was long before Tiger came along and made golf sexy, while opening up a can of whup ass on the entire P.G.A. He had clubs and often he play even if it rained. In fact it was from him that I first learned about golfers being struck by lightning while playing golf. He even had the audacity to watch it on TV sometimes (and my how we suffered). Since it was the only TV in the house if Mr. Bob watched golf it meant that everyone watched golf. At times like these I usually sat quietly playing in the corner.

From what I could see Mr. Bob and Mrs. Linda had an agreement, she would cook, clean and deal with the kids for the most part. He would work and provide for his family. She would yell at him, whenever and for whatever she wanted to. He didn’t have to left a finger, fold any clothes and dinner was always brought to him. Now of course their was a line that Mrs. Linda never crossed with Mr. Bob and that was established and understood by both of them, probably before they left Mississippi in the sixties. Although I have no idea of what type of agreement they had between them, it probably went something like this. Mrs. Linda got to say whatever she wanted, whenever she wanted and how loud she wanted to. She was allowed to have her unquestioned way around the house, as well as hold and wear the balls that god intended for Mr. Bob. What he got in return was to be taken care of and to play golf anytime he wanted to. Now that I think about it, Mr. Bob's love of golf makes perfect sense. Being out on the golf course was probably the only time Mr. Bob didn’t have, anyone yelling at him, for absolutely no reason. The poor man probably just wanted some piece and quite. The green quite, expanse of the golf course probably represented the one place he was truly free and would not be overwhelmed with any foolishness from his pushy wife. . Almost twenty years removed from those scenes, I can now say I understand where Mr. Bob was coming from. Mark Bey

P.S All names have been changed to protect the privacy of the people featured. Otherwise it is a true and accurate picture of the author’s life in the early 80's and late 70's. At the time I didn’t think anything was special about those summers at Mrs. Linda's however now I think back on those days with fondness and appreciation. But I can’t help wondering if their others who have had similar experiences.

Saturday, June 03, 2006


When I was a kid I use to have a major fascination with dinosaurs and other prehistoric animals. I remember checking out every book in the school library on dinosaurs and other prehistoric animals. This world consisted of ancient lizard, snakes, turtles, bears, horses as well as hundreds of other now extinct animals. Over the years I have even spent my own money buying books about prehistoric animals. I would later learn more about prehistoric animals through shows like Nova and the Discovery channel. I was the only person I knew who had such a fascination with dinosaurs. Which didn’t bother me , I was happy in my own world of exotic animal, plants and landscapes. I learned that the first fossils http://english.people.com.cn/english/199911/26/eng19991126R101.html appeared roughly 500 million years ago. Although that has probably been adjusted somewhat as I am not up to speed on current prehistory research. I also had a strong love and curiosity about science, religion, literature, history, ect. It is this curiosity which compels me to seek knowledge and understanding especially for the subjects I am interested in.

I remember reading a story from one book about prehistoric animals in which a Clam and a
Starfish fought a duel for survival with the clam losing and the starfish http://www.nefsc.noaa.gov/press_release/2000/news00.11.html ending up with a belly full of fresh clam. Paleontologist know from ancient rock samples that the ancient seas were full of fish, sharks, and dolphin like reptiles, shellfish ( clams) and starfish. For a curios kid like myself anything relating to science, history and dinosaur ‘s was eagerly sought after and voraciously consumed. The way I imagined Saber took tigers attacked and devoured their prey.

During my studies of paleontology I read a story about a Russians who had found Woolly Mammoth Remains in the Frozen tundra. After studying it the dogs were allowed to eat the carcass. I tried to imagine this in my mind. I imagined a hairy elephant, surrounded by guys in fur skin coats. The dogs were German Sheppard‘s ( the only dogs I was familiar with) and happily devouring the carcass as they snarled at each other. I desperately wanted to see a picture of the whole scene. But the book had no pictures. Anyway growing up science, history, and books in general created alternate and rich world for me to grow and develop in. Back in 1997 a Woolly Mammoth Carcass was located in the frozen tundra by its tusk that had been exposed above the service

A few years later their was a show about an international paleontology team’s efforts to dig up what they thought was the well preserved remains of a woolly mammoth. The animal which they later discovered was around forty seven years of age had gotten stuck in an ancient creek. and had been frozen. It was during this show that I finally got to see a picture of a preserved woolly mammoth. It was a baby, it was hairless and it looked like it had been flattened. But one could clearly see that it was something that looked like a baby elephant. Which is what a baby mammoth would have more or less looked like. This pictures were used during the program about digging up the mammoth to show the history of frozen mammoths being excavated. Seeing the picture of that ancient mammoth took me back to my childhood days when I first read about those fascinating creatures, finally I had got to see what one actually looked. The satisfaction I felt can be extracted from many such experiences , anyone who has wanted something or wanted to know something for a period of time. When I saw that show about the Jarkov mammoth, http://www.explorenorth.com/library/weekly/aa032400a.htm it was one of those moments where one gets to realize the answer to a long held question they were extremely curious about. The problems is I have always been of the mind, that every answer only reveals more questions. So now I look forward to a time (hopefully in the near future) when they actually make public their attempts to clone a Woolly Mammoth using a female elephant as a surrogate mother. To be honest I just wanted to express reason number infinity times a million why I feel pleased that good has spared me all this time. Most folks on the planet do not have TV’s much less cable. I just would like to thank god for all of the blessing that have been handed to me over the years. Including health, sight, hearing, having enough food to eat ect. Some folks have nothing I was blessed enough to have everything I’ve always needed. Kudos’ to The big G (God) for all of the blessing I have received. Peace. Mark