“For 246 years our uncompensated labor launched wealthy institutions and private corporate fortunes in America such as Brown University and Fleet Bank, both founded by the Brown brothers, who got their start in American business building slave ships and investing in the slave trade.
Cotton made everyone associated with it wealthy- the plantation owners, the brokers, the shippers, the shipbuilders, the jobbers, the United States treasury- everyone became rich except for the people who produced the cotton. They- we- us- our forebearers- were stripped of everything- the value of our labor, our mothers, our fathers, our children, and by the tens of millions, our very lives.
And so my friends, let us tell our young that we are behind in America not because there is anything wrong with us, but rather, that something heinous happened a long time and continued for a long time after. Tell them that our people have a proud and ancient history that must be told to them, that slavery robbed us of warranted wealth and memory, that slavery extended under new guises well into the 20th century, that we have endured in America every imaginable discrimination for 346 years.
Tell them we have been the victims of the longest-running crime against humanity in the world over the last 500 years. And lastly, tell them that like all other peoples in the world who’ve suffered human rights crimes at the hands of governments- Jews, Koreans, Japanese-Americans- we too must be compensated by the government complicit in the crime against us.” -From, “The Reckoning” By: Randall Robinson
In her autobiography, Beverly Johnson discusses the cuisine she was introduced to when she was on a photo shoot in Brazil: “I always enjoyed tasting the local cuisine of every country I visited during my career…Brazil’s national dish is feijoada, a tasty stew that differs throughout the country, but where I was it comprised beans, fresh pork or beef, cabbage, kale, potatoes, okra, carrots, and pumpkin in one large yummy meal. Feijoada had been served to Brazilian slaves, because it contained the unwanted part of the pig (such as the feet, nose, ears) and cheap black beans. This made me think of African-American slaves who were fed with the leftovers of whatever was served in the main house on the plantation.”
“The brain is remarkably adaptive. Like a muscle that gets stronger with use, the brain changes itself when you struggle to master a new challenge. In fact, there’s never a time in life when the brain is completely ‘fixed.’ Instead, all our lives, our neurons retain the potential to grow new connections with one another and to strengthen the ones we already have. What’s more, throughout adulthood, we maintain the ability to grow myelin, a sort of insulting sheath that protects neurons and speeds signals traveling between them.” -From, “Grit” By: Angela Duckworth
“South Carolina’s slave-plantation owners had known nothing about how to grow and irrigate rice. That knowledge was brought to the low country by Africans stolen from the Sierra Leone by the Royal African company of England. As the slaves produced the rice that made the plantation owners rich, their glistening backs bore the branded acronymn of their corporate captors: R.A.C.E.” From, “The Reckoning” By: Randall Robinson
“Black Americans Are too easily deceased by a few smiles and friendly gestures, by the passing of a few liberal sounding laws which are left on the books to rot unenforced, and by the mushy speech-making of a president who is a past master of talking out of the thousand sides of his mouth.
Such poetry the does not guarantee the safe future of the black people in America. The black people must have a guarantee, they must be certain they must be sure beyond all doubt that the reign of terror is ended and not just suspended, and that the future of their people is secure. And the only way they can ensure this is to gain organizational unity and communication with their brothers and allies around the world, on an international basis. They must have this power. There is no other way. Anything else is a sellout of the future of their people. The world of today was fashioned yesterday what is involved here, what is being decided right now, is the shape of power in the world tomorrow.” From, “Soul Of Ice” By: Eldridge Cleaver
“Every mass movement in history has been led by one person or a small group of people. Although everyone is born with a brain, only a few choose to use it. The difference between successful and unsuccessful mass movements is in the people who lead them. Successful ones are led by persons gifted with a delicate balance of both mental and physical forcefulness. Brains are useless without the nervous equipment and the muscle required to execute their orders.” -From, “Soledad Brother” By: George Jackson
“He who does not know how to identify and assess power, in oneself and others, will be deceived by it, and he who does not know how to wield the power he possesses will eventually be undone by it.” -From, “Catch A Fire” By: Timothy White
“I as told that in Ghana they can have a harvest every two and a half months, which means you can put something in the ground and two and a half months later something is coming up. That tells me that potentially Africa could feed the whole planet.
The western region of Africa could feed the whole continent. I think the western region of Africa could feed the world but it’s been divided by colonialism, imperialism, and neocolonialism. So the western region of Africa is not feeding the African nations that are starving. The western region of Africa can’t supply other parts of Africa with that which it needs. Whenever you have to get approval from Europe to feed fellow human beings, what the [expletive] is that about?” -From, “Rap, Race, and Reality,” By: Chuck D
“Each morning is a fresh beginning. We are, as it were, just beginning life. We have it entirely in our own hands. And when the morning with its fresh beginning comes, all yesterdays should be yesterdays, with which we have nothing to do. Sufficient is it to know that the way we lived our yesterday has determined for us our today. And again, when the morning with its fresh beginning comes, all tomorrows should be tomorrows with which we have nothing to do. Sufficient to know that the way we live our today determines our tomorrow.” -From, “In Tune With The Infinite” By: Ralph Waldo Trine
“There are those moments when no one is watching, those times when work becomes laborious, when we feel as if we’re going to sink underneath our desks, when we wish we could go home and sleep for months at a time. We live large portions of life like this, in that period athletes call the grind. And I have noticed that this is the period of life in which most people tend to throw up their arms and surrender. But this is when the victorious figures of our society have done the opposite. They’ve developed an immunity to the grind…That ability to persevere, to grind even at your weakest, is a product of strength, of will, or preparation, most of it is within the walls of your own psyche.” -From, “How To Be Like Mike”