Juneteenth falls on Father's Day this Year. It is such a telling story wondering where the Fathers of Kids of Color are. The answer, mostly incarcerated, murdered, absent, and victims to intentional hardships. When you sit back and think about how we are living, watching television, seeing all the violence and disruptive behaviors, do you ever wonder how we got here?
I am a 45-year-old African Descendant of Chattel Slavery Woman and having that question answered has plagued me ever since I moved to Bowie, MD in 1986. Prior to moving to Bowie, I didn’t know what hate was. I was born at George Washington Hospital in NW Washington, DC September 1976 and am a DC Native by way of Q Street NW until we moved to Prince George's County Maryland. My 1st school year in Bowie was in the 4th grade at St. Pius X school. I was met with some of the most mean-spirited children and adults. Hearing things like, “Go Back to Africa Nigger”, “Nigger”, “Charcoal”, & “Crispy” was way too much for me to understand at 9 years old. I wondered how kids could hate so much and why do all these adult Caucasians hate me? My family was the 2nd African Descendant from Chattel Slavery Family to live on Alderwood Lane, which was the longest street in the neighborhood. In the late 80s my sister and I physically witnessed a cross burning at a home not too far from our neighborhood. It was this curiosity that piqued my interest into how it all started. Now this is way before the internet, and how we can use it today, then we just had WordPerfect, so I engrossed myself in books about The Black Panther Party and other leaders aside from Dr. Martin Luther King like Malcolm X, Fred Hampton, Bobby Seale, Assata Shakur, Shirley Chisolm, George Jackson & The Soledad Brothers.
When I left private school due to being displaced by my father at 17, I had to repeat 12th grade to receive a High School diploma. I enrolled in Largo High School and selected African American Studies for my elective class. This course introduced me to Kemet, the beginning. Before this I had never heard of Kemet. This class taught me so much information about life for Africans prior to the kidnapping and transportation through the Transatlantic War (most know this as the Transatlantic Slave Trade), in which many Africans were stolen and forced into Chattel Slavery. I was taken aback by all the useful information I received in comparison to being taught at Private School. With this newly found knowledge I was more intrigued to how we became a class of color, status and wealth.
We have reached a point in our lives where hatred, fear and capitalism have robbed us of our given rights to be free, prosperous and happy. The wealth gap was created from the theft of Africans who were forced into Chattel Slavery in America. These same individuals that forced this cruel and horrible way of life on Africans in America are the people who wrote the Constitution we all live by. It’s the same individuals who decided that living a life of deceit, hate and savagery was the way to become powerful and remain in control.
THE FOUNDATION: On January 1, 1863 President Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation which called on the Union Army to liberate all enslaved people in the states in rebellion as an “act of justice”. The Emancipation Proclamation transformed the Civil War from a war against secession to a war for new birth of freedom. This discouraged France and England from intervening on the Confederacy’s behalf and allowed the enlistment of 180,000 ADOS (African Descendant of Chattel Slavery in America) Soldiers and Sailors. April 1864 the 13th Amendment was passed 2/3rds by the Republican Senate. The House of Representatives, mainly Democrats, passed the amendment in January 1865. Slavery was abolished in 1865, that is 2 years after the Emancipation Proclamation was introduced. It then took 11 months for the Amendment to be adopted into the Constitution. This County has yet to address the effects of their choices to steal a country, murder and the theft of humans from foreign Nations which caused genocide to the Indigenous and those of African descent.
The wealth that was created from Chattel Slavery gave birth to Police Departments, former Chattel Slave Militia, and a Government the we know it today. You tell me what great things can come from a place where the foundation is hate, savagery and deceit? I can tell you; WE ARE LIVING IT NOW!
For this year’s Fathers Day and Juneteenth I ask you to pay attention to Fathers to be and Fathers like Fred Hampton and Malcolm X were advocating for. Pay attention to all the single moms raising their families on their own. Pay attention to how your sons, brothers, nephews and cousins are treated by teachers and other professionals. Our Leaders who were murdered by the Police/FBI/Government could see what would become of all the Foundational hate and capitalism behind our laws. This Foundational Hate covers every aspect of our everyday lives, especially if you are considered “marginal”. To this day the FBI still lists the only organization that stood up against injustices brought against people of color as a Terrorist Organization. Assata Shakur, an amazing Activist for Our People, was the First Woman to be added to the FBI’s Most Wanted Terrorist. Do you know who she is? Look her up, read her autobiography and understand the racist hateful reasoning behind making her a criminal. Forty Years Later The Police are still harassing, arresting and murdering people every day (mostly BIPOC), Crime continues to rise and spread, The Wealth Gap continues to grow and America can be viewed as a Third World Country (Hurricane Katrina Exposed This). Our Physical, Emotional and Mental Health related issues continue to rise while Big Pharma’s wealth goes “to the moon” and our communities are suffering. What most of us believe is that there is nothing we can do to change these situations. I know you feel that way because I used to feel the same way too, even after reading about all these amazing women and men mentioned above.
What changed for me to be more active were my children and my continued struggle as the stereotypical Single Black Mom. From the 80s to now I have watched and experienced myself overpolicing, lack of resources, increased poverty, lost hope, European descent intergenerational wealth growth, redlining, housing and job discrimination and far too much death. While working for corporate America I discovered my pay was $7000 less than another coworker in the exact same position as me was when I had enough, along with the micromanagement. This newly hired coworker was a Caucasian female, single and no children. Why should she get paid more than an employee that has history with the company and is a parent? This was in 2007 and that was the last time I will ever say I had an employer. I decided that I am worth more than what “America'' says I am worth. These last 15 years I have learned and grown so much into myself, my worth and my why. Leaving society behind I can really see what is happening and act accordingly. We are asking the same of you. Just because this is how things have always been doesn’t mean it has to stay the same.
Change is necessary, change is growth, change is empowering. Please join us, the entire family, to be the change you want to see for your future and your children’s futures.
It took 246 years for some of the colonizers of this country to acknowledge their wrongdoings. It took 2 years to agree to free all enslaved people in this colonized country.
On June 19, 1866 there was a celebration that took place in Texas. That marked the 1st Anniversary of the day that African Americans forced into Chattel Slavery learned of the Emancipation Proclamation as they were rescued from enslavement. Even though history tells us this is the day that the remaining slaves were given their freedom we know of word of mouth stories of enslavement occurring well into the 1960s in some Southern States. Historian and Genealogist Antoinette Harrell uncovered cases of African Americans still living as slaves 100 years after the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation. Also not failing to mention land stolen post Reconstruction after the Civil War from many African Descendants of Chattel Slavery Families. My Grandfather who is still living at 94 years old has briefly mentioned remembering a family farm store when he was 3 years old. My 94 years old Grandfather to this day is extremely reserved in speaking about his childhood. I have spent the last 6 years trying to find my ethnicity, my culture, my family, my traditions, my connection. All these things were stolen from us before we were born by the Colonizers War on the Indigenous American Indian and Africans. Happy Father's Day Happy Juneteenth! When will it end?
In Memory of Eleanora Elizabeth Bailey June 19, 2021