Summer Read …. to Gain Exposure …and a MUCH better read than Huck Finn…

The Sport of the Gods by Paul Laurence Dunbar

Recently a millionaire…I mean billionaire, Robert F. Smith stated that he would pay the student loans for all of Morehouse 2019 graduates. Whoa!!! And I mean Whoa!!

I can attest to being beyond happy for them! I can also attest to being one of those who secretly wishes that my guest speaker would have done the same thing…..Bill Cosby….And yes…. I still watch the Cosby Show very often. I actually watched the episode last night when Sandra was sick and the grandmothers went to pick up the twins to help her… oh I love that show! It was because of Bill and Claire that allowed me to know that as a Black female I can do whatever I want to…. and it was because of the spin off A Different World that I saw what an HBCU was.

And besides, how can I condemn a man… I mean yup he did wrong but we are still…. (oh hush Ki… we are making America Great again…🤦🏾‍♀️🤦🏾‍♀️) and it’s interesting that so many are quick to do this; particularly folks who still place their grandparents on a pedestal and they were ones to…. (will you be quiet….you just keep going and going and even though it’s your blog, people are going to think you are a darn racist…. just be quiet…) do all sorts of things in the 1900’s… (don’t you know everyone does NOT care about this…only money)…but that’s another convo…

Let’s go back to Mr. Smith… how amazing is that ….

This is pretty big! It’s something that Oprah has been doing for years. She created a school, is currently working on building something in the US, and has paid for many young people to attend college; including those Morehouse men.

This is essential…it’s essential for us to be reminded that we need to give back. It’s essential for us to be reminded of the idea of Dubois. It’s essential for us to also understand the idea of B.T Washington and even my girl Maria Stewart. Once we make it, we uplift others. Once we make it, our task is to give back to ensure others have the same opportunities… heck….better opportunities. It’s unfair for us to turn our eye (our head…) on our brother, remain scared to assist him for fear of losing our jobs, or even lack the confidence to stand up to help those that have an unfair advantage. Dubois shares this, but then he becomes defeated…. tired

and his ideas change…

Recently I re-read another AA classic; The Sport of the Gods. I wasn’t sure why I was reading this book again until I was halfway through the book. I was returning from a trip. I was refueled. I was refueled by like-minded people. I was refueled by the love from family members, and I was refueled by my own means to reflect. If you have not read this book, it’s a much better book than Huck Finn, and it provides a very accurate account of post slavery life for African Americans. I must warn you that the “n” word (I’m still going to sensor that word…) is in their a few times, but not even close to the 214 times that it can be seen in Huck Finn.

The book sheds light on how post slavery options were limited. Many slaves stayed with their old masters and continued being loyal to them. Sadly the slave masters … I mean “friends…” or shall I say their “new age bosses” were not so loyal. In this book, the loyal workers life falls apart when the slave masters (the new age boss) brother lies about money being stolen. He was the only one that could have “supposedly” committed the crime. Although he had his own money saved, he was extremely loyal to his boss, and he was trying to better his family…. but…. BUT….in one split moment he lost it all….

And guess what?? Years later when this slave master was told that he did not do it, he held the proof close to his chest… symbolism at its best. He states “What is that nigger to my brother? What are his sufferings to the honor of my family and name?” ( Dunbar 112) Yeah… I kept the word here otherwise it would not have been clear…🤷🏽‍♀️ but it continues with ….

“It must never be known, I say, if Berry has to rot in jail” (112). And this is quite symbolic to our America now… kind of like the sadness and anger and RAGE I’m sure was felt by many when the woman who Emmett Till “supposedly” whistled at was on her death bed… man… “so they wrote a lie to Frank, and buried the secret in their breasts, and Oakley wore its business form upon his heart” (112). This woman did the same thing until she was on her deathbed. And can you imagine how many do this? How the heck can you sleep at night after seeing what happened to him…. ??? But we condone others and not many even know who Carolyn Donham is…was…WHOA!! And #blacklivesmatter #imAware #1968lastrecordedlynching #1998JamesByrd #N-wordburied #BlackmenMatter #readMoreDiverseBooksThisSummer

…ok….I’m done…

And this is why…it’s important to teach all history and expose the youth. But of course this is scary because many teachers have to be uncomfortable…. and oh no!! I have a story about this later…

What happens if you continue to fail at this? We will still have kids who have so much potential lack the confidence in themselves…. and …. worst case scenarios happen…

So, people like Mr. Smith and of course my friend Oprah (I’m still claiming that we will meet soon for tea) are essential in us helping our youth who otherwise would graduate from college with so much debt they feel as if they are sharecroppers….😳😳😳😳😳😳(I feel that way….🤷🏽‍♀️🤦🏾‍♀️)

Because of his false imprisonment, this fictional character embodies much of those incarcerated men who are still sitting in prison because someone wanted to save their families name and because they could never face apologizing for doing wrong. Of course I didn’t do anything… I’m …(shut up Ki… you know you have a bigger blog audience now….hush it up!!…) I have to say it though…. I didn’t do anything and I have privilege….even in 2019….

And sadly even those within his race who knew he was innocent as that hummingbird (I’ve always wanted to use that phrase…) will save their face too…

So as you grow, regardless of race, creed, color, take time to uplift each other. As you continue to grow, expose yourself and learn about people that do not look like you. And lastly, add this book to your book list and take Huck Finn off…. it’s a much better read… and you don’t even have to skip over the “n-word….”😉

Works Cited

Dubar, Paul Laurence. The Sport of the

Gods. Signer Classics, 2011

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