ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Surviving Against the Odds

Updated on March 1, 2020
Rodric29 profile image

Historical perspective is not as linear as most would like, but it puts understanding in the hands of the reader. Trust your mind to truth.

Black History Month

March 1st ends the national recognition of Black History season that began February 1st. Recognizing the few African Americans who succeeded despite the racism of American society without acknowledging the culture that made an otherwise normal successful person a hero is, at worst, a lie; and at best, a distraction.

Without the racist American culture of the past, Rosa Parks would be another patron on a bus traveling to a destination. Because she decided to defy cultural norms and laws, she is a celebrated hero. Is that bad? Not in and of itself is it bad. Her experience is a carrot in a stew of culture, however. She was not the only carrot, but the one carrot people noticed did not cook in the stew like the others cooked.

Was she trying to be heroic? Did she know that she would become one of the faces of the Civil Rights Movement? Bravery or fatigue in that moment led to the same outcome: jail, a boycott, fame, and legend.

Rosa Parks

This famous photograph was taken on December 21, 1956, a day after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled Montgomery's segregated bus system illegal.
This famous photograph was taken on December 21, 1956, a day after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled Montgomery's segregated bus system illegal. | Source

Heroism in the face of imminent consequence is not what Black History is about. It is so much more than the moment the Civil Rights Movement received its symbol that led to its popularity and eventual legislative inroads to facilitate cultural adjustment.

More even than the rise of the Modern Moses in the form of the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. who led a congregation of multi-racial congregants through the streets in protest to an unjust legal system in the American South; Black History is the story of the descendants of freed men and women of slavery who lived in a hostile culture into which racially they could never belong unless it changed to include them.

Black History is about the homes and families of the average Black man or woman that worked as a cog in the machinery of society making it turn and operate reasonably. No, it is not only about those who stood at its front representing the face or its tail representing the victims of treachery. Also represented are the lives of the average people who made life continue while the fringes, the face, and tail of it displayed and sacrificed for White America to see how ugly the undercarriage of the nation truly looked--rusted and crumbling in disrepair.

Source

For many Black Americans, Alex Haley's Roots, was the first introduction to what occurred during slavery. Of course, we knew that it was hard for Blacks in the US since many Blacks felt the residual effects of the poverty and lack of education Jim Crow Laws caused. That series of movies the media presented to Blacks provided a connection between their poverty and past slavery--learning that some Whites tortured, killed, stole, bred and raped some of their slaves!

It was eye-opening to many including my mother-in-law, a youngster at the time when Alex Haley introduced his tale. She admits that following the series, she wanted to harm White people. Alex Haley's Roots was the impetus that facilitated a cultural movement of understanding--put a face on slavery for that generation.

Media influences the health and ills of society. Purposely living life in a manner to elicit certain experiences occurs in the lives of every human with the power to act. Along the spectrum of life from the degree programs we purpose to the fast food we eat leads us to experience.

Never personally having been accosted by a White person who threatened my life did not stop fear from gripping me when a group of rowdy White teens approached me because of the experience I gained through movies and anecdotal stories. That indirect experience became my own, learning from others' history. Several of the teens head-nodded me as they went by never inching a threat in my directs, but my indirect experience with White teens beating singular Black men when they appeared out of place told me to be aware.

Dr. King

Source

Cultural Fallacy

Mother, bless her soul, grew up in the historical time period where White racism was socially acceptable. Born in 1944, she went through her teens and young adult life in the Deep South where both Blacks and Whites perpetuated the great White lie of the inferiority of Blacks and the superiority of Whites.

With great effort, Mother tried to prevent her upbringing from influencing her children, which she did successfully for the most part; however, it is the little things, comments made in passing that filter through the intellect that perniciously passed on fear.

Mother made one statement out of frustration that stunned me after I turned 18 years. She admitted that she did not like White people. I never thought to ask since my friends never caused her to behave strangely, friends who happened to be White. Her experiences with growing up in the White South indelibly left a scar on her soul that took decades to fade.

Media, especially before the Internet, taught that:

  • Every American of Italian heritage is a mobster.
  • Every officer in the city is an American of Irish descent.
  • All Mexicans speak like Speedy Gonzales when trying to speak English.
  • All Texans shoot people and chew tobacco.

All of this from the media and not personal experience was taught to a generation of people who now face the prospect of learning the truth about ethnicities and races based in reality. The reality of Black History is not celebrities who overcame racism in spite of racism. Most Blacks did not do that. Most Blacks endured the racism and embraced the change as it came and still comes. Most Blacks were not activist with the determination to rise up and fight the injustice. Most were like Mother, who lived it and tried to forget as much of it as possible so that her kids did not feel the shame and disrespect she experienced as a Black person.

Media helped to end civil discrimination in America and create phobias at the same time. Both sides of the media blade are sharp. Of course, the media does as much good. A misguided prejudice can lead to a full-scale assault on a private citizen by a mob of opinion!

Ask George Zimmerman! Right or wrong, he is the butt of the media joke of 2012! The fact that he was found not-guilty changed nothing. Media has branded him the villain.

Black History for many African Americans is the Zimmerman style brand that follows them wherever their skin color and features travel in the nation of mostly White people who clutch purses or call the police because of their presence.

Conclusion

Let us take stock of our ideas and feelings and see if they are based in fact and experience or deception and manipulation. By judging each person based on his or her actions and not a general assumption from a questionable perspective, we lend to a more diverse and safe community.

Picking apart the assumptions that separate us and bridging the gaps that would keep us apart is also Black History. Let us remember that is how it began with Black people attempting to show Whites that we are human too--no better or worse. As on paper Blacks were listed as slaves, now on paper, all are equal before the law. Let's live to make it so.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2019 Rodric Anthony

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • Rodric29 profile imageAUTHOR

      Rodric Anthony 

      2 years ago from Surprise, Arizona

      Chris, thanks for sharing your experience living in a Black community. People tend to share bad experiences. I am guilty of that, definitely. Living in a predominately White community, my experiences have been mostly positive. We have normal neighborly problems, but life is really good for my family, a blessing.

      Your comment gives this article a Yin to its Yang. We as humans are both two halves of internal harmony and outer peace when we put all things into perspective and view each other as we truly are, just people seeking peace and fulfillment in life with a small percentage in the fringe who seek chaos.

    • cam8510 profile image

      Chris Mills 

      2 years ago from Traverse City, MI

      I want to add something to my previous comment. I travel for a living. I stay for a few months in one place and move on. Recently, I was working in Hartford, Connecticut. The most challenging part of my life is finding housing wherever I go. Most of the time it is only a minor problem. But I got a dog about a year ago, and that has made getting housing more difficult. When I arrived in Hartford, I was unable to find even a motel that allowed dogs. Since then, I have registered my dog as a service dog. No one can deny me housing because I have a dog. I was cautioned against staying in East Hartford. But the only person willing to take me in with my dog was Sylvia, a black woman. She welcomed me. And I rented from her for 13 weeks. I was living in a predominantly black neighborhood. The workers at the hospital where I was working were shocked. They warned me. They told me to find someplace else. But I didn't. I didn't try to find another place. Why was East Hartford considered to be less desirable than West Hartford? I stayed where I was. For Christmas, I was treated to a predominantly black congregation worship service. I was white in the midst of blacks, and I didn't care. I went to the laundry mat every Sunday night and was surrounded by blacks and Mexicans. I love this life. It is how life should be. All of us together, working together, playing together, living together in peace.

    • cam8510 profile image

      Chris Mills 

      2 years ago from Traverse City, MI

      Rodric, I honestly have no response, other than tears, truthfully. I will not in any way defend the actions of my race. We have been utterly despicable. I want you and your people to continue to rise and reach your full potential in this country which is every bit as much yours as it is ours. I will share this article on my facebook page for freelance writers.

    • manatita44 profile image

      manatita44 

      2 years ago from london

      Amen.

    • Rodric29 profile imageAUTHOR

      Rodric Anthony 

      2 years ago from Surprise, Arizona

      Pam, I bet that was scary! I am glad no one tried to harm you. That is the type of racism that we want to get rid of in the world; but sadly, it still happens today. White people cannot safely go into certain places and Black people cannot go into certain places without harassment. I hope those places diminish in number quickly.

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 

      2 years ago from Sunny Florida

      Rodric, I grew up in the north and there did not seem to be hate to me as a child. I was working at Case Western Reserve (a well-known hospital in Cleveland, Ohio) when I was about 21. I got turned around when I was driving home in the summer, and I ended up driving down a street that had all blacks living there. Many of them shouted "Hey, white girl" and "What are you doing here." This was the only time I had some fear of black people. Nothing bad happening but it bothered me because I knew I was not liked at all.

    • Rodric29 profile imageAUTHOR

      Rodric Anthony 

      2 years ago from Surprise, Arizona

      Pam, Dr. King did do wonders for Black Americans, but he was for all Americans who were oppressed in some way and downtrodden. His civil rights desires apply to all people. Also, I do believe it depended on where a person lived on how bad discrimination was for any person. In the South, it was culturally driven and spiritually applied in the White community. In other places in the US racism was more what was culturally accepted at that time which changed after the Civil Rights marches were televised.

    • Rodric29 profile imageAUTHOR

      Rodric Anthony 

      2 years ago from Surprise, Arizona

      manatita, thank you for your words of testimony and vision. As lost as it is on modern Americans with the idea of us being slaves to God as mentioned in the scriptures, I see myself as one--willing to give my will over to His will and let Him use me for His purposes. Where I lack that power, I pray for it.

      Like a body is the slave to the brain, I hope one day to be that to God. The only true gift I can give to Him is my will. It is a process. I have much to learn.

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 

      2 years ago from Sunny Florida

      I think your conclusions really spoke to how we should live so healing would occur between all people. It is sad that your mother had such bad experiences growing up. I have black friends, in my church and in my community. I think it may still depend on where your live in the US at least to some degree.

      I believe Martin Luther King was such a blessing to the black people, and his death was a tragedy. Good article Rodric!

    • manatita44 profile image

      manatita44 

      2 years ago from london

      In all humility and only if you feel you need this, see yourself as an instrument in the hands of 'Something Higher.' You may also - if you have not already considered it - see yourself as trying to serve, to elevate, to illumine … to reach the Heart - the spiritual Heart.

      When 'self' is left out … when one realises that there is no such thing as 'free will' but only limited freedom … that God is the only Doer, then unconditional surrender gets closer … expectation ceases or diminishes. That said, you're doing well, one cannot move faster than Grace.

      In life, we are all struggling and our thoughts turn mostly upon ourselves. Your service here is encouraging and inspirational. Here's the thing though. Guruji used to say that problems exists on a mental, social, emotional …. as well as on a physical and psychic level.

      Watch your strength. If we do not have, then logically, we cannot give. This applies very strongly to the spiritual life. When the spring comes, we feel a lot better, as we also do in summer but winter is not so good for moods. In the same way, you can offer more to your children when you are happy, than when things aren't so good.

      You have spoken of your health before. You still manage to churn out a great many articles. What's creating this block in your energy flow?

      God always sees you and nothing happens without His approval, sanctioning or toleration. Our Lord is always merciful. He tickles your hair, rests in your Heart and is your very breath of breaths. Peace.

      "Peace begins when expectation ends." -Sri Chinmoy.

    • Rodric29 profile imageAUTHOR

      Rodric Anthony 

      2 years ago from Surprise, Arizona

      manatita, thanks so much for your support. The words read like music to me as your praise encourages me to improve. It has as of late been a personal struggle for me to see the value of my contribution due to the health problems I face. Your comment was a tender mercy from God answering my prayer letting me know that He sees me.

    • manatita44 profile image

      manatita44 

      2 years ago from london

      I'm impressed with your writing, my Friend. Perhaps Bill is, too. It shows not only a marked improvement in excellence, but a rise in Consciousness, the only way to heal the form. May our Lord continues to bless and keep you, post Black History Month. Praise be!!

      P.S. God has endowed us all with special gifts. John Legend most certainly got his fair share.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://corp.maven.io/privacy-policy

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)