Part 3 A Post Reconstruction Play
Act 2 Scene 1 Meet the Press:
Host- Welcome to Meet the Press Today’s Topic: Non-Conformist/ Radical & Militants leaders. If you are tuned into day we will be talking to Marcus “the Negro Moses” Garvey, George Baker better known as Father Divine, Charles Manuel better known as Sweet Daddy Grace, and F.S. Cherry a one who knew Timothy Drew known as Noble Drew Ali. What a panel we have of guest today. If you’re just tuning in buckle up because we will navigating through the trenches of the black leadership scheme today. These leaders emerged due to the Black migrants feelings of alienation, displacement and a sense of not belonging. Sad I know. Reminds you of the scripture in Jeremiah that says, “The harvest is past, the summer is ended, and we are not saved. Chew on that for a minute. You see viewer the prominent Black church had an accomodationist mindset therefore they did not address the real needs of the masses. The leaders of the Church had become puppets of the White establishment and conditions steadily deteriorated. It is these conditions that birthed the leaders we are welcoming on the show. Our first guest was one of those transformative leaders who played a crucial role in social transformation. It was said he was inspired by Booker T Washington and whom he hoped to meet some day, however as we all know Booker T Washington sadly passed on. The Negro Moses aka Marcus Garvey didn’t let that stop him. Let’s welcome MARCUS GARVEY!
Host- Welcome Mr. Garvey, you said once that, “There is nothing in the world common to man, that man can not do.” You have indeed inspired religious fervor, yet you are not religious. Who does this movement most apply to?
MG- That is true that I am not religious. My movement appeals to the all but mainly I have noticed we take on pretty well with the working class and poor blacks. We have had many followers in New York, where we built the largest non-religious mass movement ever seen. We have spread as far as America, Europe, and even Akelakan better known as Africa.
Host- Wow. You were also one of the first to formulate self-determined programs to address the challenges of African humanity on a global scale. You advocate emigration for blacks away from America and their oppressor as you call it and back to Africa. Why Africa?
MG- Well, I feel that those who had knowledge and skills should return to Africa, the Motherland to help secure liberty from colonialism and assist with the development of Africa.
Host- Never before has a man of color unapologetically asserted himself as a leader and refused deference to those who considered themselves social betters. You definitely challenged the image of Black people and challenged the social mores of the day. Any last words Mr. Garvey.
Marcus Garvey- Yes. Take away the highest ideal-Faith and Confidence in a God and mankind at large is reduced to savagery and the race destroyed. A race without authority and power, is a race without respect. (exit)
Host- Well said, Mr. Garvey. Needless to say after our broadcast Mr. Garvey was deported on what we believe to be trumped up charges. He was a native of Jamaica not Jamaica Queen folks. He did inspire leaders including the Nation of Islam so God speed Mr. Garvey. Our next guest addressed the social conditions of the 1920s and 1930s. Born George Baker yet after Valdosta he bestowed upon himself divinity claiming to be God. Let’s welcome street preacher, who prefers to be called Father Divine. Father Divine tell us about your movement.
Father Divine- Well, let me clear something up first regarding my name. I am known as Father Divine in 1930 I changed my named to Father Divine because there was an incident that occurred where my mystical powers were vindicated. Some of my followers and I were arrested. Four days later during the trail proceedings the court judge dropped dead of a heart attack. I hated to do it. (exit)
Host- Wow Father Divine. No question you have a huge influence after the Great Depression. You appealed no question to blacks, because of your ability to accumulate wealth and your courage we see first hand to speak your mind. You recruited blacks from Harlem to work for rich Whites in Long Island. You definitely beat the system in your own way. Ladies and Gents that was Father Divine. Watch out. Ok. Our next guest is Charles Manuel also known as Sweet Daddy Grace similar to Father Divine. Some have seen him as more flamboyant in appearance and other respects to Father Divine. Let’s welcome father divine. We have seen your Daddy Grace lotion, toothpaste and hair products. Yes Tell us about yourself and your movement.
Daddy Grace- Well, I founded the house of prayer for all people in 1921in New Bedford. I changed my name to divine status because I possess the love of God. God have me His attributes so that God could take a much needed vacation. (exit)
Host- Wow Daddy Grace you’re definitely up there. Thank you for your time. Although we enjoyed hearing their wordage, Daddy Grace and Father Divine failed to address to our viewers the injustices of a racist society and need for solidarity to resist the spiritual and cultural holocausts of African Americans. Lets bring out our final guest F.S Cherry. Known for his phrase, “that’s a damn lie” “damn fools, wild beasts, vultures” One would ask how does a man of the cloth speak so colorful. Well, here’s a little background for your information. Cherry grew out an anti-white message. Messengers such as Elijah Muhammad who had been once associated with Garvey’s movement joined Fard, who mysterious disappeared. He had a followed that transformed into the worldwide movement after the emergence of Malcolm X. Mr. X one of the forceful and brilliant orators of the 20th century, which gave blacks the courage to confront the difficult issues. There was Timothy Drew known as the Noble Drew Ali who founded Moorish science Temple of America he said that blacks would not find deliverance until they changed their names. He built temples in Chicago, Pittsburg, Detroit, just all over the south. His believers praised him from bringing them out of curse of European domination, which brings us to Cherry. Let’s just bring him out. Mr. Cherry tell us about yourself and your movement. Also what led you to make such colorful comments.
Cherry- Ok some time after WWI I founded the Church of the living God, the Pillar of Truth for all Nations the black Hebrews! I left the South and traveled all over this world as a seaman, that’s how I learned to read and speak Hebrew. I modeled my movement after the Old testament and Judaism. They call us the Black Jews. Now we don’t eat no pork, we have strict Jewish dietary restrictions. Now the “Colorful comments you mentioned where I said, “damn fools, wild beasts, and vultures. I was talking about the mainline church and Black preachers. Jesus was black. In my services I pull out a picture of a White Jesus and I ask those in my presence, “Who in the Hell is this? They say “Jesus” I say “That’s a damn lie”
Host- Ok. Thanks for clearing that up. Let’s thank our guest for coming out today. Those there movements were outside the norm, radical in fact. No one can argue the fact they grew out of need. They inspired those in need of something because the church had sold out to the powers that be some would say. Black preachers and religious leaders have varied forms of Black nationalism from Richard Allen’s Free society in Philly to today. Like Mr. Cherry, there Has been a host of religious leaders supporting the concept of a Black God such as Bishop Turner and Pastor Garnett and Minister Crummell. Tune next week where we will discuss Brown vs. Board of Education Grass Root Protest. Thank you.
FINAL SCENE: An Unsung Hero AME Delaine
Opening.- Got to do something they can’t take Dad back they gonna kill I’m I just know it! I’m gonna write to the Governor. Ok. (sits down to right.) Your Honor if you would bequeath me the honor of speaking on behalf of my FatherReverend Joseph A. Delaine of Summerton, South Carolina. My Father does not deserve to be sent back to a State, South Carolina to which has ensured unimaginable horrors to my father directly, my mother, my aunts, and myself and my siblings. If there is one thing my father is guilty of that is trying to establish equal standing for persons of color, beginning in education and spread to all aspects of life. My father once said in I quote, “ Is it the price free men must pay in a free country for wanting their children trained as capable and respectable American citizens?.. Shouldn’t officials employ dignity, foresight, and intelligence in at least, the honest effort to correct outstanding evil?.. Is it a credit for Summerton to wear the name of persecuting segment of its citizens? Shall we suffer endless persecution just because we want our children raised in a home some atmosphere? What some of us have suffered is nothing short of Nazi persecution? You see your Honor I am but a child, therefore my father was acting on my behalf and the behalves of other children. We have witnessed homes, churches being burned to the grown. We have shot at, spit at, threatened, yet my father did not give up. When his petitions were ignored and cases were dismissed he never let that stop him, he was fighting for what was right. If we are equal in the pay of taxes why not be equal in all other perspectives. We have been called homeless heroes, our parents reduced to boys and girls, niggers, yet here we are. Celebrities like Dodgers player Jackie Robinson and Roy Campanella urge you to not extradite my Father. I do the same. It is not my Father’s fought that we were brought into a system that gave us no choice but to birth Brown v. Board of Education. They say my Father had felony weapon charges but what was he to do in the face of gun fire, watch his family die. We watched the burning of churches and homes where was our protection when the fireman watched the burnings as if they were bomb fires. I will end this plea now for I feel I have said too much and it is not my wish to inflict anymore suffering on my family. Miss. Delaine. (exits to mail letter)