“I am he of the darkest hue. Some call it BLACK. For what is the worth of a dream in all BLACK in a land of red, white and blues?”

It seems that everyday in America as of late I wake up to the news of another Black man being murdered. Over the past month lifeless Black bodies have been found hung from trees in five different states on six separate occasions. All which have been ruled by the police authorities as suicide with no signs of foul play. As if suddenly suicide by hanging oneself from a tree became a popular social media challenge.

Billie Holiday once sang of the strange fruit hanging from the poplar tree. The fruit she sang about were indeed strange and peculiar. These were no ordinary fruit yet the vibrant fruit of a nation on the rebounds of centuries rife with terror and enslavement. The aforementioned fruit that the late Billie Holiday sang about were the lifeless Black bodies of black men both young and old.

My dear Grandmother Angeline Gilbert used to tell me tales from her experience growing up as a little girl in the south. She once mentioned the first time she saw a mans lifeless body hanging from a tree as her uncles covered wagon slowly rolled through the forest. After that she said that the sight became a semi regular occurrence to see and for the most part you remained silent about it and kept going on about your business. For who knew if you yourself would be the next body found hanging or not? This was in the late 1930’s and early 1940’s and still to this day in 2020 it is still happening. What happened to the rally cries of hope and change? What happened to the new post racial America?

My challenge to you as Black men and women all across the nation, as well as the world is to not succumb to the terrors that are infecting our beings through the mass media and broadcastings of countless Black lynchings. My challenge for you all is to rise, overcome and unite on the side of the righteous cause of freedom, justice and equality. After the fire, be like the Phoenix.


Author: Armstrong Ransome

I break bread, ribs and hundred dollar bills.

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