From Shake and Bake to Super Bowl XXX

The “dark room”was blacker than twelve midnights and one was unable to see their hands in front of them or the whiteness of one eyes standing next to him. How was it that “this man,” James A. Finley, without X-ray vision could do all this work without seeing. The mystery nearly ran me crazy and being the mentor that he was, he refused to share the secrets of his passion, later turned into his profession until my curiosity began to take root. Then and only then would he share the light of his knowledge to me hence picking up his passion, and later my profession which ultimately lead to my 50 yard line seat (and credentials) at Super Bowl XXX and more.

I did not know magenta from cyanine, but I learned to follow the instructions given to me. If Finley said, three minutes and thirty seconds, 3 minutes and 30 seconds was what I did. Before long, the Associated Press stringers (part time free lance photographers) would bring me their many rolls of film from the St. Louis Cardinals as they took on the Dallas Cowboys or the numerous other teams from the NFL. If I messed up the film the photographers could not go back and asked O. J. Anderson or Tony Dorsett to do a instant re-play. The winning touch down would be loss if I failed to pull off my assignment in the dark room. The frequent agitation of the tanks containing their precious rolls of film, monitoring of the temperature, double and sometime triple checking the film so that the right roll of film went to the proper photographer. The “Fin” would later introduce me as the “shake and bake man.” During the home run chase between the Cardinals’ Mark McGuire and Chicago’s Sammy Sosa, I processed the rolls of films for national and international AP members. Prior to McGuire, there was Bruce Sutter, Jack Clark, Ozzie Smith, “Silent George”, Brett Hull, Wayne Gretszey, Tony Twist, President Ronald Reagan, President Bill Clinton, several World Series and anyone and everything in between.

by Harold Jenkins AP/Stringer

by Harold Jenkins AP/Stringer

There were the many “home plate” photographs that made the sport page of nearly every paper in the country, taken by “me.” If there were 120 baseball games a season I worked most of the 60 home games at Busch Stadium, manning a 600 meter lens perched high above home plate. I would often tell others that the “last” thing I learned in becoming a photographer was “how” to put film in a camera.

“Teach that boy how to used that camera” I over heard Fred Waters talking to Finley. Waters was the staff photographer for the St. Louis Bureau for AP. Waters mentored Finley who at the time was a AP stringer. Finley had been the Director of Student Activities at State Community College in East St. Louis. He previously attend SIU Carbondale and Edwardsville, having earned a Bachelor of Science in Math, with his minor in Engineering. He would later earn his master’s degree in education. I recall Finley informing me how Harold Washington, the first and only black mayor for Chicago, and the commencement speaker one year at a SCC graduation, once came to his defense when Washington supported his desire to pursue his passion of photography. Pursing his passion was one thing, leaving SCC was another, and Rosetta Wheaton, the President of SCC was not in the mood for losing one of her most prized administrators. SCC produced many registered nurses, teachers, lawyers and other professionals, however today the institutions’ history and legacy has been abandoned, which will become a story for a later date. (Try to Google State Community College)

James Finley just prior to State Community College days.

James Finley just prior to State Community College days.

A former administrator for SCC and a beloved friend of Finley was able to locate a “42-year-old article title “Have You Met James Finley“. The article ran in the East St, Louis Crusader on June 13, 1974 written by Marlayne Simpson. The Crusader, a black own and operated weekly newspaper was the communication center for East St. Louis just as the Chicago Defender was to same for Chicago. “He (James Finley) is to the student (at SCC) what a lighthouse is to a ship. He reaches out to help others” wrote Simpson. Simpson had observed several students who entered Finley’s office during her interview. “…Each student entered his office with their own individual problem from inquiring about school rings, to film negatives, to a previous school affair.  Each problem was treated efficiently and expeditiously.” wrote Simpson. Ten years later Finley joined the staff at the AP Bureau in St. Louis after being mentored more than five years by Waters.

Finley retired from AP in 2006. After years of arriving to more than ten Super Bowls, usually a week before the event setting up the venue for AP and their members. Every year he was off to spring training in Florida for the St. Louis Cardinals. He was inducted into the Missouri Photojournalism Hall of Fame in 2009, one year after his mentor, Fred Waters’ similar induction honor. “He (Finley) was my mentor” said retired St. Clair County Circuit Judge, the Honorable Milton S. Wharton. You can search the archives of beingbornblack@wordpress.com for Judge Wharton’s article titled, Outside Agitators, post date June 8, 2014. I had several allias during my journey with the “Fin” from being called “H” to “Mr. J.”. But my official name, as Finley and I called each other is “Home”, short for ‘Homeboy.” The only regret I have is that I did not make the trip “down under” to Sidney, Australia with “Home” during the Olympic Games of 2000. It has been one heck of a ride and I wouldn’t take anything for the experience and the journey. Thanks “Home.”

Obama, Over and Out!!!

obama-photo“Today is Friday, November 24, 2016, and there are 36 days left in the year and President Barack Hussein Obama has been our president for a mere 2,866 days, with or without his birth certificate, whether you like it or not and there’s noting you can do about.” The above is basically a paraphrase of a local radio personality on (IHeartRadio) Hallelujah 1600 Gospel Hits; St. Louis. He gives this public announcement each day he is on the air and his statement is generally augmented with an old heart felt gospel song like No Auction Block For Me.  This is a Bob Dylan song, however the black group, Honey In The Rock, sings it after the public service announcement. I have changed the words to read something like this;” Donald J. Trump has been our President-elect for a mere 17 days, that’s with or without revealing his federal and state taxes, whether you like it or not. and there absolutely nothing you can do about it”.

The early (5am) morning edition of Cris Matthews, Hardball, caught my attention this day after Thanksgiving as the show was billed, “How Not To Run For President and Still Win.” Chris Matthews has his esteemed panelist of four well rounded and political experts like former RNC Chairmen, Michael Steele and Huffington Post writer, Howard Fineman. For more than half an hour they chronicled President-elect Trump’s primary and general election exploits from the name calling of Jeb Bush being “low energy”, to “Ly-in-Ted”, “Lid-dle Marco”, and “Crooked Hillary”.  From name calling to the public exposure of the Hollywood Access audio tape, one thing appeared to be the common denominator, “every potential mortal wound to any other candidate had no affect on President-elect Trump. Every time Trump felled in a political cesspool he came out smelling like Calvin Klein’s Eternity for Men cologne. As Hillary Clinton appears to be headed for nearly two million more popular votes that President-elect Trump, the nation like Rip Van Wrinkle, can’t help but wonder what happened as we went to sleep one night and received the biggest political upset in history the next morning. How could the polls, the media, and everyone else been so wrong?  How did the women, the Latinos, the blacks and many other groups, both young and old, vote enough in numbers to snatch out a victory for President-elect Trump from the jaws of defeat for Hillary Clinton?  Was there really a so called  “silent majority”  that came alive after FBI Director Jim Comey dropped a bomb on the Clinton Campaign less than 10 days before the election?. Beingbornblack I remember the FBI and the agency’s involvement with the Black Panther Party, Dr. Martin Luther King, Malcom X and others, but that a post for another day.

Speaking of post, I reviewed my post of 10/18/13 titled, The White House With a Black Man, and the comments that were written regarding the post. I recommended your review of the archives of same as we transition from “No Drama Obama” to the “Trials of a Triumphant Trump”. I await each day with the latest news of our rigged system and the rigged media as President-elect Trump prepares to “give the people what they want.” Will he have the compassionate tears that rolled down President Obama face when he was “Mourner in Chief” during the Sandy Hook killing of the 20 young first graders?. Will he be able to feel the pain of the survivors at the Charleston, South Carolina, Mother Emanuel AME Murders? I could go on and on but I think you get the drift. Only time will tell as President-elect Trump said to African Americans in his effort to court their vote, “what do you have to lose?’ Adversity makes some men and breaks others.  “I alone can fix it”, President-elect Trump said. Well, you wanted it and now you got it. Let the show begin. The 44th president, Barack Hussein Obama will have the last word after the transition of power. Say it LOUD, Obama, OVER and OUT.

Make America Stank Again

IMG_5323“Funk, getting ready to roll,” or “Trump getting ready to roll”. Not too much difference. No one should be surprised, other than President -elect Trump, that he (Trump) won the election. I acknowledged during a post written back on  August 31, 2016, A Tiger Named Trump, that there existed a chance that Donald J. Trump could win the presidential election and move from Trump Plaza (Tower) to the White House. President-elect Trump has been open and honest with the American people. He never tried to hide his vision and agenda as he campaign over 16 months telling “Make America White Again” what they wanted to hear. President Barack Obama bet on America and stated that the American electorate would vote in favor of “hope” and not cave in to the politics of “fear.” President-elect Trump heard the heart beat of America and smelled a strange oder coming from the very swamps that he promised to drain and like King Midas, he demonstrated he has the “midas” touch. One think all the “gold” furniture and other items seen in the back drop of interviews held at Trump Tower is breath taking, please hang on. You ain’t seen nothing yet.

To paraphrase then Senator Obama, there is no “Red States or Blue States, only the United States of America”. Sound good but it is not true. There also exist “Red” counties and “Blue” counties in each State and a review of the electoral map clearly identified each county in every state. Thirty seven counties in southern Illinois overwhelmly voted for Donald Trump except for two counties that were 40% or more minority (black and brown voters.) Trump could have won Illinois, if the Chicago votes had been a little weaker. President Obama has stated in the past, that elections have consequences, and ready or not the consequences are knocking on our front door.

Black America, Brown America, Muslim America, LGBT America and yes even white America that earns less than $250,000 a year, will not disappear over night. Try as you might President-elect Trump, you can not “un-ring the bell” of progress made during the past six decades or longer. Try as you might, the days of “Leave it to Beaver,” or the “Ozzie and Harriet Show,” are over. Pact the Supreme Court as you so desire. Go “hardliner” on your cabinet, build the wall, make billions of dollars while you are in office, and get all you can and can all you get for you and your family. But when the dust settles, black people, brown people , Muslims, LGBT and others will still be here. We may have to wear “gas masks” as the smell emanating from the White House or Trump Tower may be toxic as the winds of progress give way to the smoking clouds crossing America. Your trusted aid and confident, Steve Bannon, talks of the power of the darkness in his recent interview with columnist, Michael Wolff of The Hollywood Review..  “Darkness is good,” Bannon was quoted saying. He cites “Dick Cheney. Darth Vader. Satan. “That’s power…”  But darkness will never over come the LIGHT of the world. And by the way, there exist no reason to share your taxes with America.  You were so right, not paying taxes for 20 years make you “smart.”

The African American Museum

“A great nation does not hide its history. It faces its flaws and corrects them.”

The National Museum of African American History and Culture

The National Museum of African American History and Culture

The above words were spoken by former President, George W. Bush at the opening ceremony of the National Museum of African American History and Culture on 09/24/2016. It is hard to believe, per the Washington Post  special dedication edition of 09/22/16, that eleven years ago, Lonnie Bunch, the Founding Director of the Smithonian’s National Museum of Africian American History and Culture (NMAAHC) had “No collections. No site. No money. No staff.” President Bush wasted no time in acknowledging this almost impossible accomplishment of Director Bunch. It was President Bush who sign the bill authorizing the construction of the Museum back on November, 2003. President Bush cited three reason why this national treasure should be housed on the National Mall, and I will praphase same. I highly recommend the reading of his entire speech which serves as a beacon of hope to a nation that is highly divided and in need of a good dose of hope and a even larger dose of humility.

Bush highlight how “America’s original sin” of slavery  reflect a country founded on the promise of liberty, held millions in chains. How the voices of men like John Adams, who called slavery an “evil of colossal magnitude,” were not heeded and often not heard. The NMAAHC covers the African Slave Trade, the Middle Passage and the Slave trade in the Americas with the artifacts from shackles from a sunken slave ship to the inhumane marketing and evils of the slave industry. The museum basically looks at three time periods: Slavery and Freedom; Era of Segregation, 1876-1968; and A changing America: 1968 and beyond.  But those “voices” were “always known to a power greater than any on earth, one who loves his children and meant them to be free.”

aahcm3Bush pinpoint his second reason in equally eloquent words. “…this museum shows America’s capacity to change. For centuries, slavery and segregation seemed permanent. Permanent parts of our national life. But not to Nat Turner or Frederick Douglass; Harriet Tubman; Rosa Parks; or Martin Luther King Jr. All answered cruelty with courage and hope.” One photo on exhibit shows Dr. Martin Luther King being arrested by two white police officers. Dr. King is being man handle like a “rag doll’, with his hat barely remaining on his head. The officers have him handcuffed from the back, as Dr. King almost falls to the ground. The look and demeanor on the faces of the officers and Dr. King pierces the heart and soul of the on lookers. The 3000 or more artifacts clearly documents the cruelty and the courage of the many Americans who heard and heeded the call of freedom denied until freedom was delivered. That journey towards freedoms continues today.

The Mothership

The Mothership

Finally President Bush reminds us that the museum showcases the talent of some of our finest Americans. “The galleries celebrate not only African American equality, but African American greatness.” Bush highlights one of his favorite as a teenager, Chuck Barry and his restored 1973 Eldorado convertible. “I’m not giving you anything” Berry reported said. Yet  after curator, Kevin Strait ended his meeting with Berry the Cadillac was on a truck headed to Washington.  A similar story exist regarding the beaten-up PT-13 plane that was restored by its owners and now hangs high proudly in the NMAAHCM. Christened “the Spirit of Tuskegee” to honor the airmen who used the PT-13 to train during World War II, the plane was in use by its owners until the curator sealed the deal. The greatness of the African Americans goes from the artifacts of Mohammed Ali to the Parliament Funkadelic’s “Mothership.” From James Brown to Etta James, from Mom’s Mabley to Redd Fox the African American experience is well documented. “The African American experience is the lens through which we understand what it is to be an American.” said Bunch. Learn more at nmaahc.si.edu.

 

An Open Letter to My Grandson

20160223_170927850_ios-2“The past is never dead. It’s not even past.” are the famous words of the southern author by the name of William Faulkner. If there was one crown jewel of wisdom I would like to past on to my grandson, Samad, and others, it is the need to “know your past, and how knowing your past prepares you to deal effectively with your present and finally how you engaged the present, will determine the successes you may have in the future”. Yesterday, today and tomorrow are intertwined throughout the fabric of life and the biblical scripture of “My people perish due to a lack of knowledge” (Hosea 4:6) is one infallible truth.This letter is to my grandson, Samad, but in actuality it is a letter to all my grandchilden and to you.

It was a hot, and humid day during the first week of July, two months ago as my grandson, his mother and his sister awaited our arrival from Sunday church services. Samad will be 20 in December, and the family was here in St. Louis for a family reunion. Mom and daughter drove up from their home State of Oklahoma, but Samad accompanied his grandfather (maternal) from Oklahoma to Washington D.C before arriving in St. Louis as his grandfather was continuing his struggle to obtained a redress of his grievance as it relates to the loss of more than 200 acres land. As a sidebar, reportedly 1910 was the peak year of landownership by blacks with over 218,000 black farmers owning in full or in part  more than 15 millions acres. As of 1992, those numbers dwindled down to 18,000 black farmers left, owning 2.3 million acres. Samad was blessed that his grandfather included him on the trip to the nation’s capitol in his efforts to address his grievance to the government. His grandfather is included in the class action lawsuit (Pigford V. Glickman) involving the black farmers of America who filed discrimination claims against the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and that legal matter remained unresolved to date.

I was impressed that my grandson was learning how to work on a farm, the planting, and harvesting of crops, the sale of live stock, and how to operate the various heavy equipment his grandfather has. Hearing him made me reminisce how I drove my grandfather’s John Deere tractor at a young age and later was involved in the sale of nine acres of land for my grandmother. My paternal grandfather died in 1978.  I was surprised to learn about the Illinois Centennial and Sesquicentennial Farm Programs, the former representing more than 9,000 farmers throughout Illinois that have kept their family farms for “100 years” or longer and the latter group (600 farmers) maintaining their farm land in the family for 150 years or longer. I wondered how many black farmers were included in these numbers?

The conversation later moved to politics and I learn that Samad was ” feeling the burn” as he wanted Bernie Sanders to become the next president. It should be noted that my eleven year old granddaughter also voted for Bernie Sanders as her 5th grade class held a mock election. Samad informed me that he “would not be voting” as he had done the research on Hillary Clinton and could not support her. Naturally I was livid and “seeing stars” I thought of the lives loss in order for black Americans to obtain the right to vote. I circled in for more answers and asked him about his “research.” He made reference to “social medial” and I informed him that you can not always believe everything you read or hear on social media.

Later as this issues continued to simmer in my mind I ran across an article regarding Tuskegee Airman, Dabney Montgomery, who died earlier this month at the age of 93. Montgomery was a member of the fame Tuskegee Airman , the bomber escorts of the 332nd Fighter Group who became known as the “Red Tails.” Montgomery, after fighting in World War II returned home to face Jim Crow American and was refused the right to vote in Alabama. I never met Montgomery, but I did meet Harold Earl Tubbs also from Alabama. Tubbs was the brother to my spiritual mentor, the Reverend Carl Tubbs who have since transition from time to eternity. Harold Earl Tubbs fought in the Korean War and was a member of the U.S. Army. Tubbs was a POW for more than a year in North Korea. His mother refused to accept that her son was dead and always set the table with a place for the son whom the army reported was killed in action. Refusing to accept the $10,000 insurance benefit from the Army, one day she received information from the Red Cross informing her that her son was indeed alive. Harold went one to become a gifted “left hand guitar player” for the late James Brown, the Godfather of Soul. Time will not allow more on what the Mongomerys and the Tubbs of the South (and North) experienced before the dawn of the Civil Rights Movement.

Samad has a high school diploma and has a bright future ahead. Like I out lived my grandfathers, there exist the possibility that he will do likewise. I never met William Faulkner, Samad, but I have met a philosopher named The Reverend Dr. Solomon. There is “nothing new under the sun” (Ecclesiastes 1:9-10) says Solomon. Samad is a gifted athletic and execlled in wrestling, baseball and football. He also has a good work record and is not afraid of doing a “good days work. But, if I had it to do all over and had quality time with his mind, I would make sure he could bench press his way from the “land flowing with milk and honey to forty acres and a mule.” I would like to witness him hitting a grand slam as he clears first base learning about Dred Scott, approach second base and smile at Plessy V. Ferguson, stroll on toward third base and meet Brown V. Board of Education and proudly head home where a cloud of witnesses from Emmett Till, Jackie Robinson, Marcus Garvey, Martin, Medgar and others cry out for a curtain call. Finally my son, with only ten second left in the game and your team is down by “three” the football is in your hand. Run for the goal post, score the winning touchdown and grab the victory out of the jaws of defeat as you make the world a better place because you were here.

A Tiger Named Trump

IMG_5323It took several key stroke, but eventually I ran down the author who said “…those who foolishly sought power by riding the back of the tiger ended up inside.” The words were used by John F. Kennedy in his Presidential Inaugural Address delivered on January 20, 1961. My cousin who is a prolific writer believes strongly that “words are spirits” and I could not agree more. Even though JFK may have spoken these words the truth about the orgin and authorship of “words” have to go back to ” In the Beginning was the WORD.” But for the past year or longer, RNC Presidential Nominnee, Donald J. Trump, has taken over the Republican Party, defeating his 16 challengers and appears to be well on his way from Trump Plaza to the White House by his crafty use of “words.”

President Barack Obama could be credited with being the creative force behind Donald J. Trump, when he publicly made Trump the butt of his jokes at the White House Correspondence Dinner. Remember when Donald Trump lead the “Birther Movement” and how he claim national attention alleging that Obama was not born in Hawaii? If I am correct his investigators are still in Hawaii as the result of their investigation was never revealed. Remember how Trump dogged out the first African American President until Obama had to produce the “long form” of his birth certificate and then to add insult to injury Trump later demanded he produce copies of his transcripts from Harvard? The bottom line, President Obama made the unpardonable sin of a black man embarrassing a “white man” as Donald J. Trump. the very epitome of the rich and famous, was the butt of a national joke, on national television/cable delivered by the nation’s first black president.

Donald Trump had no other alternative but to run for president. The green-eye-monster of vengeance and pay back could never be achieved by any means other than the entertainer in chief pulling out all the stops in his effort to become the commander in chief. Trump found a willing and wanting audience of voters who finally, since the days of Ronald Regan, had the nerves to “say” what they always wanted to say and felt in their heart. The use of codes words, blowing the dog whistles and going from one extreme to the other, enable Trump to go from one percent and a laughing stock during the primaries to knocking off all of his challengers in grand style. No one is laughter now. The GOP has been taken over by ‘Trumpism.” Be not deceived. Donald J. Trump could be elected president of the United States in this toxic atmosphere of greed, the fear of white America  losing the “America” of yester-year and the desire to turn back the hands of time when Jim Crow was alive and well (still is but now refined to James Crow). Trump asks African Americans, “What the hell do you have to Lose?’ as he has of late being talking “about” black America but not “to” black of America. Well, Mr. Trump we would like to have “change” not “chains.”

Trump’s overture to building a “wall” reminds me of a guy named Haman who after the use of his crafty words and scapegoating one people (the Jews) at the expense of another, built a gallow for a Jew named Mordecai. As the sinister plot unfolded, the heroin of the story, named Ester, reveals the plot and Haman ends up on the very gallow he built for Mordecai, the Jew he hated. Mr. Trump, you can find these words not at “Two Corinthians” but in the old Testament Book of Esther 7:10. I conclude with a question by Joseph N. Welch put to Joseph McCarthy during the Army-McCarthy Hearings. “At long last, have you (McCarthy) no sense of decency?” Keep riding the tiger.

We Will Not Forget

The memorial was captivating to the eyes and the soul as I gazed at the thousands of shoe strings, the pictures of the many children killed during the Holocaust, the child’s coat hanging and the one pair of high top shoes on display at this unnamed consecration camp. The memorial read, “In Memory Of The 1.5 Million Children Who Perished During The Holocaust. We Will Not Forget.” I immediately concluded that this well kept middle school that appeared to be 99 percent black “now” was at one time a middle to upper class school populated by a Jewish Community.

Memorial to the 1.5 Million children killed during the Holocost

I am here with my granddaughter as she practice at this middle school several times a week. I watch as the black kids run back and forth to the restrooms and this nice size memorial, glassed incased, appears totally invisible to them. I wonder how many of the children know what the “Holocaust” was? How many Jews were killed during this dark and evil period of man’s history on earth? Two scriptures came to my mind. “My people are destroyed for the lack of knowledge”: Hosea 4:6 and …”these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: And thou shall teach them diligently unto thy children, and shall talk of them when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.” Deuteronomy 6:6-7

After a few minutes I return to my senses and remember that many Black Children know very little about their past. Not knowing your past can have a devastating effect on your present as well as your future. Have they (blacks children) every heard of Nat. Turner, Sojourner Truth or Harriet Tubman? Did they know that their fore parents didn’t land on Plymouth Rock, but Plymouth Rock landed on them? Have they been told how the sharks followed the slaves ships from Africa to the Americas as many slaves jump to their death to avoid slavery, reportedly the number in the million?. Do they not know that America is a land of immigrants who came to America for a change, while “we” came in chains. Have they ever heard of Emit Till or the thousands of Black American who died of their illness because they could not make it to a “black hospital, like the one that was at Mound Bayou, MS.? Many have read and heard of Martin Luther King and his “I Have A Dream” speech, but have they every read his Letter from Birmingham Jail?  Many young blacks may know Martin, but have they heard of Marcus Garvey, Megar Evers or Malcom X ? How about Fredrick Douglas, who he was and what he accomplish after someone broke the law and taught him how to read? I am almost certain that they have never read his “What the Fourth of July Means To Me” speech.

In today’s world of the IPhone, the Smart Phone, the I Pad and the other high tech gadgets that our black children can not survive one day without, there appears to be a problem with information over load with very little knowledge or “real” learning going on either at the home or the schools.. The right to an education, the right to vote and to right to pursue life, liberty and happiness are ideals that our children take for granted as if those rights always existed. We have created a narcisstic society that is Facebook oriented and the only viable family is their Facebook family. The middle class has basically vanished, good jobs with benefits and pension have disappeared. Struggling parents pay more for childcare today than many parents paid for a college education for their child years ago. A car note is equivalent to a house note in the past and our youth learn too soon about working the many hours at a fast food place and earning very little money.  And the beat goes on.

The salesman gave us our receipt after purchasing two new tires. He has taken noticed of our East St. Louis address and responds,” I remember meeting President Johnson (Actually Vice-President) in 1960 when he came to visit in East St. Louis.” He went on to explain how he could not have been more than 5 or 6 years of age and how this event had stayed with him over the years. “That was before all the factories and jobs left East St. Louis.” he said. Back in 1960 and before, the now financially strapped city of East St. Louis was then known as an All-American City and at one time boast of a population of more than 80,000 citizens until the white flight occurred and the political system built upon cronyism and corruption was passed on to the blacks. I explained that most of the factories were located “outside” of the city’s limit by design so the factories could avoid paying taxes to the city. Knowing one’s past, their present and their future are inter twined, especially when history is being recorded and revealed. If Blacks Lives Matter, then somehow, someway, there must be a memorial to “us” in the midst of a national election where others want to turn back the hands of time to the 1950’s or before. It is truly a different story when the rabbit got the gun.