Robert Williams jump started the Monroe, North Carolina branch of the NAACP back in 1961 before the Ku Klux Klan could violently force its extinction. After the deaths of a dozen or so Negro children in the local swimming hole, the Negro community of Monroe decided to protest the fact that Negroes were not allowed to swim in the city pool down there in Monroe even though everyone's tax dollars had been used to build it. Williams wrote a book called Negroes with Guns, Marzani & Munsell, N.Y., N.Y., © 1962. In it Williams explains how he and two Negro teenagers, aged 16 and 17, were forced to use loaded fireams to stop a mob of over 3,000 Whites who were threatening to attack his small but courageous group of about 40 Negro demonstrators. Neither Williams nor either of his two younger colleagues ever fired a shot! Both Negroes and Whites alike escaped all injury!!
For most of us, WHY, all we know about George W. Carver is that he worked out or identified 300 uses for peanuts... He did many other equally and even more important things! HE STUDIED ART during his first year at Simpson College before he turned to agriculture and transfered to Iowa State! But since peanuts restore the nutrients to the soil that "King Cotton" pulls out every growing season. It was important that they become a marketable product, a "cash crop", just like cotton. That meant if only 9 or 10 of those 300 new uses became "standard operating procedure" in a million or so American homes, then both the cotton growers and the peanut guys were "in like Flynn!" Boy George got promoted, or maybe demoted, to the PEANUT MAN and all we seem to know and remember is peanuts compared to ALL his other GREAT work...
TryWatts.Com apologizes for using the older "BLACK HISTORY" nomenclature. We were raised during an era when everyone was "SAYING IT LOUD!" and "WE WERE BLACK AND WE WERE PROUD!!" It's a bit difficult to adopt the more recent name tag African American. Three reasons.
First, TryWatts.Com wasn't paying attention when we got the name African American. WE WERE TAUGHT THAT WHEN A PERSON BORN IN AFRICA COMES TO AMERICA, YOU CALL THEM THAT. We still say, BLACK HISTORY MONTH.
Second, when one wants to change their identity, one of the first things one does is change their name. As we all know, the descendants of the Africans who were brought to America as slaves were robbed of that African identity. They felt it important to create themselves a new one when they were freed and the first thing they did was come up with a name, NEGRO, Spanish for BLACK. (Many a slave had scambled down to Mexico after they had escaped. And obviously two or three of them must have come back after the Civil War). Their fresh wholesome identity began with that new name. Decades later, someone named Brown comes along and writes a song of spirit and pride and the song erases it all with a new name and a fresher, more wholesome identity. We were now BLACK (English for BLACK). We still say, BLACK HISTORY MONTH.
Now the third and most ridiculous reason. If some invisible, monstrously racist, insidious power wanted the descendants of a people whose identity had been stolen to never estabish an identity for themselves, might not that invisible, monstrously racist, insidious power keep changing that people's name every generation or so? Destroy that peoples identity every generation or so by giving them a new name? Naw. We still say, BLACK HISTORY MONTH. And a bit of BLACK HISTORY follows this...
We'd invite you to 'click through' down below and see what Watts got that first year. The event may not have been attended by the larger percentage of Negro/BlacK/AfriKan AmeriKan folk of the local Watts community. But here is a small part of the event, a digital video on AfriKan AmeriKan ICE that maybe they'll get a chance to see now...
The First Watts Celebration of Black History Month.