This column was inspired by B. J. Turner from Athens, Georgia, and the love shown to a long-time Georgia freedom fighter.
It’s February 2018 and Valentine’s Day is just around the corner. Take at least a minute, if possible, to appreciate your family member, friend or significant other on the day of desire!
Many young people that consider themselves involved in today’s movements roll their eyes and turn up their noses when it comes to recognizing and understanding all it takes to fight for rights in America and around the world.
Instead of creating new battle strategies to obtain successes for the oppressed, exploited, enslaved and victimized people and ethnic groups across the globe, what young people seem to do today is copy or “parrot” what Black and African heroes did years and years ago.
They want to march, they want to pray, they want to shout and the youth of today want to sing!
The greatest, Muhammad Ali, once proclaimed, “You can’t win a fight by singing, you have to get a championship title by swinging!”
I think the champ was paraphrasing words said earlier by one of his friends and religious idols, Malcolm X.
College students and other youth minimize the support that was necessary for our historical ancestors to be able to accomplish many goals desired by African-Americans, Africans and other people of color.
Men get the praise
It is the men in the past civil rights movements, voting rights movements, Black Power movements, Freedom Rides, sit-ins and other protests and movements that get most of the praise, glory and recognition for fighting the good fights.
However, truth be told back then and truth be told right now, few if any accomplishments by past freedom fighters and the brothers that stand up and speak out today could have or can be made without the courage, the loyalty, strength and sacrifices of the Black woman!
Women have stuck with male freedom fighters through sickness and health, through poverty and wealth, and even in times of death!
Today’s movements of flavor like Dream Keepers, Black Lives Matter, the New Black Panther Party and other organizations will soon be gone like Occupy Wall Street, the Malcolm X Front, the Black Federation Alliance.
Or they’ll be dead in the water like so many reactionary groups that show up when someone gets beaten, someone gets choked or some unarmed Black teenager or adult gets shot – and then disappear before the next similar crisis comes about!
Women sacrificed, too
Women loved the men that put their careers, their families and their lives on the line to help their people, their communities and this world repel the beastly attacks on Black life and Black existence.
You can’t talk to me about Black freedom fighters and ignore the women that stood by their sides, took care of their children, assisted in paying the bills and fought the fight too, like so many African warrior-women that came before they did.
You are quick to buy and wear hats and T-shirts of so-called freedom fights, but you’re slow as hell to equally recognize the women that were more consistent than the men, more loyal and monogamous than many of the men, and more responsible than most of the men.
Heroes had backup
The men you like to idolize all had female backup. Nat Turner had a woman. Demark Vesey had a woman. Medgar Evers had a woman. Marcus Garvey had a woman. Nelson Mandela had a woman. Eldridge Cleaver had a woman.
Everybody at the Southern Christian Leadership Conference had a woman. And the dumbest person in the ‘hood should know Martin King had Coretta and Malcolm X had Betty!
This Valentine’s Day, as African-Americans and Africans, let’s show some love to and for the women that have shown love to us and to our male ancestors.
We all need love
Recognize that the community activists, the freedom fighters, the revolutionaries and the radicals have hearts and they need love, too. The men on the front lines in the streets and the warriors in the suites need to be comforted, need to be nurtured and oftentimes they need to be broke off, so to speak!
Even the editorial columnists that continue to be threatened by devilish bigots and haters for telling you the truth need love on the holiday and every other day.
The year 2018 will be a year for women leading men in politics, in business and in many other areas. Brothers better recognize!
I, for one, want to honor the love shown to The Gantt Report by Black women. TGR’s most fervent supporters are women and they buy most of my books.
What I’ve discovered is if you truly love the right Black woman, she will love you more!