The Black Voice and the Racial Avalanche:

Unraveling America’s Color-Blind Complexity

When Shenandoah’s Lewis Mountain first welcomed visitors in 1936, Virginia was a “Jim Crow” state, its laws requiring segregation of the races. This created a dilemma for the National Park Service and the Department of the Interior. As managers scrambled to provide lodging, campgrounds, and other amenities, Secretary of the Interior Harold Ickes prodded them about their plans for Black visitors.
James Mercer Langston Hughes (February 1, 1901 — May 22, 1967) was an American poet, social activist, novelist, playwright, and columnist from Joplin, Missouri. He moved to New York City as a young man, where he made his career. One of the earliest innovators of the then-new literary art form called jazz poetry, Hughes is best known as a leader of the Harlem Renaissance
Jim Crow laws were state and local laws that enforced racial segregation in the Southern United States. All were enacted in the late 19th and early 20th centuries by white Democratic-dominated state legislatures to disenfranchise and remove political and economic gains made by blacks during the Reconstruction period. From the late 19th through the mid-20th centuries, segregation laws in Southern states separated African Americans and whites in almost every aspect of public life — from railroad cars and schools to restrooms and drinking fountains. Varying from state to state, these laws were supposed to establish facilities that were “separate but equal.” In reality, these were almost never equal.
William Edward Burghardt Du Bois was an American sociologist, socialist, historian, civil rights activist, Pan-Africanist, author, writer and editor. Du Bois’s life and work were an inseparable mixture of scholarship, protest activity, and polemics. All of his efforts were geared toward gaining equal treatment for black people in a world dominated by whites and toward marshaling and presenting evidence to refute the myths of racial inferiority.
Ta-Nehisi Paul Coates is the most popular African-American author today, gaining wide readership during his time as national correspondent at The Atlantic, where he wrote about cultural, social, and political issues, particularly regarding African Americans and white supremacy. He has published three non-fiction books: The Beautiful Struggle, Between the World and Me, and We Were Eight Years in Power: An American Tragedy.Between the World and Me won the 2015 National Book Award for Nonfiction. He has also written a Black Panther series and a Captain America series for Marvel Comics. In 2015 he received a “Genius Grant” from the MacArthur Foundation. His first novel, The Water Dancer, was published in 2019.
The Jim Crow persona was a theatre character by Thomas D. Rice and a racist depiction of African-Americans and their culture. The character was based on a folk trickster named Jim Crow that had long been popular among black slaves. The character is dressed in rags and wears a battered hat and torn shoes. Rice applied blackface makeup made of burnt cork to his face and hands and impersonated a very nimble and irreverently witty African American field hand who sang and danced.
Thomas Dartmouth Rice (May 20, 1808 — September 19, 1860), known professionally as Daddy Rice, was an American performer and playwright who performed blackface and used African American vernacular speech, song and dance to become one of the most popular minstrel show entertainers of his time. He is considered the “father of American minstrelsy”. His act drew on aspects of African American culture and popularized them with a national, and later international, audience.

Black thinkers and artists are trapped. Rarely allowed a general complexity but rather reduced to sell them and their ideas to a mainstream audience, who have never thought of Blackness as beautifully complex.

An author who writes for his future children’s eyes. “Every time we do our best, the world changes just a little” - wise man

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