Missing American History Lessons: The Black Codes

Black Codes: A Legal Knee on the Neck! aka An Act to Confer Civil Rights on Freedmen, and for other Purposes.

(From Mississippi).

SECTION 5. Every freedman, free negro and mulatto shall, on the second Monday of January, one thousand eight hundred and sixty-six, and annually thereafter, have a lawful home or employment, and shall have written evidence thereof as follows, to wit: if living in any incorporated city, town, or village, a license from that mayor thereof; and if living outside of an incorporated city, town, or village, from the member of the board of police of his beat, authorizing him or her to do irregular and job work; or a written contract, as provided in SECTION6 in this act; which license may be revoked for cause at any time by the authority granting the
same.

Baby, these laws made you PROVE (ANNUALLY) that you had a “lawful home.”

What the HELL does “lawful home” mean? I’ll let you guess who made that determination.

And….you had to have a J-O-B!

What do you think happened if you were in violation of this code?

I’ll wait….

Anyway, let’s continue….

SECTION 6. All contracts for labor made with freedmen, free negroes and mulattoes for a longer period than one month shall be in writing, and duplicate, attested and read to said freedman, free negro or mulatto by a beat, city or county officer, or two disinterested white persons of the
county in which the labor is to performed
,

Lord have mercy….Two disinterested white people, the police and somebody at the courthouse could read this “contract” to our dear freedman, free negro or mulatto, who was very likely unable to read and most definitely unable to memorize that shit verbatim!

But he got a copy of it right?

Oh and for kicks, go google what a “freedman” is!

Anyway, let us continue further….

…of which each party shall have one: and said contracts shall be taken and held as entire contracts, and if the laborer shall quit the service of the employer before the expiration of his term of service, without good cause, he shall forfeit his wages for that year up to the time of quitting.

WHAT???? For that year up to the time of quitting! There’s only one way to interpret that! I’m sorry Mr. Free Slave, you get DIDDLY! Or for the non-southerners…nada, nothing, zip, zero, a goose egg!

SECTION 7. Every civil officer shall, and every person may, arrest and carry back to his or her legal employer any freedman, free negro, or mulatto who shall have quit the service of his or her employer before the expiration of his or her term of service without good cause; and said officer
and person shall be entitled to receive for arresting and carrying back every deserting employee aforesaid the sum of five dollars, and ten cents per mile from the place of arrest to the place of

delivery;
and the same shall be paid by the employer, and held as a set off for so much against the wages of said deserting employee: Provided, that said arrested party, after being so returned,

Yes baby! EVER-Y-BODY could arrest and those who did the arresting would be compensated; including the employer through the “freedman, “free negro,” mulatto’s wages!

The birth of citizen’s arrest?

I know where this is going. Do you see it!

Shall we proceed..
…may appeal to the justice of the peace or member of the board of police of the county, who, on notice to the alleged employer, shall try summarily whether said appellant is legally employed by
the alleged employer, and has good cause to quit said employer. Either party shall have the right of appeal to the county court, pending which the alleged deserter shall be remanded to the alleged employer or otherwise disposed of, as shall be right and just; and the decision of the
county court shall be final.

You guys! What is “good cause?”

Who is writing and interpreting these laws?

Who is going to win in every case?

And when our freedman, free negro or mulatto lost, where do you think he went?

To jail, where he would promptly be but on a chain-gang to provide free labor for the state!

And so,

Today’s “Missing History Lesson” was presented to highlight a SMALL SAMPLING of The Black Codes, which were put in place after the Civil War to allow for the continuation of free labor…and so on.

You didn’t learn about these in school?

I’m not at all surprised.

By the way, each state had their own laws, Northern States also had their own Black Codes.

If you live in the United States, it might be enlightening to go look up the Black Codes for your state.

Today’s codes were brought to you by the Great State of Mississippi.

With laws like these, how can you expect a population of people to progress?

Oh, but this is just a drop in the bucket, we’ll revisit other issues as we go.

Source

I’ve Noticed…

I wrote this in the summer of 2016.
Granted, as Americans, we don’t like things that make us uncomfortable. That said, I’m asking that we lean into that discomfort and engage in some DEEP self analysis.

For animal lovers, like me, I’ll admit that I was very upset with Amy Cooper for the way she allowed her hatred for a man that she didn’t know to cause her to nearly choke her own damned dog to death.

I’m not going to even touch on her willingness to weaponize the police because someone called her on her stuff!

ENTITLED!

Now imagine if Christian Cooper had walked over and pressed his knee on that dog’s neck for almost 10 minutes—-until he DIED!

That’s precisely what happened to our brother, and fellow human, George Floyd!
We need to check ourselves!

Make no mistake, America has decided to host a picnic in a gas station bathroom; voluntarily becoming nose-blind to the persistent stench of hatred and death.

Flat out, until we deal with racism and white superiority/supremacy, America will never get its chance to be GREAT for once!

In fact, it will self destruct!

Please believe me when I tell you that nobody wishes America could become GREAT more than people like me!

God have mercy on us! Christ have mercy on us!
#Rest in Power George Floyd

Seek The Best Blog

 

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Friends, I’d like to chat with you about some things that I have recently noticed.

Before I begin, allow me to warn you in advance that you may or may not agree with any of my observations.

That’s alright with me.

But, hopefully, after you read this, we will still be able to maintain a high level of mutual respect; even if we have opposing points of view.

In my mind, that is one of the hallmarks of civility; don’t you think?

Now…

Let me start by saying that I strongly believe that we ALL matter.  Every single one of us.

EVER-Y-BODY!

However, based on several past and present events, I’ve noticed that some people do not agree with me. Sadly, I have no choice but to draw this conclusion based on the murders of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile; not to mention Trayvon Martin, Eric Garner, Michael Brown…

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Seek Understanding: What’s In a Name?

 

 

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Sooo…

I started this blog in January of 2016.

It was, and still is, my intention and plan to create a space where people of all shapes, sizes, colors and such could come to find posts to edify, educate and motivate mind, body and spirit.

Naturally, it would be a reciprocal type of situation.

Anyway…

As I was thinking of names for the blog, I decided that I wanted to choose a moniker that expressed my desire to seek and find the best things in life–expressed via my own original creations or by presenting the works and/or findings of other talented writers, thinkers, bloggers, poets, educators, elders and storytellers.

However, when I searched the terms “seek” and “best” for the creation of my blog name, the only sensible title that was available, at the time, was “seekthebestblog.com.”

So I snatched it!

Ah…but then I later realized that this title could be misconstrued to mean something like…

Hey YOU!

Now that you have found my blog, you may now dispense with your tireless pursuit of creating or following other blogs because I got the BEST one right HERE BABY! SERIOUSLY, LOOK NO FURTHER!

JUST STOP!

 

YIKES!

EEK!

BLEH!

Oh well, the damage had been done so I had to run with it!

I simply hoped that people would understand the intent behind the blog’s title once they read the tagline:

“Seeker of the best that life has to offer!”

My God…I can only pray!

LOL!

That said, join me as I continue to seek the BEST!

Lady G loves YOU!

A Grave Encounter: The Four-legged Ghoul

Grave

It was like nothing we had ever seen before.

I still remember how large he was.

His tongue was flickering in and out of his mouth.

When my grandmother saw him, she raised her garden hoe in his direction.

Unfazed, he slowly turned away and crawled behind one of the graves disappearing into the woods.

My grandmother said later she believed he was a haint.

-Daddy recalls an event that occurred around 1955 in Eufaula, Alabama.

Daddy tells the whole story

When I was little, my grandmother would often grab us kids to go with her to the cemetery to help her and her sisters clean up our family’s graves.

Usually, this would take place early on Saturday mornings.

On those days, we’d all gather our tools and walk down the railroad track to the cemetery where most of my mother’s side of the family was buried.

We’d typically be out there working all morning.

One day, when I was about ten years old, it happened!

Me, my grandmother, and aunt were clearing away some brush when we spotted the scariest looking thing we had ever seen standing on top of an adult-sized grave.

It was grayish black, and spanned, from his nose to the tip of his tail, the entire length of the slab.

The monster, who weighed more than I did then, was facing us from about two plots away–toward a branch that ran through the middle of the cemetery.

It was like nothing we had ever seen before.

I still remember how large he was.

His tongue was flickering in and out of his mouth.

When my grandmother saw him, she raised her garden hoe in his direction.

Unfazed, he slowly turned away and crawled behind one of the graves disappearing into the woods.

My grandmother said later she believed he was a haint.

*********************************************************************************

LadyG remembers that story

I remember my Dad telling me this story over the years and I often wondered about the creature that he and his grandmother, Ma Allie, had seen that day.

Daddy said that it looked kinda like a Komodo dragon…

But not exactly.

He also said that this four-legged ghoul was probably feeding off corpses that were not “housed” in a vault.

A grave-robber of sorts.

Just so you know, vaults were not always used back in those days; especially in African-American cemeteries.

Anyway, it is important to note that Komodo dragons are not native to Alabama, or anywhere nearby, so we figured that whatever it was must have gotten loose from someone who had owned him as a pet.

At any rate, Daddy was never fully content with the fact that he could not positively identify that reptilian gargoyle of yore.

So for 64 years, the whole thing remained unsolved…

Until…

Last week, when I sent an article to my Dad about this reptile called a “Tegus” that had been spotted in South Georgia.

The article included a picture of a reptile that fit the description that Daddy gave based on his childhood memories.

After receiving and reading the article, Daddy immediately called me back and said, “That’s it! That’s EXACTLY what I saw!”

He seemed excited that the mystery had been solved.

Apparently, the Tegus has been around the South for much longer than the wildlife folks think!

But, secretly, I prefer Ma Allie’s belief that it was a haint!

LOL!

Lady G loves you!

 

 

 

A Family Conversation: The Cousins Discuss The Elusive American Dream

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“A Family Conversation” is a storytelling audio series that features weekly discussions between blogging cousins LadyG and Ron Brown on current events along with favorite posts from each other’s blog.

“A Family Conversation” is published on Wednesdays.

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Excerpt from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I have a Dream” speech:

In a sense we’ve come to our nation’s Capital to cash a check. When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir.

This note was a promise that all men, yes, black men as well as white men, would be guaranteed the unalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

It is obvious today that America has defaulted on this promissory note insofar as her citizens of color are concerned. Instead of honoring this sacred obligation, America has given the Negro people a bad check; a check which has come back marked “insufficient funds.”

-Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr

If you are interested, you may read the full speech transcript here.

Now…

Observe as I switch my focus from the words of a King to a topic that appears to be totally different.

I’ll begin “the switch” by asking…

Isn’t it funny how the lyrics of a song can mean one thing in one context, and another thing in a different context?

That very fact inspired Ron to post two throwback jams from one of the most prolific songwriting duos of all time, Valarie Simpson and her late husband Nickolas Ashford.

And so….

This week, Ron and I discuss the song lyrics from Ashford & Simpson’s “It seems to hang on” and “Found a cure.”

Listen in as we flow with the lyrics into conversations on :

  • Dealing with the ever-present albatross of discrimination.
  • Interacting with people who either intentionally or unintentionally invalidate our experiences of prejudice.
  • Maintaining a hopeful optimism that one day America will live up to its greatest potential by adhering to its own assertion that “all men are created equal.”
  • A Divine prescription for the cure that we need; hint, it’s been there all along.

Enjoy,

Adult Language and Situations

Pt 1

Pt 2

To listen to a deeper conversation click here for parts 3-5

Greens From Daddy’s Patio: My Sprouts Are Growing Up! (Week 3)

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My sprouts are growing up!

I am such a proud new mama!

Daddy is continuing to help me learn how to raise my little green children.

Hey, do you remember “Sprout” from the old Green Giant “Jolly Green Giant” commercials?

Well that’s the vibe!

LOL!

I guess Daddy is the Green Giant!

But, what does that make me?

Anyway…

One of my friends, who shall remain nameless…

JULES!

…said that all I need now is cattle!

Shady!!

Everybody’s got jokes,

Even Daddy says that I am turning into a little farmer!

HAAAAA HAAAA!

Ah, but we’ll see who gets the last laugh!

Meanwhile, back on the patio…

This week, we transferred the sprouts/seedlings into bigger containers so that they will have room to grow!

Enjoy!

LadyG loves you!

Run time:  Less than 10 minutes.

 

A Family Conversation: Ron Brown and LadyG Discuss Musical Passings, Facebook Shout-outs and Winning at all Costs

 

“A Family Conversation” is a storytelling audio series that features weekly discussions between blogging cousins LadyG and Ron Brown on current events along with some of our favorite posts from each other’s blog.

“A Family Conversation” is published on Wednesdays.

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In today’s audio, Ron and I are talking about my recent blog post “Did we Slip?” 

As usual, we got a bit off task when we started talking about recent deaths in the musical industry. During this tangent, I had to reassure Ron that Andre 2000 3000 had not decided to join our dear Little Richard and the rest of the saints in the “upper room.”

That, was a different Andre.

May he rest in peace.

At any rate, we also lamented over the fact that the late Queen Diva Betty Wright had recently been featured on “Unsung” which appears to have a high number of post-show, er…uhh..transitions, shall we say?

As I said before, it’s not the cause but it sure looks like a correlation. LOL!

In the words of Ron Brown, “Unsung? Uninterested!”

Rest in POWER Queen Diva Wright🌹

No, seriously, I actually love that show.  They do an awesome job of showcasing treasured performers who should have received much more recognition and fanfare than they actually did.

I urge them to keep up the good work.

And now…

Here’s the fun part…

We gave a few shout-outs to some of Ron’s fabulous Facebook friends.

I don’t have a Facebook page, so we did NOT shout-out any of my Facebook friends. LOL!

Anyway…

On a deeper note, Ron moved the needle forward by questioning whether or not I believe in alternate or parallel universes.  He also wanted to know what inspired me to write the post. He wondered if I think we slipped…

Frankly, while I can neither confirm nor deny that we have “slipped,”

Outward appearances would suggest that we might have.

What do you think? 

Be sure to chime in. 

Note:  Since you already know where to find me, be sure to look for Ron here in category “Ron’s Time Tunnel or at Time Tunnel : brownsemts.com

Ron, are you ready?

Let’s go!

 

Pt 1 Musical Passings and Shout Outs

 

Pt 2 Winning at all costs

 

 

 

 

 

Watch Me: Processing Instacart Grocery Delivery

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All OF THE THINGS that I do when I process groceries delivered by instacart during this season of pandemic.

In fact, I do these same things when shopping for myself.

At any rate, after you watch, tell me what you do.

Tell me if you learned something new.

By the way…

A word about instacart…

I love them…

But, there’s this one little thing.

You’ll see in the video.

Run time: 4 minutes

Lady G. loves YOU!