Flag of Mississippi

Hello Readers,

Two nights ago I was channel surfing trying to find an engaging program to watch before I turned in when I came across the movie Mississippi Burning which is loosely based on the disappearance and the murders of the three civil rights workers.

I first saw this movie when I was in high school.

A little background noise….

The late 1980’s and early 1990’s were a time when the X generation or those who never gave up the fight for true justice, were finally successful in having Mississippi give up her ghosts.

For example, it was around this time that Medgar Evers’s assassin was finally brought to justice for the 1963 slaying of Medgar in his own driveway.

Well anyway, the movie highlights the almost unbearable struggles African Americans faced in the south during the height of Jim Crow.

What stood out the most for me about the movie is that the Black victims never fought back.

I guess that is easy for me to say-a post-civil rights baby even though I grew up in Mississippi.

When I first viewed the movie in the late 1980’s I heralded the poor rural Black people as noble and brave.

Keep in mind however, that my thinking was shaped in the context of Dr. King’s belief that there is redemption in suffering.

Also, my grandmother and many older African Americans who were reared and steeped in the Southern traditions held this view to an extent.

Fast Forward….

It seems that ever since Spike Lee’s epic Malcolm X movie, every African American perhaps under thirty at that time has embraced a radical train of thought that includes violence to deal with America’s inherent and unrelenting racism.

I must confess that as I watched the movie a couple of days ago, I was certainly down for a very slow and painful death for all of the “esteemed” members who constantly harassed their downtrodden darker neighbors!!!!!!

I remember a sentiment Dr. King once shared…..

Faced with the ever increasing militancy of African Americans who wanted to take up arms against American oppression-especially in the urban areas-King stated that would be an act of suicide because of American’s armament sophistication.

While I agree with his thinking at that time, our history in this country and on the African continent has shown that armed resistance can be an effective tool in gaining freedom and respect-officially and on a more personal level.

I mean I was so angry that the Black people in no way tried to fight back!!!!

A little boy was perhaps the most brave when he put aside his fear to identify the violent law enforcement officials responsible for the acts of violence.

The reason that I advocated armed resistance in protecting life, limb and property?

The African Americans outnumbered the Whites in that town-as in most Southern towns back then.

Thus, if every Black man and woman took up arms in self-defense, perhaps the violent faction of the white community would have decided on a more egregious form of separate but equal.

Well I thought I would give a new twist on an old classic.

Until next time……