Do You Like Living in NYC?

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Ahm in New York, but New York ain’t in me. You understand? Ahm in New York, but New York ain’t in me. What do I mean? Listen. I’m from Jacksonville, Florida. Been in New York twenty-five years. I’m a New Yorker! Yuh understand? Naw, naw, yuh don’t get me. What do they do; take Lenox Avenue. Take Seventh Avenue; take Sugar Hill! Pimps. Numbers. Cheating those poor people out a whut they got. Shooting, cutting, backbiting, all them things. Yuh see? Yuh see what Ah mean? I’m in New York, but New York ain’t in me!

– An old man in Harlem responding to Ralph Ellison’s (during his tenure with the WPA) question “Do you like living in New York City?”

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Peter J. Gomes Favorite Books

Peter J. Gomes was a preacher and professor at Havard University.  He was not a afrotraditionalist to my knowledge (although I wont dismiss it completely as he was known to enjoy Amos and Andy)  but he was certainly a traditionalist of a sort despite being a black fellow from Massachusetts whom was also gay.

He had great respect for the western artistic canon and in the following passages from the book Cheerful Money, he explains his “Young Fogyism”

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Here he lists his favorite books with a very interesting back story.

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Afrofogess Zora Hurston and poet Countee Cullen

CCullen Mrs. Hurston is the mother of Afrotraditionalist thought. But everyone from progressive and Republican Blacks can learn from her always astute observations. She even has something for those inclined to follow early Malcolm X. I will note (and bold the text) that Zora like all the elders who inform Afrofogey thought, recognized the many poisons Liberal whites brought upon blacks. Here she talks about how offended white liberals were to find she did not pine for their company and had no problem with social segregation. Zora and Countee Cullen correspondence on PBS’s website. 

Dear Countee: Thanks a million for your kind letter. I am always proud to have a word of praise from you because your friendship means a great deal to me. It means so much to me because I have never known you to make an insincere move, neither for personal gain, nor for malice growing out of jealousy of anyone else. Then too, you are my favorite poet now as always since you began to write. I have always shared your approach to art. That is, you have written from within rather than to catch the eye of those who were making the loudest noise for the moment. I know that hitch-hiking on band-wagons has become the rage among Negro artists for the last ten years at least, but I have never thumbed a ride and can feel no admiration for those who travel that way. I have pointed you out on numerous occasions as one whose integrity I respected, and whose example I wished to follow. Now, as to segregation, I have no viewpoint on the subject particularly, other than a fierce desire for human justice. The rest of it is up to the individual. Personally, I have no desire for white association except where I am sought and the pleasure is mutual. That feeling grows out of my own self-respect. However blue the eye or yellow the hair, I see no glory to myself in the contact unless there is something more than the accident of race. Any other viewpoint would be giving too much value to a mere white hide. I have offended several “liberals” among the whites by saying this bluntly. I have been infuriated by having them ask me outright, or by strong implication if I am not happy over the white left-wing associating with Negroes. I always say no. Then I invariably ask why the association should give a Negro so much pleasure? Why any more pleasure than with a black “liberal”? They never fail to flare up at that which proves that they are paying for the devout worship that many Negroes give them in the cheap coin of patronage, which proves that they feel the same superiority of race that they claim to deny. Otherwise, why assume that they have done a noble deed by having contact with Negroes? Countee, I have actually had some of them to get real confidential and point out that I can be provided with a white husband by seeing things right! White wives and husbands have been provided for others, etc. I invariably point out that getting hold of white men has always been easy. I don’t need any help to do that. I only wish that I could get everything else so easily as I can get white men. I am utterly indifferent to the joy of other Negroes who feel that a marriage across the line is compensation for all things, even conscience. The South must laugh and gloat at the spectacle and say “I told you so! That is a black person’s highest dream.” If a white man or woman marries a Negro for love that is all right with me, but a Negro who considers himself or herself paid off and honored by it is a bit too much for me to take. So I shall probably never become a “liberal.” Neither shall I ever let myself be persuaded to have my mind made up for me by a political job. I mean to live and die by my own mind. If that is cowardly, then I am a coward. When you come to analyze it, Countee, some of the stuff that has passed as courage among Negro “leaders” is nauseating. Oh, yes, they are right there with the stock phrases, which the white people are used to and expect, and pay no attention to anymore. They are rather disappointed if you do not use them. But if you suggest something real just watch them back off from it. I know that the Anglo-Saxon mentality is one of violence. Violence is his religion. He has gained everything he has by it, and respects nothing else. When I suggest to our “leaders” that the white man is not going to surrender for mere words what he has fought and died for, and that if we want anything substantial we must speak with the same weapons, immediately they object that I am not practical. No, no indeed. The time is not ripe, etc. etc. Just point out that we are suffering injustices and denied our rights, as if the white people did not know that already! Why don’t I put something about lynchings in my books? As if all the world did not know about Negroes being lynched! My stand is this: either we must do something about it that the white man will understand and respect, or shut up. No whiner ever got any respect or relief. If some of us must die for human justice, then let us die. For my own part, this poor body of mine is not so precious that I would not be willing to give it up for a good cause. But my own self-respect refuses to let me go to the mourner’s bench. Our position is like a man sitting on a tack and crying that it hurts, when all he needs to do is to get up off it. A hundred Negroes killed in the streets of Washington right now could wipe out Jim Crow in the nation so far as the law is concerned, and abate it at least 60% in actuality. If any of our leaders start something like that then I will be in it body and soul. But I shall never join the cry-babies. You are right in assuming that I am indifferent to the pattern of things. I am. I have never liked stale phrases and bodyless courage. I have the nerve to walk my own way, however hard, in my search for reality, rather than climb upon the rattling wagon of wishful illusions. I suppose you have seen my denial of the statements of Douglas Gilbert of the World-Telegram. I know I made him sore. He is one of the type of “liberals” I spoke of. They are all Russian and want our help to put them in power in the U.S. but I know that we would be liquidated soon after they were in. They will have to get there the best way they can for all I care. Cheerio, good luck, and a happy encounter (with me) in the near future. Sincerely, Zora Document from Amistad Research Center, Tulane University. “Zora Neale Hurston: Jump at the Sun” is available on DVD at www.newsreel.org

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Aristocratic Virtues. 

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To the thinking person, there is no question that the egalitarian nature of  America’s ethos has led to an aggrandizement of the prole. That isn’t all bad but when the scale leans too far towards it and away from our higher values it is certainly time for a correction.

This morning I was perusing my rssfeeds and came across a blog named Swell and Dandy, it is defunct now, but still worth a visit. It had a list of Thirteen Aristocratic Virtues, which were a take off of Ben Franklin’s Thirteen Virtues. Both sets are quite valuable.  I enjoyed them so much that I decided to repost them here just in case the blog gets shut down.

Thirteen Aristocratic Virtues

“Franklin’s work has set the frame-work for our second list of crucial virtues.  The aristocracy and aspiring gentlemen of the world must hold themselves to a greater standard than that of the common man.  Thus he must hold himself accountable for an additional thirteen virtues.  Below is a list of the thirteen aristocratic virtues and their explanations.

1. NONCHALANCE. Keep your passions private; appear carefree, composed, and disinterested at all times; do not show when you are bothered.

2. CHARM. Master the art of making others comfortable in your presence; cause others to enjoy your companionship.

3. CONVENTIONALITY. Respect, preserve, and adhere to tradition; find solace in continuity and conservation.

4. CULTURE. Possess an understanding of the world; be open to trying new things and having new experiences; understand that which is different from yourself.

5. TIMELESSNESS. Do not fall victim to passing fancies; understand that that which was fashionable fifty years ago, and still is, will likely still be fashionable in another fifty years.

6. PIETY. Embrace God and the Church; live according the Church’s prescribed principles and values.

7. INTELLECT. Cultivate a willingness to learn and understand; possess and refine a superior mind.

8. WELL-ROUNDEDNESS. Develop a wide range of skill, interest, and knowledge; be a renaissance man, a jack-of-all-trades.

9. DIGNITY. Carry yourself with self-respect and bearing; appreciate the formality and gravity of an occasion.

10. INDEPENDENCE. Do not constantly seek the company of others; do not be needy; take time to enjoy the peace of being on one’s own.

11. THOUGHTFULNESS. Be a philosopher of sorts; be mindful of that which ordinary fellows forget.

12. FORTITUDE. Maintain a stiff upper lip; do not waiver in your beliefs.

13. RESERVATION. Keep your emotions to yourself; do not hastily offer opinions.”

 

                                              Mr. Franklin’s Original List of of Thirteen Virtues

 

1. TEMPERANCE.Eat not to dullness; drink not to elevation.

2. SILENCE. Speak not but what may benefit others or yourself; avoid trifling conversation.

3. ORDER. Let all your things have their places; let each part of your business have its time.

4. RESOLUTION. Resolve to perform what you ought; perform without fail what you resolve.

5. FRUGALITY. Make no expense but to do good to others or yourself; i.e., waste nothing.

6. INDUSTRY. Lose no time; be always employ’d in something useful; cut off all unnecessary actions.

7. SINCERITY. Use no hurtful deceit; think innocently and justly, and, if you speak, speak accordingly.

8. JUSTICE. Wrong none by doing injuries, or omitting the benefits that are your duty.

9. MODERATION. Avoid extreams; forbear resenting injuries so much as you think they deserve.

10. CLEANLINESS. Tolerate no uncleanliness in body, cloaths, or habitation.

11.TRANQUILLITY. Be not disturbed at trifles, or at accidents common or unavoidable.

12. CHASTITY. Rarely use venery but for health or offspring, never to dulness, weakness, or the injury of your own or another’s peace or reputation.

13. HUMILITY. Imitate Jesus and Socrates.”

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Rid Yourself of the White Man

 

By the title you might expect some sort of radical text, saying either one should go back to Africa or kill the cracka off in a revolution. Maybe some black panther like rhetoric that simultaneously condemns whites and seeks their help and embrace of our cause,-well those who are “down for the people” atleast.  I mean none of that of course, nor do I mean one should rid themselves of the intangible parts of our culture they may have started with whites I.e the Sax, the English language or ( if you believe they gave It to us) the Christian religion.

I certainly am against embracing much of white culture and especially current white culture. I’d dissuade one from engaging the former because I am an anti assimilationist, the latter because it’s crass , godless, materialistic and vulgar( like our current culture). We need to foster our own institutions in order to be a prosperous race.

What I mean is rid yourself of the white man as an excuse , as one to emulate, as one to oppose and as one to seek love, respect or any validation from. Be neither his enemy nor his follower. Imagine your own path. Be secure in yourself as a black man with his own ways, mores, values and culture; developed in our over 400 years in this land now called the United States. Celebrate your achievements, unify with your brethren, follow your betters and lead your lesser. Create a way of life directed at self determination for the black race, instead of one dedicated to receiving favor or fairness from whites. Act and behave as a confident person from a confident culture. That is the only way to build on our traditions and maintain our identity( what little we have left of it)

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Interesting History of the Klan

I found the comments on where the Klan’s foothold was strongest most interesting. The fact that the Klan is Scots Irish in origin doesn’t surprise me one bit.
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From the book: The Ku Klux Klan: It’s Growth, it’s Origin, it’s Disbament. (1905)

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Respectability Politics or Grace and Good Taste?

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