The AfroFogey

Ame

AfroFogey has been my internet de plum for some years now and many folks have inquired about what exactly does it mean. I must admit the name itself was inspired by the decidedly not  Afro , Young Fogeys of England. But the worldview is solidly  Negro, Negro in the Ellisonian sense. There are other AfroFogeys , otherwise called AfroTraditionalists (AfroTrads), out there scattered about, differing from each other in minor ways and for certain many of them are better writers than I but I am here first thus I’ll write the definition .

Afrofogeyism isn’t an ideology but a disposition, centered upon the view that the past was better than the present and without a doubt should inform our future. For first and foremost, the AfroFogey is a romantic. The idea of old Harlem and old New Orleans are at the immensely appealing to him.

The AfoFogey is a conservative in the truest sense of the word. He seeks to preserve and promote Black American culture. Unlike “Black” Republicans who refer to themselves as conservatives, who have no interest in preserving anything.

The AfroFogey loves; Jazz; Negro Spirituals; Gospel and all traditional styles of Black music. He considers “rock” mostly juvenile rebellion and is one of the things at the root of the vulgarity, juvenile rebelliousness by grown men living in an extended adolescent, and the deifying of the so called bad boy in Americans post 60’s culture.
He also loves; Ralph Ellison; Zora Neale Hurston; Albert Murray; Martin Delany; Alexander Crummell, Booker T. Washington, Harold Cruse and 19th & 20th-century Black businessmen (and woman).

The AfroTraditionalist likes; Stanley Crouch’s critiques but thinks of him as the poor man’s Albert Murray. Murray is a seminal thinker and among the most under appreciated writers of recent memory. He is especially under read by those who actually need to read him.

The AfroFogey exalts and expects his kids to attend the great HBCUs; Spelman, Howard, and Morehouse, even if he never went to one himself. Institutions like them and the Black church will be the basis for “civilization”

The AfroTrad is nationalist; he supports Black business, lives among Blacks and marries Black- and greatly enjoys the phrase “if she can’t use your comb, don’t bring her home”. However, he is not sympathetic to the Black Panthers and the Black power movement or any post 60’s Marxist informed “radicals”.

Without a question, the beautiful Clair Huxtable in her 1980’s era splendor is the AfroFogeys pin up girl. On occasion, his style and disposition will cause those who know him to call him Bill Cosby.

The AfroFogey eats and loves fried chicken, collard (mustard & turnips) greens, Virginia ham, real barbecue, and whatever grandma cooked. He also likes fine French food (Duck & game please) and wines a great deal.
The AfroFogey loves Africa, specifically West Africa, but is rather indifferent to Africans, especially those who’ve immigrated to the US.

The AfroFogey always pays deference to religion and loves the AME & AME Zion churches.

To the AfroTraditionalist, Mahaila Jackson is the greatest singer ever (because she is).

The AfroFogey thinks the civil rights movement may have theoretically been largely a good idea but is cool on integration. Frequently laments the demise and decline of Black businesses, churches and especially our communities.

As alluded to earlier the AfroFogey prefers the term Negro to Black and Black to African American and certainly is not a Person of Color.

Never fervently or hatefully but the Fogey is anti- immigration and thinks birthright citizenship is silliness. There is much to be said for blood, culture land and traditions a far more reasonable and logical way to decide where a person is a citizen of.

Some AfroFogeys may be Prince Hall Masons but sadly that’s a dying breed and the organization has caught the attention of  uneducated conspiracy theorist.

The AfroFogey drives a Cadillac unless his wife has convinced him to get a Lexus (the province of social climbers). If not able to afford the Caddy he drives another affordable understated vehicle; Toyota, Buick, Chevy but never an Acura.

Some frequently votes Democratic although he shouldn’t.
The AfroTraditionalst is apathetic to Feminism and finds feminist amusing.

The AfroFogey has absolutely no voice in the mainstream media.

Not unheard of for the Fogey to have the only well-kept house in a rapidly declining neighborhood.

The AfroFogey is never an activist.

The AfroTrad vacations on Myrtle Beach, MMartha’sVineyard, The South Carolina Lowcountry, and Ghana among other places. He never visits LA, Las Vegas or any other cultural wastelands.

The AfroFogey constantly defends Black culture against the “conscious”, insecure uncle toms, Pan Africans, Radical Liberals, color blind so called conservatives. Rarely defends the culture against whites, their opinion on the topic matters little.

You may be wondering if there is a female equivalent to the AfroFogey and the answer is unlikely. The closest specimens were the recently deceased Elizabeth Wright and the long dead Zora Neale Huston( our spiritual mother.)

Martin Luther King (Redux)

Today is the anniversary of the I Have a Dream speech, a speech, that is as masterful oratory as it is, message actually leaves me sort of cold. For the most part, politically, Dr. King and I are not compatible. But with out a doubt I have great respect for a man who sacrificed himself trying to lead our glorious race to a better place in the US and indeed the world. So in honor of his special day I will post my favorite Martin Luther King clip. For me, it is his most powerful message.

The MLK that’s never quoted.

“‎”Nobody can do this for us. No document can do this for us. No Lincolnian Emancipation Proclamation, no Kennesonia, no Johnsonian civil rights bill can totally bring this kind of freedom. No, if the Negro is to be free he must reach down into the inner resources of his own soul and sign with the pen & ink of assertive manhood his own emancipation proclamation. Psychological freedom, a firm sense of self-esteem, is the most powerful weapon against the long night of physical slavery.

 Martin Luther King

The good Dr and I shared a favorite song and gospel artist in How I Got Over by  Mahalia Jackson. Listen to both they will deepen your life experience.

Leontyne’s Heights

Massive dignity even in illustration

“If you are going to think Black, think positive about it. Don’t think down on it, or think it is something in your way. And this way, when you really do want to stretch out, and express how beautiful Black is, everybody will hear you.”

Today we have to many African Americans*, especially in the public eye and especially in academia , pretending being black is some albatross on their necks white folks need to ignore or reward in order for them to succeed. Most will try to cover up those feelings of inadequacies up with false proclamations of pride. Mainly concerning some “radical” Negro telling white people off, “speaking truth to power” or some such, like a rebellious teen does to his momma. But they give away their feelings of inadequacy by showing how worried they are about the Caucasian race’s opinions . Sadly, they don’t know prospering and ascending; taking black culture to new, yet tradition rooted, heights is far more impressive than petty rebellion.  The accomplished Leontyne Price basically understood this and that’s why I decided to highlight her words at the beginning of this post.

* I use African American instead of Negro or Black on purpose.

What I am into Vol. 4

Old Waynesboro Country Ham

I suppose one good thing about having a largely ignored blog is no one notices when I’m not on schedule. I am a week late with this post, my apologies.
The picture above is that of a country ham I recently received. It tastes great, I actually ate breakfast for dinner last night so I’d have a reason to have some more.

This morning, I started editing an old post on the failures of America’s black middle class. I am not much of a writer so it isn’t coming along all that well, but I’ll share the opening paragraphs:

The Boston Brahmins revered history and worshiped their forbearers, shunned materialism and promoted art, culture and spirituality. These Bostonians stood atop America’s caste system, and were called Brahmins-after the Hindus who owned a similar position in their culture’s class structure. A lesser known social phenomenon were a strata of Negros whom lived adjacent to these elite Bostonians, who emulated these values. They were highly literate, loved knowledge, lived to glorify their ancestors and their sense of noblise oblige led them to be at the for front of the abolition movement. Unfortunately they were quite insular, practiced an odd form colorism and engaged in middle class snobbery. They of course weren’t Brahmins, but middle class – Negros hadn’t the freedom to gain such a status. Still they sat astride Northeastern Black America’s class structure and maybe even Black America’s. They also exhibited the failure of our nations Black upper and middle classes to lead, inability to create an model 0f aristocracy based upon values owned by them. Never created a philosophy of thought particular to African Americans, matter of fact they embraced White American values wholeheartedly, though fortunately they emulated the most noble of whites.

Paul Devlin is an expert on Albert Murray and Ralph Ellison, as far as I am concerned. He is also amazingly literate and well read and seems to always know how to highlight the most interesting parts of whatever he is reading. I follow him on Twitter and he is maybe the only person on their who can critique T.S Eliot and has also read Ice Burg Slim.  Not to mention he can easily float between discussions on Louis Armstrong and Krs One (tho somehow he doesn’t understand that Big Daddy Kane is the superior artist.) Anyway, I think its clear I am an admirer him. Here is an article on Ralph Ellsion he wrote for Slate, called Why Did Ralph Ellison Never Publish his Second Novel?,  its a great read so check it out. The references he makes will give atleast a month worth of literature to read.  Here is a little taste:

What if Ellison’s novel didn’t end in fire, but in ice? In 1967, the crime novelist Iceberg Slim, a reformed pimp, published Trick Baby: The Story of a White Negro, which features an African-American con man, Blue Leon Howard and his protégé, Johnny O’Brien, better known on the south side of Chicago as “White Folks,” an African-American but “a dead ringer for Errol Flynn.”

Slim, like Ellison, was clearly intrigued by the possibilities that a “white Negro” suggested for fiction, and the two stories have several notable parallels. Slim situates the smooth operator O’Brien, much like Ellison’s cunning Bliss, as the adopted son of a tough, wise, soulful African-American man. The age difference between Slim’s Howard-and-O’Brien team is approximately the same as that between Ellison’s Hickman-and-Bliss team, about 25 years. And just like Bliss, O’Brien eventually leaves the African-American community that raised him behind and blends in with white circles in America.

In contrast to Mailer’s white hipster, who seeks a sort of anesthetic sexual liberation through what Mailer sees as the wild, psycho-sexual world of blackness, Ellison and Slim’s characters appear unambiguously white yet are raised within highly-structured institutions of the African-American community: the church and the con game. Christianity, and even the big con, reflect a formality that Mailer failed to see in African-American culture. To Mailer, African-Americans are “cultureless” and “illiterate,” comprising a community that “relinquished the pleasures of the mind for the more obligatory pleasures of the body.” A far cry from Mailer’s white Negro, Ellison and Slim’s white Negroes, though raised on opposite sides of the black community, both learn rhetorical techniques from their adoptive black fathers that they then  employ  for personal gain on the other side of the color line. These “white Negroes” are wily operators, shrewd manipulators of psyches and institutions, and ice-cold customers on a relentless quest for money and power—hardly primitives chasing orgasms.

Sunday would not be Sunday with out a bit of Gospel. I don’t actually tend to like this style of gospel music, but do like this redo of the old Negro Spiritual Balm in Gilead by the Clark Sisters. Good day and God bless.

One of This Site’s Guiding Principles

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        “I am not ashamed of my grandparents for having been      slaves. I am only ashamed of myself for having at one time being ashamed.” – Ralph Ellison

This is among the principle views of this blog.  We have no reason to be ashamed of our history, actually we should proud of the strength it took to endure it and create. We do not need any political constructed identities, nor to embrace the pathological victim hood narrative and while we love African history, we don’t need to link our selves to Kings and Queens whom we may or may not had any relation to for self esteem.

Our people expressed themselves in face overwhelming disdain from the larger culture and their sycophants of our own race, in our ranks. We accomplished great things and will continue so, the Negro has absolutely nothing to feel ashamed of.  We simply have a duty to honor our elders who did indeed make the ultimate sacrifice.

 “be proud of your heritage… we don’t have nothing to be ashamed of….I want to get the language so right that everyone here will cry out. I’m Black , I’m proud of it, I’m Black I’m beautiful” Martin Luther King

Bishop Henry McNeal Turner’s – God is a Negro

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Afternoon good friends. I have posted this speech in part before and have mentioned Bishop Tuner on this site a couple times. I thought I’d post God is a Negro in full just in case anyone is interested in reading it.

God is a Negro

This was the response that Henry McNeal gave in which a newspaper editorial called him demented for saying that God is a Negro.Voice of Missions, 1898

We have as much right biblically and otherwise to believe that God is a Negro, as you buckra, or white, people have to believe that God‘ is a fine looking, symmetrical and ornamented white man. For the bulk of you, and’ all the fool Negroes of the country, believe that God is white- skinned, blue-eyed, straight-haired, projecting-nosed compressed-lipped and finely-robed white gentleman sitting upon a throne somewhere in the heavens.

Every race of people since time began who have attempted to describe their God by words, or by paintings, or by carvings, or by any other form or figure have conveyed the idea that the God who made them and shaped their destinies was symbolized in themselves, and why should not the Negro believe that he resembles God as much as other people? We do not believe that there is any hope for a race of people who do not believe that they look like God.

Demented though we be, whenever we reach the conclusion that God or even that Jesus Christ, while in the flesh, was a white man, we shall hang our gospel trumpet upon the willow and cease to preach.
We had rather be an atheist and believe in no God or a pantheist and believe that all nature is God, than to believe in the personality of a God and not believe that He is Negro. Blackness is much older than whiteness, for black was here before white, if the Hebrew word, coshach, or chasack, has any meaning. We do not believe in the eternity of matter, but we do believe that chaos floated in infinite darkness or blackness, millions, billions, quintillions and eons of years before God said, “Let there be light,” and that during that time God had no material light Himself and was shrouded in darkness, so far as human comprehension is able to grasp the situation.

Yet we are no stickler as to God‘s color, anyway, but if He has any we should prefer to believe that it is nearer symbolized in the blue sky above us and the blue water of the seas and oceans; but we certainly protest against God being a white man or against God being white at all; abstract as this theme must forever remain while we are in the flesh. This is one of the reasons we favor African emigration, or Negro nationalization, wherever we can find a domain, for as long as we remain among whites, the Negro will believe that the devil is black and that he (the Negro) favors the devil, and that God is white and the (the Negro) bears no resemblance to Him, and the effect of such a sentiment is contemptuous and degrading, and one-half of the Negro race will be trying to get white and the other half will spend their days trying to be white men’s scullions in order to please the whites; and the time they should be giving to the study of such things will dignify and make our race great will be devoted to studying about how unfortunate they are in not being white.
We conclude these remarks by repeating for the information of the Observer what it adjudged us demented for — God is a Negro.