Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Comments On Mama's Bones and Family Recovery from White Supremacy (WSD)

Brother Marvin
Brilliant poem and poignant analysis of the dilemna. I would like to add an analogy to the question of whether family meetings and smaller groupings could be a significantly meaningful tool towards overcoming the addiction to WSD (White Supremacy Disorder): When you speak about "fighting over mama's bones" it brings to mind the old saying about crabs in a barrel.

Brother Cromartie and I recently had a discussion about the HUD policy, in which a HUD householding grandmother can be evicted from the project or HUD house permanently just because her grandson is caught selling dope on the property. In a case like this, the family would come together before the shoe drops, hold family meetings, and ratify an agreement that binds the youngster to abide by a "don't shit where you eat" rule, in order to preserve the collective asset, namely the house.

To insure our continued survival we may have to think outside the box. If the crabs cannot get out of the barrel perhaps they need to learn how to live inside it more harmoniously.

Craig 17X (Zahieb A. Mwongozi)

J Vern Cromartie wrote:
Brother Marvin,

Thank you very much for sharing these insights. Your
poem "Mama's Bones" hit me like Georgia thunderclaps
on a hot July day. It made me think of all the
sacrifices my mother made in her youth to take care of
six children as a single parent. My mother and father
divorced when I was quite young. After the divorce,
our standard of living declined wherein his remained
about the same. It declined to the point wherein my
mother, my siblings, and me moved from our house to an
apartment in the Bailey Heights housing projects in
Waycross, Georgia. I was a man-child living in the
projects for some nine years. Right now my beloved
mother is in a Florida hospital with some heart
related problems. In my view, my mother has been a
tower of strength and I appreciate and love her
deeply. Your poem made me think of my mother and all
of the other Black mothers who have helped us survive
in Amerikkka.

As for the comments of Dr. Hare, he too, showed his
brilliance. When the Afrocentric paladins gather at
the National Council for Black Studies (NCBS) and talk
about founders of the contemporary Black studies
movement, his name is often omitted, overlooked, or
ignored to their folly. When I am present and the
Afrocentric paladins talk that talk, I bring up the
contributions of Dr. Hare, San Francisco State
students, and the Black Panther Party to the FIRST
contemporary Black studies department to emerge in a
predominately White four year college or university.
Further, I recently re-read Dr. Hare's introduction to
the Signet Classic edition of The Souls of Black Folk
and saw his brilliance at work. As a Black
sociologist, I certainly feel that I am standing on
the shoulders of Dr. Du Bois and Dr. Hare as I make my
own analyses of social conditions at the micro,
middle, and micro levels.

As a poet and literary artist, I certainly feel that I
am standing on the shoulders of Dr. Du Bois and your
shoulders, too. I first read your work when I was
about 14 in 1968 and I deeply appreciate the fact that
you became a mentor to me around 1980 when I was in my
mid 20s.

Brother Marvin, as you have rightly pointed out, White
supremacy is clearly a major social problem which
threatens world peace because as the saying goes there
can be no peace without justice. White supremacy is
against justice and we must wage struggle against it.
We must also realize that scholarship is a form of
struggle, too.

Yours in the struggle,

J. Vern Cromartie
Professor of Sociology
Chairman, Social Sciences Department
Contra Costa College

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