I Have A Question…

by S.R. Torris

Another idea has come and I’m in the process of “fleshing-it-out” as it were, and I’ve reached an impasse. Perhaps you all who share my crazy can assist me with my dilemma or maybe call some friends to give their opinions as well – the more the merrier.

Now listen, the nature of my question may have some feel like they are excluded from participating in the discussion but anyone with some good sense, observational skills, and a little knowledge of American history can provide input. What I will not tolerate are the bitter, non-creative, snarky-for-the-sake-of-snark types who troll the webospehere just to contribute crap as a result of the crap they have in their own lives. Oh, and internet gangstas – I can’t STAND these friggin so-called tough guys who will “kill this” or “destroy that” and everything is “gay” or everyone is a “fag”. Please, don’t come here wasting the time of intelligent people. Just because we may be a little off, doesn’t automatically equate us as being the type of stupid you are. OK, done with speech, now about my question.

But first, the preamble…

Being an arrogant Northerner, New Yorker specifically, I often take for granted the contribution to my life The South has made. I’m not speaking of the Dixieland, Rebel flag waving, tobacco spitting, Country Music all day in the pick-up truck South; the South of which I speak is the former slaves South. I speak of those who weren’t formally educated but knew that education was tantamount to real freedom for their children. They knew, no matter how many times you are called a “nigger” or “stupid” the knowledge you gain through education could never be taken away.

That South gave us Charles Drew, Louis Armstrong, Fannie Lou Hamer, John R. Lewis, Medgar Evers, Booker T. Washington, Zora Neale Hurston – that South gave us Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Those are a minute few with names familiar to us, but there are many whose names haven’t been written in the history books.

I never really thought about it during all those past Black History Months. And I’ll admit, I was one of the ignorant that equated the Southern Drawl to a drawl in the intellect department. Either that or some stuck-up lazy white woman sipping mint julip on the veranda. Arrogant Northerner, indeed.

Which brings me to my question.

If the shoe were on the other foot and it was up to African-Americans of The North, would the same sacrifices made in The South be done?

Would there be sit-ins, with ignorant hate-filled people spitting at you and pummeling you? Could that Northern cat keep his/her composure, only thinking of the long-run? Sure, the African-American intellects would have boycotted big chain department stores and the like but would they walk miles to work, for months, bankrupting bus lines? Would they stay away from trolleys and subways? Would the African-Americans of The North allow their children to march in harm’s way, knowing there would be police, firefighter, and government retaliation for such defiance? Girls were getting raped, old men were beaten and lynched, some young me were castrated yet these folks still pressed on. Even with death threats, you still had people going to “make their mark” at voter registration drives and then, how DARE they, actually voting! Is this something that would have happened had the fate of future generations been left in the hands of the smooth Harlemites or slick Chicagoans or even the Black intelligentsia of Massachusetts?

There’s my question, please leave your answers in the comments section below.



One thought on “I Have A Question…

  1. Very interesting Q. I lived in the south for a long time and have seen it at its best and ugliest. Southern folk are tough and don’t take shit. But, I believe that humanity will rise against injustice whenever it gets bad enough. I think the North would have stepped up. And many did in different ways or by heading south. Thanks for making me think about this.

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