Rev. Daughtry's weekly article that appears
in the NY Daily Challenge every Wednesday and Friday.
Black Power Revisited- Part XVI
By: Rev. Dr. Herbert Daughtry
Part XVI is a continuation of the Black Power series started earlier
in the year. This excerpt is taken from my writings on Black Power over
40 years ago. I hope the reader finds the articles as interesting and
informative as I have found them.
Continuation of Revolt
But with the riots we had struck back! We had taken up arms against
a sea of indignities! The revolts said to the world, “See we are
not afraid, we have tried to fight back.” And the world heard.
And there was a recapturing of our manhood, or an affirmation of our
manhood. Remember, we had been taught in American schools that
it is right—even divine—to fight against oppression.
We looked knowingly in the eyes
of each other, in the privacy of our homes, and gathering places, we
expressed our approval, even our admiration. Though many would act,
or talk differently in public (Some would say nothing in public, having
not yet learned the art of feeling one thing and saying another). For
many were not yet emancipated from the fear of white terror, or white
frowns, or white retaliation. In private, I heard no one condemn the
riots, not even good church people!
It shows something else, too, it
helped to swell the feeling of accomplishment. It evinced the vulnerability
of the white man. He had surrendered, or was prepared to surrender to
at least some of the demands that had been made. Many of the demands
had been made years before, but at which time, they did not get a hearing
or got a hearing and no action. The white man could be made
to capitulate without years of marching, begging, praying and litigation!
The frenzied activity, from the
federal level down, to ameliorate—gave the impression of attempting
to ameliorate the conditions—demonstrated to all a victory won.
One might disagree with methods used, targets picked, but one could
not disagree with the fact that it got results in a hurry!
We had suffered too! Some had been
slain, others maimed, and still others jailed. But had we not suffered
more, and for what, in White man’s wars and we are still suffering?
And more than that, had we not suffered the same things when we had
tried to mind our own business, and sought to live decent lives? Especially
when we had tried peaceably to get the things this country says are
the unalienable rights of its citizens, and of men everywhere!
Does not the world bestow its choice’s
trophies upon those who bleed with hands raised to smite the oppressor
and not to those whose mouths are open to importune him? And does not
history teach us that violence is called wrong only by the oppressor,
who but a few years before used the same method to cast off his own
They came, droves of them, --lawyers, doctors, sociologists, psychologists,
philosophers, politicians, preachers, prophets, do-gooders of every
stripe, deep thinkers of every kind, -- they came to the cities where
the battle had been pitched. They came to Watts, and to Harlem and etc.
A few days before no ear was opened, no foot would have been placed
in the ghettoes. They came with panaceas and with money. They came with
promises, promises and more promises and eternal promises!
When historians, a hundred years
from now, shall write of the doings of our day, especially the racial
sickness, they might very well agree that the revolts were the catalyst
agents that forced the racial boil to burst, precipitating the process
of healing in the social body.
The Rev. Dr. Herbert Daughtry is featured in The Daily Challenge’s
Wednesday and Weekend Edition. Reverend Daughtry, known as the “People’s
Pastor,” is the National Presiding Minister of the House of the
Lord Churches (HOLC). He also pastors the Brooklyn Church. A
prolific writer, his books include “No Monopoly on Suffering,
Blacks and Jews in Crown Heights,” “My Beloved Community,”
“Effectual Prayer,” and “Tupac, Letters to a Son.”
HOLC has a weekly broadcast which airs on WWRL 1600 on Sunday from 10:30am-11:00am.
Also on BCAT on 2nd and 4th Sundays at 2pm.