Rev. Daughtry's weekly article that appears in the NY Daily Challenge every Wednesday and Friday.

12-29-06

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 shackles?
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.