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On the Eve of Another NFL season’s Kickoff, Will America ever Conquer it’s Racial Divide?

September 11th, 2017 · No Comments

Obviously I don’t know the pulse of the entire nation, but it was refreshing how everyone I came into contact with on Monday, August 21st managed for a few brief hours to focus solely upon the phenomenon of the Solar Eclipse.

As I watched it being tracked via television beginning in Madras, Oregon, before watching it occur again at the Grand Teton National Park in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Followed by a brief passage at Casper, Wyoming and then my final visage occurred in Carbondale, Illinois, where I marveled to myself what reporters would later write.

That the Sold Out Southern Illinois University Carbondale’s (SIUC) raucous crowd of 14,000+ attendees, replete with marching bands, musical performances and hundreds pounds of BBQ, went absolutely Berserko’ like somebody had just run back a 4th Quarter late game winning 98-yard TD when the clouds broke for the final 15 seconds of Totality!

Southern Illinois puts on solar eclipse party for ages inside football stadium

Yet as we’re All aware of, a racial divide continues its second season in the National Football League, with ex-San Francisco 49ers QB Colin Kaepernick at the Eye of The Storm.

Jesse Jackson: NFL Owners have Colluded to keep Kaepernick out of league

Although I have zero idea if the ex-49ers Quarterback, who’s professional playing career’s zenith apparently was losing to Baltimore in Super Bowl XLVII? Nonetheless is certainly a polarizing figure, while I find it interesting that so far, only black NFL players have publicly supported him.

And even more intriguing is the fact that Kaepernick’s past team, for whom he opted out of his contract, has just hired the first female coach Katie Sowers, who’s subsequently come out, becoming the NFL’s first openly Gay, active member of its Male fraternity.

But for Mwah, as I won’t try arguing the Constitution’s First Amendment; Y’all know the one ’bout Freedom of Speech! Instead, there’s obviously a way bigger issue at heart, what’s affectionately known as “The Elephant in the Room!” And in another nod to what I find myself constantly swimming in the Seas of Synchronicity, naturally I finally got my turn to listen to a CD Audiobook I’d requested several months ago from my Public Library…

Ironically, I retrieved said book one day prior to a most Despicable occurrence in the state of Virginia, for which the book simply titled Hidden Figures points out how Virginia was arguably the most opposed state towards desegregation, in our Nation during the 1950’s.

In case you haven’t heard of Hidden Figures: The American Dream and The Untold Story of the Black Women who Helped Win the Space Race, it’s an amazing book regarding the untold story of African American women with amazing mathematical skills, who ultimately helped analytically compute NASA’s path to landing on the Moon!

Uncovering a tale of Rocket Science, Race and the 60’s

As the book portrays the “West Computers,” an all black, female computing group born out of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s signing of Executive Order 88-02, mandating NO Discrimination in the Hiring of any Federal Employees during World War II.

Led by Dorothy Vaughn, and two of her star employees, Catherine Johnson and Mary Jackson’s perseverance through the racial segregation of the 1940’s as “NACA Nuts” and the slow as Molasses movements towards desegregation of the 1950’s, up to the triumph of Neal A Armstrong and Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin’s Moon landing of 1969.

Yet overt racism still loomed large, especially in the south, for which perhaps the influential Gil Scott-Heron’s song titled Whitey On the Moon, mentioned in the book so appropriately points out.

VIDEO: Whitey On the Moon - Song

As the most poignant story of ardent racism for me in the book revolves around the incident taking place in Little Rock, Arkansas, beginning September 3, 1957. While the entire nation was abuzz over a silver, Russian ball hovering overhead the morning of October 5th, formally known as Sputnik 1!

Yet after the Supreme Court’s ruling in Brown v Board of Education, that White’s Only Public Schools were Unconstitutional, mandating the racial integration of All the Nation’s Public Schools, the Governor of Arkansas defiantly called out the National Guard to block the admittance of nine black children trying to legally enter a white school!

As then President Dwight D. Eisenhower was forced to send in the 101st Airborne’s “Screaming Eagles” Paratrooper regiment to federalize the Arkansas National Guard in order to enforce the Supreme Court’s ruling, as I simply cringe over the thoughts of the school’s white students Vociferously Jeering, Spitting On and throwing objects at these nine brave black students who simply wanted the chance to attend Arkansas’s Central High School in hopes of getting a better education!

Little Rock Crisis, 1957

Another Black Trailblazer was the late Dick Gregory, who I’d never heard of before last year, and was amazed to discover that he broke a different colour barrier by becoming the first African American to perform Stand Up Comedy in a White’s Only Nightclub; NO less Hugh Heffner’s Chicago Playboy Club!

What Stupefies me even more, is a second colour barrier he broke by steadfastly refusing to appear on the Tonight Show hosted by Jack Paar, until it’s producers finally agreed to let the black comedian stay after his act and sit on the show’s legendary couch and chat with Paar, which had never occurred before!

VIDEO: Back in The Day Dick Gregory, 1962

As both Gil Scott-Heron and Dick Gregory were highly intelligent men who both attended College, with Scott-Heron earning a Master’s degree in Creative Writing from John Hopkins University, despite never having completed his undergraduate degree.

Meanwhile Gregory’s collegiate studies were interrupted by his being Drafted into the Military in 1954. And upon his return to Southern Illinois University of Carbondale, (SIUC) he dropped out to pursue his comedy career instead.

Gil Scott-Heron, Voice of Black Protest Culture Dies at 62

As both men persevered thru their lifelong struggles with racism, blazing paths in entertainment whilst campaigning for their Civil Rights.

Which I suppose is why I burst out in laughter when reading Gregory’s obituary’s section that wryly noted he didn’t last long as a Postal employee after having a penchant for filing all of Mississippi’s mail in the Overseas Slot!

Dick Gregory, 84, Dies. Found Humour in Civil Rights Struggle

Thus, as Y’all watch some Football: Are, You, Ready! For some Football? Instead of fuming over selected professional athletes consciously declining to stand for our National Anthem, in the immortal words of the late Rodney King, which I’ve typed before here on Sportyblog. “Can’t We All just Get Along?”

I’d like to point out the obvious, which was so eloquently pointed out by the noted Cosmologist Carl Sagan, regarding his revered tagline ’bout Billions and Billions of Stars, “We’re All Connected!” Via the Universe’s creation…

VIDEO: We’re All Connected - song

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