Beyond Black & White http://www.beyondblackwhite.com Chronicles, Musings and Debates about Interracial & Intercultural Relationships Thu, 19 Apr 2018 05:08:06 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.5 Got My Heritage DNA Test Back! Here’s What I Am… http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/got-heritage-dna-test-back-heres/ http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/got-heritage-dna-test-back-heres/#comments Thu, 23 Nov 2017 05:34:59 +0000 http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/?p=43568 MyHeritage reached out to me a few months ago and offered me a DNA kit in hopes that I’d report my experience. I was super curious, even though I’d had my DNA done previously with National Geographic. I found those result somewhat wanting–because the information about my genetic origins seemed somewhat vague. So I swabbed […]

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MyHeritage reached out to me a few months ago and offered me a DNA kit in hopes that I’d report my experience. I was super curious, even though I’d had my DNA done previously with National Geographic. I found those result somewhat wanting–because the information about my genetic origins seemed somewhat vague. So I swabbed my cheeks and sent my vials to MyHeritage.

I loved how the company updated the status of every step of my DNA samples via email–they let me know when they received the package, when it was being reviewed by the lab, when the results were analyzed, and when the results were ready.

So here’s me!

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Confederates Vs. Patriots: Why I Think Our Founder Statues Should Stay. http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/confederates-vs-patriots-think-founder-statues-stay/ http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/confederates-vs-patriots-think-founder-statues-stay/#comments Mon, 21 Aug 2017 06:01:03 +0000 http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/?p=43125 Le (big old) sigh. I can’t believe I’ve been driven to write this, but I think it needs to be said. First, I’m all for the recent initiatives for the removal of Confederate generals on state and public property. But the suggestion by some black activists to remove statues of George Washington and Thomas Jefferson […]

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Le (big old) sigh. I can’t believe I’ve been driven to write this, but I think it needs to be said. First, I’m all for the recent initiatives for the removal of Confederate generals on state and public property. But the suggestion by some black activists to remove statues of George Washington and Thomas Jefferson are not only arrogant and ill-thought, they might even be dangerous. This is why the left keeps losing–they go too far.

Let’s face it. Countries evolve. No country on earth has escaped both benevolent and sociopathic leaders. There are no leaders anywhere who have not spilled blood. But perhaps from all those leaders, there were legacies of greatness that lead to the country’s longterm success, and thus allows for the people to commemorate such heroes. So they get statues, okay?

Confederate generals lead an army that sought to dismember the United States so they could continue a practice that brutalized and dehumanized millions. Confederates are losers. And if they’d won, black people like me could have still been in chains. And forget about the coming together of races for friendship, marriages and working relationships. The lack of progression into technology (e.g. the cotton gin) might have stalled the meteoric rise of the country to the superpower it became. Historians argue that the Civil War was both about the question of slavery and the economic and technological future of America.

What’s the point of having a statue of losers who sought to tear apart the very fabric the nation? Are there any statues of Saddam Hussien being erected since he was killed? Did Mussolini (aka El Dolce) get a school named after him? Does Pol Pot have a monument somewhere? Then why are we paying homage to leaders who lost and would have run our country into the ground? Losers, psychopaths, and traitors shouldn’t get statues.

To me, this is only common sense. But then the left takes it too far, and are suggesting that all statues of past leaders who were once slave owners come down. Let’s put this into historical context, shall we? Slavery was commonplace with wealthy landowners who needed to work people into the ground for free. Yes it was disgusting, and many wealthy men like Thomas Jefferson wanted slavery abolished even though he directly benefitted from it. Both Washington and Jefferson sexually exploited their slaves, and their progeny has proliferated (thus all the Washingtons and Jefferson last names black folks have). But both of these men, despite their flaws, worked incrementally to create a more perfect union. Abraham Lincoln freed the slaves, but he thought blacks were unequal to whites and frankly didn’t care for them very much. Should the Lincoln Memorial get a wrecking ball? Again…the men were not perfect, but the worked incrementally to achieve to a more perfect union. Confederate generals literally tried to do the opposite.

The demand by loud-mouthed television shit-starters to remove all our nation’s flawed men who moved us a little be closer to perfection is not only dangerous, but polarizing in a way that non-blacks who might agree with Confederate statues being removed into siding with the Alt Right, all because because black leftists just want to get rid of everything that tells the story of the United States in a way they don’t like. You alienate your allies because you push too far, and you’ll be left cleaning up a lot more than salty tears because you keep losing elections. You might be cleaning up blood in the streets.

STFU. All of you.

Be sensible, lefties. Taking down statues of Rebels who literally wanted to form a different country makes logical sense. Taking every statue down of the dead white men you don’t like will leave you with a very weak well to draw from.

Seriously. Pick which hills you’re willing to die on, the STFU about everything else. We don’t become perfect by re-litigating the economic decisions of dead men. Now it’s up to us to carry the torch and evolve to a more perfect state.

Follow Christelyn on Instagram and Twitter, and subscribe to our You Tube channel. And if you want to be a little more about this online dating thing, InterracialDatingCentral is the official dating site for this blog. 

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“Loving” Movie Somber Reminder of How Far Interracial Marriage Has Come. http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/loving-movie-somber-reminder-far-interracial-marriage-come/ http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/loving-movie-somber-reminder-far-interracial-marriage-come/#comments Mon, 24 Oct 2016 05:21:00 +0000 http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/?p=41408 Ruth Negga (left) stars as Mildred and Joel Edgerton (right) stars as Richard in Jeff Nichols LOVING, a Focus Features release. Credit : Ben Rothstein / Focus Features Many of us in the interracial marriage community have anxiously awaited the Loving, the movie based on the landmark Supreme Court case with Richard and Mildred Loving versus the […]

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Ruth Negga (left) stars as Mildred and Joel Edgerton (right) stars as Richard in Jeff Nichols LOVING, a Focus Features release.
Credit : Ben Rothstein / Focus Features

Many of us in the interracial marriage community have anxiously awaited the Loving, the movie based on the landmark Supreme Court case with Richard and Mildred Loving versus the State of Virginia–two very simple people who changed the world as we know it. Written and directed by Jeff Nichols, who previously wrote and directed Shotgun Stories, Take Shelter, Mud, and Midnight Special, along with co-stars Joel Edgerton and Ruth Negga, the story is retold in such beautiful simplicity and truth.

What you’ll probably be relieved to know is that Loving hasn’t been Hollywood-ized. Nichols opts for telling a truthful story. So imagine my surprise when movie starts with Mildred quietly telling Richard that she’s pregnant, and he decision to marry Mildred happened after she was visibly with child. I also was under the impression that the couple didn’t know they weren’t supposed to marry based on the Virginia slavery laws against miscegenation at the time–but it turned out they did. Richard knew, and that’s why they took the drive to Washington D.C. where interracial marriage was legal.

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Ruth Negga (2nd from right) stars as Mildred and Joel Edgerton (right) stars as Richard in Jeff Nichols LOVING, a Focus Features release.
Credit : Ben Rothstein / Focus Features

There’s a powerful scene where Richard and Mildred sleep peacefully and the police knock the door in and haul them off to jail for living as man and wife. They were both faced with a year in jail or take a plea deal to leave the state for 25 years and never be in Virginia at the same time. It’s in those scenes you witness the legally-sanctioned blatant racism, humiliation and mistreatment the Lovings suffered. It’s hard to believed we once lived in a world like that.

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The movie was shot on location at Central Point, Virgina, where the actual events happened. When you see how the tiny, rural community filled with family and friends, room for car racing (a big hobby of Richard Loving) and open spaces for their children to play, the viewer understands why Richard and Mildred fought so hard to come back to Virginia instead of staying in the inner city of Washington D.C. where they stayed with relatives after being banished from Virginia.

Joel Edgarton (Richard Loving) and Ruth Negga (Mildred Loving) play the part so convincingly that they essentially disappear and the spirit of the Lovings manifest through these vessels. The quiet, simple love they share is artfully juxtaposed against the magnitude of their landmark legal fight, which is sometimes comically exposed when lawyers Bernie Cohen (played by Nick Kroll) and Phil Hirschkop (played by John Bass) try to explain the details and significance of their case. In the end, we see that Mildred is a country wife and homemaker of three, and Richard lays bricks for a living and simply loves his wife.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PfvnUUZ7cIE

One scene is particularly gripping when Richard and his friends (all black) gather for beers and whiskey at a joint when Virgil (played by Will Dalton) expresses his dismay about why Richard won’t just take the easy way out and divorce Mildred. “You white!” says Virgil, who goes on to say that every black person in the joint would love to be in his place of privilege, and while Richard has all these black friends, his whiteness gives him a privilege that everyone else around him does not enjoy. It’s an uncomfortable scene, and Richard’s character visibly squirms. Tough to watch, but there was a lot of truth spoken in that moment.

All in all, the movie is definitely worth the watch, but make sure you have your tissues ready.

Loving premieres in theaters on November 4.

 

 

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Nate Parker, Shonda Rhimes and the Hypocrisy of “We Must Support All Enterprising Black People.” http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/nate-parker-shonda-rhimes-hypocrisy-must-support-enterprising-black-people/ http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/nate-parker-shonda-rhimes-hypocrisy-must-support-enterprising-black-people/#comments Mon, 29 Aug 2016 06:26:39 +0000 http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/?p=41022   People have been asking for my opinion about Nate Parker, and the revelation that he was involved in the date rape of a women –who subsequently committed suicide–when he was in college, and the slurry of “he’s changed, this moving is too important to boycott!” nonsense. Folks were saying that we need to rally […]

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People have been asking for my opinion about Nate Parker, and the revelation that he was involved in the date rape of a women –who subsequently committed suicide–when he was in college, and the slurry of “he’s changed, this moving is too important to boycott!” nonsense. Folks were saying that we need to rally behind this man because he’s a black person about his business trying to navigate in a white world. We need to forgive. We need to support each other.

But…but…but…! If anyone has been on social media for any amount of time, there’s a lot of black folks not wanting to support Shonda Rhimes because she wrote a semi- fictional account of a black woman involved with a white man–but not just any white man. A man who holds the highest office in the United States.

Everywhere I looked black folks were on my social media pages asking me why I support Scandal, which depicts a black woman playing second string to a white woman. So many anti-Scandal, anti-Shonda Rhimes posts that you can’t even count them. According to these dudes, Shonda Rhimes is the pioneer of swirling bedwenchery.

Funny. I never saw any articles stating that these critics should support Rhimes “no matter what” because she is black. And let’s not even talk about how they go in on Kerry Washington, who IN REAL LIFE is married to a black man.

Note the contrast.

And, that’s all I’m going to say about Nate Parker and this situation. Because I did a series of videos about how black women should not support Straight Outta Compton and ya’ll made that movie the biggest black people blockbuster of all time.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lso4Sn2kGlo

So I’ll not waste my energy again trying to convince black women that she should stop financing their personal terrorists. You didn’t listen then, and you most likely won’t listen now.

Go make another black man a super rich guy despite his violence toward women. You’re on your own. I’ll just sit this one out.

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Vintage Swirl: Meet Ed and Wanda, Married in 1969 http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/vintage-swirl-meet-ed-and-wanda-married-in-1969/ http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/vintage-swirl-meet-ed-and-wanda-married-in-1969/#comments Tue, 08 Mar 2016 06:52:05 +0000 http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/?p=39739 Dear Christelyn, I have watched several of your videos on ‘you tube’ now, and have come to the conclusion that not only are you very beautiful, but you are also a very warm, caring, and astute person. Your husband must be very proud of you, and I am sure likewise, that you are both very […]

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Dear Christelyn,

I have watched several of your videos on ‘you tube’ now, and have come to the conclusion that not only are you very beautiful, but you are also a very warm, caring, and astute person. Your husband must be very proud of you, and I am sure likewise, that you are both very proud of your family and children.

I met my wife Wanda in 1963 (Yes, we’re that old, I will be 86 in May this year.)

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We dated for 5 years before marrying, because of money needs etc. as we wanted to get a house etc.

We married in June 1969 and will be celebrating our 47th Wedding Anniversary in 2016. We now have three children, (all adults now, of course,) and while not rich by any means, all three have successful jobs.

We love holidays down at the beach, and have been travelling to Florida annually since 1977. You can no doubt understand that over the years, we learned a little about prejudice. However, we live in Canada, and fortunately racial prejudice is not so prevelant as it used to be.

I have also read a lot, and in my reading one time, came across a comment by someone, (darn, I can’t remember who it was now,) but that writer said: “The age of the Golden Man is coming” By that he meant that we will all be a honey brown color eventually, because of interracial marriages.

As I am sure you are aware, (if you have thoroughly read and understand evolution,) that regardless of what some may think, we all came out of Africa.

Anyway, I guess that is enough for now, I will add more later, (if you wish,) but in the meantime I will attach two photos, one of us when we were married in 1969 and one taken just a couple of years ago.

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All the very best,
Ed and Wanda

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Black Women’s History: Portrait of a “Freedom Rider” http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/black-womens-history-portrait-of-a-freedom-rider/ http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/black-womens-history-portrait-of-a-freedom-rider/#comments Mon, 29 Feb 2016 18:05:40 +0000 http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/?p=39660 Freedom Rider Catherine Burks-Brooks, was born October 8, 1940 in Birmingham, Alabama.  In 1961, she was a Senior at Tennessee State University, Nashville, Tennessee; active in the “Nashville Movement” as well as the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee or “SNCC,” and volunteered to be a Freedom Rider in that year.  Along with her husband, Paul Brooks, […]

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Freedom Rider Catherine Burks-Brooks, was born October 8, 1940 in Birmingham, Alabama.  In 1961, she was a Senior at Tennessee State University, Nashville, Tennessee; active in the “Nashville Movement” as well as the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee or “SNCC,” and volunteered to be a Freedom Rider in that year.  Along with her husband, Paul Brooks, Catherine also registered black voters in Mississippi and served as the editor for the Mississippi Free Press from 1962-63.  Photo Courtesy Tumbler.com.

Black Women’s History: Portrait of a “Freedom Rider”  

By Stanley Solamillo

As we enter the presidential campaign of 2016, we should recall the efforts of all of the brave women and men who put their lives at risk so that we could vote freely in any election in the United States of America.  Few of us today would be willing to take the risks that Catherine Burks-Brooks took at the age of twenty-one for an ideal that seemed impossible at the time—dismantling Southern Apartheid and re-enfranchising black voters.  She was among over 500 black and white college and high school students who, along with adults, volunteered to become “Freedom Riders” in 1961 and who “after going South,” were subjected to insult and often attacked, then arrested and jailed.

Steely-eyed and smirking at the cameraman who took her mug shots at the Jackson, Mississippi Police Station (above), Brooks had been born in Birmingham, Alabama in 1940 and in 1961, was a senior at Tennessee State University, in Nashville.  She became involved in the “Nashville Movement” (1960) that sponsored Civil Rights sit-ins, joined the Student Non-violent Coordinating Committee or “SNCC” (1960) to integrate Nashville eating establishments, and then volunteered to become a “Freedom Rider.”  Following her arrest in Jackson, Mississippi, she was held at Parchman Prison and then sent back to Tennessee.

Brooks married fellow Freedom Rider, Paul Brooks in August of that year and returned to Mississippi, where both of them registered black voters, and where she also served as the editor for Mississippi Free Press (1962-63).  Brooks was in a riot at the Montgomery Greyhound Bus Station and endured the siege of the First Baptist Church in Montgomery.  In later years, Brooks owned a jewelry boutique and worked as a social worker, teacher, and Avon cosmetics sales manager.  Queried in a 2011 interview as to why she became a Freedom Rider in 1961, she responded that: “I knew what was happening was wrong. And I had an opportunity to do something about it…I didn’t want to die…but I didn’t have any fear of doing what I had to do.”

Suffrage rights for African Americans (males) in the South had actually been secured 91 years earlier after the end of the Civil War with the passage of the Fifteenth Amendment (1870), although free men of color had suffrage rights in six Northern States since the colonial period (1776-84), and African American women did not receive suffrage until 50 years later (1920).

While legalizing the rights of former slaves and free persons of color to vote in the South, the amendment disenfranchised former Confederates.  In reaction to this as well as to the Thirteenth Amendment (1863) that had provided emancipation, and the Fourteenth Amendment (1867) that conferred citizenship, a wave of post-Civil War violence swept the South.  In response, Congress passed three Reconstruction Acts in two years (1867, 1868) and placed the former Confederate states under the jurisdiction of a government that was administered by the U.S. military.

Each state was required to draft a new constitution that included the Fourteenth Amendment and was subject to approval by the Congress.  During ten years of post-war Reconstruction (1867-77), black voters participated in elections and secured positions for 1,400 local black officials and 600 black state assembly members across the South.

Southern white racists especially resented blacks who assumed office in local and state governments—which included policeman and rural constables, sheriffs and police chiefs, magistrates and justices of the peace, mayors, secretaries of state, a state treasurer, a lieutenant governor and governor, in addition to a pair of state senators and sixteen congressmen.

The period of black suffrage and elected office was unfortunately brief and ultimately halted by the Supreme Court’s ruling in a case styled, Plessey v. Ferguson (1896).  That decision upheld the constitutionality of racial segregation, which later became enshrined under the infamous “separate but equal” clause, and identified by the moniker of “Jim Crow.”

Since the end of Reconstruction, black suffrage was increasingly restricted by a plethora of legal instruments.  They included: poll taxes, literacy tests, “Grandfather” clauses, suppressive election procedures, Black codes and enforced segregation, district gerrymandering, All-White primaries, restrictive eligibility requirements, and re-written state constitutions.   In addition, any actions that represented citizenship for blacks were often aborted by physical intimidation and horrific violence that was carried out by racist Southern whites in mobs or as members of terror groups such as the Ku Klux Klan.

In the year that Pearl Harbor was bombed (1941), Thurgood Marshall, a Howard Law School graduate and legal director for the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People or “NAACP” challenged the All-White primary in Texas in arguments made before the Supreme Court.  The high court decided in his favor in 1944.  Two other cases involving All-White primaries in the states of South Carolina (1955) and Georgia (1960) followed. Black voter registration increased somewhat after the Texas case but lacked the momentum necessary to impact the entire region.

Even the Supreme Court’s decision in the case styled Brown v. Board of Education (1954) that outlawed school segregation failed to substantially increase registration among Southern blacks.  The Civil Rights Act (1957) was signed into law three years later but Southern states remained intransigent and their black populations remained dis-enfranchised because of continued harassment, intimidation, or worse.

The Congress on Racial Equality or “CORE,” an organization that had been formed in 1942 to protest discrimination in public accommodations, sponsored the first Freedom Ride (1947) and was followed by SNCC, that sent Freedom Rides from Washington, D.C. into the South fourteen years later (1961).  SNCC (1960) had been organized around lunch counter demonstrations and also quietly fielded voter registration workers.

Brooks’ story as well as those of other SNCC participants was recorded for the PBS documentary titled, “American Experience: Freedom Riders” (2011).  Two books—Eric Etheridge’s Breach of Peace: Portraits of the 1961 Mississippi Freedom Riders (2008) and Holsaert, Prescod, and Noonan’s Hands on the Freedom Plow: Personal Accounts by Women in SNCC (2012) have also been published.

Brooks appears to have ridden on at least two of sixty-four “Freedom Rides” that carried students and adults south of the Mason-Dixon line in private vehicles, chartered buses, or railroad passenger cars.  Beginning with the CORE Freedom Ride that was dubbed the “Journey of Reconciliation” earlier in 1947 (April 9-23, 1947), the bulk of the Freedom Rides occurred in1961 and its participants included 521 college and high school students as well as adults.

Freedom Riders embarked on nine rides in May (May 4-May 30), nineteen in June (June 6-25, 1961), twenty-one in July (July 2-31), five in August (August 4-September 1), one in September (September 13), five in November (November 1-29), and three in December (December 1-10) of that year.  The activism of Brooks and the other participants, both black and white, ultimately triumphed with the passage of the Voting Rights Act (1965).

In 2016, as the rhetoric from America’s right wing candidates flows unencumbered through the nation’s media outlets, it appears more and more evident that the speakers suffer from a “selective amnesia” that conveniently omits and distorts parts of our nation’s past.  Those who have ancestors who survived slavery, lived through reconstruction, experienced Jim Crow segregation, and de-segregation in the South (as well as all who know better) are obligated, especially given the resurgence of hate (or blame) speech by individuals seeking public office, to be ever vigilant, vocal, and politically active.   Please register, get informed, and vote!

Sources:

American Experience.  “Freedom Riders: Threatened, Attacked, Jailed.”  Public Broadcasting Service, 2011.

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexperience/freedomriders/rides

Barton, David.  “The History of Black Voting Rights,” 2013.

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/1072053/posts  Accessed February 28, 2016

Global Nonviolent Action Database.  “Nashville Students Sit-In for U.S. Civil Rights.”  https://nvdatabase.swarthmore.edu/content/nashville-students-sit-us-civil-rights-1960

Accessed February 28, 2016.

Salvatore, Susan Cianci, Neil Foley, Peter Iverson, and Steven F. Lawson.  Washington, D.C.: National Historic Landmarks Program, National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior, 2007, revised 2009.  http://www.nps.gov/nhl/learn/themes/CivilRights_VotingRights.pdf  Accessed February 28, 2016.

Tumbler.com.  “Catherine Burks-Brooks Photon” n.d.     http://40.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_lkx1x0rS0p1qi1raio1_1280.jpg  Accessed February 28, 2016.

 

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