“The Meaning of July Fourth for the Negro,” was presented in Rochester, New York, on July 5, 1852. It has come down to us as a classic in rhetoric, oratory and literature.

Douglass had moved to Rochester 1847 and almost immediately began publishing a weekly newspaper called The North Star. In 1852, he was invited by the local Anti-Slavery Society to address the “meaning” of America’s “Independence Day” as it applied specifically to black people. In attendance were between 500 and 600 mostly white people, each paying 12½ cents to hear him and he gave them their money’s worth and more.
Frederick Douglas’s Independence Day Speech 1852.

“What, to the American slave, is your 4th of July? I answer; a day that reveals to him, more than all other days in the year, the gross injustice and cruelty to which he is the constant victim. To him, your celebration is a sham; your boasted liberty, an unholy license; your national greatness, swelling vanity; your sound of rejoicing are empty and heartless; your denunciation of tyrants brass fronted impudence; your shout of liberty and equality, hollow mockery; your prayers and hymns, your sermons and thanks-givings, with all your religious parade and solemnity, are to him, mere bombast, fraud, deception, impiety, and hypocrisy — a thin veil to cover up crimes which would disgrace a nation of savages. There is not a nation on the earth guilty of practices more shocking and bloody than are the people of the United States, at this very hour.”
– Frederick Douglass, July 5, 1852

On this July 5, 2016 morning after, Beyonce and Jesse’s acts of defiance are a distant second and third when compared to Frederick Douglas, but never the less the recognition was deserved.

Beyonce Knowles and Jesse Williams are Black America’s latest and newest entertainment heroes.

She caught white America completely off guard with her Super Bowl performance in January 2016 when she honored Malcolm X and the Black Panthers. The problem, the 1% had no control because she didn’t ask for their permission.

Ditto: Jesse Williams won the Bet Humanitarian Award. He is an actor on Grey’s Anatomy television show. His acceptance speech was not scrutinized and edited by the white own Viacom before the fact.

Dr. Boyce Watkins’ Face Book post reads “Jesse Williams proves he is not scared of white folks”

I wonder why an intelligent man like Dr. Boyce Watkins makes it sound like Jesse Williams is the only black man who is not scared of white folks! Dr. Watkins is another one of those “Educated Fools” in our community who should be thought a fool and not open his mouth and remove all doubt.
It looks like he is watching too much Stephen A. Smith, Michael Wilbon, Charles Barkley, and the other paid for hire clowns who perform for the major media outlets on America’s television screens.

Let us not forget Paul Roberson, Jack Johnson, Jackie Robinson, Malcolm X, Martin Luther King, Muhammad Ali, Harry Belafonte, Michael Jackson, and Prince, they were not afraid of white folks and neither is Dick Gregory. But still in 2016 the VIACOM/BET Awards are still being exclusive instead of inclusive.
I stopped watching BET the popular awards show for black folks for the simple reason, they kept recycling the same old black folks every year. They made it seem like they were the only ones doing good things and making sacrifices in the black community of approximately 13 million people.

But I guess the bottom-line was “Star Power” which meant actors, athletes, musicians, and politicians were the only ones eligible for recognition.
The bottom-line is we still don’t own any major media outlets to control the image of black folks in America, could that be the reason why Dr. Watkins thinks the rest of us are scare of white folks?

For example; Washington, DC native Furman Marshall’s impact and contributions in Black America is second to no living actor, athlete, musician or politician.
His 50+ years of work in the inner-city of DC with youth gangs and at-risk children is legendary. Through the martial arts the benefactors from his good works can now be found in cities all over America. They are now, doctors, lawyers, politicians and professional athletes. The teacher taught and he taught well.
Mr. Marshall and his partner Phil Cunningham are the founders of the oldest black martial arts organization in the world, Simba Dajang. The organization has touched thousands of young people all over America.

Mr. Marshall later found Black Ski the oldest black ski organization in the world. Members learn to sky dive, scuba dive, mountain climbing and other death defying activities where black folks seldom if ever ventured.

As the history of the martial arts over the last half century is recorded and documented, the name of Furman Marshall has attained iconic status. A former Marine and Action Hall of Famer, Supreme Grand Master Furman Marshall is a 10th degree black belt, who along with Fulbright Scholar Phil Cunningham, founded Simba DoJang in 1963. A student of legendary Ki Whang Kim and Soo Wong Lee, Furman has either personally promoted or sanctioned over 1,000 black belts in 20 Simba affiliated schools.

Prior to his retirement from the ring at the youthful age of 65, he was a fierce competitor with the likes of Joe Lewis, television action actor Chuck Norris and Joe Hayes. Furman stood only 5 feet 6 inches tall and weighed 168 pounds, he won hundreds of trophies and his mentees have amassed thousand of tournament wins. In 1977, Black Belt Magazine published an article proclaiming “Simba DoJang of Washington, DC is the winningest Karate Studio in the World.” His students have competed in Afghanistan, Canada, Russia and Spain.

It is hard to believe that Simba began in a basement in an area riddled with crime, you name the crime and it was found in Ward 8 in Southeast( S.E.), D.C.. Furman is credited with not only saving countless youth from drugs, violence, death and jail, but he transformed entire communities. He empowered neighborhoods. Prior to 1980 over 5,000 students had trained in Simba along with 30 black belts.

Furman’s business model was unique. It was “not for profit” meaning it was free to all. Kids who wished to participate in tournaments were sponsored by the group, who pooled their resources. Tournament winnings were reinvested so others could participate in future events. He made sure that Simba’s primary mission was to serve underprivileged students in the inner-city.

In a recent interview he recalled a story written in Black Belt Magazine he said, “I teach in the ghetto where I prefer to stay because of the need to help young boys and girls stay out of trouble.” For the next 45 years under Furman’s leadership, Simba‘s schools would start in no-less than 10 inner-city recreation centers. The centers were located in the most crime ridden areas of the Nation’s Capital. The crimes of rape, murder, muggings and robbery were a part of the landscape.

Simba was not left unscathed, on several occasions Simba was challenged by the hoodlums and thugs of The Hood to co-exist in the same space. Intimidation and attempts at disrupting classes occurred. Furman bravely standing alone ‘invited the intruders to meet with him ‘Outside.’ What occurred afterwards is the substance of ‘Urban Legends.’ It is safe to say, no one interfered with Furman’s mission to teach the under-served again.

As Furman Marshall fought his way around the world to become a legendary martial arts icon, he gained that iconic status by meeting and beating other Black Belts along the highways and byways of the World. On one occasion he would encounter movie and television action star, Chuck Norris (Texas Ranger). The two would meet in the finals of one tournament with Furman coming away as the victor.

BET thanks for honoring Jesse Williams who’s timely acceptance speech pointed out the continued police brutality in the black community and how they continue to stand-down white folks while using black folks for target practice.

After Beyonce’s performance at the 2016 Super Bowl honoring Black History. The Fraternity Order of Police called her performance “Anti-Police” and called for a
nation wide boycott of her upcoming tour in the United States–too late. On June 12th on the first leg of her U. S. tour she sold out Hersey Park in Pennsylvania. After her BET performance she immediately left for Europe and a sold out Wimberly Stadium performance. The U. S. tour picks up again in October 2016.

Instead of worrying about groups like ISIS, the Fraternity Order of Police in America are more concerned about keeping black folks silent and in their place (dead or alive). Jesse Williams’ acceptance speech was a reminder that the most important game being played in Black America is not football, basketball or baseball, its the Game Called Life!

It is brothers like Grand Master Furman Marshall and other black men and women who are beyond the spotlight of national television and movie theaters who are keeping hope alive. They are the men and women who quietly paved the way for Beyonce and Jesse in the 21st century.

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