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Profiles In Courage
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Mary Lee Brady, Ph.D.

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"To whom much is given, much is expected." [Rose Kennedy] 

And, now we all know the Kennedy brothers and sisters we knew and loved in our lifetimes also had the classical virtue of courage, ... along with the popularly acclaimed cardinal virtues of faith, hope and love. 

Most enlightened and educated men and women can generally understand that, ... without types courage illustrated by Kennedy siblings in war and peace the world we live in would likely have heavy boots atop our necks or at least various iron, cotton, paper and other shackles preventing motherhood and childhood generations for goodness sake. But, how many preachers, teachers and parents comprehend courage factoring in propagating "the good news."

The philosophical approach during this Black History Month is a humble attempt to outline how courage by a relatively few men and women (including those giving birth to saviors) in the grand plan of divine providence, ... generated much of the life, liberties and pursuits of happiness we have and hold dear.  So, we proclaim that whether meek and gentle or powerful men and women, ... courage by the few (including some related by birth to you and me) has given us much of what we value.   Courageous souls, whether skin color in their lives were Black or White ought to be remembered less we prove ourselves unworthy in the eyes of HIM that sent them in every generation, ... 68 to-date.  

Our perception is that Jesus in the flesh encompassed classic virtue of "courage" and  generated a philosophy of life (minus hype by pretentious preachers) unique in human history.  Yes, Jesus was a rebel for goodness sake and following the resurrection became our thermometer for detecting and measuring goodness.  He most certainly had the courage to live and die that others might be saved in a time and place when few, if any, men would have done so?   His courage, beliefs, faith, hope and love generated paternal relationships that advanced outcome generations among "the least of us" in the context of life, liberty and pursuit of happiness.  But many thousands, tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands and millions of men and women of courage had to sacrifice, suffer and die for others to now have it!    

How dare any enlightened and educated person should deny the trail of blood, sweat and tears from Mount Calvary to our own births in the 20th century that followed the very bloody 19th century.  Over 650,000 young men died during a Civil War in which lives of young courageous men (chosen few) determined "the least of us" should be freed from bondages in fear and terror though most beneficiaries did absolutely nothing to make it possible.  The least that we can do is care to seek and learn about ancestors who served to advance our liberty. 

Indeed, without courage no man or woman ever advanced Messianic beliefs affording faith, hope and love for others.  Telling another person that "I prayed for you" is not about courage though beliefs and faith may be sincere in expressing "hope and love of another."  We hope to convey to African heritage youth that many courageous Christian believer ancestors and non-ancestors lived, sacrificed, suffered and died in the generation of rights, privileges and benefits now enjoyed.

Blessings ought not be taken for granted (like Clarence Thomas) simply because we have belief in God, faith in the U.S. Constitution and love of country.  Spreading the good news demands more than simply "being thankful" but rather requires a lot of "doing for others."  Indeed, from the time of Christ the mechanics of goodness have often been very bloody and violent affairs though we wish not in HIS holy name; and, while wars are hell on earth for those who suffer it, only fools dare neglect remembering the role of courage by others in their own salvation. 

We hold such truths self-evident that if not for the courageous men of African heritage, such William Lee, James Lafayette, Prince Hall and others who served in the Continental Army and British opposition forces during the American Revolution,

... men like Adams, Jefferson, Franklin, Randolph, Washington and others rebels would not have given a second thought to the idea that men born of slaves had the admired virtue of courage like themselves, ... and desired or were worthy to possess liberty as freemen in a free nation. 

In fact, emancipation of slaves in Connecticut, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and other northern states during and after the war that lasted from 1775 to 1783 ... occurred only because and after Black men proved courageous and touched the moral conscience of people like Abigail and John Adams.   

And, the obvious fallacy of consequent for chattel slavery was that enslaved women were routinely used for sexual pleasure by men, ... especially owners who treasured their own liberty.  But they unwittingly seeded same attributes in sons of their concubines and who  (like Frederick Douglass) would one day help raise up an army to defeat them.

After cotton became "king" in the southern states (and financial market centers like London and New York City), there was no reason among the greedy slave owners of the ante-bellum south to believe chattel slavery would ever end.  And indeed its expansion into the rich black soil west of the Mississippi River young men became millionaires by growing and selling hundreds of acres of cotton using slave labor, ... men, women and children from sun-up to sun-down, six days a week and sometimes even on Sunday.  Alabama and Mississippi plantations were well known for being established and owned by sons of some the best blood lines in Virginia and South Carolina.  And, the sins of the fathers went unto the third generation.

The only people or events able to slow the growth of slavery in cotton primary states like Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Mississippi, South Carolina, and Texas, ... were the upwards of 50,000 young men of African heritage each year who courageously sought to escape the hated institution. Year after year most were caught, punished and sometimes executed but the reality was a widely advertised testimony that slavery was not happiness and good treatment proclaimed by reactionary slave owners and proponents.  Relatively very few of the escapees did so via the underground railway albeit romanticized tales tend to cause many to believe it was the main source of escapes.  

But, enough young men of courage, like Frederick Douglass, did obtain their freedom (such as Madison Hemings) and become the bastions and sources of a new generation of men with the will to not only hate slavery but the courage to act in helping to end it via the helping hand of a God-sent soul named Abraham Lincoln.  He was a believer who believed chattel slavery was evil and wrong but also the U.S. Constitution allowed it in the states that had it.  By time of the 1860 census, America had grown strong and prospered with approximately 18.5 million Whites and 500,000 people of African heritage in states without slave labor; and, five million Whites in states containing four million slaves. 

In South Carolina (started the Civil War) that boasted ideologues like Senator John C. Calhoun, ... very few Whites and no Blacks in the state were enfranchised to vote.  Voting was a privilege of 10,000 electors who just happened to be mostly slave plantation owners like the fabled Hampton family, their bankers and lawyers.  So,  in the beginning when four million souls languished in the labors of chattel slavery and another 500,000 relatives lived in relative freedom north of the Mason-Dixon line, ... the requirement was for courage to generate freedom for those who did not have it.  Even Thomas Jefferson had acknowledged long ago what every enlightened and educated philosopher was bound to conclude, ... slavery would eventually end in bloodshed.

On the eve of the Civil War that would end chattel slavery in America, ... there were approximately 450,000 African heritage young men of military age, and with at least 400 thousand living in legal enslavement in the rebel and border states.  Ironically, when young White men in States like Virginia, Kentucky and Tennessee left the fields and their jobs as armed overseers to become approximately 650,000 soldiers and sailors in the rebel cause. And many thousands of courageous young Black men in slavery simply walked away from plantation bondage leaving behind laborers who could not replace their physical attributes.

It was the courage of the gallant young men who flocked behind union lines in places like Norfolk and Washington, D.C. that inspired Frederick Douglass to envision what proved to be the emancipation proclamation as a military necessity by Abraham Lincoln to save the union.  With that order over 200,000 courageous young men were encouraged to volunteer and join the approximately 900,000 White conscripts and volunteers in overwhelming and defeating the outnumbered rebels, ... saving the Union.  But, we ought not forget that over half the military age young Black men, ... north, south, east and west did not join in the cause of liberty but nevertheless reaped the benefits of it including jobs as civilian laborers for the Union Army.  Our hope is that this site will help highlight examples of families that helped pay the price for liberty for goodness sake.  

And, let us not misunderstand that every generation before and after Emancipation from slavery have been challenged to demonstrate abiding courage among a chosen few youthful African-American men and women during both war and peace.  Faith alone has never been enough to achieve the benefits enjoyed by the least of us, and hope and love has never negated the needs for courage to initiate goodness sake in the name of Christ.  Whether in the westward expansion, Spanish-American War, World Wars I and II, the Korean War, the Cold War, Vietnam and modern day challenges, ... African-Americans have reaped benefits that emerged because the majority men and women of power recognized that some among "the least of us" exhibited courage on behalf of the nation.  We do not glorify wars and killing but certainly hold forth the view that we too have served, suffered and died in the causes of nationhood that ought not be denigrated as less than that of other causes by humanity.             

                                                              AFTER-MATH OF COURAGE

Whether referred to as Messianic theology or Jeffersonian democracy, the advancement or retardation of humanity rests upon prevailing attitudes and behavior experienced by mothers. Educated descendents of serfs and slaves know that most ancestors in and after serf and slave generations were not born of love; but, of lust & other values.  All believers, also ought to recognize that many serf/slave mothers lived polygamous lifestyles --- giving birth to children of different fathers. And, that it was at least the generation born after slavery before mass paternalism began to manifest itself among people "up from slavery" and plantation matriarchy.

So it is among the millions of women in Africa today, young and old, caught up in lifestyles that contradict ideals of Messianic Christianity. We urge for Africa what many theologians have more or less agreed we should do; look to our own unique theology "up from slavery."  It yields what we (not simply others) value --- help uplift mother and child in the body and spirit of what we believe in.  First Lady Michelle Obama is a shining example of what we should want to see for all mothers in our faith.  Indeed, we ought to observe and understand by now that true blessings are to have happy, healthy and useful mothers in homes, neighborhoods and nation. 

As Bill Cosby has noted "Come On People," we know what has to be done.  We know the how, where and why of bad boys and girls; and, know exactly where most will go in our lifetimes.  We have seen them come and go in places where educated ministers, especially women in the pulpits, would be more useful to go and teach rather than imitating men who preach, ... and sit down for rest of week.   

This site is not for the propagation of any organized religion but all about propagating knowledge and understanding about the people and faith from whom we inherited our moral worth; and, thus dare not seek to tell their stories without respecting their religious values and activities.  Indeed, most if not all of our Messianic champions, like William Wilberforce below, ... were active in organized religion and political activities.

The site is constructed, using many sub-menus only as necessary to establish continuity and differentiation of generations that often followed a pattern of naming first-born daughters after their grandmothers; and, the common use (prior to the current generation of mothers) of naming their sons after men in their family ancestry. 

But, in some cases wherein a mother used an "alien" name such as Madison, ... it does not appear again in any descendents but same son (Madison Hemings) reverted to the practice of naming his daughters and sons after his known relatives.   A person's name is relative to what a mother knows and values, past ignorance or wisdom.  We are very disturbed that so many African-Americans of the current and previous generation have adapted habits of naming sons and daughters with names of nonsense and even life-time derision.  Boys are too frequently given names that mock their future manhood and girls often receive names of pets rather than ancestral kin or even biblical champions that many mothers claim to adore.  Even worse, many mothers no longer even identify fathers in a great leap backwards to the slave era fathers unknown and not recognized by law.

                                                            Good name in man and woman, dear my lord,

                                                              Is the immediate jewel of their souls:

                                                              Who steals my purse steals trash; tis something, nothing:

    '                                                         Twas mine, 'tis his, and has been slave to thousands;

                                                              But he that filches from me my good name

                                                              Robs me of that which enriches him,

                                                              And makes poor indeed.

                                                                            [Shakespeare: Orthello III.iii.] 

We know many of the names, parents and even dates of birth, but not enough to fill in the blanks about their lives.  We dare to imagine that some may even have had royal origins in Africa centuries ago before the cross-Atlantic slave trade in which over ten million or more souls perished and millions others were reclassified from human beings birthed by unknown mothers in Africa to chattel property in the Americas, Caribbean and Europe.

We are compelled to believe any mother of all ages in Africa would have mourned the loss of an offspring.  Most would have cried out with human tears during raids of their villages in the middle of night by hoodlum raiders, ... the kind of ruthless young predators for sales to slave traders and sea-captains at the hundreds of slave trade castles along the African coastline.

The relatively few we do know about are illustrations of what can be done with your participation, ... to put knowledge on the internet for digestion by millions of youth in Africa, the Americas, Asia, Caribbean and Europe where gifted and talented youth search for the gospel, not preach it.   The site is a matter of beliefs and faith as to how we view ourselves in the context of  philosophy about the body and spirit, both matrilineal and patriarchal matters of DNA consequence to the dead and living.  We welcome association and visitors without regard to race, sex or national origin. 

 

Leaping from the "Sermon on the Mount" to the "Jefferson's Declaration" and "Lincoln's Gettysburg Address" to Dr. King's "I Have A Dream" sermon is not enough though helpful in remembering that we did not create ourselves and that our moral worth is inherited from what came before us.  Keep in mind that up to the eve of the Civil War, slaves bred in Virginia were sold to slave owners throughout the south.  So, relations are many!   Not simply with origins in West Africa but cousins by the dozens spread across North Carolina, South Carolina, Texas, Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, Missouri, Mississippi and every other place where chattel slavery existed and grew.

 

 

 

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/secret/famous/royalfamily.html

 

Please help us build this site for you and your offspring now and in future generations to know your existence came into being by people who mattered in their humanity and contributions to everlasting life inclusive of mothers beginning with Mary who was HIS mother. Indeed, without mothers, no mighty man or woman of methods and means was ever made or can ever be. 

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