#theBlackertheHistory — “So Far”

So Far

by Corey Jackson

So Far pic
Source: Vanguard Magazine

So far we have come

But yet so far we….

So far we have to go

This place, America

Has put us

In a tough place.

Instead of teaching

Our young men

How to prosper

How to thrive

In success

The parents are

Teaching how to survive

In the streets

The educators are

Preaching how to survive

In the classroom

From grades

And other educators

For a lack

of knowledge of either

Could result

In the preacher presiding

Over their homegoing.

So far we have come

But yet so far we….

So far we have to go

In the same conversation

That we show optimism

That as a black male

You could lead this country

We have to be realistic

That as a black man

You are destined

To face adversity

In nearly every thing

You do.

The climb up

that steep hill

Of justice and equality

Is as difficult

As the hills

Dr. King climbed

In Alabama

The difference is

Those hills of the sixties

Of rock and stone

Are now composed

of Red Clay

For it is much

Harder for those

Who made those hills

To wash off

their Filthy hands

of injustice.

So far we have come

But yet so far we…

So far we have to go

As the list of

Slain black males climb

We must fall

Fall to the realization

That tough roads

Are Ahead

The same groups

That support and

Protect you

Also have people

Who are there

To hate

and destroy you.

Society and

Those who

Interpret society’s laws

Have shown

To be dangerous.

Our people killing

Our people over

Items of monetary value

Our protectors killing

Our people over

Assumptions of actions

of crime and civility.

Young Brown, Young Martin

The martyrs of

America’s Choice

To make a major problem

Into a minor incident.

This generation

And those to come

Must learn how

To live

Not in fear

But intelligence

Be smart, be aware

Be understanding

The circumstance.

Black history

Of America’s past

Is still present today.

So far we have come

But yet so far we…

So far we have to go


Corey Jackson is an educator and former University of Richmond football player who believes that the fight for racial justice and equality is far from over.

#theBlackertheHistory – The Words We Use

black hands reaching
Source: imgarcade.com

“Feed ‘em with a long handled spoon”

“You’ll get better before you get married”

“Dead cat on the line”

“Dry along so”

“All willy nilly”

“Like talkin’ about”

These are all sayings and phrases I’ve heard throughout my life. I didn’t learn them in English class. I didn’t learn them from reading classic literature, either. I learned this vernacular from my family, in the comfort of my own home.

To many, these phrases sound foreign or don’t make sense. They aren’t in Webster’s Dictionary, probably can’t be found in any public school textbook and weren’t written by Shakespeare, Mark Twain or Edgar Allen Poe. But, despite a lack of formal acknowledgement of this black vernacular by the status quo, I know what these sayings mean, can use them in a sentence and everything else. And I do so – proudly.

My parents were raised knowing this vernacular, and so were their parents, and so were my great grandparents – and so on and so forth. It’s part of my blood and therefore, it’s part of my history. My grandparents, great grandparents and other ancestors may not be honored in black history month specials on TV. Their lives may not be portrayed in schoolhouse plays, either. But regardless of any of that, it’s still part of my history. It still has value and valor.

In our daily lives, when we speak the words of the ones before us, we are remembering them. We are acknowledging the lives they led and the circumstances surrounding their language. Ultimately, we’re carrying on their legacy — not just in February, but each & every day.

#theBlackertheHistory — Books for the Babies

It’s Black History Month, and I’ve decided to share some ways our history and our heritage have been instilled in my life — not only in February, but all year long.

black history

My folks bought me Afro-Bets’ Book of Black Heroes From A to Z  by Wade Hudson  a long, long, lonnng time ago when I was a little girl. I have been in love with this book since my first time reading it. The life of a black leader is highlighted for each letter of the alphabet in easy-to-read language suitable for children. A cast of young black kids pop up throughout the book, shaping themselves to spell the last names of each leader.

Although this book may be a little dated, it doesn’t take away from the power in arming our children with knowledge about the ones who came before them. Every year of elementary school, I brought this book into my class to share and every year, my teachers asked to borrow it for their lessons. As a little girl, I felt so proud to be able to contribute to what my classmates and I learned…and I felt even more proud to see people in books doing great things that looked like me.

Don’t leave the babies out of black history. Introduce them to books and introduce them to love.