DJ’s Theory of “Relative-ity”, Part 1: Black and Texan

October 19, 2009

Here is a quick geo-political lesson, to give you the necessary insight to follow the knowledge I’m about to drop. Try to keep up.

When I was younger, I remember being a lot better at slicing the world up into nice, neat, little stackable black and white cubes. It was a lot easier to make decisions during my pre-pube “social indoctrination” years…I was really sure of myself. I was “dialed in” to the world around me. Of course, in retrospect, it wasn’t that tough to do. Mine was a pretty limited world – a “Negro” grade schooler in the segregated South had a pretty microscopic world, with known, limited, potential for growth in the foreseeable future.

After all, this was Texas during the 60’s. And despite the growing impact the civil rights movement was beginning to have on African American quality of life…well, this was Texas during the 60s.

How can I explain this? I’m proud to be a Texan, but Texas history ain’t all “Walker Texas Ranger.”

Texas often marches to the beat of a different drummer. A good example of this would be Black Texans’ celebration of “Juneteenth.” You see, Texas was last to free its slaves on June 19, 1865. This was about 2 1/2 years after the January 1, 1863 proclamation began the immediate process of freeing some 4 million slaves across the nine of the ten states named in the Emancipation Proclamation – the exception, of course being good ole’ Texas.

During the 50s and 60s, Civil Rights Movement spawned integration was opening up whole new worlds of possibilities for African Americans in places like Georgia and Mississippi, two states most people thought of as the poster children for the deepest of the “deep south,” back then. Georgia and Mississippi, bastions of racial hatred and disregard for the rights of non-whites? Pah! Next to Texas, they are pikers. Sure Martin Luther King and his “Freedom Fighters” generated a lot of headlines fighting for equality in the “deep south,” but Texas didn’t seem to be phased by the “Freedom Fighters.”

All accept for my Mom, that is…my, to this day, faceless father was purportedly an itinerant civil rights worker. Well, all I can say to that is “thank God for civil rights and for my High School Mom’s decision to keep the baby!”

It’s OK that she ran off to join the Army after having me. My Granny and her current husband Albert gave me a name. And, my Granny gave me my first life lessons. [Note: See “My Granny Packed a Pistol”]

All in all things worked out  pretty well, I guess. It’s really all relative.

[NEXT –> Theory, Pt. 2: “My Granny Packed a Pistol”]


3 Responses to “DJ’s Theory of “Relative-ity”, Part 1: Black and Texan”

  1. wow. what a way with words you have. and always so open and honest. this is very refreshing. I enjoy reading your mind.

  2. platosgroove said

    Nice to know you better

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