Janie Harris Bracey (1927-2011): Remember
I coined the term Numerican Nation during the civil rights movement of the late 60's:
I was an undergraduate at Central Connecticut State at the time, and did not define myself in terms of "black and white".
It occurred to me that the institution of slavery spawned off-spring of it's own; devoid of ethnicity, and culture. New Americans you might say; neither black, nor white.
My position was rather controversial, and flew in the face of the prevailing winds:
Were it not for the fact that I was born a Reb, named for the great Confederate General Robert E. Lee; some simple minded Yankee, might have pursuaded me differently.
Like hundreds of campuses across the country, Central introduced "black studies classes", designed to reinforce the status quo; ...ie designed to tell their version of the story first:
(Conversations with Big-Mama 1981: yes thats Brad in one of her hats.)
I saw the classes as nothing more than a veiled attempt at mind control; a backdoor introduction of the southern practice of plantation management, ..ie.
"they won't know nothing, as long as we don't tell em nothing !".
It didn't seem to matter to them that I had come from the Confederacy, and knew better; or, that others had more recently come to America, and knew better ...
As far as they were concerned, they had a story to tell and they were sticking to it.
In the autobiography Numerican Nation _ A Self Portrait, I take an unencumbered look at the influence of ideas, and regional politics, upon the identity of the family during my first thirty years (1949 to 1979):
I chose this time frame primarily because it constituted a mature period wherein the people, ideas, and politics were generally known; and, there are fewer areas for material disagreement.
While I am a native son of South Carolina, I was educated "up north":
Studying political science at Central Connecticut State College in the late sixties, and organization behavior at the University of Hartford in the early eighties:
Now such doesn't necessarily mean that I know what I'm talking about, just that I spent some time thinking about it.
Richard Harris sr., JL, Jr., Starlene _ 1979
The Martins 2002 (Richard & Blondy's daughter Lorraine, her husband Andre, and their children)
What makes Numerican Nation_a Self Portrait unique is that it puts a “human face” on not only those bruised on the heels of slavery, and segregation, but also those who assumed privilege, privilege to which they were not entitled.
Mother use to say that we were born on the run, and would most likely die that way, unless we could(somehow) get our feet beneath us:
One day I just stopped running:
I was tired, didn't care anymore, ..I didn't see no boogie-man, klansman, night-rider, or anybody to be afraid of ... just a bunch of clowns (Bozos).
To be honest with you, I was quite embarrassed to have been running; as the clowns were quite harmless, and for the most part were only chasing us because we were running.
When I brought this to Mother's attention she seemed quite surprised, and wondered aloud how long it had been that way. I didn't know, but from that point forward I was determined to find out.
In Numerican Nation_a Self Portrait I began the process by looking at the first thirty years; filtering out those events, people, and ideas that I didn't see as material to day to day survival:
I was quite surprised by what I saw, and couldn't believe how naive we had been (and/or were);...eerily reminiscent of some sort of scene from the Wizard of Oz
...ie. the Wizard was all powerful only because the little people thought him so.
For all intents and purposes "Jim Crow" was dead; and the only ones repeating the 23rd Psalms was us.
By the Numbers:
If we don't teach our young, who will?
...the only thing peculiar about the American institution of slavary was that it was based upon skin color, as opposed to caste...
This particular chart is driven by a relatively simple algorithm; and is designed to show the number of ancestors one must account for, by generation, in a genealogical search.
Basically it says that you have two parents, four grand-parents, eight great-grandparents, and so on back through time. The ancestral numbers increase exponentially as you travel through time (whether backwards or forward).
NUMBER OF GENERATIONS
NUMBER OF ANCESTORS
Now if you can envision 400 years ago, roughly 20 generations, then you will see that you have more than a million ancestors to account for.
Therein lies the conundrum of what I call the Numerican Nation:
Whether to embrace reason and logic, or to be forever dependent upon "Master Jack", and the Scriptures, as their "soul source" of intelligence.
Assume that I am familiar with human evolution over time; technological advances in DNA, electronic lineage data bases, etc.
[ I'm using the KISS Method; Keep It Simple Stupid.]