Instructor: Mba Mbulu Title of Course: Integration 101

Textbooks: Not To Be: Essays On Integration and The Black Studies Book: A Black Studies Guide for TeenAgers and Adults.

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Class #10

Read the essay that follows. Carefully consider the following questions.

(1) Could it be that the progress Black People point to as proof that integration can work is in fact a collection of sparkling images that are weak in substance?

(2) In regard to the mystic years that WEB DuBois talked about, can the progress of today's Blacks be a repeat of the period documented by Dr. DuBois?

(3) Should Black People be using other criteria to determine what constitutes progress?

(4) Read pages 61 and 62 of Not to Be. Compare the mindset of early Blacks in this country to that of today's Blacks.

(5) Read Not To Be (p. 67 through 72). Explain how Black People's ability to adapt to extenuating circumstances could lead Us toward integration. Also explain how the way white people looked at the newly free Blacks is indicative of white people's readiness to sincerely integrate with Black People.

FINAL EXAM: Review the questions from each class and give additional thought to each of them. Make sure you understand the "glue" that connects the separate classes to one another, and make sure you understand the concepts that are presented in this course.


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"Mystic Years And Pipe Dreams"

Between 1867 and 1877 (100 years ago), at the end of the Civil War, the sun shined bright for Negroes in this country. Negroes were senators, governors, lieutenant-governors, judges and mayors. "Negroes and whites were going to school together, riding on street cars together, and cohabitating..." "A man went to mail a letter, and the postmaster was black. A man committed a crime, and...was arrested by a black policeman, prosecuted by a black solicitor, weighed by a black and white jury and sentenced by a black judge." In many areas of this country, in the 1860s, "men were sampling democracy and finding it to their liking... On hot nights, Negroes and whites walked the wide streets arm in arm and went to (saloons) for a cold drink. The social life was gay, glittering and interracial. A dashing young militia captain gave a ball and Negroes and whites...glided across the polished floor. At official balls, receptions and dinners, Negroes and whites sat down together and got up in peace...There was a mixture of black and white, male and female...Social equality was at its highest pitch."

This was almost freedom. Almost because the recently "freed" slaves realized that freedom was not freedom without a firm economic foundation. They realized that a firm economic foundation was impossible without political power. The ballot and manhood, and forty acres of land, a mule, and treatment due a human being were what the Negro wanted. Neither of these was acceptable in the eyes of most Americans. Social equality for the Black man, maybe; but economic and political power for those same people-NO WAY!!!

But "those damned niggers" kept on demanding them. As a result, and to put the Black man back "in his place", "the white population organized for war. The Negro population, at the same time, was systematically disarmed. By hook and crook, on any and every pretext (excuse), the homes of Negroes were searched and arms were systematically appropriated (taken). Adroitly (expertly) playing on the fears of white governors, who dreaded a race war, Democrats succeeded in disarming or emasculating the Negro militia."

W.E.B. DuBois has called the years between 1867 and 1877 "mystic years". They were mystic because there was something unreal, insubstantial, about them. Black People were "living the life", but "the life" of the Blacks was not based on Black strengths or Black powers. It was based on international public opinion, American public opinion, the Supreme Court and Congress, etc. The international voices stopped crying out for the Negro because they had to take time to rob and oppress the Blacks who had been left in Africa. American public voices stopped crying for the Negro when Americans got tired of hearing about his problems and realized that, once again, they must devote their time to making money. Congressmen "tricked" the Negro in the presidential election of 1876 and the Supreme Court re-interpreted the law in a manner which excluded the Blacks. Like a pleasant dream the "mystic years" faded away and left Black People unprepared to deal with the reality of white attempts to rid this land of Black People (by whatever means necessary), hopefully, one white editor wrote, "by the 1920s".

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We remind you of these event, Brothers and Sisters, because many of you seem to think that the recent years of "progress" (the late 1960s and early 1970s) were unmistakable steps forward for Black People in this country. Many of you never would have thought that, 100 years before, Black People were experiencing the same types of heavenly illusions that many of Us experience today. Blacks are everywhere, holding all types of positions, you say, and making lots of money for the first time. We are on the way up, you say, there is no doubt about that.

Well, there are some doubts, Brothers and Sisters, a whole lot of them. We are not on Our way up. If anything, Our present condition is proof of that. Our recent "strides" prove that We are still being taken through historical cycles by those people who assert themselves and make history. It proves that, woefully, instead of Us making history We are still allowing history to make Us.

Why did history make Us after 1877, People? Because We never looked to Ourselves as a source of political power from which We could effectively form an economic base. We always looked to something other than Us. We failed to realize that things other than Us will desert Us quicker than We will desert Ourselves. Those things deserted Us in the 1870s and, because We were not prepared to stand for Ourselves, We fell.

Brace yourself, Brothers and Sisters, especially you "love" freaks of today who try to convince Us and others (including yourself) that America is frantically trying to create a society which will serve all men, of whatever color. Brace yourself for a crash landing because the same basic circumstances which were present in the 1870s are present today. Every attempt is being made to disarm Us, while whites organize for battle (under the guise of the National Rifle Association, for example). We are sleeping in black and white sheets, with black and white bodies; and We are holding elected offices and getting high post appointments. And We are seeking an economic base and political power. Quite in line with all of this is the fact that We are not looking toward Us as a source of that political power. We are not looking toward Us as a source of political power from which We can effectively form an economic base. We are not looking toward Us to support Us. We are looking for support from others, others who do not care as much for Our well-being as We do. During the late 1960s and early 1970, We forced those "others" to take note of Our plight, to adopt Our cause. Now they are realizing that the adoption is requiring too many of their resources. So, they are taking away their support. They are leaving Us on Our own. Because We have not realized where Our source of power is, We will not be able to support Ourselves. We will not be able to make history, therefore history will make Us. If We don't make some adjustments quickly, Brothers and Sisters, We are going to fall again, and this time We will have no one to blame but Ourselves. We will have no one to blame but Ourselves.

PEACE be with you, Brothers and Sisters, if you are willing to do what is necessary to get it.

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