Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘Chicago Defender

“Harry Stott: Ancient black Greek philosopher”; (Feb. 20, 2010)

From one of the columns “Just be Simple” in the Chicago Defender

Simple said: “My wife took me to “Black History Week” and a black professor was giving a conference.  This hysteric professor…

Langston cut in: “You mean history professor?”

Simple seemed to let this correction pass and resumed: “This hysteric professor said we niggers are badly educated, badly led, and we are wasting our energy on having good time.  He wants us to work and gain a few cents instead of dancing and doing Jazz.

Langston: “A constructive criticism is not a bad thing.  We have got to tear down shanty homes to build newer ones.

Simple: “The professor got my wife all hot.  She said that the professor was describing my behavior.  She kept reminding me of what he said about this black Greek philosopher Harry Stott (Aristotle).  I told her that this black Greek philosopher must have lived before Booker T. Washington.  The professor insisted that black educated people played a large role in history since Adam and Eve.

Langston: Great!  Now is time to improving racial relationship

Simple: “I have got my idea that jazz, laughter, balls, dancing, and singing are better means to working out racial relationship.  I would suggest that, instead of beginning with high flatulent oration during conferences, better start with jam sessions and then the orchestra of Duke, Hampton, or Count Bessie brings the tempo to any conference.  We can take a break listening to Saint-Louis Blues to fill the gap between talks. It would be swell that a great artist sings “There will be change one day” and we all rejoin “Amen”.  By 5 pm, we re-start another jam session and the orchestra plays “Tea for two” while we drink tea. This is the right way to resolving racial problems: heart is high and higher than the sky.  Wheeee!”

Langston Hughes (1902-67) was a black author and poet.  He was a major activist in Harlem Renaissance movement between the two world wars.

Hughes studied at Columbia University and recalled the festive ambiance in Harlem in his autobiography “The Big Sea, 1940”.  His essay “Negro artist and the racial mountain, 1926” encourages black authors to express their emotions without shame or fear and to boldly critique cultured blacks and racist whites.

He published columns in Chicago Defender under the title “Just be Simple”.  Thus, Simple became the hero of his chronicles. Simple was convinced that art, music, and books could transform mentality and defeat discrimination tendencies. Later, Simple became more radical and demanded civil rights.  Simple is one of the most famous characters in black literature.  Simple is like the Uncle Tom of the 20th century.




August 2022

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