I heard that a lot of you, the ones under thirty and also the ones in their mid-thirties, in reaction to my post, 60 Minutes, never knew that once upon a time television actually went off at night. I’m talking all across the United States of America, ABC, CBS, and NBC, all stopped broadcasting and actually went off the air at around 2:00 or 4:00 am.
I did not make that up. It actually happened.
Bars also closed at 2 a.m. and radio as well, went off the air.
If you were a young Black person, back then, I’m sure you know the words to this song, “God Open Our Eyes”. It was WVON’s Herb Kent, The Cool Gent’s sign-off song.
So, if you’re young enough not to remember any of this, there are two other things I’m sure you don’t have a clue as to why people get so upset when they hear Trump say he wants to roll America back to when it was great.
And one of those things is Blue Laws.
Let’s say it’s Sunday and you get a last minute call from some of your friends that they want to come over and watch the game with you. You say, “Great! Come on over.” You hang up the phone and realize, you don’t have any snacks or drinks. You grab your keys, throw on your coat, and hustle on over to the neighborhood store to get what you need. WHOA! STOP!
If it’s a Sunday, and you are about to commit a crime! Because it’s against The Law (Blue Laws) to shop on a Sunday.
OK, say you don’t have friends coming over, but you do have a baby that is running a fever and you need some baby aspirin or baby Tylenol to their fever down. So, you grab your keys, thrown on your jacket, and hustle on over to Walgreens, CVS, or Walmart to get what you need. WHOA! STOP.
You are about to commit a crime that will land you in jail for at least three days. And your child is still a sick as a dog. It’s against the law for you to shop or buy anything on a Sunday, even if your child is sick.
That’s Blue Laws and a lot of us oldsters grew up under it. The only thing you could do on a Sunday, under the Law in this country, was have your butt in Church or at home with the curtains drawn, hoping the neighbors didn’t notice you weren’t in Church and reported it.
And the final one, that really gets my blood boiling when I hear Trump say he’s going to roll this country back to when it was great, pertains to the movie, ‘The Help’.
There is this scene where Viola Davis has stayed late to help her White employer set up for a dinner party and she has missed her bus back to the Black side of town. It’s getting dark and she starts running.
We see her running down the road, running across the railroad tracks, running until she’s literally huffing and puffing and sweating.
I remember we were back in New Orleans for my youngest brother’s funeral and my 30 year old nephew asked me, “Why is she running!”
I was already upset because of the circumstances and I sort of snapped back at him, curtly, “Why is she running? She’s running because if anybody White sees her, in their part of town, after dark, they have the right to beat her up, rape her, or even kill her. That’s why she’s running. She needs to get back to the Black side of town before anyone White sees her.”
And he looked at me, confused and asked, “Just because she’s Black and outside at night?” And said, “Yes!”
That scene inspired me to write Chapter 10 my book, ‘Thou Shalt Eat Dust.’
I’d like all of you, under 30, to know and remember that all these things (the ability to go where you want, when you want, and with whom you want) were not always so. They were hard fought and won battles. Don’t give them up!
A Tiny Kitten With A Big Mouth
Eliza D. Ankum
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Or just think about this for one second, you’re a young Black woman desperately trying to get the Police to help you because you’re be stalked! But none of them will help you because you are a young Black woman. You’re a nobody! And not worth the time of day, especially theirs.