My name is Willie James Harvey and I’m the author of a poetry book called “I am Not a Slave, So I Write”: A Collection of Thought- Provoking Poems. “Letters of Frustration” is the title of the current book that I am working on. It is basically a collection of letters describing my frustration towards America failure to recognize Black America. Also in these letters I will discuss Black America’s own flaws. Included in this submission is the first letter of the book called “The Beginning of a Revolution”. This is a very powerful well written letter that I hope will open the eyes of many Americans no matter what race. My goal in life is to change the world through my writings and with that said I have an obligation to write the conscious truth as I see fit. There will be people that disagree with what I said, but nevertheless I must write the truth no matter how embarrassing it is for America. I cannot nor will I sit and be patience for my equality. I hope you enjoy the first letter “The Beginning of a Revolution” and thank you for any feedback.
FROM JIM CROW TO GEORGE W. BUSH (43rd):
CAN AMERICA REALLY ACCEPT BLACK AMERICA?
“LETTERS OF FRUSTRATION”
WILLIE JAMES HARVEY
It’s very disheartening that I, a young African-American male in the year 2007, feel the necessity to write a letter discussing America’s continuous deprivation of basic rights for Black America. Let me be clear, I comprehend that America has made a significant amount of change since the late 1960’s, but that’s not enough, and if you think that comment sounds a bit ungrateful, then you tell me why I should be grateful. Should I be grateful that my country, since Lincoln freed the slaves, has failed to produce or enforce legislation that guarantees all Americans, including Blacks, equal rights under a fragile Constitution? Better yet, should I be grateful that my race is still negotiating for birth-given rights with a country that claims to be the land of the free, or should I simply be grateful that I am an American? Well, I not grateful.
When America gives me a reason to be grateful, you will know. My freedom, my equality are not things that I should have to bargain or beg for each day, and personally, I think the United States’ goal is not to see Black America completely free, but rather to simply feed us enough to keep us quiet. My race is starving in a land of opportunity because we are spoon fed by the white man’s hand. Damn it, I can feed my self. I don’t need appeasement, but what I do need is my freedom and my equality without limitations. Can anyone tell me why we need civil rights laws to enforce rights established by the Constitution in a democracy? The answer is obvious, we don’t live in a democracy we live in hypocrisy, and history has proven this statement to be true .
With that said, how can we expect Iraq to understand democracy when the truth, after two hundred plus years of democracy, is that the United States is still failing Black America? It’s simple, HYPOCRISY! To say one thing and do another, now that’s the American way. The problem with the American way is that the white male has been the face and voice of America since the formation of this country, and history teaches us that you either live that way or fall victim that way. There are always exceptions, and there will always be people who succeed above expectation, but can we really accept the fact that the white male imagines that around the world he represents America when in actuality we are much more than that. Why does the majority of the world hate me simply because I am American when my own country hates me because I am black? It is a no win situation simply because the world does not recognize our struggle for equality because they see all Americans as arrogant white males set on world domination.
This letter is not a personal attack on the white race or the white male. It’s my reflection of history in hope of coming up with a plan that will set my people completely free. I’m neither Moses nor a black savior, but you can consider me a freedom fighter. I will not watch my people fall by the waste side simply because of our race. The Jim Crow’s days are over, and somebody needs to inform America. Well here I am Willie James Harvey, and believe me, I will never sugar coat anything. If your shit stinks I will tell you. AMERICAN YOUR SHIT STINKS! I’m not a reverend like King or claim to be a prophet, but I do consider myself a man of great faith who will always speak my mind.
Some people will say this is nothing but anti-American propaganda, but I am an American, and most importantly, a believer in free speech. You can criticize or debate what I say, but history is my proof. The Constitution gives me the right to make known my frustrations with this country. I wish that the topics that I will discuss in this letter weren’t true , but they are and I have moral and personal reasons to not just turn the other cheek. Anyway, I have never been a cheek turner, but I have been known to turn cheeks. I refuse to just sit, wait, and hope that one-day America will change. I shouldn’t have to expect my equality tomorrow or the day after, I want my equality today. Let’s get the ball rolling America, we can and we must.
There is no compromising when you are dealing with mandatory rights. To quote an infamous president, George W. Bush (43rd),”you are either with us or against” for freedom or against freedom, but America I ask you: What will you stand for? How in the hell can Americans be fighting in Iraq to establish democracy when the real fight is in the United States of America? I can only come up with one: America cares more about Iraqis than they do about the welfare of Black America. Saddam Hussein is dead and gone, yet Jim Crow is still walking and kicking. Where is the logic in that America? How long do you really expect Black America to be this country doormat? Enough is enough, and I can guarantee you that if America chooses to continue to walk over Black America that a racial war will be on our horizon.
Now that may sound crazy, but the reality is that the majority of my race is frustrated with this country, and you should never under-estimate a group of people who desires to be free. I will now end this brilliant better-put forewarning letter with a quote from James Baldwin’s book The Fire Next Time:
“When I was very young, and was dealing with my buddies in those wine- and urine-stained hallways, something in me wondered, What will happen to all that beauty? For black people, though I am aware that some of us, black and white, do not know it yet, are very beautiful. And when I sat at Elijah’s table and watched the baby, the women, and the men, and we talked about God’s or Allah’s vengeance, I wondered, when that vengeance was achieved, What will happen to all that beauty then? I could also see that intransigence and ignorance of the white world might make that vengeance inevitable- a vengeance that does not really depend on, and cannot really be executed by, any person or organization, and that cannot be prevented by any police force or army: historical vengeance, a cosmic vengeance, based on the law that we recognize when we say, “Whatever goes up must come down.” And here we are, at the center of the arc, trapped in the gaudiest, most valuable, and most improbable water wheel the world has ever seen. Everything now, we must assume, is in our hands; we have no right to assume otherwise. If we-and now I mean the relatively conscious whites and the relatively conscious blacks, who must, like lovers, insist on, or create, the consciousness of the others-do not falter in our duty now, we may be able, handful that we are, to end the racial nightmare, and achieve our country, and change the history of the world. If we do not now dare everything, the fulfillment of that prophecy, re-created from the Bible in song by a slave, is upon us: God gave Noah the rainbow sign, No more water, the fire next time!”
I will always preach peace, but I will never exclude violence as a reasonable option because my mind’s capacity is too vast to limit my expectation of a completely free and functioning democracy in America. I dream like King but fight like Ali. Created in God’s image, I am a king among kings, a rose in a concrete jungle. I need water and this is my last warning: I am officially frustrated America. Until the next letter, be good, be safe, and be peaceful with love and faith. ONE
Willie James Harvey
The God Father of the South
Author of “I Am Not a Slave, So I Write”:
A Collection of Thought-Provoking Poems