Happy U.K. Black History Month

Our dear friend chanteuse Kimberly Nichole just recently informed us in one of her Facebook Live chats that the month of October is Black History Month in the U.K. Granted, the U.K. has a large Nigerian population, and slavery there was abolished thirty years before it was abolished here. Kimberly, who is living in London, pointed out that the Brits gave to blacks one of the longest months (with 31 days), and one with pleasant autumn weather.

Kimberly Nichole
Watching all of the shenanigans going on in American politics, I'm just waiting for a savior to drop down from the sky and save African Americans. Trump and the Republicans are pushing through this right-wing conservative Supreme Court judge. How are they able to do this? Well, because of the gerrymandering perpetrated by the Republicans, they have manipulated congressional districts so that Democrats (i.e., blacks) will never be in the majority. 

How is this legal? How are they able to get away with this? Well, how were they able to get away with Trump becoming president in the first place? He was not elected by the majority of the American people. The Electoral College - which was created to see to it that white-majority states would have equal footing with more diverse, more populous states - sealed his victory. And don't forget: African Americans were classified as being three-fifths of a human being. Everywhere you look, there is injustice designed to keep African Americans impoverished and powerless. The fact that Black History Month in the United States is the coldest, shortest month of the year tells you everything about our status here.

Nina Kennedy in front of the painting of the Fisk Jubilee Singers

As many of you know, I have a long history with Fisk University as my parents served on the piano faculty there. I grew up on that campus, which was initially built with funds raised by the Fisk Jubilee Singers, who sang for Queen Victoria in 1873. It was Queen Victoria who commissioned the famous larger-than-life sized portrait of the group, many of whom were former slaves, and sent the painting across the ocean as a gift to the school. Queen Victoria did more to contribute to the founding and security of Fisk University than any American official. And it was The Queen who first called Nashville the "Music City" because of the Fisk Jubilee Singers.

The Fisk Jubilee Singers with Queen Victoria

In my memoir (Practicing for Love: A Memoir), I wrote about the impact of Fisk University and the Jubilee Singers on my parents. During the 19th century, the Jubilee Singers could barely travel safely in the southern states. Some of the singers enjoyed life in London so much that they refused to return. There were no anti-miscegenation laws in England. But in the United States, marriages between whites and non-whites were declared null and void; and the legal definition of a "non-white" was someone who was one-thirty-second African, Asian, or Native American. That means one non-white great-great-great grandparent out of thirty-two! Whites did everything they could to rob us of our inheritances.

Former Jubilee Singers with "English fans"

The criminality and lawlessness perpetrated by the right-wing in this country have exhausted me. If we are able to travel to Europe anytime soon, hopefully we can spend next year's Black History Month in the U.K. 


  1. thank you for this post. So informative and on point.


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