Author Archives: Tonia Mcmillian

The Truth About the National Anthem

Why should we never, ever stop singing “Lift Every Voice And Sing?” We show reverence to the “The Star-Spangled Banner” (aka SSB) and scoff at singing the Black National Anthem. There is something very, very wrong with that picture.

First, here’s the history behind the SSB and it’s author, Francis Scott Key. We all know the first half of the story on why he penned this poem. Yes, he was a prisoner of war on a British ship during the War of 1812. Yes, he was watching the American troops battle back the invading British in Baltimore. That’s what we were taught in public school. But there’s more to the story. Follow me as I present the “facts” …

  • Key was an aristocrat and city prosecutor in Washington, D.C.
  • Key was NOT AGAINST SLAVERY
  • Key thought that since blacks were mentally inferior, masters should treat them with more Christian kindness
  • Key supported sending free blacks (not slaves) back to Africa
  • And, Key especially had a problem with the Colonial Marines, a battalion of runaway slaves who joined the British Royal Army in exchange for their freedom. He really held disdain for these soldiers when Key and his troops ran into the battalion and were beat down so bad that Key and his soldiers fled back to his home in Georgetown to lick their wounds.

With that being said, one can understand Key’s mindset when he wrote the 3rd stanza of the SSB. In a nutshell, it is a diss to black people who had the audacity to fight for their freedom. Jason Johnson, political editor at “The Root,” broke down this history and worked on an excellent documentary about the history of the SSB with some students at Morgan State University. Look it up. This may be the reason that we only sing the 1st stanza of the song.

So, we should never, ever stop singing the Black National Anthem because it says something about our legacy, our heritage, and our history which is not taught in public schools. It addresses the pain, the victories, the opportunities, and the challenges that we, as a people, have faced in our country. Our anthem is as American and patriotic as the other. Sing it loud and sing it clear. Sing it so that every man, woman, and child will hear. It’s the African American story, hold it close and hold it dear. I’ve cut and pasted it below, so lend our ear.

How did you celebrate Juneteenth?

This is how Local 721 celebrated the day!

https://drive.google.com/open?id=1dYFVtGEXPTo4ga_exRzgQb6_4ccrP5XI

Thank you Western Region President, Carol Maxey -Ware for sharing this video! If your local celebrated and you want to share your Juneteenth experience with the AFRAM membership, please email your video clip to Mcmilliant@aol.com and I will post it on the website for everyone to see and enjoy!

We Are AFRAM Strong!

SOMETHING INSIDE SO STRONG

The higher you build your barriers
The taller I become
The farther you take my rights away
The faster I will run
You can deny me
You can decide to turn your face away
No matter, cos there’s….

Something inside so strong
I know that I can make it
Tho’ you’re doing me wrong, so wrong
You thought that my pride was gone
Oh no, something inside so strong
Oh oh oh oh oh something inside so strong

The more you refuse to hear my voice
The louder I will sing
You hide behind walls of Jericho
Your lies will come tumbling
Deny my place in time
You squander wealth that’s mine
My light will shine so brightly
It will blind you
Cos there’s……

Something inside so strong
I know that I can make it
Tho’ you’re doing me wrong, so wrong
You thought that my pride was gone
Oh no, something inside so strong
Oh oh oh oh oh something inside so strong

Brothers and sisters
When they insist we’re just not good enough
When we know better
Just look ’em in the eyes and say
I’m gonna do it anyway x 4

Something inside so strong
And I know that I can make it
Tho’ you’re doing me wrong, so wrong
You thought that my pride was gone
Oh no, something inside so strong
Oh oh oh oh oh something inside so strong

Brothers and sisters
When they insist we’re just not enough
When we know better
Just look ’em in the eyes and say
I’m gonna do it anyway x 4

Because there’s something inside so strong
And I know that I can make it
Tho’ you’re doing me, so wrong
Oh no, something inside so strong
Oh oh oh oh oh something inside so strong

The Spirit of Juneteenth…….By Tom Feelings
“But, if this part of our history could be told in such a way that those chains of the past, those shackles that physically bound us together against our wills could, in the telling, become spiritual links that willingly bind us together now and into the future – then that painful Middle Passage could become, ironically, a positive connecting line to all of us whether living inside or outside the continent of Africa…”     

The passage above truly captures the spirit of Juneteenth and the mission of JUNETEENTH.com.  Read it slowly, several times, until you internalize its message – then you will know and feel the passion, the inspiration and the necessity of our cause.  

 
“Juneteenth is a day of reflection, a day of renewal, a pride-filled day.  It is a moment in time taken to appreciate the African American experience.  It is inclusive of all races, ethnicities and nationalities – as nothing is more comforting than the hand of a friend.””Juneteenth serves symbolically, and in reality, as a reference point from which to measure and appreciate the progress and contributions made by African Americans to this society.”“Juneteenth is a day on which honor and respect is paid for the sufferings of slavery. It is a day on which we acknowledge the evils of slavery and its aftermath.  On Juneteenth we talk about our history and realize because of it, there will forever be a bond between us.””On Juneteenth we think about that moment in time when the enslaved in Galveston, Texas received word of their freedom.  We imagine the depth of their emotions, their jubilant dance and their fear of the unknown.””Juneteenth is a day that we commit to each other the needed support as family, friends and co-workers.   It is a day we build coalitions that enhance African American economics.” “On Juneteenth we come together young and old to listen, to learn and to refresh the drive to achieve. It is a day where we all take one step closer together – to better utilize the energy wasted on racism. Juneteenth is a day that we pray for peace and liberty for all.”      

© JUNETEENTH.com  All rights reserved

Something Inside So Strong…Written by Monica Russo, New Orleans, 4/22/2017

http://aframseiu.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/Something-Inside-So-Strong.pdf

Constitution and Bylaws

UPDATE:  The Ad Hoc Team has been created!  

Eastern Region – Lorna Heron and Trent C. Holmes

Western Region – Marilyn DeRouen and Ibrahim Coulibaly

Millennials – Janel James

Central Region – (Pending)

This team will be reviewing the current Constitution and Bylaws for updates and/or amendments.  These changes will be presented to the Executive Board for approval once completed.

Constitution and Bylaws of The African American Caucus of the Service Employees International (SEIU)  – click here for full copy-