By Doni Glover, Publisher
Unapologetically Black: Doni Glover Autobiography
(BALTIMORE – July 11, 2019) – People of the darker hue have been at war with racists and their institutional racism for 400 years. Thus, us Black folks are not surprised at the antics America throws at us on a daily basis. And for the record, I am not a victim. Nor do I seek sympathy. I’m simply stating the facts.
What is always amusing yet downright egregious, however, is not the deplorably disgusting racists this nation seems to perpetually breed like rats. It’s the agents of so-called white supremacy that look like me. I could think of a lot of colloquialisms to use … but I will refrain.
To the Black community, such people are deemed traitors. Rather than fight with their own people against the barrage of attacks that consistently come against Black communities like Sandtown and Druid Heights – the heartbeat of Historic West Baltimore, there are those who would instead conveniently usurp unwarranted and undeserved favor from nonblack people and their institutions for the sake of placating self, regardless of the injury against the indigenous people of the community with four and five generations of roots.
Such people stick out like a pair of “fish heads” in a crowd where everybody else is sporting a glowing pair of Jack Purcell’s.
Like so many Baltimoreans, my family had Westside roots. While African Americans were initially rooted in East Baltimore – going back to the days of Isaac Myers, Frederick Douglass and Joseph G. Locks, West Baltimore was the next stop for many families as time progressed and as Baltimore expanded. My paternal grandmother, Flossie Glover Rivers, lived on Shields Place – on the Westside lip of downtown. Shields Place is near where Murphy Homes was located before it was imploded during the Schmoke Era in the 90s.
The key thing I remember about Grandma Flossie was that she was big, huge, gigantic even … on respect. She’d say, “You don’t speak. You don’t eat!” And she meant it, emphatically and adamantly so. She meant it from the very core of her being. Y’all gon’ learn today!
Most grandmothers from her era were ol’ school, too. I remember Granny would come home after work. I’d be in the living room watching “Captain Chesapeake” and waiting on my dad to come and pick me up so that we could go home to East Baltimore.
She’d come in the door and say, “Hey, Doni Boy!” Like an idiot, I wouldn’t respond. I was 6-years-old and foolishly ornery, admittedly. She wouldn’t say anything. She’d then proceed to the kitchen. In a short time, some incredibly enchanting smells would arise from Grandma’s kitchen.
My God! It would smell so good that I couldn’t resist it any longer. “Mondy the Sea monster” was my ace, but I dropped him like a hot potato once Granny got the whole first floor screaming with tantalizing culinary joy. I then broke down and moseyed my way through the dining room and the short hallway following it towards the kitchen in the rear of the first floor, pathetically uttering the magic words, “Good evening” – to which she’d reply, “Oh! You can speak, can you? Now go in there and wash your hands, sit up at the table, and act like you got some sense.”
The smell of Grandma’s chops and rice smothered in gravy was enough to make a grown man whimper. Shit! I was 6. There was no shame to my game. And Granny knew it. She knew me better than I knew myself. She knew what I was going to do before I did it. Quite honestly, it has taken me a lifetime to begin to understand the lessons that incredible woman was teaching me. (But, I get it now, Grandma!)
The bottom line is that Granny’s generation, our parent’s generation – they were all big on respect. In other words, act like you want outside those doors. But in here, the perpetual theme is r-e-s-p-e-c-t. And that is what is so wrong with the world today. There is none.
Truth be told, Grandma wanted her children and grandchildren to be upstanding members of the community. She wanted us to know the Lord, respect our elders, and use manners.
Considering the chicanery demonstrated by Cab Calloway’s grandson as of late, I do not think this young man understands the concept. Just yesterday, he continued his series of lies about a man who – unless I am wrong – had zero regard for Druid Heights. I think one of the most frustrating questions for this carpetbagger is: Where have you been? Why are you just coming to Druid Heights in the year 2019? After all, Brooks did some teaching at Coppin in the mid-90s. And his mother, Camay Murphy, has been down at the Eubie Blake Cultural Center since forever. Question: Why didn’t Camay Murphy make this an issue years ago – like when she served on the Baltimore City school board? Why now?
And, if Brooks is going to return to the community, then why go behind the community’s back? Why go and reach out to white institutions regarding an issue in the black community? Why not go directly to Druid Heights CDC? And then, the billion dollar question is: How is it that one minute you are trying to save a dilapidated house your family has known about for decades, and then yesterday you claim you want to save the entire block? Who is advising this moron?
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