Saturday, September 21, 2013

The week in review

Last Sunday things went about like they do every Sunday. Religious education hour, church service, home for a nap, news, take the trash to the curb for Monday pickup, etc.

On Monday, since Gail was still on vacation, we walked in the morning. This week I walked 11 miles.

On Tuesday, we ran an errand in Tulsa. I would say more, but I can't. Also, we attended Tai Chi Chuan class. That evening we went to a seminar on estate planning. They had food there, making it worthwhile.

One day this past week, I photocopied the newsletters for HAT. We are resuming the newsletter hoping it might generate more interest in the organization. We ceased publishing the newsletter when e-mail came along about ten years ago.

On Thursday evening we went to the Brookside Library for a meeting. No one showed up. I am thinking of canceling the group. It is the Oklahoma Observer Discussion Group.

Today, we went to the Schusterman-Benson Library for the HAT meeting, but our regular attendees were at the talk given by Mikey Weinstein. I would have been there myself, except the AHA had notified its members in northeast Oklahoma of the HAT meeting. I felt someone needed to be at the Library in case anyone receiving the notice showed up.

In between all these activities, I have been reading my tablet. I have downloaded about 150 books in the last few years. The books which were on my Kindle (now defunct), I transferred to my Samsung Galaxy Tab 2. Today I downloaded Wuthering Heights,. I read it several years ago, but as it was a free download, I went ahead and added it to my library.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Tai Chi class started

Today I started in a Tai Chi class. There are about twenty others in the class besides myself. The first session lasted about an hour and a quarter. I am the only man in the class. All of us are up in years. J is in the class, and I think she may be the youngest one there. The class is being held in a Baptist church next door to the facility where we walk. The class is to last six weeks and meets once a week.

Sunday, September 08, 2013

Finished another book

Tonight I finished reading another book, Mrs. Lincoln's Dressmaker by Jennifer Chiaverini. It is an historical novel based on a true story. I read it for the Methodist Book Club, which would normally meet tomorrow evening, except tomorrow's meeting has been called off. The next meeting will be in another month. We saw a movie recently. It is The Butler. I highly recommend it. You will relive many key events in your life, if you are my age. Gail is about to leave on a vacation. We will resume practice on the 23rd of this month. Attendance was very low at church this morning. Many people were away on travels. The sermon today was on Jewish celebrations. We are now in the period of the high holy days of the Jewish calendar. I am enjoying my new Samsung tablet. There is a lot to learn about it. I also recently got a new LG phone. There is much to learn about it also.

Sunday, September 01, 2013

A new update

Here it is Sunday evening once again. Today I delivered the message at Church of the Restoration. The talk I gave was "Black Life After Slavery." This was the second part of a two-part talk on this subject. The talks were based upon the book Slavery by Another Name written by Douglas Blackmon. In a nutshell what Blackmon describes in the book is the system devised by whites to keep blacks in a state of slavery, although slavery was abolished by the 13th Amendment to the Constitution. The 13th Amendment says that holding someone in slavery is illegal, but it contains an exception, a loophole, if you will. The loophole has to do with being in debt to others. Indebtedness was used as a means to keep black Americans in a form of slavery.

It worked like this. A black person is accused of an infraction of the law (either real or imagined). In some states not having a job was against the law. Vagrancy was a crime in many states. You could not take employment unless you had a statement from your previous employer saying you were free to go.

Lets say you were picked up on a vagrancy charge. You go before a magistrate and are found guilty. You can be both sentenced to jail and fined. In most cases those accused had no money. Your fine was converted into additional jail time. Counties would then lease prisoners to plantation owners, railroads, mines, anybody needing cheap labor. Those who leased the prisoners were responsible for their incarceration. Mortality rates among leased convicts was high, from 25 to 45 percent per year. Prisoner abuse was rampant. Many prisoners were guilty of no crime. All it would take is an accusation against a black and they were swept up in the system.

Blacks were treated in this manner in the South from roughly 1877, when federal troops were withdrawn from the South with the end of Reconstruction until approximately 1942 and the U.S. entry into World War II.

Back to church this morning, Gail and I played the "special music" as it is called. We played "Paso Doble Noble" by Catherine Rollins. It is a Spanish piece which reminds the hearer of bull fights.

Tonight I started reading Mrs. Lincoln's Dressmaker. This is the book we will be discussing at the next meeting of the Methodist Book Club.