America! Relax.

Every now and then I get the urge to SAY something (my daughter would attest to that). Today I want to reassure my fellow Americans that the Post Office is a lasting establishment. A true American entity. Since its inception we have had mail delivery continuously six days a week. Didn’t I learn about the pony express in grammar school? As a child I thought those pony express riders were heroes.  The mail got through no matter what. The phrase “Neither snow, nor rain, nor heat, nor gloom of night stays these courageous couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds”, was modified over time to refer to postal service workers, “Neither snow, nor rain, nor gloom of night shall stay these couriers from their appointed rounds”. I mean, for heaven’s sake, Benjamin Franklin was the first Postmaster General. The organizing of the Post Office was signed into law by President George Washington on February 20, 1792! This was major.

A few years later we gained The Postal Reorganization Act of 1970-Here is the first paragraph: “The United States Postal Service shall be operated as a basic and fundamental service provided to the people by the Government of the United States, authorized by the Constitution, created by Act of Congress, and supported by the people. The Postal Service shall have as its basic function the obligation to provide postal services to bind the Nation together through the personal, educational, literary, and business correspondence of the people. It shall provide prompt, reliable, and efficient services to patrons in all areas and shall render postal services to all communities. The costs of establishing and maintaining the Postal Service shall not be apportioned to impair the overall value of such service to the people.” We have since updated the USPS logo. Eagles are powerful, stately, determined and undeniably American, which reflects the spirit of the Postal Service and its employees.

The Marvelettes waited patiently for their mailman everyday. Or should I say postman. Wait, oh yea, wait a minute Mr. Postman-What a hit that was. Mail delivery was essential to living life. Still is. To so many people. People waiting for love letters or prescriptions. People waiting for hospital supplies. Checks. At one point Saturday delivery was almost cancelled, however, the Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act, 2013, passed reversing the cuts to Saturday delivery.

And how many of you remember Mr. McFeely? Speedy Delivery!! He stopped by Mr. Rogers place every day. He was always on time and always had a smile on his face. He was so much fun. One of the most popular characters on the show. Mr. McFeeley would sometimes bring videos to show children how macaroni or plastic combs were made. I always looked forward to mail delivery when I watched Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood.

Today I read that our postal system is by geography and volume the globe’s largest postal system, delivering 47% of the world’s mail. Nothing since the pony express has brought the United States Postal Service to a halt. Yet according to an article I read today by Bill Moyers, “citizens tremble” when they think of voting by mail as opposed to going outside and voting in person. Because of one man.

In my opinion, one man does not hold all of the power. Society may act as though they believe one man can disrupt a complete American system which might be what would cause people to tremble. But it’s not true. I believe today’s Post Office “scandal” is being used as a way to derail the American public’s thinking process. To confuse.

I say, relax. Don’t be skeered. Thank your mailman or mailwoman. They are a part of a great institution. I should know, I used to be a mail sorter.

Fun Fact: My father, Eddie Green, once got in trouble with the Post Office, according to my mom. Eddie would dress my mom’s female friends in long scarves, take pictures and send them on postcards to men who ordered them through magazines. One of the photos showed a bit too much and Eddie became a friend of the postal inspector. (Not really, he had to pay a substantial fine.) I wonder if he got his idea from this Mata Hari postcard?

 

 

Thanx, for stopping by, KCB

Sharing Space with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

The “Big Six” Civil Rights Leaders (l to r) John Lewis, Whitney Young Jr., A. Philip Randolph, Martin Luther King, Jr., James Farmer Jr., and Roy Wilkins. Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Martin Luther King, Jr. was born in 1929. My father, Eddie Green was born in 1891 and by 1929 was writing songs, doing small radio appearances and working in burlesque with Billy Minsky. When King graduated from Morehouse College in 1948, Eddie had reached Old Time Radio (OTR) fame, and by the time King had graduated from Crozer Theological Seminary in 1950, Eddie had died. So Eddie probably was not cognizant of the fact that King existed. He did not know that one day Martin Luther King, Jr. would be instrumental in making the lives of Black people a bit easier.

Through the process of doing research on my father for his biography I came across a couple of articles that mentioned Eddie’s involvement with Negro Organizations. The California Eagle did a piece on Eddie in their “Trail Blazers” column in 1947.
The article spoke of Eddie’s 23 years in show business with 15 years of before-the-mike experience and 30 years of technical radio knowledge. It mentioned his beginnings with the late Fats Waller in the 20s and his progress to Duffy’s Tavern. There is mention of Eddie being a 32nd degree Mason and that he had spent the last year working actively with the NAACP.

In 1949 there was an  Omega Smoker gathering given in Mr. Paul R. Williams house in Los Angeles, for the then Governor of the Virgin Islands. Among the guests present were Dr. Ralph Bunche, Eddie Green of Duffy’s Tavern and Amos ‘N Andy shows, Jack Dempsey, and Roy Wilkins of the NAACP. Eddie took over the party by telling some of his “grandfather jokes.” Seems that Eddie couldn’t resist being the funny guy, but clearly he had hobnobbed with well-known leaders of the times.

One of the goals of the NAACP was to remove all barriers of racial discrimination through democratic processes. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. is considered the formative figure in the modern fight for civil rights, and his legacy looms large in the work of all those who follow him in his cause. Dr. King’s involvement with the NAACP dates back to his position on the executive committee of the NAACP Montgomery Branch in the 1950’s, through his leadership in the various boycotts, marches and rallies of the 1960’s, and up until his assassination in 1968. (www.naacp.org/oldest-and-boldest/dr-martin-luther-king-jr-mw/)

King, representing the SCLC, was among the leaders of the “Big Six” civil rights organizations who were instrumental in the organization of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, which took place on August 28, 1963. Among the other leaders and organizations comprising the Big Six was Roy Wilkins from the NAACP. (Wikimedia)

During Eddie’s voting years some people “engaged in egregious voting discrimination”. Making it difficult if not impossible for people of color to vote. Jim Crow laws were enacted. A typical news article read: Stepin Fetchit is in Johnstown experiencing what is was like to deal with “Jim Crow.” Paul Robeson was stopping the “Show Boat” in Angel City. Pittsburgh Courier, May 1940.

From past articles I have read and according to my mom, Eddie was usually upbeat; he did not like violence of any kind, he did not even like to see comedians booed off the stage.

Being a 32nd degree Mason means that the Master Mason is involved in charitable work. Work to do good. You are to have good moral values. When you go beyond 32nd you go into the “Shrine” or what most people know as The Shriner’s. It is generally known that the Shriner’s help burn victims and children by providing hospitals and medical care all free. But what is not commonly known is that each of the branches also provide services for underprivileged children. Eddie provided food to the poor while he owned his bar-b-q restaurants. As a 32nd degree Mason and Shriner, Eddie was given a Shriner’s Parade down Adams Boulevard in 1950 when he died.

In the 1950s, the Civil Rights Movement increased pressure on the federal government to protect the voting rights of racial minorities. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was advancing civil rights through non-violence. He won the Nobel Peace Prize. He was concerned about how we treat our neighbors. He believed in the Spirit of Love.

I haven’t thought too much about Eddie’s experience with voting as a Black person but my thought process is beginning to take a different path. I do believe that if Eddie had lived to see the growth of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. as a leader and civil rights activist he would have been proud to have been able to share space on this earth with Dr. King, who paved the way for the 1965 Voting Rights Act. Dr. King believed in loving our fellows and promoting non-violence. Something we can all work on.

Hey, thanx for stopping by. Peace.