The Outspoken Critic and Civil Rights Activist

The most iconic photo of the scientific genius on his 72nd Birthday

So I’m hella late to the party on this one, but I’ve always been a fan of Albert Einstein. Should he still be alive today, he would definitely be invited to the “cookout.” I shared my favorite photo of Dr. Albert Einstien above. It was said that this was his reaction to his photo being taken by paparazzi. I love how he was not consumed with what people thought of him. He was a genius and he acted as such. Unusual and unapologetic.

Now, I know Black History month is about shedding light on those African Americans who have contributed to society, but for a moment I want to share a little known “Black History Fact” that I did not know before today.

So, I know Albert Einstein for his theory of relativity. However, what I just learned was never taught or spoke of in any school that I’ve attended and I am baffled but not surprised. The education system continues to teach our children only what they want them to know. Thank God for the Internet, parents, family and friends with time and willingness to spread knowledge!

💡DID YOU KNOW?💡(Because I sure didn’t)

Einstein was good friends with the famous African American opera singer, actor and civil rights activist, Paul Robeson. He and Paul both resided in Princeton, NJ and shared sentiments on racism.

He had great sympathy for African American people in America. It was said that he would wander around the neighborhoods of African Americans in Princeton, NJ to just sit and talk with people, African American people that is. Sharing candy with the children and answering their mound of questions freely. This is not something that he had to do. He did not succumb to the racial divide that polluted this so-called Great Country. While doing so, he ended up under surveillance of the FBI because of his interest and support of the civil rights movement. In addition to not conforming to the world around him, he signed anti-lynching petitions and more notably volunteered to testify as a character witness in the trial of W.E.B. Du Bois.

In 1946, Albert Einstein gave a commencement speech at Lincoln University in Pennsylvania. For those of you who don’t know, Lincoln University is the oldest HBCU. During this commencement speech, he publicly declared the unjust treatment of African Americans to be cruel. He refused to sit quietly on his thoughts and feelings about the hot topic. Sadly the media didn’t give it much coverage and it is rarely mentioned unless you just go looking for information.

Now if you were to search the Internet about any of these things, you will probably uncover many articles that have leaked parts of his journal where he transcribed his thoughts when he traveled the world. But I am a firm believer that it is not what a person thinks, it is what a person does. ACTIONS OVER WORDS. I don’t care what he wrote intimately that was leaked to try and paint him in a negative light. What I do appreciate was his interest, compassion and the actions that he took to show that he did not agree with the treatment of African Americans during that time. Many may want to argue but I feel that he was geniune with his actions above all the other trash that the Internet will produce. Anyone who goes against what “they” think is right, will always be wrong. And that is sad.

Sadly racism is still America’s “worst disease” as black men, women and children are still being modern day “lynched” and treated unfairly due to the color of their skin. Please know that I love all people regardless of skin color because utimately it is what is in your heart that truly matters. Racism is taught and accepted not acquired at birth. I just hope I get to see the day that my people are treated as equal.

Please take a moment and read Einstein’s essay that was published in the January 1946 issue of Pageant magazine.

The Negro Question
by Albert Einstein

I am writing as one who has lived among you in America only a little more than ten years, and I am writing seriously and warningly. Many readers may ask: “What right has he to speak about things which concern us alone, and which no newcomer should touch?”

I do not think such a standpoint is justified. One who has grown up in an environment takes much for granted. On the other hand, one who has come to this country as a mature person may have a keen eye for everything peculiar and characteristic. I believe he should speak out freely on what he sees and feels, for by so doing he may perhaps prove himself useful.

What soon makes the new arrival devoted to this country is the democratic trait among the people. I am not thinking here so much of the democratic political constitution of this country, however highly it must be praised. I am thinking of the relationship between individual people and of the attitude they maintain toward one another.

In the United States everyone feels assured of his worth as an individual. No one humbles himself before another person or class. Even the great difference in wealth, the superior power of a few, cannot undermine this healthy self-confidence and natural respect for the dignity of one’s fellow-man.

There is, however, a somber point in the social outlook of Americans. Their sense of equality and human dignity is mainly limited to men of white skins. Even among these there are prejudices of which I as a Jew am clearly conscious; but they are unimportant in comparison with the attitude of the “Whites” toward their fellow-citizens of darker complexion, particularly toward Negroes. The more I feel an American, the more this situation pains me. I can escape the feeling of complicity in it only by speaking out.

Many a sincere person will answer: “Our attitude towards Negroes is the result of unfavorable experiences which we have had by living side by side with Negroes in this country. They are not our equals in intelligence, sense of responsibility, reliability.”

I am firmly convinced that whoever believes this suffers from a fatal misconception. Your ancestors dragged these black people from their homes by force; and in the white man’s quest for wealth and an easy life they have been ruthlessly suppressed and exploited, degraded into slavery. The modern prejudice against Negroes is the result of the desire to maintain this unworthy condition.

The ancient Greeks also had slaves. They were not Negroes but white men who had been taken captive in war. There could be no talk of racial differences. And yet Aristotle, one of the great Greek philosophers, declared slaves inferior beings who were justly subdued and deprived of their liberty. It is clear that he was enmeshed in a traditional prejudice from which, despite his extraordinary intellect, he could not free himself.

A large part of our attitude toward things is conditioned by opinions and emotions which we unconsciously absorb as children from our environment. In other words, it is tradition — besides inherited aptitudes and qualities — which makes us what we are. We but rarely reflect how relatively small as compared with the powerful influence of tradition is the influence of our conscious thought upon our conduct and convictions.

It would be foolish to despise tradition. But with our growing self-consciousness and increasing intelligence we must begin to control tradition and assume a critical attitude toward it, if human relations are ever to change for the better. We must try to recognize what in our accepted tradition is damaging to our fate and dignity — and shape our lives accordingly.

I believe that whoever tries to think things through honestly will soon recognize how unworthy and even fatal is the traditional bias against Negroes.

What, however, can the man of good will do to combat this deeply rooted prejudice? He must have the courage to set an example by word and deed, and must watch lest his children become influenced by this racial bias.

I do not believe there is a way in which this deeply entrenched evil can be quickly healed. But until this goal is reached there is no greater satisfaction for a just and well-meaning person than the knowledge that he has devoted his best energies to the service of the good cause.

Be Your Own Valentine

Many people probably are not aware that grief is the form that love takes when you mourn the loss of someone close to you. Associating the day with someone significant can spark powerful emotions.

Valentine’s Day in itself emphasizes love, romance and togetherness. When reminded that you no longer have that special person in your life, this day could feel like utter shit. It’s hard to escape the displays in stores, the signs in windows or along the road or even ads on the Internet.

As a person who has lost their Father, Mother, Grandfathers, Grandmother, children and many other special people, I feel as though the day is praised and emphasized entirely too much and for what. Especially for those of us who are mourning the loss of love from those who were once close.

If you’re struggling today, I invite you to try some of these tips below. Remember it’s ok to not be ok. And don’t let anyone tell you anything differently. You have a friend in grief here, so if you need support send me a message. I will be happy to chat and be a pillar of support during your hard times. No pressure.

There are NO Rules

Often times people feel pressured to act a certain way as it pertains to mourning. Give yourself grace on today. Grieve in anyway that suits you and don’t worry about what others may think. Despite societal pressures and norms, there is truly no right or wrong way to mourn the loss of someone. (And this is to include pets for my animal lovers…to me they are just as human as people)

Burn Some Lead

Journaling is one of my favorite things to do to relieve stress and to start my day on a positive note. Nothing makes me feel better and focused than using a No.2 all wood to get the thoughts out of my head and onto paper. This freeing process is exceptional at helping you to process and organize your thoughts. Now I know everyone is not into physical writing (pen/pencil to paper) but fret now, it is also productive if you feel compelled to type. Don’t go back and read what you write, and keep these journaled thoughts somewhere that only you can get to. This is not only therapuetic but also can aide you in your grief response.

Honor Your Love

Channel your thoughts and feelings in a positive light during the day. There are many ways to honor your loved one that doesn’t require spending a coin. You could donate blood, volunteer your time at a nursing home or local homeless shelter. Focus your attention on a way to honor your dearly departed loved one. This may turn into your new annual tradition.

Be Your Own Valentine

The heavy process of grief can be physically debilitating for some. As a bereaved person, you may suffer from insomnia, poor eating and lack of physical activity. While others feel the need to love on someone else, today practice some self-love. Pay attention to yourself. Do something that will make you feel better or even smile today.

Blood, Sweat & Tears

He was smart. He was outspoken and he did not give up. Dr. Charles Drew was a highly intelligent man. It was him who stood against the US Army when they segregated the blood of both black and white donors. It was also him that came up with the collection and processing of blood plasma which ultimately saved the lives of many in the war.

Dr. Drew could have easily been accepting of the policy and returned to his research or the next great advancement in his research, but he took a stance for what was right. This man did awesome work and made great contributions to the world of healthcare and science.

Perform well and segregation will disappear.

Dr. Charles R. Drew

Reach For The Stars…She Became One

Dr. Mae Jemison has without a doubt has inspired many young African American children ideas and dreams of exploring space. Hopefully through STEM learning more people of color are afforded the opportunity to travel to space, motivating more and more of our youth to assist with advancements in technology, science and math. Afterall, they are our future!