I was conceived and came out here at the end of World War II. I am a son of a Principal Soldier among the Tuskegee Airmen and a Brown “Rosie the Riveter” in the Sacramento, CA. area. I came thru adolescence there but with the power of National Geographics Magazine, radio, television, Life, Look and Time Magazines, travel around the state and all the way into Florida by cars in would be fairer to say that California was and remains my home.
Now its important to note that while my Mom married a Navy enlisted man and an Air Force enlisted man before I was 10, the Air Force Commander who was my biological father did not marry her (more about that later). My early childhood was surrounded by loving women (day care), on a BIG family plot in rural Sacto on which I cultivated an Extended garden plus chickens, ducks (I think) and a dog. My neighbor had a horse; you know, me and Roy Rogers!
When I reach the 5th grade mom, my Almighty G-d rest her Soul, decided that the little country school in Del Paso Heights was not going to be the best she could provide for me. She took her Air Force husband’s money and enrolled me in St. Joseph’s Academy; in Sacramento proper and I became a “busser” for the next three years.
For the first two I was the only African Student in the place. This effectively propelled me past what I later realized would have been the beginning of Twisting my mind into a “Negro” or that other mindset before I had a chance to grow toward real consciousness. Mom summed it up when a friend of hers queried; “why I was such an independent and self-assured youngster?” He, like many of my stepfather’s friends, was an immigrant from down South. She calmly told him; “You must remember, Donnie was never a Negro!”
So, because of a stronger foundation, when we moved and I was placed in the local junior high school, I was placed in the College Prep. Trac. you know! I didn’t see it then like I do now but I fell into another TRAP. No valid American opportunity guidance and career counseling; just the QUESTION: “What do you want to be when you grow up?” No assessment testing, no real exposure to the economy, no interviews with broad influential minds – only the question. So, “a veterinarian” was the first thing out of my mouth. Ms Wilson hooked me up with the ladder into UC Davis’s School of Veterinary Medicine, stuck it to my forehead and sent me on my way. Easy. I had the potential; it was right up the high way. Slam dunk! BUT, where there was I going to meet the future mother of MY Children? Mother was from Mississippi by way of Southern California.
I chose Tuskegee Institute. I thought I had landed in Heaven & didn’t remember dying.
Nobody told me about the sorrow. Culture shocks. Lots of them. I didn’t know there was a ‘guardian angel’ watching over me. Remember the commander who did not marry my mom beause he was already in a family? Turns out he was teaching military science in Tuskegee’s Reserve Officers’ Training Corporation. He recognized me when I hit the campus. But he stayed behind the curtain. I didn’t find the truth about him until I was in my late 60’s. Obviously there is more.
The important thing is that before they stopped taking my enrollment money, in my desperation to understand why I was such a MISFIT I committed to our creator that if HE would show me the means and methods, the strategies and processes in use to subjugate our people and deny us access to the FRUITS of our citizenship after all these 100’s of YEARS, I would dedicate the REST of my life to helping us get FREE.
Then bounce back to California; major change to psychology under the likes of Asa Hilliard at that and Na’im Akbar Ph.Ds at San Francisco State College. Helped start what became the Department of Black Studies and MORE. Joined the Honorable Elijah Muhammad’s Social uplifting Movement – even became a minister in the Nation of Islam. It was right along in here that I came across a little paperback entitled: “None Dare Call It Conspiracy.”
It started my thinking in an entirely different vein. I added a Master of Art Psychology/Biology. Got lifetime California Community College Credentials in Psychology instruction and Counseling. When I couldn’t land a spot as a Counselor in all of Central California I, of course thought it was racism. I was among the top three candidates in probably fifteen applications for counselor openings in Central California. Now I am more convinced it was an unfortunate credit issue.
That wall of rejection started me on an employment quest in the private sector. I had some successes: Xerox Corp., the Connecticut Life Insurance Corp., multilevel marketing, from A.L.Williams to Legal Shield. In the automobile sales arena with Acura, General Motors and Dodge. I explored around. Remember we are talking about a few decades. It was during that time frame that I was guided to a litle known facet of the great Henry Ford’s life work. Most of us are acquainted with the struggles of the Civil Rights era but few of us today, realize that much of the root of our problems were unearthed and documented by Mr. Ford a century ago. The Document and the answer to my quest is contained in the now difficult to find four volume book, The International Jew