I love the Internet because I get some of the best letters and stories sent to me, and then I have the opportunity to share many of these wonderful stories with my friends. This hypothetical journey was sent to me by one of my students, Kimani. I contacted the author, and she was gracious enough to let me post it on my site.
I like this story particularly because I feel that we often do not show ourselves or each other enough appreciation. So, I am thankful for the wonderful memories that reading this story generated for me as I thought through those significant "heroes" in my life. So, submitted for admission to the positive energy flow is the following work by Robbie Melton.
Share our History!!!!
(Please read the information at the end in "blue" about Robbie's dad - Bronson Gentry Sr.)
A very humorous and revealing story is told about a group of white people who were fed up with African Americans, so they joined together and wished themselves away.
They passed through a deep dark tunnel and emerged in sort of a twilight zone where there is an America without black people. At first these white people breathe a sigh of relief. "At last", they said, no more crime, drugs, violence and welfare. All of the blacks have gone!! Then suddenly, reality sets in.
The "NEW AMERICA" is not America at all-only a barren land.
1. There are very few crops that have flourished because the nation was built on a slave-supported system.
2. There are no cities with tall skyscrapers because Alexander Mils, a black man, invented the elevator, and without it one finds great difficulty reaching high floors.
3. There are few if any cars because Richard Spikes, a black man, invented the automatic gearshift, Joseph Gammell, also black, invented the Super Charge System for Internal Combustion Engines, and Garrett A. Morgan invented the traffic signals.
4. Furthermore, one could not use the rapid transit system because its precursor was the electric trolley, which was invented by another black man, Elbert R. Robinson.
5. Even if there were streets on which cars and a rapid transit system could operate, they were cluttered with paper because an African American, Charles Brooks, invented the street sweeper.
6. There were few if any newspapers, magazines and books because John Love invented the pencil sharpener, William Purvis invented the fountain pen, Lee Burridge invented the Type Writing Machine and W.A. Lovette invented the Advanced Printing Press. They were all, you guessed it, black.
7. Even if Americans could write their letters, articles and books, they would not have been transported by mail because William Barry invented the Postmarking and Canceling Machine, William Purvis invented the Hand Stamp and Phillip Downing invented the Letter Drop.
8. The lawns were brown and wilted because Joseph Smith invented the Lawn Sprinkler and John Burr the Lawn Mower.
9. When they entered their homes, they found them to be poorly ventilated and poorly heated. You see, Frederick Jones invented the Air Conditioner and Alice Parker the Heating Furnace. Their homes were also dim. But of course, Lewis Latimer invented the Electric Lamp, Michael Harvey invented the Lantern and Granville T. Woods invented the Automatic Cut off Switch. Their homes were also filthy because Thomas W. Steward invented the Mop and Lloyd P. Ray, the Dust Pan.
10. Their children met them at the door- barefoot, shabby, motley and unkempt. But what could one expect? Jan E. Matzelinger invented the Shoe Lasting Machine, Walter Sammons invented the Comb, Sarah Boone invented the Ironing Board and George T. Samon invented the Clothes Dryer.
11. Finally, they were resigned to at least
have dinner amidst all of this turmoil. But here again, the food had spoiled
because another black man, John
invented the refrigerator. Now,
ain't that something?
What would this world be like without the contributions of Black folks?
Martin Luther King, Jr. said, "that half of the world "modern America" has been created and is depended upon the inventions from the minds and labor of Black folks".
Black history includes more than just slavery, Frederick Douglass, Martin Luther King, Jr., Malcolm X, Marcus Garvey and Dubois. Black history is American History and the History of America would not be so, without Black folks.
P.S. Did you know that the only city park in Detroit that has ever been named after a "living" hero (all other parks have been named after dead heroes) is your truly, Robbie Kendall Melton's father - Bronson L. Gentry Sr.?
Do you know that at age 76 and a double amputee, Mr. Gentry is currently teaching as an adjunct professor assistant-consultant (via Internet e-mail technology) for The University Alabama at Montgomery under Dr. Agnes Bellel. He currently has over 62 students online! Did you know that he received in 1969 the National Volunteer Award and attended a luncheon at The White House with President's wife, Pat Nixon? Did you know that he established the first Black Horseshoe Club (Pop Gentry Horse Shoes)? Did you know that he was the first Black to receive the Boy Scout's Silver Beaver Award? Did you know about his name in the Michigan State Amateur Sports Hall of Fame? Did you know about his beautiful, talented, patience, wise wife Lois Gentry? I know that you know of his wonderful daughter Robbie! (smile)
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