“Access Denied”

  • We were denied access to the native language of the many tribes brought to this country. Fear of what was being said, and not understood by white slave owners, forced African tribesmen to forego their native language to learn a new one — in captivity.
  • We were denied access to learning to read or write the new forced language because the white slave owners knew, that once we learned how to read and understand the environment and how it purposefully kept people under control, we would rebel and fight for the freedoms we rightfully deserved as human beings.
  • We were denied access to protecting women and children from being molested and raped by white slave owners who “raped the women” to expand their wealth of slaves without paying for more. Many of those women were raped in front of the men they had been given to for “procreating more slaves” and the men were prohibited from doing anything to protect their women.
  • We were denied access to having our inventions patented because we were not considered “full human beings.”
  • We were denied access to raising our own children when the “master” thought it was more beneficial to separate black children from their mothers so they could benefit economically.
  • We were denied access to joining the military to fight in early wars and had to join all black regiments (check the history for yourself), there was more to the black regiments than the Tuskegee Airmen than many have no knowledge about.
  • We were denied access to buy land or houses in specific areas and had to use white allies to purchase for us and then were denied access to equality of living in peace and freedom because white neighbors didn’t want us around them.
  • We were denied access for the opportunity to go to school with white children (segregation).
  • We were denied access to use public transportation in the same way as our white counterparts.
  • We were denied access to college education and therefore established our own after a number of black people, sat in hallways, on the floor, grappling to understand what was said by white professors so they could also get a higher education.
  • We were denied access to hotels, bathrooms, theaters, and restaurants and when were given access — we were seated in out of the way places so as not to upset or offend the white clientele.
  • We were denied access to be accurately portrayed in the movies, and in television shows as a people with their own rich culture.
  • We were denied access to economic growth — bank loans, mortgages, and other businesses. When some dared to defy the status quo and established their own access to economic wealth (Black Wall Street), angry, bigoted white people burned down the town and killed many of the residents.
  • We were denied access to equal justice in all areas of our “so-called justice system. We were never given opportunity to prove innocence because were always judged guilty simply because of our skin tones.
  • We were denied access to the same amenities of our white counterparts on trains, in bus depots and on buses.
  • We were denied access to community amenities — the swimming pools, the tennis courts.
  • We were denied access to healthcare and dental care and funeral homes — we had to establish our own which were not equal to the access others had.
  • We were denied access to cemeteries — I guess dead black folks were a big threat.

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Mary Hall-Rayford

Mary Hall-Rayford

Unfolding life perspectives as an educator, wife, mother, grandmother, political activist and community advocate- mary.hallrayford@gmail.com