QOTD: Henry Flipper Looks Forward

 

MY four years were drawing to a close. They had been years of patient endurance and hard and persistent work, interspersed with bright oases of happiness and gladness and joy, as well as weary barren wastes of loneliness, isolation, unhappiness, and melancholy. I believe I have discharged—I know I have tried to do so—every duty faithfully and conscientiously. It had been a sort of bittersweet experience, this experimental life of mine at West Point. It was almost over, and whatever of pure sweetness, whatever of happiness, or whatever reward fortune had in store for me, was soon to become known.—Henry Ossian Flipper, the Colored Cadet at West Point

Henry Ossian Flipper was the first black man to graduate from the United States Military Academy at West Point. He did so on this date in 1877. He had been born a slave twenty-one years before that. He was commissioned a second lieutenant in the Buffalo Soldiers. While he had troubles and faced prejudice, he went on to a long professional career in various capacities with governments and as an engineer. He was also an author, writing his first book the year after graduation while at Fort Sill.

The prejudice he faced was a mountain compared to the molehills of prejudice faced by people in the United States today.

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  1. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    What black people do you look up to?

    As for me, the first two who come to mind are both economists: Thomas Sowell and Walter E. Williams.

    • #1
  2. Saint Augustine Member
    Saint Augustine
    @SaintAugustine

    Arahant (View Comment):

    As for me, the first two who come to mind are both economists: Thomas Sowell and Walter E. Williams.

    Clarence Thomas.

    Pastor Dhliwayo of happy memory, in Zimbabwe.

    • #2
  3. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    “First” is technically incorrect. His action was the earliest. The rest of it was correct.

    • #3
  4. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    I would add Shelby Steele and Ben Carson to the list. And Jason Riley and Booker T. Washington

    • #4
  5. Stad Coolidge
    Stad
    @Stad

    Arahant (View Comment):

    What black people do you look up to?

    As for me, the first two who come to mind are both economists: Thomas Sowell and Walter E. Williams.

    Add Clarence Thomas and you have a trifecta . . .

    • #5
  6. MeandurΦ Member
    MeandurΦ
    @DeanMurphy

    Arahant (View Comment):

    What black people do you look up to?

    As for me, the first two who come to mind are both economists: Thomas Sowell and Walter E. Williams.

    Rev. Dr. MLK Jr.   (remember the “Reverend”)

    Jesse Lee Peterson

     

    • #6
  7. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    Stad (View Comment):
    Add Clarence Thomas and you have a trifecta . . .

    A good one indeed.

    • #7
  8. Richard Fulmer Inactive
    Richard Fulmer
    @RichardFulmer

    Arahant: The prejudice he faced was a mountain compared to the molehills of prejudice faced by people in the United States today.

    I’m pretty sure this counts as a micro-aggression.  Flipper didn’t have to deal with triggering statements by university professors and the constant threat that some rabid conservative student group might invite Clarence Thomas to give a lecture on or near campus.

    • #8
  9. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    Richard Fulmer (View Comment):

    Arahant: The prejudice he faced was a mountain compared to the molehills of prejudice faced by people in the United States today.

    I’m pretty sure this counts as a micro-aggression. Flipper didn’t have to deal with triggering statements by university professors and the constant threat that some rabid conservative student group might invite Clarence Thomas to give a lecture on or near campus.

    I’ll spot you the Clarence Thomas, especially since there were no black justices of the Supreme Court at that time. But I would bet he had to put up with macro-aggressions from both his professors and fellow cadets. Forget the micro stuff.

    • #9
  10. Jim McConnell Member
    Jim McConnell
    @JimMcConnell

    Arahant (View Comment):

    What black people do you look up to?

    As for me, the first two who come to mind are both economists: Thomas Sowell and Walter E. Williams.

    Clarence Thomas would top my list.

    • #10
  11. Judge Mental Member
    Judge Mental
    @JudgeMental

    Wilt Chamberlain.

    • #11
  12. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    Jim McConnell (View Comment):

    Clarence Thomas would top my list.

    I hear that he is pretty much a regular guy. I remember reading the report of a gent who had wound up sitting next to him on a plane, and they talked about college football.

    • #12
  13. Richard Fulmer Inactive
    Richard Fulmer
    @RichardFulmer

    Arahant (View Comment):

    Richard Fulmer (View Comment):

    Arahant: The prejudice he faced was a mountain compared to the molehills of prejudice faced by people in the United States today.

    I’m pretty sure this counts as a micro-aggression. Flipper didn’t have to deal with triggering statements by university professors and the constant threat that some rabid conservative student group might invite Clarence Thomas to give a lecture on or near campus.

    I’ll spot you the Clarence Thomas, especially since there were no black justices of the Supreme Court at that time. But I would bet he had to put up with macro-aggressions from both his professors and fellow cadets. Forget the micro stuff.

    You just don’t get it.  You will be sent to a re-education camp until you understand the unique oppressive nature of today’s America.

    • #13
  14. PHCheese Inactive
    PHCheese
    @PHCheese

    Bud Goolsby. He was a black entrepreneur in the town were I first had my business, Carnegie Pa. He managed three or four business at the same time hiring mostly other blacks. Bud would cross the street to shake hands and say hello always with a smile on his face.

    • #14
  15. Instugator Thatcher
    Instugator
    @Instugator

    Earliest, specific black hero of mine – Benjamin O Davis, Jr.

    It wasn’t because of his role as one of the Tuskegee Airmen. He became my hero when I learned he had endured 4 years at West Point in effective solitary confinement. I was a cadet at USAFA at the time and that knowledge made a distinct impression on me. I could not comprehend how he had done it. The exploits of the Tuskegee Airmen were icing on the cake. One of my prized possessions is a print of the Red Tailed Angels with the signatures of 5 original Tuskegee Airmen, including his. 

    Harriet Tubman, Booker T Washington, George Washington Carver round out my heroes list.

    If you haven’t seen Harriet, you are missing something special.

    • #15
  16. Some Call Me ...Tim Coolidge
    Some Call Me ...Tim
    @SomeCallMeTim

    Col. Aaron Butler USMC (ret) – an exemplary Marine and a great gentleman.  He was my wife’s CO and helped me through a tough time.  

    • #16
  17. Sisyphus (hears Xi laughing) Member
    Sisyphus (hears Xi laughing)
    @Sisyphus

    Frederick Douglas

    • #17
  18. Sisyphus (hears Xi laughing) Member
    Sisyphus (hears Xi laughing)
    @Sisyphus

    Instugator (View Comment):
    If you haven’t seen Harriet, you are missing something special.

    Love the movie. After seeing it I checked the biographies to see what kind of liberties they took. All I found were disjoint anecdotes, some of which did shape story, but they cobbled together a good story nonetheless. She gets some action hero treatment, but she was a real hero so I enjoyed it as rollicking good myth. The actress is perfect, not one of these bony fashion models in armor like in Themyscira.

    • #18
  19. JosePluma Thatcher
    JosePluma
    @JosePluma

    Judge Mental (View Comment):

    Wilt Chamberlain.

    I see what you did there.

    • #19
  20. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    JosePluma (View Comment):

    Judge Mental (View Comment):

    Wilt Chamberlain.

    I see what you did there.

    So did I, but I tried not to encourage him by commenting on it. 😁

    • #20
  21. Mim526 Member
    Mim526
    @Mim526

    Arahant (View Comment):

    What black people do you look up to?

    As for me, the first two who come to mind are both economists: Thomas Sowell and Walter E. Williams.

    Black athletes owe a massive debt to Jesse Owens (won 4 gold medals in Adolf Hitler’s 1936 Munich Olympics) and Jackie Robinson (broke Major League color barrier) I think. 

    I remember watching baseball with my grandpa.  He greatly admired Atlanta’s Hank Aaron, and cheered when Hank broke Babe Ruth’s home run record (without aid of drugs/performance enhancers).  It later came out the death threats were so numerous and vile his mother threw herself at him on the field and hung on to make herself a target.

     

    Next to these men, guys like take-a-knee Kaepernick are little boys.

    • #21
  22. Instugator Thatcher
    Instugator
    @Instugator

    Mim526 (View Comment):
    Next to these men, guys like take-a-knee Kaepernick are little boys.

    Don’t go misgendering them, I am sure there is a little girl in there too.

    • #22