Page 1

The Men of the Tenth Inc.


The
Men
of
the
Tenth
Inc.



February
2012



Black
History
 2


Poem



3


The
life
story
of
 Benjamin
 Banneker.


J.
C.
Gaston
defines
 what
it
means
to
be
 cool.



Obama


5


President
Obama
 reflects
on
how
 reading
black
history
 affected
him.



Segregation Must Die Let’s
not
fool
ourselves,
we
 haven’t
reached
the
 promised
land,
North
or
 South.
We
still
confront
 segregation
in
the
South
in
 its
glaring
and
conspicuous
 forms.

We
still
confront
it
in
 the
North
in
its
subtle
and
 hidden
forms.
Segregation
is


still
a
fact.
Now
it
might
be
 true
that
old
man
 segregation
is
on
its
 deathbed.
But
history
had
 proven
that
social
systems
 have
a
great
last
–minute
 breathing
power.
And
the
 guardians
of
the
status‐quo
 are
always
on
hand
with


their
oxygen
tents
to
keep
 the
old
order
alive.

 (Excerpt
from
The
Autobiography
of
 Martin
Luther
King,
Jr.,
1998)



The
Men
of
the
Tenth
Inc.



February
2012


Benjamin Banneker 1731‐1806


Benjamin
Banneker
was
a
self‐taught
 mathematician,
outstanding
 astronomer,
author
of
almanacs,
 surveyor,
humanitarian
and
investor.
He
 was
born
near
Baltimore,
Maryland,
in
 1731;
he
was
the
only
child
of
a
free
 mulatto
mother
and
African
father,
who
 purchased
his
own
freedom
from
 slavery.
Banneker
lived
all
of
his
life
on
 his
parent’s
farm
on
the
Patapsco
River
 in
Baltimore
County.
Young
Benjamin
 attended
integrated
private
schools;
he
 obtained
an
eighth
grade
education
by
 age
15,
and
excelled
in
mathematics.
He
 took
over
his
parents’
farm
and
became
 an
excellent
farmer.

 Josef
Levi,
a
traveling
salesman,
showed
 Banneker
a
pocket
watch,
something
he
 had
never
seen
before.
He
became
so
 fascinated
over
the
watch
that
Levi
gave
 it
to
him.
He
took
the
watch
home
and
 spent
days
taking
it
apart
and
putting
it
 back
together.
In
1753,
using
the
watch
 as
a
model,
Banneker
produced
the
first
 wooden
clock
ever
built
in
the
United
 States.
It
was
made
entirely
of
wood,
 and
each
gear
was
carved
by
hand.
His
 clock
kept
perfect
time,
striking
every
 hour,
for
more
than
forty
years.
News
of
 the
clock
created
such
a
sensation
that


2
 


people
came
from
all
over
to
see
it,
and
 the
genius
who
made
it.



other
Federal
buildings.
When
the
chairman
 of
the
civil
engineering
team,
Major
 L’Enfant,
abruptly
resigned
and
returned
to
 France
with
the
plans,
Banneker’s
 photographic
memory
enabled
him
to
 reproduce
them
in
their
entirety.
 Washington,
D.
C.,
with
its
grand
avenues
 and
buildings,
was
completed
and
stands
 today
as
a
monument
to
Banneker’s
 genius.



During
the
revolutionary
war
period,
 George
Ellicot,
a
neighbor,
introduced
 Banneker
to
the
science
of
astronomy,
 which
he
rapidly
mastered.
His
aptitude
 in
mathematics
and
knowledge
of
 astronomy
enabled
him
to
predict
the
 solar
eclipse
that
took
place
on
April
14,
 1789.
In
1792,
Banneker
began
publishing
 an
almanac
that
was
widely
read
and
 Banneker’s
preoccupation
with
scientific
 became
the
main
reference
for
farmers
 matters
in
no
way
diminished
his
concern
 in
the
Mid‐Atlantic
states.
It
offered
 for
the
plights
of
Blacks.
In
a
twelve‐page
 weather
data,
recipes,
medical
remedies,

 letter
to
Thomas
Jefferson,
he
refuted
the
 poems
and
anti‐slavery
essays.
This
 statement
that
“Blacks
were
inferior
to
 almanac
was
the
first
scientific
book
 Whites.”
Jefferson
changed
his
position
 written
by
a
Black
American
and
it
was
 and,
as
a
testimonial,
sent
a
copy
of
 published
annually
for
more
than
a
 Banneker’s
almanac
to
the
French
Academy


 decade.

 of
Science
in
Paris.
Another
was
used
in
 Britain’s
House
of
Commons
to
support
an
 Banneker’s
major
reputation
stems
from
 argument
for
the
education
of
Blacks.
 his
service
as
a
surveyor
on
the
six‐man
 Banneker
was
living
proof
that
“the
 team
which
helped
design
the
blueprints


 strength
of
mind
is
no
way
connect
with
 for
Washington,
D.C.
President
 the
color
of
the
skin.”

 Washington
had
appointed
Banneker,
 making
him
the
first
Black
presidential
 Banneker
died
on
October
25,
1806,
 appointee
in
the
United
States.
 wrapped
in
a
blanket
observing
he
stars
 Banneker
helped
in
selecting
the
sites
 through
his
telescope.
 for
the
U.S.
Capitol
building,
the
U.S.
 Treasury
building,
the
White
House
and



The
Men
of
the
Tenth
Inc.



February

2012
 792

I’m Was Cool By: J. C. Gaston

They
said
the
doors
of
opportunity
were
 closing
fast,
and
all
the
signs
said
that
the
good
 times
weren’t
going
to
last,
but
that
didn’t
 bother
me,
Because
I
was
cool.

 My
teachers
kept
trying
to
get
me
to
learn
 read’n,
writ’n
and
math,
talking
about
you
need
 that
stuff
to
make
it
down
life’s
paths.
But
I
just
 looked
at
them,
and
laughed.
I
said,
“
Ya’ll
 might
need
to
know
that
stuff,
but
not
me,
 because
I’m
cool.”
 Them
teachers
was
always
getting
on
my
case,
 and
I
told
them
I
knew
that
it
was
because
of
 my
race.
They
just
couldn’t
deal
with
me,
 because
they
was
square,
and
I
was
cool.



I
use
to
be
so
clean
everybody
would
stop
and
 stare,
cause
I
was
looking
good
with
my
curl
free
 on
my
hair.
Hey,
if
you’ve
got
it,
you’ve
got
it,
and
 I
knew
I
was
cool
and
looking
good.
I
didn’t
learn
 nothing
in
school,
but
they
still
let
me
pass.
I
was
 sho
gett’n
ova,
even
if
I
was
at
the
bottom
of
my
 class.
But
they
still
let
me
grad‐u‐ate
from
high
 school.
I
definitely
got
ova!
But
you
can
do
that
 when
you’re
cool.

 After
grad‐u‐ation
I
got
clean
and
went
to
look
for
 me
a
job.
I
knew
I
was
going
to
make
me
some
 long
bread,
buy
me
a
new
ride,
and
stay
clean
and
 cool
everyday!
I
was
definitely,
going
to
have
 everything
my
way!
But
trying
to
read
them
job
 applications
was
far
from
a
charm,
and
I
told
the
 dude
at
the
employment
office
I
couldn’t
write
 3



The
Men
of
the
Tenth
Inc.



February
2012


(Continued)
 too
good,
cause
I’d
hurt
my
arm.
But
the
look
on
his
face
told
me
that
he
 didn’t
really
believe
that,
and
the
dude
wasn’t
hardly
impressed
by
my
 bad
new
hat.

 Well
to
make
a
long
story
short,
I
finally
got
me
a
job,
but
I
don’t
get
 much
pay,
and
from
the
way
things
look
its
always
gonna
be
that
way.
I
 didn’t
learn
much
in
school,
and
you
sure
don’t
get
paid
much
when
all
 you
can
do
is
be
cool.
 If
I
could
go
back
to
school
I’d
learn
all
I
could,
and
everytime
I
talk
to
 other
brothers
I
tell
them
they
should.
I
realize
now
that
my
future’s
not
 to
bright,
and
without
education
it’s
kinda
hard
to
make
things
right.

 “Make
black
history
every
 day,
I
don’t
need
a
month.”
 ‐Kanye
West
 from
Brand
New

 This
quote
from
Kanye
West
is
one
 of
my
favorites.
His
words
are
 motivational;
they
encourage
me
to
 become
a
history
maker,
a
leader,
 historic,
and
relentless
towards
 achieving
my
dreams.
Today,
boys
 and
girls
need
to
know
that
every
 day
there
are
black
people
in
our
 society
trying
to
implement
change
 by
follow
the
steps
of
their
 ancestors.
This
quote
is
important
 because
black
history
has
been
 diluted,
hidden,
and
altered;
it
is
 our
obligation
to
make
sure
that
we
 work
hard
to
continue
creating
 history.
In
addition,
Kanye’s
quote
 suggests
we
should
celebrate
the
 leaders
before
us
throughout
the
 year
instead
of
for
a
month.
Black
 history
is
not
just
black
people’s
 history
it’s
America’s
history.

 Therefore,
we
should
cherish
it
 every
day.



4
 


You
know
now
that
I
think
about
it,
maybe
some
of
those
teachers
that
I
 thought
was
getting
on
my
case,
were
actually
trying
to
help
me
in
the
 education
race.
Its
sure
hurts
when
I
realize
that
with
my
abilities,
I
 could
have
been
anything
that
I
wanted
to
be,
if
I
had
applied
myself
in
 school.

 But
instead
of
learning
all
I
could
in
school,
I
spent
most
of
my
time,
 sitting
in
the
back
of
the
room,
looking
good,
and
being
cool.




J.
C.
Gaston’s
message
is
simply,
forget
being
cool;
 be
smart.



The
Men
of
the
Tenth
Inc.



February
2012



How Black History Helped President Obama I
gathered
up
books
from
the
library‐
Baldwin,
 Ellison,
Hughes,
Wright,
Dubois.
At
night
I
would
 close
the
door
to
my
room,
telling
my
 grandparents
I
had
homework
to
do,
and
there
I
 would
sit
and
wrestle
with
words,
locked
in
 suddenly
desperate
argument,
trying
to
reconcile
 the
world
as
I’d
found
it
with
the
terms
of
my
birth.


Only
Malcolm
X’s
autobiography
seemed
to
offer
 something
different.
His
repeated
acts
of
self‐ creation
spoke
to
me;
the
blunt
poetry
of
his
 words,
his
unadorned
insistence
on
respect,
 promised
a
new
uncompromising
order,
martial
in
 its
discipline,
forged
through
sheer
force
of
will.

 
 (Excerpt
from
Dreams
from
My
Father,
2004)


The
Men
of
the
Tenth
Inc.

 750
Faile
Street
Suite
2E
 Bronx,
New
York
10474
 www.themenofthetenth.org


February 2012  

The Men of the Tenth Inc.

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