Niagara Gazette


February 5, 2014

BRADBERRY: Secure the future, preserve our cultural heritage

Niagara Gazette — It’s just too dang cold and nasty to do much more than curl up with a good read; “Try Me”, as James Brown once crooned directly into the heads and hearts of anyone within listening distance:

A lanky, young “high yella colored boy” growing up in the working class, bitter cold winter, and sweltering summer, non-air-conditioned factory neighborhoods that used to ring the world-famous Niagara Falls, I always wondered how we black folks got here and why in the world we stayed.

Why, “In God’s name” would my dad, an intelligent, good natured man who got along with everyone, light enough in skin color, to “pass for white” choose in 1928, on purpose, with nobody forcing him to do so, leave Ray Charles’ moonlit Georgia pines and the warm bathing sunshine of Palm Beach for this bitter, cold-ass, but incredibly beautiful, God blessed and seemingly forsaken Niagara Falls?

I was young, but not too young to notice the difference between Florida’s weather, and THIS!

Why did my family live right on the Canadian border where the skies were permanently dark with factory smoke, where the gray, winter snow painted a dreary, frigid background against the grinding, screeching, pounding, banging belching of those sanctified factories?

Oh, yeah, and by the way, Dad, I wondered; why were there so many black men working in the most dangerous of those most dangerous of dangerous places?

I was old enough to ask questions, but too young to understand the honest answers; my parents did not want their children to know.

Neither did the Polish parents want their children to know, nor did the Irish, the Italians, nor the Jews; clumped together near the railroad tracks want their kids to know the whole, stinking truth; they kept their secrets to themselves, making it my job to unravel their contortions.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Featured Ads
House Ads
AP Video
Raw: Japanese Soldiers Storm Beach in Exercises Raw: Weapons Fire Hits UN School in Gaza Raw: Rocket Launches Into Space With Cargo Ship Broken Water Main Floods UCLA Two Women Narrowly Avoid Being Hit by Train In Virginia, the Rise of a New Space Coast New Sanctions on Key Sectors of Russian Economy Crayola Announces Family Attraction in Orlando US Ready to Slap New Sanctions on Russia Kerry: Not Worried About Israeli Criticism Boater Rescued From Edge of Kentucky Dam Girl Struck by Plane on Florida Beach Dies Rodents Rampant in Gardens Around Louvre House to Vote on Slimmed-down Bill for Border Looming Demand Could Undercut Flight Safety Raw: 2 Shells Hit Fuel Tank at Gaza Power Plant Raw: Massive Explosions From Airstrikes in Gaza Giant Ketchup Bottle Water Tower Up for Sale Easier Nuclear Construction Promises Fall Short Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue
House Ads
Night & Day
Twitter News
Follow us on twitter
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Front page