More than I can say, it is good to see other ethnicities join in the protests for racial justice, accountability and equality. I am glad that there are so many courageous and brave young people who would stand together against such injustice. It was novel to see elderly people march or stand for injustice and help peaceful protesters. It was just wonderful to see a 95-year old man walking in a peaceful protest.

It’s been a little more than 2 weeks and protests are still going on. People are protesting for changes that can happen without an act of congress. I applaud them all.

But there are others who say,  “All right. That’s enough now. We got it. Let’s get back to business as ———–”  Some might even say they wish thing could go back to the way it was. Never again, is what I say. Never again!

I hurt a bit when I saw a policeman ranting and raving about people vilifying them all. He made such valid point when he said that all police are not like the group who suffocated the life out of George Floyd. He said that most police when they saw it were disgusted and outraged as other citizens. I hurt for those who have had to bare the brunt of these critical times in our country because of heinous acts by a few law enforcement officers abusing their power. I saw so many law enforcement officers kneel and pay respect to all who died by police brutality and praying for better days and I cheered for them. Most police are not that way. I don’t believe that they are. It’s not fair to think it either. My thoughts are this: One bad apple can spoil a whole bushel. It is up to the good law enforcement people, whatever their race to show those bad apples that it won’t be tolerated. And that if they don’t heed the warnings, they will suffer consequences to the full extent of the law.

Also, the struggle has gone on for over 200 years and still African Americans and other people of color have had to endure the worst kinds of injustices because of our beautiful skin color. It’s been 401 years and we’re still trying to get justice for so much that was denied us from the time the first slave ships docked here in the U.S. Irreverent and ungodly acts not to mention lies and lynchings and rapes and beatings and destruction of our families and caricatures and stereotypes and inhuman acts and laws were leveled on us a  people in times past and sadly in 2020. It was the norm to hang black people, and just like in the roman arenas where spectators enjoyed watching men, women and children fed to the lions and never flinching at what happens to them, so some enjoy racism, which is a lion trying to devour us.

Post card displaying blacks hanging

Actual Postcard

Some may say that we’re going overboard with this thing. On the contrary we’ve not begun. What kind of human delights in this so much that it was a postcard?? An evil human who doesn’t realize that God is watching. My God in Heaven, help us!

No, there won’t be any ‘going back to normal’ ever again. Never!





I still see my father standing out on the porch of our home during the night one particular summer. He was quiet and just looking around. He normally had a cigarette smoking it. But this particular time he was just standing there sometimes with his hands on his hips, sometimes with his arms to his side, and sometime with his arms folded.  The neighbors, many of them were either standing on their porches or sitting on their porches. Sleep was a luxury for many of them, as the skies were filled with smoke and one could still see the smouldering light of fire in the night. Daddy was standing guard, without a gun in his hands. He along with the other neighbors were standing on their porches trying to watch over their families, as the city burned.  It was interesting that none of them spoke to each other. They just looked around filled with their own thoughts, prayers and fears.

Roy Lee Payne, Sr. aka Charlie Leroy Payne

My daddy grew up in Florida, the same place where they let the murderer of Trayvon Martin go, as if nothing happened. His family had a little land back then. He was born in 1921. His great grandmother was full blooded Cherokee. His mother, accepting her lot in life as a widow during those times, raised her family as best she could. She saw many of her children killed for no reason, other than being black; colored or negro were the terms used back then.

Though the negro was “freed” capitalism had to find a way to get cheap labor. Thus, jim crow and sharecropping belched up from the bellies of evil, sadistic men. That wasn’t enough though. It was common practice to take young preteen and teen ‘bucks’ and for whatever reason they were accused of, put them on the chain gang. My daddy was one of those teens who was on the chain gang.

He escaped somehow and just like his ancestors, made it up north to freedom only to be swallowed by another form of evil racism – economics. He never returned home except for twice, when his brother, Stephen was found hanging from a pole in front of the white man’s auto garage business. Stephen was about 16 years old. The last time he went back home, his mother had died, and he went back to bury her. That was in 1963.




I have a famous family member who I am proud of: His name is Jesse James Payne.

Jesse James Payne – my Uncle

Click his name above and see what’s said about my famous uncle, my father’s brother. It’s really good ‘reading.’  October 11, 1945 Uncle Jesse was killed like so many other black men during that time. He had the nerve to think he was a real man. How dare he. It didn’t matter that he served in the military of this country and then have a wife and daughter and try to live as humans ought to. Shame on him. The same scenario as what happened earlier this week in Central Park, a white woman said that my uncle tried to rape a little girl. You know the rest.

Evil in this country has always taken the form of godless, heartless, witless, cowardly and cruel racism. It hasn’t changed. My God, please help us!


As a 14-year-old looking out of the screen door at my father quietly standing on the porch watching the night, I was afraid. I didn’t quite understand what was going on during the summer of 1967, but we were right in the thick of it. I was afraid and couldn’t sleep.

More tomorrow.



Grandmother on her way to church.

Grandmother on her way to church.

Grandmother Lucy Payne

Hiding from the camera.








This is my dad’s mother, Lucy Ann Payne. One of my sisters is named after her. In the picture with her standing on her way to church, you can see Aunt Lucy Mae in the background. In the picture where she is hiding her face from the camera, that little boy is my older brother. (You’ll meet him, too). So this picture was from about 1950 or 1951.

If Aunt Lucy Mae was born in 1926 or 1927, my grandmother was born approximately 1897. Her husband’s name was Will Payne. I never saw even a picture of my grandfather. And oddly, I never met my grandmother in person before she died in 1963. I only have these pictures of her and what we learned that was passed down by word of mouth. A great woman, she was.

Go with me:

  • Her husband died in his early 40s.
  • She bore and raised at least 11 children
  • She buried many of her children
  • She was beaten by white men more than once
  • She was driven from her farm and land
  • She had to settle somewhere else in Florida so that she and her two children could live
  • She had memories of her dead sons hanging from the end of nooses
  • She never saw all of her grandchildren, just a few of them
  • She smiled in the picture above, anyway

A woman of strength is a formidable person to reckon with.

Also, the Scriptures say in Proverbs 31:30 “Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the Lord, she shall be praised.”

I honor you today Grandmother. More tomorrow



1505088_777278308954051_1202568272_n (1)

Uncle Amos Payne

This is my dad’s brother, Amos Payne. He is the only uncle that I knew and visited and loved until he passed away in 1998. He was the youngest boy in my dad’s family. I really loved being around him in those later years. He lived in Syracuse, NY with his sister. He was a navy man in his younger years.

Suffice it to say that my Uncle Amos was a lady’s man.

Even though I may have talked to him on the phone from time to time, it was on the occasion of a death in our family that my uncle came and visited us. That was the first time I remember seeing him. He has the distinction of being the first to introduce my 3-year old daughter, Erika to coffee. I came over my mom’s house after work because she baby sat Erika, and Uncle Amos and Erika were sitting at the table talking and drinking coffee, and eating KFC. He had his cup of coffee and Erika had her cup of coffee and they were chatting like two old people. I’ll never forget that.

Here’s a picture of one of his daughters, Cousin Fannie. I just love her and we talk on the phone about once a  month.


Cousin Fannie

As I’ve already said, my dad and his siblings all were born before the turn of the 20th Century and early into it. During that time my family owned land and it wasn’t looked upon ‘nicely’ at that time. They grew crops, even cotton. They were farmers and the land was fertile. It made people want that land. They didn’t sell their land to those “interested parties.”

Picture a night in the late 30s or early 40s when my young Uncle Amos grabbed his mom and younger sister and ran through the woods, scared and desperate to get away from those “interested parties” who wanted to kill them and take their land from them. Some of those “interested parties” wore white sheets. My family members got to the road and there was a bus coming. It stopped and let them on. My Uncle Amos pulled out his knife and put it to the driver’s throat and said, “Don’t stop ’til I tell ya to.” They made it off their farm with their lives.

Sadly, they never returned to their farm for fear of being killed. They settled in another part of Florida and lived. I am glad my Uncle Amos made it out with Grandma and Auntie. Otherwise, I might not have known him. More tomorrow.


I love history and the children of historic figures, whether well-known historic figures of rarely know historic figures. One woman, whom I loved and knew since my oldest child was just six months old, and who passed away 16 years ago at the age of 86 or 87 knew Civil War scout and freedom fighter Harriet Tubman when Ms. Tubman was an old woman. When I heard that, I began panting and my heart started beating faster. When she told me that I exclaimed, “You knew Harriet Tubman? WOW. ”


Harriet Tubman late in life

Family and friends are important. I want you to meet a member of my family. He was a historic figure, too. My dad’s brother. His name was Jesse James Payne. You can Google my uncle’s name and find out a lot more about him. You see he was lynched on October 11, 1945 in Madison, Florida.

Uncle Jesse my dad's brotherab

Uncle Jesse James Payne

I never knew Uncle Jesse personally. He along with my dad and his other siblings lived in Florida before the turn of the 20th century and early into it. As records were not kept well for anyone during those times, I suggest to you that my Uncle Jesse was born between 1915 and 1918. When he died he was between 20 and 30 years old. This is the only picture we have of him, too. I’m glad otherwise, like many other of his sisters and brothers we wouldn’t know anything about him.

He is a famous historical figure from those times because the Florida governor had to address the lynching of my uncle and of three other high-profile black men that year. Tourism was good in Florida. They didn’t want anything to happen to those revenues.

Out of 11 to 13 children that my grandparents had, I only knew of five of them, one being my dad. And I only had contact with three of them; one being my dad. I’m not angry, just sad that I never got a chance to meet Uncle Jesse, his wife or my cousin, his only child that I know of.

In this picture he looks a little like Dr. King, don’t you think. He has a noble face. More tomorrow.

Online reference: