A Strange Fruit | Let’s Reinvent America


reinvent america

 “Hatred is the poison that kills the hater from within.” – Dr. James Cameron

It’s time to Reinvent America

America and black people have a long history. Some would call it love/hate. I think it’s time to reinvent America in OUR image. The true American dream. Conflict is a good thing. The very nature of conflict helps to reinvent.

Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines Reinvent as a transitive verb meaning to: 1: to make as if for the first time something already invented. I’m not going to reinvent the wheel. 2: to remake or redo completely; 3:to bring into use again. In this instance, I am referring to all uses listed of this transitive verb.

Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines Conflict as: : 1. fight, battle, war an armed conflict; 2a : competitive or opposing action of incompatibles : antagonistic state or action (as of divergent ideas, interests, or persons) a conflict of principles, 2b: mental struggle resulting from incompatible or opposing needs, drives, wishes, or external or internal demands. His conscience was in conflict with his duty. ; 3: the opposition of persons or forces that gives rise to the dramatic action in a drama or fiction. The conflict in the play is between the king and the archbishop. In this instance, I am referring to the second usage listed of this transitive verb. 

A lynching kicked off the a push to Reinvent America of the 20th Century. Protest. Effective. In the 20th Century, protest took on many different forms. There was Ida B. Wells then the Harlem Renaissance, then war. In a place like America, everything changes in America. Change always means conflict. It is what it is, that’s the American way. Does racial conflict mean chaos or community growth?

Saved from the lynching. On to create peace.

Thomas Shipp and Abram Smith were young African American teenagers who were lynched on August 7, 1930, in Marion, Indiana, after being taken from jail and beaten by a mob. They had been arrested that night as suspects in a robbery, murder and rape case. There was a third man, his name was James Cameron. He somehow managed to escape the lynching, and later was convicted as an accessory after the fact. For all intents and purposes, in the eyes of the people of the State of Indiana, James Cameron was a undesirable. A felon. A convict. Oddly enough, I’m a graduate of Indiana Wesleyan University also in Marion, Indiana.

Reinvent Indiana. Reinvent America.

James was just sixteen years old in 1930, when he and two other black teenagers were brutally lynched. James was saved. He was tried and convicted as an accessory to the murder that incited the lynching. He spent five years in prison. While there, he began writing the memoir, A Time of Terror: A Survivor’s Story, was the story of his life up to the age of twenty-one.

Later James Cameron went on to found the  museum of the African American Holocaust. I want a museum open. Here. In Indiana. Let’s Reinvent America.

A Time of Terror: A Survivor’s Story. A quest to reinvent America.

While Jimmie Cameron was in prison for the crime of??? Rather than find hate, the young man wrote his account of the lynching. Even though he was a teenager and in a maximum-security adult prison, he penned his traumatic experience and was able to forgive A talented storyteller, Cameron shows us the humor and horror of coming of age as a black child during the Jim Crow era. Populated by unforgettable characters both kind and cruel, A Time of Terror is a his story of anger and courage, forgiveness and redemption.

James Cameron, 92, who at 16 survived being lynched from a maple tree in Marion, Ind., and decades later was present when the U.S. Senate apologized for its failure to enact federal anti-lynching legislation, died June 11 of congestive heart failure at a hospital in Milwaukee.

Part of the reason I created this site was to let the world know, for this to be documented, somewhere, that America can be great.

If James Cameron believed we could reinvent America, then I believe we can as well.

You can only create growth with the sharing of new ideas. You can only hear new ideas with some sort of conflict. Conflict can be a healthy thing. How conflict is handled, shows maturity.

“While quiet in demeanor with a playful spirit, James Cameron was a force of nature and an unrelenting champion for civil rights. He overcame anger and hate as a young man, then dedicated his life to preserving and sharing African American history, eradicating racism and fulfilling the promise of America.” -The Honorable Gwen S. Moore, United States Congress, Wisconsin 4th District

Even after escaping the brutality of a lynching, James Cameron believed that we could reinvent America and make this country truly the great place it will be.