The Capitol Siege in Historical Perspective

by Hettie V. Williams, PhD

A majority of white voters across every demographic including gender, age and class voted for Donald J. Trump in two presidential elections. He is their king. According to the Pew Research Center, an estimated 58 percent of all white voters selected Trump in 2016 (31 percent voted for Hillary), and more than 50 percent voted to reelect Trump in 2020. He is their white king. I wrote about white racial anxiety a few years ago in a Huffington Post article suggesting that this anxiety will only increase as the nation becomes characteristically more ethnically diverse

This poem is for my Mom Gloria and her sister Ann who died hours apart in April, 2020.

By Hettie V. Williams

i want to say

their names: Gloria and Ann

while sorrow seeps from my veins

and memories march into my brain

on yet another sleepless night.

cancer conquered Mommy on April 8.

Aunt Ann died of the virus,

and a broken heart, the next day.

both daughters of Vonciel

the granddaughter of a slave

who survives them in her old age.

A Poem for George Floyd

By Hettie V. Williams

This land is my land more than

It is yours, my people been here

Since the eighteenth century

By way of the Middle Passage.

Get your knee off my neck.

You looted my ancestors from Africa.

They toiled in the cotton fields, planted rice

Were Patriots and Loyalists in 1776

And built your White House soon after.

Get your knee off my neck.

Nat Turner rebelled in 1831

Many whites were felled

So, they had the father of the

Black nation hanged, drawn and quartered.

Get your knee off my neck.

I am Nat Turner. And you are the descendant of looters.

By Hettie V. Williams

I have known unimaginable grief in the last few weeks having lost three family members in less than two months (including both parents and one of my Aunts); but, the death of my Mom Gloria, on April 8 of this year, is the greatest loss I have ever experienced. Mom died after a short but valiant battle with a rare form of endometrial cancer. She was always a fighter but this diabolical disease won in the end. Mommy was my best friend, confidant, and closest advisor. I spoke to her nearly every day of my 17,983…

By Hettie V. Williams

My Dad Freddie G. Williams, Sr. died, of complications associated with cancer, on the morning of March 22, 2020 at his home in Monmouth Junction, New Jersey amid the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic. He was my hero, and I loved him deeply, though our relationship was complex and, at times, complicated. Daddy knew that I was always his little girl — and a bit of a brat! Dad also led an adventurous life and I have always thought of him as a Renaissance man in that he had many jobs/professions. He was a brilliant thinker…

By Hettie V. Williams

Diseases have a history. Everything has a history. There are some historical parallels between the Spanish Flu of 1918 and the 2020 coronavirus (COVID-19). Though a word of caution is necessary here: these two pandemics are not the same thing; and, the public should be mindful of this fact. That said, my interest here is in illustrating the importance of history as a tool for understanding society, culture, and the politics of disaster. History might be used to inform the present if we consider the comparative story of the Spanish Flu of 1918 and COVID-19. This…

By Hettie V. Williams

Bernie Sanders has a problem with black voters. This has been abundantly noticeable in his various attempts to seek the office of president of the United States (U.S.). Bernie lost black voters in 2016 and he lost them again on super Tuesday in 2020. His lack of success with African American voters is a reoccurring theme in his political odyssey. Most recently, he chose not to attend the 55th anniversary of the Bloody Sunday March in Selma, Alabama gathering on the Edmund Pettus Bridge choosing instead to campaign in California. Bernie is, seemingly, no different from…

By Hettie V. Williams

New Jersey’s black professional class was uniquely positioned to exact collective changes in civil rights, at the state level, that were far greater than the reforms gained in any other state at the time. In other words, the black elite and professional class in New Jersey constituted a distinctly positioned local vanguard of civil rights reform from the Progressive Era to the emergence of the mass movement for civil rights in 1954. This is represented in the historic concessions secured in civil rights reform at the state level during the early black freedom struggle in New…

Black voters know they cannot afford to waste time behaving like naval gazing idealists while Donald J. Trump remains in office. Trump’s racially motivated policies are an existential threat to Black humanity. Democracy in Color, a political organization concerned with race in politics, has documented 200 instances of racism committed by the Trump administration. …

By Hettie V. Williams

Cardi B is a Flapper. A twenty-first century Flapper. She’s among many young women entertainers — women such as Beyonce′, Lady Gaga, and now Cardi, who have challenged traditional gender norms in their art as a bid for self-affirmation and human freedom. In her music, Cardi, a social media star and rapper, has made women’s economic and sexual autonomy noticeable themes. She is poignantly outspoken and her personal biography is etched into the lyrics of her songs such as the case with “Bodak Yellow”:

I don’t dance now

I don’t gotta dance

I make money moves

Dr. Hettie V. Williams

Hettie V. Williams is currently an Assistant Professor of African American History at Monmouth University. She is the author/editor of five books.

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