View from Here Inaugural Issue 1996

This image from “The Middle Passage,” a book by Tom Feelings, was on the cover of the first issue of Our Time Press, 25-years ago this month. The text excerpted at left appeared in the same issue.

They call February Black History Month. This is the time when African Americans are the subject of articles and discussions. The mass media will be setting the agenda as always. But OUR TIME PRESS listens to the beat of an older drum, one fashioned by our ancestors. Our drums tell a different story, about the past as well as the future.
Here we speak of Nat Turner and John Brown, not as religious fanatics, but as anti­terrorist task-force leaders. We stand before the purpose and determination of Harriet Tubman and pray that we may find some part of it in ourselves. We look at Walter White, attending Klan rallies, when discovery would have meant lynching. These are people with the courage of lions.
In these pages, you will meet men and women of today, many from Brooklyn, whose work and lives, serve to enhance us all
This is our time, and we should take a moment examine the road traveled, as we pull with our bootstraps to prepare for the road ahead.
For Africans-in-the-Americas, the last 500 years has not been a party. From the time we were captured in our homes in Africa, and shipped across the sea as cargo through the Middle Passage, to be enslaved as property and used to create wealth through­out the Americas. We were first enslaved in body, and then, over 400 years or so, many were enslaved in mind.
Those of us who have been left standing after this – the horrors of the Middle Passage – Holocaust of slavery, having escaped the prisons, the drugs, the white-collared criminals who buy us cheap when they buy us at all, those who have escaped, have not run very far. We can still hear the dogs. We have to keep moving. The Millennium is upon us. David Mark Greaves

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