Dear Mr. Malonson:
In response to your article about Accountability:
You hit the nail on the head when you said, “With all of the odds stacked against them, simply because of the Color of their skin they were still able to accomplish more than many modern African-Americans can with all of the resources at their disposal”. You were speaking of our grandparents, great, and great-great grandparents. Especially our ancestors that walked away from those plantations not being able to read or write, and having to deal with does die hard white racist that did not want to let go of their racist ideals.
That generation of African-Americans accomplished more than any generation when it comes to acquiring assets. They do not get any credit, because we are always too busy patting our own self on the back for accomplishing what we believe is academic success, but our wages are still at the bottom of the totem pole when compared to every other major race of people in America.
Between 1865 and 1875 no race of people in the United States of America acquired more land than that group of freed slaves.
My proof comes from the Oil & Gas industry. Nobody has more historical information on land ownership especially minerals than the Oil & Gas Industry. They have to get a title examination by law before they drill, and they rarely get it wrong about ownership of the minerals.
This same industry delivered over 440,000 checks to the federal court as a settlement in court case MDL-1206 with our African-American ancestors on most of them. The court mailed them to the last known address of the recipients. Over 287,000 came back over 9 years ago and have not been claimed, because sad to say we do not even know our own ancestors’ names.
They left legacies but we do not have enough common sense to find out their names and reclaim millions of acres of mineral rights. Each check is an oil & gas check that came from the sale of that mineral on land that is still considered to be owned by our ancestors. The industry that has done more research on land ownership than any other industry.
The other races have picked up their checks and claimed their minerals. What are we waiting for? The gospel of truth says a knowledgeable person will see blessings in front of him and reach out and get them. An ignorant person will see his blessings in front of him and turn and walk away. Look in the mirror and ask yourself. Can I really be that ignorant? I have been in the oil & gas business for 47 years. I am the only Black person in the Library of Congress, and National Oil & Gas Museum History Book Black Gold.
Lee Perry, JVA