Ernie Banks Mr. Cubs #14

Ernie Banks, Mr. Cub #14

Last week upon hearing of the death of Ernie Banks, my first thought was of my father Thomas E. Ankum. My father was a devout Cubs fan. But more than that, he was an Ernie Banks fan.

Whenever the Cubs were playing, he was right there in front of the TV or radio, watching or listening to the game. I don’t think my father ever had a chance, i.e. enough money, to attend a Cubs game but that never stopped him from talking about Ernie Banks. Matter-a-fact I don’t remember my father ever talking about any other sports player the way he talked about Ernie Banks.

While listening to Reverend Jackson eulogize Mr. Banks, I realized why. Like so many, I ignorantly thought that Ernie Banks had come along way after the desegregation of baseball and had been fortunate enough to miss all of that. But I was wrong.

What a great man he was, to have come through such a scaving experience and still be able to smile with his fellow man.

Also, Reverend Jackson, brought me to tears with his story about what happened to Mr. Banks when he wanted to honor his long time friend, Ron Santos. It took a strong man to handle that. I was therefore extremely encouraged to see Mr. Santos sons there to honor Mr. Ernie Banks.

Mr. Banks’ life reminded me of that poem by Kipling, ‘If’.

“If you can keep your wits about you while all others are losing theirs, and blaming you. The world will be yours and everything in it, what’s more, you’ll be a man, my son.’

Rudyard Kipling

A Tiny Kitten With A Big Mouth

Eliza D. Ankum








Strange Fruit

Strange Northern Fruit

Now that things have settled down some in Ferguson, Missouri, here is what I wanted to write about the Michael Brown shooting, but knew better. I can find no rational reason for pouring gasoline on an already existent fire.
However, with regards to Ferguson the following poem written by teacher Abel Meeropol and sang by Billy Holiday comes to mind.

Strange Fruit.
Southern trees bear strange fruit
Blood on the leaves
Blood at the root
Black bodies swinging in the southern breeze
Strange fruit hanging from the poplar trees
Pastoral scene of the gallant south
The bulging eyes and the twisted mouth
The scent of magnolia sweet and fresh
Then the sudden smell of burning flesh
Here is a fruit for the crows to pluck
for the rain to gather
for the wind to suck
for the sun to rot
for the tree to drop
Here is a strange and bitter crop

Oscar Grant
Trayvon Martin
Marlon Horton
Eric Garner
Michael Brown
John Crawford
Ezell Ford
Dante Parker
Roshad McIntosh

Sometimes it’s best to let tempers cool down so that we can see things rationally. And what I see is that the Police have a new way of thinking with regards to people.

Where they used to say, a white male or a black male, now the term is male white or male black as though they were referring to a deer or some other animal. And it makes me cringe every time I hear it. I think the first step in solving the problem of over aggressive Police is to change their terminology or language.

The second thing I saw, after I settling down and doing the research is that far more civilians are being killed by civilians than Police. And as you know if you’ve read STALKED! By Voices, I’m no fan of the Police. But the facts are facts.

In Chicago alone, there have been 1,292 shooting victims since January of this year. It seems that our Northern streets are truly beginning to bear a strange fruit as well. And it’s us who are planting the seeds.

We need to urge our school officials to make a change in the school curriculum. Forget teaching the three ‘R’, reading, writing, and arithmetic. Our schools urgent need courses such as Conflict Resolution, How To Deal With Authority – especially the Police, and Anger Management.


A Tiny Kitten With A Big Mouth

Eliza Ankum
Author of
Flight 404
Ruby Sanders
STALKED! By Voices
OneThreeThirteen (Available on Amazon, Nook, Kobo, and Goolge)

PS I happen to think that the officer involved in the Michael Brown shooting was having a bad day that he, unfortunately, decided to turn into the worst day of his life.

And to think all of that over a young man walking (home) in the street.  Obviously, he had never been exposed to Roosevelt Road on Chicago’s West Side where the Black folk make a game of walking in the street.


An Ode To God For His Kindness

Photo courtesy of


I will call on your name in the darkness!

I will call on your name in the mornings,
When I comb my hair
When I put on my coat
Going out of the door

I will say your name in the whispered softness of my mind
With each and every step down the road

I will think of you
As the crowd closes in around me in the rush of the day
I will think of you
You will be my comfort and my solace
I will think of you
As the cold gray of a winter’s day seeps into my soul
I will think of you
You will be my sunshine on a rainy day
You will be my warmth and my strength

I will think of you
As I return home at the end of the day
And hang my coat back upon the door
I will think of you

A Tiny Kitten With A Bit Mouth

Eliza Ankum
Author of
Flight 404
Ruby Sanders
Stalked! By Voices