Michelle Alexander, attorney and celebrated author of The New Jim Crow, wrote a provocative article recently – Why Hillary Clinton Doesn’t Deserve the Black Vote. This week, she shared a post on Facebook explaining why she’s not going to continue belaboring the Hillary v. Bernie argument. This is a lady who really knows how to elevate important issues above the noise and the point she makes is an excellent one: no matter what happens in the external world of politics, each of us needs to busy ourselves with the hard work of improving society. Ms. Alexander writes:
John Cummings founded the Whitney Plantation to educate the country about our national legacy of slavery and has spent $8 million over 15 years on this project. He says, “This isn’t black history, this is American history .. it was very shocking to me that I didn’t know about slavery … I had no idea of how deprived they were, not by force of circumstance, but by deliberate planning … We’re not finished.”
The museum and memorial’s Director of Research, Ibrahima Seck, says today, “People need to understand what happened on these plantations … why so many people are in jail, so much poverty, black people being shot and killed like game. All that is rooted in slavery.”
Maralee Bradley is the white mother of a rainbow coalition of 6 children, including adopted 9 year old son Josh, born in Liberia. Worried about Josh after the decision not to indict Tamir Rice’s killer cop, Maralee published an Essay on her blog “To the White Parents of My Black Son’s Friends” that went viral and got 600,000 views on its first day.
I Mix What I Like shares a compendium of studies, articles and other resources to prove the case that Black “(and by extension all other)” buying power is a myth:
…“power” is not derived from consumption. Instead, “power” as was once famously said, is derived from controlling the “means of production.” (Reports that say differently) pervert economic reality and the very structural, predetermined nature of poverty.
Dr. Jared Ball shows the fallacies in the myths that the big boys are ready to give up their land claims to individual homeowners; that buying on credit is equivalent to owning anything other than debt; and that 99% community members prefer to squander our money on “trinkets” rather than make significant purchases. Dr. Ball shares evidence from credible sources showing that none of this is true.
Many good historical examples in this New American article hint at a plausible reason for us having such a great proliferation of guns in the United States and for open carry laws that are clearly meant to be used by whites but never blacks. Historical fact shows that American political authorities clearly never intended for blacks to be authorized to own or carry guns and over many decades, laws specifically barring ethnic minority individuals (like blacks, Irish and Scots) from ownership were put in place. When black people attained full citizenship and voting rights, the strategy of barring them from gun ownership didn’t work any more. Is that when whites changed to a strategy of stockpiling such huge arsenals of personal firearms that they can outgun all other owners?
In the middle of Central Park between 82nd and 89th Streets, heading east from its Western border on Central Park West, sat a village in 1825 with a population of about 300 mostly free Blacks. Cynthia Copeland of the Institute for the Exploration of Seneca Village History spoke to NPR about the smear campaign the press ran against the villagers in order to
…help justify destroying people’s homes and cemeteries, using eminent domain to make way for what would become the most visited city park in the country. The village was leveled in 1857, the same year construction began on Central Park.
A tragedy of epic proportions will unfold in the Dominican Republic this week (15 June 2015), unless a miracle happens. Yet around the globe politicians, clergymen, public figures and We The People are by and large, not talking about it.
Friends, let us pray for Haiti. Let us talk about the plight of people on Haitian descent on both countries in the island of Hispaniola: God, please deliver the people of Haiti and those of Haitian descent who have been living in the Dominican Republic. Keep these people well! Bless them with good food, comfortable shelter and the means to rebuild their lives and make Haiti a strong and proud nation once again.
Strange Fruit, the haunting song made famous by Billy Holiday and named the Song of the Century by Time magazine in 1999, is a fearsome ballad about Black people hung from trees after lynching. An interesting little known fact about this song is that its author was Abel Meerpol, a Jewish man from the Bronx.
Michael Twitty (@koshersoul) is a fascinating man I would love to share a Pesach (Passover) seder with. We could trade stories – Michael, of what being a Black Jew celebrity chef is all about … while I would tell about running my mother’s Chinese takeaway restaurant and Asian grocery store in downtown Tel Aviv. From her hospital bed, Mom said if I kept alive the business she loved so much, she felt she could win the battle to regain her health. Whatever I did or didn’t do, those who loved that vivacious wonder enjoyed Mom’s company for almost another decade after that. Mom was Israeli and my Dad is Chinese.
In honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, the Museum of Fine Arts Boston is exhibiting a striking collection of Gordon Parks photographs that Life commissioned, but never ran. In its article What It Was Like to Be Black in 1950s America Slate writer Jordan G. Teicher tells us:
Gordon Parks hadn’t been to his hometown, Fort Scott, Kansas, in more than 20 years when he returned there in 1950 as a photojournalist on assignment for Life magazine. Growing up as the youngest of 15 children, Parks attended the Plaza School, an all-black grade school in the heavily segregated town. Now, as the first black man hired full-time by the magazine, Parks wanted to find and photograph all 11 of his classmates from grade school as a way of measuring the impact of school segregation. The photo essay he created, which was never published, is on display at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston in the exhibition, “Gordon Parks: Back to Fort Scott,” beginning Jan. 17.
I almost didn’t read this, as I don’t have such a big interest in how women transition into being men and vice-versa but I’m glad I did, because that’s not what this article talks about. It’s about the experience of being a black man in the US on the queer spectrum … the experience of being a black trans-gender man … the family and sociological ramifications of becoming a transgender person and the experience of being a black man in America today amidst all the social unrest, told from the perspective of a person who chose to be a man.
A report published on 12 December 2013 with data obtained by the Fair Share Housing Center (FSHC) raises serious questions about whether the Sandy relief programs have operated in an equitable and transparent manner. The reports, obtained through litigation with the Christie Administration and reviewed by the NAACP and Latino Action Network show that Latinos and African Americans have been rejected by the State at much higher rates than Caucasians for both Resettlement and RREM programs, which are the two major programs designed to provide funds for homeowners impacted by Sandy.
Police in Santa Ana, California have killed five unarmed residents this year. Some residents wonder if this is part of a political strategy to create an environment which discourages people from fighting against being run out of their homes and off their land.
Concerns about Santa Ana corruption are more widespread than just shooting the public. Mark Burcaw reported illegal citations issued by the Santa Ana Police Department for the purpose of illegally seizing property.
This writer has been informed by other residents about land grab schemes within the city. People who want other people’s property reportedly have city officials misuse their positions to cite the property for bogus violations for the purpose of later condemning and stealing the desired property. The city has been known to turn off the water of residents and then cite them for not having water as part of this seemingly continuous scheme of corruption. The information provided by residents appears to confirm that Mr. Burcaw’s complaints are common place in Santa Ana.
I love Principal Kafele‘s positive approach to solving today’s educational issues. He also shares great advice on personal achievement. This 11 minute video is an excellent sample of his practical approach for achievement and success.
Principal Kafele counsels:
If you see in your mind’s eye what you’re striving to achieve, the chances increase exponentially that your vision will become your reality … Everything starts with an idea. From the idea we create a goal – we devise a plan – we become firm in our purpose – we embark on a mission – a mission that is vision oriented. What we are going to achieve … (is) already locked into our mind’s eye …
If you think the Romney/GOP election tactics seem like a racist ploy to intentionally block Latino and Black people from voting, you’re not crazy. Spend 4 minute watching this video from Van Jones’ Rebuild the American Dream team to see the dots neatly connected. It proves that this sad fact is true. God help America.
Fight by helping everyone you know that plans to vote for a fair America and President Obama to get their identification documents ready so they can’t be turned away at the polls. Inform yourself about your rights as a voter. Write to your elected officials and urge them to fight for American justice, fairness and the upholding of the one person, one vote system. Ask them to work hard to get big money out of general elections once and for all. And vote! Remember, New Jersey and some other states allow early voting and vote by mail.