The Bishop and the Butterfly: Murder, Politics, and the End of the Jazz Age

    Black History Month, February 1 to March 1

    Let's have a Good Month . . .

    Black History Month 2021: The only way forward is through, together


    President Gerald Ford officially recognized Black History Month in 1976, calling upon the public to “seize the opportunity to honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of Black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout our history.”


    Link to the Staff Video

    Then 2021 arrived with an attack on the U.S. Capitol six days in by “patriots” bent on murder and destruction largely because the November election – of President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris, the first Black person and first woman to hold that office – didn’t go their way.

    But as House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn notes in an exclusive essay for USA TODAY, this historical moment of chaos and confusion is not unfamiliar terrain. Last year was not without some victories, and 2021 is not without hope.

    In 1967, the beloved community Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. sought to build, seemingly buoyed by civil rights legislation, seemed further away than ever. Police brutality in Watts in Los Angeles exploded into rebellion just after the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and white backlash to integration seemed to threaten democracy itself. Young Black activists were at odds with their elders over who should lead the movement. 

    So King put the question to the people in the title of his last book, "Where Do We Go From Here? Chaos or Community?" This is the same question before us more than 50 years later.

    There is the promise of vaccines for COVID-19. There is excitement in the election of Biden and Harris. Presidents of historically Black colleges and universities are hoping for Biden’s support. Black women like Donna Brazile, political strategist for several Democratic presidents, and Black girls like Rep. Ilhan Omar’s daughter can’t wait for the inspiration Harris will bring.

    As King said in 1967 and Clyburn says today, we are at a crossroads. But as much as we want things to right themselves, we can’t rush the process. We can’t heal as a people, as a country, until we’ve taken time to examine everything that has so clearly gone wrong and allowed all voices to be heard.  

    Where do we go from here? The short answer: Forward. Through still-difficult times to the other, better side. There’s no going back to a “normal” that never worked that well for Black people anyway.  

    The only way forward is through.


    Nichelle Smith, USA TODAY
    -4:00 AM PST Feb. 1, 2021-





    We enter the year with a political party defeated in the Presidential election, but saying the election was rigged

    We have QAnon people elected to Congress

    We enter laughing at people who said fears of Trump supporters were overblown 

    We were told that we had Trump Derangement Syndrome

    Then we saw January 6th

    The battle that King fought goes on.

    Thr rats and roaches are no longer hiding.

    State legislators are trying to suppress democracy 

    The battle is out in the open.

    Forward we go.

    One of the great things that comes with Black History Month 2021

    A new administration 

    Ongoing fights for equality

    A continuous pool of books by Black authors and entertainment by and about Black people

    The memoir of Cicely Tyson out now and a book of poetry by Amanda Gorman later in the year.

    Even books by John McWhorter (not until 5/4/21) and Ibram X Kendi (2/2/21)

    Filmmaker John Ridley doing a series of Black superheroes for DC comics

    Shut in, but still celebrating the year


    Thanks for all your input...

    Ongoing fights for equality

    Don't overlook my comment over in...

    The Plan to Build a Capital for Black Capitalism


    President Joe Biden

    This February, during Black History Month, I call on the American people to honor the history and achievements of Black Americans and to reflect on the centuries of struggle that have brought us to this time of reckoning, redemption, and hope.  

    We have never fully lived up to the founding principles of this nation that all people are created equal and have the right to be treated equally throughout their lives.  We know that it is long past time to confront deep racial inequities and the systemic racism that continue to plague our nation.

    A knee to the neck of justice opened the eyes of millions of Americans and launched a summer of protest and stirred the nation’s conscience.

    Here's a person to honor...

    ...honor the history and achievements of Black Americans

    A Builder -- Built by Black History

    NASA Commercial Resupply Mission
    Northrop Grumman Katherine Johnson Bio



    A truly remarkable woman and hidden figure of history.

    Sometimes, when I list my reading tendencies, I am told that my reading is "limited"

    Some fail to see the beauty and the information stored in the books.

    Fortunately, at least for this period in time, more books about the Black experience are being produced.

    Released today

    Four Hundred Souls by Ibram X Kendi. 90 writers review the 400 year history of Blacks in the United Stats.

    The African Look Book 100 years of photography of African women

    Soul City about Floyd McKissick

    The Motherlode documenting the role of Black women in hip-hop

    Interesting interview with the author of the "African Lookbook"

    Countering the stereotypical National Geographic image of African women as savages

    From Netflix

    Amend: The Fight for America is a six-part docuseries that explores the Fourteenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution—which, in 1868, promised liberty and equal protection for all persons—as America’s most enduring hallmark of democracy. Amend deploys a groundbreaking narrative format featuring a number of luminaries (Mahershala Ali, Diane Lane, Samuel L. Jackson, Pedro Pascal, Yara Shahidi, and more) breathing life into speeches and writings by the Fourteenth Amendment’s most ardent advocates and foes (including Frederick Douglass, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and Andrew Johnson) with insights from an inclusive array of contemporary thought leaders and experts. Executive produced and hosted by Oscar-nominated actor Will Smith and Emmy-winning writer Larry Wilmore, Amend is a powerful, multimedia journey through American history that encourages viewers to question what a “United States” really means.

    Black female artists featured at museums this year

    This year, many shows will focus on work by Black female artists. The video above features six solo exhibitions debuting at museums across the country, and each represents a significant milestone for the artist.

    The Root spoke with Victoria Valentine, chief editor and founder of Culture Typean online platform described as “an essential resource focused on visual art from a black perspective.” Each year, they do an in-depth report on the year ahead in Black art. In the video, she shares what she believes are the must-see major exhibitions that are being led by Black female artists this year.

    I am reminded that Dr. Kizzmekia Corman played a role in developing the Moderna vaccine I received.

    Great references...

    Thanks so much for helping gather tremendous info.


    Slave labor and the Southern Railroads.

    On February 28, 1827, the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad became the first U.S. railway chartered for commercial transport of passengers and freight.

    Imagine America without railroads over the past 190+ years.

    How did railroads affect slavery? No... How was slavery used by southern railroads?

    Railroads bought and sold slaves with contracts and elaborate, printed bills of sale. They recorded these events in balance sheets and company account books. Railroads also developed forms for contracts to hire enslaved labor from slaveholders. University of Nebraska at Lincoln


    N.D. | Contract Slave sale receipt, blank

    A blank receipt for individual slaves from E.H. Stokes of Richmond, Virginia.

    About this Document

    • Citation: Library of Congress, Washington, D. C., Cornelius Chase Papers
    • Date: N.D.


    Bill of Sale for South Carolina Slaves, February 22, 1827

    This February 22, 1827 bill describes the sale of a dozen South Carolina slaves—"Dolly, Jacke, Jemmy, Grace, Dinah, Liddy, John and an infant, Paul, Hagar, Jack and Jane"—from "the estate of Arnoldus Vanderhorst, deceased" to Edward Frost for $3,020. Frost was President of the Blue Ridge Rail Road in South Carolina.

    About this Document

    • Citation: Library of Congress, Washington, D. C., Letters of Edward Frost
    • Date: February 22, 1827



    Thanks OGD

    Time magazine is partnering with Ibram X Kendi o the Black Renaissance 

    Amanda Gorman is on the cover

    An interview of Gorman by Michelle Obama is included

    Quilts made by the famous artists of Gee's Bend, Alabama are now available on Etsy

    Study suggests that black female high school students are less likely to be recommended for AP calculus courses by counselors despite equivalent grades

    In this paper, we seek to understand minority and female underrepresentation in ad- vanced STEM courses in high school by investigating whether school counselors exhibit racial or gender bias during the course assignment process. Using an adapted audit study, we asked a sample of school counselors to evaluate student transcripts that were identi- cal except for the names on the transcripts, which were varied randomly to suggestively represent a chosen race and gender combination. Our results indicate that black female students were less likely to be recommended for AP Calculus and were rated as being the least prepared. Female students were penalized less for having borderline behavior while male students were penalized less for having borderline academics. Our results have policy implications for any program that asks individuals to make recommendations that may be subject to bias - whether conscious or unconscious

    When blinded to indicators of race black females test results are rated higher than when race is known. Bias may be in operation in the lower recommendation rate for AP courses in STEM

    In a bittersweet moment, Chadwick Boseman made history, becoming the first person to score four SAG nominations for his lead performance in “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom,” his supporting role in “Da 5 Bloods,” and for his work in the ensembles of both films. Boseman died in September of colon cancer. He was 43.

    Article about the small but rising numbers of Black atheists 

    They are more vocal than Black atheists of the past

    There was a brief mention of Overtown, a portion of Miami, mainly populated by Blacks on MSNBC.

    The area had businesses and entertainment places that featured mainline Black entertainers

    The area was referred to as the "Harlem of the South"

    Then in the 1950s and 1960s, Interstate I-95 was constructed, literally splitting the neighborhood in two

    Thousands had to relocate

    The area is trying to revive, but battles both high crime and encroaching gentrification


    France is returning art looted from the kingdom of Dahomey in the colonial period back to Africa.

    Roméo Mivekannin, an artist who was born in Benin and now lives in France, is King Behanzin’s great-great-grandson. The King was deposed by the French. He was the leader when the leader at the time.

    The current-day artist reflects on life at the time of colonial French rule

    PARIS — Even the palace doors were torn off their hinges and carted away. When French forces colonized the kingdom of Dahomey in the 1890s, they overthrew the ruler, King Behanzin, and looted everything left behind: elaborate thrones; ceremonial scepters; half man, half animal statues. The priceless treasures ended up in museums in France.

    Soon, France will return 26 of those treasures to Benin, the West African nation where the kingdom once was.

    To one young contemporary artist, Roméo Mivekannin, this act of restitution has deep personal significance: He is King Behanzin’s great-great-grandson. Raised in Benin and now living in France, Mivekannin, 34, has started exploring his royal roots with a series of large paintings, using strips of old bedsheets that are dipped in voodoo potions and then patched together. Rather than showing his ancestor at the pinnacle of his majesty, Mivekannin portrays the king as a fallen ruler, driven into exile.



    GOP states craft legislation against teaching the 1619 Project

    LITTLE ROCK, Ark. -- Complaining about what he called indoctrination in schools, former President Donald Trump created a commission that promoted “patriotic" education and played down America's role in slavery. But though he's out of the White House and the commission has disbanded, the cause hasn't died. Lawmakers in Republican states are now pressing for similar action.

    Proposals in Arkansas, Iowa and Mississippi would prohibit schools from using a New York Times project that focused on slavery's legacy. Georgia colleges and universities have been quizzed about whether they're teaching about white privilege or oppression. And GOP governors are backing overhauls of civic education that mirror Trump's abandoned initiatives.

    Republicans behind the latest moves say they're countering left-wing attempts in K-12 schools and higher education to indoctrinate rather than teach students. Teachers, civil rights leaders and policymakers are fighting back, saying students will suffer if states brush over crucial parts of the nation's history.

    “The idea of simply saying you’re not going to use certain materials because you don’t like what they’re going to say without input from professionals makes no sense," said James Grossman, executive director of the American Historical Association.

    Dr. Nina Banks, an associate professor at Bucknell University, is the new president of the National Economics Association

    Her current works focuses on the economic contributions of Black women

    This summer, Dr. Banks will publish a book about Sadie T.M. Alexander, the first Black woman to earn a PhD in economics

    Black female citizen of Nigeria and the United States will be the next director-general of the WTO

    WASHINGTON—The Biden administration on Friday said the U.S. would support Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala of Nigeria as the next director-general of the World Trade Organization, hours after South Korea’s trade minister stepped out of the race.

    The Biden administration’s decision is the last hurdle standing in the way of Ms. Okonjo-Iweala assuming the top job at the WTO, after South Korea’s Yoo Myung-hee pulled out.

    Ms. Okonjo-Iweala was supported by a majority of WTO members, but the Trump administration backed Ms. Yoo, saying she was better qualified.

    In a statement, the U.S. Trade Representative’s office said that Ms. Okonjo-Iweala “brings a wealth of knowledge in economics and international diplomacy from her 25 years with the World Bank and two terms as Nigerian Finance Minister.”

    “It is particularly important to underscore that two highly qualified women made it to the final round of consideration for the position of WTO Director General—the first time that any woman has made it to this stage in the history of the institution,” the statement said. 

    Ms. Okonjo-Iweala, who is a citizen of both Nigeria and the U.S., is a well-known figure among international economic officials, through her roles as a top official and a development economist at the World Bank, as well as in the Nigerian government.

    Pressure had been building on the Biden administration to support Ms. Okonjo-Iweala. Dozens of former U.S. trade and diplomatic officials urged Mr. Biden to take action in a letter in recent weeks. Rep. Karen Bass, who heads the Congressional Black Caucus, did so in a tweet last week. 

    “Joining the consensus for Ngozi would build early good will for the Biden administration in Geneva, paving the way for focus to shift exclusively to the critical substantive reform issues,” said Wendy Cutler, a former USTR official who is now vice president of Asia Society Policy Institute.

    Alice Coachman, first Black woman to win an Olympic Gold medal

    .Rain was starting to come down as the closing women’s track and field event of the 1948 Summer Olympics was coming to an end. To that point, no American woman had taken the gold medal in any of the competitions.

    Alice Coachman changed that by soaring an unprecedented 5 feet, 6 1/8 inches in the high jump at the London Games. She also jumped into the history books as the first black woman to win an Olympic gold medal.

    The Albany State (Georgia) College student surpassed the Olympic record of 5 feet, 4 3/4 inches held jointly by Americans Jean Shiley and Babe Didrikson since the 1932 Olympics.

    Close to 82,000 spectators watched Coachman’s Aug. 7, 1948, victory that came in dramatic fashion as she competed against Dorothy Tyler of Great Britain. Both women jumped the same height, but the American was given the nod because Tyler had several misses at lower heights.

    King George VI presented Coachman with her gold medal. When the Albany, Georgia, native returned home, a parade was thrown in honor of her historic achievement at the XIV Olympiad.

    Amanda Gorman's Super Bowl poem

    Today we honor our three captains for their actions and impact in a time of uncertainty and need.

    They've taken the lead, exceeding all expectations and limitations, uplifting their communities and neighbors as leaders, healers and educators.

    James has felt the wounds of warfare but this warrior still shares his home with at-risk kids. During COVID he's even lent a hand, live-streaming football for family and fans.

    Trimaine is an educator who works nonstop, providing his communities with hot spots, laptops and tech workshops so his students have all the tools they need to succeed in life and in school.

    Suzie is the ICU. nurse manager at a Tampa hospital. Her chronicles prove that even in tragedy, hope is possible. She lost her grandmothers to the pandemic and fights to save other lives in the ICU battle zone, defining the frontline heroes risking their lives for our own.

    Let us walk with these warriors, charge on with these champions and carry forth the call of our captains.

    We celebrate them by acting with courage and compassion, by doing what is right and just, for while we honor them today, it is they who every day honor us.

    Emlen Tunnell, Coast Guard hero and NFL Hall of Famer

    Before he became the first Black player inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, Emlen Tunnell served in the Coast Guard during and after World War II, where he was credited with saving the lives of two shipmates in separate incidents.

    Now, a Coast Guard cutter and an athletic building on the Coast Guard Academy campus are being named in honor of the former NFL defensive back, who died in 1975, as the service aims to highlight his little-known story and its own efforts to do better when it comes to race  and celebrating diversity.

    “I think it’s important, because you have a teachable moment with young people when you talk about a guy like Emlen Tunnell,” Coast Guard Academy football coach C.C. Grant said. “They need to understand what he did, what he went through and what kind of a person he was.”


    Edit to change Melendez to Emlen

    Spellcheck also wanted Emblem

    Afrofuturism booming in comics

    A bumper crop of graphic novels and comic books melds African culture and science fiction, with influences as wide-ranging as space travel, Caribbean folklore and Janelle Monáe.

    He became the nation’s ninth vice president. She was his enslaved wife.

    The erasure of the memory of Julia Chinn , the enslaved wife of the ninth Vice President of the United States, John Mentor Johnson.

    The man behind Black History Month, Carter G. Woodson





    National Museum of African American Music

    If you want to trace the roots of American popular music, you have to start when Europeans brought enslaved Africans across the Middle Passage. After Emancipation, the sounds of Africa and field hollers and work hymns from the American South dispersed across the country and transformed into new forms: the blues in Mississippi, jazz in New Orleans and later house music in Chicago and hip-hop in the Bronx.

    Historians, anthologies and exhibitions have traced this path before, but an entire museum hasn’t been devoted to demonstrating and celebrating how Black artists fundamentally shaped American music until now. Last Saturday, the National Museum of African American Music opened in Nashville, with six interactive sections covering 50 genres of music with a focus on gospel, blues, jazz, R&B and hip-hop.

    The idea for the museum, which has been 22 years and $60 million in the making, originated with Francis Guess, a civil rights advocate and Nashville business leader, who shared it with T.B. Boyd III, then the president and chief executive of the R.H. Boyd Publishing Co. In the beginning, they gathered with local leaders for monthly meetings in their living rooms to raise enthusiasm and seed money.

    The Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce conducted a feasibility study for a museum encompassing African-American culture in 2002; and in 2011, its focus was narrowed to music. With the support of the city and many community members, 56,000 square feet of the Fifth & Broadway complex in downtown Nashville were carved out for the institution. (The museum is open on Saturdays and Sundays in February, and time-slotted tickets are required for a limited number of masked visitors.)


    Utah School Walks Back Letting Parents Opt Their Kids Out of Black History Month Following Backlash

    According to the Associated Press, Micah Hirokawa, director of the Maria Montessori Academy in North Ogden, Utah, posted to the school’s Facebook page on Friday that parents would be able “to exercise their civil rights to not participate in Black History Month at the school.” Predictably, there was public backlash to this decision, because anyone who’s been paying at least a little bit of attention to, well, everything, would know this wouldn’t fly.

    Betty Sawyer, head of the Ogden chapter of the NAACP, reached out to the school on Saturday to talk to them about why they decided to make the curriculum about Black history optional. The post was also met with backlash by other parents at the school, according to the Hill.

    Rebecca Bennett, a parent at the school, reportedly wrote underneath the Facebook post that she was “appalled to see the form sent out that allows parents to opt their kids out of this and to hear that this is all because some parents have requested it.” By Saturday evening the post was eventually deleted from the school’s page.

    “We regret that after receiving requests, an opt-out form was sent out concerning activities planned during this month of celebration,” a statement from Hirokawa and the school’s board of directors said.


    Mary Wilson, Motown Legend and Co-Founder of the Supremes, Dies at 76

    Ms. Wilson, with the original members Diana Ross and Florence Ballard, was part of one of the biggest musical acts of the 1960s.

    Edit to add:

    Diana Ross tribute to Mary Wilson

    University of Alabama Removes Name of Noted Segregationist George C. Wallace From Building

    Sam Greenlee move, "The Spook Who Sat By the Door" coming to Disney

    The Spook Who Sat by the Door, the 1969 spy novel from Sam Greenlee, will be headed to a small screen near us soon, thanks to Lee Daniels.

    Deadline reports that the Empire co-creator will executive produce the project, along with Lee Daniels Entertainment President Marc Velez. Raising Dion co-executive producer Leigh Dana Jackson will pen the script as well as serve as showrunner. Burning Sands and The First Purge director Gerard McMurray is also on board to direct. The series comes as a part of Daniels’ overall deal with Disney’s 20th Television.

    The Spook Who Sat by the Door was my dad’s favorite book,” said Daniels. “He’d be so proud that I’m doing this and even prouder that I’m doing this with Gerard and Dana—two bold and brilliant Black storytellers.”

    Black Art: In the Absence of Light

    “This is Black art. And it matters. And it’s been going on for two hundred years. Deal with it.”

    So declares the art historian Maurice Berger toward the beginning of “Black Art: In the Absence of Light,” a rich and absorbing documentary directed by Sam Pollard (“MLK/FBI”) and debuting on HBO Tuesday night.

    The feature-length film, assembled from interviews with contemporary artists, curators and scholars, was inspired by a single 1976 exhibition, “Two Centuries of Black American Art,” the first large-scale survey of African-American artists. Organized by the artist David C. Driskell, who was then-head of the art department at Fisk University, it included some 200 works dating from the mid-18th to the mid-20th century, and advanced a history that few Americans, including art professionals, even knew existed.

    Across the United States, the popularity of barbecue has exploded with regional specialties in every state—but are we honoring the foregoers of this culinary tradition? Often erased from American history, enslaved Africans wrote the narrative for the modern story of American barbecue.  

    Across the United States, the popularity of barbecue has exploded with regional specialties in every state—but often erased from American history is the role of enslaved Africans in the telling of the modern story of American barbecue.  

    Join rocket scientist and BBQ historian Howard Conyers, PhD and pitmasters Ed and Ryan Mitchell, for a virtual celebration in homage to the Black culinary heritage of American BBQ and a conversation led by culinary historian Adrian Miller, author of the upcoming book, Black Smoke: African Americans and the United States of Barbecue, that explores the preservation of African American foodways, Black perseverance, culinary innovation, and entrepreneurship.

    We will also premiere the debut screening of MOFAD’s original virtual reality short film featuring Jones Bar-B-Q as part of our upcoming exhibition, African/American: Making the Nation's Table.

    Immerse yourself in the fiery pit and busy kitchen of Debra “Shorty” and Mary “Little” Jones’s intergenerationally-owned restaurant in Kansas City, Kansas.

    While not required for viewing, tickets purchased by January 25th include the option to purchase virtual reality headsets to experience the film in 3-D.


    Wednesday, February 10, 2021 at 8:00 PM – 9:00 PM EST


    Online Event

    Gary replaces Columbus Day with day honoring its 1st Black mayor

    The city of Gary, Ind., has replaced Columbus Day with a holiday honoring its late Mayor Richard Hatcher, who became one of the first Black mayors of a big U.S. city when he was elected in 1967.

    The Gary Common Council voted 8-1 on Feb. 2 in favor of a resolution making Richard Gordon Hatcher Day the second Monday of October for city employees, The (Northwest Indiana) Times reported. 

    Gary becomes the latest U.S. city to rename Columbus Day, which is now called Indigenous Peoples’ Day in some states. Native American tribes and others say celebrating Christopher Columbus, the 15th century explorer, ignores the effect the European arrival in the Americas had on the native peoples, who suffered violence, disease, enslavement, racism and exploitation at the hands of settlers.

    Gary Councilman Michael Brown said the move sets aside a day to honor Hatcher while also replacing Columbus Day “in alliance with what a lot of communities have done.”

    New PBS documentary on the politics of the late baseball great, Jackie Robinson

    Now the subject of a two-part, four-hour documentary directed by Ken Burns, Sarah Burns, and David McMahon on PBS, Robinson emerged as a critical voice in the civil rights movement, as candidates from both parties sought the retired player’s counsel and his endorsement.

    “I’ve never identified myself with one party or another in politics,” the Hall of Famer said in his autobiography. “I admit freely that I think, live, and breathe black first and foremost.”

    Robinson was not a if JFK fan, but:

    “A Barry Goldwater victory,” he wrote in his autobiography, “would insure that the GOP would be completely the white man’s party.”

    Cross posted here at Dag...

    Meet . . .

    Abraham Bolden

    Lost in the fog of history...

    From: Books at NPR

    Book Summary

    The first African-American agent to
    serve on the White House Secret
    Service detail describes the racism
    he confronted, his efforts to expose
    the Secret Service's negligence in JFK's
    assassination, and the destruction of
    his career due to a false bribery charge.

    And his story in his own words...



    The following is from:

    Spartacus Educational Publishers Ltd.

    Primary Sources

    Abraham Bolden

    Abraham Bolden was born into a poor family in East St. Louis, Illinois. After graduating from Lincoln University he spent four years as an Illinois State Trooper. His record was so outstanding that in 1959 President Dwight Eisenhower appointed him to the United States Secret Service. Based in Chicago, he won "two commendations for cracking counterfeiting rings".

    In 1961 President John F. Kennedy appointed Bolden as part of the Secret Service White House detail. According to Jim Marrs (Crossfire: The Plt That Killed Kennedy), Bolden was personally selected by Kennedy "in an attempt to integrate the previously all-white Secret Service detail".

    Bolden spent only three months working for Kennedy. He complained about the "separate housing facilities for black agents on southern trips". At a meeting with James J. Rowley, the head of the Secret Service, Bolden criticized the "general laxity and the heavy drinking among the agents who were assigned to protect the President". As a result of these complaints, Bolden claims he was was sent back to the Chicago office and assigned to routine anti-counterfeiting duties.

    Bolden claimed that in October, 1963, the Chicago Secret Service office received a teletype from the Federal Bureau of Investigation warning that an attempt would be made to kill President John F. Kennedy by a four-man Cuban hit squad when he visited the city on 2nd November. Armed with high-powered rifles, the men from "a dissident Cuban group". According to investigative journalist Edwin Black, the Secret Service arrested two suspects, however, they were eventually released.

    Abraham Bolden later discovered that this information was being kept from the Warren Commission. When he complained about this he was warned "to keep his mouth shut". Bolden decided to travel to Washington where he telephoned Warren Commission Counsel J. Lee Rankin. Bolden was arrested and taken back to Chicago where he was charged with discussing a bribe with two known counterfeiters. He was eventually found guilty of accepting a bribe and spent six years in prison. When he tried to draw attention to his case, he was placed in solitary confinement.

    Sam DeStefano, one of the men who accused Bolden of this crime, was murdered in 1973. DeStefano was close to Sam Giancana, Charles Nicoletti and Richard Cain. It is believed that Cain murdered DeStefano. Soon afterwards, Cain himself was murdered.

    Lamar Waldron claims in his book, Ultimate Sacrifice, that according to a Central Intelligence Agency memo, mobsters in Chicago were involved in framing Bolden on the bribery charges.

    In 2008 Abraham Bolden published his book, The Echo from Dealey Plaza, an account of his time as a member of the White House Secret Service.

    By John Simkin (updated January 2020).



    Anna Deavere Smith on being a black female student at a white female college in the time around MLK's assassination

    Martha S. Jones, a historian at Johns Hopkins University, is most recently the author of “Vanguard: How Black Women Broke Barriers, Won the Vote, and Insisted on Equality for All.”

    When I wrote a book about Black women’s long struggle for voting rights in the United States, I knew the story was partly about how racism has shaped our democracy. I never expected that a public library today would refuse to host a discussion featuring my book.

    “Vanguard” recounts how many suffragists and lawmakers who sought to ratify the 19th Amendment accommodated and, in some cases, embraced anti-Black racism even as they worked to expand access to a fundamental democratic right. Jim Crow laws — poll taxes, literacy tests and more — prevented Black women from casting ballots for decades after the 19th Amendment became law in 1920.

    Facing these ties between racism and democracy can be difficult. People forget that history is not merely a recounting of past events but also a battle over who writes it, from which perspective and what those stories teach about who we are as a nation.

    A library in Louisiana refused to host discussion of the book despite receiving funding.




    Black History Month

    Aunt Jemima syrup becomes Pearl Milling Company syrup.

    I am reminded of a female student at a Trump rally in Arizona:

    A student at the Trump Rally in Arizona on Tuesday said Aunt Jemima was a "picture of the American Dream."

    Reagan Escudé said: "Aunt Jemima was canceled. And if you didn't know, Nancy Green, the original, first Aunt Jemima, she was the picture of the American dream. She was a freed slave who went on to be the face of the pancake syrup that we love and we have in our pantries today."

    "She fought for equality and now the leftist mob is trying to erase her legacy. And might I mention how privileged we are as a nation if our biggest concern is a bottle of pancake syrup."




    More humor

    Austin Chenge, a Nigerian-American and Black Republican who is running for governor of Michigan against incumbent Gretchen Whitmer, who is up for re-election next year.

    One big plan is to cancel the "offensive" Black History Month"

    PBS honors the centennial of the Tulsa Massacre 

    PBS has reached into its vault and retrieved “Goin’ Back to T-Town,” a 1993 “American Experience” documentary whose broadcast Monday night is doubly timely. It marks the 100th anniversary later this year of the Tulsa massacre, the deadly and massively destructive race riot that remained little known when the film was made but lately has re-emerged as a supremely ugly scar on the American conscience.

    It also honors the career of the veteran Black filmmaker Sam Pollard, who produced the movie with his wife, Joyce Vaughn. After working under the radar for nearly 50 years, he’s currently being celebrated for a new documentary “MLK/FBI.” His latest project, “Black Art: In the Absence of Light,” premieres Tuesday on HBO.

    Working with a team that included Black artists like the writer Carmen Fields, the cinematographer Robert Shepard (“Freedom Riders” (2011), “Eyes on the Prize”) and the actor Ossie Davis as narrator, Pollard and Vaughn tell their story concisely and elegantly, in the traditional chiaroscuro-interview style of PBS history documentaries, but with a twist

    No outside historians or experts appear — the film rides entirely on the voices and faces of about 15 Black residents of Tulsa, Okla., some of whom were eyewitnesses to the events of May 31 and June 1, 1921, when a white mob burned to the ground the 35-square block Greenwood neighborhood and killed up to 300 Black Tulsans. (One of the interview subjects, John Hope Franklin, who moved to Tulsa shortly after the massacre, went on to become a leading scholar of slavery and American racial injustice.) It’s an approach that couldn’t be duplicated now, when nearly all the survivors of the massacre have died.

    It's 2021, members of the Southern Baptist Convention still can't help themselves 

    Southern Baptist leaders called Kamala Harris a ‘Jezebel.’ That’s not just insulting, it’s dangerous, experts say.

    The Biblical reference has a long history of being used to justify violence against Black women in the United States

    WOC in History
    #womenofcolorinhistory ...... #afropuertorican
    #blackhistory #blackhistorymonth #afroboricua

    Supporting Black storytellers

    For Black History Month, Instagram has been highlighting #ShareBlackStories as a call-to-action and show of support for those across the African diaspora. On Tuesday, it was announced that the social media app is joining forces with director Melina Matsoukas (Queen & Slim) and Howard University to support Black storytellers with the launch of Instagram x Share Black Stories ‘Future First’ Reels Challenge. This one is for y’all at HU!

    Per a press release sent to The Root:

    The program, launching today, will feature selected emerging student storytellers from the Howard University Department of Media, Journalism, and Film, each of whom will receive a $10,000 production stipend to support costs associated with the creation of their work. In addition to mentorship provided by Ms. Matsoukas and Howard University advisors and educators, the selected student storytellers will have the opportunity to have their content earmarked for sharing across @instagram and other channels on the platform, providing broad reach to the platform’s digital audience.

    Black Wall Street mogul runs for Mayor of NYC


    At last, Raymond J. McGuire was among friends.

    “I see my crew from Citi!” he called out to his Zoom gathering, midway through a virtual fund-raiser for his mayoral campaign, its grid of video feeds looking like a chapter meeting of the 1 percent: grand libraries and fire-warmed living rooms, Steve Martin in a smart white button-down, a Tisch, a Seinfeld, a Knick.

    “I see my crew from Citi!”

    Mr. McGuire sounded almost giddy to be in such company. It had been an uneven couple of weeks for his candidacy, driven by an audacious if unproven idea: that the times demand a trailblazing Black businessman with nearly 40 years of experience on Wall Street and none in government, pledging to deploy his prolific contact list in service of his city.

    While Mr. McGuire, 64, had raised more than $5 million in the three months since announcing his run, propelling him to the race’s upper tier, he also often looked the part of a first-time campaigner.

    Opponents chafed at his repurposing the tagline of Shirley Chisholm (“unbought and unbossed!”), observing that the former congresswoman declared such independence because she lacked ruling-class connections, not because she had too much money to care. Reporters started asking about Mr. McGuire’s past business ties to the Koch brothers and to the government of Saudi Arabia while at Citigroup. And when pressed in public forums, Mr. McGuire occasionally wobbled, defaulting to the slight pique and projected self-assurance (“Let’s go! I’m good!”) of someone not used to being challenged.


    U.S. Representative Lauren Underwood addresses pregnancy related deaths in the Black community

    ‘We all know somebody’: Rep. Lauren Underwood on the fight to stop pregnancy-related deaths 

    Underwood spoke with The 19th about her efforts to undo a crisis that disproportionately harms Black people.

    Vice President Kamala Harris doing cardio by running up and down the steps of the Lincoln Memorial 

    Posted just because.

    Black pastors work to increase COVID vaccinations in their communities 


    BOSTON—The block-lettered sign outside Pleasant Hill Missionary Baptist deems it “the church where miracles happen!”

    But inside, from his sun-splashed pulpit, the Rev. Miniard Culpepper makes clear it will take both faith and science to defeat the Covid-19 pandemic.

    This new strain, Lord have mercy,” he preached one recent Sunday to the small, socially distanced congregation and some 200 worshipers watching remotely. “Pray that even with this new strain, that as folks get vaccinated—and we pray that folks do get vaccinated—that we’ll see the numbers come down.”

    Mr. Culpepper and other Black clergy have comforted their flocks during the pandemic, as Black and Latino people in the U.S. have died of the coronavirus at more than twice the rate of white residents, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Now, many of the pastors are emerging as local influencers in the country’s sprawling vaccination ground game. Their biggest hurdle is often building confidence in the vaccine in their communities.

    One-third of Black adults say they plan to avoid the Covid-19 shots, compared with about one-fifth of Hispanic and white adults who don’t plan to get vaccinated, according to recent survey data from the U.S. Census Bureau.

    “We christen their babies, we do their funerals, do their marriages, do prayer for them, and are at the hospital with them,” said Mr. Culpepper, a lawyer in his 60s who became pastor of the red-brick church in 1997. “I don’t think there is anything my church won’t come to me with.”

    History Channel special on the Tuskegee Airmen

    Executive Producer is Robin Roberts of GMA.

    Her father was a Tuskegee airmen

    Roberts is also EP for an upcoming film about Mahalia Jackson 

    UNSUNG: Unheralded Narratives of American Slavery & Abolition, edited by the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture. (Penguin Classics, paper, $22.) This anthology highlights the overlooked role that enslaved people played in emancipation.

    Interesting view of Aunt Jemima from a women who had a grandmother who portrayed Aunt Jemima for Quaker Oats

    I admit to having a complicated relationship with Aunt Jemima. She occupies a secret branch of my family tree. For a period of time in the late 1940s and early 1950s, my grandmother, Ione Brown, was part of an army of women who worked as traveling Aunt Jemimas, visiting small-town fairs and rotary-club breakfasts to conduct pancake-making demonstrations at a time when the notion of ready-mix convenience cooking was new.

    What changes do you hope will come out of protests and debates about police and race? Write to us.

    I never knew about my grandmother’s work until long after she died. It was one of those things my family never really talked about. I learned about it while researching a family memoir called “The Grace of Silence.” I learned that she made good money and covered a region including Iowa, the Dakotas, Michigan, Wisconsin and Minnesota. She was often treated like a celebrity in small towns, but could not stay in local hotels. She kept an eye out for houses that had a small sign in the window that said “TOURIST,” a code for homes that provided lodging and meals to black people.

    This is a complicated legacy for my family. Ione was a civic leader in Minneapolis, founder of a senior center that is still thriving today on 38th Street, a few blocks from where George Floyd was killed last month. As a family, we are offended by the caricature that Aunt Jemima represents, but deeply proud of the way my grandmother used the stage that was available to lift herself up. You see, in those days Aunt Jemima didn’t look like the lady you see on the box today. She was a slave woman, and Ione was expected to act and talk like a slave woman, using the kind of broken patois that blighted the full-page ads in magazines like Women’s Day and Life.

    But the women who represented the brand often refused to follow that script. They wore the costume because the company refused to let them show up in a smart suit, but in many cases, they dropped the broken English. My grandmother sang gospel songs so people would know she was a woman of God, and she focused on children because she knew that many of those little white boys and girls had never seen a black woman before. She must have blown their minds when she served pancakes, reciting Bible verses and poetry from heart in the crisp diction I remember from childhood, when she would fuss at me and my cousins for droppin’ the letter “g” from the end of our words.

    I peered into my grandmother’s history with dread and trepidation. I emerged with a deep well of respect for how she and women with names like Rosa, Joburness, Edith and Aylene flipped the stereotype on its head to show America what black elegance sounded like, even while wearing a headscarf and an apron.

    Quaker Oats, on the other hand, earned my ire on several fronts. Aunt Jemima was based on the idea that you could have a servant in your kitchen, smiling from the box, easing your burden, and it has been that way since the brand was first created back in 1889. Quaker Oats ignored boycotts and petitions and instead engaged in a tortured series of makeovers that amount to a process of attempted de-mammification.

    Black History Month in the time of the Proud Boys


    Many of the insurrectionists who stormed the Capitol on Jan. 6 were driven by a belief that they were in acting in accord with the principles fashioned at the birth of this country, that their protest embodied America’s long history of patriotic rhetoric about freedom and citizenship. And in this, they are at least partly right: Such rhetoric has been used time and again by white supremacists — one of the latest iterations being the Proud Boys and their co-conspirators — to rationalize violence against racial and religious minorities in order to preserve a country white Americans did not want to share.

    The insurrectionists seem to believe that their America is under assault. They are not alone. President Donald Trump’s 1776 Commission — established as a response to The New York Times’s 1619 Project, an examination of this nation’s history that took the Black past seriously — revolved around the belief that the ideological underpinnings of America were being threatened and that the nation needed to be reminded “that our Declaration is worth preserving, our Constitution worth defending, our fellow citizens worth loving, and our country worth fighting for.”

    There’s nothing to argue against in this statement — except that it fundamentally ignores centuries of efforts to make sure that only certain people were protected by the nation’s laws, reflected in its glorious rhetoric and considered worthy of love. Others could be owned, beaten, separated from their families, denied their birthrights, receive substandard education, be relegated to substandard housing and have shorter life expectancies.

    Every February, Americans are invited to think seriously about our nation’s history from the perspective of the African-American experience. Black history is profoundly illuminating: It produces a bright light by which we can make an honest assessment of how well our actions align with the ideals that have led us to proclaim that ours is a special nation. Black History Month is a time that dares us to think about the limitations of the Proud Boys’ white nationalism that excludes the diversity that is one of this country’s strengths. Similarly, it is a time that reminds us that the democratic ideals trumpeted by the 1776 Commission have not been applied equally.

    New movie about the life of Black Panther Fred Hampton

    Judas and the Black Messiah 

    Why do white people fear Black liberation? 

    This white fear is centuries old. Within the context of the federal government, the FBI has tracked and vilified Black people for, since forever, notably under J. Edgar Hoover’s COINTELPRO (Counter Intelligence program). Through thatprogram, the FBI legally harassed and surveilled civil rights leaders from Martin Luther King Jr to Malcolm X and members of the Black Panther Party such as chairman of the Illinois Black Panther Party, Fred Hampton

    COINTELPRO had multiple goals, among them, to “Prevent the rise of a ‘Messiah’ who could unify, and electrify the militant Black nationalist movement.” And Fred Hampton, a charismatic leader, had the potential to do just that. Hampton was able to unite people despite race and ethnicity—namely poor Black, white and Latinx people—and created the Rainbow Coalition

    The 21-year-old was assassinated in his sleep, thanks to the intel from FBI informant, William O’Neal. Director Shaka King explores this story of one man’s ascension and subsequent betrayal in Judas and the Black Messiah. “A hero dies once but a coward dies a thousand deaths,” King told The Root.

    Hampton is quite masterfully portrayed by Daniel Kaluuya, Lakeith Stanfield completely nailed William O’Neal (down to the subtle gestures and all) and Dominique Fishback became Hampton’s fiancée, Deborah Johnson (who now goes by Akua Njeri). While O’Neal infiltrated the Black Panther Party, providing the FBI with critical information that would lead to Hampton’s assassination, make no mistake, it was white fear that killed him.

    New Walgreen's CEO

    Just when you thought Black women couldn’t take their career successes to newer heights, Rosalind Brewer was recently named CEO of Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc., the global drug store giant. This move makes her the only Black woman to lead a Fortune 500 company. If that’s not #BlackGirlMagic, we don’t know what is!

    Brewer succeeds Stefano Pessina, who served as CEO for six years following the merger between Walgreens and Alliance Boots in 2014. Pessina will transition to executive chairman of Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc.’s board. Brewer, who resumes the role on March 15, will be charged with navigating the company through financial difficulties during the COVID-19 pandemic, as Walgreens takes a leading role in administering the vaccine.

    Biden, Harris highlight role of Black service members in first Pentagon visit

    President Biden and Vice President Harris paid tribute to the contributions of Black service members, acknowledging the barriers they have faced in uniform, on Wednesday during their first official visit to the Pentagon.

    Speaking to reporters, Biden referred to the service of African Americans from the Revolutionary War to the conflicts of the modern era, even though their actions, as Biden put it, “were not always recognized or honored appropriately.”

    The president noted that more than 40 percent of active-duty troops are people of color, a share that remains underrepresented at the military’s highest levels.

    “It’s long past time that the full diversity and full strength of our force is reflected at every level of this department,” said Biden, standing alongside Harris, the country’s first female, Black and Asian American vice president, and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, its first Black defense secretary.

    Paris Opera to Act on Racist Stereotypes in Ballet


    The Paris Opera — one of the world’s most revered and traditional companies — has for years been seen as having much work to do on race. It has only a few Black dancers in the ranks of its ballet company and few people of color in its orchestra or chorus. As recently as 2015, audiences regularly saw dancers in blackface performing on its stages.

    Fed up with an atmosphere of discrimination, five Black members of the ballet company circulated an open letter among the Paris Opera’s 1,800 employees last summer, calling for urgent change. “We wanted to bring the question of race out of the silence that surrounds it,” the letter said.

    On Monday, the company responded, publishing a 66-page reporton diversity at the Paris Opera, focused on its ballet. At a news conference, its artistic director, Alexander Neef, said he would take action to deal with racist caricatures in classic ballet productions, some of which have been in the repertoire for decades.

    “There will be no blackface, or yellowface,” Neef told reporters, but works like “La Bayadère” and “The Nutcracker” would remain, with possible further changes in choreography and costumes. Behind the scenes, there will be efforts to increase the number of dancers of color who enter the ballet’s ranks, he said. Neef, who took charge at the Paris Opera in September, moving from the Canadian Opera Company in Toronto, was the driving force behind the report.

    Black women survivors of sexual abuse with a focus on Hip-Hop and R & B


    Since #MeToo went viral in 2017, it has transformed our culture for the better. The movement, created by activist Tarana Burke in 2006, has helped survivors and allies push back against rape culture and rally to hold abusers accountable, ousting media moguls, comedy icons, world-renowned chefs and politicians. Invoking the legacies of Harriet Jacobs, Rosa Parks, Recy Taylor and Anita Hill, Black women survivors have carved out spaces to raise awareness, disrupt sexual violence in the Black community, and most importantly, heal. However, the movement hasn’t quite had the same impact in the music industry, specifically in hip-hop and R&B.

    In this piece, writer Kellee Terrell spoke to Drew Dixon, one of the first women to publicly come forward with sexual assault accusations against hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons. Nearly a year after the documentary “On the Record” debuted at Sundance, Dixon opened up about the devastation of Oprah Winfrey dropping out as a producer of the film, her worry that it would never reach its intended audience and why we must center and believe Black survivors.

    Kim Janey will become Boston’s first Black and woman mayor 

    Janey is expected to join a small group of Black women who lead the nation’s largest cities.

    Boston has never had a Black person or a woman serve as mayor. That is now set to change. 

    Kim Janey, city council president, is slated to become mayor following President-elect Joe Biden’s nomination of Boston Mayor Marty Walsh to his Cabinet this week.

    The Boston city charter specifies that the city council president becomes acting mayor if the job becomes vacant. The distinction means she “may only perform urgent tasks” and cannot make permanent appointments. Janey was elected to the city council in 2017 and became city council president last year

    The Montfort Point Marines

    “Twenty-thousand African Americans became Marines at Montford Point,” retired Marine Chief Warrant Officer 5 Houston T. Shinal told The Daily Beast. “And we’ve probably only given out around 600 [medals] since 2011.” 

    The families of Joseph Orthello Johnson, of Leesburg, Virginia; Virgil W. Johnson, of Woodbridge, Virginia; John Thomas Robinson, of Ypsilanti, Michigan; and Leroy Lee, Sr., of Augusta, Georgia, accepted the medal that was order in 2011 by then-President Barack Obama, in recognition of the contributions made by Montford Point Marines to the Marine Corps and the U.S. from 1942 to 1949, during a time when they were not wanted in uniform at all. 

    The Montford Point Marines Association has identified the names of about 1,200 former Montford Pointers;  as of this month, just 300 of those are still alive. 

    There’s an old lesson to be learned from these veterans—of valor that most Americans have never heard of, of pride and defiance that would drive young Black Americans to earn the title of Marine in the face of bigotry and exclusion

    On the eve of the U.S. entering World War II, just months before the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s 1941 executive order would establish the Fair Employment Practices Commission and open the door to “full participation in the defense program by all persons regardless of color, race, creed, or national origin.”

    Impeachment manager Stacey Plaskett, from the Virgin Islands, helped press the case for impeaching Trump for the second time.

    One notable example Plaskett mentioned was how Trump praised MAGA fans on Twitter who allegedly tried to run off a campaign bus of his then-opponent Joe Biden on Oct. 30.

    Perhaps the most powerful moment during Plaskett’s remarks was when Plaskett emotionally noted how the insurrectionist events at the Capitol reminded her of the time she served as a young staffer on 9/11.

    “Almost everyday I remember that 44 Americans gave their lives to stop the plane that was headed to this Capitol building,” she said while reminding them that 2021 marks the 20th anniversary of the terrorist attacks at the World Trade Center in New York City.

    “I thank them every day for saving my life and the life of so many others. Those Americans sacrificed their lives for love of country, honor, duty, all the things that America means. The Capitol stands because of people like that.”

    But while sharing her compelling experience, the words weren’t just the only thing that caught our attention, but when Plaskett stared down every Republican in that room who would have dared to “other” her in that moment.

    In other words, Plaskett came to slay and took no prisoners.


    Good outcome

    For some reason, a woman used Gorilla glue to attach extensions to her hair

    The result was a tangle that could not be removed

    Fortunately, chemical adhesive could be removed after a four procedure by a plastic surgeon in Beverly Hills

    TMZ filmed the proedre, not sure if they helped cover costs


    The surgeon did the procedure for free

    Tessica Brown, the woman whose hair's been Gorilla Glued for more than a month, finally has sweet relief -- and we have video of the surgery that saved the day.

    As we first reported, Tessica took up Bev Hills plastic surgeon Dr. Michael Obeng on his offer to perform the $12,500 procedure for free, and it was a pretty grueling process. ... about 4 hours long!

    The other Black Wall Streets

    Tulsa was not the only financially strong Black district

    The Voting Rights Act made the United States a democracy

    American Democracy Is Only 55 Years Old—And Hanging by a Thread

    Black civil-rights activists—and especially Black women—delivered on the promise of the Founding. Their victories are in peril.

    Meagan Good makes her director debut

    When Tamara Bass wrote IF NOT NOW, WHEN? and presented it as a project that could mark Krazy Actress Productions’ first feature film, she and Megan Good knew that they were putting into the world, not only the type of movie that shaped us, but the type that represented the films they wanted to contribute to the community.

    “Coming together, we discussed how we witnessed a void in the slice of life films that happen to showcase people of color. Particularly women of color. We knew that we were represented recently in the comedy genre and had played second fiddle to men for years. But, having our stories be front and center in a heartfelt drama, hadn’t been seen since WAITING TO EXHALE. And we were due. Women are consumers too! Hence the voyage of IF NOT NOW, WHEN? was born,” says Good.

    For Good and Bass, this film represents more than just a chance for Black actresses to play lead roles, side by side; it represents a shift in storytelling. “If we can break through the barriers of only being seen in a particular light, we have the ability to change the way our stories are told. And while we understood this journey was filled with lofty ambitions, we knew that we possessed the skills, determination and drive to make that goal a reality. The end result is a film filled with a lot of love, heart and a love letter to our sisterhood,” says the duo.

    IF NOT NOW, WHEN? is a project that truly depicts the heart and soul of a beautiful friendship journey and is definitely worth watching. Check it out now on demand

    Michelle Obama Is Launching A Children's Show On Netflix


    Classic film "Best Man" comes to Peacock as limited television series

    Following the success of the classic film The Best Man, which hit theaters in 1999, and its equally-loved sequel The Best Man Holiday, which hit the big screen in 2013, a Best Man limited series is set to debut later this year on the NBC streaming service, Peacock.

    The original cast, including Regina Hall, Taye Diggs, Terrence Howard, Sanaa Lathan, Nia Long, Morris Chestnut, Melissa De Sousa, and Harold Perrineau have all reportedly signed on to star in the anticipated series, titled The Best Man: The Final Chapters. The only actress that will not be making a return would be Monica Calhoun, whose character died in the sequel. Creators of the series are reportedly eyeing a September start.

    Documentary on the Golden Days of reggae

    In 2008, Jamaica declared February as a monthlong recognition of the genre its country created and cultivated; as well as acknowledge the birthdays of two of their legends: Dennis Brown, who’s known as the “Crown Prince of Reggae,” on February 1, and Bob Marley, the “King of Reggae,” on February 6.

    The golden age of Jamaican music gets explored in the documentary, Studio 17: The Lost Reggae Tapes. The film, which premiered on BBC last year and is now available on Qwest TV and Tidal, retraces reggae’s humble beginnings as local riddims beloved by its youth to becoming a globally recognized musical juggernaut

    First Black Astronaut on International Space Station

    Early Tuesday morning (Nov. 17), the 44-year-old NASA astronaut came aboard the International Space Station, becoming the first African American ever to begin a full six-month stint on the orbiting lab.   

    Glover and three crewmates — fellow NASA astronauts Mike Hopkins and Shannon Walker and Japan's Soichi Noguchi — left Earth on Sunday evening (Nov. 15) aboard the SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule "Resilience." The launch kicked off Crew-1, SpaceX's first-ever contracted, fully operational astronaut mission to the space station for NASA.

    Capitol police officer Eugene Goodman is a reluctant hero

    Videos Turn Eugene Goodman Into a Reluctant Hero in the Capitol Attack

    The Capitol Police officer, who served in the Sunni triangle during one of the most dangerous periods of the Iraq War, is credited with saving the lives of members of Congress on Jan. 6.

    Horrific murder of a white seminarian, Johnathan Daniels, during Civil Rights era

    Jonathan Daniels: The Forgotten Civil Rights Preacher Killed by a Cop in Alabama

    In 1965 Alabama, Episcopal seminarian Jonathan Daniels was gunned down while trying to buy a Coke with two Black girls. The cop who shot him was acquitted.


    Tom L. Coleman, an unpaid special deputy who was holding a shotgun and had a pistol in a holster. Coleman threatened the group and leveled his gun at seventeen-year-old Ruby Sales. Daniels pushed Sales down and caught the full blast of the shotgun. He was instantly killed by shot. Father Richard F. Morrisroe grabbed activist Joyce Bailey and ran with her. Coleman shot Morrisroe, severely wounding him in the lower back, and then stopped firing.[7]

    Upon learning of Daniels' murder, Martin Luther King Jr. stated that "one of the most heroic Christian deeds of which I have heard in my entire ministry was performed by Jonathan Daniels."[8]

    A grand jury indicted Coleman for manslaughterRichmond Flowers Sr., the Attorney General of Alabama, believed the charge should have been murder and intervened in the prosecution, but was thwarted by the trial judge. He refused to wait until Morrisroe had recovered enough to testify and removed Flowers from the case. Coleman claimed self-defense, although Morrisroe and the others were unarmed, and was acquitted of manslaughter charges by an all-white jury.[9][10] (Disfranchisement had resulted in excluding blacks from jury duty, as only voters were called.) Flowers described the verdict as representing the "democratic process going down the drain of irrationality, bigotry and improper law enforcement."[11]

    The system at work

    Coast Guard's first African American female aviator 

    Jeanine McIntosh Menze is a United States Coast Guard officer. She holds the distinction of becoming the first African-American female in the U.S. Coast Guard to earn the Coast Guard Aviation designation.

    Coast Guard LCDR Jeanine McIntosh (Lt. JG at the time of the photo)

    BornKingston, JamaicaYears of service2003 - presentRankLieutenant Commander

    At the time of her graduation, she was the first African-American female aviator in the history of the U.S. Coast Guard.


    "Lovecraft Country" a horror miniseries is now coming out on BluRay and DVD

    In an exclusive sneak-peek of a bonus featurette from the Blu-Ray/DVD obtained by The Root, Green talks about the time she truly learned just how devoid genre pieces were of representation of people of color and how she made an intentional decision to narrow that void.

    “This was an opportunity in Lovecraft Country to really bring people of color to the forefront of genre [pieces],” Green says in the clip. “To say that we love everything down to Harry Potter, to aliens, to scary movies, too!”

    “It was nice to be able to tell a story in that space and that story to reflect more of the world other than just one corner, which is whiteness,” she added.

    Series like Lovecraft Country allow tales to be told from a different perspective 

    Addressing racism in the country music industry 

    Less than 30 minutes after TMZ posted a video of the country star Morgan Wallen using a racial slur on Feb. 2, Mickey Guyton, the only Black female country singer signed to a major label, tweetedher reaction: “The hate runs deep.”

    She added, “How many passes will you continue to give?” and “So what exactly are y’all going to do about it. Crickets won’t work this time.”

    A few other mainstream country artists commented about the incident on social media, but many figured Nashville would do as it has almost always done when one of its stars is under fire: circle the wagons and shut up. “It’s been the norm for country artists to stay silent and not use their platform for controversy,” said Leslie Fram, CMT’s senior vice president of music strategy.

    By the following day though, radio conglomerates including iHeartMedia, Cumulus and Entercom pulled Wallen’s songs from rotation at hundreds of stations, and major streaming services removed him from playlists. CMT stopped running his videos. The Academy of Country Music declared him ineligible for its upcoming awards. All this while Wallen’s second album, “Dangerous: The Double Album,” topped the Billboard 200 chart for the third straight week.

    More video of the child pepper-sprayed by Rochester police

    The newly released footage shows several of the nine officers who ultimately responded to the scene repeatedly threatening the girl as they struggle to get her completely into the back of a police car. She is clearly in distress and yelling that she wants her father. 

    “Listen to me — you’re going to get sprayed if you don’t get in,” one officer says.

    “Get in the car,” comes another command. “I’m done telling you.”

    “I’m going to pepper-spray you, and I don’t want to,” one officer says. “So sit back.”

    “Please don’t,” the girl says.

    “This is your last chance, or pepper spray is going into your eyeballs,” an officer says.

    A female officer tries to persuade the girl to get all the way into the car.

    Soon, one officer, and then a second, can be heard saying, “Just spray her.” Seconds later, one of them does and then shuts the door as the girl screams, “My eye is bleeding.”

    In the aftermath, the female officer sits in front of the car and tells the girl, “You did it to yourself.”

    “It’s burning my eyes,” the girl says.

    “That’s the point of pepper spray,” the officer says.

    Donald Thompson, a lawyer for the girl's family, said the new video was “far more disturbing” than the earlier footage.

    “The lack of humanity is amazing,” he said.

    The Democrat and Chronicle, a Rochester newspaper, estimated that it had taken an ambulance about 15 minutes to arrive after the girl was pepper-sprayed and that it was 23 minutes before one of the handcuffs she had been placed in was removed.

    In the footage, after the ambulance arrives, one officer tries to comfort the girl.


    Understatement of the New Year...


    “The lack of humanity is amazing...”



    Nine officers were on the scene

    Want to really terrify a child, bring nine armed adults

    Links to support Black owned bookstores 

    I have used Mahogany Books and been very satisfied 

    It is always tempting just to click and automatically get the digital version


    First interracial Pro tennis match

    In the pantheon of great Black tennis players — Serena and Venus WilliamsArthur AsheAlthea Gibson and so many others — Jimmie McDaniel undoubtedly has a place, having preceded the others in breaking the sport’s color barrier. Yet mention of his name would undoubtedly elicit blank stares from tennis cognoscenti worldwide — the curse of a man ignored in the history of a sport that was, during his time, overwhelmingly rich and white.

    More than 80 years ago McDaniel played what is believed to have been the first interracial tennis match, against the world champion, Don Budge.

    The match, on July 29, 1940, was referred to as “the most important sports and social event to hit Harlem in many years” by The Amsterdam News, the country’s leading Black newspaper at the time.

    It was 10 years before Gibson first played at Forest Hills, seven years before Jackie Robinson became the first African-American player in modern major league baseball and 14 years before Brown v. Board of Education declared that racial segregation in schools was unconstitutional.

    On that day, McDaniel and Budge faced off before a crowd of more than 2,000 people who packed the stands, covering every inch of the court’s perimeter. Hundreds more cheered wildly from apartment windows, rooftops and fire escapes nearby.

    Corrected NYT extension errors

    Barack Obama, 44th President

    Posted in Facebook today...





    We could look on the WH with pride during that time

    Then we got a white supremacist who is still being protected by his white minions

    Guiliani thought he was booking a hotel

    He still has a law license 

    Trump's current lawyers take away the argument that Blacks keep whites out of professional schools

    Retired Marine general, trailblazing Navy admiral among new picks who will scrutinize bases with Confederate names

    Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said Friday that he has selected four people, including a former Marine Corps commandant and a retired four-star Navy admiral, to join a congressionally mandated commission that will consider how to rename U.S. military installations that recognize Confederate military officers.

    Retired Marine Gen. Robert B. Neller, who led the Marine Corps from September 2015 to July 2019, will be joined by retired Adm. Michelle Howard, who became the first African American and woman to become the Navy’s vice chief of naval operations and recently served on the Biden transition team at the Pentagon.

    The other two selections are Kori Schake, director of foreign and defense policy studies at the American Enterprise Institute, and retired Army Brig. Gen. Ty Seidule, a history professor emeritus at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y., who has advocated for changing installation names.

    “Each of these individuals possesses unique and relevant experience, in and out of government, that I know will inform this important effort,” Austin said in a statement. “I am enormously grateful for their willingness to serve the nation again, and I thank them in advance for the wise counsel I am confident they will provide.”

    The Biden administration announced the selections after Austin blocked selections that the Trump administration had made for the positions. Acting defense secretary Chris Miller’s selections in January included Joshua Whitehouse, who had overseen the dismissal of numerous appointees to nonpartisan Pentagon advisory boards as the Trump administration sought to install loyalists instead.

    The Trump administration’s other blocked selections include former White House officials Earl Matthews and Sean McLean and Ann Johnston, a Pentagon official in the Trump administration.

    Otis Redding captures the audience at the First International Monterey Pop Festival


    A reality show caught up in Confederate nonsense in 2021

    Apparently, a white contestant attended a Confederate pageant happened in 2018

    Show host gives classic demonstration on how not to man'splain the situation 

    Chris Harrison is the host of "The Bachelor"

    Rachel Lindsay is a former contestant who is Black

    Partial interview on "Extra"

    “Well, Rachel, is it a good look in 2018?” Harrison said. “Or, is it not a good look in 2021? Because there’s a big difference.”

    “It’s not a good look ever,” Lindsay said. “Because she’s celebrating the Old South. If I went to that party, what would I represent at that party?”

    “You’re 100 percent right in 2021,” Harrison said. “That was not the case in 2018. And again, I’m not defending Rachael. I just know that, I don’t know, 50 million people did that in 2018. That was a type of party that a lot of people went to. And again, I’m not defending it. I didn’t go to it.”

    The contestant involved in the controversy apologized 

    After weeks of controversy, Bachelor contestant Rachael Kirkconnell has released a statement apologizing for images that have surfaced of her attending a plantation-themed party, donning insensitive Halloween costumes, and “liking” offensive social media posts—including one in which two people are posed in front of a Confederate flag. And in a surprising, unprecedented move, the season’s entire cast has posted a shared statement to their social media denouncing racism.

    “While there have been rumors circulating, there have also been truths that have come to light that I need to address,” Kirkconnell wrote in a statement Thursday night. “At one point, I didn’t recognize how offensive and racist my actions were, but that doesn’t excuse them. My age or when it happened does not excuse anything. They are not acceptable or okay in any sense. I was ignorant, but my ignorance was racist.”


    James Brown was a classic act

    He ended is concerts with "Please, Please, Please (Don't go)

    The song ended with a cape being place around Brown's shoulders as he slowly walked off stage

    It was a crowd pleaser

    The man who placed the cape, Danny Day died on February 2nd, reported by NYT

    Danny Ray, who opened thousands of concerts for James Brown with a stem-winding, hype-filled introduction and ended them by draping a sequined velvet cape over the singer’s sweaty, bent-over body, only to have him burst forth in a paroxysm of soulful funk for one last encore, died on Feb. 2 at his home in Augusta, Ga. He was 85.

    His death was confirmed by Deanna Brown-Thomas, Mr. Brown’s daughter, who called Mr. Ray “the original hype man.”

    Mr. Ray’s cape routine, which he started in 1962, helped cement Mr. Brown’s flamboyant image even before he catapulted to worldwide celebrity as the “Godfather of Soul.”

    At the end of his first set in the small clubs where he performed at the time, Mr. Brown, drenched in perspiration, would leave the stage and Mr. Ray would cover him in a Turkish towel. When he was ready for his encore, Mr. Brown would toss it off with an exuberant flip of his arms — an act that the crowd could see clearly, and that fans came to expect.

    Beautiful memories.

    Michael Jordan now supporting Bubba Wallace in NASCAR

    Michael Jordan started receiving text messages from friends who had never before shown interest in NASCAR after Darrell Wallace Jr. made an impression this week in the run-up to Sunday’s Daytona 500. Wallace, who is known as Bubba, is making his debut with 23XI Racing, the team owned by Jordan and the driver Denny Hamlin.

    “So, people are starting to be inquisitive about it, which, to me, is a start,” Jordan told The New York Times in a video conference call with Hamlin and Wallace. “And come Sunday, hopefully both do well. I told Denny what my ideal scenario would be. I won’t say it out loud, but both of them are doing well.”

    Jordan, who is widely considered to be the greatest basketball player ever, has already propelled the popularity of one sport. Now, he hopes his venture into NASCAR extends and diversifies the number of drivers, sponsors, business opportunities and fans.

    In joining Hamlin and forming 23XI, Jordan is supporting Wallace, the only Black full-time driver at NASCAR’s top level. Last summer, Wallace called for the Confederate flag to be banned at racetracks. He later found a noose in his garage at the Talladega racetrack, but the F.B.I. determined he had not been the target of a hate crime.

    “We don’t know where this is going to go, but we know that we’re trying to make it better for all people,” Jordan said. “And not that it hasn’t been, but the thing is, the determination and the drive and the effort hadn’t really been the same.”

    A white male professor of chemistry at the University of New Hampshire posed as a woman of color in STEN online

    He used social media to attack the so-called woke

    The tweets in question bragged about fighting back against a statement put together by colleagues acknowledging the racial and social unrest after the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis on May 25.

    “Here it is: I was successful in killing my dept’s woke statement on recent social unrest. This took several weeks and may have permanently burned some bridges, but I think it’s important. It is a toxic ideology that cannot be given an inch,” one tweet stated.

    In that same thread, the account wrote in a separate tweet, “I was successful in removing all woke terminology from the statement including anti-racism, white supremacy, white privilege, and claims of systemic racism.”

    Once exposed, the male professor resigned 

    Love it!

    Highlight the date to view her video (fixed - PP)


    Great message from the  Vice President 

    Sad that the orange madness carrying the "China virus" message has created hated that produces fear in the community.

    The impeachment trial pre-emoted MSNBC's "CrossConnection", so I will wait until next Saturday to watch Tiffany D Cross

    Cross took over the Saturday slot after Joy Reid moved to a weekday post

    Jonathan Capehart will be on tomorrow with the "Sunday Show" after Republicans vote to acquit Trump (Yes, Inam a cynic)

    This is hilarious, Justin Timberlake apologizes to Janet Jackson for something that happened in 2004

    The apology follows the release of a documentary that call him out for the treatment of both Jackson and Britney Spears.

    Another day, another celeb apology. Only this time, it’s LONG overdue.

    On Friday, Variety reported that Man of the Woods artist Justin Timberlake officially issued an apology to pop superstar Britney Spears and icon Janet Jackson.

    You may recall Jackson and Timberlake’s 2004 Super Bowl performance when Timberlake tugged on a piece of Jackson’s outfit, exposing her breast in an alleged “wardrobe malfunction.” After that moment, Jackson’s career took a noticeable hit. Over the years, many have cited Timberlake as the cause, arguing that it was his actions and/or lack thereof that contributed largely to Jackson’s public scrutiny. (To be fair, that scrutiny is really only coming from one part of America because the other part absolutely STANS for Janet.) All the while, Timberlake’s star has continued to shine.

    Unfortunately, the latter sentiment can also be said of Spears as well. Spears and Timberlake dated back when they were both up and coming, influential music stars back in the early 2000s. But it was their highly publicized breakup that proved to be a contentious turning point for Spears’ career—yet not Timberlake’s. But now, thanks to a new FX documentary, Framing Britney Spears, many are calling for Timberlake to answer for the part he played in both women’s career downfalls. (To be clear, a lot of people have been calling Timberlake out for years, but it seems this time their calls are finally being answered.)

    It is up to both women to accept the apology

    I know that I should be more accepting of Timberlake's statement, but if God wanted me to be better, I wouldn't have been created so shallow ; )

    Odd, wasn't long ago we were supposed to accept some guy's apology for what a girl saw as life-threatening choking and rape. Other guys like Louis CK caught up in #MeToo came back with a grosser "sorry-not-sorry" vibe. The distinction with Timberlake seems to be his not being vague and personally bewildered in why he was apologizing. But yeah, it has been a long time, esp the amount of energy Jackson put in giving Timberlake a hand up. But maybe it still means something.

    Fans have complained for years that Timberlake emerged unscathed from the Super Bowl scandal, while Jackson was vilified and her career damaged. Jackson, unlike Timberlake, has not been invited back to perform.

    In his apology, Timberlake went to acknowledge that "the industry is flawed" because "it sets men, especially, white men, up for success."

    The internet has rehashed the Janet Jackson and Justin Timberlake drama of 2004s Super Bowl and the events that followed. Here’s what happened and why the internet’s pointing its finger at Justin.

    Reportedly, the costume change was simply meant to rip her top, leaving red lace exposed underneath. The event led to a media outpour, which treated the two singers very differently.

    Janet Jackson was banned from the Grammy’s the following week and completely blacklisted by MTV, which hindered her albums’ success hugely. Justin Timberlake however was not, and even had the platform to give an apology speech on stage at the Grammys.

    Although the whole thing was reportedly an accident, it was essentially Justin that ripped the top. Fans however feel the backlash afterwards was focused entirely on Janet, showing the sexism in the industry.

    In a 2006 interview with Oprah Winfrey, Janet Jackson was asked if Justin had “left [her] out there hanging,” to which she replied: “To a certain degree, yeah.”

    According to a Huff Post report, CBS boss at the time Les Moonves believed the whole Super Bowl drama wasn’t an accident but instead a publicity stunt. After Justin Timberlake “tearfully apologised” to him he was unbanned from the Grammys and allowed to perform, while Janet Jackson was left banned and blacklisted from VH1 and MTV.

    While the event remains a moment in pop culture history, and even became the butt of Justin Timberlake’s 2008 ESPYS jokes, it undoubtedly had long-lasting impacts on Janet Jackson’s caree

    Black writer escapes to the Carpathian Mountains to taste freedom 

    Twenty years ago, you could not have paid me to sit on grass, touch anything outside that a bug or animal had itself rested its bottom on or consume something that had grown out of the Earth without it first being rinsed in a sink inside the walls of a well-sanitized building.

    Now, you can’t keep away from the outdoors. I yearn for it, in fact. I started hiking in the Republic of Georgia 17 years ago, in the Caucasus Mountains, when I was accepted into the Peace Corps. I continued my hiking habit in Ukraine, where I completed my Fulbright grant.

    I’m in the Carpathian Mountains, in western Ukraine, working my way through this pandemic the best way I know how. Waking up to a mountain view makes writing about the travails of American politics in a post-Donald Trump country much easier.

    I look at the berries in his hand and note that they are too small to be table grapes.

    They may be wine grapes, but unclear of the variety.

    New Fulton County DA to investigate suspected attempt to alter the vote in Georgia 


    After six weeks as a district attorney, Fani T. Willis is taking on a former president.

    And not just that. In an interview about her newly announced criminal investigation into election interference in Georgia, Ms. Willis, the district attorney of Fulton County, made it clear that the scope of her inquiry would encompass the pressure campaign on state officials by former President Donald J. Trump as well as the activities of his allies.

    “An investigation is like an onion,” she said. “You never know. You pull something back, and then you find something else.”

    She added, “Anything that is relevant to attempts to interfere with the Georgia election will be subject to review.”

    Ms. Willis, whose jurisdiction encompasses much of Atlanta, has suddenly become a new player in the post-presidency of Mr. Trump. She will decide whether to bring criminal charges over Mr. Trump’s phone call to Georgia’s secretary of state, Brad Raffensperger, asking him to “find” votes to erase the former president’s loss there, and other efforts by Trump allies to overturn the election results. The severity of the legal threat to Mr. Trump is not yet clear, but Ms. Willis has started laying out some details about the inquiry.

    Del. Stacey Plaskett received praise for her prosecution at the impeachment trial

    First up was Del. Stacey Plaskett (D-Virgin Islands), the House impeachment manager who gobsmacked the United States with her riveting, fact-based prosecution of Donald Trump on the second day of the former president’s Senate trial. Plaskett, literally a blue-caped crusader, on Wednesday linked Trump’s tweets to responses in online forums, credibly laying blame at his feet for the Jan. 6 siege at the Capitol.

    In so doing, she became a real-time supernova, sparking lengthy Twitter conversations about what she wore and why we shouldn’t talk about it. In no time, her St. Croix-blue dress was photoshopped with a Superwoman “S” on the bodice. How fitting that the breast-beating Proud Boys coursing along the Capitol’s marble hallways in their “manly” costumes should be reduced to the wee men they really are by a woman wielding only a finely chiseled mind.

    Two sanitation workers alert police to the location of a kidnapped girl

    A 10-year-old Louisiana girl who was abducted over the weekend was found safe after two sanitation workers spotted the suspected kidnapper's vehicle.

    The girl had gone missing on Sunday afternoon from a family member's home in New Iberia, about 20 miles southeast of Lafayette.

    New Iberia police issued an Amber Alert for her and an arrest warrant for her alleged abductor, who police identified as Michael Sereal. Authorities said Sereal was last seen driving a silver Nissan Altima.

    Dion Merrick and Brandon Antoine, who work for Pelican Waste & Debris, said they had just started their route on Monday morning when they noticed a silver Nissan parked in the middle of a field in St. Martin Parish.

    Merrick said he immediately recognized the car from the Amber Alert.

    "I told the guy who rides with me, that's the car. I pulled forward and backed up to block the entrance [to the field] and then called 911," he said in a phone interview on Wednesday.

    Merrick said the driver of the vehicle opened the car door and Antoine recognized him as the suspect from the Amber Alert. They relayed the information to the 911 dispatcher. Police were at the scene in under a minute.

    Jacksonville Jaguars accept resignation of coach accused of racism

    The Jacksonville Jaguars announced the resignation of the strength coach Chris Doyle on Friday night, not long after an organization that promotes diversity in the N.F.L. called the recent decision to hire Doyle “simply unacceptable.”

    Doyle, whom the Jaguars announced they had hired on Thursday, left the University of Iowa’s football staff last year after a number of current and former Hawkeyes players said he had fostered a culture of bullying and racism.

    “Chris did not want to be a distraction to what we are building in Jacksonville,” Jaguars Coach Urban Meyer and General Manager Trent Baalke said in a statement. “We are responsible for all aspects of our program and, in retrospect, should have given greater consideration to how his appointment may have affected all involved. We wish him the best as he moves forward in his career.”

    Earlier on Friday, Rod Graves, the executive director of the Fritz Pollard Alliance, which is named for the first Black head coach in the N.F.L., released a statement that said: “Doyle’s departure from the University of Iowa reflected a tenure riddled with poor judgment and mistreatment of Black players. His conduct should be as disqualifying for the N.F.L. as it was for University of Iowa.”

    Urban Meyer, head coach, earlier

    “I’ve known Chris for close to 20 years,” Meyer said on Thursday when questioned about hiring someone who had been accused of mistreating athletes, particularly Black players. Doyle was the strength coach at the University of Utah in the late 1990s, a few years before Meyer was hired as the head coach there.

    “Urban Meyer’s statement, ‘I’ve known Chris for close to 20 years,’ reflects the good ol’ boy network that is precisely the reason there is such a disparity in employment opportunities for Black coaches,” Graves said in his statement.


    Heather McGhee on the racial economic gap

    Over a two-decade career in the white-collar think tank world, I’ve continually wondered: Why can’t we have nice things?

    By “we,” I mean America at-large. As for “nice things,” I don’t picture self-driving cars, hovercraft backpacks or laundry that does itself. Instead, I mean the basic aspects of a high-functioning society: well-funded schools, reliable infrastructure, wages that keep workers out of poverty, or a comprehensive public health system equipped to handle pandemics — things that equally developed but less wealthy nations seem to have.

    In 2010, eight years into my time as an economic policy wonk at Demos, a progressive policy research group, budget deficits were on the rise. The Great Recession had decimated tax revenue, requiring more public spending to restart the economy.

    But both the Tea Party and many in President Barack Obama’s inner circle were calling for a “grand bargain” to shrink the size of government by capping future public outlays and slashing Social Security, Medicaid and Medicare. Despite the still-fragile recovery and evidence that corporations were already paring back retirement benefits and ratcheting down real wages, the idea gained steam.

    On a call with a group of all-white economist colleagues, we discussed how to advise leaders in Washington against this disastrous retrenchment. I cleared my throat and asked: “So where should we make the point that all these programs were created without concern for their cost when the goal was to build a white middle class, and they paid for themselves in economic growth? Now these guys are trying to fundamentally renege on the deal for a future middle class that would be majority people of color?”

    Nobody answered. I checked to see if I was muted.

    Finally, one of the economists breached the awkward silence. “Well, sure, Heather. We know that — and you know that — but let’s not lead with our chin here,” he said. “We are trying to be persuasive.”

    The sad truth is that he was probably right. Soon, the Tea Party movement, harnessing the language of fiscal responsibility and the subtext of white grievance, would shut down the federal government, win across-the-board cuts to public programs and essentially halt the legislative function of the federal government for the next six years. The result: A jobless recovery followed by a slow, unequal economic expansion that hurt Americans of all backgrounds.

    The anti-government stinginess of traditional conservatism, along with the fear of losing social status held by many white people, now broadly associated with Trumpism, have long been connected. Both have sapped American society’s strength for generations, causing a majority of white Americans to rally behind the draining of public resources and investments. Those very investments would provide white Americans — the largest group of the impoverished and uninsured — greater security, too: A new Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco study calculated that in 2019, the country’s output would have been $2.6 trillion greater if the gap between white men and everyone else were closed. And a 2020 report from analysts at Citigroup calculated that if America had adopted policies to close the Black-white economic gap 20 years ago, U.S. G.D.P would be an estimated $16 trillion higher

    The verdict in Congress is not a surprise given 

    57 Senators did vote to convict.

    The message sent is that the judicial system is rigged.

    Always room for the icons


    Ralph Bunche, Nobel Peace Prize 1950

    Barbara Jordan, Democrat from Texas

    Protecting Black girls

    Vivian Anderson was living in Brooklyn, New York, in 2015 when a friend told her about video clips of a white police officer dragging a young Black girl from her desk and body-slamming her to the ground. Videos showed then-Spring Valley High School police officer Ben Fields in Columbia, South Carolina, flipping over the 16-year-old girl, identified as Shakara, toppling her desk and dragging her across the floor.

    Like many Black women who have become overwhelmed by the traumatic experience of seeing videos of police violence against other Black women and girls, Anderson had braced herself to watch the videos.

    But instead, she stumbled upon another video out of Spring Valley High. It was a clip featuring Shakara’s classmate: Niya Kenny, a high school senior at the time who was being released from jail. She had been arrested under a vague South Carolina “disturbing schools” law after encouraging her peers to take out their cellphones and film Fields, who was called to their math class after Shakara got into a verbal disagreement with their teacher about having her phone out. 

    Anderson, who now resides in Columbia, still remembers how she felt when she watched interviews of Kenny being asked why she decided to speak up for her classmate. 

    “She was like … ‘Because she had nobody else,’” Anderson said. “I get emotional every time I think about it. … I remember my heart just felt like somebody had punched it ... and all I felt was, ‘Here’s a girl calling folks to action.’” 

    “This girl should not have to be carrying this weight alone,” Anderson said she remembered thinking at the time.

    So in 2016, Anderson launched EveryBlackGirl, Inc., a national campaign and program that centers and supports Black girls. The disproportionate discipline used against Black boys often dominates mainstream conversations surrounding racial biases and school discipline. EveryBlackGirl emphasizes to Black girls that they are loved and supported by Black women everywhere.

    “Our mission often is to create a world where every Black girl thrives and it’s our belief until the world around her thrives, she’s not going to be safe,” Anderson said.

    That mission has continued to fuel the organization’s work over the years.

    Most recently, Anderson traveled to Osceola County, Florida, to visit a Black teen who was body-slammed by a school resource officer at her high school. 

    “The incident in Osceola, Florida, tells us that we cannot stop fighting against the overpolicing of Black girls because they are not stopping,” she said. “This is not new.”

    Then, in Rochester, New York, police officers handcuffed and pepper-sprayed a 9-year-old girl during a call about a family disturbance. Anderson sees parallels to the 2015 incident in South Carolina.

    “I think about the 9-year-old responding to the officer that said ‘stop acting like a child’ and she said, ‘I am a child.’ And it just reminds me of Niya when she said, ‘I stood up because I knew she had no one else,’” Anderson said. “Our girls keep standing, so we have to keep fighting so our voices are louder. Our girls need to hear and see us standing for them.”

    And last year, EveryBlackGirl jumped into action after a 15-year-old Black high school student in Michigan, identified by her middle name, Grace, was jailed in May for not doing her online schoolwork during the COVID-19 pandemic.


    Trailer for Regina King's "One Night in Miami"

    Interview with Alaya Dawn Johnson, the author of "Truoble the Saints" an alternative history crime novel

    Includes juju assassins

    Writer NK Nesmin and artist Jamal Campbell helm a DC Comics series about a Black female Green Lantern

    (I'm a Black Nerd Problems type nerd)

    Graphic novel featuring another DC Comics character, Nubia,  hits the stores and online shops 2/23

    Focused on the young adult and Wonder Woman fan market

    How the Black Church Embraces Tragic History and the Fervor of Faith

    Henry Louis Gates examines the history of the Black church.

    In a new book and related PBS documentary, the author explores how the Black church is the space where cultural ties to Africa come to life in mutated but still recognizable form.

    Equal... but separate?


    Black residents in Centreville, Illinois, say officials ignored their pleas for help for years. Now they’re quarantined in toxic conditions.

    For decades, residents of Centreville, a nearly all-Black town of 5,000 in southern Illinois, just a 12-minute drive from downtown East St Louis, have been dealing with persistent flooding and sewage overflows. The smell of it is in the air all over town after a rain, and bits of soggy toilet paper and slicks of human waste cling to the grass in neighborhoods where children used to play on warm days, locals said. Kids don’t play outside any more. Gardens don’t grow.

    Like Smith, other locals say their water tastes odd and refuse to drink from their taps, relying on donated shipments of bottled water. They worry about the long-term health effects of living under such conditions, and they say that for years elected officials and local utility companies inadequately addressed their cries for help.

    Residents and environmental justice advocates also believe that these issues persist because the town is one of the poorest in America, with a median household income of less than $15,000 a year and almost half of residents living below the poverty line. They contend that authorities at the local and state level might have addressed wastewater problems long ago if the area was wealthier and more influential.

    continues at The Guardian...



    Activist Catherine Flowers: the poor living amid
    sewage is 'the final monument of the Confederacy'

    Katherine Flowers stumbled upon the defining cause of her life by accident. In rural Alabama where Martin Luther King marched for civil rights, Flowers has waged a long fight for environmental justice.

    In 2001, Flowers was alerted by a county official to a family who were in distress. Mattie and Odell McMeans and their 18-strong extended family, who lived in a clutch of trailer homes close to a small country church, were being threatened with arrest and eviction for having committed a criminal offense.

    The pastor of the church was also facing imminent criminal prosecution and had been forced to suspend religious services. When the minister greeted Flowers on her first visit, he was crying.

    “It was heartbreaking,” she said.

    But that was nothing compared with what she saw next. The five trailers were on an incline, and as she approached them she could see a stream of brown fluid flowing down the road. She was horrified to see a pool of dark foul-smelling effervescent water that had collected around a pipe running from the church.

    The liquid was raw sewage and it was being straight-piped from the church and the surrounding trailer homes directly out on to the open ground. Such was the state of abject poverty and government neglect in Lowndes county that there was no public sanitation, and the cost of providing their own private septic tanks was way beyond the residents’ means. Now they were being punished for it with threats of prosecution for failure to install septic systems.

    continues @ The Guardian




    Edit to add:

    8 Black environmental activists

    The Black University of Alabama Dean who was fired after discovery of tweets criticizing racism and police

    Jamie R. Riley, the University of Alabama’s assistant vice president and dean of students, resigned from his position on Thursday after less than seven months on the job, UA officials confirmed. 

    His resignation comes a day after Breitbart News published an article detailing images of past tweets from Riley, in which he criticized the American flag and made a connection between police and racism

    Just pay him off . . . sad

    Thanks to a Tuscaloosa News FOIA public record request.

    University of Alabama will pay $346,200 to former dean of students

    Don't want no black man to disparage the great name of the grand institution of the Crimson Tide.

    It just may negatively affect Nick Saban's football recruiting.frown



    Classical music 2021

    Modern Black classical music artists are reviving the words of largely forgotten Black classical artists like Julius Eastman, Samuel Colerage-Taylor and Florence Price.


    Music can’t survive on its own. Composers not entrenched in the canon need support: from publishers, from foundations, from performers. Without these champions, it’s all too easy to slide into obscurity.

    Three projects — by the Catalyst Quartet; the baritone Will Liverman; and the pianist Lara Downes — consider another avenue for maintaining a legacy: recordings. Gone are the days when classical albums could be relied on as moneymakers. But in the age of streaming, they are endlessly accessible, easy to disseminate and, in the case of these new releases, ideal for spreading the word about overlooked composers of color, whose music often exists in varying states of disrepair.

    Recordings have helped propel the recent revivals of Julius Eastman and Florence Price, whose works are held up by scholars and critics today but languished for decades — neglected for a variety of reasons, including race.

    When a friend of mine, the musicologist Jacques Dupuis, programmed Samuel Coleridge-Taylor’s “Endymion’s Dream” a few years ago for the Boston ensemble Calliope, the only full score of it he could find was a rare holograph at the Library of Congress. So he traveled to Washington and spent dozens of hours transcribing it and creating a performing edition. A video of the resulting concert is the only available recording of the piece.

    “I’m not sure that would be sustainable as a regular practice without robust institutional support,” he said, “which speaks to some of the hurdles in bringing equity and diversity to music programming.”

    Similar labor went into the creation of these albums, made with the goal of highlighting music by Black composers and offering new possibilities for the classical canon.

    Queen Latifah cast as "The Equalizer" on CBS


    Hearing that Queen Latifah is playing the title role in a new iteration of “The Equalizer” — that combination of latter-day Robin Hood and action-movie vigilante — inspires equal measures of expectation and dread. When she cuts loose, in movies like “Bessie” and “Chicago,” she has a fierce and quick-witted swagger few performers can match. But will a CBS procedural drama give her the room to do anything besides cash checks for seven or eight years?

    In the words of the ad the Equalizer uses to solicit clients — placed in a newspaper in the 1980s television series, on Craigslist in the 2014 film remake and on social media in the new series — the odds are against her. And on the evidence of Sunday night’s premiere, the only episode available for review, CBS is firmly in control. Latifah puts a human face on the formulaic silliness and incapacitates faceless bad guys with aplomb, but there’s nothing in the pilot that requires her to do anything but coast on her charm.

    Like the male Equalizers played by Edward Woodward (in the original series) and Denzel Washington (in two films), Latifah’s Robyn McCall is a former intelligence operative — this time identified as a C.I.A. agent — who grew disillusioned with the government’s methods and retired. “Everybody’s playing chess, nobody’s thinking about the living, breathing pieces that we sacrifice along the way,” she tells her former C.I.A. boss (played by Chris Noth) in a prime example of the dialogue, alternately stiff and threadbare, she has to do battle with. (“Remember Tangiers?” “I smell a rat.”)

    Like Washington’s McCall in the films, she’s accidentally drawn into her new career of do-goodery when she comes to the aid of a young woman in trouble. It’s emblematic of the plot contrivances rigged by the show’s creators, Andrew W. Marlowe and Terri Edda Miller, that McCall randomly spots the woman late at night at Coney Island, follows her out of protective curiosity and is quickly drawn into a scheme involving a murdered lawyer, mercenary war criminals, a deep-fake video and an Elon Musk-style auto executive.

    Black abstract artists finally get their due

    In the 1960s, abstract painting was a controversial style for Black artists, overshadowed by social realist works. Now, it’s claimed its place as a vital form of expression.

    Impeachment manager Delegate Stacey Plaskett 

    Impeachment Manager: We Needed ‘More Senators With Spines,’ Not Witnesses

    Del. Stacey Plaskett (D-Virgin Islands) didn’t mince words in explaining Trump’s acquittal.

    15 Pioneering Black Architects Who Shaped America

    18 Black Style Icons Whose Legacies Continue to Inspire

    These women are trendsetters and trailblazers in every sense of the word.

    Never forget 

    On June 21, 1964, three young men disappeared near the town of Philadelphia, Mississippi. Michael (Mickey) Schwerner and James Chaney worked for the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) in nearby Meridian; Andrew Goodman was one of the hundreds of college students from across the country who volunteered to work on voter registration, education, and Civil Rights as part of the 1964 Mississippi Summer Project. The three men believed their work was necessary, but also dangerous: Ku Klux Klan membership in Mississippi was soaring in 1964 -- with membership reaching more than 10,000. The Klan was prepared to use violence to fight the Civil Rights movement; on April 24 the group offered a demonstration of its power, staging 61 simultaneous cross burnings throughout the state.

    761st Tank Battalion Tank Battalion was activated on April 1, 1942, at Camp Claiborne, Louisiana, and deployed to Europe, landing at Omaha Beach in France on October 10, 1944.

    The Battalion trained at Camp Hood, Texas, where they were rated superior by Second Army Commander Lt.Gen. Ben Lear. They landed on the Continent with high morale -- some said they were cocky.

    Later referred to as the Black Panther Tank Battalion, the 761st was attached to the XII Corps' 26th Infantry Division, assigned to Gen. George S. Patton Jr.'s Third Army, an army already racing eastward across France, and committed to combat on Nov. 7, 1944.

    As a result of their great fighting abilities they spearheaded a number of Patton's moves into enemy territory.  They forced a hole in the Siegfried Line, allowing Patton's 4th Armored Division to pour through into Germany.  They fought in France, Belgium, and Germany, and were among the first American forces to link up with the Soviet Army (Ukranians) at the River Steyr in Austria. 

    The concept of death in the Yoruba region

    Good death

    Bad death

    Ths need to personally avenge a bad death

    "Woman in Motion"

    Documentary about Nichelle Nichols, who portrayed Lt Uhura in "Star Trek" the original series

    Nichols went on to work with NASA to recruit astronauts like Sally Ride, Ronald McNair, and Mae Jemison

    Attorney Ben Crump is the executive director

    Ma Rainey Director George C. Wolfe Teams Up With the Obamas' Higher Ground for Upcoming Bayard Rustin Biopic

    Fresh off the critically acclaimed Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, which is currently racking up hella award nominations, Netflix has announced a brand new project from its accomplished director George C. Wolfe.

    According to a press release sent to The Root, the masterful playwright will direct Rustin, a biopic centering around gay civil rights activist Bayard Rustin in tandem with the Obamas’ Higher Ground production company. Academy Award-winning screenwriter and LGBT activist Dustin Lance Black (Milk) will pen the script as well as produce alongside Priya Swaminathan and Tonia Davis from Higher Ground and Academy Award-winner Bruce Cohen (American Beauty). Rustin “tells the story of charismatic, gay, civil rights activist Bayard Rustin, who overcame [an onslaught] of obstacles, and altered the course of American history by organizing the 1963 March on Washington.”

    New Orleans Mardi Gras adapts to cancelation of parades because of the pandemic 

    Homes are being decorated 

    NEW ORLEANS — The sunset streamed through the warehouse windows where René Píerre carved float props out of Styrofoam, carefully adding details to dozens of decorations for this year’s Mardi Gras celebration on Tuesday.

    Mr. Píerre owns Crescent City Artists and has worked as a Mardi Gras float artist for 34 years. But he needed to figure out a new way of doing things this time. Parades were canceled by the city to prevent large crowds from gathering, so he and other celebrants decided to build floats in front of people’s houses instead.

    It was mid-January, and with just weeks to go before the celebration, Mr. Píerre’s clothes and hands were covered in paint. Two float artists he mentors and a veteran float carpenter worked alongside him. “I’m running on fumes now,” Mr. Pierre said.

    This Black-Owned Breakfast Food Company Is Making ‘Cereal For The Culture’

    On one particular night last summer, Nic King had trouble sleeping. There was a lot on his mind.

    The 34-year-old had recently left his corporate job. The Black Lives Matter protests following the death of George Floyd had just begun to spread nationwide. 

    It was out of this moment, one that he calls “divine inspiration,” that he came up with the idea for Proud Puffs, a chocolate-flavored, vegan cereal formed in the shape of a Black fist. 

    “I woke out of my sleep. It was a random idea that was on my mind,” King told HuffPost. “I’m thinking, where is cereal coming from? Starting a cereal company is a super bizarre idea to think about at 3 a.m. but as a man of faith, I’ve always believed if you get a random idea, God gives you an idea and you look into it.” 

    From there, King, who lives in Darien, Connecticut, spent the next several months conducting research on how to pursue his vision. He officially announced the launch of Legacy Cereal in December, which he says may be the only Black-owned business of its kind.

    I will give this a try with some coffee just to see.

    Speaking of cereal?

    Fifty-two years ago... Putney Swope...


    Ethereal Cereal


    The movie... 85 minutes (adult content NSFW)

    Putney Swope (1969) - Dir.: Robert Downey, Sr.


    We can't overlook . . .

    This that came before those...


    Marjorie Taylor Greene Came of Age in This Infamously Racist Georgia County

    When Marjorie Taylor Greene, the new congresswoman known for her racist and anti-Semitic rants, was a senior at South Forsyth County High School in 1992, a few dozen Black marchers made their way through the Georgia county’s rain-slicked streetssinging old protest songs and carrying signs reading “We Shall Overcome” and “Black and White Together.” The route was flanked by hundreds of snarling white racists waving Confederate flags and shouting ″Go home, n---ers.”

    The marchers had been marking five years since the 1987 “Walk for Brotherhood” drew international condemnation to all-white Forsyth County. Newspaper accounts describe protesters being pelted with so many “rocks, bottles and mud thrown from a crowd of Ku Klux Klan members and their supporters” that they were forced to abandon the two-and-half mile route. Forsyth County had maintained an unwritten whites-only policy dating to 1912, when white vigilantes lynched a black man and drove out nearly all of the African American residents. The county’s reputation as too dangerous for Black folks to even drive through—a courthouse lawn sign in the 1950s and ‘60s warned “N---er, Don’t Let the Sun Set on You” — was well earned. ''I have been in the civil rights movement for 30 years,” Hosea Williams, an acolyte of Martin Luther King Jr and organizer of the Forsyth County march, told the New York Times in 1987. “I'm telling you we've got a South Africa in the backyard of Atlanta, Georgia.''


    Given the history of the county, we should not be surprised by Greene's behavior, or how she was elected.

    Simone Biles on USA Gymnastics 

    Simone Biles says she would not allow her daughter to be part of the USA Gymnastics set-up following the organizsation’s handling of the Larry Nassar sexual abuse scandal.

    Nassar, a former doctor for USA Gymnastics, was given an effective life sentence in 2018 for abusing dozens of athletes in his care, including Biles.

    During an appearance on CBS’s 60 Minutes on Sunday, Biles was asked if she would let her daughter train with USA Gymnastics.

    “No,” replied the four-times Olympic champion. “Because I don’t feel comfortable enough, because they haven’t taken accountability for their actions and what they’ve done.

    “And they haven’t ensured us that it’s never going to happen again.”

    Did CDC  and Deloitte steal parts of a vaccination tracking platform from a firm headed by a Black woman?

    Deloitte's system failed

    The other system is used in 27 states

    WASHINGTON — Last spring, when coronavirus vaccines were just a glimmer of hope, the Trump administration awarded the first of two no-bid contracts worth up to $44 million to a national consulting firm to help patients register to be immunized and states collect detailed data on vaccine recipients.

    The result was VAMS, a vaccine administration management system built by the firm, Deloitte, which has been spurned by most states and become an object of scorn. And now, an immunization expert who had offered the government her own mass vaccination tracker at a lower price than Deloitte’s is accusing the company and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention of stealing her intellectual property.

    The expert, Tiffany Tate, the executive director of the Maryland Partnership for Prevention, made the allegation in a cease-and-desist letter obtained by The New York Times, and later confirmed its authenticity in an interview with her lawyer on Friday. Ms. Tate, who has spent two decades running immunization clinics in underserved communities, said she previewed her platform in May for Deloitte officials who were identified by the C.D.C. as consultants.

    The C.D.C. expressed interest in buying it, she said. But the centers instead asked Deloitte, without a competitive bidding process, to build its own system, dismissing warnings from state and local health officials and immunization managers that it was unwise to roll out an untested platform in the middle of a crisis.

    The letter, dated Aug. 30, says the C.D.C.’s specifications “mirror” the system Ms. Tate created — including a “new feature” that “eventually found its way into VAMS.” Ms. Tate, who is African-American and whose work has focused on minority communities, said the rejection was especially painful in the thick of a pandemic that disproportionately affects people of color.

    “I was in shock, and I really was heartbroken because I’ve worked with these people my entire career and I respected them and I trusted them,” Ms. Tate said in the interview. “It was very, very upsetting.”

    Ultimately, the marketplace spoke. VAMS, which Mississippi’s state health officer, Dr. Thomas E. Dobbs, described this week as “suboptimal,” is being used in about 10 states. Ms. Tate offered to license her own system for $15 million — about a third of what the C.D.C. has committed to pay Deloitte — so the agency could give it free to states. When the C.D.C. rejected her, she said, she sold it to states herself.

    Now, 27 states and jurisdictions are using it, including North Dakota, which as of Friday had administered the first shot of a two-dose coronavirus vaccine to a higher percentage of its population than all but four other states. Louisiana is expected to sign on, which would bring the number to 28, and Virginia has abandoned VAMS for the system, known as PrepMod, Ms. Tate said.

    “She is a reputable person,” said Claire Hannan, the executive director of the Association of Immunization Managers, who said that she, too, had assumed that the C.D.C. was buying Ms. Tate’s platform after hearing agency officials describe their coming system in conference calls last year. “This is a good system. It is built out of experience running these clinics. Does it do everything? No. Is it the perfect solution that everybody wants at the drop of a dime? No. But it’s working in many states.”

    Meghan and Harry to do interview with Oprah

    Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are ready to talk about their “future hopes and dreams.” 

    CBS announced Monday that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex will sit down with Oprah Winfrey for a 90-minute primetime special called “Oprah with Meghan and Harry.” The news was first reported by the British television channel ITV. 

    “Winfrey will speak with Meghan, The Duchess of Sussex, in a wide-ranging interview, covering everything from stepping into life as a Royal, marriage, motherhood, philanthropic work to how she is handling life under intense public pressure,” CBS said in a statement shared with HuffPost. 

    “Later, the two are joined by Prince Harry as they speak about their move to the United States and their future hopes and dreams for their expanding family,” the statement continued. 

    The rare interview ― produced by Oprah’s Harpo Productions and decidedly not with a British media outlet ― is set to air at 8 p.m. ET on March 7.

    Can’t Travel? These Places Are Bringing Black History to You

    Virtual travel to access Black history

    Coming off a year when race dominated the national conversation, Black History Month is more relevant than ever. There’s a lot of soul searching going on and a quest for knowledge and understanding. While ordinarily a reckoning of this magnitude might have meant hitting the road to soak up history first-hand, many people aren’t traveling during pandemic. However, that doesn’t mean you have to skip your Black history education. Get comfy on your coach and let your computer take you on a journey through the past. There is a myriad of virtual Black History experiences for the youngest to the eldest.

    These Black Soldiers Fought for America. It Didn’t Protect Them From Jim Crow.

    The Black soldiers of the 320th Barrage Balloon Battalion had a critical role to play in WWII—but before they deployed, they faced violence in the Jim Crow South.


    Information on the acrylic done by Alma Thomas displayed by the Obamas in the White House

    THE INSTANTLY RECOGNIZABLE work of Alma W. Thomas (1891-1978) graces the Old Family Dining Room at the White House. In February, First Lady Michelle Obama revealed the newly refurbished space where Thomas’s “Resurrection” is displayed on the north wall. The painting is the first artwork by an African American woman to hang in the public spaces of the White House and enter the permanent collection. 

    The renovation marked the debut of the Old Family Dining Room on the official White House tour, providing public access to see Thomas’s painting along with works by Josef Albers and Robert Rauschenberg that are also on display in the room. Adjacent to the State Dining Room, the relatively small Old Family Dining is used for official meals—intimate formal gatherings and working lunches with foreign leaders. The White House recently released a photo of a Passover Seder held in the room that drew renewed attention to the Thomas painting.

    The MLK Jr bust on permanent loan to the White House

    The bust of King is one of five

    Another bust from the set was donated to the National Museum of African-American Culture and History

    Cicely Tyson comes back to her home church 

    Honoring Cicely Tyson, Harlem’s ‘Trueborn Queen’

    Cicely Tyson lay in repose at the Abyssinian Baptist Church in Harlem, where she had been a member for three decades.

    Kate Warne, the Pinkerton detective who protected Abraham Lincoln from an assassination attempt in 1861

    Her success as an agent led Pinkerton to hire many more women

    She became their superintendent

    Racism in the Calgary, Canada fire department 

    When Chris Coy became Calgary’s first Black firefighter 25 years ago, his heroic vision of the profession was almost immediately upended.

    First, he said, during training he was hazed more than his colleagues, strapped to a stretcher against his will and repeatedly doused with a fire hose. Then there were the co-workers who ostracized him at lunch. Throughout his career, he said, fellow firefighters used a racial slur directed at Black people.

    For years, Mr. Coy said he suffered in silence as he feared speaking out would mean dismissal, or, worse, other firefighters not shielding him from danger in the field

    But since retiring in December, Mr. Coy has begun speaking publicly about what he said was decades of racially motived physical and verbal abuse, joining a group of current and former firefighters who have been voicing similar grievances. The city’s mayor and fire chief have acknowledged the racism within the department and pledged to address it.

    N.A.A.C.P. Sues Trump and Giuliani Over Election Fight and Jan. 6 Riot

    The civil rights group brought the suit on behalf of Representative Bennie Thompson of Mississippi, with other Democrats in Congress expected to join as plaintiffs.

    Love the spirit

    On April 16, 1862, nine months before President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation in January 1863, the U.S. Congress passed the District of Columbia Emancipation Act, making the District of Columbia’s slaves the first freed in the nation.


    The article focuses on the development of a Black Broadway-style entertainment industry in DC

    Lillian Evanti was a star

    The fight for Marcia Fudge's seat

    Progressive Nina Turner versus Moderate Shontel Brown

    Book publishers hard at work

    1. "Power Concedes Nothing Without a Demand by Connie Rice, civil rights attorney 

    The "fierce" and "remarkable" memoir from one of the nation's most influential and celebrated civil rights attorneys--second cousin of former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice--is "a rallying cry for social justice" ( More magazine). Connie Rice has taken on the bus system, the school system, the death penalty, gangs, and the LAPD--and won. Now, with an electrifying, inimitable voice, Rice illuminates the origins and inspiration for her life's work in this "genuinely compelling" ( Kirkus Reviews ) account. Part memoir, part call to action, Power Concedes Nothing is pas-sionate, provocative, and studded with dramatic stories of a life in the trenches of civil rights. Inspired by the words of Martin Luther King, Jr., Connie Rice has written a "remarkable" ( Publishers Weekly ) blueprint for a new generation of justice seekers

    2. The Sum of Us by Heather McGhee


    One of today's most insightful and influential thinkers offers a powerful exploration of inequality and the lesson that generations of Americans have failed to learn: Racism has a cost for everyone--not just for people of color. "This is the book I've been waiting for." --Ibram X. Kendi, #1 New York Times bestselling author of How to Be an Antiracist Heather McGhee's specialty is the American economy--and the mystery of why it so often fails the American public. From the financial crisis to rising student debt to collapsing public infrastructure, she found a common root problem: racism. But not just in the most obvious indignities for people of color. Racism has costs for white people, too. It is the common denominator of our most vexing public problems, the core dysfunction of our democracy and constitutive of the spiritual and moral crises that grip us all. But how did this happen? And is there a way out? McGhee embarks on a deeply personal journey across the country from Mississippi to California to Maine, tallying what we lose when we buy into the zero-sum paradigm--the idea that progress for some of us must come at the expense of others. Along the way, she meets white people who confide in her about losing their homes, their dreams, and their shot at better jobs to the toxic mix of American racism and greed. This is the story of how public goods in this country--from parks and pools to functioning schools--have become private luxuries; of how unions collapsed, wages stagnated, and inequality increased; and of how this country, unique among the world's advanced economies, has thwarted universal healthcare. But in unlikely places of worship and work, McGhee finds proof of what she calls the Solidarity Dividend: gains that come when people come together across race, to accomplish what we simply can't do on our own. The Sum of Us is a brilliant analysis of how we arrived here: divided and self-destructing, materially rich but spiritually starved and vastly unequal. McGhee marshals economic and sociological research to paint an irrefutable story of racism's costs, but at the heart of the book are the humble stories of people yearning to be part of a better America, including white supremacy's collateral victims: white people themselves. With startling empathy, this heartfelt message from a Black woman to a multiracial America leaves us with a new vision for a future in which we finally realize that life can be more than zero-sum.


    3. "Dear Kamala" by Peggy Brooks-Bertram

    Women of all ages, races, and nations share their hopes, fears, desires, advice, and support with the new Vice President. 

    As the first woman of color elected as the Vice President of the United States, Kamala Harris broke through many barriers and made history, energizing a host of women who have a lot to say. Seeing a model of themselves filling the second-most-powerful office in the Free World, women from Africa to California, Canada to Florida began writing to the new Vice President. 

    Dear Kamala: Women Write to the New Vice President showcases a selection of these heartfelt and moving letters. Girl Scouts confide their fears for a future ravaged by climate change; a business owner in Harlem offers unflinching advice about the need for real investment in inner cities; civil rights activists share their stories, struggles, and successes over the decades. 

    Filled with moving personal stories and heartbreaking tales of racial injustices suffered, Dear Kamala offers much more than kind words. They represent an offer of support and a call to action for all those who will be at Vice President Harris's side throughout the next four years.

    4. "The Black Church 'Tis is Our Story This is Our Song

    "A powerful new history of the Black church in America as the Black community's abiding rock and its fortress"--

    5. Calhoun American Heretic by Robert Elder

    The first biography in a quarter century of the intellectual father of Southern secession
    John C. Calhoun is among the most notorious and enigmatic figures in American political history. First elected to Congress in 1810, Calhoun went on to serve as secretary of war and vice president. But he is perhaps most known for arguing in favor of slavery as a "positive good" and for his famous doctrine of "state interposition," which laid the groundwork for the South to secede from the Union -- and arguably set the nation on course for civil war.
    Calhoun has catapulted back into the public eye in recent years, as the strain of radical politics he developed has found expression once again in the tactics and extremism of the modern Far Right. In this revelatory biographical study, historian Robert Elder shows that Calhoun is crucial for understanding the political climate in which we find ourselves today. By excising him from the mainstream of American history, we have been left with a distorted understanding of our past and no way to explain our present


    All out today


    St. Louis to Pay $5 Million to Black Cop Who Was Beaten By Officers While Undercover as a Protestor

    Taxpayers in St. Louis have ended up holding the bag for the actions of local police officers accused of beating and severely injuring one of their fellow cops during a 2017 protest.

    St. Louis Officer Luther Hall has secured a $5 million settlement agreement in his lawsuit against the city, related to his alleged assault by members of the St. Louis Police Department while he was working undercover as a demonstrator during protests against police violence.

    The irony is real.

    KSDK News reports that the settlement agreement was signed by St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson, as well as Lt. Col. Lawrence O’Toole and Sgt. Joseph Marcantano of the police department. The city now has 45 days to hand over payment to Hall.



    Lindsay Graham is suggesting that Kamala Harris be impeached 

    Kamala attended an HBCU and is a member of a Black sorority 

    Black women have her back

    South Carolina will catch Hell financially if he attempts to start an impeachment

    Amy Cooper, Who Falsely Accused Black Bird-Watcher, Has Charge Dismissed

    Her five therapy sessions helped her

    Christian Cooper, the falsely accused man, wrote a digital comic about the episode

    Serena Williams versus Naomi Osaka in the Australian Open final

    Citing lack of education at school, 10-year old starts her own Black history class for kids


    When COVID-19 forced the nationwide transition to online learning, schoolchildren found themselves at home trying to transition to the concept along with their parents. Ten-year-old Dakota Adeyemi was in a similar situation, but managed to keep herself busy by searching for Black history on the internet.

    After taking an interest in Black pioneers and their contributions to society, Dakota decided she wanted to make better use of her time by teaching others about positive Black history.

    She approached her mother, Georgia state Rep. Erica Thomas, with an idea that would combine her expanding interest in Black history with her love for teaching and learning. And thus, a new passion project was born: Dakota School.

    “I love history and I love Black history,” said Dakota, who lives in Mableton, Georgia, with her mother, father and younger sister. “Every time I went to school I was excited to learn about Black history, but when history came around, there wasn’t any. I knew there was something wrong, so I decided to start Dakota’s School.”

    Related StoryDakota School is an online show created to make learning about Black history fun for children. Using singing and dancing, interactive lessons and videos, Dakota and her team focused on stepping away from traditional classroom models. Instead, they focused on activities that would make children more receptive to school, not less.

    “We just went off the things she likes,” Thomas said. “She likes crossword puzzles, word searches and coloring. So we just put all those things into the workbook. We do crosswords for each lesson so the kids can figure out some of the words they learned, and we did a word search for each one as well. We just did what ’Kota liked. If ’Kota likes it, it will probably work. She helps us come up with the lessons, and it works out. It’s pretty much Dakota’s school and if Dakota likes it, I think the other kids will, too.”

    Dakota and her team film Dakota School on Wednesdays, because it is the one day of the week she doesn’t have classes. She says some Wednesdays are for filming and others are for learning and studying.

    However, it’s clear that production days aren’t the only times Dakota is working. Thomas says Dakota is very hands-on with the program and does a lot of the work that goes into it.

    Music for relaxation 

    Pink Sweats

    For nearly all of “Pink Planet,” Pink Sweats is determinedly wholesome, benevolent and sweetly humble. But he makes it clear that his mission is to create music that’s a refuge from bleak realities. The album’s opener, “Pink City,” states — over gospelly organ and choirlike vocal harmonies — “It’s hard in the city, the city where I’m from” and resolves, “You can build you a city and call it home.” Halfway through the album, in the spoken-word “Interlude,” he explains over somber piano chords that listening to all kinds of music on the radio was “an escape, because the world I was living in wasn’t always so beautiful.”



    Providing economic aid the Black farmers 

    It’s pretty sad that in 2021, Congress making an effort to not discriminate against Black farmers is seen as “historic.” Yet, legislation introduced by Senate Democrats is just that, as it seeks to both provide relief for farmers as a result of the pandemic, as well as address long systemic racism within the agricultural department. 

    According to the Hill, Democratic Sens. Raphael Warnock (Ga.), Cory Booker(N.J.), Ben Ray Luján (N.M.) and Debbie Stabenow (Mich.) introduced the Emergency Relief for Farmers of Color Act, a bill that would provide $4 billion in relief for non-white farmers, and put $1 billion towards addressing systemic racism within the Department of Agriculture. A second bill was also introduced by Booker, Warnock, and several other senators called the Justice for Black Farmers Act, that is intended to provide solutions to the numerous obstacles faced by Black farmers.

    “When it comes to farming and agriculture, we know that there is a direct connection between discriminatory policies within the USDA and the enormous land loss we have seen among Black farmers over the past century,” Booker said in a statement. Booker and Warnock are the first Black senators to ever serve on the Senate Agriculture Committee.

    At a very young and therefore impressionable age, I was emphatically told by my mother (who's of Eastern European heritage) about the exceptionally kind and caring nature of our Black family doctor. She never had anything disdainful to say about people of color; in fact she loves to watch/listen to the Middle Eastern and Indian subcontinental dancers and musicians on the multicultural channels.

    This had a positive effect upon me.

    Conversely, if she’d told me the opposite about the doctor, I could’ve aged while blindly linking his color with an unjustly cynical view of him and all Black people.

    When angry, my (late) father occasionally expressed displeasure with Anglo immigrants, largely due to his own experiences with bigotry as a new Canadian citizen in the 1950s and ’60s.

    He, who also emigrated from Eastern Europe, didn’t resent non-white immigrants, for he realized they had things at least as bad. Plus he noticed—as I also now do—in them an admirable absence of a sense of entitlement.

    Thus, basically by chance, I reached adulthood unstricken by uncontrolled feelings of racial contempt seeking expression.

    Not as lucky, some people—who may now be in an armed authority capacity—were raised with a distrust or blind dislike of other racial groups.

    Regardless, the first step towards changing our irrationally biased thinking is our awareness of it and its origin.

    But until then, ugly sentiments need to be either suppressed or professionally dealt with, especially when considering the mentality is easily inflamed by anger.


    We all wish people could magically gain insight

    They don't 

    This post is a celebration of what people survived and are surviving 

    The celebration includes people like Viola Liuzzo and others

    OGD started this post as a tribute to Black History Month 

    In truth, the celebration goes on all year. 


    ABC to produce movie based on the life of Josephine Baker

    The life of legendary jazz entertainer Josephine Baker will be coming to a small screen near us soon, thanks to ABC Signature and LeBron James and Maverick Carter’s The Springhill Company.

    Deadline reports that Loving star Ruth Negga will portray the artist and activist in a new limited series titled Josephine, and will executive produce alongside David Makes Man showrunner Dee Harris-Lawrence and Emmy-nominated director Milicent Shelton. Josephine is being described as “a raw and unflinching look at the force of nature that was Josephine Baker, the biggest Black female artist of her time. From international superstar and decorated WWII spy to civil rights activist and flawed mother, Josephine delves into the raw talent, sexual fluidity, struggles and bold life of an icon.” Baker’s story and legacy has been portrayed only a few times prior onscreen, the most notable being Lynn Whitfield’s performance in HBO’s 1991 biopic and most recently in an episode of the network’s first season of Lovecraft Country.



    The Secretary of Defense 

    Opinion: The U.S. can’t meet its responsibilities alone. That’s why we believe in NATO.

    President Biden made it clear two weeks ago that diplomacy will be our primary means of engaging with the world, and it must be our first tool of choice. At the same time, the president also recognizes that all of our decisions and actions must be accomplished from a position of strength.

    For the Defense Department, this means fielding a credible force, ready to back up the hard work of diplomacy. It also means working closely with our allies and partners to secure our common interests and promote our shared values abroad. Simply put, we cannot meet our responsibilities alone, nor should we try.

    This is the message I will deliver Wednesday to my counterparts at the NATO defense ministers’ meeting. We must consult together, decide together and act together.

    America’s Brutal Racial History Is Written All Over Our Genes

    Home DNA testing uncovers the extent of the brutalization of slavery 

    Many unsuspecting whites, carry the genes of Black slaves

    Cecil Haney, first four-star admiral in the Navy speaks of ongoing racism in the institution


    Racial bias at McDonald's?

    Herb Washington, a former Oakland Athletics player who built the country’s largest Black-owned McDonald’s franchise operation, filed a lawsuit Tuesday accusing the fast-food giant of systemic racial discrimination for its pattern of steering Black owners into restaurants in impoverished neighborhoods that yielded less profit, targeting them with unequal assessments that made it harder to renew their contracts, then pressuring them to sell to White owners.

    Washington, 69, owned 27 McDonald’s restaurants in New York, Ohio and Pennsylvania during his four decades as a franchisee but alleged that the company began a campaign to drive him out in 2017 in retaliation for speaking about the “predatory, racially biased steering practices” against Black franchisees. Today he owns 14 McDonald’s restaurants, he said, having been forced to sell seven stores in the last three years alone to White owners.

    “McDonald’s has targeted me for extinction," Washington said during a Zoom press conference from his home, appearing in a gray suit and black tie before a painting of Muhammad Ali knocking out Sonny Liston. “It took every ounce of me to succeed against the incredible and unfair odds that McDonald’s forced on me.”

    Opening doors to get Black fashion designers into retail stores

    Aurora Jones


    The ongoing need to support Black women experiencing sexual abuse

    Black grief seen through the arts

    NEW YORK — The most ambitious exhibitions help to usher in new ways of seeing. The Nigerian curator Okwui Enwezor, who died in March 2019 at just 55, specialized in these kinds of paradigm-shifting shows. His exhibitions had a prescient feeling. If you saw them or even read about them, you knew you were seeing the shape of future conversations about art — and about who gets kudos for making it.

    Grief and Grievance: Art and Mourning in America” — the last show organized by Enwezor and his only one devoted exclusively to art by African Americans — feels retrospective rather than prescient. That makes sense, because the show, at the New Museum in New York, is about mourning, commemoration and loss.

    Remarkable in its quality, emotional force and concision, it features work by many of this country’s most acclaimed Black artists — among them Carrie Mae WeemsMark Bradford, Lorna Simpson, Kerry James Marshall, Theaster Gates and Kara Walker.

    Enwezor originally conceived “Grief and Grievance” in 2018, in the aftermath of a period that saw America’s first Black president, the death of Trayvon Martin, the rise of the Black Lives Matter movement and the murder of nine members of an African American congregation by a young White supremacist. After Donald Trump became president, Enwezor wanted to think through what he called the “crystallization of Black grief in the face of a politically orchestrated White grievance.”

    He has done that and, at the same time, produced a show that is filled with musical invention, austere forms of abstract beauty and visceral expressions of joy.

    Enwezor planned for the show to open during Trump’s first term. In case his cancer progressed, he had entrusted aspects of the project to the artist Glenn Ligon, who worked with curators Mark Nash, Naomi Beckwith and Massimiliano Gioni to bring the show to fruition. The catalogue was completed on May 1, 2020, less than a month before the killing of George Floyd. The opening was then set back by the pandemic.

    Trump is no longer president, and in 2021, many people — buffeted by so many crises on so many fronts — might not want to be reminded of the concatenation of traumas to which the art in the show responds. I don’t blame them. But the exhibition is polyphonic, layered and, in many ways, I think, cathartic. Beckwith told me last fall that she envisaged the show as “a form of collective therapy.”


    Edit to add:


    Earlier WaPo story about the exhibit

    Some of America’s best Black artists are joining forces for a show about Black grief — conceived by a legendary curator who died last year

    Ruth E. Carter made history in 2019 as the first Black person (and Black woman) to win an Academy Award for Costume Design—a feat made even more special for the fact that the film that earned her the award was 2018's Black Panther. This month, the legendary costume designer—whose extensive list of credits also includes The Five Heartbeats, Do the Right Thing, Malcolm XAmistad, Selma and the upcoming Coming 2 America, among others, will be cemented into Hollywood history—literally.

    “Motion Picture Costume Designer Ruth E. Carter will be honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame via a virtual star ceremony on February 25, at 11:30 am,” read a post from the Hollywood Walk of Fame on Wednesday morning. The announcement was confirmed by the costuming legend herself on Monday, during the Black Design Collective x Runway 360 Global Showcasewhich helped to kick off this February’s Fashion Week.

    MLK and Rabbi Heschel

    On January 14, 1963, Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel gave the speech “Religion and Race,” at a conference of the same name that assembled in Chicago, Illinois.  There he met Dr. Martin Luther King and the two became friends.  Rabbi Heschel marched with Dr. King at Selma, Alabama in 1965.  The speech Rabbi Heschel gave at the 1963 conference appears below.

    The sad final resting place of Nance Legins-Costley, the first slave freed by Abraham Lincoln

    PEORIA, Ill. (AP) — If the world were just, the name of Nance Legins-Costley would resonate amid the likes of Harriet Tubman, Frederick Douglass and other abolitionist rebels.

    But her story is hardly known. Not in Illinois, where — despite anti-slavery laws — she was born into bondage. Not in Pekin, where — despite anti-Black attitudes — she became a beloved community figure. And certainly not in Peoria, where — despite her impressive life — she is buried in ignominy.

    Perhaps her story is more subtle than those of high-profile abolitionist leaders, yet her fortitude was astounding. Barely a teen, she first stood up for her civil rights in a court of law that was stacked against Black people. Even amid legal defeats, she kept seeking the most basic of rights: freedom.

    “She was a very impressive lady,” says Carl Adams, a historian who has spent more than a quarter-century researching the struggles of Nance Legins-Costley.

    She eventually won her freedom, thanks to Abraham Lincoln. But her victory came in 1841, long before the attorney became the nation’s president and more than 20 years before the Emancipation Proclamation.

    Thus, in Pekin, Nance Legins-Costley became the first Black person freed from bondage by Lincoln, to eventually be followed by 4 million others. Moreover, Adams and other historians say, the case pushed a theretofore ambivalent Lincoln toward an anti-slavery stance.

    “This was the first time Abraham Lincoln first gave serious thought to these conditions of slavery,” Adams says.

    And for all that, not only is her story relatively unknown — Nance Legins-Costley’s final resting place is marked with no honor. Rather, it’s not marked at all. Decades ago, her graveyard in Peoria was paved over with asphalt.

    Nance Legins-Costley lies somewhere amid a muffler shop, union hall, auto garage and other commercial buildings, mostly forgotten by the march of progress, under a tombstone of asphalt.

    Blacks among the Time100 Next awardees 

    Per usual, Time selected a diverse group of individuals to grace the cover. The 6 figures chosen this year include New York Times bestselling author Brit Bennett, fashion designer Telfar Clemens, professional English football player Marcus Rashford, rising actress Maitreyi Ramakrishnan, pop artist Dua Lipa, and Finland’s Prime Minister Sanna Marin. Aside from National Youth Poet Laureate Gorman, other notable honorees who comprise the Time100 Next list include COVID-19 vaccine developer Kizzmekia Corbett, Lovecraft Country’s Misha GreenBridgerton star Regé-Jean PageCNN Senior Political correspondent Abby Phillip, rapper Lil Baby, comedian Amber Ruffin, actor LaKeith Stanfield, U.S Senator Raphael WarnockTenet star John David Washington, activist Jessica Byrd, ChloexHalle, and #EndSARS activists Feyikemi Abudu, Odunayo Eweniyi and Damilola Odufuwa.

    Dr. Monique W. Morris: The Criminalization of Black Girls in School

    Black girls, and other girls of color, experience discriminatory, racist and unfair treatment in school, including suspensions, expulsions, referrals to law enforcement and arrests on school campuses, at rates that exceed the average public school population— and far exceed those experienced by their White female peers.On today’s episode, we will be hearing from Dr. Monique W. Morris, a bestselling author, social justice scholar and the founder and president of the National Black Women’s Justice Institute. Her impactful new and very topical national documentary, “PUSHOUT: The Criminalization of Black Girls in Schools,” exposes the alarming numbers of African American girls facing unfair and inequitable treatment in schools across the country and also outlines initiatives to help them cope and heal. PUSHOUT is based on two of Dr. Morris’s books, “PUSHOUT: The Criminalization of Black Girls in Schools” and “Sing a Rhythm, Dance a Blues,” and exposes a new and troubling trend: African American girls are the fastest-growing population in the juvenile justice system and the only group of girls disproportionately experiencing harsh discipline at every educational level.On this episode, we will explore how gendered racism is experienced by Black girls in school and the implications this has for Black women in working life, and importantly what we can do to fix this issue.


    Rashida Jones, Naomi Wadler and. Rep. Ayanna Pressley Kick Off Inaugural Black Girl Freedom Week

    February is a month to celebrate Black History—and to make a push on advocacy for Black girls. The Black Girl Freedom Fund launched in September 2020 to do just that, with a mission to raise $1 billion to invest in Black girls and young women over the next 10 years.

    Launched by Dr. Monique W. Morris, who wrote PUSHOUT: The Criminalization of Black Girls in Schools (and created the documentary of the same name), along with #MeToo founder Tarana BurkeLaTosha Brown,Fatima Goss Graves, Joanne N. Smith, A Long Walk Home’s Salamishah andScheherazade Tillet, and Ms. Foundation President Teresa C. Younger, the initiative and organization were announce in September with an open letterfrom the co-founders inviting the public to fund $1 billion in Black girls and young women over the next decade, co-signed by Ciara, Valerie Jarrett, Rashida Jones, Gabrielle Union and many more.



    All Texans are suffering, but this is no surprise 

    Texas Blackouts Hit Minority Neighborhoods Especially Hard

    AP Government class in Florida

    The Lee County School District in Florida is investigating an incident in which a high school teacher was recorded by a student giving a lecture in which he appears to be trying to convince impressionable young minds that slavery wasn’t all that cruel and that the n-word was never all that racist. Now, the unidentified “educator” never appears on camera and only his voice can be heard, so I can’t say for sure that he’s white—but he’s white. The caucasity levels on full display have white male mediocrity written all over them. Case in point: This teacher threatened to kick the Black student who recorded him out of class just for challenging his definitely white nonsense. This kind of behavior—during Black History Month, no less—will earn you your white card no matter your racial background, but I digress.

    Laura Ingraham doesn't like when President Biden talks about systemic racism 

    Fox News host Laura Ingraham said Tuesday she was sickened that President Joe Biden had called out racism in America. (Watch the clip below.)

    In a segment titled “When Everything Is Racist!” on “The Ingraham Angle,” she showed a clip of Biden talking about bigotry.

    “We’ve taken steps to acknowledge and address systemic racism and the scourge of white supremacy in our own country,” Biden said earlier this month, adding that eliminating prejudice had to be the business of the entire government.

    It seemed like a perfectly reasonable thing to say ― but not to the right-wing host.

    “It sickens me to hear anyone ― especially our president ― accusing America of systemic racism,” Ingraham said. “After all, why do millions of people want to come here from all across the globe if Americans are just a bunch of racists? Are the people who wanna come here all stupid?”

    Ingraham attempted to recount the history of the term “systemic racism” and resorted to fearmongering to her conservative audience.

    “Branding people, places and things as racist has become basically a favorite pastime” of the left, she said. “Ultimately, they believe it gives them more power to fundamentally transform America, not to speak of more opportunities to shake down corporate America.”

    Tribute to Duke Ellington

    Edward Kennedy “Duke” Ellington was three weeks and four days past his 75th birthday when he died last month in a New York City hospital.

    He had played his music in almost every part of the world except China and Siberia. He had dined with presidents and kings, had a Prince of Wales accompany him on drums, played piano duets with a U.S. president, performed his music on TV in Japan, Sweden, England and the U.S. He scored Broadway shows, did a ballet with Alvin Ailey, conducted symphonies in various countries, wrote for Toscanini and the Paris Symphony, scored films for Otto Preminger, and wrote special shows for TV.

    His series of Sacred Concerts—among his most important works by his own estimation—was presented in cathedrals from Coventry and London and Barcelona to New York and San Francisco.

    He composed approximately 3000 original works, many of them portraits of leading black artists, members of his own orchestra, friends and lovers and many others, and tonal histories of black people in America. His accomplishments defy cataloging and his honors are so impressively diverse and extensive that they are almost bizarre. He received honorary degrees from at least 15 colleges and universities including Yale, Columbia, Brown, Harvard and Wisconsin. Nixon awarded him the Presidential Medal of Freedom (highest civilian award of the U.S.), Lyndon Johnson gave him the President’s Gold Medal, President Pompidou awarded him the Legion of Honor, and the city of Paris honored him with a special medal. Musicians’ organizations around the world gave him special awards. He was made a member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Music and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. In 1964 the Poultry and Egg National Board elected him a member of the National Good Egg Club, and two countries, Chad and Togo, have issued stamps in his honor.

    The list of prizes for him and his band (in magazine polls) comes to 77. Seven U.S. states gave him special recognition and he won nine separate awards from the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences.

    I have no idea . . .

    (I know... I could stop right therecheeky )

    But I haven't a clue how the "read" counter works
    but this thread has now busted through the 20K mark
    with 21496 reads as this post.


    Yours was a great idea

    Just a peaceful celebration

    Regular people, entertainers, athletes, scientists, writers, activists.

    Just a wealth of information out there

    I run into information that I had not seen before

    Henry Louis Gates has a multi volume series of Blacks in the arts

    Blacks in the Middle Ages

    Blacks in Asia

    We will see if it lasts until the end of the month 

    This has been pure joy.

    Regina King to Portray Political Icon Shirley Chisholm in Upcoming Biopic From John Ridley

    The life of Shirley Chisholm, the United States’ first Black congresswoman, will be getting the biopic treatment (yet again)—only this time it’s coming from John Ridley and award-winning actress and One Night in Miami director Regina King.

    Per a press release sent to The Root, Shirley will “track the dynamic presidential campaign launched in 1972 by America’s first Black congresswoman, Shirley Chisholm. Based on her life story rights through an exclusive agreement with the Chisholm Estate, the film offers an intimate, behind-the-scenes portrait of one of the most ground-breaking political leaders of our time during a seminal period in modern American history.” Academy Award-winning filmmaker John Ridley will pen the script and direct with Regina King and Reina King of Royal Ties Productions set to produce for Participant Films. Jeff Skoll and Anikah McLaren have also been tapped to executive produce. Speaking on the new film and Regina’s casting, Ridley explained:

    8 Stunning Images of Black People In Medieval Europe

    Black, Female and Carving Out Their Own Path in Country Music

    The singer-songwriters Mickey Guyton, Miko Marks, Rissi Palmer, Reyna Roberts and Brittney Spencer may represent several generations and hail from different regions of the United States, but they share a common dream: making a living in country music like the women who inspired them, a list that includes Loretta Lynn and the Chicks. That they don’t have a Black female role model who ascended to those levels of stardom deters them not one iota; they plan to be the change they want to see in Nashville.

    Black artists were foundational to the roots of country music, but the industry has been famously inhospitable to Black performers. Outside of the success of Charley Pride, a giant of the genre who died in December from Covid-19, and the harmonica ace DeFord Bailey, there were few other high-profile Black performers in Nashville until Darius Rucker of Hootie & the Blowfish pivoted to country music in 2008. More recently, Jimmie Allen and Kane Brown have made inroads with a radio-friendly sound.

    In the past decade, women were increasingly pushed to the genre’s margins as the heavily male bro-country aesthetic dominated. The disparity has played out on country radio, which is still largely responsible for breaking acts and maintaining their status. In the infamous “Tomato-gate” uproar of 2015, a male radio consultant asserted in a salad analogy that women should be akin to tomatoes — sprinkled into the mix. A 2019 study examining data from Mediabase, a service that monitors airplay, found that between 2002 and 2018, male solo artists received 70 percent of spins at country radio.

    Jesse Eugene Russell

    The world of cellular and wireless technology is constantly evolving, as much of our daily activities rely on that infrastructure. Jesse Eugene Russell, born April 26, 1948 in Nashville, Tenn., is known as the “Father of Digital Cellular Technology.”

    Russell was the first person hired from an HBCU by technology leader A&T Bell Laboratories, today known as Bell Labs. The Tennessee State University and Stanford University graduate earned both his undergraduate and master’s degrees in electrical engineering.

    As its chief digital architect, Russell led the first team at Bell Labs to introduce digital cellular technology to the United States in 1988. This would be the early stages of wireless networks that cell phones and other mobile devices rely on today to communicate signals. The technology existed in some form prior in Japan, but Russell was able to bring it to fruition domestically.

    Russell is also credited with creating the first digital cellular base station, which essentially changed the use of cell towers to transmit signals. Russell currently owns over 75 patents in digital cellular technologies, dual-mode digital cellular phones, and digital software radio.

    Ethel L Payne

    Ethel L. Payne was a pioneering Black journalist who became known for covering the rise of the civil rights movement and for her tenacious reporting. Known as the “First Lady of the Black Press,” Ms. Payne broke down many barriers in her career.

    Born in 1911, the Chicago native studied journalism in college. She graduated from a small training college in Illinois and then took night classes at Northwestern University’s famed Medill School of Journalism.

    By way of an account in author James McGrath Morris’ book, “Eye on the Struggle: Ethel Payne, the First Lady of the Black Press,” Payne was not an excellent student but a voracious reader and talented writer. After working as a hostess at Army Special Services club in Japan in 1948, a reporter from “The Chicago Defender” read one of her journals about the experience of Black soldiers in Japan. The paper ran portions of that journal, and “The Defender” hired her as a reporter. After two years, Payne was promoted to the Washington bureau chief and moved to the nation’s capital.

    Simone Manuel and Lia Neal

    It is now official that due to the coronavirus, the 2020 Summer Olympics is postponed and will likely go on in 2021. That means some of our greatest competitors will have to wait to showcase their superior athleticism.

    But we can return to the heroism of our best athletes in the last Olympics. History was made in July of 2016 at the Rio Olympics when Stanford University swimming teammates Simone Manuel (l) and Lia Neal(r) were named to the U.S. Women’s Olympic swim team. It was the first time two African-American women have represented Team USA in the swim competition for the Summer Games.

    Whoopi Goldberg and Jasmine Guy Cast in Tracy Oliver Dating Comedy Series, Harlem

    For Black Aides on Capitol Hill, Jan. 6 Brought Particular Trauma

    Black congressional staff members said the attack brought back memories of how they had tried to avoid people they felt could be prone to racist violence — only to find them at their place of work.


    Rebecca Lee Crumpler

    Rebecca Lee Crumpler is widely considered by historians as the first African-American woman to become a physician in the states. While the fact has been disputed, Dr. Crumpler’s contributions to medicine and her will to challenge racial and sexist barriers has solidified her rightful place in history.

    Crumpler was born February 8, 1831 in Christiana, Del. and raised primarily in Pennsylvania where her aunt cared for the sick. She moved to Charlestown, Mass. where she attended private school and married Wyatt Lee in 1852. Crumpler worked as a nurse during a time where adequate health care for poor African-Americans was rare.

    Through hard work, Crumpler was accepted into the New England Female Medical College in 1860 ,which was unheard of at the time. The school made several exceptions for Crumpler, despite protests from members of the staff.

    Crumpler’s husband passed in 1863 while she was still in school. Her studies stopped completely when the Civil War began. However, via a fund established by Ohio abolitionist Benjamin Wade, Crumpler re-entered school and completed her coursework in 1864. This made Crumpler the first African-American woman to earn a Doctor of Medicine degree and the only African-American to graduate from her medical school. That same year, she married Arthur Crumpler.

    Crumpler established a practice in the Boston region, tending to poor African-American families, most especially women and children. She details much of her experiences as a physician in her 1883, A Book of Medical Discourses, one of the first such works by an African-American.

    Natalie Hinderas

    The late Natalie Hinderas was one of the first Black classical musicians to establish themselves in that world.

    Hinderas was born on June 15, 1927 in Oberlin, Ohio. Her father was a jazz pianist and her mother was a classical pianist and instructor. The Henderson family was well-known for their musical accomplishments, with Hinderas’ great-grandfather also teaching and playing music.

    She began playing piano at the age of three and had her first recital at the age of eight. Hinderas was the youngest person to graduate from the Oberlin Conservatory’s Special Student’s School, and went on to New York to study at the Julliard School of Music. She completed her formal training at the Philadelphia Conservatory of Music in 1953.

    One of Hinderas’ chief aims was to expose audiences to classical music, especially Black audiences. In the ’60’s, she became an instructor at Temple University and toured historically Black colleges and universities lecturing about Black classical musicians and performing works from that group. Hinderas also toured around the world with the U.S. State Department as part of an ongoing musical diplomacy program, and made certain to center Black musicians in her presentations.

    In 1971, Hinderas became the first Black woman to appear as an instrumental soloist in a regular series of a major U.S. symphony when she appeared with the Philadelphia Orchestra. Hinderas worked as a lecturer and instructor beyond her playing days but still performed up until she died of cancer in 1987 at the age of 60.

    In a 1977 interview with Contemporary Keyboard, Hinderas believed that Black music was narrowly confined to just R&B or the Blues. In her view, if a Black person composed the work and lived through their experience, it didn’t matter what the genre was.

    Lemuel Haynes

    Lemuel Haynes is credited as the first credentialed Black clergyman in the United States, and is considered the first minister to lead a white congregation.

    Haynes was born on July 18, 1753 in Hartford, Conn. to a Black father and white mother. Abandoned at five months of age, Haynes was raised by an indentured servant who worked in the home of a farmer t in Granville, Mass. From a young age, Haynes showed proficiency in reading and religion, drafting sermons and delivering them at a local church. After gaining his freedom at 21, Haynes joined the Minutemen Militia who fought in the Revolutionary War.

    After the war, Haynes returned to Granville and built his own farm while continuing to study theology. In 1780, Haynes was licensed to preach and ministered at the Congregational Church of Granville, making him the first Black minister to lead a white congregation. In 1785, Haynes was fully ordained,  becoming the nation’s first Black ordained minister.

    Haynes married a white school teacher, Elizabeth Babbitt, and they had at least 10 children together.

    Haynes drew criticism from many for his Federalist views and for speaking on the behalf of Blacks in the country by saying that deserved equal rights to whites. Before passing in 1883 at the age of 80, Haynes’ final words have served as a point of inspiration for Christians over the years


    Oscar Micheaux

    The grandson of slaves, Oscar Micheaux made 44 movies, becoming the “Cecil B. De Mille of Race Movies,” and the “Czar of Black Hollywood,” inspired by that obnoxiously racist film from 1915: Birth of a Nation.

    Black and Jubilant: Unpacking Black Joy From the Revolutionary to the Ordinary

    Sulwe coming to Netflix

    On Thursday, Netflix announced a brand new project from Black Panther star Lupita Nyong’o based on her popular debut children’s book, Sulwe.

    Per a press release sent to The Root, Nyong’o will produce an animated musical special based on the book in collaboration with Netflix, giving more audiences and children a chance to experience their favorite new character in a whole new way. Released in October of 2019, Sulwe became a number one New York Times bestseller and filled a void in helping little brown-skinned and dark-skinned girls around the world feel represented. For those unfamiliar, Sulwe tells the story of a little girl with “skin the color of midnight. She is darker than everyone she knows. All she wants is to be beautiful and bright. One night, Sulwe is visited by a shooting star sent by the Night, and embarks on a magical journey where she learns the eye-opening story of the sisters Night and Day. Sulwe is a story about colorism, self-esteem, and learning that true beauty comes from within,” says the release.

    Naomi Osaka sweeps Serena Williams 

    Will Serena Williams ever lay claim to that ever-elusive 24th Grand Slam title? That remains to be seen. But on Thursday, the Compton, Calif., native fell short in her historic quest after losing 6-3, 6-4 to Naomi Osaka in the Australian Open semifinals.

    By doing so, Osaka extended her winning streak to 20 consecutive matches and will advance to her fourth major title match, per NBC Sports. 

    “It’s always an honor to play [Williams],” Osaka told reporters. “I just didn’t want to go out really bad. […] Just to be on the court playing against her, for me, is a dream. The biggest thing that I’ve learned over the years is […] you’re a competitor. You’re playing against another competitor.”

    Reading Toni Morrison 

    February 18, 2021 would have been Toni Morrison’s 90th birthday. As we approach the anniversary of a global pandemic that has changed our lives in every way, it seems a fine time to dive back into the world of Toni Morrison. The questions she asked in a 2002 lecture seem wholly relevant now, almost 20 years later: “To what do we pay greatest allegiance? Family, language group, culture, country, gender? Religion, race? And if none of these matter, are we urbane, cosmopolitan, or simply lonely? In other words, how do we decide where we belong? What convinces us that we do?”

    In everything Morrison wrote, she offered narratives that revealed the journeys of characters, specific but universal, flawed and imperfect, with a deeply American desire for freedom and adventure. One might say that because her characters were almost exclusively African-American, the quest to be free — in mind, body and spirit — was the consistent adventure. She was also a masterful crafter of windows; when you opened a book of hers, the worlds you entered were so rich with detail, you could feel the molecules around you change as if you’d just taken a long flight and were descending onto the tarmac in a town or city where you’d never been.

    I’ll say this. Reading Morrison can be daunting. She won the Nobel Prize, the Pulitzer, the Presidential Medal of Freedom. She was, and will remain for lifetimes to come, one of the finest writers to craft narrative in the English language. As Dwight Garner wrote when she died in 2019, “Morrison had a superfluity of gifts and, like few other writers of her era, bent language to her will. Her prose could be lush, or raw and demotic, or carefree and eccentric, often on a single page. She filtered folklore, biblical rhythms, dreams, choral voices and a steep awareness of history into her work. In the best of her 11 novels … she transmuted the basic matter of existence into profound works of art.”

    One of the greatest joys of Toni Morrison’s work is knowing that you will never get it all on the first read. In her Nobel Prize speech, she famously said, “We know you can never do it properly — once and for all. Passion is never enough, neither is skill. But try.”

    She was talking, ostensibly, about writing and writers. But I think it also applies to readers, her readers in particular, the millions of people around the world who have read and re-read her books. To read Toni Morrison is to know that from her brilliant opening lines to the stunning last pages that leave you shook that you will likely never match her wit and wisdom, but what joy there is in trying!

    As someone who had the privilege of interviewing her several times over the last decade of her life, I think I can say with confidence that she wanted all of us — intellectuals and romance readers, book club aficionados and those of us who binge TV more than books — to get in where we fit in. Creatively, Toni Morrison set a large and lavish table of literature. If you’re new to her work, or haven’t read her in a long while, here are some thoughts about where to start

    Recy Taylor

    The story of Recy Taylor might not have known to many, but  her memory was honored emphatically after Oprah Winfrey‘s rousing Golden Globes speech Sunday night. Taylor was a victim of a horrific kidnapping and sexual assault by a group of six white men who escaped justice simply due to the color of the skin.

    The incident occurred on September 3, 1944 in Abbeville, Alabama when Taylor and a friend were walking home from church. A group of white men, one of them in the military, drew a gun and forced Taylor into their car. They drove to a patch of woods as six of the seven men raped her while Taylor pleaded for her life.


    The kidnapping was reported by her friend and Taylor also came forth to detail the attack. Despite the driver of the car, Hugo Wilson, admitting he saw his six friends commit the assault,  he was only fined $250 and the men he named faced neither charges nor fines.

    The NAACP got involved and sent their best investigator and anti-rape activist Rosa Parks to the town to examine the facts. Her efforts lead to a trial in the city of Montgomery with lawyer and activist E.D. Nixon on Taylor’s legal team. Because the men were never charged, the only witnesses present were Taylor and her family and the all-white, all-male jury dismissed the matter. Another trial ended in the same fashion despite even more evidence and even confessions.

    After the trial, the Taylor family which included her husband and her child, faced violence, death threats, and a firebombing of their home. Reportedly, the town sheriff also terrorized Taylor and her family.  Benny Corbitt, a Taylor relative, commanded a post in a tree near her home at night armed with a shotgun to ward off would-be racist attackers.

    The Real Story of the ‘Draft Riots’

    In 1863, mobs of white New Yorkers terrorized Black people. The response has something to teach us.

    Renee Powell was the second black woman to play on the LPGA tour behind Althea Gibson. Powell played on the tour from 1967 to 1980. The East Canton, Ohio native started playing golf at three years old. Her father, William Powell, is the only African American to design, build, own and operate a golf course in the U.S.- the Clearview Golf Club. Bill Powell wanted blacks to have a chance to golf without discrimination. He formed the first golf team at Wilberforce University in 1937 and is a life member of the PGA.

    Being a professional black golfer in 1967, Powell was subjected to the racist attitudes of those in resistance of integration. She had to share rooms with the white players so that she would have lodging and travel with a number of people in order to be safe on tour.

    In 2003, Powell won the First Lady of Golf Award from the PGA. She is the only Professional female Class A member of both the PGA and LPGA combined. After completing her LPGA tour, Powell served as a golf teacher in Africa and Europe. She has taught some of the world’s leaders to play golf and competed in over 250 tournaments.

    Black People in America Have Lost Nearly 3 Years of Life Expectancy Since the Pandemic

    Here’s the latest bad news coming out of the horrid COVID-19 pandemic: Black Americans have lost nearly three years of life expectancy due to the disproportionate impact the virus has had on our communities, along with other factors.

    The National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS), revealed the sobering information on Thursday in a release of data it captured in the first six months of 2020, reports the Washington Post.

    The overall life expectancy of the entire U.S. population has diminished, down a year from where it stood in 2019. When the numbers are broken down though, the situation is even more dire for people of color. While white Americans’ life expectancy went down by 0.8 years, Latinos lost 1.9, and Black people lost more expected time off their life span—2.7 years—than any other group included in the data.


    Chiquita Brooks-LaSure, a former Obama administration official, picked to run the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

    “The agency oversees government health insurance programs covering more than 1 out of 3 Americans and is a linchpin of the health care system,” the Associated Press reports. If confirmed, (I mean what could stop her from being confirmed? Just a bunch of racist white nationalist sympathizers who are hiding inside Congress, that’s who!) Brooks-LaSure would become the first Black woman to run CMS and she would like to be referred to as Queen Mother.

    Donald Glover Reportedly Secures Overall Deal With Amazon, Malia Obama to Join His Writers' Room

    Using an Anti-Klan Law Against Trump’s Clan

    On Tuesday the N.A.A.C.P., on behalf of Representative Bennie Thompson of Mississippi, filed a federal lawsuit against Donald Trump and Rudy Giuliani over their involvement with the Jan. 6 insurrection by a violent mob of Trump supporters at the United States Capitol.

    The lawsuit alleges that by attempting to prevent the certificationof the election, Trump and Giuliani violated the 1871 Ku Klux Klan Act, one of several anti-Klan acts passed by Congress from 1870 to 1871.


    Director Shatara Michelle Ford On Centering Blackness In ‘Test Pattern’

    In “Test Pattern,” an interracial couple’s seemingly perfect relationship is put to the test after the woman, who is Black, is drugged and sexually assaulted. Disoriented and emotionally raw, Renesha (Brittany S. Hall) just wants to go home and rest, but her white boyfriend Evan (Will Brill) is determined to go to a hospital where she can obtain a rape kit test. What transpires is a painful and only further traumatizing ordeal.

    The couple drives from hospital to hospital, only to be turned away — in some cases, a rape kit isn’t available, in others, the proper specialist isn’t on site to administer the test. Part neoclassical drama, part psychological thriller, “Test Pattern” deftly plays with perspective and memory, exploring race, gender and the ways the system fails Black women survivors of sexual assault on every level, from health care to the so-called criminal justice system. 

    The movie is a stunning feature debut from director Shatara Michelle Ford, who also wrote and produced it. While in conversation with Ford about the film via phone earlier this month, I found myself especially struck by two things: First, their obvious passion and enthusiasm for storytelling, particularly in regards to telling marginalized stories. Second, how incredibly rare (emphasis on rare) and rewarding it was for me as a Black femme culture writer to have an in-depth, hourlong conversation with a Black woman filmmaker about their work. 

    In this interview, Ford speaks to navigating a white and male-dominated movie industry, the dearth of films centered on the inner lives of Black women and femmes, the power of perspective in filmmaking, the challenges and rewards of making “Test Pattern,” and why we need to change the way we think about sexual assault.

    Remembering the ending of "Die Hard"

    The 'Redemption' of Reginald VelJohnson's Kid-Killing Cop in Die Hard

    Naomi Osaka Beats Jennifer Brady To Win Second Australian Open

    Cornel West threatens to leave Harvard. Again.

    Author and racial justice activist Cornel West said Harvard University denied his request to be considered for tenure, calling the school’s decision “political” in tweets published early Friday morning. 

    “After being tenured at Yale, Harvard, Princeton & Union Theological Seminary, the recent Harvard denial of a tenure process strikes me as a political decision I reject,” the prominent social critic tweeted. 

    West, a professor of the practice of public philosophy, with a joint appointment between the Harvard Divinity School and the department of African and African American studies, also suggested in an earlier tweet that the school’s decision was influenced by his outspoken criticisms of Israel’s treatment of Palestinians.

    Director Lee Daniels . . .

    ‘Studios will give you about $10 to make a black movie’

    Barbara Bush invited me to watch The Butler. I was the only
    black person – sitting between her and George, sharing popcorn


    Thanks OGD

    The nice thing about these posts has been noting the struggles and triumphs 

    People did not give up despite attempts to keep them in their place.

    In addition,

    I was able to share you excitement about the landing on Mars.

    Lorraine O’Grady, Still Cutting Into the Culture

    Had her life been more conventional, Lorraine O’Grady would have been, that Thursday in June 1980, at Wellesley College for her 25th class reunion.

    Instead, she was donning a dress hand-stitched from 180 pairs of white gloves — accessorized with a tiara, sash and cat-o’-nine-tails — and heading to the gallery Just Above Midtown, to carry out a guerrilla-theater intervention.

    O’Grady, a daughter of Jamaican immigrants in Boston, had a picaresque itinerary already. An economics graduate, she had worked for the Labor and State Departments, including as an intelligence analyst in the period leading up to the Cuban Missile Crisis; attempted a novel in Europe; dropped out of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop; run a translation agency in Chicago; been a New York rock critic. Two marriages, both brief, were over.

    Now, at 45, she was taking her decisive turn — as an artist.

    Just Above Midtown was a hub of the Black avant-garde. O’Grady had turned up a few months earlier, presenting herself as a writer, volunteering for office tasks. But now, in character as “Mlle Bourgeoise Noire,” she had a message.

    Edit to add:

    I did not realize that Biden/Harris used some of her concepts during the campaign

    Black Grief, White Grievance: Artists Search for Racial Justice

    An urgent show at the New Museum — both a monument to a resilient culture and a memorial to what’s lost through racism — will surely rank as one of the most important of 2021.

    How the ‘Bring Back Our Girls’ Tweets Changed a War in Nigeria

    A well-meaning social-media campaign to free young women kidnapped by Boko Haram galvanized rescue efforts—and may have spurred the jihadist group to expand its use of gender violence

    How Baltimore’s Black youth furthered the cause of Black press Paperboy

    Black History Month Is a Good Excuse for Delving Into Our Art

    An African-American studies professor suggests ways to mark the month, from David Driskell’s paintings and Dance Theater of Harlem’s streamed performances to the rollicking return of “Queen Sugar.”

    ‘This American Experiment Never Had Me in Mind’: Sterling K. Brown on Lincoln’s Legacy


    Why Kehinde Wiley Listens to Audiobooks When He Paints

    The renowned painter on how he enters a “muscle-memory place” to create his oversize portraits inspired by the Western canon

    Sidney Poitier at 94

    In 1964, Sidney Poitier made history as the first Black man to win an Academy Award for Best Actor. He was recognized for his role as a construction worker in Lilies of the Field (1963). This put Poitier on the path to higher levels of success and impact for years to come. Now, the world is honoring the work of the legendary icon as he celebrates his 94th birthday this year.

    A Black preacher, a White sheriff and the punch in the face that put Selma on the map

    When C.T. Vivian was punched in the face by racist sheriff, Jim Clark

    The first-ever industry-wide principles on clinical trial diversity

    Late last year, PhRMA published the first ever industry-wide principles on clinical trial diversity, set to take effect in April 2021. At the core of these new principles is the need for our industry to better serve historically underserved populations and address the systemic issues that deter mainly Black and Brown communities from participating in clinical trials.

    [comment moved here as too historical for other thread's discussion on Critical Race Theory]

    ProfessorErec Smith cites Frederick Douglass, and others.

    Frederick Douglass quotes.


    “If there is no struggle, there is no progress. Those who profess to favor freedom, and yet depreciate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground. They want rain without thunder and lightning. They want the ocean without the awful roar of its many waters. This struggle may be a moral one; or it may be a physical one; or it may be both moral and physical; but it must be a struggle. Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will.”


    “It is not light that we need, but fire; it is not the gentle shower, but thunder. We need the storm, the whirlwind, and the earthquake.”


    “The thing worse than rebellion is the thing that causes rebellion.”


    “I prefer to be true to myself, even at the hazard of incurring the ridicule of others, rather than to be false, and to incur my own abhorrence.”

    Paul Robeson quote

    The man who accepts Western values absolutely, finds his creative faculties becoming so warped and stunted that he is almost completely dependent on external satisfactions, and the moment he becomes frustrated in his search for these, he begins to develop neurotic symptoms, to feel that life is not worth living, and, in chronic cases, to take his own life.

    W.E.B. DuBois 

    Du Bois Center Fellows Favorite Du Bois Quotes

    “Between me and the other world there is ever an unasked question: unasked by some through feelings of delicacy; by others through the difficulty of rightly framing it. All, nevertheless, flutter round it. They approach me in a half-hesitant sort of way, eye me curiously or compassionately, and then, instead of saying directly, How does it feel to be a problem? they say, I know an excellent colored man in my town; or, I fought at Mechanicsville; or, Do not these Southern outrages make your blood boil? At these I smile, or am interested, or reduce the boiling to a simmer, as the occasion may inquire. To the real question, How does it feel to be a problem? I answer seldom a word.” 

    W. E. B. Du Bois in The Souls of Black Folk (1903)
    Chosen by Jay Cephas, Assistant Professor of Architecture and Urbanism at Northeastern University and 2019 Du Bois Center Post-Doctoral Fellow

    Professor Smith talks about learned helplessness, yet praised the role of Black people in electing two Senators in Georgia. A Black female Vice President was elected. The Woke are answering the call to action.

    The Woke saw a political party that refused to certify a legal election. They saw an assault on the Capitol. Now they see state governments attempt voter suppression. You better be Woke, those like those in the past


    Edit to add:

    Erec Smith's book "A Critique of Anti-racism in Rhetoric and Composition: The Semblance of Empowerment" is selling for $85.50 on Kindle. Can't bring myself to click the button.


    Edit to add 2:

    I am reminded that the "Woke" NikoleHannah-Jones noted that the United States was not a democracy until Black people forced the issue.

    I'm sure both the black and the white suffragettes were very grateful the black men did that for them.


    I won't be active here no more RMRD. The block is on.

    The third episode of NBC's Trymaine Lee's podcast "Into America" is out now

    Focuses on the Harlem Renaissance 

    Abram Hill is among those featured

    Abram Hill

    Supremes shift Qualified Immunity

    Qualified Immunity vote next week

    West Point football was all-White until 1966. So why does this 1920s photo show an all-Black squad?

    Lucean Headen Was An Amazing Aviator And Innovator History Should Remember

    Douglas Turner Ward, Pioneer in Black Theater, Dies at 90

    A founder of the Negro Ensemble Company in New York in the 1960s, he was outspoken about limited opportunities for fellow Black actors and directors.

    Benjamin Davis

    Crispus Attucks, a man of African and Indigenous American heritage, was gunned down by British military forces during the Boston Massacre on March 5, 1770, the first American colonist killed during the American Revolution.

    More than 250 years later, a Black man was named U.S. Secretary of Defense for the first time in the nation’s history. Retired U.S. Army four-star general Lloyd Austin became the 28th Secretary of Defense Jan. 22

    The man who blazed the path for Austin’s ascension was Benjamin O. Davis Sr., who, in 1940, was promoted to the rank of brigadier general by President Franklin D. Roosevelt on the eve of the presidential election, making him the nation’s first Black general in the regular army (his son Benjamin O. Davis Jr., was the first Black brigadier general in the U.S. Air Force and a commander of the 99th Fighter Squadron and the 332nd Fighter Group of the famed Tuskegee Airmen).

    They Were Black. Their Parents Were White. Growing Up Was Complicated.

    In Search of Family, Identity, and the Truth About Where I Belong
    By Georgina Lawton

    A Memoir
    By Rebecca Carroll

    For most of us, racial identity is a combination of inheritance (you are what your parents are) and influence (you’re a product of where and how you were raised). But what if you are raised by people who didn’t look like you, in communities where you were the only one, steeped in a culture whose power was amassed through your oppression?

    In a pair of new memoirs — “Surviving the White Gaze,” by the American cultural critic Rebecca Carroll, and “Raceless: In Search of Family, Identity, and the Truth About Where I Belong,” by the British journalist Georgina Lawton — two women recount growing up as Black girls with white parents who loved them deeply but failed them miserably by not seeing and celebrating them for who they were.

    Black Americans left a lasting mark on Paris. Modern creatives are walking in their footsteps today.

    The legacy of James Baldwin and Josephine Baker is alive today through history tours and modern artists

    Southern Poverty Law Center Estimates 160 Confederate Monuments Were Taken Down in 2020. We Need to Pump Those Numbers Up

    Keep it up RMRD...




    Amazing conversation across generations 

    Megan Thee Stallion talks to Maxine Waters

    Edit to add:

    Megan's NYT opinion peace on protecting Black women

    Maxine Waters supportive letter to Meg

    Norman Lear still doing comedy

    Norman Lear, the TV legend behind The Jeffersons, Good Times, and Sanford & Son, is back with a new project named Clean Slate starring Laverne Cox and comedian George Wallace.

    Variety reports that the half-hour comedy follows “car wash owner ‘Henry,’ whose estranged child comes home to Alabama after 17 years. But he must do some soul searching as he comes to terms with the fact that his adult child is a trans woman, ‘Desiree.’” Wallace will take on the role of Henry and Cox, Desiree. Lear and his producing partner Brent Miller will executive produce under Lear’s Act III Productions company along with Cox and Dan Ewen, both of whom originally created the series in tandem with Wallace. Ewen has also been tapped as showrunner for the series and will also pen the pilot script. Up-and-coming streaming platform IMDb TV will house the series, which also comes as a part of Lear’s overall first-look deal with Sony Pictures TV.

    She sued her enslaver for reparations and won. Her descendants never knew.

    After the Civil War, Henrietta Wood made history by pursuing an audacious lawsuit against the man who’d kidnapped her back into slavery. Yet the story was lost to her own family

    Slavery cost him his family. That’s when Henry ‘Box’ Brown mailed himself to freedom.

    Editorial: A question for Black Americans: Vaccine or body bag?

    Short and to the point editorial from the publisher of the San Diego Voice & Viewpoint 

    John McWhorter release his new book on race as a serial on substack

    Elizabeth R. Duff, First Woman to Drive a Nashville City Bus, Dies at 72

    COVID was the cause

    With M.L.B.’s Help, Baseball Returns at an H.B.C.U.

    In a sport with declining participation from Black Americans, Xavier University of Louisiana returned to the field on Tuesday for its first intercollegiate baseball game since 1960.

    Cherokee Nation Addresses Bias Against Descendants of Enslaved People

    The tribe’s Supreme Court excised language from its constitution that limited the citizenship rights of descendants of Black people who had been enslaved by the tribe before the Civil War.

    The Devil Has a New Blue Dress to Wear—Walter Mosley's Easy Rawlins Books Are Being Adapted for TV

    A civil rights hero lacked a historical marker. Then a class of Virginia fourth-graders spoke up.

    I'd suggest describing more up front why particular stories are of interest would make click-through and blog discussion more likely. In this case unless one reads the plaque, it's not til halfway down that one discovers Johns as a 16-year-old led the only student-initiated protest that was part of the Brown vs Education case, a thought-provoking tidbit if information. (that students exploring Civil Rights get some accommodation from someone isn't that surprising, kind of like the students who came to lecture Nancy Pelosi)

    A very stirring story...

    A tribute to Posy Lombard Civil Rights Freedom Fighter with George Lombard

    The son of a civil rights activist, George Lombard proudly tells his story


    by Cary Osborne

    Dodger first base coach George Lombard spoke Tuesday about the shoes that he walks in — both on the field and in his everyday life.

    The shoes he walks in on the baseball field this year are black — a statement he is making for social justice in the United States during a year when injustices to Black people and racial discrimination have been prevalent issues.

    And the shoes he walks in during his everyday life are now, more than ever, the ones his mother walked in every day when she was an advocate for equality.

    Lombard spoke to Jackie Robinson Foundation/Dodgers Foundation scholars virtually on Tuesday during the Dodgers’ and Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation’s (LADF) weeklong celebration of Jackie Robinson’s life and legacy.

    Lombard, the son of a Black man and white woman, shared the story of his unique life. His mother, Posy, was a child of privilege, as he described it, being the daughter of former longtime Harvard Business School Dean George F.F. Lombard. Yet her strong beliefs against racial injustice propelled her into a life of civil rights activism. At one point, she marched with Martin Luther King for racial justice.

    “She was probably arrested close to 10 times during sit-ins and marching and protesting. So, super, super brave, brave woman,” Lombard said. “It’s emotional talking about her and all the things she sacrificed when she didn’t have a dog in the fight.





    Great story

    How Negro History Week Became Black History Month and Why It Matters Now

    Black History Month has been celebrated in the United States for close to 100 years. But what is it, exactly, and how did it begin? 

    In the years after Reconstruction, campaigning for the importance of Black history and doing the scholarly work of creating the canon was a cornerstone of civil rights work for leaders like Carter G. Woodson. Martha Jones, a professor of history at Johns Hopkins University and the Society of Black Alumni Presidential Professor, explained: “These are men [like Woodson] who were trained formally and credentialed in the ways that all intellectuals and thought leaders of the early 20th century were trained at Harvard and places like that. But in order to make the argument, in order to make the claim about Black genius, about Black excellence, you have to build the space in which to do that. There is no room.” This is how they built the room.

    Timeline follows

    At William & Mary, a school for free and enslaved Black children is rediscovered

    It has been more than a decade since academics and researchers began taking a closer look at a small, unremarkable old building on the campus of the College of William & Mary to see if maybe it had a more important story to tell.

    Archives were scoured. Centuries-old letters and memoirs were pored over. Archaeological digs were made. Last year, a scientific analysis of the building’s original wood framing nailed down the year of its construction.

    With the pieces of the puzzle in place, there was no longer doubt about the building’s identity. Underneath all the coats of paint and interior remodeling and exterior additions was the original Williamsburg Bray School, a school for enslaved and free Black children in Williamsburg that operated from 1760 to 1774. It is, according to William & Mary and Colonial Williamsburg Foundation officials, “likely the oldest extant building in the United States dedicated to the education of Black children.”

    Some journalists are debating when it’s okay to use the n-word. But this one should be easy.

    First, it was Donald McNeil, a star New York Times reporter, who on a trip to Peru with high school students in 2019 said the n-word during a discussion about racist language. Complaints from parents and students about that and other offensive behavior they say he exhibited on the tour he was guiding went public a month ago after the Daily Beast reported on what happened.

    Then came Slate’s Mike Pesca, a popular podcast host, who debated with colleagues via Slack, an online office messaging app, whether non-Black people should be allowed to quote the word. Pesca earlier had tried to use the word in a podcast segment and, by some accounts, had said it in another work context as well. (He has said he doesn’t recall that.)


    So here’s the obvious answer to the problem: White people should just never say the word. Mysteriously, some can’t accept that.

    Nikole Hannah-Jones, who led the Times’s prizewinning 1619 Project about the role of slavery in American history, put it this way in an interview: “People know, and particularly white people know, that this is a word that you don’t say, unless there’s absolutely 100-percent necessary, justifiable reasons to say it — for instance, you are reading a direct quote from someone in a very particular circumstance, academic setting, a speech, something like that.”

    But that very rare occurrence is not what the McNeil or Pesca situations were about. Quite the contrary, wrote author Siva Vaidhyanathan, who supervises the Virginia Quarterly Review, a University of Virginia literary journal.

    “Some white people just can’t stand the idea that they should be respectful and refrain from using one, single six-letter word in their adult lives.”

    He’s right. So is a Slate staffer, Joel Anderson, who told the New York Times: “For Black employees, it’s an extremely small ask to not hear that particular slur and not have debate about whether it’s OK for white employees to use that particular slur.”


    Edit to add:

    Remembering the controversy about the Michael Jackson song "They Don't Care About Us".

    On June 15, 1995, a day before the release of HIStoryThe New York Times reported that "They Don't Care About Us" contained racist and anti-Semitic content. The publication highlighted the lyrics, "Jew me, sue me, everybody do me/ Kick me, kike me, don't you black or white me."[28][29] Jackson responded directly to the publication, stating:

    "The idea that these lyrics could be deemed objectionable is extremely hurtful to me, and misleading. The song in fact is about the pain of prejudice and hate and is a way to draw attention to social and political problems. I am the voice of the accused and the attacked. I am the voice of everyone. I am the skinhead, I am the Jew, I am the black man, I am the white man. I am not the one who was attacking. It is about the injustices to young people and how the system can wrongfully accuse them. I am angry and outraged that I could be so misinterpreted."

    — Michael Jackson, [28]

    When questioned further about the lyrics on the ABC News program Prime Time Live, Jackson stated, "It's not anti-Semitic because I'm not a racist person ... I could never be a racist. I love all races."[28] The singer also said that some of his closest employees and friends were Jewish. That same day, Jackson received support from his manager and record label, who described the lyrics as "brilliant", that they were about opposition to prejudice and taken out of context.[28] The following day, two leading members of the Jewish community stated that Jackson's attempt to make a song critical of discrimination had backfired. They expressed the opinion that the lyrics used were unsuitable for a teenage audience that might not understand the song's context, adding that the song was too ambiguous for some listeners to understand. They accepted that Jackson meant well and suggested that the entertainer write an explanation in the album booklet.[3]

    On June 17, Jackson issued another public apology for his choice of words. He promised that future copies of the album would include an apology. By this point, however, two million copies of the record had already been shipped. The singer concluded, "I just want you all to know how strongly I am committed to tolerance, peace and love, and I apologize to anyone who might have been hurt."[30] The next day, in his review of HIStoryJon Pareles of The New York Times alleged, "In ... 'They Don't Care About Us', he gives the lie to his entire catalogue of brotherhood anthems with a burst of anti-Semitism."[7]

    On June 21, Patrick Macdonald of The Seattle Times criticized Jackson, stating, "He may have lived a sheltered life, but there really is no excuse for using terms like 'Jew me' and 'kike' in a pop song, unless you make it clear you are denouncing such terms, and do so in an artful way."[31] Two days later, Jackson decided, despite the cost incurred, he would return to the studio and alter the offending wording on future copies of the album; "Jew me" and "Kike me" would be substituted with "do me" and "strike me". The music video and some copies of the album still carry the original words, but with loud, abstract noises partially drowning them out. He reiterated his acceptance that the song was offensive to some.[32][33] Spike Lee defended Jackson's use of the word, by mentioning the double standard from the media. "While The New York Times asserted the use of racial slurs in 'They Don't Care About Us', they were silent on other racial slurs in the album. The Notorious B.I.G. says 'nigga' on "This Time Around," another song on the HIStory album, but it did not attract media attention, as well as, many years before, use in lyrics of word 'nigger' by John Lennon."[34]


    " this one should be easy."

    It is easy but you and others can't see what's obvious. Like every racial slur it shouldn't be used as a racial slur. Any other use is perfectly acceptable. 

    "but there really is no excuse for using terms like 'Jew me' and 'kike' in a pop song

    This sentence would arouse no controversy for the use of 'jew me' or 'kike.'  in a discussion of Jackson's song. This illustrates the ridiculousness of banning "nigger." If every racial slur was treated the same this quote should be, "There really is no excuse for using terms like 'J-word me' or K-word in a pop song." There are a dozen equally offensive racial slurs but we have singled out one for a complete ban. Either they all should banned in all contexts or common sense should prevail and meaning and context should be the deciding factor.








    Finally watched Season 3 of Star Trek Discovery on CBS All Access

    Show stars Sonequa Martin-Green as Commander Captain Michael Burnham

    Caught an interview with her on a fan site hosted by Will Weston who starred in Star Trek Discovery

    The impact of a Black female in a lead role in a sci-fi television show is addressed

    Saidu Tejan-Thomas Jr. and the Voices of ‘Resistance’

    Podcast focusing on Black people facing obstacles, but refusing to give in

    “Black folks have every reason to feel hopeless, bogged down and cynical — all things that I feel like I’m constantly dealing with,” he said. “The show is an exercise in counting all the reasons people find not to feel that way, to face the impossible and say, ‘I’m going to do something.’”


    submitted by rmrd0000 1 day ago

    In the second episode of “Renegades: Born in the USA,” released Monday, the 44th president said this psychology was institutionalized over time to justify dehumanizing others and taking advantage of them. Racism is also due to an inner fear that “I’m insignificant and not important. And this thing is the thing that’s going to give me some importance,” Obama added.

    To demonstrate his point, he brought up an instance from his school days in Hawaii, when he came to blows with a friend who called him a “coon.” 

    Read the article at

    Thasunda Brown Duckett Will Be the Next CEO of TIAA, Making Her 1 of 2 Black Women to Lead a Fortune 500 Company

    Prayer and Science Led Me to the Vaccine

    T.D. Jakes s a pastor of a Megachurch. His getting the vaccine may influence many in the Black community.

    Reverend Al Sharpton revealed that he recently received the first shot

    DC Mayor's alter ego

    (nice write-up on her sister's choice of social work over politics, and the heightened toll of Covid among blacks)

    A Teenager Was Bullied. His Ancestors Saved Him.

    An amazing tale of a young man searching for and finding photographic evidence of his family's history 

    The Deep South Has a Rich History of Resistance, as Amazon Is Learning

    Jamelle Bouie tells the history of organized labor movements led by Black people in Alabama. There is a current day struggle to unionize workers at an Amazon warehouse in Alabama. Eighty-percent of the workers are Black.

    Infinitum: An Afrofuturist Tale: Illustrator-Author Tim Fielder Looks to the Future With a Modern Epic

    Now that I finished Star Trek Discovery Season 3, I need to rewatch Avery Brooks portraying Benjamin Siskin on Star Trek Deep Space Nine

    It’s a Bird! It’s a Plane! Nah, It’s Ta-Nehisi Coates Writing the Script for the Next Superman Movie

    Thomas Chatterton Williams has an op-ed in the WSJ questioning the need for Black History Month

    Race is illusion

    This obviously plays well in WSJ

    However, we get mumbling when we ask Thomas, how we move beyond the concept of race

    If we care about solving the racial dilemma once and for all, we should first strive to create a society in which Black people, and by extension all other identity groups, are not considered and celebrated as different. We need to arrive at a psychological place where we no longer require a Black History Month, since we would learn about the American past in ways capacious and finely tuned enough to reflect the entirety of our shared, tragic and transcendent mongrel history.

    I do not know what exact form that new history and instruction should take, but I do know from experience that when people are able to meet as equals—or at the very least with a certain floor of dignity—plenty of other tensions resolve themselves. To make e pluribus unum more than a platitude is not only a political task but an economic one. Distinctions of class exist in every country, but in America they are powerfully linked to specific legacies of slavery and Jim Crow.

    An obligatory jab is taken at Ibram X. Kendi. We live in a world where one political party is taking action targeting specific ethnic groups for voter suppression. The natural reaction is for those targeted groups to speak out about being racially profiled. Ibram X. Kendi is not the problem. 

    A Confederate flag was carried into the White House. The Squad is told to go back to wherever they came from. Black History Month will continue as long as the majority population allows racism to continue. Kendi is a reaction, not a cause.

    For those who yammer about it not being 1965, take a look at what state legislatures across the country are doing to suppress votes. We will continue with Black History Month for the foreseeable future.

    Thomas Chatterton Williams has no idea how to solve the problem of race. He does do a great job telling us how we are doing it wrong.





    Morgan Freeman obviously had some ideas.

    Should we cancel him?

    Someone once said

    You could always post shit on your own threads and nobody would bother you. Stalking people to rehash old arguments was where you got things deleted.

    There was no mention of canceling Thomas Chatterton Williams 

    Has Morgan Freeman been canceled?

    You've put down 300 items here. Having someone comment on 1 or 2 isn't "stalking". Thought the black dude commenting on Black History Month was as relevant as the white dude, especially a pretty mainstream respected black dude. As relevant as a chitchat between Maxine and Megan Thee Stallion one might think.

    FFS, i just posted *his* well-known interview. You are tetchy and territorial, aren't you.

    PP, I posted about Thomas Chatterton Williams 

    You posted about Morgan Freeman

    You add in "should we cancel him"?

    The interview was with the late Mike Wallace

    Morgan Freeman has not been canceled 

    You did not come for a serious discussion 

    Edit to add:

    You posted this in the same manner that you posted the cartoon

    2nd Edit to add:

    Williams is talking about the country needing to reach a psychological state where Black History Month is no longer needed

    Williams admits that he does not know what the resulting form of education would look like


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