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Malia Obama To Harvard

Nothing unexpected here with both parents being Harvard Grads. Other factors in her favor include that nearly 80% of Sidwell Friends School graduates attend the Ivy League, second only to a Public High School also in the Washington area.

Malia is taking a year off, before attending Harvard, I would guess to be with family in life outside the bubble of the Presidency.

Malia Obama

Malia Obama will take a gap year, then attend Harvard in 2017

Malia Obama will take a gap year after graduating from high school and then attend Harvard University in the fall of 2017, the White House said Sunday, ending speculation at campuses across the country.

Obama, 17, the older of the president’s two daughters, visited more than a dozen schools, including Stanford, Yale and Columbia, before making her decision. The White House did not say what she would spend her gap year doing.

The tall, poised teenager will be one of the most famous members of her class — and a standout for the Secret Service agents who will be in tow.

The older Obama daughter was 10 when her father took the highest office in the land. Now a senior at the elite Sidwell Friends School in northwest Washington, she has come of age with the world watching. Her sister, Sasha, 14, is wrapping up her freshman year at the private school.

Although her grades and standardized test scores remain closely guarded secrets, factors in her favor included her family background, study at top-flight schools and a unique, privileged upbringing that was bound to make for a remarkable college essay.

Her parents, both Harvard Law grads, have four Ivy League degrees between them. First Lady Michelle Obama graduated from Harvard Law in 1988, and her husband followed in 1991. He completed undergraduate studies at Columbia University in 1983. She graduated from Princeton in 1985.

The president, speaking at a Des Moines high school last fall about college access and affordability, said he knew that finding the best school was a “tough process” because his daughter was “going through it right now.”

“You guys are juggling deadlines and applications and personal statements,” he told the audience.

He called his daughter a “hard worker” and said he advised her “not to stress too much about having to get into one particular college.”

He said there were a lot of good schools and “just because it’s not some name-brand, famous, fancy school doesn’t mean that you’re not going to get a great education there.”

The elder Obama child is said to be an aspiring filmmaker. She plays tennis for fun.

She took a look in 2014 at two rival schools in Northern California — Stanford University and UC Berkeley — and later shifted attention to schools on the East Coast.

Media reports show she inspected six of the eight Ivy League schools: Brown, Columbia, Harvard, Princeton, the University of Pennsylvania and Yale. She also paid stops to New York University, Tufts University, Barnard College and Wesleyan University.

Born in Chicago on July 4, 1998, Malia Obama attended the private University of Chicago Laboratory Schools before she and her family entered the White House in 2009.

The first of the first daughters made headlines in August 2014 when, bicycling with her parents while on vacation in Martha’s Vineyard, she donned a Stanford T-shirt. Some thought her choice was made.

The last two presidential children in the White House, twins Barbara and Jenna Bush, were spared major media scrutiny as they chose their colleges; they already were enrolled by the time their father won the presidency in 2000.

Barbara Bush graduated from Yale and Jenna Bush, the University of Texas at Austin.

During Bill Clinton’s presidency, his daughter, Chelsea, went from Sidwell Friends, a Quaker-affiliated prep school, to Stanford, choosing the place where her friend (and future husband) Marc Mezvinsky already was in attendance.

Chelsea Clinton graduated from Stanford in 2001 and later obtained a master’s degrees and doctorate from Oxford University in England and a master’s degree from Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health.

 

 
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Posted by on May 1, 2016 in Giant Negros

 

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Harriet Tubman Home to Become National Park

On the Money, and now a National Park for this exceptional woman –

Harriet Tubman’s Home taken around 1940

Harriet Tubman Gets Historical National Park In New York

Just two days after the official announcement that Harriet Tubman will replace Andrew Jackson on the $20 bill, U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch signed an agreement establishing the celebrated abolitionist’s former home as a National Historical Park.

The agreement allows land belonging to Harriet Tubman Home Inc. in Auburn, New York, to be transferred to the National Park Service, Cayuga County’s newspaper The Citizen reports. The 26-acre property will now be known as the Harriet Tubman National Historical Park. Congress approved legislation in 2014 to create this park and the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad National Historical Park in Maryland.

Tubman escaped from slavery in Maryland in 1849, but she returned numerous times to rescue at least 70 other people. In 1859, she moved to a house in Auburn, New York. In 1896, she bought 25 acres next to that property, where she opened the Harriet Tubman Home for the Aged, which provided housing for elderly African-Americans. She deeded the establishment to the AME Zion Church in 1903, with the agreement that they would manage the home and the property, according to the National Park Service.

Harriet Tubman National Historical Park includes Tubman’s former residence, the Home for the Aged and the nearby Thompson Memorial A.M.E. Zion Church.

Harriet Tubman at her home in Auburn, New York, in 1911

 
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Posted by on April 23, 2016 in Black History, Giant Negros

 

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Alan Page – Purple People Eater, Lawyer, Judge

If you have ever heard the stereotype about football players being mostly brawn and few brains…Think on this. Alan Paige was part of the most feared defensive front line in football during the 80’s. As Defensive End, Paige’s quickness gave offensive lines fits. I saw a game in the mid 70’s where after some trash talk by opposing players after a holding penalty, Paige went on to sack the Oakland Raider’s quarterback, Ken Stabler 3 times in a row on successive downs.

Paige also was, from the beginning committed to improving the community though education.

Justice Alan Paige, with some of the Black Americana collection at home.

Twice Retired, Ex-Purple People Eater Is Still Passionate About Goals

JUSTICE ALAN PAGE has retired twice.

Elected to the Minnesota State Supreme Court in 1992, Justice Page stepped down from the court last summer, having reached its compulsory retirement age of 70. The first African-American on the court, Justice Page is well known in Minnesota legal circles for his carefully crafted opinions (occasionally livened with quotes from Dr. Seuss), his concern for civil rights and, more lightheartedly, for his colorful bow ties.

“I witnessed him focusing on getting the law right,” said his former Supreme Court colleague, Justice Paul Anderson (also retired). “He was very focused on equity and the elimination of discrimination.”

Justice Page doesn’t ring a bell? You might know him better from his previous career as a professional football player for 15 years, mostly with the Minnesota Vikings and, toward the end, with the Chicago Bears. A graduate of Notre Dame, Mr. Page was a remarkably quick defensive tackle, the most feared of the Vikings’ legendary front four, the Purple People Eaters.

He made six All-N.F.L. selections, and nine straight Pro Bowls. He retired from football in 1981. Seven years later he was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

In person, Mr. Page is considerate and thoughtful, reflecting carefully before answering a question. At age 70 he still moves with the grace of an athlete.

But having reached pinnacles of success in two very different careers, surely it must be time to kick back, maybe hit the golf course and the nostalgia circuit? Hardly.

“Once I left the court, that experience was behind me and I am trying to figure out the new thing,” he says. “I have the sense that I want to do something with educating young children.” (Later, he added that golf is a “good walk spoiled,” and rather than look back, he prefers “looking forward.”)

Mr. Page has visited a lot of classrooms, observing that in the early years of elementary school all children are curious, eyes bright and lively. Yet for some the lights have dimmed by the time they reach the fifth, sixth and seventh grades, especially among young people from deprived backgrounds.

“My thinking is if you can get these young people thinking critically early on — first, second, third grade — things will change dramatically in terms of educational achievement,” he said. “Maybe I am naïve, but I don’t think it is mission impossible.”

Mr. Page is unusually accomplished, but he is far from alone in searching for another meaningful act at his stage of life. The word “retirement” still suggests that it’s time to stop working and embrace leisure full time. That’s not the case for growing numbers of aging Americans. They want to stay engaged in the broader society and economy, continuing to be useful by tapping into their accumulated skills and experience.

“He has always been committed since he was quite young to really make a difference in society and to create and leave a legacy,” said Mr. Page’s wife, Diane. She also “retired” after a career of four-plus decades as a marketing research consultant. Retired isn’t the right word for her, either.

The power of education to make a positive difference is one of Mr. Page’s core beliefs. Even in his 1988 talk at the Pro Football Hall of Fame, he focused on the transformative value of education, highlighting in particular the need for investing in black teenagers, “the most unemployed and undervalued people in our society.”

Looking ahead to new challenges and not back on old glories, Mr. Page asked the audience: “What contribution can I still make that would be truly worthy of the outpouring of warmth and good feelings I have received today? And the answer, for me, is clear: to help give other children the chance to achieve their dreams.”…Read The Rest Here

 
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Posted by on April 2, 2016 in Giant Negros

 

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Interview With Angela Davis On Current Election

Angela Davis, one of those historical figures from the Civil Rights era who is still around and making news.

Why Activist Angela Davis Isn’t Endorsing Any Candidate For President

“We need a new party,” Davis declared.

Revolutionary activist Angela Davis is not impressed with the current roster of candidates running for president.

Davis — whose work has always taken a critical look at issues of race, gender, prisons and politics — spoke with Democracy Now! in an interview posted Monday and explained why she is not endorsing a candidate.

“I don’t endorse,” Davis told Democracy Now!’s Amy Goodman. “I believe in independent politics. I still think that we need a new party, a party that is grounded in labor, a party that can speak to all of the issues around racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, what is happening in the world. We don’t yet have that party.” Watch a full video clip below:

Davis condemned the “fascist appeal” of Donald Trump as well as his failure to outright denounce the endorsement of David Duke, the white supremacist and former leader of the Ku Klux Klan.

“The Ku Klux Klan, of course, evokes the racist, terrorist, violent history of—associated with the era following slavery up to the present,” Davis said. “The extent to which Donald Trump was beating around the bush, seemingly in an effort not to alienate those who might support the Klan today, is an indication that he is helping.”

For decades, Davis has been regarded as a radical activist, freedom fighter and feminist icon who has consistently spoken out against many of America’s ills. Davis has always been passionate about ending oppression in all its forms and fighting for the abolition of prisons. It is a position fueled by her own experience spending 16 months incarcerated after being placed on FBI’s Top 10 Most Wanted List on false charges 50 years ago.

Davis’ profound activism has helped to distinguish her as leading black revolutionary figure. Many present-day Black Lives Matter activists are inspired by her accomplishments and she said she shares a strong appreciation for their work, too.

“I think it’s really wonderful that Black Lives Matter activists are participating in this electoral period in this way, forcing candidates to speak on issues about which they might not speak,” Davis said.

Davis said she admires the ways in which activists today have demanded attention in the current election cycle, particularly as it involves calling out candidate Hillary Clinton on past comments she made referring to at-risk youth as “superpredators” and demanding she acknowledge the repercussions of her support for the 1994 Crime Bill, which sent a disproportionate number of black men and women to jail.

“It seems to me that if she’s interested in the votes of not only African Americans and people of color, but of all people who are progressive and attempting to speak out against the racism of over incarceration, she would simply say, ‘I was wrong then,’ that ‘superpredator’ is a racially coded term,’” Davis said. “It’s so interesting that she tends to rely on a kind of universalism that prevents her from acknowledging the extent to which racism is so much a force and an influence in this country.”

While Davis said Clinton is reluctant to address racism, she said she also believes her opponent Bernie Sanders suffers from certain limitations, too. When it comes to Sanders, Davis said she believes he engages in “a kind of economic reductionism” that prevents him from fully understanding and relaying information that will “enlighten us about the persistence of racism, racist violence, state violence,” Davis said.

“It seems that he does not have the vocabulary that allows him to acknowledge the role and the influence that racism has played historically,” she added. “He thinks that economic justice will automatically lead us to racial justice.”…Read the Rest Here

On the last I think Davis is wrong. First – there is no way to eliminate racism. Second, economic justice goes a long way in fixing the most pernicious results of modern racism, and destroys the infrastructure which supports it. Which is kind of interesting because this was why back in the 60’s she advocated communism. The fundamental root of communism being an economic system.

 
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Posted by on March 29, 2016 in Giant Negros

 

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Even the CBC Has Heartburn With Obama SCOTUS Choice

Support among Progressives and even old line Liberal factions of the Democrat party is tepid for Obama’s “compromise choice” for the vacant seat on the Supreme Court. This does not portend well for an all out confirmation fight. Would be nice if the CBC exhibits some cajones for a change. Sick of this one-way “compromise” shit. Obama may well find himself out in the cold with progressive support on this one, especially in view that the pending election is shaping up to be an all out donnybrook.

The CBC – Not Feeling the Love on Obama’s SCOTUS Pick

Black lawmakers irked by Obama’s Supreme Court choice

Some African-American lawmakers are urging their Congressional Black Caucus colleagues to skip a meeting with Valerie Jarrett because of discontent with President Barack Obama’s Supreme Court nominee.

Several black lawmakers are irked by Obama’s selection of a moderate judge instead of a progressive who could rally the base, according to three lawmakers and senior aides familiar with the meeting. They also don’t feel as if their input was adequately sought by the administration before Merrick Garland was nominated.

A source said members are asking themselves “what is the point” of attending the meeting now that Garland has been nominated.

And some black lawmakers questioned why Garland, who is white, was selected over a minority who could have made the court more diverse.

Jarrett, a senior advisor to Obama, was on the Hill Thursday to meet with the CBC about Garland’s nomination and other topics, according to a source.

The process to fill the late Antonin Scalia’s seat has been sharply acrimonious. Senate Republican leaders are refusing to hold confirmation hearings for Garland, saying Obama should not be able to influence the ideological bent of the court so close to a presidential election.

Progressives have expressed tepid support for Garland. National progressive groups said they wished the selection was more liberal but they still planned to back Obama in his fight with congressional Republicans.

 

 

 

 

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Obama And Misty Copeland Have a Talk

Misty Copeland quite simply is the best Ballerina in America right now, and perhaps the world. To reach that pinnacle with the American Ballet, she had to overcome a lot of obstacles beyond that of just having the physical and artistic talent including race and body image. Ballet dancers at this level also are incredible athletes, at the level of he most demanding professional sports.

Growing up, I thought that Ballet, like the Opera and Classical Music were things for old white people…Until I got to see the Bolshoi perform in Moscow in their heyday in the early 70’s. The beauty and artistic form was breathtaking. In those days, the old communist government began training the dancers in state schools at 3 years old. Those that survived the brutal regimen were quite simply miles better than anything else in the world in the dance form.

BTx3 is saving his pennies for that ultimate trip to NY to see Hamilton and Misty.

Misty Copeland And President Obama Sit Down To Talk About Race

The two discussed activism, body image, gender and success.

On Feb. 29, President Barack Obama and ballerina Misty Copeland sat down with Time reporter Maya Rhodan to talk about race, gender and success in their respective careers.

While one currently resides at the White House and the other can often be found rehearsing in the storied halls of the American Ballet Theatre, they’ve encountered similar setbacks and triumphs, whether they’re talking about the body image ideals of classical ballet or the way social media is used by political activists today.

This week, Essence Magazine is running a three-part video series that gives a peek inside the White House Cabinet room, where the interview took place. The clips show Copeland, a member of the presidential Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition, and Obama discussing Black Girl Magic, Black Lives Matter, and the realities of raising two African American women today.

Here are 11 of the best quotes from the interview:

On the Power Of Athleticism

“As a father of two daughters, seeing how images of strong athletic accomplished women carry over, and encouraging them in sports and dance and how they move physically, it turns out that every study shows that young girls who are involved in sports, dance, athletics end up having more confidence generally.” —Barack Obama

On Humility

“For all the blessings and privileges and responsibilities that I’ve gotten, I’m just representing a huge cross section of people who are talented and capable and supported me getting to where I came from.” — BO

On Race

“A lot of what I’ve experienced has not always been to my face, or it’s been very subtle. But it’s in a way that I know what’s going on and I feel it deep inside of me. And I, being the only African American in almost every environment in terms of classical ballet, it weighs on you and it wears on you after a while […] I think that being African American has definitely been a huge obstacle for me. But it’s also allowed me to have this fire inside of me that I don’t know if I would have or have had if I weren’t in this field.” — Misty Copeland

On the Future of Ballet

“I think that being in this position and showing that I can execute and do all of these things, that it’s possible to have any skin complexion, to have a healthy body image for the ballerina body. I think it’s given me more of a voice. And it’s I think forcing a lot of these top tier companies to address the lack of diversity and diversifying the bodies that we’re seeing in classical ballet. It’s really forcing that conversation to be had.” — MC

On Black Girl Magic

“To use social media to have a positive impact on our generation is huge […] to have movements like Black Girl Magic, I think it couldn’t be more positive for a young black girl to see that it’s okay to be yourself, it’s okay to not have to transform and look like what you may see on the cover of a lot of magazines. That you are beautiful, that it’s possible to succeed in any field that you want to, looking the way that you do.” — MC

On Social Media

“Well social media obviously is the way in which young people are receiving information in general. So the power of young activists to help shape color and politics through things like Black Lives Matter, which I think is hugely important. And when I think about the journey I’ve traveled, there’s no doubt that young African America, Latino, Asian, LGBT youth, they have more role models. They have more folks that they can immediately identify with.” — BO

On Mentorship

“I hope that there are young men of color who are looking at me and saying, I can aspire to be the president, or a senator, or a community organizer and make change in my neighborhoods. But if they are locked out of opportunity, and in neighborhoods where even if I’m on television, there are no men in their neighborhoods who’ve got jobs that are able to support a family, then you’ve still got problems.” — BO

On Opportunity

“You know, being the only African American at this level in American Ballet Theatre, I feel like people are looking at me, and it’s my responsibility for me to do whatever I can to provide these opportunities in communities to be able to educate them. And if that means having a program just for black dancers to allow them to have the same opportunity that generations and generations of white dancers have had, it’s necessary.” — MC

On Teaching Kids about Race

“You know, I mean I think about this now as a parent. Michelle and I are having a lot of conversations around the dinner table. And for me, what I always try to transmit to my kids is that issues of race, discrimination, tragic history of slavery and Jim Crow, all those things are real. And you have to understand them and you have to be knowledgeable about them. And recognize that they didn’t stop overnight. Certainly not just when I was elected.” — BO

On Divisions

“Part of what I think successful social movements have involved is having a certain righteous anger about injustices being done to you, but also understanding that people who are on the other side of this, they’ve got their own history and their own circumstances. And you have to understand that, and you have to recognize that each of us has some good and some bad in is. And that’s not an excuse, but what it does do is it gives us an opportunity then to have a conversation and to reach across the divide.” — BO

On Education

“Well, you know, I spend most of my time thinking about institutions. And there’s no doubt, even though it’s a cliché that the single biggest difference we can make is making sure that our kids get a good education. We can do a lot to keep the economy moving forward, we can do a lot to make sure that we’re enforcing our nondiscrimination laws. We can do a lot more to open up people’s perspective about who belongs where. And press to make sure that we have more women CEOs, and more African American film directors. And more Latino police officers. And all those things are important. But the foundation that all this depends is making sure that on the front end, when these little babies are born and start to get curious about the world and are like sponges, that we are giving them the kind of education and the nurturing that they need. So that they’re off to a good start. And that involves an imaginative leap, a moral leap on the part of the society as a whole that says every kid should get a genuine opportunity and we’re willing to put money behind it, and we’re willing to invest in that to break cycles of poverty.” —  BO

Misty performing solo

 
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Posted by on March 15, 2016 in Giant Negros

 

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Obama To Live in DC Area After Term is Over

Well…At least he won’t have any problem finding a home, and he possibly will be the first former President since George Washington to actually live in the area.

Daughter Will Keep the Obamas in Washington

After years of speculation, President Obama confirmed on Thursday that he and his wife, Michelle, intend to remain in Washington for “a couple of years” after his term ends.

It has been decades since a president stayed in the capital after leaving office. But Mr. Obama said during a visit here that “we’re going to have to stay” in Washington until his younger daughter, Sasha, finishes school.

“Transferring someone in the middle of high school — tough,” the president said in response to a question from a woman at a restaurant here.

Sasha is on track to graduate from the exclusive Sidwell Friends School in the spring of 2019. Mr. Obama said he was unsure where the family would move after that.

 
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Posted by on March 4, 2016 in Giant Negros

 

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