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Tag Archives: History

Could You Pass the Voting “Literacy Test”?

Under the Chumph and Republicans we are headed bak to the days of Literacy tests to deny minority voting rights. The following is one such test of black voters used by Louisiana, Of course there were few schools for black children, which racists insisted played no part in being able to pass the test. Remember – one wrong answer, in the 10 minutes allotted to complete the test means you aren’t smart enough to vote… This test was sourced form the Veterans of the Civil Rights Movement site which contains a lot of information as well as historical artifacts. Go there, it is well worth a visit.

Voting Test 1

 

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Historic ‘End White Supremacy’ Sign

We need to find ways big and small to fight back, disrupt, and yes – even destroy the Chump’s government and plans every single day…

Historic ‘End White Supremacy’ Sign Reinstalled In New York City

The message, referencing a 1963 civil rights protest, is shamefully relevant today.

In 1963, a protestor scrawled the words “End White Supremacy” onto a sign and carried it during a civil rights march in New York. Over 50 years have passed and, disgracefully, the message pleading for the most essential of human rights remains just as relevant.

In 2008, digging through archival photographs, artist Sam Durant found an image of the ‘60s sign. Durant creates large-scale lightboxes featuring language culled from various protests and demonstrations throughout history, often focusing on the Civil Rights Movement and Black Panther protests. He gravitates towards words whose relevance is not bound up with any one time or event, whose message resounds regardless.

The artist scanned and cropped the sign’s language to create one such text-based artwork, which was mounted on the exterior of New York’s Paula Cooper Gallery just around the time America elected its first black president until 2009.

On Nov. 29, however, the piece was restored to the Paula Cooper Gallery facade. The sign’s return is a response to the recent election of Donald Trump, who, as a candidate, was widely accused of feeding off the racism, misogyny and xenophobia lingering on the fringes of the American psyche, giving bigotry a platform and ushering it into the mainstream.

Gallery owner Paula Cooper explained the importance of using skills and resources to fight against the normalization of hate and fear in an interview with Hyperallergic.

“We should, as spaces available and open to the public, do whatever we can to resist and overcome whatever abominations are about to confront us,” Cooper said. “How we best do that is the question.”…

 
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Posted by on December 5, 2016 in Second American Revolution

 

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Alabama County Elects 5 Black Women

A glimmer of hope

This Alabama County Just Elected 9 Black Women To Become Judges

In a great stride for representation Tuesday, nine black women were elected to become judges in majority Democratic Jefferson County, Alabama, The Birmingham Times reported.

The black women who came out on top in the district and circuit courts are all Democrats. Javan Patton, Debra Bennett Winston, Shera Craig Grant, Nakita “Niki” Perryman Blocton, Tamara Harris Johnson, Elisabeth French, Agnes Chappell, Brendette Brown Green and Annetta Verin are to be sworn in next January.

French, who was re-elected to Jefferson County’s Circuit Court, told The Birmingham Times that she believes her hard work and years of experience helped to propel her to elected office.

“I think the people don’t necessarily just support you just because of your race and gender. I think voters expect more than that. They look at our qualifications and make a decision about who they can trust with the leadership position,” she said.

Tuesday night was a big night for women of color across the states ― not just in local politics, but in federal positions, as well. Three women of color, Catherine Cortez Masto, Tammy Duckworth and Kamala Harris, were elected to the Senate. Stephanie Murphy and Pramila Jayapal were also elected to the House. Next year, there will be 38 women of color serving in Congress, bringing us a little bit closer to shattering that glass ceiling.

Also on HuffPost

 
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Posted by on November 12, 2016 in BlackLivesMatter, The Post-Racial Life

 

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Nick Cave’s “Soundsuits” – A Response to Racial Profiling

You have to see these to believe them – they are incredible!

The why of their creation, is a much darker story.

Stunning ‘Soundsuits’ Address The Realities Of Racial Profiling In America

“The soundsuits hide gender, race, class and they force you to look at the work without judgment.”

Artist Nick Cave’s work is best described as an explosion of color, texture and noise. Born in Fulton, Missouri, in 1959, Cave is known for his soundsuits ― wearable artworks that can be displayed as still objects or incorporated into wild performances as costumery.

Drenched in electric hues and hallucinatory patterns ― and marked by their ability to produce sound when individuals like Cave don the elegant objects ― it’s easy to view the suits as whimsical ware. But, according to Cave, the suits are anything but “fun.”

“They come from a dark place,” he explains in Episode #239 of ART21. In fact, the fashion-infused sculptures originated as metaphorical suits of armor in response to the brutal treatment of Rodney King in 1992. Cave made his first suit shortly after video footage captured the unlawful beating of King at the hands of Los Angeles Police Department officers.

The suit was simple, consisting of a sheath of twigs that rustled as the wearer moved. Cave has since created around 500 subsequent suits, many more decadent than the original. Most, if not all, reflect on Cave’s identity as a black man, confronting his experiences with racial profiling and police brutality.

Cave says that his suits represent his desire to “lash out” in response to personal experiences, as well as sorrowful moments in American history. “And if I do, lashing out for me is creating this,” he explains in the video above, gesturing toward his work. “The soundsuits hide gender, race, class and they force you to look at the work without judgment.”

The “Here Hear” exhibition of Cave’s soundsuits was previously on view at Detroit’s Cranbrook Art Museum, the museum connected with the artist’s alma mater. In a previous interview with The Huffington Post, Cave described the city he once called home as vibrant and alive, but noticeably different from when he last attended school in 1989. He was, he explained to ART21, the only minority there in 1988.

The ART 21 episode above is titled “Thick Skin,” referencing Cave’s suits’ ability to serve as “an alien second skin […] allowing viewers to look without bias toward the wearer’s identity.” Referred to as “vehicles for empowerment,” the suits stand out amid the 21st century’s array of creative political work, breathing new meaning into the possibility of addressing prejudice through visual art.

 

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“Walk With Me” – How Judge Damon J. Keith Reshaped America

Judge Damon J. Keith isn’t that well known, and isn’t lauded by most historians. However his impact on Civil Rights, and the Civil Rights of all Americans is incredible. Back in 1992, when the Bush Administration dragged Uncle Tommy Clarence out from under his porch such as to fill the “Black seat” on the Supreme Court left by Thurgood Marshall – Judge Keith was one a dozen or so black Jurists whose qualification far exceeded that of Uncle Tommie.

There is a lesson in courage and determination here I hope the young folks in BLM appreciate and emulate. The way things are shaping up in this country with the Chumph and his violent racist crew…We are going to need it.

 

‘I don’t scare easily’: A 94-year-old judge’s refusal to bow to racism, death threats

Long before federal judge Damon Keith became known as a “crusader for justice,” he was a new Howard University Law School graduate working as a janitor while he studied for the bar exam.

It was 1949, and Keith cleaned the bathrooms at The Detroit News, his hometown newspaper. One day, Keith recalled, he was leaning against a wall in the men’s room with a law dictionary in his hands when he was interrupted.

“What are you reading?” a white reporter asked him.

Keith, the grandson of slaves and a World War II veteran, told the reporter he was studying the law dictionary to prepare for the bar exam.

“What for?” the man asked.

“I’m going to be a lawyer,” Keith responded.

The reporter laughed.

“A black lawyer?” he asked incredulously. “You better keep on mopping.”

Keith, now 94 and still serving on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit in Detroit, recounted that story two weeks ago in a Howard University moot courtroom, where students, lawyers, his former clerks and a Supreme Court nominee gathered to watch a new documentary about his life, “Walk with Me: The Trials of Damon J. Keith.”

The following day, the legendary judge sat in the front row as President Obama and black luminaries from across the country celebrated the opening of the Smithsonian’s new African American Museum of History and Culture.

Keith, one of the oldest federal jurists in the country, has been handing down important rulings on racial discrimination, presidential power and other contentious legal issues for nearly 50 years. And he shows no signs of retiring. He’s at his chambers each day by 9 a.m., where the first thing he does is read his Bible, he said. He works until about 5:30 pm.

Last month he issued a scathing 38-page dissent in an Ohio voting rights case, accusing two colleagues on the 6th Circuit Court of turning their backs on African American voters likely to be impacted by restrictions on early and absentee voting. He included photos and biographies of 36 people who died during the long struggle for civil rights and equal protection, including Martin Luther King Jr. and Emmett Till.

“By denying the most vulnerable the right to vote,” he wrote, “the Majority shuts minorities out of our political process. Rather than honor the men and women whose murdered lives opened the doors of our democracy and secured our right to vote, the Majority has abandoned this court’s standard of review in order to conceal the votes of the most defenseless behind the dangerous veneers of factual findings lacking support and legal standards lacking precedent.”

He also warned: “The unfettered right to vote is the bedrock of a free and democratic society—without it, such a society cannot stand.”

Then he created even more of a stir by giving an interview to Slate lamenting “the racist attitude of the majority” and mentioning his two colleagues on the panel, John Rogers and Danny Boggs.

He doesn’t apologize for calling them out by name.

“I thought the panel’s decision was racist,” he told The Post. He noted that his grandparents couldn’t vote in Georgia. His fellow judges, he said, “don’t know what we’ve gone through. They don’t know what I’ve gone through.”

Keith learned the power of the law — and of dissent — when he was student at Howard, where future Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall was one of his professors…Read the rest Here

 
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Posted by on October 6, 2016 in Black History, BlackLivesMatter, Giant Negros

 

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Roland Martin Takes Bill O’Reilly to School on Black Patriotism

This is fun!

 

 
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Posted by on September 16, 2016 in Black History, Faux News, The Definition of Racism

 

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Carla Hayden – Librarian of Congress

My father was a Historian. In developing for a book he did research at the Library of Congress. Got to go with him several times, and it is an awesome, if somewhat overwhelming place. In those days, they really didn’t know what they had there. You could spend decades trying to wade though even a small portion of it.

Chief Justice John Roberts, left, shakes hands with the new Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden, left, after administering the oath of office during a ceremony in the Great Hall of the Library of Congress in Washington, Wednesday, Sept. 14, 2016. Hayden, a former Chicago children’s librarian, is the first woman and African American to serve in the role. Holding the bible is Hayden’s mother, Colleen, and watching is House Speaker Paul Ryan of Wis.

Carla Hayden breaks new ground as 14th librarian of Congress

Carla Hayden, a career librarian who grew up in Chicago and kept Baltimore’s libraries open during last year’s civic unrest, was sworn in Wednesday as the 14th Librarian of Congress, becoming the first woman and the first African-American to lead the national library.

Hayden, 64, was the longtime CEO of Baltimore’s library system. She was nominated last year by President Barack Obama and confirmed by the Senate to head the Library of Congress. She will serve a 10-year term, a change from her predecessors, for whom the position was considered a lifetime appointment.

Hayden was sworn in Wednesday by Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts, with her hand on Abraham Lincoln’s Bible. It’s part of the library’s collection and was used by Obama at his inauguration.

“As a descendant of people who were denied the right to read, to now have the opportunity to serve and lead the institution that is the national symbol of knowledge, is a historic moment,” Hayden said to applause from a crowd that included numerous members of Congress and actor and literacy advocate LeVar Burton, the longtime host of “Reading Rainbow.”

Among her goals is to move aggressively to digitize precious material in the library’s collection of 162 million items, the largest in the world, and she said she plans to seek corporate sponsorships and philanthropic contributions to aid those efforts. The library has an annual budget of $640 million.

“Digitizing … is rather expensive and labor-intensive,” she told The Associated Press in an interview after the swearing-in. “You can’t just take a photo and say, ‘Here, we’ll just put it up.’”

In addition to serving the American public’s research needs, the library has a professional staff that does research for Congress, and it oversees the U.S. Copyright Office. The library’s properties include a massive underground vault in Culpeper, Virginia, where audio and visual material is stored.

Hayden becomes just the third professional librarian to lead the Library of Congress. Her predecessor, James Billington, who was appointed by President Ronald Reagan and served for 28 years, was a Russia scholar.

“She’s a pro. She knows what she’s doing,” House Speaker Paul Ryan said at the ceremony.

Although he was well-liked on Capitol Hill, Billington was criticized for failing to keep up with advances in technology in a series of increasingly scathing reports from the Government Accountability Office...Read the Rest Here

 
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Posted by on September 15, 2016 in Giant Negros

 

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