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'Everybody Loves the Sunshine' ~ Roy Ayers

23 July 2015

I Could Have Been Sandra Bland: Black America’s Terrifying Truth


Images of Sandra Bland

By Brittney Cooper (Salon)




 A Personal Note:  Internal White Terrorism Continues From Those Paid To Serve and Protect:
I've read a number of articles and viewed interviews regarding the unjust arrest and suspicious death of Ms. Bland with varying emotional responses and questions. This article by Ms. Cooper sums up how many  black people view this incident and what many of us have experienced from time to time with rogue law enforcement officers .  She has also written another article on this subject that is a must read. It's become epidemic or now with modern technology the world is viewing what has gone on for many years in this country. The errors and changing accounts by the Waller County Police dept., DA and coroner's office require due diligence by the family, investigators at law enforcement agencies on the state/federal levels and in the public arena. 'For there by the grace of God {and all that is good}...go I.'

13 July 2015

Congratulations Serena Williams: Sixth Wimbledon Championship!

A stunning and beautiful Ms. Williams at the Wimbledon Champions’ Dinner


Serena Williams ~ 'Queen of the Court'
When I think of the challenges and despicable things said and done toward Serena and her sister, Venus beginning with  their debut on the tennis scene years ago and currently; my admiration and respect continues to soar. Serena winning her 6th championship and 21st grand slam at Wimbledon {7/11/15}  was too much for those in media to bear especially one of the writers of a  New York Times article. 

Body shaming and the attempt  to minimized her achievements by focusing on what he viewed as the drawbacks of her 'being' with a comparison to her slender Caucasian opponent were revealing. The  anecdotal assessments by the haters/fans in the tennis world became a lively topic of concern in social media. Folks of color and goodwill are fed up with the jealousy and racist insinuations of those who can't accept African-American women excelling in a sport they'd prefer white women to dominate. Brittney Cooper, professor and writer for The Salon wrote an in-depth and thought provoking piece, 'The world only has ugliness for black women. That's why Serena Williams is so important.'


 Two  of my favorite poems by Lucille Clifton, 'Won't You Celebrate With Me' and Maya Angelou's 'Still I Rise' come to mind about black women in general who strive to meet their goals and are formidable in their quest to do so. 

As Ms. Clifton cites at the end of 'Won't You Celebrate With Me':
come celebrate
with me that everyday
something has tried to kill me
and has failed.
Image:  Public Domain
 
Ms. Angelou's Beginning Verse "Still I Rise':
 You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may trod me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I’ll rise.

Image: AFP/Getty



Hyperbolic? I think not...

02 July 2015

BLACK PEOPLE AND THE HAUNTING DUPLICITY OF JULY 4TH

  This is an article I wrote last July 4th and it deserves in my opinion, re-posting each year.  There are many of us who still have ambivalent feelings about this holiday. The cyclic nature of our citizenship being challenged requires a re-visiting of the past and what got us to this day.  SCOTUS's dismantling of the voting rights act, proliferation of voter suppression, increase in the number of white supremacist groups re-framed with the same dynamics of the past and the continuing struggle of other marginalized groups demand our full attention and activism.  The rights of women are being threatened now and efforts to again devise laws and policy regarding the limitation of their first class citizenship and empowerment have emerged in a rather daunting manner. At the onset of any revolution the cadre is always considered to be renegades and troublemakers, however, they are a necessary component when people rise up against tyranny and oppression.
  
Most recently, on June 27, 2015, Bree Newsom, a  young black activist scaled the 30ft. pole at the Charleston, S.C. capital and took the confederate flag down to protest the inaction of the governor in removing it. This was in direct response to a white terrorist attack in which 9 church members including a state senator, Rev. Clementa Pinckney were murdered during a prayer meeting, June 17, 2015 at Mother Emanuel AME Church in Charleston. She was arrested and posted bail understanding the consequences of her actions. Her accomplice, James Tyson, a white activist was clad in a construction crew outfit which enabled her to climb the pole and remove the flag without an early intervention from authorities. He posted bail as well. The flag, was hoisted up by two black employees almost immediately after the removal. The irony of it all.
   
 I should also mention that Crispus Attucks, a man of color and escaped slave was one of the first to die in the Revolutionary War.  He was referred to as a 'thug' by John Adams, however, history has proven him to be one of the "true patriots" who began the rebellion against the tyranny of Britain.  I've also acknowledged the struggle of women of color and what many of our heroines did to gain and guarantee the rights of ALL of our citizens!

A passage from Frederick Douglass' speech on people of African descent celebrating the 4th of July.

What, to the American slave, is your 4th of July? I answer; a day that reveals to him, more than all other days in the year, the gross injustice and cruelty to which he is the constant victim. To him, your celebration is a sham; your boasted liberty, an unholy license; your national greatness, swelling vanity; your sound of rejoicing are empty and heartless; your denunciation of tyrants brass fronted impudence; your shout of liberty and equality, hollow mockery; your prayers and hymns, your sermons and thanks-givings, with all your religious parade and solemnity, are to him, mere bombast, fraud, deception, impiety, and hypocrisy -- a thin veil to cover up crimes which would disgrace a nation of savages. There is not a nation on the earth guilty of practices more shocking and bloody than are the people of the United States, at this very hour.


It is noteworthy that as Mr. Douglass' stature and fortune grew during the late fall and early winter seasons of his life; his tone softened from the above fiery statement.  He was able to carve a reality of freedom and prestige for his family and immediate social circle although there were many suffering during that time as well.  It lends to the adage that it is much harder to sling arrows and admonishments when one's lot improves and there becomes  a lucrative niche in the system for individuals despite the oppressive meme of the masses.


28 June 2015

BREE NEWSOM IS A SHEROE OF MINE...

*In the tradition of women warriors from Harriett Tubman/Ida B Wells - Ella Baker/ Fannie Lou Hamer/Angela Davis/Michelle Alexander, et.al.


Image Credit: Niall_JayDub
According to Ms. Newsom: "This flag comes down today."
“We removed the flag today because we can’t wait any longer. We can’t continue like this another day. It’s time for a new chapter where we are sincere about dismantling white supremacy and building toward true racial justice and equality.”

Collateral: James Tyson, an activist assisted.

Links:
* There are so many historical and current female warriors in all segments {the arts, academia, medicine, politics, criminal justice, mental health & child/senior welfare} of our society and the diaspora. Their 'being' evokes strength and determination when many of us become weary at times.


21 June 2015

WHITE SUPREMACIST TERRORISM: CALL IT WHAT IS!




Nine Souls Taken From Us 

















ROLL CALL FOR THE AGES:

 Ethel Lance, 70
Tywanza Sanders, 26
Cynthia Hurd, 54
DePayne Doctor,  49
State Sen./Rev. Clementa Pinckney
Susie Jackson, 87
Myra Thompson, 59
Rev. Daniel Simmons
Sharonda Singleton, 45


more here: http://www.thestate.com/news/local/article24842710.html#storylink=cpy



Related Story:
Florist Worker, Debbie Dills Aids in the Capture of Mass Murderer 


*Addendum:  I've been struggling with this thought since the massacre and wondered if I should even broach the subject and I'm sure I will be relegated to the back of the church, in a corner  for expressing this concern. I must though, please indulge me on this one.

I start with a question?  Does the literal interpretation of some biblical concepts prevent believers from employing self-defense mechanisms when encountering those in the process of destroying them? During the many recounts of the events inside the church that evening; there was one that never changed.  A believer, a young man {26} pleaded with Dylann Roof to stop shooting the  others and particularly his aunt. It was also mentioned that the murderer reloaded 5 times given that his victims died from multiple gunshots. During those moments when the gunman was reloading; instead of pleading for their lives; why wasn't there an effort to rush him and take the gun.?  Some effort, at least, to fight to keep the life or lives of others bestowed by God. The time sequel of the shots fired and the pauses to reload may provide an answer. I don't know but the thought persists.

23 May 2015

Black Self/Group-Hatred and the Myriad Ways It's Manifested

 I must say that this topic has followed me like a deadly cold/flu virus over the decades.  When the immune system is weakened, you wake up with that nagging cough, nasal drainage/stuffiness with aches and pains based on the severity of the symptoms. It's part of living on this planet, yet when it runs its course...there is relief. The specter of this virus lurks in the background, though you know there will eventually be another bout. Of course you'll  do all you can to prevent or delay it but many times it prevails.

  As one with Pan-African leanings since the late 60's, it seems appropriate to compare black self-hatred to a physical and spiritual malady. It's exhausting, painful, recurrent, and depending on the severity it can lead to death.  A death of the spirit and body.  Suicidal and homicidal behaviors come to mind as well as the many dysfunctional mannerisms that lend to the objectification of a group of people and rationales for oppressing them.  Ferguson, Cleveland, South Carolina and numerous unnecessary deaths of unarmed black women and men by the police and the sanctioning of it by some blacks in powerful positions comes to mind. In the case of Baltimore, the State Attorney, Marilyn Mosby is the exception and a sheroe.  Mud-slinging and falsified deterrents are in her future as she remains resolute in getting justice for the death of Freddie Gray by police officers.

While viewing the House Judiciary Committee on police misconduct/violence and the debate between Congressman Hakeem Jeffries and the controversial black Sheriff David Clarke; the  insidious virus of self-loathing became painfully clear.  David Clarke condoned violent police intervention in relation to the Eric Garner case citing that it is the high crime rate of the black underclass that fuels these encounters which he found justifiable. Some would argue that when you isolate a group of people where there  is poverty, hopelessness and a  lack of educational opportunities, this too may lend to self and group hate.  However, we are addressing those who are paid to protect citizens and not militaristic occupiers who harass, brutalize and kill citizens with impunity in these communities. This protector of the 'blue wall of silence' went so far as to challenge the findings of the medical examiner and declare that Mr. Garner died of a heart attack. Of course, the public knows that it was ruled a homicide and that we could believe our "lying eyes" when this event was captured on a video by a spectator.