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"Autumn in New York"

06 September 2015

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

Updated Commentary on Sandra Bland

This case has been especially troubling for me and I'm Sandra Bland, moreover, my adult daughters are Sandra Bland.  You see, two of them after college left for distant cities to pursue careers.  James and I waited anxiously on that call to let us know they had arrived safely.  Her Mother got that call and was greeted with 'Mommy,' I've arrived.  Her voice was upbeat and she looked forward to talking with her later but wanted to ease her nerves to let her know that "I 'm here".  Bye Bye was spoken with hope, relief and  a lilt.  A menacing force under the guise of law enforcement intervened shortly thereafter and Sandy to family and friends returned home in a casket. The onslaught of unjustified murders by rogue cops have been traumatic to say the least and when people cried out "That Black Lives Matter"; the response by the right, police unions and many mainstream whites have been "All Lives Matter" with excuses and rationales in support of those murders and "assisted suicides". 

In the  picture of her on the top right, she's wearing a Beatles tee with the title of their song "Let it Be".
Looked up the lyrics and I think I understand why that song was so special to her that she wore it for all to see.  No word yet!

Images of Sandra Bland

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

16 August 2015

Remembering Julian Bond ~ A Self-Described 'Race Man'

Image: Public Domain

I want to have a double-sided tombstone, so you have something on each side. And on one side, it's going to say "Race Man." A race man is an expression that's not used anymore, but it used to describe a man—usually a man, could have been a woman too—who was a good defender of the race, who didn't dislike white people, but who stood up for black people, who fought for black people. I'd want people to say that about me. He was a race man. There's no implication here that white people are evil, just that black people are good people and they need somebody to fight for them, and I'm that person. The other side is going to say "Easily Amused," because I am easily amused. {A Conversation With Julian Bond}

David Love, JD and Bill Fletcher, Editorial Staff at The Black Commentator wrote two articles on Mr. Bond while on hiatus.  They wrote respectively,  'Why Julian Bond Mattered to the Movement' and 'Saying Good-bye and Thank You to Julian Bond' with memorable quotes and  reminiscences  of the struggle for civil/human rights and Mr. Bond's many role(s) up until the time he transitioned.  They are must reads.  However...

Mr. Mandela summed it up best:

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


  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.

28 June 2015


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

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.

* 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


Nine Souls Taken From Us 


 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:
* "The identities of only three victims were relayed to families that night, Myers said. By 5am the coroner, Rae H Wooten, had to explain why identification was proving so difficult. “What happened in there was brutal,” Myers said. “It was gruesome.”"

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.

My grief is real and yes I'm angry.  I'm not a family member so I can't dictate how they should feel about this horrific massacre.  However, as a black citizen and part of a group of people who may encounter this fate whether in church or walking down the street or even in the privacy of my home; there is grave concern.  Forgiveness without repentance is another topic which I find puzzling, yet , sat totally amazed as I heard family members during the preliminary hearing of    Dylann Roof utter this concept through tears and heartache.
I welcome comments to help me understand this phenomenon....please.

And yes I honor and respect those who lost their lives, however, I can't help but wonder if some of them could have been saved.