Monday Open Thread | Lionel Richie Week

More from the wonderful Lionel Richie.

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61 Responses to Monday Open Thread | Lionel Richie Week

  1. Yahtc says:

    Great article:

    Art therapy saves African American painter from despair

  2. Yahtc says:

    “A Primer on Divide and Conquer Politics”

    Divide and Conquer is the 1%’s favorite game. By pitting one working class group against another, they can reduce the 99% to 33% for, 33% against and 33% too disgusted to even think about it any more.

    Divide and Conquer enabled generations of American businessmen to keep unions out of their factories. All they had to do was whisper “The unions will bring in ____ to take your jobs.” Fill in the black with Blacks, Irish, Italian, Chinese. Workers were willing to accept less pay rather than risk losing their jobs altogether.

    Divide and Conquer split the Democratic Party down the middle in 1968 with the Civil Rights side backing Humphrey and the Anti-war side backing anyone but Humphrey. MLK Jr. was conveniently assassinated because he might have made the two sides realize that their struggles were the same. The result—Richard Nixon and the Killing Fields of Cambodia.

    Divide and Conquer was a favorite ploy of the Romans when they were crafting their Empire. They even had a phrase for it, divide et impera. It was used later by European colonialists around the world. Recently, we saw France pit Hutus against Tutsis in a contrived genocide in Rwanda aimed at increasing France’s access to the minerals of western Africa. Other countries have played the D&C game in the Congo too, supplying weapons to one side or the other in regional conflicts. Sometimes they supply them to BOTH sides. The result is a country without an infrastructure, incapable of supporting itself so that it becomes dependent upon the foreign buyers of its natural resources which are purchased at bargain prices.

    Divide and Conquer was used in the Americas by settlers who pitted one Nation against another. The victorious but weakened winner was then massacred or escorted to a reservation.

    Divide and Conquer, Muslim versus Jewish allows a handful of families to control most of the wealth in Israel. Divide and Conquer, Muslim versus Jewish, allows a handful of families to control most of the wealth in Saudi Arabia.

    Divide and Conquer pitted minority rights groups against women’s rights groups as described by Angela Davis in her book “Women, Race and Class” the bible for those interested in Divide and Conquer politics.

    Divide and Conquer is the Washington Post declaring “Pelosi Knew” about Bush’s illegal interrogations.

    Divide and Conquer is the Washington Post declaring that anonymous sources report that Obama plans to slash Medicare and Social Security.

    Divide and Conquer is Bush Sr.’s “Willie Horton” strategy and Pat Buchanan’s “Southern Strategy” and the Bush Jr. DOJ’s prosecution of Black celebrities and politicians.

    Divide and Conquer tells gays “Blacks took away your right to marry in California.”

    Divide and Conquer created the myth of the “Welfare Queen”. At the very same time, Divide and Conquer talks about “Poor white trash.”

    Divide and Conquer routinely attends peaceful political rallies intent upon starting violence. D&C can be found on both the police and the protester side. D&C does not represent either group, but inevitably, one side or both are stigmatized for what D&C did. As in “All those protesters are so violent.” Or, “All those police are so brutal.”

    Divide and Conquer is the guy at the protest who tries to encourage others to break the law.

    Divide and Conquer is the gal who declares “All those____ are so bad!” Fill in the blank with protester, police, soldiers, teachers, parents, elderly, children, striking workers, doctors, nurse, firemen. Never, ever fill in the blanks with investment bankers, military contractors, news media executives, insurance company executives, pharmaceutical executives billionaires. We must not issue blanket condemnation of the rich and famous. That would be class warfare.

    Divide and Conquer deals in generalities, not specifics. Divide and Conquer takes the specific and turns it into a generality.

    Divide and Conquer often cloaks itself in righteous indignation.

    Divide and Conquer is Hillary supporters calling Obama supporters sexists, and Obama supporters calling Hillary supporters racists.

    Divide and Conquer created Nazi Germany. Christian Germans were pitted against Jewish Germans and Communists and gays and Roma.

    Divide and Conquer whispers into the ear of a white worker “Universal healthcare will steal your insurance and give it to a Black.”

    Divide and Conquer whispers into the ear of an unemployed Black “You would have a job if it wasn’t for those Mexicans.”

    Divide and Conquer tells a man “You don’t share any responsibility for that child. She should have used birth control.”

    Divide and Conquer tells a woman “All men are potential rapists.”

    Divide and Conquer says “I am starving, because you have enough to eat.”

    Divide and Conquer was denounced by the Founders of this country who declared “We must all hang together or surely we will hang separately.”

    Divide and Conquer is the most common form of right wing propaganda disseminated on liberal message boards. It is the tactic used most often to disrupt threads. It is the comment that evokes a visceral sense of outrage even as a warning bell goes off in your head saying “But this isn’t right. This isn’t getting us any closer to our goal.” The arguments that Divide and Conquers crafts have only one solution—-you must declare “We refuse to be Divided and Conquered”

    Divide and Conquer’s mortal enemy is Solidarity.×2210655

  3. Yahtc says:

    Albert Murray

    Looks can indeed be deceiving. If you saw cultural critic and novelist Albert Murray walking down the street, you might think you were looking at an upper-middle-class, African-American stick-in-the-mud. And you’d be two-thirds right.

    Albert Lee Murray was indeed well-educated, well-heeled (and exceedingly well-dressed), and he was certainly, in today’s parlance, African-American. (Emphasis on the American.) But despite the professorial tweed jackets, highly polished oxfords and his wool Trilby placed just so, Murray was no stick-in-the-mud. In fact, no less an authority than Duke Ellington once proclaimed him “the unsquarest man I know.”

    Murray, who died in August at 97 after a long decline, was what some people would consider an oxymoron: He was a race man, through and through, and an integrationist. In the late 1960s and early ’70s, when the Black Arts movement celebrating a separate black aesthetic was powerfully influential, Murray would have none of it. Black art, he declared, is American art. Period. One of his best friends was the celebrated artist Romare Bearden, whose multiformat centered on his Southern upbringing, his adopted Harlem and American jazz. Murray believed Bearden to be the equal of any of his contemporaries, and the art world has come to agree. (A picture taken from Murray’s balcony on Lennox Terrace formed one of Bearden’s most famous collages, The Block.)

    Murray was a classmate of Ralph Ellison’s at Tuskegee Institute and after graduation spent time in the Army Air Force. Although he would go on to write a series of autobiographical novels about growing up in his Alabama home state, his time in the military isn’t reflected in any of them. He just didn’t have much interest, he once explained to an interviewer. That part of his life wasn’t his passion. His passion, he told his interviewer, was the blues. And the blues’ baby, jazz.
    Albert Murray on Jazz:

    “Now the Indians had drums — but they weren’t swingin’,” said Murray. “The Africans have drums — but they aren’t swingin’. The only people who swing are the Americans. In other words, they syncopate.”
    Murray believed that the blues and jazz are what make Americans unique, and that they sprang from the black American experience. He explained in The Devil’s Music, a documentary about jazz:

    Murray’s vision of America was that of a country that has been immeasurably enriched in every way by the presence of people first brought here in manacles. And he believed that these various cultures are inextricably entwined. He spent much of his life analyzing jazz and the blues, and he talked in a jazz cadence, even using it as an end-of-life metaphor:

    You are born, he told an interviewer at Auburn University, “and you have so many bars after this. And the more you can make it swing, when you’re gone, it doesn’t matter.”

    In this I would disagree with Mr. Murray. Because he certainly made it swing while he was here. And he’s gone. And he still matters.

    — by Karen Grigsby Bates for NPR

  4. Yahtc says:

    Wanda Coleman
    Her photo:

    As the most prominent African-American poet of Los Angeles, Wanda Coleman leaves behind sizable shoes — and a sizable archive.

    “It’s huge! We have between 50 to 100 boxes in storage,” says her husband, the poet Austin Straus, speaking by telephone from a stuffed garage. “She was a writer for more than 40 years, so she left a trail.”

    Los Angeles poet Wanda Coleman’s writing often drew from her struggles as a black woman. She died at age 67 in November.

    An award-winning writer and finalist for the National Book Award, Coleman, who died at age 67 in November after a long illness, also leaves a legacy that “compelled attention to racism and hatred,” according to her obituary in the Los Angeles Times, which described her as LA’s “unofficial poet laureate.”

    “The way she transformed her private rage into public art was really the essence of her,” says Straus, who co-wrote a collection of poems about marriage with Coleman set for release in April.

    Born to working-class parents and raised in Los Angeles’ Watts neighborhood, Coleman often drew from her struggles as a black woman in her poetry, which touched on themes of identity, love and daily life in LA.

    “She changed the perception of LA with her work. And because of her anger at racism, she transcended LA,” Straus says. “Her rage as an artist is understood everywhere because everywhere there are people who are being discriminated against. And they understand that terrible feeling of being dehumanized.”

    Although best known for her poetry, Coleman also wrote novels, short stories, essays, and even for the NBC soap opera Days of Our Lives, for which she won a Daytime Emmy for writing in 1976.
    “Fear was just not part of her psychological makeup, at least as far as I could tell,” says poet and friend Suzanne Lummis.

    Richard Modiano, director of Beyond Baroque, a literary arts center in Venice, Calif., where Coleman often gave readings of her work, describes the impact of Coleman’s absence from the literary scene as “tremendous.”

    Recalling William Wordsworth’s description of poetry’s origins as “emotion recollected in tranquillity,” Modiano says Coleman’s writing was an exception.

    “She was not tranquil. She was burning,” he says, “And she carried that energy into her work, and that work touched readers all over the world.”

    Coleman’s fierce energy was on display in her poem “Closing Time.” She wrote about a waitress locking up a diner each night:

    “At Trinity & Santa Barbara
    “The last clunker on the blacktop is mine
    …It’s so clear. So desert cold.
    … my knuckles are raw from
    Washings of countertops, my fists jammed against the
    Linings of my empty denim pockets scrounging warmth,
    … the stomp of high-stacked heels dare eyes
    imagined. I can’t contain my laughter or my hurt
    and they crack the sky above the wet neon
    no arrival no return.”

    — by Hansi Lo Wang for NPR

  5. Liza says:

    Kiese Laymon on Trayvon, Black Manhood and Love
    Monday, December 30 2013

    “I can’t stop thinking about your ‘How do you want to be loved?’ question,” my student Wilson said to me two weeks ago. “And I was just wondering, when you asked yourself that question, what did you come up with?”

    I teach at Vassar College, an educational institution where resources, need-blind admissions, multisyllabic disengagement, cocaine and curious students are in relative abundance. This semester, I challenged myself to do more than move my 60 students beyond traditional “either/or” binaries of feeling or thinking, critical analysis or creative writing, intellectualizing or confessing, radical or capitalist praxis. I was less invested in cultivating students who could critically interrogate text, faithfully imitate text, or courageously innovate text, and more concerned with making sure my students and I left the classroom, sentimental as it sounds, better at dreaming and loving unreasonably.

    Initially, I sourced my pedagogical shift to the freedom that accompanies publishing two bluesy black books in one year. But on November 3, a day after Renisha McBride was murdered with a shotgun blast through a screen door outside of Detroit, I realized that my pedagogical shift could be sourced to the reasonable murder of Trayvon Martin.

    There’s always reason to doubt the vitality and perspective of black boys. In a nation dedicated to death, deception and the mastery of disengagement, it is reasonable for a young black boy armed with iced tea and Skittles to be murdered on his way to watch an All-Star game. It’s reasonable for a jury of folks who have no idea how to love black children to find that child guilty of being a nigger. It’s reasonable for a nation of cowards to treat the courage, fear and rhetorical dynamism of Rachel Jeantel like niggerish gibberish.

    But this is just part of our story.

    Trayvon Martin was a real, fleshy black American boy. Had he not been murdered, like most of us, he likely would have bobbed his heads to spectacular disses of black women and black femininity. He probably would have found it hard, and damn near impossible, to invest in unreasonable love of black girls.

    This is just part of our story.

    I don’t know the rest. But I do know that Trayvon Martin could have taken his disrespectful profiling and beating, like a reasonable black boy. He could have lowered his head, said I’m sorry for frightening you, crazy-ass cracker, and muted the crazy-making treble in his chest. Instead, he [allegedly] unreasonably swung back. He [allegedly] connected. And he tried to live. Unreasonably.

    When my student Wilson asked me how I want to be loved, I was afraid to tell that I want to be loved by an unreasonable love that loves me enough to say and mean that Trayvon Martin, Rachel Jeantel, you and I are beautiful and worthy of second chances and healthy choices.

    This is just part of our story.

    I want to be loved by an unreasonable love that refuses to accept poverty and sexual abuse as reasonable.

    I want to be loved by an unreasonable love that loves black art and black communities enough to insist that black artists stop dismantling black women’s bodies, hearts and minds for profit. I want to be loved by an unreasonable love that loves black art and black communities enough to insist that every letter, color, word, shade, scene, rhyme, paragraph, photograph and step be rooted in a textured exploration of unreasonable black love.

    I want to love and be loved by an unreasonable imaginative love that swings back and insists on superb universal health care, progressive tax rates that eliminate all rich folks exemptions, and mandatory courses on Intersectional Love and Discourse in every middle school, high school, college, church and community center in this country.

    I want to be loved by an unreasonable love that refuses to conflate honesty with transformation and hard work with revelatory work, a love that expects unreasonable love from police, teachers, doctors, politicians, presidents and CEOs.

    I want to be loved by an unreasonable love unafraid to reckon and fight and listen and share before going to bed, an unreasonable love that gets turned on by periodically turning off crippling pathologies and the Internet.

    This is just part of our story.

    I want to be loved unreasonably by an unreasonable love because we’ve nearly drowned in the poison of reasonable loving, reasonable liking, reasonable living, reasonable essays, reasonable art and reasonable political discourse.

    I want to be loved by an unreasonable love that knows the only reason we’re still here, breathing, imagining, fighting, wandering and wondering is because of the unreasonable work of a small but committed group of black southern unreasonable lovers.

    I want to be loved by an unreasonable love that loves itself enough to leave me if I insist on loving it reasonably, an unreasonable love that tells its mama, its father, its friends, its co-workers, its auntie, its mentors, its mentees, its lover, its grandmother, that the reasonable era of black American death and destruction ended in 2013.

    This is just part of our story, but I want the rest of the story to be written by reliable black characters, black activists, black parents, black children, black aunties, black uncles and black authors ready to demolish American reasonable doubt with waves and waves of unreasonable black American love.

  6. Texas officer found to have violated deadly force policy in shooting teen.

    An internal investigation by Dallas police has found that a senior corporal who shot a 17-year-old carjacking suspect — who later claimed he didn’t know the vehicle was stolen — earlier this month violated the department’s deadly force policy.

    Internal affairs investigators recommended Chief David Brown fire Sr. Cpl. Amy Wilburn, sources inside the department say, according to WFAA.

    A disciplinary hearing will be held by the chief for Wilburn and five other officers on Monday afternoon. Brown is not obliged to adhere to the recommendation.
    Wilburn was among the officers who followed a maroon sedan that was reported stolen in Dallas. The driver of the car fled, leaving the passenger, 17-year-old Kelvion Walker, inside the vehicle.

    According to a witness, Walker has his hands up when Wilburn shot into the vehicle, striking the Spruce High School student in the abdomen. Walker said Wilburn apologized to him after shooting.

    Walker said earlier this month from his hospital bed, “I just had my hands up and I seen her look at me and I looked at her and she just fired. I was just shocked and I said, ‘Why did you shoot me?’ She just said, ‘I am sorry, I am sorry. I didn’t try to.’”

    Initially the Dallas Police Department said that Wilburn shot Walker while he was attempting to exit the vehicle. A weapon was not found inside the car.

    Walker has sued Wilburn for using excessive force and because officers failed to “immediately call for an ambulance,” which violates the teen’s constitutional right to medical care while in police custody, according to WFAA.

  7. Ametia says:

    Too late Gregory; MTP is going DOWN, and you’re going down right along with it!

  8. Ohio Teacher Suspended For ‘We Don’t Need Another Black President’ Remark

    FAIRFIELD, Ohio — A southwest Ohio teacher who allegedly responded after a black high school freshman said he wanted to become president that the nation doesn’t need another black president has been disciplined.

    The Fairfield board of education this week suspended teacher Gil Voigt without pay. The Hamilton-Middletown Journal-News reported that board president Dan Murray said that the suspension is the first step in the termination process.

    When a black student in the northern Cincinnati suburb earlier this month said he wanted to be president, the white teacher made an apparent reference to President Barack Obama, according to school officials, and allegedly said: “We don’t need another black president.”

    Voigt, who has taught at Fairfield since 2000, reportedly told school officials he was misquoted. A telephone message left for him Friday wasn’t immediately returned. He has 10 days after he is formally notified to appeal before the school board.

    “He was talking to some students and said some things that were racially insensitive,” Murray said. “We take diversity in our school district very seriously with tolerance of people who are different. We just felt this teacher had crossed the line.”

  9. Ametia says:

    U.S. Struggles to Keep Pace in Delivering Broadband Service

    WASHINGTON — San Antonio is the seventh-largest city in the United States, a progressive and economically vibrant metropolis of 1.4 million people sprawled across south-central Texas. But the speed of its Internet service is no match for the Latvian capital, Riga, a city of 700,000 on the Baltic Sea.
    Riga’s average Internet speed is at least two-and-a-half times that of San Antonio’s, according to Ookla, a research firm that measures broadband speeds around the globe. In other words, downloading a two-hour high-definition movie takes, on average, 35 minutes in San Antonio — and 13 in Riga.

    And the cost of Riga’s service is about one-fourth that of San Antonio.

    The United States, the country that invented the Internet, is falling dangerously behind in offering high-speed, affordable broadband service to businesses and consumers, according to technology experts and an array of recent studies.

  10. TyrenM says:

    Good Morning 3Chics,
    Yahtc: Digging the post on Professor El-Kati. As for “Monday Monday,” this -20 am has me “California Dreaming.”
    Have a good day all.

  11. Yahtc says:

    De Blasio Brings Hope for a Populist Arts Revival

  12. Yahtc says:

    “Karamu Forum: Reflections on freedom’s journey”

    What does freedom truly mean?

    For African-Americans, was it won 150 years ago with the passage of the Emancipation Proclamation? What are some of the challenges facing freedom today? These are some of the questions that I began to ponder as I explored freedom’s journey through the chapters of the past, present, and future.

    I was blessed with the opportunity to sit at the professor’s (Dr. Mahmoud El-Kati) feet and learn more about freedom and my role as a freedom fighter. El-Kati taught us that freedom is a continual pursuit and not a destination. One of the first lessons that I learned from El-Kati was the importance of understanding history since the past is a prologue to the future. As we gathered together at the solidarity discussions, I began to make a connection between the history of freedom in the context of the African-American experience and freedom’s challenges today. I realized that I was “miseducated” about the role of African-Americans in the pursuit of freedom in America. I learned two important lessons from the Professor’s teachings.

    Lesson 1: I had viewed freedom as something that could be won and would be freely given by the oppressor but ignored the fact that freedom is a pursuit fueled by eternal struggle. In the words of Frederick Douglass, “Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will.” In turn, freedom must be demanded.

    Lesson 2: Freedom is not a resting place and it requires people like you and me to make a commitment to pursue freedom as a moral imperative. We have to make a commitment to remain vigilant. Therefore, we who believe in freedom cannot rest.

    Starting with the first lesson, history teaches us that those who came before us understood the importance of freedom and their role in bringing the vision of freedom to fruition. One example of this is the demonstration of faith and tenacity of the thousands who gathered together on a cold winter night on Dec. 31, 1862. This gathering was called Freedom’s Eve.

    On that day, the African-American community, slave and freed, gathered together in anticipation of the realization of their future freedom, hence the name, Freedom’s Eve. They were waiting for the clock to strike midnight in order to seize the promise of freedom outlined in the Emancipation Proclamation. The Emancipation Proclamation issued by President Abraham Lincoln declared that on New Year’s Day, Jan. 1, 1863 all slaves would forever be free in the rebellion states. As the African-American community prepared to embark on this journey to freedom, celebrating Freedom’s Eve became a cherished tradition.

    Freedom’s Eve in 1862 was a time for rejoicing. Frederick Douglass, remarked, “We shout for joy that we live to record this righteous decree.” For many, the prayers of their ancestors had finally come to fruition as they reached towards a future of freedom and liberty.

    While for others, Freedom’s Eve was a call to action, they recognized their moral responsibility to fight for the full realization of freedom for their brothers and sisters. They were united in the struggle. The Emancipation Proclamation alone did not abolish slavery or free slaves, but served as a catalyst for change since many slaves decided to seize their own freedom. Two hundred thousand freed slaves joined the Union Army and left their mark on history. In fact, 103 of these soldiers were from Minnesota.

    Today, Freedom’s Eve is a symbol of not only the struggle of African-Americans for freedom from slavery but also a symbol of tenacious courage. Yet, Freedom’s Eve also connects history with the present since it informs our struggle today to secure the promise of freedom for our future generations.

    Fast forward to today, we must critically ask ourselves how have we progressed on the journey to freedom? Are there invisible chains that are keeping others in bondage or ensnared in systems of oppression? What have we done to free someone else? This is related to the second lesson that I learned from El-Kati. Freedom is an ongoing battle that requires you and I to take action.

    One such obstruction on freedom’s journey is the emergence of mass incarceration. Today, the U.S. has the highest incarceration rate in the world with over 2 million people who are incarcerated. The prison population has grown by 700 percent from 1970 to 2005. There is a social and moral cost associated with this epidemic. The social cost is the impact on our economy when the average annual cost of incarceration is $31,307 and over $70 billion is spent annually for corrections. Could we perhaps reinvest these dollars in ways that would strengthen the social fabric of our nation, for example in education, job development and access to affordable housing? You be the judge.

    Lastly, there are moral costs associated with the racial disparities in the rate of incarceration. While people of color make up about 30 percent of the United States’ population, they account for 60 percent of those imprisoned. The incarceration rates disproportionately impact men of color. One in every 15 African-American men and one in every 36 Hispanic men are incarcerated in comparison to one in every 106 white men. The time has come to raise critical questions about freedom issues like mass incarceration and take a stand for justice. I sincerely thank Dr. Mahmoud El-Kati for raising our consciousness and challenging us to daily embark on the journey to seek freedom for all.

    • Ametia says:

      Thank you for this, Yahtc.

    • Yahtc says:

      Quotes By and About Ella Baker

      Awake youth of the land and accept this noble challenge of salvaging the strong ship of civilization by the anchors of right, justice, and love….let us resolve that for the welfare of the whole, for the good of all, for the uplift of the fallen humanity, for the extension of Christ’s kingdom on earth…there shall be no turning back…we will strike against evil, strife and war

      ~ Ella Baker, excerpt from Valedictorian speech, 1927, (Source: Ransby, Barbara. Ella Baker & The Black Freedom Movement)

      Give people light and they will find a way.

      ~ Ella Baker, 1944 (Source: Ransby, Barbara. Ella Baker & The Black Freedom Movement)

      This may only be a dream of mine, but I think it can be made real.

      ~ Ella Baker, 1960 (Source: Ransby, Barbara. Ella Baker & The Black Freedom Movement)

      In order for us as poor and oppressed people to become part of a society that is meaningful, the system under which we now exist has to be radically changed. This means that we are going to have to learn to think in radical terms. I use the term radical in its original meaning–getting down to and understanding the root cause. It means facing a system that does not lend itself to your needs and devising means by which you change that system.

      ~ Ella Baker, 1969 (Source: Ransby, Barbara. Ella Baker & The Black Freedom Movement)

      Even if segregation is gone, we will still need to be free; we will still have to see that everyone has a job. Even if we can all vote, but if people are still hungry, we will not be free…Singing alone is not enough; we need schools and learning…Remember, we are not fighting for the freedom of the Negro alone, but for the freedom of the human spirit, a larger freedom that encompasses all of mankind.

      ~ Ella Baker, (Source: Ransby, Barbara. Ella Baker & The Black Freedom Movement)

      I didn’t break the rules, but I challenged the rules.

      ~ Ella Baker, 1977 (Source: Ransby, Barbara. Ella Baker & The Black Freedom Movement)

      Howard Zinn said of Baker she was more responsible than any other single individual for the formation of the new abolitionists [SNCC] as an organized group.”

      (Source: Ransby, Barbara. Ella Baker & The Black Freedom Movement)

      • Yahtc says:

        “Ella’s Song”

        Music by Bernice Johnson Reagon
        Sung by Sweet Honey in the Rock
        Ella Baker’s Words

        We who believe in freedom cannot rest
        We who believe in freedom cannot rest until it comes

        Until the killing of black men, black mothers’ sons
        Is as important as the killing of white men, white mothers’ sons

        That which touches me most is that I had a chance to work with people
        Passing on to others that which was passed on to me

        To me young people come first, they have the courage where we fail
        And if I can but shed some light as they carry us through the gale

        The older I get the better I know that the secret of my going on
        Is when the reins are in the hands of the young, who dare to run against the storm

        Not needing to clutch for power, not needing the light just to shine on me
        I need to be one in the number as we stand against tyranny

        Struggling myself don’t mean a whole lot, I’ve come to realize
        That teaching others to stand up and fight is the only way my struggle survives

        I’m a woman who speaks in a voice and I must be heard
        At times I can be quite difficult, I’ll bow to no man’s word

        We who believe in freedom cannot rest
        We who believe in freedom cannot rest until it comes

      • Yahtc says:

      • Yahtc says:

      • Yahtc says:

        Ella Baker:

        The granddaughter of a slave who was beaten for refusing to marry a man her master chose for her, Ella Baker spent her life working behind the scenes to organize the Civil Rights Movement. If she could have changed anything about the movement, it might have been to persuade the men leading it that they, too, should do more work behind the scenes. Baker was a staunch believer in helping ordinary people to work together and lead themselves, and she objected to centralized authority. In her worldview, “strong people don’t need strong leaders.”

        In 1927, after graduating from Shaw University in Raleigh, North Carolina, Baker moved to Harlem and began her long career of organizing, helping to establish consumer cooperatives during the Depression. She joined the NAACP’s staff in 1938 and spent half of each year traveling in the South to build support for local branches, which would become the foundation of the Civil Rights Movement. In 1946, she reduced her NAACP responsibilities to work on integrating New York City public schools.

        Baker was one of the visionaries who created the Southern Christian Leadership Conference in 1957, and she recruited the Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. into it. She served two terms as the SCLC’s acting executive director but clashed with King, feeling that he controlled too much and empowered others too little.

        In 1960, when four black students in Greensboro, North Carolina, were refused service in a university cafeteria, setting off sympathetic sit-ins across the country, Baker seized the day. Starting with student activists at her alma mater, she founded the nationwide Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, which gave young blacks, including women and the poor, a major role in the Civil Rights Movement.

        Baker returned to New York City in 1964 and worked for human rights until her death. Her words live on in “Ella’s Song,” sung by Sweet Honey in the Rock: “We who believe in freedom cannot rest.”

  13. rikyrah says:

    Republicans Go Mad As Pope Francis and President Obama Deliver The Same Economic Message

    By: Rmuse more from Rmuse

    Sunday, December, 29th, 2013, 4:54 pm

    Charity, as found in Christian theology, was described by Thomas Aquinas as “that which unites us to god” and he considered it “the most excellent of the virtues” explaining “the habit of charity extends not only to the love of God, but also to the love of our neighbor.” The concept of charity including love of neighbor is anathema to evangelical Christians, and merely mentioning it has created enmity between conservative Christians and Christ’s representative on Earth Pope Francis. Over the past couple of months there is not much the new Pope has said that has not rankled conservatives, evangelical Christians, and even Republican politicians who are self-avowed Catholics. Maybe it is because Americanized Christians have drifted so far-afield from their religion’s namesake and his teachings, or maybe it is hatred for humanity endemic to evangelical Christians, but every utterance from the new Pontiff has elicited varying degrees of condemnation and indignation.

    The Pope’s outreach to atheists predictably drove evangelicals mad, and Catholic clergy were shocked he stressed they should devote their time and energy to helping the poor instead of fixating on gays and torturing women for being women. However, what elicited the greatest response from Republicans was his criticism of their religious devotion to “trickle down” economics that, for thirty years, has sent the lion’s share of the nation’s wealth to the richest one-percent of income earners and left the rest of the population struggling to stay out of poverty or wondering where their families’ next meal will come from.

    The Republicans’ spokesman, Rush Limbaugh, immediately labeled the Pope a Marxist and all but condemned him to Hell for having the audacity to question America’s economic system that is so tilted toward satisfying the greed of the rich and their corporations. Attention whore Sarah Palin expressed concern that the Pope’s remarks about America’s deification of wealth and greed “sounded kinda’ liberal,” but then again the likes of Palin would assail Jesus Christ for sounding liberal if he returned and preached to help the poor. However, after digesting the Pope’s remarks decrying an economic system that took from the poor to enrich the already wealthy, Republican legislators, especially Catholic Republicans, felt they had to weigh in and give their assessment of a Pope who dared utter an unkind word about their Holy Grail; trickle-down economics.

  14. rikyrah says:

    Slideshow: The top 30 ‘black don’t crack’ celebrities

    by theGrio | December 28, 2013 at 2:00 PM

    cademy Award winning actor and director Denzel Washington turns 59 today, if you can believe it.

    While the A-list superstar still looks terrific after several decades in the spotlight, he is just one of several black stars who have avoided falling victim to Father Time.

    Check out some of our favorite ageless wonders like Eddie Murphy, Nia Long, Iman and Samuel L. Jackson, just to name a few.

  15. rikyrah says:

    Good Morning, Everyone :)

  16. Ametia says:

    Good Morning, Everyone! Loving Lionel Richie, Ms. rikyrah. :-))

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