Thursday Open Thread | Black Dancers Week: Alvin Ailey

Alvin Ailey-1

Alvin Ailey Biography
Choreographer (1931–1989)

Alvin Ailey was an American choreographer and activist who founded the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in New York in 1958.


Born in Texas in 1931, Alvin Ailey was a choreographer who founded the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in 1958. It was a hugely popular, multi-racial modern dance ensemble that popularized modern dance around the world thanks to extensive world tours. His most famous dance is Revelations, a celebratory study of religious spirit. Ailey received the Kennedy Center Honors in 1988. A year later, on December 1, 1989, Ailey died of AIDS in New York City.

Early Life

Born on January 5, 1931, in Rogers, Texas, Alvin Ailey became one of the leading figures in 20th century modern dance. His mother was only a teenager when he was born and his father left the family early on. He grew up poor in the small Texas town of Navasota. Ailey later drew inspiration from the black church services he attended as well as the music he heard at the local dance hall. At the age of 12, he left Texas for Los Angeles.

In Los Angeles, Ailey proved to be a gifted student in many ways. He excelled at languages and athletics. After seeing the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo perform, Ailey was inspired to pursue dancing. He began studying modern dance with Lester Horton in 1949. He joined Horton’s dance company the following year.

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Career Highlights

In 1954, Ailey made his Broadway debut in Truman Capote’s short-lived musical House of Flowers. The following year, he also appeared in The Carefree Tree. Ailey served as the lead dancer in another Broadway musical, Jamaica, starring Lena Horne and Ricardo Montalban in 1957. While in New York, Ailey also had a chance to study dance with Martha Graham and acting with Stella Adler.

Ailey achieved his greatest fame with his own dance company, which he founded in 1958. That same year, he debuted Blues Suite, a piece that drew from his southern roots. Another of his major early works was Revelations, which drew inspiration from the African American music of his youth. The blues, spirituals and gospel songs all informed this dance piece. According to the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater website, Revelations came from Ailey’s “‘blood memories’ of his childhood in rural Texas and the Baptist Church.”

In the 1960s, Ailey took his company on the road. The U.S. State Department sponsored his tour, which helped create his international reputation. He stopped performing in the mid-1960s, but he continued to choreograph numerous masterpieces. Ailey’s Masakela Language, which probed the experience being black in South Africa, premiered in 1969. He also formed the Alvin Ailey American Dance Center—now called the Ailey School—that same year.

In 1974, Ailey used the music of Duke Ellington as the backdrop for Night Creature. He also expanded his dance company by establishing the Alvin Ailey Repertory Ensemble that same year. During his long career, Ailey choreographed close to 80 ballets.


Final Years

In 1988, Alvin Ailey was honored by the Kennedy Center for his contributions to the arts. This prestigious accolade came near the end of his life. Ailey died at the age of 58 on December 1, 1989, at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City. At the time, The New York Times reported that he had suffered from “terminal blood dyscrasia, a rare disorder that affects the bone marrow and red blood cells.” It was later revealed that Ailey had died of AIDS.

The dance world mourned the passing of one of its great pioneers. Alvin Ailey “had a big heart and a tremendous love of the dance,” dancer Mikhail Baryshnikov told The New York Times, adding, “His work made an important contribution to American culture.”

Despite his untimely death, Ailey continues to be an important figure in the arts through the ballets he created and the organizations he founded. The dancers with the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater have performed for more than 20 million people around the world and countless others have seen their work through numerous television broadcasts.

R. Faligant. Judith Jamison in Alvin AileyÕs Cry, n.d. Alvin Ailey Dance Foundation Collection, Music Division, Library of Congress (28). All images used by Permission of Alvin Ailey Dance Foundation, Inc.

R. Faligant. Judith Jamison in Alvin AileyÕs Cry, n.d. Alvin Ailey Dance Foundation Collection, Music Division, Library of Congress (28). All images used by Permission of Alvin Ailey Dance Foundation, Inc.

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74 Responses to Thursday Open Thread | Black Dancers Week: Alvin Ailey

  1. yahtzeebutterfly says:

    Senator Elizabeth Warren
    Remarks at the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate
    September 27, 2015

    ***As Prepared for Delivery*** ——->

    Thank you. I’m grateful to be here at the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate. This place is a fitting tribute to our champion, Ted Kennedy. A man of courage, compassion, and commitment, who taught us what public service is all about. Not a day goes by that we don’t miss his passion, his enthusiasm, and – most of all – his dedication to all of our working families.

    As the Senior Senator from Massachusetts, I have the great honor of sitting at Senator Kennedy’s desk – right over there. The original, back in Washington, is a little more dented and scratched, but it has something very special in the drawer. Ted Kennedy carved his name in it. When I sit at my desk, sometimes when I’m waiting to speak or to vote, I open the drawer and run my thumb across his name. It reminds me of the high expectations of the people of Massachusetts, and I try, every day, to live up to the legacy he left behind.

    Senator Kennedy took office just over fifty years ago, in the midst of one of the great moral and political debates in American history – the debate over the Civil Rights Act. In his first speech on the floor of the Senate, just four months after his brother’s assassination, he stood up to support equal rights for all Americans. He ended that speech with a powerful personal message about what the civil rights struggle meant to the late President Kennedy:

    His heart and soul are in this bill. If his life and death had a meaning, it was that we should not hate but love one another; we should use our powers not to create conditions of oppression that lead to violence, but conditions of freedom that lead to peace.

    “We should use our powers not to create conditions of oppression that lead to violence, but conditions of freedom that lead to peace.” That’s what I’d like to talk about today.

    A half-century ago, when Senator Kennedy spoke of the Civil Rights Act, entrenched, racist power did everything it could to sustain oppression of African-Americans, and violence was its first tool. Lynchings, terrorism, intimidation. The 16th Street Baptist Church. Medgar Evers. Emmett Till. When Alabama Governor George Wallace stood before the nation and declared during his 1963 inaugural address that he would defend “segregation now, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever,” he made clear that the state would stand with those who used violence.

    But violence was not the only tool. African Americans were effectively stripped of citizenship when they were denied the right to vote. The tools varied-literacy tests, poll taxes, moral character tests, grandfather clauses-but the results were the same. They were denied basic rights of citizenship and the chance to participate in self-government.

    The third tool of oppression was to deliberately deny millions of African Americans economic opportunities solely because of the color of their skin.

    I have often spoken about how America built a great middle class. Coming out of the Great Depression, from the 1930s to the late 1970s, as GDP went up, wages went up for most Americans. But there’s a dark underbelly to that story. While median family income in America was growing – for both white and African-American families – African-American incomes were only a fraction of white incomes. In the mid-1950s, the median income for African-American families was just a little more than half the income of white families.

    And the problem went beyond just income. Look at housing: For most middle class families in America, buying a home is the number one way to build wealth. It’s a retirement plan-pay off the house and live on Social Security. An investment option-mortgage the house to start a business. It’s a way to help the kids get through college, a safety net if someone gets really sick, and, if all goes well and Grandma and Grandpa can hang on to the house until they die, it’s a way to give the next generation a boost-extra money to move the family up the ladder.

    For much of the 20th Century, that’s how it worked for generation after generation of white Americans – but not black Americans. Entire legal structures were created to prevent African Americans from building economic security through home ownership. Legally-enforced segregation. Restrictive deeds. Redlining. Land contracts. Coming out of the Great Depression, America built a middle class, but systematic discrimination kept most African-American families from being part of it.

    State-sanctioned discrimination wasn’t limited to homeownership. The government enforced discrimination in public accommodations, discrimination in schools, discrimination in credit-it was a long and spiteful list.

    Economic justice is not – and has never been – sufficient to ensure racial justice. Owning a home won’t stop someone from burning a cross on the front lawn. Admission to a school won’t prevent a beating on the sidewalk outside. But when Dr. King led hundreds of thousands of people to march on Washington, he talked about an end to violence, access to voting AND economic opportunity. As Dr. King once wrote, “the inseparable twin of racial injustice was economic injustice.”

    The tools of oppression were woven together, and the civil rights struggle was fought against that oppression wherever it was found – against violence, against the denial of voting rights, and against economic injustice.

    The battles were bitter and sometimes deadly. Firehoses turned on peaceful protestors. Police officers setting their dogs to attack black students. Bloody Sunday at the Edmund Pettus Bridge.

    But the civil rights movement pushed this country in a new direction.

    • The federal government cracked down on state-sponsored violence. Presidents Eisenhower, Kennedy and Johnson all called out the National Guard, and, in doing so, declared that everyone had a right to equal protection under the law, guaranteed by the Constitution. Congress protected the rights of all citizens to vote with the Voting Rights Act.

    • And economic opportunities opened up when Congress passed civil rights laws that protected equal access to employment, public accommodations, and housing.

    In the same way that the tools of oppression were woven together, a package of civil rights laws came together to protect black people from violence, to ensure access to the ballot box, and to build economic opportunity. Or to say it another way, these laws made three powerful declarations: Black lives matter. Black citizens matter. Black families matter.

    Fifty years later, we have made real progress toward creating the conditions of freedom-but we have not made ENOUGH progress.

    Fifty years later, violence against African Americans has not disappeared. Consider law enforcement. The vast majority of police officers sign up so they can protect their communities. They are part of an honorable profession that takes risks every day to keep us safe. We know that. But we also know – and say – the names of those whose lives have been treated with callous indifference. Sandra Bland. Freddie Gray. Michael Brown. We’ve seen sickening videos of unarmed, black Americans cut down by bullets, choked to death while gasping for air – their lives ended by those who are sworn to protect them. Peaceful, unarmed protestors have been beaten. Journalists have been jailed. And, in some cities, white vigilantes with weapons freely walk the streets. And it’s not just about law enforcement either. Just look to the terrorism this summer at Emanuel AME Church. We must be honest: Fifty years after John Kennedy and Martin Luther King, Jr. spoke out, violence against African Americans has not disappeared.

    And what about voting rights? Two years ago, five conservative justices on the Supreme Court gutted the Voting Rights Act, opening the floodgates ever wider for measures designed to suppress minority voting. Today, the specific tools of oppression have changed-voter ID laws, racial gerrymandering, and mass disfranchisement through a criminal justice system that disproportionately incarcerates black citizens. The tools have changed, but black voters are still deliberately cut out of the political process.

    Violence. Voting. And what about economic injustice? Research shows that the legal changes in the civil rights era created new employment and housing opportunities. In the 1960s and the 1970s, African-American men and women began to close the wage gap with white workers, giving millions of black families hope that they might build real wealth.

    But then, Republicans’ trickle-down economic theory arrived. Just as this country was taking the first steps toward economic justice, the Republicans pushed a theory that meant helping the richest people and the most powerful corporations get richer and more powerful. I’ll just do one statistic on this: From 1980 to 2012, GDP continued to rise, but how much of the income growth went to the 90% of America – everyone outside the top 10% – black, white, Latino? None. Zero. Nothing. 100% of all the new income produced in this country over the past 30 years has gone to the top ten percent.

    Today, 90% of Americans see no real wage growth. For African-Americans, who were so far behind earlier in the 20th Century, this means that since the 1980s they have been hit particularly hard. In January of this year, African-American unemployment was 10.3% – more than twice the rate of white unemployment. And, after beginning to make progress during the civil rights era to close the wealth gap between black and white families, in the 1980s the wealth gap exploded, so that from 1984 to 2009, the wealth gap between black and white families tripled.

    The 2008 housing collapse destroyed trillions in family wealth across the country, but the crash hit African-Americans like a punch in the gut. Because middle class black families’ wealth was disproportionately tied up in homeownership and not other forms of savings, these families were hit harder by the housing collapse. But they also got hit harder because of discriminatory lending practices-yes, discriminatory lending practices in the 21st Century. Recently several big banks and other mortgage lenders paid hundreds of millions in fines, admitting that they illegally steered black and Latino borrowers into more expensive mortgages than white borrowers who had similar credit. Tom Perez, who at the time was the Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights, called it a “racial surtax.” And it’s still happening – earlier this month, the National Fair Housing alliance filed a discrimination complaint against real estate agents in Mississippi after an investigation showed those agents consistently steering white buyers away from interracial neighborhoods and black buyers away from affluent ones. Another investigation showed similar results across our nation’s cities. Housing discrimination alive and well in 2015.

    Violence, voting, economic justice.

    We have made important strides forward. But we are not done yet. And now, it is our time.

    I speak today with the full knowledge that I have not personally experienced and can never truly understand the fear, the oppression, and the pain that confronts African Americans every day. But none of us can ignore what is happening in this country. Not when our black friends, family, neighbors literally fear dying in the streets.

    Listen to the brave, powerful voices of today’s new generation of civil rights leaders. Incredible voices. Listen to them say: “If I die in police custody, know that I did not commit suicide.” Watch them march through the streets, “hands up don’t shoot” – not to incite a riot, but to fight for their lives. To fight for their lives.

    This is the reality all of us must confront, as uncomfortable and ugly as that reality may be. It comes to us to once again affirm that black lives matter, that black citizens matter, that black families matter.

    Once again, the task begins with safeguarding our communities from violence. We have made progress, but it is a tragedy when any American cannot trust those who have sworn to protect and serve. This pervasive and persistent distrust isn’t based on myths. It is grounded in the reality of unjustified violence.

    Policing must become a truly community endeavor-not in just a few cities, but everywhere. Police forces should look like, and come from, the neighborhoods they serve. They should reach out to support and defend the community – working with people in neighborhoods before problems arise. All police forces-not just some-must be trained to de-escalate and to avoid the likelihood of violence. Body cameras can help us know what happens when someone is hurt.

    We honor the bravery and sacrifice that our law enforcement officers show every day on the job – and the noble intentions of the vast majority of those who take up the difficult job of keeping us safe. But police are not occupying armies. This is America, not a war zone-and policing practices in all cities-not just some-need to reflect that.

    Next, voting.

    It’s time to call out the recent flurry of new state law restrictions for what they are: an all-out campaign by Republicans to take away the right to vote from poor and black and Latino American citizens who probably won’t vote for them. The push to restrict voting is nothing more than a naked grab to win elections that they can’t win if every citizen votes.

    Two years ago the Supreme Court eviscerated critical parts of the Voting Rights Act. Congress could easily fix this, and Democrats in the Senate have called for restoration of voting rights. Now it is time for Republicans to step up to support a restoration of the Voting Rights Act-or to stand before the American people and explain why they have abandoned America’s most cherished liberty, the right to vote.

    And while we’re at it, we need to update the rules around voting. Voting should be simple. Voter registration should be automatic. Get a driver’s license, get registered automatically. Nonviolent, law-abiding citizens should not lose the right to vote because of a prior conviction. Election Day should be a holiday, so no one has to choose between a paycheck and a vote. Early voting and vote by mail would give fast food and retail workers who don’t get holidays day off a chance to proudly cast their votes. The hidden discrimination that comes with purging voter rolls and short-staffing polling places must stop. The right to vote remains essential to protect all other rights, and no candidate for president or for any other elected office – Republican or Democrat – should be elected if they will not pledge to support full, meaningful voting rights.

    Finally, economic justice. Our task will not be complete until we ensure that every family-regardless of race-has a fighting chance to build an economic future for themselves and their families. We need less talk and more action about reducing unemployment, ending wage stagnation and closing the income gap between white and nonwhite workers.

    And one more issue, dear to my heart: It’s time to come down hard on predatory practices that allow financial institutions to systematically strip wealth out of communities of color. One of the ugly consequences of bank deregulation was that there was no cop on the beat when too many financial institutions figured out that they could make great money by tricking, trapping, and defrauding targeted families. Now we have a Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and we need to make sure it stays strong and independent so that it can do its job and make credit markets work for black families, Latino families, white families – all families.

    Yes, there’s work to do.

    Back in March, I met an elderly man at the First Baptist Church in Montgomery, Alabama. We were having coffee and donuts in the church basement before the service started. He told me that more than 50 years earlier — in May of 1961 — he had spent 11 hours in that same basement, along with hundreds of people, while a mob outside threatened to burn down the church because it was a sanctuary for civil rights workers. Dr. King called Attorney General Bobby Kennedy, desperately asking for help. The Attorney General promised to send the Army, but the closest military base was several hours away. So the members of the church and the civil rights workers waited in the sweltering basement, crowded together, listening to the mob outside and hoping the U.S. Army would arrive in time.

    After the church service, I asked Congressman John Lewis about that night. He had been right there in that church back in 1961 while the mob gathered outside. He had been in the room during the calls to the Attorney General. I asked if he had been afraid that the Army wouldn’t make it in time. He said that he was “never, ever afraid. You come to that point where you lose all sense of fear.” And then he said something I’ll never forget. He said that his parents didn’t want him to get involved in civil rights. They didn’t want him to “cause trouble.” But he had done it anyway. He told me: “Sometimes it is important to cause necessary trouble.”

    The first civil rights battles were hard fought. But they established that Black Lives Matter. That Black Citizens Matter. That Black Families Matter. Half a century later, we have made real progress, but we have not made ENOUGH progress. As Senator Kennedy said in his first floor speech, “This is not a political issue. It is a moral issue, to be resolved through political means.” So it comes to us to continue the fight, to make, as John Lewis said, the “necessary trouble” until we can truly say that in America, every citizen enjoys the conditions of freedom.

    Thank you.

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  3. eliihass says:


    Awww…poor done in Hillary…the acting and woe is me face and attempts at cracked voice of sadness is too funny…especially when she immediately snaps back into her natural condescending how dare you default mode when ambushed by one of the nasty GOP grim reapers ..

    If only these congressional Democrats – especially our CBC members – all trying to outdo themselves in their fierce protection of, running interference for, show of solidarity with Ms Ann, showed up even one time for the Obamas – or for that matter, for serious issues concerning the black community – the most reliable of Dem constituencies… but they weren’t guaranteed some sweet payback outside of their salaries and congressional perks sadly..

    LOL – Sheila Jackson Lee has not even taken a snack or bathroom break all day – she’s been fixed to that seat trying really hard to earn that Ambassadorship for herself and her husband..

    The whole thing is just so damn funny…and pretty sad..

    • rikyrah says:

      Your commentary has given me life today

      • eliihass says:

        Oh Rikyrah…I just can’t take the lies, games, manipulation..

        I sometimes wonder how so many of us can be so easily fooled – or turn a blind eye to what’s staring us right in the face…

        This is all about making the dreams of one undeserving woman come true – and everyone who’s been mute and m.i.a for the past 7 years – missing even as young black women have been murdered in cold blood – is suddenly out there vocal and dancing the jig to get this self-anointed symbol of the modern becky suffragette that sees and exploits black people only as useful idiots and sambos, into the White House and only for her own aggrandizement.

        They’re already telling black folks to get in line or go to hell..Here’s one of her people on Twitter responding to some black woman:

        Patrick Winters ‏@BaseNarcissist 4h4 hours ago
        @NevaEvahHillary well take a deep a breath and get ready for President Hillary Clinton

        AlinaJo ‏@ItsAlinajo 3h3 hours ago
        @BaseNarcissist IF she is…she’ll be one term. AA’s aren’t gonna stand for her pissing all over PBOs legacy! FACT!

        Patrick Winters @BaseNarcissist
        @NevaEvahHillary Wait. Outraged PBO fans will oust HRC after 1 term, and do what, exactly? Nominate a different Dem? Say that out loud.
        3:51 PM – 22 Oct 2015

  4. Making Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup. But it’s not cold weather tho. Oh well!

  5. rikyrah says:

    Carole Troll @Thejazzchick
    Now you know why @POTUS admin has been so free of scandal. You’re known by the company you keep (and hire and exchange emails with). #Facts

  6. I can’t stand Hillary Clinton with her smirking ass.

    • eliihass says:

      She lies with such ease…but the eyes cast down in instances where she isn’t quite prepared and doesn’t have a pre-prepackaged lie is always a dead give-away..

      It was billionaire David Geffen the prominent philanthropist and one-time Clinton financial supporter who has since severed ties with the Clintons, who said of them:

      “Everybody in politics lies, but they do it with such ease, it’s troubling.”

  7. rikyrah says:

    RitaC @rchakras
    #BlackLivesMatter is not reverse racism. It grew bcoz there are specific problems in the #AA community that are not being addressed – @POTUS

  8. rikyrah says:

    Clint Smith @ClintSmithIII
    The FCC just voted to cap the rates and limit fees of prison phone calls.

  9. rikyrah says:

    PragmaticObotsUnite @PragObots
    Since when is asking men/boys not to show their draws & ass crack in public “respectability politics”???

  10. IIRC Gowdy said …”you think these emails are bad, wait until the next round”. DAMN!

  11. Sidney Blumenthal a hateful jealous racist POS. Why didn’t Hillary shut him down? It’s very telling!

    • eliihass says:

      Most of the Clintons closest advisers and cohorts are just like him… Even the black ones like Cheryl Mills, Minyon Moore, Maggie Williams are not much different…They are vicious and greedy and corrupt – and if it weren’t for that pesky pigmentation thing, would even manage to forget that they only serve as useful black idiots for the Clintons –

      But in the end, it’s really all about money and getting paid. This is what it’s always been about. The Clintons perfected the pay-to play phenomena and it’s bought them a ton of ‘friends’ and ‘allies’ and has served them very well over the years – especially with keeping all the easily bought an paid for ‘loyal’ and tethered to their apron strings and singing loudly and jumping as high as they’re asked to, to ensure the Clintons ‘remember’ them when they come into their ‘kingdom’…

      All of this ‘loyalty’ has very little to do with respect, trust or competence or capability – this has everything to do with greed, money and getting paid – so they all jump on the bandwagon and the Clintons pull them all along…

    • rikyrah says:

      NoChillMood @ritaag
      I don’t care for the emails. Hillary going bh the WH’s back to contact Sid Blumenthal wh she was asked keep her distance frm him is telling

      • eliihass says:

        Yup…Mr Blumenthal and the other million and one viciously hate-filled anti-Obama friends, allies and associates who she not only continues to surround herself with, but enjoys the closest of relationships with…

        It almost feels like viciously hating the Obamas is a prerequisite for being included and remaining in Hillary and Bill’s inner circle…

        The saddest ones are the black women like Cheryl Mills, Minyon Moore and Maggie Williams – how much are their souls worth..? They have without any provocation, stayed nothing but outright hostile, vicious and hateful to the Obamas – on the same level and even worse than the right-wingers – How any black woman can summon that sort of unfounded and baseless hate for the historic first black FLOTUS and POTUS, just to impress and remain in the orbit of the Clintons, simply boggles the mind…

        They’ve gone above and beyond to show their hate and disdain…All so that Ms Ann never doubts their commitment to her – and risk putting them out of business by cutting them out and losing their access to those yummy rewards that have been their only source of livelihood and subsistence in forever…

        Most of these people don’t know any other way to make a living – or for that matter, to maintain the unbelievably easy and lush lives mostly ill-begotten, that they now enjoy courtesy of the Clintons – and which can only be sustained by hitching and keeping their wagon hitched to their corrupt benefactors no matter what they have to do to continue to have access…

        They are all lazy, corrupt, soulless one trick ponies – and their only trick is the cheapest, most common and debased of all tricks employed by human beings since time immemorial – Doesn’t matter that their victims are the Obamas who haven’t done anything to incur their wrath, they’re just singing for their supper no matter who it hurts in the process..

  12. eliihass says:

    Watching the Benghazi hearing..

    A few takeaways..

    So much for all the intense ‘prep’ and added help from the smart Dem committee members running interference on her behalf and helping Ms Ann along …Still so unimpressive and unconvincing – and frankly mediocre – she inspired very little confidence with regard to her position as our top diplomat — Her response to what she did once she heard that our embassy was under siege was frankly weak – she could have done much better with a stronger and more forceful response and use of punch words that showed not only urgency but strength especially one that suggests that we the greatest country in the world were more than capable and prepared for such an event – unexpected or not..

    See that all of our previously mia CBC members got up early and are all dutifully seated behind massa Hillary making sure they are seen and accounted for – If only we knew where to find them all these past 7 years to speak up and stand up for the Obamas – or even the larger black community..

    And those e-mail exchanges with Sidney Blumenthal… wow. She might as well have been best friends with and exchanging e-mails with Matt Drudge …

    The close, dubious and suspiciously prioritized, aligned and sustained relationship with this virulently anti-President Obama Sidney Blumenthal by the Clintons, is yet another one of those actions that indict them where I’m concerned – It’s not only very disturbing but presents yet another example of how she operated in un-kosher ways – relying mostly on these sort of shady ‘adviser’ types who not only saw and treated her boss – the President – who’d been entirely benevolent and more than accommodating of her – and constantly elevated her – as the enemy.

    The continued presence and influence of the Sidney Blumenthal types who never passed up on any opportunity to disparage her own boss and Party leader around Hillary, only served to keep the poisonous mindset and narrative of President Obama as incompetent and the enemy and an unworthy competitor to be defeated – alive and well; and served as ongoing motivation for her to undermine him, to break away, to one-up him, to come out shining and looking better than the President she worked for – to make and prove their warped point that she would have made the better president (obviously not), with the help of these Blumenthal types of course ..

  13. rikyrah says:

    The Cop who murdered Corey Jones DID NOT HAVE A BADGE?


    So, now, some random White person comes up to you at 3 AM on a lonely highway…

    and, you’re supposed to believe them…JUST CAUSE THEY’RE WHITE??!?!?!

  14. rikyrah says:

    Exclusive: Source details officer’s account of fatal shooting
    Family of Corey Jones hires civil rights lawyer Benjamin Crump

  15. rikyrah says:

    amk for obama
    October 22, 2015 at 8:46 am
    A nice montage of Uncle Joe’s political and personal life in gopolitico.

    • rikyrah says:

      You’re alone on a road with a broken car.

      Some random car comes up to you.

      Man in plainclothes – that you don’t know…approaches you…

      IN WHAT WORLD do you NOT try and find something to defend yourself with?

  16. Good morning, everyone!

    Didn’t sleep well last night. Still grieving about Joe not entering the race. So hurt because we have no candidates to choose from.

  17. rikyrah says:

    but…he is ‘the smart one.’


    Jeb Bush Has Learned the Wrong Lessons from His Family Tradition
    The struggling candidate ought to emulate his tremendously impressive father. Instead he is defending the lackluster legacy of his big brother.


    Jeb Bush may be his own man, as he has repeatedly insisted to interviewers. But in his place, practically everyone would be influenced––even in spite of themselves––by knowledge of what their father and big brother did in similar situations, especially given that every likeness and reversal will prompt commentary. As voters weigh whether to entrust the presidency to a third member of the Bush family, it is proper to reflect on the legacies of George H.W. and George W. Bush.

  18. rikyrah says:

    Shonda Rhimes on Raising the Next Generation of TV Producers
    The showrunner talks to TIME about how to ensure that the television landscape reflects what the real world looks like

    Few people have changed the face of television over the last decade more than showrunner Shonda Rhimes. The creator of Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal and executive producer of How to Get Away With Murder has developed a stable of shows in which black women fill leading roles and equal weight is given to characters who are—as Oprah put it in her 2013 TIME 100 tribute to Rhimes—“gay, straight, single, divorced, lost, searching.” And these stories are far from niche offerings—growing audiences and the Television Academy alike continue to prove their universal appeal.

    Rhimes grew up in a household where creativity was a virtue, with a mother who took her storytelling seriously from the moment she began spinning yarns. When she broke out with the wildly successful Grey’s Anatomy in 2005, she found a cadre of women in Hollywood eager to help cultivate her future in the industry. Rather than meeting with competition, she says, “The women that I have met in this town have always been really embracing.”

    When asked how we might continue to build a television landscape that more closely reflects the diversity of the real world, Rhimes’ answer is simple. “It’s who is telling the stories,” she says, “because the people telling the stories are the people deciding who you see onscreen, they’re the people who are deciding who are in the writers rooms, they’re the people deciding on the crew.” The onus, she says, is on her and her colleagues to raise a generation of showrunners to fill those screens, those writers rooms and those crews with storytellers who reflect the full range of human experience.

  19. rikyrah says:



    Asian Americans speak out against a decades-old ‘model minority’ myth
    By Yanan Wang October 20

    A column published over a week ago in the New York Times began with what the writer calls “an awkward question”: “Why are Asian Americans so successful in America?”

    Nicholas Kristof is no stranger to controversy, and the framing of his first sentence indicates that he knew he would be wading straight into it with a piece titled “The Asian Advantage.” But perhaps even Kristof did not expect the magnitude of the pushback from the Asian American community to be so great that it would prompt him to post a follow-up on Facebook this Saturday.

    “My column last weekend on Asian-Americans sparked lots of conversation and criticism,” he wrote, addressing at length the various objections to and interpretations of the column. “Thanks for joining the conversation, whether you were patting me on the back or whacking me over the head.”

    While many Asian American commenters said they appreciated Kristof’s attempt to clarify his points, the post likely befuddled others. What could be objectionable, after all, about a column representing as fact the achievements of Asian immigrants in America?

    But to many Asian Americans, the column’s opening gambit isn’t just awkward. It’s offensive — and dangerous.

    “Angry!” one tweet said. “What a way to wake up. Thanks @NickKristof for feeling the need to perpetuate a sustained, damaging myth.”

    “Someone pls make Nicholas Kristof’s hack race analysis go away,” read another from Vulture editor E. Alex Jung.

  20. rikyrah says:

    Because Unca Ben is a Slave Catcher. And, can’t call out those he dances for and then ask them for their votes.


    Ben Carson Doesn’t Think Voter Suppression Laws Are Racist
    But the laws disproportionately affect minority voters.

    Marina Fang
    Associate Politics Editor, The Huffington Post
    Posted: 10/21/2015 05:02 PM EDT | Edited: 10/21/2015 05:16 PM EDT

    epublican presidential candidate Ben Carson on Wednesday denied that voter identification laws and other voter suppression laws are racist, calling such restrictions necessary because voting should be “done by the appropriate people.”

    “I’ve made it my personal project, every time I visit a country outside the U.S., to ask what do they do to ensure the integrity of voting? There’s not one single country anywhere — first world, second world, it doesn’t matter — that doesn’t have official requirements for voting,” Carson told The Topeka Capital-Journal.

    “My question to those people who say we’re racist because we apply those standards: Are all the other countries of the world racist?” he asked. “I don’t think so. Voting is an important thing. Obviously, you want to make sure that it’s done by the appropriate people.”

  21. rikyrah says:

    quiet as churchmice pissing on cotton. Let this had been ANY White Athlete of note.

  22. rikyrah says:

    let’s get our hot chocolate and sit down and watch….LOL

  23. rikyrah says:

    dude isn’t very informed. He didn’t know that this was happening? This is what the Prison Industrial Complex is all about.

  24. rikyrah says:

    sigh…so true


    ‘Black to the Future’ Is a Searing Indictment of ‘Post-Racial America’
    The more things change for black people in this country, the more they stay the same.

    Posted: Oct. 21 2015 5:56 PM

    Today, Oct. 21, 2015, is a big day for fans of the Back to the Future film franchise.

    It was to this date that Marty McFly, Michael J. Fox’s character in Back to the Future II (1989), traveled forward in time to save the lives of his future children.

    Today, in the midst of police forces with hover boards, Google patenting a computerized contact lens and smart cars that drive themselves up to 150 mph, much of social media has spent the day digging through exactly what the films got wrong and what they got right about this year.

    Enter Goldie Wilson, black busboy-turned-mayor in the first BTTF film.

    As a parody of the film, Fusion’s F-Comedy released a video, “Black to the Future,” that highlights the reality that the more inroads black people make in the United States toward justice and equity, the more this country stays the same. It shows that we can, on the surface, be treated as full human beings and then, in the blink of an eye, be dehumanized in the most violent and oppressive of ways

  25. rikyrah says:

    You know why.
    I know why.
    Lamar does not have the protection of complexion.


    Where’s the Media Sympathy for Lamar Odom?
    Journalists bent over backward to show compassion for the Long Island, N.Y., mom who was found in a “cocaine apartment” in New York City. They should do the same for the former NBA star.

    Posted: Oct. 16 2015 3:00 AM

    Of course you’ve heard that two-time NBA champion Lamar Odom was found unresponsive in Las Vegas on Tuesday. He was taken to a local hospital, where he remains in critical condition.

    This has caused a major media frenzy, a circus. I guess it’s to be expected because Odom is a celebrity. He became a familiar face during his days playing for the Los Angeles Lakers, and he was the NBA’s Sixth Man of the Year pick for the 2010-11 season.

    In 2009, while he was a professional athlete, he became even more famous when he met and married reality star Khloe Kardashian, a brief courtship that was captured on Keeping Up With the Kardashians. A spinoff show, Khloe & Lamar, followed the couple after they were married.

    This is a sad, sad story. Not because Odom had so much athletic skill or so much fame, or because people felt they “knew” him, since they’d watched him on reality TV. The story is sad because Odom is a person, someone’s son, two little people’s daddy and a whole lot of other people’s friend. And the media—the same media that bent over backward to humanely tell the story of another recent tragedy, involving the Long Island, N.Y., mother and dermatologist who visited a “cocaine apartment” in New York City and was later found dead in the building lobby—seems to have lost sight of the humanity it temporarily found for that woman, Kiersten Rickenbach Cerveny.

  26. rikyrah says:

    You work in a racist cesspool for nothing but overt racists…
    what did you expect?
    We’re supposed to feel sorry for you?
    And you shinned and grinned for them?


    Black Fox News Staffers Sound Off About ‘Difficult’ Work Environment
    The staffers find it “very difficult” to work at the network, former president of the National Association of Black Journalists Bob Butler tells TheWrap.

    Posted: Oct. 11 2015 3:34 PM

    Network Blasts Observation by Former NABJ President

    “African-American Fox News staffers find it ‘very difficult’ to work at the network, former president of the National Association of Black Journalists Bob Butler told TheWrap on Thursday,” Jordan Charlton reported for

    ” ‘I’ve talked to some folks who work there and it’s very difficult, especially when you have all the hit pieces that are done on Obama,’ Butler said.

    “His comments come as Rupert Murdoch continues to face criticism over a controversial tweet on Wednesday that insinuated President Obama isn’t ‘a real black president.’ Murdoch apologized on Thursday.

    “But those disillusioned staffers also told Butler, ‘Look, this is a job, I have to do it, and sometimes you have to just hold your nose and do what you have to do to collect a paycheck.’ Butler, who served as president of the NABJ from 2013-2015, said those employees are good producers who pride themselves on covering news.

  27. rikyrah says:



    My Friend Married the Maintenance Man
    Few of our friends were thrilled, but her announcement also represents a common occurrence when it comes to black women and dating.

    Posted: Oct. 19 2015 9:30 AM

    I vividly remember the day my homegirl announced that she was marrying a maintenance worker.

    We were all enjoying a nice dinner, and then it was as if a hush had fallen over the crowd. She has a master’s degree and had purchased a house, while he was not bringing the same to the table. So most of our friends were not exactly thrilled about their relationship.

    Her announcement reminded me of that scene in Coming to America when Randy Watson, with his band Sexual Chocolate, finishes his performance and only three people clap. People were semihappy that she was finally jumping the broom, but deep down, many felt that he wasn’t good enough for her. They felt that she was settling and dating someone who was not on her level.

    This represents an all-too-familiar occurrence when it comes to black women and dating. Black women have to deal with the potential of making more than a mate, having a higher degree of education and having greater social mobility than their life partner. This makes dating a complex world to navigate.

    The Pew Research Center reports that there are only 51 employed, never-married young black men between the ages of 25 and 34 for every 100 black women in the same boat. What does this shortage of available bachelors mean when it comes to relationships? The Atlantic paints a dismal picture, pointing out that black women are less likely to marry overall. A recent Brookings Institution study goes on to say that among black women who do marry, the college-educated are less likely than other groups to marry a man with a similar level of education.

    How much does this really matter?

  28. rikyrah says:

    Why Most Black Voters Still Aren’t Feeling Bernie Sanders
    Despite his stances on the issues and overtures to Black Lives Matter, the Vermont senator still polls far behind Hillary Clinton in the must-have-to-win voting bloc of African-American voters.

    Posted: Oct. 20 2015 1:19 PM

    Let many a progressive pundit and New Hampshire poll tell it, and Bernie Sanders is catching fire. Raking in a cool $2 million postdebate, the Vermont senator is the hottest thing since his one-hit-wonder state compatriot, the former Gov. Howard Dean, in 2004. Look at other polls and he’s either catching up or “neck and neck” with Democratic-primary front-runner Hillary Clinton.

    But notice, that’s mostly Granite State hype, a place whose population is barely 1.5 percent black. The liberal bonfire fades into crackling embers once you throw a cold bucket of black votes on it. That’s one big reason a Washington Post-ABC News poll dropped today shows him stalled right where he was last month. Even after reversing himself on the significance of #BlackLivesMatter, the curmudgeon personification of progressive causes sweats uncomfortably once the Democratic primary puts virtually all-white Iowa and New Hampshire in its rearview and heads south for states electorally dominated by African Americans.

    It’s the thing that’s stumping Sanders’ strategists and perhaps keeping the senator up at night: “The black people just aren’t that into me.” It’s not as if he’s not saying all the right things: Taking battering rams to institutional racism. Calling voter-ID pushers “cowards.” Poking big regulatory pitchforks at the Man on Wall Street. Freeing the underserved from incarceration. He’s even got a few prominent black thought leaders, like Karen Hunter, “feeling the Bern.”

    Still, there’s something in the way he’s doing it that’s not clicking with most African-American voters. This isn’t an argument against Sanders. It’s genuine fascination with his dilemma, because no candidate can win the Democratic nomination without the black vote. Despite memorable debate lines and cover for an email-embattled Clinton, Sanders didn’t really budge all that much with black voters. Here are three main reasons that’s the case … and why it probably stays that way:

  29. rikyrah says:

    Dems ask Justice Dept to investigate ExxonMobil
    10/21/15 11:20 AM
    By Steve Benen
    Powerful evidence has surfaced in recent weeks that ExxonMobil not only recognized climate change decades ago, it put those beliefs into action, basing company decisions on the available science. At the same time, however, the oil giant urged policymakers around the world not to address the intensifying climate crisis that its own scientists and engineers recognized.

    The developments have led to some striking reports, which have caught the attention of Democratic lawmakers on Capitol Hill. In fact, The New Republic’s Rebecca Leber reported the other day that quite a few congressional Dems believe there are grounds for a federal criminal investigation.

    California Democrats on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee requested a Department of Justice investigation into ExxonMobil on Wednesday, writing that the company’s behavior “is similar to cigarette companies that repeatedly denied harm from tobacco and spread uncertainty and misleading information to the public.” […]

    “We ask that the DOJ similarly investigate ExxonMobil for organizing a sustained deception campaign disputing climate science and failing to disclose truthful information to investors and the public,” they wrote, according to a letter provided to the New Republic. “We request the DOJ investigate whether ExxonMobil violated RICO, consumer protection, truth in advertising, public health, shareholder protection, or other laws.

  30. rikyrah says:

    Watch 3 New Teasers for FX’s ‘American Crime Story: The People v. O.J. Simpson’

    By Tambay A. Obenson | Shadow and Act

    October 21, 2015 at 9:21PM

    “Our goal is to show you the behind-the-scenes mechanizations of crimes, stuff that you didn’t know… When I read the scripts, I didn’t know half the stuff [that occurred]. I’m like, ‘That happened? That happened?’ I think people will find them so illuminating. I did.” – Words from executive producer and director Ryan Murphy a few months ago about his upcoming scripted FX series that focuses on the O.J. Simpson’s murder trial courtroom saga, which apparently will surprise viewers with new info that, based on his above comment, wasn’t made public. He also raved about Cuba Gooding Jr.’s performance as O.J. Simpson.

    It’s one of 2 projects based on infamous 1990s court cases coming to our TV screens next season – the other being HBO’s scripted movie based on the Anita Hill/Clarence Thomas Supreme Court hearings, titled “Confirmation,” which stars Kerry Washington and Wendell Pierce in the lead roles, with Rick Famuyiwa directing.

  31. rikyrah says:

    Folks just can’t see the forest for the trees. Pitiful.


    Will Howard University’s TV Station Be Auctioned Off to the FCC?
    The nation’s top HBCU has to decide by December whether to auction off its most visible, and impactful, public utility.

    Posted: Oct. 19 2015 9:54 AM

    Howard University President Wayne A.I. Frederick is considering auctioning WHUT—the university’s public television station, and for 35 years the only black-owned public television station in the United States—to the Federal Communications Commission for anywhere between an estimated $100 million and $500 million, according to a universitywide memorandum released Friday.

    The channel’s broadcast spectrum, containing both Channel 32 and its currently unused digital channel, Channel 32-2, would be submitted to an “incentive auction” that the FCC would have in March. The federal agency wants to sell the spectrum gained at the FCC auction to wireless companies that, according to the memo obtained by The Root on Sunday, “need more spectrum to accommodate the increased use of wireless services.”

    If Howard applies by the filing deadline, Dec. 18, and the FCC accepts, the move could net Howard, which has seen significant cutbacks in staff in recent years, hundreds of millions of dollars in needed funds. But it would also deprive Washington, D.C.—a large and historic black community that has become increasingly gentrified in the last decade—of an important black-owned platform for documentary and local public-affairs programming targeted to blacks, as well as a significant opportunity for the university’s students in its School of Communications to learn television production.

  32. rikyrah says:

    Good Morning, Everyone :)

    • Ametia says:

      Good Morning, Rikyrah & Everyone.

      I am so enjoying this week’s Black dancers. And my admiration and respect for Mr. Ailey remains immeasurable. Thank you Rikyrah!

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