Thursday Open Thread: Remembering Agnes Nixon

When I saw the tweet that Agnes Nixon had passed, it hit me HARD.

You must understand… Once upon a time….
For A couple of decades, I was a soap opera fanatic.
And, ABC was what got me hooked. I came home to The Edge of Night. ABC began with Ryan’s Hope, and ended with Edge. All My Children and One Life to Live WERE MY SHOWS.
Thank you, Ms. Nixon, for endless hours of drams.



Agnes Nixon, Who Injected Social Ills Into Soap Operas, Dies at 93
SEPT. 28, 2016

Agnes Nixon, a celebrated creator and writer of television soap operas, who introduced uterine cancer, venereal diseases, child abuse, AIDS and other societal terrors into the weekday fantasy worlds of millions of daytime viewers, died on Wednesday in Rosemont, Pa. She was 93.

The cause was pneumonia resulting from Parkinson’s disease, her family said.

In a career that paralleled the rise, enormous popularity and gradual decline of soap operas in the last half of the 20th century, Ms. Nixon fashioned many of television’s most popular daytime shows, drawing on a rich imagination to find the great and small human dramas lurking just below the surface of American life.

To a 1950s audience mostly composed of women who were at home doing housework and raising children, Ms. Nixon’s early scripts for “The Guiding Light” and “Search for Tomorrow” provided an escape: a glimpse of dashing lives, handsome cads, passions run amok, dark secrets and terrible betrayals.

But in the 1960s and ’70s she virtually reinvented soaps, creating for the ABC network “One Life to Live,” “All My Children” and other shows infused with social relevance and politically charged topics like racism, abortion, obscenity, narcotics, the generation gap and protests against the Vietnam War.

Like their predecessors, the new Nixon soaps were disturbing, fascinating and addictive. Because she presented various sides of a controversy, they were more complex. But she tried to avoid preachy dialogue, letting action and plot speak for themselves. The conundrum was no longer simply whether Tara was pregnant, but whether Phil, home from Vietnam and scarred by the horrors of war, could still love her.

Many Nixon stories were based on reality. In 1964, after a friend died of cancer, she created a “Guiding Light” character who was found, after a Pap smear, to have cervical cancer. Despite misgivings by the sponsor, Procter & Gamble, the character appeared onscreen, though the words “cancer,” “uterus” and “hysterectomy” were never uttered. Even so, thousands of women wrote in to express gratitude for the information that a simple test might save their lives.

On “One Life to Live,” which began in 1968 and ran for 43 years, Ms. Nixon created a tale that reflected the nation’s changing social structures and attitudes. It had many ethnic characters, including Jews, Polish-Americans and African-Americans. A woman assumed to be white was revealed after months to be a light-skinned black, turning the story, and the audience, sharply to questions of racial prejudice.



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United Nations Panel | U.S. owes black people reparations for a history of ‘racial terrorism’

us-owes-reparations-for-its-history-of-racial-terrorismThe history of slavery in the United States justifies reparations for African Americans, argues a recent report by a U.N.-affiliated group based in Geneva.

This conclusion was part of a study by the United Nations’ Working Group of Experts on People of African Descent, a body that reports to the international organization’s High Commissioner on Human Rights. The group of experts, which includes leading human rights lawyers from around the world, presented its findings to the United Nations Human Rights Council on Monday, pointing to the continuing link between present injustices and the dark chapters of American history.

“In particular, the legacy of colonial history, enslavement, racial subordination and segregation, racial terrorism and racial inequality in the United States remains a serious challenge, as there has been no real commitment to reparations and to truth and reconciliation for people of African descent,” the report stated. “Contemporary police killings and the trauma that they create are reminiscent of the past racial terror of lynching.”

Citing the past year’s spate of police officers killing unarmed African American men, the panel warned against “impunity for state violence,” which has created, in its words, a “human rights crisis” that “must be addressed as a matter of urgency.”

The panel drew its recommendations, which are nonbinding and unlikely to influence Washington, after a fact-finding mission in the United States in January. At the time, it hailed the strides taken to make the American criminal justice system more equitable but pointed to the corrosive legacy of the past.

“Despite substantial changes since the end of the enforcement of Jim Crow and the fight for civil rights, ideology ensuring the domination of one group over another, continues to negatively impact the civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights of African Americans today,” it said in a statement. “The dangerous ideology of white supremacy inhibits social cohesion amongst the US population.”

Posted in African Americans, Black Lives Matter, Current Events, Domestic violence, Human Rights, Institutional Racism, Jim Crow laws, Lynching, News, Open Thread, Police bruality, Police violence, racial hate, Racial Oppression, Racism, Reparations, Slavery, Violence, White Supremacy | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Wednesday Open Thread: Remembering Ed Temple, Tennessee State’s Legendary Track Coach

Mr. Temple passed away at the age of 89. What he did at his HBCU without megafunds is more than impressive. It’s the stuff legends are made of.

Ed Temple with, from left, Carla Mims, Edith McGuire, Vivian Brown and Wyomia Tyus at the women’s Olympic track and field tryouts on Randalls Island in New York City in 1964. Credit Ernie Sisto/The New York Times

From the New York Times:

Ed Temple, Track Coach Who Produced Olympians and National Titles, Dies at 89
SEPT. 23, 2016

Ed Temple, who coached Wilma Rudolph, Wyomia Tyus and 38 other Olympians in his 43 seasons as the most celebrated women’s track and field coach in the United States, died on Thursday. He was 89.

A track team spokesman at Tennessee State University, where Temple coached, said Temple’s daughter, Edwina, had confirmed the death. No other details were given.

From 1950 until he retired in 1993, Temple mentored a roster of athletes that few coaches in any sport could rival for speed, power and skill. The 40 Olympians he produced at Tennessee State, a predominantly black college in Nashville, won 13 gold medals, six silver medals and four bronze medals.

In the 1960 Summer Games in Rome, the four women who won the 4×100-meter relay for the United States were Tennessee State runners coached by Temple.

His teams, known as the Tigerbelles, won 34 national titles: 16 indoor, 13 outdoor and 5 junior.

When he started in 1950, right after graduating from Tennessee State, women’s track and field was a minor sport in the United States, and especially at the university, where it faced unending budget constraints.

In his first year, with a shoestring budget of $300 (the equivalent of about $3,000 today), his team participated in just one meet. Years later, scheduled to compete in New York, the team piled into an old DeSoto station wagon and spent 22 hours on the road to get there, stopping only for gas and hamburgers. There was no money for a hotel, even if they could find one on the way that would serve blacks.


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Charlotte girl weeps over police shootings at city council meeting

girl-weeps-over-police-shootings-at-charlotte-meeting(CNN) — A young girl climbed up a step ladder to stand at the podium before a tense Charlotte City Council meeting.

Petite in size, with braids in her hair and hearts on her t-shirt, Zianna Oliphant collected herself and delivered her message loud and clear.

“It’s a shame that our fathers and mothers are killed and we can’t see them anymore,” she said with tears streaming down her face.

“It’s a shame that we have to go to their graveyard and bury them. And we have tears. We shouldn’t have tears. We need our fathers and mothers to be by our side.”

Zianna made her tearful statements during a highly-charged, emotional City Council meeting — the first after protests over the police shooting of Keith Scott.

Charlotte residents packed City Hall, delivering blistering criticisms for how Mayor Jennifer Roberts and the city’s police handled the death of Scott, an African-American man who was shot by an officer last week.

Furor over his death broke out into protests, which turned violent on two nights, in which one man died.

Scott died on September 20 as Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Officers attempted to serve a warrant to another man at an apartment complex. As officers passed through the complex’s parking lot, they encountered Scott, 43, who was exiting his car.

Posted in African Americans, crime, Current Events, Domestic Terrorism, Human Rights, Institutional Racism, JusticeForKeithLamontScott, Nigeria, Open Thread, Police bruality, Police violence, Protests, Racial Oppression, Racism, Terrorism, Violence, White Supremacy | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 16 Comments

Tuesday Open Thread: The First Presidential Debate


Lips pursed.

No way I was going to watch it live, but I knew Twitter would not let me down.

JBL20010 • 25 minutes ago
Frank Luntz focus group of 20 undecided voters calls a TKO for Hillary.

Clinton won: 17 votes

Trump won: 3 votes

Tax question weakened him, birther question buried him.

Hercules Mulligan @johnvmoore
Next time Trump pats himself on back for making POTUS present his birth certificate someone should yell “That’s why Black folks HATE YOU!”


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Jury selection begins for Dylann Roof death penalty trial

dylann-roof-jury-selection-beginsCHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) — Attorneys will will meet 320 potential jurors Monday as they whittle down a group of 3,000 to a dozen with six alternates.

For the last week, attorneys for the government and for 22-year-old Dylann Roof, accused of killing nine parishioners inside Emanuel AME Church during a bible study session, have been considering potential jurors’ excuses to avoid serving on the jury in November

It’s expected as many as half of those who were summoned would either not return the questionnaire or would try to exempt themselves.

Monday starts the process of whittling down those people who have not presented excuses to the court.

During four hearings — 9 a.m., 11 a.m., 1 p.m., and 3 p.m. — groups of 80 potential jurors will start the process of being selected for the jury. Those who are not dismissed will go into a separate room to fill out a case-specific questionnaire and will return in November for final seating.

Potential jurors called so far are from Charleston, Daniel Island, Mt. Pleasant, Beaufort, and North Charleston.

Out of the first 80, four people were excused including two men and two women. The women were both teachers so their service was deferred until school is out. One of the men excused has a wife who needs medical care while the other had a medical condition himself.

The intention of the court is to use this week’s hearings as a way to amass a group of 700 who take the jury-specific questionnaire.

Judge Gergel gave rules to the potential jurors, saying to stay away from news reports and the Internet. He said has no plans to sequester the jury.

Roof, who faces dozens of federal hate crimes charges, will be in the courtroom this week.

The government is seeking the death penalty, something his attorneys have argued is unconstitutional.

His trial begins on Nov. 7 with final jury selection. While arguments were slated to begin as early as Nov. 14, Judge Gergel said Monday that arguments would not start before Thanksgiving. He also said if the trial continues into Christmas, court would break until after the new year.

Posted in Criminal Justice, Current Events, Department of Justice, Domestic Terrorism, Hate Crime, Jim Crow laws, News, Open Thread, Racism, White Supremacy | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 20 Comments

Monday Open Thread: The Opening of the National Museum of African-American History


This past Saturday was the opening of the new National Museum of African-American History. Whenever I get back to Washington, DC, I am going to spend at least 2 days at this museum. It looks magnificent.

It was a glorious opening ceremony.

hat tip-The Obama Diary




Lonnie Bunch, the head of this project, who strapped it onto his back, and made it happen.


Pete Souza: Vice President Joe Biden greets 99-year-old Ruth Bonner, a daughter of a young slave who escaped to freedom, as Dr. Jill Biden greets another generation of the Bonner family who rang the Freedom Bell with the President and First Lady to mark the official opening of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture.





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