November 27th – Black History

Today in Black History – November 27           *

1942 – Johnny Allen Hendrix is born in Seattle, Washington.
Hendrix’s father, James “Al” Hendrix, later changes
his son’s name to James Marshall.  James Marshall
Hendrix will be best known as Jimi Hendrix, leader of
the influential rock group, The Jimi Hendrix
Experience.  His music will influence such groups as
“Earth, Wind, and Fire,” “Living Colour,” and “Sting.”
He will join the ancestors on September 18, 1970 after
succumbing to asphyxiation from his own vomit. He will
be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1992
and the UK Music Hall of Fame in 2005. His star on the
Hollywood Walk of Fame will be dedicated in 1994. In
2006, his debut album, “Are You Experienced,” will be
inducted into the United States National Recording
Preservation Board’s National Recording Registry. Rolling
Stone magazine will name him number 1 on their list of
the 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time in 2003.

1951 – Sixteen-year-old Hosea Richardson becomes the first
licensed African American jockey to ride on the Florida
circuit.

1957 – Dorothy Height, YMCA official, is elected president of
the National Council of Negro Women.

1964 – Robin Givens is born in New York City.  She will become
an actress and will star in “Head of the Class,” and “A
Rage in Harlem,” “Michael Jordan: An American Hero,”
“Blankman,” “Foreign Student,” “Boomerang,” “The Women
of Brewster Place,” and “Beverly Hills Madam.”

1968 – Eldridge Cleaver, Minister of Information for the Black
Panther Party, becomes a fugitive from justice as a
parole violator.

1989 – Jennifer Lawson assumes her duties as Executive Vice
President for National Programming and Promotion
Services at the Public Broadcasting Service. The Alabama
native is the chief programming executive for PBS,
determining which programs are seen on the network. She
is the first woman to hold such a position at a major
television network.

1990 – Charles Johnson wins the National Book Award for his
novel “Middle Passage.”  He is the fourth African
American to win the award, formerly called the American
Book Award.

November 19th in Black History

Today in Black History – November 19

1867 – South Carolina citizens endorse a constitutional
convention and select delegates.  66,418 African
Americans and 2350 whites vote for the convention and
2278 whites vote against holding a convention. The
total vote cast is 71,046. Not a single African
American votes against the convention.

1921 – Roy Campanella is born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
He will become one of the first African-American
baseball players signed to major league ball after
Jackie Robinson breaks the color line.  He will become
the first African American catcher in Major League
history. Campanella will play for the Brooklyn Dodgers
and be the National League’s Most Valuable Player in
1951, 1953, and 1955. He was given the second MVP award
in 1953 on his birthday. His baseball career will end
when he is paralyzed in an automobile accident in
January, 1958.  He will then work for many years in the
Dodger organization. He will be elected to the Baseball
Hall of Fame in 1969 and will join the ancestors on
June 26, 1993.

1949 – Ahmad Rashad, is born Bobby Moore in Portland, Oregon.
Rashad will be a first-round draft choice of the St.
Louis Football Cardinals in 1972. He will go on to play
for Buffalo and Seattle before settling in Minnesota in
1976 and playing the next seven seasons for the Vikings.
Rashad will hold the Viking career reception lead (400)
and be second in reception yardage. Overall, Rashad will
have 495 receptions in 10 seasons. Rashad — who played
his college football at the University of Oregon — will
be inducted into the state of Oregon Sports Hall of Fame
in 1987 and the University of Oregon Athletic Hall of
Fame in 1992. He will also be the author of a book,
“Rashad: Vikes, Mikes, and Something on the Backside,”
published by Viking Press. During the summer of 1991, he
will expand his broadcasting resume by handling
television play-by-play for the Seattle Seahawks pre-
season football games.

1955 – Carmen de Lavellade begins a contract for three seasons as
a dancer with the Metropolitan Opera.

1957 – Otis J. Anderson, NFL running back (NY Giants, 1990
Superbowl MVP), is born.

1984 – Dwight Gooden, of the New York Mets, at 20 years old,
becomes the youngest major-league pitcher to be named
Rookie of the Year in the National League. The Mets
pitcher led the majors with 276 strikeouts.

1985 – Comedic character actor Stepin Fetchit, born Lincoln
Theodore Monroe Andrew Perry joins the ancestors at the
age of 83.

Why are we (Black folks) not asking more of Obama?

obama-blackcaucaus

Obama is considered the first Black president but what has he done for Black folks?  Nothing. This is Obama’s last term in office and in his speech , the day he took the second oath of office, he talked about gay rights, immigration and gun control.  But nothing about what he would do for the new Jim Crow.  There are less men in our communities due to gun violence and mass incarceration. So, I look at his urban policy and found the following bullet points for Crime and Law Enforcement:

Crime and Law Enforcement

  • Support Local Law Enforcement: Barack Obama and Joe Biden are committed to fully funding the COPS program to put 50,000 police officers on the street and help address police brutality and accountability issues in local communities. Obama and Biden also support efforts to encourage young people to enter the law enforcement profession, so that our local police departments are not understaffed because of a dearth of qualified applicants.
  • Reduce Crime Recidivism by Providing Ex-Offender Supports: America is facing an incarceration and post-incarceration crisis in urban communities. Obama and Biden will create a prison-to-work incentive program, modeled on the successful Welfare-to-Work Partnership, and work to reform correctional systems to break down barriers for ex-offenders to find employment.
  • End the Dangerous Cycle of Youth Violence: Obama and Biden support innovative local programs, like the CeaseFire program in Chicago, which implement a community-based strategy to prevent youth violence and have been proven effective.
  • Address Gun Violence in Cities: Obama and Biden would repeal the Tiahrt Amendment, which restricts the ability of local law enforcement to access important gun trace information, and give police officers across the nation the tools they need to solve gun crimes and fight the illegal arms trade. Obama and Biden also favor commonsense measures that respect the Second Amendment rights of gun owners, while keeping guns away from children and from criminals. They support closing the gun show loophole and making guns in this country childproof. They also support making the expired federal Assault Weapons Ban permanent.

But, I want to know without combing through pages upon pages of rhetorical data, exactly what the president will do that will address the new Jim Crow of mass incarceration or as others refer to the new caste system.  There is something seriously broke when there are those who pay their debt to society but can not have a second chance at building a life because they are blocked by the word “felon” to rent an apartment, to find a job or learn a skill.  The Latinos has his support.  The Gay community has his support.

My question is what will Obama do for Black folks that will enhance their quality of life if its not to address the issue of mass incarceration?

The only voices we hear asking Obama to “do something for us” is Tavis Smiley, NPR/PRI radio host and Cornel West PhD, Princeton University.  Mariam is asking that something be done about the pipeline from cradle to prison through the Children’s Defense Fund. But, my question is, what is the Congressional Black Caucus is asking for?  The Congressional Black Caucus is one of the few political groups that Black folks depend on to cover our back.

Where are the Black leaders and what are they asking the President for?

5 things that made last week a crappy week …

I DON’T HAVE ANY WORDS TO DESCRIBE THIS PASS WEEK.
I DO, HOWEVER, HAVE A TON OF OBSCENE GESTURES.

5 Things that made last week a crappy week….

most crappy....
most crappy….
  1. The Supreme Court’s ruling on the voting rights act.  Yes, they killed the very essence of the voting rights act and the President and those from the civil rights movement are disappointed with the court’s decision.  “I think what the court did today is stab the Voting Rights Act of 1965 in its very heart,” Rep. John Lewis, a Georgia Democrat who was with President Johnson when he signed the law and who was beaten at Selma, said on the MSNBC program “Andrea Mitchell Reports.”  Another pet peeve, Clarence “UNCLE TOM” Thomas our Black Justice who does everything in his power to lash out at Black folks like he hates us as well as himself.  Justice Clarence Thomas wrote a concurring opinion and said that he would have struck down not just the map but the requirement that any jurisdiction get federal clearance to change a voting law. OMG!!  What planet is this man ON.
    Justice-Clarence-Thomas-200x250anita_hill_2
  2. Trayvon Martin trial started and it was difficult to hear news from the court room.  George Zimmerman case is an example of how a white man can kill a 17 year old unarmed Black boy for just walking down the street and its NOT a typical case of racial profiling but of “standing your ground” bullsh*t.  How does a Black mother bear the lost of her son but stay strong to fight for justice for her son?  trayvon_martin_zimmerman
  3. Mandela is dying.  One of my heroes of the 21st century. And now, Mandela is dying.  I was never concerned about Black people at the International level until I learned of South Africa and Mandela. He opened my eyes to the plight of Black South Africans at the hands of apartheid.
    mandella young nelson
  4. Paula Deen has “Michael Vick” herself this week.  Yeah, I heard Jamie Foxx on a hip-hop radio station respond when ask, “What’s new, Jamie.” And he said, “I’m just trying not to Michael Vick myself, man.”  I was a fan of Paula’s until this week.  Being Black, I automatically assume that if a person is white and from the south then you could be a racist.  Well, you REALLY think all white people are racist until they show you they are NOT.
  5. I gained weight on vacation and that’s crappy too!
    aist-wiegh

Cuba …

KUDOs to CUBA!!

CubaMapcuban smoking cigar

Recently, an American couple kidnapped their own kids and fled by boat to Cuba.  They were found and were immediately returned to the US.  Within 24 hours these children were back in the US thanks to the Cuban government.
ATT00795

CNN found Josh and Sharyn Hakken and their children on their boat in the Hemmingway Marina in Havana Cuba.  Hmm, I wonder if the marina was named after Ernest Hemmingway who use to hang out in Havana.  Any way, this couple lost custody of their children to the maternal grandmother who lived in Florida.
We would like to express our appreciation to the Cuban authorities for their extensive cooperation to resolve this dangerous situation quickly,” spokeswoman Lynn W. Roche said in a statement.

Why don’t we forgive Cuba?  We forgave Russia.  And, we do business with China. Why not Cuba?

I couldn’t resist the Black Cuban  folks with Cuban cigars.

2nd Time Around …

Two important days are upon us.  We are getting ready for the second inauguration of President Barack Obama, America’s first African American president, and the National Holiday celebration of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. slain civil rights leader. Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday is a day of service.  I must say I never knew it was a day that citizens volunteered in their communities until Barack Obama took office.  Well, up until then, it was a day off but now you look to volunteer on the federal holiday.  Both men are phenomenal in my world.

martin-luther-king-barack-obama-1208-drawing-web

Who would’ve thought you could see a Black man elected president twice.  Watching his political career and now his presidency is example of what my grandmother called,
“… having the hand of God on you.”  Who would’ve thought that he would be re-elect with the rich and powerful republicans trying to buy and lie their way back to the white house.

There was a time when all we had was faith.  We had faith that we would overcome prejudice, injustice and racism that plagued our daily lives to the point of despair.  When I think of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s mountaintop speech,  I picture him like Moses on the mountain and seeing the future and that future included Barack Obama.

mlkObama-dreamhope

Our despair has turned into hope.  HOPE.  Hope for a brighter future for our children and generations to come.