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BlockReportRadio.com interviews author Dr. Tyrene Wright about her book, "Booker T. Washington in Africa". We talk about his involvement in protesting and propagandizing against Leopold's genocide, enslavement, and colonization of the Congo. We also discuss Washington's role in the relationship between the U.S. and Liberia, and his dealings to try to quell the unrest between native Liberians and Amerigo-transplanted Liberians. We also discuss his role in fighting for the immigration rights of Africans who were working on the Panama Canal.
“I Am America: Black Genealogy Through the Eye of An Artist” will run from Nov. 5, 2011, through Feb. 2, 2012, at the San Francisco Main Library African American Center. A reception with the genealogists and artists will take place on Sunday, Nov. 20, 1-2 p.m. A program follows from 2 to 3 p.m. in the Latino Hispanic Room.
Jamie and Gladys Scott walked out of prison Friday into the free world. Yet the sisters' "debt to society" is still far from paid. The conditions of their release stipulate that Gladys Scott must give Jamie Scott a kidney, and the sisters will have to pay out money to maintain their freedom.
As we celebrate the 85th anniversary of the founding of the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters, America's first African America labor union, let us not forget that African American rail workers were instrumental in organizing not only the sleeping and chair car porters, but the dining car workers as well.
On July 5, 1852, the great orator and abolitionist Frederick Douglas delivered an electrifying speech where he posed what was possibly the most significant question of his time; “What to the slave is the Fourth of July?” He received a thunderous round of applause. Today I still ask, Why do Black folks feel obligated to dress up in red, white and blue top hats and sing the Star Spangled Banner to commemorate a day when our ancestors were picking tobacco in the hot Carolina sun?
I regard Paul Robeson as my hero and one of the greatest men who has ever lived. His words have a relevance that continues to inspire us, decades after his utterance. Of his art, he said: “[It] is a weapon in the struggle for my people’s freedom and for the freedom of all people.”
We need to confront our racial past - and our racial present. In things racial, we have always been and continue to be essentially a nation of cowards. This Department of Justice, as long as I am here, must - and will - lead the nation to the "new birth of freedom."