Asked what she wanted her legacy to be, Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm once said, “I’d like them to say that Shirley Chisholm had guts. That’s how I’d like to be remembered.” Like Shirley, I believe that to restore confidence and trust in our institutions and leaders, we need to speak truth. And that means electing more leaders who aren’t afraid to speak up and speak out. And every one of us privileged to serve has to mentor and lift up others.
The 13th Amendment reads in Section One: “Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, nor any place subject to their jurisdiction.” Understanding this contradictory character of the 13th Amendment sheds light on the utilization of the criminal justice system in the perpetuation of bondage for the purpose of institutional racism and class exploitation.
The problems with Alan Dershowitz’s position regarding Obama’s taking a picture with Farrakhan are two-fold. First, by associating Obama with Farrakhan’s views, he is painting with too broad a brush. The second problem with Alan Dershowitz’s complaint is the static nature of his worldview. We can love our allies, and still have a concern that they do not speak against our interest when our interests diverge from theirs. Alan Dershowitz and others of our allies must come to understand this.
With words that come from my heart, I’d like to tell you of myself, in hopes people may see and know that there are folks with soul and with heart all over. I am 46 years old. My mom was Cherokee and German, my Dad was Irish American and we lived in Dalton, Georgia. I am the youngest of nine kids. We lived in what is called Newtown. My mom and Dad were seen the same as a Black person with a fair-skinned person. I grew up as the only non-black American on my street till mom passed on Sept. 21, 1981.
Tuesday night, Jan. 23, 2018, supporters of San Francisco acting Mayor London Breed walked around in a daze in City Hall’s opulent Board of Supervisors chambers, shocked to realize Breed had just been ousted as mayor. One supporter asked, “What is a caretaker mayor anyway?” Answer: The term “caretaker mayor” was invented by self-serving members of the Board of Supervisors vying to be the next mayor of San Francisco in the November 2011 election.
After randomly being awakened in the early morning, boarded onto the TDCJ transportation bus, then shipped to the Ramsey Unit, a prisoner told me that the experience was like “being snatched from a dungeon and sent to a new wave slave plantation.” The statement he made is a reality that many prisoners housed in close custody units and solitary confinement cells throughout the state of Texas are experiencing, on a whim.
Nobody did London Breed any favors at Tuesday’s board meeting. Not the supervisors who swept her out of the mayor’s office that had been given to her by the city charter and not Ron Conway and the big money boys whose overly aggressive support was the screen the supervisors hid their racism behind. So London heads into the June election owing nothing to anybody, only the people of San Francisco, including the most needy. We can win it and we will! Join us soon at the London Breed for Mayor campaign headquarters. Endorse London on her website, www.londonformayor.com, and contact her campaign by email at firstname.lastname@example.org and phone at 415-LONDON1.
Last year, one day after an inauguration, we showed up and marched with a rage that refused to go away quietly. As was evident all over the world even back then, we chose to resist, and demand change. Who are we? All of us! We are sisters and brothers in church, at school, at work, within the LBGTQ community, at Black Lives Matter rallies, and with the undocumented risking deportation from the very streets where we continue to march. If you are black, white, brown, male, female, or just simply have a heart, then please recognize the obvious: This is our time, not just to vote but also to be elected. Stand up! Lead!
We must raise the query, what is the value in a monument when our country has fallen so far backwards in race relations under this president? We need a movement. In Dr. King’s honor, every American must join this movement to establish justice, peace and equality of opportunity for all. Through reasoned compromise, both sides resolve every injustice with a plan of action. Each act of reconciliation is one step closer to King’s “Beloved Community.”
This declaration was authored by the pan-Africanist and socialist popular forces of the Caribbean nation of Barbados at Bridgetown, Barbados, on Saturday, Jan. 13, 2018, and submitted to the people and civil society organizations of the Caribbean for their endorsement and adoption. By describing the nations of Africa, the Republic of Haiti and the Central American nation of El Salvador as “shithole” countries, U.S. President Donald Trump has committed a despicable and unpardonable act of anti-Black, anti-African, anti-Brown racism and is “Persona Non Grata” in the entire Caribbean region.
The Jericho Movement to Free All Political Prisoners was started by Safiyah Bukhari (d. 2003), Herman Ferguson (d. 2014) and Jalil Abdulmuntaqim, who is a Black Panther political prisoner incarcerated for over 44 years. Jericho has maintained a steady course for 20 years. Beginning with its famous march on Washington in 1998, Jericho has continued to campaign to free freedom fighters, community activists and revolutionaries primarily from movements of the 1960s and ‘70s.
So tell your little neo-fascist friends – who have no life outside of what revolves around these prison plantations – that they’re right. As long as we have sick individuals who have lost touch with their own sense of humanity, who play with and destroy our lives, who refuse to see us as human beings deserving of respect, I’m going to keep on so-called snitching! Now, go tell, gossip, chat about that!
Every artist has a process, a ritual they go through before working. Some meditate. Some eat a ritual meal. Others listen to a specific kind of music. Director Jayson Johnson, whose credits range from Bollywood films to Lego commercials, prays and eats peanut butter. Lots and lots of peanut butter. Standing opposite a painting evocative of Jackson Pollock which he created, the 40-year-old Batavia, Ill., native gave a toothy grin and showed off a jar he had just purchased three days prior.
The rubber sides of the boat were like arms – thick, round, hard. “These are the boats refugees have to travel in. Men sit on the side, the women, children and elders in the middle, sometimes getting splashed and sick with the leaking gasoline from the engine because they are covering miles of ocean to go from one country to another.” The tour guide from Médecins Sans Frontières, known in English as Doctors Without Borders, was narrating the “Forced From Home” traveling exhibit of removal, imperialist wars and NGO and government abuse of indigenous bodies across the Global South.
On Monday, Nov. 21, the Department of Homeland Security announced its inhumane decision to end Temporary Protected Status for nearly 60,000 Haitian immigrants, putting people who have lived legally in the United States for years – and some, decades – at risk to be detained and deported. On the eve of Thanksgiving, the Trump administration has decided to contravene basic humanitarianism in favor of an immigration agenda that is drenched in racism, nativism and xenophobia.
The Black Alliance for Just Immigration denounces the Department of Homeland Security’s inhumane decision to terminate Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for nearly 60,000 Haitian immigrants who are firmly rooted in the United States. On Nov. 20, DHS announced that it would terminate TPS for Haitian nationals effective July 22, 2019. TPS was first granted to Haitian immigrants in 2010 following a 7.0 magnitude earthquake that devastated the island, killing 230,000 residents and displacing nearly 3 million.
I recently attended the first Caribbean Peace Conference in Bridgetown, Barbados, Oct. 6-7, 2017. The theme of the Conference was “Resisting Nuclear and Environmental Disaster: Building Peace in the Caribbean.” Attendees included representatives from Cuba, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, Martinique, Guadeloupe, Haiti, Trinidad and Tobago, Guyana, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, St. Lucia, Venezuela and Barbados. The purpose of this conference was to consolidate a serious Caribbean Peace Movement equipped with a concrete agenda and guiding philosophy.
Folks have probably heard by now that the African American Museum and Library, Oakland (AAMLO), is without a permanent director. While the search is being articulated and mounted, Susan D. Anderson, Bay Area author and founder of Memory House, will act as interim director and chief curator for the next six to nine months as the Oakland Public Library (OPL) mounts a national search to find the right person for the job.
Speech delivered at the Millions for Prisoners Human Rights March Aug. 19, 2017, in Washington, D.C.: Let me tell you what’s going on here today. This is the largest gathering of slavery abolitionists in the history of the United States, happening right here today. In 16 cities across America, they are marching in unison with us and in solidarity with us, and they’re not doing it to end mass incarceration. They’re doing it to end what? (Slavery!) Slavery.
My life began in the Jim Crow South, in Houston, Texas. I remember the segregated world I was born into … the separate water fountains, the back of the bus, the going around to the back door of Mr. Fontnoe’s grocery store to buy milk for my mother and grandmother. I recall the segregated section of the movie theaters – and the long, seemingly endless net partitioning the giant sandy beaches, separating the “Colored” folks from the “Whites.” Can you imagine that it once was a reality, a segregated beach!