Black America v. Conservatism – Part 1

  Part 1: Economics Education, voting rights, fair housing, fair lending, employment, mass incarceration, the drug war, foreign trade, immigration and more have decimated the middle class in America. Blacks have been hit the hardest. Reversing the hard fought accomplishments and laws of the 1960’s have been especially important to conservatives.  The Voting Rights Act of 1965 suffered a severe blow recently.  How has conservative policies affected our standard of living? According to Federal Reserve …

Continue reading

Success Can Change Everything

It’s been said that one of Justice Thurgood Marshall’s favorite justices was Justice John Marshall Harlan (1833 – 1911), who was known as the “Great Dissenter”. Harlan’s dissent in the landmark case of Plessy v. Ferguson (1896), set him apart from the prevailing opinion of the time about the abilities of African Americans and their intelligence. John Harlan served on the U.S. Supreme Court from 1877 until 1911. He was born into a slave holding …

Continue reading

James Earl Ray Caught in London

James Earl Ray’s ultimate destination was Rhodesia, Africa. After he assassinated Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Ray’s odyssey from Memphis to London by way of Toronto and his confession then recant for the murder, is worthy of recounting. Not widely known is the chronology of events during the “manhunt” for Ray, following the murder of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. on April 4, 1968 in Memphis, Tennessee. Questions remain on national security, crossing international borders, (he …

Continue reading

Selma; Notes From the Field – Chapter 3, Hwy 80

After Bloody Sunday (March 7, 1965) and Turnaround Tuesday, the task to complete a Selma to Montgomery march still remained. This time, beginning on March 21st, the determined were escorted by the United States Army, federalized Alabama National Guard troops and guarded by two helicopters. One week after Bloody Sunday, on March 15, 1965, President Johnson addressed a joint session of Congress to urge the passage of legislation guaranteeing the passage of the voting rights act. …

Continue reading

W. E. B. Du Bois

We have chosen to use the image of William Edward Burghardt Du Bois (February 23, 1868 – August 27, 1963) as our avatar and logo because he is the embodiment of an uncompromising  intellectual, a principled black man that could not and would not tolerate the treatment of African Americans during his lifetime. A writer, civil rights activist, historian, and college professor, Du Bois could have lived a comfortable life. but he chose to engage …

Continue reading

Why We Celebrate Black History Month

Since Carter G. Woodson’s efforts in the 1910’s, and the idea of setting aside a time of year to celebrate the accomplishments of African-Americans, disparaging remarks about his efforts and the idea of documenting and celebrating black accomplishments have been subject to criticism.  Unfortunately even black Americans seem to have found Black History Month inadequate (celebrate 365, they say) or forget about it all together. Some people feel that the time has past for a separate time …

Continue reading

Celebrate King’s Day

The hallmark of change was non-violent change.  Nobel Peace Laureate Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. championed a movement that became a world wide model for civil change. Those that disagree with the direction the United States has taken in respect to rights note both the spirit and letter of the law,  have often resorted to violence. Brandishing weapons, taking hostages, even threatening federal agents has become a familiar tactic.  Especially among right-wing zealots. Who would …

Continue reading

American Football

American football is the most popular sport in the United States. The National Football League (NFL) is the most popular sports league in the U.S. based on average attendance and revenue generated. Football evolved from the sport of rugby. The first football game played was on November 6, 1869 between Rutgers University and Princeton University. In 1876, the first rules for American football were written.  Walter Camp, known as the “father” of American Football first …

Continue reading

Sounds of Jazz & Miles Davis

Jazz is a uniquely African-American music genre. Since the late 1800’s the blending of African sounds imported with the people of West Africa to the Americas including the United States, coupled with the mastery of European musical instruments, jazz was born. Call and response, gospel, and the introduction and use of African beat patterns were distinctly different from the standard musical structure of European music, this created a wholly different sound. Arguably. beginning with the …

Continue reading

The Sounds of Protest

Songs set the tone. Lyrics and beats set the mood. The Sound of the Times have been used to express opinions and feelings in difficult times. Protest songs have been important to Blacks since our struggle began. No matter if it was slavery, human rights, civil rights, wars, lynching or police brutality, we have expressed feelings in songs. June is when we commemorate Black Music Appreciation Month (the decree first issued by President Carter in 1979), one cannot …

Continue reading