History

Ferguson and beyond: how a new civil rights movement began – and won’t end | DeRay McKesson | Comment is free | The Guardian

DeRay McKesson, like most of our young protesters, has had to have a thick skin during the past year. He has been the subject of many attacks surely aimed at the #BlackLivesMatter movement and is now referred to by some journalist and agencies as a “professional protester.” Now, Yale University is giving this new civil rights activist and chronicler a platform to show that he is more than any of the disparaging symbols forced on our conscience.

Those that have not supported McKesson, nor championed his energy during the many protests against Black genocide held around the country, may have to rethink all of what they have heard and seen. What lies behind the mask?  
If not for Twitter and Instagram, Missouri officials would have convinced you, one year ago, that we simply did not exist. Or that we were the aggressors, rather than the victims. That we, and not they, were the violent ones.

But social media was our weapon against erasure. It is how many of us first became aware of the protests and how we learned where to go, or what to do when teargassed, or who to trust. We were able to both counter the narrative being spun by officials while connecting with each other in unprecedented ways. Many of us became friends digitally, first. And then we, the protestors, met in person.

Social media allowed us to become our own storytellers. With it, we seized the power of our truth.

Source: Ferguson and beyond: how a new civil rights movement began – and won’t end | DeRay McKesson | Comment is free | The Guardian

Slavery Reparations Could Cost Up to $14 Trillion, According to New Calculation|Newsweek

Slavery Reparations Could Cost Up to $14 Trillion, According to New Calculation

The Permanent Memorial to Honor the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade, in New York City, acknowledges a tragic chapter in the nation’s history. Some have argued that reparations for slavery would help heal long-festering racial strife. EDUARDO MUNOZ / REUTERS

Robert Westley, a professor at Tulane University who wasn’t involved in the paper, says that this and other examples can be used to refute arguments that slavery reparations would necessarily be too difficult to figure out. The French spoliation claims and others “were made and demanded over many generations,” he says. “Somehow problems of proof were not insurmountable in those cases, and shouldn’t be in the case of the United States with slavery.”

via Slavery Reparations Could Cost Up to $14 Trillion, According to New Calculation.

Bryant Gumbel: ‘My Son Was Arrested for Walking While Black’ (Aug. 6, 2015) | Charlie Rose

Bryant Gumbel to Charlie Rose:

“It’s like, NO! Stop! Stop! This has nothing to do with the victims. This has everything to do with the culture of demeaning a person of color. And… and there is no justification for society where my son has a far greater chance of being stopped, held, killed than your son.”

Bryant Gumbel‘s statements in this video isolated the main point of the #BlackLivesMatter movement away from the detracting “blame the victim” or the personal claims of those in communities with a lesser chance of experiencing institutional brutalities en masse.

Social Media has been ravaged with videos, memes, and postings decrying #BlackLivesMatter with Black on Black crime scenarios. We would expect this backlash from the ignorant and racist poor counterculture. Sadly, however, some Black individuals, too ignorant of the separation in discourse, have also hijacked the same rhetoric, not realizing its self-deprecating and dangerous implications.

Whites killing Whites, Hispanics killing Hispanics, Blacks killing Blacks, Europeans killing Europeans, and Africans killing Africans need their own hashtags. They are not to be commingled into a conversation which is politically, visually, and academically set apart to be addressed. In other words, if you are so concerned about the amount of violence in your ethnicity, race, class, or gender, study it, write about it, encapsulate it to the point that when those outside of that intra-conversation attempt to open their mouths, their breaths are as starved as their brains for lack of oxygen.

Published on Aug 6, 2015

via Bryant Gumbel: ‘My Son Was Arrested for Walking While Black’ (Aug. 6, 2015) | Charlie Rose – YouTube.

On #BlackLivesMatter and Defending Bernie Sanders – YouTube

Jay Smooth puts the moment in sync once again.
My two cents on the disruption of the Bernie Sanders speech in Seattle last week, and the pushback it sparked from some Sanders supporters.

via On #BlackLivesMatter and Defending Bernie Sanders – YouTube.

Published on Aug 15, 2015
http://twitter.com/jsmooth995

Bernie Sander’s supporters are quite upset with the women of #BlackLivesMatter. #BlackLifeMatter is not playing fair. Sander’s supporters have always been the catalyst for liberal and progressive change. But they have also been the gatekeepers monitoring Black dialogue leading to Black Progress.
The #BlackLivesMatter movement does recognize, yet storms the gates of the past Liberal parenting fortress.  These women mean business. They want a candidate that can articulate his intentions toward righting centuries of Black trauma. If this is Bernie, he had better speak up.

Why Marcus Garvey’s Teachings Are as Important Today as They Were in His Time – Atlanta Blackstar

Marcus Garvey

Despite the legislation which emanated from the Civil Rights Movement, Black people are not free and they have no power, including power over their own communities.  The larger society will not employ us, but they will imprison us, as they have by the multitudes, separating our families and destroying our communities, as we are used as raw materials for the prison factories.

And whether by the police, the courts, or vigilantes, this society continues to kill Black women, children and men—in the streets, in the police car, in the jail house and elsewhere, all because we have no power, and they know it.

via Why Marcus Garvey’s Teachings Are as Important Today as They Were in His Time – Atlanta Blackstar.

Rev. Dr. William Barber II, NC NAACP President | Politico Magazine

President-NC NAACP

REV. DR. WILLIAM J. BARBER, II
PRESIDENT OF THE NC NAACP

Rev. Dr. William Barber II, NC NAACP President | Politico Magazine

Rev. Dr. William Barber II, NC NAACP President | Politico Magazine

President of the North Carolina NAACP and convener of the Historic Thousands on Jones Street (HKonJ) Peoples Assembly Coalition, a broad alliance of more than 140 progressive organizations with over 2 million memberships to champion a 14 point anti-racism, anti-poverty, anti-war agenda, Dr. Barber is very much in the national spotlight.  Dr. Barber and this coalition has aided in the passage of the Racial Justice Act of 2009, which allowed death row inmates to appeal their sentences on the grounds of racial bias in the court system; and successfully advocated for voting reforms such as same-day registration and early voting, and has re-framed marriage equality as a civil rights issue and helped mobilized black churches to support a ballot initiative in 2012.

In opposition to regressive policies pushed by the governor and state legislature including draconian cuts to Medicaid, unemployment benefits, and public education funding, Dr. Barber has mobilized the Forward Together Moral Monday Movement, a multi-racial, multi-generational movement of thousands for protests at the NC General Assembly the people’s house, and around the state. Hundreds, including Dr. Barber himself, have also engaged in non-violent civil disobedience to expose what the politicians in North Carolina are trying to do in the dark.

via President-NC NAACP.

“Black Americana” Seeks To Deconstruct Negative Stereotypes About Black Love |The Culture

Featured in The Culture, “Black Love”

Black Love | The Culture

Black Americana” is a project aiming to deconstruct negative stereotypes through redefining and “reappropriating” relics of black americana. The goal of this first installment, says artist Tanisha Pyron, is to explore the dynamics between black women and men at various points in the African-American historical timeline. “[We’re] looking to quantify and establish what it took for one black man to love one black woman in the past and what it takes now and cast vision for it will take generations to come,” she writes.

To learn more about “Black Americana”, check out their Facebook page. Take a peek at some of the photos from this first installment below!

via “Black Americana” Seeks To Deconstruct Negative Stereotypes About Black Love.

#BlackLivesMatter: the birth of a new civil rights movement | World news | The Guardian

When the Florida courts handed down the verdict freeing George Zimmerman for the death of young Trayvon Martin, there was little response from those in my locale, from those near enough for me to judge the impact on our cities in Upstate New York. Our problems flash. We are startled, and then we return to nothingness. I thought, “Wow. What heartless beasts we have become.” Still, I kept up with subsequent news articles on social media and reposted as many articles as I could find on Trayvon, his family, even the lunacies of Zimmerman. Alicia Garza of  Black Lives Matter helped me to understand that what I determined to be coldness was a slow rising unfathomable fear. Garza, her husband, and another couple were at a bar when she heard the news. She tells “The Guardian:”

“Everything went quiet, everything and everyone,” Garza says now. “And then people started to leave en masse. The one thing I remember from that evening, other than crying myself to sleep that night, was the way in which as a black person, I felt incredibly vulnerable, incredibly exposed and incredibly enraged. Seeing these black people leaving the bar, and it was like we couldn’t look at each other. We were carrying this burden around with us every day: of racism and white supremacy. It was a verdict that said: black people are not safe in America.”

#BlackLivesMatter: the birth of a new civil rights movement | World news | The Guardian

Elizabeth Day’s article on the history of the Black Lives Matter, so far, tells a few stories. The changing face of Black activism such as appropriating spaces and audiences once held captive by main mass media outlets, the agile network of local activist working together nationally, power shifting from convention conservative leadership to the masses, and utilizing social media hashtags to create forums and meeting houses.

Samuel Sinyangwe, Black Lives Matter data guru states:

“We have been holding a mirror up to the nation. And we’ve shown what has been going on for a very long time: that we are being brutalised. That the state is being violent against us… The nation is now aware of the problem. Whether we can agree on a solution or not is another question but at least they acknowledge something is going on and that’s a great first step.”

But what happens after that first step? Zuckerman warns that although social media can give the illusion of empowerment, it also runs the risk of diverting attention away from the knottier problems of longer-lasting policy change.

“We’re at a moment where trust in our major institutions is at an all-time low,” he says. “When you start losing trust in those institutions, you start losing your ability to change things. Social media is a place where people feel they can move the wheel, and they’re right – they can change the representation of a gun victim in mainstream media. They can build momentum around removing the Confederate flag. But the fear is that it might be harder to make these much bigger structural changes in education or wage policy or to have a conversation about our gun culture.”

Read the entire article at The Guardian via #BlackLivesMatter: the birth of a new civil rights movement | World news | The Guardian.

Jay Smooth: 12 symbols of Southern pride actually worth celebrating – YouTube

Published on Jul 16, 2015

In this installment of the Illipsis, Jay takes on the Confederate flag and considers the ways in which Southerners can take pride in their culture without celebrating symbols of white supremacy. Jay has a message for Northerners too, namely, that they aren’t exempt from the need to grapple with the uglier parts of United States history.

via Jay Smooth: 12 symbols of Southern pride actually worth celebrating – YouTube.

Black Then | The Price Slave Women Paid For The “Birth” Of Modern Gynecology

Dr. James Marion Sims was heralded as the father of gynecology, yet at whose expense?

Since the mid- twentieth century, academia has debated whether Sims was an ingenuous doctor who furthered the progression of medical science for women or a 19th monster who conducted painful unethical experiments on women who couldn’t say “No.”

In 1993 Durrenda Ojanuga, Ph.D. wrote that the problem with Sims’ experiments were that he used the institution of slavery to harbor human guinea pigs to perfect his procedures. Violating all concepts of human rights and medical ethics, the women were property subject to Sims’ trial and error experiments.

via Black Then | The Price Slave Women Paid For The “Birth” Of Modern Gynecology.