Photos

Nate Larson: Photographs and More – Holding That Line, Part Two

Photographer and college instructor Nate Larson captures a scene among many acts of citizenship seen in Baltimore, MD in the past few days during the Baltimore protests for the killing of Freddie Gray – the Human Wall separating protesters from police constructed by Baltimore residents.

Baltimore Human Wall during protest

Nate Larson’s HOLDING THAT LINE, PART TWO 

Earlier today, I photographed the #Baltimore protests at North Avenue & Pennsylvania Avenue with my students from #MICAphoto. I was struck by the line of police blockading the street and made a portrait of each of the 27 officers comprising the human wall.

This evening, I went back, and there were 26 citizens forming a human wall, separating the crowd from the police, for their mutual protection. My heart was heavy all day but lifted at this spirit of self-sacrifice and generosity. I made a portrait of the 22 members that gave their permission.

via Nate Larson: Photographs and More – Holding That Line, Part Two.

Fury of Ferguson descends on St. Louis County Council| St. Louis Post |#OYRchallenge

Ferguson, MO residents go after the St. Louis County Council. They would not be dismissed nor did they allow any  other county business to be heard for 2 hours until they got their point across. No Justice. No Peace. One photo displayed below expresses the truisms of many municipalities’ response to public outcry, – NEXT! Ferguson residents stood their ground against a stone-faced panel and their own race-collaborators.

St. Louis County Council

Do you really want to discuss Solar panels – NOW? Not happening!

Excerpt

CLAYTON • The fury of Ferguson descended on the seat of St. Louis County with a vengeance Tuesday night with demonstrators unleashing a torrent of chants, invective and threats at a County Council that listened for two hours in stunned silence….

Ferguson City Council Meeting September 2014

Ferguson residents go up against County Council, September 2014

#OYRchallenge
via Fury of Ferguson descends on St. Louis County Council : News.

#OYRchallenge – Nico & Vinz – Am I Wrong [Official Music Video]

The Own Your Racist Challenge #OYRchallenge

What is the OYR challenge?

African Americans have been at war – mentally, physically, economically, and socially ever since the first African was dragged from a slave ship onto the American shores. The volumes of histories (European and African American), movies, television series, news reports, studies, and other publications serve as qualitative evidence to support this claim. It has always been the strategy of Racist and their racist collaborators (African American pseudo-intellectuals) to present the resulting body count as isolated or individual incidents to be argued within the confines of the criminal justice system, race discussion forums, and/or the same models used to maintain White Supremacy. Truth-be-told, these systems have eroded and the people lax into comfort that the myth of Black powerlessness is firmly in place. They have secured the veil with a 21st century Bi-racial President of their choosing, replacing the Civil Rights icons. Every playbook must be revised. Our young are inundated with slave songs, yet no one drills them with the principals that created Black Wall Street and other past ultra-wealthy and sound communities. There are only so many times African American children can attend the funeral of a murdered/lynched family member, friend or neighbor, buried with Amazing Grace and “I Have A Dream,” before they stop listening.

21st century African American youths acknowledge that they are human and know that humans are fallible. In a 1992 televised panel discussion, The Issue is Race, Sister Souljah points to the need for Black empowerment and business. She also points out that every municipality has their game in place to crush African American businesses much more easily now than with the attack on Black Wall St. Crime in the African American community, the most readily used silencing cue in the racist toolbox, reflects that humanity and the substantive pressures placed on that humanity. Our young in 2014 Ferguson, MI reformed the messages of African American history that racist and African American collaborators use to teach them powerlessness. Yet, take a look at how school systems are now trying to formulate a methodology to discuss the current events in Ferguson and other cities. Why control the conversation? For the same reason our children in African American venues are taught slave songs instead of empowering verse? Our dialogue needs to be controlled to include silencing, powerless training. Some HBCU institutions provide tools to exude our power, along with that the history lesson. The intelligent heed the message, the fearful and mediocre cite statistics, the European face of government, and class conscious models of respectability politics to quell their cognitive dissonance. But that dissonance also creates race-collaborators. This is also human. Fear is human.

To get you through this challenge, we need to revisit and establish in our lives how we accommodate, participate, and sometimes instigate our own demise. Here is the catch, if your town has no industry that will support your degree as well as your Africanism, there are always government positions available. And those who become a part of the machine (thinking they can make change from within), soon become THE MACHINE, despite their good intentions. Get over them … but do not give them a pass. Racist tactics are methodical complete with literature and verbal cues that African Americans are trained to absorb and respond to appropriately. Within this context, we must not forget that on an individual level, racist are confident that whatever their mistakes, there is a cue (crazy toolbox) to combat African American claims to racist attack and the victim will disregard their rights within that transaction. Add an insecure, incompetent collaborator and you have a cocktail for a now seemingly powerless victim.

I want to give you an example of using your power effectively within this context. The necessary back story is that in our region, African Americans rarely challenge the most minute situations, so racist have an exceptional comfort zone (no visible support for Trayvon Martin in public view). As the city fell into economic decline, the mayor initiated a campaign to bring a specific immigrant ethnicity to the area from New York City (I will not name the specific population; it is not about them) to purchase property and strengthen the communities. The specific ethnicity bought into the American slovenly African American stereotype for their benefit, and similar to Rwandan (Hutu/Tutsi) conflict, they assumed a position in our communities as a buffer and caste between the racist White population and the African American community. This actually occurred right after the 1994 Rwandan genocide and subsequent literature highlighting the European strategy that set the immigrant against the indigenous population (Mamdani, 2001)

While in college, I cashed my student loan checks at a local branch of the University’s banking institution, as I had done many semester previously. I approached the teller window, and handed her the check, along with my driver’s photo ID. The teller, immigrant woman, scowled at ID, turned it over, scowled again, then asked for a second form of ID. I then gave her my University photo ID bearing the same name and insignia as on the check. Her reaction was the same as with my driver’s license. She sighed and continued to scowl, leaning on her elbow on the counter, with no movement to either decline or process my transaction. I then grew impatient and asked for the bank manager. The teller was aghast. Apparently, she felt a stool in the bank afforded her power that I had no right to challenge. I reiterated, “I have no more to say to you.  It is obvious that you are not familiar with US identifications and should not hold this position. Please call the manager.” When the bank manager arrived, I informed her of the teller’s inability to read legal documents and that such deficiencies should have been addressed at her job interview. Furthermore, her behaviors may open the bank up to future lawsuits and other damages. The red-faced bank manager “shoved” the teller aside and promptly completed my transaction. By the way, said teller is now working at McDonalds. A brightly smiling young black male has taken her place on the stool.

So here is your challenge. There are two parts.

Part I: At least once per day, approach your racial encounters with power. Inner power. Victories, no matter how small, are the key to this challenge – no hubris, retaliations, pettiness, or abuses exude power or is the aim of this challenge (put away your crazy toolbox; not needed here). This can only be done if you follow principles that we ourselves will create during this adventure. There are a few listed to get you started.

  • We are human.
  • In our humanity, we fail, but as humans we are resilient and rise stronger.
  • Remember, racist gain their power in OUR acceptance of dehumanizing media, literature, slurs, and behaviors on their part.
  • We must know the laws and devices used to counter those laws that work in our benefit, during ANY transaction.
  • We must examine, in any situation, where and how we must exude our power effectively, and when racist malaise will cause them to empower YOU.
  • Recognize oppressive methodology, no matter who attempts it – these 4 indicators may help: Insult, Deny, Threaten, and Attack (these are all a part of the verbal cues). Find them in yourself first, and then you will recognize these tactics in others.
  • Act with a sound, still mind. If you become flustered, BREATHE, SING, or whatever you have to do to get back on track. It may seem crazy to the offender or allow them to feel momentarily “uber” empowered, but the whopper you will deliver will soon change that.
  • Most importantly, never, ever take your failure to control any situation as defeat. Remember, you were trained how to be powerless (regardless of how much Black literature you read or education). Regroup and fortify yourself for the next encounter, and you will recognize more of them as you learn to live as a citizen, instead of props in someone else’s theater.

Part II: You MUST develop your own strategies through these contacts and expand on these few lines with posts using the hashtag, #OYRchallenge. Your stories are important as they energize those too weak to accept this challenge. Start with the meager crumbs I have put before you and together we will create a banquet.

The alternative to this challenge is this – continue doing what you are doing expecting different results. Hence, buy a scooter to carry your crazy toolbox. It will only get heavier.

Mahmood Mamdani. When Victims Become Killers: Colonialism, Nativism, and the Genocide in Rwanda. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2001.

Blackface! – The History of Racist Blackface Stereotypes

Aunt Jemima

The stock characters of blackface minstrelsy have played a significant role in disseminating racist images, attitudes and perceptions worldwide. Every immigrant group was stereotyped on the music hall stage during the 19th Century, but the history of prejudice, hostility, and ignorance towards black people has insured a unique longevity to the stereotypes. White America\’s conceptions of Black entertainers were shaped by minstrelsy\’s mocking caricatures and for over one hundred years the belief that Blacks were racially and socially inferior was fostered by legions of both white and black performers in blackface.

via Blackface! – The History of Racist Blackface Stereotypes.

Rachel Jeantel: Trial Testimony Draws Criticism

Rachel

Many people have been very critical of the way Jeantel speaks — her subject-verb agreement, her Southern accent, her tendency to say “axe” instead of “ask.” Speech is a cultural marker often used to highlight one’s otherness. The problem with “improper speech” is not that people who speak in such tongues cannot be understood. It’s that they speak in a way that makes others uncomfortable; that it forces people to acknowledge and deal with an otherness that they may otherwise prefer to step around. It is an otherness that makes whites uncomfortable and, apparently, shames blacks to the point of publicly attacking Jeantel for who she is.

via Rachel Jeantel: Trial Testimony Draws Criticism.

Researchers find over 2,000 U.S. Colored Troops who were prisoners of war | Examiner.com

Historians traditionally thought the number of U.S. Colored Troops who actually made it into Confederate prisons was a number around 776 soldiers. It had originally been thought that most black’s captured by the Confederates never made it into a prison camp. That has alos been proven untrue by this new study.

Within just two USCT regiments alone, the 110th USCT and the 111th USCT, captured in and around Athens, AL on September 24 and 25, 1864, 744 were prisoners of war. They were among 863 black prisoners who are known to have been held in Cahaba Prison near Selma, AL.

via Researchers find over 2,000 U.S. Colored Troops who were prisoners of war | Examiner.com.

 

Black Wall Street

Greenwood is a neighborhood in Tulsa, Oklahoma. As one of the most successful and wealthiest African American communities in the United States during the early 20th Century, it was popularly known as America’s “Black Wall Street” until the Tulsa Race Riot of 1921. The riot was one of the most devastating race riots in history and it destroyed the once thriving Greenwood community.

via Facebook.

“Warrior’s of Black Consciousness”

‎”I had bought a pistol the first thing after Tom Moss was lynched, because I expected some cowardly retaliation from the lynchers. I felt that one had better die fighting against injustice than to die like a dog or a rat in a trap…

I felt if I could take one lyncher with me, this would even up the score a little bit!”

Ida never feared the lynch mob, she had faith in God to protect her: “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; For You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me” (Psalms 23:4). A threat to her life was not going to stop her from her crusade.

“The Review of Reviews announced that Wells, “a talented and resolute young lady of colour”, was on a pilgrimage around the British Isles to campaign on the subject of Negro lynching; they also published these Sadistic Statistics, “in 1893, excluding Sundays, a Coloured man was lynched every day from January to December.”

Click and Listen to a live performance…Click and Listen The Gist of Freedom (WWW.BlackHistoryBLOG.com) Tonight at 8pm!

Ida B. Wells: Warrior for Justice presented by Safiya Bandele!

England ~”The Daily Chronicle ran a column on “the young coloured lady who is conducting in England such a plucky campaign for the rescue of her people from the brutalities of the Southern States of America.At the beginning of June, “The Review of Reviews announced that Wells, “a talented and resolute young lady of colour”, was on a pilgrimage around the British Isles to gain ‘pity’ from its inhabitants on the subject of Negro lynching. The paper republished a table of statistics that had originally appeared in the Chicago Tribune, illustrating the number of black people that had been lynched in 1893. The Review calculated that in 1893, “excluding Sundays, a coloured man was lynched every day from January to December, and two out of three of the victims were not even accused of assaulting white women.” The condemnation continued, with a final statement: – when “ruffians take to skinning men alive, vivisecting them, and burning them slowly to death, no decent man can resent the expression of horror and indignation that burst from the lips of all observers.” By the end of May, Wells had made her way to London. She stayed for six weeks, during which time she moved among the city’s religious, liberal and intellectual elite. She spoke at 35 meetings.

(Duster, 1970, 1972; 62). http://kakonged.wordpress.com/2011/03/29/in-god-she-trust-the-biography-of-ida-b-wells-barnett-originally-published-with-triondcom/
http://www.blogtalkradio.com/thegistoffreedom/2013/01/28/performanceida-b-wells-warrior-for-justice-by-safiya
Click and listen tonight! http://www.blogtalkradio.com/thegistoffreedom/2012/03/07/ida-b-wells-great-grandson-dan-duster-talks-anti-lynching

Ida never feared the lynch mob, she had faith in God to protect her: “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; For You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me” (Psalms 23:4). A threat to her life was not going to stop her from her crusade.

Dan Duster educates people about the legacy of Ida B. Wells (his great-grandmother anti-lynching advocate) as well as the struggles and triumphs of other leaders in African American history. He also talks about his career as a top corporate salesperson and prosperous entrepreneur. Dan draws parallels to all of those experiences to help others feel empowered and create solutions to the obstacles they face today.
http://www.danduster.net/

Screening: Slavery By Another Name! For additional information click herehttp://conta.cc/Y98Lpb“I had bought a pistol the first thing after Tom Moss was lynched, because I expected some cowardly retaliation from the lynchers. I felt that one had better die fighting against injustice than to die like a dog or a rat in a trap…

I felt if I could take one lyncher with me, this would even up the score a little bit!”

Ida never feared the lynch mob, she had faith in God to protect her: “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; For You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me” (Psalms 23:4). A threat to her life was not going to stop her from her crusade.

“The Review of Reviews announced that Wells, “a talented and resolute young lady of colour”, was on a pilgrimage around the British Isles to campaign on the subject of Negro lynching; they also published these Sadistic Statistics, “in 1893, excluding Sundays, a Coloured man was lynched every day from January to December.”

Click and Listen to a live performance…Click and Listen The Gist of Freedom (WWW.BlackHistoryBLOG.com) Tonight at 8pm!

Ida B. Wells: Warrior for Justice presented by Safiya Bandele!

England ~”The Daily Chronicle ran a column on “the young coloured lady who is conducting in England such a plucky campaign for the rescue of her people from the brutalities of the Southern States of America.At the beginning of June, “The Review of Reviews announced that Wells, “a talented and resolute young lady of colour”, was on a pilgrimage around the British Isles to gain ‘pity’ from its inhabitants on the subject of Negro lynching. The paper republished a table of statistics that had originally appeared in the Chicago Tribune, illustrating the number of black people that had been lynched in 1893. The Review calculated that in 1893, “excluding Sundays, a coloured man was lynched every day from January to December, and two out of three of the victims were not even accused of assaulting white women.” The condemnation continued, with a final statement: – when “ruffians take to skinning men alive, vivisecting them, and burning them slowly to death, no decent man can resent the expression of horror and indignation that burst from the lips of all observers.” By the end of May, Wells had made her way to London. She stayed for six weeks, during which time she moved among the city’s religious, liberal and intellectual elite. She spoke at 35 meetings.

(Duster, 1970, 1972; 62). http://kakonged.wordpress.com/2011/03/29/in-god-she-trust-the-biography-of-ida-b-wells-barnett-originally-published-with-triondcom/
http://www.blogtalkradio.com/thegistoffreedom/2013/01/28/performanceida-b-wells-warrior-for-justice-by-safiya
Click and listen tonight! http://www.blogtalkradio.com/thegistoffreedom/2012/03/07/ida-b-wells-great-grandson-dan-duster-talks-anti-lynching

Ida never feared the lynch mob, she had faith in God to protect her: “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; For You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me” (Psalms 23:4). A threat to her life was not going to stop her from her crusade.

Dan Duster educates people about the legacy of Ida B. Wells (his great-grandmother anti-lynching advocate) as well as the struggles and triumphs of other leaders in African American history. He also talks about his career as a top corporate salesperson and prosperous entrepreneur. Dan draws parallels to all of those experiences to help others feel empowered and create solutions to the obstacles they face today.
http://www.danduster.net/

Screening: Slavery By Another Name! For additional information click herehttp://conta.cc/Y98Lpb

L.A. Rebellion 2013 Retrospective Review: Larry Clark’s ‘Passing Through’ | Shadow and Act

 L.A. Rebellion movement

There are two filmmakers named Larry Clark, and this is NOT about the Larry Clark whose ephebophiliac imagination has given us films like Kids, Bully, and Wassup Rockers! Just so we’re clear, this Larry Clark is Black, a Cleveland native who went to UCLA along with Charles Burnett, Julie Dash, Haile Gerima and Billy Woodberry and was a key member of the L.A. Rebellion movement.

via L.A. Rebellion 2013 Retrospective Review: Larry Clark’s ‘Passing Through’ | Shadow and Act.

Harlem Fine Arts Show 2013 Promo

Buy tickets for the 2013 Harlem Fine Arts Show at http://www.hfas.org
Sponsored by: BMW USA, Wells Fargo, Amtrak, WBLS Pepsi, Aetna, U.S. Navy, Chambord, The Root.