Politics

My Christmas Gift from Michelle Smith – my New Soul Sister. 

Just before the holidays, most teaching professionals gripe about grading papers on social media. Professor Smith’s experience is going viral and garnered at least two articles by online publications, besides the entry in her own blog entitled, “Maybe We Do Need White History Month or Millennials Don’t Know Shit About Slavery or Picking Appropriate Essay Topics or Being a Black English Adjunct Sucks Sometimes–Merry Christmas”.

Smith reviews an essay on the benefits of slavery turned in by one of her students with a thought provoking essay of her own. For a young adult to determine any social or political benefit from slavery to African Americans is disturbing. We have not done our jobs. Do we seem too complacent in our damage and recovery? Smith’s essay lays groundwork for new national conversations, if we would only listen.

This is definitely going to be a Merry, Merry Christmas.

Source: Maybe We Do Need White History Month or Millennials Don’t Know Shit About Slavery or Picking Appropriate Essay Topics or Being a Black English Adjunct Sucks Sometimes–Merry Christmas

The Unspoken Response to Black Lives Matter vs Black on Black Crime and Other Maladies Black | Habari Gani, America!

A worthy read is “Nobody: Casualties of America’s War on the Vulnerable, from Ferguson to Flint and Beyond” by Marc Lamont Hill, Morehouse University professor and new addition to the morning radio show the “Breakfast Club.”

In an interviewMarc Lamont Hill for AOL BUILD, Hill said it. Within the few minutes allowed, he said what many of the socially conscious are thinking when sidelined from the Black Lives Matter agenda with the discussion of Black on Black crime and Black disobedience.  Hill states that “People who even if they don’t get killed by state violence through the form of bullets, they’re still committed to … slow death row – the death of poverty…

I  read at least five newspapers per day. Electronic media allows not only the authors response to a situation, but included are the public responses as well. From the death of Trayvon Martin in February 2012 to the more recent deaths of Alton Sterling and Philandro Castile, journalist and public commentators spoke within the confines of police and victim, prejudice and privilege, law and order. The policy driven isolation and destruction of Black economy creating targets of Black men and women never came into focus during these discussions – until now.

Before we continue our discussions of policy and practice, read “Nobody: Casualties of America’s War on the Vulnerable, from Ferguson to Flint and Beyond.”

View a snippet of Marc Lamont Hills AOL interview here at NewBlackMan (in Exile):

Source: Marc Lamont Hill Talks New Book ‘Nobody: Casualties of America’s War on the Vulnerable…’ | NewBlackMan (in Exile)

‘Free State of Jones’ | Review | Habari Gani, America!

Free State of Jones is one of the most overlooked films featured this summer. Matthew McConaughey as Newton Knight, an AWOL Confederate soldier and Mahershala Ali as Moses, an escaped enslaved African lead the tensions in this Civil War period piece. I viewed this film once for the overall story line and a second time for the details. Sorry, no spoilers here.

Historians and film producers often lean towards either the burdens of old slave narratives or the glorious Civil Rights Era when depicting the African quest for true freedom in America. Besides John Singleton and Gregory Poirier‘s Rosewoodfew mainstream films have touched in detail on the post-Civil War/Reconstruction Black Lives timeline as Director/Writer Gary Ross and Writer Leonard Hartman in the Free State of Jones.

The film juxtapositions the strong presence of self-determined ‘free’ Black lives amidst slavery and segregation against the sub-civil war between wealthy Confederates and poor families, black and white.

The films weakest transitions are forward flashes to a future trial determining the racial identity of Davis Knight, Newton Knight’s second son. The outcome would determine the legality of Davis’s marriage to a White woman according to post-war segregation laws.

Other considerations are the relationship shifts as Blacks are legally free in 1865. Jones County, Mississippi grapples with Military Reconstruction in response to the South’s attempt to re-enslave Blacks through indentured servitude, Blacks gaining voting rights through the 15th Amendment and the rise of the Ku Klux Klan.

The Free State of Jones is a worthy film for any historian or film buff to have in their quiver. Below is an excerpt from author Richard Grant’s Smithsonian Institute article regarding the film’s historical value and present day Jones County’s varying sentiments toward Newton Knight and the film.

“ [Professor Wyatt Moulds] described Jones County as the most conservative place in Mississippi, but he noted that race relations were improving and that you could see it clearly in the changing attitudes toward Newt Knight. ‘It’s generational,’ he said. ‘A lot of older people see Newt as a traitor and a reprobate, and they don’t understand why anyone would want to make a movie about him. If you point out that Newt distributed food to starving people, and was known as the Robin Hood of the Piney Woods, they’ll tell you he married a black, like that trumps everything. And they won’t use the word ‘black.’”
[Moulds’s] current crop of students, on the other hand, are “fired up” about Newt and the movie. ‘Blacks and whites date each other in high school now, and they don’t think it’s a big deal,’ said Moulds. ‘That’s a huge change. Some of the young guys are really identifying with Newt now, as a symbol of Jones County pride. It doesn’t hurt that he was such a badass.’ “

“In the Lost Cause mythology, the South was united, and secession had nothing to do with slavery,” said Moulds. “What happened in Jones County puts the lie to that, so the Lost Causers have to paint Newt as a common outlaw, and above all else, deny all traces of Unionism. With the movie coming out, they’re at it harder than ever.”

Source: The True Story of the ‘Free State of Jones’ | History | Smithsonian

Were Alton Sterling and Philando Castile Victims of Domestic Violence Syndrome? | Habari Gani, America!

One writer, Miriam Axel-Lute, clearly gets what even some in the African American community do not. Domestic Violence perpetrators always – always give you parameters that will prevent them from abusing you, which change over time and situation.

Axel-Lute and the Albany, New York community are stunned by the latest Albany Police Department and area attorney’s presentation given before teenagers this week. I could only imagine how some concerned parents accepted the frank admittance by both entities that we are going to run your life into the ground, given the opportunity.

Lute’s article,Albany Cops Sound Like Abusive Spouses in Teen Workshop states: 

“There’s this pattern that happens with abusive spouses. They often explain to their victims how to behave so they won’t get beaten up again. All the victim needs to do is give them proper respect, not burn their dinner, remember to leave out their slippers at the right place, never buy the wrong brand of toothpaste, never make them feel like they are being laughed at, never give them attitude or make them mad. And then, supposedly, they’ll be safe.”

One female teenager, quoted in the Time Union journalist Paul Grondahl‘s article, “Albany teens hear raw talk about police stops” asks, “Are all cops hot heads? … They all seem so aggressive in the videos.”

According to Grondahl’s article (complete with video segments), the aggression and confusing commentary championed by attorneys and law enforcement, one of which was whether to comply or ask for an attorney, only frustrated the young audience further. We must understand that confusion is how the domestic abuser wins every time — until he kills you.  Axel-Lute may have hit on something politicians, pundits, and communities side step in their attempts to stop our national “domestic violence.”

Read both articles by Axel-Lute and Grondahl following the links below:

Source: Albany Cops Sound Like Abusive Spouses in Teen WorkshopAlbany teens hear raw talk about police stops

16 Impactful Movies & Documentaries Every Black American Should See on July 4th Weekend | blackcinemadb

[BlackCinemadb.com] compiled a list of movies from the BlackCinemadb.com database and found some powerful movies and films that make us rethink the notion of freedom from a social, political and psychological perspective (some of which are currently streaming on Netflix). 

Take a look: 16 Impactful Movies & Documentaries Every Black American Should See on July 4th Weekend | blackcinemadb

#BlackExcellence: Alice Walker Pens Beautiful Poem For Jesse Williams — HelloBeautiful

Source: Walter McBride / Getty Jesse Williams’ recent BET Awards speech on Black liberation and racism woke up America and garnered new fans–including famed writer and activist Alice Walker. The Color Purple author inspired by the Grey’s Anatomy star, she wrote a powerful poem and posted it on her website. Here It Is addresses the…

via #BlackExcellence: Alice Walker Pens Beautiful Poem For Jesse Williams — HelloBeautiful

How Jesse Williams Stole BET Awards With Speech on Racism | The New York Times

The most talked about experience Post-BET Awards 2016 is Jesse Williams acceptance speech for the Humanitarian Award. Black America will never forget this one.

The BET Awards Sunday featured tributes to Prince and Muhammad Ali, and a performance by Beyoncé and Kendrick Lamar. But this year, the actor Jesse Williams commanded the spotlight with an impassioned speech calling for an end to police killings, racial inequality and cultural appropriation.

Please click here to view Jesse Williams’s speech in its entirety: JW BET Awards 2016

Source: How Jesse Williams Stole BET Awards With Speech on Racism – The New York Times

Jesse Williams Wants You To ‘Stay Woke’ In New Film On Black Lives Matter | HuffPost, Black Voices

STAY WOKE: The Black Lives Matter Movement, a Jesse Williams production.

“Black Lives Matter is in many ways, in its adolescence,” Williams told The Huffington Post about his involvement in the film and his thoughts on various aspects about the movement. He discussed with HuffPost the birth of the #BlackLivesMatter hashtag, how it subsequently swept the Internet by storm and how the hashtag helped to bring about real change. He also highlighted the daunting feat the movement’s participants have in figuring out how to create lasting change. 

Catch the rest of the article here: STAY WOKE

Source: Jesse Williams Wants You To ‘Stay Woke’ In New Film On Black Lives Matter

Interview: Former Ohio State Senator Nina Turner challenges the Black Vote | Democracy in Color

An interview by Democracy in Color‘s Aimee with former Ohio State Senator Nina Turner, Leader of the Progressive Movement and Bernie Sanders Supporter:

Turner addresses the history of the Black Vote and why we are not seriously courted by Democrats in politics or policy, most especially in this coming General Election.

“I want to be proposed to, I want to get the ring. But because we are so predictable in our voting patterns, people who run for office — whether it is the Clintons or anybody else who is a Democrat — they don’t have to court us substantively, and we certainly don’t get the ring,” says Turner

“When A. Phillip Randolph, the labor leader of the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters, threatened President Roosevelt and said, “You are going to do something for the Black community or I’m going to march on you.” This was in the ’40s, before the March on Washington in the ’60s. The president didn’t want to see that, so he negotiated and we got something tangible for generations to come, for our vote. I don’t see us getting anything — the collective us — from Democrats that’s tangible for generations to come. That is the problem that I have.”

Turner challenges us to vote for our future, not our fear.

The interview in its entirety at: Democracy in Color

Source: Nina Turner: Leader of the American Progressive Movement — Democracy in Color