Post-Reconstruction

Great Explorers – Harlem! | Indiegogo | #OYRchallenge

Middle Passage, New York is running a program, Great Explorers Cultural Arts and Literacy Program , engaging students to research their history in America. This research will be utilized by students to create scripts, dance, and other art & performance medium under the guidance of professional artist, writers, and choreographers.

How can you help? Simple donation in support of this program allows you to aid this progressive program, purchase materials, create strong minds, and attend performances and cast party. A win win! #OYRchallenge

The Great Explorers Cultural Arts and Literacy Program  is run by Middle Passage, Inc., a nonprofit organization working to educate children of color in New York City,  in particular, students who feel alienated in traditional schools with their emphasis on high-stakes testing, a foreign cultural environment and a curriculum that fails to meet the needs of a diverse group of students. 

In all our programs, we emphasize Project Based Learning so that families, teachers and community members can work together to help children develop both critical thinking and problem-solving skills — skills that set them up for a lifetime of success and achievement!

via Great Explorers – Harlem! | Indiegogo.

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Way Black In Time. Black Archaeologist Season 3, Episode 1 – YouTube

Published on Oct 6, 2014

A time machine, allowing our hero, Black Archaeologist, to visit great moments in black history, is invented. It’s called , The Way Black In Time Machine.

via Way Black In Time. Black Archaeologist Season 3, Episode 1 – YouTube.

On Being Seen: An Interview with Claudia Rankine from Ferguson – The New Yorker | #OYRchallenge

Alexandra Schwartz frames her interview with poet Claudia Rankine visiting Ferguson, Mo. Rankine’s visit to Ferguson had nothing to do with Mike Brown, but a promotion of her new book, write Schwartz. It is steep in Langston Hughes’ Let America Be America Again and Zora Neale Hurston blackness. Memorable  piece and will send you running through you collection of Harlem Renaissance poetry.

My favorite lines of this article, “I don’t want to be naïvely optimistic. But I do think that one of the great things about social media today is that we can all see, at least, what it looks like. And hear from everybody. And then you have to decide whether you’re going to be silent or whether you’re going to stand in the corner and let things happen. But at least we know about it.” It pulses and examines us as spectators to a history we can either observe or experience. #OYRchallenge

See the complete rendition of Langston Hughes’ poem below.from The New Yorker

I think it’s interesting because so far the people I’ve spoken with—the black people, the African-Americans that I’ve spoken with—there’s something about the fact that Michael Brown was shot in the head twice that they can’t—that’s the sticking point. Not that the first bullet wasn’t a problem. But the sort of execution-style shooting takes it to this whole other place that starts approaching the language of lynching, and public lynching, and bodies in the street that people are walking around. There’s that video of the police just pacing back and forth and the uncovered body just lying there for hours; where no ambulance, no anything.

via On Being Seen: An Interview with Claudia Rankine from Ferguson – The New Yorker.

Langston Hughes, 1902 – 1967

 Let America be America again.

Let it be the dream it used to be.

Let it be the pioneer on the plain

Seeking a home where he himself is free.

(America never was America to me.)

Let America be the dream the dreamers dreamed—

Let it be that great strong land of love

Where never kings connive nor tyrants scheme

That any man be crushed by one above.

(It never was America to me.)

O, let my land be a land where Liberty

Is crowned with no false patriotic wreath,

But opportunity is real, and life is free,

Equality is in the air we breathe.

(There’s never been equality for me,

Nor freedom in this “homeland of the free.”)

Say, who are you that mumbles in the dark?

And who are you that draws your veil across the stars?

I am the poor white, fooled and pushed apart,

I am the Negro bearing slavery’s scars.

I am the red man driven from the land,

I am the immigrant clutching the hope I seek—

And finding only the same old stupid plan

Of dog eat dog, of mighty crush the weak.

I am the young man, full of strength and hope,

Tangled in that ancient endless chain

Of profit, power, gain, of grab the land!

Of grab the gold! Of grab the ways of satisfying need!

Of work the men! Of take the pay!

Of owning everything for one’s own greed!

I am the farmer, bondsman to the soil.

I am the worker sold to the machine.

I am the Negro, servant to you all.

I am the people, humble, hungry, mean—

Hungry yet today despite the dream.

Beaten yet today—O, Pioneers!

I am the man who never got ahead,

The poorest worker bartered through the years.

Yet I’m the one who dreamt our basic dream

In the Old World while still a serf of kings,

Who dreamt a dream so strong, so brave, so true,

That even yet its mighty daring sings

In every brick and stone, in every furrow turned

That’s made America the land it has become.

O, I’m the man who sailed those early seas

In search of what I meant to be my home—

For I’m the one who left dark Ireland’s shore,

And Poland’s plain, and England’s grassy lea,

And torn from Black Africa’s strand I came

To build a “homeland of the free.”

The free?

Who said the free?  Not me?

Surely not me?  The millions on relief today?

The millions shot down when we strike?

The millions who have nothing for our pay?

For all the dreams we’ve dreamed

And all the songs we’ve sung

And all the hopes we’ve held

And all the flags we’ve hung,

The millions who have nothing for our pay—

Except the dream that’s almost dead today.

O, let America be America again—

The land that never has been yet—

And yet must be—the land where every man is free.

The land that’s mine—the poor man’s, Indian’s, Negro’s, ME—

Who made America,

Whose sweat and blood, whose faith and pain,

Whose hand at the foundry, whose plow in the rain,

Must bring back our mighty dream again.

Sure, call me any ugly name you choose—

The steel of freedom does not stain.

From those who live like leeches on the people’s lives,

We must take back our land again,

America!

O, yes,

I say it plain,

America never was America to me,

And yet I swear this oath—

America will be!

Out of the rack and ruin of our gangster death,

The rape and rot of graft, and stealth, and lies,

We, the people, must redeem

The land, the mines, the plants, the rivers.

The mountains and the endless plain—

All, all the stretch of these great green states—

And make America again!

Alain Locke, Whose Ashes Were Found In University Archives, Is Buried : Code Switch : NPR

Alain Locke

Alain Locke, September 13, 1885 – June 9, 1954

I became an official devotee of Africa American sociology and literature after reading Alain Locke’s “The New Negro.” Studying our great post-slavery philosophers, artists, and writers, in no way prepared me for this text. They all asked questions, stumbled about with fear, not quite grasping the ground they stood. Locke provided answers to who they were in the moment. They were no longer the offspring of slaves but men and women established in their humanity and history beyond race.

Funeral - Alain Locke

[Alain] Locke compiled many of the answers in an anthology called The New Negro. Published in 1925, it was an instant success and included work by Zora Neale Hurston, Langston Hughes and W.E.B. Du Bois.”This book is the standard-bearer for how the 20th century African-American is going to see themselves,” Jones says. “This volume is dedicated to the younger generation: Oh rise, shine, for thy light is a coming.”

via Alain Locke, Whose Ashes Were Found In University Archives, Is Buried : Code Switch : NPR.