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Showing posts from 2018

Committing to Anti-Racism in Galleries of European Art

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Amidst a surge in white supremacist violence across the country, the time has come to reconsider how American museums are presenting European art.
“Globalization,” “interconnectivity,” and “diversity” are more than museum “buzzwords”; they are the battles white supremacists are fighting.

BIG READ: Committing to Anti-Racism in Galleries of European Art

#Whitenationalists and American #NeoNazis want the rest of us to see them as legitimate social and political movements

Beware of #Greeks Bearing Gifts: How Neo-Nazis and Ancient Greeks Met in Charlottesville | https://t.co/hXsbHuKxXkpic.twitter.com/HzKr964XKl — Origins (@OriginsOSU) July 22, 2018

Stack O' Lee Blues - MISSISSIPPI JOHN HURT (1928) Blues Legend

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Harriet Tubman with Pink Pussyhat

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The recruitment of historical figures into contemporary mores and fashions is a tic of the Women's March movement, a yearning not just for a better future but for a neater past.

READ: The Day Harriet Tubman Wore a Pink Pussyhat | The New Yorker

#wecandohardthings #BlackLivesMatter

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Right before she got onstage at one predominantly white church, the leaders warned her against speaking in support of Black Lives Matter. She did it anyway. “What happens at a lot of churches is, ‘Come, be funny, don’t bring up your politics,’” she says. “Which is so hilarious because Jesus was, like, the most political person on Earth.” Doyle makes that point repeatedly, and also ensures that white women feel seen in their own struggles by acknowledging how uncomfortable it can be to speak openly about race. One of her favorite hashtags, #wecandohardthings, serves as both reassurance and call to action.

A sign at the 2017 Women’s March in Los Angeles that went viral read, “I’ll see you nice white ladies at the next #BlackLivesMatter protest, right?”

READ: Glennon Doyle Is Coming To Get The White Women

In The News: Vandalism of Frederick Douglass statue

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What we know now about vandalism of Frederick Douglass statue
Sean Lahman and Sarah Taddeo, December 17, 2018, Rochester Democrat and Chronicle



The vandalism of a Frederick Douglass statue has provoked outrage throughout the Rochester community and leaves a number of questions unanswered.

John R. Boedicker, 20, of Endicott, Broome County, and Charles J. Milks, 21, of Kenmore, Erie County, were charged Sunday with fourth-degree criminal mischief, a misdemeanor, Rochester Police Investigator Jackie Shuman said.

Officers responded just after midnight Sunday morning to the intersection of Alexander and Tracy streets after reports that a pair of individuals had broken the statue from its base and were attempting to leave the scene with it.

Here are some of the questions that people are asking about the incident.

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Overlooked No More: Elizabeth Keckly, Dressmaker and Confidante to Mary Todd Lincoln
Nancy Wartik, December 12, 2018, The New York Times

It was the morning of A…

Generations of Black Art

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All of this evocative chromatic movement subtly conveys the development of the Black Power movement that first took frank stock of the stark contrast between the nature of the lives of Black and White people given the concerted violence (political, social, economic, physical) meted out to Black people in defense of White supremacy.
BIG READ: Finding the Heart of a Nation in Generations of Black Art

Loot: a movement to investigate the cultural artifacts stolen

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Quartz reports that “Perhaps for the first time in Kenya’s history, there’s a movement to investigate the cultural artifacts stolen and kept outside the country’s borders.” The initiative is one of many recent efforts to repatriate objects. Abdi Latif Dahir writes: Funded by the German cultural institute in Kenya, the program seeks to create a first-of-its-kind inventory of Kenyan artifacts held in public institutions abroad. Once the objects are identified in museums in Germany, UK, and the US, the aim is to get these works to Kenya and feature them in permanent or temporary exhibitions.
Ethiopia Calls on London Museum to Repatriate Objects Looted 150 Years Ago

Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power

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digital database of fugitive slave ads

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Freedom on the Move from Cornell University is the first major digital database of fugitive slave ads from North America.
READ: A Database of Fugitive Slave Ads Reveals Thousands of Untold Resistance Stories

Green Book: it’s more about white comfort than black experience

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Green Book. I almost liked it.https://t.co/mRFPWDUdqDpic.twitter.com/2KtIJeqA1W — A. Movies (@AssholeMovies) December 16, 2018

Meanwhile, this is the white guy’s story, written by a white guy, directed by another white guy, with Oscar buzz somehow reserved for the white actor who dropped the n-word at a screening for the film. This is the kind of Best Picture nod meant to appease diversity problems, but it’s more about white comfort than black experience. Movies like Sorry To Bother You, Blindspotting, Blackkklansman, and even Black Panther, are better movies with more to say, and they’re told with black voices, which is why they’re more easily overlooked. But fuck white comfort. This shit should make us uncomfortable. If you’re talking about racism and worried about hurting white people’s feelings, you’re doing it wrong, and it’s time to stop. - Jay

Racism is Distraction

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'There were Africans in Britain before the English came here': how Staying Power shook British history



“The very serious function of racism is distraction,” Toni Morrison argued in a lecture in Portland, Oregon, in 1975:

It keeps you from doing your work. It keeps you explaining, over and over again, your reason for being. Somebody says you have no language and you spend twenty years proving that you do. Somebody says your head isn’t shaped properly so you have scientists working on the fact that it is. Somebody says you have no art, so you dredge that up. Somebody says you have no kingdoms, so you dredge that up. None of this is necessary. There will always be one more thing.

For the longest time the central distraction for black Britons was insisting on our existence. That we were black was unarguable. That we were in Britain was acknowledged if only to be contested. But the notion that we could be black and British, both from this place and in our bodies, confoun…

Museum of Black Civilizations

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Senegal has opened the Museum of Black Civilizations to the public, spanning 14,000 square meters of floor space. The innovative institution regards Brazil, the United States, and the Caribbean as Black civilizations in their own right, and maps the trans-Atlantic slave trade and its diasporic implications throughout history. Among its first exhibitions are artworks from Mali, Burkina Faso, Cuba, and Haiti.
The museum is 52 years in the making — Senegal’s late president Leopold Sedar Senghor first proposed the idea at a festival of black artists in Dakar in 1966, but the museum’s construction was halted before a Chinese investment of $34.6 million. The museum opens in the wake of Senegal’s public request for the repatriation of its objects looted through colonial imperialism. [Africa.com]

#BOLO: Be On (the) Lookout

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New York-based artist Sable Elyse Smith (b.1986, Los Angeles, CA).

Smith’s practice interrogates the predatory nature of the US carceral state and how the concepts of innocence and guilt in the larger cultural context perpetuate carceral capitalism’s livelihood. Smith’s video work incorporates found video footage from popular media to confront the language and imagery that feeds the carceral state and fashions the idea of criminality in our social imaginary.
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Slave Bible

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Slave Bible From The 1800s Omitted Key Passages That Could Incite Rebellion (audio)
Michel Martin, December 9, 2018, National Public Radio



On display now at the Museum of the Bible in Washington, D.C., is a special exhibit centered on a rare Bible from the 1800s that was used by British missionaries to convert and educate slaves.

What's notable about this Bible is not just its rarity, but its content, or rather the lack of content. It excludes any portion of text that might inspire rebellion or liberation.

Anthony Schmidt, associate curator of Bible and Religion in America at the museum, says the first instance of this abridged version titled, Parts of the Holy Bible, selected for the use of the Negro Slaves, in the British West-India Islands, was published in 1807.

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We The People

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We the People: Your Freshmen Congresswomen Recite the Preamble to the Constitution https://t.co/tsMZlhQa7G via @ELLEmagazine — TraceHentz (@StonePony33) December 6, 2018
https://www.elle.com/culture/career-politics/a25384258/congresswomen-preamble-video/

On November 6, 2018, 35 new women were elected to the U.S. House of Representatives, making this incoming class the most diverse by race and gender in the body’s 230-year history. They join nearly 70 women incumbents, resulting in over 100 women representatives. To commemorate the milestone, ELLE.com captured 27 of these Congresswomen-Elect reciting the preamble to the Constitution. 

The Common Wind

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The manuscript was almost published a couple of times. One editor expressed enthusiasm, then abruptly passed. Oxford University Press offered the author — Julius S. Scott, a young historian who had just completed his doctorate at Duke — a contract, along with suggestions for significant revisions. Scott could have made the changes, argued with Oxford, or taken his chances with another press. Instead he set it aside.

And there it stayed for three decades. The Common Wind: Afro-American Currents in the Age of the Haitian Revolution, which traces networks of communication among slaves and sailors in the Caribbean and beyond, was completed in 1987, and it will be published for the first time this month by Verso.

To be clear, this is not the story of a publisher’s dusting off an obscure gem: The Common Wind  has long been revered by historians. Over the years, it’s been passed around, first in photocopies and later as a PDF. In 2008 the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor held …

Deconstructing Race in Western Painting

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Recently a number of female and male black artists, many American, some French, have radically deconstructed the traditional schema of the active male artist depicting a passive female model, questioning its assumptions about gender and race. And so the most interesting part of the exhibition is this third part, the presentation of the black modernists, for here we enter relatively unfamiliar territory.
GOOD READ: Deconstructing Race in Western Painting

Our Hero James Baldwin who died today in 1987

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The Doom and Glory of Knowing Who You Are: James Baldwin on the Empathic Rewards of Reading and What It Means to Be an Artist READ Maria Popova
“A society must assume that it is stable, but the artist must know, and he must let us know, that there is nothing stable under heaven,”James Baldwin (August 2, 1924–December 1, 1987) wrote in his classic 1962 essay “The Creative Process.” By then, he was already one of America’s most celebrated writers — an artist who shook up the baseboards of society by dismantling the structures of power and convention with unflinching fortitude, dignity, and integrity of conviction.

99.9 percent alike

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As law and sociology professor Dorothy Roberts puts it, “No sooner had the Human Genome Project determined that human beings are 99.9 percent alike than many scientists shifted their focus from human genetic commonality to the 0.1 percent of human genetic difference. This difference is increasingly seen as encompassing race.”
(Big Isms Ed. Note: There is no such thing as race but here is racism)As science journalist Carl Zimmer explains, “DNA is not a liquid that can be broken down into microscopic drops.… We inherit about a quarter of our DNA from each grandparent—but only on average.… If you pick one of your ancestors from 10 generations back, the odds are around 50 percent that you carry any DNA from him or her. The odds get even worse beyond that.”  
DNA Tests Make Native Americans Strangers in Their Own Land

Artist Betye Saar on a Sordid History

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Betye Saar’s success relies on her exceptional ability to reconsider master narratives through revised visualizations of history. She is an artist whose work is political but not overwrought, small but not insignificant, gentle but not pliant. She’s also someone who, despite international recognition, lacks the acclaim she deserves. Although her work is present in virtually every museum collection from LACMA to MoMA, Saar’s last major institutional survey show in the US occurred almost 40 years ago in 1980 at the Studio Museum Harlem. Fortunately, LACMA has announced that it will mount another big exhibition in 2019, called Betye Saar: Call and Response. Hopefully that show will expand upon the foundations of Keepin’ It Clean, championing Saar as a clear-eyed historian of one of America’s cruelest chapters. Via

Betye Saar: Keepin’ It Cleancontinues through May 27, 2019 at the New York Historical Society (170 Central Park West, Upper West Side, Manhattan).

An Interview with Natasha Trethewey

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Building a Monument: An Interview with Natasha Trethewey
Lauren LeBlanc, November 15, 2018, The Paris Review



Two-term national Poet Laureate and Pulitzer Prize–winner Natasha Trethewey was born in her mother’s hometown, Gulfport, Mississippi, on April 26, 1966. The daughter of Eric Trethewey and Gwendolyn Ann Turnbough, an interracial couple who traveled from Kentucky to Ohio in order to be legally married, Trethewey shares her birthday with Confederate Memorial Day. I was previously unaware of the holiday, which is still celebrated across the South to commemorate the deaths of Confederate soldiers. Upon the inauguration of Barack Obama, pundits announced we had entered a postracial era. 
Roughly a decade later, it is easy to say that white supremacy is stronger than it’s been since the civil rights movement. 

Talking with Trethewey on the phone, we noted the different ways that signals and symbols of white supremacy—beyond the obvious statues and memorials—continue to stan…

Last Slave Ships to Land in U.S.

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New Wanderer Memory Trail Honors Survivors of One of Last Slave Ships to Land in U.S.
Jekyll Island Authority, November 19, 2018, PRNewswire



JEKYLL ISLAND, Ga., Nov. 19, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- It was a stirring afternoon of remembrance here last Saturday as representatives from the Jekyll Island Authority officially opened the Wanderer Memory Trail, which tells the moving story of the survivors of the Wanderer, the last known slave ship to land in Georgia and also one of the last known slave ships to arrive in the United States.

Located on the southern end of this Georgia barrier island, the Wanderer Memory Trail is nestled along the banks of the Jekyll River, near the point where the Wandererillegally came ashore on Nov. 28, 1858, with more than 400 enslaved Africans on board.

The new trail walks visitors through the true story of Umwalla, a young African boy brought to America on that ship 160 years ago this month.  Through a series of interactive exhibits along the trail, th…

20th Annual Frederick Douglass Book Prize

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Rutgers and Harvard Professors Share the 20th Annual Frederick Douglass Book Prize
November 19, 2018

The 2018 Frederick Douglass Book Prize will be shared by two scholars: Erica Armstrong Dunbar for “Never Caught: The Washingtons’ Relentless Pursuit of Their Runaway Slave, Ona Judge” (37Ink/Atria Books); and Tiya Miles for “The Dawn of Detroit: A Chronicle of Slavery and Freedom in the City of the Straits” (The New Press). Dunbar is the Charles and Mary Beard Professor of History at Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey. Miles is professor of history and the Radcliffe Alumnae Professor at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University. The Douglass Prize was created jointly by the Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance, and Abolition at Yale University’s MacMillan Center and the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History in New York City. It is awarded annually by the Gilder Lehrman Center for the best book written in English on sl…

The (very)(real) Green Book

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The Green Book Redux https://t.co/HgZhZlxc70pic.twitter.com/YFPZYz6lzk — 99 Percent Invisible (@99piorg) November 21, 2018
Listen here

"GOIN' ON"

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Charon taught a new call-and response song written at a Poor People’s Campaign gathering by Minnesotan Ruth MacKenzie. Here are the first and last verses of “Goin’ On”:
There’s a racial justice movement goin’ on, goin’ on Put your ear to the ground, feel the power movin’ around There’s a racial justice movement goin’ on
There’s a cultural revolution goin’ on, goin’ on Put your ear to the ground, feel the power movin’ around There’s a cultural revolution goin’ on, goin’ on READ ABOUT CULTURE/SHIFT 02018

Documenting Hate

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Elevator - Racism. It Stops With Me

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What are you? #Hapa

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Artist Kip Fulbeck created The Hapa Project in 2001, traveling the country to photograph over 1,200 volunteers who identified as Hapa. The Hapa Project’s goal was to promote awareness and recognition of the millions of Hapas in the United States; to give voice to multiracial people and other previously ignored ethnic groups; to dispel myths around exoticism, hybrid superiority, and racial homogeneity; and to foster positive identity formation in multiracial children.
In 2006, Fulbeck published the first book and premiered kip fulbeck: part asian, 100% hapa, the first museum exhibition to explicitly explore Hapa identity. That exhibition remains one of the most popular in the history of the Japanese American National Museum, setting attendance records before traveling throughout the US and abroad.
The exhibition broke new ground in exploring identity through photographic portraits of mixed-race subjects, paired with the participants’ handwritten responses to the typically posed question…

Killer?

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First generation graduate hopes to impact marginalized

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In the News: Rules of Uber-Rich

Jeff Bezos's personal wealth has grown by $36 billion *just this year* and taxpayers are being forced to build him helipads. It's a brazen display of corporate dominance. There are sound left AND right arguments against this: it's a matter of subservience vs. independence — Michael Tracey (@mtracey) November 14, 2018

It is essential to understand the pathologies of the uber-rich. They have seized total political power. These pathologies inform Donald Trump, his children, the Brett Kavanaughs, and the billionaires who run his administration. The uber-rich cannot see the world from anyone’s perspective but their own. People around them, including the women whom entitled men prey upon, are objects designed to gratify momentary lusts or be manipulated. The uber-rich are almost always amoral. Right. Wrong. Truth. Lies. Justice. Injustice. These concepts are beyond them. Whatever benefits or pleases them is good. What does not must be destroyed. READ MORE 



“A white suprema…

Racism is behind outlandish theories about Africa’s and America's ancient architecture

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In a piece for the online journal The Conversation rather frankly titled “Racism is Behind Outlandish Theories about Africa’s Ancient Architecture,” Julien Benoit, a postdoctoral researcher in vertebrate paleontology at the University of the Witwatersrand (South Africa), addressed the continued harm of these theories:
Firstly, these people try to prove their theories by travelling the world and desecrating ancient artefacts. Secondly, they perpetuate and give air to the racist notion that only Europeans – white people – ever were and ever will be capable of such architectural feats. via

If we look to von Däniken’s work, there can be little doubt that his racial beliefs influenced his extraterrestrial theories. After a short stint in jail for fraud and either writing or appropriating the material for a number of other books that developed his ancient astronauts theory, von Däniken published Signs of the Gods? in 1979. It is here that many of his racial views are most boldly …

Louisiana approves unanimous jury requirement, scrapping Jim Crow-era law

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Louisiana approves unanimous jury requirement, scrapping Jim Crow-era law
Julia O'Donoghue, November 6, 2018, The Times-Picayune



Louisiana voted Tuesday (Nov. 6) to require unanimous juries for all felony convictions involving crimes that take place after 2018. The voters approved a state constitutional amendment ending a Jim-Crow era law that has dominated the state’s legal system.

“You, now, ladies and gentlemen have ended 138 years of Jim Crow,” said state Sen. J.P. Morrell, D-New Orleans, at a campaign victory party Tuesday night. Morrell sponsored the legislation that resulted in the amendment. “You have fundamentally changed criminal justice in Louisiana.”

Louisiana and Oregon are the only two states that allow juries that aren’t unanimous to send people to prison. Louisiana is the only state in the country where a 12-person jury verdict of 11-1 or 10-2 can result in someone spending the rest of their life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Voters decide…

Painting people and communities coming undone

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Influenced by Picasso’s Blue Period, Malik Roberts explores the repercussions of generational poverty, racism, and violence in Black communities using monochromatic hues.

READ: A Portrait of Black Mental Health in Hues of Black and Blue

White Supremacists at work

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...in fact, since 9/11 more Americans have been killed on U.S. soil by white supremacists and the far-right than by any other foreign or domestic terrorist group combined.
listen:
https://megaphone.link/PPY5685190332

'Decolonizing Wealth'

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In his new book, "Decolonizing Wealth," Native author and philanthropist Edgar Villanueva confronts the colonial dynamics at play in philanthropy and builds a framework centered on communities of color.  
How has philanthropy developed over time and how has it been used to uplift colonialism?
There have always been generous people, so I’m not undermining some of the good intention that has happened through the years of philanthropy and the role it has played in supporting progress in this country. But our DNA as a [philanthropic] sector is very much similarly connected with the DNA of colonization. And that is the idea of hoarding wealth, using colonization so it has the mantra of dividing, exploiting, and conquering. In a way, [wealthy people asserting that they’re] superior in order to grow wealth.  When you look back at some of the early work, like the Rockefeller Foundation, it sort of started out of a crisis for the corporation in needing to save face. So the…

Harlem Uprising 1964

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READ

September 27, 2016
But, whether or not Don King wants to stand up as the black vocal minority, there is no black silent majority endorsing Trump or this latest iteration of Rockefeller’s drug laws. And before calling for another era of “stop-and-frisk,” Trump might want to listen to Gil Scott-Heron first:
No knockin’, head rockin’, inter-shockin’
Shootin’, cussin’, killin’, cryin’, lyin’
And bein’ white
But if you’re wise, no knocker
You’ll tell your no-knockin’ lackeys
Ha!
No knock on my brother’s head
No knock on my sister’s head
No knock on my brother’s head
No knock on my sister’s head
And double lock your door
Because soon someone may be no-knockin’
Ha, ha!
For youGarrett Felber is a scholar of 20th-century African American history at the University of Michigan in the American Culture Department. His scholarship has been published in the Journal of African American History, South African Music Studies, and SOULS. He has also contributed to The Guardian, The Marshall Pro…

The Origins of Prison Slavery

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The Origins of Prison Slavery
Shane Bauer, October 2, 2018, Slate



In August, an organization called the Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee announced that prisoners in at least 17 states had pledged to stage a strike to protest prison conditions. It is unclear how many inmates actually took part in the 19-day strike, but organizers said “thousands“ refused to work, staged sit-ins, and turned away meals to demand “an immediate end to prison slavery.” Nationwide, inmates’ labor is essential to running prisons. They cook, clean, do laundry, cut hair, and fulfill numerous administrative tasks for cents on the dollar, if anything, in hourly pay. Prisoners have been used to package Starbucks coffee and make lingerie. In California, inmates volunteer to fight the state’s wildfires for just $1 an hour plus $2 per day.

The link between prison labor and slavery is not merely rhetorical. At the end of the Civil War, the 13th amendment abolished slavery “except as a punishment f…

Hale County This Morning This Evening Official Trailer

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A poetic cinematic portrait of Hale County, Alabama: its people, their dreams, and their day to day lives. It focuses in on two young black men, Daniel and Quincy, and on their paths. This film bends the definition of a documentary and a narrative, using creative visual imagery to give a new way of seeing and experiencing the environment.

Equality isn't a box

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“I’ve always had an interest in American racial history,” she continues, “and I think we can see that there are still wounds that haven’t been properly healed. I know that it’s frightening for people to talk about but unless you do, they’re never going to be healed. We’re learning that this isn’t something to be solved; it’s a continuing conversation. Equality isn’t a box we can just tick and be done with.” - Ruth Neggaread 

Loving is tapping into something, and it’s not about politics... People need a couple like Richard and Mildred now; they need to know that change from a grassroots level is possible, that there is hope...”
Yesterday we obeyed kings and bent our necks before emperors. But today we kneel only to truth, follow only beauty, and obey only love.
~Kahlil Gibran (1883 –1931), Lebanese American artist, poet, and writer.

sexism is the primal, or first, form of oppression in humanity

Sexism is a form of oppression and domination. As author Octavia Butler put it, "Simple peck-order bullying is only the beginning of the kind of hierarchical behavior that can lead to racism, sexism, ethnocentrism, classism, and all the other 'isms' that cause so much suffering in the world."

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Little Man Little Man

White Fragility

Reparations?

02019 and beyond - this topic is coming up and we need more information.