HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » Blue_Tires » Journal
Page: 1 2 Next »


Profile Information

Gender: Male
Hometown: VA
Home country: USA
Current location: VA
Member since: 2003 before July 6th
Number of posts: 55,432

About Me

I'm still living... Twitter: @glitchy_ashburn

Journal Archives

I've just got to throw up my hands...


I know there are a lot less African/African-American DUers than there used to be, so I'm getting tired of fighting these racial dust-ups single-handedly...

I've been here a long time (probably too long), but the past couple of years the tone has been steadily worsening (The Trayvon Martin case was my personal tipping point)...I've bit my tongue, brushed off minor transgressions, and let a LOT of shit slide, but seeing the indefensible defended is the last straw -- DU never, EVER used to entertain these arguments from beyond the pale, and now I'm seeing them almost daily...

The funniest Manti Te'o Memes on the Internet


'Segregation Forever': A Fiery Pledge Forgiven, But Not Forgotten

It was just a single line in a speech given 50 years ago today. But that one phrase, "segregation now, segregation tomorrow and segregation forever," is remembered as one of the most vehement rallying cries against racial equality in American history.

The year was 1963. Civil rights activists were fighting for equal access to schools and the voting booth, and the federal government was preparing to intervene in many Southern states.

And on Jan. 14, in Montgomery, Ala., newly elected Gov. George Wallace, a Democrat, stepped up to a podium to deliver his inaugural address.

Historian Dan Carter, who wrote The Politics of Rage, a biography of George Wallace, recalls how the streets of Montgomery were packed the day of Wallace's inauguration. His followers from across the state crowded around the platform, Carter says, "many of them wearing these white flowers, which were meant to symbolize their commitment to white supremacy."

All of the major news networks covered Wallace's inaugural address on national television that day. And Wallace, Carter says, decided to "milk that for everything that he can."

The late Wayne Greenhaw, a newspaper reporter in Montgomery at the time, made a similar observation. "He was putting on a show. He marched back and forth, shook his fist," Greenhaw recalled shortly before his death in 2011. "He was promising that he would stand alone for the Southern cause and the cause of the white people."

Wallace's speech — and its delivery — was "vehement ... mean spirited ... hateful. It's like a rattlesnake was hissing it, almost," Greenhaw said.

"Let us send this message back to Washington, via the representatives who are here with us today," Wallace told the crowd. "From this day, we are standing up, and the heel of tyranny does not fit the neck of an upright man.

"Let us rise to the call of freedom-loving blood that is in us, and send our answer to the tyranny that clanks its chains upon the South," Wallace declared from the podium. "In the name of the greatest people that have ever trod this earth, I draw a line in the dust and toss the gauntlet before the feet of tyranny, and I say, segregation now, segregation tomorrow and segregation forever."


Wallace almost sounds tame compared to today's wingnut rhetoric...

'Segregation now' for poor America more than black America

MONTGOMERY, Alabama – Monday morning I ran 11 miles as part of my training for the Phoenix Rock 'n Roll Marathon this Sunday.

At mile 10.5, I ran up the steps of the capitol and tapped on the massive front wooden door, seen behind George Wallace in this picture.

The photograph was taken exactly 50 years ago Monday, the day Wallace was inaugurated governor and infamously declared "segregation now, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever."

At that moment, I felt I was celebrating some sort of victory as an African-American born the year Wallace took that oath. In this country, my people have witnessed tremendous gains: President Johnson signing the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the growth of a large black middle class and, now, the first U.S. president of black African descent.

In a sense, the struggle is over. But, unfortunately, a new one has arisen and overcoming it seems more daunting than gaining basic rights ever was.

That struggle, I believe, is "classism."

Race still matters in this country and -- for those who hold deeply ingrained prejudices-- it will always determine some peoples' view of the worth of other humans.

But in 2013, class -- and the access to education and financial stability that usually comes with it -- is what is segregating people in this society.

Classism affects all races and ethnic groups but it is particularly discernible in black America. I know, because I've lived it.

I am the poster child for Martin Luther King, Jr.'s 1963 dream; I was born, in fact, on August 23, 1963, the very day King delivered that most heartrending speech of our ages...


African Americans Reflect on Obama 2nd Inauguration

WASHINGTON — Americans from across the nation will converge on Washington, DC, next Monday (January 21) for the second inauguration of President Barack Obama. The moment will be especially meaningful for millions of African Americans who will again witness history as the first African American President is sworn in for a second four-year term.

Some Delta Sigma Theta sorority sisters are celebrating the second inauguration of President Barack Obama. Francine and Cynthia Blake from Ohio see great significance in the president's second term.

“We have come a long way, a long way. It just touches and warms my heart because for me I may not ever see another African American in office as high as he is,"said Francine.

“The great significance and importance about it is the fact that he needs to promote and protect the middle class, the middle working class," added Cynthia.

These women are in Washington to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the sorority - which is the largest African-American women’s organization in the world. The 260,000-member group, along with other black voters, helped propel President Obama to victory last November.

Political Science teacher Vanessa Kidd-Thomas says the election result illustrates the power blacks have at the ballot box.

“I think when President Barack Obama was reelected it reaffirmed that if African Americans are politically involved and collaborate and work together with other groups that we can positively change America," she said.

Brenda Moncriffe, from Louisiana, lived through violent chapters of the civil rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s.

“For years we ((African Americans)) have fought for equal rights, voting rights and all sorts of rights. When Barack Obama is inaugurated for a second time it surely shows what we can do. Not only does it show what we can do, it shows our youngsters what they can do and what they can be," she said...

The Cost Of Being A Nation Of 'Soul Food Junkies'

You are what you eat, the old saying goes. But if you change what you eat, are you fundamentally changing who you are?

That question underlies much of the new documentary Soul Food Junkies, premiering Monday night on PBS' Independent Lens series. Director Byron Hurt's highly personal, often funny film explores how traditional Southern comfort fare became entwined with African-American identity. And it asks whether this food, often loaded with salt, fat and sugar, is doing its consumers more harm than good.

The film was inspired by Hurt's father, Jackie Hurt, who lost his battle with pancreatic cancer in 2007. He was overweight and in poor health.

"When he became ill, I started to examine his relationship to food," Hurt tells NPR's Michel Martin, "and it was soul food he grew up with and loved so much."

It's a love affair with deep roots in the African-American community. As the film recounts, soul food was survival food in the black South. Dishes were inspired by a need to make do with what slaves could access: greens they grew themselves, leftover meat parts like pig ears and feet, and cheap foods like rice and yams loaded with calories to fuel a field slave's work. Some of these recipes had origins in Africa. (Gumbo, we learn, was the West African word for "okra."

And during the civil rights era, it was soul food purveyors like Ms. Peaches of Peaches Restaurant in Jackson, Miss., who fed demonstrators and helped keep the movement going — at no small risk to themselves. "Black women have done so much to sustain us as a community and as a culture," Hurt says. "Ms. Peaches is one example of a woman who used her culinary skills and her courage to help feed the civil rights movement."

But even at that time, when places like Sylvia's in Harlem were bringing soul food to a wider audience, some in the African-American community were raising questions about soul food's toll on health. Nation of Islam leaders denounced soul food as "slave food," while comedian Dick Gregory, who became a vegetarian in the '60s, termed it "death food..."


Rutgers-Camden Scholar Clears up Misconceptions about Hoodoo

CAMDEN – When browsing through novelty stores, one might find an old-fashioned Hoodoo remedy that promises to ward off bad vibes and change luck. But a Rutgers-Camden scholar says there’s much more to Hoodoo than hex-breaking oils and candles.

In her new book, Mojo Workin’: The Old African-American Hoodoo System (University of Illinois Press, 2012), Katrina Hazzard-Donald tells the true story of the African-American tradition of herbal healing.

“Scholars who write about African traditions in the United States have become concerned over the work that has been done by those who are outsiders to cultural traditions,” says Hazzard-Donald, an associate professor of sociology, anthropology and criminal justice at Rutgers-Camden. “For example, some of the material on African culture and tradition presents premises that are inaccurate. This has happened a lot with Hoodoo.”

Hoodoo is a form of traditional African-American folk magic that developed from a combination of beliefs of a number of separate African cultures after they came to the United States during the slave trade.

It is not to be confused with Voodoo or Vodoun, a West African religion, although Hoodoo began as a religion and lost its religious status after the 1880s.

In her book, Hazzard-Donald says Hoodoo first emerged in the southeastern United States when people from West African tribes of the Congo, Sierra Leone, and present-day Ghana came to America.

“The cultural profile of those three regions is very different and the religions are different,” Hazzard-Donald says. “But after 1807, the African slaves are united under a common material culture and Hoodoo begins to emerge out of these three distinct African religious traditions."

Hazzard-Donald says Hoodoo beliefs are purely naturalistic and practices used naturally obtained supplies like herbs, minerals, and even animals. For example, “chewing the root” was done to release the sap of a plant to conjure spiritual power.

However, Hoodoo practices began to be commercially marketed, modified, and fabricated.

“A tremendous amount of exploitation has taken place among merchants and Hoodoo emerges as a commercial enterprise right around World War I among people who were not believers or practitioners even though they were willing to sell it,” Hazzard-Donald explains. “What many people start to see is something that I call commercialized or tourist Hoodoo. It has been presented as the ‘real authentic’ Hoodoo.”

Commercial marketers gleaned information from partial conversations with people uneducated on Hoodoo practices and other faulty assumptions, Hazzard-Donald says.

In commercial marketing, one might see “hot foot” powder, which is derived from a misunderstanding of the traditional “spell” known as “the walkin' foot,” which was designed to make victims walk in unusual ways, or make their legs tremble.

It’s the kind of novelty item found in many shops in New Orleans and across the country.

“Commercial marketers have capitalized on Hoodoo practices to make money,” Hazzard-Donald says. “I wanted to go back and provide an account of how we turned a traditional African religion into a novelty; to something sold in curial shops. I wanted to point out the shortcomings in these interpretations and show readers what really happened.”

Hazzard-Donald is the director of Rutgers–Camden’s Africana Studies and Research Program. She is the author of Jookin: The Rise of Social Dance Formations in African-American Culture (Temple University Press, 1992) and numerous articles on African-American dance and culture.

Jan Carew, 92, first chair of African-American studies at NU

Jan Carew, the first person to chair the department of African-American studies at Northwestern University, was an esteemed writer in his homeland of Guyana, tackling issues of colonialism, class divisions and racism. He also knew Malcolm X, and performed in an acting company with a man considered one of the greatest thespians of all time: Sir Laurence Olivier.

Mr. Carew, 92, died Dec. 6 in Louisville, Ky.

His literary legacy “is quite considerable,” said Al Creighton, head of Amerindian Studies at the University of Guyana in Georgetown, Guyana, where his works have been taught. His most well-known novels were probably “Black Midas” and “The Wild Coast,” both published in 1958.

“Black Midas” resonated in Guyana because it told the story of “Shark,” one of the South American country’s tough, adventurous gold miners, known as “Pork Knockers.” Their mythology—independent and ruggedly resourceful — is comparable to that of the American cowboy.

“People recognized it, and it was also representative of a particular aspect of Guyanese life,” Creighton said.

The Pork Knockers are “men who have gone into the Guyanese interior to search for gold, and they tend to work individually,” Creighton said. “They would use crude, primitive methods of mining. They form a distinct, different group from the gold-mining companies.....they came before the big companies.”


‘Black First’ new book by Jessie Carney Smith

Long and slow. That’s how you’d describe every line you’ve ever stepped into.

Don’t you hate that? You’re waiting in line and you see a chance to go to a shorter queue so you change lanes. Suddenly, the line you just left looks like the Indianapolis speedway. And you know what happens if you switch again…

There are definite advantages to being first. In the new book “Black Firsts” by Jessie Carney Smith, you’ll find information on tens of thousands of folks who’ve gone before you – in a good way.

In your lifetime, you’ve seen a lot of big milestones: the first Olympic gold-winning African American gymnast; the first black head of National Security and, of course, Barack Obama as the first black U.S. President.

But Mr. Obama wasn’t the first African American to make White House news.

Read this book and you’ll see that pianist Thomas Greene Bethune was the first black artist to perform there in 1858. A baby named Thomas was the first black child born at the White House in 1806. Booker T. Washington was the first black American to be entertained at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue , and Sammy Davis, Jr. was the first known black entertainer to sleep there.

Speaking of entertainment, Ray Charles was the first person of any race to perform at the Georgia Assembly. This book will also tell you who was the first black singer to appear on TV and when the first recording of black music happened.

You’ll learn that your grandma’s favorite cartoon was drawn by America ’s first black cartoonist. Both Dave Chapelle and Chris Rock broke comedy records in this century. America ’s first black insurance company opened its doors in 1810 and the first black-owned car dealership opened 160 years later. The first known black bookseller started his business in 1834. The world’s first black professional model walked the catwalk in the 1950s and the first black Playboy bunny hopped on the scene in 1965. A black chef was reportedly the creator of potato chips. America ’s first black Mormon elder gained the priesthood in 1836.

And America ’s first black Millionaire lived in New Orleans in 1890.

It’s hard to imagine anything missing from “Black Firsts.” It’s so hard, in fact, that author Jessie Carney Smith challenges readers to find and notify her of other milestones in Black history – but not just in North American black history. You’ll find entries here of things that happened to African Americans, as well as black firsts in other countries around the world, too.


Vermont’s first African American heritage trail opens with 10 sites and exhibits

Vermont’s First African American Heritage Trail Opens with 10 Educational Sites & Exhibits
Statewide events honor Martin Luther King Jr. Day and Black History Month

MONTPELIER, Vt. – When it comes to diversity in this nation, Vermont has a strong history of Firsts. Vermont was the first to abolish slavery in its constitution, and the first state to enroll and graduate a black student, who went on to serve in state legislature.

Vermont Department of Tourism and Marketing honors Vermont’s African American heritage with the new Vermont African American Heritage Trail; 10 sites that explore museums and exhibits where films and tours illuminate the lives of African Americans for whom the Green Mountain State played an integral part of their lives. Visitors will meet teachers, storytellers, activists, ministers and legislators – people unique in history for being the first to attain positions formerly held only by Americans of European descent.

“Vermont is defined not only by the varied people who made our history, but also by our distinct geography. This trail anchors the stories of African descended Vermonters to our landscape and, as such, does a great service in helping to change the history of our state from a predominately white story to what it has always been from the beginning, a multicultural endeavor,” said Elise Guyette, author of “Discovering Black Vermont: African American Farmers in Hinesburgh, 1790-1890.”

The trail includes one of New England’s best documented underground railroad sites, Rokeby Museum, the Old Stone House Museum, which includes the school built by African American Alexander Twilight, Hildene, the Lincoln family home, and exhibits about raconteur Daisy Turner.

“Vermont’s cultural organizations and historians have been eager participants in the development of the Vermont African American Heritage Trail,” Vermont Dept. of Tourism and Marketing Commissioner Megan Smith said. “This speaks to Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin’s intent to showcase our state’s cultural heritage and diversity to residents and travelers alike.”

Go to Page: 1 2 Next »