Monthly Archives: February 2012

We Are Our Brothers Keepers

A boy buys an apple from Peaches & Greens driver Diane Brown
in Detroit, July 2009. Five days a week, the truck winds its way
through the streets selling fruits and vegetables. It's stocked like
a small market and designed to get affordable produce poor
families that do not have cars and homebound seniors. Many
advocates for the poor fear hunger and the consumption of
unhealthy foods will surge this year as Michigan pushes
poor people out of its welfare program at a faster pace.
 
 

The Richest …Most Powerful…Most Philanthropic…The Mightiest…Country in the World.

A country where one political candidate spends 70 million dollars of his own money in a political campaign …and another political candidate spends 110 million of her own money in a political campaign.

Where the richest in this country do not want the poorest in this country to have health insurance.

Where millionaires and billionaires pledge and spend hundreds of millions of dollars to insure inequality while maintaining the status quo.

Where 1% of the population can manipulate health insurance, other insurances, housing prices, gas prices, and the stock market.

Where hundreds of millions of dollars are being spent to unseat a Black president who wants to provide for all citizens.

Where a racist political party votes against every program to put people to work earning a decent wage and the resulting ability to feed families.

Where 45 million children in this country are in poverty.

Where one so-called News Channel, racist to its core, can flagrantly lie 24/7 and they are not called out or challenged by real journalists.

Where many millionaire Black professional athletes, millionaire Black professional musicians and singers, millionaire Black entertainers and actors, are conspicuously silent when it comes to social issues and conditions of many who look like them, and who apparently do not know how they got to where they are.

Where money is first and taking care the human condition of brotherhood and sisterhood is not even considered.

What is wrong with this picture?

 

Rest In Peace Whitney Houston…The Voice

Several of my Facebook friends commented on this picture and bemoaned the fact that no one is doing anything for the millions who die.

I think it is unfair to take the advantage of the adulation after a person’s death and somehow compare that to the various ills of the World's Society…as if it is that person’s fault. Like all of us, Whitney made her share of mistakes; however that does not diminish her star as an exceedingly outstanding talent.

So let’s do this….Let’s take the money used to sponsor the Grammys, the Oscars, the Tonys, the Super Bowl and Super Bowl parties-both home and Commercially sponsored, the Baseball All-Star game, Advertising on TV, Advertising on Radio, Mardi Gras, Super Bowl Parades, the end of football season college football bowl games…then let’s have EVERYBODY set aside 5 dollars a week…then let's take the hundreds of millions being donated by so-called spendthrift conservatives to oust a President who is trying to do something about the plight of those who need and do not have…let's "BUNDLE" all of that money and deposit all of that money is a Humanitarian Fund…and then use that money to house the homeless and feed the starving both in this country and throughout the world.

But let's remember Whitney Houston's talent and music legacy…and let HER SOUL Rest In Peace. She is not the cause nor the cure of the ills of the World.

Picture ….from the 'Being Liberal' Web Site/Facebook Page

Whitney Houston – I Will Always Love You

William Edward Burghardt Du Bois (NAACP History)

 

William Edward Burghardt Du Bois (February 23, 1868 – August 27, 1963) was an American civil rights activist, leader, Pan-Africanist, sociologist, educator, historian, writer, editor, poet, and scholar. He became a naturalized citizen of Ghana in 1963 at the age of 95.

On Feb. 23, 1868, W. E. B. Du Bois was born in Great Barrington, Mass., where he grew up. During his youth he did some newspaper reporting. In 1884 he graduated as valedictorian from high school. He got his bachelor of arts from Fisk University in Nashville, Tenn., in 1888, having spent summers teaching in African American schools in Nashville's rural areas. In 1888 he entered Harvard University as a junior, took a bachelor of arts cum laude in 1890, and was one of six commencement speakers. From 1892 to 1894 he pursued graduate studies in history and economics at the University of Berlin on a Slater Fund fellowship. He served for 2 years as professor of Greek and Latin at Wilberforce University in Ohio.

In 1891 Du Bois got his master of arts and in 1895 his doctorate in history from Harvard. His dissertation, The Suppression of the African Slave Trade to the United States of America, 1638-1870, was published as No. 1 in the Harvard Historical Series. This important work has yet to be surpassed. In 1896 he married Nina Gomer, and they had two children.

In 1896-1897 Du Bois became assistant instructor in sociology at the University of Pennsylvania. There he conducted the pioneering sociological study of an urban community, published as The Philadelphia Negro: A Social Study (1899). These first two works assured Du Bois's place among America's leading scholars.

Du Bois's life and work were an inseparable mixture of scholarship, protest activity, and polemics. All of his efforts were geared toward gaining equal treatment for black people in a world dominated by whites and toward marshaling and presenting evidence to refute the myths of racial inferiority.

As Racial Activist

In 1905 Du Bois was a founder and general secretary of the Niagara movement, an African American protest group of scholars and professionals. Du Bois founded and edited the Moon (1906) and the Horizon (1907-1910) as organs for the Niagara movement. In 1909 Du Bois was among the founders of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and from 1910 to 1934 served it as director of publicity and research, a member of the board of directors, and editor of the Crisis, its monthly magazine.

In the Crisis, Du Bois directed a constant stream of agitation–often bitter and sarcastic–at white Americans while serving as a source of information and pride to African Americans. The magazine always published young African American writers. Racial protest during the decade following World War I focused on securing anti-lynching legislation. During this period the NAACP was the leading protest organization and Du Bois its leading figure.

In 1934 Du Bois resigned from the NAACP board and from the Crisis because of his new advocacy of an African American nationalist strategy: African American controlled institutions, schools, and economic cooperatives. This approach opposed the NAACP's commitment to integration. However, he returned to the NAACP as director of special research from 1944 to 1948. During this period he was active in placing the grievances of African Americans before the United Nations, serving as a consultant to the UN founding convention (1945) and writing the famous "An Appeal to the World" (1947).

Du Bois was a member of the Socialist party from 1910 to 1912 and always considered himself a Socialist. In 1948 he was cochairman of the Council on African Affairs; in 1949 he attended the New York, Paris, and Moscow peace congresses; in 1950 he served as chairman of the Peace Information Center and ran for the U.S. Senate on the American Labor party ticket in New York. In 1950-1951 Du Bois was tried and acquitted as an agent of a foreign power in one of the most ludicrous actions ever taken by the American government. Du Bois traveled widely throughout Russia and China in 1958-1959 and in 1961 joined the Communist party of the United States. He also took up residence in Ghana, Africa, in 1961.

Pan-Africanism

Du Bois was also active in behalf of pan-Africanism and concerned with the conditions of people of African descent wherever they lived. In 1900 he attended the First Pan-African Conference held in London, was elected a vice president, and wrote the "Address to the Nations of the World." The Niagara movement included a "pan-African department." In 1911 Du Bois attended the First Universal Races Congress in London along with black intellectuals from Africa and the West Indies.

Du Bois organized a series of pan-African congresses around the world, in 1919, 1921, 1923, and 1927. The delegations comprised intellectuals from Africa, the West Indies, and the United States. Though resolutions condemning colonialism and calling for alleviation of the oppression of Africans were passed, little concrete action was taken. The Fifth Congress (1945, Manchester, England) elected Du Bois as chairman, but the power was clearly in the hands of younger activists, such as George Padmore and Kwame Nkrumah, who later became significant in the independence movements of their respective countries. Du Bois's final pan-African gesture was to take up citizenship in Ghana in 1961 at the request of President Kwame Nkrumah and to begin work as director of the Encyclopedia Africana.

As Scholar

Du Bois's most lasting contribution is his writing. As poet, playwright, novelist, essayist, sociologist, historian, and journalist, he wrote 21 books, edited 15 more, and published over 100 essays and articles. Only a few of his most significant works will be mentioned here.

From 1897 to 1910 Du Bois served as professor of economics and history at Atlanta University, where he organized conferences titled the Atlanta University Studies of the Negro Problem and edited or co-edited 16 of the annual publications, on such topics as The Negro in Business (1899), The Negro Artisan (1902), The Negro Church (1903), Economic Cooperation among Negro Americans (1907), and The Negro American Family (1908). Other significant publications were The Souls of Black Folk: Essays and Sketches (1903), one of the outstanding collections of essays in American letters, and John Brown (1909), a sympathetic portrayal published in the American Crisis Biographies series.

Du Bois also wrote two novels, The Quest of the Silver Fleece (1911) and Dark Princess: A Romance (1928); a book of essays and poetry, Darkwater: Voices from within the Veil (1920); and two histories of black people, The Negro (1915) and The Gift of Black Folk: Negroes in the Making of America (1924).

From 1934 to 1944 Du Bois was chairman of the department of sociology at Atlanta University. In 1940 he founded Phylon, a social science quarterly. Black Reconstruction in America, 1860-1880 (1935), perhaps his most significant historical work, details the role of African Americans in American society, specifically during the Reconstruction period. The book was criticized for its use of Marxist concepts and for its attacks on the racist character of much of American historiography. However, it remains the best single source on its subject.

Black Folk, Then and Now (1939) is an elaboration of the history of black people in Africa and the New World. Color and Democracy: Colonies and Peace (1945) is a brief call for the granting of independence to Africans, and The World and Africa: An Inquiry into the Part Which Africa Has Played in World History (1947; enlarged ed. 1965) is a major work anticipating many later scholarly conclusions regarding the significance and complexity of African history and culture. A trilogy of novels, collectively entitled The Black Flame (1957, 1959, 1961), and a selection of his writings, An ABC of Color (1963), are also worthy.

Du Bois received many honorary degrees, was a fellow and life member of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and a member of the National Institute of Arts and Letters. He was the outstanding African American intellectual of his period in America.

Du Bois died in Ghana on Aug. 27, 1963, on the eve of the civil rights march in Washington, D.C. He was given a state funeral, at which Kwame Nkrumah remarked that he was "a phenomenon."

http://www.naacp.org/pages/naacp-history-w.e.b.-dubois

Don Cornelius, Founder of Soul Train, Dies (New York Times)

Don Cornelius, ‘Soul Train’ Creator, Is Dead
By JAMES C. McKINLEY Jr.
Published: February 1, 2012

Don Cornelius, the producer and television host who created the dance show “Soul Train,” was found shot dead in his Los Angeles home early Wednesday morning in what appears to be a suicide, the Los Angeles Police Department and the county coroner’s office said. He was 75.

A person called the police from Mr. Cornelius’s house on Mulholland Drive in the Sherman Oaks neighborhood just before 4 a.m. and reported shots had been fired, a police spokesman, Chris No, said. When officers arrived, they were let into the house and found Mr. Cornelius lying lifeless on the floor with a gunshot wound to the head that appeared to be self-inflicted, said the Los Angeles County assistant chief coroner, Ed Winter.

Mr. Cornelius was taken to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead at 4:56 a.m., Mr. Winter said. “It was reported as a suicide, a self-inflicted wound,” he said. “I have investigators at the hospital.”

“Soul Train” was one of the longest-running syndicated shows in television history and played a critical role in spreading the music of black America to the world, offering wide exposure to musicians like James Brown, Aretha Franklin and Michael Jackson in the 1970s and 1980s.

“I am shocked and deeply saddened at the sudden passing of my friend, colleague and business partner Don Cornelius,” said Quincy Jones, according to the Associated Press. “Don was a visionary pioneer and a giant in our business. Before MTV, there was ‘Soul Train.’ That will be the great legacy of Don Cornelius. His contributions to television, music and our culture as a whole will never be matched. My heart goes out to Don’s family and loved ones.”

Mr. Cornelius, a former disc jockey, created the show in 1970 in Chicago on WCIU-TV and served as its writer, producer and host. Quickly becoming a success, the show was first broadcast nationally in 1971, beginning a 35-year run.

“As always in parting, we wish you love, peace, and soul.”  – Don Cornelius.

There were many a Saturday spent watching Soul Train. It brought Black artists to us the way that American Bandstand did for White artists.