EVERY CIVIL RIGHTS MOVEMENT IN THIS COUNTRY WAS STARTED BY YOUNG PEOPLE.
THE STRUGGLE CONTINUES!!!
STUDENTS AT THE EXCLUSIVE MIDDLESEX PRIVATE SCHOOL WALK OUT OF CLASSES IN PROTEST OVER THE CANCELLATION OF NIKOLE HANNAH JONES TALK.
Middlesex Private School's decision to disinvite New York Times journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones culminated Friday with hundreds of students walking out of classes in protest.
The students left their classrooms shortly after 1 p.m. and gathered at Eliot Hall on the Concord campus, where printouts of tweets criticizing school leaders for disinviting Hannah-Jones were displayed on the doors. The demonstration was designed to show the students’ “disappointment in our leadership,” an organizer said.
“This decision was made by the leader and not by our school, and our school represents something totally different than the decisions of our leader,” said AliJah Clark, a 17-year-old junior.
The school has been in the spotlight since Monday when Hannah-Jones, a Pulitzer Prize winner and the creator of The 1619 Project, revealed on Twitter that the school had cancelled plans for her to speak on campus next February for Black History Month. The 1619 Project re-examined US history through the lens of slavery’s legacy, and immediately became a target of the political right which sought to discredit the publication and Hannah-Jones.
Speaking to the Globe on Tuesday, she said schools face “intense pressure not to invite speakers that are considered to be focusing too much on race and racism and the Black experience in American history.”
David Beare, Middlesex’s head of school, hinted at that pressure on Tuesday in a statement about the rescinded invitation.
“While we are confident that her insights would have been valued by our students, we were concerned that individuals from outside our community might inadvertently distract from the insights and perspective that she intended to share,” he said.
Since then, officials at the private school have called the decision to disinvite Hannah-Jones “profoundly wrong,” and Beare has met with students twice, including an emotional session on Thursday, students said. After Thursday’s meeting, students said they met privately with faculty members to discuss plans to seek “accountability, apologies, and transparency,” and stage demonstrations until their goals are achieved.
Nearly 100 faculty and staff members also wrote an open letter to the school’s trustees, saying they opposed the rescinded invitation. They called on trustees to have Beare “formally apologize to Ms. Hannah-Jones, as well as to the school, which he deprived of an exceptional moment of learning.”
“We also ask the Board to take action, in partnership with the faculty and staff, to rebuild our trust and to regain the community’s confidence in Middlesex’s commitment to the anti-racism work that is so vital to the growth and future of our school,” they wrote.
On Friday, Onyeraluobu Chibuogwu, a senior, said students have been striving to implement anti-racist initiatives at the school and believed school leaders’ encouragement had been “performative” in light of the Hannah-Jones decision.
Picture-AliJah Clark, left, and Onyeraluobu Chibuogwu, students at Middlesex School, protested the school's decision to disinvite Nikole Hannah-Jones from speaking at the school on Friday.)
ONE YEAR AGO TODAY...
Art Republic "officially" unveiled the "Lift Every Voice" murals on the Forsyth Street side of the Jessie Ball duPont Fund Center (formerly the Haydon Burns library).
It is an honor to have my image on one of the murals, and it was an honor to speak that night last year. Although I am appreciative and humble that my image is there, my image is symbolic and representative of those young Black people in Jacksonville who disregarded physical peril by participating in the 1960 lunch counter sit-ins demonstrations to fight Racism, and to "sit down" fighting against Jacksonville's Racism, for their Black Human Dignity and Respect. We Believed in "we and us," and not "I and me."
And though WE, the members of the Jacksonville Youth Council NAACP circa 1960 protesting Racism peacefully through sit-in demonstrations were attacked, and other Blacks not associated with the sit-ins were also attacked downtown on that August 27 Saturday in 1960 by 200 White Racist thugs with ax handles and baseball bats, to a person, WE would do it All again.
It is a priceless personal honor to share a public mural with Mr. Rutledge Henry Pearson-my Junior High school (Isaiah Blocker Junior High) American History teacher, my Junior High school Civics teacher...the adviser to the1959-1961 Jacksonville Youth Council NAACP (when I was President of the Jacksonville Youth Council NAACP, and led the 1960 lunch counter sit-ins with Alton Yates, and Marjorie Meeks Brown) ...and my Mentor.
There are 3 murals-one mural features the Revered Zora Neale Hurston and the Very Talented Ebony Payne-English...one mural features Jacksonville "Angel" Eartha M. M. White and the Majestic (and my friend) Dr. Johnnetta Betsch Cole...and the third mural between these esteemed ladies, is Mr. Pearson and me.
It was also priceless for my son, Rodney Hurst II, to introduce me as one of the speakers for the unveiling. I, in turn, officially introduced my great-granddaughter, Miss Everly Ann Dorrell, to Jacksonville last year. It was her public debut. All in all, it was a Grand evening.
Thank you Jessica Santiago and Art Republic...thank you Mari Kuraishi and the Jessie Ball duPont Fund...thank you Muralist Par Excellente' Celso Quinones Gonzalez ...thank you Photographer Artist, Videographer, and Video Director Christopher Parsons...thank you to all of the artists, involved with this awesome project...and thank you again, to my family and friends, who were there last year to share with me. And though Ann was not "physically" there, her "Spirit" was there, and her "Love" was there, as she looked down smiling.
(The original photos for the mural of Ebony Payne-English, and of my mural by the gifted photographer, Ingrid Damiani.)
THE RACIST ANIMALS WHO HUNTED AND MURDERED AHMAUD ARBERY DON’T WANT HIM TO BE REFERRED TO AS A VICTIM IN COURT…AND THEY DO NOT WANT “THEIR" RACIST VANITY PLATES SHOWN.
The vanity plate includes a Confederate flag on the front of the pick up truck that was used to chase Arbery on Feb. 23, 2020 in a Brunswick neighborhood before he was shot to death.
Father and son Gregory McMichael and Travis McMichael said the license plate on Travis' truck "is not relevant and would be prejudicial," according to a motion filed on Sept. 30 asking the judge to ban it from trial.
The McMichaels’ lawyers have also filed a motion asking that prosecutors be barred from referring to Arbery as a “victim." IF AHMAUD ARBERY IS NOT A VICTIM, WHAT THE HELL IS HE?
The motion also alleges that prosecutors hope to use the Confederate emblem on the truck to do the following:
"1. To draw the conclusion that Mr. Arbery saw the vanity plate, that he interpreted its meaning, and that he feared the occupants in the truck because of this vanity plate, which is why he ran away from the truck and ...
"2. To create the inference that Travis McMichael placed the vanity plate on his truck in order to telegraph some reprehensible motive, bias, or prejudice, which is not true."
"... The fact that defendant Travis McMichael knowingly, intentionally and purposefully attached vanity plate to the front of his truck for all the world to see, has nothing to do with the State's strategic decision regarding third party communications that show racial animus," prosecutors stated in their response to the motion to ban images of plate. "Defendant Travis Michael's choice, and the fact that this vanity plate was on the front of his pick-up truck on Feb. 23, 2020, are intrinsic evidence in this case and can be fully be used by the State to illustrate the intent and motive of Travis McMichael."
WHITE PRIVILEGE AND WHITE RACISM.
I POSTED, "YOU CANNOT USE JACKSONVILLE AND PROGRESSIVE IN THE SAME SENTENCE", earlier on Facebook. Nothing is truer, for me. And as expected, I received “pro and con” comments from my "Facebook Friends." BTW-I purge regularly.
From “I know many Progressives in Jacksonville” to “Jacksonville is not as bad as some other places I know” to “I could not disagree with you more.” So, Lets unpack:
1) I did not post MY comments asking for your support or your blessings or your agreement. I could give let’s than a Tinker’s Damn if you agree with me that Jacksonville is NOT Progressive.
2) I do not work for the Jacksonville Chamber of Commerce, so it is not my responsibility to be a Jacksonville Cheerleader.
3) Jacksonville is still very much Racist and even with a Pro Football team. I see very few changes in that.
4) Jacksonville’s religious community both Black and White are as passive and non-threatening as other White folks and Black folks in the Jacksonville community, and they act as if they just found out Jesus Christ was crucified. I don’t know if some of them who believe in the Bible, internalized that Jesus also arose from the dead. But that is how "un-engaged" they are with what is happening in Jacksonville. Speaking out against Racism and For Civil Rights and Against Police Brutality and For Equality...Not From My Pulpit! But let someone give out "pennies" as offerings to FIGHT CRIME and they are the first ones in line with their hands out, as if they are law enforcement officers.
5) Many Blacks in Jacksonville who should know better, have taken a Go-Along-to-Get-Along posture as if speaking out against Injustice and Police Brutality and Racism will sour their “good” relationships with their White Friends. Not only is being quiet a sign of complicity, but saying nothing will not make Racism disappear.
6) Jacksonville still refuses to have real conversations about Racism because those conversations make Whites in Jacksonville and Blacks in Jacksonville, Uncomfortable.
Whites in Jacksonville ALWAYS want to tell me what THEY think is best for me. I call it “The White Expert on Black Folks Syndrome.” And they get their feelings hurt when I tell them "Who in the H-E-double sticks do you think you are to tell me what I want and need and how I feel?"
Then Black folks go along with the “White Experts” as if that is a way to make peace. White Experts, like White Privilege and White Racism is a White Arrogant Lifestyle which has permeated Jacksonville since time Immemorial. Fairness...Equality...and Civil Rights...are not even footnotes in Jacksonville’s history and its conversations...and you have Blacks in Jacksonville who would dare say, “I know a lot of White Progressives in Jacksonville." Well Whoop-De-Doo. You must keep them hidden.
WE can join hands and sing... have prayer vigils... rally around art... go to luncheons and dinners ... have your study circles about Racism...and visit each other's churches all you want...but if you think that is ALL that is necessary to call yourself a Progressive, you are only fooling Yourselves and Blacks who do not know any better.
Jacksonville is still Jacksonville...with its feet in 2019...and its head in the 1950’s and the 1960’s ... and IS STILL not Progressive. Jacksonville does not like to talk about Racism and especially ITS Racism. When have you heard of dealing with Racism, by NOT talking about it? How do you Fight Racism by not acknowledging IT is the Enemy? Of course, YOU DO NOT...YOU CANNOT.
Jacksonville is the home of my birth and my late wife’s birth and my children's birth and my grandchildren's birth and my great grandchild's birth and many of my friends' place of birth. I went to school in Jacksonville...I attend church in Jacksonville and I fight Racism (and fought Racism) in Jacksonville. I reserve the right to Criticize Jacksonville Whenever I want and Wherever I want, until Jacksonville does better...and that is With or Without your help. AND I CERTAINLY DO NOT NEED YOUR APPROVAL OR YOUR BLESSINGS.
The Struggle Continues.
CHERISHING AND REMEMBERING FRIENDS...
SEVEN of my Closest Friends. 4 of the 8 persons in this picture have passed since this picture was taken. (Obviously I am one of the 8.) Ironically, the 4 who passed are standing next to each other. The 4 "still here" are also standing next to each other.
I AM AMUSED AT WHITE FOLKS AND BLACK FOLKS WHO TALK ABOUT "HEALING AND RECONCILIATION," YET DO NOT WANT TO TALK ABOUT THE WHITE AMERICAN RACISM AS THE SOURCE OF THE HEALING AND THE RECONCILIATION "PROBLEM."
I refer them to this quote from Malcolm X--"If you stick a knife in my back 9 inches and pull it out 6 inches, that's not progress. Progress is healing the wound that the knife blade made. They haven't even pulled the knife out much less heal the wound. They won't even admit that the knife is there or how the knife got there." -Malcolm X.
HOW CAN YOU WORK TO ELIMINATE RACISM WHEN YOU WILL NOT ADMIT RACISM IS THERE?
JUST ANOTHER EXAMPLE OF MEDICAL RACISM!!! ...FINALLY!... FINALLY!!... FINALLY, SOME JUSTICE!!! THE MEDICAL COMMUNITY ABSOLUTELY KNEW WHAT THEY WERE DOING TO MRS. LACKS AND HER FAMILY.
The estate of Henrietta Lacks sued a biotechnology company on Monday, accusing it of selling cells that doctors at Johns Hopkins Hospital took from the Black woman in 1951 without her knowledge or consent as part of "a racially unjust medical system."
The estate's federal lawsuit says Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc., of Waltham, Massachusetts, knowingly mass produced and sold tissue that was taken from Lacks by doctors at the hospital.
The HeLa cells ---which comes from the first two initials of HEnrietta LAcks name---were taken from the woman's tumor before she died of cervical cancer. Her cells became the first human cells to be successfully cloned and have been reproduced infinitely ever since. They have used in countless scientific and medical innovations including the development of the polio vaccine and gene mapping.
Lacks' cells were harvested and developed long before the advent of consent procedures used in medicine and scientific research today, but lawyers for the family say the company has continued to commercialize the results well after the origins of the HeLa cell line became well known.
"Thermo Fisher Scientific has known that HeLa cells were stolen from Ms. Lacks and chose to use her body for profit anyway," the lawsuit says.
Among the lawyers for the family's estate is Ben Crump, a Florida-based civil rights attorney. Crump rose to national prominence in recent years for representing the families of Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, Breonna Taylor and George Floyd -- Black people whose deaths at the hands of police and vigilantes helped revitalize a national movement toward police reform and racial justice.
"We want to make sure that the family voice is finally heard after 70 years of being ignored," Crump told CBSN on Monday. "The American pharmaceutical corporations have a shameful history of profiting off the research of using and exploiting Black people and their illnesses and their bodies."
The lawsuit asks the court in Baltimore to order Thermo Fisher Scientific to "disgorge the full amount of its net profits obtained by commercializing the HeLa cell line to the Estate of Henrietta Lacks." It also seeks an order permanently enjoining Thermo Fisher Scientific from using the HeLa cell line without the estate's permission.
On its website, the company says it generates approximately $35 billion in annual revenue. A company spokesman reached didn't immediately comment on the lawsuit.
HeLa cells were discovered to have unique properties. While most cell samples died shortly after being removed from the body, her cells survived and thrived in laboratories. This exceptional quality made it possible to cultivate her cells indefinitely - they became known as the first immortalized human cell line - making it possible for scientists anywhere to reproduce studies using identical cells.
Over the past several decades, this cell line has contributed to many medical breakthroughs, from research on the effects of zero gravity in outer space and the development of the polio vaccine, to the study of leukemia, the AIDS virus and cancer worldwide.
The remarkable science involved - and the impact on the Lacks family, some of whom suffered from chronic illnesses without health insurance - have been documented in a bestselling book, "The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks." Oprah Winfrey portrayed her daughter in an HBO movie about the story. The lawsuit was filed exactly 70 years after the day she died, on Oct. 4, 1951.
A group of white doctors at Johns Hopkins in the 1950s preyed on Black women with cervical cancer, cutting away tissue samples from their patients' cervixes without their patients' knowledge or consent, the lawsuit says.
"The exploitation of Henrietta Lacks represents the unfortunately common struggle experienced by Black people throughout history," the suit says. "Indeed, Black suffering has fueled innumerable medical progress and profit, without just compensation or recognition. Various studies, both documented and undocumented, have thrived off the dehumanization of Black people."
Johns Hopkins Medicine says it reviewed its interactions with Lacks and her family over more than 50 years after the 2010 publication Rebecca Skloot's book. It says it "has never sold or profited from the discovery or distribution of HeLa cells and does not own the rights to the HeLa cell line," but it has acknowledged an ethical responsibility.
"At several points across those decades, we found that Johns Hopkins could have - and should have - done more to inform and work with members of Henrietta Lacks' family out of respect for them, their privacy and their personal interests," Johns Hopkins Medicine says on its website.
HENRIETTA LACKS WAS A MEDICAL LAB RAT...A BLACK MEDICAL LAB RAT.
Jon Gruden proves what a lot of Black folks knew and have known, period…White Racism will surface ANYTHIME, ANYPLACE, ANYWHERE.
Rodney. L. Hurst, Sr.