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Monthly Archives: December 2014

Quiet Riots At The Ferguson Library: Beautiful Stories In The Midst Of Unrest

  by Jasmine Banks My friend Kelly mentioned on Facebook she was headed to the Ferguson Municipal Library to help them process some donations they’d received. I quickly Googled the distance and upon seeing it was a five-hour drive, I volunteered to help. I didn’t feel prepared because I didn’t know how to prepare to enter into a space that has been so charged by both hate and hope. How do you prepare for the starkest parts of the reality of our humanity to be reflected back at you? Reading that line back feels trite or an attempt to be poetic, but it isn’t. The aftermath of Ferguson is a testimony. You can see both hate and hope scrawled in spray paint on damaged and demolished buildings. Ferguson, and other places that have experienced similar unrest and upheaval... Read More →

Rep. John Lewis Laments The Police Killings of Blacks: “I Fear For The Future of This Country”

The veteran Civil Rights leader, survivor of a concussion and beating from Alabama State Troopers on Bloody Sunday, asks in a new essay: “If Bloody Sunday took place in Ferguson today, would Americans be shocked enough to do anything about it?” Lewis, winner of an Anisfield-Wolf Book Award for his memoir “Walking With the Wind,” sees the recent police killings of unarmed black people as representing “a glimpse of a different America most Americans have found it inconvenient to confront.” Writing in the Atlantic, Lewis' words are tinged with weariness. In his essay, he draws on a 1967 speech by Martin Luther King Jr., in which King tells of the "other America," one in which justice doesn't come easy, if at all. Black Americans have been continually "swept up like rubbish by... Read More →

Civil Rights Leader Rev. Dr. Otis Moss Jr. Calls For “Deliberate Action” At City Club Of Cleveland

Two elders of the American Civil Rights movement—Rev. Dr. Otis Moss Jr. and  Rev. Dr. Joan Brown Campbell—went before a sold-out Cleveland crowd to consider “the unfinished business of race,” a topic heightened by the November police killing of Tamir Rice, a 12-year-old playing with a toy gun in a city park. Photo Credit: Donn Nottage “Tamir Rice was our child, Cleveland’s child, God’s child,” Moss said at the City Club of Cleveland, “and every parent should feel the loss.” Dr. Rhonda Williams, director of the Social Justice Institute at Case Western Reserve University, came directly to her point: “How do we dismantle white privilege?” Moss, 79, who counseled U.S. presidents Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, said the movement makes the most progress... Read More →

REVIEW: “Patient” By Bettina Judd

It took three attempts before I could get past the first entry in Patient, an uncomfortable jaunt into America's crippling disregard of black bodies. It is raw.  In this collection of 53 poems, Bettina Judd excoriates two famous men — Dr. J. Marion Sims, long considered the father of modern gynecology, and circus showman P.T. Barnum — for their exploitation of slave women in furthering their careers. The poet, a professor of Gender, Sexuality and Women's Studies at the College of William and Mary, investigates this trauma and somehow coaxes dignity from a horrific past.   Dr. Sims arrived at an Alabama plantation in the mid-1840s to assist a slave in a stalled, three-day labor. He used his discoveries in that delivery to refine his medical knowledge. Over five years, Sims... Read More →

Anti-Racism Documentary “White Like Me” Now Streaming For Free

One consequence of Ferguson: viewers can now watch the documentary “White Like Me” cost-free. Tim Wise's anti-racism documentary will stream free online for a few weeks.  The Media Education Foundation, which produced the movie, chose the promo code "blacklivesmatter" for viewers to redeem. Wise, 46, raised more than $41,000 on Kickstarter for the movie, which adapts his 2005 memoir, “White Like Me: Reflections On Race From A Privileged Son.” The 2013 film features insights from Princeton University's Imani Perry; Michelle Alexander, author of 2012's “The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness”; and Harvard law professor Charles Ogletree. A brisk 68 minutes, "White Like Me" is a forceful, persuasion piece, designed to explain the basics of white... Read More →
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