Veterans Day 2014.


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Presidential Proclamation — Veterans Day, 2014


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Since the birth of our Nation, American patriots have stepped forward to serve our country and defend our way of life.  With honor and distinction, generations of servicemen and women have taken up arms to win our independence, preserve our Union, and secure our freedom.  From the Minutemen to our Post-9/11 Generation, these heroes have put their lives on the line so that we might live in a world that is safer, freer, and more just, and we owe them a profound debt of gratitude.  On Veterans Day, we salute the Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines, and Coast Guardsmen who have rendered the highest service any American can offer, and we rededicate ourselves to fulfilling our commitment to all those who serve in our name.


Today, we are reminded of our solemn obligation:  to serve our veterans as well as they have served us.  As we continue our responsible drawdown from the war in Afghanistan and more members of our military return to civilian life, we must support their transition and make sure they have access to the resources and benefits they have earned.  My Administration is working to end the tragedy of homelessness among our veterans, and we are committed to providing them with quality health care, access to education, and the tools they need to find a rewarding career.  As a Nation, we must ensure that every veteran has the chance to share in the opportunity he or she has helped to defend.  Those who have served in our Armed Forces have the experience, skills, and dedication necessary to achieve success as members of our civilian workforce, and it is critical that we harness their talent.


Across our country, veterans who fought to protect our democracy around the globe are strengthening it here at home. Once leaders in the Armed Forces, they are now pioneers of industry and pillars of their communities.  Their character reflects our enduring American spirit, and in their example, we find inspiration and strength.


This day, and every day, we pay tribute to America’s sons and daughters who have answered our country’s call.  We recognize the sacrifice of those who have been part of the finest fighting force the world has ever known and the loved ones who stand beside them.  We will never forget the heroes who made the ultimate sacrifice and all those who have not yet returned home.  As a grateful Nation, let us show our appreciation by honoring all our veterans and working to ensure the promise of America is within the reach of all who have protected it.


With respect for and in recognition of the contributions our service members have made to the cause of peace and freedom around the world, the Congress has provided (5 U.S.C. 6103(a)) that November 11 of each year shall be set aside as a legal public holiday to honor our Nation’s veterans.


NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim November 11, 2014, as Veterans Day.  I encourage all Americans to recognize the valor and sacrifice of our veterans through appropriate public ceremonies and private prayers.  I call upon Federal, State, and local officials to display the flag of the United States and to participate in patriotic activities in their communities. I call on all Americans, including civic and fraternal organizations, places of worship, schools, and communities to support this day with commemorative expressions and programs.


IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this seventh day of November, in the year of our Lord two thousand fourteen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-ninth.




U.S. President Barack Obama participates in the dignified transfer of U.S. Army Sgt. Dale R. Griffin at Dover Air Force Base, Delaware

History of Veterans Day


World War I – known at the time as “The Great War” – officially ended when the Treaty of Versailles was signed on June 28, 1919, in the Palace of Versailles outside the town of Versailles, France. However, fighting ceased seven months earlier when an armistice, or temporary cessation of hostilities, between the Allied nations and Germany went into effect on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month. For that reason, November 11, 1918, is generally regarded as the end of “the war to end all wars.”


Soldiers of the 353rd Infantry near a church at Stenay, Meuse in France, wait for the end of hostilities.  This photo was taken at 10:58 a.m., on November 11, 1918, two minutes before the armistice ending World War I went into effect

In November 1919, President Wilson proclaimed November 11 as the first commemoration of Armistice Day with the following words: “To us in America, the reflections of Armistice Day will be filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country’s service and with gratitude for the victory, both because of the thing from which it has freed us and because of the opportunity it has given America to show her sympathy with peace and justice in the councils of the nations…”


The original concept for the celebration was for a day observed with parades and public meetings and a brief suspension of business beginning at 11:00 a.m.


The United States Congress officially recognized the end of World War I when it passed a concurrent resolution on June 4, 1926, with these words:


Whereas the 11th of November 1918, marked the cessation of the most destructive, sanguinary, and far reaching war in human annals and the resumption by the people of the United States of peaceful relations with other nations, which we hope may never again be severed, and


Whereas it is fitting that the recurring anniversary of this date should be commemorated with thanksgiving and prayer and exercises designed to perpetuate peace through good will and mutual understanding between nations; and


Whereas the legislatures of twenty-seven of our States have already declared November 11 to be a legal holiday: Therefore be it Resolved by the Senate (the House of Representatives concurring), that the President of the United States is requested to issue a proclamation calling upon the officials to display the flag of the United States on all Government buildings on November 11 and inviting the people of the United States to observe the day in schools and churches, or other suitable places, with appropriate ceremonies of friendly relations with all other peoples.


An Act (52 Stat. 351; 5 U. S. Code, Sec. 87a) approved May 13, 1938, made the 11th of November in each year a legal holiday—a day to be dedicated to the cause of world peace and to be thereafter celebrated and known as “Armistice Day.” Armistice Day was primarily a day set aside to honor veterans of World War I, but in 1954, after World War II had required the greatest mobilization of soldiers, sailors, Marines and airmen in the Nation’s history; after American forces had fought aggression in Korea, the 83rd Congress, at the urging of the veterans service organizations, amended the Act of 1938 by striking out the word “Armistice” and inserting in its place the word “Veterans.” With the approval of this legislation (Public Law 380) on June 1, 1954, November 11th became a day to honor American veterans of all wars.


Later that same year, on October 8th, President Dwight D. Eisenhower issued the first “Veterans Day Proclamation”which stated: “In order to insure proper and widespread observance of this anniversary, all veterans, all veterans’ organizations, and the entire citizenry will wish to join hands in the common purpose. Toward this end, I am designating the Administrator of Veterans’ Affairs as Chairman of a Veterans Day National Committee, which shall include such other persons as the Chairman may select, and which will coordinate at the national level necessary planning for the observance. I am also requesting the heads of all departments and agencies of the Executive branch of the Government to assist the National Committee in every way possible.”


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On that same day, President Eisenhower sent a letter to the Honorable Harvey V. Higley, Administrator of Veterans’ Affairs (VA), designating him as Chairman of the Veterans Day National Committee.


In 1958, the White House advised VA’s General Counsel that the 1954 designation of the VA Administrator as Chairman of the Veterans Day National Committee applied to all subsequent VA Administrators. Since March 1989 when VA was elevated to a cabinet level department, the Secretary of Veterans Affairs has served as the committee’s chairman.


The Uniform Holiday Bill (Public Law 90-363 (82 Stat. 250)) was signed on June 28, 1968, and was intended to ensure three-day weekends for Federal employees by celebrating four national holidays on Mondays: Washington’s Birthday, Memorial Day, Veterans Day, and Columbus Day. It was thought that these extended weekends would encourage travel, recreational and cultural activities and stimulate greater industrial and commercial production. Many states did not agree with this decision and continued to celebrate the holidays on their original dates.


The first Veterans Day under the new law was observed with much confusion on October 25, 1971. It was quite apparent that the commemoration of this day was a matter of historic and patriotic significance to a great number of our citizens, and so on September 20th, 1975, President Gerald R. Ford signed Public Law 94-97 (89 Stat. 479), which returned the annual observance of Veterans Day to its original date of November 11, beginning in 1978. This action supported the desires of the overwhelming majority of state legislatures, all major veterans service organizations and the American people.


Veterans Day continues to be observed on November 11, regardless of what day of the week on which it falls. The restoration of the observance of Veterans Day to November 11 not only preserves the historical significance of the date, but helps focus attention on the important purpose of Veterans Day: A celebration to honor America’s veterans for their patriotism, love of country, and willingness to serve and sacrifice for the common good.


Happy Veterans Day


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Iraq veteran, activist Tomas Young dies at 34


Published on Nov 10, 2014

Iraq War veteran and anti-war activist Tomas Young has died at the age of 34. One of the first to openly oppose the US-led war after being paralyzed while deployed, Young spoke to many, including RT, about why we should demand more of our leaders. RT’s Manila Chan has the interview.




Vets can make out with several freebies on Veterans Day


Veterans and active military personnel can eat for free at many establishments on Veterans Day. (Photo: Largemouth Communications)

Veterans and active military personnel can eat for free at many establishments on Veterans Day.
(Photo: Largemouth Communications)

Let’s say you’re a veteran with lots of free time — and big ambitions to rake in plenty of pay-back for your service to your country.


Well, some of America’s biggest and most patriotic brands have three words of advice for you: go for it.


If you play your cards right on Veterans Day — and some other days, too — here’s how freebie-seeking veterans and active military can cash in. This list is not comprehensive — and some require military ID or have other requirements.


• Get a free haircut. Veterans who visit Great Clips shops on Nov. 11, can either receive a free haircut — or a card for a free haircut to redeem by Dec. 31.

• Eat a free meal. At Hooters, the freebie meal on Veterans Day can be worth up to $10.99, with any drink purchase. Applebee’s, Chili’s and California Pizza Kitchen all offer free meals from a special menu to vets and active military.

• Eat a free buffet. Golden Corral is serving free dinner buffets (with beverages) from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 17, at all restaurants, to anyone who is serving or who has served in the military. That same date, Bonanza Steakhouses also will offer free buffets for vets and active military.

• Down a free burger. Shoney’s offers its signature All-American Burger, free, to vets or active duty military all day on Veterans Day. Or, you can head to Red Robin and get a Red’s Tavern Double burger with Bottomless Steak Fries, on the house. Max & Erma’s offers a free cheeseburger combo and dessert to vets and active military.

• Drink a free coffee. Starbucks is offering a free, tall brewed coffee on Tuesday to all U.S. military veterans and active duty servicemembers — and their spouses.

• Scarf down free pancakes. IHOP offers vets and active military free Red, White and Blue pancakes from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Tuesday. Bob Evans also has all-you-can-eat hotcakes on Veterans Day for veterans and active military.

• Lick a free cone. Handel’s Homemade Ice Cream and Yogurt shops are giving away free single-scoop ice cream cones to all veterans and military personnel on Tuesday.

Work-out for free. 24-Hour Fitness offers free use of the health club to vets and active military through Tuesday.

• Enjoy a free appetizer. Red Lobster, through Thursday, is offering free appetizers to veterans and active duty military.

• Sip a free beer. Restaurants owned by CraftWorks Restaurants & Breweries (including Gordon Biersch Brewery, Rock Bottom, Old Chicago Pizza and ChopHouse & Brewery) offer a free craft beer to active and retired military Tuesday.

• Down a free doughnut — and coffee. Krispy Kreme will give a free doughnut and small coffee to anyone who identifies themselves as a veteran or active duty military on Veterans Day.

• Get free game tokens. Chuck E. Cheese will give 20 free tokens to U.S. military vets and active-duty military through Saturday.

• Get your junk hauled, free. For disabled veterans, JDog Junk Removal & Hauling locations, will offer free junk removal to disabled vets who book on Veterans Day.





Happy 115th Birthday Percy Lavon Julian.


By Jueseppi B.


Percy Lavon Julian (April 11, 1899, Montgomery, Al. – April 19, 1975, Waukegan, Illinois) was a U.S. research chemist and a pioneer in the chemical synthesis of medicinal drugs from plants. He was the first to synthesize the natural product physostigmine, and a pioneer in the industrial large-scale chemical synthesis of the human hormones, steroidsprogesterone, and testosterone, from plant sterols such as stigmasterol and sitosterol. His work would lay the foundation for the steroid drug industry’s production of cortisone, other corticosteroids, and birth control pills.

He later started his own company to synthesize steroid intermediates from the Mexican wild yam. His work helped greatly reduce the cost of steroid intermediates to large multinational pharmaceutical companies, helping to significantly expand the use of several important drugs.

During his lifetime he received more than 130 chemical patents. Julian was one of the first African-Americans to receive a doctorate in chemistry. He was the first African-American chemist inducted into the National Academy of Sciences, and the second African-American scientist inducted from any field.

black history forgotten genius 2007


Published on May 2, 2013

The grandson of Alabama slaves, Percy Julian met with every possible barrier in a deeply segregated America. He was a man of genius, devotion, and determination. As a black man he was also an outsider, fighting to make a place for himself in a profession and country divided by bigotry – a man who would eventually find freedom in the laboratory. By the time of his death, Julian had risen to the highest levels of scientific and personal achievement, overcoming countless obstacles to become a world – class scientist, a self – millionaire, and a civil – rights pioneer………..please watch the whole damn video please and learn more about this good brother percy julian and teach your kids on black history please!




Percy Lavon Julian
Percy Lavon Julian.jpg
Julian circa 1940–1950

BornApril 11, 1899
Montgomery, AlabamaDiedApril 19, 1975 (aged 76)
Waukegan, IllinoisOccupationChemistSpouse(s)Anna Roselle JohnsonChildrenPercy Lavon Julian, Jr.
Faith Roselle Julian
(1944– )ParentsElizabeth Lena Adams
James Sumner Julian



Early life and education

Percy Julian was born in Montgomery, Alabama as the first child of six born to James Sumner Julian and Elizabeth Lena Julian, née Adams. James, a graduate of what was to be Alabama State University (as was his wife), was employed as a clerk in the Railway Service of the United States Post Office, and his father had been a slave. Elizabeth worked as a school teacher. Percy Julian grew up in the time of the racist Jim Crow lawsculture in the United States. Among his childhood memories was finding a lynched man hanged from a tree while walking in the woods near his home. While it was generally unheard of for African-Americans at the time to pursue an education beyond the eighth grade, Julian’s parents steered all of their children toward higher education.

Julian attended DePauw University in Greencastle, Indiana. The college accepted few African-American students. The segregated nature of the town forced social humiliations. Julian was not allowed to live in the college dormitories and first stayed in an off-campus boarding home, which refused to serve him meals. It took him days before Julian found an establishment where he could eat. He worked firing the furnace, as a waiter, and doing other odd jobs in a fraternity house. In return, he was allowed to sleep in the attic and eat at the house. Julian graduated from DePauw in 1920 Phi Beta Kappa and valedictorian. By 1930 Julian’s father had moved the entire family to Greencastle, Indiana so that all his children could attend college at DePauw. The father was still working as a railroad postal clerk.

Julian wanted to obtain his doctorate in chemistry, but learned it would be difficult for an African-American. After graduating from DePauw, Julian became a chemistry instructor at Fisk University. He then received an Austin Fellowship in Chemistry and went to Harvard University in 1923 for his M.S. Worried that European-American students would resent being taught by an African-American, Harvard withdrew Julian’s teaching assistantship. He was unable to complete his Ph.D. at Harvard.

In 1929, while an instructor at Howard University, Julian received a Rockefeller Foundation fellowship to continue his graduate work at the University of Vienna, where he earned his PhD in 1931. He studied under Ernst Späth and was considered an impressive student. In Europe, he found freedom from the racial prejudices that had nearly stifled him in the States. He freely participated in intellectual social gatherings, went to the opera and found greater acceptance among his peers. Julian was one of the first African-Americans to receive a PhD in chemistry, after St. Elmo Brady and Edward M. A. Chandler. During Julian’s lifetime he earned more than 138 chemical patents for his work. He was the first African-American chemist inducted into the National Academy of Sciences, and the second African-American scientist inducted from any field.

After returning from Vienna, Julian taught at Howard University for one year, where he met his future wife, Anna Roselle Johnson (PhD in Sociology, 1937, University of Pennsylvania). They married on December 24, 1935 and had two children: Percy Lavon Julian, Jr. (August 31, 1940 – February 24, 2008), who became a prestigious civil rights lawyer in Madison, Wisconsin; and Faith Roselle Julian (1944– ), who still resides in their Oak Park home and often makes moving speeches about her father and his contributions to science.

At Howard, Julian got involved in university politics and set off an embarrassing chain of events. After he goaded, at the University President’s request, a white chemist named Jacob Shohan into resigning, Shohan retaliated by releasing to the local African-American newspaper the letters Julian had written to him from Vienna. The letters contained accounts of Julian’s sex life, and criticism of individual Howard faculty members. Julian’s laboratory assistant, Robert Thompson, also charged he had found his wife and Julian together in a sexual tryst.


When Thompson was fired for filing a lawsuit against the University, he also gave the paper racy letters which Julian had written to him from Vienna. Through the summer of 1932, the Baltimore Afro-American published all of Julian’s letters. Eventually, the scandal, and its accompanying pressure, forced Julian to resign. He lost his position, and everything he had worked for.

After the scandal, Julian’s mentor, William Blanchard, threw him a much-needed lifeline at the lowest point in Julian’s career. Blanchard offered Julian a position to teach organic chemistry at DePauw University in 1932. Julian helped Josef Pikl, a fellow student at the University of Vienna, to come to the United States to work with him at DePauw. In 1935 Julian and Pikl completed the total synthesis of physostigmine, and confirmed the structural formula assigned to it. Robert Robinson of Oxford University in the U.K. was the first to publish a synthesis of physostigmine, but Julian noticed that the melting point of Robinson’s end product was wrong, indicating that he had not, in fact, created it. When Julian completed his synthesis, the melting point matched the correct one for natural physostigmine from the calabar bean.

Julian also extracted stigmasterol, which took its name from Physostigma venenosum, the west African calabar bean that he hoped could serve as raw material for synthesis of human steroidal hormones. At about this time in 1934, Butenandt, and Fernholz, in Germany, had shown that stigmasterol, isolated from soybean oil, could be converted to progesterone by synthetic organic chemistry.


Private sector work: Glidden

After being denied a professorship at DePauw in 1936 for racial reasons, Julian applied for a job at the Institute of Paper Chemistry (IPC) in Wisconsin. However, the Wisconsin city of Appleton where the institute was located, was a sundown town, forbidding African-Americans from staying overnight, stating directly “No Negro should be bed or boarded overnight in Appleton”. DuPauw had offered a job to fellow chemist Josef Pikl, but declined to hire Julian, who had superlative qualifications as an organic chemist, apologizing that they were “unaware he was a Negro”.

Julian wrote to the Glidden Company, a supplier of soybean oil products, in part because his wife was suffering infertility, to request a five gallon sample of the oil to use as his starting point for the synthesis of human steroidal sex hormones. After receiving the request, W. J. O’Brien, a vice-president at Glidden made a telephone call to Julian, offering him the position of director of research at Glidden’s Soya Products Division in Chicago. He was very likely offered the job by O’Brien because he was fluent in German and Glidden had just purchased a modern continuous counter current solvent extraction plant from Germany for the extraction of vegetable oil from soybeans for paints and other uses.

Julian supervised the assembly of the plant at Glidden when he arrived in 1936. He then designed and supervised construction of the world’s first plant for the production of industrial-grade, isolated soy protein from oil-free soybean meal. Isolated soy protein could replace the more expensive milk casein in industrial applications such as coating and sizing of paper, glue for making Douglas fir plywood, and in the manufacture of water-based paints.

At the start of World War II Glidden sent a sample of Julian’s isolated soy protein to National Foam System Inc. (today a unit of Kidde Fire Fighting) of Philadelphia, PA which used it to develop Aer-O-Foam, the U.S. Navy’s beloved fire-fighting “bean soup”; and while it was not exactly Julian’s brainchild, it was his meticulous care in the preparation of the soy protein that made the fire fighting foam possible. When a hydrolyzate of isolated soy protein was fed into a water stream, the mixture was converted into a foam by means of an aerating nozzle. The soy protein foam was used to smother oil and gasoline fires aboard ships and was particularly useful on aircraft carriers. It saved the lives of thousands of sailors. Citing this, in 1947 the NAACP awarded him the Spingarn Medal, its highest honor.

Percy Julian Stamp-205x310


Julian’s research at Glidden changed direction in 1940 when he began work on synthesizing progesteroneestrogen and testosterone from the plant sterolsstigmasterol and sitosterol, isolated from soybean oil by a foam technique he invented and patented. At that time clinicians were discovering many uses for the newly discovered hormones. However, only minute quantities could be produced from the extraction of hundreds of pounds of spinal cords.

In 1940 Julian was able to produce 100 lb of mixed soy sterols daily, which had a value of $10,000, in sex hormones. Julian was soon ozonizing 100 pounds daily of mixed sterol dibromides. The result was the female hormone progesterone which was put on the U.S. market in bulk for the first time.The soy stigmasterol was easily converted into commercial quantities of the female hormone, progesterone, and the first pound of progesterone he made, valued at $63,500 was shipped to the buyer in an armored car. Production of other sex hormones soon followed.

His work made possible the production of these hormones on a larger (kilogram) industrial scale, with the potential of reducing the cost of treating hormonal deficiencies. Julian and his co-workers obtained patents for Glidden on key processes for the preparation of progesterone and testosterone from soybean plant sterols. Product patents held by a former cartel of European pharmaceutical companies prevented a significant reduction in wholesale and retail prices for clinical use of these hormones in the 1940s.

On April 13, 1949, rheumatologist Philip Hench at the Mayo Clinic announced the dramatic effectiveness of cortisone in treating rheumatoid arthritis. The cortisone was produced by Merck at great expense using a complex 36-step synthesis developed by chemist Lewis Sarett. It started withdeoxycholic acid from cattle bile acids. On September 30, 1949, Julian announced an improvement in the process of producing cortisone. This eliminated the need to use osmium tetroxide, which was a rare and expensive chemical. By 1950, Glidden could begin producing closely related compounds which may have partial cortisone activity.

Julian also announced the synthesis, starting with the cheap and readily available pregnenolone synthesized from the soybean oil sterol, stigmasterol of the steroid cortexolone (also known as Reichstein’s Substance S), a molecule that differed from cortisone by a single missing oxygen atom; and possibly 17α-hydroxyprogesterone and pregnenetriolone, which he hoped might also be effective in treating rheumatoid arthritis, but unfortunately they were not.

On April 5, 1952, biochemist Durey Peterson and microbiologist Herbert Murray at Upjohn published the first report of a fermentation process for the microbial 11α-oxygenation of steroids in a single step (by common molds of the order Mucorales). Their fermentation process could produce 11α-hydroxyprogesterone or 11α-hydroxycortisone from progesterone or Compound S, respectively, which could then by further chemical steps be converted to cortisone or 11β-hydroxycortisone (cortisol).

After two years, Glidden abandoned production of cortisone to concentrate on Substance S. Julian developed an excellent multistep process for conversion of pregnenolone, available in abundance from soybean oil sterols to cortexolone. In 1952, Glidden, which had been producing progesterone and other steroids from soybean oil, shut down its own production and began importing them from Mexico through an arrangement with Diosynth (a small Mexican company founded in 1947 by Russell Marker after leaving Syntex). Glidden’s cost of production of cortexolone was relatively high, so Upjohn decided to use progesterone, available in large quantity at low cost from Syntex, to produce cortisone and hydro cortisone.

In 1953, Glidden decided to leave the steroid business which had been relatively unprofitable over the years despite Julian’s innovative work. On December 1, 1953, Julian left Glidden after 18 years, giving up a salary of nearly $50,000 a year, to found his own company, Julian Laboratories, Inc., taking over the small, concrete-block building of Suburban Chemical Company in Franklin Park, Illinois.

On December 2, 1953, Pfizer acquired exclusive licenses of Glidden patents for the synthesis of Substance S. Pfizer had developed a fermentation process for microbial 11β-oxygenation of steroids in a single step that could convert Substance S directly to 11β-hydrocortisone (cortisol), with Syntex undertaking large-scale production of cortexolone at very low cost.

Percy Julian 3


Oak Park and Julian Laboratories

Around 1950 Julian moved his family from Chicago to the village of Oak Park, Illinois, where the Julians were the first African-American family. Although some residents welcomed them into the community, there was also opposition by some. Their home was fire-bombed on Thanksgiving Day, 1950, before they moved in. After the Julians had moved to Oak Park, the house was attacked with dynamite on June 12, 1951. The attacks galvanized the community and a community group was formed to support the Julians. Julian’s son later recounted that during these times, he and his father often kept watch over the family’s property by sitting in a tree with a shotgun.

In 1953, Julian founded his own research firm, Julian Laboratories, Inc. He brought many of his best chemists, including African-Americans and women, from Glidden to his own company. Julian won a contract to provide Upjohn with $2 million worth of progesterone. To compete against Syntex, he would have to use the same Mexican yam as his starting material. Julian used his own money and borrowed from friends to build a processing plant in Mexico, but he could not get a permit from the government to harvest the yams. Abraham Zlotnik, a former Jewish University of Vienna classmate whom Julian had helped escape from the Nazi European holocaust, led a search to find a new source of the yam in Guatemala for the company.

In July 1956, Julian and executives of two other American companies trying to enter the Mexican steroid intermediates market appeared before a U.S. Senate subcommittee. They testified that Syntex was using undue influence to monopolize access to the Mexican yam. The hearings resulted in Syntex signing a consent decree with the U.S. Justice Department. While it did not admit to restraining trade, it promised not to do so in the future. Within five years, large American multinational pharmaceutical companies had acquired all six producers of steroid intermediates in Mexico. Four of which were Mexican-owned.

Syntex reduced the cost of butts as an intermediate more than 250-fold over twelve years, from $80 per gram in 1943 to $0.31 per gram in 1955. Competition from Upjohn and General Mills, who had together made very substantial improvements in the production of progesterone from stigmasterol, forced the price of Mexican progesterone down to less than $0.15 per gram in 1957. The price continued to fall, bottoming out at $0.08 per gram in 1968.

In 1958, Upjohn purchased 6,900 kg of progesterone from Syntex at $0.135 per gram, 6,201 kg of progesterone from Searle (who had acquired Pesa) at $0.143 per gram, 5,150 kg of progesterone from Julian Laboratories at $0.14 per gram, and 1,925 kg of progesterone from General Mills (who had acquired Protex) at $0.142 per gram.

Despite continually falling bulk prices of steroid intermediates, an oligopoly of large American multinational pharmaceutical companies kept the wholesale prices of corticosteroid drugs fixed and unchanged into the 1960s. Cortisone was fixed at $5.48 per gram from 1954, hydrocortisone fixed at $7.99 per gram from 1954, and prednisone fixed at $35.80 per gram from 1956. Merck and Roussel Uclaf concentrated on improving the production of corticosteroids from cattle bile acids. In 1960 Roussel produced almost one-third of the world’s corticosteroids from bile acids.

One year Julian Laboratories chemists found a way to quadruple the yield on a product on which they were barely breaking even. Julian reduced their price for the product from $4,000 per kg down to $400 per kg He sold the company in 1961, for $2.3 million. The U.S. and Mexico facilities were purchased by Smith Kline and Julian’s chemical plant in Guatemala was purchased by Upjohn.

In 1964, Julian founded Julian Associates and Julian Research Institute, which he managed for the rest of his life.

Percy Julian 1

National Academy of Sciences

He was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 1973 in recognition of his scientific achievements. He became the second African-American to be inducted, after David Blackwell.


Julian died of liver cancer on April 19, 1975 in St. Theresa’s Hospital in Waukegan, Illinois and was buried in Elm Lawn Cemetery in Elmhurst, Illinois.


Legacy and honors


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Nova documentary

Ruben Santiago-Hudson portrayed Percy Julian in the Public Broadcasting Service Nova documentary about his life, called Forgotten Genius. It was presented on the PBS network on February 6, 2007, with initial sponsorship by the Camille and Henry Dreyfus Foundation and further funding by theNational Endowment for the Humanities. Approximately sixty of Julian’s family members, friends, and work associates were interviewed for the docudrama.

Production on the biopic began at DePauw University‘s Greencastle campus in May 2002, and included video of Julian’s bust on display in the atrium of university’s Percy Lavon Julian Science and Mathematics Center. Completion and broadcasting of the documentary program was delayed in order for Nova to commission and publish a matching book on Julian’s life.

According to University of Illinois historian James Anderson in the film, “His story is a story of great accomplishment, of heroic efforts and overcoming tremendous odds… …a story about who we are and what we stand for, and the challenges that have been there, and the challenges that are still with us.”








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Next Battle: The “NO”vember 4th, 2014 Mid-Term Elections.


By Jueseppi B.



The 2014 United States elections will be held on Tuesday, November 4, 2014. During this midterm election year, all 435 seats in the United States House of Representatives and 33 of the 100 seats in the United States Senate will be contested in this election along with 38 state and territorial governorships, 46 state legislatures (except LouisianaMississippiNew Jersey and Virginia), four territorial legislatures and numerous state and local races.



2014 United States elections
Midterm elections
Election day November 4
Senate elections
Seats contested 33 seats of Class II
and various mid-term vacancies

English: 2014 Map

English: 2014 Map (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Map of the 2014 Senate races
Light red: Retiring Republican
Dark red: Incumbent Republican
Light blue: Retiring Democrat
Dark blue: Incumbent Democrat
Gray: no election
House elections
Seats contested All 435 seats to the 114th Congress
Gubernatorial elections
Seats contested 38

English: Color coded map for the 2014 U.S. gub...

English: Color coded map for the 2014 U.S. gubernatorial races (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Map of the 2014 gubernatorial races
Light red: Term-limited or Retiring Republican
Dark red: Incumbent Republican
Light blue: Term-limited or Retiring Democrat
Dark blue: Incumbent Democrat
Green: Incumbent Independent
Gray: no election



Congressional elections


Senate elections…. All seats in Senate Class II will be up for election. Additionally, special elections will be held to fill vacancies in the other two Senate Classes.


Senate Class II 

Class 2 consists of:


States with a Class 2 senator: AlabamaAlaskaArkansasColoradoDelawareGeorgiaIdahoIllinoisIowaKansasKentuckyLouisiana,MaineMassachusettsMichiganMinnesotaMississippiMontanaNebraskaNew HampshireNew JerseyNew MexicoNorth Carolina,OklahomaOregonRhode IslandSouth CarolinaSouth DakotaTennesseeTexasVirginiaWest Virginia, and Wyoming.



House of Representatives elections


All 435 voting seats in the United States House of Representatives will be up for election. Additionally, elections will be held to select the delegates for the District of Columbia and four of the five U.S. territories. The only seat in the House not up for election will be the Resident Commissioner of Puerto Rico, who serves a four-year term.


On March 11, there was a special election for Florida’s 13th congressional district.



Gubernatorial elections


Elections will be held for the governorships of thirty-six of the fifty U.S. States and threeU.S. territories. Special elections may be held for vacancies in the other states and territories.




The 2014 Midterms are coming. Less than 7 months away. Get registered, get your voter ID. Get educated on new voting rules in YOUR State, county, districts.


The Mid Term Elections Are 7 Months Away. Here Is ALL You Need To Know For Voter Registration. Get Links, Facts, Phone Numbers & Mailing Information To Get Registered AND Learn New Voter I.D. Laws In YOUR State.

Mid Term Election Day November 4th, 2014…7 Months Away. Get Prepared. Barack That Vote!




Voter Registration





Registration Deadline: Voter registration is closed for the ten (10) days before an election


Party Affiliation: No party registration required for primary voting




Age: Must be 18 years old


Citizenship: Must be a United States Citizen


Residency: Must be a resident of your state


Mental Competency: Have not been legally declared “mentally incompetent” by a court


Felony Convictions: Have not been convicted of a disqualifying felony (or have rights restored)


ID Requirements: Driver’s license number or Social Security number





Online: http://www.sos.state.  your state here /elections/GetRegForm.aspx



In person
– Local County Board of Registrars
– Driver’s licensing office
– County and select municipal public libraries
– Department of Human Resources
– WIC Program, Department of Public Health
– Medicaid Agency
– Department of Rehabilitation Services
– Public 4-year universities
– Select private 4-year universities


By mail/ in writing : Must write/phone your local elections office







Check Status of Your Voter Registration


The NAACP has once again teamed up with the National Urban League to sponsor the National Voter Empowerment Hotline at 1-866-MyVote1 (1-866-698-6831).





Who can vote absentee


   – Will be absent from the county on election day
– Is ill or has a physical disability that prevents a trip to the polling place
– Is a registered Alabama voter living outside the county, such as a member of the armed forces, a voter employed outside the United States, a college student, or a spouse or child of such a person
– Is an appointed election officer or poll watcher at a polling place other than his or her regular polling place
– Works a required shift, 10-hours or more, that coincides with polling hours



Other absentee voter qualifications: Business/MedicalEmergency Voting application can be made after the absentee deadline but no later than 5 PM on the day before the election, if the voter is required by an employer under unforeseen circumstances to be out of the county on election day for an emergency business trip, or has a medical emergency requiring treatment from a licensed physician.






Absentee Voting Information for U.S. Citizens Abroad



Get Your Absentee Ballot Now! 



Federal Voting Assistance Program – Home – To Vote Absentee


In person: Visit the local absentee election manager(usually the Circuit Clerk) to request and absentee ballot.



By mail: Link to address/contact info – County election offices



Military and oversees voting: http://www.sos.state. your state here us/elections/MilitaryOverseas.aspx



Emergency Voting: For medical or business emergencies; must apply no later than 5pm the night before the election



Other absentee ballot information:The absentee ballot application must be returned to the Absentee Election Manager by the voter in person (or by the voter’s designee in the case of medical emergency voting) or by U.S. Mail.  No absentee ballot application may be mailed in the same envelope as another voter’s absentee ballot application.




Location and time: An absentee ballot returned by mail must be postmarked no later than the day prior to the election and received by the Absentee Election Manager no later than noon on election day. If hand-delivered, the ballot must be in the office of the Absentee Election Manager by the close of business (but no later than 5 p.m.) on the day prior to the election.


Other absentee ballot submission information: An absentee ballot cannot be counted unless the affidavit is  notarized or has the signature of two witnesses. If the absentee ballot application is approved, the Absentee Election Manager forwards the ballot by U.S. mail or personally hands the absentee ballot to the voter (or to a designee in the case of emergency voting).




Early Voting States


Absentee and Early Voting


Early Voting and Absentee Voting

Deciding how to vote:


Time off to vote: Employees can take time off to vote in any election for which the employee is qualified and registered to vote, unless the employee’s work hours commence at least two hours after the polls open or end at least one hour before the polls close. The employer may determine what hours are available for the employee to vote.


Polling Place: https://myinfo. your state here

ID Requirements: Photo ID or HAVA approved ID


How to Vote: Paper ballots + Optical scan voting equipment Link to Sample Ballots


Problems with voting: HAVA Voter Complaint Form


Verifying provisional ballot status: https://myinfo. your state here


Verifying absentee ballot status: https://myinfo. your state here .gov/



One Common Ground, Philipsburg, MT 59858 Hotline: 888-Vote-Smart (888-868-3762)



2014 U.S. Senate Midterm Election Races


Georgia, Iowa, New Mexico, and Virginia. We moved Iowa from “Democrat Hold” to “Tossup.”


We currently rate six races in the “Tossup” category (AK, CO, KY, LA, MI, IA), five Democrat seats and one GOP seat, with an additional five seats already projected as “GOP Takeaways” (AR, MT, NC, SD, WV). Republicans need a net six takeaways to regain control of the Senate. Polls and projections on the thirty-five 2014 U.S. Senate Midterm Election races. Get the latest information on the Senate contests here.


The Democrats have a five-seat majority (55-45) when you include the two “Independents” who caucus with them. That means Republicans will have to net gain six seats to retake control of the U.S. Senate (If it is 50-50 with the two Independents voting with the Democrats, it would remain in Democratic control because the Vice-President would cast the tie-breaking vote). There are 35 races, 21 of them seats currently held by Democrats, and 14 by Republicans.


The 35 races (including special elections) are listed in the table here:

Polls and Projections



2014 United States elections


U.S. Senate


U.S. House










Do your part






022412-politics-redistricting-voting-rights BkNzOYLCUAA1V9g





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Celebrating Black History Month. The Black History Moment Series #26: Chokwe Lumumba, Civil Rights Maverick.


By Jueseppi B.

“I only came to the movement because of King and he was killed. I only stayed in the movement because of Malcolm and he was killed. Then I became a leader” – Chokwe Lumumba

“I only came to the movement because of King and he was killed. I only stayed in the movement because of Malcolm and he was killed. Then I became a leader” – Chokwe Lumumba.



Throughout the month Of February, TheObamaCrat™ will post a daily series called The Black History Moment Series. Each day for 28 days of this historic month you will be given the food of Black History to satisfy your hunger for knowledge. 


Celebrating Black History Month: The Black History Moment Series #26: Chokwe Lumumba, Civil Rights Maverick.


City Councilman Charles Tillman announced the death of Mayor Chokwe Lumumba at a regually scheduled city council meeting tonight:


“It is with a heavy heart that we inform you that our beloved brother, civil rights activist and Mayor Chokwe Lumumba has passed away today (Tuesday). More details will be made available in the near future. For now, we ask that you pray for his children and family,” said


About an hour later, Tillman was sworn in as acting mayor, a position he will hold until the City Council votes to approve an interim mayor.


Lumumba, 66, became mayor in July. He defeated incumbent Harvey Johnson in the Democratic primary and then went on to defeat Jonathan Lee in the general election.


“We are deeply saddened by the loss of the promising new mayor of our Capital City, the Honorable Chokwe Lumumba,” said Rickey Cole, the chairman of the Mississippi Democratic Party. “His young administration has been a great beacon of hope for so many of us. He was just beginning to make an effective start tackling the long-neglected challenged faced by our Capital City.”


Gov. Phil Bryant also issued a statement Tuesday evening after hearing of Lumumba’s death.


“Deborah and I are shocked and saddened by the news of Mayor Lumumba’s passing and are praying for his loved ones,” Bryant said. “Just a short time ago, I had the opportunity to join the mayor in a church pew as we welcomed a new development to the city. His enthusiasm for Jackson will be deeply missed.”



Chokwe Lumumba (August 2, 1947 – February 25, 2014) was Mayor of Jackson, Mississippi. Lumumba was born in westside of Detroit, Michigan as Edwin Finley Taliaferro, a name he refers to as his ‘slave name’. Lumumba was the second child of eight born to Lucien and Priscilla Taliaferro. He has been prominent in the reparations and other self-determination movements of persons of African descent and was elected mayor of Jackson, Mississippi on June 4, 2013.


Chokwe Lumumba
Chokwe Lumumba 2013.jpg
Lumumba in 2013
Mayor of Jackson, Mississippi
In office
July 1, 2013 – February 25, 2014
Preceded by Harvey Johnson, Jr.
Personal details
Born August 2, 1947
Detroit, Michigan
Died February 25, 2014 (aged 66)
St. Dominic Hospital


Early age

Lumumba was overweight as a child, earning the nickname “fat man” within his neighborhood. His father, Lucien, was from Kansas and his mother, Priscilla, was from Alabama. Others of his forebears were Cherokee. He graduated from St. Theresa High School in Detroit where he served as president of the student council and captain of the football team. As a young man he witnessed police brutality. His mother would stand with her children on the neighborhood corners collecting money for the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee and she impressed on Lumumba the important role of political activism and civil rights. The death of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on April 4, 1968 had a deep effect on Lumumba and the day following King’s assassination he participated in the occupation of a university building at Western Michigan University. The occupation protested the lack of African American faculty among other academic demands.


He majored in Political Science and graduated from Kalamazoo College in 1969 where he formed the Black United Front to advocate for African American studies in Midwestern higher education institutions. Lumumba was elected to the cabinet of the Republic of New Africa in 1971 as the second vice president. He was in the same position when the capital of the provisional government was moved to Hinds County, Mississippi and dedicated on March 28, 1971. Lumumba was in the lead car with Alajo Abegbalola which was halted by the Bolton police on that day when the “Land Celebration” was set to take place marking the establishment of the capital of the Republic of New Africa. In 1972 Lumumba was appointed by the Republic of New Africa president as the Minister of Justice to succeed Attorney William E. Miller Jr.



Human Rights Defender Chokwe Lumumba




At the age of 60, Chokwe Lumumba is well into his fifth decade as an activist, attorney, and human rights advocate. He began civil rights activism in high school in the 1950s, and since 1968 he has included the language and principles of international human rights in his work.


Throughout his life Lumumba has worked to defend the rights of African American activists and communities. He has educated and organized student activists throughout the Midwest and the South and persuaded universities to attract and cultivate people of color. He has been on the frontline of protecting African American communities from drug trafficking and gang violence. He has opposed rights violations by local, state, and national law enforcement and intelligence agencies and vigilante groups; he has confronted the Ku Klux Klan in Michigan and Mississippi.


As an attorney Lumumba has played a leading role in many significant cases over the last twenty-five years, representing poor people and political activists and defending individuals and groups whose human rights have been violated. He has fought against the death penalty in general and against executions in individual cases.


Over the years Lumumba and members of his family have been harassed, threatened, and arrested for the role he has played in these struggles. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and other law enforcement agencies have surveyed his activities. He has suffered discrimination when trying to rent and buy property. He has been prevented from practicing law and now is facing the loss of his license to practice in Mississippi in circumstances that suggest that his political activities and speech are the reason.


Chokwe Lumumba was born in 1943 into a family of seven brothers and sisters in the public housing projects of Detroit’s West Side. Originally named Edwin Taliaferro, he later renounced this as a “slave name” in favor of Lumumba, after the Congolese nationalist and prime minister, and Chokwe, the name of an Angolan tribe. His early education was in Catholic schools, where blatant racism was part of the learning experience:


I remember going to a white church¼.and a guy asked me and my brother, ‘Why are you niggers going to this church?’ Later on a white guy told me with conviction that God had left me in the oven too long. It occurred to me that whites were spending their time teaching their children racism.


At Saint Theresa High School, where he was student council president and captain of the football team, he began to engage in political protest activities. He and his mother would stand on street corners to collect money to support the activities of the Student National Coordinating Committee (SNCC), a primarily African American organization promoting respect for civil rights throughout the South. A speech given by Martin Luther King in 1963 inspired Lumumba to make civil rights his life’s work.


Dr. King’s assassination on April 4, 1968, affected Lumumba profoundly. He says, “I think the single most important thing in my political development is his death. You see, to my mother he was the Black Moses. She followed him and she always talked to me about him”. On the day following King’s death, Lumumba, participated in a student takeover of the University Center Building of Western Michigan University, where he was a student. The protesters demanded that the university hire more African American teachers and create Martin Luther King scholarships for African American students.




Lumumba became part of the movement to establish African American studies programs at other universities throughout the Midwest and he helped organize Black student movements in Michigan, Ohio, and Indiana. He formed the Black United Front at Kalamazoo College in western Michigan, forcing a shift of resources from buildings to childhood education in the predominantly African American area of Kalamazoo, Michigan.


In 1969 Lumumba entered law school at Wayne State University in Detroit. In the first year, however, eighteen of the twenty-four Black students in his class failed due to a discriminatory grading system. In response to this injustice, Lumumba and other Black students occupied the law school administration building demanding reinstatement of the students and fair grading practices. As a result Wayne State readmitted the students and established an anonymous system of grading. Ultimately all but two of the students received good grades and graduated, many of them becoming prominent attorneys and judges. Lumumba himself graduated cum laude in 1975. Lumumba continued his advocacy of equal education at Wayne State and has supported programs that allow African American students to succeed in the law school environment.


After graduation, Lumumba became an advocate for the protection of Black communities, following attacks by local police and vigilante groups. Rather than harassing the so-called “radical leadership”, special units of the Detroit police, had begun targeting the African American community for “pre-emptive action”.


Lumumba confronted these abuses with community patrols against violence and drug dealing and an urban scout program for young people to protect themselves against gang and racial attacks. He created the Malcolm X Center to educate and train young Black activists. He established Africa-centric schools to teach the dismantling of racism and sexism and inspire Black pride. He challenged the excessive rates for heat and electricity being charged residents of poor neighborhoods.


In the early 1970s in a case of national prominence, Lumumba defended Hayward Brown, a radical Black activist who had previously been acquitted of assaulting a police officer. Lumumba defended Brown on charges of possession of a concealed weapon in the virtually all-white suburb of Dearborn, Michigan. When a jury of nine Blacks and three whites could not reach a verdict, Lumumba declared,


The Wayne County prosecutor has chased Haywood Brown relentlessly from jury to jury, from judge to judge and from court to court with trumped-up charges¼.Not only are his human rights being violated, ours are likewise. They are using our tax dollars in their endeavor to silence another freedom fighter.




Also at this time Lumumba became vice-president of the Republic of New Afrika (RNA), an organization formed to coordinate the efforts of individual activists, Black nationalists, and grassroots groups of diverse philosophies. The RNA was staunchly anti-capitalist, sought reparations for slavery, and aimed at giving African Americans control over their lives and land. Although the RNA drew support from prominent civil rights figures like Congressman Julian Bond and comedian Dick Gregory, it became a key target of the FBI’s Cointelpro program, a system of illegal government subversion intended to destroy groups perceived to be a threat to the USA. They followed him throughout the country, attempted to recruit a cousin to spy on him, and kept constant watch on his mother’s house.


Not surprisingly this kind of advocacy and activism had consequences for Lumumba and his family. In September of 1971, he was arrested during a citywide sweep after the murder of a Detroit police officer. While he was being booked, police officers referred to his involvement with the RNA saying, “We’re going to send you all back to Africa in boxes with African names on them”. Lumumba’s younger brother, then 13, was arrested and held in jail but never charged. Police have made a point of informing Lumumba’s landlords of his past political activities.


In 1972 the RNA purchased land near Jackson, Mississippi, as the geographic base for the movement. The RNA met with discrimination, threats, harassment, roadblocks, and arrests by local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies. Lumumba took responsibility for confronting and negotiating with theses agencies and managed to convince the FBI to order the removal of roadblocks preventing access to the land. Local police and the FBI mounted an assault on a house that was serving as RNA headquarters in Jackson. In 1973, Mississippi police officers stopped Lumumba and his wife while they were out for a walk; he recalls, “They put a shotgun in my gut and asked, ‘Are you the second-in-charge of the black-ass niggers?’”


Back in Detroit in 1976, Lumumba joined the staff of the Detroit Public Defenders Office, providing free counsel to indigent clients. In 1978 he set up his own law firm with the intention of combining his political advocacy with his legal skills. He sued Wayne State University for abandoning their program of affirmative action in admitting African American students. He defended Alton Maddox, a prominent police-abuse attorney suspended by the Michigan Bar Association because he refused to give authorities information about a client.


On July 22, 1978, inmates at the maximum security prison in Pontiac, Illinois rioted to protest violations against prisoner rights, including unsanitary living conditions; cramped quarters; cold, insect-infested food; lack of medical treatment; and guard brutality. Many prisoners were injured and three guards were killed in the riot; twenty-eight African Americans and three Latinos were charged. Sixteen of the accused, popularly known as the “Pontiac Sixteen”, faced murder charges and a possible death sentence if convicted. Lumumba agreed to defend Ozzie Williams, whom he perceived to be one of the most political of those charged, in this significant case. Eventually, all charges against the defendants were dismissed. Lumumba said at the time, “The Pontiac Sixteen trial is ¼ the type of case that I got into the legal profession to deal with”. At trial ten of the Pontiac Sixteen were found not guilty; all charges against the other defendants were dismissed.




Lumumba was an organizer of and speaker at the February 1980 New York City march for the rights of African Americans. Five thousand people walked from Harlem to the United Nations Building to demand an international forum on the plight of minority populations in the US.


He was lead defense counsel in the “Brinks Case”, a major legal confrontation between the Justice Department and a group of revolutionaries who had been charged with the October 1981 robbery of $1.6 million from an armored car and the killing of two police officers and a guard in Rockland County, New York. On November 10, 1981, New York Judge Irving Ben Cooper barred Lumumba from representing Fulani Sunni Ali (Cynthia Boston) on charges arising from the Brink’s incident, citing his political ideology, his values as a lawyer, and his behavior on the witness stand. Of this ruling Stephen Shapiro, then chief counsel for the New York Civil Liberties Union said, “The opinion incredibly ignores two sacred rights in this country: the right to free speech and association, and the right of a criminal defendant to choose her own lawyer”. Lumumba ultimately won the right to represent Fulani Sunni Ali and her husband, Bilal Sunni Ali. The charges against Fulani were ultimately dismissed when witnesses established her whereabouts in New Orleans at the time of the Brink’s incident in New York.


On September 3, 1983, the Brinks Case ended in a stunning defeat for the US Government. Six of the eight defendants were acquitted of all major charges, and no defendant was convicted in the actual robbery. As a result of his comments to the press, Lumumba was held in contempt by the District Judge.


In 1985 Lumumba worked with a legal team that successfully uncovered evidence demonstrating how the FBI targeted and framed activist Geronimo Pratt. That work ultimately helped win Pratt’s release ten years later. In similar cases he defended Asata Shakur, Mutulu Shakur, and Mutulu’s son, the popular music performer Tupac Shakur. In 1991 he represented activists in Los Angeles protesting the videotaped police beating of a young Black man named Rodney King. Lumumba notes with pride that most of his political clients have gone on to become effective activists; Geronimo Pratt, for example, now works as a community development advocate in Louisiana and Africa.


In 1985 Lumumba became active in the movement against apartheid in South Africa, training and motivating young people to become active in “fighting for something other than drug turf”.


When Lumumba returned to Mississippi in 1988, his application to practice law in the state was held in limbo for three years. But he rapidly became a noted legal and community advocate, focusing on clients who had experienced violations of their fundamental human rights. For example, he defended DeWayne Boyd, a civil rights activist who had helped to sue the US Department of Agriculture for reparations for African Americans. Lumumba offered his protection to Boyd, who was in Mississippi trying to prevent the illegal expropriation of African American-owned land.


After he was granted the right to practice law in 1991, Lumumba represented the family of Johnnie Griffin, a community activist who had been shot by the police, in a wrongful-death suit. A self-avowed segregationist police officer shot Griffin to death at his home in front of his four children. Lumumba won $250,000 in compensatory damages for the family.


In the 1990s Lumumba increasingly specialized in cases where racial prejudice and political power combine to produce biased investigations, unjust arrests, and excessively punitive sentences. In a landmark case for Mississippi, he wins the acquittal of George Little, a young African American charged with murder for defending himself against an attack by a white man.


In July of 1995, 13-year-old Elliot Culp was one of several witnesses to the murder of a white woman by a white man. Although Culp had reported what he saw to police, they chose not to investigate the perpetrator but to arrest Culp instead. The teenager spent one year in prison charged with capital murder before Lumumba won his acquittal and release. Lumumba said at the time of Culp’s release, “This verdict is a triumph over thoughtless, narrow-minded advocates for wholesale execution and wholesale incarceration of our children”.


In February of 1996, Lumumba announced that he would pursue lawsuits on behalf of Charles and Esther Quinn. A few days after the Quinns’ son Andre Jones had been arrested in August of 1992, he was found hanged in a shower stall in the Simpson County jail. The case attracted national attention for three reasons: first because he was one of the last of forty-eight jailhouse hangings of young African American men in Mississippi since 1987; second, because an independent autopsy ruled the death a homicide after state’s pathologist had called it a suicide; and finally, because the hanging happened under the supervision of Simpson County Sheriff Lloyd “Goon” Jones. Jones had become infamous after being accused in the deaths of two foreign journalists covering the landmark racial integration admission of James Meredith to the University of Mississippi in 1962. Jones was later implicated in the murders of two Jackson State University students in 1972. Lumumba won substantial damages for the Quinn family.


In the mid-1990s Lumumba took on the system of capital punishment in Mississippi. Typically defendants in capital cases, predominantly African- Americans, have little access to information or competent counsel. In their fear and vulnerability, they frequently follow the advice of prosecutors to plead guilty and serve life in prison, rather than “take their chances with a jury and get death”. Death sentences and executions in the USA are plagued by: racial disparities, execution of juvenile and mentally disabled prisoners, and conviction of people who are later found to be innocent.


When Lumumba observes that in over ninety percent of his cases the defendant is either found not guilty or his death sentence is reversed, he stresses that any good, independent attorney would have the same results. However, most poor defendants receive totally ineffective counsel because of the system of representation in effect in Mississippi is not designed to ensure effective representation of defendants in these complex cases.


According to Lumumba, the case of John Buford Irving is typical. Irving was convicted and sentenced to death for shooting a white storeowner during an alleged 1976 robbery when he was 17-years-old. After Lumumba took up the case, secured a new sentencing hearing, and won a change of venue. Irving’s death sentence was reversed. Lumumba notes that in prison Irving has developed into an advocate for other prisoners, often writing their appellate briefs.


Lumumba has consistently participated in demonstrations against the activities of the Ku Klux Klan. In 1990 he represented anti-Klan demonstrators accused of infringing on the Klan’s civil rights. As a demonstrator and outspoken advocate, Lumumba has had police protecting the Klan point their guns directly at him. He has also defended groups of anti-Klan demonstrators in other parts of the country.


The Mississippi legal establishment has also directed its hostility against him. In 2000 the Mississippi Bar publicly reprimanded Lumumba for speaking out against Hinds County Circuit Judge Swan Yerger. A self-proclaimed segregationist, Yerger had dismissed a lawsuit filed against a white police officer brought by Lumumba for an African American client. Lumumba challenged the judge’s decision as being discriminatory. Judge Yerger held him in contempt and filed a complaint with the Mississippi Bar.


Lumumba is currently embroiled in a fight for professional survival, facing the potential loss of his ability to practice law in Mississippi. In the summer of 1996, an African American named Henry Payton came before Judge Marcus Gordon of the Leake County Circuit Court in Carthage, Mississippi. Payton was convicted of bank robbery and arson and sentenced to five years in prison. However, the conviction was overturned by the Mississippi Supreme Court, which found that Judge Gordon had violated Payton’s rights in the trial. The case was returned to Gordon for a new trial; Payton hired Lumumba to defend him.


According to reports, during the trial Judge Gordon openly expressed animosity toward Lumumba and bias against Payton. Lumumba requested that the judge disqualify himself; the judge refused. When the jury was unable to reach a verdict, Gordon ordered them to deliberate further and two hours later the jury returned with a verdict of guilty. This time, Judge Gordon gave Payton a sentence of forty-eight years in prison.


After the trial several jurors said that they would not have found Payton guilty, but had understood the judge’s instructions to mean that the law required them to put aside their honest beliefs to reach a verdict. Other jurors admitted that they were acquainted with one of the prosecution’s key witnesses and had decided that Payton was guilty before the trial began.


In October 2001, Lumumba filed a motion for a new trial. At the hearing Judge Gordon would not allow any of the jurors to testify and refused to order the appearance of people with knowledge of jury misconduct. Lumumba accused Gordon of being unfair. Later Lumumba told a reporter that Gordon “had the judicial demeanor of a barbarian”. He was held in contempt, ejected from the courtroom and jailed for three days. He was fined $300 for saying he was proud to be removed from the courtroom, and $500 for “failing to demonstrate contrition”.


On April 10, 2003, two lawyers and a judge from Harrison County, Mississippi, formed a tribunal and held a hearing on the charges. Lumumba explained that his comments during the Payton trial were prompted by the biased manner of Judge Gordon, including: allowing Payton to be brought before the jury in chains; cutting off Lumumba’s voir dire of potential jurors; interrupting Lumumba’s opening statement; reading erroneous instructions to the jury; and sentencing Payton to forty-eight years. One of Lumumba’s attorneys argued that he had spoken out only with the intention of defending his client’s rights, that the statement made about the judge’s demeanor was protected as free speech, and that the transcript of the proceedings failed to show any evidence Lumumba had disrespected or disrupted the court. The tribunal found Lumumba guilty and ordered that he be publicly reprimanded.


The Mississippi Bar is apparently not satisfied with this reprimand and is appealing the tribunal’s decision to the Mississippi Supreme Court, requesting a one year suspension — a punishment that would require Lumumba to give up all his clients and retake the state bar examination. A hearing was held on April 22, 2003, but a ruling has not yet been announced.


In a separate proceeding, the Mississippi Supreme Court affirmed Lumumba’s conviction for contempt of court. Leake County refused bond and he served three days in jail.


Lumumba says, “Of course the origin of these proceedings is political. It comes down to the Bar not wanting an assertive human rights lawyer who will challenge the various local courts and tribunals in Mississippi”.


Though Front Line is not in a position to express an opinion on the merits of the pending proceedings, the circumstances of these charges against Lumumba raise substantial questions about whether he is being singled out for harsh treatment on the basis of his political beliefs and advocacy for unpopular clients and causes rather than his actual conduct in the courtroom.


The United Nations Declaration on Human Rights Defenders states in Article 9 that everyone has the right


To offer and provide professionally qualified legal assistance or other relevant advice and assistance in defending human rights and fundamental freedoms…. in the exercise of human rights and fundamental freedoms¼ everyone has the right¼ to benefit from an effective remedy and to be protected in the event of the violation of those rights.


Lumumba can recall his first moment of outrage at racism. In 1955 his mother showed him a magazine photograph: “It was a picture of the body of Emmett Till in JET Magazine”. (The 14-year-old Till, an African American, had been kidnapped, tortured and murdered in rural Mississippi for whistling at a white woman).


I said that they need to get the bad people that did that, and Mama said it wasn’t just a few bad people, but America that was at fault. And this will eventually destroy it. I did not understood that at the time, but she said it in such a way that it stuck with me.


When asked if he considers himself a civil rights lawyer, Lumumba responds, “I am more fond of human rights, because human rights are what you have, regardless of who gives them to you”.





2013 mayoral race

On Election Day for the Democratic Party primary for Mayor of Jackson on May 7, 2013, prior to the regular, local evening news, it was known that Lumumba had forced Jonathan Lee into a runoff election and that the incumbent, Harvey Johnson, Jr., had been soundly defeated in each municipal ward. Lumumba had led in at least five of the seven wards. Von Anderson of Jackson noted that Lumumba had raised only $69,000 prior to the primary election on May 7 which is five times less than Jonathan Lee, but that their grassroots work would be more decisive in the upcoming runoff.




On May 15, Attorney Regina Quinn, the fourth place Democratic primary finisher, endorsed Lumumba for his stance on infrastructure development as an economic stimulus for local Jackson businesses and his insistence that the city pay women equally with men in like positions. The local weekly noted that the candidate was influenced more by the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party than the standing Mississippi Democrats.


Chokwe Lumumba, with his son, Chokwe Antar Lumumba, and daughter, Rukia Lumumba, celebrates his primary victory on May 21.

Chokwe Lumumba, with his son, Chokwe Antar Lumumba, and daughter, Rukia Lumumba, celebrates his primary victory on May 21.


On May 21, 2013 Lumumba defeated Jonathan Lee by over 3,000 votes and bested his opponent in five out of the seven municipal wards. With negligible opposition in the June 4th general election, he easily became the mayor-elect for the capital and largest city of Mississippi. One day after the electoral victory, Lumumba questioned the significance of Christoper Columbus as a ‘discoverer of America’. He won the general election on June 4, 2013 and was sworn in as Mayor on July 1, 2013.


Chokwe Lumumba’s Inaugural Speech – Monday, July 1, 2013


Published on Jul 2, 2013

Mayor Chokwe Lumumba giving his Inaugural Speech on Monday, July 1st, 2013. In this speech Chokwe lays out his vision and ideas rebirth and revitalization of the City of Jackson, Mississippi.




Civil Rights Veteran Chokwe Lumumba Elected Mayor of Jackson, Miss., Once a Center of Racial Abuses


Published on Jun 6, 2013

Just days before the 50th anniversary of the assassination of Medgar Evers in Jackson, Mississippi, the city’s voters have elected longtime black nationalist organizer and attorney Chokwe Lumumba to become mayor. Describing himself as a “Fannie Lou Hamer Democrat,” Lumumba surprised many political observers by winning the Democratic primary, despite being outspent five to one.




He went on to easily win this week’s general election. Over the past four decades Lumumba has been deeply involved in numerous political and legal campaigns. As an attorney, his clients have included former Black Panther Assata Shakur and the late hip hop artist Tupac Shakur. As a political organizer, Lumumba served for years as vice-president of the Republic of New Afrika, an organization which advocated for “an independent predominantly black government” in the southeastern United States and reparations for slavery.


He also helped found the National Black Human Rights Coalition and the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement. “People should take a note of Jackson, because we have suffered some of the worst kinds of abuses in history,” Lumumba says. “But we’re about to make some advances and some strides in the development of human rights and the protection of human rights that I think have not been seen in other parts of the country.”









Chokwe Lumumba – Mayor of Jackson Ms.


It is truly an honor to be named as the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Man of the Year for 2014. The indelible impact that Dr. King made during his lifetime as an activist for human rights and his ongoing legacy still serve as a model of what can be achieved through commitment, determination, and vision.


Because of the works of people like Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Medgar Evers, Fannie Lou Hamer, and many others, I am afforded the incredible opportunity to serve the People of the great City of Jackson.


Let us honor his vision by committing to strive to uplift our community as a whole and not just in part. To make Jackson Rise… we must help each of our citizens rise. Through collective effort and hard work our city’s potential for greatness is unlimited. We honor Dr. King and his commitment to all of us.








Black History Month 2014 Presents: Celebrating Black History Month; The Black History Moment Series, #1 thru #26….


In Case You Missed This Series….Black History Month 2014 Presents: Celebrating Black History Month; The Black History Moment Series.








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The Black History Moment Series #25: 4 DEAD Little BLACK Girls. The 16th Street Baptist Church Bombing.


By Jueseppi B.




I want to start this Black History Moment off a little differently. There is a dynamic young Black lady named Victoria Pannell whom I met thru Twitter two years ago. She is what I would wish my daughter was, if I had a daughter. Ms. Victoria has a blog: COREMAG, you’d be doing yourself a great joy to stop by and visit her.


Ms. Victoria is a 14 year old activist, fighter for youth and champion of justice. Her mission now is restitution for Ms. Sarah Collins Rudolph.




Petitioning Birmingham, Alabama City Council


The fifth little girl who was severely injured in the 1963 Birmingham Church Bombing Deserves Restitution…NOW!


Because Love Wins:  Sarah Collins Rudolph deserves compensation from the city of Birmingham and the state of Alabama for the rabid climate of hatred and violence its leaders fostered and advocated throughout the civil rights era. Sarah Collins Rudolph is the fifth little girl who was injured in the 1963 bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama that killed four little girls readying for Sunday school.




Her sister was killed in the bombing. She lost an eye, suffered severe cuts throughout her body, and has endured years of surgery and medical problems as a result of the bombing –sometimes without health insurance- – and has lived in poverty for the past 50 years. She has been ignored and given no recognition of the many losses she has had to endure as a result of this horrendous hate crime. It is shameful that she has been cast aside.


Many historians mark this national tragedy as the tipping point in the Civil Rights Movement; the moment in which the country understood the extent of segregationist violence. This was an act of homegrown governmental sanctioned terrorism.


Other victims of terrorist acts have access to reparations, endowments, and/ or victim funds to help them recover and yet Sarah Collins Rudolph has had to struggle alone and forgotten for 50 years. It is time to act! Will you please sign this petition to present to the Birmingham city council to provide her with restitution, and pay her past, present and future medical bills.  We are petitioning the White House and the Justice Department to provide reparation and/ or restorative funds to Sarah and her family.


Sarah Collins Rudolph, today.

Sarah Collins Rudolph, today.


Please Sign This Petition & send this viral by sharing on facebook, twitter, email, etc.  Thank you.



Throughout the month Of February, TheObamaCrat™ will post a daily series called The Black History Moment Series. Each day for 28 days of this historic month you will be given the food of Black History to satisfy your hunger for knowledge. 


Celebrating Black History Month: The Black History Moment Series #25: The 16th Street Baptist Church Bombing.




The 16th Street Baptist Church Bombing.





At 10:22 a.m. on the morning of September 15, 1963, some 200 church members were in the building–many attending Sunday school classes before the start of the 11 am service–when the bomb detonated on the church’s east side, spraying mortar and bricks from the front of the church and caving in its interior walls. Most parishioners were able to evacuate the building as it filled with smoke, but the bodies of four young girls (14-year-old Addie Mae Collins, Cynthia Wesley and Carole Robertson and 11-year-old Denise McNair) were found beneath the rubble in a basement restroom. Ten-year-old Sarah Collins, who was also in the restroom at the time of the explosion, lost her right eye, and more than 20 other people were injured in the blast.


The bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church on September 15 was the third bombing in 11 days, after a federal court order had come down mandating the integration of Alabama’s school system. In the aftermath of the bombing, thousands of angry black protesters gathered at the scene of the bombing. When Governor Wallace sent police and state troopers to break the protests up, violence broke out across the city; a number of protesters were arrested, and two young African American men were killed (one by police) before the National Guard was called in to restore order. King later spoke before 8,000 people at the funeral for three of the girls (the family of the fourth girl held a smaller private service), fueling the public outrage now mounting across the country.


Even though the legal system was slow to provide justice, the effect of the bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church was immediate and significant. Outrage over the death of the four innocent girls helped build increased support behind the continuing struggle to end segregation–support that would help lead to the passage of both the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965. In that important sense, the bombing’s impact was exactly the opposite of what its perpetrators had intended.


From left, 11-year-old Denise McNair and 14-year-olds Carole Robertson, Addie Mae Collins and Cynthia Wesley were killed while attending Sunday services. Three Ku Klux Klan members were later convicted of murder.

From left, 11-year-old Denise McNair and 14-year-olds Carole Robertson, Addie Mae Collins and Cynthia Wesley were killed while attending Sunday services. Three Ku Klux Klan members were later convicted of murder.


From CNN:


(CNN) — Here’s a look at what you need to know about the Birmingham, Alabama church bombing that killed four African-American girls during church services in 1963.


September 15, 2013 marks the 50th anniversary of the bombing.


September 15, 1963 - A bomb blast at the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama, kills four African-American girls during church services. At least 14 others are injured in the explosion.


Three former Ku Klux Klan members are convicted of murder for the bombing.


Addie Mae Collins, 14
Denise McNair, 11
Carole Robertson, 14
Cynthia Wesley, 14


September 15, 1963 – Four girls are killed and 14 injured in a bomb blast at the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama.
Riots break out, and two African-American boys, Virgil Ware, 13, and Johnny Robinson, 16, are also killed. In all, at least 20 people are injured from the initial bombing and the ensuing riots.
Alabama Governor George Wallace sends 500 National Guardsmen and 300 state troopers to the city. The next day, they are joined by 500 police officers and 150 sheriffs’ deputies.


September 16, 1963 - President John F. Kennedy responds by saying, “If these cruel and tragic events can only awaken that city and state – if they can only awaken this entire nation to a realization of the folly of racial injustice and hatred and violence, then it is not too late for all concerned to unite in steps toward peaceful progress before more lives are lost.”


September 16, 1963 – Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. holds a press conference in Birmingham, saying that the U.S. Army “ought to come to Birmingham and take over this city and run it.”


1965 – Suspects emerge: Bobby Frank Cherry, Thomas Blanton, Robert Chambliss, and Herman Frank Cash, all Ku Klux Clan members. Witnesses are reluctant to talk and physical evidence is lacking so charges are not filed.


1976 - Alabama Attorney General Bill Baxley reopens the case.


September 26, 1977 - Robert Chambliss, 73, a retired auto mechanic and former Ku Klux Klan member, is indicted by a Jefferson County grand jury on four counts of first-degree murder.


November 15, 1977 – On the second day of the trial, Chambliss’s niece, Elizabeth Cobb, testifies that before the bombing, Chambliss confided to her that he had “enough stuff put away to flatten half of Birmingham.”


November 18, 1977 - Robert Chambliss is convicted of first-degree murder in connection with the bombing and sentenced to life imprisonment.


1985 – Chambliss dies in prison.


1994 – Herman Frank Cash dies without being charged in the bombing.


July 1997 – The case is reopened by the FBI, citing new evidence.


May 16, 2000 - A grand jury in Alabama indicts former Klansmen Bobby Frank Cherry and Thomas Blanton with eight counts each of first-degree murder – four counts of intentional murder and four of murder with universal malice.


May 1, 2001 – Thomas Blanton is found guilty of first-degree murder and is sentenced to four life terms.


May 22, 2002 – Bobby Frank Cherry is found guilty and given a sentence of four life terms.


November 8, 2004 - Cherry dies in prison.


February 20, 2006 – The Sixteenth Street Baptist Church is declared a national historic landmark.


September 12, 2013 - 50 years after the bombing, all four girls who died are awarded Congressional Gold Medals.


September 14, 2013 - A bronze and steel statue of the four girls is unveiled. It is located at Kelly Ingram Park, on the corner of Sixteenth Street North and Sixth Avenue North.


Thank you CNN.


Firefighters and ambulance attendants remove a body from the church.

Firefighters and ambulance attendants remove a body from the church.

Cars parked beside the church were damaged by the blast.

Cars parked beside the church were damaged by the blast.

Sarah Jean Collins, 12, lost an eye in the blast. Her sister was one of the girls who died.

Sarah Jean Collins, 12, lost an eye in the blast. Her sister was one of the girls who died.

Martin Luther King Jr. holds a press conference in Birmingham the day after the attack. He said the U.S. Army "ought to come to Birmingham and take over this city and run it."

Martin Luther King Jr. holds a press conference in Birmingham the day after the attack. He said the U.S. Army “ought to come to Birmingham and take over this city and run it.”

Family and friends of Carole Robertson attend graveside services for her in Birmingham on September 17, 1963.

Family and friends of Carole Robertson attend graveside services for her in Birmingham on September 17, 1963.

A coffin is loaded into a hearse at a funeral for the girls. An estimated 8,000 people attended the service.

A coffin is loaded into a hearse at a funeral for the girls. An estimated 8,000 people attended the service.

Mourners embrace at the funeral. In his eulogy, Dr. King said, "These children -- unoffending, innocent and beautiful -- were the victims of one of the most vicious and tragic crimes ever perpetrated against humanity."

Mourners embrace at the funeral. In his eulogy, Dr. King said, “These children — unoffending, innocent and beautiful — were the victims of one of the most vicious and tragic crimes ever perpetrated against humanity.”



Birmingham, Alabama, and the Civil Rights 
Movement in 1963

The 16th Street Baptist Church Bombing




The Sixteenth Street Baptist Church in Birmingham was used as a meeting-place for civil rights leaders such as Martin Luther King, Ralph David Abernathy and Fred Shutterworth. Tensions became high when the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) and the Congress on Racial Equality (CORE) became involved in a campaign to register African American to vote in Birmingham.


On Sunday, 15th September, 1963, a white man was seen getting out of a white and turquoise Chevrolet car and placing a box under the steps of the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church. Soon afterwards, at 10.22 a.m., the bomb exploded killing Denise McNair (11), Addie Mae Collins (14), Carole Robertson (14) and Cynthia Wesley (14). The four girls had been attending Sunday school classes at the church. Twenty-three other people were also hurt by the blast.


Civil rights activists blamed George Wallace, the Governor of Alabama, for the killings. Only a week before the bombing he had told the New York Times that to stop integration Alabama needed a “few first-class funerals.”




Haven to the South’s most violent Ku Klux Klan chapter, Birmingham was probably the most segregated city in the country. Dozens of unsolved bombings and police killings had terrorized the black community since World War II. Yet King foresaw that “the vulnerability of Birmingham at the cash register would provide the leverage to gain a breakthrough in the toughest city in the South.”


Wyatt Tee Walker, who planned the crusade, said that before Birmingham “we had been trying to win the hearts of white Southerners, and that was a mistake, a misjudgement. We realized that you have to hit them in the pocket.” Birmingham offered the perfect adversary in Public Safety Commissioner Eugene “Bull” Connor, who provided dramatic brutality for an international audience. SCLC’s [Southern Christian Leadership Conference, a civil rights organization founded in 1957] goal was to create a political morality play so compelling that the Kennedv administration would be forced to intervene: “The key to everything,” King observed, “is federal commitment.”


The movement initially found it hard to recruit supporters, with black citizens reluctant and Birmingham police restrained. Slapped with an injunction to cease the demonstrations, King decided to go to jail himself. During his confinement, King penned “Letter from Birmingham Jail,” an eloquent critique of “the white moderate who is more devoted to ‘order’ than to justice” and a work included in many composition and literature courses.


The breakthrough came when SCLC’s James Bevel organized thousands of black school children to march in Birmingham. Police used school buses to arrest hundreds of children who poured into the streets each day. Lacking jail space, “Bull” Connor used dogs and firehoses to disperse the crowds. Images of vicious dogs and police brutality emblazoned front pages and television screens around the world. As in Montgomery, King grasped the international implications of SCLC’s strategy. The nation was ‘battling for the minds and the hearts of men in Asia and Africa,” he said, “and they aren’t gonna respect the United States of America if she deprives men and women of the basic rights of life because of the color of their skin.”


President Kennedy lobbied Birmingham’s white business community to reach an agreement. On 10 May local white business leaders consented to desegregate public facilities, but the details of the accord mattered less than the symbolic triumph. Kennedy pledged to preserve this mediated halt to “a spectacle which was seriously damaging the reputation of both Birmingham and the country.”


The next day, however, bombs exploded at King’s headquarters and at his brother’s home. Violent uprisings followed, as poor blacks who had little commitment to nonviolence ravaged nine blocks of Birmingham. Rocks and bottles rained on Alabama state troopers who attacked black citizens in the streets. The violence threatened to mar SCLC’s victory but also helped cement White House support for civil rights. President Kennedy feared that black Southerners might become “uncontrollable” if reforms were not negotiated. It was one of the enduring ironies of the civil fights movement that the threat of violence was so critical to the success of nonviolence.


Police use dogs to quell civil unrest in Birmingham, Ala. in May of 1963. Birmingham's police commissioner "Bull" Connor also allowed firehoses to be turned on young civil rights demonstrators. Photo Source: The Seattle Times Online

Police use dogs to quell civil unrest in Birmingham, Ala. in May of 1963. Birmingham’s police commissioner “Bull” Connor also allowed firehoses to be turned on young civil rights demonstrators.
Photo Source: The Seattle Times Online


Across the South, the triumph in Birmingham inspired similar campaigns; in a ten-week period, at least 758 racial demonstrations in 186 cities sparked 14,733 arrests. Eager to compete with SCLC, the national NAACP pressed Medgar Evers to launch demonstrations in Jackson, Mississippi, On 11 June President Kennedy made a historic address on national television, describing civil rights as “a moral issue” and endorsing federal civil rights legislation. Later that night, a member of the White Citizen’s Council assassinated Medgar Evers.


Tragedy and triumph marked the summer of 1963. As A. Philip Randolph sought to fulfill his vision of a march on the capitol for jobs, King convinced him to shift the focus to civil rights. Joining with leaders from SCLC, SNCC, the Urban League, and the NAACP, Randolph chose Bayard Rustin as march organizer. Kennedy endorsed the march, hoping to gain support for the pending civil rights bill. On 28 August about 250,000 rallied in the most memorable mass demonstration in American history. King’s “I Have a Dream” oration would endure as a historical emblem of nonviolent direct action.


Prominent in the crowd was writer James Baldwin, widely regarded as a black spokesperson, especially since the 1962 publication of his influential work, The Fire Next Time. Malcolm X’s denunciation of the event as the “farce on Washington” and sharp differences over the censorship of a speech by SNCC’s John Lewis would later seem to foreshadow the fragmentation of the movement. But against the lengthening shadow of political violence and racial division–the dynamite murder of four black children at the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham two weeks later and the assassination of President Kennedy on November 22–the march gleamed as the apex of interracial liberalism. Toni Morrison used the bombing of the church as part of the rationale for her characters forming a black vigilante group in Song of Solomon.


In Birmingham, anti-segregation demonstrators lie on the sidewalk to protect themselves from firemen with high pressure water hoses. One disgusted fireman said later, "We're supposed to fight fires, not people." Photo: © Charles Moore

In Birmingham, anti-segregation demonstrators lie on the sidewalk to protect themselves from firemen with high pressure water hoses. One disgusted fireman said later, “We’re supposed to fight fires, not people.”
Photo: © Charles Moore



16th Street Baptist Church bombing
The four girls killed in the bombing (Clockwis...

The four girls killed in the bombing (Clockwise from top left, Addie Mae Collins, Cynthia Wesley, Carole Robertson and Denise McNair) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The four girls killed in
the bombing
(Clockwise from top
left, Addie Mae Collins,
Cynthia Wesley,
Carole Robertson
and Denise McNair)
Location 16th Street Baptist Church,

Birmingham, Alabama

Coordinates 33°31′0″N 86°48′54″WCoordinates:

33°31′0″N 86°48′54″W

Date 1963-09-15
10:22 a.m. (UTC-5)
Attack type Church bombing, mass murder,

hate crime

Deaths 4
Injured (non-fatal) 22
Assailants Robert ChamblissHerman Cash,

Thomas Blanton and Bobby Cherry

Motive Racist hate crime



President Honors 1963 Church Bombing Victims With Congressional Gold Medals




On Friday afternoon, President Barack Obama (seated center) signed a bill effectively awarding the four young victims of the tragic 1963 Birmingham church bombing with the Congressional Gold Medal.


Obama Designates Congressional Gold Medal For Church Bombings

With Alabama representatives Terri Sewell, a Democrat, and Spencer Bachus, a Republican, leading the effort, the House swung in favor last month to posthumously award the deceased, which was a major step in properly upholding the legacy of the bombing victims.




The Congressional Gold Medal is the highest award given to civilians, and includes a list of recipients, such as the many victims of the September 11th attacks in Washington and New York. The signing took place at the White House, after the President returned from Annapolis, where he delivered a commencement speech at the Naval Academy.


Several family members of the girls who were killed were in attendance in addition to members of Congress at the time of the signing.


Klan Bombing of Birmingham Church 1963




16th St. Church - the one that was bombed in the civil rights era




4 DEAD Little BLACK Girls




From NPR:


Long Forgotten, 16th Street Baptist Church Bombing Survivor Speaks Out





Sarah Collins Rudolph was with her sister Addie Mae Collins when a bomb exploded in the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Ala. The 1963 bombing killed her sister and three other girls, and Collins Rudolph was seriously injured in the attack.


Signs of 1963 are everywhere in Birmingham, Ala., these days. The city is commemorating the 51st anniversary of the landmark civil rights events of that year: the children who marched until police turned fire hoses and dogs on them; Martin Luther King Jr.’s “Letter from a Birmingham Jail”; and the September bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church.


Washington has awarded the Congressional Gold Medal for the girls who were murdered in the bombing, Carole Robertson, Cynthia Wesley, Denise McNair and Addie Mae Collins — the highest civilian honor Congress can bestow. But there was another victim that day — a fifth girl, who survived the attack.


That girl, Sarah Collins Rudolph, now lives in a modest ranch-style house just north of Birmingham. She remembers the bombing like it was yesterday.


“I was standing there, just standing there bleeding,” Rudolph, now 62, recalls. “And somebody came and they just picked me up and took me out through the hole and put me in [an] ambulance.”


Rudolph was just 12 when her older sister Addie Mae died in the blast. Rudolph was sprayed with glass, lost an eye and was hospitalized for months. Then, she says, she was told to put it all behind her — but she can’t.


“I still shake. I still jump when I hear loud sounds,” Collins says. “Every day I think about it, just looking in the mirror and seeing the scars on my face. I’m reminded of it every day.”


The scars are physical, mental and financial. Medical bills that have mounted over the years as Collins worked in factories and cleaning houses — mostly without health insurance. She has insurance now through her husband, George, but there are still out-of-pocket medical expenses.


In October, Rudolph went before the Birmingham City Council to ask for help. Her husband says the city ignored her.


“If you look back at the people in the trade towers, each one of those victims got paid. The families, they got paid,” George Rudolph says. “But my wife, she didn’t get anything. She should get compensated.”


Birmingham Mayor William Bell says he’s not insensitive. He appreciates the trauma Sarah Rudolph has been through. But, he says, the city cannot just write her a check.


“When you say ‘reparation,’ that puts a whole different legal terminology in place that we’re not capable — nor are we legally obligated — to do,” Bell says.


Dorothy Inman-Johnson knows the dilemma from both sides. As a teenager, she participated in the children’s marches in Birmingham. And as an adult, she became the first black female mayor of Tallahassee, Fla.


“But the city could have taken the lead in creating some kind of foundation or fund that other people could contribute to that would have helped her in some way,” Inman-Johnson says. “It would have been an important statement.”


But that hasn’t happened — and it doesn’t seem like it will. Over the past 50 years, Rudolph has been left out of many events commemorating the tragedy at 16th Street Baptist Church. Even many longtime Birmingham residents didn’t know her story until recently.


As the eyes of the world are trained on Birmingham this year, Rudolph says she’ll watch from the comfort of her home. It’s all she feels up to, she says, after 50 years forgotten.


Thank you NPR.



Sarah Collins Rudolph said she has forgiven the people who carried out the 1963 atrocity in which she lost her sister and one of her eyes

Sarah Collins Rudolph said she has forgiven the people who carried out the 1963 atrocity in which she lost her sister and one of her eyes


Petitioning Birmingham, Alabama City Council. Please Sign This Petition. Thank you.






Black History Month 2014 Presents: Celebrating Black History Month; The Black History Moment Series, #1 thru #25….


In Case You Missed This Series….Black History Month 2014 Presents: Celebrating Black History Month; The Black History Moment Series.






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