Black Genocide: Honoring Those We Lost To Senseless Violence.


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Black genocide

We Charge Genocide: The Crime of Government Against the Negro People” is a document accusing the United States government of genocide according to the UN Genocide Convention. This document was created by the Civil Rights Congress (CRC) and presented to the United Nations in December 1951.

 

The document pointed out that the United Nations Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of Genocide defined genocide as any acts committed with “intent to destroy” a group, “in whole or in part.” To build its case for black genocide the document cited many instances of lynching in the United States, as well as legal discrimination, a series of incidents of police brutality dating to the present, and systematic inequalities in health and quality of life. The central argument: the US government is both complicit with and responsible for a genocidal situation based on the UN’s own definition of genocide.

 

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From The:

Malcolm X Grassroots Movement

 

The Black Nation Charges Genocide! Our survival is dependent on Self-Defense!

 

The Black Nation Charges Genocide! Our survival is dependant on Self-Defense!

 

Mike Brown, Ezell Ford and Eric Garner are among the latest victims of the ongoing genocide of Black People in the United States of America. Every 28 hours in the United States law enforcement, vigilantes, or security guards extra-judiciously murder a Black person. It is imperative that we as a people act upon every tragedy and hardship inflicted upon us by the government and the corporations to address the systematic genocide of our people in a protracted, programmatic, and strategic way.

 

The United States of America, as both a state and a criminal enterprise, has proven time and time again throughout its entire 238-year history that where Black people are concerned, genocide is the order of the day. The mass extrajudicial killings of Blacks aren’t just the result of rogue police officers and crazed racist vigilantes; it is a state sponsored program of containment designed to keep the Black nation in a position of subservience and subjugation to the White settler colonial nation.

 

The United States Government and the vast reactionary sector of the settler colonial nation who’s interests it was designed to represent, has been engaged in a war on Afrikan people from the time of its inception to the present day. The United States Government continues to lose legitimacy through its actions against our people. Through its refusal to address the ongoing human rights violations against the Black Nation the United States has shown itself to be the perpetual facilitator of the suffering of the Black Nation.

 

We cannot and should not count on our enemies – like the courts, and other forces of the US government or transnational corporations – to protect us. We have to protect ourselves. Justice for Mike Brown, Ezell Ford, Eric Garner or any of the hundreds of other Black women, men and children extra-judiciously executed by vigilantes, security guards and police every year will never be found in the courtrooms of the United States. Marissa Alexander is potentially facing decades in prison for firing a warning shot to defend herself and her children against an abusive partner while George Zimmerman is walking free after murdering Trayvon Martin in cold blood. Even in cases where the verdict apparently is in favor of our people, like in the conviction of Theodore Wafer for the murder of Renisha McBride, these sorts of trials uphold the status quo by not addressing the root issues behind the oppression of our people in a systematic way. The United States Government does not even have the right to try these cases because it is the primary architect of the state of emergency and continuous crisis the Black Nation is forced to endure. We cannot afford to be distracted from the work that must be done to insure the survival of our people.

 

The rebellion our people are waging in Ferguson must be supported. But, spontaneous rebellions are not enough. The only way we are going to successfully defend ourselves from genocide is to build a massive social movement with self-determination and self defense as its central unifying principles. We need a coordinated movement that strategically takes on the systemic oppression and exploitation that prevent Black people from exercising self-determination and human rights.  We have to defend ourselves if we want to survive.

 

We call on people around the country to support The Organization For Black Struggle based out of St. Louis, Missouri in their efforts to secure the resources to hire a full time organizer. They have been working since 1980 to fill the vacuum left by assaults on the Black Power Movement and have been providing critical leadership in support of the people’s struggle. To connect with The Organization For Black Struggle visit http://obs-onthemove.org/.

 

The Malcolm X Grassroots Movement (MXGM) believes that an essential part of our Movement for survival must be Self-Defense Networks.

 

We think there are two types of Networks that we have to build:

 

 

New Afrikan or Black Self-Defense Networks are alliances, coalitions, or united fronts of Black organizations whose purpose is to defend the New Afrikan or Black community from external (the police, FBI, white terrorist organizations, etc.) and internal (agent infiltration, intra-communal violence, etc.) threats to its safety and security.

 

People’s Self-Defense Networks are multi-national (or multi-ethnic and/or racial) alliances, coalitions, or united fronts whose purpose is to defend their communities against mutual enemies and threats and advance a common agenda based on shared interests, hopes, and aspirations.

 

Oppressed peoples and communities can and will only be secure in this country when they are organized to defend themselves against the aggressions of the government and the forces of white supremacy and capitalist exploitation.

 

The Every 28 Hours Campaign proposes a model for organizing:

 

  1. The formation of Black Self-Defense Networks to defend our people and combat police terrorism. These Networks should seek to build Copwatch programs, engage in mass rights based education trainings for the community, serve as first responders to acts of Police Terrorism, and help coordinate mass resistance to these acts via mass mobilizations and direct action. These Networks should also be encouraged to engage in offensive campaigns, such as referendums to institute Police Control Boards.

 

  1. The formation of People’s Self-Defense Networks to defend the lives and interests of all oppressed peoples’ and exploited classes against various forms of state terrorism. These People’s Self-Defense Networks would work as multi-national alliances to engage in a broad manner all of the tasks mentioned above to defend oppressed peoples and targeted communities, such as LGBTQ2GNC communities, against institutionalized racism, white supremacy, institutionalized sexism, patriarchy and state repression be it racial profiling, gender profiling, stop and frisk, mass incarceration, or mass deportations.

 

  1. Waging campaigns for local referendums to institute Police Control mechanisms – i.e. community based structures that have the power to hire, fire, subpoena, and discipline the police on the local level. And waging massive, non-compliant campaigns of resistance employing BDS (boycott, divestment, and sanction) strategies and tactics on statewide, regional, and national levels.

 

  1. Forming People’s Assemblies, on local, citywide, and regional levels to engage in program and demand development initiatives that will enable the people to engage in the broad implementation of people’s programs for self-defense and mutual aid.

 

The Malcolm X Grassroots Movement (MXGM) and the Every 28 Hours Campaign seeks to strengthen organizing initiatives within Black or New Afrikan communities for self-defense, by presenting these initiatives with a comprehensive analytical framework and practical organizing tools to ground and unite them.

 

MXGM offers to Black and other oppressed communities three resources

1) Operation Ghetto Storm, a full report on the 2012 extra judicial killings;

2) Let Your Motto Be Resistance, an organizing handbook for self-defense; and 3) We Charge Genocide Again!, a curriculum for the Every 28 Hours Campaign, to further this objective

 

Links:

 

Operation Ghetto Storm: 2012 Annual Report on the Extrajudicial Killing of Black People

http://mxgm.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/Operation-Ghetto-Storm.pdf

 

 

Let Your Motto Be Resistance

http://mxgm.org/let-your-motto-be-resistance-a-handbook-on-organizing-new-afrikan-and-oppressed-communities-for-self-defense/

 

 

We Charge Genocide Again!

http://mxgm.org/we-charge-genocide-again-new-curriculum-on-every-28-hours-report/

 

 

For more information on these resources or trainings please contact Taliba Obuya at taliba@mxgm.org

 

For coalition building and Self-Defense Networks please contact Watani Tyehimba at watani@mxgm.org.

 

Malcolm X – The House Negro and the Field Negro

 

Published on Feb 29, 2012

The House Negro and the Field Negro, speech by the great Malcolm X, after the March on Washington (1963). Malcolm X was still in the Nation of Islam.

 

 

 

Malcolm X: “Negro and the American Promise.”

 

Published on Apr 21, 2013

June 24th 1963. Dr. Kenneth Clark conducts probing interviews of N.O.I. leader Malcolm X, SCLC leader Martin Luther & Playwright James Baldwin in the hour long special examining the racial crisis in America. Dr. Clark and his wife fellow psychologist Mamie Phipps Clark, used dolls in their 1939 psychological experiment to gauge ego and self esteem in young Black American children. Black children identified with the Black dolls, but children of either race tended to view the White dolls favorably and the Black dolls unfavorably. The study concluded the Black American children internalize society’s negative stereotypes of Black Americans, Dr.Clark: “Two out of three African American children rejected the brown dolls.” Clark’s results were published in a 1950 paper, “Effects of Prejudice and Discrimination on Personality Development.” The Clarks paper on the “doll tests” was cited by the US Supreme Court in its landmark 1954 ruling, Brown v. Board of Education

 

 

 

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The Black Genocide Continues:

 

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Jordan Davis’ parents asked prosecutors not to seek the death penalty in Dunn trial

 

Michael Dunn won’t face death in his Friday sentencing and that will not bother Jordan Davis’ parents. They never wanted the state to execute Dunn.

 

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Justice 4 #JordanDavis: #MichaelDunn Sentenced to Life In Prison NO Parole. plus 105 years for lesser charges. Justice has been served. One down, So many more to go.

 

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Barack Hussein Obama: The Beginning.


 

By Jueseppi B.

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We all know the current story of POTUSA Barack Hussein Obama, He stands for Women, the LGBTQA1 community, the Poor, Veterans, Students, Youth, the Disadvantaged, and the Uninsured. Barack is a President Of The United States Of ALL Americans. Whether you like and voted for him or not.

 

Here is how he began.

 

 

FRONTLINE | The Choice 2008 (full episode) | PBS

 

 

 

Barack Hussein Obama II ( born August 4, 1961) is the 44th and current President of the United States, and the first African American to hold the office. Born in Honolulu, Hawaii, Obama is a graduate of Columbia University and Harvard Law School, where he served as president of the Harvard Law Review. He was a community organizer in Chicago before earning his law degree. He worked as a civil rights attorney and taught constitutional law at the University of Chicago Law School from 1992 to 2004. He served three terms representing the 13th District in the Illinois Senate from 1997 to 2004, running unsuccessfully for the United States House of Representatives in 2000.

 

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In 2004, Obama received national attention during his campaign to represent Illinois in the United States Senate with his victory in the March Democratic Party primary, his keynote address at the Democratic National Convention in July, and his election to the Senate in November. He began his presidential campaign in 2007, and in 2008, after a close primary campaign against Hillary Rodham Clinton, he won sufficient delegates in the Democratic Party primaries to receive the presidential nomination. He then defeated Republican nominee John McCain in the general election, and was inaugurated as president on January 20, 2009. Nine months after his election, Obama was named the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize laureate.

 

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During his first two years in office, Obama signed into law economic stimulus legislation in response to the Great Recession in the form of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 and the Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010. Other major domestic initiatives in his first term include the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, often referred to as “Obamacare”; the Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act; and the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell Repeal Act of 2010. In foreign policy, Obama ended U.S. military involvement in the Iraq War, increased U.S. troop levels in Afghanistan, signed the New START arms control treaty with Russia, ordered U.S. military involvement in Libya, and ordered the military operation that resulted in the death of Osama bin Laden.

 

In November 2010, the Republicans regained control of the House of Representatives as the Democratic Party lost a total of 63 seats, and after a lengthy debate over federal spending and whether or not to raise the nation’s debt limit, Obama signed the Budget Control Act of 2011 and the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012.

 

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Obama was re-elected president in November 2012, defeating Republican nominee Mitt Romney, and was sworn in for a second term on January 20, 2013. During his second term, Obama has promoted domestic policies related to gun control in response to the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, has called for full equality for LGBT Americans, and his administration filed briefs which urged the Supreme Court to strike down the Defense of Marriage Act of 1996 and California’s Proposition 8 as unconstitutional. In foreign policy, Obama has continued the process of ending U.S. combat operations in Afghanistan.

 

 

C-SPAN: Barack Obama Speech at 2004 DNC Convention

 

Published on Oct 17, 2012

PBS Version of 2004 Obama Speech at DNC Convention

 

 

 

 

 

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Barack Obama’s Speech – 2008 Democratic National Convention

 

 

 

Barack Hussein Obama was born on August 4, 1961, at Kapiʻolani Maternity & Gynecological Hospital (now Kapiʻolani Medical Center for Women and Children) in Honolulu, Hawaii, and is the first President to have been born in Hawaii. His mother, Stanley Ann Dunham, was born in Wichita, Kansas, and was of mostly English ancestry. His father, Barack Obama, Sr., was a Luo from Nyang’oma Kogelo, Kenya. Obama’s parents met in 1960 in a Russian class at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, where his father was a foreign student on scholarship.

 

In 1963, Dunham met Lolo Soetoro, an Indonesian East–West Center graduate student in geography at the University of Hawaii, and the couple were married on Molokai on March 15, 1965. After two one-year extensions of his J-1 visa, Lolo returned to Indonesia in 1966, followed sixteen months later by his wife and stepson in 1967, with the family initially living in a Menteng Dalam neighborhood in the Tebet sub-district of south Jakarta, then from 1970 in a wealthier neighborhood in the Menteng sub-district of central Jakarta. From ages six to ten, Obama attended local Indonesian-language schools: St. Francis of Assisi Catholic School for two years and Besuki Public School for one and a half years, supplemented by English-language Calvert School homeschooling by his mother.

 

 

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In 1971, Obama returned to Honolulu to live with his maternal grandparents, Madelyn and Stanley Dunham, and with the aid of a scholarship attended Punahou School, a private college preparatory school, from fifth grade until his graduation from high school in 1979. Obama lived with his mother and sister in Hawaii for three years from 1972 to 1975 while his mother was a graduate student in anthropology at the University of Hawaii. Obama chose to stay in Hawaii with his grandparents for high school at Punahou when his mother and sister returned to Indonesia in 1975 to begin anthropology field work. His mother spent most of the next two decades in Indonesia, divorcing Lolo in 1980 and earning a PhD in 1992, before dying in 1995 in Hawaii following treatment for ovarian cancer and uterine cancer.

 

Of his early childhood, Obama recalled, “That my father looked nothing like the people around me—that he was black as pitch, my mother white as milk—barely registered in my mind.” He described his struggles as a young adult to reconcile social perceptions of his multiracial heritage. Reflecting later on his years in Honolulu, Obama wrote: “The opportunity that Hawaii offered—to experience a variety of cultures in a climate of mutual respect—became an integral part of my world view, and a basis for the values that I hold most dear.” Obama has also written and talked about using alcohol, marijuana, and cocaine during his teenage years to “push questions of who I was out of my mind”. Obama was also a member of the “choom gang”, a self-named group of friends that spent time together and occasionally smoked marijuana.

 

 

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Childhood Years

 

Right-to-left: Barack Obama and Maya Soetoro with their mother Ann and maternal grandfather Stanley Dunham in Hawaii (early 1970s)

Right-to-left: Barack Obama and Maya Soetoro with their mother Ann and maternal grandfather Stanley Dunham in Hawaii (early 1970s)

 

 

Parents’ background and meeting

President Barack Obama’s parents met in September 1960 while attending the University of Hawaii at Manoa. Obama’s father, Barack Obama, Sr., the university’s first foreign student from an African nation, hailed from Kanyadhiang, Rachuonyo District, Nyanza Province in Kenya. Obama’s mother, Stanley Ann Dunham, known as Ann, was born in Wichita. They married on the Hawaiian island of Maui on February 2, 1961. Barack Hussein Obama was born in Honolulu on August 4, 1961 at the old Kapiolani Maternity and Gynecological Hospital at 1611 Bingham Street (a predecessor of the Kapiʻolani Medical Center for Women and Children at 1319 Punahou Street) and named for his father. His birth was announced in The Honolulu Advertiser and the Honolulu Star-Bulletin.

 

Soon after their son’s birth, while Obama’s father continued his education at the University of Hawaii, Ann Dunham took the infant to Seattle, Washington, where she took classes at the University of Washington from September 1961 to June 1962. She and her son lived in an apartment in the Capitol Hill neighborhood. After graduating from the University of Hawaii with a B.A. in economics, Obama, Sr. left the state in June 1962, moving to Cambridge, Massachusetts for graduate study in economics at Harvard University that fall.

 

Ann Dunham returned with her son to Honolulu and, in January 1963, resumed her undergraduate education at the University of Hawaii. In January 1964, Dunham filed for divorce, which was not contested. Barack Obama, Sr. later graduated from Harvard University with an A.M. in economics and in 1965 returned to Kenya.

 

During her first year back at the University of Hawaii, Dunham met Lolo Soetoro. He was one year into his American experience, after two semesters on the Manoa campus and a summer on the mainland at Northwestern and the University of Wisconsin, when he encountered Dunham, then an undergraduate interested in anthropology. A surveyor from Indonesia, he had come to Honolulu in September 1962 on an East-West Center grant to study at the University of Hawaii. He earned a M.A. in geography in June 1964.

 

Dunham and Soetoro married on March 15, 1965, on Molokai. They returned to Honolulu to live with her son as a family. After two one-year extensions of his J-1 visa, Soetoro returned to Indonesia on June 20, 1966. Dunham and her son moved in with her parents at their house. She continued with her studies, earning a B.A. in anthropology in August 1967, while her son attended kindergarten in 1966–1967 at Noelani Elementary School.

 

 

Indonesia

In October 1967, Obama and his mother moved to Jakarta to rejoin his stepfather. The family initially lived in a newly built neighborhood in the Menteng Dalam administrative village of the Tebet subdistrict in South Jakarta for two and a half years, while Soetoro worked on a topographic survey for the Indonesian government. From January 1968 to December 1969, Obama’s mother taught English and was an assistant director of the U.S. government-subsidized Indonesia-America Friendship Institute, while Obama attended the Indonesian-language Santo Fransiskus Asisi (St. Francis of Assisi) Catholic School around the corner from their house for 1st, 2nd, and part of 3rd grade.

 

In 1970, Soetoro took a new job at higher pay in Union Oil Company‘s government relations office. From January 1970 to August 1972, Obama’s mother taught English and was a department head and a director of the Institute of Management Education and Development. Obama attended the Indonesian-language government-run Besuki School, one and half miles east in the exclusive Menteng administrative village, for part of 3rd grade and for 4th grade. By this time, he had picked up on some Indonesian in addition to his native English. He also joined the Cub Scouts.

 

In the summer of 1970, Obama returned to Hawaii for an extended visit with his maternal grandparents, Stanley and Madelyn Dunham. His mother had also arranged an interview for possible admission to the Punahou School in Honolulu, one of the top private schools in the city. On August 15, 1970, Dunham and Soetoro celebrated the birth of their daughter, Maya Kassandra Soetoro.

 

 

US Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama is seen with his mother as a child in a family snapshot

 

 

Adult life

 

College years

Following high school, Obama moved to Los Angeles in 1979, where he studied at Occidental College for two years. On February 18, 1981, he made his first public speech, calling for Occidental’s divestment from South Africa. In the summer of 1981, Obama traveled to Jakarta to visit his mother and half-sister Maya, and visited the families of Occidental College friends in Hyderabad (India) and Karachi for three weeks.

 

He then transferred to Columbia University in New York City, where he majored in political science with a specialization in international relations. Obama lived off campus in a modest rented apartment at 142 West 109th St. He graduated with a A.B. from Columbia in 1983, then worked at Business International Corporation and New York Public Interest Research Group.

 

 

Early career in Chicago

After four years living in New York City, Obama moved to Chicago to work as a community organizer. He worked for three years from June 1985 to May 1988 as director of the Developing Communities Project (DCP), a church-based community organization originally comprising eight Catholic parishes in Greater Roseland (RoselandWest Pullman, and Riverdale) on Chicago’s far South Side. During his three years as the DCP’s director, its staff grew from 1 to 13 and its annual budget grew from $70,000 to $400,000, with accomplishments including helping set up a job training program, a college preparatory tutoring program, and a tenants’ rights organization in Altgeld Gardens. Obama also worked as a consultant and instructor for the Gamaliel Foundation, a community organizing institute. In the summer of 1988, he traveled for the first time to Europe for three weeks then to Kenya for five weeks where he met many of his paternal relatives for the first time.

 

 

Harvard Law School

Obama entered Harvard Law School in late 1988. In an interview with Ebony in 1990, he stated that he saw a degree in law as a vehicle to facilitate better community organization and activism: “The idea was not only to get people to learn how to hope and dream about different possibilities, but to know how the tax structure affects what kind of housing gets built where.” At the end of his first year he was selected as an editor of the Harvard Law Review based on his grades and a writing competition. In February 1990, his second year at Harvard, he was elected president of the law review, a full-time volunteer position functioning as editor-in-chief and supervising the law review’s staff of 80 editors. Obama’s election as the first black president of the law review was widely reported and followed by several long, detailed profiles.

 

He got himself elected by convincing a crucial swing bloc of conservatives that he would protect their interests if they supported him. Building up that trust was done with the same kind of long listening sessions he had used in the poor neighborhoods of South Side, Chicago. Richard Epstein, who later taught at the University of Chicago Law School when Obama later taught there, said Obama was elected editor “because people on the other side believed he would give them a fair shake.”

 

While in law school he worked as an associate at the law firms of Sidley & Austin in 1989, where he met his wife, Michelle, and where Newton N. Minow was a managing partner. Minow later would introduce Obama to some of Chicago’s top business leaders. In the summer of 1990 he worked at Hopkins & Sutter. Also during his law school years, Obama spent eight days in Los Angeles taking a national training course on Alinsky methods of organizing. He graduated with a J.D. magna cum laude from Harvard in 1991 and returned to Chicago.

 

 

Settling down in Chicago

The publicity from his election as the first African American president of the Harvard Law Review led to a contract and advance to write a book about race relations. In an effort to recruit him to their faculty, the University of Chicago Law School provided Obama with a fellowship and an office to work on his book. He originally planned to finish the book in one year, but it took much longer as the book evolved into a personal memoir. In order to work without interruptions, Obama and his wife, Michelle, traveled to Bali where he wrote for several months. The manuscript was finally published as Dreams from My Father in mid-1995.

 

He married Michelle LaVaughn Robinson in 1992 and settled down with her in Hyde Park, a liberal, integrated, middle-class Chicago neighborhood with a history of electing reform-minded politicians independent of the Daley political machine. The couple’s first daughter, Malia Ann, was born in 1998; their second, Natasha (known as Sasha), in 2001.

 

One effect of the marriage was to bring Obama closer to other politically influential Chicagoans. One of Michelle’s best friends was Jesse Jackson‘s daughter, Santita Jackson, later the godmother of the Obamas’ first child. Michelle herself had worked as an aide to Mayor Richard M. Daley. Marty Nesbitt, a young, successful black businessman (who played basketball with Michelle’s brother, Craig Robinson), became Obama’s best friend and introduced him to other African-American business people. Before the marriage, according to Craig, Obama talked about his political ambitions, even saying that he might run for president someday.

 

 

Project Vote

Obama directed Illinois Project Vote from April to October 1992, a voter registration drive, officially nonpartisan, that helped Carol Moseley Braun become the first black woman ever elected to the Senate. He headed up a staff of 10 and 700 volunteers that achieved its goal of 400,000 registered African Americans in the state, leading Crain’s Chicago Business to name Obama to its 1993 list of “40 under Forty” powers to be. Although fundraising was not required for the position when Obama was recruited for the job, he started an active campaign to raise money for the project. According to Sandy Newman, who founded Project Vote, Obama “raised more money than any of our state directors had ever done. He did a great job of enlisting a broad spectrum of organizations and people, including many who did not get along well with one another.”

 

The fundraising brought Obama into contact with the wealthy, liberal elite of Chicago, some of whom became supporters in his future political career. Through one of them he met David Axelrod, who later headed Obama’s campaign for president. The fundraising committee was chaired by John Schmidt, a former chief of staff to Mayor Richard M. Daley, and John W. Rogers Jr., a young black money manager and founder of Ariel Capital Management. Obama also met much of the city’s black political leadership, although he didn’t always get along with the older politicians, with friction sometimes developing over Obama’s reluctance to spend money and his insistence on results. “He really did it, and he let other people take all the credit”, Schmidt later said. “The people standing up at the press conferences were Jesse Jackson and Bobby Rush and I don’t know who else. Barack was off to the side and only the people who were close to it knew he had done all the work.”

 

 

1992–1996

Obama taught constitutional law at the University of Chicago Law School for twelve years, as a Lecturer for four years (1992–1996), and as a Senior Lecturer for eight years (1996–2004). During this time he taught courses in due process and equal protection, voting rights, and racism and law. He published no legal scholarship, and turned down tenured positions, but served eight years in the Illinois Senate during his twelve years at the university.

 

In 1993 Obama joined Davis, Miner, Barnhill & Galland, a 12-attorney law firm specializing in civil rights litigation and neighborhood economic development, where he was an associate for three years from 1993 to 1996, then of counsel from 1996 to 2004, with his law license becoming inactive in 2007. The firm was well-known among influential Chicago liberals and leaders of the black community, and the firm’s Judson H. Miner, who met with Obama to recruit him before Obama’s 1991 graduation from law school, had been counsel to former Chicago Mayor Harold Washington, although the law firm often clashed with the administration of Mayor Richard M. Daley. The 29-year-old law student made it clear in his initial interview with Miner that he was more interested in joining the firm to learn about Chicago politics than to practice law. During the four years Obama worked as a full-time lawyer at the firm, he was involved in 30 cases and accrued 3,723 billable hours.

 

Obama was a founding member of the board of directors of Public Allies in 1992, resigning before his wife, Michelle, became the founding executive director of Public Allies Chicago in early 1993. He served on the board of directors of the Woods Fund of Chicago, which in 1985 had been the first foundation to fund Obama’s DCP, from 1993–2002, and served on the board of directors of The Joyce Foundation from 1994–2002. Membership on the Joyce and Wood foundation boards, which gave out tens of millions of dollars to various local organizations while Obama was a member, helped Obama get to know and be known by influential liberal groups and cultivate a network of community activists that later supported his political career.

 

Obama served on the board of directors of the Chicago Annenberg Challenge from 1995–2002, as founding president and chairman of the board of directors from 1995–1999. He also served on the board of directors of the Chicago Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, the Center for Neighborhood Technology, and the Lugenia Burns Hope Center. In 1995, Obama also announced his candidacy for a seat in the Illinois state Senate and attended Louis Farrakhan’s Million Man March in Washington, DC.

 

 

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Family and personal life

In June 1989, Obama met Michelle Robinson when he was employed as a summer associate at the Chicago law firm of Sidley Austin. Assigned for three months as Obama’s adviser at the firm, Robinson joined him at several group social functions, but declined his initial requests to date. They began dating later that summer, became engaged in 1991, and were married on October 3, 1992.

 

The couple’s first daughter, Malia Ann, was born on July 4, 1998, followed by a second daughter, Natasha (“Sasha”), on June 10, 2001. The Obama daughters attended the private University of Chicago Laboratory Schools. When they moved to Washington, D.C., in January 2009, the girls started at the private Sidwell Friends School. The Obamas have a Portuguese Water Dog named Bo, a gift from Senator Ted Kennedy.

 

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@VinylPopArt Thank you @BarackObama I have Health/Dental for the 1st time since I lived w/ my parents 13yrs ago #Obamacare

@VinylPopArt
Thank you @BarackObama I have Health/Dental for the 1st time since I lived w/ my parents 13yrs ago #Obamacare

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First term official portrait of Barack Obama by Souza, January 2009

First term official portrait of Barack Obama by Souza, January 2009

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Celebrating Black History Month.The Black History Moment Series #30: My Black History Heroes & Heroines. The End Of The Series.


 

By Jueseppi B.

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Throughout the month Of February, TheObamaCrat™ has post a daily series called The Black History Moment. Each day for 30 days of this historic month I have endeavored to bring you a different type of Black History. Not just celebrating people but events from the past and from the present. Events that shaped and touched our lives as Black Americans. The series comes to an end for 2014 with this last installment which focuses on my Black History Heroes & Heroines.

 

Celebrating Black History Month. The Black History Moment Series #30: My Black History Heroes & Heroines. The End Of The Series. 

 

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Here is the link to the complete Black History Moment Series. You can find the complete Black History Month 2014 Series in it’s entirety. The Black History Moment Series, #1 thru #30 which includes a bonus post about Ms. Rosa Parks, celebrating her 101st birthday….

 

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

 

 

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Celebrating Black History Month.The Black History Moment Series #30: My Black History Heroes & Heroines. The End Of The Series….. 

 

 

Fannie Lou Hamer

 

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Fannie Lou Hamer (born Fannie Lou Townsend; October 6, 1917 – March 14, 1977) was an American voting rights activist and civil rights leader.

 

She was instrumental in organizing Mississippi Freedom Summer for the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), and later became the Vice-Chair of the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party, attending the 1964 Democratic National Convention in Atlantic City, New Jersey, in that capacity. Her plain-spoken manner and fervent belief in the Biblical righteousness of her cause gained her a reputation as an electrifying speaker and constant activist of civil rights.

 

Beginnings of activism

On August 23, 1962, Rev. James Bevel, an organizer for the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) and an associate of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., gave a sermon in Ruleville, Mississippi, and followed it with an appeal to those assembled to register to vote. Black people who registered to vote in the South faced serious hardships at that time due to institutionalized racism, including harassment, the loss of their jobs, physical beatings, and lynchings; nonetheless, Hamer was the first volunteer. She later said, “I guess if I’d had any sense, I’d have been a little scared – but what was the point of being scared? The only thing they could do was kill me, and it kinda seemed like they’d been trying to do that a little bit at a time since I could remember.”

 

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FANNY LOU HAMER

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On June 9, 1963, Hamer was on her way back from Charleston, South Carolina with other activists from a literacy workshop. Stopping in Winona, Mississippi, the group was arrested on a false charge and jailed. Once in jail, Hamer and her colleagues were beaten savagely by the police, almost to the point of death.

 

Released on June 12, she needed more than a month to recover. Though the incident had profound physical and psychological effects, Hamer returned to Mississippi to organize voter registration drives, including the “Freedom Ballot Campaign”, a mock election, in 1963, and the “Freedom Summer” initiative in 1964. She was known to the volunteers of Freedom Summer – most of whom were young, white, and from northern states – as a motherly figure who believed that the civil rights effort should be multi-racial in nature.

 

In addition to her “Northern” guest, Hamer played host to Tuskegee University student activists, Sammy Younge Jr. and Wendell Paris. Younge and Paris grew to become profound activsts and organizers under Hamer’s tutelage. Younge ultimately gave his life to the movement in 1966, when he was assassinated in Tuskegee. Wendell Paris continued his activist career working and organizing in Tuskegee as well as Mississippi

 

Hamer died of heart failure due to hypertension on March 14, 1977, at the age of 59 at a hospital in Mound Bayou, Mississippi and is buried in her hometown of Ruleville, Mississippi. Her tombstone reads one of her famous quotes, “I am sick and tired of being sick and tired.” Her primary memorial service, held at a church, was completely full. An overflow memorial service was held at Ruleville Central High School, with over 1,500 people in attendance. Andrew Young, the United States Ambassador to the United Nations, spoke at the RCHS service.

 

Quotes of Fannie Lou Hamer

We didn’t come all the way up here to compromise for no more than we’d gotten here. We didn’t come all this way for no two seats when all of us is tired.”

 

“All my life I’ve been sick and tired. Now I’m sick and tired of being sick and tired.”

 

“Nobody’s free until everybody’s free.”

 

 

 

Malcolm X

 

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Malcolm X (May 19, 1925 – February 21, 1965), born Malcolm Little and also known as El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz , was an African-American Muslim minister and a human rights activist. To his admirers he was a courageous advocate for the rights of blacks, a man who indicted white America in the harshest terms for its crimes against black Americans; detractors accused him of preaching racism and violence. He has been called one of the greatest and most influential African Americans in history.

 

Malcolm X was effectively orphaned early in life. His father was killed when he was six and his mother was placed in a mental hospital when he was thirteen, after which he lived in a series of foster homes.

 

In 1946, at age 20, he went to prison for larceny and breaking and entering. While in prison he became a member of the Nation of Islam, and after his parole in 1952 quickly rose to become one of its leaders. For a dozen years he was the public face of the controversial group; in keeping with the Nation’s teachings he espoused black supremacy, advocated the separation of black and white Americans and scoffed at the civil rights movement’s emphasis on integration.

 

By March 1964 Malcolm X had grown disillusioned with the Nation of Islam and its head Elijah Muhammad, and ultimately repudiated the Nation and its teachings. He embraced Sunni Islam and, after a period of travel in Africa and the Middle East, returned to the United States to found Muslim Mosque, Inc. and the Organization of Afro-American Unity. While continuing to emphasize Pan-Africanism, black self-determination, and black self-defense, he disavowed racism, saying, “I did many things as a [Black] Muslim that I’m sorry for now. I was a zombie then … pointed in a certain direction and told to march”.

 

In February 1965, shortly after repudiating the Nation of Islam, he was assassinated by three of its members. The Autobiography of Malcolm X, published shortly after his death, has been called one of the most influential nonfiction books of the 20th century.

 

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“One A Day” Black History Month Series ~ Mr. Malcolm X

 

Black History Moment: Minister Malcolm X aka Malcolm Little. Assassinated This Day In 1965

 

 

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Dr. Maya Angelou

 

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Maya Angelou (born Marguerite Ann Johnson; April 4, 1928) is an American author and poet. She has published seven autobiographies, three books of essays, and several books of poetry, and is credited with a list of plays, movies, and television shows spanning more than fifty years. She has received dozens of awards and over thirty honorary doctoral degrees. Angelou is best known for her series of seven autobiographies, which focus on her childhood and early adult experiences. The first, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (1969), tells of her life up to the age of seventeen, and brought her international recognition and acclaim.

 

Angelou’s list of occupations includes pimp, prostitute, night-club dancer and performer, castmember of the opera Porgy and Bess, coordinator for the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, author, journalist in Egypt and Ghana during the days of decolonization, and actor, writer, director, and producer of plays, movies, and public television programs. Since 1982, she has taught at Wake Forest University in Winston-SalemNorth Carolina, where she holds the first lifetime Reynolds Professorship of American Studies. She was active in the Civil Rights movement, and worked with Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcolm X. Since the 1990s she has made around eighty appearances a year on the lecture circuit, something she continued into her eighties. In 1993, Angelou recited her poem “On the Pulse of Morning” at President Bill Clinton‘s inauguration, the first poet to make an inaugural recitation since Robert Frost at John F. Kennedy‘s inauguration in 1961.

 

With the publication of I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, Angelou publicly discussed aspects of her personal life. She is respected as a spokesperson of black people and women, and her works have been considered a defense of black culture. Although attempts have been made to ban her books from some US libraries, her works are widely used in schools and universities worldwide. Angelou’s major works have been labeled as autobiographical fiction, but many critics have characterized them as autobiographies. She has made a deliberate attempt to challenge the common structure of the autobiography by critiquing, changing, and expanding the genre. Her books center on themes such as racism, identity, family, and travel. Angelou is best known for her autobiographies, but she is also an established poet, although her poems have received mixed reviews.

 

Maya Angelou
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Angelou recites her poem, “On the Pulse of Morning”,
at President Bill Clinton’s inauguration, January 1993
Born Marguerite Ann Johnson
April 4, 1928 (age 85)
St. LouisMissouri, U.S.
Occupation Poet, civil rights activist, dancer,

film producer, television producer,

playwright, film director, author,

actress, professor

Language English
Ethnicity African American
Period 1969–present
Genres Autobiography
Literary movement Civil rights
Notable work(s) I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings
On the Pulse of Morning

www.mayaangelou.com

 

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Rep. John Lewis

 

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John Robert Lewis (born February 21, 1940) is an American politician and civil rights leader. He is the U.S. Representative for Georgia’s 5th congressional district, serving since 1987, and is the dean of the Georgia congressional delegation. The district includes the northern three-quarters of Atlanta.

 

Lewis is the only living “Big Six” leader of the American Civil Rights Movement, having been the chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), playing a key role in the struggle to end legalized racial discrimination and segregation. A member of the Democratic Party, Lewis is a member of the Democratic leadership of the House of Representatives and has served in the Whip organization since shortly after his first election to the U.S. Congress.

 

He is Senior Chief Deputy Whip, leading an organization of chief deputy whips and serves as the primary assistant to the Democratic Whip. He has held this position since 1991.

 

John Lewis

 

 

Civil rights activism

John Lewis was the youngest of the Big Six civil rights leaders and the chairman of the SNCC from 1963 to 1966, some of the most tumultuous years of the civil rights movement. During his tenure, SNCC opened Freedom Schools, launched the Mississippi Freedom Summer, and organized the voter registration efforts that led to the pivotal Selma to Montgomery marches.

 

He graduated from the American Baptist Theological Seminary in Nashville and then received a bachelor’s degree in Religion and Philosophy from Fisk University. As a student, Lewis was very dedicated to the civil rights movement. He organized sit-ins at segregated lunch counters in Nashville and took part in many other civil rights activities as part of the Nashville Student Movement. He was instrumental in organizing student sit-ins, bus boycotts and non-violent protests in the fight for voter and racial equality.

 

In 1960, Lewis joined the Freedom Riders. He was one of the 13 original Freedom Riders. There were seven whites and six blacks who were determined to ride from Washington, DC, to New Orleans in an integrated fashion. At that time, several states of the old Confederacy still enforced laws prohibiting black and white riders from sitting next to each other on public transportation. The Freedom Ride, originated by the Fellowship of Reconciliation and revived by Farmer and CORE, was initiated to pressure the federal government to enforce the Supreme Court decision in Boynton v. Virginia (1960) that declared segregated interstate bus travel to be unconstitutional. In the South, Lewis and other non-violent Freedom Riders were beaten by angry mobs, arrested at times and taken to jail. When CORE gave up on the Freedom Ride because of the violence, Lewis and fellow activist Diane Nash arranged for the Nashville students to take it over and bring it to a successful conclusion.

 

Civil Rights March on Washington, D.C. (Leaders of the march)

Civil Rights March on Washington, D.C. (Leaders of the march)

 

In 1963, when Chuck McDew stepped down as SNCC chairman, Lewis, one of the founding members of SNCC, was quickly elected to take over. Lewis’s experience at that point was already widely respected. His courage and his tenacious adherence to the philosophy of reconciliation and non-violence made him emerge as a leader. By this time, he had been arrested 24 times in the non-violent struggle for equal justice. He held the post of chairman until 1966.

 

John Lewis Lincoln Memorial March on Washington

 

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By 1963, he was recognized as one of the “Big Six” leaders of the Civil Rights Movement, along with Whitney Young,A. Phillip RandolphJames Farmer and Roy Wilkins. In that year, Lewis helped plan the historic March on Washington in August 1963, the occasion of Dr. King’s celebrated “I Have a Dream” speech. Currently, he is the last remaining speaker from the march. Lewis represented SNCC, the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, and at 23 was the youngest speaker that day.

 

In 1964, Lewis coordinated SNCC’s efforts for “Mississippi Freedom Summer,” a campaign to register black voters across the South. The Freedom Summer was an attempt to expose college students from around the country to the perils of African-American life in the South. Lewis traveled the country encouraging students to spend their summer break trying to help people in Mississippi, the most recalcitrant state in the union, to register and vote. Lewis became nationally known during his prominent role in the Selma to Montgomery marches.

 

On March 7, 1965 – a day that would become known as “Bloody Sunday” – Lewis and fellow activist Hosea Williams led over 600 marchers across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama. At the end of the bridge, they were met by Alabama State Troopers who ordered them to disperse. When the marchers stopped to pray, the police discharged tear gas and mounted troopers charged the demonstrators, beating them with night sticks. Lewis’s skull was fractured, but he escaped across the bridge, to a church in Selma. Before he could be taken to the hospital, John Lewis appeared before the television cameras calling on President Johnson to intervene in Alabama. On his head, Lewis bears scars that are still visible today.

 

Historian Howard Zinn wrote: “At the great Washington March of 1963, the chairman of the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), John Lewis, speaking to the same enormous crowd that heard Martin Luther King‘s I Have a Dream speech, was prepared to ask the right question: ‘Which side is the federal government on?’ That sentence was eliminated from his speech by organizers of the March to avoid offending the Kennedy Administration. But Lewis and his fellow SNCC workers had experienced, again and again, the strange passivity of the national government in the face of Southern violence.”

 

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Coretta Scott King

 

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Coretta Scott King (April 27, 1927 – January 30, 2006) was an American author,activist, and civil rights leader. The widow of Martin Luther King, Jr., Coretta Scott King helped lead the African-American Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s. King often participated in many of her husband’s exploits and goals during the battle for African-American equality. King met the future civil rights leader while in college and the two quickly escalated to the center of the movement.

 

Mrs. King played a prominent role in the years after her husband’s 1968 assassination when she took on the leadership of the struggle for racial equality herself and became active in the Women’s Movement and the LGBT rights movement. King founded the King Center and sought to make his birthday a national holiday. King went through several procedures and was put down many times before in the mid-1980s, she finally succeeded with Ronald Reagan’s signing of the legislation legalizing Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. She expanded her views to include opposition to apartheid and tried to establish homosexual rights as being part of her husband’s wishes.

 

King became friends with many politicians before and after her husband’s death, most notably John F. KennedyLyndon B. Johnson and Robert F. Kennedy. John F. Kennedy’s phone call to her during the 1960 election was what she liked to believe was behind his victory. In August 2005, King suffered a stroke and was left paralyzed on her right side and unable to speak. Five months later, King died of respiratory failure due to complications from ovarian cancer. King’s funeral was attended by four of five living U.S. Presidents and by over 10 million people. She was temporarily buried on the grounds of the King Center, until she was interred next to her husband.

 

Coretta received awards both for her and her husband during her lifetime and was awarded posthumously for her charismatic behavior towards human rights. King was inducted into the Alabama Women’s Hall of Fame in 2009. She was the first African-American to lie in Georgia State Capitol upon her death. King has been referred to as “First Lady of the Civil Rights Movement.”

 

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Civil rights movement (1955-1968)

On September 1, 1954, Martin Luther King, Jr. became the full-time pastor of Dexter Avenue Baptist Church. It was a sacrifice for Coretta, who had to give up her dreams of becoming a classical singer. Her devotion to the cause while giving up on her own ambitions would become symbolic of the actions of African-American women during the movement. The couple moved into the church’s parsonage on South Jackson Street shortly after this. Coretta became a member of the choir and taught Sunday school, as well as participating in the Baptist Training Union and Missionary Society. She made her first appearance at the First Baptist Church on March 6, 1955, where according to E. P. Wallace, she “captivated her concert audience.”

 

The Kings welcomed their first child Yolanda on November 17, 1955, who was named at Coretta’s insistence and became the church’s attention. After her husband became involved in the Montgomery Bus Boycott, King often received threats directed towards him. In January 1956, King answered numerous phone calls threatening her husband’s life, as rumors intended to make African-Americans dissatisfied with King’s husband spread that Martin had purchased a Buick station wagon for her. Martin Luther King, Jr. would give her the nickname “Yoki,” and thereby, allow himself to refer to her out of her name.

 

By the end of the boycott, Mrs. King and her husband had come to believe in non-violent protests as a way of expression consistent with biblical teachings. Two days after the integration of Montgomery’s bus service, on December 23, a gunshot rang through the front door of the King home while King, her husband and Yolanda were asleep. The three were not harmed. On Christmas Eve of 1955, King took her daughter to her parents’s house and met with her siblings as well. Yolanda was their first grandchild. King’s husband joined them the next day, at dinner time.

 

On February 21, 1956, King’s husband announced he would return to Montgomery after picking up Coretta and their daughter from Atlanta, who were staying with his parents. During Martin Luther King, Sr.’s opposition to his son’s choice to return to Montgomery, Mrs. King picked up her daughter and went upstairs, which he would express dismay in later and tell her that she “had run out on him.” Two days later, Coretta and her husband drove back to Montgomery.

 

Coretta took an active role in advocating for civil rights legislation. On April 25, 1958, King made her first appearance at a concert that year at Peter High School Auditorium in Birmingham, Alabama. With a performance sponsored by the Omicron Lambda Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, King changed a few songs in the first part of the show but still continued with the basic format used two years earlier at the New York gala as she told the story of the Montgomery Bus Boycott. The concert was important for Coretta as a way to continue her professional career and participate in the movement. The concert gave the audience “an emotional connection to the messages of social, economic, and spiritual transformation.”

 

On September 3, 1958, King accompanied her husband and Ralph Abernathy to a courtroom. Her husband was arrested outside the courtroom for “loitering” and “failing to obey an officer.” A few weeks later, King visited Martin’s parents in Atlanta. At that time, she learned that he had been stabbed while signing copies of his book Stride Toward Freedom on September 20, 1958. King rushed to see her husband, and stayed with him for the remainder of his time in the hospital recovering. On February 3, 1959, King, her husband and Lawrence Reddick started a five week tour of India. The three were invited to hundreds of engagements. During their trip, Coretta used her singing ability to enthuse crowds during their month long stay. The two returned to the United States on March 10, 1959.

 

 

House bombing

On January 30, 1956, Coretta and Dexter congregation member Roscoe Williams’s wife Mary Lucy heard the “sound of a brick striking the concrete floor of the front porch.” Coretta suggested that the two women get out of the front room and went into the guest room, as the house was disturbed by an explosion which caused the house to rock and fill the front room with smoke and shattered glass. The two went to the rear of the home, where Yolanda was sleeping and Coretta called the First Baptist Church and reported the bombing to the woman who answered the phone. Martin returned to their home, and upon finding Coretta and his daughter unharmed, went outside. He was confronted by an angry crowd of his supporters, who had brought guns. He was able to turn them away with an impromptu speech.

 

A white man was reported by a lone witness to have walked halfway up King’s door and throwing something against the door before running back to his car and speeding off. Mr. Ernest Walters, the lone witness, did not manage to get the license plate number because of how quickly the events transpired. Both of the couple’s fathers contacted them over the bombing. The two arrived nearly at the same time, along with her husband’s mother and brother. Coretta’s father Obie said he would take her and her daughter back to Marion if his son-in-law did not take them to Atlanta. Coretta refused the proclamation, and insisted on staying with her husband. Despite Martin Luther King, Sr. also advocating that she leave with her father, King persisted in leaving with him. Author Octavia B. Vivian wrote “That night Coretta lost her fear of dying. She committed herself more deeply to the freedom struggle, as Martin had done four days previously, when jailed for the first time in his life.” Mrs. King would later call it the first time she realized “how much I meant to Martin in terms of supporting him in what he was doing”

 

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Coretta Scott King died on the late evening of January 30, 2006, at the rehabilitation center in Rosarito Beach,Mexico, In the Oasis Hospital where she was undergoing holistic therapy for her stroke and advanced stage ovarian cancer. The main cause of her death is believed to be respiratory failure due to complications from ovarian cancer. The clinic at which she died was called the Hospital Santa Monica, but was licensed as Clinica Santo Tomas. After reports indicated that it was not legally licensed to “perform surgery, take X-rays, perform laboratory work or run an internal pharmacy, all of which it was doing,” as well as reports of it being operated by highly controversial medical figure Kurt Donsbach, it was shut down by medical commissioner Dr. Francisco Versa. King’s body was flown from Mexico to Atlanta on February 1, 2006.

 

Mrs. King was temporary mausoleum on the grounds of the King Center until a permanent place next to her husband’s remains could be built. She had expressed to family members and others that she wanted her remains to lie next to her husband’s at the King Center. On November 20, 2006, the new mausoleum containing both the bodies of Dr. and Mrs. King was unveiled in front of friends and family. The mausoleum is the third resting place of Martin Luther King, and the second of Mrs. King.

 

Coretta Scott King

 

 

 

Muhammad Ali

 

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Muhammad Ali (born Cassius Marcellus Clay, Jr.; January 17, 1942) is an American former professional boxer, generally considered among the greatest heavyweights in the sport’s history. A controversial and polarizing figure during his early career, Ali is today widely regarded for not only the skills he displayed in the ring but also the values he exemplified outside of it: religious freedom, racial justice and the triumph of principle over expedience. He is one of the most recognized sports figures of the past 100 years, crowned “Sportsman of the Century” by Sports Illustrated and “Sports Personality of the Century” by the BBC.

 

Born Cassius Clay, at the age of 22 he won the world heavyweight championship in 1964 fromSonny Liston in a stunning upset. Shortly after that bout, Ali joined the Nation of Islam and changed his name. He subsequently converted to Sunni Islam in 1975.

 

In 1967, three years after winning the heavyweight title, Ali refused to be conscripted into theU.S. military, citing his religious beliefs and opposition to the Vietnam War. The United States Government declined to recognize him as a conscientious objector, however, because Ali declared that he would fight in a war if directed to do so by Allah or his messenger (Elijah Muhammad). He was eventually arrested and found guilty on draft evasion charges and stripped of his boxing title. He did not fight again for nearly four years—losing a time of peak performance in an athlete’s career. Ali’s appeal worked its way up to the U.S. Supreme Court, where in 1971 his conviction was overturned on a technicality. The Supreme Court held that, since the appeal board gave no reason for the denial of a conscientious objector exemption to petitioner, it was impossible to determine on which of the three grounds offered in the Justice Department’s letter that board had relied. Ali’s actions as a conscientious objector to the war made him an icon for the larger counterculture generation.

 

Ali remains the only three-time lineal World Heavyweight Champion; he won the title in 1964, 1974, and 1978.

 

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Nicknamed “The Greatest”, Ali was involved in several historic boxing matches. Notable among these were the first Liston fight, three with rival Joe Frazier, and one with George Foreman, where he regained titles he had been stripped of seven years earlier.

 

Ali revolutionized the sport of boxing by sheer power and magnetism of his personality  At a time when most fighters let their managers do the talking, Ali thrived in — and indeed craved — the spotlight, where he was sometimes provocative, frequently outlandish and almost always entertaining. He controlled most press conferences and interviews, and spoke freely about issues unrelated to boxing. He transformed the role and image of the African American athlete in America by his embrace of racial pride and his willingness to antagonize the white establishment in doing so. In the words of writer Joyce Carol Oates, he was one of the few athletes in any sport to completely “define the terms of his public reputation.”

 

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Muhammad Ali vs. Joe Frazier in Fight of the Century, Madison Square Garden in New York City, New York, 1971

 

 

 

Nelson Mandela

 

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Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela (/mænˈdɛlə/Xhosa pronunciation: [xoˈliːɬaɬa manˈdeːla]; 18 July 1918 – 5 December 2013) was a South African anti-apartheid revolutionarypolitician, andphilanthropist who served as President of South Africa from 1994 to 1999. He was South Africa’s first black chief executive, and the first elected in a fully representative democratic election. His government focused on dismantling the legacy of apartheid through tackling institutionalised racism, poverty and inequality, and fostering racial reconciliation. Politically an African nationalist and democratic socialist, he served as President of the African National Congress (ANC) from 1991 to 1997. Internationally, Mandela was Secretary General of the Non-Aligned Movement from 1998 to 1999.

 

Xhosa born to the Thembu royal family, Mandela attended the Fort Hare University and theUniversity of Witwatersrand, where he studied law. Living in Johannesburg, he became involved in anti-colonial politics, joining the ANC and becoming a founding member of its Youth League. After the South African National Party came to power in 1948, he rose to prominence in the ANC’s 1952 Defiance Campaign, was appointed superintendent of the organisation’s Transvaal chapter and presided over the 1955 Congress of the People.

 

Working as a lawyer, he was repeatedly arrested for seditious activities and, with the ANC leadership, was unsuccessfully prosecuted in the Treason Trial from 1956 to 1961. Influenced by Marxism, he secretly joined the South African Communist Party (SACP) and sat on its Central Committee. Although initially committed to non-violent protest, in association with the SACP he co-founded the militantUmkhonto we Sizwe (MK) in 1961, leading a sabotage campaign against the apartheid government. In 1962, he was arrested, convicted of conspiracy to overthrow the state, and sentenced to life imprisonment in the Rivonia Trial.

 

Mandela served over 27 years in prison, initially on Robben Island, and later in Pollsmoor Prisonand Victor Verster Prison. An international campaign lobbied for his release. He was released in 1990, during a time of escalating civil strife. Mandela joined negotiations with President F. W. de Klerk to abolish apartheid and establish multiracial elections in 1994, in which he led the ANC to victory and became South Africa’s first black president. He published his autobiography in 1995. During his tenure in the Government of National Unity he invited several other political parties to join the cabinet.

 

As agreed to during the negotiations to end apartheid in South Africa, he promulgated a new constitution. He also created the Truth and Reconciliation Commission to investigate past human rights abuses. While continuing the former government’s liberal economic policy, his administration also introduced measures to encourage land reform, combat poverty, and expand healthcare services. Internationally, he acted as mediator between Libya and the United Kingdom in the Pan Am Flight 103 bombing trial, and oversaw military intervention in Lesotho. He declined to run for a second term, and was succeeded by his deputy, Thabo Mbeki. Mandela became an elder statesman, focusing on charitable work in combating poverty and HIV/AIDS through the Nelson Mandela Foundation.

 

Mandela was a controversial figure for much of his life. Denounced as a communist terrorist by critics, he nevertheless gained international acclaim for his activism, having received more than 250 honours, including the 1993 Nobel Peace Prize, the US Presidential Medal of Freedom, the Soviet Order of Lenin and the Bharat Ratna. He is held in deep respect within South Africa, where he is often referred to by his Xhosa clan nameMadiba, or as Tata (“Father”); he is often described as “the father of the nation”.

 

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Death and funeral

After suffering from a prolonged respiratory infection, Mandela died on 5 December 2013 at the age of 95. He died at around 20:50 local time (UTC+2) at his home in HoughtonJohannesburg, surrounded by his family. His death was announced on television by President Jacob Zuma.

 

On 6 December 2013, President Zuma announced a national mourning period of ten days, with the main event held at the FNB Stadium in Johannesburg on 10 December 2013. He declared Sunday 8 December 2013 a national day of prayer and reflection. Mandela’s body lay in state from 11–13 December at the Union Buildings in Pretoria and astate funeral was held on 15 December 2013 in Qunu, South Africa. Approximately 90 representatives of foreign states travelled to South Africa to attend memorial events.

 

Mandela’s $4.1 million estate was left to his widow, other family members, staff, and educational institutions.

 

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Bayard Rustin

 

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Bayard Rustin (/ˈbərd/; March 17, 1912 – August 24, 1987) was an American leader in social movements for civil rightssocialism, pacifism and non-violence, and gay rights. He was born and raised in Pennsylvania where his family was involved in civil rights work. In 1936, he moved to Harlem, New York City and earned a living as a nightclub and stage singer, and continued activism for civil rights.

 

In the pacifist Fellowship of Reconciliation (FOR), Rustin practiced nonviolence. He was a leading activist of the early 1947–1955 civil-rights movement, helping to initiate a 1947 Freedom Ride to challenge with civil disobedience racial segregation on interstate busing. He recognized Martin Luther King, Jr.‘s leadership, and helped to organize the Southern Christian Leadership Conference to strengthen King’s leadership; Rustin promoted the philosophy of nonviolence and the practices of nonviolent resistance, which he had observed while working with Gandhi’s movement in India.

 

Rustin became a leading strategist of the civil rights movement from 1955 to 1968. He was the chief organizer of the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, which was headed by A. Philip Randolph, the leading African-American labor-union president and socialist. Rustin also influenced young activists, such as Tom Kahn and Stokely Carmichael, in organizations like the Congress on Racial Equality (CORE) and the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC).

 

After the passage of the civil-rights legislation of 1964–65, Rustin focused attention on the economic problems of working-class and unemployed African Americans, suggesting that the civil-rights movement had left its period of “protest” and had entered an era of “politics”, in which the Black community had to ally with the labor movement. Rustin became the head of theAFL–CIO‘s A. Philip Randolph Institute, which promoted the integration of formerly all-white unions and promoted the unionization of African Americans. Rustin became an honorary chairperson of the Socialist Party of America in 1972, before it changed its name to Social Democrats, USA (SDUSA); Rustin acted as national chairman of SDUSA during the 1970s. During the 1970s and 1980s, Rustin served on many humanitarian missions, such as aiding refugees from Communist Vietnam and Cambodia. He was on a humanitarian mission in Haiti when he died in 1987.

 

Rustin was a gay man who had been arrested for a homosexual act in 1953. Homosexuality was criminalized in parts of the United States until 2003. Rustin’s sexuality, or at least his embarrassingly public criminal charge, was criticized by some fellow pacifists and civil-rights leaders. Rustin was attacked as a “pervert” or “immoral influence” by political opponents from segregationists to Black power militants, and from the 1950s through the 1970s. In addition, his pre-1941 Communist Party affiliation when he was a young man was controversial. To avoid such attacks, Rustin served only rarely as a public spokesperson. He usually acted as an influential adviser to civil-rights leaders. In the 1970s, he became a public advocate on behalf of gay and lesbian causes.

 

On November 20, 2013, President Barack Obama posthumously awarded Rustin the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

 

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Death and beliefs

Rustin died on August 24, 1987, of a perforated appendix. An obituary in the New York Times reported, “Looking back at his career, Mr. Rustin, a Quaker, once wrote: ‘The principal factors which influenced my life are 1) nonviolent tactics; 2) constitutional means; 3) democratic procedures; 4) respect for human personality; 5) a belief that all people are one.'”

 

Mr. Rustin was survived by Walter Naegle, his partner of ten years.

 

Legacy

Despite the fact that he played such an important role in the civil rights movement, Rustin “faded from the shortlist of well-known civil rights lions,” in large part because of public discomfort with his sexual orientation. However, the 2003 documentary film Brother Outsider: The Life of Bayard Rustin, a Sundance Festival Grand Jury Prize nominee, and the March 2012 centennial of Rustin’s birth have contributed to some renewed recognition.

 

According to Daniel Richman, former clerk for United States Supreme Court justice Thurgood Marshall, Marshall’s friendship with Rustin and Rustin’s openness about his homosexuality played a significant role in Marshall’s dissent from the court’s 5–4 decision upholding the constitutionality of state sodomy laws in the later overturned 1986 case Bowers v. Hardwick.

 

Several buildings have been named in honor of Rustin, including the Bayard Rustin Educational Complex located in the Chelsea neighborhood of Manhattan; Bayard Rustin High School in his hometown of West Chester, Pennsylvania; Bayard Rustin Library at the Affirmations Gay/Lesbian Community Center in Ferndale, Michigan; the Bayard Rustin Social Justice Center in Conway, Arkansas. In July 2007, with the permission of the Estate of Bayard Rustin, a group of San Francisco Bay Area African-American LGBT community leaders officially formed the Bayard Rustin LGBT Coalition (BRC), to promote greater participation in the electoral process, advance civil and human rights issues, and promote the legacy of Mr. Rustin. In addition, the Bayard Rustin Center for LGBTQA Activism, Awareness and Reconciliation is located at Guilford College, a Quaker school. Formerly the Queer and Allied Resource Center, the center was rededicated in March 2011 with the permission of the Estate of Bayard Rustin and featured a keynote address by social justice activist Mandy Carter.

 

A biographical feature movie of Bayard Rustin was entitled Out of the Past. A Pennsylvania State Historical Marker is placed at Lincoln and Montgomery Avenues, West Chester, Pennsylvania; the marker commemorating his accomplishments lies on the grounds of Henderson High School, which he attended.

 

Rustin was posthumously awarded honorary membership into Delta Phi Upsilon, a fraternity for gay, bisexual and progressive men. On August 8, 2013, President Barack Obama announced that he would posthumously award Rustin the Presidential Medal of Freedom. The citation in the press release stated:

Bayard Rustin was an unyielding activist for civil rights, dignity, and equality for all. An advisor to the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., he promoted nonviolent resistance, participated in one of the first Freedom Rides, organized the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, and fought tirelessly for marginalized communities at home and abroad. As an openly gay African American, Mr. Rustin stood at the intersection of several of the fights for equal rights.

At the White House ceremony on November 20, 2013, President Obama presented Rustin’s award to Walter Naegle, his partner of ten years

 

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Celebrating Black History Month, The Black History Moment Series #23: Bayard Rustin. Civil Rights Warrior. Gay Black Man.

 

 

Nina Turner

 

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Nina Turner (born December 7, 1967) is the Minority Whip for the Ohio Senate, and the state Senator for the 25th District. She is a Democrat.

 

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Nina Turner
Member of the Ohio Senate
from the 25th district
Incumbent
Assumed office
September 15, 2008
Preceded by Lance Mason
Personal details
Born December 7, 1967 (age 46)
Cleveland, Ohio
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Jeffery Turner, Sr. (1 child)
Residence Cleveland, Ohio
Alma mater Cuyahoga Community College(A.A.)
Cleveland State University(B.A.) (M.A.)
Profession Legislator
Religion Christian

 

 

Life and career

Turner is a native of Cleveland, Ohio. She was born Nina Hudson to teenage parents on December 7, 1967, the first of seven children. Her father and mother had split up by the time she reached the age of five. At 14, she began working part-time jobs, giving “every dime” that she earned to her mother. She graduated from Cleveland’s John F. Kennedy High School in 1986. She did not continue her education immediately, instead taking a variety of jobs, including flipping burgers and working at a Payless shoe store. While at Payless, she met Jeffery Turner, the man who became her husband. Subsequently, she returned to school, receiving an Associate of Arts degree from Cuyahoga Community College, followed by a Bachelor of Arts degree and a Master of Arts (1997) degree from Cleveland State University.

 

She began her professional career as a legislative aide to then state Senator Rhine McLin. Senator Turner returned to her hometown to serve in the administration of Mayor Michael White where she was quickly promoted to Executive Assistant of Legislative Affairs. She later lobbied on behalf of Cleveland’s school children at the state and federal level as the Director of Government Affairs for the Cleveland Metropolitan School District.

 

Turner first ran for the office of Cleveland City Council Representative for Ward One in 2001, but was defeated by the incumbent, Joe Jones. In November 2004, Jones resigned his City Council seat. His wife, Tonya Jones, was the top vote-getter in a September nine-way, non-partisan primary race to select a candidate to fill Jones’ vacant seat. In the November 2005 election, Nina Turner defeated Tonya Jones to become Ward One City Council Representative.

 

 

Ohio Senate

In September 2008, Senator Lance Mason resigned his 25th District seat in the Ohio Senate to accept an appointment to the Cuyahoga CountyCourt of Common Pleas. Turner was unanimously selected by the Ohio Senate Democratic caucus to serve the remainder of Mason’s four-year Senate term, and resigned her City Council seat to accept the appointment on September 15, 2008. In the 128th General Assembly, Turner served as the Ranking Minority member on the Senate Highways & Transportation and Judiciary Criminal Justice Committees.

 

Turner won a full term in 2010, running unopposed in the general election. She was elected as Minority Whip half way through the 129th General Assembly. She is continuing to serve as Minority Whip in the 130th General Assembly.

 

 

Men’s health bill

In March of 2012, Turner introduced a bill to regulate men’s reproductive health. Under her proposed S.B. 307, before getting a prescription forerectile dysfunction drugs, a man would have to get a notarized affidavit signed by a recent sexual partner affirming his impotency, consult with asex therapist, and receive a cardiac stress test. She stated that the proposed statute would be parallel to recent legislation written by male legislators restricting women’s reproductive health, and that she was equally concerned about men’s reproductive health.

 

“Even the FDA recommends that doctors make sure that assessments are taken that target the nature of the symptoms, whether it’s physical or psychological,” Turner said. “I certainly want to stand up for men’s health and take this seriously and legislate it the same way mostly men say they want to legislate a woman’s womb.”

 

 

Rape custody law

In January 2014, it was reported that Turner was making efforts to try to change Ohio’s rape custody law that permits visitation and/or custody by men who father children because of rape or sexual assault committed against a woman or girl. Turner desires to protect rape victims/survivors, and children conceived due to rape, preventing parental custody rights being provided to the males who fathered the children. She stated that it may be difficult for people to contemplate that a person would desire parental rights for a child conceived due to rape, though it does occur.

 

2014 Election

On July 1, 2013, Turner declared her candidacy for Ohio Secretary of State, challenging Republican Jon Husted with whom she has differed significantly, especially on the issue of voting rights.

 

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Michelle Obama & Barack Obama

 

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Michelle LaVaughn Robinson Obama (born January 17, 1964), an American lawyer and writer, is the wife of the 44th and current President of the United States, Barack Obama, and the first African-American First Lady of the United States. Raised on the South Side of Chicago, Obama attended Princeton University and Harvard Law School before returning to Chicago to work at the law firm Sidley Austin, where she met her future husband. Subsequently, she worked as part of the staff of Chicago mayor Richard M. Daley, and for the University of Chicago Medical Center.

 

Throughout 2007 and 2008, she helped campaign for her husband’s presidential bid. She delivered a keynote address at the 2008 Democratic National Convention and also spoke at the 2012 Democratic National Convention. She is the mother of daughters Malia and Natasha (Sasha). As the wife of a Senator, and later the First Lady, she has become a fashion icon and role model for women, and an advocate for poverty awareness, nutrition, and healthy eating.

 

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Barack Hussein Obama II ( born August 4, 1961) is the 44th and current President of the United States, and the first African American to hold the office. Born in Honolulu, Hawaii, Obama is a graduate of Columbia University and Harvard Law School, where he served as president of the Harvard Law Review. He was a community organizer in Chicago before earning his law degree. He worked as a civil rights attorney and taught constitutional law at the University of Chicago Law School from 1992 to 2004. He served three terms representing the 13th District in the Illinois Senate from 1997 to 2004, running unsuccessfully for the United States House of Representatives in 2000.

 

In 2004, Obama received national attention during his campaign to represent Illinois in theUnited States Senate with his victory in the March Democratic Party primary, his keynote address at the Democratic National Convention in July, and his election to the Senate in November. He began his presidential campaign in 2007, and in 2008, after a close primary campaign against Hillary Rodham Clinton, he won sufficient delegates in the Democratic Party primaries to receive the presidential nomination. He then defeated Republican nominee John McCain in the general election, and was inaugurated as president on January 20, 2009. Nine months after his election, Obama was named the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize laureate.

 

During his first two years in office, Obama signed into law economic stimulus legislation in response to the Great Recession in the form of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 and the Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010. Other major domestic initiatives in his first term include the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, often referred to as “Obamacare”; the Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act; and the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell Repeal Act of 2010. In foreign policy, Obama ended U.S. military involvement in the Iraq War, increased U.S. troop levels in Afghanistan, signed the New START arms control treaty with Russia, ordered U.S. military involvement in Libya, and ordered the military operation that resulted in the death of Osama bin Laden.

 

In November 2010, the Republicans regained control of the House of Representatives as the Democratic Party lost a total of 63 seats, and after a lengthy debate over federal spending and whether or not to raise the nation’s debt limit, Obama signed the Budget Control Act of 2011 and the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012.

 

Obama was re-elected president in November 2012, defeating Republican nominee Mitt Romney, and was sworn in for a second term on January 20, 2013. During his second term, Obama has promoted domestic policies related to gun control in response to the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, has called for full equality for LGBT Americans, and his administration filed briefs which urged the Supreme Court to strike down the Defense of Marriage Act of 1996 and California’s Proposition 8 as unconstitutional. In foreign policy, Obama has continued the process of ending U.S. combat operations in Afghanistan.

 

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Michelle LaVaughn Robinson was born on January 17, 1964, in Chicago, Illinois, to Fraser Robinson III, a city water plant employee and Democratic precinct captain, and Marian (née Shields), a secretary at Spiegel’s catalog store. Her mother was a full-time homemaker until Michelle entered high school. The Robinson and Shields families can trace their roots to pre-Civil War African Americans in the American South. Specifically, she is descended from the Gullah people of South Carolina’s Lowcountry region. Her paternal great-great grandfather, Jim Robinson, was an American slave on Friendfield Plantation in the state of South Carolina, where some of her paternal family still reside. Her maternal great-great-great-grandmother, Melvinia Shields, also a slave, became pregnant by a white man. His name and the nature of their union have been lost. She gave birth to Michelle’s biracial maternal great-great-grandfather, Dolphus T. Shields. Some of her distant ancestry also includes Irish and other European roots. In addition, her cousin is the Jewish Rabbi Capers Funnye.

 

Michelle grew up in a two-story house on Euclid Street in Chicago’s South Shore community area. Her parents rented a small apartment on the house’s second floor from her great-aunt, who lived downstairs. She was raised in what she describes as a “conventional” home, with “the mother at home, the father works, you have dinner around the table”. The family entertained together by playing games such as Monopoly and by reading. They attended services at nearby South Shore Methodist Church. The Robinsons used to vacation in a rustic cabin in White Cloud, Michigan. She and her 21-month older brother, Craig, skipped the second grade. Her brother is now the men’s basketball coach atOregon State University. By sixth grade, Michelle joined a gifted class at Bryn Mawr Elementary School (later renamed Bouchet Academy).

 

She attended Whitney Young High School, Chicago’s first magnet high school, where she was a classmate of Jesse Jackson‘s daughter Santita. The round trip commute from the Robinsons’ South Side home to the Near West Side, where the school was located, took three hours. She was on the honor roll for four years, took advanced placement classes, a member of the National Honor Society and served as student council treasurer. Michelle graduated in 1981 as the salutatorian of her class.

 

Michelle was inspired to follow her brother to Princeton University; Craig graduated in 1983. At Princeton, she challenged the teaching methodology for French because she felt that it should be more conversational. As part of her requirements for graduation, she wrote a thesis entitled “Princeton-Educated Blacks and the Black Community.” “I remember being shocked,” she says, “by college students who drove BMWs. I didn’t even know parents who drove BMWs.” While at Princeton, she got involved with the Third World Center (now known as the Carl A. Fields Center), an academic and cultural group that supported minority students, running their day care center which also included after school tutoring.

 

Robinson majored in sociology and minored in African American studies and graduated cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in 1985. She earned her Juris Doctor (J.D.) degree from Harvard Law School in 1988. At Harvard she participated in demonstrations advocating the hiring of professors who were members of minorities and worked for the Harvard Legal Aid Bureau, assisting low-income tenants with housing cases. She is the third First Lady with a postgraduate degree, after her two immediate predecessors, Hillary Rodham Clinton and Laura Bush. In July 2008, Obama accepted the invitation to become an honorary member of the 100-year-old black sorority Alpha Kappa Alpha, which had no active undergraduate chapter at Princeton when she attended.

 

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Barack Hussein Obama was born on August 4, 1961, at Kapiʻolani Maternity & Gynecological Hospital (now Kapiʻolani Medical Center for Women and Children) in Honolulu, Hawaii, and is the first President to have been born in Hawaii. His mother, Stanley Ann Dunham, was born in Wichita, Kansas, and was of mostly English ancestry. His father, Barack Obama, Sr., was a Luo from Nyang’oma Kogelo, Kenya. Obama’s parents met in 1960 in a Russian class at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, where his father was a foreign student on scholarship.

 

The couple married in Wailuku onMaui on February 2, 1961, and separated when Obama’s mother moved with their newborn son to Seattle, Washington, in late August 1961, to attend the University of Washington for one year. In the meantime, Obama, Sr. completed his undergraduate economics degree in Hawaii in June 1962, then left to attend graduate school at Harvard University on a scholarship. Obama’s parents divorced in March 1964. Obama Sr. returned to Kenya in 1964 where he remarried; he visited Barack in Hawaii only once, in 1971. He died in an automobile accident in 1982 when his son was 21 years old.

 

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In 1963, Dunham met Lolo Soetoro, an Indonesian East–West Center graduate student in geography at the University of Hawaii, and the couple were married on Molokai on March 15, 1965. After two one-year extensions of his J-1 visa, Lolo returned to Indonesia in 1966, followed sixteen months later by his wife and stepson in 1967, with the family initially living in a Menteng Dalam neighborhood in the Tebet sub-district of south Jakarta, then from 1970 in a wealthier neighborhood in the Menteng sub-district of central Jakarta. From ages six to ten, Obama attended local Indonesian-language schools: St. Francis of Assisi Catholic School for two years and Besuki Public School for one and a half years, supplemented by English-language Calvert School homeschooling by his mother.

 

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In 1971, Obama returned to Honolulu to live with his maternal grandparents, Madelyn and Stanley Dunham, and with the aid of a scholarship attended Punahou School, a private college preparatory school, from fifth grade until his graduation from high school in 1979. Obama lived with his mother and sister in Hawaii for three years from 1972 to 1975 while his mother was a graduate student in anthropology at the University of Hawaii. Obama chose to stay in Hawaii with his grandparents for high school at Punahou when his mother and sister returned to Indonesia in 1975 to begin anthropology field work. His mother spent most of the next two decades in Indonesia, divorcing Lolo in 1980 and earning a PhD in 1992, before dying in 1995 in Hawaii following treatment for ovarian cancer and uterine cancer.

 

Of his early childhood, Obama recalled, “That my father looked nothing like the people around me—that he was black as pitch, my mother white as milk—barely registered in my mind.” He described his struggles as a young adult to reconcile social perceptions of his multiracial heritage. Reflecting later on his years in Honolulu, Obama wrote: “The opportunity that Hawaii offered—to experience a variety of cultures in a climate of mutual respect—became an integral part of my world view, and a basis for the values that I hold most dear.” Obama has also written and talked about using alcohol, marijuana, and cocaine during his teenage years to “push questions of who I was out of my mind”. Obama was also a member of the “choom gang”, a self-named group of friends that spent time together and occasionally smoked marijuana.

 

 

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Michelle Robinson met Barack Obama when they were among the few African Americans at their law firm, Sidley Austin (she has sometimes said only two, although others have pointed out there were others in different departments), and she was assigned to mentor him as a summer associate. Their relationship started with a business lunch and then a community organization meeting where he first impressed her. The couple’s first date was to the Spike Lee movie Do the Right Thing. They married in October 1992, and have two daughters, Malia Ann (born 1998) and Natasha (known as Sasha, born 2001). After his election to the U.S. Senate, the Obama family continued to live on Chicago’s South Side, choosing to remain there rather than moving to Washington, D.C. Throughout her husband’s 2008 campaign for US President, she made a “commitment to be away overnight only once a week – to campaign only two days a week and be home by the end of the second day” for their two children.

 

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She once requested that her then-fiancé meet her prospective boss, Valerie Jarrett, when considering her first career move. Now, Jarrett is one of her husband’s closest advisors. The marital relationship has had its ebbs and flows; the combination of an evolving family life and beginning political career led to many arguments about balancing work and family. Barack Obama wrote in his second book, The Audacity of Hope: Thoughts on Reclaiming the American Dream, that “Tired and stressed, we had little time for conversation, much less romance”. However, despite their family obligations and careers, they continue to attempt to schedule date nights.

 

The Obamas’ daughters attended the University of Chicago Laboratory Schools, a private school. As a member of the school’s board, Michelle fought to maintain diversity in the school when other board members connected with the University of Chicago tried to reserve more slots for children of the university faculty. This resulted in a plan to expand the school. Malia and Sasha now attend Sidwell Friends School in Washington, after also considering Georgetown Day School. Michelle stated in an interview on The Ellen DeGeneres Show that they do not intend to have any more children. The Obamas have received advice from past first ladies Laura BushRosalynn Carter and Hillary Rodham Clinton about raising children in the White HouseMarian Robinson, Michelle’s mother, has moved into the White House to assist with child care.

 

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Family and personal life

In June 1989, Obama met Michelle Robinson when he was employed as a summer associate at the Chicago law firm of Sidley Austin. Assigned for three months as Obama’s adviser at the firm, Robinson joined him at several group social functions, but declined his initial requests to date. They began dating later that summer, became engaged in 1991, and were married on October 3, 1992. The couple’s first daughter, Malia Ann, was born on July 4, 1998, followed by a second daughter, Natasha (“Sasha”), on June 10, 2001. The Obama daughters attended the private University of Chicago Laboratory Schools. When they moved to Washington, D.C., in January 2009, the girls started at the private Sidwell Friends School. The Obamas have a Portuguese Water Dog named Bo, a gift from Senator Ted Kennedy.

 

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We Are One: The Obama Inaugural Celebration At The Lincoln Memorial

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US President Barack Obama Visits The UK - Day One

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It has truly been a labor of love to compose this Black History Series. I have learned some things, some pieces of my history I had not known before starting this project. It really is true what “they” say….knowledge is learned all your life, if you just look for it.

 

Facts 2 Truth 2 Knowledge 2 Power 2 Freedom.

 

 

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Celebrating Black History Month, The Black History Moment Series #14: Post Racial America You Say….The Curious Case Of Mr. Alfred Wright.


 

By Jueseppi B.

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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 #14: Post Racial America You Say….The Curious Case Of Mr. Alfred Wright.

 

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From HipHopWired:

 

Alfred Wright, a Black 28-year-old husband and father, was found dead last fall just outside a small town in Texas. Although his bodied was mutilated and evidence of trauma, authorities ruled “accidental overdose” as the cause of his death. A prominent elected official in Texas announced last week that the Department of Justice is now looking into the matter.

 

Wright, a father of three boys, worked as a physical therapist. After calling his wife Lauren, a white woman, after his truck broke down en route to seeing a patient, things began to unravel for the Wright family. According to Mrs. Wright, she called her parents to assist her husband who arrived at the store to find their son-in-law was gone. Wright’s wife says in an editorial piece that when she called her husband, all she could hear was heavy breathing when he answered.

 

Wright grew up in Jasper, the town where the infamous racially-charged murder of James Byrd took place. The family seems to allege his marriage to a white woman could have been motive for someone to kill the man.

 

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Wright was found by his father and volunteers on November 13, with his throat slit, a missing ear and two missing front teeth. Police called off their search just after four days after Wright was initially reported missing, with he being found 18 days later. The state of Wright’s body raised cause of suspicion by the family, who believe that if Wright had been in the woods for 18 days his body would have been decomposed further.

 

After a coroner gave overdose as a cause of death, the Wright family hired a person to perform a second autopsy. Although the results of the blood work have yet to be returned, the investigator clearly puts the cause of death as a result of severe neck trauma and the slit throat.

 

Rep. Shelia Jackson Lee said last Monday in a press statement that Department of Justice will investigate the Alfred Wright case in a thorough and independent investigation. There was no timetable offered for the federal investigation, however. The family maintains that Wright, a former athlete, was never seen using drugs of any sort and was practiced a clean lifestyle. Savion Wright, Alfred Wright’s mother, started a GoFundMe account for he son’s wife, Lauren, and their children.

 

Thank you HipHopWired.

 

 

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Justice for Alfred Wright Foundation

 

Created by Savion J. Wright on January 28, 2014

 

We are raising money for Alfred Wright. Alfred was taken from this world so suddenly and is left survived with his wife and 3 sons. Alfred was a hard worker and took care of everything financially. Now that he is gone his family is left with the burden of no monetary income. If you want to donate, please give whatever God puts on your heart to give. ALL proceeds will go to the Justice For Alfred Fund for his Justice and family!

 

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Family members remain skeptical of authorities in part because of what happened in Jasper in 1998, when three white men in a pickup truck dragged a black man to his death.

 

“We found the body,” said Douglas. “The sheriff has never asked us any questions. The Texas Rangers haven’t asked us any questions. We found the body.”

 

Wright’s wife also expressed skepticism.

 

“I think we all question the motives,” said Lauren. “Do they know something that we don’t know? Are they trying to cover it up for somebody? We don’t know.”

 

This week, the US Justice Department moved to take over the investigation. Calls to the Sabine County Sheriff and the Texas Ranger’s Office were not returned.

 

“None of us will stop until we find out who did it and why they did it and see that justice is served,” said Lauren.

 

 

Raised: $21,995.00     Goal: $25,000.00

 

Please donate if you can find it in your heart to do so. gofundme.com/AlfredWright

 

 

The death of the father, husband, son and brother has left his family determined to uncover what happened the November night he went missing. Twitter/JessicaParks

The death of the father, husband, son and brother has left his family determined to uncover what happened the November night he went missing. Twitter/JessicaParks

 

Who Is Alfred Wright? 6 Facts To Know About Texas Physical Therapist’s Mysterious Death

 

From International Business Times:

 

By 

Treye Green is a reporter for The International Business Times and a recent graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

 

The death of 28-year-old Alfred Wright has drawn suspicion since the Jasper, Texas, physical therapist went missing in November 2013.

 

Wright was traveling to treat a patient when his truck broke down close to a convenience store outside of Hephill, Texas, reports KHOU. He called his wife Lauren Wright for help, alerting her that the truck was having problems and he needed someone to pick him up. After contacting his parents – who agreed to pick Wright up — Alfred’s wife called him back on the phone. “And that’s when I heard the heavy breathing, the respiratory distress of some kind. It was very heavy breathing and I just could sense that something wasn’t right,” she told KHOU.

 

Wright’s parents showed up to pick up their son, only to find the truck abandoned and no sign of him. The Sabine County Sherriff’s Office initially conducted a search for the missing man. But it wasn’t until weeks after the search was called off that family members located his body.

 

The actions of the deputies have raised numerous questions from Alfred’s family and people across the nation. And to update you the latest details of the case, we’ve gathered six important facts to know about the investigation of Alfred Wright’s mysterious death.

 

1. The Department Of Justice Is Taking Over The Case

On Feb. 3, Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, D-Texas, announced that the U.S. Department of Justice will open an investigation on the death of Wright, reports KTRE. The case had previously been passed from the Sabine County Sheriff’s office to the Texas Rangers. It was the Rangers who requested the assistance of the FBI in their investigation. In her petition to the Department of Justice, Jackson Lee pinpointed eight areas where she thought the Sabine County Sheriff’s investigation overlooked “overwhelming and credible evidence.”

 

2. The Search For Wright Was Called Off By Local Authorities

County investigators ended the search for Wright after just three days. This decision was made even after they discovered his keys, wallet and clothing. The premature end of the search is one of the points investigation Jackson Lee questioned in her petition to the FBI.

 

3. Wright’s Family Discovered Him After Launching Their Own Search

Fifteen days after authorities gave up, Wright’s family did their own search. They found his body lying face down in the woods only about a mile and a half from where his truck broke down, according to KHOU. The body was also only a few yards from the command post of the initial search. Wright’s body was discovered unclothed, and in too good condition to have been in the elements for the 18 days, the family believes.

 

4. The Two Autopsies In The Case Contradict

The initial autopsy that Sabine County authorities ordered ruled out homicide, citing an accidental drug overdose as the cause of death. But a private autopsy ordered by Wright’s family found severe trauma that was “definitely suspicious of homicidal violence.” According to the Wright family, since county authorities have not turned over the photographs from the first autopsy to the second medical examiner, the results of the second autopsy conducted in Houston haven’t been finalized. Wright’s family also is adamant that he would have never abused drugs, challenging the findings in the county autopsy.

 

5. Wright’s Body Had Been Mutilated

According to the second autopsy of his remains, it was discovered that the body was missing an ear, two teeth, and the tongue and throat had appeared to have been slashed.

 

6. His Family Believes He Was Murdered

Speaking to KHOU, Lauren said she is sure her husband was killed. “I know my husband was killed by somebody. There’s no question in my mind,” she said.

 

Alfred Wright’s father, Douglas Wright, also believes the circumstances surrounding the case are extremely suspicious, especially the action of the authorities. “We found the body. The sheriff has never asked us any questions. The Texas Rangers haven’t asked us any questions. We found the body,” said Douglas.

 

And Lauren echoed his questions about their actions. “I think we all question the motives. Do they know something that we don’t know? Are they trying to cover it up for somebody? We don’t know,” she said.

 

Thank you International Business Times.

 

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I’ve heard this term “Post Racial America” since 2008 when Barack Hussein Obama won his first term as President Of The United States Of America. It’s bull shit.

 

No such thing as a “Post Racial America” exist. The word “Post” is defined as “after.”

 

The term Post Racial America is defined as…..Post-racial America is a theoretical environment where the United States is devoid of racial preference, discrimination, and prejudice. Some Americans believed that the election of Barack Obama as President and wider acceptance of interracial marriage signified that the nation had entered this state, while others believe that groups such as the Tea Party movement prove it has not.

 

In January 2010 the Pew Research Center conducted a poll in conjunction with National Public Radio that indicated that 39% of persons of African-American descent felt they were in a better position than they had been five years ago, an increase of 19% from the previous poll taken in 2008.  Actor and director Mario Van Peebles made a television documentary titled Fair Game that challenged the idea that the United States had become a post-racial society.

 

Documentary “Fair Game”

Whats disgusting to me, as a Black Man, is I could only fine this 1 minute 6 second You Tube clip on this documentary by Mario Van Peebles…..in This Post Racial AmeriKKKa.

 

 

 

Allow me to break it down for you who don’t know….there is no such thing as a “Post Racial America.” There is a “Post Racial AmeriKKKa”…and THAT AmeriKKKa has become a land of genocide for Black males.

 

Stand Your Ground Laws in 31 states have made it open season on Black males, replacing the tree & rope of southern lynchings with a firearm sanctioned by The NRA, A.L.E.C., The Koch Brothers and racist, scared, gun nuts who stand behind an antiquated 2nd amendment.

 

Trayvon Martin. Jordan Davis. Melissa Alexander. Remember the names, then research the thousands of other names you never hear about on local & national media networks, of Black skinned Americans killed under this Stand Your Ground Law.

 

You don’t need a rope or a tree to lynch a Black American in 2013. You only need to procure a gun at a gun trade show, or any gun shop across AmeriKKKa, then feel threatened by someone of color. Aim, pull the trigger. Then scream Self Defense.

 

How can a man go missing in Jasper, Texas, be found by family members, have a medical examiner declare his death caused by a drug over dose, with his throat sliced open and his ear cut off? This is 2014….not 1814….how does a “post racial” America allow this to happen?

 

Alfred Wright was a 28-year-old physical therapist, a “man of great faith,” and father of three sons. He grew up in Jasper, Texas along with four siblings, and a father who was both the town’s pastor and gym teacher. Friends described him as ambitious, clean-living, hard-working, fun-loving, brilliant and a wonderful father.

 

He went missing for 18 days. He was found by volunteers and his father, stripped down to his shorts and one sock, with his throat cleanly slit and one ear missing. His front teeth were broken and missing.

 

The police recorded the cause of death as “accidental drug overdose.”

 

Case closed, according to Jasper cops.

 

Jasper, Texas…..sound a bit familiar?

 

Murder of James Byrd, Jr.

 

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James Byrd, Jr. (May 2, 1949 – June 7, 1998) was an African-American who was murdered by three men, of whom at least two were white supremacists, in Jasper, Texas, on June 7, 1998. Shawn Berry, Lawrence Russell Brewer, and John King dragged Byrd for three miles behind a pick-up truck along an asphalt road. Byrd, who remained conscious throughout most of the ordeal, was killed when his body hit the edge of a culvert, severing his right arm and head. The murderers drove on for another mile before dumping his torso in front of an African-American cemetery in Jasper. Byrd’s lynching-by-dragging gave impetus to passage of a Texas hate crimes law. It later led to the federal Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act, commonly known as the Matthew Shepard Act, which passed on October 22, 2009, and which President Barack Obama signed into law on October 28, 2009.

 

Lawrence Russell Brewer was executed by lethal injection for this crime by the state of Texas on September 21, 2011. King remains on Texas’ death row while appeals are pending, while Berry was sentenced to life imprisonment.

 

Murder

On June 7, 1998, Byrd, age 49, accepted a ride from Shawn Berry (age 24), Lawrence Russell Brewer (age 31) and John King (age 23). Berry, who was driving, was acquainted with Byrd from around town. Instead of taking Byrd home, the three men took Byrd to a remote county road out of town, beat him severely, urinated on him and chained him by his ankles to their pickup truck before dragging him for approximately 1.5 miles. Brewer later claimed that Byrd’s throat had been slashed by Berry before he was dragged. However, forensic evidence suggests that Byrd had been attempting to keep his head up while being dragged, and an autopsy suggested that Byrd was alive during much of the dragging. Byrd died after his right arm and head were severed when his body hit a culvert. Byrd’s brain and skull were found intact, further suggesting he maintained consciousness while being dragged.

 

Berry, Brewer and King dumped their victim’s mutilated remains in front of an African-American church on Huff Creek Road; the three men then went to a barbecue. Along the area where Byrd was dragged, authorities found a wrench with “Berry” written on it. They also found a lighter that was inscribed with “Possum”, which was King’s prison nickname. The following morning, Byrd’s limbs were found scattered across a seldom-used road. The police found 81 places that were littered with Byrd’s remains. State law enforcement officials, along with Jasper’s District Attorney, determined that since Brewer and King were well-known white supremacists, the murder was a hate crime. They decided to call upon the Federal Bureau of Investigation less than 24 hours after the discovery of Byrd’s remains.

 

King had several racist tattoos: a black man hanging from a tree, Nazi symbols, the words “Aryan Pride,” and the patch for a gang of white supremacist inmates known as the Confederate Knights of America. In a jailhouse letter to Brewer that was intercepted by jail officials, King expressed pride in the crime and said that he realized while committing the murder that he might have to die. “Regardless of the outcome of this, we have made history. Death before dishonor. Sieg Heil!” King wrote. An officer investigating the case also testified that witnesses said that King had referenced The Turner Diaries after beating Byrd.

 

Berry, Brewer and King were tried and convicted for Byrd’s murder. Brewer and King received the death penalty, while Berry was sentenced tolife in prison. Brewer was executed by lethal injection on September 21, 2011 while King remains on Texas’ death row.

 

 

Now fast forward to Alfred Wright……

Alfred’s truck broke down in a package store parking while he was on his way to see a patient. He called his wife Lauren, who called her parents; by the time they got there, he was gone. Lauren attempted to call him back, but all she heard when he picked up the phone was heavy breathing. The store clerk, who remembers Wright because he was dressed in scrubs, said he saw him tuck his phone into his sock (where it was later found) and take off jogging “of his own free will.”

 

Four days later, the Sherriff’s department called off the search for Alfred, saying they had “exhausted all of their resources.” His wife and family maintained that there was no way he’d just take off into the woods for no reason, especially in a town as racially tense as Jasper. Doubtless, they had in mind another incident that had taken place in 1998 about 45 minutes away, when a black man by the name of James Byrd was abducted, dragged behind a pickup, chopped to pieces and left in the Jasper cemetery — by three white men.

 

Yes, We are most definitely in the midst of a post racial AmeriKKKa.

 

 

Allow me to repeat this…..

 

Post-racial America…..

 

Post-racial America is a theoretical environment where the United States is devoid of racial preference, discrimination, and prejudice. Some Americans believed that the election of Barack Obama as President and wider acceptance of interracial marriage signified that the nation had entered this state, while others believe that groups such as the Tea Party movement prove it has not.

 

In January 2010 the Pew Research Center conducted a poll in conjunction with National Public Radio that indicated that 39% of persons of African-American descent felt they were in a better position than they had been five years ago, an increase of 19% from the previous poll taken in 2008.

 

This Is OUR Black History In 2014.

 

My condolences to the Wright family.

 

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In Case You Missed This Series….Black History Month 2014 Presents: Celebrating Black History Month; The Black History Moment Series, #1 thru #13.

 

 

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Celebrating Black History Month, The Black History Moment Series #13: The History Of Feeding An African Slave.


 

By Jueseppi B.

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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 #13: The History Of Feeding An African Slave. 

 

 

Weekly Food Ration For A Slave

 

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This display approximates the ration of food (cornmeal, fish, and pork) given to each adult slave per week. Strangely enough, wealthy politicians in Washington D.C. assume people on SNAP can survive on even less than this in 2014.

 

Nutrition in the American Slave System

 

The importance of a balanced diet cannot be overstated. A balanced diet provides natural disease preventionweight control and proper sleep. A balanced diet also enables you to live longer. A balanced diet is also important because it enables you to meet your daily nutritional needs and perform at your full capacity. This level of high performance was of the utmost importance to American slave-owners as it would be economically beneficial to have slaves who could work at full capacity for the average 54 hours a week. Therefore, slave-owners could not spare much when it came to properly feeding their plentiful workers. An incorrect myth about slavery in the United States is that slave-owners starved their slaves. This is an illogical assumption as slaves were not so dispensable or quickly replaced and would not financially benefit slave-owners.

 

But lets be honest, not all slave owners followed this common sense rule about the Negrias they owned. Many plantation owners gave their slaves table scraps, the left overs from each meal. Field Negros ate a lot worse that House Negros. THAT was the major reason why House Negros wanted to be House Negros.

 

There were essentially two different kinds of slaves, those that worked in the fields (field slaves), and those that worked in the slave master’s house (house slaves).

 

A House slave was a slave who worked and often lived in the house of the slave-owner. House slaves had many duties such as cooking, cleaning, serving meals and caring for children.

 

House Negro” (also “House Nigger“) is a pejorative term for a black person, used to compare someone to a house slave of a slave owner from the historic period of legal slavery in the United States. The term comes from a speech “Message to the Grass Roots” (1963) by African Americanactivist Malcolm X, wherein he explains that during slavery, there were two kinds of slaves: “house Negroes”, who worked in the master’s house, and “field Negroes” (also “field Niggers“), who performed the manual labor outside.

 

He characterizes the house Negro as having a better life than the field Negro, and thus unwilling to leave the plantation and potentially more likely to support existing power structures that favor whites over blacks. Malcolm X identified with the field Negro. The term is used against individuals, in critiques of attitudes within the African American community, and as a borrowed term for critiquing parallel situations.

 

Field slaves were transatlantic slaves who labored in the plantation fields. They commonly were used to plant, tend, and harvest cottonsugarrice and tobacco.

 

 

The following excerpt comes from my hero, Minister Malcolm x as he describes the difference between the two types of slave. The entire speech can be read here…[read entire speech].

 

 

“Malcolm describes the difference between the ‘house Negro’ and the ‘field Negro.'”

 

So you have two types of Negro. The old type and the new type. Most of you know the old type. When you read about him in history during slavery he was called “Uncle Tom.” He was the house Negro. And during slavery you had two Negroes. You had the house Negro and the field Negro.

 

The house Negro usually lived close to his master. He dressed like his master. He wore his master’s second-hand clothes. He ate food that his master left on the table. And he lived in his master’s house–probably in the basement or the attic–but he still lived in the master’s house.

 

So whenever that house Negro identified himself, he always identified himself in the same sense that his master identified himself. When his master said, “We have good food,” the house Negro would say, “Yes, we have plenty of good food.” “We” have plenty of good food. When the master said that “we have a fine home here,” the house Negro said, “Yes, we have a fine home here.” When the master would be sick, the house Negro identified himself so much with his master he’d say, “What’s the matter boss, we sick?” His master’s pain was his pain. And it hurt him more for his master to be sick than for him to be sick himself. When the house started burning down, that type of Negro would fight harder to put the master’s house out than the master himself would.

 

But then you had another Negro out in the field. The house Negro was in the minority. The masses–the field Negroes were the masses. They were in the majority. When the master got sick, they prayed that he’d die. [Laughter] If his house caught on fire, they’d pray for a wind to come along and fan the breeze.

 

If someone came to the house Negro and said, “Let’s go, let’s separate,” naturally that Uncle Tom would say, “Go where? What could I do without boss? Where would I live? How would I dress? Who would look out for me?” That’s the house Negro. But if you went to the field Negro and said, “Let’s go, let’s separate,” he wouldn’t even ask you where or how. He’d say, “Yes, let’s go.” And that one ended right there.

 

So now you have a twentieth-century-type of house Negro. A twentieth-century Uncle Tom. He’s just as much an Uncle Tom today as Uncle Tom was 100 and 200 years ago. Only he’s a modern Uncle Tom. That Uncle Tom wore a handkerchief around his head. This Uncle Tom wears a top hat. He’s sharp. He dresses just like you do. He speaks the same phraseology, the same language. He tries to speak it better than you do. He speaks with the same accents, same diction. And when you say, “your army,” he says, “our army.” He hasn’t got anybody to defend him, but anytime you say “we” he says “we.” “Our president,” “our government,” “our Senate,” “our congressmen,” “our this and our that.” And he hasn’t even got a seat in that “our” even at the end of the line. So this is the twentieth-century Negro. Whenever you say “you,” the personal pronoun in the singular or in the plural, he uses it right along with you. When you say you’re in trouble, he says, “Yes, we’re in trouble.”

 

But there’s another kind of Black man on the scene. If you say you’re in trouble, he says, “Yes, you’re in trouble.” [Laughter] He doesn’t identify himself with your plight whatsoever.

 

SOURCE: X, Malcolm. “The Race Problem.” African Students Association and NAACP Campus Chapter. Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan. 23 January 1963.

 

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Food and Slave Culture

In order to round out their diet, slaves had to find ways to supplement the rations they were receiving. They did this through cultivation of their own garden plots as well as hunting, fishing, domestication of animals, and on occasion, stealing. Most of these activities took place after the slaves had completed their days work in the fields.

 

Garden Plots

Garden plots played an important role in supplementing the diet of the slave. In some cases, slave owners who could reduce the cost of feeding slaves by forcing them to cultivate their own vegetables insisted upon these plots. Plots varied in size, generally one to two acres, but sometimes larger, although on rice plantations in Georgia the average plot size was reported to be half an acre. Some groups of slaves shared a communal plot.

 

Slaves of the American South grew a variety of vegetables in these garden plots. What could be grown depended on where the plantation was located. For example, coastal areas offered different planting climates than did inland areas. Coastal areas allowed for the growth of green vegetables like cabbage, collard and turnip greens. Green leafy vegetables, in particular, provide an abundance of vitamins and nutrients. These garden crops often helped offset the nutritional imbalance that standard slave rations created.

 

Provision crops such as turnips (roots and tops), peas, and sweet potatoes were grown on the plantation and served as supplements to enrich the slave’s diet. Turnips have a high iron and vitamin content and may have saved many a slave from having a serious deficiency disease. Peas are fairly high in proteins and contain some vitamins, and sweet potatoes are an excellent source of several nutrients and vitamins.

 

Some of the items grown were ‘native’ to American soil, while many had their origins in Africa, as well as other continents. Food items such as rice, okra, black-eyed peas, yams, kidney and lima beans, watermelon, liquorice and sesame all have African origins. Slaves were also able to find wild fruits and vegetables, on occasion.

 

Some African-American foods of the time were surprising and somewhat unusual. In some parts of Africa the eating of clay is a common practice. Some enslaved people brought this practice with them to America. Clay eating remains an important practice for a number of southern African-American even today.

 

Hunting and Fishing

Hunting and Fishing further helped slaves to supplement their diets, for those whose masters allowed such activities. On some plantations, slave owners trusted their slaves enough to provide them with guns for hunting. Slaves hunted and fished for a variety of animal life. As was the case with gardens, location played a role in what food sources were available for the slaves to hunt or fish, although the diet was quite similar.

 

Many of the animals consumed in the different parts of the south are the same, but one could hypothesize that slave diets were likely made up of larger amounts of one kind of animal depending on location. For instance, slaves living near rivers, streams, ponds, or coastal areas likely supplemented their diets with more seafood and aquatic reptiles. Conversely, slaves further inland or near wooded areas likely supplemented their diets with more wild game such as deer and birds.

 

In many cases slaves were forced to hunt at night because it was the only ‘free time’ they had. Harris has noted that “One reason that possum figured so prominently in slave menu’s is that it is a nocturnal creature and could be hunted when the slaves weren’t working.” The archeological findings above also show a common theme for all plantation areas of the south – the likelihood of domesticated animals playing a part in the slave diet.

 

Some slave owners allowed their slaves to keep domesticated animals such as pigs, cows, or chickens. For the African-Americans who had them, these animals helped to add variety and nutrition to their often-meager diet. In some cases slaves also stole from their masters and neighbors to supplement their diet.

 

 

Soul Foods And Dishes

 

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This is a list of soul foods and dishesSoul food is an African-American cuisine that primarily originated in the Southern United States and is very similar to the cuisine of the Southern United States. It uses a variety of ingredients, some of which are indigenous to Africa and were brought over by slaves, and others which are indigenous to the Americas and borrowed from Native American cuisine.

 

Meat dishes

 

Chicken fried steak

breaded cutlet dish consisting of a piece of steak (tenderized cube steak) coated with seasoned flour and pan-fried. It is associated with Southern cuisine.

 

 

Fatback

Fatty, cured, salted pork, especially the first layers of the back of the pig primarily used in slow-cooking as a seasoning.

 

 

Fried chicken

A dish consisting of chicken pieces usually from broiler chickens which have been floured or battered and then pan-frieddeep fried, or pressure fried. The seasoned breading adds a crisp coating or crust to the exterior.

 

 

Fried fish

Any of several varieties of fish, including catfishwhitingporgiesbluegill, sometimes battered in seasoned cornmeal.

 

 

Ham hocks

Typically smoked or boiled, ham hocks generally consist of much skin, tendons and ligaments, and require long cooking through stewing, smoking or braising to be made palatable. The cut of meat can be cooked with greens and other vegetables or in flavorful sauces.

 

 

Hog Jowl

Cured and smoked cheeks of pork. It is not actually a form of bacon, but is associated with the cut due to the streaky nature of the meat and the similar flavor. Hog jowl is a staple of soul food, but is also used outside the United States, for example in the Italian dish guanciale.

 

 

Hog maw

The stomach lining of a pig; it is very muscular and contains no fat. As a soul food dish, hog maw has often been coupled with chitterlings, which are pig intestines. In the book Plantation Row Slave Cabin Cooking: The Roots of Soul Food hog maw is used in the Hog Maw Salad recipe.

 

 

Offal

Such as chitterlings or “chitlins” (the cleaned and prepared intestines of pigs, slow cooked and also often eaten with a vinegar-based sauce or sometimes parboiled, then battered and fried) or hog maws (the muscular lining of the pig’s stomach, sliced and often cooked with chitterlings).

 

 

Ox tails

The tail of cattle, oxtail is a bony, gelatin-rich meat, which is usually slow-cooked as a stew or braised.

 

 

Pickled pigs feet

Slow cooked, sometimes pickled or often eaten with a vinegar based sauce.

 

 

Pigs feet

The feet of pigs: the cuts are used in various dishes around the world, and have increased in popularity since the late-2000s financial crisis.

 

 

Pork

As a meat dish, such as ham and bacon, and for the for flavoring of vegetables and legumesgravys and sauces.

 

 

Pork ribs

The ribcage of a domestic pig, meat and bones together, is cut into usable pieces, prepared by smokinggrilling, or baking – usually with a sauce, often barbecue – and then served.

 

 

Poultry

giblet, such as chicken liver and gizzards.

 

 

Vegetables and legumes

 

Black-eyed peas

Often mixed into Hoppin’ John and other types of rice and beans dishes.

 

 

Collard greens

staple vegetable of Southern U.S. cuisine, they are often prepared with other similar green leaf vegetables, such as kale, turnip greens, spinach, and mustard greens in “mixed greens”. They are generally eaten year-round in the South, often with a pickled pepper vinegar sauce. Typical seasonings when cooking collards can consist of smoked and salted meats (ham hocks, smoked turkey drumsticks, pork neckbones, fatback or other fatty meat), diced onions and seasonings.

 

 

Hoppin’ John

A dish served in the Southern United States consisting of black-eyed peas (or field peas) and rice, with chopped onion and sliced bacon, seasoned with a bit of salt. Some people substitute ham hock,fatback, or country sausage for the conventional bacon; a few use green peppers or vinegar and spices. Smaller than black-eyed peas, field peas are used in the Low Country of South Carolina and Georgia; black-eyed peas are the norm elsewhere.

 

 

Mustard greens

A species of mustard plant. Sub varieties include southern giant curled mustard, which resembles a headless cabbage such as kale, but with a distinct horseradish-mustard flavor. It is also known as green mustard cabbage.

 

 

Okra

A vegetable that is native to West Africa, and is eaten fried or stewed and is a traditional ingredient of gumbo. It is sometimes cooked with tomatoes, corn, onions and hot peppers

 

 

Sweet potatoes

Often parboiled, sliced, then adorned with butter, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla or other spices, and baked; commonly called “candied sweets” or “candied yams.”

 

 

Turnip greens

Turnip leaves are sometimes eaten as “turnip greens”, and they resemble mustard greens in flavor. Turnip greens are a common side dish in southeastern US cooking, primarily during late fall and winter. Smaller leaves are preferred; however, any bitter taste of larger leaves can be reduced by pouring off the water from initial boiling and replacing it with fresh water. Varieties specifically grown for the leaves resemble mustard greens more than those grown for the roots, with small or no storage roots.

 

 

Breads and grains

 

Cornbread

quickbread often baked or made in a skillet, commonly made with buttermilk and seasoned with bacon fat; inspired by the great availability of corn in the Americas and by Native American cultures. Pictured is skillet cornbread.

 

 

Grits

A cooked coarsely ground cornmeal of Native American origin.

 

 

Hoecake

Also known as Johnnycake, it’s a type of cornbread which is very thin in texture, and fried in cooking oil in a skillet, whose name is derived from field hands’ often cooking it on a shovel or hoe held to an open flame.

 

 

Hushpuppies

Balls of deep-fried cornmeal, usually with salt and diced onions. Typical hushpuppy ingredients include cornmeal, wheat flour, eggs, salt, baking soda, milk or buttermilk, and water, and may include onion, spring onion (scallion), garlic, whole kernel corn, and peppers.

 

 

Desserts

 

Cobbler

Made of fruits typically found in the southern U.S., especially peach.

 

 

Sweet potato pie

Parboiled sweet potatoes, then pureed, spiced, and baked in a pie crust, similar in texture to pumpkin pie.

 

This is a small list of foods left for the slave to live on. As you can see from this list, beef was omitted because it was a prized possession of the caucasian slave master/plantation owner. Also, as you can see from this list, the present day health liabilities of the Black population was fully caused by the diet of our slave forefathers. Fats, high caloric intake, pork/pig consumption….all lead to high blood pressure, obesity and heart conditions not to mention diabetes.

 

The slaves of yesteryear are directly related to the present day slaves….slaves to a soul food diet that while tastes delicious, is bad for most health issues.

 

 

Raw Soul Food Dish

 

 

Southern Slave Recipes:

Verbal exchanges of recipes on Southern plantations led to the development of an international African cooking style in America. Slaves enjoyed cooking pork, yams, sweet potatoes, hominy, corn, ashcakes, cabbage, hoecakes, collards and cowpeas. On these plantations, cooking was done on an open fireplace with large swing blackpots and big skillets.

 

African American cooking techniques and recipes were also influenced by Native American Indians all across the United States. In many areas, local Indians taught slaves how to hunt, and to cook with native plants. Indian cooking techniques were later introduced into the southern society by black American cooks. Dishes such as corn pudding, succotash, pumpkin pie, Brunswick Stew and hominy grits are a few examples of Native American dishes found in African American cooking.

 

Soul_Food_Platter

 

 

OKRA SOUP
After working long days in the fields, a simple yet hearty soup like Okra Soup was often prepared by slave women for supper.

 

4 cups Cold Water
4 cups Okra, finely cut
4 cups Tomato Pulp
Wiley’s Greens Seasoning

Add Wiley’s Greens Seasoning to water and allow to come to a boil. Add Okra and Tomato mixture. Simmer on medium for 1 hour or until thick. Serve in bowl over rice or corn.

 

 

“POT LIKKER “
“Pot Likker” and Corn Meal Balls were often served on Sunday’s after church. This was considered a real treat for the slaves. A dish like this took longer to prepare and was reserved for Sunday dinner when slaves had more time to prepare a special meal.

In a large pot or Dutch oven, bring to boil 2 quarts of cold water. Add 1 1oz. package of Wiley’s Greens Seasoning to the water. Wash tender turnip greens in several waters to clean well. Place greens in seasoned water and let boil 1 hour. When greens are tender pour off ¾ of seasoned water into separate bowl. This seasoned water is “Pot Likker.” Set greens aside.

CORN MEAL BALLS FOR POT LIKKER

1 cup Plain Corn Meal
½ teaspoon Salt
2 Tablespoons Butter
Cold Water

Add salt to corn meal and stir in melted butter. Slowly add water to shaped dough into small biscuit-sized balls. Drop balls into reserved “Pot Likker.” “Pot Likker” should be boiling. Cook in covered dish for twenty minutes. Serve with Turnip Greens.

 

 

APPLE POT PIE 
Apple Pot Pie was one of the slaves’ favorite desserts. Desserts were a common feature on Sunday’s during the summer months when fruits were plentiful. The pleasing aroma of cooked apples often-filled slave cabins and campsites in the late summer and early fall when apples were in abundance.

6 Baking Apples – peeled, cored and cut into small pieces
4 cups Flour
10 Tablespoons of Butter
2 packages Wiley’s Apple Pie Spice
1 cup Sugar
Cold Water

In large bowl, make dough of flower, 7 TB of butter, salt and enough water to form dough. Roll thin on floured cutting board and cut into two-inch squares. Place apples in separate bowl and sprinkle with Wiley’s Apple Pie Spice and sugar on each apple layer. In a large pot or Dutch oven alternate layers of dough squares and sprinkled apples. Bottom layer in pot should be apples followed by dough squares on top. The top layer should be dough squares. Place remaining butter (3 TB) dotted on dough layer on top. Fill pot (dutch oven) half filled with water. Cover and cook on medium until apples are done.

 

 

PLANTATION GUMBO
The recipe for Plantation Gumbo was different just about every time depending on the season and the availability of certain types of vegetables. The following recipe reflects how the dish was prepared in late summer.

2 Tablespoons Melted Butter
1 Onion diced
2 Cups of Tomatoes, unpeeled and cubed
2 Cups Okra finely cut
2 Red Potatoes (peeled and cubed)
1 Carrot (peeled and sliced)
1 Quart hot water
1 Cup diced Celery
Wiley’s Beans & Peas Seasoning

 

In small saucepan, fry onions in the melted butter until browned. In large pot or Dutch oven add water and Wiley’s Seasonings. Bring to a boil; add browned onion mixture and vegetables to water. Cook slowly, stirring occasionally, until thick.

 

 

Indian Food Banquet

 

“Soul Food” This term originated from the cuisine developed by the African slaves mainly from the American South. A dark and despicable period in the history of the United States resulted in a cuisine fashioned from the meager ingredients available to the slave and sharecropper black families. The meat used was the least desireable cuts and the vegetables, some bordering on weeds, were all that was available for the black slaves to prepare nutritious meals for their families. From these meager ingredients evolved a cuisine that is simple yet hearty and delicious. 

 

 

CHITLINS AND MAW

 

INGREDIENTS:

 
   2      pounds pork maw
   2      tablespoons salt
   2      teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes
   4      stalks celery,  finely chopped
   4      small onions, finely chopped
   4      small green bell peppers,  cored, seeded and
            finely chopped
   5      pounds precooked chitlins


1. Wash the pork maw thoroughly in several changes of 
cold water.  
Drain thoroughly and place in a large pot 
with enough cold water to cover by 2 inches. 


Add the salt, red pepper, and half of the 
celery, onions, and green peppers.  
Heat to boiling, reduce to simmering, 
and cook, covered, until tender.  
This could take anywhere from 
1 1/2 to 3 hours, depending on the maw.


2. Meanwhile, wash the chitlins carefully in several
changes of cold water.
Drain thoroughly.  
Refrigerate until needed.


3. Drain the cooked maw and reserve the cooking liquid.  
Place the chitlins in a large pot and add enough 
of the maw cooking liquid to cover by 2 inches.   
Add the remaining celery, onions, and green peppers.  
Heat to boiling, reduce to simmering, and cook, 
covered, until tender, about 1 hour and 30 minutes.


4. Meanwhile, when the pork maw is cool enough to handle, 
cut it into1-inch pieces.


5. When the chitlins are tender, stir in the maw 
pieces and simmer togethera few minutes.  
Check the seasoning and serve hot.






RED BEANS AND RICE

 

INGREDIENTS:

 

   1      Cup red kidney beans,  dried
   5      Cups  water
   1      smoked ham hocks
   2      Tablespoons   salt
 1/2     Teaspoon red pepper flakes,  crushed
 1/2     Teaspoon dried thyme
   2       Cups rice (Uncle Bens)

 

1)  Soak the beans overnight in 5 cups of 
water in a cool place or in the
refrigerator.


2)  Drain the beans and place them in a 5-quart pot.  
Add 4 cups of water,
the ham hock, salt, red pepper, and thyme.  
Heat to boiling , then reduce
the heat to a bare simmer.  
Cover and cook until the beans are almost
tender, about 1 hour.


3)  Stir 1 cup of water and the rice into the beans .  
Heat to boiling,
reduce the heat to a simmer, and cook, covered, 
until the rice and beans
are tender and the liquid is absorbed, about 25 minutes.  
Check the
seasonings.  If you like, you may remove the 
meat from the ham hock and mix
it into the rice.  Serve hot.








Honey Peach and Blackberry Cobbler

 

cobbler-ck-671011-l

 

Ingredients

  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, divided
  • 8 cups chopped peeled peaches (about 4 pounds)
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 3 cups blackberries
  • Cooking spray $
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon grated lemon rind
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 6 tablespoons chilled butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1 1/4 cups low-fat buttermilk
  • 2 tablespoons turbinado sugar

Preparation

  1. Preheat oven to 400°.
  2. Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife.
  3. Combine 1/4 cup flour, peaches, honey, juice, and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a large bowl; toss gently. Let stand 15 minutes. Fold in blackberries. Spoon mixture into a 13 x 9-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray.
  4. Combine 2 cups flour, 1/2 teaspoon salt, granulated sugar, rind, and baking powder in a medium bowl, stirring with a whisk. Cut in butter with a pastry blender or 2 knives until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add buttermilk, and stir just until moist.
  5. Drop dough onto peach mixture to form 12 mounds. Sprinkle mounds with turbinado sugar. Bake at 400° for 40 minutes or until bubbly and golden.




Hush Puppies

 

FODCFF10

 

Ingredients

  • 2 1/4 cups self-rising white cornmeal mix
  • 1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper
  • 1/2 medium onion, chopped $
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 2 large eggs $
  • Vegetable oil

Preparation

  1. Combine first 6 ingredients in a bowl; make a well in center of mixture.
  2. Whisk together buttermilk and eggs; add to dry ingredients, stirring just until moistened. Let mixture stand 30 minutes.
  3. Pour oil to a depth of 2 inches into a Dutch oven; heat to 375°.
  4. Drop batter by heaping teaspoonfuls into hot oil. Fry, in batches, 2 minutes on each side or until golden. Drain on wire racks over paper towels; serve hot.






Collards With Red Onions

 

onion-collards-sl-1694201-l



Ingredients

  • 3 (16-oz.) packages fresh collard greens
  • 2 medium-size red onions, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 1/2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1/4 cup cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper

Preparation

  1. 1. Trim and discard thick stems from bottom of collard green leaves. Thoroughly wash collard greens.
  2. 2. Sauté onions in hot oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat 8 to 10 minutes or until tender. Add broth and next 4 ingredients.
  3. 3. Gradually add collards to Dutch oven, and cook, stirring occasionally, 8 to 10 minutes or just until wilted. Reduce heat to medium, and cook, stirring occasionally, 1 hour or until tender.




Southern Turnip Greens and Ham Hocks

 

FOTOTS02

 

 

Ingredients

  • 1 3/4 poundsham hocks, rinsed
  • 2 quarts water
  • 2 bunches fresh turnip greens with roots (about 10 pounds)
  • 1 tablespoon sugar

Preparation

  1. Bring ham hocks and 2 quarts water to a boil in an 8-quart Dutch oven. Reduce heat, and simmer 1 1/2 to 2 hours or until meat is tender.
  2. Remove and discard stems and discolored spots from greens. Chop greens, and wash thoroughly; drain. Peel turnip roots, and cut in half.
  3. Add greens, roots, and sugar to Dutch oven; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer 45 to 60 minutes or until greens and roots are tender.

 

 

Fried Catfish

 

FODCFF03

 

Ingredients

  • 6 (4- to 6-ounce) catfish fillets
  • 2 cups milk $
  • 2 cups yellow cornmeal
  • 1 tablespoon seasoned salt
  • 2 teaspoons pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Vegetable oil

Preparation

  1. Place catfish fillets in a single layer in a shallow dish; cover with milk. Cover and chill 1 hour.
  2. Combine cornmeal and next 4 ingredients in a shallow dish.
  3. Remove catfish fillets from refrigerator, and let stand at room temperature 10 minutes. Remove from milk, allowing excess to drip off. Sprinkle evenly with 1 teaspoon salt.
  4. Dredge catfish fillets in cornmeal mixture, shaking off excess.
  5. Pour oil to depth of 1 1/2 inches into a large skillet; heat to 350°. Fry fillets, in batches, about 3 to 4 minutes on each side or until golden brown. Drain on wire racks over paper towels.

 


Bourbon Bread Pudding

 

bread-pudding-ck-1687672-l



Ingredients

  • Pudding:
  • 2 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 4 cups fat-free milk
  • 9 cups (1/2-inch) cubed French bread
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 4 large egg whites
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • Sauce:
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 cup bourbon

Preparation

  1. Preheat oven to 350°.
  2. To prepare pudding, spread 2 tablespoons butter onto bottom and sides of a 13 x 9-inch baking dish. Set aside.
  3. Heat milk in a heavy saucepan over medium-high heat to 180° or until tiny bubbles form around edge (do not boil). Place bread in a large bowl; pour hot milk over bread.
  4. Combine 2 cups sugar and next 3 ingredients (through 1 egg) in a medium bowl, stirring with a whisk until well blended. Gradually add the egg mixture to milk mixture, stirring constantly with a whisk. Stir in raisins; pour into prepared dish. Place dish in a roasting pan; add hot water to pan to a depth of 1/2 inch. Bake at 350° for 50 minutes or until browned and set.
  5. To prepare sauce, combine 3/4 cup sugar, 6 tablespoons butter, and 1 egg in a small, heavy saucepan over low heat. Cook 4 minutes or until a candy thermometer registers 165° and mixture is thick, stirring constantly. Remove from heat; stir in bourbon.
Ok, now I must go eat.




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

 

Celebrating Black History Month: The Black History Moment Series #1. Slavery.

 

 

Celebrating Black History Month: The Black History Moment Series #2. The Middle Passage.

 

 

Celebrating Black History Month: The Black History Moment Series #3. Post Racial AmeriKKKa.

 

 

Celebrating Black History Month: The Black History Moment Series #4 The Tuskegee Syphilis Experiment.

 

 

Celebrating Black History Month: The Black History Moment Series #5 Rosewood, Florida. The Rosewood Massacre.

 

 

Celebrating Black History Month, The Black History Moment Series #6: The Destruction of The Black Family.

 

 

Celebrating Black History Month, The Black History Moment Series #7: Black Indians In The United States.

 

 

Happy 101st Birthday Ms. Rosa Louise McCauley Parks.

 

 

Celebrating Black History Month, The Black History Moment Series #8: Charles H. Wright Museum Of African American History.

 

 

Celebrating Black History Month, The Black History Moment Series #9: The History Of Slavery In America.

 

 

Celebrating Black History Month, The Black History Moment Series #10: Black Women Who Were Lynched In America.

 

 

Celebrating Black History Month, The Black History Moment Series #11: Dr. Warren M. Washington.

 

 

Celebrating Black History Month, The Black History Moment Series #12: The Tulsa Oklahoma Race Riot of 1921.

 

 

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ggggg black_history Celebrate-Black-History-Mon davis-black-history-month 514122 1535441_10202797759682584_540887235_n 0000millionhoodies cropped-b4peace-header obamabottomheader

 

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