The MilitantNegro Wake-Up Call™ For Tuesday The 26th Of August: Charlotte, North Carolina.


Mr. Militant Negro

Mr. Militant Negro



Raw Video: Meeting Lucy Coffey


Published on Aug 26, 2014

President Obama and Vice President Biden meet with Lucy Coffey. A veteran of the Women’s Army Corps in World War II, Lucy is the nation’s oldest living female veteran.




President Obama Speaks at the American Legion’s 96th National Convention, Charlotte




White House Schedule – August 26th, 2014


Office of the Press Secretary
August 26th, 2014



TUESDAY, AUGUST 26th, 2014


In the morning, the President will travel to Charlotte, North Carolina. The President’s departure from the South Lawn will be open press and the arrival at the North Carolina Air National Guard Base is open to pre-credentialed media.


In the afternoon the President will deliver remarks at the American Legion’s 96th National Convention. This event at the Charlotte Convention Center is open to pre-credentialed media.


Following his remarks, the President will depart Charlotte en route Washington, DC. The departure from the North Carolina Air National Guard Base is open to pre-credentialed media, and the arrival on the South Lawn is open press.


Later in the afternoon, the President and Vice President meet with Secretary of State Kerry in the Oval Office. This meeting is closed press.


In the morning, the Vice President will attend meetings at the White House.


At 12:30 PM, the Vice President will attend an event for the Anthony Brown for Governor campaign at The Powerhouse. This event is closed press.


In the afternoon, the Vice President will attend the President’s meeting with Secretary of State Kerry in the Oval Office.


Later in the afternoon, the Vice President will attend meetings at the White House.




Tuesday, August 26 2014 All Times ET


9:50 AM
The President departs the White House
South Lawn
10:05 AM
The President departs Joint Base Andrews
11:20 AM
The President arrives Charlotte, North Carolina
North Carolina Air National Guard Base
12:00 PM
The President delivers remarks at the American Legion’s
96th National Convention
Charlotte Convention Center – Hall A, North Carolina
12:30 PM
The Vice President attends an event for the Anthony Brown
for Governor campaign
The Powerhouse
1:10 PM
The President departs Charlotte, North Carolina en r
oute Washington, DC
North Carolina Air National Guard Base
2:20 PM
The President arrives Joint Base Andrews
2:35 PM
The President arrives the White House
South Lawn
4:50 PM
The President and the Vice President meet with
Secretary of State Kerry
Oval Office


August 2014: Photo of the Day


President Barack Obama looks at photos of Press Secretary Josh Earnest's newborn baby boy, Walker, during a meeting with senior advisors in the Oval Office, Aug. 25, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

President Barack Obama looks at photos of Press Secretary Josh Earnest’s newborn baby boy, Walker, during a meeting with senior advisors in the Oval Office, Aug. 25, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)


Statements and Releases


FACT SHEET: President Obama Announces New Executive Actions to Fulfill our Promises to Service Members, Veterans, and Their Families


FACT SHEET: Obama Administration Record for Women and Girls


Readout of the Vice President’s Call with Iraqi Council of Representatives Speaker Salim al-Jabouri


Readout of the Vice President’s Call with Iraqi Prime Minister-designate Haider al-Abadi


White House Appoints 2014-2015 Class of White House Fellows




8/25/14: White House Press Briefing


Published on Aug 25, 2014

White House Press Briefings are conducted most weekdays from the James S. Brady Press Briefing Room in the West Wing.




Celebrating Women’s Equality Day, 2014


President Obama Listens To Daughter of Secret Service AgentPresident Barack Obama bends down to listen to the daughter of a departing U.S. Secret Service agent in the Oval Office, Oct. 28, 2013. (Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson) 

Etched into the history of our Nation are the stories of women who fought for the America they knew was possible — a country where all are truly treated equally and have access to the ballot box, regardless of gender. It took generations of fearless women who organized and advocated to secure women’s right to vote, and on Women’s Equality Day, we honor these courageous heroes, celebrate how far we have come in the decades since, and acknowledge the work still left to be done.


In the 94 years since the 19th Amendment was certified, women have made strides in every facet of American life, and we have learned that our country succeeds when women succeed. More and more the world is looking to our daughters to lead us, to heal us, to employ us, to thrill us on fields of play, and to protect us on fields of battle. Even still, inequality and discrimination persist. Women, on average, continue to earn less than their male counterparts, and for women of color, the disparity is even wider. Outdated workplace policies force too many working parents to choose between fulfilling their family responsibilities, and the careers of their dreams. And far too many women know what it is to suffer from abuse or sexual assault.


Read More



Happy 98th Birthday to the National Park Service



From our spacious skies and fruited plains to our purple mountain majesties, the United States boasts some of the world’s most breathtaking natural lands. On August 25, 1916, President Woodrow Wilson created the National Park Service to formally protect and preserve these lands so people all over the world could experience America’s historic beauty and heritage for years to come.


Today, the National Park Service manages 401 national parks and memorials, which supported 238,000 jobs and pumped more than $26 billion into local economies last year. In fact, for every $1 we invest in our national parks, our economy sees $10 in return.


Take a glimpse at what the National Park Service has been working to preserve for 98 years, and follow the National Park Service and the U.S. Department of Interior on Twitter to see more of what makes America so beautiful.


Read More


It's Raining Videos™

It’s Raining Videos™

Four Cases Of Police Brutality And Racism You Need To Know


Published on Aug 25, 2014

It’s been more than 20 years since the police beating of Rodney King led to the L.A. riots. More recently, protesters in Ferguson, Missouri, and all around the United States are furious over the police shooting of yet another unarmed black man — Michael Brown. AJ+ takes a look back at some of the most infamous police brutality cases that inform us now.




Audio of Mike Brown shooting contradicts the officers statement.


Published on Aug 26, 2014

This new audi clip contradicts the family friends statement about the shooting, told to her by the family of Officer Wilson. More than 11 shots were taken at Brown.




Darren Wilson Supporter Gets Scolded : Stupid jack*** after telling man “Lean to Speak English”


Published on Aug 26, 2014

WATCH altercation on CNN Live TV: “I am speaking English do you understand that?! Stupid jackass, do you understand that?!”

Officer Wilson supporters: Government and media choosing sides in Ferguson
(CNN) – The funeral for 18-year-old Michael Brown Monday drew thousands, including celebrities, civil rights leaders, and a White House delegation.
But for those seeking justice for the officer who killed Brown, the service was seen as another example of how the government and media are unfairly choosing sides in that deadly confrontation.
This weekend, supporters of Officer Darren Wilson gathered outside a south city St. Louis bar, popular with local law enforcement.
“My name is Darren Wilson. We are Darren Wilson,” a woman said to a cheering crowd.




“There Will Be Justice”: Mourners Speak Outside Michael Brown’s Funeral in St. Louis


Published on Aug 26, 2014 – Thousands of people lined up to pay their respects at Michael Brown’s funeral on Monday in St. Louis, Missouri. The killing of the 18-year-old African American by a white police officer in Ferguson has sparked weeks of protest and conversations about race, both around the country and in the local community. Democracy Now!’s Aaron Maté was in St. Louis and spoke with mourners as they filed into the Friendly Temple Missionary Baptist Church. “I know about Martin Luther King, I know about Emmett Till, but I am actually living something that should have stopped years and years ago,” says local resident Anne Hamilton. “We just want, as African Americans, to be treated fairly and to be given the same advantages.” St. Louis resident Elwood Harris responds to the protests, which have at times involved looting. “What else can we do? We took the Martin Luther King approach, protesting and peace, but there is no peace, and there is no justice,” Harris says. “But there will be justice in this case, I really do believe.”




“You Can’t Talk About Race and Class and Privilege in a Soundbite”




Jackie Robinson West All Stars receive homecoming grand salute




Billy Crystal gives tearful tribute to Robin Williams at Emmys




Burger King faces threats of boycott if HQ moves to Canada for tax break




Michael Brown’s funeral draws thousands of supporters, aid for victim’s family








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God Bless America? God DAMN AmeriKKKa!!

The Militant Negro™

The Militant Negro™



Jeremiah Wright controversy

The Jeremiah Wright controversy gained national attention in the United States in March 2008 when ABC News, after reviewing dozens of U.S. Presidential candidate Barack Obama‘s pastor Jeremiah Wright‘s sermons, excerpted parts which were subject to intense media scrutiny. Wright is a retired senior pastor of Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago and former pastor of President Obama. Obama denounced the statements in question, but critics continued to press the issue of his relationship with Wright. In response to this, he gave a speech titled “A More Perfect Union“, in which he sought to place Dr. Wright’s comments in a historical and sociological context. In the speech, Obama again denounced Wright’s remarks, but did not disown him as a person. The controversy began to fade, but was renewed in late April when Wright made a series of media appearances, including an interview on Bill Moyers Journal, a speech at the NAACP, and a speech at the National Press Club. After the last of these, Obama spoke more forcefully against his former pastor, saying that he was “outraged” and “saddened” by his behavior, and in May he resigned his membership in the church.


Barack Obama first met Wright in the late 1980s, while he was working as a community organizer in Chicago before attending Harvard Law School. Wright officiated at the wedding ceremony of Barack and Michelle Obama, as well as their children’s baptisms.

The title of Obama’s 2006 memoir, The Audacity of Hope, was inspired by one of Wright’s sermons. This sermon also was the source for themes of Obama’s 2004 keynote address to the Democratic National Convention. Wright was scheduled to give the public invocation before Obama’s presidential announcement, but Obama withdrew the invitation the night before the event. Wright wrote a rebuttal letter to the editor disputing the characterization of the account as reported in an article in The New York Times.

In 2007, Wright was appointed to Barack Obama’s African American Religious Leadership Committee, a group of over 170 national black religious leaders who supported Obama’s bid for the Democratic nomination. However, it was announced in March 2008 that Wright was no longer serving as a member of this group.

On May 31, 2008, Barack and Michelle Obama announced that they had withdrawn their membership in Trinity United Church of Christ, stating that “Our relations with Trinity have been strained by the divisive statements of Reverend Wright, which sharply conflict with our own views”.

Controversial sermon excerpts

Most of the controversial excerpts that gained national attention in March 2008 were taken from two sermons: one titled “The Day of Jerusalem’s Fall”, delivered on September 16, 2001, and another titled “Confusing God and Government”, delivered on April 13, 2003.

“The Day of Jerusalem’s Fall”

In a sermon delivered shortly after the September 11 attacks in 2001, Wright made comments about an interview of former U.S. Ambassador Edward Peck he saw on Fox News. Wright said:

I heard Ambassador Peck on an interview yesterday. Did anybody else see him or hear him? He was on Fox News. This is a white man, and he was upsetting the Fox News commentators to no end. He pointed out — did you see him, John? — a white man, he pointed out, ambassador, that what Malcolm X said when he got silenced by Elijah Muhammad was in fact true — America’s chickens are coming home to roost.

Wright spoke of the United States taking land from the Indian tribes by what he labeled as terror, bombing Grenada, Panama, Libya, Hiroshima, and Nagasaki, and argued that the United States supported state terrorism against the Palestinians and South Africa. He said that his parishioners’ response should be to examine their relationship with God, not go “from the hatred of armed enemies to the hatred of unarmed innocents.” His comment (quoting Malcolm X) that “America’s chickens are coming home to roost” was widely interpreted as meaning that America had brought the September 11, 2001 attacks upon itself. ABC News broadcast clips from the sermon in which Wright said:

We bombed Hiroshima, we bombed Nagasaki, and we nuked far more than the thousands in New York and the Pentagon, and we never batted an eye… and now we are indignant, because the stuff we have done overseas is now brought back into our own front yards. America’s chickens are coming home to roost.

Later, Wright continued :

Violence begets violence. Hatred begets hatred. And terrorism begets terrorism. A white ambassador said that, y’all. Not a black militant. Not a reverend who preaches about racism. An ambassador whose eyes are wide open and who is trying to get us to wake up and move away from this dangerous precipice upon which we are now poised. The ambassador said the people that we have wounded don’t have the military capability we have. But they do have individuals who are willing to die and take thousands with them. And we need to come to grips with that.

“Confusing God and Government”

Clips from a sermon that Wright gave, entitled “Confusing God and Government”, were also shown on ABC‘s Good Morning America and on Fox News. In the sermon, Wright first makes the distinction between God and governments, and points out that many governments in the past have failed: “Where governments lie, God does not lie. Where governments change, God does not change.” Wright then states:

[The United States] government lied about their belief that all men were created equal. The truth is they believed that all white men were created equal. The truth is they did not even believe that white women were created equal, in creation nor civilization. The government had to pass an amendment to the Constitution to get white women the vote. Then the government had to pass an equal rights amendment to get equal protection under the law for women. The government still thinks a woman has no rights over her own body, and between Uncle Clarence who sexually harassed Anita Hill, and a closeted Klan court, that is a throwback to the 19th century, handpicked by Daddy Bush, Ronald Reagan, Gerald Ford, between Clarence and that stacked court, they are about to undo Roe vs. Wade, just like they are about to un-do affirmative action. The government lied in its founding documents and the government is still lying today. Governments lie.

He continued:

The government lied about Pearl Harbor too. They knew the Japanese were going to attack. Governments lie. The government lied about the Gulf of Tonkin Incident. They wanted that resolution to get us in the Vietnam War. Governments lie. The government lied about Nelson Mandela and our CIA helped put him in prison and keep him there for 27 years. The South African government lied on Nelson Mandela. Governments lie.

Wright then stated:

The government lied about the Tuskegee experiment. They purposely infected African American men with syphilis. Governments lie. The government lied about bombing Cambodia and Richard Nixon stood in front of the camera, “Let me make myself perfectly clear…” Governments lie. The government lied about the drugs for arms Contra scheme orchestrated by Oliver North, and then the government pardoned all the perpetrators so they could get better jobs in the government. Governments lie…. The government lied about inventing the HIV virus as a means of genocide against people of color. Governments lie. The government lied about a connection between Al Qaeda and Saddam Hussein and a connection between 9.11.01 and Operation Iraqi Freedom. Governments lie.

He spoke about the government’s rationale for the Iraq War:

The government lied about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq being a threat to the United States peace. And guess what else? If they don’t find them some weapons of mass destruction, they gonna do just like the LAPD, and plant the some weapons of mass destruction. Governments lie.

Wright then commented on God and government:

And the United States of America government, when it came to treating her citizens of Indian descent fairly, she failed. She put them on reservations. When it came to treating her citizens of Japanese descent fairly, she failed. She put them in internment prison camps. When it came to treating her citizens of African descent fairly, America failed. She put them in chains, the government put them on slave quarters, put them on auction blocks, put them in cotton field, put them in inferior schools, put them in substandard housing, put them in scientific experiments, put them in the lowest paying jobs, put them outside the equal protection of the law, kept them out of their racist bastions of higher education and locked them into positions of hopelessness and helplessness. The government gives them the drugs, builds bigger prisons, passes a three-strike law and then wants us to sing “God Bless America”. No, no, no, not God Bless America. God damn America — that’s in the Bible — for killing innocent people. God damn America, for treating our citizens as less than human. God damn America, as long as she tries to act like she is God, and she is supreme. The United States government has failed the vast majority of her citizens of African descent.

These sermon excerpts were widely viewed in early 2008 on network television and the internet.

Jeremiah Wright: “God Damn America”

Published on Nov 27, 2012

A longer reel of the famous “God Damn America” sermon from President Obama’s former pastor, Jeremiah Wright, of Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago.

God Damn America

Dick Gregory Refutes Jeremiah Wright Controversy 1 of 9

Uploaded on Apr 3, 2008

Speaking before a standing room only congregation at Rev. Walter E. fauntroy’s New Bethel Baptist Church in the historic Shaw District of Washington, DC, activist Dick Gregory presents an impassioned challenge to the conventional wisdom surrounding the controversy of the comments made by Barack Obama’s spiritual leader, Rev. Jeremiah Wright.

Dick Gregory Refutes Rev. Jeremiah Wright Controversy 2 of 9

Dick Gregory Refutes Rev. Jeremiah Wright Controversy 3 of 9

Dick Gregory Refutes Rev. Jeremiah Wright Controversy 4 of 9

Dick Gregory Refutes Rev. Jeremiah Wright Controversy 5 of 9

Dick Gregory Refutes Rev. Jeremiah Wright Controversy 6 of 9

Dick Gregory Refutes Rev. Jeremiah Wright Controversy 7 of 9

Dick Gregory Refutes Rev. Jeremiah Wright Controversy 8 of 9

Dick Gregory Refutes Rev. Jeremiah Wright Controversy 9 of 9


I’ve often listened as Americans tell me how this nation was once the greatest nation on earth, and how America will one day return to that greatness. America was never great. America will never be great.

No nation is great that builds it’s foundation on the backs of slaves stolen from their native Africa and forced into servitude for the benefit of caucasian masters.

No nation is great that massacres and enslaves a nation of several hundred tribes of Native Americans with the express purpose of stealing Native American lands….for themselves.

No nation is great that imports a nation of Asian American to build their railroad system, then treats those Asians as slaves and 4th class citizens.

No nation is great that denigrates it’s women and denies them basic human rights afforded that nations male population.

The United States Of AmeriKKKa is not great and never was great.

Unless you are a caucasian male. God Bless America? God DAMN AmeriKKKa.

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Remarks of Attorney Benjamin L. Crump At The Funeral Of Michael Brown, Jr.

The Militant Negro™

The Militant Negro™

Screenshot (435)


Remarks of Attorney Benjamin L. Crump at the Funeral of Michael Brown, Jr.


Michael Brown’s funeral service | August 25, 2014 Full Homegoing

Published on Aug 25, 2014

Watch Michael Brown’s full funeral service, held Monday at Friendly Temple Missionary Baptist Church in St. Louis

Over One Hundred and Sixty years ago, about ten miles away from where we gather in this great Church to pay our Final Respects to young Michael Brown, The Missouri Supreme Court decided, in “what is still affectingly referred to as “the Old Courthouse,” the Dred Scott Decision.

And the substance of that decision was adopted by the US Supreme Court some five years later, holding that “Persons of African descent cannot be, nor were ever intended to be, citizens under the U.S. Constitution.”

Now one could logically conclude that this manner of thinking followed the precedence of the 1787 Three Fifths Compromise, which said African Americans were to be considered only three-fifths of a man.

But as we pay our final respects to Michael Brown, Jr., we declare today that he was not 3/5’s of a Citizen, he was an American Citizen, because we hold these truths to be self evident that all men are created equal. And because of these truths, we will not accept 3/5’s justice for Michael Brown, Jr, we demand Equal Justice for Michael Brown, Jr.

The parents of Michael Brown are grateful for the outpouring of support and the national attention the unjust killing of their son has garnered. They promise to use this energy to effect real change; not only in Ferguson but in every city in the United States. As they wait for the killer of their son brought to justice, they will not wait ON PROMISES OF CHANGE, but they will work with you the people to make change.

That’s why the parents of Mike Brown are calling on YOU, the people who have been with them from day one, crying, praying, and marching: to help them stop another Mike Brown,

stop another Amadoud Diollo from happening in NY,
stop another Martin Lee Anderson from happening in Florida,
stop another Sean Bell from happening in New York,
stop another Oscar Grant from happening in California,
stop another Jonathan Farrell from happening in NC,
stop another Chavis Carter from happening in Arkansas,
stop another Kendrick Johnson from happening in Georgia,
stop another Robbie Tolan from happening in Texas,
stop another Leon Ford Jr. in Pennsylvania
stop another Howard Morgan from happening in Illinois,
stop another Alesia Thomas from happening in California,
stop another Jordan Davis for Jacksonville
stop another Trayvon Martin in Sanford
stop another Emmitt Till, Money, Mississippi
and all the other young nameless men of color who have been victims of senseless gun violence and police brutality.

Join them in DEMANDING THE MANDATORY WEARING OF BODY CAMERAS AND THE MANDATORY USE OF DASH CAMERAS in every U.S. police department so we don’t have to guess what happened or rely on eyewitnesses. We can have the transparency the people in Ferguson so desperately want. What American Citizens of Color so desperately want! What all American Citizens who say they care about Justice and Due Process of the Law, should desperately want. And this would be how we pay our Final

Respects to young Michael Brown, Jr.!

Finally, I want to thank the young people for the Michael Brown Campaign, making it clear what this is about. If I have my hands up, don’t shoot me!

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Stand Your Ground March & Rally In Tallahassee, Florida, March 10th, 2014.


By Jueseppi B.





Moms team up to repeal “Stand Your Ground” law


Published on Mar 10, 2014

Jordan Davis’ mom, Lucia MacBath, has teamed up with the parents of Trayvon Martin to repeal the Stand Your Ground law.
















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Ms. Elayne EK Keratsis; Mom’s Politics, Part 1: The Militant Negro, Social Media & Jiffy Pop.


By Jueseppi B. Reposted from Ms. Elayne EK Keratsis & her blog, One Year Without Mum.




Mom’s Politics, part 1: The Militant Negro, Social Media & Jiffy Pop


Mom, reading the “newspaper” while recovering from surgery. Tampa November 2013

Mom, reading the “newspaper” while recovering from surgery. Tampa November 2013



November 2013 Florida Hospital

“THAT is a very bad word!” Mom wags a finger at me. “You should not call him that!”


I am sitting by Mom’s bed in her room at Florida Hospital in Tampa and reading the daily Twitter news. Mom struggled with both Facebook and Twitter. Determined to learn social media, she dove into Facebook with a vengeance. Twitter is still a mystery to her, but she follows posters through me.


“Mum, ‘Negro’ is not a swear word…”


She shakes her head. “Shame on you! Don’t tell me, I know about bad words! That is the number two N word!”


My parents have their own interpretations of what words, names and phrases mean. My father doesn’t understand all the fuss about the name of the Russian punk band Pussy Riot. “I live in a family of very loud women. I get it.”


Back in 2000, we all encouraged Mom to use the computer for more than just email and news. That suggestion created a firestorm. It started off slow with her learning the basics of what my ex told her was called “The IntraNeck.” In 2009, one of my nieces set her up with a Facebook account and things were never the same in our family.


Vengeance is a nice way of putting it. Mom discovered almost immediately that she could not only monitor our liberal views, but also our very liberal behavior and extremely liberal use of the F word.


“I don’t need anyone to show me, I’ll figure it out!”


Like so many parents of my adult friends, she didn’t even attempt to learn the basics of online etiquette as it related to her tribe and instead posted comments better served in a private phone conversation.


“Your hair looks terrible!” might be a comment you’d find one morning under a photo you yourself had posted because you felt you looked extra fancy.


“That Mary needs to watch her weight! She’s starting to look like a sausage!” could very well show up on Mary’s page instead of the person Mom thought she was addressing.


Mom also friended everyone. “I am a friendly person! It’s rude to not respond.”


These friends included relatives from the distant past, Nigerian princes, strangers with exotic names, everyone’s ex-boyfriends AND ex-friends. She had no problems discussing what may have gone on during these once-current relationships and Facebook became like the dinner table when Dad talked as if you weren’t there.



December 1980

When my step-brother Chuck was diagnosed with cancer, Dad often utilized the evening meal to give us all an update about Chuck’s condition.


“Chuck looks great, doesn’t he? He really looks good.”


From the other end of the table Chuck waved a fork in the air and pronounced, “Hello! Dad! It’s me! Still here! Not dead yet!”


Everyone burst into laughter and Dad slammed his chair back. “You think that’s funny? That’s not funny!”


Chuck laughed the loudest, holding his sides, “It’s funny! Oh my God, IT’S FUNNY!”


Dad grabbed his plate, “I will not eat with YOU PEOPLE!” and stomped off to his chair – a mere ten feet from the table. Then he turned the TV volume up to drown out the rollicking table behavior.




Mom was like that on Facebook.


“I don’t know why she doesn’t want to talk to you,” Mom typed. “Why don’t you just call her up?” I spend an inordinate amount of time removing posts that included my phone number, embarrassing details, or both. Then came the presidential election of 2000 and things sped downhill fast.



November 2013

“Please don’t call him that. It didn’t used to be a bad word, but I’m sure it is now. Why not call him Mr. Militant Black Man? It’s much nicer.”


Mom’s referring to a Twitter accounts she enjoys. Mr. Militant Negro is the handle of a well-written guy who tweets eloquently about a wide spectrum of issues close to her heart as well – social injustice, racial equality, political shenanigans and Trayvon Martin. I find it interesting that although Mom me wants to change Mr. Militant Negro’s name, the “Militant” part is perfectly acceptable. Because that’s how she is herself. Mom is a political militant.


Mom is so angry about the death of Trayvon, she’s brought it up almost every day since I have been visiting, despite the fact it has been a year since the murder. She always links him with Medgar Evers, the young civil rights activist murdered in 1963.


“Mom, Travyon was just a kid walking down the street.”


It doesn’t matter to her. “SOME PEOPLE just want to kill other kinds of people. And you don’t know who Trayvon could have grown up to be.” She’s right and this time I love her for it. Mom is mystified that George Zimmerman is a free man. “Stand your ground doesn’t mean all the ground all over the neighborhood! It means your own house!”


She often asks me to read from Trayvon’s mother’s account.


“I wonder how she’s doing. A year is the blink of an eye. That’s all. I must write to her again when I get out of here.”


Mom writes to everyone.


She also loves playing a game where she calls out a celebrity and I look them up on Twitter to see what they might be saying. Especially Roseanne Barr.


“What the hell is wrong with her today” Mom would ask. “She’s so mad all the time!” And Cher. “She’s a terrible speller but I love her!” And every subject on the front page of the newspaper. Not The Enquirer that Yaya called the newspaper – the other papers. Mom wants everybody’s take on every single thing across the planet.


I am trying to explain to her that I personally have not named every Twitter user in cyberspace, that folks choose their own handles, but she’s not having any of it.


“Mum, that’s the name he chose. I didn’t pick it. Everyone gets to name themselves. He’s making a point!”


“Hmmm,” Mom flips through The National Enquirer. ”Then I bet you call yourself Miss Fancy Pants!” she says slyly.


“I do not, Mum!” Although I do make my iPhone’s Siri call me that. How does Mom know all of this stuff?


“Ecch, take this one away about Oprah. They should leave her alone! All she does is try to help people and if she is a lesbian, I say good for her! Would you look at Bill Clinton?” she points at another story. “He is losing too much weight. He should see his doctor.” Pages flip. “Do you think he’s a Black Panther? I’ve always been interested in the Panthers, I wonder if I should write to him?”


The conversation has derailed. I cautiously say the name of “He Who Should Not Be Named Because He Cheated On His Wife And Do Not Say Anything Bad About Jack Kennedy Because That Was Different.”


“Bill Clinton?”


Mom was a lifelong Democrat. Until the day came that she broke up with William Jefferson Clinton. It was a painful time in our Democratic tribe.


Mom makes a disgusted sound. “Not HIM! I mean Mr. Militant Black Man! You need to keep up. Also ask him if he knows anything about the Weather Underground. THAT is a very interesting story…”


As Mom launches into the details of Dr. Timothy Leary’s jailbreak, I make a mental note to remind myself we will not be asking about the Black Panthers on Twitter. I also notice she seems to have softened toward Bill Clinton and his health issues. It must the painkillers.




The late 1960′s 

Boston has struggled to overcome its sad history of inequality, steeped in the racism of Yawkey’s Fenway Park and paraded forth to Whitey Bulger’s Irish assault on interracial bussing. Decades ago the neighborhoods surrounding Beantown had powerful invisible lines of demarcation respected by all races and religions. You did not go enter any area where your “people” did not reside. It was a specific kind of racism that my grandfather believed was the result of immigrants attempting to recreate their home countries in the small pockets where they now resided. If mixing of these backgrounds occurred through “unfortunate” marriages, the lines shifted to separate the Catholics from everyone else. This created such confusion in some families that many newly married couples moved to New Hampshire.


My mother was a young single mother when she moved Sissy and I to a duplex just above a housing project in Worcester. We attended an experimental elementary school – the forerunner to the Magnet Program – and therefore our classmates came in every race and religion. Isolated from the fear and suspicion of Boston, we never had to learn that people are all the same. We already knew it. Mom was smart, she moved us there – against her parents’ wishes – to take advantage of what she realized could be the best educational opportunity she could offer us.


The schoolyard housed a little pony that all the kids clamored to feed and brush. We learned to read a new way, a technique that eventually became known as “speed reading.” Even kindergarteners were taught to use their peripheral vision to read books a line at a time instead of the traditional “word by word” routine. Yaya, Nana and Mom were all voracious readers-for-pleasure and this only enhanced our lifelong love of books.


Nana kept up with the news. Mom loved literature. Yaya loved the lurid true detective magazines she hid from her daughter but freely allowed her granddaughter – Mom – to enjoy. She also had a library of the early tabloids like Movie Screen so she could keep up with sagas like the marriages of Liz Taylor and Richard Burton and refer back to them for “research material” as new scandals unfolded.


Yaya also harbored a secret crush on Senator Edward Brooks. She had to hide her one-sided romance from her daughter. Not because Brooks was an African American. Because he was aRepublican. My grandparents were unique in their working class neighborhood because they truly didn’t care what color anybody was – as long as they were a Democrat.


“MOTHER!” Nana scolded when she found a pile of True Confessions hidden in Yaya’s laundry basket under her white nursing home uniforms. “Those are awful magazines! When you buy them, the store clerk probably tells the other customers that you’re Shanty Irish!”


Shanty Irish was a terrible insult and indicated that the recipient of such a comment was trashy. Yaya shrugged and waved her daughter off. “Better to be Shanty Irish that reads than Lace Curtain Irish that pretends they don’t!”


She was referring to Nana’s hidden stash of scandalous potboilers like Peyton Place and Valley Of The Dolls.


Lace Curtain Irish basically meant “Miss Fancy Pants.” Nana was known to put on a few airs now and again. It wasn’t until she was way into her seventies that she donned that red latex teddy. I was storing wardrobe in the bathroom closet for reshoots on a Burt Reynolds movie called Big City Blues. While visiting on Thanksgiving, Nana dug around and the cherry color caught her eye. She tried it on and pranced into the living room with a dramatic “TAH DAH!” All the guests screamed with delight.


Our childhood neighborhood on St. Nicholas Ave was a hill of small duplexes inhabited by single mothers. Weekends we’d tear down the street to collect any friends that were on “off weekends.” Off weekends meant this wasn’t your father’s visitation week. During the summer months, there was no need to knock on any doors. If you passed by a friend’s and the windows were open, the sound of Frank Sinatra or Dean Martin loudly spilling into the street was a sign to keep going. That friend was gone until Monday and the resident mother was housecleaning while Dino and Frankie crooned notes of encouragement about a better future.


Mom’s divorce was very difficult. Shunned by both sides of the family, we were her one link to even speaking to her parents. As much as Nana and Poppy were horrified she’d married a Greek, they became apocalyptic when she was “ex-communicated” – as Poppy called – from returning to the Catholic Church because she was now divorced. The bonds she’d made with our biological father’s family were in tatters. As usual, the one person who refused to take sides was Yaya. I can remember my short round great-grandmother coming to our snowy neighborhood in a cab, bearing groceries and treats, shoving small bills into Mom’s purse when her back was turned. This was after her own daughter forbade her to do so. “She made her bed, now she’s got to lie in it.”


But Yaya was a militant.


It was during this time of freedom that Mom flourished more than suffered. She read what she wanted, said what she thought and began a quest that lasted her entire life – learning as much as she could about the world, how it worked and everyone who lived in it. From rock and roll to human rights, Mom was delighted to create her own society. How grateful we are to her.



November 2013 Florida Hospital

“…because regular ties were used to strangle black men in the South.”


I look up from Twitter. “What the hell are you talking about, Mum?”


She sighed. “I was telling you that I met a gentleman who is a Black Muslim and I asked him why he wears a bow tie and he told me. I find that interesting and very sad at the same time. Don’t you?”


Seriously. Mom. “Where did you meet a Black Muslim?” I asked. “At the grocery store?”


Mom considers this. “No, my store is mostly old people. I met him at that vigil, remember? For Terri Schiavo’s parents? When I made that lasagna for them and Jesse Jackson? Because they had been there so long and you just can’t cook big meals in a motor home…”


Mom sure gets around.



March 2005

Terri Schiavo was the young St. Petersburg wife who suffered a cardiac arrest in 1990 and lapsed into a lengthy coma. Her husband and his experts insisted she was in a vegetative state and would never recover. He fought in the courts to have her life support removed. Terri’s parents felt their daughter was still there and would someday fully awaken. The battle waged on until 2005 when federal court allowed the removal of the feeding tube. Terri survived for thirteen days. During that time Mom drove down to the parking lot of the hospice facility where the Schiavos were staying, waiting, as did scores of others including the Reverend Jesse Jackson.


“Why doesn’t he just divorce her?” Mom fumed as she prodded the lasagna in the oven, pulled it out and covered it with Reynolds Wrap.


“Why don’t YOU just mind your own business?” Dad rattled the newspaper for emphasis. ”


“He just wants the insurance money! I saw it on The Intraneck…”




‘I CAN CALL IT WHAT I WANT!” Mom stomped her foot. She did not like to be corrected. “Why can’t he just give her back to her parents? I’m going down there!”


Dad slammed the paper down. “Oh no you are not! There’s probably gonna be a big riot. You could get hurt or you’ll get arrested!” What Dad meant was “You’ll get arrested!” but he threw the safety thing in so no one thought he was bitching he might have to leave the house and miss the ball game.


“Fine!” she fumed. She went into the bedroom and put on her good walking sneakers. She grabbed her keys, purse and the heavy pan.


“I’m going to the library!” she called on her way out the front door.




Mom did meet the Schiavos and Reverend Jesse Jackson. I wish I could relate the intimate details of their conversations, but I don’t know them. Mom said it was private. I do know Mom’s People told her that Terri was ready to move on, but was waiting for her parents to get to the same place. What Mom wanted was for Terri’s parents to have the time they needed. As for Reverend Jesse? No idea what they talked about. I can say that when Mom broke up with Bill Clinton, she never broke up with Jesse. So it must have been something pretty good.



November 2013 Florida Hospital

“He’s a good news friend for us,” Mom says of Mr. Militant Negro. “I like how he thinks.”


She put down The Enquirer and looked at me. “Don’t get on there telling him crazy things about that Al Gore inventing The Intraneck! He’ll think you’re a nut and block you!”


Mom now knows a thing or to about getting blocked. At least from Facebook. And I know enough not to correct her.


“OK Mum.” I read to her and think about Hillary and Mom and how she went from campaigning for Ted Kennedy to listening to Rush and then eventually rounding back to the creation of her own personal militant party. Because once a liberal, always a liberal.


Author’s Note: As children, Sissy and I didn’t want for much. Mom was an only child (or so she thought) and Nana and Poppy, as well as our Greek relatives, made sure there were always toys and trips. Mom saved all summer for school clothes. Even our dog Ziggy had a new collar every Christmas. It wasn’t until I became an adult that I realized it was Mom who often went without. As I write, I remember an “off weekend.” Mom shaking Jiffy Pop on the stove. The thin tinfoil balloon rising. Our duplex filled with the irresistible aroma of the coming evening, watching Creature Feature. Suddenly, the tinfoil exploded and popcorn flew all over the kitchen. Mom just laughed. Then she tossed the burnt tin in the sink and brought down a second Jiffy Pop from the top of the fridge. “I was afraid this might happen! I can’t have my girls go popcorn-less!”  I wonder what she didn’t buy for herself when decided instead to purchase that kernel insurance for us. You can still get those flat pie tins with the wire handle now and again at the Dollar Store and on the occasion when I see them, I always buy two. Thank you, Mom. Everybody needs an extra Jiffy Pop. Just in case.


Nana, Miami 1990′s, rockin’ like a hurricane. Mom was horrified when the photo appeared later on Facebook. Here it is again. Sorry Mom.

Nana, Miami 1990′s, rockin’ like a hurricane. Mom was horrified when the photo appeared later on Facebook. Here it is again. Sorry Mom.



This Is Mum. January 19, 1937 to December 24, 2013. Our Year Without Mum
















Margo Hart Brandt, wife, whimsical mother, grandmother, professional photographer, floral window designer, reader and researcher of everything spiritual passed away on December 24th 2013, the most magical day of the year.
Born to Alice and Edward Hart, Margo joined the world on January 19 in 1937 in Winchendon, Massachusetts. She twirled her way through Wachusett Regional High School as a drum majorette, was the owner of a baby goat who routinely ate her dresses off the clothesline, graduated from Nicholas School Of Business and entered adulthood as a wife, mother and a woman curious about the way everything in the world worked.
Margo spent her summers in Scituate, in a tiny New England seaside town, where she taught her daughters to shuck an entire lobster in three minutes, cheer for her beleaguered Boston Red Sox, to climb a rocky jetty in bare feet, the value of a small sparkle of blue-green sea glass and why periwinkles should remain in the ocean.
She was the manager of all family catastrophes. Margo jumped from the swimming pool and drove in her bathing suit to be by the side of a hospitalized granddaughter. After the death of her adult son, she legally adopted his widow to secure the circle of family.
Her husband Chet Brandt traveled the world from Boston to Japan, keeping America safe as a soldier. He graduated from the University of Miami, got a job providing assurance to needy families and scooped up the love of his life. She kept him hoppin’ for forty-three years.
Margo was the keeper of the flame of family accomplishments. With children and grandchildren employed in a wide spectrum of professions from lawyer, film producer, administrator, boat engineer and pathology technician to homemakers, a film and television stuntwoman and a wardrobe assistant, she made it her life’s work to champion their careers.
She marched to her own drummer and followed causes close to her own heart. Margo was an advocate and volunteer for the rights of abused women, CASA St. Petersburg, a supporter of LGBT equality, and children with Downs Syndrome, a faction of society she called, “God’s Angels.”
In her later years, Margo consumed books and movies like popcorn. Her favorite song was the fifties classic “Sh-Boom” by The Crew Cuts because life could be a dream but she loved all music from Sinatra to Eminem and especially Elvis.
In her mid-sixties, Margo had her belly button pierced because “it seemed like fun” and got a shamrock tattoo on her hip. She convinced her eighty-year-old husband to also visit the tattoo parlor and get his own military rendering on his arm.
Born into an Irish Catholic family, she studied Eastern religion and philosophy and based all of her own studies on the simple mantra of “Why not?”
She always identified herself on the telephone, even before you could say “Hello!” by announcing, “This IS Mum!”
Margo was born into a family of typical New England women. Occasionally referred to as difficult, these women always spoke their minds, never backed down and never gave up. They loved as fiercely as they often disagreed. As her own grandmother wrote, “This little girl I have loved all of my life.” In praise of difficult women!
Margo is survived by her husband, her daughters, her grandchildren and will also be remembered eternally by family and friends around the globe.
This little girl we have loved all of our life.
And she always loved the Bookmobile.
She would want you to know that.
So long Mum, and thanks for all the fish.

















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