Over 100 Black Women Participated in Historic Photo in Edward M. Kennedy Institute's Replica of the US Senate Chamber

“Visual protest” highlighted the anniversary of Barbara Jordan’s historic Democratic Convention keynote address; Photo took place after national week of racial tragedy and unrest

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BOSTON -- Despite the growing electoral and economic imprint of America’s 23 million Black women, they are still seriously underrepresented and underserved.

After a week of racial tragedy and unrest, Higher Heights and Boston City Councilor Ayanna Pressley asked 100 Black women on Tuesday evening to “Take Your Seat” in the Edward M. Kennedy Institutes’ replica of the U.S. Senate chamber seeking to elevate Black women’s voices in the political process through a photo taken symbolically in a chamber that currently has ZERO Black women serving.

The epic and uplifting photograph shone a light at the end of a very dreary week. The photo also took place on the 40-year anniversary of Barbara Jordan historic 1976 Democratic Convention keynote. A member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Texas, Jordan became the first African-American woman to deliver the televised landmark address before that audience. 

“I was overwhelmed by this event. Watching 100 women come through those Senate doors after a week where I felt disheartened was so inspiring for the possibilities that exist for Black women that lead to move this country forward,” said Glynda Carr, Co-founder of Higher Heights. “This chamber and the lack of Black women representation in the US Senate is the most blatant example of us being shut out of the process and our voices not being heard. We are 7 percent of the population, yet we are 3.4 percent of congress, and out the 100 major cities in our country, there are only four black women mayors. There is work to be done, and we all have a role to play.”

According to Higher Heights and Center for American Women and Politics at Rutgers University’s 2015 Status of Black Women in American Politics, Black women are 7.4% of the U.S. population yet make up only 3.4% of Congress.

Only two women of color have ever served in the US Senate: Carol Moseley Braun, an African-American Democrat from Illinois who was elected in 1992 and served until 1999, and Mazie Hirono, an Asian-American Democrat from Hawaii who was elected in 2012.

"This is a visual protest ...to affirm for ourselves and to the nation that Black women lead, Black women run, and Black women vote. Today we affirmed that Black women are leading, in this city, in this commonwealth, and I honor their contributions,” said Pressely. “The visual shot heard around the world today is merely a snapshot of our contributions, but a visual protest and demonstration nonetheless as we take over a space we have historically been underrepresented in.”

Attendees of the event included Diane Patrick, First Lady of Massachusetts, and Sarah- Ann Shaw, the first female African-American reporter to be televised in Boston, amongst others. 

Faith leader and Dorchester resident, Mariama White Hammond attended Tuesday’s event for encouragement and hope.
 
“Over the last week we have seen so many images of the ongoing issues of racism in our country. In the midst of so much strife and grief, I came to this event because my soul needed to be lifted by the image of 100 strong Black women claiming their leadership,” said Hammond. “It helped me to imagine the world that could be and to reinvigorate my commitment to working for justice. I took my seat because I know that I stand on the shoulders of amazing and courageous Black women. I took my seat to honor the legacy of my ancestors and in hopes that my life will allow another generation to rise to even higher heights.”
 
Pressley called Tuesday’s event, “the visual shot heard around the world”, that 
will draw awareness of the gap in Black women’s political leadership but also inspire and empower Black women to imagine the possibilities that exist.

“We gathered over 100 diverse women who are leading every day in their communities to take a seat for the countless Black women across the country that do not think they have a seat or voice at the table”, said Kimberly Peeler-Allen, Co-Founder of Higher Heights. “2016 is a movement building opportunity for Black women to truly harness our collective political power and leadership potential from the voting booth to elected office.”


 
Photo Credit: Eric Haynes

 

 

 


The Remake of Roots for a New Generation

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The much talked about remake of the 1970's television miniseries ROOTS, starts this evening at 9 p.m. EST on the History Channel. Some are outraged at the remake of the classic, others are tired of viewing movies about the enslavement of Blacks. I can understand the first sentiment but the last one saddens me. Regardless of ethnicity, we can't fix what we don't face. Ignoring slavery won't make its history go away. 

Is there are need to expand the narrative so that it accurately portrays history? Absolutely. Without actually viewing the film, I can't offer an opinion so I encourage everyone to watch and give feedback. In 1977, there was not nearly the competition for our time and attention as there is now. There was no internet or hunderds of cable television channels as we know now so this remake might not have the audience draw of the original.

I'm looking forward this mini-series even if it's competing with Game 7 of the NBA Western Conference Finals. It's more important to know your history. Perhaps if we did, there would be more Black team owners and head coaches in professional sports.

 

 

   

 


Queen of Katwe - A Story of How to Win at the Game of Chess and How to Overcome Incredible Life Challenges

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Queen of Katwe is the colorful true story of Phiona Mutesi, a young girl selling corn on the streets of rural Uganda whose world rapidly changes when she is introduced to the game of chess, and, as a result of the support she receives from her family and community, is instilled with the confidence and determination she needs to pursue her dream of becoming an international chess champion. Based on the book by Tim Crothers, Queen of Katwe stars David Oyelowo, Lupita Nyong'o and newcomer Madina Nalwanga.

The film is scheduled for release on September 23.

 

Like Queen of Katwe on Facebook.

Follow Queen of Katwe on Twitter.

 

 


Tennessee State University student breaks the internet

 

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Check out this very inspiring photo of Indianapolis, Indiana native and senior at Tennessee State University (TSU), RaCia Denise Poston. This photo went viral and Ms. Poston received much praise for her accomplishments while at TSU.

Just to share a few of her accomplishments: Poston is in the U.S. Army; a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority; a former Miss Collegiate 100; President of TSU’s Student Government Association; and soon to be the first college graduate in her family. 

Leadership…brains…beauty. Such is the #blackwomanmagic developed and nurtured at HBCUs. Congratulations, RaCia Denise Poston, continue to let your light shine!

 

#hbcu #hbcupride #tsu #tennstate #tsutigers #bigblue #think #work #serve #dst #deltasigmatheta #womenlead #brainsandbeauty #makeeducationapriority #army 

 


The Black Prayer




This is deep, so take your time.

Why Did You Make Me Black Lord
Lord .. Why did you make me black?
Why did you make someone
the world would hold back?...
Black is the color of dirty clothes,
of grimy hands and feet......
Black is the color of darkness,
of tired beaten streets...

Why did you give me thick lips,
a broad nose and kinky hair?
Why did you create someone
who receives the hated stare?

Black is the color of the bruised eye
when someone gets hurt...
Black is the color of darkness,
black is the color of dirt.

Why is my bone structure so thick,
my hips and cheeks so high?
Why are my eyes brown,
and not the color of the sky?

Why do people think I'm useless?
How come I feel so used?
Why do people see my skin
and think I should be abused?
Lord, I just don't understand...
What is it about my skin?
Why is it some people want to hate me
and not know the person within?

Black is what people are "Labeled"
when others want to keep them away...
Black is the color of shadows cast...
Black is the end of the day.

Lord you know my own people mistreat me,
and you know this just ain't right...
They don't like my hair, they don't like my
skin, as they say I'm too dark or too light!

Lord, don't you think
it's time to make a change?
Why don't you redo creation
and make everyone the same?

God's Reply:

Why did I make you black? Why did I make you black?

I made you in the color of coal
from which beautiful diamonds are formed...
I made you in the color of oil,
the black gold which keeps people warm.

Your color is the same as the rich dark soil
that grows the food you need...
Your color is the same as the black stallion and
panther, Oh what majestic creatures indeed!

All colors of the heavenly rainbow
can be found throughout every nation...
When all these colors are blended,
you become my greatest creation!

Your hair is the texture of lamb's wool,
such a beautiful creature is he...
I am the shepherd who watches them,
I will ALWAYS watch over thee!

You are the color of the midnight sky,
I put star glitter in your eyes...
There's a beautiful smile hidden behind your pain...
That's why your cheeks are so high!

You are the color of dark clouds
from the hurricanes I create in September...
I made your lips so full and thick,
so when you kiss...they will remember!

Your stature is strong,
your bone structure thick to withstand the
burden of time...
The reflection you see in the mirror,
that image that looks back, that is MINE!

So get off your knees,
look in the mirror and tell me what you see?
I didn't make you in the image of darkness...
I made you in the image of ME!

by RuNett Nia-Ebo

this poem was inspired by Genesis1:26-27
written an by unknown Artist.

Genesis 1:26 and 27
And GOD said, "Let Us make man in Our image, and after Our likeness. So GOD created man in His own image, male and female He created them.


h/t - Facebook/Larry Besant



I Can Be One If I See One: Kim Godwin [VIDEO]

Kim Godwin is an example of awesome industry leaders produced by this nation's HBCUs. Check out this video tribute featuring her family and colleagues at CBS Evening News. A product of the J-School at Florida A&M University, Godwin's numerous awards include an Emmy and an HBCU Innovation Award. Congratulations, Kim!

  

 

#hbcupride #famousjournalists


Black Men - Black Fathers: #DefeatTheStereotype

Showing the real lives of real Black men. Amen. Spread the positivity. Defeat the Stereotype.

 

#DefeatingStereotypes #BlackFathers #BlackLove We Are All College Graduates EDUCATED MEN! #DefeatingStereotypes WeAre...

Posted by Shelton Jackson on Sunday, June 21, 2015

 

 

 


STATEMENT: CAP’s Carmel Martin on the Administration’s Executive Order Restoring Pell Grant Access to Incarcerated Students


Washington, D.C. — The Obama administration announced on Friday that the U.S. Department of Education will launch a pilot to test the effects of restoring access to Pell Grants for incarcerated students. This measure will give a limited number of individuals at selected correctional facilities a chance to obtain education and training to prepare for employment upon release. Carmel Martin, Executive Vice President for Policy at the Center for American Progress, issued the following statement in response:


We applaud the Obama administration for taking this important step. Prison education and training is truly a win-win—boosting formerly incarcerated individuals’ employment rates upon release, substantially decreasing recidivism, and yielding tremendous cost savings in reduced incarceration. In fact, studies show that every dollar spent on prison education saves $4 to $5 in reduced incarceration costs during the next three years, when recidivism is most likely. Yet despite their cost effectiveness, prison education and training programs are far too scarce, in large part because Congress removed access to Pell Grants for inmates in 1994, putting prison education and training out of reach for inmates who want to increase their employability and chances of successful re-entry. The president’s action today will help ensure public safety and give a limited number of individuals in select correctional facilities the chance to obtain the education and training they need to forge a pathway to successful re-entry and to have a meaningful shot at a second chance.


In a recent report from the Center for American Progress, "One Strike and You’re Out,"Rebecca Vallas and Sharon Dietrich address how mass incarceration and criminal records serve as underappreciated drivers of poverty and inequality in America by presenting barriers to employment, housing, education and training, building good credit, and more. The report offers a roadmap of policy recommendations—including calling for testing the restoration of Pell Grants to incarcerated individuals—to ensure that Americans with criminal records have a fair shot at making a decent living, providing for their families, and joining the middle class.





The powerful voice of Anthony Anaxagorou [VIDEO]

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Anthony Anaxagorou at the Young Writers’ Festival 2012 (UK)

I’d like to introduce to you a young man who is truly gifted in his ability to weave words in such a descriptive manner that the listener cannot ignore the profundity of his statements. Please Google Anthony Anaxagorou and listen and read his work. This young man is truly Superbad. Listen to the Truth. Share. Please.

  

 

This is Not a Poem and I Am Not a Poet. Wow. If this doesn’t move you or at least make you think then you have no heart. 

-vb

 

Photo: Richard Budd