Activism

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 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

 


Troy Anthony Davis was executed. What next, America? [VIDEO]

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Howard University student arrested at protest at The White House

People around the world protested Georgia’s execution of Troy Anthony Davis for the August 1989 murder of police officer Mark MacPhail in Savannah. Messages and photos flooded Twitter’s timeline. Cable television news channels covered the story. Democracy Now! livestreamed  coverage via the internet. As police presence in riot gear was beefed up at Georgia Diagnostic Prison, the site of the execution, it was apparent Davis would be put to death this time. In spite of the protests and legal appeals, Davis was executed by lethal injection at 11:08 PM EST on Wednesday, September 21, 2011.

 

The video footage of the arrest of Howard University students who were protesting at The White House were eerily reminiscent of the non-violent civil rights protests I remember as a child in the 1960’s. Has the execution, I prefer to refer to it as a crucifixion, of Troy Anthony Davis ignited a fire for a larger and louder chorus of voices demanding the end of the death penalty? It would seem so.

Troy Anthony Davis proclaimed his innocence to the end. The State of Georgia has blood on its hands. If you are a Georgia resident, even if you are not on The Supreme Court, the Georgia parole board, are one of the witnesses that recanted, or are the District Attorney of Chatham County, that would be you too.

 

 Video: RTAmerica

 


The Curious Case of Troy Davis: Too Much Doubt [VIDEO by Jasiri X]

Troy davis too much doubt On August 19, 1989, off-duty cop Mark MacPhail was shot and killed in Savannah, GA. Troy Davis was arrested and sentenced to  death. There was no physical evidence linking him to MacPhail’s murder. There were nine witnesses who said that Davis was the killer. Seven of those nine witnesses have recanted their testimony citing coercion by law enforcement. One of the two remaining witnesses is the original prime suspect.

Based on these facts, one has to wonder why the State of Georgia insists on executing Troy Davis on September 21, 2011. There is just too much doubt in the case of Troy Davis.

Hundreds of thousands of people have signed petitions asking that Troy Davis not be executed. Several former government officials and celebrities have also asked that Troy Davis not be executed. However, Michael MacPhail’s mother is looking forward to the execution of Troy Davis. She thinks it will bring her some peace. My heart goes out to her. I know the pain she feels. I know the feeling of having a child’s life taken in such a violent manner.

The truth, however, is that there is too much doubt that Troy Davis murdered Mark MacPhail. Family and friends want someone to pay for Mark’s murder. If Troy Davis is executed, their desire will still not have been honestly satisfied.   

The execution of Troy Davis would be a terrible miscarriage of justice. Here are three steps you can take to help him before the Georgia Parole Board meets on September 19. 2011:

1. Send a message of support to Troy as he fights for justice on what may be the final days of his life: http://action.naacp.org/LettersOfSupport

2. Sign the name wall, if you haven't already. And if you have, send it to your friends and family. Each name means a more united front for justice: http://action.naacp.org/Name-Wall

3. Make sure everyone knows about this injustice. Spread the word on Facebook and Twitter (using the hashtag #TooMuchDoubt) so that Troy Davis's story can be heard. We still have a chance to save his life, but only if people are willing to speak out against injustice.

  

Free Audio Download http://jasirix.bandcamp.com/track/i-am-troy-davis-t-r-o-y


Tallevast, FL: Environmental Racism, Corporate Greed and Waiting for People to Die [VIDEO]

This is another instance of environmental injustice in the United States. I know all of the residents in the video. They deserve better treatment than that shown to them thus far. Where is the outrage and support from environmental and civl rights organizations? It seems as if the powers to be are waiting for the residents to die so the problem will go away. I think not.


Global Day of Blogging for Justice: Save Troy Davis!

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Several journalists and bloggers have joined Amnesty International and other human rights groups to call attention to the impending execution of Troy Anthony Davis who sits on Death Row in Georgia. Davis has been this close to execution three times before but was spared thanks to expert lawyering. This time Davis may be out of luck as his last extension expired last Saturday.

In spite of the fact that seven of nine witnesses in the twenty year-old case recanted and cited undue influence by law enforcement; Davis is still set to be executed. How the U.S. Supreme Court and the American justice system in general can allow this to happen is nothing short of frightening.

New York Daily News columnist Errol Louis pens an excellent article citing the facts of the case; shoddy and incomplete police investigation and the egregious decision by several Supreme Court Justices to deny Davis a hearing to present new evidence because his papers were filed late.

Where is the justice in such a decision that may result in the murder of an innocent man? Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue should do the right thing and pardon Troy Davis. It is just. It is humane. It is the right thing to do.

Save Troy Anthony Davis. Please.


The Wrongful Conviction of Gladys and Jamie Scott

You know I'm really sick and tired of these blog posts about police brutality and wrongful conviction cases. It's just wrong that people are taken advantage of by the justice system. It's also horrible when guilty folks get off for crimes that they have obviously convicted but I won't go there on this post.

This post in no way condemns the law-abiding enforcement officers or condones folks who act like idiots and need to be jailed. But there is something so insidious about police officers, lawyers, judges and other folks who taint the judicial process. In the end, Jesus, God, Allah, Jehovah or just divine order will take care of the culprits but that doesn't relinquish us of the duty to help those in need.

Enter sisters Gladys and Jamie Scott. These two women have been incarcerated for more than 14 years. They received a double life sentence for armed robbery committed on December 24, 1993. As has become typical, one of the men who actually committed the robbery later said he was coerced. All of the evidence wasn't presented. You know the rest because these cases appear to have similar recurring civil rights violations. Let me not forget to inform you that the robbery netted all of about $11.00. That's not a typographical error.

Please check out the links below to learn more about the case and spread the word about the wrongful conviction of the Scott Sisters. I know that we all must become somewhat tired with one case after another but if we put ourselves in the shoes of the Scott Sisters and their family, we'd want all the help we could get too.

Always in Light and Love….


Related Links:

The Wrongful Conviction of Jamie And Gladys Scott

Women In Prison (Where Do We Draw the Line?)

Your Black World: Interview With Nancy Lockhart On The Case Of Jamie & Gladys Scott

Transcripts:

http://www.scribd.com/share/upload/6126504/o7p18gb3d1lj07rdgfg

http://www.squidoo.com/WRONGFUL-CONVICTION-OF-JAMIE-AND-GLADYS-SCOTT

http://www.scribd.com/doc/5974654/The-Wrongful-Conviction-of-Jamie-and-Gladys-Scott


Please sign petition to Free the Scott Sisters.

http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/Free-Jamie-Gladys/index.html


© 2009, on the black hand side, www.blackhandside.net

Vote for this blog for Best Pop Culture Blog and Best Blog About Stuff in the 2009 Bloggers Choice Awards.


Justice Watch: The Case of Troy Davis

Troy Davis sits on death row in Georgia for the murder of Savannah police officer Mark Allen MacPhail. Davis was convicted, in 1991, based on eyewitness testimony and without any physical evidence.

All but two of the nine eyewitnesses have recanted, citing pressure by law enforcement to accuse Troy Davis. One of the two eyewitnesses who hasn’t recanted is suspected of actually committing the crime.

Troy Davis has received support from many in the United States and throughout the world. His case has been stayed three times with him coming within twenty-four hours of execution twice.

Officer MacPhail was murdered and that fact should never be forgotten. Troy Anthony Davis did not commit that murder but someone did. Law enforcement, not at the local level, must re-open the investigation of the murder of Officer Mark Allen McPhail. His family deserves the truth and his murderer should serve out the proper penalty.

Troy Davis’ family deserves justice also. He was unjustly arrested in 1989, incarcerated, tried and convicted in 1991. Witnesses have recanted. Let the man go free.

For more information and to take action in helping Troy Anthony Davis re-gain his freedom, go to Amnesty International USA.

 

 

Video by: Citizen
Music by: State Radio

 

© 2009, on the black hand side, www.blackhandside.net

Vote for this blog for Best Pop Culture Blog and Best Blog About Stuff in the 2009 Bloggers Choice Awards.

 


Keep the Heat on the New York Post

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Dear Friend,

The day after President Obama signed his stimulus bill into law, the NY Post ran a cartoon depicting the bill's "author" as a dead monkey, covered in blood after being shot by police. You can see the image by clicking on the link below.

In the face of intense criticism, the Post's editor is standing by the cartoon, claiming that it's not about Obama, has no racial undertones, and that it was simply referencing a recent incident when police shot a pet chimpanzee. But it's impossible to believe that any newspaper editor could be ignorant enough to not understand how this cartoon evokes a history of racist symbolism, or how frightening this image feels at a time when death threats against President Obama have been on the rise.

Please join me and other ColorOfChange.org members in demanding that the Post offer a real apology publicly and fire the editor who allowed this cartoon to go to print:

http://www.colorofchange.org/nypost/?id=1802-295013

The Post would have us believe that the cartoon is not about Obama. But on the page just before the cartoon appears, there's a big picture of Obama signing the stimulus bill. A reader paging through the Post would see Obama putting pen to paper, then turn the page to see this violent cartoon. The imagery is chilling.

There is a clear history in our country of racist symbolism that depicts Black people as apes or monkeys, and it came up multiple times during the presidential campaign.

We're also in a time of increased race-based violence. In the months following President Obama's election there has been a nationwide surge in hate crimes ranging from vandalism to assaults to arson on Black churches. There has been an unprecedented number of threats against President Obama since he was elected, with hate-based groups fantasizing about the killing of the president. Just a week ago, a man drove from Louisiana to the Capitol with a rifle, telling the police who stopped him that he had a "delivery" for the president.

There is no excuse for the Post to have allowed this cartoon to be printed, and even less for Editor Col Allan's outright dismissal of legitimate concerns.

But let's be clear who's behind the Post: Rupert Murdoch. Murdoch, the Post's owner, is the man behind FOX News Channel. FOX has continually attacked and denigrated Black people, politicians, institutions at every opportunity, and ColorOfChange has run several campaigns to make clear how FOX poisons public debate.

I don't expect much from Murdoch. However, with enough public pressure, we can set the stage for advertisers and subscribers to think long and hard before patronizing outlets like the Post that refuse to be held accountable.

You can help, by making clear that the Post's behavior is unacceptable, and by asking your friends and family to do the same. Please join me:

http://www.colorofchange.org/nypost/?id=1802-295013

Thanks.