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Member since: Mon Aug 23, 2004, 09:18 PM
Number of posts: 39,881

About Me

Whiteness is a scourge on humanity. Voting for Obama that one time is not a get out of being a racist card

Journal Archives

For Inez, Johnnie, and Jo Ann: The Unsung (S)heroes of the Civil Rights Movement

(An Older article, but I found this on FB and thought I'd share)

Each year in America we dedicate February to Black History Month. During this time, our children are told the stories of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Rosa Parks, and many of the other prolific figures in the modern Civil Rights Movement. We celebrate these champions for our rights and equality (as we should), but tend to give very little thought to the other people who were there in the trenches, working alongside the Martins and Rosas to make things happen. There are many “unsung” heroes of the Civil Rights Movement, many of them women.

Today, I would like to take a moment and pay homage to some of these figures as well.

How many of us have ever heard the name Jo Ann Robinson? Robinson was an educator in Montgomery, AL in the 1950’s. She taught English at Alabama State College (now my alma mater, Alabama State University), and was a member of the Women’s Political Council and later the Montgomery Improvement Association. Ms. Robinson was an activist in many political causes of the day, but it was her role in launching the Montgomery Bus Boycott that made her the (s)hero we should be celebrating today.

Upon notification of Mrs. Parks’ arrest, Robinson spent the night in the basement of one of the campus buildings, mimeographing 35,000 handbills that were to be disseminated to Montgomery’s Black community. These handbills were how the community was able to learn so quickly of Parks’ arrest and the subsequent boycott of the buses. Robinson made sure to inform as many people as possible of the boycott, and aided in prolonging the duration of the event far past the initial one day that it had been planned by organizing transportation to the boycotters. In 1960 Ms. Robinson left Montgomery but remained active in political causes aimed at the betterment of treatment for women and Blacks. She died in 1992.

Johnnie Carr is another of the great Civil Rights leaders that hails from Montgomery, AL. She was a childhood friend of Rosa Parks, and was one who aided Parks in becoming involved in civil rights long before the bus boycott in 1955. In 1944, Carr and her husband, along with other friends (which include Parks and her husband) organized to defend a Black woman in Montgomery who had been gang raped by a group of six White men. Mrs. Carr was also one of the key supporters in the movement to bring Dr. King to Montgomery, and is lauded throughout the area as one of the three major Civil Rights icons of the era – the other two being Dr. King and Mrs. Parks.

Read more: http://www.forharriet.com/2013/02/for-inez-johnnie-and-jo-ann-unsung.html#ixzz3fDmIJZLK

Black Women Vilified as a ‘Lesbian Wolf Pack’ Speak for Themselves in a New Film

Just before 2 AM oN an August morning in 2006, seven gay black women were harassed as they walked down a street in New York City’s West Village. A man seated on a fire hydrant outside a movie theater called them “dyke bitches,” according to one of the women. He told them, “I’ll fuck you straight.” Dissatisfied by their response, he spit at them and threw a cigarette.

What happened next, a confrontation which led to four of the women being convicted on felony charges and spending years in prison, is the subject of Out in the Night, a documentary streaming online until July 23 and which premiered on PBS and Logo TV last week.

In short, the man—who was discovered to have commented online that “women should welcome your advances because that’s how the race should propagate itself” and that “80 percent of serial killers are homosexual”—sustained stab wounds after one of the women pulled a knife in the midst of the melee that followed. The women, who had traveled to the Village from New Jersey that night, suffered among them a bruised eye and busted lip, a fistful of dreadlocks pulled from the scalp, and choke marks on the neck, among other injuries. The women maintain that their harasser swung first, and that his aggression eventually drew the attention and involvement of onlookers.

But in the eyes of many of the corporate media outlets that reported on the incident, the women were the savage and bloodthirsty aggressors. A New York Post headline called the incident “Attack of the Killer Lesbians.” Other headlines read: “The Case of the Lesbian Beatdown,” “Gal’s Growl: Hear me Roar,” and “Girls Gone Wilding.” Even the staid New York Times ran a headline that implied that a benign encounter had gone wrong because some woman couldn’t lighten up: “Man is stabbed in attack after admiring a stranger.”


Blunt Talk with the Blunt Instrument: On Giving Advice to White Male Writers

Great interview!
Earlier last month, poet and Electric Literature’s resident Blunt Instrument advice columnist Elisa Gabbert fielded a question from a white male poet who recognized his privilege as such and wanted to know how to continue writing and publishing ethically within a publishing system that lacks diverse representation. Unlike many in the publishing world who admit that there is a problem, but don’t put forth ideas for how to fix it, Gabbert made concrete suggestions which came down to: read more women, people of color, and LGBTQ writers, and don’t take up more than your fair share of time and space in the literary ecosystem. Many white male writers took this to mean that Gabbert wanted them to stop writing, period, so they unleashed their rage where it festers and boils best: the comments section.

As a bi-racial Asian American writer who interviews authors, and runs a library at a high school whose population is 94% people of color, the lack of diversity in publishing concerns me, so I was eager to discuss and analyze the reaction with Elisa. We conducted this conversation over Google Chat.

Super PAC’ Raises $15.6 Million for Hillary Clinton Campaign

The “super PAC” supporting Hillary Rodham Clinton will report that it has raised $15.6 million when it files its disclosure statements, officials with the group said Thursday morning, with donations from big names like George Soros, the liberal philanthropist, and the Hollywood moguls Steven Spielberg and Jeffrey Katzenberg.

Guy Cecil, the group’s chief strategist and co-chairman who recently took control of the “super PAC,” called Priorities USA Action, after an organizational shake-up, said that $12.5 million had been raised in the last four weeks. The total amount reported is for the first six months of the year.

Even with the recent surge in fund-raising, the amount is far less than the $100 million that Jeb Bush, a Republican candidate, is expected to report he has raised through various entities.

“It may seem early to many of us, but with the amount of money pouring in from the far right wing, the time has come for our side to kick things into high gear,” Mr. Cecil said. “We have a lot of work to do in the months ahead, but we are starting to see some real momentum.”


Privilege makes them do it — what a study of Internet trolls reveals

The British government just put up a website with advice on how to fight back against Internet trolls. Popular Science magazine decided "trolls and spambots" were shouting down scientific debate; Christianity Today also ended online comments on its news and features, and the news service Reuters pulled the plug on its comment page for news stories. Humans have said and written nasty things about each other ever since there were humans; has the Internet changed anything? Whitney Phillips is a lecturer in communications at Humboldt State University and a media studies scholar. Her troll research, in a new book, "This Is Why We Can't Have Nice Things," asks the same thing. Her conclusion? "N2M" — not too much.

You contend that trolls don't break new ground.

The assumption is that trolling is this aberrant thing; that trolls are sociopaths. But what makes them important culturally is not the ways in which they're aberrant but the points of overlap between trolling and behaviors in day-to-day life. Trolls are criticized for this antagonistic rhetorical style that's present in politics, in academia, in other spheres of culture, but trolling behaviors are the ones condemned as aberrant.

Trolls' strategies for getting attention are similar to the strategies employed by sensationalist media outlets that can include blogs, Buzzfeed, the Daily Mail — the Daily Troll, as it's referred to — that deliberately try to get people to click on stories: knee-jerk, sensationalist, exploitative coverage of often tragic stories.

Trolls aren't inventing anything. Every single trope they engage with exists in real life offline; [they are] just picking up cultural detritus and weaponizing stuff that's already on the ground.


Female pastors in Clarendon County receive letters threatening their safety

Two Clarendon County pastors say they have been targeted with threats of violence just because they are women.

The two pastors received letters where the writer used Bible verses to threaten the women, leaving them concerned about their safety. One letter was left on the front door of Society Hill AME Church on June 10th for Pastor Mary Rhodes.

“Whoever wrote this letter has taken the time to find out who I am which means you may know my children, my grandchildren, and I have no clue who you are” Pastor Rhodes said.

Four days later, Pastor Valarie Bartley received the same letter at Reevesville AME Church.

The writer, who identifies as Apostle Prophet Harry Leon Fleming, says in the letter that “the woman cannot be head of the man in church, home and the world.”

“A lot of people do not respect female pastors,” Pastor Rhodes said. “Sexism in the church has been around for the longest time and it always gets, to my opinion, sort of hidden under the other issues that are there.”

Investigators from the Clarendon County Sheriff's Office say that one other church led by a female pastor also received the letter.

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