Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Zat You Santa Claus

from the Granada Hills (pardon the expression) Charter School :)
My pro-union background prejudice aside for charter's-it looks like a great place.

Gifts I'm preparin'
For some Christmas sharin'
But I pause because
Hangin' my stockin'
I can hear a knockin'
'Zat you, Santa Claus
Sure is dark out
Not the slighest spark out
Pardon my clackin' jaws
Uh, who there
Who is it
Uh, stoppin' for a visit
'Zat you, Santa Claus
Are you bringin' a present for me
Something pleasantly pleasant for me
That's what I've been waitin' for
Would you mind slippin' it under the door
Four winds are howlin'
Or maybe that be growlin'
My legs feel like straws
Oh my, my, me, my
Kindly would you reply
'Zat you, Santa Claus
Oh hangin' my stockin'
I can hear a knockin'
'Zat you, Santa Claus
Yeah, say now
Hey there, who is it
Stoppin' for a visit
'Zat you, Santa Claus
Whoa there Santa you gave me a scare
Now stop teasin' 'cause I know you're there
We don't believe in no goblins today
But I can't explain why I'm shakin' this way
Well I see old Santa in the keyhole
I'll give to the cause
One peek and I'll try there
Uh-oh there's an eye there
'Zat you, Santa Claus
Please, please
I pity my knees
Say that's you Santa Claus
That's him alright

Christmas Night In Harlem

The Armstrong audio combined with images of Harlem from Google images hosted from Life Magazine Three different events are highlighted:

from 1938 scenes from photographer Hansel Mieth, from 1953 a Harlem Globetrotter game photographed by J. R. Eyerman, and from 1945 Adam Clayton Powell Jr.'s marriage to Hazel Scott, photographed by Sam Shere

lyrics (changed from the original racist ones)
Every gal strutting with her beau
Through the streets covered white with snow
Happy smiles everywhere you go
Christmas night in Harlem
People all feeling mighty good
In that good old neighborhood
Here and now be it understood
Christmas night in Harlem
Oh, Everyone is gonna sit up
Until after three
Everyone be all lit up
Like a Christmas tree
Come on now every Jane and Joe
Greet your sweet underneath the mistletoe
With a kiss and a hi-de-ho
Christmas night in Harlem
Instrumental Break
Everyone is gonna sit up
Until after three
Everyone be all lit up
Like a Christmas tree
Come on now every Jane and Joe
Greet your sweet neath the mistletoe
With a kiss and a hi-de-ho
Christmas night in Harlem

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Cool Yule

From Coney Island to The Sunset Strip
Somebody's gonna make a happy trip
Tonight, while the moon is bright
He's gonna have a bag of crazy toys
To give the groanies of the boys and girls
So dig, Santa comes on big
He'll come a callin' when the snows the most
When all you cats are sleepin' warm as toast
And you gonna flip when Old Saint Nick
Takes a lick on the peppermint stick
He'll come a flyin' from a higher place
And fill the stocking by the fire place
So you'll, have a yule that's cool
-Instrumental Jazz Break-
Yeah, from Coney Island to The Sunset Strip
Somebody's gonna make a happy trip
Tonight, while the moon is bright
He's gonna have a bag of crazy toys
To give the groanies of the boys and girls
So dig, Santa comes on big
He'll come a callin' when the snows the most
When all you cats are sleepin' warm as toast
And you gonna flip when the Old Saint Nick
Takes a lick on the peppernint stick
He'll come a flyin' from a higher place
And fill the stocking by the fire place
So you'll, have a yule that's cool
Have a yule that's cool
Yeah, cool yule

Hold The Fort

To continue with the "struggles" theme initiated with the Hofstra conference I found an old slide show I had done that highlighted some of labor's heroes. We could sure use some of them now. Many of the images come from the better world heroes site
The inspiring Hold The Fort lyrics, here sung by Joe Uehelin from Classic Labor Songs

We meet today in freedom's cause
And raise our voices high.
We'll join our hands in union strong
to battle or to die.
Hold the fort for we are coming.
Union men be strong.
Side by side we battle onward.
Victory will come.
(Repeat after each verse)
See our numbers still increasing.
Hear the bugles blow.
By our union, we shall triumph
Over every foe.
Fierce and long the battle rages,
But we shall not fear.
Help will come whenever needed.
Cheer, my comrades, cheer.

Monday, December 15, 2008

The Role Of Women In WWII

Above was the PowerPoint that Charles Jordan created to accompany his history rap. I converted it to a movie and did my best to match the audio from his performance on a prior post. The lyrics:

Now here’s a little story
I got to tell
About the fight against the Axis
You know so well
It started way back
In history
Against Germany, Japan,
And don’t forget Italy
Now everyone was needed
Cause the whole world was at war.
Triumph over evil
Is what we’re fighting for.
But in nineteen hundred
And forty one
Women couldn’t fight
Couldn’t fire a gun
Still they did there part
For victory,
Working full time
In the factory.
Now we know about Rosie
And the job she did
But the role of women
History has hid
We don’t read about in textbooks
We don’t talk about in class
How the women of this country
Helped us kick some ______
But when the war was over
And victory enjoyed
The women of the factory
Were quickly unemployed.
With no more things to rivet
And no more guns to make
We told the women of the factory
Go home and learn to bake”
But the women weren’t having it
They flat out just said no
They liked it in the factory
Liked making their own dough.
The women of the factory
Together they stood tall
Equal rights and equal pay
It soon became their call.
No longer only housewives
Tending to the crib
The women of the factory
Gave rise to Women’s lib.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Hold On Union Boys

a youtube movie I found in keeping with the struggle thread of he previous two posts
info on movie:
During ww2,tha Almanac Singers and the Union Boys recorded political protest songs.Pictured are Josh White,Pete Seeger,Tom Glazer,Pete Seeger, Sonny Terry, Brownie McGhee, Burl Ives, Alan Lomax. This from CD221 at

December 6, 2008: WWII And Women's Rights

Charles Jordan, a Hofstra student in Dr. Singer's program, did a great rap about the struggle for women's' rights in the World War II era. Here are the lyrics:

Now here’s a little story
I got to tell
About the fight against the Axis
You know so well
It started way back
In history
Against Germany, Japan,
And don’t forget Italy
Now everyone was needed
Cause the whole world was at war.
Triumph over evil
Is what we’re fighting for.
But in nineteen hundred
And forty one
Women couldn’t fight
Couldn’t fire a gun
Still they did there part
For victory,
Working full time
In the factory.
Now we know about Rosie
And the job she did
But the role of women
History has hid
We don’t read about in textbooks
We don’t talk about in class
How the women of this country
Helped us kick some ______
But when the war was over
And victory enjoyed
The women of the factory
Were quickly unemployed.
With no more things to rivet
And no more guns to make
We told the women of the factory
Go home and learn to bake”
But the women weren’t having it
They flat out just said no
They liked it in the factory
Liked making their own dough.
The women of the factory
Together they stood tall
Equal rights and equal pay
It soon became their call.
No longer only housewives
Tending to the crib
The women of the factory
Gave rise to Women’s lib.

December 6, 2008: Hofstra's NTN Social Studies And English Teacher's Conference

I took some pictures of some of the student made exhibits. The general theme was freedom struggles. Many of the classes focused on the newsboy strike featured in the excellent film "Newsies." Newsies can really be utilized as a starting off point for tech integration projects. Here are links to Newsie clips and Newsie project ideas I posted on another blog
Seize The Day
Carrying The Banner
The King Of New York
I used the song "The World Will Know" as a soundtrack for the slide show images.
The lyrics:

Pulitzer and Hearst
They think we're nothin'
Are we nothin'?
Pulitzer and Hearst
They think they got us
Do they got us?
Even though we ain't got hats or badges
We're a union just by saying so
And the world will know!
What's it gonna take to stop the wagons?
Are we ready?
What's it gonna take to stop the scabbers?
Can we do it?
We'll do what we gotta do
Until we break the will of mighty Bill and Joe
And the World will know
And the Journal too
Mister Hearst and Pulitzer
Have we got news for you
Now the world will hear
What we got to say
We been hawkin' headlines
But we're makin' 'em today
And our ranks will grow
And we'll kick their rear
And the world will know
That we been here
When the circulation bell starts ringin'
Will we hear it?
What if the Delanceys come out swingin'
Will we hear it?
When you got a hundred voices singin'
Who can hear a lousy whistle blow?
And the world will know
That this ain't no game
That we got a ton of rotten fruit and perfect aim
So they gave their word
But it ain't worth beans
Now they're gonna see
What "stop the presses" really means
And the day has come
And the time is now
And the fear is gone
And our name is mud
And the strike is on
And I can't stand blood
And the world will –
Pulitzer may own the World but he don't own us!
Pulitzer may own the World but he don't own us!
Pulitzer may crack the whip but he won't whip us!
Pulitzer may crack the whip but he won't whip us!
And the world will know
And the world will learn
And the world will wonder how we made the tables turn
And the world will see
That we had to choose
That the things we do today will be tomorrow's news
And the old will fall
And the young stand tall
And the time is now
And the winds will blow
And our ranks will grow and grow and grow and so
The world will feel the fire
And finally know!

Information on the conference from Dr. Alan Singer:
NTN Dec 6 Hofstra Social Studies and English Teachers Conference Sponsored by the New Teachers Network and the School of Education and Allied Human Services
Saturday, December 6, 2008, 8:30 AM- 2 PM Hagedorn Hall, Hofstra University School of Education, Health and Human Services Middle School Museum of American Freedom Struggles, Friday December 5, 2008 The theme for this year’s middle school student created museum is freedom struggles in United States history. What a more fitting
time than after this year’s presidential election. Student exhibits and presentations can include all aspects of United States history from the American revolution, through abolitionists, Black resistance to slavery, 19th and 20th century women’s rights advocates, the labor movement in the 19th and 20th century, different immigrant rights advocates, the 20th century African American civil rights movement, Ethnic and Religious minorities, workers and gays, and union, and anti-war movements, or other freedom struggles that have expanded democracy and liberty in the United States.
The Museum will be in Hagedorn Hall on Friday December 5, 2008 from 10 AM until 2 PM.

The Real McCoy: Michelle Obama

This is a pdf version of the previous post since the text may be hard to read in the movie format

The Real McCoy: Michelle Obama

from 10/07/08 pseudo-intellectualism
The essence of a real American woman, with a real history, is not Sarah Palin. It's Michelle Obama. From the washington post an excerpt:

A Family Tree Rooted In American Soil, By Shailagh Murray, 10/1/08, GEORGETOWN, S.C. The old plantation where Michelle Obama's great-great-grandfather lived is tucked behind the tire stores and veterinary clinics of U.S. Highway 521. But its history and grounds have been meticulously preserved, down to the dikes that once controlled the flow of water into its expansive rice fields.
Not much is known about Jim Robinson, however, including how or when he came to Friendfield, as the property is still called. But records show he was born around 1850 and lived, at least until the Civil War, as a slave. His family believes that he remained a Friendfield worker all his life and that he was buried at the place, in an unmarked grave.
Until she reconnected with relatives here in January on a campaign trip, Obama did not know much about her ancestry, or even that Friendfield existed. As she was growing up in Chicago, her parents did not talk about the family's history, and the young Michelle Robinson didn't ask many questions.
But if her husband is elected president in November, he will not be the only one in the family making history. While Barack Obama's provenance -- his black Kenyan father, white Kansas-born mother and Hawaiian childhood -- has been celebrated as a uniquely American example of multicultural identity, Michelle Obama's family history -- from slavery to Reconstruction to the Great Migration north -- connects her to the essence of the African American experience.

John McCain's Black Family

from crooksandliars and from 10/21/08 on pseudo-intellectualism

Normally, the story of John McCain's black family -- the ones who are planning to vote for Barack Obama -- might elicit some modest interest in terms of what it says about the complexity of race relations in America. But what's been even more interesting has been how John McCain has responded to the story ever since it surfaced. Initially, back when he first was doing the "Maverick" schtick in the 2000 primaries, he actually denied that the aristocratic Southerners from whom he was descended were slaveholders. But it really became impossible for McCain to deny their existence after a 2000 report in Salon in the course of which reporters showed him photographs and birth records in person and he had to concede to their existence. One account, In the South Florida Times, describes how McCain has handled the connection publicly and privately: White and black members of the McCain family have met on the plantation several times over the last 15 years, but one invited guest has been conspicuously absent: Sen. John Sidney McCain.
“Why he hasn’t come is anybody’s guess,” said Charles McCain Jr., 60, a distant cousin of John McCain who is black. “I think the best I can come up with, is that he doesn’t have time, or he has just distanced himself, or it doesn’t mean that much to him.” Other relatives are not as generous. Lillie McCain, 56, another distant cousin of John McCain who is black, said the Republican presidential nominee is trying to hide his past, and refuses to accept the family’s history. “After hearing him in 2000 claim his family never owned slaves, I sent him an email,” she recalled. “I told him no matter how much he denies it, it will not make it untrue, and he should accept this and embrace it.” She said the senator never responded to her email. In her CNN interview with Kyra Phillips, Lillie McCain discusses this further
PHILLIPS: Do you think it could make a difference with regard to diversity issues, issues of race, if John McCain did participate?
L. MCCAIN: I think it probably could. It would give him an opportunity to know us.
I e-mailed him back in 2000 to remind him of his ties to Tiak, Mississippi. I heard him say on I believe it was "Meet the Press," that his ancestors owned no slaves. Well, I certainly have carried the name McCain from the beginning of my whole life, and I've known of the ties to John McCain and tried to get him to communicate with me about that, but he has been unwilling, at least, to date.
PHILLIPS: Well he found out in 2000, to be fair to the senator there, and he did come forward and gave this quote -- "How the Tiak descendants have served their community and, by extension, to their country, is a testament to the power of family, love, compassion, and the human spirit." And then he added in the statement, "an example for all citizens."
That sure is a warm, fuzzy little sentimental quote from the senator, and the fact that it really says nothing in reality says everything we need to know about John McCain. Since the advent of the Southern Strategy under Nixon, the Republican Party has embraced its role as the Party of White Privilege. John McCain has made a modest career out of making rumbling noises toward some of the uglier aspects of this legacy within the GOP, and he's hoping that those rumbles will be enough to persuade moderate voters to back him. However, the cold realities of the history of race relations in America -- dating back to those dark eons when black women held in slavery were routinely raped and impregnated by their white owners -- still hover like a dark cloud over whites' vision of Golden Age America, the very vision that John McCain and Sarah Palin like to sell to their flocks like so much Coca-Cola. So it's perhaps not a surprise that, given the chance to banish that cloud by doing the human thing, the right thing, and embracing the black side of the McCain family, the Straight Talking Senator From Arizona chose essentially to run from them and hide. Because acknowledging them not only was too painful, but might prove too harmful to his chances of success in a political party predicated on white privilege. Moreover, this also fits what we know about his reflexive predisposition on civil-rights matters. This is, after all, the guy who voted against a Martin Luther King holiday back in 1984. Yes, as the wingnuts already note, Obama's maternal ancestors likely owned slaves, too. But then, it seems doubtful that Obama would hesitate to embrace the ancestors of those slaveowners, either. Running away from black family ties is not exactly a problem for Barack Obama. But it is for John McCain.

Beware Brother Beware

At the time of the primaries and the lead up to the elections a similar warning could have been made to Barack about the intentions of the Clintons
The original from Louis Jordan

Hey, fellas, yes you fellas, listen to me
I got somethin' to tell you
And I want you to listen to every word
And govern yourselves accordingly
Now, you see these girls with these fine diamonds
Fine furs and fine clothes
Well, they're lookin' for a husband
And you're listening to a man who knows
They ain't foolin', and if you fool around with them
You're gonna get yourself a schoolin'
Now listen, if she saves you dough
And won't go to the show, beware
If she's easy to kiss and won't resist
Beware, I said beware
If you go for a walk
And she listens while you talk
She's tryin' to hook you
Ain't nobody lookin' she asks you to taste her cookin'
Don't do it, don't do it
And if you go for a show
And she wants to sit back in the back row
Bring her down front, bring her home down front
If you wanna go for a snack
And she wanna sit in a booth in the back
Beware, brother
And listen, if she's used to caviar and fine silk
And when you go out with her
She want a hot dog and a malted milk
She's trying to get you brother
If you're used to goin' to Carnegie hall
But when you take her out night clubbing
All she wants one meatball
You better take it easy, [Incomprehensible] take it easy
If she grabs your hand and says
"Darling, you’re such a nice man"
Beware, I’m telling you
Should I tell 'em a little more?
Tell 'em a little more? Alright
You better listen to me ’cause
I’m telling you what’s being put down
And you better be [pickin'] up on it
If her sister calls your brother
You better get further
I’m telling you, you gotta watch it
You better get on [down]
And if she’s acting kind of wild, and says
"Darling, give me a trial"
Don’t you do it, don’t be weak, don’t give it to her
And if she smiles in your face
And just melts into place
Let her melt, forget it, let her melt
Should I tell 'em a little more?
Tell 'em everything? Alright
Now listen, if she calls you on the phone, and says
"Darling, are you all alone? "
Tell her, "No, I've got two or three women with me"
Don’t pay no attention to women
Stand up for your right, be a man, be a man
Are you listening? Are you listening?
Put on that [lotto] step and listen to me
If you turn out the lights and she don’t fight
That’s the end, it’s too late now
She’s got you hooked, you might as well stick with her
Should I tell 'em a little more?
Give 'em a little more? Alright
If you get home about two
And don’t know what to do
You pull back the curtains
And the whole family’s looking at you
Get your business straight
Set the date, don’t be late, yeah
Brother, beware, beware, beware
Brother, you better beware

Chris Rock's Impressions Of Bill Clinton And Sarah Palin

from his appearance on David Letterman back in September 08....And Michael Vick is wondering, "Why am I in jail?"

My Name Is Barack Obama

from pseudo-intellectualism on 10/8/08 after McCain referred to Barack as "That One"
I adapted the classic Joe Louis knockout of Max Schmeling photo

Obama In Paris

my original adaptation of the yip harburg lyrics, with the singers' unlimited providing the audio. This was before the prank Sarkozy call to Sarah Palin
oiginally from pseudo-intellectualism on 7/27/08

Obama in Paris, groupies in blossom
All of France buckle their knees
Obama in Paris, this is a feeling
No one can ever reprise
They never knew the charm of Barack

They never met him face to face

So easily were their hearts hijacked

John should just concede the race
Till Obama in Paris,
Sarkozy be careful too
What has he done to.. Carla's heart ?

from the nytimes, Maureen Dowd
It could have been a French movie.
Passing acquaintances collide in a moment of transcendent passion. They look at each other shyly and touch tenderly during their Paris cinq à sept, exchange some existential thoughts under exquisite chandeliers, and — tant pis — go their separate ways.
Sarko, back to Carla Bruni. Obama, forward to Gordon Brown. A Man and a Man. All it needed was a lush score and Claude Lelouch.
Even for Sarkozy the American, who loves everything in our culture from Sylvester Stallone to Gloria Gaynor, it was a wild gush over a new Washington crush.
Sarko is right and Barack is left. One had a Jewish grandfather, the other a Muslim one. The French president is a frenetic bumper car; the Illinois senator is, as he said of the king of Jordan’s Mercedes 600, “a smooth ride.”
But the son of a Hungarian, who picked a lock to break into the French ruling class, embraced a fellow outsider and child of an immigrant who had also busted into the political aristocracy with a foreign-sounding name.
After 200,000 people thronged to see Obama at the Victory Column in Berlin, christening him “Redeemer” and “Savior,” it turned out Sarko was also Obamarized, as the Germans were calling the mesmerizing effect.
“You must want a cigarette after that,” I teased the candidate after the amorous joint press conference, as he flew from Paris to London for the finale of his grand tour.
“I think we could work well together,” he said of Sarko, smiling broadly.
He did not get to meet his fan, Carla Bruni. “She wasn’t there,” he said. “Which I think disappointed all my staff. That was the only thing they were really interested in.”
He admitted showing “extraordinarily poor judgment” in leaving Paris after only a few hours. Watching Paris recede from behind the frosted glass of his limo was “a pretty good metaphor” for how constricted his life has become, he said, compared with his student days tramping around Europe with “a feeling of complete freedom.”
“But the flip side is that I deeply enjoy the work,” he said, “so it’s a trade-off.”
How do you go back to the Iowa farm after you’ve seen Paree?
“One of the values of this trip for me was to remind me of what this campaign should be about,” he said. “It’s so easy to get sucked into day-to-day, tit-for-tat thinking, finding some clever retort for whatever comment your opponent made. And then I think I’m not doing my job, which should be to raise up some big important issues.”
I asked how his “Citizen of the World” tour will go down in Steubenville, Ohio.
“There will probably be some backlash,” he said. “I’m a big believer that if something’s good then there’s a bad to it, and vice versa. We had a good week. That always inspires the press to knock me down a peg.”
He thinks most people recognize that “there is a concrete advantage to not only foreign leaders, but foreign populations liking the American president, because it makes it easier for Sarkozy to send troops into Afghanistan if his voting base likes the United States.”
How does he like the McCain camp mocking him as “The One”?
“Even if you start believing your own hype, which I rarely do, things’ll turn on you pretty quick anyway,” he said. “I have a fairly steady temperament that has at times been interpreted as, ‘Oh, he’s sort of too cool.’ But it’s not real.”
Obama kept his cool through a week where he was treated as a cross between the Dalai Lama and Johnny Depp.
A private prayer he left in the holy Western Wall in Jerusalem was snatched out by a student at a Jewish seminary and published in a local newspaper. In Berlin, the tabloid Bild sent an attractive blonde reporter to stalk Obama at the Ritz-Carlton gym as he exercised with his body man, Reggie Love. She then wrote a tell-all, enthusing, “I’m getting hot, and not from the workout,” and concluding, “What a man.”
Obama marveled: “I’m just realizing what I’ve got to become accustomed to. The fact that I was played like that at the gym. Do you remember ‘The Color of Money’ with Paul Newman? And Forest Whitaker is sort of sitting there, acting like he doesn’t know how to play pool. And then he hustles the hustler. She hustled us. We walk into the gym. She’s already on the treadmill. She looks like just an ordinary German girl. She smiles and sort of waves, shyly, but doesn’t go out of her way to say anything. As I’m walking out, she says: ‘Oh, can I have a picture? I’m a big fan.’ Reggie takes the picture.”
I ask him if he found it a bit creepy that she described his T-shirt as smelling like “fabric softener with spring scent.”
He looked nonplused: “Did she describe what my T-shirt smelled like?”
Being a Citizen of the World has its downsides.

American Prayer

from dave stewart
originally from pseudo-intellectualism back on 8/8/08 after the Democratic Convention

This is my American Prayer
This is the time to finish what you started
And this is no time to dream
This is the room
We can turn off the dark tonight
Maybe then we might see
American Prayer
American Prayer
And this is the ground
That keeps our feet from getting wet
And this is the sky over our head
And what you see depends on where you stand
And how you jump will tell you where you're gonna land
American Prayer
American Prayer
My oh my
Couldn't get much higher
Lets not kick out the darkness
Make the lights brighter
And these are the hands
What are we gonna build with them?
This is the church you can't see
Give me your tired, your poor and huddled masses
You know they're yearning to breathe free
This is my American Prayer
American Prayer
American Prayer
When you get to the top of the mountain
Will you tell me what you see
If you get to the top of the mountain
Remember me

celebrities, in order of appearance:
Dave Stewart
Forest Whitaker
Amy Keys
Macy Gray
Jason Alexander
Colbie Caillat
Whoopi Goldberg
Joss Stone
Buju Banton
Ann Marie Calhoun
Barry Manilow
Linda Perry
Cyndi Lauper
Sergio Mendes
Herbie Hancock
Mike Bradford
Margaret Cho
Joan Baez
Pamela Anderson
Peter & Gordon
Sierra Swan
Nadirah X
Perez Hilton
Barack Obama

Friday, December 12, 2008

Negro Americans In The American Revolution

Negro Americans Revolution

Crispus Attucks: Classics Illustrated

Crispus Attucks

Signed Sealed Delivered, I'm Yours

The original inspiration for Obama's theme song. Stevie Wonder on THE DICK CAVETT SHOW. August 11, 1970.

Like a fool I went and stayed too long
Now I'm wondering if your loves still strong
Oo baby, here I am, signed, sealed delivered, I'm yours
Then that time I went and said goodbye
Now I'm back and not ashamed to cry
Oo baby, here I am, signed, sealed delivered, I'm yours
Here I am baby
Oh, you've got the future in your hand
(signed, sealed delivered, I'm yours)
Here I am baby,
Oh, you've got the future in your hand
(signed, sealed, delivered, I'm yours)
Ive done a lot of foolish things
That I really didn't mean
Hey, hey, yea, yea, didn't I, oh baby
Seen a lot of things in this old world
When I touched them they did nothing, girl
Oo baby, here I am, signed, sealed delivered, I'm yours, oh I'm yours
Oo-wee babe you set my soul on fire
That's why I know you are my only desire
Oo baby, here I am, signed, sealed delivered, I'm yours
Here I am baby
Oh, you've got the future in your hand
(signed, sealed delivered, I'm yours)
Here I am baby,
Oh, you've got the future in your hand
(signed, sealed, delivered, I'm yours)
Ive done a lot of foolish things
That I really didn't mean
I could be a broken man but here I am
With your future, got your future babe (here I am baby)
Here I am baby (signed, sealed delivered, I'm yours)
Here I am baby, (here I am baby)
Here I am baby (signed, sealed delivered, I'm yours)
Here I am baby, (here I am baby)
Here I am baby (signed, sealed delivered, I'm yours)

Thursday, December 11, 2008

A 1953 Video Featuring Jackie Ormes

from the jackie ormes book site

Jackie Ormes

Voted one of the top ten books of 2008 in the Village Voice The audio comes from an npr broadcast of 7/31/08

It's 1937, and young Torchy Brown is about to board a train that will whisk her away from her small, Southern town to the Big Apple. Suddenly, a sign with two arrows catches her eye. One arrow points to the colored section of the train. The other arrow points to the white section. She jumps back, contemplating what she should do. Torchy, who's black, clever and mischievous, decides to pretend she can't read — and boards the whites-only car.
Scenes like that were splashed regularly across the comics pages of the Pittsburgh Courier, an African-American newspaper read from coast to coast. The cartoonist behind the playful, often politically charged comics: Jackie Ormes.
Ormes, who died in 1985, was the first black woman to have a career as a cartoonist. She produced comic strips for the Courier from the 1930s to the 1950s, tackling subjects such as politics, foreign policy, racism and even environmental justice. Torchy Brown was one of Ormes' most beloved characters. She was smart. She was classy. And she frequently rebelled against the prescribed social order.
Torchy also differed greatly from the usual depictions of blacks prior to the civil rights movement.
Nationally syndicated black cartoonist Barbara Brandon-Croft says that Ormes' characters and stories were real — at a time when blacks were typically portrayed in a derogatory fashion.
"Black women were always fat," she says. "Had bandannas on their heads, you know. Had large lips. Were always porters. We were servants. Think of Gone With The Wind, you know. We didn't speak clear English."
The characters of Patty-Jo 'n' Ginger — another Ormes comic — ran counter to that stereotype. Ginger was an attractive, college-educated woman, drawn in a pinup-girl style. Her younger sister, Patty-Jo, was sharp and opinionated.
Nancy Goldstein, author of the new book,Jackie Ormes: The First African American Woman Cartoonist, emphasizes that Ormes did a service to the black community by creating role models with her characters.
Readers saw that if Ginger could graduate from college and if Torchy could challenge the era's racist status quo, they were capable of doing the same.
Ormes "was giving voice to what was in the hearts and minds of so many people: [the desire] to move forward and make progress," says Goldstein.
While Ormes was an inspiration for people in her time, today she is largely forgotten, save by older readers and black cartoonists.
But people like Goldstein and Brandon-Croft are trying to preserve her memory. They see that Ormes' cartoons present a realistic slice of history from a rarely heard perspective, one that should not be lost.

Tusgekee Airmen Inaugural Invitation

from the nytimes 12/9/08

When the Tuskegee Airmen, the all-black force of elite pilots, emerged from combat in World War II, they faced as much discrimination as they had before the war. It was not until six decades later that their valor was recognized and they received the Congressional Gold Medal, the highest civilian honor Congress can give.
Now, the roughly 330 pilots and members of the ground crew who are left from about 16,000 who served are receiving another honor that has surpassed their dreams: They are being invited to watch the inauguration of Barack Obama as the country’s first black president.
“I didn’t believe I’d live long enough to see something like this,” said Lt. Col. Charles A. Lane Jr., 83, of Omaha, a retired Tuskegee fighter pilot who flew missions over Italy.
“I would love to be there, I would love to be able to see it with my own eyes,” he said, chuckling on the phone as he heard about the invitation. But, he said, he had a “physical limitation” and was not sure he would be able to attend.
Thousands of people who participated in the fight for civil rights over several decades helped pave the way for Mr. Obama’s triumph. But the Tuskegee Airmen have a special place in history. Their bravery during the war — on behalf of a country that actively discriminated against them — helped persuade President Harry S. Truman to desegregate the military in 1948.
“The election of Barack Obama was like a culmination of a struggle that we were going through, wanting to be pilots,” said William M. Wheeler, 85, a retired Tuskegee combat fighter pilot who lives in Hempstead, N.Y. He tried to become a commercial pilot after the war but was offered a job cleaning planes instead.
Mr. Obama has acknowledged his debt to the airmen, issuing a statement in 2007, when they received the Congressional Gold Medal. It said in part: “My career in public service was made possible by the path heroes like the Tuskegee Airmen trail-blazed.”
The invitation to his swearing-in was extended Tuesday by Senator Dianne Feinstein, the California Democrat who is chairwoman of the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies.
Howard Gantman, staff director for the committee, said of the decision to invite them: “They served honorably on behalf of our country, helped fight the battle to overcome racial barriers and because of the historic nature of this election, we thought they deserved to be there.”
Tickets to the Jan. 20 inauguration are the most sought-after commodity, with more than 1.5 million people expected in Washington. Of the 240,000 tickets, the airmen would have seats among the 30,000 on the terrace below the podium, along with former members of Congress and others.
For logistical reasons, the actual invitation ended up with Robert D. Rose, a retired Air Force captain in Bellevue, Neb., who was not a Tuskegee airman but is the first vice president of the Tuskegee Airmen Inc., an association of the original airmen and their supporters.
The onus is on the association to extend the invitation to the airmen, who must respond by Dec. 19. Each can bring one guest. The tickets are not transferable, so if an airman cannot make it, he cannot give his ticket away.
“We’ll have a lot of happy fellows and ladies,” said Mr. Rose, who predicted that many would try to attend.
He said that before the invitation was made Tuesday, he had already been trying to get word to higher ups that the airmen would like to be invited. “I thought if the name ‘Tuskegee’ surfaced at a high enough level, someone would recognize it and it would make sense to invite them,” he said.
There is no firm handle on how many are still alive. More than 300 came forward in March 2007 to collect their bronze replicas of the Congressional Gold Medal at a ceremony at the Capitol. The actual Gold Medal itself was given to the Smithsonian Institution.
In all, 994 pilots and about 15,000 ground personnel collectively known as the Tuskegee Airmen were trained at the segregated Tuskegee Army Air Field in Alabama from 1942 to 1946.
About 119 pilots and 211 ground personnel are still alive, according to Tuskegee Airmen Inc. They are in their 80s and 90s, many are frail, and it is unclear how many will be able to make the trip to Washington. And those who make it will face various challenges: they will most likely have to walk some distance, the weather could be harsh, the crowds will be huge and accommodations are scarce.
Still, these are some of the airmen who flew more than 150,000 sorties over Europe and North Africa during World War II, escorting Allied bombers and destroying hundreds of enemy aircraft. Some were taken prisoner. And most faced fierce discrimination during and after the war.
“Even the Nazis asked why they would fight for a country that treated them unfairly,” President Bush said in awarding the medals.
Mr. Rose, of the airmen’s association, said he saw a direct connection between the Tuskegee experience and Mr. Obama’s election.
“The Tuskegee Airmen preceded Martin Luther King and Rosa Parks, and if they hadn’t helped generate a climate of tolerance by integration of the military, we might not have progressed through the civil rights era,” he said. ”We would have seen a different civil rights movement, if we would have seen one at all.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

More Distorted History From The Santa Fe Trail, Plus A Rebuttal

I'll counter the above with this
A recent podcast done at the Gilder Lehrman Institute by historian David Reynolds

At eight o'clock on Sunday evening, October 16, 1859, abolitionist John Brown led a party of twenty-one men into the town of Harpers Ferry, Virginia, in an attempt to free slaves. The plan soon went awry. Brown was found guilty of treason, conspiracy, and murder, and was sentenced to die on the gallows. Click on the link below to read the address he gave at his sentencing:
David Reynolds, Distinguished Professor of English at the CUNY Graduate Center, reassesses the legacy of John Brown, who was hanged for his role in the October 1859 raid on the federal armory at Harper’s Ferry. Brown, a devout Calvinist possessing unshakable integrity and faith in the righteousness of his violent actions against slavery, was the only abolitionist in the years before the Civil War to live among blacks, advocate a rewritten constitution that would make slaves citizens, and ultimately to take up arms and give his life for the abolitionist cause.

A biography from the Kansas Historical Association
John Brown: May 9, 1800 - December 2, 1859, Of all the characters that played significant roles on the Kansas stage during the drama that was Bleeding Kansas, none left a legacy that compares to the controversial abolitionist, John Brown. Born in Connecticut in 1800, "Old" John Brown was only fifty-five years old when he followed his sons to Kansas just as the struggle for control of the territory was taking shape. The family settled in rural Franklin County, just southwest of Osawatomie, the home of the Rev. Samuel and Florella Adair, Brown's half-sister.
John Brown absorbed a deep hatred for the institution of slavery early in life, eventually dedicated his life to its eradication, and quickly made his presence known during the Kansas struggle. He was involved in or responsible for the "Wakarusa war" at Lawrence, the Pottawatomie Massacre, the battles of Black Jack and Osawatomie, and the liberation of dozens of slaves from nearby Missouri.
After leaving Kansas for the last time early in 1859, the crusade continued; Brown, with several of his sons and other followers, planned and conducted the ill-fated raid on the federal arsenal at Harpers Ferry, Virginia. He was tried and convicted on conspiracy, treason, and murder charges stemming from this incident and was executed on December 2, 1859.
This almost mythic figure in the history of Kansas and the nation still elicits emotional reactions from students, scholars, and the general population, and history has not always been kind to this complex personality. To some of his contemporaries, Brown was a maniacal, bloodthirsty old fanatic. To many others, black and white, he was a martyred saint. He was "a moral Genius," according to a prominent late-nineteenth-century Kansan, whose life and death "brought about the abolition of slave labor years before" it would have otherwise occurred. "No man whose name appears in the annals of Kansas can begin to stand beside John Brown."

Octobr 16th: The Anniversary Of John Brown's Raid

The final scene from Santa Fe Trail
A 1940 view of John Brown. From wikipedia:

Santa Fe Trail is a 1940 western film directed by Michael Curtiz and starring Errol Flynn and Olivia de Havilland. Despite glaring historical inaccuracies, the film was one of the top-grossing films of the year, being the seventh Flynn-de Havilland collaboration. The film also has nothing to do with its namesake, the famed Santa Fe Trail except that the trail started in Missouri. Instead, it follows the life of Jeb Stuart, a cavalry commander (and future Confederate Army general). The film purports to follow the life of J.E.B. Stuart (Errol Flynn) before the outbreak of the American Civil War. Among its sub-plots are a romance with the fictional Kit Carson Holliday (Olivia de Havilland), friendship with George Armstrong Custer (Ronald Reagan), and battles against abolitionist John Brown (Raymond Massey). One glaring inaccuracy has Stuart leading a cavalry charge against John Brown "fort" in Harper Ferry. In fact Stuart was at Harper's Ferry-but John Brown was captured in an infantry assault by US Marines under command of US Army Colonel Robert Edward Lee. Another inaccuracy is the film has Stuart, Custer, and Philip Sheridan all having been part of the West Point graduating class of 1854. In fact, Sheridan was the class of 1853, Stuart 1854, and Custer not until 1861-a year early because of the onset of the Civil War.
The movie is drastically critical of John Brown, portraying him as a bloodthirsty villain and blaming him for causing the Civil War, thereby exonerating the Confederacy for seceding. African-Americans are portrayed as practically content to be slaves and too fearful to fight with Brown in his abolitionist crusade, whereas in reality about one fourth of Brown's group were African-American. After being freed, some African-Americans in the film chant "We's free! We's free!", but later freed slaves say "We don't want it" with regards to freedom.
Massey's John Brown eagerly endorses breaking apart the union of the United States, as though abolitionism was the threat to the union rather than slavery. The movie was made on the eve of World War 2, and its tone and political subtext express a desire to reconcile the nation's dispute over slavery which brought about the American Civil War and appeal to moviegoers in both the southern and northern United States. The American Civil War and abolition of slavery are presented as an unnecessary tragedy caused by an anarchic madman. The heroic protagonists such as Flynn's Jeb Stuart and Reagan's Custer seem unable to conceive how the issue of slavery could place them at odds in the near future, even though by 1859 hostility between the pro/anti-slavery states had reached a boiling point.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Designating W.E.B. DuBois' "Wedding" House A Queens A Landmark

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Panoramic Scene: Marcus Garvey Park

A panoramic scene linking a panorama taken from high up in the park to one at street level (to the West). Look for the "hot spots" that link the two panoramas.

Panoramic Movie Of Marcus Garvey Park

A panoramic movie taken at street level at Marcus Garvey Park (formerly Mount Morris Park-119th Street-124th Street, 5th Avenue)

Marcus Garvey Park is one of the oldest public squares in Manhattan. Central to the life of Harlem for more than 150 years, it has served as a meeting place for neighbors, a front yard and play area for schoolchildren, and a holy place for members of local churches. Known as Mount Morris Park for more than a hundred years, it was originally part of the estate of Metje Cornelius Kortright. The name Morris became attached to the site by the 1830s; possible sources include Robert H. Morris, elected mayor in 1841, and a family affiliated with a racetrack that once operated nearby.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

NYC Slavery Tour Guide

Read this doc on Scribd: Handout 2008

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Lower Manhattan Slave History Walking Tour: 5/23/08

from Alan Singer's Website at Hofstra University

“Time to Tell the Truth About Local History, New York was a Land of Slavery”:
How Student Activism Promotes Leadership and Literacy
By Michael Pezone and Alan Singer
“Read the books and it's plain to see,
New York's the land of slavery,
If you thought the North was a freedom land,
You thought wrong -- because here you could own a man.
From Francis Lewis to Fernando Wood,
Slave labor is what was happening,
They bought and sold human beings and made their millions,
Soon the whole trade was worth more than 60 billion!
Read the books, if you don't trust me,
New York's the land of slavery.
AT&T and Citibank, just to name a few
From the slaveholding ranks,
Slaves used to be brought in all the time,
So we wanna know, JUST WHERE ARE THE SIGNS?
They tried to cover up these Northern slaves,
And if you thought it was just the South, then you got played,
Read the books, and you'll surely see,
That New York's the land of slavery.”
- India Nelson, junior, Law, Government and Community Service Magnet High School
On May 23, 2008, over six hundred upper elementary, middle-level, and high school students walked the streets of Manhattan learning about the forgotten history of slavery in New York City. It is the largest group to participate in the three-year history of the New York and Slavery Walking Tour.
There are no markers at the locations where enslaved Africans rebelled in 1712, where they plotted to win their freedom in 1741, where they were publicly executed – hung or burned at the stake -- or at the seaport where slave traders and bankers met to plan trans-Atlantic voyages. People, places, and events have been erased from the past. One of the purposes of the tour is to demand that historical markers be installed.
The New York and Slavery Walking Tour is organized by juniors and seniors from Law, Government, and Community Service Magnet High School. The population of the school is overwhelmingly African American, Caribbean, and Hispanic. Many of the students come from troubled communities and have academic difficulties. They are the survivors of less than adequate schools that produce more dropouts than graduates. They are leaders who have chosen to take ownership over their educations.
Each year, a new group of students chooses to take part in the project, a project they learn about from students who participated the previous year. They choose to become involved because they want to learn their history and the truth about American history. They also take part because they want to teach about it to the public and to other students from around the city.
Preparation takes a full school year, although the intensity picks up during the last three weeks before the tour date. The tour is in May because that is when the 1741 freedom plotters were executed in what is now New York City’s Foley Square (Singer, 2008). The square is now surrounded by courthouses, but as one tour guide explained to a group of elementary school students, “In colonial New York, there was no justice for Blacks who wanted to be free.”
In September, one of Michael Pezone’s upper-level history classes is invited to organize the tour. Because they know about it already from friends, not much persuasion is needed. But there is a lot of work to do. The class uses the New York and Slavery: Complicity and Resistance curriculum guide

The 2008 version of the tour followed the path outlined in red. The film clip above is made of about 10 clips that were made with a Flip Video and joined together using VisualHub. There were several classes (600 students in total) from boro-wide schools that followed the 2 hour tour. The kids listened intently and took notes. Most impressive were the presentations of the enthused, knowledgeable and articulate students from Law, Government and Community Service Magnet High School in Cambria Heights, Queens,(the former Andrew Jackson High School)

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Mapping The African American Past

great new black history site.
the above movie is from the Columbia Teacher's College site
from the nytimes of 3/6/07

New Medium, Old Stories: A High-Tech Look at the City’s Black History
The teeming restaurant was called Downing’s Oyster House, and its 19th-century patrons were bankers, politicians and lawyers. But even as the swells did their deals upstairs, the proprietor, Thomas Downing, a free black man, presided over a far different scene in his basement, a hiding place for escaping slaves.
The establishment, at 5 Broad Street near Wall Street, was a stop on the Underground Railroad — to Canada, and freedom.
Stories about Downing’s — and many other locales and people significant to black history in New York City — have rarely been classroom staples for schoolchildren. But these sagas, presented in text, historical images and interactive maps, are the focus of a new Web site officially unveiled on Wednesday with an acronym, MAAP, that stands for “Mapping the African American Past.”
The Web site, presented by Columbia University at, uses video, audio and maps and images to showcase 52 historic sites and people in the city, ranging from the familiar (the African Burial Ground in Lower Manhattan) to the rarely acknowledged, including the Oyster House and the Colored Orphan Asylum.
“It gives students an opportunity for detailed study in a way that would never be possible in traditional textbooks,” said Frank A. Moretti, a professor of communications at Teachers College and the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.
He described the new site as the most extensive Web-based examination of the city’s African-American history. The Web site — a portal to film and music clips, photographs and artwork — is searchable by location and year, back to 1632. Narratives can be podcast through iTunes.
Dr. Moretti said the yearlong project was conceived by Reginald L. Powe, a longtime developer of educational content for publishers and curriculum providers. Mr. Powe’s Manhattan-based company, Creative Curriculum Initiatives, has produced boxed sets of 52 cards (3 ½ inches by 5 inches) depicting historical locations under the rubric “The African Experience in New York.”
“As an African-American interested in history, I found it hard to understand why so much of the city’s African-American past was unknown to students,” Mr. Powe said. “People know little about slave revolts and people burned at the stake — and about inspirational stories of those who advanced against impossible odds.”
A thousand sets of the cards will be made available free to city schools, and they will be offered for sale to the public for $24, which is “the price reputed to have been paid for Manhattan,” Mr. Powe said.
Educators in Columbia’s Center for New Media Teaching and Learning added more information, images and video interviews to the cards in creating the Web site, said Dr. Moretti, who is the center’s executive director. The history project was initially financed with $250,000 from the JPMorgan Chase Foundation, and then Columbia contributed $250,000 in development and staff expenses to produce the Web site and teaching materials, he said.
“Creating lessons on New York history has been a bit of a challenge for many teachers, since there hasn’t been a large market for publishers to create these materials,” said Dr. Margaret S. Crocco, professor and coordinator of social studies education at Teachers College.
As part of the Web site, she directed a team of eight educators at the college to create 24 lesson plans at eighth- and fourth-grade levels that can be downloaded free. The site’s images and information can be dragged, manipulated and otherwise organized by students for projects and teachers creating their own lesson plans.
The Web site is evidence of “the significant awakening of interest in New York’s black history,” said Kenneth T. Jackson, the Jacques Barzun professor of history at Columbia University and the editor in chief of the Encyclopedia of New York City.

“This site should just keep expanding.”

Monday, March 3, 2008

Emmett Till: Part 2

biography from wikipedia continued

Emmett Till was buried September 6 in Burr Oak Cemetery in Alsip, Illinois. The same day, Bryant and Milam were indicted by a grand jury.
When Mamie Till came to Mississippi to testify at the trial, she stayed in the home of Dr. T.R.M. Howard in the all-black town of Mound Bayou. Others staying in Howard's home were black reporters, such as Cloyte Murdock of Ebony Magazine, key witnesses, and Congressman Charles Diggs of Michigan, the first chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus. Howard was a major civil rights leader and fraternal organization official in Mississippi, the head of the Regional Council of Negro Leadership (RCNL), and one of the wealthiest blacks in the state.
The day before the trial, Frank Young, a black farm worker, came to Howard's home. He said that he had information indicating that Milam and Bryant had help in their crime. Young's allegations sparked an investigation that led to unprecedented cooperation between local law enforcement, the NAACP, the RCNL, black journalists, and local reporters. The trial began on September 19. Moses Wright, Emmett's great-uncle, was one of the main witnesses called up to speak. Pointing to one of the suspected killers, he said "Dar he," to refer to the man who had killed his nephew.
Another key witness for the prosecution was Willie Reed, an 18-year-old high school student who lived on a plantation near Drew, Mississippi in Sunflower County. The prosecution had located him thanks to the investigation sparked by Young's information. Reed testified that he had seen a pickup truck outside of an equipment shed on a plantation near Drew managed by Leslie Milam, a brother of J.W. Milam and Roy Bryant. He said that four whites, including J.W. Milam, were in the cab and three blacks were in the back, one of them Till. When the truck pulled into the shed, he heard human cries that sounded like a beating was underway. He did not identify the other blacks on the truck.
On September 23 the all-white jury, made up of 12 males, acquitted both defendants. Deliberations took just 67 minutes; one juror said, "If we hadn't stopped to drink pop, it wouldn't have taken that long."The hasty acquittal outraged people throughout the United States and Europe and energized the nascent Civil Rights Movement.
Even by the time of the trial, Howard and black journalists such as James Hicks of the Baltimore Afro-American named several blacks who had allegedly been on the truck near Drew, including three employees of J.W. Milam: Henry Lee Loggins, Levi 'Too-Tight' Collins, and Joe Willie Hubbard. They were never called to testify. In the months after the trial, both Hicks and Howard called for a federal investigation into charges that Sheriff H.C. Strider had locked Collins and Loggins in jail to keep them from testifying.
Following the trial, Look Magazine paid J.W. Milam and Roy Bryant $4,000 to tell their story. Safe from any further charges for their crime due to double jeopardy protection, Bryant admitted to journalist William Bradford Huie that he and his brother had killed Till. Milam claimed that initially their intention was to scare Till into line by pistol-whipping him and threatening to throw him off a cliff. Milam explained that contrary to expectations, regardless of what they did to Till, he never showed any fear, never seemed to believe they would really kill him, and maintained a completely unrepentant, insolent, and defiant attitude towards them concerning his actions. Thus the brothers said they felt they were left with no choice but to fully make an example of Till, and they killed him. The story focused exclusively on the role of Milam and Bryant in the crime and did not mention any possible part played by others in the crime. The article was published in Look in January 1956. While some found it repugnant that Look had paid these men $4,000, the editorial position was that the good of getting the public to know the truth outweighed the bad of these men being paid a lot of money.
In February 1956 Howard's version of the events of the kidnapping and murder, which stressed the possible involvement of Hubbard and Loggins, appeared in the booklet Time Bomb: Mississippi Exposed and the Full Story of Emmett Till by Olive Arnold Adams. At the same time a still unidentified white reporter using the pseudonym Amos Dixon wrote a series of articles in the California Eagle. The series put forward essentially the same thesis as Time Bomb but offered a more detailed description of the possible role of Loggins, Hubbard, Collins, and Leslie Milam. Time Bomb and Dixon's articles had no lasting impact in the shaping of public opinion. Huie's article in the far more widely circulated Look became the most commonly accepted version of events.
In 1957 Huie returned to the story for Look in an article that indicated that local residents were shunning Milam and Bryant and that their stores were closed due to a lack of business.
Milam died of cancer in 1980 and Bryant died of cancer in 1994. The men never expressed any remorse for Till's death and seemed to feel that they had done no wrong. In fact, a few months before he died, Bryant complained bitterly in an interview that he had never made as much money off Till's death as he deserved and that it had ruined his life[11]. Emmett's mother Mamie (as Mamie Till Mobley) outlived both men, dying at the age of 81 on January 6, 2003. That same year her autobiography Death of Innocence: The Story of the Hate Crime That Changed America (One World Books, co-written with Christopher Benson) was published.
In 1991, a seven-mile stretch of 71st street in Chicago was renamed "Emmett Till Road," after the slain child. In 2006 a Mississippi historical marker marking the place of Till's death was defaced, and in August 2007 it went missing.Less than a week later a replica was put up in its place.[13]
In 2001, David T. Beito, associate professor at the University of Alabama and Linda Royster Beito, chair of the department of social sciences at Stillman College, were the first investigators in many decades to track down and interview on tape two key principals in the case: Henry Lee Loggins and Willie Reed. They were doing research for their biography of T.R.M. Howard. In his interview with the Beitos, Loggins denied that he had any knowledge of the crime or that he was one of the black men on the truck outside of the equipment shed near Drew. Reed repeated the testimony that he had given at the trial, that he had seen three black men and four white men (including J.W. Milam) on the truck. When asked to identify the black men, however, he did not name Loggins as one of them. The Beitos also confirmed that Levi 'Too-Tight' Collins, another black man allegedly on this car, had died in 1993.
In 1996, Keith Beauchamp started background research for a feature film he planned to make about Till's murder, and asserted that as many as 14 individuals may have been involved. While conducting interviews he also encountered eyewitnesses who had never spoken out publicly before. As a result he decided to produce a documentary instead, and spent the next nine years creating The Untold Story of Emmett Louis Till. The film led to calls by the NAACP and others for the case to be reopened. The documentary included lengthy interviews with Loggins and Reed, both of whom the Beitos had first tracked down and interviewed in 2001. Loggins repeated his denial of any knowledge of the crime. Beauchamp has consistently refused to name the fourteen individuals who he asserts took part in the crime, including the five who he claims are still alive.
On May 10, 2004, the United States Department of Justice announced that it was reopening the case to determine whether anyone other than Milam and Bryant was involved. Although the statute of limitations prevented charges being pursued under federal law, they could be pursued before the state court, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation and officials in Mississippi worked jointly on the investigation. As no autopsy had been performed on Till's body, it was exhumed on May 31, 2005 from the suburban Chicago cemetery where it was buried, and the Cook County coroner then conducted the autopsy. The body was reburied by relatives on June 4. It has been positively identified as that of Emmett Till.
In February 2007, the Jackson Clarion-Ledger reported that both the FBI and a Leflore County Grand Jury, which was empaneled by Joyce Chiles, a black prosecutor, had found no credible basis for Keith Beauchamp's claim that 14 individuals took part in Till's abduction and murder or that any are still alive. The Grand Jury also decided not to pursue charges against Carolyn Bryant Donham, Roy Bryant's ex-wife. Neither the FBI nor the Grand Jury found any credible evidence that Henry Lee Loggins, now living in an Ohio nursing home, and identified by Beauchamp as a suspect who could be charged, had any role in the crime. Other than Loggins, Beauchamp still refuses to name the 14 people who he says were involved although the FBI and District Attorney have completed their investigations of his charges and he is free to go on the record. A story by Jerry Mitchell in the Clarion-Ledger on February 18 describes Beauchamp's allegation that 14 or more were involved as a legend.
The same article also labels as legend a rumor that Till had endured castration at the hands of his victimizers. The castration theory was first put forward uncritically in Beauchamp's "Untold Story" although Mamie Till-Mobley (Emmett's mother) had said in an earlier documentary directed by Stanley Nelson, "The Murder of Emmett Till," (2003) that her son's genitals were intact when she examined the corpse. The recent autopsy, as reported by Mitchell, confirmed Mobley-Till's original account and showed no evidence of castration.
In March 2007, Till's family was briefed by the FBI on the contents of its investigation. The FBI report released on March 29, 2007 found that Till had died of a gunshot wound to the head and that he had broken wrist bones and skull and leg fractures.

The Death Of Emmett Till

a slide show of images backing Dylan's great song
the lyrics

"Twas down in Mississippi no so long ago,
When a young boy from Chicago town stepped through a Southern door.
This boy's dreadful tragedy I can still remember well,
The color of his skin was black and his name was Emmett Till.
Some men they dragged him to a barn and there they beat him up.
They said they had a reason, but I can't remember what.
They tortured him and did some evil things too evil to repeat.
There was screaming sounds inside the barn, there was laughing sounds out on the street.
Then they rolled his body down a gulf amidst a bloody red rain
And they threw him in the waters wide to cease his screaming pain.
The reason that they killed him there, and I'm sure it ain't no lie,
Was just for the fun of killin' him and to watch him slowly die.
And then to stop the United States of yelling for a trial,
Two brothers they confessed that they had killed poor Emmett Till.
But on the jury there were men who helped the brothers commit this awful crime,
And so this trial was a mockery, but nobody seemed to mind.
I saw the morning papers but I could not bear to see
The smiling brothers walkin' down the courthouse stairs.
For the jury found them innocent and the brothers they went free,
While Emmett's body floats the foam of a Jim Crow southern sea.
If you can't speak out against this kind of thing, a crime that's so unjust,
Your eyes are filled with dead men's dirt, your mind is filled with dust.
Your arms and legs they must be in shackles and chains, and your blood it must refuse to flow,
For you let this human race fall down so God-awful low!
This song is just a reminder to remind your fellow man
That this kind of thing still lives today in that ghost-robed Ku Klux Klan.
But if all of us folks that thinks alike, if we gave all we could give,
We could make this great land of ours a greater place to live.

Emmett Till: Part 1

Feom wikipedia, part 1 of biography

Emmett Louis "Bobo" Till (July 25, 1941 – August 28, 1955) was a fourteen year old African-American from Chicago, Illinois brutally murdered [1] in Money, Mississippi, a small town in the state's Delta region. The murder of Emmett Till was noted as one of the leading events that motivated the nascent American Civil Rights Movement.qwdf The main suspects were acquitted, but later admitted to committing the crime.
Till's mother insisted on a public funeral service with an open casket to let everyone see how he had been brutally killed.[2] He had been brutally beaten and had his eye gouged out before he was shot through the head and thrown into the Tallahatchie River with a 75-pound cotton gin fan tied to his neck with barbed wire. His body was in the river for three days before it was discovered and retrieved by two fishermen.
Till was laid to rest in Burr Oak Cemetery in Alsip, Illinois. The murder case was officially reopened in May 2004, and as a part of the investigation the body was exhumed so an autopsy could be performed.The body was reburied by the family in the same location later that week.
Emmett Till was the son of Mamie Till and Louis Till. Emmett's mother was born to John and Alma Carthan in the small Delta town of Webb, Mississippi ("the Delta" being the traditional name for the area of northwestern Mississippi at the confluence of the Yazoo and Mississippi Rivers). When she was two years old, her family moved to Illinois. Emmett's mother largely raised him on her own; she and Louis Till had separated in 1942.
Emmett's father, Louis Till, was drafted into the U.S. Army in 1943. While serving in Italy, he was convicted of raping two women and killing a third. He was executed by the Army by hanging near Pisa in July 1945. Before Emmett Till's killing, the Till family knew none of this, having been told only that Louis had been killed due to "willful misconduct". The facts of Louis Till's execution were made widely known after Emmett Till's death, by segregationist senator James Eastland, in an apparent attempt to turn public support away from Mrs. Till just weeks before the trials of Roy Bryant and J.W. Milam, the implication being that criminal behavior ran in the Till family.
In 1955, Till and his cousin were sent to stay for the summer with Till's uncle, Moses Wright, who lived in Money, Mississippi (another small town in the Delta, eight miles north of Greenwood).
Before his departure for the Delta, Till's mother cautioned him to "mind his manners" with white people.
Till's mother understood that race relations in Mississippi were very different from those in Chicago. Mississippi had seen many lynchings during the South's lynching era (ca. 1876-1930), and racially motivated murders were still not unfamiliar, especially in the Delta region where Till was going for a visit. Racial tensions were also on the rise after the United States Supreme Court's 1954 decision in Brown v. Board of Education to end segregation in public education.
Till arrived on August 21. On August 24, he joined other young teenagers as they went to Bryant's Grocery and Meat Market to get some candy and soda. The teens were children of sharecroppers and had been picking cotton all day. The market was owned by a husband and wife, Roy Bryant and Carolyn Bryant, and mostly catered to the local sharecropper population. Till's cousin and several black youths, all under 16, were with Till in the store. Till had shown them photos of his life back home, including one of him with his friends and girlfriend, a white girl. The boys didn't believe that he had a white girlfriend and dared him to talk to a white woman in the shop.
As Till was leaving the store, he said "Bye, baby," to Carolyn Bryant, a married white woman. She stood up and rushed to her car. The boys were terrified, thinking she might return with a pistol, and ran away.
Carolyn Bryant told others of the events at the store, and the news spread quickly. When Bryant's husband returned from a road trip a few days later and was told the news, he was greatly angered. By that point, it seemed that everyone in Tallahatchie County had heard about the incident, which had had several days to percolate. Different versions were disseminated. Till's cousin, Wheeler Parker, Jr., who was with him at the store, claims Till did nothing but whistle at the woman. "He loved pranks, he loved fun, he loved jokes... in Mississippi, people didn't think the same jokes were funny." Carolyn Bryant later asserted that Till had grabbed her at the waist and asked her for a date. She said the young man also used "unprintable" words. He had a slight stutter and some have conjectured that Bryant might have misinterpreted what Till said. Bryant decided that he and his half-brother, J.W. Milam, 36, would meet at 2:00 a.m. on Sunday to "teach the boy a lesson."
At about 12:30 a.m. on August 28, Bryant and his half-brother, J.W. Milam, came in a car with two people in the back whose identities have still not been confirmed, and kidnapped Emmett Till from his great-uncle's house in the middle of the night. According to witnesses, they drove him to a weathered shed on a plantation in neighboring Sunflower County, where they brutally beat and then shot him. A fan was tied around his neck with barbed wire in order to weigh down his body, which they dropped into the Tallahatchie River near Glendora, Mississippi, another small cotton town north of Money.
Afterwards, with Till missing, Bryant and Milam admitted they had taken the boy from his great-uncle's yard but claimed they turned him loose the same night. Some supposed that relatives of Till were hiding him out of fear for the youth’s safety or that he had been sent back to Chicago where he would be safe. Word got out that Till was missing and soon NAACP civil rights leader Medgar Evers, the state field secretary, and Amzie Moore, head of the Bolivar County chapter, became involved, disguising themselves as cotton pickers and going into the cotton fields in search of any information that would help find the young visitor from Chicago.
After Till's body was recovered, the brothers and the police tried to convince people that it wasn't Till; that Till was in Chicago and that the beaten boy was someone else. Till's features were too distorted by the beatings to easily identify him, but he was positively identified thanks to a ring he wore on his finger that had been his father's. His mother had given it to him the day before he left for Money. The brothers were soon under official suspicion for the boy's disappearance and were arrested August 29 after spending the night with relatives in Ruleville, just miles from the scene of the crime.
Moses Wright, a witness to Till's abduction, told the Sheriff that a person who sounded like a woman had identified Till as "the one," after which Bryant and Milam had driven away with him. Bryant and Milam claimed they later found out Till was not "the one" who had allegedly "insulted" Mrs. Bryant, and swore to Sheriff George Smith they had released him. They would later recant and confess after their acquittal.
In an editorial on Friday, September 2, Greenville journalist Hodding Carter, Jr. asserted that "people who are guilty of this savage crime should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law," a brave suggestion for any Mississippi newspaper editor to make at the time.
After Till's disfigured body was found, he was put into a pine box and nearly buried, but Mamie Till wanted the body to come back to Chicago. A Tutwiler mortuary assistant worked all night to prepare the body as best he could so that Mamie Till could bring Emmett's body back to Chicago.
The Chicago funeral home had agreed not to open the casket, but Mamie Till fought their decision. The state of Mississippi insisted it would not allow the funeral home to open it, so Mamie threatened to open it herself, insisting she had a right to see her son. After viewing the body, she also insisted on leaving the casket open for the funeral and allowing people to take photographs because she wanted people to see how badly Till's body had been disfigured. News photographs of Till's mutilated corpse circulated around the country, notably appearing in Jet magazine, and drew intense public reaction. Some reports said that up to 50,000 people viewed the body.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Rosa Parks In Poetry

from npr on 12/5/05 I used images from Weatherford's books to complement the audio

News & Notes , December 5, 2005 · Poet Carole Boston Weatherford reads her poem December 1, 1955: Before Rosa Altered History in recognition of the 50th anniversary of the Montgomery bus boycott. Weatherford teaches creative writing at Fayetteville State University in North Carolina. She's the author of several book including Freedom on the Menu: The Greensboro Sit-Ins.

Paul Cuffee

I found the audio at Bridgewater State University and combined it with images of Cuffee and/or related to him, including the Paul Cuffee School in Providence, Rhode Island. Note some spell his name Cuffee and others Cuffe.

Paul Cuffee, Negro shipowner and colonizer, was born near New Bedford, Massachusetts. As a free Negro whose father had been a slave, Cuffee became greatly concerned over the status of the Negroes in his native state and throughout America to the extent that he became one of the first to advocate African colonization as a solution to the incipient racial problem. In 1811, he traveled to Sierra Leone, a British colony on the West Coast of Africa, where he founded the Friendly Society of Sierra Leone, for the emigration of free Negroes from America. In 1815, he spent $4,000 of his own funds to transport 38 Negroes to Sierra Leone. He had planned more expeditions to Africa, but his health failed and he died in 1817.

A successful shipbuilder and shipowner, he accumulated an estate worth more than $20,000. In 1797, at a price of $3,500, he purchased for himself and his Indian wife, Alice Pequit, a farm on which he built a school for free Negro children. He and his brother, John Cuffee, entered a suit, as taxpayers, against the state of Massachusetts for the right to vote; but they were unsuccessful in winning the case. Several years later, legislation was adopted to correct the unjust practice. The Negro entrepreneur campaigned regularly against discriminatory practices faced by the Negroes in America. His association with whites was unquestioned, and he was received by the Quakers as a member of the Westport Society of Friends.

More on Cuffee
Paul Cuffee (1759—September 9, 1817) is most commonly known for his work in aiding free Negroes who wanted to emigrate to Sierra Leone. With the help of his shipping company Cuffee launched his first expedition to Sierra Leone on January 2, 1811. While in Sierra Leone, Cuffee helped to establish “The Friendly Society of Sierra Leone”, a trading organization. He had faith that the Friendly Society would help to establish a far more powerful Sierra Leone economy as well as self-help projects for the residents of the colony. He envisioned a mass emigration of Negroes to Africa.
Paul Cuffee was born free on Cuttyhunk Island, Massachusetts, the youngest of ten children. His father, Kofi (also known as Cuffee Slocum and "Cuffee Cuffee"), was a member of a West African Ashanti tribe who had been captured and brought to America as a slave at the age of 10. Paul's mother, Ruth Moses, was a Native American and a member of a local tribe. Kofi was a skilled carpenter who educated himself and earned his freedom. Cuffee's father died when he was a teenager. He and his brothers refused to use the name Slocum, which his father had acquired from his owner, and adopted his father's personal name Hosie Cuffee
The closest mainland port to Cuttyhunk was New Bedford, Massachusetts, the center of the American whaling industry. At the age of 16, Paul Cuffee signed on a whaling ship and later on cargo ships, where he learned navigation. During the American Revolution he was held prisoner by the British for a time. At the age of 21 he refused to pay his taxes because he did not have the right to vote. Cuffee believed that he should not have to pay taxes if he was not being represented. In 1780 he petitioned the council of Bristol County to end taxation without representation. The petition was denied, but it was one of the influences that led the Legislature to grant voting rights to free male citizens of the state in 1783.
Because Cuffee had grown up on an island he developed a lifelong love for the sea. At age 24 he became part owner of a small vessel and married Alice Pequit. She was a member of the same Native American tribe as Cuffee’s mother. The couple settled in Westport, Massachusetts, where they raised their eight children. As Cuffee became more successful he invested in more ships and made a sizable fortune for the day and especially for a Black man of this era. In the 1790s he made his money in cod fishing and smuggling goods from Canada. With his money Cuffee bought a large farm along the Westport River and was able to invest in the expansion of his fleet.
Along with his shipping business Paul Cuffee always had an interest in the demeaning conditions for most Blacks in the American colonies. Cuffee did not live the average life of the Black man in America so he sought ways to help others who had not been as fortunate. Unfortunately most White Americans felt that Blacks were subordinate to Whites. Many Americans agreed with this quote: “To most white men, blacks were members of a despised and innately inferior race.” Although slavery continued, some believed the emigration of free Blacks outside the United States was the easiest and most realistic solution to the race problem in America. This idea translated into Blacks being sent to other parts of the world in order to establish their own societies and rid America of “the Black man problem”. This idea came partly from Thomas Jefferson and other members of American society.
Many previous attempts by White men to colonize Blacks in other parts of the world had failed miserably, including the British attempt to colonize Sierra Leone with free Blacks, criminals, and prostitutes. In 1787 four hundred people departed from Great Britain and headed for Sierra Leone. “The colony was plagued with serious problems from the outset and proved to be a severe disappointment to its London sponsors.”
Although colonizing Sierra Leone was an extremely difficult task, Cuffee believed it was a viable option for Blacks and threw his support behind the movement. Paul Cuffee stated “I have for these many years past felt a lively interest in their behalf, wishing that the inhabitants of the colony might become established in truth, and thereby be instrumental in its promotion amongst our African brethren.” Cuffee received encouragement to proceed with his project from people in New York, Baltimore, and Boston as well as members of the African Institution. Cuffe mulled over on the logistics and chances of success for the movement for three years before deciding in 1809 to move ahead with the proposed project. He launched his first expedition to Sierra Leone on January 2, 1811.
Cuffee reached Freetown, Sierra Leone on March 1, 1811. During his time there he traveled the area investigating the social and economic conditions of the region. He met with some of the colony’s officials, who opposed Cuffee’s idea for colonization of free Blacks from America. Because Cuffee had contacts with powerful officials from the African Institution he sailed to Great Britain to seek help from there.
Surprisingly Cuffee was welcomed in Britain with open arms. He met with the heads of the African Institution and was granted permission to continue with his mission in Sierra Leone. He then left Liverpool and sailed back to Sierra Leone, where he finalized his plans for the colony. While in Sierra Leone, Cuffee helped to establish the Friendly Society of Sierra Leone, a trading organization run by Blacks. He had faith that the Friendly Society would help to establish a far more powerful Sierra Leone economy as well as self-help projects for the residents of the colony. Cuffee’s friends from the African Institution granted the Friendly Society money for these goals. “Heartened by London’s response to the Friendly Society, and also by the evident faith Freetown’s inhabitants entrusted in him, Cuffee now believed the trip to Sierra Leone was well worth the sacrifice of time, effort, and money”. Although Cuffee viewed the expedition as successful, he feared that once he, along with several other powerful leaders, left, the citizens of the colony would again return to their heathen ways. So, Cuffee left the colony with a message advising them how to behave and warned them that they should not defer from his advisement.
After returning to America in 1812, Cuffee was arrested for bringing British cargo into the United States. His brig, the Traveler, was seized as well. He was summoned to Washington, D.C., for violating trade laws, where he met with the President, James Madison. He was warmly welcomed into the White House by the president. Madison later decided that Cuffee was not aware of and did not intentionally violate the national trading policy. Madison questioned Cuffee’s experience and the conditions of Sierra Leone and was eager to learn about Africa and the possibility of further expanding colonization. “Madison evaluated Cuffee’s plans carefully, but rejected them reluctantly.” Madison believed that there would be too many problems in further attempts to colonize Sierra Leone but regarded Cuffee as America’s African authority.
Cuffee intended to return to Sierra Leone once a year but the War of 1812 between the United States and Britain prevented him from doing so. Sierra Leone was still constantly on his mind. “He visited Baltimore, Philadelphia and New York, speaking to groups of free Negroes on the 'favorable' possibilities of the colony. He also urged Negroes to form organizations in these cities to “communicate with each other… and to correspond with the African Institution and with the Friendly Society at Sierra Leone.” He printed a pamphlet about Sierra Leone to inform the general public of his ideas.
In the spring of 1813 Cuffee suffered several monetary losses because of some unprofitable ventures of his ships; one ship never returned. After getting his finances in order he prepared to return to Sierra Leone. The war between the U.S. and Britain continued, so Cuffe decided he would have to convince both countries to ease their restrictions on trading. He was unsuccessful and was forced to wait patiently until the war ended.
He left on December 10, 1815 with 38 Black colonists and arrived in Sierra Leone on February 3, 1816. Cuffee and his emigrants were not greeted as warmly as before. The authorities were already having trouble keeping the general population in order and were not thrilled at the idea that more emigrants were arriving. Although things did not go exactly as planned, Cuffee believed that once continuous trade between America, Britain, and Africa commenced the society would realize his predicted success. Cuffee left Sierra Leone in April filled with optimism for its future.
In 1816 Cuffee’s vision resulted in a mass emigration plan for Blacks. Although Cuffee was a successful Black man he still frequently dealt with discrimination. This time around Congress rejected his petition to return to Sierra Leone. “The year 1816 was one of great racial tension in this country.” During this time period many Black Americans began to demonstrate interest in immigrating to Africa. In 1816 Cuffee was persuaded by Reverends Samuel J. Mills and Robert Finley to help them with their colonization plans in the American Colonization Society. “Unlike the white abolitionists, he failed to take note or deliberately ignored the fact that Colonization Society was concerned only with encouraging free Negroes to emigrate from America, and that its members were not interested in disturbing the status quo in the South.”
In the beginning of 1817 Cuffee’s health deteriorated. He never returned to Africa and died on September 7, 1817.

blogger templates | Make Money Online