Third generation Japanese-American children awaiting the arrival of the next bus. Byron, California 1942. By Dorothea Lange
Land of the Free, as long as you don’t allow mere words to hurt or disempower you — such as words written into legislation placing you in concentration camps.
Meanwhile Obama’s former right-hand man is in Chicago
shutting down schools filled with predominantly Black students.
“Today is a day of mourning for the children of Chicago. Their education has been hijacked by an unrepresentative, unelected corporate school board, acting at the behest of a mayor who has no vision for improving the education of our children. Closing schools is not an education plan. It is a scorched earth policy. Evidence shows that the underutilization crisis has been manufactured. Their own evidence also shows the school district will not garner any significant savings from closing these schools.
This is bad governance. CPS has consistently undermined school communities and sabotaged teachers and parents. Their actions have had a horrible domino effect. More than 40,000 students will lose at least three to six months of learning because of the Board’s actions. Because many of them will now have to travel into new neighborhoods to continue their schooling, some will be victims of bullying, physical assault and other forms of violence. Board members are wishing for a world that does not exist and have ignored the reality of the world we live in today. Who on the Board will be held responsible? Who at City Hall will be held responsible?”
Chicago Teachers Union president Karen Lewis commenting on today’s news that the Board of Education has voted to close 50 Chicago public schools.
While only around 40 percent of children in Chicago are black are Latino, 90 percent of children whose schools will be shuttered are black or Latino.
fuck this country. fuck this country. FUCK THIS COUNTRY
Rahm Emanuel can go to Hell
But Obama is telling Black students they don’t value education, while his mans and them do shit like this.
“I respect you. I wanted to be a rapper. I wanted to be a ball-player. Today, like most black men under 40, I am neither. You do the Dougie when convenient. You brush your shoulder off when convenient. You admonish black folks for not being you when convenient. We worry about your safety in spite of this. We wish you would talk to them about race and responsibility sometimes.
Please complicate your analysis.
Today, I teach and write. And rap to myself. I am an above average writer and teacher. I am working on being better at being human. I am not a father, nor husband. The most mediocre white man at my bougie job has 16x the wealth I have. My grandmother has the beginnings of dementia, and she is still way smarter than me. She was only allowed to work the line at a chicken plant. She has no wealth, but lots of love for both of you. She prays for your safety. Please complicate your analysis. Working class white security guards have entered my office 3x times asking to see my ID. Every time, I tell them, “Fuck you. Show me yours.” I desperately cling to intellectual superiority over them. They powerfully claim whiteness and relative wealth over me. This has nothing, and everything, to do with my wanting to be a rapper and baller. I respect you. We respect you. Please complicate your analysis. Imani Perry writes books you should read. Please tell the truth.
Kiese Laymon is the author of Long Division and How To Slowly Kill Yourself and Others in America.”
“Please complicate your analysis.”
“On May 6, 1937, in the midst of tobacco workers strikes and protests in Richmond, Va., 400 Black womentobacco stemmers spontaneously went on strike at I.N. Vaughan over meager wages and lousy working conditions. The women averaged $3 a week in wages, sometimes working more than 80 hours a week in cramped conditions with dust coating the air and their lungs.
Writing in The Crisis, W.E.B. Du Boisdescribed the upsurge among Black women and men tobacco workers as part of the great industrial union organizing drives, “In the spring of 1937, the great impetus given by the CIO [Congress of Industrial Organizations] to unionization within the basic industries had repercussions as far south as Richmond where three hundred tobacco stemmers in the Carrington and Michaux plant undertook a spontaneous strike.”
The workers won - with the help of the Southern Negro Youth Congress - a wage increase, an eight-hour-day/40-hour-week, and collective bargaining recognition.
Du Bois continues, “On the heels of the Carrington and Michaux settlement, another walkout of four hundred stemmers occurred at the I.N. Vaughan factory. At this time a bargaining apparatus had already been established, and again a contract hoisting wage and reducing hours was signed.” These strikes were the first in the tobacco industry since 1905, Du Bois writes.
Du Bois gives a great deal of credit to the work of the Southern Negro Youth Congress and its leadership, particularly James E. Jackson and C. Columbus Alston, for helping drive the industry’s unionization and subsequent improvement in wages and conditions. Jackson, an early pioneer of the civil rights movement and leader of the Communist Party, co-founded the Tobacco Workers Organizing Committee. In CIO-style, Jackson and other organizers mobilized the entire Black community, wedding workers’ rights with civil rights, and coupled it with the credo of black-white unity. White women workers in the CIO’s Clothing and Textile Workers Union walked the picket lines in support of striking tobacco workers, shocking segregated “Richmond society.
In “The Indispensable Ally: Black Workers and the Formation of the CIO,” authors Bill Fletcher Jr. and Peter Agard write that through the work of the CIO and SNYC “workers became transformed through the process of building the union. Many of the Black women, who had been told time and again that they could do nothing of the kind, showed talented leadership and organizing skill, such as that exhibited by the secretary of the union, aMrs. [Louise “Mamma”] Harris.”
Civil rights and workers’ rights became so tightly woven together that “during the struggle at British-American Tobacco, one of the key demands of the workers was to be referred to by their supervisors and plant management as Mr. X or Mrs. Y, rather than in the first name, over-familiar fashion (as well as in other derogatory ways) so commonly taught by whites with regard to how they should relate to African Americans,” the authors write. The movement helped to lay the basis for the civil rights movement of the 1950s and 60s. Many of those civil rights leaders (like E.D. Nixon) had experience in the great union organizing drives of the 1930s and 40s.
“Thus, the Richmond organizing effort became not only a struggle for improved wages and working conditions, but also a battle for human dignity against a very racist, in fact, Jim Crow establishment. The inspiration of this SNYC-supported Black unionization spread through the rest of the city, and influenced other unionization campaigns.”
Photo: This Library of Congress photo shows Black women tobacco workers at a Richmond factory circa 1920(LOC).
“To the same degree that your understanding of and attitude towards Africa becomes more positive, your understanding of and attitude towards yourself will also becomes more positive…”Malcolm X (via projectdom)
Long Memory: The Black Experience in America by Mary Frances Berry and John W. Blassingame
This powerful, provocative survey is organized around the key issues of Afro-American history: Africa and slavery, family, religion, sex and racism, politics, economics, education, criminal justice, discrimination and protest movements, and black nationalism.
californiaafrican disse: Five graduates stand up and hold a banner with the stats of Black unemployment and chant “What about racism?!” over and over. Others graduates join the chanting, even as security escorts the five out. *wakes up from dream*
Then Mrs. Obama states, “Wait a minute!! Wait, don’t escort them out. I see your banner. I know the statistics of Black unemployment. I know that Black college graduates earn less than many White people without college degrees. I know!! But look at my husband!! You don’t have to yell about racism or even make it a major issue in this country, and you can still be successful. Look at how successful Barack has been!! Do you think that racism has stopped him. Do you think that racism has made his job harder, and that people would try to hinder his efforts just because of his race?!” The graduates all sit in silence with a look of awe on their faces.
Okay, well maybe she wouldn’t say those words. But I wonder, what does the discussion around racism sound like at the Obama dinner table. What do you teach their daughters about discrimination?
Knowledge Of Self
“Style has a profound meaning to Black Americans. If we can’t drive, we will invent walks and the world will envy the dexterity of our feet. If we can’t have ham, we will boil chitterlings; if we are given rotten peaches, we will make cobblers; if given scraps, we will make quilts; take away our drums, and we will clap our hands. We prove the human spirit will prevail. We will take what we have to make what we need. We need confidence in our knowledge of who we are.”
Nikki Giovanni (via blackcontemporaryart)
If we no longer have music programs with instruments in our public schools, we take a turntable, manipulate it as an instrument and change music throughout the world (AGAIN)!
Young Marabout Baye Fall
The Black Girl Project Shop - Skreened T-shirts, Organic Shirts, Hoodies, Kids Tees, Baby One-Pieces and Tote Bags Custom T-Shirts, Organic Shirts, Hoodies, Novelty Gifts, Kids Apparel, Baby One-Pieces | Skreened - Ethical Custom Apparel →
A collection based on some of my favorite women, both real and imagined. The proceeds from the items in this shop go to The Black Girl Project, an organization dedicated to the empowerment of young women and girls.
Damn, damn, daaaaaaaamn!!! I had JUST found the belts online needed for my daughter to dress as River Song!!! Buuuuuuut, all badges for ComicCon are sold out!!! So, we’re not going.
I’m so disappointed.
“Take a day to heal from the lies you’ve told yourself and the ones that have been told to you.”
Maya Angelou (via creatingaquietmind)
There have been so many lies…