Marsha P Johnson
she looks like an angel in the last pic
And if Michael Brown was not angelic, I was practically demonic. I had my first drink when I was 11. I once brawled in the cafeteria after getting hit in the head with a steel trash can. In my junior year I failed five out of seven classes. By the time I graduated from high school, I had been arrested for assaulting a teacher and been kicked out of school (twice.) And yet no one who knew me thought I had the least bit of thug in me. That is because I also read a lot of books, loved my Commodore 64, and ghostwrote love notes for my friends. In other words, I was a human being. A large number of American teenagers live exactly like Michael Brown. Very few of them are shot in the head and left to bake on the pavement.
The “angelic” standard was not one created by the reporter. It was created by a society that cannot face itself, and thus must employ a dubious “morality” to hide its sins. It is reinforced by people who have embraced the notion of “twice as good” while avoiding the circumstances which gave that notion birth. Consider how easily living in a community “with rough patches” becomes part of a list of ostensible sins. Consider how easily “black-on-black crime” becomes not a marker of a shameful legacy of segregation but a moral failing.
Ta-Nehisi Coates, being amazing. (via politicalprof)
On October 23-24, 2014, the Institute for Research in African-American Studies (IRAAS) at Columbia University will convene “Are the Gods Afraid of Black Sexuality? Religion and the Burdens of Black Sexual Politics.” The meetings for our two-day event will be held in New York City, on the campus of Columbia University, October 23-34, 2014. An evening plenary on Thursday, October 23rd will be hosted at First Corinthians Baptist Church in Harlem.
We are living through a moment of tremendous change at the intersection of race, religion, and sexuality, which has significant implications both for those who study and practice religion alike. “Are the Gods Afraid of Black Sexuality?” will bring scholars, activists and religious leaders together to explore a range of historical and contemporary phenomena associated with religion, race and sexuality, as they coalesce and converge. The task before us is not to address a single problem, but rather to unearth and engage with the often-unstated normative claims — surrounding race and religion, gender and sex — that continue to inform the work of scholars of (and the lives of people within) the US and the African Diaspora.
Topics to be addressed over the course of the two days will include: Religion, Media, Markets and the Making of Black Sexualities; Religious Narratives of Black Sexuality in the New World; The Religious Aesthetics/Cultural Politics of Black Sexuality; a Keynote Conversation on organizing for social change in the academy, through religious institutions, and in grassroots movements; Captive Bodies: The Sexual Politics of Policing Blackness; and Beyond the Burdens: Engendering the Sexual Futures of Black Religion. In addition to these more traditional panel-format presentations, we will also be holding a Public Conversation on The Sexual Politics of Black Sacred Music and a mini Film Festival. Please click HERE for the full conference schedule.
In the spirit of IRAAS’s founder, the late Dr. Manning Marable, and his belief in the democratic value of ideas shared among as broad a range and with as many people as possible, this conference, like all the IRAAS conferences before it, offers no-cost registration to the public.
Conference Contact: General inquiries; Media inquiries & Media permissions:
arethegodsafraid @ gmail.com
IRAAS Contact: iraas @ columbia.edu
- See more at: http://iraas.com/node/365#sthash.kvKChSd2.dpuf
“This photograph was taken the morning after [Black steel mill worker] Zachariah Walker’s execution by a lynch mob. Despite strong evidence against the accused, local juries found none of the local men and teenage boys guilty.”
Lynching was never just a Southern phenomenon and didn’t always involve a noose, as the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission can tell you:
As an angry mob dragged him from the hospital, Zachariah Walker is said to have cried, “For God’s sake, give a man a chance! I killed Rice in self-defense. Don’t give me no crooked death because I’m not white!” His pleas, however, fell on deaf ears. In a field just outside the borough of Coatesville, Walker was thrown into a hastily constructed fire. Three times he attempted to crawl out, only to be pushed back in until he moved no more. A crowd estimated between 3,000 to 5,000 men, women, and children witnessed Walker’s ordeal with a calm resolve.
After it was over, the crowd politely dispersed, though some lingered to collect body parts and other souvenirs before going back into town. The lynching occurred on a Sunday-“that quiet Sabbath evening,” W.E.B. Du Bois wrote scornfully. Within days, the area surrounding the site had been picked clean of the body, fence posts, ashes, and even blades of grass, and community leaders were calling for a return to normalcy.
The lynching of Zachariah Walker in 1911 personifies what historians call a “spectacle lynching,” a mob execution that included the most barbaric indecencies one can imagine. Though the geography of a northern industrial town seems not to fit our understanding of lynching, the episode is freighted with significance. Among its many layers is the web of racial and ethnic tensions that were present in Coatesville and other industrial towns during an era of sustained migration. Though the lynching was highly unusual, the pattern of social frictions that pervaded Coatesville, a prosperous steel town forty miles west of Philadelphia, was not uncommon…
Kay koule twompe soley soley men li pa twompe lapli.
Haitian Saying - “A leaky house can fool the sun, but it can’t fool the rain.” You can only get away with something for so long, before it catches up with you.
Black Proverbs:Diaspora Edition (via blackproverbs)
"Arms Up Don’t Shoot" by John Darkow, Cagle Cartoons, 2014. Let history record that Michael Brown was in fact an angel; the word means, simply, “messenger.” Unlike mainstream media organizations in Ferguson, the news he brought told the truth, and his murder should shame the devil:
Cal Brown, who is married to Michael’s father, said she had been having conversations about God with her stepson ‘Mike Mike’ when he thought she would “not make it” as she lay in [the] hospital.
"Mike Mike told me, ‘I didn’t think you were going to make it.’ And I said why and he said, ‘Because I’ve been dreaming of death, seeing pictures of death, seeing pictures of bloody sheets hanging on clotheslines,’" she told a church filled with mourners during his funeral service.
"That touched me. That’s what it was like when he was laying there on the street (after being shot). He prophesised his own death."
People called rock & roll ‘African music.’ They called it ‘voodoo music.’ They said that it would drive the kids insane. They said that it was just a flash in the pan - the same thing that they always used to say about hip-hop.
LITTLE RICHARD (via blackgirlsrpretty2)
The author of Sundown Towns: A Hidden Dimension of American Racism says,
According to John A. Wright, Kinloch: Missouri’s First Black [City] (Chicago: Arcadia, 2000), p. 127, Ferguson blocked the main road to Kinloch, the tiny black suburb to its west, with chains, trying to keep out black residents.
Between 1940-60, while Ferguson’s white population grew by almost 400%, its black population was cut by 60%. Meanwhile, the black population of the St. Louis metropolitan area doubled, from just under 150,000 to just under 300,000.
sending positive vibes and strength to all the people of color who are going back to school at predominantly white institutions where we don’t see ourselves reflected in the textbooks, curriculum, or campus concerns, and who are also dealing with living in a society that doesn’t care about our lives. this summer has been especially rough emotionally for many of us and we know that there isn’t an end in sight, but find (make) time to take care of yourself in the midst of the turmoil.
you matter and deserve to be heard even when the syllabus erases you from history. you matter and deserve to be seen even when the student government does not support issues specific to your communities. you matter and deserve to not be fetishized even when your classmates are “learning” about your culture. you matter and deserve humanity even when your school campus does everything in its power to make current events in your community irrelevant to the culture of the campus. you matter and you deserve life.
don’t be apologetic about your emotions. don’t be afraid to be seen. don’t be afraid to be heard. don’t be afraid to take up space or time. don’t be afraid to stand up. don’t be afraid to fight back. you are beautiful. you are powerful. you are loved. you can do this.
Obit of the Day: “Rosemarie the Shake Dancer”
Rosemarie Black was one of the premiere Black burlesque dancers in Chicago. The petite Ms. Black (only 5’ 2”) would dazzle with her dancing and tantalize audiences with her erotic costumes - careful never to reveal it all.
Born in 1934, in Mississippi, Ms. Black found her life thrown into disarray at age eight when her mother died. Left with her father, who was a raging alcoholic, she comforted herself with a small cowgirl costume a neighbor had made for her and the hope that her brothers in Chicago would call for her.
When one did, he was not ready to handle a young girl and Ms. Black would end up in foster care.
Her life would change when she first stepped out on the stage as an exotic dancer at the age of 19. With myriad costumes (including Cleopatra and Little Bo Peep) and 45 different wigs, Ms. Black began earning fame as much for her character as her looks.
Note: You can see a wonderful collection of photos of Ms. Black in her elaborate costumes on her Facebook page.
Often called “The Bronze Temptress” and “The Leather Lady” she would open for comedians Redd Foxx and Nipsy Russell. She met James Brown and Oprah Winfrey. She was a celebrity.
Ms. Black would dance into her 60s, and as late as 2011 would walk around in her eight-inch heels. She passed away on June 6, 2013 at the age of 79.
(Unidentified and undated image of Ms. Black from her Facebook page.)
Filipina and African-American blogger and artist/actor/photographer Maya Washington aka #ShamelessMaya.
Celina y Reutilio, “¡Que viva Changó!” 1949. Ned Sublette explains its significance:
At that time [the 1940s], the country music of Cuba was off in a corner by itself, apart from the rest of the Cuban musical scene, with little African influence, at a time when Cubans wanted to dance. Celina and Reutilio brought it into the fold…Santería in its various forms—from the most purely African to the most syncretized, mixed, spiritist form—was a widespread religion of the people, [B]lack and white, and everybody knew that Santa Bárbara meant Changó. But nobody had ever mentioned both of them together in a popular song. It was another restriction lifted.