Melissa Harris-Perry: Say Their Names


We less frequently discuss historical violence against black girls and don’t adequately connect these stories to movements for social justice. As a result we think our daughters are safer than our sons. We forget Elizabeth Eckford walking a racist gauntlet toward Central High School in 1957; or tiny Ruby Bridges requiring federal marshals to attend elementary school in 1960, New Orleans; or four little girls murdered in their Sunday school in Birmingham, Alabama, in 1963.  Girlhood has never been a shield against the brutality of white supremacy. We cannot forget the vulnerabilities of black girls. Yes, we must keep our brothers, but what about our daughters? We must also say their names: Rekia Boyd, Renisha McBride, Mya Hall, Natasha McKenna, Sandra Bland.

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Harlem Hopscotch


One foot down, then hop! It’s hot.
          Good things for the ones that’s got.
Another jump, now to the left.

          Everybody for hisself.

In the air, now both feet down.
         Since you black, don’t stick around.
Food is gone, the rent is due,

          Curse and cry and then jump two.

All the people out of work,
         Hold for three, then twist and jerk.
Cross the line, they count you out.

          That’s what hopping’s all about.

Both feet flat, the game is done.
They think I lost. I think I won.

via Harlem Hopscotch by Maya AngelouThe Poetry Foundation


 

Harry Belafonte Speech To Hollywood About Race


America has come a long way since Hollywood in 1915 gave the world the film Birth of a Nation. By all measure, this cinematic work was considered the greatest film ever made. The power of moving pictures to impact on human behavior was never more powerfully evidenced than when, after the release of this film, American citizens went on a murderous rampage. Races were set one against the other. Fire and violence erupted. Baseball bats and billy clubs bashed heads. Blood flowed in [the] streets of our cities, and lives were lost.

The film also gained the distinction to be the first film ever screened at the White House. The then-presiding President Woodrow Wilson openly praised the film, and the power of this presidential anointing validated the film’s brutality and its grossly distorted view of history. This, too, further inflamed the nation’s racial divide. Continue reading

Maya Angelou Memorial Service


Maya Angelou Memorial Service on Livestream

Dr. Maya Angelou, the poet, actress, author and civil rights activist known around the world, discovered her passion for teaching at Wake Forest University. And, in the past four decades, she has inspired generations of students to become better writers, thinkers and citizens. Angelou died on Wednesday, May 28, 2014 at the age of 86. via Maya Angelou Memorial Service on Livestream.

Great speakers include First Lady Michelle Obama & Valerie Simpson sings a really touching song. The entire thing is well worth watching and very life-affirming. You can see the other Maya Angelou posts by clicking the pictures or links below.

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When We Go Inside


“I am convinced that most people do not grow up. We find parking spaces and honor our credit cards. We marry and dare to have children and call that growing up. I think what we do is mostly grow old. We carry accumulation of years in our bodies and on our faces, but generally our real selves, the children inside, are still innocent and shy as magnolias.

 

We may act sophisticated and worldly but I believe we feel safest when we go inside ourselves and find home, a place where we belong and maybe the only place we really do.”

 

Maya Angelou, Letter to My Daughter