tag:kalamu.posthaven.com,2013:/posts NEO•GRIOT 2024-06-10T13:44:09Z Kalamu ya Salaam tag:kalamu.posthaven.com,2013:Post/284272 2013-04-01T04:48:00Z 2024-06-10T13:44:09Z POETRY: I WANT TO TALK ABOUT YOU
photo by Alex Lear





I Want To Talk About You

(for my sister Czerny)


this poem was supposed to be

for/abt you but as i was thinking

i felt another need

& know in order to truth talk

abt you i had to truth talk

abt how our hours

on this earth spot

some call a civilized nation

has been bitter centuries long

long, long after the chains fell

our unhealed scars are serious sores

still too tender to touch


abt how few

of us really comprehend the enormity

of our history of captivity

not only the horror of what was done to us

but what the residue of that historic undoing

continues to do to us today


our genitals were

put on public display


if you were white

you could see cleotis' thing

silent in a sealed see-through coffin

howard kept the sinister cylinder at his shop

behind the unpainted cypress wood counter

out of plain sight but was always proud

to hoist the mason jar

with the shiriveled, pickled penis

into the surprise of sunlit delight

and the carefree hoots of the gathered

good old boys, although we never knew

who actually did the cutting

we all knew where the evidence was kept


they say in france they got

the vagina of our sister entombed

(for medical research of course)

venus, the "hottentot venus"

they sarcastically called her,

and when she was alive they paraded her

naked on a pay per view basis

and people paid to see how big her butt

was, and later after she died, how big

her vagina was, and the worse

part was that crowds of humans

actually went and oohed and ahhed

and paid money to see something

the creator gave to all of us


could my name be cleotis

could your name be venus

& why should anyone want

to trophy our genitals?


i turn over naked

in my nude sleep sometimes,

hold myself hard with my hand

and imagine the pain

and wonder how does a man

live without himself?


what i really want to talk abt

is how we lived despite

the mutilations

i am so impressed by the beauty

of a people who can survive

the public display of our privates,

who could rise the next morning

face the pain and still believe

in living a good life


you are one of those old ones

the women who tear-washed

and bare-handedly buried the broken bodies

cauterized wounds and stitched together

some kind of tough, tough love

that mended men

and raised the manchild even after

the man was gone


this poem is

for you and all the race

women like you who continue

to feed us reason to live

when suicide seems unavoidably sensible


me and all my manhood

bears daily witness

i would be nothing were it not

for the redemptive love

of certain of my sisters, my mothers

my aunts, grandmothers and 

women friends securely umbilicaling

sustenance into my soul


all the remaining years of my life

i will never cease

wanting to talk abt you

needing to talk abt you

to talk abt you

talk abt you


—kalamu ya salaam


Kalamu ya Salaam
tag:kalamu.posthaven.com,2013:Post/284302 2013-04-01T04:35:00Z 2024-05-29T14:06:09Z VIDEO: 5 Bridges Crossing Trouble Waters (2 of them named Aretha)







Kalamu ya Salaam
tag:kalamu.posthaven.com,2013:Post/284348 2013-04-01T04:26:00Z 2023-10-03T19:51:37Z VIDEO + AUDIO: Yasiin Bey (FKA Mos Def) x Mannie Fresh - "Black Jesus" > SoulCulture

Yasiin Bey (FKA Mos Def)

x Mannie Fresh

– “Black Jesus” | New Music

Will 'ill Will' Lavin
April 1, 2013

black jesus

Last week at the Celebrity Theatre in Phoenix Arizona Yasiin Bey, formerly Mos Def, performing two new records to a packed house titled “Black Jesus” and “Young Love” produced by former Cash Money in-house beatsmith Mannie Fresh, products of the time the two spent together creating late last year.

Well moments ago we got the recorded version of “Black Jesus” which will feature on the duo’s forthcoming collaborative project OMFGODBKNOLA and you can give it a spin below.

Peep the performances from the Celebrity Theatre in Phoenix Arizona below.

“Black Jesus”

“Young Love”



Kalamu ya Salaam
tag:kalamu.posthaven.com,2013:Post/284386 2013-04-01T04:24:00Z 2023-12-24T12:02:54Z PUB: Are You a Poet? Be a Fair Clout Judge (Africa-wide) > Writers Afrika
Are You a Poet? Be a Fair Clout Judge (Africa-wide)


The Fair Clout project is out to publish a periodic series of high-edged, artistic poetry from writers around the world in a poetry series collection titled ‘Fair Clout’. The ‘Fair Clout’ series is currently awaiting its second series title, the ‘Folk Sketches’.

Submission of entry to qualify for selection to publish in the ‘Fair Clout’ series is currently on. Be a Fair Clout judge. Bring your intuition and intellect to help us pick the winning writer for the ‘Fair Clout’ project.


The ‘Judge’ role is taken by volunteers with sound understanding and interpretation of poetry or general literary work, must possess quality interpersonal and communication skills, be above 18, and own a social network account- preferably ‘Twitter’.


If you meet the criteria for the ‘Judge’ role, and will wish to volunteer for this, send an email containing your personal bio, address, phone number and twitter handle with the subject: ‘Fair Clout Judge Volunteer’ to the ‘Fair Clout’ publisher at: ceopensage@gmail.com, or pensage_69@yahoo.com.

Read about the ‘Fair Clout’ submissions.


For queries/ submissions: ceopensage@gmail.com, or pensage_69@yahoo.com

Website: https://www.facebook.com/FairClout.ACaseOfLines



Kalamu ya Salaam
tag:kalamu.posthaven.com,2013:Post/284437 2013-04-01T04:22:00Z 2024-05-16T17:51:31Z PUB: The Waterman Fund: Essay Contest

Enter the 2013 Alpine Essay Contest

Guy and Laura Waterman spent a lifetime reflecting and writing on the Northeast's mountains. The Waterman Fund seeks to further their legacy through essays that celebrate this wilderness spirit.

This year's contest theme is: Technology in the woods! Do you venture into the woods with a smart phone or iPad or personal music player? Do you Twitter about bear encounters or call home in the evening? What do you think about “that guy” sitting in the corner of the shelter texting about the number of miles he hiked today? Or are you that guy? How does technology affect personal safety and responsibility? Is keeping the woods separate from our ever-connected world an artificial construct or a necessity? The Waterman Fund is seeking personal essays about the technological changes you've seen arriving in the backcountry and how these changes have affected your experience and the wild itself.

The Waterman Fund seeks the submission of essays about life in the mountains of the northeastern U.S. for its annual Waterman Fund Alpine Essay Contest held in partnership with Appalachia Journal.

Wildness! Are you finding it where you least expect? Did you go in search and it wasn't there? The Waterman Fund is seeking personal essays about stewardship of wild places, whether through a scientific lens or an encounter with wildness.

What do we mean by "the spirit of wildness?" Why is it so important to our lives? Or, is it? Guy and Laura Waterman spent a lifetime reflecting and writing on the Northeast's mountains. The Waterman Fund seeks to further their legacy through essays that celebrate this spirit.

The winning piece will be published in Appalachia Journal. The winning essayist will be awarded $1500. Honorable mention will receive $500.

All are encouraged to submit essays for the 2013 contest. Essays must be original works at least 2000 words long. Writers who have not published a book on such topic or who have not been published in a national magazine on such topic are eligible for participation. Essays are due April 15, 2013. Winners will be announced by July.

Please include a brief cover letter with your contact information and a few lines about why you feel that your essay is right for this contest. We request (though don't require) that all manuscripts are double-spaced and in a 12 point font. We won't consider fiction, poetry, or songs; we're looking solely for nonfiction essays, whether with a personal, scientific, or memoir bent.

We appreciate online submissions. If you prefer to submit by mail, include a SAS postcard or your email address; we try to let you know as soon as we've received your work.

To submit an entry, email a Word document (or compatible format) and accompanying cover letter to: essays@watermanfund.org"> essays@watermanfund.org or mail to:

The Waterman Fund, Attn: Annie Bellerose
P.O. Box 1064
East Corinth, VT 05040


Kalamu ya Salaam
tag:kalamu.posthaven.com,2013:Post/284528 2013-04-01T04:19:00Z 2023-11-04T04:04:24Z PUB: Call for Papers for Scholarly Publication - Zora Neale Hurston: Art, Religion, and the History of the African Diaspora > Writers Afrika
Call for Papers for Scholarly Publication

- Zora Neale Hurston:

Art, Religion, and the History

of the African Diaspora

Deadline: 1 May 2013

Zora Neale Hurston (1891-1960) was an anthropologist, a novelist, a folklorist, a playwright, and a history maker in her own right. Hurston was a product of the Harlem Renaissance and is often described as one of the greatest literary artists of the twentieth century. Praised by many for her studies of African derived religions in the American South, Haiti, and Jamaica, she is most famous for her 1937 novel, Their Eyes Were Watching God, and her literary works inspired such writers as Ralph Ellison, Toni Morrison, Alice Walker, Ishmael Reed, Gloria Naylor, and Jewell Parker Rhodes, among others. (Source: The Official Zora Neale Hurston Website. For more information, please visit http://www.zoranealehurston.com/.)

This scholarly publication is timed to coincide with the year-long 75th anniversary celebration for Their Eyes Were Watching God in 2012 and 2013, and it is related to the September 2012 “Watching God and Reading Hurston Conference.” This open-access journal will be published electronically via Digital Commons at Cleveland State University. (For more information on the Hurston Conference, the RASHAD Initiative, and CSU’s Digital Commons / Engaged Scholarship activities, please visit http://engagedscholarship.csuohio.edu/hurston/.)

Possible topics include, but are not limited to “Literature and Religion,” “Spirituals and Neo-Spirituals,” “African and Neo-African Religion,” “Religion and Spirituality in Hurston’s Life and Art,” and what one writer describes as “The Complex Fate of the God-Driven Black Diaspora Discourse.” Established and emerging academic scholars, independent scholars, advanced graduate students, and visual and performing artists are encouraged to submit proposals.

Typewritten, double-spaced manuscripts, no more than 30 pages in length (including endnotes), should be prepared using A Manual for Writers of Research Papers, Theses, and Dissertations (University of Chicago Press, 2007 or later). Manuscripts submitted for publication will be peer-reviewed. Please note the following deadlines:

  • Submission of Completed Manuscripts: May 1, 2013

  • Notifications Mailed: July 1, 2013

  • Publication Date: December 1, 2013


For queries/ submissions: African.Diaspora@csuohio.edu

Website: http://engagedscholarship.csuohio.edu/hurston/



Kalamu ya Salaam
tag:kalamu.posthaven.com,2013:Post/284602 2013-04-01T04:14:00Z 2023-10-03T20:00:13Z A LUTA CONTINUA: ¡VIVA LA CAUSA!


¡VIVA LA CAUSA! — Today marks the birthday of Cesar Chavez, the labor leader and civil rights activist. As the co-founder and leader of the National Farm Workers Association, later known as the United Farm Workers, Chavez sent this typed note of thanks to union supporter Virna M. Canson. It reads a bit like a form letter, but it’s still an interesting glimpse at early 1970s politics.

(The photo and letter are both from the Calisphere: 1, 2)

(via silas216)


Kalamu ya Salaam
tag:kalamu.posthaven.com,2013:Post/284671 2013-04-01T04:07:00Z 2023-10-03T20:00:33Z ENVIRONMENT: Exxon cleans up Arkansas oil spill; Keystone plan assailed > Reuters

Exxon cleans up

Arkansas oil spill;

Keystone plan assailed


(Reuters) - Exxon Mobil on Sunday continued cleanup of a pipeline spill that spewed thousands of barrels of heavy Canadian crude in Arkansas as opponents of oil sands development latched on to the incident to attack plans to build the Keystone XL line.


Exxon spokesman Alan Jeffers said on Sunday that crews had yet to excavate the area around the pipeline breach, a needed step before the company can estimate how long repairs will take and when the line might restart.

"I can't speculate on when it will happen," Jeffers said. "Excavation is necessary as part of an investigation to determine the cause of the incident."


Exxon's Pegasus pipeline, which can carry more than 90,000 barrels per day (bpd) of crude from Patoka, Illinois to Nederland, Texas, was shut after the leak was discovered late Friday afternoon in a subdivision near the town of Mayflower. The leak forced the evacuation of 22 homes.

Exxon also had no specific estimate of how much crude oil had spilled, but the company said 12,000 barrels of oil and water had been recovered - up from 4,500 barrels on Saturday. The company did not say how much of the total was oil and how much was water.

Allen Dodson, Faulkner County judge who is the top executive for the county where the spill occurred, told Reuters in an interview on Sunday that the smell of crude was less potent on Sunday as cleanup efforts continued, saying it was weaker than the smell of fresh asphalt laid on a road.

"The freestanding oil on the street has been removed. It's still damp with oil, it's tacky, like it is before we do an asphalt overlay," he said.

Exxon said it staged the response to handle 10,000 barrels of oil "to ensure adequate resources are in place."

Officials from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Transportation's Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) also were on site to investigate the spill.

Fifteen vacuum trucks remained on the scene for cleanup, and 33 storage tanks were deployed to temporarily store the oil.

The pipeline was carrying Canadian Wabasca Heavy crude at the time of the leak. An oil spill of more than 1,000 barrels into a Wisconsin field from an Enbridge Inc pipeline last summer kept that line shuttered for around 11 days.

The 848-mile pipeline used to transport crude oil from Texas to Illinois. In 2006 Exxon reversed it to move crude from Illinois to Texas in response to growing Canadian oil production and the ability of U.S. Gulf Coast refineries to process heavy crude.

The Arkansas spill drew fast reaction from opponents of the 800,000 bpd Keystone XL pipeline, which also would carry heavy crude from Canada's tar sands to the Gulf Coast refining hub.

Environmentalists have expressed concerns about the impact of developing the oil sands and say the crude is more corrosive to pipelines than conventional oil. On Wednesday, a train carrying Canadian crude derailed in Minnesota, spilling 15,000 gallons of oil.

"Whether it's the proposed Keystone XL pipeline, or ... (the) mess in Arkansas, Americans are realizing that transporting large amounts of this corrosive and polluting fuel is a bad deal for American taxpayers and for our environment," said Representative Ed Markey, a Massachusetts Democrat.

Supporters of Keystone XL and oil sands development say the vast Canadian reserves can help drive down fuel costs in the United States. A report from the Canadian Energy Pipeline Association, put together by oil and gas consultancy Penspen, argued diluted bitumen is no more corrosive than other heavy crude.

A year ago Exxon won a court appeal to charge market rates on the Pegasus line, or rates that are not capped and that can change along with market conditions without prior approval from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

That decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington D.C. said the Pegasus pipeline is now the "primary avenue" to move Canadian crude oil to the Gulf Coast. The ruling also said Exxon moves about 66,000 barrels per day on the line.

Last week PHMSA proposed that Exxon pay a $1.7 million fine over pipeline safety violations stemming from a July 2011 oil spill from its Silvertip pipeline in the Yellowstone River. The line, which carries 40,000 barrels per day in Montana, leaked about 1,500 barrels of crude after heavy flooding in the area.

Exxon has 30 days from the March 25 order to contest those violations.

According to PHMSA, the U.S. has 2.3 million miles of pipelines.


Exxon said that by 3 a.m. Saturday there was no additional oil spilling from the pipeline and that trucks had been brought in to assist with the cleanup. Images from local media showed crude oil snaking along a suburban street and spewed across lawns.

Twenty-two homes in the affected subdivision remained evacuated on Sunday, though Mayflower police were providing escorts for residents to temporarily return to retrieve personal items.

Jeffers said a couple of homes "appear to have small amounts of oil on their foundations," but he had no information on damage estimates or claims. Exxon had established a claims hotline for affected residents and said about 50 claims had been made so far.

Dodson said oil that made it to the street went into storm drains that eventually lead to a cove connected to nearby Lake Conway, known as a fishing lake stocked with bass, catfish, bream and crappie.

He said local responders that included firemen, city employees, county road crews, police quickly built dikes of dirt and rock to block culverts along that path that stopped crude from fouling the lake.

"We were just in the nick of time," he said.

Exxon later deployed 3,600 feet of boom near the lake as a precaution.

Dodson said crude also got into several homeowners' yards, which will take longer to clean up.

"We've just gotten used to having pipelines go through cities and counties, and you hope something like this doesn't happen. My heart goes out to all of the people personally impacted," Dodson said.

(Additional reporting by Timothy Gardner in Washington; Editing by Steve Orlofsky, Bernard Orr, and Chris Reese)


Kalamu ya Salaam
tag:kalamu.posthaven.com,2013:Post/284706 2013-04-01T03:52:00Z 2023-10-03T20:00:53Z EDUCATION: The culture that created the Atlanta cheating scandal. - Fred Klonsky

The culture that created

the Atlanta cheating scandal.

By Fred Klonsky

March 29, 2013


Today’s big education story is the indictment of former Atlanta school superintendent Dr. Beverly L. Hall. Dr. Hall was one of 35 Atlanta educators indicted Friday by a Fulton County grand jury. Dr. Hall, who retired in 2011, was charged with racketeering, theft, influencing witnesses, conspiracy and making false statements. Prosecutors recommended a $7.5 million bond for her; she could face up to 45 years in prison.

Back in February of 2012 I addressed the cheating issue in a piece written for Occasional Papers 27, a publication of Bank Street College of Education.

In the article I address the reform culture that has created the conditions for scandals like the one in Atlanta.

Also included in the collection are essays by William Ayers, Gail Boldt, Greg Dimitriadis, Jeff Duncan-Andrade, Ann Haas Dyson, Celia Genishi, Marc Lamont Hill, Kevin K. Kumashiro, Deborah Meier, Erica R. Meiners, Pedro Noguera, Diane Ravitch, Raynard Sanders, Gil Schmerler, Peter Taubman

“If We Look to Buy the Cheapest Paper, Why Not the Cheapest Teachers?”

by Fred Klonsky

Around 1972 I was working at the UniRoyal Tire and Rubber factory in the City of Commerce, an industrial suburb of Los Angeles. The front of the factory faced the Santa Ana freeway. For some odd reason it was designed to look like an ancient Egyptian temple.

Behind the Disney-like façade of pharaohs and slaves was a grime-filled, malodorous factory turning out thousands of automobile tires a day.

In 1972 the making of a tire went something like this: Two women, usually African-American, worked on a belt behind the tire making machine. They cut pieces of rubber ply and put them on the belt. Two men, usually white, were in front. One of the men pulled the rubber barrel off a rack and slid it on to a metal arm. One of the guys hit a button and the ply rolled onto the rubber barrel. They hit a second button that swung the barrel into a position to attach the rubber that later became the tread. Button three quickly spun all the tire components until you hit the brake pedal. The barrel broke loose and you slid it off onto another rack.

A tire came off the machine and a counter would flip a number. In 1972 there was not much that was digital.

I was a member of the United Rubber Workers union. Our contract allowed tire making to be piecework. I was paid a minimal base salary. To make any real money I had to make a rate. The rate was adjusted each week. If you made rate for five days, they raised the rate.

It didn’t take long for me to realize that controlling – as opposed to making – the rate was most important. I wanted to hit my target most days. But I needed to fall short on others. If I didn’t, they would constantly raise the rate. I soon came to understand the simple economics of this process.

I also realized that if I smacked the counter with the palm of my hand just at the moment that my partner was pulling a tire off the machine, the counter would flip twice.

Four decades later I am about to retire from 27 years of teaching. I began my teaching career at the same time as A Nation at Risk came out. I retire just as it seems that The Elementary and Secondary Education Act, also known as No Child Left Behind, is about to be trashed and replaced by some form of a more extensive Race to the Top.

As I exit the classroom, life in schools resembles my days at UniRoyal Tire and Rubber.

I teach in a school in a suburb of Chicago. Park Ridge is an upscale town. It usually has voted Republican and it is white. But that is changing. The town elected its first Democratic State Senator several years ago and voted for Obama by a thin margin.

Compared to when I started teaching in 1984, our K-8 school district is now consumed by assessments. Weeks and weeks of instructional time have been replaced by a world of testing initials: Illinois Standards Achievement Test (ISAT), Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) and the Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy (Dibels).

In spite of this, and despite the fact that the time spent on these assessments angers and demoralizes almost every one of my colleagues, our school does very well on all of these assessments. Ninety-seven percent meet and exceed state standards on the state mandated ISAT. This year 100% of our 4th graders did the same on the reading portion of the ISAT.

In a school district that is primarily white and privileged, it’s not surprising that our students do well on these tests. But it also doesn’t matter.

In schools this is called continuous improvement. It’s not much different than UniRoyal’s piece rate system. Do well and they simply raise the rate. The only thing they want to improve are the scores. It is the extension of Lake Woebegonism, where all children are above average. In this brave new world, all children must meet and exceed 100%. In districts like Atlanta and Philadelphia, continuous improvement has meant taking the palm of your hand and smacking the counter. Cheating scandals are breaking out like a contagious disease.

As the comedian Chris Rock likes to say, “I don’t approve. But I understand.” Just like a tire builder at UniRoyal, it is a matter of both teachers and school administrators coming to understand the simple economics of the process. Those who demand that schools be run more like a business are now getting what they asked for. There are those in the profit sector who have become expert at knowing how to game the system. Why be surprised when those in the public sector, like principals, order their staff to do the same?

This year a small Tea Party-ish group has begun attending our board meetings. They number two, sometimes three. Some have children in the district’s schools. Some do not. They are openly hostile to the teachers and our union. They are either amazingly misinformed, or they are purposefully lying based on the theory that a lie told often enough gets believed as the truth.

At the heart of their attack is the issue of student performance and teacher accountability. Only a few years back we would spend our time discussing issues of teaching and learning. Now we spend the bulk of our team planning time discussing assessments and interventions.

Still, the lies continue about student performance results. They continue to lie about teacher salary and benefits and the language that is in our bargaining agreement about the alleged inability to dismiss poor teachers.

I have been told that Tea Party groups are doing the same thing throughout Illinois. They have organized small groups to attend community board meetings. Some are paid, with the money coming from those like the Koch brothers, multi-billionaire right-wing funders. There are plenty of deep pockets operating here.

Going right after our collective bargaining agreement, they ask, “If we look to buy the cheapest paper, why not the cheapest teachers?”

And our board, pressed by growing financial concerns, must be asking themselves if that isn’t a good point. How much should you have to spend to find someone to prep for and administer a test?




Ex-Schools Chief in Atlanta

Is Indicted in Testing Scandal

Kendrick Brinson for The New York Times

After a 2½-year investigation, Beverly L. Hall, a former district superintendent who won fame and fortune for her performance, was charged with racketeering, theft and other crimes in the doctoring of students' test answers.

Readers shared their thoughts on this article.

In the fall of 2010, Ms. Parks, a third-grade teacher at Venetian Hills Elementary School in southwest Atlanta, agreed to become Witness No. 1 for Mr. Hyde, in what would develop into the most widespread public school cheating scandal in memory.

Ms. Parks admitted to Mr. Hyde that she was one of seven teachers — nicknamed “the chosen” — who sat in a locked windowless room every afternoon during the week of state testing, raising students’ scores by erasing wrong answers and making them right. She then agreed to wear a hidden electronic wire to school, and for weeks she secretly recorded the conversations of her fellow teachers for Mr. Hyde.

In the two and a half years since, the state’s investigation reached from Ms. Parks’s third-grade classroom all the way to the district superintendent at the time, Beverly L. Hall, who was one of 35 Atlanta educators indicted Friday by a Fulton County grand jury.

Dr. Hall, who retired in 2011, was charged with racketeering, theft, influencing witnesses, conspiracy and making false statements. Prosecutors recommended a $7.5 million bond for her; she could face up to 45 years in prison.

During the decade she led the district of 52,000 children, many of them poor and African-American, Atlanta students often outperformed wealthier suburban districts on state tests.

Those test scores brought her fame — in 2009, the American Association of School Administrators named her superintendent of the year and Arne Duncan, the secretary of education, hosted her at the White House.

And fortune — she earned more than $500,000 in performance bonuses while superintendent.

On Friday, prosecutors essentially said it really was too good to be true. Dr. Hall and the 34 teachers, principals and administrators “conspired to either cheat, conceal cheating or retaliate against whistle-blowers in an effort to bolster C.R.C.T. scores for the benefit of financial rewards associated with high test scores,” the indictment said, referring to the state’s Criterion-Referenced Competency Test.

Reached late Friday, Richard Deane, Dr. Hall’s lawyer, said they were digesting the indictment and making arrangements for bond. “We’re pretty busy,” he said.

As she has since the beginning, Mr. Deane said, Dr. Hall has denied the charges and any involvement in cheating or any other wrongdoing and expected to be vindicated. “We note that as far as has been disclosed, despite the thousands of interviews that were reportedly done by the governor’s investigators and others, not a single person reported that Dr. Hall participated in or directed them to cheat on the C.R.C.T.,” he said later in a statement.

In a 2011 interview with The New York Times, Dr. Hall said that people under her had allowed cheating but that she never had. “I can’t accept that there is a culture of cheating,” she said.

Paul L. Howard Jr., the district attorney, said that under Dr. Hall’s leadership, there was “a single-minded purpose, and that is to cheat.”

“She is a full participant in that conspiracy,” he said. “Without her, this conspiracy could not have taken place, particularly in the degree it took place.”

Longstanding Rumors

For years there had been reports of widespread cheating in Atlanta, but Dr. Hall was feared by teachers and principals, and few dared to speak out. “Principals and teachers were frequently told by Beverly Hall and her subordinates that excuses for not meeting targets would not be tolerated,” the indictment said.

Reporters for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and state education officials repeatedly found strong indications of cheating — extraordinary increases in test scores from one year to the next, along with a high number of erasures on answering sheets from wrong to right.

But they were not able to find anyone who would confess to it.

That is until August 2010, when Gov. Sonny Perdue named two special prosecutors — Michael Bowers, a Republican former attorney general, and Robert E. Wilson, a Democratic former district attorney — along with Mr. Hyde to conduct a criminal investigation.

For weeks that fall, Mr. Hyde had been stonewalled and lied to by teachers at Venetian Hills including Ms. Parks, who at one point, stood in her classroom doorway and blocked him from entering.

But day after day he returned to question people, and eventually his presence weighed so heavily on Ms. Parks that she said she felt a terrible need to confess her sins. “I wanted to repent,” she recalled in an interview. “I wanted to clear my conscience.”

Ms. Parks told Mr. Hyde that the cheating had been going on at least since 2004 and was overseen by the principal, who wore gloves so as not to leave her fingerprints on the answer sheets.

Children who scored 1 on the state test out of a possible 4 became 2s, she said; 2s became 3s.

“The cheating had been going on so long,” Ms. Parks said. “We considered it part of our jobs.”

She said teachers were under constant pressure from principals who feared they would be fired if they did not meet the testing targets set by the superintendent.

Dr. Hall was known to rule by fear. She gave principals three years to meet their testing goals. Few did; in her decade as superintendent, she replaced 90 percent of the principals.

Teachers and principals whose students had high test scores received tenure and thousands of dollars in performance bonuses. Otherwise, as one teacher explained, it was “low score out the door.”

Ms. Parks, a 17-year veteran, said a reason she had kept silent so long was that as a single mother, she could not afford to lose her job.

When asked during an interview if she was surprised that out of Atlanta’s 100 schools, Mr. Hyde turned up at hers first, Ms. Parks said no. “I had a dream about it a few weeks before,” she said. “I saw people walking down the hall with yellow notepads. From time to time, God reveals things to me in dreams.”

“I think God led Mr. Hyde to Venetian Hills,” she said.

Whatever delivered Mr. Hyde (he said he picked the school because he knew the area from patrolling it as a young police officer), 10 months after his arrival, on June 30, 2011, state investigators issued an 800-page report implicating 178 teachers and principals — including 82 who confessed to cheating.

By now, almost all are gone. Like Ms. Parks, they have resigned or were fired or lost their teaching licenses at administrative hearings.

Higher Scores, Less Aid

Some losses are harder to measure, like the impact on the children in schools where cheating was prevalent. At Parks Middle School, which investigators say was the site of the city’s worst cheating, test scores soared right after the arrival of a new principal, Christopher Waller — who was one of the 35 named in Friday’s indictment.

His first year at Parks, 2005, 86 percent of eighth graders scored proficient in math compared with 24 percent the year before; 78 percent passed the state reading test versus 35 percent the previous year.

The falsified test scores were so high that Parks Middle was no longer classified as a school in need of improvement and, as a result, lost $750,000 in state and federal aid, according to investigators. That money could have been used to give struggling children extra academic support. Stacey Johnson, a Parks teacher, told investigators that she had students in her class who had scored proficient on state tests in previous years but were actually reading on the first-grade level. Cheating masked the deficiencies and skewed the diagnosis.

When Erroll Davis Jr. succeeded Dr. Hall in July 2011, one of his first acts as superintendent was to create remedial classes in hopes of helping thousands of these students catch up.

It is not just an Atlanta problem. Cheating has grown at school districts around the country as standardized testing has become a primary means of evaluating teachers, principals and schools. In El Paso, a superintendent went to prison recently after removing low-performing children from classes to improve the district’s test scores. In Ohio, state officials are investigating whether several urban districts intentionally listed low-performing students as having withdrawn even though they were still in school.

But no state has come close to Georgia in appropriating the resources needed to root it out.

And that is because of former Governor Perdue.

“The more we were stonewalled, the more we wanted to know why,” he said in an interview.

In August 2010, after yet another blue-ribbon commission of Atlanta officials found no serious cheating, Mr. Perdue appointed the two special prosecutors and gave them subpoena powers and a budget substantial enough to hire more than 50 state investigators who were overseen by Mr. Hyde.

Mr. Bowers, Mr. Wilson and Mr. Hyde had spent most of their careers putting criminals in prison, and almost as important, they could write. They produced an investigative report with a narrative that read more like a crime thriller than a sleepy legal document and placed Dr. Hall center stage in a drama of mind-boggling dysfunction.

She had praised Mr. Waller of Parks Middle as one of the finest principals in the city, while Mr. Wilson, the special prosecutor, called him “the worst of the worst.”

According to the report, Mr. Waller held “changing parties” where he stood guarding the door as teachers gathered to erase wrong answers and make them right. “I need the numbers,” he would urge the teachers. “Do what you do.”

(When questioned by investigators, Mr. Waller cited his Fifth Amendment protection against self-incrimination.)

Dr. Hall arrived in Atlanta in 1999, the final step in a long upward climb. She had advanced through the ranks of the New York City schools, from teacher to principal to deputy superintendent, and then in 1995, became the superintendent in Newark.

In Atlanta, she built a reputation as a person who got results, understood the needs of poor children and had a strong relationship with the business elite.

Her focus on test scores made her a favorite of the national education reform movement, nearly as prominent as the schools chancellors Joel I. Klein of New York City and Michelle Rhee of Washington. Like them, she was a fearsome presence who would accept no excuses when it came to educating poor children. She held yearly rallies at the Georgia Dome, rewarding principals and teachers from schools with high test scores by seating them up front, close to her, while low scorers were shunted aside to the bleachers.

But she was also known as someone who held herself aloof from parents, teachers and principals. The district spent $100,000 a year for a security detail to drive her around the city. At public meetings, questions had to be submitted beforehand for screening.

In contrast, her successor, Mr. Davis, drives himself and his home phone number is listed.

As long ago as 2001, Journal-Constitution reporters were writing articles questioning test scores under Dr. Hall, but when they requested interviews they were rebuffed. Heather Vogell, an investigative reporter, said officials took months responding to her public information requests — if they did at all. “I’d call, leave a message, call again, no one would pick up,” she said.

Community Pressure

What made Dr. Hall just about untouchable was her strong ties to local business leaders. Atlanta prides itself in being a progressive Southern city when it comes to education, entrepreneurship and race — and Dr. Hall’s rising test scores were good news on all those fronts. She is an African-American woman who had turned around a mainly poor African-American school district, which would make Atlanta an even more desirable destination for businesses.

And so when Mr. Perdue challenged the test results that underpinned everything — even though he was a conservative Republican businessman — he met strong resistance from the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce.

“There was extensive subtle pressure,” Mr. Perdue said. “They’d say, ‘Do you really think there is anything there? We have to make sure we don’t hurt the city.’ Good friends broke with me over this.”

“I was dumbfounded that the business community would not want the truth,” he said. “These would be the next generation of employees, and companies would be looking at them and wondering why they had graduated and could not do simple skills. Business was insisting on accountability, but they didn’t want real accountability.”

Once the special prosecutors’ report was made public, it did not matter what the business community wanted; the findings were so sensational, there was no turning back.

Ms. Parks of Venetian Hills was one of many who wore a concealed wire for Mr. Hyde.

As he listened to the hours of secretly recorded conversations of cheating teachers and principals, he was surprised. “I heard them in unguarded moments,” Mr. Hyde said. “You listen, they’re good people. Their tone was of men and women who cared about kids.”

“Every time I play those tapes, I get furious about the way Beverly Hall treated these people,” he said.

Another important source for him at Venetian Hills was Milagros Moner, the testing coordinator. “A really fine person,” Mr. Hyde said. “Another single mom under terrible pressure.”

Ms. Moner told Mr. Hyde that she carried the tests in a tote bag to the principal, Clarietta Davis, who put on gloves before touching them.

After school, on Oct. 18, 2010, the two women sat in the principal’s car in the parking lot of a McDonald’s. Inside Ms. Moner’s purse was a tape recorder Mr. Hyde had given her. Thirty yards away, he sat in his pickup truck videotaping as they talked about how the investigation and media coverage had taken over their lives.

Ms. Moner: I can’t eat, I can’t sleep, my kids want to talk to me, I ignore them. ... I don’t have the mental energy. ...

Ms. Davis: You wouldn’t believe how people just look at you. People you know.

Ms. Moner: You feel isolated.

Ms. Davis: There’s no one to talk to. ... See how red my eyes are? And I’m not a drinking woman.

Ms. Moner: It has taken over my life. I don’t even want to go to work. I pray day and night, I pray at work.

Ms. Davis: You just have to pray for everybody.

Later, when investigators tried to question Ms. Davis about her reasons for wearing the gloves, she invoked the Fifth Amendment. On Friday, she was one of the 35 indicted.


Kim Severson and Robbie Brown contributed reporting from Atlanta.

This article has been revised to reflect the following correction:

Correction: March 29, 2013


An earlier version of this article misstated the surname of the president of Caveon Test Security, a forensic data analysis firm. He is John Fremer, not John Caveon.

>via: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/30/us/former-school-chief-in-atlanta-indicted-...



Kalamu ya Salaam
tag:kalamu.posthaven.com,2013:Post/284742 2013-04-01T03:42:00Z 2024-03-05T07:54:23Z INFO: When Zora Neale Hurston Was Falsely Accused of Child Molestation > Prison Culture »

When Zora Neale Hurston

Was Falsely Accused

of Child Molestation…

I read Alice Walker’s essay “Looking for Zora” when I was in college. I had never heard of Hurston and it would be several years before I actually read any of her work. I’ll admit that I am not a fan of her most famous novel “Their Eyes Were Watching God.” I much prefer her short stories (one of my favorites is “Sweat”).

Since my introduction to Hurston in college, I’ve read her memoir “Dust Tracks on a Road” as well as other books about her life and work. I have found her to be complicated like most of us are. She appears fearless and also insecure. She fought for herself at a time when other women were circumscribed from opportunities. Her racial politics are not mine and she never defined herself as feminist. It turned out that Walker presented (by necessity?) a very truncated version of Hurston’s life, work, and especially her politics.

When I read Robert Hemenway’s “Zora Neale Hurston: A Literary Biography” (1977), I learned for the first time about the sex scandal that eventually led Hurston to leave Harlem for good. The incident is only mentioned in passing.

It’s been on my long list of future projects to learn more about this incident as a way to better understand how black women interacted with the criminal legal system in the early through mid-20th century. Virginia Lynn Moylan’s biography of Hurston’s final decade provides useful information and context about the false molestation charges leveled against her.


In September 1948, Zora Neale Hurston was arrested and jailed after being accused by the son of her former landlady (Mamie Allen) of molesting him and two of his friends. The charges were fabricated as Billy Allen, Hurston’s chief accuser, suggested that the abuse happened while Hurston was in Honduras and upstate New York. Hurston apparently offered to take a lie detector test to prove her innocence but the police did not pursue this.

Hurston only spent a few hours in jail and then was bailed out by her friend and editor Burroughs Mitchell. Zora wanted to prove her innocence and requested a preliminary hearing which took place on September 21, 1948. Moylan (2011) explains what happened:

“During the hearing, District Attorney Frank Hogan presented no evidence other than the lurid testimony of the three boys. Billy claimed that he and his friends had met Hurston and the other adults (whom she had never met) every Saturday afternoon at 4:30 for almost two years in the basement of a West 124th Street building and were paid 50 cents to allow one of the adults to have oral sex with them while the others watched. Only one of the other adults, a black male janitor, was formally charged. The third defendant, a Hispanic mother of four who owned a nearby candy store, was not arrested (p.40).”

Billy Allen, Hurston’s chief accuser, was apparently known in the community as suffering from mental problems. In fact, according to Moylan (2011), “Hurston had advised his mother to take him to Bellvue Hospital for psychological evaluation and treatment, which she did for a time (p.41).” Mayme Allen told the district attorney that she didn’t like Hurston and even resented her. Neighbors told Hurston that Mrs. Allen may have been the instigator of the false accusations as a way to have her son committed. Even after it was revealed in the preliminary hearing that the three young men who had accused Hurston of molestation were actually having sex with each other on Saturdays in the basement, the presiding judge Francis X. Giaccone ruled that the case would proceed to criminal court. Hurston was charged with one count of assault in the second degree, three counts of sodomy, and one count of “placing a child in such a situation as likely to impair morals.”

Because the case took place in juvenile court, the proceedings had been sealed and confidential. Hurston was fairly confident that she would be found not guilty of the charges against her. Then in October, an employee of the court leaked the story of the molestation charges to two black newspapers. Both the New York Age and the Afro-American ran stories about the case. The Afro-American stories were particularly lurid, salacious, and not factual.

Hurston was crushed. She felt betrayed by her own community. She was suicidal. She wrote to her friend Carl Van Vechten: “No acquittal will persuade some people that I am innocent…All that I have believed in has failed me. I have resolved to die.” With support from some of her good friends, Hurston’s spirits rallied and in March 1949, the New York City district attorney announced that his office had decided that Hurston was innocent of the charges. It turns out, however, that as early as November 1948, Billy Allen had already admitted to investigators that he had made up the story after his mother had discovered him having sex with his friends. The District Attorney’s office sat on this confession for months before proceeding to drop the case against Hurston and the other defendant.

The false accusation destroyed Hurston’s reputation and left a major imprint on her psyche. Hurston held a grudge against many including W.E.B. Dubois and Richard Wright who were some of the toughest critics of her work. In a letter to the editor of Opportunity Magazine, Charles Johnson, Hurston railed against both men implicating them in her misfortune:

“Because I openly expressed my scorn of them, they got up what they took to be an unbeatably wonderful scheme to kill me off forever. Only these monumental ‘intellectuals,’ in their ecstasy, did not take the time to find out where I was when they stated the dates for things.”

There is no evidence beyond Hurston’s own words that Dubois or Wright had anything to do with the morals charges against her. But it is indisputably true that neither came to her defense when misfortune struck. This episode in Hurston’s life left lasting scars… A decade later she died in obscurity in Florida.

Note: The following recording of Hurston singing was recently discovered. Listen to her sing “Uncle Bud,” a prison blues song in 1940. One gets a sense of her personality through hearing her voice:


If you would like to contact me, e-mail jjinjustice1@gmail.com


Kalamu ya Salaam
tag:kalamu.posthaven.com,2013:Post/284814 2013-04-01T03:28:00Z 2023-10-03T20:01:35Z HISTORY: Black Women who were Lynched in America > Henrietta Vinton Davis's Weblog

Black Women who were

Lynched in America

The lynching of Laura Nelson

(partial list)

Printed as a community service by Dr. Daniel Meaders, Professor of History at William Patterson University, and author of several books and articles, including Dead or Alive, Fugitive Slaves and White Indentured Servants Before 1800 (Garland Press, 1993)

*** If you think what you are about to read is important, please leave us a comment below and share your thoughts. We want to know what led you to search for this information. It has been getting a lot of attention lately and we value your input.

Jennie Steers
On July 25, 1903 a mob lynched Jennie Steers on the Beard Plantation in Louisiana for supposedly giving a white teenager, 16 year-old Elizabeth Dolan, a glass of poisoned lemonade. Before they killed her, the mob tried to force her to confess but she refused and was hanged. (100 Years at Lynching. Ralph Ginzburg)

Laura Nelson
Laura Nelson was lynched on May 23, 1911 In Okemah, Okluskee, Oklahoma. Her fifteen year old son was also lynched at the same time but I could not find a photo of her son. The photograph of Nelson was drawn from a postcard. Authorities accused her of killing a deputy sheriff who supposedly stumbled on some stolen goods in her house. Why they lynched her child is a mystery. The mob raped and dragged Nelson six miles to the Canadian River and hanged her from a bridge.(NAACP: One Hundred Years of Lynching in the US 1889-1918 )

Ann Barksdale or Ann Bostwick
The lynchers maintained that Ann Barksdale or Ann Bostwlck killed her female employer in Pinehurst, Georgia on June 24, 1912. Nobody knows if or why Barksdale or Bostick killed her employer because there was no trial and no one thought to take a statement from this Black woman who authorities claimed had ”violent fits of insanity” and should have been placed in a hospital. Nobody was arrested and the crowd was In a festive mood. Placed in a car with a rope around her neck, and the other end tied to a tree limb, the lynchers drove at high speed and she was strangled to death. For good measure the mob shot her eyes out and shot enough bullets Into her body that she was “cut in two.”

Marie Scott
March 31, 1914, a white mob of at least a dozen males, yanked seventeen year-old Marie Scott from jail, threw a rope over her head as she screamed and hanged her from a telephone pole in Wagoner County, Oklahoma. What happened? Two drunken white men barged Into her house as she was dressing. They locked themselves in her room and criminally “assaulted” her. Her brother apparently heard her screams for help, kicked down the door, killed one assailant and fled. Some accounts state that the assailant was stabbed. Frustrated by their inability to lynch Marie Scott’s brother the mob lynched Marie Scott. (Crisis 1914 and 100 Years of Lynching)

Mary Turner 1918 Eight Months Pregnant
Mobs lynched Mary Turner on May 17, 1918 in Lowndes County. Georgia because she vowed to have those responsible for killing her husband arrested. Her husband was arrested in connection with the shooting and killing Hampton Smith, a white farmer for whom the couple had worked, and wounding his wife. Sidney Johnson. a Black, apparently killed Smith because he was tired of the farmer’s abuse. Unable to find Johnson. the killers lynched eight other Blacks Including Hayes Turner and his wife Mary. The mob hanged Mary by her feet, poured gasoline and oil on her and set fire to her body. One white man sliced her open and Mrs. Turner’s baby tumbled to the ground with a “little cry” and the mob stomped the baby to death and sprayed bullets into Mary Turner. (NAACP: Thirty Years of Lynching in the U.S. 1889-1918  )

Maggie Howze and Alma Howze -Both Pregnant
Accused of the murder of Dr. E.L. Johnston in December 1918. Whites lynched Andrew Clark, age 15, Major Clark, age 20, Maggie Howze, age 20, and Alma Howze, age 16 from a bridge near Shutaba, a town in Mississippi. The local press described Johnston as being a wealthy dentist, but he did not have an established business in the true sense of the word. He sought patients by riding his buggy throughout the community offering his services to the public at large in Alabama. Unable to make money “peddling” dentistry, the dentist returned to Mississippi to work on his father’s land near Shabuta. During his travels he had developed an intimate relationship with Maggie Howze. a Black woman who he had asked to move and lived with him. He also asked that she bring her sister Alma Howze along. While using the Black young women as sexual objects Johnson impregnated both of them though he was married and had a child. Three Black laborers worked on Johnston’s plantation, two of whom were brothers, Major and Andrew Clark. Major tried to court Maggie, but Johnson was violently opposed to her trying to create a world of her own that did not include him. To block a threat to his sexual fiefdom, Johnston threaten Clark’s life. Shortly after Johnston turned up dead and the finger was pointed at Major Clark and the Howze sisters. The whites picked up Major, his brother, Maggie and her sister and threw them in jail. To extract a confession from Major Clark, the authorities placed his testicles between the “jaws of a vise” and slowly closed it until Clark admitted that he killed Johnston. White community members took the four Blacks out of jail, placed them in an automobile, turned the head lights out and headed to the lynching site. Eighteen other cars, carrying members of the mob, followed close behind. Someone shut the power plant down and the town fell into darkness. Ropes were placed around the necks of the four Blacks and the other ends tied to the girder of the bridge. Maggie Howze cried, “I ain’t guilty of killing the doctor and you oughtn’t to kill me.” Someone took a monkey wrench and “struck her In the mouth with It, knocking her teeth out. She was also hit across the head with the same instrument, cutting a long gash In which the side of a person’s hand could be placed.” While the three other Blacks were killed instantly, Maggie Howze, four months pregnant, managed to grab the side of the bridge to break her fall. She did this twice before she died and the mob joked about how difficult it was to kill that “big Jersey woman.” No one stepped forward to claim the bodies. No one held funeral services for the victims. The Black community demanded that the whites cut them down and bury them because they ‘lynched them.” The whites placed them in unmarked graves.

Alma Howze was on the verge of giving birth when the whites killed her. One witness claimed that at her “burial on the second day following, the movements of her unborn child could be detected.” Keep in mind, Johnston’s parents felt that the Blacks had nothing to do with their son’s death and that some irate white man killed him, knowing that the blame would fall on the Black’s shoulders. The indefatigable Walter White, NAACP secretary, visited the scene of the execution and crafted the report. He pressed Governor Bilbo of Mississippi to look into the lynching and Bilbo told the NAACP to go to hell. (NAACP: Thirty Years of Lynching in the U.S.. 1889-1918 ) (Papers of the NAACP)

Holbert Burnt at the Stake
Luther Holbert, a Black, supposedly killed James Eastland, a wealthy planter and John Carr, a negro, who lived near Doddsville Mississippi. After a hundred mile chase over four days, the mob of more than 1,000 persons caught Luther and his wife and tied them both to trees. They were forced to hold out their hands while one finger at a time was chopped off and their ears were cut off. Pieces of raw quivering flesh was pulled out of their arms, legs and body with a bore screw and kept for souvenirs. Holbert was beaten and his skull fractured. An eye was knocked out with a stick and hung from the socket. (100 Years of Lynching by Ralph Ginzburg)

American mobs lynched some 5.000 Blacks since 1859, scores of whom were women, several of them pregnant. Rarely did the killers spend time in jail because the white mobs and the government officials who protected them believed justice meant (just us) white folks. Lynching denied Blacks the right to a trial or the right to due process. No need for a lawyer and a jury of your peers: the white community decided what happened and what ought to be done. After the whites accused Laura Nelson of killing a white deputy In Oklahoma, they raped this Black woman, tied her to a bridge trestle and for good measure, They lynched her son from a telephone pole. Had the white community reacted in horror after viewing the dangling corpses of Laura Nelson and her son? No, they came by the hundreds, making their way by cars, horse driven wagons, and by foot to view the lynching. Dressed in their Sunday best, holding their children’s hands and hugging their babies the white on-lookers looked forward to witnessing the spectacle of a modern day crucifixion. They snapped pictures of Laura Nelson, placed them on postcards and mailed them to their friends boasting about the execution. They chopped of f the fingers, sliced off the ears of Ms. Holbert, placed the parts In jars of alcohol and displayed them in their windows.

White America today know little or nothing about lynching because it contradicts every value America purports to stand for. Blacks, too, know far too little about the lynchings because the subject is rarely taught in school. Had they known more about these lynchings, I am almost certain that Blacks would have taken anyone to task, including gangster rappers, for calling themselves niggers or calling Black women “hoes” and “bitches.” How could anybody in their right mind call these Black women who were sexually abused, mutilated, tortured and mocked the same degrading Please do not throw this away. Give it to a friend or a names that the psychopathic lynchers called them? relative. Peace.

What Black woman in her right state of mind would snap her fingers or tap her feet toihe beat of a song that contained the same degrading remarks that the whites uttered when they raped and lynched them The lynchers and the thousands of gleeful spectators called these Black women niggers when they captured them, niggers when they placed the rope around their necks and niggers when their necks snapped. Whites viewed Black women as hated black things, for, how else can one explain the treatment of Mary Turner? The lynch mob ignored her cries for mercy, ripped off her clothes, tied her ankles together, turned her upside down, doused her naked body with gas and oil, set her naked body on fire, ripped her baby out of her, stomped the child to death and laughed about it. Blacks purchased Winchesters to protect themselves, staged demonstrations, created anti-lynching organizations, pushed for anti-lynching legislation and published articles and books attacking the extralegal violence. Many pocked up. left the community never to return again. Others went through bouts of sadness, despair, and grief. Some broke down, a few went insane. Others probably fell on their knees, put their hands together, closed their eyes and begged Jesus for help. Jesus help us. Do not forsake us. But Jesus. the same white man the lyncher’s ancestors taught us to love, never flew out of the bush in a flame of fire armed with frogs and files and locusts to save Mary Turner. No thunder, no rain, no hail and no fire blocked the lynchers from hanging Laura Nelson. He did not see the “affliction” of the Holberts; he did not hear the screams of Marie Scott or the cry of Jennifer Steers.

So who are our real heroes?. Little Kim Is not a hero. Oprah is not a hero.. Whoople Goldberg is not a hero. Michael Jordan is not a hero. Dennis Rodman Is not a hero. They are entertainers, sport figures. creations of the media, media icons and they are about making huge sums of money and we wish these enterprising stars well. . Mary Turner, Laura Nelson, Marie Scott and Jennie Steers are your true historical heroes. Niggers they were not. Bitches they were not. Hoes they were not. They will not go down in history for plastering their bodies with tattoos, inventing exotic diets, endorsing Gator Ade, embracing studIo gangsterism, They were strong beautiful Black women who suffered excruciating pain, died horrible deaths. Their legacy of -strength lives on. These are my heroes. Make them yours as well.

Below are women who were lynched in addition to the initial findings of Dr. Daniel Meaders. They can be found in the pages of the book 100 Years of Lynching by Ralph Ginzburg.

Mae Murray Dorsey and Dorothy Malcolm
On July 25, 1946, four young African Americans—George & Mae Murray Dorsey and Roger & Dorothy Malcom—were shot hundreds of times by 12 to 15 unmasked white men in broad daylight at the Moore’s Ford bridge spanning the Apalachee River, 60 miles east of Atlanta, Georgia. These killings, for which no one was ever prosecuted, enraged President Harry Truman and led to historic changes, but were quickly forgotten in Oconee and Walton Counties where they occurred. No one was ever brought to justice for the crime.

Ballie Crutchfield
Around midnight on March 15, 1901 Ballie Crutchfield was taken from her home in Rome to a bridge over Round Lick Creek by a mob. There her hands were tied behind her, and she was shot through the head and then thrown in the creek. Her body was recovered the next day and an inquest found that she met her death at the hands of persons unknown (euphemism for lynching).

After Walter Sampson lost a pocketbook containing $120, it was found by a little boy. As he went to return it to its owner, William Crutchfield, Ballie’s brother, met the boy. Apparently, the boy gave him the pocketbook after being convinced it had no value. Sampson had Crutchfield arrested and taken to the house of one Squire Bains.

A mob came to take Crutchfield for execution. On the way he broke lose and escaped in the dark. The mob was so blind with rage they lay blame on Ballie as a co-conspirator in her brother’s alleged crime and proceeded to enact upon their beliefs culminating in the aforementioned orgy of inhumanity.

Belle Hathaway
At 9 o’clock the night of January 23, 1912 100 men congregated in front of the Hamilton, Georgia courthouse. They then broke into the Harris County Jail. After overpowering Jailor E.M. Robinson they took three men and a woman one mile from town.

Belle Hathaway, John Moore, Eugene Hamming, and “Dusty” Cruthfield were in jail after being charged with the shooting death a farmer named Norman Hadley.

Writhing bodies silhouetted against the sky as revolvers and rifles blazed forth a cacophony of 300 shots at the victims before the mob dispersed.

Sullivan Couple Hung as Deputy Sheriff and Posse Watch
Fred Sullivan and his wife were hanged after being accused of burning a barn on a plantation near Byhalia, Mississippi November 25, 1914. The deputy sheriff and his posse were forced to watch the proceedings.

Cordella Stevenson Raped and Lynched
Wednesday, December 8, 1915 Cordella Stevenson was hung from the limb of a tree without any clothing about fifty yards north of the Mobile and Ohio Railroad outside Columbus, Mississippi. The gruesomely horrific scene was witnessed by thousands and thousands of passengers who traveled in and out of the city the next morning.

She was hung there by a bloodthirsty mob who had taken her from slumber, husband and home to the spot where she was raped and lynched. All this was done after she had been brought to the police station for questioning in connection with the arson of Gabe Frank’s barn. Her son had been suspected of the fire. The police released her after she convinced them her son had left home several months prior and she did not know his whereabouts.

After going to bed early, a knock was heard at the door. Her husband, Arch Stevenson went to answer, but the door was broken down first and his wife was seized. He was threatened with rifle barrels to his head should he move.

The body was left hanging until Friday morning. An inquest returned a verdict of “death at the hands of persons unknown.”

5 Hanged on One Oak Tree
Three men and two women were taken from the jail in Newberry, Florida on August 19, 1916 and hanged by a mob. Another man was shot by deputy sheriffs near Jonesville, Florida. All this was the result of the killing the day prior of Constable S.G. Wynne and the shooting of Dr. L.G. Harris by Boisey Long. Those who were lynched had been accused of aiding Long in his escape.

Mary Conley
After Sam Conley had been reprimanded by E.M. Melvin near Arlington, Georgia, his mother Mary intervened to express her resentment. After Melvin slapped and grappled with her, Sam Conley struck Melvin on the head with an iron scale weight, resulting in his death shortly afterward.

Although Sam escaped, his mother was captured and jailed. She was taken from the jail at Leary and her body was riddled with bullets. Her remains were found along the roadside by parties entering into Arlington the next morning.

Bertha Lowman
Demon Lowman, Bertha Lowman, and their cousin Clarence Lowman were in the Aiken, South Carolina jail when it was raided by a mob early on October 8, 1926. The three had been in jail for a year and a half while they were tried for the murder of Sheriff and Klansman Henry H.H. Howard. Howard was shot in the back while raiding the house of Sam Lowman, father to Bertha and Demon. Klansmen filed by Howard’s body two-by-two when it laid in state. A year after his funeral a cross was burned in the cemetery at his grave.

Although the Lowman’s were tried and sentenced to death, a State Supreme Court reversed the findings and ordered a new trial. Demon had just been found not guilty when the raid on the jail occurred. Taken to a pine thicket just beyond the city limits their bodies were riddled with bullets.

The events which resulted in this lynching are surreal to say the least. Samuel Lowman was away from home at a mill having meal ground on April 25, 1925. Sheriff Howard and three deputies appeared at the Lowman Cabin three miles from Aiken. Annie Lowman, Samuel’s wife and their daughter Bertha were out back of the house working. Their family had never been in any kind of trouble. They did not know the sheriff and he did not know them. Furthermore, they were not wearing any uniform or regalia depicting them as law enforcers. Hence the alarming state of mind they had when four white men entered their yard unannounced, even if it was on a routine whiskey check. It was even more distressing because a group of white men had come to the house a few weeks earlier and whipped Demon for no reason at all. After speaking softly to each other the women decided to go in the house.

When the men saw the women move towards the house they drew their revolvers and rushed forward. Sheriff Howard reached the back step at the same time as Bertha. He struck her in the mouth with his pistol butt. Mrs. Lowman picked up an axe and rushed to her daughter’s aid. A deputy emptied his revolver into the old woman killing her.

Demon and Clarence were working in a nearby field when they heard Bertha’s scream. Demon retrieved a pistol from a shed while Clarence armed himself with a shotgun. The deputies shot at Demon, who returned fire. Clarence’s actions are not clear. When it was all over a few seconds later the Sheriff was dead. Bertha had received two gunshots to the chest just above her heart. Clarence and Demon were wounded also. In total five members of the Lowman family were in put jail.

Samuel Lowman returned to find in his absence he had become a widower with four of his children in jail along with his nephew. In three days he would be charged with harboring illegal liquor when a quarter of a bottle of the substance is found in his backyard. For that the elderly farmer was sentenced to two years on the chain gang.

18 year old Bertha, 22 year old Demon and 15 year old Clarence were tried for the Sheriff’s murder and swiftly found guilty. The men were sentenced to death with Bertha given a life sentence.

Demon’s acquittal made it appear that Clarence and Bertha would been freed as well. The day they were murdered they were taken from the jail, driven to a tourist a few miles from town and set loose. As they ran they were shot down.

Mr. Lowman contended one of the deputies who coveted the Sheriff’s job was his real killer. The same man later led the mob which slew Lowman’s children and nephew. Apparently, he knew they could identify him as the culprit.



Recorded Cases of Black Female

Lynching Victims 1886-1957:

More on Black Women

Who Were Lynched

The lynching of Laura Nelson

After seeing the connection between Henrietta Vinton Davis and Black Women who was lynched (they have no markers on their graves) posted Dr. Daniel Meaders’ pamphlet on Black Women Who Were Lynched in America.  Reading that caused me to wonder if more women were lynched than Dr. Meaders found.

That led to the revelation of  “STRANGER FRUIT”: THE LYNCHING OF BLACK WOMEN THE CASES OF ROSA RICHARDSON AND MARIE SCOTT”by MARIA DELONGORIA. The information below is extracted from Appendix A: Recorded Cases of Black Female Lynching Victims 1886-1957. This list indicates approximately one hundred and fifty four women who were lynched.

m= mother d=daughter s=son f=father c=cousin w=wife h=husband #=age of victim b=brother s1=sister

* some sexually related aspect (evidence of rape, sexual assault and/or ‘relationship’)

** approximate date

Lynched with
County/City State
Sept Mrs. John Simes   Henry Co KY Republican
Nov Mrs. Hawkins (m)   Fayette Co KY Republican
  —– Hawkins (d)   Fayette Co KY Republican
May Mrs. Ben French   Warsaw KY murder
4 Nov Maria Smith   Hernando MS murder
29 July Milly Thompson   Clayton GA  
6 Dec Julia Brandt (15) Joe BarnesVance Brandt Charleston SC theft/murder
*4 Sept Ann (Eliza) Cowan (35)   Newberry SC arson
29 Sept Harriet Finch Jerry FinchJohn PattishalLee Tyson Chatham Co NC murder
Sept —–   Cummins Pulaski KY  
25 July Mary Hollenbeck   Tattnall GA murder
18 Aug Eliza Wood   Madison TN murder
28 April Gracy Blanton   W. Carroll LA theft
15 April Roxie Elliott   Centerville AL  
9 May Mrs. Lee   Lowndes MS son accused of murder
1 Aug Eliza Lowe   Henry AL arson
  Ella Williams   Henry AL arson
28 Sept Louise Stevenson Grant White Hollandale MS murder
3 Feb Mrs. Martin   Sumner Co TN son accused of arson
10 Feb Mrs. Brisco(w)   AK race prejudice
10 Feb Jessie Dillingham   Smokeyville TX train wrecking
11 March Ella (15)   Rayville LA attempted murder/poisoning
2 Nov Mrs. Hastings(m) son (16) Jonesville LA husband accused
  Hastings(d,14)   Jonesville LA father accused of murder
21 Dec Cora   Guthrie,Indian Territory  
19 March Jessie Jones   Jellico TN murder
18 July Meredith Lewis   Roseland LA murder
15 Sept Emma Fair Paul HillPaul ArcherWilliam Archer Carrolton AL arson
16 Sept Louisa Carter (Lou)(m)   Jackson MS poisoning a well
  Mahala Jackson (d)   Jackson MS poisoning a well
Nov Mrs. Phil Evens (m)   Bardstown KY  
  Evans (d)   Bardstown KY  
  Evans (d)   Bardstown KY  
4 Nov Mary (Eliza) Motlow   Lynchburg VA arson
9 Nov Rilla Weaver   Clarendon AK  
6 March unknown Negro woman   Pulaski AK  
16 July Marion Howard   Scottsville KY  
24 July Negro woman   Simpson Co MS race prejudice
20 March Harriet Tally   Petersburg TN arson
21 April Mary Deane   Greenville AL murder
  Alice Green   Greenville AL murder
  Martha Green   Greenville AL murder
1 July Mollie Smith   Trigg County KY  
20 July Mrs. Abe Phillips (m) unnamed child (1)Hannah Phillips (d) Mant TX  
23 July Negro woman   Brenham TX  
2 Aug Mrs. James Mason (w) James Mason (h) Dangerfield TX  
*28 Aug Negro woman   Simpson MS miscegenation
26 Sept Felicia Francis   New Orleans LA  
11 Oct Catherine Matthews   Baton Rouge LA poisoning
2 Dec Hannah Kearse (Walker,m)Isom K. (s) Colleton SC stealing a bible
*12 Jan Charlotte Morris   Jefferson LA miscegenation/living with white “husband”
1 Aug Isadora Morely   Selma AL murder
18 Nov Mimm Collier   Steenston MS  
9 Feb Negro woman   Carrolton MS theft/arson
5 March Otea Smith   Julietta FL murder
12 May Amanda Franks   Jefferson AL murder
  Molly White   Jefferson AL murder
22 Feb Dora Baker (d,2)Frazier Baker(f) Williamsburg SC race prejudice
9 Nov Rose Etheridge   Phoenix SC murder
13 Nov Eliza Goode   Greenwood SC murder
189923 March Willia Boyd   Silver City MS  
2 March Mrs. Jim Cross (m)   Lowndes AL  
  Cross (d)   Lowndes AL  
7 July Lizzie Pool   Hickory Plains AK race prejudice
25 July Anna Mabry   New Orleans LA race prejudice
28 Aug Negro woman Negro man Forrest City NC theft of peaches
5 March Ballie Crutchfield   Rome TN theft
20 March Terry Bell   Terry MS  
1 Aug Betsey McCray (m) Belfiield (s) Carrolton MS knowledge of murder
  Ida McCray (d)   Carrolton MS knowledge of murder
4 Oct Negro woman   Marshall TX assault
15 Feb Bell Duly   Fulton KY  
27 Dec Mrs.Emma Wideman Oliver Wideman Troy SC murder
  Negro woman     murder of Mrs. Frank Matthews
8 June Negro woman Negro men (4) Smith County MS murder
24 June Lamb Whittle   Concordia LA  
*25 July Jennie Steers   Beard Plantation, Shreveport LA murder by poison
28 Oct Jennie McCall   Hamilton FL by mistake
7 Feb Holbert (w) Luther Holbert Doddsville MS burning barn
*14 June Marie Thompson   Lebanon Junction KY murder
30 August unknown   Bates Union AK  
7 Nov Meta Hicks   Mitchell GA husband accused of murder
20 March Negro woman   Stamps AK  
  Negro woman   Stamps AK  
21 May Mrs. Padgett (m) Son Tattnall GA son accused of rape
  Padgett (d)   Tattnall GA brother accused of rape
3 Oct Mrs. D. Walker (m)   Fulton KY race hatred
  Walker (d)   Fulton KY race hatred
9 Feb Robby Baskin   Houston MS murder
30 July Emile Antione   Grand Prairie LA assault
April 5 Laura Mitchell   Lonoke AK murder
*25 Aug Laura Porter   Monroe LA disreputable house
*25 May Laura Nelson L.D. (14)(s) Okemah OK murder
2 Sept Hattie Bowman Ed Christian Greenville FL theft
** Pettigrew (d) Ben Pettigrew (f) Savannah TN  
** Pettigrew (d)   Savannah TN  
  Negro woman   Codele GA  
*23 Jan Belle Hathaway John MooreEugene HammingDusty Cruthfield Hamilton GA tenants of murdered man
11 Feb Negro woman Negro children (3) Beaumont TX  
13 Feb Mary Jackson George Saunders Marshall TX  
25 June Ann Boston   Pinehurst GA murder
13 Mar** Mrs. Joe Perry (m,w) Joe Perry (h)SonChild Henderson NC  
*31 Mar Marie Scott (17)   Muskogee OK murder
28 May/June** Jennie Collins   Shaw MS aiding in escape
17 June Paralee Collins (m) Issac (s) West Plains MO  
*12 July Rosa Richardson (27-35)   Providence/Santee SC murder
25 Nov Jane Sullivan (w) Fred Sullivan (h) Byhalia MS burning a barn
15 Jan Eula Charles (Barber,d)Dan Barber (f) Jasper County GA parents accused of bootlegging
  Ella Charles (Barber,d)Jesse Barber(b) Jasper County GA parents accused of bootlegging
May Briley   Pescott AK  
17 Aug Hope Hull   AL  
*8 Dec Cordella Stevenson   Columbus MS  
19 Aug Mary Dennis   Newberry FL aiding in escape
  Stella Long   Newberry FL aiding in escape
4 Oct** Mary Conley   Arlington GA complicity in murder
1 March Emma Hooper   Hammond LA murder
17 May Mary Turner (pregnant)   Brooks Co GA taught a lesson
4 June Sarah Cabiness unnamed children(2)Bessie Cabiness(d)Pete (s)Tenola Cabiness(d)Cute Cabiness (d) Huntsville TX threatening white man
4 Sept Mrs. James Eyer   Marion GA  
*21 Dec Alma House (pregnant) Andrew Clark Shubuta MS murder
5 May unknown Negro woman   Holmes MS race prejudice
2 Nov unknown Negro woman   Ocoee FL race prejudice
18 Nov Minnie Ivory Willie IvoryWill Perry Douglass GA murder
9 April Rachel Moore   Rankin MS race prejudice
25 June Mercy Hall   Oklahoma City OK strike activity
5 Jan Sarah Carrier   Rosewood FL race prejudice
  Lesty Gordon   Rosewood FL race prejudice
29 Sept Negro woman   Pickens MS  
31 Sept Negro woman   Holmes MS race prejudice
23 June Penny Westmoreland Marcus Westmoreland Spalding GA  
19 July —– Sheldon   Meridian MS  
11 Sept Sarah Williams   Shreveport LA  
*25 April Annie Lowman (m)   Aiken SC defending her daughter
25 April Lily Cobb   Birmingham AL  
25 May Eliza Bryant   Duplin NC success
8 Oct Bertha Lowman(d,s1) Demon (b) Aiken SC lynched after acquitted of murder
11 Nov Sally Brown Clarence (c) Houston TX  
25 Dec Negro woman (1)   Eros LA dispute w/ whites
  Negro woman (2)   Eros LA dispute w/whites
12 Feb Laura Wood   Salisbury NC  
5 July Viola Dial (pregnant)   Narketta MS race prejudice
6 July Mrs. James Eyers (w)   Markeeta MS race prejudice
10 Sept Holly White Pigg Lockett Scooba MS  
May Mrs. Wise   Frankfort VA resisting Klan
*25 July Dorothy Malcolm(w) Roger Malcolm (h) Monroe GA able to identify mob members
  Mae Dorsey (w) George Dorsey (h) Monroe GA able to identify mob members
*25 March Angenora Spencer   Hyde NC miscegenation
18 Nov Mrs. Frank Clay   Henderson NC dispute

*Crystal Nicole Femister has a similar chart in the Appendix of her dissertation “Ladies and Lynching”: The Gendered Discourse of Mob Violence in the New South, 1880-1930. Having used overlapping sources accounts for similarities although there are differences in categories, variations of names, locations and some of the other content.

>via: http://henriettavintondavis.wordpress.com/2009/07/22/recorded/


notesonascandal:  eternallybeautifullyblack:  Southern Horrors: Women and the Politics of Rape and Lynching  Between 1880 and 1930, close to 200 women were murdered by lynch mobs in the American South. Many more were tarred and feathered, burned, whipped, or raped. In this brutal world of white supremacist politics and patriarchy, a world violently divided by race, gender, and class, black and white women defended themselves and challenged the male power brokers. Crystal Feimster breaks new ground in her story of the racial politics of the postbellum South by focusing on the volatile issue of sexual violence. Pairing the lives of two Southern women—Ida B. Wells, who fearlessly branded lynching a white tool of political terror against southern blacks, and Rebecca Latimer Felton, who urged white men to prove their manhood by lynching black men accused of raping white women—Feimster makes visible the ways in which black and white women sought protection and political power in the New South. While Wells was black and Felton was white, both were journalists, temperance women, suffragists, and anti-rape activists. By placing their concerns at the center of southern politics, Feimster illuminates a critical and novel aspect of southern racial and sexual dynamics. Despite being on opposite sides of the lynching question, both Wells and Felton sought protection from sexual violence and political empowerment for women. Southern Horrors provides a startling view into the Jim Crow South where the precarious and subordinate position of women linked black and white anti-rape activists together in fragile political alliances. It is a story that reveals how the complex drama of political power, race, and sex played out in the lives of Southern women.   This is going on my To-Read list RIGHT NOW.



Southern Horrors:

Women and the Politics of

Rape and Lynching

Between 1880 and 1930, close to 200 women were murdered by lynch mobs in the American South. Many more were tarred and feathered, burned, whipped, or raped. In this brutal world of white supremacist politics and patriarchy, a world violently divided by race, gender, and class, black and white women defended themselves and challenged the male power brokers. Crystal Feimster breaks new ground in her story of the racial politics of the postbellum South by focusing on the volatile issue of sexual violence.

Pairing the lives of two Southern women—Ida B. Wells, who fearlessly branded lynching a white tool of political terror against southern blacks, and Rebecca Latimer Felton, who urged white men to prove their manhood by lynching black men accused of raping white women—Feimster makes visible the ways in which black and white women sought protection and political power in the New South. While Wells was black and Felton was white, both were journalists, temperance women, suffragists, and anti-rape activists. By placing their concerns at the center of southern politics, Feimster illuminates a critical and novel aspect of southern racial and sexual dynamics. Despite being on opposite sides of the lynching question, both Wells and Felton sought protection from sexual violence and political empowerment for women.

Southern Horrors  provides a startling view into the Jim Crow South where the precarious and subordinate position of women linked black and white anti-rape activists together in fragile political alliances. It is a story that reveals how the complex drama of political power, race, and sex played out in the lives of Southern women.

This is going on my To-Read list RIGHT NOW.

(via posttragicmulatto)

>via: http://knowledgeequalsblackpower.tumblr.com/post/46779026522/notesonascandal-... 






Kalamu ya Salaam
tag:kalamu.posthaven.com,2013:Post/284865 2013-03-31T05:59:00Z 2023-10-03T20:01:52Z VIDEO: Thelonious Monk, Legendary Jazz Pianist, Revealed in 1968 Cinéma Vérité Film > Open Culture

Thelonious Monk,

Legendary Jazz Pianist,

Revealed in

1968 Cinéma Vérité Film


Thelonious Monk’s personality was as quirky and original as his piano playing. An elusive, insular figure, Monk was nevertheless persuaded in late 1967 to allow a camera crew to follow him around over an extended period of time for a West German television documentary. The film, Monk (shown above in its entirety), is a fascinating up-close look at one of the giants of Jazz.

The 55-minute movie was shot by the American filmmakers Michael and Christian Blackwood for the networks NDR (North German Broadcasting) and WDR (West German Broadcasting). The Blackwood brothers had unprecedented access to Monk over a six-month period in late 1967 and early 1968, as he and his quartet performed and recorded in New York, Atlanta and Europe. The quartet includes Charlie Rouse on tenor saxophone, Larry Gales on bass and Ben Riley on drums. Although there are a few brief passages of untranslated German narration, the film is basically a cinéma vérité piece on Monk (who speaks English) and his remarkable music.

The Blackwood brothers’ footage, which Stephen Holden of The New York Times called “some of the most valuable jazz sequences ever shot,” later became the nucleus of a longer 1988 documentary produced by Clint Eastwood. You can watch that film and learn more about it in our 2011 post, “Thelonious Monk: Straight No Chaser.”


Kalamu ya Salaam
tag:kalamu.posthaven.com,2013:Post/284899 2013-03-31T05:50:00Z 2023-10-03T20:02:07Z VIDEO + AUDIO: Omar Sosa Gets 'Kind Of' Blue > Soundcheck

Omar Sosa Gets

'Kind Of' Blue

Watch the pianist perform 'Calling Eggun' in the Soundcheck studio.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Omar Sosa performs in the Soundcheck studio.Omar Sosa performs in the Soundcheck studio. (Amy Pearl / WNYC)

On his latest record, the Grammy-nominated composer and pianist Omar Sosa pays tribute to Miles Davis’ 1959 masterpiece Kind Of Blue, without including a single song from the original. Instead, the album, Eggun, is a tribute to the spirit of Davis. Hear Sosa talk about the new project -- and perform songs live in the studio.

>via: http://soundcheck.wnyc.org/2013/jan/25/omar-sosa/#

Kalamu ya Salaam
tag:kalamu.posthaven.com,2013:Post/284961 2013-03-31T05:38:00Z 2023-10-03T20:02:26Z PUB: Submit : Passager Press


Welcome to Passager! We publish two issues a year, an Open Issue (fall/winter), and a Poetry Contest issue(spring/summer). We urge you to become familiar with Passager before submitting work. Browse some previously published work, or order sample copies. All entries may be mailed to:

Passager, 1420 N. Charles St, Baltimore, MD, 21201



2013 Poetry Contest

January 1, 2013- April 15, 2013

Passager only accepts mailed entries. Please send:

-Up to five poems (40-line maximum each)

-A Self-Addressed Stamped Envelope (SASE) for notification.

-A $20 Reading Fee is required, and includes a one-year subscription to Passager

-Introduce yourself in a cover letter and brief bio

Include your name and contact information on every page of your submission. Work will not be returned. Do not send previously-published work. Simultaneous submissions are acceptable, but please inform us immediately if your work is published elsewhere.



Kalamu ya Salaam
tag:kalamu.posthaven.com,2013:Post/284997 2013-03-31T05:32:00Z 2023-10-03T20:02:43Z PUB: BAKWA MAGAZINE - a magazine of art, culture, photography and reportage

Call for Submissions

Posted: January 2, 2013 

Is Hip-Hop’s future in Africa?  Is Kwaito the stepchild of early eighties Chicago House and New Orleans Bounce? Is the Hip-Life duo, PSquare, heirs to Fela’s throne?  Has African music lost its soul?  What is African music? Is reggae still relevant?

In its fourth issue dedicated entirely to music, Bakwa magazine is seeking short fiction, essays, reviews and poems that celebrate or castigate sounds currently in rotation on, YouTube, Sound Cloud, FM stations in Lagos, Bamenda, Nairobi, Atlanta, Brixton and beyond.

Bakwa 04 encourages submissions that circumvent conventional interpretations of the evolving sounds and trends while offering new insights into older sounds and trends.


Deadline : April 15


For submission guidelines, click here


Kalamu ya Salaam
tag:kalamu.posthaven.com,2013:Post/285035 2013-03-31T05:28:00Z 2023-10-03T20:03:02Z PUB: CFP: ‘Going Local: African Texts and Cultures’, University of Birmingham. « Africa in Words

CFP: ‘Going Local: African Texts and Cultures’, University of Birmingham.

Going Local: African Texts and Cultures.
A postgraduate-led conference and workshop at the University of Birmingham, Monday 27th May 2013.

Proposals due: Monday 15th April 2013.

Theorisations of transnationalism, diaspora, the translocal and globalisation have all broken new ground in studies of African literature and other texts in recent years. But in our excitement to make African texts speak to the world, do we risk ignoring texts which speak to or about the local?

Some of the questions this conference and workshop seeks to address include:

• How do we read texts whose aesthetics, politics or forms can’t necessarily be understood by a global audience?

• Does the notion of the local (and, implicitly, the foreign or the global) have any relevance to the way we read African texts?

• How can texts from different locales speak to each other?

• How do African texts conceive of the idea of ‘localness’?

• Can we talk about the ‘local’ without it becoming a slippery synonym for ‘authentic’ or ‘exotic’?

This postgraduate conference invites papers from postgraduates and early career scholars interested in any aspect of ‘the local’ in African texts, with ‘texts’ having as broad a meaning as possible, to include:

• Literature

• Historical texts, travel writing and other ‘non-fictional’ texts

• Personal papers and diaries

• Art

• Music

• Film

• Material, media and popular cultures.

We are particularly keen to encourage conversations between scholars working in different African languages (including English, French, Portuguese and Arabic). Papers which discuss texts from any part of the African continent and its diaspora are welcomed.

The conference will take the format of panels of 20 minute papers, and a participatory workshop focusing on methodological and theoretical issues. We would also like to offer shorter slots for papers using innovative presentation formats such as visual art, film or interactive forms; please indicate in your email if you would be interested in such a slot.

To submit a paper, please email an abstract (or a statement of how you wish to present your paper, if not in traditional format) of no more than 250 words, and a short biography, to Rebecca Jones rkj982@bham.ac.uk and Tom Penfold twp005@bham.ac.uk, by Monday 15th April 2013.

For more information, please visit: http://goinglocalconference.wordpress.com/


Kalamu ya Salaam
tag:kalamu.posthaven.com,2013:Post/285100 2013-03-31T05:17:00Z 2013-10-08T16:22:06Z CULTURE + VIDEO + AUDIO: I Sing the Desert Electric: Sights and Sounds from the Sahel > Africa is a Country

I Sing the Desert Electric:

Sights and Sounds

from the Sahel

“I Sing the Desert Electric” is a collection of video material shot over the past three years by Sahel Sounds founder Christopher Kirkley in different locations in the Western Sahel (Mauritania, Mali, Niger, Nigeria), representing distinct and highly regionalized musical scenes. The result is a short visual and aural feast. If you want to know more, Kirkley recently talked about his Sahel Sounds project on Radio France InternationaleHere. Boima first wrote about the label here. Volume 2 of “Music from Saharan Cellphones” is now available om vinyl (and so is “Bollywood Inspired Film Music from Hausa Nigeria”).



Sahel Sounds
By Alison Hird

The founder of the Sahel Soundslabel Christopher Kirkley talks about publishing music that he found circulating on cell phones in Mali.

>via: http://www.english.rfi.fr/africa/20130310-sahel-sounds


Kalamu ya Salaam
tag:kalamu.posthaven.com,2013:Post/285131 2013-03-31T02:46:00Z 2013-10-08T16:22:06Z CULTURE + AUDIO: The TEN CITIES Project: Club Culture and Dance Music > Africa is a Country

The TEN CITIES Project:

Club Culture and Dance Music

Luanda - Concert - DJ Satelite & Marco Messina“In Africa today, musicians keep in touch with global pop culture via the Internet and program locally flavoured music of explosive creativity, which in turn often finds its way back into the western world: powerful, urban and contemporary club music.” This sentence captured my attention while I was reading the Ten Cities brochure. Ten Cities — organized by the Goethe-Institut “in Sub-Saharan Africa”, Adaptr and a network of European and African partners — involves 50 DJs, musicians and producers from Europe (Berlin, Bristol, Kiev, Lisbon and Naples) and Africa (Johannesburg, Cairo, Luanda, Lagos and Nairobi), allowing them to collaborate and share their respective knowledge about club culture and dance music genres. 

Recent projects such as Damon Albarn’s DRC Music in the Democratic Republic of Congo or Dj/rupture and Maga Bo’s Beyond Digital in Morocco are great examples of possible ways of creating bridges between the Western and African musical discourses, where collaboration more than study, is the keyword.

If behind these two cases we always find an author, with his specific interest and obsessions, behind the Ten Cities project there are considerable institutions and a whole team of researchers, photographers and local scouts. I decided to interview the project’s creator Johannes Hossfeld.

How was the Ten Cities project born, both theoretically and productively?

The project came out of different threads of interests. On the one hand, we here at the Goethe-Institut in Kenya have been fascinated by the global phenomenon of club culture, particularly in Africa, and had specialized a bit in musical cooperation projects and wanted to carry this further, together with our Berlin friends from Adaptr. At the same time, we had been doing quite a lot of projects in the city of Nairobi, its urbanism, its sociopolitical spheres and cultural flows. We got more interested in the issue of the public sphere and wanted to set up a project that would unpack this notion of political theory again. The public sphere has been conceptualized in the framework of what Nancy Fraser calls “the bourgeois masculinist Eurocentric bias of the theory” and focused on very specific, rational and word-based communication spheres. But what about those public spheres that are actually not formed by language, but rather by practices of sound and the body?

For instance, what happens when people meet in music spaces at night to party and dance? Entering a club in whatever city, it is very difficult not to see in it a crucial public sphere in that society. At the same time, urban studies usually take prominent, often Western cities as paradigms for the discussion. What about cities like Luanda or Kiev, Naples or Nairobi, and how exactly is a polis formed on these locations? In this project, we attempt to take a look at club cultures as public spheres, in ten very different specific locations in the world. And produce new music. Therefore, the project has two parts: a research part and a music cooperation part.

TEN CITIES - Johannesburg - Studio - Dubmasta & Dirty ParaffinA couple of years ago I interviewed the researcher and art curator Sarat Maharaj; talking about rave and club cultures, he said that the “encounter with total strangers in the rave produces a kind euphoric relationship between them, an erotic relationship, in the sense that is far more concerned with the sharing of subjective emotional duration.” Are you trying to consider what club culture can generate globally, theoretically?

Yes, but perhaps I’d like to rephrase it a bit: we are trying to consider what club culture has actually generated, but in different places around the world. The project is conceived as one that does not try to make general claims but instead looks carefully at the effects that club music and its subcultures have had in precise locations. Perhaps the relationship that Maharaj was talking about entails more when considered in the context it is experienced. The spheres it has formed might have acquired, in many places, an even more political meaning, from the micro-politics of everyday life to openly oppositional positions.

I read in the Ten Cities brochure that “23 researchers will work on essays and studies about those partly unknown music scenes.” Can you tell us who is going to be involved and how? Are you taking into account only the African cities involved in the project or also the European ones?

The research part tells the history of the public spheres that have been formed around club music, in ten cities, from the 1960s up to now. What did these subcultures and communities look like? What were their codes and practices? What spheres of togetherness and polis did they create? Which emancipatory political and social possibilities were realized, or not? Which kind of spaces did these scenes use, occupy or appropriate? Of course, this is only possible on the basis of a sound knowledge of club music in these cities. From our friends in the ten cities we found out that neither the history of club culture nor that of club music has been written there yet, not even in some of the European ones – the exception is perhaps Berlin, where a lot of writing has been published on particular aspects of club culture.

Hence, two articles per city. The point here is that 20 authors in two groups are working on the same topics, in ten different locations.

The participating writers are all from the city they are writing about. Per city we have some of the most interesting writers of these scenes involved, such as Joyce Nyairo and Bill Odidi in Nairobi, Rangoato Hlasane and Sean O’Toole in Johannesburg, Vitor Belanciano and Rui Miguel Abreu in Lisbon or Iain Chambers in Naples.

Luanda - Concert - TopviewAt the last Womex edition there was for the first time a panel dedicated to the so-called “global bass” genre, entitled “World Music, Global Bass, And the Future of Hybrid Music” (moderated by Akwaaba Music’s Benjamin Lebrave). Do you think that these forms of contemporary club music are starting to receive more attention globally and do you consider Ten Cities an attempt to reach this goal?

In the case of Africa, that’s definitely the case but it is very recent. Although it’s important to notice that the African cities have always had vibrant club cultures. Today, the club music produced in these cities gets more and more known by a European audience. But there have been hardly any real cooperations (except perhaps between Lisbon and Luanda). Our aims are, yes, global attention, but more importantly: setting up more connections between producers and musicians. And whatever comes out of it.

Can you explain how you went about the process of selecting and grouping of the partcipants? Did you work with, say, local scouts for each city involved?

Indeed this is what we have been doing. In each city, we have one local curator who selects the participating musicians, such as Blinky Bill from Just a Band in Nairobi, Afrologic in Lagos, Batida in Lisbon and Rob Ellis in Bristol and so on. We then collectively decided that the producers from one city would travel together. Hence, the pairings of cities.

Lisbon and Luanda are for historical reasons well linked, and so are their contemporary music scenes. What did you consider in building bridges between European and African cities and their respective delegates?

In our experience of collaborative projects, this mix of connectedness and difference creates the most intense productions. Our team in Nairobi and Adaptr in Berlin tried to match producers and musicians who can relate to each other but who are also working in ways that differ enough from each other. Hence not Lisbon-Luanda. Instead, we paired Batida from Lisbon and Just a Band from Nairobi because both make very different music while sharing an interest in the musical history of their city and experiment how to include it in their contemporary practice.

It’s important to point out that bridges are not built here by workshops. The European guys are not teaching anything to the African colleagues. That would be ridiculous. The bridges are built by producing music together. The symmetrical and equal exchange is crucial here. And this exchange has in our experience always been as important and productive to the Europeans as it is to the Africans.

Lastly, I was wondering which forms of restitution are you going to take into account. In this sense, what’s the role of photography in the process?

The photographers, in some of the cities, will be working on exactly the same topics as the researchers, just in their own artistic medium. With this, we are trying to complement and frame the music production and the discourse module. It is also an interesting facet because photographers tend to be prominent protagonists in the currently booming, very lively African art scenes.

Follow Ten Cities via their Facebook page and on Soundcloud, where you’ll find some of their DJ sets, such as the following one recorded in Johannesburg @ King Kong:



Kalamu ya Salaam
tag:kalamu.posthaven.com,2013:Post/285169 2013-03-31T02:33:00Z 2023-10-03T20:03:20Z FEMINISM + AUDIO: audre lorde: uses of the erotic: the erotic as power > blkcowrie ❀

audre lorde:

uses of the erotic:

the erotic as power



(An early version of one of the most important essays of the 20th century read by its author Audre Lorde in 1978 at Mount Holyoke College. “Uses of the Erotic: The Erotic as Power” is included in Audre’s essay collection,  Sister Outsider.)


Uses of the erotic: the erotic as power

 By Audre Lorde, Summer 1989

THERE ARE MANY KINDS OF POWER, used and unused, acknowledged or otherwise. The erotic is a resource within each of us that lies in a deeply female and spiritual plane, firmly rooted in the power of our unexpressed or unrecognized feeling. In order to perpetuate itself, every oppression must corrupt or distort those various sources of power within the culture of the oppressed that can provide energy for change. For women, this has meant a suppression of the erotic as a considered source of power and information within our lives.

We have been taught to suspect this resource, vilified, abused, and devalued within western society. On the one hand, the superficially erotic has been encouraged as a sign of female inferiority; on the other hand, women have been made to suffer and to feel both contemptible and suspect by virtue of its existence.

It is a short step from there to the false belief that only by the suppression of the erotic within our lives and consciousness can women be truly strong. But that strength is illusory, for it is fashioned within the context of male models of power.

As women, we have come to distrust that power which rises from our deepest and nonrational knowledge. We have been warned against it all our lives by the male world, which values this depth of feeling enough to keep women around in order to exercise it in the service of men, but which fears this same depth too much to examine the possibilities of it within themselves. So women are maintained at a distant/ inferior position to be psychically milked, much the same way ants maintain colonies of aphids to provide a life-giving substance for their masters.

But the erotic offers a well of replenishing and provocative force to the woman who does not fear its revelation, nor succumb to the belief that sensation is enough.

The erotic has often been misnamed by men and used against women. It has been made into the confused, the trivial, the psychotic, the plasticized sensation. For this reason, we have often turned away from the exploration and consideration of the erotic as a source of power and information, confusing it with its opposite, the pornographic. But pornography is a direct denial of the power of the erotic, for it represents the suppression of true feeling. Pornography emphasizes sensation without feeling.

The erotic is a measure between the beginnings of our sense of self and the chaos of our strongest feelings. It is an internal sense of satisfaction to which, once we have experienced it, we know we can aspire. For having experienced the fullness of this depth of feeling and recognizing its power, in honor and self-respect we can require no less of ourselves.

It is never easy to demand the most from ourselves, from our lives, from our work. To encourage excellence is to go beyond the encouraged mediocrity of our society. But giving in to the fear of feeling and working to capacity is a luxury only the unintentional can afford, and the unintentional are those who do not wish to guide their own destinies.

This internal requirement toward excellence which we learn from the erotic must not be misconstrued as demanding the impossible from ourselves nor from others. Such a demand incapaci- tates everyone in the process. For the erotic is not a question only of what we do; it is a question of how acutely and fully we can feel in the doing. Once we know the extent to which we are capable of feeling that sense of satisfaction and completion, we can then observe which of our various life endeavors bring us closest to that fullness.

The aim of each thing which we do is to make our lives and the lives of our children richer and more possible. Within the celebration of the erotic in all our endeavors, my work becomes a conscious decision – a longed-for bed which I enter gratefully and from which I rise up empowered.

OF COURSE, WOMEN SO EMPOWERED are dangerous. So we are taught to separate the erotic demand from most vital areas of our lives other than sex. And the lack of concern for the erotic root and satisfactions of our work is felt in our disaffection from so much of what we do. For instance, how often do we truly love our work even at its most difficult?

The principal horror of any system which defines the good in terms of profit rather than in terms of human need, or which defines human need to the exclusion of the psychic and emotional components of that need – the principal horror of such a system is that it robs our work of its erotic value, its erotic power and life appeal and fulfillment. Such a system reduces work to a travesty of necessities, a duty by which we earn bread or oblivion for ourselves and those we love. But this is tantamount to blinding a painter and then telling her to improve her work, and to enjoy the act of painting. It is not only next to impossible, it is also profoundly cruel.

As women, we need to examine the ways in which our world can be truly different. I am speaking here of the necessity for reassessing the quality of all the aspects of our lives and of our work, and of how we move toward and through them.

The very word erotic comes from the Greek word eros, the personification of love in all its aspects – born of Chaos, and personifying creative power and harmony. When I speak of the erotic, then, I speak of it as an assertion of the lifeforce of women; of that creative energy empowered, the knowledge and use of which we are now reclaiming in our language, our history, our dancing, our work, our lives.

There are frequent attempts to equate porn(‘graphy and eroticism, two diametrically opposed uses of the sexual. Because of these attempts, it has become fashionable to separate the spiritual (psychic and emotional) from the political, to see them as contradictory or antithetical. “What do you mean, a poetic revolutionary, a meditating gun-runner?” the same way, we have attempted to separate the spiritual and the erotic, thereby reducing the spiritual to a world of flattened affect, a world of the ascetic who aspires to feel nothing. But nothing is farther from the truth. For the ascetic position is one of the highest fear, the gravest immobility. The severe abstinence of the ascetic becomes the ruling obsession. And it is one not of self-discipline but of self-abnegation.

The dichotomy between the spiritual and the political is also false, resulting from an incomplete attention to our erotic knowledge. For the bridge which connects them is formed by the erotic – the sensual – those physical, emotional, and psychic expressions of what is deepest and strongest and richest within each of us, being shared: the passions of love, in its deepest meanings.

Beyond the superficial, the considered phrase, “It feels right to me,” acknowledges the strength of the erotic into a true knowledge, for what that means is the first and most powerful guiding light toward any understanding. And understanding is a handmaiden which can only wait upon, or clarify, that knowledge, deeply horn. The erotic is the nurturer or nursemaid of all our deepest knowledge.

Aditi (अदिति “she who has no limits”), also known as Lajja Gauri, the uttānapad “she who crouches with legs spread”. In the first age of the gods, existence was born from non-existence. The quarters of the sky were born from Her who crouched with legs spread. The earth was born from Her who crouched with legs spread. And from the earth the quarters of the sky were born. Rig Veda, 10.72.3-4

Aditi (अदिति “she who has no limits”), also known as Lajja Gauri, the uttānapad “she who crouches with legs spread”. In the first age of the gods, existence was born from non-existence. The quarters of the sky were born from Her who crouched with legs spread. The earth was born from Her who crouched with legs spread. And from the earth the quarters of the sky were born. Rig Veda, 10.72.3-4

THE EROTIC FUNCTIONS FOR ME IN several ways, and the first is in providing the power which comes from sharing deeply any pursuit with another person. The sharing of joy, whether physical, emotional, psychic, or intellectual, forms a bridge between the sharers which can be the basis for understanding much of what is not shared between them, and lessens the threat of their difference.

Another important way in which the erotic connection functions is the open and fearless underlining of my capacity for joy. In the way my body stretches to music and opens into response, hearkening to its deepest rhythms, so every level upon which I sense also opens to the erotically satisfying experience, whether it is dancing, building a book- case, writing a poem, examining an idea.

That self-connection shared is a measure of the joy which I know myself to be capable of feeling, a reminder of my capacity for feeling. And that deep and irreplaceable knowledge of my capacity for joy comes to demand from all of my life that it be lived within the knowledge that such satisfaction is possible, and does not have to be called marriage, nor god, nor an afterlife.

This is one reason why the erotic is so feared, and so often relegated to the bedroom alone, when it is recognized at all. For once we begin to feel deeply all the aspects of our lives, we begin to demand from ourselves and from our life-pursuits that they feel in accordance with that joy which we know ourselves to be capable of Our erotic knowledge empowers us, becomes a lens through which we scrutinize all aspects of our existence, forcing us to evaluate those aspects honestly in terms of their relative meaning within our lives. And this is a grave responsibility, projected from within each of us, not to settle for the convenient, the shoddy, the conventionally expected, nor the merely safe.

During World War II, we bought sealed plastic packets of white, uncolored margarine, with a tiny, intense pellet of yellow coloring perched like a topaz just inside the clear skin of the bag. We would leave the margarine out for a while to soften, and then we would pinch the little pellet to break it inside the bag, releasing the rich yellowness into the soft pale mass of margarine. Then taking it carefully between our fingers, we would knead it gently back and forth, over and over, until the color had spread throughout the whole pound bag of margarine, thoroughly coloring it.

I find the erotic such a kernel within myself. When released from its intense and constrained pellet, it flows through and colors my life with a kind of energy that heightens and sensitizes and strengthens all my experience.

WE HAVE BEEN RAISED TO FEAR THE yes within ourselves, our deepest cravings. But, once recognized, those which do not enhance our future lose their power and can be altered. The fear of our desires keeps them suspect and indiscriminately powerful, for to suppress any truth is to give it strength beyond endurance. The fear that we cannot grow beyond whatever distortions we may find within ourselves keeps us docile and loyal and obedient, externally defined, and leads us to accept many facets of our oppression as women.

When we live outside ourselves, and by that I mean on external directives only rather than from our internal knowledge and needs, when we live away from those erotic guides from within ourselves, then our lives are limited by external and alien forms, and we conform to the needs of a structure that is not based on human need, let alone an individual’s. But when we begin to live from within outward, in touch with the power of the erotic within ourselves, and allowing that power to inform and illuminate our actions upon the world around us,. then we begin to be responisible to our selves in the deepest sense. For as we begin to recognize our deepest feelings, we begin to give up, of necessity, being satisfied with suffering and selfnegation, and with the numbness which so often seems like their only alternative in our society. Our acts against oppression become integral with self, motivated and empowered from within.

In touch with the erotic, I become less willing to accept powerlessness, or those other supplied states of being which are not native to me, such as resignation, despair, self-effacement, depression, self-denial.

And yes, there is a hierarchy. There is a difference between painting a back fence and writing a poem, but only one of quantity. And there is, for me, no difference-between writing a good poem and moving into sunlight against the body of a woman I love.

This brings me to the last consideration of the erotic. To share the power of each other’s feelings is different from using another’s feelings as we would use a kleenex. When we look the other way from our experience, erotic or otherwise, we use rather than share the feelings of those others who participate in the experience with us. And use without the consent of the used is abuse.

In order to be utilized, our erotic feelings must be recognized. The need for sharing deep feeling is a human need. But within the european-american tradition, this need is satisfied by certain proscribed erotic comings-together. These occasions are almost always characterized by a simultaneous looking away, a pretense of calling them something else, whether a religion, a fit, mob violence, or even playing doctor. And this misnaming of the need and the deed give rise to that distortion which results in pornography and obscenity – the abuse of feeling.

When we look away from the importance of the erotic in the development and sustenance of our power, or when we look away from ourselves as we satisfy our erotic needs in concert with others, we use each other as objects of satisfaction rather than share our joy in the satisfying, rather than make connection with our similarities and our differences. To refuse to be conscious of what we are feeling at any time, however comfortable that might seem, is to deny a large part of the experience, and to allow ourselves to be reduced to the pornographic, the abused, and the absurd.

The erotic cannot be felt secondhand. As a Black lesbian feminist, I have a particular feeling, knowledge, and understanding for those sisters with whom I have danced hard, played, or even fought. This deep participation has often been the forerunner for joint concerted actions not possible before.

But this erotic charge is not easily shared by women who continue to operate under an exclusively european-american male tradition. I know it was not available to me when I was trying to adapt my consciousness to this mode of living and sensation.

Only now, I find more and more women-identified women brave enough to risk sharing the erotic’s electrical charge without having to look away, and without distorting the enormously powerful and creative nature of that exchange. Recognizing the power of the erotic within our lives can give us the energy to pursue genuine change within our world, rather than merely settling for a shift of characters in the same weary drama.

For not only do we touch our most profoundly creative source, but we do that which is female and self-affirming in the face of a racist, patriarchal, and anti-erotic society.


Black lesbian feminist Audre Lorde is the author of numerous books of poetry and essays. She is an outspoken critic of racism, sexism, classism, and other systems of domination, as well as a prolific creator of nest, cultural possibilities. This essay was originally delivered as a speech in 1978 at the Fourth Berkshire Conference on the History of Women, Mount Holyoke College, and has become a feminist classic of sorts.


Kalamu ya Salaam
tag:kalamu.posthaven.com,2013:Post/285231 2013-03-31T02:25:00Z 2023-10-03T20:03:36Z SPORTS + PHOTO ESSAY: No Endorsements, No Problem: Boxing Gold Medalist Claressa Shields Keeps Fighting > Mother Jones

No Endorsements, No Problem:

Boxing Gold Medalist

Claressa Shields

Keeps Fighting

Back home in Michigan, the Olympian juggles homework, dating—and a strict training schedule.

| Fri Mar. 29, 2013

Maybe you remember Claressa "T-Rex" Shields: At 17, she was the youngest boxer in last summer's Olympics, the first games to ever let women spar. Aggressive, spunky, and intensely focused, she trounced a Russian opponent twice her age in the finals to return home to Flint, Michigan, with a gold medal. "I wrapped it around my hand when I went to sleep," Shields says. "I had this fear that when I woke up the medal was going to be silver."

Yet unlike fellow gold medalist Gabby Douglas, the teen gymnast who is expected to rake in $8-$12 million from sponsorships, Shields has received no national endorsement deals (though a local car lot gave her a custom black and gold Camaro). "I think because women's boxing is new, I guess," she says. "I don't really know."

Shields started boxing after her dad, in and out of jail throughout her childhood, took her to the gym when she was 11. "I was a quiet, angry child who felt I wasn't cared about," she says. "When I worked out, I felt like I was fighting against something. I still haven't figured out what it is."

AUDIO: Click arrows below to listen to Claressa

Since the Olympics, it has been harder to focus. "I had this big old goal I was going towards: the medal." Plus there are the usual distractions, says Jason Crutchfield, with whom Shields trains two to three hours a night: "Her biggest problem right now is boys. That throws everything off."

Still, in her seven-year career, Shields has only lost one match—and in February, she whupped three-time world champ Mary Spencer: "She was bigger than me, she weighed more than me, and it looked like she was stronger, but she just couldn't do anything with me." It was the first time Shields' mom and siblings had seen her fight live.

Outside the ring, she has her sights set on winning the USA Boxing National Championships this week, graduation in May, college in the fall, and the Rio Olympics in 2016. It's a lot to think about for a high school senior, but as Crutchfield often barks: "Never let them know when you're sweating."

Claressa "T-Rex" Shields

"A lot of times growing up, people looked at me different because I was a girl," Shields says. "But I never had my hair done. I would play football in the field with the boys. Once I went out to the gym, I could throw on a T-shirt and I could train, just like the guys. I could sweat just like them; I could run just as hard as them. Nobody saying, 'Oh, a girl's not supposed to do that.' I fit right in."

Before matches, says Shields, "I listen to rap music—Lil Wayne, Drake. And then I listen to gospel to calm me down."

Jason Crutchfield

Coach Jason Crutchfield had Shields move in with his family last year after she had a series of arguments with her mother. "She used to call us in the middle of the night to come and get her…So I just let her come stay."

Shields sketches her medal at Northwestern High School. One regret? Spring break tournaments, while "everyone else is hanging out and going to parties and stuff like that."

Sporting red, white, and blue nails six weeks before London. Unlike other boxers, Shields says, she'll never wear makeup to bouts: "What if the makeup gets in my eyes while I'm fighting?"

"When I fight and my hair is messed up, it makes me fight harder. Like a beast or whatever. So when I was getting my hair done, she was getting to the last braid, and I said, 'No, leave that piece right there.'"

"I didn't think it would be that heavy," says Shields of her gold medal. She now keeps it locked in a safe, and has put the $25,000 of award money in savings.

Photographer Zackary Canepari is editing a documentary about Claressa Shields, due out later this year. See the trailer below, and visit the film's homepage here.

This story appears in the May/June issue of Mother Jones magazine.


    Maddie Oatman

    Research Editor

    Maddie Oatman is the research editor at Mother Jones. For more of her stories, click here. To follow her on Twitter, click here. RSS |



    Kalamu ya Salaam
    tag:kalamu.posthaven.com,2013:Post/284287 2013-03-31T02:21:00Z 2023-10-03T20:03:52Z HISTORY: 10 Things You Didn't Know About Rosa Parks > THE "RACE'' PROBLEM

    1. Parks had been thrown off the bus a decade earlier by the same bus driver — for refusing to pay in the front and go around to the back to board. She had avoided that driver’s bus for twelve years because she knew well the risks of angering drivers, all of whom were white and carried guns. Her own mother had been threatened with physical violence by a bus driver, in front of Parks who was a child at the time. Parks’ neighbor had been killed for his bus stand, and teenage protester Claudette Colvin, among others, had recently been badly manhandled by the police.

    2. Parks was a lifelong believer in self-defense. Malcolm X was her personal hero. Her family kept a gun in the house, including during the boycott, because of the daily terror of white violence. As a child, when pushed by a white boy, she pushed back. His mother threatened to kill her, but Parks stood her ground. Another time, she held a brick up to a white bully, daring him to follow through on his threat to hit her. He went away. When the Klu Klux Klan went on rampages through her childhood town, Pine Level, Ala., her grandfather would sit on the porch all night with his rifle. Rosa stayed awake some nights, keeping vigil with him.

    3. Her husband was her political partner. Parks said Raymond was “the first real activist I ever met.” Initially she wasn’t romantically interested because Raymond was more light-skinned than she preferred, but she became impressed with his boldness and “that he refused to be intimidated by white people.” When they met he was working to free the nine Scottsboro boys and she joined these efforts after they were married. At Raymond’s urging, Parks, who had to drop out in the eleventh grade to care for her sick grandmother, returned to high school and got her diploma. Raymond’s input was crucial to Parks’ political development and their partnership sustained her political work over many decades.

    4. Many of Parks’ ancestors were Indians. She noted this to a friend who was surprised when in private Parks removed her hairpins and revealed thick braids of wavy hair that fell below her waist. Her husband, she said, liked her hair long and she kept it that way for many years after his death, although she never wore it down in public. Aware of the racial politics of hair and appearance, she tucked it away in a series of braids and buns — maintaining a clear division between her public presentation and private person.

    5. Parks’ arrest had grave consequences for her family’s health and economic well-being. After her arrest, Parks was continually threatened, such that her mother talked for hours on the phone to keep the line busy from constant death threats. Parks and her husband lost their jobs after her stand and didn’t find full employment for nearly ten years. Even as she made fundraising appearances across the country, Parks and her family were at times nearly destitute. She developed painful stomach ulcers and a heart condition, and suffered from chronic insomnia. Raymond, unnerved by the relentless harassment and death threats, began drinking heavily and suffered two nervous breakdowns. The black press, culminating in JET magazine’s July 1960 story on “the bus boycott’s forgotten woman,” exposed the depth of Parks’ financial need, leading civil rights groups to finally provide some assistance.

    6. Parks spent more than half of her life in the North. The Parks family had to leave Montgomery eight months after the boycott ended. She lived for most of that time in Detroit in the heart of the ghetto, just a mile from the epicenter of the 1967 Detroit riot. There, she spent nearly five decades organizing and protesting racial inequality in “the promised land that wasn’t.”

    7. In 1965 Parks got her first paid political position, after over two decades of political work. After volunteering for Congressman John Conyers’s long shot political campaign,

    Parks helped secure his primary victory by convincing Martin Luther King, Jr. to come to Detroit on Conyers’s behalf. He later hired her to work with constituents as an administrative assistant in his Detroit office. For the first time since her bus stand, Parks finally had a salary, access to health insurance, and a pension — and the restoration of dignity that a formal paid position allowed.

    8. Parks was far more radical than has been understood. She worked alongside the Black Power movement, particularly around issues such as reparations, black history, anti-police brutality, freedom for black political prisoners, independent black political power, and economic justice. She attended the Black Political Convention in Gary and the Black Power conference in Philadelphia. She journeyed to Lowndes County, Alabama to support the movement there, spoke at the Poor People’s Campaign, helped organize support committees on behalf of black political prisoners such as the Wilmington 10 and Imari Obadele of the Republic of New Africa, and paid a visit of support to the Black Panther school in Oakland, CA.

    9. Parks was an internationalist. She was an early opponent of the Vietnam War in the early 1960s, a member of The Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, and a supporter of the Winter Soldier hearings in Detroit and the Jeannette Rankin Brigade protest in D.C. In the 1980s, she protested apartheid and U.S. complicity, joining a picket outside the South African embassy and opposed U.S. policy in Central America. Eight days after 9/11, she joined other activists in a letter calling on the United States to work with the international community and no retaliation or war.

    10. Parks was a lifelong activist and a hero to many, including Nelson Mandela. After his release from prison, he told her, “You sustained me while I was in prison all those years.”


    Kalamu ya Salaam
    tag:kalamu.posthaven.com,2013:Post/284328 2013-03-30T04:41:00Z 2023-10-03T20:04:08Z VIDEO Robert Glasper Experiment featuring Bilal
    featuring BILAL

    Kalamu ya Salaam
    tag:kalamu.posthaven.com,2013:Post/284353 2013-03-30T04:01:00Z 2023-10-03T20:04:27Z VIDEO: Ntjam Rosie

    Ntjam Rosie At The

    Back Of Beyond

    Ntjam Rosie’s new album is called ‘At the back of beyond’. She has taught herself to play the guitar and developed a bright new uplifting, style. With ‘At the back of beyond’ Ntjam Rosie has created an amazing and unforgettable new album that is released on her own label: Gentle Daze Records.

    Ntjam Rosie sparks with her new album

    'At the back of beyond'

    Ntjam Rosie just loved the saying ‘At the back of beyond’ used in the movie Black Narcissus and named her album after it. ‘A place difficult to get to,’ it means. But it is not difficult at all to love ‘At the back of beyond’: it is uplifting, bright and authentic.  The previous album ‘Elle’ (2010) made Ntjam Rosie the rising star of the jazz charts. ‘At the back of beyond’ is different. Rosie says. “My new album is more involved. It takes you on a spiritual trip. It is about good and bad, about body and soul, and about finding the balance. It takes you out of your comfort zone and makes you feel part of the music.”

    Ntjam Rosie wanted to move closer and be more intimate than before. She wanted a new tool that allowed her more freedom than the piano did. A problem was that she didn’t play another instrument. “For my new album I needed the guitar to express what I am working on. It is direct, open and simply blissful: a new chapter.” One sunny day little more than a year ago she set herself to learning the guitar. Rosie took some lessons with one of her band members - ‘just to know what you write’ - and then taught herself day by day until she could play the instrument more intuitively. “It is as if the guitar is talking to me, with the piano that happens differently. I liked the challenge to write with guitar, it was more difficult but it opened up a new way to express myself.”

    ‘Elle’ told stories about other people’s lives. Ntjam Rosie was describing the world but not so much being a part of it. ‘At the back of beyond’ is a journey within. Together with her first album Atouba (2008, Appletree Records) this threesome is an adventurous musical trip.  The songs on ‘At the back of beyond’ invite you to sing along to when you hear them. She blames it on turning 30: “For many people that is an age of transition, to me it means that I am more outgoing and that I am showing the world who I am. I want to show my love for God, people and all things that He created. I am a spiritual person and of course that reflects in my music.”

    “It’s what you get when I pick up the guitar!”
    ‘At the back of beyond’ is a very personal album. It is about keeping the faith, about moving on even if the going gets tough. “And it gets tough. But I have good friends and loyal supporters.” Ntjam Rosie smiles. She is a brave woman quite unafraid of showing her true nature. She explains how she shared her guitar learning journey with her friends on YouTube. “The funny thing is that my first public performance on the guitar was on national television.” It still makes her laugh. “And it was all right! I wanted to discover a new musical space and show people that if you put your mind to it, you can do almost anything. With every step I take, I am getting closer to who I am, to what my story is.”

    Gentle Daze Records
    Ntjam Rosie has her own record label Gentle Daze Records and works hard for it. I run my own label with the support of a great team. Almost all songs on ‘At the Back of Beyond’ she has written herself, the album is a co-production with Alexander van Popta. She is a self-made woman in every sense of the way. “To seriously run my own label I need to invest a lot of time in my company.”

    ‘Elle’ brought her to several countries, among them Thailand, Turkey, Estonia and China and earned her a prestigious Edison nomination. “The critics have been fabulous.” Ntjam Rosie is regularly invited to perform for DWDD on Dutch TV and has been on BBC 1 radio; she has been on an extensive Club Tour and has played at the North Sea Jazz Festival.

    Is her life all about music? “If I had not become a musician I would be a photographer! “Ntjam Rosie is especially fond of close-up nature photography that shows the form and rhythm of nature and especially plants.

    Ntjam Rosie has flair and a unique personal style. She has been nominated for the magazine ELLE Personal Style Awards but doesn’t see herself as a fashion diva. “I have often been portrayed as a diva, now it is time to show my true colors. And those colors are vibrant and clear.” The new album is no reprise of Elle. ‘At the back of beyond’ is an extrovert and new addition to Ntjam Rosie’s beautiful and adventurous repertoire.

    ‘Some dreams can’t be denied’
    Ntjam Rosie has style, great looks and is a gifted musician, singer, songwriter and producer. The 29 year old emphasizes: “I am an artist. I dig into my cultures and make art from them.” It is the ‘right here, right now’ quality of her compositions that makes her music so exciting. She does not indulge in retro elements but simply roots in them. Her songs are an enticing mix of lyrics, style, and music.

    Ntjam Rosie lives in Rotterdam now. She was born in the village Sonkoe in the South of Cameroon. When she was nine years old her mother married and moved from Cameroon to the Dutch town of Maastricht. Ntjam Rosie grew up dancing and singing to pop music in her spare time. After high school she auditioned at Codarts academy of music in Rotterdam but was rejected at first. She felt insufficient and decided to study something else instead.

    But some dreams cannot be denied.

    Aged 19 she took a life changing decision: against all advice she quit studying. She found a job, joined a band and took up singing lessons. She was scared all the way: “to choose for your passion is one thing, – but what if passion doesn’t choose you? I knew I had it in me, it is my calling. But I was the only one who seemed to know.”

    The years at the Codarts academy were to become some of the hardest in her life. “I had an attitude and thought I knew it all, when in fact nothing I did was good enough. One crucial day they gave me an ultimatum.” She had two weeks for improvement or she would have to leave Codarts. The idea of being thrown out of school still makes her shudder. In those two weeks she fell to ashes but then rose with a new stunningly different attitude. Beneath all the pressure and despair she had found a calm spot.
    ‘The heart of the storm,’ she calls it.

    In those two weeks she found a solid base on which her talent could grow en develop. She had let go of pretence and that enabled her to show her true beauty. Today she is grateful to Codarts and her strict teachers. “They prepared me for what was to come,” she says. “The music industry is tough and critics are harsh. I deal with them like I did with my teachers. They are only doing their job, sometimes they’re right, sometimes they’re not.”


    Kalamu ya Salaam
    tag:kalamu.posthaven.com,2013:Post/284418 2013-03-30T03:58:00Z 2023-10-03T20:04:46Z PUB: RIDE 3: Call for submissions > RIDE

    Deadline: August 31, 2013


    RIDE 3 will be published in print, as well as Kindle, Nook, iBooks, Kobo, and whatever other format seems like a good idea.

    The only requirement is that a bicycle or bicycle subculture must feature prominently in the story.

    Any genre, any gender, any length up to about 12,000 words, any setting, any time period, any kind of cycling. The more diversity—of locations, cycling cultures, story genres—the better. Don’t look at the previous two books for an idea of what I’m looking for; all I’m interested in is the best eight or ten stories or poems I can find, regardless of genre or style—and there are plenty of genres nobody’s sent me yet.

    LENGTH: While I will consider anything up to around 12,000 words, it’s easier to take a chance on shorter work—so if you haven’t published much, your odds are probably better with flash fiction than with a multilayered epic.

    EDITINGL If I don’t think it can be improved, I won’t give you any notes. If I do, I will.

    PAYMENT: $75 above 4,000 words; $50 for 2,000-3,999 words; $20 for 1-1,999 words.

    PUBLICITY: Please be up for minor publicity stuff, which shouldn’t involve more work than suggesting places where I can send review copies and participating in the recent “Three Questions” series at this blog.

    DETAILS: Previously published is OK; previously unpublished is OK-plus. World rights must be available. If it’s at your blog, I’ll ask you to take all but a few teaser paragraphs down when the book goes on sale. Fiction and poetry only; no essays, no travelogues. Submit in Word or RTF, using standard manuscript formatting (Courier 12-point, double-spaced, 1″ margins all around).

    Questions and submissions: noteon | at | mac | dot | com

    August 31, 2013


    Kalamu ya Salaam
    tag:kalamu.posthaven.com,2013:Post/284532 2013-03-30T03:54:00Z 2023-10-03T20:05:08Z PUB: No Entry Fee this Year: Bulbul 2013 Playwriting Competition (plays must engage with the Arab world) > Writers Afrika
    No Entry Fee this Year: Bulbul 2013 Playwriting Competition (plays must engage with the Arab world)

    Deadline: 31 May 2013

    Akkas Al-Ali, Sandpit Arts's Co-artistic Director, sent this call for entries for Bulbul 2013. As last year, they are looking for four thirty-minute plays which will be showcased in the autumn. The two best plays will be developed into full-length productions at the Brighton Fringe 2014. Unlike last year, Akkas is happy to announce that entry for Bulbul 2013 is completely free.

    BULBUL 2013

    Following the sell-out success of Bulbul 2012, we’re really excited to announce Bulbul 2013 our second annual playwriting competition for new writers. We’re looking for four 30-minute plays that engage with the Arab world. This year’s theme is: Crying Over the Ruins.

    We’re going right back to the ancient poets as they stand nostalgically at the deserted campsites. How you respond to this is entirely up to you. All we ask is that your work is courageous, displays a unique voice, a strong storytelling element and a cohesive narrative.

    The deadline for submission is 31st May 2013. The winning entries will be performed by a professional cast at Brighton’s Nightingale Theatre in autumn 2013. As with Bulbul 2012, two of these plays will be selected for further development for the Brighton Fringe 2014.

    The winning plays will be chosen by an independent panel of judges. Last year’s panel was made up of Chris Taylor (director, New Writing South), Steven Brett (artistic director, The Nightingale Theatre), Tanushka Marah (artistic director, Company:Collisions) and Diyan Zora (creative director, Swivel Theatre Company).

    Our current productions at the Brighton Fringe – Tunnel by Mags Chalcraft, and Gather Ye Rosebuds by Silva Semerciyan – were both winners of Bulbul 2012.


    • Entry is free.
    • Scripts must have a playing time of approximately 30 minutes.
    • Scripts must have a maximum playing cast of four actors.
    • Scripts should require minimal set and/or props. Our focus is on the writing!
    • Please do not send us monologues, musicals, adaptations or plays for children.
    • Only original, previously unproduced/unpublished scripts that are inherently theatrical with live staging at their core will be accepted. Please do not send scripts for television, radio or film.
    • All scripts must be in English, typed in 12pt font and double spaced.
    • Scripts (either in Word or PDF) must be submitted with a completed application form to bulbul@sandpitarts.org. Please do not put your name or contact information anywhere on your script as all submissions will be read anonymously.
    • Applicants must be aged 16 or over. There is no upper age limit.
    • You can submit up to three plays.
    • Please note, we are unable to return scripts.
    • Please do not send any amendments or further drafts once your script has been submitted.
    • Please do not send cassettes, CDs, videos or sheet music with your script.
    • We are unable to enter into any correspondence about scripts (except with shortlisted entries).
    • The deadline for submission is 31st May 2013.
    • The four winning entries will be announced on 31st July 2013.
    Download: application form


    For queries/ submissions: bulbul@sandpitarts.org

    Website: http://www.sandpitarts.org/

    Kalamu ya Salaam
    tag:kalamu.posthaven.com,2013:Post/284501 2013-03-30T03:54:00Z 2023-10-03T20:05:26Z PUB: No Entry Fee this Year: Bulbul 2013 Playwriting Competition (plays must engage with the Arab world) > Writers Afrika
    No Entry Fee this Year:

    Bulbul 2013

    Playwriting Competition

    (plays must engage with

    the Arab world)

    Deadline: 31 May 2013

    Akkas Al-Ali, Sandpit Arts's Co-artistic Director, sent this call for entries for Bulbul 2013. As last year, they are looking for four thirty-minute plays which will be showcased in the autumn. The two best plays will be developed into full-length productions at the Brighton Fringe 2014. Unlike last year, Akkas is happy to announce that entry for Bulbul 2013 is completely free.

    BULBUL 2013

    Following the sell-out success of Bulbul 2012, we’re really excited to announce Bulbul 2013 our second annual playwriting competition for new writers. We’re looking for four 30-minute plays that engage with the Arab world. This year’s theme is: Crying Over the Ruins.

    We’re going right back to the ancient poets as they stand nostalgically at the deserted campsites. How you respond to this is entirely up to you. All we ask is that your work is courageous, displays a unique voice, a strong storytelling element and a cohesive narrative.

    The deadline for submission is 31st May 2013. The winning entries will be performed by a professional cast at Brighton’s Nightingale Theatre in autumn 2013. As with Bulbul 2012, two of these plays will be selected for further development for the Brighton Fringe 2014.

    The winning plays will be chosen by an independent panel of judges. Last year’s panel was made up of Chris Taylor (director, New Writing South), Steven Brett (artistic director, The Nightingale Theatre), Tanushka Marah (artistic director, Company:Collisions) and Diyan Zora (creative director, Swivel Theatre Company).

    Our current productions at the Brighton Fringe – Tunnel by Mags Chalcraft, and Gather Ye Rosebuds by Silva Semerciyan – were both winners of Bulbul 2012.


    • Entry is free.

    • Scripts must have a playing time of approximately 30 minutes.

    • Scripts must have a maximum playing cast of four actors.

    • Scripts should require minimal set and/or props. Our focus is on the writing!

    • Please do not send us monologues, musicals, adaptations or plays for children.

    • Only original, previously unproduced/unpublished scripts that are inherently theatrical with live staging at their core will be accepted. Please do not send scripts for television, radio or film.

    • All scripts must be in English, typed in 12pt font and double spaced.

    • Scripts (either in Word or PDF) must be submitted with a completed application form to bulbul@sandpitarts.org. Please do not put your name or contact information anywhere on your script as all submissions will be read anonymously.

    • Applicants must be aged 16 or over. There is no upper age limit.

    • You can submit up to three plays.

    • Please note, we are unable to return scripts.

    • Please do not send any amendments or further drafts once your script has been submitted.

    • Please do not send cassettes, CDs, videos or sheet music with your script.

    • We are unable to enter into any correspondence about scripts (except with shortlisted entries).

    • The deadline for submission is 31st May 2013.

    • The four winning entries will be announced on 31st July 2013.

    Download: application form


    For queries/ submissions: bulbul@sandpitarts.org

    Website: http://www.sandpitarts.org/



    Kalamu ya Salaam
    tag:kalamu.posthaven.com,2013:Post/284590 2013-03-30T03:51:00Z 2013-10-08T16:21:59Z PUB: Call for Papers: Zombies in the Ibero-American World > Repeating Islands

    Call for Papers:

    Zombies in the Ibero-American World


    This call for papers invites original proposals to be published in an edited volume on Zombies in the Ibero-American (Portugal, Spain, Latin America and the Caribbean) film, culture, and new media from 2000 to the present. The deadline for proposals is July 30, 2013.

    A suggested (but not limited) list of topics includes: anthropological studies on the zombie phenomenon; interviews with producers in the zombie genre; essays by geographical area; zombies in the media (Internet, television, etc.); zombie walks, performances, and other cultural expressions; new technologies and audiovisual media; reappropriations from Hollywood zombie movies; zombie Latino cinema in the United States; and literary adaptations to cinema.

    If you are interested in participating in this edited volume, please send a preliminary title, a short abstract (300 characters) describing your project, and a brief biography to the co-editors (below). Proposals must be received by July 30, 2013. The essay’s final version must be submitted by December 15, 2013. (Note: The acceptance of the proposal does not necessarily imply the acceptance of the final version of the essay for publication.)

    Please send inquiries or submissions to the co-editors: Rosana Díaz-Zambrana, rdiaz@rollins.edu and Gabriel Giandinoto, gagargento@gmail.com


    Kalamu ya Salaam
    tag:kalamu.posthaven.com,2013:Post/284650 2013-03-30T03:47:00Z 2023-06-08T01:49:23Z FOOD: Cooking Creole: Understanding grits >NOLA-com

    Cooking Creole:

    Understanding grits

    Different kinds of grits, including stone ground, yellow and white
    The Times-Picayune
    on March 29, 2013


    People not from the South do not understand or appreciate grits. I'm sure many of you have had the experience of requesting grits for breakfast at a restaurant NOT in the South, and having the server look at you like you came from Mars.

    Then there are those people "from away" who tell you they've had grits, but they've showered sugar on them like they do cereal. There are others who just can't believe grits are made from corn. Everyone in the South knows (or should know) that hominy and grits are products made from hard (mature) hard kernels. Whole corn kernels are soaked in a solution of water and lye to remove the outer hulls, to become hominy. Hominy, when dried, can then be coarsely ground, and voila! You have grits.

    I remember reading, in the 1960s, a piece in the New York Times that said grits had fallen into disfavor and that they were considered a poor man's food. Well, up until the late 1950s crawfish was considered a poor man's food, and we know how that has changed. There was a time a 40-pound sack of live crawfish cost about $40. Recently I saw a sign offering a 40-pound sack for $200. I almost drove my car off the road!

    Anyway, back to my grits. When Jimmy Carter was in the White House, grits enjoyed almost a cult status, but as soon as he was out of office, consumption when down.

    Grits have always been popular in my kitchen. I cannot serve grillades with rice, right? And when I want a big girl breakfast on the weekend, there is always a bowl of creamy grits floating in butter. One of my favorite week-night suppers is fresh pork sausage served with cheesy grits and a side of spinach wilted in the sausage grease. YUM! My husband refuses to eat smothered pork chops (one of his favorites) without a big glob of buttery grits spiked with roasted garlic. If there are any grits left, we spread them out on a sheet pan, chill and make grit cakes topped with poached eggs for breakfast the next day.

    If you've done any traveling in the southern states, you probably enjoyed shrimp and grits, popular in the Carolinas and Georgia. In the Florida Keys, as well as the sea islands of Georgia, the locals enjoy grits and grunts -- grunts being any number of small pan fish.

    The grits you usually find in the supermarket are either quick grits or the instant kind. Stone-ground grits have also become popular in the South. They take a little longer to prepare, and they do have a distinctive flavor. If you've ever cooked grits, you know that they need butter and salt, gravy or cheese to make a delicious dish.

    I think grits are making a big comeback and perhaps you might want to get on the bandwagon with a few recipes from my repertoire.

    Baked Cheese Grits

    Makes 10 to 12 servings

    2 cups yellow grits, cooked according to package directions

    3 large eggs, slightly beaten

    1/2 pound grated Cheddar or Fontina cheese

    1 cup milk

    1 stick butter

    After the grits are cooked, add the eggs, cheese, milk and butter and stir until all is blended and the cheese and butter are completely melted. Pour into a 2-quart baking dish and bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes or until the mixture sets slightly.

    * *

    If you like, substitute spinach for the turnip greens.

    Grits and Greens Souffle

    Makes 4 servings

    1 tablespoon dry breadcrumbs

    1 cup water

    1 cup milk

    1/2 teaspoon salt

    1/2 cup quick-cooking grits

    2-1/2 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, grated

    4 tablespoons unsalted butter

    1/4 cup half-and-half

    1/4 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper

    2 cloves garlic, mashed

    2 egg yolks

    2 egg whites

    1/3 cup fresh, chopped turnip greens, or 1/2 of a (10-ounce) package frozen turnip greens

    1 tablespoon bacon grease

    Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter a one-quart soufflé dish or casserole and then sprinkle it with the breadcrumbs to coat the bottom and sides.

    In a saucepan, bring the water, milk and salt to a gentle boil and stir in the grits. Return the mixture to a boil, stirring constantly. Reduce the heat and simmer, stirring often, until thick, four to five minutes. Remove from the heat and add one-half cup of the cheese, the butter, half-and-half, the pepper and garlic.

    In a bowl, lightly beat the egg yolks. Stir into the grits and stir until the cheese and butter are melted. Let cool for 10 minutes.

    In one-half cup boiling, salted water, blanch the turnip greens. Remove from the heat and drain. Squeeze dry. Mix the greens with the bacon grease and spread on the bottom of the prepared baking dish in an even layer. Sprinkle with the remaining cheese.

    In another bowl, beat the egg whites until stiff. Gently fold the egg whites into the grits mixture. Pour the mixture over the cheese and smooth the top with a spatula. Bake until puffed and browned, 40 to 45 minutes. Serve immediately.

    * *

    This next recipe is one I enjoy when I visit the Bergeron's bed and breakfast, Pleasant Hill in Natchez.

    Savory Baked Grits

    Makes about 6 servings

    1 (16-ounce) package Jimmy Dean's pork sausage

    7 eggs, beaten

    3 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese

    2 tablespoons melted butter (or more if desired)

    1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper


    3 cups Quaker® Quick Grits, cooked

    1 small garlic clove, minced

    Remove the sausage from the casing and crumble. Cook in a skillet until all pink has disappeared. Drain on paper towels and then spread the sausage on the bottom of a lightly greased 9- by- 13-inch baking pan.

    Combine the eggs, 2 cups of the cheese, the butter and cayenne pepper. Season with salt to taste. Gradually add the egg mixture to the cooked grits and pour over the sausage. Top with minced garlic and the remaining cup of cheese. Bake at 350 degrees until hot and bubbly, 20 to 30 minutes. Let stand for 5 minutes before serving.





    Kalamu ya Salaam
    tag:kalamu.posthaven.com,2013:Post/284688 2013-03-30T03:40:00Z 2013-10-08T16:22:00Z VIDEO: Watch 'John Henry and The Railroad' A True Tall Tale (Short Shouts!) > Shadow and Act


    'John Henry

    and The Railroad'

    A True Tall Tale

    (Short Shouts!)

    by Tambay A. Obenson



    March 28, 2013


    A fun short film to start your day titled John Henry and The Railroad - a film from the artisans at Whitestone Motion Pictures.

    This is the tale of John Henry. The one from the railroad story. Legend goes that John Henry was a freed slave. John took his only son out looking for work. He was out to make a new life for himself. He heard somethin' about railroad work needing to be done. So that's where he went. But trouble was just around the bend.

    We can toss it into the slave-western-narrative film soup pot.

    Watch the 20-minute short below:

    >via: http://blogs.indiewire.com/shadowandact/watch-john-henry-and-the-railroad-a-t...
    Kalamu ya Salaam
    tag:kalamu.posthaven.com,2013:Post/284722 2013-03-30T03:33:00Z 2013-10-08T16:22:01Z URUGUAY: After Years in Solitary, an Austere Life as Uruguay’s President > NYTimes

    After Years in Solitary,

    an Austere Life

    as Uruguay’s President

    José Mujica preparing a mate, the herbal drink offered in a hollowed calabash gourd, in his kitchen. / Matilde Campodonico for The New York Times 


    MONTEVIDEO, Uruguay — Some world leaders live in palaces. Some enjoy perks like having a discreet butler, a fleet of yachts or a wine cellar with vintage Champagnes. Then there is José Mujica, the former guerrilla who is Uruguay’s president. He lives in a run-down house on Montevideo’s outskirts with no servants at all. His security detail: two plainclothes officers parked on a dirt road.

    In a deliberate statement to this cattle-exporting nation of 3.3 million people, Mr. Mujica, 77, shunned the opulent Suárez y Reyes presidential mansion, with its staff of 42, remaining instead in the home where he and his wife have lived for years, on a plot of land where they grow chrysanthemums for sale in local markets.


    Visitors reach Mr. Mujica’s austere dwelling after driving down O’Higgins Road, past groves of lemon trees. His net worth upon taking office in 2010 amounted to about $1,800 — the value of the 1987 Volkswagen Beetle parked in his garage. He never wears a tie and donates about 90 percent of his salary, largely to a program for expanding housing for the poor.

    His current brand of low-key radicalism — a marked shift from his days wielding weapons in an effort to overthrow the government — exemplifies Uruguay’s emergence as arguably Latin America’s most socially liberal country.

    Under Mr. Mujica, who took office in 2010, Uruguay has drawn attention for seeking to legalize marijuana and same-sex marriage, while also enacting one of the region’s most sweeping abortion rights laws and sharply boosting the use of renewable energy sources like wind and biomass.

    As illness drives President Hugo Chávez of Venezuela from the political stage, suddenly leaving the continent without the larger-than-life figure who has held such sway on the left, Mr. Mujica’s practiced asceticism is a study in contrasts. For democracy to function properly, he argues, elected leaders should be taken down a notch.

    “We have done everything possible to make the presidency less venerated,” Mr. Mujica said in an interview one recent morning, after preparing a serving in his kitchen of mate, the herbal drink offered in a hollowed calabash gourd and commonly shared in dozens of sips through the same metal straw.

    Passing around the gourd, he acknowledged that his laid-back presidential lifestyle might seem unusual. Still, he said it amounted to a conscious choice to forgo the trappings of power and wealth. Quoting the Roman court-philosopher Seneca, Mr. Mujica said, “It is not the man who has too little, but the man who craves more, who is poor.”

    THE leader at the helm of Uruguay’s changes, known to his many detractors and supporters alike as Pepe, is someone few thought could ever rise to such a position. Before Mr. Mujica became a gardener of chrysanthemums, he was a leader of the Tupamaros, the urban guerrilla group that drew inspiration from the Cuban revolution, carrying out armed bank robberies and kidnappings on Montevideo’s streets.

    In their war against the Uruguayan state, the Tupamaros gained notoriety through violence. The filmmaker Constantin Costa-Gavras drew inspiration for his 1972 movie, “State of Siege,” from their abduction and execution in 1970 of Daniel Mitrione, an American adviser to Uruguay’s security forces. Mr. Mujica has said that the group “tried by all means to avoid killings,” but he has also euphemistically acknowledged its “military deviations.”

    A brutal counterinsurgency subdued the Tupamaros, and the police captured Mr. Mujica in 1972. He spent 14 years in prison, including more than a decade in solitary confinement, often in a hole in the ground. During that time, he would go more than a year without bathing, and his companions, he said, were a tiny frog and rats with whom he shared crumbs of bread.

    Some of the other Tupamaros who were placed for years in solitary confinement failed to grasp the benefits of befriending rodents. One of them, Henry Engler, a medical student, underwent a severe mental breakdown before his release in 1985.

    Mr. Mujica rarely speaks about his time in prison. Seated at a table in his garden, sipping his mate, he said it gave him time to reflect. “I learned that one can always start again,” he said.

    He chose to start again by entering politics. Elected as a legislator, he shocked the parking attendants at Parliament by arriving on a Vespa. After the rise to power in 2004 of the Broad Front, a coalition of leftist parties and more centrist social democrats, he was named minister of Livestock, Agriculture and Fisheries.

    Before Mr. Mujica won the 2009 election by a wide margin, his opponent, Luis Alberto Lacalle, disparaged his small house here as a “cave.” After that, Mr. Mujica also upset some in Uruguay’s political establishment by selling off a presidential residence in a seaside resort city, calling the property “useless.”

    His donations leave him with roughly $800 a month of his salary. He said he and his wife, Lucía Topolansky, a former guerrilla who was also imprisoned and is now a senator, do not need much to live on. In a new declaration in 2012, Mr. Mujica said he was sharing ownership of assets previously in his wife’s name, including their home and farm equipment, which lifted his net worth.

    He pointed out that his Broad Front predecessor as president, Tabaré Vázquez, also stayed in his own home (though Mr. Vázquez, an oncologist, lives in the well-heeled district of El Prado), and that José Batlle y Ordóñez, a president in the early 20th century who created Uruguay’s welfare state, helped forge a tradition in which there is “no distance between the president and any neighbor.”

    INDEED, if there is any country in South America where a president can drive a Beetle and get by without a large entourage of bodyguards, it might be Uruguay, which consistently ranks among the region’s least corrupt and least unequal nations. While crime is emerging as more of a concern, Uruguay remains a contender for the region’s safest country.

    Still, Mr. Mujica’s governing style does not sit well with everyone. The proposal to legalize marijuana, in particular, has incited a fierce debate, with polls showing most Uruguayans opposed to the measure. In December, Mr. Mujica asked legislators to postpone voting to regulate the marijuana market, though he is pushing for the bill to be discussed again soon.

    “It’s a shame to have a president like this man,” said Luz Díaz, 78, a retired maid who lives near Mr. Mujica and voted for him in 2009. She said she would not do so again if given the choice. “This marijuana thing, it’s absurd,” she added. “Pepe should return to selling flowers.”

    Polls show that his approval ratings have been declining, but “I don’t give a damn,” insisted Mr. Mujica, emphasizing that he considered re-election to consecutive terms, already prohibited by Uruguay’s Constitution, as “monarchic.” “If I worried about pollsters, I wouldn’t be president,” he said.

    With two years remaining in his term, Mr. Mujica seems to cherish the freedom to speak his mind. About his religious beliefs, he said he was still searching for God.

    He laments that so many societies considered economic growth a priority, calling this “a problem for our civilization” because of the demands on the planet’s resources. (Interestingly enough, Uruguay’s economy is still expanding comfortably at an estimated annual rate of 3.6 percent.)

    When the gourd of mate was empty, Mr. Mujica disappeared into his kitchen and returned with an impish grin and a bottle of Espinillar, a Uruguayan tipple distilled from sugarcane. It was not yet noon, but glasses were filled and toasts were pronounced.

    After that, the president jumped around subjects, from anthropology and cycling to Uruguayans’ love for beef. He said he could not dream of retiring, but looked forward to his post-presidency, when he hopes to farm full time again.

    Finally, Mr. Mujica’s eyes lit up as he remembered a passage from “Don Quixote,” in which the knight-errant imbibes wine from a horn and dines on salted goat with his goatherd hosts, delivering a harangue against the “pestilence of gallantry.”

    “The goatherds were the poorest people of Spain,” said Mr. Mujica. “Probably,” he added, “they were the richest.”


    Kalamu ya Salaam