Civil Rights

 HBCU ALUMNI, STUDENTS TO RALLY ON CAPTIOL HILL

 

C7h_z3cW4AAg7BV
Call for direct-action from HBCU supporters to urge Congress for resources

WASHINGTON, DC -  Concerned alumni, students and friends of Historically Black Colleges and Universities are set to gather on Capitol Hill on April 27 for a National Day of Action to increase support for black institutions of higher learning.

The direct-action was organized to ensure accountability by the White House and members of Congress to not only maintain funding, but increase resources to HBCUs – pillar institutions to educating and supporting thousands.

The HBCU National Day of Action is organized by the HBCU Collective, a group of alumni, students and friends of HBCUs who work in politics and advocacy and are determined to preserve, support and grow HBCUs.

“Alumni and students play an integral role in preserving and growing our HBCUs,” said co-leader of the HBCU Collective Robert Stephens. “We’re here to make sure our elected officials see and feel the importance of HBCUs – and we’re here to hold them accountable for their support.”

On April 27, the HBCU Collective expects to galvanize support from more than 100 HBCUs across the nation on Capitol Hill to advocate to their members of Congress. And engage thousands through an online and social media based outreach to urge them to call, write and tweet their federal and state elected officials to make HBCUs a priority in state legislative sessions and in Congress.
 
The HBCU Collective has three asks from state and federal elected officials:
  • Increase financial support for students
  • Increase access and funding for federal research grants
  • Increase funding and assistance for facility upgrades
“We care about the existence of our institutions and we are going to make sure elected officials do exactly what they promised, and that is to support our HBCUs and their students financially,” said Dominique Warren, co-leader of the HBCU Collective.

HBCU Collective plans to host meetings with elected officials and staff members in their home districts and in the districts of HBCUs to make allocating funding and resources a priority during this Congressional session, and every session in the future.
 

NAACP Statement on the Renewed Muslim Ban

  Logo

BALTIMORE, MD — The NAACP today released the following statement regarding the most recent Muslim Ban executive order from President Trump.

The new executive order restricting travel from six Muslim-majority countries is just the latest in a series of actions that threaten our nation’s values.  In a few short months, this administration has withdrawn from voting rights cases, reversed course on private prisons, revoked guidance on transgender youth, intensified immigration raids, and announced its intention to limit investigation of abusive and discriminatory law enforcement.  The message is clear: this administration is unwilling to protect and is in some cases actively targeting vulnerable communities.

Even though the new executive order purports to be rooted in national security interests, it cannot mask its true origins. The civil rights community is keenly aware of seemingly neutral laws that mask intentional discrimination. We have seen poll taxes and literacy tests being imposed as supposedly race-neutral voter qualification measures.  We continue to see voter ID laws that act as modern day poll taxes that rob communities of their vote.  Regardless of the smokescreen of security justifications, this executive order is a continuation of the administration’s stated goal: the implementation of a Muslim ban.

Just as we fight against voter suppression and police brutality, the NAACP continues to stand against discrimination based on racial identity, ethnicity, national origin, or religion.  We know that actions that rely on unfounded assumptions about dangerousness will always come at the expense of the most vulnerable populations.  We have seen the results of the divisive rhetoric that form the true rationale for this executive order.  We are witnessing a record number of hate crimes—including the death of an Indian student, Jewish cemeteries being defaced and community centers being threatened, and numerous attacks based on xenophobia and Islamophobia. We know that this hatred is poisonous and antithetical to the ideals that we fight to uphold.

The NAACP is made up of Christians, Muslims, Jews, and more.  Our members are individuals of many religions and some of no religion.  We stand with our Muslim brothers and sisters. We will join in protest of this ban.  We will continue to fight for equal rights for all, for policies based on evidence and not on fear.

 


Blogging Black Miami 2016 General Election Recommendations

“Every election is determined by the people who show up.” ― Larry J. Sabato 

Here are our recommendations for the upcoming November 8, 2016 General Election. If you are like many of us, you have had enough of this 2016 election cycle. It is said that politics is a contact sport but this season will be one for the record books.

We are well into the early voting period in Miami-Dade County and tomorrow is the deadline to request a ballot to vote by mail. Please take action and be sure to vote in this election (and every election). It has been reported that the number of Black voters is down. Don't wake up November 9 wallowing in regret. You have heard or read it before, your vote is your voice. Please don't take it lightly.  

BBM 2016 General Election Recommendations

 


Making America Great Again? Miami homeowner refuses to remove racially-offensive Halloween display

"Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." - Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  

lynchings Halloween display
Picture from Three Lakes neighborhood in southwest Miami-Dade County, Florida. Halloween display depicting lynching of two men dressed in urban-themed clothing. Homeowners refuse to remove display.

A Halloween display of a mock hanging of two men in the gated Miami community of Three Lakes has caused quite a bit of controversy. A Trump-Pence campaign yard sign is also near the hanging dark-hued dummies dressed in urban-themed clothing. The yard sign is actually in the adjoining yard of a neighbor and exacerbates an already racially-sensitive situation. Donald Trump has encouraged violence against protestors at his presidential campaign rallies and his campaign is closely associated with white nationalists. Nooses... hangings... lynchings... are symbols of the history of terror that Blacks have been forced to endure. This Halloween display is not a good look for the Trump-Pence campaign and it's definitely not a good look for Miami.

The homeowners refused to remove the display. They also declared the display is not racist it's just Halloween fun. Hmmm... Let me keep this 100 and translate that response for you: Listen Black people and bleeding heart liberals, we don't care about you and your feelings! Yeah...that sums it up. 

Meanwhile, please go to the updated Miami New Times story on this Halloween display and share it far and wide with all of your networks of family, friends and various organizations. Also, get more information via the related links to this post. Since today is Halloween, let's see how soon the homeowners take down the offensive display. 

Is this how we make America great again? I don't think so. Wake up. Stay woke.

 

Va-va sig 75x39

 @vanessawbyers

Halloween decoration in Miami showing mock lynching of two black men
This is the homeowners' response to complaints about their Halloween display of the mock lynching.


  

Related Links:

Miami New Times - Dummies Lynched Next to a Trump Sign for Halloween in Kendall UPDATED

WPLG Channel 10 - Halloween display sparks controversy in southwest Miami-Dade neighborhood (Please note that the Channel 10 report refers to the hanging decoration as "classic.")

The Legacy of Lynchings in Halloween Decorations (Please read this for a historical perspective.)

 

 


TODAY: Block Party with Senator Tim Kaine and Pusha T to Launch Liberty City Organizing Office and Register Voters

IMG_1367

 

On Saturday, October 15, and Sunday, October 16 -- the final weekend before Florida's new October 18 voter registration deadline -- Democratic vice presidential nominee Tim Kaine will return to Florida to campaign in Miami-Dade and Broward counties, where he will discuss his and Hillary Clinton’s plans to create an economy that works for everyone, not just those at the top, and their shared vision for an America that is stronger together. Joining Kaine at a Florida Democrats block party Saturday in Liberty City, hip hop recording artist and Virginia native Pusha T will lay out why he is supporting Clinton and Kaine in this election and urge Floridians to register to vote.

 

With more people voting in this election than any in history, Kaine will urge Florida voters to visit iwillvote.com to register to vote, check their registration status, and make their voices heard this election, ahead of the new October 18 voter registration deadline.

 

Florida Democrats Block Party to Celebrate Liberty City Organizing Office Opening with Senator Tim Kaine

Block Party Doors Open: 2:45 PM EDT

Sen. Kaine Remarks Time: 5:15 PM EDT

Where: Parking lot of the Carrie P. Meek Entrepreneurial Education Center, Miami Dade College - North Campus, enter at NW 63rd St. between NW 7th Ave and NW 8th Ave.

 

 


The Black Archives to Launch Second Edition of “ICONS” with featured guest Garth C. Reeves, Sr., Publisher Emeritus of The Miami Times

Garthreeves_sr
 

The Black Archives presents the second installment of the quarterly coffee talk series “ICONS,” on Sunday, September 18, 2016 at 5 p.m. The ICONS series features leading community scholars and personalities, speaking on significant moments that impact the South Florida Community with a host/moderator and interactive audience Q & A throughout. This edition of ICONS will feature special guest Garth C. Reeves, Sr., Publisher Emeritus of The Miami Times and will be hosted by Derek T. Davis, Curator at Old Dillard Museum. The topic for this session is, “A Voice for the Voiceless: The role of black media in the Civil Rights Movement through the eyes of pioneering news publisher, Garth C. Reeves, Sr.”

“It is an honor to have Mr. Reeves as our featured guest for this episode of ICONS. Many people know of his accomplishments as a newspaper publisher, but his resume is rich with groundbreaking contributions to our community and culture,” said Timothy A. Barber, Black Archives Executive Director. “The ICONS program is an opportunity for The Black Archives to tell the untold or little known stories of the giants among us.”

ICONS will take place on Sunday, September 18 at the Black Archives Historic Lyric Theater Cultural Arts Complex, located at 819 NW 2nd Avenue, Miami FL 33136. Admission to ICONS is free and open to the public. Doors open at 4 p.m. and the program will begin at 5 p.m.

To become a member of the Black Archives, make a donation, or for more information on program sponsorship, contact Kamila Pritchett at 786-708-4610 or kpritchett@bahlt.org.

 


A SALUTE TO THE MUSICAL GENIUS PRINCE: EBONY HONORS THE ICON AND PURPLE PASSION

Prince Rogers Nelson
The EBONY June Black Music Month Commemorative Issue features a 13-Article Spread In The Words Of Veteran Music Journalists and People Who Were Granted An Up Close And Personal Perspective

 

June Highlights: “96 Till Infinity”, how 1996 became the year that birthed musical legends; “How The 90s Changed Everything” salutes the artists who reinvented standards in the music industry; and “Daddy’s Home”, an inspiring profile of Gerald Hamilton’s life fostering over 100 children 

 

CHICAGO  – Known as one of the most prolific, and talented musicians of our generation, we honor Prince Rogers Nelson’s lifetime of music and artistry.  In this special edition, EBONY reflects on Prince’s career, humanity, and all around genius in a 13-article tribute (p. 89).  In the feature, “Prince: The Ebony Experience”, former EBONY editor Lynn Norment writes of the poignant and personal interviews she captured with Prince and his father, musician and composer, John L. Nelson.  In his words to her, Prince states, “I was always different. I continued to evolve.  Thank God.”  

CNN political commentator Van Jones, ESPN Host and Op-Ed writer Bomani Jones, and veteran music journalist and Author Marshall Lewis are among the writers that share their thoughts, experiences, and insight in this rare and informative edition celebrating the life of Prince.

The June issue of EBONY magazine typically celebrates music, dads, and the anticipation of summer.  With the untimely death of Prince, rap legend Phife, and Chicago radio legend Doug Banks, EIC Kierna Mayo boldly confesses that “Sometimes It Snows In April.”  In her Editor’s Letter (p. 12), she writes, “You may want me to have words, but, dearly beloved, I have none.  My peers have spoken for me – and all of us – in this, what you are holding, the Black Music Month Commemorative Issue of EBONY that we cried our way through.”

Sean A. Malcolm’s article “96 Till Infinity” (p. 18) exposes the infamous year when an elite group of Hip Hop and R&B Legends were crowned.  Artists including Tupac, The Notorious BIG, Jay-Z, Maxwell, D’Angelo, and Erykah Badu created quintessential music that defined a generation and influenced a musical landscape.  In addition, Janet Jackson, Lauryn Hill, NWA, Lenny Kravitz, Mariah Carey, P. Diddy, and Whitney Houston are featured in the article “How The 90s Changed Everything” (p. 120).  This group of mega artists flipped the recording industry and instituted a new way of how American listened and consumed music and defined pop culture.

Alongside Black Music Month, EBONY celebrates fatherhood.  “Elevate Daddy’s Home” (p. 68) is a strong and bold real life story of father and retired Chicago Detective Gerald Hamilton.  Staff writer, Ian F. Blair, captures Hamilton’s life as a foster father to more than 100 children in the span of 40 years.  Hamilton’s grandmother – to whom he was a caregiver while she battled Parkinson’s disease – inspired him to open his home and care for the many children caught in the foster care system.  He felt that he needed to step up to the plate and aid children in need of a good home.  Hamilton also says, “My mother, who was an administrator for the Detroit Public Schools, once told me that the most important role a Black man can fulfill is that of a father, and to be involved in his children’s lives.  I took that seriously.”

Additionally, the June issue also breaks down “Juneteenth” (p. 87), a celebration marking which marks when the last slaves in the United States were freed; how to cash in on AirBnB (p. 84); and how to balance life when you’re trying to do too much in the article “All Poured Out” by EBONY Senior Editor Jamilah Lemieux (p. 26).

 


Living with Nature in the African Diaspora: A Lecture and Community Conversation at the Historic Hampton House featuring Dr. Edda Fields-Black

Screen Shot 2016-05-14 at 5.52.38 PM

FieldsblackCelebrate “Homegrown Achiever” Dr. Edda L. Fields-Black, Associate Professor of History, Carnegie Mellon University and the author of Deep Roots: Rice Farmers in West Africa and the African Diaspora (2008). Dr. Fields-Black will speak about her research into the history of West African rice production. Mangrove rice farming techniques used hundreds of years ago by farmers in West Africa's Rice Coast later played a key role in the commercial rice industries in the American South.

Dr. Fields-Black will offer new ways to think about how the environment has shaped Diaspora experience. Other speakers will discuss current environmental issues threatening our land and communities. Did you know that climate change and sea level rise are likely to trigger a new wave of gentrification in our area? How can we come together to recognize the value of our land and our heritage? How can history and culture help us defend our place in Miami?

9:30AM

Registration and Coffee

9:45AM

Opening Remarks and Welcome   Dr. Hilary Jones, Associate Professor, Department of History and African & African Diaspora Studies Program, FIU

10:00AM-11:00AM

The Work of Our Hands: Rice and Rice Farmers in West Africa's Upper Guinea Coast Lecture by Dr. Edda L. Fields-Black

Go on a journey to West Africa’s Upper Guinea Coast to learn about one of Africa’s best kept secrets, agricultural technology that made the Upper Guinea Coast West Africa’s “bread basket” hundreds of years before the trans-Atlantic slave trade.

11:00PM-11:15PM

Coffee Break

11:15PM-12:15PM

What is Our Land Worth?

Brief Presentations and Small Group Discussions

Hear about the threats from sea level rise in Miami-Dade and how it is likely to affect property values and residential patterns. Discuss strategies to organize and prioritize. 

12:15PM-12:30PM

Closing Discussion and Wrap-Up 

12:30PM-1:00PM

Book Signing with Dr. Fields-Black

 

WHEN:    Saturday, May 21, 2016 from 9:30 AM to 1:00 PM (EDT) 

WHERE:    Historic Hampton House - 4240 Northwest 27th Avenue, Miami, FL 33142 - View Map

 

Click Here for Registration Link

 

 


Voters Face Challenges at Polls During March 15 Primary Election

 As Polls Close in North Carolina, Illinois, Florida, Ohio and Missouri, Election Protection Received Over 2,100 Calls

Shutterstock_353307899
WINSTON-SALEM, NC - CIRCA 2015: A mural in Winston-Salem honors the history of the Civil Rights movement. With 'voting rights' being debated nationally, the mural has taken on renewed significance.  
Credit: MC Lewis / Shutterstock.com

 

Washington, D.C. – The nationwide nonpartisan Election Protection voter hotline, 866-OUR-VOTE received more 2,100 calls as voters in five states headed to the polls during March 15 presidential preference primaries as of 6 p.m. EDT. The hotline received a steady stream of calls throughout the day with voters seeking information and requesting assistance on a range of issues that resulted from poll worker misinformation, voter ID requirement implementation, long lines and last minute polling place changes.

“The hundreds of calls to 866-OUR-VOTE make clear that voters still continue to face barriers when seeking to exercise the right to vote,” said Kristen Clarke, president and executive director of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law. “The nature and sheer volume of complaints received from states such as North Carolina, Illinois and Florida demonstrate that much work remains to be done to improve access to the ballot box across our country."

Throughout the day, the majority of the calls came from North Carolina where the state’s restrictive voter ID law was in effect for the first time.

In North Carolina:  

Eligible voter encounters problem with voter ID requirement: 

A voter in Wake County only had a temporary driver’s license for today’s election. The poll worker at her polling location said she would have to cast a provisional ballot and it should count according to the state’s “reasonable impediment” law, but because the voter was not confident that her ballot would be counted, she returned home to get her passport which is a valid form of ID.  The voter has voted in the same precinct and polling location for the last 20 years and never had a problem casting a ballot.

 

Long-time voter not on voter roll at polling place where she has voted for last 30 years:

A woman in Durham County went to her polling place where she has voted for the past 30 years, but a poll worker could not find her on the voter rolls. After searching the voter rolls several times and then asking the chief judge for help, the poll worker offered the voter a provisional ballot. The voter did not want to vote provisionally and went to the Board of Elections where she waited in line for another 45 minutes before she was able to cast a regular ballot. Upon contacting Election Protection, a volunteer was also able to verify her voter registration status and noted that she has voted in 62 previous elections. The voter indicated she was concerned for other voters who may not have had the time or resources to follow up in the way she did to ensure that they cast a ballot that counts.

Election Protection Helps 93-Year-Old Voter to Cast a Ballot:

A 93-year-old voter was initially denied a ballot after attempting to vote with an expired ID. Both a Democracy NC poll monitor and Election Protection hotline volunteer informed her of her right to vote with the ID.  Armed with this information, she went back to the polling place, informed the poll workers that she should be allowed to vote with an expired ID (as she is over the age of 70), and was allowed to cast her vote.

No notification of last minute polling place location:

At North Carolina Central University the polling place was moved from the student union to the law school. This change was not reflected on the Durham County Board of Elections website for most of the day, and no signs were present indicating the change and directing voters to the new location. An Election Protection volunteer created a sign to inform voters of the move and redirected over 100 people to the new polling location.  Many of the voters were elderly and had trouble getting across campus, which included a steep hill. As of 4:15 p.m. EDT today, several hours after the opening of the polls, the Durham County Board of Elections appeared to have updated their website.

Lines Over an Hour Long in Wilmington:

Long lines were reported at the VFW polling location in Wilmington where voters were waiting over an hour to vote, many of whom were elderly. An Election Protection volunteer encouraged voters to stay in line but counted at least 17 people who left the polling location without casting a ballot.

In Florida: 

Malfunctioning electronic poll book issues:

In Orange County, a voter called 866-OUR-VOTE to report that the electronic poll books used to look up voters were malfunctioning, causing delays in checking in voters as they arrived at the polling site. The problem resulted in a long line and although the voter was able to wait and vote, the voter reported that other voters left the line and polling place without voting.

Long Lines Impact Elderly Voters:

Another voter in Volusia County called 866-OUR-VOTE to report long lines at his polling location. Voters were forced to wait at least an hour, including many senior citizens who left because they could not stand and wait that long. Election Protection reported the issue to the county board of elections.

In Illinois:

Voter Denied Opportunity to Register to Vote at Polling Site in Accordance with Law: 

Despite the fact that Election Day Registration should be available to voters at all polling locations in counties with a population of over 100,000, a McHenry County voter who needed to register reported that the supervisor at his polling location directed him to another location but did not provide the address. The Illinois State Board Elections in Chicago confirmed that McHenry County should have Election Day Registration at all polling places allowing voters to register at the polling site. McHenry County officials were called numerous times but were not reachable to address the issue.


17-Year-Old Eligible to Vote Turned Away at the Polls:

In Chicago, a 17-year-old voter who will turn 18 next week reported that she tried to register at her polling location, but the electronic form would not allow her to register because she is 17. The voter was not offered a provisional ballot and left the polling location without casting a ballot. The Chicago Board of Elections reported that her ballot would have been counted.


Election Protection Helps Student Voters at Wheaton College:

A student went to vote at a polling location near Wheaton College and was turned away by a poll worker. The voter had his student ID and driver’s license, but the poll worker incorrectly informed the voter that college students need to provide another form of ID with the college’s mailing address. Election Protection contacted a deputy registrar with the DuPage County Election Commission, who informed the poll worker that college students are allowed to vote in this election with a driver's license and a student ID. The student returned to the polling location and was able to vote but noted 15 to 20 of his fellow students had left the polling location without voting.

 


Racist signs on display at Fort Lauderdale business

The more things change, the more they remain the same.

TIN245-153


Check out the news reported by Ch. 10’s Bob Norman regarding racist memorabilia on the walls at Sal’s Towing in Fort Lauderdale, FL. Norman goes on to state that Sal’s Towing is contracted by the City of Fort Lauderdale and other governmental entities.

It’s interesting to note that a black male former employee reported the racist memorabilia and even was subjected to racial slurs. Another black male employee initially defended the business, go figure. Why anyone would allow themselves to be subjected to such treatment in this day and age is downright sad. It’s 2016, and this level of discrimination still exists. Some white people don’t believe it or don’t want to believe it or are in denial. Some black people don’t believe it or don’t want to believe it or are in denial.

As expected, after denying being racist, the owner, Sal Belasai, eventually indicated the signs would be removed. That’s a step in the right direction but is removing the signs is supposed to make everything alright? I don’t think so. Sal’s supporters defend him by citing his service to the community. Really? I don’t think so.

Sal’s accuser has also been targeted. He was arrested for violently abusing a girlfriend. That still doesn’t change the fact that the racist signs were posted in Sal's place of business. Stay focused.

I have a couple of questions. How long has the memorabilia been on display at Sal’s? How many people, black and white, have seen it and done nothing about it? This is the sad reality of post-racial America.

By the way, Sal indicated the memorabilia is black history, in a way he’s correct. Check out this video on the history of the term ‘gator bait’. Get a better understanding why everyone should be mortified and disgusted these signs would be on display in a place of business in the United States.

 

Alligator child3 Aligator20bait201909_postcard_quincy_florida-alligator

 

 

Va-va sig 75x39

 @vbyers

 

 

#racism #thestruggleisreal #gatorbait #blackhistory