Friday, August 18, 2017

Justice

https://socialistworker.org/2017/08/16/no-more-charlottesvilles

Rebellion with a cause

https://socialistworker.org/2017/08/18/rebellion-with-a-cause

Calls ring out for action against the far right

https://socialistworker.org/2017/08/18/calls-ring-out-for-action-against-the-far-right

Loyalty, Clapbacks, and Tea...in other words #ReclaimingMyTIME (Feat Apr...

Real Facts.



Recently, Donald Trump praised Confederate statues, which is disgraceful. Trump called the Confederate monuments beautiful and he is plain wrong. Also, I find many people even trying to defend Robert E. Lee. That is also disgraceful and repugnant. Robert E. Lee owned slaves and he also stayed with the Confederacy knowing that Confederate documents explicitly said that they were formed to promote slavery. The Confederacy was headed by overt white supremacists, traitors, and terrorists. Robert Lee spoke in disagreement of slavery as an institution while he owned slaves which makes him a hypocrite. Robert E. Lee allowed slaves to be whipped and brine to be poured on the wounds of slaves. Lee's troops under his command were allowed to raid settlements during major operations like the 1863 invasion of Pennsylvania to capture free black human beings for enslavement. After the Civil War, Robert E. Lee never wanted black people uniformly to have voting rights. Robert E. Lee wanted all African Americans deported from Virginia after the Civil War. I want to make this clear: Donald Trump is a racist and a white supremacist. Anyone defending Trump is a racist or a supporter of racism without question. We have every right to oppose fascism and racism. We have every right to defend ourselves, our friends, and our families. We have every right to love truth and defeat evil. I want to mention this to let the truth to be made known. Some good news is that the city of Baltimore removed all Confederate monuments. Catherine Pugh is the mayor of Baltimore and she did the right thing. Some of my relatives live in Baltimore too. I visited there before too. I love Baltimore's architecture.

Bigotry has no place anywhere in the world. The Trump administration has given aide to bigots and extremists since the beginning. Not only has Trump being sued of racial discrimination involving housing. He has entertained the racist lie of Birtherism. Many members of his administration have ties to the alt right movement like Gorka and Bannon. One of the biggest lies that far right people are saying is that somehow Antifa is equivalent to the white supremacists. That's a lie since Antifa is against white supremacy and fascism while the supremacists have used shields, bottles, and other weapons to enact violence. Antifa is opposed to white racism and the white supremacists endorse white racism. The other lie that the far right has used is to say that the BLM is racist when the BLM's own platform condemns racism and opposes police brutality. The Governor of Virginia did the right thing. Trump might be impeached. I hope that he is out of office too. His cabinet team are filled with deplorable people. I don't understand how many black person is in his cabinet. Kenneth Frazier, one of the few African American CEOs in the Trump Business Council, has resigned because of the events in Charlottesville. Trump has attacked Frazier after his resignation. Trump's cowardly comments about domestic terrorism in VA are going to be remembered by us as black people. Alt right is nothing more than a slick word for white supremacism. Donald Trump is a total racist as others have said. Trump's refusal to call out neo-Nazis and white supremacists by name initially is cowardice and disgracefulness on his part. I heard of the story from the 1920's too (about Trump's father). Trump also wanted the death penalty against the innocent Central Park Nine to this very day. We seek justice and liberation for our people.

These are Afro-Peruvian people from Peru. There are 1.2 million Afro-Peruvians in the world. Most of them live in the provinces of Lima, Callao, Nazca, Chincha, Ica and Cañete. Many Afro-Peruvians live on the northern coast in Lambayeque and Piura. The greatest concentration of Afro-Peruvians and others of Afrodescent is in the Callao, an area that has historically received many of the Afro-Peruvians from the north and southern coast. We are an international community. Recently, it was the Birthday of Sister Angela Bassett. She is 59 years old. For decades, she has represented black excellence to the fullest. She has been in theater and movies. Her roles are diverse from dramas to action adventure films. She has helped so many lives and her beauty radiates inside and out. She was born in Harlem, NYC. She later lived in Winston-Salem, North Carolina and in St. Petersburg, Florida. At Boca Ciega High School, Bassett was a cheerleader and a member of the Upward Bound college prep program, the debate team, student government, drama club and choir. Bassett became the first African-American from Boca Ciega to be admitted to the National Honor Society. She went into Yale and had a B.A. in African American studies back in 1980. She had a Masters in Fine Arts from Yale too. She worked in theater throughout the 1980's. From the mid-1980's, she worked in TV and movies. Her famous early roles were in Boyz n the Hood from 1991 and Malcolm X in 1992. She starred in the Jackson family miniseries from 1992 too. Bassett was cast as Tina Turner in What's Love Got to Do with It (1993). She was the first African-American to win the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy. During this decade of the 2010's, she continues to act. Her husband since 1997 has been Courtney Vance and she has children too. Angela Bassett has established accomplished a lot by her own merit. She has promoted the arts, diabetes awareness, and other causes. Angela Bassett is the standard of human achievement and compassion for everyone.


Not to mention that a false idol of stone being eliminated doesn't mean that we can't remember the past. Many of these alt right extremist care more for stone than black human lives. A Confederate statue is equivalent to a Nazi statue. We can remember the past without racist statues. That is like saying placing a statue of Osama bin Laden in Ground Zero is legitimate (for history sake) when it is offensive to do that. I agree with many people that eliminating offensive monuments isn't about omitting the past. Museums, books, and other modes of information can help people understand the past omitting racist monuments being paid by our tax dollars. It is about building a better future. The defenders of Trump (who made overtly racist comments yesterday) are disgraces. In fact, many bigots want to hide their racism and sanitize history, which is worse than protesters opposing racist statues. People, who defend white supremacist statues, are wrong. Opposing racist statues is righteous.

Her actions are courageous. I hope that her charges are dropped. The white racists who beat up a black young person are not being arrested right now, but a young black woman was arrested for opposing tyranny. Sister Takiyah Thompson, is a hero like Bree Newsome. Takiyah's story is proof positive that many young people are woke, know what time it is, and are doing something about it. Not all Millennials are apathetic. A solution is not about doing nothing or ignoring the issues of the day. A solution is organizing a political and economic strategy that can grow and develop our communities (which involves the unity of the poor and working class people). The mayor of Baltimore Catherine Pugh did the right thing to take down Confederate statues in her city of Baltimore. Not to mention that Baltimore is in Maryland and Maryland was never a Confederate state at all. Confederate statues in America soil is repugnant. Sister Takiyah Thompson has my support and solidarity. The Durham monument of hate deserves to be taken down. The biggest terrorist threat to America domestically are white supremacists. I send great honor to Takiyah Thompson. The sad part is that tons of Evangelicals are silent on this tragedy and not speaking out. In life, you have to call evil by its name. White nationalism and white supremacy are based on lies. The alt right are made up of cowards who not only hate the truth, but they want to scapegoat others for their own insecurities. Confederate statues are very evil. The Confederacy was evil and it was defeated in 1865. More and more black people are waking up and seeing that the only way to defeat the cancer of racism is by direct action, speaking out, and promoting policies to eliminate the institutions of racism. Racism is not just individual prejudice. It is an institutional system too. We defeated the Confederates, we defeated the fascists in 1945, and we will win in the end.


By Timothy

CNN's Angela discusses Robert E. Lee's statues and monuments

More Information

http://www.colorlines.com/articles/police-killed-michael-brown-3-years-ago-reflections-energy-and-trauma-uprising-it-sparked

https://www.aclunc.org/news/aclu-california-statement-white-supremacist-violence-not-free-speech

http://originalpeople.org/african-american-music-history-timeline/

http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/politics/2017/08/what_the_alt_left_was_actually_doing_in_charlottesville.html

https://twitter.com/ACLU_NorCal/status/897934799775571968

https://blackagendareport.com/kaepernick-shows-why-black-lives-will-never-matter-under-us-imperialism

https://timeline.com/nazi-hollywood-spies-rosenzweig-6adf8a3c9a46

https://www.olympicchannel.com/en/playback/on-the-record/on-the-record-epsiodes/usas-4x100m-relay-team-shatter-records-and-bury-bad-memories/?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=US_Brand_Relay_Desktop_English_FB&utm_content=US_Brand_Relay_Desktop_English_FB_Static

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Cory Booker Is Introducing A Bill To Remove Confederate Statues From The Capitol

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/cory-booker-is-introducing-a-bill-to-remove-confederate-statues-from-the-capitol_us_5995f52de4b0e8cc855c3fdb?ncid=inblnkushpmg00000009

Ferguson

https://rollingout.com/2017/08/09/whose-streets-documentary-chronicles-aftermath-michael-brown-killing/

After Charlottesville: How the Working Class Can Defeat the Right

https://www.marxist.com/after-charlottesville-how-the-working-class-can-defeat-the-right.htm

Gandhi: the myths behind the Mahatma

https://www.marxist.com/gandhi-the-myths-behind-the-mahatma.htm

Antifa DID have a permit. Copy provided.

https://www.dailykos.com/stories/1690648

Friendship 9

http://friendship9.org/

Freedom fighters topple white supremacy statue

http://www.workers.org/2017/08/15/freedom-fighters-topple-white-supremacy-statue/

Black Agenda Report News

https://blackagendareport.com/korea-us-imperialism-truman-trump

https://blackagendareport.com/tanzania-goes-full-speed-ahead-reclaim-africas-natural-wealth

https://blackagendareport.com/millions-prisoners-human-rights-march-dc

https://blackagendareport.com/social-justice-quiz-2017-children-ten-questions

https://blackagendareport.com/trump-and-americas-fascist-forefathers

https://blackagendareport.com/freedom-rider-root-and-russophobia

https://blackagendareport.com/kaepernick-shows-why-black-lives-will-never-matter-under-us-imperialism

https://blackagendareport.com/story-charlottesville-was-written-blood-ukraine

The right's hate won't go unopposed in Boston

https://socialistworker.org/2017/08/17/the-rights-hate-won%E2%80%99t-go-unopposed-in-boston

https://socialistworker.org/2017/08/17/meeting-terror-with-solidarity-around-the-us

https://socialistworker.org/2017/08/17/students-dump-a-racist-symbol

Trump

http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2017/08/17/pers-a17.html

http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2017/08/17/drea-a17.html

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Full Interview: Ta-Nehisi Coates on Charlottesville, Trump, the Confeder...

MUST WATCH! Sister Souljah DESTROYS Larry King! (1992)

More News



https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Afro-Peruvian

 https://kwekudee-tripdownmemorylane.blogspot.com/2012/09/african-descendants-in-peru-afro.html

https://foreverblackeffusion.wordpress.com/category/afro-peruvians/

https://timeline.com/nazis-america-camps-rallies-4fc6dfe5e3b3

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LaTasha_Colander

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DvuTepZgQNA

Despite Protests, Baltimore Turns Back the Clock on Criminal Justice Reform

http://therealnews.com/t2/story:19777:Despite-Protests%2C-Baltimore-Turns-Back-the-Clock-on-Criminal-Justice-Reform

Nina Turner Denounces the Enablers of Nazis

http://therealnews.com/t2/story:19780:Nina-Turner-Denounces-the-Enablers-of-Nazis

Bree Newsome: Charlottesville is Latest Chapter in Long U.S. History of ...

Baltimore Removes Confederate Statues; Mayor Cites Public Safety

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/16/us/baltimore-confederate-statues.html

http://www.cnn.com/2017/08/16/us/baltimore-confederate-monuments-removal/index.html

Trump's disgraceful Presidency

Trump just said that there are fine people on both sides. He is totally lost and he's totally wrong. Trump has given aid to fascists. There is no 2 sides in this story. There is racism including other injustices and we must defeat these evils. Trump recently said overtly racist words. My response to Trump's lies today are:
1. There is no moral equivalency between liberal counterprotesters and far right white supremacists. The alt right used weapons to attack progressive people. They also surrounded a church where progressive people were organizing. The white nationalists spewed racist, anti-Semitic, and misogynist language in Charlottesville. The act of murder by a murderer with a car was an act of domestic terrorism. Neo-Nazis and other white nationalists (who carried torches and expressed Nazi slogans. Some of them have shown Nazi salutes) assaulted people with tear gas, bats, bottles, and other objects. One woman was murdered by a white supremacists and white supremacists jumped a young black person with objects.
2. The Confederacy wanted to maintain the treason against Americans. Confederate documents overtly wanted slavery and racism. Also, Confederate statues on public lands deserve to be taken down. The alt right marching together in support of the Confederate statues is heinous. I'm consistent, because I have no respect for Confederates and Jefferson (including Washington).
3. There are not any 2 sides of the story. There is only white supremacists who desire xenophobia, hate, and other evils in America. The blame for the violence is only on the white supremacists. Trump actually called people among both sides fine people. The white nationalists are not fine people. They are extreme racists. Trump sympathizes with overt white supremacists. Trump supports Bannon.
4. BLM is not a terrorist group. BLM is a movement against police brutality and inequalities in the judicial system.
5. Trump has shown his overt racism (now and during times past) and many white supremacists like David Duke support him. Trump has shown what he stand for. He stands for far right extremism and deception. Anyone who supports Trump now should be ashamed of themselves. One famous saying is when a person tells what he thinks, you have to believe him. Trump has expressed what he feels in his heart. Trump has defended Confederate monuments and slandered counterprotesters who disagreed with bigotry. He also lied by saying that people who were in the alt right were quiet. They were not. This racism and anti-Semitism is not new, but hate crimes have increased since 2016. The neo-Nazis are disgraceful. Trump embraces the white supremacist ideology. The problems that we have in America are not solved by hatred. It can be solved by progressive policies to help those of diverse backgrounds. Trump's agenda must be opposed and defeated.

Also, it is important to study economic history since World War II. World War II caused America to be the largest economic power in the world. America back then heavily used Keynesian economics to rebuild Germany and Japan. Later, investments like the GI bill, Social Security, etc. grew the middle class, but poor Americans still suffered. By the 1960's, the economy continued to grow and something happened. There was the Great Society. The Great Society cut the poverty rate in half from 1960 to 1970. Also, the economies of Japan and West Germany massively grown. Then, you have the Vietnam War coming on. The Vietnam War caused an increase of inflation along with stagnant economic growth which caused stagflation especially by the 1970's. When Nixon was in Office, he brought America off the Bretton Woods system in 1971. Also, he had to deal with inflation issues. During the 1970's, inflation grew and there was rising oil prices because of the Middle Eastern oil boycott. Higher inflation caused more good and services to be more expensive. Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter struggled to get inflation under control. Carter's economic issues (many of which he had no control over) contributed to Reagan to be President in 1980 (along with Reagan using overtly racial code words). Reagan's first term saw recession, high poverty, and tons of cutbacks to social programs. By his 2nd term, he compromised a little with a Democratic Congress to cause some GDP growth. The catch was that Reagan saw increases in the trade deficit and growth in economic inequality and Reaganomics doesn't work (since the super wealthy receiving tax cuts alone can never increase job growth automatically).

George H. W. Bush came in and had 90 percent approval rating after the Persian Gulf war. He promoted German reunification. He was more moderate than Reagan, but the recession of 1991 practically ended his re-election chances. Bill Clinton was a very astute politician. He was a centrist naturally, so he used a combination of tax cuts for the middle class and tax increases for the super wealthy. This policy along with the dot com boom and other factors grew the economy. Millions of jobs were created and the budget deficit transformed into a budget surplus. Bush Jr. came along in 2001 and promoted large tax cuts for the rich which stagnated the economy. Also, the Iraq War increased a financial burden on many Americans. The housing bubble and the subsequent recession in part caused Barack Obama to be President. Because of GOP Congress, Barack Obama tried to use investments and he caused much job growth to escape the Great Recession. Likewise, economic inequality has grown. Barack Obama has passed much financial regulations in trying to prevent another banking meltdown with Dodd Frank. The unemployment rate under Obama declined from 2009 to 2017. Under Trump, the economic growth has continued which started under Obama, but economic inequality has not radically declined. Poverty exists in many urban and rural communities today as job loss is a serious problem to this very day. Trump is also a disgrace for his words and actions.


By the 21st century, Black Excellence continued. By the year 2000, there were 34,658,190 African Americans. In the year of 2000, Rev. Vashti M. McKenzie was the first African American woman bishop of the African Methodist Zion Church. Lilian Elaine Fishbourne was the first black woman Admiral of the U.S. Navy in the year 2000 too. By February 15, 2000, a unanimous vote caused Harvard to create its full doctoral program in African American studies. Temple University had such a program too. This is important since African American history is part of overall human culture. On April 26, 2001, Thelma Golden curated the Freestyle art exhibition. The art exhibition opened at the Studio Museum in Harlem, NYC. It showed the work of many black men and black women who showed post-black art or diverse forms of art shown by black people. Dr. Ruth Simmons was the first African American President of any Ivy League school of Brown University. She was a 56 years old expert in Romance languages plus literature. She was President of Smith College previously too. She is a great educator and research Brown University’s roots to slavery financially. In November of 2001, Shirley Clarke Franklin was the first African American woman to head the government of a major Southern city when she was elected mayor of Atlanta. She helped to make Atlanta greener. She helped to rebuild an Atlanta sewer system in the city. She also helped to further modernize the city of Atlanta. The Tavis Smiley Show premiered on National Public Radio on January 7, 2002. Suzan-Lori Parks was the first African American woman to win the Pulitzer Prize for Drama (for her play Topdog/Underdog. It had actors Jeffrey Wright and Mos Def playing rival brothers in a card game in their apartment). One human being is an important part of history. She is Vonetta Flowers. At the 2002 Winter Olympics, she, along with driver Jill Bakken, won the gold medal in the two-woman event, becoming the first black person to win a gold medal in the Winter Olympics. She has twins and is living a Blessed Life. By November 8, 2002, Laila Ali (daughter of Muhammad Ali) defeated Valerie Mahfood in a boxing match. Laila Ali unified the three women’s super-middleweight boxing championship. Laila Ali is a boxing legend and a human being who is a role model for so many human beings. On 2002, Halle Berry and Denzel Washington win Oscars. Also, in the same year, Dennis Archer became the first African American to be elected President of the American Bar Association. Dennis Archer was the former mayor of Detroit. October 18, 2004 was when a new Frederick P. Rose Hall center would open to celebrate Jazz. Wynton Marsalis opens this new center. By January of 2005, Condoleezza Rice became the Secretary of State. She was the second African American human being and the first African American woman to hold that position. On February 18, 2006, speed skater Shani Davis became the first black athlete to win an individual gold medal in a Winter Olympics sport when he clinched the men’s 1,000 meter event at the games in Turin, Italy. 4 years later, he was the first man to win back to back gold medals in the event at the Vancouver games. Corey Booker was the Mayor of Newark in 2006. On May 19, 2006, Sophia Dannenberg was the first African American and the first black woman to reach the top of Mount Everest. By 2004, reverse of the Great Migration happens when more black Americans are living in the South from Atlanta to Houston.  On November 7, 2006, Deval Patrick was elected Governor of Massachusetts. He became the second African American in the nation after Reconstruction (after Douglas L. Wilder from Virginia in 1989) to be popularly elected to his position. On early 2007, Indianapolis Colts head coach Tony Dungy was the first African American coach to guide his team to win a Super Bowl ring. Forest Whitaker win and Best actor Oscar for his role of The Last King of Scotland (about Idi Amin). Jennifer Hudson wins one for Best Supporting Actress for Effie White on Dreamgirls (a movie from the Broadway play). Authors like Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (who is a black woman from Nigeria) and Edwidge Dticat (who is Haitian) write literature about black life in diverse ways. On March 17, 2007, David A. Paterson was sworn in as Governor of New York after the resignation of Elliot Spitzer. He was the first legally blind American Governor. Also, he is the first African American Governor of New York State and he was the fourth black governor of any state.  In September 17, 2008, author and legal scholar Annette Gordon-Reed released her groundbreaking study called, “The Hemingses of Monticello: An American Family.” It discussed about the generations of Sally Hemings and her family. The book won the Pulitzer Prize for History for her work. Her book won the National Book Award. From 2000-2008, black accomplishments continued to grow in the new digital age.



By Timothy



The right-wing rats and their ringleader

https://socialistworker.org/2017/08/16/the-right-wing-rats-and-their-ringleader

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

News



https://socialistworker.org/2017/08/15/this-is-the-time-to-unite-and-fight-far-right-terror 

https://imixwhatilike.org/2015/07/13/stealthhistory/


https://twitter.com/KWestSavali 


https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/nov/16/race-class-us-economy-exploited-labor


https://www.thenation.com/article/will-charlottesville-provoke-white-athletes-to-stand-up-against-racist-hate/

https://www.thenation.com/article/in-charlottesville-it-felt-like-the-confederacy-was-trying-to-rise-again/


http://politicsthatwork.com/blog/which-party-is-better-for-the-economy.php

https://socialistworker.org/2011/06/15/another-travesty-in-jena

'There's Blame On Both Sides': Trump Backtracks On Charlottesville Violence

http://www.npr.org/2017/08/15/543743845/theres-blame-on-both-sides-trump-backtracks-on-charlottesville-violence

Survivor of White Supremacist Attack in Charlottesville: There's No Ques...

More News

https://lasentinel.net/coretta-scott-king-the-woman-beside-the-man.html

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dionne_Farris

http://www.aarp.org/politics-society/history/info-2015/million-man-march-story-photo.html#slide1

(The African American Story Part 7 (The Second Era) Part 2




Image result for 911 attacksImage result for bush inauguration 2001




9/11

 The beginning of the 21st century was a new epoch in our history. The issues of racism and class oppression continued to be discussed in our community. The Cold War is over and the nadir of the Clinton Presidency existed. More discussions about police brutality and race persisted in America. The new millennium sparked the age of both old fights for social justice and new realities filled with advanced technology, social media, reality TV shows, and generational debates on lyrics and the N word. It wouldn’t be until February of 2000 when the Oklahoma state legislature would receive a recommendation from the Tulsa Race Riot Commission that reparations to be paid to the survivors of the Tulsa Race Riots of 1921. The Tulsa riot was when tons of jealous white racists murdered and terrorized black people in Tulsa, Oklahoma back in 1921. In July 1, 2000, months after a January rally of almost 50,000 protesters, the Confederate flag is lowered from the South Carolina state capitol dome. It would be years later until the Confederate flag is banned from public state grounds. One of the most controversial events of Black American history was the selection of George W. Bush as President. The 2000 election was very controversial. The 2000 Presidential race was when Al Gore faced off against George W. Bush. Al Gore wanted to show that he would promote trust funds and investments in technology (along with centrist goals of trying to eliminate the national debt by 2012 and $500 billion of targeted tax cuts), while George W. Bush, who was a former Texas Governor, desired to be President too. Al Gore was Vice President back then. He gained tons of African American support in wanting to continue the legacy of Bill Clinton. Bush wanted a “compassionate conservativism.” Bush is known for supporting the death penalty and believing in many far right policies. We know about Clinton’s neoliberal centrism too. It was one of the closest elections in history. There is tons of evidence of thousands of black Americans being barred from voting in Florida and many of their voting records being declared void (as proven and documented by the journalist Greg Palast, etc.). Many Florida precincts, with mostly African American people, had ballots declared “void by technical reasons.” The modern Republican Party is all about a promotion of capitalism. There were disputes and lawsuits relating to the election.





The Supreme Court ruled 5-4 to allow Bush to “win” the election on December 12, 2000. I was 17 years old during that time. 90 percent of African Americans voted for Al Gore while only 8 percent of black Americans voted for George W. Bush. Jesse Jackson led a march on December 13, 2000 to protest the state handling of the 2000 Presidential election. Members of the Black Congressional Congress in January 6, 2001 protested the Supreme Court decision in Congress. Yet, Vice President Al Gore confirmed the 2000 election results without his protest or criticism. 20 black Representatives walked into the Congressional session in protest. Maxine Waters rightfully exposed the evil fraud of the 2000 election too. This was when I was a senior in high school. The inauguration of President George W. Buh in 2001 was filled with protests and outrage. On January 20, 2001, Colin Powell was made the first African American to be the Secretary of State. Later, Condoleezza Rice would be the first African American woman Secretary of State in America. Both of them would exemplify great intelligence, huge accomplishments, mistakes, and profound controversies.

The June 2001 Hip Hop Summit discussed many issues and it celebrated hip hop’s cultural power and critiqued its components too (as misogyny, glamorization of violence, misogynoir, materialism, and other forms of bigotry must be confronted in the hip hop industry). It was hosted by Russel Simmons (who had to apologize for his disgraceful action in mistreating Harriet Tubman) and other artists were the like Kool Herc, Afrika Bambaata, Grandmaster Flash, etc. The Summit desired to use hip hop artists and others to form political power that can change communities in a positive direction. A wide spectrum of scholars and social activists were in the summit like Martin Luther King III, Cynthia McKinney, Cornel West, Michael Eric Dyson, Tricia Rose, then NAACP President Kweisi Mfume, Louis Farrakhan, Benjamin Chavis, etc. The attendees agreed to focus on fighting for social justice issues which includes criminal justice matters.

From August 31 to September 7, 2001, “the UN World Conference Against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia, and Related Intolerance” took place in Durban, South Africa. African Americans were supportive of the conference. The Conference condemned racism, discrimination, economic exploitation, and Zionism. There were debates about reparations for people of black African descent, the slave trade, and other important issues.


The evil attacks of September 11, 2001 changed the landscape of black people and the human race forever. The attacks were in New York City, Virginia, and Pennsylvania. Thousands of people died. The victims of the attacks were black people, and men and women plus children of diverse races and creeds. Immediately, the war on terror started. Also, many Muslims were violated of their rights early on by late 2001. Islamophobia grew in America. George W. Bush overtly said that he is executing a “crusade” against terrorism. George W. Bush would also say that Islam and Muslims in general are not responsible for the attacks on 9/11. Bush is right on that point. The 9/11 attacks were done by extremists and evil people who are not representative of a specific creed or religion. The Patriot Act was passed which compromised many of our cherished civil liberties. By October 2001, the West attacked the Taliban in Afghanistan.

I remember the police shooting of an unarmed black man (who was Timothy Thomas) in Cincinnati that caused a rebellion in the city on April of 2001.


Image result for iraq war 2003Image result for iraq war 2003 shock and awe

The Iraq War

Immediately after 9/11, the Bush administration desired a military confrontation with Iraq. Also, by 2002, many people used false justifications as a means to promote war against Iraq. Many anti-war protests existed back in 2002 and many people passed legislation that gave President the authorization of force to be used against Saddam Hussein. Not only did many Republicans support that legislation, but many Democrats did too. By early 2003, Bush sent Colin Powell to the United Nations in order to make the case for an American invasion by claiming that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction and was a direct threat to the region and to America. We know that Iraq was not a direct threat to America and Saddam Hussein had no extensive, massive weapons of mass destruction in 2003. So, deceptions were promoted by the administration and by even some in the media to advance the war narrative. Back then, even in 2003, it was very taboo to be anti-war. That is why Phil Donahue’s show was heavily criticized for being anti-Iraq War and many social activists were threatened because of opposition to the Iraq War.

The invasion of Iraq by American military forces existed on March of 2003. I remember it like it was yesterday and I was a sophomore in college back then. A large part of the African American community opposed the war from the beginning. Many black people also were in the military in the battlefields of both Iraq and Afghanistan at the same time. At first, the American forces quickly defeated the Iraqi forces and came into Baghdad in months. Later, Western forces used policies that strengthened the resistance and caused chaos in Iraq which hasn’t been completely gone to this very day. There was the de-Baathization of the Iraqi military, conflicts over governmental power among Iraqis, and a persistent resistance movement in Iraq against American occupation. Many Sunni people (who suffered discrimination by many Shia) became so desperate that some allied with the evil, reactionary ISIS group. The Iraq War was one of the biggest foreign policy mistakes in American history. The Iraq War didn’t end terrorism in the Middle East.

Image result for iraq war 2003 map

It made terrorist networks more complex in their actions from overt military warfare to cyber terrorism. The Iraq War was an imperialist adventure that many people in the Middle East have paid the price for with their lives. In March 2003 poll; only 44 percent of African Americans supported the war. Most white Americans and most Latinos back then supported the invasion. This proves that the power anti-war spirit existed in tons of African Americans from WEB DuBois, Malcolm X, and to Dr. King (which is a great thing). By April 23, 2003, Gallup found that only 29 percent of black Americans supported the Iraq War.

The Iraq War was another sign of the war on terror continuing. This era of the war on terror curtailed our civil liberties and civil rights, it created more far right people to express more of their Islamophobia, it also made us more aware of the continued unjust racial profiling, surveillance, and harassment of black communities. The war on terror was used by the political order to advance the systems of neoliberal capitalism and racism/white supremacy. The Iraq War was a very ominous example of the failure of neoconservative extremism and the truth that only a progressive political solution can cause reconciliation and peace among Sunnis and Shias in the Middle East.


Image result for katrina disasterImage result for katrina disaster


Katrina


I will never forget Hurricane Katrina. It was a natural disaster that killed many lives. It once again represented how important the issues of race and class must be talked about in order for democratic solutions to exist. It exposed once again the callousness of the Bush administration and the failure of all levels of government to solve the problem of lax infrastructure in New Orleans. The Hurricane Katrina disaster lasted from August to September 2005. I was a senior in college back then. It devastated families, ruined lives, and caused a massive exodus of black Americans from New Orleans into Houston, Austin, Baton Rouge, Detroit, Atlanta, and across the nation. Some in the media slandered the black victims as “refugees.” The Bush administration clearly did a bad job in helping the poorest of the victims. FEMA was formed in 1979 and it has been filled with corruption, cronyism, and scandal. Also, the local and state government made mistakes like ignoring decades long warnings of building up New Orleans’ safety systems to protect human life.

For example, the 2002 special report of the New Orleans Times-Picayune warned that a hurricane could damage the levees and cause unspeakable damage in the region. Scientists and investigative reporters have warned authorities about the vulnerability of the levees near Lake Pontchartrain for a long time. Louisiana, Mississippi, and southwestern Alabama were the places that received the most damage. Over 1,800 people died from Katrina. Over 500,000 people were displaced from the region from the natural disaster too. Hundreds of bodies flooded among the waters. Charity Hospital was shut down. I never forgot Glen Beck’s disrespectful comments about the victims of Katrina too.

When many of the black victims tried to cross the bridge (across the Mississippi River) into the suburbs, white mobs including armed police with guns forced them to return into the city. Many of these white far right people shot and killed black people back then.  Crooked cops killed 2 unarmed black people (who were James Brissette and Ronald Madison) in the Danzinger Bridge. Spike Lee has shown the truth in his documentary “When the Levees Break.” Also, Spike Lee has another documentary that deals with Katrina and the BP disaster on the Gulf Coast too. The BP disaster was about BP polluting waters, which harmed people and killed wildlife. I read that many of the FEMA locations had poisons in them too. The Bush/Cheney team was shopping, celebrating in a baseball game, etc. while people were dying in the streets of New Orleans. What made me angry was about how the cowardly racists were blaming the black people and the poor when they were victims of a natural disaster. Koch Industries being involved in corporate exploitation doesn't surprise me. The Koch Brothers were involved in aiding three strikes laws back during the 1990's. Malik Rahim, who is founder of Common Ground Relief, is one of the heroes of Katrina.


 Image result for katrina disaster stadium


Many victims were stranded in New Orleans’ downtown Morial Convention Center. People were trapped for days without water and food. FEMA Director Michael Brown refused to send fire departments and emergency vehicles or personnel into devastated areas unless requested by state and local authorities. This was when electricity and Internet access in that region was down. The disrespect of black suffering by the corporate elite is commonplace. When Kanye West said that George W. Bush doesn’t care about black people, he expressed sadness and anger at black mistreatment by the system.

Also, heroes (of every color) stood up to help the suffering, rescue victims, and gave food plus water to human beings. After 10 years, things have changed and other things have remained the same. The massive economic inequality in New Orleans is part of our call during this century to really address poverty. Katrina dispersed thousands of our Brothers and our Sisters nationwide while select corporations have gentrified many areas of New Orleans. Capitalists have made a killing at the expense of dead bodies and the accumulation of our wealth and our land in the city. There has been a massive increase of rent costs 10 years later and affordable housing is a serious problem today. Rents in New Orleans have doubled from an average of $488 a month before Katrina to $926 in 2015. Black culture will always be a part of New Orleans as our people played a huge rule in the culture, music, cuisine, and soul of the city of New Orleans.


The greatness of jazz is forever etched in New Orleans’ consciousness. Today, further investment in the city’s infrastructure is needed. Not only that, we need a further effort to fight for the economic rights of the poor and working class people of New Orleans. Poor people are suffering. Black people and poor people in the city deserve dignity. George W. Bush coming to New Orleans back in 2015 is ironic since he was one of the many people responsible for the disastrous government response in the first place (that event represents the reactionary, extremist nature of the Bush Presidency). President Barack Obama talked with people and gave his speech back in 2015 too.

We know that neoliberal policies, Empire, and gentrification won’t work to help the masses of black people. There should definitely be a revolutionary, reconstruction plan in the region (done by all levels of government), so black people can develop into the next level. Everyone agrees that we have a long way to go. In the Lower Ninth Ward, in 2015, only 36 percent of the pre-Katrina population has returned.  Since 2005, thousands of teachers were fired in NOLA and New Orleans is dominated by charter school educational services. The Lower Ninth Ward has not received adequately resources to rebuilt (it was the last region in the city to receive electricity, etc.) while the French Quarter and other areas are massively rebuilt. The Sanchez Center in the lower Ninth Ward was only opened in May of 2015. Today, there are 100,000 less African Americans living in New Orleans than in 2005. I read about environmental issues in the city too and we should address environmental issues. Therefore, we know that many brave activists are helping people in the city of New Orleans now. They need our solidarity and our support. We want not only New Orleans to be greater. We want the world to be greater as well.

Image result for coretta scott king 1969Image result for coretta scott king 1969Image result for rosa parks


Heroes Passing away

One hero who passed away was Rosa Parks on October 25, 2005. She was 92 years old. Rosa Parks was a champion of black freedom and her legacy of perseverance, courage, and grace will last eternally. Her courage was shown in refusing to go into the back of the bus in Montgomery, Alabama. That sparked the more than yearlong boycott to end segregation involving public transportation. She promoted equality and social justice. The civil rights movement was inspired heavily by older movements and the mass actions of the working class and the poor. By that time, opposition to the Bush administration was huge because of their far right domestic and foreign policies.  In October 29, 2005, her coffin was flown to Montgomery and taken in a horse drawn hearse to St. Paul African Methodist Episcopal (AME) church. It was in repose at the altar. A memorial service was held in the next morning.  One of the speakers, United States Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, said that if it had not been for Parks, she would probably have never become the Secretary of State. In the evening the casket was transported to Washington, D.C. and transported by a bus similar to the one in which she made her protest, to lie in honor in the rotunda of the U.S. Capitol.

Since the founding in 1852 of the practice of lying in state in the rotunda, Parks was the 31st person, the first American who had not been a U.S. government official, and the second private person (after the French planner Pierre L'Enfant) to be honored in this way. She was the first woman and the second black person to lie in state in the Capitol. An estimated 50,000 people viewed the casket there, and the event was broadcast on television on October 31, 2005. A memorial service was held that afternoon at Metropolitan AME Church in Washington, D.C. Her body and casket was sent to Detroit. It lay in repose at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History. Her funeral service was 7 hours long. It was held on November 2, 2005. The service was in Greater Grace Temple Church. After the service, an honor guard from the Michigan National Guard laid the U.S. flag over the casket and carried it to a horse-drawn hearse, which was intended to carry it, in daylight, to the cemetery. As the hearse passed the thousands of people who were viewing the procession, many clapped, cheered loudly and released white balloons. Parks was interred between her husband and mother at Detroit's Woodlawn Cemetery in the chapel's mausoleum. The chapel was renamed the Rosa L. Parks Freedom Chapel in her honor.

Later, Coretta Scott King passed away on January 30, 2006. She passed away of ovarian cancer. For long decades, she was a champion of civil rights and human rights. She promoted not only civil rights. She believed in pacifism, nuclear disarmament, economic justice, and economic rights. She also opposed apartheid in South Africa. She was 78 years old. Her body was carried by a horse drawn carriage to Georgia State Capitol where she was laid out in her honor. She was the first African American and female to do so. Over 16,000 mourners paid their respects to Coretta Scott King as they filed past her casket. Her funeral service took place in Lithonia, Georgia on February 7, 2006. Many people mourned her passing. It was at the New Birth Missionary Baptist Church. It was bigger than the Ebenezer Baptist Church (which had Coretta Scott King as a member since the early 1960’s and where was Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s funeral in 1968). Many people were there. U.S. Presidents George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George H. W. Bush, Jimmy Carter, and their wives attended (except for First Lady Barbara Bush who had a previous engagement).

Image result for coretta scott king funeral

Then Senator, Barack Obama was there too. Mrs. King was at first interred in a temporary mausoleum on the grounds of the King Center. Later, her body was placed next to the husband’s remains. She wanted her remains to lie next to her husband’s at the King Center. By November 20, 2006, the new mausoleum containing both bodies of Dr. King and Mrs. King was unveiled in front of friends and family. It is the third resting place of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The funeral was filled with speakers from Bill Clinton to George W. Bush. President Jimmy Carter and Rev. Joseph Lowery gave speeches that sent funeral orations. This was the time of the Bush Presidency and during the early stages of the Iraq War. Both speakers criticized the Bush administration overtly. Rev. Lowery opposed the Iraq War just like Coretta Scott King did when she was alive.

Rev. Lowery said the following words: “…She deplored the terror inflicted by our smart bombs on missions way afar. . . . We know now there were no weapons of mass destruction over there. But Coretta knew, and we knew, that there are weapons of misdirection right down here. Millions without health insurance. Poverty abounds. For war, billions more, but no more for the poor…”

President Carter talked about Coretta Scott King’s struggle for civil rights and said that her family was a target of secret government wiretapping. He criticized U.S. government policy involving wiretaps and then came thunderous applause and standing ovations. Coretta Scott King fought for the end of Jim Crow segregation, fights against poverty, the fight against Western militarism, and human tolerance. Equality and justice comes by making sure that people’s economic life and social life are made to be progressively ordered to benefit the masses of the people beyond a wealthy few.

Image result for jena six


Jena Six

Jena Six was a defining moment in African American movement. It related to many racial tensions in Jena, Louisiana. There were nooses handing in the school area of a Jena educational facility. The incident started after a black student in a high school asked the principal at a school assembly if he could sit under the tree where many white students sat at during breaks. The next day, three nooses in the school were found handing from the tree. The students were hung them were at first expelled. Yet, the superintendent of schools intervened and gave them a three day suspension, which is ludicrous. Black students gathered under the tree to protest the bad decision. On November 1, 2006, a private party was held at the Jena Fair Barn. Fights occurred between white and black people. Then, Baker was attacked. The people accused of the assaulted were called Jena Six. Many of our Brothers and our Sisters were in risk of receiving outrageously high sentences and that is why people came into Louisiana to protest the situation. Catrina Wallace and Caseptla Bailey were the backbone of the drop the charges campaign that culminated in tens of thousands of people marching in Jena on September 2007. It is important to mention that black women stood up in great numbers to defend the Jena Six. We always honor and appreciate the wisdom and power of black women forever. Catrina Wallace passed away by murder. Catrina Wallace was one of the greatest activists in the Jena Six movement. She worked continuously in community organizing and she was a strong Sister. RIP Sister Catrina Wallace.

Related imageImage result for Juanita Millender-McDonald

The 2006 Election

The Iraq War, the Bush administration bad handling of the Hurricane Katrina disaster, the start of the collapse of the United States housing bubble, Bush’s legislative defeat of his plan to partially privatize Social Security, many 2006 Republican scandals, corruption, and the failure of many Republicans to make massive change in America, and the political tensions caused the Democratic Party to win most of the House and the Senate by 2006. This caused a historic change and it made more black politicians in Congress to gain more influence. This occurred during George W. Bush’s second term. The Democrats won a majority of governorships and state legislatures from the Republican Party. It was the first time when a woman served as the Speaker of the House, who was Nancy Pelosi, or the leader of the Democrats in the House of the Representative. She was the highest-ranking woman in the history of the government of the United States upon her election as Speaker in January 2007.  It was also the first election in U.S. history in which the losses for one side were so lopsided that the victorious party did not lose a single incumbent or open seat in Congress or governor's mansion. This was a new era.

Many Democrats wanted to increase the minimum wage, repeal tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans, implement all of the 9/11 Commission recommendations, end subsidies for oil companies, restricting lobbyists, and other proposals. Representative John Conyers of Michigan back then was the chairman of the House Committee of the Judiciary (this monitors the federal courts and the Department of Justice). Conyers was a co-founder of the CBC or the Congressional Black caucus, He worked with Dr. King in opposing the Vietnam War, he was a Korean War veteran, and was a lawyer in 1958. He has a long career in the House. Charles Rangel by 2006 was in the CBC for decades. He was a House representative from Harlem since 1971 after Adam Clayton Powell Jr. left the seat. He continues to fight poverty, drug addiction, and deals with issues relating to the urban black community and the rest of Americans. He isn’t in Congress anymore today. He was a Korean War veteran too. Bennie G. Thompson was the chair of the House Homeland Security Committee. He fought for rural poor and black farmers to receive compensation for decades of discrimination. Juanita Millender-McDonald was the House Administration Committee chair. Yet, she sadly passed away in 2007. In 2006, Deval Patrick became the second black American governor in American history. He was governor of Massachusetts. The first black governor was Virginia’s Douglas L. Wilder.


Related imageRelated imageImage result for deval patrick inauguration
Image result for denzel washington halle berryMuhammad Ali First Wife | Muhammad Ali: The Family Man - Entertainment & StarsImage result for forest whitaker 2007Related image


Black Excellence during the 2000's


By the 21st century, Black Excellence continued. By the year 2000, there were 34,658,190 African Americans. In the year of 2000, Rev. Vashti M. McKenzie was the first African American woman bishop of the African Methodist Zion Church. Lilian Elaine Fishbourne was the first black woman Admiral of the U.S. Navy in the year 2000 too. By February 15, 2000, a unanimous vote caused Harvard to create its full doctoral program in African American studies. Temple University had such a program too. This is important since African American history is part of overall human culture. On April 26, 2001, Thelma Golden curated the Freestyle art exhibition. The art exhibition opened at the Studio Museum in Harlem, NYC. It showed the work of many black men and black women who showed post-black art or diverse forms of art shown by black people. Dr. Ruth Simmons was the first African American President of any Ivy League school of Brown University. She was a 56 years old expert in Romance languages plus literature. She was President of Smith College previously too. She is a great educator and research Brown University’s roots to slavery financially. In November of 2001, Shirley Clarke Franklin was the first African American woman to head the government of a major Southern city when she was elected mayor of Atlanta. She helped to make Atlanta greener. She helped to rebuild an Atlanta sewer system in the city. She also helped to further modernize the city of Atlanta. The Tavis Smiley Show premiered on National Public Radio on January 7, 2002. Suzan-Lori Parks was the first African American woman to win the Pulitzer Prize for Drama (for her play Topdog/Underdog. It had actors Jeffrey Wright and Mos Def playing rival brothers in a card game in their apartment). One human being is an important part of history. She is Vonetta Flowers. At the 2002 Winter Olympics, she, along with driver Jill Bakken, won the gold medal in the two-woman event, becoming the first black person to win a gold medal in the Winter Olympics. She has twins and is living a Blessed Life.

By November 8, 2002, Laila Ali (daughter of Muhammad Ali) defeated Valerie Mahfood in a boxing match. Laila Ali unified the three women’s super-middleweight boxing championship. Laila Ali is a boxing legend and a human being who is a role model for so many human beings. On 2002, Halle Berry and Denzel Washington win Oscars. Also, in the same year, Dennis Archer became the first African American to be elected President of the American Bar Association. Dennis Archer was the former mayor of Detroit. October 18, 2004 was when a new Frederick P. Rose Hall center would open to celebrate Jazz. Wynton Marsalis opens this new center. By January of 2005, Condoleezza Rice became the Secretary of State. She was the second African American human being and the first African American woman to hold that position. On February 18, 2006, speed skater Shani Davis became the first black athlete to win an individual gold medal in a Winter Olympics sport when he clinched the men’s 1,000 meter event at the games in Turin, Italy. 4 years later, he was the first man to win back to back gold medals in the event at the Vancouver games. Corey Booker was the Mayor of Newark in 2006. On May 19, 2006, Sophia Dannenberg was the first African American and the first black woman to reach the top of Mount Everest. By 2004, reverse of the Great Migration happens when more black Americans are living in the South from Atlanta to Houston.


LaTasha Colander Sydney 2000.JPEGImage result for LaTasha Colander-Clark

Sister LaTasha Colander his a great athlete. She won the gold medal from the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney, Australia. She had it from the 4 X 400 relay race. She is also from Portsmouth, Virginia. She was placed into the Virginia Sports Hall of Fame in 2014. I'm from Virginia and this has great importance to me and others. In 2000, she established the LC Treasures Within Foundation – a foundation with the mission to strengthen kids, families and the world through education, sports and spirituality. She is a great role model and a great human being. Yes, the 757 is always in the House. 

On November 7, 2006, Deval Patrick was elected Governor of Massachusetts. He became the second African American in the nation after Reconstruction (after Douglas L. Wilder from Virginia in 1989) to be popularly elected to his position. On early 2007, Indianapolis Colts head coach Tony Dungy was the first African American coach to guide his team to win a Super Bowl ring. Forest Whitaker win and Best actor Oscar for his role of The Last King of Scotland (about Idi Amin). Jennifer Hudson wins one for Best Supporting Actress for Effie White on Dreamgirls (a movie from the Broadway play). Authors like Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (who is a black woman from Nigeria) and Edwidge Dticat (who is Haitian) write literature about black life in diverse ways. On March 17, 2007, David A. Paterson was sworn in as Governor of New York after the resignation of Elliot Spitzer. He was the first legally blind American Governor. Also, he is the first African American Governor of New York State and he was the fourth black governor of any state.  In September 17, 2008, author and legal scholar Annette Gordon-Reed released her groundbreaking study called, “The Hemingses of Monticello: An American Family.” It discussed about the generations of Sally Hemings and her family. The book won the Pulitzer Prize for History for her work. Her book won the National Book Award. During the Summer Olympic games in Beijing, massive achievements were made. The Redeem Team won their first USA men basketball championship since 2000. The members were Carlos Boozer, Jason Kidd, LeBron James, Deron Williams, Michael Redd, Dwyane Wade, Kobe Bryant, Dwight Howard, Chris Bosh, Chris Paul, Tayshaun Prince, and Carmelo Anthony.  Throughout the 2000's, Kobe Bryant was a great player and by the end of the first decade of the 21st century, Lebron James became the best player in the league. Lebron James is the greatest player right now in the NBA. While I think that Michael Jordan has greater accomplishments than Lebron James (I believe that Michael Jordan is a greater basketball player than Lebron James), Lebron James is greater than Michael Jordan in terms of a expressing a better social consciousness in public. I honor Michael Jordan's skills, but LeBron James has been outspoken on race, Trump, police brutality, etc.

The 2008 USA women's Basketball team won 4 straight from 1996 to 2008 and continued to win 2 straight afterwards. The members of the 2008 women Olympic team were Seimone Augustus, Sue Bird, Lisa Leslie, Candice Parker, Kara Lawson, Cappie Poindexter, Katie Smith, Tina Thompson, Diane Taurasi, DeLisa Minton-Jones, Sylvia Fowles, and Tamika Catchings. Serena Williams and Venus Williams won a gold medal in the 2008 Olympics for women's doubles. In 2008, Cynthia McKinney accepts the Green Party nomination in the Presidential race. On January 31, 2009, Michael Steele was chosen as the chair of the Republican National Committee. He is the first African American with that position. For a long time, many Republicans have shown blatantly racist ideology. Steele (to his credit) recently condemned Trump's 2017 bigoted remarks. Steele was raised by a widowed mother and he is from a family of sharecroppers.

On February 2009, then 58 year old Eric Holder became the first black Attorney General in American history. He accurately told the truth during a Justice Department event celebrating Black History Month that America continues to be a "nation of cowards" when it comes to racial discussions. On may 28, 2009, Lynn Nottage won the Pulitzer prize for her stage drama Ruined. She loves to show frank stories. She represents the new generation of great 21st century playwrights (like Marcus Gardley, Katori Hall, Suzan-Lori Parks, Lydia Diamond, and Tarell McCarney). On July 1, 2009, then 50 year old Ursula Burns became CEO of he Xerox Corporation. She was the first African American woman to be a CEO of a Fortune 500 company. She became chairwoman too. Her mother inspired her. From 2000-2009, black accomplishments continued to grow in the new digital age.


Image result for beyonce 2003Image result for aaliyah 2001Image result for outkast 2004Related imageImage result for missy elliott 2004Image result for kanye west 2004

African American Music and Culture during the 2000's

The music of the first decade of the 21st century was filled with Internet-sent music, creativity, the growth of pop stars, the further expression of iconic performers (like Beyoncé), hip hop dynamically evolving, and other genres flourishing. That decade saw the information age and the tech age merged into musical expression. This decade of the 2000's saw the birth of Auto-Tune and media player programs like iTunes which caused more accessibility of music. Music and music videos flourished on YouTube by the mid to late part of the 2000's. Contemporary R&B was very popular during this decade, especially by the early to mid-2000's. Mis-Teeq was a British girl female, consisting of lead singer Sabrina Washington, rapper, singer and songwriter Alesha Dixon and singer Su-Elise Nash.  Hip hop dominated the charts of the early 2000's. By the year 2000, Toni Braxton released her album called, “Heat.” Her famous song on the album was “He Wasn’t Man Enough.” It had a cameo from Robin Givens. Her album had ballads mixed with an urban sound. Toni Braxton won a Grammy.

Jill Scott released her debut album called, “Who is Jill Scott? Words and Sounds Vol. 1.” Her album touched on many subjects and she represented that great Philly soul sound too. The album was filled with talent from songs like “The Way” to “A Long Walk.” The hip hop artist from St. Louis named Nelly made music in the 21st century too. Also, Kelly Rowland released album and great songs during this time too. On October 31, 2000 the hip hop group from Atlanta named OutKast released their historic album “Stankonia.” It received a 5 mic from the Source. Back then, many people hated Southern hip hop. This album showed the creativity, soul, and lyricism that southern hip hop has always shown for years and decades. It increased the profile of other Southern hip hop artists like UGK, Ludacris, Goodie Mob, Lil’ Jon, No Limit, Cash Money, etc. OutKast opened doors for many people beyond just New York City or Los Angeles in terms of music. NYC’s Ghostface Killah released his album called Supreme Clientele and Jay Z shown his album The Dynasty Roc La Familia. Erkyah Badu’s “Mama’s Gun” was released. D’Angelo released his album named Voodoo. Whitney Houston (of her Greatest Hits album), Maya (with her Fear of Flying album in 2000), and Ja Rule had their albums released as well. Like Water, Like Chocolate was released by the hip hop artist Common in 2000 too. Common would show urban sounds mixed with a conscious message in his songs. During the early to mid 2000's, Destiny's Child dominated the charts too. The year of 2001 saw an explosion of artists showing hip hop, R&B, and soul music. Macy Gray released her album called the Id. Ja Rule shown his album. Michael Jackson made his comeback with Invincible. Usher’s 8701 was released in the same year and the sounds of the Neptune grew. Jay Z released his critically claimed album of the Blueprint and Alicia Keys made her great debut album of Songs in a Mirror. Her voice is incredible. In 2001, Nas released Stillmatic which became one of his most popular albums. De La Soul released Bionix with classic music.

Aaliyah released her self-titled album too in 2001. She passed away in August of 2001, which was very sad as a product of an airplane crash. Aaliyah was one of the nicest, down to Earth musicians of our generation. She always had a sweet spirit and she loved music a great deal. Rest in Power Sister Aaliyah. In 2002, Musiq Soulchild and Jay Z (with Blueprint 2: The Gift and the Curse) released their albums. Sean Combs, Xzibit, Big Tymers, and others had shown their albums in 2002. 2003 would be a blockbuster year in music. Beyoncé released her debut solo album named “Dangerously in Love.” Her songs in 2003 were very popular from Crazy in Love, Naughty Girl, and Me, Myself, and I. Beyoncé back this time was a member of Destiny’s Child too.  Her album had up-tempo music, hip hop, etc. Beyoncé achieved the journey went into a journey to achieve even more success as one of the most popular, talented artists of the 21st century. Hip hop had Speakerboxxx/The Love Below (from OutKast), Ludacris’s Chicken-n-Bear, Get Rich or Die Tryin (from 50 Center), Elephunk from The Black Eyed Peas, DMX’s Grand Champ, and the Black Album (from Jay Z) all released in 2003. All albums showed the diversity of hip hop music. I don’t agree with R Kelly and R Kelly released his album in the same year too. Ashanti, Alicia Keyes, and other R&B artists released their work in 2003 too.

Kanye West in 2004 released the College Dropout. This started the controversial, long career of Kanye West as a soloist hip hop artist as he was a producer by that time too. Usher’s Confessions in 2004 sold 1.1 million in one week too. From 2002 and beyond, Missy Elliot continued to make records and albums. Amerie debut album came about in 2002 with “All I Have.” During the 21st century, independently minded hip hop artists like Talib Kweli, Lupe Fiasco, the Roots, etc. shown their music to the world. Ciara’s first album “Goodies” was released in 2004. Ciara would have a long career in music and acting. She is a great dancer.

Image result for destiny's child 2005

From 2005-2009, a new era began in music in general. Many artists used experimentation in a higher level. Rihanna’s first album came about in 2005 called Music of the Sun. 2005 saw Kanye West’s Late Registration, The Game’s Documentary, Young Jeezy’s Let Get It: Thug Motivation, Lil Wayne’s the Carter II, Missy Elliot’s, The Cookbook, Beanie Sigel’s the B Coming, and 50’s Cent’s the Massacre. Mariah Carey made a huge comeback with her album, “The Emancipation of Mimi.” Amerie’s Touch album was successful with the classic hit, “One Thing.” By 2006, R&B and hip hop including pop music grew on the charts. Jay Z returned with his album Kingdom Come. Rick Ross released his Port of Miami album. Beyoncé released B’Day in 2006. It has anthems like Green Light, Ring the Alarm, etc. Common, Kanye West, and Alicia Keys released albums in 2007 too. Rihanna’s Umbrella song in 2007 was one of the most popular songs in the 21st century. It came from her 2007 Good Girl Gone Back Album. In 2008, TI, Lil Wayne, Erykah Badu, Usher, Bun B, and other artists released their music. The 21st century saw the younger generation assert themselves. By 2009, Raekwon released music and Jay Z opposed Autotune with his album Blueprint 3 in 2009. Mos Def released Ecstatic in 2009. Maxwell, Rick Ross, and others shown new music in 2009 too. One of the saddest moments of 2009 was the passing of Michael Jackson. From the 1960's to 2009, Michael Jackson have shown the world songs, movies, and other forms of expression. He was a genius. He loved his fans and he cherished the wonder of music. Michael Jackson had the best selling album in history and inspired many artists of this generation. He was the most famous entertainer of his time.

During the 21st century, Gospel music evolved and grew. Mary Mary and Kurt Franklin appeared to the younger generation of gospel music fans during the 2000's. CeCe Winans, BeBe Winans, Yolanda Adams, Marvin Sapp, Fred Hammond, Shirley Caesar, Israel Houghton, Karen Clark Sheard, Kim Burrell, LeCrae, Twinkie Clark, Dottie Peoples, Tasha Cobbs, and other musicians have performed in the 2000's.

Related imageImage result for american gangsterImage result for girlfriendsRelated imageImage result for the bernie mac show

African American culture dealt with movies too. Movies of the first decade of the 2000's have shown action, comedy, adventure, romance, and other themes of everyday human life. Love and Basketball was one of the greatest films of the year 2000. It was about 2 lovers finding love in basketball. IT starred Omar Epps and Sanaa Lathan, who are both great African American people. The controversial satire Bamboozled came about in the year 2000 too. The football movie Remember the Titans starred Denzel Washington, Nicole Ari Parker, and others. The film is about an integrated football team in Alexandria, Virginia during the early 1970’s working together to win a championship in the midst of racial conflicts (where they find common ground). The remake of Shaft existed in 2000 too starting Samuel L. Jackson. In 2001, a great comedy Kingdom Come existed with Vivica A. Fox, Jada Pinkett Smith, etc. Black Knight, Down to Earth, The Brothers, Two Can Play That Game, and other films showed comedy, romance, and adventure in 2001. Training Day starring Denzel Washington was released in 2001 as well. One of the most relevant films of 2002 was Brown Sugar. It starred Sanaa Lathan and Taye Diggs. It is about 2 childhood friends who unite and love each other while loving hip hop at the same time. Barbershop was released in the year of 2002. In 2003, Bad Boys 2 came out with Gabrielle Union, Will Smith, and Martin Lawrence.

2004 saw Crash (which is about police brutality, race, and people), Proud (about African Americans in the military), Against the Ropes, Alien vs. Predator, Blade: Trinity, Woman Thou Art Loosed, Breaking all the Rules (featuring Jamie Foxx and Gabrielle Union), Fade to Black, Fat Albert, and other movies. From 2005 to 2009, new films grew. Hitch, Guess Who, Madagascar, Favela Rising, and other films existed in 2005. Catch a Fire, Phat Girlz, Blood Diamonds, Dreamgirls, and the Last King of Scotland were released in 2006. The Great Debaters, Rush Hour 3, and American Gangster was released in 2007. By 2008, Miracle at St. Anna, Medicine for Melancholy, A Good Day to be Black and Sexy, Lakeview Terrace, Iron Man, etc. During 2009, movies like Black Dynamite, The Blind Side, Good Hair, Princess and the Frog, and Law Abiding Citizen dealt with African American life.

Many of the new generation of actors and actresses of the 2000's include: Meagan Good, Beyoncé, Donald Glover, Yaya DaCosta, Marques Houston, Rutina Wesley, Tiffany Haddish, Sanaa Lathan, Regina King, Anika Noni Rose, Sharon Leal, Jennifer Hudson, Gabourey Sidibe, Trai Byers, Lauren London, Brandon T. Jackson, Naturi Naughton, Aja Naomi King, Raven-Symone, Kerry Washington, Danai Gurira, Kevin Hart, Tatyana Ali, Brandy, Keshia Knight Pulliam, and other African Americans.


Image result for the chappelle show Related imageRelated image

African Americans in the 2000's TV shows dealt with comedy, drama, and other themes like Girlfriends, the Game, All About Us, The Boondocks, Like Family, The Bernie Mac show, Moesha, The Parkers, The Proud Family, Everybody Hates Chris, The Hughleys, My Wife and Kids, Chappelle Show, One on One, Half and Half, The Wire, The Cleveland Show, and other shows. Also, the increase of reality TV and music voting shows existed from American Idol, Flavor of Love, etc.

The first decade of the 21st century saw the beginnings of what we witness on TV today in the 2010’s. It was the fruit of the new inventions, new social realities, and diverse American identities that we manifest in.




Image result for barack obama in the senate inauguration


The Rise of Barack Obama in the Senate




Barack Obama is a political phenomenon. He is a man with a black father and a white mother. He has great intelligence, eloquence, and charisma. From decades ago, he had political ambitions. After being a constitutional professor and working in a law firm, he decided to go into the Senate state campaign. He was elected in the Illinois Senate in 1996. He succeeded Democratic Senator Alice Palmer from the 13th District in Illinois. The district was in Chicago South Side neighborhoods from Hyde Park-Kenwood south to South Shore and west to Chicago Lawn. Barack Obama worked in bipartisan legislation and sponsored a law that gave tax credits to low income workers, negotiated welfare reform, and promoted increased subsidies for childcare. He was re-elected to the Illinois Senate in 1998. He defeated Republican Yesse Yehudah in the general election, and was reelected again in 2002. In 2000, he lost a Democratic primary race for Illinois's 1st congressional district in the United States House of Representatives to four-term incumbent Bobby Rush by a margin of two to one. Bobby Rush was a former Black Panther. He sponsored legislation to monitor racial profiling. He later fought for the U.S. Senate campaign. He announced his candidacy in 2003.

His political media consultant was David Axelrod. By 2003, he was an early opponent of the Iraq War. In October 2, 2002, he addressed a large Chicago anti-Iraq War rally and spoke out against the war. He opposed it in March 2003 via a speech too. He gave his historic 2004 Democratic National Convention speech seen by 9.1 million people. It was well received and elevated his status in Democratic Party circles. He defeated Alan Keyes (or a Republican) in the Senate race.

He won 70% of the vote by the November 2004 election. He was sworn in on January 3, 2005. He was the only Senate member of the Congressional Black Caucus back then. He promoted government transparency and other policies when he was an U.S. Senator. He was a friend of Senator Richard Lugar (a Republican). Obama also sponsored a Senate amendment to the State Children's Health Insurance Program, providing one year of job protection for family members caring for soldiers with combat-related injuries. He was on many committees as a Senator. They included:  the Senate Committees for Foreign Relations, Environment and Public Works and Veterans' Affairs through December 2006. He visited the world as a Senator. He visited Europe, Africa, Central Asia, and the Middle East.


Related image Image result for barack obama announces candidacy


By February 10, 2007, in a cold day, Barack Obama announced his candidacy for President in Springfield, Illinois. He said his words in front of the Old State Capitol building. He talked about ending the Iraq War, energy independence, reforming health care, and other themes about hope and change. In the final section of his speech, he said the following words:



"...And if you will join me in this improbable quest, if you feel destiny calling, and see as I see, a future of endless possibility stretching before us; if you sense, as I sense, that the time is now to shake off our slumber, and slough off our fear, and make good on the debt we owe past and future generations, then I'm ready to take up the cause, and march with you, and work with you. Together, starting today, let us finish the work that needs to be done, and usher in a new birth of freedom on this Earth..."

The journey of Barack Obama and his family would continue to make history.


By Timothy


(The African American Story Part 7 (The Second Era)




Image result for david dinks 1990Image result for mae carol jemisonImage result for maya angelou 1992

The African American Story Part 7 (The Second Era) 


Black Excellence of the 1990's

Black excellence flourished during the 1990’s. The 1990's was a decade of new firsts for African Americans and an age of flavor, creativity, inspiration, and outstanding talent. The first black mayor of New York City, whose name is David Dinkins, was inaugurated on January 1, 1990. He was 62 years old. David Dinkins ran on a campaign of inclusion, hope for the future, and the growth of a better New York City. Later on January 13, 1990, Douglas Wilder was inaugurated as the first black Governor of the United States. Wilder was a Korean War veteran. His historic 1989 gubernatorial campaign had him appealing to black Americans and many white rural voters too. As governor, he executed both conservative nad progressive policies. He won the Spingarn Medal for 1990 from the National Association of the Advancement of Colored People. In the same year, August Wilson won a Pulitzer Prize for the play The Piano Lesson. In November 1990, Sharon Pratt Kelly was elected mayor of Washington, D.C., and she became the first African American woman to lead a large American city. Marcelite Jordan Harris was the first black woman brigadier general in the U.S. Army (back in 1990) and the first woman to command a mostly male battalion. Also, in 1990, Walter E. Massey is the first African American to head the National Science Foundation, Donna Marie Cheek becomes the first black member of the U.S. Equestrian Team, and Carole Ann-Marie Gist of Detroit, Michigan becomes the first African American to win the Miss USA pageant. Barack Obama was the first African American president of the Harvard Law Review on February 5, 1990. Devil in a Blue Dress on June 1990 was written by Walter Mosley. He is a great black author.

On June 20, 1990, Nelson Mandela was released from prison in South Africa. Nelson Mandela experienced over 20 years of imprisonment, because he opposed the nefarious evil of the apartheid system. He toured NYC and other cities in America.  In November 1990, Charles Johnson won the National Book Award for his book on the illegal 19th century slave trade called, “The Middle Passage.” Henry Louis Gates worked in the African Studies Department and the WEB DuBois Institute in Harvard. This was in 1991. He worked with many scholars like Ghana-born philosopher Kwame Anthony Appiah, William Julius Wilson, Cornel West, and historian Evelyn Brooks Higginbotham. Future baseball Hall of Famer Rickey Henderson of the Oakland Athletics broke Lou Brock’s all time stolen base record by stealing his 939th career base on May 1, 1991. Movies like Ghost, New Jack City, and Boyz n The Hood showed great performances from African Americans like Whoopi Goldberg, John Singleton as a director, Cuba Gooding Jr., Ice Cube, Laurence Fishburne, Wesley Snipes, and Morris Chestnut. This films not only showed the diversity of black American life. They captivated audiences worldwide in their complex story-lines, their mature character arrangement, and their inspirational entertainment (that deals with life lessons as well). Julie Dash’s Daughters of the Dust came out in 1991 and it was directed by an African American woman. The National Civil Rights Museum opened in Memphis, TN. Memphis was the city where Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. lead his final crusade for economic justice involving sanitation workers. On August 8, 1992, The Dream Team won the Olympic gold medal in basketball in Barcelona. They included some of the greatest basketball players in history and they further internationalized the game of basketball too.  People like Michael Jordan, Charles Barkley, Magic Johnson, David Robinson, Clyde Drexler, and others performed in a high level. They also gave autographs to their basketball opponents. Helicopters surrounded them when they were outside and they increased their worldwide popularity. By the 1990’s, the WNBA would exist and basketball would go into new heights of excellence.

By 1992, 35 year old astronaut Mae Carol Jemison (a Stanford graduate with a medical degree from Cornel) became the first African American woman to travel into space. She is a doctor education wise and she continues to promote STEM fields for people of color and everyone else to this very day. The first African American woman Senator was Carol Moseley Braun of Illinois. She was born and raised in Chicago and she was an attorney too. She celebrated her victory in Chicago in 1992 and she is a Democrat. Derek Walcott was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature. Rita Love would be Poet Laureate in 1993. In 1993, Avery Brooks, would be Commander Benjamin Sisko on Deep Space Nine of the Star Trek TV show series. The show lasts until 1999. Maya Angelou gave her poem “On the Pulse of the Morning” at President Bill Clinton’s inauguration ceremony in Washington, D.C. Arthur Ashe from Richmond, VA passed away on February 6, 1993 from AIDS related complications. A monument which celebrates Arthur Ashe’s life was shown by 1996. Arthur Ashe constantly promoted black freedom and wrote a book that detailed the contributions of black athletes. The Tom Joyner Morning Show, which was ahead of its time, reached syndication by January 1994. It talked about African American issues, relationships, health, and other important issues.

In 1994, Isabel Wilkerson wrote about the Great Migration in her book, “The Warmth of Other Suns.” She was the first African American woman to win the Pulitzer Prize for Journalism. To this very day,  Isabel Wilkerson has advanced progressive causes (she rightfully has condemned the hateful racism from the white nationalists and white supremacists in Charlottesville, VA in 2017). Henry Louis Gates and Cornel West wrote books about their lives and race in 1994. They represented the new generation of progressive scholars during the 1990’s.  Art has been promoted by Thelma Golden and Kara Walker in NY in 1994. Dorothy West’s “The Wedding” book is popular and she was 87 years old. Shirley Ann Jackson (she was the first black woman to earn a PhD from MIT) was sworn as the chair of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Committee. She later became the first black President of New York’s Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. “Dreams from My Father: A Story of Race and inheritance” was released by Barack Obama in 1995. This talks about his life in honest terms. The book talked about his identity, his parents, and the motivation that he has in order for him to achieve great accomplishments during his life. On May 6, 1995, Ron Kirk won the mayoral race in Dallas, becoming the first African American mayor of the city. Dr. Helene Doris Gayle becomes the first woman and the first African American Director of the National Center for HIV, STD, and TB Prevention for the U.S. Centers for Disease Control in 1995. By 1996, Muhammad Ali lit the flame in the Olympic Games in Atlanta, Georgia. Back then, I was almost 13 years old and I definitely remember the 1996 Summer Olympics very vividly. The 1996 Summer Olympics showed the talent of many athletes like Carl Lewis, Michael Johnson, Gail Devers, Gwen Torrance, Jackie Joyner-Kersee, and other human beings.

Heroic Financial analyst Bari-Ellen Roberts was a black woman in 1996 who fought against racial discrimination. Discrimination was found in Texaco and Texaco agreed to pay more than $140 million to the victims of discrimination. In June 1997, Harvey Johnson, Jr. was sworn in as the first black mayor of Jackson, Mississippi. On October 25, 1997, African American women participated in the Million Woman March in Philadelphia, focusing on health care, education, and self-help. In 1997, Geoffrey Canada uses his education program to help students in NYC. Wynton Marsalis's "Blood on the Fields" becomes the first jazz composition to win a Pulitzer Prize in Music. in 1997 too. In the same year, Lois Jean White is the first African American to be elected president of the National Parent Teacher Association (PTA). Amistad was released in 1997. This movie was about the freedom sent to Joseph Cinque and other black people who were kidnapped on a ship by European criminals. Steven Spielberg directed the movie. Djimon Hounsou (who was born in Benin, he lived in France, and now he lives in America) was the lead actor in the movie. The film was magnificent.

Related imageImage result for venus and serena williams 1999Image result for michael jordan dunk 1998 all star game

By April 13, 1997, a 21 year old Tiger Woods won the Masters Golf tournament. His father Earl Woods inspired him. He started a new era of more black people and people of color increasingly joining golf as a sport. Nelson Mandela received an honorary degree from Harvard in 1998. On January 13, 1999, after thirteen seasons and six NBA championships, professional basketball star Michael Jordan retires from the game as a player (he never comes back to the NBA except in 2001 to play for the Washington Wizards). Encarta Africana was released as CD-ROM in 1999 that has images, videos, and graphics about black history. It was edited by Henry Louis Gates Jr. and Kwame Anthony Appiah of Harvard. The first black woman coach to win an NCAA Women’s Basketball Championship was Carolyn Peck on March 28, 1999. She coached Purdue to victory. Peck was the first black woman to win the New York Athletic Clubs’ Winged Foot Award. Later, she was the head coach of the WNBA’s Orlando Miracle. Laurence Fishburne was part of the Matrix movie in 1999 too. Juneteenth was released by Ralph Ellison posthumously in June 1999. Maurice Ashley becomes the world's first black chess grandmasters, the game's highest rank back in 1999 too. In September 11, 1999, at Arthur Ashe Stadium in NYC, Serena Williams (at the age of 17) beat Martina Hingis to win the U.S. Open Championship. She was the 2nd African American woman to do so after Althea Gibson to win such a match. Venus Williams won Wimbledon in 1999 too. This started a long journey of 2 of the greatest women tennis players in history. They have transcended the sport and Serena Williams has been called by some as the greatest athlete of the 21st century.


Image result for bill clinton inauguration 1993


Bill Clinton


The Presidency of William Jefferson Clinton was definitely significant in the history of Black America. I lived throughout both of his terms. I know about his life and his policies. When I was a child, I viewed him as very liberal. As I go older and as I learned more about the world (and the beauty of social democratic principles), I saw his much more moderate political views. Before he was President, he was a leader of the DLC or the Democratic Leadership Committee. The DLC led a movement (since back during the 1980's) away from the old school liberalism of the New Deal and the Great Society to turn into a moderate new movement of the Third Way (or a new Democrat. We call them neoliberals). These neoliberals promoted fiscal conservativism in many cases, globalization, and compromise with the GOP on many issues from economics to foreign policy affairs. Bill Clinton was in that mold. Bill Clinton has great charisma and political intelligence on a high scale. Therefore, he used a campaign to defeat George H. W. Bush during the 1992 election. Bill Clinton promised many liberal proposals from tax increases for the wealthy, more investments in education, and other policy positions. Likewise, he showed his moderate streak throughout the 1992 campaign. One example is that he falsely compared Sistah Soujah to David Duke, because he misinterpret what Sistah Soujah had to say. Sistah Soujah is a very wise black woman who was ahead of her time in her political views, in her courage, and in her promotion of black self-awareness plus black self-determination. Sistah Soujah responded to Bill Clinton in eloquent terms. Here is some her historic response:

"...Peace. I stand before you today feeling very confident, steadfast and powerful; at the same time, I am surprised, that I as a young African woman, have impacted and effected the development of not only national politics, but international politics as well. It is very shocking to me that in a time of American economic recession, and inner city urban chaos, Democratic presidential contender Bill Clinton has chosen to attack not the issues, but a young African woman who is very well educated, alcohol free, drug free and a successful self employed businesswoman, and community servant...Bill Clinton says that Sister Souljah is a racist like David Duke, a well known ex-Klan member and White supremacist, but was a member in an all White segregated club up until this year...Bill Clinton portrays himself as compassionate, yet he supports giving prisoners lobotomies, removing sections of the brain...Sister Souljah does not own a gun, has not shot or killed anyone, did not invade Grenada, Panama, Nicaragua, Kuwait or Angola. Sister Souljah has never ordered the National Guard into anyone's community and has not made drug deals with Noriega.

Sister Souljah has never been a member of a terrorist organization, has no history of crime, has not burned crosses on anybody's lawn or lynched or hanged White people from trees. Sister Souljah has not systematically denied people the right to study and enjoy their culture in the so-called public education system. Sister Souljah did not send Haitians back to Haiti as though they were sub-human...The context in which my statements were made in the Washington Post was this, and I paraphrase speaking in the mind-set and in the mind of a gang member: Were you surprised at what happened in L.A.? No, I was not, White people should not have been surprised either; they knew that Black people were dying everyday in the streets of Los Angeles to gang violence created by poverty and social chaos, but they did not care. If young Black men in L.A. would kill their own kind, their own Brothers and Sisters, what would make White people think they wouldn't kill them too? Do White people think they're better, or is it that White death means so much more than Black death? Breaking it down, this means injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. As Sister Souljah, I reserve the right to fight against White racism--I have not ordered anyone to kill anyone. My album creates pressure on White America--a lot of pressure, and pressure is what America needs, deserves, and inherited--no justice, no peace."

The economic recession of 1991 influenced the victory of Clinton along with Perot being in the race. Perot was a populist campaign and many of the Reagan Democrats voted for Clinton. Bill Clinton during the campaign was constantly asked about an adultery allegation from Gennifer Flowers, who was a friend of Clinton. Many in the media accused him of being a draft dodger. In essence, the 1992 campaign was the first Presidential campaign where issues dealing with many sexual scandals existed in the high level. Clinton only won 43 percent of the popular vote. He was the first Southern Democratic President since Jimmy Carter. 82 percent of African Americans voted for Bill Clinton while 11 percent voted for George H. W. Bush. Black people helped carry the narrow of victory for Clinton in many states like Ohio, Louisiana, Tennessee, and Georgia (where a high number of black people lived at). His inauguration had Maya Angelou and other speakers. It took place in 1993. Maya Angelou spoke beautifully and eloquently about the dream that humankind ought to embrace. Among us (who are black Americans), there were high hopes for him. We wanted him to take the issue of race seriously and honestly. As history has shown, his Presidency has been filled with triumphs and failures. His Presidency was a combination of legitimate actions and serious mistakes. Today, he is among one of the most popular Presidents and he is in the history book for many reasons. In order to evaluate the legacy of the Clinton years fairly as it relates to black Americans, we have to mention his Presidency in chronological order.

Immediately, his cabinet experienced scandals. Zoe Baird didn’t become the Attorney General since she admitted that she employed undocumented workers in her home. Back then, xenophobia was abundant like today. Kimba Wood left the nomination too. Lani Guinier, a great unapologetic progressive woman, was slandered so much by the far right that she wasn’t the candidate for a key Justice Department post back in 1993. She lost her fight for the post of Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights. Many black people were in his cabinet like Ronald Brown (as Secretary of Commerce), but many black people opposed the backlash from many Republicans against qualified, progressive black cabinet candidates. Spellman College President Johnetta Cole wasn’t allowed to be Secretary of Education, because conservatives attacked her progressive political views. As early as 1993, Bill Clinton appointed Hillary Clinton to head the Task Force on National Health Care reform. Hillary Clinton during this time would fight for national health care. The Clinton administration fought for it, but they failed because of massive opposition and it was taboo back then for a President to pass national health care. Shortly after taking office, Bill Clinton signed the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 on February 5, which required large employers to allow employees to take unpaid leave for pregnancy or a serious medical condition.

Image result for bill clinton signing budget bill 1994

This shows Bill Clinton signing the Crime Bill. 

This action had bipartisan support, and was popular with the public. On May 19, 1993, Clinton fired seven employees of the White House Travel Office, causing the White House travel office controversy even though the travel office staff served at the pleasure of the president and could be dismissed without cause. The White House responded to the controversy by claiming that the firings were done in response to financial improprieties that had been revealed by a brief FBI investigation. One of the most important bills that Clinton signed was the Budget bill of 1993. It was moderate. In August, Clinton signed the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1993, which passed Congress without a Republican vote. It cut taxes for 15 million low-income families, made tax cuts available to 90 percent of small businesses, and raised taxes on the wealthiest 1.2 percent of taxpayers. Additionally, it mandated that the budget be balanced over a number of years through the implementation of spending restraints. In November of 1993, he signed the Brady Bill, which was a gun control measure. At first, Bill Clinton wanted gay people to openly serve in the military back in 1992, but he compromised and followed Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell (which means that a gay or lesbian person can serve as long as he or she doesn’t tell anyone and the military doesn’t ask anyone about his or her sexual orientation). It was gone by 2011 by the act of President Barack Obama. Surgeon General Jocelyn Elders wanted to have drug legalization to decline crime and Clinton was a moderate, so he criticized her remarks. Elders is an expert in social policy and medicine for decades. She was later removed from office. So, some black cabinet members were treated with blatant disrespect and that was wrong. In 1993, Vince Foster died and Clinton issued a missile attack in Iraq in response to the assassination plot of Iraqis who tried to assassinate President George H. W. Bush.

Bill Clinton worked with Yasser Arafat and Yitzhak Rabin to sign the historic Oslo Peace Accords. Both Arafat and Rabin would shake hands on that occasion. The Oslo Peace Accords was the time when peace was so close, but so far away at the same time in the Middle East. By the end of 1993 on December 8, Bill Clinton signed the controversial North Atlantic Free Trade Agreement or NAFTA. NAFTA accelerated globalization and had mixed results. It definitely didn’t prevent millions of American jobs from being outsourced. Also, research has shown has NAFTA has harmed workers in America and Mexico. Here are some examples. The Economic Policy Institute estimates that the agreement cost Ohio 50,000 jobs between 1993 and 2004. In the last seven years (from 2001-2008), Ohio lost more than 200,000 manufacturing jobs--as a consequence of plants moving to the U.S. South, the shallowness of the 2000s economic recovery and increasing productivity, among other factors. Mexican agriculture has been devastated by NAFTA because it is unable to compete with U.S. producers, which benefited from subsidies from the U.S. government that were 20 times higher than Mexico's as of 2005. The truth is that NAFTA was a problem because NAFTA was a policy of neoliberal globalization that allowed the ruling class to reap massive benefits while ignoring the legitimate economic needs of many American, Canadian, and Mexican workers (in other words, workers internationally not just in America should unite to confront the corporate oligarchy).

By 1994, Clinton allowed President Aristide to be in power in Haiti while preventing Haitian refugees from coming into America. In 1994, the Republican backlash came ahead with Republicans controlling most of the House. Gingrich led the charge with the Contract with America, which was a list of conservative plans for America. Bill Clinton was in a tough place and he worked with his advisors to figure out what was next. Bill Clinton signed the Crime Bill in 1994. It was opposed by progressives, many African Americans, and some conservatives (because of its gun control provisions).

Bill Clinton believed that being tough on crime and adding more police in the streets will decrease crime and cause a better America. The problem was that the Crime Bill expanded death penalty provisions and it didn’t understand the complex nature of crime. Crime must require rehabilitation not just punishment. The Crime Bill definitely expanded the prison industrial complex. Hillary Clinton was wrong to use the racially charged words of “super predators” to describe many black youth in low income neighborhoods. Back then, a lot of people didn’t realize the unintended consequences of the Crime Bill. The 1994 Rwanda was one of the saddest crises in world history. It was about Hutus in Rwanda murdering Tutsis and moderate Hutus. Over 1,000,000 people were murdered in Rwanda. While the slaughter took place, African American political scientist Ronald Walters called on black churches to help the Rwandan refugees. The Clinton White House had done nothing to intervene even in humanitarian aid. Clinton later admitted that this was one of his most bad foreign policy mistakes of his administration. While this was going on, the Republicans disgracefully attacked affirmative action, economic reforms, and other progressive policies. During the 1990’s, there was an increase of African American church burnings. I saw news about this during the late 1990’s too.

 Image result for Proposition 209

According to the Atlanta based Center for Democratic Renewal, between January 1990 and May 1996, 57 cases of firebombing or occurring of African American houses of worship existed (there were 57 cases of firebombing of vandalism of from January 1995 and May 1996). President Clinton in June of 1996 created a National Churches Arson Task Force to investigate these racist arson attacks. Many students cleaned up churches. Many hate crimes against black people and other minorities existed. Religious cults grew. There was the Waco incident where cult leader David Koresh died in an explosion. Debates about FBI’s response existed. The Oklahoma City Federal Building was bombed by Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nicholas in 1995. Bill Clinton gave an eloquent speech of advancing resolve including comfort and it was a turning point in his administration. From that time onward, he gained more popularity and won the 1996 election. Before that time, attacks on affirmative action continue. Proposition 209 banned affirmative in action in California.  Economist Julianne Malveaux opposed this plan.  The Whitewater scandals continued from 1993 onward. With the 1995 crisis of Yugoslavia, Clinton allows NATO to act in Sarajevo and other places. Bosnian Serbs negotiate with NATO to end the bloodshed. The Dayton, Ohio peace settlement is reached in November of 1995. The government shut of late 1995 continued and this gave Gingrich unpopularity. The GOP also was blamed by many for the crisis (of the government shutdown).

One of Bill Clinton’s most controversial acts was the signing of the welfare reform bill. This was an assault on the New Deal policy of helping the poor. It happened on August 22, 1996. The law is called the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Act. Bill Clinton promoted the concepts of “personal responsibility” throughout his Presidency. Many African Americans and liberals opposed the law. Many Democrats and Republicans helped Clinton to allow him to signed the law. This law ended the AFDC or the Aid to Families with Dependent Children. Paul Edelman resigned from his post in the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) in protest of the law. The law appealed to the far right who falsely scapegoated poor and black Americans for welfare issues when most black people aren’t on welfare and welfare is a key part of helping families worldwide for thousands of years. The usage of states using block grants and drug requirements involving welfare disrespected the dignity of many struggling families. THE NET effect of Clinton's reforms has been an overall increase in the poverty rate, from 13.7 percent in 1996 to 14.8 percent in 2014. About one in every seven Americans lives below the official poverty line.

The rise in extreme poverty--Americans who live on less than $2 per day--increased by 159 percent between 1996 and 2011. In the richest country on earth, a total of 1.65 million households are trying to survive on this meager amount. On September 21, 1996, Clinton signed into law the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which defines marriage for federal purposes as the legal union of one man and one woman, allowing individual states to refuse to recognize gay marriages performed in other states. The 1996 election had Bill Clinton defeating Bob Dole. There was economic progress by 1996 and Dole had great difficulty in making the case that he would be so much better than Bill Clinton. Bill Clinton knew this and sent commercials outlining his accomplishments. Bill Clinton also eloquently debated Bob Dole in numerous debates. Bill Clinton was the only second Democratic President in the 20th century to win a second term. The first was Franklin Roosevelt. He or Clinton moved on the right on many issues in order for him to gain votes. Economic growth and many reforms by 1996 propelled Bill Clinton to victory. He was inaugurated on January 20, 1997. By 1997, Bill Clinton had some of his greatest accomplishments. In the January 1997 State of the Union address, Clinton proposed a new initiative to provide health coverage to up to five million children. Senators Ted Kennedy—a Democrat—and Orrin Hatch—a Republican—teamed up with Hillary Rodham Clinton and her staff in 1997, and succeeded in passing legislation forming the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP), the largest (successful) health care reform in the years of the Clinton Presidency. That year, Hillary Clinton shepherded through Congress the Adoption and Safe Families Act and two years later she succeeded in helping pass the Foster Care Independence Act.  In 1997, he signed the balanced budget bill. It was moderate with tax cuts and tax increases on the wealthiest Americans. Bill Clinton apologized for the Tuskegee Experiment crime where innocent black people were giving syphilis without their permission and untreated for decades since 1932. He apologized for America’s involvement in the trans-Atlantic slave trade in 1998. He promoted a Presidential Race Initiative in order to attack racism and promote interracial dialogue. Historian John Hope Franklin headed the program and it was going forward. There were powerful debates on race and solutions.

By 1998, Bill Clinton’s Presidency would change. Bill Clinton by January 20, 1998 initially denied a sexual relationship with Monica Lewinsky, who was a White House intern at the time. Later, he admitted it and he committed adultery. This scandal would spread and many Republicans wanted Clinton to be impeached for lying under oath. By 1998, the budget has a surplus for the first time since 1969. Clinton supported the Good Friday Peace Accords among Catholic and Protestant leaders in Northern Ireland. In August of 1998, Osama bin Laden and his forces attacked U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. Osama bin Laden lived in Afghanistan. Later, Bill Clinton would led bombing strikes in Sudan and Afghanistan. Most of the American public supported Bill Clinton during the Lewinsky scandal. Bill Clinton apologized and Jesse Jackson was his counsel on the affair. Clinton’s popularity soared into new heights by 1999. Clinton will not be impeached by the Senate in 1999. NATO and U.S. bombing in Serbia started in 1999. Clinton accused Serbia of being involved of ethnic cleansing of Albanians. He accused Slobodan Milosevic of being a war criminal. The NATO bombings were controversial since NATO bombed civilian locations not just military targets. In 1999, Clinton signed into law the Financial Services Modernization Act also known as the Gramm–Leach–Bliley Act, which repealed the part of the Glass–Steagall Act that had prohibited a bank from offering a full range of investment, commercial banking, and insurance services since its enactment in 1933.

Related image

Bill Clinton continued to try to find peace among Israelis and Palestinians from 1998 into the 21st century. The USS Cole was bombed in Yemen in October 12, 2000. The end of the Clinton administration saw large peacetime economic growth. Much of that growth came into the lives of Americans. Also, much of that growth involves low wage jobs. The stock market grew. There was a new era of change. The end of the Clinton administration saw new changes, new possibilities, and the increased polarization of the American people. The Congressional Budget Office reported a budget surplus between the years 1998 and 2000, the last three years of Clinton's presidency.  Bill Clinton has great intelligence and he is one of the most astute political figures in American history. Also, he has his centrist streak that didn’t go far enough at times to make the Dream real. Clinton left office with the highest end-of-office approval rating of any U.S. president since World War II. Clinton presided over the longest period of peacetime economic expansion in American history.

Many African Americans made great accomplishments during his Presidency and many African Americans suffered during that era too (especially involving the prison industrial complex). Today, we know the truth about Bill Clinton. He is a capitalist politician who has done many policies that represented the transitional period after the Cold War and before 9/11. Many of his policies are antithetical to the interests of people of black African descent without question. The Clinton Presidency represented the resiliency of the black community and how far that we had to go in the fight for freedom and justice.


Image result for OJ simpson billsImage result for oj simpson 2017


OJ

One of the most debated topics involving American history has been about OJ. To this very day, people discuss about his life. His story, as others have mentioned, is an American story. His life proves that many believe in the delusion that wealth equals happiness and just because some may allow you to have massive material items doesn’t mean that these same people respect you as an equal. OJ Simpson has self-hatred and this is shown by his erratic actions, his total downplaying of his Blackness, and his unresolved insecurities. He knew the truth about racism and the system of oppression, but he made a conscious decision to ignore the important issues of our community. One example is in 1969. OJ told NY Times journalist Robert Lipstye a story. He was in Joe Namath’s bar called Bachelors III in New York. He was in a table of mostly black people. “He overheard a white woman at the next table saying, ‘Look, there’s O.J. sitting with all those n____s,’” Lipsyte told ESPN.  “I remember in my naiveté, saying to O.J., ‘Gee, wow, that must have been terrible for you.’ And he said, ‘No, it was great. Don’t you understand? She knew that I wasn’t black. She saw me as O.J.’” Former SWAT Officer Pete Weireter, who recalls Simpson asking, “What are all these n___s doing in Brentwood?” after his famous car chase on June 17, 1994. There are other stories like this which showed OJ Simpson’s sad, disturbing internal self-hatred. In a paradoxically way, OJ Simpson is a representation of the racism, contradictions, and the total anti-black nature of the capitalist Western system.

To begin, OJ Simpson was born in San Francisco, California in 1947. He was raised in the housing projects of Potero Hill in San Francisco. He was raised by his mother. His mentor Willie Mays (who is one of the greatest baseball players in history) saved his life from the situations in low income areas. He started to play football. He played in USC in college and played for the Buffalo Bills by 1969. He was one of the greatest players in football history. He went to the NFL Pro Bowl 5 Times (from 1972 to 1976). He won MVP in 1973. He was the rushing leader 4 times and was the rushing touchdown leader 2 times. He was the fastest player to get 2,000 rushing yards in one season. OJ was acceptable to many.

His first wife was a gorgeous black woman whose name is Marguerite L. Whitley. With a black wife and children, it wasn’t enough for OJ. So, he started to make the great mistake of using adultery against his first kindhearted wife. OJ Simpson dated Nicole Brown in 1977 (while OJ was married to Marguerite). She or Nicole was a waitress in a nightclub called Daisy. Adultery is always wrong and evil. Then, the divorce happened in 1979. He married Nicole Brown in February 2, 1985. By that time, he retired from football. He was in commercials, he was in movies (including TV shows), and he thought psychologically that he was immune from the system of white racism. He internalized a lot of naiveté and ignored the truth that black people in this country are scrutinized heavily and targeted by the capitalist order for exploitation. OJ Simpson didn’t just do adultery. He committed domestic violence against Nicole Brown on multiple occasions, which is wrong too. His life would change forever in 1994. On June 13, 1994, the bodies of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Lyle Goldman were found outside of Simpson’s Brentwood townhouse. Their bodies were very bloody. 3 days later, OJ Simpson was on a car chase with the police. His former USC teammate Al Cowlings was with him in the vehicle. According to Al Cowlings, he talked OJ Simpson out of committing suicide. The car chase was televised internationally. After the chase, OJ Simpson was arrested at his mansion and OJ was charged with the murder of his ex-wife including her friend. The country back then was in shock over a previously beloved person (especially beloved by many in white America and in black America) found accused of murder. OJ Simpson would plead not guilty to all charges on June 20, 1994. The hearing came about in June 1994. The judge, who presided over the case, was Judge Lance A. Ito. Simpson's preliminary hearing was held.

Prosecutors wouldn't seek the death penalty against OJ as they said in September 9, 1994. They wanted him to be in prison for life without parole. More than 200 prospective jurors reported for duty as the trial of OJ. Simpson started in late September 1994. The jury was made of mostly black men and black women. Ultimately, the jury was made up of 9 black people, 2 white people, and one Hispanic person. They are sworn as jurors on November 3, 1994. They are sequestered in a secret location by January 9, 1995. The trial is televised worldwide. Much of the coverage is shown every single day on various networks or channels. The leading prosecutors in the case were Deputy District Attorney Marcia Clark and Christopher Darden. On January 24, 1995, the prosecution presents the argument that since OJ couldn’t control Nicole Brown Simpson, he murdered her and her friend out of malice and jealousy. The prosecution also said that DNA analysis has shown Simpson's blood at the scene of the crime, then OJ Simpson is guilty.

Much of the evidence that the prosecution has shown to the jurors like the — bloody glove, bloody socks, blood in and on the Bronco — was discovered by Los Angeles Police Detective Mark Fuhrman. The bloody shoe prints at the crime scene were identified by FBI shoe expert William Bodziak as having been made by a pair of extremely rare and expensive Bruno Magli shoes; only 29 pairs of this style were sold in the United States. The large size 12 (305 mm) prints matched Simpson's shoe size. OJ soon released his book in 1995 called “I Want to Tell You.” The Defense team is led by Defense attorney Johnnie L. Cochran Jr. Many labeled the defense team as the dream team which included very popular lawyers like F. Lee Bailey, Alan Dershowitz, Robert Kardashian, Shawn Holley, Carl E. Douglas, and Gerald Uelmen. Barry Scheck and Peter Neufeld were two additional attorneys who specialized in DNA evidence. Johnny Cochran said that the DNA evidence is corrupted and issued other words in his opening statement that makes him believe that OJ Simpson is innocent (on January 30, 1995).

Two attorneys specializing in DNA evidence, Barry Scheck and Peter Neufeld, were hired to attempt to discredit the prosecution's DNA evidence. Cochran and the defense team also said that misconduct by the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) is related to systemic racism. Many LAPD people came on the witness stand like Officer Robert Riske of the LAPD. He said that he picked up Nicole’s phone without glove and without dusting it for fingerprints. By February, the jurors, Judge Ito and attorney visited the Simpson Rockingham Avenue home, the crime scene, and other locations. The prosecution lost the case in part because of Mark Fuhrman. Fuhrman was a gift to the defense team. Fuhrman was a LAPD Detective. He was cross examined by attorney F. Lee Bailey. He or Fuhrman lied and denied making racist comments and dismissed the suggestion that he messed with evidence involving the murder investigation of OJ Simpson. He committed perjury and new tapes have shown him making racist remarks.

On March 21, 1995, Brian “Kato” Kaelin took the stand about the hours before the stabbings of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Lyle Goldman. LAPD criminalist Dennis Fund admitted under oath that errors were made at the crime scene on April 4, 1995. DNA evidence is researched and told by Cellmark Diagnostics lab director Robin Cotton. By early June of 1995, jurors saw the autopsy photographs of the 2 victims. On June 15, 1995, OJ Simpson tries on the gloves. He said that they are too tight. On July, the prosecution via Marcia Clark said that the people rest. Then, the defense used its argument. Arnelle Simpson (or the daughter of OJ Simpson) testified on her father’s behalf in the trial. Arnelle supports her father completely. The defense shows blood samples that they claim that the prosecution didn’t show. Later, on August 1995, it is revealed by Screenwriter Laura Hart Mckinny that Mark Fuhrman used racial slurs and gloated about police brutality (as found on tape). In September 1995, Mark Fuhrman pleaded the 5th Amendment against self-incrimination after asked by defense lawyers who charged that he framed OJ Simpson. He refused to answer the questions but cited the 5th Amendment.

Judge Ito ordered the prosecution to begin its rebuttal even though the defense hasn’t rested yet on September 12, 1995. Both sides rest their cases in September 22, 1995. Prosecutors Marcia Clark and Christopher Darden delivered their final arguments on September 27, 1995. Defense attorneys Johnnie Cochran Jr. and Barry Scheck deliver the closing argument. “If it doesn’t fit, you must acquit,” Cochran told the jury. Marcia Clark released 911 tapes of Nicole Simpson calling for help because of domestic violence abuse on 1989 and on 1993. On October 3, 1995, the verdict is read.

 Image result for oj simpson verdictImage result for oj simpson verdict times square

OJ Simpson is found by the jury to be not guilty. I was in the 7th grade in my classroom when the verdict was read. The classroom had used the television to allow the entire classroom to witness the verdict of the trial. Many black people in America cheered and many white people were shocked by the verdict. It showed the racial disagreements on the same issues that continue to this very day. It represented how controversial the judicial system is.  For a long time, many black people have been falsely convicted over crimes and OJ Simpson was a black man who was not convicted by a jury. Back then, most black Americans viewed him as innocent and most white Americans viewed him as guilty. According to a 2016 poll, 83% of white Americans and 57% of black Americans believe Simpson was guilty of the murders. OJ Simpson was found liable for the deaths of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman on February 5, 1997. So, he has to pay restitution. The money is about $33.5 million in damages. He has other legal troubles. The major legal trouble was 2007 robbery. OJ Simpson and a group of men stole some of his memorabilia items. Later, he is convicted and he claims that another person used a gun on another person. At his parole hearing on July 20, 2017, the board decided to grant Simpson parole. His release date is October 1, 2017. He will have served nine years. His life has been filled with chaos and bizarre situations.

Since we know the truth about his life, many people have renewed interest about this story. There is In FX's cable TV mini-series The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story (February 2016), based on Jeffrey Toobin's book The Run of His Life: The People v. O. J. Simpson (1997). In the mini-series, Simpson is portrayed by Cuba Gooding Jr. The documentary mini-series, O.J.: Made in America (released January 22, 2016 at Sundance), directed by Ezra Edelman and produced by Laylow Films, is an American 5-part, 7.5-hour film that previewed at the Tribeca and Sundance Film Festival. Also, it was aired as part of the 30 for 30 series airing on the ABC and ESPN sister networks. I like the 30 for 30 series from ESPN myself.

The documentary didn’t just talk about race, celebrity, and race relations in Los Angeles. It exposed the brutal Drug War and the evils of police brutality including other injustices going on in America (like the problems found in the incarceration state) back then and today. The film won a 2017 Academy Award for best Documentary Feature. Tons of people have said that it is a great documentary. The tragedy of OJ Simpson is that he expressed an askance attitude for many black people and ironically enough most people that truly cared for the man has been black people (which includes his family). He tried to promote the myth that success and fame makes you immune to the problems of the black collective. Later, he made serious mistakes that almost made him serve life in prison. His story is a lesson and a warning that naiveté is never an option for anyone to embrace, adultery is evil, the love of Blackness is sacrosanct, and it shows the importance of commitment to justice is a legitimate path to follow.

The fantasy of post racialism has been fully exposed to the world with the OJ Simpson life story. OJ is a reflection of America’s criminality since its inception, because many in America have used massive criminality (especially against Native Americans, black people, etc.). In a way, OJ is a representation of the sickness of how racism, racial-self-hatred, and oppression can manifest itself in unique ways. Some even use OJ as an excuse to promote the racist myth that criminality is exclusive to black people, but the truth is that one male's acts should never be blamed on all black people. It is truly sad that some people so obsess with fame and fortune that they lose their sense of self. Yes, we aren’t OJ (who is a black man who is about to leave prison soon. I wish no evil to come upon him. My only wish for OJ is for him to wake up for real).

We are human beings who see the value in our black minds, our black bodies, and our black souls.

Image result for clarence thomas extremistRelated image


More Events of the 1990's

President George H. W. Bush chosen Clarence Thomas to be nominated to court after Thurgood Marshall retired from the bench. Bush thought Thomas would be easily confirmed, but that wasn’t the case. Marshall was a progressive and Thomas was a conservative. George H. W. Bush was a conservative President, but he was much more liberal than his predecessor Ronald Reagan. Bush did what he did since he wanted the advance the interests of black conservatives and black neoconservatives when most African Americans were neither. Thomas worked many years in the Reagan Administration with Anita Hill. Anita Hill later accused him of sexual harassment and gender discrimination. Anita Hill brought her testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee. Her testimony did a positive thing in bringing more awareness to the evil of sexual harassment in the workplace and in life in general. Many people supported Hill and others opposed her. Yet, she has been consistent in her story and recently, more women have accused Clarence Thomas of sexual harassment. Thomas accused liberals of using a “high tech lynching” because of his political philosophy, but sexual harassment is an evil that must be addressed and eradicated without apology.

His nomination was challenged, but he was confirmed. Thomas would go on and be a conservative on the court like Alito. Many conservatives always genuflect Clarence Thomas. The truth is that Clarence Thomas not only opposed affirmative action. He supported a decision to gut parts of the Voting Rights Act. The truth is that Clarence Thomas is a hypocrite by benefiting from affirmative action, but he opposes it. He claims to be supportive of the interests of the people, but he was an attorney with the Monsanto Chemical Company in St. Louis, Missouri. In cases regarding the Fourth Amendment, which prohibits unreasonable searches and seizures, Thomas often favors police over defendants. I don't agree with his judicial philosophy.

Thomas is an ally of many white conservatives who desire not black liberation or even economic justice, but a return to the bad old days where environmental protections are gutted and the agenda of states' rights (which white supremacists used to oppress black people) are promoted over human rights. He represents a far right movement among some black people who desire the gutting of the Voting Rights Act, the ignoring of the necessity to fight for social justice, and the right wing backlash against the progressive victories that we won (these victories include Social Security, the Voting Rights Act, the Civil Rights Act, the Clean Air Act, Medicaid, Medicare, etc.). Anita Hill continues to speak for the rights of women (many women came into Congress because of her testimony) and she continues to inspire many people globally.

Image result for LA riots 1992Image result for rodney king beating


It has been over 25 years since the LA rebellions of 1992, but I remember it just like yesterday. I was 8 and a half years old when it occurred. The rebellion didn’t happened because one of one event. It occurred by a combination of complex social and economic reasons. Los Angeles was born centuries ago and by the 1980’s, Los Angeles was changing. That time saw the rise of economic inequality, deindustrialization, the epidemic of police excessive usage of force against citizens, and new ethnic dynamics. One aspect of this dynamic was the growth of Korean businesses in predominately African American communities. Many Koreans back then were recent immigrants to America. Many black people felt that Koreans exploited black people and refused to give black people jobs in their stores. Many Koreans underestimated the vicious cycle of racial oppression that black people were experiencing (for decades in LA). The Korean population was divided among liberal Koreans who sincerely wanted racial reconciliation and human justice and more conservative Koreans who desired a more law and order philosophy (many of them heavily supported the Republican Party). Police mistrust is now new in Los Angeles. The Watts rebellion of 1965 came after decades of police terrorism and housing plus job discrimination against human beings.

The “tough on crime” rhetoric and the further militarization of police agencies continued since the 1960’s. Many SWAT Team units massively grew since the 1960’s rebellions. Nixon promoted “law and order” including Reagan. This was an overt attack not only on black activism for change, but on the Warren court decisions that gave people constitutional protections from unlawful arrest and from the violation of habeas corpus rights. The underground drug trade, the War on Drugs (which was used as a pretext to dismantle many democratic rights especially under the Reagan administration), the prison industrial complex, continued poverty in poor areas, and gangs who enacted unjust violence exacerbated the tensions in Los Angeles. By the 1970’s, the post-World War II boom ended. Police state power in America grew along with police brutality (against black people, Hispanic people, etc.). This was mixed with massive union busting, unequal consumer services, lax educational services, layoffs, and cutbacks in social programs. Desperation was in the air by the 1980’s and early 1990’s. This entire situation caused an explosion of hurt, pain, and rebellion. The LA rebellion was done by black people, Hispanic people, and others.

Also, many racial and police related incidents accelerated the cause of the 1992 Los Angeles rebellion. One was Latisha Harlins (who was an innocent black girl) being killed by one Korean store owner. She was only 15. First, Soon Ja Du owned the Empire Liquor store. Harlins had money and put a bottle of orange juice in her backpack. Du falsely believed that Harlins wanted to steal when Harlins had money in her hand. Du grabbed Harlins by the sweater and snatched her backpack. Harlins used self-defense and struck Du 3 times with her fist. Harlins walked away. Later, the orange juice was dropped during the event. Du snatched the bottle from her. Harlins starts to leave and Du got a handgun to murder her in cold blood in the back of her head. She died instantly. This was in March 16, 1991. Later, the court only found her guilty of voluntary manslaughter. She was only given 5 years probation and 400 hours of community service plus a $500. This was a total injustice. Tupac dedicated a song to Latasha Harlins in his song “Keep Ya Head up” and other songs. Ice Cube made a song about the incident in the song “Black Korea” from his album Death Certificate.

District Attorney Ira Reiner denounced Judge Karlin and pledged to use an unusual California law to bar her from trying criminal cases. "This was such a stunning miscarriage of justice that Judge Karlin cannot continue to hear criminal cases with any public credibility," he asserted. Denise (or Harlins’ aunt) tried her best to recall the Judge Karlin, but she was unsuccessful. The Harlins family held vigils outside the Du residence every year on the anniversary of her sentencing. RIP Sister Latasha Harlins.  The unjust beating of Rodney King by police terrorists ignited the rebellion also. The evening started in the evening of March 3, 1991. Rodney King had a high speed chase. He traveled through Lakeview Terrace in LA. Later, he came into a stop.

After the two passengers were placed in the patrol car, five white Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) officers – Stacey Koon, Laurence Powell, Timothy Wind, Theodore Briseno, and Rolando Solano – attempted to subdue King, who came out of the car last.  Rodney King was tasered and brutally beaten with batons. Rodney King was severely injured. The video footage was recorded by a camcorder by a local resident named George Holliday from his apartment in the vicinity. It was 12 minutes long. Some clips were not released to the public. That footage was shown to the world. People issued widespread condemnation of the brutal assault against Rodney King. Even the mayor and LAPD chief of police Daryl Gates condemned the excessive use of force. Minority communities for years and decades complained about excessive usage of violence against people of color in Los Angeles. Some hoped that justice would be served and the officers involved in the beating of Rodney King would be in prison for a long period of time.

Many wanted Gates to resign. Later, there was the independent commission of the incident. The Independent Commission on the Los Angeles Police Department, informally known as the Christopher Commission, was formed in April 1991, in the wake of the Rodney King beating, by then-mayor of Los Angeles Tom Bradley. It was chaired by attorney Warren Christopher (who later became U.S. Secretary of State under President Bill Clinton). "The commission was created to conduct 'a full and fair examination of the structure and operation of the LAPD,' including its recruitment and training practices, internal disciplinary system, and citizen complaint system." This commission was similar to the Kerner report from the 1960’s. The Christopher Commission exposed how many significant LAPD officers used excessive force ignoring written guidelines on conduct to citizens. It found that management in the LAPD prevented accountability. It wanted new standard of accountability to make sure that people (who are cops) are responsible.

Image result for la riots gang truceImage result for la riots

The commission highlighted the problem of "repeat offenders" on the force, finding that of approximately 1,800 officers against whom an allegation of excessive force or improper tactics was made from 1986 to 1990, more than 1,400 had only one or two allegations. But 183 officers had four or more allegations, forty-four had six or more, sixteen had eight or more, and one had sixteen such allegations. Generally, the forty-four officers with six complaints or more had received positive performance evaluations that failed to record "sustained" complaints or to discuss their significance. This was a serious problem and black people have every right to be outraged at this pattern of oppression against our community. Four officers were charged with assault. The police trial was changed from Los Angeles County to Simi Valley in Ventura County. Simi Valley is a more conservative place. The jury was made up of nine whites, one biracial man, one Latino person, and one Asian person. The prosecutor was Terry White, who was an African American. The trial existed in 1992. On April 29, 1992, the jury acquitted all 4 officers of every charge (They couldn’t agree on a verdict for the fourth officer charged with using excessive force). This caused shockwaves in the black community. The justice system has opposed the interests of black people for a long time and this verdict was a turning point. Director John Singleton, who was in the crowd at the courthouse, predicted, "By having this verdict, what these people done, they lit the fuse to a bomb." The rebellion happened from April 29, 1992 to May 4, 1992.

The rebellion peaked in the next 2 days. April 29 was on a Wednesday. A dusk to dawn curfew and the deployment of the California Army National Guard eventually caused the rebellion to end. 63 people died during the event including 8 being killed by the police including 2 killed by guardsmen. As many as 2,383 people were reported injured. Estimates of the material losses vary between about $800 million and $1 billion. Approximately 3,600 fires were set, destroying 1,100 buildings, with fire calls coming once every minute at some points. Widespread looting also occurred. Stores owned by Koreans and other Asian ethnicities were widely targeted. On April 29, 2/3 of the LAPD were in Ventura, CA or out of town. The verdict came in 3:15 pm. By 3:45, more than 300 people appeared at the Los Angeles County Courthouse to protest the verdict. Anger and some incident happened in the Florence Avenue area. Mayor Bradley deplored the verdict, but wanted people to use calm without violence. At Florence and Halldale, 2 officers wanted assistance to arrest a young suspect. They arrive and arrested the youth.

The young man was roughly handled and his name was 16 year old Seandel Daniels. The crowd berated the police as Daniels was known in the community. Bart Bartholomew (who was later attacked and had his driver side window broken), a freelance photographer for The New York Times, and Timothy Goldman, who began to record events with a camcorder over the next two hours. Lieutenant Moulin ordered the officers out of the area since he feared that the police would use deadly force. The officers were outnumbered and left. They didn’t have riot equipment. The crowd celebrated and moved south to Florence and Normandie. A liquor store named Tom’s Liquor was broken into by over 100 people.  As Timothy Goldman continued to record the scene on a personal camcorder, the Los Angeles News Service team of Marika Gerrard and Robert Tur arrived overhead in a news helicopter, broadcasting from the air. Henry Watson and other men assaulted Larry Tarvin, who was a truck driver. Many people beat up Asians and whites. An African American named Rodney helped Larry Tarvin to escape. The attack on Reginald Denny was at 6:46 pm. He was another truck driver. A group of black individuals almost beat him to death.  Damian Williams threw a brick at Denny that struck him in the skull, fracturing it in 91 places. One black man, Bobby Green Jr. of South Central LA saved Denny’s life. Fidel Lopez, a self-employed construction worker and Guatemalan immigrant, was pulled from his GMC pickup truck and robbed of nearly $2,000. Members of the rioters including Damian Williams smashed his forehead open with a car stereo as another rioter attempted to slice his ear off. He was spray painted black in his body.

Another black man saved Lopez's life. Many people protested and used violence in Parker Center. Many turned over vehicles and set objects ablaze. Firefighters were shot at by people.  One firefighter was shot in the stomach. The first of the National Guard units, the 670th Military Police Company, had traveled almost 300 miles (480 kilometers) from its main armory and arrived in the afternoon to assist local police. They were initially deployed to a police command center and they began handing out bulletproof vests to the firefighters after encountering the unit whose member had been shot. Later the same evening, after receiving ammunition from the LA Police Academy and a local gun store, the MPs deployed to hold the Martin Luther King Shopping Mall in Watts. People protested and threw rocks in Lake View Terrace, LA. The curfew from Mayor Tom Bradley came on Thursday. The rebellion spread into Central Los Angeles from South Central. It came into Hollywood too. Then, it went south into Inglewood, Hawthorne, Compton, and Long Beach (which are cities in Southern California). Korean Americans used groups of gun armed people to protect their stores too. There were open gun battles between Koreans and others involved in the rebellion. Then President George H. W. Bush opposed the rebellion and allowed the California Army National Guard to intervene.

On May 1, 1992,  Rodney King at an impromptu news conference in front of his lawyer's Los Angeles offices on Wilshire & Doheny, tearfully saying, "People, I just want to say, you know, can we all get along?" Governor Pete Wilson wanted federal assistance. Bush invoked the Insurrection Act via Executive Order 12804. This allowed federalized Army National Guard and federal military personnel to come. The military came and many sports events were postponed. On May 2, 30,000 people attended a peace rally in Koreatown to support local merchants and support racial healing, around 11 am. The crisis calmed down by Sunday. During the aftermath, thousands of people in Los Angeles cleaned up their communities. Few violent incidents continued days later. Schools, banks, and businesses reopened. To Korean Americans, this event was Sa-I-Gu or four-two-nine” in Korean (which was the date of April 29, 1992). Ironically enough, the rebellion increased political activism of Korean Americans and other ethnic groups. Some wanted to unite with other minorities in LA to fight racial oppression and scapegoating, which were liberal Koreans. Others wanted to promote economic and social policies of the Republican Party. The Koreans wanted to advance their political causes just like African Americans wanted to promote our political causes. Also, it is important to respect the black people’s legitimate grievance of advancing more black owned enterprises in mostly black communities too. In other words, many black people felt that many Korean store owners disregarded the cultural sensibilities and the economic rights of black Americans in the black community. Hispanic people were involved in the rebellion too.

Many black people and Hispanic people united during the time for the sake of opposing political disenfranchisement and economic oppression. The rebellion was a multiethnic affair. Many Korean American, African American, and Hispanic American stores were destroyed in the rebellion. The rebellion existed by complex reasons of urban denial of legitimate services, police brutality, corporate exploitation, ethnic tensions, and economic inequality. The African-American Congressional representative of South Central Los Angeles, Democrat Maxine Waters, said that the events in L.A. constituted a "rebellion" or "insurrection" caused by the underlying reality of poverty and despair existing in the inner city. This state of affairs, she asserted, were brought about by a government which had all but abandoned the poor through the loss of local jobs and by the institutional discrimination encountered by people of racial minorities, especially at the hands of the police and financial institutions. She is 100 percent right. The criminal officers, who beaten Rodney King, were tried again on federal charges of this violation of civil rights. The decision came on April 17, 1993.  Two officers—Officer Laurence Powell and Sergeant Stacey Koon—were found guilty, while officers Theodore Briseno and Timothy Wind were acquitted.

Rodney King was awarded $3.8 million in damages from the City of Los Angeles for the attack. Many organizations stepped forward to rebuild Los Angeles; South Central's Operation Hope and Koreatown's Saigu and KCCD (Korean Churches for Community Development), all raised millions to repair destruction and improve economic development. Many donations helped people to rebuild LA, but most of the local stores in the poorest areas were never rebuilt. Rodney King would pass away by an accidental drowning on June 17, 2012. 25 years later, racial tensions have improved in Los Angeles. Yet, economic inequality has grown since that time. The reason is that the middle class has declined since 1992. More middle class people live in the suburbs. Also, there is an increase of tech and service jobs (mostly gotten by the upper class and the rich) which many poor residents readily don’t have access to. The report by the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs concluded that unemployment and poverty have worsened in some areas, and per-capita retail sales have dropped, due partially to a lack of large stores. Homelessness is still a problem in Los Angeles.

The black population has radically declined in LA. From 1992–2007, the black population dropped by 123,000, while the Latino population grew more than 450,000. According to the Los Angeles police statistics, violent crime fell by 76% between 1992 and 2010 and tensions between racial groups have lessened; 60% of residents (like Dee Young) reported racial tension has improved in the past 20 years with decreasing gang activity. Likewise, police brutality is a problem in America. Groups like Black Lives Matter made the world see this problem also. The 1992 rebellion in LA was a prelude to future rebellions in Ferguson (in 2014) and Baltimore (in 2015). It was a reminder that we must fight for our rights in order to have freedom. Part of this freedom is about advancing black liberation.

Image result for The million man march

The Million Man March

The Million Man March took place on October 15, 1995. I was in the seventh grade when it took place. I saw the coverage of it on TV in my middle school classroom. Before the march, there was the movement for the establishment of such a march. By the early 1990’s, the crime rates in America declined, yet more repressive bills existed which expanded the prison industrial complex, racial profiling, and continued police brutality. Environmental hazards existed in many poor, black neighborhoods and the poverty rate was high for many black Americans back then. It is important to recognize the long legacy of black activism for liberation which involved the African Blood Brotherhood, members of the OAAU, members of the UNIA, pan-African movements, Hubert Harrison, Assata Shakur, Ella Baker, Robert F. Williams, the Deacons of Defense, etc. As early as the 1980’s, new civil rights leaders existed. Some people even wanted to blame black people for every problem in the black community, which is ludicrous under the guise of “personal responsibility.” Debates continued and a crisis leadership manifested in Black America by the early 1990’s. The 1994 Republican takeover of Congress and the GOP’s Contract with America caused the growth of the conservative movement in America.

The 1994 black leadership summit had discussions among the old school desegregationists and the younger generation of progressive black leaders. Also, C. Delores Tucker, Joe Madison (a radio commentator), and Dick Gregory criticized hip hop music that advanced misogyny and a glamorization of violence. As hip hop grew, some in the older generation sometimes lacked a sophisticated understanding of hip hop's diversity and many positive qualities of some hip hop artists. Conversely, many hip hop artists refused to realize that the N word, glamorizing unjust violence, and debasing black women in lyrics is the antithesis of Blackness or black empowerment. By the 1990’s, Louis Farrakhan (whose views are very similar to the views of the famous conservative Booker T. Washington) gained much more acceptance in some segments of the black community. He is the leader of the Nation of Islam and many of his views are blatantly patriarchal and conservative. As early as December 1994, he called for a million black men to come into Washington, D.C. in order to promote atonement among black men and calling black men to have more involvement in their families and communities. The movement wanted black women to participate in it, but not have direct leadership or a leading participation in the march. This caused controversy as many black women criticized Farrakhan for refusing to allow black women to be leaders in this movement as black women are the backbone of the black freedom struggle. In every era of black history, Black Women were in a leading role in organizing for social change. Sexism, xenophobia, and any form of bigotry are antithetical to being Pro-Black.

There is a long history of many black conservative fundamentalists not only embracing patriarchal supremacism, but allying with white supremacists (one example is how Elijah Muhammad allowed Neo-Nazi Lincoln Rockwell to be in Chicago in the NOI rally back in the 1960’s. Far right white conservative and Texas oilman H. L. Hunt gave money to the Nation of Islam decades ago too. H.L. Hunt’s full name was Haroldson Lafayette Hunt). Benjamin Chavis was another leader of the Million Man March too. Chavis left the NAACP and a great civil rights legend Myrlie Evers-Williams was the new leader of the NAACP in 1995. She brought the NAACP into new growth and organizational strength. Farrakhan was unique in having already strong ties in the hip hop industry and his action to organize gang truces. So, he appealed to the youth with his message of black pride, but many people ignored his other massively conservative ideologies. Later, many liberals and progressives from Jesse Jackson to Cornel West joined in the march. Most African Americans supported the march. A minority of feminists, progressives, and other leftists accused Farrakhan of being racist, sexist, anti-Semitic, separatist, and homophobic.

Image result for The million man march louis farrakhanImage result for The million man march maya angelouImage result for million man march chavis

The Million Man March was large. The founder of the National African American Leadership Summit, Dr. Benjamin Chavis, Jr. served as National Director of the Million Man March. One million black people including children traveled on planes, cars, and buses to Washington D.C. on October 1995. It was a day of massive solidarity. Women speakers were there from Maya Angelou, Rosa Parks, Faye Williams (who was a D.C. attorney) and Dorothy I. Height. It was the largest African American rally in Washington, D.C. in American history. It was a peaceful rally that stood up for responsibility, against intraracial violence, and advanced a call to action. The Million Man March was a success. Bill Clinton, Newt Gingrich, Bob Dole, and other conservatives and DLC Democrats supported the ideologies of the march (not necessarily Louis Farrakhan) because the march played on many conservative themes of nuclear family promotion and a sense of personal responsibility.

That is why it is no secret that the black Right and the white Right agree on advancing capitalist economics, patriarchy, self-help, less government involvement, and a conservative interpretation of morality. Many black people in the rally were sincere in fighting against the evils in the world and advancing positive solutions to complicated problems in the black community. Many wanted to legitimately oppose the slander that all black men were drug trafficking, violent, and extreme criminals who wanted to harm people. The truth is that there are tons of black men and black women who are scholars, teachers, athletes, engineers, doctors, lawyers, and other positive role models in the world. One aspect of the result of the march was the growth of voter registration in the black community.

On the same day, there was a parallel event called the Day of Absence, organized by female leaders in conjunction with the March leadership, which was intended to engage the large population of black Americans who would not be able to attend the demonstration in Washington. On this date, all blacks were encouraged to stay home from their usual school, work, and social engagements, in favor of attending teach-ins, and worship services, focusing on the struggle for a healthy and self-sufficient black community. Further, organizers of the Day of Absence hoped to use the occasion to make great headway on their voter registration drive. The Million March included black people of diverse views. Overall, the march wanted black men to have atonement to God and enrich his communities. Louis Farrakhan is a great orator and he gave a very eloquent speech during the March. The 20th Anniversary of the Million Man March was more inclusionary and it was called Justice or Else on October 2015. Before that march, many women had marches of their own in Philadelphia and the youth march came about in NYC. The legacy of the Million Man March was that it made more visible the concerns of many black men and it represented the internal debates about where to go as it relates to the black American community. It also exposed the truth that black women deserve leadership too not just black men. One big mistake of the march was that it downplayed the leadership history and leadership legacy of black women.

The Black Radical Congress existed to promote progressive activism in the black community during the late 1990’s. For many who traveled into Washington, D.C. during the 1995 Million Man March, it changed their lives forever. Many people became better people and further inspired to care for their families and communities. Atonement is an interesting concept. There is nothing wrong with rectifying our individual mistakes. Yet, we should never atone for the crimes commented by the oppressors against black people, working people, and the poor. In other words, “personal responsibility” is not responsible for police terror, unemployment, assaults on health care, etc.

These evils are caused by the capitalist system. The truth is that there must be a class analysis of the problems in our community and any solution requires the unification of the poor and working class (in the formation of a cohesive political agenda). There must be a political and economic program that addresses poverty and other injustices in order for true black liberation to exist. Many sincere black people were in the Million Man March in order to be inspired to be better men. That is true. Anyone blaming black people collectively for their own oppression is a liar. While we believe in black liberation, we don’t believe that black liberation is not related to the oppression of others. In order words, we reject reactionary politics. We believe in progressive solutions.


Image result for Dionne FarrisImage result for Meshell NdegeocelloImage result for tupac biggie
Image result for en vogueImage result for total r&b group

African American music and culture of the 1990's


Music and culture from black people during the 1990’s represented creativity and dynamic talent. It was the decade of the growth of iconic groups. 1990’s was the time of my childhood and music from the 1990’s certainly inspired me in many endeavors of my life. During that decade, hip hop grew massively in cultural terms, economic terms, and in social terms. Hip hop reached the golden era in its peak by the 1990’s. Also, African Americans were performing R&B, soul, rock, electronic, dance, pop, funk, grunge, reggae, country music, techno, neo-soul, and other genres. By the early 1990’s, fusion genres developed like new jack swing, hip hop soul, g-funk, and neo-soul was supported by people worldwide. Dance and pop music dominated the decade along with hip hop music as well. By 1990, many legends passed away like Sarah Vaughan, and Sammy Davis Jr. In 1990, A Tribe Called Quest and Ice Cube issued their debut albums called People’s Instinctive Travels and the Paths of Rhythm and AmeriKKKa’s Most Wanted. Both albums outlined the diversity and influence of rap music. Kim Abbleby, who is from the UK, made records in the year of 1990 too. Many black people were in Eurodance groups and pop groups in general like Technotronic (which had people from Africa and Belgium) and Black Box, Crystal Waters, and C+C Music Factory. Bell Biv DeVoe debuted their album as well  Lonnie Gordon is one unsung artist involved in creating creative music.

In the early 1990’s, Jody Whatley performance magnificently. Another unsung artist was Karyn Layvonne White. During the early 1990’s, MC Hammer made many hits. Mariah Carey had her debut album called Mariah Carey with her song Vision of Love. She would go on to have a long lasting career filled with Grammy Awards and other accomplishments. By 1991, Michael Jackson’s Dangerous album sold a lot. It focused on many issues of racial tolerance, music, black history, and other themes. OPP from Naughty By Nature came out in 1991. Whitney Houston and Prince released music in 1991 as well. Tupac would release his debut album of 2Pacalypse Now in 1991. The album from Tupac as ahead of it time by discussing about the Black Panthers, the FBI, police brutality, the value of black life, and other issues relevant in our communities. Tupac Shakur was born in East Harlem, NYC in 1971. Her mother was a Black Panther named Afeni Shakur. Afeni was falsely accused of trying to blow up buildings in NYC. She was acquitted as part of the Panther 21. His mother taught him about consciousness and reading. Many of Tupac's relatives and friends were tied to the revolutionary struggle for black liberation. Tupac Shakur moved constantly during his youth. He moved into Baltimore where he met with his life long friend Jada Pinkett Smith. Tupac would learn about the arts, literature, dancing, and other aspects of living in the Baltimore Performing Arts school called Baltimore School for the Arts. He moved into Marin City, California. From there, his career in hip hop would grow into new heights.

The debut album of Boyz II Men existed in 1991. Boyz II Men represented their hometown of Philadelphia and expressed great ballads dealing with love and romance. Women empowerment always was shown by Salt-N-Pepa throughout the 1990’s. They desired human expression and they did it with their songs and music videos. and originally Latoya Hanson, who was replaced in 1986 by Deidra Roper ("DJ Spinderella") continue to love hip hop. In 1992, Whitney Houston’s The Bodyguard film soundtrack would sell over 45 million copies worldwide. Her leading single, “I Will Always Love You” became the bestselling single by a female artist of all time. It sold over 15 million copies. R&B groups like Jade prospered in 1992. From 1992-1995, Atlanta’s Kris Kross made songs like Warm It Up and Jump Jump. I heard of those songs as a child. In the 1990’s, TLC made songs about women’s empowerment, love, advice on life, and love of music. Shanice’s “I Love Your Smile” was a positive record and Shanice is a great Sister. She has a down to Earth personality and she is very spiritual woman. After NWA broke up (because of disputes over money and direction), Dr. Dre released his debut album called the Chronic. It sold millions and once again opened up the debate on rap music. Some black people viewed rap music as an expression of freedom of speech. Other black people wanted rap music to stop any of its lyrics that glamorized violence and promoted misogyny. This debate was had by C. Delores Tucker, the NAACP, rap artists themselves, etc., which continues to this very day near 2020.


Image result for swv 1998Image result for TLC and brownstoneImage result for TLC 1998

In 1993, Snoop and Wu-Tang Clan released their albums. This caused the further development of hip hop music. Mariah Carey sold 32 million copies in her Music Box album. Shaggy, Brian McKnight, Sybil, and Will Smith had records in 1993 too. In 1993, Toni Braxton released her debut album called Toni Braxton. It was an immediate success and Toni Braxton is one of the greatest signers of our generation and she was born in Maryland. Toni Braxton loves to sing and her sisters can sing great too. Xscape’s Just Kickin It came out in 1994. Xscape is based from Atlanta, Georgia. Coolio’s Fantastic voyage, Michelle Gayle’s Sweetness, and Eternal’s Just a Step from Heaven were released in 1994 too. In 1994, the Notorious B.I.G. released Ready to Die. It influenced NY-based hip hop. Notorious G.I.G. was raised in Bedford Stuyvesant, NYC. Soon, the shooting of Tupac Shakur would cause a dispute among Bad Boy records and Death Row records. This dispute would grow. Cowards murdered both Tupac Shakur in 1996 and Notorious B.I.G. in 1997. In 1994 and 1995, Brandy started to make mainstream records. 1995 was influenced by Montel Jordan too. Real McCoy showed pop and dance music. Adina Howard made her album and songs in 1995 like “Freak Like.” One anthem of the 1990’s was Des’ree’s 1995 song “You Gotta Be.” Another anthem from TLC would be “Waterfalls” in the same year including Coolio ft. L.V.’s Gangstas Paradise. In 1995, Michael Jackson released his new album called HIStory,: Past, Present, and Future, Book 1.”

It had the song “You Are not Alone,” which was the first single ever to enter the Billboard Hot 100 at number one. One Sweet Day sold tons of records in 1995 having Boyz II Men and Mariah Carey on the song. The Fugees grew with their album “The Score.” Wyclef Jean was a person with producing gifts. Lauryn Hill was a great lyricist in the group who inspired souls with her conscious commentaries on issues. Pras was also a great artist too.  In 1996, Gabrielle from the UK showed inspirational music and Total made many soulful music too. Monica gained more popularity in 1995 and in 1996. Throughout the 1990’s, gospel music grew and inspired even a younger generation with Ce Ce Winans, BeBe Winans, Kurt Franklin, and other artists. Hootie and the Blowfish made an impact in country music. In 1997, there was the start of the shiny suit era. R&B artists by 1997 made a great comeback with New Edition, Mary J. Blige, Ginuwine, Rome, Tina Moore, Boyz II Men, etc. Missy Elliot came in the late 1990’s to create some of the most creative records in music history. DMX gained more popularity. Lauryn Hill released her great album “The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill” in 1998. It talked about love, black people, romance, and other issues. It was her masterpiece in my view.
 
Image result for mary j blige 1998Related imageImage result for lauryn hill 1998


By 1999, the music evolved into new heights. Hip hop became a billion dollar business. R&B music soared into new heights with artists like Monica, Brandy, Toni Braxton, Aaliyah, Donell Jones, Blackstreet, Dave Hollister, Destiny’s Child, TLC, and other Brothers and Sisters who love music. Music became more diverse and creative by the 1990’s. There were groups from Outkast to God’s Property. Time has changed, but the commitment to excellence remained.

 Image result for a different world marriageImage result for martin tv showImage result for ny undercover


Black Culture was widespread throughout the 1990’s. The truth is that as black people, we don't have to agree with each other on everything and that's fine. We can express ourselves in a diversity of ways. Our diversity is our strength and that principle is representative of the beauty of black culture. There was an explosion of black films that inspired us. During 1990, Def by Temptation and To Sleep with Anger dealt with many subjects of suspense and drama. 1991 saw an explosion of action and drama films like New Jack City, Daughter of the Dust, Jungle Fever, and the Five Heartbeats. Malcolm X was a film that dominated 1992 with its monumental lessons on black history and the courage ascendance of a black revolutionary leader. Denzel Washington and Angela Bassett were born in my opinion for the roles of Malcolm X and Betty Shabazz. Justice in 1992 saw the growth of Tupac Shakur as an actor. Boomerang in 1992 dealt with black people in the corporate world and it dealt with how complicated romantic relationships can be. What Love Got to do with it was a biopic about Tina Turner's life. Angela Bassett and Laurence Fishburne starred in the film. Menance II Society was released in 1993 which outlined life in Los Angeles, California in dealing with low income African Americans. Poetic Justice was released in 1993. Posse also came about in 1993 too. The movie outlined the unsung history of black Americans living in the frontier West. 1993's CB4 (which starred Chris Rock and Rachel True) is even relevant today as it outlines the lesson in comedy that originality is better than falsity involving musical expression. Drop Squad  came out in 1994 too. It deals with self-hatred and blackness. Above the Rim was released in 1994. Black Is...Black Ain't is a 1994 documentary from Marlon Riggs that talks about the multifaceted aspects of African American culture. The documentary made the point that black people are not monolithic and when we embrace our diversity, we can grow into the next level. The film was ahead of its time to tackle colorism, sexism, bigotry, and racism back in 1994. The horror film Tales from the Hood came about in 1995. 1995 was a powerful year of black films. That year saw the existence of Higher Learning, Waiting to Exhale, Losing Isaiah, Dead Presidents, Cry the Beloved Country, The Tuskegee Airmen, Bad Boys, Friday, and other films.

The movie Devil in A Blue Dress from 1995 was influenced by Walter Mosley’s book of the same title from 1990. He wrote many mystery novels too. They showed the perspective of an African American person on life from the 1940’s to the 1960’s. President Bill Clinton was a fan of his literature. One of the greatest events in the 1990’s was when Nelson Mandela was released from prison in 1990. He suffered mistreatment and injustice for decades in prison. Once he left, he toured the world. In June of 1990, he visited New York City. 750,000 people celebrated him in a parade and he toured many American cities. Nelson Mandela promoted democracy and fought against apartheid until it ended totally by 1994 when he was elected South Africa’s first black President of South Africa. Nelson Mandela is our hero. He spoke to the United States Congress too. He gave a wreath on the grave of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. He traveled into Miami, Los Angeles, and Oakland.

In 1996, Ghosts of Mississippi (which is about the murderer of Medgar Evers being convicted), A Thin Line Between Love and Hate, and Get on the Bus were released. In 1996, Will Smith and Vivica A. Fox starred in Independence Day, which was a science fiction movie about humanity defeating an alien enemy. Set it Off was released in 1996 with an ensemble cast about desperate women trying to get money using illegal means. The Nutty Professor starred Eddie Murphy and Jada Pinkett Smith. In 1997, Eve's Bayou, Rosewood, Hoodlum, Fakin Da Funk, BAPS, Soul Food (which deals with the black family, overcoming obstacles, food, and togetherness), 4 Little Girls (which was a Spike Lee documentary about the murder of the 4 girls from the Birmingham Baptist Church), and Men in Black existed. In 1998, movies like Slam, How Stella Got Her Groove Back, He Got Game, Why Do Fools Fall in Love, Belly, The Players Club, etc. By 1999, more films came about like In Too Deep, Black and White, Life, The Best Man, Any Given Sunday, The Wood, and other movies.

The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air existed in 1990. Throughout the 1990’s was a Golden Age of Black television. A Different World, Martin, Roc, Living Single, Hanging with Mr. Cooper, Sinbad, In Living Color, NY Undercover, Sister Sister, South Central, Family Matters, In the House, Moesha, Smart Guy, The Wayans Brothers, The Steve Harvey Show, Thea, The Parent ‘Hood, The Jamie Foxx show, The Parkers, and other shows were born in the 1990’s. It showed the diversity, the beauty, and the strength of black life. It showed how Blackness is diverse and very dynamic. Charles Johnson’s “The Middle Passage” was highly praised in 1990. The groundbreaking film “The Boyz n the Hood” in 1991 was directed by John Singleton, who is from Los Angeles for real. The movie realistically showed the risks that black inner city youth experience daily. It showed many lessons about family togetherness, being conscious of the community, and expressing opposition to any injustice. Julie Dash’s Daughter of the Dust was very critically acclaimed in 1991 too.

Related imageImage result for malcolm x filmImage result for boyz in the hood

During the 1990’s, Savion Glover and others used tap dance in “Bring in da’ Noise/Bring in da funk” performances. This celebration of dance and music was done in Broadway and nationwide. In January of 1994, the Tom Joyner Morning show was in syndication. This show was very popular and outlined African American issues for years. Tom Joyner would participate in charities, speak his mind, and research the issues of the day. During the 1990’s, African Americans used quilts, family gatherings, and used diverse fashion. Many people wore jerseys and some wore suits. Some wore their hair conservatively and some didn’t. A Maryland student Aaron McGruder created the Boondocks comic strip in 1996. His comic strip talked about black life in unapologetic terms. The comic strip exposes the issues of race, capitalism, discrimination, television, and politics. He would use satire to critique BET too. Later, he would develop his own show on Comedy Network called Boondocks.

Chris Rock’s show on HBO in February of 1997 was honest, provocative, and showed the world of the thinking of the black comedian Chris Rock (who was born in NYC). He used his experiences to question the world as he saw it in a humorous, satirical fashion.  Soul Food in 1997 made it known that generations of black survival must be respected, and the black family is powerful. How Stella Got Her Groove back is about one successful African American woman (played by Angela Bassett) trying to have fun in her mundane life. She finds happiness in falling in love with a very young man. The movie also describes real life situations that do go in the black experience. By the late 1990’s, more black women have leading acting roles in movies like Vivica A. Fox, Jada Pinkett-Smith, Queen Latifah, Angela Bassett, Vanessa Williams, Nia Long, Lonette McKee, Lynn Whitfield, Loretta Devine, Janet Jackson, Alfre Woodard, Robin Givens, Lela Rochon, Whitney Houston, Sanaa Lathan, Halle Berry, and other black women. By 1999, black culture is more international. Black culture isn’t just one separate entity. It is global and it is part of the American culture.

Image result for Abner LouimaImage result for diallo police time magazine


Police Brutality Issues (and legal issues)

Police misconduct was definitely an epidemic during the 1990’s. During that decade, there was constant discussion about the racial discrimination in the judicial system and elimination of voting rights for some criminals (even after criminals paid their debts to society). Crime rates declined during the 1990’s while the prison population in America increased. The 1999 U.S. Commission on Civil Rights found that black people represent 14 percent of total illegal drug use, but represent a higher number of those convicted of such drug usage. More police forces were militarized and promoted excessive actions in getting suspects or even harassing innocent people in stop and frisk in NYC and other urban communities nationwide. On August 9, 1997, a thirty year old Haitian immigrant Abner Louima experienced police brutality. He was in NYC. Louima was arrested and taken to a Brooklyn police precinct station. He was beaten by the police. Also, he was forced into a toilet and placed a wooden stick up under him in a violation of his human rights. He suffered internal injuries. Many Haitian Americans and black people in general protested this abuse. 5,000 people demonstrated at Manhattan’s City Hall. The NYC Police Commissioner Howard Safir said that race was not a factor in the Louima situation, which is a boldfaced lie. Many officers were convicted of abusing Louima and some were not convicted. To this very day, Abner Louima is an activist against police brutality.


One of the most horrendous events in the 1990's was the murder of James Byrd Jr. by white supremacists on June 7, 1998. James Byrd Jr. was a father and he loved his family. He was only 49 years old when he died. The event started when James Byrd Jr. accepted a ride from Shawn Berry (age 24), Lawrence Russell Brewer (age 31) and John King (age 23). Berry, who was driving, was acquainted with Byrd from around town. The 3 murderers then beat him, and chained him on the murderers' pick up truck. They dragged up for three miles behind a pick-up truck along an asphalt road. Byrd, who remained conscious throughout most of the ordeal, was killed when his body hit the edge of a culvert, severing his right arm and head. The murderers drove on for another mile before dumping his torso in front of an African-American cemetery in Jasper. Byrd's lynching-by-dragging gave impetus to passage of a Texas hate crimes law. It later led to the federal Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act, commonly known as the Matthew Shepard Act, which passed on October 22, 2009, and which President Barack Obama signed into law on October 28, 2009. James Byrd Jr.'s son continue to promote social activism. The murderers of James Byrd Jr. were convicted.

On February 4, 1999, a young Guinean immigrant named Amadou Diallo was confronted by the entrance to his Bronx apartment building by 4 plainclothes police officers. They were from the NY Police Department’s Street Crimes Unit. Diallo reached for his pocket to show the officers his ID, but the officers murdered him by shooting him 41 times. He was struck 19 times and he died. Immediately, rallies and protests existed all over NYC and throughout the nation. These protests included African Americans, Latinos, Asians, and progressive whites. Over 1,000 people in New York City were arrested for civil disobedience at police headquarters.

Many people arrested were Charles Rangel of Harlem, former Mayor David Dinkins, NAACP Executive Director Kweisi Mfume, Al Sharpton, and Carolyn Goodman (the mother of the murdered son Andrew Goodman from 1964 in Mississippi. Andrew Goodman was part of Freedom Summer). The Diallo case existed for a year. Also, Police Commissioner Howard Safir and then NYC mayor Rudolph Giuliani (who promoted “law and order) testified before the Civil Rights Commission on May 26, 1999. The Congressional Black Caucus had hearing on police brutality too. 4 officers were acquitted in 2000 on February 25. This caused outraged. This injustice caused many to lose faith in a system that doesn’t respect black human lives. To this very day, police misconduct is talked about nationwide and worldwide. Amadou Diallo’s mother continues to speak out against police brutality and fight for racial healing to this very day. The 20th century closes and a new chapter would exist involving Black America.


By Timothy