Democracy Now featured an interesting discussion with Ana DuVernay yesterday, talking about her most recent film, Selma, and the broader significance of the film given this nation's current undoing of key civil rights-related legal protections that were the hallmark of the civil rights movement.
DuVernay offers a number of interesting insights about the current state of civil rights and race relations in this country, as well as the key influences that made this film project possible. She covers the process of making the film, the non-controversy about her depiction of LBJ and the continuing struggle for justice for the millions of Black women, men and children throughout this country. Watch the four key segments of the discussion just below.
Tuesday, January 27, 2015 -- Today we spend the hour with Ava DuVernay, the director of the acclaimed new civil rights film "Selma," which tells the story of the campaign led by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. to draw the nation’s attention to the struggle for equal voting rights by marching from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama, in March of 1965.
Selma Director Ava DuVernay on Hollywood’s Lack of Diversity,
Oscar Snub and #OscarsSoWhite Hashtag
"The Power of the People": Selma Director Ava DuVernay on
Fight for Civil Rights, Voting Equality
"Selma" Director Defends Film’s Portrayal of
LBJ-MLK Dispute on Voting Rights Legislation
"One Person Can Make a Difference": Ava DuVernay
Remembers Film Critic Roger Ebert’s Early Support
In the midst of all of the craziness and pathology that continues to define the Black experience with racism and white supremacy in the U.S., please know that affirming the value and integrity of Black life remains a revolutionary act.
This country will always fight to undermine any positive, courageous and righteousness narrative about the Black experience in this country. It's exploitative judicial, political and economic structures depend on it. Expect that resistance. If you didn't encounter resistance, that would indeed be noteworthy.
We must remain committed to the fight for a better future for our families and community. When I look at my children, and I think of everything we've collectively gone through that made it possible for them to be here, and I dream of the life I envision for my children's children's grandchildren, I can't help but to refocus my energy and reconsider ways to make a bigger difference.
I'm clear that our community's experience with racism didn't begin with my generation, my parents' generation, nor any of the generations alive today. This is the continuation of a struggle that began long ago.
We are not likely to cure the world of this disease of racism and white supremacy in our lifetimes. Indeed, it may even be the worst self-destructive disease the world has known. But we can leave our future generations with greater wisdom and understanding, and with smarter and more effective tools to fight, than what was left to us. That, as simple and/or as difficult as it may be, is our most important shared responsibility.
We stand on solid ground. The story of Africa and her offspring throughout the world is still being written. We are that story. Let us all continue to build the world we want for our families, and for the generations yet unborn.
Getting Home Safely in an American Apartheid State – 10 Rules of Black Survival with Law Enforcement
In any just society, the following video, and certainly the 10 thoughtful rules developed by Brother David Miller, would suggest an absolute travesty and the reality of second (or worse) class citizenship.
No people should have to go through any changes in order to survive an encounter with the police, or some rogue vigilante citizen. No group of people in a society should have to abide by an additional set of rules - that other groups of citizens don't also have to follow - in order to go home from an encounter with law enforcement. And there is plenty of video footage out there of white people who have pointed - even fired - their guns at law enforcement, sometimes even killing law enforcement officers, and being taken into custody 'without incident.' Too many Black folks, minding their own business no less, don't quite get the benefit of the doubt.
The reality is that Black people do live a sort of second class citizenship in terms of our relationship with law enforcement. Always have since before the 'founding' days of this nation. So the rules Brother Miller developed are sensible and even helpful, even if they remind us of a horrible way of living for Black people in this country.
And thus, why the protests on the streets of this country are not likely to die down any time soon.
After Michael Brown's death, an important infographic, "10 Rules Of Survival If Stopped By The Police” was developed by David Miller, founder of "The Dare To Be King Project." In partnership with CTS, WFYI, and Trinity United Church of Christ (on the south side of Chicago), SALT has taken Miller's rules and created a short film to bring this critical information to an even wider audience and help save even more lives.
Greetings good people. I just came across a nice piece that might be relevant for folks that work directly with African American children and youth, even college students for that matter. As you know, there are a range of careers that can keep individuals close to the sports world, and that move us beyond what is way too often a preoccupation with being a professional athlete. I've listed the career options mentioned in the piece just below, although I encourage folks to visit the site directly for more of their description and context.
I share this, in some ways, as a reminder to all of us that there is so much untapped potential among our young people. We have to expose them to the possibilities, as well as connect them with real people within our community who have really made their mark in these respective fields. Most importantly, we have to teach ourselves and our young people how to use any of these platforms to advance opportunities and well-being for our larger community.
Again, a great resource for middle school and high school guidance counselors, and others who work directly with our young people.
From the Atlanta BlackStar... (Check them out to read more.)
10 sports-related jobs and careers:
- Audio and Video Equipment Specialist
- Public Address Announcer
- Game-Day Coordinator
- Athletic Trainer
- Team Doctor
- Sports Psychologist
- Office Manager (and other front office careers)
- Agent / Manager
Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
"Why I Oppose the War in Vietnam"
Riverside Church, New York City
April 30, 1967
Below is the audio of one of Dr. King's most impactful public speeches. Many people say that this address, challenging the war in Vietnam, was the singular address that sealed his fate. This address, more than any of his others, linked the struggle for civil and human rights among Black folks in this country, with the contradictions and anti-democratic principles inherent in the broader domestic and foreign policy of the U.S. government.
If and when you are able, I highly recommend reading the text without the audio, or at least reading along with the audio.
I also recommend taking a few minutes in between paragraphs, or specific sections of the address, and really contemplating the significance and meaning in each statement. I've spent lots of time over the years listening to Dr. King's speeches, and admittedly less time actually reading the text of the same speeches. After reading more and more of the text, however, I've come to appreciate that there is so much more richness, and so much more meaning, in the address than the listening experience may reveal.
Dr. King remains one of the greatest teachers and theologians we've produced in our history in this country. If more of us displayed an ounce of the courage as Dr. King did, and even a fraction of the intellectual discipline required to develop and advance an agenda that guarantees the well-being of our people, we would not be confronted with the same problems today as we have been for multiple generations.
We have lots of work to do. We can solve the problems in our community. But our focus has to extend beyond the King holiday season, or any of these other nostalgic reflections on the glories of the civil rights movement.
While we must absolutely rally around the causes that impact our daily life experiences in this country, we must always be mindful of how this/our current struggle exists as a part of the broader thread of African and African American liberation movements throughout history, and how this struggle connects to the human rights struggles of all of the world's people who want nothing more than peace and well-being for their children, families and future generations.
We deserve well-being for our people, and our love and appreciation for our ancestors and future generations demands that we continue the struggle. Let us reclaim and call upon the real courage it takes to push forward, with the well-being of African people, in this country and abroad, front and center in our efforts.
(audio: approximately 42 mins.)
Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
January 15, 1929 - April 4, 1968
Celebrating the 86th anniversary of Dr. King's birth...
From HuffPost Live...
Ian Kysel, a fellow at Georgetown's Human Rights Institute, is calling for an end to solitary confinement for juvenile inmates. He joins us to discuss how solitary inhibits teen rehabilitation and what can be done to bring the practice to an end.
Originally aired on December 30, 2014
Hosted by: Marc Lamont Hill
- Ian Kysel @ianmkysel (New York, NY) Adjunct Professor of Law, Georgetown University; Dash/Muse Fellow
- Dakem Roberts @dakem61 (Brooklyn, NY) Served Solitary Confinement as a Teen; Secretary General of The Negation; Member of the Jail Action Coalition
- James Burns (Cape Town, South Africa) Served Solitary Confinement as a Teen; Filmmaker; Poet & Activist
Remembering 100 Years...
Dr. John Henrik Clarke
January 1, 1915 - July 16, 1998
Dr. John Henrik Clarke, a scholar and advocate for African people, and one of the world's great historians, was born on January 1st, 1915. I've shared several posts in past years, highlighting some of Dr. Clarke's speeches and writings, as well as a lecture about Professor Clarke's remarkable life and influence by Dr. Greg Carr at Howard University. Born 100 years ago today, Dr. Clarke transitioned into the community of Ancestors, on July 16, 1998.
Dr. Clarke's lessons on African world history are just as timely today, as many in the world continue to deny the African origins and influence on world civilization, and also deny the European role in undermining, exploiting and destroying many of the early African civilizations and subsequent efforts at African economic and cultural development.
These experiences notwithstanding, African people throughout the world continue to uncover and recover our knowledge of these civilizations, and continue to draw upon the wisdom and power that comes from this reclamation process.
For all who are interested, please be sure and visit all of the previous and related posts, which includes a short list of readings by and about Dr. Clarke.
Also visit Twitter for additional readings and other resources.
On this seventh and final day of Kwanzaa (#Imani), let Professor Clarke's example and his lessons to us reaffirm our faith in our ability to heal and rebuild our communities, and to regain our place and standing in the world.