Posts Tagged ‘RACISM’


November 15, 2018

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About The Million Man March

A Glimpse of Heaven

The Million Man March, Oct. 16, 1995

Inspired and led by the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan, more than a million Black men gathered in Washington, D.C. to declare their right to justice to atone for their failure as men and to accept responsibility as the family head.

On that day, Monday, October 16, 1995 there was a sea of Black men, many who stood for 10 hours or more sharing, learning, listening, fasting, hugging, crying, laughing, and praying. The day produced a spirit of brotherhood, love, and unity like never before experienced among Black men in America. All creeds and classes were present: Christians, Muslims, Hebrews, Agnostics, nationalists, pan-Africanists, civil rights organizations, fraternal organizations, rich, poor, celebrities and people from nearly every organization, profession and walk of life were present. It was a day of atonement, reconciliation and responsibility.

“The Million Man March was one of the most historic organizing and mobilizing events in the history of Black people in the United States,” said Chicago-based Dr. Conrad Worrill, who was a main organizer of the March and the current president emeritus of the National United Black Front.

Congress shut down that day and President William Clinton was “out of town.” Mainstream media in American and media outlets from around the world were watching. The world did not see thieves, criminals and savages as usually portrayed through mainstream music, movies and other forms of media; on that day, the world saw a vastly different picture of the Black man in America. The world saw Black men demonstrating the willingness to shoulder the responsibility of improving themselves and the community. There was neither one fight nor one arrest that day. There was no smoking or drinking. The Washington Mall, where the March was held, was left as clean as it was found. Two of the best descriptions of the Million Man March include the word “miracle” and the phrase “a glimpse of heaven.”

Along with those who attended, many men, women and children spent the day at home watching the event on television and participating in the day of fasting and absence. Workers did not go to work that day, children did not go to school that day and no one engaged in sport or play.

During Min. Farrakhan’s message to the millions gathered in the mall and those watching on television around the world that day, he explained to the world the need for atonement and he laid out the eight steps of atonement. Thus, for the past 18 years, people gather, reflect and observe the Holy Day of Atonement.

At the conclusion of the March, the millions of men repeated a pledge given by Minister Farrakhan that focused on a personal commitment to be responsible and active in improving the Black community. The purpose was for Black men to take responsibility for their own actions and to help develop their own communities, and to atone for their lack of responsibility. Many of the men assembled took the pledge given that day seriously and have been actively involved in making their word bond ever since.

“The March changed my life and my perspective of life in so many ways. I (gained) a tremendous commitment to the betterment of my culture, and a heightened capacity to care and to love. I am now trying to live by the code of honor and the right conditions set forth in the pledge that I took,” said Glenn Towery, owner of Fairy God Brother Productions and Film Company, LLC that produced the DVD, Long Live the Spirit, a documentary about the Million Man March.

“I have formed my own company and am striving to create culturally enriching productions for African Americans and the world. Thank you Minister Farrakhan for being a conduit to God that allowed such a magnificent idea as the Million Man March to come through your person into fruition. Thank you Benjamin Chavis and all of the organizers, planners and conveners of the Million Man March.”

Immediately following the March, roughly 1.7 million Black men registered to vote and organizational memberships skyrocketed—the NAACP, churches and mosques reported huge increases and the National Association of Black Social Workers reported a flood of 13,000 applications to adopt Black children.

The spirit of the March continues to this day.

“Since the Million Man March, October has become a special month for me,” said Dr. Ayo Maat, Organizer in Green and Disability Issues. “During the first march, I kept my children out of school and they stayed up all night and watched the event the entire day without complaint or fatigue. Since then, I have been working to instill the spirit of atonement and uplift of the race.”

“The spirit, energy, and the ideas that were articulated on that day still resonate among the activists and organizers and thinkers and the masses of Black men who participated in 1995,” said Dr. Worrill. “Although it may not appear that the energy and spirit and impact of that day is still with us; it has manifested itself with us today as Black men are engaged in numerous projects inspired by the Million Man March that can be documented.”

In another public display of accountability, the Million Man March was the first ever public march to provide an independent Financial Audit of its operations.






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November 4, 2018

Armed Black Panthers Lobby for Democrat Gubernatorial Candidate Stacey Abrams

Nov 20,2018

Breitbart News has obtained photographs of members of the New Black Panther Party wielding weapons and holding signs supporting Democrat gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams, a leftist who hopes to be the first black female governor in Georgia.
This comes on the heels of Oprah Winfrey’s visit to the state on Abrams behalf where she said the Democrat refuses to allow the sacrifices of those who were “lynched” and “oppressed” to be “in vain.”

The photos show the men, dressed all in black, with the Black Panther logo on their clothing and holding weapons.

Abrams opponent, Republican Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp, will be the focus of a rally today in Georgia where President Donald Trump will be stumping on his behalf.

Ryan Mahoney, Kemp for Governor spokesman, has no doubt about the origin of the images. He said:

It’s no surprise that militant Black Panthers are armed and patrolling the streets of Georgia for Stacey Abrams. The Black Panthers are a radical hate group with a racist and anti-semitic agenda. They are dangerous and encourage violence against our men and women in uniform. Stacey Abrams should immediately denounce the Black Panthers and their hateful record of racism. She should stand against and condemn their attempts to intimidate hardworking Georgia voters just days before the election.

As Breitbart News reported:

The Georgia governor’s race is one of the most closely watched campaigns in the nation and is attracting top surrogates from both parties in the final days before the election. Vice President Mike Pence stumped for Kemp earlier Thursday, while President Donald Trump will be in the state this weekend. “I heard Oprah is in town today,” Pence said at today’s rally. “I heard Will Ferrell was going door-to-door the other day. I’d like to remind Stacey and Oprah and Will Ferrell, I’m kind of a big deal, too.”

Real Clear Politics poll tracking shows Kemp up by one point and labels the contest a “toss-up.”

Follow Penny Starr on Twitter

Midterm ElectionPoliticsBrian KempGeorgia Secretary of State Brian KempNew Black Panther PartyStacey Abrams.



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November 4, 2018


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October 23, 2018


October 23, 2018

This is a different kind of Black History tour – through food – which has sustained us and entertained us for centuries. Each day, during the month of February, I hope to enlighten us, as well as tantalize our tastebuds. This ‘tour’ is dedicated to my maternal grandmother, Grammy Velma, who was a phenomenal cook; and whose love we could taste in every delectable bite of the dishes she prepared for family and friends. I hope that you enjoy it. Thank you for reading.

February 19, 2012

Greenwood is a neighborhood in Tulsa, Oklahoma. As one of the most successful and wealthiest African-American communities in the United States during the early 20th Century, it was popularly known as America’s “Black Wall Street” until the Tulsa Race Riot of 1921. The riot was one of the most devastating race riots in history; and it destroyed the once-thriving Greenwood community. Here is the story of what led up to the riot and what occurred, thereafter. It is a bit long, but please bear with me because I think it is a story worth telling; and the details are necessary.

In the early 1900s, Tulsa [at that time, aka Indian Territory] had quickly become a very impressive, modern city. It gleamed so much, that it became known as Magic City. There were tall office buildings, electric trolleys, a bridge across the Arkansas River, and freshly-painted homes, which continued to push the boundaries of the city limits. By 1910, it had become a boomtown of 10,000 residents – and the word was spreading that fortunes could be made, and lives could be built and rebuilt, there.

What caused this remarkable, economic growth? In a word: OIL. It gushed like water.

Glenn Pool Oil Gusher

The discovery of the nearby Glenn Pool, which, at the time was reputed to be the ‘richest small oil field in the world’, helped to soon establish Tulsa as the “Oil Capital of the World,” headquartering the offices of four-hundred different oil and gas companies and their suppliers.

By 1920, Tulsa’s population had skyrocketed to 100,000 people. The city boasted four different railroads, a commercial airport, a convention hall, new government buildings, schools and parks, four different telegraph companies, 10,000 telephone lines, seven banks, dozens of service businesses, such as insurance and accountancy, 250 attorneys, 150 doctors, 60 dentists, two newspapers, and lots of shiny automobiles.

By 1921, there was prosperity for almost everyone – including the nearly ten-thousand African-American residents, who lived in the [what was later named] Greenwood section of Tulsa. But this caused significant tensions between the races; and many White Tulsa residents derogatorily dubbed the neighborhood, “Little Africa”. They felt threatened by the success of the African-American community, and worried that it might continue to grow.

Many Greenwood residents had ties to the region that stretched back for generations. Some were the descendants of slaves, who had accompanied the Native-Americans on the Trail of Tears; others were the children and grandchildren of runaway slaves who had fled to the Indian nations in the years prior to, and during, the Civil War; and a few elderly residents had been born into slavery, but eventually emancipated. However, most of Tulsa’s African-American residents had come to Oklahoma – primarily from Southern States, in wagons, on horseback, by train, and on foot – like their White neighbors, in the great boom years, just before and after Statehood. For many, Oklahoma represented not only a chance to escape the harsher racial realities of life in the former States of the Old South, but was literally a land of hope; a place worth sacrificing for; a place to start anew.

Prominent Greenwood Residents

The area was founded by wealthy African-Americans, O.W. Gurley and J.B. Stradford, who had arrived in Tulsa at the turn of the century. Among Mr. Gurley’s first businesses was a rooming house which was located on a dusty trail near the railroad tracks. This road was given the name Greenwood Avenue, named for a city in Mississippi. Mr. Stradford built the Stradford Hotel on Greenwood Avenue, where Black people could enjoy the amenities of the downtown hotels who served only White people. It was said to be the largest Black-owned hotel in the United States, at the time. Another early resident was B.C. Franklin, who moved to Tulsa to set up law practice.

B.C. Franklin

Greenwood was home to several prominent Black businessmen, many of them multimillionaires and six of whom owned their own planes. There were also thriving churches, schools, grocery stores, clothing stores, barbershops, newspapers, and much more, in the area. Not only did African-Americans want to contribute to the success of their own shops and businesses, but also the racial segregation laws prevented them from living or shopping anywhere other than Greenwood (In 1916, Tulsa had passed an ordinance forbidding Blacks or Whites from residing on any block where three-fourths or more of the residents were of the other race. This made residential segregation mandatory in the city). Although multimillionaires, most of the African-Americans’ homes were much more modest than their White neighbors’ homes. They were poorly constructed, with outdoor plumbing and unpaved streets, which only had surface drainage systems. Other residents included realtors, lawyers and doctors, including Dr. A.C. Jackson, who was considered the “most able Negro surgeon in America,” by the Mayo brothers.

Greenwood was one of the most affluent communities and it became known as “Black Wall Street [originally, Negro Wall Street].” The citizens of Greenwood took pride in its affluence because it was something they had all to themselves and did not have to share with the White community of Tulsa, which probably added to the tension between the two races. Exacerbating this ‘tinder box’ was the fact that by 1921, there were an estimated 3,200 members of The Ku Klux Klan living in the city.

Tulsa KKK Meeting 1921

On May 30, 1921 – a Memorial Day holiday – a young, African-American man, named Dick Rowland, reportedly sexually assaulted a young White woman, named Sarah Page, in an elevator. Many felt, and still feel, that this story was, at least in part, fabricated by Miss Page. What was known was that they worked in the same building – The Drexel Building – he, as a shoe shiner, and she, as an elevator operator. Mr. Rowland entered the elevator that afternoon to use the top floor restroom, which was restricted to Black people. Soon thereafter, a White man, who worked in the building, heard what sounded like a woman’s scream, and subsequently saw Mr. Rowland running from the building, so he alerted the authorities. What was not known was why they were both working on Memorial Day, when most businesses were closed for the holiday; and whether the two may have been forbidden, secret lovers, who may have had an argument. It was also speculated that Mr. Rowland may have had a simple accident, such as tripping, and unavoidably had to steady himself against Miss Page – causing her to scream.

Many who knew Mr. Rowland – both White and Black – defended his character and said that he was not capable of such an assault. After the police questioned Miss Page, she said that she would not be pressing charges; however, the next morning, Mr. Rowland was still arrested and detained at the courthouse.

Tulsa Courthouse – 1921

The Tulsa Tribune, one of the two, White-owned newspapers, got word of the incident and chose to publish the story in the paper, the next day, on May 31, 1921, with the headline: “Nab Negro for Attacking Girl In an Elevator.”

In the same edition, the paper published an editorial warning of a potential lynching of Mr. Rowland. The editorial, titled “To Lynch Negro Tonight”, was said to have reported White residents assembling that evening to lynch the teenage, Mr. Rowland. Mysteriously, that second editorial is now missing from the paper’s archives.

Because of the second editorial, the White Tulsa residents organized a mob; and the Greenwood residents armed themselves, as well, to try to defend Mr. Rowland, themselves, and personal and commercials properties. A direct confrontation between the two groups quickly ensued in front of the courthouse, where guns were fired. Soon, the mob moved into Greenwood and began to loot and torch 35 blocks of the poorly-constructed residents’ homes and businesses – killing anyone who tried to stop them, including the aforementioned, Dr. Jackson, who was shot to death as he left his home during the riot.

Greenwood Burning – May 31, 1921

Greenwood Burning – May 31, 1921

Greenwood Burning – May 31, 1921

Those who were not killed and who were not armed, tried to flee from Greenwood.

Children Fleeing the Tulsa Race Riot

Those who were not successful, were arrested and detained.

Greenwood Resident Surrendering

Aerial firebombs were dropped from airplanes; and firemen were held at gunpoint to prevent them from dousing the infernos. Over 600 successful businesses were lost. Among these were 21 churches, 21 restaurants, 30 grocery stores and two movie theaters, plus a hospital, a bank, a post office, libraries, schools, law offices, and the public buses.

National Guard Troops were eventually deployed on the afternoon of June 1; but by that time, there was not much left of the once-thriving Greenwood district.

Greenwood – June 1, 1921

At the time of the riot, headlines estimated 100 people dying.

However, the American Red Cross estimated that over 300 people were killed – many of whom were buried in unmarked, mass graves. It also listed 8,624 persons in need of assistance, in excess of 1,000 homes being destroyed, an estimated 10,000 people being left homeless and having to live in tents, and more than 6,000 Greenwood residents being arrested and detained at three local facilities – many of whom died while in custody.

Tulsa Race Riot – Red Cross Workers

Tulsa Race Riot – Tent Living

A Grand Jury in Tulsa ruled that Police Chief, John Gustafson, was responsible for the riot because he neglected his duty; and removed him from office. In a subsequent trial, he was found guilty of failing to taker proper precautions for protecting life and property, and for conspiring to free automobile thieves and collect rewards. However, the former Chief never served time in prison. Instead, he returned to his private detective practice. No legal records indicate that any other White official was ever charged of wrongdoing or even negligence. No charges were filed against any individual White rioters.

Within five years after the riot, surviving residents who chose to remain in Tulsa rebuilt much of the district. The neighborhood was a hotbed of jazz and blues in the 1920s. They accomplished this despite the opposition of many White Tulsa political and business leaders. It resumed being a vital Black community until segregation was overturned by the Federal Government during the 1950s and ’60s. Desegregation encouraged Black residents to live and shop elsewhere in the city, causing Greenwood to lose much of its original vitality. Since then, city leaders have attempted to encourage other economic development activity nearby.

The division between White and Black Tulsa residents was so deep that the end of the riot did not even begin to bring reconciliation. The events of the riot were omitted from local and State history; “The Tulsa Race Riot of 1921 was rarely mentioned in history books, classrooms or even in private. Black and White residents grew up being unaware of what had taken place.”

Revitalization and preservation efforts in the ‘90s and Noughties resulted in tourism initiatives, such as the Dr. John Hope (descendant of survivor, B.C. Franklin) Reconciliation Park and memorials.

The Greenwood Cultural Center, dedicated in October 1996, was created as a tribute to Greenwood’s history.

That same year, following increased attention to the riot because of the 75th anniversary of the event, the State Legislature authorized the Tulsa Race Riot Commission, to study and prepare an “historical account” of the riot. The study “enjoyed strong support from members of both political parties and all political persuasions.” The Commission delivered its report on February 21, 2001.

The report recommended actions for substantial restitution; in order of priority:

Direct payment of reparations to survivors of the 1921 Tulsa Race Riot;
Direct payment of reparations to descendants of the survivors of the Tulsa Race Riot;
A scholarship fund available to students affected by the Tulsa Race Riot;
Establishment of an economic development enterprise zone in the historic area of the Greenwood district; and
A memorial for the reburial of the remains of the victims of the Tulsa Race Riot.

Some of those were implemented. Others were not.

Five elderly survivors of the riot, led by a legal team including Johnnie Cochran and Charles Ogletree, filed suit against the City of Tulsa and the State of Oklahoma (Alexander, et al., v. Oklahoma, et al.) in February 2003, based on the findings of the 2001 report. The plaintiffs did not seek reparations as such; rather, they asked for the establishment of educational and health-care resources for current residents of Greenwood. The Federal District and Appellate Courts dismissed the suit, citing the Statute of Limitations on the 80-year-old case, and the US Supreme Court refused to hear the appeal. In April 2007, Dr. Ogletree appealed to the US Congress to pass a bill extending the Statute of Limitations for the case. It never received a vote, and they are still seeking justice.

Dr. Olivia Hooker – February 2012

One of those survivors who sued was Dr. Olivia Hooker, who celebrated her 97th birthday last week. When the riots happened, she was just 6 years old; but she remembers the whole incident quite vividly, as people broke into and destroyed her family’s home and arrested her father, saying, “You don’t forget something like that.” She feels blessed to have survived and went on to become the first Black woman in the Coast Guard and to earn a Doctorate in Psychology. She continues to live in Oklahoma.

Other key players who survived, but moved away from Tulsa included Greenwood Founder, Mr. Gurley, who exiled himself to California and drifted into obscurity; and Dick Rowland, who had remained safe in the courthouse until the morning of June 1st , when he was taken out of town in secrecy. All charges were dropped; and he never returned to Tulsa.

In 2011, the Greenwood Cultural Center lost 100% of its funding from the State of Oklahoma. As a result, the Center may be forced to close its doors. A fundraising campaign in now underway to try to raise private funds to keep the educational and cultural facility open. If you would like to learn more, please click here.

The survivors are all now being honored in a recently-released documentary, called “Before They Die! The Road to Reparations for the 1921 Tulsa Race Riot Survivors”. If you are living in NYC, and have time tomorrow, Feb. 20, there will be a benefit screening of the documentary, with a Q&A with the film’s Director, Reggie Turner. Click here to learn more.

The horrific events which took place over 90 years ago will be etched in Tulsa’s history and in the ‘soil’ forever. However, I know both Black and White people, who live in the city; and I feel very confident that the city is now well on its way to achieving harmony between the two races.

Chef Justin Thompson has recently opened a restaurant in Tulsa, called Juniper. This is one of his favorite recipes, which he often makes for himself. Enjoy!

Sweet Corn Rotisserie Chicken Salad
Serves 2 to 4

Recipe converter here:

2 ears corn (or canned sweet corn, if you are pressed for time or it out of season)
1/4 cup diced celery
1/4 cup diced Sweet onion
1 tablespoon finely chopped chives
1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
1/4 cup Dijon mustard
1/4 cup mayonnaise (Hellmann’s always tastes best)
1 teaspoon curry powder
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 store-bought rotisserie or roasted chicken, meat pulled from the bone into large pieces


Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Place ears of corn on a baking sheet and roast for 5 minutes. Let cool slightly and remove kernels from cobs; set aside in a bowl. Add all remaining ingredients except for the chicken to the bowl and stir to combine. Gently fold in the chicken to keep it in large pieces. Serve as a sandwich on toasted bread, or as a salad over greens with some sliced tomatoes.

Sources: Wikipedia,, Harlem OneStop, Google, Bing
Zena at 12:59 PM

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I’m an American-British, dual-citizen, living in Coastal Georgia, after 19 yrs abroad; and I am curious about life – past, present and future.
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