Zuma Announcing Death of Mandela

Nelson Mandela ImageNelson Mandela, South Africa’s Anti-apartheid Icon, is Dead
By Atlanta Black Star, December 5, 2013

South African President Jacob Zuma has announced that Nelson Mandela’s is dead. Here is what he said:

Fellow South Africans, our beloved Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela, the founding president of our democratic nation, has departed. He passed on peacefully in the capital ….

Our nation has lost its greatest son. Our people have lost a father. But though we knew that this day would come, nothing can diminish our sense of the profound and enduring loss. Continue reading

The Media and MLK

MLK TroubleThe Martin Luther King You Don’t See on TV
Jeff Cohen and Norman Solomon

It’s become a TV ritual: Every year in mid-January, around the time of Martin Luther King’s birthday, we get perfunctory network news reports about “the slain civil rights leader.” The remarkable thing about this annual review of King’s life is that several years—his last years—are totally missing, as if flushed down a memory hole. 

What TV viewers see is a closed loop of familiar file footage: King battling desegregation in Birmingham (1963), reciting his dream of racial harmony at the rally in Washington (1963), marching for voting rights in Selma, Alabama (1965), and finally, lying dead on the motel balcony in Memphis (1968). Continue reading

Whose Confessions of Nat Turner?

The Truth About Nat Turner
By Sharon Ewell Foster (2011) (Edited)

On the 180th anniversary of the revolt, this author says his “Confessions” were a lie.

“The Confessions of Nat Turner, the Leader of the Late Insurrection in Southampton, Va.,” as told to Thomas Gray, is accepted as the primary historical source document on the uprising in the predawn of Aug. 22, 1831, that left more than 50 whites dead. The pamphlet was the basis of novelist William Styron’s fantasy novel of the same name. Continue reading

King Henri Christophe and Haiti

HenriCristopheKing Henri I
On June 10th, 1767, Henri Christophe was born. He was an enslaved West African and became an early Black king in the Western Hemisphere (Haiti).

Christophe was born on the island of Grenada, a British colony. His parents were Africans who were enslaved and taken to Grenada with thousands of other West Africans to work in the sugar industry. These West Africans in the sugar industry were known for their fierce and determined nature to resist the white institution of slavery. The revolutionary nature of Henri Christophe has its roots deeply embedded in his African ancestry. Christophe’s obstinate nature led his father to ‘sell his services’ to a French ship’s captain as a cabin boy, before had reached the age of ten.

The ship’s captain sold Henri to a French sugar planter in the French province on the island of Saint Dominique called Haiti, which was a Carob Indian name meaning “the land of the mountains.” The brutality of the French planters led to much discontent among the enslaved Africans in Haiti. Continue reading

Need for New Ideas and Aims

No JobThe Need of New Ideas and New Aims
From AFRICA AND AMERICA; Addresses and Discourses
by Alex Crummell (1940) [Edited]

For there are few things which tend so much to dwarf a people as the constant dwelling upon personal sorrows and interests, whether they be real or imaginary. We have illustrations of this fact both at home and abroad. The Southern people of this nation have given as evident signs of genius and talent as the people of the North.

If we go back to Colonial times, if we revert to the early history of the nation, we see [that] for nigh three generations they gave themselves up to morbid and fanatical anxieties upon the subject of slavery. To that one single subject they gave the whole bent of their intellect. Continue reading

Haki R. Madhubuti (Don L. Lee)

Haki R. Madhubuti (Don L. Lee)
by Big Mouff

Haki R. Madhubuti (nee Don Luther Lee) was born Feb. 23, 1942, in Little Rock, Arkansas. Lee served in the U.S. Army (1960-63). He attended several colleges in Chicago and graduate school at the University of Iowa (M.F.A., 1984). He taught at various colleges and universities, in 1984 becoming a faculty member at Chicago State University. His poetry, which began to appear in the 1960s, was written in black dialect and slang and via Lee’s influence on Continue reading