Too many Black families … a repost


 It’s a time of celebration and joy, but every year there are too many Black families who have empty seats around their holiday dinners.

Michael Brown, Eric Garner, Tamir Rice, Tanesha Anderson, John Crawford, and many, many more.

But there’s a vibrant movement on the streets demanding that our country value and protect Black lives, and it’s forcing many Americans — particularly our elected officials — to wake up to the realities of everyday violence against Black people.  

We’re in the middle of a transformative moment, and ColorOfChange has bold plans for 2015.

We are going to:

  1. Strengthen the police accountability work we’ve spear-headed throughout 2014. From ensuring Darren Wilson, Daniel Pantaleo, and other police officers are held fully accountable, to securing nationwide structural reforms addressing discriminatory police violence, there’s a lot to be done.
  2. Lift up the voices of our 1 million members to fight back against the new right-wing Congress. The Republicans who now control both houses are determined to pass legislation that will put our communities in harms way. And we’re determined to hold them accountable.
  3. Continue to combat toxic media representations of Black folks and the movements for justice springing up everywhere.
  4. Keep our fingers on the country’s pulse, ready to jump on rapid response moments and influence the national dialogue.

…and there’s a lot more in the pipeline.

Make a $1 holiday donation today to strengthen ColorOfChange’s civil rights campaigns this coming year. (Or give whatever you can.)

Every donation you make, every dollar you give, makes a BIG difference. Our small staff will stretch it out and ensure it has a real impact in 2015.

Thanks and peace,

–Rashad, Arisha, Matt, Bhavik, and the ColorOfChange team

Donna De La Cruz, Reform Immigration FOR America


We never thought this fight would be easy, but the anti-immigrant forces have taken it too far. Last week, in an unprecedented turn of events, Representative Eric Cantor was voted out of office and he announced that he will step down as House Majority Leader!

Add your name to get updates and fight back against attacks on our families. 

Ever since President Obama announced this past November that he’d provide relief from deportation for qualifying young people and parents of citizens, Republicans legislators have tried everything in Congress to undo this important relief for our families.

As if that weren’t enough, yesterday, Judge Andrew Hanen, a Texas judge known for his anti-immigrant views, sided with 26 anti-immigrant Attorneys General and Governors in a lawsuit challenging President Obama and administrative relief. This decision will likely mean a temporary delay on relief programs like the expanded DACA and DAPA going into effect, but it won’t stop them permanently. We have to keep fighting.

Stand with families and fight back against anti-immigrant attacks! Sign up today!

We know that today’s ruling on this anti-immigrant lawsuit is merely a political stunt aimed at scaring our families away from signing up for administrative relief. While this will likely delay relief by temporarily blocking DACA & DAPA, we know that it won’t permanently stop relief for our families.

The best way that we can fight back is to charge ahead and make sure that our community is ready. Throughout this week, immigrant families and supporters are getting ready to fight back at over 60 events across the country. Will you join them?

Add your name to show anti-immigrant lawmakers that our families will not back down.

In the coming weeks, you will hear a lot of conflicting news. Remember that the end goal of anti-immigrant lawmakers is to cause our community to panic and lose focus. We can’t let them win. Stay calm. Remember that this decision will likely mean a temporary delay of new administrative relief programs, but NOT a permanent one. This ruling also has NO effect on DACA programs of 2012. And finally, remember that this lawsuit has no real legal merit and our community will prevail.

Join us and fight back!

With determination,Reformimmigrtn

Donna De La Cruz
Reform Immigration FOR America

Sarah Breedlove … Millionaire


This Child of Slaves Grew Up to Become America’s First Female Millionaire

Random Celebrity Article By on October 20, 2014

 

America is considered to be the “land of opportunity”. Historically, it’s the country people have run to in order to escape persecution, poor living conditions, or lack of opportunities somewhere else. However, for the large number of African people stolen from their homes, shipped across the Atlantic, and sold into slavery, America was anything but a land of opportunity. So it’s pretty darn incredible that America’s first female self-made millionaire, Madam C.J. Walker, was the child of former slaves. Her story is one of perseverance, ingenuity, and triumph. If her amazing life doesn’t make you want to get off your butt and go make your dreams happen, than nothing will.

Madam C.J. Walker, also known as Sarah Breedlove, was born on December 23, 1867, just outside of Delta, Louisiana. She was born on the cotton plantation where her family had been enslaved. She held the distinction of being the first free-born child in the family. The youngest of five, she was the first person in her family born after the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation. However, by age 7, she was orphan. Both of her parents passed away within a year of each other. Their cause of death was not recorded. She was sent to live with her older sister in Mississippi, where it is believed she worked picking cotton and doing housework. Her life in Mississippi was anything but ideal, and though slavery had technically been abolished, most people in the South had yet to “get the memo”, as it were. She worked the same hours she would have worked as a slave and was paid a pittance. Then, she and her family members had to pay exorbitant fees to live in the very same shack that her sister had lived in while she was a slave. Making matters worse, was that her brother-in-law was physically abusive. Eventually, she couldn’t take it anymore. At 14, she married a man named Moses McWilliams, mostly in an effort to get away from her current living situation.

madame

The pair had a baby in 1885. Two years later, Moses passed away, and Sarah and her daughter A’Lelia moved to St. Louis to be closer to Sarah’s older brothers. Her brothers had found some success working as barbers. In St. Louis, she began working as a washerwoman. Her pay was only $1.50 per day. She used the majority of the money to pay for her daughter’s schooling, and also took whatever classes she could herself. She subsequently met and married Charles J. Walker. Mr. Walker worked in advertising and their relationship would prove to be a fortuitous one.

Due to a severe scalp condition, most likely caused by the lye-based products used to straighten her hair, Sarah Breedlove had begun to lose her hair in bunches. Whenever she had a spare moment in her kitchen, she began making her own hair care products, and experimenting with ways to treat her own scalp. A black woman named Annie Turnbo Malone heard about Sarah. Ms. Malone made and marketed her own line of African-American hair care products. She invited Sarah to come work for her as a commission agent. So Sarah, Charles, and A’Lelia relocated to Denver, Colorado and launched a hair care business under Ms. Malone. At the urging of her husband, Sarah changed her professional name to Madam C.J. Walker, and launched her business in earnest. Between her genuinely effective and well-made products and her husband’s advertising acumen, her business grew by leaps and bounds. The couple spent much of the early 1900s, traveling around selling her products all over the south. By 1908, she was able to go out on her own. She opened a factory and her own beauty school in Pittsburgh.

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The company continued to grow, so Sarah, now Madam C.J., moved operations to Indianapolis. She began training a group of employees who were both salespeople and beauticians. Known as “Walker Agents“, these African-American entrepreneurs began selling her products all over the United States. She began sponsoring conventions, sales awards, and community events. She and her husband divorced in 1913, and rather than slowing her down, it seemed to galvanize her. She traveled to the Caribbean and Latin America, adding more and more “Walker Agents” to her roster and increasing her sales base. By this time, her daughter A’Lelia, had begun to take charge of some portions of operations. A’Lelia purchased prime real estate in Harlem and made it the new base of operations for Madam C. J. Walker Manufacturing. As more responsibility was shifted to her daughter, Madam C.J. Walker began focusing on philanthropy and community improvement. She created scholarship funds, sponsored the building and maintenance of multiple homes for the elderly, donated large sums to both the NAACP and the National Conference on Lynching, and, in 1913, donated the largest amount of money by an African-American to the Indianapolis YMCA.

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She built a home in Irvington-on-Hudson, New York sometime around 1916 or 1917, and passed away there in 1919, due to hypertension. She was 51 years old. She was the sole owner of Madam C.J. Walker Manufacturing for most of its existence, and the company was worth over $1 million when she died. Additionally, she was worth close to $700,000 herself, separate from the company. That’s the equivalent of $13 million in today’s dollars. It was an astronomical amount in 1919.

At the time of her death in 1919, Madam C.J. Walker was the wealthiest African-American in the United States. She was also generally believed to the country’s first self-made female multi-millionaire. Assuming her net worth was approximately $2 million the year she died, that would be equivalent to $37 million today.

house

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When she died, her will dictated that 2/3 of all future company profits be donated to charity from that point on. One third of her estate went to her daughter. Her home in Irvington-on-Hudson is now a registered landmark, and the arts center named after her in Indianapolis, the Walker Center, has become nationally famous.

Madam C.J. Walker, aka Sarah Breedlove, went from absolutely nothing, to wealthier than just about everyone else around her. Along the way, she made sure to give back to the community that supported her, and trained hundreds of “Walker Agents” about entrepreneurship, civic duty, and pride. She proved to an entire generation of African-Americans, many of whom had grown up enslaved, that success was possible. Historically and socially, the example she set has proven far more valuable than her millions of dollars.

love …


World“The best love is the kind that awakens the soul; that makes us reach for more, that plants the fire in our hearts and brings peace to our minds. That’s what I hope to give you forever.”

— The Notebook

 

Here Come The Nativists


By

Bush-Appointed Judge, Hand-Picked By Anti-Immigrant Activists, Rules Against President Obama’s Immigration Actions

Late last night, Judge Andrew Hanen of the U.S. District Court in the Southern District of Texas temporarily blocked the Department of Homeland Security from implementing President Obama’s deferred action immigration directives. The ruling did not come as a surprise to most observers; Hanen has a history of extremist anti-immigrant decisions.

The bad news is that the judge’s deeply flawed ruling will delay implementation of common-sense measures designed to focus limited enforcement resources on felons, not families (bear in mind this does not affect the existing DACA). The good news, however, is that the decision is only a temporary setback; the judicial process will move beyond Judge Hanen to higher courts. And with extensive jurisprudence pointing toward the fact that the President has the legal authority to act, we are confident that his directives will be deemed constitutional and will be fully implemented.

Here are three key points to know and remember in this case:

1. This is a partisan political attack disguised as a lawsuit. In December, governors and attorneys general from 26 states sued the government to block the DHS directives from going in to effect. Every single governor that signed onto the lawsuit, and all but one of the attorneys general, were Republicans.

What’s more, it is no accident that Judge Haren was the judge selected to rule on the lawsuit. The plaintiffs, led by now-Governor Greg Abbott (R-TX), shopped around for a judge they knew to be sympathetic to their anti-immigrant cause.

2. Judge Hanen’s ruling is not the final decision in the case. The Department of Justice will immediately appeal the judge’s decision and apply for a stay of the ruling to the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals. At this point, that can go in two possible directions.

  • The 5th Circuit grants the requested stay, and implementation of the directives will continue while the court considers the merits of the plaintiffs’ case.
  • The 5th Circuit denies the stay request and the temporary injunction remains in effect, further delaying the implementation of the DACA expansion and DAPA programs.

In either situation, a decision on the requested stay should take place within a couple of weeks, while the ruling on the underlying legality of the directives will likely take several months. In the meantime, immigrants who would have been eligible to request deferred action under these directives will not be agency enforcement priorities and should not be removed.

3. We are confident that President Obama’s directives are legal, and that they will proceed. Lawsuits against similar executive action have failed in the past, including a 2012 Mississippi challenge of the DACA program, and an effort by an anti-immigrant Sheriff challenging executive action that was struck down in court in December of last year. More than 130 legal scholars from across the political spectrum wrote a letter to the president urging him to take executive action, and laying out the broad legal authority for taking executive action on immigration. These scholars reaffirmed the legality of the DHS directives after they were announced in late-November.

BOTTOM LINE: Last night’s anti-immigrant ruling by an anti-immigrant federal judge in southern Texas is temporary and an aberration. This judge’s ruling is just another piece of a cynical, partisan strategy to break families apart and oppose the President’s policies at all costs. Legal precedent from Supreme Court rulings and similar lawsuits in the past — not to mention the views of more than one hundred legal experts — demonstrates that ultimately, President Obama’s immigration action and the directives from the Department of Homeland Security will be upheld as constitutional.