NMAAHC Brings “Treasures​” to Houston on October 29 …National Museum of African American History and Culture

National Museum of African American History and Culture

National Museum of
African American History and Culture
Brings “Treasures” to Houston October 29
The Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture and the Houston Public Library will co-host a program to help Houston-area residents identify and preserve items of historical and cultural significance tucked away in the attics, closets and basements of their homes. The freeevent will feature presentations, hands-on activities and preservation tips.The program will take place Saturday, Oct. 29, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., at the Houston Public Library Central Library, 500 McKinney Street, Houston. Free and open to the public, the event is the 11th in a series from the museum’s signature program “Save Our African American Treasures: A National Collections Initiative of Discovery and Preservation.” All are welcome.

Save Our African American Treasures in Indianola, MS
National Museum of African American History and Culture’s
“Save Our African American Treasures” program in
Indianola, MS in September 2011.
Photo Credit: Michael Barnes, Smithsonian Institution.

Participants may bring up to three personal items for a 20-minute, one-on-one professional consultation with experts on how to care for them. The specialists will serve as reviewers, not appraisers, and will not determine an item’s monetary value. Objects such as books, paper and textiles that are no larger than a shopping bag can be reviewed. No furniture, carpets, firearms or paintings are allowed. Additional information is available at nmaahc.si.edu, by emailing treasures@si.edu or by calling (877) 733-9599.

The “Treasures” program also includes the following activities throughout the day:

  • The Gregory School: The African American Library at the Gregory School is the newest special collections unit operated by the Houston Public Library. Learn how it developed and about the unique collections and services it provides.
  • Preservation Presentations: Informal basic preservation sessions will take place during the day. The sessions will provide information on preserving clothing and textiles, family photographs and papers, digital memories and explain the process to establish an object’s provenance. Participants will have the opportunity to ask questions.
  • Hands-on Preservation: In this hands-on activity, participants are invited to learn how to store letters properly, pack garments and prepare photographs for preservation storage and presentation.

As a companion to the series, the museum has produced African American Treasures: A Preservation Guide, a 30-page guidebook that is distributed free to attendees to highlight the importance of proper preservation techniques. The guidebook is part of the “Treasures” kit. Also distributed will be white cotton gloves, archival tissue papers and archival documents sleeves to help people keep their personal treasures safe.

Save Our African American Treasures in Dalllas, TX
National Museum of African American History and Culture’s
“Save Our African American Treasures” program in
Dallas, TX in June 2011.
Photo Credit: Michael Barnes, Smithsonian Institution.

“Save our African American Treasures” is made possible with support from the Bank of America Charitable Foundation and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. The grants also support the pre-design and construction of the museum on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., scheduled to open in 2015.

For more information about The National Museum of African American History and Culture, visit nmaahc.si.edu or call Smithsonian information at (202) 633-1000, (202) 633-5285 (TTY).

For further information about the Houston Public Library please visit www.houstonlibrary.org or call 832-393-1313.

Student loan reform can’t wait


James Kvaal is the Policy Director for Obama for America.

Friend —

President Obama just took two serious steps to make life a lot easier
for folks with student loans — and there’s a good chance you or someone
you know will benefit from these changes very soon.

Here’s how:

— Effective this January, if you’re someone who has different kinds
of loans — guaranteed and direct — you’ll be able to roll them both
into one direct loan and bring down your interest rate. You’ll only have
to write one check a month, and you’ll see a discount. This switch adds
no cost to taxpayers across the board.

— You might remember that, as part of last year’s student loan
reform, borrowers’ loan payments could be no higher than 10 percent of
their disposable income. This is a big deal — but it wasn’t going to
help anyone enrolling before 2014. Today, the President announced that
he’s speeding up this program so it will affect students next year —
helping over 1 million students. This will have huge consequences for
people struggling to make their student loan payments.

Sometimes, it can be hard to see how policy changes will actually affect your day-to-day life.

Not the case with this one. These changes will make a real difference in helping millions of Americans get by month to month.

We put together a video explaining how these changes will help Americans. Watch
it to learn a little more about what today’s steps would do, and then
make sure everyone you know who should hear about it does.

Learn how student loan reforms help you.

President Obama isn’t waiting on Congress to take action. He’s doing
everything in his power, right now, to help bolster our economy and get
folks back on their feet.

On Monday, he laid out new rules on federal mortgages to help make sure more families don’t lose their homes to foreclosure.

On Tuesday, the administration announced two new initiatives to help veterans find work.

Today, it means making changes that make student loans a lot easier to manage.

These are actions that can’t wait on the next vote or the next election.
So long as people are struggling, this President and this
administration will do everything in their power to help them when and
where they can. It’s just that simple.

Now, let’s make sure that the millions of people who stand to benefit from today’s steps know about it.

Watch the video to learn more about today’s student loan changes — and then help get the word out:




James Kvaal

Policy Director

Obama for America

Tell Congress: No cuts to Medicare benefits

Democrats on the so-called Super Committee are caving to Republican demands and pushing a plan that would make drastic cuts to Medicare.

This is bad policy and bad politics. Cuts like these are the worst possible way to reduce the deficit. They protect the status quo for the richest 1 percent while the 99 percent are expected to sacrifice vital healthcare that they need to survive in tough economic times like these — and they’ll hamstring Democrats running for reelection in 2012.

We’ve been down this road before. Republicans and some Democrats have been pushing plans to destroy Medicare and Social Security for months. We beat them then and we can beat them now with an overwhelming show of grassroots opposition to any plan that cuts Medicare.

Join me and tell Washington that this deal is Dead On Arrival.

Pledge to oppose any candidate — Republican or Democrat – who votes for a plan that cuts Medicare and Medicaid benefits for the 99 percent.

The facts are simple: The average income of Medicare beneficiaries is about $22,000 a year. Our nation’s seniors can’t afford to have their benefits cut and hard-working Americans can’t afford to have their eligibility for Medicare raised to 67.

As more and more people lose employer-provided health insurance, the last thing the nation’s seniors, people with disabilities, and low-income children who depend on Medicaid need is for the federal government to slash these vital programs.

Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid did not cause the run-up in federal deficits. We have President Bush’s huge tax cuts for the top 1 percent, the unpaid costs of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, and the Great Recession caused by reckless, un-American, and potentially criminal behavior on Wall Street to thank for the mess we’re in.

Washington needs to make sure those who caused this mess pay to clean it up — not seniors, not Americans with disabilities, and certainly not low-income children who depend on Medicaid to survive.

Send a message to Washington now — Stand against cuts to Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security or stand alone for reelection.

This is a fight we will win, if we stand up and fight. Because when we work together, we’re unstoppable.

Thank you for everything you do.


Jim Dean, Chair
Democracy for America

TGIF -Help Protect the Right to Choose

just another rant … tweaked

In March of 2011, the abortion debate- a topic that has
strong feelings in both Political Parties has changed and the

status quo or agreement that is the Hyde
 has heated up … again. I post quite a few articles from
well-known activists and extremely knowledgeable and trustworthy organizations with great truthful information
regarding women’s health care, contraceptives, and abortion. I also post many
Petitions because they do work. The topic of abortion is a very personal one
that is a no brainer … at least to me. I still do not understand why any man
unless invited should tell women what to do with their bodies at all let alone
try to legislate it and tell us all we must not only have a possible unwanted
pregnancy we must do so no matter what the circumstance. In addition, some
politicians feel a pregnancy caused by rape is not a reason to terminate. I
gotta say if that ain’t some shit. I am still reeling over ex-Gov. Palin was
making women pay for their rape kits in Alaska. The attack on Women is not a
new thing right, but this is the 21st Century and while so many other things
have changed, the topic of abortion seems to bring out the barbarian in people.
These attacks on women are happening on the local and state level, have seen
some traction, and are now quickly moving to the Federal level. These moves
to control contraceptive sales and possible abortion procedures should tell
women that big government is only a bad thing if it regulates the JOB Creators
though they are not doing a hell of a lot these days. While The Family Values
Platform keeps creeping into politics a true lack of regard toward the
separation of church and state continues. The votes in the Republican led House
of Representatives should be all any Woman needs to vote these fools out of
office. I do not want to go into anyone’s bedroom any more than i want him or
her in mine. In 1973, the Supreme Court ruling made abortion legal and because
Rep.Hyde did not want federal funds used to provide such a procedure, the Hyde
Amendment created.

I do not understand how in the 21st Century… mostly men feeling comfortable trying to block not only a woman’s right to choose, but to have safe affordable aside from other health care services .


The Hyde Amendment    Introduced by Henry Hyde (R-Illinois) in 1976,bears his name restricts federal funding for abortion. Passed by the House as part of the Department of Labor and Health, Education, and Welfare Appropriation Act in 1976, the Hyde Amendment prohibits appropriated funds to be expended on abortion except when the mother’s life is endangered by her pregnancy.

Each year since then, the Hyde Amendment has been attached to the annual federal spending bill; and over the years other exceptions for rape, incest, and “severe and physical health damage” to the mother have been added, removed, added, and debated as the numbers of pro-life and pro-choice members of Congress have fluctuated.

The 2009 version of the Hyde Amendment allows for exceptions in the cases of rape, incest or endangerment of the pregnant women’s life.

The Hyde Amendment does not allow Medicaid coverage for abortion. Also prohibited is abortion coverage for women in in the military, the Peace Corps, federal prisons, and those who receive medical care from Indian Health Services. FROM >> www.womensissues.about.com

Anyway, I posted an article from MoveOn  and received a question and pictures in response to it. I appreciate the comments which came over a couple of days and tried to respond below .. .Abortion will always be met with strong words and feelings.  I have friends, family and co-workers who have the right to choose at the moment,but, it is up to ALL of us to fight and keep it that way.

HIM:Choosing to kill a baby is not a right. http://www.abortiontruth.com/pictures.html

HIM: When do you believe life begins? Lets start with your measuring stick for life.

FYI: The word fetus (plural fetuses) is from the Latin fetus, meaning offspring, bringing forth, hatching of young. It has Indo-European roots related to sucking or suckling, from the Aryan prefix bheu-, meaning “To come into being”.

I prefer to speak English and just call the developing life form in women, I don’t speak Latin in my daily use of language.

HIM:You really need to relax, if you can’t handle someone disputing your opinion you need to stay away from blogs. Or just censor those that comment on your blog if that makes it easier for you.

You complain about a lot of things that I never brought up. I state that I do not think that the choice to kill a baby is not a right. Am I wrong?

I gathered from your rant that you consider an embryo with a heart beat is now a baby. Am I right?

To save time, I am going to ask the next question as if the last statement is true. Would you then still believe a women has the right to end the life of a baby, as long as it is in her womb?

I am not asking these questions out of hostility and I hope you are not offended by me asking them. I really do what to know what you stance is and how you justify that stance. It is too easy to box someone into a pro-life or pro-choice label, when that label probably does not fit.

HIM: One last question. Is there any point where you believe a baby has a right to life while it is in a women’s body?

This is based on normal pregnancy and not considering medical complications that put a women’s life in danger.

I thank you for taking the time to answer my questions and I am finding your answers very educational. I understand that we will not come to an agreement based on this discussion, but I do believe that if we understand each other more that we can eventually  come to an understanding.

ME: I would like to know if you believe in less government at
all. If so, why shouldn’t my private life, my bedroom and my uterus be outside
your control, especially if i pay for the procedure myself and the most
important element being that the procedure is safe, affordable with women being
responsible and reasonable enough to make their own decisions. I feel any medical
procedure I am required to pay for or not is totally my personal business  and in my opinion, everyone should mind your
own business . The Hyde amendment should be enough for anyone to accept.
Planned Parenthood is a company that provides a safe environment for women,
what part of that is hard to understand.  I do not believe people in Congress think
about  the number of  women that go there and it is not to have an
abortion. Reports are that 3% of the visits are abortion related. Planned
Parenthood provides a great services beyond that sleazy image so many
Teapublicans prefer to project to the public. I would wager that under certain
circumstances even daughters/sons of the well to do go there as well as college
women in need.  I don’t think you get
it-using Latin words instead of emotions about a very emotional topic for any
woman is a problem, while you may think it’s used improperly the point is women
are smart enough to decide on medical procedures on their own and having a
choice is the point. I do not think any woman has an abortion for fun. It is a
topic far deeper than the clinical crap you are spewing. The fact is there was
a time when women and young women were desperate enough to use coat
drugs or fake doctors  to “take
care” of the problem and the reality is having unwanted babies is not the
answer and a woman’s body does not belong to you or the government. I think the
current laws rules and attitudes are suffocating to women in general. Women all
over the World should be able to decide for themselves have consultations with
their doctors and hope that a great doctor will provide safe and affordable
health care. I just read your comment and you sound controlling, act like the
decider , the guy/gal who thinks women should be pregnant and barefoot which is
pure BS and i do not understand this logic. The clinical and or professorial
attitude shows just how little you know about women and giving up my personal
control to you or my government is definitely a definition of big


ME: i believe we can call a baby a baby when a heartbeat can be
heard, which is about at 9weeks depending on the woman but that does not change
my mind about abortion.  Women should not
lose the right to choose; we should be treated as intelligent enough to decide
and contrary to popular thought doctors actually do counsel and discuss options
but those choices those options are being slowly taken away by the likes of Republican
Tea Party under the disguise or family values platform when in reality it is
family enforcement. It makes no sense to think this is anyone’s business except
for the woman and her doctor, it baffles my mind to think a member of congress,
a stranger thinks my uterus should be controlled by them because of their own
personal beliefs, religion, values. I do believe that the Senate will respect a
woman’s right to choose though Republicans feel women should be seen and not
heard i guess with the cutting slashing and burning of safe, clean and truly
great facilities that help girls, young women and older women on a daily basis
for all kinds of things not just abortion. The fact is that places like Planned
Parenthood also talk to young men about their responsibilities and about
contraceptive etc. The idea of trying to keep a strong hold on information, procedures and
personal choice can only be harmful to the progress in the realm of women’s
health care –


ME: That’s funny. If what you said were true i wouldn’t have
even responded to your comment”, choosing to kill a baby is not a right.” I
actually responded each time even with the first question because you sounded excessively
clinical to professorial and if it sounded hostile, that is because of the first
comment with pictures. The question you asked in it brings up abortion. The hilarity
of just reading the comment, “choosing to kill a baby is not right” and the sadness
of the tremendous hold that men and or politicians from the Republican Tea

Actually, i did not say an embryo equals a baby; I said that
when a heartbeat is heard i would deem it as a baby, which is usually at 9wks
could be more.  I am saying anything
before that i would say is not a baby … and i would say a woman has the right
to choose to do whatever she and her doctor have agreed to in private without
outside forces to interrupt because whatever is going on in a woman’s body,
womb, uterus is hers unless she so choses to share. I am somewhat offended
because you do not get it. I do not think you, me , the government, or anyone
else for that matter has a say in what a woman does with her body. I am both
pro-life …i have kids and pro-choice because women have the intelligence to
decide what they want, don’t you agree? What is missing is your justification
for saying choosing to kill a baby is not right and I have to ask… is it any of
your business to begin with. I know where i stand and why but i have no idea
why you feel the way you do.

As a woman, the passion or as you say hostility i show for a woman’s right to
choose is because the Republican led House cut slashed and burnt women and
children lately, these actions give me a bad feeling and could possibly create
situations where women of all ages will resort to desperate measures. I believe
in providing choices for women which men, politicians, women who have outdated
ideas about women ’s rights keep trying to take away, and it just does not make
sense at all


ME: That is the point isn’t it. We as individuals should have
the right to decide for ourselves. My response to your question as to when life
begins is just that my response, it is not meant to represent anyone else or
speak for others. I can only speak for myself so your question about ” holding
to the standard that a woman may only have freedom of choice before 9wks,” is
odd because there is no standard to health care as no one has the same issues
or complications or outcomes. I do not subscribe to nor did i say women should
be limited to 9weeks only that for me life started when a heartbeat could be
heard which is also different for each woman. I do subscribe to privacy with each
woman in America having the right to choose and no one has the right to enforce
laws rules and or control such a personal event. I am definitely offended but
baffled as well by those who still in this 21st Century believe that a Woman no
matter what economic status does not seem to have enough sense to make their own
decisions. Therefore, i will say i cannot relate to your questions regarding killing
a baby.  That question used by folks who
want women to feel bad but the fact is the Hyde Amendment addresses the rights
and the rule of law of a woman considering an abortion and anything else
certainly is not my business nor are they yours or our Politicians who seem to
want to invade a woman’s privacy on so many levels. Now, conservative
Politicians want to make it harder than ever to purchase contraceptives and
while they feel this mission are important they have underestimated women and their
independent thoughts and behavior.

I think we are at an impasse and while I appreciate the comments, we definitely
do not agree on this particular topic. -thank you for the comments though

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