Tag Archives: United States

Nelson Mandela: In His Own Words


Nelson Mandela Photo

As the world mourns Nelson Mandela, who will be laid to rest this Sunday, his own words serve as a powerful testimony to his life and legacy. Below are excerpts from some of his own writings and speeches:

“During my lifetime I have dedicated myself to this struggle of the African people. I have fought against white domination, and I have fought against black domination. I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. It is an ideal which I hope to live for and to achieve. But if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die.” – Mandela’s statement to the Supreme Court of South Africa, facing charges of sabotage, April 1964

“My dearest Winnie, Your beautiful photo still stands about two feet above my left shoulder as I write this note. I dust it carefully every morning, for to do so gives me the pleasant feeling that I’m caressing you as in the old days. I even touch your nose with mine to recapture the electric current that used to flush through my blood whenever I did so. Nolitha stands on the table directly opposite me. How can my spirits ever be down when I enjoy the fond attentions of such wonderful ladies?” – Letter to his wife Winnie during his imprisonment, April 1976

“I stand here before you not as a prophet but as a humble servant of you, the people. Your tireless and heroic sacrifices have made it possible for me to be here today. I therefore place the remaining years of my life in your hands.” – From Mandela’s address after his release from prison, delivered in Cape Town, South Africa on February 11, 1990

Watch Mandela’s mini biography:

www.biography.com

“Today, all of us do, by our presence here, and by our celebrations in other parts of our country and the world, confer glory and hope to newborn liberty. Out of the experience of an extraordinary human disaster that lasted too long, must be born a society of which all humanity will be proud. Our daily deeds as ordinary South Africans must produce an actual South African reality that will reinforce humanity’s belief in justice, strengthen its confidence in the nobility of the human soul and sustain all our hopes for a glorious life for all.” – From Mandela’s statement to the President of the African National Congress at his Presidential Inauguration, May 1994

“Fellow citizens, I am greatly honoured to address you at the end of a remarkable year in the history of our nation and on the eve of a new year that is full of hope. 1994 will go down in history as an epoch-making year for the South African people, and indeed, for humanity as a whole. We are at the close of a year which saw the defeat of the apartheid system against which the entire world was united. Transparency and accountability have become norms in our new life. A national consensus has been forged on the policy to bring a better life for all South Africans.” – President Mandela’s New Year’s Day message to South Africans, December 30, 1994

EXPLORE NELSON MANDELA VIDEO LIBRARY

“Though the challenges of the present time for our country, our continent and the world, are greater than those we have already overcome, we face the future with confidence. We do so because, despite the difficulties and the tensions that confront us, there is in all of us the capacity to touch one another’s hearts across oceans and continents. The award with which you honour me today is an expression of the common humanity that binds us one person to another, nation to nation, and people of the North to people of the South. I receive it with pride, as a symbol of partnership for peace, prosperity and equity as we enter the new millennium.” – Address by President Mandela on receiving the Congressional Gold Medal in the United States, September 1998

Watch ‘Mandela: Working Towards Freedom’:

www.biography.com

“We are greatly honoured to join the millions around the globe congratulating you on taking office as the President of the United States of America. We believe that we are witnessing something truly historic not only in the political annals of your great nation, the United States of America, but of the world… We are in some ways reminded today of the excitement and enthusiasm in our own country at the time of our transition to democracy. People, not only in our country but around the world, were inspired to believe that through common human effort injustice can be overcome and that together a better life for all can be achieved. Your Presidency brings hope of new beginnings in the relations between nations, that the challenges we all face, be they economic, the environment, or in combating poverty or the search for peace, will be addressed with a new spirit of openness and accommodation.” – Mandela’s message at the Inauguration of President Obama, January 20, 2009

“I sincerely thank you for your support for Mandela Day. For all those who continue to give service in their own way, I thank you. We each, every one of us, can make an imprint.” – Mandela’s message in honor of the celebration of Mandela Day in the USA, July 2009

Voting is a Right NOT a Privilege ~~ The Struggle continues


votingTime to pass the Voting Rights Act, change redistricting rules, and make it easier for ALL Americans to VOTE

 America

Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” -George Santayana (16 December 1863 in Madrid, Spain – 26 September 1952 in Rome, Italy) was a philosopher, essayist, poet, and novelist. 

 On March 7, 1965, hundreds of brave unarmed nonviolent women and men dared to March for African Americans’ right to vote.

The fact is that less than 1% of eligible Blacks could vote or register to vote.

A group of people organized a Peaceful Protest: The March would start in Selma then move on to the state capitol in Montgomery.

However, as these peaceful protesters tried to cross the Edmund Pettus Bridge to Montgomery the police, seemingly already assuming a defensive posture; some on horses had, looking back, a predetermined tactical intervention plan against protesters. The protesters, mostly young African Americans also walked quietly with a mixture of older individuals and white Students as well: and as they did so police proceeded to try and control the protesters  which quickly resulted in the “excessive use of force.”

As protesters continued, it became clear that the excessive force was now an active use of police brutality and acts of murder; the grotesque beating of a young black leader of nonviolent protesting #RepJohnLewis had his skull cracked open among other injuries to his body.  These Montgomery officers were out to do harm as they surrounded and knocked out young protesters using their nightsticks,  sprayed water cannons at close range while others used tear gas.

These kids had no weapons; they did NOT fight back because they were not there to fight, but showed much courage and strength in the face of absolute brutal violence by an adversarial organization minorities are expected to respect. These men in police uniforms hired to protect and serve citizens were actually a force activated by the state to show physical power,  discrimination, and racism in all its worse forms.

We must never forget that some of our fellow  Americans died for our right to vote! In what was an attempt to March in peaceful disobedience quickly became an adverse harmful environment to young black and white women and men,  students from all backgrounds, folks who believed voting is a right had to quickly retreat while journalists and photographers became witnesses to the suffering violence and death.

The brutal reaction by the police was not only caught on tape it forced then-President Johnson,  once against civil rights programs as a Senator to call on Congress for equal voting rights for all on March 15.

SelmaMarch

The Voting Act of 1965 became a law on August 6; is a landmark piece of national legislation in the United States that outlawed discriminatory voting practices that had been responsible for the widespread disenfranchisement of African Americans in the U.S.

A day that started out peacefully quickly descended into an awful johnlewisbeatwithknightstickugly March of death for the right to vote called, “Bloody Sunday”.

Now, some 50 years later, a new “Jim Crow” era has emerged with a major step backward in the fight for civil and voting rights. Conservative states are targeting not only African Americans but Senior citizens, first-time voters, early voting, Students, low income, immigrants, and the undocumented though Republicans call them (illegals) Dreamers; some born or brought to the US as youngsters all victims of circumstance now voting age. Also, Governors from the Republican-controlled States are allowing election officials to purge voters, people without birth certificates were given limited or completely denied access to the voting booth failing to meet new voter ID regulations in time, and were treated like possible (illegals). This is the 21st Century; we should be on a progressive path toward equality for all not one that will re-engage folks in the act of racism or exclusion leading to suppressing participation in the election process. In 2017, Republicans tried to pass and or enforce new, even stricter voter ID legislation or influence their districts with strange redistricting rules and regulations.  While some judges … have struck down some of these restrictive laws that ultimately suppress the vote, it is clear the effort to shut people of colour out of the election process sadly continues.

We need to push back on all attempts to suppress the Right to Vote.

With so much at stake, it is time to stop sitting on the sidelines. If we are going to succeed, Conservative lawmakers NEED to hear our Voices.

We cannot turn back the clock on Voting Rights For the sake of the Next Generation

Thank You for Taking Action

     Takeaction2

~ Nativegrl77

Lawrence Guyot : a Civil Rights Leader, in memory of


WASHINGTON November 25, 2012 (AP)

Guyot was born in Pass Christian, Miss., on July 17, 1939. He became active in civil rights while attending Tougaloo College in Mississippi, and graduated in 1963. Guyot received a law degree in 1971 from Rutgers University, and then moved to Washington, where he worked to elect fellow Mississippian and civil rights activist Marion Barry as mayor in 1978.

“When he came to Washington, he continued his revolutionary zeal,” Barry told The Washington Post on Friday. “He was always busy working for the people.”

Image result for lawrence guyot

D.C. Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton told The Post in 2007 that she first met Guyot within days of his beating at a jail in Winona, Miss. “Because of Larry Guyot, I understood what it meant to live with terror and to walk straight into it,” she told the newspaper. On Friday, she called Guyot “an unsung hero” of the civil rights movement.

“Very few Mississippians were willing to risk their lives at that time,” she said. “But Guyot did.”

In recent months, his daughter said he was concerned about what he said were Republican efforts to limit access to the polls. As his health was failing, he voted early because he wanted to make sure his vote was counted, he told the AFRO newspaper.

July 5, 1852 – What to the American slave is your Fourth of July?


repost – in memory

NMAAHCLonnie Bunch, museum director, historian, lecturer, and author, is proud to present A Page from Our American Story, a regular on-line series for Museum supporters. It will showcase individuals and events in the African American experience, placing these stories in the context of a larger story — our American story.

A Page From Our American Story

On July 5, 1852 approximately 3.5 million African Americans were enslaved — roughly 14% of the total population of the United States. That was the state of the nation when Frederick Douglass was asked to deliver a keynote address at an Independence Day celebration.

He accepted and, on a day white Americans celebrated their independence and freedom from the oppression of the British crown, Douglass delivered his now-famous speech What to the Slave is the Fourth of July. In it, Douglass offered one of the most thought provoking and powerful testaments to the hypocrisy, bigotry and inhumanity of slavery ever given.

Daguerreotype of Frederick Douglass
(1847-1852) by Samuel J. Miller.
The Art Institute of Chicago

Douglass told the crowd that the arguments against slavery were well understood. What was needed was “fire” not light on the subject; “thunder” not a gentle “shower” of reason. Douglass would tell the audience:

The feeling of the nation must be quickened; the conscience of the nation must be roused; the propriety of the nation must be startled; the hypocrisy of the nation must be exposed; and its crimes against God and man must be denounced.

Frederick Douglass was born into slavery, most likely in February 1818 — birth dates of slaves were rarely recorded. He was put to work full-time at age six, and his life as a young man was a litany of savage beatings and whippings. At age twenty, he successfully escaped to the North. In Massachusetts he became known as a voice against slavery, but that also brought to light his status as an escaped slave. Fearing capture and re-enslavement, Douglass went to England and continued speaking out against slavery.

He eventually raised enough money to buy his freedom and returned to America. He settled in Rochester, New York in 1847 and began to champion equality and freedom for slaves in earnest. By then, his renown extended far beyond America’s boundaries. He had become a man of international stature.

One suspects that Rochester city leaders had Douglass’ fame and reputation as a brilliant orator in mind when they approached him to speak at their Independence Day festivities. But with his opening words, Douglass’ intent became clear — decry the hypocrisy of the day as it played out in the lives of the slaves:

Fellow citizens, pardon me, and allow me to ask, why am I called upon to speak here today? What have I or those I represent to do with your national independence? Are the great principles of political freedom and of natural justice, embodied in that Declaration of Independence, extended to us? And am I, therefore, called upon to bring our humble offering to the national altar, and to confess the benefits, and express devout gratitude for the blessings resulting from your independence to us?

You can easily imagine the wave of unease that settled over his audience. The speech was long, as was the fashion of the day. A link to the entire address can be found at the end of this Our American Story. When you read it you will discover that, to his credit, Douglass was uncompromising and truthful:

This Fourth of July is yours, not mine. You may rejoice, I must mourn … What to the American slave is your Fourth of July? … a day that reveals to him more than all other days of the year, the gross injustice and cruelty to which he is the constant victim. To him your celebration is a sham … your shouts of liberty and equality, hollow mock; your prayers and hymns, your sermons and thanksgivings … hypocrisy — a thin veil to cover up crimes which would disgrace a nation of savages.

US Stamp honoring
Frederick Douglass, 1967.
US Postal Service

Reaction to the speech was strong, but mixed. Some were angered, others appreciative. What I’ve always thought most impressive about Douglass’ speech that day was the discussion it provoked immediately and in the weeks and months that followed.

Certainly much has changed since Douglass’ speech. Yet the opportunity to discuss and debate the important impact of America’s racial history is very much a part of the National Museum of African American History and Culture. Douglass’ words remind us that many have struggled to ensure that the promise of liberty be applied equally to all Americans — regardless of race, gender or ethnicity. And that the struggle for equality is never over.

So, as we gather together at picnics, parades, and fireworks to celebrate the 4th of July, let us remember those, like Frederick Douglass, who fought and sacrificed to help America live up to its ideals of equality, fair play and justice.

Frederick Douglass’ life and words have left us a powerful legacy. His story, and the African American story, is part of us all.

To you and your family, have a joyous and safe Fourth of July and thank you for your interest in the National Museum of African American History and Culture.

All the best,

Lonnie Bunch
Director

P.S. To read the full text Frederick Douglass’ speech of July 5, 1852, click here: http://teachingamericanhistory.org/library/index.asp?document=162

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hope you will consider making a contribution to the Museum. Thank you for your support.

WHITE ON WHITE CRIME IN WACO TEXAS MOTORCYCLE MASSACRE! (ARTICLE )


THE LEON KWASI CHRONICLES 🗽✊🏿🇺🇸

image

BY : LEON KWASI KUNTUO-ASARE

In another tragic case of white on white violent crime, on sunday afternoon May 17, 2015 several white supremacist motorcycle gangs got into a shot out. There were at least five gang factions involved and 9 people were murdered while 18 were injured as a result of the guns, chains, clubs and knives used in the Waco, Texas motorcycle gang melee.
When police arrived they set up a command center to interview , arrest and process the biker thugs involved in the mini massacre. Fortunately for the murderous gang members, unlike the Baltimore and Ferguson protestors, who killed no one, the national guard was not called and Waco was not occupied like Iraq, even though there were over a 100 weapons recovered .

For additional information use the link:

http://www.cnn.com/2015/05/17/us/texas-shooting/

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