Frankly Speaking

. . . Truth to Power joyfully — a weblog by Amilcar Shabazz

Keynote presentation on Du Bois

Posted by Shabazz on July 25th, 2014

WHeritagePoster

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Discovering Langston and the Historical Dialectic

Posted by Shabazz on February 8th, 2014


Here’s a Langston Hughes poem from 1943. Beaumont, TX and Detroit, MI, were the locations of two “race riots” in a series of pogroms that swept the land from May 12 to August 29, 1943, at the height of U.S. involvement in WW II. It’s a good example of Hughes’s ability to write to immediate social and political events. It holds special relevance for me because I grew up hearing about how my family had to directly respond to the “war at home” in my hometown of Beaumont. Coincidentally, a young filmmaker has asked me to review the script for a movie on the “riot” that is in progress. Here’s the poem:

Beaumont to Detroit: 1943

Looky here, America
What you done done–
Let things drift
Until the riots come.

Now your policemen
Let your mobs run free
I reckon you don’t care
Nothing about me.

You tell me that hitler
Is a mighty bad man.
I guess he took lessons
from the ku klux klan.

You tell me mussolini’s
Got an evil heart.
Well, it mus-a been in Beaumont
That he had his start–

Cause everything that hitler
And mussolini do,
Negroes get the same
Treatment from you.

You jim crowed me
Before hitler rose to power–
And you’re STILL jim crowing me
Right now, this very hour.

Yet you say we’re fighting
For democracy.
Then why don’t democracy
Include me?

I ask you this question
Cause I want to know
How long I got to fight
BOTH HITLER–AND JIM CROW.

One might consider this poem alongside the Pisan Cantos, or the poems from Trilogy, or Moore’s “In Distrust of Merits,” How does it expand our idea of the range of poetic responses to WW II?

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2013 JUNETEENTH JAMBOREE in the Pioneer Valley

Posted by Shabazz on April 30th, 2013

WELCOME TO THE 2013 JUNETEENTH JAMBOREE
COMMUNITY BLOCK PARTY 
IN THE PIONEER VALLEY!

* ART | CULTURE | FUN | FAMILY |AWARDS |YOUTH EMPOWERMENT *

Juneteenth observes the June 19th, 1865, proclamation of the abolition of slavery in Texas. It celebrates freedom for people of all backgrounds, with a focus on its meaning for today’s youth.

June

Wednesday, June 19, 2013, 1-7PM | Amherst Town Commons map

Amherst Human Rights Commissioner Kathleen Anderson invites you:

YouTube Preview Image

Additional events to take place in Springfield along with special Amherst Human Rights Commission awards ceremony, details below:

We will focus on Youth Empowerment and offer community recognitions to a number of individuals who have made significant contributions to freedom in our community

All proceeds raised will benefit The Youth Action Coalitionyouthactioncoalition.org

This event is organized by the Sankofa Coalition which is made up of many organizations and individuals working together, including:

Town of Amherst Human Rights Commission:  http://amhersthumanrights.blogspot.com/p/events.html

PAHMUSA, The Pan-African Historical Museum USA in Springfield, MA: pahmusa.mysite.com/contactus.html

Preecha Kungo and Igziabeher                                Onawumi Jean Moss. Your Soulful Storyteller

2050 Legacy:  www.2050legacy.org/                    TRGGR Media Collective:  trggradio.org/

Trevor Baptiste, Member of the Amherst-Pelham Regional School CommitteeEdward Cage, Vice President and Chair of the Fundraising Committee of the Amherst Branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People; and Amilcar Shabazz, Vice Chair of the Amherst Regional Public School Committee.

TO BE A SPONSOR/SUPPORTER, CONTACT: amilcarshabazz@gmail.com

Portions of the various event will be videotaped for airing on Amherst Media and on the web.

Here is the PERFORMANCE SCHEDULE thus far:

1 to 3PM – Sounds of Freedom

Preecha Kungo and Igziabeher — roots reggae music

Black Kasbah — outer space sounds

TRGGR Media Collective — “aesthetics of justice” hip hop music

3 to 4:45PM – BHM Unplugged Program Segment

Emceed by Amherst Reg. High School Students: Camila Carpio &c

Storyteller: Onawumi Jean Moss

2050 Legacy | Musical-Poetry Set, 20 minutes

Speaker: Tosh Foerster, Governor’s Statewide Youth Council

New Africa House Ensemble | Jazz Set, 20 minutes

Speakers and Other youth performances on historical and current struggles

4:45 to 6:15PM – Human Rights Commission’s Heroism Awards ceremony

4:50 – 5:00 PM Greg Bascomb opens 9th Annual Amherst Human Rights Youth Heroism Award Picnic, invites ticket-holders to eat, introduces MCs, Dr. Peters, Higher Help, & ACT SMART

5:00 – 5:05 PM Song by Higher Help

5:05 – 5:35 PM ACT SMART

5:35 – 5:45 PM MCs: HRC Commissioner Liam Brodigan and Sajo Jefferson bring on Guest Speaker – Madeline Peters [UMASS disability office is making the award to Zhuli]

5:45 – 5:50 PM Song by Higher Help

5:50 – 6:10 PM Youth Awards [approx. 2 minutes @]: Jenna and April Schilling at Fort River, Eva Ross- Perkins, Daudy Guerrero and Wesley Killough-Hill at Crocker Farm, and Xaq Kruezer- Land, Benjamin Thiessen, James Kirwan, Regina East, Dominik Doemer and Zhui Adams at the high school.

6:10 – 6:20 PM Thanks for Joining Us – Song by Higher Help

6:20 to 7PM – Sankofa Coalition’s closing piece

Rebirth Neo-Soul Set, 30 minutes Concluding Remarks and upcoming events

7PM:  Invite help with task force to clean up the Commons to be out before 8 pm.

Links for Further Study:

http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/lkj01

https://www.tsl.state.tx.us/ref/abouttx/juneteenth.html

Selected Presentations on Juneteenth by Amilcar Shabazz:

Justice for Charles Wilhite Juneteenth Celebration by Blackstonian (Springfield, MA). 6/23/2012

Juneteenth highlights pride in Fourth Ward.” By Mike Tolson for the Houston Chronicle | June 18, 2006. Quoting from my speech at  at Mount Horeb MSB (Houston, TX). 6/17/2006

“Educational Equality & the Heart of Texas’ Freedom Struggle: From Juneteenth to LBJ.” Sam Houston State University History Department Annual Lecture (Huntsville, TX). 3/30/2004

“On the Meaning of Juneteenth.” The Safehouse Historic Museum of Black Belt Cultural and Civil Rights History Juneteenth Freedom Festival (Greensboro, AL). 6/28/2003

“Juneteenth: Origins and Significance.” The Texas Emancipation Juneteenth Historical Commission’s History Symposium at the State Capitol; (Austin, TX). 12/11/1998

“The Pillars of Freedom: Constructing Community after Juneteenth.” University of Texas Institute of Texan Cultures (San Antonio, TX). 1/26/1997

The actual Juneteenth proclamation went along these lines: 

Headquarters, District of Texas
Galveston, Texas, June 19, 1865

General Orders, No. 3.

The people are informed that, in accordance with a proclamation from the Executive of the United States, all slaves are free. This involves an absolute equality of personal rights and rights of property, between former masters and slaves, and the connection heretofore existing between them, becomes that between employer and hired labor. — The Freedmen are advised to remain at their present homes, and work for wages. They are informed that they will not be allowed to collect at military posts; and that they will not be supported in idleness either there or elsewhere. By order of Major General Granger

(Signed,) F. W. Emery, Maj. & A.A.G.

As reported in The Galveston Daily News, June 21, 1865

Thus, the Emancipation Proclamation’s effective date of January 1, 1863, nor the end of the Civil War on April 9, 1865, mark the official end of African American enslavement in the U.S. It was June 19, 1865, when the end of slavery was enforced in Texas. Of course, the Thirteenth Amendment, effective December 1865, abolished slavery throughout the entire United States, including the Border states and the Indian territories. Juneteenth is celebrated with the conviction that slavery was abolished only when it was abolished for all.

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Celebrating MLK Day 2013 in Noho

Posted by Shabazz on January 14th, 2013

If you’re in the Pioneer Valley, consider attending the events below:

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Spring 2013 Course Build

Posted by Shabazz on October 30th, 2012

238

Shabazz

24445

Arts & Cultural Identity

Thur 4-6:30 p.m.

NAH 311?

45

3

264

Shabazz

10552

Foundation of Black Education in U.S.

Tues 4-6:30 p.m.

LGRT 103

77

3

D01

24446

TA: Rosa Clemente

W 10:10-11:00

NAH 311

25

D02

24447

F 10:10-11:00

NAH 311

25

D03

24448

TA: Peter Blackmer

W 10:10-11:00

NAH 311

25

D04

24449

F 10:10-11:00

NAH 311

25

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