Respect is Due

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Activists, Allies, Scholars, Students, Teachers

Stories live forever, storytellers don’t.

-Patricia Stephens Due

I was not familiar with Patricia Stephens Due until I recently stumbled across an old interview with her on NPR. Growing up, most of what I learned about the Civil Rights Movement was about the work of Dr. King and the March on Washington.  In school I didn’t learn a lot about the everyday women who helped the movement that changed our country and resonated among Africans around the world.

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Stop Shootin’

Posted 2 CommentsPosted in Activists, Allies, Prisoners

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WuU7bEqKcLk]

A few days ago, an old friend from London came to New York for a visit.  Cora’s trip was brief, but we managed to sneak in a dinner and catch up since our last lunch date 4 years ago.  After chatting about the usual things–school, family, love–I asked her to fill me in on her experiences with the London Riots that swept the country for 4 days last August.  She had much to say, but one thing stood out:

It was a really beautiful thing.  This guy was shot by the police, and I mean, I know here in the US that type of thing happens all the time, it’s common.  But in London, it started something.

I sat there quietly listening to the rest of her description of the riots, but I couldn’t move past her statement that state-sanctioned violence toward a person of color “is common” in the United States.  Unfortunately she was right, and the past year has done nothing to suggest that this is changing.

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Revolution Soldier

Posted 12 CommentsPosted in Activists, Allies, Artists, Scholars, Students
Photos taken at Bob Marley’s resting place; near Saint Ann’s Bay, Jamaica. Courtesy of Rebecca Alvy

On a recent, very brief trip to Ocho Rios, Jamaica, I was not surprised to experience the high quality of respect given to the memory of Bob Marley. Anything less would have been disappointing. However, as a lifetime follower of Marley, this trip highlighted a pattern much of the world is guilty of—pigeonholing Bob Marley as nothing more than a reggae artist and—thus losing sight of his revolutionary spirit.

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