Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Dr. Maya Angelou has passed away at the age of 86

Maya Angelou

Maya Angelou, Lyrical Witness of the Jim Crow South, Dies at 86


MAY 28, 2014

Maya Angelou, the memoirist and poet whose landmark book of 1969, “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings” — which describes in lyrical, unsparing prose the author’s girlhood in the Jim Crow South — was among the first autobiographies by a 20th-century black woman to reach a wide general readership, died on Wednesday in her home. She was 86 and lived in Winston-Salem, N.C.

Her death was confirmed by her longtime literary agent, Helen Brann. No immediate cause of death had been determined, but Ms. Brann said Ms. Angelou had been in frail health for some time and had had heart problems.

As well known as she was for her memoirs, which eventually filled six volumes, Ms. Angelou (pronounced AHN-zhe-lo) very likely received her widest exposure on a chilly January day in 1993, when she delivered the inaugural poem, “On the Pulse of Morning,” at the swearing-in of Bill Clinton, the nation’s 42nd president, who, like Ms. Angelou, had grown up poor in rural Arkansas.

She has received over 50 honorary degrees and was Reynolds Professor of American Studies at Wake Forest University.

Angelou is famous for saying, “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”


Saturday, May 17, 2014

Why Brown v. Board of Education Is STILL the Most Important Court Decision of the 20th Century

This week has been the Anniversary of the Brown v. Board of Education decision.

brown decision

The First Lady went to Topeka, Kansas to deliver a speech about the Anniversary.

On the eve of the 60th anniversary of the landmark Brown v Board of Education Supreme Court decision, First Lady Michelle Obama speaks at Senior Appreciation Day in Topeka, Kansas, where the historic civil rights case began.

On this commemoration, there is a tendency in some quarters to take the glass half-empty approach to what's happened in the past 60 years.

Yes, schools have gone back to being re-segregated.

Yes, there continues to be inequality in the schools, and it's still a funding issue. If the discrepancy in funding didn't seem to follow the re-segregation, I don't think it would be that much of an issue.

But, don't let anyone tell you that Brown is outdated.

That Brown wasn't necessary.

Brown was absolutely, positively necessary.

Brown v. Board of Education was the death knell to what I call the ' Delusional World of Mad Men'.

Where we had a group of people believing that they were big fish in a big pond.

When, in actuality, they were fish in a pond where 90% of the rest of the fish were shoved into sardine cans.

Brown v. Board opened those sardine cans and let all the rest of the fish come out and swim in the pond. To be given the chance to swim in the pond and make it.

There is a underlying lie, that there simply weren't qualified Black people to do jobs, and suddenly, after the Civil Rights Movement, all these folks just 'happened' to appear.

That's a DAMN LIE.

The truth is, there were generations upon generations of highly qualified Black people who never got the chance to dream. To fulfill their 'passions'. To explore ' possibilities'. All things that the youth of today do routinely.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

First Lady Michelle Obama Gives the Weekly Address

In this week's address, First Lady Michelle Obama honored all mothers on this upcoming Mother's Day and offered her thoughts, prayers and support in the wake of the unconscionable terrorist kidnapping of more than 200 Nigerian girls.