After one of the most contentious Senate races in recent memory, Democrat Doug Jones defeated opponent Roy Moore, who was accused of sexual misconduct by nine women, in Alabama’s special election in December. Black women were the ones to make it happen.
They out-voted all other demographics that day, with 98 percent of black women casting a vote for Jones. In contrast, 63 percent of white women who voted did so for Moore.
“America got one more confirmation that Black women are superheroes who save the day time and time again,” wrote Luvvie Ajayi, author of I’m Judging You: The Do-Better Manual on her blog after the election. “I am tired of the world being run into the ground by white men who prove time and time again that they are ill-equipped.”
Ajayi was inspired to find a list of black women politicians she could support. Not finding any, she enlisted the help of three friends to create Black Women in Politics, a living document of black female candidates seeking election in 2018. It’s now an online database that includes more than 400 names.
To start, Ajayi, along with friends Sili Recio, Lucrecer Braxton and Candace Jones, searched through Twitter mentions, polls and did some old-fashioned googling, gathering more than 100 names of women seeking election in 2018.
“There are Black women running for political office all over the United States, and we need to know who they are,” it reads. “It is abundantly clear that we need to start following the lead of Black women, because we show up and do what is important, even when we are being disenfranchised and sabotaged from doing the work.”
As of Jan. 25, the database has 414 entries. Visitors can filter the candidates by searching for women running for federal seats, state seats and local seats. They can also choose to view candidates running specifically in blue or red states. There’s a section detailing which candidates are incumbents and which are challengers, as well as a page where where users can suggest more politicians to be added.
The database includes a disclaimer noting it is not an endorsement of every woman running. “Think about it as a phone book,” the site states.
Nikki Giovanni was a revolutionary poet of the Black Arts Movement that nourished civil rights. She had a famous dialogue with James Baldwin in Paris in 1971. As a professor at Virginia Tech, she brought beauty and courage by the way of poetry after the shooting there.
Today, she is a self-proclaimed space freak and a delighted elder — an adored voice to hip-hop artists and the new forms of social change this generation is creating.
Check out Ms. Giovanni’s On Being Podcast from August 24, 2017 by clicking below:
Laurence Fishburne and Larenz Tate have joined forces for a new 10-part podcast called “Bronzeville,” which is set to begin streaming in January, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Written by Josh Olsen, an original screenplay Oscar nominee for 2005’s “A History of Violence,” the series is set in the African-American Bronzeville neighborhood of Chicago and follows the lives of players who ruled the numbers games, the illegal lottery that swept through the black community in the 1940s before it was taken over by the mafia.
Tika Sumpter, Lance Reddick, Brittany Snow and Mitch Pileggi are also among the voice cast.
Fishburne’s Cinema Gypsy Productions and Tate’s TateMen Entertainment have partnered with digital audio ad sales company Audio HQ on the project, which is billed as an audio-drama.
Fishburne, Tate and Kc Wayland are directing Bronzeville, with Wayland also serving as producer.
“Grey’s Anatomy” star and actvist Jesse Williams has plans to produce and star in a biopic about his fellow civil rights icon and entertainer Harry Belafonte. Williams announced the project during an appearance on Denzealots, a podcast by comedians W. Kamau Bell and Kevin Avery.
During the episode, Williams admitted that he cared more about activism than acting. “I have an awesome job that I love,” he said, “but there’s this magnetic force that is constantly pulling me toward activism. I just have to do it.”
If you’re into social media, you probably already knew that. Williams is highly influential on Twitter, boasting more than one million followers. The young actor’s gained his influence, not with selfies, but with insightful tweets and short commentaries on issues impacting people of color. He was heavily involved in the Justice for Flint concert which brought together residents, celebrities and performers to raise awareness on the water crisis.
In 2014 Oregon State University received the African American Railroad Porter Oral History Collection. The audio recordings made between 1983 and 1992 tell the stories of Black railroad porters in Oregon in the early and mid-twentieth century.
The collection includes 29 reel-to-reel tapes of interviews conducted by filmmaker Michael Grice that were used as background for his documentary Black Families and the Railroad in Oregon and the Northwest.
Now the university has received a grant from the Oregon Cultural Trust to digitize the collection and create a website to feature the digitized recordings and their transcripts.
On February 6, 1964, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. spoke at the New School in New York City. It was the first of 15 talks given by civil rights leaders that semester as part of the American Race Crisis Lecture Series. The King lecture was entitled “The Summer of Our Discontent.” The talk was later revised and expanded in King’s 1964 book Why We Can’t Wait.
The New School archives contain a tape of a question and answer period that followed Dr. King’s address but did not include a recording of the actual speech.
Recently, a reel-to-reel tape was found at the student radio station at Amherst College in Massachusetts that indicated it was Dr. King’s New School speech. Not wanting to risk damaging the tape by playing it, the college had the recording digitized. It turned out the reel had been accurately labeled.
The speech had been rebroadcast on the college radio station on December 8, 1964 as part of a weekly program of pre-recorded lectures, some given at Amherst College and some obtained through arrangements with other institutions. The King recording is one of 46 open reel audio tapes transferred to the Amherst College Archives and Special Collections by the radio station in 1989.
The recording has now been made available to the public. You may listen to the speech here. A transcript of the address can be read here.
In celebration of the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. holiday, SiriusXM’s Urban View (channel 126)will air audio of Dr. King’s ‘Lost’ speech, first delivered at the National Press Club in 1962 more than 50 years ago.
Considered of significant historical value, Dr. King became the first African American to speak at the Club and delivered the captivating speech in front of a segregated establishment just days after being released from jail in Albany, Georgia. In it, he reiterates his vision for non-violent protest as the best way to achieve racial equality.
An audio recording was made of the speech and filed away in the Club’s Archives and later transferred to the Library of Congress. No television footage of the speech in its entirety exists. Excerpts of King’s speech were unveiled this past Tuesday at a National Press Club event moderated by SiriusXM host Joe Madison.
Press Club President John Hughes also unveiled a permanent Club memorial to Dr. King’s speech. “Martin Luther King’s 1962 speech was one of the most important events to ever happen at the National Press Club,” Hughes said. “I am honored this event at long last is getting proper recognition with such distinguished guests.”