Tag: washington

Jimi Hendrix Honored in Hometown of Seattle with Post Office Renamed in his Honor

Jimi Hendrix Stamp (photo via usps.gov)

by Lori Lakin Hutcherson (@lakinhutcherson)

According to the Seattle Times, musical artist, counterculture figure and guitar legend Jimi Hendrix will have a post office renamed for him in his Washington state hometown.

In late December a bill was signed into law re-christening the Renton Highlands Post Office the James Marshall “Jimi” Hendrix Post Office. The bill, which was passed unanimously, was sponsored by Rep. Adam Smith, D-Bellevue, and supported by both of Washington’s U.S. senators, Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell.

Jimi Hendrix statue in Seattle (photo via pinterest.com)

“I am honored to join in paying tribute to rock and roll icon and Seattle native Jimi Hendrix with the renaming of the Renton Highlands Post Office as the James Marshall ‘Jimi’ Hendrix Post Office Building,” Congressperson Smith said in a statement. “This designation will further celebrate Hendrix’s deep connection to the Puget Sound region and help ensure that his creative legacy will be remembered by our community and inspire future generations.”

Hendrix grew up in Seattle, spending much of his formative years in the Central District. There are several other Hendrix tributes in Seattle – from a statue on Broadway Street to his namesake park adjacent to the Northwest African American Museum (NAAM) – undeniably putting “Seattle’s most recognizable son,” as the museum’s director LaNesha DeBardelaben described him, into the city’s history.

The Renton post office is less than a mile from the Jimi Hendrix Memorial in the Greenwood Memorial Park cemetery, where the guitar hero is buried.

Though he lived a short life, Hendrix’ impact on music and American culture is still felt today. Hendrix is best known for his hits and virtuoso guitar playing on “Hey Joe,” “Purple Haze,” and “The Wind Cries Mary,” along with “All Along the Watchtower,” “Foxy Lady,” and “Voodoo Child.”

He achieved widespread fame in the U.S. after his performance at the Monterey Pop Festival in 1967, and in 1968 his third and final studio album, Electric Ladyland, reached number one in the U.S. The world’s highest-paid performer at the time, Hendrix headlined the Woodstock Festival in 1969 and the Isle of Wight Festival in 1970. Check out his still-mesmerizing, revolutionary version of “Star-Spangled Banner” from 50 years ago:

Patricia Bayonne-Johnson, Descendant of Enslaved Persons Sold to Cover Debts by Georgetown University Leaders in 1838, Meets with its President to Discuss Amends

Patricia Bayonne-Johnson met with John J. DeGioia, the president of Georgetown University, in Spokane, Wash., on Monday. Ms. Bayonne-Johnson is a descendant of two of the 272 slaves sold by the university in 1838. (Credit: David Ryder for The New York Times)

article by Rachel L. Swarns via nytimes.com

More than a century after Georgetown University used some of the profits from the sale of 272 enslaved African-Americans to help ensure its survival, John J. DeGioia, the university’s president, took a first step on Monday toward making amends to their descendants.

He walked into the public library in Spokane, Wash., for a private meeting with Patricia Bayonne-Johnson, a great-great-great granddaughter of Nace and Biby Butler, two of the enslaved persons who were sold in 1838 to help keep the college afloat.

The 45-minute meeting, which was followed by a lunch at the nearby Davenport Hotel, may well have been a historic one.

More than a dozen universities have recognized their ties to slavery and the slave trade. But historians say they believe this is the first time that the president of an elite university has met with the descendants of slaves who had labored on a college campus or were sold to benefit one.  “I came to listen and to learn,” Mr. DeGioia said in an interview, describing the discussion as “moving and inspiring.”

Ms. Bayonne-Johnson, an amateur genealogist and retired teacher, said she believed Mr. DeGioia was willing to take necessary steps “to honor the sacrifice and legacy” of her ancestors.  “He asked what could he do and how could he help,” she said in an interview. “It was a very good beginning.”

The meeting comes as officials at Georgetown continue to grapple with how to address the college’s complicity in the slave sale. The slaves, who were owned by the Jesuit priests who founded and ran the college, were sold for about $3.3 million in today’s dollars.

Continue reading “Patricia Bayonne-Johnson, Descendant of Enslaved Persons Sold to Cover Debts by Georgetown University Leaders in 1838, Meets with its President to Discuss Amends”

Dr. Isiaah Crawford Chosen as Next President of the University of Puget Sound

New University of Puget Sound President Isiaah Crawford. (photo via seattleu.edu)
New University of Puget Sound President Isiaah Crawford. (photo via seattleu.edu)

The board of trustees of the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, Washington, has chosen Dr. Isiaah Crawford as the fourteenth president of the university. He will take office on July 1.

According to the latest data from the U.S. Department of Education, the University of Puget Sound enrolls about 2,500 undergraduate students and 300 graduate students. African Americans make up one percent of the undergraduate student body.

Dr. Crawford currently serves as provost of Seattle University. He has served in that role since 2008. Previously, Dr. Crawford served on the faculty at Loyola University in Chicago for more than 20 years. He held positions as chair of the psychology department and dean of the College of Arts and Sciences.

In accepting the role of the next president of the University of Puget Sound, Dr. Crawford stated that “I am humbled and excited by the opportunity to serve Puget Sound. It is a vibrant institution with a deep sense of community and place — it’s clear that Puget Sound looks not only to educate its students but to shape their abilities to look outside of themselves to find ways to use their education to make a difference in the world. The college is extraordinarily well-positioned to build on its accomplishments, seek continuous improvement, and attain its next level of distinction in fulfillment of its mission as a national liberal arts college.”

To read more, go to: https://www.jbhe.com/2016/02/the-next-president-of-the-university-of-puget-sound-in-tacoma-washington/

University of Washington School of Law Aims to Increase Diversity with New Program

greyH.WUStLouisLawA_BuschHallThe University of Washington School of Law has established a new fellows program aimed at increasing diversity at the law school and the legal profession. The Christine Gregoire Fellows Program, named after the former governor of the State of Washington, will choose nine students from underrepresented groups this year. The students will receive paid summer internships at local law firms or in the legal departments of area corporations after completing their first year of law school. The fellows will participate in a mentoring program led by Governor Gregoire, and will receive training to help them pass the Washington State bar examination.

Kellye Testy, dean of the University of Washington School of Law, said that “if we are to realize our goal of leadership for the global common good and of creating a legal profession as diverse as our society’s makeup, we need to encourage more underrepresented students to enter the legal profession. This innovative partnership will help us better reach students who are currently pursuing other paths. Moreover, by enhancing diversity in our classrooms we will enhance our academic excellence for all students.”

article via jbhe.com

President Obama Honors 9/11 Victims a Day After Announcing New Mission Against Terror

President Obama 9/11/14

WASHINGTON — A day after committing the nation to a new mission against Islamist terrorism, President Barack Obama honored the victims of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, 13 years after four hijacked planes plunged the United States into a decade of war against distant enemies.

Speaking before a giant American flag draped over the part of the Pentagon wall where one of those planes crashed, Mr. Obama said, “Thirteen years after small and hateful minds conspired to break us, American stands tall, and America stands proud.”

He hailed the “9/11 generation” of soldiers who served in the years after the 2001 attacks, and noted that “three months from now, our combat mission in Afghanistan will come to an end.”

For Mr. Obama, the Sept. 11 anniversary lent historic and emotional resonance to his announcement Wednesday night of a new mission against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. But it also carries a somewhat dissonant message: The president has labored to distinguish the expanded fight against ISIS from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The president on Thursday made no mention of ISIS, speaking only of challenges facing the country. But his description of a nation coping with the threat of terrorism seemed entirely relevant to what is happening now. “We carry on because as Americans, we don’t give in to fear — ever,” he said.

In some ways, this anniversary was no different than its 12 predecessors. It was filled with familiar rituals – a moment of silence, the playing of taps by an Army bugler, the assembled families of the victims, many now with children who have grown into adulthood.

Earlier on Thursday, Mr. Obama and the first lady, Michelle Obama, along with Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. and his wife, Jill, took part in a solemn ceremony on the South Lawn of the White House at 8:46 a.m., when the first plane struck the World Trade Center.

Later in the day, as they do every year, Mr. and Mrs. Obama will take part in a volunteer project. The president will otherwise remain at the White House, having lunch with Mr. Biden and meeting in the afternoon with his new secretary of Health and Human Services, Sylvia Mathews Burwell.

But Mr. Obama is also certain to be immersed in the details of the military campaign against ISIS that he outlined Wednesday night in his speech to the nation. His warning about the challenges to come still hung in the air, even as he marked the anniversary of battles past.

Americans born after Sept. 11, 2001, are now teenagers, Mr. Obama noted, and he said this post-9/11 generation gave him hope that the United States would remain resilient in the face of terrorist threats.

“Generations from now, Americans will fill our parks, our stadiums, our cities,” he said. “Generations from now, Americans will still build towers that reach toward the heavens, still serve in embassies that stand for freedom around the world, still wear the uniform

“Generations from now, no matter the trial, no matter the challenge,” he said, “America will always be America.”

article by Mark Landler via nytimes.com

Seattle Breaks Ground on Jimi Hendrix Memorial Park

The City of Seattle officially broke ground on a long-awaited park in honor of former resident, Jimi Hendrix.  Jimi Hendrix Park will be a memorial garden encompassing two-and-a-half acres in the city’s Central District.

The park’s organizers, the Jimi Hendrix Park Foundation, have raised over $1million for the project and say they envision the land as being “a place where people of different backgrounds will find the motivation to explore music and art, while celebrating Seattle’s cultural heritage,” according to Rolling Stone.

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The guitar legend’s sister, Janie Hendrix, who is also the president and CEO of Experience Hendrix – the company that manages the singer’s estate, said: “Every project endorsed by our family which bears Jimi’s name is meaningful to us, but this park holds special significance.

“Seattle will always be Jimi’s home. This very area is where Jimi grew up, where his dreams cultivated and his creative energy awakened, in many ways. So to see this amazing place of beauty, dedicated to Jimi and his artistry, blossom into reality is indescribably fulfilling.

“Having been involved in every facet of the park’s creation, I can honestly say that this musical garden is a fitting representation of Jimi’s imagination. It is truly inspired.”

The concept for the park was first announced by the organization in 2011 and was intended for completion in time for what would’ve been the singer’s 70th birthday the following year. It is believed the bulk of construction work is set to take place next year.

article via blackamericaweb.com

2013 Coretta Scott King Awards for Children’s Literature Announced by ALA

HandinHandThe 44th Annual Coretta Scott King Awards for children’s literature were held Monday at the American Library Association Midwinter Meeting in Seattle.  “Hand in Hand: Ten Black Men Who Changed America” by Andrea Pinkney and Brian Pinkney won the Author Award.

Bryan Collier received the Illustration Award for the cover art of the Langston itooamamericaHughes poem “I, Too, Am America.”  Other books honored included “No Crystal Stair,” by Vaunda Micheaux Nelson and “Ellen’s Broom” by Kelly Starling Lyons and Daniel Minter.  

The Coretta Scott King Awards are given annually to African-American authors and illustrators of outstanding young adult and children books about the black experience.  For a full list of the 2013 winners, click here

article by Lori Lakin Hutcherson

President Barack Obama Backs Gay Marriage Initiatives in Three States

U.S. President Barack Obama speaks at a campaign rally at Doolittle Park on October 24, 2012 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Obama is on a 48-hour campaign tour of battleground states, including Colorado, Florida and Iowa. (Photo by John Gurzinski/Getty Images)

U.S. President Barack Obama speaks at a campaign rally at Doolittle Park on October 24, 2012 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Obama is on a 48-hour campaign tour of battleground states, including Colorado, Florida and Iowa. (Photo by John Gurzinski/Getty Images)

(AP) – President Barack Obama on Thursday threw his support behind ballot measures in Maine, Maryland and Washington state that would legalize same-sex marriage.  Though the president first voiced his general approval for gay marriage in May, he had not previously offered specific endorsements of the three measures.  In each case, the endorsements were issued through the state branches of Obama’s re-election campaign.

A Prince George’s Pool Builds An African-American Swimming Powerhouse

They drive their kids to swim team practice at 5 a.m. And bring them back to the pool at night for more .The Kingfish parents buy everything in orange, the team color. Sandals, shoes, purses, pants, hats. And they wear all of it, even to practice.  They create spreadsheets, newsletters, bar graphs and a Web site, which began counting down the days and hours to the first swim practice sometime back in February. They even have a team sandwich — The King Fishwich.  Five years ago, the Kingfish swam in the least competitive division in the Prince-Mont Swim League.  “We’d set out a table by the Giant, trying to recruit swimmers,” said Calvin Holmes, intense swim parent extraordinaire and president of the swim club. “And people would just walk by us. Or think we were selling fish.”

Continue reading “A Prince George’s Pool Builds An African-American Swimming Powerhouse”