ChickenBones: A Journal
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Send contributions to: ChickenBones: A Journal / 2005 Arabian Drive / Finksburg, MD 21048— I became aware of Rudy Lewis labor of love a few short months ago during a visit to Kalamu ya Salaams e-drum listserv. As soon as I saw the title of the journal I knew it was about Black folks, and the power of the written word. A quick click took me into a journal thats long on creativity, highlighting well-known, little known, and a little known writers, and commitment to the empowerment of Black folks. I contacted Rudy to ask if hed consider publishing some of my work. His response was immediate, and a couple of days after Id forwarded some poems to himthey were part of ChickenBones. What I didnt know was that this journal has been surviving for the last five years with very little outside financial support. . . If we want journals like this to thrive we need to support them with more than our website hits, praise, and submissions for publication consideration.
Peace, Mary E. Weems (January 2007)
MoNique Imes was born on December 11, 1967 in Baltimore, which is where she started her showbiz career as a stand-up comedienne on a dare a couple of decades ago. From there, she gained visibility and immense popularity with performances on Showtime at the Apollo, HBOs Def Comedy Jam, Apollo Comedy Hour, HBOs Snaps, BETs Comic View, The Montreal Comedy Festival and Uptown Comedy Club.
Her big break arrived in 1999 when she landed a starring role on the television series, The Parkers. During the shows five-year run, MoNique earned numerous awards, including four NCAAP Image Awards as the Outstanding Actress in a Comedy Series. Her film credits include Welcome Home Roscoe Jenkins, Two Can Play That Game, Hair Show, Three Strikes, Baby Boy, Beerfest, Phat Girlz, Soul Plane, Irish Jam, Domino, and Shadowboxer.
Maryland Governor Signs Castle Doctrine Bill21 May 2010Delegate Mike SmigielIn what amounts to a stealthy victory for Second Amendment advocates in Maryland, yesterday, the Governor signed into law a modified Castle Doctrine bill (SB-411). This new law will provide civil immunity for a person defending their dwelling or place of business. This immunity provides that the person is not liable for damages for a personal injury or death of an individual when protecting yourself in your home. Maryland added the proviso that the doctrine only applies as long as the persons defending themselves are not convicted of a crime related to the act for which the immunity is being sought. Second Amendment supporters should take hope in the passage of this modified Castle Doctrine. Not only have we been successful in defeating anti-second amendment legislation such as HB-820, (the registration bill from this past session), we have been incrementally advancing pro-Second Amendment bills into law. These advances are done without a lot of pomp and circumstance so as not to draw the attention of the gun-fearing progressives. So dont believe that nothing is being done to recapture the liberties that the progressives have taken from us. There have been many such small victories which receive little or no press coverage. Know that you can make a difference and that your pro-Second Amendment legislators are not only killing the bad bills we are obtaining small victories every session.delegatemike
Eubie Blake was born in 1883 in Baltimore, Maryland; his parents were both freed slaves. He began playing the piano at age four, getting his first lessons on a battered old parlor upright. “Little Hubie” sneaked out of the house every night to play piano at a bordello in Baltimore’s tenderloin district. “I didn’t dare tell my parents about the job,” he said. “I was still a teenager–but I made more money in one night than my father made in a week working as a stevedore on the Baltimore docks. My mother took in washing to earn a few dollars. I hid my earnings under the linoleum in the parlor. Finally, when the pile got too high, I showed them the money. It was several hundred dollars. They no longer insisted I only play religious music.” Eubie Blake
Elaine O. Carsley
: Born Apr 15, 1921, Baltimore, MD; daughter of Stanley Carsley (deceased) and Corinne Baker Carsley (deceased); married R Clarke Davis (deceased); children: R Clarke Jr., Lisa.
Educated at Coppin State Col, BS, 1942; Morgan State College, BS, 1943; University of Maryland, LLB, 1950; Johns Hopkins University, MEd, 1955, PhD, 1958.
Career: Baltimore City Public Schools, 1942-74; Morgan State College, instructor, 1959-73; Baltimore Junior College, instructor, 1963-68; Loyola College, instructor, 1963-66; Johns Hopkins University, instructor, 1964, associate professor, dir education, 1974-86.
Dr. Elaine Carsley Davis was the second African-American woman to graduate from the University of Maryland Law School after Juanita Jackson Mitchell. Lena K. Lee, Maryland Delegate was the third/Maryland State Arcives
By DeWayne Wickham
In the 1950s and ’60s, growing up in Baltimore’s Cherry Hill had its ups and downs. When DeWayne Wickham’s father killed his mother and then himself, the orphaned Wickham children were parceled out to relatives. DeWayne lived among yet apart from his siblings in silence and grief, trying to deal with personal issues that were both difficult and distressing. Woodholme, a Jewish country club, provided DeWayne with a job as a caddie and an escape from his family’s situation. He saw the “good” life that poverty would not allow him to live. Throughout his years as a caddie, he developed a sense of self and a respect for others, virtues that allowed him to deal responsibly later with unexpected fatherhood. Ultimately, his experiences at Woodholme helped him to come to terms with the death of his parents and provided him with the strength he needed to move beyond that family tragedy. The 1960s were not an easy time to grow up for a black male, but DeWayne Wickham, syndicated columnist for U.S.A. Today and the Gannett News Service, beat tremendous odds.Booklist
By Juan Williams
Thirteen years before becoming the first African-American justice on the Supreme Court, Thurgood Marshall’s place in American history was secured, with his victory over school segregation in Brown v. Board of Education. Williams (Eyes on the Prize) offers readers a thorough, straightforward life of “the unlikely leading actor in creating social change in the United States in the twentieth century.” Although he was denied access to the files of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, where Marshall devoted more than 40 years of his law career, and worked without the cooperation of Marshall’s family, Williams has managed to fill in the blanks with over 150 interviews, including lengthy sessions with Marshall himself in 1989. Marshall is portrayed as an outspoken critic of black militancy and nonviolent demonstrations. Williams mentions, but does not dwell on, Marshall’s history of heavy drinking, womanizing and sexual harassment. But his private contacts with J. Edgar Hoover and the FBI, even while that organization was working to discredit Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X, receives critical attention. This relationship “could have cost him his credibility among civil rights activists had it become known,” writes Williams. Likewise, it would appear that his extra-legal activities and charges of incompetence and Communist connections would, if publicized, have kept him from the Supreme Court, as he himself admitted.Publishers Weekly
William B. Dixon (1890-1963), and two other African American menArnett Frisby (Secretary-Manager) and Marion S. Pollett (Treasurer)opened Metropolitan Finance Corporation, the first African American owned and operated loan business licensed in the state of Maryland. Dixon was the President of Metropolitan Finance Corporation, which was
capitalized at $200,000
. It was owned and operated by Negroes exclusively.
Dixon was also the only African American in Maryland to be appointed by the Federal government as a broker and property manager for the Home Owners’ Loan Corporation. He was active in numerous social and fraternal groups and helped raise funds for an iron lung for Provident Hospital (Baltimore, MD).
Metropolitan Finance Corporation1430 Pennsylvania Avenue, Baltimore, MDdeveloped of Magothy Park Beach on the beautiful Magothy River It provided loans for salaries, household Goods, automobiles, notes; first and second mortgages on real estate. It also bought and sold real estate.
Maryland State Archives / photo left:
William B. Dixon
Furman L Templeton (19091970)born in Hackensack, New Jerseywas a campaigner for African American civil rights in Baltimore, Maryland. . He earned a bachelors degree at Lincoln University in Pennsylvania and was awarded an honorary doctor of laws degree by Morgan State College in Baltimore. In1933, Templeton questioned the government purchase of Perryman, Maryland land. This land was going to be used to expand the southwest border of the Aberdeen proving grounds, and was also the home to about 150 families, a third of them where African Americans who were now forced to seek new homes and sell their homes for a quarter of the present purchase price per acre of land, and are buying white homes for more. He served 25 years as the Executive Director of the Baltimore Urban League, his focus was on education. He created a program for African Americans to advance their educations as well as provide avenues for job placement. Thanks to his efforts in education and involvement in civil rights causes Furman L. Templeton Elementary School, on 1200 Pennsylvania Ave of Baltimore, Maryland is named in his memory. For twenty years he was a member of Selective Service Board (thirteen in Baltimore). Also, he was the former Vice-chairman of the Baltimore Housing Authority, a member of a Maryland Commission on Interracial Problems and Relations, and a chairman of the Social Education and Action Committee of the Presbytery of Baltimore.
Black Bank founded in 1920 in Baltimore is shut down
Ideal Federal Savings Bank, of Baltimore, Maryland [1629 Druid Hill Avenue], was shut down on Friday [9 July 2010] by the Office of Thrift Supervision, ninety years after it was established. Founded by Teackle Wallis Lansey, Ideal was the oldest Black owned financial depository in the state of Maryland. The bank was established to help black families purchase homes in the Baltimore area. It opened its doors for the first time one Thursday evening in August 1920. The bank was located in the same community for 88 years, owning and occupying the same building in Baltimore since its founding. In 1962, the Bank was reorganized by E. Gaines Lansey, son of the founder and William H. Murphy, Sr., a prominent Baltimore City lawyer, who was named the new President. In 1986, E. Gaines Lansey, Sr. was elected President. Ms. Yvonne F. Lansey, granddaughter of the founder, became a member of the Board of Directors in 1977 and was elected President January 18, 1988.MarylandLeader / IdealFederal / PennsylvaniaAvenue /
Maryland HBCUs Sue State For Racial Discrimination Over FundingBy Alexis Garrett Stodghill16 May 2011A civil rights group is suing Marylands Higher Education Commission for allegedly discriminating against the states four historically black colleges. The plaintiffs argue that Morgan State University, Coppin State University, Bowie State University and the University of Maryland Eastern Shore have underdeveloped programs because black schools are funded in a manner that puts predominately white schools at a huge advantage. Administrators at Maryland HBCUs believe their institutions are deprived of the tools needed to create competitive curricula, while being forced to wait much longer to receive appropriated monies. The results are outdated infrastructures and inferior courses leading to low student retention. . . . These complex tests can only be addressed by the creativity of their leaders. Hopefully the situation of Marylands HBCUs will stimulate black college administrators nationwide to start an internal crusade to keep these organizations alive.NewsOne
Emory Ryan Cole, 1137 Myrtle Street, Republican, Baltimore 4th; born in Cockeysville, Baltimore County, September 3, 1893.
He attended the Baltimore County public schools, Bowie State Normal School; Howard University and Howard University School of Law, receiving the degree of LL.B. in 1923. Attorney.
Served in 331st Field Artillery, 1917-1919. Member of Maryland State Bar; Elks, Masons, American Legion and Veterans of Foreign War. Married.
Elected House of Delegates in 1954. Harry A. Cole (state senate), Truly Hatchett, Emory Ryan Cole were the first African Americans elected to the Maryland legislature in 1954. photo left: Emory Ryan Cole
Truly Hatchett, 2026 Druid Hill Avenue, Democrat, Baltimore 4th; born in Baltimore, June 15, 1881.
He attended Baltimore public schools.
Real Estate and Insurance Broker. Former member of the Baltimore Rehabilitation Commission, Maryland Interracial Commission and the Board of Managers of Barrett School for Girls. Chairman of Board of Managers, Druid Hill Avenue Y.M.C.A.
Member of Elks. Married. Elected to the House of Delegates in 1954. [See Jet, 25 November, 1954, .7]
photo right: Truly Hatchett
Harry A. Cole, 2218 Madison Ave, Republican, Baltimore 4th; born in Washington, D. C., January 1, 1921. He attended the public schools of Baltimore, Morgan State College, graduating in 1943, and the University of Maryland Law School, graduating in 1949. Attorney. Member of the Maryland Bar. Formerly Justice of the Peace of Baltimore City and Assistant Attorney General of Maryland. From 1943 to 1946 he served as 1st Lieutenant, Quartermaster Corps. Secretary Monumental City Bar Association. Member, Y.M.C.A., Urban League, NAACP. First African American elected to the Senate in 1954.
He was admitted to the Maryland Bar in 1949. Associate Judge, Municipal Court of Baltimore City, 1967. Associate Judge, Supreme Bench of Baltimore City (now Circuit Court), 1967-77. Associate Judge, Maryland Court of Appeals, 1977-91.Cole married the former Doris Freeland in 1958; three daughters: Susan, Harriette and Stephanie. He died of pneumonia at Church Home, Baltimore, Maryland on February 14, 1999. Wikipedia Judge Cole had an extensive collection of music that ranged from Count Basie to Frank Sinatra. He also loved to dance, said his wife of 41 years, the former Doris Freeland.”He thought everyone ought to be able to dance,” she said. “We would often dance the night away.”In retirement, he used his legal skills as head of a commission that recommended revisions in the Baltimore City charter.DailyPress
Lillie May Carroll Jackson (May 25, 1889 Baltimore, Maryland July 5, 1975 Baltimore), pioneer civil rights activist, organizer of the Baltimore Branch of the NAACP. . . .As a successful owner of rental property, Jackson was free to engage in activities which led to community improvement. She sponsored the City-Wide Young Peoples forum with her daughter Juanita in the leadership in the early 1930s. The forum conducted a campaign to end racial segregation beginning with the grassroots “Buy Where You Can Work” campaign of 1931. Jackson and her daughter Juanita along with the forums’ members encouraged African American residents of Baltimore to shop only at businesses where they could work, boycotting businesses with discriminatory hiring practices. The campaign’s success led to similar protests in other cities around the country. . . . That was the beginning of her thirty-five year tenure with the NAACP, in a role as president of the Baltimore branch in 1935, a position she held until retirement in 1970. 1934 saw the beginning of Thurgood Marshall‘s employment with the Baltimore NAACP branch. The next year he won a landmark case financed by the Baltimore NAACP, Murray v. Pearson, removing the color barrier from admissions to the University of Maryland School of Law. In 1946 she founded the Maryland state conference of the NAACP and was elected to the National Board of Directors in 1948.
Father Divine (May 1879September 10, 1965), the noted and controversial founder of the Peace Mission movement, gained national prominence during the Great Depression for his ability to feed and provide jobs for the poor, as well as for his followers’ claims that he was God. Born George Baker in Rockville, Maryland, in 1879, Divine grew up in poverty and segregation, the son of ex-slaves who were menial laborers. Although he had limited educational opportunities, he became an avid reader of religious literature. In 1899, he moved to Baltimore, where he worked as a gardener and taught Sunday school in a storefront church. During these years, Baker formulated a unique theology that blended New Thought (the mind power philosophy that encouraged believers to channel God’s inner presence for happiness, prosperity, and health), African-American Christianity, Pentecostalism, and other religious ideologies. In 1912, convinced that he had achieved oneness with God, he set out as an itinerant preacher and attracted a small following who recognized his divinity. In 1919, Baker, now known as Father Divine, settled with his flock and lived peacefully in Sayville, Long Island. But with the onset of the Depression, Divine’s congregation expanded and his white neighbors turned hostile and complained, which lead to his conviction in 1932 for maintaining a public nuisance. Only four days after handing down the maximum sentence, the presiding judge died suddenly. The incident propelled Father Divine into the national limelight. JiffyNotes.com / God, Harlem U.S.A.: Father Divine Story (Watts)
1958 Commencement Address by Martin Luther King, Jr.
By Sean Yoes, Afro Staff Writer
Dr. Martin D. Jenkins, PhD (September 4, 19041978) was an African American educator, known for his pioneering work in the field of education. He graduated with a B.S. in Engineering in 1925,from Howard University. Upon earning an engineering degree from Howard, Jenkins became a partner with his father in a Terre Haute highway contracting business while taking classes at State Normal. He secured an A.B. degree in Education from Indiana State in 1931 and, on September 7, 1927, wed Elizabeth Lacy.After teaching briefly at Virginia State College (now Virginia State University), Jenkins began graduate work at Northwestern University under Terre Haute native and Indiana State alumnus, Paul A. Witty. He earned a masters in 1933 and a doctorate in education in 1935. His dissertation was a socio-psychological study of African-American children of superior intelligence.Before becoming President of Morgan State College of Baltimore in 1948, Jenkins was registrar and professor of education at North Carolina A&T (19351937); dean of instruction at Cheyney State (Pa.) Teachers College (now Cheyney University) (19371938); and professor of education, Howard University (19381948).
Henrietta Vinton DavisBorn in Baltimore in 1860, she moved to Washington, D.C., as a girl, and as a young woman launched a career as an actress and elocutionist. For more than 25 years, she criss-crossed the United States and the Caribbean, performing everything from Shakespeareshe is purportedly the first African-American woman to do soto the poetry of Paul Laurence Dunbar and winning acclaim from audiences and press, both black and white alike. And then, approaching her 60th birthday, she traded acting for activism and put her skills to use in the service of Marcus Garvey, his Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA), and the causes of black nationalism and pan-African liberation. Though she eventually fell out with Garvey, she devoted her life to black nationalist causes until her death in 1941. . . . Only three things are known about Henrietta Vinton Davis father. His name was Mansfield Vinton Davis, he was a musician, and he died sometime around the time his daughter was born. Henriettas mother, the former Mary Ann Johnson, was left a teenage widow with a child to raise. She quickly remarried, to a businessman named George A. Hackett. According to Leroy Grahams book Baltimore: The 19th Century Black Capital, Hackett was as well-known and respected as any black man in Baltimore at that time, with the possible exception of his friend and associate Frederick Douglass. In 1860, the year Henrietta was born, Hackett was in the thick of a fight against a piece of state legislation known as the Jacobs Bill. Put forth by Eastern Shore legislator C.W. Jacobs in reaction to John Browns Harpers Ferry raid the year before, the bill proposed that all adult blacks in the stateincluding Marylands sizeable free black populationbe deported to Africa and that all black children in the state be enslaved, including those who had been born free. Hackett rallied opposition to the bill, circulating petitions and delivering speeches. Though the legislature actually passed it, the measure failed in a statewide referendum.CityPaper
Reclaiming Americas SoulOthers, I suspect, would rather not revisit those [Bush] years because they dont want to be reminded of their own sins of omission. For the fact is that officials in the Bush administration instituted torture as a policy, misled the nation into a war they wanted to fight and, probably, tortured people in the attempt to extract confessions that would justify that war. And during the march to war, most of the political and media establishment looked the other way. Its hard, then, not to be cynical when some of the people who should have spoken out against what was happening, but didnt, now declare that we should forget the whole era for the sake of the country, of course. Sorry, but what we really should do for the sake of the country is have investigations both of torture and of the march to war. These investigations should, where appropriate, be followed by prosecutions not out of vindictiveness, but because this is a nation of laws. We need to do this for the sake of our future. For this isnt about looking backward, its about looking forward because its about reclaiming Americas soul. NYTimes
By C. Fraser Smith
Though he lived throughout much of the Southand even worked his way into parts of the North for a timeJim Crow was conceived and buried in Maryland. From Chief Justice Roger Brooke Taney’s infamous decision in the Dred Scott case to Thurgood Marshall’s eloquent and effective work on Brown v. Board of Education, the battle for black equality is very much the story of Free State women and men. Here, Baltimore Sun columnist C. Fraser Smith recounts that tale through the stories, words, and deeds of famous, infamous, and little-known Marylanders. He traces the roots of Jim Crow laws from Dred Scott to Plessy v. Ferguson and describes the parallel and opposite early efforts of those who struggled to establish freedom and basic rights for African Americans. Following the historical trail of evidence, Smith relates latter-day examples of Maryland residents who trod those same steps, from the thrice-failed attempt to deny black people the vote in the early twentieth century to nascent demonstrations for open access to lunch counters, movie theaters, stores, golf courses, and other public and private institutionsstruggles that occurred decades before the now-celebrated historical figures strode onto the national civil rights scene. Smith’s lively account includes the grand themes and the state’s major players in the movementFrederick Douglass, Harriett Tubman, Thurgood Marshall, and Lillie May Jackson, among others.and also tells the story of the struggle via several of Maryland’s important but relatively unknown men and womensuch as Gloria Richardson, John Prentiss Poe, William L. “Little Willie” Adams, and Walter Sondheimwho prepared Jim Crow’s grave and waited for the nation to deliver the body.Johns Hopkins University Press, 2008
Interviewed by Katie Lambert, et al
Nappy Headed Women By Peggy Bertram
By Spiro T. Agnew
At Press Conference in Annapolis, Maryland July 1967
By Marshall “Eddie” Conway and Dominque Stevenson; Introduction by Mumia Abu-Jamal
In 1970, the feds framed Eddie Conway for the murder of a Baltimore City Police officer. He was 24 years old. They threw him in prison, took him away from his family, his friends, and his organizing, and tried to relegate him to a life marked by nothing but legal appeals, riots and lockdowns, transfers from one penal colony to the next. But they failed.Forty years later, still incarcerated for a crime he didn’t commit, Eddie Conway continues to resist. Marshall Law is a poignant story of strength and struggle. From his childhood in inner-city Baltimore to his political awakening in the military, from the rise of the Black Panther Party to the sham trial, the realities of prison life, escape attempts, labor organizing on the inside, and beyond, Eddie’s autobiography is a reminder that we all share the responsibility of resistance, no matter where we are. It also brings to light important details about the FBI’s infiltration of the Black Panther Party. As Eddie makes clear, the FBI had already placed agents deep inside the Panthers’ leadership well before Stokely Carmichael‘s group in Canada was infiltrated, long before the brutal murder of Fred Hampton.
Blanche Calloway (February 9, 1904 – December 16, 1978) was a jazz singer, bandleader, and composer from Baltimore, Maryland. She is not as well known as her younger brother Cab Calloway. [Blanche studied music at Morgan College, but dropped out and began performing in local various local clubs. In 1923, she joined the touring cast of the Noble Sissle-Eubie Blake musical Shuffle Along. [She later appeared in James P. Johnson’s show Plantation Days.] . . .
[Blanche Calloway became the first Black woman to front an all-male orchestra. They toured the U.S. and recorded for RCA Victor, and were considered one of the better Black groups.] She made her first recordings in 1925, with Louis Armstrong as a sideman on the session. She recorded with a number of groups from the late 1920s through 1935, recording with Ruben Reeves and his River Boys in 1929 and fronting the Andy Kirk band briefly before forming Blanche Calloway and Her Joy Boys.Wikipedia
Farai Chideya, author of Don’t Believe the Hype: Fighting Cultural Misinformation About African Americans (Plume Penguin 1995), now in it’s eight printing, The Color of Our Future (William Morrow, 1999), named one of the best books for teens by the New York Public Library, and Trust: REaching the 100 Million Missing Voters (Soft Skull, 2004) has worked in print for The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, Time, Spin, Vibe, O, Mademoiselle, Essence, and more. Prior to joining NPR’s News & Notes, she hosted Your Call, a daily news and cultural call-in show on San Franciso’s KALW 91.7.
Kiss the Sky crackles with raw energy . . . Farai Chideya’s prose is smart, fast, clever, and addictive, with not only a breathless tension in the literary flow, but infused with musicality. You’ll be rooting for Sophie to navigate her way through her relationships, her corporate television job, divey clubs, family dynamics, European music tours, industry sabotage, and self sabotage. Once you start reading, you won’t be able to put this book down.Lalita Tademy, author of Cane River and Red River
Wire Insider, Part OneBy Afaa Michael Weaver
Wire Insider, Part Three
By Afaa Michael Weaver
Henry Louis Mencken
Henry Louis Mencken was born in Baltimore on September 12, 1880. After graduating from the Baltimore Polytechnic Institute in 1896, he worked in his family’s cigar business. After the death of his father in 1899, Mencken began his journalistic career with the Baltimore Herald and joined the staff of the Baltimore Sun in 1906. In time, Mencken would become one of the most storied journalists in America. Many consider his coverage of the Scopes trial in 1925 to mark the zenith of this aspect of his career. Mencken’s fame grew to such heights during the 1920s that it was suggested that he was the most powerful private citizen in America. His reputation fell during the 1930s, as America suffered under the pall of the Depression. However, it ascended again with the tremendous success of the autobiographical trilogy: Happy Days (1940), Newspaper Days (1941), and Heathen Days (1943). Pratt Library
The Fourth World and the Marxists Letters from Young Activists Lessons from France Paris Is Burning “The Pyres of Autumn” Responses to Jean Baudrillard Geraldine Robinson remembers The Family of Cow Tom :The Connection of Africans & the Civilized Tribes
Benjamin S. Carson, Sr. (born 18 September, 1951) is an American Neurosurgeon and the Director of Pediatric Neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins Hospital. He was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2008. . . . He was born in Detroit, Michigan. His mother, Sonya Carson, had dropped out of school in the third grade and married Robert Solomon Carson, a much older Baptist minister from Tennessee, when she was only thirteen. When Carson was only eight, his parents divorced, and Mrs. Carson was left to raise Benjamin and his older brother, Curtis, on her own. She worked at two, sometimes three, jobs at a time to provide for her boys. Wikipedia
Runoko Rashidi —
Sam Cornishs 1935 is a memoir of growing up black in Baltimore during the Depression and World War II. Melding autobiography, poetry, and fiction, the author, like John Dos Passos before him, creates a collage of American experience which allows him to weave twenty years of African-American family life into the life of a nation. For Sam Cornish, a writers education contains the radiance and terror of history.
Sam Cornish operates as a whole person. He hasn’t chopped himself down into categories. the fullness of spirit in his poems proves he has somehow managed to survive clear and sane through the everlasting maze of babble and brainwashed-print blasting our sensibilities every moment everywhere.Clarence Major 1935 Memoir (excerpts)
Daniel Alexander Payne Murray (1852-1925) Assistant librarian, Library of Congress; bibliographer, author, politician, and historian was the son of a freed slave. He was born in Baltimore, Maryland on March 3, 1852. In 1861, he went to work at the United States Senate Restaurant managed by his brother who was also a caterer. Murray became the personal assistant to the Librarian of Congress, Ainsworth Rand Spofford at the age of nineteen.
On April 2, 1879 he married Anna Evans with whom he had seven children. By 1881 he had risen to become assistant librarian. He joined the professional staff of the Library of Congress in 1871. He was eighteen years old, and only the second black American to work for the Library. Ten years later Murray was named assistant librarian, a position he held for forty-one years. Murray married educator Anna Jane Evans, and the couple became a major force in the social and civic life of the District of Columbia. Murray began to compile a collection of books and pamphlets authored by African Americans at the request of Herbert Putnam, the successor to Spofford. Wikipedia
Post-Modern Fugitive Slaves Or Playing the Father Role A Review of Child Support by Ralph E. Johnson By Rudolph Lewis
By John Edward Bruce. Edited by John Cullen Gruesser
Born a slave, he rose to become the preeminent black journalist of his generation, as well as a fiery orator (many of his articles and speeches were gathered in 1971 in The Selected Writings of John Edward Bruce). He follows close on the heels of Pauline Hopkins, creator of the earliest known black detective from an African-American writer in her 1901-1902 serial, Hagar’s Daughter, which features the maid Venus Johnson as sleuth. . . . Bruce’s investigator, Sadipe Okukenu, from West Africa, works for the International Detective Agency, and the opening lines are still powerful: Do you mean to tell me that that nigger is a detective, and that you are going to put him on this case, Mr. Hunter? But the mystery of a stolen (or about to be stolen, it is unclear) diamond cuts off midstory as McGirt’s suspended publication. Gruesser’s scholarly introduction covers technical problems with the text, making it clear that Bruce is a much more interesting figure than simply a writer who saw that a black man, too, could solve crimes. Publishers Weekly
John Edward Bruce was born into slavery in Piscataway, Maryland in 1856. When Bruce was three years old his father was sold away to Georgia prompting young Bruce and his mother to escape to Washington, D.C. in fear of losing each other. . . Bruce [became] the editor and business manager for the Commonwealth, a major newspaper in Baltimore, Maryland. In 1884 when Bruce was 28 years old he started using the name “Bruce Grit” for his columns. His reputation as an uncompromising opponent of racial discrimination and proponent of African American advancement would grow over the next two decades. In 1910 Bruce was the American correspondent for the African Times and the Orient Review in London. Continuing to use the name “Bruce Grit” he became a regular columnist for several newspapers in the United States, the Caribbean Islands, Europe, and Africa. . . . BlackPast
Faith, Cancer, Death, Racism, Science, and Ethics
A Research Sampling by Rudolph Lewis
Bring the Troops Home: “A time comes when silence is betrayal.” Beyond Vietnam A Time to Break Silence (Martin Luther King)
Pauli Murray (1910-1985)born in Baltimorewas the granddaughter of a slave and the great-granddaughter of a slave owner. She was orphaned at an early age, and raised on Cameron Street behind Maplewood Cemetery in Durham, North Carolina, by her maternal grandparents and an aunt, in whose first-grade class she learned to read. Two other aunts also took a keen interest in her upbringing. “Having no parents of my own,” she wrote in her poignant memoir Proud Shoes, “I had in effect three mothers, each trying to impress upon me those traits of character expected of a Fitzgeraldstern devotion to duty, capacity for hard work, industry and thrift, and above all honor and courage in all things.” . . . .
In 1956 Murray published Proud Shoes: The Story of an American Family, a biography of her grandparents, and their struggle with racial prejudice. In 1960 Murray travelled to Ghana to explore her African cultural roots. When she returned President John F. Kennedy appointed her to his Committee on Civil and Political Rights.Pauli Murray Papers Harvard
The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll
Lyrics by Bob Dylan
William Zanzinger killed poor Hattie Carroll With a cane that he twirled around his diamond ring finger At a Baltimore hotel society gath’rin’ And the cops were called in and his weapon took from him As they rode him in custody down to the station And booked William Zanzinger for first-degree murder And you who philosophize disgrace and criticize all fears Take the rag away from your face Now ain’t the time for your tears.
William Zanzinger who at twenty-four years Owns a tobacco farm of six hundred acres With rich wealthy parents who provide and protect him And high office relations in the government of Maryland Reacted to his deed with a shrug of his shoulders And swear words and sneering and his tongue it was snarling In a matter of minutes on bail was out walking And you who philosophize disgrace and criticize all fears Take the rag away from your face Now ain’t the time for your tears.More at “The Times They Are A-Changin”
The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll
Hattie Carroll was a maid of the kitchen She was fifty-one years old and gave birth to ten children Who carried the dishes and hauled out the garbage And never sat once at the head of the table And didn’t even speak to the people at the table Who just cleaned up all the food from the table And emptied the ashtrays on a whole other level Got killed by a blow, lay slain by a cane That sailed through the air and came down through the room Doomed and determined to destroy all the gentle And she never done nothing to William Zanzinger And you who philosophize disgrace and criticize all fears Take the rag away from your face Now ain’t the time for your tears.
In the courtroom of honor, the judge pounded his gavel To show that all’s equal and that the courts are on the level And that the strings in the books ain’t pulled and persuaded And that even the nobles get properly handled Once that the cops have chased after and caught ’em And that ladder of law has no top and no bottom Stared at the person who killed for no reason Who just happened to be feelin’ that way without warnin’ And he spoke through his cloak, most deep and distinguished And handed out strongly, for penalty and repentance William Zanzinger with a six-month sentence And you who philosophize disgrace and criticize all fears Bury the rag most deep in your face For now’s the time for your tears.
The Lonesome Death of Hattie CarrollThe main incident of the song took place in the early hours of February 9, 1963, at the white tie Spinsters’ Ball at the Emerson Hotel in Baltimore, Maryland. Using a toy cane, [William Devereux “Billy”] Zantzinger drunkenly assaulted at least three of the Emerson Hotel workers: a bellboy, a waitress, andat about 1:30 in the morning of the 9th Carroll, a barmaid. In addition to her work at the hotel, Hattie Carroll, at 51, was the mother of eleven children and president of a black social club. A news report of Zantzinger’s death mentions that Hattie was the mother of eleven children even though the song says ten.
Already drunk before he got to the Emerson Hotel that night, Zantzinger, 24 years old and 6’2″, had assaulted employees at Eager House, a prestigious Baltimore restaurant, with the same cane. The cane was a 25-cent toy. At the Spinsters’ Ball, he called a 30-year-old waitress a “nigger” and hit her with the cane; she fled the room in tears. Moments later, after ordering a bourbon that Carroll didn’t bring immediately, Zantzinger cursed at her, called her a “nigger” also, then “you black son of a bitch,” and struck her on the shoulder and across the head with the cane. In the words of the court notes: “He asked for a drink and called her ‘a black bitch’, and ‘ black s.o.b’. She replied, ‘Just a moment’ and started to prepare his drink. After a delay of perhaps a minute, he complained about her being slow and struck her a hard blow on her shoulder about half-way between the point of her shoulder and her neck.” She handed him his drink. After striking Carroll, he attacked his own wife, knocking her to the ground and hitting her with his shoe.Wikipedia
By Floyd Hayes, III, Ph.D.
Alan Rickman (Actor), Mos Def (Actor)
Something the Lord Made recounts the relationship between Dr. Alfred Blalock (Alan Rickman) and Vivian Thomas (Mos Def). It begins in 1930s Nashville when imperious cardiac surgeon Blalock hires Thomas, an African American carpenter, as his janitor. When the latter reveals a passion for medicine and facility with surgical instruments, Blalock promotes him to lab tech. Thomas isn’t given a raise, works side jobs to make ends meet, and is expected to be grateful. Along the way, he follows Blalock from Vanderbilt to Johns Hopkins, where they save thousands of lives through their pioneering work, but will Thomas ever get any credit? The film provides a satisfying answer to that question. Joseph Sargent (A Lesson Before Dying) directs with subtlety and intelligence, while Rickman and Mos Def are in top form, often underplaying where most actors would do otherwise. Something the Lord Made won the 2004 Emmy for outstanding made-for-TV movie.Kathleen C. Fennessy
(Review of Event at Lyric Theatre) /
Prayer Tradition of Black People — Harold A. Carter (Book Review)
in Baltimore, a City with a Black Mayor, Sheila Dixon
I am very concerned about what I am hearing. As a mother and as a parent, I am bothered by it, she said.
I will get to the bottom of this.
The Legacy of Historic Pennsylvania Avenue
By Alvin K. Brunson
Low graduation rates in many city school districtsResearchers found, for example, that 81.5 percent of the public school students in Baltimore’s suburbs graduate, compared with 34.6 percent in the city schools. Sign on San Diego
Interviewed by Michael A. Gonzales
ChickenBones: A Journal has invaded my Sunday School class.
Last week, I took a copy of the essay, The Black Church Is Dead, from ChickenBones, to class at Bethany Baptist Church in Newark, NJ. Brother Warren read it out loud, and we all discussed it. We are members of a progressive black church, but we weren’t always. We have had other experiences, and some not always so positive/ pleasant/nurturing. Cornel Westmy Cousin Westcalls the author of The Black Church Is Dead one of the finest new public intellectuals on the horizon, and he most certainly is, Eddie Glaude, I hope I have the spelling of his name. I just wanted you to know that ChickenBones continues to provide sustenance for constituents far and wide. Its impact upon the black community is most definite.Sandra L. West
By Ta-Nehesi Coates
CCoates grew up in a tough Baltimore neighborhood, subject to the same temptations as other young black boys. But he had a father in the household, a man steeped in race consciousness and willing to go to any lengthsincluding beatingsto keep his sons on the right path. With sharp cultural observations and emotional depth, Coates recalls an adolescence of surreptitiously standing on corners eying girls, drinking fifths, and earning reps, mindful of his fathers admonition about the Knowledge. Central to the Knowledge was the need to confront fears and bullies and beat them in order to live in peace. . . . A beautifully written, loving portrait of a strong father bringing his sons to manhood. Video: “South Side Story” / American Girl”
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In Blockbusting in Baltimore [The Edmondson Village Story], W. Edward Orser examines Edmondson Village, a west Baltimore rowhouse community where an especially acute instance of blockbusting triggered white flight and racial change on a dramatic scale. Between 1955 and 1965, nearly twenty thousand white residents, who saw their secure world changing drastically, were replaced by blacks in search of the American dream. By buying low and selling high, playing on fears of whites and needs of African Americans, blockbusters set off a series of events that Orser calls “a collective trauma whose significance for recent American social and cultural history is still insufficiently appreciated and understood.” Blockbusting in Baltimore describes a widely experienced but little analyzed phenomenon of recent social history. Orser makes an important contribution to community and urban studies, race relations, and records of the African American experience. Biggerbooks
Blockbusting in Baltimore:The Edmondson Village StoryLike many suburbs, Edmondson Village, a post-WWI rowhouse development with 20,000 residents, saw a dramatic shift in its population between 1955 and 1965. Behind this change lay blockbusting techniques adopted by realtors in which scare tactics were used to encourage white owners to sell cheap, followed by drastic markups for potential black buyers who lacked access to conventional bank mortgages. 15 illustrations Amazon.com
Conyers, James L. Harold A. McDougall. Black Baltimore: A New Theory of Community; and, W. Edward Orser. Blockbusting in Baltimore:The Edmondson Village Story. Ethnic Studies Review. January 1, 1996.
This essay seeks to make a comparative review of two books: 1) Harold A. McDougall’s, Black Baltimore: A New Theory of Community; and 2) W. Edward Orser’s, Blockbusting in Baltimore: The Edmondson Village Story. The method of procedure used in this review essay will describe and evaluate the organizational structure of the books in a three-fold manner: 1) summary of the texts; 2) use of oral history in the texts; and 3) contribution of books to oral history literature and conclusion, drawing upon common themes between the two books. Encyclopedia.com
By Antero Pietila
Eugenics, racial thinking, and white supremacist attitudes influenced even the federal government’s actions toward housing in the 20th century, dooming American cities to ghettoization. The Federal Housing Administration continued discriminatory housing policies even into the 1960s, long after civil rights legislation. This all-American tale is told through the prism of Baltimore, from its early suburbanization in the 1880s to the consequences of white flight after World War II, and into the first decade of the twenty-first century. The events are real, and so are the heroes and villains. Mr. Pietila’s narrative centers on the human side of residential real estate practices, whose discriminatory tools were the same everywhere: restrictive covenants, redlining, blockbusting, predatory lending.
By Alvin Kirby Brunson
Philip Berrigan, Civil Rights Activist & Anti-War Activist Dies at Home in Baltimore, MD
Kurt L. Schmoke (born December 1, 1949) is the Dean of the Howard University School of Law and a former mayor of Baltimore, Maryland. The son of Murray (a civilian chemist for the US Army) and Irene B. Reid (a social worker), he attended the public schools of Baltimore. He was Baltimore’s first elected black mayor.
Schmoke attended the Baltimore City College, the third oldest high school in the United States and the largest high school in Maryland at the time of his graduation in 1967. Schmoke excelled in both football and lacrosse. His speed afoot and his passing accuracy won him the starting job as the varsity and junior varsity quarterback. As the varsity quarterback, he led the City Knights to two undefeated seasons and successive Maryland Scholastic Association A-conference championships in 1965 and 1966.
As a student, Schmoke was a member of the Baltimore City College “A-course,” a college preparatory curriculum that required him to take Latin and other advanced studies not offered to the average Baltimore high school student. Schmoke was elected president of the school’s student government in his senior year but also worked in the Baltimore community with disadvantaged youth. Compulsory community service had not yet been mandated for Baltimore high school students; yet he tutored and mentored young men from the inner city as a member of the Lancers boys club.Wikipedia
Identity & Difference in Christian Perspectives
By Jennifer McGill
Eubie Blake (1872-1906)Pianist and Composer of Ragtime
Right to left; Leroy Caroll, Judge William Murphy, Billy Murphy, Milton Allen, and David
African-Brazilian Documentary screening in Baltimore
By D.C. Moore
Poems By Austin L. Sydnor Jr.
Kenya v. Mean Streets of Baltimore
Review by Kam Williams
25 education protesters detainedMost of them Baltimore high school students, were detained yesterday after they charged up the steps of the State House demanding that Gov. Martin O’Malley be arrested for not addressing what they called a “historic underfunding” of Maryland public schools. The demonstrators were handcuffed as they lay still, as if dead, before the bronze doors of the building. They had pressed past more than a dozen police officers, strung crime-scene tape along the stair railings of the State House and called O’Malley’s budget proposal to slow the rate of education funding increases “a crime.” The detained protesters, including a Baltimore public school teacher and two dozen students from high schools and colleges in Baltimore and Washington, were held for about an hour by Department of General Services Police before they were released. Baltimore Sun
To Proclaim January & February Black History Months.
William H. Murphy, Sr (right photo)
Con Game or True Struggle for Social Justice
Featuring Michael Eric Dyson & Cornel West
an editorial by Rudolph Lewis
Preface to Eyes of a Poet By Kalb Faouly Attimn Tshamba
By D. Morton Glover
Freedom Fall — Freedom Fall is Baltimore City’s version of Mississippi’s 1964 Freedom Summer. Young people and supportive adults will organize across the city and beyond to open up Baltimore to the United States and to the World by exposing the state’s blatant oppression of unconstitutionally under funding the Baltimore City Public School System. (BCPSS). Freedom Fall will consist of a registration push for the convening of the new Maryland Freedom Board of Education (MFBE). Freedom Schools ran by youth will educate and organize youth around the issue of Quality Education. Freedom Schools will lead to mass demonstrations for the world to recognize and pressure the state to adequately fund the BCPSS, because No Education Means No Life! — By the Baltimore Algebra Project’s Advocacy Committee /Chair: Chris Goodman 443-957-5346 email@example.com. (posted 18 August 2006)
Its Back to School Again
Follow the Students! MARCH! Stop School Closings! Friday, March 24, 4:30-5 at City Hall (Baltimore)
“Sittinon the dock of the bay, wastin time”
By Amin Sharif
By D. Morton Glover
Historic Pennsylvania Avenue: Reviving the Rhythm By D. Morton Glover
By WPA Workers
The Barber’s Close Cut (Alfred P. Gladden)
Baltimore’s #1 Ragamuffin Artist & Musician
By Rudolph Lewis
Official Publication of the Middle Atlantic Writers Association
(MAWA) Volume 16, Numbers 1 and 2
By WPA Workers
in Fells Point to honor Douglass
Black Catholic History in the Archdiocese of Baltimore
Prayer Tradition of Black People (Harold A. Carter)
Demand for Career Education Especially High
On the Need to Refurbish Career and Technology Education (CTE) Programs
Conversations with Rodney, Jonathan, Miriam, Tiger, Kam
N.A.A.C.P. National Staff
Romare Bearden’s Southern Sensibility / The song that lies silent in the heart of a mother sings upon the lips of her child. (Kahlil Gibran)
By Kalb Faouly Attimn Tshamba
Black Women’s Struggles Against Urban Inequality
By Rhonda Y. Williams
By R. Darryl Foxworth
Post-Modern Fugitive Slaves Or Playing the Father Role A Review of Child Support by Ralph E. Johnson By Rudolph Lewis
on (or) to George S. Schuyler, James Weldon Johnson
Walter White, NAACP, Countee Cullen, Eugene O’Neill
& a Letter from Theodore Dreiser
Pass the Mic! Tour of Tavis Smiley Featuring Michael Eric Dyson & Cornel West
By D. Morton Glover
The Avenue: The Legacy of Historic Pennsylvania Avenue
By Alvin K. Brunson
5th Annual Tribute
Campaign for March 10 as HER national holiday
A Political Portrait of Robert Moore, a Baltimore Leader
By Rudolph Lewis
for Bea Crockett
By Rudolph Lewis
Book Release for Letters from Young Activists
By Rodney D. Foxworth, Jr.
Chronology of the Life & Career
Former Professor of History
at Morgan State College
Cornel West “Barack Obama Is the Black Mascot of The Wall Street Oligarchs” / Stevie Wonder, You Haven’t Done Nothin’ / Joseph E. Stiglitz, Of the 1%, by the 1%, for the 1%
In 1835 The city Boasted a Dozen Well-Established Dealers
By Stanton Tierman
of The Baltimore Sun
Promoting Project 21 & Conservative Blacks
Editorial by Rudolph Lewis
African-Brazilian Documentary screening in Baltimore
America Is on Fire and Crumbling
By Bill Goodin firstname.lastname@example.org
Bill Goodwin, an impasssioned activist, poet, and author speaks out against corruption in the government and religious institutions. He sounds the alarm for church leaders, politicians, prisoners and racists, warning of America’s crumbling in the blazes of sin. Goodin has written this powerful warning to the world and its people. he is author of the books, It Is Now Time, Breaking the Politics Chains, and Before I Die.
Just Another Fine Gentleman / Business, Industry, and Education for Success / If this be Lynching . . . (As in Merrill-Lynch) / Economic status of African Americans / Eliot Spitzer, . . Whistle Blowing / Joe the Plumber and Adam Smith / Aquinas, Smith, Jefferson, Malthus, Marx, Keynes / Responses to an American Speculator
Thurgood Marshall became a living icon of civil rights when he argued Brown v. Board of Education before the Supreme Court in 1954. Six years later, he was at a crossroads. A rising generation of activists were making sit-ins and demonstrations rather than lawsuits the hallmark of the civil rights movement. What role, he wondered, could he now play?
When in 1960 Kenyan independence leaders asked him to help write their constitution, Marshall threw himself into their cause. Here was a new arena in which law might serve as the tool with which to forge a just society. In Exporting American Dreams: Thurgood Marshall’s African Journey (2008) Mary Dudziak recounts with poignancy and power the untold story of Marshall’s journey to Africa.
The Learning Place Northwest (1990-1993)
Bring the Troops Home: “A time comes when silence is betrayal.” Beyond Vietnam A Time to Break Silence (Martin Luther King)