Wednesday, September 06, 2017

Important Information on early September 2017

Yesterday was the Birthday of Sister Claudette Clovin. She is now 78 years old. She was born in Montgomery, Alabama. She is an active supporter of the Civil Rights Movement. She was a pioneer in many ways. On March 2, 1955 (at the age of 15 years old), she was arrested for refusing to give up her seat on a bus in segregated Montgomery, Alabama, nine months prior to Rosa Parks. Back then, she was a teenager. She was among five plaintiffs who tired to eliminate segregation on public buses. She was part of the case of Browder v. Gayle. Fred Gray was a member of the local NAACP branch who served as legal counsel for the Montgomery Improvement Association. The case went into the U.S. Supreme Court to officially eliminate segregation on public buses. Rosa Parks called her calm, studious, and well mannered. Back then, she was a student at Booker T. Washington high school in Montgomery, Alabama. Together with Aurelia S. Browder, Susie McDonald, Mary Louise Smith, and Jeanette Reese, Colvin was also one of the five plaintiffs in the court case of Browder v. Gayle. After the successful Montgomery bus boycott, Claudette Clovin moved into New York City to be a nurse's aide for more than three decades. She retired in 2004. "Claudette Colvin Twice Toward Justice" by Phillip Hoose is a book that details the life of the unsung hero of Claudette Clovin. She still lives in the Bronx, NYC.

Labor Day was created federally in 1894. One of the events that inspired this day was the Haymarket strike during the 19th century which desired labor rights. It is important to note that our ancestors labored in this land of America without wages (and in indescribable, horrible conditions) in slavery. Also, the labor unions has a mixed history involving African Americans. I have no problem with the concept of labor unions, but some people (not all) in labor unions were in fact very racist against black people. That is a historical fact. That is why many African Americans back then formed their own labor unions (like the Colored National Labor Union from the 19th century) in order to promote labor rights, great working conditions, and anti-discrimination policies. Workers' rights are part of human rights and this day certainly makes us aware that we must advance labor rights unconditionally. The CNLU and other groups inspired A. Philip Randolph labor activism as he was involved in the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters (who got a charter). Randolph promoted civil rights and worked in the AFL-CIO. By the 1960's, some people in the AFL-CIO were progressive (like Walter Reuther, who supported civil rights and he publicly opposed the Vietnam War) and others were reactionary (like the extremist George Meany). Also, there was the Detroit based League of Revolutionary Black Workers, who fought for workers' rights. Cleveland Robinson was one of the greatest black labor leaders. He supported labor and civil rights. In fact, he was one organizer of the historic 1963 March on Washington. In September 1972, he helped to found the Coalition of Black Trade Unionists (CBTU), successor organization to the Negro American Labor Council (NALC), and served as its first vice-president. Many of us are blessed to work and have labor. Therefore, it is important to give praise, honor, and respect to all sincere, hardworking people who are involved in labor.

Days ago was the Birthday of the legendary opera singer Sister Dorothy Maynor. She was born in Norfolk, Virginia (which is my hometown) and she lived for 85 years old. She founded the Harlem School of the Arts. She attended the Hampton Institute where she studied under R. Nathaniel Dett. After her graduation from the Institute in 1933 she received a four-year scholarship to the Westminster Choir School in Princeton, New Jersey. She is noted as the first African American to sing at a presidential inauguration, performing at President Harry S. Truman's inaugural gala in 1949 and at President Dwight D. Eisenhower's 1953 presidential inauguration at Constitution Hall, where the Daughters of the American Revolution famously refused to let Marian Anderson sing in 1939. She expressed music globally and she contributed so much in helping to educate students in Harlem about music. In 1975, she became the first African-American on the Board of Directors of the Metropolitan Opera. She passed away in 1996.
Rest in Power Sister Dorothy Maynor.

Some great news today is the following. The capital of Georgia in Atlanta unveiled their new 8 feet statue of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Dr. King was born and raised in Georgia and changed the world in many positive ways. He was a speech maker and he was a heroic man who desired human justice and social justice to be made into a reality. He not only protested in the South and in the North. He organized organizations, he opposed the Vietnam War, and he supported the Poor People's Campaign in order for the federal government to address poverty in America. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. followed a compassionate ethos. It is located outside of the Georgia Capitol building. One of the great, late legends of our time was Sister Altovise Davis. She was the last wife of Sammy Davis Jr. She was born in Charlotte, North Carolina. She was raised in Brooklyn, NYC. She became a great entertainer in her own right. She was involved in musical shows in NYC and in London. She married Sammy Davis Jr. in Philadelphia on May 11, 1970. She was on many shows like Charlie's Angels and Chips during the 1970's. She continued to show her gifts and express undying love for her husband. She passed away at the age of 65 in the year of 2009 in Los Angeles, California. Now, she is in Paradise. Her life certainly represents the power of love and the contributions of a very talented black woman.
Rest in Power Sister Altovise Davis.

Today is some bad news revolving around Donald Trump. Trump has rescinded Trump. I'm not surprised. Trump has a callous attitude about immigration in general. For centuries, immigrants have been inventors, teachers, scholars, and other heroes who sacrifice their time and effort to make America better. They include people of every color and of every sex. They include people of every age and of every creed. DACA recipients (among about 800,000 people) were in America by no fault of their own. They contribute billions of dollars to our GDP and they contribute heavily in the cultural mosaic of American society. DACA recipients or Dreamers work very hard. This ending of the Dreamers' program is cruel. That "resident" of the White House said that he wants to give Congress 6 months to find a fix, but the policy needs to not be eliminated in the first place. It's a policy filled with compassion and respect. It is filled with the promotion of the creed that we are our Brothers' and Sister's keepers. Hispanic Chamber CEO Javier Palomarez said that ending the Dreamers program is inhumane and economically harmful. He has resigned from the Trump administration. Trump's policy makes no sense morally or economically. Today, protests have existed in New York City, Philadelphia, Denver, etc. in favor of immigrant rights. 91% of the Dreamers are employed. Most of them have a spouse of child or sibling who is a U.S. citizen. After DACA status being gone, all DACA members now risk deportation. These young people are owed more than that. That is why many Congress people are bravely trying to use legislation to make the Dream Act the federal law of the land. Trump has expressed a contradiction by once claiming that he would take care of the Dreamers and then he made this policies. For the record, immigrants include black people too. Xenophobia is not only evil, but it's immoral. We are always called to help the migrant in our land and we will continue to advance immigrant rights as immigrant rights are part of human rights.

By Timothy

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