Wednesday, June 06, 2018

Summer 2018 Part 2

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Art Part 4: The Diversity of Art

Glory and power are found concurrently in art. It motivates our curiosity and it enriches our souls in many ways. We may love it, be offended by some of it, or question it, but we aren’t ignoring its fundamental value to civilization. One of the truisms of art is that it is diverse. Art is found in the structures found in Africa, in the ink paintings found in Asia, and in the sculptures found in Europe. It is also found by works created by Native Americans and the various images found in Oceania too. That is precisely why it is important to embrace the diversity of art. Art is never a shallow force meant to be embraced a small number of human beings. It is meant to expand and spread throughout the Universe. I am an African American, so it is very important for me (and any freedom lover) to appreciate the contributions of African Americans in art. We, who are African Americans, have a long history in joy, in pain, in struggle, and in excellence. We have lived in the Americas for over five centuries and we still rise to not only proclaim our talents, but to be a beckon of light to the world. That is exemplified in how so many other people take inspiration from the African American freedom movement. The strength of black Americans is truly inspirational. African American art, just like the varied forms of art, aren’t just related to one subject matter or genre. African American art is wide ranging to deal with quilts, abstract paintings, dance, spoken word performances, digital art, comic imagery, sculptures, and other compositions. Therefore, it is always keen to honor the diversity of art itself.

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Art Worldwide

Art is found worldwide. Art can be used to express cultural and ritualistic expression. One example involves the megaliths found in Stonehenge in the United Kingdom. Some researchers believe that the stones were situated because of astronomical purposes or religious significance. The Mississippian culture of ancient North America used many large mound building structures. From 3,000 B.C. to 1,000 B.C, during the time of the Neolithic and Bronze Age eras, art evolved to be more complex. Rulers, hierarchies, and empires flourished in Africa, the Middle East, Europe, Asia, the Americas, Australia, Oceania, etc. There were paintings and drawings of people working found in Ur. There were figurines found in the Cycladic culture of Greece. The early Harappan location in the Indus Valley civilization had many sculptures and complex city patterns.  One figuring of a person found in the city of Mohenjo-Daro appears to show a priest king. In Africa, there were hieroglyphics and pyramids in both ancient Egypt (with the Great Pyramid of Giza, statues of pharaohs, paintings of people, and many tools available. Ancient Egyptian art celebrates polytheism with their praise of Horus, Isis, Geb, and other ancient Egyptian gods and goddesses) and ancient Nubia. The ancient Hittites of Asia Minor had their own art too. During the Bronze Age era of China, we see pottery with complex designs. Later, ancient texts in China show Chinese characters and diverse, exquisite artistic images.

Ancient Central America with the Olmec culture, the Mayan civilization, etc. had large head structures, images of jaguars, and literature filled with complex languages. Ancient Greece and Rome used many forms of columns, paintings, and temple in celebrations of their deities. Ancient Rome copies mosaics from the Etruscans and other forms of art from ancient Greece too. The ancient great Parthenon (created during the 400’s B.C.) was a large temple with a state of the goddess Athena in the middle of it. It was found in Athens, Greece. The Persian Empire with its palace of Susa showed images of soldiers in colorful, court robes. The Ming dynasty of China from the late 1300’s A.D. had porcelain, the explorer Zheng He, and a huge amount of artistic expression. India incorporated Hinduism and Buddhism in its art too. The ancient Sanchi gate is representative of early Indian art. Early Islamic art used calligraphy, pendants, drawings, and other forms of expression. Sub Saharan Africa art focused on bronze structures, bronze plates, various diverse structures, paintings, and other forms of art. One example is of the soapstone bird structure from the ancient Great Zimbabwe civilization. The West African terra-cotta head is found heavily in places like Nigeria. Oceania had art too in its large images of people. Today, art is more diverse during the 21st century with the advent on complicated technological advances (from the Internet to 3-D printing). We live in a new time, but we have the same love of artistic expression as the ancients did thousands of years ago.

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Art museums are worldwide. Where I was born in Virginia, there is an art museum that I have visited before. For centuries and thousands of years, art museums have existed. Religious institutions and the wealthy organized numerous collections of art. During the Medieval period, royal palaces, castles, and large country houses had art collections. Some of them were inaccessible to a section of the public. The Palace of Versailles centuries ago allowed some of the public to witness art works. Today, times are different. More of the public can see art works. Some art museums are more expensive than others. The British Museum was created in 1753 and it allowed public viewing of artwork. The Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. is the world’s largest research and museum complex. It has 19 museums and galleries. It has more than 137 million objects that describe American history. It has tons of paintings and artwork. The Louvre in Paris, France is found in the shape of a pyramid. The pyramid was created by I. M. Pei. It has works like Venus de Milo, Winged Victory of Samothrace, and Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa. The British Museum in London, England has 8 million objects and many Ancient Egyptian paintings and other works like the Rosetta Stone. The Prado in Madrid Spain has a lot of art including classical masterpieces.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City is the largest museum in the Western Hemisphere. It has a collection of more than 1 million items. It has works from ancient Egypt. It also has works from Botticelli, Rembrandt, Vermeer, Degas, Rodin, and other artists. Renaissance paintings and Baroque artwork are found in the Uffizi Gallery in Florence, Italy. The Chrysler Museum of Art is found in Norfolk, Virginia. It was created in 1933. It is one of the major art museums in the Southeastern United States. It has places like the Glass Studio and Moses Myers House. It has works spanning over 5,000 years. It has works from Tintoretto, Veronese, Peter Paul Rubens, Diego Velázquez, Salvator Rosa, Gianlorenzo Bernini, John Singleton Copley, Thomas Cole, Eugène Delacroix, Édouard Manet, Paul Cézanne, Gustave Doré, Albert Bierstadt, Auguste Rodin, Mary Cassatt, Paul Gauguin, Georges Rouault, Henri Matisse, Georges Braque, Edward Hopper, and other people. The arts of the ancient world, Asia, Africa, and Pre-Columbian America (particularly Maya ceramics) are also well represented. Art museums magnify our creativity and stir up our imagination legitimately.

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Architectural Diversity

Art is related to architecture and vice versa. The reason is that art signifies the development of creative expression of humanity. Architecture can be created not only for housing or building culture. It can be created for artistic purposes as well. So, there is always that linkage between architecture and art. The Gobeki Tepe in Turkey is an ancient structure and it is the earliest found place of worship being dated to the 10th millennium B.C.  The Longshan culture of China had advanced architecture. We already know that the Great Pyramid of Giza and the Pyramid of Djoser being constructed in ancient Egypt are very historic. They possessed great building properties. They have existed since the 2600’s B.C. Ancient Egyptian priests usually ordered or founded the creation of the city palaces and temples plus the rulers did it too. Back then, the priests were very powerful as they organized the religious rituals and influenced the pharaohs and the ruling class in ancient Egypt too. In essence, architecture deals with the planning, designing, and developing of buildings and other structures. Neolithic architecture is found all over Africa, the Americas, Europe, and Asia. One of the greatest forms of architecture in Mesopotamia was the ziggurat. This was a religious temple. It was created for the purpose of the worship of gods and goddesses of Mesopotamia.

Leonard Woolley excavated the ziggurat at Ur. It was 64 by 46 meters at the base. It was originally some 12 meters in height with 3 stories. It was built under Ur-Nammu (in ca. 2100 B.C.) and rebuilt under Nabonidus (555-539 B.C.). It was increased to probably seven stories by that time of the 6th century B.C. Greek architecture used temples, public buildings, and the acropolis (or the buildings being on a hill). Greek architecture used the column styles of the Doric, Ionic, and Corinthian columns. Ancient Roman used amphitheaters, circus buildings, arches, bridges, domes, and other complex images. Byzantine architecture used many mosaics and complex domes upon massive piers. The Persians used buildings in a massive scale with carved stucco, floral motifs, and brickwork in many patterns. Islamic architecture is found in many lands from Africa, Europe, Asia, the Middle East, etc.

It is found with mosques, forts, places, and excluding illustrations of anything living (that means that there can be no human and no animal depictions in ancient Islamic art). Islamic art is also found in Sudano-Sahelian locations, Moorish areas, and in Iran plus Saudi Arabia. Large rectangular churches are found in Ethiopia on the basis of Aksumite style. The conical shaped enclosure in the Great Zimbabwe civilization outlines the largest medieval city in sub-Saharan Africa. Hindu temples existed back then during the Middle Ages throughout India. Southeast Asia with Khmer architecture has the Angkor Wat temple, which was huge. It is filled with durable brick, laterite, and sandstone. The Angkor Wat temple is a great example of Khmer architectural masterpiece, was built by king Suryavarman II in 12th century. Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and Oceanic architectures flourished too. The Forbidden City in China was created during the 15th century. It has yellow roof tiles. Mesoamerican architecture had stepped filled pyramids and temples. The Incas used suspension bridges. Ancient North American architecture had Native Americans using mounds, and buildings near caves (including pueblos) and other locations.

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One of the greatest architectural wonders in the world is the Luxor Temple of ancient Egypt. It is found in the ancient city of Thebes. Its construction was finished at ca. 1,400 B.C. In the Egyptian language, it is known as ipet resyt, "the southern sanctuary.” It is found in the east bank of the Nile River. At the Luxor, there were many temples on the east and west banks. Tourists globally visit the location year round. In the complex, there is the  Temple of Seti I at Gurnah, the Temple of Hatshepsut at Deir el Bahri, the Temple of Ramesses II (a.k.a. Ramesseum), and the Temple of Ramesses III at Medinet Habu. Other temples are found on the east bank at Karnak. The Luxor is not dedicated to a god per se. It is about the rejuvenation of kingship. Many kings of ancient Egypt were crowned at the location. The rear of the temple had chapels built by Amenhotep III of the 18th dynasty and Alexander the Great. Other parts of the temple were built by Tutankhamun and Ramesses II. The Roman government centuries ago used the area as a fortress. The Luxor Temple has a statue of Ramesses II (who was one of the most famous pharaohs of ancient Egypt). People used sandstone to construct the architectural marvels. The entrance also has an obelisk as well. In the front of the Luxor Temple complex, there was an ancient relief of the Battle of Kadesh when Ramses II fought the Hittites thousands of years ago. Sphinxes existed in its original incarnation too. The ancient Temple of Luxor had the Obelisks of Ramesses II in the front. Inside, there is the courtyard of Ramses. The courtyard and colonnade of Amenhotep III was found close back. In the back, there is the sanctuary and the Hypostyle Hall. The temple was built mostly by Amenhotep III and completed by Tutankhamun. Later, more features were added by Horemheb and Ramesses II. The whole structure goes in a specific pattern.

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The ancient Parthenon was one of the greatest structures of ancient Greece. It was a temple being part of the Greece acropolis. An acropolis is a citadel of buildings found on a hill in Athens, Greece.  It was dedicated to the goddess Athena (which represented wisdom in ancient Greek mythology). Its classical style has Greco-column structure. The construction of this building started on 447 B.C. and was completed by 432 B.C. The architects involved in its created were Iktinos and Callicrates. Phidas was the famous sculptor involved in its creation too. The Parthenon is a symbol of Athenian democracy. The whole size of the building was 228 feet by 101 feet. It has Doric and Ionic styles. The Parthenon is regarded as the finest example of Greek architecture. The temple, wrote John Julius Cooper, "enjoys the reputation of being the most perfect Doric temple ever built. Even in antiquity, its architectural refinements were legendary, especially the subtle correspondence between the curvature of the stylobate, the taper of the naos walls and the entasis of the columns." The Ionic frieze, sculptures, and other images were found in the location.  The traveler Pausanias, when he visited the Acropolis at the end of the 2nd century AD, only mentioned briefly the sculptures of the pediments(gable ends) of the temple, reserving the majority of his description for the gold and ivory statue of the goddess inside. Restorations of the Parthenon continue to this very day.

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The Forbidden City is a palace complex in central Beijing, China. It was originally built from 1406 to 1420 A.D. during the Ming Dynasty. The architect was Kaui Ziang. It shows a lot of great Chinese architecture. It has been visited by people from the world over. The whole structure is a rectangle. It is 3,153 ft. from north to south and 2,470 ft. from east to west. It has 980 surviving buildings and 8,886 rooms. The front side has the Meridian Gate. In the center of the location was the Gate of Supreme Harmony. The Corner Towers are found in the back of the whole structure as well. The Forbidden City was designed to be the center of the ancient, walled city of Beijing. It is enclosed in a larger, walled area called the Imperial City. The Imperial City is, in turn, enclosed by the Inner City; to its south lies the Outer City. The Forbidden City remains important in the civic scheme of Beijing. The central north–south axis remains the central axis of Beijing. This axis extends to the south through Tiananmen gate to Tiananmen Square, the ceremonial center of the People's Republic of China, and on to Yongdingmen. To the north, it extends through Jingshan Hill to the Bell and Drum Towers. This axis is not exactly aligned north–south, but is tilted by slightly more than two degrees. Researchers now believe that the axis was designed in the Yuan dynasty to be aligned with Xanadu, the other capital of their empire. The Forbidden City is surrounded by a moat. The Meridian Gate is huge with Asian architectural patterns. To the south of the Forbidden City were two important shrines – the Imperial Shrine of Family or the Imperial Ancestral Temple (Chinese: 太廟; pinyin: Tàimiào) and the Imperial Shrine of State or Beijing Shejitan(Chinese: 社稷壇; pinyin: Shèjìtán), where the Emperor would venerate the spirits of his ancestors and the spirit of the nation, respectively. Today, these are the Beijing Labouring People's Cultural Hall and Zhongshan Park (commemorating Sun Yat-sen) respectively.

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The Roman Colosseum was built for Vespasian and Titus. It was built from 70-80 A.D. in Rome. Travertine, tuff, and brick-faced concrete were the materials that were used to create it. It was the largest amphitheater of the ancient Roman Empire. It is found east of the ancient Roman Forum. Modifications to the Colosseum existed during the reign of Domitian (81-96 A.D.). Vespasian, Titus, and Domitian were known as members of the Flavian dynasty. The Colosseum back then could hold between 50,000 and 80,000 spectators with an average audience of about 65,000 people. It was filled with many violent games like gladiatorial contests, mock sea battles, animal hunts, executions, dramas, re-enactments of famous battles, etc. Many early Christians were unjustly murdered in the Colosseum too. Today, it is a tourist attraction and has ceremonies conducted by the Roman Catholic Church. The Colosseum's original Latin name was Amphitheatrum Flavium, often anglicized as Flavian Amphitheatre. The building was constructed by emperors of the Flavian dynasty, following the reign of Nero.  As many people know, Nero was a totally evil person. It is elliptical in plan and is 189 meters (615 ft. / 640 Roman feet) long, and 156 meters (510 ft. / 528 Roman feet) wide, with a base area of 24,000 square meters (6 acres). The height of the outer wall is 48 meters (157 ft. / 165 Roman feet). The perimeter originally measured 545 meters (1,788 ft. / 1,835 Roman feet). The central arena is an oval 87 m (287 ft.) long and 55 m (180 ft.) wide, surrounded by a wall 5 m (15 ft.) high, above which rose tiers of seating. The arcades are framed by half-columns of the Doric, Ionic, and Corinthian orders. The attic is decorated with Corinthian pilasters. Each of the arches in the second- and third-floor arcades framed statues, probably honoring divinities and other figures from Classical mythology. It stands as a testament to the creativity of human architecture.

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Modern architecture in the 21st century is diverse. It relates to technological advancements, environmental concerns, large creativity, and other unique aesthetics.The National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC) is filled with beauty inside and outside. It is one of the greatest museums in human history and it is filled with African American culture. It shows the truth of the contributions of black people and the necessity for freedom for the human race in general. It was designed by Freelon Group, Adjaye Associates, and Davis Brody Bond. It has multiple floors filled with almost 37,000 objects relating to community, family, the visual, performing arts, religion, civil rights, slavery, segregation, sports, etc. It has 85,000 square feet. Interactive videos, stations, and other stations are in its five floors. Students, adults, and other people worldwide have visited its grounds. It opened on September 24, 2016. It was constructed since 2003. It has a façade with great patterns of scrim based on the iron grilles found in the African American communities of Charleston, South Carolina, and New Orleans, Louisiana. The architectural firm of McKissack & McKissack (which was the first African American-owned architectural firm in the United States) provided project management services on behalf of the Smithsonian, and acted as liaison between the Smithsonian and public utilities and D.C. government agencies. The whole building looks like a ziggurat or a stepped pyramid. Its architecture is unique and beautiful at the same time. It will forever be a representation of the inspiration, the power, and the strength of African American people.

The Sydney Opera House was designed to evoke the sails of yachts in the Sydney harbor. 3-D printers have created artificial marble for construction and the development of architecture as well. 3-D printed buildings have been cost effective and environmentally friendly. We have new Urbanism, New Classical architecture, and Eco-cities.  So, architecture continues to be awe-inspiring and diverse.

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In this time, tons of human beings realize the dynamic reality of the diversity of art. Every background of people and every culture has some form of works which excellently harbor art. Art motivates our curiosity and it can provoke long lasting debates on the interpretations of its meaning. Throughout the exploration of art, we witness key axioms. One is that art manifests the total imagination of the human mind. We also realize that art isn't just about paintings or drawings though they are key elements of artistic expression. Architecture, computer graphic designs, and abstract imagery represent art to the fullest too. Performance dancing details the great beauty of art as well. Legends like Picasso, Da Vinci, Savage, Tagore, Lawrence, and Basquait used genius not only to create magnificent artwork. They wanted education to be precisely promoted as a pristine way for future generations to be inspired to express their art as they see fit. Art doesn't follow monolithic, rigid, and authoritarian rules. It flows with time and other aspects of human culture. It can be made into a reality via a plethora of mediums and tools from pencils, pens, charcoal, paints, pastels, clay, acrylic, and other items. Motivation to establish artistic works can be found in dreams, writings, imagination, and just plain human experiences. That is precisely why some of the greatest works have been formed by a person experiencing pain or massive joy. There are countless artists globally who seek to do it not as a product of ego or a product of self-aggrandizement. They do it as a personal love for the art of human self-expression.

Unsung artists (who sell their works, who sacrifice their time for the purpose of fulfilling their dreams, and who genuinely want to share their ideals to humanity in a congruently profound fashion) deserve the same dignity and respect as more well known producers of art. 2020 is almost here and the wonderful theme of art continues to stimulate our sense of self awareness about the totality of the Universe.

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Economics Part 4 (1900-1945)

By the dawn of the 20th century, a new era existed in the world economically, socially, and politically. More nations used electrification and more innovations of infrastructure (from bridges, light bulbs, trains, and to subways). These advanced developments came about in order for countries to increase trade and exports. There was the replacing of horses for transportation with cars and other motorized vehicles by 1900 too. The expansion of the internal combustion engine grew the development of complex machines and other cars. Assembly lines advanced the creation of engines and other machine parts rapidly. Chlorine and other chemicals were placed in the water supply as a means to kill microorganisms which were viruses and bacteria. There was the increase of the standard of living and more electric appliances from refrigerators to lamps spread in homes worldwide. Also, the labor movement was very powerful. Strikes continued and the evils of imperialism overtly stretched in the four corners of the Earth. Imperialism exploited the resources of mostly areas of color in order to benefit industrialized nations without regard to the human, democratic rights of the oppressed peoples of the world. This sparked progressive movements against colonialism and imperialism to increasingly develop. Black people and others organized themselves in groups to fight against Jim Crow apartheid. The events of 1906 caused a temporary recession and the economy grew.  The Panic of 1907 economically inspired the development of the Federal Reserve of 1913.

Many Pilgrim Society members were linked to the creation of the Federal Reserve Bank. The Pilgrim Society is a group created back during the early 1900’s. Its goal is to form a more united front among Americans and those from the UK. Also, this group has a disproportionate amount of influence over the American political, economic, technological, and social systems of the United States of America. Many of the leading bankers and political leaders in our history are members of the Pilgrim Society. The Pilgrim Society is an elite group with much more power than the CFR. Some of these people were educated from Yale, Harvard, Princeton, Oxford, Cambridge, and other large universities. They have links to NGOs, think tanks, privately funded foundations, and research agencies. In essence, the Pilgrim Society is part of the Western Anglo-American establishment whose allies stretch globally. The Jekyll Island meeting on November 1910 in Georgia was one major planning location for the FED in general. They discussed monetary policy and the banking system. Henry P. Davison was at the meeting. He was not only a Pilgrim Society member, but he was a prominent banker too. Senator Nelson Aldrich was in the meeting and he wasn’t a Pilgrim although many members of his family were. J. P. Morgan was in the Pilgrim Society and one of the most famous bankers of the 19th and early 20th centuries. John D. Rockefeller Sr. was at the meeting. His relatives were Pilgrim members, but not himself. Jacob Schiff was related to the Rothschild family and he was a member too. Benjamin Strong was a famous Morgan banker. He was the President and chair of the U.S. Trust Company from 1947-1962 and he was vice President of J.P. Morgan Library. Frank Vanderlip was a member of the Pilgrim Society. Other Pilgrims included Edward Vreeland and Paul Warburg. The Federal Reserve was created in steps. Congress, among many powerful politicians, passed legislation first called the Federal Reserve Act of 1913. This occurred on December of 1913. Afterwards, the Federal Reserve existed nationwide in America.

The Federal Reserve is a central banking system that has huge control over the monetary systems of America. Many cities across the United States of America have Federal Reserve facilities. It or the Federal Reserve can raise interest rates, it can express stimulus, and it can even regulate or supervise many banks in the United States of America. Its power has expanded since 1913 and many people love it or hate (depending on the person to the very day). It acts as an independent central bank, because many of its policies don’t have to be approved by the President or Congress. WWI didn’t decrease the American economy. It expanded it by its production of exports and other resources in the war effort. More credit expanded among many banks and the 1920’s saw heavy financial speculation. This speculation was unregulated and very controversial. That is why the 1929 crash transpired in America. The Great Depression commended. Millions of human beings were in poverty. Banks in the hundreds failed. Many were homeless and laissez faire capitalism wouldn’t be enough to end the financial calamity.

That was why Franklin Delano Roosevelt was elected in 1932 (with a historic coalition of workers, farmers, black Americans, urban community members, women, Southerners, the elderly, the poor, etc.). Roosevelt expanded the federal government massively and was key in developing the ideological framework of modern day liberalism indeed. I will forever be progressive. He used policies from the New Deal as a means to try to get people working and to prevent revolution (as there were many nationwide strikes during that era of time being implemented by heroic workers). He practically “saved” capitalism in essence. The New Deal deal with promoting an end to stock speculation, watchdog agencies to monitor banks, and large construction projects to help employ human beings. FDR's advocacy of unions, the 40 hour work week, a minimum age, and other policies were very population among the American populace. By that time, about 25 percent of the U.S. population was out of work.

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The New Deal included many great programs (like the Works Progress Administration, Social Security, the SEC or the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Tennessee Valley Authority, etc.). Many large corporate interests not only didn't like the New Deal (that saved millions of lives). They also didn't like FDR as exposed by the famous testimony from General Smedley Bulter in the McCordmack-Dickstein committee.  Butler said that he was approached by Gerald C. MacGuire. He was a Wall Street bond salesman from the American Legion. MacGuire and his financiers wanted Butler to make a speech to the American Legion about wanting a gold standard. MacGuire didn’t want to give World War I veterans to have the bonus that they were promised to by Congress. Butler waited until he found out more people involved in the scheme. Smedley Butler found out that the people behind MacGuire were Grayson M. P. Murphy (who was head of a brokerage fire that hired MacGuire), Robert S. Clark, James H. Perkins (chairman of the Rockefeller’s National City Bank), men from Morgan Bank, and John W. Davis (chair of Davis, Polk, and Wardwell. Davis was the founding president of the Council of Foreign Relations). Butler refused to do what the plotters wanted. Later, MacGuire wanted a fascist movement in America, so Butler exposed this plot (by MacGuire and the Morgan group against the New Deal) to the public. The fascist, anti-progressive movement back then was headed by groups like the American Liberty League, the National Association of Manufactures, the Black Legion, etc. These groups hated unions, racial equality, and human justice.

Subsequently, one problem wasn’t the New Deal's goals (of stopping Wall Street, big business financial corruption. It is no secret that many corporate banking interests hated FDR because of his progressive policies on economic issues). It was that many of these programs were targeted mostly to benefit white people and black people were heavily discriminated against in the implementation of these legitimate programs. That was wrong. The New Deal was a key economic experiment to see how government intervention would help those suffering massive financial ruin. The verdict is that the New Deal helped to end the Great Depression and it literally saved the lives of millions of Americans. Many factors ended the Great Depression like the massive industrial production during World War II and other things, but the New Deal caused unemployment to decline, production to increase, home ownership to rise, and GDP to massively increase to make America the strongest economic nation in the world by 1945. World War II also changed everything economically. Economic sectors grew in America during World War II. There were the rations of resources, so military production would develop. Black people, women, people of color, and others were involved in new economic opportunities in factories, and other occupations throughout the Great Depression and World War Two. Many of these jobs would be either permanent or temporary. It was a new frontier. Franklin Delano Roosevelt would be one of the greatest Presidents in American history having four terms of office (who gave speeches where he indicted financial interests of harming the American people.

FDR's Second Bill of Rights is more progressive than Republican and many moderate Democratic proposals in our time). The New Deal deal with the following investments via the RFC or the Reconstruction Finance Corporation. The Reconstruction Finance Corporation (RFC) was a government corporation in the United States between 1932 and 1957 that provided financial support to state and local governments and made loans to banks, railroads, mortgage associations, and other businesses. Its purpose was to boost the country’s confidence and help banks resume daily functions after the start of the Great Depression. The RFC became more prominent under the New Deal and continued to operate through World War II. It was disbanded in 1957, when the US government concluded that it no longer needed to stimulate lending. It helped to reduce bank failures and invested in the infrastructure of local and state plus federal facilities. It funded relief programs to help the lives of millions of Americans.

Also, we should never omit FDR's great achievements and great mistakes (like the unjust internment of Japanese Americans and not doing enough to rescue Jewish refugees who were escaping Nazi tyranny). Additionally, during that time (during the early to mid 1940's), there were racial riots, heroic strikes for economic justice, and new social changes involving culture plus music. World War II caused the defeat of the Axis Powers and the Axis Powers’ economies were in shatters as a product of their rightful defeat. After World War II, some of the most important economic developments would transpire in world history.

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Black Lives Matter (After Five Years)

Time does go fast. It has been almost five years since the Black Lives Matter has existed (which started during the aftermath of the Trayvon Martin trial). It has flourished in a decentralized fashion. BLM has made it abundantly clear that it seeks grassroots organizing with progressive ideologies. Its intention and its goal are clear. It desires to give all black people, regardless of background, spaces of freedom, healing, justice, and human growth. It views the black community as a community since our African ancestors did promote communal growth spiritually and socially. One book that sums up the Black Lives Matter movement succinctly is a book written by one of its founders. It is entitled, “When they call you a terrorist: A Black Lives Matter memoir” by Patrisse Khan-Cullors and Asha Bandle (with a forward from Angela Davis. Angela Davis is a well known fighter against the prison industrial complex). I read the whole book and it was an eye opening. A lot of the events in the book relates to the lives of many black people, especially black people from poor or working class backgrounds. Reading the stories about Patrisse’s brother, friends, father, cousins, lovers, and mother certainly reminds us that the terrorists aren’t us. We believe in the love of black people strongly. Patrisse Kahn Cullors also expressed stories of the LBGTQ+ community as these human beings shouldn't be murdered or harassed at all. The true terrorists are those who use unjust force, under the guise of wearing a badge, to harass, to beat, and to murder innocent black human beings. The real terrorism is enacted by the prison industrial complex which has excessive bails, massive abuse of prisoners, and unfair sentencing practices.

One of the greatest heroes of black America is Dr. Olivia Hooker. She is 103 years old today. She was one survivor of the racist 1921 Tulsa attack. She and other members of the Tulsa Race Riot Commission have fought for justice as it relates to the events of 1921. By February 20, 2018, the Oklahoma state legislators created an online public school curriculum related to the 1921 racist attacks on black Americans. Before this time, this history hasn’t been taught in Oklahoma’s public school system. Dr. Olivia Hooker is a teacher and a social activist. Back during that time, black people created autonomous communities that prospered in the midst of Jim Crow apartheid (which was a system that was evil and deprived black people of basic human rights). Back then, the law overtly promoted white supremacy and privilege. Even today, America has racism and imperialism. The community of Greenwood in Tulsa by the early 20th century had many businesses and much wealth.

It had the nickname of “Black Wall Street.” Residents had banks, churches, restaurants, homes, theaters, hospitals, hotels, and stores including schools. Many of the black residents were highly educated. Jealous, white racists were jealous of the Greenwood community. Later, mob violence by racists exploded. Many of them used rifle shots from planes and fire bombs were dropped on innocent black men, women, and children. Rioters looted black homes and businesses before burning them down. They or the racists destroyed more than 1,000 homes. More than 10,000 black people were homeless. They murdered about 300 people and injured about 800. Many people died by murder and by being trapped in the fires. The police shot residents. The whole community in 35 blocks was destroyed. Martial law existed. The National Guard didn’t arrest the racists. They rounded up and detained thousands of black Americans for days. Men and boys were placed in internment camps. Even black people with weapons for self-defense had their weapons confiscated and given to whites. Dr. Hooker and her family were attacked. Dr. Hooker was six when the Tulsa attacks came. Racists stole her belongings and grabbed her father and brother. Dr. Hooker and her family moved into Columbus, Ohio (her father and brother survived). By 1937, she earned a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Ohio State University. She was the first African American woman to join the U.S. Coast Guard. She has a master’s degree and doctorate in psychology from the University of Rochester in 1961. It would take until 2001 when the city of Tulsa formally apologized for destroying Greenwood. Reparations have been fought by Dr. Hooker to this very day. To this day, no one has received reparations which is a shame. No victims or their descendants received just compensation. Dr. Hooker is a hero who is an advocate for freedom and a courageous humanitarian.

Also, terrorism is the poverty, via capitalist exploitation, inflicted on black lives throughout the world not just in America (where tons of people struggle to gain enough income or resources to survive). The book exposes the fact that black people must have true freedom from injustices. Three black women organized the Black Lives Matter movement. Their names are Patrisse Kahn-Cullors, Opal Tomeli, and Alicia Garza. All three women want black men including black women to have their lives preserved, black women having their leadership respected, immigrants to have their lives maintained in the midst of mass deportations (organize by vicious ICE tactics), and an end to the epidemic of transgender black human beings being murdered viciously. They are overt on what they stand for. The far right hates the BLM, because of the obvious reasons (i.e. the far right hates human diversity, they believe in the myth of the nearly infallible police institution meriting no criticism, and they desire the intransigent status quo).

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The status quo not only doesn’t work, but it is injurious to the lives of so many people. It represents the shattered lives of so many via poverty, discrimination, abuse, police brutality, prison corruption, racism, sexism, etc. that we are frankly sick and tired of. We desire the system of white supremacy to end. In our anger over the harm done to black lives means precisely that we endorse change. A change encompasses not only progressive thinking. It entails that we treat our neighbor as our neighbor (in rejecting Islamophobia, anti-Semitism, xenophobia, and any evil). Subsequently, real change entails that people are deserving of health care universally, quality education, housing, compassion, dignity, and total human rights. Human rights aren’t just found in documents. They exist truly in the soul and must be defended and protected by the people. Black Lives Matter isn’t about authoritarian respectability politics. It is about seeing black people are glorious, beautiful, and complex human beings who desire pure freedom in developing true happiness in our lives. We will certainly continue to fight for the people of Ferguson and Baltimore. We do this for our own black beings. Black movements for justice will continue and black liberation is our goal.

By Timothy

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