OUR COMMON GROUND with Agyei Tyehimba, Author, “Truth for Our Youth A Self-Empowerment Book for Teens” |

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OUR GUEST: Agyei Tyehimba

Author    Educator   Activist

Empowering Teens

April 26, 2014   LIVE

OUR COMMON GROUND Omnibus‘s insight:

OUR GUEST: Agyei Tyehimba
Joining us is Agyei Tyehimba in a discussion of his work, philosophies and newest book, " "Truth for Our Youth: A Self-Empowerment Book for Teens"

Author Activist Educator

Agyei Tyehimba was born and raised in the famed ‘Sugar Hill’ section of Harlem. His parents – George and Adrienne Stith – gave him the best of both worlds. His mother emphasized the importance of character development, education and charity, while his father developed street sense and a love for Black history and culture. As a child, Agyei, then known by his born name Quentin, excelled in football, student government, and poetry.

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Segregation Now … – The Atlantic

Segregation Now …

Sixty years after Brown v. Board of Education, the schools in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, show how separate and unequal education is coming back.


APRIL 16, 2014

Nikole Hannah-Jones/ProPublica

Photographs by Maisie Crow

 

Enough James Dent could watch Central High School’s homecoming parade from the porch of his faded-white bungalow, it had been years since he’d bothered. But last fall, Dent’s oldest granddaughter, D’Leisha, was vying for homecoming queen, and he knew she’d be poking up through the sunroof of her mother’s car, hand cupped in a beauty-pageant wave, looking for him.

So, at about 4:30 in the afternoon on October 18, Dent, age 64, made his way off the porch and to the curb along Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard in the West End of Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Soon he could hear the first rumblings of the band.

There was a time, little more than a decade ago, when the Central High School homecoming parade brought out the city. The parade started in the former state capital’s lively downtown and seemed to go on for miles. The horns of one of the state’s largest marching bands, some 150 members strong, would bounce off the antebellum mansions along the streets. Revelers—young and old, black and white, old money and no money—crowded the sidewalks to watch the elaborate floats and cheer a football team feared across the region.

Central was not just a renowned local high school. It was one of the South’s signature integration success stories. In 1979, a federal judge had ordered the merger of the city’s two largely segregated high schools into one. The move was clumsy and unpopular, but its consequences were profound. Within a few years, Central emerged as a powerhouse that snatched up National Merit Scholarships and math-competition victories just as readily as it won trophies in football, track, golf. James Dent’s daughter Melissa graduated from Central in 1988, during its heyday, and went on to become the first in her family to graduate from college.

But on that sunlit day last October, as Dent searched for Melissa’s daughter in the procession coming into view, he saw little to remind him of that era. More caravan than parade, Central’s homecoming pageant consisted of a wobbly group of about 30 band members, some marching children from the nearby elementary schools, and a dozen or so cars with handwritten signs attached to their sides. The route began in the predominantly black West End and ended a few blocks later, just short of the railroad tracks that divide that community from the rest of the city.

The reason for the decline of Central’s homecoming parade is no secret. In 2000, another federal judge released Tuscaloosa City Schools from the court-ordered desegregation mandate that had governed it for a single generation. Central had successfully achieved integration, the district had argued—it could be trusted to manage that success going forward.

Freed from court oversight, Tuscaloosa’s schools have seemed to move backwards in time. The citywide integrated high school is gone, replaced by three smaller schools. Central retains the name of the old powerhouse, but nothing more. A struggling school serving the city’s poorest part of town, it is 99 percent black. D’Leisha, an honors student since middle school, has only marginal college prospects. Predominantly white neighborhoods adjacent to Central have been gerrymandered into the attendance zones of other, whiter schools.

New Prinicipal

via Segregation Now … – The Atlantic.

“Segregation Now” … The Atlantic

See on Scoop.itOUR COMMON GROUND News Board •● ☥●• The Third Eye Parenthesis

Nikole Hannah-Jones/ProPublica

Photographs by Maisie Crow

 

Sixty years after Brown v. Board of Education, the schools in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, show how separate and unequal education is coming back.

OUR COMMON GROUND Omnibus‘s insight:

In some ways, the Court’s hesitancy to mandate immediate desegregation is understandable. The racial caste system the Court suddenly deemed illegal not only predated the nation itself but had been sanctioned by that very judicial body for six decades.

See on www.theatlantic.com

Sonia Sotomayor Delivers Blistering Dissent Against Affirmative Action Ban

See on Scoop.itOUR COMMON GROUND with Janice Graham ☥ Coming Up

The Supreme Court upheld Michigan’s ban on affirmative action Tuesday, but not without a blistering dissent from Justice Sonia Sotomayor.

Sotomayor said the decision infringed upon groups’ rights by allowing Michigan voters to change “the bas…

OUR COMMON GROUND Omnibus‘s insight:

"But one thing has not changed: to doubt the worth of minority students’ achievement when they succeed is really only to present another face of the prejudice that would deny them a chance even to try," she wrote."

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8 Maps That Will Change the Way You Look at Africa

See on Scoop.itOUR COMMON GROUND with Janice Graham ☥ Coming Up

This incredible collection of maps really puts the African continent’s population, income, growth, and potential into context….

OUR COMMON GROUND Omnibus‘s insight:

"This National Geographic map illustrates where and how the world lives. Not surprisingly, the areas with the highest income levels have greater life expectancy (77 for males, 83 for females compared to 58 and 60 in low income levels), access to improved sanitation (99 percent compared to 35 percent), among other human security factors. The need for development is critical in sub-Saharan Africa, where nearly 1 billion people live, many on $995 or less a year."

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When Black News Disappears: White Holds on Black Intellectuals’ Minds and Misinforming the Black Public

When Black News Disappears: White Holds on Black Intellectuals’ Minds and Misinforming the Black Public

Friday, 24 May 2013 09:49By Dr Tommy J CurryRacism Review | Op-Ed

As an historical entity, the Black press has not only offered critical commentaries and political critiques of the sempiternal racism of the modern world, but  correctives as to how white newspapers, opinion-makers, legislators, and most importantly the white public sought to justify their complacency towards and support for anti-Black racism and the sexual brutalization of Black men, women, and children. Today, however, the post-Obama lullabies of racial détente and the progressive liberal passivity of Black intellectuals have allowed the structural and ideological manifestations of white supremacy to remain unquestioned despite their persistence alongside the growing realities of Black death. For example, when Trayvon Martin was killed, Melissa Harris Perry thought it prudent to use the tragedy as a moment to teach white folks “how to talk about Black death”—she literally created a checklist for whites rather than deal with the horrors facing young Black men and boys in their communities.

Currently, the post-racial idea has contoured Black news into a narrow politically progressive ideology. This ideology is thematically geared towards convincing the Black public that the symbols of racial progress are in fact actual progress. This contest over “symbols,” rather than exposing the propaganda of the liberal endeavor, allows Black academics to retreat into their own ideologically predetermined blog’s rendering of “Black” events, so that their views, be it feminist, leftist, or progressive, are legitimized. Meanwhile, the Black public remains victimized by the political interests of multiple entities; each with their agenda rooted in de-radicalizing Black consensus and normalizing Black deaths, specifically the death of Black men, as having nothing to do with racism, merely accidental rather than systemic. As I have argued previously, Black academics and news personalities are rewarded for pimping out “the delusion of hope” to Black people while racism increases alongside the normalization of their death, incarceration, and poverty.

Has the Black Press Lost Its Way?

Since slavery, Black abolitionists, ministers, and revolutionaries understood the need for “Black perspectives,” on the racist evil that plagues America. The Christian theology that justified the horrors of slavery was indicted, and the white Christian, the earliest imperialist, was not held to be the savior of civilization but its greatest detractor whose abuse and degradation of Blacks was rooted in their imperial lust for power and profit. As David Walker says in Article I of The Appeal:

“I have been for years troubling the pages of historians, to find out what our fathers have done to the white Christians of America, to merit such condign punishment as they have inflicted on them, and do continue to inflict on us their children. But I must aver, that my researches have hitherto been to no effect. I have therefore, come to the immoveable conclusion, that they (Americans) have, and do continue to punish us for nothing else, but for enriching them and their country. For I cannot conceive of anything else”

With the rise of Freedom’s Journal, the Black press took on the radical mission of liberation that up to that point was confined to pamphlets, and the now revered slave narrative. The Black press, its editors and writers, were among the most notable Black thinkers of the 1800’s and beyond. T.Thomas Fortune’s (1856-1928) The New York Age was the training ground for no less an intellectual than W.E.B. DuBois. It was a publication where Fortune’s radicalism which advocated for Black self-determination and security, even by armed resistance if necessary, was center stage. It not only gained him notoriety among Black journalists but earned him the admiration of the young Ida B. Wells-Barnett (1862-1931) who would continue to develop his political philosophy of agitation and help build the first civil rights organization for Black rights; the Afro-American League. This radicality was present in most of the Black journalists at the turn of the century. Henry McNeal Turner and John Edward Bruce exemplified a political tone that was only matched by the radicality of the 1960’s and 1970’s in the founding and growth of the Black Panther Party and the journalistic accounts of the Black Power Movement. As my student, Ms. Judith Bohr, points out in her master’s thesis “A People’s History of Philosophy: The Development and Ideological Segregation of Black Nationalism,” the violence against Blacks in society, be it at the hands of police state militarism or the prison industrial complex, necessitates a compliant and complacent account of reality. As she states,

“The media assists in this erasure of police violence through their portrayals of African Americans as a danger to society…Whites’ fear, however, is for their privilege and not for their safety…Propaganda in the media functions through erasure and through distortions of the state’s as well as the public’s motivations for racial violence” (Bohr 2011, 30).

Thus, the de-radicalization of Black news and the complacency of the Black journalistic endeavor—its commodification into  predetermined categories, that ironically have academic currency despite being driven by political interests—does little to inform, much less improve, the conditions of Black people. The silence of mainstream Black news on the systemic political and economic divisions, divisions made necessary by the militaristic racist endeavors of the U.S. government, even under a Black Obama administration, is imperative in preventing the Black public from engaging the concrete American condition confronting Blacks, immigrants, and the poor.

Most recently, SiriusXM decided to change Sirius 128—The Power to urban driven entertainment programming under the new title of the Urban View. In doing so SiriusXM eliminated ReddingNewsReview, an independent Black political commentary dedicated to exposing the contradiction between Black political representation in the Obama era and Black political exploitation under Obama’s administration. The change in the lineup effectively changed the Power 128 from the “News and Issues” category to the Urban View 110 a “African American Talk and Entertainment” channel. Reacting to this change, Wade Simmon wrote a splendid editorial asking, “Is SiriusXM Trying to Undermine Black Power?” The effect of this censorship could be isolated, but it again begs the question as to why independent Black radio and press that dares to question the status quo of America’s race problem is so easily engulfed by liberal reformist agendas that take Obama’s symbolism to be of more importance than the actual economic and political viability of mass Black agendas.

Despite the criticisms one may make of Redding, the reality is that Black Americans lack a non-partisan interpretation of the Black condition that does not retreat into the ideologies of the blogosphere, where select academics, married to predetermined paradigms of reading Blackness, meet and greet. The Black public is usually deemed irrelevant in these deliberations from the outset. They are to be “spoken about” authoritatively, but rarely “spoken from,” since these Black people are outside the academy, and lack the supposed knowledge/education to “understand” the complexities of Black life. Independent Black radio, reaching back to the Ralph “Petey” Greene and radicals like Robert F. Williams, sought transgressive messages against empire and racism. Whereas today, many Black elites, the Melissa Harris Perrys of the world, confine discussions of racism to their specific opportunities to gain social capital and recognition from whites; choosing to ignore both the material consequences of the liberal agenda for Black people at home and its militaristic program against darker peoples abroad. ReddingNewsReview, like that ofVoxunion, sought to disrupt that narrative.

The same way Ida B. Wells-Barnett decided to report the horrors of Black reality, anti-Black violence through lynching, and the weakness of Black leadership in the 1890’s, so too did Redding in the 21st century. At the very bottom of Black politics, there is a need to recognize that the manipulation of Black media—the Black press and radio—to further the political agendas and social legitimacy of specific parties, namely the democratic party’s claim that they represent the Black/Browning of America, does nothing to arrest the imperial agendas this presidency like all presidencies before it continue to engage in the world over. As Dr. Jared Ball argues in his talk on “Colonialism and Media Psychological Warfare,” media, or rather propaganda, is at the heart of America’s white supremacist empire.

Conclusion:

Race-crits, critical sociologists, and Black, Brown, and Indigenous scholars cannot continue to embrace the symbolism of progress without making those symbols resonate with the actual economic, political, and extra-legal conditions of Black existence. There is a very real contradiction between the symbolism of Obama’s reign and the worsening plight of Blacks under Obama’s reign. Rather than being at odds with the type of progressivism that perpetuates the poverty, the apparati of state sponsored violence, and social repression, the Black press has taken to excusing it—pointing out the extraordinary cases of violence that shock us most, but leaving the racist narrative written into the foundation of America’s democracy, militarism, imperialism, and capitalist lust untouched.

ABOUT Dr. Tommy J. Curry

Professor of Philosophy, Texas A&M University

Tommy J. Curry’s work spans across the various fields of philosophy, jurisprudence, Africana Studies, and Gender Studies. Though trained in American and Continental philosophical traditions, Curry’s primary research interests are in Critical Race Theory and Africana Philosophy. In Critical Race Theory, Curry looks at the work of Derrick Bell and his theory of racial realism as an antidote to the proliferating discourses of racial idealism that continue to uncritically embrace liberalism through the appropriation of European thinkers as the basis of racial reconciliation in the United States. In Africana philosophy, Curry’s work turns an eye towards the conceptual genealogy (intellectual history) of African American thought from 1800 to the present, with particular attention towards the scholars of the American Negro Academy and the Negro Society for Historical Research.

In Biomedical ethics, Curry is primarily interested government regulation, the ethical limits of government intervention in the practice of medicine, and democratic potentialities that arise from collaborative doctor-patient diagnoses and regenerative medicine like stem cells. Currently his research focuses on the linking the conceptualization of ethics found in the Belmont Report to Civil Rights and social justice paradigms.

Subscribe to The Nationalist and read more of Dr. Tommy J. Curry

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curryvoices

Pessimistic Themes in West’s Necrophobic Aesthetic by Dr. Tommy J. Curry

curryvoicesPessimistic Themes in West’s Necrophobic Aesthetic

: Moving Beyond Subjects ofPerfection to Understand the New Slave as a Paradigm of Anti-Black Violence.(Forthcoming The Pluralist)

by  Dr. Tommy J. Curry

This intersectional allusion to the bourgeois Black woman, her indemnification against all critique, has long been the unquestionable norm operating within the political assertions of Black feminism and the allegedly conceptual pluralization had in claiming intersectionality as a method. Carole Boyce Davies describes this tendency as condification; “a project perhaps, a behavioral process which marks the rise of a certain neo-colonial elite in the U.S. imperial context, operating for the benefit of the dominant state and its rulers” (14). Davies argues that “Condification marks the limit …but can also be seen as the ultimate manifestation of a domestic black and/or feminist bourgeois discourse” (14), and presents a concrete crisis for Black feminist calls for social, economic, and political equality, since there is no accountability to the buttressing up of empire and inequality in their march towards capitalist freedom. Davies is not alone in this analysis of Black feminism; Elaine Brown has gone as far as to say: “feminism,” assuming this word, which I don’t assume (let’s just call it that for now, women’s liberation, the liberation of all human beings), is part of my agenda. If you take their analysis, as strict analysis, you can end up having a woman like Condoleezza Rice. So they are incorrect in their ideological commitment. Condoleezza Rice would be the ultimate Black feminist icon. So they’re wrong” (3). Power within the system is justified as gender progress, and rationalized as the necessary trajectory of political progress. There are no criteria for liberation, only the accumulation of representatives that are Black and female who command the recognition of systems previously blind to their existence. The now common practice of lifting the immaterial subject, the ideal abstraction of the (Black) feminist self, represented by the mere utterance of race, class, and gender, destroys our ability to truly understand the suffering of Black people. The Black man, the Black woman, and the Black child who survive in the bare conditions of wretchedness nurtured by anti-Blackness—the poverty, death, and violence of racial oppression—are never seen. They are spoken about as factors, but never considered to be the primary subjects motivating study. Intersectionality, its synonymy with the ideal bourgeois Black woman, is an errant axiom that denies Black study for the elevation of one (powerful, Black, female) identity taken to be the finality of all Black morality.”

Introduction

The release of Kanye West‘s Yeezus  was indelibly marked by the provocation of his song entitled the ―  New Slave ,‖ which introduced a  pessimistic terminology deployed against the paradoxical condition that Black freedom from enslavement only recaptured Black people psychically in the neo-liberal entanglements of poverty, servitude, and corporatism. His analysis,not unlike currently en vogue theories of Afro-pessimism, or Critical Race Theory‘s  (racial)realist lens maintains that despite all the rhetoric and symbols of progress to the contrary, Black people are simply not free in America. West‘s  performance of ―New Slave,‖on Saturday NightLive was only amplified by the  Not For Sale  insignia projected behind him.
 As a symbol ofindependence, disengagement; a resistance against commodification, West announced hisconfrontational posture towards the industry; a posture which ignited the Hip-Hop communityand academia alike over this artistic radicalism. However, such a provocation, despite itsrhetorical flare and allure, was immediately cast as disingenuous and inauthentic. Kanye West isa Black man torn at moments by his brilliance and at times by his banality. His work is not beinganalyzed in Hip-Hop Studies and philosophical aesthetics because it is not worthwhile;
 — his analysis of anti-Black death, corporatism, and neo-liberal aspiration is enough to warrant morethan one serious study of his art. West is not studied because he lacks sufficient correctness orexhibits minimalist thoughts about the world around him, rather West is not studied because his body, his Black male body, lacks the symbolic currency to motivate reverence for his thinking.The New Slave implicates all arenas of knowledge and political production hailing from theacademy, and while his life and public proclamations are at tension with some of his work, itnonetheless necessities serious study, rather than sophistry and condemnation. This article is anattempt to draw out some of the themes concerning anti-
Black racism in West‘s ―New Slave and the double meaning this work has given that it was co-
authored with Che ―Rhymefest Smith.
It is my view that West‘s work establishes the continuity of enslavement beyond the artificial political and social changes that are attributed to racial progress and social equality.

READ AND DOWNLOAD THE FULL AND  FINAL PAPER 

 

ABOUT Dr. Tommy J. Curry

Professor of Philosophy, Texas A&M University

Tommy J. Curry’s work spans across the various fields of philosophy, jurisprudence, Africana Studies, and Gender Studies. Though trained in American and Continental philosophical traditions, Curry’s primary research interests are in Critical Race Theory and Africana Philosophy. In Critical Race Theory, Curry looks at the work of Derrick Bell and his theory of racial realism as an antidote to the proliferating discourses of racial idealism that continue to uncritically embrace liberalism through the appropriation of European thinkers as the basis of racial reconciliation in the United States. In Africana philosophy, Curry’s work turns an eye towards the conceptual genealogy (intellectual history) of African American thought from 1800 to the present, with particular attention towards the scholars of the American Negro Academy and the Negro Society for Historical Research.

In Biomedical ethics, Curry is primarily interested government regulation, the ethical limits of government intervention in the practice of medicine, and democratic potentialities that arise from collaborative doctor-patient diagnoses and regenerative medicine like stem cells. Currently his research focuses on the linking the conceptualization of ethics found in the Belmont Report to Civil Rights and social justice paradigms.

Subscribe to The Nationalist and read more of Dr. Tommy J. Curry

Follow him on Twitter