This Week Quick Look

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This Week on OUR COMMON GROUND

July 30, 2016

07-31-16 2interlocs

July 23, 2016

07-23-16 OMSN

July 16, 2016

07-16-16 Funky Academic

July 10. 2016

07-10-16 Special

July 9, 2016

07-09-16 MHarris

July 2, 2016

07-02-16 Douglass

June  25, 2016

06-25-16 India

June 18, 2016

06-04-16 WILMINGton2

June 11, 2016

06-11-16  UnDoing

June 4, 2016

06-04-15 ALFO

May 28, 2016

05-21-16 TCurry2

May 21, 2016

05-21-16 Akuno

May 14,  2016

05-14-16 Torin Ellis

April 30,2016

04-30-16  Open Mic

04-23-16 Hotsauce Hillary2April 16, 2016

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April 9, 2016

04-09-16 Fogg

April 2, 2016

04-02-16 Open Mic

March 26, 2016

03-26-16 NTURNER

March 19, 2016

03-19-15 Making it clear

March 12, 2016

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February 27, 2016

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February 20, 2016

02-20-16 Spence

February 13, 2016

02-13-16 Scalia

Due to the Death of Assoc. Justice Antonin Scalia we are reformatting our programming for this episode.  To Be Aired soon.

02-13-16 bey

January 30, 2016

01-23-16 politics

January 23, 2016

01-23(2)-16 Flint

January 2, 2016

01--2-15 ACCOUNTABILITY

December 26, 2015

Kwanzaa 2015 teach in

December 19, 2015

12-19-15 Debt Freeman

December 12, 2015

12-12-15 Roberts

November 7, 2015

11-07-15  Ross

October 31, 2015

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October 24, 2015

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October 17, 2015

10-17-15 Carnell2

October 10, 2015

10-10 Curry

October 03,2015

10-03 Open Mic

September  26, 2015

09-26-15 Wintess Sales

Dr. Ruby N. Sales, Co-Moderating
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Call In – Listen Line: 347-838-9852

RESISTANCE and REBELLION Series

We continue our series of discussions of REBELLION AND RESISTANCE required to fight American racism and white supremacy.

Tonight on OUR COMMON GROUND, we discuss white supremacy as a system of power which is a fundamental undergird and foundation of economic, political and cultural imperialism. Part of our discussion will focus on examining the parallels of the struggle to dismantle that system with the struggles of other victims of white supremacy across the globe. Joining us will be representatives of a visiting Palestinian activist group here in the US to make its case before the UN Commission on Human Rights. We are grateful to have Dr. Ruby Sales, a featured commentator on OCG to join us and to lead this discussion, taking your calls and comments.

THE GLOBAL NATURE of WHITE SUPREMACY

White supremacy is a historically based, institutionally perpetuated system of exploitation and oppression of continents, nations and peoples of color by white peoples and nations of the European continent; for the purpose of maintaining and defending a system of wealth, power and privilege.

White supremacy operates through racial oppression against people of color: slavery, genocide, anti-immigration, driving while Black, etc. White supremacy maintains real power for the ruling class who control the major institutions of society.
Racism is white supremacy; white supremacy is racism. There is no other form of “functional” racism in the known universe. Therefore it is illogical purporting victims of white supremacy (racism) worldwide are capable of practicing white supremacy simultaneously. It doesn’t compute.

Racism | White Supremacy – One or more white persons using deceit, direct violence, and/or the threat of violence to promote falsehood, non-justice, and/or incorrectness against non-white people on the basis of “color” in order to “satisfy” white people, in one or more areas of activity including economics, education, entertainment, labor, law, politics, religion, sex and/or war.
“Everything that a Racist (White Supremacist) says, and everything that he or she does is intended to help establish, maintain, expand, and/or refine the practice of Racism (White Supremacy).”

– Neely Fuller Jr. The United Independent Compensatory Code/System/Concept a textbook/workbook for thought, speech and/or action for victims of racism (white supremacy)

“The local and global power system structured and maintained by persons who classify themselves as white, whether consciously or subconsciously determined; this system consists of patterns of perception, logic, symbol formation, thought, speech, action and emotional response, as conducted simultaneously in all areas of people activity (economics, education, entertainment, labor, law, politics, religion, sex and war). The ultimate purpose of the system is to prevent white genetic annihilation on Earth – a planet in which the overwhelming majority of people are classified as non-white (black, brown, red and yellow) by white-skinned people. All of the non-white people are genetically dominant (in terms of skin coloration) compared to the genetically recessive white-skinned people.”

– Dr. Frances Cress Welsing The Isis Papers

“To think of White supremacy in terms of American dynamics alone eschews the fact that much of the racism, the legacy of slavery in sheer size actually occurred outside of the United States (i.e. Brazil). Much of the colonialism globally impacts America (in terms of capitalism and trade) yet didn’t occur here. The idea that White supremacy evaporates when White people are not present or when some Whites are oppressed for other facets of identity beyond their race is simply untrue.”

“Racism Isn’t Only American. White Supremacy Isn’t Only Western.” Gradient Lair, http://www.gradientlair.com/post/63803685383/racism-and-white-supremacy-are-global

September 19, 2015

09-19-15 BLM FB

The cry of #Black Lives Matter rings throughout the nation. It stands in the wake of a new movement and awakens our national consciousness to the persistent system of white supremacy and structural racism that penetrates each of our institutions. By placing violence against black bodies at the center of the movement, BLM has demanded dignity and respect for those who are often disregarded as disposal.

The Black Lives Matter movement was born out of the pain and injustice of Trayvon Martin’s death in 2012 and gathered momentum in the wake of the killings of Michael Brown, Eric Garner, Freddie Gray, Walter Scott, Tamir Rice and far too many others. The significance of this emergence was not so much the movement as it was the cry of our people declaring that “Black Lives Matter”. A cry for a need for a new liberation uprising for Black people in America. #BlackLivesMatter as a slogan met the need of Black people to declare its pain, loudly and precisely. Moving that slogan as the undergird of a movement is the hard part. Figuring how we ignite political and social transformation — not just marches, Twitter feeds and shouting matches on- and offline is the real challenge.

More teaching, training and strategic action is needed. More poor people, experienced organizers and on-the ground development is required to create a movement. Too often, meetings and community conversations are held in order to delay progress and to give the illusion of progress, all while the community remains broken. The Black Lives Matter Movement has the potential to turn this very moment into a movement, but must expand in depth and breadth to accomplish the task of justice and reconciliation. #BlackLivesMatter has to be the talk on the “block” across America.

There is no doubt that the “#BlackLivesMatter” movement is a critical opportunity to engage community interest groups in conversations about race and privilege. The movement issued a call to action for people everywhere to recognize the reality of institutionalized racism. But to whom is it engaged?

We must get as excited about policy shaping as we do about protesting. Systemic terrorism needs also requires Black redemption; and that work is little, slow and fueled political bickering on the left, long meetings and little relationship building. Who is teaching the history that brings us to the street proclaiming #BlackLivesMatter ? A slogan is cry for a need for a new liberation for Black people in America, but within the village, is there a depth of understanding beyond the pain – understanding of the Empire which presses us? “#BlackLivesMatter” as a slogan meets only a small need. Moving that slogan as the undergird of a movement igniting political and social transformation — not just marches, Twitter feeds and shouting matches on- and offline.

But here is the rub. No movement can be sustained or make significant change if it falls to co-opting by the same systems which rule the Empire that designs, control and maintains the structures of institutionalized racism and system of white supremacy. It cannot be vulnerable to take-down and huge vacuums of community disengagement. If #BlackLivesMatters is to be a true moment, the whole community is required to build the walls and fortify a strategy that moves forward on objectives targeting goals for all Black people.

The whole village must understand where and when they enter. If not, it is merely another group attempting to advance a narrow agenda, important, but narrow just the same. How do we infuse the slogan with a movement?

September 12, 2015

09-12-15 War on DrugsFB

40 Years, $1 Trillion, 45 Million Arrests – the war still rages against our community. IT WAS NEVER ABOUT DRUGS

Saturday, September 12, 2015 10 pm EDT

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Call In – Listen Line: 347-838-9852

We will review and examine the truth about the policies and intent of the “War on Drugs”. We need to talk about the money making behind the politics; how the drug war can be considered slow Nazi policy on the poor and the racial profiling used. We look at these destructive and failed policy and manipulation in its historical context and destructive outcomes. We will present audio clips for our discussion which will assist us in understanding just how much the “War on Drugs” was really never about drugs.

For sheer government absurdity, the War on Drugs is hard to beat. After three decades of increasingly punitive policies, illicit drugs are more easily available, drug potencies are greater, drug killings are more common, and drug barons are richer than ever. The War on Drugs costs Washington more than the Commerce, Interior, and State departments combined – and it’s the one budget item whose growth is never questioned. A strangled court system, exploding prisons, and wasted lives push the cost beyond measure. What began as a flourish of campaign rhetoric in 1968 has grown into a monster. And while nobody claims that the War on Drugs is a success, nobody suggests an alternative. Because to do so, as Surgeon General Joycelyn Elders learned, is political suicide. As a community we need to understand how Drug War fever has been escalated; who has benefited along the way; and how the mounting price in dollars, lives, and liberties has been willfully ignored. Where are the policy maker offices where each new stage was planned and executed? What happened in the streets where policies have produced bloody warfare. This is a tale of the nation run amok – in a way the American people are not yet ready to confront. Are you?

September 5, 2015

09-05-15 Sales

We are pleased to have Ruby Sales join us tonight as we discuss with you about our response to a rising and troubling challenge to the agency of Black people as citizens in this country. As we come closer to the term end of the first African-American elected to the Presidency, violence and terrorism of all kinds have been unleashed upon us threatening to silence our mobilization and voice to protect ourselves, to resist and to rebel. A slogan alone will not be enough. How do we keep the flames of liberation burning to move forward in this continuing struggle ?

Our discussions must explore and examine how to elevate our voices in the fight against police brutality, housing discrimination, immigrant rights, and the dismantlement of public education to mention a few issues. At OUR COMMON GROUND provide “a place for our unfiltered voices”. With the brightest, most loyal and insightful Black activists, community organizers and servants, scholars, researchers, journalists and social scientists we raise, clarify and illuminate the racist dimension of these issues, show how their roots lie in the system of capitalism and its new stage of crisis.

ABOUT RUBY N. SALES
Guest Host

Ruby Nell Sales is a highly-trained, experienced, and deeply-committed social activist, scholar, administrator, manager, public theologian, and educator in the areas of Civil, Gender, and other Human Rights. She is an excellent public speaker, with a proven track record in conflict resolution and consensus building. Ms. Sales has preached around the country on race, class, gender, and reconciliation, and she has done ground-breaking work on community and nonviolence formation. Ms. Sales also serves as a national convener of the Every Church A Peace Church Movement.
Along with other SNCC workers, Sales joined young people from Fort Deposit, Alabama who organized a demonstration to protest the actions of the local White grocery-store owners who cheated their parents. The group was arrested and held in jail and then suddenly released. Jonathan Daniels, a White seminarian and freedom worker from Episcopal Divinity School in Cambridge, Massachusetts was assassinated as he pulled Sales out of the line of fire when they attempted to enter Cash Grocery Store to buy sodas for other freedom workers who were released from jail. Tom Coleman also shot and deeply wounded Father Richard Morrisroe, a priest from Chicago. Despite threats of violence, Sales was determined to attend the trial of Daniels’ murderer, Tom Coleman, and to testify on behalf of her slain colleague.

As a social activist, Sales has served on many committees to further the work of reconciliation, education, and awareness. She has served on the Steering Committee for International Women’s Day, Washington, D.C.; the James Porter Colloquium Committee, Howard University, Washington, D.C.; the Coordinating Committee, People’s Coalition, Washington, D.C.; the President’s Committee On Race, University of Maryland; and the Coalition on Violence Against Women, Amnesty International, Washington, D.C. She was a founding member of Sage Magazine: A Scholarly Journal on Black Women.  Learn More

May 2, 2015

“Uprising: Resistance and Rebellion”

05-02-15 Resistance and Rebellion

Tonight we look back at this week’s uprising in Baltimore MD and explore where we go from here. How do we prepare a generation of people for a new, more militarized war on Black people? How do we get our people to see, “we are the Gaza?” Looking at the Freddie Gray murder charges and the overall fracture and failure of the Amerikkan judicial and government systems.

ABOUT OUR GUESTS

Ajamu Baraka,Human Rights Leader and Contributor, Black Agenda Report

Ajamu Baraka is a human rights defender whose experience spans three decades of domestic and international education and activism, Ajamu Baraka is a veteran grassroots organizer whose roots are in the Black Liberation Movement and anti-apartheid and Central American solidarity struggles.

He writes for the Black Agenda Report and is Editor of “A Voice from the Margins” http://www.ajamubaraka.com/

Efia Nwanga, Human Rights Attorney and Liberation Broadcaster, WMXP Greenville South Carolina

Sister Nwangaza, current director of the Malcolm X Center for Self Determination, is a former Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) organizer. The Malcolm X Center for Self Determination (http://wmxp955.webs.com/aboutus.htm ), is a volunteer grassroots, community based, volunteer staffed, owned and operated human rights action center, since 1991.Nwangaza is an affiliate member of the Pacifica Radio Board of Directors as a representative of WMXP.

April 25, 2015

In Conversation with Barbara R. Arnwine
President and Executive Director
Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law

04-25-15 Arnwine 3

Barbara R. Arnwine has served as the president and executive director of the national Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law since 1989. She is renowned for her instrumental contributions to passage of the landmark Civil Rights Act of 1991 and the 2006 re-authorization of provisions of the Voting Rights Act. And, she continues to be a leading voice on civil and racial justice issues worldwide, in the areas of voting rights, housing and lending, criminal justice reform, employment, education, environmental justice and much more.  She took to the airwaves with a weekly news talk radio show on Radio One’s WOL 1450 AM, which airs in the Washington, D.C. area, beginning March 3. “Igniting Change with Barbara Arnwine” is meant to serve as a catalyst for change. The show will feature“provocative and empowering” information and discussion to inspire people to act to bring about racial and social justice, and equality.

#‎BlacklivesMatter‬ reverberates in the increasingly exposed police terrorism against people. It also resounds in the notion of Black citizenship. Tonight we discuss with Barbara Arnwine the legal challenges and abrogation of the legal and civil rights of Black citizens in this country. Voter suppression, voter rights, States’ rights, housing discrimination, gentrification in traditional Black communities and political representation at the State and national governments. Is it possible to find ways of transforming a corrupt judiciary and protections by the government agencies responsible for the oversight of justice ? Are there new legal strategies ? New paths of resistance? We also talk to her about the future of the Lawyers’ Committee and her own future as she prepares to exit the leadership of the organization after decades. We hope that you will join us in this discussion.

April 18, 2015

OPEN MIC SATURDAY NIGHT

04-18-15 Open Mic2

April 11, 2015

“The Urgency of Thinking Black”
A Conversation with Dr. Tommy J. Curry

04-11-15 Curry
ABOUT DR. CURRY
Dr. Tommy J. Curry is a professor of Philosophy and critical race theorist who engages in the study of Black people at Texas A&M University. His teaching, research and writing spans various fields of philosophy, jurisprudence, Africana Studies, and Gender Studies.

“The Negro, in the universities and colleges of Europe and America, has to do his thinking and his reading in…the white man’s language…Our environment makes us think white, and some of us think white so persistently that we haven’t the time to think Black. I urge upon you…to help, with voice and pen, to hasten the coming of the morning when Negroes all over this broad land will wake up to the importance of thinking Black.
John Edward Bruce—“The Importance of Thinking Black”—1917

“All across the country, impunity for the perpetrators of summary execution of Black men, women and children is an ‘everyday practice.’”

• WE SUFFER POLICE MURDER, POLITICAL STRANGULATION AND THE REIGN OF WHITE CONTROL
• WE LIVE IN A POLICE STATE.
• THE CONFEDERACY IS RISING ACROSS THE LAND.
• THE WAR WAGING AGAINST POOR PEOPLE.
• WE HAVE BEFALLEN A NEW HARSH RACISM, ECONOMIC EXPLOITATION AND THE ETHICAL SIGNIFICANCE OF NEGLECT, PAIN AND SUFFERING
• WE SUFFER THE DE-RADICALIZATION OF RACISM
• WE LACK A NON-PARTISAN INTERPRETATION OF THE BLACK CONDITION.
• THE ISSUE OF REPARATIONS HAS FALLEN IN A DEEP, BLACK TUNNEL

As early as 1976, Derrick Bell had already formulated the basis of his now famous racial realist thesis—the idea that Black people “will never gain full equality in this country. Even those Herculean efforts we hail as successful will produce no more than ‘temporary peaks of progress,’ short lived victories that slide into irrelevance as racial patterns adapt in ways that maintain white dominance”—in the realization that “white self-interest will prevail over Black rights.”

Race-critics, critical sociologists and Black scholars cannot continue to think through the lenses of symbols of progress but measure and focus our energies on the actual economic, political, and extra-legal conditions of Black existence. In one of his visits on OUR COMMON GROUND, Dr. Curry said, “There is a very real contradiction between the symbolism of Obama’s reign and the worsening plight of Blacks under Obama’s reign.”

Robert F. Williams, author of Negroes with Guns, argued in that work that: “The stranglehold of oppression cannot be loosened by a plea to the oppressor’s conscience… We have come to comprehend the nature of racism. It is a mass psychosis…the logical inventions of a thoroughly diseased mind. The racist is a man crazed by hysteria at the idea of coming into equal human contact with Negroes. And this mass mental illness called racism is very much a part of the “American way of life (p.110-111).”

OUR reconstruction and redemption as a people will only come when we start THINKING BLACK.

March 28, 2015

03-28-15 Maness

” The Matter of White ManNess: The Bad Apple Argument NOT”

OPEN MIC

When people hear stories of police misconduct, brutality and murder under law or videos of college students singing songs of lynching Black people or elected officials creating legislation designed to oppress and discriminate many are quick to defend the system as a whole and say that these are just examples of “a few bad apples”. We submit that such arguments are ‘bullshyt’. These problems are definitely systematic and “the bad apple arguments” do not pass the test of logic.
Does not a rotten apple pollute all the apples in the crate ? Or, is their bacteria in the crate which infects all the apples ? This racist behavior living in a “specialized white male culture’ living off of white privilege and supremacy is impossible. It pollutes and empowers whatever real or assumed power they are granted. Our children die and live by this system. Our tax dollars support it.

March 21, 2015

03-21-15 wilmer2

Tribute to Dr. Yosef Ben-Jochannan
In Conversation with Dr. Wilmer Leon
HOST, “Inside the Issues with Dr. Wilmer Leon
Sirius/XM Radio

ABOUT Dr. Yosef Ben-Jochannan

He was one of the most courageous and inspiring scholars of our time would live for nearly a century, paying personal witness to dramatic transformations in the lives of Black people across the globe. Now a Beloved Ancestor. See more below.

We will discuss with Dr. Leon about today’s urgent and pressing issues and events before African-Americans.

ABOUT Dr. WilmerLeon Dr. Leon’s Prescription

Wilmer Leon is the Nationally Broadcast Talk Show Host of “Inside The Issues with Wilmer Leon” Saturday’s from 11:00 am to 2:00pm on Sirius XM (126).

Wilmer J. Leon III, Ph.D. is a Political Scientist whose primary areas of expertise are Black Politics and Public Policy. Wilmer has a BS degree in Political Science from Hampton Institute, a Masters in Public Administration (MPA) from Howard University, and a Ph.D. in Political Science from Howard University.Dr. Leon is also the host of XM Satellite Radio’s, “Inside The Issues”, a three-hour, call-in, talk radio program airing live nationally on XM Satellite Radio channel 126.”

Dr. Leon was a featured commentator on CNN’s Lou Dobbs Tonight and is also a regular contributor to The Grio.com, The Root.com, TruthOut.org, The Maynard Institute.com and PoliticsInColor.com. He is an OUR COMMON GROUND Voice for more than 5 years.

March 14, 2015

03-14-15 Carnell

In Conversation with Yvette Carnell
POWER BLOGGER and THOUGHT-LEADER
March 14, 2015 10 pm ET LIVE

Discussing her commentary about the Byron Allen suit against Black media, and more.

About Yvette Carnell

Blogging politics, social, and cultural issues
>>> BreakingBrown.com Breakingbrown.me
>>> Editor, YourBlackWorld
>>> Formerly, KultureKritic

She writes mostly about politics, social, and cultural issues for my personal blog, BreakingBrown.com as well as BreakingBrown.tv and Breakingbrown.me. She is also an editor for YourBlackWorld and a managing contributor on KuluteKritic.

Before embarking on a career as a writer, she served as a Congressional aide, first to Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA), and later to former Congressman Marion Berry (D-AR). In her role as a legislative staffer, she prepared briefings, staffed Congressional hearings, represented Members with their constituents, and performed other support duties .
In her time on the Hill, she also worked as Regional Field Director for America’s Families United (AFU), one of the largest non-profit Get Out the Vote (GOTV) campaigns active during the 2004 election cycle. At AFU,she played an integral role in establishing the framework and assessment criteria for distributing over 20 million dollars to AFU’s grant recipient organizations.

In the broader Democratic Party, she served as assistant to the Director of the Women’s Vote Center at the Democratic National Committee (DNC).

Her articles have been featured in the Huffington Post and Your Black World. I have been quoted by national news outlets including, but not limited to; The Nation, The Guardian, Politico and NPR.
She received a B.A. in Political Science from Howard University.

ABOUT BreakingBrown

BreakingBrown.com is a social media hub which aggregates the freshest and most insightful content from brown bloggers, podcasters and videocasters on the internet. We aggregate, distribute, critique and explore black and brown people in the unending universe which is social media. Now there’s no longer a need for you to stalk cyberspace in search of an honest black or brown perspective. It’s all right here.
In addition to providing the content which black and brown readers sorely miss with the mainstream media stream, we also consider ourselves a meeting place for black and brown social media enthusiasts and thus provide a stream of useful social media information for our overworked and underpaid (thanks Arianna) social media provocateurs.

Must Read t: “The Proper Response to Racism”
http://bit.ly/16Pjs7h

March 7, 2015

03-07-15 DOJ Report

“The DOJ Report: Shallow Oversight, Vague Enforcement”

Guest, Dr. James Lance Taylor, Past President of the National Conference of Black Political Scientists; Author,“Black Nationalism in the United States: From Malcom X to Barack Obama “

Saturday, March 7, 2015 LIVE & Call-In 10 pm ET
Listen and Call In Line 347-838-9852
Listen Live and Call in HERE : http://tinyurl.com/qbptskb
:: Bloody Sunday Tribute::

ABOUT Dr. James Lance Taylor
CHAIR, PROFESSOR Urban Studies, University of San Francisco

Dr. James Lance Taylor is author of the book Black Nationalism in the United States: From Malcolm X to Barack Obama, which earned 2011 “Outstanding Academic Title” -Choice: Current Reviews for Academic Libraries (January 2012). (Ranked top 3 percent of 25,000 books submitted and top 8 percent of 7,300 actually accepted for review by the American Library Association). He is the Immediate Past President of the National Conference of Black Political Scientists (NCOBPS), an important organization of African American, African, and Afro Caribbean political scientists in the United States.

He is associate professor and Chair of the Department of Politics at the University of San Francisco. His undergraduate degree is from Pepperdine University and his graduate degrees were earned at the University of Southern California (USC). He has taught previously as a Visiting Associate Professor of political science at Saint Louis University in Madrid, Spain and political science and African American Studies at University of California, Berkeley.

He is co-editor and an author with Katherine Tate (UC Irvine) and Mark Sawyer UCLA Something’s in the Air: Race and the Legalization of Marijuana (Routledge, 2013), focusing on controversies concerning race and marijuana legalization. Taylor’s current research is for a book manuscript, Peoples Temple, Jim Jones, and Black America, which is a study of the Peoples Temple movement and African American political history. Two of his articles on the subject have appeared in recent editions of the Jonestown Report newsletter at San Diego State University. Two additional articles on the Post-Civil Rights era African-American Church and Civil Rights are in production at SUNY Press. He is currently writing a journal article, “A Black Theology of the ‘Souls’ of W.E.B. Du Bois’s Black Folk” in recognition of that book’s one-hundred and tenth anniversary (2013)

January 24, 2015

“The Gutting of the Fair Housing Act”
Discussion with James Perry,National Fair and Affordable Housing National Leader and Advocate
Saturday, January 24, 2015 LIVE 10 pm ET

01-24-15 Perry housing discrimination

Listen and Call in Line: 347-838-9852
Join us Here for our LIVE Chat : http://bit.ly/1COpRMQ

We began this week by celebrating the 85th anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.’s birth, but today the U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments in an important case that could knock down a crucial racial and economic pillar of justice built during the civil rights movement.

The nine justices considred on Wednesday the extent to which the Fair Housing Act of 1968 remains a vital tool in combating the discrimination in housing and lending that continues to plague our country. In an added bit of irony, the passage of that act was itself spurred by the assassination of the person whose birth we just celebrated and the civil unrest that King’s murder sparked. Too often we forget that Dr. King didn’t just fight for the political equality of all African-Americans, he fought for his brothers and sisters’ economic equality as well.

It was an overriding concern of his captured perfectly in the Oscar-nominated film, “Selma.” Commenting on the ending of segregation in public accommodations, King asked, “[W]hat good does it do to sit at the counter when you cannot afford a hamburger.” The same could be said today.

Although it has repeatedly been suggested that Martin Luther King Jr.’s concern about economic equality arose late in his career, the theme of the importance of economic justice runs throughout his work. After all, the famous march at which King delivered his historic “I Have a Dream Speech” was titled the “March for Freedom and Jobs” (emphasis added). Referring to the time that had elapsed since the passage of the Emancipation Proclamation, King remarked that, “One hundred years later, the Negro lives on a lonely island of poverty in the midst of a vast ocean of material prosperity.”

As a nation, we have done a good job of lauding the progress made in eliminating thede jure segregation of public accommodations. It is always easy to celebrate success, particularly when by so doing we can assert our superiority over the benighted people who used brute force and intimidation to maintain that segregation. But we are less enthusiastic about speaking about continuing economic inequality because, in part, that implicates us and our continuing failure to address the structural causes of poverty. Or maybe it’s because we believe that inequality reflects the relative worth of groups of people.

January, 17, 2015

In the Spirit of Sankofa: Upending White Supremacy”

In the Spirit of Sankofa: Upending White Supremacy”
Opening the 31st Broadcast Season of

OUR COMMON GROUND with Janice Graham

Discussion with OUR GUEST:  Rev. Ruby N. Sales
Founder, SpiritHouse Project, social activist, scholar,public theologian, and educator.
In the Spirit of Sankofaae86da36-3a8d-4bae-8d07-f82f19e43484
Where does our outrage meet the challenge of change?

about RUBY N. SALES
FREEDOM and JUSTICE WARRIOR

Ruby Nell Sales is a highly-trained, experienced, and deeply-committed social activist, scholar, administrator, manager, public theologian, and educator in the areas of Civil, Gender, and other Human Rights. She is an excellent public speaker, with a proven track record in conflict resolution and consensus building. Ms. Sales has preached around the country on race, class, gender, and reconciliation, and she has done ground-breaking work on community and nonviolence formation.

line_kente

November, 2014   Discussion Series

“The Soul of Black Folks” Series
November 8 -29, 2014

What Is The Soul Of Black Folk?
DuBois wrote The Souls of Black Folk in 1903. His book offers an assessment of the progress of the African-American race, the obstacles to progress, and the possibilities for future progress as the nation entered the 20th century. It is considered a groundbreaking work in African-American literature. Some consider it to be an American classic.

In his book, DuBois proposes that the problem with the 20th century was the color-line. The phrase color line was a reference to the racial segregation that existed in the United States after the abolition of slavery. Some consider DuBois’ concepts of life behind the cover of race and double-consciousness to be the norm for African Americans in America. Double consciousness is considered a person caught between the self-conception of being American as well as a person of African descent, making it difficult to have a unified identity.

29  November   2014

11-29-14 Folks Curry4

“The Souls of Black Folks: The Ashes of Justice”

Guests:
Dr. Tommy J. Curry, Professor  of Critical Race Theory and Africana Studies, Texas A&M University

Dr. James Lance Taylor, Professor and Chair, Department of Politics, University of San Francisco, CA;Past President of the National Conference
of Black Political Scientists; Author,“Black Nationalism in the United States: From Malcom X to Barak Obama “

ABOUT Dr. James Lance Taylor
Dept. CHAIR, PROFESSOR Politics, University of San Francisco

Dr. James Lance Taylor is author of the book Black Nationalism in the United States: From Malcolm X to Barack Obama, which earned 2011 “Outstanding Academic Title” -Choice: Current Reviews for Academic Libraries (January 2012). (Ranked top 3 percent of 25,000 books submitted and top 8 percent of 7,300 actually accepted for review by the American Library Association). He is the Immediate Past President of the National Conference of Black Political Scientists (NCOBPS), an important organization of African American, African, and Afro Caribbean political scientists in the United States.

He is associate professor and Chair of the Department of Politics at the University of San Francisco. His undergraduate degree is from Pepperdine University and his graduate degrees were earned at the University of Southern California (USC). He has taught previously as a Visiting Associate Professor of political science at Saint Louis University in Madrid, Spain and political science and African American Studies at University of California, Berkeley.

He is co-editor and an author with Katherine Tate (UC Irvine) and Mark Sawyer UCLA Something’s in the Air: Race and the Legalization of Marijuana (Routledge, 2013), focusing on controversies concerning race and marijuana legalization. Taylor’s current research is for a book manuscript, Peoples Temple, Jim Jones, and Black America, which is a study of the Peoples Temple movement and African American political history. Two of his articles on the subject have appeared in recent editions of the Jonestown Report newsletter at San Diego State University. Two additional articles on the Post-Civil Rights era African-American Church and Civil Rights are in production at SUNY Press. He is currently writing a journal article, “A Black Theology of the ‘Souls’ of W.E.B. Du Bois’s Black Folk” in recognition of that book’s one-hundred and tenth anniversary (2013)

ABOUT Dr. TommyJ Curry
Dr. Tommy J. Curry is a professor of Philosophy and critical race theorist who engages in the study of Black people at Texas A&M University. His teaching, research and writing spans various fields of philosophy, jurisprudence, Africana Studies, and Gender Studies.

His 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.

15  November   2014

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“The Soul of Black Folks: Rediscovering A Critical Truth”
Guest: Dr. Tommy J. Curry
Texas A&M University
Professor of Philosophy, CRITICAL RACE THEORY
and AFRICANA STUDIES

Dr. Tommy J. Curry is a professor of Philosophy and critical race theorist who engages in the study of Black people at Texas A&M University. His teaching, research and writing spans various fields of philosophy, jurisprudence, Africana Studies, and Gender Studies.

08  November   2014

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06 September  2014

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Slavery By Another Name”
ABOUT the Book and the Documentary
The Age of Neo-Slavery

In this groundbreaking historical expose, Douglas A. Blackmon brings to light one of the most shameful chapters in American history—when a cynical new form of slavery was resurrected from the ashes of the Civil War and re-imposed on hundreds of thousands of African-Americans until the dawn of World War

Under laws enacted specifically to intimidate blacks, tens of thousands of African Americans were arbitrarily arrested, hit with outrageous fines, and charged for the costs of their own arrests. With no means to pay these ostensible “debts,” prisoners were sold as forced laborers to coal mines, lumber camps, brickyards, railroads, quarries and farm plantations. Thousands of other African Americans were simply seized by southern landowners and compelled into years of involuntary servitude. Government officials leased falsely imprisoned blacks to small-town entrepreneurs, provincial farmers, and dozens of corporations—including U.S. Steel Corp.—looking for cheap and abundant labor. Armies of “free” black men labored without compensation, were repeatedly bought and sold, and were forced through beatings and physical torture to do the bidding of white masters for decades after the official abolition of American slavery.

The neoslavery system exploited legal loopholes and federal policies which discouraged prosecution of whites for continuing to hold black workers against their wills. As it poured millions of dollars into southern government treasuries, the new slavery also became a key instrument in the terrorization of African Americans seeking full participation in the U.S. political system.

30  August  2014

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23 August   2014

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16  August  2014

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“Homeland Terrorism”
“We were prepared then, as we are now, to give our all in the interest of oppressed people.” – BPP

>> Boots on the Ground Reports
SpiritHouse Project, Susan K. Smith and Osagyefo Sekou

>> The Smearing of Dead Black Boys

>> Mental Illness in Police Departments

LIVE
#FERGUSON #THEFRONTLINE #FERGUSONREBELLION #Homelandterrorism

Four Unarmed Black Men Have Been Killed By Police in the Last Month, From New York City and LA to Ohio and Ferguson, MO, they all died under disputed circumstances.

THE VANGUARD
The Black Panther Party

“We knew, as a revolutionary vanguard, repression would be the reaction of our oppressors, but we recognized that the task of the revolutionist is difficult and his life is short. We were prepared then, as we are now, to give our all in the interest of oppressed people. We expected the repression to come from outside forces which have long held our communities in subjection. However, the ideology of dialectical materialism helped us to understand that the contradictions surrounding the Party would create a force that would move us toward our goals. We also expected contradictions within the Party, for the oppressors use infiltrators and provocateurs to help them reach their evil ends. Even when the contradictions come from formerly loyal members of the Party, we see them as part of the process of development rather than in the negative terms the oppressors’ media use to interpret them. Above all, we knew that through it all the Party would survive.”

Where does our outrage meet the challenge of change ?

OUR COMMON GROUND with Janice Graham

URBAN PROGRESSIVE independent talk radio

LISTEN LIVE and Join the OPEN Chat: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/OCG
Call In – Listen Line: 347-838-9852

09  August  2014

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02 August  2014

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26  July  2014

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05  July  2014

“Confronting the New Amerikkan Empire”
In Conversation with Cynthia McKinney

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Join us here: http://bit.ly/1sSZxR7

We are honored to have as our guest, Cynthia McKinney former U. S. Congresswoman, international human rights activist and former Presidential candidate, to discuss domestic and foreign policy in the new Amerikkan Empire.

Our two-hour live program will span a discussion of topics which include the American relationship and funding of the State of Israel and its impact on the Palestinian people; the increased surveillance of Americans domestically; the increasing militarization of law enforcement in this country; the American destabilization of the Middle East; the resurgence of open and affirmed white supremacy in the US homeland; the education of Black children; the military, prison and health industrial complex and the reparations for descendants of the American chattel slavery system. We will of course, take calls from our listeners.

ABOUT OUR GUEST
Former U. S. Congresswoman, international human rights activist and former Presidential candidate, Cynthia McKinney will open the 2014 2nd Session of OUR COMMON GROUND on July 5, 2014. Cynthia McKinney served twelve years as a Member of the United States Congress House of Representatives. She was elected six times by the people of the State of Georgia.

As a Member of Congress, Cynthia challenged then-Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff to tell the truth about his failures as an important leader in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. She challenged the Africa Policies of both George W. Bush’s Secretary of State Colin Powell as well as Bill Clinton’s Secretary of State Madeleine Albright. Her political career shows her as a tireless defender of her constituents in Georgia as well as all American poor, the middle class, farmers, students, and veterans.


Cynthia authored the legislation that authorized the disparity study that found that Black farmers in the United States had suffered intentional and willful discrimination for generations. Cynthia continues to work with the farmers as they seek delayed justice. Cynthia continues to contribute to the scholarship on important issues in her work researching COINTELPRO against the American Indian Movement, the Black Panther Party, and the Puerto Rican Independence Movement. Cynthia believes that while COINTELPRO might have ended, U.S. government surveillance on its own people did not. Her thoughts have been vindicated by recent revelations by Eric Snowden of National Security Agency wiretapping practices.

Ms McKinney has become an internationally renowned human rights activist, serving with distinction as a juror on the Bertrand Russell Tribunal on Palestine and of working with: Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad’s Perdana Global Peace Foundation; the Brussels Tribunal on Iraq, and a successful effort in Spain to indict and hold accountable soldiers of the Rwandan Patriotic Army who committed genocide against Congolese citizens inside Democratic Republic of Congo. As a result of her activism around Israel/Palestine issues she served 7 days in an Israeli prison for attempting to deliver school supplies to Gaza’s children in the aftermath of Operation Cast Lead.

Cynthia has written an autobiography, “Ain’t Nothing Like Freedom” (http://claritypress.com/McKinneyII.html ) and she maintains a Facebook Page (https://www.facebook.com/CynthiaMcKinneyOfficial). Visit her official website All Things Cynthia (http://www.allthingscynthiamckinney.com/).

As a liberation leader she has demonstrated throughout her political and advocacy career a willingness to step into the line of fire in order to pursue justice for oppressed people.


We have long admired her courage and respected her work and achievements at OUR COMMON GROUND. We will be honored and pleased to have her with us.

05  April  2014

Witness From the Bridge
Dr. Joyce A. Ladner
Sociologist – Academic and Education Leader
Civil Rights Pioneer Activist

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Sociologist Joyce Ladner was born in Battles, Mississippi, on October 12, 1943. She attended Tougaloo College in Tougaloo, Mississippi, where she earned her B.A. in sociology in 1964 and went on to Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri, to earn a Ph.D. in 1968.

At school, she also became involved in the civil rights movement. After earning her Ph.D., Ladner went on to teach at colleges in Illinois; Washington, D.C.; Connecticut; and Tanzania.

In 1970 she conducted postdoctoral work as a research associate at the University of Dar es Salaam in Tanzania. In Tanzania she completed research on “The Roles of Tanzanian Women in Community Development.” Active within the SNCC organization as field secretary, Ladner was a witness to the racial conflict, violence, and the institutionalization of segregation. She has written numerous reports on children’s issues and has often been consulted for her expertise. Her work spans the roles of sociology professor, university president, presidential appointee, and a national public policy analyst. A prolific scholar, she has committed her life to improving the areas of diversity, multicultural education, higher education, urban issues, public policy, family and gender challenges, and child welfare.

Ladner published her first book in 1971, Tomorrow’s Tomorrow: The Black Woman, a study of poor black adolescent girls from St. Louis. In 1973, Ladner joined the faculty of Hunter College at the City University of New York.

Leaving Hunter College for Howard University in Washington, D.C., Ladner served as vice president for academic affairs from 1990 to 1994 and as interim president of Howard University from 1994 to 1995. When she became interim president of Howard in 1994, she was the first woman to hold the position at the university. She retired to Florida in 2003.

In 1995, President Bill Clinton appointed her to the District of Columbia Financial Control Board, where she oversees the finances and budgetary restructuring of the public school system.

She is also a former senior fellow in the Governmental Studies Program at the Brookings Institution, a Washington, D.C. think tank and research organization. She has spoken nationwide about the importance of improving education for public school students. She has appeared on nationally syndicated radio and television programs as well.

She has received many honors and awards, including distinguished alumna and Hall of Famer of Tougaloo College, distinguished alumna of Washington University, Most Inspiring Teacher Award in 1986 and the Outstanding Achievement Award in 1991 from the Howard University School of Social Work. In 1996. Dr. Ladner was named Washingtonian of the Year by Washingtonian magazine

Ladner is active in a number of civic and professional organizations. She is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, The American Sociological Association, the Washington Urban League, the Washington Women’s Forum and the Coalition of 100 Black Women. In 1997, she was named Washingtonian of the Year by Washingtonian for her work in education.

Dr. Joyce A. Ladner, author of The Death of White Sociology: Essays on Race and Culture, published by Black Classic Press, has written numerous books on education, urban issues, public policy and transracial adoption.

She has been an activist, author and civil servant. She is a Mississippi native who earned her bachelor.s in sociology in 1964 from Tougaloo College. She earned a doctorate in sociology in 1968 from Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri.

She and her sister, Dorie, organized and went to jail for their roles in demonstrations on behalf of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee for which Joyce Ladner served as field secretary.

Her career has included work at various universities and institutions: Southern Illinois University, assistant professor and curriculum specialist, 1968-69; affiliated with Wesleyan University, 1969-70; University of Dar es Salaam, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, research associate, 1970-71; Hunter College of the City University of New York, sociology faculty, 1976-81; Howard University, professor of sociology, 1981-98, vice president of academic affairs, 1990-94, interim president, 1994-95; Brookings Institution, senior fellow, government studies, 1977.

When she became interim president of Howard in 1994, she was the first woman to hold the position at the university. She retired to Florida in 2003.

She has received many honors and awards, including distinguished alumna and Hall of Famer of Tougaloo College, distinguished alumna of Washington University, Most Inspiring Teacher Award in 1986 and the Outstanding Achievement Award in 1991 from the Howard University School of Social Work. In 1996. Dr. Ladner was named Washingtonian of the Year by Washingtonian magazine.

Dr. Joyce A. Ladner, is the author of The Death of White Sociology: Essays on Race and Culture, published by Black Classic Press and Launching Our Black Children for Success: A Guide for Parents of Kids from Three to Eighteen by Joyce A. Ladner and Theresa Foy DiGeronimo. She has written numerous books on education, urban issues, public policy and transracial adoption. Her other books include, authored or edited, Tomorrow’s Tomorrow: The Black Woman, The Ties That Bind: Timeless Values For African American Families, Mixed Families: Adopting Across Racial Boundaries and The New Urban Leaders. And,these must reads:
Ladner, Joyce. Tomorrow’s Tomorrow: The Black Woman. Garden City, New York: Doubleday, 1971.
—. Mixed Families: Adopting Across Racial Boundaries. Garden City, New York: Doubleday, 1977.
—. The New Urban Leaders. Washington, D.C.: Brookings Institution Press, 2001.

29  March  2014

 Anti-Violence Educator/Activist Carmen del Rosario
Founder, Roots of Transformation

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About Carmen del Rosario

Carmen is a highly driven and motivated, partnership, and programme management professional with over 20 years of professional experience working in the field of violence against women and children with government and development organizations, community networks and institutions in the US, El Salvador, Rwanda, Burundi, Dominican Republic, Tanzania, Congo (RDC) and Liberia

Ms. Carmen Del Rosario served as the Director of the Boston Public Health Commission’s Domestic Violence Program for 10 years. Del Rosario was a pioneer in developing strategies to engage boys and men in positive ways to prevent violence and to promote healthy relationships. In the year 2000, under her leadership, de Domestic Violence Program received funding from the CDC to develop , implement and evaluate a five years demonstration project working with men as fathers.

Over the past eight years Carmen has been working in East Africa, (Tanzania) Central Africa (Eastern Congo) and West Africa (Liberia), developing, coordinating and implementing programs to respond to survivors of Gender Based Violence (GBV), Women’s Empowerment Program as well as prevention initiatives with men from different background; these include, refugees’ men, religious leaders, traditional leaders, the police, and the UN peacekeepers. Carmen has developed intervention and prevention programs providing technical support to capacity development of the implementing partners in partnership with government, UNHCR, WFP, UNICEF and INGO.

ABOUT ROOTS of TRANSFORMATION
Roots of Transformation, is a non-government grassroots organization working toward the prevention of VAWC by catalyzing changes in communities and by supporting organizational sustainability. The organization works to prevent violence by addressing its roots causes, such as traditional gender roles, and the imbalance of power between women and men.

Our Mission

Roots of Transformation is committed to equipping people with the knowledge, wisdom and tools needed to make decisions that will positively impact their futures, the future of their family and their nation.

22 March  2014

BlueBlack – Red-Bone – Yallah : Colorism and the Black Community”

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Exactly what is colorism? An old children’s rhyme captures the definition in a nutshell.

“If you’re black, stay back;
if you’re brown, stick around;
if you’re yellow, you’re mellow;
if you’re white, you’re all right.”

In sum, colorism refers to discrimination based on skin color. Colorism disadvantages dark-skinned people, while privileging those with lighter skin. Research has linked colorism to smaller incomes, lower marriage rates, longer prison terms and fewer job prospects for darker-skinned people. What’s more, colorism has existed for centuries both in and outside of black America. That makes it a persistent form of discrimination that should be fought with the same urgency that racism is.

Colorism’s Origins

How did colorism surface? In the United States’ colorism has roots in slavery. That’s because slave-owners typically gave preferential treatment to slaves with fairer complexions. While dark-skinned slaves toiled outdoors in the fields, their light-skinned counterparts usually worked indoors completing domestic tasks that were far less grueling. Why the discrepancy? Slave-owners were partial to light-skinned slaves because they were often family members. Slave-owners frequently engaged in sexual intercourse with slave women, and light-skinned offspring were the telltale signs of these unions. While slave-owners did not officially recognize their mixed-race children as blood, they gave them privileges that dark-skinned slaves did not enjoy. Accordingly, light skin came to be viewed as an asset among the slave community.

Outside of the United States, colorism may be more related to class than to white supremacy. While European colonialism has undoubtedly left its mark on countries worldwide, colorism is said to predate contact with Europeans in various Asian countries. There, the idea that white skin is superior to dark skin may derive from the ruling classes typically having lighter complexions than the peasant classes. While peasants became sun-tanned as they labored outdoors day in and day out, the privileged had lighter complexions because they didn’t have to work in the sun for hours daily. Thus, dark skin came to be associated with the lower classes, and light skin with the elite. Today, the high premium on light skin in Asia is likely tangled up with this history along with the cultural influences of the Western world.

An Enduring Legacy

After slavery ended in the U.S., colorism didn’t disappear. In black America, those with light-skin received employment opportunities off limits to darker-skinned African Americans. This is why upper-class families in black society were largely light-skinned. Soon light skin and privilege were considered one in the same in the black community, with light skin being the sole criterion for acceptance into the black aristocracy. Upper crust blacks routinely administered the brown paper bag test to determine if fellow blacks were light enough to socialize with. “The paper bag would be held against your skin. And if you were darker than the paper bag, you weren’t admitted,” explainedMarita Golden, author of Don’t Play in the Sun: One Woman’s Journey Through the Color Complex.

Colorism didn’t just involve blacks discriminating against other blacks. Job advertisements from the mid-20th century reveal that African-Americans with light skin clearly believed their coloring would make them more palatable as job candidates. Writer Brent Staples discovered this while searching the archives of newspapers near the Pennsylvania town where he grew up. He noticed that in the 1940s, black job seekers often identified themselves as light-skinned.

“Cooks, chauffeurs and waitresses sometimes listed ‘light colored’’ as the primary qualification — ahead of experience, references, and the other important data,” Staples said. “They did it to improve their chances and to reassure white employers who…found dark skin unpleasant or believed that their customers would.”

Why Colorism Matters

Colorism yields real-world advantages for individuals with light skin. For example, light-skinned Latinos make $5,000 more on average than dark-skinned Latinos, according to Shankar Vedantam, author of The Hidden Brain: How Our Unconscious Minds Elect Presidents, Control Markets, Wage Wars and Save Our Lives. Moreover, a Villanova University study of more than 12,000 African-American women imprisoned in North Carolina found that lighter-skinned black women received shorter sentences than their darker-skinned counterparts. Previous research by Stanford psychologist Jennifer Eberhardt found that darker-skinned black defendants were two times more likely than lighter-skinned black defendants to get the death penalty for crimes involving white victims.

Colorism doesn’t just play out in the workforce or in the criminal justice system but in the romantic realm. Because fair skin is associated with beauty and status, light-skinned black women are more likely to be married than darker-skinned black women, according to some reports. “We find that the light-skin shade as measured by survey interviewers is associated with about a 15 percent greater probability of marriage for young black women,” said researchers who conducted a study called “Shedding ‘Light’ on Marriage.”

Light skin is so coveted that whitening creams continue to be best-sellers in the U.S., Asia and other nations. Mexican-American women in Arizona, California and Texas have reportedly suffered mercury poisoning after turning to whitening creams to bleach their skin. In India, popular skin-bleaching lines target both women and men with dark skin. That skin-bleaching cosmetics have persisted for decades signals the enduring legacy of colorism.

15  March  2014

“Ballers of the New School: Race and Sports in America”
Author and Professor, Dr. Thabiti Lewis

“What also doesn’t get annually discussed during the three-week “big pimpin’” tournament is the issue of poor graduation rates among the Black players who mainly compose these teams.”

– Dr. Thabiti Lews on OUR COMMON GROUND, June 10, 2009

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We are joined by Dr. Thabiti Lewis, to talk about race and sports in America. He is the author of “Ballers of the New School” and joins us again on OUR COMMON GROUND.

Although sport is one of the dominating cultural practices in the social life of the United States, it traditionally was viewed as a discrete social phenomenon largely untouched by the problems of American society. From impersonations of Venus Williams to Michael Vick’s ban to Gabby Douglas’ hair. There is a racist beat is in the music of sports. In challenging this traditional portrayal, scholars often characterize sport as a “microcosm of society.” As such, sport has revealed the dominant attitudes and practices regarding race relations in the United States throughout the country’s history.

08  March 2014

“The Death of American Radio: Opportunity for Progressive Empowerment”

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Guest: Norman Goldman
American attorney and liberal talk radio host.
Host, The NorMAN GoldMAN Show

The NorMAN GoldMAN Show

March 8, 2014 LIVE 10 pm ET

“The place where fierce independence is the norm. Where Justice is Served.”

Norman Goldman is the host of “The NorMAN GoldMAN Show” heard nightly through a live podcast and syndicate to terrestial radio across the country .

He knows all that legalese “ipso facto habeas corpus” stuff. Better yet, he knows how to make sense of it all. Day after day, on issue after issue, Norm brings it all into focus. What matters, why it matters, and why it matters to you. His is an inspiring life story which takes you from rags to righteous, to radio. His is the incredible true story of Norman Goldman’s Journey to Justice, in politics and in life!

For years, Norman has been providing insightful legal analysis for MSNBC and The Ed Schultz Show.

His live show, “The NorMAN GoldMAN Show” brings his signature clarity, wit and wisdom to the issues of the day. He also gives you a chance to talk back as he takes calls from all across the country on his nightly live stream broadcast. . Based in Los Angeles, Goldman’s national radio program is distributed by Compass Media Networks.

The program’s motto is “Where justice is served”, but on-air Norman also uses the motto “The place where fierce independence is the norm”, a pun on his first name. Recently Goldman created the “four point plan to save America”, after chastising politicians such as President Barack Obama for betraying their campaign promises. It includes power-transparency; “a WikiLeaks for radio”, and a grassroots quarterback for the coordinating/funding of the progressive message and viewpoint.

CC Media the vehicle used by private-equity firms Bain Capital LLC and Thomas H. Lee Partners LP to privatize Clear Channel Communications in 2008 reported for the latest period a loss of $309.2 million, compared with a year-earlier loss of $191.3 million, and pointed to equity in losses of non-consolidated affiliates and higher interest expenses. Its revenue slid to $1.69 billion from $1.7 billion a year before as a 2% decrease in its outdoor revenue offset growth in its media and entertainment segment.

In his “Beyond Norm” segment of the 3-hour broadcast, Norman provided a nightly legal and business expose’ of Clear Channel and Cumulus, the two giant corporate owners and destroyers of terrestrial radio, and why the huge losses by Clear Channel is important. In this series, he analyzes the future and power of streaming broadcasting as the only highway of information worth a hoot. He explained IN DETAIL, what has happened and what it means for talkers, advertisers and listeners. That’s us and that is what we will be talking with Norman Goldman tonight with him on OUR COMMON GROUND.
I have for years been a nightly listener and fan of this Norm’s, and it is indeed Fierce and where Justice is Served. His is the best in the business.

01 March  2014

Annual OCG Black History Games

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25 February  2014

Dr. Francis Rodgers-Rose, PhD
CEO and Founder
The International Black Women’s Congress 
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ABOUT Dr. Rodgers-Rose and The International Black Women’s Congress

“We have turned from ourselves, busy trying to be somebody else, trying not to look like ourselves. We are confused and do not know which way to turn. We are losing our life force. When we no longer respond to who we are—queens, seers, leaders, doers—we die a spiritual death.”
“Put On Your Red Dress”, Dr. Dr. La Francis Rodgers-Rose

The International Black Women’s Congress (IBWC), founded in 1983 by Dr. La Francis Rodgers-Rose. She has served as its CEO for the past 31 years. IBWC is an international, non-profit networking organization for Black women throughout the Diaspora.

As founder and CEO of the International Black Women’s Congress, she has been responsible for carrying out the mission of bringing forth exemplary models of African womanhood. Expanding thinking about Black women and igniting a vision for social, economic and political empowerment and service to the community. The organization offers rites of passage programs for girls, parenting skill training, AIDS outreach and coronary heart disease education.

In an effort to improve the quality of life for Black women, the organization has held yearly issue-focused conferences since 1985. Some of the conference themes have been: Weaved in the Fabric: A Wholistic Perspective on Violence Against Black Women; Healing Black Women from Violence: Reclaiming Our Rightful Place; AIDS Beyond 2012: Black Women and Girls; Economic Healing for Black Women; A Journey Towards Wellness; What Do We Tell Our Daughters; Black Women Defining Self in the 21st Century; Black Women and Families; Political Socialization of Black Women; and Black Women and Breast Cancer.

The organization published two major books, Healing Black Women from Violence in 2011 and River of Tears: The Politics of Black Women’s Health in 1993. We have established an Emergency Relief Fund; given support to the SOS Children’s Village in the Gambia and since 1996 support a maternal and child health program in Guinea, West Africa. Our long-term objective is to continue to address crucial issues that confront women of African ancestry; assist women who want to study or work abroad; establish a credit system for members; and develop a Black Women’s Health and Research Institute.

Dr. La Francis Rodgers-Rose is a Founding Member and Past President of the Association of Black Sociologists 1970 – 2012 (42 years).

She is a former Professor in African American Studies, Princeton University September 1973 – May 1988 (14 years 9 months)
For fifteen years she was the core professor in the African American Studies Program. She taught courses on the Black Woman, the Black Family, Black Self Concept, Research in the Black Community, and the Social Psychology of Black Students on White College Campuses. She served as both a formal and informal adviser on junior and senior thesis papers

15 February  2014

THE ANNUAL OUR COMMON GROUND BLACK HISTORY GAMES

#HISTORY MATTERS

  • LISTEN FOR 20 QUESTIONS . . . CALL IN YOUR SCORES and GET BONUS POINT QUESTIONS
  • ON AIR ANSWERS include important background information on the answer to each question.
  • Offer your own fact question to the audience (2 Bonus Points)

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“African Americans, as a distinct ethnic variation in the African diaspora, were created by slavery. Millions of Africans wound up in America only because they were kidnapped to fill the needs of a slave economy. This process forged a new people, who became American by necessity, and included 12 generations of chattel slavery. For nearly 250 years, American culture dehumanized those it enslaved and, more insidiously, socialized generations of African Americans for enslavement. The nation’s economic reliance on slavery mandated a rigid and pitiless racial hierarchy.”
“In these Times” JANUARY 29, 2006
Black History Month Matters

HISTORY MATTERS

THE HISTORY OF BLACK HISTORY MONTH

As a Harvard-trained historian, Carter G. Woodson, like W. E. B. Du Bois before him, believed that truth could not be denied and that reason would prevail over prejudice. His hopes to raise awareness of African American’s contributions to civilization was realized when he and the organization he founded, the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History (ASNLH), conceived and announced Negro History Week in 1925.
Seeing the need to spread the news about Black history to the general public as well as scholars, Dr. Woodson and the ASNLH pioneered the celebration of “Negro History Week” in 1926, which has since been extended to the entire month of February.
By the time of Woodson’s death in 1950, Negro History Week had become a central part of African American life and substantial progress had been made in bringing more Americans to appreciate the celebration. At mid–century, mayors of cities nationwide issued proclamations noting Negro History Week. The Black Awakening of the 1960s dramatically expanded the consciousness of African Americans about the importance of black history, and the Civil Rights movement focused Americans of all color on the subject of the contributions of African Americans to our history and culture.

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The celebration was expanded to a month in 1976, the nation’s bicentennial. President Gerald R. Ford urged Americans to “seize the opportunity to honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout our history.” That year, fifty years after the first celebration, the association held the first African American History Month. By this time, the entire nation had come to recognize the importance of Black history in the drama of the American story. Since then each American president has issued African American History Month proclamations. And the association—now the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH)—continues to promote the study of Black history all year. 

In honor of this bold act for empowerment of our people, OUR COMMON GROUND celebrates Black History Month with the nation throughout the month. Each year, we use our broadcast to host, the Annual OCG Black History Games. 

Testing and challenging your Black History intelligence.

About The Games
1. We select and structure 20 questions covering significant facts about events, people and accomplishments in Black History from Reconstruction through 2014. For each question, listeners can assign 10 points for each correct answer. Five (5) of the questions will feature a (5 point bonus) question. Listeners listen for the questions, answer and call in with the answers once all the questions are posed. 
2. For bonus points, callers who call in with their scores can ask for an additional listener only question to bolster their overall score.
3. We encourage teams made of family, friends and regular listeners who want partners.

#HISTORY MATTERS
#TALKTHATMATTERS

08 February  2014

“The Book of Jeremiah: The Life and Ministry of Jeremiah A. Wright, Jr.”
Rev. Dr. Susan K. Williams Smith
Author and Gordon Cosby Seasoned Fellow at the Spirit House Project (ATL)

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Jeremiah A. Wright, Jr. will forever be linked to the historical 2008 presidential campaign of then Senator Barack Obama. Although unwillingly thrust into the spotlight, the media attention could never overshadow Wright’s prophetic teachings, nor does it define his life and ministry. The Book of Jeremiah: The Life and Ministry of Jeremiah A. Wright, Jr. examines the man, an African American, a patriot who served his country, a scholar, a prophet, and a pastor. The relevance of his ministry extends far beyond his pastorate at Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago, reaching a global stage with a message of liberation and justice.
Susan Williams Smith provides a comprehensive picture of Wright, shedding light on his upbringing, teaching, and preaching influences, and the far reaching effects of his ministry on Barack Obama and the world.

ABOUT Dr. Susan K Smith 
Rev. Dr. Susan K. Smith is the former Senior Pastor of Advent United Church of Christ, in Columbus, Ohio, is a 1986 graduate of Yale Divinity School, where she earned her M.Div.
She received her Bachelor of Arts in English Literature from Occidental College and her Doctor of Mininistry from United Theological Seminary in Dayton, Ohio.

She is the author of four books, Carla and Annie, From Calvary to Victory, Forgive WHO?, andCrazy Faith: Ordinary People, Extraordinary Lives, which is currently in its second printing. Her work also appears weekly on The Washington Post, as a member of a panel of theologians, scholars and writers who comment on issues pertinent to religion.

She is the mother of two children, Caroline, a recent graduate of Spelman College, now studying music therapy at the University of Dayton, and a son, Charles, who is writing and performing music.

A former reporter, Rev. Smith worked for newspapers in Baltimore and Texas before entering seminary. She also served as an associate producer for WJZ News, as an on-air news reporter for WEAA, the radio station affiliated with Morgan State University in Baltimore, and as a talk show host for “Columbus Today,” a locally heard radio program in Columbus, and as an on-air political commentator for a news magazine television program, also produced in Columbus.

Following graduation from Yale Divinity School, where she served as the first woman to be president of the student body, Dr. Smith served as associate minister at Trinity United Church of Christ, studying under the Rev. Dr. Jeremiah A. Wright, Jr. She served at Trinity for three years before accepting the call to be pastor at Advent UCC

01  February  2014

Queen Quet

Head-of-State for the Gullah/Geechee Nation

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The Gullah/Geechee Nation exist from Jacksonville, NC to Jacksonville, FL.  It encompasses all of the Sea Islands and thirty to thirty-five miles inland to the St. John’s River.  On these islands, people from numerous African ethnic groups linked with indigenous Americans and created the unique Gullah language and traditions from which later came “Geechee.”   The Gullah/Geechee people have been considered “a nation within a nation” from the time of chattel enslavement in the United States until they officially became an internationally recognized nation on July 2, 2000.   At the time of their declaration as a nation, they confirmed the election of their first “head pun de boddee”-head of state and official spokesperson and queen mother.  They elected Queen Quet, Chieftess and Head-of-State for the Gullah/Geechee Nation.  

Queen Quet Marquetta L. Goodwine is a published author, computer scientist, lecturer, mathematician, historian,  columnist, preservationist, environmental justice advocate, environmentalist, film consultant, and “The Art-ivist.”  She is the founder of the premiere advocacy organization for the continuation of Gullah/Geechee culture, the Gullah/Geechee Sea Island Coalition.   Queen Quet has not only provided “histo-musical presentations” throughout the world, but was also the first Gullah/Geechee person to speak on behalf of her people before the United Nations in Genevé, Switzerland.

Queen Quet was one of the first of seven inductees to the Gullah/Geechee Nation Hall of Fame.  She received the “Anointed Spirit Award” for her leadership and for being a visionary.    In 2008, she was recorded at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris, France at a United Nations Conference in order to have the human rights story of the Gullah/Geechee people archived for the United Nations.  In 2009, she was invited by the Office of the High Commissioner of the United Nations to come and present before the newly founded “Minority Forum” as a representative of the Gullah/Geechee Nation and the International Human Rights Association for American Minorities (IHRAAM) which is an NGO in consultative status with the United Nations.  Queen Quet is a directorate member for IHRAAM and for the International Commission on Human Rights.  She represented these bodies and the Gullah/Geechee Nation at the “United Nations Forum on Minority Rights.”

Due to Queen Quet advancing the idea of keeping the Gullah/Geechee culture alive, the Gullah/Geechee Sea Island Coalition under the leadership of Queen Quet, worked with Congressman James Clyburn to insure that the United States Congress would work to assist the Gullah/Geechees.  Queen Quet then acted as the community leader to work with the United States National Park Service to conduct several meetings throughout the Gullah/Geechee Nation for the “Special Resource Study of Lowcountry Gullah Culture.”  Due to the fact that Gullah/Geechees worked to become recognized as one people, Queen Quet wanted to insure that the future congressional act would reflect this in its name and form.  As a result in 2006 the “Gullah/Geechee Cultural Heritage Act” was passed by the United States Congress and signed into law by the president.

Queen Quet is vetted with the United States White House as an Expert Commissioner in the Department of the Interior.  She is also the Chair of the Gullah/Geechee Cultural Heritage Corridor General Management Plan which is being completed by a commission created by the act for there to be a “Gullah/Geechee National Heritage Corridor.”  Queen Quet is also a member of the “National Park Relevancy Committee” and proudly continues to work to protect the environment and to insure that diverse groups of people engage in the outdoors and the policies governing them.  Queen Quet has engaged in several White House conferences on this issue.

25  January  2014

The Case of IRP6

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This is a story about how prosecutorial tunnel vision created a tragic communication failure. The criminal justice system exists to give everyone a chance to tell their story. Juries decide who brings the best story to the table. Bad things happen when the system amplifies one story while silencing the other. (Dr. Alan Bean, Executive Director, Friends of Justice).

The IRP6 case concerns this African-American company (IRP Solutions Corporation) in Colorado that developed criminal investigations software for federal, state and local law enforcement. The case of the IRP6 is currently under appeal in the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals. The men were convicted in 2011 after fighting the U.S. Government pro se at trial and have been incarcerated at the Federal Prison Camp in Florence, Colorado since the summer of 2012. The IRP6 sentences range from 7 to 11 years in federal prison for non-violent, non-drug-related charges. The IRP6 continue to maintain their innocence. (D. Ct. No. 1:09-CR-00266-CMA)

18  January  2014

“Wilmington On Fire”, A Full-length Documentary

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OUR GUEST: Filmmaker, Christopher Everett, ; Historical Author Larry Reni Thomas ; and Economist William ‘Sandy’  Darity, North Carolina Wilmington Race Riot Report, “Economic Impact Analysis”

Unveiling the Secret of A White Supremacy Terrorist attack Against A Black Township In NC
This event was the spring board for the white supremacy movement and Jim Crow (segregation) throughout the state of North Carolina, and the American South.

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11 January  2014

OUR COMMON GROUND OPENS 2014 SEASON 

“BLACK AMERICA: A STATE OF EMERGENCY”
29th BROADCAST YEAR 
‘EMPOWERING BLACK AMERICA TO ACHIEVE ITSELF’ 

THE FILM: Wilmington on Fire is a feature-length documentary that will give a historical and present day look at the Wilmington Massacre of 1898. The film features interviews from historians, authors, activists and descendants of the victims of the Wilmington Massacre of 1898. Wilmington on Fire will talk about things such as: African-American progress after slavery, African-American’s in Wilmington prior to the 1898 massacre, The Wilmington Massacre of 1898, Reparations, African-American history in Wilmington, The state of North Carolina’s involvement in the massacre of 1898, The Black community in Wilmington today AND MUCH MORE!

You can make this project happen by clicking the green “BACK THIS PROJECT” button on the right side of this page. Pledge any amount between $10 and $1,000 and receive rewards for your support. We are asking for $16k here on Kickstarter so please dig deep! Remember, Kickstarter is an ALL or NOTHING deal so if we don’t reach $16k in 30 days, we will get NO funding at all. So, please help us reach our goal! Visit here to show your support: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/114940453/wilmington-on-fire/pledge/new?clicked_reward=false

OUR PREVIEW TRAILER: Check out the preview trailer for the film below!

THE HISTORY: The Wilmington Massacre of 1898 was a bloody attack on the African-American community by a heavily armed white mob with the support of the North Carolina Democratic Party on November 10, 1898 in the port city of Wilmington, North Carolina. It is considered one of the only successful examples of a violent overthrow of an existing government (coup d’etat) and left countless numbers of African-American citizens dead and exiled from the city. This event was the spring board for the white supremacy movement and Jim Crow Segregation throughout the state of North Carolina, and the American South. This incident is barely mentioned and has been omitted from most history books. It was not until 2006, after the North Carolina General Assembly published a report on it, that the tragedy became known to the public.

 TEASER TRAILER: Check out the teaser trailer for the film below!

WHY they NEED YOUR SUPPORT: In order to complete this film, we urgently need to raise $16,000 in the next 30 days. The money raised through Kickstarter will be used to create special effects & titles, as well as for the process of combining all of these elements: rendering, color grading, compositing, sound design and editing. This is needed in order to create everything at high resolution so that the finished film will be able to screen at film festivals and movie theaters. The money will be also used for archival material usage fees (photos, documents, news articles, news footage).

The CAST:

LARRY RENI THOMAS is an author/radio announcer and activist. He is also the founder of ICROW, Inc. (International Organization for Compensation and Reparations for the Victims of the Wilmington Massacre of 1898).
LARRY RENI THOMAS is an author/radio announcer and activist. He is also the founder of ICROW, Inc. (International Organization for Compensation and Reparations for the Victims of the Wilmington Massacre of 1898).
KENT CHATFIELD is an independent researcher in Wilmington, North Carolina who has done extensive research on the Wilmington Massacre of 1898.
KENT CHATFIELD is an independent researcher in Wilmington, North Carolina who has done extensive research on the Wilmington Massacre of 1898.
WILLIAM DARITY is a Professor of Public Policy, African and African-American Studies, and Economics at Duke University. He also worked on the official North Carolina Wilmington Race Riot Report,
WILLIAM DARITY is a Professor of Public Policy, African and African-American Studies, and Economics at Duke University. He also worked on the official North Carolina Wilmington Race Riot Report, “Economic Impact Analysis”.
DR. LEWIN MANLY is the grandson of newspaper editor & owner Alexander Manly. Alexander Manly was a prominent black figure in Wilmington and was forced to leave Wilmington in 1898 after his newspaper press was burned down during the massacre.
DR. LEWIN MANLY is the grandson of newspaper editor & owner Alexander Manly. Alexander Manly was a prominent black figure in Wilmington and was forced to leave Wilmington in 1898 after his newspaper press was burned down during the massacre.
INEZ EASON is the great-granddaughter of Isham Quick. Isham Quick was a Coal & Wood Dealer and was also a board member of the Metropolitan Trust Company in Wilmington, NC before the massacre of 1898.
INEZ EASON is the great-granddaughter of Isham Quick. Isham Quick was a Coal & Wood Dealer and was also a board member of the Metropolitan Trust Company in Wilmington, NC before the massacre of 1898.
FAYE CHAPLIN is the great-granddaughter of Thomas C. Miller. Thomas C. Miller was a prominent businessman and property owner in Wilmington and was forced to leave Wilmington during the massacre of 1898.
FAYE CHAPLIN is the great-granddaughter of Thomas C. Miller. Thomas C. Miller was a prominent businessman and property owner in Wilmington and was forced to leave Wilmington during the massacre of 1898.
DR. UMAR JOHNSON is a Psychologist who practices privately throughout Pennsylvania and lectures throughout the country. He is considered an authority on mental health in the Black community. He is also in the hit documentary series
DR. UMAR JOHNSON is a Psychologist who practices privately throughout Pennsylvania and lectures throughout the country. He is considered an authority on mental health in the Black community. He is also in the hit documentary series “Hidden Colors”.
QUEEN QUET is a historian and the Chieftess of the Gullah Geechee Nation.
QUEEN QUET is a historian and the Chieftess of the Gullah Geechee Nation.
DR. CLAUD ANDERSON is an author and is the President of the Harvest Institute (a nationally recognized Black think tank that works to help Black America become a self-sufficient and competitive). He is also in the documentary
DR. CLAUD ANDERSON is an author and is the President of the Harvest Institute (a nationally recognized Black think tank that works to help Black America become a self-sufficient and competitive). He is also in the documentary “Hidden Colors 2”.
LERAE UMFLEET was the lead researcher on the official North Carolina state report on the Wilmington Massacre of 1898.
LERAE UMFLEET was the lead researcher on the official North Carolina state report on the Wilmington Massacre of 1898.
AL MCSURELY is a legal advisor for the North Carolina NAACP.
AL MCSURELY is a legal advisor for the North Carolina NAACP.
WENDEL WHITE is a Professor at Stockton College, a researcher and photographer. He created the photography book entitled
WENDEL WHITE is a Professor at Stockton College, a researcher and photographer. He created the photography book entitled “Small Towns, Black Lives: African American Communities in Southern New Jersey”.
DAAWUD MUHAMMAD is a community activist in Wilmington, North Carolina and is the author of
DAAWUD MUHAMMAD is a community activist in Wilmington, North Carolina and is the author of “No Covers Vol. 1”.
WILLIE VEREEN was a member of the
WILLIE VEREEN was a member of the “Wilmington Ten”. The Wilmington Ten were nine young men and a woman, who were convicted in 1971 in Wilmington, NC of arson and conspiracy, and served nearly a decade in jail.
SONYA BENNETONE is the historian for Central Baptist Church in Wilmington, North Carolina. She gives us a wealth of knowledge about the Reverend J. Allen Kirk and his account of the 1898 massacre.
SONYA BENNETONE is the historian for Central Baptist Church in Wilmington, North Carolina. She gives us a wealth of knowledge about the Reverend J. Allen Kirk and his account of the 1898 massacre.
ROGER HUBBARD is a community activist in Wilmington, NC and is the Program Director for LINC (Leading Into New Communities, Inc.).
ROGER HUBBARD is a community activist in Wilmington, NC and is the Program Director for LINC (Leading Into New Communities, Inc.).
DR. TERRY JACKSON is a community activist in Wilmington, NC and is also a business coach and consultant.
DR. TERRY JACKSON is a community activist in Wilmington, NC and is also a business coach and consultant.
SUSI HAMILTON is a member of the North Carolina House of Representatives (D-18th District).
SUSI HAMILTON is a member of the North Carolina House of Representatives (D-18th District).

OUR TEAM:

Director & Producer Christopher Everett: Christopher Everett is an actor, writer, director and producer. He has a degree in Graphic Design from King’s College in Charlotte, NC. He recently finished his first documentary short entitled “The Laurinburg Institute Est. 1904” on a historic African-American Boarding & Day School in his hometown of Laurinburg, NC. Christopher has also starred in many commercials throughout the south east and indie films such as the award-winning narrative short “On My Last Breath”. For more info, check out: https://www.facebook.com/wilmingtononfire

Executive Producer Pete Chatmon: Pete Chatmon is an award-winning filmmaker across several platforms. He wrote, produced, and directed “Premium”, starring Dorian Missick and Zoe Saldana and “761st”, narrated by Andre Braugher, and has directed several short films, original webseries, and branded content for ad agencies. Double7 Images, his media+marketing collective, exists to give businesses, brands, and entrepreneurs a fighting chance in a marketplace crowded with distracting media noise. For more info, check out: http://d7i.co/

Cinematographer Donte Lee: Donte’ Lee has experience in film, music videos and commercials. His music video experience includes videos for artists such as Shaggy, Calvin Richardson, Tamer Hosny, and Paper Tongues. His commercial experience includes commercials for Rubbermaid and Saber Grills. His recent feature film work includes indies “Jimmy” and “9 Ball”. For more info, check out: http://vimeo.com/donte

Additional Cinematography Jesse Kale: Jesse Kale is recent graduate of UNCW with a degree in Communication. After being inspired by the film John Carpenter’s The Thing he decided to pursue a career in filmmaking. Besides working on WOF he recently produced the action short Drag Him Out! ,which premiered at Cucalorus, and programmed UNCW’s, Lumina Theater. Though he isn’t currently working on a project he is hopeful to find something soon that will spark his interest.

Original Score Matthew Head: With over six years of scoring experience, Matthew has found much success in the realms of film and video. His composition credits include numerous scores for movies, documentaries, and even commercials. Working with The Horne Brother’s production company, Matthew served as the Music Supervisor and Composer for their films Kissing Bandit and The Start of Dreams. Matthew has also worked with Dapa Entertainment composing the music for their documentary I am a Dream Chaser. Extending his abilities, he has worked closely with the Atlanta Journal-Constitution marketing team providing music for their commercials. For more info, check out: http://www.matthewheadproductions.com/

Music Supervisor JaNese Jean: Talk about a musician that embodies every aspect of music, you’re talking about Ja’Nese Jean. Artist, Vocal Producer and Music Supervisor, Ja’Nese Jean is a Triple Threat. Ja’Nese Jean’s dream is to inspire the masses through music, and for that reason, it’s important for her to be well skilled and knowledgeable in multiple aspect of the musical realm. She’s a Songwriter/Composer with ASCAP, a member of NARAS, and AGMA. She’s also a classically trained coloratura Opera diva, and humanitarian amongst many other things.

Promo Trailer / Motion Graphics Christopher Salvador: Christopher Salvador has worked with graphic design for over 6 years, and has been working in motion graphics for about 3 years. He is currently a student at the Savannah college of art in design (SCAD) studying motion graphics and graphic design. For more info, check out:http://www.behance.net/diorchata

Assistant Editor Don Stafford: Don Stafford has been in the video business for more than 20 years. He has been IT Director for several national distributors and is currently Director, IT for an international distributor. He has gotten involved on the production side of the business in both filming and editing in the past 3 years and is proud to be a part of this project.

January 11, 2014

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THE ECONOMICS OF PRIVATIZATION OF AMERICA’S PRISON SYSTEM

We begin the 2014 Season examining the prison industrial complex, the implications of the merchandising of prisoners, the school to prison pipeline and the economics of the privatization of America’s prisons.

We invite you to join us and be part of the response to THE STATE OF EMERGENCY.

To help us frame our priorities for the 2014 year we begin by examining the American prison industrial complex. We will examine the school-to-prison strategies of prison privatization and the merchandising of prisoners in America. To inform our thinking on these issues, our guest is expert, author and scholar Dr. Byron E. Price, Ph.D., Dean of the School of Business and professor of public administration at Medgar Evers College of the City University of New York in Brooklyn, New York, and and co-editor of “Prison Privatization: The Many Facets of a Controversial Industry” and author of “Merchandising Prisoners: Who Really Pays for Prison Privatization?”

Byron E. Price, Ph.D. is the former Dean of the School of Business and a professor of public administration at Medgar Evers College of the City University of New York in Brooklyn, NY. He formerly served as an associate professor of political science in the Barbara Jordan-Mickey Leland School of Public Affairs at Texas Southern University (TSU) in Houston, Texas. Dr. Price spent five years at Rutgers University-Newark at the School of Public Affairs and Administration where he served as an assistant professor and director of the MPA and Executive MPA Programs as well as a number of other leadership positions including serving as the Associate Director of the National Center for Public Performance and Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Public Management and Social Policy. A leading scholar in the field of prison privatization, he is the author of the book, Merchandizing Prisoners: Who Really Pays for Prison Privatization published by Praeger Publishers in March 2006 and the coedited 3-volume set entitled “Prison Privatization: A Controversial Industry” by Praeger Publishers, September 2012.

Price is a product of the Lemoyne Gardens Housing Project in Memphis, TN, a housing projects profiled on the History Channel’s Gangland series. Through hard work, steadfast support from family and friends, Price has proven that education lifts all sails.

He received his BS and MPA from Texas Southern University, an MBA from Oklahoma City University and a Ph.D. in Public Policy and Administration from Mississippi State University. Learn more about the research and work of Dr. Price by visiting his website at http://www.byroneugeneprice.com/.

ABOUT THE PRISON INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX

THE SCHOOL-TO-PRISON PIPELINE STRATEGY A 2007 study by the Advancement Project and the Power U Center for Social Change says that for every 100 students who were suspended, 15 were Black, 7.9 were American Indian, 6.8 were Latino and 4.8 were white. The same study reports that the U.S. spends almost $70 billion annually on incarceration, probation and parole. This number lends itself to a 127% funding increase for incarceration between 1987-2007. Compare that to a 21% increase in funding for higher education in the same 20-year span. Local police have a presence in almost every American mid and high school in America where the student demographic is above 30% Black.

THE MERCHANDISING OF PRISONERS Perhaps more than with other service industries in this country, the privatization of prisons has become a growth industry. Yet, prison privatization continues to be one of the most controversial issues in public policy. Although sold to the public as a cost-saving measure, the privatization of prisons has not only led to significant changes in policy making and the management of prisons, but has also generated widespread concern that incarceration has become a profit-making industry. That, in turn, strengthens calls for policies on mandatory-minimum sentencing that keep the prison industry growing. After all, in order to be successful business enterprises, prisons will need occupants.

THE PRIVATIZATION OF PRISONS The U.S. incarcerates 25 percent of the world’s prison population – 2.2 million inmates in June 2005, 500,000 more than the People’s Republic of China, which has five times our population – it would appear that the rapidly growing for-profit prison industry has found an extremely fertile niche. That three leading for-profit prison companies – Corp. of America (CCA), Geo Group and Cornell Companies – have gone public and performed well in the markets is a testament to their growth potential.

21  December  2013

28th Annual
OUR COMMON GROUND Kwanzaa Teach-In and Celebration

Kwanzaa is an African American and Pan-African holiday celebrated by millions throughout the world African community, Kwanzaa brings a cultural message which speaks to the best of what it means to be African and human in the fullest sense.

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2014 Theme
“KWANZAA, US AND THE WELL-BEING OF THE WORLD: A COURAGEOUS QUESTIONING”

The N ’guzo Saba 
( The Seven Principles of Kwanzaa)

Umoja (Unity)
To strive for and maintain unity in the family, community, nation and race.

Kujichagulia (Self-Determination)
To define ourselves, name ourselves, create for ourselves and speak for ourselves.

Ujima (Collective Work and Responsibility)
To build and maintain our community together and make our brother’s and sister’s problems our problems and to solve them together

Ujamaa (Cooperative Economics)
To build and maintain our own stores, shops and other businesses and to profit from them together.

Nia (Purpose)
To make our collective vocation the building and developIng of our community in order to restore our people to their traditional greatness.

Kuumba (Creativity)
To do always as much as we can, in the way we can, in order to leave our community more beautiful and beneficial than we inherited it.

Imani (Faith)
To believe with all our heart in our people, our parents, our teachers, our leaders and the righteousness and victory of our struggle.

14  December  2013

IN CONVERSATION with Efia Nwangaza

HUMAN RIGHTS – COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT – MEDIA
                        Activist and Leader

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Efia Nwangaza is a lifelong civil/human rights activist and freedom fighter who first worked for the liberation of African/Black people as a child in her Garveyite parents’ apostolic faith church, in her birth place of Norfolk, Virginia.

At age 13 years, she served as secretary of the Norfolk Branch of the NAACP Youth and College Chapter and, later in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania she fought police violence, worked in the sucessful NAACP led campaign to desegregate Girard College, “a school for poor white, male, orphans” which then sat in the heart of Black North Philadelphia.

Efia and her family helped raise money and collect clothes and food to send South for those evicted and persecuted for attempting and registering to vote.

She joined forces with returning SNCC volunteers to found the Northern Student Movement (NSM) Freedom Library Day School; featured in the Xerox sponsored Black History: Lost, Stolen or Strayed series.

Anxious to go into the heat of battle, Efia Nwangaza accepted a scholarship and attended Spelman College. She worked at the national SNCC office and took on campus organizing for the successful Julian Bond Special Election Campaign Committee/SNCC-Atlanta Project. The Atlanta Project, SNCC’s first attempt at urban organizing, began raising concerns of a maturing movement and demands of the day, self-determination and SNCC’s position on the US War in Vietnam (which it did before King and SCLC), Palestine, and the role of whites in the community and organization. Atlanta Project position papers became the theoretical underpinnings for SNCC programming, and advancement of the modern “black power” call popularized by Kwame Ture (FKA Stokely Carmichael).

Armed with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology and Visual Arts from Spelman College, Temple University’s first Master of Arts degree in Women’s History (African-African American), and Golden Gate University School of Law Juris Doctorate, she went to Greenville, South Carolina where she is known as a freedom fighter, legal precedent setter and the recipient of many awards.

Efia Nwangaza is the founder and Executive Director of the Afrikan-American Institute for Policy Studies and Planning and founding memeber and SC Coordinator for the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement for Self-Determination. She is the founder/coordinator of the WMXP-LP community based radio, and a board memeber of Pacifica National Foundation, the nations oldest progressive radio network.

Efia is the former co-chair of the Jericho Movement for US Political Prisoners, represented the U.S. Human Rights Network’s Political Prisoner Working Group in observing the U.S. first appearance for UN Universal Periodic Review, in Geneva. She represented the National Conference of Black Lawyers in Aristide era Haiti, lectured at the UN Fourth World Conference on Women, NGO Forum, Beijing, China, and helped draft action plan for UN World Conference Against Racism.

She is an Amnesty International USA Human Rights Defender, and past memeber of the national Board of Directors for National Organization of Women (1990-1994) which launched the Every Woman NOW Campaign for President to force NOW to address internal white supremacy and elitism, African-American Institute for Research and Empowerment (1994-1996), South Carolina ACLU (1994-2000), and she was a 2004 Green Party candidate for U.S. Senate in memoriam and education of voting rights/citizenship work and ethics of Fannie Lou Hammer, Mojeska Simpkins, and Septima Clark.

Taken from Invisible Giants: Coming Into View Volume II

07 December  2013

Honoring the Life of President Nelson Mandela – Tata Madiba  xoˈliːɬaɬa manˈdeːla

Spear of the Nation  Nelson Mandela:    The Authentic Era of South African Revolution

Guest, Dr. Tommy J. Curry, Associate Professor of Philosophy and African American Studies, Texas A&M University

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Tata Madiba.
Nelson Mandela is dead and we should never forget his revolutionary leadership. We remember why he was imprisoned and how.
Madiba was a rare and fierec revolutionary leader. Tonight we talk about his leadership of Spear of A Nation.

Nelson Mandela, the former political prisoner who became the first president of a post-apartheid South Africa and whose heroic life and towering moral stature made him one of history’s most influential statesmen, died Thursday, the government announced. He was 95.

The death was announced in a televised address by South African President Jacob Zuma, who noted, “We’ve lost our greatest son.” No cause was provided.

Nelson Mandela, also known as Madiba, led the struggle to replace South Africa’s apartheid regime with a multi-racial democracy.

To a country torn apart by racial divisions, Mr. Mandela became its most potent symbol of national unity, using the power of forgiveness and reconciliation to heal deep-rooted wounds and usher in an era of peace after decades of conflict between blacks and whites. To a continent rife with leaders who cling to power for life, Mr. Mandela became a role model for democracy, stepping down from the presidency after one term and holding out the promise of a new Africa.

Madiba was a revolutionary leader. Tonight we talk about his leadership of Spear of A Nation.

16 November  2013

In Conversation with Dr. Raymond Winbush: “Racism and Mental Health Therapies and
The Movie, “12 Years A Slave”

We are pleased to have Dr. Winbush return to talk with us on OUR COMMON GROUND. r. Raymond A. Winbush is the Director of the Institute for Urban Research at Morgan State University in Baltimore Maryland.

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Dr. Raymond Winbush is an American-African, scholar/activist in the field of developmental psychology of African boys and reparations for the Transatlantic Slave Trade.

He is the author of three books, including, “Belinda’s Petition: A Concise History of Reparations for the Transtlantic Slave Trade”, (Xlibris, 2009) a “prequel” to his book,” Should America Pay?: Slavery and the Raging Debate on Reparations” which was published by HarperCollins in 2003 and hit Essence Magazine’s bestsellers list shortly after its release. It has been called by Cornel West a “must read” when it comes to understanding the struggle for reparations.. His book, “The Warrior Method: A Program for Rearing Healthy Black Boys”, (Harper Collins, 2001), is a comprehensive African-centered program for rearing healthy Black boys in a racist society.

A clinical psychologist and director of The Warrior Institute (TWI), he is engaged in research concerning adolescent development, education, health and Black men and boys. He is the author of the critically acclaimed books “The Warrior Method: A Parents’ Guide to Rearing Healthy Black Boys” and “Should America Pay?: Slavery and the Raging Debate on Reparations”. In 2007, Winbush traveled to Australia to participate in a 5-day National Conference on Racism held at Murdoch University and delivered a lecture series at Australian National University.

He is the former Benjamin Hooks Professor of Social Justice at Fisk University and Director of the University’s Race Relations Institute. He also served as Assistant Provost and Director of the Johnson Black Cultural Center at Vanderbilt University. A native of Cleveland Ohio, Dr. Winbush, is a product of public school education, K through 12. In 1970, he graduated with honors in psychology from Oakwood College in Huntsville Alabama, and during his undergraduate education there, won scholarships to both Harvard and Yale Universities. After graduation he won a fellowship to the University of Chicago and received both his Masters and Ph.D. in psychology in 1973 and 1976 respectively.
From 1973 to 1980, Dr. Winbush taught at Oakwood College and Alabama A & M University in Huntsville before coming to Vanderbilt University in the fall of 1980. At Vanderbilt he was Assistant Provost of the university, held an adjunct professorship in the Department of Psychology and was Associate Professor of Human Resource Development at Peabody College and. His research interests include infusing African American studies into school curricula, African American adolescent development, Black male and female relationships and the influence of hip hop on contemporary American culture. He is the author of numerous articles on the “politics” of Afrocentricity and the resistance it encounters among scholars who wish to maintain existing intellectual paradigms. A recent article for the Baltimore Urban League coauthored with his colleague Dr. Tracy Rone at the Institute for Urban Research, cited the hidden dangers of environmental lead poisoning in Baltimore City.

He received a five-year $2.6 million grant from the Kellogg Foundation revitalized the historic Race Relations Institute at Fisk University. The 32nd Institute was held July 6-12, 1998 at Fisk with 250 attendees including actor James Earl Jones, the children of Kwame Nkrumah, W. E. B. Du Bois, Marcus Garvey and Richard Wright, Dr. John Hope Franklin, Congressman John Conyers and Naomi Tutu of South Africa. Rap stars Chuck D and other members of the hip-hop community attended, as well as well-known psychiatrist Dr. Frances Cress Welsing. The Race Relations Institute is the only institute of its kind housed at a historically Black university. Another grant from the Will and Jada Pinkett-Smith Foundation is helping to establish The Warrior Institute in Baltimore that teaches the Warrior Method to parents, teachers and community activists.

His consultations are numerous. He is a former member of the Executive Board of the National Council for Black Studies. He is former President of the Southern Region of the Association of Black Culture Centers, and has consulted widely with organizations ranging from the Joint Center for Economic and Political Studies, National Research Council and the Ford Foundation and several American universities.. He currently sits on the Advisory Board of both the Journal of Black Studies, and Africalogical Perspectives the most prestigious journals in their field. He has held Board memberships on the Center for Democratic Renewal chaired by Rev. C. T. Vivian and the National Vanguard Leadership Program, chaired by Camille Cosby which has been instrumental in recording the lives of elders in the American African community.

Winbush conducts workshops based upon The Warrior Method locally, nationally and internationally. The Warrior Method has been incorporated in school systems in Baltimore, MD; Worchester, MA; Dallas, TX; Brixton, United Kingdom; and Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada and the issues of mental health in the Black community.

Listen ON – DEMAND l OUR COMMON GROUND l In Conversation with Dr. Raymond A.  Winbush, PhD at http://tobtr.com/s/5571659. #TalkthatMatters

09  November  2013

“Disconnected From Our History: The Residuals of Mis-Education, Media and Denial”

A Conversation we need to have and learn to have in our community.

OPEN MIC Saturday Night

11-9 Open Mic Disconnected

This Week at OUR COMMON GROUND
LIVE November MIC Saturday Night

“History, as nearly no one seems to know, is not merely something to be read. And it does not refer merely, or even principally, to the past. On the contrary, the great force of history comes from the fact that we carry it within us, are unconsciously controlled by it in many ways, and history is literally present in all that we do. It could scarcely be otherwise, since it is to history that we owe our frames of reference, our identities, and our aspirations. And it is with great pain and terror that one begins to assess the history that has placed one where one is, and formed one’s point of view. In great pain and terror, because, thereafter, one enters into a battle with that historical creation, Oneself, and attempts to recreate oneself according to a principle more humane and more liberating: one begins to attempt to achieve a level of personal maturity and freedom which robs history of its tyrannical power, and also changes history.” – “White Guilt’ essay, James Baldwin

We hope that you will join us.

02  November  2013

11-02-13 Ikard

Dr. David Ikard, Ph.D.

” Nation of Cowards” Author, Professor

David Ikard specializes in twentieth century literature (with a specialty in African American), black feminist criticism, hip hop culture, and black masculinity studies.  His essays have appeared in African American ReviewMELUSPalimpsestAfrican and Black Diaspora JournalThe Journal of Black Studies, and Obsidian III. In 2007 Ikard published his first book, Breaking The Silence: Toward a Black Male Feminist Criticism, which reconsiders the role of black men in feminism and identifies intraracial patterns of complicity in dominant modes of power that undermine even the most earnest and informed anti-sexist and anti-racist efforts. Co-authored with Martell Teasley, Ikard’s second book Nation of Cowards: Black Activism in Barack Obama’s Post-Racial America, explores the disconnect between the national hype over Barack Obama’s historical election to the presidency and the ever-increasing economic distress of the black community that Attorney General Eric Holder broached in his controversial “race speech” in 2008. It received the Best Scholarly Book Award by DISA in 2013. The third and forthcoming book, Blinded by the Whites: Why Race Still Matters in the 21st Century considers whether a non-hierarchical strategy of empowerment is even feasible in the twenty-first century given the surge of socioeconomic incentives for African Americans to accommodate the status quo. From a cultural standpoint, it investigates the nuanced ways in which African American writers and artists across various creative media have negotiated this dilemma of incentives over time, paying close attention to “unorthodox” patterns of resistance that typically fall off the radar of intellectual consideration. He is currently working on two monographs. The first,Loveable Racists, White Messiahs, and Magical Negroes, explores the tenacity of white redemption narratives and their impact on cultural consciousness and race relations. The second project, Who’s Afraid of an Angry Black Man, focuses on extant black pathology discourses, spanning from hip hip culture to the academy, and considers the salient ways in which they continue to inform and complicate black self-determination and political agency in the present day. He received his Ph. D. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2002.
 He is Associate Professor in the English Department at Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL.  Professor Ikard is on leave for the 2013-2014 year. He is serving as  faculty at the University of Miami Department of English presently.

26 October  2013

“In Conversation with George Curry”

10-26-13 About Curry

George E. Curry is editor-in-chief of the National Newspaper Publishers Association News Service. The former editor-in-chief of Emerge magazine, Curry also writes a weekly syndicated column for NNPA, a federation of more than 200 African American newspapers.

Curry, who served as editor-in-chief of the NNPA News Service from 2001 until 2007, returned to lead the news service for a second time on April 2, 2012. His work at the NNPA has ranged from being inside the Supreme Court to hear oral arguments in the University of Michigan affirmative action cases to traveling to Doha, Qatar, to report on America’s war with Iraq.

As editor-in-chief of Emerge, Curry led the magazine to win more than 40 national journalism awards. He is most proud of his four-year campaign to win the release of Kemba Smith, a 22-year-old woman who was given a mandatory sentence of 24 1/2 years in prison for her minor role in a drug ring. In May 1996, Emerge published a cover story titled “Kemba’s Nightmare.” President Clinton pardoned Smith in December 2000, marking the end of her nightmare.

Curry is the author of Jake Gaither: America’s Most Famous Black Coach and editor of The Affirmative Action Debate and The Best of Emerge Magazine. He was editor of the National Urban League’s 2006 State of Black America report.

His work in journalism has taken him to Egypt, England, France, Italy, China, Germany, Malaysia, Thailand, Cuba, Brazil, Ghana, Senegal, Nigeria, the Ivory Coast, Mexico, Canada, and Austria. In August 2012, he was part of the official US delegation and a presenter at the US-Brazil seminar on educational equity in Brasilia, Brazil.

George Curry is a member of the National Speakers Association and the International Federation for Professional Speakers. His speeches have been televised on C-SPAN and reprinted in Vital Speeches of the Day magazine. In his presentations, he addresses such topics as diversity, current events, education, and the media.

19  October  2013

Yvette Carnell, Publisher, Writer, Editor

10-19-13 Carnell

She writes mostly about politics, social, and cultural issues for my personal blog, BreakingBrown.com as well as BreakingBrown.tv and Breakingbrown.me. She is also an editor for YourBlackWorld and a managing contributor on KuluteKritic.

Before embarking on a career as a writer, she served as a Congressional aide, first to Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA), and later to former Congressman Marion Berry (D-AR). In her role as a legislative staffer, she prepared briefings, staffed Congressional hearings, represented Members with their constituents, and performed other support duties .

In her time on the Hill, she also worked as Regional Field Director for America’s Families United (AFU), one of the largest non-profit Get Out the Vote (GOTV) campaigns active during the 2004 election cycle. At AFU,she played an integral role in establishing the framework and assessment criteria for distributing over 20 million dollars to AFU’s grant recipient organizations.

In the broader Democratic Party, she served as assistant to the Director of the Women’s Vote Center at the Democratic National Committee (DNC).

Her articles have been featured in the Huffington Post and YourBlackWorld. I have been quoted by national news outlets including, but not limited to; The Nation, The Guardian, Politico and NPR.

Shereceived a B.A. in Political Science from Howard University.

ABOUT BreakingBrown

BreakingBrown.com is a social media hub which aggregates the freshest and most insightful content from brown bloggers, podcasters and videocasters on the internet. We aggregate, distribute, critique and and explore black and brown people in the unending universe which is social media. Now there’s no longer a need for you to stalk cyberspace in search of an honest black or brown perspective. It’s all right here.

In addition to providing the content which black and brown readers sorely miss with the mainstream media stream, we also consider ourselves a meeting place for black and brown social media enthusiasts and thus provide a stream of useful social media information for our overworked and underpaid (thanks Arianna) social media provocateurs.

12  October  2013

The Killing of Radical Black Media

Jeffrey B. Perry

Call-in Number: (347) 838-9852

10-12-13 Perry

Jeffrey B. Perry is an independent working class scholar whose work focuses on the role of white supremacy as a retardant to progressive social change and on centrality of struggle against white supremacy to progressive social change efforts. He is the editor of A Hubert Harrison Reader (Wesleyan University Press, 2001) and author of Hubert Harrison: The Voice of Harlem Radicalism, 1883-1918 (Columbia University Press, 2008). Most recently he wrote the introduction and back matter for the new expanded edition of Theodore W. Allen’s “classic” The Invention of the White Race (2 vols. 1994, 1997; Verso Books, 2012).

Charles V. Richardson is the brother or Ray Richardson and grandson and heir of Hubert Harrison. For many years he helped to oversee, and then to place, the Hubert H. Harrison Papers at Columbia University’s Rare Book and Manuscript Library. He works in the media field.

05  October  2013

OUR COMMON GROUND with Janice Graham 

OPEN MIC NIGHT

10 pm ET               Go LIVE here

Call-in Number: (347) 838-9852

– Federal Government Seizure
– Violence: Domestic, ROAD RAGE, Police Murder and Black Oppression
and You Choose

Army engineer John Van Allen, Navy gunman Aaron Alexis, and Miriam Carey in DC just this week. All African-American. Bikers beats a man into permanent paralysis.  Man uses a trooper road check as a suicide tactic. Marissa Alexander is still in jail. And this is only in a span of 2-3 months. How much have we become “unaware” of violence in our community and the harm that it is doing.  How is this experience forming our belief systems. Follow the dots.

The gerrymandered America, banked their take over with gangstas. Now the GOP has seized your government, locked out federal employees, loaded a gun and put it to your head and taken over your tax dollar and enfranchisement. What do you intend to do about it?

LISTEN LIVE

Community Forum: http://www.ourcommonground-talk.ning.com/

Twitter: @JaniceOCG #TalkthatMatters

Webhttp://www.ourcommonground.com/

Email: OCGinfo@ourcommonground.com

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/OCGTALKRADIO

28  September  2013

09-28 Santos

ABOUT Cathy Santos

Cathy Bennett-Santos is the newly appointed Chairwoman to Pennsylvania Department of the Disabled American Veterans, and is Founder of the National Alliance of Women Veterans, Incorporated established in 2003. She is an advocate and strategist for women who have served in the armed services. Her priorities and focus for the past twenty years comprise: Military Sexual Assault, Research and Experimentation of women veterans, advocating specific gender focused policy and legislation relating to women veterans; and addressing transitional issues that influence their lives that are encouraged to lead to healing and wholeness.

She holds a doctorate in Pastoral Counseling, Master of Science in Economic Development and Bachelor of Science in Computer Science; has received many awards and honors in her work over the years most notable to include 2012 “Most Viewed LinkedIn”, NAACP Community Service Award, several Congressional, Senate and City Council awards and citations; and President Obama Point of Light Community Service Award, just to name a few.

HERSTORY
Six years ago, based on her own Army experiences, Cathy Santos started the National Alliance of Women Veterans to highlight important issues and protect their interests.

“You’re talking about unwelcome sexual advances that create a hostile environment for you, and it usually involves a superior,” said Cathy Santos, founder and executive director of the Philadelphia-based National Alliance of Women Veterans.
While serving as a U.S. Army medical specialist at Fort Monroe, Va., between 1989 and ’92, Santos says she was harassed and raped by three males in her workplace. And though she eventually reported the incidents to military authorities, justice was not served.

Instead, for more than a decade following her honorable discharge, she wandered a wilderness of sorrow, fear and emotional paralysis, all fueled by psychoactive medications administered by a Veterans Administration hospital.
That was until she took a stand.

Since starting the NAWV in 2005, Santos has influenced change not only in the way that the military views sexual conflict among its members, but also in the opportunities and assistance available to women veterans in their civilian lives.

“What my advocacy has been able to do is create policy,” Santos said.
The continuum of challenges facing many women veterans only begins with their service-related victimization.
According to Santos, in the post-9/11 era, one of every three military women reports to having been sexually harassed or assaulted.

21  September 2013

9-14-13 Curry

 Dr. Tommy J. Curry

Professor of Philosophy, Texas A&M University

Dr. 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.

02  March  2013

 “Witnesses On the Bridge – Lessons Learned” 

Florence L. Tate, Activist and ” FBI’s Most Wanted Press Secretary”

03-02 Tate2

GUEST:  FLORENCE L. TATE

Florence L. Tate, Civil Rights Activist, Journalist, and Press Secretary

She recounts Life from Days in Jim Crow South to the1984 Jesse Jackson Presidential Bid in New Memoir.

Many would think becoming an octogenarian reserves one the right to rest on her laurels — but Florence L. Tate, 81, says, “There’s still work to be done.”

The former Civil Rights activist, Dayton Daily News reporter, and press secretary for the historic 1984 Jesse Jackson Presidential campaign has lived through seven decades of American epochs – and now she’s writing about her impressive experiences and achievements in a new memoir – tentatively titled, The FBI’s Most Wanted Press Secretary Opens Her Files on Civil Rights, the Black Power Movement, and Black Partisan Politics.

At a time when our country should be experiencing a sense of accomplishment at realizing the fruits of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s work — evidenced by the election of the first African American President –Tate feels instead that the racial unease and tension revealed by events like the current drama surrounding the George Zimmerman/Trayvon Martin case signify America still has a long way to go in race relations.

“The country has gone backwards from the time of Dr. Martin Luther King’s ‘I Have a Dream’ speech; we have regressed. There’s been an attempt to take things back to the pre-Civil Rights days,” says Tate.

In her memoir, Tate draws upon her extensive experience integrating major companies like Bell Telephone, and Globe Industries, working with seminal civil rights groups including SNCC (Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee) and CORE (Congress for Racial Equality).

As the first African American female journalist at the Dayton Daily News, she also covered current events — including the Dayton riots that occurred during the “summer of ‘68” race riots that swept across the country.

The work that brought her into close confidence with key activist figures — such as Stokely Carmichael and H. Rap Brown — also eventually brought Tate, a middle class Dayton housewife and mother of three children, under the surveillance of the Federal Bureau of Investigation – evidenced by the giant file she received from the FBI when she petitioned for them decades after her civil rights and Pan Africanist work.

Tate wasn’t all that surprised by her voluminous FBI file. “We suspected we were under surveillance because, for example, we would pick up the phone, to try to use the phone, and there would be a silence there… we didn’t know, but we suspected… We suspected there would be people in the meetings, sometimes people who gave off vibes that they were not there to work with us… they were there to spy on us. And figures like Stokely Carmichael were always being followed by the FBI; they didn’t even try to hide it. They would sit outside in cars – for example, if he were at a meeting at my house, or wherever he was, they would be sitting outside my house. When I got my FBI file, then I knew exactly when they had been watching, spying…or infiltrating.”

Tate’s memoir chronicles her journey — from growing up under segregation in the South from the 30s through the mid-50s — to moving north in the late 50s…to finally become an influential figure in the small but dedicated civil rights movement ground work happening in Mid Western cities like Dayton.

“The civil rights activists were working in parts of the country other than the south – where the ground work was well publicized. Little or no publicity was given to the work being done in Mid Western cities like Dayton, Ohio,” she shares.

Related experiences — as Communications Director of the National Urban Coalition, and National Information Coordinator for ’72 African Liberation Day Coordinating Committee — landed Tate the role of Press Secretary in Marion Barry’s first campaign in his successful bid for Mayor of Washington D.C. in 1978, and Press Secretary during his first two years in office. Later she would repeat that role for Jesse Jackson’s 1984 Presidential campaign — during which time she traveled with him to Damascus, Syria during his historic rescue mission to free downed U.S. Air Force pilot Lt. Robert Goodman.

Tate also writes of another major life-defining segment of her journey: her experiences with mental and physical health issues. These include battling breast cancer, suffering a major stroke after the birth of her third child.

Tate says she hopes her memoir will encourage young people – and especially young women – to understand and act on their power to impact the world around them. But like a true mother, grandmother – and now, great-grandmother — she admits her main reason for penning her memoir is for her children.

“My children and grandchildren have repeatedly asked me to write my biography — so they will know who I am…so they can know who they are.”

Octogenarian Florence L. Tate Recounts Life from Days in Jim Crow South to the1984 Jesse Jackson Presidential Bid in New Memoir Many would think becoming an octogenarian reserves one the right to rest on her laurels — but Florence L. Tate, 81, says, “There’s still work to be done.”

02  February 2013

Guest: Playthell BenjaminPublisher, “Commentaries on the Times”

season 2013opening2

GUEST: Playthell Benjamin
“He characterized Tavis Smiley and Dr. Cornel West as misdirected and Marvin X of Oakland, a recovering left coast crack head and shameless sophist with an alter-ego bearing the curious name of “Plato Negro;” a pompous wag who confuses mindless mumbo jumbo with profound wisdom, alas I have been dragged back into an ethnic kerfuffle of the sort they love to wallow in but I eschew.” He writes about all the great issues of our time, and he is interested in the whole world. From the issues of SandyHook to Syria, the White House and the UN, there is no argument that Playthell Benjamin is a learned scholar and street smart analyst.”

About Playthell Benjamin

Playthell George Benjamin is the producer of “Commentaries On the Times”http://commentariesonthetimes.wordpress.com/about/, which he writes and delivers on WBAI radio in New York City. He is a producer with The Midnight Ravers, a long running show exploring the world of art and politics which has won several radio awards for excellence in programming. He is an award winning journalist who has been nominated for the Pulitzer Prize in two different categories: Explanatory Journalism, Village Voice 1988, and Distinguished Commentary, New York Daily News 1995. As part of the production team for The Midnight Ravers, Mr. Benjamin won a 2011 award for excellence in radio programming, given for The Curtis Mayfield Special.

In addition to major political current events, he has extensively written about the differences in political approach within the Black community on issues related to the Obama presidency, administration policies and achievement. Playthell has been an OUR COMMON GROUND Voice since the late 1980s and we welcome his voice back to our microphone. Our discussion will focus on issues related to Obama administration achievements, the inter-community discourse on Obama, and class struggle in America. His provocative, well-informed commentary is hard-hitting and sure to invite serious consideration of our positions and direction.

playthell benjaminHe characterized Tavis Smiley and Dr. Cornel West as misdirected and Marvin X of Oakland, a recovering left coast crack head and shameless sophist with an alter-ego bearing the curious name of “Plato Negro;” a pompous wag who confuses mindless mumbo jumbo with profound wisdom, alas I have been dragged back into an ethnic kerfuffle of the sort they love to wallow in but I eschew.” He writes about all the great issues of our time, and he is interested in the whole world. From the issues of SandyHook to Syria, the White House and the UN, there is no argument that Playthell Benjamin is a learned scholar and street smart analyst.

He writes that he has spent “a half century chronicling the triumphs and studying the problems of the black world. Indeed I was a co-founder of the first free standing, degree granting, Black Studies Department in history – the W.E.B. DuBois Department of Afro-American Studies at the University of Mass, Amherst. I also spent quite a few years as an activist trying to solve those problems, beginning with the explosion of the black student movement in the south during the spring of 1960. Since then my life story would make a spectacular read even by the standards of a romance novel.”

Playthell has won several prizes ranging from The Unity Award presented by the School of communications at Lincoln University in Missouri for distinguished commentary on race relations; the Griot Prize for excellence in covering a story requiring an exploration of African American history and culture: “Who is Listening to Louis Farrakhan?” It was awarded by the New York chapter of the Association of Black Journalist in December 1989. In 1991 Mr. Benjamin won the NYABJ Magazine Awards for Feature Stories, and in 1996 he won the first Annual Tom Forcade Award “for honesty and accuracy in drug reporting” awarded by High Times magazine for his columns on drug use and abuse in the New York Daily News.
From 1991 – 1996 Playthell was a regular contributor to the Guardian Observer of London, where he wrote on politics, culture and sports. He also wrote for the Sunday Times of London, particularly in the prestigious magazine, The Culture, which addresses cultural matters high and low. In the London Guardian he wrote feature stories ranging from the television coverage of the Los Angeles race riot sparked by the Rodney King incident, to the courtroom genius of the great First Amendment Lawyer Martin Garbus, as well as the O.J. Simpson Trial, The Mike Tyson Rape Case, The Inauguration of Bill Clinton, Concerts at Lincoln Center, and the Sista Souljah vs. Bill Clinton incident. Mr. Clinton’s saxophone playing was also subjected to serious critical evaluation in an essay titled “He may be the Leader of the Western World…But will he ever be President of the Saxophone? For The Sunday Times he wrote about the Youth Jazz festivals convened by the peerless jazz vocalist Betty Carter, Michael Douglass’ movie on the desperation of displaced white workers, Gangsta Rap, Jazz, etc.

12-08 Newton 2

“Black America Drifting Into Darkness: Black Mental Illness and Black Madness”

December 8, 2012

Dr.. Patricia Newton, M.D., MPH, M.A., (Nana Dr. Akousa Akyaa) is

presently President & Medical Director of Newton & Associates,PA, specialists in Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine. She is board certified in Psychiatry & Neurology with sub-specialty boards in Administrative Psychiatry. She has served as Asst. Prof. of Psychiatry at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and Johns Hopkins School of Public Health as well as a past examiner for the American Board of Psychiatry. She was Chairperson of the Department of Psychiatry at the former Provident Hospital (Baltimore, MD). She is a graduate of Washington University School of Medicine (St. Louis, MO) where she served on the faculty after residency training at the Barnes Hospital Group before relocating to Baltimore. She holds a Masters Degree in Public Health from Johns Hopkins School of Hygiene and Public Health (Baltimore, MD), a Masters Degree in Molecular Biology from Peabody College – Vanderbilt University (Nashville, TN) and a B.S. Degree in Pre-Medicine & Biology from University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff and special courses in languages and culture at the Universidad Nacional Automa de Mexico (Mexico City, Mexico).
Dr. Newton has served as a consultant to the National Institutes of Mental Health in developing media campaigns for HIV Aids and Drug Abuse. She has been a member of the Board of the Medical Acupuncture Research Institute of America conducted research in pain management and substance abuse disorders. She has served as a consultant to several Fortune 500 companies in the area of diversity training, a consultant to the Congressional Black Caucus Brain Trust for health care policy development, and has been the host of several radio shows in the Baltimore/Washington, DC area. She is a published author. She frequently lectures on a national as well as international level (England, Spain, South Africa, Ghana, Senegal, Egypt, Ethiopia, and Brazil) as well as develops and implements international health related conferences and tours for physicians as well as other health care professionals. She is currently the President of the Black Psychiatrists of America and holds membership in many professional medical and cultural organizations.
Her practice concentration is in the areas of anxiety disorders (post traumatic stress disorder, panic disorder, generalized anxiety disorder and social phobia), dual diagnosis, depression, and pain. She also works in the areas of trans-cultural and cross-cultural psychiatry as well as women’s issues relative to anxiety disorders and depression. Dr. Newton has worked with traditional and indigenous healers of South America, Ghana, Senegal and South Africa.

Dr. Newton is an enstooled female king and queen mother in the Ashanti region of Ghana. She is a divisional chief (Dompiahene) of the Agogo Traditional Area. In this capacity, she is one of the first females to serve in this capacity and has full rights afforded Ashanti royalty.

The Black Psychiatrists of America (BPA), established in 1969, seeks to optimize the mental health of people of African descent in the Americas and across the African Diaspora. The BPA has maintained

close ties with psychiatrists and allied mental health professionals concerned about black people across North and South America, the Caribbean and Africa. As such, this organization has a responsibility to be a voice of advocacy to ensure the proper handling of any matter or  initiative affecting understanding of mental health needs, psychiatric diagnosis and treatment of black populations across the Diaspora.

12-01 Hunger“Black America Over the Cliff:
Hunger, Mental Illness and Homelessness on America’s Political Agenda”

December 1, 2012

How Black are the problems of hunger, mental illness and homelessness? Where is the mobilization on these issues in our community nationally? How to create the Black mobilization on these issues ?

What does it mean that these issues did not occupy a place in the campaign, and is not articulated clearly in the debt/deficit discourse? Who in the White House or the Congress is expressing the issues as a public policy priority ? Who is already over the fiscal cliff ?HUNGER in America
One out of every six Americans lives in a food insecure environment. The term “food insecure” means that they do not always know where their next meal will come from. Since 2006, the number of Americans served by food pantries has increased by 27 percent to 5.7 million people receiving emergency food assistance. 36 percent of households served by emergency food assistance programs have one or more adults working. 35 to 46 percent of households must choose between paying for housing, utilities or transportation and buying food.MENTAL ILLNESS in America
An estimated 5.2 million adults have co-occurring mental health and addiction disorders. Of adults using homeless services; 31 percent reported having combination of these conditions. One-half of all lifetime cases of mental illness begin by age 14, three-quarters by age 24. Despite effective treatments, there are long delays—sometimes decades—between the first onset of symptoms and when people seek and receive treatment. Fewer than one-third of adults and one-half of children with a diagnosable mental disorder receive mental health services in a given year.HOMELESSNESS in America
Despite the fact that the number of homeless people was essentially unchanged between 2009 and 2011, there is much reason for concern. Economic and demographic indicators linked to homelessness continue to be troubling. Homelessness is a lagging indicator, and the effects of the poor economy on the problem are escalating and are expected to continue to do so over the next few years. In other words, we do not know the full impact yet.IN BLACK AMERICA
Epidemic, Serious and ChronicOUR COMMON GROUND with Janice Graham”Speaking Truth to Power and Ourselves”BROADCASTING BRAVE BOLD BLACK
CALL IN 347-838-9852

“The Privilege of Numbers: LATINO RECOUNT”

Saturday, NOVEMBER 17, 2012 


The reelection of President Barack Obama creates a new political frontier. One which defines his reelection as a benchmark that very well may frame a critical baseline for political empowerment outcomes for racial groups in this country. There are some who underestimate altogether the value and weight of the Obama vote as a tool for political empowerment which sets the stage for negotiation and arbitration in 2014 and beyond. Vote is “voice” and the Latino community translates it that way. On the other hand, African Americans have an experienced lesson that dilutes the premise. The Democratic Party machine surely as never embraced such a notion.

Tonight, we look at why the Latino community desperately frames the political narrative that but for them, Mitt Romney would have been elected President Barack Obama. The day after the election, protesters for immigration reform were at the WH gate. Black people who are outraged abut Trayvon Martin, voter suppression and the on-going Congressional assault on programs for poor people, the establishment of an American-style apartheid were not.

Over 93 percent of African-Americans voted for Obama this year, as well as 73 percent of Asian-Americans and 71 percent of Latinos.

At 27% this year, Romney’s Latino support is dramatically lower than former President George W. Bush’s support in 2004, which was 44%, and Arizona Sen. John McCain’s 31% in 2008, according to exit polls.

The lowest percentage of Latino voters won by a Republican was in 1996, when Bob Dole garnered only 21% of Latinos compared with then-President Bill Clinton’s record 72%.

In 2008, Obama received 67% of the Latino vote. Latinos made up 9% of the electorate in 2008 with 19.5 million people eligible to vote. Today, there are nearly 24 million Hispanics eligible to vote. The number of registered Latinos has increased by 26% in the last four years to 12.2 million, according a report by the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials.

As early as November 8th, many segments of the Latino community were declaring themselves as the deciding factor in the re-election of President Barack Obama ?

Chauncey DeVega, our last week’s guest, in his “We are respectable negros” blog wrote, “Our Latino brothers and sisters immediately (as in the day after the election) jumped on a national media conference call to make it clear that they saved the president in some key battleground states. I ain’t mad at ’em. “

I focus on this: 27% of the Latino vote, supported Mitt Romney, 44% supported George W. Bush and 31% voted for John McCain. In those numbers there is ideology and political strategy serving a communities voice.

I am asking, “WHAT !?!?!” And when the dream of the dream act is over, will their numbers return to the support of a party wrought on the principles of white supremacy, declaring themselves the “no longer minority” ?

Tonight on OUR COMMON GROUND ####

OUR COMMON GROUND with Janice Graham

“Speaking Truth to Power and Ourselves”

BROADCASTING BRAVE BOLD BLACK

Community Forum: http://www.ourcommonground-talk.ning.com/
On the Web: http://www.ourcommongroundtalk.wordpress.com/
OUR COMMON GROUND http://www.ourcommonground.com/

4 thoughts on “This Week Quick Look

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