Category Archives: ~ In the Library

“A room without a book is like a body without a soul.”
unknown

Amelia Boynton Robinson …Black History


On March 7, 1965, Amelia Boynton was beaten, knocked unconscious and left to die on the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama in what has become known as “Bloody Sunday.” At 103, she is still a champion for freedom, justice and equality.

Born on August 18, 1911, one of ten children of George and Anna Hicks Platts in Savannah, Georgia, young Amelia, at age 10, began her life-long quest for voting rights as a vehicle to equality.  She assisted her mother in going door-to-door by horse and buggy in 1921 to encourage Blacks to vote.

After graduating from Tuskegee Normal and Industrial Institute in 1927, she began a career with the United States Department of Agriculture in 1929. Later, she became reacquainted with fellow Tuskegee graduate, S.W. Boynton, whom she subsequently married. Together, they began helping to lay the groundwork in the 1930’s for the now famous Selma-to-Montgomery March, of which “Bloody Sunday” was a part, and which ultimately led to the passing of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. A part of Amelia’s role in the movement is immortalized in the recent Oscar-nominated movie “Selma,” where she is portrayed by Lorraine Toussaint.

Because of the pivotal work that she performed in securing the right to vote for Blacks in the United States, our nominee, a resident of Tuskegee, Alabama since 1976, is known as the “Matriarch of the Voting Rights Movement.”  Please sign this petition and join our Committee in nominating Mrs. Amelia Boynton Robinson, and in urging President Barack Obama to name her as a recipient for a 2015 Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Thank you for your support.

National Nominating Committee

Post Office Box 941

Tuskegee Institute, Alabama 36087

Dr. Elaine C. Harrington, Chair

Atty. Lateefah Muhammad, Co-Chair

In the Library “Gone with the Wind”


Margaret Mitchell’s Gone with the Wind, one of the best-selling novels of all time and the basis for a blockbuster 1939 movie, is published on this day in 1936.

In 1926, Mitchell was forced to quit her job as a reporter at the Atlanta Journal to recover from a series of physical injuries. With too much time on her hands, Mitchell soon grew restless. Working on a Remington typewriter, a gift from her second husband, John R. Marsh, in their cramped one-bedroom apartment, Mitchell began telling the story of an Atlanta belle named Pansy O’Hara.

In tracing Pansy’s tumultuous life from the antebellum South through the Civil War and into the Reconstruction era, Mitchell drew on the tales she had heard from her parents and other relatives, as well as from Confederate war veterans she had met as a young girl. While she was extremely secretive about her work, Mitchell eventually gave the manuscript to Harold Latham, an editor from New York’s MacMillan Publishing. Latham encouraged Mitchell to complete the novel, with one important change: the heroine’s name. Mitchell agreed to change it to Scarlett, now one of the most memorable names in the history of literature.

Published in 1936, Gone with the Wind caused a sensation in Atlanta and went on to sell millions of copies in the United States and throughout the world. While the book drew some criticism for its romanticized view of the Old South and its slaveholding elite, its epic tale of war, passion and loss captivated readers far and wide. By the time Mitchell won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1937, a movie project was already in the works. The film was produced by Hollywood giant David O. Selznick, who paid Mitchell a record-high $50,000 for the film rights to her book.

After testing hundreds of unknowns and big-name stars to play Scarlett, Selznick hired British actress Vivien Leigh days after filming began. Clark Gable was also on board as Rhett Butler, Scarlett’s dashing love interest. Plagued with problems on set, Gone with the Wind nonetheless became one of the highest-grossing and most acclaimed movies of all time, breaking box office records and winning nine Academy Awards out of 13 nominations.

Though she didn’t take part in the film adaptation of her book, Mitchell did attend its star-studded premiere in December 1939 in Atlanta. Tragically, she died just 10 years later, after she was struck by a speeding car while crossing Atlanta’s Peachtree Street. Scarlett, a relatively unmemorable sequel to Gone with the Wind written by Alexandra Ripley, was published in 1992.

history.com

Mann VS FORD … is this what deregulation looks like -a reminder


I was looking through my posts for environmental cases that have been resolved or not and found that the Mann V Ford case is probably not the only one but it is still active at least a a couple of years ago. Sometime around 2006, I read about this case and then the trailer came out as well, informing us all about the Environmental Waste Disaster case named  Mann V Ford.  I posted it several times. I am still looking for the author of the article below, but the words are not to be denied or ignored. I also wrote pop tort for an update on the case but have not heard back so I went to wiki and found among other things that the Mann V Ford case is active, though a settlement was determined in 2009 with an amount of $12.5 million.  The so-called experts claimed they could not find a connection a correlation or attach any health issues or the many deaths to Fords environmental waste. Reports are that the claimants  received checks in 2010 and the max given out was about 35K. However, most got less. The truth is beyond offensive,but get this …   the EPA has had 5 attempts to finish the job but residence found and keep finding more paint sludge even while Lisa Jackson was in charge, meanwhile more folks have died. The question environmentalist need to ask  and the EPA needs to answer … did/is Ford doing what they were expected, promised and required to do in order to ensure the residence were all compensated  appropriately, Did they continue to check the land, water and grounds before  they deemed them  safe lest we talk about a constant watch on the health of the next generation …

The information written below is from poptort.com around 2006- 2011

If you’re a PopTort.com fan, you know that there have been a few documentaries already out this year about the civil justice system, except that the business community, with all their money, can’t seem to make ones that anyone wants to watch. I dunno, maybe the problem is their basic theme: Hbodocs-logo

“please feel sorry for us, we can’t make as much money as we want at the expense of everyday people, wah wah wah”.

Last Monday night, an example of this phenomenon aired on the Reelz channel, a film called Injustice that received almost no news coverage except by piggy-backing off publicity for the critically-acclaimed film Hot Coffee, and even so, was covered mostly by a few legal blogs like Above the Law, which lambasted it saying, “I’m not sure if anyone was even able to watch it. And if they had been able to do so, I’m pretty sure they would have changed the channel pretty quickly….” (We were happy to see them pick up our “this isn’t a film, it’s an infomercial” theme! ) Even noted film and media scholar Patricia Aufderheide, professor of Film and Media Arts in the School of Communication at American University and director of the Center for Social Media, noticed, tweeting: Dueling documentaries ; looks like the big-biz folks aren’t as good filmmakers….

http://wapo.st/qwM4N7

@hotcoffeemovie

On the other side of that coin, once again tonight HBO airs another very powerful documentary film, called Mann v. Ford, by co-directors Maro Chermayeff and Micah Fink, which showcases how vitally important the civil justice system and plaintiff’s lawyers are to help communities seek justice when powerful corporations have harmed them. Here is what HBO says about it:

The Ramapough Mountain Indians have lived in the hills and forests of northern New Jersey, less than 40 miles from midtown Manhattan, for hundreds of years. In the 1960s, their neighbor in nearby Mahwah, the Ford Motor Company, bought their land and began dumping toxic waste in the woods and abandoned iron mines surrounding their homes. Ford has acknowledged the dumping.

In the 1980s, the Ramapough’s homeland was placed on the Environmental Protection Agency’s list of federally monitored Superfund sites – and supposedly cleaned up by Ford. However, thousands of tons of toxic waste were left behind. In 2006, the residents of Upper Ringwood, after suffering for years from a range of mysterious ailments, including deadly cancers, skin rashes and high rates of miscarriage, filed a mass action lawsuit seeking millions of dollars from Ford as compensation for their suffering. Ford denied all responsibility for the illnesses devastating the community and claimed its flawed cleanup had fully complied with all EPA rules.

MANN v. FORD tells the story of a small community’s epic battle against two American giants: the Ford Motor Company and the Environmental Protection Agency, which failed to ensure that Ford cleaned the land of deadly toxins and erroneously declared the community safe and clean of toxic waste. The documentary debuts MONDAY, JULY 18 (9:00-10:45 p.m. ET/PT), exclusively on HBO.

Impressive. We should point out the New Jersey newspaper, The Record (reporters Jan Barry, Thomas E. Franklin, Mary Jo Layton, Tim Nostrand, Alex Nussbaum,Tom Troncone, Debra Lynn Vial, Lindy Washburn, Barbara Williams) initially broke this story for the wider public in an award-winning series called Toxic Legacy. The paper’s web site says,

A generation ago, the Ford Motor Company churned out six millions cars and trucks at a sprawling assembly plant in Mahwah. But that remarkable production came at a cost. Before the plant closed in 1980, it also generated an ocean of pollution that was dumped in the forests of North Jersey, contaminating a mountain community in Ringwood and threatening the region’s most important watershed.

In 2005, a team of reporters from The Record spent months conducting an investigation of the failed cleanups that had taken place up to that point, and documenting its impact on the people living amid the waste.

So again, the film aired on MONDAY, JULY 18 (9:00-10:45 p.m. ET/PT), exclusively on HBO.

FREEDOM RIDERS : A Stanley Nelson Film : American Experience – In memory


  Get Inspired

 The World Premiere: In 2010 at Sundance Film Festival, US

 A Documentary Competition

Award-winning filmmaker Stanley Nelson (Wounded Knee, Jonestown: The Life and Death of Peoples Temple, The Murder of Emmett Till) returns to the Sundance Film Festival with his latest documentary FREEDOM RIDERS, the powerful, harrowing and ultimately inspirational story of six months in 1961 that changed America forever. From May until November 1961, more than 400 black and white Americans risked their lives—and many endured savage beatings and imprisonment—for simply traveling together on buses and trains as they journeyed through the Deep South. Deliberately violating Jim Crow laws, the Freedom Riders’ belief in non-violent activism was sorely tested as mob violence and bitter racism greeted them along the way.

FREEDOM RIDERS features testimony from a fascinating cast of central characters: the Riders themselves, state and federal government officials, and journalists who witnessed the rides firsthand.

“I got up one morning in May and I said to my folks at home, I won’t be back today because I’m a Freedom Rider. It was like a wave or a wind that you didn’t know where it was coming from or where it was going, but you knew you were supposed to be there.” — Pauline Knight-Ofuso, Freedom Rider

Despite two earlier Supreme Court decisions that mandated the desegregation of interstate travel facilities, black Americans in 1961 continued to endure hostility and racism while traveling through the South. The newly inaugurated Kennedy administration, embroiled in the Cold War and worried about the nuclear threat, did little to address domestic Civil Rights.

“It became clear that the Civil Rights leaders had to do something desperate, something dramatic to get Kennedy’s attention. That was the idea behind the Freedom Rides—to dare the federal government to do what it was supposed to do, and see if their constitutional rights would be protected by the Kennedy administration,” explains Raymond Arsenault, author of Freedom Riders: 1961 and the Struggle for Racial Justice, on which the film is partially based.

Organized by the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE), the self-proclaimed “Freedom Riders” came from all strata of American society—black and white, young and old, male and female, Northern and Southern. They embarked on the Rides knowing the danger but firmly committed to the ideals of non-violent protest, aware that their actions could provoke a savage response but willing to put their lives on the line for the cause of justice.

Each time the Freedom Rides met violence and the campaign seemed doomed, new ways were found to sustain and even expand the movement. After Klansmen in Alabama set fire to the original Freedom Ride bus, student activists from Nashville organized a ride of their own. “We were past fear. If we were going to die, we were gonna die, but we can’t stop,” recalls Rider Joan Trumpauer-Mulholland. “If one person falls, others take their place.”

Later, Mississippi officials locked up more than 300 Riders in the notorious Parchman State Penitentiary. Rather than weaken the Riders’ resolve, the move only strengthened their determination. None of the obstacles placed in their path would weaken their commitment.

The Riders’ journey was front-page news and the world was watching. After nearly five months of fighting, the federal government capitulated. On September 22, the Interstate Commerce Commission issued its order to end the segregation in bus and rail stations that had been in place for generations. “This was the first unambiguous victory in the long history of the Civil Rights Movement. It finally said, ‘We can do this.’ And it raised expectations across the board for greater victories in the future,” says Arsenault.

“The people that took a seat on these buses, that went to jail in Jackson, that went to Parchman, they were never the same. We had moments there to learn, to teach each other the way of nonviolence, the way of love, the way of peace. The Freedom Ride created an unbelievable sense: Yes, we will make it. Yes, we will survive. And that nothing, but nothing, was going to stop this movement,” recalls Congressman John Lewis, one of the original Riders.

Says Stanley Nelson, “The lesson of the Freedom Rides is that great change can come from a few small steps taken by courageous people. And that sometimes to do any great thing, it’s important that we step out alone.”

CREDITS
A Stanley Nelson Film
A Firelight Media Production for AMERICAN EXPERIENCE

Produced, Written and Directed by
Stanley Nelson

Produced by
Laurens Grant

Edited by
Lewis Erskine, Aljernon Tunsil

Archival Producer
Lewanne Jones

Associate Producer
Stacey HolmanDirector of Photography
Robert Shepard

Composer
Tom Phillips

Music Supervisor
Rena Kosersky

Based in part on the book Freedom Riders by
Raymond Arsenault

AMERICAN EXPERIENCE is a production of WGBH Boston.
Senior producer
Sharon Grimberg

Executive producer
Mark Samels

Why the Founder of Mother’s Day Turned Against It : by Sarah Pruitt


Beginning in the 1850s, Ann Reeves Jarvis of West Virginia started Mothers’ Day Work Clubs in order to teach women proper child-care techniques and sanitation methods. In the years following the Civil War, these same clubs became a unifying force for a country ripped apart by conflict. In 1868, Jarvis and other women organized a Mothers Friendship Day, when mothers gathered with former soldiers of both the Union and Confederacy to promote reconciliation. After Ann Reeves Jarvis died in 1905, it was her daughter Anna Jarvis who would work tirelessly to make Mother’s Day a national holiday.

Fairtradeflowers

Anna Jarvis, who had no children of her own, conceived of Mother’s Day as an occasion for honoring the sacrifices individual mothers made for their children.

In May 1908, she organized the first official Mother’s Day events at a church in her hometown of Grafton, West Virginia, as well as at a Wanamaker’s department store in Philadelphia, where she lived at the time. Jarvis then began writing letters to newspapers and politicians pushing for the adoption of Mother’s Day as an official holiday. By 1912, many other churches, towns and states were holding Mother’s Day celebrations, and Jarvis had established the Mother’s Day International Association. Her hard-fought campaign paid off in 1914, when President Woodrow Wilson signed a bill officially establishing the second Sunday in May as Mother’s Day.

Jarvis’ conceived of of Mother’s Day as an intimate occasion—a son or daughter honoring the mother they knew and loved—and not a celebration of all mothers. For this reason, she always stressed the singular “Mother’s” rather than the plural. She soon grew disillusioned, as Mother’s Day almost immediately became centered on the buying and giving of printed cards, flowers, candies and other gifts. Seeking to regain control of the holiday she founded, Jarvis began openly campaigning against those who profited from Mother’s Day, including confectioners, florists and other retailers. She launched numerous lawsuits against groups using the name Mother’s Day, and eventually spent much of her sizeable inheritance on legal fees.

In 1925, when an organization called the American War Mothers used Mother’s Day as an occasion for fundraising and selling carnations, Jarvis crashed their convention in Philadelphia and was arrested for disturbing the peace. Later, she even attacked First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt for using Mother’s Day as an occasion to raise money for charity. By the 1940s, Jarvis had disowned the holiday altogether, and even actively lobbied the government to see it removed from the calendar. Her efforts were to no avail, however, as Mother’s Day had taken on a life of its own as a commercial goldmine. Largely destitute, and unable to profit from the massively successful holiday she founded, Jarvis died in 1948 in Philadelphia’s Marshall Square Sanitarium.

The sad history of Mother’s Day founder Anna Jarvis has done nothing to slow down the popularity—and commercialism—of the holiday. According to an annual spending survey conducted by the National Retail Federation, Americans will spend an average of $168.94 on Mother’s Day in 2013, a whopping 11 percent increase from 2012. In total, Mother’s Day spending is expected to reach $20.7 billion this year. In addition to the more traditional gifts (ranging from cards, flowers and candy to clothing and jewelry), the survey showed that an unprecedented 14.1 percent of gift-givers plan to buy their moms high-tech gadgets like smartphones and tablets.