Tag Archives: Barack Obama

He Had a Dream – Celebratin​g Martin Luther King Jr. Day ::Black History


mLKjrDr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s leadership of the American Civil Rights Movement achieved more genuine progress toward racial equality in America than the previous 350 years had produced. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest leaders in world history. Our country is celebrating his birthday on January 21. Check out these classroom resources, activities, and lesson plans to learn more about him:

urban renewal, rebuilding while displacing … gentrification! are you feelin it too


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Definition of GENTRIFICATION …

Gentrification is a general term for the arrival of wealthier people in an existing urban district, a related increase in rents and property values, and changes in the district’s character and culture. The term is often used negatively, suggesting the displacement of poor communities by rich outsiders. pbs.org

Listening to the local news, reports are that the Seattle City Council is building a New police precinct to replace the old one. ok, Then we hear the cost started out being $160Mil is now around $149Mil and would be the most expensive police precinct ever …let me change that, it would be the most expensive in the nation… yep, it is a WTF moment.

This plan seems like a betrayal to the residents of this great city.  Why can’t they rebuild on the old site least we ask why should we put up with this when there is a lack of housing, jobs and from just reading about this move … suffering from what appears to be secrets, lies and closed door meetings until that last public hearing. To say Seattleites are pissed at some of those folks we trusted and voted for is crazy … while gentrification seems to be in full effect. This news seems in conflict with what Seattle is about or used to be, not to mention the proposals for affordable housing being considered discussed possibly implemented has developers, who want to build here having to put money  into a fund that will help pay for housing or for that new “Police Precinct”?  What I want to know is if this is retroactive because common sense … how many new proposals could be in que …just saying

Oh and did you know if you want to live near great city transportation systems such as our light rail stations in the Greater Seattle area; you will be paying approximately 10 percent more? I have to admit hearing the city of Seattle admit they tell property managers that IT professionals are the best tenants was very disappointing. The comment becomes clearer if you’re looking for what used to be affordable housing here.  The yellow, orange and sometimes blue cranes stand tall, maybe 4 or more in certain parts of this beautiful city are being built to house folks of the IT variety among other big corporations that moved into downtown Seatttle; spread out, took green space away …all of which ultimately raises rents all over the greater Seattle area. Then we heard our rents are not just higher than New York City, but highest in the nation and if that wasn’t mind boggling enough try driving through Seattle to get to point B, C or D it’s not only frustrating to the lack of space between buildings … it’s a cluster f for sure.

The process of renewal and rebuilding accompanying the influx of upper-income or affluent people into deteriorating areas that often displaces poorer residents. The faces of the Pacific North West is quite concerning … Portland, Or once 33percent white in the year 2000 is now 76percent white this year of 2016. The change raises unsettling questions for a city that prides itself on tolerance, social equity and valuing diversity. It includes Seattle, WA. census documents state was 77percent white in 2014, not far behind in having developers ask demand harass older communities of colour into selling their homes lands without having a place to move to in the neighborhood let alone in the city.  I don’t know about you but gentrification is worth fighting against, but who really knew how bad it was or is? I knew that new development was pushing parts of the Pacific North West but got to say; not until after watching United Shades of America point the finger at Portland did it become clear that Portland was indeed systematically involved in a change in the faces of their state. The 64 million dollar question is how did this happen? As someone who used to go to Portland a lot, it makes me want to scream. The idea that gentrification continues to be skillfully ignored, kept outta the airwaves and or swept under some rug… probably dirty from developers, but then again Seattle and Portland need their Democratic Governor and Mayor to tell their constituents why they haven’t addressed or solved this issue.

Below is a quote from Goodread

“In the twenty-first century, the visions of J.C. Nichols and Walt Disney have come full circle and joined. “Neighborhoods” are increasingly “developments,” corporate theme parks. But corporations aren’t interested in the messy ebb and flow of humanity. They want stability and predictable rates of return. And although racial discrimination is no longer a stated policy for real estate brokers and developers, racial and social homogeneity are still firmly embedded in America’s collective idea of stability; that’s what our new landlords are thinking even if they are not saying it. (138)”

Other reads below

― Tanner Colby, Some of My Best Friends Are Black: The Strange Story of Integration in America

 

 

Photo: using my phone ~ Nativegrl77

African Americans in Full Color – in memory of Black History


NMAAHC -- National Museum of African American History and Culture

Lonnie Bunch, museum director, historian, lecturer, and author, is proud to present A Page from Our American Story, a regular on-line series for Museum supporters. It will showcase individuals and events in the African American experience, placing these stories in the context of a larger story — our American story.A Page From Our American Story

African Americans in Full Color

In the first half of the twentieth century, Americans became fascinated with photo journalism. Pictures were literally “worth a thousand words” as full-color magazines and tabloid newspapers became the rage.

Publications targeted to African American audiences that featured illustrations and photographs began appearing in the early 1900s. One of the earliest to effectively use illustrations and photography was The Crisis, the official publication of the NAACP. Seeking to educate and inform its readers with scholarly articles, the covers of the journal and its entertainment section were designed to appeal to the masses of African Americans.

In the 1930s, we see pictorial magazines such as Abbott’s Monthly, published by Robert Sengstacke Abbott, the founder of the Chicago Defender newspaper, and Flash, which billed itself as a “weekly newspicture magazine.” Published in Washington, D.C., Flash contained a mixture of news, gossip and advertisements and articles on racial issues, providing an overview of the highs and the lows of Black life in the 1930’s.

In 1942, African American businessman John H. Johnson founded the Johnson Publishing Company, a corporation that would go on to publish the well-known magazines Ebony, Jet, Tan, and Ebony Jr. The magazines promoted African American achievements and affirmative black imagery in popular culture, which appealed to readers … and to advertisers. Mr. Johnson was a savvy businessman and used the statistics of a rising black middle class to persuade companies and businesses that it was in their economic “self-interest” to advertise in his magazines to reach African American consumers.

With the success of the Johnson Publishing Company’s magazines, other magazines targeted to African Americans quickly came on the scene. For example, in 1947 Horace J. Blackwell published Negro Achievements, a magazine highlighting African American success articles and featuring reader-submitted true confessions stories. After Blackwell died in 1949, a white businessman named George Levitan bought the company and renamed the publication Sepia. This publication featured columns by writer John Howard Griffin, a white man who darkened his skin and wrote about his treatment in the segregated South, that eventually became the best-selling book Black Like Me.

Whether featuring positive images of African Americans, inspiration stories, news features or commentaries on racism, the rise of African American magazines defied long-held racial stereotypes through rich storytelling, in-depth reporting, and stunning photography.

Due to a variety of economic, editorial, and other factors, most of these magazines have ceased being published. Yet today some African American magazines are still a thriving part of popular culture. Johnson Publishing Company’s Ebony and its digital sites reach nearly 72% of African Americans and have a following of over 20.4 million people.

 dd-enews-temp-lonnie-bunch-2.jpg All the best,

Lonnie Bunch
Director

P.S. We can only reach our $250 million goal with your help. I hope you will consider making a donation or becoming a Charter Member today.

To read past Our American Stories, visit our archives.

Republicans … say one thing and continute to do another on the floor of Congress


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just another rant …

The 113th Congress went on vacation, with fewer days worked than the people they seem to keep voting against …some Republicans call lazy … the nonsense continues with the 114th Congress, who only worked approximately 80days

Do you wonder if $175K is a lot for about 126 days of work per year? Yes, take a deep Breath as the Peoples business is up against some deadlines as Republicans choose to keep facing off with the Democratic Party while looking childish.  President Barack H Obama Won Election2012, his 2nd term yet some conservatives in Congress act like Mitch McConnell’s statement to make PBO a one term President or that Waterloo comment are still valid least he makes the effort to shut down the government again.   Yes, breathe in slowly then slowly release your breath … be still, then repeat the process when needed as insanity in the News, Weather, Sports and Politics begins

I have to ask, since when did Ted Cruz, Lindsey Graham or their small group of teabag members have control over the governing party. They certainly act like it every time they get a chance to be on cable TV.  These men, who say one thing while planning takedowns in secret rooms have tossed their title of Public Servant down the nearest sewer. Now, I wonder how we will ever pass VRA, immigration reform and other bills For Americans kept off the floor of Congress because of those poison pill amendments.  Again, how childish and how tough is it to understand the Republican Party needs to be more inclusive, though trust, respect and future votes are not seasonal or easily earned nor should they be. It makes a voter wonder, can Republicans stop flip-flopping for just a minute so Congress can get the People’s business done.  Yet, the tantrums continue. Okay, stop and take a deep breath as the talking points meme disguised as debates, votes and amendments begin on the floor of Congress.

If you listen to Republicans, they act; remember (act) like they plan to be in bipartisan mode but they have shown themselves to be less than trustworthy less than bipartisan and their votes … proof of how they actually feel cannot be denied or overlooked.

Yes, Congress has taken the time to bring issues such as Student Loan Rates Gun Safety Immigration to the floor of Congress and all connected to jobs. It is important to call your member of Congress because the Republican tactic to stall or quietly throw poison pills in amendments is happening right this very moment. I ask you to please call your member of Congress and tell them to pass a Climate Change bill, respect reproductive rights, VRA, immigration reform and pass #theAmericansJOBsACT, as all Americans need a path toward Stability not Austerity, which is what Republicans seem to keep pushing.

I want America to wake up, push back, and demand all members of Congress do the People’s business

#MidtermsMatter

Republicans see themselves as stewards of the purse strings in the House of Representatives and they are, but it does not give them the right to act or do what they want as if their party is governing.

#Midterms will decide what kind of life we all want our next generation to navigate through … please take the time to understand who is causing America to decline  … The House holds the American #PurseStrings which is why the #FlintRescueAid, Infrastructure, Budget among a large list have been held hostage

11 Words You Need to Teach Your Son Before He Turns 6


The things we say to our kids help shape their identity.

 

The following story first appeared on the Good Men Project. 

Recently, while helping in my youngest son’s art camp, I noticed one little boy falling behind the others and no longer participating.

I touched his shoulder and pointed at the teacher, as a reminder to pay attention. He ignored me and looked around the room. A few minutes later, his head was down and he wasn’t even trying.

I knelt in front of him and asked, “Why aren’t you doing the project?” He started crying.

“Everyone’s ahead. I can’t do it now. It’s too late.”

Thing was, he could have done it. They were simple steps and all laid out in front of him. He also could’ve asked for help. But he shook his head and said he couldn’t. He just couldn’t.

“Oh,” I said. “Do you feel overwhelmed?”

He looked at me funny and asked what “overwhelmed” means. When I explained that it’s a feeling you get when there’s so much happening and you just don’t know where to start, so you sort of freeze up.

His eyes lit up. “Yes!” he said, and seemed excited that someone understood exactly how he felt.

When his mom arrived to pick him up, he ran to her and said, “I was overwhelmed today, but then I got all caught up.” He shoved the craft into her hands and beamed. At that moment, it occurred to me how important it is for kids (and adults, too) to have a wide variety of words to describe feelings and situations.

As a parent, and someone who pays close attention to social issues around gender, I think it’s crucial that we make a conscious choice to arm all of our kids with words that can give them important social skills or the ability to describe feelings. This list is for parents of kids of any gender, but I am focusing a bit on what words boys need to know, so we can help them describe things we don’t typically think of as manly or boyish.

***

1. Lonely.

Loneliness often happens when you feel like nobody cares about you. As adults, we can often reason with ourselves about this feeling, but for a child it can be awfully hard to understand why people aren’t giving us what we need, emotionally, at the moment we need it.

Your kid may be resisting bedtime and say that he gets scared or sad in his room. He may actually be scared, or just sad, or he may feel very alone. Maybe you watch TV on the couch after he goes to bed, or you and your spouse sleep in the same bed without him. Being excluded from those things could be a lonely feeling for a kid.

Once you understand the nature of his feelings, you can better explain that even though he’s by himself in his bed, he’s very much loved by his family and in the morning you can all be together again.

2. Frustrated.

It’s not angry. It’s not sad. It’s something else, and young children feel this sensation regularly. Imagine having to follow every command of somebody else all the time, even when their demands feel illogical. How frustrating would it be to watch other kids get to do stuff you aren’t allowed to do, just because of your size? These are the challenges kids face every day. And it’s frustrating.

And yet most little kids don’t know that word, so when they start to feel that way, they can only define it as mad. I suspect that’s why tantrums often look like little rage-fests. So get down to eye-level with your child and describe that frustration is when you get upset because you just can’t seem to do what you want to do, and maybe you don’t even know why you can’t.

Try teaching them the word, explaining the definition, and asking them to say “I’m so frustrated!” next time. Once you understand, then you can walk him through the problem and help him solve it—or at least understand the “why”.

3. Intimidated.

I remember arriving at a park to play with a bunch of our preschool buddies with my son and he turned and said, “I want to go home.”

I’d driven thirty minutes to get there, and we weren’t going home. I asked him why, and all he’d say was, “Because.”

“Because what?”

Nothing.

Finally he said, “I’m scared.”

There was nothing to be scared of, and I told him that, not realizing that I was invalidating his feelings at that moment. He was safe, he’d played there before, and I was right next to him.

Finally he explained that he felt like his friends were all together and he didn’t know what they were playing. I realized then that he wasn’t scared, he was intimidated. He felt unprepared and unworthy. Once I understood that, I was able to solve the problem. And once he knew the word, he used it frequently in situations like that.

4. That’s just not my thing.

This is a funny one, but it’s something we’ve evolved in our family after a lot of trial and error.

Saying, “that’s just not my thing,” is a way for kids to back out of socially-pressured situations without seeming like they’re judging others or making a big deal out of something. This can be anything from, “Hey, why don’t you play basketball with us at recess like the other guys?” to something that he or she’s not ready to handle, like a roller coaster or a scary movie.

It can also be used to diffuse a dangerous or amoral situation like bullying or excessive risk-taking. Of course when kids are being cruel or harming someone (or themselves), you should empower your kid to stop or report them to a trusted grown-up, but he may also need an “out” for the situation that’s handy in a pinch so he can take a moment to figure out how to proceed next.

5. Hangry.

Things we know about kids: They act out and get more emotional when they’re hungry. But oftentimes, they don’t realize they’re hungry! They just feel mad, and will tell you that in no uncertain terms!

We joke about the word “hangry” with our kids, but it’s a useful term because hungry anger is a pretty specific feeling, and having a word for it may help your kid feel empowered to explain exactly what he or she is feeling, and remind them to stop and eat a nutritious snack like a string cheese or some almonds, that will help stabilize his or her blood sugar and mood.

6-8. Proper names for their body parts. 

Specifically: Penis, Vagina (or vulva), and anus.

I know, there’s nothing cute or fun about talking about the accurate terminology for body parts, but it’s necessary. Being able to accurately describe parts of our own bodies empowers us to speak openly and honestly about them. Using these terms without shame teaches our kids that they can come to us with questions or concerns, and this is important for their health and their emotional development.

By not using cutesy terms, we raise kids who are empowered about their own bodies. We can then discuss that their genitals are their own private business, and that nobody gets to touch them without permission. Likewise, we don’t touch other people’s genitals or make people feel uncomfortable.

Christopher Anderson, Executive Director of MaleSurvivor.org—an advocacy and support group for men and boys (and their loved ones) who have been sexually abused, explains further why accurate terminology is important:

Many child protection experts strongly urge parents to empower children with the proper terminology for all body parts. Doing so can have greatly improve a child’s understanding of their own bodies, which can in turn improve their self-image and confidence. Confident, well-educated children are also less at risk for abuse, especially sexual abuse, at the hands of perpetrators who often seek out children who are more vulnerable and less informed.

This is, of course, part of a much larger conversation, but it’s one that can help prevent your child from being abused or abusing others. This conversation has to start at age 1 and continue into their college years. For more specific instructions, see The Healthy Sex Talk, Teaching Consent Ages 1-21, which I co-authored.

I want to note that I think following your child’s lead in what they call their genitals is okay, as long as they are clear of the technical terms too. I wouldn’t stop a boy from calling his penis a “weenie” or something, as long as it was very clear he knew the word penis was accurate and totally fine to say, as well.

9. Touched-out.

This term has become synonymous with new parents who have babies climbing all over them all the time, but it’s useful in a lot of different ways, too.

Sometimes, as a parent, you just feel like you need some personal space. Maybe you’re in a bad mood, or maybe you have had a baby on you all day long. Regardless, it’s okay to lovingly tell someone—even your own child—that you’re feeling “touched out” and would like a little time where nobody is touching you. Reassure him or her that pretty soon you’ll feel like snuggling or wrestling again, but for now you need everyone to honor your “space bubble”. I always use my hands to show my kids how far around me my space bubble is, and ask them not to pop it.

Not only are you teaching them to honor others’ bodily autonomy, but if you also offer this as an option for your child, then you’re empowering him or her to say “no” to touching, even loving or innocent touch. If his little brother or sister is poking him or trying to snuggle, then he can say to you or them, “I feel touched out” and you can help advocate for his personal space.

10. Overwhelmed.

I talked about this at the beginning, but I want to underline the way I see this word helping kids, especially boys, in classroom settings.

Often, when we see a kid drifting or fidgeting in class we may default (even if only subconsciously) to assuming that the kid has an attention issue or just doesn’t care about school.

But what if there’s another issue? What if he really wants to engage but is overwhelmed because he’s behind, or because he can’t hear the teacher, has a distraction, or see the board well? I really do think this feeling-word could be of great service in young elementary school classrooms.

11. May I please…?

At the top of my list of things kids do that drive me crazy is when kids make demands. It drives me absolutely bonkers to hear a kid say, “Get me some milk” or “Give me that toy”. I know kids are naturally very selfish creatures, and being demanding is a part of development, but part of teaching your child empathy is asking them to consider how it feels to have someone demand something from them.

“Dad, may I please have a glass of milk?” or “Mom, could you please get me the Lego bin?” are questions that require your child to consider how you feel, what you’re doing, and how their request might affect you. If my arms are full of groceries, I hope my sons will see that and not tell me at that exact moment to open the door for them. But if we don’t teach them to ask people for things nicely, they may not learn to consider the feelings of the person they’re imposing upon.

And trust me, you child’s teacher will appreciate the good habit.

Becoming comfortable with asking for things with respect, as well as learning to be kind and gracious when someone says “no” are lessons that will carry forward into their lives as older kids, too, especially when they start dating.