Since the SHOOTING death of Michael Brown, multiple activist have been murdered violently in Ferguson, Mo. Leading many to believe something sinister is at play. All of the deaths (mostly black males) have been linked to the 2014 police involved shooting of the unarmed black teen. Following the acquittal of police officer Darren Wilson, protest […]
SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX 5) — One of San Francisco’s biggest tourist destinations is tackling homelessness with a new approach, connecting with those in need and providing a connection to their loved ones. Union Square is one of the city’s most popular spots but its visitors and businesses face challenges when it comes to the homeless…
Use this… Knowledge, culture, community and unity are the best weapons to be armed with… Arm yourself with all the knowledge you can, in all regards…
HOWARD COUNTY, Md. (WJZ) — Community members in Howard County have a colorful way to learn thanks to a new art program. The library system is using art and culture to inspire and expand their minds from amateur to professional collections- this art in the Howard County Library system are more than just pieces staring…
A great, inspiring and easy way to buy back the block! Have ownership in what is rightfully yours, make money and help that money cycle within the community… Let’s thrive!
There is so much history buried I intend to share to anyone who may not be aware of it as soon as my internet is back on (Monday, ideally!)… For now I am limited to posts and I hope you will take the time to consider the videos, and the link to follow.
Interested? Check out BuyTheBlock’s educational site here & get involved!
This is wonderful! Here is a list of books for children, written by Black authors… I’ve been wanting to get more things like this collected; feel free to share any more anyone may know of!
7 books about black children being carefree by black authors!
These towns and their self-reliant middle class and affluent residents are documented by the home movies of Reverend S. S. Jones, an itinerant minister and businessman.
Stunning and inspiring! Most of us know about Black Wall Wall Street; but there were many towns across America where Black people thrived. Whites didn’t like that, of course, and as we saw with Black Wall Street, these jealous sick freaks stole by demolishing, because they couldn’t handle not being best. It’s hard to be best when they always had others enslaved doing the work for them. But this is a happy post so!
the video footage by clicking here. I can’t embed it sadly. Article associated posted below.
Part three of a four-part series from the film archive of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture
By the 1920s, Oklahoma was home to some 50 African-American towns, in addition to a large and prosperous black community living in the city of Tulsa. These towns and their self-reliant middle class and affluent residents are documented by the home movies of Reverend S. S. Jones, an itinerant minister and businessman. Known and respected by the citizens of the towns whose lives he captured on film, Rev. Jones’s work offers revealing glimpses of these communities as a haven for African Americans who very often faced discrimination elsewhere in America.
The subjects are everyday life: a family on the front porch of their bungalow, shop workers at a storefront, farmers plowing their fields, children playing on seesaws in a schoolyard. Much of the material documents the economic life of the towns, from business districts filled with prosperous merchants to the homes of successful professionals, with an abundant countryside beyond.
As Rhea Combs, curator of film and photography for the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture, points out in her commentary, here we even find a married couple who were oil barons, proof of the extraordinary progress made in the relatively short time since the end of slavery.
The fashions and hairstyles, automobiles and horses, and even such details as a man manually pumping gasoline at a filling station make the films a fascinating record of the lives of Americans, and African Americans in particular, in the early 20th century.
“Harvard’s refusal to honor our family’s history by acknowledging our lineage and its own shameful past is an insult to Papa Renty’s life and memory.”- See Below
Though this isn’t the first time white people have made money off of the hard labor and pain endured by Black people. So this isn’t a surprise, no. But I believe it is important to keep up to date on what is being done, and in this instance, I’m interested in how the lawsuit goes. How the courts treat this will tell us a lot.,, perhaps we know already… but each piece of evidence we need to ensure we are aware of.
Every day white people are benefiting from the forced labor Black people gave during enslavement while whites sat back, doing nothing but cruelty, reaping the financial gain which was in fact not rightfully theirs. Black men built this country, but this -and so much more- is insulted, disrespected deeply by the lack of reparations and by the lack of acknowledgement. (Black history month needs to be yearly… and real.)
Reparations are due, that is obvious to the intelligent and moral people. But, that’s another post. (I am still in process of moving but it’s almost over and once it is, I will be posting consistently and often.)
Black people are due at the very least acknowledgment, something Harvard is denying just as much as the rest of America.
Reparations isn’t even a question to anyone who has any morals.
Now, with more money being made off of the detestable history of slavery and adding disrespect by be heaving just as low as they are -and no they aren’t alone- but this case should be watched. Not only the case but the behaviors already shown; making money without a bit of care, the refusal to give credit and the lack of sensitivity and respect is disgustingly showing what we have known.
Being that they are being taken to court is what makes this a case so important to watch because most thievery like this has yet to be taken to court let alone noted in the media. White privilege needs to end.
I believe we should use each and every piece of evidence as more fuel to fight evil, to go after justice… Remember, evil cannot last forever. But we also have to acquire unity, end the violence and put true knowledge in the mind… We can remove evil…
In 1850, a Swiss-born Harvard University professor commissioned what are believed to be the earliest photos of American slaves.
The images, known as daguerreotypes and taken in a South Carolina studio, are crude and dehumanizing – and they were used to promote racist beliefs.
Among the photographed: an African man named Renty and his daughter, Delia. They were stripped naked and photographed from several angles. Former professor Louis Agassiz, a biologist, had the photos taken to support an erroneous theory called polygenism that he and others used to argue that African-Americans were inferior to white people.
Now, a woman who says she is a direct descendant of that father and child – Tamara Lanier, the great-great-great granddaughter of Renty – is suing Harvard over the photos.
She has accused Harvard of the wrongful seizure, possession and monetization of the images, ignoring her requests to “stop licensing the pictures for the university’s profit” and misrepresenting the ancestor she calls “Papa Renty.”
The university still owns the photos. Lanier, who lives in Connecticut and filed the suit against Harvard in Middlesex County Superior Court on Wednesday, is seeking an unspecified amount of damages from Harvard. She’s also demanding that the university give her family the photos.
In an interview with USA TODAY, Lanier said she has presented Harvard with information about her direct lineage to Renty since around 2011, but the school has repeatedly turned down her requests to review the research.
“This will force them to look at my information,” Lanier said. “It will also force them to publicly have the discussion about who Renty was and restoring him his dignity.”
The suit, which lays out eight different legal claims, cites federal law over property rights, the Massachusetts law for the recovery of personal property and a separate state law about the unauthorized use of a name or picture for advertising purposes.
It also singles out the 13th Amendment to the Constitution, which abolished slavery, arguing that Harvard’s possession of the photos “reflects and is a continuation of core components or incidents of slavery.”
“For years, Papa Renty’s slave owners profited from his suffering. It’s time for Harvard to stop doing the same thing to our family,” Lanier said.
Who was Renty?
Lanier called Renty a “proud man who, like so many enslaved men, women and children endured years of unimaginable horrors.”
“Harvard’s refusal to honor our family’s history by acknowledging our lineage and its own shameful past is an insult to Papa Renty’s life and memory.”
The suit also says Harvard has “never sufficiently repudiated Agassiz and his work.”
Jonathan Swain, a spokesman for Harvard, said Wednesday that the university “has not yet been served, and with that is in no position to comment on this lawsuit filing.”
Lanier is represented by the law firms of national civil rights attorney Benjamin Crump of Florida, who has worked high-profile cases for the families of Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown, as well as Connecticut-based attorney Michael Koskoff.
The photos taken in 1850 of Renty, Delia and 11 other slaves disappeared for more than a century but were rediscovered in 1976 in the attic of Harvard University’s Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology.
One of the photos of Renty, showing him waist-up as he looks defiantly into the camera, has four decades later turned into an iconic image of slavery in the U.S.
The lawsuit argues that Harvard has used the Renty images to “enrich itself.” The image is on the the cover of a 2017 book, “From Site to Sight: Anthropology, Photography and the Power of Imagery,” published by the Peabody Museum and sold online by Harvard for $40.
The photo also was displayed on the program for a 2017 conference that Harvard’s Radcliffe Institute for Advance Study hosted on the school’s relationship with slavery.
According to Lanier’s attorneys, Harvard requires that people sign a contract in order to view the photos and pay a licensing fee to the university to reproduce the images.
“These images were taken under duress, and Harvard has no right to keep them, let alone profit from them,” Koskoff said. “They are the rightful property of the descendants of Papa Renty.”
He accused Harvard of not wanting to tell the “full story” of how Renty’s image was seized – against the will of slaves for a professor who sought to “prove the inferiority” of the black race.
“Harvard continues to this day to honor him, and that’s an abomination,” Koskoff said.
In recent years, Harvard leaders have publicly acknowledged the school’s role in fostering slavery. In addition to the 2017 conference on slavery, the school convened a faculty committee a year earlier to jump-start scholarship and research on Harvard’s history with slavery.
Former University President Drew Faust said in a speech in 2016 that Harvard was “directly complicit” in America’s system of racial bondage until slavery was abolished in Massachusetts in 1783. She said Harvard remained “indirectly involved through extensive financial and other ties” to slavery in the South.
“This is our history and our legacy, one we must fully acknowledge and understand in order to truly move beyond the painful injustices at its core,” Faust said.
How the lawsuit began
The suit charts how Lanier, a former chief probation officer in Norwich, Connecticut, has on multiple occasion sought to engage the university about the photos to no avail.
Her attorneys say her effort began in 2011 when she wrote a letter to then-president Faust, whose “evasive response” did not provide an opportunity to discuss returning the photos to Lanier’s family.
Five years later, she says, she reached out to the student-run Harvard Crimson newspaper, but its editor relayed that the story had been “killed” because of concerns from the Peabody Museum.
In the university’s use of the images, the lawsuit says, Harvard has “avoided the fact that the daguerreotypes were part of a study, overseen by a Harvard professor, to demonstrate racial inferiority of blacks.”
“When will they not condone slavery and finally free Renty? Because their actions denote something different than what they might say,” Crump said.
“We are trying to tell as many people throughout America, and especially black people, that Renty does deserve the right to have his image. He was 169 years a slave, but based on this lawsuit, we sought to make sure he would be a slave no more.”
Agassiz was considered one of the greatest biologists and geologists in the world in the mid-19th century. But his record has become problematic over time. He was an opponent of Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution. And in fiercely subscribing to polygenism, he held the now-debunked belief that white people and African-Americans came from different species.
The photos he commissioned were taken by J.T. Zealy in a studio in Columbia, South Carolina. He published them a month later in an article titled “The Diversity of Origin of the Human Races.”
Agassiz’s legacy still lives on at Harvard. He founded the school’s Museum of Comparative Zoology, and his wife, Elizabeth Cary Agassiz, also a Harvard researcher of natural history, was founder and the first president of Radcliffe College, now the Society for the Collegiate Instruction of Women. A street in Cambridge is named after Agassiz, and so is a Harvard theater, the Agassiz House.
Lanier has spent recent years researching and talking to genealogical experts who she said have validated her ancestry.
Lanier said she began studying her family’s ancestry after her mother died in 2010 to follow up on family stories she heard about Papa Renty. She worked with Boston genealogist Chris Child, who is known for tracing ancestors of Barack Obama, according to a 2018 article in the Norwich Bulletin.
“It was a journey,” she said. “It was important to my mother that I write this story of who Papa Renty was down and to do a family tree.
“I made a promise to my mother,” she added.
According to the newspaper, Lanier said she can trace her great-grandfather, named Renty Taylor and then Renty Thompson, to a plantation near Columbia, South Carolina, owned by Benjamin Franklin Taylor. This is where the photos are believed to have been taken.
She said she started providing Harvard evidence that she’s a descendant of Renty but that the school has been “non-responsive.” “Most importantly, I want the true story of who Renty is to be told. That’s all I’ve ever asked for.”
The Bulletin quoted Pamela Gerardi, the Peabody Museum’s director of external relations, who described the photos last year as “extremely delicate” and well cared for.
“We anticipate they will remain here in perpetuity,” she said at the time. “That’s what museums do.”
I’ve been thinking on the above March 2019 tweet by the republican President Donald Trump. Initially, I stood up for our military members, police officers and the vast majority of bikers, tweeting that these patriots were not about to be part of an insurrection on behalf of President Trump and that he was being delusional […]
First…for the interested, on my other website I am preparing to post essays regarding mental health, suicide and the Black community, children in particular… Mental health is an issue that has stigma around it anyway, but within the Black community there is an extra hurdle and too many lives have been and are being lost due to it… We need to embrace the fact that mental illness and mental well being is not something to be ashamed of. Moreover, it is just as important than physical well being…in so many instances I’d say more, with suicide on the rise…. Please take mental health seriously ❤
If sadness doesn’t go away, it could be clinical depression
Clinical depression is more than life’s “ups” and “downs.” Life is full of joy and pain, happiness and sorrow. It is normal to feel sad when a loved one dies, or when you are sick, going through a divorce, or having financial problems. But for some people the sadness does not go away, or keeps coming back. If your “blues” last more than a few weeks or cause you to struggle with daily life, you may be suffering from clinical depression.
Clinical depression is not a personal weakness, gracelessness or faithlessness—it is a common, yet serious, medical illness.
Clinical depression is a “whole-body” illness that affects your mood, thoughts, body and behavior. Without treatment, symptoms can last for weeks, months or years. Appropriate treatment, however, can help most people who have clinical depression.
Clinical depression can affect anyone: Anyone can experience clinical depression, regardless of race, gender, age, creed or income. Every year more than 19 million Americans suffer from some type of depressive illness. According to a Surgeon General report, African Americans are over-represented in populations that are particularly at risk for mental illness. Depression robs people of the enjoyment found in daily life and can even lead to suicide. A common myth about depression is that it is “normal” for certain people to feel depressed—older people, teenagers, new mothers, menopausal women, or those with a chronic illness. The truth is that depression is not a normal part of life for any African American, regardless of age or life situation. Unfortunately, depression has often been misdiagnosed in the African-American community.
Myths About Depression
The myths and stigma that surround depression create needless pain and confusion, and can keep people from getting proper treatment. The following statements reflect some common misconceptions about African Americans and depression: “Why are you depressed? If our people could make it through slavery, we can make it through anything.” “When a black woman suffers from a mental disorder, the opinion is that she is weak. And weakness in black women is intolerable.” “You should take your troubles to Jesus, not some stranger/psychiatrist.” The truth is that getting help is a sign of strength. People with depression can’t just “snap out of it.” Also, spiritual support can be an important part of healing, but the care of a qualified mental health professional is essential. And the earlier treatment begins, the more effective it can be.
What Causes Clinical Depression?
Many factors can contribute to clinical depression, including cognitive issues (e.g., negative thinking patterns); biological and genetic factors; gender (it affects more women than men); other medications; other illnesses and situational factors. For some, a number of these factors seem to be involved, while for others a single factor can cause the illness. Often, people become depressed for no apparent reason. In an effort to cope with the emotional pain caused by depression, some people try to “self-medicate” through the abuse of alcohol or illegal drugs, which only leads to more problems.
Clinical depression is a treatable illness:
The good news is that, like other illnesses such as heart disease or diabetes, clinical depression is treatable with the help of a health-care professional. In fact, more than 80 percent of people with depression can be treated successfully.
Symptoms of clinical depression:
Due to cultural backgrounds, depression may be exhibited differently among African Americans. To help decide if you—or someone you care about—needs an evaluation for clinical depression, review the following list of symptoms. If you experience five or more for longer than two weeks, if you feel suicidal, or if the symptoms interfere with your daily routine, see your doctor, and bring this post with you.
A persistent sad, anxious or “empty” mood, or excessive crying
Reduced appetite and weight loss or increased appetite and weight gain
Persistent physical symptoms that do not respond to treatment, such as headaches, digestive disorders and chronic pain
Decreased energy, fatigue, feeling “slowed down”
Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, helplessness, hopelessness, pessimism
Sleeping too much or too little, early-morning waking
Loss of interest or pleasure in activities, including sex
Difficulty concentrating, remembering, or making decisions
Thoughts of death or suicide, or suicide attempts
The most common ways to treat clinical depression are with antidepressant medication, psychotherapy, or a combination of the two. The choice of treatment depends on how severe the depressive symptoms are and the history of the illness.
Medication: Research strongly supports the use of medication for more severe episodes of clinical depression. Antidepressant medication acts on the chemical pathways of the brain related to moods. The two most common types are selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors and tricyclic antidepressants. Monoamine oxidase inhibitors are also prescribed by some doctors.
Antidepressant medications are not habit-forming. It may take up to eight weeks before you notice an improvement. It is usually recommended that medications be continued for at least four to nine months after the depressive symptoms have improved. Those with chronic or recurrent depression may need to stay on medication to prevent or lessen further episodes. People taking antidepressants should be monitored by a doctor to ensure the best treatment with the fewest side effects.
Do not stop taking your medication without first talking with your doctor, since some medications cause problems if stopped abruptly.
Psychotherapy: Psychotherapy can help teach better ways of handling problems by talking with a trained mental health professional. Therapy can be effective in treating clinical depression, especially depression that is less severe. Scientific studies have shown that short-term (10 to 20 weeks) courses of therapy are often helpful in treating depression.
Making the most of your treatment: In addition to treatment, participation in a patient support group can be very helpful during the recovery process. Support group members share their experiences with the illness, learn coping skills and exchange information on community providers. Also, be sure to take care of yourself. Get plenty of rest, exercise in moderation, stay away from alcohol and drugs, and eat regular, well-balanced meals. Some find strength from faith or spiritual communities.
Commonly Asked Questions About Clinical Depression
How do I get help for clinical depression? The first step is to talk to your doctor, who may recommend a physical checkup to find out if there is any underlying physical cause for the depressive symptoms. If clinical depression is diagnosed, then your physician or health maintenance organization will refer you to a mental health specialist. Mental health professionals include psychiatrists, psychologists, pastoral counselors and social workers.
What if I don’t feel comfortable talking to my doctor? Many people find strength and support through their religious and spiritual communities, however, only a physician or mental health professional is able to diagnose clinical depression. Pastoral counselors offer an integrated religious and spiritual approach to treatment.
How do I pay for treatment? If you participate in private insurance, such as a health maintenance organization plan, your costs for treatment may be covered. Contact your health insurance provider for details.
If you’re older than 65, Medicare pays for 50 percent of the costs of mental health treatment, and Medigap insurance will typically reimburse the remainder. Depending on the rules of each state, many low-income or disabled residents may also be eligible for Medicaid coverage. Counseling by a certified pastoral counselor is generally covered by health-care plans if the pastoral counselor is licensed by the state. Your workplace may also have an employee assistance program available to provide counseling or to help you find appropriate care.
If you don’t have insurance or can’t afford treatment, your community may have publicly funded mental health centers or programs that charge you according to what you can afford to pay. Some mental health professionals in private practice also work on a sliding-fee basis. University or teaching medical centers can be a source of low-cost or free treatment services. If you have trouble accessing treatment, contact your local mental health association for assistance. You can enjoy your life again! With proper diagnosis and treatment, clinical depression can be overcome.