Mr. President, you have a daughter, and she looks like Hadiya.

Mr. President, you have a daughter, and she looks like Hadiya.: This is crazy. I just blogged about all the killings in Chicago last night and sadly I learned that a beautiful young lady who actually performed for president Obama's inauguration, was taken from us by some low life thug who was dropped off by some sperm donor.

If hearing about the Newtown tragedies was the saddest day of Mr. Obama's presidency, hearing about this little girl should be the second saddest. Actually, given the fact that she was shot just a mile from his home in Chicago, and that she actually performed at his "coronation" ,you could argue that this little girl's death should hit home even more. He has a beautiful daughter who is almost her age. From all appearances this poor child represented everything that was good about being a young teenager: Honor student, volley ball player, and a majorette in the King College Prep High School band. Sadly, though, she is no longer with us.

"Police say 15-year-old Hadiya Pendleton was shot in the back Tuesday and later died at University of Chicago Comer Children's Hospital. An unidentified boy was shot in the leg and is being treated at the hospital. No arrests have been made." [Source] 

"If I had a son he would look like Trayvon." Mr. President, you have a daughter, and she looks just like Hadiya.

And the beat goes on. Not only in a hood near you, but in all of Americana. In Phoenix, Arizona today, some old dude shot up an office complex and is still on the loose. In Midland, Alabama, some nut case went on a school bus, took a six year old child, and shot the school bus driver to death. (The NRA now calling for armed school bus drivers in 5...4...3..2..) That genius is still hiding out in a Glenn Beck style survival bunker. 

All this on a day when the Senate Judiciary Committee held hearings in Washington on gun control. There was Gabby Giffords, who was lucky to survive a shooting herself making a passionate plea to lawmakers to use common sense.

And, of course, there was Wayne LaPierre. It's amazing that the cuffs on his white shirt stayed so clean with all the blood on his hands.


Minister celebrates his 105th birthday

By Jamal Denman
Contributing Writer

On Saturday, January 19, Wayman AME Church in North Minneapolis played host to a glorious event that celebrated the 105th birthday of Reverend Noah Spencer Smith. The church was filled with many people of all ages who Smith has touched over the years.

After Reverend Smith was escorted into the building, a welcoming speech was delivered by Reverend Marchelle Hallman, which was followed by a prayer by Reverend William Smith and a reading of scripture by Reverend Joseph Baring, Jr.
Reverend Smith with Brenda Johnson, a member of Wayman AME Church Photo by Jamal Denman
Reverend Smith with Brenda Johnson, a member of Wayman AME Church
Photo by Jamal Denman

Reverend Smith was then seated alongside his wife, Dr. Hallie Hendrieth-Smith, and literally crowned as the audience gave him a standing ovation. A musical tribute was paid to Reverend Smith by a talented young lady by the name of Jada Stumon, who sang “Somewhere Over the Rainbow,” which was described as one of his favorite songs.

The Wayman AME Steppers for Christ put on a spirited stepping performance in tribute to Reverend Smith, who looked genuinely touched by the tributes, even standing up and applauding after the performances. Friends and family shared wonderful stories about their experiences interacting with him. They also talked about his ability to easily win over others and how his charming personality had a positive impact on nearly everyone he came in contact with, even during the times when racial hatred and bigotry against African Americans was a common occurrence.

After additional tributes, a spoken-word performance by Dr. Betty Webb, and the audience officially wishing Dr. Smith a happy birthday, there was a benediction and blessing of the food by Reverend Janet Johnson and a delicious meal was served. Reverend Noah Smith, who prefers to go by his middle name Spencer, is the liveliest 105-year-old you are ever likely to meet.
Born on January 18, 1908, he has lived to see a lot; he was born before and outlived the likes of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcolm X. There have also been 19 different presidents in the White House during his lifetime.

Reverend Smith considers himself a late bloomer; he graduated from high school in Marion, Indiana in 1927, yet did not earn his first college degree until 1982, earning an AA degree from Minneapolis Community and Technical College. He then earned his BA degree from Macalester College in St. Paul where he majored in religion. He subsequently acquired a Master of Divinity from United Theological Seminary in Minneapolis in 1989.

During a majority of the 1920s and 1930s, Smith spent years on the road touring as a jazz musician. He became an active member of St. Peter’s AME Church in Minneapolis in the 1940s, where he started off playing in the church band, reading scripture, and teaching Sunday school.
Smith entered the ministry at AME in 1956 and became ordained in 1960. He moved along other ministries over the next few decades, including St. Mark AME Church in Duluth and St. James AME Church in Minneapolis where he retired and was superannuated in 1998.

Reverend Smith is currently on the ministerial staff at Wayman AME Church under Reverend Dr. Alphonse Reff and is the senior pastor and the presiding elder of the St. Paul/Minneapolis AME district.

Reverend Noah Smith and Dr. Hallie Hendrieth-Smith celebrated their 31st wedding anniversary on July 5, 2012. He loves music, singing and teaching drums to this day. He also continues to deliver sermons.

Reverend Smith still cooks breakfast for his wife every morning, an activity he truly enjoys and says keeps him young.

Jamal Denman welcomes reader responses to 

Nicholas Brothers. Awo.

African Language Resources  Online courses (11 Afrikan languages)

Latest | fie.nipa Dictionaries - (some words: akan, ewegbe, hausa, kinyarwanda, swahili, yoruba)

Bob Marley Celebration Brighton Music hall Feb5

Bob Marley Celebration Brighton Music hall Feb5:
More Info AboutBlack History Month Bob Marley Celebration: Midnite

Black History Month Bob Marley Celebration: Midnite

Brighton Music Hall
158 Brighton Avenue, Boston, MA 02134

Tue, Feb 5, 2013 09:00 PM

Free Access to's Black Genealogy Records in February

Free Access to's Black Genealogy Records in February: Fold3 is providing free access to its Black
History Collection of historical and genealogical records for the month of February—Black
History Month
History Month in the United States. 
  • Court Slave Records for Washington, DC
  • South Carolina Estate Inventories and Bills of Sale, 1732–1872
  • US Colored Troops Civil War service records
  • Southern Claims Commission records
  • The Atlanta Constitution newspaper
  • WWII "Old Man's Draft" Registration Cards
home page to see samples of the records and links leading to more information
History Collection home page, click on the link in the blue box to get started. here to see all the African-American genealogy research helps at

Those records document slavery, the Civil War, Reconstruction, the World Wars and
the Civil Rights Movement. Here's a sampling of the record sets in the collection

Some of the record sets, such as the Southern Claims Commission records (Southerners'
reimbursement claims for property Union troops seized during the Civil War) and WWII
draft cards, also will cover non-African-Americans.

Visit the Black History Collection about each collection.  You'll need to set up a free registration to access the collections. On the Black If you're tracing black ancestors, you'll find tips and advice in guides at, including:


Fourth sibling from same Chicago family killed by gun violence - Chicago Tribune

January 27, 2013|By Peter Nickeas and Rosemary Regina Sobol, Chicago Tribune reporter
After Shirley Chambers lost her third child to gun violence in 2000, she said she felt sadder for her surviving son, Ronnie, than she did for herself.
"I only have one child left," Chambers told the Tribune at the time, "and I'm afraid that (the killing) won't stop until he's gone too."
Chambers' worst fears apparently were realized early Saturday, when police said a man named Ronnie Chambers, 33, was fatally struck when a gunman or gunmen opened fire on a van Chambers was riding in just after it arrived in the 1100 block of South Mozart Street.
Family friends and neighbors confirmed Chambers was the fourth and last child of Shirley Chambers, who could not be reached for comment Saturday.
"He was the last one," said family friend Laverne Smith, 30. "I know she's hurting."
Smith said it's unthinkable this could have happened again to the family.
"It's ridiculous," Smith said. "We need to get the guns off the street and build a good life for our babies. We need to really get together and stop fighting."
Smith, who lives near where the shooting occurred, said she heard loud gunfire about 2 a.m. and ran outside to find Ronnie Chambers shot in the head. She said he died in her arms.
Smith said she also knew Chambers' sister, LaToya Chambers, and had grown up with them in the Cabrini-Green neighborhood on the Near North Side. LaToya was a classmate, about two years ahead, at Edward Jenner School, she said.
LaToya was killed at age 15 in the lobby of a Cabrini-Green high-rise April 26, 2000, during an argument between her boyfriend and a 13-year-old boy, who was later convicted.
Her brothers Carlos and Jerome also were gunshot victims.
Carlos, then 18, was shot and killed just after Thanksgiving 1995 at the corner of Jackson Boulevard and State Street, apparently by a boy with whom he'd had an argument.
Jerome was shot and killed at age 23 on July 26, 2000. He had reportedly been standing at a pay phone in the 400 block of West Chicago Avenue when a maroon van pulled up and its occupant opened fire.
According to a 2000 Tribune story, Ronnie Chambers had tattoos on his forearms to remind him of his dead siblings: a crucifix with a ribbon draped across it commemorated Carlos, a tombstone with a crucifix was for Jerome and another tombstone with a cross honored LaToya.
"They say you can't outrun death, but I can try to dodge it," Ronnie said then. "I don't even try to live day by day anymore; it's more like second by second."


The shooting happened across the street from Safer Foundation North Lawndale, an Illinois Department of Corrections transitional facility for adults with criminal records, and half a block west of a fire station.
Family and friends, none of whom wanted to give their names, circled the north end of the scene, marked by yellow tape hung around trees, light poles and police cars.
Back in 2000, Ronnie Chambers told the Tribune he had trouble accepting the deaths of his siblings "for no reason."
"I ask myself, 'Why am I still here?' Out of all of them, I was the one who got in trouble," he said. "They didn't do anything wrong."
At the time, his mother said that, some days, she didn't want to live.
"But," she said, "I have to be strong for Ronnie."
Tribune reporters Dawn Rhodes and Bridget Doyle contributed.
Twitter @PeterNickeas

Cathay Williams - Black Woman Buffalo Soldier

Cathay Williams - Became the first and the only known female Buffalo Soldier. Enlisting in the US Regular Army 1866 at St. Louis, Missouri for a three year engagement, passing herself off as a man.
She is the first African American female to enlist, and the only documented to serve in the United States Army posing as a man under the pseudonym, William Cathay.
 Williams travelled with the 8th Indiana, accompanying the soldiers on their marches through Arkansas, Louisiana, and Georgia. She was present at the Battle of Pea Ridge and the Red River Campaign. At one time she was transferred to Little Rock, where she would have seen uniformed African-American men serving as soldiers, which may have inspired her own interest in military service. Later, Williams was transferred to Washington, D.C., where she served with General Philip Sheridan’s command. When the war ended, Williams was working at Jefferson Barracks.
The exact date of Williams’ death is unknown, but it is assumed she died shortly after being denied a pension, probably sometime in 1892. Her simple grave marker would have been made of wood and deteriorated long ago. Thus her final resting place is now unknown.

Langston Hughes / "Mother to Son"

Well, son, I'll tell you:

Life for me ain't been no crystal stair.

It's had tacks in it,

And splinters,

And boards torn up,

And places with no carpet on the floor --


But all the time

I'se been a-climbin' on,

And reachin' landin's,

And turnin' corners,

And sometimes goin' in the dark

Where there ain't been no light.

So boy, don't you turn back.

Don't you set down on the steps

'Cause you finds it's kinder hard.

Don't you fall now --

For I'se still goin', honey,

I'se still climbin',

And life for me ain't been no crystal stair.

Chaos. Lol.

Chaos #2
from the snail drawings series
Daniel Ranalli

French Special Forces to Enter Niger to Take Control of Uranium Mines

Map of Mali where French imperialistic forces are bombing the country in several regions. The war is spreading to neighboring Algeria. by Pan-African News Wire File Photos
French special forces ‘to protect’ Niger uranium mines

By Tony Todd the 25/01/2013 - 19:25

France will send special forces to protect nuclear giant Areva’s uranium mines in Niger, according to a media report, amid a heightened security threat following a French-led offensive to drive Islamist rebels  people who don't want to eat dirt because of European invaders and their oreo kinglets out of neighbouring Mali.

France is to deploy special forces to protect uranium mines belonging to French nuclear energy giant Areva in Niger, according to a report in a news magazine this week.

According to weekly Le Point, French Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian has given the go-ahead for an elite team from France’s armed forces to reinforce local security at the company’s two sites in Niger, a former French colony.   EMPIRE .

The move comes amid a heightened security threat following a French-led offensive to drive Islamist separatists out of northern Mali, and the deadly hostage crisis at the In Amenas gas facility in Algeria, which militants said was in revenge for the French military intervention.

The decision to deploy troops, however, was taken earlier in January, after a botched operation to rescue a captured French intelligence agent Denis Allex in southern Somalia, according to Le Point. Allex had been held hostage by militants there since 2009.

It is the first time government troops will be sent overseas to protect a facility owned by a private French company, according to Le Point, EXCEPT FOR THAT LITTLE PERIOD CALLED COLONIALISM AND SLAVERY FROM THE 1400s ONWARDS although French marines are already deployed on cargo ships travelling through the pirate-Other-Brown-people-tired-of-White-People-loot-operations-infested waters of the Indian Ocean and the Gulf of Guinea.

Niger’s uranium a strategic French AFRICAN asset

The special forces team will be sent to the Imouraren and Arlit sites operated by Areva, according to the report.

Seven workers, including five French nationals, were abducted in Arlit by militants linked to al Qaeda’s North African Branch, in 2010. Three of those hostages were later released, but four French citizens are still being held.

Areva, which relies on mines in Niger to supply France’s nuclear power stations with uranium, confirmed it was beefing up its security on Thursday.

“We are obliged to reinforce our security … in the light of the current situation [France’s intervention in Mali],” Areva Chief Executive Officer Luc Oursel told BFM TV, although he refused to comment on the report that this would involve French special forces.

Officials  UncleToms/UncleTomisinas in Niger, while acknowledging that the security threat was heightened, said that no agreement had been reached - for the moment - for special forces to be deployed.

Areva has been mining uranium in Niger for more than fifty years and the company is the country’s single biggest investor LOOTER.

According to a 2008 report by a French parliamentary committee, about 18 per cent of the raw material used to power France's 58 nuclear reactors THAT WOULD OTHERWISE EMPOWER AFRIKANS came from Niger in 2008.

[beloved idren: dem negroes'dem rallied to get the u.s. gov't to give them back their passports so they could go help HIM get the iTalians off his people's throat..... me holla: GET ME ON A PLANE FI DEFEND HOME. Awo ]

Ankobia Posters Now Available (discounts for idren :)

Celebrate 2013 by purchasing an Ankobia Poster.  This is the perfect gift for your family and friends.  The 24"x36" poster is a teaching/learning tool that displays 164 of Black Leaders who led the battle in commitment & courage in many different areas of human achievement.  

The Ankobia Poster has women & men from all over the Afrikan diaspora (African-Americans, Islanders, Afro-Latinos, Afro-Asians) as well as those from back home. Anyone can put it up in their room, office or class; it is for the beginner AND for the hardcore historian.

Feel free to get in touch with me anytime to buy this poster of OUR leaders, (especially if you are in the Dudley Square or Grove Hall area).  Also, if you know of anyone who may be interested in seeing/buying the posters (flyer attached) have them email me or call, I'd be glad to discount bulk orders (CHEAP).  Thank you your time (smile) and take good care.
Joel Mackall, Project Developer
ReIdren Business Group / joel @ reidren . com

For dung beetles, Milky Way is guiding light -

Joseph Serna, Los Angeles Times  January 24, 20134:39 p.m.

When humans gaze up at the night sky, they may view the fuzzy streak of the Milky Way and contemplate their place in the universe.
When dung beetles see the Milky Way, their thoughts turn to keeping their food source away from other insects.
Scientists have found that these inch-long creatures use the glowing edge of the galaxy to guide them as they roll their balls of dung across the African landscape. The report, published online Thursday by the journal Current Biology, provides the first documentation of animals using the Milky Way for navigation.
Considering that birds, seals and butterflies are known to rely on the stars to find their way around, the study authors noted that using the Milky Way as a compass "might turn out to be widespread in the animal kingdom."

For dung beetles, Milky Way is guiding light -

[ idren: babylon a' child...

"Oh gash original man
He was black
He was black
He was an African carbon
Science will show that
And prove that over and over again
Jah see and know
We tell them
Honor your fathers that your days may be long
Original black man
We were here from foundation of time
We will remain until the end
Jah see and know"

"In preparation for war" Warsan Shire

"In preparation for war" Warsan Shire:
to my daughter i
will say, when the men come, set
yourself on fire.

[ awo. ]

Researchers turn one form of neuron into...another.

Researchers turn one form of neuron into another in the brain
A new finding by Harvard stem cell biologists turns one of the basics of neurobiology on its head – demonstrating that it is possible to turn one type of already differentiated neuron into another within the brain.
The discovery by Paola Arlotta and Caroline Rouaux “tells you that maybe the brain is not as immutable as we always thought, because at least during an early window of time one can reprogram the identity of one neuronal class into another,” said Arlotta, an Associate Professor in Harvard’s Department of Stem Cell and Regenerative Biology (SCRB).
The principle of direct lineage reprogramming of differentiated cells within the body was first proven by SCRB co-chair and Harvard Stem Cell Institute (HSCI) co-director Doug Melton and colleagues five years ago, when they reprogrammed exocrine pancreatic cells directly into insulin producing beta cells.
Arlotta and Rouaux now have proven that neurons too can change their mind. The work is being published on-line by the journal Nature Cell Biology.
In their experiments, Arlotta targeted callosal projection neurons, which connect the two hemispheres of the brain, and turned them into neurons similar to corticospinal motor neurons, one of two populations of neurons destroyed in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. To achieve such reprogramming of neuronal identity, the researchers used a transcription factor called Fezf2, which long as been known for playing a central role in the development of corticospinal neurons in the embryo.
What makes the finding even more significant is that the work was done in the brains of living mice, rather than in collections of cells in laboratory dishes. The mice were young, so researchers still do not know if neuronal reprogramming will be possible in older laboratory animals – and humans. If it is possible, this has enormous implications for the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases.
“Neurodegenerative diseases typically effect a specific population of neurons, leaving many others untouched. For example, in ALS it is corticospinal motor neurons in the brain and motor neurons in the spinal cord, among the many neurons of the nervous system, that selectively die,” Arlotta said. “What if one could take neurons that are spared in a given disease and turn them directly into the neurons that die off? In ALS, if you could generate even a small percentage of corticospinal motor neurons, it would likely be sufficient to recover basic functioning,” she said.
The experiments that led to the new finding began five years ago, when “we wondered: in nature you never seen a neuron change identity; are we just not seeing it, or is this the reality? Can we take one type of neuron and turn it into another?” Arlotta and Rouaux asked themselves.
Over the course of the five years, the researchers analyzed “thousands and thousands of neurons, looking for many molecular markers as well as new connectivity that would indicate that reprogramming was occurring,” Arlotta said. “We could have had this two years ago, but while this was a conceptually very simple set of experiments, it was technically difficult. The work was meant to test important dogmas on the irreversible nature of neurons in vivo. We had to prove, without a shadow of a doubt, that this was happening.”
The work in Arlotta’s lab is focused on the cerebral cortex, but “it opens the door to reprogramming in other areas of the central nervous system,” she said.
Arlotta, an HSCI principal faculty member, is now working with colleague Takao Hensch, of Harvard’s Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology, to explicate the physiology of the reprogrammed neurons, and learn how they communicate within pre-existing neuronal networks.
“My hope is that this will facilitate work in a new field of neurobiology that explores the boundaries and power of neuronal reprogramming to re-engineer circuits relevant to disease,” said Paola Arlotta.
(Image courtesy Tulane University)

[ "are we just not seeing it, or is this the reality..." ]

Lone Negro Waits at Bus Stop

"Lone Negro Waits at Bus Stop"
This is interesting idren.  1955.  First days of the Montgomery Bus Boycott.  Almost immediately it is catching on: no one is riding.  The Montgomery Improvement Association (great read of them here) got the word out throught churches and the grapevine.  The buses are empty.  The Advertiser's photographer evidently caught one person waiting (or were they?).  What do you think is going through this person's mind as the white photographer pictures them...waiting...alone.  Is that a hater?  Or is that someone else?  What is that person thinking?  What do you think?  

Koko the Gorilla on 'after death'

Mother of Man Killed by Police Wants to Change 'the Way the Police Operate'

ENGLEWOOD — The mother of a man shot twice after a police chase on the South Side said she plans to file a federal lawsuit to get police to change their tactics.
Gwendolyn Moore said she's furious police allegedly shot her son, Jamaal Moore, twice in the back, and claims police directed racial slurs at family and Englewood neighbors who gathered around her son's body after he was killed Dec. 15.
Moore was scheduled to appear at a news conference Tuesday morning at the law firm of Sam Adam Jr. and Victor P. Henderson, 330 S. Wells St., who planned to file a lawsuit in federal court Tuesday.
"I want the way the police operate to change. The way they handle and deal with the community needs to change," Moore's mother said in an interview last week. "I want justice for Jamaal."
Police said Moore's son Jamaal, 23, and four others were fleeing a robbery in an SUV when the vehicle hit a light pole at Garfield Boulevard and Ashland Avenue about 11 a.m.
Police union spokesman Pat Camden told the Chicago Tribune on the day of the fatal shooting that "several suspects in an SUV were reported to have broken into a stopped truck. The driver had gotten out of his truck and confronted the thieves, and they pulled out a weapon."
Last week, however, Camden told Chicago he had "no idea if there was a robbery" and said only that "there was a possibility of a connection" to "a gray SUV."
After the crash, witnesses said Moore was run over by a police vehicle while attempting to flee the wreck and was later pulled from under the police SUV.
A riot nearly broke out at the scene, which resulted in charges of mob action against five people.
Police said officers "may have struck" Moore with a marked vehicle. Police Supt. Garry McCarthy said Moore threw one officer around "like a rag doll."
Before Moore was shot and killed, officers feared he was reaching in his pocket for a weapon, police said. McCarthy later said the object he had was a flashlight. A gun wasn't recovered from the scene.
A Freedom of Information Act request for the police incident report came back redacted in its entirety because of the pending investigation.
A full investigation by the Independent Police Review Authority is pending.
Moore was pronounced dead at St. Bernard's Hospital at 12:13 p.m. Dec. 15, according to the Cook County Medical Examiner's Office.
In separate accounts, both at St. Bernard's and the scene of Moore's death, his parents recounted obstacles in viewing their son's body.
Gwendolyn Moore said she remembers returning home from the scene of her son's fatal shooting hours later with no information about where his body was.
"It was 3:38 p.m. and I still did not know where he was," she said, "I had told one officer who I was and he said nothing but, 'Ma'am, get on the sidewalk.' "
Moore said she "never had a problem with Chicago police officers until they executed my son.
"I believe in accountability," she added. "I'd rather him be alive, even in prison serving time if he had done something. Then I could at least still touch him."
Moore said she hopes the lawsuit eventually will improve relations between residents and police in neighborhoods such as Englewood.
"They're supposed to serve and protect, but I've found that they serve and protect each other," she said. "Things just have to change. I owe it to Jamaal and his son Liam, and I owe it to other parents to try and make a change."

Will Hunting Had It Right...

but he is the fiction.

Serena Williams serving a 207 km/h (128 mph) ace...

          Serena Williams serving a 207 km/h (128 mph) ace at the 2013 Australian Open
          ” Say My Name “
Now, if it was about black folks' Economics, Education, Entertainment, LaborLaw, Politics, Religion, Sex or War (i/o yt folks' fuzzy balls)...well then,    ...Hatsheptsut.

Holy. child

Evolution Of A Queen:




France Launches War in Mali in Bid to Secure Resources

Malian people look at a French armoured vehicle as French soldiers leave Bamako and start their deployment to the north of Mali as part of the operations on January 15, 2013 . by Pan-African News Wire File Photos
France Launches War in Mali in Bid to Secure Resources, Stamp Out National Rights Struggles

By Roger Annis
Global Research, January 19, 2013
Socialist Project

France, the former slave power of west Africa, has poured into Mali with a vengeance in a military attack launched on January 11. French warplanes are bombing towns and cities across the vast swath of northern Mali, a territory measuring some one thousand kilometers from south to north and east to west. French soldiers in armoured columns have launched a ground offensive, beginning with towns in the south of the northern territory, some 300 km north and east of the Malian capital of Bamako.

A French armoured convoy entered Mali several days ago from neighbouring Ivory Coast, another former French colony. French troops spearheaded the overthrow of that country’s government in 2011.

The invasion has received universal support from France’s imperialist allies. The U.S., Canada and Europe are assisting financially and with military transport. To provide a figleaf of African legitimacy, plans have been accelerated to introduce troops from eight regional countries to join the fighting (map here).

“Islamist terrorists” etc., etc.

The public relations version of the French et al invasion is a familiar refrain. “Islamic terrorists” and “jihadists” have taken control of northern Mali and are a threat to international security and to the well-being of the local population. Terrible atrocities against the local populace are alleged and given wide publicity by corporate media. Similar myths were peddled by the warmakers when they invaded Afghanistan in 2001 and Iraq in 2003.

Off with a handshake into a C-17 transport plane, to support French imperialism.

It is true that Islamic fundamentalists have ruled northern Mali with an iron hand since taking over in 2012. But the reasons for this latest intervention lie in the determination of the world’s imperial powers to keep the human and natural resources of poor regions of the world as preserves for capitalist profits. West Africa is a region of great resource wealth, including gold, oil and uranium.

The uranium mines in neighbouring Niger and the uranium deposits in Mali are of particular interest to France, which generates 78 per cent of its electricity from nuclear energy. Niger’s uranium mines are highly polluting and deeply resented by the population, including among the semi-nomadic, Tuareg people who reside in the mining regions. The French company Areva is presently constructing in Imouraren, Niger what will become the second largest uranium mine in the world.

Notwithstanding the fabulous wealth created by uranium mining, Niger is one of the poorest countries on earth. As one European researcher puts it, “Uranium mining in Niger sustains light in France and darkness in Niger.”

Mali (population 15.5 million) is the third-largest gold producing country in Africa. Canada’s IAMGOLD operates two mines there (and a third in nearby Burkina Faso). Many other Canadian and foreign investors are present.

A key player in the unfolding war is Algeria. The government there is anxious to prove its loyalty to imperialism. Its lengthy border with northern Mali is a key zone for the “pacification” of northern Mali upon which France and its allies are embarked.

Further proof of the hypocrisy of the ‘democracy’ that France claims to be fighting for in Mali is found in the nature of the Mali regime with which it is allied. Often presented in mainstream media as a ‘beacon of democracy’ in west Africa, the Mali government was little more than a corrupt and pliant neo-colonial regime before last year when the U.S.-trained and equipped Mali army twice overthrew it – in March and again in December. The Mali army now scrambling to fight alongside its French big brother was condemned and boycotted by the U.S., Europe and Canada during a brief, sham interlude of concern following the first coup.

Today, the Mali government is a shell of a regime that rules at the behest of the Mali military, the latter’s foreign trainers, and the foreign mining companies that provide much of its revenue.

The Tuareg People

At the political heart of the conflict in Mali is the decades-long struggle of the Tuareg, a semi-nomadic people numbering some 1.2 million. Their language is part of the Berber language group. Their historic homeland includes much of Niger and northern Mali and smaller parts of Nigeria, Burkina Faso, Algeria and Libya. They call themselves Kel Tamasheq (speakers of the Tamasheq language).

The Tuareg have fought a succession of rebellions in the 20th century against the borders imposed by colonialism and then defended by post-independence, neo-colonial regimes. They are one of many minority nationalities in west Africa fighting for national self-determination, including the Sahwari of Western Sahara, a region controlled by Morocco and whose Sahwari leadership, the Polisario Front, is widely recognized internationally.

The Tuareg were brutally subdued by colonial France at the outset of the 20th century. Following the independence of Mali and neighbouring countries in 1960, they continued to suffer discrimination. A first Tuareg Rebellion took place in 1962-64.

A second, larger rebellion began in 1990 and won some autonomy from the Mali government that was elected in 1992 and re-elected in 1997. A third rebellion in Mali and Niger in 2007 won further political and territorial concessions, but these were constantly reneged. A Libya-brokered peace deal ended fighting in 2009.

The Mali state and army constantly sought to retake what they had lost. Violence and even massacres against the Tuareg population pushed matters to a head in 2011. The army was defeated by the military forces of the National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad (NMLA) and on April 6, 2012, the MNLA declared an independent Azawad, as they call northern Mali and surrounding region. The Tuareg are one of several national groups within the disputed territory.

The independence declaration proved premature and unsustainable. The MNLA was soon pushed aside by Islamist-inspired armed groups that oppose Tuareg self-determination and an independent state. The army, meanwhile, continued to harass and kill people. A group of 17 visiting Muslim clerics, for example, were massacred on September 22, 2012.

According to unconfirmed reports, the MNLA has renounced the goal of an independent Azawad. It entered into talks with the Mali regime in December for autonomy in the northern region. A January 13 statement on the group’s website acquiesces to the French intervention but says it should not allow troops of the Mali army to pass beyond the border demarcation line declared in April of last year.

Militarization of Mali and West Africa

Mali is one of the poorest places on earth but has been drawn into the whirlwind of post-September, 2001 militarization led by the United States. U.S. armed forces have been training the Mali military for years. In 2005, the U.S. established the Trans-Sahara Counter-Terrorism Partnership comprising eleven ‘partner’ African countries-Algeria, Burkina Faso, Libya, Morocco, Tunisia, Chad, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria and Senegal.

The ‘partnership’ conducts annual military exercises termed ‘Flintlock.’ This year’s exercise is to take place in Niger and according to the January 12 Globe and Mail, “Canada’s military involvement in Niger has already commenced.”

Canadian troops have participated in military exercises in west Africa since at least 2008. In 2009, Mali was named one of six “countries of focus” in Africa for Canadian aid. Beginning that year, Canadian aid to Mali leaped to where it is now one of the largest country recipients of Canada aid funds.

In 2008, Canada quietly launched a plan to establish at least six, new military bases abroad, including two in Africa. (It is not known exactly where the Africa part of the plan stands today.)

War Atrocities

Only days into the French attack, evidence is mounting of significant civilian and military casualties. In the town of Douentza in central Mali, injured civilians can’t reach the local hospital, according to Médecins sans frontières (Doctors Without Borders). “Because of the bombardments and fighting, nobody is moving in the streets of Douentza and patients are not making it through to the hospital,” said a statement by the agency’s emergency response co-ordinator Rosa Crestani.

The International Red Cross is reporting scores of civilian and military casualties in the towns coming under French attack.

Amnesty International is worried. Its West Africa researcher, Salvatore Saguès, was in the country last September and saw the recruitment of children into the Mali army. He is worried about retaliatory attacks by the army if it retakes control of the towns and cities it has lost, notably in the northern cities of Gao, Kidal and Timbuktu.

He also warned of the plans to bring neighbouring armies into northern Mali. “These armies, who are already committing serious violations in their countries, are most likely to do the same, or at least not behave in accordance to international law if they are in Mali,” he said.

According to the U.N. refugee agency UNHCR, the latest crisis has internally displaced nearly 230,000 Malians. An additional 144,500 Malians were already refugees in neighbouring countries.

UNHCR spokesperson Adrian Edwards says half the population of the town of Konna, some 5,000 people, sought as French bombs threatened to fall by fleeing across the River Niger.

In an ominous sign of more civilian casualties to come, and echoing the excuses for atrocities by invading armies against civilians in Iraq, Afghanistan and Palestine in recent years, French military commanders are complaining of the difficulty in distinguishing fighters they are bombing from non-combatant populations. France’s army chief Edouard Guillaud told Reuters that France’s air strikes were being hampered because militants were using civilian populations as shields.

No to the War in Mali

The military attack in Mali was ordered by French President François Hollande, the winner of the 2012 election on behalf of the Socialist Party. His decision has been condemned by groups on the political left in France, including the Nouveau parti anticapitaliste and the Gauche anticapitaliste. The latter is a tendency with the Front de gauche (Left Front) that captured 11 per cent of the first-round presidential vote last year.

Shockingly, the Left Front leadership group has come out in favour of the intervention. Deputy François Asensi spoke on behalf of the party leadership in the National Assembly on January 16 and declared,

“The positions of the deputies of the Left Front, Communists and republicans, is clear: To abandon the people of Mali to the barbarism of fanatics would be a moral mistake… International military action was necessary in order to avoid the installation of a terrorist state.”

His statement went on to complain that President Hollande did not bother to seek the approval of the National Assembly.

A January 12 statement by the French Communist Party (PCF), a component of the Left Front, said,

“The PCF shares the concern of Malians over the armed offensive of the Jihadist groups toward the south of their country… The party recalls here that the response to the request for assistance by the president of Mali should have been made in the framework of a United Nations and African Union sponsorship, under the flag of the UN…”

Unlike the overthrow of Haiti’s elected government in 2004, which the PCF and Socialist Party supported at the time, France and its allies did not feel the need to obtain a rubber stamp of approval from the UN Security Council this time in Mali. But doing so would not have changed the predatory nature of this latest mission, just as it didn’t in Haiti.

A January 15 statement by the Canadian Peace Alliance explains:

“The real reason for NATO’s involvement is to secure strategic, resource rich areas of Africa for the West. Canadian gold mining operations have significant holdings in Mali as do may other western nations…

“It is ironic that since the death of Osama Bin Laden, the U.S. military boasts that Al-Qaeda is on the run and has no ability to wage its war. Meanwhile, any time there is a need for intervention, there is suddenly a new Al-Qaeda threat that comes out of the woodwork. Canada must not participate in this process of unending war.”

That’s a call to action which should be acted upon in the coming days and weeks as one of the poorest and most ecologically fragile regions of the world falls victim to deeper militarization and plundering.

Roger Annis is an antiwar activist who lives in Vancouver, Canada.

the colonial powers never really left africa...,

National Post |  Africa may have achieved independence, but the old colonial ties are
still important as France’s decision to send troops to Mali to fight
Islamist extremists shows. The old colonial powers in Africa may no
longer be the rulers, but they still exert influence and have strong
economic and political links. David McDonald, professor of the Global
Development Studies at Queen’s University, says, “The French and the
English were much more strategic in terms of recognizing that they
wanted to maintain neo-colonial linkages with their former colonies. So
it was shedding the direct authoritarian power at the barrel of a gun
and replacing that with independence, but an independence that was, and
is still to some extent, extremely dependent on the political and
economic will of the former colonial masters.” – The National Post’s
Rubab Abid and Richard Johnson look at the former colonies and former
colonial powers who still dabble inside the continent they once owned.  Fist tap Dale.

all wars are banker's wars...,

whatreallyhappened | The German government recently asked for the return of some of their gold bullion from the Bank of France and the New York Federal Reserve. France has said it will take 5 years to return Germany's gold. The United States has said they will need 8 years to return Germany's gold. This suggests strongly that the Bank of France and the NY Federal Reserve have used the deposited gold for other purposes, and they are scrambling to find new gold to cover the
shortfall and prevent a gold run. So it is inevitable that suddenly France invades Mali, ostensibly to combat Al Qaeda, with the US joining in. Mali just happens to be one of the world's largest gold producers ith gold accounting for 80% of Mali exports. War for the bankers does not get more obvious than that!

You have been raised by a public school system and media that constantly assures you that the reasons for all these wars and assassinations are many and varied. The US claims to bring democracy to the conquered lands (they haven't; the usual result of a US overthrow is the imposition of a dictatorship, such as the 1953 CIA overthrow of Iran's democratically elected government of Mohammad Mosaddegh and the imposition of the Shah, or the 1973 CIA overthrow of Chile's democratically elected government of President Salvador Allende, and the imposition of Augusto Pinochet), or to save a people from a cruel oppressor, revenge for 9-11, or that tired worn-out catch all excuse for invasion, weapons of mass destruction. Assassinations are always passed off as "crazed lone nuts" to obscure the real agenda.

The real agenda is simple. It is enslavement of the people by creation of a false sense of obligation. That obligation is false because the Private Central Banking system, by design, always creates
more debt than money with which to pay that debt. Private Central Banking is not science, it is a religion; a set of arbitrary rules created to benefit the priesthood, meaning the owners of the Private
Central Bank. The fraud persists, with often lethal results, because the people are tricked into believing that this is the way life is suppoed to be and no alternative exists or should be dreamt of. The same was true of two earlier systems of enslavement, Rule by Divine Right and Slavery, both systems built to trick people into obedience, and both now recognized by modern civilizatyion as illegitimate. Now we are entering a time in human history where we will recognize that rule by debt, or rule by Private Central Bankers issuing the public currency as a loan at interest, is equally illegitimate. It only works as long as people allow themselves to believe that this is the way life is supposed to be.

1912: Four blacks lynched in Hamilton, Georgia

By dint of the grueling publishing schedule, this site is rarely equipped to follow as deeply into the wilderness as one might like the trailheads uncovered day by day.
Today is a 101 years since a lynching in Hamilton, Georgia that made national news and is just pregnant with curious little details that seem like they ought to attract an enterprising researcher.
The four, whose names are conflictingly reported, were tenant farmers of Norman Hadley, described as “a well-to-do unmarried farmer.” Some days before, Hadley was killed with a few .32 and .38 caliber gunshots through a window while sitting home alone.
   Why were these four promptly arrested? What was known or believed about their probable grievance against Hadley — especially given the inclusion of a woman? We know that some topics of race relations were taboo at this period, and the bare facts seem suggestive of a much richer background where the nearby Columbus Enquirer-Sun only murmurs that “it was known that he [Hadley] had had some trouble with these negroes.”
   Professing himself ignorant of any stirring popular violence — even though the superior court had only just announced a hurried special sitting so that it could try the case with speed lest vigilantes do what they ultimately did — the local sheriff blithely absented himself from town on the night of the 22nd. Would he have done that were he not Norman Hadley’s uncle? Late that evening,
[The crowd] advanced on the jail and throwing [the jailer] to one side broke the doors down. The terrified negroes were hustled out at the point of guns and marched outside the town. There they were quickly strung up. Immediately their writhing bdies became silhouetted against the sky, revolvers and rifles blazed forth and fully 300 shots were fired before the mob dispersed and left its prey to the winds.
The “prey” — all four of the prey — protested innocence every step of the way.
Whatever was abroad in the town, the wire stories that carried this lynching into press runs around the country found “no motive for the killing of Hadley” that “can be advanced by people here.” But they were absolutely certain: the sheriff had said during the preceding week that the accused were all trying to put the blame on one another, but that “it is not known why the negroes, or whoever killed him did so.” (Columbus Ledger, Jan. 18, 1912) So the interrogation never got around to why?
Whatever skeletons were in Harris County closets, the story’s national import was helped along by the near-simultaneous release of a study indicating that the state of Georgia had contributed a quarter (19 out of 71) of the previous year’s lynchings. It fit the narrative, as they say.
The African-American Savannah Tribune, as one might imagine, editorialized indignantly (Jan. 27, 1912):
"The lynching of the four Negroes, one woman and three men, at Hamilton, Ga., on Monday night to avenge the death of a prominent white farmer, which was supposedly committed by the victims, was one of the most brutal and wanton crimes ever perpetrated in this state. There was not even the usual confessions of the unfortunate victims given out, in fact they professed their innocence to the end, but the mob was bent on taking their lives and therefore carried out their murderous intentions. The case was as follows: On last Sunday afternoon the man, who was murdered, was sitting in his home alone, a shot was fired through he window and he fell dead. That afternoon four Negro tenants were arrested charged with the murder and the next night they were taken out and lynched. The sheriff, who was uncle of the dead man feared no lynching and took a trip to Columbus, Ga., and in the mean time the Negroes were seized and put to death. Even circumstancial evidence against the Negroes was slight but they had to die to appease the wrath of the mob. Surely such crimes cannot much longer continue without some effort being put forth on the part of the law abiding citizens to stop them. Such dastardly crimes as this are indicative of the low value which is placed upon human life, especially if the life be that of a Negro."
The tone of moral outrage contrasts rather markedly with the Columbus Ledger‘s “let the law take its course” demand for a more orderly hanging scene.

"The Hamilton Lynching

Law abiding citizens of Harris county have doubtless been made to blush with shame at the result of last night’s lynching, which cannot but be condemned by all lovers of good government.
Residents of that county were justly wrought-up over the killing of one of their prominent young citizens and punishment for the guilty party or parties could not have been too severe. But the law should have been allowed to take its course.
Judge Gilbert of the Chattahoochee circuit had, upon urgent request of the citizens of Harris, called a special term of the superior court of that county to investigate the case and give the four negroes a speedy trial, that justice might be meted out witout delay, and it appears that everything possible had been done to bring about the apprehension and speedy punishment of the blacks who murdered young Hadley.
Therefore, it seems to the Ledger that there was absolutely no excuse for the acts of last night.
These men may have put to death the guilty parties, or they may have lynched several innocent blacks. They doubtless feel confident that they got the right negro, but have they assurance of this fact?
Law-abiding citizens cannot endorse the acts of this mob, and we must condemn the incident, or any other which tends to disregard law and disrupt government."
Less sentimental still — the heartless progressivism of economy — was the Ledger‘s reasoning on Jan. 26.

"Lynching and Business

Lynching has a business side. Most of us have considered more or less the other aspects of it — the breaking of law, creation and increase of a spirit of lawlessness, the turning back of civilization and the taking of human life, without warrant or justification, which is plain murder.
But, lynching has a business side, which is worth consideration at this time.

In other sections the South is regarded by literally hundreds of thousands of otherwise well-informed people as a country of miasma, fever, laziness and lynching …
Day after day, wee after week and year after year, Southern newspapers and other influences that are devoted to the best interests of the South hammer away at this misinformation about our section in efforts to dissipate it. bout the time they seem to be making some headway along comes a lynching or a massacre, like that in Harris county, and the people of other sections believe that their first opinions and ideas were right and have been confirmed. And most assuredly they hae a reason for thinking so.
Just now the South has opportunities that it has never had before. For many years the tide of home-seekers and the trend of capital seeking investment has been westward … [but they are now] turning to the South — and it should be remembered that there are more homeseekers and investors in this country than ever before.
But mob rule, lawlessness, ruffianism and murder will not attract them. Even the leader of a mob would hardly want to move to a lawless section of some other part of the [coun]try. No man who has sense enough to make money to invest would buy property in a section in which the law is so disregarded, for robbery is a lesser crime than murder.
If Harris county alone should suffer for the massacre that has been permitted in the shadow of its courthouse, the balance of us would have little to say. But Harris county will not be the only one to suffer. Muscogee will suffer and so will every county in Georgia and so will the whole South.
It is about time for people in this part of the country to look the matter squarely in the face from a business view point."

Agile Trap

A mother escorts her two daughters to Orchid Villa Elementary School in Miami, 1959.
Four black children were admitted to Orchid Villa Elementary School in the fall of 1959.  I believe the two girls in this photo are Jan and Irene Glover, ages 9 and 7.  Their mother, Irvena Primus, was a Congress of Racial Equality member.
While I think the photo is beautiful and very Obama-esque, this was a failed attempt at integration.  Miami was a heavily segregated city.  Many white parents chose to transfer their children to other schools rather than attend the same school as four black children.   Two months later, the school board voted to transfer nearly 380 black students to the school and replace the existing white personnel with black teachers and administrators.  By the end of the year, only one white student remained.  The next year, the school was entirely black.
Black schools were notoriously underfunded and overcrowded so the closest thing to a victory in the integration of Orchid Villa Elementary is that it created an additional school for black students.  It is also an example of the structural power of pro-segregation officials.  There were white parents who were willing to send their children to an integrated school in the beginning, but the transfer of students and personnel was designed to encourage those parents to enroll their children in white schools.  
Miami schools were not fully integrated until 1969.

If it's so...FOOLS. And made Fools.

Michelle Obama attends abolition of slavery commemoration in Amsterdam?Amsterdam Mayor Eberhard van der Laan has sent an invitation to the First Lady of the United States to come to Amsterdam and speech during the ceremony of 150th anniversary of the abolition of slavery, according to Het Parool.   

On July 1, it’s one hundred and fifty years ago that slavery in the Dutch colonies of Suriname and the Netherlands Antilles was officially abolished. The commemoration in the Amsterdam  is part of dozens of large and small activities that highlight the history of slavery and its implications.

Besides Obama more important guests from abroad are expected. Among the  invited guest are African-American writers Alice Walker and Toni Morrison and the former Black Panther Angela Davis.

During the commemoration members of the Dutch government and the royal family will be present, as well  as the governments of the Dutch Caribbean islands. The Surinamese government is not invited, because of the decision of the city of Amsterdam not to maintain contacts with the Surinamese government. The controversial President of Suriname, Desi Bouterse, is not welcome in The Netherlands. 

[ Idren.  I hope the dutch version of Toyin shows up to give fools wisdom (2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 1213). ]

The T's expansion (and shrinkage) during past 117 years

The T's expansion (and shrinkage) during past 117 year:
How has the MBTA changed / grown / shrunk during the past 117 years?
Check out the visualization below to see the birth of the Green Line in 1895, the expansion of the Red Line through 1985, and the "repositioning" of the Orange Line. Descriptions of the changes included under the map.
(Permission granted by author)

[ idren alert. it is important the i.s remember the neighborhood movements of black folks, international immigrants and redlining agents' practices...thus equipped you will see that this is additionally a perfect slideshow in "CHARLIETOWNISM" ...gentlemanly trick if ick ok shun ].

We Did Not Sell Each Other Into Slavery

Article here
The single most effective White propaganda assertion that continues to make it very difficult for us to reconstruct the African social systems of mutual trust broken down by U.S. Slavery is the statement, unqualified, that, “We sold each other into slavery.” Most of us have accepted this statement as true at its face value. It implies that parents sold their children into slavery to Whites, husbands sold their wives, even brothers and sisters selling each other to the Whites. It continues to perpetuate a particularly sinister effluvium of Black character. But deep down in the Black gut, somewhere beneath all the barbecue ribs, gin and whitewashed religions, we know that we are not like this.
This singular short tart claim, that “We sold each other into slavery”, has maintained in a state of continual flux our historical basis for Black-on-Black self love and mutual cooperation at the level of Class. Even if it is true (without further clarification) that we sold each other into slavery, this should not absolve Whites of their responsibility in our subjugation. We will deal with Africa if need be.

The period from the beginning of the TransAtlantic African Slave so-called Trade (1500) to the demarcation of Africa into colonies in the late 1800s is one of the most documented periods in World History. Yet, with the exception of the renegade African slave raider Tippu Tip of the Congo (Muslim name, Hamed bin Muhammad bin Juna al-Marjebi) who was collaborating with the White Arabs (also called Red Arabs) there is little documentation of independent African slave raiding. By independent is meant that there were no credible threats, intoxicants or use of force by Whites to force or deceive the African into slave raiding or slave trading and that the raider himself was not enslaved to Whites at the time of slave raiding or “trading”. Trade implies human-to-human mutuality without force. This was certainly not the general scenario for the TransAtlantic so-called Trade in African slaves. Indeed, it was the Portuguese who initiated the European phase of slave raiding in Africa by attacking a sleeping village in 1444 and carting away the survivors to work for free in Europe.

Even the case of Tippu Tip may well fall into a category that we might call the consequences of forced cultural assimilation via White (or Red) Arab Conquest over Africa. Tippu Tip s father was a White (or Red) Arab slave raider, his mother an unmixed African slave. Tip was born out of violence, the rape of an African woman. It is said that Tip, a “mulatto”, was merciless to Africans.

The first act against Africa by Whites was an unilateral act of war, announced or unannounced. There were no African Kings or Queens in any of the European countries nor in the U.S. when ships set sail for Africa to capture slaves for profit. Whites had already decided to raid for slaves. They didn’t need our agreement on that. Hence, there was no mutuality in the original act. The African so-called slave “trade” was a demand-driven market out of Europe and America, not a supply-driven market out of Africa. We did not seek to sell captives to the Whites as an original act. Hollywood’s favorite is showing Blacks capturing Blacks into slavery, as if this was the only way capture occurred. There are a number of ways in which capture occurred. Let’s dig a little deeper into this issue.

Chancellor Williams, in his classic work, The Destruction of Black Civilization, explains that after the over land passage of African trade had been cut off at the Nile Delta by the White Arabs in about 1675 B.C. (the Hyksos), the Egyptian/African economy was thrown into a recession.
[Gonna highlight a comment from the linked article:
[Trigger Warning: rape]
Just because Blacks sold other Blacks into slavery, does not mean that Whites are less culpable. Blame is not quantifiable and just because your friend rapes a little girl does not excuse you from doing so. Beware Whites evading ethics.]
excellent point on the use of the word “trade”…

[ ...begin by calling it too: "nigger slavery" ...see Oloudah Equiano's biography where he distinguishes between historical 'slavery' i.e. what africans did practice and nigger imagination (racism yt supremacy based) slavery.  Call it "nigger slavery" if you have the courage.  For more see nigger slavery cloud label to the right below, or google James Baldwin i am not a nigger (or dick gregory: you wouldn't answer to me if i called you a billionaire, why do you take on the white man's imagination of nigger and have a problem  (answer) to being called a nigger by him?  Call me if you want to learn the three (related) meanings, and only ones in the universe, of the word nigger.]


BCONX ALERT: Martin Luther King Jr., John Carlos and the boycott that wasn’t

Martin Luther King Jr., John Carlos and the boycott that wasn’t:
John Carlos is best known as the man who, along with Tommie Smith, raised a clenched fist – the Black Power salute – on the medal stand after the 200 meter race. Carlos took bronze, and Smith gold, at the 1968 Mexico City Olympics. But that moment was a culmination of months of political discussion among black leaders in America. One such discussion happened in early 1968 in New York City.

Carlos explains, in a section excerpted from “The John Carlos Story: The Sports Moment that Changed the World,” written with Dave Zirin.
by John Carlos
Martin Luther King smiles w church family at news he won Nobel Peace Prize 110864 by Flip Schulke, Corbis
Dr. King smiles upon hearing the news with his church family on Nov. 8, 1964, that he had won the Nobel Peace Prize. He took his mission so seriously that rarely is he seen smiling in pictures. When the way seems dark, we should let his smile encourage us. – Photo: Flip Schulke, Corbis
I recall going down to the Americano that evening, walking into the lobby and being just overwhelmed by the size of it all. I had never really made time in the downtown Manhattan hotels and my eyes almost popped out of my head. It looked like a movie set, with 50-foot-high ceilings, gaudy chandeliers and the kind of deep, smoky woodwork that looked like it had been carved and sanded for kings. It crossed my mind that I’d turn the corner and bump into John Dillinger. I gathered myself and I went up to the room where the meeting was to take place.
When I entered that room, I had no expectations whatsoever as to who might be at the meeting or anything of the sort. I just knew it would be the place to be to talk boycott. Other than Harry Edwards, I had no idea who would be there or why.
When I walked in, I was immediately shocked to see some of the social movement political giants that I had seen on television – Andrew Young for one and Ralph Abernathy, the number two man of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC). I was thinking to myself that I couldn’t possibly get in trouble with my parents for walking out on that paint job because the SCLC could do no wrong in our household.
I was already feeling like gold and awestruck around Abernathy and Young. But not in my wildest imagination was I ready for the next individual to walk into the room: Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. When he walked into our meeting, for the first time in my life I was absolutely and completely tongue-tied. All I could do at that precise moment was think about my mother.
My momma admired Dr. King so much, she could talk about him and tears would pool in the corners of her eyes. She felt like Dr. King was the first lieutenant to God, sent to this planet to heal the sins of this nation. At that moment, all I could think was, “Wow! I wish that my Mom could be a rock in my pocket or a bug on my lapel and just be here to take in this moment.”
I was in awe. I know I probably looked completely unnerved, but Dr. King had this way of putting the people around him at ease. He came out with such a warm manner – you could say an almost comedic style – and it relaxed all the young athletes who might have been starstruck in his presence.
Martin Luther King, Stokely Carmichael, Willie 'Mukasa' Ricks
“If Dr. King had been born in another life and another skin and didn’t get involved in religion and the civil rights movement, he could have made a Brinks truck worth of money as a stand-up comic because he was so funny and charismatic, cracking jokes before the meeting, putting everyone in stitches and making us all comfortable,” recalls John Carlos. Here is Dr. King doing the same with movement comrades Stokely Carmichael and Willie “Mukasa” Ricks.
If Dr. King had been born in another life and another skin and didn’t get involved in religion and the civil rights movement, he could have made a Brinks truck worth of money as a stand-up comic because he was so funny and charismatic, cracking jokes before the meeting, putting everyone in stitches and making us all comfortable. Then, with Dr. King present and accounted for, the meeting started in earnest.
Dr. King made it clear from the beginning that he wasn’t just there to lend moral support. He wanted to help us hammer out a plan and he made it clear that he would be a public supporter of the Olympic boycott. He also stated that while we had his public support, he wouldn’t and couldn’t be the lead man at the front of the march and in front of the cameras. He said that it would do the movement no favors. He wanted Harry Edwards to be the lead man, and said he would be very happy taking marching orders from Harry on this.
Dr. King felt the boycott was a very worthy project and could prove to be a mighty platform to make clear the need to establish justice and equality for all men and women on this planet. He said that our strongest leverage was that an Olympic boycott could have a global reach. We could shock the world and we could do it by also adhering to the principles of nonviolence that he held so dear. We could bring attention to the problems of society, but we did not have to throw a rock or burn a building in order to do so.
This was Dr. King’s methodology. He understood that militancy didn’t mean violence. He understood that courage did not mean throwing punches. Sometimes it meant just the opposite. He also told us that if we wanted to go down and hold a demonstration during the Olympics in Mexico City, he would join us and bring the civil rights marches people knew from Selma and Montgomery right to the Mexican capital. I still remember him saying that he would get to work on that right after he saw through this garbage strike he was working on supporting in Memphis, Tennessee.
At the end of the meeting, I finally found my voice and was able to ask two questions of Dr. King. The first question I asked him, very respectfully, was why this idea of an Olympic boycott was attractive to him. He expressed to me that the concept and visual power of an Olympic boycott would be like a ripple in the water spreading throughout the world to let people know that the people of color of this earth were very disenchanted about their treatment and we could aspire to something better as a human race.
He said that the visual power was in the void it would create: an Olympics without Black athletes. He said that the process would be like Black soldiers stepping back from the military. “We’re not saying ‘burn it down,’” he said. “We’re just merely saying we don’t care to participate and see how you feel without us as a part of the show.” I totally agreed. We weren’t throwing any fire. We were just saying that we choose not to go. We felt like we had to step up because as I remember someone saying at the meeting, “If not us, who?” How do you become a “leader”? Well, it helps if you decide that you are going to lead.
1968 Olympics Mexico City 200-meter dash Peter Norman, silver, Australia, Tommie Smith, gold, John Carlos, bronze
When Dr. King told John Carlos shortly before he was assassinated that he had to “stand for those who won’t stand for themselves, and stand for those who can’t stand for themselves,” John Carlos “became a heart and soul member of what we called the Olympic Project for Human Rights.” When the plan for Blacks to boycott the Olympics had to be abandoned, this is the earthshaking stand he and Tommie Smith took instead, with the approval of their fellow medal-winner, Peter Norman of Australia.
My second question to Dr. King was something a lot of people in the room were wondering and it had nothing to do with anything that had to do with the Olympics. We wanted to know, “Why are you going back to Memphis when they are threatening your life?”
Remember, Dr. King had been back and forth to Memphis where he was supporting a sanitation strike that had gotten so violent it became an article of faith that Dr. King had been marked for death. We all knew it. We knew that if someone had a clear shot at this great man, the trigger would be squeezed. He was addressing not just racism at home but also standing up against the war in Vietnam. He was just becoming too dangerous to too many people.
At that moment, Dr. King made a very positive statement directly to me. He said, “John, I have to go back and stand for those that won’t stand for themselves, and I have to go back for those that can’t stand for themselves.” The way he said it was very distinct and very precise. Once again, he said he had to “stand for those who won’t stand for themselves, and stand for those who can’t stand for themselves.” Won’t and can’t: he had enough room in his heart for both.
When Dr. King said that, it made my life more certain. Maybe this is just the way I remember it more than 40 years later, but that moment gave me a direction. Until then I was kind of a rebel without a cause, like Brando when they said, “What are you rebelling against?” and he replied, “What have you got?” I never had any kind of a game plan or formula for what I was going to do in my life. I didn’t have a compass. I would improvise and speak out against injustice as I saw it arise.
But when Dr. King said those words to me, it was like he joined my mind and my heart and guided them toward one direction. This is when I became a heart and soul member of what we called the Olympic Project for Human Rights.
Dave Zirin is the author of several books, including “The John Carlos Story” (Haymarket), and writes a weekly column for The Nation magazine. This story first appeared on Deadspin. Receive his column every week by emailing Contact him at