Category Archives: civil rights

Remembering the “4 Little Girls Prologue”

September 15, 1963

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some days i feel like, Amelia Boynton Robinson

**I ORGINALLY POSTED THIS IN MARCH 2014. I just learned this civil rights leader passed this morning at 104 years old.  I appreciate what she did for humanity, civil rights and women. Rest In Peace Amelia Boynton Robinson**

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There are some terms that I believe society would love to be eliminated from the vocabulary and one of them is suffrage. Other terms or movements have taken significance over the once very popular term of saying women’s suffrage. This plight was simply blended with other movements. But some days I feel like there is more to me than just occasional recognition.

There are so many photos of African Americans who dared to change society during the Civil Rights Movement that go without being named. Like this woman:

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Perhaps the photographer knew of her importance and that is the reason why this photo was taken. Maybe as a message of intimidation for anyone who dare let her inspiration move them. Her name is Amelia Boynton Robinson, and she was pivotal in the planning of many of the civil and voting rights protests in Selma, AL. As a matter of fact, her home was used by Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Hosea Williams and James Bevels just to name a few, as an office space to organize Selma’s contribution to the Civil Rights Movement. On Sunday March 7, 1965, protestors attempted to make a trek to Montgomery, AL for a demonstration on voting rights for African Americans. The above photograph illustrates why this day has been termed, “Bloody Sunday”. Around 600 protestors were choked by tear gas and beaten with billy clubs by police waiting on the other side of the Edmund Pettus Bridge as they crossed the Alabama River. For many years, she was the unnamed woman in the photograph that was beaten unconscious. Once again, her name is Amelia Robinson Boynton.

Prior to becoming involved in the Civil Rights Movement, she was active with women’s suffrage. She also went on to become a playwright and lecturer. Some days I feel like Amelia when ALL I do is a part of everything, yet goes unnoticed. Today I recognize Her and give thanks for Her nurturing contribution to the movement that has granted me many opportunities.

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When We Arrived presents: When I Grow Up by Nikki Skies (video poetry post)

 

the cd is available for autograph and purchase.
contact:
nikkiskies@gmail.com

When We Arrived presents: “Medgar’s Last Words” by Jolivette “The Poet Warrior” (video poetry post)

 

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Jolivette Anderson-Douoning is an Interdisciplinary scholar whose research is grounded in the Humanities and Applied Professions disciplines. 
Also known as Jolivette Anderson ‘the poet warrior’, she is a Race and Culture Educator who uses “Third Space Theory” to develop teaching and learning experiences that facilitate greater understandings of Black cultural existence and experience in the United States.
She is a Phd student and research assistant in American Studies / Curriculum and Instruction at Purdue University. Her current research examines the purpose and relevancy of Black Cultural Centers between 1965 to 1995 and interrogates the future of BCC in a post – Obama United States of America.
She has four recordings of poetry and prose: Love and Revolution UndergroundAt the End of a Rope in MississippiJolivette Live: A Bluesy Funk Life Cycle, and She Energy.
For bookings and additional information thepoetwarrior@icloud.com or DrJolly2015@gmail.com 

 

 

 

Keepers at the Gate by Rochelle Soetan

“Ain’t I a woman?” so wrote Isabella Baumfree, also known as Sojourner Truth, in 1851 at the Ohio Women’s Rights Convention in Akron, Ohio. One of the greatest speeches ever given on gender equality, Sojourner Truth must have known how far we could come.

When I was a school girl, I was taught about only a few women in history. Year after year, we read about inspiring sister soldiers like Harriet Tubman, Helen Keller, Phyllis Wheatley, Susan B. Anthony, and Marion Anderson. At that time, little did I know of the multiple generations of women that came before me and not only helped to build the country, but also facilitate much of its’ progress.

Continue reading Keepers at the Gate by Rochelle Soetan

CCC (Commemorate, Celebrate, Continue)

“This is not just a commemoration or celebration, it is a continuation.”
Reverend Al Sharpton, March 8, 2015 – Brown Chapel in Selma, Alabama

Fifty years seems like so long ago. But as long as my mother and her siblings are alive, I must consider it to be this lifetime. It is still this lifetime as long as we still have provisions that need reauthorization by law officials for all racial minorities to vote fairly. Today, fifty years can be five years ago or easily five nights ago. March 7, 1965, or Bloody Sunday, is the day I imagine they went home and re-thought this demonstration and protest lifestyle. Perhaps some quit while others said, ‘I won’t stop until I have the right to vote and walk this bridge without being harassed.’ And that night, just as Nat Turner saw it written in the sky years earlier, all of their dreams and all of their wishes were of me. Of us. What are we going to do? Continue reading CCC (Commemorate, Celebrate, Continue)

Political Focus in college SGA and BSU

 

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Allow me to introduce Lesley McSpadden and Michael Brown Sr., the parents of the unarmed young man gunned down in Ferguson, Mo. in August, Michael Brown Jr. aka Mike Brown.

The images from this tragic incident have quite powerfully paralleled to that of images from the civil rights movement.  Images from all over the world that prompted political attention and involvement from communities in Mexico to parts of China.  In my opinion, some of the most significant photographs came from colleges and universities that participated in the “Don’t Shoot”
Continue reading Political Focus in college SGA and BSU

Ferguson: no longer important?; Still Very Potent

The media has moved on to something else.  The murder of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo. is now old news and the country is in an uproar over Nick and Mariah getting divorced and Ebola making its’ way into the states.  Just like the country was in nation wide support and rallies for the “Bring Back Our Girls” distress from Nigeria, we have now obeyed the media and moved our emotions elsewhere.  But this little town in Missouri has vowed NOT to be satisfied with being told, “justice will be served.”  No, not this town!  While we sleep, they take shifts and keep the city officials on their toes with protests and sustained organizing until they can speak in past tense, “justice has been served.”
Continue reading Ferguson: no longer important?; Still Very Potent

One Person’s Art and the Interpretation

I recently sat down to watch Lee Daniels’ The Butler. I had mixed feelings about going to see it at the movie theatre because it was close to the holidays and people were calling it the “male version” of the movie, The Help. (which I didn’t see either)  Well, I fixed a light lunch and sat down to watch this movie and it wasn’t about him being butler at all!  At least not from my interpretation.

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I found the movie to be rich in storytelling about spiritual and political growth. It showed the development of one expressing the political and humanitarian side of fighing for freedom.  The movie also displayed parents who allowed their children to actualize themselves.  There was a development of friends into family relationships and I truly appreciated the love stories.  With all of the fully developed story lines and superb acting, I didn’t see the focus being about his occupation as a butler at all.  Perhaps it’s just my poetic eye, but being a butler was only the analogy to set a location.

This is also close to my perception of the movie, “12 Years a Slave.  People cried, “not another slave movie!” But it wasn’t about him being a slave. It was about family, perservance, courage and reciprocity.  Another fully developed story with superb acting that should be seen.

If you are a writer, The Butler is a wonderful example of story crafting.  Check it out! (or watch it again with a new perspective)