On This Day – “25,000 Go to Alabama’s Capitol”

On March 25, 1965, the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. led 25,000 marchers to the state capitol in Montgomery, Ala., to protest the denial of voting rights to blacks.

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(Source)

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Now Showing: Photographer Bill Brandt

“Bill Brandt: Shadow and Light” showing at the Museum of Modern Art now through August 12, features nearly 160 vintage prints by the British photographer. The exhibit begins with photos he took of British life in the 1930’s and during World War II and ends with his Surrealistic female nudes taken during the 1950’s and 60’s.20130308-082851.jpgI love his work, especially the female nudes. Hence, the reason I chose the photos that I did to accompany this post. He is undoubtedly one of my favorite photographers.20130308-075529.jpg20130308-075553.jpg“Bill Brandt: Shadow and Light” continues through Aug. 12 at the Museum of Modern Art; (212) 708-9400, moma.org.

On This Day – “Alabama Police Use Gas and Clubs to Rout Negroes”

On March 7, 1965, a march by civil rights demonstrators was broken up in Selma, Ala., by state troopers and a sheriff’s posse.

Alabama state troopers and volunteer officers of the Dallas County sheriff’s office tore through a column of Negro demonstrators with tear gas, nightsticks and whips to enforce Gov. George C. Wallace’s order against a protest march from Selma to Montgomery.

At least 17 Negroes were hospitalized with injuries and about 40 more were given emergency treatment for minor injuries and tear gas effects.

The Negroes reportedly fought back with bricks and bottles at one point as they were pushed back into the Negro community, far away from most of a squad of reporters and photographers who had been restrained by the officers.

[In Washington the Justice Department announced that agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation in Selma had been directed to make a full and prompt investigation and to gather evidence whether “unnecessary force was used by law officers and others” in halting the march.]

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Read the article in it’s entirety here: (Source)

On This Day – “Decision of the Supreme Court in the Dred Scott Case”

On March 6, 1857, in its Dred Scott decision, the Supreme Court held that Scott, a slave, could not sue for his freedom in a federal court.

The opinion of the Supreme Court in the Dred Scott Case was delivered by Chief Justice Taney. It was a full and elaborate statement of the views of the Court. They have decided the following important points:

First – Negroes, whether slaves or free, that is, men of the African race, are not citizens of the United States by the Constitution.

Second – The Ordinance of 1787 had no independent constitutional force or legal effect subsequently to the adoption of the Constitution, and could not operate of itself to confer freedom or citizenship within the Northwest Territory on negroes not citizens by the Constitution.

Third – The provisions of the Act of 1820, commonly called the Missouri Compromise, in so far as it undertook to exclude negro slavery from, and communicate freedom and citizenship to, negroes in the northern part of the Louisiana cession, was a Legislative act exceeding the powers of Congress, and void, and of no legal effect to that end.

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“I’m Sorry But We Don’t Serve Colored Here”

On Feb. 1, 1960, four black college students began a sit-in protest at a lunch counter in Greensboro, N.C., where they’d been refused service.

Excerpt from The New York Times article chronicling the sit-in protests:

The spark that touched off the protests was provided by four freshmen at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical College in Greensboro. Even Negroes class Greensboro as one of the most progressive cities in the South in terms of race relations.

On Sunday night, Jan. 31, one of the students sat thinking about discrimination.

“Segregation makes me feel that I’m unwanted,” McNeil A. Joseph said later in an interview. ‘I don’t want my children exposed to it.’

The 17-year-old student from Wilmington, N. C., said that he approached three of his classmates the next morning and found them enthusiastic over a proposal that they demand service at the lunch counter of a downtown variety store.

About 4:45 P.M. they entered the F. W. Woolworth Company store on North Elm Street in the heart of Greensboro. Mr. Joseph said he bought a tube of tooth paste and the others made similar purchases. Then they sat down at the lunch counter.

The students asked a white waitress for coffee.

“I’m sorry but we don’t serve colored here,” they quoted her.

“I beg your pardon,” said Franklin McCain, 18, of Washington, “you just served me at a counter two feet away. Why is it that you serve me at one counter and deny me at another. Why not stop serving me at all the counters.”

The four students sat, coffee-less, until the store closed at 5:30 P. M. Then, hearing that they might be prosecuted, they went to the executive committee of the Greensboro N.A.A.C.P. to ask advice.

The Greensboro demonstrations and the others that it triggered were spontaneous.

The protests generally followed similar patterns. Young men and women and, in one case, high school boys and girls, walked into the stores and requested food service. Met with refusals in all cases, they remained at the lunch counters in silent protest.

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Read the article in it’s entirety here: (Source)

Just got off the plane…

I’m here. They’ve been waiting for me, holding up a sign with my name on it. I have officially arrived in my dark place; looks like nothing has changed, it’s just as I left it. A place so dark that I can’t see through my veil of tears. Nothing and no one is welcome here. I do not wish to talk to anyone on the phone or in person to tell them how I feel, because quite frankly, I may tell them to fuck off! So, the only way that they will get any insight into my dark place is to read this post.

Happiness being relative, I can honestly say that I am unhappy. I don’t give a fuck if anyone thinks that I have it better than some people. Who are they to say that? From the outside looking in, they may assume that I have it better than most and they would be way off base.

No material possession can make me feel better right now. No one person can make me feel better right now. I am responsible for my happiness. Of course I cannot control someone else’s actions but I can control my reaction and I haven’t been doing a great job of that lately. It would appear that I am a glutton for punishment, I assure you I am not. My lack of focus and apparent misery prompted the following question, “Is there someone else?”, to which I replied, “Yes… Me. I am the other person”. To be clear, I am in my own way and that’s what’s so fucking sick about the whole thing. In my heart I know what I need to do in order to make myself happy, which in turn will make everyone else happy, yet I can’t.

There’s this fear that has me paralyzed. The fear of failure. I know that if I don’t move, I will die; perhaps not literally, but my very soul will cease to exist and I will merely inhabit a physical form. Actually, if I continue to have these overwhelming feelings of helplessness and hopelessness, I may kill my physical self; not at my own hand, mind you, but as a bi-product of depression and/or anxiety coupled with my Lupus, Sjogren’s, Raynaud’s and Rheumatoid Arthritis. Stress makes my illness(es) flare-up, so living stress-free is tantamount to my well-being. This very moment, my spirit is on life support and my stress level is off the charts. I almost wish it was over already.

Not to assign blame, but there are some members of my family that really fucked my head up! All those years of rejection added up to me creating this person who I thought my loved ones wanted me to be just to stay in their favor. My first few years on this earth were rife with instability, turmoil and rejection, I felt worthless; no child, especially under the age of 5, should be made to feel that way. Once I was in a more stable home environment, I was told over and over again that I was smart, pretty and funny, but the damage had already been done.

Everyone in my life may be having an easier time than me dealing with my illness or, it could be argued, a more difficult time. Their support or lack thereof, doesn’t diminish the fact that I am sick. The physical pain is secondary to the emotional pain and I don’t know how long I can live like this.

I made a vow to myself, sometime last year, to live authentically and I was making progress, truly. However, I may have fallen off track and reverted into this being that is foreign to me, all to appease the people that I love. I feel like I have to choose between their happiness and mine, which sucks.

Eric – Graffiti Street

My oldest son Eric… Cass Corridor… Graffiti Street