Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Climate Change - Courtesy of Minister of Information JR

I'd worked with Bro JR, the Minister of Information/P.O.C.C. Block Report on several issues between here and the Bay Area but I was finally able to meet the hard working brother at the first L.A. hearing for Johannes Mehserle, the former BART officer who shot and killed Oscar Grant, III. on New Year's Day 2009.

I just received this video report back from the day - and it was as full of activity as he reports in the footage.  Thanks Bro JR!  

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Haiti Relief Efforts Underway after 7.0 Earthquake

Dr. Ron Daniels and his wife presented President Préval with a book about South African leader Nelson Mandela. Photo: Richard B. Muhammad

Relief efforts underway for Haiti:


Pledge $5 by texting "Yele" 501501; charged directly to your cell phone.  Organized through hip hop artist Wyclef Jean's organization, Yele.  (www.yele.org)

The Many Hands Effort

Saturday, January 16, 6pm

A.F.I.B.A Center

5730 Crenshaw Blvd., Los Angeles


The Many Hands Effort requests monetary donations instead of supplies to in part help boost the efforts of trusted relief organizations, and to avoid having the donations eaten up by the high shipping costs. Saturday's event is sponsored by a coalition of pan-African activists and organizations.  

If you can't make it Saturday, you may also:

1.  Send a money order or check payable to Mothers for Africa, PO Box 18980, LA CA 90018, note that this is for Haiti Relief 
2.  Go to 
http://www.hufh.org and make donations directly


Noluthando Williams - thando99@hotmail.com

Micheline Roberson at 310-903-3932 

Queen Nana / Mothers for Africa at nehandanzingah@yahoo.com



Earlier I corresponded by email with a dear sister from Haiti, an actress, who had just arrived in New York last night from her native land, she told me.  I met her and a delegation that had accompanied the Mayor of Port Au Prince during a Final Call assignment last year. Sister told me that she'd made contact with husband, who was still in Haiti, and that he was alright, but she was still awaiting word about her family.  

Just about four months ago Final Call Editor Richard Muhammad made a pilgrimage to the Citadel in Haiti.  He was part of a delegation, spearheaded by Dr. Ron Daniels and The Haiti Support Project (HSP), which went there to promote cultural and historical tourism to help develop the nation.  They met with President Réne Préval and his wife in the Presidential Palace, which has been destroyed by the magnitude 7.0 earthquake that struck Tuesday.  

The quake has rendered thousands dead, 500,000, some Haiti officials estimate, and at least 1/3 of Haiti's population of 9 million potentially in need of emergency services, according to the International Red Cross.

The people of Haiti will need as much support that the HSP, Many Hands Effort, Red Cross, Wyclef Jean's Yele organization, and people worldwide, can give them.  

Please, Let's Pray and Pay for Haiti.

Friday, January 8, 2010

From the I Am Oscar Grant Files - Scenes from Johannes Mehserle Hearing

It's been a year since former Bart officer Johannes Mehserle shot and killed an unarmed, handcuffed, 22-year-old Oscar Grant, III (pictured left) on a station platform in Oakland.  Since that time there have been a lot of developments, including the change of venue which again brought the issue of police brutality to Southern California.  

At today's preliminary hearing for Mehserle, protesters demanded justice for Oscar Grant during a press conference and rally outside the courthouse, while the Grant family, their attorney, John Burris, and a contingent of supporters from the Bay Area, attended the hearing.  

They included Student Minister Keith Muhammad of Muhammad Mosque 26B in Oakland, Jack Bryce, who's two sons were with Grant and also allegedly brutalized by Bart police on the platform, and J.R. Valrey, Minister of Information for the Prisoners of Conscience Committee headed by Fred Hampton Jr., producer of Block Report Radio.

Here are some of the sights from today's activities.  Oh, the youth at Locke High's family of schools wanted to support the Grant Family and rally, but didn't want to miss their classes, so they held a rally at the school in the courtyard.  

Check for the full story in the FCN soon.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Jeremy Vernon Youth Artistry

I'm a very proud auntie right now!  My nephew, Jeremy Vernon, turns 18 tomorrow and begins preparing to expand his career by attending the Art Academy in San Francisco.  He is a self-taught sketch and digital artist. 

I watched him grow up since he was just a little boy, drawing pictures out of different books and perfecting his works, one at a time.  He's been featured in several art competitions and works to create logos and other exclusive artwork for t-shirts and skateboards and websites.  

When President Barack Obama began receiving all of the death threats (or when they began surfacing in the public at least) Jeremy was so moved he captured the essence of the threats and political climate in a drawing as well.    

I reposted it again so you can see some of his abilities.  You can also check out some of his other drawings on his own personal blog at http://unheard8.blogspot.com/.

Jeremy I know in my heart you'll do well.  You've a journey ahead of you in getting to the Art Academy and San Francisco, but I'm praying for you. 


Hate Still Exists

By Jeremy Vernon

I drew a picture of President Obama as a symbol of change taking place in America.

In other countries, our flag is burned as a symbol of the negative feeling towards us. The picture of President Obama shows our strong need for change and his election was meant to usher in that change.

What my picture represents is the fact that there are still hate groups in America.  There are still people in the world who not only dislike the idea of a Black President; they haven’t accepted the fact that we actually have one.  Times have changed yes, not all people are willing to grow with the changes.  In their minds, their personal memories and image of America is also burning.

My picture basically symbolizes the division in America that is increasingly starting to show again.  Since the civil rights period, people have always known that racism and segregation could not remain.   We have death threats made against our new President by “God–fearing Americans”, racial jokes and hints posted on emails and in media. It only shows that much change is still needed. 

Obama’s election by Americans of all races is the change that America desperately wants and needs. Our generation has made that clear.   He is not "the" change, our coming together to elect him as President is the change. 

The other issue my picture addresses our government’s policy regarding the return of military dead to the U.S.

America does not like to see the bad sides of war.  There really is no good that comes from war, but refusing to show images of our dead heroes of war only softens the idea of death for everyone but the families who’ve lost loved ones.  It hides the truth about war under the disguise of protecting the privacy of families.

Although that’s important, what’s more important is to show people what is really happening to our troops.  Instead, the lack of these sad photos of our dead heroes returning home by plane in a coffin leaves the image of war as a sort of video game.  It’s an honor to choose to go to war to protect our nation, but more than half of young Americans do not even know the reason why we are in the war to begin with.  The old saying "The old men send the younger men to fight their wars” describes the time that we live in.  The old men of the previous administration sent the nations younger men to do their bidding and fight their battles.  The least America deserves is to know what is happening to our men.  The coffin in my picture is symbolic of all this.  It symbolizes the demand for media to stop hiding the truth of the war from the American people and stop sugar coating the sad results of war. 

My medium of work was pencil and shading then scanned to a computer for color insert.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

2010 emerges with huge settlements for 2 Black women

Respect and protect the Black woman

The Associated Press reported on New Year's Day that the family of an unarmed Black woman who was shot and killed by a white officer during a drug raid has settled their wrongful death suit against the City of Ohio for $2.5 million.  

You might remember when this shooting occurred two years ago that what also enraged many was that 26-year-old Tarika Wilson was holding her one-year-old baby boy in her arms when Sgt. Joseph Chavalia shot her.  Tarika's son was hit too, and had a finger amputated, the AP informed.   

Chavalia was acquitted and is back at work, but not street patrol.  Well the community there needs to be sure and monitor that because in Inglewood, California, an officer shot into a moving car, head on into the windshield, and killed someone he suspected of a shooting.  Administrators put him on paid administrative leave and took him off the streets, but we found out it was a lie after he shot and killed a U.S. Postal worker before the other questionable shooting was ever complete.

Yes, pay up Ohio.  Pay up to Tarika's six children, but know you can never pay for what you've taken from them.

And if I've seen this type of case once, I've seen it a thousand times.  I used to work for civil rights and employment law attorneys and time after time, they fought ignorant managers, supervisors, CEOs, who could have done the right thing but didn't.  

About two days before the news of the Wilson settlement broke, a judge in Nashville, Tennessee ordered Whirlpool, Corp. to pay more than $1 million to Carlota Freeman, a Black woman who was consistently sexually harassed and ultimately brutally beaten by a White co-worker because Whirlpool tolerated the harassment.  

Freeman had complained over and over again to her supervisors that she felt threatened by Willie Baker, who taunted her with sexually explicit and racially charged statements.  But they did nothing.  Oh, I forgot.  According to a story on blackamericaweb, a White supervisor ordered them to ignore each other.  Then, this supervisor handled it by telling Freeman that she should just f*** her harasser and then he'd leave her alone. 


Ultimately, this stalker walked up to Freeman at work, punched her in the face and threatened her again.  Now she has panic attacks, suffers from post traumatic stress disorder, the judge found, and she can't do normal things like go grocery shopping or to church.  Since it happened in 2004, the article continues, she's been in mental health treatment and her doctors believe she won't work again. She rarely leaves her house, when all she tried to do before was go to work and do her job.

The original settlement press release is at  http://www.eeoc.gov/eeoc/newsroom/release/12-29-09.cfm and more details on the harassment and assault is on blackamericaweb.com.

Respect and protect the Black woman.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Mine Eyes Have Seen - 2009 in Review

2009 was a blessing for me - particularly the trials and the hard learned lessons.  All of it was a catalyst for the road and the work ahead.  It's almost 3 a.m. and I'm still very much in reflection and projection, but I wanted to share some of the commentaries on 2009 via the Final Call's year in review.  God Bless!  Let's go get it!  

Peace...Sis Charlene

(FinalCall.com) - Barack Obama taking charge as the president of the United States was seen as the most significant development for Black America in 2009, according to analysts interviewed byThe Final Call, but despite that historical change—serious challenges remain.


Blacks still live in greater poverty (24.7 percent) than non-Hispanic Whites (8.6 percent), Asians (11.8 percent), or Hispanics (23.2 percent), despite recent increases in poverty levels. Black men are incarcerated in U.S. prisons or jails at a rate more than six times higher than White males. In addition, Black unemployment increased from 8.9 percent to 15.6 percent since the recession struck in 2007, while overall, the national unemployment rate rose from 4.9 to 10.0 percent.

“Any assessment of last year must concede that there was both great joy and hope as well as deep disappointment as things settled in, returned to the rule of big business as usual, and people realized that symbolism is not substance and that there is no substitute for self-conscious, committed and continuous struggle,” said Dr. Maulana Karenga, creator of Kwanzaa and professor in the Department of Africana Studies at California State University Long Beach.

(Full story at http://www.finalcall.com/artman/publish/National_News_2/article_6687.shtml)

One of my most memorable 2009 photos, courtesy of Kenneth Muhammad

The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan
     Saviours' Day 2009
Behold My Minister:  ...Everything he tells you to do, do. Everywhere he tells you to go, go.  Every place he tells you to stay away from, stay away from!  
(The Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad)