by

November 28, 2022

 

Day and Night I Always Dream With Open Eyes

Jose is a 13 year old bilingual student from the Dominican Republic who is literate in both Spanish and English, and who has a dark skin complexion living in the neighborhood where the school is located. He along with his peers receive instructions in a ICT dual language classroom. This still doesn’t stop Jose from arriving late to school.

Although the school has a uniform policy, Jose still at times decides to break with the policy and wear his own clothes. His presence is felt when he’s in class and when he’s absent. That is because Jose participates regularly in the classroom, excels in math, generates critical questions during socials studies, is charismatic with his peers and staff.

But Jose is also clever and exploits his charm to request bathroom breaks where he would wander the halls, at times escorted back by his peers who the school counselor. When that behavior of his is checked, Jose would get frustrated temporary or humor the situation, regardless he returned to do his work.

During Social studies, relevancy is important for Jose because once established, Jose is able to be meticulous with his process of investigation.

He also interested in baseball and talks a lot about joining a team, feeling confident he will make the team and play shortstop. His teachers aware of this, encourage Jose to remain focus and not allow his friendships with the wrong people interfere with his academic performance.   


Jane Bolin

The first African American female judge

Being that it is Women’s history month; a month dedicated to celebrating the contributions of women, for example, Jane Matilda Bolin, the first black female judge. Jane Bolin graduated from Yale Law school where she was one of the only three women in her class and the only African American student. Being a minority in many of the colleges she attended she experienced overt racism, social isolation, and even hostility. Even then she continued to become the first black woman to earn a law degree from Yale, the first to join the New York City Bar Association, and later on, the first African American female judge in the U.S.

Bolin was an advocate for children and families, she was said to be a “thoughtful, conscientious force on the bench”. She would even not wear traditional judicial robes so that the children she worked with felt more comfortable. She also changed segregationist policies, including skin-color-based assignments for probation officers. Bolin worked with Eleanor Roosevelt in providing a holistic program to help put an end to juvenile crime among boys. She also worked in the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), the New York Urban League, and was a member of the New York State Board of Regents. Bolin fought for racial justice all her life, but as a judge, she always saw herself as a guardian for the whole city and for all children in need.

I think Jane Bolin is an inspiration because even after she campaigned unsuccessfully for a state assembly seat, she didn’t give up. In fact, she found other ways to further her knowledge of law and help her community. As I read about her work as a judge I can’t help but feel that we need more people like her; caring and considerate. That kindness is what will transcend our differences.

How can kindness reunite our country?


Hate Crime

The Hate caught my attention.
But white folks say it was the event
that took place that caused them 
to make that decision.

Slavery, segregation, and boom
flames in the air.
And yet they don’t seem to care. 

The  Trail of Tears, African-Americans, and Native Americans 
To being here (2022) and no justice being returned there, Oklahoma (1921)
But it’s beyond, it’s about the payment

Imagine you as a child playing in your basement
and you look up and it’s flames 
burning your childhood pavement. 

Was it the jealousy of Gurley,  Stadford, or Smiterman?
What was the real reason for the hurt
to make Black Wall Street and 
Tulsans’ lives end up in the dirt?

Hate Crime

It took the damage of burning
a thriving black community 
to get Black People to die.
But still, we rebuild and rise.

The American Dream was never real.

How could it be when 
African-Americans are always 
put in the lower class.
Out to be killed and put last

Hate Crime 

What does it take for it to come to an end?
All the lives that were taken away

Emmett Till, Martin Luther, Malcolm X, Turner, Hampton?
What does it take to break this chain, 
to see this unbearable rain?

Hate Crime

The decision of killing 300 black Tulsans, leaving thousands homeless
with no food, boneless.

The brutality that was done is not going to stop black communities 
it leaves us to build up our own opportunities.
We are going to fly and take this message nationwide. 


Harry T. Moore

Pioneer leader of the Civil Rights Movement and Educator

February is Black History month; an annual celebration of African Americans and their achievements as well as a time to recognize their role in U.S history. Amongst Martin Luther King Jr. , Malcolm X, and Rosa Parks stood Harry T. Moore. He was a teacher in a segregated public with two daughters. As a teen, he spent some time in Jacksonville, a large and vibrant African American community, with a proud tradition of independence and intellectual achievement. He was raised with lots of nurturing and he held a lot of love for learning which shows in his work.

He was said to have laid the groundwork for the modern civil rights movement as he began his work in the 1930s. He investigated lynchings and registered African Americans to vote. After being fired from his teaching job because of his activism, he took on a job in the NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People). He, later on, died advocating for what he believed in; voting rights and anti-lynching. The protests over Moore’s death rocked the nation, with dozens of rallies and memorial meetings around the country. To say he created an impact is an understatement.

I think it’s that passion and love that can drive people to do the most amazing things. He put his life on the line for the good of society, and although it shouldn’t be the sole duty of one, he woke up each day and did it. I think the world listens when it sees unadulterated movement. That like know of what’s right and wrong but even more, that bravery to stand for what we believe is right. Harry T. Moore’s bravery snowballed into a much-needed wake-up call for America.


What are you willing to sacrifice for the betterment of society? For what you believe in?


Barbara Johns: Brown vs. Board Of Education

The article, “The 16-Year-Old Who Fought Segregation” brings back to life the landmark case of Brown vs. Board of Education.  This case went to the Supreme Court on the topic of segregation in schools.  With a 9-0 vote, it was declared unconstitutional.  The leading black students that did a walkout to protest say to have not felt any fear, but rather knew it was a moment to seize.  A young black woman named Barbara Johns was at the forefront of fighting this segregation of schools.  After experiencing the bad conditions her school was in she decided to put a stop to it.  She along with the youth empowered this movement.  

With February being Black History month we especially celebrate people like her that fought for equality.  Her impact was part of the waves of movements that would ultimately bring justice and equal rights to Black people.  She gives us insight into the power young people hold in changing the dynamics of our society. 

How could you work towards making changes for the better of our society?


Overcoming Hardships

I think Angela Davis should receive the Award from Birmingham Civil Rights because  she has overcame much adversity and made many positive contributions to society. She also fought for Civil Rights and social issues “ one of the globally recognized champions of human rights, giving voice to those who are powerless to speak”.

Angela Davis went through obstacles because she is fighting for us women and us people as American to be equal. She’s a strong women and she fights for what she wants. She looks for a stand for women and make sure that we get the rights we deserved. Even when she was in jail , when her time was up, she came out stronger than before and accomplished a lot. “ Organized by those who believed that the movement for civil rights in this moment must include a robust discussion of all of the injustices that surround us”.

Angela also deserves the Award because the cause of her fighting for women’s rights lead us today for us women to be able to have more benefits than before ; for example: doing things other than stay home cook and clean, get hard working jobs that men get. “ I am proud to have worked closely with Jewish organizations and individuals of issues of concern to all of our communities throughout my life. In many ways, this work has been integral to my growing consciousness regarding the importance of protesting the Israeli occupation of Palestine”.

Angela Davis changed the world by fighting in the civil rights movement.  She also wanted everyone to have their equal rights. She also fights for equality and empowerment for women & African Americans. Somehow they feel it’s necessary to tone the political content of that movement in order to attract as many people as possible.

Angela Davis is a true leader, all of her accomplishments made her the women she is today. Through all the hardships she overcame them. She was brave enough to get out there and stand up for what she believed in. She was confident, and she never gave up because of one thing that knocked her down; which was going to jail. When she came out, she came back stronger than ever. She was definitely for the people especially women of all kind.


I Stand with Angela

           ¨Angela Davis is an activist, educator and author. She is the author of eight books and has lectured throughout the United States as well as in Europe, Africa, Asia, Australia, and South America. Davis gained her international reputation in the early 1970s, when she was tried for conspiracy and imprisoned, and later fully acquitted, after being implicated in a shootout in front of a California courthouse. As a member of the Advisory Board of the Prison Activist Resource Center, Davis focused on exposing racism that is endemic to the US prison system, and exploring new ways to de-construct oppression and race hatred.” In 1969 Angela Davis was hired by the University of California  at Los Angeles (UCLA) as an assistant professor of Philosophy, but her involvement in the Communist Party led to her dismissal.  During the early 1970s she also became active in the movement to improve prison conditions for inmates. That work led to her campaign to release the “Soledad (Prison) Brothers.” The Soledad Brothers were two African American prisoners and Black Panther Party members, George Jackson and W. L. Nolen, who were incarcerated in the late 1960s.”

 She was nominated for the Shuttlesworth  Human Rights award which was supposed to be handed to her  on February 16th at its annual gala, but on January 26th the decision was made for her not to receive  the award. Some may argue that Angela Davis does not meet the requirements to receive the Shuttlesworth Human  Rights Award because, she became known for her involvement in a politically charged murder case in the early 1970s,  however, she was acquitted. We must look at her work as an activist. She fought for her rights and beliefs as a black woman, a battle influenced by her segregated upbringing in Birmingham, Alabama.

Davis, so moved by the deaths of the four girls killed in the bombing of Sixteenth Street Baptist Church in her hometown in 1963, that she decided to join the Civil Rights Movement. By 1967, however, Davis was influenced by Black Power advocates and joined the Student nonviolent Coordinating  Committee (SNCC) and then the Black Panther Party. Ms. Davis sacrificed a lot for the movement-her job, her reputation and even her freedom.   President Nixon congratulated the FBI on their “capture of the dangerous terrorist, Angela Davis.” When she was finally acquitted of all charges in 1972, she later shared, “This is the happiest day of my life.”

We need to consider the statement that she made on in the Guardian, “I have devoted much of my own activism to international solidarity and, specifically, to linking struggles in other parts of the world to US grassroots campaigns against police violence, the prison industrial complex, and racism more broadly. Also she states “The rescinding of this invitation and the cancellation of the event where I was scheduled to speak was thus not primarily an attack against me but rather against the very spirit of the indivisibility of justice.”

In all honesty, Angela Davis deserves the award not only because she was one of the most influential  people in the Civil Rights Movement (CRM) but also she was a phenomenal African American Hero who said her support for Palestinian prisoners is consistent with her support for political prisoners in other parts of the world. The activist said she will appear at an alternative event in Birmingham in February “organized by those who believe that the movement for civil rights in this moment must include a robust discussion of all of the injustices that surround us”. Angela Davis advocates for equal rights and justice for all regardless of skin color.


I Stand With Angela

Angela Davis is a American political activist who was a  part of the black panther party that was founded in 1966 and she played a major role during the Civil Rights Movement.  This year Angela Davis was supposed to be given an award for “one of the most globally recognized champions of human rights, giving voice to those who are powerless to speak” by the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute; however the nomination was rescinded. The organization informed her that she actually did not reach the criteria to receive the award and also another organization, Holocaust Education Center, saying that she shouldn’t receive the award because of her support of the Boycott, Divestment,Sanctions (BDS) movement that protests against Israel’s treatment of Palestinians. Angela Davis does deserve the Fred L. Shuttlesworth Human Rights award. Ms.Davis should receive the award because of her involvement during the civil rights movement and also because of the fact that she is still an international activist against injustice this day.

Angela Davis was apart of the Black Panther party during the civil rights movement in the 1960’s and was a very powerful figure during this time.  Angela Davis was a college professor at UCLA and was a strong supporter of the three prison inmates at Soledad prison known as the “Soledad brothers”. Davis was always at protests and giving speeches at rallies to help black people fight for their civil rights. Davis gave a speech called “The Liberation of Our People” on Nov. 12, 1969 at a black panther party to address the Vietnam War and the U.S war machine. Davis insisted that the anti-war movement make the connection between not just national but international domestic forms of oppression and imperialism, she wanted to start a united movement linking this issue. She connected what’s happening in Vietnam to what was happening at that time she gave the speech. During the speech Angela Davis stated,  “I think that demonstrates that if the link-up is not made between what’s happening in Vietnam and what’s happening here we may very well face a period of full-blown fascism very soon.” This statement was very strong and powerful because fascism is a one-party dictatorship and fascist are against democracy, if terror like what was going in Vietnam at the time continues, it will spread into this country and will make it worst for our people. Angela Davis was a motivational and inspirational figure during the civil rights movement as she wasn’t only speaking on issues that was going on in the U.S but also issues that was going on in other countries as well.

Angel Davis was not only an Civil rights activist during the civil rights movement she is also an activist now in present day. Davis hasn’t stopped speaking for what she believes is right at all, she continue doing what she loved which was fighting for people’s rights. Davis has recently spoken on how she supports the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement (BDS) that protest against Israel’s treatment of Palestinians. According to the article “Angela Davis ‘stunned’ by decision to rescind civil rights award” it says “BDS is a Palestinian-led movement for freedom, justice and equality. BDS upholds the simple principle that Palestinians are entitled to the same rights as the rest of humanity”. As you can see Davis was in support of a movement that she could connect to personally because this is similar to what happen in her country (U.S)  in the 1960s and she was apart of movements to fight for her and her own people ( black, hispanic, working class etc. ) freedom, justice and equality. Angela davis was interviewed at “Democracy now” and she spoke about her position on Palestine and BDS. As the article and interview shows Ms.Davis is more excited than mad for them not giving her, her award. Ms. Davis is actually happy that the conversation on racism and discrimination in other countries is starting to get bigger and she will be glad to help encourage these conversations. According to the interview placed on Jan. 11, 2019 by Democracy Now Angela Davis says “ It’s actually quite exciting to see the issue of Palestinian justice, justice for Palestine, emerge as a topic of popular discourse. We have attempted for so long to encourage a conversation like this. I don’t know whether I enjoy being at the center of the controversy; I think I’ve had my share of controversies in my life. But I’m happy to assist in the process of encouraging more discussion on racism, on anti-Semitism, on justice for Palestine”. As you can see Ms.Davis is someone who deserves this award because of her supports in significant movements that revolve around the topics of racism, discrimination, inequality etc.

Others may say that Angela Davis doesn’t deserve this award because of murder charges she faced in the early 1970s. In the early 1970s Ms.Davis purchased firearms for her own personal safety and gave them to her bodyguards. During Lester Jackson trial for killing a prison guard, he attempted to make an escape and several people in the courtroom were killed because Ms.Davis security started shooting. But since the guns used were purchased under her name, Ms.Davis was then charged with three capital felonies, including a conspiracy to murder but those charges was later dropped. People may believe that somebody who was once involved with murder charges  does not need a award that involve human rights.

In conclusion, Angela Davis needs to receive the Fred L. Shuttlesworth Human Rights award despite the letters and protest the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute received from their local Jewish community. Angela Davis was a very motivational figure during the Civil Rights movement and is still one till this day where she fights for justice no matter what country it is. She deserves this award because of all the effort and hard work she put in as a young Black women in America during a time where young black women were being discriminated.


I Stand with Angela

                                                                                                                       

Famous Activist Angela Davis was stripped of her award for her Civil Rights movement efforts.  The Birmingham Civil rights Institute´s board announced that the award would honor her at events. According to Angel’s statement and public record, she did not meet the standards on which the award was based.

Angela Davis deserves the award because of the hard work and dedication she has put into her race and culture. As an activist, scholar and educated black women, Angela Davis wanted and still wants equality. In the source, it states “she led the Palestinian movement for freedom, justice  and equality”.

After all the situations, Angela Davis continued to Lecture at many prestigious schools discussing Issues that regard her race, the criminal justice and system and women’s rights. In the Angela Davis ‘Stunned’ by decision to rescind civil rights award paper it states ”The institute announced in October that Davis, a Birmingham  native, would receive the Fred shuttlesworth Human Rights Award, calling her “ one of the most globally recognized champions of human rights, giving voice to those who are powerless to speak”.But last week, the organization reversed course and said she does not meet the Criteria after all, in an apparent response to objections over her outspoken support of the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement that protests against israel’s treatment of palestinians.  This explains that Davis was stripped of her award because of the support shown for the palestinian rights, she has compared the struggles of Palestinians with that of African Americans.

        Angela Davis deserves the  award for civil rights. In the article from The Guardian, it states, I’d like to say that I like being called sister much more than professor and  I’ve continually said that if keeping my job means that I have to make any compromises in the liberation struggle in this country, then I’ll gladly leave my job. This is my position”. This says that Angela Davis stood up for what she thought was wrong in this country regardless of the consequences; being called sister represents who she is In her culture and ethnicity. As to running into trouble with the school administration because of her association with communism , she was fired and ordered to court where she fought and received her job back.

     Others might say that Angela Davis does not deserve the award for her work in the civil rights movement because of her criminal record.  Angela Davis has faced shocking criminal charges as a black Women. After purchasing firearms for security guards, an armed takeover which took place in Marin County california led to four people being killed.  As a result she was charged with three capital felonies including a conspiracy to murder in the death of Judge Harold Haley, she was then issued a warrant for her arrest. However all charges were later dropped.

       All in all, Angela Davis should receive the Civil Rights award. She was a very successful women and achieved many accomplishments. Until now, Dr Angela Davis works at UCLA  University located in California where her official title is “Distinguished Professor Emerita”  for Feminist Studies and the History of Consciousness. Her current work focuses on prisons and the criminal Justice of communities that are most affected by poverty and racism.


We Need You The Most

Dear Mr/Mrs. President,

My name is Collyn Richardson. I am a 17-year-old African-American boy from Lansing, Michigan. I want you to notice that hyphen I used to describe my ethnicity, this is something that you should take into account. If you are not caucasian in America, I’m afraid that you’ll be referred to as just a hyphen. There must be action taken to end racial inequality.

I know you have heard there have been multiple cases of police officers killing “black” people. I do realize that not all police officers are bad, however, we need to be able to live comfortably without people having to worry about being killed by police. There is an apparent issue when my parents tell me “sometimes calling the police isn’t the best option, as they might come for you as a target.” Things like my dad telling me to be careful when I got my license because I am “DWB” or driving while black.

As a young African-American male, I can honestly say that I do not feel comfortable if I was to be stopped by a police officer, even for a routine traffic stop. It is also extremely mind-wrecking that every time I drive past someone and they are stopped by a police officer they are Black.

Now there is some statistics that do make me feel a little better but not completely safe. These stats include Independent Journal Review’s 2012 study of people killed during police arrests. 52% of the race that was killed were White.

Police and law enforcement are supposed to make us feel safe and feel comfortable that if something happens that they will be there in a heartbeat to help. Unfortunately, I do not feel that way about police, as many others do not as well.

Dr. Martin Luther King, only wanted peace between the races, as I also share this same vision. However, the fact that one day (at this rate) I will have to explain to my children the same thing my parents told me that “you must do everything that the officer says because I want you to make it home tonight” is a very emotional task.

America is so labeled. Everything has to be labeled and categorized, from sports to hashtags, everything is under some sort of umbrella. I believe that is where the issue begins, I think instead of labeling everything we should return to the vision of freedom, a cultural melting pot, with a thriving economy and a low poverty and unemployment rates.

It has to start with you, you are the most powerful voice that everyone is going to look to when times are tough. Police must be trained differently, and be trained not to fear people. This is the most important reform in racial inequality; this would change the perception of how they are receiving people of different ethnicity and that they aren’t just “a hyphen.” You are the make or break in efforts to return America to freedom. Help us Mr./Mrs. President, we need you the most.

Sincerely,
Collyn Richardson

“Black Power Fist Image.” Black Power Fist Image. N.p., n.d. Web. 04 Nov. 2016.

Hausam, Michael. “Uncomfortable Facts and Statistics That Don’t Fit the Narrative About Racial Violence.” Independent Journal Review. N.p., 23 Sept. 2016. Web. 02 Nov. 2016.

https://letters2president.org/letters/12962

https://www.youthvoices.live/tag/black-power/