Thursday, January 31, 2008


Treve de blues-
Leon Damas

Compassion is my art -
Grace A. Ali

God makes stars. It's up to producers to find them.-
Samuel Goldwyn


Julia A. Galbus is an Associate Professor of English at the University of Southern Indiana ( She is currently editing a collection of interviews between Ethelbert Miller and various writers, and writing a book about memoir.

Today in a 200-level course in American literature, I covered Elizabeth Ashbridge and John Woolman, both Quakers. Ashbridge had a husband who was deeply disappointed in her spiritual life because she gave up the joyful exuberance that had attracted him. Woolman narrowed his business ventures so that he could devote more energy to abolition rather than be consumed with making money. I like to end the class by connecting the material I teach to some aspect of my students' lives. These are the questions I posed: How can a long-term relationship survive when one person changes dramatically and the other person does not? Change is inevitable, but the pace and type are unpredictable. How do we remind ourselves of the extent to which our cultural habits of politeness are relative? Good literature is a springboard from which we may sometimes choose to consider the direction of our lives.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008


Treve de blues-

Leon Damas

Compassion is my art -
Grace A. Ali

God makes stars. It's up to producers to find them.-
Samuel Goldwyn


Originally from Minnesota, Julia A. Galbus resides in Evansville, Indiana, where she is an Associate Professor of English at the University of Southern Indiana ( She is currently editing a collection of interviews between Ethelbert Miller and various writers, and writing a book about memoir.

On Monday I was struck by the juxtaposition of two pieces in The New York Times, which I read online. The first was the piece about students in Vermont vandalizing Robert Frost's farmhouse. The second was Nicholas Kristof's editorial about young people attending the World Economic Summit in Davos, Switzerland. They are single-handedly addressing some of the world's problems. Since I teach undergraduates at a state university, I spend a lot of time considering the hope, apathy, and ambition of college students. Two days later I have one lingering question: How do we teach people to foster and respect creativity and cooperative ambition, rather than destruction, regardless of their economic situation?

"If you can capture the youth and change the way they think, then you can change the future," --Soraya Salti

Quote of the Day:

my loneliness I know it oh well I know it badly

- Samuel Beckett

Tuesday, January 29, 2008


The Mayor’s Office is looking to hire individuals with strong writing, communication and organizational skills to offer their expertise and energy to the Mayor’s Correspondence Unit. Two positions are open: Writer/Editor and Staff Assistant. The Writer/Editor position entails some database management, research and drafting responses on behalf of the Mayor to a variety of constituents. This position is in close communication with the Mayor and his Executive Staff. Writer/Editors are often relied upon to offer input on emerging issues in the District to the Director or the Mayor himself. This position pays up to 45,000 a year, depending on education and experience.

The Staff Assistant receives and routes all correspondence that is addressed to the Mayor; ensuring that it is properly entered into the database and routed to the proper agency or Writer. Additionally, Staff Assistants will help to manage phone calls and conduct other clerical duties as assigned. The Staff Assistants are the gatekeepers to the Mayor’s correspondence and are essential to the Unit. This position pays up to 40,000 a year, depending on education and experience. This is a wonderful opportunity for grad students, recent grads or others with experience in managing correspondence or as clerical assistants.

If you or anyone that you know is interested in being a part of a fast-paced, result-oriented Administration, or just simply passionate about politics, writing or constituent services, these positions would be great opportunities.

Please forward your resume to Michelle McIver, Director of the Mayor’s Correspondence Unit, at

Michelle S. McIver

Mayor's Correspondence Unit (MCU)
Executive Office of the Mayor
John A. Wilson Building
1350 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Suite 316
Washington, DC 20004

202-727-0093 main
202-727-3479 direct
202-664-7512 mobile
202-727-0505 fax
Don't you feel like wailing?


featuring the DC premiere of
AFRICA UNITE the documentary film of Bob Marley's 60th
birthday celebration in Ethiopia

A Community Celebration for Bob Marley's Birthday
Marley music videos vendors poets roots reggae bands positive vibrations

ZANZIBAR on the Waterfront 700 Water St SW Washington DC Saturday February 16 8 pm - 3 am

Pass it on.
Where did Giuliani think he was going? This guy should get the Fred Thompson Award. Romney should quit too. How did this guy ever get elected to be a governor? OK- who will get the VP nod for the Republican ticket? Best choice might be Condi Rice. McCain looks old and everyone on the Democratic side is talking about change. If the Republicans want to keep the presidency they might have to spice their ticket with Rice.

Hillary needed the Florida primary as much as Sally Field needed the Academy to believe she had moved beyond being the Flying Nun. People were voting in the Florida Democratic primary for folks who weren't even running anymore. Can we trust this retirement state? Someone please check the machines again. Who voted for Hoover?

Dear Ethelbert:
There are two Public Affairs job postings I am forwarding to you. The jobs are with the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of African American History and Culture. You’ll find them noted as “NMAAHC Public Affairs Assistant.” As you know, the Museum is an extraordinary addition to our national storytelling landscape…the positions should offer exciting opportunity for some of the wonderfully brilliant young people who you so often seem to know.
All the best…


The following announcements have recently opened:
08-LR-293638-TRF-NMAI Membership Coordinator IS-0301-09 DC
08-LR-293928-JNT-NZP Exhibits Specialist (General) GS-1010-09 DC
08-MP-293564-DEU-NMNH Museum Technician (Zoology) GS-1016-07/07 All DC
08A-AD-293856-MPA-NMAAHC Public Affairs Assistant (OA) GS-0303-07/07 Status DC,15514,15515,15669,15523,15512,15516,45575&q=293856
08A-AD-293856-DEU-NMAAHC Public Affairs Assistant (OA) GS-0303-07/07 All DC,15514,15515,15669,15523,15512,15516,45575&q=293856
08-MR-292978-MPA-NMAI Information Technology Specialist (CUSTSPT) GS-2210-09/11 Status MD
08-MR-292978-DEU-NMAI Information Technology Specialist (CUSTSPT) GS-2210-09/11 All MD
08A-TP-293964-MPA-OCIO-2 Information Technology Specialist (INFOSEC) GS-2210-14/14 Status VA
08A-TP-293964-DEU-OCIO-2 Information Technology Specialist (INFOSEC) I GS-2210-14/14 All VA
For further information on this message contact Sedatrist Bush, the Office of Human Resources at 202 633-6293 (Non-VoIP Users) x-36293 (VoIP Users) or
*** If you are using Outlook, you do not need to save any SI-wide announcements. All past SI-wide announcements are available in the Outlook "SI Email Announcement Archive" public folder. For directions on how to view this folder, go to

New book coming out from Rick Peabody:

Coming This Spring from Paycock Press

Stress City: A Big Book of Fiction by 51 DC Guys

"Stress City is a core sample of the D.C. male psyche, a tube that comes out striated with the compacted layers of what's on these guys' minds: death, race, sex, death, race, sex, death, traffic, sex.... makes me feel like I never left. Recommended for Washingtonians past and present." –Jordan Ellenberg, author of The Grasshopper King

“The dean of D.C.’s alternative press has compiled a vast compendium of excellence, wildness, and wonder. Perhaps somewhat predictably, I was drawn to the tales of predatory female werewolves and homicidal dogs preaching Lutheran gospel, but pretty much everybody else is here too: the downtown shrimp shack hostesses, the suburban minimum security prison escapees and the closeted death metal deacons. Nixon even wanders through, walking along the beach on his way to reincarnation.

There are Vietnamese charades, hippie narcs, monkish visions of Buddhist clarity, and one loser babysitter who brings the kid along to the strip club. Sometimes surreal, often moving, and even more often perfectly hilarious, the work collected here makes D.C.’s literary presence a force to be reckoned with. It’s as powerful as John Riggin’s shoulders, as strong as a shot at Millie and Al’s, and as fun as watching the pandas get it on at the National Zoo. Well done guys.” --Toby Barlow, author of Sharp Teeth

“Werewolves, installation artists taking over Arlington, jilted Hare Krishnas out for murderous revenge...this isn't George Bush's Washington. In Stress City, D.C.'s small press conscience Richard Peabody has assembled a monument to the underdogs of the nation's capitol. This anthology is as poignant and truth telling as any 'official' history and way way more fun.” -- Hal Niedzviecki, author of Smell It and Hello, I’m Special
Quote of the Day:

But in some marriages, the emotional bank account has been depleted. You aren't hurling plates at each other; you aren't doing much of anything with each other. Unless you can find ways to shore up your account with sparks of affection, you're at risk of succumbing to marital burnout.

- Abigail Trafford ( The Washington Post, 1/29/08)
Note from Charlie Cobb. Try and make it to some of his book discussions (see below):

Hello Ethelbert,

My book, On the Road to Freedom, a Guided Tour of the Civil Rights Trail, is finally done and in bookstores now. I am about to begin touring (starting with the Schomburg in NYC on February 2), doing readings and signings and thought I should let you know that I will be in DC at these places on these dates:

Prince Georges Country, Maryland Public Library Oxon Hill branch, (sponsored by Vertigo Books) February 21 at 7pm,

National Geographic on February 26 at 7:30pm,

Busboys and Poets Bookstore on February 27 at 6:30pm,

and the Smithsonian March 8 at 1pm.

Reviews of the book have been quite good so far, I am pleased to say. Here's one from Library Journal:

Starred review--Cobb, Charles E., Jr. On the Road to Freedom: A Guided Tour of the Civil Rights Trail. Algonquin. Jan. 2008. c.416p. illus. maps. bibliog. index. ISBN 978-1-56512-439-4. pap. $18.95. TRAV

This is an exceptional historical-personal narrative of the civil rights trail as lived by Cobb (senior writer,; coauthor, with Robert P. Moses, Radical Equations). A member of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) in the late 1960s, Cobb is well equipped to take us on this journey, situating for us the schools, churches, courthouses, and lunch counters that were the battlegrounds of the grass-roots Civil Rights Movement. Cobb guides us through Maryland, Virginia, the Carolinas, Georgia, and Alabama, ending in a moving report on Tennessee.

His historical perspective is vast, utilizing early American slave revolts and the retrenchment of racist policies following the end of Reconstruction as departure points for the later freedom struggle and drawing on interviews and incredible pictures to show us the trail through haunting imagery. His book is a singular creation, no mere tour guide but a kind of time capsule preserving the memory of those who gave their lives to the movement. For academic or public libraries. -­Jim Hahn, Univ. of Illinois Lib., Urbana

Hope to see you at one of the venues.


Charlie Cobb
THIS IS PRICELESS!!!!! Thank you Harlan Ellison.
Kennan Institute
Woodrow Wilson Center
One Woodrow Wilson Plaza
1300 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW

Noon Discussion
Tuesday, February 19th.

"Make Me a Hip, Make Me a Hop: Afro-American Music, African Migration, and Class Identity in Ukraine"

With Adriana Helbig, Visiting Assistant Professor of Musicology, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.

The ending of this video is very cool.
Is Jazz Your Religion?

Jazz Night in Southwest -

Westminster Church
400 I Street, SW

Friday, February 29, 2008
6 PM - 9 PM

Maurice Lyles - Percussion
Wade Beach - Piano
Steve Novosel - Bass
Paul Carr - Reeds
Michael Hairston - Reeds
Michael Thomas - Brass
Queen Aishah - Vocals
I came across 2 interesting articles in the news today:

- In The Final Call there was mention of the program the Boston police have launched. It's called "The Safe Homes Initiative" which allows parents in high-crime neighborhoods to permit detectives to enter homes without warrants to search for guns in children's rooms.

- In The Hilltop an article about the National Parks Service wanting to ban or severely restrict protests and demonstrations on the National Mall. The reason for the proposed ban is that demonstrations harms the grass. Hmmm. NPS wants to move people to "designated protest pits."
LOL LOL. I find this funny and sad. Is it an attempt to suppress freedom of speech?
If Langston was alive he would say - "Ask, Your Mama!"
Upcoming Black History Month Progam at Howard University:

The Department of African American Studies is sponsoring "African American Women Professors: A Roundtable Discussion."

Wednesday, February 20th. 3 PM
Founders Library, Room 300 A 3rd Floor.

On the panel will be: Dr. Denise King-Miller, Dr. Michele Simms-Burton and Dr. Jamie D.Walker.
They will be interviewed by E. Ethelbert Miller

Discussion will focus on career, family, race and gender issues, as well as their role in the field of African American Studies.

For additional information call: 202 806-7242.
Sire - is Sir Ethelbert a believer or not?

And there in the fog -for a moment we caught sight of the castle. We turned and was amazed by the sudden appearance of a Dark Knight on horseback. "Do you know the way to Camelot?" someone asked.
Listening to David Chevan and Warren Byrd - Let Us Break Bread Together.
Their music is an exploration of the Afro-Semitic experience.
Chevan on bass and Byrd playing piano.

Monday, January 28, 2008

I went down to the Library of Congress today for the dedication of the James Forman papers. As I mentioned in an earlier E-Note, Forman was one of the major theoreticians of the Civil Rights Movement. In the Jefferson Building there was a nice gathering of former Civil Rights activists. I'm always humbled when I'm in the room with some of these folks. The talk was about Forman but also Obama - or what Baraka might call -the motion of history. I spent some time talking with Adrienne Cannon. She is the manuscript specialist at the Library of Congress and the person responsible for putting the Forman material in order. I spent chat time with Maurice Jackson, a guy very knowledgeable of left-wing politics in the US. Many years ago I interviewed him on one of my radio shows. I also got a chance to talk and laugh with Dorie Ladner, Julian Bond and James Forman, Jr. Forman has done an remarkable job in the field of education - starting the Maya Angelou Charter schools in Washington, D.C. Before leaving the LOC and returning to Howard, I had a good conversation with James Billington - The Librarian for The Library of Congress. I always enjoy seeing and talking with him-it's like having a visitation with the Pope of Books.
Quote of the Day:

What the Democrats should do is get back to talking about issues - a focus on issues has been the great contribution of John Edwards to this campaign - and about who is best prepared to push their agenda forward.

- Paul Krugman, The New York Times (1-28-08)
Here are a few things to think about during the next few days:

- Will Gore endorse Obama?

- Might John Edwards drop out of the race - support Obama in hope of becoming Attorney General in a new administration?

- Which Hillary will we see in Thursday's Los Angeles debate? The angry or sweet one?
Might this turn ugly too?
My friend Michon sent me the following link:

Clinton's Latino Spin by Ron Tang

It's just want I was talking about in earlier E-Notes (see today).

LulA (Part Three)Reflections By Cuban President Fidel Castro

WPFW News VolunteersListener-funded community radio station WPFW-FM has vacancies for News Department volunteers.

All volunteers will receive training and will have immediate opportunities for on-air assignments. There are Early Morning shifts, which are well suited for interested persons who have "Day Jobs," and there are shifts available on weekdays from 10 am until 2 pm; and from 2 pm until 6 p.m.

Please respond with contact information to: Askia Muhammad WPFW News Director, 202.588.0999 ext 351: and at <>

Every day in February is a good day to submit your manuscript to the 2009 Fence Modern Poets Series.

Please visit to download guidelines and required entry form.

January 24, 2008

Press contact: Donna Urschel (202) 707-1639,

Public contact: Patricia Gray (202) 707-5394,

FEB. 12

Need a little inspiration for writing those love notes on Valentine’sDay? An hour of listening to love poems at the Library of Congress could be the place to start.Noted poet and literary activist E. Ethelbert Miller, SallyBliumis-Dunn and Benjamin Morris will read poems about love from noon to1 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 12, in the Mary Pickford Theater on the thirdfloor of the James Madison Building, 101 Independence Ave. S.E.,Washington, D.C.

“Love Poems” is part of the Poetry at Noon series, sponsored by theLibrary’s Office of Scholarly Programs. The event is free and open to the public; no tickets or reservations are needed.

Miller, who lives in Washington, D.C., is the director of the AfricanAmerican Resource Center at Howard University. His most recent volumeof poetry is “How We Sleep on the Nights We Don’t Make Love”(2004). He has written six other books of poetry and has edited many anthologies, including the highly-acclaimed “In Search of ColorEverywhere: A Collection of African American Poetry” (1994).

Bliumis-Dunn of Armonk, NY, teaches modern poetry and creative writing at Manhattanville College. Her new book is titled “Talking Underwater” and was released in 2007.

Morris, who hails from Mississippi, has been published in poetry journals in the United States and Great Britain. He has studied at DukeUniversity and the University of Edinburgh and is currently enrolled ina Ph.D. program in cultural heritage studies at the University of Cambridge.

The Poetry at Noon series is under the direction of Patricia Gray,coordinator of the Poetry and Literature Center at the Library ofCongress.

Nice to see Henry Louis Gates Jr. starting
A web magazine that will be similar to Slate.
THE ROOT is a spinoff of Washingtonpost.Newsweek Interactive (WPNI).
Many years ago, I sat in an auditorium on Howard's campus listening to the Pan-African intellectual and activist Walter Rodney. I remember Rodney talking about Guyana and how they had elected a black prime minister. Rodney chuckled about how the PM position had become a black man's job; an indication he thought that the power once associated with the position was gone. One can perhaps apply Rodney's analysis to current events. Consider the Redskins search for a head coach. I wouldn't be surprise to see a black person given the position. Why? Because nobody wants the job now. Just a thought...which brings me back to the presidential race. Why are we so amazed about a black person becoming president? Isn't Condi Rice - Secretary of State? Have we forgotten Colin Powell? We've moved way beyond Andy Young being ambassador to the UN. There are black faces in high places. The question we must ask is - where is the power? When Condi was National Security Advisor was the position as powerful as when Kissinger held it? How powerful is the office of the presidency today? Has it become a black man's job? Consider what Obama inherits if he wins the nomination and the presidency this year - a bad economy and 2 wars. Is this worst than taking the Oakland Raiders or Miami Dolphin job right now? Remember how those "first" black coaches and managers where always given last place clubs? Everyone talks about America's image needing to be restored overseas.
Can Obama win the big one and accomplish that goal? Maybe we should talk to Dungy.
Say no more - Novak is in the room:

Sen. Hillary Clinton is relying on the big Latino vote as her firewall to prevent her losing the Feb.5 primary in California, the most important of 22 states contested on the Democratic side on Mega Tuesday. But that reliance, both pro-Clinton and anti-Clinton Democrats say, is fraught with peril for Democratic Party coalition because it threatens to alienate its essential African American component.

- Robert D. Novak, Washington Post, January 28, 2008
Monday, Monday.
So what's next?
Watch the media start talking about a Black/Latino divide. Keep an eye on how this plays in California. Will the Latino community support a black person running for president? Look for media folks to highlight the differences between Americans. This stuff is so predictable that it can hurt one's kidneys and turn your urine a darker shade of pale. This is why folks seem pissed by the old politics. How can we move forward as a nation if pundits only look into their rear view mirrors? Spin doctor - why you dance like a fool?
Sports News:

Quote of the Day:

Reduced birth rates, widespread divorce, single-parent childbearing, remarriage and what we might call "re-divorce" are poised to usher in an era of uncertain obligation and complicated grief for the many adults confronting the aging and dying of their divorced parents, stepparents and ex-stepparents. And compared with the generations before them, these dying parents and parent figures will be far less likely to find comfort and help in the nearby presence of grown daughters and sons.

Elizabeth Marquardt
Washington Post (Outlook Section/ 1-27-08)

Marquardt is the author of Between Two Worlds: The Inner Lives of Children of Divorce
Tell your elders about these sites:

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Here is an AARP fitness link:
If you have an elderly parent, please note the following:

- Falls are the leading cause of death by accidental injury among people who are older than 65.
- Falls are the most common cause of hospital admissions for trauma among older Americans.
- More than a third of adults 65 and older fall annually.
- Six in 10 falls occur in the home

There is an excellent article about the elderly in the Washington Post today - see "Guarding Health, And Independence" by Fredrick Kunkle in the Metro Section.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Good News:

New book out from my friend Tijan M. Sallah. DREAM KINGDOM: NEW AND SELECTED POEMS. Published by Africa World Press, Inc.
Sallah is one of the leading African poets of the post-Chinua Achebe and Wole Soyinka generation. He was born in Sere Kunda, Gambia.

A President Like My Father

OVER the years, I’ve been deeply moved by the people who’ve told me they wished they could feel inspired and hopeful about America the way people did when my father was president. This sense is even more profound today. That is why I am supporting a presidential candidate in the Democratic primaries, Barack Obama.

My reasons are patriotic, political and personal, and the three are intertwined. All my life, people have told me that my father changed their lives, that they got involved in public service or politics because he asked them to. And the generation he inspired has passed that spirit on to its children. I meet young people who were born long after John F. Kennedy was president, yet who ask me how to live out his ideals.

Sometimes it takes a while to recognize that someone has a special ability to get us to believe in ourselves, to tie that belief to our highest ideals and imagine that together we can do great things. In those rare moments, when such a person comes along, we need to put aside our plans and reach for what we know is possible.

We have that kind of opportunity with Senator Obama. It isn’t that the other candidates are not experienced or knowledgeable. But this year, that may not be enough. We need a change in the leadership of this country — just as we did in 1960.

Most of us would prefer to base our voting decision on policy differences. However, the candidates’ goals are similar. They have all laid out detailed plans on everything from strengthening our middle class to investing in early childhood education. So qualities of leadership, character and judgment play a larger role than usual.

Senator Obama has demonstrated these qualities throughout his more than two decades of public service, not just in the United States Senate but in Illinois, where he helped turn around struggling communities, taught constitutional law and was an elected state official for eight years.

And Senator Obama is showing the same qualities today. He has built a movement that is changing the face of politics in this country, and he has demonstrated a special gift for inspiring young people — known for a willingness to volunteer, but an aversion to politics — to become engaged in the political process.

I have spent the past five years working in the New York City public schools and have three teenage children of my own. There is a generation coming of age that is hopeful, hard-working, innovative and imaginative. But too many of them are also hopeless, defeated and disengaged. As parents, we have a responsibility to help our children to believe in themselves and in their power to shape their future.

Senator Obama is inspiring my children, my parents’ grandchildren, with that sense of possibility.

Senator Obama is running a dignified and honest campaign. He has spoken eloquently about the role of faith in his life, and opened a window into his character in two compelling books. And when it comes to judgment, Barack Obama made the right call on the most important issue of our time by opposing the war in Iraq from the beginning.

I want a president who understands that his responsibility is to articulate a vision and encourage others to achieve it; who holds himself, and those around him, to the highest ethical standards; who appeals to the hopes of those who still believe in the American Dream, and those around the world who still believe in the American ideal; and who can lift our spirits, and make us believe again that our country needs every one of us to get involved.

I have never had a president who inspired me the way people tell me that my father inspired them. But for the first time, I believe I have found the man who could be that president — not just for me, but for a new generation of Americans.
Political News:



Men's Basketball Holds Off Lycoming for 70-65 Win
1/26/08 -- Sophomore Bobby Edmunds (Linwood, NJ) scored 15 points and junior Matt Sosna (Stratford, NJ) added 10 and 10 rebounds for Widener, which was victorious for the seventh time in eight contests with a 70-65 Commonwealth Conference win over Lycoming at Schwartz Center.

Richard Varnell hit a layup with 3:14 left to cap a five-point run and help Lycoming close to 64-61. But Widener took over from there, starting with junior NYERE MILLER (Washington, DC) hitting 1-of-2 from the stripe with 2:12 to play and with 1:11 left for a 66-61 game.

Junior Charles Jones (Philadelphia, PA) nailed 1-of-2 from the line with 39 seconds remaining for a 67-61 lead and Sosna netted a pair with 29 seconds to go for an eight-point game. Lycoming’s only points in the final 3:14 were two innocuous baskets.

Edmunds had three 3-pointers, five rebounds and five steals over 37 minutes for the Pride (15-2, 1-1 CC), which shot 40 percent (12-of-30) in the second half. Sosna finished with his third career double-double.

Junior Tracy Jones (Indian Head, MD) scored 12 points and Charles Jones netted 10 for Widener.

Varnell poured in 13 points off the bench with Eric Anthony and Kevin Morris adding 11 for the Warriors (9-7, 1-1).

Widener hits the road Wednesday to visit Lebanon Valley as part of a doubleheader with the women’s team. The women’s game in Annville, PA starts at 6:00 pm, followed by the men’s contest at 8:00 pm.
No Longer Dixieland?
If you listen to our pundits we must be fighting the Civil War all over again. Does race matter?
Of course it does, but that's no excuse for one to get all silly about it. Geez -nobody was talking about race in New Hampshire. The last time I looked outside there was still a white race. So why did we begin to discuss race when the presidential primaries moved to South Carolina? Well, that's obvious - race is a black thing. Sometimes it's a black/white thing. It seems never to be a white thing. So, here's my question - what do white people think about when they think about race - and there are no black people around? In other words, is there sound in the forest when the tree falls and Harriet Tubman isn't there?

In times of crisis, we must all decide again and again whom we love.

- Frank O'Hara

Friday, January 25, 2008


In its Spring 2008 Issue, "DRUMVOICES REVUE" will feature more than 80 poets(including Opal Palmer Adisa, Charlie Braxton, Lorraine Caputo, Hari SkyCampbell,Tade Ipadeola, Maya James, Reginald Lockett, Joseph McNair,Bernice Mbadugha, Tony Medina, D.H. Melhem, Lenard D. Moore, Dahveed Nelson,Useni Eugene Perkins, Glennis Redmond, Bridgette B. Robinson,Darlene Roy,Jeffrey Skoblow, lamont b. steptoe & Mary Weems)in a special section called"Kwansabas for Richard Wright."

Commentary and poetry by Julia Wright, an interview with Jerry Ward Jr., and a review of Wright's "A Father's Law" (byJoyce Ann Joyce) will also be included.

Additionally, Adetokunbo ("Toks")Pearse, a University of Lagos professor of African & African DisporanLiterature, whose dissertation focused on "Aspects of Madness in the Novels ofChinua Achebe," will offer an essay in honor of the 50th Anniversary of thepublication of "Things Fall Apart"; and University of Ibadan poet/scholar RemiRaji-Oyelade will contribute a mini-anthology of "Ten African Women Poets."
Please join

G Fine Art for a discussion between

Frank Goodyear, Anne Goodyear, and Chan Chao

on Portraits in Contemporary Art.

February 2, 2008 10:00 amAt G Fine Art 1515 14th Street NW

Frank H. Goodyear. Assistant Curator of Photography. National Portrait Gallery Smithsonian Institution

Anne Goodyear, Assistant Curator of Prints and Drawings, National Portrait Gallery Smithsonian Institution.

Chan Chao, highlighted artist in the current show, Portraits.
Chao has published two books of photographic portraits, Burma, Something Went Wrong, and Echo.

*coffee and juice will be served

T 202 462 1601
F 202 462 1604
The Historical Society of Washington, DC Presents

Free Public Program for African American Fathers & Sons

801 K Street Northwest (Located in the Carnegie Library)

Saturday, February 2

11—1 p.m.

Family Series Workshop, Recovering Your Roots and Passing The Legacy: A Special Genealogical Workshop for African American Fathers & Sons

A special part of fatherhood is the sharing of family stories with sons, from tall tales o the absolute truth, vivid memories and firsthand experiences are transferred across the generations but in the 21st century is it enough to simply tell the story?

Join historian C.R. Gibbs as he leads a workshop on ways to preserve, record, and document family lore. Participants will create pedigree charts, learn tips on saving family memorabilia, and share their genealogical stories in this basic introductory session on family history focusing on a group that often faces unique challenges. Participants encouraged to bring family documents. (Ages 10 to Adults)

Contact: Dottie Green/Public Programs Manager
Time Shadows
Poetry in Chinatown
Poems, Rhymes and Folksongs from Germany, China and the United States

February 1 – July 30, 2008

The area around the Goethe-Institut in Washington, DC’s Chinatown neighborhood has undergone a number of incarnations over the years.

In the 19th and early 20th centuries, it was home to a number of German immigrants. More recently, the area became known as Chinatown for the large number of Chinese immigrants who lived and worked here. These days, the area is undergoing another transformation as the City invests in revitalizing this historically commercial and residential district.

Our neighborhood’s unique character is comprised of bits and pieces from each culture. Each month, Time Shadows showcases a new set of German, Chinese and American poems that encapsulate the essence of these distinct cultures, and which would have been familiar to many immigrants from their homelands. The poems will be displayed in neighborhood businesses and in some of the “Chinatown buses”.

More information:

Guided Walk: Time Shadows Opening

Saturday, February 2,
2 – 4 pm
Beginning at the Goethe-Institut
812 Seventh St. NW

After a short introduction to the project with Lane Jennings (poet and translator, and consultant on this project), join us for a walking tour of our neighborhood.

Guides will point out sites of German-American and Chinese-American architectural significance; poets will read aloud poems displayed at select businesses in their native language and the English translation.

A reception featuring German and Chinese snacks follows at the Chinatown Community Cultural Center (616 H St NW).

RSVP to 202-289-1200 ext. 167

A joint project of the Chinatown Community Cultural Center and the Goethe-Institut Washington
Information from Ginger G: Harlem on Her Mind.
The Burma Blues:

California’s sixth largest paper picks Edwards for his leadership in standing up for middle class families.

Today, California’s Fresno Bee endorsed Senator John Edwards for President citing his leadership in standing up for middle class families and ending the war in Iraq.

Former North Carolina Sen. John Edwards campaign for president offers a much-needed vision that recognizes the hope and promise of America, the editorial board wrote. It’s a view that includes solidifying the plight of working families and others in the middle class.

This group of Americans has struggled the past eight years under an administration that has catered to the well-connected and powerful, and it’s time for leadership that understands the contributions and needs of American families.

We believe that John Edwards can provide that leadership and urge Democratic and independent voters to support him in the California primary on Feb. 5.

The endorsement can be viewed at:
Organizing Institute

January 25, 2008

Dear Supportive Faculty and Staff,

We are writing to inform you that the AFL-CIO Organizing Institute is gearing up for another exciting year of campus recruitment in search of talented, energetic and passionate graduating seniors interested in careers in the Labor Movement as union organizers.

In the past, we have come to you in search of great students to continue to build the American Labor movement and help workers win respect, dignity and a voice on their jobs. We look to you again to assist in our recruitment efforts. As you already know, the OI program consists of an intense weekend classroom training followed by a paid 12-week Apprenticeship Program.

Applicants are eligible and can apply to any of the weekend trainings during the Spring 2008 semester (with the exception of the New Brunswick, NJ training April 25-27).

Selected applicants participate in a 3-month, paid, OI Apprenticeship program in which they learn union building skills first hand. Upon completion of the Apprenticeship Program, we have a 90% successful placement rate, where participants are hired into positions as union organizers with AFL-CIO affiliate unions.

Starting salaries, depending on the union, range between $32000-$40000 annually, plus excellent benefits.As you are aware, the AFL-CIO Organizing Institute provides the highest standards of Union Organizer training, mentorship and development for participants in all phases of the OI Field Training while offering applicants a look at a wide variety of unions to match their talents with the union most appropriate for them.

Enclosed is a copy of the schedule of weekend trainings for potential applicants to apply. Should you or your students have any questions, feel free to contact me at and/or at 404.766.5050.

They can also visit our website for more information about the OI program and can apply online at We have enclosed the Spring 2008 OI Training Schedule and an application. We ask that you encourage interested students to apply. This program has lasted due largely in part to your thoughts, suggestions and great students that have come to our program through you.

We thank you for all of your support and efforts to assist in building an exciting labor movement.

In Unity,

Patrick Scott,
Deputy Director
AFL-CIO Organizing Institute
Obama and those light bulbs.

Let's ignore The New York Times endorsement for president today. Instead just put a circle around the word incandescent. This is the way the NYT describes Barack Obama. Is this another way of saying Obama glows in the dark and makes him different from other black people?

Or maybe it's just a way of telling folks to simmer down - this will all end in a few weeks and we can go back to normal - or at least the Clinton years. Is Obama just a shooting star? Leave it to The New York Times to defend and protect "Middle" Earth.

So how should the Obama camp respond to The New York Times endorsement of H. Clinton?

I suggest they keep pushing to win the nomination. In other words - Burn, Baby, Burn.

Talking about fire - check what the same editorial said about John Edwards:

We have enjoyed hearing Mr. Edwards's fiery oratory, but we cannot support his candidacy.

Oh, please note how much The New York Times "paints" Clinton as being brilliant and a person of powerful intellect. When did she become so smart??? Is she the other Rhodes Scholar in the family? Please. This intellect/experience stuff is overblown. But let's look at the equation that is being established - if Hillary Clinton is so smart - this might just mean that Obama gives good "emotional" speeches but really has no ideas - so he must be dumb.This is nothing but turning the black man into a body without a mind. Go back to the beginning of the Democratic battle for the nomination. The first person coming up with real serious ideas was John Edwards.
What was Hillary thinking and when did she have a thought?

One final note - notice the very slick -subtle title of today's editorial:

Primary choices. Sounds interesting? Replace it with Primary Colors.
Now who is playing the race card here?
In the depth of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer.

- Albert Camus

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Homework for US. Thank you Dr. King.
Let us not study war - no more.

A]s I have moved to break the betrayal of my own silences and to speak from the burnings of my own heart ... many persons have questioned me about the wisdom of my path. At the heart of their concerns this query has often loomed large and loud: Why are you speaking about war, Dr. King? Why are you joining the voices of dissent? Peace and civil rights don't mix, they say. Aren't you hurting the cause of your people, they ask? And when I hear them, though I often understand the source of their concern, I am nevertheless greatly saddened, for such questions mean that the inquirers have not really known me, my commitment or my calling. Indeed, their questions suggest that they do not know the world in which they live.

- Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., in his speech, "Beyond Vietnam: A Time to Break Silence." (Source: American Rhetoric) Click and Listen. Take notes. From Vietnam to Iraq?
I received this information today:

Dear Educator,

I write to you on behalf of the One World Foundation of New York. We are a not for profit organization whose mission is to expose young people from minority and indigenous communities in the U.S. to the international human rights and development arenas. We achieve our mission through a variety of avenues, including our international summer service projects. To learn more about our work, including our summer service projects, please visit our website at

Given your work in the international affairs, career services and/or ethnic studies departments at your university, it would be great if you could forward our official announcement below, regarding our upcoming summer programs, to interested students, programs, etc. I have also attached our official poster. We had quite a successful summer in 2007, with student participants representing a range of schools from Yale University to the University of Iowa to Lincoln University. This year we anticipate a similar range of participants. We find that the diversity of our Young Leaders greatly adds to their experience.

Should you have any questions or need further information, please feel free to contact me at the number below.


Tiffany Gardner

Tiffany M. Gardner
The One World Foundation Inc
301 West 110th Street, Suite 3P
New York, NY 10026
Stop HIV/AIDS in India Initiative (SHAII)

Invites you to an evening to:

Commemorate India’s Republic Day


Advocate for India’s Orphans and Vulnerable Children


National Geographic Society
Staff Auditorium, 1600 M Street, NW
Washington DC 20036

WHEN: Tuesday, January 29, 6:00 to 7:30 PM

Indian fusion dance will open the event and Indian snacks will be served

Background on the Event:

On January 26, 1950, India transitioned from a British Dominion to a Republic and adopted its own Constitution, which promised care and support to all its children. Millions of children are left out of that promise despite India being touted as a development success story.

Out of 70,000 children living with HIV, less than 3,000 are getting medical treatment. And 21,000 are born with HIV each year through mother-to-child transmission for lack of services including access to preventive medication.

This month Martin Luther King was born in the US who adopted the non-violence and social philosophy of India’s founding father: Mahatama Gandhi . In commemoration, join us to learn how you, as global advocates, can make a difference in the lives of India’s most promising citizens.

Please RSVP to Dr. Vineeta Gupta at
New Blog from my friend Michele Simms-Burton:
Booker T. Washington is Back!! GET THOSE SKILLS!!!

Publishing Certificate Program

Adult and Continuing Education
School of Professional and Community Development

Sponsored by the Center for Black Literature at Medgar Evers College

Program Description

The Publishing Certificate Program of the Center for Black Literature will provide students with an awareness of the publishing industry in totality and the skills to obtain an entry level position. Students will have an opportunity to take courses with experts in the field. Required courses include an overview of the publishing industry, online publishing, copyediting, the role of the agent and graphics and typography. The Program is designed to increase the percentage of writers of color in the publishing industry.

Admissions Criteria

A minimum of a high school diploma is required and an AA degree or the equivalents are desirable. Students should be motivated and highly proficient in English and should be interested in the book business. All students admitted to the program will be required to submit with their registration an essay describing their interest in the program.

Course Requirements

Students may enroll in courses which range from 2 to 10 weeks. Each session will last for two hours. Two of the five required courses will be offered in the Spring 2008 semester. (SEE BELOW)



Spring 2008 Courses

Introduction to Publishing $295
(10 sessions)
Saturday, 10:00 am – 12:00 pm
February 23 – May 10

This course will introduce students to the world of book publishing. Students will study the current issues in the publishing world, including the impact of bookstore chains, consolidations and international conglomerates and alternative publishing ventures. Students will also examine the economic, financial, and marketing issues related to publishing and the role of the editor, agent, author and graphics designer in the publishing industry.

Online Publishing/New Media Workshop $150
(Five sessions)
Saturday, 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm
March 1 – April 5

This fast-paced, hands-on workshop will be an introduction to basic skills in
online journalism for media and non-media professionals. The two-hour,
once a week course will allow students to upgrade or learn new skills through group discussions, case studies and hands-on sessions. In addition to ethical and theoretical issues in online newsgathering and the changing media landscape, the course will focus on the basics of Web design using standard industry tools. (Students will be required to work in the computer lab).

Fundamentals of Copyediting
PUB 102 (4 Sessions)
The course will help students develop the editing skills required for trade, reference, and other types of print work, as well as those of online editing. The course will cover standard proofreader’s and copy editor’s marks; common word usage problems; style sheets or house styles; use of reference works; and the interrelationship of copy editor and editor to production editor.

Role of the Agent
PUB 103 (5 sessions)
The literary agent has become one of the most important players in the book-publishing
world. Topics include an overview of the agent’s role and functions; how to become an agent; steps in the acquisition process; specifics of contracts and contract negotiations; subsidiary rights; genre publishing; packaging; and the editor’s perspective on the agent’s role.

Graphics and Typography
PUB 104 (2 sessions)
This course will examine how books are designed both from the inside typeface and flaps to the outside covers and flaps; the reasoning behind key decisions on author’s photo placement, cover lines and use of fonts and color.

History of Blacks in Publishing
PUB 105 (2 sessions)
This elective course is an overview of the role that blacks have played in both the established publishing industry and the black owned press.

Center for Black Literature
Medgar Evers College, CUNYaa
1650 Bedford Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11225
Phone: 718.270.6983
Fax 718.270.6912

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Black Writers: Reading and Writing to Transform Their Lives and the World
March 28-30, 2008

!!!Registration Information Coming Soon!!!

infoline: 718.270.4811



We thought you should know about the quality Swahili movies that are produced here in the United States by Swahili speakers from East Africa.

This company has been producing movies since 2003 by using Swahili speakers from Kenya Uganda and Tanzania. These movies have been featured in national audiences in both the United States and East Africa.Hollywood will never make Swahili movies, only East Africans can make sure this happens.

As you know there are over 100 million people worldwide who speak the language.Please see more about these movies at this Official Web site.


Kibirafilms International

One person's ceiling is another person's floor.


Treve de blues
- Leon Damas

Compassion is my art - Grace A. Ali

God makes stars. It's up to producers to find them.
- Samuel Goldwyn


His work can also be found in The E-MAG, November 26, 2006.

You've seen the news from Pakistan, no doubt - emergency rule, suicide bombs, the recent death of former prime minister Benazir Bhutto. You've heard about the standoff with Islamic militants at the RedMosque, postponed elections, Taliban swarming the touristic Swatvalley. You've read the headlines, "Most Dangerous Place In the World."

My girlfriend and I have lived in Pakistan, where she works for an international aid organization, for the last year and a half. We've been here to observe most of the news firsthand. Mercifully, we were out of country when Bhutto was assassinated.

It has been hard for me, at reports of suicide attacks, to fully sympathize with the victims' terror. This is, I think, because the country is still new to me, its people and ways unfamiliar, and the method of attack alternately an unreal novelty or a happens-so-often casualty that only gets casual notice: "Oh, another suicide bombing in Swat yesterday..."In Pakistan we sometimes laugh at the absurdities of the suicide bombers, whom I've cryptically dubbed *suibomrz*.

We find a wry humor in the irony of blowing yourself explosively up to heaven, in the newspapers' insistence on reporting about the body parts of the bomber,a head ending up in a tree, perhaps. With such satirical wit we normalize the unthinkable, deflecting tragedy so that we can keep going, undeterred.

Increasingly, as Pakistan becomes more like home and less like a specimen of strange culture, we find ways to mourn the bloodshed as well. "There is so much random violence in the world," my girlfriend said to me one night, tears in her eyes.

I'm writing a manuscript about my DC neighborhood of Kenilworth, where I lived before I moved here. In Kenilworth there were plenty of ways to die. You might get hit by a car on the high-speed avenue, overdose on drugs, make enemies who shoot you driving by. There, I remember being numbed, after awhile, by the random extinction of life; I don't remember trying to normalize it with humor.

The other day, editing an interview for my neighborhood writing, my mind was in Kenilworth when I leaned back from my work and remembered my body, still in Pakistan. The mid-day call to prayer seeped through my darkened window, curtained to keep out Quetta's winter cold.With my mind in the US, where I already have a mental framework for mourning violence, I began to internalize the tragedy of Pakistan's bloodshed.

My mind ranged over the country that I knew, by now, as a friend, and inside I cried for the pain and death that the nation's fractious present is still piling up. There, with my head in Kenilworth and my body in Pakistan, my heart could finally take in the heartbreak of this place.By the time you read this piece it may be out of date, for there is no telling what will happen next in Pakistan.

But do not worry overmuch,this country is resilient. It will not simply fall apart at the latest catastrophe. Do think of its people now and then, however, and when you read the violent headlines bow your head and grieve.

On those Cold Winter Nights

I leave the ECAC board meeting on Euclid and walk over to Georgia Avenue to catch the bus home. Waiting at the bus stop is a woman who teaches at the Howard Middle School. We chat about why there is no police or guard to help the young kids cross Georgia Avenue in the mornings. Our conversation has all the color of a church meeting in a basement somewhere.
I'm talking and looking for the bus, and when I turn around there are 2 men walking down the street selling Muhammad Speaks. Geez, what year is it? I thought history had moved into The Final Call and Muslim Journal. I see the guys with the papers and no bean pies - so I shake my head and say -"no thanks -brother." They nod and keep walking - suddenly a little Zora gets into me - or maybe its Lomax and I realize I need the newspaper for archival purposes. I look at the 2 men walking down the street - they have that Baltimore look - guys who could be hanging around Coppin State and not Howard. One of the brothers - turns back as I yell after him - asking for a paper. He gives me a free one - which makes me feel like its 1969. On the front page of Muhammad Speaks is a picture of Obama and Clinton. The headlines read -BLACK MAN VS. WHITE WOMAN? It's a cold night on Georgia Avenue. I'm standing in the wilderness with the Lost-Found Nation of Islam. The bus is coming - I'm thinking about a backseat. The middle school teacher is looking more and more like Rosa Parks.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Before Things Fall Apart Again:

A Tribute to Chinua Achebe

PEN American Center presents a Tribute to Nigerian writer Chinua Achebe to celebrate the 50th anniversary of his seminal novel, Things Fall Apart.

Chinua Achebe will be joined by writers such as Toni Morrison, Chris Abani, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Edwidge Danticat, Suheir Hammad, Ha Jin, and Colum McCann.

The evening will also feature a special performance by the Francesca Harper Dance Project with dancers from the Alvin Ailey School. This event is presented in collaboration with Vintage & Anchor Books, which will publish a 50th Anniversary Edition of this modern classic on February 12 as part of an international celebration of Achebe’s work.

Town Hall is located at 123 West 43rd Street. Tickets are available through Ticketmaster at or (212) 307-4100, and at the Town Hall box office by calling (212) 840-2824. Please use the code “PEN2008” for discounted tickets.
For more information, call PEN at (212) 334-1660, ext. 119.

Heath Ledger was found dead yesterday.

So I get ready to leave Busboys and Poets around 2:15 in the afternoon
after meeting with Marc, John, Lorrie, Andy and Beth.
Steve our waiter recommended the pecan pie so there
is a sweet taste left in my mouth. I walk by the bookstore
only to discover -Don is not working today. I look over my shoulder
wondering about all the novels that will go unread.
Oh - there is LORI TSANG- standing next to the magazines and the work of Garcia
Lorca. I run over and pull her away from Neruda who wants to recite another love poem.
I hug Lori while humming "Embraceable You." There is no foul play
- just old friends meeting in another city outside New York.

- E. Ethelbert Miller
I found this helpful information in the latest issue of Vitality magazine. It was put together by Gregory Fricchione, M.D., director of the Benson-Henry Institute for Mind Body Medicine in Boston. Here are his 10 tips - useful for the practice of Kindness:

1. Smile more often- it's contagious.

2. Look for acts of kindness so you can become more aware of them.

3. Choose to be nice, especially when you feel pressured.

4. Offer help before others ask for it.

5. Volunteer in your community or make a charitable donation.

6. Let someone get in front of you in line.

7. Leave a large tip.

8. Shovel snow from an elderly neighbor's sidewalk.

9. Be gracious when others are kind to you.

10. Teach your children kindness by example.
Good News out of Riyadh:

Women in Saudi Arabia can now stay in a hotel or a furnished apartment without a male guardian. The Saudi government made the decision.


The Society of Illustrators in New York City is currently presenting a powerful show sponsored by The Nation. Artists Against The War is the expression of over sixty leading graphic artists and illustrators working in the United States and abroad whose anguish has compelled them to produce works that challenge the self-destructive ignorance, indifference, incompetence and corruption that is the result of US Middle East foreign policy.

The works of art give a voice to those whose views are not represented by the mainstream media. Check out the online version of the show here.

A related panel discussion will take place tonight, Wednesday, January 23, at the Society of Illustrators in Manhattan. And thanks to the Society, the full proceedings will be available for viewing at the Society's website. So tune in tonight at 7:00pm--and see the action in person if you're in or around the New York City area.

Media: The First Casualty in IraqThe Nation is sponsoring a panel discussion tonight, January 23, on the nature of communications in wartime. How do words and images get stymied in the run-up and roll-out of war? Panelists include Steven Heller, designer, essayist and historian; Christian Parenti, author and Nation writer; David Wallis, author and Nation illustrator Steve Brodner as moderator.

The panel is part of the Artists Against the War exhibition. At the Society of Illustrators, 128 E. 63 St. $10 admission. Free of charge for students.

Finally, please visit The Nation online to read new Nation blogs, to view newsfeed links updated each day, to see when Nation writers are appearing on TV and radio, to get info on nationwide activist campaigns, and to read exclusive online reports and special weekly selections from The Nation magazine!

Best Regards

Peter Rothberg

The Nation
Yesterday I had a nice time meeting with Gigi Bradford's poetry class at Politics and Prose Bookstore(Should it be called Politics & Poetry?) What a fun bunch. A number of faces I hadn't seen in quite a number of years. They were reading my book - HOW WE SLEEP ON THE NIGHTS WE DON'T MAKE LOVE.Talking about faces - I arrived at P&P early and spent the time looking at new books - including John Wideman's FANON. When I looked out the front window of the store, I saw a guy I recognized. We looked at each other- I ran outside and gave a big hug to Wil Haygood (Washington Post). This guy is one of the best journalists in the country. I asked him what book was coming after his Sammy Davis classic. He told me it was about a boxing legend - shhhh. The book will be out next year. I can't wait. Wil and I stood outside P&P laughing and just having a good time - I felt like Dunbar talking to Frederick Douglass.

Dear Friends of BMC,

Blue Mountain Center is looking for a new Residential Coordinator to help us replace Holly Mulder who has decided to return to her family and friends in California. We are asking for your help because you are the ones who know Blue Mountain Center best and have a sense of what type of person we need.

The job requires someone who is mature, organized, humorful, and a self-starter. The work is varied, demanding and highly rewarding. The Coordinator is in residence for the Center’s April 15-Thanksgiving season. The job itself is part office manager, part host, part innkeeper, and a whole lot of willingness to do whatever needs to be done. That’s a lot of parts. Working and living at BMC is a full-time commitment to our community – residential staffers need to be prepared to put their private time on hold while guests are in session.

Benefits include 4-month leave (December – April), $25,000 annual salary, room and full-board for the season, year-round health insurance, highly stimulating company and a glorious setting.

If you know someone experienced and interested in this type of work, someone you think has the BMC spirit, please send them the attached job description, encourage them to visit our web site ( to find out more about the Center, and then to apply by sending a letter including background, interest in the position, and three references to: Ben Strader Blue Mountain Center PO Box 109 Blue Mountain Lake, NY 12812

Thanks for your help!

Harriet Barlow

Ben Strader

Dear PEN Member,

Our colleagues in China need your help.

Last month, in cooperation with the courageous members of the Independent Chinese PEN Center, PEN launched We Are Ready for Freedom of Expression, a campaign aimed at freeing all writers and journalists imprisoned in China before the opening ceremonies of the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

Noted Chinese authors Liu Xiaobo and Zheng Yi were among those joining international counterparts Margaret Atwood, Francine Prose, and Salman Rushdie in launching this important campaign.

The support and participation of PEN Members in the United States is vital to our collective success.

Take action today by adding your name to these two PEN petitions:
Petition to the Chinese governmentPetition to the U.S. Congress to ban U.S. involvement in internet censorship in China

This is a historic moment in which the international community has the opportunity to pressure the Chinese government to improve its human rights record. Take time now to sign the petitions, and join us in our advocacy work in the weeks ahead.

Click here to receive mailings with campaign actions and news. Please include your name and email address in the body of your message.

Help us win the release of our colleagues in Chinese prisons and expand freedom of expression in China in this crucial year.

Many thanks,

Francine Prose

Larry Siems
Director, Freedom to Write and International Programs


Men's Basketball Sees Six-Game Winning Streak Halted With 66-46 Loss to Albright

1/22/08 -- Albright used its strength and speed to pull away in the second half and end Widener’s six-game winning streak, 66-46, in a Commonwealth Conference tilt at Schwartz Center.

The game was tied, 21-21, at intermission before the visitors took control midway through the second half. The Lions (11-3, 1-0 CC) went on a 22-6 run over 4 1/2 minutes to open a 53-35 lead with 7:32 left. Tom Murphy scored all 10 of his second-half points in that span.

Murphy ended with 14 points, Albert Medoro was a force with 12 points and 22 rebounds and Phil Hall grabbed eight rebounds. This helped Albright’s starting frontcourt outscore Widener’s, 26-4, and gain a 35-7 rebounding advantage.

Andre Murphy scored nine points and Kyle Brudvig hauled in nine rebounds for the Lions, who closed with a 60-42 rebounding edge. Albright shot 46 percent (15-of-33) in the second half and limited Widener to only 22 percent (8-of-36).

Charles Jones (Philadelphia, PA) poured in 12 points, fellow junior NYERE MILLER (Washington, DC) netted 10 and junior Tracy Jones (Indian Head, MD) grabbed a career-best nine rebounds for the Pride.

Widener is home Saturday against Lycoming at 3:00 pm.
News from my friend Joe Lapp in Pakistan:

Annie Leonard has a winner here. View and share this information.
Do I need to hire a consultant to help me understand my blackness? Oh, boy.

Bill Moyers Interviews Melissa Harris Lacewell

Why is Moyers having this conversation?


January 23, 2008

Dear Karibu Customer,

After 15 years of service within the Washington, DC metropolitan area, Karibu Books, a Black bookstore chain will be closing its doors. We sincerely thank each and every one of you for your patronage and support. We are optimistic that our mission to empower and educate through a comprehensive selection of books by and about people of African descent will continue to resonate within the communities we proudly served.

Since 1993, we have been blessed to help thousands of local, regional and national authors share their incredible stories of faith, hope, love, peace, politics and race. We cannot begin to express our gratitude for the countless authors who have graced our six stores and enriched our customers’ lives.

On Sunday, January 27th, We will be closing our Security Square (Baltimore, MD) and Forestville locations. The remaining locations, Bowie Town Center, The Mall at Prince Georges and Iverson Mall will close on Sunday, February 10th. Our Pentagon City store is already closed.

Effective immediately, all inventory at all locations will be 50% off. All fixtures will also be available for purchase on February 10th. See individual store managers for more information.

Again, we respectfully thank you for your loyalty, laughter and love. What an honor and privilege it has been to serve our community!

Simba Sana
Karibu Books

Karibu Locations:
Security Square Mall, 6901 Security Boulevard, Baltimore, Md 21244, 410.944.6090
Centre’ at Forestville, 3289 B Donnell Drive, Forestville, Md 20747, 301.736.6170
The Mall at Prince George’s, 3500 East West Hwy, Hyattsville, Md 20782, 301.559.1140
Iverson Mall, 3817 Branch Ave., Hillcrest Heights, Md. 20748, 301.899.3730
Bowie Town Center, 15624 Emerald Way, Bowie, Md 20716, 301.352.4110

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

SEKOU SUNDIATA (1948-2007)

Be sure to obtain the Fall/Winter 2007 issue of African Voices.
This issue is dedicated to Sekou Sundiata. Poems and Praise words for our departed brother. Prayers on the words-tongues of Ted Wilson, reg.e gaines, Louis Reyes Rivera, Amiri Baraka, Sandra Maria Esteves and others.

The publisher/ editor is Carolyn A. Butts.

Annual Day of Remembrance at the Smithsonian

Innocent When You Dream - A Play by Ken Narasaki

Saturday, February 23, 2008
3PM -5:30 PM
Meyer Auditorium, Freer Gallery of Art
12th Street and Independence Avenue, SW

Metro: Smithsonian or L'Enfant Plaza

*This program marks the 66th anniversary of the signing of Executive Order 9066 by Franklin D. Roosevelt which led to the incarceration of 120,000 Americans of Japanese ancestry during World War II.

This January, in honor of the start of our third year, A Space Inside will host its first Open Mic on Wednesday, January 23 at 7 p.m. at Riverby Books on Capitol Hill!

We have a few great readers signed up, both alums of the series and newcomers, but a few spaces are still available. Please email me ( if you would like to sign up.

Poets and prose writers of all genres are welcome, of course.

On Wednesday, February 27, we will host poets Hiram Larew and Kim Roberts.

A Space Inside provides a space where developing writers, lesser known voices, and the work better-known writers create between books can be heard.

Monthly readings alternate between poetry and prose, but all readers are DC-based writers. All readings, which are free and open to the public, are hosted by Riverby Books with a reception following.

Riverby Books is located at 417 East Capitol Street, SE, just north of Eastern Market and four blocks east of the U.S. Capitol.

A seller of used and rare books, they are open daily from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and can be reached at (202) 543-4342. Please call for directions, if needed.
So you wonder why you keep getting sick?

You go to your local CVS because you need your meds. You get to the counter and someone tells you - no refill unless your doctor gives the OK. You stand there while the person clicks/clicks. They tell you they are going to send a request to your doctor. You know it's not happening. The person standing on the other side of the counter has three or four other things are their mind. You're not even on the waiting list. You could be at O'Hare Airport during a snowstorm and have a better chance of getting your meds. Just before you leave the CVS you look over your shoulder. The person behind the counter is putting another person on hold.
You know that's you calling back in a few hours.
Bill Moyers talks with Shelby Steele

The above should come with some type of parental guidance sticker.
All I can say is "Steele Away" from this nonsense.
Whew, and this guy is the "leading" black intellectual?? Who is in second place?
I need to ask my Mama.
January 20, 2008

The Honorable John R. Edwards
410 Market Street
Suite 400
Chapel Hill, NC 27516

Dear Senator Edwards:

It was good meeting with you yesterday and discussing my father's legacy. On the day when the nation will honor my father, I wanted to follow up with a personal note.

There has been, and will continue to be, a lot of back and forth in the political arena over my father's legacy. It is a commentary on the breadth and depth of his impact that so many people want to claim his legacy. I am concerned that we do not blur the lines and obscure the truth about what he stood for: speaking up for justice for those who have no voice.

I appreciate that on the major issues of health care, the environment, and the economy, you have framed the issues for what they are - a struggle for justice. And, you have almost single-handedly made poverty an issue in this election.You know as well as anyone that the 37 million people living in poverty have no voice in our system. They don't have lobbyists in Washington and they don't get to go to lunch with members of Congress. Speaking up for them is not politically convenient. But, it is the right thing to do.

I am disturbed by how little attention the topic of economic justice has received during this campaign. I want to challenge all candidates to follow your lead, and speak up loudly and forcefully on the issue of economic justice in America.From our conversation yesterday, I know this is personal for you. I know you know what it means to come from nothing. I know you know what it means to get the opportunities you need to build a better life. And, I know you know that injustice is alive and well in America, because millions of people will never get the same opportunities you had.

I believe that now, more than ever, we need a leader who wakes up every morning with the knowledge of that injustice in the forefront of their minds, and who knows that when we commit ourselves to a cause as a nation, we can make major strides in our own lifetimes.

My father was not driven by an illusory vision of a perfect society. He was driven by the certain knowledge that when people of good faith and strong principles commit to making things better, we can change hearts, we can change minds, and we can change lives.

So, I urge you: keep going. Ignore the pundits, who think this is a horserace, not a fight for justice. My dad was a fighter. As a friend and a believer in my father's words that injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere, I say to you: keep going. Keep fighting. My father would be proud.


Martin L. King, III

Monday, January 21, 2008


"We as a nation must undergo a radical revolution of values... When machines and computers, profit motives and property rights, are considered more important than people, the giant triplets of racism, extreme materialism, and militarism are incapable of being conquered."

--Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., "Beyond Vietnam," April 4, 1967

The Prophet Reconsidered
40 years after the death of Martin Luther King Jr., new studies emphasize his economic and social philosophy

Chronicle of Higher EducationJanuary 18, 2008

We forget so much. We forget that he was hanging by a thread in 1968 at the time of his death, whose 40th anniversary we will mark in April. We forget that his moral authority had frayed, leaving his fund raising in free fall. We forget that in his final years, he faced not only a rising "white backlash" - the media term for white obduracy in the suburbs and working-class neighborhoods, North as well as South - but resentment from establishment liberals who thought he had executed too radical a turn by opposing a Democratic president and the Vietnam War. We forget that although blacks still looked to him more than any other leader, he was increasingly viewed with cynicism by young militants who derided him as "De Lawd" and thought his nonviolence too tepid for the times. We forget that police agencies from the Federal Bureau of Investigation to military intelligence viewed him as a dangerous subversive, listened in on his conversations, and spread both true and false rumors about him in a concerted campaign to discredit him. We forget that between major addresses he was prone to depression, afflicted by insomnia so severe that he slept only a few hours each night, even when popping sleeping pills.

We forget that his close associates were concerned by his anxiety and fatigue, and taken aback by his fixation on his own mortality. We forget the critics who accused him of harboring a "Messiah complex."

By all rights, though, we ought to remember. We are surrounded by constant reminders of the life of Martin Luther King Jr. Statues, monuments, and postage stamps bear his likeness, highways and boulevards his name. He has become a national icon. Television ads sample his voice. Presidential candidates invoke the "fierce urgency of now." Ubiquity has come, however, at a price. The nonviolent revolutionary who upended conventional society and sought to induce tension has become an anodyne symbol of progress.

The disappointed prophet who spoke toward the end of his life of America as a nightmare is remembered only for his 1963 dream. Once widely reviled, King has become an almost obligatory object of reverence. Even conservatives genuflect before his memory. While dismantling affirmative action, a policy King advocated, they cite King's aspiration that Americans be judged not by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.

King is a totem: safe, universal, unobjectionable. He is as remote and mythical to schoolchildren as any other figure in the national pantheon stretching back to the founding fathers. His inner turmoil, his public failures, his vocal critics, left and right, have all faded from view, replaced by a fable in which a nation awakens gently to his self-evident dream.

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