Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Quote of the Day:

"...the critics do what they do and I have to do what I do."

- Edward P. Jones

SHALLAL LIGHTS: Andy goes to the movies.

We told him we wanted to know more:

the lights were bright and the carpet red on the sidewalk at the uptown theater. young men and women with ear pieces and suits were strategically standing at every corner. a handful of protesters stood across the street shouting at the crowd, their voices muffled by the passing buses and rush hour traffic. there were cameras everywhere and the sidewalk was jammed with gawkers. it was michael moore's movie premier "capitalism: a love story".
the 7 pm screening was attended by several hundred washingtonians who had their chance to walk the red carpet and meet the man behind the frumpy trench coat and baseball cap. a slow rumble of applause welcomed mr. moore who walked to the front of the auditorium and made a few comments about the film and the process of making it. he asked the audience to pay close attention to the ending of the film in which he shows us a clip of franklin roosevelt admonishing americans to curb their greed. this is historic archival material that has never been shown before! the film begins with a juxtaposition of the roman empire then and the united states today. the comparison was cleverly made with footage from blockbuster film classics and current clips of capitol hill. the indictment was clear: greed and lust for money and everything material will be the demise of the united states. the film is a barrage of several charges against capitalism and those in power who continue to push policies that allow greed and unfettered markets spiral out of control. today in america, every seven and a half seconds a foreclosure is taking place, prisons are overflowing, cities are crumbling, the list goes on and on. The starkest and most disturbing example moore makes is the juvenile detention system which is alarmingly trending toward privatization. he recalls a case where a judge was sending young high school students to months in prison for the most asinine reasons (throwing food in the cafeteria, fighting in the hallway, etc.). it was later discovered that he owned a great deal of stock in the company that runs the juvenile detention center. he made $2.5 million for his hard line approach to justice! the film takes you on an emotional roller coater with families losing their homes, workers being denied basic human rights and moments of glory for labor and people uniting to confront injustice.

michael moore returned to the stage at the end of the film and took a couple of questions from the audience. he expressed his disappointment at how little has changed since he made sicko (the health care bill currently being approved is a big win for the insurance industry). he said that this would be his last film he is making if people do not rise up and demand change. he added that obama is a great vehicle for change, but we need to push him to make that change possible. he asked people to continue to speak out and let their voices be heard in congress and on the street. "run for office, go to the hill, do something for christ sake" he said.

Written by Andy Shallal, the owner of Busboys and Poets.

Come to the Capital Bookfest:


According to an article in The New York Times today the sales of pickup trucks is declining. General Moters closed another truck plant this week. The auto industry will only sell about 1 million trucks this year. Rising gas prices last year and the weak economy has killed the pick-up boom. The slowdown in home construction didn't help either. Goodbye to the suburban cowboys?

Oh, remember when you were colored and walking down a road or street - suddenly out of nowhere a pickup truck appeared with several white kids drinking and yelling. Beer cans and a couple of N-words caused you to duck or jump out of the way. You looked up and saw the pickup laughing off in the distance, the Confederate flag on the back window. You dusted off your shirt and wiped the lyrics of Dixie from your pants. A Jefferson Davis moment and you wondered why folks called you boy and not Kwame.


But is it fast food? Not even 2 months and Sarah Palin has completed her memoir. The book should hit the stores on November 17th. A book done so quickly must have been written in front of a person with a gun. Bonnie Palin walks away with a multi-million dollar deal. GOING ROGUE: AN AMERICAN LIFE. This book better come with pictures. What more can Palin show us? Will it be written as good as she talks?



So if the Lakers don't repeat as champions blame it on the Khloe Kardashian and Lamar Odom marriage - right? The media creates sideshows and then they look to blame someone for the crime. Where is the CSI unit?


More Rodney Harrison? I must agree with his comment about Jason Campbell.
Harrison's statement: " I don't know what they see in this guy."

Campbell looks like a good college player in the NFL. It's obvious by now that he is at best a back-up QB somewhere like Oakland or Arizona. You know when you're watching that second or third game on television and the camera pans the sideline - you know the face and then you wait for them to turn around so you can catch their number.


Congrats to Diana Taurasi of the Phoenix Mercury. She was the winner of the Most Valuable Player Award. I always loved her game. A four-time All Star she led the league this year is scoring at 23.8 points per game.
Quote of the Day:

I don't know if the game has changed, but the people have changed.

- Bob Gibson

Tuesday, September 29, 2009


Dear friends

Urban Spirituality, a group show I participate in, opens today through October 23 at Rossi & Rossi gallery, London.

Visit the gallery's Web site, press release, and featured artworks at:


Tonight I reviewed the copy of the interview Shonda Buchanan did with me for AWP (The Writer's Chronicle). It should be out in December. The focus is on my memoir - The 5th Inning. Shonda did a good job.

I've been riding the bus reading THE CLINTON TAPES. It's a big book that I will probably complete reading in October.

My next public program is Saturday. I will be at the Capital Bookfest in Maryland.
Other upcoming programs in October:

October 6th - Anacostia Museum
October 14th - St. Mary's College
October 21st - University of Maryland
October 22nd - CNCS
October 30th - Kiwanis Club, Maryland


Short Hand: Attila. You can download it here:


HoCoPoLitSo Opens 36th Season with
“An Afternoon with Donald Hall”

HoCoPoLitSo, the Howard County Poetry and Literature Society, opens its 36th season with “An Afternoon with Donald Hall,” on Sunday, October 4, 2009 from 3 to 5 p.m., in the Monteabaro Recital Hall, the Horowitz Performing & Visual Arts Center, on the campus of Howard Community College.

Tickets will be available at the door - $15 general admission, $10 for students with valid ID.

Former Poet Laureate of the United States Donald Hall will read and discuss his work in this rare public appearance. Hall is considered one of the most versatile and respected writers of his generation. A poet, memoirist, short story and children’s story author, Hall writes works that are “beautifully controlled, moving stories in verse,” according to the Washington Post. A question and answer session will follow the reading along with a reception and book signing.

The ticketed event costs $15, $10 with a valid student ID. Credit card orders accepted at For more information visit, phone 410.772.4568, or email

Donald Hall began his illustrious career at the ripe age of 16 when he first published, and in that same year attended the Bread Loaf Writer’s Conference. He is a two-time recipient of Guggenheim fellowships, and holds numerous awards and accolades, including a Ruth Lilly Prize, a Lifetime Achievement Award from the New Hampshire Writers and Publisher Project, the National Book Critic Circles Award, among many others. He and his second wife, poet Jane Kenyon (1947- 1995) appeared as the subjects for Bill Moyer’s celebrated, Emmy Award-winning documentary, “A Life Together.”

HoCoPoLitSo, Howard County Poetry and Literature Society, has been enlarging the audience for contemporary poetry and literature since 1974. HoCoPoLitSo is supported by the Howard County Arts Council through a grant from Howard County government, the Maryland State Arts Council through the State of Maryland and the Department of Business and Economic Development, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Columbia Foundation, Howard County General Hospital: a member of Johns Hopkins medicine, and Friends of HoCoPoLitSo.

For Immediate Release:
Date: September 29, 2009
Contact: Carla Du Pree
Phone: (410) 772.4568
Fax: (410) 772.4153


We often become alarm about possible harm to Obama. One of the negative aspects of being black is that we too often embrace "old" oppression for comfort. It's like a slave fondling chains and thinking of slavery. Remember (was it yesterday) when some black folks didn't want Obama to run for president because of concern for his safety? Remember all the thinking in the black community about how America would never elect a black person? Are we so post-racial today that we forget our own backwards thinking? On the other hand we clutch our bibles and believe that everything taking place is prophecy. Yet, as soon as something negative happens we seem to fall down and believe our color is holding us back. Send in the white man for an excuse, and all I desire is a white woman - right? Geez, what did you expect from people who are against Obama's policies? Protest signs with smiles? Why are we so surprise about racism still brushing her hair? Did you think the KKK only went from hoods to wigs? White supremacy might be as win less as the recent Detroit Lions, but on any given Sunday it can surprise you. But don't be pulled in by the game. Remember that Obama won the election because a majority of the voters had no problem with electing a black man to the presidency. So, why keep talking about folks not feeling comfortable with him? Who keeps pushing this issue? It's the same old media that thought he would fail during the campaign. It's the same media that will continue planting stories until something grows that they can smoke and get high off. It's amazing how much attention we give to Obama. Why don't we just let the guy do his job. As he recently reminded us - he was black before he was president. What's our excuse? We keep casting mindless nets, only to be caught by our own paranoia. Someday we will have to adjust to life after Obama. The man isn't Jesus. We need the water not the wine.

Event: Dancing with Child Soldiers
Friday, October 9, 2009
Washington, DC

Join us in a brown bag discussion about how dance therapy is used with former child combatants in Sierra Leone.

David Alan Harris is a choreographer, writer, and leading dance/movement therapist who specializes in fostering recovery among survivors of egregious human rights abuse. His FPIF article on his work in Sierra Leone can be read here.

This event is co-sponsored by Foreign Policy In Focus ( and the Semester on Peace at the University of Maryland (

Time: 12:00PM-1:30PM
Location:Institute for Policy Studies
Conference Room
1112 16th St NW
Ste 600
Washington, DC 20036

Foreign Policy In Focus is a network for research, analysis and action that brings together more than 700 scholars, advocates and activists who strive to make the United States a more responsible global partner. It is a project of the Institute for Policy Studies (IPS) in Washington.
For more than four decades, the Institute for Policy Studies has transformed ideas into action for peace, justice, and the environment. It is a progressive multi-issue think tank.

"A Conversation with Andy Shallal: Owner of Busboys and Poets"
The Browsing Room, Founders Library
Howard University
Tuesday, September 29, 2009.


I'm still waiting for new ideas to emerge from conservative Republicans. What needs to me monitored is the control the Right has over the media and its attempt to influence us. Control of the media, along with universities and the judiciary makes it difficult to present an alternative way of viewing the world. The sad thing is that conservatives seem to be more concerned with power than ideas. They also seem to be arrogant when it comes to foreign policy.They seem to prefer a world with no color. Is this anyway to live? Who wants to sit in the dark and watch black and white?

Tampa Bay has benched Byron Leftwich for second-year Josh Johnson. I was looking forward to Leftwich throwing against the Redskins on Sunday. If Johnson can move the Tampa Bay offense down the field on their first possession, it's going to be a long afternoon for Washington. Look for the boo-birds to fly low over the stadium.

In the NBA watch all the hype and media nonsense begin around Shaq and LeBron James playing together in Cleveland. The big NBA games will be:

Cleveland against the Lakers
Boston against Cleveland
Cleveland against Orlando
Cleveland against Miami

On Sunday it was interesting to hear former New England Patriots safety Rodney Harrison call Terrell Owens, " a straight-up clown." Don't you love it?
CC: Making carbon copies?

I've been editing the "Legacy Conversation" interview that Elizabeth Alexander conducted with me in New York back in 2006. This was for Cave Canem. An audio copy of the interview can be accessed by going to the Cave Canem website. I was listening to it the other day and found it filled with much humor and cultural information. I remember that evening at the New School. In the audience was Liam Rector, my sister Marie, Brenda Greene, Hettie Jones and the amazing Grace Ali.


Leslie McGrath sent me a copy of the new collection of poems by Reetika that she and Ravi Shankar edited. The title is RADHA SAYS and is published by Drunken Boat.

McGrath and Shankar have written an excellent introduction to the work of my friend who departed this earth on July 16, 2003. Sometimes the only thing that survives is the work itself.

Marilyn Hacker says this about Reetika's work:

Reetika Vazirani was a world poet, Anglophone, partaking of and transforming myths and avatars of multiple cultures (like Lorca, Darwish, Rukeyser, Aga Shahid Ali) and yet a quintessential American poet precisely in that embrace and interrogation of "otherness" - including a woman poet's otherness in the annals of mythmaking. In this book, tragically her last, dramatic monologues inhabit Hindu hagiography and the "world hotel" of the American city; she speaks through the bemused 19th century Urdu poet Ghalib and the Radha of Hindu epic who is also a modern lover - with dazzling erudition, sensuality and despair. The poet's present absence haunts the reader, but the work itself is a presence that elicits our gratitude.

Everyday I miss Reetika, this new book holds my hands together.

All the Millers eating downtown last night at Acadiana (901 New York Avenue, NW). Good food and much laughter. Denise celebrating her birthday, Jasmine-Simone walking over from her law firm on K Street, Nyere driving down from Pennsylvania, and me eating turtle soup and remembering Lafayette, Louisiana.

Listening to Amina Claudine Myers this morning.
Poems for Piano: The Piano Music of Marion Brown.

My first poetry reading was back in 1969 at All Soul's Church in Washington. On the program was Brown. The man had made many of his instruments. I was moved by his kindness and creativity.

Monday, September 28, 2009



Saturday, October 10, 2009,

6:00 – 8:00 PM

Politics and Prose Bookstore and Coffee House

5015 Connecticut Ave., NW

Washington, DC

October 13, 2009,

7:30 PM

Conversation with Robin D. G. Kelley on Thelonious MonkWith Guest, pianist Randy Weston

Center for Jazz Studies,

Columbia UniversityDwyer Cultural Center,

258 St. Nicholas Ave. and 123rd St.

New York

An Evening with the Poet Laureate

DCCAH celebrated Dolores Kendrick's 10th year as DC's Poet Laureate at the Heritage Center at the Navy Memorial. The evening included speeches praising Kendrick's poetry and work as Laureate by distinguished guests, including Anne Ashmore-Hudson, Chair of DCCAH, Dorothy McSweeny, Chair Emerita of DCCAH, Gloria Nauden, Executive Director of DCCAH, Bill McSweeny, Board Member of the Kennedy Center, and E. Ethelbert Miller, poet and former Commissioner of DCCAH.

The celebration climaxed with a moving poetry reading by Kendrick, accompanied by the Capitol City String Quartet.

Dolores Kendrick is DC's second Poet Laureate; the position was re-instated for her after several years of non-existence. In her position as Poet Laureate, Kendrick established the Poet-in-Progress program for high school students to write and publish poetry and was invited to speak at the first National Book Fair on the Mall. Her poetry is emblazoned at the New York Avenue Metro Station and on a steel sculpture on the corner of 9th and S st. NW, aptly entitled "Epoch," as Kendrick truly has transformed the role of Poet Laureate into one of outreach and activism.

E. Ethelbert Miller reflects on the celebration of our beloved Poet Laureate:

"When I think of Dolores Kendrick, I think of her as Lady Kendrick or maybe the First Lady of Poetry. If the strong men and artists have names like Duke and Count, how do we describe Dolores? What royalty is left to describe her splendor? Why did we wait ten years to honor her?Why only now have our eyes been given back their sight?"


Back on September 28, 1979, the Mayor of
Washington, D.C. proclaimed it "E. Ethelbert Miller Day."
ART SANCTUARY 2009-2010 Events:

NFL E-Report:

I felt that if the Washington Redskins defeated the New York Giants in the opening game of the season, they would go maybe 7-0 until their bye week. After that I thought they would lose maybe all of the next games. With a loss to the Detroit Lions yesterday this looks like a very long season for the Washington Redskins. If this team is going to get better and become playoff bound, they need to maybe lose all of the rest of their games. Possible? Yes. Why? More defeats is the only way this team will begin to realize they are at best a mediocre group of players. Why fool yourself every week? The Washington Redskins have no great players at any of the key positions.

Where would I begin to change things? Let's start with a new coach, new QB, 2 new wide receivers, a punt returner, a real running back with breakaway speed and then look at the defense. For example, Smoot is a guy with D. Sanders number and no real game. The entire team needs to work on their celebration of first downs and touchdowns. They not only look corny - they look awful. I also hate how this team handles post-game interviews. They always sound like the Washington Wizards. Just confess that you got your butt kicked. Face it - on paper The Washington Redskins are not good. How many points would the Washington Redskins score if they had to play the Ravens next week? That's easy - Zero! And that's the problem. If one thought the Redskins could score 21 points against the Ravens defense then one would have to say this team is ready for the playoffs. But you can't. The problem with the Washington Redskins is ownership and management. Good teams are constructed in the front office and with good scouts. I find it amazing that the Washington Redskins have never had a great QB the entire time I've lived in Washington DC. I'm talking Tom Brady good. The Redskins have never had a great running back since Larry Brown. Let me stop here. The next three games are against Tampa Bay, Carolina and Kansas. Things could get very, very ugly next week against Tampa. This is a home game. If the Redskins get their butts whipped at home - the fans might take to the feel and steal helmets. The Redskins need to score about 30 points next week and maybe make 3 interceptions. Anything less is going to reveal how bad this team really is. Stay tuned. I'm taking Tampa next week in a blowout. I'm just trying to be helpful. Put this team out of its misery early.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

AWP - 2010 in Denver:
I finally made my AWP Conference reservations for April 7-10. Glad I did. Hotel rooms are going fast. I'll be staying at the Denver Marriott City Center. I have 2 presentations to make at the conference. I'll also be standing around the Poet Lore table at the Book fair. Drop by ( or take me to lunch). Poet Lore will be celebrating its 120th anniversary. Our new issue will be out in a few weeks.
THE 5TH INNING reviewed:
Coming November 9th:


From Yanga to the Present
Novemeber 9, 2009 - July 4, 2010

Smithsonian Anacostia Community Museum
1901 Fort Place, SE
Washington, D.C.

202 633-4820
Here are the key issues that need to be resolved in the Middle East:

- The status of Jerusalem.

- The return of Palestinian refugees to lands they left behind in Israel,

- Establishment of the border between two states: Palestine and Israel.
From duct tape to hand sanitizers. It's amazing how we begin to change our lives. Instead of covering our mouths, we cough into our shoulders. What's next? How much of this is false comfort?
Do we really have to takeoff our shoes at the airport? When should one remove a belt? Do I need to build a bomb shelter? What about Swine-Flu shots? I never know what or who to listen to. Maybe I should just remain at the Orange alert level. Last week I noticed a street sign that also provided directions for evacuation from DC. I always thought DC was Ground Zero if there was a nuclear attack made against the United States. Why run when you can't even hide? Which brings me back to those cute little surgical masks folks like to wear in subways - when did that start happening and why can't I purchase them in an assortment of colors? Maybe orange to go with the alert level?
Quote of the Day:

Think rich, look poor.

- Andy Warhol
Television Blues in Digital Format: Blues and Brothers

I forced myself to watch the premiere of Brothers on Fox television last Friday. How do these shows get produced? Nothing but stale humor here. A quartet of African American actors who can't play a decent tune. Without Daryl Mitchell this show would go nowhere. But how many wheelchair jokes must one listen to? Michael Strahan should sack himself for being in this. How many gap-teeth jokes is he going to tell? I know something is missing from the show, but must I see it every time he opens his mouth? Someone help the brothers - and quick. Oh, I kept waiting for a white side-kick to emerge in the first episode. You know the white person who gets all the racial jokes thrown at them. Well in the first Brothers no one made a debut. Maybe this show breaks new ground here. Or maybe every white actor was too smart to be trapped in this nonsense.
Small News:

20% of the 58,000 people who lived in Galveston, Texas before last year's hurricane have not returned.
About 4,000 households are still unable to be lived in. People are staying with relatives or living in campers and government-provided trailers next to their ruined homes. Many families are still waiting for the $160 million in federal housing grants.

Is Galveston another community being left behind?

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Sheraton New York Hotel & Towers, NYC
Dear Friends,
Prompted and energized by the Obama administration's commitment to support effective strategies to improve life outcomes for children in high poverty areas through a national Promise Neighborhoods Initiative, Harlem Children's Zone® (HCZ) and PolicyLink are proud to announce Changing the Odds: Learning from the Harlem Children's Zone® Model, a two-day conference on November 9-10, 2009 in New York City. More than 1,000 leaders from nonprofit, community, government, and philanthropic organizations will participate, with a focus on how to transform their communities by replicating the innovative HCZ model.
Leaders will gather to:
  • Share core principles of the HCZ model that can be adapted and modeled at the local level;
  • Discuss common obstacles and successful strategies; and
  • Learn about the current status of the federal Promise Neighborhoods Initiative.
Keynote speakers are:
The conference will address issues that are critical for those developing a local initiative: strategic planning, creating collaborations, evaluating programs, fundraising, engaging the community, and developing a pipeline of best practice programs. The discussion of these critical concepts will be directly informed by insights gained through conversations with over 100 communities that attended HCZ's Practitioners Institute as well as research on how to best translate the HCZ model into policy.
PolicyLink and the Harlem Children's Zone® hope you'll join us in this opportunity to learn from each other to improve the lives of poor children and families and break the cycle of poverty across our country.
Fear of an Intelligent Black Man
By Paul Scott -Guest Columnist- | Last updated: Sep 25, 2009 - 11:59:38 AM

"If I'm not who you say I am then you are not who you think you are."
-James Baldwin

I want to extend my sincerest apology to the Right Wing Republicans; the Tea
Party people, The Birthers, etc. For the last year, I have been calling you
"narrow-minded bigots who are just hatin' on the president because he's Black!"
However, based on the events of the last few weeks between the hecklers, the
protesters, and the media lynching of former Obama green czar, Van Jones, I
stand corrected. You guys don't hate him because he's Black. You hate him
because he's smart ... and Black.

Back in the early 90's there was a short lived fashion trend when Black youth,
like the ones wearing "Scarface" T-shirts today, were proudly sportin' shirts
with slogans such as "Knowledge is Power," "The Blacker the College, the Sweeter
the Knowledge" and my all time favorite, "Warning: Educated Black Man."

The latter was the expression of a sentiment that has existed in this country
for centuries. White America is scared to death of a Black man who can read and
articulate a position.

On the plantation "Simple Jim" and "Big Buck" were never threats to the status
quo. Nor are Krazy K and T-Bone who walk around with guns in their waist-bands
shouting obscenities at anyone who passes by. However, "uppity Negro" Frederick
who would hide behind the barn and read a book and Marcus who walks around with
"48 Laws of Power" instead of a 40 ounce of Old English have always been public
enemy #1.

Historically, it must be noted that up until the latter part of the 19th
century, Black people were not legally allowed to read as the plantation owner
didn't want the people on whom he counted to pick his cotton to have delusions
of grandeur that they could one day be running the joint and make his little
rotten kids pick the cotton, themselves!

During the period following slavery it was necessary to give the newly
emancipated slaves just enough training to make them productive parts of an
economic system that was changing from agricultural to industrial. The idea was
never to give the masses of Black folks enough education to achieve equality
with White Americans.

While an education indeed, was hard to obtain during the 1800's, some were able
to break the color barrier. In 1826, John B. Russwurm became the first Black
college graduate. It must be noted that many of these early intellectuals used
their education to write and speak out against slavery and later, with the
coming of the WEB Dubois' and the William Trotters', speak out against racial

The continuing education of the masses of Black folks has always been a
controversial issue.

According to Harold Cruse in his book, "Plural but Equal," during the 1880's
there was an attempt to pass a bill by Senator Henry Blair that would have
required the government to provide $77 million to be spent "equally for the
education of all children, without distinction of race or color." This was
followed by the investment of White philanthropists in the movement of Booker T.
Washington that favored an industrial education for Black folks instead of the
challenging White folks intellectually and politically as advocated by Du Bois.

During the mid 1900's, many African Americans thought that public school
desegregation (Brown v. the Board of Education, 1954) was going to be the key to
social and economic equity that we have yet to achieve.

In regards to the Black Power Era of the 60's, while whitewashed history paints
the protesters as "angry Black militant thugs," it must be noted that the most
vocal members of the leadership were intelligent and college educated such as
Kwame Ture (Stokely Carmichael) and Jamil Abdullah Al Amin (H. Rap Brown). And
while the powers that be may have feared Black Panther, Huey P. Newton's gun,
they were more afraid of the bullets that came out of his mouth.

It must also be noted that while Malcolm X went to prison as a street cat he
came out of prison as one of the greatest debaters this country has ever known,
often debating his philosophies on the campuses of major White universities.

During the "conscious" Hip Hop era (1988-92), it must be noted that those
rappers who promoted intellectualism and academic development were demonized by
those in power while some of the rappers who glorified gangsta-ism are still
making CD's, endorsing products and even making kiddie movies twenty years after
the fact.

I am sure that many of the parents who yanked their kids out of school a couple
of weeks ago so they would not hear Obama's "stay in school" speech, have no
problem with their children listening to Lil' Wayne.

So, the problem of White intimidation by Black male intelligence still exists to
this day. Just ask any Black student who was directed to the gym or the wood
shop class by his advisor while his White counterpart was guided to the
chemistry lab or advanced physics. Or the Black man with a Master's degree who
gets passed over for a promotion that is given to Jim Bob, who barely has a GED.

Maybe the attacks on Black men like Van Jones and Pres. Barack Obama will serve
a greater purpose.

We must use these instances as "teachable moments" to tell our young people that
racists don't hate strong Black men because of the color of their skin but they
fear the genius that lies within.
Trying to rest. I did make it down to Busboys today. Fun talking with Andy, my friend and fellow writer Charlise Lyles and her hubby Ray. It was Nicole Lee (TransAfrica) and Marc's baby shower for Madison - coming in November. What joy in the Langston Room. Derrick was holding down the Teaching for Change Bookstore. I purchased a copy of THE CLINTON TAPES and will jump into it later tonight. I love it when we gather...

Look for folks to complain about the picture on the front page of The Washington Post of 3000 Muslims praying on the West Lawn of the Capitol.Is this what's coming? A Islamic takeover? Wudu in the Reflecting Pool? Yipes! Look for some Muslims to be upset with the picture.They might feel the Capitol is replacing Mecca.What does this all mean? A picture is worth a thousand words and can create a million headaches.Time for salat and a pill?

Last night I misplaced my glasses.I knew they were in the house -somewhere. This morning I found them like another hidden secret nuclear facility in Iran.No surprise here.Tough talk from Obama on Iran.Why now? This is all linked to a change in policy not just with Iran but also Russia and Israel.It's also key to resolving the Palestinian home issue. Israel wants the US to back them if they decide to attack Iran. Israel probably wanted to takeout Iran's nuke sites last year.The US can push Israel on the Palestinian question in exchange for help against Iran.The US can also change the politics in the region if they can get Russia and China to pull back their support for Iran.Look for more secrets to be shared with the public the next few days. This is often done as PR before starting a war.This is Iran's week to be in the news.Healthcare is looking for a date on a Saturday night.Next week we might flirt with North Korea.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Fasting: The Livable Fast

Perhaps less evident and certainly more challenging is the call to fast from excessive noise and stimulation, both exterior and interior, in order to deepen silence and stillness before God and one another. We practice exterior silence by refraining from unnecessary conversation and limiting external noise during particular times/days. Silence creates an environment for contemplative prayer and for deepening awareness. It also promotes justice by opening a space for others - we learn not to fill the space of encounter with our own voice, perspective and vision.

Carmelite News, Sept - Nov 2009

Dear Friends:

CubaGO! on September 30th is less than a week away...and that means it's time to kick our organizing efforts into high gear. The Latin America Working Group and Washington Office on Latin America have created some tools that we hope will help you create activities for September 30th, the national call-in day to End the Travel Ban on Cuba.

Around the country people have already started working to make this national call-in day a real success. Pot-luck dinners with a "come early with your cell phone" segment, work-place call-in luncheons, tabling at grocery stores and local libraries to call members of Congress, rallies on college campuses, and countless other events are already scheduled for CubaGO! on September 30th. Our goal is to flood DC with phone calls and these events are great for generating those calls.

If you haven't already, please register your event here: Events registered by Monday will receive CubaGO! t-shirts.

Be sure that any event that you create is scheduled between 9:00 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. eastern time, when congressional offices are open, so that we can deliver our message to an actual person. And remember, the purpose of your activities is to make phone calls to your members of Congress... in addition to having fun.

Are you willing to organize in your community? If so, plan, register, advertise your CubaGO! event to urge Congress to support the Freedom to Travel to Cuba Act, HR 874/ S 428.

LAWG and WOLA have created a website for all things CubaGO! that we want to share with all of you. Visit to register your event and to find all the resources you'll need to get involved (including scripts and congressional contact search engines) for your activities.

T-shirts and Stickers

CubaGO! T-shirts and End the Travel ban stickers are available to thank you for your organizing for September 30th, and to keep getting the word out about the movement to end the ban on travel to Cuba for ALL Americans. Registered events that pledge to generate over 50 calls on the 30th will receive t-shirts as a thank you for your hard work. Only events that are registered by Monday, September 28th, will be eligible for t-shirts, so register your event today!

We have a window of opportunity here, and now is the moment to act!

Please feel free to contact me should you have any questions. And PLEASE spread the word widely about National CubaGO Call-in Day- 09/30/09!


Angelica D. Salazar
Cuba Policy Outreach Coordinator
Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA)
1666 Connecticut Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20009
Telephone: 202.797.2171
Facsimile: 202.797.2172

Connect with us on &

As we move closer to 2010, begin to monitor how the media will talk about Democrats losing Congressional seats. This will also be viewed as the prelude to Obama's fall. Jimmy Carter will refer to Obama not only as being black - but "one-term like me." Yes, the making of Obama a one term president will pick-up speed after he completes a full year. What is this based on?
Every local election is going to be different. In some communities the Republicans might put forward the best candidate. Are we to vote against them just because they are Republicans? What are the issues at stake? I would like to see the media start talking about moderate Republicans taking back their Party. If the media can give us Blue-Dog Democrats, I'm certain they can come up with a term that will fit Republicans who will want to work with Obama if elected.

Monitor the news stories that begin to emerge about how the Democrats are raising less money as we move into 2010. Look for stories that are Census related and how Latinos are leaving the US because of the poor economy. This will make Right Wing media look like the Chicago Defender luring blacks to leave the South back in the day. Together a climate of "alarm" will be sounded across the country. More rage in town meetings at "liberal" candidates. But don't believe all this hype. It sells nightly but it falls short at the voting booth. Too many people are becoming involved in the political process - they are not going to suddenly leave, no matter what scare tactics are adopted. Things might get ugly in a few months - but somehow we will survive.
Oh, No! You again!!!!
Well, I know what day it is. Stay out of the E-Notes.
Are you working for Fox News these days?
Hey Ethelbert - remember me? I'm the guy who found a way to get into your E-Notes. Yep.
I bet you thought I had disappeared. How come you've been writing all these political E-Notes lately?? What do you have against my girl Palin? Anyway, I just wanted to remind you that today is your Wedding Anniversary. 27 years by my count. I bet you didn't know that, did you? Well, take your wife out for lunch or dinner. Geez - how does she tolerate you? I read your last book. I'm gonna kick your butt if you're still around in the 6th Inning. Your lovely wife should do the same. Later...

Don't you like my red/black/green border? You need to Africana your ass.



Emory Douglas - Black Panther

The New Museum

235 Bowery, at Prince Street
Lower East Side
New York

Through October 18th.

"No, It's Not About Race" was an OP-ED that David Brooks wrote back on September 18th for The New York Times. Brooks was out running when the anti-government "tea party" protesters were in town along with folks celebrating Black Family Reunion. Brooks wrote:

Then, as I got to where the Smithsonian museums start, I came across another rally, the Black Family Reunion Celebration. Several thousand people had gathered to celebrate African American culture. I noticed that the mostly white tea party protesters were mingling in with the mostly black family reunion celebrants. The tea party people were buying lunch from the family reunion food stands. They had joined the audience of a rap concert.

What Brooks fails to see (and this might be due to his race) is that white people have no problem with black people - when black people are kept in "their place." How often did we cook and feed white people? How often did we dance, sing and provide entertainment? Of course one can sometimes see a mingling of the races, but this takes place on the terms of the race in power.
Obama's election to the presidency changes the paradigm. A black person is in charge. I remember an incident in which a white person refused to fly on an airplane because the pilot was black. I'm certain this same person would have no problem with a black cabin person serving tea or coffee.

A new Michael Jackson song " This Is It" will be released on October12th by Sony Entertainment.
Quote of the Day:

When people meet face to face, the walls fall. We reconcile by learning each other's narratives, both personal and national.

- Roni Hirshenson, founder of Parents Circle in Israel.

I like Friday just for being Friday. This week was a very busy one. Yesterday, Afaa Michael Weaver and I read our poetry at Howard University. It was nice to hear Afaa's work. The last time we read together was twenty years ago at the Library of Congress. Weaver has such a good spirit. I wish the guy lived in DC so we could spend more time together. After our reading we walked over to Busboy and Poets with our friend Gustavo Paredes. I think I hadn't seen Gustavo since he met me at the airport in Philadelphia back in 1994. I was teaching at UNLV and flew back East for a reading in Camden, New Jersey.

At Busboys we 3 amigos had dinner and also attend Haki Madhubuti's book party. It was good to see Haki, one of my mentors. His new book is 40 years of work - LIBERATION/NARRATIVES: NEW AND COLLECTED POEMS 1966-2009. I think while I was a student at Howard University my meal plan consisted of Madhubuti's(then Don L. Lee) early books like THINK BLACK and BLACK PRIDE. I think all the hip people had his chapbooks and a few of us could recite his work from memory.

Madhubuti did a retrospective reading - shouting out now and then that I was in the audience. Of course he cracked on me eating my catfish and greens. But bless his heart - we are both still here. He being 67 and me closing in on 59 in a few weeks. Black men survivors and living in a time of Obama. Do we dare call ourselves Long-distance runners? It's Friday - we either catch the second wind to race or we rest.

Let me continue to run on and see what the end is going to be.

Thursday, September 24, 2009


TEZA: The Movie


Copies of THE 5TH INNING are still available at Hue-Man Bookstore -2319 Frederick Douglass Blvd. Yes, New Yorkers you don't have to make the trip to Busboys and Poets in DC.

The book can be a nice gift for someone in their 40s or 50s.

Ishmael Reed
Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Coffman Union Theater
University of Minnesota

Tickets will be available from


Thanks for sharing your thoughts; and you are right that is very funny! I'm not yet on campus so I haven't seen the Hilltop. The article and your comments bring to mind, in addition to historical accuracy which you point out, the fact that historical memory, and institutional memory, in many respects, is not being preserved and therefore is fading.

Succeeding generations have a habbit of articulating an erroneous an ignorant arguments which claim that past leaders/activists have failed this or that blahblahblah... It parallels Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's denial of the Jewish Holocaust. In these instances historical accuracy is played like the kids game Kick The Can. Who ever kicks it in the sewer (first) wins. What's left is a wasted cognitive and cerebral appreciation and understanding of our social, political, legal, communal, economic, and educational development.

Your comment also makes me realize that in 1968 I was 4 yrs old with not a care in the world. I grew up privileged in the sense that I was loved and cared for, but surrounded by people who hadn't forgotten the struggles of the generations before them. I guess the present generation of young folks on campus grew up with a feeling of entitlement, but then if one lives long enough one comes to the old realization that youth is wasted on the young. Also, your comment reminded me to ask you whether you would speak to my Intro classes later in the semester (Novemberish) about HU in the '60s.

Papa J.



Well, didn't he lecture yesterday at the UN?

Looks like a new era is unfolding not just in the US about around the world.
I had to chuckle when I read the The Hilltop (Howard U) this morning. There on the first page is an article about a program on relationships that was held in Cook Hall (my old dorm). A Sister Nisa Muhammad is quoted as saying the young people who participated in the protests of the 60s and the Civil Rights Movement forgot about what was important when colleges introduced co-ed dormitories. That's just hilarious. I was a strong advocate for co-ed visitation and co-ed dorms in 1968. This was during my freshman year. Dean Calhoun was Dean of Housing at that time. We met a number of times around this issue. This was months after King's assassination and the student movement on Howard's campus could still be felt. Nobody was distracted from the movement because we had girls in our rooms. Many of us felt we were finally being treated as mature adults. We were still activists. We didn't forget about the Movement. We continued to work for social change. Oh, and we had sex and we learned about responsibility. The issues of divorce and children being born out of wedlock were issues back in 1968 (and before). If "First Comes Love" maybe there is still time for facts and historical accuracy.


Made in Hong Kong?
So the former governor of Alaska gives a speech overseas. Fools rush in and declare this should be interpreted as a Palin attempt at getting some foreign policy pins. Palin received her first passport in 2007. No bonus magazines for her yet. While in Hong Kong she spoke to a room filled with investors and bankers. How much did the"Palin" get paid? Let's count the bills before we say this is all about a bid for the presidency in 2012. Oh, and let's be more exact. Palin has to win the Republican nomination in order to run for president. I don't see her getting to the GOP Finals with a wink and a prayer. In Hong Kong she was quoted as saying, "I"m going to call it like I see it, and I will share with you candidly a view right from Main Street - Main Street, U.S.A." This is code language for saying she is going to speak for white people. Main Street is Smallville before Superman and other aliens. Main Street is where a few black men sat in front of the general store and the rest of the community was invisible. Main Street is another word for flag and apple pie. Main Street never seems to connect with Harlem, Chinatown or El Barrio. Palin talk is old talk. Palin's folly? You betcha! We need to build a new boulevard as we move into the future. The new street must we wide enough to contain multitudes. Walt Whitman would have it no other way. Even Robert Frost might see Main Street today as the road not taken.

Poetry Reading with Afaa Michael Weaver and E. Ethelbert Miller


Browsing Room, Founders Library, Howard University

Sponsored by The National Endowment for the Arts

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Most high,

glorious God

enlighten the darkness

of my heart

and give me, Lord

a correct faith,

a certain hope,

a perfect charity,

sense and knowledge,

so that I may carry out

Your holy and true


- St. Francis of Assisi
"A Conversation with Andy Shallal: Owner of Busboys and Poets"
The Browsing Room, Founders Library
Howard University
Tuesday, September 29, 2009.
Program is sponsored by the Department of African American Studies, Howard University.
I've been waiting for this book:

THE CLINTON TAPES: Wrestling History with the President by Taylor Branch.

Here is a link to Branch's website:

Special remarks by Heather Tamir made on Sunday, September 20, 2009, at the book party for E. Ethelbert Miller's memoir THE 5TH INNING.

Hue-Man Bookstore
2319 Frederick Douglass Blvd
Harlem, New York

Dr. Brenda Greene (executive director of the Center for Black Literature at Medgar Evers College) was directly responsible for introducing me to Ethelbert. In the summer of 2006 I got a letter from Brenda informing me that I had been accepted into the North Country Institute and Retreat for Writers of Color, a program for emerging writers run by the Center for Black Literature at Medgar Evers and SUNY Plattsburgh. I headed upstate, way upstate to Plattsburgh, New York, just shy of the Canadian border, and there on the shores of beautiful Lake Champlain I met Ethelbert. I was working on a memoir and he was the instructor assigned to the memoir category. For a week, I would share him with three other summer residents working on memoirs.

In just one session with Ethelbert, I got the feeling he knew what he was talking about. In my memoir, I was trying to tell my story of change—what made me quit my job, the best job of my life—to plunge into the unknown and start a writing career at the ripe old age of 43. With just one probing question Ethelbert made me see the story in a deeper light. My manuscript was raw and rough but Ethelbert didn’t make any judgements. His attitude was: if you want to be a writer here are a few things to think about. He was not about cutting any writer down but building them up.

At the retreat, Ethelbert would read from his first memoir: Fathering Words: The Making of an African American Writer. I would be immediately hooked by his writing. Beyond question, he was a poet, with the poet’s ability to make words gleam like jewels. When you read Ethelbert, you savor words, you notice words as you’ve never noticed them before, and you say to yourself that you could never write like that so don’t even try.

Ethelbert would tell us at the retreat that writing a memoir is not for everyone. I don’t think he used these words but I think he would agree that writing a memoir is like excavating the soul. It is painful, draining, and wrenching. If you want to take the step though, Ethelbert said, keep these things in mind:

· What can another person learn from your life?

· What have you been a witness to?

· What do you wish to forget and why?

· What events do you hope to re-interpret?

The retreat would come to an end but not my connection with Ethelbert. He would continue to monitor my progress and continue to give feedback on my work. A constant refrain was: Heather, you’re not digging deep. One time, I told him I was having a problem with handling the emotions that kept interfering with the writing of the story. I was probably expecting sympathy from Ethelbert but he didn’t give any. “You’re a writer,” he said. “You have to build the muscles to keep going.” I have kept going and it has been so helpful to have Ethelbert along to show the way. Like many others, I have been nurtured and allowed to grow under the care and attention of a constant gardener.

I look up to Ethelbert and I love Ethelbert because he’s been there before and he knows what it takes to be a successful writer. For any emerging writer, Ethelbert’s first memoir, Fathering Words, reminds us that it is possible to achieve our aspirations.

But I also love Ethelbert because he loves the world. In his blog, he’s constantly pointing us to the world’s trouble spots, telling us to keep an eye on this country or that country, giving his take on an emerging crisis. Of course, one of the world’s greatest trouble spots is the Middle East. All of us wonder: How can such a complex problem ever be resolved? This is how Ethelbert assessed the situation earlier this year on his blog:

“It is extremely difficult to ask people who have lost family members to violence to forgive. It is extremely difficult to ask the wounded and disfigured to forgive. The average person is not a Buddha holy being. Even good people struggle every day to do good. The weight of love is very heavy. Few can lift it. Fewer can carry it. Love seems to be a burden when it comes to the Middle East. No one seems ready. I find this unacceptable, but I still believe. Never give up on love.”

Ethelbert is a giver, giving to writers and giving to the world. This year he has already traveled to Norway and Abu Dhabi, sharing his writings and thoughts, and constantly searching for that universal connector: love.

In The Fifth Inning he’s at it again: giving. When Ethelbert gives, he gives. In The Fifth Inning, you enter the ballpark of Ethelbert’s life and you get to know every crack and crevice of that ballpark. Again, Ethelbert is showing us the way, giving us life lessons in living, loving, parenting, and even failing. We don’t need to know anything about baseball to understand this truth: “You can’t love another human being without failing.” This is a book that assesses failure but I call it a stunning success. Ethelbert has hit this one out of the park.

I am proud to know Ethelbert and honored to call him a friend. Thank you, Ethelbert, for giving me this opportunity to make these remarks.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009


I received a very nice email from Mikki( my first wife) today. This is what she said about my memoir:

I finally read "The Fifth Inning" and was blown away! Wow! I am sorry it took me so long, but sometimes books come to me in their own peculiar way and time.

Three Cheers for Israel?! by Amitai Etzioni

Originally published on 9/21/09 on The Huffington Post

The media is full of stories critical of the way Israel deals with the

There is indeed a lot to criticize, which, by the way, Israelis often do.

However, when Israel does something right -- and in a big way -- that too should
be noted. After all, one cannot expect a nation that is boxed around the ears
every time it strays, but not rewarded when it gets it right, to mend its ways.
Here's what happened, which got next to no coverage, except in the Washington

The Dead Sea is dying. Since 1960, its water level has decreased by 75 feet and
its surface area by a third. But this problem is not restricted to one body of
water: throughout the Middle East, water is running out. Israel and Jordan have
moved jointly to address this problem.

Israel and Jordan have developed a plan to connect and redistribute water
sources throughout their countries to shore up the water supply. One project
under this plan would provide Amman with water by connecting it to the Dissi
Reservoir, an underground water source in the south of Jordan, and would
desalinate it by connecting it to Israeli desalination plants that are being
built on the Mediterranean.

Another plant would send 500 billion gallons of water from the Red Sea to the Dead Sea through pipelines and tunnels over a path of 110 miles. Some of this water would be used to replenish the Dead Sea, while the rest would be desalinated for use by both countries.

The desalinated water from the Dissi Reservoir and Dead Sea would be shared
amongst Jordan, Israel and the Palestinian Authority. The replenished Dead Sea
would sustain a tourist attraction and provide economic benefits for both
Jordanian and Israeli companies who sell its chemicals.

Critics of the plan argue that these new connections will upset the region's
ecosystem and recommend that their possible effects be studied, which could take
several years. But Jordan and Israel maintain that the plan be implemented
immediately to prevent water shortages, as some cities in Jordan have already
begun rationing their water supply.

Three cheers for all concerned.

NCAA Men's Basketball will return to Washington, D.C. in 2011.
The Verizon Center will host first and second round games between March 17th and March 19th, 2011.

This will mark the 5th time NCAA tournament games will be played in DC.


For more information:
Rev. Heather Kirk-Davidoff
Kittamaqundi Community Church
5410 Leaf Treader Way
Columbia, MD 21045

Howard County Poetry and Literature Society
(Ho Co Po Lit So)

On Sunday, September 27th, 2009 from 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm, celebrated author James McBride will be in Columbia, discussing his most recent book, Song Yet Sung, the Maryland Humanities Council’s selection for this year’s “One Maryland One Book” statewide community reading program.

Sponsored by The Kittamaqundi Community Church, The Howard County Poetry and Literature Society, Howard County Human Right Commission, the Little Patuxent Review and the Maryland Humanities Council in partnership with the Howard County Public Library and other community organizations, this FREE event will be held at the Bridgeway Community Church, located at 9189 Red Branch Road, Columbia.

At the September 27th event, everyone will be invited to sign up to participate in book discussions about Song Yet Sung. Over a dozen discussions will be offered in October and November, hosted by churches, schools, civic groups and the Howard County Public Library.

Howard County Poetry and Literature Society and the Little Patuxent Review host a discussion on Thursday, Oct. 15, from 7 to 9 p.m., in the Monteabaro Recital Hall in the Horowitz Performing Arts Center on the campus of Howard Community College. For more information and a reader’s guide, please visit: The event is free. Books will be available for purchase.

McBride, an award-winning author, composer, and screenwriter, is also the author of the New York Times best-selling memoir, The Color of Water, and the novel, Miracle at St. Anna, which was recently made into a film directed by Spike Lee.

Set on Maryland's Eastern Shore in the 1850s, Song Yet Sung weaves an intricate and gripping tale of escaped slaves, free blacks, and slave-catchers. The protagonist is an enslaved woman called The Dreamer, whose gift for visions of the future quickly reaches mythic proportions following her escape from a local plantation.

"I am delighted. It has to be one of the proudest moments of my career," said McBride on hearing of the selection of Song Yet Sung as Maryland's book for 2009. "The fact that the book was chosen by native Marylanders means all that much more. Like many Americans, I had no idea that the Eastern Shore of Maryland was the gateway to freedom for so many; nor did I realize the depth and complexity of relationships that existed between blacks and whites at that time, all of which were played out in Maryland."

One Maryland One Book, a program of the Maryland Center for the Book at the Maryland Humanities Council, is Maryland's first and only statewide community reading project. One Maryland One Book is designed to bring together diverse people in communities across the state through the shared experience of reading the same book and participating in book-centered discussions and other related programming.

To sign up for the Oct. 15 discussion, call 410-772-4568, or e-mail

Pamela Kroll Simonson Deputy Director HoCoPoLitSo Duncan Hall 239 10901 Little Patuxent Parkway Columbia, MD 21044



D.C. Comission on the Arts & Humanities honors Dolores Kendrick. Kendrick will perform with the Capital City Symphony String Quartet

6PM Reception
7PM-9PM Program

Heritage Center at the Navy Memorial
701 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW

Poetry reading by E. Ethelbert Miller and A. Van Jordan.


Sheridan Circle Annual Memorial Service

Sunday, September 27, 10 am

Please join us for music and reflections in honor of Chilean diplomat Orlando Letelier and American Ronni Karpen Moffitt, who were killed by agents of Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet on September 21, 1976.

Speakers: Michael Karpen (brother of Ronni Karpen Moffitt); Peter Kornbluh (National Security Archive); Francisco Machado Leiva (Executive President of the Association of Nongovernmental Organizations of Honduras); and a representative of the Chilean Embassy.

Emcee: Joy Zarembka (Institute for Policy Studies)

Music: Patricio Zamorano, Chilean songwriter, and Mauricio Betanzo, Chilean musician and master in cello.

Until September 11, 2001, the car bombing on Massachusetts Avenue was the most infamous act of international terrorism ever to take place in our nation's capital. Letelier and Moffitt were colleagues at the Institute for Policy Studies, where Letelier had become one of the most outspoken critics of Pinochet. Moffitt was a 25-year-old development associate. For more than three decades, the pursuit of justice for their murders has been a symbol of hope for victims of tyranny everywhere.This program will take place outdoors at the site of the assassination and end with a laying of flowers on the Letelier-Moffitt memorial across the street from Sheridan Circle.

Please bring flowers.

For directions and more information, see: call Sena Tsikata at IPS: 202 234 9382 x 277.

Also, see below information on the Letelier-Moffitt Human Rights Awards Program on October 15.

Institute for Policy StudiesInvites you to the 33rd Annual Letelier-Moffitt Human Rights Awards Thursday, October 15, 2009National Press Club Ballroom, 13th Floor529 14th Street NW, Washington, DC

5:30 PM: Reception and Light Fare7:00 PM: Human Rights Program * * * RSVP & Reservations

Early Bird tickets: $40 through September 30th.

About the Recipients:

Domestic Workers UnitedDomestic Workers United (DWU) is an organization of Caribbean, Latina, and African nannies, housekeepers, and caregivers. Founded in 2000, DWU is dedicated to building power, establishing fair labor standards, and raising the level of respect for over 600,000 domestic workers in the New York area. Currently, they are the driving force behind a "Domestic Workers Bill of Rights" that is moving through the New York State legislature and could serve as a national model. This membership organization engages not only in political action but also in community activism. It educates workers about their rights, offers classes in English as a second language and basic computer literacy, and runs a leadership training program. DWU is helping build a powerful movement that will one day end exploitation and oppression for all.Presented by Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis (invited) About Domestic Workers United

La Mesa Nacional Frente a la Minería en El SalvadorLa Mesa Nacional Frente a la Minería en El Salvador has struggled against huge odds to make El Salvador the first country in the world to ban gold mining. Historically high gold prices have spurred increased exploration and exploitation worldwide, yet this grassroots movement has succeeded in blocking permits for mining in El Salvador. This represents an incredible victory for those who have fought against the environmental devastation and community displacement caused by open-air pit mining. Currently, however, global mining firms are attempting to undermine this victory by suing the government of El Salvador, alleging violations of the investment rules in the Central America Free Trade Agreement. By standing up to these major mining companies, La Mesa Nacional is setting an example of civic engagement and improving the quality of life for all the people of El Salvador. Presented by U.S Representative Michael H. Michaud (D-ME)About La Mesa Nacional Frente a la Minería

Special Guest: Quique Aviles Poet, actor, and community activist whose work is dedicated to addressing social issues through performance and poetry.

Selection Committee:

Sarah Anderson, Institute for Policy Studies

Fred Azcarate, AFL-CIO

Marie Dennis, Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns

Joe Eldridge, Chaplain, American University

Jill Gay, Activist

Adam Isacson, Center for International Policy

Peter Kornbluh, National Security Archive

Isabel Morel de Letelier

E. Ethelbert Miller, Howard University

Joy Olson, Washington Office on Latin America

Barbara Shailor, AFL-CIO

Joy Zarembka, Institute for Policy Studies

The Other E-News:

Congratulations to novelist Edwidge Danticat. She is one of this year's MacArthur Fellows. She will receive $500,000 over the next five years.

The Nobel Prize will be next...that's an E-prediction. Stay tuned.