Wednesday, August 31, 2011

The University of Pittsburgh Press is pleased
to announce the publication of


a new book of poems by
Wanda Coleman

ISBN: 9780822961642

Order your copy at your favorite bookstore or online retailer.

“Wanda Coleman’s hard-edged new collection interrogates death’s nearsightedness. Mother outlives son. Feet wear out before the heart. And the truth teller dies before truth frees her. These poems don’t go gently. Elegy turns protest: ‘there is a never and there is a too late.’ These are sharp warnings from death’s ‘small mean domain,’ it’s not too late to heed them.”—Douglas Kearney

I received two packages in the mail today. One was from Red Dragonfly Press in Minnesota. Back in 2001 they released my BUDDHA WEEPING IN WINTER. A letterpress chapbook; 200 copies; Japanese stab binding. My friend Don Mee Choi wrote the introduction. This book is a special favorite. What came in the mail was PERFECT DRAGONFLY: A COMMONPLACE BOOK OF POEMS CELEBRATING A DECADE & A HALF OF PRINTING & PUBLISHING AT RED DRAGONFLY PRESS. This is a beautiful big book. My poem " December 31, 1999" can be found on page 221. I'm going to need to find a comfortable chair... Many thanks to Scott King for putting this together.

Also in the mail was 2 copies of BEST OF POTOMAC REVIEW, ISSUE # 50.  I often forget where certain poems run off to.  In this publication one can find my poem " The Genesis of Torture."
When are we going to get off the Soma?  Notice how Pepco told us before the storm hit that our lights were going to go out. Why did we so quietly accept this?  This was nothing but slick public relations for a company that has taken some hard hits over the last few years. These guys could tell us that our power won't be back on until Christmas and the public would buy into that logic. Oh, and look for people to begin purchasing their own back-up generators. This will mean poor people will remain in the dark while the "others" have light on the hill. Blame it on the trees that knock down the power lines. But even if you're sitting in the dark Pepco will send you a bill. The question is should we pay or just remove the gun from our backs?


In order to stay in business the Postal Service is thinking about doing away with Saturday deliveries.
This would save an estimated $40 billion over ten years.
They want to cut more than a third of their work force - 220,000 jobs over three years.
The replacing of 3,650 of its 33,000 post offices with locally contracted retailers.

Summer was sitting outside
when I told her we should
have made love this Summer.

  - E. Ethelbert Miller

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

“Global DC Initiative” Launch Event
Sponsored by the Office of the DC Mayor, the DC Center for Global Education and Leadership (CGEL) and the Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE)

  Friday, September 9, 2011
Time:  11:00 am - 12:30 p.m.
Place:  Cardozo Senior High School, 13th & Clifton Streets, NW
(near the U Street/Cardozo metro stop - green line)

The city honors the lives lost on 9-11 by teaching peace, appreciation for diversity, and global understanding to a new generation of DC schoolchildren. This event will announce an initiative that will engage educators, students, community partners, and the city’s international community in building a vision for how DC schools can better prepare their students for global citizenship in the 21st century.  The event will include remarks from Mayor Vincent Gray; keynote speaker, Dr. Johnnetta Cole, Director of the Smithsonian National Museum of African Art; a panel of DC students discussing their own global experiences; and recognition of public and private partners who provide global education programs and opportunities for DC students and teachers.  The event will be followed by a networking opportunity in Cardozo’s Peace Garden (weather permitting).

A flyer and information sheet is attached.  Please feel free to circulate and promote.  

Thanks!!  Hope to see you and your friends and colleagues on the 9th.


Sally Schwartz
DC Center for Global Education and Leadership or

Exxon Wins Prized Access to Arctic With Russia Deal

Exxon Mobil struck an agreement to explore for oil in a Russian sector of the Arctic Ocean that is opening for drilling, in a deal that could grow to $500 billion over time.

Six Years After Katrina, the Battle for New Orleans Continues

Jordan Flaherty, The Root: "As this weekend's storm has reminded us, hurricanes can be a threat to U.S. cities on the East Coast as well as the Gulf. But the vast changes that have taken place in New Orleans since Katrina have had little to do with weather, and everything to do with political struggles. Six years after the federal levees failed and 80 percent of the city was flooded, New Orleans has lost 80,000 jobs and 110,000 residents. It is a whiter and wealthier city, with tourist areas well-maintained while communities like the Lower 9th Ward remain devastated. Beyond the statistics, it is still a much-contested city."
Read the Article

Bill McKibben | Making a Life on a Tough, New Planet

Bill McKibben, St. Martin's Griffin: "The months after the initial publication of Eaarth saw some of the most intense environmental trauma the planet has ever witnessed ... For Americans, the British Petroleum (BP) oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, which began on April 20, 2010, may have provided the most powerful images - there was, after all, an underwater camera showing the leak up close. (Leak? This was not a leak - it was a stab wound that BP inflicted on the ocean floor, a literal hole in the bottom of the sea. If you ever had any doubts about peak oil, all it took was one view of the extreme places and pressures the oil companies now had to endure to find even marginal amounts of crude. The well that BP was drilling would have supplied only about four days' worth of America's oil consumption.)"
Read the Article
Daily Buddhist Wisdom

All beings are by nature Buddha, as ice by nature is water. Apart from water there is no ice; apart from beings, no Buddha.
- Hakuin Zenji, "Song of Zazen"

Storm's Push North Leaves Punishing Inland Floods

Communities in Vermont and upstate New York dug out from under debris, and houses were swept away.

PHONE: 202-670-PROV (7768)

IPS: Local Events

Annual Sheridan Circle Memorial Service

September 18, 2011, 10:00 am–11:00 am
Sheridan Circle
Sheridan Circle Park
Washington, DC

Letelier-Moffitt memorial stonePROGRAM

Emcee:  John Cavanagh, Institute for Policy Studies

Carlos Portales, former Chilean Ambassador to Geneva and director, Program on International Organizations, Law and Diplomacy, Washington College of Law, American University

Poetry:  Joseph Ross, Founder and Director, Carroll High School Writing Center
Julia Sweig, Senior Fellow and Director for Latin America Studies, Council on Foreign Relations

Music:  Tierra Morena
Mark Schneider, Senior Vice President, International Crisis Group

His Excellency Arturo Fermandois Vöhringer, Ambassador of Chile to the United States


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. On September 21, 1976 agents of the Augusto Pinochet regime planted a car bomb at this location which brutally took the lives but not the memory of two IPS colleagues, who fought for equality and justice through reason, not violence.

Orlando Letelier and Ronni Karpen 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. Every year the human rights community, friends, family, colleagues, and supporters gather in remembrance of these tragic assassinations.

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 more information call (202) 787-5277 or email

The book of poems I'm into now is, of course, The Ear Is An Organ Made For Love, by E.E. Miller. If you don't have a copy you should download it now! To read it I suggest that you just turn a page read a poem, randomly, and skip around, randomly. Read the TOC too, this is what I do anyway. On page 45 there is a poem entitled "Before Hip Hop." This is one I keep coming back to because it always reminds me of something even when I'm not reading it. So today and from time-to-time I'm going to share with you, musically, what "Before Hip Hop" reminds me of.

Are you old enough to remember "Before Hip Hop?" Are you too young to remember? Is there any comparison between "Before Hip Hop" and before Louis Armstrong? Do you remember before Miles Davis and the Birth of Cool? Do you remember before Bitches Brew? What if Miles could have lived another twenty years, how different would Hip Hop be?

Miles Davis - HANNIBAL - Live at 1990 Montreux Jazz Festival

In my humble opinion, this is BY FAR the BEST interpretation of this piece by Miles.. really passionate.. intense.. simply AMAZING!!

Miles Davis: trumpet, keyboards; Kenny Garrett: alto saxophone, flute; 'Foley' McCreary: 4-string guitar; Kei Akagi : keyboards; Richard Patterson: electric bass; Ricky Wellman: drums; Erin Davis: electric percussion.

What a nice surprise yesterday to visit the Gelman Library at George Washington University and see the wonderful sign for the "E. Ethelbert Miller Papers" in front of the Special Collections Room (7th Floor).

On Saturday, October 22, 2011, the 16th Annual F. Scott Fitzgerald Literary Conference will be held from 9 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. at the Rockville campus of Montgomery College, not far from where Fitzgerald, Zelda, and their daughter are buried.

Every year, the Conference honors a living American writer with the F. Scott Fitzgerald Award for Outstanding Achievement in American Literature. This writer gives a public talk to all conference attendees and a master class for select students. This year, we are proud to honor Maxine Hong Kingston.

This year’s Conference will celebrate The Great Gatsby. Maureen Corrigan will give a keynote lecture; jazz pianist Pamela York will play tunes from the novel. Writing workshops will be led by E. Ethelbert Miller, Amy Stolls, Caroline Langston, and Susi Wyss. Literary workshops will be led by Jackson Bryer, Audrey Wu Clark, and Eleanor Heginbotham. The full schedule and registration information are available here:
Questions? Contact Erika Koss, Conference Director, at 410.293.6244 or via email at

Average is at .275
12 game hitting streak.
40 career double digit hitting streaks ties him with Pete Rose for 5th (most since 1918).
Ahead of him are:
Cobb - 65
Simmons- 42
Musial -41

Monday, August 29, 2011

Yes, I'm still running with that fast crowd.

Thursday, August 11, 2011 10:00 am1:00:02
Play  Download

New book of poems by E. Ethelbert Miller

 Artwork by Alexandra Dominguez

                     Proceed to Download Zone
Will the Real Terrorist Please Stand Up

Sep 21 at the Guild Theatre 3405 Central, Albuquerque NM
Wednesday 6:00, 8:00
Dir. Saul Landau – 2011 – 80m – All Seats $7 – UNM Professor of Latin American Studies Nelson Valdes in Person for discussion and Q&A!
This new documentary chronicles half a century of hostile US-Cuba relations by telling the story of the Cuban five, intelligence agents sent to penetrate Cuban exile terrorist groups in Miami and now serving long prison sentences. The film highlights decades of assassinations and sabotage at first backed then ignored by the very government that launched a war against terrorism. In the film, viewers see leading terrorists, now in their 80s, recounting their deeds, and Cuban state security officials explaining why they infiltrated agents into violent Miami exile groups. The film, featuring Danny Glover and 84 year old Fidel Castro in key scenes, raises and tries to answer the question: what did Cuba do to deserve such hostile treatment? It traces key events from the Bay of Pigs and Cuban Missile Crisis, through multiple assassination attempts on Fidel Castro s life. This documentary reveals a story of violence that also echoed on the streets of Washington DC, New York and especially Miami where Cuban American critics of the bombers and shooters also wound up dead.


Film: "We Like It Like That, The Story of Latin Boogaloo"


The producers of a documentary film I am featured in that explores the
history of the Latin boogaloo era in New York City and its legacy, are
looking to raise money to finish the film and put it out. To learn
more about the film, check out a trailer and to support its successful
completion please click on the link below:

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Creative abrazos,
Tricycle Daily Dharma
Radical Acceptance

We struggle in life because of a tenacious habit of wanting life to be different from what it is: The room you are in is too warm, you don’t like your job, or your partner isn’t quite the person of your dreams. You adjust the thermostat, get a new job, or tell your partner what you need. Now it’s too cool, you are earning less money, or your partner has found some flaws in you. The more we try to make life conform to our desires, the more we struggle, and the more we suffer. The only way out of this vicious cycle is to accept what arises, completely: in other words, do nothing.

Paradoxically, such radical acceptance opens a way of living that we could hardly have imagined.

-Ken McLeod, "Something from Nothing"
Nature As Teacher:
So what does one learn after experiencing an earthquake?  I've been thinking about this the last few days. If the earth decides to move under my feet, why do I think I can remain standing still?
Also, if the world has shifted (even in a small way) what about me? How have I changed? How do I change my thinking? One thing I did begin to think about is - who and what do I really love?  Do I cherish books?  A job? Who was the first person I thought about during the earthquake? Who was the first person who thought about me? A crisis, my father always told me, would reveal who one's true friends are. When the times are bad, who will be good to you?

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Earthquake, Hurricane, what's going to be next?   Genocide?  In my office the books are still on the floor.
I've been using the time to read PROFESSOR AND THE PUPIL by Murali Balaji.
The Hurricane
by William Carlos Williams

The tree lay down
on the garage roof
and stretched, You
have your heaven,
it said, go to it.
Power back on. I just came in from cleaning the backyard. No damage to anything -which is good. I hope you are OK too. Wherever you are...

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Local Weather Alert: 300,000 without power in Va.
August 27, 2011 2:55:30 PM

The Virginia Department of Transportation is reporting nearly 300,000 people without power -- mostly in the southeast part of the state for now -- as Hurricane Irene moves north.

Irene is expected to make its closest pass to the D.C. area this evening and toward midnight. That means both rain and wind will pick up markedly across our area later today.

Stay with the Capital Weather Gang for the latest conditions and forecast.

For more information, visit


Notice how an earthquake or a hurricane can push the debt off the front page.
Is Perry still running for the presidency?
Soon we will be into 9/11 stories...
The summer is over and my blackness got a tan.

Back from the library with a few films:

Bangkok Dangerous
The Office/ Season 3
Body of Lies
Brideshead Revisited

One book: THIS STRANGE LAND by Shara McCallum
Teachers, Librarians, Educators, Parents, Friends, and Fellow Writers:

Here's your chance to meet (and greet) Thelonius Monkey, Mules Davis and Acoustic Rooster's fellow 
musicanimals! When you have an opportunity, check out my video blog below, and see the very cool 
promotion/prize I'm offering to all you jazz fans.


Kwame Alexander, author of Acoustic Rooster and his Barnyard Band, with NY Times Bestselling Illustrator, Tim Bowers
Snail Mail Review is a up-and-coming literary journal.  The editors are now seeking submissions for the third issue.  Submissions are open from now until December 31, 2011.  We would love to receive a submission from you. We accept all genres in Poetry and Fiction.  Attached is a flier with all the specific submission guidelines. There is No Pay for accepted submissions. Contributors will receive a complimentary copy as payment. No online submissions are accepted. Online submissions are only accepted from overseas. Feel free to redistribute this flier to other writers as you see fit.  If you are interested in submitting, please send 3-5 poems of no more than 35 lines and/or 1-7 pages of fiction to:

 Snail Mail Review

c/o Kris Price

3000 Coffee Rd

Chateau Apt #B6

Modesto, CA


No online submissions.

Please feel free to contact us if you have any further questions at

Find us on Facebook by searching Snail Mail Review.

Thank you,

The Editors
Sweet Giovanni reminded me that today was Alice Coltrane's birthday. Thanks G.

Journey In Satchindananda

Tricycle Daily Dharma
A Fountainhead of Grace and Blessings

For the spiritual life to unleash its full potential as a fountainhead of grace and blessings, the wisdom of selflessness on its own is not sufficient. Wisdom has to be joined with another force that can galvanize the will to act. The force needed to empower wisdom is compassion. Both wisdom and compassion shift our sense of identity away from ourselves toward the wider human, biotic, and cosmic community to which we belong. But where wisdom involves a cognitive grasp of this fact, compassion operates viscerally.

-Bhikkhu Bodhi, "The Need of the Hour"

        (For Denise King-Miller)

Sometimes it's not about the people coming together but simply a man and a woman
walking in a city.  Last night I took my wife’s hand as we headed to the King monument.
The air was nothing more than a footnote. It was after the earthquake and before the
hurricane. It was a time of remembrance as well as forgetting. We passed the World
War II memorial and began to see a passing trail of black people. They were either going
or returning from the symbolic mountaintop, a place of despair and hope. We crossed
Independence Avenue and the two of us became many. Old black men and women.
Children excited by the dusk, the dark and the light. We turned and read the words on the
Walls of Inscription. We were inspired by the quotes we remembered. The place.The date.
The motion of history and the history of struggle. We walked and turned. Our eyes turned
to the task of  measuring a man.  His arms folded in front his chest. A left hand grasping
The Nobel Truths. We stared at veins and fingers, the button on his coat. We stepped back
and looked upwards not to glimpse sky or star. We stared at the stone face of the Stone
King; His stare a defiant look of peace now erected here on earth. I placed my arm around
my wife as if to pull her close or keep her near. The water behind us ready to baptize us anew,
as if the blessing of our king now knights the night and our love turns back from stone to life.

  - E. Ethelbert Miller

Friday, August 26, 2011

The Black Power Mixtape 1967-1975 (screening and panel)

September 20th @ 7pm
Busboys @ Hyattsville 
5331 Baltimore Ave. Suite 104,
Hyattsville, MD 20781
(301) 779-ARTS (2787)


Literary Seminar Honors Works and Teaching Career of Sonia Sanchez

by B. Denise Hawkins , August 26, 2011
Sonia Sanchez
Poet, playwright, activist and scholar Sonia Sanchez
PHOTO BY B. Denise Hawkins
For many of the professors and K-12 teachers who traveled to James Madison University in Virginia from Texas, Illinois and Georgia to study the literary works of poet, playwright, activist and scholar Sonia Sanchez, their journey also represented a pilgrimage.

“As an emerging poet, and a woman of color, it was imperative for me to be here,” says Patricia Biela, a substitute K-12 language arts teacher in Hampton, Va., of the weeklong seminar sponsored in June by the Furious Flower Poetry Center at James Madison University.

Dr. Meta DuEwa Jones, who teaches African-American poetry at the University of Texas at Austin, says, “To come here was like being able to sit at the feet of the elders.”

On the first day of the seminar, the 29 participants were able to get up close and personal with Sanchez. When she arrived to applause and awe, Sanchez sat down in an unexpected place — in the classroom with the participants for the entire week. For those who attended the inaugural seminar in 2009 to honor Lucille Clifton, they interacted with Clifton only on the final day of class.

The Teacher and Student

Now 76, Sanchez — whose teaching and literary career has spanned more than 40 years — is still a tiny package filled with fire and light. She is a poet ever ready to divulge how she birthed new poetic forms while raising twin boys; and how she “became this woman with razorblades between her teeth,” railing against injustice and “spitting out words that America paid attention to.”

With Sanchez in the room, writer and radio personality Antoinette Brim was at first a bit intimidated to read the artist’s work aloud when it was her turn to recite verses from Homecoming, Sanchez’s first collection of poetry published in 1969. But when Brim finished, Sanchez applauded and presented one of many impromptu teachable moments.

“Take the opportunity to read my work in the classroom so that you know how it sounds when teaching it.”

The voice of the woman who found herself at the epicenter of the Black Arts movement, which upended and redefined African-American literature and arts during the 1960s, still looms large on the importance of the things that she says have always mattered to her and informed her writing —“improving the human condition” and the pursuit of freedom of the oppressed.

Continuing the Fire

“What we are getting here this week is a very layered, marinated, and seasoned approach to studying Sanchez’s work that you couldn’t get from just reading the criticism,” says DeMaris Hill, a Ph.D. student in English-Creative Writing at the University of Kansas.

That’s what Dr. Joanne Gabbin, executive director of the center, said she had in mind when she envisioned “Continuous Fire: A Seminar on the Poetry of Sonia Sanchez” — an intensive week of study filled with workshops on such things as “the role of Sanchez’s poetry in imparting social justice, her poetry within the framework of the Black Arts Movement and the mainstream literary canon and an exploration into the musicality of her poetry.”

Fulfilling a long-held dream, Gabbin said it was time to honor and celebrate the legacy of elder Black poets such as Sanchez and Clifton who “have amassed enough literature that can now be evaluated, assessed and critiqued in a way that helps further the teaching and understanding of their work.”
The Center tapped historians, poets, writers, and literary scholars John Bracey, Hilary Holladay, Nikki Giovanni, Brenda Greene, Akasha Hull, Joyce Ann Joyce, M. Nzadi Keita, Haki Madhubuti, Jessica Care Moore, and Jacqueline Wood as faculty and guests for the week.

“Teachers teach what they know,” says Gabbin. “I want to encourage those who have a choice to teach the work of writers like Sonia Sanchez and Lucille Clifton to do it.”

B. Denise Hawkins, M.A.

"The Mouse That Roared": How Disney Instills Greed and Consumerism - Starting at Three Months

Martha Sorren, Truthout: "Cuddly cartoon animals and whimsical fairy-tale stories are merely Disney's public face ... It also owns six motion picture studios, ABC television network and its 226 affiliated stations, multiple cable television networks, 227 radio stations, four music companies, three cruise lines, theatrical production companies, publishing houses, 15 magazine titles and five video game development studios ... Henry Giroux and Grace Pollock explore this relationship between consumer and industry in their book 'The Mouse that Roared: Disney and the End of Innocence.'"
Read the Article
Michele Bachmann, Wife in Chief?
KATHA POLLITT | Is a vote for Bachmann actually a vote for her husband?
Know Causes & Signs of Depression - Click Here!

HOWARD ZINN Dedication.
Wednesday, September 21st.
6-10 PM.


Jeff Zinn
Amy Goodman
Bernice Johnson Reagon
Anthony Arnove
David Zirin
Barbara Ehrenreich
Medea Benjamin
Craig and Cindy Corrie
E. Ethelbert Miller
Judy Richardson
Mary Beth Tinker
Regie Cabico
Chelsey Green
Culture Shock Dance Troupe
Emma's Revolution

I grew up in the ‘70s. I listened to the popular mainstream stations, but for jazz it was WPFW. I was doped up on WPFW. I used my tape deck religiously for years. Yes these were the years of tape decks and record stores. I always possessed a desire to see musicians perform their work and thank them personally for the joy they brought to my heart. Unfortunately, by the time I was getting into jazz, cats like Coltrane had always passed away. What jazz enthusiast wouldn’t have wanted to see Coltrane at the Village Vanguard, Birdland or on a recording date in the studio? This is where the Internet comes in. It is a digital time machine.

Ear-Up with John Coltrane's "Alabama" performed, recorded and broadcast on Jazz Casual in 1963 with his classic rhythm section, Elvin Jones (drums), Jimmy Garrison (bass) and McCoy Tyner (piano). Coltrane wrote "Alabama" in response to the 16h Street Baptist Church bombing that killed four little girls in 1963. One cannot help but be moved by the emotion of their sound. Near the end of the clip we witness a teasing sample of Elvin Jones' masterful poly-rhythmic drumming and a glimpse of Alice Coltrane sitting, listening intently, in the background. 


get your O on:

Martin Luther King Memorial Dedication Postponed By Hurricane


There are few events in Washington that get me excited. But I'm relishing the opportunity to see the opening of the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial this weekend. King's actions and words offer hope, inspiration, and a vision that, as an African-American and a practitioner of social justice, guide me daily.
King's legacy is also closely tied to IPS. In 1963, as King was giving his most famous speech on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, IPS was just opening its doors. Shortly thereafter, in 1964, several leading African-American activists joined the staff and turned IPS into a base of support for the civil rights movement in the nation’s capital.
Unable to avoid controversy even in his memorial, there have been heated debates over King’s statue — the choice of a non-African-American as the sculptor and the bold, cross-armed pose that was selected for the memorial. IPS board chair E. Ethelbert Miller took these critiques head on when he was quoted in The Washington Post, saying “I love that King is looking defiant …With so many of our rights (and money) being taken away we need some cold ‘Stone Leaders’ to stop the assault. Maybe the King monument will become a regular meeting place for the poor who can’t take no more.”
Also honoring King's tradition of civil disobedience, IPS expert Janet Redman was arrested protesting a proposed oil pipeline from Canada that would carry oil rendered from tar sands. Before being detained, she said, "Martin Luther King, Jr. called civil disobedience 'the sword that heals.' Today I’m joining more than 2,000 ordinary folks from the United States and Canada who are doing something extraordinary — putting their bodies on the police line to say no to the expansion of the Keystone XL pipeline from Alberta, Canada, to the Gulf Coast."
King often lent his support to unsung heroes. And in that spirit, IPS announced the recipients of our 35th annual Letelier-Moffitt Human Rights Awards, the Wisconsin Progressive Movement and Bethlehem, The Migrant's Shelter from Mexico. I invite you to join IPS in celebrating these courageous organizations on October 12th at the National Press Club in Washington DC.
Finally, I want to welcome back our own hero, IPS's director John Cavanagh, as he returns from his sabbatical. It has been an honor and privilege to lead IPS over the past year and I look forward to my new role as associate director as IPS tackles many of the same challenges King faced: injustice, rampant war, and a divided country.

Joy Zarembka
Interim Director, IPS

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Hey Buddy, What are you reading these days?
NYPD CIA Anti-Terror Operations Conducted In Secret For Years
Tricycle Daily Dharma
Distinctly Buddhist Ideas

What, then, did you conclude were distinctly Buddhist ideas? Four things stand out. One is the principle of dependent origination, or “conditioned arising,” as I call it; the second is the practice of mindful awareness—being focused upon the totality of what is happening in our moment-to-moment experience; the third is the process of the Four Noble Truths, which includes the Eightfold Path; and fourth, the principle of self-reliance—how the Buddha really wanted his students to become autonomous in their understanding of the dharma, and not to generate dependencies upon either the memory of him or upon some authority figure within the monastic community.

-Stephen Batchelor, "Starting from Scratch"
Yesterday I purchased a copy of THE PROFESSOR AND THE PUPIL by Murali Balaji.
This is a book about the politics and friendship of W.E.B. Du Bois and Paul Robeson.
A good read after DUSK OF DAWN by W.E.B. Du Bois. I can't put it down.
Bill Moyers to Return to TV With a New Series

History News Network: "Bill Moyers will be back on TV in January with a new series on PBS, HNN has learned. Mr. Moyers alerted public television stations to the news this afternoon in a letter that explained that even though he is now seventy-seven, 'I surely have one more season in me.' He left public television more than a year ago, saying 'It's time to go.' But when the Carnegie Corporation offered to provide the lead grant for a new show featuring creative thinkers he and his wife Judith, his long-time television partner, decided to return to TV. He says they had enjoyed the time they had spent with their grandchildren, and with the help of Netflix 'caught up on a lot of movies and television we had missed while meeting one deadline after another.' But after sitting 'for long stretches of time watching the hawks circle above our trees,' he and Judith concluded they were not ready, quoting Tennyson, 'to rust unfurnished.'"
Read the Article
Tremor...just felt one, and somehow we survive.
Last night I went down to see the King Monument. It's simply awesome. I suggest you first see it at night. It's nothing less than majestic. This has to be one of the greatest tributes to an African American-ever. Who wants to be president? I would rather be a Stone King.
What makes the monument work is the surrounding grounds and the walls with King's quotes. Last night I felt I was back in Jerusalem at the Wailing Wall. People were really interacting with the site. Posing along the Inscription walls, taking pictures of the Stone King and taking pictures with the Stone King. This is going to be a destination for all people but especially black people. Get the bus tours ready. This is going to become a meeting place. I walked around bumping into people I knew. It was like a family reunion. I think this was why the cell phone camera was created. In front of the monument people stretched out their hands almost in a moment of togetherness. Click. Click. Oh, and I like how King looks out across the water of the Tidal Basin. It's almost biblical. Now if we can just remember what this very tall King stood for. Somewhere in the night air, I thought I heard Mahalia Jackson saying - "Tell them about the dream Martin. Tell them about the dream."


Wednesday, August 24, 2011

The small news: Prime Minister Naoto Kan of Japan plans to resign this week. Kan has faced increasing criticism for his handling of the Japanese government's response to the earthquake, tsunami and nuclear accident in March.
Daily Buddhist Wisdom

The real basis of Buddhism is full knowledge of the truth of reality. If one knows this truth then no teaching is necessary. If one doesn't know, even if he listens to the teaching, he doesn't really hear.
- Ajahn Chah, "Taste of Freedom"

Hidden Collections Project Discovers Lost Page of Malcolm X Letter


The first page of an important letter that Malcolm X wrote to Alex Haley during a pilgrimage to Mecca in 1964 has been discovered in the Grove Press archive in the Special Collections Research Center at Syracuse University Library. Archivist Susan Kline found the page, which had been missing for decades, during work on a project funded by CLIR’s Hidden Collections grant program. The leaf had been put in a box of materials related to the Evergreen Review, Grove's monthly magazine. It may have been misplaced during one of the many moves of the Grove office or otherwise separated during the book publication process.

The letter belongs in the editorial files of The Autobiography of Malcolm X. On September 22, 1965, Grove Editor Dick Seaver stated that Grove Press considered the Autobiography to be "one of the most important books we have ever published." It sold millions of copies worldwide and was judged by TIME magazine in 1999 as one of the 10 "most important non-fiction works of the 20th century.”

The seven-page letter, handwritten on hotel stationery, is significant in that it outlines Malcolm X's softening views on race based on his experiences in Mecca. On the newly discovered page, Malcolm writes that "this pilgrimage to the Holiest of Cities has not only been a unique experience for me, but one which has made me the recipient of numerous unexpected blessings beyond my wildest dreams."

The first page of the letter is particularly important because it provides the precise date and time Malcolm X recorded his thoughts to Haley: Friday, April 25, 1964, 9 a.m.

Syracuse University Library Dean Suzanne Thorin said of the find, "This discovery is a perfect example of the very real value of CLIR's Hidden Collections grants. We may never have located this historic item without the funding we received to process the Grove Press collection."

The find helps complete the picture offered to scholars who wish to research the development of the Autobiography. Researchers can now study the letter in its entirety, which may enable them to shed additional light on Malcolm X's experience during his pilgrimage to Mecca and on the relationship between Malcolm X and Haley.
Courtland Milloy sent me this link this morning. I read it and made some comments. Milloy was happy to get the feedback. What do you think?

Having a black sculptor for King would have been nice


Lei Yixin has turned those eyes into something of a steely squint.
    - C. Milloy

If we read the above sentence that you wrote it's "race" coded.  Would you have written this statement if Lei Yixin was not Chinese?
We tend too often to be "trapped" by race. A different type of feeling than say the slave trade. We tend sometimes to need race for comfort.
Enter a room that is mostly white - we often look for a comforting black face. We like the comfort of knowing that if a black person is going to be honored black people should be involved. This is often amusing since we have a tendency to only honor our own after white people cast a stamp of approval. Name any successful black person and they have a very large white audience. Still that nationalist DNA wishes it was different. So now we come to the King sculpture. No matter who designed it - or what it looked like -there would be critics. This is what happens when artists create work for the public. I have art (poems) in front of two Metro stations in DC. The one at Petworth was done with a white artist. Did I feel "uncomfortable" working with a white woman artist?  No. I never thought about it. I was excited that we were creating something together.  Like Lei Yixin I felt proud of what I did. I felt some racial pride after completing the project. Do I worry that with the growing gentrification that new residents would prefer a white poet?  Hmmmm.  If the King monument had been designed by a Nigerian or someone from South Africa, black folks from North Carolina and Georgia would have had problems with that too. Trust me. I never cared for the King bust that sits in the Rotunda on the Hill. I think that was done by (John Wilson) a black artist. Coretta selected it. I told someone it reminded me of King coming home late and ashamed to face his wife. By selecting this image of King - Coretta was perhaps getting the last word. OK - Just my opinion on that matter. Anyway, at the end of the day - the appreciation of art comes down to taste. Some black folks only want their greens and the pig feet. Chinese food doesn't fill them up. So maybe this is how you are feeling. You are hungry for something more - something with that New Orleans spice. My suggestion is that you return to the King Monument and just "sip" it in. Let the taste linger...I have a feeling the King Monument will become as popular as the Vietnam memorial. Remember how folks didn't care for it?  People upset the artist was Asian... Yeah - we've been down this road before. Maybe with the King monument we can move our eyes from the road back to the mountaintop. King's dream was for us to reach the Beloved Community. Race there has no comfort level - no one is measuring it anymore. Free At Last?  Yes, Free At Last.


The road to the White House is open and the hunting season (the war of words) has begun. The Republicans tell us that we need to get America back to work. The Tea Partiers tell us that we need to take America back (I really think that's a quote from Sitting Bull) and the Democrats tell us that we need jobs. The poverty rate among children in the U.S. rose by 18%. Wages have stagnated since 1980 corresponding with the growth in household debt and the inequality gap. The poverty rate among African-Americans since 1968 has hovered around 40%. Black males between the ages of 18 and 40 make up 40% of the U.S. prison population. As we near the dedication of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial are these signs of progress? Step right up and be the first to give a hollow tome to progress. Do you remember what Dr. King intended to do when he died? How do you remember Dr. King? Someone stomped on the olive branch of hope and change and then pointed fingers. Everyone has a dream...
This is the title cut of an obscure 1989 Lonnie Liston Smith CD that I don't believe many people know about. I only heard this jam once on the radio. It is a major laid back tune by him. Forgive the slight "ground hum" in the tune as this is how it was on the CD. In fact, when I heard it on the radio, it was there as well. Nevertheless, this is a bad enough tune that I decide roll with it despite the recording imperfections. Please enjoy and let me know what you think.


WPFW 89.3FM & (streaming)

Thursday, August 25th at 11PM   Thursday Late Night Jazz host Bobby Hill incorporates “Black August” and "Celebrate the Life, Dream and Legacy of Dr. King" commemorations into his ongoing year-long 50th anniversary celebration of the the LA-based Union of Gods Musicians and Artists Ascension (UGMAA).  This Thursday night, we will be exploring "Songs and Words of Struggle”.

"Songs and Words of Struggle”, will incorporate the words of political and civil rights activists Dr. Martin Luther King, Mumia Abu-Jamal, Dr. John Henrik Clarke, Huey P. Newton, and Assata Shakir; writer Lillian Smith; poets Jayne Cortez, Khari B., Laini Mataka, and Kamau Daaood; singer Elaine Brown; and, lyricist Professor Griff.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

An E-thought:

Home now - upstairs in my office - noticing the small things that have moved - a picture, a small sculpture.
Dare I embrace the word survivor? So many around the world with less.
A woman living in the next block is sitting in her car. She's afraid to go back into her house.  This is how the living live after an earthquake.
Breaking News Alert
The New York Times
Tuesday, August 23, 2011 -- 2:19 PM EDT

Earthquake Strikes East Coast; Epicenter Near Richmond, Va., U.S. Geological 
Survey Says

An earthquake sent tremors from the nation’s capital to New York City Tuesday 
afternoon, the result of what officials said was a 5.8 magnitude earthquake 
based in Virginia.

There were no immediate reports of damage.

It is not clear how far the earthquake spread, but tremors were felt throughout 
New York City office buildings and as far north as Concord, N.H.