Based on a line from an old nursery rhyme...Tuesday's Child is full of grace.
This new Tuesday edition of Black Kos, hosted by Amazing Grace and Deoliver47, along with the founding editors, is a tribute to the loyal and growing readership and subscribership to the sub-community of Black Kos, here at Daily Kos.
With Friday's flagship Black Kos now topping close to 1000 comments over several days after the diary has scrolled off the list, this regular Tuesday version is an extension of the community of Kossaks of all backgrounds who contribute their comments to Black Kos each week and whose joint efforts have helped this sub-community grow.
We will be featuring poetry, history and news here on Tuesday, and will be publishing a bit later in the day than the Friday flagship, in order to make it easier for those readers in different time zones to comment.
Thank you all for making this possible.
Deoliver47, Black Kos Editor
"I too am sick and tired of being sick and tired".
So much of what the Democratic Party is these days has to do with black people. Sometimes, I think folks forget that fact. Having grown up in a household with Republican grandparents, who strongly and financially supported and embraced "the Party of Lincoln" and who could never feel comfortable with the "Party of Dixiecrats", I watched a tectonic shift in party loyalty during my lifetime, in my community.
My hero (or sheroe) as a young high school and college student was the woman whose birthday it is today. She challenged the Dixiecrats, and made Democrats who allowed them in their ranks pretty uncomfortable.
I will never forget having met her in 1964, and having had the honor to escort her around on her first visit to New York City.
SNCC (Student Non-violent Coordinating Committee) has this bio:
Fannie Lou Hamer, known as the lady who was "sick and tired of being sick and tired," was born October 6, 1917, in Montgomery County, Mississippi. She was the granddaughter of slaves. Her family were sharecroppers - a position not that different from slavery. Hamer had 19 brothers and sisters. She was the youngest of the children. In 1962, when Hamer was 44 years old, SNCC volunteers came to town and held a voter registration meeting. She was surprised to learn that African-Americans actually had a constitutional right to vote. When the SNCC members asked for volunteers to go to the courthouse to register to vote, Hamer was the first to raise her hand. This was a dangerous decision. She later reflected, "The only thing they could do to me was to kill me, and it seemed like they'd been trying to do that a little bit at a time ever since I could remember."
When Hamer and others went to the courthouse, they were jailed and beaten by the police. Hamer's courageous act got her thrown off the plantation where she was a sharecropper. She also began to receive constant death threats and was even shot at. Still, Hamer would not be discouraged. She became a SNCC Field Secretary and traveled around the country speaking and registering people to vote.
Hamer co-founded the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party (MFDP). In 1964, the MDFP challenged the all-white Mississippi delegation to the Democratic National Convention. Hamer spoke in front of the Credentials Committee in a televised proceeding that reached millions of viewers. She told the committee how African-Americans in many states across the country were prevented from voting through illegal tests, taxes and intimidation. As a result of her speech, two delegates of the MFDP were given speaking rights at the convention and the other members were seated as honorable guests. Hamer was an inspirational figure to many involved in the struggle for civil rights. She died on March 14, 1977, at the age of 59.
I will never forget watching her powerful testimony at that Democratic Convention. Here is the audio:
For those of you who have no you tube access here is the complete text:
Fanny Lou Hamer. "Testimony," July 22, 1964. Occasion: Speech given at the Democratic National Convention in 1964.
Mr. Chairman, and the Credentials Committee, my name is Mrs. Fanny Lou Hamer, and I live at 626 East Lafayette Street, Ruleville, Mississippi, Sunflower County, the home of Senator James O. Eastland, and Senator Stennis.
It was the 31st of August in 1962 that 18 of us traveled 26 miles to the country courthouse in Indianola to try to register to try to become first-class citizens.
We was met in Indianola by Mississippi men, Highway Patrolmens and they only allowed two of us in to take the literacy test at the time. After we had taken this test and started back to Ruleville, we was held up by the City Police and the State Highway Patrolmen and carried back to Indianola where the bus driver was charged that day with driving a bus the wrong color.
After we paid the fine among us, we continued on to Ruleville, and Reverend Jeff Sunny carried me four miles in the rural area where I had worked as a timekeeper and sharecropper for 18 years. I was met there by my children, who told me that the plantation owner was angry because I had gone down to try to register.
After they told me, my husband came, and said that the plantation owner was raising cain because I had tired to register, and before he quit talking the plantation owner came, and said, "Fanny Lou, do you know--did Pap tell you what I said?"
And I said, "yes, sir."
He said, "I mean that," he said, "If you don’t go down and withdraw your registration, you will have to leave," said, "Then if you go down and withdraw," he said, "You will--you might have to go because we are not ready for that in Mississippi."
And I addressed him and told him and said, "I didn’t try to register for you. I tried to register for myself."
I had to leave that same night.
On the 10th of September 1962, 16 bullets was fired into the home of Mr. and Mrs. Robert Tucker for me. That same night two girls were shot in Ruleville, Mississippi. Also Mr. Joe McDonald’s house was shot in.
And in June the 9th, 1963, I had attended a voter registration workshop, was returning back to Mississippi. Ten of us was traveling by the Continental Trailway bus. When we got to Winona, Mississippi, which is in Montgomery County, four of the people got off to use the washroom, and two of the people—to use the restaurant—two of the people wanted to use the washroom.
The four people that had gone in to use the restaurant was ordered out. During this time I was on the bus. But when I looked through the window and saw they had rushed out I got off of the bus to see what had happened, and one of the ladies said, "It was a State Highway Patrolman and a Chief of Police ordered us out."
I got back on the bus and one of the persons had used the washroom got back on the bus, too.
As soon as I was seated on the bus, I saw when they began to get the four people in a highway patrolman’s car, I stepped off of the bus to see what was happening and somebody screamed from the car that the four workers was in and said, "Get that one there," and when I went to get in the car, when the man told me I was under arrest, he kicked me.
I was carried to the county jail, and put in the booking room. They left some of the people in the booking room and began to place us in cells. I was placed in a cell with a young woman called Miss Ivesta Simpson. After I was placed in the cell I began to hear the sound of kicks and horrible screams, and I could hear somebody say, "Can you say, yes, sir, nigger? Can you say yes, sir?"
And they would say other horrible names.
She would say, "Yes, I can say yes, sir."
"So say it."
She says, "I don’t know you well enough."
They beat her, I don’t know how long, and after a while she began to pray, and asked God to have mercy on those people.
And it wasn’t too long before three white men came to my cell. One of these men was a State Highway Patrolman and he asked me where I was from, and I told him Ruleville, he said, "We are going to check this."
And they left my cell and it wasn’t too long before they came back. He said, "You are from Ruleville all right," and he used a curse work, and he said, "We are going to make you wish you was dead."
I was carried out of that cell into another cell where they had two Negro prisoners. The State Highway Patrolmen ordered the first Negro to take the blackjack.
The first Negro prisoner ordered me, by orders from the State Highway Patrolman for me, to lay down on a bunk bed on my face, and I laid on my face.
The first Negro began to beat, and I was beat by the first Negro until he was exhausted, and I was holding my hands behind me at that time on my left side because I suffered from polio when I was six years old.
After the first Negro had beat until he was exhausted the State Highway Patrolman ordered the second Negro to take the blackjack.
The second Negro began to beat and I began to work my feet, and the State Highway Patrolman ordered the first Negro who had beat me to sit upon my feet to keep me from working my feet. I began to scream and one white man got up and began to beat me my head and told me to hush.
One white man — since my dress had worked up high, walked over and I pulled my dress down and he pulled my dress back, back up.
I was in jail when Medgar Evers was murdered.
All of this is on account of us wanting to register, to become first-class citizens, and if the freedom Democratic Party is not seated now, I question America, is this America, the land of the free and the home of the brave where we have to sleep with our telephones off of the hooks because our lives be threatened daily because we want to live as decent human beings, in America?
Text from Voices
I love this documentary done by young students about her life, work and influence:
Let no Democrat forget what we owe to Mrs. Hamer, and to all those who put their lives on the line for the fundamental right to vote here in America. For some of you this is "history". For me, it is as recent as yesterday. I lived it. My friends and family lived it. Some of us died for it. The struggle for change continues. Some of those who got in our way back then and tried to deny us are still with us today. They have raised their children to resist us.
But we will continue to struggle. For we are still sick and tired, of being sick and tired. Tired of racism, tired of injustice, tired of poverty, tired of seeing a huge portion of our community in the jails and prisons of America robbed of freedom and the right to vote. Tired of war, tired of bad food or little food, tired of a shorter life expectancy, tired of pollution, tired of being underpaid and overworked, if we work at all. Perhaps we need to remind our fellow Democrats that we are the rock upon which this party is now built. Let us not forget, that the majority of white voters choice in this last election was John McCain.
As Timothy Noah wrote in his post election analysis:
But in a more complex and indirect way, the stubborn refusal of a majority of whites to vote Democratic is all about race. Take a look at this chart. The alignment of whites with the Republican Party hasn't made it impossible for Democrats to win presidential elections, but it has made it fairly difficult. For the past 40 years, whites have made up 74 percent to somewhere north of 90 percent of all voters. Jimmy Carter got elected president by narrowing to four percentage points the gap between whites voting Republican and whites voting Democratic. Bill Clinton did it by narrowing the gap to a remarkable 2 percent. I don't think it's a coincidence that both men drew some appeal simply from being white Southerners. The South is where the GOP holds its tightest grip on the white vote.
It's no puzzler why Johnson was the last Democrat to win a majority of the white vote. He signed the 1964 Civil Rights Act and the 1965 Voting Rights Act into law, observing as he signed the former that "we have lost the South for a generation." (Actually, it's been two generations, and nobody would be surprised to see three.) What Johnson didn't allow himself to think was, "We have lost the white vote for a generation." (Again, it's been more like two.) Were LBJ transported to the year 2008, he would be deeply moved to discover that the United States had elected a black man president. But he would find it very depressing to learn that none of his Democratic successors ever won a white majority. Surely, he'd think, it's harder for Democrats to elect a black man president than to win forgiveness from the white majority for abolishing Jim Crow.
We are still the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party. Our ranks have swelled to include young white folks, Latinos, Asians, and Native Americans.
If there is one thing I have learned in a half a century of struggle is to have patience. Things have changed, but if we forget our history, we won't know where we are headed. If we as Democrats ignore this reality of who we are, and fail to forge stronger coalitions, and ignore the concerns of our base, we will live to regret it. Barack Obama's election was just another step on that path to Freedom. Let us all decide to be sick and tired of being sick and tired and walk hand in hand together to build that future that Mrs. Fannie Lou didn't live to see.
Today's Poem by
dopper0189, Black Kos Managing Editor
Practicing Patience by Angela Jackson
Think of country roads, dusk and dust.
Think of rivers, flat or wild.
Think of moonlight.
Things that last forever.
Think of quilting.
Think of washing greens.
Think of cleaning chitterlings
with your face turned away
wrinkled up in eager disgust.
Scrape the stink from the lining.
Scrape and pray the stink away.
Think of the curves on the rocking
It is a circle.
Walk winding like a road.
Walk like a river.
Walk like the moonlight.
Walk however long you need for dust to
settle within you.
Quilt. Wash greens one leaf at a time.
Clean chitterlings, if you must. Scrape
inside the wrinkle of things.
Sit and rock to the edge of the runner.
Extend. You are a circle.
From AND ALL THESE ROADS BE LUMINOUS (Northwestern University Press, 1998)
Amazing Grace, Black Kos Editor
One of the founders of hip-hop culture. The Root: "The Big Payback: The Business of Hip Hop" features one of the last interviews with DJ Mr. Magic
Legendary HIP HOP DJ Mr. Magic, born John Rivas, died today of a heart attack.
In the wake of this news, Dan Charnas of InteractiveOne has provided an excerpt of his forthcoming book, "The Big Payback: The History of The Business of Hip-Hop", which contains one of the final interviews with the pioneer. From The Urban Daily
"Disco Showcase" was the brainchild of John Rivas, a DJ from Brooklyn who performed as "Lucky The Magician." Lucky, too, dreamed of being Frankie Crocker, while he built custom speakers at S&H, an electronics shop in downtown Manhattan. He enrolled himself in a radio course at the New York School of Announcing and Speech, where fellow students told Lucky about a small FM station on the Upper West Side called WHBI that sold airtime for $75 an hour. If he could get S&H to give him $150 for four commercials, he’d be in business. With the fish shop across the street kicking in for a few more spots, he’d be making money.
Chris Rock is always on point when it comes to social commentary. Huffington Post: Chris Rock Compares Roman Polanski To OJ Simpson (VIDEO)
Now that everyone from Sharon Tate's sister to Governor Schwarzenegger has weighed in on Roman Polanski's arrest, Chris Rock is having his say.
On 'The Jay Leno Show' Thursday night, Rock made the fair if hilarious point that even the most sensational trial in recent memory didn't go places that some Polanski supporters are headed.
"People are defending Roman Polanski because he made good movies 30 years ago?" he said. "Are you kidding me? Even Johnny Cochran didn't have the nerve to go, 'Well did you see OJ play against New England?'"
A new development in a Washington Park neighborhood serves the growing ranks of grandparents raising young children. Chicago Tribune: Where 'grandfamilies' can live and thrive.
Carrie Brewer has done everything in her power to make the four-bedroom apartment she shares with six grandchildren feel homey, covering practically every inch of the long main hallway with pictures, prayers and poems -- loving homages to each child.
The framed adoption certificates make her proudest. "I want each of the children to know they belong to me," she said, gliding a hand slowly over the frames.
Brewer secured the space she needs for the mementos and the grandchildren when she moved to Coppin House, a new development in the Washington Park neighborhood that offers affordable housing and social services to grandparents raising their grandchildren. Along with brightly painted walls and colorful floor tiles, Coppin House has rain gardens, a radiant floor heating system, solar water heaters and ample laundry facilities for large families.
"I couldn't ask for anything more," Brewer said. Coppin House, a 54-unit, two-building complex, has 24 "grandfamilies." Its other residents are young adults moving out of the foster care system. Coppin A.M.E. Church, a few blocks away, worked with Interfaith Housing Development of Chicago on the project.
Other neighborhoods and cities may have their time in the sun, but Harlem still sets the scene Amsterdam News: Where Hollywood Meets Harlem with Amanda Diva.
Actress, musician, visual artist and comedian, Amanda Diva is no stranger to the Hollywood scene. At the age of thirteen Amanda co-starred in the Nickelodeon sitcom, "My Brother and Me." Moving from Orland, Florida to New York City in 1999, Amanda began writing and performing spoken word and poetry before appearing on Russell Simmon’s Def Poetry Jam in 2002 & 2005.
From 2003 to 2005, Amanda hosted her own morning radio show on Sirius Satellite Radio. During that time she also obtained a Master’s Degree in African American studies from Columbia University while hosting her own television show on MTV2.
She currently serves as comedy commentator and music expert on VH1, writer & creator of "Diva Speak TV" a weekly humor based news/sketch comedy show featured on ThisIs50.com & "Diva Diva Ya’ll" featured on Karmalooptv.com.
American television has a long and storied tradition of using degrading portrayals to depict black women—even during commercial breaks. The Root: Why Can’t Ads Get Black Women Right?
"It is a peculiar sensation, this double-consciousness, this sense of always looking at one’s self through the eyes of others, of measuring one’s soul by the tape of a world that looks on in amused contempt and pity. One ever feels his two-ness,—an American, a Negro; two souls, two thoughts, two unreconciled strivings; two warring ideals in one dark body, whose dogged strength alone keeps it from being torn asunder."
—W.E.B. Du Bois, The Souls of Black Folk
Malawi CNN: Malawian boy uses wind to power hope, electrify village A 14 year-old Malawian young man teaches himself to build windmills, to provide power to his hometown, after being kicked out of school because he couldn't afford school fees.
Sir Ronald Sanders, former high commissioner to the United Kingdom representing Antigua and Barbuda, raises an interesting query about the absence of representation of the Caribbean, and the Pacific in the G20 in Can the Caribbean rely on the G20?.
NNPA Chairman Bakewell Takes Capitol Hill by Storm The National Newspaper Publishers Association, (formerly the National Negro Publishers Association) is comprised of over 200 newspapers with a combined readership of over 15 million. The new chairman of the group met in a closed door session with Senators, and top leadership of Black institutions.
Development bank must reform for funding: Geithner US Treasury Secretary discusses capital increases to development banks that fight poverty, and the need for transparency, accountability and assessment of the effectiveness of funding.
Uninsured And Sick, Student Begged For His Life
The story of a college student diagnosed with advanced stage lymphoma and his struggle to pay for life saving treatment.
Former foster child in Chicago now a million-dollar scholar Derrius Quarles, taken away from his mother at age 5, and placed in foster care, wins full scholarships to five universities, the Gates Millennium Scholarship, the Horatio Alger and Coca-Cola scholarships.
TODAY IN HISTORY - October 6
 The Fisk Jubilee Singers began their first national tour in 1871.
 Fannie Lou Hamer, freedom-fighter, activist, organizer and co-founder of the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party (MFDP), was born in Ruleville, MS, in 1917.
 Reverend Joseph E. Lowery, activist and President of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), was born in Huntsville, AL, in 1924.
 Wilma Rudolph, the first American woman to win three Olympic Gold Medals in track and field in one year, was inducted into the Olympic Hall of Fame in 1983.
 Dr. Mae Carol Jemison, the first Black woman to travel into space, was inducted into the National Women's Hall of Fame in 1993.
THIS WEEK IN HISTORY
 Yvonne Brathwaite Burke, first Black Congresswoman from California, was born in Los Angeles, CA in 1932. She the first woman to chair the Congressional Black Caucus.
 1928: Civil rights activist and organizer James Forman was born.
 Eddie Kendrick(s), musician, arranger, and first lead singer of The Temptations," died in 1992.
 Elijah Muhammad, founder of the Nation of Islam, was born in Sandersville, GA, in 1897.
 Art Blakey (Addullah Ibn Buhaina), jazz drummer and bandleader, born in Pittsburgh, PA, in 1919.
 Red Foxx, (John Elroy Sanford) comedian, died in Los Angeles, CA, in 1991.
 The NAACP organized the Legal Defense Fund and the Educational Fund in 1939 led by Charles Hamilton Houston who trained Thurgood Marshall.
A piece of history you may not be aware of. black America web: Little-Known Black History Fact: Henrietta Lacks
In 1951, a black woman named Henrietta Lacks would pass away from cancer on Oct. 4th. Little did she or her family know that her passing would lead to advanced research in the study of cancer and other diseases for years to come.
After Lack's death, Dr. George Gey would use her cells for cancer research, which sparked a legal controversy later about patients' rights and ownership of physical matter after death. The courts ruled that the cells were the property of the physician. Originally identified as Helen Lane or Helen Larson to protect her identity, it would later be revealed that he cells belonged to her. The cell was renamed the HeLa Cell.
Unknown to doctors then, the HeLa Cell would later be used to create a vaccine for polio in 1954 by Jonas Salk.
From the few cells taken from Lacks' body, doctors made a remarkable cell line that traveled around the globe - and even into space on an unmanned satellite to determine whether human tissues could survive zero gravity.
And now for some music from today's Fisk Jubilee Singers. For those not familiar with their history:
Fisk University opened in Nashville in 1866 as the first American university to offer a liberal arts education to "young men and women irrespective of color." Five years later the school was in dire financial straits. George L. White, Fisk treasurer and music professor then, created a nine-member choral ensemble of students and took it on tour to earn money for the University. The group left campus on October 6, 1871. Jubilee Day is celebrated annually on October 6 to commemorate this historic day.
The first concerts were in small towns. Surprise, curiosity and some hostility were the early audience response to these young black singers who did not perform in the traditional "minstrel fashion." One early concert in Cincinnati brought in $50, which was promptly donated to victims of the notorious 1871 fire in Chicago. When they reached Columbus, the next city on tour, the students were physically and emotionally drained. Mr. White, in a gesture of hope and encouragement named them "The Jubilee Singers," a Biblical reference to the year of Jubilee in the Book of Leviticus, Chapter 25.
Fisk Jubilee Singers: Sacred Journey - "Mawu Nye Lolo"
Recorded live from Elmina Castle in Ghana, West Africa, the Fisk Jubilee Singers perform "Mawu Nye Lolo" featured on their new album "Sacred Journey."
The front porch is now open. Come on up and set a spell.