Commentary by Chitown Kev
It’s the last week of November 2023 with the end of the year fast approaching.
2024 is, of course, a presidential election year. The stakes could not be higher for all of America and especially for Black folks.
Democracy and life as we all currently know it is really on the line. This is no time for even a cynic like myself to get cynical.
One of the primary reasons that I was happy that Joe Biden and Kamala Harris won the presidency in 2020 was Trump burnout; that is, the news simply being filled with Trump, all-Trump, everyday, non-stop, 24-7 and only the most awful thing that was done today. Another lie that Trump told, another crime that Trump committed, I’ve long been sick of it all.
At least with Joe Biden and Kamala Harris and President and Vice-President, I wouldn’t have to hear all of this sh*t every damn day. At least (considering my increased job responsibilities) I could hope for a day or two where I totally unplug from the news and take long walks, play video games, not think about any politics at all.
I really think that I was kidding myself.
What in the world made me think that King Drama Queen Baby, having been the center of the world’s attention for four years, would cede that space and role gracefully and slither off into the night (hopefully to Moscow or Jedda)?
And whatever made me think that the media would cease coverage of their cash cow?
I’ll plead temporary insanity to that.
Still...I have to take those opportunities to unplug from “the scene” when I can.
Doing what we all can do to protect democracy is a lot of work and no one can do their best work without adequate rest.
News round up by dopper0189, Black Kos Managing Editor
Natchez was the largest slave-trading market in Mississippi before the Civil War, and one of the largest in the country. Today, the city is full of the former homes of plantation owners and their slave quarters, though for many years, these sites didn’t acknowledge their Black history publicly.
One of those former slave quarters sits on an estate that housed 124 enslaved people in 1844. In 2014, Debbie Cosey, now 66, and her husband, Gregory, now 72, bought the building. It was in significant disrepair, with dirt floors and plants growing out of the walls. Over two-and-a-half years, the couple renovated it, converting it into a bed-and-breakfast called Concord Quarters. Now they live on the first floor, and the second floor accommodates six guests.
Cosey and her husband are Black, both descended from enslaved people. And rather than conceal their home’s troubled history, they’re doing all they can to share it with their guests.
Natchez, like many Southern locales, has a long history of downplaying its role in slavery. But in recent years, especially since the 2020 racial justice protests, there have been renewed efforts across the country to tell the whole truth about the antebellum period. Activists have pressured plantations not to gloss over slavery on their tours, and many sites, including some in Natchez, have become more open about their history of slavery.
TidalWave’s 22-page comic details every nuance of the Queen of Rock and Roll’s triumphant story. The Grio: A new comic book celebrates music icon Tina Turner
Tina Turner’s triumphant story of survival and journey to stardom continues to be an inspiration to many. In hopes of continuing to amplify and preserve Turner’s legacy following her death in May of this year, TidalWave Comics is releasing an addition to their “Tribute” series on Nov. 24 in honor of the Queen of Rock and Roll.
“The Tribute comic book series is dedicated to preserving the legacies of beloved entertainers who have left us,” explained Darren Davis, TidalWave’s publisher. “It serves as a heartfelt tribute to those individuals who have left an indelible mark on our world.”
The comic book’s release date, timed in tandem with what would’ve been Turner’s 84th birthday on November 26, commemorates the woman behind the music. Written by serial author Michael Frizell, “Tribute: Tina Turner” details the icon’s rise to fame, her relationship with Ike Turner, and the reclamation of her voice and power following her divorce.
While taps in coastal Dakar barely trickle, an investment company uses Senegal’s only lake to irrigate crops it plans to send to Saudi Arabia. Business Week: A Global Hunt for Water Profit Risks Draining Cities Dry
The Senegal River in West Africa musters its force from 200 centimeters (80 inches) of rain a year in the highlands of central Guinea. The river flows north through Mali, meanders west over a vast, dry savanna and finally empties into the Atlantic Ocean at the Senegalese city of Saint-Louis, the old colonial capital of French West Africa. For centuries, European traders plied the river from there as they procured gold and ivory, animal hides and human bodies.
Now foreign merchants are back, this time for the river itself.
African Agriculture Inc., an investment company based in a ninth-floor Regus co-working space on Park Avenue in New York, is growing 300 hectares (740 acres) of emerald-green alfalfa east of Saint-Louis inside a desert nature preserve called the Ndiael. The farm draws its water from nearby Lake Guiers, which is fed by a canal from the river. The only freshwater reserve in Senegal, the lake supplies half the water for Dakar, Senegal’s capital.
The water isn’t nearly enough. In the wee hours of every night, more than 1 million residents in greater Dakar await what feels like a miracle: a running tap. Nighttime is when water returns to kitchen sinks, if at all. Otherwise, without the money to buy jerrycans or bottles of water from vendors in the street, people have to fill jugs with heavily polluted groundwater from public wells.
On a recent sweltering afternoon, African Agriculture’s irrigation pivots slowly rotated over the glistening alfalfa like the hands of a giant clock, spraying unending streams of water. For now, the high-protein fodder feeds Senegal’s skeletal cows, which could help bolster the nation’s food security. But African Agriculture’s chairman and chief executive officer, Alan Kessler, says its business plan calls for exporting 70% of the crop from the 20,000 hectares it plans to ultimately cultivate to feed more valuable livestock in the Persian Gulf. The alfalfa, at that scale, will consume about twice as much water daily from Lake Guiers as the pumps and pipelines now convey to Dakar.
Armed clashes erupted in Sierra Leone’s capital on Sunday after what the government said was an attack on a military armoury, as it imposed an immediate nationwide curfew.
Witnesses said they had heard gunshots and explosions in the Wilberforce district of Freetown, where the armoury and a number of embassies are located.
Other witnesses reported exchanges of fire near a barracks in Murray Town district, home to the navy, and outside another military site in the capital.
Video posted on social networks suggested numerous prisoners had escaped from the central jail. One man who was in a group filmed on the street by an AFP correspondent said they had escaped from the prison.
The authorities said calm had been restored but made no further comments about the attackers’ motives.
The Economic Community of West African States (Ecowas) issued a statement underlining “its zero tolerance for unconstitutional change of government”.
Echoing language used to condemn past coup attempts, Ecowas spoke of its “utter disgust” over a “plot by certain individuals to acquire arms and disturb the peace and constitutional order in Sierra Leone”.
Economists who have studied employment during the recovery from the coronavirus pandemic agree that Black, Hispanic, and less-educated workers saw outsized gains relative to whites or college degree holders whose fortunes typically outpace others. REUTERS: As US job market softens, gains of minority groups hang in the balance
Economists who have studied employment during the recovery from the coronavirus pandemic agree that Black, Hispanic, and less-educated workers saw outsized gains relative to whites or college degree holders whose fortunes typically outpace others.
But as the demand for workers begins to ease, they are also hoping the U.S. may break the historic pattern where the burden of rising joblessness falls most heavily on those same groups.
After an initial half-percentage-point rise in the unemployment rate from the historically low 3.4% in April, there is reason for optimism, but also a dose of developing concern, said William M. Rodgers III, vice president and director of the Institute for Economic Equity at the St. Louis Federal Reserve.
So far, he said at a Boston Fed labor market conference earlier this month, measures like the employment-to-population ratio largely have not behaved differently for key racial groups, for women versus men, or among those with different education levels. Through what he calls the current "tight labor market recovery period," beginning in March 2022 and coinciding with both the start of Fed interest rate increases and a run of below-4% unemployment, less advantaged groups have held onto employment gains made during the pandemic recovery.
The employment-to-population ratios for Black men and Black women, for example, remained on average higher from March 2022 through September 2023 than they were before the health crisis. The employment-to-population ratio for those aged 25 and over without a high school diploma has trended higher in recent months even as it has flatlined for those with more education.
For younger workers, however, and particularly for younger Blacks not enrolled in school, job outcomes have begun to worsen in what Rodgers said is a possible sign that whatever benefits the current tight labor market has provided to those at the margins of the economy, they may not be permanent.
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