#Kamalove is what it is.
Commentary by Black Kos Editor Denise Oliver-Velez
You can take all the fake and flake-ass polls, right-wing hate pieces, pieces of pathetic punditry and malignant misogynoir about our MVP Harris, and shove ‘em where the sun don’t shine.
Me, I’m grinning, looking at all the smiling faces greeting our Madam VP Kamala Harris as she crisscrosses the nation on her “Fight for Our Freedoms” College Tour.
At around a dozen schools across at least seven states, the Vice President will bring thousands of students together around the fight for reproductive freedom, common sense gun safety laws, climate action, voting rights, LGBTQ+ equality, and teaching America’s full history.
As students across the nation return to school, Vice President Kamala Harris will embark on a month-long college tour throughout America to mobilize young people in the ongoing fight for fundamental freedoms and rights. She is set to visit around a dozen campuses in at least seven states as she brings together thousands of students for high-energy, large-scale events. The Vice President’s flurry of “Fight for Our Freedoms College Tour” stops will focus on key issues that disproportionately impact young people across the country – from reproductive freedom and gun safety to climate action, voting rights, LGBTQ+ equality, and book bans.
You can watch today’s conversation here:
Vanessa McCray and Auzzy Byrdsell wrote for The Atlanta Journal Constitution:
Morehouse College readies for visit from Vice President Kamala Harris
Vice President Kamala Harris will visit Atlanta today to speak to students at Morehouse College as part of a month-long college tour.
Students from the all-men’s historically Black college and surrounding schools within the Atlanta University Center were invited to the moderated question-and-answer session, dubbed the “Fight for Our Freedoms College Tour.” Harris is expected to speak at 1:30 p.m.
More than three hours before the event, hundreds of students already had lined up outside Martin Luther King, Jr. International Chapel on Morehouse’s campus. “I think that the issues she’s talking about like voting and education is really, really important,” said Marchellos Scott II, a Morehouse junior. “Young people deserve the right to be a part of legislation or policies that will affect their education overall.”
Tuesday’s visit to Morehouse was the fifth stop in Harris’ nationwide tour of colleges, including historically Black and Hispanic-serving schools, that began with a trip to Hampton University in Virginia earlier this month. Her itinerary also includes state schools, community colleges and apprenticeship programs.
Her tour has not been only to HBCUs. In case you missed it, she visited Reading Area Community College, in Pennsylvania, which is an HSI:
RACC is a public Hispanic Serving Institution in Pennsylvania. A Hispanic-Serving Institution (HSI) is defined as an institution of higher education that has an enrollment of undergraduate full-time equivalent students that serve at least 25 percent Hispanic students
What coverage of the tour have you seen?
News round up by dopper0189, Black Kos Managing Editor
At this stage in our reckoning with America’s ongoing history of systemic racism, it comes as no shock that historically Black colleges and universities have been underfunded across the board. But recent letters sent by the Biden administration to governors across the South and Midwest detail this lack of support — and the data is cringe as hell.
According to the letters from Education Secretary Miguel Cardona and Agriculture Secretary Thomas Vilsack, land-grant HBCUs in 16 states were shortchanged more than $13 billion over the last 30-plus years. These HBCUs include Alabama A&M University, North Carolina A&T State University, Virginia State University and Tennessee State University, among others.
The letters address how much funding land-grant HBCUs in each of the states would have received in the last three decades if states’ funding per student matched the mandate of the Morrill Acts, a pair of late-1800s laws that established land-grant universities. Tennessee and North Carolina topped the list, with the gap in funding swelling to over $2 billion apiece.
“This is a situation that clearly predates all of us,” reads one of the sentiments in all 16 letters. “However, it is a problem that we can work together to solve. In fact, it is our hope that we can collaborate to avoid burdensome and costly litigation that has occurred in several states.”
Six years after two stained-glass windows that honored Confederate Gens. Robert E. Lee and Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson were taken down, the Washington National Cathedral has unveiled the pair of windows that are taking their place.
The windows, titled "Now and Forever," were created by artist Kerry James Marshall and center around racial justice. The images show a group of protesters marching in different directions and holding up large signs that read "Fairness" and "No Foul Play."
The new windows "lift up the values of justice and fairness and the ongoing struggle for equality among all God's great children," the Very Rev. Randolph Marshall Hollerith, the cathedral's dean, said on Saturday at the unveiling.
He said the previous windows "were offensive and they were a barrier to the ministry of this cathedral and they were antithetical to our call to be a house of prayer for all people."
Some of the nation’s most influential Black leaders on Thursday said many threats to democratic institutions in the U.S. appear to be aimed squarely at their community, including efforts to make voting more difficult, censor lessons around race and weaken social safeguards such as affirmative action.
They used a wide-ranging forum at the annual meeting of the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation as a call to action to ensure that the interests of Black Americans are not further eroded.
“The attacks on our democracy are happening on all fronts,” said Nicole Austin-Hillery, president & CEO of the foundation.
She said they are grounded in “a racist view of America, and they all depend on misinformation and often downright deceit.”
Randal Quran Reid was driving to his mother’s home the day after Thanksgiving last year when police pulled him over and arrested him on the side of a busy Georgia interstate.
He was wanted for crimes in Louisiana, they told him, before taking him to jail. Reid, who prefers to be identified as Quran, would spend the next several days locked up, trying to figure out how he could be a suspect in a state he says he had never visited.
A lawsuit filed this month blames the misuse of facial recognition technology by a sheriff’s detective in Jefferson Parish, Louisiana, for his ordeal.
“I was confused and I was angry because I didn’t know what was going on,” Quran told The Associated Press. “They couldn’t give me any information outside of, ‘You’ve got to wait for Louisiana to come take you,’ and there was no timeline on that.”
Quran, 29, is among at least five Black plaintiffs who have filed lawsuits against law enforcement in recent years, saying they were misidentified by facial recognition technology and then wrongly arrested. Three of those lawsuits, including one by a woman who was eight months pregnant and accused of a carjacking, are against Detroit police.
The technology allows law enforcement agencies to feed images from video surveillance into software that can search government databases or social media for a possible match.
Voices and Soul
by Justice Putnam, Black Kos Poetry Editor
Czeslaw Milosz wrote in “The Captive Mind,” “often, death is preferable to slavery,” and the passage always troubled me. Aren’t we supposed to survive, no matter the consequences? Should we not prevail in the face of our utter destruction? After all, Milosz survived the Nazis.
Later, in “Facing The River,” Milosz considered,
“I still think too much about the mothers And ask what is man born of woman. He curls himself up and protects his head While he is kicked by heavy boots; on fire and running, He burns with bright flame; a bulldozer sweeps him into a clay pit. Her child. Embracing a teddy bear. Conceived in ecstasy.”
― Czesław Miłosz
And then I remembered the plight of Margaret Garner, and the millions of Black women bound in slavery, made into baby slave factories. Partus sequitur ventrum, the principle that a child inherits the status of its mother, a child born to an enslaved woman would be born enslaved and thus, be part of the enslaver's property. Enslaved women then, were caught between wanting their children both alive and dead. So, many turned to contraception or infanticide to protect them from a life of slavery.
While fleeing north with her husband and their four children, the Garners were caught at one of the homes they were hiding in, and though she had planned on killing her children, and then herself, she only managed to kill one daughter before the home was stormed by Marshals leading a slave patrol. Garner was put on trial and indicted for property damage. Her remaining children, her husband, and Margaret herself were returned to her enslaver's brother in Louisiana. She died in 1858.
A mother walks into the river, daughter
pressed to her chest. They say she cried
as she swam back to the shore, alone.
I know this love. The mother says there was
no room for her. Water clung to her
body like a child. The daughter moaned
as her mouth filled—a coda. In music
we call this a double return: Blues
in the making. In 1856 Margaret Garner
crossed the Ohio River, pregnant.
She loved her daughter to death.
What kind of love is that? The women
in the Spanish South did too. They birthed
children in oceans, springs, and rivers—
held them under, away from the men who used
their sons as gator bait and daughters as whores.
Red tide bleeds across the ocean;
somewhere a woman uses all her strength
to release a child she does not raise
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