African-Americans on the Great Plains

Eléctrica in the Desert

Snapshot of an American experience: Lincoln, Nebraska

SMITHSONIAN MAGAZINE
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Douglas Keister has spent the past four decades traveling the country to photograph subjects as varied as architecture, folk art and cemeteries. Over the years, as he moved from his hometown of Lincoln, Nebraska, to several different cities in California, he carted around a heavy box of 280 antique glass-plate negatives that he’d bought when he was 17 from a friend who’d found them at a garage sale. “I thought, ‘Why the heck am I keeping these things?’” he says.

Then, in 1999, Keister’s mother sent him an article she’d seen in the Lincoln Journal Star about historians in Lincoln who had unearthed a few dozen glass negatives featuring portraits of the city’s small African-American population from the 1910s and ’20s, an era from which few other photos survived. Keister compared the images with his negatives, and “I just…

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Finally! An Accurate World Map

 

Changing the World Through Latino Literature

PRESS RELEASE
Feb/5/2016
For Immediate Release
Contact:
Tony Diaz
AztecMuse@aol.com
(713) 867-8943Nuestra Palabra:Latino Writers Having Their Say
Nuestra Palabra Turns 18
Celebrates Changing the World Through Latino Lit

HOUSTON, TX – February 5, 2016 – When Nuestra Palabra began, we were told that Latinos did care about literature. We were told that Latinos were not interested in writing. We were told that there was not much interest in Latino Literature. We are proud to have proven the naysayers wrong for 18 years. Join us to celebrate the landmark of our 18th anniversary as we aknowledge all the milestones we have achieved as a community.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016, 6pm – 8pm, at Talento Bilingue de Houston 333. S. Jensen. Tickets will go on sale Tuesday, February 23, 2016, during the NP Radio Show on 90.1 FM 6p-7p. They will be available at www.NuestraPalabra.org. $25 at the door. $20 in advance. This showcase will feature the poetry, fiction, and teatro of our award-winning authors who started their careers on our stage.

Antonio reading a book by the brook.

Here are just a few milestones.

* Largest Book Fairs in Houston: We organized the Houston Latin Book and Family Festival, which at its peak drew 30,000 folks to the GRB, making it the largest lit event in Houston for any demographic.

* When Arizona banned Mexican American Studies, Nuestra Palabra veteransunited to become the Librotraficantes to smuggle the banned books back into Arizona by using the resources and contacts of Nuestra Palabra.

* We just had our 12 members receive a Master’s Degree in Writing, with 10 MFA’s stemming from our group. Nuestra Palabra has created more Latino MFA’s than the University of Houston Creative Writing Program. As a side note, I’m the first Chicano to recieve in MFA from the UH CWP back in 1995.

* The NP Radio Show: Nuestra Palabra: Latino Writers Having Their Say ON THE AIR began broadcasting on 90.1 FM KPFT in March of 2001.

* The Houston Public Library is archiving the Nuestra Palabra papers.

* The UH Library will be archiving our radio broadcasts.

* We are also launching the Nuestra Palabra Anthology.

 More info to come, always MAS.

www.NuestraPalabra.org

Abolition 2016 from Moorby’s Blog

Go to Moorbey’z Blog for full info.

A teacher writes about Harriet Tubman

BY Paul Siemering, Cambridge, Massachusetts

 Harriet Tubman launched her spectacular career when she was only thirteen years old. A fellow slave was tied to a post and getting whipped. As was the custom in those days, the other enslaved people were forced to watch this torture. But Harriet, young as she was, could not tolerate such cruelty. She ran to the victim and quickly untied him. The overseer who had been doing the whipping was furious. He picked up the first projectile he could find and threw it at the slave. But he hit Harriet on the head. She dropped to the ground, and her mother took her back to the cabin.

Harriet was in a coma for 3 days. Her recovery was slow but she did regain her strength. However she was left with a brain trauma that caused her at any time, without warning, to fall unconscious.  This problem lasted the rest of her life. When these episodes happened, there was nothing anyone could do but wait until she came to.
A few years later, Harriet decided to make a run for freedom on the Underground Railway with two brothers. The boys became frightened and turned back, but Harriet continued on until she reached the North.
It wasn’t long, though, before Harriet returned to the South to free other enslaved people. Freedom was considered an unforgivable crime by the slave owners. Bounty hunters with blood hounds made a profitable living catching freedom fighters, so any escape attempt was fraught with great danger. Because Harriet was a superhero though, she had to keep going back to free more slaves. You may see pictures of her carrying a gun. She always told every group she took that if they wanted their freedom, she would guide them North. But once they joined her, she explained, they must remain or she would shoot them: anyone who tried to run back endangered the whole group.
 
Harriet Tubman made many trips as a conductor on the Underground Railway and never lost a passenger. After awhile She developed quite a reputation among the slave “owners”. They raised $40,000 of reward money for anyone who could catch her.
Nobody could!
Making all those trips, risking her own life over and over again – all this knowing that at any given moment of these journeys she could pass out- is more than enough to qualify as a superhero by any standards.
You can look through anybody’s history, anytime, anywhere.
But you’ll never find anyone as brave and tenacious as Harriet Tubman.
Paul Siemering taught in the Boston public schools for 30 years, then volunteered for 20 years longer. Now in his 80s and living in what may well be the last commune left in Cambridge, Paul’s posts are written for people of all ages. I met him when I was 12, going on 13, and he has been my friend ever since.
Follow him on Facebook if you want a good online friend.

Change Texas schools, change America’s schools!

You don’t have to be a Texas resident to change the curriculum of the nation’s powerhouse textbook consumer. Contribute to the Perez campaign and contribute to equity in American education.

#Perez4SBOE1  #Democrat  #TXSBOE

www.GeorginaPerezSBOE.com

North Brother Island, New York City

The institution is crumbling and the island is uninhabited.

 

muscles3

1909_Will_and_Orv

Wilbur and Orville

Disappearances of Mexican Youth Increases by 200 Percent

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According to new data released on Thursday by the Mexican Network for Children’s Rights or REDIM disappearances among adolescents increased by 191 percent between 2012 and 2014.

The new figures, which were obtained through the government’s National Registry of Missing Persons database, revealed the disturbing trend that girls between the ages of 15 and 17 are disproportionately affected by enforced disappearances.

According to REDIM, seven out of 10 of missing children are girls between the ages of 15 and 17.

“These are the highest numbers we have seen for this age group since 2006,” REDIM President Alicia Vargas stated.

In its report, REDIM attributed the rise in child disappearances to criminal organizations involved in human trafficking and the ongoing “war on drugs” waged between Mexican security forces and drug trafficking organizations.

RELATED: Mexico Military Spending Soars as Human Rights Situation Worsens

According to official figures, almost 50 percent of the 22,322 disappeared people in Mexico went missing between 2012 and 2014 under the current administration of President Enrique Peña Nieto.

During a press conference on Thursday, REDIM Executive Director Juan Martín Pérez also called on the Mexican government to adopt preventative measures to help curb killings among Mexican youth.

“We are still far from 2012, which was when violence in our country reached its peak, but we are still concerned that federal authorities are not taking preventative measures to address violent killings,” Perez stated.
“http://www.telesurtv.net/english/news/Disappearances-of-Mexican-Youth-Increases-by-200-Percent–20160107-0036.html”.

 

 

Michael Moore to Gov. Snyder: Go to jail.

Progressive activist, Oscar-winning filmmaker, and Flint, Michigan native Michael Moore is calling on the arrest of the Gov. Rick Snyder for his role in creating a situation in which the water supply for an entire community has been “effectively poisoned.” (Photo: MichaelMoore.com)

 

Dear Governor Snyder:

Thanks to you, sir, and the premeditated actions of your administrators, you have effectively poisoned, not just some, but apparently ALL of the children in my hometown of Flint, Michigan.

And for that, you have to go to jail.

To poison all the children in an historic American city is no small feat. Even international terrorist organizations haven’t figured out yet how to do something on a magnitude like this.

But you did. Your staff and others knew that the water in the Flint River was poison — but you decided that taking over the city and “cutting costs” to “balance the budget” was more important than the people’s health (not to mention their democratic rights to elect their own leaders.) So you cut off the clean, fresh glacial lake water of Lake Huron that the citizens of Flint (including myself) had been drinking for decades and, instead, made them drink water from the industrial cesspool we call the Flint River — a body of “water” where toxins from a dozen General Motors and DuPont factories have been dumped for over a hundred years. And then you decided to put a chemical in this water to “clean” it — which only ended up stripping the lead off of Flint’s aging water pipes, placing that lead in the water and sending it straight into people’s taps. Your callous — and reckless (btw, “reckless” doesn’t get you a pass; a reckless driver who kills a child, still goes to jail) — decision to do this has now, as revealed by the city’s top medical facility, caused “irreversible brain damage” in Flint’s children, not to mention other bodily damage to all of Flint’s adults. Here’s how bad it is: Even GM won’t let the auto parts they use in building cars touch the Flint water because that water “corrodes” them. This is a company that won’t even fix an ignition switch after they’ve discovered it’s already killed dozens of people. THAT’s how bad the situation is. Even GM thinks you’re the devil.

Maybe you don’t understand the science behind this. Lead, in water — now, bear with me, this involves a science lesson and you belong to the anti-science party, the one that believes there’s not a climate problem and that Adam and Eve rode on dinosaurs 6,000 years ago. Lead is toxic to the human body. There’s no way to fully eliminate it once it’s in your system, and children are the most damaged by it.

By taking away the city’s clean drinking water in order to “cut costs,” and then switching the city’s water supply to Flint River water, you have allowed massively unsafe levels of pollutants and lead into the water that travels in to everyone’s home. Every Flint resident is trapped by this environmental nightmare which you, Governor, have created.

Like any real criminal, when you were confronted with the truth (by the EPA and other leading water experts across America), you denied what you did. Even worse, you decided to mock your accusers and their findings. As I said, I know you don’t like to believe in a lot of science (after all, you used to run Gateway Computers, and that, really, is all anyone needs to know about you), but this time the science has caught up with you — and this time, I hope, it’s going to convict you.

The facts are all there, Mr. Snyder. Every agency involved in this scheme reported directly to you. The children of Flint didn’t have a choice as to whether or not they were going to get to drink clean water. But soon it will be your turn to not have that choice about which water you’ll be drinking. Because by this time next year, if there is an ounce of justice left in this land, the water you’ll be drinking will be served to you from a tap inside Jackson Prison.

I am calling upon my fellow Michiganders — and seekers of justice everywhere — to petition U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch, asking her to arrest you for corruption and assault (i.e., the physical assault you committed against the children of Flint when you knowingly poisoned them).

Yesterday, the federal prosecutor in Flint, after many of us had called for months for this action, finally opened up an investigation into the matter. Now we need your arrest, prosecution and conviction.

And who will be cheering on that day when you are fitted with a bright orange jumpsuit? The poor and minority communities of Michigan who’ve endured your dictatorial firing of their mayors and school boards so you could place your business friends in charge of their mostly-black cities. They know you never would have done this to a wealthy white suburb.

I welcome all to look at the appalling facts of this case, which have been reported brilliantlyhere, here, and especially here by the great Rachel Maddow. Thank you, Rachel, for caring so deeply when the rest of the national television media didn’t.

I’m asking everyone who agrees with me to sign on to this petition and call for your arrest, Governor Snyder. You are not allowed to run amok in my hometown like you have done. The children whom you have poisoned have to endure a life of pain and lower IQs from your actions. You have destroyed a generation of children — and for that, you must pay.

It is time for you to go to prison. Out of mercy, I’ll ask that you have in your cell your own personal Gateway computer.

Sincerely,

Michael Moore

Flint native

Michigan resident and voter

For everyone wanting to sign on to this petition calling for the IMMEDIATE resignation of Governor Snyder AND for the FBI to arrest him, please sign the petition here.

 

FOOD NOT BOMBS

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Food Not Bombs co-founder Keith McHenry to speak in San Francisco

Tuesday January 12, 2016 at 7:00 pm – Green Apple, 506 Clement, San Francisco, CA 7:00 pm