Gullah art tour of the Lowcountry: Preserving heritage through art

click to enlarge Founded in 1862, Penn School was one of the first academic schools in the South established by Northern missionaries, to provide a formal education for formerly enslaved West Africans - PROVIDED

  • Provided
  • Founded in 1862, Penn School was one of the first academic schools in the South established by Northern missionaries, to provide a formal education for formerly enslaved West Africans

The Lowcountry is the inspiration for many artists and also the land of the Gullah people. Rich with history, culture, and the beauty of nature, the Gullah community uses art to preserve history and heritage.

If you want to explore the artisans of the Gullah community, you should check out the following galleries, studios, and exhibits highlighting the treasure that is Gullah Art.

Gallery Chuma

Based in the Charleston Market, Gallery Chuma is one of the most popular Gullah Art galleries in the Lowcountry. Featuring artists such as Jonathan Green, John Jones, Carol A. Simmons, and more, this gallery has original art and prints and a price for any art lover. Definitely a must-see for anyone looking to start their Gullah art collection.

188 Meeting St. Downtown. gallerychuma.com

Penn Center

As the first school for freed slaves, Penn Center is one of the most important buildings that is part of Gullah and American Culture. Founded in 1862, Penn School was one of the first academic schools in the South established by Northern missionaries, to provide a formal education for formerly enslaved West Africans. The Penn Center features Gullah Art in its museum exhibits and also displays Gullah art in its gift shop. This November head to the Penn Center for Heritage Days celebration, Nov. 7-9, which showcases the history, art, and culture of the Gullah Geechee people, featuring musical entertainers, cultural performers, and educators.

16 Penn Center Cir. E, St. Helena Island. penncenter.com

click to enlarge Beaufort County Black Chamber of Commerce Gullah Heritage Gallery - PROVIDED

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  • Beaufort County Black Chamber of Commerce Gullah Heritage Gallery

Beaufort County Black Chamber of Commerce Gullah Heritage Gallery

As an economic hub for the Gullah Community of Beaufort County, this recently opened gallery is supporting artists both up-and-coming and established. Some of the Gullah artists featured in this gallery include Cassandra Gillens, Diane Britton Dunham, and Lisa Gilyard-Rivers.

711 Bladen S., Beaufort. bcbcc.org

Sonja Griffin Evans Studio

A Beaufort native who has traveled the world, Sonja Griffin Evans has a gallery in Bluffton and Hilton Head. This Lowcountry native creates art that reflects nature, family, and history. Evans’ art collections have been featured nationally and internationally, and her latest collection, American Gullah, was most recently dedicated to the historical Reconstruction Era National Historic Park landmark in Beaufort, S.C., where the artist was born and raised.

32 Palmetto Bay Road, Suite 10A. Hilton Head Island. sonjagriffinevans.com

click to enlarge Lybensons Art Gallery is located in downtown Beaufort - PROVIDED

  • Provided
  • Lybensons Art Gallery is located in downtown Beaufort

LyBensons Art Gallery

LyBensons is one of the original Gullah art galleries in downtown Beaufort. Established in 1977, they specialize in original artwork, rare collectibles, and antiques that depict the African, Gullah, and African-American heritage. This downtown Beaufort landmark is a must-see when visiting the area and of the original Gullah owned businesses in the Beaufort city limits.

211 Charles St. Beaufort. facebook.com/LyBensons

click to enlarge Red Piano Too - PROVIDED

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  • Red Piano Too

Red Piano Too Art Gallery

In the heart of Saint Helena Island is Red Piano Gallery, owned by community and arts legend, Mary Mack. Red Piano Gallery was founded in 1989 and is one of the premier African-American art galleries in the South. The 1940s building it occupies was once an African-American farming cooperative, the first of its kind in South Carolina. Artists featured at the Gallery include Sonja Griffin Evans, Saundra Renee Smith, Helen Stewart, and many more. This unique gallery is definitely worth the drive to St. Helena Island.

870 Sea Island Pkwy. St. Helena Island. redpianotoo.com

click to enlarge The Colleton Museum has rotating art and history exhibitions - PROVIDED

  • Provided
  • The Colleton Museum has rotating art and history exhibitions

Colleton Museum & Farmers Market

The Colleton Museum & Farmers Market has rotating art and history exhibitions, with Gullah culture always a huge part of the space. The museum features art from Patricia Elaine Sabree, Jerry Taylor, and unique exhibits showcasing rich Gullah heritage of Colleton County and the Ace Basin with a focus on the rice culture of the county which is known for the annual Rice Festival.

506 E Washington St., Walterboro. colletonmuseum.org/farmers-market


RankTribe™ Black Business Directory News – Arts & Entertainment

Black conservative: Dems see us as victims needing to be rescued

Dem debate 1 (2 nights)Black conservative war veteran Rob Smith took 2020 Democratic presidential candidates to task, asking them if they would reward him “reparations” for slavery on the spot … and none gave him a dime to live up to their social justice ideals proclaimed on the campaign trail.

He saw this denial as confirmation the Democratic Party gives the black community mere lip service to pander their vote.

Smith, who is a contributor for Turning Point USA, approached Democrats making their White House run at the Iowa State Fair. One extremely vocal reparations activist he questioned was spiritual self-help guru Marianne Williamson, who proposed up to half a trillion dollars in relief to African Americans over slavery that ended more than 150 years ago.

“What I have proposed is $200 to $500 billion – I think anything less than $100 billion is an insult,” Williamson told The Hill in April, calling for a board of trustees to determine the actual amount to pay for racism that she says is no longer prevalent. “I don’t think the average American is a racist – actually, I don’t at all, but I do think the average American is vastly undereducated – underinformed about the real history of race in the United States.”

Exposing Democrats’ true social justice motive?

Smith, who also serves as a Republican analyst, wanted to prove a point about the Democratic Party that he believes most African Americans fail to realize – that they play the race card to score political points with minorities … not to tangibly improve their lives.

Smith – who personally does not support the idea of reparations – [said] that he and TPUSA chief creative officer Benny Johnson came up with the idea to ask the question, as they thought it would be a fun and interesting video while also pointing out the ways in which Democrats pander to black Americans,” Breitbart News reported.

He indicated that Democrats give mere lip service to secure votes.

“I just wanted to satirize it a little bit, while doing something that also got my point across,” Smith told Breitbart.

His encounter with New Age author Williamson particularly stood out.

“I will say that Marianne Williamson – bless her heart – she really did take the time to talk to me about the whole thing,” Smith noted while joking about her candidacy and spiritual beliefs. “Do I want her as my president? No. Do I want her as my spiritual adviser? Maybe.”

As a former pastor in the Unity Church, an anti-war protester of the ‘70s and a social justice warrior, the 67-year-old’s take on black Americans oppression didn’t jive with Smith.

“But even Marianne Williamson – who took the time to talk about reparations – she and I had a conversation, and she said something along the lines of, ‘Just because you got out doesn’t mean that everyone else did,’” Smith recounted. “Well, I didn’t ‘get out’ of anything. I served in the military, and I had the same opportunities that all Americans have.”

He is of the belief that social justice activist Democrats do more to debilitate than empower black Americans.

“They still cannot relieve themselves of the idea that black people are perpetual victims in need of their rescue – even when they have the best intentions,” Smith impressed.

When addressing whether he believes Democrats would like to give their own money to be redistributed to blacks, he contended that they were all talk – and more or less hypocrites.

“Absolutely not – it’s always what’s best for thee isn’t best for me, and the thing about reparations that no one ever addresses is that this comes from taxpayer dollars,” Smith asserted. “So, what about black people who are working and paying taxes? I think it’s just ridiculous – and it’s a lazy, lazy way to attract the black vote, while at the same time, black Americans know that they are being completely sold out for illegal immigrants.”

He said Democrats want to keep on playing the race card for illegals and blacks to reap in the votes.

“Those conversations never happen together – they’re always separate,” Smith stressed. “I think they are just building a big tent of victim groups, and assuming that none of these victims groups talk to each other, or have competing ideas and thoughts.”

The Iraq War vet said white activists with TPUSA found it more difficult to get face time with candidates because they were white and were feared to be conservative, while they welcomed him with open arms thinking he was a leftist because he is an African American.

“The interesting thing, to me, in dealing with all of those Democrats – there weren’t a whole lot of black people at the fair – [was that] every time one of these candidates saw me, their eyes would light up, and then when I hit them with the [reparations] question, they didn’t know what to do,” Smith recounted from his experience at the fair.

Other people’s money …

Other Democrats on board with reparations on the campaign trail jumped ship when personally confronted by Smith to dig into their own pockets to repair any damage caused by slavery – whether their ancestors were involved or not.

“A total of zero Democrat presidential candidates were willing to give the TPUSA contributor his ‘reparations’ on the spot at the Iowa State Fair,” Breitbart’s Alana Mastrangelo noted. “Some candidates, such as Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) simply said, ‘no,’ while others circumvented Smith’s question, such as Representative Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii), who said, ‘this is a conversation we need to have as a country.’”

Smith said Democrats portrayed unswerving social justice warriors while at the podium, but transformed into squirmy, fidgeting avoiders when asked to back up their bold policies.

“There was a lot of nervous laughter, and kicking the can down the road, and these are the same answers they’re going to give black Americans after they have their votes,” Smith shared with Breitbart.

TPUSA Founder and Executive Director Charlie Kirk called Democrats out on their hypocrisy.

“2020 Democrats are campaigning on slavery reparations,” Kirk tweeted Thursday. ”If they truly believed black Americans were oppressed, wouldn’t they be willing to give them out on the spot? @robsmithonline asked: [‘Can I have my reparations right now?’] Democrats said no. They’re not just hypocrites – they’re frauds.”

Joining the reparations club

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), has also championed reparations and other deep-pocket socialist programs such as her multi-billion-dollar Green New Deal, paying off college debt, Medicare-for-all and free benefits for illegal immigrants – looking to put everything on taxpayers’ tab.

She made her push for reparations clear while speaking at the Al Sharton-sponsored National Action Network convention in New York in April.

“That is the moral political and economic underpinning of making bold investments and dignified jobs because that is the necessary plan to fix the pipes in Flint [Michigan] and clean the air in the South Bronx, and create unionized energy jobs for transitioning workers in Appalachia and West Virginia, for single-payer health care and Medicare-for-all and tuition-free public colleges and universities to prepare our nation for the future, and for the end of mass incarceration, the war on drugs, examining and pursuing an agenda of reparations and fixing the opioid crisis, too,” AOC proclaimed, according to Fox News .

As Ocasio-Cortez appeals to Latino voters and fellow Squad members Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) and Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) cater to the Muslim community, while Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.) invokes the African American vote, they are all on board with Democratic presidential candidates overtly promoting reparations for blacks.

The social justice activists aiming for the Oval Office who have added reparations to their platforms include Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), who was called out for not being African American after using the race card against rival Joe Biden during the first Democratic Primary debate. Also aggressively pushing reparations while making a run for the White House are Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), who attempted to identify with Native Americans by falsely claiming an American Indian bloodline to earn her the nickname “Fauxcahontas,” and former San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro, who praised his brother for publicizing donors to President Donald Trump to harass them after claiming the president was to blame for overcrowded border detention facilities for illegal migrants and for the racist El Paso, Texas, shooting that killed 22 – mostly Hispanics.

Ghana draws African-American tourists with ‘Year…

Ghana draws African-American tourists with ‘Year of Return’


 24 Aug 2019 – 20:06

Ghana draws African-American tourists with 'Year of Return'

Tourists pose for pictures at the Cape Coast Castle on August 18, 2019. AFP / Natalija Gormalova

Cape Coast, Ghana:  US preacher Roxanne Caleb blinked away the tears as she emerged from a pitch-dark dungeon where African slaves were once held before being shipped across the Atlantic to America.

“I wasn’t prepared for this. I’m heartbroken,” she told AFP as she toured the Cape Coast slave fort on Ghana’s ocean shore.

“My mind still can’t wrap around the fact that a human being can treat another worse than a rat.”

Caleb is among the African-American visitors flocking to Ghana as it marks the “Year of Return” to remember the 400th anniversary of the first slave ship landing in Virginia.

The West African nation is banking on the commemorations to give a major boost to the number of tourist arrivals as it encourages the descendants of slaves to “come home”.

Cape Coast Castle, 150 kilometres (90 miles) from the capital Accra, is a major magnet for those visiting

The white-washed fort lined with cannons was one of dozens of prisons studding the Atlantic coast where slaves were held before their journey to the New World.

A string of prominent African-Americans have headed to the site this year to mark the anniversary since the first slave landing in 1619.

Among them was a delegation of Congressional Black Caucus led by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi that toured last month.

‘Can’t forget history’

For those visiting it is an emotional rite of passage.

“This has been understanding my history and my roots where I came from,” Caleb said.

“I am very thankful I came here as part of the Year of Return.”

Sampson Nii Addy, a corrections officer with the Montgomery police department in Alabama, said he and his family had found the tour an “education”.

“I think every black person needs to come around to learn history; how people were treated,” the 52-year-old told AFP.

“We can’t forget history but we can always learn something from it.”

Ghana, one of the continent’s most stable democracies, has long pitched itself as a destination for African-Americans to explore their heritage and even settle permanently.

In 2009 President Barack Obama visited with his family and paid homage at the Cape Coast Castle.

The “Year of Return” has added fresh impetus and the country is hoping it will increase visitor numbers from 350,000 in 2018 to 500,000 this year, including 45,000 African-Americans.

Kojo Keelson has spent nine years guiding tour groups around the Cape Coast Castle and says 2019 has seen a surge in interest as Ghana looks to rake in tourism revenue of $925 million (830 million euros).

“It’s like a pilgrimage. This year we’ve a lot more African-Americans coming through than the previous year,” he told AFP.

“I’m urging all of them to come home and experience and reconnect to the motherland.”

‘Love to come again’

Akwasi Awua Ababio, the official coordinating “Year of Return” events, pointed to high hotel occupancy rates as he said “enthusiasm is very high and we’ve got huge numbers coming from the US and Caribbean”.

He insisted that beyond the major economic boost, Ghana was also looking to use the new connections it is forging to convince the descendants of slaves to resettle for good and help the country develop.

“Human resource is always an asset and we need to see how we can welcome them home to utilise their expertise and networks,” the director for diaspora affairs at the presidency said.

The African American Association of Ghana brings together those who have moved to West Africa and offers help to integrate them into their new surroundings.

President Gail Nikoi praised the “Year of Return” initiative by Ghanaian leader Nana Akufo-Addo and said the country was “setting the stage for future engagements and involvement of African-Americans and other Africans from the diaspora in the development of this country.”

But she said the authorities could still be doing more to help attract arrivals and convince them to stay.

“Dialogue and engagement is the first step,” she said.

While most of those visiting Cape Coast were not thinking about settling back permanently — they said the trip had opened their eyes to both their own history and what Ghana has to offer.

“It has broadened my horizons about how we came to be here and what our ancestors went through,” said William Shaw, 57, from Montgomery.

“I would love to come again. There is a lot more to see here in Ghana… at least once in a year I’d advise African-Americans to come back to their native land and learn about their history.”

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In high-tech Japan, cash is still king

 24 Aug 2019 – 19:59

Once a pioneer in cashless transactions, Japan is now lagging behind as the world’s biggest economies increasingly embrace electronic payments — because its ageing population still prefers physical money.

Look Ahead: The hottest Seattle events for September 2019

From Elton John’s farewell tour to the “Downton Abbey” movie, our Seattle Times arts writers dish on next month’s most buzzworthy arts and entertainment events.

TOP 5 EVENTS IN SEPTEMBER

MUSIC

Elton John

The glamorously bespectacled superstar is hanging up his touring boots, bidding adieu with a massive 200-some-date trek running through 2020. Not that the endearing and enduring piano knight needed the signal boost, but this year’s hit biopic “Rocketman,” starring Taron Egerton as Sir Elton, re-amplified the legendary showman’s quintessential body of work. At press time, limited remaining tickets for the purportedly last-chance concerts started around $330.

8 p.m. Sept. 17-18; Tacoma Dome, 2727 E. D St., Tacoma; remaining tickets start at $332; tacomadome.org

Michael Rietmulder

THEATER

“People of the Book”

Jason is an Iraq war veteran who met Madeeha, his wife-to-be, during a house-to-house raid in a combat zone. He came home, became a celebrity after writing a bestseller about his experiences and is now getting together with his old friends Amir and Lynn. “People of the Book” is a world premiere by Seattle treasure Yussef El Guindi — and if it’s anything like his other work (“Threesome,” “Pilgrims Musa and Sheri in the New World,” “Language Rooms”), expect nuanced, subtly psychological dialogue where people start by trying to smile and smooth over their differences, then hit stormy seas when one (or some) of them start to talk honestly about realities they refuse to euphemize. At its best, El Guindi’s dialogue can be as surprising and as thrilling as an action sequence in a summer blockbuster.

Sept. 6-29; ACT Theatre, 700 Union St., Seattle; $27-$47; 206-292-7676, acttheatre.org

Brendan Kiley

Laura Carmichael, left, stars as Edith Crawley, Maggie Smith as Violet Crawley, Hugh Bonneville as Robert Crawley, Allen Leech as Tom Branson and Elizabeth McGovern as Cora Crawley in “Downton Abbey.” (Jaap Buitendijk / Focus Features)Laura Carmichael, left, stars as Edith Crawley, Maggie Smith as Violet Crawley, Hugh Bonneville as Robert Crawley, Allen Leech as Tom Branson and Elizabeth McGovern as Cora Crawley in “Downton Abbey.” (Jaap Buitendijk / Focus Features)
Laura Carmichael, left, stars as Edith Crawley, Maggie Smith as Violet Crawley, Hugh Bonneville as Robert Crawley, Allen Leech as Tom Branson and Elizabeth McGovern as Cora Crawley in “Downton Abbey.” (Jaap Buitendijk / Focus Features)

MOVIES

“Downton Abbey”

I believe I was on record, a few years ago, as saying this movie would never happen. Well, knock me over with a tea biscuit: The Crawleys are back, and nobody’s more excited to see them (and their glorious home, Highclere Castle) on the big screen than me. Pretty much the entire cast of the popular six-season TV series has been reassembled — including, thank goodness, Maggie Smith as the hatpin-sharp Dowager Countess — and the costumes alone should be worth the ticket price. You can hear the theme music already, can’t you? It’s been a rough year; we all deserve some hats, fainting couches and Dame Maggie.

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Opens Sept. 20 in multiple theaters; advance tickets at fandango.com

Moira Macdonald

CLASSICAL MUSIC

Seattle Symphony Orchestra Opening Night

Thomas Dausgaard, Seattle Symphony’s new music director, leads his first opening-night concert in that role — a festive affair that starts with the “Maskerade” Overture by the maestro’s fellow Dane, Carl Nielsen. Russian virtuoso Daniil Trifonov joins the festivities for Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 4, and there’s also Strauss’ powerful “Also sprach Zarathustra.” Music lovers who opt for the opening-night gala package will follow the concert with dinner and dancing in celebration of the new Dausgaard era.

5 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 14; Benaroya Hall, 200 University St., Seattle; tickets from $58; 206-215-4747 (gala package reservations: 206-215-4868), seattlesymphony.org

Melinda Bargreen

VISUAL ART

“Girlfriends of the Guerrilla Girls”

In the 1980s, the anonymous Guerrilla Girls started agitating and culture jamming to shine a light on sexism and racism in the art world. Their most iconic image: A poster of a female nude (“La Grande Odalisque” by Ingres, 1814) with a gorilla mask and the text: “Do women have to be naked to get into the Met. Museum? Less than 5% of the artists in the Modern Art Sections are women, but 85% of the nudes are female.” “Girlfriends of the Guerrilla Girls,” now at CoCA, is a packed, powerful group show with a spectrum of moods: wry, amused, outraged, exhausted. Hanako O’Leary’s ceramics feature undulating vulvas and gleeful middle fingers; C. Davida Ingram’s photographs of people holding birds of prey are a striking study in beauty and captivity; and “The Evolution of Agent Yu,” a stop-motion animation by Deborah F. Lawrence and Rachel Siegel, is a cutting satire that challenges one’s face to grin and frown at the same time.

Through Sept. 21; Center on Contemporary Art, 113 Third Ave., Seattle; $2 suggested donation; 206-728-1980, cocaseattle.org

Brendan Kiley

MORE EVENTS

BOOKS

Sister Helen Prejean

Prejean, who many of us met through the movie “Dead Man Walking” (in which she was played by Susan Sarandon), is here with her new memoir, “River of Fire: My Spiritual Journey,” in which she writes of her childhood, her spirituality and her lifelong work as a social justice activist.

7 p.m. Monday, Sept. 9; Seattle University’s Campion Ballroom, 914 E. Jefferson St., Seattle; $35 (includes copy of book); 206-624-6600, elliottbaybook.com

David Guterson will read from his newest work, “Turn Around Time: A Walking Poem of the Pacific Northwest,” on Sept. 10 at Seattle Public Library’s Central Library. (Steve Ringman / The Seattle Times)David Guterson will read from his newest work, “Turn Around Time: A Walking Poem of the Pacific Northwest,” on Sept. 10 at Seattle Public Library’s Central Library. (Steve Ringman / The Seattle Times)
David Guterson will read from his newest work, “Turn Around Time: A Walking Poem of the Pacific Northwest,” on Sept. 10 at Seattle Public Library’s Central Library. (Steve Ringman / The Seattle Times)

David Guterson

The Seattle native and Bainbridge Island resident won the PEN/Faulkner Award in 1995 for his debut novel, “Snow Falling on Cedars,” set in a 1950s Puget Sound region haunted by World War II. Though he’s published several novels and story collections since then, he’s recently turned to poetry, and will read from his newest work, “Turn Around Time: A Walking Poem of the Pacific Northwest,” joined by illustrator Justin Gibbens.

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7 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 10; Seattle Public Library’s Central Library, 1000 Fourth Ave., Seattle; free; 206-386-4636, spl.org

Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz

A longtime indigenous human-rights activist, Dunbar-Ortiz is the author of “An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States,” a landmark academic text that she has recently adapted, with Debbie Reese and Jean Mendoza, for middle-grade and young-adult readers. She’s here with that book, “An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States for Young People,” which is just out in paperback.

7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 12; Third Place Books at Seward Park, 5041 Wilson Ave. S., Seattle; free, but ticket required for reserved seating (request in store; no purchase necessary); 206-474-2200, thirdplacebooks.com

Marilynne Robinson

It’s a joy when great fiction writers open up their minds to us in nonfiction essays, and Robinson — a Pulitzer Prize and two-time National Book Critics Circle Award winner (“Gilead,” “Lila,” “Housekeeping”) — does so in the collection “What Are We Doing Here?” in which she ponders the current political climate and the mysteries of faith.

7:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 13; Town Hall, 1119 Eighth Ave., Seattle; $5; 206-652-4255, townhallseattle.org

Samantha Power

The Pulitzer Prize-winning author (“A Problem from Hell: America and the Age of Genocide”) and former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations discusses her life and work in her new memoir, “The Education of an Idealist.”

7:30 p.m. Monday, Sept. 16; Town Hall, 1119 Eighth Ave., Seattle; $5; 206-652-4255, townhallseattle.org

Jim Mattis

Rescheduled from an earlier summer date, the retired general and former U.S. secretary of defense — a native of Pullman and a graduate of Central Washington University — will speak about his new book, “Call Sign Chaos: Learning to Lead,” in which he recounts his leadership roles in three wars.

Most Read Entertainment Stories

7 p.m. Monday, Sept. 16; Temple de Hirsch Sinai, 1441 16th Ave., Seattle; $35 one person/$40 two people (each includes one copy of book); 206-624-6600, elliottbaybook.com

Tracy Chevalier

A lot of us know Chevalier’s name from “Girl with a Pearl Earring,” her mega-bestseller from 1999 (translated into 38 languages!), which was later adapted for the screen with Scarlett Johansson in the title role. Chevalier, an American who lives in Great Britain, has since written a number of other works of historical fiction; her latest, “A Single Thread,” takes place in Winchester, England, before World War II.

7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 19; Third Place Books at Lake Forest Park, 17171 Bothell Way N.E., Lake Forest Park; free (ticket required for signing line, available with prepurchase of book); 206-366-3333, thirdplacebooks.com

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Malcolm Gladwell

The podcast host (“Revisionist History,” “Broken Record”) and bestselling author (“The Tipping Point,” “Blink,” “Outliers”) kicks off Seattle Arts & Lectures 2019-20 Literary Arts Series. Individual tickets are sold out but subscriptions to the season — which also includes Amor Towles, Jodi Kantor/Megan Twohey, Min Jin Lee, Carol Anderson and Luis Alberto Urrea — are still available.

7:30 p.m. Monday, Sept. 23; Benaroya Hall, 200 University, Seattle; subscriptions begin at $149; 206-621-2230, lectures.org

J.A. Jance

Seattle homicide detective J.P. Beaumont — who’s technically in retirement — returns to the game in “Sins of the Fathers,” the latest novel from bestselling author Jance.

7 p.m. Monday, Sept. 23; Third Place Books at Lake Forest Park, 17171 Bothell Way N.E., Lake Forest Park; free; 206-366-3333, thirdplacebooks.com

Jacqueline Woodson, author of “Red at the Bone,” will speak at Seattle Public Library’s Central Library on Sept. 24. (Tiffany A. Bloomfield)Jacqueline Woodson, author of “Red at the Bone,” will speak at Seattle Public Library’s Central Library on Sept. 24. (Tiffany A. Bloomfield)
Jacqueline Woodson, author of “Red at the Bone,” will speak at Seattle Public Library’s Central Library on Sept. 24. (Tiffany A. Bloomfield)

Jacqueline Woodson

The acclaimed author of numerous books for young people (and currently the National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature), Woodson thrilled adult readers with her bestselling novel “Another Brooklyn,” a finalist for the National Book Award. She returns to adult fiction with her latest book, “Red at the Bone,” in which two families from different social classes are joined by an unexpected pregnancy.

7 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 24; Seattle Public Library’s Central Library, 1000 Fourth Ave., Seattle; free; 206-386-4636, spl.org

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Jonathan Safran Foer

Best known for his fiction, particularly “Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close,” Safran Foer’s latest book is a nonfiction examination of the reality of human-caused climate change, called “We Are the Weather: Saving the Planet Begins at Breakfast.” He’ll discuss the topic with local radio/podcast journalist Steve Scher.

7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 25; Town Hall, 1119 Eighth Ave., Seattle; $5; 206-652-4255, townhallseattle.org

Paula Becker

Becker, the Seattle-based local historian and author of the biography “Looking for Betty MacDonald,” here turns to memoir: “A House on Stilts: Mothering in the Age of Opioid Addiction,” about her son’s 10-year struggle with addiction.

7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 26; Third Place Books at Lake Forest Park, 17171 Bothell Way N.E., Lake Forest Park; free; 206-366-3333, thirdplacebooks.com

Jayne Anne Phillips, Mira Jacob, Ruth Joffre

Writers Phillips (“Machine Dreams,” “Quiet Dell”), Jacob (“Good Talk: A Memoir in Conversations”) and Joffre (“Night Beast”), with musician Sarah Paul Ocampo, kick off the Hugo Literary Series with a freewheeling conversation on the topic of “The Great Divide.”

7:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 27; Hugo House, 1634 11th Ave., Seattle; $25; 206-322-7030, hugohouse.org

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Moira Macdonald

CLASSICAL MUSIC

Seattle Symphony Music Director Thomas Dausgaard. (Brandon Patoc)Seattle Symphony Music Director Thomas Dausgaard. (Brandon Patoc)
Seattle Symphony Music Director Thomas Dausgaard. (Brandon Patoc)

Seattle Symphony: Dausgaard conducts Mahler

Mahler’s mighty Symphony No. 1 is a major orchestral milestone, and we’ll hear the interpretation of new Seattle Symphony Music Director Thomas Dausgaard in three performances that also offer Brahms’ mighty Piano Concerto No. 2 (with powerhouse Yefim Bronfman at the keyboard). This program marks the first “Masterworks” concert of the Dausgaard era.

7:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 19; noon on Friday, Sept. 20; 8 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 21; Benaroya Hall, 200 University St., Seattle; tickets from $24; 206-215-4747, seattlesymphony.org

Olympic Music Festival

The summer’s not quite over yet, and over on the Olympic Peninsula, their music festival is still going strong this month. Artists include violinists Andrew Wan and Ray Chen, violist Yura Lee, cellist Matthew Zalkind, and pianists Julio Elizalde and Robert McDonald; the repertoire extends from Schumann’s “Davidsbündlertänze” to the Brahms Piano Quartet No. 3.

2 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 1, and Saturday, Sept. 7; Wheeler Theater at Fort Worden State Park, 200 Battery Way, Port Townsend; $20-$40 (age 7-12 free with RSVP), olympicmusicfestival.org

The Esoterics present “Kvandal & Bäck: A Double Centennial”

You can always count on the Esoterics to “boldly go where no chorus has gone before,” and this time they’re performing works of two obscure but worthy Scandinavian composers upon the centennial of their respective births: Norwegian composer Johan Kvandal and the Swedish composer Sven-Erik Bäck. What do they sound like? Go and find out, when Eric Banks leads his group (now in their 26th season) in motets and other works of these two contemporary choral masters.

8 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 14; St. James Cathedral, 804 Ninth Ave., Seattle; $15-$22, theesoterics.org

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Melinda Bargreen

DANCE

Dancer/choreographer Ligia Lewis brings “Water Will (in Melody),” a gothic tale in a cavernous landscape, to On the Boards. (Maria Baranova)Dancer/choreographer Ligia Lewis brings “Water Will (in Melody),” a gothic tale in a cavernous landscape, to On the Boards. (Maria Baranova)
Dancer/choreographer Ligia Lewis brings “Water Will (in Melody),” a gothic tale in a cavernous landscape, to On the Boards. (Maria Baranova)

Ligia Lewis: “Water Will (in Melody)”

Earlier this year, Lewis brought “Sorrow Swag” and “minor matter,” the first parts of her BLUE, RED, WHITE triptych to On the Boards. Now she caps it off with the last and latest, “Water Will,” for four performers who “enact a gothic tale set in a wet, cavernous landscape.” Expect strange, dystopic beauty.

Sept. 19-22; On the Boards, 100 W. Roy St., Seattle; $12-$75 (advance adult tickets are $28); 206-217-9886, ontheboards.org

Brendan Kiley

Pacific Northwest Ballet principal dancer Lesley Rausch with former PNB principal dancer Karel Cruz in George Balanchine’s “Agon.” PNB opens its 2019-2020 season with “Agon” on a double-bill with Kent Stowell’s “Carmina Burana.” (Angela Sterling)Pacific Northwest Ballet principal dancer Lesley Rausch with former PNB principal dancer Karel Cruz in George Balanchine’s “Agon.” PNB opens its 2019-2020 season with “Agon” on a double-bill with Kent Stowell’s “Carmina Burana.” (Angela Sterling)
Pacific Northwest Ballet principal dancer Lesley Rausch with former PNB principal dancer Karel Cruz in George Balanchine’s “Agon.” PNB opens its 2019-2020 season with “Agon” on a double-bill with Kent Stowell’s “Carmina Burana.” (Angela Sterling)

“Carmina Burana” & “Agon”

Pacific Northwest Ballet kicks off its 2019-20 season with a study in contrasts: Kent Stowell’s more-is-more spectacle “Carmina Burana,” complete with singers and wandering monks and a massive golden wheel, and George Balanchine’s minimalist classic “Agon.” Of the two, the latter is worth the ticket price all by itself: Another of Balanchine’s brilliant collaborations with composer Igor Stravinsky (which began with 1928’s “Apollo”), “Agon” is alluringly spiky, with every move from its leotard-and-tights-clad dancers utterly unexpected. (In the breathtaking pas de deux, the woman goes into a supported arabesque — and the man drops to the floor, while still holding her hand.) The ballet premiered at Balanchine’s New York City Ballet in 1957, and still looks completely modern; it’s a ballet forever young.

Sept. 27-Oct. 6; Marion Oliver McCaw Hall, 321 Mercer St., Seattle; $37-$190; 206-441-2424, pnb.org

Moira Macdonald

MOVIES

Tickets are already on sale for:

Abbas Kiarostami retrospective

Four of Seattle’s independent arthouse theaters — SIFF, Northwest Film Forum, Grand Illusion and the brand-new Beacon — are joining forces to present a treat: eight different programs featuring the work of the legendary Iranian filmmaker Kiarostami. The programs include his 1974 debut feature, “The Traveler”; his 1997 Palme d’Or-winning “Taste of Cherry”; his acclaimed Koker Trilogy (“Where is the Friend’s House?,” “And Life Goes On,” “Through the Olive Trees”); and a collective of his little-seen early short films.

Sept. 14-Oct. 6 at SIFF Film Center (Seattle Center campus, near corner of Warren and Republican, Seattle), Northwest Film Forum (1515 12th Ave., Seattle), Grand Illusion (1403 N.E. 50th St., Seattle), The Beacon (4405 Rainier Ave. S., Seattle); $10-14 depending on venue; 206-329-2629; nwfilmforum.org

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Moira Macdonald

MUSIC

Death Cab for Cutie and Car Seat Headrest

It’s been a year of Seattle superbills for Death Cab, coming off 2018’s re-energizing “Thank You for Today” LP. After pairing with ODESZA up in Bellingham this spring, the indie-rock giants link up with fellow Seattle stars Car Seat Headrest — which released their “Commit Yourself Completely” live album this summer — for this two-night summer send-off at one of the metro area’s most scenic, laid-back venues. After making a cameo on Chance the Rapper’s new album, Ben Gibbard and crew unveil “The Blue EP” on Sept. 6.

6:30 p.m. Sept. 7-8; Marymoor Park, 6046 W. Lake Sammamish Parkway N.E., Redmond; $45-$59.50; marymoorconcerts.com

Gary Clark Jr.

The modern Texas bluesman rides into Chateau Ste. Michelle’s amphitheatre, poised to unleash his trademark solos and fusionist swagger from his politically charged new album. Clark pulls no punches while melding blues, rock, soul and even reggae across “This Land,” detailing the racism he faces as a wealthy black man in America on the searing title track. A welcome addition to the Woodinville winery’s summer lineup.

7 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 11; Chateau Ste. Michelle, 14111 N.E. 145th St., Woodinville; $55.50-$69.50; ste-michelle.com

Nancy and Ann Wilson of Heart come to the Tacoma Dome Sept. 4. (Jeff Daly / Invision / AP)Nancy and Ann Wilson of Heart come to the Tacoma Dome Sept. 4. (Jeff Daly / Invision / AP)
Nancy and Ann Wilson of Heart come to the Tacoma Dome Sept. 4. (Jeff Daly / Invision / AP)

Heart

Following some family tension that led to a multiyear hiatus, the Wilson sisters reunited this year for their first tour together in three years. During their time apart, the Seattle rock greats worked on independent projects — Ann Wilson cutting a solo record, Nancy Wilson forming her Roadcase Royale band with former Prince protégé Liv Warfield and several recent members of Heart. Heart is joined by fellow Rock & Roll Hall of Famers Joan Jett & the Blackhearts, plus pop-rocker Elle King, in kicking off a busy month at Tacoma Dome with shows from Iron Maiden (Sept. 5), Post Malone (Sept. 14), Sir Elton (Sept. 17-18), a make-up Bob Seger date (Sept. 21) and Pepe Aguilar (Sept. 27).

7 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 4; Tacoma Dome, 2727 E. D St., Tacoma; tickets start at $34.50, tacomadome.org

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Huichica Walla Walla

Launched by Sonoma Valley winemaker Jeff Bundschu and Fruit Bats’ Eric D. Johnson a decade ago, the California-born mini festival pairing music and vino gets a Walla Walla edition, partnering with Washington’s Sleight of Hand Cellars. The small but strong two-day lineup features two sets apiece from Yo La Tengo, Robyn Hitchcock and Fruit Bats (solo), plus single sets from indie-rock fave Waxahatchee, garage rockers Allah-Las, Destroyer (solo), Titus Andronicus, Northwest vets the Minus 5 and more.

Sept. 13-14; Stella’s Homestead, 2194 S. Fork Coppei Road, Waitsburg; two-day passes $150, single-day $75-$100, basic camping $35-$50, wallawalla.huichica.com

Alice in Chains, with William DuVall (left) and Sean Kinney, play WaMu Theater on Sept. 20. (Katie Darby / Invision / AP)Alice in Chains, with William DuVall (left) and Sean Kinney, play WaMu Theater on Sept. 20. (Katie Darby / Invision / AP)
Alice in Chains, with William DuVall (left) and Sean Kinney, play WaMu Theater on Sept. 20. (Katie Darby / Invision / AP)

Alice in Chains

Fittingly, the grunge lords are winding down their touring in support of last year’s Northwest-imbued album “Rainier Fog” with a hometown gig. Last summer, Alice in Chains celebrated the new record with a release-weekend Seattle takeover, including an intimate show at the Crocodile, which counts drummer Sean Kinney as a part owner. “Rainier Fog” was one of the last albums recorded at Seattle’s fabled Studio X and earned the band its ninth Grammy nomination.

8 p.m. Friday, Sept. 20; WaMu Theater, 800 Occidental Ave. S., Seattle; $62, centurylinkfield.com

Michael Rietmulder

THEATER

Ayo Tushinde (left) and Christine Pilar in “Bulrusher” at Intiman Theatre. (Naomi Ishisaka)Ayo Tushinde (left) and Christine Pilar in “Bulrusher” at Intiman Theatre. (Naomi Ishisaka)
Ayo Tushinde (left) and Christine Pilar in “Bulrusher” at Intiman Theatre. (Naomi Ishisaka)

“Bulrusher”

This 2007 Pulitzer Prize finalist by Eisa Davis concerns a foundling who was floated on a river in a basket (sound familiar?) and landed in Boonville, north of San Francisco. By 1955, she’s a teenager and an outsider: a clairvoyant and multiracial orphan in a largely white town — then a young black woman from Alabama shows up, bringing the reality of the Jim Crow South with her, and sets some things in motion. Davis wrote the play with a heavy dose of Boontling, a real-life vocabulary specific to that place, where “bahl” means good; “taigey” means manic; and grapevines are known as “fratty shams.” Directed by local great Valerie Curtis-Newton, recently of “Nina Simone: Four Women” and “The Agitators.”

Through Sept. 14; Intiman Theatre at Jones Playhouse, 4045 University Way N.E., Seattle; free walk-up tickets (guaranteed availability at every performance), $15-$40 advance reserved tickets; intiman.org

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“Is God Is”

In her script notes, Aleshea Harris describes “Is God Is,” about two twins on a patricidal road trip, as a revenge epic that “takes its cues from the ancient, the modern, the tragic, the Spaghetti Western, hip-hop and Afropunk.” It also won the American Playwriting Foundation’s Relentless Award, established in honor of Philip Seymour Hoffman and the fattest cash prize ($45,000!) in American theater. “There’re hints of the ‘Oresteia’ in there,” Vulture critic Sara Holdren wrote in a 2018 review, “right alongside ‘Kill Bill.’” Directed by Portland-based Lava Alapai.

Sept. 6-23; Washington Ensemble Theatre and The Hansberry Project at 12th Avenue Arts, 1620 12th Ave., Seattle; $15-$25; washingtonensemble.org

“Indecent”

In 2015, after 40 drafts in seven years, playwright Paula Vogel (“How I Learned to Drive,” teacher of Lynn Nottage and Sarah Ruhl) finally finished “Indecent,” her telling of the story behind the 1906 play “God of Vengeance” by Yiddish writer Sholem Asch. Asch’s controversial play was about the daughter of a brothel owner and how she fell in love with one of her father’s prostitutes. Vogel’s award-winning play follows “Vengeance” from its first salon reading (where the audience is concerned about the throwing of a Torah and whether its prostitution themes bolster anti-Semitism) to a 1923 Broadway production, with legal rockiness and a plot-perverting English translation. Directed by local great Sheila Daniels, known for delving into a work to build nuanced symphonies of onstage emotion.

Sept. 20-Oct. 26; Seattle Repertory Theatre, 155 Mercer St., Seattle; $36-$80; 206-443-2222, seattlerep.org

Brendan Kiley

VISUAL ART

Xenobia Bailey, Marita Dingus, Henry Jackson-Spieker, Nastassja Swift

Sculpture and installation work by four artists at Wa Na Wari, which artist and curator Elisheba Johnson describes as “a Black arts space in a gentrified neighborhood.” Featured: human-ish sculptures made of found materials by Guggenheim fellow Dingus; large, wool heads of black women by fiber artist/soft sculptor Swift; a room covered in buzzing magenta with portrait photos by “cosmic-funk” artist and ethnomusicologist Bailey; and more.

Through Sept. 22; Wa Na Wari, 911 24th Ave., Seattle; free; wanawari.org

Jed Dunkerley, “Mark and Joshua,” 2019, acrylic on canvas. (Courtesy of Linda Hodges Gallery)Jed Dunkerley, “Mark and Joshua,” 2019, acrylic on canvas. (Courtesy of Linda Hodges Gallery)
Jed Dunkerley, “Mark and Joshua,” 2019, acrylic on canvas. (Courtesy of Linda Hodges Gallery)

Jed Dunkerly, Cable Griffith

According to the old formula “comedy is tragedy plus time,” Dunkerly’s paintings were funnier a decade ago: tower cranes planting old-growth fir for a “vintage” forest, engineers shaping clouds for a “rain grid” in Nebraska. The humor lived in his cheerfully matter-of-fact visions of people “taming” their environment like a strong virus “tames” a mammal. Time has passed, the word “anthropocene” has taken off, and his newer work still has jokes (an eagle hunting in the lumber section of a Home Depot, titled “Woodland Creatures”) but is also queasy-making (a flooded city, with just the tips of skyscrapers shining in the moonlight, titled “The Glass Archipelago”). Some jokes are jarring because they’re “too soon.” Dunkerly’s are too near. Also up: Griffith’s lightly abstracted, gently glitchy landscapes (deserts, forests, big flowers radiating in the undergrowth), which look softly computerized, or like human pictographs of the nonhuman realm.

Sept. 5-28; Linda Hodges Gallery, 316 First Ave. S., Seattle; free; 206-624-3034, lindahodgesgallery.com

Brendan Kiley

Freelance writer Melinda Bargreen (mbargreen@gmail.com) contributed to this report.

RankTribe™ Black Business Directory News – Arts & Entertainment

We are African Americans, we are patriots, and we refuse to sit idly by

July 26

This op-ed is co-signed by 149 African Americans who served in the Obama administration.

This post has been updated.

We’ve heard this before. Go back where you came from. Go back to Africa. And now, “send her back.” Black and brown people in America don’t hear these chants in a vacuum; for many of us, we’ve felt their full force being shouted in our faces, whispered behind our backs, scrawled across lockers, or hurled at us online. They are part of a pattern in our country designed to denigrate us as well as keep us separate and afraid.

As 149 African Americans who served in the last administration, we witnessed firsthand the relentless attacks on the legitimacy of President Barack Obama and his family from our front-row seats to America’s first black presidency. Witnessing racism surge in our country, both during and after Obama’s service and ours, has been a shattering reality, to say the least. But it has also provided jet-fuel for our activism, especially in moments such as these.

We stand with congresswomen Ilhan Omar, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ayanna Pressley and Rashida Tlaib, as well as all those currently under attack by President Trump, along with his supporters and his enablers, who feel deputized to decide who belongs here — and who does not. There is truly nothing more un-American than calling on fellow citizens to leave our country — by citing their immigrant roots, or ancestry, or their unwillingness to sit in quiet obedience while democracy is being undermined.

We are proud descendants of immigrants, refugees and the enslaved Africans who built this country while enduring the horrors of its original sin. We stand on the soil they tilled, and march in the streets they helped to pave. We are red-blooded Americans, we are patriots, and we have plenty to say about the direction this country is headed. We decry voter suppression. We demand equitable access to health care, housing, quality schools and employment. We welcome new Americans with dignity and open arms. And we will never stop fighting for the overhaul of a criminal-justice system with racist foundations.

We come from Minnesota and Michigan. The Bronx and Baton Rouge. Florida and Philadelphia. Cleveland and the Carolinas. Atlanta and Nevada. Oak-town and the Chi. We understand our role in this democracy, and respect the promise of a nation built by, for and of immigrants. We are part of that tradition, and have the strength to both respect our ancestors from faraway lands and the country we all call home.

Our love of country lives in these demands, and our commitment to use our voices and our energy to build a more perfect union. We refuse to sit idly by as racism, sexism, homophobia and xenophobia are wielded by the president and any elected official complicit in the poisoning of our democracy. We call on local, state and congressional officials, as well as presidential candidates to articulate their policies and strategies for moving us forward as a strong democracy, through a racial-equity lens that prioritizes people over profit. We will continue to support candidates for local, state and federal office who add more diverse representation to the dialogue and those who understand the importance of such diversity when policymaking here in our country and around the world. We ask all Americans to be a good neighbor by demonstrating anti-racist, environmentally friendly, and inclusive behavior toward everyone in your everyday interactions.

The statesman Frederick Douglass warned, “The life of a nation is secure only while the nation is honest, truthful and virtuous.” This nation has neither grappled with nor healed from the horrors of its origins. It is time to advance that healing process now through our justice, economic, health and political systems.

Expect to hear more from us. We plan to leave this country better than we found it. This is our home.

Saba Abebe, former special assistant, Office of Economic Impact and Diversity, Energy Department

Tsehaynesh Abebe, former adviser, U.S. Agency for International Development

David Adeleye, former policy specialist, White House

Bunmi Akinnusotu, former special assistant, Office of Land and Emergency Management, Environmental Protection Agency

Trista Allen, former senior adviser to the regional administrator, General Services Administration

Maria Anderson, former operations assistant, White House

Karen Andre, former White House liaison, Department of Housing and Urban Development

Caya Lewis Atkins, former counselor for science and public health, Department of Health and Human Services

Roy L. Austin Jr., former deputy assistant to the president, White House Domestic Policy Council

Kevin Bailey, former special assistant, White House; senior policy adviser, Treasury Department

Jumoke Balogun, former adviser to the secretary, Labor Department

Diana Banks, former deputy assistant secretary, Defense Department

Desiree N. Barnes, former adviser to the press secretary, White House

Kevin F. Beckford, former special adviser, Department of Housing and Urban Development

Alaina Beverly, former associate director, Office of Urban Affairs, White House

Saba Bireda, former senior counsel, Office for Civil Rights, Education Department

Vincent H. Bish Jr., former special assistant to the assistant secretary of strategic program management, Department of Health and Human Services

Michael Blake, former director for African American, minority and women business enterprises and county and statewide elected officials, White House

Tenicka Boyd, former special assistant, Office of Faith Based and Neighborhood Partnerships, Education Department

Tanya Bradsher, former assistant secretary for public affairs, Department of Homeland Security

Stacey Brayboy, former chief of staff, Office of the Chief Financial Officer, Agriculture Department

Allyn Brooks-LaSure, former deputy associate administrator for external affairs, Environmental Protection Agency

Chiquita Brooks-LaSure, former director of coverage policy, Office of Health Reform, Department of Health and Human Services

Quincy K. Brown, former senior policy adviser, Office of Science and Technology Policy, White House

Taylor Campbell, former director of correspondence systems innovation, White House

Crystal Carson, former chief of staff to the director of communications, White House

Genger Charles, former general deputy assistant secretary for the Office of Housing, Federal Housing Administration, Department of Housing and Urban Development

Glorie Chiza, former associate director, Office of Public Engagement and Intergovernmental Affairs, White House

Sarah Haile Coombs, special assistant, Department of Health and Human Services

Michael Cox, former special assistant to the assistant secretary for intergovernmental affairs, Commerce Department

Adria Crutchfield, former director of external affairs, Federal Hurricane Sandy Rebuilding Task Force, Department of Housing and Urban Development

Joiselle Cunningham, former special adviser, Office of the Secretary, Education Department

Charlotte Flemmings Curtis, former special adviser for White House initiatives, Corporation for National and Community Service

Kareem Dale, former special assistant to the president for disability policy, White House

Ashlee Davis, former White House liaison, Agriculture Department

Marco A. Davis, former deputy director, White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics

Russella L. Davis-Rogers, former chief of staff, Office of Strategic Partnerships, Department of Education

Tequia Hicks Delgado, former senior adviser for congressional engagement and legislative relations, Office of Legislative Affairs, White House

Kalisha Dessources Figures, former policy adviser, White House Council on Women and Girls

Leek Deng, former special assistant, Bureau for Global Health, U.S. Agency for International Development

Tene Dolphin, former chief of staff, Economic Development Administration, Commerce Department

Monique Dorsainvil, former deputy chief of staff, Office of Public Engagement and Intergovernmental Affairs, White House

Joshua DuBois, former executive director, Office of Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships; former special assistant to the president, White House

Dru Ealons, former director, Office of Public Engagement, Environmental Protection Agency

Rosemary Enobakhare, former deputy associate administrator for public engagement and environmental education, Environmental Protection Agency

Karen Evans, former assistant director and policy adviser, Office of Cabinet Affairs, White House

Clarence J. Fluker, former deputy associate director for national parks and youth engagement, White House Council on Environmental Quality

Heather Foster, former public engagement adviser and director of African American affairs, White House

Kalina Francis, former special adviser, Office of Public Affairs, Treasury Department

Matthew “Van” Buren Freeman, former senior adviser, Minority Business Development Agency, Commerce Department

Cameron French, former deputy assistant secretary for public affairs, Department of Housing and Urban Development

Jocelyn Frye, former deputy assistant to the president and director of policy and special projects for the first lady, White House

Bernard Fulton, former deputy assistant secretary for congressional relations, Department of Housing and Urban Development

Stephanie Gaither, former confidential assistant to the deputy director, Office of Management and Budget, White House

Demetria A. Gallagher, former senior adviser for policy and inclusive innovation, Commerce Department

Lateisha Garrett, former White House liaison, National Endowment for the Humanities

W. Cyrus Garrett, former special adviser to the director of counternarcotics enforcement, Department of Homeland Security

Bishop M. Garrison, former science and technology directorate adviser, Department of Homeland Security

Lisa Gelobter, former chief digital service officer, Education Department

A’shanti F. Gholar, former special assistant to the secretary, Labor Department

Jay R. Gilliam, former special assistant, U.S. Agency for International Development

Artealia Gilliard, former deputy assistant secretary for transportation policy, Transportation Department

Brenda Girton-Mitchell, former director, Center for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships, Education Department

Jason Green, former associate counsel and special assistant to the president, White House

Corey Arnez Griffin, former associate director, Peace Corps

Kyla F. Griffith, former special adviser to the secretary, Commerce Department

Simone L. Hardeman-Jones, former deputy assistant secretary, Office of Legislative and Congressional Affairs, Education Department

Thamar Harrigan, former senior intergovernmental relations adviser, Department of Housing and Urban Development

Dalen Harris, former director, Office of Intergovernmental and Public Liaison, Office of National Drug Control Policy, White House

Khalilah M. Harris, former deputy director, White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for African Americans; former senior adviser, Office of Personnel Management

Adam Hodge, former deputy assistant secretary for public affairs, Treasury Department

Valerie Jarrett, former senior adviser, White House

Will Yemi Jawando, former associate director, Office of Public Engagement, White House

Karine Jean-Pierre, former northeast political director, Office of Political Affairs, White House

A. Jenkins, former director, Center for Faith Based and Neighborhood Partnerships, Commerce Department

Adora Jenkins, former press secretary, Justice Department; former deputy associate administrator for external affairs, Environmental Protection Agency

W. Nate Jenkins, former chief of staff and senior adviser to the budget director, Office of Management and Budget, White House

David J. Johns, former executive director, White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for African Americans

Brent Johnson, former special adviser to the secretary, Commerce Department

Broderick Johnson, former White House assistant to the president and Cabinet secretary for My Brother’s Keeper Task Force

Carmen Daniels Jones, former director, Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization, Agriculture Department

Gregory K. Joseph II, former special assistant, Office of the Executive Secretariat, Energy Department

Jamia Jowers, former special assistant, National Security Council

Charmion N. Kinder, former associate, Press Office of the First Lady, White House; former assistant press secretary, Department of Housing and Urban Development

Elise Nelson Leary, former international affairs adviser, National Aeronautics and Space Administration

Kimberlyn Leary, former adviser, White House Council on Women and Girls

Daniella Gibbs Léger, former special assistant to the president and director of message events, White House

Georgette Lewis, former policy adviser, Department of Health and Human Services

Kevin Lewis, former director of African American media, White House; former principal deputy director of public affairs, Justice Department

Catherine E. Lhamon, former assistant secretary for civil rights, Education Department

Tiffani Long, former special adviser, Economic Development Administration

Latifa Lyles, former director, Women’s Bureau, Labor Department

Brenda Mallory, former general counsel, White House Council on Environmental Quality

Dominique Mann, former media affairs manager, White House

Shelly Marc, former policy adviser, Office of Public Engagement and Intergovernmental Affairs, White House

Tyra A. Mariani, former chief of staff to the deputy secretary, Education Department

Lawrence Mason III, former domestic policy analyst, Office of Presidential Correspondence, White House

Dexter L. McCoy, former special assistant, Office of the Secretary, Education Department

Matthew McGuire, former U.S. executive director, The World Bank Group

Tyrik McKeiver, former senior adviser, State Department

Tjada D’Oyen McKenna, former assistant to the administrator, U.S. Agency for International Development

Solianna Meaza, former special assistant to associate administrator, U.S. Agency for International Development

Mahlet Mesfin, former assistant director for international science and technology, Office of Science and Technology Policy, White House

Ricardo Michel, former director, Center for Transformational Partnerships, U.S. Agency for International Development Global Development Lab

Paul Monteiro, former associate director, Office of Public Engagement, White House

Jesse Moore, former associate director, Office of Public Engagement, White House

Shannon Myricks, former specialist, Office of Management and Administration Information Services, White House

Melanie Newman, former director of public affairs, Justice Department

Fatima Noor, former policy assistant, Domestic Policy Council

Bianca Oden, former deputy chief of staff, Agriculture Department

Funmi Olorunnipa, former ethics counsel, White House Counsel’s Office

Elizabeth Ogunwo, former White House liaison, Peace Corps

Stephanie Sprow Owens, former deputy director, Reach Higher, Education Department

Denise L. Pease, former regional administrator of the northeast and Caribbean region, General Services Administration

Danielle Perry, former special adviser to the assistant secretary, Agriculture Department

Allison C. Pulliam, former special assistant, Office of Presidential Personnel, White House

Colby Redmond, former advance specialist, Office of the Secretary, Commerce Department

Derrick Robinson, former researcher, Office of Communications, White House

Lynn M. Ross, former deputy assistant secretary for policy development, Department of Housing and Urban Development

Sarah Rutherford, former press and media operations assistant, White House

Alexander Sewell, former special assistant, Export-Import Bank

Michael Smith, former special assistant to the president and senior director of Cabinet affairs for My Brother’s Keeper, White House

Russell F. Smith, former deputy assistant secretary for international fisheries, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Commerce Department

Jackeline Stewart, former press secretary, General Services Administration

Angela Tennison, former leadership development director, Education Department

Kenny Thompson Jr., former special assistant to the president and director of message events to the vice president, White House

Ivory A. Toldson, former executive director, White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities

Fred Tombar, former senior adviser to the secretary for disaster recovery, Department of Housing and Urban Development

Christopher R. Upperman, former assistant administrator for public engagement, Small Business Administration

Malik Walker, former senior adviser for congressional and legislative affairs, Office of Personnel Management

Jason R.L. Wallace, former director of scheduling and advance, Department of Housing and Urban Development

Myesha Ward, former assistant U.S. trade representative for intergovernmental affairs and public engagement

Clarence Wardell III, former presidential innovation fellow

Benjamin E. Webb, former executive director of policy and planning, Customs and Border Protection, Department of Homeland Security

C’Reda J. Weeden, former executive secretary, Department of Health and Human Services

Tonia Wellons, former associate director, Office of Strategic Partnerships, Peace Corps

Antonio White, former senior adviser, Treasury Department

Monae White, former special projects manager, Education Department

Aketa Marie Williams, former director of strategic communications, Office of the Undersecretary, Education Department

Jonta Williams, former adviser to the assistant administrator for Africa, U.S. Agency for International Development

Jessica Wilson, former special assistant, Office of Policy, Department of Homeland Security

Taj Wilson, former deputy associate counsel, White House

Candace Wint, former director of advance, Department of Housing and Urban Development

Brent C. Woolfork, former managing director, Overseas Private Investment Corporation

Tarrah Cooper Wright, former special assistant to the secretary, Department of Homeland Security

Ursula Wright, former associate assistant deputy secretary, Education Department

Carl Young, former adviser and assistant, Office of Management and Budget, White House

Stephanie Young, former senior adviser, Office of Public Engagement, White House

David N. Zikusoka, former senior adviser for weapons of mass destruction and nonproliferation, Office of the Vice President, White House

AfroChella by African American Cultural Festival of Raleigh and Wake County

AfroChella by African American Cultural Festival of Raleigh and Wake County

RESTRICTED -- Uncovering the Soul of the ‘Black Is Beautiful’ Movement

Categories: Arts, Attractions, Fundraiser
Visit Their Website

African American Cultural Festival is celebrating our 10th year anniversary and we are kicking off Labor Day with an Afro Chella Gala

It’s Celebration Time! In honor of the rich legacy of the African American Cultural Festival of Raleigh and Wake County over the past 10 years, you are invited to join us for a fun, festive evening!Afro Chella inspired fundraising event is a night of fun, drinks, music and fellowship. Come out in your African garb[preferred but not required] and help us celebrate our 10 year anniversary while we celebrate African culture with style and grace. This is an opportunity to support the festival as all proceeds will be for to the 501 (c)(3). We will have a live band, photo booth, VIP cocktail hour, drinks and so much more. We hope you will join us and celebrate this milestone and the many more to come. Purchase tickets now as this event will sell out!Limited VIP Packages are available… *This is a mature event for those at least 21 years old.

The African American who moved to Ghana ‘to escape US racism’

Obadele Kambon and familyImage copyright Obadele Kambon
Image caption Academic Obadele Kambon lives with his family in Ghana’s capital

African American Obadele Kambon has never looked back since moving to Ghana in 2008.

He vowed to quit the US for West Africa after being the victim of what he believed was a racially motivated arrest.

Mr Kambon has now built a successful life in the place that was once at the heart of the slave trade, and enjoys the freedom which, he says, was denied to him in the US, his birthplace.

He says he no longer looks over his shoulder, worrying that police will pull him over or, worse still, kill his son. This was the a fate that befell 12-year-old Tamir Rice who, was shot dead in a park in Cleveland, Ohio, in 2014 while playing with a pellet gun that police said they thought was real.

Wrongly arrested

The young boy’s death sparked protests in Cleveland, and became a focal point for the Black Lives Matter movement.

Mr Kambon says the turning point in his life came in 2007. He was arrested and put on trial in Chicago – where he lived – after being accused by police officers of having a loaded firearm under his car seat and intending to commit a drive-by shooting. In fact, he had an unloaded licensed gun, used earlier to secure a campsite, in his car boot.

Mr Kambon recalls that he was shocked by the charges and as he sat in the court, he vowed: “Never again will I allow myself to be in a jurisdiction where corrupt white police officers and a judge will take me away from my family, wife and kids just on a whim.”

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Media captionGhanaian artist Kwame Akoto-Bamfo creates sculptures of slaves to immerse people in their experience.

Mr Kambon – who was a young academic teaching at schools and universities in the Chicago area – was eventually cleared of the charge. He then saved up about $30,000 (£24,000) and relocated to Ghana’s capital, Accra, the following year.

He was joined by his wife Kala, and the couple now have three children – Ama, Kwaku and Akosua.

Immersed in African spirituality

Mr Kambon started his doctoral studies in linguistics at the University of Ghana in 2009 and now teaches at its Institute of African Studies.

Since moving to Ghana, he has noticed that he no longer feels he is a victim of racial profiling or racial abuse.

He points out that his friend felt likewise when he relocated, and quipped: “Wow, this is what it must feel like to be a white person in America, just to be able to live without worrying that something is going to happen to you.”

Mr Kambon concedes that not everything is “hunky dory” in Ghana.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption A slave castle along Ghana’s coastline is now a major tourist attraction

“You practise African spirituality and everyone thinks you are a Rasta, the Abraham religion that the whites introduced is dominant and there is not even a concept that Africans can have their own religion,” he says.

He was also shocked to discover that in a complex where he lived with four other families children did not speak any African language.

“There was a point where the children had an Ewe mother and if you greet them in Ewe they’ll tell you, ‘Oh I don’t speak Twi’.

“They cannot even identify their own mother language,” he adds.

In contrast, Mr Kambon is fluent in two West African languages – Akan and Yoruba – and is proficient in a third, Wolof. He also has some level of competency in Swahili, East Africa’s main language, and in Kikongo, spoken in parts of southern and central Africa.

Campaigned against Gandhi

He has also tried to address the legacy of colonialism in other ways.

In 2018, he successfully led a campaign to force the University of Ghana to remove a statue of India’s independence leader Mahatma Gandhi.

Image copyright Emmanuel Dzivenu/JoyNews
Image caption Obadele Kambon led a campaign to remove Mahatma Gandhi’s statue from a university campus

Standing at the empty plinth, he gave the Black Power salute, and called for the recognition of African heroes rather than a man who had once referred to black South Africans by a highly offensive racist slur – and had said that Indians were “infinitely superior” to black people.

“If we show that we have no respect for ourselves and look down on our own heroes and praise others who had no respect for us, then there is an issue,” Mr Kambon tells the BBC.

Although slavery was practised long before 1619, this year is widely regarded as the 400th anniversary of the first enslaved Africans arriving in the US.

The Elmina and Cape Coast slave castles along Ghana’s coastline served as a major hub for the trans-Atlantic trade where millions were captured and loaded onto ships, never to return home.

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Media captionNancy Pelosi addresses Ghana’s parliament

Timeline of slavery in the US:

1619 – Some of the first African slaves are purchased in Virginia by English colonists, though slaves had been used by European colonists long before

1788 – The US constitution is ratified; under it, slaves are considered by law to be three-fifths of a person

1808 – President Thomas Jefferson officially ends the African slave trade, but domestic slave trade, particularly in the southern states, begins to grow

1822 – Freed African Americans found Liberia in West Africa as a new home for freed slaves

1860 – Abraham Lincoln becomes president; the southern states secede and the Civil War begins the following year

1862 – President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation frees all slaves in the seceded states

1865 – The South loses the war; the 13th Amendment to the Constitution formally abolishes slavery

1868 – The 14th Amendment grants freed African Americans citizenship

1870 – The 15th Amendment gives African American men the right to vote; the South begins passing segregation laws

Image copyright Smith Collection/Gado

Ghana’s President Nana Akufo-Addo has declared 2019 to be the “Year of Return”, saying it is the country’s responsibility to “welcome home” Africans whose families were forced into slavery.

The Ghana Tourism Authority has also planned a series of events – including a festival on 24 August – to showcase the beauty of the West African state in the hope of boosting tourism.

Mr Kambon welcomes the initiative, but warns that Africans in the diaspora should not merely be seen as “automated teller machines”.

Bastion of pan-Africanism

The president sees things differently, saying it is an opportunity to strengthen links and to give the diaspora a chance to explore the possibility of settling in Ghana – something that famous African American civil rights leaders Marcus Garvey and WEB Du Bois championed in the 1920s.

Du Bois made Ghana his home, and died there in 1963 at the age of 95. He is buried in Accra.

Martin Luther King, Malcolm X and Muhammad Ali all paid high profile visits to Ghana to reconnect with their African roots.

Read more:

Ghana has long prided itself as a bastion of pan-Africanism. Its founding leader, Kwame Nkrumah, declared the West African state the “Black Mecca”, and showed strong support for Marcus Garvey’s Back-to-Africa movement in the 1960s.

Various governments have continued in this tradition – for instance in 2001 then-President John Kufuor’s government passed the Right of Abode Law, allowing Africans in the diaspora to settle in Ghana.

In 2016, Mr Kambon – along with 33 other Africans in the diaspora – petitioned President John Mahama, to grant them citizenship.

In what was his last act in office after losing elections in December of the same year, Mr Mahama used his presidential powers to accede to their request.

Image copyright Obadele Kambon
Image caption Obadele Kambon has been honoured by traditional leaders in Ghana

“‘I am not giving you anything, this is your birth right, I am only restoring what is rightfully yours,'” Mr Kambon recalls Mr Mahama telling him.

As for his parents, he is grateful to them for connecting him to his African roots by naming him Obadele, Yoruba for “the king comes home”.

To crown it all a chiefdom in Ghana’s Eastern region honoured him in 2017 with the title “Ban mu Kyidomhene”, an Akan phrase for “Ruler of the Rear-guard”.

Mr Kambon has pledged to continue campaigning for people in the diaspora to relocate to the continent to help in its development – a message which he hopes will resonate at a time when US President Donald Trump is accused of fuelling racism and xenophobia.

“What he does is actually helpful to those of us who are for repatriation,” Mr Kambon says.

A professor’s case for African-American reparations

Moore :: CT Mirror

Thomas Craemer, a German-born professor of Public Policy at the University of Connecticut, has been studying race and reparations for more than two decades. His struggle with his country’s past now informs his work studying how reparation payments would work in the U.S.

Twenty years ago, Thomas Craemer sat face to face with a Holocaust survivor and heard first-hand about atrocities committed by his grandparent’s generation. Mieciu, a Holocaust survivor, shared over dinner one night how he had survived multiple concentration camps and a Death March.

“I felt an intense feeling of shame, especially when he went into the incredibly brutal details, and words kind of leave you at that point,” said Craemer, who is now a professor of public policy at the University of Connecticut.

“He just saw the tears in my eyes and his response was to embrace me. I resembled an SS guard and at the same time, he saw that I was touched by his story. That meant something to him and he embraced me and treated me like a son ever since.”

According to Craemer, even though no one in his family officially joined the Nazi party, some of his family members were sympathetic to the cause.

“I felt an immediate sense of empathy and grief and anger and then, of course, shame because it was my ancestors who did this,” Craemer said.

Craemer learned after Mieciu’s passing in 2015 that his friend had received a reparations pension from the West German government.

“It was only 1,500 Euros a month but it was a small gesture that basically showed to him that Germany was seriously seeking amends. That was a signal to me that my country was willing to take responsibility and make a change. So, it had a positive effect on both of us — not just him as a survivor, but also to me as a descendant of the perpetrator.”

Today, that experience informs Creamer’s work on the topics of race and, more specifically, reparations, which he has been researching since the early 2000s.

The idea of reparations for the descendants of slaves is not a new one, but it has risen to the top of the country’s political consciousness since becoming somewhat of a litmus test for 2020 Democratic presidential candidates. Several of the candidates, who are vying for support from black Americans — a voting bloc that will have a huge hand in choosing the party’s next nominee— have expressed support for reparations in some form.

In 2015, Craemer published a paper which assigned a trillion-dollar price tag to the damage and inequality caused by American slavery. More recently, he partnered with Georgetown University to assist with its campaign to pay reparations to the descendants of the 272 enslaved people the university sold in 1838.

During a recent interview with the CT Mirror, Craemer talked about how his experience confronting the racist history of his country now informs his work researching how reparations might look here in the United States.

Question: Can you tell us a little bit about your background and your upbringing?

Answer: I’m originally from Germany. I grew up in a small town called Tübingen, where I also went to school and got my undergrad education and graduate education including a doctorate. And then I moved to the United States to get a Ph.D. at Stony Brook University, and have worked at the University of Connecticut since 2005.

Q: Tell us about your journey into this line of study. How did it begin?

 A:  I started researching the topic of reparations at a time when no southern state had apologized for slavery. Since then, several have. When I began, the federal government, the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate had not apologized for it, and the debate about reparations was kind of under the surface.

“There are inheritances being handed down to the hands of people whose ancestors did not do the hard work, instead of being handed down to the hands of African American families whose ancestors did do the hard work. That is a present-day injustice that has nothing to do with any pain and suffering back then.”

Q: What is the function of reparations?

 A: It’s purely symbolic because there is absolutely no way that any policy or any program can ever bring life back. Reparations can’t improve living conditions retroactively, and can’t take away the loss. For my friend Mieciu, nothing will bring back his family back, nothing will make up for the suffering that he personally went through, but it is a symbolic gesture that means more than just saying, ‘I’m sorry’, or ‘I’m ashamed.’ It’s just a symbol that makes the words count more.

Q: What do you say to the argument that reparations shouldn’t be paid because no one living today is a slave or slave owner?

A: The passage of time sometimes leads to objections, such as, “There’s no present-day injustice that is being perpetrated, therefore reparations should not be paid.” My response to that would be that there are inheritances being handed down to the hands of people whose ancestors did not do the hard work, instead of being handed down to the hands of African American families whose ancestors did do the hard work. That is a present-day injustice that has nothing to do with any pain and suffering back then. It has to do with a current injustice.

Wikipedia

Ledger of sale of 118 slaves, Charleston, South Carolina, c. 1754

Q: What does the political disagreement about this topic say about where we are right now as a country?

 A: It’s not surprising that there’s opposition to reparations. There was resistance to reparations following the Holocaust, except it was on the side of the Israelis rather than the German side.

Policy debate is not unusual, but any policy in the United States that has even very carefully tried to change the racial status quo has always faced a big backlash. Policies such as affirmative action, which doesn’t even make up for the wealth disparities caused by racial discrimination in the past and was designed to prevent racial discrimination going forward, have [attracted] such tremendous backlash. Busing policies in the 70s that tried to remedy school segregation faced massive backlash as well, so I am not surprised that reparations has received some backlash, but that’s not necessarily a good reason to not attempt it.

Q: There has been debate over what reparations should look like if pursued. What are your thoughts on what form they should take?

 A: There seems to be an impulse to — and this is true for white and African-American reparations experts — shy away from cash payments and go directly to educational benefits, pension payments, health care benefits, and so on. [These alternatives] ensure that wealth is being created, and have an intergenerational effect [by ensuring] that the benefits don’t just evaporate after the first generation of reparations recipients. I think those ideas are valid, but we have to be clear that it’s very paternalistic thinking.

Then the question of whether we should treat African-Americans with more paternalism than white Americans arises. For example, there are no laws in this country that tell heirs of estates what they can do with their [inheritance] and whether they have to spend it on education, health care or whether they can spend it frivolously. So, can we really tell African-American heirs that they must spend their money wisely?

“The United States has never shied away from a big project. The moon landing was big, and it was complicated, and it was achieved. The fact that it’s big and complicated should be a challenge for Americans to address it.”

 Q: As a white reparations researcher, how would you imagine reparations being paid in America?

 A: My personal preference would be that there be a substantial cash component. Simply because [there were cash payments] made to Japanese-American World War II internees. Basically, they received a letter of apology from the U.S. president at the time, and I believe $20,000 in cash. That’s not very much, but I should also mention that Japanese-American internment was much shorter than the enslavement of African-Americans in terms of the overall time. It lasted three years, whereas, with African-American enslavement, we’re talking about hundreds of years and a much larger segment of the population. So naturally, the cash component would have to be larger and it would have to be fair in comparison to other reparations cases.

But, other than that I can imagine all kinds of different policies. I should also mention that slavery is not the only thing that created the wealth gap in the United States between African Americans and white Americans. There was a century of Jim Crow discrimination, there was explicit anti-black discrimination during the New Deal era, and during World War II and in the post-war era. [In addition], discriminatory housing policies where white Americans received government-insured mortgages under better conditions than African-Americans, who were explicitly excluded from these mortgage [opportunities] based only on their race.

And in regard to education, the GI Bill was administered in a colorblind way but discrimination during World War II, which barred African-Americans from certain positions, meant they didn’t qualify for certain GI Bill benefits afterward. So, all of these things have to be taken into consideration and repaired as well because they had intergenerational wealth implications and contributed to the wealth gap.

Wikipedia

Slaves Waiting for Sale: Richmond, Virginia. Painted upon the sketch of 1853

Q: How much would the United States owe in reparation payments, and what is your counter to the argument that the problem is too big to solve?

A: The United States has never shied away from a big project. The moon landing was big, and it was complicated, and it was achieved. The fact that it’s big and complicated should be a challenge for Americans to address it.

The estimate that I came up with was huge. Using a very conservative interest rate, reparation payments would equal one year’s worth of the United States Gross Domestic Product. [In 2015, when I released my research and estimates], the number was approximately 14 trillion (based on 2009 estimates), and it seemed difficult to pay back. But, at the same time, it also shows you the magnitude of the historical crime. African-Americans were basically forced to give the United States an involuntary loan to build the U.S. economy.

It will have to be paid back sooner rather than later because the wealth that was created is earning interest in more and more diffused hands. It’s earning compound interest which grows exponentially, so the debt grows exponentially. Every year we wait, it’ll be more.

Today, that number is approximately $19 or $20 trillion.

“African-Americans were basically forced to give the United States an involuntary loan to build the U.S. economy.”

Q: In the Trump era, how realistic is it to believe Americans would support reparations given that polls suggest that it’s not very popular with the general population?

 A: Let me start off by saying that I did not see the Obama era coming, I did see not the Trump era coming, and I did not see reparations being suddenly elevated to a mainstream topic. All these are surprises to me. But I would say it’s more realistic in the Trump era than in the Obama era because [during Obama’s eight years in office] we would have had to demand reparations from a black president in a country that self-styled itself as post-racial.

Whereas in the Trump era, Trump has basically missed no racial slur, whether explicit or implicit or through dog whistle, and has created a climate of explicit racism. And I think that makes it easier for the other side to speak out and to make unusual demands that some might find radical.

Wikipedia

Slave trader’s business in Atlanta, Georgia, 1864

Q: What do you have to say to the argument that having a black president sort of eliminated our need to atone for slavery?

A: One has nothing to do with the other. Reparations, especially for slavery, is about lost inheritances and having a black president has done nothing to change how this accumulating capital is passed down from generation to generation. It’s still passed down in the hands of predominantly white families, and it’s clearly excluded from the majority of black families.

“Reparations, especially for slavery, is about lost inheritances and having a black president has done nothing to change how this accumulating capital is passed down from generation to generation.”

Q: How did you become involved in the Isaac Hawkins Legacy project at Georgetown University?

A: I was invited to consult with the Isaac Hawkins Legacy group pro bono, based on my 2015 article on estimating slavery reparations. They were interested in estimating what Georgetown University would owe the enslaved people it sold to the south in 1838 [to prevent financial ruin].

Georgetown University is the first case in U.S. history, that I’m aware of, in which an organization that has been associated with slavery has apologized to the direct descendants of the enslaved it sold. [The university has also] made a couple of symbolic gestures, like renaming buildings, and it has also provided Legacy status to direct descendants.

What I’m most proud of is the fact that the student body voted to impose a fee on itself to pay direct reparations to the direct descendants.

To me, this is a historical first in the United States. It’s a small fee, it’s a symbolic fee, but it is intended to go directly to the direct descendants of the enslaved and coming from students, it means a lot.

The ‘1619 Project’ Isn’t Anti-American — It’s Anti-White Identity Politics

Donald Trump’s fellow Americans. Photo: Photo 12/Universal Images Group via Getty

Your great saints were child rapists. Your sacred texts are false alibis for a world-historic crime. That isn’t a hill your shining city sits upon, but the unmarked graves of men it condemned to unlived lives. The prosperity you saw as confirmation of God’s favor is actually proof of your complicity in theft; tucked beneath the bounty your fathers bequeathed you are a pile of unpaid debts. And the collective identity that gave you belonging – that freed you from the solitary confinement of your self, and commuted the death sentence that is your flesh – is a hateful lie that all non-racists are duty-bound to lay to rest.

This is, ostensibly, what the typical white conservative hears when reading (or imagining what it would be like to read) the New York Times’ “1619 Project.”

There’s a reason Elizabeth Warren is surging


Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) hosts a town hall in Los Angeles on Wednesday. (Frederic J. Brown/AFP/Getty Images)
Opinion writer

August 23 at 11:15 AM

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) held a town hall in Los Angeles on Wednesday in front of a huge audience. If you saw her just a few months ago, you would have been impressed by how she weaves her personal story into her policy objectives, the ease with which she can explain a complex problem in simple and direct language, and her skill in presenting lots of individual ideas under a big theme (give ordinary Americans a chance). Well, she has gotten even better.

For one thing, she’s not telling exactly the same story. Sure, she tells how her mother had to get a minimum-wage job at Sears after her father had a heart attack. But we also hear about her three brothers in the military and her non-linear life and career. She has gotten “looser” and funnier. She interacts with the crowd more. She has less anger, more determination and more confidence. She is high-energy.

And she has put more substance into her three-part plan to end corruption, to use a wealth tax to pay for a whole lot of child care/education programs and to fix our democracy (e.g., end gerrymandering and voter suppression). If we do all that, we can make progress in a bunch of other areas.

There were a few striking things about her Los Angeles appearance.

First, she said virtually nothing about health care in her presentation. For all the time and energy that have been taken up on Medicare-for-all, it was not in her three-part agenda. In the Q & A, she began her response to a health-care question by reminding the audience about the House’s vote to repeal the Affordable Care Act: “What kind of people hive-five one another over taking away health care from millions of Americans?” She reminded the audience about Republicans’ efforts to take away Medicaid, which pays for everything from addiction treatment to nursing home care. She affirmed that she believed in Medicare-for-all and asserted health care is a “right.” There was not a detailed plan, however, for health care.

Perhaps this is strategic, putting Republicans on defense rather than quibbling with other Democrats, or maybe she is giving herself just enough latitude in the general election to propose some intermediary steps. In either case, she seem very much aware of how easily Democrats can be thrown on defense against a president who tried to eliminate the entire ACA.

Second, she doesn’t run on gender specifically (vote for me — I’m a woman!), but much of her agenda revolves around education, health care and child care — all issues that matter a great deal to women. Moreover, in a lighthearted way, she recalls experts who told her not to have so many plans and to “smile more” (a typical put-down directed at serious women). She mugged with an exaggerated grin, as if to say, “No, I’m not going to get told what to do and how to look.”

Third, Warren still has difficulty attracting nonwhite voters, but it is not for lack of trying. She addressed everything from investing in historically black colleges and universities to police protection for transgender women of color. She stressed that however hard it is for the working class, it’s that much harder for people of color. Will that be enough, or are those voters looking for more passion, more emotional uplift and fewer policy solutions? Bill Clinton felt people’s pain, and perhaps Warren needs to make some visceral connection. (Did she participate in the civil rights movement? Did she live in segregated towns?)

In sum, Warren is a hugely impressive candidate. Whether her town-hall performances translate into votes, especially votes among critical African American voters, remains to be seen. But no one can say she doesn’t “Dream big, fight hard.”

Read more:

Paul Waldman: Why Elizabeth Warren is surging

Katrina vanden Heuvel: Elizabeth Warren is proving her doubters wrong

David Von Drehle: Elizabeth Warren’s jaw isn’t made of glass

Andy Puzder: Elizabeth Warren is the real economic threat

Max Boot: Elizabeth Warren has lots of ideas. Bad ideas.

Henry Olsen: Elizabeth Warren is gaining ground. But her path to the nomination is harder than you think.