(Black PR Wire) Professors at Florida A&M University (FAMU) and the FAMU-FSU College of Engineering have garnered a prestigious Centers of Research Excellence in Science and Technology (CREST) grant from the National Science Foundation. Funds will sup
Detroit’s riots began early on the morning of Sunday, July 23, 1967, set off by a police raid on a “blind pig,” local terminology for an illegal club. A combination of tensions, from employment, discrimination, police brutality and increasingly crowded living conditions finally boiled over. Parts of Detroit burned for nearly a week, leaving 43 dead.
“It’s like 9/11,” said Mr. Stone, a Detroit native. “Everyone remembers where they were and what they were doing in 1967 in Detroit.”
The historical museum’s exhibition, “Detroit 67: Perspectives,” has three sections: before, during and after the riots. In the first, timelines, photographs, movies, newspaper clippings and other ephemera plot the growth of Detroit’s black community during the Great Migration, with earlier examples of racial tension highlighted.
In addition to timelines and placards, visitors are exposed to the riots through more immersive displays, including a midcentury living room with TV sets blaring ABC News, and a mock-up of looted 12th Street businesses, including Joe’s Record Shop.
A mock tank is around the corner, its side split open, displays graphic-novel-style montages of residents recounting the riots. Tanks are a common theme. Sounds from the looted shop fronts and TVs compete for attention, a cacophony of smashing glass, crackling fires and panicked news coverage that brings a heart-pounding sense of confusion.
The historical society has also created programming outside the museum, including at the site where the riots began. It has dedicated a historical marker in Gordon Park, which is built over the site of the long-gone club. Curators from all three museums put together the program of events with input from focus groups of locals, academics and activists. The society also coordinated with Brothers Always Together, known as the BATs, a group of African-American men who were children at the time of the riots and have long held a commemorative neighborhood festival on their anniversary.
Aspects of the exhibitions at the Detroit Institute of Arts and the Wright Museum align. Their exhibitions share artists, including Jason H. Phillips, Jeff Donaldson and Wadsworth Jarrell, reflecting the museums’ collaboration. For the institute, that cooperation was an important component in seeking closer ties with African-Americans in the city, a goal of the museum director, Salvador Salort-Pons.
Looking beyond Detroit, the institute’s exhibition, “Art of Rebellion: Black Art of the Civil Rights Movement,” examines the civil rights movement’s artistic impact. Some pieces are influenced by African traditions, and are grouped by various African-American art movements, including Spiral, the Kamoinge Workshop and the Black Arts Movement. The exhibition curator, Valerie Mercer, said she hoped that museum-goers learn how, from the 1960s on, “artists participated in their own way in the civil rights and black power movement.”
Recent works by Detroit artists exemplify this, including Mario Moore’s 2015 “Queen Mother Helen Moore,” painted on shimmering copper and portraying his grandmother, protectively holding photos of her sons. “1967: Death in the Algiers Motel and Beyond,” by the Detroit artist Rita Dickerson, who was 21 during the riots, features the cherubic faces of the three young black men killed in the incident, which is dramatized in Ms. Bigelow’s movie. In Ms. Dickerson’s work, the names of young black men recently killed by the police are juxtaposed with the names of the victims from 1967.
Taking its name from a James Brown song, and with indoor and outdoor components, the Wright’s exhibition, “Say It Loud: Art, History, Rebellion,” is the most conceptually difficult of the three shows in Detroit. Groupings of artworks also highlight contradictions for African-Americans who might fight alongside whites to protect American freedoms, yet still have trouble reaching full equality, according to Erin Falker, an assistant curator at the museum.
Ms. Falker said that they chose to place “Flag for the Moon: Die Nigger” by Faith Ringgold, a distortion of the United States flag from 1969 that spells out the racial epithet in its stripes, across from the khaki-colored “Patriot” by Jeff Donaldson, from 1975, and “Weight” by Mr. Phillips, from 2001. Ms. Falker said the grouping highlighted the remembrance that, on the night of the raid that sparked the riots, the club was having a party for African-American soldiers returning from Vietnam.
One of the most uncomfortable works at the Wright is Sanford Biggers’s 2015 “Laocoön.” The cartoonish, bulbous black male is made from inflatable vinyl and is clothed in a bright orange shirt and bluejeans. He resembles a sleeping Fat Albert, but the museum placard suggests that the work depicts Eric Garner, the black man who died in 2014 after being restrained with a chokehold by the New York City police.
Today’s Black Lives Matter movement is reflected in all three shows. The institute’s final piece is a room almost entirely filled with Adam Pendleton’s 2015 work “Black Lives Matter #3.” The historical museum examines Black Lives Matter and that movement’s use of new media. At the Wright, in Mr. Phillips’s 2015 work “Uneven Fight,” “Black Lives Matter” is tattooed across the chest of a black boxer surrounded by menacing white police figures.
In a Detroit area with changing demographics, the Wright’s collaboration with the institute allows “people to see a much broader perspective of ’67 than they would have if they had just seen one or the other,” the Wright’s president and chief executive, Juanita Moore, said. She said she hoped it might also encourage more white visitors to her museum.
Another goal at all the museums is teaching millennials and other young people to make connections between the past and present. The Wright’s curator of exhibitions, Patrina Chatman, a Detroit native who was a teenager during the riots, said art with Black Lives Matter elements mixed with earlier civil rights references reminds young people that “history is repeating itself.”
Ms. Chatman added, “This occurred and pay attention, because it can happen again.” The question she wants all museum visitors to ask themselves is “how can we move forward” in racial understanding, in Detroit and throughout the United States?
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An explosion of violence turned deadly in a normally bucolic US university town as hundreds of white supremacists clashed with counter-protesters in the streets.
A car – allegedly driven by a young man who had long sympathised with Nazi views – ploughed into crowds, killing one person and leaving 19 injured, in Charlottesville, Virginia.
Police identified the woman killed when struck by the car as Heather D Heyer, 32, a Charlottesville resident.
The accused driver, James Alex Fields Jr, 20, of Ohio, espoused Nazi ideals in high school, according to Derek Weimer, a history teacher.
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Weimer said that he taught Fields during his junior and senior years at Randall K Cooper High School in Kentucky. During a class called “America’s Modern Wars,” Weimer said that Fields wrote a deeply researched paper about the Nazi military during World War II.
“It was obvious that he had this fascination with Nazism and a big idolatry of Adolf Hitler,” Weimer said. “He had white supremacist views. He really believed in that stuff.”
Weimer said that Fields’ research project into the Nazi military was well written but appeared to be a “big lovefest for the German military and the Waffen SS.”
Weimer said that as a teacher he unsuccessfully attempted to steer Fields away from his Nazi infatuation by using historical examples and facts.
“When you’re a teacher and you see one of your former students do this, it’s a nightmare scenario,” Weimer said.
“This was something that was growing in him. I admit I failed. I tried my best. But this is definitely a teachable moment and something we need to be vigilant about because this stuff is tearing up our country.”
Video recorded at the scene of the crash shows the 2010 Dodge Challenger accelerating into crowds on a pedestrian mall, sending bodies flying – and then reversing at high speed, hitting yet more people.
Witnesses said the street was filled with people opposed to the white nationalists, who had come to town bearing Confederate flags and anti-Semitic epithets.
Fields was arrested and charged with one count of second-degree murder, three counts of malicious wounding, and one count of hit-and-run attended failure to stop with injury, police said.
He is being held without bail and is scheduled to be arraigned Monday, Albemarle-Charlottesville Regional Jail Superintendent Martin Kumer said.
Brian Moran, Virginia secretary of public safety, said this of Fields: “He was a terrorist to do what he did.”
The FBI field office in Richmond and the US Attorney’s Office in the Western District of Virginia said that they have opened a civil rights investigation into the deadly car crash.
“The violence and deaths in Charlottesville strike at the heart of American law and justice,” US Attorney General Jeff Sessions said in a statement.
“When such actions arise from racial bigotry and hatred, they betray our core values and cannot be tolerated.”
Records show he last lived in Maumee, Ohio, about 15 miles southwest of Toledo.
Fields’ father was killed by a drunk driver a few months before the boy’s birth, according to an uncle who spoke on the condition of anonymity.
His father left him money that the uncle kept in a trust until Fields reached adulthood.
“When he turned 18, he demanded his money, and that was the last I had any contact with him,” the uncle said.
Fields, he said, grew up mostly in Northern Kentucky, where he’d been raised by a single mother who was a paraplegic. The uncle, who saw Fields mostly at family gatherings, described his nephew as “not really friendly, more subdued.”
Richard Spencer, a leader in the white supremacist movement who coined the term “alt-right,” said he didn’t know Fields but had been told he was a member of Vanguard America, which bills itself as the “Face of American Fascism.”
In a statement tweeted Saturday night, the group denied any connection to Fields.
In several images that circulated online, he was photographed with the group while wearing its unofficial uniform. Like members, he was dressed in a white polo, baggy khakis and sunglasses, while holding a black shield that features a common Vanguard symbol.
“The shields seen do not denote membership, nor does the white shirt,” the group said in its statement. “The shields were freely handed out to anyone in attendance.”
FATAL HELICOPTER CRASH
As of Saturday evening (Sunday NZT), the crash had left five people in critical condition and another 14 injured, according to a spokeswoman at the University of Virginia Medical Centre, where all of the wounded were being treated.
City officials said an additional 14 had been hurt in street brawls.
Also on Saturday, two state police officers died when their helicopter crashed on the outskirts of town.
Berke M M Bates of Quinton, Virginia was the pilot, and H Jay Cullen of Midlothian, Virginia, was a passenger, according to officials.
State police said their Bell 407 helicopter was assisting with the unrest in Charlottesville. Bates died one day before his 41st birthday; Cullen was 48.
‘SHAME ON YOU’
On Sunday morning, one day after Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe declared a state of emergency, he and Lieutenant Governor Ralph Northam attended a service at Mount Zion First African Baptist Church.
The governor brought the predominantly African American congregation to its feet as he stood at the pulpit and condemned “the white supremacists and neo-Nazis who came to our state yesterday.”
“You pretend you’re patriots. You are not patriots. You are dividers,” he said, then later, his voice roaring: “Shame on you!”
ANGER, REFLECTION OVER DEAD
As a child, said a longtime friend, Heyer, who was white, had stood up for people being picked on at school or on the bus. She never feared fighting for what she believed in.
“She died for a reason,” said Felicia Correa, who is bi-racial. “I don’t see any difference in her or a soldier who died in war. She, in a sense, died for her country. She was there standing up for what was right.”
At the church service, McAuliffe said he was close to both of the officers who had died.
“Jay Cullen had been flying me around for 3 ½ years,” he said. “Berke was part of my executive protection unit. He was part of my family. The man lived with me 24-7.”
Their deaths, he said, had enraged him, but he’d tried to move beyond that emotion and asked the congregation to do the same.
“Let us use today to reach out to our fellow citizens, put your hand out to help them,” he said. “Let us show these people that we are bigger than them, we are stronger than them.”
On Saturday, police had evacuated a downtown park as rallygoers and counter-protesters traded blows and hurled bottles and chemical irritants at one another, putting an end to the noon rally before it officially began.
Despite the decision to quash the rally, clashes continued on side streets and throughout downtown, including the pedestrian mall at Water and Fourth streets where the Challenger slammed into counter-protesters and two other cars in the early afternoon, sending bystanders running and screaming.
“I am heartbroken that a life has been lost here,” Charlottesville Democratic Mayor Michael Signer said in a tweet. “I urge all people of good will – go home.”
TRUMP UNDER FIRE
Elected leaders in Virginia and elsewhere urged peace, blasting the white supremacist views on display in Charlottesville as ugly.
But US President Donald Trump, known for his rapid-fire tweets, remained silent throughout the morning. It was after 1pm when he weighed in, writing on Twitter: “We ALL must be united & condemn all that hate stands for. There is no place for this kind of violence in America. Lets come together as one!”
In brief remarks at a late-afternoon news conference in New Jersey to discuss veterans’ health care, Trump said he was following the events in Charlottesville closely.
“The hate and the division must stop and must stop right now,” Trump said, without specifically mentioning white nationalists or their views.
“We condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence on many sides. On many sides.”
Former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke, a Trump supporter who was in Charlottesville on Saturday, quickly replied. “I would recommend you take a good look in the mirror & remember it was white Americans who put you in the presidency, not radical leftists,” he wrote.
Asked by a reporter in New Jersey whether he wanted the support of white nationalists, dozens of whom wore red Make America Great Again hats during the Charlottesville riots, Trump did not respond.
‘IT ALL HAPPENED IN TWO SECONDS’
Even as crowds began to thin Saturday afternoon, the town remained unsettled and on edge. Onlookers were deeply shaken at the pedestrian mall, where ambulances had arrived to treat those injured by the car.
Chan Williams, 22, was among the counter-protesters in the street, chanting “Black Lives Matter” and “Whose streets? Our streets!” The marchers blocked traffic, but Williams said drivers weren’t annoyed. Instead, she said, they waved or honked in support.
So when she heard a car engine rev up and saw the people in front of her dodging a moving car, she didn’t know what to think.
“I saw the car hit bodies, legs in the air,” she said. “You try to grab the people closest to you and take shelter.”
Williams and friend George Halliday ducked into a shop with an open door and called their mothers. An hour later, the two were still visibly upset.
“I just saw shoes on the road,” Halliday, 20, said. “It all happened in two seconds.”
Saturday’s Unite the Right rally was meant to protest the planned removal of a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee.
The city of Charlottesville voted to remove the statue earlier this year, but it remains in Emancipation Park, formerly known as Lee Park, pending a judge’s ruling expected later this month.
Tensions began to escalate Friday night as hundreds of white nationalists marched through the University of Virginia’ s campus, chanting “White lives matter,” “You will not replace us” and “Jews will not replace us.”
They were met by counter-protesters at the base of a statue of Thomas Jefferson, who founded the university. One counter-protester apparently deployed a chemical spray, which sent about a dozen rallygoers seeking medical assistance.
On Saturday morning, people in combat gear – some wearing bicycle and motorcycle helmets and carrying clubs, sticks and makeshift shields – fought one another on downtown streets, with little apparent police interference.
Both sides sprayed chemical irritants and hurled plastic bottles through the air.
A large contingent of Charlottesville police officers and Virginia State Police troopers in riot gear were stationed on side streets and at nearby barricades but did nothing to break up the melee until about 11.40am Using megaphones, police then declared an unlawful assembly and gave a five-minute warning to leave Emancipation Park.
“The worst part is that people got hurt and the police stood by and didn’t do a g…… thing,” said David Copper, 70, of Staunton, Virginia
Lawmaker David Toscano, minority leader of Virginia’s House, praised the response by Charlottesville and state police.
Asked why police did not act sooner to intervene as violence unfolded, Toscano said he could not comment. “But they trained very hard for this, and it might have been that they were waiting for a more effective time to get people out” of Emancipation Park, he said.
By early afternoon, hundreds of rallygoers had made their way to a larger park three kilometres to the north.
Duke, speaking to the crowd, said that European Americans are “being ethnically cleansed within our own nation” and called Saturday’s events “the first step toward taking America back.”
Spencer also addressed the group, urging people to disperse. But he promised they would return for a future demonstration, blaming Saturday’s violence on counter-protesters.
In an interview, Spencer said he was “beyond outraged” the police had declared the planned rally an “unlawful assembly.”
“I never before thought that I would have my country cracking down on me and on free speech,” he said. “We were lawfully and peacefully assembled. We came in peace, and the state cracked down.”
He said that counter-protesters attacked rallygoers but also acknowledged that “maybe someone threw a first punch on our side. Maybe that happened. I obviously didn’t see everything.”
By 11am, several fully armed militias and hundreds of right-wing rallygoers had poured into the small downtown park that was to be the site of the rally.
Counter-protesters held “Black Lives Matter” signs and placards expressing support for equality and love as they faced rallygoers who waved Confederate flags and posters that said “the Goyim know,” referring to non-Jewish people, and “the Jewish media is going down.”
“No Trump! No KKK! No fascist USA!” the counter-protesters chanted.
“Too late, f…..s!” a man yelled back at them.
Michael Von Kotch, a Pennsylvania resident who called himself a Nazi, said the rally made him “proud to be white.”
He said that he’s long held white supremacist views and that Trump’s election has “emboldened” him and the members of his own Nazi group.
“We are assembled to defend our history, our heritage and to protect our race to the last man,” Von Kotch said, wearing a protective helmet and sporting a wooden shield and a broken pool cue. “We came here to stand up for the white race.”
Naundi Cook, 23, who is black, said that she came to Saturday’s counter protests to “support my people” but that she’s never seen something like this before.
When violence broke out, she started shaking and got goose bumps.
“I’ve seen people walking around with tear gas all over their face, all over their clothes. People getting maced, fighting,” she said. “I didn’t want to be next.”
Cook said she couldn’t sit back and watch white nationalists descend on her town. She has a 3-year-old daughter to stand up for, she said.
“Right now, I’m not sad,” she said once the protests dispersed. “I’m a little more empowered. All these people and support, I feel like we’re on top right now because of all the support that we have.”
– The Washington Post
Google has unveiled a new doodle on its home page commemorating the birth of hip hop 44 years ago, this had us thinking of someone of hip hop’s most memorable moments.
August 11 marks the 44th anniversary of 18-year-old Jamaican-American DJ known as Kool Herc throwing a back-to-school jam in the Bronx.
At the party, DJ Herc did something different with his turntables that had a ripple effect on music as we know it – and from there a large subculture was born.
Hip hop is not only about the music – it’s a lifestyle that has impacted many lives across generations for the past 4 decades. From DJ-ing, break dancing, graffiti art, streetwear and language hip hop continues to have a huge social impact.
At the centre of African-American culture in the 70s and 80s, hip hop has come so far and become a global phenomenon still dictating culture today.
Over the years hip hop has provided us with some very memorable moments, from Kanye West’s outburst to Barack Obama’s presidential hip hop references to the global mourning of fallen legends like Tupac Shakur and Biggie Smalls.
We asked some of our readers for their most memorable hip hop moments…
‘How Sway?!’: When Kanye West Created A Brand New Phrase
The most popular mentioned moment from our readers? The time Kanye West unwittingly coined the phrase ‘How Sway?!’
Kanye, aside from his master lyricism and epic beat-making, has become well-known for his rants and, well, interrupting Taylor Swift’s moment that time at the 2009 VMAs.
In an interview with hip hop journalist Sway Calloway, the 40-year-old can be heard flipping out when he disagreed with Sway’s suggestions on how to avoid being marginalised as a black artist in the mainstream media.
According to Urban Dictionary, ‘How Sway?’ is a reaction to someone doing or saying that is either completely impossible, unheard of unrealistic or difficult to understand.
Since the line was uttered in 2013, it has yet to leave popular culture.
Flipping out is not Kanye’s only legacy. His debut release of College Dropout in 2004 made hip hop a lot more accessible to hip hop fans who struggled to relate to the popularised gang references in the majority of records that landed on mainstream charts.
Henry, 28, a music professional, told Metro.co.uk: ‘It is refreshing to see and hear an album that didn’t follow the gangster narrative. Definitely impacted hip hop for the long term.’
When Jay-Z Teamed Up with Linkin Park
Michael, a hip hop editor, told Metro.co.uk the collaboration was ‘historic’ art.
When hip hop artist Jay teamed up with the rock band for Numb/Encore we saw something that we felt we had never seen before.
The 2004 single went on to win a Grammy for Best Rap/Sung Collaboration in 2006.
Michael said: ‘let’s stop pretending that wasn’t historic af (sic)’
Ether: That Massive Jay-Z and Nas Beef
Ether is a song recorded by hip hop veteran from his 2001 critically acclaimed album Stillmatic and was a direct response to Jay-Z’s Takeover, a hard core diss track directed at Nas.
Between 1997 to 2005, the rap titans were at each other’s throats.
‘Nas and Jay-Z’s war made hip hop interesting, even though we just wanted them to get along it gave us some of the greatest songs for almost a decade. No one can do it like them,’ said Becky, 25, who works in fine art.
It all started off with subliminal jabs and then quickly moved up to full blown body shots.
The well-publicized beef is considered to have brought us hip-hop’s greatest diss tracks.
Thankfully their rivalry didn’t end with a bitter ending. Fans will remember the time Jay-Z and Nas were seen in public together for the first time officially squashing their beef.
In October 2005, Jay Z headlined a comeback concert dubbed I Declare War.
Rather, he declared peace as he invited Nas on stage.
Obviously, history had been made and despite some recent attempts by Drake and Meek Mill there has not been a rap beef like it since. Don’t @ us.
When Kendrick Lamar Had The World Shook
Sarah, 32, a teacher described the moment Kendrick performed at the 2016 Grammy’s as ‘colossal.’
The Compton performed The Blacker The Berry at that year’s ceremony in chains as an ode to the Black Lives Matter movement. Rapping in the midst of a fire, some viewers considered it controversial and others commented that it was ‘what hip hop is about’.
‘We already knew Kendrick was the business but when he got up on that world stage it was colossal,’ Sarah gushed to Metro.co.uk. ‘And he basically told the world that black lives have to matter, in such a bad-ass performance.’
She continued: ‘That is what hip hop is about. It’s about the message.’
That Time Hip Hop Became Political
Obviously, there are so many more memorable moments, like the time Barack Obama get’s ‘the dirt of his shoulder’.
During his 2008 Presidential campaign, the future President of the United States made a direct reference to Jay-Z’s song Dirt Off Your Shoulder.
That moment was so important to hip hop fans because it proved that the culture could be respected.
Monster: That Time Nicki Minaj Bodied EVERYBODY In One Verse
Another popular suggestion from our readers and we understand why.
Nicki Minaj’s verse on Monster, a 2010 Kanye West track, overshadowed every single artist on the track including Jay-Z, Rick Ross and Bon Iver.
This was such a huge moment as the feminine presence in hip hop had been lacking lately so to have a woman dominate on a song whilst featuring with the biggest male names was … everything.
The Monster verse is still one of Nicki’s greatest work.
Did somebody say ‘Girl Power’?
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A Flock Of Seagulls Headline The 1st Annual FireFighters Down Charity Concert. MALIBU, CALIFORNIA, 90263, August 13, 2017 /EINPresswire.com/ — Come join FireFighters Down on Sept. 11th in Malibu California for FireFighters Down 1st Annual … RankTribe™ Black Business Directory News
The art world’s response to the birth of Black Power is being highlighted at a major new exhibition at the Tate Modern.
Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power explores what it meant to be black – and to be a black artist – in the USA from 1963 to 1983 as cultural identity was shifting and reforming.
Some of the pieces on show at the London gallery take direct inspiration from some of the key black figures of the day, as in Andy Warhol’s Muhammad Ali.
Barkley Hendricks, who died earlier this year, told the Tate: “I’m just trying to do the best painting of the individuals who have piqued my curiosity and made me want to paint them.”
His work Icon for My Man Superman (Superman Never Saved any Black People) was inspired by political activist Bobby Seale’s statement that “Superman never saved any black people”.
Curator Mark Godfrey told the BBC: “We’ve done shows about American art for decades – it was a question of why hadn’t we done one on African-American art?
“And there was every reason to do it as these are great artists making important work. We felt it was important to tell the story of this 20-year period when they were asking questions about the black aesthetic and what it means.
“It’s a cohesive set of questions and a varied set of answers.”
Wadsworth Jarrell – whose work Revolutionary is above – formed AfriCobra (the African Commune of Bad Relevant Artists) with fellow artists Jeff Donaldson, Jae Jarrell, Barbara Jones-Hogu, Nelson Stevens and Gerald Williams in the late 1960s.
They were the only group to devise a manifesto for black art at this time.
Frank Bowling, born in British Guyana before moving from London to New York, was a key player in the Black Art movement, arguing that it could be abstract and did not need to be overtly political.
One of his other works, Middle Passage, is travelling outside of the US for the first time – and Bowling himself has not seen it since it was exhibited in 1971.
On that note, Godfrey said that many of the works – of which there are more than 150, by more than 60 artists – are being shown in the UK for the first time.
Some they wanted proved impossible to locate, including Phillip Lindsay Mason’s The Death Makers. But its importance is being marked at the exhibition all the same.
Godfrey explained: “Even the artist doesn’t know where it is. So we wanted to acknowledge its absence with a blank space.”
As well as such iconic artworks as Warhol’s portrait of Ali, the exhibition also looks at how art was reflected on the streets of America.
The Black Panther Party’s culture minister Emory Douglas said that “the ghetto itself is the gallery” and was behind posters like the one above.
Betye Saar is one of the female artists whose work looks at the black feminism movement and its impact on the two decades, increasing the visibility of black women.
Emma Amos once said in an interview that, in her opinion, “artists are extremely influenced by whatever is going on at the time they’re coming into their powerful vision”.
As the Tate said itself in its description of the show, it is a “timely opportunity to see how American cultural identity was reshaped at a time of social unrest and political struggle”.
Soul of a Nation is at the Tate Modern from 12 July to 22 October
RankTribe™ Black Business Directory News – Arts & Entertainment
… of struggle against racism, enslavement, and patriarchy… Bringing together Black American and Black … RankTribe™ Black Business Directory News
It’s been 50 years since footage of tanks mounted with machine guns thundering through Detroit neighborhoods and blocks of buildings billowing with flames were broadcast into American homes.
But in Academy-Award winning director Kathryn Bigelow’s riveting new film, “Detroit,” these events feel fraught with the same tension they did back then.
In 1967 alone, 83 people died and 1,800 were injured — the vast majority of them African Americans living in major cities where a racially-charged encounter between Black citizens and police led to state-sanctioned violence against U.S. citizens. With a total of 43 deaths, Detroit’s five-day uprising that year one of the deadliest race riots of the 20th century.”
It was perhaps even more jarring because the polished, apolitical crooning of Motown portrayed a city not just manufacturing most of the nation’s cars, but often producing bubblegum pop that was safe for mass consumption.
When Detroit went up in flames, so did Motown’s illusory version of it.
The film’s lofty goals are admirable: to show how closely tied our past is to our present, and the historically unmitigated trauma that police brutality and the injustice of the American court system inflict upon Black America.
Given the film is directed by a white woman and written by a white man — Mark Boal, Bigelow’s collaborator on both “The Hurt Locker” and “Zero Dark Thirty” — it succeeds incredibly well at these tasks, despite occasional moments where white guilt invades the narrative in arguably anachronistic and potentially historically inaccurate ways.
Still, Bigelow deserves real credit for even making this film.
Sadly the only female director to ever win an academy award for best director (for “The Hurt Locker”), she also deserves credit for dispelling the biggest myth that persists about the 1967 Detroit Riots, as they remain most commonly known.
The myth, retold incessantly, is that the riots led to the city’s infamous decades of decline.
The truth: by 1967, Detroit had already lost 130,000 manufacturing jobs in 20 years. Many companies had already relocated to the suburbs, and the highways that destroyed cramped, inner-city Black neighborhoods were making it convenient for whites to live outside the city.
But this persistently repeated falsehood that the ’67 riots are what destroyed Detroit conveniently places blame in the wrong community’s lap, and strips even current injustices damaging the lives of tens of thousands living there today, such as the ongoing tax foreclosures and water shutoffs, of their historical context.
Bigelow’s film instead opens with a beautiful, eerie montage of text, crackling sound and animations based on artwork by Jacob Lawrence, a renowned African-American artist who chronicled the Great Migration from the South to the urban ghettos of the North.
Condensing into minutes what the award-winning book “The Origins of the Urban Crisis” documents best, the montage serves as a critical historical corrective by informing the audience that even as Detroit was peaking at nearly two million people in the 1950s, the city’s eventual jaw-dropping decline had already begun.
Among the main culprits: automation, white flight to the suburbs subsidized by the first federally-backed mortgages, and ironically, urban renewal, an Orwellian term for even vibrant Black neighborhoods being destroyed to make way for the construction of some of America’s biggest interstate highways.
From there the film segues swiftly from the police raid on an after-hours club that sparked the uprising to the war-like cauldron of chaos Detroit quickly devolved into. When a National Guardsman mistakes a little Black girl for a sniper — a four-year-old did become the riots’ youngest victim when the Guard fired after her uncle struck his lighter near a window — the film matches historical records almost verbatim.
Likewise, the real murder of a Black man carrying groceries out of a looted store by a white police officer (a composite character played brilliantly by the young, British actor Will Poulter), includes another officer joking about what a “physical specimen” the victim was.
Police records indicate one of the real-life officers the film did not depict said exactly that. This kind of attention to even the rawest details is what makes the film for the most part unflinching.
In the end, the 45 terrifying minutes the film spends at a seedy prostitution-haven known as The Algiers Motel with a handful of cops and their victims are what make the film so riveting.
Three black youth died there and numerous others were badly beaten, including several members of the up-and-coming group The Dramatics (the film places only one former member in the motel, although in reality several members fled there for respite from the riots).
Frequently, just like the characters, the audience spends long moments unsure who is alive and who is dead, as police use guerrilla interrogation tactics in an attempt to elicit confessions.
Police originally suspected sniper fire from the now long-gone Algiers. The real crime there in the end: several groups of Black men fraternizing with a pair of white women. A starter pistol was fired from the motel in horseplay, leading to the police siege, but no gun was ever found.
Still, when the film fictionalizes moments no definitive account exists for, it sometimes veers briefly into what feels like inauthentic terrain.
When Larry Reed, a badly-beaten member of The Dramatics, escapes the night of terror at the Algiers, a white cop on the street comes to his aid, asking “Oh my God, who could do this to someone?”, whisking his “brother” off to a hospital. C’mon now.
The film also portrays the National Guard and state police as hands off when Detroit cops get too bloody at the Algiers.
The truth is a presidential commission later established by Lyndon B. Johnson found most of the deaths that occurred were due to these forces collectively going out of control. The Detroit Police were directly tied to 18 deaths, the National Guard, 11 deaths. Only 10 of the people who died were white, even though Detroit was more than 60 percent white at the time.
Still, while a litany of coverage of the 50th anniversary of the ’67 Detroit Riots resurrects the tragedy in at times dry and academic terms, Bigelow’s directorial style — tight shots, hand-held camera work, the deft use of explosions, slamming doors, gunshots and other ear-shattering sounds — does anything but.
The film finally leaves the motel for a police precinct and courtroom drama that aren’t perfect.
Scenes include senior detectives who anachronistically disparage the police who raided the Algiers as “racists.” A key Black character, Melvin Dismukes, — a security guard working nearby who tried to minimize the carnage at the motel — was portrayed as the central character in the film’s first trailer. Played deftly as man navigating the Black/white divide by John Boyega early in the film, after Dismukes is charged with murder along with the police in an apparent set up he becomes increasingly lineless, and how he got off absent white privilege is never explained.
In an interview before the “Detroit” premiere, Bigelow defended the film’s fictionalized take on an actual historical event. She noted that “court documentation and research… really informed the script,” and defended the portrayal of several non-racists in the police department as verified by FOIA’d documents.
In the end, three policemen and effectively the entire police department were cleared from murder, felonious assault, conspiracy, and conspiracy to commit civil rights abuses. While none of the real officers involved at the Algiers ever served as beat cops again, the city settled civil suits for paltry amounts, and no authorities ever were convicted of any crimes, although thousands of Blacks were arrested and convicted.
Today, many of Detroit’s commercial and residential corridors have remained vacant since being burned down in 1967. Also today, as we all know, things akin to the Algiers Motel “incident” still happen all the time — a point Bigelow is obviously trying to make, to her credit.
In a rousing introduction at the film’s Detroit premiere, celebrity academic and Detroit native Michael Eric Dyson, whose father moved to from Georgia in search for factory work decades ago, called Bigelow a “straight-up genius” and hero for “calling into question a culture of complicity” toward police brutality in America.
“She has the gall and the courage and the unabashed temerity to tell the truth about what’s going on,” Dyson said.
Bigelow’s electric new drama is the third in a trilogy of war films, both of which received widespread acclaim: “The Hurt Locker,” set in wartime Iraq, won six Academy awards, including best film, and “Zero Dark Thirty,” which focused on the assassination of Osama bin Laden, was nominated for five Academy awards. “Detroit” deserves similar recognition at next year’s Academy Awards, even if it’s far from perfect.
An interesting historical footnote: John Hersey, one of the most acclaimed American novelists and journalists of the 20th Century, never got clear answers to key questions even though he interviewed numerous Black survivors and all of the white police officers charged with murder at the Algiers for his book, “The Algiers Motel Incident.”
That may be why Hersey agreed once more at his death to never allow his book to be made into a film.
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Paul J. Richards/AFP/Getty Images
Updated Aug. 12 at 10:04 p.m. ET
Three people died and about 35 were injured in a day of violence that began with clashes at a white nationalist rally on Saturday in Charlottesville, Va., Gov. Terry McAuliffe said.
One of those killed was a 32-year-old female pedestrian who was hit by a car that plowed into marchers, authorities said. The driver of the car, James Alex Fields is being held on charges including second degree murder. Police say he’s from Ohio.
A short time after the violence erupted, a police helicopter crashed, killing two troopers. Virginia State Police said the helicopter was assisting law enforcement officers monitoring the rally, according to The Associated Press. The officers killed were Lt. H. Jay Cullen, 48, of Midlothian, Va. and trooper-pilot Berke M.M. Bates, 40 of Quinton, Va.
Virginia State Police posted on Facebook that the helicopter crash in Albemarle County, where Charlottesville is located, occurred at approximately 5 p.m.
Gov. McAuliffe, speaking at a press conference, had a strong message for the white nationalist protesters: “Go home.”
He added, “You are not wanted in this great commonwealth. Shame on you. You pretend that you are patriots, but you are anything but a patriot.”
In video posted to Twitter, a silver car with darkened windows can be seen speeding through the crowd and ramming another vehicle, sending people through the air. The car then goes into reverse while marchers chase it.
Police said the afternoon crash happened near the intersection of Fourth and Water streets.
Charlottesville Mayor Mike Signer tweeted that one person had died in that crash.
Warning: The video in the tweet below is graphic.
Photos and video show multiple people being treated for injuries, and police can be seen securing the scene of the wreck.
The crash involved three cars and, in addition to the fatality, at least nine people were injured, according to the AP.
Paul J. Richards/AFP/Getty Images
President Trump condemns “violence on many sides”
In a statement sandwiched between announcing and signing legislation to expand a veterans health care program, the president said he condemned “in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry, and violence on many sides.”
“We have to respect each other, ideally we have to love each other,” he said.
State of emergency declared
Virginia’s governor had earlier declared a state of emergency as a result of violent clashes involving hundreds of protesters in Charlottesville.
The move came during a white nationalist rally planned in the small college town to protest plans to remove a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee from a city park. On Saturday morning, protesters and counterprotesters faced off, kicking, punching, hurling water bottles at and deploying chemical sprays against one another.
Approximately 500 protesters were on-site, with more than double the amount of counterprotesters, according to reporter Sandy Hausman of member station WVTF and Radio IQ. She said some injuries had been reported.
Police used tear gas to disperse the crowd, before offering protesters the option of being arrested or moving to another, larger location approximately 1 mile away, she told NPR’s Scott Simon on Weekend Edition Saturday.
The declaration by Gov. McAuliffe was made in order to “aid state response to violence” at the rally in the city about 120 miles southwest of Washington, D.C., and home to the University of Virginia. The city’s manager also declared a local emergency and police ordered people to disperse from the area around the statue, according to the AP.
The “Unite the Right” rally was expected to draw a lot of people from out of town. It follows last month’s Ku Klux Klan rally, also in Charlottesville, that drew about 50 Klan members and about 1,000 counterprotesters.
Politicians react to Saturday morning’s clashes
After the violent outbursts, politicians tweeted their disdain at the events in Charlottesville. Trump called on Americans to “come together as one.”
We ALL must be united & condemn all that hate stands for. There is no place for this kind of violence in America. Lets come together as one!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 12, 2017
House Speaker Paul Ryan said the views of the white nationalists were “repugnant” and called for Americans to unite against “this kind of vile bigotry.”
The views fueling the spectacle in Charlottesville are repugnant. Let it only serve to unite Americans against this kind of vile bigotry.
— Paul Ryan (@SpeakerRyan) August 12, 2017
First lady Melania Trump called for people to “communicate [without] hate in our hearts.”
Our country encourages freedom of speech, but let’s communicate w/o hate in our hearts. No good comes from violence. #Charlottesville
— Melania Trump (@FLOTUS) August 12, 2017
NHL team logo used during white nationalist protest
In an odd side story, many of the white nationalist marchers were seen holding signs featuring the logo of the Detroit Red Wings, a historic hockey franchise in the NHL.
An anti-immigrant group called the Detroit Right Wings features a similar logo. A Twitter account that seemed to represent the group tweeted earlier in the week about attending Saturday’s rally.
As images of marchers flaunting the logo began flooding social media, the team issued a swift statement in response.
“The Detroit Red Wings vehemently disagree with and are not associated in any way with the event taking place today in Charlottesville,” the team said. “We are exploring every possible legal action as it pertains to the misuse of our logo in this disturbing demonstration.”
NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly added in an email to the AP, “This specific use is particularly offensive because it runs counter to the inclusiveness that our league values and champions.”
Friday night protests turn violent
The clashes began Friday night, when far-right protesters carrying torches descended on the University of Virginia campus.
In a Facebook post about that march, Mayor Signer wrote, “I am beyond disgusted by this unsanctioned and despicable display of visual intimidation on a college campus.”
In the days leading up to Saturday’s planned rally, there had been some back-and-forth about where it would be held.
The AP reported that a federal judge ordered Charlottesville to allow the rally to take place at its originally planned location downtown:
“U.S. District Judge Glen Conrad issued a preliminary injunction Friday in a lawsuit filed against Charlottesville by right-wing blogger Jason Kessler.
“The city announced earlier this week that the rally must be moved out of Emancipation Park to a larger one, citing safety reasons.
“Kessler sued, saying the change was a free speech violation. The judge wrote that Kessler was likely to prevail and granted the injunction.”
After the ruling, The New York Times reported:
“Late Friday night, several hundred torch-bearing men and women marched on the main quadrangle of the University of Virginia’s grounds, shouting, ‘You will not replace us,’ and ‘Jew will not replace us.’ They walked around the Rotunda, the university’s signature building, and to a statue of Thomas Jefferson, where a group of counterprotesters were gathered, and a brawl ensued.”
University President Teresa Sullivan issued a statement after Friday night’s march.
“As President of the University of Virginia, I am deeply saddened and disturbed by the hateful behavior displayed by torch-bearing protestors that marched on our Grounds this evening. I strongly condemn the unprovoked assault on members of our community, including University personnel who were attempting to maintain order.
“Law enforcement continues to investigate the incident, and it is my hope that any individuals responsible for criminal acts are held accountable. The violence displayed on Grounds is intolerable and is entirely inconsistent with the University’s values.”
City officials and police say they are prepared for any violence. Gov. McAuliffe urged Virginians to stay away from the rally and placed the National Guard on standby. The guard released a statement saying it would “closely monitor the situation.”
Earlier this week, All Things Considered host Ari Shapiro reported on Airbnb’s decision to make it harder for people attending the rally to find places to stay. The company canceled the accounts of people it confirmed had used its platform to book lodging for the event. It says those people defy its community standards. Rally organizers say this should be grounds for a lawsuit.
Debate over the Robert E. Lee statue in Charlottesville began when an African-American high school student started a petition more than a year ago to have it removed. Lee, who was born in Virginia, commanded Confederate forces in the Civil War from 1862 until he surrendered in 1865.
NPR’s Patricia Cole and Maquita Peters contributed to this report.
This is a developing story. Some things that get reported by the media will later turn out to be wrong. We will focus on reports from police officials and other authorities, credible news outlets and reporters who are at the scene. We will update as the situation develops.
TEHRAN (FNA)- A new US study found that the rate of alcoholism among adult American adults has climbed by nearly 50 percent in the first decade of the 2000s, adding that one in eight adults or 12.7 percent of the US population meets diagnostic criteria for ‘alcohol use disorder.’
Authors of the research study, published in this month’s issue of JAMA Psychiatry, described the findings as a grim though overlooked public health crisis, underlining that alcoholism remains a major contributor to mortality from a wide variety of ailments such as “fetal alcohol spectrum disorders, hypertension, cardiovascular diseases, stroke, liver cirrhosis, several types of cancer and infections, pancreatitis, type 2 diabetes, and various injuries.”
This is while the US-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 88,000 US residents die of alcohol-related causes each year, which is “more than twice the annual death toll of opiate overdose,” The Washington Post reported.
The study tracked drinking patterns among 40,000 Americans between the years of 2002 and 2003, and then again from 2012 to 2013 to establish a long-term picture of their habits. The results were described as alarming, especially in light of other substance abuse crises afflicting the US.
It was conducted by researchers from the National Institute on Alcohol and Alcoholism, the New York State Psychiatric Institute and Columbia University, and relied on strictly controlled self-reporting of drinking habits. While no clear reason was cited for the increase, the study authors said it constitutes a “public health crisis” resembling the current national opioid crisis.
“Most important, the findings… highlight the urgency of educating the public, policymakers, and health care professionals about high-risk drinking and [alcohol use disorders], destigmatizing these conditions and encouraging those who cannot reduce their alcohol consumption on their own..to seek treatment,” the study emphasized.
The study’s statistics are even more bleak for specific groups. It points out, for instance, that alcohol use disorders have nearly doubled (92.8 percent) among the African American population, and hiked nearly 84 percent among female subjects.
However, the highest increase in alcohol abuse disorders was detected among the US elderly. Individuals 65 and older witnessed a whopping 107-percent growth in alcohol use disorders from 2002/2003 to 2012/2013. For 45- to 65-year-olds, the rate of increase was also high, standing at 81.5 percent.
The findings came as US President Donald Trump stated recently that the ongoing opioid crisis is a national public health emergency. A White House panel announced last week that 142 Americans die from drug overdoses every day, prompting Trump to make such a declaration.