OpEd: Trump Neglects Infrastructure Needs of African-Americans

The American Society of Civil Engineers gives America’s infrastructure a D+ grade. No doubt, if they focused on just the infrastructure serving majority African American communities, America’s “black infrastructure” would receive a failing grade. A key purpose of racial segregation is to allow the dominant group to under-invest and under-develop the infrastructure serving the minority group.

African-Americans are still a highly segregated population concentrated in neighborhoods and schools with low-quality infrastructure. African-Americans desperately need infrastructure investments, but the Trump administration is not going to work seriously to address the needs of African-Americans.

There are a number of lessons in recent and not-so-recent African-American history that can illustrate how important good infrastructure is to the well-being of African-Americans. The hurricane Katrina disaster in New Orleans is a foreshadowing of the impact of climate change on black communities. The harmful effects of climate change will be a tremendous burden for low-income communities of color. Climate change will continue to disrupt climate patterns and produce more extreme weather events including hurricanes, blizzards, heat waves, cold snaps, droughts and floods.

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Gulfport Miss. Police Officer Terrence Gray, right, helps evacuate Lovie Mae Allen and group of children from their flooded homes after Hurricane Katrina struck the Gulf Coast Monday, Aug. 29, 2005 in Gulfport, Miss. (AP Photo/John Bazemore) JOHN BAZEMORE / AP

These extreme weather events will strain—and in many cases break—our already crumbling infrastructure. We will see more catastrophic failures of the infrastructure serving black communities. The Trump administration is stopping and reversing all federal policies to address climate change. These actions will increase the likelihood of more Katrina-like disasters in black communities.

Part of the problem for the low-income African-American populations in New Orleans during the Katrina disaster was that they did not have vehicles that they could use to evacuate the city. African-Americans are less likely than other groups to own private vehicles. For African-Americans, public transit investments are a priority area for infrastructure investments. African-Americans need efficient, reliable, and affordable public transit to get them to work, school, health care, recreation, and, during disasters, out of harm’s way.

Related: Editorial: Building an Environmental Movement That Looks Like America

Public transit has also been an industry that has provided good jobs for African-Americans. Trump is not likely to make the public transit investments that African-Americans need, and his push to privatize America’s infrastructure will most likely lead to lower pay for African-Americans working in transit and higher costs for public transit users.

The water crisis in Flint, Michigan is a perfect and terrible example of the under-investment and under-development of infrastructure serving a predominantly black community. Flint has brought the issue of lead exposure back into the public’s consciousness. Children exposed to lead can suffer from permanent cognitive and behavioral disabilities.

Water Emergency Declared in Flint Water Emergency Declared in Flint

Keeghan Nelson, 4, of Flint, Mich., gets his blood lead levels tested at Carriage Town Ministries in Flint, Mich., on Feb. 4, 2016. Brittany Greeson / The Washington Post via Getty Images

It is important for people to be aware that the problem of African-American children being exposed to lead is not just in Flint and it is not just in water. African-American children are twice as likely as white children to be exposed to lead due to old water pipes, lead paint in decrepit buildings, and polluted soil. African-Americans need our government to make a major commitment to remove the lead that is poisoning too many of their children.

In 1954, in the Brown v. Board of Education decision, the Supreme Court recognized that segregated schools were a key mechanism for maintaining educational inequality. Today, our schools are still segregated—just not by law. It is still the case that predominantly black schools have worse physical resources than predominantly white schools. We need significant investments to make sure that the schools serving African-American students are clean, comfortable, well-lit, with adequate heating and cooling systems, and with up-to-date science labs and computer technology.

Related: Congressional Black Caucus to Highlight Trump Admin’s Racial Problems With #StayWoke Campaign

African-Americans should be very concerned about infrastructure investments, not only because they regularly rely on inferior infrastructure, but also because infrastructure investments create jobs and put in place the conditions for future job growth. African-American communities are constantly suffering from high levels of joblessness. If we fully invest in infrastructure, we can create millions of jobs and achieve full employment for African-Americans.

The American Society of Civil Engineers says that we need to invest $2 trillion over the next 10 years to bring our infrastructure back to good condition. Trump promised a $1 trillion investment when he was campaigning, but he only called for $200 billion over 10 years in his budget, and further he only budgeted $5 billion for 2018. On the other hand, the Congressional Progressive Caucus is calling for $2 trillion in infrastructure investments, and the Caucus has stated that it will prioritize racial and gender equity and the needs of disadvantaged communities.

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Flint, Michigan, residents protest the water quality in the city on Oct. 5, 2015, outside Flint City Hall. Tests have shown elevated lead levels in the drinking water after Flint began drawing and treating water from the Flint River. Danny Miller / AP

America needs major infrastructure investments if we wish to remain an economic powerhouse. Black communities, which have suffered from a long history of infrastructure under-investment and under-development, have even greater infrastructure needs than average. We need a real infrastructure plan with significant investments in communities of color. Trump has failed to deliver.

Dr. Algernon Austin an Economist at D?mos and author of “America Is Not Post-Racial: Xenophobia, Islamophobia, Racism, and the 44th President.” He is a proponent of The Millions of Jobs Coalition’s 21st Century New Deal For Jobs.

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UPI Horse Racing Weekened Preview

Irish War Cry, ruled out consideration for the race a month ago, has been installed as the favorite for Saturday’s Belmont Stakes, the centerpiece of a massive four-day racing extravaganza at Belmont Park.


Songbird, seen edged by Beholder in the Breeders’ Cup DIstaff, returns to action at Belmont Park, photo Breeders’ Cup





Even though there is no Triple Crown winner in sight, the New York track put together a program as compelling as any non-Breeders’ Cup event in North America and lacking only the Queen arriving in a carriage to rival Royal Ascot.

 

Songbird is in action. So is Kentucky Oaks winner Abel Tasman. Some tough Europeans invade Long Island to take on American Turf runners. There might even be a peek at some 2018 Kentucky Derby contenders.

 

Churchill Downs and Santa Anita have lesser but important contributions to the weekend’s festivities. And Woodbine provides an international flair with the Woodbine Oaks and the Plate Trial, which points to next month’s Queen’s Plate.

 

Speaking of the Queen and/or Royal Ascot, that glittering event is just over the horizon, with the first races on June 20 and plenty of quality international competition.

 

And looking a little farther down the road, hopefuls for South Africa’s greatest race, the Group 1 Vodacom Durban July, have a final audition chance Saturday in the Group 3 Cup Trial at Greyville.

 

There’s so much going on, keep up to the minute while on the go with Horse Racing Radio Network (www.horseracingradio.net) and compare your picks with the expert at www.popejude.com.

 

Here’s a quick first look, plus a few early results:

 

Classic

 

Irish War Cry, all but ruled out of the race after a poor showing in the Kentucky Derby, suddenly finds himself the morning-line favorite for Saturday’s $1.5 million Grade I Belmont Stakes.

 

The colt was a disappointing 10th in Louisville and trainer Graham Motion admitted Wednesday he was ready at that point to junk the Triple Crown, “which is what the Derby does to you when you don’t run well.”

 

But, Motion said, Derby winner Always Dreaming flamed out in the Preakness, Irish War Cry started training like a dynamo and, “I felt he needed to be here.”

 

Irish War Cry drew post position No. 7 in a 12-horse field for the 1 1/2-miles classic — one lap around the sweeping Belmont Park main track. Japanese raider Epicharis, who stands to win a $1 million bonus with a victory Saturday, is the second pick on the morning line at 4-1. He has not raced since finishing second by a short head to Thunder Snow in the Group II UAE Derby on Dubai World Cup night and that was his first loss in five starts. As of Friday, however, he was reported wearing a glue-on shoe to protect a sore foot.

 

Classic Empire, fourth in the Kentucky Derby and second in the Preakness, was scratched Wednesday with a foot abscess, leaving Lookin At Lee as the only participant in all three legs of the 2017 Triple Crown. Oddly, Lookin At Lee was second in the Derby and fourth in the Preakness. He drew gate No. 6, just inside Irish War Cry, and is the third choice on the morning line at 5-1.

 

There’s a “B Squad” race Saturday at Belmont Park for 3-year-olds and

Send It In and Tu Brutus are the early picks for that $400,000 Grade II Brooklyn Invitational, also at 1 1/2 miles. They finished 1-2 in the Grade II Excelsior April 8 and Tu Brutus came back to win an intervening start by 11 lengths. On paper, the other six are overmatched.

 

Sunday’s $125,000 (Canadian) Plate Trial at Woodbine got six takers including State of Honor, a bay colt by To Honor and Serve, who finished second in both the Grade II Tampa Bay Derby and the Grade I Florida Derby, then tired from the lead in the Kentucky Derby to finish 19th. He has run well over the Woodbine all-weather surface. King and His Court is the winner of his last three Woodbine starts but has fared much less well south of the border.

 

Distaff

 

Songbird is the main attraction in Saturday’s $750,000 Grade I Ogden Phipps Handicap at Belmont. It’s her first start since Beholder snapped her 11-race winning streak in last November’s dramatic Breeders’ Cup Distaff at Santa Anita. Jockey Mike Smith says he likes what he got when he worked her for the race and she is odds-on choice on the morning line. The race is the anchor leg of a $250,000 guaranteed Pick 3 and Songbird likely will be a “single” on most tickets, making that bet basicall a daily double. Any of the six rivals, however, is capable of an upset if the star is rusty. The race also is a Breeders’ Cup Challenge event offering a free pass into this year’s Breeders’ Cup Distaff at Del Mar.

 

Kentucky Oaks winner Abel Tasman returns going 1 mile in Saturday’s $700,000 Grade I Acorn for 3-year-old fillies. The Quality Road filly is the morning-line favorite in a field of eight which also includes Grade II Eight Belles winner Benner Island, Grade III Beaumont winner Sweet Loretta and Grade II Gulfstream Park Oaks winner Salty.

 

 

Saturday’s $100,000 Obeah Stakes at Delaware Park attracted a field of 11 fillies and mares headed by Mo’ Green, third in the Grade III Allaire DuPont at Pimlico in her last outing. Lady Fog Horn, Curlish Figure and possibly the upwardly mobile Martini Glass fit the bill here, too. The 9-furlongs event points to the $750,000 Grade I Delaware Handicap July 15.

 

Sunday’s $500,000 (Canadian) Woodbine Oaks has a highly competitive field of 12 going 9 furlongs on the all-weather course. Several are stakes winners, a few come off maiden wins and one enters still a maiden. Stallion Heiress was 3-for-3 on the Fair Grounds turf but faded badly in her last start at Churchill Downs. Mike Smith is in to ride Financial Recovery for trainer Catherine Day Smith.

 

Turf Sprint

 

Pure Sensation and Green Mask are the early picks for Saturday’s $300,000 Grade III Jaipur Invitational at Belmont. Green Mask won the Grade III Turf Sprint at Churchill Downs on Oaks Day going a furlong shorter than this 6 furlongs. Pure Sensation was fourth in that race after a long layoff but is 2-for-2 at the trip and 2-for-2 over the Belmont Park greensward. Others with claims include California-based Stormy Liberal, Disco Partner and the speedy Loose on the Town, who steps up in class but will ensure a rapid clip.

 

Already in: Mississippi Delta stalked the pace in Thursday’s $250,000 Grade III Intercontinental for fillies and mares at Belmont Park, worked to the lead well inside the sixteenth pole and surived the late run of Conquests Babayaga to win by a head. The pacesetter, Portmagee, finished third and the favorite, Take These Chains, was a non-factor, finishing eighth of 10. Mississippi Delta, a 5-year-old Giant’s Causeway mare, ran 7 furlongs on firm turf in 1:20.05, missing the course record by 0.82 second. “Last time, she got very soft turf,” said winning rider Jose Lezcano. “I know she’s a nice filly and she’s better than what she showed last time. Today, the grass was perfect for her and she ran her race.”

 

Sunday’s $150,000 (Canadian) Alywow Stakes over the Woodbine all-weather is for 3-year-old fillies.

 

Filly & Mare Turf

 

Sea Calisi and Dacita are the morning-line picks for Friday’s $500,000 Grade II New York Stakes for fillies and mares at Belmont. Dacita won the 10 furlongs over the inner turf last year and went on to win the Grade I Diana at Saratoga. Since then, the 6-year-old Scat Daddy mare has raced twice and been second twice — by a nose and a head. Sea Calisi, a 5-year-old French-bred mare, was second to Dacita last year and went on to win the Grade I Beverly D. at Arlington later in the summer. She comes off a win in last month’s Grade II Sheepshead Bay at Belmont. This is a deep field with a lot of potential and some tempting odds, at least on the morning line.

 

Believe in Bertie will leave from the inside gate in Saturday’s $100,000 Grade III Old Forester Mint Julep at Churchill Downs, chasing her first graded stakes win. The 4-year-old Langfuhr filly won three consecutive stakes on the turf during Fair Grounds season, then finished second, behind only Roca Rojo, in the Grade II Churchill Distaff Turf Mile on Derby Day.  Linda, Donna Bruja and Sky My Sky are among the six rivals in the 1 1/16-miles event.

 

In the books: New Money Honey, the even-money favorite, led all the way to a 2-lengths vicgory in Thursday’s $200,000 Grade III Wonder Again for 3-year-old fillies at Belmont Park. Fifty Five and Dream Dancing fillied the trifecta slots. New Money Honey, a Medaglia d’Oro filly, finished 9 furlongs on the firm inner turf course in 1:48.01 with Javier Castellano up. “I just enjoyed the ride,” Castellano said. She won last fall’s Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf but was sixth in her only previous start this year, the Grade III Appalachian at Keeneland.

 

Turf

 

The best of the American entrants for Saturday’s $1 million Grade I Woodford Reserve Manhattan at Belmont Park have been running against each other for some time now. Beach Patrol, Wake Forest, Divisidero, World Approval and Sadler’s Joy pop up frequently in each others’ past-performance lines and all are likely to make their presence known in this 1 1/2-miles affair. But they have overseas visitors in the form of Potempkin, a group winner in Germany and Italy; and Time Test, a multiple group winner in England who just missed in his first U.S. race for trainer Chad Brown.

 

You don’t often see them going 2 miles over U.S. tracks so it’s no surprise Friday’s $400,000 Grade III Belmont Gold Cup Invitational is full of runners with European credentials. The lukewarm morning-line favorite is Red Cardinal, who qualified for this with a victory in the Group 2 Comer Group International Oleander-Rennen at Hoppegarten in Germany in his last outing. Also note the presence of last year’s runner-up, Now We Can, owned by Winfried Engelbrecht-Bresges, CEO of the Hong Kong Jockey Club.

 

Sunday’s Group 1 Gran Premio de Brazil is Breeders’ Cup Challenge race with a berth in the Turf available to the winner.

 

Turf Mile

 

Roca Rojo, Dickinson and Celestine are the standouts among seven in for Saturday’s $700,000 Grade Longines Just a Game for fillies and mares at Belmont. Roca Rojo won the Grade II Distaff Turf Mile at Churchill Downs in her last appearance. Dickinson has won three straight, most recently the Grade I Jenny Wiley at Keeneland. Celestine won this last year and most recently won the Grade II Honey Fox at Gulfstream Park. Do not overlook Antonoe, a French import who won her first U.S. start for trainer Chad Brown in April at Keeneland.

 

Sprint

 

Friday’s $250,000 Grade II True North Stakes at Belmont has a lot of talent packed into a 9-horse field. The morning-line picks for the 6 furlongs around one sweeping turn are Whitmore, undefeated in five starts since he was set sprinting; dependable 7-year-old Stallwalkin’ Dude, and Noholdingback Bear, third in last year’s Grade I

King’s Bishop at Saratoga. Green Gratto, winner of the Grade I Carter at Aqueduct in April, looks the best of the early speed and is 10-1 on the morning line.

 

American Anthem, at one time a Triple Crown hope for trainer Bob Baffert, has been reinvented as a sprinter and comes from California as the 5-2 favorite for Saturday’s $500,000 Grade II Woody Stephens at Belmont. He won the Grade III Laz Barrera at Santa Anita, going the same 7 furlongs as this race, in his last start. Among 10 he will face is Wild Shot, winner of the Grade III Pat Day Mile at Churchill Downs in his last outing. Long Haul Bay makes his first start since taking the Grade III Bay Shore at Aqueduct April 8 in just his second career outing. Recruiting Ready has won three straight and Petrov shortens up after flopping in the Arkansas Derby.

 

Filly & Mare Sprint

 

Ten fillies and mares signed up for Friday’s $250,000 Grade III Bed o’ Roses Handicap at Belmont. By the Moon is the solid morning-line favorite after winning the Grade III Vagrancy in her last outing. The 5-year-old Indian Charlie mare has three wins and a second from four tours of the Belmont oval, including a victory in last year’s edition of this in which she defeated the reigning Breeders’ Cup champ.

 

Dirt Mile

 

It’s hard to imagine the favorite for the $1.2 million, Grade I Mohegan Sun Metropolitan Handicap (Met Mile) at Belmont would come out of a race in Texas. But that’s how it is for Saturday’s renewal of this important fixture as Mor Spirit sits at 5-2 on the morning line after winning the Steve Sexton Mile at Lone Star in his last start. The second pick — Sharp Azteca — last raced in Dubai, finishing a close third in the Group 2 Godolphin Mile. The field also includes the second, third and fourth finishers from the Grade II Churchill Downs on Derby Day — Awesome Slew, Tom’s Ready and Solid Wager. It’s a tough race, worthy of its status as an entry for the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile though the Breeders’ Cup Challenge program.

 

Saturday’s $150,000 Easy Goer is 1 1/16 miles for 3-year-olds on the Belmont main track with a field of 10. It’s a wide-open affair with half the field at single-digit odds on the morning line. Nine were nominated to the Triple Crown and the early pick is West Coast, a Bob Baffert charge who was second in the Grade III Lexington at Keeneland two starts back.

 

Juvenile

 

Trainer Todd Pletcher saddles four of the eight 2-year-old entered for Friday’s $150,000 Tremont at Belmont. Each of the eight has one previous race and each won that initial outing.

 

Already run: I Still Miss You shot out of the gate and was never headed in Thursday’s $150,000 Astoria for 2-year-old fillies at Belmont. The Majestic Warrior filly won by 2 1/4 lengths and is 2-for-2 in her brief career.

 

A brief detour overseas:

 

South Africa

 

The Group 1 Vodacom Durban July looms in just three weeks’ time and nine runners hopeful of making that field will go in Saturday’s Group 3 Cup Trial. Several of them have shown flashes of ability that would make them competitive on July 1 but each has questions to answer, whether it be class, consistency or stamina. Many will be watching the Justin Snaith-trained Black Arthur, who was seventh in last year’s July with traffic issues. Nebula, Crowd Pleaser and Black Arthur’s stablemate, Elusive Silva, also are fancied.

 

News and Notes

 

We sadly note the passing Wednesday of Holy Bull, a Hall of Famer and both Horse of the Year and champion 3-year-old in 1994 despite finishing 12th in that year’s Kentucky Derby. Holy Bull was euthanized at Jonabell farm due to infirmities of old age. He was 26. The son of Great Above won both the Florida Derby and Blue Grass before his puzzling performance as the heavy favorite at Churchill Downs, then won six straight races, including four Grade I events. He was pulled up early on the backstretch run in the 1995 Donn Handicap — his last race and the fourth leg of Cigar’s record 16 straight wins.

RankTribe™ Black Business Directory News – Arts & Entertainment

Study: Blood Pressure Lowered by Racial Integration

A study involving more than 2,000 Blacks found that those who moved from the most-segregated neighborhoods to less-segregated neighborhoods later experienced lower systolic blood pressure, a factor in heart attacks and strokes. The report, published on June 1 in the Journal of the American Medical Association, followed Black people over time to see how leaving segregated communities could affect the risk of heart disease.

A recent study found that moving from a segregated neighborhood to a less segregated neighborhood can lower blood pressure. (Courtesy photo)

Kiarri Kershaw, an assistant professor of preventive medicine at Northwestern University, and her colleagues followed 2,280 Blacks participating in the Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults study. “This study provides stronger, more direct evidence that segregation impacts blood pressure and harms the health of African Americans. I believe it’s related to the stress of living in these neighborhoods,” Kershaw said in a statement. “In a less violent area with better resources, you are more secure about your family’s safety and your children’s future in better schools. You see opportunities for the economic mobility of your kids and here is better access to good grocery stores, health care, and an economically vital business district.”

The researchers followed the subjects for 25 years. Those who moved away from highly segregated neighborhoods to less-segregated neighborhoods and stayed there during that period had significantly lower blood pressure.

In addition, those neighborhoods may also make it easier to live healthier lifestyles by having more access to parks, sidewalks, gyms, grocery stores with more fresh produce and pharmacies to get medication.

Kershaw acknowledges, however, that moving to less segregated neighborhoods could increase stress in at least one way — by potentially exposing Blacks to more racism. “It’s certainly possible that those who move to less segregated neighborhoods experience more exposure to racism, which could be one reason why some African-Americans choose to stay in more segregated neighborhoods,” she said. Kershaw noted that Blacks living in more segregated neighborhoods tend to have better mental and emotional health.

Edward Preston, a D.C.-based African-American attorney told the AFRO that while the research may seem conclusive, it only scratches the surface of stressors related to racialized neighborhoods. Having moved from Northeast to a home in Olney, Md. a decade ago, Preston said the age, socioeconomics, and racial tone of the neighborhood play significantly in raising or lowering blood pressure.

His own blood pressure stayed relatively stable, until the birth of his children and concerns arose over how they would encounter race in a predominantly White enclave.

“Move into a community where your neighbors are hostile towards or fearful of Blacks and it does anything but lower your blood pressure. Add to that having children you fear may encounter suburban watch groups or rogue police officers, and this study goes out the window,” Preston told the AFRO. “Surely there are other factors beyond access that involve inclusion, that bring down stressors that negatively impact blood pressure.”

Revealing new Fine Arts Museums trove of African American art


Published 10:43 am, Friday, June 9, 2017


It’s not often that an art museum can address a major gap in its collection with one bold move. So when the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco made a deal early this year to acquire 62 works by 22 contemporary African American artists, the museums decided to produce a full-scale exhibition with catalog in four months — a fraction of the normal lead time — to celebrate. The result, “Revelations: Art from the African American South,” opened last week at the de Young Museum; it will be on view through April 1.

That the resulting product is both a solid document and a fitting commemoration of the acquisition is particularly a credit to FAMSF’s curator of American Art, Timothy Anglin Burgard, who had already done substantial research.

An even greater challenge than the timeline, though, may have been the years bringing along the passionate and demanding art historian and collector William S. Arnett. It was Arnett who amassed the much larger group of works — more than 1,200 — that eventually became the Souls Grown Deep Foundation, from which the FAMSF collection is drawn.

The serendipitous arrival of a new director at FAMSF and a new president at the foundation, combined with the museum’s demonstrated interest, finally led to the 50-50 gift and purchase by the museum in February. A similar deal between the foundation and Atlanta’s High Museum was announced in April.

The show is an engaging look at a moment in American art that looks increasingly significant with every passing year, but that might have attracted little notice were it not for Arnett’s obsession. Among other coups, it was he who assembled in one place and popularized the extraordinary, highly praised abstract works of the quilters of Gee’s Bend, Ala., touring them in the early 2000s to major American museums.

A gallery in “Revelations” displays, but cannot fully contain, 10 exuberant Gee’s Bend examples. The old metaphor of abstract art as jazz would only begin to describe Jessie T. Pettway’s “Bars and String-Pieced Columns,” created in the 1950s. Add a tap-dance solo amid a swaying crowd on a long hot night. And throw in a breathless scat riff.

Every example here seems to simultaneously accept a dictate of order (a quilt does have to cover the bed and warm its inhabitants) and to invent a new graphic logic: less glib, more authentic, more dependable than the old rote geometries. Annie Mae Young’s “‘Bars’ Work-Clothes Quilt” is made of scraps of used clothing and traces of the knobbed joints of beloved ghosts.

All the sculpture in the exhibition is fashioned from found materials. Lonnie Holley is the conceptualist of the group. With a simple pairing of disused rocking chairs and part of an uprooted tree, “Him and Her Hold the Root” (1994) elegantly conjures thoughts of the entanglements of love and the depths of heritage, loss and death. “Mith” (1993) right-angles a fractured headstone of natural granite across a concrete plank, intersecting happenstance and purpose, sacred and profane, faith and doubt.

The best known artist in the show is Thornton Dial. I have always approached his large-scale works with the same caution I bring to the bombast of Anselm Kiefer. His “Lost Cows” (2000-01) doesn’t get much beyond the haunt factor of the desiccated cattle skeletons that are its primary materials. I much prefer the lightness, lyricism and invention of a drawing like “In the Roosevelt Time: Penned In” (2003), with its gray cotton picker dwarfed by green and blue-white plants.

Ronald Lockett is, to me, the surprise star of the exhibition, with painted reliefs that vary so in technique, one might at first think they were by different artists. Yet six substantial works presented together make a convincing case for a unified vision, set in some mid-place of existence. “Rebirth” (1987), a small and quiet work compared to the rest, depicts a lonely animal in a dark landscape, its back turned from a world of vibrant blue sky and green fields. In “Fever Within” (1995), a lacerated female figure in yellow levitates in a yellow field, neither dissolving nor emerging, but suspended between.

Art such as that in “Revelations” — works coaxed out of humble materials by makers without formal art training — occupies an unsteady place in the annals of visual expression. In the early 20th century, if it wasn’t ignored (or, just as likely, discarded as junk), some of it might have been blessed by the “American folk art” fad that swept museums and the popular press of the era. By the 1950s it would have been called “art brut”; in the 1980s, “outsider art.”

The Fine Arts Museums, appropriately, avoid such labels, which can have the effect of diminishing the work and, if inadvertently, demeaning the artists. The exhibition’s catalog and accompanying texts go to great lengths in describing the show, instead, as “a broad overview of a groundbreaking aspect of contemporary art practice” — “a recognizable cultural phenomenon … that also addressed universal aspects of the human condition.” Burgard’s catalog essay traces the history of African enslavement, segregation and the battle for civil rights, which he sees as intellectual and emotional sources, pausing only at the end to decry the work’s historical marginalization as “‘folk,’ ‘naive,’ or ‘outsider.’”

Of course, grouping the works together is its own form of categorization. The Fine Arts Museums attempt, with partial success, to address that problem by interposing other objects from the collection. Still to be answered is the question of what the museums plan to do about the vast unwritten story of artists of color throughout American history and geography.

In the long term, as FAMSF has acknowledged and as other museums are only beginning to admit, the answer will lie not in integrating part of an existing collection into a temporary exhibition of one group of artists from one area and era, but seeing the whole of art history through a wider lens.

Charles Desmarais is The San Francisco Chronicle’s art critic. Email: cdesmarais@sfchronicle.com Twitter: @Artguy1


Revelations: Art from the African American South: 9:30 a.m.-5:15 p.m. Tuesdays-Sundays. Through April 1. $6-$15. De Young Museum, Golden Gate Park, 50 Hagiwara Tea Garden Drive, S.F. (415) 750-3600. http://deyoung.famsf.org

Village cited for racism, police brutality in suit

“Shame on you, Garden City!” was the statement made at a June 1 press conference in Hempstead inside the law offices of Frederick Brewington, who is representing a former corrections officer who claims he was roughed up by Garden City Police Officers. … RankTribe™ Black Business Directory News

Watch Bill Maher Defend Using The N-Word To A Black Woman In 2001

… comedian Sarah Silverman and African-American actress Anne-Marie Johnson. … use it, too.  “Every African-American person uses that … should say nigga bcz racism is over. 2. … what is ‘African American,’” Johnson responded. “I’m African American regardless of … RankTribe™ Black Business Directory News

It’s Bela-Bela for Snaith in Rising Sun Gold Challenge

 Cape Town trainer Justin Snaith believes the Equus champion filly Bela-Bela will have “her best chance” of beating the boys at weight for age Grade 1 level in Saturday’s R1m, Grade 1 Rising Sun Gold Challenge (1600m) at Greyville.

The brilliant twice Grade 1-winning grey has taken on the boys before in last year’s Vodacom Durban July and this year’s Sun Met and was not at all disgraced, but Snaith is of the firm belief that a mile is her optimum trip. He said she had needed her last run in the Grade 1 SA fillies Sprint over 1200m at Scottsville, where “she found a little bit of trouble”.

He added, “She is very well, she is spot on, she has a definite shout.”

Bela-Bela is well drawn in barrier four and will be ridden by Anthony Delpech, who partnered her to a Grade 2 Daisy Fillies Guineas/Gr 1 Woolavington 2000 double last season.

Snaith concluded, “It is a rough race and I just hope she gets a clear run.”

Snaith also has Master Sabina in the race and this will be the dual Grade 1 Sansui Summer Cup winner’s first run for the yard. He said he was doing well, but it was on the short side and a pole position draw would not help as he did not have the necessary early pace to hold his position over this trip. Maser Sabina is likely to be running on, but Snaith concluded by saying it would be a valuable preparation outing for the July.

The Snaith yard have an important date in the R250,000, Grade 3 Cup Trial (1800m) as both Black Arthur and Elusive Silver will need big runs to earn their July berths.

Snaith believed Black Arthur was back to his best having suffered haemoconcentration problems before gelding. He was running on in the Drill Hall over 1400m in his first run as a gelding over too short a trip. Snaith said he was doing very well at home and everything had gone according to plan.

Snaith explained Elusive Silver’s disappointing run in the Grade 2 Betting World 1900 was not at all his race and was due to the rain which caused him to miss important work.

“He could only canter for eight days,” he said.

To heighten the problem the race had then been run in testing going.

“He got a double whammy,” he said.

Bela-Bela, picture Liesl King




Elusive Silver had previously been impressive when winning the Listed Sledgehammer over the Cup Trial course and distance. He showed a tremendous turn of foot in that race, which was his first outing since winning the Winter Derby ten months earlier. Snaith said he was in a better place now than he was going into the Sledgehammer.

He added, “He is a very nice horse. He will be good competition for Black Arthur at the weights and it will take a very good horse to beat our two.”

Richard Fourie has already been booked to ride Elusive Silva in the July, while Anthony Delpech “has always been a big fan of Black Arthur’s.” Delpech partnered Black Arthur to win last season’s Grade 2 Canon Guineas and they jump from a good draw of four in the nine horse field on Saturday. Elusive Silva has to jump from the extreme outside draw of nine.

Snaith runs Star Express in the Grade 2 Tibouchina over 1400 metres and said it would be a bit on the short side for her. He said she had pulled up “foot sore” in Johannesburg. However, her feet have now been sorted it out. He expected her to run well and finish in the money, despite it partly being a preparation outing for the R1m, Grade 1 Jonsson Workwear Garden Province Stakes (1600m) at Greyville on the Durban July programme, July 1st . Bernard Fayd’Herbe rides from a good draw of five.

Snaith mentioned Qing as a runner to look out for on the day. She runs in the Beach Beauty Pinnacle Stakes for fillies and mares over 1600m. He had been confident of a good run from her in her SA Champions Season pipe opener, but said she had been hit by a clod and could not see for a few days.

He was also bullish about Sergeant Hardy in the R150,000, Conubia/Phoenix Sun Durban Dash (1100m) on the All Weather, although did mention his eleven barrier position as being “a bit of a wide draw.” Snaith said the big Captain Al gelding had not liked Scottsville last time in the Tsogo Sun Sprint and also had a difficult task as a three-year-old off a 110 merit rating. He is now comfortably the best in at the weights in this three-year-old event and if he runs well will be aimed at the weight for age Gr 1 Mercury Sprint. Delpech rides him for the third time.

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