Posts from the ‘America Revived’ Category

New Poor People’s March: Coming May 2018

ANITA GAIL JONES:Fortunately, as we celebrate MLK day today, there are many modern day civil rights leaders picking up the baton to keep America in the race for equality. As Coretta Scott King said, “Freedom is never really won, you earn it and win it in every generation.”Last week on Democracy Now! (KPFA, Berkeley)  host Amy Goodman interviewed Rev. Dr. William Barber, II and evangelical minister Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove (an ex-page for segregationist Strom Thurmond). These two form an unlikely partnership as the organizers of a new Poor People’s March inspired by the iconic Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) 1968 campaign led by Marion Wright Edleman, Dr. King, Bayard Rustin and many other freedom fighters.

 “Trump is a symptom of a deeper moral malady.”  ~ Rev. Dr. William Barber, III

I couldn’t agree more: Donald Trump’s presence in the White House is like a foul, nasty cold (combination chest and head) that is spreading; bigots and xenophobes everywhere are emboldened. Ain’t nobody got time to be blowing noses and coughing up gunk for the next three years. We all have to find ways to become part of the solution which is why I’m here to share the Democracy Now! interview.

AMY GOODMAN: In the coming months, organizers are planning six weeks of direct action at statehouses across the country and the U.S. Capitol to call attention to systemic racism, poverty, the war economy and ecological devastation …we speak with Reverend William Barber, president and senior lecturer of Repairers of the Breach. He’s the leader of Moral Mondays and the author of “Third Reconstruction: Moral Mondays, Fusion Politics, and the Rise of a New Justice Movement.” We also speak with Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove, evangelical minister and director of the School for Conversion in Durham, North Carolina. He is author of the upcoming book, “Reconstructing the Gospel: Finding Freedom from Slaveholder Religion.” Wilson-Hartgrove grew up as a white Southern Baptist, and he served as a page for the late South Carolina Senator Strom Thurmond, a fierce foe of the civil rights movement and supporter of segregation. Wilson-Hartgrove’s political transformation began after hearing William Barber preach.

“…I had to learn that whiteness is a religion that people are sold on…”   ~ Rev. Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove

 

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Barber and Wilson-Hartgrove embody the direction toward which Dr. King was moving at the end of his life: uniting races around poverty.

Here’s a rare brief excerpt from The 1968 Poor People’s Campaign from the Henry Louis Gates Documentary – Two Nations:

~ #MyGivingStory ~ Asking for your VOTE

Click above to VOTE

This coming Tuesday, November 28th is #GivingTuesday, a global day of giving started in 2012. For America I think of it as a peaceful protest against the commercial gluttony of Black Friday and Cyber Monday and a powerful way to kick off the charitable season.

I serve as Co-Founder and Exec. Director of our small family foundation, The Gaines-Jones Education Foundation (GJEF) ~ dedicated to youth advocacy and college scholarships for African-Americans living in the San Francisco Bay Area and southwest Georgia. I entered an original essay telling GJEF’s story in the #MyGivingStorycontest. Between now and Dec 7th our essay needs your votes to move up in the contest.

GJEF’s goal from Giving Tuesday through the end of 2017 is to raise $5,000 to launch an on-going series of college readiness seminars for black 10th graders in Albany, Georgia.

Please read the Gaines-Jones story explaining our mission ~ then cast your vote.
• Prizes include grants up to $10,000

100% of these funds will go toward our annual scholarship awards and the launching of our college readiness seminars.

• You, your friends and family can vote once a day until Dec. 7th
EASY STEPS ~ Go to the page, wait a few seconds, a box will pop up with the essay and a green VOTE button in upper left corner. Prove you’re not a robot, enter email then click VOTE.
• Read the essay and VOTE HERE!

Please circulate to your networks! Problems with link? email me: ajr.gaines.jones@gmail.com

GIVINGTUES.BEEJ.Montage

1996, Ann Arbor: My late sister, Dr. Betty Jean Jones, at University of Michigan, directing her final production: TOOTH IN CRIME.

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RUMBLE: The Indians Who Rocked the World (mind-blowing film)

REDBONE: 1970s American Indian rock group featured in the 2017 documentary: RUMBLE: The Indians Who Rocked the World

In Memory of John Trudell

Thank you, RUMBLE, for taking the high road. 

Read more…

Lena Dunham says “Speak Louder”

 Lena Dunham is speaking out RE: Harvey Weinstein and the Silence of Men. The American actress, writer, producer, and director is is best known as the creator, writer and star of the HBO series Girls, for which she has received numerous Emmy Award nominations and two Golden Globe Awards.

“When we stay silent, we stay on the same path that led us here.
Making noise is making change. Making change is why we tell stories.
We don’t want to have to tell stories like this one again and again. Speak louder.”
~ Lena Dunham in NY Times Op Ed piece

Read more…

Let America Be America Again by Langston Hughes

 

Langston Hughes 1936 photo by Carl Van Vechten

Poets in Unexpected Places pop up at the holiday market in Union Square with poems in response to police brutality, a day after the non-indictment for the killing of Eric Garner. Abena Koomson performs “Let America Be America Again” by American poet Langston Hughes, written in 1935. It was originally published in the July 1936 issue of Esquire Magazine. It was later republished in the 1937 issue of Kansas Magazine and was revised and included in a small collection of Langston Hughes poems entitled A New Song, published by the International Workers Orders in 1938.

 YouTube video published on Dec 18, 2014: Read more…

Get Out ~ A Quantum Leap for Film Genre

Writer/Director Jordan Peele

Anita: Get Out is one small step for The Stepford Wives and a quantum leap for the film genre.

A group of five of us went to see the new film Get Out yesterday —all of us people of color and none of us fans of horror films. I purposefully did not watch the trailer—they give away way too much (what’s up with that anyway?)—nor did I read any reviews so I could freshly appreciate the story. Bottom line: wow.

Peele crafted the film’s social/artistic/psychological layers brilliantly, and took his time with pacing, allowing faces to fill the frame and build tension. The hero, Chris Washington was portrayed flawlessly by British actor, Daniel Kaluuya who can show so much with a glance and a smirk. My biggest wish was for more black characters to put more black actors on the payroll—nevertheless the entire cast did a fine job.

We saw the film at Rowland Theater in Novato, CA: went to a 2:20 showing, there were only a handful of people most over sixty and white (parr for Marin County, northern California). Afterwards we went to Moylan’s Brewery for drinks and a bite to discuss. Well, we had not stopped discussing from the time we rose from our seats and walked across the street, through the doors and into the booth. When our blond-haired waitress greets us the first thing she says is “Did you just see Get Out?…..my favorite movie right now! One of the other waitresses and I went to see it yesterday and when we came out we didn’t speak for twenty minutes. All we could say was, ‘What just happened?'”

As we were leaving the theater (to the horror of the others in my party) I asked the three white folk—a man and two women—sitting in the row in front of us what their verdict was. The man said, “That was two hours of my life I can never get back.” One of the women said, “I thought it was wonderful!” I think it would’ve been fun to invite them to join us across the street—but—maybe not.

I get that we need to label stuff so we can talk about it, but Peele has us struggling with what to call this innovative film. Without strictly succumbing to the conventions of horror or thriller or comedy or drama, and without overwhelming viewers in reenactments of the real life terrors of the film’s major themes, Get Out melds—via its image system, symbolism, and nuance—the seen and the unseen; the spoken and unspoken to yield a story with outstanding visceral impact.

I was a huge fan of Key & Peele on Comedy Central and can now see that all those clever, finely produced skits (and perhaps especially Season 3 which was too gory for my taste)  prepared Peele for this triumphant debut as feature-length writer/director.

This was definitely two hours of my life I can’t wait to repeat.

Here are two of my favorite skits from Key & Peele on Comedy Central:

Substitute Teacher: https://youtu.be/Dd7FixvoKBw

Obama’s Anger Translator: https://youtu.be/F3gIYgSa4qw

My Father ~ Silas Jones ~ An Inspiration

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Cira 1980s ~ My Father, Silas J. Jones in his back yard in Albany, GA after a miraculous snow fall. Yep, that’s a dusting of snow on the car…

Independence Day Musings ~

My father, Silas Jones, was born in 1921 in Putney, Georgia—a widening-in-the-road near Albany. I remember one summer when I was home—most likely during my Brooklyn, New York years: 1979-1985, we drove “down home” to visit my mother’s people in Bainbridge/Camilla. We were at a cousin’s house where the TV played perpetually. My cousin’s daughter, a toddler, sat too close to the set, spell-bound. My 6’2 father Read more…

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