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March 2015

Texas License

 

 

The Civil War is not over!  A case is presently before the Supreme Court to decide whether the State of Texas can refuse to sell specialty plates with the confederate battle flag emblem on it.  By approving specialty plates with controversial message on it, is the state approving that message or is it the message of the individual?  Sons of Confederate Veterans, after Texas refused to issue a license plate with confederate battle flag on it, sued the state and won at the district level, but the state appealed the decision to the high court.  However, should the Supreme Court uphold the district court ruling would it open the door for other kinds of controversial tags, for example, with a swastika on it?

But some believe the courts should leave it to the states. http://archive.wltx.com/news/story.aspx?storyid=86610 This is a symbol of the “brave” men who wore the confederate uniform to uphold the principle of state rights.

Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, Tx-D, House Judiciary Committee, said the SCV should find other ways to remember their confederate heritage.  She saod “..No one wishes to deny our history as a state. But we as leaders should take every opportunity to support that which unites our citizenry — not that which divides us.  Reminding those among us of their painful past has no place in celebrating our great state.”

 

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5 Royales

5 royales

What group began the rhythm and blues tradition?  Well, some musical scholars say Hank Ballard, and , others say Sam Cooke or Ray Charles.  But some argue that the 5 Royales were the originators of rhythm and blues with such as songs like “Dedicated to the One I Love” and “Think” that James Brown and Aretha Franklin recorded.

The Royales were probably the first group to bring the gospel into R&B, and their sound was the nascent beginning of a generation of soul music although, Rev. Tommy Dorsey is credited with bringing the blues beat into the church in the mid-1930s.  The beautiful dual leads of Johnny and Eugene Tanner, supported by the guitar acrobatics of Lowman Pauling thrilled audiences for several decades, and catapulted the Royales to stardom.

On On April 18, the group will be recognized by being inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, OH.  Legendary guitarists Steve Cropper who wrote such tunes as “Sitting On the Dock of the Bay” and “Knock On Wood” will have the honor of making the induction.

Members of the family and friends are trying to raise money for the trip to Cleveland by holding a “Sock Hop” on April 10 at the National Guard Armory, 2000 Silas Creek Pkwy., Winston-Salem, N.C.  The cost is $20 per attendee to the dance.

Contact Bobby Ray Wilson at (336) 406-5138 or by e-mail at xxxzoology55@yahoo.com for additional information.

A Symbol of Hate or Pride?

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What does the Confederate Battle Flag represent?  It depends on whose lens we look through.

African Americans view it as a symbol of racism, and oppression.  Why?  The Southern Battle Flag is a reminder of the antebellum period in which blacks were exploited, oppressed and murdered by the planter class.  All black people were treated as property to be sold, dehumanized for the benefit the Southern aristocracy.

But Southern whites view it as a symbol of an era that provided them with power over blacks in which enrich themselves off black labor.  The Civil War, or as most southerns call it the “War of Yankee Aggression”, ended that era and culture.

Some critics argue that the Ku Klux Klan (KKK) had appropriated and misused the symbol to advocate racism.  But, the movie “Birth of A Nation” that many claims was the greatest movie every produced portrayed the Klan as heroes saving the South-land from carpetbaggers and uppity blacks.

Where do we go from here?  Maybe,those that support the symbol can find private spaces to bring reverence to what they view as a symbol representing their culture and pride.

The Southern Battle flag should not be flown in public spaces such as parks, government bulidings, or schools which is supported with taxpayer dollars

Black Lives Matter

black-lives-matter

The young people involved in the “Black Lives Matter” could ultimately influence 2016 presidential politics.  Growing after the death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, the movement could be instrumental in selecting the next president.  Florida, Missouri, Ohio, North Carolina and Wisconsin are key states in the 2016 election, and the issues of police violence has galvanized young people to organize.

Police violence have became issues in key states that are  important in selecting the president.  African Americans composed 20 percent of population in Missouri, and will be very motivated to vote in 2016 national elections.  The highly restrictive voter suppression law in North Carolina, also, has been a flash point encouraging young people to get involved in electoral politics. In Ohio, the Tamir Rice case, and the Tony Robinson shooting caused African students to march by the thousands to protest shooting of unarmed black men by police.

EduShyster on White Shoe Lawyers, Civil Rights, and Charters in Massachusetts

This interesting post crystallizes the fight for quality public education.

Diane Ravitch's blog

EduShyster has written a scintillating post about how three of Boston’s most prestigious law firms (“white shoe” lawyers) have combine to litigate for more charter schools in the name of civil rights. She asks some pertinent questions: Do they know that charters are more segregated than public schools? Do they know that children in charter schools abandon their civil rights at the door? Do they know that many charter schools do not “backfill” (i.e., accept students who apply to enroll in grades after their entering class)? Do they know that the odds of young males graduating from a charter school in Massachusetts are small?

She writes:

What? You want to know how it is that civil rights can be used to argue for more charter schools, when, according to a growing body of case law, students in charter schools don’t actually have civil rights? Or how, in the course of…

View original post 248 more words

Turbulent Age

In response ti am a mano The Daily Post’s writing prompt: Sweet Sixteen.”

I didn’t think much about anything at 16, except girls.  However, I did instinctively know that some important changes was taking place in my life and in a larger context of America as my birthday approached in 1966.

My family had moved from a little small town in Arkansas to Detroit.  We were part of the last of the great migration out of the South to the urban areas like Chicago, Detroit, Cleveland and L.A. that the brilliant journalist Isabel Wilkerson wrote about “In The Warmth of Other Suns.”  It seemed as though one instance I was in the middle of small town of Osceola, Arkansas population about 2,000, that was situated on the banks of the mighty Mississippi River close to Memphis and Elvis.  However, in the breathe I was in the middle of the busy metropolis of Detroit, population nearly 4 million souls.  Motown, home of Barry Gordy, the Supremes, Temptations, Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder. What a miraculous time it was!  I had to get me a 1967 Ford Mustang!!

It was the ‘best of times, it was the worst of times’ as America experience serious ruptures in its social fabric, as blacks protested for civil rights, women protested for equal rights, and young people in general began to questions all the sacred institutions in the country.  The Vietnam War was at its apex, and young people took to the streets to protest what they thought was an unjust war.  In my home, I began to rebel against my stepfather and his strict rules.  He established curfews, and I always broke them.  I thought I was a man so I went and joined the Marine Corp, but the recruiter told me that my parents would have to sign for me to join the corp.  I knew that I would look good in the dress blues, not thinking it through that I could end up in the middle of the Mekong Delta.

But, my stepfather refused to sign for me so I was off to Wayne State University, and the military lottery was instituted allowing me to remain in college as the war ended.  In college, the protest movements were growing, and the university was the center of much radical and revolutionary activity — everyone from the NAACP, National Urban League, S.C.L.C to the Black Panther Party, S.N.C.C., Black Muslims, etc were present trying to get me and other young people to join their respective groups.  There was even a White Panther Party established by young white students to assist other radical organization in protesting the war.

To have lived through that decade was exhilarating, exhausting and electric.  My generation,I believe, brought great, and beneficial changes to this country that I am proud to have played some small role in.  It was great to be there as Muhammed Ali kick some ass, took a few names and some addresses, too.  The music was great, the Beatles, the Stones, Animals, and of course, Motown of Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder the Temptations ‘My Girl’.  If you couldn’t sing ‘My Girl’, none of the young ladies would speak to you in Detroit.

But, also, it was a time of great political violence starting with the death of Medgar Evers, Malcom X.   Martin L. King and Bobby Kennedy were murdered within a two month period in 1968.  Detroiter Ms. Viola Liuzzo gave her life fighting for voting rights of blacks in Alabama in the same time period.

As I moved beyond my sixteenth birthday, I didn’t feel optimistic about the future of the country, but I felt if America would ever be a great nation, it would be up to the young generation then, and, now to change this country for the better.

Who Am I? Why I’m Here

I’m a retired New York City school teacher who recently relocated to North Carolina.  Blogging allows me to stay engage in the public affairs, and add my voice to the conversation about various topics of public policy.  I taught U.S. History and Government so I have a strong interest in history, public policy, and the concerns surrounding issues affecting the African-American and other minority peoples.

Any topics involving government, and public policy I would like to write about.  As baby boomer, and part of the migration from the South in the 1950s, I have a broad perspective that I can offer my reading audience.  I think my readers should have a positive, and balance view after reading my posts about southern politics, art, and culture.  Although I will be based in North Carolina, I envision a blog where I can write about any subjects that grabs my imagination whether its in North Carolina or North Dakota.  A throwback to the days of journalism, if anyone remembers, when Charles Karault, a North Carolina native, would board his van and travel to all parts of the country reporting on interesting people, places and events!  I believe the program was called “On The Road” with Charles Karault!

If I blog successfully through the next year, I will have reported on N.C. politics and culture providing a fun, and interesting perspective on the South which is rapidly changing.

Finally, I will have established pattern of reporting everyday, and hopefully developed a growing readership to Twin City Post.

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