Hat tip: Booker Rising


I wish I had known about this earlier! Hat tip to Talking Stuff blog for this story. Sharron Pearson, a junior and honors student at Crenshaw High School’s gifted program in Los Angeles, was one of 400 high school students from around the world chosen to attend Oxford Tradition 2009. She’s also the first student from Crenshaw High School to be accepted into the summer program, which is at Oxford University in England. She had a scholarship to participate. One hitch: Ms. Pearson needed to raise $2,500 for airfare and other expenses.

Ms. Pearson, who has a 4.2 GPA (out of 4.0), is well-involved at her high school and takes classes at West Los Angeles College for college credit. After high school, she hopes to attend Columbia University and major in anthropology and journalism, then enroll in medical school. Ms. Pearson works hard in her studies. She was willing to work even harder toward her Oxford goal, including car washes. Even when her father (pictured behind her) didn’t want her to apply in the first place because the family couldn’t afford the program, she didn’t let lack of money deter her. She applied anyway and urged her parents to reconsider (her mom says that they really wanted her to go, but they just couldn’t financially do it), and the program accepted her.

Here’s the tearjerker part. Her high school decided to start a fund. An article appeared in the Los Angeles Times’ website on Tuesday evening, April 21 and in the newspaper on Wednesday, April 22. By noon Wednesday, Crenshaw High School (whose assistant principal is coordinating the fundraising effort) had been inundated with inquiries from 1,000 well-wishers offering donations ranging from modest checks to round-trip tickets. Among them was a man who did a long-distance drive to the school and, trying not to cry, personally donated $100.

Ms. Pearson said, “This tells me that you can do anything regardless of background or where you’re from or your ethnicity. You can reach for the stars, and anything is possible.”

Never let it be said that Americans don’t come out of pocket when there is a verifiable need and a worthy recipient. Even after the high school raised the needed $2,500, folks were (and probably are) still coming out of pocket asking to contribute toward Ms. Pearson’s future educational dreams. Congratulations to Ms. Pearson, and keep up the good work!

And, if that isn’t enough for this young woman, here are her plans for after Oxford:

If all goes according to plan, Sharron will return in mid-August, just in time to fly off to a separate 10-day academic program for gifted students at UC Berkeley.

“That program,” she said, “is completely paid for.”

Go on, my young Sista. Let your brain take you places beyond what your eyes can see.

Afternoon Open Thread

26 Apr 2009


This air is flooded with her. I am a boy again, and my mother
and I lie on wet grass, laughing. She startles, turns to
marigolds at my side, saying beautiful, and I can see the red
there is in them.

When she would fall into her thoughts, we’d look for what
distracted her from us.

My mother’s gone again as suddenly as ever and, seven months
after the funeral, I go dancing. I am becoming grateful.
Breathing, thinking, marigolds.

—Written by Forrest Hamer

Sunday Open Thread

26 Apr 2009

In remembrance of Timothy Wright, who passed away this week.

Good Morning.

As you spend time this weekend with family and friends, don’t forget JJP.

Drop those links. Engage in debate. Give us trivia and gossip too.

And always, have a peaceful day.

Afternoon Open Thread

25 Apr 2009

I’m A Fool To Love You by Cornelius Eady

Some folks will tell you the blues is a woman,
Some type of supernatural creature.
My mother would tell you, if she could,
About her life with my father,
A strange and sometimes cruel gentleman.
She would tell you about the choices
A young black woman faces.
Is falling in love with some man
A deal with the devil
In blue terms, the tongue we use
When we don’t want nuance
To get in the way,
When we need to talk straight.
My mother chooses my father
After choosing a man
Who was, as we sing it,
Of no account.
This man made my father look good,
That’s how bad it was.
He made my father seem like an island
In the middle of a stormy sea,
He made my father look like a rock.
And is the blues the moment you realize
You exist in a stacked deck,
You look in a mirror at your young face,
The face my sister carries,
And you know it’s the only leverage
You’ve got.
Does this create a hurt that whispers
How you going to do?
Is the blues the moment
You shrug your shoulders
And agree, a girl without money
Is nothing, dust
To be pushed around by any old breeze.
Compared to this,
My father seems, briefly,
To be a fire escape.
This is the way the blues works
Its sorry wonders,
Makes trouble look like
A feather bed,
Makes the wrong man’s kisses
A healing.

Saturday Open Thread

25 Apr 2009

Malia and Sasha Obama talk with a White House Butler. (Callie Shell/TIME)

Good Morning.

As you spend the weekend with family and friends, don’t forget JJP.

Drop those links. Engage in debate. Give us trivia and gossip too.

And always, have a peaceful day.

Update Friday 4:46pm ET

Here’s the video!

I couldn’t see any of the other participates so hope that didn’t come across as weird. What did come across to me as weird is that we’re having a big debate about whether people involved in violating domestic and international law should be prosecuted. I tried many different angles during this segment in an attempt to highlight the absurd notion that we should only look forward. I hope one of them stuck. Always appreciate any feedback. I’ll be back on CNN.com/live Monday at 12:10pm ET. Topic TBD

Oh and thanks to Huffington Post for letting me use their office space for the webcast.

Original post
Jill and I have both done these CNN live webcam blogger chats before, and tomorrow I’ll be repping JJP. We’re still trying to figure out what topics to discuss, and I’d love any ideas/links from our famed Jack & Jill Politics community. Yes, yall are famed! Hit me up in the comments with topics you think are a big deal (or should be) in the world of U.S. politics.

Thanks fam.

via Condi Loves Torture « This Black Sista’s Page.

But I may have miscalculated Obama, and apparently, so did the progressives and the MSM. The MSM called it an “about-face,” but I believe Obama was thinking about all this until the very last moment, leaving criminal investigations and prosecutions up to Holder.

And talk about sweating people out for the last few days–the pundit onslaught has been merciless. Because it means that not only John Yoo, Steven Bradbury, and Jay Bybee who wrote these memos could face prosecution, but that Cheney, Ashcroft, Rice, Rumsfeld, Gonzales and their people who were involved in clandestine discussions and creating policy about the use of torture could be brought up on charges and face judgment.

Frankly, some progressives have been insisting on a kind of truth and reconciliation committee–just like in South Africa–that would lay out once and for all the sins of the previous administration, but it would mean that no one would face jail or disbarment. I don’t think people are ready for even that prospect yet.

An interesting read on the developments in tortureland. One thing I’m definitely learning is that it’s too soon to pass absolute judgment on President Obama’s techniques. Whether we’re talking about treatment of black farmers, response to illegal torture acts or something else.

Afternoon Open Thread

24 Apr 2009

sisters by Lucille Clifton

me and you be sisters.
we be the same.

me and you
coming from the same place.

me and you
be greasing our legs
touching up our edges.

me and you
be scared of rats
be stepping on roaches.

me and you
come running high down purdy street one time
and mama laugh and shake her head at
me and you.

me and you
got babies
got thirty-five
got black
let our hair go back
be loving ourselves
be loving ourselves
be sisters.

only where you sing,
I poet.

Credit: Copyright © 1987 by Lucille Clifton.

via Black Folks, Green Thumbs.

Certainly industrialization has caused all Americans to become more divorced from their food sources. But that separation has often been far more drastic and detrimental for black Americans. The 1999 case of Pickford v. USDA found that black farmers had been subject to decades of governmental loan discrimination. In 1910, black farmers owned 15 million acres of American land. In 2002, according to a report from the “Why Hunger” campaign, the figure had dropped to just a tenth of that. As these connections have disappeared, suppliers of fresh food have all but abandoned many black neighborhoods. A recent study in New York City found that in underserved black and Latino areas, shoppers had to travel 20 blocks before finding produce for sale. Washington, D.C.’s heavily black Ward 8 got its first major grocery chain in late 2007. The story is similar in Oakland, Detroit and Tampa. And even in small towns, black residents often have to go to the “white side of town” to find decent fresh food.

Blacks have historically maintained deep ties to the earth, living for centuries—as with most of the world—as subsistence farmers. And so there is something ironic about the fact that black Americans whose ancestors were brought here to work the soil—first as slaves and then as sharecroppers—are now largely clustered in neighborhoods where it is harder to find fresh oranges than “orange drink.”

Excellent article and a substantive followup to our discussion earlier this week about black farmers.

via Daily Kos: What We Know So Far: A Torture Timeline (Updated).

So much information about the Bush administration’s torture policies and rationales has surfaced in recent days that, contrary to the secrecy meme of those days, we are now in danger of suffering from TMI – too much information.

So I thought it would be helpful to put together a timeline of known facts, reports and claims to try to give some chronological perspective to it all. As with any such collection, the selections are somewhat subjective, but I have tried to be fair (but not balanced; this isn’t a sporting event) in including what is known, admitted or reasonably validated. And – for once – I will leave speculation to the comments.

Friday Open Thread

24 Apr 2009

JJP reader request:

The President at Sunday Meetings at The White House. (Callie Shell-Time)
Fill In Your Own Caption

Good Morning.

TGIF, and spend some of it with JJP.

Drop those links. Engage in debate. Give us trivia and gossip too.

And always, have a peaceful day.

Oh yeah. He’s a gonner. But, what a way to go.

Part 1

Part 2

My response: Arrest him TODAY.

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Cheryl Contee aka "Jill Tubman", Baratunde Thurston aka "Jack Turner", rikyrah, Leutisha Stills aka "The Christian Progressive Liberal", B-Serious, Casey Gane-McCalla, Jonathan Pitts-Wiley aka "Marcus Toussaint," Fredric Mitchell

Special Contributors: James Rucker, Rinku Sen, Phaedra Ellis-Lamkins, Adam Luna, Kamala Harris

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