Shirley Chisholm


Shirley Anita St. Hill Chisholm (November 30, 1924 – January 1, 2005) was a African-American politician, educator, and author.[1] She was a Congresswoman, representing New York’s 12th Congressional District for seven terms from 1969 to 1983. In 1968, she became the first black woman elected to Congress.[2] On January 25, 1972, she became the first major-party black candidate for President of the United States and the first woman to run for the Democratic presidential nomination (Margaret Chase Smith had previously run for the Republican presidential nomination).[2] She received 152 first-ballot votes at the 1972 Democratic National Convention.

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A few months ago, we brought you the story of an Black Suburban couple who had decided to spend their disposable income with Black-owned businesses in 2009.

Here is an update on them.

From The Chicago Tribune:

Oak Park couple travel far and wide to buy only from black-owned businesses
Ebony Experiment encourages other African-Americans to do the same
By Ted Gregory | Tribune reporter
March 9, 2009

Maggie Anderson drives 14 miles to buy groceries, which might seem curious given that she lives in bustling Oak Park. She and her husband, John, patronize gas stations in Rockford and Phoenix, Ill. They travel 18 miles to a health food store in Chicago’s South Shore neighborhood for vitamins, supplements and personal care products.

The reason? They want to solve what they call “the crisis in the black commu- nity.” They want to, as they say, “buy black.”

The Andersons, African-Americans who rose from humble means, are attempting to spend their money for one year exclusively with black-owned businesses and are encouraging other African-Americans to do the same. It is part experiment, part social activism campaign.

They call it the “Ebony Experiment.”

“More than anything, this is a learning thing,” said Maggie Anderson, who grew up in the Liberty City neighborhood of Miami and holds a law degree and an MBA from the University of Chicago. “We know it’s controversial, and we knew that coming in.”

But the Andersons said they also have known that a thriving black economy is fundamental to restoring impoverished African-American and other “underserved” communities, and they have discussed for years trying to find a way to address the problem.

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Monday Open Thread

9 Mar 2009

The First Lady and Oprah on the next issue of ‘ O’ Magazine. Michelle Obama on the cover will mark the first time in the magazine’s history that someone other than Oprah is on the cover.
Oprah Winfrey on our First Lady:

“[Michelle Obama] is not likened to anybody. She is her own. She is so 21st century that there really isn’t anyone you can compare her to.”

Good Morning.

As we begin this new week, don’t forget JJP.

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

And always, have a peaceful day.

While conservative columnists were invited to the Bush White House, the Obama team has sat down with writers from across the ideological spectrum, among them syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer, Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristol, The Wall Street Journal’s Gerald Seib, The National Journal’s Ron Brownstein, The Times’ Frank Rich and MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow.

“The president thinks it’s important to let folks know what’s happening in his administration,” said deputy press secretary Bill Burton. “These meetings offer an opportunity to do that.”

Burton said to expect more such meetings in the future, including a presidential sit-down with prominent bloggers.

Check the last line of this quoted block. Any chance your favorite vigilante pundit could get a sit-down with the president? I’d certainly have some questions!

Posted via web from baratunde’s posterous

Cause according to the tally below, the Attorney General is the only Brother in the place.

Obama’s initial cabinet:

white woman
white man
white man
black man
Hispanic man
white man
initially Hispanic man but withdrawn; Asian American man (for Commerce Secretary) (my addition)
Hispanic woman
white man
white man
white man
Asian American man
white man
Asian American man
white woman

78.6% men
64.2% white
21.4% women
20.0% Asian American
14.3% Hispanic
7.1% black

More, from the researcher, Jeremy Pierce (hat tip Rikyrah):

It’s whiter, less black, and less Hispanic than Bush’s initial cabinet. There are no Arab Americans. The other numbers are the same (as Bush’s Cabinet). The center of gravity of women seems lower. There is a woman at the top, but then you don’t see any others until you get to the bottom half. But then in Bush’s initial cabinet his highest women were positions five and six. It wasn’t until his second term than he had a woman in the top spot. But with non-whites, it seems much more clear. In Bush’s top half, only one was black, but he was at the top. In Obama’s, only one is black (and, to be fair, one is empty). But the black one in the top half for Obama is spot #4. I think Obama’s initial cabinet is more bottom-heavy for non-whites than Bush’s initial one, especially given than Obama’s is a whiter cabinet to begin with.

Now, you can go to the link and compare the compositions of Bush, Sr.’s Cabinet, Bush, Jr.’s, Bill Clinton’s, and before him, Reagan, Carter and Ford’s cabinets.  What does this indicate about President Obama’s willingness to appoint more than one African-American in his Administration?

It could say a lot of things, such as:  Is the President afraid of being seen as “too friendly” towards African-Americans?

Or, it could say that: The President wants to surround himself with the best and brightest; the most capable, the most qualified individuals for the job.

The trouble with the reasoning of the above sentence (most qualified) facilitates another question regarding Mr. Obama’s Cabinet choices – the question of: Is he saying he can’t find any additional qualified African-Americans to occupy the slots that are more “high-profile” Cabinet positions, such as Defense, State and Treasury?

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While the nation’s economy flounders, business is booming for The GEO Group Inc., a private prison firm that is paid millions by the U.S. government to detain undocumented immigrants and other federal inmates. In the last year and a half, GEO announced plans to add a total of at least 3,925 new beds to immigration lockups in five locations. The Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency and the U.S. Marshals Service, which hire the company, will fill the beds with inmates awaiting court and deportation proceedings.

GEO reported impressive quarterly earnings of $20 million on February 12, 2009, along with an annual income of $61 million for 2008 – up from $38 million the year before. But the company’s share value is not the only thing that’s growing. Behind the financial success and expansion of the for-profit prison firm, there are increasing charges of negligence, civil rights violations, abuse and even death.

It’s worth reading the entire article. The privatization of prisons is among the worst outcomes of our nation’s decades-long plan to migrate public responsibilities to private profit motive.

Companies can be incredibly efficient in the pursuit of their interest, but their interest is not always the interest of the public. When they pursue that interest (maximizing profit) without the appropriate oversight, training and accountability, abuse is not only possible; it’s guaranteed.

I was glad to see Obama’s announcement last week that he’ll be reigning in military contractors and restoring to government many of the functions that should be directly in the hands of “we the people.” I hope he takes an equally hard look at this nation’s addiction to imprisonment.

If we’re going to place 1 in 100 people in prison or jail we should have the cajones to run the lockups ourselves.

Posted via web from baratunde’s posterous

Per reader request. From Friday’s Rachel Maddow Show:

Henriette DeLille


Henriette DeLille (1813-1862) was born in New Orleans to Jean Baptiste DeLille Sarpy , a wealthy Frenchman who had immigrated to Louisiana and Poupone Diaz, a quadroon. Their union was a common-law marriage typical of the plaçage system of the day.

Henriette Delille was born in Louisiana in 1812. Her father, Jean-Baptiste (de Lille) Lille (Sarpi) Sarpy (French/Italian) was born in 1762 in Fumel, Lot-et-Garonne, France; and her mother, Marie-Josèphe (Pouponne) Díaz, of French, Spanish and African ancestry, a Creole of color, was born in New Orleans, Louisiana. Her grandparents were Juan José (Jean-Joseph) Díaz, a Spanish merchant, and Henriette Dubreuil Laveau, a Creole of color. Her great-grandparents were Jean Sarpi and Cécile Marthe Basile Dubreuil, whose father was Claude Villars Dubreuil born in 1716, from France. (See 2 copies of Genealogy of Mother Delille) also (See Pages copied from the book, “No Cross, No Crown” written by Sr. Detiège and Dr. Charles Nolan, which outlines Mother Delille’s Creole ancestry and who were permitted to join the Order in the years 1842 – l865).

Trained by her mother in French literature, music, dancing, and nursing, Henriette was groomed to take her place in the plaçage system as the common-law wife of a wealthy white man. As a young woman, under the watchful eye of her mother, she attended many quadroon balls.

She was drawn to a strong religious belief in the teaching of the Catholic church, however, and resisted the life her mother suggested. She became an outspoken opponent of the system of plaçage, on the grounds that it represented a violation of the Catholic sacrament of marriage.

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I got this idea from listening to Rev. Al’s radio show. He and George Curry were talking about books about Black folk, and Mr. Curry has made a list.

Here it is.

Your History: From the Beginning of Time to Present By J.A. Rogers
African People in World History By John Henrik Clarke
Africa: Mother of Civilization By Yosef be-Jochannon
Fifty Days on Board a Slave Vessel By Pascoe G. Hill
The Origin of Race and Color By Martin R. Delany
100 Amazing Facts about the Negro with Complete Proof By J.A. Rogers
The Destruction of Black Civilization: Great Issues of Race from 4500 B.C. to 2000 A.D. By Chancellor Williams
From Slavery to Freedom: A History of African Americans By John Hope Franklin
The Negro in the Making of AmericaBy Benjamin Quarles
Before the Mayflower: A History of Black America (1619-1962) By Lerone Bennett, Jr.
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Sunday Open Thread

8 Mar 2009

Albertina Walker- I Can Go To God In Prayer

Good Morning.

As you enjoy 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.

Phillis Wheatley


Phillis Wheatley (1753 – December 5, 1784) was the second published African American poet whose writings helped create the genre of African American literature. She was born in Gambia, Africa, and became a slave at age seven. She was purchased by the Boston Wheatley family, who taught her to read and write, and helped encourage her poetry.

The 1773 publication of Wheatley’s Poems on Various Subjects, Religious and Moral, brought her fame, with dignitaries such as George Washington praising her work. Wheatley also toured England and was praised in a poem by fellow African American poet Jupiter Hammon. Wheatley was emancipated by her owners after her poetic success, but stayed with the Wheatley family until the death of her former master and the breakup of his family. She then married a free black man, who soon left her. She died in poverty in 1784 while working on a second book of poetry, which has now been lost.

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Maher makes the point about healthcare that Democrats SHOULD be making over and over again.

Republicans always come up with the BS about a ‘ government bureaucrat making the decision about your healthcare, instead of doctors and nurses.’ Who the hell makes those decisions now? Someone at an INSURANCE COMPANY.

Saturday Open Thread

7 Mar 2009

The new swingset The President had installed at The White House for the First Daughters. The President has a view of the swingset from the Oval Office.

Good Morning.

As you enjoy 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.

You tell me.  POLITICO seems to imply it, even though the Sith is noticably absent from the present discussion:

The Democratic Leadership Council — a group of centrists that dominated politics during the Clinton presidency but is laboring to remain relevant in the Obama era — is on the brink of a major shake-up.

Al From, the DLC’s founder and leader since its creation 24 years ago this month, said he plans to step down within the next couple of months, handing the chief executive reins to his longtime protégé, Bruce Reed.

At the same time, the Progressive Policy Institute, an influential think tank closely affiliated with the DLC, will soon part ways with the council. Will Marshall, who heads the think tank, said the recent Democratic electoral gains and a massive new agenda being pushed by the Obama administration “require us to think anew.”

The upheaval at the DLC is a striking sign of the political times. Under From, the group was always controversial — making its name during the ’80s and ’90s with stark warnings that traditional, interest-group liberals were threatening to turn the Democratic Party into a permanent minority party.

And, we all know how their predictions turned out.  If you don’t remember, allow me to remind you:  the loss of both Houses of Congress in 1994 to the Republican Party; the loss of the elections of Al Gore and John Kerry to the White House because they bought off on the DLC’s “electability” talking points, and they shanked Howard Dean back in 2004 when he tried to take the Democratic Party back with the sandbagging video clip of him cheering, but sounding like he was a maniac.

For good measure, Kos decides to sling his good friend under the bus:

So what to make of DLC Chair Harold Ford, curiously absent from this write-up? In the last three years, he has run for senate and lost, worked for Merril Lynch in time to watch them collapse, and headed the DLC in time to watch them collapse — the kind of success ratio that often merits a big promotion in DC.

The last time someone with this track record showed up in DC, he stole the White House and squatted there for eight years.

This time, many sobered up off the kool-aid after losing their retirement pensions, their investments, their homes and their friggin jobs.  And then, many of us never drank the kool-aid because our mammas didn’t raise any stupid children.

If the DLC is really dead, I have to close down my original blog, but I won’t be convinced until I see a funeral procession on K Street.

Who We Are

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

Technical Contributor: Brandon Sheats


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