50 Years Ago Today


As the Old Negro Spiritual,
Free at Last, Free at Last

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Black & White


The Flip Side of a Chase
Is a Man Leading the Crowd

Many pictures dispense interpretation. Most tragedies could do without another opinion. The nation is transfixed with the unforgivable string of killings of unarmed black youth by those assigned to protect them. Grief has boiled over, calls for justice are once again being heard.
Will the death of Freddie Gray Jr. suffice for us to go from indignation to effective legislative action? Or is Baltimore only the last stop in this tragic journey of blood through the streets of America? Are we really ready to forget this one too? Are we really ready to go on?
It’s too much sorrow, too many mothers and relatives mourning the violence that seems directed at one particularly underprivileged, and often ignored, segment of the population. Thus, this picture and how we may choose to interpret it, so we can get some sleep tonight.
Not another young black man being chased by a platoon of armed, and armored, policemen, but an unsuspected leader of a new charge for change, and a new day for racial equality in the U.S. (more)
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Hands Up!


Washington Square Park,
New York City, 12/13/14

Once again, Americans of all colors and ethnic backgrounds stepped out and made a statement against police brutality, in favor of justice and the rule of law for everybody, and above all, in defense of black and minority people, disproportionally singled out by law enforcement.
They’ve carried posters and banners with the names of Eric Garner, Michael Brown, Tamir Rice, and so many others, including Amadou Diallo, killed by New York cops over 15 years ago, and marched along the victims’ families, in yet another giant, peaceful demonstration.
Many lessons of civility and compassion were on display, many examples of courage and solidarity. This time, change must be expedited, and justice ushered by those entrusted with the people’s will. Their voices won’t be ignored, and their sacrifice won’t be in vain.
In the past few weeks, Americans have shown more determination to redirect this country towards social and racial justice than they’ve been in years. It’s now up to President Obama to validate these legitimate claims in the letter of the law, so we all can finally move the U.S. forward into a new era of civil rights for everyone.