Sunday, April 21, 2019

It's eat Chocolate-and-Marshmallow-Animals-Until-You-Drop Day! Or for normal people, it's Easter

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I totally forgot that today is Easter Sunday and that Passover is intersecting with the Christian holiday.

To all those who celebrate either one, or both - Happy Easter! Happy Pesach!

To those who celebrate sprng and all things green and bunnies and eggs - Happy Spring Equinox! (yeah. I know it was March 20th.)

Whatever you do, I am certain it involves eating too much of something. So enjoy your comestibles of choice and do as this creature commands:

Monday, April 8, 2019

DISSENT gets a new cover and a new life!

Well, if you hadn't noticed in the sidebar, my recent historical romance got a facelift! Yeah, DISSENT received a new cover styled by a cover designer who goes by the tag Designovator_ . I discovered her on fiverr.

The image I plucked from the archives of photographer Taria A. Reed. That woman is the only photo source I know of who actually has in her stash a number of stills that fit the era in which DISSENT was set. Plus, more importantly, she had the pairing I needed for my cover re-do! You have no idea how hard it is to find images of historical IR couples. Oh, there are a few out there if you are searching for that DixieLand/Old Virginny, slave/master, Old South concept. Noooooo! I wasn't.

I needed French Renaissance and she had it. Thank you, Taria and Designovator_ for your talents.

I had another fiverr pro re-format the book's Vellum. If yoy ned your books formatted in Vekllum. hit up arrancat on fiverr. She is the truth! And right now she will give you 1) a Kindle version, 2) a version for print, 3) a ePub versions.


My book refreshening tallied @45 bucks plus tips. Can't beat that/ Now feast your eyes close up on the final product.

Otelia Cromwell, Smith College alumna and scholar

Otelia Cromwell. First Black grad of Smith College. Then she conquered Columbia U and finally earned her Ph.D in English from Yale.

Wow. And she didn't have filthy rich 'rents to bribe her way in. She used her brain. Can you imagine that? One of her nieces (Adelaide Cromwell Hill) became an instructor in sociology at Smith College years later.

Smith College honors her in November each year..

Read more about Otelia at the links above.

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her niece, sociologist Adelaide M. Cromwell Hill
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Enslaved Tour Guide Stephen Bishop Made Mammoth Cave the Must-See destination it is today

Master Spelunker by accident. Slave through no fault of his own.

Stephen Bishop was one of several enslaved Blacks who were guides for visitors to the Mammoth Cave system of Kentucky. He and they were honored this past February for their contributions to the art of spelunking.  Though slaves above ground, they were masters of the terrain underground.

Stephen Bishop
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that hair is err'thang.

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Orthopedic surgeon, J. Robert Gladden 1st Black board certified surgeon in his profession in 1949

Dr. J. Robert Gladden became board certified as an orthopedic surgeon on Jan. 22, 1949. A native son of Charlotte, N. C.., he received his M. D. from Meharry Medical School. Later at Howard University, he specilized in orthopedics and became the institution's 1st orthopedic resident. He went on to build his stellar reputation, both in the States and in Bermuda, finally settling in as Howard's Chief of Orthopedic Surgery.

Read more about Dr. Gladden at the link above and the one below:

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Sunday, March 24, 2019

The Romance Writers of America and its 2019 RITA awards - Wish I could say, "I'm surprised" but I can't

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The RITA Awards. The RITA Awsrds.

What are they? Who exactly is in charge of this operation?
The Romance Writers of America (RWA), the trade association for romance fiction authors runs this show. The body gifts 2 types of awards, one being something called, THE RITA AWARD to writers in the many and varied categories of romance fiction. The other being the Golden Heart.  From its website it reads that a RITA is "he highest award of distinction in romance fiction — recognizes excellence in published romance novels and novellas. The GOLDEN HEART recognizes excellence in unpublished romance manuscripts."

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What can I say about them. A lot and not much at the same time. But I do have some tea. And as lovelyti of YouTube fame says, "And it's piping hot!"

Look. Awards are wonderful little things to receive. People like giving them. People like getting them. But when the deck is stacked.. . . Let's just say that the "award" for "excellence" is looking a tad tarnished.

This current round of RITAs is suffering some second-degree, if not third-degree burns, from some scalding brew. Little old Miss Romancelandia is braving another round of messiness in its ranks. As I reported the RITA Awards/Golden Hearts  just announced their lists of finalists for the 2019 competition. Per usual, there are scant AOC (authors of color) in the scads of finalists. Oh, there were a few last year. Or was that the year before? Memory fails me. You'd think because such a phenom occurs with such rarity I'd recall.

Anyhoo, .this year there seems to have been a judging snafu. Oh me, oh my. How could anyone ever think that a popularity contest passing for a well-organized, well-thought out competition, without a smidgen of bias demonstrated by anyone involved, could ever tolerate such a thing? Hoping it's not true BUT

Honeeeeeeey. Seems it did/is.

Word on the romance back streets is that a certain "judge" deducted a point in judging a book because it depicted a BLACK scientist.

Say what?

You heard me.

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Now I'm interested as to WHY the "impartial judge" acted in such a manner. Did the "judge" think (1) that a Black scienttist DOESN'T exists?  (2) doesn't think a Black scientist is believable? (3) doesn't think READERS would think a Black scientist is believable?  Or, lastly is a acting as a "place holder" for a narrow-minded reading public whose tastes he/she knows? Cue the "Jeopardy" music. I'll wait.

OK. Time's up. I'd hazard a guess it's the combo platter of all 4. Plus, was the book's author non-White?

If true ( and I don't doubt it for a minute), it's sad. You may ask, "Does it matter?" Yes the hell it does if you are a person entering these compeitions or paying dues to these associations.. I've seen on Twitter that a number of AOC who belong to the RWA are quitting it. Others are staying because.I joined one time years ago. The expensive was too much. Which i see already as a way of "weeding out" what the RWA would see as undesirable.. As a fellow author posted on Facebook, the requirements and gudelines of being in the RWA would defintely leve out a "sistah who can write her butt off but who might live paycheck to paycheck, have children, and pressing responsibilities that would cause her to bypass joining the RWA and hence the RITAs."

Look. Again. A certain sector of the population runs the RWA. its bias against AOC is ironic as a BLACK woman (Vivian Stephens) was a co-founder of the association.

I wonder if she'd written a romance in 2019 with a Black scientist, and would have submitted under another name for consideration, would it get kicked out of the running by that judge?

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Monday, March 11, 2019

Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster 8 years later - Like Kyle said in "The Terminator, "If you want to live..." You better do the reserach on this disaster

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Today marks the 8th anniversary of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear disaster. I am not a Nervous Nelly or a Chicken Little but look. I'm putting it out there. If you aren't flushing your thyroid with NASCENT IODINE. Eating mostly low on the food chain (fruits and veggies, organic of course). NOT eating ANY seafood. Taking BORON and CARBON 60 or LIPOSOMAL VITAMIN C - You are gonna be effed. Big time.

The nuclear accident that occured after a tsunami caused by an earthquake has devastated the planet. Oh. you don't hear about it because the powers-that-be don't know how to remedy it. They keep quiet and hope no one will notice when folks start dropping like flys. Yes. I said flys. Why? Because RADIATION!

The tsunami that hit the Japanes coastline in that area of Japan damaged the 4 nuclear re-actors built near the shoreline. I wonder what brainac drew up those plans and what Nimrod thought it was a swell idea to build them on a coastline? But I digress.

Anyhoo, the damage done by the earthquake and water was so great, that all the buildings were damaged and 3 of the 4 re-actors' CORES were exposed and melted down through the concrete floring! The mess happened in 2011 and just in 2017 did officials find the cores!

Basically, if you want to survive this scourge upon nature, you should be taking remedies to replace radiation that is accumulating in your body. Do not be fooled. If you live in any region not near Japan, your ass ain't safe! Since almost the day the disaster happened, WATER that had been, and has been rolling over the cores to cool them (even though authorites weren''t sure where they were. duh!) has been DUMPED into the PACIFIC OCEAN! DUMB! You cannot dilute radiation, fools! I learned that in Physics 101. This water is killing the sea life. Look up on Google how whales and salmon and all other kinds of sea life are dyinf or dead already. And what is left is tumor-ridden. Hence, why I eat NO seafood at all! A fish can be trimmed to look perfect in a frozen food case or on your plate and full of radiation. No thanks. Fisheries all along the western U. S. coastline had closed or are on life support because the bounty is not there to haul in. IT IS DEAD!

Please research it. i am not making this stuff up. The cloud from the explosion traveled across the world and hit everywhere. VAPORIZED RADIATION SWEPT OVER EVERYTHING.

What is even more scary is that oceans provide the world with OXYGEN. The Pacific ocean provides 1/3 of the world's oxygen and it is dead. The radiation does not stay in one place; it is swirling toward the Atlantic now if not there already.

Whe people think of death or illnes by radiation they think the Hollywood movie kind of  death or illness. That quick demise by immediate expose: melting to a pile of goop or bleeding out or disintegrating on the spot or cancer in the long run. Yeah, that's Hollywood partially and real life too (ask the population of Hiroshima)

But death or illnees from LONG-TERM radiation exposure comes from being bombarded on a constant basis by it so that it disrupts every cell in one's body. This leads to strokes (even in seemingly healthy people), heart attacks, demise by diseases that compromise the lungs, blood disorders, etc. The constant wave of radiation will exaserbate any disease or disorder one might contract to the point that it will maim one greatly or kill one. Radiation also "wakes up" bad bateria. It acidifies all it touches. A perfect environment to "grow" cancer.

Hey. Don't take my word for it. Here are some experts on YouTube who have been banging the drum for years about this dangerous disaster.   Dana Durnford explains it all!    Kevin Blanch

And my personal favorite, Ajali Shabazz, who calls herself The Radical Sister, on YouTube. She is the only BLACK person trying to educate Blacks about this mess. She has a protocol for radiation remediation that I use. She has a playlist called "Fukushima A to Z" where she breaks it down and offers remedies to aid in the mitigation of radiation. Something no gov't or TEFCO (the company behind the diaster) official has talked about. She can be a bit scattered and wil but she brings the truth after doing 8 years of research on the subject  The Radical Sister


DMSO (DIMETHYL SULFOXIDE) (if diagnosed w/ leukemia, supplement w/ baking soda)



Basically, one eats "clean" as possible, start a garden with organic seeds. in organic soil. If meat is still on your menu, buy organic and still keep it to a minimum. Thing is the only way to do this 100 is to know the source of the things one is consuming if one can't grow it or raise it

I do not post this to scare anyone. You need to know what's up and what's coming down the pike. As I said. LOOK IT UP! I was oblivious once too. Next up for me is starting a garden. I pray for mankind. I really do but to get a handle on this will take monumental determination.
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Tuesday, March 5, 2019

The origins of Mardi Gras in the U. S. A.

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Read about the origins of Mardi Gras in the States! And it does not have anything to do with New Orleans!

Happy Mardi Gras!

"Laissez les bon temps rouler!" (As they say in Cajun French)

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Friday, February 22, 2019

A note to folks who interact with me on social media in a crude fashion

It's 2019 and I do not entertain fools. I've always been an opinionated type but I used to keep quiet. As I've aged I've gotten bolder but in a civil way. I know how to convey my truth without shedding too much blood. Think paper cut.

However with the nation's current climate making it akin to living in an open-air asylum sans toilet, with fools to left of me, jokers to the right...You get the drift (and the musical reference I hope!) I strive every day to keep sane and collected and limit my time on social media

Like I said, I speak truth. Sooooooooooo, if I comment on a Facebook thread and a person doesn't like it - TOO BAD! I will not go back and forth with your nutty ass! I comment once and keep it moving.

Same goes if you pop up in my Facebook thread with some idiocy about something I wrote that you vehemently don't like. Let me put it this way - EFF YOU AND THE HORSE YOU RODE IN ON! I will comment once and you will not like it. My Zen will have been restored though.

Can't handle it, snowflakes? Stay the eff off my threads or you wil! need fireproof undies.

A-A-Ah. I feel better. Have a nice day!


Governor Wreck-It Ralph Northam has lots of company.

Blackface seems to have an irresistible pull, a Svengali-like hold on a large number of White college students in sororities and fraternities during Halloween or when they are pledging.

Submitted for your approval, 'cuz it sure was the Twilight Zone for me.

Freshman year of college in February (oh, yes. I will name the illustrious institution), the then lauded Phila College of Pharmacy and Science (which has been renamed and which I attended for two years then transferred the hell out of), was having "Hell Week." "Hell Week" that curious cross between "Survivor" and "The Apprentice" where students endure all kinds of crap to be allowed into a life-long party? I don't know. Never appealed to me. Anyhoo, Lincoln's birthday fell during "Hell Week" that year. Well, honeeeeeeeeey, this is where it got weird.

In the student cafeteria, all the Black students sat together always. It was comforting because there were only 12 of us in the whole school. Well, for "Hell Week" whoever was head of the frat on campus must have given their desperate pledges a list of junk to do to pass, qualify, whatever they call it to get in.
Apparently, one task was to disrupt our table. Each of the 7 White guys pledging had to come to our table with a mouth full of LICORICE COUGH DROPS, A BOX of them to hand out to each one of us and to wish us a "Happy, Happy Lincoln's Birthday! in an Amos and Andy style of speech while attempting to tap dance and call us "Sir" or Ma'am."

I kid you not.

We laughed at first because it was ridiculous. Then we were dumbfounded. Then we got pissed. By the time we'd gathered our wits and the 3rd guy thought he was going to "perform", the Black males at our table threatened a beat down if he did. He and the rest backed away.No. It wasn't Blackface but it wasn't necessary either.

I wonder to this day what those "boys" are doing. Probably section chiefs in some gov't agency or CEOs of pharmaceutical companies.

Sunday, February 10, 2019

James Edward Maceo West -Developer of the foil electret microphone. That thing you use eveyday of your life through your listening devices!

This man is still alive and today is his 88th birthday! So give thanks to this brilliant man. Otherwise you would not be able to communicate the way you do on your phones. Or listen to music or TV or your streaming devices or anything else that requies clean, clear reception. He with colleague, Gerhard Sessler, at Bell Laboratories, developed the improved pathway through which people hear and transmit sound!

Happy Birthday, Dr. West! (February 10, 1931)

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Gerhard Sessler
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Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Buxton, Louisiana - A piece of paradise for Blacks at the turn of the last century

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Established by coal baron and railroad mogul, Ben Buxton, the town sprang up due to a strike waged by White coal miners. Buxton needed replacements for his striking work force and found theme down South.

The town created itself as workers, both Black and White, came to Buxton's southern work site. The settlement expanded and thrived, home to all. The races lived, worked and went to school side by side. It boasted a population of bewteen eight and ten thousand with Blacks the majority.

But in the first part of the twentieth-century, the town began a decline as other energy demands began overruling coal. Profitability waned as coal production reached a plateau. By the late 1920s, many had left the twon for other work. Today it is a designated historic U. S. site and is on the official National Register of historic Places

founder Ben Buxton, coal magnate
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Saturday, February 2, 2019

A childhood memory -My old stomping ground, the Royal Theatre of South Philadelphia

OK. I'm a day late but I am here to kick off Black History Month with a personal reminiscence. I'm gonna try to post about Black historical happenings at least twice a week fot this month. Bear with me.

Royal Theatre in its heyday - interior
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I spent many a Saturday afternoon in the Royal Theatre  (1524 South Street) when I was growing up. On those afternoons I was dropped off at the premiere movie house in South Philly around noon by mom, grandmom, grandpop or an uncle (we walked there as the Royal was @6 blocks from our house). I met all my friends there.

Admission was 35 cents if you were under 12 years of age and 50 cents if you were an older child, or perceived as older. That's were I got unfairly charged a few times as I was a tall kid. To solve that, my mom brought a copy of my birth certificate with her or she'd give it to whomever'd was gonna take me to the Royal that day so they could wave it in the face of the cashier. Good Old Mom. What a card!

The kiddie matinee lasted a little over 4 hours and screened a plethora of cartoons and two movies. My friends and I would sit in the main hall if the balcony was full. We'd gorge on popcorn, Jujyfruits, Dots, M&Ms and soda. And either barfed or poopped the rest of the evening from the sugar overload.

I loved it!

Oh the chaos! We'd scream over the film and we'd throw Dots and popcorn and Jujyfruits at each other and we'd run up and down the aisles. It was the only time we could be unbridled heathens. These matinees gave adults a break from us crazy kiddos and vice versa.

I loved it!.

Unfortunately, the grand lady fell into major disrepair. She'd been made an historic site as the Royal had been the spot for many African-American performers and had been a Black-owned and Black-operated venue from 1919 to 1970. With the city's promise of urban renewal came the plan for the Crosstown Expressway, a high speed thoroughfare which was to cut right through the middle my 'hood. The mere mention of this project, caused many businesses to leave the area or shut down altogether. The Royal did the latter.

Strangely, or should I say strategically, the mention of the Expressway did what developers wanted all along - offer Black-owned enterprises pennies and make a land grab for sellers' properties.. It worked. The Crosstown Expressway which was supposed to cut down on traffic, and be a part of Interstste 695 was NEVER built! But all those empty businesses now beloned to new owners. This was the mainly Black west side of South Street; the mainly Italian east side had begun its supposed renaissance a few years before. Both populations disliked the change in their neighborhoods.

So, the shuttered Royal Theatre became a ball to be tossed back and forth whenever some city faction wanted something. It was declared historic which did it scant good as it sat there empty, untouched and rotting for 50 years. It changed hands several times with no renovation. Music mogul Kenny Gamble owned it once and did little to help it. The last update reported that some developer was going to retain the architechturally important facade but with a combination of retail space and a six-story, 57 unit apt. building with seven townhouses behind it and parking below it

Oh joy! Overpriced real estate for hipsters.

That was 2017. If delays persist there will be no historic facade to preserve. The Royal will just disintegrate. Little old, cynical me thinks that is what the devekoper wants. If she crunbles, the developer won't have to follow the rules for renovating historic buildings. He'll keep the front and do whatever, however, he wants with the rest.

There is one success story concerning the rescue of a formerly Black-owned, Black-operated theater in Philly - The Met. That grand old lady of North Philly re-opened her doors this past December 2018. She is a multi-use facility. - concert hall, theater, church. She looks wonderful.

I'd hoped the Royal would have gotten the royal treatment. She deserves no less.

North Philly's The Met restored
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The Met's restored interior
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Tuesday, January 22, 2019

The Re-Collective Orchestra re-imagines, "All the Stars" the Oscar nominated love theme from "Black Panther

The beauty of this song by Kendrick Lamarr and Sza really shines through with this orchestra's version. Not that Lamar and Sza missed (they rap in the background). It's just that this version brings the warmth of the film's main couple's (T'Challa and Nakia)  love to life.

A little prediction: I say "Black Panther" will win two Oscars. One for best song; one for costume design. Just my opinion.

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Sunday, January 20, 2019

An observation on Martin Luther King, Jr. on the eve of the celebration of his birthday - COINTELPRO, Black Messiahs and the FBI

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This tidbit is my contribution to the annual Martin Luther King, Jr. birthday celebration. As I've said before, he was NOT the benevolent young preacher of '63 , a time when he gave his oft-quoted, oft-reinterpreted "I Have a Dream"speech, when he was slaughterd in '68.

King. Malcolm.X. Evem Lubumba.

Men dedicated to waking up their people. Men killed in their prime. Men feared for the truths they were telling. Men who were sounding a loud chord to a slumbering populace.

Oh no. Ever wondered where the leaders are today? Or why there are no leaders, per ser? The reason why is explained in the article linked below.

Oh man. I wish I hadn't read this but I did. I also read the document prepared by the NSA (National Security Agency) where it basically said the U. S. gov't is scared of Black folks "waking up" therefore ANY person that might come on the scene and "agitate" us must be neutralized. Wow. So how does a gov't go about destroying a "messaiah?" From within.

C-O-I-N-T-E-L-P-R-O. J. Edgar Hoover's finest creation!/SugahData/Government/COINTELPRO.S.pdf

Watch the doc "The FBI's War on Black America." An eye-opening little piece of work

Yeah, I'm all over the places post. What I'm saying is I see scant progress for Black Americans in light of the regressive rhetoric coming from Washington now. COINTELPRO and the assasinations were effective as NO bright, shining beacon has arrived on the scene. Not even Obama. He was not threatening. He was seen as safe to lots of Whites despite the death threats he'd get on the daily during his presidency. Plus, there was no way in hell he could have come out and declared any kind of reparations for African American Descendants of Slaves. Mainstrean America would have lost its collective shit. And they sure as hell could not afford to pay up anyway as there is no amount of money large enough to repay all that that taken for free. So, even though, mainstream America should feel comfy, it isn't. Nor am I. I don't know why. Probably because the atmosphere feels like it did when I was a kid. Tense. Uncertain. Unkind. Except for one thing: This time around there is no Black Messiah.

J. Edgar Hoover
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Wednesday, January 9, 2019

The Black masters of the martial arts you probably didn't know about

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I came across this article when I was surfing the interwebs the other evening. It struck a cord because I recall as a teen that in my neighborhood there had been a martial arts studio run by a Black guy who had fought in Vietnam and who had been stationed in various places around South East Asia. He was very stately  but carried himself with an air of "don't eff with me." He liked the culture of the East so much that his digs above the studio (I'm going by 2nd hand convo here. The parents of the boys who took lessons with him had seen his abode up close) were Eastern-inspired and not the typical, 70s plastic-covered living room set with bonus Barcalounger thrown in. His wife was Korean.

Anyhoo, martial arts studios used to be a staple in Black neghborhoods when I was a teen. They were all the result of Kung Fu movies. Guys coming back from 'Nam with knowledge of the sport. Influence from Black Panthers regime. Martial arts was big in Black neghborhoods. Hell, I had a mad crush on Bruce Lee for the longest. These studios channeled teens' energy into something productive. It cut down on gang wars tremendously and crime and gave the kids hope and discipline.

Then as quickly as ithe feeling of hope arrived, it left. To be replaced by crack cocaine. It moved in and ruined lives. Drugs had always been around but it had been a behind-the-scenes thing, whispered about and not indulged in on a mass scale. Oh, you might have seen a wayward visiting third cousin on it but not somebody's momma or sister. No. Just no.

So, seeing the above article warmed my heart because it brought back the memories of that feeling of hope lots of young men had in my 'hood that any one of them could be, not the next Bruce Lee or Sonny Chiba, but the next Jim Kelly.

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Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Happy birthday to Aaron Dixon, 1st captain of a Black Panther branch outside of California (Seattle, WA)

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January 2nd is the 70th birthday of the activist and Panther member, Aaron Dixon. I'm thinking the man is lucky to be alive after all the group went through. Born in Chicago, raised in Seattle, he came to activism through his parents' love of gov't involvement. At the University of Washington, he helped start the Black Student Union and the formed the Seattle chapter of SNCC with Larry Gossett.

His installation as Seattle's captain of the Panther took place after he met with the members of the Oakland branch at Bobby Sutton's funeral.

The rest is history.

Read more about Dixon at the likn above and his own memoir of his time in the Panthers:

The photo on the cover is the 60s version of ain't-nobody-got-time-for-dat!

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Tuesday, January 1, 2019

HAPPY NEW YEAR, 2019!!!!!!!!!!!!