Monthly Archives: November 2008


Our Father in Heaven, and Our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ,
I come before you this day to give thanks to you for all that you have given me in this life. I thank you for the many people, known, and unknown, who have so profoundly touched my life in so many enriching ways:
I thank you for the many people who have made America a place worth living in. I thank you for all those who devoted their lives in the struggle for freedom, and who stood up for justice, fairness, and right, even when it cost them their lives.
I thank you for the many people who refused to stand by and see wrong, after wrong, after wrong occur.  I thank you for the many women and men who believed that America should be a better country, and refused to give up on that belief.
I thank you for Crispus Attucks, who fought for his freedom, and died, believing that no man had the right to enslave another, while championing their own freedom;
I thank you for the Grimke sisters, Angelina and Sarah, who were sisters in body, word, action, and spirit, for they refused to allow their Black sisters to languish in the cruelty of slavery, and who spoke up for them, boldly, and resolutely;
I thank you for Frederick Douglas who was a beacon of reason and steadfastness, as he pricked the conscious of a nation that would rather have turned away from the cries of her enslaved Black children; Frederick, who would rather unite with anybody to do right than with nobody to do wrong.
I thank you for Harriet Tubman, who was a general in every way, leading so many of her fellow enslaved Black people out of bondage, at great risk to herself;
I thank you for Denmark Vesey, Nat Turner, Gabriel Prosser, who struck a blow against the humiliation and hypocrisy of slavery; who fought against a country that would allow a system of enslavement of one group of people, but, allow freedom to another group of people, because of their different race and skin color;
I thank you for David Walker, whose fiery words spoke to the rights of Black people to live freely and abundantly in a country that only gave lip service to its ideals of freedom and equality;
I thank you for John Brown, who refused to turn away from the suffering of his fellow sisters and brothers who were enslaved; John Brown, whose body lies a mouldering in the grave, but, whose soul is still marching on.
I thank you for W.E.B. Dubois, who eloquently gave voice to the voiceless, who chronicled the history of his Black people to leave a legacy behind that spoke of the fortitude, the will, the desire of recently freed Black people who walked, ran, and went whatever way they could to get the education so long denied them in slavery; W.E.B. who spoke of the infamous “Veil” that  shrouded the true lives that so many Black people lived in the American South:
I thank you for Langston Hughes, who, too, sang America.
I thanks you for James Weldon and Rosamond Johnson, who lifted every voice and sang, ’til earth and Heaven rang;
I thank you for Zora Neale Hurston, who was too busy sharpening her oyster knife to let the world beat her down or hold her back; Zora, who spoke of mules and men; Zora who spoke the truth bluntly and succinctly, and opened a door and gave the rich culture of Black Americans to the world, through their folklore;
I thank you for Lorraine Hansberry, who wrote of dreams deferred; dreams that would die like a raisin in the sun if those dreams were continually crushed;
I thank you for The Harlem Renaissance.
I thank you for Darlene Clark Hine, Alice Walker, Ann Petry, Phyllis Wheatley,
I thank you for James Baldwin, who warned America of the fire next time; James Baldwin who spoke of the blues for mister charlie, and who exhorted the white man (and woman) to listen!
I thank you for Ida Wells-Barnett, who fought the lynchers who burned and tortured defenseless Black citizens;  Ida , who revealed the red record of Southern barbarity against it most helpless citizens;
I thank you for Medger Evers who knew that every day would be his last, but, kept on registering Black people to vote, Black citizens who had a right to exercise their Constitutional rights as U.S. citizens;
I thank you for Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., who was thrust onto the world stage, a young preacher who spoke of his dream that one day all would be judged by the content of their character, and not the color of their skin; a dream that is yet to ring true, from the mountaintops, from the hills, from every valley—–in America;
I thank you for Malcolm X, who spoke brilliantly and beautifully, for Black Americans to live safely and rightfully in their country, free from malicious harm and injustice; Malcom, who gave his life for his Black sisters and brothers; Malcolm, who fought the haters and destroyers, by any means necessary;
I thank you for Fannie Lou Hamer, who even after she was brutally beaten by racists cops, even after she and the MFDP were refused seats at the 1964 Democratic Convention, even after she was jailed—Fannie who refused to let the light and fire in her go out;  Fannie, who would take that little light of hers, and let it shine—-let it shine—-let it shine—–so brightly that her legacy still shines like a lighthouse to the world;
I thank you for Sister Rosa Parks—-for she would not be moved;
I thank you for Sister Shirley Chisholm, who would blaze a path for Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton; for Shirley who made the way smooth for them; for Shirley, who remained unbought, and unbossed—–to the end.
I thank you for the Southern Tenant Farmers Union: black men—and white men, men who came together for a common cause to see a decent life, and an end to their stolen labors, men who fought against the aggressive repression of brutal sharecropping;
I thank you for the unheralded and unsung Black women of the South who took in Freedom Riders and Civil Rights workers; Black women, who at great risk to themselves, sheltered, fed, and protected those who came from across the South, and from outside the South, to help Black people who wanted a better life, a better day, for their future children, and children’s children; Black women who knew that their lives could be destroyed by segregationists, but, who knew that their lives were being obliterated, bit, by bit, by bit, from the devastation of Jane Crow segregation; Black women who would not take nothing for their journey, because their eyes were on the prize;
I thank you for Sojourner Truth, Elaine Brown, Kathleen Cleaver, Assata Shakur, Angela Davis, Flo Kennedy, Mrs. Silas McGhee, Unita Blackwell, Dovie and Winsome Hudson, Ella Baker, Lucy Parsons, Mamma Harris, “Mama” Dolly Raines, the Black Washerwomen of 1866;
I thank you for all the children of the Civil Rights Movement; children bowled over by fire hoses turned on them; children who braved police dogs that attacked and  bit them, dogs that tore into their tender, young flesh; children who saw that life would remain the same for them if they did not challenge the racist status quo that annihilated them and their families, on a daily basis;
I thank you for Chief Joseph, of the Nez Perce; Chief Joseph, who would fight no more, forever;
I thank you for Caesar Chavez, who organized migrant farm workers into a force to be reckoned with;
I thank you for the Black Panthers who said power to the people because the people were the strength and life force of America;
I thank you for Jane Elliot, who through her class divided helped her students, and many adults, see the gross injustice of inequality, and to see the most basic inner humanity in us all;
I thank you for Grace Lee Boggs, who devoted her life to speaking truth to power against racism;
I thank for for all the many women and men who strived, suffered, bled, worked, gave their lives so that America could truly live up to its constitutional creed:

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence,promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

I thank you, Our Father in Heaven, for so many I have not mentioned, not out of disrespect, but, know, that they are loved, honored, and respected, in my heart.

But, most of all, I thank you for my father (deceased), my mother, my siblings, my many extended kinfolk, and all those who have had a positive and uplifting affect on my life, for such are those who have come before me who given me much to enable me to question, think, decide for myself and live my life in a way that they would be proud of.

In the name of the Father and the Son, I thank you for these many gifts I have received through your bountiful blessings.


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#1 Song:   “You Keep Me Hangin’ On,” The Supremes


Born:   Tina Turner (Anna Mae Bulluck), 1938



1955   The Turbans appeared on the R&B charts with their rock ‘n’ roll classic “When You Dance,” reaching #3 and #33 pop. The group’s gimmick was to actually wear turbans on-stage.


1965   Muddy Waters, John Lee Hooker, and Otis Spann performed at the Cafe Au Go Go in Greenwich Village, NY.


1970   Pearl Bailey, Dionne Warwick, and The Supremes appeared on an Andy Williams NBC-TV special.


1982   Rick James, Gladys Knight and Aretha Franklin peformed at the Jamaica World Music Festival in Montego bay, Jamaica, before more than 45,000 fans.


1983   Michael Jackson’s single, “Thriller” reached #10 on the British charts a full six months before the record’s release in America.


1991   ABC-TV aired the Gladys Knight Holiday Family Reunion, which had been taped in September on the campus of UCLA.


1994   James Ingram, Roberta Flack, and Peabo Bryson began the Colors of Christmas tour at the Palace of Auburn Hills in Auburn Hills, MI.


1994   R.Kelly’s album 12 Play charted in England, reaching #39. Interestingly, it charted five times in a year before finally reaching #39. All told, it sold more than 300,000 copies. (If at first you don’t succeed. . . .)


From the book “On This Day In Black Music History,” by Jay Warner.

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DENVER (AP) — Colorado voters became the first in the nation to reject a ban on state affirmative action programs, narrowly defeating a measure that California businessman Ward Connerly has helped pass in four other states.

But with so many factors in play this historic election, it’s not clear whether Colorado’s vote is a turning point for such measures or an anomaly.

“More than anything else, more than anything, it was the tendency to just vote no,” Connerly said, blaming a complicated state ballot and the groundswell of support for Barack Obama, the nation’s first black president-elect.

By 51 percent to 49 percent, Coloradans rejected a proposed constitutional ban on considering race or gender in state hiring, contracting and college admissions. The Election Night tally showed voters about evenly divided, and The Associated Press didn’t declare a winner until Friday, when more votes had been counted.

In neighboring Nebraska, 58 percent of voters approved an affirmative action ban this week. Despite a legal challenge by opponents there, Nebraska college and municipal officials are already examining their programs to see if they violate the new ban.

Initially, it looked as though Colorado would follow the lead of California, Michigan and Washington in banning affirmative action. Polls showed the measure had support among Republicans and Democrats and men and women.

It was one of 14 measures Colorado voters faced on the nation’s longest ballot. Voters rejected most of them, including a proposal that could have led to shorter ballots.

Opponents said the affirmative action proposal — with language focused on ending discrimination and without a mention of affirmative action — was deceptive, and they launched a door-to-door campaign telling voters that it could end such programs as science camps for girls.

Criticizing Connerly as a “carpetbagger,” they ran radio ads in English and Spanish against the amendment with contributions from software entrepreneur Tim Gill and from Jared Polis, an Internet businessman who was elected a Democratic congressman Tuesday.

Gov. Bill Ritter, Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper and three Division I basketball coaches also spoke out against it.

“We’ve done something everybody was telling us was impossible,” said Melissa Hart, a University of Colorado law professor who led the opposition.

Connerly originally envisioned a “Super Tuesday for Equal Rights” this year featuring proposed bans in five states. In the future, he said, he’ll try to back campaigns in just two states at a time, and he didn’t rule out another try in Colorado.

Mark Long, an assistant professor of public affairs at the University of Washington who has tracked the state bans, thinks the big show of support for Barack Obama in Colorado helped tilt the state against the ban.

Long said other states could still pass bans, and he expects more lawsuits challenging the use of race as a factor in college admissions, which the U.S. Supreme Court has already limited.

Connerly points to Obama’s election as proof it’s time to end affirmative action.

“I applaud the American people that they made that judgment, apparently free and unencumbered by any biases based on his skin color, and the same thing ought to apply to ordinary people when they apply for a job, bid on a contract or seek college admissions,” said Connerly, who is black.

Anurima Bhargava, director of education practice at the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, disagreed. She said there won’t be equal opportunity for minority students until their schools are improved and high school graduation rates are raised.

“Change is possible and change will hopefully come, but it hasn’t arrived at the election of Barack Obama,” Bhargava said.

The president-elect has criticized Connerly’s ballot measures as divisive and has said that affirmative action addresses hardships minorities face. But he also has said such programs should be extended to low-income whites and should exclude “privileged” minorities, like his two daughters.


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#1 R&B Song 1957:   “You Send Me,” Sam Cooke


Born:   Stride pianist Willie Smith, 1897; Etta Jones, 1928; Percy Sledge, 1940; Stacy Lattisaw, 1966; Eric Sermon, 1968



1953   The Flamoingos signed with Associated Booking Agency and began touring with Duke Ellington.


1954   The Moonglows appeared at East Chicago’s Masonic Temple.


1960   Ike Turner, the Clovers, Larry Williams, Sugar Pie DeSanto, and Bill Black’s Combo appeared at Chicago’s Regal Theater for the Thanksgiving holidays.


1968   The Fifth Dimension performed on the TV special Francis Albert Sinatra Does His Thing.

1976   Muddy Waters performed at the Band’s farewell concert, the Last Waltz, in San Francisco.


1990   Gladys Knight & the Pips reunited for the  Motown 30: What’s Goin’ On! CBS-TV special. Also performing were Patti LaBelle and Stevie Wonder.


1992   Whitney Houston’s film debut, The Bodyguard, opened natioanlly. The film, which co-starred Kevin Costner, was written twenty years earlier and was originally cast with Diana Ross and Ryan O’Neal.


1996   Bo Diddley was the opening act for the Rolling Stones in front of an audience of more than 55,000 at Joe Robbie Stadium in Miami.


From the book, “On This Day In Black Music History,” by Jay Warner.

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Writers Noor Khan And Jason Straziuso, Associated Press Writers – 9 mins ago

10 arrested in Afghan schoolgirl acid attack Play Video  – 10 arrested in Afghan schoolgirl acid attack.

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Doud Doud, an interior ministry official speaks during a press ...

Tue Nov 25, 7:43 AM ET

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Doud Doud, an interior ministry official speaks during a press conference in Kandahar,Afghanistan,Tuesday, Nov. 25, 2008. Afghan police have arrested 10 Taliban militants allegedly involved in an acid attack against 15 girls and teachers walking to school in southern Afghanistan, a provincial governor said Tuesday.

(AP Photo)
KANDAHAR, Afghanistan — A 23-year-old teacher burned in an acid attack on 15 schoolgirls and instructors wants the Afghan government to throw acid on her attackers and then hang them. Kandahar’s governor said Tuesday that authorities had arrested 10 alleged Taliban militants for the Nov. 12 attack in this southern city and that several confessed to taking part.
Gov. Rahmatullah Raufi said the men would be tried in open court, a pledge that pleased Nuskaal, a first-year math teacher who suffered acid burns on her shoulders.
“Those girls were simply going to school to get an education,” said Nuskaal, who like many Afghans goes by one name. “My parents told me that security isn’t good enough and that they were worried about me teaching. But I told my parents I won’t stop teaching. I’m not afraid.”
After the attack, President Hamid Karzai called for the perpetrators to be executed in public. Nuskaal said the attackers should have acid thrown on them first.
Men riding motorbikes squirted acid from water bottles onto three groups of students and teachers walking to school. Several girls suffered burned faces and were hospitalized. One teenager couldn’t open her eyes for days after the attack, which sparked condemnation around the world.
Afghanistan’s government called the attack “un-Islamic,” while the United Nations labeled it “a hideous crime.” First lady Laura Bush decried the attackers as cowardly.
The government charged Tuesday that high-ranking Taliban fighters paid the suspects a total of $2,000 to carry out the attack. The assailants came from Pakistan but were Afghan nationals, said Doud Doud, an Interior Ministry official.
Taliban spokesman Qari Yousef Ahmadi denied Tuesday that any of the group’s members were involved.
Kandahar province is the spiritual birthplace of the Taliban, the hard-line Islamic militiamen who ruled Afghanistan from 1996 to 2001 and are now waging an insurgency against Karzai. The area is one of Afghanistan’s most conservative, a place where women rarely venture far from home.
Islamic extremists have attacked many schools to discourage girls from getting an education. Raufi, the governor, said students at the Mirwais Mena girls school didn’t return to class for three days after the acid attack.
Girls were banned from schools under hardline Taliban rule, and women could leave their homes only if they were clad in a body-hiding burqa and accompanied by a male relative.
Afghanistan has made a major push to improve access to education for girls since an American-led offensive ousted the Taliban following the Sept. 11 terror attack on the U.S.
Fewer than 1 million Afghan children — mostly boys — attended school under Taliban rule. Now, roughly 6 million do, including 2 million girls.
But many conservative families still keep girls at home.
Kandahar province’s 232 schools serve 110,000 students, but only 26,000 are girls, the governor said. There are just 10 schools solely for girls, Raufi added.
Arsonists have repeatedly attacked girls schools around the country. Attackers burned down a girls school in the northwestern province of Faryab on Sunday, said Gen. Kalil Andrabi, the provincial police chief.
Gunmen even killed two students outside a girls school in central Logar province in 2007, one of 236 attacks involving Afghan schools that UNICEF recorded that year.
The Afghan government has also accused the Taliban of attacking schools in an attempt to force teenage boys to join the Islamic militia.
In other developments, the U.S. military said Tuesday that its troops killed six militants and detained 12 others in two operations in eastern Afghanistan on Monday. The operations targeted militants associated with the warlords Gulbuddin Hekmatyar and Jalaludin Haqqani, the statement said.
Afghanistan’s intelligence agency said it arrested four people, including three religious leaders and a youth, for alleged involvement in suicide and other bomb attacks in northern Kunduz province. The ring was tracked down after a failed attack earlier this year, when the would-be bomber failed to properly detonate his explosives, the agency said.
Associated Press writer Noor Khan reported this story from Kandahar and Jason Straziuso from Kabul.
Afghan policemen inspect the site of an explosion on the outskirts ...

Mon Nov 24, 1:29 AM ET

Afghan policemen inspect the site of an explosion on the outskirts of Kabul, Afghanistan, Monday, Nov. 24, 2008. Police said an improvised explosive device went off a few minutes after a member of Parliament’s car went past the road, wounding one boy.

(AP Photo/Rafiq Maqbool)

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#1 R*B Song 1956:   “Blueberry Hill,” Fats Domino


Born:   Ragtime Legend Scott Joplin, 1868



1956   The Dell-Vikings recorded nine a capppella songs, including “Come Go With Me.” After insrumentation was added, “Come” went on to be the first Top 10 pop hit by a racially mixed rock ‘n’ roll vocal group.


1956   Frankie Lymon & the Teenagers’ “Baby Baby/I’m Not a Juvenile Delinquent,” from the film Rock, Rock, Rock, was released. A hit in England (#12), it bombed in America.


1956   LaVern Baker’s “Jim Dandy” was released. It soared to #1 R&B and #17 pop.




1958   The soul era began with the release of the Fiesta’s “So Fine” (#11 pop, #3 R&B), a cover of the Sheiks’ 1955 single.


1958   Ruth Brown’s “Mama, He Treats Your Daughter Mean” was released for the second of three times. The first time, in 1953, the fiery tune reached #1 R&B, while a third remake in 1962 scratched the bottom of the pop charts at #99. The 1958 issue went nowhere.


1972  Don Kirshner’s Rock Concert TV show, debuted featuring Chuck Berry.


1979   Donna Summer reached #1 pop (#20 R&B) with her Barbra Streisand duet “Enough is Enough.” The Bruce Roberts/Paul Jabara tune spent two weeks in the top spot.


1991   Little Richard officiated at the New York wedding of Cyndi Lauper to actor David Thornton while Patti LaBelle sang “A Whiter Shade of Pale.”


1993   Michael Jackson entered into an administration deal with EMI for the ATV music catalog he had bought (which contained more than 250 Beatles songs) for a princely sum reported to be $70 million for five years of representation.


From the book, “On This Day In Black Music History”, by Jay Warner.


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#1 R&B Song 1968:   “Who’s Making Love,” Johnnie Taylor


Born:   Ruth Ettig, 1907; Gloria Lynn, 1931; Betty Everett, 1939



1936   Legendary blues artist Robert Johnson recorded his first session at the Gunter Hotel in San Antonio, TX, for American Record Corporation’s Vocalion label. Some of the eight classics recorded included “I Believe I’ll Dust My Broom,” “Kind Hearted Woman Blues,” “Sweet Home Chicago,” “Travelin’ Riverside Blues,” “Cross Road Blues,” and “Terraplane Blues.” His first and most successful 78 RPM single would soon be “Terraplane Blues” backed with “Kind Hearted Woman Blues.”



1967   Aretha Franklin appeared in New York’s Thanksgiving Day Parade on the Lady in the Show Float.


1968   Marvin Gaye’s “I Heard It Through the Grapevine” charted on its way to #1 both pop and R&B for seven weeks, becoming his biggest pop hit. Gaye started out in 1957, with a vocal group called the  Marquees, on a single titled “Wyatt Earp.” The group, discovered by Bo Diddley, became the new Moonglows when they auditoned for Moonglows leader Harvey Fuqua outside a performance of the original Moonglows at a Washington, DC, theater. After hearing the Marquees, Fuqua fired his old vocalists and replaced them with Gaye’s group.


1973   Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes, the O’Jays, and the Stylistics performed at San Francisco’s famed Cow Palace.


1985   Rapper LL Cool J (James Todd Smith, whose stage name stands for “Ladies Love Cool James”) charted with “I Can’t Live Without My Radio,” reaching R&B #15.


1991   Patti LaBelle sang her favorite song, “Over the Rainbow,” on CBS-TV’s Party for Richard Pryor. She recorded the standard twice as a single, once with the Bluebelles and once solo; neither of the stirring renditions charted. Also performing were the Pointer Sisters and Bobby Womack.


1991   Seal reached #8 in Britain with the “Killer” EP, featuring Jimi Hendrix’s “Hey Joe.” The promo clip featured the first ever 3D video.


1995   Junior Walker (born Autry DeWalt Walker), the master sax player who charted twenty-six times with and without his soul group the All-Stars, died today of cancer in Battle Creek, MI. His group was named when an enthusiatically inebriated man jumped up at a show and proclaimed, “These guys are all stars.” Junior was sixty-four.


From the book, “On This Day In Black Music History”, by Jay Warner.

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