Monthly Archives: February 2009




The Associated Press
Tuesday, February 17, 2009; 12:52 PM

NEW HAVEN, Conn. — The Ku Klux Klan was rising again. Segregation was the law and Martin Luther King Jr. was not even born yet.
Amid the terror and oppression, civil rights pioneer W.E.B. DuBois published a groundbreaking book in 1924 that challenged the pervasive stereotypes of African Americans and documented their rarely recognized achievements.
His book, “The Gift of Black Folk: The Negroes in the Making of America,” detailed the role of African Americans with the earliest explorers to inventions ranging from ice cream to player pianos. He argued that blacks were crucial to conquering the wilderness, winning wars, expanding democracy and creating a prosperous economy by producing tobacco, sugar, cotton and rice and helping to build the Panama Canal.
“The Negro worked as farm hand and peasant proprietor, as laborer, artisan and inventor and as servant in the house, and without him, America as we know it, would have been impossible,” DuBois wrote.
Now a new edition of the book is being published to mark the 100th anniversary of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, which DuBois co-founded. The new edition also marks Black History Month in February and arrives with President Barack Obama taking office.
“African-Americans have served on the Supreme Court, in the cabinet, and, finally, as president of the United States,” Carl Anderson, supreme knight of the Knights of Columbus, wrote in the introduction. “The Gift of Black Folk allows us to fully appreciate these monumental achievements.”
Harvard University professor Henry Louis Gates Jr., who edited DuBois’ works, including “The Gift of Black Folk,” welcomed the Knights reissuing their own edition. The book, which came during the Harlem Renaissance, sparked similar books that raised the nation’s consciousness of African-American achievements, he said.
“Black people were using art and historical narrative as weapons in the civil rights movement, trying to show that black people were innately as intelligent as white people, that they weren’t distinctly inferior by nature and the best way to do that they felt was by holding up the achievements of intelligent or artistic or creative black people,” Gates said. “And no one did this more brilliantly than the great W.E.B. DuBois himself.”
Gates, who is considering doing an introduction to the book, said he hopes the decision to issue a new edition “would augur a more liberal set of social policies for the Knights of Columbus.”
While the Knights are known these days for their socially conservative views on abortion and gay marriage, the organization has its origins in fighting anti-Catholic discrimination. The Knights, the world’s largest Catholic lay organization, published the original book as part of a series to combat historical accounts at the time which failed to recognize the achievements of minority groups.
DuBois’ book highlights the role of blacks at crucial points in history from the beginning.
A black man named Estevanico was the first European to discover Arizona and New Mexico after others on the expedition died. A black man accompanied Lewis and Clark, while Commodore Peary, who discovered the North Pole, praised the work of his black assistant, Matthew Henson.
Blacks invented devices for handling sails, corn harvesters and an evaporating pan which revolutionized the method of refining sugar. Another inventor created a machine for the mass production of shoes that was used by the United Shoe Machinery Company.
J.H. Dickinson and his son were granted patents for devices connected with player pianos. Granville T. Woods patented more than 50 devices related to electricity that were assigned to General Electric and other major companies.
The U.S. Patent Office at the time maintained records for 1,500 inventions by blacks, an incomplete record, DuBois said. Black scientists did important work on insects and insanity.
Benjamin Banneker was a leading American scientist whose mathematical genius won the praise of Thomas Jefferson and led the slave owner to question notions of racial superiority.
Banneker played an important role in a survey as the nation’s capitol was laid out and studied methods to promote peace, suggesting a secretary of peace in the president’s cabinet, according to the book.
The book portrays Crispus Attucks, a runaway slave, as leading the fight against British soldiers that sparked the famous Boston massacre of 1770. Thousands of black soldiers fought on the American side of the Revolutionary War and distinguished themselves at the Battle of Bunker Hill and other sites.
Black soldiers and slaves helped saved New Orleans during the War of 1812, winning praise from General Andrew Jackson. The New York Times praised the bravery of black soldiers in the Civil War.
“Without the active participation of the Negro in the Civil War, the union could not have been saved, nor slavery destroyed, in the nineteenth century,” DuBois wrote.
In fighting slavery, blacks forced the country to expand its democracy and wound up winning rights for poor whites who did not own property, DuBois argued. Their efforts also led to social reforms such as free public schools.
“Dramatically, the Negro is the central thread of American history,” DuBois wrote. “The whole story turns on him whether we think of the dark and flying slave ship in the sixteenth century, the expanding plantations of the seventeenth, the swelling commerce of the eighteenth or the fight for freedom in the nineteenth.”


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Her long night of slavery was about to end,and her joy overcame her efforts to suppress it. That cry of joy was enough to seal her fate: for this, she was condemned to die. . . .



The history of Black women remains shrouded in obscurity and ignorance. What little there is that is known of Black women’s heroic efforts to combat enslavement is still largely very little written about.


As Gerda Lerner emphasized in her book Black Women in White America,  “History, in the past largely written by white male historians, has simply failed to ask those questions which would elicit information about female contribution, the female point of view. . . [‘Black women’s] records lie buried, unread, infrequently noticed and even more seldom interpreted.”


Just as that is true, so is the lost and unknown contribution that Amy Spain made in the history of Black women’s resistance against racist oppression and sexist tyranny. Here, in an article that miraculously resurfaced some years ago from the press of that time, after more than a century of having the waves of indifference wash over it, is the story of Amy Spain:







View of Darlington Court-House and the sycamore-tree where Amy Spain, the negro slave, was hung by the citizens of Darlington, South Carolina

One of the martyrs of the cause which gave freedom to her race was that of a colored woman named Amy Spain, who was a resident of the town of Darlington, situated in a rich cotton-growing district of South Carolina. At the time a portion of the Union army occupied the town of Darlington she expressed her satisfaction by clasping her hands and exclaiming, “Bless the Lord the Yankees have come!” She could not restrain her emotions. The long night of darkness which had bound her in slavery was about to break away. It was impossible to repress the exuberance of her feelings; and although powerless to aid the advancing deliverers of her caste, or to injure her oppressors, the simple expression of satisfaction at the event sealed her doom. Amy Spain died in the cause of freedom.  A section of Sherman’s cavalry occupied the town, and without doing any damage passed through. Not an insult nor an unkind word was said to any of the women of that town. The men had, with guilty consciences, fled; but on their return, with their traditional chivalry, they seized upon poor Army, and ignominiously hung her to a sycamore-tree standing in front of the court-house, underneath which stood the block from which was monthly exhibited the slave chattels that were struck down by the auctioneer’s hammer to the highest bidder.Amy Spain heroically heard her sentence, and from her prison bars declared she was prepared to die. She defied her persecutors; and as she ascended the scaffold declared she was going to a place where she would receive a crown of glory. She was rudely interrupted by an oath from one of her executioners. To the eternal disgrace of Darlington her execution was acquiesced in and witnessed by most of the citizens of the town. Amy was launched into eternity, and the “chivalric Southern gentlemen” of Darlington had fully established their bravery by making war upon a defenseless African woman. She sleeps quietly, with others of her race, near the beautiful village. No memorial marks her grave, but after-ages will remember this martyr of liberty. Her persecutors will pass away and be forgotten, but Amy Spain’s name is now hallowed among the Africans, who, emancipated and free, dare, with the starry folds of the flag of the free floating over them, speak her name with holy reverence.

Amy desired to be free, and not anything could stop her.
The enslavers may have destroyed Amy’s body by murdering her with death by hanging, but they could never destroy her spirit or thirst for freedom—-freedom that so many millions of Black women fought for in many ways we will never know.
“In Praise of Black Women: Black Heroines of the Slavery Era,” by Simone Schwarz-Bart.
In Praise of Black Women, Volume 2: Heroines of the Slavery Era by Simone Schwarz-Bart, Andrem Schwarz-Bart, Rose-Myriam Rejouis, and Val Vinokurov (Hardcover – Dec 2002)
5.0 out of 5 stars (1)


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Preliminary Schedule of Events

*All events will be held on Washington University’s campus*

Wednesday, March 25, 2009Michael Eric Dyson
Keynote Address
Whitaker Auditorium
Free and open to the public
8:00 PM



* * * * *

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Panel Discussion on
Harold Cruse’s Crisis of the Negro Intellectual

Carole Boyce Davies, Fred Moten and Francesca Royster

Hurst Lounge

Free and open to the public
10:00 AM


On Betrayal: How Black Intellectuals Have Abandoned the Ideals of the Civil Rights Era

Houston Baker

Hurst Lounge
Free and open to the public
2:00 PM


An Evening with Rita Dove
Whitaker Auditorium
Free and open to the public
8:00 PM

* * * * *

Friday, March 27, 2009

Panel Discussion on
bell hooks & Cornel West’s Breaking Bread

Fred D’Aguiar, Koritha Mitchell and Ivy Wilson

Hurst Lounge

Free and open to the public
10:00 AM


On In Search of the Black Fantastic: Politics and Popular Culture in the Post-Civil Rights Era

Richard Iton

Hurst Lounge
Free and open to the public
2:00 PM


An Evening with Yusef Komunyakaa
Whitaker Auditorium
Free and open to the public
8:00 PM

Participant biographies available soon!



About Callaloo

Charles Henry Rowell
Program Coordinator
Brookelyn Hodges
Administrative Assistant Casey Brown
Associate Editors

Carrol F. Coates, Michael S. Collins, Brent Hayes Edwards, Percival Everett, Helen Elaine Lee, Carl Phillips, Tracy K. Smith

Book Review Editors
Douglas Field, Thomas Glave, A. Van Jordan

Contributing and Advisory Editors

Kimberly Benston, Faedra Chatard Carpenter, Stephen Carpenter, Joseph Clarke, Lucille Clifton, Maryse Condé, Angie Cruz, Edwidge Danticat, Toi Derricote, Rita Dove, Thomas Sayers Ellis, Susan Fraiman, Ernest J. Gaines, Farah Jasmine Griffin, Saidiya Hartman, Terrance Hayes, Shona N. Jackson, Marcus D. Jones, Meta Jones, Jamaica Kincaid, Yusef Komunyakaa, E. Ethelbert Miller, Valerie Cassel Oliver, Marco Portales, Richard Powell, Emily Raboteau,  Caroline Rody, Marlon Ross, Franklin Sirmans, Robert B. Stepto, Sharan Strange, Natasha Trethewey, Ben Vinson III, Derek Walcott, Alvia J. Wardlaw, Steven F. White, John Edgar Wideman, Judith Wilson, Kevin Young


Callaloo, the premier African-American and African literary journal, publishes original works and critical studies of black artists and writers worldwide. The journal offers a rich mixture of fiction, poetry, plays, critical essays, interviews, and visual art from the African diaspora. Frequent annotated bibliographies, special thematic issues drawing on people and place, original art and photography are some of the features of this highly acclaimed international showcase of arts and letters.


The Winter 2001 issue recieved honorable mention recognigiton for “Best Special Issue of a Journal in 2001” by the Professional/Scholarly Publishing (PSP) Divison of the American Association. The Winter 2002 issue, entitled “Jazz Poetics” has been recognized by the Council of Editors for Learned Journals as one of the best special issues of 2002.


Callaloo was founded by current editor Charles H. Rowell in 1976 at Southern University in Baton Rouge, LA. The journal moved to the University of Virginia and then Texas A&M.

CLICK HERE to read “Making CALLALOO: Past, Present, and Future” by Charles H. Rowell for a full history of the journal.
CLICK HERE to read more about Callaloo‘s history in NOT NAMING THE RACE: An Interview with Charles Henry Rowell, which was conducted by Shona N. Jackson and featured in 30.1 – Reading Callaloo, Eating Callaloo.

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#1 Song 1957:  “Get A Job,” the Silhouettes



1967   Martin Luther King, Jr. presented Aretha Franklin with the Southern Christian Leadership Award at Cobo Hall in Detroit when the city declared it Aretha Franklin Day.


1973   Roberta Flack’s “Killing Me Softly With His Song” topped the pop charts for the first of five weeks. Flack first heard the song as sung by Lori Lieberman (it was inspired by Lieberman’s response to having seen a performance by Don McLean), on a TWA flight from Los Angeles to New York.



1978   Ray Charles performed “One Of These Days” and a duet on “It’s A Miracle” with Barry Manilow on The Second Barry Manilow Special  TV show.


1982   James Ingram won a Grammy for best Vocal R&B Performance, Male  with his hit “One Hundred Ways.” Of all the awards given out that night, his was the only one for an artist who never had an album out.



1987   Robert Cray performed with a collection of blues greats including B.B. King, Willie Dixon, Albert King, Dr. John, and others at the twenty-ninth annual Grammy Awards. He also won the Best Traditional Blues Recording  category for the song “Showdown.”


1993   L.A. Reid and Babyface received the Producer of the Year Award (which they had to share with Brian Eno Danie Lanois) at the thirty-fifth annual Grammy awards in Los Angeles, mostly due to the success of Boyz II Men’s “End of the Road” hit. The Boyz got their own award for “End” when they were named Best R&B Vocal Duo or Group. Meanwhile, Janet Jackson presented her brother Michael with the Grammy Legend Award.


1993   A justifiably disgruntled Little Richard stated at the Grammys, “I’m the innovator, I’m the emancipator, I’m the originator, I’m the architect of rock ‘n’ roll,” when he was denied the opportunity to receive his award onstage. NARAS president Michael Greene, who told Richard there wasn’t time enough during the telecast to make the presentaion, did have enough time to make an incoherent, boring ten-minute speech himself.


1999   Sam Cooke was honored posthumously with the NARAS Lifetime Achievement Award at the forty-first annual Grammy Awards. Also honored were Smokey Robinson and Otis Redding, while Lauryn Hill received five Grammys including Best R&B Song and Best Female R&B Vocal Performance (for “Doo-wop (That Thing)” ), Best New Artist, Album of the Year, and Best R&B Album (for The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill).

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The 1ST Carolina Volunteers were the first black troops to fight in the Civil War. A young girl, barely fourteen years old, accompanied the soldiers through the blood, sweat, and glory. . . .




In 1858, two years before Abraham Lincoln was to be elected president, he declared: “A house divided against itself cannot stand. I believe the government cannot endure permanently half slave and half free.”


In 1861, the South engaged in hostilities against the North, which had been challenging its sovereign and divine right to expand slavery into the territories of the American West. The Civil War that ensued lasted four bloody years.


Despite promises and formal agreements, black men were not immediately authorized to fight on the side of the free states. They were first obliged to follow the white troops as porters and servants. Then, after the North suffered several setbacks, colored regiments were formed and soon proved themselves illustious on all fronts. In all, 178,895 black soldiers wore the blue uniform, and 38,000 of these men died in it as well.


The 1ST South Carolina Volunteers were the first black troops to fight in the Civil War. Their first mission was to take Jacksonville, Florida, a city deep in the South.


Many black women followed the troops—in the canteen, as cooks and nurses. Most of them were runaway slaves. Probably the youngest among them, “closer to childhood than adolescence,” was a girl “with big, wide, hazy eyes,” who accompanied the black soldiers until the very end, through the blood, the sweat, and the glory:  Susie King Taylor.


Historians of the Civil War have not always drawn the clearest picture of the role of black soldiers. As for the deeds of young Susie, they—as those of other black women—have been completely ignored. She would have been erased from the world altogether had we not been left a small book that she wrote before her death, half a century later:  Reminiscences of My Life in Camp with the 33RD United States Colored Troops.


Born a slave in 1848, Susie was raised by her grandmother in Savannah. Susie’s mother, known only by her last name Baker, was a domestic enslave. Susie’s grandmother, who went by the name of Dolly, was one outstanding lady, and she could see beyond the appearance and  the vicissitudes of the time. As soon as the child could walk, Dolly sent her to a secret school kept by a freed slave woman, the Widow Woodhouse. Susie went there early every morning after having hidden her textbooks in brown packaging paper, so that neither the paddy rollers, nor the militia, nor even the simple white pedestrian should notice those most forbidden treasures:  books.


The school took place in Mrs. Woodhouses’ kitchen. The black children would go in one by one under the porch, cross the yard without a sound, and learn to read and write in a kind of low murmur.


Susies  progress was quick. Two years later, her grandmother sent her to a certain Ms. Beasley, who was a bit more learned than the Widow Woodhouse. Then, in May 1860, Ms. Beasley said to Grandma Dolly that she had taught the child everything she knew and could teach her nothing more. The child knew as much as the woman did, and that was all there was to it.


Susie had particularly good penmanship and soon Grandma Dolly’s friends and neighbors went to the little girl to get her to forge their night passes, which she did with care and competence. Grandma Dolly herself sought out the talents of her young granddaughter.


One of these documents has in fact been found. It was forged, not without some spite, with the name of the owner of Susie’s grandmother:



Savannah, Ga. March 1st, 1860

Pass the Bearer—from 9 to 10:30 P.M.

Valentine Grest.


Then came the Civil War. Rumors were spread in order to frighten the enslaves. Word went around that the people from the North, the Yankees, were full of fierce hatred for the blacks—that they harnessed them like horses and made them pull barrows, just for laughs.


But Susie knew who the real bogeymen were. She did not care for such tales. By then, she was already a big girl of fourteen who had learned much from those three women of Savannah: Grandma Dolly, Widow Woodhouse, and dear Ms. Beasley, who had taught her every last thing she knew.


When the Civil War erupted, Susie and Grandmother Dolly returned to the plantation on which they lived, after having lived in Savannah, but soon thereafter Susie departed for the Sea Islands of South Carolina with her maternal uncle and his family. Susie accompanied the regiment when it attacked Jacksonville, making herself more and more useful. Susie was only fourteen at the time, but even in old age she vividly recalled her first sight of the Yankees who were then fighting to take over the coastal areas. Susie was immediately pressed into service by the Union forces, first as a teacher to freed enslave children (and some adults). Later, after marrying Sgt. Edward King of the 1ST South Carolina Volunteers, Susie worked as both a laundress and a nurse for the union.





Most of her wartime activities were centered in South Carolina, moving up and down the coast to Florida and Georgia. Susie learned how to handle a musket (becoming adept at taking it apart, putting it back together in record time, and then to shoot like a veteran), as well as bandage and care for the dying—both black and white. In 1863, Susie worked for Clara Barton during the eight months Barton practiced her nursing skills in the Sea Islands. In late 1864, Susie’s nearly died as a result of a  boating accident, but after a few weeks of recovery she was back at work and remained with her regiment until the fall of Charleston in February 1865.


After the war, Susie’s movements exemplified those of many freed people during Reconstruction. She and her husband first settled in Savannah, where she opened a school. In 1866, upon the death of her husband Edward, Susie moved to rural Georgia. Finding that country life did not agree with her, however, she returned to Savannah and opened a night school for freed people where she taught until 1872. Then, using her husband’s military pension, she traded her poorly paid career in education for service as a laundress and cook for a wealthy white family in Savannah.


When the family journeyed to New England on summer holiday, Susie accompanied them and soon after moved to Boston. There she  married Russell Taylor and became involved in civic activities as a founding member of the Corps 67 Women’s Relief Corps. She was elected president of the organization in 1893.


In 1898, when her son lay dying in Louisiana, Susie ventured to the South one last time. To her dismay, the freedom she had experienced had been replaced by rigid segregation—she experienced this firsthand not only on the train taking her South, but also in myriad ways during the period in which she renewed her Civil War days by nursing her son. Susie even witnessed a lynching in Mississippi. But in her old age she chose to overlook the devastation of the post-Reconstruction era and harked back instead to 1861’s “wonderful revolution”—the phrase she used in the closing words of her brief memoir.


During her four years and three months of service, Susie King Baker Taylor, possibly the youngest soldier in the Union Army, saw no salary.


She was. it was true, but a black volunteer, a simple black volunteer for the cause of freedom.


Hers, and her peoples.








Reminiscences of My Life in Camp: An African American Woman’s Civil War Memoir by Susie King Taylor; introduction by Catherine Clinton (Paperback – April 25, 2006)


The Diary of Susie King Taylor, Civil War Nurse (In My Own Words) by Susie King Taylor, Margaret Gay Malone, and Laszlo Kubinyi (Library Binding – Oct 2003)

“In Praise of Black Women: Black Heroines of the Slavery Era,”, by Simone Schwarz-Bart.



“Army Life in a Black regiment,” by Thomas Wentworth Higginson. Boston: Osgood Fields, 1870.


“The Negro in the Civil War,” by Benjamin Quarles. New York: Russell and Russell, 1968.

“Black Women In America – Second Edition, Volume 3,” Darlene Clark Hine, Editor-in-Chief. Oxford University Press, 2005.




Reminiscences of My Life in Camp with the 33d United States Colored Troops Late 1st S. C. Volunteers. Boston: The author, 1902.

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Here are updates on the case concerning the little Black girl, Dymond Milburn,  who was assaulted by a trio of thug-type cops in Galveston, Texas on a charge of prostitution. The court has declared a mistrial in the case, but, not an acquittal for Dymond.

The Case Of That 12-Year-Old Girl Beat up By Galveston Cops Drags On

​It hardly seemed possible, but things are getting ever weirder in the case of Dymond Milburn, the 12-year-old African-American girl whose mother claims in court that several Galveston cops jumped out of an unmarked van, tried to kidnap Dymond and then beat her up in her front yard for no real rea … More >>

Mistrial declared in girl’s alleged assault on cop

Published February 10, 2009

GALVESTON — A deadlocked jury failed to reach a verdict Monday in the case of a girl accused of assaulting a police officer after officers allegedly mistook her for a prostitute.
After eight hours of deliberation, a jury of three men and three women told Judge Roy Quintanilla they were hopelessly deadlocked in the case charging Dymond L. Milburn, now 15, in the Aug. 22, 2006, assault of Galveston police officer David Roark.

Quintanilla declared a mistrial in the case, and Galveston County Criminal District Attorney Kurt Sistrunk said that, based on discussions with jurors after trial, the state won’t prosecute the case again.

The issue of Milburn’s ordeal the night her mother sent her outside to flip a breaker box switch was as simple as black-and-white, her defense lawyer Anthony Griffin said.

Federal Lawsuit

Griffin filed a federal lawsuit last year against three officers, Roark, Sean Stewart and Sgt. Gilbert Gomez, accusing them of violating Milburn’s constitutional rights.

That case could go to trial late this year or next year.

Milburn was 12 years old when the officers about 7:30 p.m. exited an unmarked van and approached her in her Galveston yard.

Narcotics officers were called to 24th Street and Avenue P1/2 to investigate a complaint of three white prostitutes soliciting in the area and two men dealing drugs.

Griffin in Monday morning’s closing arguments repeatedly told jurors police shouldn’t have mistaken his client, who is black, for three white women.

“They clearly had probable cause to search for three white prostitutes,” Griffin said.

“But when they didn’t find probable cause, they didn’t have the right to detain everyone in the area.”

Prosecutors Veronique Cantrell-Avloes and Ella Anderson told jurors Milburn knew the men were officers, because they wore badges and had “police” displayed on their shirts.

‘I Hate The Police

“Not only did they have police all over them, but when she yelled, ‘F— you. I hate the police,’ you probably know you’re dealing with the police.”

The officers also identified themselves verbally, prosecutors said.

Milburn ran, possibly 2 feet, from the breaker box to a bush, where she hid while officers tried to pry her away in handcuffs.

Police should have admitted they were wrong to detain Milburn, Griffin said, but prosecutors said it was the officers’ duty to investigate the complaint.

Prosecutors said Milburn hit an officer’s face, but Griffin questioned whether the assault occurred, because both of Milburn’s hands were grasping the base of the bush.

The jury began deliberating at 11 a.m. on the felony assault charge and could have found it to be true that Milburn’s actions were delinquent.

The jury also could have found it true that Milburn committed the lesser-included offense of misdemeanor assault.

Juveniles in the Texas court system face accusations that the charges against them are either true or not true, and if found to be true, then they are considered delinquent.

Mistrial Granted

About 7 p.m., jurors told Quintanilla in a note they were deadlocked.

Five jurors said the charge of assaulting a public servant was not true, Griffin said.

Griffin asked Quintanilla to declare a mistrial from a hung jury, noting it was unlikely one juror would convince five others to change their minds.

Before learning of the state’s intention not to retry the case, the Milburns said they were pleased with the outcome but had hoped for an acquittal.

Dymond said she becomes emotional when seeing pictures of her scratched neck and other photographs taken that night.

“I don’t want to have to go back to that memory,” Dymond said.

Wilfred Milburn said police should have apologized to his daughter.

The state’s first attempt to try Dymond ended in a mistrial Oct. 3, 2007, based on a witnesses’ statement to the jury, which never had a chance to deliberate, Griffin said.

Sistrunk said prosecutors gave jurors every piece of evidence available, and that the state couldn’t ask for more from the jury.

“The facts of this case aren’t going to change for either side in a subsequent trial with another jury,” Sistrunk said.

“And based on what this jury had to say, there is no reason to expect that the outcome would be any different than another split decision.”

SOURCE: The Galveston County Daily News
Juveniles in the Texas court system face accusations that the charges against them are either true or not true, and if found to be true, then they are considered delinquent.”
The only “delinquent” people in this case were the cops who beat up on a little Black girl, they accused of prostitution, when in effect, they were looking for three White prostitutes. Uniformed, or not, these savage cops had no right to attack a little girl just because of the clothing she was wearing, or because she was Black. (Then again, everyone with any sense of this country’s history, knows that Black females have always been debased, disrespected, and devalued for centuries. And still are, as this case so aptly shows.)
As for the cops sitting in the courtroom in uniform, that came off as intimidation, towards the jury, and Dymond and her family. Why show up in uniform at the trial? There were no uniforms worn during the attack on Dymond at her home, so, why the scare tactics in court?
The 14TH Amendment:
the Civil Rights Acts of 1866, 1870, 1871 and 1875:
the 4TH Amendment:
. . . .all protect against such vile intimidation and abuse of a citizen’s rights when under color of authority police take the law into their own hands against a defenseless citizen, especially one so young.
(Related links on this case of police abuse/intimidation/attacks:

As for the cops apologizing for their heinous actions—-will never happen. The day that occurs will be a day when true justice in America happens for all citizens. Unlike Dymond, these so-called officers will face no criminal charges on their records; little Dymond will.
Kudos to little Dymond and her family for standing up against this cruel abuse of power by the cops. That three cops committed child abuse and felt they were above the law is sick and pathetic.
Next stop—-the civil trial, later this year, or next year.
The family of Dymond has filed a civil lawsuit against the Galveston Police Department. You can read the suit here, and here.

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#1 R&B Song 1946:   “Buzz Me,” Louis Jordan & His Tympany 5


Born:   Blues guitarist Johnny Winter, 1944; King Sun, 1967



1946   The Delta Rhythm Boys made their pop-chart debut with what would become their biggest hit (#17), “Just a Sittin’ and a Rockin.’ ”


1952   The Mello-Moods, a dandy doo-wop group if there ever was one, charted with “Where AreYou (Now That I Need You)”, reaching #7 R&B. A mint copy of this classic today would go for $5,000.


1957   The original version of  “Little Darling,” by the Gladiolas, was released (#41 pop, #11 R&B). Three years later the group would have the #1 record in America as Maurice Williams & the Zodiacs, singing “Stay.”


1963   The Chiffons’ mega-hit “He’s So Fine,” charted today. It became the  first vocal=group #1 in rock history to be produced by another vocal group, the Tokens. The record would remain at #1 for four weeks.


1983   After twenty-one years of solo recording, Marvin Gaye finally got a Grammy when “Sexual Healing” won him the Best R&B Male Vocal Performance at the Grammy’s twenty-fifth awards ceremony. Also finally winning after seventeen nominations was lionel Richie as Best Pop Vocal Performance, Male for the song “Truly.”


1989   Issac Hayes was arrested and put in an Atlanta jail for nonpayment of child support and alimony to the tune of $346,300.


1991   Whitney Houston reached #1 with “All the Man That I Need”—amazingly, her ninth chart topper in five years. Her formula of recording old hits continued to pay off, as the original version was by Sister Sledge in 1982.


1994   Dionne Warwick attended a federal hearing by a Judiciary Juvenile Justice Sub-Committee in Washington, DC, which labeled gansta rap as “pornography.”

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Here’s a grade-C horror classic of the most laughable kind.

In this one, a crazed angry carrot-looking alien comes to Earth from Venus to take over the planet and enslave the human race. (And just what is it with the planet Venus? Hollywood had quite a thing going for Venus in the sci-fi/horror department on planets most likely to give Earth trouble; then again, Venus is a beautiful planet, even if it does have sulphuric acid raining down on its surface.) The carrot-alien makes contact with a scientist, played by Lee Van Cleef, who goes out of his way to help the carrot-alien land on Earth, and make it feel right at home, with the carrot taking up residence in a cave, and allow it time to hatch its nefarious plot to take over the minds and bodies of humans.

The carrot-alien breeds flapjack/venus flytrap/moth-looking creatures which bite the backs of people’s necks, thereby infecting them with droid-like behaviour in obediance to the evil carrot-alien. Once bitten, humans are enslaved for life, to the carrot-alien, until death does them part.

The carrot-alien takes over towns, disables electricity, stops automobiles, blows satellites out of orbit, and. . . .

. . . .well, you’ll have to see the rest to believe it.

“It” is a force to be reckoned with, and the terror of a vile-tempered carrot-alien is nothing to play with.

Watch if you dare.

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#1 R&B Song 1975:   “Lady Marmalade,” LaBelle


Born:   Bandleader Big Al Sears, 1910; Ernie K. Doe, 1936; BobbyHendricks (the Drifters) 1938; Robert Edwards (the Intruders), 1942



1951   The Clovers recorded “Don’t You Know I Love You,” their first of twenty-one R&B hits over the next nine years. Written by Atlantic Records president Ahmet Ertegun, he demo’d the song by singing  into a Times Square recording booth microphone, since he could neither play an instrument nor write music.


1963   LaVerne Baker headlined a show at Chicago’s Regal Theater.


1964   A year and a half after their debut #1 hit, “Green Onions,” Booker T & the M.G.’s finally had their second chart single with “Mo-Onions,” but it wasn’t spicy enough for the hit list, only risng to #97 pop.


1969   David Ruffin, former lead of the Temptations, began his solo career with his chart debut, “My Whole World Ended (The Moment You Left Me),” which reached #2 R&B and #9 pop. He would eventually have sixteen more R&B charters through 1988.



1976   Florence Ballard, the orginal lead singer of the Supremes, (as the Primettes, as they were then known. The Primettes would eventually sign to the Motown label as The Supremes, a name chosen by Florence, on January 15, 1961. The group would become a trio a little over a year later), died of a heart attack nine years after being forced out of the group. Though she sang on numerous hits, including nine #1 singles, Florence passed away penniless, while living on welfare with her three children. The eulogy at her funeral was given by Reverend C.L. Franklin, Aretha Franklin’s father, and the pall bearers were the Four Tops and Marv Johnson. She was only thirty-two.


File:Flo ABC Records Promo from 1968.jpg
FLORENCE “FLO” BALLARD, posing in a promotional poster for ABC Records in 1968

Detail from album cover for The Supremes: Gold, showing The Supremes (left to right: Florence Ballard, Mary Wilson, and Diana Ross) in 1965.


File:Florence Ballard - The Supreme.jpg
The cover of the UK release The Supreme Florence Ballard. Despite most of the songs on the album originally being recorded for ABC Records in 1968, the cover photo is actually a Motown publicity photo from 1965.


1992   TLC charted with their debut recording “Ain’t 2 Proud 2 Beg,” reaching #2 R&B and #6 pop. The record consisted of samples from five acts including Bob James, James Brown, Kool & the Gang, Silver Convention, and the Average White Band. One wonders if there was any room left for anything original.

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Published: March 31, 2006
African-Americans are steadily gaining access to and ease with the Internet, signaling a remarkable closing of the “digital divide” that many experts had worried would be a crippling disadvantage in achieving success.
March 31, 2006    

Erik S. Lesser The New York Times

Jazmyn Johnson, 9, recently helped her mother, Barbara, use their high-speed DSL Internet connection at their home in Duluth, Ga.

Robert Spencer for The New York Times

Marlon Orozco, left, a mentor at a Boston program that introduces computer technology to young people with limited access to it.



Civil rights leaders, educators and national policy makers warned for years that the Internet was bypassing blacks and some Hispanics as whites and Asian-Americans were rapidly increasing their use of it.
But the falling price of laptops, more computers in public schools and libraries and the newest generation of cellphones and hand-held devices that connect to the Internet have all contributed to closing the divide, Internet experts say.
Another powerful influence in attracting blacks and other minorities to the Internet has been the explosive evolution of the Internet itself, once mostly a tool used by researchers, which has become a cultural crossroad of work, play and social interaction.
Studies and mounting anecdotal evidence now suggest that blacks, even some of those at the lower end of the economic scale, are making significant gains. As a result, organizations that serve African-Americans, as well as companies seeking their business, are increasingly turning to the Internet to reach out to them.
“What digital divide?” Magic Johnson, the basketball legend, asked rhetorically in an interview about his new Internet campaign deal with the Ford Motor Company’s Lincoln Mercury division to use the Internet to promote cars to black prospective buyers.
The sharpest growth in Internet access and use is among young people. But blacks and other members of minorities of various ages are also merging onto the digital information highway as never before.
According to a Pew national survey of people 18 and older, completed in February, 74 percent of whites go online, 61 percent of African-Americans do and 80 percent of English-speaking Hispanic-Americans report using the Internet. The survey did not look at non-English-speaking Hispanics, who some experts believe are not gaining access to the Internet in large numbers.
In a similar Pew survey in 1998, just 42 percent of white American adults said they used the Internet while only 23 percent of African-American adults did so. Forty percent of English-speaking Hispanic-Americans said they used the Internet.
Despite the dissolving gap, some groups like the Intel Computer Clubhouse Network, which introduces digital technologies to young people, say the digital divide is still vast in more subtle ways. Instant messaging and downloading music is one thing, said Marlon Orozco, program manager at the network’s Boston clubhouse, but he would like to see black and Hispanic teenagers use the Internet in more challenging ways, like building virtual communities or promoting their businesses.
Vicky Rideout, vice president of the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, which has studied Internet use by race, ethnicity and age, cautioned that a new dimension of the digital divide might be opening because groups that were newer to the Internet tended to use less-advanced hardware and had slower connection speeds.
“The type and meaningful quality of access is, in some ways, a more challenging divide that remains,” Ms. Rideout said. “This has an impact on things like homework.”
In addition, Internet access solely at institutions can put students at a disadvantage.
Schools and other institutions seldom operate round the clock, seven days a week, which is especially an issue for students, said Andy Carvin, coordinator for the Digital Divide Network, an international group that seeks to close the gap.
But not everyone agrees that minorities tend toward less-advanced use of the Internet.
Pippa Norris, a lecturer on comparative politics at Harvard who has written extensively about the digital divide, said members of minorities had been shown to use the Internet to search for jobs and to connect to a wide variety of educational opportunities.
“The simple assumption that the Internet is a luxury is being disputed by this group,” Ms. Norris said.
The divide was considered so dire a decade ago that scholars, philanthropists and even President Bill Clinton in his 1996 State of the Union address fretted over just what the gap would mean in lost educational and employment opportunities for young people who were not wired.
In an effort to help erase the divide, the federal government has provided low-cost connections for schools, libraries, hospitals and health clinics, allocated money to expand in-home access to computers and the Internet for low-income families and given tax incentives to companies donating computer and technical training and for sponsoring community learning centers.
As a result of such efforts, “most kids, almost all kids, have a place in which they can go online and have gone online,” said Ms. Rideout of the Kaiser foundation.
Jason Jordan of Boston is one of the young people closing the divide. Jason, 17, who is black, is getting a used computer from an older brother. He said he had wanted a computer for years, since “I heard about a lot that I was missing.”
Jason said he had access to the Internet at school, where he is pursuing a general equivalency diploma, but looked forward to having his own computer and Web access at his home in the Dorchester section of Boston. “I can work in my own place and don’t have to worry about the time I’m online,” he said.
Like Jason, almost 9 out of 10 of the 21 million Americans ages 12 to 17 use the Internet, according to a report issued in July by the Pew Internet and American Life Project. Of them, 87 percent of white teenagers say they use the Internet, while 77 percent of black teenagers and 89 percent of Hispanic teenagers say they have access to it, the report said.
The gap in access among young Americans is less pronounced than among their parents’ generation, said Susannah Fox, associate director of the Pew project. “Age continues to be a strong predictor for Internet use,” Ms. Fox said.
While, overall Internet use among blacks still significantly trails use among whites, the shrinking divide is most vividly reflected in the online experience of people like Billy and Barbara Johnson. Less than two years ago, the Johnsons, who are black, plugged into the Internet in their upscale suburban home near Atlanta for the first time. Mrs. Johnson, a 52-year-old mother of four and homemaker, said she felt she had little choice because her school-age children needed to use the Internet for research.
And then there is e-mail. “No one really wants to take the time anymore to pick up the phone and keep in touch,” lamented Mrs. Johnson, who said that so much of the communications with her children’s school was done through e-mail correspondence. “I felt like I was pretty much forced into it.”
Even so, Mrs. Johnson said her husband, an assistant coach for the Atlanta Falcons, still chided her when she neglected to check her e-mail at least every day.
Ms. Norris and other experts on Internet use see progress on the horizon. They note that the declining cost of laptop and other computers, and efforts, like those in Philadelphia, to provide low-cost wireless Internet access, are likely to increase online access for groups that have been slow to connect.
Philanthropic efforts have also helped to give more people Internet access. For example, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has awarded $250 million since 1997 for American public libraries to create Internet access for the public. Martha Choe, the foundation’s director of global libraries, said some 47,000 computers had been bought for 11,000 libraries. Today, Ms. Choe said, most libraries in the United States have public Internet access.
Education levels remain a major indicator of who is among the 137 million Americans using the Internet and who is not, said Ms. Fox.
There is also a strong correlation, experts say, between household income and Internet access.
With so many more members of minorities online, some Web sites are trying to capitalize on their new access. For example, the New York/New Jersey region of the State of the African American Male, a national initiative to improve conditions for black men, is encouraging men to use digital equipment to “empower themselves” to better their lives.
The site, which includes studies, public policy reports and other information about issues related to black men, promotes using digital cameras, mobile phones and iPods, but mainly computers, to organize through the Internet, said Walter Fields, vice president for government relations for the Community Service Society, an antipoverty organization, and a coordinator of the black-male initiative. Users are encouraged to submit articles, write blogs and upload pertinent photographs and video clips.
“What we’re doing is playing against the popular notion of a digital divide,” Mr. Fields said.
“I always felt that it was a misnomer.”






Published: April 14, 2008
Correction Appended
CHEAP computers and Internet connections have helped people get online in greater numbers in recent years. Now Barry Diller’s IAC/InteractiveCorp wants to make money by helping minority groups connect more easily to specific sites.
April 14, 2008    

David Goldman for The New York Times

Johnny Taylor, chief of Rushmore Drive, said his search engine would give results more relevant to blacks.



IAC last week introduced a new search engine, Rushmore Drive, meant to give the black audience a quick way to find information that other search engines — including IAC’s own — might bury beneath pages of less relevant results. The strategy will eventually extend to other ethnic groups, in what analysts said is the latest stab at diminishing Google’s dominance in the search market.
“It’s a good idea, especially since it’s extremely difficult to attack Google head on,” said Michael Goodman, an analyst with Yankee Group, a technology consulting firm. “You need to attack Google on the flanks, and this is a place where the market isn’t providing the most relevant search results.”
Rushmore Drive, which gets its name from the location of the building in Charlotte, N.C., where the Web site was originated, offers search results that, at first glance, border on stereotypes. A search query for “Thanksgiving recipes,” for instance, yields sites featuring recipes for sweet potato pie and collard greens. But according to Johnny Taylor, the chief executive of Rushmore Drive, the results are based on years of search data from IAC’s Ask division.
Rushmore Drive analyzed search results for 3,000 of the most popular search terms in areas with large black populations and found that when people in those areas searched for recipes, they were much more likely to click on pages with soul food. Those searching for hair products, dance, cars, fraternities and sororities also ended up on vastly different Web sites than people who lived in areas with smaller black populations.
Rushmore Drive moves the Web sites preferred by black people near the top of the search results. “It’s not just prefixing ‘black’ into the search query,” Mr. Taylor said. “It’s sound technology.”
The top four results are ads that Rushmore Drive distributes on behalf of Google and Ask.
Mr. Taylor said the company has already bolstered its paid search advertising revenue with banner advertisements from Buick and Coca-Cola, among others. Those sites run ads in Rushmore Drive’s news section, where about 10 contributing writers offer their perspective on current events.
Rushmore Drive is the first of what will most likely be more ethnically focused search sites, Mr. Taylor said. “Now that the technology has been created, it can apply to all identity groups,” he said.
The big question, of course, is whether audiences will go through the trouble of visiting a new search engine, rather than typing in “African-American hair care products,” or “soul food Thanksgiving recipes” on Google and other sites. met with critical success when it unveiled search refinements two years ago, and despite a big marketing campaign that included television ads, its market share increased by just half of a percentage point in the last year, to 2.5 percent, according to Nielsen Online. Meanwhile, Google’s share increased from 55.8 percent to 58.7 percent.
A Google spokeswoman, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the company’s policy, said that Google welcomed competition “that stimulates innovation and provides people with more choice.”
Mr. Taylor said that IAC would also put an undisclosed, but significant amount of money, into promoting Rushmore Drive, in an effort to reach the roughly 12.4 million blacks now online in the United States, according to Nielson Online.
In addition to buying ads on radio, magazine and Internet properties frequented by blacks, the company will soon embark on a “gospel brunch tour” with performances by the singer Regina Belle at black churches in eight cities. Organizations like the National Urban League, the National Alliance of Black School Educators and others have also agreed to promote the service among members.
Mr. Goodman of the Yankee Group said that IAC may not find huge success with Rushmore Drive. “But I think its future is pretty bright,” he said. “Diller has been fairly clear with his Johnny Appleseed strategy, where he’s putting a whole lot of microconcepts into the market so you don’t have to have a billion dollars invested in one idea or one company.”
Other IAC initiatives under development, Mr. Goodman said, included a children’s site aimed at environmentally conscious families and a site for news aficionados.
Editorial Web sites aimed at African-Americans were, before last week, wary of the Rushmore Drive project, thinking it might be a competitor. But Calvin Wong, senior vice president for advertising sales for Community Connect, publisher of, among others, said that editorial sites could benefit.
“If anything, this will cause Google and Yahoo to fine-tune their own search algorithms more intelligently,” Mr. Wong said. “So maybe this is what we needed to surface more articles.”
This article has been revised to reflect the following correction:
Correction: April 17, 2008
An article on Monday about an IAC/InterActiveCorp search engine aimed at a black audience misspelled the surname of a singer hired by IAC to promote the service. She is Regina Belle, not Bell.
SOURCE:  The New York Times:

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