Monthly Archives: March 2013


March 1, 2013 marks the 40TH  Anniversary of the release of Pink Floyd’s magnum opus, Dark Side of the Moon (or DSOTM, as it is known as to its fans).

Produced by Abbey Road Studios in London, England, it debuted on March 1, 1973. It was recorded from June, 1972 to January, 1973. DSOTM was Pink Floyd’s eighth studio album. Band members who collaborated on the album included Nick Mason, David Gilmour, Roger Waters, and Richard Wright . The Dark Side of the Moon‘s includes themes of conflict, greed, quiet desperation, the passage of time, and mental illness, the latter partly inspired by departed member Syd Barrett’s deteriorating mental state. The album’s iconic sleeve features a prism that represents the band’s stage lighting, the record’s lyrical themes, and keyboardist Richard Wright’s request for a “simple and bold” design.

The Dark Side of the Moon was an immediate success, topping the Billboard Top LPs  & Tapes chart for one week. It subsequently remained in the charts for 741 weeks from 1973 to 1988. With an estimated 50 million copies sold, it is Pink Floyd’s most commercially successful album and one of the best-selling albums worldwide. It has twice been remastered and re-released, and has been covered in its entirety by several other acts. It spawned two singles,  “Money” and “Time”. In addition to its commercial success, The Dark Side of the Moon is one of Pink Floyd’s most popular albums among fans and critics, and is frequently ranked as one of the greatest albums of all time.

Thirtieth anniversary SACD re-issue:

Singles from The Dark Side of the Moon
  1. “Money”
    Released: 7 May 1973
  2. “Time” / “Us and Them”
    Released: 4 February 1974

With sounds of voices, footsteps, helicopter blade whirring, echos, and coins of money being counted and stacked, DSOTM broke ground in instrumentation and singing, most notably Clare Torry’s “singing” on the track The Great Gig in the Sky, the psychedelic instrumentation of Any Colour You Like, the soulful saxophone played on Money, to the somber melancholy of Us and Them.

The track listing is as follows:

Side one
No. Title Writer(s) Lead vocals Length
1. “Speak to Me” Mason Instrumental 1:30
2. “Breathe” Waters, Gilmour, Wright Gilmour 2:43
3. “On the Run” Gilmour, Waters Instrumental 3:36
4. “Time” (includes “Breathe (Reprise)”) Mason, Waters, Wright, Gilmour Gilmour, Wright 7:01
5. “The Great Gig in the Sky” Wright, Clare Torry
Torry 4:36
Side two
No. Title Writer(s) Lead vocals Length
1. “Money” Waters Gilmour 6:22
2. “Us and Them” Waters, Wright Gilmour, Wright 7:46
3. “Any Colour You Like” Gilmour, Mason, Wright Instrumental 3:25
4. “Brain Damage” Waters Waters 3:48
5. “Eclipse” Waters Waters 2:03

All lyrics written by Roger Waters. With ten tracks, the album clocks in at 42 minutes, 59 seconds. To this day, DSOTM stands the test of time in its ingenuity and beauty.

If you have heard Pink Floyd’s DSOTM before, listen to it again.

If you have never had the pleasure of hearing it for the first time, then click on the following image and be prepared to be taken on a cerebral and enchanting ride from one of progressive rock’s most greatest album and band.

The sleeve for Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon

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Published: March 30, 2013

Phil Ramone, a prolific record producer and engineer who worked with some of the biggest music stars of the last 50 years, including Ray Charles, Frank Sinatra, Paul Simon, Billy Joel and Barbra Streisand, died on Saturday in Manhattan. He was 79. Though it was widely reported that he was 72, public records and his family confirm that he was born Jan. 5, 1934.

Associated Press

Phil Ramone, left, and Paul Simon, won the Grammy for best album for “Still Crazy After All These Years” in 1976.

His death was confirmed by his son Matthew. He did not immediately give the cause, but Mr. Ramone was reported to have been admitted to a Manhattan hospital in late February for treatment of an aortic aneurysm.

In his 2007 memoir, “Making Records: The Scenes Behind the Music,” written with Charles L. Granata, Mr. Ramone defined the role of record producer as roughly equivalent to that of a film director, creating and managing an environment in which to coax the best work out of his performers.

“But, unlike a director (who is visible, and often a celebrity in his own right), the record producer toils in anonymity,” he wrote. “We ply our craft deep into the night, behind locked doors. And with few exceptions, the fruit of our labor is seldom launched with the glitzy fanfare of a Hollywood premiere.”

Mr. Ramone’s career was one of those exceptions. He was a trusted craftsman and confidant in the industry who was also one of the handful of producers widely known to the public. He won 14 Grammy Awards, including producer of the year, nonclassical, in 1981, and three for album of the year, for Mr. Simon’s “Still Crazy After All These Years” in 1976, Mr. Joel’s “52nd Street” in 1980, and Mr. Charles’s duets album, “Genius Loves Company,” in 2005. He also produced music for television and film, winning an Emmy Award as the sound mixer for a 1973 special on CBS, “Duke Ellington … We Love You Madly.”

Mr. Ramone was born in South Africa and grew up in Brooklyn. His father died when he was young, and his mother worked in a department store. A classical violin prodigy, he studied at the Juilliard School but soon drifted toward jazz and pop, and apprenticed at a recording studio, J.A.C. Recording.

In 1958, he co-founded A & R Recording, a studio on West 48th Street in Manhattan, and built a reputation as a versatile engineer, working on pop fare like Lesley Gore as well as jazz by John Coltrane and Quincy Jones. He ran the sound when Marilyn Monroe cooed “Happy Birthday” to President John F. Kennedy in 1962, and three years later won his first Grammy as the engineer on Stan Getz and João Gilberto’s landmark album “Getz/Gilberto.”

As a producer, he had a particularly close association with Mr. Joel and Mr. Simon; the back cover of Mr. Joel’s 1977 album “The Stranger” features a photograph of Mr. Ramone posing with Mr. Joel and his band at a New York restaurant.

“I always thought of Phil Ramone as the most talented guy in my band,” Mr. Joel said in a statement on Saturday. “He was the guy that no one ever, ever saw onstage. He was with me as long as any of the musicians I ever played with — longer than most. So much of my music was shaped by him and brought to fruition by him.”

Mr. Ramone’s relationships with those men were deep enough that he named two of his sons after them: Simon and William (known as B. J.); they survive him, along with Matthew, his third son, and his wife, Karen.

As a producer, Mr. Ramone was known for a conservative sound rooted in jazz and traditional pop, and in later years his biggest successes included albums with Mr. Charles, Tony Bennett, Elton John and others.

But he was also a proponent of new technologies. He was an early advocate for digital recording, and pushed for Mr. Joel’s “52nd Street” to be one of the first commercially released albums on compact disc, in 1982. Mr. Sinatra’s 1993 album “Duets,” featuring stars like Bono, Ms. Streisand and Natalie Cole, was made by connecting Mr. Sinatra’s studio in Los Angeles with others around the world using fiber-optic cables.

In an interview with Billboard magazine in 1996, Mr. Ramone explained why he believed a producer should not leave too much of his “stamp” on a recording.

“If our names were on the front cover, it’d be different, but it’s not on the front cover, and the audience doesn’t care,” he said. “If you think you have a style and you perpetrate that onto people, you’re hurting the very essence of their creativity.”

“The reward of producing,” he continued, “comes when somebody inside the record company who has a lot to do with what’s going on actually calls you and says, ‘Boy, this record really came out great.’ Or when other artists call you and want to work with you.”

This article has been revised to reflect the following correction:

Correction: March 30, 2013


An earlier version of this article misidentified one of Phil Ramone’s sons. His name is Simon, not Paul.





Published: March 27, 2013

Deke Richards, the leader of the Motown songwriting and producing team responsible for some of the Jackson 5’s biggest hits, died on Sunday in Bellingham, Wash. He was 68.

Universal Music Enterprises.

Deke Richards, center, flanked by the late Alphonzo Mizell, left, and Freddie Perren.

The cause was esophageal cancer, his family said.

In 1969, Mr. Richards teamed in Detroit with Berry Gordy Jr., the founder of Motown, and the songwriters Freddie Perren and Alphonzo Mizell, to work with the Jackson 5, a virtually unknown brother act from Indiana that had recently signed with the label. Collectively billed as the Corporation, the four struck gold immediately.

The Jackson 5’s first three singles, “I Want You Back,” “ABC” and “The Love You Save” — all written and produced by the Corporation, and all featuring the vocals of a very young Michael Jackson — reached No. 1 on the Billboard singles chart. The Corporation went on to write and produce other hits for the Jackson 5, including “Mama’s Pearl” and “Maybe Tomorrow.”

Mr. Richards later worked, both with the Corporation and on his own, with Diana Ross, Martha and the Vandellas, the Four Seasons and others.

He had already reached the top of the charts before working with the Jackson 5. He was briefly a member of another four-person Motown collective, the Clan, which wrote and produced “Love Child,” a No. 1 single for Diana Ross and the Supremes in 1968.

Deke Richards was born Dennis Lussier on April 8, 1944, and grew up in Los Angeles, where his father, Dane Lussier, worked as a screenwriter.

He played guitar in local bands before he began doing production work for Motown in 1966. After Mr. Gordy named him the Jackson 5’s producer, he brought in Mr. Perren and Mr. Mizell to work with him and, he later recalled, asked Mr. Gordy for songwriting and production advice. Mr. Berry, who had begun his career as a songwriter but had not done any writing or producing for several years, eventually became a full-fledged member of the team.

The Corporation developed a distinctive sound for the Jackson 5 that some have called “bubblegum soul,” blending upbeat pop melodies with rhythm-and-blues grooves. The formula was designed to reach a wide audience, and it did, bringing the group international stardom.

In later years Mr. Richards’s primary focus was the Poster Palace, a company he operated that sells vintage movie posters, but he continued to take on occasional musical projects. Last year he produced “Come and Get It: The Rare Pearls,” a compilation of previously unreleased Jackson 5 recordings.

Survivors include his wife, Joan Lussier, and a brother, Dane Lussier.




KHTB Productions

“The Cry of Jazz,” a 1959 film by Edward Bland, commented on racism and created an uproar in intellectual circles.


Published: March 26, 2013

Edward Bland made only one film before deciding to pursue a career as a musician, composer and arranger. And that film, “The Cry of Jazz,” a 34-minute documentary explaining jazz in the context of black history, was by his own account amateurish.

Guillaume Le Grontec

Edward Bland

But within a year of its release in 1959, “The Cry of Jazz,” which Mr. Bland produced on a shoestring budget with some friends, became an improbable film landmark of sorts — not as a work of art but as a manifesto of black militancy.

Using the didactic voice-over style popular in educational films of the 1950s, Mr. Bland, who died on March 14 at 86, interspersed selections from jazz performances, scenes of deprivation in the ghettos of Chicago and a stilted portrayal of an argument over jazz at an interracial social gathering of college-educated young people.

During the argument, an unbridgeable racial divide seems to open in the floor. At a time when it was an article of faith in the civil rights movement that all people, no matter their color, were essentially the same, Mr. Bland’s film depicted a group of black men explaining to their white peers that the opposite was true — that after centuries of battling racial oppression, black Americans were actually quite different from white Americans under the skin, and in many ways better.

Moreover, whites would never grasp the dimensions of the divide, they said, and jazz was the perfect illustration: whites could play jazz and appropriate it, their argument ran, but they would never understand it, or the people who created it.

The movie caused an uproar. Notable intellectuals took sides. The novelist Ralph Ellison called it offensive. The poet LeRoi Jones, later known as Amiri Baraka, called it profoundly insightful. An audience discussion after a screening in 1960 in Greenwich Village became so heated that the police were called.

The British critic Kenneth Tynan, in a column for The London Observer, wrote that it “does not really belong to the history of cinematic art, but it assuredly belongs to history” as “the first film in which the American Negro has issued a direct challenge to the white.”

Mr. Bland went on to write arrangements for Lionel Hampton, Dizzy Gillespie and Sun Ra. He also wrote orchestrations for television shows and movies, including the racially charged 1984 suspense drama “A Soldier’s Story.”

He died of cancer at his home in Smithfield, Va., his wife, Mary Batten Bland, said.

While “The Cry of Jazz” became a staple of academic film studies and black history departments, Mr. Bland began working in New York on both commercial and avant-garde musical ventures. In the 1960s he produced concerts for the “Jazz in the Garden” series at the Museum of Modern Art. His compositions for chamber orchestra were performed by the Baltimore, Detroit, Memphis and St. Louis Symphonies and the Chicago Civic Orchestra.

Edward Osmund Bland was born on July 25, 1926, on the South Side of Chicago to Edward and Althea Bland. His father, a postal worker and self-taught literary critic whose friends included Ellison, Gwendolyn Brooks and Langston Hughes, died in the Battle of the Bulge. Mr. Bland also served briefly in the Army during World War II, after which he attended the University of Chicago and the American Conservatory of Music, in Chicago, on the G.I. Bill.

Besides his wife, survivors include two sons, Edward and Robert; a daughter, Stefanie Batten Bland; and a granddaughter.

In the 1990s, “The Cry of Jazz” was rediscovered by scholars as an early example of independent black filmmaking. It was reissued in restored form on DVD in 1996. In 2010 it was added to the National Film Registry of the Library of Congress as “a historic and fascinating film that comments on racism and the appropriation of jazz by those who fail to understand its artistic and cultural origins.”

Mr. Bland told an interviewer in 1998 that he was somewhat baffled by the continued interest in his film. “It was considered the work of madmen” when it was originally released, he said. “Black racists. At best it was considered a personal statement. Bad music, bad thinking, bad acting, bad writing and bad photography. Unfair to jazz, because we made jazz a political act.”

In hindsight, he added, the criticism reflected the times. “The concept of black culture was not around in the United States until 10 or 15 years later,” he said. Friends and family said he never substantially altered his viewpoint about jazz and race. But, he once told an interviewer, “I do wish we had made a better film.”





Published: March 26, 2013

Lori March, who reigned as the matriarch of the long-running daytime television drama “The Secret Storm” for 13 years, died on March 19 in Redding, Conn. She was 90.

CBS, via Everett Collection

Lori March, left, with Jada Rowland on “The Secret Storm.”

The death was confirmed by her stepson Philip Taubman, a former reporter and editor for The New York Times.

In a career that included work on Broadway, in film and on prime-time television, Ms. March’s longest-running role was that of Valerie Hill Ames Northcote, who she played on CBS from 1961 until “The Secret Storm” was canceled in 1974. After her screen husband died, Valerie married her stepdaughter’s psychiatrist, eventually played by Ms. March’s first husband,Alexander Scourby.

Lori von Eltz was born on March 6, 1923, in Los Angeles. Her mother, Peggy Prior, was a screenwriter in the 1920s. Her father, Theodor von Eltz, was a character actor who began his career in silent films and went on to appear in “Topper,” “Magnificent Obsession” and other films in the 1930s and 1940s. When her parents divorced in 1928, Lori and her brother, Ted, were at the center of a bitter custody battle and placed in a foster home. But when her mother remarried, Lori was adopted by her stepfather, Joseph Moncure March, the screenwriter and poet best known for “The Wild Party.”

Ms. March studied acting at HB Studio and began her career in the early 1950s. Her television debut was on a 1952 episode of “Manhunt” and her Broadway debut in “Cyrano de Bergerac,” starring José Ferrer, in 1953. Her other Broadway appearances included “Charley’s Aunt” (1953, also with Mr. Ferrer) and “The Chalk Garden” (1955). Her Off Broadway work included John Houseman’s 1954 “Coriolanus,” with Robert Ryan.She made two feature films, both in 1956 — “Lovers and Lollipops,” a romance praised mostly for its pretty photography, and “Ransom!,” a drama with Glenn Ford and Donna Reed — but devoted most of her time to television. She appeared on anthology series like “Playhouse 90,” “Armstrong Circle Theater” and “The United States Steel Hour.”

Viewers of “The Twilight Zone” saw her in 1960 as Fritz Weaver’s anxious wife, preparing her family to escape nuclear annihilation by stealing a rocket ship and heading to another planet in the episode “Third From the Sun.” “Perry Mason” fans saw her on five episodes over the years, at least twice as a murder defendant.

Regional theater was a part of Ms. March’s later career, and she often worked with Mr. Scourby, who was an audiobook narrator (he was the voice of the Bible) as well as an actor, during their 41-year marriage. They played husband and wife in a dinner theater production of “High Spirits” (a musical version of Noël Coward’s “Blithe Spirit”) in Darien, Conn., in 1977, and patient and doctor in “Old World” at Hartford Stage in 1979. That same year Ms. March played George Grizzard’s helpless wife in an East Hampton, N.Y., production of “Deathtrap.” Ms. March continued to work in television, particularly on soap operas. Her final screen appearance was in a 1988 episode of “Another World.”

Ms. March, who lived in Redding, was widowed three times. Mr. Scourby, with whom she had a daughter, died in 1985. In 1988 she married Howard Taubman, a music and theater critic for The Times, who died in 1996. Her third husband, Milton Williams, was a public relations executive. They were married from 1997 until his death in 2008.

Besides her stepson Mr. Taubman, her survivors include her daughter, Alexandra S. Mackler; a granddaughter; another stepson, William C. Taubman; and four step-grandchildren.





Published: March 28, 2013

Bob Teague, who joined WNBC-TV in New York in 1963 as one of the city’s first black television journalists and went on to work as a reporter, anchorman and producer for more than three decades, died on Thursday in New Brunswick, N.J. He was 84.

Dith Pran/The New York Times

Bob Teague in 1982.

The cause was T-cell lymphoma, his wife, Jan, said.

Mr. Teague established a reputation for finding smart, topical stories and delivering them with sophistication. Though he later criticized TV news as superficial and too focused on the appearance of reporters and anchors, his own good looks and modulated voice were believed to have helped his longevity in the business.

Mr. Teague followed in the footsteps of Mal Goode, who became the first black network TV reporter in 1962. Mr. Goode was assigned to the ABC News United Nations bureau because network executives feared his presence in the main studio would be too disruptive, TV Guide reported. WNBC, the NBC-owned station in New York, hired Mr. Teague, a seasoned newspaper reporter, the next year. As racial tensions mounted in the 1960s, he was often sent into minority neighborhoods. In July 1963, he was a principal correspondent for “Harlem: Test for the North,” an hourlong network program prepared after riots broke out in the neighborhood.

“They felt black reporters would be invulnerable in a riot,” Mr. Teague said in an interview with The Associated Press in 1981. They were not, but he and others proved themselves to be good reporters. He won praise in September 1963 for his first-person report about protesting racial injustice on a picket line.

Just two years after being hired, Mr. Teague was given his own weekly program, “Sunday Afternoon Report.” He also became a frequent replacement on NBC network news and sports programs.

But even as he carved a niche at NBC, including occasional service as anchor, he grew disillusioned with many aspects of the TV news business. In his 1982 book, “Live and Off-Color: News Biz,” he complained that executives’ lust for ratings led them to prefer spectacle over serious news.

“A newscast is not supposed to be just another vehicle for peddling underarm deodorants,” he wrote. “The public needs to know.”

He criticized the major stations’ practice of scheduling their news programs at the same time of day, saying that by doing so they were all essentially providing the same information. He suggested that each channel present the news in a separate time slot. The slots could then by rotated so that all would get access to the most popular times.

Robert Lewis Teague was born in Milwaukee on Jan. 2, 1929, to a mechanic and a maid. He was a star football player at the University of Wisconsin, winning all-Big 10 honors. A journalism major, he passed up offers from four professional football teams to become a reporter for The Milwaukee Journal. He joined the Army in 1952.

In 1956, he moved to New York and found work as a radio news writer for CBS. He soon joined The New York Times as a sports copy editor and went on to cover major sporting events as a reporter.

He left The Times for the NBC job.

In 1968, he published “Letters to a Black Boy,” written in the form of letters to his 1-year-old son, Adam, many about race. The letters were meant to be read when Adam was 13.

At the time he wrote the book, Mr. Teague’s views were growing more conservative. “Government handouts constitute the most damaging assault on black pride and dignity since the founding of the Ku Klux Klan,” he wrote. He generally supported conservative candidates, including Herman Cain for the Republican presidential nomination in 2012. He retired from NBC in 1991.

Mr. Teague lived in Monmouth Junction, N.J. His first marriage, to the dancer Matt Turney, ended in divorce. In addition to his wife, the former Jan Grisingher, he is survived by his son and three grandchildren.

The changing public response to Mr. Teague and others in the first wave of black television journalists was suggested in a letter he received that he described in an article in The New York Times Magazine.

“When you first began broadcasting the news on television, I watched you every night, but I realize now, years later, that I was so conscious of the fact that you were black that I didn’t hear a word you said about the news,” it read.

“Now, I am happy to say, I still watch you every night, but only because you are a damn good newscaster.”




NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund

James M. Nabrit III, second from right, in 1964 with three fellow NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund lawyers: Jack Greenberg, left, Norman Amaker and Michael Meltsner, right.


Published: March 27, 2013

James M. Nabrit III, a civil rights lawyer who fought school segregation before the Supreme Court and helped ensure that the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s 1965 march from Selma to Montgomery, Ala., was allowed to go forward, died on Friday in Bethesda, Md. He was 80.

The cause was lung cancer, said Ted Shaw, a close friend and the former director-counsel at the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund.

Mr. Nabrit, who worked at the defense fund from 1959 to 1989, argued 12 cases before the Supreme Court and won 9. For many years he served as the low-profile but essential second-in-charge when the group was the most persistent and prominent legal voice fighting to enforce school integration and end Jim Crow laws in the South.

“Jim was involved in many of the most important matters of the civil rights movement,” Mr. Shaw said. “The public didn’t know who he was, but civil rights lawyers knew him.”

Mr. Nabrit grew up among pillars of the civil rights movement. His father, James M. Nabrit Jr., helped Thurgood Marshall argue the cases that led to the Supreme Court’s landmark Brown v. Board of Education decision in 1954 and later became president of Howard University in Washington.

The younger Mr. Nabrit also worked with Mr. Marshall, who hired him as a lawyer with the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund in 1959. Mr. Marshall, who later became the first black Supreme Court justice, founded the fund in 1940.

“When I was hired, he announced to everyone that my job title was ‘low man on the totem pole’ and that I was to be addressed as ‘boy,’ ” Mr. Nabrit recalled in a 2001 interview with the magazine The Washington Lawyer. “He always kept everyone laughing.”

Mr. Nabrit’s first assignment was to help write a Supreme Court brief arguing against an appeal of a decision that Mr. Marshall had won in Louisiana. The lower court ruling was affirmed.

In 1965, Mr. Nabrit helped write a comprehensive plan for a 50-mile march for voting rights from Selma to Montgomery that the Alabama authorities were trying to prevent. It was written to help bolster a claim by Dr. King and his associates that they had a constitutional right to conduct the march.

The plan was so elaborately detailed — noting how many marchers could participate, the route they would take and even in what farm fields they planned to sleep along the way — that The New York Times observed that the march “may take on the appearance of a biblical wandering.”

Mr. Nabrit, who wrote the plan with Jack Greenberg, the fund’s director-counsel for many years, and others, liked to joke later that it “was my only biblical writing.”

An earlier march from Selma, on March 7, 1965, ended violently when Alabama state troopers attacked civil rights supporters on the Edmund Pettus Bridge. A second attempt ended with marchers turning around after crossing the bridge. After a judge approved the plan that Mr. Nabrit had helped write, the march — eventually 25,000 strong — went forward later that month. Congress passed the Voting Rights Act that summer.

One of the most prominent cases Mr. Nabrit worked on involved school segregation in Denver in the early 1970s. Unlike states in the South during the Jim Crow era, Colorado had no school segregation law. Instead, Denver’s school board had created segregated schools by gerrymandering the school district’s attendance zones.

When the case arrived at the Supreme Court, Mr. Nabrit began helping Gordon G. Greiner, a Denver lawyer. “The Denver case presented a different set of complications because we had to prove the cause of school segregation,” Mr. Nabrit recalled.

When the Supreme Court ruled in 1973 that the Denver school board had deliberately segregated part of the school district, it was the first time in nearly 20 years that the court had not ruled unanimously in a school desegregation case. Justices Lewis F. Powell Jr. and William H. Rehnquist dissented.

“We were very fortunate to be presenting arguments attacking the Jim Crow legal system at a time when the majority of the court wanted to do away with Jim Crow,” Mr. Nabrit recalled.

James Madison Nabrit III was born on June 11, 1932, in Houston. He grew up in Washington, where he attended segregated public schools through part of high school. He finished high school at the Mount Hermon School for Boys, now Northfield Mount Hermon, in Massachusetts.

He graduated from Bates College and Yale Law School and then worked briefly for a private law firm. He spent two years in the Army before Mr. Marshall hired him.

Mr. Nabrit’s wife of more than 50 years, Roberta Jacqueline Harlan, died in 2008. No immediate family members survive.

This article has been revised to reflect the following correction:

Correction: March 30, 2013

An obituary on Thursday about the civil rights lawyer James M. Nabrit III misstated the year that the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, for which he worked, was founded. It was 1940, not 1957.


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Closest Brown Dwarfs

NASA / JPL / Gemini Observatory / AURA / NSF

Closest Brown Dwarf System Discovered

March 26, 2013 | Two newly discovered brown dwarfs lie just 6.5 light-years away, making them the closest brown dwarfs known, the third-closest star system known, and best of all, a promising target for exoplanet studies. > read more

Does a Famous Nova Have a “Suicide Pact”?

March 25, 2013 | The usual fate for a recurrent nova is that a white dwarf fattens up at the expense of its companion and then explodes as a supernova. But the two stars of the system T Pyxidis might be bringing about their own destruction in an unusual way. > read more

Mission Planning for the Public

March 27, 2013 | A NASA web-based tool plots trajectories to your favorite planet or near-Earth object. > read more

Is Saturn’s Family Showing Its Age?

March 28, 2013 | A detailed analysis of Cassini images suggests that the rings of moons of Saturn are ancient creations that in recent times have been coated to varying degrees by a dark, reddish patina. > read more

Saturn and Spica in April

Sky & Telesope diagram

Tour April’s Sky by Eye and Ear!

March 29, 2013 | Celebrate “Global Astronmy Month” by strolling outside to take in all the evening sky sights. Jupiter and Sirius frame Orion nicely in the west, while Saturn is low in the east an hour or two after sunset. > read more


This Week’s Sky at a Glance

March 29, 2013 | Jupiter, Orion, and Sirius move lower in the western evening sky. Arcturus climbs in the east. And the late-night waning Moon passes Saturn. > read more


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It’s Bigger Than Adria Richards

Have you heard of Adria Richards? She’s the black woman fired from her job for calling out white males making sexist jokes at a tech conference.

Jamilah King offers a primer for how you can prepare yourself for racist and sexist Internet attacks—mind, body and soul.

Video Exclusive: David Floyd on Why He Sued NYPD caught up with David Floyd, the man who put his name on the biggest stop-and-frisk suit around. In this short video he tells Jay Smooth why he put himself on the line.

The Trouble With Justin Timberlake’s Appropriation of Black Music

Lots of people want ‘The 20/20 Experience.’ Jamilah King explains.

10 Powerful Images of Protesters at This Week’s Gay Marriage Hearing
Supporters of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender couples have been outside of the court to witness what could precipitate historic changes in how LGBT couples are treated under the law.

To Chinua Achebe, With Love
In honor of the Nigerian “Things Fall Apart” author who died last week, scholar-activists Adeline Koh and Roopika Risam capture the power—and joy—of Chinua Achebe in a new comic strip.

Immigration Reform May Throw Siblings Under the Bus
For brothers and sisters waiting for family visas, the way some lawmakers hope to fix it could make things even worse.

Number of Asian and Latino Writers for TV Are Up
The Writers Guild of America, West released a report that found the number of T.V. writers of color has doubled since the millennium.

Hundreds Sign Petition Asking Rick Ross to Apologize for Rape Lyric
Rapper Rick Ross may think that rape is something to brag about, but the rest of the sane world doesn’t.

George Zimmerman’s Brother Says His Twitter Tirade Was ‘A Mistake’
Earlier this week George Zimmerman’s brother shared a picture on Twitter that compared Trayvon Martin and one of two teenagers accused in the recent fatal shooting of a 13-month-old boy in a coastal Georgia town.

Will Smith Says He Turned Down the Role of ‘Django’ Because He ‘Needed To Be the Lead’ 
When Quentin Tarantino’s western revenge-fantasy ‘Django Unchained’ was first announced, casting rumors pegged Will Smith as the titular slave-turned-vigilante.

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Racist Maryland Student Vows Patrols Against ‘Black Crime’

Posted by Hatewatch Staff on March 27, 2013

White supremacist student Matthew Heimbach, a thorn in the side of Maryland’s Towson University who has led two racist campus organizations, says his White Student Union (WSU) will start patrolling the campus at night next week in order to halt what his group characterizes as a “black crime wave.”

Heimbach, a 21-year-old who has said he had his “racial awakening” while still in high school, has been in the national news since earlier this month, when he and fellow WSU member Scott Terry interrupted panelists at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) with a series of racist arguments. Terry advocated “separate but equal” policies, described slavery as providing food and shelter to black people, and allegedly muttered, “Why can’t we just have segregation” in the exchange. The event, caught on videotape and broadcast nationally, was a severe embarrassment to CPAC, which has tried to avoid being tarred as racist.

Now Heimbach, who describes himself as “commander” of the WSU (a possible hat tip to the late “commander” of the American Nazi Party), says that his group will be leading patrols of three male and one female student several nights a week. The men will be armed with heavy police flashlights and the woman will carry pepper spray.

Under the headline “Black Crime Wave Continues!”, the WSU website claims that “every single day black predators prey upon the majority white Towson University student body.” Heimbach also told The Baltimore Sun that “every time the offender is a black male, usually between 18 and 25.” His website adds that “White Southern men have long been called upon to defend their communities when law enforcement and the State seem unwilling to protect our people”— a fairly obvious allusion, it appears, to the terroristic role of the Ku Klux Klan during Reconstruction.

In fact, the university said in a statement, there is no crime wave, black or otherwise, although there have been concerns about sexual attacks and armed robberies. The school said that violent crime on campus fell 37.5% from 2011 to 2012.

In response to Heimbach’s announcement, Towson also said that the WSU is not an officially recognized campus organization (it is allowed to rent campus facilities for meetings, as many other off-campus groups also may do); that Towson is “one of the safest campuses” in the Maryland state system; and that the general public ought not to “take the law into their own hands.” But the school added that it would increase its own evening patrols in a bid to make the campus community feel safer.

The WSU is not some namby-pamby opponent of multiculturalism. Its website carries links to the Council of Conservative Citizens(CCC), the descendant of the segregationist White Citizen Councils of the 1950s and 1960s and a group that has described black people as a “retrograde species of humanity.” As part of its platform, the CCC opposes “all efforts to mix the races of mankind.” The WSU website also links to the website for “The Political Cesspool,” a radio show based in Memphis, Tenn., that specializes in sympathetic interviews with leading racists and anti-Semites.

Heimbach’s WSU is not his first racist organization. For a time, he was the president of the Towson chapter of Youth for Western Civilization (YWC), another racist campus group that was headed nationally by Kevin DeAnna, another hard-liner who also has worked with white supremacist organizations. DeAnna quit that group in February 2012. Later last year, after members of Heimbach’s YWC chapter chalked “White Pride” on campus sidewalks, the group lost the support of the university administration and official status, leading to its collapse. At that point, the Towson group was the only remaining chapter of YWC, which is now apparently defunct.

Heimbach then started the WSU as a replacement. Soon enough, it had gathered members like Scott Terry (Heimbach has claimed a highly improbable 50 members), whose own website includes sections with headlines like “Arguments Against Miscegenation” — that is, what the Klan would call “race-mixing.” Terry also writes about “Kinism,” a racist ideology that emphasizes close relationships among “kith and kin,” meaning members of the same race. It also links to the sites of the CCC and a racist journal called American Renaissance, whose leader, Jared Taylor, has written that black people are incapable of sustaining any kind of civilization. Taylor was brought by Heimbach to speak at a WSU campus event last August.

In an interview with a white nationalist radio show last October, Heimbach detailed some of his racist views. Warning that the “enemy is at the gates,” he said that white people are “rediscovering who they are” and waking up to the threat. “We’re seeing other cultures take over essentially our country and are replacing what we knew and grew up with and what our ancestors fought and died for, for something entirely foreign,” he said. He said that while he didn’t agree with using Nazi symbols, he would not “insult anyone” by attacking them for doing that because “if you’re out there advocating for white interests … I commend you for it.”

Heimbach doesn’t limit himself to racist student groups. He’s also the head of the Baltimore chapter of the CCC and a member of the League of the South, a neo-secessionist group that opposes racial intermarriage, seeks to impose “Anglo-Celtic” supremacy on a Southern nation, and sees egalitarianism as an evil doctrine.



“White supremacist student Matthew Heimbach, a thorn in the side of Maryland’s Towson University who has led two racist campus organizations, says his White Student Union (WSU) will start patrolling the campus at night next week in order to halt what his group characterizes as a “black crime wave.”

So, just what are these so-called ‘black crimes’? Which part of the university are they being carried out on? At what time of day? What time of night? Are there guns involved? Knives? Spears — or javelins? Rope or duct tape used? Vehicles with trunks or hatchbacks?

Since Heimbach is so mad about what he perceives ‘black crime’ to be, and it is consuming him to no end, obviously ‘white crime’ no longer exists, eh, Heimbach?

Whites no longer:  rape, murder, commit incest, commit armed robbery, kidnapping, embezzlement, perjury, arson, grand theft, breaking and entering with intent to commit habitation, treason or jaywalking?

Wow. White crime; a thing of the past.

“Now Heimbach, who describes himself as “commander” of the WSU (a possible hat tip to the late “commander” of the American Nazi Party), says that his group will be leading patrols of three male and one female student several nights a week. The men will be armed with heavy police flashlights and the woman will carry pepper spray.”

Careful, mister.

You roll up on the wrong person and you may find yourself the unwilling occupant of a wheelchair, or worse –a cemetery plot. Infringing on the rights of students to attend Towson University is a direct violation of their civil rights, especially when all you can see is ‘black crime’. Let me guess: you probably consider it a crime for a Black student to get a better education? And why not, since you hang with the likes of Scott Terry, you obviously still believe in segregation and the enslavement of your fellow Black citizens.

As for the ‘white race’, being in the majority they have many benefits of better educations, better health, better jobs, better living conditions than so many of their fellow Americans, therefore, the ‘white race’ is not suffering, so please, Heimbach, do not cry me a river. Since you are so sorrowful over the abysmal living conditions for Whites, please, Mr. Heimbach, show me the proof of the rampant job discrimination, environmental racism, still-separate-but-never-was-equal lives that millions of Whites are supposed to be living in the United States?

Yeah, I thought so.

“In an interview with a white nationalist radio show last October, Heimbach detailed some of his racist views. Warning that the “enemy is at the gates,” he said that white people are “rediscovering who they are” and waking up to the threat. “We’re seeing other cultures take over essentially our country and are replacing what we knew and grew up with and what our ancestors fought and died for, for something entirely foreign,” he said”


Democracy, equal rights under the law, the right to due process, treating all human beings with respect.

What a foreign concept.

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This year marks the 151ST Anniversary of the birth of Ida Barnett-Wells, a Black feminist and activist for civil and women’s rights in the 1880s.

She was an advocate of Black American civil rights, women’s rights and economic rights. She was known among Black reporters as ‘the princess of the press,’ who led the nation’s first anti-lynching campaign. Throughout her life, she maintained a fearless devotion to justice, which often placed her in physical danger and social isolation. As a journalist and an activist, Ida B. Wells-Barnett made an indelible mark on the history of the United States and offered a harsh critique of racial, sexual, and economic exploitation of Black people.

Here is her story.


Ida B. Wells-Barnett (b. July 16, 1862; d. March 25, 1931). Journalist, activist and civil rights crusader. Born in Holly Springs, Mississippi, Ida Bell Wells was the eldest of eight children of Jim Wells and Lizzie Warrenton. Jim Wells was born in Tippah County, Mississippi, the son of his master and an enslave woman, Peggy. He was trained as a carpenter and apprenticed to a White contractor in Holly Springs. Lizzie Warrenton was one of ten children born in slavery in Virginia. Separated from her family and auctioned as a slave, she began to work as a cook on the plantation where Jim Wells was employed. They were married not long after, and once emancipated, the couple remained in Holly Springs, raising their family. Ardent believers in education, they sent their children to school as early as possible. Ida attended Shaw University, a school for freed Black students, which was established in 1866 by the Freedmen’s Aid Society in Holly Springs, and was later renamed Rusk College.

In 1878, a yellow fever epidemic swept through Holly Springs. Jim and Lizzie Wells and their nine-month-old son, Stanley, were among the victims. Another son, Eddie, had died several years before of spinal meningitis. Sixteen-year-old Ida was left with the responsibility of caring for the remaining five children. Her training at Shaw University enabled her to pass the teacher’s exam for the county schools. Ida gained employment at a school six miles from her home on a monthly salary of twenty-five dollars. A year later, on the invitation of her mother’s sister in Memphis, Tennessee, Ida left Holly Springs. Her paralyzed sister, Eugenia, and two brothers remained behind with relatives. Ida took the two younger girls with her to Memphis and secured a teaching job in the Shelby County school district at a higher salary than she had earned in Mississippi.

The Segregated Railway Car Incident

In May 1884, Ida Wells boarded a train owned by Chesapeake and Ohio Railroad and sat down in the ladies’ coach. The conductor informed her that he could not take her ticket where she sat and requested that she move to the segregated car. Ida refused to move. The conductor attacked her and forcibly threw her from the train. In retaliation, she hired a Black lawyer and sued the railroad. Disappointed with his lack of attention to her case, she hesitantly turned to a White lawyer and was awarded five hundred dollars. Victory was  bittersweet, because the state supreme court reversed the ruling of the lower court.

An avid reader and debater, Ida became a member of a lyceum of public school teachers, and on each Friday afternoon program, the lyceum closed the meeting with a reading of a weekly newspaper, the Evening Star. When the editor of the paper left, Ida took over the editorship, and not long after, she accepted the editorship of the weekly newspaper Living Way. Under the name “Iola,” her weekly column reached mostly rural, uneducated people. She committed the column to writing “in a plain, common-sense way on the things which concerned our people.”

Soror Ida B. Wells-Barnett was a fearless anti-lynching crusader, suffragist, women's rights advocate, journalist, and speaker. She stands as one of our nation's most uncompromising leaders and most ardent defenders of democracy. She was born in Holly Springs, Mississippi in 1862 and died in Chicago, Illinois 1931 at the age of sixty-nine.

In 1889, Ida bought a one-third interest in the Memphis Free Speech and Headlight and later became editor. She argued about the poor conditions of local schools for Black children, specifically inadequate buildings and improperly trained teachers, all of which contributed to the mediocre education of Black children. Conservative Black leaders dismissed her argument, and White school board did not renew her contract for the following year. To support herself, Ida began to promote subscriptions for the Free Speech. She successfully canvassed and secured subscriptions throughout the delta region in Mississippi, Arkansas, and Tennessee.

The Moss-McDowell-Steward Lynching in Memphis

On March 9, 1892, Thomas Moss, Calvin McDowell, and Henry Steward, three Black male colleagues of Ida, were lynched. All were upstanding members of the black community. All three were successful managers of  The People’s Grocery Company, a grocery business in a heavily populated black section outside of Memphis. The owner of a competing White grocery store charged them with conspiracy. News of the indictment spread throughout the Black community. The three men and several other Black supporters held a meeting and voiced threats against Whites. They were arrested and incarcerated. Chaos erupted in the Black community. After four days of shooting, Moss, McDowell, and Steward were indicted for inciting a riot and thrown into jail, shot, and hanged.

The deaths of Moss, McDowell, and Steward forced Ida to question not only the rationale of lynchers but also to rethink her own ideas about the reasons for lynching. Like many Americans, Black and white, Ida believed that lynching happened to accused rapists; that is, Black men who had been accused of raping White women. Yet the men brutally murdered in Memphis had not been accused of rape. rather they were pillars of the Black community and good community citizens whose only crime was economic prosperity. Ida then began to investigate cases in which lynch victims were accused of rape. She concluded that lynching was a racist device for eliminating financially independent Black citizens. Her pursuit of the truth led her to create what is now known to us today as investigative journalism.

The following table published by the Chicago Tribune January, 1892, is submitted for thoughtful consideration.

1882,52 [Negroes murdered by mobs]

1883,39 [Negroes murdered by mobs]

1884,53 [Negroes murdered by mobs]

1885,77 [Negroes murdered by mobs]

1886,73 [Negroes murdered by mobs]

1887,70 [Negroes murdered by mobs]

1888,72 [Negroes murdered by mobs]

1889,95 [Negroes murdered by mobs]

1890,100 [Negroes murdered by mobs]

1891,169 [Negroes murdered by mobs]
Of this number 269 were charged with rape.

253 [were charged with] murder.
44 [were charged with] robbery.
37 [were charged with] incendiarism
4 [were charged with] burglary.
27 [were charged with] race prejudice.
13 [were charged with] quarreling with white men.
10 [were charged with] making threats.
7 [were charged with] rioting.
5 [were charged with] miscegenation.
32 [were charged with] no reason given

SOURCE: N.A.A.C.P Archives

Not only were Black men lynched, but so were Black women, Black children, and entire Black families. The use of rape as a defense for lynching was deconstructed by Ida’s valiant efforts. Ida expressed indignation and outrage that “the city of Memphis has demonstrated neither character nor standing avails the Negro if he dares to protect himself against the white man or become his rival.” Therefore, she urged the Black citizens of Memphis to “save [their] money and leave a town which will neither protect our lives and property, nor give us a fair trial in the courts, when accused by white persons.” Whites were so enraged by these allegations that they destroyed her newspaper office while Ida was away and dared her to return to Memphis. Unintimidated by threats, Ida kept a gun in her house and advised Black citizens that “a Winchester rifle should have a place of honor in every black home. When the white man knows he runs as great a risk of biting the dust every time his Afro-American victim does, he will have greater respect for Afro-American life.”

Southern Horrors: Lynch Law in All Its Phases, 1892, Ida B. Wells.

In her May 21, 1892 editorial published in the Free Speech, Ida blasted the barbarism of lynching and White race hatred of Blacks. In addition, in her scathing editorial she attacked white female purity and suggested that it was possible for White women to be attracted to Black men:

“Eight negroes lynched since last issue of the ‘Free Speech’ one at Little Rock, Ark., last Saturday morning where the citizens broke (?)[A] into the penitentiary and got their man; three near Anniston, Ala., one near New Orleans; and three at Clarksville, Ga., the last three for killing a white man, and five on the same old racket—the new alarm about raping white women. The same programme of hanging, then shooting bullets into the lifeless bodies was carried out to the letter.

Nobody in this section of the country believes the old thread bare lie that Negro men rape white women. If Southern white men are not careful, they will over-reach themselves and public sentiment will have a reaction; a conclusion will then be reached which will be very damaging to the moral reputation of their women.”

Southern Horrors, 1892.

The Anti-Lynching Crusade

Ida took her fight against lynching across America, and even to Europe, most notably in England. She toured England and Scotland using her investigations as proof of atrocities toward Black Americans. It gained her a national audience and put international pressure on the United States, which offered as Ida stated, the best means of change for Black Americans. She also criticized and denounced the activities of prominent White leaders considered to be supporters of Black American causes. These people, one in particular, Frances Willard, secretary of the Women’s Christian Temperance Union, and one of the most powerful women’s organizations in the country, did not take strong stances against lynching and in their silence sanctioned mob violence . Leaders like Willard maintained segregated audiences, and in effect, condoned racial segregation, discrimination, and extralegal murder.

In 1892 she published a pamphlet titled Southern Horrors: Lynch Law in All Its Phases, and A Red Record, 1892–1894, both of which compiled and documented research on lynching.

Ida was also an energetic and strong voice at the Chicago World’s Fair in 1893. She solicited funds and published twenty thousand copies of a protest pamphlet, The Reason Why the Colored American Is Not in the Columbian Exposition, to publicize  the inherent racism of the fair’s administration.

In 1895, Ida Wells married Ferdinand Barnett, a lawyer and owner of the Chicago Conservator. Barnett, a widower with two children, was a strong advocate for Black equality. He contributed to Ida’s pamphlet on the Chicago fair, was her strongest supporter, and encouraged her to continue to her anti-lynching activities. Often traveling with one or more of their children, Ida Wells-Barnett was persistent in speaking to groups about lynching and other reform activities.

Ida’s anti-lynching activities were instrumental in making her one of two Black women to sign the 1909 call for the formation of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), of which she was one of the founding members. She later broke with the association because of its predominantly White board and because it was timid when confronting racial issues.

The Suffrage Efforts

Ida Wells-Barnett had a strong belief that the vote for all Black Americans was the key to reform and economic, social, and political equality.  In her 1910 article “How Enfranchisement Stops Lynching,” she asserted that if “the constitutional safeguards to the ballot” are swept aside, then ” it is the smallest of small matter . . . to sweep aside . . . safeguards to human life.” Because she believed that economic and political empowerment for Black citizens required cooperative effort of Black women and men, she organized the Alpha Suffrage Club. Formed in 1913, the club was the first Black female suffrage club in Illinois. The club sent Ida as an Illinois delegate to the National American Woman Suffrage Association’s suffrage parade on March 3, 1913 in Washington, DC. White Illinois delegates pleaded with Ida to march with the Black delegates at the back of the procession. She refused, arguing that, “the southern women have tried to evade the question time and again by giving some excuse or other every time it has been brought up. if the Illinois women do not take a stand now in this great democratic parade then the colored women are lost.” Moreover, she continued, “I shall not march at all unless I can march under the Illinois banner.” Despite support from a number of White allies, Ida Wells-Barnett’s motion to march with the state contingent fell on deaf ears.

Afterward, Ida disappeared from the parade site. Illinois delegates assumed she had given up in defeat and decided to march with the Black contingent, but as the delegates began marching down Pennsylvania Avenue, Ida quietly stepped out from the crowd of spectators and joined her state colleagues. Her bold action was a public challenge to white supremacy and the policy of expediency adopted by White female suffrage organizations.

Throughout the 1920s, Ida maintained her interest in the political arena, and in 1930 she ran unsuccessfully for the Illinois senate as an independent candidate. She believed agitation, activism, and protest were the only means of change in the United States and saw Booker T. Washington’s philosophy of accommodation as weak. She hailed Marcus Garvey as the person who had “made an impression on this country as no Negro before him had ever done. He was able to solidify the masses of our people and endow them with racial consciousness and racial solidarity.” As a result, the U.S. Secret Service branded her a dangerous radical.

Ida continued to write and report on the controversies of her day. She wrote exposés on several race riots, including the riot in East St. Louis in July 1917, and she pointed out that similar conditions existed in Chicago:

“With one Negro dead as the result of a race riot last week, another one badly injured in the county hospital; with half a dozen attacks upon Negro children, and one on the Thirty-fifth Street car Tuesday, in which four white men beat one colored man . . . the bombing of Negro home and the indifference of the public to these outrages. It is just such a situation as this which led up to the East St. Louis riot.”

(Chicago Daily Tribune, 7 July 1919)

Then, for fourteen days in July and August 1919, Black and White Chicagoans battled. In the end, 38 died and 537 were injured.

After a thirty-year exile from the South, Ida Wells-Barnett returned in 1922 to investigate the case of the Black Arkansas farmers who were indicted for murder in what was known as the Arkansas Race Riot of 1919, about which she published a pamphlet.

Ida Wells-Barnett was a reformer and one of the first Black leaders to link the oppression and exploitation of Black Americans to White economic opportunity. She believed that Black citizens had to organize themselves and take the lead in fighting for their own independence from white oppression. Through her campaigns, speeches, reports, books and agitation, she raised crucial questions about the future of Black Americans.

Portrait of Ida B. Wells-Barnett wearing pin (Special Collections Research Center, University of Chicago Library)

Ida Wells-Barnett died in Chicago of uremia, a kidney disease. Her autobiography, Crusade For Justice, edited by her daughter, Alfreda Duster, was published posthumously. She fought tenaciously and continuously to bring peace and protection to her Black people.

Ida truly was a sword among lions.

Ida B. Wells-Barnett House

Ida B. Wells-Barnett House
Photograph courtesy of Chicago Landmarks Commission


“Ida Wells-Barnett”, by Wanda A. Hendricks, Black Women in America, Volume 3, by Darlene Clark Hine, Oxford University Press, 2005.

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Southern Horrors: Lynch Law in All Its Phases by Ida B. Wells Barnett (Nov 9, 2012)

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The Red Record: Lynching in the United States by Ida B. Wells Barnett and Desmond Gahan (Nov 15, 2012)


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Quick Facts

The International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade remembers the lives of Africans who were forced into slavery in North, Central and South America.

Local names

Name Language
International Day of Remembrance of Slavery Victims and the Transatlantic Slave Trade English
Día Internacional de Rememoración de las Víctimas de la Esclavitud y la Trata Transatlántica de Esclavos Spanish

International Day of Remembrance of Slavery Victims and the Transatlantic Slave Trade 2013 Theme: “Forever Free: Celebrating Emancipation”

Monday, March 25, 2013

International Day of Remembrance of Slavery Victims and the Transatlantic Slave Trade 2014

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

The United Nations’ (UN) International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade is on March 25 each year. It honors the lives of those who died as a result of slavery or experienced the horrors of the transatlantic slave trade. It is also an occasion to raise awareness about the dangers of racism and prejudice.

Broken ChainThe International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade remembers the lives of transatlantic slave trade victims. © Sironen

What do people do?

Various events are held on the International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade. These include memorial services and vigils for those who died in slavery, as a result of the slave trade, or from campaigning to end of slavery. In addition, African-American inspired music is performed and exhibitions of art and poetry inspired during the slave trade era are opened.

This day is also an occasion to educate the public, especially young people, about the effects of racism, slavery and the transatlantic slave trade. Educational events are held in schools, colleges and universities.

Public life

The International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade is a global observance and not a public holiday.


About 17 million people were transported against their will from Africa to North, Central and South America during the 16th century and up until the 19th century. Millions more died while being transported to the Americas. This mass deportation and resulting slavery are seen as one of the worst violations of human rights. Some experts believe that its effects are still felt in Africa’s economies.

Slavery was officially abolished in the United States on February 1, 1865. However, racial segregation continued throughout most of the following century and racism remains an important issue today. Hence, the International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade is an occasion to discuss the transatlantic slave trade’s causes, consequences and lessons. It is hoped that this will raise awareness of the dangers of racism and prejudice.

On December 17, 2007, the United Nations General Assembly designated March 25 as the International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade. It was first observed in 2008.


The theme in 2008 was “Breaking the Silence, Lest We Forget”.

International Day of Remembrance of Slavery Victims and the Transatlantic Slave Trade Observances

Weekday Date Year Name Holiday type Where it is observed
Tue Mar 25 2008 International Day of Remembrance of Slavery Victims and the Transatlantic Slave Trade United Nations observance
Wed Mar 25 2009 International Day of Remembrance of Slavery Victims and the Transatlantic Slave Trade United Nations observance
Thu Mar 25 2010 International Day of Remembrance of Slavery Victims and the Transatlantic Slave Trade United Nations observance
Fri Mar 25 2011 International Day of Remembrance of Slavery Victims and the Transatlantic Slave Trade United Nations observance
Sun Mar 25 2012 International Day of Remembrance of Slavery Victims and the Transatlantic Slave Trade United Nations observance
Mon Mar 25 2013 International Day of Remembrance of Slavery Victims and the Transatlantic Slave Trade United Nations observance
Tue Mar 25 2014 International Day of Remembrance of Slavery Victims and the Transatlantic Slave Trade United Nations observance
Wed Mar 25 2015 International Day of Remembrance of Slavery Victims and the Transatlantic Slave Trade United Nations observance

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