The United Nations (UN) have dedicated November 2 as a special day to condemn all attacks against journalists and media workers: The Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists.
Not all countries are open to freedom of speech and being a journalist can be a life-threatening occupation. According to the UN, more than 700 journalists were killed between 2004 and 2014.
Many of these deaths are either unsolved murders or killings in crossfire/combat. Only a small number of these has led to a conviction.
In Memory of Two Killed Journalists
In late 2013, the UN decided to dedicate November 2 to draw attention to crimes against journalists. The date was chosen in memory of two French journalists. Ghislaine Dupont and Claude Verlon were brutally murdered in Mali on November 2, 2013. They were seen being beaten before they were driven away in a truck. Some sources say their bodies were found riddled with bullets, while others report their throats may have been cut.
Keeping Journalists Safe
This UN day is one of a number of campaigns urging leaders and governments to prevent violence against news workers. The UN has a number of similar days, like World Press Freedom Day.
What’s Open or Closed?
The day is a global observance and not a public holiday so it’s business as usual.
The United Nations (UN) has declared October 31 World Cities Day. Its aim is to create awareness of the role of urbanization in global sustainable development and social inclusion.
The resolution was adopted by the UN General Assembly on December 27, 2013.
The Home of Humanity
“Cities are increasingly the home of humanity. They are central to climate action, global prosperity, peace and human rights,” stated Ban Ki-Moon, UN Secretary-General.
The resolution stresses the importance of cities and human settlements to be inclusive, safe, resilient, and sustainable. However, this is not always the case and, according to the UN, inequalities in cities have grown since 1980. The largest cities are also where you often find the greatest differences between people.
Urbanization is defined as the gradual shift of population from rural to urban areas. The process forms cities making them larger as more people come to work and live centrally.
World Cities Day aims to highlight the role of urbanization to provide the potential for new forms of social inclusion. These include greater equality, access to services, and added diversity. This way cities can be designed to create opportunities, enable connection and interaction, and facilitate sustainable use of shared resources.
Here is an oldie but goodie from the blog of Raw Dawg Buffalo.
Black people have become so complacent and stagnant that many of them do not know which way is which, which side is up, nor care to know. So many Black people have come to accept the normalization of this Whore of Babylon’s continued assault upon us. This hell where white racist supremacy is condoned and the complacent acceptance of it by so many, many non-Black/Model Minority/Upholders of white racist supremacy, who could give a rat’s ass less for the safety and well-being of Black women, Black men, and Black children.
Especially in the case of so many Black men who should be leading the forefront in looking out for the Black community instead of sitting back and waiting on Black women to fight tooth and nail against racism, sexism, ageism, ableism, and all the other alt-wrongs this so-called nation can dish out to Black people.
One book that left a lasting impression on me as a child was written by Samuel Yette. It was called the choice. In summary he suggested that people of African descent in America had a choice to be proactive or inactive in sustaining their survival in America in light that many in the majority would not lift a finger, if the government proffered such, to enact measure to repress African Americans.
I say this for as some of you all know, I am proud to have been raised in a strong family. My aunt was arrested for sitting in a library to study in the late 1950s. My mother and her siblings marched and were confronted with dogs being unleashed on them as well as the forceful pressure of water from fire hoses sprayed on them. I have learned that the weapon of choice in the war with injustice and hate is the mind as facilitated with words seasoned with serious rumination and historical precedence. So it is not surprising II feel it is my duty to protect and enunciate my beliefs as eloquently as possible in forums with those who preach hate and intolerance. This is why I frequent and post to the Nazi, and racist and skinhead websites/blogs and read them just as much and if not more than blogs run by African Americans.
And you may also be aware that it frustrates me when I share these blogs with others, in particular African American men, and they on the surface appear afraid to post for whatever reason. I had one fellow inform me in query, why post and address such ignorance? My response was that Martin Luther King Jr, and out parents confronted such ignorance in the face of death but it did not stop them for freedom most be aggressively pursued as Frantz Fanon wrote and cannot be given, for if it is it can also be taken back.
As men we must protect and serve our community as a collective. Meaning when we see any form of injustice we must assert our thoughts objectively in the stance for self determination. To do no such thing is unacceptable. Many of these folks, like the skinheads who were just recently exposed to have plotted to kill 88 African American college students, behead non-whites and murder Barack Obama; do so for they know that African American men will not stand to confront them as our ancestors did, men such as David Walker, Martin King Jr and Malcolm X.
They know and smell our aura of weakness and insecurity. And this makes no sense to me, for we will fight our own for calling us out of our name, or will tell a person who is washing our car that they missed a spot, before we would tell a skinhead that we don’t get down like that.
But they do what they do, for they know we Negro comfortable up in here. Yep, we got our Iphones, our 25 pair of air force ones, our big cars, but we don’t have the appreciation of knowledge when we know that there was once a time when folks did learn to read, if found out, their eyes would be removed from their heads and their tongues cut out. That alone should show one the importance of such. Instead we wait for other to tell us instead of have the patience to inform ourselves.
Maybe Frank Tannenbaum was correct when he wrote in Slave and Citizen about the history of America when he asserted “We have denied ourselves the acceptance of the Negro as a man because we have denied him the moral competence to become one, and in that have challenged the religious, political, and scientific bases upon which our civilization rest…and this separation has a historical basis, and in turn it has molded the varied historical outcome.” Yep we still thank we free, and even worse, are Negro comfortable up in here.
and this poem is for we:
Is my mind clear can I see?
I hold my TV and radio dear
Im Negro comfortable up in here
So what I care about the other
About stars and actors over there
Im Negro comfortable up in here
Yea, I don’t read, I listen to what they say
The drop date for lil Wayne’s new cd is near
Im Negro comfortable up in here
Yea im voting for Barack
Don’t know how he differs from McCain real clear
Im Negro comfortable up in here
Stocks and bonds and economics, say what
To busy waiting for VIP in club and BET with cold beer
“Acting with great principle in this time is not just a matter of moral high ground but also a matter of personal safety,” says Malkia Cyril. “What we need to not do is be paranoid. …What overcomes paranoia is principles.”
Ms. Bailey was among a shrinking number of people to have been born and educated on the island, where descendants of slaves have lived for generations, the isolation of island life allowing them to retain elements of West African traditions, language and religion that have become known as Gullah-Geechee culture.
That culture has been threatened over the decades by dispersion and, most recently, development pressures and high taxes. Ms. Bailey, as the unofficial historian of Sapelo, was among the leaders of efforts to preserve and pass along the island’s heritage, ends that she furthered through advocacy, entrepreneurialism and activities that included a fall cultural festival.
“She would always present the culture to anyone she could get across to,” said her friend Carletha Sullivan of the McIntosh County Shouters, a performance group that practices the tradition known as ring shouting. “If she knew someone who could do something pertaining to the Gullah-Geechee culture, she would always try to open a doorway for them.”
Ms. Bailey’s main preservation achievement may have simply been telling the stories of her ancestors and her own life, something she did eloquently in the memoir “God, Dr. Buzzard, and the Bolito Man: A Saltwater Geechee Talks About Life on Sapelo Island, Georgia” (2001, with Christena Bledsoe).
“Back in my youth in the 1940s and 1950s,” she wrote in the book, “we had five Geechee communities on Sapelo and more than 450 people. Today, we have one community left and fewer than 70 people; and I fear for the survival of my people on this island.”
Cornelia Walker Bailey was born on June 12, 1945. Her father, Hicks Walker, often worked for R. J. Reynolds Jr., the tobacco heir, at the mansion he owned on the island. The house had been the centerpiece of a plantation where, in the early 1800s, Thomas Spalding used slave labor to grow cotton, rice and sugar cane.
Ms. Bailey’s mother, Hettie Bryant, was, like many in the community, a believer in spirits; when the eyeglasses that she was sure she had left on a particular table would disappear, she would suspect a long-dead uncle of having moved them.
“Mama would call on the spirit of Uncle Shed to put her glasses back,” Ms. Bailey wrote, “and then she’d go and do her work and come back, and those glasses would be on the table right where she left them.”
Sapelo, which is about 11 miles long and part of a chain of barrier islands, is accessible only by boat or air. Today, almost all of it is owned by the state, but in the decades after the Civil War former slaves and their descendants bought land there and established several settlements. Ms. Bailey grew up in one of these, Belle Marsh, and wrote of a childhood that was both idyllic and rugged.
The family cooked with a wood stove, the dishes a genuine version of the Gullah cuisine trend now evident along the coast. They had, she wrote, “what most people would call an ‘outhouse’ but we called a ‘toilet,’ because we still used a few words from the French era of Sapelo and that was one of them.”
She would tell the story of how, when she was 3, she died — or so it appeared. She had become sick after eating unripe pears and seemed to expire. Her parents, who had already seen two infant sons die of fever, were preparing to bury her — they had a coffin made — when her mother’s sister, Mary, operating on some sixth sense, got some crushed garlic, “packed it in my nose, my mouth and God only knows where else, and I came around.”
After that, she said, everyone thought she had a some sort of special gift, an expectation that she could find burdensome.
“I just wanted to be a normal kid,” she wrote. “I didn’t want to be able to see the future or predict whether someone was gonna have a baby boy or girl. The only signs I wanted to read were the signs Papa could read from nature, like when the tide is right for fishing.”
Ms. Bailey traced her family to a man named Bilali Muhammad, an important slave on the Spalding plantation who is thought to have come from West Africa by way of the Caribbean and, like many other slaves, was a Muslim, a heritage evident in the distinctive Gullah-Geechee adaptations to the Christianity of their slave masters. When she was young, Ms. Bailey noted, children were taught to pray facing east; Sapelo women covered their hair in church.
Growing up, Ms. Bailey absorbed Gullah-Geechee culture even as she watched it shrink. It disappeared entirely from other barrier islands, and on Sapelo it was consolidated into one community, Hog Hammock, where she and her husband, Julius, acquired several pieces of property. They operated a guesthouse, the Wallow, and gave history-filled tours to visitors.
Ms. Bailey’s preservation battle was a difficult one, as young people left the island in search of higher education and jobs. In 1910 the island had a black population of 539; by 1970 it was estimated at 175, and when a reporter for The New York Times wrote about the island in 2012, it was around 50.
The island’s school closed in the 1970s. More recently, Sapelo’s limited amount of private land caught the eye of well-off people looking for vacation properties. Ms. Bailey did not want to see it go the way of nearby islands like Hilton Head, S.C., with its yachts and golf courses, and was blunt about her preferences.
“On the verge of sounding racist,” she told The Times in 2008, “which I have been accused of, which I don’t give a hoot — I would rather my community be all black. I would rather have my community what it was in the ’50s.”
In 2012, Hog Hammock residents were hit with a substantial property tax increase that some felt was an effort to drive out the remaining Geechee residents. “I call it cultural genocide,” Ms. Bailey said in a video interview in 2013. Some tax relief was negotiated, though the issue remains a concern.
In 2004, Ms. Bailey received a Governor’s Award in the Humanities for her preservation work.
Survivors include her husband as well as several children and grandchildren.
Although Gullah and Geechee — terms whose origins have been much debated and may trace to specific African tribes or words — are often used interchangeably these days, Ms. Bailey always stressed that she was Geechee. And, specifically, Saltwater Geechee (as opposed to the Freshwater Geechee, who lived 30 miles inland).
“We thought our speech was a bit more musical than theirs,” she wrote in her book, “because we talked a little faster, with fewer rest stops between our words, so that everything ran together. We’d listen to them and say, ‘Can’t they talk any faster than that? People don’t have all day.’ ”
Ms. Grovner said Ms. Bailey had been instrumental in a continuing effort by the Sapelo Island cultural society to establish a Geechee historical village on 25 acres on the island, where visitors could see how people cooked, planted and lived in times past.
“Hopefully we can get it up and going on her behalf,” Ms. Grovner said.
Roy Dotrice, a British stage, film and television actor who began performing as a prisoner of war in Germany and worked in Britain and America for six decades, notably in one-man shows portraying Abe Lincoln, the diarist John Aubrey and other historical figures, died on Monday at his home in London. He was 94.
His family confirmed the death, The Associated Press reported.
Hailed by critics for suffusing his character with fine-tuned blarney, malevolent passions and brooding gloom, Mr. Dotrice won the Tony Award for best featured actor in 2000 for his portrait of the conniving Irish father and pig farmer in an acclaimed Broadway revival of Eugene O’Neill’s “A Moon for the Misbegotten,” with Gabriel Byrne and Cherry Jones.
Reviewing the production in The New York Times, Ben Brantley wrote, “To watch Ms. Jones, Mr. Byrne and Roy Dotrice, who completes the triangle of principal performers, react to one another is to realize the degree to which O’Neill’s last completed play is about how everyone is an actor, a deceiver, by necessity.”
Mr. Dotrice appeared in more than 50 plays in London, New York and other cities, not counting some 300 more as a young British repertory stalwart. He performed for nine years with the troupe that became the Royal Shakespeare Company, took scores of roles in television and Hollywood films, and became familiar to millions on television series and mini-series broadcast on both sides of the Atlantic.
With a nimble voice that evoked creatures from realms of fantasy, Mr. Dotrice was a popular storyteller on albums and audiobooks. He narrated the epic tales of “The Lion King,” the adventures of Richard Adams’s rabbits in “Watership Down” and the myriad characters of “A Song of Ice and Fire,” the fantasy books by George R. R. Martin that were adapted for the hit HBO series “Game of Thrones.” He also had a small role in “Game of Thrones,” as Hallyne the Pyromancer, the head alchemist in the city of King’s Landing.
But Mr. Dotrice was perhaps best known for one-man shows, including “Brief Lives,” a portrayal of the 17th-century writer John Aubrey, which opened in London in 1967 and ran intermittently there and in the United States for years. Onstage for two and a half hours, his Aubrey ruminated insightfully on the lives of English worthies of his Elizabethan age. “Brief Lives” became one of the most successful solo productions of its generation, and won Mr. Dotrice a mention for a time in the Guinness Book of Records, with 1,782 nonconsecutive performances. (Hal Holbrook went on to give more nonconsecutive performances as Mark Twain.)
In another one-man tour de force, in 1980, Mr. Dotrice starred in Herbert Mitgang’s “Mister Lincoln” at Ford’s Theater in Washington, where Lincoln was slain in 1865, and later on Broadway and on PBS. He had immersed himself for months in Lincoln’s life, and colleagues said his renderings of Lincoln, and especially of the Gettysburg Address, were performances of remarkable subtlety and power. Mr. Mitgang, who wrote the play, was the author of two biographies of Lincoln. He also wrote for The New York Times.
“The role of Lincoln is probably one of the hardest to play of any historical character,” Frankie Hewitt, the play’s executive producer, told The Times. “If you try to humanize him, it can get corny and awkward, and if you try to play him larger than life, he is turned into a Disney World mechanical Lincoln. But Roy is such a superb actor, he succeeds where everyone else has basically failed.”
Roy Louis Dotrice was born on the Island of Guernsey, a British dependency off the French coast, on May 26, 1923, to Louis Dotrice, a Belgian pastry chef, and the former Neva Wilton, an English baker. In 1940, when Nazi troops occupied Guernsey, Roy and his mother escaped to Britain, where he joined the Royal Air Force and became a radio operator and gunner in a bomber.
On a raid in 1942, his plane was shot down over the Baltic. He and a few other survivors floated in a dinghy for days and were washed ashore. They were captured and spent the rest of the war as prisoners in Germany. To keep captive spirits up in the stalag, the prisoners staged makeshift plays. Mr. Dotrice’s first role was the Fairy Godmother in “Cinderella.”
“We didn’t have any real women, unfortunately,” he said.
After the war, he rejected a scholarship to the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art and plunged into acting. For 12 years he performed in, and sometimes directed, hundreds of plays in repertory companies, often a new production every week, in a thespian grind of lines, characters, plots and venues: Liverpool, Manchester and, he said, “every dreary North Country town.”
In 1947, he married Katherine Newman, an actress. They had three daughters, Michele, Yvette and Karen, who all became actresses. His wife died in 2007. His daughters survive him, as do seven grandchildren and a great-grandson, The A.P. reported.
In 1957, Mr. Dotrice joined the forerunner of the Royal Shakespeare Company in Stratford-upon-Avon, and for nine years he appeared as Hamlet, Iago, Falstaff, Julius Caesar and other Shakespearean characters with casts that included future luminaries of the British theater, including Charles Laughton and Albert Finney.
While he kept a home in London, Mr. Dotrice lived in Los Angeles and worked mostly in the United States after 1980. He appeared in New York stage productions of Ibsen’s “An Enemy of the People” (1985) and Harold Pinter’s “The Homecoming” (1991). On film, he portrayed Mozart’s father in Milos Forman’s “Amadeus” (1984) and a skating coach in Paul M. Glaser’s “The Cutting Edge” (1992).
On television, he played Charles Dickens in Masterpiece Theater’s 13-part “Dickens of London” (1976); a British monarch in the mini-series “Shaka Zulu” (1986); the father of the beast on the CBS crime series “Beauty and the Beast” (1987-90); and a priest on the CBS dramatic series “Picket Fences” (1993-96). In recent years he recorded many audiobooks, creating voices for hundreds of characters in the saga adapted for “Game of Thrones.”
Looking back on his career in an interview in 1980, Mr. Dotrice recalled one of his more unusual achievements: introducing baseball — learned from Canadian P.O.W.s during the war — to cricket-playing members of his Shakespeare troupe in 1959. He put together an “all-star” team to challenge Americans at a nearby air base.
“Paul Robeson played first base, Sam Wanamaker second and Laurence Olivier third,” he said. “Peter O’Toole was shortstop, Albert Finney was catcher, I pitched and Charles Laughton was umpire. We wore black tights and white Hamlet blouses. The women said, ‘Never mind the game, look at their legs.’”
Correction: October 16, 2017 An earlier version of this obituary misstated part of the name of the books by George R.R. Martin that were adapted for the television series “Game of Thrones.” It is “A Song of Ice and Fire,” not “Fire and Ice.”
BEAUTIFUL, ALSO, ARE THE SOULS OF MY BLACK SISTERS · A BLOGSITE FOR THE PRAISING OF ALL THINGS BEAUTIFUL AND SUBLIME IN HONOR OF ALL BLACK WOMEN. "ONLY THE BLACK WOMAN CAN SAY WHEN AND WHERE I ENTER, IN THE QUIET, UNDISPUTED DIGNITY OF MY WOMANHOOD, WITHOUT VIOLENCE AND WITHOUT SUING OR SPECIAL PATRONAGE, THEN AND THERE THE WHOLE. . .RACE ENTERS WITH ME." ANNA JULIA COOPER, 1892