July 01, 2008

CNN Black in America

From time to time, the Memorial Foundation will support the publication or broadcast of a variety of books, magazines, documentaries and movies.  CNN has conducting an extensive investigation into what it is to be Black in America.  Here's their ad.

Nelson Mandela Removed from FBI Terror Watch List

In honor of Nelson Mandela's 90th birthday on July 18th, President Bush saw to it that he be removed from the FBI's terror watch list, on which he had been placed over 30 years ago.  This will give Mandela the ability to visit the United States from now on without having to be given permission from the secretary of state.

Mandela had been placed on the terror watch list because of his involvement with the African National Congress, which in 1960, the Apartheid government had banned.  Mandela spent 27 years behind bars as a political prisoner.  In 1994, the African National Congress took control as the new governing body of South Africa.  Nelson Mandela was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for peacefully ending the Apartheid segregation.

June 27, 2008

Georgia Is Now The Granite State

Yes, "The Granite State" is the official nickname of New Hampshire, not Georgia. But given that a Georgia firm has been selected to help manage sources of domestic Granite for the King memorial - and some of the Granite may end up coming from Georgia ... at least for the time being, Georgia is our Granite State.

From an article in the Atlanta Journal Constitution:

Builders of a $100 million memorial to the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. have picked a Georgia-based granite firm to help line up sources of domestic stone for the monument.

Southeastern Granite Co.'s selection as a broker makes good on earlier promises to use domestic stone for a major chunk of the project, though key elements will still use imported. It also boosts the chances some will come from Georgia, officials said.

June 23, 2008

US Commission Of Fine Arts Approves Design

As reported in The Washington Post:

Members of a powerful federal arts commission expressed satisfaction yesterday with changes to a memorial statue of Martin Luther King Jr. after the architect smoothed away wrinkles in King's brow and reshaped the mouth to impart a hint of a smile.

June 19, 2008

Good News From Atlanta

Given the lede, the Atlanta Journal Constitution seems more interested in controversy, than progress, when it comes to the memorial. But the good news is impossible for them to hide.

After a fund-raising event Thursday in Atlanta, builders § will leave the city with only $5.2 million left to raise for the $100 million project.

The Martin Luther King Jr. National Project Foundation expects to collect $1.8 million in gifts from Nationwide Insurance, Delta Air Lines and CVS Caremark and from individual donors during a reception and fund-raising dinner at the Hyatt Regency Atlanta.

That will bring the money raised to date to $94.8 million, including nearly $5 million in corporate and individual donations out of Georgia. About 4,000 individuals across the state, primarily in metro Atlanta, have contributed $1.9 million of the total.

June 16, 2008

Obama on Father's Day

Obama gives a speech on Father's Day emphasizing the absence of the father in the American family, most notably, in the African American community.

Approaching: Juneteenth

A lesser known holiday by the nation as a whole is Juneteenth, also known as Freedom Day or Emancipation Day.  This is the day that word finally reached the last remaining town in the South stating that the slaves are now free.

Though Lincoln had issued the Emancipation Proclamation on September 22, 1862, it caused little change.  Spreading word of the the slaves' emancipation was resisted and slowed by the slave-owning south.  In Texas, nearly 3 years after the emancipation had been signed, Union General Gordon Granger and 2,000 federal troops marched into Galveston, TX to take possession of the state and enforce the emancipation of its slaves.

That day has since become known as Juneteenth, a name derived from a portmanteau of the words June and nineteenth.

Former slaves in Galveston rejoiced in the streets with jubilant celebrations. Juneteenth celebrations began in Texas the following year.[7] Across many parts of Texas, freed people pooled their funds to purchase land specifically for their communities’ increasingly large Juneteenth gatherings—including Houston’s Emancipation Park, Mexia’s Booker T. Washington Park, and Emancipation Park in Austin.[7] Juneteenth celebrations include a wide range of festivities, such as parades, street fairs, cookouts, or park parties and include such things as music and dancing or even contests of physical strength and intellect. Baseball and other popular American games may also be played.

Curiously, only 26 of our 50 United States observe the holiday.  Several states have proclaimed it an official state holiday while nearly half the nation does not consider this an event worthy of naming a holiday. 

Why not make it a federal holiday?

New Book On Dr. King

Hometown Source heads its list of summer reading with a new book on Dr. King.

The Word of the Lord is Upon Me,” by Jonathan Rieder (Harvard University Press, $29.95) takes a hard look at the enigmatic personality of Martin Luther King, basing his book on speeches, texts, and interviews with those who knew King best. Harvard prof Henry Louis Gates calls Rieder’s book “brilliant,” explaining that King’s command of both standard English and African American idioms made him the stunning preacher and leader he was.

June 12, 2008

Obama: Black, Or Bi-racial?

As The Black Factor blog points out, CNN Online thought enough of the question as to whether Barack Obama is "black," or "bi-racial" to ask its readers for an answer. As the blogger also points out, it's a shame the question wasn't on policy. However, as long as these questions seem to matter, is it accurate to portray Obama as a post-racial candidate? It appears to me he is more of a barrier breaker in that sense, than anything else.

A CNN reporter, Jason Carroll, posed a question to CNN online readers asking about Sen. Barack Obama’s racial identity. He says he received heated responses regarding whether or not Obama is Black or bi-racial.

Some Blacks and bi-racial people think that Obama is not Black. They say he is bi-racial, which is different. Obama refers to himself as Black because he says that’s what people see, when they look at him. It’s the same comment made by actress Halle Berry.

Anyway, it’s a shame that people are not focusing on Obama’s policies and ideas for the country because they are fixated on continuous discussions about his race and color. But, when we think of this country’s history, race and color are always going to be issues. Blacks even deal with these issues as a collective group.

June 10, 2008

The World's First Church?

Drudge has a Breitbart link to what some are calling the discovery of the world's first church. There are some artifacts in the image with that story. The Jordan Times has an image of the cave structure and what are believed to be seats of stone.

AMMAN - Lying underneath Saint Georgeous Church in Rihab, Mafraq, is what archaeologists describe as the first Christian church in the world.

“We have uncovered what we believe to be the first church in the world, dating from 33AD to 70AD,” said Archaeologist Abdul Qader Hussan, head of the Rihab Centre for Archaeological Studies.

The discovery was “amazing”, Hussan told The Jordan Times.

“We have evidence to believe this church sheltered the early Christians: the 70 disciples of Jesus Christ,” the scholar said.

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