Notebook on Michael Brown, Kajieme Powell, and W.E.B. Du Bois (part 1 of 2)

“No one seems to think it significant that upon the policemen’s arrival Kajieme Powell possibly had reason to fear for his life and reacted in a manner consistent with his disability.” ––Article excerpt (Aberjhani)

“Democracy is not a gift of power, but a reservoir of knowledge.” –– from The Wisdom of W.E.B. Du Bois

The month of August happens to be one in which a number of notable events in African-American history, relatively recent in historical terms, have occurred. There are the birthdays of such celebrated individuals as author James Baldwin (Aug. 2), President Barack Obama (Aug. 4), and philanthropist and performing artist Michael Jackson (Aug. 29).

From this point forward, people shall also certainly recall August 9, 2014, as the day when 18-year-old’s Michael Brown’s death served to ignite a series of violent night-time protests eerily reminiscent of similar scenes from the 1960s. The chaos also functioned as yet one more reminder of how readily the lives of African-American men are deleted from this world by violence.

With the 2009 killing of 22-year-old Oscar Grant in Oakland, Calif., the 2011 execution of Savannah’s 42-year-old Troy Anthony Davis, the 2012 shooting of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in Sanford, Florida, and the currently-pending case of 17-year-old Kendrick Johnson found dead in a rolled-up wrestling mat at his school in Lowndes County, Georgia, so fresh in recent memory, such a reminder was hardly necessary.

But there it painfully is. As Jaeah Lee reported in Mother Jones and others have written elsewhere, similar occurrences are far more frequent than many might imagine. This reality is nothing like advantageous diversity that many multiculturalists prefer to believe is possible for the United States. It also says much more about the cost of romanticizing faith in guns and violence than lawmakers and lobbyists seem willing to acknowledge.

To read the full special report article by Aberjhani please click here:
Notebook on Michael Brown, Kajieme Powell, and W.E.B. Du Bois part 1 of 2 – National African-American Art | Examiner.com.

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Savannah Talks Troy Anthony Davis No. 16: Davis Executed | Aberjhani | Blog Post | Red Room

Rev. Raphael Warnock talks with hostess Amy Goodman of Democracy Now during livestream broadcast. 

Rev. Raphael Warnock talks with Amy Goodman of Democracy Now during livestream broadcast.

 

After many people had made their peace with the idea of Georgia death-row inmate Troy Anthony Davis’ life ending at 7 p.m. on September 21, 2011, the U.S. Supreme Courts just after 7 p.m. issued a call for a “temporary delay” of his death, but then again at 10:20 said it would not block the execution.  Officials then announced that Davis was executed at 11:08 p.m. 

The planned execution of Davis for the 1989 murder of police officer Mark Allen MacPhail  topped news broadcasts on every major American television station Wednesday. Protests against the execution were staged globally in cities from Oslo and Paris to New York and Atlanta. The online television and radio program Democracy Now had scheduled a live stream broadcast from outside the Georgia Diagnostic and Classification Prison at Jackson, where Davis was executed, to last from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. The broadcast instead, with host Amy Goodman, lasted for four hours beyond that scheduled time.

For more please click this link:
Savannah Talks Troy Anthony Davis No. 16: Davis Executed | Aberjhani | Blog Post | Red Room.

Savannah Talks Troy Anthony Davis No. 15: Georgia Board Denies Clemency | Aberjhani | Blog Post | Red Room

Troy Anthony Davis (AP photo by Savannah News Press)

 

 

 Neither petitions bearing the names of almost one million people nor requests from such high-profile figures as former U.S. President Jimmy Carter and Pope Benedict XVI convinced the Georgia State Board of Pardons and Paroles to cancel the execution of Troy Anthony Davis scheduled to take place September 21.

With the Board presenting its announcement just one day before the planned execution, it appears that the two-decade-long struggle to free Troy Anthony Davis, following his conviction for the 1989 murder of Savannah police officer Mark Allen MacPhail, may soon come to an end.

The Board listened to hours of testimony from Davis’ supporters and prosecutors before choosing to reject his appeal for clemency. The inmate’s case over the past twenty years has created a forum for debates over the constitutionality of the death penalty and raised many questions about effectiveness and fair practices where the American judicial systems is concerned. It has also forced the families of the slain Officer MacPhail and the imprisoned Davis to live with the ongoing pain generated by of a lack of closure.

For more on the call for clemency from Angela Davis and others please click this link:
Savannah Talks Troy Anthony Davis No. 15: Board Denies Clemency

by Aberjhani
Savannah Talks Troy Anthony Davis No. 15: Georgia Board Denies Clemency | Aberjhani | Blog Post | Red Room.

Savannah Talks Troy Anthony Davis No. 14: Death Order Signed | Aberjhani | Blog Post | Red Room

Savannah Talks Troy Anthony Davis No. 14: Death Order Signed | Aberjhani | Blog Post | Red Room.

Martina Davis-Correia (left) with the late Virginia Davis, sister and mother (respectively) of Georgia death-row inmate Troy Anthony Davis. Please click link above for story.

The Approaching 100th Anniversary of the Harlem Renaissance

Post card with image of the great Harlem Renaissance author Zora Neale Hurston.

 

 

 

The celebration of major historic milestones is a favorite pastime in pretty much every culture. This year, 2011, in the United States many are commemorating the 150th Anniversary of the American Civil War. That means four years from now numerous festivities will take place to observe the same anniversary for Jubilee Day, or the liberation of America’s slaves.

In addition, countries around the world are currently honoring the first United Nations-declared International Year  for People of African Descent.

Flip the calendar forward by almost a decade and we find ourselves approaching another major milestone: the 100th anniversary of the beginning of the Harlem Renaissance. The past couple of years have already seen celebrations of the centennials of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and the National Urban League. Both organizations during the Harlem Renaissance played key roles–– as advocates for racial equality and as publishers of influential magazines that featured prize-winning works by now major authors like Dorothy West, Jean Toomer, and Zora Neale Hurston.

Exactly When did the Harlem Renaissance Start?

For proposed answers to the above question please click here .

by Aberjhani

Savannah Talks Troy Anthony Davis No. 12: U.S. Supreme Court Denies Appeal

Troy Anthony Davis (photo by AP and Savannah News Press) 

Troy Anthony Davis (photo by AP and Savannah News Press)

Having attempted to obtain his freedom for more than twenty years, Georgia death-row inmate Troy Anthony Davis may have lost his final chance when on March 28, 2011, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that it would neither review Davis’s requested appeal itself nor order the Federal Appeals Court in Atlanta to do so.

Davis and supporters have been battling for his freedom since he was convicted and sentenced to death for the 1989 murder of off-duty police officer Mark Allen MacPhail in Savannah. He has been scheduled to be put to death three times but each time obtained a stay of execution pending further investigation into his case. Davis had long contended that a review of new evidence would establish his innocence, and when seven out of nine witnesses recanted their testimonies against him, it appeared the legal tide might eventually turn in his favor.

However, although the Supreme Court did order an evidentiary hearing held for Davis last summer, Judge William T. Moore ruled in the hearing that revised statements and the proposed new evidence were not sufficient to confirm Davis’s innocence. He publicly chided Davis’s defense team for their handling of the case even as he himself acknowledged that as yet some doubt did remain regarding the likelihood of Davis’s guilt.

“Passing the Buck”

While Davis’s family and supporters have understandably been fighting for his release, the family members of slain Officer MacPhail have expressed their belief that Davis is guilty and have rallied for his execution.

Upon hearing the news of the Supreme Court’s most recent decision, Davis’s sister Martina Davis-Correia told news reporters, “It’s troubling, it’s upsetting, it’s like everyone wants to pass the buck and no one wants to address the real issue of actual innocence.”

That “passed buck” now sits in the hands of the Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles, a five-member board known to almost never postpone executions.

At this point, Georgia state officials are basically free to move ahead with Davis’s execution. Ironically enough, earlier in March federal regulators seized the state’s supply of the drug sodium thiopental, which is one of the key drugs used to administer lethal injections. Doubts have been raised about how the state obtained its supply of the drug and consequently all executions in Georgia have been placed on hold.

Despite the current outlook, Davis-Correia, who has been waging her own personal battle against cancer, has vowed on behalf of her brother “to continue to fight.”

This is the twelfth installment of Aberjhani’s Savannah Talks Troy Anthony Davis Series.  For part one, please click here . To make sure you catch future installments, please sign up for a free subscription.

by Aberjhani

Continue the discussion on redroom.com

Savannah Talks Troy Anthony Davis No. 11: Judge Moore says “Not innocent”

Savannah Talks Troy Anthony Davis No. 11: Judge Moore says “Not innocent” – National African-American Art.