Youth and the Myth of Post-Racial Society

Henry A. Giroux, Truthout: "With the election of Barack Obama, it has been argued that not only will the social state be renewed in the spirit and legacy of the New Deal, but that the punishing racial state and its vast complex of disciplinary institutions will, if not come to an end, at least be significantly reformed. From this perspective, Obama's presidency not only represents a post-racial victory, but also signals a new space of post-racial harmony. While 'post-racial' may mean less overt racism, the idea that we have moved into a post-racial period in American history is not merely premature - it is an act of willful denial and ignorance."


A Black President Doesn't Mean Racism Is Gone in America

Peter Phillips, Truthout: "Racial inequality remains problematic in the US. People of color continue to experience disproportionately high rates of poverty, unemployment, police profiling, repressive incarceration and school segregation. According to a new civil rights report, 'Reviving the Goal of an Integrated Society: A 21st Century Challenge,' by Gary Orfield, schools in the US are currently 44 percent nonwhite, and minorities are rapidly emerging as the majority of public school students. Latinos and blacks are the two largest minority groups. However, black and Latino students attend schools more segregated today than during the civil rights era."



EBONY's May issue, with Oscar nominees Viola Davis and Taraji P. Henson on the cover, names 'THE EBONY POWER 150: THE MOST INFLUENTIAL BLACKS IN AMERICA,' including President Obama, Rep. James Clyburn 40 other House members, Donna Brazile, Gwen Ifill, Mayor Fenty, Michael Steele, Soledad O'Brien, Don Lemon, General Powell, Oprah and Dr. William H. (Bill) Cosby Jr.

Also: 'POWER BEHIND THE POWER: TOP BLACKS IN THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION': 'Brought together by EBONY magazine on the White House grounds for the first time since Inauguration Day, they are part of a team put together by the president to carry forth his vision for the country. With one look at the historic collection of dynamic advisers-12, the most African- Americans ever in such high-powered positions within the White House-it is obvious that change has already come to the nation's capital.'

The remarkable photo includes Lisa Jackson, administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency; Eric Holder, attorney general; Valerie Jarrett, senior adviser; Susan Rice, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations; (standing, l. to r.) Melody Barnes, director of the White House Domestic Policy Council; Joshua DuBois, director of the White House Council for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships; Ron Kirk, U.S. trade representative; Desirée Rogers, White House social secretary; Mike Strautmanis, chief of staff to the assistant to the president for Intergovernmental Relations and Public Liaison; and Rob Nabors, deputy director of the Office of Management and Budget.

And in 'A GREAT DAY AT THE WHITE HOUSE: AFRICAN-AMERICANS IN THE WHITE HOUSE PRESS CORPS,' Kevin Chappell (called on by President Obama at the last presser) reports that the press corps includes 'a record number of African-Americans who intensely cover the most watched president ever. Ebony magazine has gathered for the first time these nearly two dozen journalists in the White House press briefing room for a historic photograph of Black writers, editors, producers, correspondents, photographers and cameramen. They range from energetic newbies covering their first administration to grizzled veterans who have seen presidents come and go. They work for a variety of outlets, including mainstream media, African-American mainstays and Internet-only operations. While many of them were proud at the thought of the first African-American president, these journalists each day ask the tough questions, reject evasive answers and go after the news wherever it may lead. It's not personal. It's their job.'

The photograph includes: Pamela Gentry, senior political analyst for BET.com; April Ryan, White House correspondent for American Urban Radio; Suzanne Malveaux, White House correspondent for CNN; Nia-Malika Henderson, writer for POLITICO; Lauren V. Burke, freelance photographer; Darlene Superville, writer for The Associated Press; Michael Fletcher, White House correspondent for The Washington Post; Dayo Olopade, Washington correspondent for TheRoot.com; Athena Jones, NBC producer; Dan Lothian, White House correspondent for CNN; Giaco Riggs, cameraman for CNN; Andre Showell, reporter BET News; Kevin Chappell, senior editor for EBONY and Jet magazines; Karen Ann Carr, writer for Washington Waterfront News; Tony Umrani, cameraman for CNN; Rodney Batten, cameraman for NBC; Tony Butler, cameraman for NBC; Doug Perkins, freelance cameraman for CBS and The Associated Press; and Edward Lewis, cameraman for FOX. Not pictured are Hazel Trice Edney of the National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA), Cynthia Gordy of Essence magazine and Wendell Goler of FOX News Channel.

Source: Mike Allen's POLITICO Playbook Daily Update


John Hope, the Prince Who Refused the Kingdom

Henry Louis Gates Jr., The Root: "When I was 20, I decided to hitchhike across the African continent, more or less following the line of the equator, from the Indian Ocean to the Atlantic. I packed only one pair of sandals and one pair of jeans to make room for the three hefty books I had decided to read from cover to cover: Don Quixote, Moby Dick and From Slavery to Freedom: A History of Negro Americans. I read the latter - the black-and-white-bound third edition of John Hope Franklin's 1947 book - while sailing down the Congo River and recovering from a nasty bout of dysentery. It became such a valued reference for me that I kept it, for years, in the bookcase at my bedside."


Gill Scott Heron - The Revolution Will Not Be Televised

Gil Scott-Heron turned 60 on April 1st

Gil Scott-Heron stands as a towering figure of black popular music. With a masters in creative writing from Johns Hopkins, the writer, poet, composer, pianist, and modern-day griot is a true artist in an industry lacking true artistry.

Scott-Heron emerged in the early 1970s with albums such as What’s Going On and There’s A Riot Goin’ On. By 1970, there was a profound shift in the struggle for equality as the fight for civil rights gave way to the demand for Black Power. The Civil Rights Movement had lost its focus, being ripped apart by differing interest groups and ignored by a wartime US government. The voices of its leaders were silenced by jail or bullets.

Black popular music reflected this change. The voices on the radio stopped preaching brotherhood and togetherness and started reporting the facts, and the music got more aggressive. Leading the new attack was a new voice: articulate, uncompromising, and enraged. The voice held the light up to the country’s missteps and shook up an apathetic audience. The voice was Gil Scott-Heron’s. Scott-Heron was born in Chicago in 1949. He grew up in Lincoln, Tennessee and later the Chelsea neighborhood of the Bronx.

As a student, he admired the poetry of Langston Hughes and followed his footsteps by enrolling in Lincoln University. By age 20, he completed the novel The Vulture and the book of poetry, Small Talk At 125th & Lenox. The Vulture was an auspicious beginning, heralded by Essence as "a strong start for a writer with important things to say." In the 1970’s, Scott-Heron hooked up with Flying Dutchman records to produce several important albums including Pieces of Man and Free Will.

During the 1980s, for Arista label, Scott-Heron released twelve albums. Then, after a twelve-year break, he signed with TVT Records and released Spirits in 1993. The first cut of this album, "Message To The Messenger," is a warning to today’s rappers, urging them to take responsibility in their art and in their communities. Since then, he has played to sell-out crowds all over the world, performing at major festivals in England and the United States, including New York’s Central Park.

The revolution will no be televised
You will not be able to stay home, brother.
You will not be able to plug in, turn on and cop out.
You will not be able to lose yourself on skag and skip,
Skip out for beer during commercials,
Because the revolution will not be televised.

The revolution will not be televised.
The revolution will not be brought to you by Xerox
In 4 parts without commercial interruptions.
The revolution will not show you pictures of Nixon
blowing a bugle and leading a charge by John
Mitchell, General Abrams and Spiro Agnew to eat
hog maws confiscated from a Harlem sanctuary.

The revolution will not be televised.
The revolution will not be brought to you by the
Schaefer Award Theatre and will not star Natalie
Woods and Steve McQueen or Bullwinkle and Julia.
The revolution will not give your mouth sex appeal.
The revolution will not get rid of the nubs.
The revolution will not make you look five pounds
thinner, because the revolution will not be televised, Brother.

There will be no pictures of you and Willie May
pushing that shopping cart down the block on the dead run,
or trying to slide that color television into a stolen ambulance.
NBC will not be able predict the winner at 8:32
or report from 29 districts.
The revolution will not be televised.

There will be no pictures of pigs shooting down
brothers in the instant replay.
There will be no pictures of pigs shooting down
brothers in the instant replay.
There will be no pictures of Whitney Young being
run out of Harlem on a rail with a brand new process.
There will be no slow motion or still life of Roy
Wilkens strolling through Watts in a Red, Black and
Green liberation jumpsuit that he had been saving
For just the proper occasion.

Green Acres, The Beverly Hillbillies, and Hooterville
Junction will no longer be so damned relevant, and
women will not care if Dick finally gets down with
Jane on Search for Tomorrow because Black people
will be in the street looking for a brighter day.
The revolution will not be televised.

There will be no highlights on the eleven o'clock
news and no pictures of hairy armed women
liberationists and Jackie Onassis blowing her nose.
The theme song will not be written by Jim Webb,
Francis Scott Key, nor sung by Glen Campbell, Tom
Jones, Johnny Cash, Englebert Humperdink, or the Rare Earth.
The revolution will not be televised.

The revolution will not be right back
after a message about a white tornado, white lightning, or white people.
You will not have to worry about a dove in your
bedroom, a tiger in your tank, or the giant in your toilet bowl.
The revolution will not go better with Coke.
The revolution will not fight the germs that may cause bad breath.
The revolution will put you in the driver's seat.

The revolution will not be televised, will not be televised,
will not be televised, will not be televised.
The revolution will be no re-run brothers;
The revolution will be live.