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  1. Happy Birthday to Marcus Garvey Considering Marcus Garvey saw the caribbean or north america during his life as places that Black people needed to get away from, when you think of the struggles/challenges/unhappiness in Black Americans <Blacks or Negras from Canada/USA/MExico/JAmaica/HAiti/Dominican Republic/Puerto Rico/Trinidad/Colombia/Venezuela/Brazil/Chile/Argentina or any other land in the American continent> in the American Continent, was MArcus Garvey proven right about the inefficacy of Black people living side Whites? Side the best efficacy of Blacks when they live mostly around Blacks? And today happens to be MArtin Luther King Jr Day I quote MArtin Luther King Jr the third concernng voting rights legislation ""he would be greatly disappointed in the leadership in the Senate...that it's chosen so far not to get this done"" MLK the Third either is using very well constructed language or doesn't know his father. Disappointment today refers to an unfulfilled desire or want. Not, to remove from office. if MLK the third is suggesting MLK jr. will desire senators be disappointed. I 100% concur to that. MLK jr. always said in words how dysfunctional the class of elected officials are to the improvement of the populace in the U.S.A. If MLK the third is suggesting MLK jr. desired or thought the congress of the usa will act in the betterment of voting rights, Ihe doesn't know his father. MLK jr. wasn't an elected official for a simple reason. That path doesn't lead to the freedom leaded to tell the truth, to lead the people when what has to be said can't be a lie. Tomorrow is the anniversary of the battle of Hayes-Pond. https://www.lumbeetribe.com/ Happy birthday Sade Nothing can come between us- For the distant lovers The Sweetest Taboo- For the secret lovers Love is stronger than Pride - For the long time lovers <NEar my favorite Sade song, though I don't have a clear favorite> Smooth operator- For the players Is it a crime- for the mistresses or ladies of the evening out there And just so you know, Sade's early videos had an interwoven story about her and a guy if you notice:)
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  2. DC Milestone (dcuniverse.com) NEW VOICES. NEW VISIONARIES IT’S TIME TO WRITE A NEW CHAPTER IN THE SUPERHERO STORY. If stories are what shape the world we live in, then the storytellers should reflect that world. The Milestone Initiative is looking for the next generation of Black and diverse comic book creators. DC Superhero In 1993, four Black creators created Milestone Comics: a new universe of Black Super Heroes, brought to life by Black creators and other artists of color. Milestone didn’t just change the way our heroes looked. It built a pipeline for talent who had been excluded and marginalized for too long, and an ecosystem in which Black creativity could thrive. Now, with the relaunch of Milestone Comics and the creation of The Milestone Initiative, we want to honor the creators of Milestone by continuing their mission. But we can’t do it without you. DC Superhero MAKE YOUR MARK Do you have a story to tell? Do your experiences, imagination, and perspective go beyond the limits of what you see on TV, in movies, and in other media? If you live and breathe comics, and you’re an emerging Black artist or writer —or a creator from an underrepresented group —we’re looking for you to join The Milestone Initiative. The path to a sustainable creative career in this competitive industry will never be an easy one. You already know that —you’ve spent years honing your craft on your own. But with The Milestone Initiative, we hope to give you the support you need to make that hard work pay off. The next step starts here. DC Summit THE SUMMIT Participants in The Milestone Initiative will be invited to a one-week summit, hosted by WarnerMedia, DC, and Ally, where they’ll make connections, create community, and begin an immersive course to help hone creative skills and better understand the comic book industry. WHEN 02.14.22 – 02.18.22 WHERE BURBANK, CA 1. ARRIVE If you’re selected to participate in The Milestone Initiative, your journey will begin with the Milestone Summit. You’ll travel at our expense to DC’s headquarters in Burbank, to meet legendary creators, editors, and executives in the comics and entertainment industries. 2. LEARN Under the mentorship of some of the most prominent names in comics, as well as Ally’s team of financial experts, you’ll receive in-depth, substantive instruction about building a creative life and earning a living in this field. You’ll hone your creative skills, but you’ll also learn the business of the comics industry and receive advice on sustaining a long-term career. Following the Milestone Summit, you’ll go home and participate in an 8-week virtual course, where you’ll receive technical training through best-in-class cartooning and graphic art school The Kubert School. 3. CREATE It won’t be easy —throughout this multi-week course, you’ll be working as well as learning, crafting stories with your fellow participants. At the end of this journey you’ll come away with polished work that will showcase your unique talents, new knowledge, and skills and you'll have a pathway into the DC talent community if you want to pursue it. 4. IGNITE The Milestone Initiative doesn’t end with the the completion of the coursework. The team from DC will remain in contact with all participants in the months following and will work with them to find appropriate comics assignments and other work that will help them continue to grow as creators and further their careers with DC and in the comics world. HOW TO APPLY The Milestone Initiative is open to Black and other underrepresented creators who are ready to enter the comic book industry at a professional level. You’ve got the talent, you’ve put in the hours of practice, and this is the opening you’ve been waiting for. Think you have what it takes? Get ready to dive into the application. You have a story to tell. We want to hear it. PROCESS DC Milestone Now a quick reality check: we know you’re serious, and we’re serious too. So this application is going to take some time. We think it’s worth it. STEP 1: 10-20 MINUTES First, we’ll ask you for a bit of biographical information. We’ll also ask you to provide us with links to a few existing pieces of completed original work, to give us a sense of your creative voice and vision. STEP 2: 5-7 DAYS The next sections are where you should plan wisely. We’ll be asking you to put your talent and skills into action by completing a short assignment. If you’re an artist, that will mean drawing three comic pages based on a script we provide; if you’re a writer, you’ll be creating a script for an 8 page story based on a loose prompt we’ve created. STEP 3: 2-3 DAYS Finally, we want writers and artists to answer a few, short essay questions and tell us who you are as a creator. Describe your voice and your vision —what do you believe you have to offer the world? The answers won’t take long to write, but they will take some time to think about. (And artists, don’t be intimidated if writing isn’t your thing. We’re looking for substance here, not style.) Got it? Get started. You don’t have to complete everything now —our system can save your work, just make sure to click “Save Draft” at the bottom of the page so you can begin now and tackle it a piece at a time. DC Superpowered WHAT IS THE MILESTONE INITIATIVE? Superman wasn’t just the first superhero: he was an immigrant, an American, and an enduring symbol of our shared ideals. But as an explosion of comic book heroes took place over the second half of the 20th century, there was something missing. Despite an enduring Black readership, it took decades before the first Black heroes appeared, and once they did, they remained uncommon. Even the most prominent Black heroes usually appeared in stories written and illustrated by white creators. Enter Dwayne McDuffie, Denys Cowan, Michael Davis, and Derek T. Dingle. With talent, vision, and tenacity, these four Black creators carved a place for themselves in an industry that didn’t always welcome or understand them. Despite their success, they were frustrated by the dearth of other Black creators in their field, and the resistance they met in trying to tell stories that reflected their own experiences and perspectives. DC story-1-480 So they founded Milestone Media —a company that placed Black superheroes at the center of the action with their Milestone comics line, and which would make an inclusive space for Black and underrepresented comic book creators to flourish and succeed. Milestone hit like a space pod crashing to Earth —and its impact has continued to this day. Now, Milestone Media, is helmed by Reginald Hudlin and Denys Cowan, and DC is relaunching Milestone Comics and reintroducing its characters to new audiences, but we understand that there’s still much more work to be done to continue the mission of Milestone’s founders. That’s why, with Ally as our partner, we’ve created The Milestone Initiative. While Milestone Media is about telling the stories of Black heroes, The Milestone Initiative is about empowering the creators who can tell those stories in ways that are resonant, real, and revolutionary. The program is part of DC’s talent development program, Next Generation DC (NGDC), and is designed to identify, educate, spotlight, and empower the next generation of Black and diverse creators in our field so that the stories of the next century are truly reflective of the world around us. Throughout American history —in the comic book industry as well as in other creative fields —Black and other underrepresented creators have been consistent innovators and visionaries despite systems that work to exclude them. Now, as comic books take center stage in popular culture, DC, WarnerMedia, and Ally want to change that with The Milestone Initiative. The Milestone Media founders started the mission. It’s time for you to pick up their mantle. DC story-2-480 READY TO MAKE YOUR MARK? SUBMIT YOUR APPLICATION FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS DC Milestone (dcuniverse.com)
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  4. In one article, the author suggest Hollywood is broken up into parts, a white hollywood side unspoken hollywoods, while also suggesting hollywood is aracial, which means the owners are blocking an inherent universality in hollywood. He suggest Mary Alice isn't a household name, but then states she was a household name in black households... what are the points I am getting at? First, this article doesn't honor Mary Alice enough. It focuses on her work in one show, but doesn't refer to her work in los angeles for an august wilson play. I think fences. Honor artist by referring to their work. Second, for someone who loves to learn about race teaching, the opinion author forgets that opportunity in fiscal capitalism has one source, owner. Opportunity in fiscal capitalism is never about merit. It is about the owner. Who the owner wants to help. I repeat, who the owner wants to help. ... the author's point is Mary Alice was denied the career she should had by the mismanagement of fiscal capitalism in the film /television industry in the USA. Meaning what? The owners of film studios side tv stations <and later streaming/cable or other> should give opportunity based on the content of character, not the color of skin. But, If I own a film studio and I have all the films I want to produce in the fiscal year in preproduction except one. Do I give the one slot, the directors chair, to my son who didn't graduate high school, has no experience in the industry or do I give it to a graduate of howard who won awards from spike lee+ oprah winfrey + robert townsend+ in Nollywood? I will give it to my son. why? I am a racist. My bloodline is important to me over those who are not. Sequentially, i Have a negative bias towards my clan. Penultimate from the conclusion, I use the third point, ownership is the key to opportunity in fiscal capitalism. The owner can choose to give opportunity on some scale of merit. But the owner is not obliged to. You own so that you control what you do, and you can never be wrong. You may lose money. You may be cruel or mean spirited. But you are not wrong because you are the owner. Mary Alice was failed by impotency in Black Hollywood not White Hollywoods opportunity to white thespians OR impotency of Black producers in Hollywood to provide support to Black thespians, not White producers in Hollywoods support of White thespians. I can say more but I will agress https://www.huffpost.com/entry/mary-alice-career-black-hollywood_n_62e810f7e4b0d0ea9b79a233 Nichelle Nichols side Bill Russell https://aalbc.com/tc/profile/6477-richardmurray/?status=2004&type=status BlackWood https://aalbc.com/tc/profile/6477-richardmurray/?status=1981&type=status P.S. The NBA is white owned. The NBA didn't accept the HArlem Rens , who played in the now destroyed Renaissance Ballroom. They had a black owner. The Negro Leagues didn't have all black owners, but had many. The American + National leagues , all with white owners could join but couldn't join with Black owners. Ownership matters. Black people keep suggesting a white man has to look out for non white people in the ownership position. No a white man doesnn't
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  5. May your spirit fly high Nichelle Nichols Uhura LINK Uhura tuning Vulcan lute LINK Uhura singing beyond Antares LINK Bill Russell's spirit flew as well, the most honest Black basketball in media ever on coaching LINK on Black Youth LINK I PAraphrase Bill russell, use the link above to verify or read the whole"You have guys who have been pampered for 10-15 years. So you can't say this is an example. Or this is an average guy. Most athletes, my self included, are self centered. Maybe psychologically that is why we plays sports, but it is not normal. ... If i am going to go into Harlem, and go to a play ground and say to kids, if you work hard you can do the same thing I did, that would be a lie. That would be unfair to myself and unfair to the kids. I can say to the kids, do your best and fight it everyday. But to say I am an example of the greatness of the country, that is not true. If I am going to be honest to myself, I am an exception and have treated as an exception for years and years. The problem is I am only treated as an exception in certain areas. "
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  6. The Wild Seeds Writers Retreat for Writers of Color (formerly the North Country Institute & Retreat for Writers of Color), is a collaboration with the Center for Black Literature, the English Department at SUNY, Plattsburgh, and the Paden Institute and Retreat for Writers. It provides a writing community where established and emerging writers of color can focus on the craft of writing and create cross-cultural conversations around the literature created by writers of the African diaspora. Writing fellows have an opportunity to draw upon their experiences as writers in a racialized society; to become knowledgeable about the issues facing other writers of color; and to study with a professional in the genres of fiction, memoir, and poetry. Recognizing that the Writers Retreat should not be limited to a specific geographical region, the Center renamed the Retreat in honor of Octavia E. Butler, a speculative fiction writer known globally for blending science fiction with African American spiritualism. Butler's writing crossed many boundaries and represented varying diverse voices. The Goal The Retreat strives to provide writers of color with an opportunity to meet other writers; to workshop their writing among peers; and to engage with published writers about concerns and issues related to writing and publishing. Through its writing workshops leaders, the Retreat provides the public with an opportunity to become knowledgeable about the range and diversity of the work produced by writers of color. A Look Back The first Writers' Retreat, held in 2004, was highly successful and featured the internationally acclaimed poet Sonia Sanchez, author Tony Medina, and writer Indira Ganesan. Subsequent faculty workshop leaders have been nonfiction writer Patrice Gaines; poets Martin Espada, E. Ethelbert Miller, Aracelis Girmay, and Patricia Spears Jones; and writers Jeffery Renard Allen, Marita Golden, Victor LaValle, and Bernice McFadden, among many others. Typically, the Retreat alternates between the Valcour Educational and Conference Center in Plattsburgh, New York, and the campus of Medgar Evers College in Brooklyn, New York. Venues are subject to change. NEW LOCATION for SUMMER 2022 The new location for the Retreat will be determined soon. It will be a scenic location Upstate New York as in previous years. As of early April 2022, the summer retreat will no longer be held at SUNY, New Paltz (The State University of New York, New Paltz) as previously announced. Previous Poetry, Fiction, and Playwriting Workshop Leaders Jeffery Renard Allen Mo Beasley Martin Espada Patrice Gaines Indira Ganesan Aracelis Girmay Marita Golden Tonya Cherie Hegamin Donna Hill Major Jackson Sandra Jackson-Opoku Patricia Spears Jones Victor LaValle E. Ethelbert Miller Bernice McFadden Shaun Neblett Greg Pardlo Willie Perdomo Ernesto Quiñonez Sonia Sanchez Ravi Shankar PLEASE NOTE: Applications < https://centerforblackliterature.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/WSWR_AppSummer2022_REVISED11April.pdf > are available now. The deadline to apply is Monday, May 16, 2022. The cost of the Retreat is $600 and there is a one-time non-refundable $25 application fee. Scholarships are made available only when sponsorship gifts permit and are not necessarily applicable for each Retreat. Please direct inquiries to Director of Literary Programs Clarence V. Reynolds at reynolds@centerforblackliterature.org
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  7. HAppy Valentines Day!! Enjoy the calligraphy or poetry Title: The Last FLail Author/Artist: Richard Murray Colored version https://www.deviantart.com/hddeviant/art/Valentine-s-Day-2022-Color-gif-906988319 Black and White- if you color it , do tell https://www.deviantart.com/hddeviant/art/Valentine-s-Day-2022-BW-906988146 Audio version- if you like to listen, not just read https://www.kobo.com/audiobook/the-last-flail
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  8. Mel Hopkins < https://aalbc.com/tc/profile/18-mel-hopkins/ > said on the post < https://aalbc.com/tc/topic/8495-what-do-you-want-out-of-life/ > Mel Hopkins said: To know what purpose the human species serves. It appears every other species are caretakers of this planet - and accomplishes their role in the ecosystem. I'd like to know the human's purpose. Click and drag to move MY REPLY the purpose of the human species in relation to earth is like all other children of earth, to live on earth. The great problem with humans is the idea that earth can be killed by humans, it can't. If all the nuclear bombs went off and tons of pollution was made, the earth will not die. Many children of earth will die, but not the earth. The earth, like any lifeform, will heal itself. IT will take the earth a while but it will eventually.
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  9. A question was asked: What do you want out of life? https://aalbc.com/tc/topic/8495-what-do-you-want-out-of-life/ My reply To the individual, Knowing what you want is like knowing oneself, sometimes it doesn't happen in seventy years. Somestimes it happened when one is five years old. To the group,the similar atemporal occurence is true. A group may not find its self in hundreds of years. A group may find itself in a minute. But groups have added elements in knowing what y'all want. Unlike an individual a group doesn't have the luxury of singular trust, a group must have faith in its unique parts to survive whatever it wants. It also doesn't have the simplicity of individual philosophy. An individual can say, I believe but a group rarely has a philosophical cohesion throughout its body. Whether an individual or group, knowing what one wants is like knowing self, it is not determined by school age or determined by some lifestyle algorithm, it is unknown when it will happen. I think a deeper question than knowing what one wants is knowing how to wait till you know. Many individuals or groups in their quest to know, don't act with patience or act with rigid philosophy or viewpoints. Before you know what one wants, one has to live not knowing what one wants. Every baby lives said life. All babies want is happiness of life and they have an open mind continually searching for who they are until they know. How many individuals or groups are open minded?
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  10. Brooklyn’s Lost Black City Of Weeksville: A Hidden Gem Of Pre-Civil War Black Excellence Tucked away deep inside the history of one of New York City’s most famous boroughs is the extraordinary story of a little town called ‘Weeksville’. Bilal G. Morris Written By Bilal G. Morris Posted January 17, 2022 Many of our stories of Black Excellence are buried beneath the sands of time, never to truly be uncovered. But history leaves breadcrumbs, and if you follow them, you’re bound to find an amazing story. Tucked away deep inside the history of one of New York City’s most famous boroughs is the extraordinary story of a little town called ‘Weeksville’. When we think of slavery we don’t usually think of New York, but the state didn’t end the practice until 1827. In 1801, Kings County, which today is known as the borough of Brooklyn, was still primarily under Dutch rule. More than one-quarter of the inhabitants were Black slaves. Nearly 60% of households in Kings County were slave owners. Slavery in Brooklyn was vastly different than the plantation-style slavery adopted by southern whites. It was more ingrained into the northern culture and economy. Families usually owned a smaller number of slaves and the slaves usually lived in the same house as their owners. Families who did not own slaves would regularly rent them from their neighbors. Although slavery was on its way out in New York, it was a way of life for thousands of Blacks who called Brooklyn their home. By 1820 there were just 518 slaves in New York City and a thriving free Black population of over 10,000. But in Kings County, there were 879 slaves, almost the same amount as free Blacks in the county. During The Panic of 1837 wealthy white landowners began liquidating their holdings in fear of losing money on their assets and properties. Smart and savvy free Black men saw this as an opportunity and began to buy plots of land from wealthy whites who would sell. In 1837 The Abolitionist and Black community leader Henry C. Thompson purchased 32 lots from wealthy Brooklynite John Lefferts. The Lefferts family estate was comprised of most of what is now known as Bedford Stuyvesant and Crown Heights section of Brooklyn. A year later, Thompson would begin to sell the lots to free Blacks in Brooklyn, selling two of the lots to James Weeks a longshoreman with a vision of a self-sufficient Black community hidden within the slopes and valleys of Bedford Hills, secluded from the rest of Brooklyn. The seclusion would not only keep the town’s residents safe from the white and dangerous world around them but would also grant them the freedoms to build a self-sufficient community with education at the forefront. By The 1850s Weeksville was home to more than 550 free Black People. It was the second-largest free Black community in Antebellum America. The town had one of the highest property and business ownership rates for any Black community in the country. Weeksville was steeped in Black American history. The town’s school, Colored School No. 2, would eventually become PS 68, which after the Civil War would become the first integrated school in America. Weeksville was also home to the nation’s first Black newspaper the ‘Freedman’s Torchlight. Susan Smith McKinney Steward, the first Black female doctor in the state of New York was a resident of Weeksville. Her sister, Sarah Smith Tompkins Garnet was Brooklyn’s first female school principal. Sarah Smith would also found the Equal Suffrage League of Brooklyn, the first suffrage organization for Black women in the nation’s history. Along with economic prosperity, Weeksville also brought political opportunities for Blacks who had been strategically kept out of the process. In 1821 there was a $250 property requirement for Black men to vote. Establishing land in Weeksville gave Black men the opportunity to vote in elections they hadn’t been privy to in the past. The community thrived and continued to grow throughout the 19th century, but Brooklyn was growing and would soon swallow Weeksville whole. By the 1880s, Weeksville was secluded no more and the Eastern Parkway was built leaving residents not much choice but to leave. By the 20th century, the town was nothing more than a memory. But history has its breadcrumbs and if you take the time to follow them you can create a way to keep that history alive forever. In 1968, Pratt researchers found remnants of the lost city while flying over Brooklyn in an airplane. They located four homes on Hunterfly Road, which were the only homes left from the original town of Weeksville. In 1970, the Hunterfly Road Houses were designated New York City Landmarks and in 1971, all four houses were added to the National Register of Historic Places. In 2005 The Weeksville Heritage Center was created, which offers tours of the homes, as well as public programs and exhibits to learn more about the history of Weeksville. Thankfully, what was left of this pioneering small town will be preserved so that future generations can see that Black Excellence is sprinkled all over American history. MY THOUGHTS Black people whose forebears were enslaved in the American continent <canada to argentina> have a challenge in finding positive little towns where black people were happy but the reason why is against the theme of the article. the reason why shows how many black people were enslaved. The question is simple, do those black people whose forebears were enslaved focus on the majority of black people who were miserable/in pain , or do they focus on the one percent of the population of blacks who lived happy with a level of freedom whill ninety nine percent of black people were in living hell? Another interesting thing in media, when black people compose articles, why can't we say whites. The article writer used the word families, as if families could had been black/white/ or other. WHite families loaned Enslaved blacks. The aphenotypical linguistic or literary choices from black people in usa based media explains a lot. Black American, Black being a phenotypical range, American being of the American continent <canada to argentina> , history is part indegenous/part enslaved/part european invader/part modern global economy immigrant But for the most part the history of Black people in the white europan imperial age of the american continent is negative. That negativity shouldn't yield happiness in the hearts or minds of black people. The only solution to lessening that negativity isn't a battle of philosophy or opinions, it is collective results, successful group actions, and the absence of successful collective results or group actions is the source of the continuance of anger/hatred/bitterness in the black american village. So , what have you created with other black people most recently? ARTICLE https://newsone.com/4277359/weeksville-black-town-brooklyn/
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  11. My Entry for the Werewolf your pet is LINKED below, above is the invitational image OCTOWOLF! ITS A WOLF THAT'S AN OCTOPUS Submission https://www.deviantart.com/hddeviant/art/Theendof-octowolf-Page1-896626596?ga_submit_new=10%3A1635745388 Gif Comic https://www.deviantart.com/hddeviant/art/Theendof-octowolf-gifcomic-896630322 Comic Pages PAGES Page 1 https://www.deviantart.com/hddeviant/art/Theendof-octowolf-Page1-896626596?ga_submit_new=10%3A1635745388 PAge 2 https://www.deviantart.com/hddeviant/art/Theendof-octowolf-Page2-896627148?ga_submit_new=10%3A1635745711 PAge 3 https://www.deviantart.com/hddeviant/art/Theendof-octowolf-page3-896627414?ga_submit_new=10%3A1635745938 Page 4 https://www.deviantart.com/hddeviant/art/Theendof-octowolf-page4-896627719?ga_submit_new=10%3A1635746173 Page 5 https://www.deviantart.com/hddeviant/art/Theendof-octowolf-page5-896627980?ga_submit_new=10%3A1635746398 Page 6 https://www.deviantart.com/hddeviant/art/Theendof-octowolf-page6-896628158?ga_submit_new=10%3A1635746603 Page 7 https://www.deviantart.com/hddeviant/art/Theendof-octowolf-page7-896628399?ga_submit_new=10%3A1635746851 Page 8 https://www.deviantart.com/hddeviant/art/Theendof-octowolf-page8-896628713?ga_submit_new=10%3A1635747164
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  12. Cynique When it came to the Covid vaccine, the Government sure missed an opportunity to corral black people into the fold. As it is, a sizable number of black anti-vaxxers have become strange bedfellows with the Retrumpicans. These 2 factions of the conspiracy theory community are now united by a common foe: the ubiquitous "they", a deep state government out to control the population by making them dependent on the output of Big Pharma. What could Big Brother have done to motivate these pesky black resistors, so sure of their omniscience? All Bruh had to do was announce that the vaccine would only be available to white people because their numbers were dwindling due to abortions cutting their birth rate. White skeptics would've jumped at the chance to break ranks and join the others in discriminate against those black malcontents always bitching and whining. As for the bitchers and whiners... Once a "whites only" decree was issued, black America would have exploded than a gender reveal rocket! Blue skies would've turned gray. Everywhere, all over the country black mobs would've taken to the streets; protestors protesting, demonstrators demonstrating, looters looting, black lives matter mattering. Voices yelling "We Want The Shot!" would've been bellowing as sign carriers dodged bullets from drive-by shooters. "Down With Racism" chants would've added to the clamor. Calls to impeach Biden would've been resounding throughout the halls of Congress! Chaos would've reigned. Then, under pressure from black voters, the Government would've rescinded this restriction, scoring a victory for equality. Black resentment would've simmered down and all would've ended up well. (Except the relatively small number of those ending up sick.) Later, in a secret location, the cabal of evil men running the show would be giving each other high-5s, congratulating themselves on the success of their plot to save the country from itself. Fast forward. Minister Louis Farrakhan or Scientist Neil DeGrasse Tyson? Take your choice. Incidentally, my arm feels fine.
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  13. Afro Latinx children's books are still too rare. These four authors are trying to change that Written by CNN Style Staff A vivid homage to the graffitied streets of the Boogie Down Bronx and an interstellar quest for the perfect natural hair style are part of a new wave of picture books celebrating Afro Latinx culture and characters, in an industry where these stories are still few and far between. "I want to show kids of diverse backgrounds that they can go on fantastical adventures, too," said New York-based illustrator and toy designer Yesenia Moises, author of "Stella's Stellar Hair." She noted that in children's media, stories featuring protagonists of color are often about overcoming struggle, or are "hyper-focused" on identity and race. "I want to step away from that for a moment to be able to show that ... their worlds can be vibrant and full of color." Having grown up without picture books that reflected their own experiences, the Latinx authors and illustrators featured below are crafting and sharing those stories themselves, with colorful vivid imagery, prose and verse. Here, four authors speak about their storytelling philosophies, and why kids need to see themselves in the pages of the stories they read. Eric Velasquez Eric Velasquez is an Afro Puerto Rican illustrator, author and educator. He has illustrated more than 30 books and has authored four, including "Octopus Stew," about a boy named Ramsey who must save his grandmother from the gargantuan octopus she's cooking. "Octopus Stew" was inspired by the tall tales of Velasquez's father. Credit: Eric Velasquez/Courtesy of Holiday House Publishing My family comes from a strong oral storytelling tradition; we would gather together to share and listen after nights of dinner and music, and so it was something that I wanted to be part of. My book "Octopus Stew'' is essentially a tribute to that oral tradition. Whenever my dad would come over and cook for my friends and me, he would inevitably say, "Did Eric tell you about the day I rescued him and his grandma from the giant octopus?" Every single one of my friends knows that story because of him, and over the years, it just grew like a tall tale. Grandmothers are central to many of my stories. I can trace my own career back to the summers I spent sketching in my grandmother's living room in Spanish Harlem, surrounded by music. In "Grandma's Records," Velasquez recalls the memories from his own childhood that made him understand that 'heroes' aren't just White. Credit: Eric Velasquez/Bloomsbury Children's Books Those summers inspired my book "Grandma's Records," and also taught me the importance of having heroes who look like us. I remember marveling at the musicians who would visit when I was young, including Rafael Cortijo, the prime architect of Puerto Rican salsa. When he came by, my grandmother told me only to refer to him as "maestro." "That man is a genius," she said, "and he deserves to be treated with respect." In school, when we learned that Beethoven was a musical genius, I remember thinking, "I know a genius too! He loves rice with beans and roast pork, and he even entertains us with music after dinner." I didn't feel there was a disconnect between the concept of "genius" and what I saw around me. But over time, I realized other kids struggled to do the same; at art school, when they pictured "heroes" they would never draw men or women of color. That's when I started to realize how important representation is. When you grow up with examples of diverse heroes, it affects your imagination. You start to believe that you can be part of this creative world, and I think that's very important. Yesenia Moises Yesenia Moises is an Afro Dominican toy designer and illustrator. She is the author of "Stella's Stellar Hair," a book about a young Black girl with natural hair who travels the solar system in search of hairstyles. "Stella's Stella Hair" is about owning your natural hair, inspired by Moises' own hair journey. Credit: Yesenia Moises When it comes to my hair, I spent most of my life trying to fit the mold of Eurocentric beauty standards by chemically relaxing my hair. Growing up, my mom, a fair-skinned Latina woman with the loose waves a lot of people aim for -- not at all like mine -- would always comment on how thick or unruly it is, or how it tangles itself. It was only after I started letting my hair grow out in its full, natural glory that I grew to love it, but even then I realized that many kids today are still made to feel bad about their hair. So I created "Stella's Stellar Hair" to celebrate the variety and creativity of Black hair across the African diaspora. Stella is aided on her intergalatic quest by cosmic aunties, who each have a hairstyle for her. Credit: Yesenia Moises The whole concept of having aunties from the different planets came from one Black hair trade show I attended, which was full of older Black women with amazing natural hairstyles that showed their personalities. And I'd never seen that before. I was so used to making sure that my hair was as flat as possible, but here were all these older women who were just proud of the hair that grew out of their scalp. It really inspired me to show just how versatile and beautiful Black hair can be. I think it's really important for young readers to feel seen more than anything else. As a dark-skinned Afro Latina, it wasn't until 2018, when I saw Miles Morales become Spider-Man in "Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse," that I saw someone with my background represented in the media I watch. I really loved how the director made a choice to exclude English subtitles for the conversations Miles had with his mother. When you add subtitles, it makes the experience feel foreign; but in their household, it was natural -- just like it is in mine. That really floored me. Margarita Engle Margarita Engle is a poet and author whose works celebrate her Cuban heritage. Her book "Drum Dream Girl," illustrated by Rafael López, is inspired by the true story of a young Chinese Afro Cuban girl who became a drummer for Cuba's first all-female jazz band. "Drum Dream Girl," written by Engle and illustrated by Rafael López, tells the journey of a girl in Cuba who pursues her love of drums. Credit: Margarita Engle/Clarion Books I was born and raised in Los Angeles, but developed a deep attachment to Cuba, where my mother is from. We would go back in the summers to visit the extended family, but we were cut off from them because of travel restrictions after the missile crisis. When I was finally able to go back as an adult in 1991, I found that I wanted to write about the experience. I know that, all of a sudden, we're not supposed to hyphenate things anymore in our writing. But I felt like I lived on that hyphen, and the compound word "Cuban-American." It was a bridge and an abyss at the same time; by the time I was a teenager, it felt like it was easier for a US citizen to walk on the moon than to visit relatives in Cuba. Music is a recurring theme in my books. My picture book "Drum Dream Girl" is based on the life of Chinese Afro Cuban girl Millo Castro Zaldarriaga, who played the drums in Cuba when it was forbidden to girls. The story is a real tale of perserverence in a dreamlike setting. Credit: Margarita Engle/Clarion Books I read the memoirs of her older sister and there were these amazing photographs of this all-girl band -- the first of its kind. In the 1930s, most of the jazz bands had been men, and here was one made up entirely of sisters. And the youngest was a 10-year-old girl who wanted to play the drums. Even today, in certain cultural traditions that come from West African religion, women in Cuba have to fight for the right to play certain types of drums. But in Millo's case, for entertainment, she really opened that door. The band became very successful, and everybody loved her drumming, so, after a while, many other women drummers followed. I was inspired by her courage and her perseverance. When I talk to children about that book, I ask the boys, 'How would you feel if society said you couldn't drive monster trucks, or only girls could motorcycle race?' And all the boys immediately give up their right to be the only one to do something. They instinctively understand that this isn't fair. Charles Esperanza Charles Esperanza is an Afro Puerto Rican illustrator and author whose new book, "Boogie Boogie Y'all," published this summer. The book is a brightly colored depiction of his home borough of the Bronx, as well as a tribute to graffiti. "Boogie Boogie, Y'all" celebrates the Bronx as a colorful cultural hub. Credit: CG Esperanza I'm interested in telling stories and taking something about our culture -- as a Black and Latino person, and as a Bronx resident -- and de-stigmatizing it. What inspired "Boogie Boogie, Y'all" was an awesome graffiti piece outside of the community center where I teach. I took a photo of it to show to my students; it turns out none of them has seen it before. I said, "Y'all don't really look around and take in all of the awesome things that are on the street." I've asked my students what they've heard about graffiti and a lot of the answers were recycled from decades ago: It's gang symbols; it's vandalism. I wanted to give them another perspective about it; I pay homage to a lot of contemporary street artists in the book like "Gully" and "Modus," who can be seen all over the Bronx and the rest of New York City. They've seen the book and have expressed excitement about it. Esperanza wrote and illustrated the book after a conversation with his students about noticing what's in front of the them on the streets of their home borough. Credit: CG Esperanza I think kids need to be able to see themselves in the books that they read, and they need to be able to see themselves in the art they look at. As a teacher, I notice many of my Black and Brown students create White characters. Instead of preaching to them that they should use people of color, I show them examples of amazing Black characters, created by artists like Yesenia Moises, LeSean Thomas or Geneva Bowers to inspire them. I get a lot of inspiration just walking around the Bronx, and I definitely wanted to capture that. I love the borough for its grittiness and personality. We are known for our cultural contributions through hip-hop, but we have so much more in food, fashion, art and music that's waiting to be shared with the world. All of our communities -- old and new -- are adding their vibrant tag to the wall that is the Bronx. When I was first trying to get into the business. I heard some really wild things about why publishers wouldn't have a Black child as the protagonist. I remember one editor told me that for picture books, they would rather have an animal like a panda or something as a main character, because every kid could relate to that. I was blown away, realizing that the underrepresentation was intentional this whole time. So I'm glad that we have so many artists now that are coming in and knocking down the door and doing awesome things. Each author's personal statement was edited for length and clarity by a member of the CNN Style team. https://www.cnn.com/style/article/afro-latinx-childrens-books-hyphenated/index.html?utm_source=Sailthru&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Lit Hub Daily: August 27%2C 2021&utm_term=lithub_master_list Jess Bergman/August 11, 2021 The Uncomfortable Rise of the Instagram Novel Beth Morgan’s “A Touch of Jen” is the latest work to reckon with a social media–fueled obsession. https://newrepublic.com/article/163238/uncomfortable-rise-instagram-novel-touch-jen-beth-morgan?utm_source=Sailthru&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Lit Hub Daily: August 13, 2021&utm_term=lithub_master_list A sudden price change for Amanda Gorman’s book shocked booksellers. https://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/by-topic/industry-news/bookselling/article/87229-gorman-book-s-price-hike-startles-booksellers.html Writers notes: the record label remixing novels into music https://www.theguardian.com/books/2021/aug/27/writers-notes-the-record-labels-remixing-novels-into-music-bibliotapes REFERRAL- New Environmental Canon, An LGBT+ Picture Book, and Women in Horror: This Week in Book News https://kobowritinglife.com/2021/08/27/new-environmental-canon-an-lgbt-picture-book-and-women-in-horror-this-week-in-book-news/
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  14. https://twitter.com/Hardcore888/status/1437089180090314752?s=04
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