Archive for the ‘Black Power’ Category

Black Power in the art market; Saatchi’s new dealer show; a $10 million Masterpiece sale – Telegraph.co.uk

On the invitation card to Tate Moderns Art in the Age of Black Power, which opens this week, is a 1966 self-portrait by Barkley L Hendricks, then aged 21, wearing just his shades and a Superman t-shirt. Like most African American artists, Hendricks had a completely marginal position in the market during the period covered by the exhibition (1963-1983), and for years after.

But when he began exhibiting with the trail-blazing Jack Shainman Gallery in New York in 2005, he began to attract attention, starring in the Nasher Museums The Birth of the Coolexhibition (2008), and at New Yorks Swann Galleries auctions of African American art, where his top price rose from $10,000in 2008 to $365,000 in 2015.

Then, just after he died earlier this year, his market shifted up another gear when three of his paintings broke the record at Sothebys selling for up to $960,500(741,500)for The Way You Look Tonight, a four-foot self-portrait inspired by Renaissance portraits he had seen at the Uffizi in Florence.

Although he has only three works in this encyclopaedic show, the choice of Hendricks for the invitation card is significant because it acknowledges the tectonic shift that has been taking place in the market for black American artists.

The Saatchi Gallery in Chelsea opens a new exhibition today where it collaborates with dealerToby Clarke of the Vigo galleryto show and sell work by the Belgian painter Bram Bogart. The artist, who died in 2012, is best known for the thick licks of brightly coloured paint that comprised his canvases. This exhibition consists of the least-known of his works, pure white paintings; thus the title of the show, Witte de Witte. Prices will range from 37,000 to 105,000.

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Black Power in the art market; Saatchi’s new dealer show; a $10 million Masterpiece sale – Telegraph.co.uk

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‘False Black Power?’ More Black Elected Leaders Hasn’t Paid Off – Newsmax

The strategy of electing more black Americans to increase the political power of African Americans has not paid off, Jason L. Riley, author of the new book “False Black Power?” told Newsmax TV.

“Since the 1960s the civil rights leadership has put in place a strategy of emphasizing heavily the election of more black officials,” Riley told host Steve Malzberg. “The thinking is, if we can put more blacks in elected office, the social economic gains would flow naturally from that.

“I thought the Obama presidency was really the culmination of this strategy . . . [But] there were a lot of black elected officials before Obama. They weren’t president, but they were mayors, they were governors, they were congressmen, they were school superintendents, and police chiefs . . .

“From that experience we . . . should’ve tempered our expectations as to what black political leadership could do,because in many of those cases, the black poor were worse off. And so we saw this pattern again in many cases with the Obama presidency where racial gaps, and home ownership, and income, and poverty all widened.”

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What is the answer?

“In the first half of the 20th century, coming out of slavery through reconstruction and Jim Crow, the emphasis was on building human capital, on developing culturally, education, evolving, and developing the right habits and attitudes, and behavior, and values that other groups in America had developed on their rise from poverty to prosperity,” he said.

“That’s where blacks were focused on in the 1920s and 30s and 40s. And when they were focused on that, we saw racial gaps closing in this country. Gaps in income, gaps in home ownership, gaps in employment, gaps in blacks entering the skilled white-collared professions. Slow but steady progress.”

But in the second half of the 20th century, Riley told Malzberg, black leadership shifted to a political strategy during which the steady progress slowed to a crawl and “even reverse course.”

“We talk a lot today of the black left does, or the left in general, about the legacy of slavery or the legacy of Jim Crow explaining these racial gaps, this racial inequality today,” said Riley, a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute.

“I think we would do better to be talking about the legacy of the great society. The legacy of the huge expansion of the welfare state. I think that much better explains what we see going on today.”

“False Black Power?” published by Templeton Press, is part of its “New Threats to Freedom Series.”

2017 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

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‘The ghetto is the gallery’: black power and the artists who captured the soul of the struggle – The Guardian

All of these slogans are utopian phrases Lorraine OGradys Rivers, First Draft: A Little Girl with Pink Sash Memorizes her Latin Lesson. Photograph: 2017 Lorraine OGrady/Artists Rights Society, New York

Can the soul of a nation be defined by artists of its most oppressed group? Thats the ambitious goal of Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power, about to open at Londons Tate Modern. Through 150 artworks and more than 60 artists, the show aims to represent the United States ethical, conscious and moral spirit its soul through exhibits made by (and about) people who historically had less life, less liberty, and less wealth than their fellow white citizens.

Framing the show from 1963 to 1983, the curators were led by how artists of the time were responding to Martin Luther Kings mission and the rising, more militant black power movement. So the exhibition encompasses a wide variety of works of black subjects and/or created by black artists, from the depictions of protest and music in Roy DeCaravas stunning black-and-white photographs (Mississippi Freedom Marcher, Washington, DC, and Coltrane on Soprano, New York, both 1963) to an afro-wearing, bespectacled brother crossing his arms against a grey background, as well as a red, white and blue frame in Barkley L Hendricks 1969 work Icon for My Man Superman (Superman Never Saved Any Black People Bobby Seale).

In those two decades, people who were artists, activists, and both, did a great deal to mark blackness as an identity: the Black Panthers organised to stop police brutality, while also creating free breakfast and community medical programmes; Nina Simone released To Be Young, Gifted and Black; and Tommie Smith and John Carlos raised black power fists at the 1968 Olympics. And during these years, artists such as Lorraine OGrady were asking: what is art, who is it for? Taking their work to the streets to insist, as William T Williams put it, that art need not be in a temple. Art could be everywhere.

In a white walled room of the Alexander Gray Gallery in New York, Melvin Edwards, now in his 80s, is remembering what it was like to be among the first African American sculptors to display large-scale works in such venues as Manhattans Whitney Museum of American Art. On the wall are three of his Lynch Fragments, a series of sculptures, decades in the making, that will feature in the Tate show.

Eeach Lynch Fragment is unique yet in conversation with the others. The small sculptures contain various recognisable items: a hammer, a link of chains, a knife blade. On their own, they convey a sense of dread but, when put together, the sense of violence is hugely amplified. Tate will show Some Bright Morning, a 1963 fragment named after an African American community that was threatened with the phrase: If you people dont behave, some bright morning were going to come and take care of you.

While the protrusions conjure up images of enslavement, Edwards wants people to think beyond literal chains, since they only really existed symbolically. Most slaves never were chained, he says. Youve got 500 slaves and youve got to make a set of chains for each one? The owner wouldnt have wanted to spend that much money. And theyre going to be able to do about a tenth of the work dragging these chains. They were restrained in other ways.

Much of his work like Curtain (for William and Pete) is more abstract. When he was starting out, Edwards rejected how the art world said art for arts sake. I said no, art could be for any sake and that doesnt limit the experimental aspect of the way I work. He dismisses the idea that abstraction was new with Picasso in the 20th century, because humans have been using geometry, abstraction and direct representation as long as weve walked the earth. Similarly, he says, the black arts movement started whenever black people started a couple of hundred thousand years ago.

From the mahogany of Elizabeth Cattletts Black Unity fist to the screaming purples and pinks of Wadsworth Jarrels Revolutionary and the crisp, horrifying representations of mutilated black and white men, women and children in Faith Ringgolds American People Series #20: Die, Soul of a Nation showcases the range of styles black artists of this era employed.

As Bull Connor sent in the dogs, little girls were blown up in a church, and Malcolm and Martin were assassinated, did black art need to directly and urgently respond? Could abstract work be relevant to a black America in crisis? Edwards never bought the idea that figurative paintings might be dealing with the realities of the world in a way that abstract work was not. He recalls creating the Smokehouse murals, a series of geometric murals made in neglected parts of Harlem, with William T Williams, Guy Ciarcia and Billy Rose. We painted our work to change the place, not to put messages on the walls to tell people whats wrong and what to change.

Williams, his fellow muralist, was involved in many of the eras great black moments. He marched on Washington with the 1199 healthcare workers union, because he was from a generation of young optimists who believed that things could change, that organising was important, that collective voices were more important than a single voice. He recalls this great mass of humanity and the atmosphere of celebration even though it was a protest march.

Emory Douglas, minister of culture for the Black Panthers, once said: The ghetto itself is the gallery. Williams put this idea into practice when he established the pioneering artist-in-residence programme at the Studio Museum in Harlem, with the idea of an artist living in a community, using his or her skills or insights, inspiring young artists, being inspired by the community and showing and creating in the community.

All of which was perfectly captured in Lorraine OGradys landmark 1983 work Art Is , which stretched for seven miles through Harlem during the African American Day parade. She collected more than 400 photos of parade viewers being framed by gold frames held by participants, as well as views through a huge gold frame shed mounted on a float putting Harlem itself into focus as it passed by.

The concept was that, as people were being framed, they were being acknowledged as art in themselves, OGrady says, in her studio in New Yorks Westbeth artist community. She chose not to do Art Is… at the more flamboyant West Indian Day parade, as she wanted to show that black people in everyday dress not just flamboyant costumes were art.

OGrady doesnt have a strong relationship with the phrase black power. All of these slogans, she says, are utopian phrases. Theres nothing wrong with them. They enable the kind of activity that has to take place for things to change. But the phrase didnt indicate that there was real black power except self-empowerment.

Soul of a Nation will occupy 12 rooms, from Art in the Streets (which includes We Shall Survive Without a Doubt by Emory Douglas) to Black Heroes (which pairs Hendricks Superman with a red and green Andy Warhol silkscreen of Muhammad Ali). There will be an entire room dedicated to the Chicago-based collective AfriCOBRA, which stood for African Commune of Bad Relevant Artists. Keen for their work to be accessible, they made poster art designed for mass production.[5].

The first room, though, is dedicated to Spiral, an arts alliance that flourished in the early 1960s and consisted of one woman, Emma Amos, and 14 older men, all committed to using their talents in the cause of civil rights. I think Spiral were announcing talent, says OGrady, whose work closes the show. Black artists right to be heard. And my piece, Art Is, was much more about who art can be made by, who should be addressed by art, who should be participating both as audience and markers and evaluators of art.

If Soul of a Nation begins at the moment the identity of negro gave way to black, it ends as black gives way to African American during the Reagan 80s around the time Black Panther co-founder Bobby Seale began selling BBQs. But, as the show opens, black is back because of the #BlackLivesMatter movement, and because of a rising sense of transnational blackness that cannot be contained by the nationalist identity of African American.

One of the most incredible things about Black Lives Matter is how it represents the fruition of 50 years of ethnic scholarship, says OGrady. The artist herself wrote an influential work in the early 1990s, Olympias Maid: Reclaiming Black Female Subjectivity, which deals as an artist with similar issues Kimberle Crenshaw grappled with as a legal scholar in her now famous essay on intersectionality.

Soul of a Nation is clearly about race, but Williams hopes that visitors will take something more than that away with them. I hope the viewer will see 65 different artists working in a time period, with different ideas and interests and technique skilled at what theyre doing. I hope it gives them some sense of the history of the medium and the history of art in general.

He goes on: If it gives them some sense of what the soul of a nation is, that would be interesting. But that implies a bigger burden than just being members of a nation.

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What it’s like to drive the 2017 Ram 2500 Power Wagon anywhere but off-road – New York Daily News

NEW YORK DAILY NEWS

Monday, July 10, 2017, 10:22 AM

Running boards (n.): a footboard extending along the side of a vehicle for use as a step when entering or exiting the vehicle.

When used in a sentence: Where are the damn running boards on this thing?

Alternatively: You have to get a running start just to board this truck.

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Believe it or not, running boards arent even an option on the 2017 Ram 2500 Power Wagon, and when your heavy-duty pickup boasts 14.3 inches of ground clearance and an additional foot or more just to reach the floor of the interior unless youve got the legs of a basketball player or runway model, youre going to want to have running boards.

But why dont you want running boards on a serious off-road truck? Because theyd inevitably get damaged or ripped off completely by a rock, obviously.

If youre wondering why I decided to begin a review with a definition and discussion of the merits (and demerits) of running boards, consider this: when you spend a week and almost 1,000 miles in a pickup truck for Americas birthday bash, you and your passengers start to get real tired of having to vault into the vehicle youre driving.

Passengers will complain (or at least mention it every time), and youll make a fool of yourself trying to slide into or out of the massive truck that somebody in the spot next to you parked too close to while you were in the store.

But you know what? Screw it. Who cares?

Im glad I had to exert effort every time I entered or exited the Power Wagon, because it speaks to just how hardcore this truck treats everyday life.

Now, before we get into the nitty gritty, I must make a disclaimer: I did not, in fact, get the chance to drive the Power Wagon off road.

Before you cry blasphemy! and call the state of New York to formally request revoking my drivers license, I have a very good excuse for why this is the case: horny birds.

Thats right, its Piping Plover mating season on the shores of Cape Cod, just about the only place near me on the holiday weekend that was offering short term over-sand vehicle passes. As it turns out, these little birdies are a protected species nesting on National Park Service land, so they had every right to shut down basically the whole beach to vehicles on the busiest weekend of the year just so the Plovers could get their groove on.

But the funny thing about off-roading is that you usually have to drive on actual roads to get to the good rocks, mud, and sand, and I did plenty of that in the Power Wagon, so lets instead focus on what its like to live with a truck this hardcore (especially in the overcrowded Northeast) rather than how good we already know it is at climbing boulders.

For those of you who arent familiar with it, the Power Wagon is Rams most extreme off-road offering straight out of the box. Where the Ford F-150 Raptor excels at dune-bashing and high-speed desert driving, the Power Wagon blows it away in rock climbing ability and go-anywhere readiness.

The name Power Wagon (power it has, wagon it is not) dates back to just after World War II, when Dodge turned its half-ton military truck technology into the original Power Wagon, a four-wheel-drive, half-ton pickup truck that was the first iteration of the format so many Americans drive around in today.

But while that truck set a benchmark, this truck says, screw this bench! and throws it through a window.

Need proof? Lets look at the raw facts.

Over fourteen inches of ground clearance. Approach, departure, and break-over angles of 34, 23.5 and 25.5 degrees, respectively. Thirty inches of water fording ability. A 12,000 pound winch with 90 feet of cable built into the front bumper. A mighty 6.4-liter Hemi V8 pushing out 410 horsepower and 429 lb.-ft. of torque, and a towing capacity of over 10,000 pounds. Lockable front and rear axles with disconnecting sway bars for maximum wheel articulation.

If you cant clear an obstacle with all of these tools at your disposal, brother, you werent meant to clear it in the first place.

Oh, and did I mention it looks badass? Because the 8-lug wheels, black Power Wagon vertical badging on the bed and hood, imposing new grille from the Rebel, and the worlds largest automaker badge on the tailgate really give this truck some serious presence. So much presence, in fact, that youll be genuinely surprised when a driver thats impeding your progress doesnt move out of the way.

Despite its standard hardware and tough guy looks, though, the Ram 2500 Power Wagon is still a truck above all, and that means its got to do the everyday tasks its buyer will inevitably ask of it with ease. Thankfully, the Power Wagon delivers on these fronts as well.

The 64 box easily handled an inflatable dinghy and a holiday weekends worth of firewood, and I was even able to fit the entire 6-person Daily News Autos team (including myself) into the cabin for a lunch excursion. The front seat has a foldable center console that becomes a sixth chair with a lap belt, but theres hardly any space to put your feet because multiple cupholders, cubbies, and the 2-speed 4X4 transfer case shifter lie right beneath.

Plus, its got leather seats, automatic climate control with heated and ventilated front seats, USB ports, a 115-volt outlet up front, more cupholders than you could ever hope to use, an 8-inch UConnect touchscreen with navigation and 3G Wi-Fi available, and a full-color driver information display with access to pretty much everything you would want to know about how your truck is operating.

Trailer brake controls are integrated into the console and the 6-speed automatic transmission has selectable gears with a small button on the column shifter.

Long story short, its still a pickup, and performs daily tasks admirably like youd expect, but there are a few caveats you should consider if you intend to pick one up.

For one, the ride is rougher than usual and road noise is immense from the standard Goodyear Wrangler 31-inch tires. Also, its got the aerodynamics of an apartment building, and I averaged less than 14 mpg over the course of the week despite spending an inordinate amount of time on the highway. Despite cheap gas, filling up the 30-plus-gallon tank becomes an expensive affair very quickly depending on where you live. One of Rams famous Cummins diesel engines would help quell some of this, but the weight and length of one of these thrifty six cylinder engines would keep Rams engineers from having enough space to incorporate the winch and keep weight down to a somewhat respectable level.

Oh, and good luck piloting it through New York City. It took every ounce of skill and patience I had to keep from hitting anything and everything around me.

If you buy trucks like people buy meat, though, then the Power Wagon is a half-off sale on Filet Mignon. This 7,000-plus-pound truck, with more off-road capability than you could ever hope to reach the limits of, rings in at $51,695 before destination charge or options, putting it just below the Raptors $52,250 base price for the SuperCrew cab.

With a slew of options like the $4,995 Leather and Luxury group that adds pretty much all of the comfort and convenience features you could want including the upgraded UConnect touchscreen, an Alpine 9-speaker stereo system, and parking assist technologies, and the handy $1,295 RamBox storage lockers on the side of the bed, the total cost for my Power Wagon tester came in at $62,610. Thats a serious chunk of change for a pickup, but a straight-up bargain for one of the most off-road capable vehicles on the planet.

Still, unless you have the opportunity to go rock climbing or mudding on a regular basis or really care about appearances, it may be in your best interest to consider a garden variety Ram 2500 for your daily needs.

But be warned, youre going to want the Power Wagon anyways. I know I do.

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Newark riots recall an era echoed by Black Lives Matter – The Philadelphia Tribune

NEWARK, N.J. The rumor spread quickly: A man had been beaten to death by police. For Blacks frustrated by high unemployment, inadequate schools, substandard housing yet another abuse by police was too much to bear, and they erupted.

There were no shouts that Black lives mattered. This was Newark in 1967, long before deaths at the hands of police in cities like Baltimore and Ferguson, Missouri, gave birth to another movement in another era.

For four days in July, Newark was the epicenter of Black rage. The rioting left 26 dead, more than 700 injured and nearly 1,500 arrested, mostly Black. In addition to the $10 million in property damage, the riots left economic and emotional scars on Brick City that, in many ways, have not yet healed.

Newark was a deadly entry in the long list of major urban areas that exploded over a five-year period, among them Watts in Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Boston and New Yorks Harlem. Days after Newark burned, Detroit followed. The disorders exposed for the first time to much of white America racial and economic disparities that went far beyond the familiar scenes of segregation in the South.

A riot is at the bottom of the language of the unheard, the Rev. Martin Luther King wrote in his last book, Where Do We Go From Here: Chaos or Community? in 1967. The amazing thing about the ghetto is that so few Negroes have rioted.

The rioters spoke loudly, but were they heard? The echoes of 1967 in todays America would suggest they were not, and the lessons not learned linger for a new generation where racial tensions, indifference and inaction persist.

People were thinking about who they were, and thinking that they deserved more as American citizens, said Komozi Woodard, who grew up in Newark and was 18 years old at the time of the riots. It went from a situation that was unbearable, to the community feeling it was unacceptable.

As a 12-year-old Black boy, Woodard was beaten by a street gang in his neighborhood. His mother called the police for help, and when they arrived, the officers beat her son, too.

It was 1961, and Woodard had learned his first lesson about the relationship between police and his community.

I believed in the system, and the system came out and beat me up, said Woodard, now 68 and a history professor at Sarah Lawrence College. It was an everyday occurrence for police to just beat people up. There was no place you could go.

By 1967, as whites fled for the suburbs and were replaced with a wave of Black and brown residents, Newark was New Jerseys largest city and the countrys first majority-Black city aside from Washington. Many Blacks were part of the Great Migration to escape the de jure Jim Crow of the Deep South, only to find de facto segregation in the North.

Most of Newarks power structure remained white. Only 11 percent of its police force was Black; citizen complaints about treatment by police routinely went unanswered and the few Black officers on the force had little opportunity for advancement or leadership.

By July 12, Newarks Black residents had had enough.

John W. Smith, a Black man, was driving his cab when he was pulled over by two white Newark police officers. Smith and the officers version of events diverged there were no body cameras then to record the exchange but Smith was badly beaten during his arrest.

Smith was taken to a police precinct directly across from Hayes Homes. Residents who saw him dragged inside assumed hed been killed by the officers, and word spread quickly through the crowded housing project.

Though Smith was treated at a hospital and later released, a riot broke out that night, followed by looting. The unrest continued for three more nights. State police and National Guard troops were called in to quell the uprising.

Fred Means, a teacher and activist with the Congress of Racial Equality in Newark at the time, recalled seeing police join in the looting along with some residents.

That really symbolized the whole tenor and system of corruption that was going on, said Means, now 84 and living in Monroe, New Jersey. It was like a war scene. There was that fear, there was that possibility, that the police would shoot you and nothing would happen much the same as what happens today.

Many of the scenes that unfolded in Newark have resembled the conflict of the last few years: Residents clashing with police wearing riot gear and driving armored vehicles down city streets, mass arrests, and government officials calling for curfews in an attempt to restore order and frustrated citizens burning neighborhood storefronts.

Junius Williams was a law student at Yale University fighting gentrification in Newark when the riots broke out. He was driving back from a Black power conference in Philadelphia when news of the riots came across his car radio.

This was the rebellion that people had predicted because it had been happening all over the country, and Newark was no different, said Williams, 73, now a professor at Rutgers University in Newark. There was no representation in government and people were taking advantage of Black folks and it was only so much people were going to take. It was on.

As he was driving friends home on the second night of the riots, Williams faced down a police officer wielding a shotgun during a traffic stop. He was spared, he says, when a sergeant defused the situation by searching Williams car for guns. He found only law books.

The 1967 riots prompted President Lyndon Johnson to launch an inquiry into the cause of the racial disorders. Among the findings of the Kerner Commission were that the country is moving toward two societies, one Black, one white separate and unequal. The report identified police practices as among the primary factors that led to the unrest in Black communities.

The abrasive relationship between the police and the minority communities has been a major and explosive source of grievance, tension and disorder, the report read. The blame must be shared by the total society.

The commission recommendations to improve police-community relations included a review of police operations to eliminate abrasive practices, more police protection to inner-city residents, more hiring and promotion of Black officers and a means for residents to file complaints against the police.

Nationally, there are now greater systems of accountability for police officers, who are the best trained generation of law enforcement officers in the countrys history, said Phillip Atiba Goff, co-founder of the Center for Policing Equity. Still, a lack of national metrics to track police behavior shows an uneven progress.

What it says is that we have not taken seriously the problem of race in America on a number of fronts, including policing, Goff said. As a result, were doomed to repeat the history from which we have not learned.

The conclusions reached in the 2015 Justice Department report on Ferguson sounded similar to the Kerner Commissions findings.

In 1970, Newark became the first Northeastern city to elect a Black mayor. Its police force became more diverse, and more officers lived in the city they were charged with serving. Today, 38 percent of the police department is Black and 40 percent is white. The citys overall population is much the same as in 1967: 52 percent Black and 26 percent white.

In the immediate aftermath of the riots, more affordable housing was built and the city was forced to provide better health care in a deal to build a new medical center.

We could not have done that without that invisible brother with the brick standing with us in the negotiating room, said Williams. The power structure was afraid. They thought it was going to happen again.

In other ways, progress has been slow to arrive.

In the wake of the riots, economic development was largely limited to the citys downtown, where whites worked. The poverty level for Black residents is 33 percent, and Newark residents hold only 18 percent of all jobs in the city.

In 2016, the police department was put under federal consent decree after a Justice Department investigation found officers were making unlawful stops and arrests, using excessive force and retaliating against residents. Fifty years after Newark, similar recommendations are still being made as part of the federal consent decrees reached between cities and local police departments including Ferguson, Chicago, Cleveland and New Orleans found to have discriminatory practices against minority residents. (AP)

We are a long way from 1967, but we are even further away from where we need to be to prevent 1967 from happening again, said Newark Mayor Ras Baraka, whose father, poet and activist Amiri Baraka, was badly beaten during the riots. There were a myriad of things that were suggested, and frankly they were ignored. People need to feel like the government and the police are there to protect them and not to prey on them. (AP)

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Newark riots recall an era echoed by Black Lives Matter – The Philadelphia Tribune

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Confederate Flag haircut at black barber shop stirs up controversy – WBTV

(CBS News) –

(KWTV) – A local barbershop is stirring up controversy after a black man agreed to cut a Confederate flag design in a white man’s hair over the weekend.

Many people still see the Confederate flag as a symbol of racism and hate, but the barbers at the Fade N Up shop on N May Avenue say they saw it as an opportunity to educate and get paid.

As customers lined up to represent the 4th of July stars and stripes on their head, one man was more interested in wearing the stars and bars.

“He called on the phone knowing that it was a diverse shop, but mostly black barbers here, “says Demontre Heard. “So I felt like he really didnt have a problem with coming here, even though he seemed kind of scared when he first came in.”

The customer, who remains unidentified, asked for a design inspired by his favorite rapper, Yelawolf. The logo for the Alabama artist’s record label, Slumerica, is a flag of stars and lightning bolts.

It was just going to be too much, so he asked if I could do the Confederate flag in his head, and in the back of my head,” Heard said. “Im like, ‘what kind of stuff are you on?'”

Heard put his own feelings aside, however, and got to work. Fade N Up owner Corey “Scissorhands” Sutter says it is one of the more interesting requests he has heard in his shop, despite employing barbers of all ethnicities.

“Ive actually done Black Power in they head and all this type of stuff,” Sutter said. “Its been some gang members that wanted their sets in they head, but I never thought that would happen.”

Sutter decided to take photos of the haircut to Facebook, pointing to his industrys role in history.

“The barber shop is the last place where you can come and talk about religion, politics, sports, girls, guys and all that type of stuff, and keep it in a fun, good manner,” says Sutter.

Some commenters expressed anger, while others, including customers at the shop, supported the business decision. Heard says the bottom line is that the man paid and left his chair a happy customer.

“You have the right to your opinion,” says Heard. “But at the end of the day, your opinion doesnt pay my bills, and I have kids to take care of.”

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This Year’s Afro-Latino Fest Will Highlight Black Spirituality as … – Remezcla (blog)

Black resistance in Latin America and the Caribbean has been historically tied to spiritual practices. The preservation of Afro-diasporic traditions like santera, vodou, and candombl is already an act of defiance against the legacy of slavery, prohibition, and brutal oppression. Theres power in these practices, and a panel at this years Afro-Latino Festival in New York seeks to make a precise connection between spirituality, resistance, and #BlackLivesMatter.

We had organized two talks and co-edited a collection of essays that dealt with issues of transnationalism, conceptualizations of blackness, and cross-cultural solidarity, with regard to contemporary black social movements in both the U.S. and in Latin America, says co-curator Larnies Bowen, an NYU Latin American and Caribbean Studies MA candidate. Yet we realized that we had not yet seriously engaged spirituality in any form in relation to these issues.

The panel, titled #BlackLivesMatter in Latin America, Part 3: Diaspora, Spirituality & Resistance, is part of an ongoing #BlackLivesMatter series co-curated by Duke University Ph.D. student Ayanna Legros, which included several other panels, as well as an essay applying a transnational approach to the movement advocating for black lives.

Afro-Latino Fest 2016. Courtesy of Afro-Latino Festival

The organizers believe it is crucial to underscore the centrality of religion in the social and political struggles of afrodescendientes, as there is a longstanding commitment to spirituality in the communitys resistance efforts. Take the Haitian Revolution, which started with a vodou ceremony at Bois Caman. Or Brazils largest slave rebellion, the Mal revolt in Bahia, which began during Ramadan. Other examples include the Nat Turner Rebellion, the role of the Black church during the civil rights era, and African Americans and Puerto Ricans embrace of Islam during the Black Power movement.

As a student of the African diaspora, you learn about all of these major acts of black resistance that were inspired by or led by leaders of various spiritual traditions and/or religions. These are only a few examples, Bowen added.

Today, in the face of erasure, many communities have turned to ancestral Afro-diasporic spiritual practices, like the Afro-Mexican womens dance group Obatal, who use dance as a medium reconnect with their roots.

Now more than ever, I believe many of us are feeling a sense of urgency to co-create more spaces where we can access our ancestral medicines, preventative care strategies taught to us by our grandmothers and to reclaim practices that support our physical, emotional, psychological, and spiritual well-being and agency, says Beatrice Anderson, an artist, healer, If practitioner and one of the invited panelists. Our ancestors spiritual technology made it possible to withstand the most traitorous and violent times.

Afro-Latino Fest 2016. Courtesy of Afro-Latino Festival

Recently, music and TV have become powerful vehicles for making the transnational and individual healing power of Afro-diasporic beliefs visible, particularly for black women. Thanks to the Oshn imagery in Beyoncs massively popularLemonade, and artists like French-Cuban duo Ibeyi, Daym Arocena, NY-based Oshn, and the Puerto Rican group F, African-derived spirituality is enjoying plenty of visibility in pop culture. The challenge is translating individual empowerment into a collective effort.

With this moment of heightened black activism, from Black Lives Matter to Buenaventura, were seeing greater visibility of African-derived spiritual traditions here in the U.S., like the prevalence of Orisha imagery in Lemonade, online conversations around bruja feminism and its hashtags, and Princess Nokias song Brujas, says Bowen. As she notes, this past month, Colombians in the regions of Buenaventura and Choc went on strike to battle the economic injustices they have faced in predominantly black areas of the country. While these strikes have an obvious connection to the struggles of black diasporic people living in the United States, much of these and other movements for black justice in Latin America arent explored up north, despite the ostensible rise in conversations on Afro-Latino representation.

The issues [in Latin America] involve police and state-sanctioned violence in many cases complete abandonment of whole regions where black folk live, says Amilcar Priestley, one of the main organizers of Afro-Latino Festival. In many communities, issues of violent displacement due to narcotrafficking, civil war, mining, hydroelectric projects or tourism/hotel development abound. Prison conditions, lack of jobs, daily racial profiling, being able to wear natural hair or braids as a professional or someone who is employedSound familiar?

Featured panelist Beatrice Anderson shared how African-derived spirituality is tied to healing work, and given President Donald Trumps push to gut the Affordable Care Act, she says it is crucial we act now, given the effect it will have on women, girls, and trans folks. Systemically and historically, white supremacy and oppression have had very specific and long-term effects on the mental, emotional, and physical state of black, indigenous, and people of color, she concludes.

Afro-Latino Fests symposium will also include conversations touching on activism, environmental rights, culture, and, in line with this years theme A Tribute to Women of the Diaspora womens issues.

Afro-Latino Festivals AfroLatinTalks symposium will take place at Harlems Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Friday, July 7. Visit the Afro-Latino Festival website for more information.

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This Year’s Afro-Latino Fest Will Highlight Black Spirituality as … – Remezcla (blog)

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Liberating Theology From Its Ivory Tower – Sojourners

In my young career as a black minister and aspiring theologian, I have struggled with one question: Is contemporary theology only for the intellectual one-percenters?

Much of the theology studied and produced today is inaccessible, not only to collective members of the church, but to less-educated unchurched people. Can I hand a copy of James Cones Black Theology and Black Power to a homeless black man marginalized by an oppressive society on the street and expect him to comprehend Cones vigorous academic writing? Can I invite a high school dropout to a lecture by the incomparable Dr. Willie James Jennings and expect them to participate in a vigorous discussion afterward?

The answer to both questions, sadly, is no.

The reality is, much of theology is trapped within an archaic, elitist structure. Most written work is imprisoned within the confines of proper academic writing, which holds scholarly work to a lofty standard for it to be deemed as worthy of reaching the masses. But who are the masses? Who is this scholarship intended to reach? Littered with intellectual jargon, potentially life-giving theological reflection is reduced to being impactful only to those who can comprehend and internalize its true meaning. The reality is, many people within the United States and beyond are not familiar or comfortable with the rigidity of the academic writing style. What of that high-school dropout who missed out on their SAT vocabulary coursework? Or what of the naturalized American citizen whose grasp of the English language is still in its infancy?

So how can people who do not reside within academia gain access to the treasure trove of knowledge that is Christian theology?

Capitulating to oppressive standards of academic excellence does more harm than good. Even those who have infiltrated the academy in hopes to transform it can find themselves burdened under the weight of conforming to the standard. And our collective allegiance to a system that has marginalized most of its participants at one time or another makes us complicit.

For the brilliant theologians who teach and research at seminaries or divinity schools, part of their work is training the next generation of future pastors for church leadership. Catholic and many Protestant church leaders have received a thorough theological education (though not all). They possess master’s and doctoral degrees that solidify their ability to grasp the tenets of theology. But for those theologians interested in changing the world for the better, they must offer work that is easily understood by the masses, especially the marginalized population they are seeking to assist.

For this reason, according to John Koessler, chair of Pastoral Studies at Moody Bible Institute, many pastors are moving away from theological content, instead focusing mainly on practical application. All-inclusive theology would be able to have a direct impact on all people, not only those with the intellectual precision to mentally joust with complicated texts. I dream that the young gang leader on the South Side of Chicago can pick up a transformative piece by one of our great scholars and be transformed with the same conviction as the lecture audience. Or that the residents of Flint, Mich., crippled by environmental injustice can understand and execute the suggestions of a top environmental theologian. I dream that those suffering under the burden of nihilism can find hope in some of the brilliant words of a caring scholar without giving up simply because they dont have a thesaurus next to them to help with the big words.

The pivotal discussions on race, gender equality, environmental justice, and ethics occurring within theological spaces are conversations that all should have the ability to partake. If those within the academy allow some of their work to resist the oppressive parameters of academic writing, people can be more educated than previously believed.

Imagine that kind of impact.

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Liberating Theology From Its Ivory Tower – Sojourners

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False Black Power? – FrontPage Magazine


FrontPage Magazine
False Black Power?
FrontPage Magazine
Barack Obama's ascension to the White House was the culmination of the black struggle to attain the pinnacle of political power. But decades of that obsessive focus on black political advancement has not yielded the results that civil rights leaders

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False Black Power? – FrontPage Magazine

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Black Power in the art market; Saatchi’s new dealer show; a $10 million Masterpiece sale – Telegraph.co.uk

On the invitation card to Tate Moderns Art in the Age of Black Power, which opens this week, is a 1966 self-portrait by Barkley L Hendricks, then aged 21, wearing just his shades and a Superman t-shirt. Like most African American artists, Hendricks had a completely marginal position in the market during the period covered by the exhibition (1963-1983), and for years after. But when he began exhibiting with the trail-blazing Jack Shainman Gallery in New York in 2005, he began to attract attention, starring in the Nasher Museums The Birth of the Coolexhibition (2008), and at New Yorks Swann Galleries auctions of African American art, where his top price rose from $10,000in 2008 to $365,000 in 2015. Then, just after he died earlier this year, his market shifted up another gear when three of his paintings broke the record at Sothebys selling for up to $960,500(741,500)for The Way You Look Tonight, a four-foot self-portrait inspired by Renaissance portraits he had seen at the Uffizi in Florence. Although he has only three works in this encyclopaedic show, the choice of Hendricks for the invitation card is significant because it acknowledges the tectonic shift that has been taking place in the market for black American artists. The Saatchi Gallery in Chelsea opens a new exhibition today where it collaborates with dealerToby Clarke of the Vigo galleryto show and sell work by the Belgian painter Bram Bogart. The artist, who died in 2012, is best known for the thick licks of brightly coloured paint that comprised his canvases. This exhibition consists of the least-known of his works, pure white paintings; thus the title of the show, Witte de Witte. Prices will range from 37,000 to 105,000.

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‘False Black Power?’ More Black Elected Leaders Hasn’t Paid Off – Newsmax

The strategy of electing more black Americans to increase the political power of African Americans has not paid off, Jason L. Riley, author of the new book “False Black Power?” told Newsmax TV. “Since the 1960s the civil rights leadership has put in place a strategy of emphasizing heavily the election of more black officials,” Riley told host Steve Malzberg. “The thinking is, if we can put more blacks in elected office, the social economic gains would flow naturally from that. “I thought the Obama presidency was really the culmination of this strategy . . . [But] there were a lot of black elected officials before Obama. They weren’t president, but they were mayors, they were governors, they were congressmen, they were school superintendents, and police chiefs . . . “From that experience we . . . should’ve tempered our expectations as to what black political leadership could do,because in many of those cases, the black poor were worse off. And so we saw this pattern again in many cases with the Obama presidency where racial gaps, and home ownership, and income, and poverty all widened.” WatchNewsmax TVon DirecTV 349, U-verse 1220, FiOS 615, YouTube Livestream, Newsmax TV App from any smartphone, NewsmaxTV.com, Roku, Amazon Fire More Systems Here What is the answer? “In the first half of the 20th century, coming out of slavery through reconstruction and Jim Crow, the emphasis was on building human capital, on developing culturally, education, evolving, and developing the right habits and attitudes, and behavior, and values that other groups in America had developed on their rise from poverty to prosperity,” he said. “That’s where blacks were focused on in the 1920s and 30s and 40s. And when they were focused on that, we saw racial gaps closing in this country. Gaps in income, gaps in home ownership, gaps in employment, gaps in blacks entering the skilled white-collared professions. Slow but steady progress.” But in the second half of the 20th century, Riley told Malzberg, black leadership shifted to a political strategy during which the steady progress slowed to a crawl and “even reverse course.” “We talk a lot today of the black left does, or the left in general, about the legacy of slavery or the legacy of Jim Crow explaining these racial gaps, this racial inequality today,” said Riley, a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute. “I think we would do better to be talking about the legacy of the great society. The legacy of the huge expansion of the welfare state. I think that much better explains what we see going on today.” “False Black Power?” published by Templeton Press, is part of its “New Threats to Freedom Series.” 2017 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

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‘The ghetto is the gallery’: black power and the artists who captured the soul of the struggle – The Guardian

All of these slogans are utopian phrases Lorraine OGradys Rivers, First Draft: A Little Girl with Pink Sash Memorizes her Latin Lesson. Photograph: 2017 Lorraine OGrady/Artists Rights Society, New York Can the soul of a nation be defined by artists of its most oppressed group? Thats the ambitious goal of Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power, about to open at Londons Tate Modern. Through 150 artworks and more than 60 artists, the show aims to represent the United States ethical, conscious and moral spirit its soul through exhibits made by (and about) people who historically had less life, less liberty, and less wealth than their fellow white citizens. Framing the show from 1963 to 1983, the curators were led by how artists of the time were responding to Martin Luther Kings mission and the rising, more militant black power movement. So the exhibition encompasses a wide variety of works of black subjects and/or created by black artists, from the depictions of protest and music in Roy DeCaravas stunning black-and-white photographs (Mississippi Freedom Marcher, Washington, DC, and Coltrane on Soprano, New York, both 1963) to an afro-wearing, bespectacled brother crossing his arms against a grey background, as well as a red, white and blue frame in Barkley L Hendricks 1969 work Icon for My Man Superman (Superman Never Saved Any Black People Bobby Seale). In those two decades, people who were artists, activists, and both, did a great deal to mark blackness as an identity: the Black Panthers organised to stop police brutality, while also creating free breakfast and community medical programmes; Nina Simone released To Be Young, Gifted and Black; and Tommie Smith and John Carlos raised black power fists at the 1968 Olympics. And during these years, artists such as Lorraine OGrady were asking: what is art, who is it for? Taking their work to the streets to insist, as William T Williams put it, that art need not be in a temple. Art could be everywhere. In a white walled room of the Alexander Gray Gallery in New York, Melvin Edwards, now in his 80s, is remembering what it was like to be among the first African American sculptors to display large-scale works in such venues as Manhattans Whitney Museum of American Art. On the wall are three of his Lynch Fragments, a series of sculptures, decades in the making, that will feature in the Tate show. Eeach Lynch Fragment is unique yet in conversation with the others. The small sculptures contain various recognisable items: a hammer, a link of chains, a knife blade. On their own, they convey a sense of dread but, when put together, the sense of violence is hugely amplified. Tate will show Some Bright Morning, a 1963 fragment named after an African American community that was threatened with the phrase: If you people dont behave, some bright morning were going to come and take care of you. While the protrusions conjure up images of enslavement, Edwards wants people to think beyond literal chains, since they only really existed symbolically. Most slaves never were chained, he says. Youve got 500 slaves and youve got to make a set of chains for each one? The owner wouldnt have wanted to spend that much money. And theyre going to be able to do about a tenth of the work dragging these chains. They were restrained in other ways. Much of his work like Curtain (for William and Pete) is more abstract. When he was starting out, Edwards rejected how the art world said art for arts sake. I said no, art could be for any sake and that doesnt limit the experimental aspect of the way I work. He dismisses the idea that abstraction was new with Picasso in the 20th century, because humans have been using geometry, abstraction and direct representation as long as weve walked the earth. Similarly, he says, the black arts movement started whenever black people started a couple of hundred thousand years ago. From the mahogany of Elizabeth Cattletts Black Unity fist to the screaming purples and pinks of Wadsworth Jarrels Revolutionary and the crisp, horrifying representations of mutilated black and white men, women and children in Faith Ringgolds American People Series #20: Die, Soul of a Nation showcases the range of styles black artists of this era employed. As Bull Connor sent in the dogs, little girls were blown up in a church, and Malcolm and Martin were assassinated, did black art need to directly and urgently respond? Could abstract work be relevant to a black America in crisis? Edwards never bought the idea that figurative paintings might be dealing with the realities of the world in a way that abstract work was not. He recalls creating the Smokehouse murals, a series of geometric murals made in neglected parts of Harlem, with William T Williams, Guy Ciarcia and Billy Rose. We painted our work to change the place, not to put messages on the walls to tell people whats wrong and what to change. Williams, his fellow muralist, was involved in many of the eras great black moments. He marched on Washington with the 1199 healthcare workers union, because he was from a generation of young optimists who believed that things could change, that organising was important, that collective voices were more important than a single voice. He recalls this great mass of humanity and the atmosphere of celebration even though it was a protest march. Emory Douglas, minister of culture for the Black Panthers, once said: The ghetto itself is the gallery. Williams put this idea into practice when he established the pioneering artist-in-residence programme at the Studio Museum in Harlem, with the idea of an artist living in a community, using his or her skills or insights, inspiring young artists, being inspired by the community and showing and creating in the community. All of which was perfectly captured in Lorraine OGradys landmark 1983 work Art Is , which stretched for seven miles through Harlem during the African American Day parade. She collected more than 400 photos of parade viewers being framed by gold frames held by participants, as well as views through a huge gold frame shed mounted on a float putting Harlem itself into focus as it passed by. The concept was that, as people were being framed, they were being acknowledged as art in themselves, OGrady says, in her studio in New Yorks Westbeth artist community. She chose not to do Art Is… at the more flamboyant West Indian Day parade, as she wanted to show that black people in everyday dress not just flamboyant costumes were art. OGrady doesnt have a strong relationship with the phrase black power. All of these slogans, she says, are utopian phrases. Theres nothing wrong with them. They enable the kind of activity that has to take place for things to change. But the phrase didnt indicate that there was real black power except self-empowerment. Soul of a Nation will occupy 12 rooms, from Art in the Streets (which includes We Shall Survive Without a Doubt by Emory Douglas) to Black Heroes (which pairs Hendricks Superman with a red and green Andy Warhol silkscreen of Muhammad Ali). There will be an entire room dedicated to the Chicago-based collective AfriCOBRA, which stood for African Commune of Bad Relevant Artists. Keen for their work to be accessible, they made poster art designed for mass production.[5]. The first room, though, is dedicated to Spiral, an arts alliance that flourished in the early 1960s and consisted of one woman, Emma Amos, and 14 older men, all committed to using their talents in the cause of civil rights. I think Spiral were announcing talent, says OGrady, whose work closes the show. Black artists right to be heard. And my piece, Art Is, was much more about who art can be made by, who should be addressed by art, who should be participating both as audience and markers and evaluators of art. If Soul of a Nation begins at the moment the identity of negro gave way to black, it ends as black gives way to African American during the Reagan 80s around the time Black Panther co-founder Bobby Seale began selling BBQs. But, as the show opens, black is back because of the #BlackLivesMatter movement, and because of a rising sense of transnational blackness that cannot be contained by the nationalist identity of African American. One of the most incredible things about Black Lives Matter is how it represents the fruition of 50 years of ethnic scholarship, says OGrady. The artist herself wrote an influential work in the early 1990s, Olympias Maid: Reclaiming Black Female Subjectivity, which deals as an artist with similar issues Kimberle Crenshaw grappled with as a legal scholar in her now famous essay on intersectionality. Soul of a Nation is clearly about race, but Williams hopes that visitors will take something more than that away with them. I hope the viewer will see 65 different artists working in a time period, with different ideas and interests and technique skilled at what theyre doing. I hope it gives them some sense of the history of the medium and the history of art in general. He goes on: If it gives them some sense of what the soul of a nation is, that would be interesting. But that implies a bigger burden than just being members of a nation.

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What it’s like to drive the 2017 Ram 2500 Power Wagon anywhere but off-road – New York Daily News

NEW YORK DAILY NEWS Monday, July 10, 2017, 10:22 AM Running boards (n.): a footboard extending along the side of a vehicle for use as a step when entering or exiting the vehicle. When used in a sentence: Where are the damn running boards on this thing? Alternatively: You have to get a running start just to board this truck. FOLLOW DAILY NEWS AUTOS ON FACEBOOK. ‘LIKE’ US HERE. Believe it or not, running boards arent even an option on the 2017 Ram 2500 Power Wagon, and when your heavy-duty pickup boasts 14.3 inches of ground clearance and an additional foot or more just to reach the floor of the interior unless youve got the legs of a basketball player or runway model, youre going to want to have running boards. But why dont you want running boards on a serious off-road truck? Because theyd inevitably get damaged or ripped off completely by a rock, obviously. If youre wondering why I decided to begin a review with a definition and discussion of the merits (and demerits) of running boards, consider this: when you spend a week and almost 1,000 miles in a pickup truck for Americas birthday bash, you and your passengers start to get real tired of having to vault into the vehicle youre driving. Passengers will complain (or at least mention it every time), and youll make a fool of yourself trying to slide into or out of the massive truck that somebody in the spot next to you parked too close to while you were in the store. But you know what? Screw it. Who cares? Im glad I had to exert effort every time I entered or exited the Power Wagon, because it speaks to just how hardcore this truck treats everyday life. Now, before we get into the nitty gritty, I must make a disclaimer: I did not, in fact, get the chance to drive the Power Wagon off road. Before you cry blasphemy! and call the state of New York to formally request revoking my drivers license, I have a very good excuse for why this is the case: horny birds. Thats right, its Piping Plover mating season on the shores of Cape Cod, just about the only place near me on the holiday weekend that was offering short term over-sand vehicle passes. As it turns out, these little birdies are a protected species nesting on National Park Service land, so they had every right to shut down basically the whole beach to vehicles on the busiest weekend of the year just so the Plovers could get their groove on. But the funny thing about off-roading is that you usually have to drive on actual roads to get to the good rocks, mud, and sand, and I did plenty of that in the Power Wagon, so lets instead focus on what its like to live with a truck this hardcore (especially in the overcrowded Northeast) rather than how good we already know it is at climbing boulders. For those of you who arent familiar with it, the Power Wagon is Rams most extreme off-road offering straight out of the box. Where the Ford F-150 Raptor excels at dune-bashing and high-speed desert driving, the Power Wagon blows it away in rock climbing ability and go-anywhere readiness. The name Power Wagon (power it has, wagon it is not) dates back to just after World War II, when Dodge turned its half-ton military truck technology into the original Power Wagon, a four-wheel-drive, half-ton pickup truck that was the first iteration of the format so many Americans drive around in today. But while that truck set a benchmark, this truck says, screw this bench! and throws it through a window. Need proof? Lets look at the raw facts. Over fourteen inches of ground clearance. Approach, departure, and break-over angles of 34, 23.5 and 25.5 degrees, respectively. Thirty inches of water fording ability. A 12,000 pound winch with 90 feet of cable built into the front bumper. A mighty 6.4-liter Hemi V8 pushing out 410 horsepower and 429 lb.-ft. of torque, and a towing capacity of over 10,000 pounds. Lockable front and rear axles with disconnecting sway bars for maximum wheel articulation. If you cant clear an obstacle with all of these tools at your disposal, brother, you werent meant to clear it in the first place. Oh, and did I mention it looks badass? Because the 8-lug wheels, black Power Wagon vertical badging on the bed and hood, imposing new grille from the Rebel, and the worlds largest automaker badge on the tailgate really give this truck some serious presence. So much presence, in fact, that youll be genuinely surprised when a driver thats impeding your progress doesnt move out of the way. Despite its standard hardware and tough guy looks, though, the Ram 2500 Power Wagon is still a truck above all, and that means its got to do the everyday tasks its buyer will inevitably ask of it with ease. Thankfully, the Power Wagon delivers on these fronts as well. The 64 box easily handled an inflatable dinghy and a holiday weekends worth of firewood, and I was even able to fit the entire 6-person Daily News Autos team (including myself) into the cabin for a lunch excursion. The front seat has a foldable center console that becomes a sixth chair with a lap belt, but theres hardly any space to put your feet because multiple cupholders, cubbies, and the 2-speed 4X4 transfer case shifter lie right beneath. Plus, its got leather seats, automatic climate control with heated and ventilated front seats, USB ports, a 115-volt outlet up front, more cupholders than you could ever hope to use, an 8-inch UConnect touchscreen with navigation and 3G Wi-Fi available, and a full-color driver information display with access to pretty much everything you would want to know about how your truck is operating. Trailer brake controls are integrated into the console and the 6-speed automatic transmission has selectable gears with a small button on the column shifter. Long story short, its still a pickup, and performs daily tasks admirably like youd expect, but there are a few caveats you should consider if you intend to pick one up. For one, the ride is rougher than usual and road noise is immense from the standard Goodyear Wrangler 31-inch tires. Also, its got the aerodynamics of an apartment building, and I averaged less than 14 mpg over the course of the week despite spending an inordinate amount of time on the highway. Despite cheap gas, filling up the 30-plus-gallon tank becomes an expensive affair very quickly depending on where you live. One of Rams famous Cummins diesel engines would help quell some of this, but the weight and length of one of these thrifty six cylinder engines would keep Rams engineers from having enough space to incorporate the winch and keep weight down to a somewhat respectable level. Oh, and good luck piloting it through New York City. It took every ounce of skill and patience I had to keep from hitting anything and everything around me. If you buy trucks like people buy meat, though, then the Power Wagon is a half-off sale on Filet Mignon. This 7,000-plus-pound truck, with more off-road capability than you could ever hope to reach the limits of, rings in at $51,695 before destination charge or options, putting it just below the Raptors $52,250 base price for the SuperCrew cab. With a slew of options like the $4,995 Leather and Luxury group that adds pretty much all of the comfort and convenience features you could want including the upgraded UConnect touchscreen, an Alpine 9-speaker stereo system, and parking assist technologies, and the handy $1,295 RamBox storage lockers on the side of the bed, the total cost for my Power Wagon tester came in at $62,610. Thats a serious chunk of change for a pickup, but a straight-up bargain for one of the most off-road capable vehicles on the planet. Still, unless you have the opportunity to go rock climbing or mudding on a regular basis or really care about appearances, it may be in your best interest to consider a garden variety Ram 2500 for your daily needs. But be warned, youre going to want the Power Wagon anyways. I know I do. 11 photos view gallery Did you find this article helpful? If so, please share it using the “Join the Conversation” buttons below, and thank you for visiting Daily News Autos.

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Newark riots recall an era echoed by Black Lives Matter – The Philadelphia Tribune

NEWARK, N.J. The rumor spread quickly: A man had been beaten to death by police. For Blacks frustrated by high unemployment, inadequate schools, substandard housing yet another abuse by police was too much to bear, and they erupted. There were no shouts that Black lives mattered. This was Newark in 1967, long before deaths at the hands of police in cities like Baltimore and Ferguson, Missouri, gave birth to another movement in another era. For four days in July, Newark was the epicenter of Black rage. The rioting left 26 dead, more than 700 injured and nearly 1,500 arrested, mostly Black. In addition to the $10 million in property damage, the riots left economic and emotional scars on Brick City that, in many ways, have not yet healed. Newark was a deadly entry in the long list of major urban areas that exploded over a five-year period, among them Watts in Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Boston and New Yorks Harlem. Days after Newark burned, Detroit followed. The disorders exposed for the first time to much of white America racial and economic disparities that went far beyond the familiar scenes of segregation in the South. A riot is at the bottom of the language of the unheard, the Rev. Martin Luther King wrote in his last book, Where Do We Go From Here: Chaos or Community? in 1967. The amazing thing about the ghetto is that so few Negroes have rioted. The rioters spoke loudly, but were they heard? The echoes of 1967 in todays America would suggest they were not, and the lessons not learned linger for a new generation where racial tensions, indifference and inaction persist. People were thinking about who they were, and thinking that they deserved more as American citizens, said Komozi Woodard, who grew up in Newark and was 18 years old at the time of the riots. It went from a situation that was unbearable, to the community feeling it was unacceptable. As a 12-year-old Black boy, Woodard was beaten by a street gang in his neighborhood. His mother called the police for help, and when they arrived, the officers beat her son, too. It was 1961, and Woodard had learned his first lesson about the relationship between police and his community. I believed in the system, and the system came out and beat me up, said Woodard, now 68 and a history professor at Sarah Lawrence College. It was an everyday occurrence for police to just beat people up. There was no place you could go. By 1967, as whites fled for the suburbs and were replaced with a wave of Black and brown residents, Newark was New Jerseys largest city and the countrys first majority-Black city aside from Washington. Many Blacks were part of the Great Migration to escape the de jure Jim Crow of the Deep South, only to find de facto segregation in the North. Most of Newarks power structure remained white. Only 11 percent of its police force was Black; citizen complaints about treatment by police routinely went unanswered and the few Black officers on the force had little opportunity for advancement or leadership. By July 12, Newarks Black residents had had enough. John W. Smith, a Black man, was driving his cab when he was pulled over by two white Newark police officers. Smith and the officers version of events diverged there were no body cameras then to record the exchange but Smith was badly beaten during his arrest. Smith was taken to a police precinct directly across from Hayes Homes. Residents who saw him dragged inside assumed hed been killed by the officers, and word spread quickly through the crowded housing project. Though Smith was treated at a hospital and later released, a riot broke out that night, followed by looting. The unrest continued for three more nights. State police and National Guard troops were called in to quell the uprising. Fred Means, a teacher and activist with the Congress of Racial Equality in Newark at the time, recalled seeing police join in the looting along with some residents. That really symbolized the whole tenor and system of corruption that was going on, said Means, now 84 and living in Monroe, New Jersey. It was like a war scene. There was that fear, there was that possibility, that the police would shoot you and nothing would happen much the same as what happens today. Many of the scenes that unfolded in Newark have resembled the conflict of the last few years: Residents clashing with police wearing riot gear and driving armored vehicles down city streets, mass arrests, and government officials calling for curfews in an attempt to restore order and frustrated citizens burning neighborhood storefronts. Junius Williams was a law student at Yale University fighting gentrification in Newark when the riots broke out. He was driving back from a Black power conference in Philadelphia when news of the riots came across his car radio. This was the rebellion that people had predicted because it had been happening all over the country, and Newark was no different, said Williams, 73, now a professor at Rutgers University in Newark. There was no representation in government and people were taking advantage of Black folks and it was only so much people were going to take. It was on. As he was driving friends home on the second night of the riots, Williams faced down a police officer wielding a shotgun during a traffic stop. He was spared, he says, when a sergeant defused the situation by searching Williams car for guns. He found only law books. The 1967 riots prompted President Lyndon Johnson to launch an inquiry into the cause of the racial disorders. Among the findings of the Kerner Commission were that the country is moving toward two societies, one Black, one white separate and unequal. The report identified police practices as among the primary factors that led to the unrest in Black communities. The abrasive relationship between the police and the minority communities has been a major and explosive source of grievance, tension and disorder, the report read. The blame must be shared by the total society. The commission recommendations to improve police-community relations included a review of police operations to eliminate abrasive practices, more police protection to inner-city residents, more hiring and promotion of Black officers and a means for residents to file complaints against the police. Nationally, there are now greater systems of accountability for police officers, who are the best trained generation of law enforcement officers in the countrys history, said Phillip Atiba Goff, co-founder of the Center for Policing Equity. Still, a lack of national metrics to track police behavior shows an uneven progress. What it says is that we have not taken seriously the problem of race in America on a number of fronts, including policing, Goff said. As a result, were doomed to repeat the history from which we have not learned. The conclusions reached in the 2015 Justice Department report on Ferguson sounded similar to the Kerner Commissions findings. In 1970, Newark became the first Northeastern city to elect a Black mayor. Its police force became more diverse, and more officers lived in the city they were charged with serving. Today, 38 percent of the police department is Black and 40 percent is white. The citys overall population is much the same as in 1967: 52 percent Black and 26 percent white. In the immediate aftermath of the riots, more affordable housing was built and the city was forced to provide better health care in a deal to build a new medical center. We could not have done that without that invisible brother with the brick standing with us in the negotiating room, said Williams. The power structure was afraid. They thought it was going to happen again. In other ways, progress has been slow to arrive. In the wake of the riots, economic development was largely limited to the citys downtown, where whites worked. The poverty level for Black residents is 33 percent, and Newark residents hold only 18 percent of all jobs in the city. In 2016, the police department was put under federal consent decree after a Justice Department investigation found officers were making unlawful stops and arrests, using excessive force and retaliating against residents. Fifty years after Newark, similar recommendations are still being made as part of the federal consent decrees reached between cities and local police departments including Ferguson, Chicago, Cleveland and New Orleans found to have discriminatory practices against minority residents. (AP) We are a long way from 1967, but we are even further away from where we need to be to prevent 1967 from happening again, said Newark Mayor Ras Baraka, whose father, poet and activist Amiri Baraka, was badly beaten during the riots. There were a myriad of things that were suggested, and frankly they were ignored. People need to feel like the government and the police are there to protect them and not to prey on them. (AP)

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Confederate Flag haircut at black barber shop stirs up controversy – WBTV

(CBS News) – (KWTV) – A local barbershop is stirring up controversy after a black man agreed to cut a Confederate flag design in a white man’s hair over the weekend. Many people still see the Confederate flag as a symbol of racism and hate, but the barbers at the Fade N Up shop on N May Avenue say they saw it as an opportunity to educate and get paid. As customers lined up to represent the 4th of July stars and stripes on their head, one man was more interested in wearing the stars and bars. “He called on the phone knowing that it was a diverse shop, but mostly black barbers here, “says Demontre Heard. “So I felt like he really didnt have a problem with coming here, even though he seemed kind of scared when he first came in.” The customer, who remains unidentified, asked for a design inspired by his favorite rapper, Yelawolf. The logo for the Alabama artist’s record label, Slumerica, is a flag of stars and lightning bolts. It was just going to be too much, so he asked if I could do the Confederate flag in his head, and in the back of my head,” Heard said. “Im like, ‘what kind of stuff are you on?'” Heard put his own feelings aside, however, and got to work. Fade N Up owner Corey “Scissorhands” Sutter says it is one of the more interesting requests he has heard in his shop, despite employing barbers of all ethnicities. “Ive actually done Black Power in they head and all this type of stuff,” Sutter said. “Its been some gang members that wanted their sets in they head, but I never thought that would happen.” Sutter decided to take photos of the haircut to Facebook, pointing to his industrys role in history. “The barber shop is the last place where you can come and talk about religion, politics, sports, girls, guys and all that type of stuff, and keep it in a fun, good manner,” says Sutter. Some commenters expressed anger, while others, including customers at the shop, supported the business decision. Heard says the bottom line is that the man paid and left his chair a happy customer. “You have the right to your opinion,” says Heard. “But at the end of the day, your opinion doesnt pay my bills, and I have kids to take care of.”

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This Year’s Afro-Latino Fest Will Highlight Black Spirituality as … – Remezcla (blog)

Black resistance in Latin America and the Caribbean has been historically tied to spiritual practices. The preservation of Afro-diasporic traditions like santera, vodou, and candombl is already an act of defiance against the legacy of slavery, prohibition, and brutal oppression. Theres power in these practices, and a panel at this years Afro-Latino Festival in New York seeks to make a precise connection between spirituality, resistance, and #BlackLivesMatter. We had organized two talks and co-edited a collection of essays that dealt with issues of transnationalism, conceptualizations of blackness, and cross-cultural solidarity, with regard to contemporary black social movements in both the U.S. and in Latin America, says co-curator Larnies Bowen, an NYU Latin American and Caribbean Studies MA candidate. Yet we realized that we had not yet seriously engaged spirituality in any form in relation to these issues. The panel, titled #BlackLivesMatter in Latin America, Part 3: Diaspora, Spirituality & Resistance, is part of an ongoing #BlackLivesMatter series co-curated by Duke University Ph.D. student Ayanna Legros, which included several other panels, as well as an essay applying a transnational approach to the movement advocating for black lives. Afro-Latino Fest 2016. Courtesy of Afro-Latino Festival The organizers believe it is crucial to underscore the centrality of religion in the social and political struggles of afrodescendientes, as there is a longstanding commitment to spirituality in the communitys resistance efforts. Take the Haitian Revolution, which started with a vodou ceremony at Bois Caman. Or Brazils largest slave rebellion, the Mal revolt in Bahia, which began during Ramadan. Other examples include the Nat Turner Rebellion, the role of the Black church during the civil rights era, and African Americans and Puerto Ricans embrace of Islam during the Black Power movement. As a student of the African diaspora, you learn about all of these major acts of black resistance that were inspired by or led by leaders of various spiritual traditions and/or religions. These are only a few examples, Bowen added. Today, in the face of erasure, many communities have turned to ancestral Afro-diasporic spiritual practices, like the Afro-Mexican womens dance group Obatal, who use dance as a medium reconnect with their roots. Now more than ever, I believe many of us are feeling a sense of urgency to co-create more spaces where we can access our ancestral medicines, preventative care strategies taught to us by our grandmothers and to reclaim practices that support our physical, emotional, psychological, and spiritual well-being and agency, says Beatrice Anderson, an artist, healer, If practitioner and one of the invited panelists. Our ancestors spiritual technology made it possible to withstand the most traitorous and violent times. Afro-Latino Fest 2016. Courtesy of Afro-Latino Festival Recently, music and TV have become powerful vehicles for making the transnational and individual healing power of Afro-diasporic beliefs visible, particularly for black women. Thanks to the Oshn imagery in Beyoncs massively popularLemonade, and artists like French-Cuban duo Ibeyi, Daym Arocena, NY-based Oshn, and the Puerto Rican group F, African-derived spirituality is enjoying plenty of visibility in pop culture. The challenge is translating individual empowerment into a collective effort. With this moment of heightened black activism, from Black Lives Matter to Buenaventura, were seeing greater visibility of African-derived spiritual traditions here in the U.S., like the prevalence of Orisha imagery in Lemonade, online conversations around bruja feminism and its hashtags, and Princess Nokias song Brujas, says Bowen. As she notes, this past month, Colombians in the regions of Buenaventura and Choc went on strike to battle the economic injustices they have faced in predominantly black areas of the country. While these strikes have an obvious connection to the struggles of black diasporic people living in the United States, much of these and other movements for black justice in Latin America arent explored up north, despite the ostensible rise in conversations on Afro-Latino representation. The issues [in Latin America] involve police and state-sanctioned violence in many cases complete abandonment of whole regions where black folk live, says Amilcar Priestley, one of the main organizers of Afro-Latino Festival. In many communities, issues of violent displacement due to narcotrafficking, civil war, mining, hydroelectric projects or tourism/hotel development abound. Prison conditions, lack of jobs, daily racial profiling, being able to wear natural hair or braids as a professional or someone who is employedSound familiar? Featured panelist Beatrice Anderson shared how African-derived spirituality is tied to healing work, and given President Donald Trumps push to gut the Affordable Care Act, she says it is crucial we act now, given the effect it will have on women, girls, and trans folks. Systemically and historically, white supremacy and oppression have had very specific and long-term effects on the mental, emotional, and physical state of black, indigenous, and people of color, she concludes. Afro-Latino Fests symposium will also include conversations touching on activism, environmental rights, culture, and, in line with this years theme A Tribute to Women of the Diaspora womens issues. Afro-Latino Festivals AfroLatinTalks symposium will take place at Harlems Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Friday, July 7. Visit the Afro-Latino Festival website for more information. .

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July 7, 2017   Posted in: Black Power  Comments Closed

Liberating Theology From Its Ivory Tower – Sojourners

In my young career as a black minister and aspiring theologian, I have struggled with one question: Is contemporary theology only for the intellectual one-percenters? Much of the theology studied and produced today is inaccessible, not only to collective members of the church, but to less-educated unchurched people. Can I hand a copy of James Cones Black Theology and Black Power to a homeless black man marginalized by an oppressive society on the street and expect him to comprehend Cones vigorous academic writing? Can I invite a high school dropout to a lecture by the incomparable Dr. Willie James Jennings and expect them to participate in a vigorous discussion afterward? The answer to both questions, sadly, is no. The reality is, much of theology is trapped within an archaic, elitist structure. Most written work is imprisoned within the confines of proper academic writing, which holds scholarly work to a lofty standard for it to be deemed as worthy of reaching the masses. But who are the masses? Who is this scholarship intended to reach? Littered with intellectual jargon, potentially life-giving theological reflection is reduced to being impactful only to those who can comprehend and internalize its true meaning. The reality is, many people within the United States and beyond are not familiar or comfortable with the rigidity of the academic writing style. What of that high-school dropout who missed out on their SAT vocabulary coursework? Or what of the naturalized American citizen whose grasp of the English language is still in its infancy? So how can people who do not reside within academia gain access to the treasure trove of knowledge that is Christian theology? Capitulating to oppressive standards of academic excellence does more harm than good. Even those who have infiltrated the academy in hopes to transform it can find themselves burdened under the weight of conforming to the standard. And our collective allegiance to a system that has marginalized most of its participants at one time or another makes us complicit. For the brilliant theologians who teach and research at seminaries or divinity schools, part of their work is training the next generation of future pastors for church leadership. Catholic and many Protestant church leaders have received a thorough theological education (though not all). They possess master’s and doctoral degrees that solidify their ability to grasp the tenets of theology. But for those theologians interested in changing the world for the better, they must offer work that is easily understood by the masses, especially the marginalized population they are seeking to assist. For this reason, according to John Koessler, chair of Pastoral Studies at Moody Bible Institute, many pastors are moving away from theological content, instead focusing mainly on practical application. All-inclusive theology would be able to have a direct impact on all people, not only those with the intellectual precision to mentally joust with complicated texts. I dream that the young gang leader on the South Side of Chicago can pick up a transformative piece by one of our great scholars and be transformed with the same conviction as the lecture audience. Or that the residents of Flint, Mich., crippled by environmental injustice can understand and execute the suggestions of a top environmental theologian. I dream that those suffering under the burden of nihilism can find hope in some of the brilliant words of a caring scholar without giving up simply because they dont have a thesaurus next to them to help with the big words. The pivotal discussions on race, gender equality, environmental justice, and ethics occurring within theological spaces are conversations that all should have the ability to partake. If those within the academy allow some of their work to resist the oppressive parameters of academic writing, people can be more educated than previously believed. Imagine that kind of impact.

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False Black Power? – FrontPage Magazine

FrontPage Magazine False Black Power ? FrontPage Magazine Barack Obama's ascension to the White House was the culmination of the black struggle to attain the pinnacle of political power . But decades of that obsessive focus on black political advancement has not yielded the results that civil rights leaders …

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July 5, 2017   Posted in: Black Power  Comments Closed


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