Angela Davis’ Support by 350+ Scholars is Timely for MLKJr Day

This article is so important, we should all become familiarize ourselves with its merits and engage is regular discussions with our circles of influence, shout about it from every rooftop across this nation, put on every social media platform, discuss it daily, discuss it more than #45’s tweets. Then, we would really be “honoring” Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and helping to keep his dream alive!!
Can I count on you to do that for yourselves, for millennial’s (many whom have never heard of Angela Davis), and for democracy??  Will you continue this conversation and make it more important than that football game on February 3rd in Atlanta??
Am I asking too much of you??
Thank you for this informative article as published at:

On Martin Luther King Jr. Day, over 350 scholars of the Civil Rights and Black Freedom Movements, and veterans of these historic struggles, along with educators and human rights advocates, issued the following statement in support of Palestinian human rights, and in defense of, Angela Y. Davis, who was publicly dishonored three weeks ago by the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute when it abruptly reversed its decision to recognize her with its annual award because of her stand on this issue. The statement was the initiative of Scholars for Social Justice, a new national network of progressive scholar-activists, led by scholars of color. To learn more please visit

Open Letter to the Leadership of the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute in Support of Dr. Angela Y. Davis

As scholars and historians of the Black Freedom Movement, and as veteran civil rights and human rights activists, we are appalled and outraged by the decision of the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute (BCRI) to “dishonor” our colleague and sister, Angela Y. Davis, by rescinding its 2019 Fred Shuttlesworth Award, claiming that she does not meet the criteria for the award. As a daughter of Black Birmingham whose sense of justice was shaped by her community’s organizing tradition, who better than Davis to be honored by such an award.

There are few individuals more admired and beloved in the U.S. Black Freedom struggle, and the global struggle for human rights and justice than Angela Y. Davis. Her status as an international human rights advocate is iconic. Davis has been an unwavering stalwart in the fight for freedom and justice for more than fifty years, speaking out against racism, sexism, anti-Semitism, homophobia, Islamophobia, war, settler-colonialism, and imperialism around the world. She has been one of the most ardent advocates for prison abolition and for humane alternatives to the caging of our fellow human beings. She has also been a steadfast supporter of indigenous peoples. And yes, she has spoken out strongly in support of Palestinian rights, as have millions of principled activists around the world, including tens of thousands of Jews, and many Israelis.

In reflecting on the BCRI decision we are reminded of the following quote by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.: “The ultimate measure of a [person] is not where [they] stand in moments of comfort and convenience, but where [they] stand at times of challenge and controversy.” Sadly, the BCRI leadership has failed to live up to King’s challenge, caving in to pressure to reverse their earlier decision to honor Davis.

We may not all agree on the best way forward in the Middle East but we do share Dr. Davis’ view that the Israeli Occupation is wrong, and that the repressive, discriminatory and often violent policies of the Israeli government vis-à-vis the Palestinian population are wrong and indefensible. This is not a stance against the Jewish people, as is sometimes erroneously suggested, and as evidenced by the increasing number of Jewish people who are a part of the movement for Palestinian rights. Rather it is a stance against the policies of the Israeli government, and our own government’s immoral support of those policies. This is one of the fundamental human rights issues of our time, and we will not be bullied into silence on it. Individuals and institutions that choose to punish, censor, blacklist and dishonor anyone who dares to take a critical stand on this issue are acting in the disgraceful tradition of McCarthyism and furthering the intolerance of dissent.

Finally, we are especially disturbed and angered by the recent targeting of Black supporters of Palestinian rights. Journalist and scholar Marc Lamont Hill was abruptly fired as a CNN contributor for expressing his views on Palestine at the United Nations in December of last year. And now, Angela Davis is publicly disrespected in this way, in her hometown, a site of so many heroic struggles for the values that she, and many of us, uphold. This reminds us of the ways in which liberal supporters of civil rights reforms turned their backs on Dr. King when on April 4, 1967 he dared to speak out condemning the war in Vietnam. This sends a clear message today: how dare independent Black activists express views on international politics that differ with mainstream U.S. policy. This message, was then and is now, paternalistic and insulting. Many others, especially Palestinian and Arab scholars and activists, have also been targeted and attacked for their outspoken stance in support of Palestinian human rights. And we support their right of expression as well.

We stand with Angela Davis and applaud her outstanding and admirable track record as a public intellectual, feminist scholar, and advocate for peace, freedom and justice around the world. The BCRI leadership has refused to recognize or value Dr. Angela Davis’s sterling human rights record. They have instead chosen to pander to conservative critics and the pro-Israel lobby. History will not view this decision kindly.

Angela Davis represents the best of the tradition Black freedom fighters who were uncompromising internationalists, refused to bow to intimidation, and were unafraid to speak truth to power. We thank and honor Angela Davis for her life’s work, her moral courage and her visionary leadership, even if BCRI has chosen not to do so.


A. Lynn Bolles – Professor Emerita, University of Maryland College Park

A. Naomi Paik – Assistant Professor, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

Adam Bush – Provost, College Unbound

Adom Getachew – Assistant Professor, University of Chicago

Aisha Ray, Ph.D. – Professor Emerita of Child Development, Erikson Institute

Aishah Shahidah Simmons – Visiting Scholar, University of Pennsylvania

Akinyele K Umoja – Chair and Professor, Georgia State University

Alaka Wali – Curator of North American Anthropology, The Field Museum

Alan M. Wald – H. Chandler Davis Collegiate Professor Emeritus, University of Michigan

Alex Lubin – Professor of American Studies, University of New Mexico

Alexis Gumbs – Founder, Eternal Summer of the Black Feminist Mind

Allyson Hobbs – Associate Professor & Director of African & African American Studies, Stanford University

Amanda Joyce Hall – Doctoral Candidate, Yale University

Amira Rose Davis – Assistant Professor of History, Penn State University

Amrita Chakrabarti Myers – Ruth N. Halls Associate Professor of History and Gender Studies, Indiana University

Amy King – Professor, SUNY Nassau Community College

Ana Lucia Araujo – Professor, Howard University

Andreana Clay – Associate Professor and Department Chair, San Francisco State University

Andrew Dilts – Associate Professor, Loyola Marymount University

Andrew Kahrl – Associate Professor, University of Virginia

Anene Ejikeme – Associate Professor, Trinity University

Angeline Gragasin – Writer, Filmmaker, Researcher, Brooklyn College and The University of Chicago

Anita Plummer – Assistant Professor, Howard University

Ann Savage – Professor, Butler University

Anna Chandler – Film student and activist, Columbia College Chicago

Anna Guevarra – Director and Associate Professor, Global Asian Studies, University of Illinois Chicago

Annalisa Butticci – Assistant Professor, Utrecht University, the Netherlands

Annelise Orleck – Professor of History, Dartmouth College

Ariel Dougherty – National Director, Media Equity Collaborative

Arti Mehta – Lecturer, Howard University Department of Classics

Ashley Farmer – Assistant Professor, University of Texas, Austin

Austin McCoy – Assistant Professor, Auburn University

Avery F. Gordon – Professor, University of California

Barbara Ransby – Distinguished Professor of African American Studies, Gender and Women’s Studies and History, University of Illinois at Chicago

Beatrice J Adams – Graduate Student, Rutgers University

becky thompson Ph.D. – professor, simmons university

Bernardine Dohrn – clinical faculty (retired), Northwestern University School of Law

Dr Bernice Johnson Reagon – Retired Founding Director, Program in African American Culture Smithsonian Institution, Founder, Director of Sweet Honey In The Rock, African American Acapella Female Ensemble

Bertin M. Louis, Jr. – Associate Professor, The University of Tennessee, Knoxville

Beth Blue Swadener – Professor, Arizona State University

Beth E Richie – Professor, University of Illinois at Chicago

Betsy Loren Plumb – Administrator, African and Afro-American Studies Department, Brandeis University

Beverly Guy-Sheftall – Anna Julia Cooper Professor of Women’s Studies and Director of the Women’s Research and Resource Center, Spelman College

Bob Zellner – Activist, SNCC, SCEF, NAACP

Brandy Thomas Wells – Assistant Professor, Oklahoma State University

Brenna Bhandar – Senior Lecturer, SOAS, University of London

Brett Gadsden – Association Professor, Northwestern University

Brian Behnken – Associate Professor, Iowa State University

Brittney Cooper – Associate Professor, Rutgers University

Bruce Smith – Southern Student Organizing Committee , Virginia Student Civil Rights Committee, 1964-1969, Lynchburg College, Lynchburg, Virginia

Brunie Emmanuel – Founder, The UniVision Group

Carina E. Ray – Associate Professor, Brandeis University

Carole Boyce Davies, Professor, Cornell University

Carolle Charles, Phd – Associate Professor of Sociology CUNY, Baruch College

Carolyn M. Byerly, Ph.D. – Professor of Communication, Howard University

catherine orr – Professor and Chair of Critical Identity Studies, Beloit College

Cathy J. Cohen – Professor, University of Chicago

Celia E. Naylor – Associate Professor of Africana Studies and History, Barnard College, Columbia University

Chanda Prescod-Weinstein, Assistant Professor of Physics and Core Faculty in Women’s Studies, University of New Hampshire

Chandra Talpade Mohanty – Distinguished Professor, Women’s and Gender Studies, Syracuse University

Charisse Burden-Stelly, PhD – Assistant professor, africana studies and political science, Carleton College

Charles Hughes – Director/Assistant Professor, Rhodes College

Charles W. McKinney – Director of Africana Studies, Rhodes College

Charlie Cobb – Writer, SNCC veteran

Charlie Thomas – Volunteer, SNCC

Cheryl Harris – Professor of Law, University of California. Los Angeles

Cheryl Johnson-Odim – Provost Emerita, Dominican University

Christen Smith – Associate Professor of African and African Diaspora Studies and Anthropology, University of Texas, Austin

Christina Heatherton – Assistant Professor, Barnard College

Dr. Christina Sharpe – Professor of Humanities, York University

Christine Dussault – Chicago Public Schools, Teacher

Claire O’Connor – Community Organizer, Freedom Rider

Clayborne Carson – Martin Luther King Jr. Centennial Professor, Stanford University

Colleen S. Bell – Professor, Hamline University, St. Paul, MN

Constancia Dinky Romilly – SNCC Northern Coordinator, Friends of the Jenin Freedom Theatre

Courtney J. Patterson-Faye, Ph.D. – Assistant Professor, Wesleyan University

Crystal N. Feimster, Associate Professor, Yale University

Crystal Moten – Assistant Professor of History, Macalester College

Crystal R. Sanders – Associate Professor of History and Director of the Africana Research Center, Pennsylvania State University

Curtis Austin – Associate Professor, University of Oregon

Cynthia Mosteller – Member, Hope Community Fairhope AL

Cynthia Wu – Associate Professor, Indiana University

Dan Berger – Associate Professor of Comparative Ethnic Studies, University of Washington Bothell

Dana-Ain Davis – Professor, Graduate Center, CUNY

Daphne Muse – Writer, Mills College (Retired)

Davarian Baldwin – Distinguished Professor of American Studies, Trinity College (CT)

David Stovall – Professor, University of Illinois at Chicago

Dayo F. Gore – Associate Professor, Ethnic Studies and Critical Gender Studies, University of California, San Diego

Deborah A. Thomas – R. Jean Brownlee Professor of Anthropology, University of Pennsylvania

Deborah Hope – Activist & Attorney, National Bar Association

Debra L. Schultz – Assistant Professor of History, Kingsborough Community College, CUNY

Diane Harriford – Professor of Sociology, Vassar College

Donna Murch – Associate Professor of History, Rutgers University, New Brunswick

Dorothy C. Salem – Professor Emeritus, Retired Cuyahoga Community College

Dylan Rodriguez – Professor and Chair of the Academic Senate, UC Riverside Division, University of California at Riverside

D. Patrick Johnson – Professor, Northwestern University

Ebony Coletu – Assistant Professor of English and African American Studies, Pennsylvania State University

Dr Eddie Bruce-Jones – Reader in Law & Anthropology, Birkbeck College, University of London

Eddie S. Glaude Jr. – James S McDonnell Distinguish University Professor, Princeton University

Edward Ahmed Mitchell, Esq. – Executive Director, CAIR Georgia

Eileen Boris – Hull Professor of Feminist Studies, University of a California Santa Barbara

Elaine Richardson – Professor of Literacy Education, The Ohio State University

Elizabeth K Warman – Community Worker, Social Justice Coordinator, Second Unitarian Church, Chicago

Elizabeth Todd-Breland – Assistant Professor, University of Illinois at Chicago

Elizabeth Walsh – Journalist, Al Jazeera English

Ellen Wu – Associate Professor, History, Indiana University Bloomington

Elsa Barkley Brown – Associate Professor, University of Maryland College Park

Efia Nwangaza, Founder/Exec Director, Malcolm X Center for Self Determination

Erik S. McDuffie – Associate Professor, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Eve L. Ewing – Assistant Professor, University of Chicago

Evelynn M. Hammonds, PhD – Professor, Harvard University

Farah J Griffin – Chair, African American and African Diaspora Studies Department, Columbia University

Felicia Jamison – Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Maryland

Filomina C. Steady – Professor, Wellesley College

Flora Farago – Assistant Professor, Stephen F. Austin State University

Frances Jones-Sneed, Ph.D. – Professor Emeritus of History, Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts

Francoise Hamlin – Associate Professor, Brown University

Frank D Rashid – Professor Emeritus, Marygrove College

Dr. Fredrick Douglass Dixon – Assistant Professor, University of Wyoming

Gaye Theresa Johnson – Professor, UCLA

George Derek Musgrove – Associate Professor of History, UMBC

Gina Dent – Associate Professor, University of California, Santa Cruz

Gina Athena Ulysse – Professor of Anthropology, Wesleyan University

Gordon Mantler – Associate Professor of Writing and of History, George Washington University

Grace Hong – Professor of Gender Studies and Asian American Studies, UCLA

Gwendolyn Midlo Hall – Professor, Rutgers University

Gwendolyn Zoharah Simmons – Senior Lecturer, University of Florida

Heather Ann Thompson – Professor and author, University of Michigan

Helen H Jun – Associate Professor, University of Illinois, Chicago; Departments of English and African American Studies

Horace G. Campbell – Professor, Syracuse University

Ibram X. Kendi – Professor, American University

Jaime Veve – Labor Organizer, Transport Workers Union local 100 NYC (ret.)

Jakobi Williams – Ruth N. Halls Associate Professor, Indiana University

James Smethurst – Professor, University of Massachusetts Amherst

Janet Jakobsen – Professor of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, Barnard College

Jarvis Tyner – NY State Chairperson, Communist Party USA

Jasmin A. Young, PhD – Scholar, UCLA

Jasmin Cardenas – Arts Justice Activist, CWC Worker’s Resistance Theater Collective

Jasmin Howard – Doctoral Student, Michigan State University

Jason McGraw – Associate Professor, Indiana University

Jay Schaffner – Moderator, Portside

Jean Allman – Professor, African and African American Studies, Washington University in St. Louis

Jeanine Ntihirageza – Faculty, Northeastern Illinois University

Jeanne M. Toungara – Associate Professor or History, Howard University

Jeanne Middleton Hairston – Scholar, Teacher and Witness to the Movement, DOCJMH, LLC

Jeanne Theoharis – Distinguished Professor, Brooklyn College of CUNY

Jeffrey O.G. Ogbar, Professor of History, University of Connecticut

Jennifer Brier – Professor of Gender & Women’s Studies and History, University of Illinois – Chicago

Jennifer DeVere Brody – Professor, Stanford University

Jennifer L. Morgan – Professor, New York University

Jennifer Williams – Assistant Professor, Loyola Marymount University

Jerrad P. Pacatte – Graduate Student, Rutgers University

Jessica Viñan-Nelson – PhD candidate, The Ohio State University

Joan C. Browning – 1961 Albany Freedom Rider, Independent Scholar

joão vargas – Professor, University of California, Riverside

Joelle Fishman – Chair, Political Action Commission, CPUSA

Johanna Fernandez – Associate Professor, Baruch College, City University of NY

John Bachtell – National Chair, Communist Party USA

John Higginson – Professor of History, University of Massachusetts Amherst

Johnny E. Williams – Professor of Sociology, Trinity College

Jordan T. Camp – Term Assistant Professor of American Studies, Barnard College

Joshua B. Guild – Associate Professor of History & African American Studies, Princeton University

Joshua Bloom – Assistant Professor of Sociology, University of Pittsburgh

Joyce Elaine King – Benjamin E. Mays Endowed Chair for Urban Teaching, Learning & Leadership, Georgia State University

Joye Bowman – Professor of History, UMass Amherst

J.T. Roane, Assistant Professor of Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies, University of Cincinnati

Juana Maria Rodriguez – Professor, UC Berkeley

Judith Byfield – Professor of History, Cornell University

Judith Ezekiel – Professor emerita, Wright State University

Judy Richardson – SNCC Veteran (1963-66), Education Director, Eyes on the Prize documentary series, Visiting Professor, Brown University (former)

Judy Tzu-Chun Wu – Professor and Asian American Studies Chair, University of California, Irvine

Julie Buckner Armstrong – Professor of Literature and Cultural Studies, University of South Florida

Julie Saville – Associate Professor, Emerita, University of Chicago

Juliet Hooker – Professor of Political Science, Brown University

K.T. Ewing – Assistant Professor, Tennessee State University

Kairn A Klieman – Associate Professor, University of Houston

Karen Cook Bell – Associate Professor, Bowie State University

Karen J. Leong – Associate Professor, Arizona State University

Karen Kuo – Associate Professor, Arizona State University

Karen Sotiropoulos – Associate Professor of History, Cleveland State University

Karma R. Chavez – Chair and Associate Professor, Dept. of Mexican American and Latina/o Studies, University of Texas at Austin

Katherine Pecore – Staff Attorney, Office of the Appellate Defender

Kaye Wise Whitehead – Associate Professor of Communication and African and African American Studies, Loyola University Maryland

Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor – Assistant Professor, Princeton University

Keisha A. Brown – Assistant Professor, Tennessee State University

Keisha N. Blain – Assistant Professor of History, University of Pittsburgh

Keisha-Khan Perry – Associate Professor, Brown University

Kellie Jackson – Assistant Professor, Wellesley College

Keona K. Ervin – Associate Professor of History, University of Missouri

Kesho Yvonne Scott – Associate Professor, Grinnell College

Kia Caldwell – Professor, African, African American & Diaspora Studies, UNC-Chapel Hill

Kimberle Crenshaw, Distinguished Professor of Law, UCLA and Columbia University

Dr. Kimberly Nichele Brown – Associate Professor in the Department of Gender, Sexuality and Women’s Studies, Virginia Commonwealth University

Kimberly Thomas McNair, PhD – Postdoctoral Scholar, University of Southern California

Komozi Woodard – Professor of History, Public Policy & Africana Studies, Sarah Lawrence College

Koritha Mitchell – Associate Professor of English, Ohio State University

Krista Johnson – Associate Professor, Howard University

Lacey Peters – Assistant Professor, Hunter College, CUNY

Laila Farah – Associate Professor, DePaul University

Laura Briggs – Professor, Women, Gender, Sexuality Studies, University of Massachusetts

Laura Durnell – Professor, DePaul University

Lauren Araiza – Associate Professor of History, Denison University

Laurie Green – Professor, University of Texas at Austin

Lawrence Ware, Teaching Professor of Philosophy and co-director of the Center for Africana Studies, Oklahoma State University

Leah Sarat – Associate Professor of Religious Studies, Arizona State University

Lee Baker – Professor, Durham, NC

Leith Mullings – Distinguished Professor Emerita, Ph. D. Program in Anthropology, Graduate Center, CUNY

Leslie M Alexander – Associate Professor, University of Oregon

Dr. Leslie-Burl McLemore – Emeritus Professor, Jackson State University

Lester K Spence – Associate Professor of Political Science and Africana Studies, Johns Hopkins University

Linda E. Carty – Associate Professor, Syracuse University

Lisa Brock – Director of Arcus Center for Social Justice Leadership, Kalamazoo College

Lisa Levenstein – Associate Professor of History, UNC Greensboro

Lisa M. Anderson – Associate Professor, Arizona State University

Lisa Yun lee – Executive Director, National Public Housing Museum

Lise Vogel – Professor (ret.) of Sociology, Rider University

Dr. Lynette A. Jackson – Professor, University of Illinois at Chicago

M. Phyllis Cunningham RN, EdD – Retired, CUNY

Mae Ngai – Professor, Columbia University

Manisha Sinha – Draper Chair in American History, University of Connecticut

Marc B Steiner – President/Executive Producer, Center for Emerging Media

Margaret Washington – Professor, Cornell University

Maria Varela – Visiting Professor (former), The Colorado College/University of New Mexico

Marisa Fuentes – Associate Professor, Rutgers University

Marisela Gomez MPH PHD MD – CEO, Social Health Concepts & Practices.

Dr Mark Naison – Professor of African American Studies and History, Fordham University

Mark Anthony Neal – Professor, Duke University

Marlon M Bailey – Associate Professor, Arizona State University

Martha Biondi – Lorraine H. Morton Professor of African American Studies and Professor of History, Northwestern University

Mary Barr, Assistant Professor of Sociology, Kentucky State University

Mary Margaret Fonow – Professor of Women and Gender Studies, Arizona State University

Mary Pattillo – Professor of Sociology and African American Studies, Northwestern University

Mary Louise Patterson M.D. – Asst. Clinical Professor, Weill Cornell Medical College

Mathias Urban – Professor of Early Childhood Education, Dublin City University

Matthew Basso – Professor, University of Utah

Matthew M. Harris – PhD Candidate, University of California, Santa Barbara

Melanee C. Harvey – Assistant Professor, Howard University

Melina Abdullah – Professor & Chair, Pan-African Studies, California State University, Los Angeles

Melissa N. Stuckey, Ph.D. – Assistant Professor of History, Elizabeth City State University

Mia Charlene White – Assistant Professor, The New School

Michael A. Middleton – Deputy Chancellor and Professor Emeritus of Law, University of Missouri

Michael Keith Honey – Haley Professor of Humanities, University of Washington Tacoma

Michael O. West – Professor, Binghamton University

Michael Simanga – Scholar, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

Michelle Alexander – Visiting Professor of Social Justice, Union Theological Seminary

Michelle Duster – Author / Speaker / Educator, Columbia College Chicago

Michelle Moyd – Associate Professor of History, Indiana University, Bloomington

Michelle Salazar Perez – Associate Professor of Early Childhood, New Mexico State University

Mildred Boveda – Assistant Professor, Arizona State University

Minkah Makalani – Director, John L. Warfield Center for African and African American Studies, Associate Professor of African and African Diaspora Studies, University of Texas at Austin

Molly Crabapple – Artist and author of Drawing Blood, Independent

Mónica A. Jiménez – Assistant Professor, African and African Diaspora Studies Department, University of Texas at Austin

N. D. B. Connolly – Herbert Baxter Adams Associate Professor, Johns Hopkins University

Nadine Naber, Professor, Global Asian Studies and Gender and Women’s Studies, University of Illinois at Chicago

Nan Enstad, Professor of History, University of Wisconsin, Madison

Nancy Gruver – Founder, New Moon Girls

Nancy MacLean – William Chafe Professor of History and Public Policy, Duke University

Nancy Raquel Mirabal – Associate Professor, American Studies Department, University of Maryland, College Park

Natalie P. Byfield – Associate Professor, St. John’s University

Natanya Duncan – Assistant Professor, Lehigh University

Natsu Taylor Saito – Professor of Law, Georgia State University

Nell Irvin Painter – Edwards Professor of American History, Emerita, Princeton University

Nicole Burrowes – Assistant Professor, University of Texas, Austin

Nikhil Pal Singh – Professor of Social and Cultural Analysis and History, Faculty Director NYU Prison Education Program, New York University

Nikki Brown – Associate Professor of History, University of New Orleans

Nikki M. Taylor – Professor of History, Howard University

Nishani Frazier – Associate Professor, Miami University of Ohio

Noorjahan Akbar – Founding Director, Free Women Writers

Pamela N Walker – PhD Candidate, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey

Pamela Sporn – Director, Grito Productions

Patricia Williams Lessane, Executive Director of the Avery Research Center for African American History and Culture at the College of Charleston

Patrick D. Jones – Associate Professor, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Patti Duncan – Associate Professor of Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, Oregon State University

Paula Austin – Assistant Professor, California State University, Sacramento

Peggy Quinn – Member/ Organizer, Mississippi for Quality Education as a Constitutional Right

Penny Patch – Civil Rights Movement veteran, Nurse-Midwife, Adjunct Professor, Springfield College (ret.)

Philip V. McHarris – PhD Candidate, Yale University

Phyllis Bennis – Fellow, Institute for Policy Studies

Premilla Nadasen – Professor, Barnard College

Prexy Nesbitt – Senior Lecturer, Making the Road

Prof. Blair LM Kelley – Associate Professor, NC State University

Quincy Mills – Associate Professor of History, Director of Africana Studies, Vassar College

Rabab Abdulhadi – Director and Senior Scholar, Arab and Muslim Ethnicities and Diasporas Studies, San Francisco State University

Rachel E. Harding, PhD – Associate Professor, University of Colorado Denver

Rashid Khalidi, Edward Said Professor of Modern Arab Studies and History, Columbia University

Rebecca Hill – Professor, Kennesaw State University

Regina Yasmeen Brown – Member, Sembène Films & Art Festival

Rhonda Hanson – NEA Peace & Justice Caucus

Rhonda Y. Williams – Professor, Vanderbilt University

Robbie Osman – Activist, Freedom Summer volunteer

Robert W. Widell, Jr. – Associate Professor of History, University of Rhode Island

Robin D. G. Kelley – Professor, UCLA

Robyn Ceanne Spencer – Associate Professor of History, Lehman College

Roderick A. Ferguson – Professor, University of Illinois

Ronda Henry Anthony – Associate Professor, Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis

Rosalie Uyola – Director, Independent Scholar

Dr. Rose Brewer – Professor, University of Minnesota

Rosemary Ndubuizu – Assistant Professor, Georgetown University

Ruby Sales – Director Founder, Spirithouse Project, SNCC veteran

Rudy Guevarra Jr. – Associate Professor, Arizona State University

Russell Rickford – Associate Professor of History, Cornell University

Ruth Wilson Gilmore – Professor, Graduate Center, City University of New York

Salamishah Tillet – Professor of African-American Studies and Creative Writing, Rutgers University

Samuel Kelton Roberts – Associate Professor of History & Sociomedical Sciences, Columbia University

Sara M Evans – Regents Professor Emerita, University of Minnesota, retired

Sarah E. Chinn – Professor, English Department, Hunter College, CUNY

Sarah Haley – Associate Professor, UCLA

Sasha Turner, Associate Professor, Quinnnipiac University, and Yale Research Fellow

Scott Saul – Professor of English, UC Berkeley

Sean Jacobs – Associate Professor, International Affairs, The New School

Senti Sojwal – Communications Coordinator, Planned Parenthood of New York City

Dr. Shana L. Redmond – Associate Professor, UCLA

Shanna G. Benjamin – Associate Professor of English, Grinnell College

Shannon Frystak, Ph.D. – Professor of African American/Women’s History, East Stroudsburg University of Pennsylvania

Shannon King – Associate Professor of History, College of Wooster

Sharla M. Fett – Professor, Occidental College

Shawnita Sealy-Jefferson, PhD, MPH – Assistant Professor of Epidemiology, The Ohio State University

Sheshalatha Reddy – Associate Professor, Howard University

Simon Balto – Assistant Professor of History and African-American Studies, University of Iowa

Sina Kramer – Assistant Professor of Women’s and Gender Studies, Loyola Marymount University

Stanlie M James – Professor, Arizona State University

Stephanie Shonekan – Professor, W.E.B. Du Bois Dept of Afro-American Studies, UMASS Amherst

Stephanie Smallwood – Associate Professor of History, University of Washington

Steve Thornton – Past Vice President, District 1199 NE/ SEIU

Steve Wise – Activist, Virginia Students Civil Rights Committee

Sundiata Keita Cha-Jua – Associate Professor, University of Illinois

Susan M. Reverby – Professor Emerita, Wellesley College

T. Dionne Bailey – Postdoctoral Research and Teaching Fellow, Carter G. Woodson Institute – University of Virginia

Dr. Tara White – Historian, Wallace County Community College

Tera W. Hunter – Edwards Professor of American History and Professor of African American Studies, Princeton

Teresa A. Barnes – Assoc. Professor, Center for African Studies, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

Teresa Prados Torreira – Associate Professor, Columbia College Chicago

Thavolia Glymph – Professor, Duke University

Theresa El-Amin – Regional Director, Southern Anti-Racism Network

Thomas A. Guglielmo – Associate Professor of American Studies, George Washington University

Thomas C Holt – Professor, University of Chicago

Dr. Tiffany Ruby Patterson – Associate Professor of African American and Diaspora Studies and History, Vanderbilt University

Tikia K. Hamilton, Ph.D. – Educator, Latin School of Chicago

Timothy B. Tyson – Senior Research Scholar, Duke University

Dr. Tiyi M. Morris – Associate Professor, Ohio State University

Todd Moye – Professor of History, University of North Texas

Toussaint Losier – Assistant Professor, University of Massachusetts at Amherst

Tracye A. Matthews – Executive Director, Center for the Study of Race, Politics and Culture, University of Chicago

Tyina Steptoe – Associate Professor, University of Arizona

Ula Taylor – Professor, University of California, Berkeley

V. P. Franklin – Educator/Historian, University of New Orleans

Victoria Wolcott, Professor of History, University of Buffalo

Wahneema Lubiano – Associate Professor, African & African American Studies, Duke University

Walter D. Greason – Chair, EDCNL, Monmouth University

Wangui Muigai – Lecturer, Brandeis University

Wellington W. Nyangoni – Professor, Brandeis University

Dr. Willi Coleman – Professor Emerita, University of Vermont

William Ayers – Distinguished Professor, University of Illinois at Chicago

William Minter – Editor, AfricaFocus Bulletin

William P. Jones – Professor of History, University of Minnesota

Zebulon V. Miletsky – Assistant Professor/Africana Studies, Stony Brook University

zillah eisenstein – Professor Emerita, Anti-racist feminist theory, Ithaca College

(The affiliations of individuals listed are provided for identification purposes only)

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Happy 90th Birthday to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.


Ebenezer Baptist Church bulletin from 2018.

Today Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Would have been 90 years old.

Here are some MLK,Jr questions for you and your circle of influence:

How will you celebrate his birthday today or next Monday, January 21, the day the King National Holiday is celebrated?

Will you attend the Annual Program at Ebenezer Baptist Church, where he served as Co-Pastor and his father served as Pastor?

Will you participate in a MLKJr Day of Service?

Will you attend one of the many marches or other celebrations across the region?

Will you take time to learn more about MLKing,Jr with your circle of friends and family?

Will you read one of the many books about him?

Will you read one of his speeches (google Dr. MLKing, Jr. speeches) other than his “I Have A Dream Speech”?  Or, watch any of his less famous, yet just as important, speeches or interviews online?

To study King, his life and works will amaze you.  He was a brilliant visionary.  You will find that many of his speeches, letters and other works seem timeless. Some of them are still appropriate today…in 2019.

How do you believe things might be different if he were still alive?

What things did he envision during his lifetime do you believe still need to be fulfilled?



Homeless in the ATL


Homeless woman on one of Atlanta’s most known streets, Peachtree Street in downtown Atlanta.

Homeless in Atlanta.  The Jewel of the South.  Black Mecca.  Home of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Civil Rights. How can this be? 

Atlanta is also #1 in the nation for income inequality. Lots of people with money. Lots of people without money.  Almost no one in the middle.  Affordable housing needs unmet with tens of thousands of units needed in Atlanta.  Other cities have similar needs.  But, many believe Atlanta should be doing better than other cities and should be the model . How is it that those with so much not see, care or help solve this rapidly growing social issue?

According to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, housing is one of humanity’s most basic needs.  So again I ask, how can this be??

It is bad to see homeless men.  It is even worse to see homeless women. Ir is even worse to know some of our homeless are veterans who have proudly served our country.  As we saw recently with a former Cosby cast member working in Trader Joe’s, almost anyone can fall on hard times.  Where is our compassion and humanity?

Across metro Atlanta, we find funds for a $23 million bridge and replace the sidewalks around it.  Meanwhile, other parts of the city have been asking for sidewalks for decades.  How can we solve this huge homeless problem??  Why not have a contest and ask for solutions from our citizens and have them present to a “Shark Tank” like panel that will get matching funds from Atlanta Housing Authority, Invest Atlanta and some local private funders??

I pray that sooner rather than later, Atlanta and cities across  our nation will find the solution to our rapidly growing homeless problem.  I pray the woman in this photo is able to get off the streets soon.


The Gulch – Who Do You Believe? Who Really Benefits?


Moderator Karen Greer, Mayor Bottoms, and CIM Advocate Team.

Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms held a community forum to hear from residents due to opposition to The Gulch $5 Billion redevelopment plan proposed by California developer CIM.  The Mayor came in, took her seat and left after the Forum.  While she read an opening statement and answered a couple of the audience questions (that were read by the moderator), she was never seen engaging with residents.  No pictures. No handshakes. Nothing.

The plan which the City Council refused to vote on, until they have more time to review the 600 page document recently delivered to their homes, has residents furious.


Discussing 600 page Gulch Proposal with another opponent at Mayor’s forum.

Most residents were not allowed in the forum because City employees and a group of folks in green t-shirts, supporters  of the CIM proposed Gulch deal, took up most of the seats.  How is that really a forum for residents?  The overflow room was filled with residents upset they could not get in.


One of many ATL police officers after forum as GA Stand Up Exec. Dir., Deborah Scott, shares her opposing view with reporter.

In opening rules, outlined by moderator Karen Greer, attendees were told we would be removed by police officers, stationed around the room, if we got out of line (paraphrase).  I have attended many controversial forums/town halls, all across the country. Never have I heard those words.  Despite that, there were a few times when folks yelled in disagreement to what was being said.

Why are residents furious?  Well, after so many other “good deals” and promises that include:

– The original Braves Stadium & Turner Field

– Friendship Baptist Church & Mt. Vernon Baptist Church buyouts

– Falcons Stadium, Mercedes Benz (MB) Stadium & their $23 million bridge across Northside Drive


Karl Barnes (white jacket) ATL native and GA Tech alum among few residents who got into the Mayor’s Gulch Forum.

Each of these deals were also “good deals”  for the community and now we are all on the hook for cost overruns (the original MB bridge cost was $10 million. Several months later, the cost rose to $23 million with $1million in lights.).

Each time, residents are on the hook despite their elected officials assuring them, ‘it is good for Atlanta because it will bring jobs’.  Well, from what most reports and articles reveal, the minimum wage, temporary stadium jobs are what residents can verify.  No one can verify any substantial contractor or management jobs for residents.  However, residents continue to be displaced and given empty promises.

With a severe shortage of affordable housing units in Atlanta, each “good deal” drives out current residents while paving the way for new residents in homes priced out of reach for most.  Being the number one U.S. city for income inequality, there are only two places for most ATL residents to move:

1) further from the city with no or limited access to public transportation

2)  under an I-20 bridge with other homeless people

If a portion of our tax dollars could be used, as many advocates have asked, for:

– programs to repair/update homes of current residents,

– a program to “grandfather” current residents’ from tax increases.

– more affordable housing units than Invest Atlanta and the BeltLine can currently deliver.

That would give thousands of residents access to reasonable and affordable housing units.


Alvin Kendall, local attorney, gives the project overview as the Mayor Bottoms looks on.

Alvin Kendal, City of Atlanta liaison for the CIM Project gives a complicated presentation without a power point.  More on Kendall and his conflict of interest on this project from the AJC at:–politics/watchdogs-question-rec-authority-leader-hiring-for-gulch-legal-work/QOvTwH6RnByIyAzlXvfRfL/

Much of the information he gave failed to give the whole story of the 30 year tax consequences to residents, Atlanta Public Schools (APS) and Fulton County Commissioners.  Three entities, ATL City Council, APS and Fulton County have to approve the plan for it to materialize.


Joe Beasley at podium at last week’s four hour long City Council Work Session attended by only half of the Council.

You see, I also attended last week’s City Council Work Session with “CIM Armani suit-wearing lawyers”, as former Senator Vincent Fort describes them.  Above, Internationist human rights activist, Joe Beasley, speaks against The Gulch Project.

If programs and legislation can be passed to benefit big corporations and stadium owners, why not for residents so they will not be driven out of their homes?  Is that too much to ask for while these corporate folks get to use “our” hard earned tax dollars?  Residents can make a change when they VOTE  in EVERY ELECTION.

Why is it that planners and people, including most of our elected officials, usually go into neighborhoods and tell them “what is best for them” and “how” their communities should look?  Even when Town halls are held, case in point, as with planning for MLKing Jr. Blvd, the neighborhood clearly objected to putting in medians.  This both limited left lane turning for cars and fire trucks.  Hmmm.

As WAOK Radio Host Derrick Boazman shared, ‘this Mayor’s Forum was not genuine and she is not standing up for the best interest of residents who elected her’.  Despite having a hand full of questions, Greer only read about 10-12. Most of them were not answered.  Real audience members were frustrated and began to shout out in frustration causing commotion.  Meanwhile the mayor sat with an unchanged expression.  And, to top it all off, most of us were shocked when the forum seemed to abruptly end.  Most of the time was not used to answer questions, but to give Gulch proposal rhetoric about how good this deal is for Atlanta.  If it is that good, tell the truth, answer all questions, and stop rushing.


Registering & educating voters at GA State MARTA Station. Back of t-shirt reads, “Register to Vote”.

So how do Atlanta residents and residents across the nation get control of their neighborhoods and protect them from predatory developers?

Glad you asked.  The short answer is to unite to vote out those who do not favor the residents who elected them.  And, to vet and fund candidates. Do not wait to see who runs.

On Tuesday, November 6, residents can take their power back by not just voting.  Everyone also needs to educate themselves on the 20 plus items on Georgia ballots (use Google, discuss with friends), BEFORE Election Day, so you can vote down the entire ballot with confidence while encouraging friends and family to do the same. Print a sample ballot from:

In the meantime, those who are in office may be able to be recalled when they do not represent their voters. In the words of Sean King, contributor to the Tom Joyner Morning Show and Black America Web, “When we organize, we win!.”



Lots of people hanging around after Mayor’s Gulch Forum. Sign reads “Red Light The Gulch”.

So, it is obvious that Atlanta residents did not get their questions answered at the Mayor’s Forum.  So no transparency.

Who do you believe about The Gulch Plan?  The Armani suit-wearing attorneys who represent CIM, a firm with no Blacks on their executive team (according to their website  Who benefits?  You decide. You can make sure your voice is heard:

1) Organize a protest big or small.

2) Contact Mayor Bottoms at (404) 330-3100 or email from this link:

3) Contact EVERY City Council Member, not just yours. Keep in mind, three are at-large or citywide :  Bond, Dickens, and Westmoreland.  If you do not know the name of your council member, ask when you call (404) 330-6030 or check this link for their individual contact info:


(1. Also see my earlier blog on The Gulch.

2. Please let me know if you see errors. Another sets of eyes is always good!)




Celebrating 98 Years of Women Voting


Wow!  Can you believe that women did not get the right to vote until the 19th Amendment to the Constitution was adopted on August 26, 1920. It was several decades later when Blacks and Black women got their right to vote.  That right has been under attack since its’ inception.

Today, women are a powerful and important voting block.  With so much at stake with the November 6, 2018 elections across the U.S., women will be the key to electing candidates who will truly represent the needs of the people instead of the needs of special interests who help regentrify our neighborhoods.  And, here in Georgia with the governor’s race, women could make history by electing the first female and first  Black governor.

Read the full article by Virginia Kase written in celebration of Women’s Equality Day:

If the vote were not a powerful tool, it would not be under attack to hinder women, the poor and people of color from voting.  From the beginning, white Men wanted this privilege solely for themselves.

What is the Plan in Your Community?



Want to change social and economic injustices?  Then you need a plan of action.

Shaun King’s commentary  for Black America Web this morning emphasizes how a “blind loyalty” gets people nowhere.  However, a plan of action gets you results. In case you missed this less than 10 minute audio, here is the link for you to listen, share, and move to action:

Shaun King Talks Policy Ideas

Harriett Tubman, Booker T. Washington, and President Barack Obama were successful because they all had a plan of action!!  Likewise,  Adolph Hitler, the Koch Brothers and the Tea Party also had a plan of action!  With technological advances AND boots on the ground, you can plan, educate, empower and implement a customized plan of action with best practices, for the Top 5-10 (depending on manpower/volunteers) issues that cause Blacks, Browns, Native Americans, the working poor, functionally disabled, mentally challenged and other citizens who simply want equity. This can be done in each community across the country.

Harriett Tubman, the Pullman Porters, residents of Black Wallstreet (in Tulsa), Muhammad Ali, Dick Gregory, Martin Luther King, Jr., Malcolm X, Shirley Chisholm, Gandhi, John F. Kennedy, Maynard Jackson, Colin Kaepernick, Oprah Winfrey, The Freedom Riders, and the Native American Code Talkers (to name a few) did not wait for a leader to emerge.  They knew Superman was not coming.  They all stepped up to do what they could to make a difference. So can you!!  Each of us can use our skills and talents to help a current organization, or start your own.  No cause is too small.  Jesus also had a plan. And, He trained twelve.

You do not have to be a rocket scientist, have a degree, or a title. If you can figure out how to go on vacation and navigate in a city or country that you have never visited, surely you can figure out how to make a difference in your neighborhood, church, or non-profit.  Or, start your own group.

As my dearly departed Godmother, Rev. Willie Taplin Barrow use to say, “If you are not at the table when plans are made, you are on the menu.”


Above: Rev. Willie Taplin Barrow (Dec. 7, 1924 – March 12, 2015).

It is time to stop talking about how bad things are. It is time to do something about it!! It is time to stop saying, “they ought to” or “the church ought to”.  Who are they?  Who is the the Church?  When is the last time you volunteered or worked on a community service project (in person or online)?

Gandhi famously said, “You must be the change you want to see in the world.“

In the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.,

“Everybody can be great, because anybody can serve. You don’t have to have a college degree to serve. You don’t have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love.”