Archive for the Politics Category

Family Values

Posted in Commentary, Politics with tags , , , on July 14, 2013 by substanceandstyledc

martin familyThey are not the Huxtables. They are divorced. Yet, Tracy Martin and Sybrina Fulton are a beautiful expression of love, parenting and perseverance.

In the face of a tragedy, untold personal stress and worldwide media attention, they have stood together to fight for justice for their son and millions of young boys that look just like him. So many could have and would have cracked under the pressure of losing their child, let alone an ugly national debate on race, guns and politics but Mr. Martin and Ms. Fulton have not.

Mr. Martin and Ms. Fulton allowed us all to be students of the American judiciary system, walking with them step by step in a drawn out investigation and trial for the murder of their 17 year old son that often felt like he – the victim – was on trial. Beyond lessons the public have learned, or relearned about race, politics and courtroom drama from the State vs Zimmerman case, we have also been dutifully instructed on other valuable lessons from Mr. Martin and Ms. Fulton.

1. After a divorce, both parents can play an active role in the care and upbringing of their child(ren). Even in his death, the solidarity shown by Mr. Martin and Ms. Fulton in pursuing peaceful justice for the life of their child that was taken from them provides a blueprint for parents to work together for what is best for their child, always.

2. Black women are not angry. Ms. Fulton has suffered the greatest loss that a woman can have, she has buried a child whose life came from her womb. Under intense media scrutiny in numerous interviews and on the witness stand during the murder the trial for her son, she has not raised her voice nor her fist. Throughout this journey she has maintained dignity and grace.

3. Black men love their sons. Although Mr. Martin and Ms. Fulton were divorced, Trayvon Martin had a relationship with both of his parents. A small detail that can’t be overlooked about the night that Trayvon Martin was killed that has nothing to do with the trial or verdict but helps create a backdrop for his story is that he was walking to his father’s house. Trayvon’s father hadn’t divorced his mother and left him forever. Trayvon’s father was still present in his life.

Regardless of the stereotypes and media portrayals of Black fathers, Mr. Martin was a Black man who may not have had his son living with him full time, but was still actively involved in raising his Black son. In the months leading up to the trial against George Zimmerman for killing his son Mr. Martin expressed on numerous occasions his fond sentiments about his baby boy. Moments after Zimmerman was found not guilty he took Twitter to say: ‘Even though I am broken hearted my faith is unshattered I WILL ALWAYS LOVE MY BABY TRAY.’ Black men do love and express that love in a multitude of ways. Mr. Martin proved that fact again.

For years to come the Zimmerman case will be debated, the legacy of Trayvon Martin and what he represents will not be forgotten and hopefully, the lessons of Mr. Martin and Ms. Fulton will also not be lost.

Convert

Posted in Culture, Politics with tags , , , on February 4, 2013 by substanceandstyledc

WMT-12010_ConvertHmpg_cs2Modify. Transform. Adopt. Convert. All of them are simple words with often complicated implications. In the play The Convert written by Danai Gurira and directed by Michael John Garcés at Wooly Mammoth Theatre the complications are made clear and real.

Set in 1895 amid the colonial scramble for Southern Africa, the play follows Jekesai, a young girl who escapes village life and a forced marriage arrangement, ultimately discovering Christianity under the guidance of an African teacher. However, as anti-colonial sentiments rise to a boiling point, Jekesai must choose between her new European God and the spirits of her ancestors.

The Convert runs February 13 through March 10. In addition to performances, there is a series of discussions and activities to complement the show.

Emancipation: 1863 & 1963

Posted in Culture, Politics with tags , , on December 12, 2012 by substanceandstyledc

RRXCF00ZThe year 2013 marks two historic milestones in American history, the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation and the anniversary of the 1963 March on Washington. The National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC) and the National Archives are recognizing these events.

Changing America: The Emancipation Proclamation, 1863 and the March on Washington, 1963, opens December 14, 2012 at NMAAHC’s temporary gallery on level two at American History. The exhibition, features historic photographs, paintings, new film footage and objects, that explores the historical context of these two crucial events, their accomplishments and limitations, and their impact on the generations that followed. The exhibit runs through September 2013.

The National Archives will celebrate the 150th Anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation with a free special display of the original document from December 30, 2012 through January 1, 2013. The Emancipation Proclamation is displayed only for a limited time each year because of its fragility, which can be made worse by exposure to light, and the need to preserve it for future generations. Other special programs marking the 150th anniversary will be held throughout the year.

An Eye on “I” in September

Posted in Culture, Politics, Reading List with tags , , , , , , on August 15, 2012 by substanceandstyledc

The first sub-Saharan African to hold the position of Secretary-General of the United Nations, Kofi Annan has led an extraordinary life of service to the global community. Wednesday, September 5 at 7:00pm at the Sixth and I Synagogue he will share some of his experiences and knowledge that he has memorialized in his new book, Interventions: A Life in War and Peace in conversation with David Ignatius. Immediately following Mr. Annan will sign books for a limited period of time. A single ticket for the event is $36 and includes one book. Two guests may attend for $45 and receive one book. This signing is being presented in collaboration with Politics & Prose. There will be no walk-up box office sales.

Thursday September 20 at 7:30pm international recording artist, actor and activist Wyclef will also appear in conversation at Sixth and I promoting his memoir Purpose: An Immigrant’s Story. His Washington stop on the book tour is one of the very few in which he will also perform a set of his latest music before signing books. Tickets are $35 and include 1 copy of the book. Doors for this event open at 6:30pm.

Celebrate Freedom

Posted in Culture, Politics with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on April 4, 2012 by substanceandstyledc

Nine months before President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation, on April 16, 1862, he signed the Compensated Emancipation Act, granting freedom to 3,100 enslaved persons in the District of Columbia. The Compensated Emancipation Act was a significant step in ending the institution of slavery in the United States. Since 2005 the District of Columbia has commemorated this day with an official public holiday – DC Emancipation Day.  To mark the 150th anniversary of the signing of the Compensated Emancipation Act a number of educational and cultural events will take place throughout the city. Signature events taking place April 11 – April 16 include a parade, film screening, special exhibitions and a “Great Debate” Saturday, April 14 at the Lincoln Theater hosted by C.B. Homes and participants including Rev. Al Sharpton and the provocative thought leader, activist and author Dr. Michael Eric Dyson. Get more details about upcoming Emancipation Day events here.

Obama in Ghana

Posted in Culture, Politics with tags , , on March 17, 2012 by substanceandstyledc

Thursday, March 22 travel through the lens of award-winning filmmaker Tony Regusters as he shares his Obama in Ghana: The Untold Story – a documentary that captures in detail the full pilgrimage of the first African American United States President to Ghana and the incredible reception he and the First Family received six months after his inauguration.  The President and First Family made their state visit to Africa in July of 2009, selecting the Republic of Ghana as the Administration’s first visit to Sub-Saharan Africa. According to press notes,  the film “explores the preparations, the pageantry and politics of a unique and transformational moment in African world history.” The film will be screened at 6:00pm in the Langston Room of the flagship Busboys and Poets at 14th and V Street, NW.

Occupy the Vote

Posted in Politics with tags , , on February 23, 2012 by substanceandstyledc

Wednesday, March 7th the National Urban League will release their 2012 State of Black America Report and have what they are calling one of the most important pre-election events of the year, a town hall style meeting in Cramton Auditorium at Howard University at 7:00pm. If you can’t be there in person, you can view the live webcast that evening at www.iamempowered.com.  You can also be a part of the national conversation on Facebook and Twitter (#SOBA 12, #OccupyTheVote).

 This year’s State of Black America report and town hall will launch a year-long campaign, “Occupy the Vote to Educate, Employ & Empower.” In addition to a fuller discussion of our “Occupy the Vote” campaign, this year’s State of Black America report and town hall will include a discussion of the Equality Index — a statistical analysis of the status of Blacks, Hispanics and Whites. The report will also contain essays by a host of political, business, and community leaders including Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, singer John Legend, Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter, entrepreneur and author Steve Stouts, and others with prescriptions for the empowerment and education crisis facing the nation.

Seoul in the City

Posted in Culture, DC: Dining & Cocktails, Politics with tags , , , , on October 12, 2011 by substanceandstyledc

The evening of October 13 the Obama administration will open the doors of the White House to host a state dinner honoring the South Korean President Lee Myung-bak. This is the fifth state dinner hosted by the administration. If you didn’t get an invitation don’t be disappointed. Washingtonians have several other ways to learn more and to get a taste of the beautifully rich South Korean culture. For those with a literal appetite Mandu has been offering delicious traditional Korean food in DC since 2006. Both their original location on 18th Street NW and their newest addition on K Street NW continue to get rave reviews.

If something more appealing to the eye than the stomach is what you seek, stop by the Freer Gallery of Art for a visit to the Korean ceramics exhibition. The collection includes ceramics made from 200 to 1900. Throughout November the Freer will hold a series of events including movies and live performances in celebration of the reopening of their Korea gallery. It kicks off Friday, November 4 at 7pm with a free performance by Paul D. Miller, aka DJ Spooky.

The Embassy of South Korea is always a wealth of information on activities and programs that bring better understanding of culture and commerce between the US and South Korea all year round. Seoul meets soul in the District.

The Revolution Will Be Screened

Posted in Culture, Politics with tags , on September 26, 2011 by substanceandstyledc

The revolution may not be televised but the thoughts, feelings and experiences of the architects of the revolution were captured on celluloid from 1967 – 1975 in intimate interviews and quiet moments.  The compilation footage, with music by Michael Jackson and The Roots, along with commentary by sons and daughters of free thought like Erykah Badu and Talib Kweli is immortalized in the film The Black Power Mixtape 1967-1975. The much talked about film will play a limited run in Washington, DC beginning Sept 30. You don’t want to miss this.

Prime Park(ing)

Posted in Politics with tags , , on September 16, 2011 by substanceandstyledc

In honor of September 16 being International Park(ing) Day, Ward 6 Councilman Tommy Wells and his staff have made the traditional prime parking area designated for DC Council outside of the Wilson Building on Pennsylvania Avenue, NW a lot more interesting. International Park(ing) Day is an annual, worldwide event that invites citizens everywhere to transform metered parking spots into temporary parks for the public good.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 53 other followers

%d bloggers like this: