By Angelo Lopez on December 20, 2008
"Let me give you a word of the philosophy of reforms. The whole history of the progress of human liberty shows that all concessions yet made to her august claims have been born of struggle... If there is no struggle there is no progress. Those who profess to favor freedom and yet deprecate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground. They want rain without thunder and lightning. They want the ocean without the awful roar of its many waters. The struggle may be a moral one; or it may be a physical one; or it may be both moral and physical, but it must be a struggle. Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will..." (Frederick Douglass)
Last month, when Obama made his victory speech in Chicago, I was deeply touched at the sight of so many older African Americans in tears of joy. Though I was happy for Obama's victory, it must've had a special meaning for many older African Americans that it wouldn't have for me, especially for those who lived through the civil rights era and before. The election of Barack Obama wouldn't have had happened without the hard work and courage of past civil rights activists to fight for racial equality and to challenge the racism of American society. At the final stretch of the election season, a book by Philip Dray was released in bookstores about the first black Congressmen in the United States. This book, Capitol Men: The Epic Story of Reconstruction Through the Lives of the First Black Congressmen
, describes the seven Congressmen and the conditions they faced during the Reconstruction.
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By Shari L. Wilson on December 16, 2008
It's been a long time since I actually sat down and read a book. Not the newspaper, not a magazine, not because I had to--but an actual book, cover to cover. What book kept my attention long enough to ignore potential distractions? (It helps to turn off the tv.) It was The Green Collar Economy: How One Solution Can Fix Our Two Biggest Problems by Van Jones.
Jones, a community activist in Oakland, CA, is working to build a Green Growth Alliance based on a clean energy economy. As he points out, the jobs needed in the new economy will not all require a four-year college education. President-elect Obama has been talking in similar tones about his priorities once in office. So how do we get there? Are we ready and willing to focus on low income and people of color communities?
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