Monday, January 16, 2017

Martin Luther King Speaks! Remaining Awake Through a Great Revolution.

Martin Luther King Speaks! Remaining Awake Through a Great Revolution. National Cathedral Washington, D.C. on 31 March 1968.
I need not pause to say how very delighted I am to be here this morning, to have the opportunity of standing in this very great and significant pulpit. And I do want to express my deep personal appreciation to Dean Sayre and all of the cathedral clergy for extending the invitation.

It is always a rich and rewarding experience to take a brief break from our day-to-day demands and the struggle for freedom and human dignity and discuss the issues involved in that struggle with concerned friends of goodwill all over our nation. And certainly it is always a deep and meaningful experience to be in a worship service. And so for many reasons, I’m happy to be here today.

I would like to use as a subject from which to preach this morning: "Remaining Awake Through a Great Revolution." The text for the morning is found in the book of Revelation. There are two passages there that I would like to quote, in the sixteenth chapter of that book: "Behold I make all things new; former things are passed away."

I am sure that most of you have read that arresting little story from the pen of Washington Irving entitled "Rip Van Winkle." The one thing that we usually remember about the story is that Rip Van Winkle slept twenty years. But there is another point in that little story that is almost completely overlooked. It was the sign in the end, from which Rip went up in the mountain for his long sleep.

When Rip Van Winkle went up into the mountain, the sign had a picture of King George the Third of England. When he came down twenty years later the sign had a picture of George Washington, the first president of the United States. When Rip Van Winkle looked up at the picture of George Washington—and looking at the picture he was amazed—he was completely lost. He knew not who he was.

And this reveals to us that the most striking thing about the story of Rip Van Winkle is not merely that Rip slept twenty years, but that he slept through a revolution. While he was peacefully snoring up in the mountain a revolution was taking place that at points would change the course of history—and Rip knew nothing about it. He was asleep. Yes, he slept through a revolution. And one of the great liabilities of life is that all too many people find themselves living amid a great period of social change, and yet they fail to develop the new attitudes, the new mental responses, that the new situation demands. They end up sleeping through a revolution.

    Martin Luther King Jr. the Lost Speech - The Casualties of the Vietnam War 

In this 'lost" speech ,Dr King follows up his powerful Beyond Vietnam speech with a intellectually moving plea to his nation to embrace peace, both domestically and internationally. Those familiar with Dr.King's Nobel Peace Prize Acceptance speech may find themselves moved by the complex interweaving narrative he drew from it and incorporate here - his brilliant use of Greek mythology and metaphor to entice proper "grown up" actions from America, will undoubtedly make this speech one of your favorite.

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Lee Francis Fayetteville,NC teacher

         Fayetteville teacher suspended for flag lesson on 1st amendment 

A Cumberland County high school teacher has been suspended after he stepped on an American flag as part of a history lesson on Monday.

A photo posted on Facebook shows Lee Francis, a history teacher at Massey Hill Classical High School in Fayetteville, standing over an American flag at the front of the class.

Students said Francis tried to burn and cut the flag before dropping it on the floor as part of a lesson on the First Amendment. At least two students walked out of the classroom during the demonstration.

"I put the flag on the ground and I took two steps with my right foot and I said, 'This is an example of free speech,'" Francis said. "Two students got up and left immediately with no word, no disruption at all...I assumed something had happened. One student came to where I was and took the flag from me."

Francis has been suspended with pay in connection with the incident until he meets with Superintendent Dr. Frank Till on Thursday.

Francis, who has relatives in the military, said he did not intend to offend students, but wanted to drive home the Supreme Court's definition of free speech.

As a result of the decision by Cumberland County Schools Superintendent Frank Till, Jr. to suspend Francis and remove him from the classroom, Francis’ future as an educator was left in limbo.

Now, after two and a half months and nine hours of testimony, we finally have a decision from the Cumberland County school board on his fate.

The school board upheld the educator’s 10-day suspension without pay as punishment for stepping on the American flag in a 5 – 2 vote. Francis told Martin the school board members in attendance voted along racial lines.

According to Francis, two African-American school board members were not present for the hearing or vote for undisclosed reasons and the board only heard testimony from a student who objected to the in-class demonstration.

Upon the completion of Francis’ 10-day suspension, he will return to working in the warehouse until the end of the year.

Francis said, “He’s [Superintendent Till] made it clear for the last several weeks that he has no intention to try to put me back into the classroom.”

As for his teachers’ license, that continues to be an unresolved issue. “We have not had any response” from the school’s superintendent about the status of his license, he revealed. “I am in complete limbo.”

If you are interested in supporting Francis during his suspension, please visit his GoFundMe page

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Bridget “Biddy” Mason

Bridget “Biddy” Mason, born a slave was able to achieved financial success that enabled her to support her extended family for generations despite the fact that she was illiterate. In a landmark case she sued her master for their freedom, saved her earnings, invested in real estate, and became a well-known philanthropist in Los Angeles, California.

From Wikipedia & Wagner, Tricia Martineau
Bridget "Biddy" Mason (August 15, 1818 – January 15, 1891) was an African-American nurse and a Californian real estate entrepreneur and philanthropist. She is the founder of the First African Methodist Episcopal Church in Los Angeles, California.

Biddy Mason was born a slave on August 15, 1818, in Georgia  She was given the name of "Bridget" with no surname and was given to Robert Smith and his bride as a wedding present. After the marriage, Smith took his new wife and slaves to Mississippi.

Missionaries from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon) proselytized in Mississippi. They taught Smith and his wealthy family and they converted. Slaves were not baptized in the church as a matter of policy. Members were encouraged to free their slaves, but Smith chose not to do so.

The Smith household joined a group of other church members from Mississippi to meet the Mormon exodus from Nauvoo, Illinois, in 1847. The group traveled to Pueblo, Colorado, and joined up with the sick detachment from the Mormon Battalion. They later joined the main body of Mormons crossing the plains and settled in the Salt Lake Valley, Utah Territory.

Mason and her children joined other slaves on Smith’s religious pilgrimage to establish a new Mormon community in what would become Salt Lake City, Utah.  At the time Utah was still part of Mexico. In 1848 30-year-old Mason walked 1,700 miles behind a 300-wagon caravan that eventually arrived in the Holladay-Cottonwood area of the Salt Lake Valley. Along the route west Mason’s responsibilities included setting up and breaking camp, cooking the meals, herding the cattle, and serving as a midwife as well as taking care of her three young daughters aged ten, four, and an infant.
Church leader Brigham Young sent a group of Mormons to Southern California in 1851. Robert Smith, his family, and his slaves joined them in San Bernardino, California, sometime later. Bridget was among a large group of slaves in the San Bernardino settlement. As part of the Compromise of 1850, California was admitted as a free state and any slave who resided in the state or was born in the state was free. Bridget had lived in California for four years and some of the other slaves had been born in California, so they were covered by the law.  Bridget wanted to be free, but was under the control of Robert Smith and ignorant of the laws and her rights.

In 1856, Smith decided to move to the slave state of Texas and sell his slaves there. He told his slaves that they would be free in Texas, but Bridget did not believe him. She did not want to go to Texas and was worried she would be separated from her children like she was from her mother. The Owens family had a vested interest in the Mason family as one of their sons was romantically involved with Mason’s 17-year-old daughter.  When Robert Owens told the Los Angeles County Sheriff that slaves were being illegally held, he gathered a posse which including Owens and his sons, other cowboys and vaqueros from the Owens ranch.  The posse apprehended Smith’s wagon train in Cajon Pass, California en route to Texas and prevented him from leaving the state.

Bridget petitioned a Los Angeles court for her freedom. Smith claimed that Bridget was her family and she wanted to go to Texas.  He then bribed her lawyer to not show up.  She was not allowed to testify in court, since California law prohibited black people from testifying against white people. The judge presiding over the case, Benjamin Ignatius Hayes, interviewed Bridget and found she did not want to go to Texas and granted her freedom as a resident of a free state, as well as the freedom of the other slaves held captive by Smith (Bridget's three daughters—Ellen, Ann, and Harriet—and ten other African-American women and children). In 1860, Mason received a certified copy of the document that guaranteed her freedom.

Bridget had no legal last name as a slave. After emancipation, she chose to be known as Bridget Biddy Mason. Mason was the middle name of Amasa Lyman, Mormon apostle and mayor of San Bernardino. Biddy had spent many years in the company of Lyman's household.

After becoming free, she worked in Los Angeles as a nurse and midwife. One of her employers was the noted physician John Strother Griffin. Saving carefully, she was one of the first African Americans to purchase land in the city. As a businesswoman, she amassed a relatively large fortune of nearly $300,000, which she shared generously with charities. Mason also fed and sheltered the poor, and visited prisoners. She was instrumental in founding a traveler's aid center, and an elementary school for black children. Because of her kind and giving spirit, many called her "Auntie Mason" or "Grandma Mason."

In 1872, Mason was a founding member of First African Methodist Episcopal Church of Los Angeles, the city's first black church. The organizing meetings were held in her home on Spring Street.  She donated the land on which the church was built. This land is now the site of Biddy Mason Park, a Los Angeles city park and site of an art installation describing her life.

Mason spoke fluent Spanish and was a well-known figure in the city. She dined on occasion at the home of Pio Pico, the last governor of Alta California and a wealthy Los Angeles land owner.

After Mason's death on January 15, 1891, she was buried in an unmarked grave in Boyle Heights. On March 27, 1988, in a ceremony attended by the mayor of Los Angeles and members of the church she founded, the grave was marked with a tombstone.

Mason is an honoree in the California Social Work Hall of Distinction. She was also celebrated on Biddy Mason Day on November 16, 1989.

One of artist Sheila Levrant de Bretteville's best-known pieces is "Biddy Mason's Place: A Passage of Time,”  an 82-foot concrete wall with embedded objects in downtown Los Angeles (near where Mason lived) that tells the story of Mason's life.

     Biddy Mason & Early Los Angeles

Monday, November 14, 2016

Dr. William J. Barber's post-election speech use this  link

Dr. William J. Barber's post-election speech for Power and Resiliency.  This is the greatest man who can continue to "Speak Truth to Power" at this critical time.  May our Heavenly Father richly bless him.

Friday, November 11, 2016

Reginald F. Lewis

Lawyer, entrepreneur, philanthropist , Chairman, CEO, husband, father, son, brother, nephew, cousin, friend — Reginald F. Lewis lived his life according to the words he often quoted to audiences around the country: “Keep going, no matter what.”

                     The Reginald F. Lewis Story

Reginald F. Lewis was born on December 7, 1942 in an East Baltimore neighborhood he once described as “semi-tough.” Lewis was strongly influenced by his family. His parents, grandparents. uncles, and aunts always encouraged Lewis to “be the best that you can be.” Reginald’s grandmother would teach him the importance of saving, even cutting and peeling strips from the bottom of a tin can and nailing it to the floor of a closet to protect his savings.

At the age of ten, Lewis set up a delivery route to sell the Afro American newspaper. After building the business from ten customers to more than a hundred in two years, he sold the route at a profit.

Lewis’ grandfather was headwaiter and maitre d’ at a private country club. It was while working there as a teenager that Lewis says his grandfather advised him. - “Know your job and do it well.” He also told Reginald stories about Paris during World War I, cultivating in him a lifelong love of French Language, food, and culture.

Reginald’s family stressed the value of education at an early age. Lewis received early schooling from the Oblate Sisters of Providence, established by women of African descent whose mission was teaching and caring for African American children. Later at Dunbar high School, he distinguished himself as an athlete on the playing field and a hard working student in the class room. He was quarterback of the football team shortstop for varsity baseball, a forward on the basketball team and was team captain of all three. Lewis was also elected vice president of the student body.

Reginald F. Lewis entered Virginia State University in 1961 on a football scholarship. An injury cut short his football career and he focused on school and work. One of the jobs was as a photographer’s sales assistant. He generated so much business that he was offered a partnership. Reginald declined because he had bigger things in mind for the future. A handwritten schedule that he kept says: “To be a good lawyer, one must study HARD.” And he did, graduating on the dean’s list his senior year.

In 1965, the Rockefeller Foundation funded a summer school program at Harvard Law School to introduce a select number of black students to legal studies. Reginald lobbied for his acceptance and got in. He made such an impression that Lewis was invited to attend Harvard Law School that fall — the only person in the 148-year history of the school to be admitted before applying. During his third year at Harvard Law, Lewis discovered the direction his career would take as the result of a course on securities law. His senior year thesis on mergers and acquisitions received an honors grade.

After graduation (HLS ‘68), Lewis landed a job practicing corporate law with a prestigious New York law firm . Two years later he—along with a few others—set up Wall Street’s first African American law firm. Lewis focused on corporate law, structuring investments in minority owned businesses and became special counsel to major corporations like General Foods and Equitable Life (now AXA).

RFL was of counsel to the New York-based Commission for Racial Justice and represented The Wilmington Ten. He was successful in forcing North Carolina to pay interest on the Wilmington Ten bond.

A desire to "do the deals myself" led Lewis to establish TLC Group, L.P. in 1983. His first successful venture was the S22.5—million dollar leveraged buyout of McCall Pattern Company. It was a struggling business in a declining industry. Lewis streamlined operations, increased marketing, and led the company to two of the most profitable years in McCall’s 113-year history. In the summer of 1987, he sold the company for $65 million, making a 90 to 1 return on his investment.

Fresh on the heels of the McCall deal, Lewis purchased the international division of Beatrice Foods (64 companies in 31 countries) in August 1987. The deal was supported by the most powerful investment banker then, Drexel Burnham Lambert, and led by high yield bond king Michael Robert Milken. Lewis, after closing the deal in December 1987, re-branded the corporation as TLC Beatrice International, Inc. At S985 million, the deal was the largest offshore leveraged buyout ever by an American company. As Chairman and CEO, Lewis moved quickly to reposition the company, pay down the debt, and vastly increase the company’s worth. With revenues of $1.5 billion, TLC Beatrice made it to Fortune’s 500 and was first on the Black Enterprise List of Top 100 African American owned businesses.

In January 1993, at age 50, Reginald F. Lewis died after a short illness. A letter at his funeral from longtime friend David N. Dinkins, former mayor of New York, said, “Reginald Lewis accomplished more in half a century than most of us could e ver deem imaginable. And his brilliant career was matched always by a warm and generous heart.” Dinkins added, “It is said that service to others is the rent we pay on earth. Reg Lewis departed us paid in full.”

              Vision and Mission of The Lewis College

              VSU Reginald F. Lewis School of Business

Robert Sengstacke Abbott

by Pablo J. Davis & Wikipedia

 Robert Sengstacke Abbott founded, edited, and published the Chicago Defender, for decades the country's dominant African American newspaper. The Chicago Defender newspaper, which grew to have the highest circulation of any black-owned newspaper in the country. Through the pages of the Defender, Abbott exercised enormous influence on the rise of the black community in Chicago, Illinois, and on national African American culture.

     Robert S. Abbott - Millionair​e Newspaper Publisher

Abbot was born on November 24, 1870 in St. Simons Island, Georgia (although some sources state Savannah, Georgia) to freedman parents, who had been enslaved before the American Civil War. The Sea Islands were a place of the Gullah people, an African-descended ethnic group who continued stronger aspects of African cultures than among African Americans in other areas of the South. His father Thomas Abbott died when Robert was a baby.

His widowed mother Flora Abbott (née Butler) met and married John Sengstacke, an American mixed-race man of unusual background who had recently come to the US from Germany. His parents were Tama, a freed slave woman of African descent, and her husband Herman Sengstacke, a German sea captain who had a regular route from Hamburg to Savannah. In the Georgia port city in 1847, Herman saw a slave sale. He was so distressed he bought the freedom of Tama, a young woman from West Africa. They married in Charleston, South Carolina, before returning to Georgia, where their interracial marriage was prohibited. Their mixed-race son John was born the next year and a daughter in 1848. Tama died soon after their daughter was born, and Herman took the children back to Germany to be raised by family.

John met the young black widow Flora, who had a year-old son Robert. He cared for Robert as if he were his own. Together the couple had seven children together; their family crossed rigid racial boundaries. Robert was given the middle name Sengstacke to mark his belonging in the family. John Sengstacke had become a Congregationalist missionary as an adult; he wrote, "There is but one church, and all who are born of God are members of it. God made a church, man made denominations. God gave us a Holy Bible, disputing men made different kinds of disciples." Sengstacke became a teacher, determined to improve the education of black children. He also became a publisher, founding the Woodville Times, based in what was then a town named Woodville; it was later annexed by the city of Savannah, Georgia.

After briefly attending Savannah's Beach Institute and Claflin University in Orangeburg, South Carolina, Abbott studied printing at Hampton Institute (now Hampton University), a historically black college in Hampton, Virginia from 1892 to 1896,. At Hampton, he sang with the "Hampton Choir and Quartet," which toured nationally.  (A loyal alumnus, he later was the alumni association's president.) He then left for Chicago, Illinois, where he earned a law degree from Kent College of Law.

Abbott tried to set up a law practice, working for a few years in Gary, Indiana; and Topeka, Kansas. He returned home to Georgia for a period, then went back to Chicago, where he could see changes arriving with thousands of new migrants from the rural South.

After settling in Chicago, in 1905 Abbott founded The Chicago Defender newspaper with an initial investment of ¢25 (around $600 in 2010 terms). He started printing in a room at his boardinghouse; his landlady encouraged him, and he later bought her an 8-room house.

He wanted to push for job opportunities and social justice, and was eager to persuade blacks to leave the segregated, Jim Crow South for Chicago. A key part of his distribution network was made up of African-American railroad porters, who were highly respected among blacks. (By 1925 they organized a union as the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters). They often sold or distributed the paper on trains. Defender circulation reached 50,000 by 1916; 125,000 by 1918; and more than 200,000 by the early 1920s. Credited with contributing to the Great Migration of rural southern blacks to Chicago, the Defender became the most widely circulated black newspaper in the country. It was known as "America's Black Newspaper." Its success resulted in Abbott becoming one of the first self-made millionaires of African-American descent; his business expanded as African Americans moved to the cities and became an urbanized, northern population. From the early 20th century through 1940, 1.5 million blacks moved to major cities in the North and Midwest.

They were eager to know about conditions, to find housing, and to learn more about their new lives in cities. Most were from rural areas of the South. From 1890 to 1908 all the southern states had passed constitutions or laws that raised barriers to voter registration and effectively disenfranchised most blacks and many poor whites. They were utterly closed out of the political systems. Schools and other public facilities reserved for blacks were typically underfunded and ill-maintained. Legislatures imposed Jim Crow conditions, producing facilities for blacks that were "separate" but never "equal" (referring to the Plessy v. Ferguson (1896) case, in which the US Supreme Court ruled that segregated facilities, such as railroad cars providing "separate but equal" conditions, were constitutional).

The northern and midwestern industrial centers, where blacks could vote and send children to school, were recruiting workers based on expansion of manufacturing and infrastructure to supply the US's expanding population as well as the war in Europe, which started in 1914. The Pennsylvania Railroad and others were expanding at a rapid rate across the North, needing workers for construction and later to serve the train passengers.

The Defender told stories of earlier migrants to the North, giving hope to disenfranchised and oppressed people in the South of other ways to live. Abbott, through his writings in the Chicago Defender, expressed those stories and encouraged people to leave the South for the North. He even set a date of May 15, 1917, for what he called 'The Great Northern Drive' to occur. In his weekly, he showed pictures of Chicago and had numerous classifieds for housing. In addition, Abbott wrote about how awful a place the South was to live in comparison to the idealistic North. Abbott's words described the North as a place of prosperity and justice. This persuasive writing, “thereby made this journal probably the greatest stimulus that the migration had,”.

Newsstand sales and subscriptions were the newspaper's lifeblood. Advertising was secondary, though it grew as white-owned businesses awakened to opportunities for access to the black public. Satisfying black readers' desire for aggressive racial advocacy while not alienating white advertisers proved difficult. More broadly Abbott sought a synthesis, not always easy, of racial militancy and a self-help ethos.

The newspaper's success made Abbott an important figure locally and nationally. In the wake of racial violence in 1919, the Illinois governor named Abbott to the Chicago Commission on Race Relations, which later authored a landmark report in 1922 on African American urban conditions. Through publishing he became one of the earliest African American millionaires and a black folk hero, embodying self-help and entrepreneurship in the mold of fellow Hamptonian Booker T. Washington.

The Defender also contributed broadly to the development of a national African American culture. longtime contributor , Langston Hughes, developed the beloved character Simple in his columns.

Abbott died in Chicago on February 29, 1940, of Bright's disease, having designated his Savannah-born nephew John H. Sengstacke his successor. The soft-spoken "country boy" who became a major shaper of African American culture would have relished Hughes's later characterization of his newspaper as "the journalistic voice of a largely voiceless people." He is buried at Oak Woods Cemetery in Chicago.
John H. Sengstacke ,a Savannah native and nephew of Robert S. Abbott, assumed management of the Chicago Defender in 1940 upon the death of Abbott, who founded the newspaper in 1905.
     Abbott & Sengstacke Family Papers

       The Sengstacke Eye

Black Pullman Porters, who were prosperous and well respected in the African American communities, became the Defender's national "delivery  men," distributing the newspapers to many southern towns. The newspaper became an important communication tool between Black Chicagoans and their relatives in the southern states.

Junius G. Groves

Junius G. Groves(1859-1925), a successful, self-educated farmer, landowner, and entrepreneur, became one of the most prosperous African American men in the early twentieth century. He was born enslaved on April 12, 1859 in Green County, Kentucky.  His parents were Martin Groves and Mary Anderson Groves. Two decades later, as a freedman possessing ninety cents, Groves made his way to eastern Kansas during the time of the Exoduster Movement of ex-slaves from the South.  Junius George Groves came to Kansas at the age of 19 as an Exoduster. He worked at the meat packing houses in Armourdale and later moved to Edwardsville. Groves began farming by sharecropping near Edwardsville, Kansas.

        Junius G. Groves: Gilded Age Business Magnate

In 1880 he married Matilda Emily Stewart from Kansas City, Missouri, and she worked by his side in the field. After his second year, Groves had twenty acres, and in his third year Groves landed ten more acres and a cabin across from Lake of the Forest. That same year he bought 80 acres from a Native American for $500. Subsequent acquisitions included a sawmill, and five adjoining farms, making for total holdings of more than 760 acres. Beside potatoes, he had apple, peach and pear orchards and a vineyard. In 1902, Groves was named by the US Dept of Agriculture the Potato King of the World for beating his closest competitor on the planet by 11,500 bushels.

Much of Groves' success was due to his forty-six years of devotion to the science of agriculture. He earned the title “Potato King of the World” in 1902 for growing the most bushels of potatoes per acre than anyone else in the world up to that point in time. The couple's twelve surviving children (out of fourteen births) helped with the farm and family holdings.

Besides producing potatoes on his own farms, Groves, by 1900, bought and shipped potatoes, fruits and vegetables extensively throughout the United States, Mexico, and Canada. The family also owned and operated a general merchandise store in Edwardsville, possessed stock in mines in Indian Territory and Mexico, stock in Kansas banks, and majority interest in the Kansas City Casket and Embalming Company. Junius Groves co-founded the State Negro Business League and later served as its President.  He also founded the Pleasant Hill Baptist Church Society in 1886.  He was also elected secretary of the Kaw Valley Potato Association in 1890 and Vice President of the Sunflower State Agricultural Association in 1910 as well as a cofounder of both organizations in those years.

Junius Groves surpassed financial parity with most whites in contemporary Kansas and in the process combated racism by example and by providing economic opportunities to blacks and whites with a particular emphasis on uplifting his race. During the busy farming season, for example, Groves employed up to fifty mostly black laborers. He founded Groves Center, an African American community near Edwardsville in the early 1900s.  He also established a golf course for African Americans, perhaps the first in the United States.

Junius Groves was one of the wealthiest African Americans in the nation by the first decade of the 20th Century.  His holdings were estimated to be worth $80,000 in 1904 and $300,000 by 1915.  The Groves family mansion, a 22-room brick home, complete with electric lights, two telephones, and hot and cold running water in all of the bedrooms, was the largest in the area and had its own railroad spur.  Junius Groves died in Edwardsville in 1925.  In 2007, Groves was honored by his descendants, the Votaw Colony Museum, an organization honoring the Exodusters and their descendants, and the city of Edwardsville.  He was also inducted into the Bruce W. Watkins Cultural Heritage Center Hall of Fame in nearby Kansas City, Missouri.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Arthur George Gaston

Arthur George Gaston (July 4, 1892 -- January 19, 1996) was a businessman who established a number of businesses in Birmingham, Alabama, and who played a significant role in the struggle to integrate Birmingham in 1963. About the book:

         The Making of a Black American Millionaire

While working in the mines, he hit on the plan of selling lunches to his fellow miners and then branched into loaning money to them at twenty-five percent interest. It was also while working in the mines that he conceived of the idea of offering burial insurance to co-workers. He had noticed that mine widows would come to the mines and to local churches to collect donations in order to bury their husbands and he wondered if people would "give a few dimes into a burial society to bury their dead". As a result, Gaston formed the Booker T. Washington Burial Society, which later became the Booker T. Washington Insurance Company.

Driven out of Fairfield because of his father-in-law's political differences with the mayor, Gaston and his family moved to Birmingham. Gaston bought and renovated a property on the edge of Kelly Ingram Park in downtown Birmingham, where, in partnership with his father-in-law, he started the Smith & Gaston Funeral Home, in 1938. Smith & Gaston sponsored gospel music programs on local radio stations and launched a quartet of its own.

Realizing that there were not enough blacks with sufficient training to be able to work in the insurance and funeral industries, he and his second-wife established a business school. Other Gaston enterprises included Citizens Federal Savings and Loan Association, the first black-owned financial institution in Birmingham in more than forty years (reportedly established by Gaston when he saw how difficult it was for blacks to obtain fair loans from white financial companies) and a motel business (reportedly started because of Gaston's concern that blacks traveling through the south during segregation often could not find accommodations). In 1954 Gaston built the A.G. Gaston motel on the site adjoining Kelly Ingram park where the mortuary had once stood.

While his father-in-law had been an active supporter of voting rights and his second wife was a founder of the National Council of Negro Women and an avid advocate for education reform, Gaston himself kept a low political profile through most of the 1940s and 1950s. Although Gaston was reluctant to confront white authorities and the white business establishment directly, Gaston supported the civil rights movement financially. He offered financial support to Autherine Lucy, who had sued to integrate the University of Alabama, and had provided financial assistance to residents of Tuskegee who faced foreclosure because of their role in a boycott of white-owned businesses called to protest their disenfrachisement. When Rev. Fred Shuttlesworth, a civil rights leader in Birmingham, founded the Alabama Christian Movement for Human Rights in the wake of the outlawing of the NAACP in the State of Alabama in 1956, the group held its first meeting at Smith & Gaston's offices.
A.G. Gaston & Wife

When students at Miles College, a historically black college in Fairfield, attempted to use sit-in and boycott tactics to desegregate downtown Birmingham in 1962, Gaston used his position as a member of the board of trustees of the institution to dissuade them from continuing their campaign while he pursued negotiations with them. Those negotiations produced some token changes, but no significant progress toward desegregating the stores or hiring black employees.
When the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, represented locally by Rev. Shuttlesworth, proposed to support those students' demands in 1963 by widespread demonstrations, challenging both Birmingham's segregation laws and Local Police Commissioner Bull Connor's authority, Gaston opposed the plan and tried to deflect the campaign from public confrontation into negotiations with white business leaders. Gaston tried to talk Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. out of going through with the planned Easter boycott of downtown business and may have bailed him out of jail against his wishes in April, 1963.

At the same time, Gaston provided King and Rev. Ralph Abernathy with rooms at his motel at a discount and free meeting rooms at his offices nearby throughout the campaign. He maintained a public show of support for the campaign and not only took part in the meetings with local business leaders, but insisted that Shuttlesworth be brought in since "he's the man with the marbles".
That unity nearly dissolved, however, after Rev. Abernathy made some comments about unidentified Uncle Toms and Dr. King made a call for unity on April 9, 1963 that made it clear that he would press forward with his plans for confrontation.

      Black Titan: AG Gaston's 10 Rules for Success 

Friday, October 14, 2016

First Lady Michelle Obama live in Manchester, New Hampshire | Hillary Cl...

" . . . let's be very clear: Strong men — men who are truly role models — don't need to put down women to make themselves feel powerful. People who are truly strong lift others up. People who are truly powerful bring others together. And that is what we need in our next President. We need someone who is a uniting force in this country.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Dakota Access Pipeline

The pipeline is threatening not only to destroy sacred Sioux lands, but poison drinking water supplies.

The Standing Rock Sioux tribes that are protesting to stop the Dakota Access Pipeline have their work cut out for them. Not only are they fighting against oil and fossil fuel companies, but big banks as well.

A new investigation by Food & Water Watch is shedding light on the financial backers of the Dakota Access Pipeline. The pipeline is threatening to not only destroy sacred Sioux lands, but poison drinking water supplies. The protestors managed to halt the project at least until Friday, even after being attacked and peppered sprayed by private contractors.

Almost 40 different financial institutions are involved in financing the construction of the pipeline:

The pipeline, and the protests against it, has long been compared to the Keystone XL pipeline. Both have significant criticism against them, with thousands protesting, being arrested, and enduring physical attacks. Their routes are very similar as well.

The following is a full list of the banks financially involved in the building of the Dakota Access Pipeline:

Bank of Nova Scotia
Citizens Bank
Comerica Bank
US Bank
PNC Bank
JP Morgan Chase
Bank of America
Deutsche Bank
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Friday, August 5, 2016

Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II

"We are being called like our forefathers and foremothers to be the moral defibrillators of our time,"

'We' Is the Most Important Word in the Social Justice Vocabulary. The issue is not what we can't do, but what we CAN do when we stand together !!!

When we are the wealthiest and the poorest country in the world at the same time, that’s a form of policy violence.

 Starving a child is violent. Suppressing a culture is violence. Neglecting school children is violence.

The Misdiagnosis of Terrorism
The real violence threatening America is that of our immoral public policy choices, at home and abroad.

By Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II

Rev. William Barber at Riverside Church in New York City 1-17-16

1.17.16: MLK Service Sermon by Rev. Dr. William Barber II from The Riverside Church NYC on Vimeo.

William J. Barber II was born August 30, 1963, He is a member of the national board of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and the chair of their Legislative Political Action Committee. Since 2006 he has been president of the NAACP's North Carolina state chapter, the largest in the Southern United States and the second-largest in the country. He is a Protestant minister and political leader in North Carolina.
Rev. Dr. Barber has served as pastor of Greenleaf Christian Church, Disciples of Christ, in Goldsboro, NC since 1993

Rev.Dr.Barber was awarded the 2006 Juanita Jackson Mitchell, Esq. Award for legal activism, the highest award in the NAACP for legal redress for advocacy, he was the 2008 recipient of the Thalheimer Award for most programmatic NAACP State Conference, and in 2010 he won the National NAACP Kelly M. Alexander Humanitarian Award.

North Carolina Governor Bev Perdue awarded him the Order of the Long Leaf Pine in 2009—a North Carolina citizenship award presented to outstanding North Carolinians who have a proven record of service to the state.

The Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II is co-author of The Third Reconstruction: Moral Mondays, Fusion Politics and the Rise of a New Justice Movement, published in January 2016 by Beacon Press. In January 2016 he also began filing regular dispatches from the southern movement FOR racial justice for The Nation, resuming a role Martin Luther King Jr. once filled for the magazine.

Rev. Barber is the architect of the Forward Together Moral Monday Movement, president of the North Carolina NAACP and pastor of the Greenleaf Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Goldsboro. He is also president of Repairers of the Breach. He is the 2015-2016 recipient of the Puffin/Nation Prize FOR Creative Citizenship.

William Barber was elected president of the NAACP's youth council at age 15, president of his high school's student body at 17, and student government president at North Carolina Central University (NCCU) at 19. Barber received his bachelor's degree in political science from NCCU, cum laude; a Master of Divinity degree from Duke University; and a doctorate from Drew University with a concentration in public policy and pastoral care. He is married to Rebecca McLean Barber and they have five children.

A Moral Movement to Hold All Candidates Accountable
Whether it’s Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton, only a moral movement bound by fusion politics can hold the next president accountable to the people.


    Rev. William Barber FULL REMARKS at Democratic National Convention 2016

Hate Must Not Have the First, Last, or Loudest Word
We cannot allow those who would profit off our pain to cause us to hate.


The following is excerpted from a speech delivered by Rev. William Barber at a Martin Luther King Day celebration at Riverside Church in New York City .  As we both reflect on the violence inflicted upon the people of Flint, Michigan, by the state’s leadership .  What values must guide our elected officials? What kinds of violence truly threaten our nation and our communities? Rev. Barber’s moving speech offers a progressive moral compass for our political process. 

For the past few weeks, we have been exposed to a flood of images of death and killing, with commentators of all stripes calling it terrorism, violence, and injustice out in California. The evil of taking a life is vile and vicious, by ISIS or any other thug—by anybody that’s just wanting to destroy life. We must pray for the families.

But as we look at these images, and listen to the diagnoses of the commentators, I hear a call from Dr. King and our ancestors to speak truth in the midst of terror, violence and injustice, to challenge a fundamental misdiagnosis against the opportunistic misdiagnoses of those who try to pimp and prostitute the deaths in California for their own vicious political agenda.

Some, like hosts on a certain sly-as-a-Fox television station, use the death of these innocent people to push their accusations—their racist, fear-mongering agenda against the president, against immigrants, and against Muslims. One of these flaky Fox fellas said the greatest threat to national security ever is a president who is incapable, psychologically and politically, and who is not in the business of protecting America but protecting Muslims.

In the tradition of Dr. King, we do not agree with everything our president or any politician has said. [But] that statement is ridiculous. Muslims are Americans. Muslims are soldiers in our military. What is really going on here is what Cornel West might call the “niggerization” or the “othering” of certain people.

You know what that is. The definition of the N-word is not simply the dishonoring and devaluing of black people and the economic exploitation and political disenfranchisement of black people. “Niggerization” is the wholesale attempt to impede democratization, to turn potential citizens into intimidated, fearful, and helpless subjects. They use the attacks on Muslims the same way racists in the past and present use fear-mongering against blacks.

As my friend Phyllis Bennett and I discussed the other night, America does not have a “Muslim problem” or even a “terrorism problem” as much as we have a race problem…a xenophobia problem. Let’s get the diagnosis right.

Let me push this further. Nothing is gained by pretending there aren’t terrible things to be afraid of. Terrorism is real because millions of people live in terror. But we must be clear about the roots of terror. We cannot misdiagnose the malignancy of terror. It’s not Islam. And it’s certainly not foreign. Terror is one of America’s exports. We cannot hide behind blind, infallible notions of American exceptionalism and pay our chaplains to deny it. Consider the second verse of “America the Beautiful,” a national hymn: America, America, God mend thy every flaw. Confirm thy soul in self-control, thy liberty in law.

Our misdiagnosis of terrorism and violence occurs when it is rooted in the popular, but heretical notion that some people don’t matter as much as others. The greatest terrorist attacks in history have American fingerprints on them. The Middle Passage. The enslavement of millions of black human beings for 250 years. Legalized Jim Crow, lynching, and dozens of terrorist pogroms (which have usually been called race riots), that killed thousands of black people from Wilmington to Tulsa to Springfield, Illinois. The bombing and burning of black churches. The political assassinations of Martin, Malcolm, Medgar, Viola Liuzzo, James Reeb, Harriet Moore, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. And let us not forget how America supported the long night of terror called apartheid, modeled after our southern Jim Crow system. Massive civil disobedience and protests and deaths were necessary to bring this terror to a halt. It was an embarrassment on the world stage.

The New Republic, in 2013, said many of the people today saying they hate terrorism were in support of apartheid and against Nelson Mandela. Ronald Reagan not only removed any sanctions against South Africa’s apartheid, he embraced the apartheid regime and put Mandela on the US terrorist list. Reagan vetoed the Anti-Apartheid Act, calling it morally repugnant. The so-called Moral Majority leader, Jerry Falwell, called Bishop Tutu a phony who didn’t speak for South African blacks. North Carolina’s Sen. Jesse Helms filibustered the sanction South Africa bill, as did Strom Thurmond, Phil Gramm, and many future Tea Party leaders. They speak now with unclean hands.

Let us be clear that many people we now denounce as terrorists were once paid agents of the US government. We helped them win power. (Remember the two leaders we silenced forever—Saddam Hussein and Osama Bin Laden—after 9/11.) That doesn’t make their actions right. But Micah and Martin would say America can’t speak with clean hands.

Let us be clear about terrorism, violence, and injustice. Yes, San Bernardino was terrorism. But so was the Greensboro Massacre in the 1979. So was Mother Emanuel AME. So are drone attacks on civilian homes in Afghanistan. So is carpet bombing of cities.

We must not forget the key leaders of Daesh met and developed their agenda in US-run prisons at Camp Bucca in Iraq. This hell hole would not have existed if America had not invaded Iraq in the first place, on false pretenses. Let us be clear. We must be clear, when some of us only protest when Palestinian groups target children and civilians—as we all should—but then they say nothing when Israel does the same, while refusing to negotiate Palestinian statehood. America cannot claim the moral high ground.

Let us not forget the domestic terrorism of Timothy McVeigh and other white militia men, who are usually arrested live, and treated as criminals. What would the stand-off out West that is presently being handled patiently and prudently have been if the persons who threatened to kill FBI agents were black or Latino? What about the shooting of Muslim students in Chapel Hill?

No one called the deranged killer a terrorist. Or the attacks on non-Christian places of worship? What about rogue, racist police shootings of unarmed black adults and teenagers and youth and males and females in Chicago and Charlotte and New York? What about Tamir Rice and Jonathan Ferrell in Charlotte? This is terrorism, violence, and injustice!

But let us go further. Firearms kill 30,000 people in the United States every year. Guns will kill more Americans under 25 than cars in 2015. We have had, as of San Bernardino, 1,052 mass shootings in 1,066 days and all but two were Americans-on-Americans. President Obama reports that the pattern of domestic and American mass shootings in this country has no parallel anywhere else in the world. We must challenge black-on-black killing, white-on-white killing, human being-on-human being killing.

We live in a time when we must use our influence to challenge the misguided misdiagnosis of terrorism, violence, and injustice. If violence—as we say down South, let me work with this for a minute—if violence means to hurt and abuse needlessly, we must redefine how we talk about it. Our matriarch—Coretta Scott King–can help us here. She once said, when she was asked about violence because her husband had been killed, she said: Wait a minute. Poverty can produce a most deadly kind of violence. She said in this society, violence against poor people is routine. She said I remind you that starving a child is violent. Suppressing a culture is violence. Neglecting school children is violence; refusing them public education is violence. Discrimination against a working person is violence. Ghetto housing is violence. Ignoring medical needs and healthcare is violent. Contempt for equality is violence. And even a lack of willpower to help humanity is a sick and sinister form of violence.

Otto Scharmer at MIT talks about “attention violence” in the way that we make invisible the hurt and the pains of the poor. Even in our political discourse, we act like it’s hard to just say “poor.” We talk about “middle class” and those attempting to work their way into middle class. No, some folks are just “po’.” And they’re poor and “po’” because of economic injustices that go on in this country. Truth is, like Micah, Martin, and Coretta, we must refuse to go along with the popular misdiagnosis. Tell your neighbor, “Refuse the misdiagnosis.”

Truth is, public policy can be violent. When we are the wealthiest and the poorest country in the world at the same time, that’s a form of policy violence. When we bail out companies where CEOs make 350 times as much as their workers, and then we charge college students interest on loans, and we fight to break the back of unions—that’s a form of policy violence. When Warren Buffett, a member of the super-rich, tells us that four hundred of the wealthiest Americans took home an hourly wage of $97,000 an hour, while we refuse to pass laws requiring living wages all over this country, and now we are arresting people … simply because they want a living wage. That’s a form of policy violence. Especially when $15 is $5 lower than the minimum wage would have been if it had risen with inflation since 1968.

When a study right here at the Columbia School of Public Health tells us that more people die every year from poverty—250,000—than from heart attack, stroke, and lung cancer, that’s a form of policy violence. And when we know that rising income inequality breeds more inequality, and in turn it translates into a waste of human talent, that’s policy violence—when 1 percent of the US wealth-holders hold 39 percent of the country’s wealth, and 10 percent hold 74 percent, which means the other 90 percent of us have to fight over 26 percent.

Marian Wright Edelman tells us it’s a national moral disgrace that there are 14.7 million poor children in this country today, 6.5 million extremely poor, 150 years after the end of slavery, or the signing of the 13th Amendment. And that this number exceeds the combined population of twelve US states. And we know that just 2 percent of the federal government budget being put towards programs that work, could eradicate 60 percent of this, and we don’t do it? Even for our children? This is political, social, and policy violence.

And then we add the notion of “dollarocracy.” Ten billion dollars is going to be spent on [this] year’s election, and Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. has to say that the Citizens United ruling ushered in a hostile takeover of our government. When healthcare is being denied to eight million through just Medicaid expansion. And most of us in here, we were alright with the Affordable Care Act, but we really wanted universal healthcare, for everybody. That’s what South Africa has. That’s what Canada has. That’s what every other major country has. But at least do Medicaid expansion. Well, 24 states, mostly in the South and in the Midwest, 30,000 people are dying every year since 2013 just because some people can’t stand a black man in a White house.mostly in the South and in the Midwest, 30,000 people are dying every year since 2013 just because some people can’t stand a black man in a White house.

Now I don’t say that lightly, I don’t say that just [as] hyperbole, because I’m a pretty rational guy, you know…. But it can’t be partisan, because healthcare for all was first proposed by a Republican named Teddy Roosevelt. It can’t be financial, because it would generate thousands of jobs. And it can’t be because people are lazy, because Medicaid goes to the working poor and even veterans. So the only thing left is that you would rather keep people sick, because you don’t want a black man in a White house to be successful….

 Even in our political discourse, we act like it's hard to just say "poor."

Lead in the water in Flint. You know that never would have happened in the suburbs, huh? Corporations dumping coal ash in North Carolina. Public policy violence.

We know that public education is the key to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Dwight Eisenhower, Republican, once said it was a matter of national security how we fund public education. And he was criticized, by the way, by Freddie Koch, daddy of David and Charles Koch, so you see where they get that from. And yet, 60 years after Brown vs. Board, we have high-poverty, re-segregated public schools on the rise while policies are funding privatized schools with public money; and teachers are being attacked relentlessly; and a Supreme Court justice says on the bench, when looking at a case on affirmative action that maybe it would be better for black students to go to a slower-track school where they do well, than to go to a highly selective college like the University of Texas. That’s Scalia’s point, and that’s violent, that’s a form of political violence. So if we’re going to talk about violence and injustice, we must talk about policy violence, just like Micah, just like Martin, just like Coretta.

Refusing to fix immigration in a land of immigrants is a form of political violence. Deporting rather than doing the right thing by people who have helped build this country. You want to put them out, but you don’t arrest the people that hire them in the first place. That’s a form of violence. Reminds me of an old song, the way some people want to treat immigrants, all of these folks who are immigrants themselves, came from here and there, the same rules they’re proposing now their own grandmamma wouldn’t have gotten in the country if they had. [It] sounds like the [lyrics in a Bill Withers] song, “use me, till you use me up.”…

And then what about the policy violence against voting rights? Supreme Court justices—just five of them, unlike the Brown decision that was nine-zip—five Supreme Court justices gut Section 4, nullify Section 5 and we are sitting here today and the AG, the attorney general, of these United States Loretta Lynch has less power to enforce voting rights than the AG had on August 7, 1965. And then Boehner first, and then Ryan and McConnell have been engaged in a two-year filibuster [of a bill that would restore protections]—longer that Strom Thurmond filibustered the 1964 Civil Rights Act—and because of that you see attacks on voting rights all over the country after the blood and sacrifices to secure them.

And not only do you see attacks trying to stop us from expanding voting rights, you have a dangerous thing going on called “retrogression,” where the things that were already won—same day registration, early voting, straight ticket vote—are being taken backwards. And we can’t challenge them on the front end because there’s no Section 5. And just the other week, the Supreme Court took up another case considering changing the one person, one vote principle. That’s a form of violence….

The truth is, we’ve got an extreme agenda, my brothers and sisters, afoot in America that ought to worry us. It ought to worry us until we get into action, because this agenda says that the road to a great America is: cut money to public education, deny healthcare, deny unemployment, deny environmental justice, deny earned income tax credit, deny equal rights to immigrants, gay citizens, challenge the president on everything, refuse to even support what is good for America, deny and abridge voting rights, distort the religious beliefs of other religions, use the so-called platform of “true” Christianity to denounce other religions, and then—after you’ve done all of that to divide people and even after Charleston and San Bernardino and other mass murders—make sure that everybody can get a gun easier than they can vote. And that’s their agenda.

And if they are cynical enough to be together, we ought to be smart enough to come together. We ought to say, there are some things that transcend political majority, and mere majority politics and the narrow categories of liberal versus conservative, and Democrat versus Republican. There are some things that we must challenge because they are wrong, they are extreme, they are immoral and they tear at the soul of our nation and our children’s future.

So if we’re going to be a great nation, we can’t afford to let this misdiagnosis go unchallenged. So just as Micah was told by God to say to Judah, and Dr. King was told by God to say to America, it’s time to call a meeting. A revival meeting of the soul, and of the mind, and of the heart. We need a meeting today. And in this meeting we must dare, like the prophets to connect love and justice, in pulpits and in the public square. In this meeting we must challenge moral hypocrisy, because the only antidote to these lies is a truth-telling meeting, a revival, a revolution of moral values that names violence in all of its forms, and then offers a vision for nonviolent transformation. In this meeting, we must demand the right agenda. We must say: America, healing is available. Curing is available. You can be well, but you’ve got to do some things.

Number one, you got to secure pro-labor, anti-poverty policies that ensure economic sustainability by fighting for full employment, living wages, the alleviation of despair and unemployment, a green economy, labor rights, affordable housing, targeted empowerment zones, strong safety net services for the poor, fair policies for immigrants, critiquing war policies that further disable our ability to have a real war on poverty, infrastructure development and fair reform.

Healing is available America, if you focus on educational equality by ensuring that every child receive a high-quality, well-funded, constitutionally diverse public education, and access to community college and university.

Healing is available if you guarantee healthcare for all. First, by assuring access to the Affordable Care Act, Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, but then get universal healthcare and hurry-up and do it America. And if you provide environmental protection—because they may have found water on Mars but we’re still here right now. And then you’ve got to make sure that women’s health is ultimately protected.

There’s healing, healing, but in order for there to be healing, you’ve got to have fairness in the criminal justice system, by addressing the continuing inequalities and the brutalities of the system that impact black, brown and poor white people. And then if you want healing, you’ve got to protect and expand voting rights, and women’s rights, and LGBTQ rights, and immigrant rights, and you can never give up on the fundamental principle of equal protection under the law for everybody. It’s time to have a meeting!

It’s time to have a meeting. And in this meeting, hallelujah, we must fully participate in our democracy. Tell everybody, tell people of conscience: If Harriet Tubman got 500 people out of slavery, and all she had was moss on the north side of a tree and a good conscience and a pistol, she didn’t have email, she didn’t have Twitter, she didn’t have Facebook, if she could do that then, surely we can have a meeting at the ballot box!

Let’s have a meeting. I don’t care how they try to keep us from the polls. Somebody asked this morning on the Melissa Harris Perry show: Is it protest or participation? I said it’s both. You protest and you participate. You don’t give up on the vote, you don’t give away the vote. Too many people died, too many people bled, too many sacrificed. Do you know that 30 percent of unregistered black voters being registered in the South—10 percent in North Carolina, 10 percent in Georgia—connected with progressive whites that will vote and not stay at home, and Latinos, can break open the “solid South.” And if you break open the solid South you break open the nation.

We better have a meeting. I don’t care if you like Bernie or Hillary, or whoever you like, but you’d better know that black lives is on the ballot, healthcare is on the ballot, Fight for $15 is on the ballot. God says have a meeting. God says: Come together and focus again on my purposes. And when you do, Micah said, God says: Look, you just have a meeting, and I’ll be in the midst of it. I’ll guide you. The prophets had a meeting. During the First Reconstruction following the violent Civil War, blacks and whites had a meeting. They came together. They came together to democratize southern legislatures. They changed the plantation economy. They expanded education, voting rights, economic power, and civil rights. Poor White farmers recognized the common cause with freed slaves. They had a meeting. They were called “fusion” coalitions.

In the 20th Century, we had a Second Reconstruction. It was a meeting. Black and white, and Christian and Jew, labor and civil rights, they joined together following the nonviolent struggles of Montgomery, the Supreme Court decision in ’54, the lunch counter sit-ins, the Freedom Rides, they had a meeting. We had a Second Reconstruction. We saw legal victories, we saw the Civil Rights Act, the Voting Rights Act, Fair Housing. We saw economic expansion and Medicaid expansion.

We need a meeting. Those meetings were stopped, but we had a meeting and the meeting brought reconstruction. And we need a Third Reconstruction. We need a third awakening. We need a third national revival. We need a meeting. Oh Lord, we need a meeting.

And, as I conclude, the forces of regression are scared of us having a meeting because they know how powerful we are when we get together. And they know that God will be in the midst. And that’s why they’re fighting it so hard. That’s why they want the environmentalists to fight over here. And Black Lives Matter to fight over here. And Fight for $15 to fight over here. And the LGBTQ community to fight over here. And civil rights to fight over there. But they’re not fighting us this unified. It’s time for a meeting….

Several years ago, I talk about it some in the book, they said I might never walk again. They said I might never get out of a wheelchair again. I was 30 years old. I had always depended on my legs. I woke up one morning and couldn’t move. I had a major, major chronic arthritic condition. I spent almost three months in and out of a hospital bed, not knowing if I would ever get up again to walk on my own will and accord. For 12 years, I was in a wheelchair, for 12 years I was on a walker, for 12 years every time I stood to preach I, it felt like somebody had a butcher knife poking it inside my left hip.

But over those years, there was a meeting. Somehow my mind got together. There was a meeting. Then my doctors, they got together. And then my swim coach got together and my therapist got together, my nutritionist got together, then my church got together. The prayer warriors got together, my family got together, then the Holy Ghost got in the middle of it. I can jump now! I can march now.

I’m telling you, when God is in the meeting—“If my people, who are called by my name, would humble themselves, seek my face, turn from their wicked ways, then I’ll hear from heaven!”—when God is in the meeting, one can chase a thousand and two can put ten thousand to flight. When God is in the meeting, if we all get together, God will guide, God will move. I want you to know that when hands that once picked cotton [join] with Latino hands and have a meeting with progressive white hands, and have a meeting with labor hands, and have a meeting with Asian hands, and have a meeting with Native American hands, and have a meeting with poor hands, and wealthy hands, and gay hands, and straight hands—when we have a meeting and come together, our togetherness becomes the instrument of redemption.

When we come together, we can make the right diagnosis. When we come together, we can declare this land is your land, and this land is my land. When we come together, we can ensure that all of God’s children are respected and treated with dignity. When we come together, we can make sure that America lives out its promise: one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. When we get together. When we all get together. When we all get together. When we all get together. What a day! What a day! What a day! What a day! What a day of rejoicing it will be! What a day!

Are there any Latinos in here? I need one to come to the pulpit. Are any of my LGBTQ sisters and brothers here? I need you to come to the pulpit. Is there anybody wealthy with a conscience. I need you to come to the pulpit. Is there somebody poor, come to the pulpit. Is there somebody that needs healthcare, come to the pulpit. Is there a preacher here? Come to the pulpit. Is there anybody Jewish here? Come to the pulpit. Come to the pulpit. Any Muslims here? Come to the pulpit. Any Black Lives Matter people here? Come to the pulpit. Any Labor people? Come to the pulpit. Come on! Any environmentalists, come to the pulpit. Are there any teachers here, come to the pulpit. Come to the pulpit, come to the pulpit. Any Asians? Come to the pulpit. Any Native Americans? Join me at the pulpit. Come to the pulpit.

When we all, when we all, when we all, when we all—America, America—when we all, we’re coming! We’re coming! We’re coming! And when we all get together, what a day!

It’s Not About Trump. Our Political Culture Is Corrupt
The Southern strategy created an us-against-them politics with a perverse idea of morality.

   A Moral Movement for the Nation | Rev. Dr. William J. Barber, II
   NC Forward Together Moral Movement Channel

April 13th, 2014 - Preaching on Palm Sunday from the historic Riverside Church in New York City, Rev. Dr. William J. Barber, II, architect of the North Carolina Moral Monday Movement, delivers a powerful message to the nation.

    God Wants a Meeting! | Rev. Dr. William J. Barber, II

    Moral Lens of Justice — Rev. Barber's most compelling 7 minutes to date

  "I am a conservative Christian" Rev. Barber speaks to church in Appalachia

Rev Barber was invited to speak at Trinity Episcopal Church in Spruce Pine, NC in Mitchell Country. He took time to explain what Moral Monday movement: It is not about Republican vs Democratic, white vs black. It is about being right vs wrong.

Since then, the Moral Monday movement has taken root in Mitchell County and in neighboring Yancy county. Could this be a game-changing moment for the movement?