October 24, 2014

Black Moses Barbie (Harriet Tubman Commerical, 2-of-3)

This commercial for a Black Moses Barbie toy is the second in a series celebrating the legacy of Harriet Tubman. It is part of a larger series of paintings and films by Pierre Bennu that deconstruct and re-envision images of people of color in commercial and pop culture.


October 23, 2014

Family of Daniel McConnell Win $2.25 Million Settlement in Taser-Torture Case

Daniel McConnell
I suspect that taser-related deaths should begin to fall if we keep having these large lawsuit settlements that go against law officials. The latest to pay the price for taser-happy police officers is Suffolk County (New York). County officials agreed to pay a $2.25 million settlement to the family of Daniel McDonnell. [SOURCE]

Mr. McConnell, 40, suffered with bipolar disorder and a heart condition when he as placed in police custody on May 5, 2011. He was arrested for violating an order of protection against a neighbor. The penalty for violating court order should not be death. However, the Suffolk County officers decided to play judge, jury and executioner. McConnell's mother came to the station to bring him his medication. The police refused to accept the medication ... and McConnell's mental condition deteriorated in the 18 hours that he was in police custody.

For some reason, the police thought that he would act better without the medication. Instead they came to his holding cell and repeatedly electrocuted him with their taser guns while beating him.

Two detectives decided to lie. They informed McDonnell’s family that he died of a heart attack. His death was later ruled a homicide. The state Commission on Correction concluded that McDonnell's death was preventable and criticized the medical examiner and the Suffolk County district attorney's office for failing to properly investigate his death.

A lawsuit brought by McDonnell's wife and young son was settled last spring on the second day of a civil trial in Brooklyn Federal Court. The settlement was approved by the Suffolk County Legislature and by U.S. District Judge William Kuntz in an order issued today.

A young man will never return to his family. The county will have to pay $2.25 million in the settlement. I wonder if the police officers who killed him will be fired?

October 21, 2014

What Happens When We Raise The Minimum Wage?

FACT: In January 2014, 13 states raised their minimum wage; since then these states added more jobs and have lower unemployment rates than the 36 states that did not raise the minimum wage.

FACT: The U.S. Government could save $7 billion dollars if companies just paid employees a higher minimum wage.

FACT: Federal minimum wage is $7.25 – and some states actually have a lower state wage of $6.25 an hour.

How can anyone, alone or with a family, survive on minimum wage?

FACT: They can’t.

But together we are fighting to change this. In two weeks, states like Arkansas, Alaska, South Dakota, Nebraska and cities like Eureka and Oakland are casting their votes to raise the wage. And Brave New Films is continuing to expose the Koch brothers' fight against increasing the minimum wage.



It's time to #RaiseTheWage, don't you think?

October 20, 2014

48th Anniversary of the Black Panther Party

This week is the anniversary of the formation of the Black Panther Party. That was 1966, 48 eight years ago. The original six members of the Black Panther Party are depicted in this photograph.

Standing (L-R): Elbert 'Big Man' Howard, Huey Newton, Sherwin Forte, Bobby Seale
Kneeling (L-R): Reggie Forte and Bobby Hutton


Former Black Panther Party member Eddie Conway shared his recollections of the founding of the organization.



Eddie Conway was a member of the Baltimore branch of the Black Panther Party.  He spent 44 years in prison for an alleged crime of killing a police officer, a crime that he did not commit as laid out in his book,  Marshall Law: The Life & Times of a Baltimore Black Panther.


October 19, 2014

Sunday Inspiration: Our Train Ride

At birth we boarded the train and met our parents, and we believe they will always travel on our side. However, at some station our parents will step down from the train, leaving us on this journey alone. As time goes by, other people will board the train; and they will be significant i.e. our siblings, friends, children, and even the love of our lives. Many will step down and leave a permanent vacuum. Others will go so unnoticed that we don't realize they vacated their seats. This train ride will be full of joy, sorrow, fantasy, expectations, hellos, goodbyes, and farewells. Success consists of having a good relationship with all passengers requiring that we give the best of ourselves.

The mystery to everyone is: We do not know at which station we ourselves will step down. So, we must live in the best way, love, forgive, and offer the best of who we are. It is important to do this because when the time comes for us to step down and leave our seat empty we should leave behind beautiful memories for those who will continue to travel on the train of life.

I wish you a joyful journey on the train of life. Reap success and give lots of love. More importantly, thank God for the journey. Lastly, I thank you for being one of the passengers on my train.


This blog will continue to seek out Sunday Inspirations, a meme inspired by Sojourner's Place. Sunday Inspirations is just one way to help get us through the week ahead, the trials we may face, and yes, to say 'Thank You Jesus' and testify! I invite you to participate in this weekly meme as your contribution might serve as an inspiration to someone in need.

October 17, 2014

Black Moses Barbie (Harriet Tubman Commerical, 1-of-3)

This commercial for a Black Moses Barbie toy celebrating the legacy of Harriet Tubman is part of a larger series of paintings and films by Pierre Bennu that deconstruct and re-envision images of people of color in commercial and pop culture.