July 21 – August 3, 2016
On The Dock This Issue:
Social Security Expansion on the Table
Defenders of Social Security are shifting the conversation from Social Security cuts to Social Security expansion. “It would be ironic as the country becomes majority minority that “we turn around and cut them (Social Security benefits),” said Nancy Altman, author of “Social Security Works! Why Social Security Isn’t Going Broke and How Expanding It Will Help Us All.”
Social Security is critical to many Blacks. Forty-six percent of African Americans rely on it for more than 90 percent of their retirement income. Social Security also continues to be the largest piece of household income for all retirees, making up an average of 52 percent of household income for those who are 65 and older.
Steve Hill, author of “Expand Social Security Now! How to Ensure Americans Get the Retirement They Deserve” asserted during a recent panel discussion, “it’s the greatest anti-poverty program” in the history of the United States, especially for women and minorities.
Social security is the third leg of the “retirement stool” and women and minorities are the least likely to have the other two legs long enough to make their “three-legged” stool stable. Besides Social Security, the other two legs are access to employer-sponsored retirement accounts and personal retirement savings.
To make up for the unstable stool, added Altman, “There is no question that we can afford to expand Social Security.” She explained that by 2090, Social Security will only be 6.1 percent of America’s gross national product (GNP). (GNP is the value of all the products and services produced in one year in a country.) In great contrast, in 2016, European economic powerhouse Germany’s equivalent to Social Security already takes up 11 percent of its GNP.
Center for Global Policy Solutions proposes to pay for Social Security’s expansion by lifting the cap on the wages subject to Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA) taxes. “This is justified because the current cap, $118,500, has not kept up with the dramatic growth in wages for the nation’s highest income workers,” says the group headed by Maya Rockeymoore (pictured).
The panel also discussed how Congress has exempted unearned income from FICA contributions. Many of the wealthiest Americans earn money “not from salaries, but from unearned income,” echoed many of the panelists.
The Center for Global Policy Solutions details its proposals to expand Social Security in “Plan for a New Future: The Impact of Social Security Reform on People of Color
.” Hill, who proposes doubling monthly Social Security benefits, added that even Democrats need to be pushed on these issues. “Clinton has waffled on this issue badly.” Obama does not have a strong record on this issue, either, he surmised. “To his credit (Obama) has come around,” he continued.
Arno favors lifting the 118,500 taxable income cap. Because of the cap, he said, six percent of the labor force has been exempted from making contributions on about one trillion dollars of wealth.
Social Security, Not For Seniors Only
Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) set the tone for a subsequent paneled session where the Center for Global Policy Solutions released its newest report “Overlooked but Not Forgotten: Social Security Lifts Millions More Kids out of Poverty
.” “We have to paint a true picture of what Social Security is,” she stressed.
Each of the panelists found unique ways to describe Social Security’s multi-generational impact. “It allows families to maintain their independence,” added Altman, who served on both panels. Generations United’s Executive Director Donna Butts spoke of people including House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) who benefited from Social Security
as children. She added, “It’s a family support program.”
Mirroring the findings in the report, Peter Arno of the Political Economy Research Institute outlined that three million children benefit from Social Security directly and another 3.2 million benefit indirectly. He cited an increase in the number who benefit from Social Security indirectly to the rise of multi-generational families - - which has risen by 70 percent since 1990 he says.
Most agreed that Congress should restore the student benefits program added in 1965 and dropped in 1981. The program allows Social Security survivor recipients to receive aid until they are 22, if they remain in college.
Like other panelists, Arno favors lifting the 118,500 taxable income cap. Because of the cap, he said, six percent of the labor force has been exempted from making contributions on about one trillion dollars of wealth.
Coming this Fall:
You and Expanding Social Security at A Port Of Harlem Fall at the Alexandria Black History Museum.
Lena Horne on Racial Inequality: New Video & American Masters Podcast
In a never-before-seen video from In Their Own Words: The American Masters Digital Archive
, singer, dancer, actress and civil rights activist Lena Horne shares her disappointment in the lack of progress made toward racial equality throughout her lifetime.
Episode two of the American Masters Podcast features Lena Horne discussing the difficulties of navigating the 1940s and 1950s Hollywood studio system and her involvement in the Civil Rights Movement. As a trailblazing person of color within the entertainment industry, Horne also recollects times spent with Count Basie, Medgar Evers, Billy Strayhorn and others. New episodes of the American Masters Podcast are available biweekly on the In Their Own Words: The American Masters Digital Archive website
Come early. You can buy a drink, alcoholic or otherwise, and a snack. Before the play starts, you will sit on the set, created to resemble a church basement, and make a sock puppet that you can take home.
Before Studio Theater’s “Hand to God” opened and I attempted to make a sock puppet, I thought the play was awfully edgy - - serving alcoholic beverages in the church basement. I thought how some of my readers would find the satire set in a Christian puppet ministry irreverent. However, the first half of the storytelling was so intriguing that it seemed to end quickly.
During intermission, I read the press release’s headline: Blasphemous Broadway Hit at Studio Theatre This Summer. Wow! “Hand to God” was living up to its billing.
I missed the talk during its run on Broadway where the Tony Awards praised playwright Robert Askins with five nominations. “Rob’s play is truly outrageous - - there are scenes that you really just won’t believe,” remarked Director David Muse. I agree.
“You used church to try to f*** me,” a line that Susan Rome (as Margery, the mother) delivered was one of the play's most memorable tell-tale lines. The acting was equally notable. Without the magic of film or television, Liam Forde as Jason, Margery’s son, and Tyrone, his puppet, convincingly pulled off his possibility of being possessed by the devil.
However, this play is not for every one. I cannot see Sister Jones leaving 11am Sunday service with her blue hate and pound cake and not wonder if I had lost my religion for liking this play - - even if similar events were unfolding in church.
Nevertheless, the gratuitous sex talk and action in a religious setting was not like a pornographic movie filmed in church - - it was creative and thought-provoking, the actors had to perform without the magic of film and yes, it was out-of-the box - - what one would expect from live theater. I am glad I did not miss it.
Note: Extended through Sunday,
This Little Light of Mine
“The Civil Rights Movement is portrayed as being very male dominated. Why is that?” questioned Erica Palmer of Alexandria, one of the youngest members in the audience that watched the screening of “This Little Light of Mine: The Legacy of Fannie Lou Hamer." The film’s director Robin Hamilton responded, “It was male dominated. Women were really relegated to being number two.” The screening was part of A Port Of Harlem Summer at Alexandria Black History Museum.
Hamilton continued her talk by explaining that Hamer stands out among many leaders because she did not fit the model many, Black and White, wanted as a spokesperson. There was classism, colorism, appearance and many other isms at work said Hamilton. “It’s a shame,” concluded Hamilton, who also praised Hamer for opening the doors of opportunity for her and others.
The 27-minunte film attracted more than 40 people, some who relived moments of their own contributions to the Civil Rights Movement. Patricia Ferguson-Smith, an attendee from Silver Spring, MD, says she no longer can march, but she still writes her opinions and expectations to the White House. Click here to send the White House your message
In addition to the film, Tougaloo College preserves many of Hamer’s personal items. Jackson State University is the home of the The Fannie Lou Hamer National Institute on Citizenship and Democracy
and the Fannie Lou Hamer Memorial Statue and The Fannie Lou Hamer Memorial Garden
is in Ruleville, MS, her hometown.
Last Event for the Season
Saturday, July 23, 11 a.m. – 1:00 p.m
Workshop - Photography with George Tolbert
– The former U.S. Senate photographer provides tips and techniques that will make the images you capture victorious. Participants are encouraged to bring their own images on a thumb drive or CD to garner tips on improvement during the session. Free | New Date and Time
It was not long ago, that we were at 600 Likes on our Facebook page, Port Of Harlem
. We are now toping 800! We are seeking more Page Likes.
Page Likes and Post Likes are different. Page Likes are for the entire page, Port Of Harlem. Post Likes are for the individual images and stories on the page.
Sharing a Port Of Harlem post is more powerful than Liking our post. The main difference is that when you Share, you create a new post on your page - - expanding the number of people who can see the post.
When you Like our post, a few of your Friends will see that you did. When you Share it, more of your Friends will see it. When you Share it and Tag your friends who are interested, they are almost certain to see it and are much more likely to Like it and Share it as well.
- “I will call for White people, like myself, to put ourselves in the shoes of those African-American families, who fear every time their children go somewhere, who have to have the talk about ... how to really protect themselves, when they are the ones who should be expecting protection from encounters with the police,” Hillary Clinton said.
“I’m going to be talking to White people. I think we are the ones who have to start listening to the legitimate cries that are coming from our African-American fellow citizens, and we have so much more to be done, and we have got to get about the business of doing it,” said Clinton. “We can’t be engaging in hateful rhetoric or incitement of violence. We need to bring people together.”
- July 8, 2016
- “On that sad day when we lost Justice Scalia, I made another pledge that Obama would not fill this seat. That honor will go to Donald Trump next year.”
- Sen. Mitch McConnell
Republican National Convention
July 19, 2016
- As governor of Indiana, Mike Pence allowed the use of needle-exchanges to combat an HIV outburst in a rural-White section of the state. State Rep. Charlie Brown (D-Gary) and others had to lobby for the urban areas of the state with large Black populations, Gary and Indianapolis, to get equal treatment.
- Indiana has a long history of vice presidential nominees. Dan Quayle was the last vice president to hail from Indiana, serving under President George H.W. Bush from 1989 to 1993.
- CBS reported that there are only 18 Black delegates at the GOP convention
(out of about 2,500), the same number as in 1964 - - when Fannie Lou Hamer and the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party tried to get seated.
Rep. Steve King (R-IA) Makes An Argument For White Supremacy On
The latest Senate polls have Kamila Harrris (D) beating Loretta Sanchez (D) 39 to 24 in California and Michael Bennett (D) beating Darryl Glennn (R) 53 to 38 in Colorado. Harris and Glen are of African descent.
Hand to God
14th and P, NW
extended through Sun, Aug 14, $$20-$70
Workshop - Photography with
Alexandria Black History Museum
902 Wythe Street
Sat, Jul 23, 11a–1p, free
Free | New Date and Time
Marketplace and Taste of Ghana
505 East Braddock Road
Colecroft Station Condominium
Marketplace 3p-5p, free
Taste 5p-7p, $45
East of the River Celebration
Anacostia Arts Center
1231 Good Hope Rd, SE
Fri, Jul 29, 6p-9p, free
To Be Black in White America
2224 N. Charles Street
through Sat, July 30, free
The Good News About Racism
presented by Eraka Rouzorondu
University of Baltimore
21 West Mount Royal Avenue 5th Floor
Sat, Jul 30, 10a-1p, free
Banjul, The Gambia
2nd Community Gift Giving Day
- Bondali Village
54 Kairaba Avenue
Sun, Jul 31, 3p
Anne Frank Human Rights Memorial
777 S 8th Street
Tue, Jul 26, 12:15p-1p, free
Taste of Latin America
Division Street between California Ave and Rockwell St.
Sat, Jul 23 - Sun, Jul 24, 12p, 10p,free
New York, NY
Uptown Shakespeare in the Park
Richard Rodgers Amphitheater in
Marcus Garvey Park
18 Mount Morris Park West
Through Sun, Jul 31, free
2016 Constitutional Conference of
The Moorish Science Temple of America
Grand Temple #4 / MSTA1928
509 Valley Drive
Thu, Jul 21, 10a-Sun, Jul 24 8:30p, $
Connect with Port Of Harlem