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port of harlem magazine
 
September 1 – September 14, 2014
 
 
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On The Dock This Issue:
 
micah johnson   Black Men Who Used Guns to Solve America’s Race Problem – Part 1
Barely mentioned was Johnson's receipt of several awards, for example, "honorable active military service" and "meritorious achievement or service."
    POH’s Larry Walker at Kennedy Center
His parole officer approved his being an artist entrepreneur - - what he continues to be as a freed man.
    Blackberry Daze Ticket Winners Are
Teddi Lowery of Landover, Maryland and Mathew Britt of Sterling, Virginia were randomly selected.
    POHGEP Fundraiser Short Just by 2
If you can make only a smaller donation, donate any amount to our general fund.
    GW’s New Institute for African Studies
50 GW faculty members with expertise on Africa across different disciplines and areas of study will collaborate under the new entity.
    Vote USA 2016
Violent and racist talk are currently in vogue.
    Activities
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Features

Black Men Who Used Guns to Solve America’s Race Problem – Part 1


cr gibbs

micah johnson





galvin long



"AMBUSH," screamed the headline for the Friday, July 8, 2016, Dallas Morning News. "11 Officers Shot; 4 Dead, Snipers Fire During Downtown Protest." Police later found that instead of multiple shooters, there was a single sniper:  Micah Xavier Johnson, a 25-year-old Army veteran, who had served in Afghanistan.

As the authorities began to search for the reasons behind his violence, he began to be described as "demented," a "disgrace," and that he was suffering from "paranoia" and "mental instability." His alleged motivations then gained a more lurid cast. He had left the Army "under a cloud of sexual harassment charges" made by a female soldier serving with him. He had even stolen "girls’ panties" along with munitions and prescription medication.

Barely mentioned was Johnson's receipt of several awards, for example, "honorable active military service" and "meritorious achievement or service."

Micah Xavier Johnson’s Own Words

For those who truly cared to know, Johnson had already given his reasons for his actions in his online "manifesto." He wrote, in part, "I served my country before they betrayed me. I could not bear watching my brothers and sisters die every day by these insignificant self-righteous pigs. With the continuous shootings by these cops with no moral beliefs and who think they have the power to control a people's way of life, I had to take a stand. They had to be taught a lesson. If you're reading this it means I'm dead. You still have a chance to do more damage. If you truly care about your brothers, if you truly care about the Black race, you will defend us. The Black Lives Matter movement has been destroyed from within. Al Sharpton and his cronies have torn the real message of truth, we need to declare our independence and take it by force."

Delphine Johnson, his mother, told the media that her son loved his country. "The military was not what Micah thought it would be," she said. "He was very disappointed, very disappointed." Apparently, after witnessing what he considered inequality, his mother stated that Johnson became "a hermit," resentful, and distrustful of the government.

The July 19, 2016 issue of the Nation of Islam's Final Call newspaper described his change of attitude: "It appears that Micah Xavier Johnson's mind could no longer process the thought of more of his people dying, adding to an already long list of those who have lost their lives at the hands of police officers. With this in mind, authorities believe Micah Johnson targeted White officers from a downtown Dallas parking garage, killing five officers and injuring seven people the evening of July 7. According to the Dallas Police Department, Mr. Johnson was killed by a robot bomb as negotiations with him became unproductive."

The death of Johnson by a robot bomb, believed to be the first use of a device of its kind in the United States, represents a potentially troubling escalation in the increasing militarization of American law enforcement techniques and could without proper policies and safeguards begin the age of armed drones and killer robots being used in the United States. While some experts have attempted to assure the public that this was only a one-time ad hoc situation, only time will tell what will happen in the future. Meanwhile, photographs of Johnson's body were leaked online.

Three Weeks Later:  Galvin Long

Less than three weeks later, Gavin Long, an ex-Marine, on his 29th birthday, killed three police officers and wounded three others in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. In his online videos, he echoed frustrations eerily similar to those of Johnson. Long said that Black people need to "fight back" in the wake of continuing murders of Blacks by police.

"Violence is not the answer (it’s an answer) but at what point do you stand up so that your people don't become the Native Americans “EXTINCT”," he wrote on Twitter on July 13.

After the shootings, initial speculation centered on Long's upbringing: "troubled family life as a child," "father left his son in a casino daycare so he could gamble his money away," and "his father was unkind and didn't buy him birthday or Christmas gifts."

"Violence is not the answer (it’s an answer) but at what point do you stand up so that your people don't become the Native Americans “EXTINCT”," he wrote on Twitter on July 13.
Long had traveled to Africa, studied deeply Black history and culture, fasted, and sought to improve his physical health. Much light was made of Long's use of the name "Cosmo Setepenre" online and as a pen name for his self published books without knowing that in Ancient Egypt, "Setepenre" means the elect of Re (God) or the chosen of Re (God). These were honorific titles given to the pharaohs.  He called himself a "freedom strategist."

Both Johnson and Long had reached out to Black nationalists websites and groups to put their feelings in some kind of context. Both men had become increasingly discouraged about what they viewed the nation's stalemated racial progress.

Long wrote online: "One hundred percent of revolutions," came from victims fighting their oppressors or bullies. "100 percent have been successful through fighting back, through bloodshed. Zero have been successful just over protesting. It has never worked and it never will. You gotta fight back."

Long often reflected online about fighting for justice and resisting oppression. He began studying instances of police brutality, especially the case of Sandra Bland and posted several videos about her case last year.

Talk show host Tavis Smiley interviewed Corine Woodley, Long's mother, on his PBS show in late July. She confirmed her son's exasperation with traditional civil rights protest techniques. She recounted that he had, even as a little boy, a keen sense of right and wrong, recalling that his third grade teacher had written on his report card that her son had "a principle behind everything." Woodley said that it pained her son to see that not everyone followed the rules equally.

The shock of two mass shootings by Black men and so close together, sliced deeply into the tangled racial psyche of America, in general, and Black America in particular, although perhaps not always for the same reasons. Black America, already whipsawed by a spate of killings of unarmed Black men and women by police, was stunned as well as thoughtful and apprehensive.

A look back at the history of this country, however, reveals that Long and Johnson were not the first African American men to sate their anger with gunfire.  As recently as 2013, and as far back as 1900, individual Black men had taken to arms to fight the system.

Notes

- Share this story with friends and don’t miss Part ll, sign up for Port Of Harlem now, it’s free.



- See Gibbs's updated schedule of free Black history lectures.

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POH’s Larry Walker at Kennedy Center

artist larry walker


The Prison Show at the Kennedy Center will feature formerly incarcerated Port Of Harlem contributor Larry Walker.  “Larry will not only be there with his art, but he will demonstrate how he creates masterpieces by painting in the lobby of the Kennedy Center before and after the 8p show,” said a spokesperson for the Safe Street Arts Foundation. 

Safe Streets’ Saturday, September 3 participation is part of the larger three day 15th Annual Page-to-Stage New Play Festival. The Kennedy Center will host more than 50 D.C.-area theater companies in a series of free readings and open rehearsals of plays and musicals being developed by local, regional, and national playwrights, librettists, and composers.  Events will take place in venues throughout the Kennedy Center, you are not required to have a ticket, but limited seating is available.

The annual Safe Street’ show will feature live actors and musicians that were once incarcerated. The performance is Saturday, September 3, 8p-10p.  The event will also feature the art the Safe Street Arts Foundation exhibits online, books, and other writings of prisoners. 

At the same time, the African American Collective Theater performs More Than a Mouthful.  The adult show was written and will be directed by Alan Sharpe.

Walker Contributed Illustrations While in Prison

Port Of Harlem initially saw Walkers work at the Safe Streets Arts Foundation office, contacted him, and offered him a job providing the magazine illustrations to accompany articles while Walker was still in prison.  “You gave me money for the illustrations I did.  You gave me the opportunity to take the responsibility to fulfill professional responsibilities,” says the Shiloh, Georgia native about Port Of Harlem’s contribution to his success now that he is a free man. (Port Of Harlem thanks our readers and advertisers for our being able to extend Walker the opportunity.)

While serving 20 years for drug possession and conspiracy, Walker professes to have read about a book a day and evaluated his life by writing about his past “as far back as I can remember.  The writing allowed me to reconnect to my art,” he said.   Then he added, “I also got on my knees. I had to do some reconstruction.”

He observed some inmates continuing a cycle of playing cards, basketball, and women. He spoke of some inmates connecting with people they read about in newspapers only with the intention of trying to take advantage of them. “Some people will spend 20 years in jail and continue the same habits,” he says.

In addition to reconnecting with his art, Walker says he enjoyed speaking with younger inmates about personal, family, and prison issues and being responsible for their choices.  “The officials began to count on me to provide the youngsters constrictive advice,” he says.

Once authorities released me from New Jersey’s Trenton State Prison “my family and friends assisted me in getting my first mural job that I created on a Piscataway, New Jersey youth program building,” he said fondly - - which lead to his creating murals throughout the building. One of the murals incorporates an autumn scene that matched the orange and blue scheme of the youth group.  

Walker completed the mural while working at another job for $7.20 per hour. The prison parole system wanted him to keep a 9 to 5 job, but his transportation cost to and from work about equaled his take home pay. After seeing how much Walker could earn as an artist, his parole officer approved his being an artist entrepreneur - - what he continues to be as a freed man.

Notes: 

- In addition to the Kennedy Center presentation, you can see and purchase Walker’s design on his website.

- As an inclusive publication, Port Of Harlem also features the writing of incarcerated T. Michael Colbert and the Port Of Harlem Gambian Education Partnership contracted with William Hasenbuler for the artwork done for the West African in Early America exhibit.
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Blackberry Daze Ticket Winners Are
Congratulations to Port Of Harlem subscribers Teddi Lowery of Landover, Maryland and Mathew Britt of Sterling, Virginia for being randomly selected to win tickets to see Blackberry Daze at Metro Stage.

The number of entries let us know that there is an interest amongst our subscribers to see good theater. To meet that need we will have more theater ticket giveaways. 

You can further assist us in this effort by telling MetroStage that you heard about the show from Port Of Harlem when you buy your tickets. If you also heard about Blackberry Daze from another source, be sure to include Port Of Harlem as one of those that informed you about the show.

Become eligble for the next drawing, subscribe to Port Of Harlem now, it's free.

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POHGEP Fundraiser Short Just by 2

musuba jammeh


For just $75, you can provide one or both deserving, young Gambians for whom we still need funds, a school uniform, a pair of shoes, books, lunch (daily for one full school year), and a school bag. We already found sponsors for 19 students.

Your donation is 100% tax deductible. POHGEP is a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) charity.



If you can make only a smaller donation, please donate any amount to our general fund, we will bundle your needed donations with others to make up any shortage for scholarships.

Our goal was to raise the funds by Wednesday, September 7, 2016, but has been extended.

donate nowClick Here to Donate Now
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GW’s New Institute for African Studies

african studies at gw

The George Washington University announced the launch of an institute focused on the major issues confronting the global community in Africa, one of the fastest economic growth regions in the world.

“The institute will bring together faculty across campus under one roof to collaborate on a wide range of Africa-related issues, providing exciting new opportunities for our students to engage with the continent,” said  Dr. Reuben E. Brigety II, dean of GW’s Elliott School of International Affairs.



Brigety and more than 50 GW faculty members with expertise on Africa across different disciplines and areas of study will collaborate under the new entity. Brigety joined GW in 2015 from the U.S. Department of State, where he served as U.S. representative to the African Union and U.S. permanent representative to the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa.
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Vote USA 2016

vote usa 2016 - "And we would have a duel, that’s how angry I am, and I would not put my gun in the air, I guarantee you, I would not be (Alexander) Hamilton," LePage continued. "I would point it right between his eyes.”
Republican Maine Gov. Paul LePage told Rep. Drew Gattine - August 2016

- "I could stand in the middle of 5th Avenue and shoot somebody and I wouldn't lose voters."

Republican Presidential Candidate Donald Trump – January 2016



click to register to vote

- Click here to register to Vote

- New York Times:  ‘No Vacancies’ for Blacks: How Donald Trump Got His Start, and Was First Accused of Bias
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Activities

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Washington
Hand to God
Studio Theater
14th and P, NW
extended through Sun, Sep 18, $20-$70

Blackberry Daze
MetroStage
1201 North Royal Street
Alexandria, Virginia
Thu, Sep 1-Sun, Oct. 9, $55-$66

Safe Streets Arts
Kennedy Center Prison Show
Kennedy Center
Sat, Sep 3, 8p-10p, free

Identity Politics at American University Museum
American University Museum at the Katzen Arts Center
4400 Massachusetts Ave, NW
Tue, Sep 6-Sun, Oct. 23, (Tue- Sun, 11a-4p), free
(Parking is free on weekends under the Center)
   
Family Festival
Smithsonian Anacostia Museum
1901 Forte Place, SE
Sat, Sep 10, noon-4p, free
(free shuttle from Anacostia Metro)

Farm Craft and a Story (age 2-12)
Old Maryland Farm
301 Watkins Park Drive
Upper Marlboro, MD
Wed, Sep 14, 2p-3p, $6, $4-resident
Reservations required, 301-218-6702

TV
All the Difference
(traces the paths of two teens on Chicago’s
South Side whose dream it to graduate
from college)
Mon, Sep 12, check local listings
PBS

Coming
Children's Africana Book Awards Festival
hosted by Smithsonian National Museum of African Art 
950 Independence Ave, SW
Washington, DC
Sat, Oct 8, 11a-2p, free

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