Alabama Mentality Questioned | Senegal’s New Airport | Kwanzaa Events
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December 21, 2017 – January 3, 2018
On The Dock This Issue:
See what is most popular in Port Of Harlem's e-mailed issue, and on our web, Pinterest, and Facebook pages.
Short Video Questions the Mental State of Roy Moore’s White Voters
A video by the group The Other98
that contains strong language questions why 68 percent of White voters in Alabama voted for Roy Moore
despite his stance on a number of issues from enslavement and marriage equality to the rights of Muslim politicians in the United States.
A similar Facebook posting by the political organization declared: “If Black people did the same thing (68 percent voting for an alleged pedophile), the media would be spending all day questioning the moral character of Black families and communities.”
The Other98 takes their mission on the Facebook platform as specializing in “spanking greedy corporate asses for the harder working classes and provide a home on the internet for the millions of Americans who want to fight the power and make our country work for the other 98% of us. Other98 is the only group out there with the kind of massive audience, bold language, and knack for storytelling that we need to create the seismic cultural shifts we need to change the world.”
Investments in African-American Community Key to Another Historic Election Night
Alabama, a state that hasn’t sent a Democrat to the Senate for a quarter century, turned a little bit more blue Tuesday thanks to the Black women who continue to further cement their status as a cornerstone of our party.
With the threat of an accused child molester holding public office, Alabama’s Black community used the ballot box as a shield against a politician who wistfully and openly yearns for a return to a plantation-era United States. These voters not only rejected a future where an unapologetic racist decides their fate, they also set their state on the path to a better future for all Alabamians. Many owe a great deal of gratitude to the Black men and women who surged to the polls, as middle-class Alabamians would have suffered greatly under Trump policy regurgitated to them by Moore.
We learned valuable lessons last month and last Tuesday - - when we invest early and in our communities, we win. The Democratic National Committee (DNC) knows Black voters are a force to be reckoned with at the ballot box, and that’s exactly why we used a nearly $1 million investment to mobilize Alabama’s African-American, millennial, and faith communities. And to help boost turnout, we made sure we had our own staffers on the ground engaging Black leaders and implementing organizing programs.
Without investing in Alabama’s African-American community, last night’s historic victory would have been simply impossible. Black women and men are the reason we won in Alabama, and they’re the reason we are going to win in 2018.
Sample Press Coverage of Historic Black Voting Participation
The Philadelphia Tribune
Former President Barack Obama delivered an unmistakable message in his robocall prior to the Alabama Senate election earlier this week: “This one’s serous,” he said, “you can’t sit out.” No group of voters received it like Black women voters.
CNN: Black voters turned out for Jones
“Making up 17% of the voters, 98% of Black women who voted on Tuesday cast their ballots for Jones, while just 2% voted for Republican Roy Moore, exit polls showed. “Compared to the 2012 presidential election, 95% of Black women voted for President Barack Obama and 4% voting for Mitt Romney, and made up 18% of voters. “Additionally, Black men, who made up 11% of the vote on Tuesday, voted 93% for Jones.”
The Atlantic: African American Voters Made Doug Jones a U.S. Senator in Alabama
“These results demolish the pre-established media narrative about Black voters in the state, and defy conventional wisdom. Black voters were informed and mobilized to go vote, and did so even in the face of significant barriers.”
The New York Times: 4 Takeaways From Doug Jones’s Alabama Victory
“Black voters turned out in force, handing Mr. Jones a decisive lead in Alabama’s cities and predominantly Black rural counties. In Jefferson County, home to Birmingham and its whiter suburbs, turnout exceeded the 2014 governor’s race by about 30 percent, and Mr. Jones nearly matched Hillary Clinton’s vote total there. Other populous, heavily African-American counties, including Montgomery and Dallas County, where Selma is, also exceeded their 2014 turnout.”
The Washington Post: Black voters in Alabama saw Roy Moore as the local Trump
“But what these Black voters knew was that Moore had adopted Trump's ‘Make America Great Again’ slogan — and for residents of a state that has deep-rooted racial tensions running through its veins, some moments of America's past are not among the state's finest moments.”
The Nation: Black Voters, Mothers, and Millennials Carried Doug Jones to Victory
“As the hours passed we learned that Black voters—from Selma to Montgomery to Birmingham, those citadels of the civil-rights movement—exceeded their turnout for Barack Obama in 2012, delivering Jones the victory.”
The Huffington Post: Black Women Played A Big Part In Doug Jones’ Surprise Victory In Alabama
“But Democratic leaders were banking on intense opposition to Republican Roy Moore ? known for his far-right views on an array of issues ? spurring turnout among Blacks. Also, local Democrats made extra efforts to mobilize the Black community to overcome GOP-backed voter suppression mechanisms.”
Glamour: Democrat Doug Jones Won Alabama and Twitter Is Thanking the Real Heroes—Black Women
“It was the Black community, especially women, who turned out—and turned this election. Many pundits will see this as a major turning point in the rejection of Trumpism heading into the 2018 midterms, and all credit should go where it's due.”
Why Some Americans Can't Vote Because They're Poor
“Hundreds of thousands of Americans are being denied access to the polls because they are poor,” says Robert Reich. In a 1 minute, 36 second video, Why Some American Can’t Vote Because They’re Poor
, Reich explains why as many as three percent of Alabamians were not allowed to vote because have outstanding legal fees or court fines.
Black History Month Speakers Available
Port Of Harlem contributors are available as Black History Month speakers at your event. Now is the time to plan for the annual celebration.
Visit our Contact Us
page to read the biographies of our seven available contributors. Naturally, Tyrone Colbert, our incarcerated contributor, is not available. However, we do have contact with those who have been in prison and those who advocate on their behalf.
To check the availability of our contributors and possible fee or honorarium requirements, you may contact them directly by emailing them. To email a contributor, go to the Contact Us page, then click the envelope below their name.
The Port Of Harlem Gambian Education Partnership also offers its West Africans in Early America exhibit
. You can also contact Port Of Harlem magazine
to contact the contributors or for more information on the West Africans in Early America exhibit.
Write a Talented Imprisoned Artist Today
Safe Streets Arts Foundation
is looking for those who would like to mentor imprisoned artists. For more than a decade, Port Of Harlem has worked with Safe Streets Arts Foundation artists and have featured them in Port Of Harlem., including Larry Walker
, who created the November 2009 – April 2010 cover
. (Port Of Harlem released its last print issue in November 2012.)
A mentor writes to one or two imprisoned artists to encourage the artists to pursue their artistic goals. The names and addresses of pre-screened artists are furnished to you by the Safe Streets Arts Foundation. All artists have been judged to be rehabilitated.
You can regulate how much time you spend writing imprisoned artists by the number of artists you agree to correspond with and the frequency of letters you send them--once a week, once a month, etc.
There are many benefits to both you and the artists. For the artists, there is your positive and constructive feedback of their art. This will result in a greater sense of accomplishment and self-esteem, vital to adjustment in prison and successful re-entry into society.
You benefit by having access to a talented artist and knowing you have helped someone become a better person and a better artist. For your mentoring you will be given a certificate of commendation presented to you at our annual recognition awards at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.
Through another program, Port Of Harlem magazine has maintained a friendship and working relationship with imprisoned Port Of Harlem contributor T. Michael Colbert
. The magazine and its publisher has found the relationship rewarding. Colbert even met his girlfriend from the pages of Port Of Harlem. Email
or call Rose Baham, 703-655-4701, to discuss options and availability of your participation.
Senegal Gets New Airport
The Blaise Diagne International Airport
opened December 7 in Diass, Senegal, about 40 minutes from Dakar, the capital city. The airport code is DSS.
The new airport replaces the Léopold Sédar Senghor International Airport (DKR) in Dakar. The $680 million airport is expected to spur growth away from Dakar and is a little more than an hour away from M'Bour, the most important place of tourism in Senegal.
The new Trans Express Regional rail line will connect the new airport with the capitol city. The line will have 14 stations and is designed for a maximum speed of 100 miles per hour, giving an end-to-end journey time of around 45 minutes. However, it is not expected to open until 2018.
With the new airport, Senegal is capitalizing on its stability to become a transport hub in West Africa and boost its tourism sector. Presidents from the West African states of Gabon, Guinea-Bissau and The Gambia joined Senegalese President Macky Sall at the airport’s inauguration.
The former French colony is the closest point on the continent to the Americas. From Washington Dulles, South Africa Air currently stops at the airport on its way to Johannesburg on Sunday, Wednesday, and Fridays. On the other four days, the flight stops in Accra, Ghana.
“The last time I took a group was in 2004, but it became difficult to get to West Africa and I have had to take groups to other parts of Africa,” said Bernadette Champion of Champion Services Travel
. Champion remembers the days when Air Afrique and Air Ghana had direct flights from Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport to West Africa. “Now that this airport is open, I am excited that my destination options may open up again.”
Eight days after opening, air traffic controllers went on strike to bring attention, to what they say, was a lack of training on the new state of the art equipment. The strike affected 5,000 travelers, several flights were cancelled, and others flights were re-routed to nearby The Gambia.
The airport does have other problems, just one hotel near the new airport, a Radisson Blu, is accepting customers. A taxi ride for downtown Dakar to the new airport costs around $35; the ride to the old one cost less than $5.
Léopold Sédar Senghor airport will become a military airport. It was named for Léopold Sédar Senghor (1906-2001), a Senegalese poet, politician, and cultural theorist who for two decades served as the first president of Senegal.
The new airport is named for Blaise Diagne (1872-1934), a French political leader and mayor of Dakar. He was the first Black African elected to the French Chamber of Deputies and the first to hold a position in the French government.
Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore
When on your way to or from the Windy City (Chicago) and you want a departure from the concrete jungle and yearn for a bit of nature, there are more than 40 trails in the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore including the Miller Woods Trail in Gary, Indiana. Just 30 minutes from the Great South Side of Chicago, I walked the sandy 1.6 mile trail from the Paul H. Douglass Environmental Education Center
to the roaring waves of Lake Michigan as they ran up to the shoreline in the Steel City.
With a National Park Service Ranger as a guide, the two hour walk through the black oak savannah included dune hills and swales (small valleys between dunes). It was fascinating to see the lodges built by beavers in the small lakes, hear woodchucks hammering away, and getting close to various plants and flowers. In the summer months, you can also kayak in the peaceful lagoon.
What is most amazing is that all of the park’s natural beauty is in the midst of North America’s leading steel producing plants.
The Miller Woods trail is easily accessible from Interstates 80/94, 90, and 65, which starts in Gary. Public transportation lovers can take the Chicago South Shore and South Bend Railroad from Chicago or South Bend, disembark at the Miller South Shore station, and take a free16 passenger dune buggy to the Environmental Center.
Between the train station and the Center is Lake Street shopping and dining. My favorite store, Lake Street Gallery
, sells original Dunes artwork. The 18th Street Brewery
is a popular watering hole.
Two-hour bus tours of the Dunes are also available from the Visitor’s Center in Porter, Indiana. The tours are also free, but the Center only conducts them periodically. Before heading to the dunes, contact the Douglass Center. Chicagoland winters can be harsh and many of their services are available only during the summer months.
Mosaic Theater’s Draw the Circle
Atlas Performing Arts Center
1333 H Street, NE
Now till Sun, Dec 24, $
Curve Of Departure
14 and P Streets, NW
Now till Sun, Jan 7, $
27th Annual BZB Holiday Gift & Art Show
Shiloh Baptist Church
9th and P Streets, NW
Fri, Dec 22-Sat Dec 23
Anacostia Museum’s Kwanzaa Celebration
with Nana Malaya Rucker-The Dancing Diplomat & Nubian
Fort Stanton Recreation Center
1812 Erie St, SE
Tue, Dec 26, 11a-1p, free
Anacostia Museum’s Kwanzaa Celebration with Melvin Deal
and the African Heritage Dancers and Drummers
Fort Stanton Recreation Center
1812 Erie St, SE
Wed, Dec 27,11a-12:30p, free
Bakau, The Gambia
Diaspora 2017 Festival
Thu, Dec 28, 12p-Sun, Dec 31, 10p, $
740 E 56th Pl
Dec 26, 27, 29 and 30, 12p-1:30p, free
Benjamin Banneker Historical Park & Museum’s Kwanzaa Celebration
300 Oella Ave
Sat, Dec 30,1:30p-3p, free
Kwanzaa Celebration 2017
Reginald F. Lewis Museum
830 E Pratt St
Sat, Dec 30, 12p-4p, free
New Year's Eve Brunch
Marquette Park Pavilion
1 North Grand Boulevard
Sun, Dec 31, 10a-3p, $0-$24
2017 Ugandan Diaspora Social Networking Event
Serena Hotel Kampala
Sat, Dec 30, 6p-11:30p, $
NuDawn Kwanzaa Karamu Umoja
206 Well Street
London E9 6QT
Wed, Dec 27, 4:30p-10p, $
New York City
Kwanzaa Celebration: Regeneration Night
253 W 125th St
Sat, Dec 30, 2p and 7:30p, $
Elegba Folklore Society’s
2017 Capital City Kwanzaa Festival
Dewey Gottwald Center
2301 W Leigh Street
Sat, Dec 30, 2p-9p, $5-$7
Free Port Of Harlem Subscriptions
Inclusive | Diverse | PanAfrican
Nina Simone Remembered at Arena Stage
Correction: In the last issue we got the dates switched. The correct dates are:
On June 12, 1963, Medgar Evers was killed and The 16th Street Baptist Church bombing took place on September 15, 1963.