port of harlem magazine


June 14 - June 27, 2012


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Theo Hodge, Jr. M.D.

On the Dock for this Snippet

The War of 1812: A Black Bicentennial Perspective

Blacks with the Americans

At the beginning of the war, there were 1.3 million persons of African descent in the United States, representing 19 percent of the total population. Eighty seven percent of the Black population was enslaved. Thirteen percent was free. The two and a half year conflict between England and the United States began in 1812. No matter how little known or remembered today, the war was a transforming struggle for many Blacks.

Thousands of men, women and children left slavery's grief in the wake of the British ships that eventually sailed them away to an often arduous, but free future at ports as distant as Trinidad, Nova Scotia and Sierra Leoneas distant as Trinidad, Nova Scotia and Sierra Leone. Men of African descent in opposing armies warily eyed each other over their gunfights in several of the war's major battles, including Bladensburg and New Orleans. And throughout America, at all times, Black people sought to exploit the opportunities and inconsistencies of the war for one paramount objective: freedom.

History books tell us that the war had three major causes: the seizure of American vessels trading with France (with whom England was fighting), England's arming of Native Americans who raided American frontier settlements and England's forcible taking of thousands of sailors in an act known as "impressment." (The Impress Service was formed to force sailors to serve on naval vessels -- there was no concept of joining the navy as a fixed career path for non-officers at the time.)

Photo: British loyalist and Senegambian-Canadian
Richard Pierpoint. Artwork by Malcolm Jones, courtesy
Canadian War Museum.

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Day of Atonement
at H Street Playhouse

The African Continuum Theatre presents Day of Atonement by playwright Michael P. Moss for only four performances. The play centers on the reunion of two brothers who had taken very different paths in life involving drug addition, incarceration, debt and revenge. As with most dramatic presentations, there is the “secret.”

The idea for the story originated from a sermon that Moss heard about 20 years ago. “My pastor recounted a magazine article in which two brothers were interviewed. One brother was a doctor; the other brother was a convicted murderer,” recounted the native Washingtonian. The boys’ father was also a career criminal and drug addict. And when they were asked what led them to be who they were, they answered "'with a father like mine, what else would I be,'" says Moss.

Moss’ maiden play does not attempt to answer the question. “I only hope it makes people think about the wonder of it; perhaps lead to deeper understanding and acceptance of our differences,” adds Moss who has been a fan of the African Continuum Theatre since its 1989 production of “Old Settler.”

The performances are Thursday June 28, Friday, June 29 and Saturday, June 29 at 7:30p. The final performance is Sunday, July 1 at 2:30p at the H Street Playhouse, 1365 H St., NE, in Washington.
Tickets are available by calling 202-529-5763 or at Box Office Tickets.

FREE: Checking Your
Credit Report


You can obtain a free credit report. While you have to pay about $8 to get your credit score, with your report, you can see if you have any marks on the report you need to repair to raise your credit score before you seek credit. (A higher score increases your chances of getting a loan and getting a better rate, which saves you money when borrowing.)

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Election 2012

Current Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick: Romney didn't keep his promises in Massachusetts

The President “Sings” "Call me Maybe"

Obama Boy - I Have a Crush on Obama

(Remember Obama Girl 2008?)

Pick Romney's VP

The Washington Post has a nice quick game where you can put yourself in Mitt Romney's shoes and pick his Vice Presidential choice by answering a few questions like "establishment or tea party?" and so on.

Cynthia McKinney Returns
The Green Party of Georgia has nominated former Georgia congresswoman Cynthia McKinney for her old 4th Congressional district seat.

Florida Again?
The U.S. Justice Department has sent a letter to the Florida Secretary of State stating it will take legal action against the state, citing violations of voting rights laws. The letter comes after Florida began moving to eliminate non-eligible voters from its lists. Florida’s Republican governor, Rick Scott, pressed the state to identify non-U.S. citizens who had registered to vote illegally.

The Justice Department says the plan unfairly targets minorities and paint it as an attempt to dissuade typically Democratic voters from going to the polls. One method the state is using is to remove anyone who was not a citizen at the time he or she applied for a drivers license--even though they may have becomes citizens since then.


Isaac and the Bah Family Tree

This delightful short story of Isaac Bah and his discovery that he has ancestors caught my attention because Bah is not a common surname in the United States, but is in the Gambia and other countries with Fula populations.

Author Adrienne Wilson says she chose the last name Bah while she was working at a cash checking company and “one of the customers who frequented the service had the last name of Bah and I learned that it is a very common name in West Africa.,” she said is a telephone interview. “ The name has nice ring to it,” Wilson continued.

Khalil's Way

An illustrated children's novel by author David Miller highlights the journey of Khalil Joseph, an 11-year- old boy growing up in a tough New Orleans community after Hurricane Katrina. Khalil's journey shows how a young boy who is gifted in math and chess struggles with ADHD, asthma, numerous food allergies and growing up with a single mother . He deals with being bullied every day in school. Khalil's Way is serious, yet sometimes funny and encourages children to make healthy decisions.

The Color of War
How One Battle Broke Japan and Another
Changed America

The Color of War is the story of two battles: the one overseas and the one on America's home turf. By weaving together these two narratives for the first time, James Campbell paints a more accurate picture of the cataclysmic events that occurred in July 1944--the month that won the war and changed America.

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ivan brown realty

Things to Do

Tribute to Mahalia Jackson
Featuring Louvenia Nesmith
Westminster Presbyterian Church
400 I Street, SW
Washington, DC

Sun, Jun 17, 3:30p, $25

Undergarments and Tool Drive

Global Mission Society
New Hope Baptist Church
3400 Pinevale Ave

Forestville, MD

Tina Thompson 240-481-8196

Sat, Jun 23 10a-2p

Smithsonian Folk Life Festival
Jun 27 – Jul 1 and Jul 4–Jul 8, free
-also free shuttle to and from
Anacostia Museum

Day of Atonement
H Street Playhouse
1365 H St., NE
Washington, DC

Thu-Sat Jun 28-30, 7:30p
Sun, Jul 1, 2:30p, $25

to Feng Shui

Workshop 2:
July 10, 7p-9p

Workshop 3:
August 4,10a-12p

337 Brightseat Road
Suite 220
Landover, MD
301.500.5061, $30.00

Interior Design 101

Workshop 2:
July 21, 10a-12p

Workshop 3:
August 2, 7a-9p

337 Brightseat Road,
Suite 220

Landover, MD

301.500.5061, $30.00

Immediate Family
(directed by Phylicia Rashad)
Goodman Theatre
170 N. Dearborn
Chicago, IL
Through Sun, Jul 8

½ Gary Southshore Railcats tickets
every Mon-Thu home game
U.S. Steel Yard
Gary residents box seats $5

Junteenth Events

Galveston, TX
(The Birthplace)
Sun, Jun 10–Tue, Jun 19, $

Washington, DC
Atrium National Portrait Gallery
8th and G Sts, NW
Washington, DC
Storytellers, craft workshops
Sat, Jun 16, 11:45a-3p, free

Upper Marlboro, MD

Watkins Regional Park
301 Watkins Park Drive
Sat, Jun 16, noon-5p
Cultural dance, gospel, jazz, free

116th (Btwn Lenox, Fifth Ave.)

New York, NY
Sat, Jun 16, 10a-70, free

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America the Beautiful:
Putting Diversity and Inclusion
in Practice

11-year-old Matt Woodrum has Spastic
Cerebral Palsy, but opted to run in the
Field Day at the multiracial Colonial Hills
Elementary School in the Columbus, OH
suburb of Worthington.  He ran despite
being given the option to sit it out and the
challenges of his physical challenge.

What transpires is a a boy who has
determination and classmates who
spontaneously come together and inspire
Matt and everyone of us to do and be better.

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