January 24 - February 6, 2013


ivan brown realty

Jail for Life: My Secret Thoughts

t. colbertA life sentence was only the beginning. The sentence was only the beginning of a spiraling descent into an abyss of despair.  Finally, I see a glimmer of hope.

During my descent, my father and I had grown close.  We had made plans to live and travel together and to be the father and son that had unfortunately eluded us for much of my young adult years. Eleven years into my incarceration, my father passed away from cancer.

Two months after his death, the courts denied my first appeal, which was swiftly followed by the denials to my second and third appeals.  The hope that I saw at the end of the tunnel quickly became a speeding train traveling in the wrong direction.  I dawdled away many years with self-loathing, useless activities and associating with less than inspiring friends.

Finally, a cousin came to see me with a magnanimous promise to retain a high-powered attorney who had the influence to have the judicial system set me free.  He even offered me a supervisory position in his thriving construction company.

Full Story | Your Comment

champion services travel - group travel

Django Who?:
The True Golden Globe Story of African Americans in the Old West

We First Released this Hit Story
on Facebook.
Don't forget to "Like" us on Facebook

djangoWhatever its artistic merits, “Django Unchained” is not new either in concept or execution.  In fact, the original Django, as a bounty hunter, first appeared in a 1966 Italian western with no Blacks in the cast.

Django then appeared in a series of "spaghetti" westerns (also known as Italian Western, a broad sub-genre of Western films that emerged in the mid-1960s in the wake of Sergio Leone's film-making style and international box-office success) of varying quality with different actors cast as the lead. 

Historians know the original film mainly for one thing: its appalling level of violence --at least for the 1960s - - one of the things that naturally attracted Quentin Tarantino's attention.  He is known for making violent films himself.  (Tarantino won Best Screenplay at the 2013 Golden Globes.)

“Django Unchained's”  biggest value--beyond entertainment--may yet turn out to be the extent to which it leads its viewers to study the REAL history not the REEL history of Africans Americans in the Old West.

How many people have heard of Willie Kennard, an ex-Buffalo Soldier who, in 1874, rode into Yankee Hill, Colorado, and with his blazing six guns brought peace to a lawless mining town?  Do you know about the Dick Glass gang or the Rufus Buck gang, a group of young Red and Black outlaws that in a few weeks compiled a record of banditry that put the Starr and Dalton gangs to shame? What about Annie Box Neal, a dead shot, who once challenged Buffalo Bill to a shooting contest at the Mountain View Inn that she and her husband Curly owned in Oracle, Arizona?

 If you don't want to crack open a book, look out for a Black western coming out later this year entitled "They Die by Dawn" starring Idris Elba, Nate Parker and Erykah Badu. All of whom will play Black people who really existed in the Old West. The film will be set in Langston, Oklahoma, one of the many all-Black towns that stood on the frontier. 


Photograph of 19th-Century Sculptor Edmonia Lewis Discovered

edmonia lewisThe Walters Art Museum in Baltimore announced the discovery of a previously unknown photograph of Mary Edmonia Lewis (1844-1907), the first 19th-century African American sculptor to receive international recognition. Prior to this discovery, there existed only seven known photographs of Lewis, all taken at the same sitting in Chicago around 1868-70 by photographer Henry Rocher.

This previously unknown image was shot in Rome between 1874-76 by the prestigious Italian studio of Fratelli D’Alessandri, photographer of Pope Pius IX. It sheds new light on the artist and her commitment to using photography to promote her image. The worn 4 x 2.5” photograph was the 19th-century equivalent of a visiting or calling card called a carte-de-visite or cdv.

While on a research sabbatical, Walters Deputy Director of Audience Engagement Jacqueline Copeland found the Lewis image in a box of photographs of unnamed African American men, women and children in a Baltimore antique shop.

“I was ecstatic when I realized that this unidentified Black woman standing proudly and confidently in a 19th-century dress was Edmonia Lewis since so few images of her exist,” said Copeland. “In 2002, the Walters acquired Edmonia Lewis’ 1868 bust of Dr. Diocletian Lewis (no relation) through a generous grant by Baltimore philanthropists Eddie and Sylvia Brown. It was one of the first works by an African American artist to enter the museum’s permanent collection.  This newly discovered photograph will be added to the Walters’ archives for further study and scholarship about this artist,” she continued.

back to the top

January Underground
Railroad Free Press

The January issue of the Underground Railroad Free Press, which reports on the preservation and advancement of Underground Railroad sites, features a story on POH Snippet’s C.R. Gibbs. The issue also features an advertisement for the Conference on Enslavement and Emancipation in Woodbridge, VA, Thu, Feb 21–Sat, Feb23. 

New Offerings at Gambia National Library - Banjul

gambia national library

- Overview of PowerPoint, Word, Excel and Access
Monday, March 18, 10a-12:30p
Tuesday, March 19, 10a-12:30p

- Internet Basics and E-mail, Facebook, Skype, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, and Data Analysis for Business Use
Tuesday, March 26, 2p-4:30p
Wednesday, March 27, 2p-4:30p
Thursday, March 28, 2p-4:30p

For more information or reservations contact the Gambia National Library at 422-6491.



back to the top

Theo Hodge, Jr. M.D.

Things to Do


Ladies Swing the Blues
Metro Stage
1201 North Royal
Alexandria, VA
Thu Jan 24–Mar 17, $48-$55

Visual Artists Larry "Poncho" Brown
Annie's Art Gallery
5814 Allentown Way
Camp Springs, MD
Sat, Jan 26 1p-4p

sherry waysFeel Good Spaces: A Guide to Decorating Your Home for Body, Mind and Spirit
by POH Contributor
Sherry Ways
Book Signing & Talk
Takoma Chapel
1901 Powder Mill Road
Silver Spring, MD
Sun, Jan. 27, 1p-3p, $25.00 donation

Baltimore & Ohio Railroad Museum
Fri, Feb 1–Thu, Feb 28, 2013
Baltimore, MD
opens a new African American exhibit that celebrates
the contributions of African Americans to the railroad industry.

Milestones: African Americans in Comics, Pop Culture and Beyond
Geppi’s Entertainment Museum
Baltimore, MD
Fri, Feb 1, 2013–Fri, Mar 1, 2014
Features the vast talent and wonderful innovation that came from (or were influenced by) African Americans. This special exhibit will offer irrefutable evidence of African Americans’ profound contribution to the comic book medium and the vital role that Black superheroes have played in shaping its unique, ongoing narrative.

Hampton, VA

Hampton Funk Fest
Bootsy Collins, Zapp, Rose Royce,
Con Funk Shun and Lenny Williams
Hampton Coliseum
Hampton, VA
Fri, Feb, 1, 8p. $43.50

New York Metro

Peter Wayne Lewis
Paintings from the Middle Earth Part IV
Skoto Gallery
529 West 20th Street, 5FL
New York
Through Sat, Feb 23, free


sister rosetta tharpe

Sister Rosetta Tharpe
The Godmother of Rock & Roll
Premieres Fri, Feb 22, 9p on PBS
(check local listings


Can Africa Feed Itself?

daniel KaranjaStating that we know what the problems are, Daniel Karanja, Vice President at the Partnership to Cut Hunger and Poverty in Africa, questioned “Why isn’t their action, why is not there been change?” He continued, “I believe it needs to start with political will.” Karanja was one of several panelists at a recent forum that the Wilson’s Center Africa Program held at the Ronald Reagan Building in Washington, D.C.

As the panelist explored why Africans continue to depend upon imported foodstuffs, Mozambique’s ambassador to the United States, Ameilia Matos Sumbana, pointed out that only 11% of the arable land in Africa is used for farming.

A study by USAID pointed out that 85% of its respondents blame border point corruption as a reason why many farmers in surplus countries find it difficult to trade with neighboring countries with food shortages. Non-tariff barriers is a major problem seconded Marcelo Giugale of the World Bank, but he added that “failure with (African) integration with itself,” is the larger problem.  (Colonial masters created most African trade systems for their colonies to export materials to the home country, not with each other.) 

We must develop systems to take resources “around and in,” Africa echoed Makhtar Diop, formerly of the Senegalese government and now with the World Bank.  However, Karanja insists that policy makers are aware of the issues, but that “people must hold them accountable” to implement the solutions.

back to the top

Scenes from Obama
Inauguration 2012

barack and michelle in African dress

glaucoma view

back to the top

TO CHANGE YOUR E-MAIL ADDRESS:  Click "SafeUnsubscribe" below, then
click here to register your new address