Women of Port Of Harlem | 'Black Panther' Natural Hair | Maya Angelou

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March 1 - March 14, 2018

port of harlem gambian education partnership
On The Dock This Issue:
Robtel Neajai Pailey
Women of Port Of Harlem
As an inclusive, diverse, Pan-African publication, we look at Liberian Robtel Neajai Pailey, African American Elizabeth Cary Banks, African-American of Caribbean heritage Ida Jones, and African-American Ann Chinn.
'Black Panther' Is a Beautiful Showcase for Natural Hair
"I felt validated," says Kennedra Tucker about the natural hairstyling featured in "Black Panther." Tucker was featured in Jason Miccolo Johnson’s "YOURS NATURALLY" photography exhibition.
Despite 45
From the release and popularity of "Black Panther," to criminal justice reform, Americans have managed to continue building a more inclusive and diverse nation in the #45 era.
Streaming Now
Port Of Harlem has been making the links available to you under our Activities section.
Maya Angelou, Who Had Disability, Inspires Generations
Maya Angelou became mute for almost five years.
Green Party Endorse Reparations
The bill would establish a commission to examine the institution of slavery in the U.S. and its early colonies and recommend appropriate remedies.
Interesting, diverse things to do
Readers' Trends
See what is most popular in Port Of Harlem's e-mailed issue, and on our web, Pinterest, and Facebook pages.

Women of Port Of Harlem

Robtel Neajai Pailey

elizabeth banks

ida jones

Ann Chinn

Through the lens of Women’s History Month, we recall the impact four women have had on the magazine and their most recent accomplishments. As an inclusive, diverse, Pan-African publication, we look at Liberian Robtel Neajai Pailey, African American Elizabeth Cary Banks, African-American of Caribbean heritage Ida Jones, and African-American Ann Chinn. Each person represents one of the full weeks in March.

When Port Of Harlem published Robtel Neajai Pailey’s NAACP-ACTSO Washington winning essay, "Liberia, Liberia, It is Mine," in the November 2000 - April 2001 print issue, Pailey had just graduated from high school. We did not even recognize journalistic Pailey as a budding international academic when she penned "Creating Havens in Homes," our August 2006 – October 2007 cover story. The now international academic, activist, and author has since experienced being a special assistant for communications to former Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf in Monrovia, Liberia.

The Howard University and University of Oxford graduate has also penned the internationally accepted anti-corruption children's book "Gbagba." "It is a universal and Pan-African narrative that teaches children (and adults) about how corruption manifests in everyday forms of human interaction and how we all must resist it," she says.

In 2014, she earned her doctorate in Development Studies from the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London and currently serves as an Ibrahim Leadership Fellow at the African Development Bank in Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire.

Overlapping Pailey’s stint with the growing magazine, Baltimorean Elizabeth Carey Banks was matriculating in high school when she became a Port Of Harlem editor. Starting with the quarterly May 2004 - July 2004 issue, she began respectfully challenging the writing of staff members much older than herself, including her uncle, publisher Wayne Young. After completing studies at Johns Hopkins University, Banks graduated from Case Western Reserve School of Medicine in 2014. Banks is now specializing in obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Chicago Medical Center.

Banks is passionate about creating access to health care for all Americans. She said, "Women, especially African-American women with less means, often need better education about their bodies and their health, but they often lack both."

At the University of Arizona in Phoenix, she will start a fellowship in minimally invasive surgery at St. Joseph's Hospital and Medical Center. The world traveler says this type of surgery uses robots and laparoscopy tools and has many advantages over traditional surgery since it makes the smallest incisions as possible. The advantages include "faster recovery time and it reduces the chances of complications including infections," she explained with compassion and ease.

While Banks no longer lives in Charm City, Cambridge, Massachusetts native of Caribbean heritage Ida Jones has moved from Washington’s Howard University to Baltimore’s Morgan State University.  Morgan’s new University Archivist served as Port Of Harlem’s book editor. And like Pailey, Jones is a Howard graduate. The 2001 Howard University doctoral graduate’s first book review appeared in the biannual May 2003 – October 2003 issue.

The former assistant curator of manuscripts at Howard’s Moorland Spingarn Research Center University continues to consult the magazine on historical issues and often graciously provides historical context for articles. And, as a prolific researcher and author, Jones recently released her latest book "William Henry Jernagin in Washington, D.C. Faith in the Fight for Civil Rights."  She has also served on the board of the magazine’s charity, the Port Of Harlem Gambian Education Partnership.
An as inclusive, diverse, pan-African magazine, we are also extremely proud of their contributions outside of Port Of Harlem to make our world and the world of all humanity a better place. The progress continues.
A year after Banks joined our editing team, Ann Chinn became a coeditor, starting with the quarterly May 2005 - July 2005 print issue. Even when in print, much of the magazine’s work was done virtually and the two editors have never met.

Besides editing, Chinn wrote several articles including "Middle Passage Project," that appeared in the November 2008 - January 2009 print issue. This history-making article was the first public write-up on her vision of what is now the Middle Passage Ceremonies and Port Markers Project (MPCPMP). Through this initiative, the grandmother of three, encourages, promotes, and facilitates ancestral remembrance ceremonies and historic marker installations at each documented location in the United States where Africans arrived after the Middle Passage.

"In 2011 we knew of 42 sites, and since then the number has grown to 50, from Maine to Texas," she says. To date, MPCPMP has participated in promoting this history (with remembrance ceremonies) at 24 sites;  there are 33 sites where markers have not been installed. The Project’s immediate goal is to complete work at each site by 2020 – 401 years after the arrival of the first Africans in the British North American colonies in1619 at Point Comfort, Hampton, Virginia.

"We have to tell this story of our ancestors. It is more than just about enslaved labor but the building, contributions, and influence of these children, women, and men in creating what would become the United States of America – from the beginning. Connecting this to Atlantic World and global history is also important. Efforts to have these sites designated as Sites of Memory by UNESCO are also underway."

An as inclusive, diverse, pan-African magazine, Port Of Harlem is proud of the role a diverse set of women, with ties to various parts of the African world, have played in making us who were are. We are also extremely proud of their contributions outside of Port Of Harlem to make our world and the world of all humanity a better place. The progress continues.

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black memorabilia show
'Black Panther' Is a Beautiful Showcase for Natural Hair

black panther natural hair

"Everything, just everything seems to have perfectly come together in this film, the cast, the music, the characters, the story, the costumes, and goodness, the outstanding natural hairstyles!," says Mireille Liong of Going-Natural. Liong, who appeared on our November 10 - April 2011 print issue cover, had her natural hair products and information company create a The Best Natural Hairstyles of the 'Black Panther' Opening Weekend Featuring Wakanda webpage.

Malaika Cooper, organizer of the Baltimore Natural Hair Care Expo, says she loved the bald headed women in the movie. "I am hoping it has awakened our people. I loved the part where the warrior woman felt ridiculous wearing the wig/weave and thru it off," she added. However, she wonders how many Black women missed that act.

"It was very refreshing and empowering to see a cast of beautiful Black women in the blockbuster hit "Black Panther" rocking natural hairstyles and celebrating their natural God-given beauty. I hope that natural hairstyles become the new standard of beauty for sisters in the Diaspora world-wide!," added Jason Miccolo Johnson, photographer and creator of the national photography exhibition, "YOURS NATURALLY:  Beauty That Grows on You."

"I felt validated," says Port Of Harlem contributor Kennedra Tucker, who was featured in Johnson’s "YOURS NATURALLY." She continued, "to see it in a movie that made millions of dollars empowers our mission to get natural hair into the mainstream and to keep it there."

Behind the Screen

The Cut:  'Black Panther' Is a Beautiful Showcase for Natural Hair

Ruth Carter Is The Veteran Black Costume Designer Serving Looks In 'Black Panther'

Los Angeles TimesWhat's Ahead for the Cast and Director Following the Mega-Success

Black Enterprise: 'Black Panther' Success Sends Demand For African Attire Through The Roof
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Despite 45

Rep. Kionne McGhee

From the release and popularity of "Black Panther," to criminal justice reform, Americans have managed to continue building a more inclusive and diverse nation in the #45 era.

Criminal Justice Reform

The Sentencing Project reports that every day formerly incarcerated activists, lawmakers, advocates, and others are working to advance reform. The Project released a report, Top Trends in State Criminal Justice Reform, 2017 that highlights important criminal justice reforms achieved in the last year.

Highlights include:

-Sentencing: Louisiana lawmakers authorized legislation to expand probation eligibility to people convicted of third-time nonviolent offenses and first-time low-level violent offenses. The bill also expanded eligibility for treatment alternatives and drug courts.

- Racial Disparity: Legislators in New Jersey authorized use of racial impact statements to project the effect of sentencing legislation.

- Juvenile Justice: New York and North Carolina, the country's only states that automatically prosecuted all 16- and 17-year-olds as adults, adopted reforms directing that teenage defendants should be adjudicated in the juvenile justice system.

- Collateral Consequences: Lawmakers in Arkansas, Louisiana, Maryland, and North Dakota expanded eligibility for public assistance for persons with felony drug convictions. Florida's constitution automatically strips voting rights from individuals convicted of a felony, but governors can determine how voting rights get restored.

Voting Rights

U.S. District Judge Mark Walker ruled that Florida's system of restoring voting rights to people with felony convictions is arbitrary and violates First Amendment rights to free expression and equal protection rights under the 14th Amendment.

While that issue plays out in the courts, The Florida Rights Restoration Coalition gathered the required 766,200 petition signatures to get their voting rights measure on the November ballot.

The proposed constitutional amendment would automatically restore voting rights to most individuals upon completion of their prison, probation or parole sentence. Those convicted of murder, or felony sexual offense would not be covered by the initiative. The measure will need the support of 60% of voters to pass.

Californians United for a Responsible Budget (CURB) and their member organization Initiate Justice have announced a new state campaign to expand voting rights to people in prison and on parole.

Gun Control

Lawmakers who are descendants of the enslaved continue to be on the front lines of controversial and hot topics. On the gun control front, it was Florida Conference of Black State Legislators member and Howard University graduate Rep. Kionne McGhee who asked for the much reported assault weapons bill to be brought to the floor for debate in Florida, requesting what he called an "extraordinary procedural move." 

Despite the presence of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School students, the Florida House lawmakers declined to open debate on the bill that would ban assault weapons and large-capacity ammunition magazines. In that same session, lawmakers supported a bill that declared pornography a public health risk.

NAACP Federal Legislative Report Card

The NAACP has continued a tradition that started in 1914 and published a report card assessing the voting patterns of each member of Congress on critical civil rights legislation. It published its Civil Rights Federal Legislative Report Card covering the first session of the 115th Congress (January 3, 2017 - December 22, 2017).

Cool Information About NRA Support/Opposition, from ResistBot!

You can now use ResistBot (text "resist" to 50409) to send messages to your Senators or Congresspeople. If you text "NRA" after signing up, you'll get info about National Rifle Association (NRA) contributions.

Here is info for one Virginia writer’s local reps. According to the Bot:

"The NRA spent $0 in direct and outside support to help Sen. Mark Warner win, and $478,480 in opposition."

"The NRA spent $0 in direct and outside support to help Sen. Tim Kaine win, and $713,155 in opposition."

"Rep. Donald S. Beyer, Jr. hasn't received money from the NRA."

The NRA Meets Their Match

Companies are cutting ties with the National Rifle Association (NRA) after the Florida high school shooting left 17 dead and students started protesting for their lives across the country. "To every politician who is taking donations from the NRA, shame on you!" Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School student Emma Gonzalez declared at one rally. A chant started up among those gathered: "Shame on you!" It appears that corporations are listening, too, except for one major corporation, FedEx (1 (800) 463-3339).

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Streaming Now

lorraine hansburry

As more films and feature stories turn to streaming their products on the Internet, Port Of Harlem has been making them available to you under our Activities section. Below is a listing of the ones we have recently listed and several new ones brought to our attention by the films’ publicists.

All the Difference
The largely invisible and often crushing struggles of young African-American men come vividly to life. The movie traces the paths of two teens from the South Side of Chicago who dream of graduating from college.

PBS Digital Studios: Is the Rosa Parks Story True?

PBS: Lorraine Hansberry: Sighted Eyes/Feeling Heart

Pioneers: Reginald F. Lewis and the Making of a Billion Dollar Empire
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Maya Angelou, Who Had Disability, Inspires Generations

maya angelou

Maya Angelou was an award-winning author, poet, civil rights activist, college professor, and screen writer. Most recognized for her literary works, Angelou was and remains among the most influential woman of her time. After passing away in 2014, Angelou still is widely remembered and honored for her hard work and perseverance over decades.

As a child, Angelou was sexually abused and raped by her mother’s boyfriend. She told her brother, who told the rest of their family. While the boyfriend was found guilty, he was jailed for just one day. Four days later, he was murdered, with the theory that Angelou’s uncles did so. As a result, Angelou became mute for almost five years.

"I thought, my voice killed him; I killed that man, because I told his name," she later said. "And then I thought I would never speak again, because my voice would kill anyone."

Angelou had selective mutism, an anxiety disorder that causes a child to not speak due to physical and psychological trauma they endured. In the five-year span that she experienced this, her listening, observing and memorizing skills improved, and her love of books expanded. This helped her later when she began working in becoming successful in her career.

Read More

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Green Party Endorse Reparations


The Green Party of the United States, following the lead of the party's Black Caucus, has endorsed U.S. House Resolution 40 -- Commission to Study and Develop Reparations Proposals. The resolution was passed by the party's National Committee, in which all accredited state Green Parties and Green Caucuses are represented.  

Since 1989, John Conyers , the former member of the House Judiciary Committee, has repeatedly introduced HR 40. The bill would establish a commission to examine the institution of slavery in the U.S. and its early colonies, and recommend appropriate remedies.

Under the heading "Building One America," the 2000 Democratic National Platform included support for HR 40. The 2000 platform inclusion marked the first time that a major American political party endorsed the bill that the National Coalition of Blacks for Reparations America (N'COBRA) has long supported.

The Democrats' support came only months after more than 500 people participated in N'COBRA's week-long 11th annual conference in Washington, D.C. The conference was in August 2000. (Port Of Harlem publisher Wayne Young served as the public relations director.)

"Four million Africans and their descendants were enslaved in the United States and colonies that became the United States from 1619 to 1865. A system of structural and institutional racism has persisted beyond the Emancipation Proclamation and the 1964 Civil Rights Act -- and persists today. That's why reparations are necessary and why the Green Party supports the U.S. House resolution," said Anika Ofori, Chief Strategist for the Green Party Black Caucus on Reparations and a Louisiana Green.
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port of harlem events

new africa film festival

Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company
641 D St, NW
Extended through Sun, Mar 11, $

The Wolves
Studio Theater
14 and P St, NW
Now through Sun, Mar 18, $

Panel and Performance: August Wilson’s Themes of Displacement
Arena Stage at the Mead Center for American Theater
1101 6th St, SW
Thu, Mar 1, 6:30-8:30p, free 

Race, History, and Higher Education: When Blackness Comes to Campus
Featuring Jonathan Holloway, Provost, Northwestern University
Metropolitan Policy Center
American University
4400 Massachusetts Ave, NW
School of International Service Founders Room
Wed, Mar 7, 4p-6p, free

New African Film Festival
AFI Silver Theatre and Cultural Center
8633 Colesville Rd
Silver Spring, MD
Thu, Mar-Sun,Mar 18, $

Harriet Tubman Day
CR Gibbs provides remarks
Charles Sumner School Museum and Archives
1201 17th St, NW
Thu, Mar 8, 7p, free

The Wiz
Ford’s Theater
511 10th St, NW
Fri, Mar 9-Sat, May 12, $20-$73

Fredericksburg, VA
Black Expo America 2018
Wingate by Wyndham Fredericksburg
20 Sanford Dr
Sat, Mar 3, 10a-6p, $

New York
Nina and Me: Ledisi Celebrates Nina Simone
Apollo Theater
253 West 125th St
Fri, Mar 9, 8p, $

PBS Digital Studios:
Is the Rosa Parks Story True?

Essence’s 11th annual Black Women in Hollywood Awards
OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network
Sat, Mar 3, 10p ET/PT

Port Of Harlem Meet and Greet
Timbooktu Bookstore
New Bakau, The Gambia
Fri, Mar 16, 3:30p-5:30p, free
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The Case Against Juice Is Stronger Than Ever

On Website portofharlem.net

cr gibbs

CR Gibbs

On Facebook facebook

ida jones archivist

David S. Ferriero, the 10th Archivist of the United
States, with University Archivist at Baltimore’s Morgan
State University and former Port Of Harlem magazine
 contributor Ida Jones.

Jones gave a Black History Month speech at the
National Archives in College Park, Maryland.

Also see: Women of Port Of Harlem

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No More Condoms?
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