News

Cincinnati Police Attempt to Silence Freelance Journalist

A Cincinnati police officer is suing four defendants for libel. One is NWU member Julie Niesen.  They are being sued for calling out Officer Ryan Olthaus on social media for flashing the OK sign at a black woman attending a City Council hearing during the BLM protests. That hand-sign has been adopted by the white supremacist […]

Staten Island Goddamn!

Staten Island, a plantation Paddyrollers at every station  They ordered the Freedman show a pass Or he’d join his ancestors under the grass  Freedman raised his hands to show no threat Hisses and rattles, he’s trapped in the net  Staten Island Goddamn! A blue boa’s grasp A grunt, a gasp A beast choke A strangled […]

Book Review: The Talking Drum

Originally posted at BarbaraBeckwith.net Lisa Braxton’s debut novel, The Talking Drum (INNANA, a Canadian feminist press, 2020), is remarkably timely. Set in fictional “Bellport, Massachusetts,” in the 1970s, it dovetails with Boston’s Black residents’ current struggle to keep Boston’s Nubian Square alive and flourishing, as well as the gentrification of the South End long ago, […]

Reboot book sales with a webinar

After “attending” something called the Movement Makes Five Day Challenge online, I was inspired by host Pedro Adeo to create my own “challenge” and maybe generate some book sales. My idea was to make the first one free: the Building Union 3-Day Challenge to follow up with the Unrig the System Five-Day Seminar for $27 […]

Erased

Every day, I get glimpses of the erasure of Americans of color. My May 8 New York Times arts section (“For a Great Escape, Try a 1940s Musical”) describes the era when white movie stars like Fred Astaire and Shirley Temple danced in blackface to tap and jazz, trained by African American dancers, allowed to appear in […]

Celebrating Frederick Douglass Day

This year on Friday July 3, 2020 we presented Frederick Douglass Day — An Alternative Fourth of July Celebration via Zoom, gathering Frederick Douglass speech readers, Lissa Tyler Renaud, Kim McMillon, and Robert Cuffy— from NYC to Oakland. We also featured “live” music over Zoom from saxophonist Richard Howell in the SF Bay Area, and bassist Hilliard Greene in NYC.  We first presented our […]

Lessons from the Amazon Tax Victory in Seattle

(Reprinted from Labor Notes) Pressed by a relentless working class movement, the Seattle City Council on July 6 adopted a first-time-ever tax on Amazon and other big businesses that will bring in at least $214 million a year to fund affordable housing, Green New Deal projects, and union jobs. The win was a stunning turn […]

Journalists Are Not Police Informants!

On July 24, a Seattle judge ruled that journalists from The Seattle Times and four cable news outlets must turn over previously unreleased photos and videos to the Seattle Police Department (SPD). The police are demanding 90 minutes’ worth of material gathered from a protest on May 30, following the racist police murders of George […]

Trump’s Shock Troops Out of Portland!

Triggered by the excessive use of force and killings of unarmed Black Americans by police, demonstrations have taken place in Portland for over 50 successive days, with demonstrators demanding the defunding and reimaging of policing.  Recently, the demands have grown to include the removal of federal militarized police sent to the city by President Trump […]