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Mother Carew my paternal grandmother, the poet who gave gifts

of her poetry to presidents and market vendors. Nan Nan my maternal

grandmother who often opened the doors of her home to women who

had fallen on unfortunate circumstances.



My Thoughts on International Women's Day‏

 By Claire Carew


March 8th is International Women's Day.  All over the world women are celebrating our accomplishments in various fields. We have come a long way and yet we have a long way to ago. I grew up in the era of the women's liberation movement. My mind has been shaped by those who have struggled against oppression, and who have survived triumphantly the worse forms of brutality.

Those of us who have studied the history of Africa and the African Diaspora know of the ancient civilizations of Africa, and also know that the slave captors grabbed the strongest. Our African ancestors survived the barbaric confines of the middle passage, and the brutality of slavery because of their physical, mental and spiritual strength. At least half of them had to be women. Their resilience and ability to overcome slavery and climb the hurdles of racism continue to inspire people of all races and creeds today in 2010.
Through a multitude of teaching tools including watching motivational speakers, my students are aware that they can become successful in spite of any hardships they may face. This year during African History Month, I had a mini exhibition of several of my diplomas and degrees in my classroom; in order to reinforce the truth that with passion, persistence, and determination one can become successful.   
Yet not a day goes by when I do not think of the women of my own family. Mother Carew my paternal grandmother, the poet who gave gifts of her poetry to presidents and market vendors. Nan Nan my maternal grandmother who often opened the doors of her home to women who had fallen on unfortunate circumstances. My sisters and mother who today multi-task as professionals, mothers, wives, and students to provide their children with the best quality of life.
Let us all reflect on the women within our midst, family, friends, and co- workers. May we all reach out and give them a helping hand instead of admiring them from afar. The struggle continues.
Happy International Women's Day!

March 8th, 2010 

Claire Carew was born in Guyana and is of African, Arawak and European ancestry. She began her visual arts career over 25 years ago with a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Guelph and studies at private art schools.  Carew also holds a Diploma in Education, a Visual Arts Specialist from McGill University and has completed studies in drama at the University of Toronto. Carew’s work has been shown in Canada, Mexico and the United States. Her work is also in private collections in Brussels, England, Guyana and Russia. more bio

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About International Women's Day (8 March)


International Women's Day has been observed since in the early 1900s, a time of great expansion and turbulence in the industrialized world that saw booming population growth and the rise of radical ideologies.

Great unrest and critical debate was occurring amongst women. Women's oppression and inequality was spurring women to become more vocal and active in campaigning for change. Then in 1908, 15,000 women marched through New York City demanding shorter hours, better pay and voting rights.

In accordance with a declaration by the Socialist Party of America, the first National Woman's Day (NWD) was observed across the United States on 28 February. Women continued to celebrate NWD on the last Sunday of February until 1913.

In 1910 a second International Conference of Working Women was held in Copenhagen. A woman named
Clara Zetkin (Leader of the 'Women's Office' for the Social Democratic Party in Germany) tabled the idea of an International Women's Day. She proposed that every year in every country there should be a celebration on the same day - a Women's Day - to press for their demands. The conference of over 100 women from 17 countries, representing unions, socialist parties, working women's clubs, and including the first three women elected to the Finnish parliament, greeted Zetkin's suggestion with unanimous approval and thus International Women's Day was the result.

Following the decision agreed at Copenhagen in 1911, International Women's Day (IWD) was honoured the
first time in Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland on 19 March. More than one million women and men attended IWD rallies campaigning for women's rights to work, vote, be trained, to hold public office and end discrimination. However less than a week later on 25 March, the tragic 'Triangle Fire' in New York City took the lives of more than 140 working women, most of them Italian and Jewish immigrants. This disastrous event drew significant attention to working conditions and labour legislation in the United States that became a focus of subsequent International Women's Day events. 1911 also saw women's 'Bread and Roses' campaign.

On the eve of World War I campaigning for peace, Russian women observed their first International Women's Day on the last Sunday in February 1913. In 1913 following discussions, International Women's Day was transferred to 8 March and this day has remained the global date for International Women's Day ever since. In 1914 further women across Europe held rallies to campaign against the war and to express women's solidarity.

On the last Sunday of February, Russian women began a strike for "bread and peace" in response to the death of over 2 million Russian soldiers in war. Opposed by political leaders the women continued to strike until four days later the Czar was forced to abdicate and the provisional Government granted women the right to vote. The date the women's strike commenced was Sunday 23 February on the Julian calendar then in use in Russia. This day on the Gregorian calendar in use elsewhere was 8 March.

1918 - 1999
Since its birth in the socialist movement, International Women's Day has grown to become a global day of recognition and celebration across developed and developing countries alike. For decades, IWD has grown from strength to strength annually. For many years the United Nations has held an annual IWD conference to coordinate international efforts for women's rights and participation in social, political and economic processes. 1975 was designated as 'International Women's Year' by the United Nations. Women's organisations and governments around the world have also observed IWD annually on 8 March by holding large-scale events that honour women's advancement and while diligently reminding of the continued vigilance and action required to ensure that women's equality is gained and maintained in all aspects of life.

2000 and beyond
IWD is now an official holiday in China, Armenia, Russia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bulgaria, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Macedonia, Moldova, Mongolia, Tajikistan, Ukraine, Uzbekistan and Vietnam. The tradition sees men honouring their mothers, wives, girlfriends, colleagues, etc with flowers and small gifts. In some countries IWD has the equivalent status of Mother's Day where children give small presents to their mothers and grandmothers.

The new millennium has witnessed a significant change and attitudinal shift in both women's and society's thoughts about women's equality and emancipation. Many from a younger generation feel that "all the battles have been won for women" while many feminists from the 1970s know only too well the longevity and ingrained complexity of patriarchy. With more women in the boardroom, greater equality in legislative rights, and an increased critical mass of women's visibility as impressive role models in every aspect of life, one could think that women have gained true equality. The unfortunate fact is that women are still not paid equally to that of their male counterparts, women still are not present in equal numbers in business or politics, and globally women's education, health and the violence against them is worse than that of men.

However, great improvements have been made. We do have female astronauts and prime ministers, school girls are welcomed into university, women can work and have a family, women have real choices. And so the tone and nature of IWD has, for the past few years, moved from being a reminder about the negatives to a celebration of the positives.

Annually on 8 March, thousands of events are held throughout the world to inspire women and celebrate achievements. A global web of rich and diverse local activity connects women from all around the world ranging from political rallies, business conferences, government activities and networking events through to local women's craft markets, theatric performances, fashion parades and more.

Many global corporations have also started to more actively support IWD by running their own internal events and through supporting external ones. For example, on 8 March search engine and media giant Google some years even changes its logo on its global search pages. Year on year IWD is certainly increasing in status. The United States even designates the whole month of March as 'Women's History Month'.

So make a difference, think globally and act locally !! Make everyday International Women's Day. Do your bit to ensure that the future for girls is bright, equal, safe and rewarding.

Source: International Womens

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Women of the Underground Railroad


Abby Kelley Foster

This "fiery little Irish Quaker" became a speaker for the anti-slavery cause. A teacher in Lynn, Massachusetts, Abby Kelley heard William Lloyd Garrison speak. She then began meeting other local people involved in the abolitionist cause. She joined the Female Anti-Slavery Society in Lynn and started raising money and taking petitions door to door for the group.

At that time women were discouraged from speaking in public to groups of men and women. When Kelley dared to do so at a meeting in Philadelphia, she was shouted at and booed. Prominent abolitionist Theodore Weld appreciated her courage and her competence, inviting her to join the speaking circuit. She did so in 1839 and promptly sparked a division between the American Anti-Slavery Society led by Garrison and the American and Foreign Anti-Slavery Society led by Lewis Tappan.

Foster traveled throughout New England, appearing with Frederick Douglass and other famous abolitionists. In 1845 she began publishing an antislavery newspaper, the Anti-Slavery Bugle, to provide news of the movement to people in Ohio. She married fellow abolitionist Stephen Foster in 1845. They continued to work against slavery and may have harbored fugitive slaves in their Worcester, Massachusetts, home.

Harriet Ann Jacobs

Harriet Ann Jacobs was born a slave in 1813 and eventually sent to live with the Norcom family of Edenton, North Carolina. After years of being mistreated and assaulted by her owner, she ran away. She found a hiding place in a tiny space above the shed next to her free grandmother's house.

Harriet later wrote of her sanctuary: "Between these boards and the roof was a very small garret... [T]he garret was only nine feet long... the highest part three feet high... To this hole I was conveyed...[T]he air was stifling; the darkness total... The rats and mice ran over my bed."

She stayed there, friends slipping her food and drink, for almost seven years. As she wrote: "I lived in that dismal hole, almost deprived of light and air, with no space to move my limbs, for nearly seven years... Yet I would have chosen this, rather than my lot as a slave."

Harriet made a tiny hole that let her look into the street, and in 1845 she finally escaped, smuggled on a ship that sailed to New York.

Years later in 1861, she wrote Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl using the pen name of Linda Brent. In it, she told the story of her long hiding and eventual freedom.

Harriet Tubman (1815–1913)

Born a slave in Maryland, Harriet Tubman knew first-hand what it meant to be someone’s property; she was whipped by her owners and nearly killed by an overseer. She first heard about the Underground Railroad from other field-hands and later traveled it by herself north to Philadelphia.

Harriet Tubman was known as Moses to her people. An escaped slave herself, she led hundreds of slaves to freedom. She “acted as intelligence gatherer, refugee organizer, raid leader, nurse and fundraiser.” Throughout her long life (she died at the age of ninety-two) and long after the Civil War brought an end to slavery, this amazing woman was proof of what just one person can do.

Frances Ellen Watkins Harper (1825–1911)

This poet and lecturer was born in Baltimore, Maryland, to free African American parents. After moving first to Ohio and then to Pennsylvania, she learned about the Underground Railroad and started writing about it in her poetry. As she became more interested in the process of helping enslaved people find freedom, she offered her help in terms of food, money and clothing. She also helped the cause by giving lectures on the importance of abolishing slavery and promoting education.

One of her poems, "A Mother's Heroism," memorialized Elijah P. Lovejoy, an abolitionist newspaper editor murdered by a mob in Alton, Illinois, in 1837.

Among her books are Poems On Miscellaneous Subjects, (1857), Sketches of Southern Life (1872) and Moses: A Story of the Nile (1869).

Harper's novel, Iola Leroy (dealing with complex issues of race, class, and politics in the United States), is one of the earliest novels published by an African American woman.

Ellen Craft

In 1848, Ellen, the child of a slave and her owner, disguised herself as a man traveling with his slave, who actually was William, her husband. She was light-skinned and could "pass" as a white person. Cleverly, they even figured a way to avoid having Ellen sign her name, since she couldn't read or write. She pretended to have broken her arm, so when they registered at a hotel, the hotel keeper signed for her.

Their 1,000-mile trip from Macon, Georgia, to Boston was full of danger and several times they narrowly missed being discovered. After the Fugitive Slave Law was passed, they left the United States for Canada and from there went to England. Facebook

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Capitalism and the Ideal State: Marcus Garvey  / Negroes and the Crisis of Capitalism (Du Bois)  / Economic Emancipation of Africa

Liberty and Empire  /  Money is Speech   /  On Capitalism: Noam Chomsky

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*   *   *   *   *'s 25 Best Selling Books



#1 - Justify My Thug by Wahida Clark
#2 - Flyy Girl by Omar Tyree
#3 - Head Bangers: An APF Sexcapade by Zane
#4 - Life Is Short But Wide by J. California Cooper
#5 - Stackin' Paper 2 Genesis' Payback by Joy King
#6 - Thug Lovin' (Thug 4) by Wahida Clark
#7 - When I Get Where I'm Going by Cheryl Robinson
#8 - Casting the First Stone by Kimberla Lawson Roby
#9 - The Sex Chronicles: Shattering the Myth by Zane

#10 - Covenant: A Thriller  by Brandon Massey

#11 - Diary Of A Street Diva  by Ashley and JaQuavis

#12 - Don't Ever Tell  by Brandon Massey

#13 - For colored girls who have considered suicide  by Ntozake Shange

#14 - For the Love of Money : A Novel by Omar Tyree

#15 - Homemade Loves  by J. California Cooper

#16 - The Future Has a Past: Stories by J. California Cooper

#17 - Player Haters by Carl Weber

#18 - Purple Panties: An Anthology by Sidney Molare

#19 - Stackin' Paper by Joy King

#20 - Children of the Street: An Inspector Darko Dawson Mystery by Kwei Quartey

#21 - The Upper Room by Mary Monroe

#22 – Thug Matrimony  by Wahida Clark

#23 - Thugs And The Women Who Love Them by Wahida Clark

#24 - Married Men by Carl Weber

#25 - I Dreamt I Was in Heaven - The Rampage of the Rufus Buck Gang by Leonce Gaiter


#1 - Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention by Manning Marable
#2 - Confessions of a Video Vixen by Karrine Steffans
#3 - Dear G-Spot: Straight Talk About Sex and Love by Zane
#4 - Letters to a Young Brother: MANifest Your Destiny by Hill Harper
#5 - Peace from Broken Pieces: How to Get Through What You're Going Through by Iyanla Vanzant
#6 - Selected Writings and Speeches of Marcus Garvey by Marcus Garvey
#7 - The Ebony Cookbook: A Date with a Dish by Freda DeKnight
#8 - The Isis Papers: The Keys to the Colors by Frances Cress Welsing
#9 - The Mis-Education of the Negro by Carter Godwin Woodson

#10 - John Henrik Clarke and the Power of Africana History  by Ahati N. N. Toure

#11 - Fail Up: 20 Lessons on Building Success from Failure by Tavis Smiley

#12 -The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander

#13 - The Black Male Handbook: A Blueprint for Life by Kevin Powell

#14 - The Other Wes Moore: One Name, Two Fates by Wes Moore

#15 - Why Men Fear Marriage: The Surprising Truth Behind Why So Many Men Can't Commit  by RM Johnson

#16 - Black Titan: A.G. Gaston and the Making of a Black American Millionaire by Carol Jenkins

#17 - Brainwashed: Challenging the Myth of Black Inferiority by Tom Burrell

#18 - A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose by Eckhart Tolle

#19 - John Oliver Killens: A Life of Black Literary Activism by Keith Gilyard

#20 - Alain L. Locke: The Biography of a Philosopher by Leonard Harris

#21 - Age Ain't Nothing but a Number: Black Women Explore Midlife by Carleen Brice

#22 - 2012 Guide to Literary Agents by Chuck Sambuchino
#23 - Chicken Soup for the Prisoner's Soul by Tom Lagana
#24 - 101 Things Every Boy/Young Man of Color Should Know by LaMarr Darnell Shields

#25 - Beyond the Black Lady: Sexuality and the New African American Middle Class  by Lisa B. Thompson

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The Shameful Life of Salvador Dali

By Ian Gibson

In his detailed and excellent book on Salvador Dali, Ian Gibson has documented Dali’s identification with fascism in Spain from the very beginning. During the civil war, Dali never came out in support of the Republic.  He did not collaborate, for example, in the Paris Fair in 1937, where Picasso presented his Guernica, aimed at raising funds for the Republican cause.  And he soon made explicit his sympathies for the fascist coup of 1936 and for the dictatorship that it established in a letter to Buñuel, a well-known filmmaker in Spain. 

He made explicit and known his admiration for the figure and writing of the founder of the Spanish fascist party (La Falange), José Antonio Primo de Rivera, and used in his speeches and writings the fascist narrative and expressions (such as the fascist call “Arriba España”), referring to the special role Spain had in promoting the imperial dreams over other nations.  He sympathized with the anti-Semitic views of Hitler and celebrated Franco’s alliance with Hitler and Mussolini against France, Great Britain and the United States.  

 He also welcomed the “solution to the national problem” in vogue in Nazi and fascist circles at that time.Dali became the major defender of the Franco dictatorship in the artistic world.  He was also, as Spanish fascism was, very close to the Church and to the Vatican of Pope Pius XII, indicating that modern art needed to be based on Christianity.  His loyalty to the fascist dictatorship continued to the very end, defending the state terrorist policies that included political assassinations, even in the last moments of that dictatorship.—counterpunch

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1493: Uncovering the New World Columbus Created

By Charles C. Mann

I’m a big fan of Charles Mann’s previous book 1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus, in which he provides a sweeping and provocative examination of North and South America prior to the arrival of Christopher Columbus. It’s exhaustively researched but so wonderfully written that it’s anything but exhausting to read. With his follow-up, 1493, Mann has taken it to a new, truly global level. Building on the groundbreaking work of Alfred Crosby (author of The Columbian Exchange and, I’m proud to say, a fellow Nantucketer), Mann has written nothing less than the story of our world: how a planet of what were once several autonomous continents is quickly becoming a single, “globalized” entity.

Mann not only talked to countless scientists and researchers; he visited the places he writes about, and as a consequence, the book has a marvelously wide-ranging yet personal feel as we follow Mann from one far-flung corner of the world to the next. And always, the prose is masterful. In telling the improbable story of how Spanish and Chinese cultures collided in the Philippines in the sixteenth century, he takes us to the island of Mindoro whose “southern coast consists of a number of small bays, one next to another like tooth marks in an apple.”

We learn how the spread of malaria, the potato, tobacco, guano, rubber plants, and sugar cane have disrupted and convulsed the planet and will continue to do so until we are finally living on one integrated or at least close-to-integrated Earth. Whether or not the human instigators of all this remarkable change will survive the process they helped to initiate more than five hundred years ago remains, Mann suggests in this monumental and revelatory book, an open question.

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The Warmth of Other Suns

The Epic Story of America's Great Migration

By Isabel Wilkerson

Ida Mae Brandon Gladney, a sharecropper's wife, left Mississippi for Milwaukee in 1937, after her cousin was falsely accused of stealing a white man's turkeys and was almost beaten to death. In 1945, George Swanson Starling, a citrus picker, fled Florida for Harlem after learning of the grove owners' plans to give him a "necktie party" (a lynching). Robert Joseph Pershing Foster made his trek from Louisiana to California in 1953, embittered by "the absurdity that he was doing surgery for the United States Army and couldn't operate in his own home town." Anchored to these three stories is Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist Wilkerson's magnificent, extensively researched study of the "great migration," the exodus of six million black Southerners out of the terror of Jim Crow to an "uncertain existence" in the North and Midwest.

Wilkerson deftly incorporates sociological and historical studies into the novelistic narratives of Gladney, Starling, and Pershing settling in new lands, building anew, and often finding that they have not left racism behind. The drama, poignancy, and romance of a classic immigrant saga pervade this book, hold the reader in its grasp, and resonate long after the reading is done.

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The White Masters of the World

From The World and Africa, 1965

By W. E. B. Du Bois

W. E. B. Du Bois’ Arraignment and Indictment of White Civilization (Fletcher)

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Ancient African Nations

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The Death of Emmett Till by Bob Dylan  The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll  Only a Pawn in Their Game

Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson Thanks America for Slavery / George Jackson  / Hurricane Carter

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The Journal of Negro History issues at Project Gutenberg

The Haitian Declaration of Independence 1804  / January 1, 1804 -- The Founding of Haiti 

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posted 9 March 2010




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