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Indigenous Peoples Day 2017

9 Oct

In 1937, President Franklin D. Roosevelt proclaimed Columbus Day a federal holiday. Eighty years later, cities across the country are telling the explorer who never set foot in North America to get lost.

Christopher Columbus Four Voyages

From Bangor, Maine to Berkeley, California, Columbus Day has been replaced with Indigenous Peoples Day, a celebration of the millions of Indigenous Americans who were here long before Christopher Columbus sat sail from Spain.

Indigenous Peoples Day 2017
Given the givens, former President Barack Obama’s 2016 proclamation may be the last White House acknowledgment of the devastation inflicted on those who came before Columbus:

[W]e must also acknowledge the pain and suffering reflected in the stories of Native Americans who had long resided on this land prior to the arrival of European newcomers. The past we share is marked by too many broken promises, as well as violence, deprivation, and disease.

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Gone Fishing!

28 Aug

We’ll be back after Labor Day.

A Room with a View of the Blues

26 Jun

Earlier this month, I attended a panel discussion on “Art in Public Space” held in the Hamilton Garden of the Kimmel Center. As I waited for the program to start, I checked out the view from the top floor. What I saw left a hole in my heart.

PRI Vacant Lot

The hole is where Philadelphia International Records once stood.

PRI Collage - June 4, 2017

Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff have earned their place in history.

Kenny Gamble - Leon Huff - History

Sadly, the building that held the stories of the songwriters, musicians, producers and arrangers is now lost to history. For the love of money, African Americans’ cultural heritage was erased from public memory.

Gamble and Huff sold the historic building to Dranoff Properties which plans to build a luxury hotel and condos for the one percent. Three years after the demolition of “309,” there’s just a hole in the ground. The reason: Dranoff Properties is waiting for a corporate welfare check to the tune of $19 million before breaking ground on the “biggest, tallest and most expensive” project the company has ever done.

In the poorest big city in the country, spending taxpayers’ money to further enrich the rich is the sound of Philadelphia.

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