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#JusticeForMichaelWhite Update

6 Aug

As supporters gathered for a rally for Michael White, a rumor spread that District Attorney Larry Krasner had dropped the first-degree murder charge against the Morgan State University student in the fatal stabbing of Sean Schellenger.

Michael White - Morgan State University

Fortunately, it was not fake news. At White’s court hearing, the DA’s office reduced the charge from first-degree murder to third-degree murder and voluntary manslaughter. The District Attorney said the video evidence did not support first-degree murder. Family and supporters say White stood his ground. It is a case of self-defense.

White’s attorney is Daniel Stevenson, Chief of the Homicide Unit of the Philadelphia Public Defender’s Office. He was interviewed on Wake Up With WURD.

The preliminary hearing was continued until October 30. Bail was set at $150,000. White will be under house arrest once bail is posted. Two advocacy groups – Philadelphia Community Bail Fund and Philadelphia Bail Fund – posted the $15,000 cash bail.

Philadelphia Bail Fund Tweet - 8.2.18

As of this writing, White is still locked up. White was released from the Curran-Fromhold Correctional Facility on Monday, August 6. He is home with his parents.

A community picnic and Open “Mike” Night for the young poet will be held on August 18. For more info and updates, join Michael White (Freedom) Facebook group.

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Happy Father’s Day

17 Jun

Presidents’ Day 2018

19 Feb

I am a museum lover. Before the opening of the National Museum of African American History and Culture, the National Portrait Gallery was my favorite Smithsonian museum. It’s now my second museum. When Barack Obama won the 2008 election, I thought that he will be included in the pantheon of American Presidents.

President Obama’s portrait was unveiled last week.

Barack Obama - NPG

In an email, Obama wrote:

Today, Kehinde Wiley and Amy Sherald became the first black artists to create official, Smithsonian-commissioned portraits of a former President and First Lady.

And Michelle and I joined our distinguished predecessors and thousands of our fellow Americans on the walls of the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery.

To call this experience humbling would be an understatement.

That’s because, as a former president, when you choose an artist to describe your likeness, you have the opportunity to shape, quite literally, how someone sees the office of the American presidency. And how they might see themselves in that presidency.

[…]

The arts have always been central to the American experience. They provoke thought, challenge our assumptions, and shape how we define our narrative as a country.

Thanks to Kehinde Wiley and Amy Sherald, generations of Americans — and young people from all around the world — will visit the National Portrait Gallery and see this country through a new lens. These works upend the notion that there are worlds where African Americans belong and worlds where we don’t. And that’s something Michelle and I hope we contributed to over the eight years we were so privileged to serve you from the White House.

Michelle Obama’s portrait will join the collection of First Ladies.

Michelle Obama - NPG

In case you missed it, check out “Obama Portrait Unveiling at the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery.”

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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