Happy New Year

30 Dec

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Merry Christmas

24 Dec

Remembering John Brown

2 Dec

December 2 marks 159 years since freedom fighter John Brown’s last moments on Earth.

Horace Pippin - John Brown Going to His Hanging

The fiery abolitionist is near and dear to my heart. Many years ago I visited John Brown’s Fort in Harpers Ferry, West Virginia.

John Brown's Fort

I’ve lost count of the number of times I touched base with my hero at the National Portrait Gallery.

John Brown - National Portrait Gallery

I also regularly visit John Brown at the Metropolitan Museum and share with him what’s going on.

The Last Moments of John Brown - Thomas Hovenden

So you can imagine my reaction when I learned a development project, the Villages at Whitemarsh, would encroach on the studio where Thomas Hovenden painted “The Last Moments of John Brown.”

Abolition Hall, an Underground Railroad station where runaway slaves found sanctuary in the purpose-built structure and surrounding fields, was converted into a studio after the Civil War. The developer, K. Hovnanian Homes, wants to build 67 generic townhouses a stone’s throw from the historic landmark.

Hovnanian won the first round but the fight is far from over. Friends of Abolition Hall appealed the Whitemarsh Township Board of Supervisors’ approval of the developer’s conditional use application.

John Brown’s “body lies a-mouldering in the grave. But his soul goes marching on.” Indeed, I believe to my soul that Abolition Hall deserves better.

To add your voice to those who oppose the desecration of this historic landmark and hallowed ground, please contact us.

Mississippi, Goddam

26 Nov

On Tuesday, Mississippi voters will go to the polls and choose between Michael Espy, a black man, and Cindy Hyde-Smith, a white woman who said she would welcome an invitation to “a public hanging.”


More African Americans were lynched in Mississippi than in any other state.

Mississippi Lynching
Hyde-Smith said she was just “joking.” NAACP President Derrick Johnson said lynching is no joking matter:

Hyde-Smith’s decision to joke about “hanging,” in a state known for its violent and terroristic history toward African Americans is sick. To envision this brutal and degenerate type of frame during a time when Black people, Jewish People, and immigrants are still being targeted for violence by White nationalists and racists is hateful and hurtful. Any politician seeking to serve as the national voice of the people of Mississippi should know better. Her choice of words serves as an indictment of not only her lack of judgment, but her lack of empathy, and most of all lack of character.

When the votes are counted, the joke may be on the Confederate cap-wearing segregationist.

Cindy Hyde-Smith

Happy Thanksgiving

19 Nov