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marble falls

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Name: had to remove
Gender: Do not display
Hometown: marble falls, tx
Member since: Thu Feb 23, 2012, 03:49 AM
Number of posts: 28,204

About Me

Hand dyer mainly to the quilters market, doll maker, oil painter and teacher, anti-fas, cat owner, anti nuke, ex navy, reasonably good cook, father of three happy successful kids and three happy grand kids. Life is good.

Journal Archives

If it bashes Sanders, Biden, Warren, Bloomberg, Buttigieg, Klobuchar, Gabbard, Steyer ...

in the headline - I'm not reading it. I know all I need to know about any of their feet of clay.

What I want to hear from them is their policy positions. I don't want to hear any more criticism of other's personalities from them, either. Criticize the plan, criticize the policy, most of all criticize Trump and and explain how we as Democrats repair his damage.

But I am sick and tired of the cults of personality we're in huge danger of becoming. Enough purity testing, already.

Vote. Vote Democratic. Vote Democratic all up and down the ballot. Write in a Democrat for all offices with GOP running unopposed.

Just remember: morons who refuse to vote for a POSTUS, aren't voting for any other office, either.

Our votes count or else they wouldn't be so hard at work taking them away from us.

If it bashes Sanders, Biden, Warren, Bloomberg, Buttigieg, Klobuchar, Gabbard, Steyer ...

in the headline - I'm not reading it. I know all I need to know about any of their feet of clay.

What I want to hear from them is their policy positions. I don't want to hear any more criticism of other's personalities from them, either. Criticize the plan, criticize the policy, most of all criticize Trump and and explain how we as Democrats repair his damage.

But I am sick and tired of the cults of personality we're in huge danger of becoming. Enough purity testing, already.

Vote. Vote Democratic. Vote Democratic all up and down the ballot. Write in a Democrat for all offices with GOP running unopposed.

Just remember: morons who refuse to vote for a POSTUS, aren't voting for any other office, either.

Our votes count or else they wouldn't be so hard at work taking them away from us.

Black History Month Day 23 - Henrietta Lacks - a true 'immortal'


Henrietta Lacks circa 1945–1951
Born Loretta Pleasant

August 1, 1920
Roanoke, Virginia, U.S.
Died October 4, 1951 (aged 31)
Baltimore, Maryland, U.S.
Monuments Henrietta Lacks Health and Bioscience High School; historical marker at Clover, Virginia
Occupation Tobacco farmer
Height 5 ft (150 cm) tall[1]
Spouse(s) David Lacks (1915–2002) m. 1941
Children Lawrence Lacks
Elsie Lacks (1939–1955)
David "Sonny" Lacks Jr.
Deborah Lacks Pullum (1949–2009)
Zakariyya Bari Abdul Rahman (born Joseph Lacks)
Parent(s) Eliza (1886–1924) and John Randall Pleasant I (1881–1969)

Henrietta Lacks (born Loretta Pleasant; August 1, 1920 – October 4, 1951)[2] was an African-American woman[3] whose cancer cells are the source of the HeLa cell line, the first immortalized human cell line[4] and one of the most important cell lines in medical research. An immortalized cell line reproduces indefinitely under specific conditions, and the HeLa cell line continues to be a source of invaluable medical data to the present day.[5]

Lacks was the unwitting source of these cells from a tumor biopsied during treatment for cervical cancer at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland, U.S., in 1951. These cells were then cultured by George Otto Gey who created the cell line known as HeLa, which is still used for medical research.[6] As was then the practice, no consent was obtained to culture her cells, nor were she or her family compensated for their extraction or use.

Lacks grew up in rural Virginia. After giving birth to two of their children, she married her cousin David "Day" Lacks. In 1941 the young family moved to Turner Station, near Dundalk, Maryland, in Baltimore County, so Day could work in Bethlehem Steel at Sparrows Point. After Lacks had given birth to their fifth child, she was diagnosed with cancer.[7] Tissue samples from her tumors were taken without consent during treatment and these samples were then subsequently cultured into the HeLa cell line.

Even though some information about the origins of HeLa's immortalized cell lines was known to researchers after 1970, the Lacks family was not made aware of the line's existence until 1975. With knowledge of the cell line's genetic provenance becoming public, its use for medical research and for commercial purposes continues to raise concerns about privacy and patients' rights.

Personal life

Henrietta Lacks was born Loretta Pleasant on August 1, 1920,[2][8] in Roanoke, Virginia, to Eliza and Johnny Pleasant.[9] Her family is uncertain how her name changed from Loretta to Henrietta, but she was nicknamed Hennie.[2] When Lacks was four years old in 1924, her mother died giving birth to her tenth child.[9] Unable to care for the children alone after his wife's death, Lacks' father moved the family to Clover, Virginia, where the children were distributed among relatives. Lacks ended up with her grandfather, Tommy Lacks, in a two-story log cabin that was once the slave quarters on the plantation that had been owned by Henrietta's white great-grandfather and great-uncle.[2] She shared a room with her nine-year-old cousin and future husband, David "Day" Lacks (1915–2002).[9]


On January 29, 1951, Lacks went to Johns Hopkins, the only hospital in the area that treated black patients, because she felt a "knot" in her womb.[12] She had previously told her cousins about the "knot" and they assumed correctly that she was pregnant. But after giving birth, Lacks had a severe hemorrhage. Her primary care doctor tested her for syphilis, which came back negative, and referred her back to Johns Hopkins. There, her doctor, Howard W. Jones, took a biopsy of the mass on Lacks' cervix for laboratory testing. Soon after, Lacks was told that she had a malignant epidermoid carcinoma of the cervix.[a][14] In 1970, physicians discovered that she had been misdiagnosed and actually had an adenocarcinoma. This was a common mistake at the time and the treatment would not have differed.[16]

Lacks was treated with radium tube inserts as an inpatient and discharged a few days later with instructions to return for X-ray treatments as a follow-up. During her treatments, two samples were taken from Lacks' cervix without her permission or knowledge; one sample was of healthy tissue and the other was cancerous.[17] These samples were given to George Otto Gey, a physician and cancer researcher at Johns Hopkins. The cells from the cancerous sample eventually became known as the HeLa immortal cell line, a commonly used cell line in contemporary biomedical research.[2]

On August 8, 1951, Lacks, who was 31 years old, went to Johns Hopkins for a routine treatment session and asked to be admitted due to continued severe abdominal pain. She received blood transfusions and remained at the hospital until her death on October 4, 1951.[18] A partial autopsy showed that the cancer had metastasized throughout her entire body.[2][19]
Lacks Town Road in Clover, Virginia, near where Lacks grew up and is buried

Lacks was buried in an unmarked grave in the family cemetery in a place called Lackstown in Halifax County, Virginia. Lackstown is the name that was given to the land in Clover, Virginia, that was originally owned by slave-owning members of the Lacks family in the antebellum South.

Lacks's exact burial location is unknown, but the family believes that it is within a few feet of her mother's grave site, which for decades was the only one in the family to have been marked with a tombstone.[2][19][20] In 2010, Roland Pattillo, a faculty member of the Morehouse School of Medicine who had worked with George Gey and knew the Lacks family,[21] donated a headstone for Lacks.[22] This prompted her family to raise money for a headstone for Elsie Lacks as well, which was dedicated on the same day.[22] The headstone of Henrietta Lacks is shaped like a book and contains an epitaph written by her grandchildren that reads:[2]

Henrietta Lacks, August 1, 1920 - October 4, 1951
In loving memory of a phenomenal woman,
wife and mother who touched the lives of many.
Here lies Henrietta Lacks (HeLa). Her immortal
cells will continue to help mankind forever.
Eternal Love and Admiration, From Your Family[23]

George Otto Gey, the first researcher to study Lacks's cancerous cells, observed that her cells were unique in that they reproduced at a very high rate and could be kept alive long enough to allow more in-depth examination.[24] Until then, cells cultured for laboratory studies survived for only a few days at most, which wasn't long enough to perform a variety of different tests on the same sample. Lacks's cells were the first to be observed that could be divided multiple times without dying, which is why they became known as "immortal." After Lacks' death, Gey had Mary Kubicek, his lab assistant, take further HeLa samples while Henrietta's body was at Johns Hopkins' autopsy facility.[25] The roller-tube technique[c] was the method used to culture the cells obtained from the samples that Kubicek collected.[27] Gey was able to start a cell line from Lacks's sample by isolating one specific cell and repeatedly dividing it, meaning that the same cell could then be used for conducting many experiments. They became known as HeLa cells, because Gey's standard method for labeling samples was to use the first two letters of the patient's first and last names.[2]

The ability to rapidly reproduce HeLa cells in a laboratory setting has led to many important breakthroughs in biomedical research. For example, by 1954, Jonas Salk was using HeLa cells in his research to develop the polio vaccine.[19] To test his new vaccine, the cells were mass-produced in the first-ever cell production factory.[28] Additionally, Chester M. Southam, a leading virologist, injected HeLa cells into cancer patients, prison inmates, and healthy individuals in order to observe whether cancer could be transmitted as well as to examine if one could become immune to cancer by developing an acquired immune response.[29]

HeLa cells were in high demand and put into mass production. They were mailed to scientists around the globe for "research into cancer, AIDS, the effects of radiation and toxic substances, gene mapping, and countless other scientific pursuits".[19] HeLa cells were the first human cells successfully cloned in 1955,[30] and have since been used to test human sensitivity to tape, glue, cosmetics, and many other products.[2] Since the 1950s, scientists have grown as much as 50 million metric tons of her cells,[31] and there are almost 11,000 patents involving HeLa cells.[2]

In the early 1970s, a large portion of other cell cultures became contaminated by HeLa cells. As a result, members of Henrietta Lacks's family received solicitations for blood samples from researchers hoping to learn about the family's genetics in order to differentiate between HeLa cells and other cell lines.[32][33]

Alarmed and confused, several family members began questioning why they were receiving so many telephone calls requesting blood samples. In 1975, the family also learned through a chance dinner-party conversation that material originating in Henrietta Lacks was continuing to be used for medical research.[19] The family had never discussed Henrietta's illness and death among themselves in the intervening years but with the increased curiosity about their mother and her genetics, they now began to ask questions.[2]

Consent issues and privacy concerns

Neither Henrietta Lacks nor her family gave her physicians permission to harvest her cells. At that time, permission was neither required nor customarily sought.[34] The cells were used in medical research and for commercial purposes.[19][2] In the 1980s, family medical records were published without family consent. A similar issue was brought up in the Supreme Court of California case of Moore v. Regents of the University of California in 1990. The court ruled that a person's discarded tissue and cells are not their property and can be commercialized.[35]

In March 2013, researchers published the DNA sequence of the genome of a strain of HeLa cells. The Lacks family discovered this when the author Rebecca Skloot informed them.[32] There were objections from the Lacks family about the genetic information that was available for public access. Jeri Lacks Whye, a grandchild of Henrietta Lacks, said to The New York Times, "the biggest concern was privacy - what information was actually going to be out there about our grandmother, and what information they can obtain from her sequencing that will tell them about her children and grandchildren and going down the line" . That same year another group working on a different HeLa cell line's genome under National Institutes of Health (NIH) funding submitted it for publication. In August 2013, an agreement was announced between the family and the NIH that gave the family some control over access to the cells' DNA sequence found in the two studies along with a promise of acknowledgement in scientific papers. In addition, two family members will join the six-member committee which will regulate access to the sequence data.[36][32]

In 1996, Morehouse School of Medicine held its first annual HeLa Women's Health Conference. Led by physician Roland Pattillo, the conference is held to give recognition to Henrietta Lacks, her cell line, and "the valuable contribution made by African Americans to medical research and clinical practice".[37][22][38] The mayor of Atlanta declared the date of the first conference, October 11, 1996, "Henrietta Lacks Day".[39]

Lacks's contributions continue to be celebrated at yearly events in Turner Station.[40][41] At one such event in 1997, then-U.S. Congressman from Maryland, Robert Ehrlich, presented a congressional resolution recognizing Lacks and her contributions to medical science and research.[42]

In 2010, the Johns Hopkins Institute for Clinical and Translational Research established the annual Henrietta Lacks Memorial Lecture Series[43] to honor Henrietta Lacks and the global impact of HeLa cells on medicine and research.[44] During the 2018 lectures, the University announced the naming of a new building on the medical campus for Lacks.[45]

In 2011, Morgan State University in Baltimore granted Lacks a posthumous honorary doctorate in public service.[46] Also in 2011, the Evergreen School District in Vancouver, Washington, named their new high school focused on medical careers the Henrietta Lacks Health and Bioscience High School, becoming the first organization to memorialize her publicly by naming a school in her honor.[47][48]

In 2014, Lacks was inducted into the Maryland Women's Hall of Fame.[49][50] In 2017, a minor planet in the main asteroid belt was named "359426 Lacks" in her honor.[51][52]

In 2018 the New York Times published a belated obituary for her [53] as part of the Overlooked history project.[54][55] Also in 2018, the National Portrait Gallery and the National Museum of African-American History and Culture jointly announced the accession of a portrait of Lacks by Kadir Nelson.[56]

On October 6, 2018, Johns Hopkins University announced plans to name a research building in honor of Lacks.[57] The announcement was made at the 9th annual Henrietta Lacks Memorial Lecture in the Turner Auditorium in East Baltimore by Johns Hopkins University President Ronald J. Daniels and Paul B. Rothman, CEO of Johns Hopkins Medicine and dean of the medical faculty of the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, surrounded by several of Lacks' descendants. “Through her life and her immortal cells, Henrietta Lacks made an immeasurable impact on science and medicine that has touched countless lives around the world,” Daniels said. “This building will stand as a testament to her transformative impact on scientific discovery and the ethics that must undergird its pursuit. We at Johns Hopkins are profoundly grateful to the Lacks family for their partnership as we continue to learn from Mrs. Lacks’ life and to honor her enduring legacy.” The building will adjoin the Berman Institute of Bioethics’ Deering Hall, located at the corner of Ashland and Rutland Avenues and "will support programs that enhance participation and partnership with members of the community in research that can benefit the community, as well as extend the opportunities to further study and promote research ethics and community engagement in research through an expansion of the Berman Institute and its work."[57]

Twofer: The Apartment in 3:41 and Pogo ...

Black History Month Day 22 - In a Town That Escaped Slavery,

In a Town That Escaped Slavery, an Oyster Festival Celebrates Black Culture and Resistance
The shells may have once pointed the way to freedom.
by Tarisai Ngangura December 12, 2019


It was a scorching hot Saturday in the Recôncavo region of Bahia, Brazil, but instead of heading to the beach or Paraguaçu River, hundreds of people had chosen to dine alfresco at Quilombo Kaonge, a community located far from the main road and deep within the trees and bramble. On the menu: freshly caught oysters served fried, raw with a spritz of lime, stewed in a moqueca (seafood stew), or grilled over an open fire. While classic Samba do Rio blared from the stereos, partygoers sang along from their seats. Elderly black women sat in circles fanning themselves, some in towering headwraps and many in straw hats, while those with relaxed hair consistently dabbed their edges. As the day progressed, the crowd shifted to Afro-Brazilian youth on their phones, who took pictures to share on Whatsapp and danced to bass-focused pagode music.

This was the 11th annual Festa da Ostra (oyster festival) held in October. During the festivities, there was acknowledgement of a Black past and a celebration of its future, and families, neighbors, and travelers from as far as São Paulo had come to take part in it. They were celebrating a community that emerged from pain and sacrifice: Before Brazil abolished the slave industry in 1888, some 4 million Africans arrived in chains in the ports of the Recôncavo. Of those who escaped, many found refuge in quilombos—well-hidden communities built in densely forested mountains and swampy lowlands by formerly enslaved people. The money raised by the Festa da Ostra helps maintain Quilombo Kaonge as an independent center of Black life—even as Brazil’s new president disparages quilombos’ existence.

Once a hidden refuge for formerly enslaved people, Kaonge now announces its oyster festival with prominent signs. Tarisai Ngangura

Brazil’s involvement in the transatlantic slave trade dates back to the 1400s, and the country ultimately “imported” more enslaved Africans than the United States, Cuba, Jamaica, and Haiti combined. For the Africans who survived the Atlantic passage—and found themselves in Bahia’s sugarcane fields or the country’s Southern mines—resistance looked like revolts, covert religious ceremonies, and quilombos.

The name quilombo comes from the Kimbundu word “kilombo,” which means “war camp” or “hideout, and originally described a temporary residence for nomads or displaced people. At its peak, the Palmares Quilombo, which was founded by two of Brazil’s most revered Black leaders, Zumbi dos Palmares and his wife Dandara dos Palmares, was home to more than 20,000 inhabitants. Quilombos and the people who lived there, known as Quilombolas, lived separate from Portuguese rule under a political system rooted in the Bantu traditions they had come from (community, balance, and agriculturally based). Although Brazil’s census does not include national data on quilombos, NGOs estimate that there are more than 1,500 across the country with more than 100 whose land claims are still pending. Kaonge, which has been politically recognized, is a matriarchal community led by its spiritual leader and griote (storyteller), senhora Juviani Viana.
of escaped slaves that challenged colonial rule.
Musicians play during Black Awareness Day in front of the statue of Zumbi dos Palmares, who founded a community of escaped slaves that challenged colonial rule. YASUYOSHI CHIBA/AFP via Getty Images

“My entire family has lived here for generations,” senhora Viana tells me. She is sitting in the middle of the square, keeping her eyes closely trained on everything happening around her. “I took on the role of leader after my oldest sister passed away a few years ago.”

Now in her late 50s, she walks with the aid of a wooden stick. “I used to be able to help make everything we eat and sell here: the dende oil, the pimenta, the oysters. But now my body just can’t take it,” she says with a resigned laugh.

During the festival, seafood is the most popular option, and oysters are the main course. Which is fitting, since oysters have long been key to quilombos surviving and thriving.

Historically, Brazilians viewed oysters as peasant food, considering them too much of a hardship to both find and properly clean. “People thought oysters were dirty food,” says senhora Viana. “Black people couldn’t afford to eat beef and pork, so we made oysters something that we could enjoy.”

Many quilombos were built next to river beds with significant oyster populations that fed their free inhabitants. In addition, crushed oyster shells were used as ancestral summoning tools during sacred ceremonies that continue today, and oral stories passed through generations speak of Quilombolas marking the way to the hard-to-find quilombos with oyster shells.

In the neighboring city of Salvador, high-end restaurants now charge upwards of 120 reais ($28) for an oyster dish, one you can easily purchase for 20 or 40 reais at Quilombo Kaonge. Kaonge sustains itself with oyster farming, and the weekend festa raises money that funds better harvesting equipment, school tuitions, more than a dozen grassroots community organizations, and the daily upkeep of homes. In a country where white workers earn 72.5 percent more than black and brown workers, the economic self-sufficiency of Kaonge is both a relief and an inspiration. The weekend long get-together is an opportunity to not only revel in the successes of an Afro-Brazilian settlement, but also acknowledge Black ingenuity and lose yourself in untempered Black joy.


As radically subversive as the history of quilombos is, the majority of the settlements, much like Native American and First Nations reservations in the U.S. and Canada, have very poor living conditions. In 2007, the most current and extensive report regarding quilombos’ quality of life found that 91 percent of Quilombola families had a monthly income of less than $190, compared to the average national income of $204. The same report discovered that the number of malnourished children in quilombos is 76 percent higher than the national rate. It’s inside this inescapable reality that Quilombo Kaonge exists as a space that has navigated inequitable systems of power and access to create a safe place for its residents.

In 1986, Afro-Brazilian Congresswoman Benedita da Silva created a law that would allow quilombo residents to own their land. This was meant to halt the hundreds of cases where Quilombolas were forced off their land by farmers or the fast-growing eucalyptus monoculture business, which plants acres of the tree to make paper. In 2003, President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva expanded on this law by issuing a presidential decree classifying Quilombola as an ethnicity with a distinct history and culture that, when claimed and proven, would give descendants full land rights.

But government bureaucracy has made claiming land rights a slow and unnerving process, one that could be quickly and easily undone by President Jair Bolsonaro, whose election last October has meant a rise in ultra right-wing political rhetoric. During a 2017 interview while still a Federal Deputy, Bolsonaro was asked about the importance of quilombos and safeguarding their history. “I have been on a quilombo. The quilombolas don’t do anything,” he responded. “They are not even good for breeding anymore. More than R$1 billion is spent on them.” As of January this year at least 230 quilombo and indigenous territories were under threat after Bolsonaro transferred quilombo and indigenous land claims to the Ministry of Agriculture—a ministry that largely favors major farming and mining companies.


There is a tangible sense of ubuntu, the Zulu word for humanity, on Quilombo Kaonge. The tenet of ubuntu, “I am because we are,” is a deeply African principle, and it’s one that almost four centuries of slavery and subsequent decades of systemic and structural anti-black violence have failed to break down. Because during one October weekend, in a small community of less than 50 families, copious amounts of cerveja were consumed and one man and his two sons shucked and shared 40 kilograms of oysters and, on the last night, as people slowly filed out, Senhora Viana delivered a blessing: “We are the children of Obàtálá, the children of Iemanjá. Go in peace.”

Black History Month Day 21 - What 'Haint Blue' Means to the Descendants of Enslaved Africans

What the Color ‘Haint Blue’ Means to the Descendants of Enslaved Africans
In the Lowcountry, the unique shade is both protective talisman and source of unspeakable suffering.

by Shoshi Parks January 14, 2020


At this Gullah Geechee home on Daufuskie Island, South Carolina, painted doors and shutters keep out evil spirits called "haints."


But while the color blue dominates Lowcountry skies and waters, for centuries it was nearly impossible for human hands to reproduce. Only indigo—a leggy green plant that emerges from the soil in bushy, tangled clumps—can generate the elusive jewel tones.

In Beaufort County and elsewhere in the Lowcountry of South Carolina and Georgia, blue had the power to protect enslaved Africans and their descendants, known as the Gullah Geechee, from evil spirits. But the color was also the source of incomparable suffering. Indigo helped spur the 18th-century transatlantic trade, resulting in the enslavement of thousands.


This “haint blue,” first derived from the dye produced on Lowcountry indigo plantations, was originally used by enslaved Africans, and later by the Gullah Geechee, to combat “haints” and “boo hags”—evil spirits who escaped their human forms at night to paralyze, injure, ride (the way a person might ride a horse), or even kill innocent victims. The color was said to trick haints into believing that they’ve stumbled into water (which they cannot cross) or sky (which will lead them farther from the victims they seek). Blue glass bottles were also hung in trees to trap the malevolent marauders.

While “haint blue” has taken on a life of its own outside the Gullah Geechee tradition—it’s currently sold by major paint companies like Sherwin-Williams, and marketed to well-to-do Southerners as a pretty color for a proper porch ceiling—the significance of the color to the descendents of the Lowcountry’s enslaved people still remains.

In Rantowles, a hamlet 14 miles south of Charleston, Gullah families like Alphonso Brown’s painted their homes in haint blue not just because it is customary, but because they fear the havoc that evil spirits might wreak if they abandoned the tradition.

Yet not all Gullah Geechee identify with the color’s use. Oral histories recorded as late as the 1930s and ’40s mention haint blue, but a lot was lost when the community became less isolated and more spread out during the mid-20th century.


“Indigo dye is deeply rooted in African culture,” says Heather Hodges, executive director of the Gullah Geechee Cultural Heritage Corridor National Heritage Area. So “is the symbolic use of the color blue to ward off ‘evil spirits.”


Haints and boo hags, too, stem from African spiritual traditions—a spirituality in which conjure and color symbolism are essential, according to Rituals of Resistance, Jason R. Young’s book on African-Atlantic religion. Root workers, practitioners of these rituals who often go by the title Dr. Buzzard, were among those forced across the ocean in bondage.

Almost 300 years after their arrival, there aren’t many Dr. Buzzards left in South Carolina and Georgia. (There are a few, however, including a root worker in Atlanta whose grandparents chose him to train in their spiritual traditions. “I went to live with them when I was a year-and-a-half [old],” he says. “I was 16 when I quit school to do voodoo full time.”)

Yet within recent memory, Lowcountry root workers weren’t so hard to find. In the 1940s, Dr. Buzzard (aka Stepney Robinson) was a fixture at the Beaufort County Courthouse, where he sat at trials “chewing the root” to sway a judge’s ruling. In the 1980s, another Dr. Buzzard (aka Ernest Bratton) shot to fame with his video “Voo Doo, Hoo Doo, You Do,” appearing on Late Night with David Letterman and The Oprah Winfrey Show.


Indigo was first planted in South Carolina in 1739. Less than 30 years later, the colony was annually exporting a million pounds of indigo dyestuffs. Today they would be worth more than $30 million a year. At least some of the knowledge for processing indigo dye came from the enslaved themselves: Indigo traditions in West and Central Africa are at least five centuries old.

In Kano, Nigeria, indigo dye pits dating back to 1498 are still in use today. AMINU ABUBAKAR / AFP via Getty Images

At the Nigerian workshop Lance features in her documentary, the plant is pounded with sticks that remove and crush the leaves, which are then formed into balls. The balls are sprinkled with wood ash, then left to dry for seven days before being combined with water in dye pits. In Kano, Nigeria, pits dating back to 1498 are still in use today.

South Carolina’s indigo production came to an abrupt halt at the end of the Revolutionary War. “The people in South Carolina were producing indigo exclusively for the British market,” says Lance. “So when [the United States] was no longer a British colony, they no longer had that market anymore.”

By the mid-19th century, when synthetic blue dye became available, indigo almost disappeared from Beaufort County and the rest of the Lowcountry. Almost. Now a Gullah Geechee movement to reclaim indigo and the blue dye it produces is afoot.

By the mid-19th century, when synthetic blue dye became available, indigo almost disappeared from Beaufort County and the rest of the Lowcountry. Almost. Heather Hodges / GGCHC

“The species that we grow have a peach-color flower,” she explains. Her hope is to grow enough of the plants to be able to process and produce dye to use in local workshops, strengthening her community’s connection to their ancestral past. “I’m interested in learning all I can about the crops that caused my people [the] loss of their freedom,” she says.


Black History Month Day 20 - Barbara Jordan - should have been the first woman and PoC POTUS

Barbara Jordan


Rep. Barbara Jordan - Restoration.jpg
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Texas's 18th district
In office
January 3, 1973 – January 3, 1979
Preceded by New Constituency (Redistricting)
Succeeded by Mickey Leland
Member of the Texas Senate
from the 11th district
In office
January 10, 1967 – January 3, 1973
Preceded by Bill Moore
Succeeded by Chet Brooks
Personal details
Born Barbara Charline Jordan

February 21, 1936
Houston, Texas, U.S.
Died January 17, 1996 (aged 59)
Austin, Texas, U.S.
Political party Democratic
Domestic partner Nancy Earl (late 1960s–1996)
Education Texas Southern University (BA)
Boston University (LLB)

Barbara Charline Jordan (February 21, 1936 – January 17, 1996) was an American lawyer, educator[1] and politician who was a leader of the Civil Rights Movement. A Democrat, she was the first African American elected to the Texas Senate after Reconstruction and the first Southern African-American woman elected to the United States House of Representatives.[2] She was best known for her eloquent opening statement[3] at the House Judiciary Committee hearings during the impeachment process against Richard Nixon, and as the first African-American as well as the first woman to deliver a keynote address at a Democratic National Convention. She received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, among numerous other honors. She was a member of the Peabody Awards Board of Jurors from 1978 to 1980.[4] She was the first African-American woman to be buried in the Texas State Cemetery.[5][6]

Jordan's work as chair of the U.S. Commission on Immigration Reform, which recommended reducing legal immigration by about one-third, is frequently cited by American immigration restrictionists.[7][8]

Early life

Barbara Charline Jordan was born in Houston, Texas's Fifth Ward.[2] Jordan's childhood was centered on church life. Her mother was Arlyne Patten Jordan, a teacher in the church,[1][9] and her father was Benjamin Jordan, a Baptist preacher. Barbara Jordan was the youngest of three children,[1] with siblings Rose Mary Jordan McGowan and Bennie Jordan Creswell (1933–2000). Jordan attended Roberson Elementary School.[9] She graduated from Phillis Wheatley High School in 1952 with honors.[1][9][10]

Jordan credited a speech she heard in her high school years by Edith S. Sampson with inspiring her to become an attorney.[11] Because of segregation, she could not attend The University of Texas at Austin and instead chose Texas Southern University, an historically-black institution, majoring in political science and history. At Texas Southern University, Jordan was a national champion debater, defeating opponents from Yale and Brown and tying Harvard University.[9] She graduated magna cum laude in 1956.[9][10] At Texas Southern University, she pledged Delta Gamma chapter of Delta Sigma Theta sorority.[9] She attended Boston University School of Law, graduating in 1959.[9][10]

Jordan taught political science at Tuskegee Institute in Alabama for a year.[9] In 1960, she returned to Houston, and started a private law practice.[9]
Political career

Jordan campaigned unsuccessfully in 1962 and 1964 for the Texas House of Representatives.[12] She won a seat in the Texas Senate in 1966, becoming the first African-American state senator since 1883 and the first black woman to serve in that body.[12] Re-elected to a full term in the Texas Senate in 1968, she served until 1972. She was the first African-American female to serve as president pro tem of the state senate and served one day, June 10, 1972, as acting governor of Texas. To date Jordan is the only African-American woman to serve as governor of a state (excluding lieutenant governors).[13] During her time in the Texas Legislature, Jordan sponsored or cosponsored some 70 bills.[13]
Barbara Jordan delivering the keynote address before the 1976 Democratic National Convention

In 1972, she was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives, the first woman elected in her own right to represent Texas in the House. She received extensive support from former President Lyndon B. Johnson, who helped her secure a position on the House Judiciary Committee. In 1974, she made an influential televised speech before the House Judiciary Committee supporting the impeachment of President Richard Nixon, Johnson's successor as President.[14] In 1975, she was appointed by Carl Albert, then Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, to the Democratic Steering and Policy Committee.

In 1976, Jordan, mentioned as a possible running mate to Jimmy Carter of Georgia,[12] became instead the first African-American woman to deliver a keynote address at the Democratic National Convention.[12] Despite not being a candidate, Jordan received one delegate vote (0.03%) for President at the Convention.[15]

Jordan retired from politics in 1979 and became an adjunct professor teaching ethics at the University of Texas at Austin Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs. She was again a keynote speaker at the Democratic National Convention in 1992.

In 1994, Clinton awarded her the Presidential Medal of Freedom and The NAACP presented her with the Spingarn Medal.[1] She was honored many times and was given over 20 honorary degrees from institutions across the country, including Harvard and Princeton, and was elected to the Texas and National Women's Halls of Fame.[1]
Statement on the Articles of Impeachment
Representative Barbara Jordan (left) became nationally known for her eloquence during the Judiciary Committee's impeachment hearings.

On July 25, 1974, Jordan delivered a 15-minute televised speech in front of the members of the U.S. House Judiciary Committee.[16] She presented an opening speech during the hearings that were part of the impeachment process against Richard Nixon.[16] This speech is thought to be one of the best speeches of the 20th-century American history.[17] Throughout her speech, Jordan strongly stood by the Constitution of the United States. She defended the checks and balances system, which was set in place to inhibit any politician from abusing their power.[16] Jordan never flat out said that she wanted Nixon impeached, but rather subtly and cleverly implied her thoughts.[18] She simply stated facts that proved Nixon to be untrustworthy and heavily involved in illegal situations,[18] and quoted the drafters of the Constitution to argue that actions like Nixon's during the scandal corresponded with their understanding of impeachable offenses.[19] She protested that the Watergate scandal will forever ruin the trust American citizens have for their government.[18] This powerful and influential statement earned Jordan national praise for her rhetoric, morals, and wisdom.[16]


Jordan supported the Community Reinvestment Act of 1977, legislation that required banks to lend and make services available to underserved poor and minority communities. She supported the renewal of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and expansion of that act to cover language minorities; this extended protection to Hispanics in Texas and was opposed by Texas Governor Dolph Briscoe and Secretary of State Mark White. She also authored an act that ended federal authorization of price fixing by manufacturers. During Jordan's tenure as a Congresswoman she sponsored or cosponsored over 300 bills or resolutions, several of which are still in effect today as law.[13]
U.S. Commission on Immigration Reform

From 1994 until her death, Jordan chaired the U.S. Commission on Immigration Reform. The commission recommended that total immigration be cut by one-third to approximately 550,000 per year. The commission supported increasing enforcement against undocumented migrants and their employers, eliminating visa preferences for siblings and adult children of U.S. citizens, and ending unskilled immigration except for refugees and nuclear families. The commission's report to Congress said that it was "a right and responsibility of a democratic society to manage immigration so that it serves the national interest", concluded that "legal immigration has strengthened and can continue to strengthen this country" and "decrie[d] hostility and discrimination against immigrants as antithetical to the traditions and interests of the country." The commission recommended that the United States reduce the number of refugees admitted annually to a floor of 50,000 (this level would be lifted during emergencies).[20][21][22][23]
Personal life

Jordan's companion of approximately twenty years[24] was Nancy Earl,[25] an educational psychologist, whom she met on a camping trip in the late 1960s.[10][12] Earl was an occasional speech writer for Jordan, and later was a caregiver when Jordan began to suffer from multiple sclerosis in 1973. Considerable speculation exists as to Jordan's sexuality and the nature of her and Earl's relationship, something that neither Jordan nor Earl are known to have addressed, recorded or shared with others to date.

In the KUT-FM radio documentary Rediscovering Barbara Jordan, President Bill Clinton said that he had wanted to nominate Jordan for the United States Supreme Court, but by the time he could do so, Jordan's health problems prevented him from nominating her.[26] Jordan later also suffered from leukemia.[10][27]

On July 31, 1988, Jordan nearly drowned in her backyard swimming pool while doing physical therapy, but she was saved by Earl who found her floating in the pool and revived her.[28]

Jordan died at the age of 59 due to complications from pneumonia on January 17, 1996, in Austin, Texas.[29]

India Doesn't Want Monkeys Attacking Trump During Taj Mahal Visit

India Doesn’t Want Monkeys Attacking Trump During Taj Mahal Visit

Police plan to use slingshots during the president’s upcoming visit to ward off hundreds of aggressive monkeys living near the centuries-old mausoleum.

By David Moye


When President Donald Trump visits India next week, officials will be going bananas trying to prevent him from being attacked by monkeys at the Taj Mahal.

The city of Agra, where the famous building is located, will be under security lockdown during Trump’s visit, India Today reported. That means that no one will be allowed out of their homes when the president is traveling from the local airport to the Taj Mahal.

That’s fine and dandy for humans. But try convincing the 500 to 700 monkeys living near the nearly four-century-old mausoleum. The rhesus macaques have a reputation for being very aggressive toward the 25,000 tourists who visit the Taj on a typical day.

Slingshots, police say, are the solution. Officers assigned to Trump’s visit will be armed with the devices to chase off any monkeys that menace the president and first lady Melania Trump during their visit.

“We found that monkeys get scared by just seeing us brandishing these slingshots,” Brij Bhushan, head of the Taj Mahal security force, told Reuters last year.

The weapons work on monkeys individually or in small groups, but they’re “completely ineffective” in warding off packs of maurading macaques, a law enforcement official told India Today.

In May 2018, monkeys attacked two French tourists as they were taking selfies, according to the Independent. Later that year, monkeys reportedly snatched a 12-day-old baby from its nearby home and killed it.

One Agra resident lamented that persistent efforts to control the monkey population have come to nothing.

“The terror of the monkeys is so pervasive that women and children are scared of going up on the roof of their houses, which have almost been taken over by monkeys,” the resident told India Today. “If such a large troop of monkeys attacks Donald Trump’s entourage, it will be a disaster.”

I'm starting a gofundme to make bail for any monkeys arrested for tossing poop at the Orange Shitgibbon.

Sen. Kelly Loeffler Appears In 'Hunting' Video But Doesn't Actually Have A Hunting License

Sen. Kelly Loeffler Appears In ‘Hunting’ Video But Doesn’t Actually Have A Hunting License

The Republican lawmaker gets called out for “trying to portray herself as a hunter.”

By Ed Mazza


A Republican lawmaker is being called out for posting a video clip that makes it appear as if she may be hunting.

In reality, Sen. Kelly Loeffler (R-Ga.) doesn’t even have a hunting license, according to records obtained by the progressive group American Bridge, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.

The clip posted to Instagram last week showed Loeffler and another person in hunting gear, carrying shotguns into the countryside. It did not say she was hunting or a hunter, but rather touted her as a pro-Second Amendment conservative:

Zach Hudson, a spokesperson for American Bridge, told the news organization that Loeffler was “trying to portray herself as a hunter when the record shows she’s never even had a hunting license.”

Republican Gov. Brian Kemp appointed Loeffler to the seat after Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.) retired. President Donald Trump had urged Kemp to appoint Rep. Doug Collins (R-Ga.) instead.

Loeffler took office last month.

Now, Collins is taking on Loeffler for the seat, which will be up for grabs in November. Current law does not allow for a primary in this instance and both candidates ― along with one or more potential Democratic challengers ― could all appear in the ballot. However, a bill potentially setting up a May primary is under consideration in the state.

Collins also released a video criticizing Loeffler’s expensive pants.

Black History Month Day 19 - Gerald Anderson "Jerry" Lawson - inventor of video game console.

Jerry Lawson (engineer)
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia



Jerry lawson ca 1980.png
Lawson ca. 1980
Born December 1, 1940
Brooklyn, New York, U.S.
Died April 9, 2011 (aged 70)
Santa Clara, California, U.S.
Alma mater Queens College
Occupation Computer engineer
Children 2

Gerald Anderson "Jerry" Lawson (December 1, 1940 – April 9, 2011)[1][2] was an American electronic engineer, and one of few African-American engineers in the video game industry at that time. He is known for his work in designing the Fairchild Channel F video game console as well as pioneering the commercial video game cartridge.[3]

Early life

Lawson was born in Brooklyn, New York City on December 1, 1940.[4] His father Blanton was a longshoreman with an interest in science, while his mother Mannings worked for the city, and also served on the PTA for the local school and made sure that he received a good education.[5] He had a grandfather that was educated as a physicist but was never able to achieve a career in physics, instead working as a postmaster.[6] Both of his parents encouraged his interests in scientific hobbies, including ham radio and chemistry. Lawson said that his first-grade teacher helped him encourage his path to be someone influential similar to George Washington Carver.[4] While in high school, he earned money by repairing television sets. At the age of 13, he earned an amateur ham radio license. After receiving this license, he would save his money to buy parts from local electronic stores to build his own station in his room. He attended both Queens College and City College of New York, but did not complete a degree at either.[4]

In 1970, he joined Fairchild Semiconductor in San Francisco as an applications engineering consultant within their sales division. While there, he created the early arcade game Demolition Derby out of his garage.[4][5] Completed in early 1975 using Fairchild's new F8 microprocessors, Demolition Derby was among the earliest microprocessor-driven games.[7] In the mid-1970s, Lawson was made Chief Hardware Engineer[8] and director of engineering and marketing for Fairchild's video game division.[4] There, he led the development of the Fairchild Channel F console, released in 1976 and specifically designed to use swappable game cartridges. At the time, most game systems had the game programming stored on ROM storage soldered onto the game hardware, which could not be removed. Lawson and his team figured out how to move the ROM to a cartridge that could be inserted and removed from a console unit repeatedly, and without electrically shocking the user. This would allow users to buy into a library of games, and provided a new revenue stream for the console manufacturers through sales of these games.[9] Lawson's invention of the interchangeable cartridge was so novel that every cartridge he produced had to be approved by the Federal Communications Commission.[10] The Channel F console featured a wide variety of controls, the most notable being a "pause" button, the first time this function appeared in a home video game.[11] The Channel F was not a commercially successful product, but the cartridge approach was picked up by other console manufacturers, popularized with the Atari 2600 released in 1977.[12][13]

While he was with Fairchild, Lawson and Ron Jones were the sole black members of the Homebrew Computer Club, a group of early computer hobbyists which would produce a number of industry legends, including Apple founders Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak.[12] Lawson had noted he had interviewed Wozniak for a position at Fairchild, but did not hire him.[4]

In 1980, Lawson left Fairchild and founded Videosoft, a video game development company which made software for the Atari 2600 in the early 1980s, as the 2600 had displaced the Channel F as the top system in the market.[3][14] Videosoft closed about five years later, and Lawson started to take on consulting work. At one point, he had been working with Stevie Wonder to produce a "Wonder Clock" that would wake a child with the sound of a parent's voice, though it never made it to production.[9] Lawson later worked with the Stanford mentor program and was preparing to write a book on his career.[12]

In March 2011, Lawson was honored as an industry pioneer for his work on the game cartridge concept by the International Game Developers Association (IGDA).[9] Lawson was honored with the ID@Xbox Gaming Heroes award at the 21st Independent Games Festival on March 20, 2019 for his development of the cartridge-based game console.[15]

Around 2003, Lawson started having complications from diabetes, losing the use of one leg and sight from one eye.[5] On April 9, 2011, about one month after being honored by the IGDA, he died of complications from diabetes.[4][9] At the time of his death, he resided in Santa Clara, California, and was survived by his wife, two children, and his brother.[4]
In popular culture

A short documentary on Jerry Lawson and his development of the Fairchild Channel F was produced by The Czar of Black Hollywood director Bayer Mack and released by Block Starz Music Television as part of its Profiles of African-American Success video series.[16]
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