DuVernay’s Documentary “13th” Needs To Be Seen

Ava DuVernay’s Academy-nominated documentary 13th exposes the intrinsic flaw of America’s 13th Amendment. Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.

While abolishing slavery is well and good – how did it ever happen in the first place?! – the amendment allows for the practice to continue through the penal system, a system that systematically incarcerates black males in America, a population that, only 4% of the overall population, accounts for 40% of prisoners. DuVernay outlines America’s dismal history of discrimination and servitude, citing Jim Crow laws as well as the systematic targeting of black leaders such as Angela Davis and Black Panther Fred Hampton.Presidents Nixon, Reagan and Clinton are all indicted for the role in the morass as well as So-Called President Trump. Most insidious of all is the monetization of the mass incarcerations – corporations such as WalMart and Time Warner directly profiting from these policies – as well as the understanding that another iteration of the racist laws awaits us all. DuVernay’s film needs to be seen. Okay, so what are you doing? Watch it now!

Oak Alley: History on a Louisiana Plantation

The property at Oak Alley Plantation is something to behold. One of dozens of Louisiana plantations along the Mississippi River that once oversaw the farming of sugar cane, this house features 300-year-old oaks lining the walk. 20150123_133709The history of the Creole family who owned the home is also intriguing; ice was imported, at a cost of thousands of dollars per week, for their regular dinner parties. 20150123_125434And the fact that you can drink a mint julep throughout the tour is hard to resist.20150123_123406But no matter how hard they might try, and how sweet the drink, none of it works. 20150123_135734History gets in the way.20150123_135740And then the mint julep isn’t so sweet; none of it it is.

Names of slaves who lived and died at Oak Alley Plantation

A partial list of slaves who lived and died at the Oak Alley Plantation

It becomes a dark place with a dark past, and nothing, not even the lovely avenue of trees, can change any of that.20150123_133646

This Racism Thing

I’ve seen too many polls as of late regarding this racism thing in the United States. 080804racism1_h5fv8d4-1More than anything, I am confounded by the manner in which the ‘information’ is delivered, newscasters frowning as they read, “Black people don’t trust authority and white people can’t understand why that is.” racismIt’s like the damn gun issue – everyone talking and no one listening.

Here’s my dime: It’s going to take a long time yet for this society to recover from the abomination that was slavery.barclays+protestersAnd for any positive changes to occur, whites need to be a hell of a lot more understanding, accommodating and trusting toward blacks. (Exclamation point.)