Sunday, June 24, 2018

A March Against Poverty Resurrected

1968 - 50 Years Ago

In 1968, The Poor People's Campaign, or Poor People's March on Washington, was staged to gain economic justice for poor people in the United States. It was organized by Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), and carried out under the leadership of Ralph Abernathy in the wake of King's assassination.

The campaign demanded economic and human rights for poor Americans of diverse backgrounds. After presenting an organized set of demands to Congress and executive agencies, participants set up a 3,000-person protest camp on the Washington Mall, where they stayed for six weeks in the spring of 1968.

The Poor People's Campaign was motivated by a desire for economic justice: the idea that all people should have what they need to live. King and the SCLC shifted their focus to these issues after observing that gains in civil rights had not improved the material conditions of life for many African Americans. The Poor People's Campaign was a multiracial effort—including African-Americans, Asian-Americans, Hispanic Americans, and Native Americans—aimed at alleviating poverty regardless of race.

Today - June 23, 2018

 Before the sun rose on the final morning of a 40-day protest blitz for poor people’s rights, the Rev. William Barber was wide awake.
He was intently watching the television in his Washington hotel room, scanning the crawl of headlines for the latest in the Trump administration’s efforts to enforce a “zero tolerance” immigration policy that separated more than 2,500 immigrant children from their parents.
As he watched, Barber shook his head, closed his eyes, gathered his thoughts.
“We need to take the risk of believing that people have not lost their humanity,” he said Thursday. “Lots of people — poor people, white people, black people, Latinos — they’ve been bamboozled into thinking we’re all on different teams. We need to love them enough to go there and show them the truth.”
This idea is at the core of the new Poor People’s Campaign, the resurrection of a movement organized by the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. before his death in 1968: Meet people where they are and trust that given facts and, yes, love, they will see the intricate web of issues that connect poverty, racism and voter suppression.
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Saturday, June 23, 2018

President Bill Clinton and James Patterson @Warner Theater

We attended a talk by former President Bill Clinton and top-selling author James Patterson about their new book The President Is Missing at the Warner Theater here in DC. The talk was sponsored by Politics and Prose. Here is some more about the the book and its authors.
A few years ago, a newspaper asked the novelist and publishing juggernaut James Patterson which writers he’d most like to meet. He replied James Joyce, Bill Clinton and Hunter S. Thompson. 
Within weeks, Clinton’s people reached out: The former president would be in Florida, where Patterson lives most of the year. Would Patterson like to meet him? “So we spent a couple of hours down in Boca Raton,” Patterson recalls. “And, I mean, who wouldn’t enjoy the hell out of that? It was an experience of a lifetime for me.”  
“I just wanted to meet Jim,” Clinton chimes in. “I read a lot of fiction, and a huge number of political thrillers — I mean, a lot. And I like a series, so I love his Alex Cross series. I love his Michael Bennett series, the idea of an Irish cop with 10 kids — I’m a sucker for that kind of stuff.”  
In 2016, when their mutual friend, superagent Bob Barnett, suggested they write a book together, the two men jumped at the chance. Their global thriller, The President Is Missing, hit shelves on June 4. 

To keep reading this article, click here.

Friday, June 22, 2018

Bringing 'Burning Man' Art to the Streets of DC

In downtown Washington, D.C., art is spilling out from galleries and onto the streets.
Six unusual sculptures have popped up recently on sidewalks and in parks, including a 14-foot-tall bear, two giant bronze crows and a bust of poet Maya Angelou where visitors can climb inside to hear her read one of her poems.
The sculptures are an extension of the Smithsonian American Art Museum’s new exhibition at the Renwick Gallery “No Spectators: The Art of Burning Man,” which explores the art and eclectic history of a giant counter-culture festival that occurs each summer in Nevada’s Black Rock Desert. At Burning Man more than 70,000 costumed participants experience giant art installations, mutant art cars, dance parties and “radical self-expression.”
To keep reading this article, click here.

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Telling Stories Through Baseball Stats

Welcome to week seven of our blog series for “Baseball Americana,” a major new Library of Congress exhibition opening June 29. This is the seventh of nine posts – we’re publishing one each Thursday leading up to the opening. 
In this post, stats pro Sam Farber discusses how data has changed the way fans follow sports. He led the ESPN Stats and Information Group’s collaboration with the Library of Congress on “Baseball Americana” when he was an associate ESPN manager.
As a bonus, we’re counting down the innings to the exhibit’s launch by asking baseball fans a question each week. Your question for this week is at the bottom of this post. Join the conversation.
To keep reading this article, click here.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Will 'Ain't Too Proud' Be As Good as the Best Jukebox Musicals? Find Out @Kennedy Center




In the course of figuring out her approach to the story of the Temptations, playwright Dominique Morisseau sat down one day in Los Angeles with Otis Williams, the only surviving original member of the group. Her goal: to get him to spill the beans.
“So I asked Otis, in as nonconfrontational a way as possible,” she recalled, “ ‘Is there a perspective now that you have that you didn’t have before?’ ”
“You mean, regrets?” Williams replied. 
And then, Morisseau remembered, “He stops talking. He gets emotional. And all I can think is, ‘Oh, if I make Otis Williams cry, my parents will never forgive me!’ 
Cry, Otis, cry! Of such encounters are biographical musicals sometimes made. And if they excavate some nuggets of bona fide candor, then the resulting musical might, just might, have the potential to become more than a greatest-hits hagiography of beloved figures from the recording industry. This more artful mission is the one the creative team had in mind as they put together “Ain’t Too Proud: The Life and Times of the Temptations,” an anthology show built around one of the most influential groups in Motown, not to mention rock-and-roll, history.
To keep reading this article, click here.

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