Well Said, Rachel Jeantel

Hail Mi Irieites,

Just saw the Piers Morgan CNN talk show, featuring Rachel Jeantel.  After watching her testimony for the second time, I have to say, it was a lot more impressive than when I initially saw it.  And as for the interview with Piers  Morgan, I found her to be a very straightforward and upright individual, though young and obviously inexperienced.

It is hard to comprehend that there are people that are still out there that cannot see that this case was about race.  Rachel pointed out that the mere fact that the jury was comprised of races contrary to Trayvon Martin’s ethnic background, made her understand that justice would not be served.  Rachel didn’t need an IQ of 200 to rationalise that.

And after listening to the Anderson Cooper’s interview with one of the jurors, it was evident that she (the juror) was biased from the beginning.   She believed what she wanted to believe. There was no blood on the hands of Trayvon Martin that belonged to Zimmerman, despite the fact that Zimmerman claimed that Trayvon was trying to smother him after he was punched on his “bloody nose.”  In other words, blood would definitely be on one’s hands if such an incident happened.  How did they – the jury – not see that? A no brainer.

Amazing… Where is  J U S T I C E ?

Aime Fernand David Cesaire: 100 Anniversaire

One more thing Mi Irieites,

afdcToday, June 26th 2013 is a special tribute to Aime Fernand David Cesaire, the Martinican poet, author, historian, politician and activist, who was born exactly 100 years ago, (26th June 1913 – 17th April 2008).

Aime Cesaire, who was also a teacher and strong influence on fellow native Frantz Fanon, was and still is Martinique’s pride and joy.

He has been noted to be the primary force that challenged the French authorities for Martinique to gain its cultural identity as black Africans subjected to colonialism.  At one point in the 1940′s Cesaire, like many others back in the day, aligned himself with the principles of Communist Russia, but later retracted these beliefs.

Some of his best written works have been “Discourse of Colonialism,” (1950), that denounced colonial racism, “Toussaint L’Ouverture,” (1960) a book based on the life of the Haitian Revolutionary Leader and “The Tempest,” an adaptation of the Shakespearean play, geared for a black audience (1968).

In 2001 Cesaire retired from his active duties.  He had held many positions including the Mayor of the capital, Fort De France as well as the President of the Regional Council of Martinique.

One of his last controversial stances was the snubbing of the President to be, Nicolas Sarkozy, in 2007.  Apparently, the French government was looking about imposing in the schools and textbooks, the ideology of ‘French colonialism’ being a “positive role.”    The Martinicans  protested intensely.  After a series of heart problems, Cesaire died on 17th April 2008 and was given an honorary State funeral.  Sarkozy, now President of France, attended but made no comment.

The national airport in the town of Lamentin has been renamed after this fearless individual.

Thank you Aime Cesaire, one of the greats of the Francophone Black Diaspora, for sustaining Martinique’s  heritage.  In other words, “You Big!!”

Juneteenth: Freedom Day

EmancipationProclamation

Hail Mi Irieites,

Here’s an important page in history (via Wikipedia) >>

During the US Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation on September 22, 1862, with an effective date of January 1, 1863. Although it declared that slaves were to be freed in the Confederate States of America in rebellion against the federal government, it had minimal actual effect. Even after the ending of military hostilities, as a part of the former Confederacy, Texas did not act to comply with the Emancipation Proclamation.

On June 18, 1865, Union General Gordon Granger and 2,000 federal troops arrived in Galveston, Texas, to take possession of the state and enforce the emancipation of its slaves. On June 19, standing on the balcony of Galveston’s Ashton Villa, Granger read the contents of “General Order No. 3″:

The people of Texas are informed that, in accordance with a proclamation from the Executive of the United States, all slaves are free. This involves an absolute equality of personal rights and rights of property between former masters and slaves, and the connection heretofore existing between them becomes that between employer and hired labor. The freedmen are advised to remain quietly at their present homes and work for wages. They are informed that they will not be allowed to collect at military posts and that they will not be supported in idleness either there or elsewhere.

That day has since become known as Juneteenth, a name coming from a portmanteau of the word June and the suffix, “teenth”, as in “Nineteenth”, coined by 1903.

Leon Spinks: the only man to take a title from Muhammad Ali in the ring

Yes, Mi Irieites,

First of all, I thank each and everyone for my birthday shout out.  The support gets bigger and bigger each year.  And I am still overwhelmed by it.

Secondly, For all the fans at “Reggae in the Desert,” Las Vegas and the “River Bend Festival,” Chattanooga, TN, we thank you for coming along.  There were many that said they have not seen the band perform live in over 20 years.  Don’t be a stranger – from now on!

Today was a historical day in regards to boxing.  This day June 18th 2013, marks the 50th anniversary of the great Muhammad Ali being knocked down for the very first time in his career by the British Champion boxer, Henry Cooper.  Cooper knocked Ali down in round 4.  Ali  was saved by the bell.  Muhammad came back in the following round to stop Cooper with a severe damage to his right eye.

leonspinks
And guess who we got a chance to meet while in Vegas?  Another legendary boxer: Leon Spinks.

Leon was the first boxer to literally take the title from Ali in the ring. Ali’s other losses were non-title contests or bouts where Ali was the challenger. The only time before that was when Ali was stripped of his title by the US government for refusing to fight in Vietnam.

Sid and I teamed up with Leon at a bar at the Hilton Hotel (the very place the Spinks vs Ali fight took place, just over 35 years ago).  With excitement I was naming and recollecting the Spinks/Ali first encounter to Leon, saying that the fight took place in 1978.  But Spinks fired back at me saying “no the year I beat Ali was in 1975.”  I said, “No because Ali had not too long beat George Foreman.”  But Leon insisted it was 1975.  So as puzzled as I was, I accepted his challenge.  After all, it was HE that was tangling with the then Champ back then, not me.  He ought to know….. so I thought.

As we were getting ready to watch the play called “Raiding the Rock Vault” (a great play by the way), we saw someone that remembered hosting the fight and said to me, ‘IT WAS 1978, right here.”  Wow!  So there you go Leon, if you get a chance to read this.  Well, it was great meeting, a really humble individual who’s looking pretty good considering what he use to do for a living.

Stay blessed Leon, and a “Happy 60th year to you, Sir.”

P.S  Thanks Rande, for making this happen…
P.P.S.  Another boxing history note: When Leon’s brother Michael Spinks defeated Larry Holmes for the IBF heavyweight championship in 1985, they became the first brothers to have held world heavyweight championships.

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