The exhibit was a loving tribute to the genius of Ray Charles.
On what would have been his 83rd birthday, the U.S. Postal Service showed Brother Ray some love. They inducted him into their Music Icons Forever Stamp Series in ceremonies at the Ray Charles Performing Arts Center at Morehouse College and the GRAMMY Museum at L.A. LIVE.
U.S. Postal Service Judicial Officer William Campbell said:
Frank Sinatra, himself a stamp honoree, once characterized Ray Charles as “the only true genius in show business,” and certainly, if anyone was a musical genius, it was Ray Charles. Despite being blind and having a young life marked by tragedy, hardship and tremendous challenges, Ray Charles went on to have a remarkable 58-year career playing music that blurred the lines of jazz, gospel, blues and, in later years, country. In doing so, he became the personification of the American Dream.
The Postal Service also made available an unreleased recording of a Ray Charles song, “They Can’t Take That Away From Me.”
Indeed, they can’t take that away from me -- loving Ray Charles.
Posted at 03:29 PM in Accountability, Accountability Journalism, Civic Engagement, Civil Rights, Education, Pennsylvania State Chapter of National Action Network, Race, School District of Philadelphia, Tracking Change | Permalink
Tags: #fundourschools, #phillyeducation, Education, Melissa Harris-Perry, PA NAN, Pennsylvania National Action Network, School District of Philadelphia
Students are returning to schools with overcrowded classes, “split-grade” classrooms and no full-time librarians.
There are no new books, no art or music, few guidance counselors and no plan to provide IEP services as mandated by federal and state law. Roughly 14 percent of the school district’s 136,000 students are in special education, which includes homeless, foster and gifted children.
The Pennsylvania State Chapter of the National Action Network and 7000 Villagers for Quality and Safe Schools and Communities are organizing for action.
On Feb. 28, 2013, 7000 Villagers filed a class action lawsuit to stop the school closings and protect the interests of students who under federal and state law are classified as “special needs” students. The school district is required to develop and implement an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) for each special needs student. The lawsuit is about shared sacrifice (publicly funded charter and cyber schools are not subject to the “doomsday budget”), transparency and accountability. The bottom line: Follow the money.
It bears remembering that Gov. Tom Corbett runs Philly schools through the unelected School Reform Commission.
To get involved in the fight to ensure our children have equitable access to a “thorough and efficient system of public education” as required under the Pennsylvania Constitution, contact PA NAN at (215) 765-6181.
No justice, no peace.
Posted at 09:26 AM in 2014 Midterm Election, Accountability, Accountability Journalism, Black Voters, Civic Engagement, Civil Rights, Education, Election '14, March on Washington, Pennsylvania State Chapter of National Action Network, Philly Phresh Start, Race, School District of Philadelphia | Permalink
Tags: 7000 Villagers, Education, IEP, PA NAN, Pennsylvania State Chapter of National Action Network, School Reform Commission, Special Education, Tom Corbett
The celebration of the 50th anniversary of the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom is in the history books. Sadly, the impact of role of jazz musicians and the jazz culture in breaking down barriers to racial integration has largely been lost to history.
In 1939, Billie Holiday told the nation that “Southern trees bear a strange fruit.”
Holiday, Armstrong and Waller were members of the Harlem Renaissance. In his invocation at the “Let Freedom Ring” commemoration, Pastor A.R. Bernard Sr. noted how artists helped ignite the civil rights movement:
They called themselves the New Negro Movement, better known as the Harlem Renaissance, creating their own literature, art, music, theater. They artistically and intellectually challenged the pervading black stereotypes. From this generation emerged names like W.E.B. DuBois, Alain LeRoy Locke, Zora Neale Hurston, Claude McKay, Langston Hughes, Fats Waller and Duke Ellington.
White America experienced it and said, “Ooh, we like the style of these people.” So they enjoyed it, adopted it, integrated it and exploited it. And the popularity of black style and culture soon spread throughout the country. But it was not enough for black folks to be artistically admired. Blacks wanted and demanded full participation in the social, political and economic life of American society. And that attitude set the stage for the civil rights movement of the 1950s and the 1960s.
The legacy of the March on Washington include the Civil Rights Act of 1964. In February 2014, we will commemorate the signing of that seminal legislation, as well as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s remarks at the 1964 Berlin Jazz Festival. For more information, send us an email.
Posted at 10:56 AM in All That Philly Jazz, Civic Engagement, Civil Rights, Culture, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Jazz, March on Washington, Music, Race, School District of Philadelphia, Tracking Change, Voting Rights | Permalink
Tags: #MLKDream50, @PhillyJazzApp, A.R. Bernard Sr., All That Philly Jazz, Berlin Jazz Festival, Civil Rights Act of 1964, Fats Waller, Jr., Louis Armstrong, March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, Martin Luther King, Race