December 2015 Newsletter


December  2015
Fruit of Labor
World Cultural Center Newsletter
produced by: Black Workers For Justice’s Hip Hop 4 Justice
edited by: Mari Caldwell-Robinson & Tiffany Debnam
Contact Information:
Address: 4200 Lake Ridge Rd, Raleigh NC 27604
(919) 231-2660 – Anytime (919) 876-7187 – Day
email: fruitoflaborwcc@netscape.com
website: www.fruitoflabor.org

BWFJ receives 2015 US Human Rights Movement Builders Award

USHRN Conference 2015 2

The US Human Rights Network gave one of its prestigious awards to the Black Workers for Justice. The BWFJ was selected along with seven other recipients for its Movement Builders Award. The awards ceremony was held in conjunction with USHRN’s biannual conference in Austin, Texas called Advancing Human Rights 2015: Sharpening Our Vision, Reclaiming our Dreams.

Human rights activists from around the country and some international visitors examined a full range of issues such as immigrant rights, workers rights, the rights of sex workers, water rights, LGBTQ rights and so much more. As is the practice at these and similar gatherings the delegates were welcomed by the indigenous peoples of the area and spend time conducting a local action, in this case at the county courthouse challenging a bad immigration policy and unfair deportations.

The Fruit of Labor Singing Ensemble represented the organization and participated in workshops, panels and cultural performances.
FOL at USHRC
 

 

International Human Rights Day 2015
The Trump Danger and the Rising Tide of Racism

On December 10 people around the globe acknowledge International Human Rights Day, the date when the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was adopted by the UN in 1948. People around the globe have reason to be concerned about the state of human rights. Raging wars, terrorist attacks, massive displacement, growing fascism, police murders, economic crisis and pending ecological disaster are the conditions that challenge all humanity.

Trump and racism
The presidential campaign of Donald Trump has drawn out the deeply racist sentiments among a section of the white population to a dangerous level. Starting with his attacks on immigrants, the Black Lives Matter activists and now Muslims, he is whipping his base into a frenzy. Read More  water_is_a_human_right_protest_credit_daymon_j_hartley 3

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Check Out an Important New Website

Just in time for Black History Month and the 50th anniversary of the Black Power Movement a new website was recently launched. Black Liberation and Social Revolution: the Life and Legacy of Saladin Muhammad is an excellent digital education tool for understanding that powerful movement from the perspective of a young Philadelphia activist who joined a movement that he has dedicated his life to; a movement that made significant strides in moving Black people towards more freedom and self-determination. Saladin at MM

The autobiographical videos tell the story of different phases of Saladin’s movement work but is of special interest to those wanting to learn about the history of the Black Workers for Justice. The sixth video in the series focuses on the founding of the BWFJ and some of its subsequent work. The website also contains relevant documents. Saladin will be available for speaking engagements during 2016.Click here to see the website

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Eye-witnesses say Minneapolis Police fatally shot 24-year-old Jamar Clark “execution style.”

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Join local activists in demanding police release all video of the shooting:
The weekend of November 14th 2016, Minneapolis Police fatally shot unarmed 24-year-old Jamar Clark.
In a scene all too similar to the police shooting of 18-year-old Mike Brown, dozens of people saw the shooting unfold. Eye-witnesses say Jamar was handcuffed with his hands behind his back when police shot him in the head “execution style.” 2
The entire event was likely caught on video by a nearby camera, but local officials are refusing to release the footage. Last night, police unjustly arrested more than 51 Black Lives Matter activists for demanding release of the video and justice for Jamar.3 Now, it’s time for us to help turn up the pressure to get Jamar’s family the answers they deserve.
All eye-witness accounts of what happened to Jamar point to murder. According to the latest news reports, police were called to the area for domestic assault. While it’s unclear exactly what happened before the paramedics arrived, Jamar allegedly tried to speak to his girlfriend before she was put in an ambulance but police threw him to the ground and arrested him. Moments later, law enforcement shot him in the head. Tate Wilson, a local business owner who saw the shooting happen, said, “the young man was just laying there. He was not resisting arrest.”4 According to the local NAACP, every eye-witness they’ve spoken to said Jamar “was handcuffed. Every witness account. [They say police] put a knee on him and shot in the head.”5
We need the video footage of the shooting in order to hold law enforcement accountable for this brutal violence. Time and time again, we’ve seen what happens when local officials are able to keep this type of key information from family members and the public.6 The longer videos are kept secret the easier it is for police to doctor the footage or alter their stories to fit what’s caught on camera instead of what actually happened.7 We need full transparency and public accountability or else we will never be able to end the racist culture of corruption and violence that leads to these tragedies. Local officials have asked the Department of Justice to investigate the case, but the investigation will likely take months to complete.8 We need answers now.
When NAACP activists Jason Sole heard about the tragic police shooting of Jamar he said, “Minneapolis is one bullet away from Ferguson…that bullet was fired last night.”9 The reality is, police violence targeting Black people is rampant in cities across America. In fact, Jamar is at least the 251st Black person killed by police in 2015 alone.10 Due to discriminatory racial stereotypes, police are 21 times more likely to shoot Black teens than white teens.11 And Minneapolis Black youth have had enough. As protesters put their lives on the line to stand with Jamar’s family in demanding justice, we must raise our voices to hold local officials accountable.
References:
1. “Black Lives Matter Protesting Police Shooting of a Reportedly Unarmed Man in Minneapolis,” Gawker 11-15-2015 http://act.colorofchange.org/go/5522?t=6&akid=5045.2520260.2kIHws
2. See reference 1.
3. “51 arrested in protests after black man shot by Minneapolis police,” USA Today 11-17-2015 http://act.colorofchange.org/go/5530?t=8&akid=5045.2520260.2kIHws
4. “Protesters demand video, police accountability in Minneapolis shooting,” Reuters 11-16-2015 http://act.colorofchange.org/go/5524?t=10&akid=5045.2520260.2kIHws
5. “Jamar Clark: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know,” Heavy.com 11-15-2015 http://act.colorofchange.org/go/5525?t=12&akid=5045.2520260.2kIHws
6. “Police Still Refuse to Release Evidence in Demouria Hogg Shooting Death OPD,” Post News Group 07-17-2015 http://act.colorofchange.org/go/5526?t=14&akid=5045.2520260.2kIHws
7. “CONFIRMED: Dashcam Video of Sandra Bland’s Violent Arrest was Indeed Edited,” Mint Press News 07-17-2015 http://act.colorofchange.org/go/5529?t=16&akid=5045.2520260.2kIHws
8. “Besty Hodges: Jamar Clark Shooting Should Be Investigated by Department of Justice,” City Pages 11-16-2015 http://act.colorofchange.org/go/5527?t=18&akid=5045.2520260.2kIHws
8. See reference 5.
9. “The Counted: People killed by police in the US,” The Guardian http://act.colorofchange.org/go/5011?t=20&akid=5045.2520260.2kIHws
10. “Deadly Force, in Black and White,” ProPublica 10-10-2014 http://act.colorofchange.org/go/5528?t=22&akid=5045.2520260.2kIHws

New Documentary Film of singer/activist legend Nina Simone 

  Nina Simone  ……“What Happened, Miss Simone?” 

Film Review

by Manohla Dargis

via The New York Times –  http://www.nytimes.com/2015/06/24/movies/review-what-happened-miss-simone-documents-nina-simones-rise-as-singer-and-activist.html

 

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Last Saturday, Nov. 14th, was the opening of the” Americans Who Tell the Truth Art and Education Exhibit” at the Civil Rights Museum in downtown Greensboro, 134 S. Elm St. FABULOUS! Exhibit runs through Feb. 20th, 2016.Fifty larger than life-size portraits of all your favorite heroes and heroines will be on display at the museum through mid-February 2016.

While you’re there, be sure to catch the youth exhibit: Artist Robert Shetterly inspired over two hundred Guilford County middle- school students to make portraits and write short biographies of their heroes. Incredibly inspiring cultural event. You need to see it!

 

 

On Tuesday November 24,2015 many people in the U.S. woke up to news coming from Minneapolis, where three suspected white supremacists shot at Black Lives Matter protesters that monday night, wounding five. The protesters were outside of the 4th Precinct in response to the police murder of Jamar Clark. Organizers on the ground report that it took over 15 minutes for an ambulance to arrive; and when the police arrived, they sprayed mace on protesters and the community that had just been shot at. This act of racist terrorism and gun violence is an eerie and chilling reminder of theGreensboro Massacre, whose 36th anniversary was earlier this month. We also learned that a Chicago police officer, Jason Van Dyke, will finally be charged with murder a day before the deadline to release video documenting his killing of 17-year old Laquan McDonald. People who have seen the video, which the Chicago Police Department held onto for over a year, say that it shows Laquan McDonald walking away, and Jason Van Dyke opening fire from 15 feet away and continuing to shoot the teen after he had fallen to the ground. Autopsy reports confirm that Laquan McDonald was shot in the back at least twice. In the meantime, the officer, Jason Van Dyke, has been on paid desk duty, essentially pay with reduced responsibility.

We are living in a time where we must confront the intersections of white supremacy, police terrorism, and gun violence head on.

Want More of the Fruit of Labor 

Need a Special Place for your Special Event? Fruit of Labor World Cultural Center offers 2,000 sq. ft. spacious hall with a kitchen. Our facility is ideal for receptions, meetings, holiday parties, reunions, religious/family gatherings, conferences, etc. Contact us atfruitoflaborwcc@netscape.com or call at 919-876-7187.

Learn more about our facility at:
Fruit of Labor Music: The Fruit of Labor Singing Ensemble, their songs and music was born out of the struggle of organizing African American workers in the “Black Belt” region of North Carolina and the South. They have created more than 60 songs, some cataloged in their four CD’s: “Workers Want Fairness”, “Weapons of Mass Construction”, “Your Silence Won’t Save You” and their 25th anniversary CD “Workers Stimulus Package”. Listen to Fruit of Labor Music snippets in the following link. Email us atfruitoflaborwcc@netscape.com if you wish to purchase a CD.
Holiday Gifts: Wondering what gift to give during this holiday season? Fruit of Labor Singing Ensemble & Black Workers for Justice T-Shirts are great! Only $18 (includes shipping). Order today! Email: fruitoflaborwcc@netscape.com
3)  Fruit of Labor recent news stories:

DECEMBER, 2015
§  5th, Saturday6pm -9:00pm; Hip-Hop 4 Justice, poetry and music with a positive message. Do you have something to say? Well then, step up to the open mic and spit fire!Tonight’s theme: Youth Using Our Power to Make Change. Performance featuring R&B, reggae artist – Chris Macon. $8 donation in advance on Eventbrite  & $10 at the door. Food included. Sponsored by Black Workers for Justice Youth.
§  10th-13th , Thursday – Sunday; Fruit of Labor presents a workshop, performs and receives the 2015 US Human Rights Movement Builder Award for Black Workers for Justice at the US Human Rights Network Conference in Austin, TX.
§  18thFriday6:00pm FINANCIAL HEALTH WORK SHOP SERIES; 7:00pm – Wine & Cheese Networking Social; Live Jazz. Free but, donations are welcome
§  27thSundayAnnual Community Kwanzaa Celebration; 3pm-6pm! Singing, Dancing, Story-telling, Arts & Crafts for sale, Community Good News, Trivia, and bring a dish for our community Karamu (feast).
§  29thTuesday11am-3pm; Fruit of Labor Singing Ensemble performs at the Town of Cary 21st Community Kwanzaa Celebration. Cary Arts Center – Academy St., Cary, NC

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