February 2015 Newsletter

Fruit of Labor World Cultural Center February Newletter



  • SAVE THE DATE: Mass Moral March & HKonJ People's Assembly on FEB. 14, 2015 at 10am


Join the Fruit of Labor Singing Ensemble, Black Workers for Justice, NC Public Service Workers Union-U.E. Local 150 , NAACP,  and more than 100 coalition partners for the 9th Annual Mass Moral March & HKonJ People's Assembly in Raleigh on Saturday, February 14.

This year's Love & Justice Movement Agenda covers a wide array of issues that affect the lives of everyday North Carolinians:

  • Voting Rights: The expansion and protection of voting rights for all
  • Labor Rights: Raising the minimum wage, economic justice, and UNION rights !
  • Education Equality: Funding for quality public schools and support for HBCUs
  • Health Care for All: Medicaid expansion, women's health, and environmental justice
  • Equal Protection Under the Law: Justice without regard for race, creed, class, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation or immigration status
  • Criminal Justice & Police Reform

Lock for the Fruit of Labor, BWFJ, HH4J, U.E 150 in front of the McDonalds across from Shaw Univ. at 9:00 a.m.. We will start marching at 10am. ...so get there on time at 9am. SHARP!  We will start moving towardst 2 South Street in downtown Raleigh (across from the Raleigh Memorial Auditorium). The march begins at10:00 a.m., with the assembly commencing near the State Capitol on Fayetteville Street.

Stay tuned for information on the Week of Action at the NC General Assembly during the week of February 9-13 and the Pre-Moral March Service on February 13.

Feel the love and join us this Valentine's Day for this historic event

Kevin "Rashid" Johnson Featured
in New York Times 

RESPOND, an exhibit at the Smack Galleryin Brooklyn, NY is currently exhibiting an artistic response to the recent events of racist extrajudicial police violence. Prison Radio correspondent "Rashid" is not only an eloquent writer, and learned political theoretician, but also a talented artist. He currently resides in a solitary hell hole in Texas DOC in Clements Unit in Amarillo, Texas. The exhibit is getting rave reviews and write-ups in numerous publications.  The NYTimes refers to Johnson's work as "a fine multipart narrative drawing", and notes that "Mr. Johnson's work, which goes back in time, opens the show to histories." Prison Radio   recognizes the role of art in social justice movements has been a constant and essential one.  Smack Mellon, 92 Plymouth Street at Washington Street,  Brooklyn, NY. Show runs until Feb. 22nd. 



Books, videos,, documents,films, fellowship, food and fun!
We are presently readind Dr. M.L. King's Last Testament "Trumpets of Conscience"
were Dr.King states that the U.S. government has created miracles of production & technology, but has locked out humanism, justice and economic equality for poor and working people. Also , we will read and study the transformative and empowering lessons of  Malcolm X, leader of Black Liberation. Visionary and Black Freedom Fighters  Ella Baker, Fannie Lou Hamer , Dr. Walter Rodney, Julius Nyere, Amilicar Gibral , Ashata Shakur, Nelson & Winnie Mandela and others. who struggled against racist national oppression, imperialism and for Self Determination".
 Learn about our history of struggle for freedom , liberation , an end to workers oppression and white supremacy. Join our"FOLWCC" Book Club's discussions with other young and seasoned leaders to come up with a plan to survive these terrible times and even use the present economic/social crisis to build a better society and world in our future. 
First meeting of the Int’l Labor Organization (ILO) - 1920
A group of Detroit African-American auto workers known as the Eldon Avenue Axle Plant Revolutionary Union Movement leads a wildcat strike against racism and bad working conditions in 1969.  They are critical of both automakers and the UAW's traditional "business unionism", condemning the then" seniority system"  and grievance procedures as racist in 1969. These left Black trade union members/activists
developed a new "social movement/social justice" unionism that
the thirty year old Black Workers For Justice organization continues to build in its public and private sector union organizing 
evident in the N.C. Public Service Workers Union- U.E. Local 150.
Long time friend and ally of the Black Freedom Movement , Pete Seeger dies in New York at age 94. A musician and activist, he was a revered figure on the U.S. left, persecuted during the 1950's  McCarthy"Red Scare" anti-left era for his support of  progressive, labor and civil rights causes. A prolific songwriter, he is generally credited with helping with popularizing the civil rights anthem “We Shall Overcome.” This was a traditional African -American traditional song that was rewritten  as a rallying song for the 1950's-60's Black Freedom movement. Brother Pete Seeger actively participated in many demonstrations until shortly before his death in 2014
Young working class Members of the Northwestern University football team announce they are seeking " union recognition". A majority signed union cards, later delivered to the National Labor Relations Board office in Chicago, asking for UNION representation by the College Athletes Players Association in 2014
FRUIT OF LABOR WORLD CULTURAL CENTER's  "World Cultural Cinema"presents annual: "African American History Month'' film and community discussion:
Time: 3pm Sharp;   Saturday February 21st, 2015  Where: the Fruit of Labor World Cultural Center 4200 Lake Ridge Dr. Raleigh

Film, Food, Fellowship,Discussion


This year’s celebration of Black History Month must provide us with critical thinking, understanding of historical lessons  and tools for  todays organizing of a resistent movement to take on the challenges we face in 2015.   It will include a community discussion on the fast food workers fight to raise the minimum wage, public service workers organizing unions to challenge budget cuts of community service programs, upcoming layoffs, and attacks on workers rights, as well as the  growing " Black Lives Matter/Stop the War On Black America" resistance against racist police profiling, encounters and repression. We will also discuss the important role of the united front coalition of the "Moral Monday/ Historic Thousands On Jones Street ( HKOJ ).

Hosted by BWFJ's  Hip Hop For Justice and the Fruit of Labor World Cultural Center

 For more information, visit our website: www.fruitoflabor.org    or

 contact the Fruit of Labor Singing Ensemble/ FOL World Cultural Center @

 919 876-7187                              email     fruitoflaborwcc@netscape.com


Entertainment Corner: 

Ferguson-Gaza BluesNaima ShalhoubI wrote this song in August for the people in Ferguson, Gaza and elsewhere rising up against horrific racial injustice, and for those that continue to grieve, rage and rise. As an artist I'd like to make it clear that the tragedies in Ferguson and Gaza are not isolated nor limited to these regions, but are parts of a greater evolution of racism that continues to isolate, confine and destroy lives and communities. Resistance and resilience of the people are not new either, but are hopefully making an impact that is is received differently today because of the daily struggle that has been happening for years prior.This video captures the first live performance of this song on November 28, 2014 at The Sound Room in Oakland, as well as various clips from moments in Gaza, Ferguson, Oakland, and elsewhere.


"Selma" Review of a drama movie casted within a historical context""
                 by Darrion Smith( U.E. Local 150 union activist/Fruit of Labor Singing Ensemble member)

This is a drama cast in the context of history. It was directed by Ava DuVerney. Starring David Oyelowo (Dr. King), Tom Wilkinson (President Johnson),Carmen Ejogo (Coretta Scott KIng),Giovanni Ribisi (Lee White),Alessandro Nivola(John Doar), Cuba Gooding Jr. (Fred Gray), Tim Roth (George Wallace), Oprah Winfrey (Annie Lee Cooper),Common (James Bevel), Lorrainne Toussaint (Amelia Boynton). 
The picture focuses on Dr. King's role in 1964 as a national spokesperson  and leader of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) . Dr. King collaborates and works with the local organizers in Selma to bring a national view to the dehumanization of African-Americans in the brutal segregated "Jim Crow" South. The SCLC was using tactics like non-violent marches in Selma as a platform to push for voting rights legislation.
In the mist of terrifying and senseless beatings and killings of unarmed blacks, "Jim Crow"  politicians, their corporate backers, the racist police and pro- segregationist white people used all their government institutions to intimidate and scare Blacks in their growing Freedom Movement.
SCLC made a national Call To Action, calling out clergymen, black and white, students, workers, etc. to take a stand against the violation of basic internationally recognized human rights and dignity. The film "Selma" shows how the many southern freedom fighters and Dr. King had to travel under the cloud of night or early dawn to safely enter the towns and cities where they would speak, strategize, plan actions and sleep. 
SCLC and King, as well as other freedom fighting organizations protested and used the press to gradually force President Johnson and his political allies to present legislation to the U.S. Congress. This national and international public opinion along with thousands of other people and freedom organizations lobbied  and gradually won passage of  the 1964 Voting Rights Act (Remember, this all occurred after King/SCLC and others had many meetings with President Lyndon B. Johnson  who  had several times refused by saying no and he had other priorities).  
The film also touches on the political differences of opinion and tactical actions that SNCC (Student Non Violent Coordinating Committee) and SCLC struggled around pertaining to how the actions and tactical  protests should be conducted. Critically important was the strategic question of how the various tactics would grant Black people power and the human right to vote.
Selma also depicts  in one scene how Brother Malcolm X and Dr. King continued their ever present long debate on which way forward for Black freedom and liberation, where Malcolm and Coretta Scott King came to an agreement that both tactics had a common strategy of human rights. "We are all fighting the same fight but are going about it in different ways". Selma briefly touches on how President L.B. Johnson and J. Edgar Hoover, and U.S. Attorney General Bobby Kennedy all conspired in various ways against King. FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover attempted several times with the government's Counter Intelligence Program. Unidentified cassette tapes using recorded sounds of Dr. King having sex with other women were sent to his wife Coretta.  
 Selma shows that Dr. King didn't have all of the answers and often sought the advice of other leaders and certainly needed the support and leadership of many SNCC and local grassroots community organizers. He often called upon other SCLC and other freedom fighting comrades in the movement and around him. In was inspiring to see that many of the marches in Selma were led by the youth including John Lewis and James Foreman of SNCC, James Bevel, Dr. King of SCLC, and the late Union leader Hosea Williams. 
We must remember that the film "Selma" is "not a documentary film" based on the concrete historical facts and the entire political context of this important movement. We must read books, study collectively and explore even deeper for the true valuable lessons that this historical movement reveals. However, it is very critically important that we all see the importance of the role of strong organizations in our struggle.
 Also, we must see this "film  dramatization" of Selma events as only a starting point to pick up on many books written by our peoples ' activist Black scholars who are sharing the valuable lessons  that lead up to this historical  period of time of advanced social  democratic reforms like the  resistance movement  of the "Bloody Sunday"  Selma march in Alabama. What valuable lessons does it have for us in the midst of the current developing anti- racist police repression "Black Lives Matter" movement (post Trayvon Martin/Fla., Mike Brown/Furguson, Mo., Eric Gardner, NYC murders)?
Long lasting victories come with a price of lessons learned!
This Black History Month, February 2015, join our Fruit of Labor World Cultural Center's Book Club! Study and apply the valuable historical lessons of this rich movement of struggle for human rights, freedom and Black Liberation. This is just one more way to raise the consciousness and engage people collectively in organizations around a concrete and correct perspective.
2015 Calender of Events 

January 2015

       10th,Saturday; Hip Hop 4 Justice (HH4J) M.L.K. planning meeting– 11:00am        19th ,Sunday; World Cultural Cinema – Commemorating the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. & the legacy of the Civil Rights Movement of 60’s & Social Justice & Workers Movements of today.4:00 - 6:00pm. $5 suggested donation. Trivia Contest & Refreshments.        24th, Saturday; HH4J Honoring the Legacy of M. L. King; Unity in the Community Social Mixer 6:00pm – 10:00pm featuring Reggae & R&B band – Lost-N-Sound; $5 suggested donation.        25th , Sunday; BWFJ Wake/Durham Chapter Meeting – 3:00pm

February 2015        1st, Sunday; Super Bowl XLIX (49) Viewing Party; Watch the game on the big screen; food & fun; trivia contest & prizes! – 5:00pm;$7 suggested donation        14th, Saturday;  Moral March/HKonJ9 – Historic Thousands on Jones St. – Mobilizing to End Poverty & for Economic Justice; assemble at 9:00ammarch begins at Shaw University at the intersection of Wilmington & South St. in Raleigh, NC; 10:00am; call 919-682-4700 ext .130 or check www.hkonj.com or www.naacpnc.org for more information. For action alerts text “NAACP” to 46988        13th, Friday; 7-10pm; HH4J presents - Black Life Matters – Black Love with Justice Celebration & Social Mixer.        14th; private party @ FOLWCC        21st, Saturday; World Cultural Cinema; Celebrating Black History Month & Malcolm X’s Birthday (Feb. 19th); Watch 2 thought provoking films & participate in our lively discussion/critique/analysis; 3pm – 7pm; $5 suggested donation. Trivia Contest & Refreshments.        22nd , Sunday; BWFJ Wake/Durham Chapter Meeting – 3:00pm
March 2015        8th, Sunday; World Cultural Cinema; Celebrating International Working Women’s Month; Watch 2 thought provoking films & participate in our lively discussion/critique/analysis; 3pm – 7pm; $5 suggested donation. Trivia Contest & Refreshments.        14th, Saturday; HH4J planning meeting– 11:00am        28th, Saturday; HH4J Event 6:00pm – 10:00pm featuring music, spoken word, video shorts, discussion, food, trivia prizes & fun; $5 suggested donation.        29th, Sunday; BWFJ Wake/Durham Chapter Meeting – 3:00pm
April 2015        4th, Saturday; 10:30am- 12:30pm; Get Moving & Celebrate National Minority Health Month; Zumba & Hip Hop Abs class. Health info & healthy snacks available.        11th, Saturday; Black Workers for Justice 32nd  Birthday Celebration & its’ Annual M.L. King, Jr. Support for Labor Banquet; NCAE Bldg. 700 S. Salisbury St.,;Raleigh, NC; 5pm sharp; tickets $35; contact FOLWCC for more & updated information.        19th, Sunday; World Cultural Cinema; Celebrating Earth Day; Watch a thought provoking films & participate in our lively discussion/critique/analysis; 3pm – 6pm; $5 suggested donation. Trivia Contest & Refreshments.        25th, Saturday; Hip Hop 4 Justice (HH4J) planning meeting & Trumpet of Conscience book discussion.  (The Trumpet of Conscience features five lectures that Martin Luther King, Jr., delivered in November and December 1967.)        26th, Sunday; BWFJ Wake/Durham Chapter Meeting – 3:00pm
May 2015        1st, Friday; International Workers Day Celebration, Fish Bowl dialogue: The State of Workers Today – Are we “Keeping it in the Road” or have we Stalled, Wrecked or Need an Alignment? Potluck dinner. 6:00pm – 7:30pm.        9th, Saturday; 9:30am – 10:45; Celebrate Women’s Health Month; exercise class (Brazilian Dance); health info. & healthy snacks!        9th, Saturday; Hip Hop 4 Justice (HH4J) M.L.K. planning meeting– 11:00am        10th, Sunday; Annual Dinner at the FOLWCC Celebrating Women & Mothers as Peace Keepers; 3:00pm – 5:30pm; $15; Come out with your family as we recognize & celebrate the strong women building & making a difference our families and communities.        23rd, Saturday; HH4J Event 6:00pm – 10:00pm featuring music, spoken word, video shorts, discussion, food, trivia prizes & fun; $5 suggested donation.        24th, Sunday; BWFJ Wake/Durham Chapter Meeting – 3:00pm
June 2015        6th, Saturday; Hip Hop 4 Justice (HH4J) M.L.K. planning meeting– 11:00am        6th, Saturday: 9:30am – 10:45; Celebrate Men’s Health Month; Get moving with a T-25 & Boot Camp workout! Health info & healthy snacks!        14th, Sunday; Annual Juneteenth Celebration & 7th Annual Spoons of Justice Cook-Off; 3:30pm – 6:00pm; Calling all “Sisters who can Stir” & “Brothers who can Burn” to see who can claim this year’s coveted Cook-Off Champion Trophy! Enter your best dish and the people will judge who wins! If it is advisable that you not share your culinary skills with the general public; come out, taste dishes that are entered, be a judge & help pick this year’s winner! It’ll only cost you $10. 4-4-$30.  E-mail us at the address above for a registration form & more information.        26th -28th, Friday-Sunday; Great Labor Arts Exchange; Silver Springs, MD; Fruit of Labor Singing Ensemble performs and receives the Joe Hill Artist’s Award.