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Information is power. Our mission at Portside is to seek out and to provide information that empowers you -- that empowers the left. Every day we search hundreds of sources to connect you with the most interesting, striking and useful material. Just once a year we appeal to you to contribute to make it possible to continue this work. Please help.

 

Making ‘The Moment’ Now

Gwen McKinney The Washington Informer
"Moments come and moment pass. But you cannot freeze them if you do not seize them," is the theme of Gene Bruskin's musical exploration of Reconstruction when this nation had the chance to do the right thing. Like then, the moment is still now.

theater

The Play’s the Thing

Peter Olney and Gene Bruskin Stansbury Forum
New play, about Reconstruction. This was really a turning point in US history when America almost did the right thing. The South was writing new state constitutions and African Americans were getting elected to local and national offices.

books

Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom

Joshua A Claybourn Compulsive Reader
Reviewer Claybourn says this new biography is likely to become the definitive one of the great 19th Century leader of the African American freedom struggle and champion of democracy.

22 Million Reasons Black America Doesn’t Trust Banks

Marcus Anthony Hunter The Conversation
By 1871, Congress had authorized the bank to provide mortgages and business loans. Such mortgages and loans, however, were usually given to whites, creating a financial paradox -— a bank using the savings and income of black depositors to advance the economic fortunes of whites who had at their disposal mainstream banks that excluded blacks.

What to Black People is the National Anthem?

Lisa Brock Praxis Center
On Veterans day, the idea of the veteran was touted by POTUS and his supporters as an emotional counterweight to the protesting athletes. Dr. Lisa Brock reminds us that African Americans have historically had a conflictual relationship with US militarism.

books

Frederick Douglass's `Amazing Job' Started With His First Book

Ron Charles Washington Post
Forget that Donald Trump said something commendable about Frederick Douglass--perhaps a first for Trump--the autobiography of Douglass is a classic, and reading it again is a fit way to commemorate Black History Month. Washington Post book editor Ron Charles gives ample reason why.

Friday Nite Videos -- Fourth of July, 2015

Portside
Which America should we recall on the Fourth of July? The "all men are created equal" of the Declaration of Independence or the gross inequalities by race, class and gender, the crying disparities of wealth, voice and security in real life? Both. Because the lofty declaration is more than a platitude and a snare; it has also always been a goal and a call to strive "to finish the work we are in." Lefty alternatives for the Fourth: songs, thoughts, a little inspiration.

James Earl Jones Reads Frederick Douglass

James Earl Jones (introduced by Howard Zinn) reads excerpts from anti-slavery crusader Frederick Douglass' speech, 'The Meaning of July Fourth for the Negro' (July 5, 1852).
 
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