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  6. Oct 2019
    1. "The Fifteenth Amendment stated that people could not be denied the right to vote based on “race, color, or previous condition of servitude.” This construction allowed states to continue to decide the qualifications of voters as long as those qualifications were ostensibly race-neutral. Thus, while states could not deny African American men the right to vote on the basis of race, they could deny it to women on the basis of sex or to people who could not prove they were literate." Before the 15th amendment women and colored men and women were not allowed to vote but the 15th amendment allowed these privileges and prevented discrimination amongst the rights of someone based on their race and gender and states cannot deny these rights to the people because it is a constitutional law.

  7. May 2019
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  11. Jul 2015
    1. I first witnessed this power out on the Yard, that communal green space in the center of the campus where the students gathered and I saw everything I knew of my black self multiplied out into seemingly endless variations. There were the scions of Nigerian aristocrats in their business suits giving dap to bald-headed Qs in purple windbreakers and tan Timbs. There were the high-yellow progeny of A.M.E. preachers debating the clerics of Ausar-Set. There were California girls turned Muslim, born anew, in hijab and long skirt. There were Ponzi schemers and Christian cultists, Tabernacle fanatics and mathematical geniuses. It was like listening to a hundred different renditions of “Redemption Song,” each in a different color and key. And overlaying all of this was the history of Howard itself. I knew that I was literally walking in the footsteps of all the Toni Morrisons and Zora Neale Hurstons, of all the Sterling Browns and Kenneth Clarks, who’d come before.

      I love the details, the pride, the power of this description!

    2. or rather the progress of those Americans who believe that they are white,

      This is such a powerful articulation--borrowed from Baldwin as the epigraph makes clear--of the social construct of whiteness.

    3. the gap between her world and the world for which I had been summoned to speak.

      A riff on the title of TNC's forthcoming book, itself a a riff on WEB Du Bois's famous description of black experience in The Souls of Black Folk (1903). As he opens that book in a chapter entitled "Of Our Spiritual Strivings":

      BETWEEN me and the other world there is ever an unasked question: unasked by some through feelings of delicacy; by others through the difficulty of rightly framing it. All, nevertheless, flutter round it.

    4. My father was so very afraid. I felt it in the sting of his black leather belt, which he applied with more anxiety than anger, my father who beat me as if someone might steal me away, because that is exactly what was happening all around us.

      This reminds me of the incident during the Baltimore Uprising in April where Toya Graham beats her son. Stacey Patton wrote about this:

      The kind of violent discipline Graham unleashed on her son did not originate with her, or with my adoptive mother who publicly beat me when I was a child, or with the legions of black parents who equate pain with protection and love. The beatings originated with white supremacy, a history of cultural and physical violence that devalues black life at every turn. From slavery through Jim Crow, from the school-to-prison pipeline, the innocence and protection of black children has always been a dream deferred. http://www.washingtonpost.com/posteverything/wp/2015/04/29/why-is-america-celebrating-the-beating-of-a-black-child/

    5. JUL 4, 2015

      Hard not to relate this piece to another great statement of African American experience: Frederick Douglass's 1841 speech “What to the Slave Is the Fourth of July?”

      Image Description

  12. Feb 2015
    1. Do you remember the day, baby, you drove me from your door?

      A line from Elvie Thomas's "Motherless Child Blues":

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vmj23UrVF80

      The trope of the motherless child is a popular one in African American art. Of course the destruction of families was a major consequence of the slave trade and the institution of slavery.