February 04, 2008


Caption: A Black History celebration in Logan, WV.

I, too, sing America.

I am the darker brother.
They send me to eat in the kitchen
When company comes,
But I laugh,
And eat well,
And grow strong.

I'll be at the table
When company comes.
Nobody'll dare
Say to me,"Eat in the kitchen,"

They'll see how beautiful I am
And be ashamed--

I, too, am America.--Langston Hughes

February is a month when Black History is celebrated. This is thanks largely to the labors of the great African American scholar, educator and activist Carter G. Woodson, who lived from 1875 to 1950. Woodson had significant ties to El Cabrero's beloved state of West Virginia, as will be discussed later this week.

Woodson believed that this was an appropriate month since it contains the birthdays of the great abolitionist Frederick Douglass, who was born a slave in 1817 in Maryland. As such, he wasn't sure of the exact date of his birth, but celebrated it on the 14th. Feb. 9 is also the birthday of Abraham Lincoln.

The history of African Americans is an amazing story of struggle, survival, resistance and progress. One odd thing about it is how many times the predominantly white state of West Virginia shows up in it. Like Forrest Gump, it keeps popping up in the most interesting places.

That will be the theme here this week. Check back for more.

BRING EM HOME. Some states are considering legislation that would bring National Guard units back from Iraq.

SOUND ADVICE. As the number of unemployed Americans increases, this NY Times editorial calls for extending unemployment benefits.

WILLIAM BLAKE INTERLUDE. Here's an analysis of Blakes classic poem "London." If you search this blog, you'll find several Blake posts.

KILLER CREDIT is the subject of this In These Times article.

NAP--AND REMEMBER. It's science.

STATE TAX AND BUDGET DILEMMAS are the subject of this Gazette-Mail op-ed by yours truly.


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