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Quote Of The Day

July 15, 2020

Italy’s contribution to the worlds of literature, art, music, science, and thought is so huge, every park in Manhattan could be renamed after world-famous, beloved Italians with no trouble at all. Gramsci Triangle. Maria Montessori Plaza. Primo Levi Square.

History is large and contains multitudes. There is no reason to cling to torturers, warlords, conquerors, and exploiters—and especially no reason to celebrate Confederate traitors who plunged the nation into civil war, in the aftermath of which we are in many ways still living.

….

But while we are toppling some statues and erecting others, let’s not forget to do the deeper work of combating injustice. George Floyd didn’t die because Minneapolis lacked the right monuments.

 

Katha Pollitt is a columnist for The Nation.

Quote Of The Day

July 14, 2020

It is we the workers who built these palaces and cities here in Spain and in America and everywhere. We, the workers, can build others to take their place. And better ones! We are not in the least afraid of ruins.

Buenaventura Durruti

Quote Of The Day

July 13, 2020

These are some of the chief things we want. How shall we get them? By voting where we may vote, by persistent, unceasing agitation, by hammering at the truth, by sacrifice and work.

We do not believe in violence, neither in the despised violence of the raid nor the lauded violence of the soldier, nor the barbarous violence of the mob, but we do believe in John Brown, in that incarnate spirit of justice, that hatred of a lie, that willingness to sacrifice money, reputation, and life itself on the altar of right. And here on the scene of John Brown’s martyrdom we reconsecrate ourselves, our honor, our property to the final emancipation of the race which John Brown died to make free.

We do not believe in violence, neither in the despised violence of the raid nor the lauded violence of the soldier, nor the barbarous violence of the mob, but we do believe in John Brown, in that incarnate spirit of justice, that hatred of a lie, that willingness to sacrifice money, reputation, and life itself on the altar of right. And here on the scene of John Brown’s martyrdom we reconsecrate ourselves, our honor, our property to the final emancipation of the race which John Brown died to make free.

 

-W.E.B. DuBois

Address to the Nation

Quote Of The Day

July 12, 2020

I went home and I said to my wife I said, “Baby”, I said uh, “We’ve got a case that we goin’…boycott the Montgomery city line. She said, “Do what?” I said, “We’re going to boycott the Montgomery buses”, I said, “We ain’t going to ride ’em”. And she said, “Man, don’t you know these folks ain’t gonna stay off the bus cold as it is?” I said, “I don’t know about that.” I said, “If they stay off while they cold they won’t have no trouble keeping them off when it’s warm.” And she looked at me and she shook her head. And she said, “My husband, my husband.” She said, “If headaches would sell for a dollar a dozen my husband just would just be the man to walk into the drugstore and say, ‘Give me a dozen headaches.'” I said, “I’m gonna try it,” I said. “I’m convinced that we can win with this case and I’m gonna try it.”

Quote Of The Day

July 11, 2020

Quote of the Day from journalist Aymann Ismail:

“The fair housing laws passed in the last half-century have forced racists to devise whole new methods of discrimination, subtler but serving the same purpose: to keep people of color out of ‘white’ spaces. The villains in these cases—landlords, brokers and neighbors—are often tough to identify, but, once exposed, are easy to loathe. It’s harder to find fault with a sidewalk or a highway; when some feature of the city has seemingly always been there, you can lose sight of the fact that it was once new, conceived and constructed by people with their own inbuilt prejudices. But a city’s landscape can exclude as effectively as any policy or person, in subtle but sinister ways.”

(Photo: “Triborough Bridge Is Completed” from the Underwood Archives.)

Quote Of The Day

July 10, 2020
Gwendolyn Brooks poses with her first book of poems, A Street in Bronzeville.

That time

we all heard it,

cool and clear,

cutting across the hot grit of the day.

The major Voice.

The adult Voice

forgoing Rolling River,

forgoing tearful tale of bale and barge

and other symptoms of an old despond.

Warning, in music-words

devout and large,

that we are each other’s

harvest:

we are each other’s

business:

we are each other’s magnitude and bond.

 

PAUL ROBESON
by Gwendolyn Brooks

Quote Of The Day

July 9, 2020
Our QOTD is a poem from June Jordan, the great radical poet, essayist and teacher born on this day in 1936. Alice Walker said about her, “Jordan makes us think of Akhmatova, of Neruda. She is among the bravest of us, the most outraged. She feels for all. She is the universal poet.” This poem is the one that opens her posthumous Collected Poems, “Directed by Desire.”
These poems
they are things that I do
in the dark
reaching for you
whoever you are
and
are you ready?
These words
they are stones in the water
running away
These skeletal lines
they are desperate arms for my longing and love.
I am a stranger
learning to worship the strangers
around me
whoever you are
whoever I may become.
June Jordan

Quote Of The Day

July 8, 2020

 

 “If your philosophy is not unsettled daily then you are blind to all the universe has to offer.”

“Yes, the universe had a beginning. Yes, the universe continues to evolve. And yes, every one of our body’s atoms is traceable to the big bang and to the thermonuclear furnaces within high-mass stars. We are not simply in the universe, we are part of it. We are born from it. One might even say that the universe has empowered us, here in our small corner of the cosmos, to figure itself out. And we have only just begun.”

― Neil deGrasse Tyson, Origins: Fourteen Billion Years of Cosmic Evolution

 

 

Quote of the Day

July 7, 2020

“one thing I don’t need
is any more apologies
i got sorry greetin me at my front door
you can keep yrs
i don’t know what to do wit em
they don’t open doors
or bring the sun back
they don’t make me happy
or get a mornin paper
didn’t nobody stop usin my tears to wash cars
cuz a sorry.”

 

― Ntozake Shange, For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow Is Enuf

Quote of the Day

July 6, 2020

As a child I was taught that to tell the truth was often painful. As an adult I have learned that not to tell the truth is more painful, and that the fear of telling the truth — whatever the truth may be — that fear is the most painful sensation of a moral life.

June Jordan “Life After Lebanon” (1984), later published in On Call : Political Essays (1985), and Some of Us Did Not Die : New and Selected Essays of June Jordan (2002)

Quote of the Day

July 5, 2020

Our QOTD is from rapper, hip hop producer, actor and director RZA, who kicked off Hulu’s virtual NewFronts presentation Monday before an on-line audience made up of mostly digital ad buyers, brand executives and creative people with these words:

“I’m calling on you to take action, Help us fight against this systemic racism. It’s in our country and around the world. You have a platform. Use it. Use that sh*t! Use that sh*t to make a change.”

Whatever platform you have, “use that sh*t”!

Quote of the Day

July 4, 2020

 

Our QOTD is from Frederick Douglass. For many years, a centerpiece of World Fellowship’s July 4th has been Frederick Douglass’s 1852 speech “What to the Slave is the Fourth of July.” We read it in many voices, and two years ago its devastating verbiage adorned a staff float in the local Independence Day parade. This year, it is being rediscovered and read throughout the land. That is as it should be, because it is one of the most important foundational documents of our nation, if it is to be properly reborn in justice.
In Douglass’s immortal words,

“At a time like this, scorching irony, not convincing argument, is needed. O! had I the ability, and could reach the nation’s ear, I would, today, pour out a fiery stream of biting ridicule, blasting reproach, withering sarcasm, and stern rebuke. For it is not light that is needed, but fire; it is not the gentle shower, but thunder. We need the storm, the whirlwind, and the earthquake. The feeling of the nation must be quickened; the conscience of the nation must be roused; the propriety of the nation must be startled; the hypocrisy of the nation must be exposed; and its crimes against God and man must be proclaimed and denounced.”

Today, embrace the whirlwind and the earthquake.