Upham's Corner News Online
Vol III No 75 - 02/28/2013
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Uphams Corner InSight into the News

Declaration of Independence - Equality for All

Celebrating Black History Month represents a continuing journey forward for black people's equal inclusion in a society that declared at its birth: 'All men are created equal.' 
All Men Created Equal
For black people, the celebration of Black History is a light that shines for those who give its history resonance and character.

Interviews with a small group of white and black people reveal very different feelings about celebrating Black History Month - a call to reach out across the aisles toward understanding, in the direction of common ground. 

From Carter G. Woodson's Negro History Week to a month-long celebration of a people once enslaved, the history of black people is becoming owned, loved and appreciated by all.

Posted:  February 28, 2013

Awakening the Conscience of America
by G. Michael Tzerai

Shackles In the first 150 years of our history, the free labor of slaves generated much wealth for the slave owners. At the Revolutionary war,  the question of slavery was not addressed because other more pressing issues faced the founders of our country.

A century later, the Emancipation Proclamation ended slavery but not well.

Another century passed to create the Civil Rights movement, yet contributions of Black People have yet to be fully recognized.

Black History Month helps awaken the conscience of America and remember to address the injustices of the past. 

Series:  Community Voices Initiative

Posted:  February 27, 2013

Black History Month Poetry & Prose

Black History Month

Image Courtesy http://www.mass-vacation.com

Black History Index

"What is Black History?"
by Latorial Faison (2012):

What is Black History?

It is the dirt road our forefathers trod, Memories of their lives branded in our hearts.

It is a word, a place, a state of mind. Black history is a peek into our ancestors' time. . .  

It is a plantation overseer and back door crumbs, Weeping and wailing, a beating of drums.

It is a troubling truth, an unapologetic past. Black history is an entire race struggling to last.

Should We Celebrate Black History Month?
by Carolle Nau
Yes, we should celebrate Black History Month.  Barely 100 years into 350 years of enslaved Black People, and with Black America characterized by gaps and huge chasms, we must stay the course of seeking to balance America's scales of justice.

We all bore the labor pains of freedom, independence and inalienable rights that sparked the American revolution. Let us set a milestone of 350 yrs of celebrating Black History.

Part of the Community Voices Initiative Series

"Beautiful Black Women"
by Tonya Jordan-Wilkerson

Beautiful Black Women
 don't cry.

Beautiful Black Women
 even when he lies.

Beautiful Black Women
 stand tall and don't die.

Beautiful Black Women
 with low self-esteem hold your head up.

"Chalk Lines"
by Carolle Nau

Dreaming in a rain of bullets. how do i dodge the flying missiles threatening to foil my dreams?

creative thoughts of gifted young people fly faster than metal jacket enemies . . . what color should these street figures be?

should they be lined so the black of the street answers the obvious or should they be painted in yellow so the satellite can see them, send them to the news reel of a consolidated media field?

Dedicated to the makers of Black History by Robby Thomas

Remember when justice was partial to Langston's hue, and the world made Billie Holiday blue,
. . .
when Malcolm went to Mecca - changed his mind, Cassius became Ali - Liston passed his prime,
. . .
And, it was to help a son who with Dreams from his father, Dared to become the most powerful vision of hope in America, if not the world   

  "I Need to Know"
by Latorial Faison (2008)

I need to know My original name. I need to know without any shame.
I need to know About African slave castles; I need to know About White slave masters

I need to know About the slave trade. I need to know How America was made.

I need to know About the Middle Passage. I need to know About lynching and lashes.  (more)

  " I AM "
- by Latorial Faison

I am somebody on my way somewhere, I am she who interrogates those who stare,

I am too much for this wayward world to digest, With pen and paper, I paint pictures with frankness.

I am the pages, I am the pens. What whiteness begins, my blackness ends.

I am the journey, the memory of yesterdays . . .

Black History Month - Began  1926 in the United States
Black History Month was established more than 350 years after the first African slaves arrived in the US in Virginia in 1619. Historian Carter G. Woodson's ground-breaking announcement of 'Negro History Week' in 1926 marked the first public focus on Black History in the US. 

Pres. Gerald Ford made the month-long designation official during the Bi-Centennial celebrations in 1976.  Black History Month is also celebrated in Canada (February) and in the United Kingdom (October).

"Don't Let it be a Mystery"
by Brian T. Williams

Parents talk to ur kids, don't let it be a mystery. Don't be afraid to let them know their own black history. 

Black people have come far but there is still room to grow ... Channel all negative energy into positive as u go. 

And get off that path/stop following zeroes . . . Get on the one that produces nothing but HEROES.

"Freedom without Revelation"
by Latorial Faison

From the slave ship To the guilt trip. We forget our heritage Forsaking kinship. 

As blood runs And the earth turns, There are many lessons To be learned.  What makes us? What breaks us? Who's the keeper of souls? Who will forsake us?

History is potent with many lies . . . In the land of lost generations There is no peace or salvation America finally found its freedom But somehow lost its revelation.

Black History Month Index 2013

Honoring Black History Month throughout February and every day of 2013.  Recognizing prior achievements and contributions of Black people and recognizing that what happens today is creating tomorrow's Black History.
  • New articles and other expressions related to Black History. 
  • Index of UC News articles on today's Black History in Greater Uphams Corner 
The origin of Black History, NAACP Boston activities, epitaphs for the murdered and how their families are coping, Black Writers of Black Poetry.

"Touched by the Heart of Truth" by Carolle Nau

One never really knows the true
pain which strikes another.

But if your heart still beats you'll
feel it when you read someone
else's story.

I felt my heart being touched when
a well of water cupped an eye as
I read them.

Amazing people like Desmond Tutu,
Booker T Washington, and many
more changed the world just by
being alive.

"The Sounds of Blackness"
by Latorial Faison (2006)

In my heart there lies no defeat
But in my bosom a triumphant and rhythmic beat
And while my spirit dances with gladness
I am quick to recall the sounds of blackness.

I hear the moaning and the wailing
Of native Africans held captive on ships sailing
As though it were my youth of yesterday
Whispering truths to ears in dark dismay.

"What is Poetry?"
by Latorial Faison

When you ask me "What is poetry?"
Take a good look - it's my destiny. 

Poetry is my God given seed daily reviving in me a new deed. It's the Word growing from within the mirror reflecting my soul's sin. 

Poetry is my prayer of consecration, my lit path in valleys of desolation, it's my moving, my grooving, my balm

poetry lines my soul, God gave it to make me whole. He sent it to set me free  God made poetry my eternity

Events Upcoming

Current Event
Harriet Tubman: I Can't Die But Once
In celebration of Black History Month

Grove Hall Branch Library:
Thursday 2/28, 6:00 pm

Harriet TubmanHarriet Tubman followed General Butler's army through Maryland, her home country. She operated as a scout and spy of the Union Army and helped slaves to escape to the Union Army.

Gwendolyn Quezaire Presutti will present the life and times of Harriet Tubman told in the oral tradition,  in a 45 minute presentation.

For adults and families ages 11+.  Sponsored by the City-Wide Friends of the Boston Public Library.

Posted: Feb 25, 2013

Current Event
National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day at The City School
Fri, Mar 1, 2013

Black Emplowered Aids Awareness Day March 1 is National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness. 

Join The City School in Uphams Corner for an evening of free food, amazing education and more  along with free HIV rapid testing (max 20 minutes). 

The City School / Uphams Corner
March 1, 2013 / 5PM to 8PM

Black-empowered: your body, your temple.

Posted:  February 22, 2013

Current Event
Project Right Offers VIP Neighborhood Mobilizer Training
Thu, Mar 28, 2013

Project RightThe Violence Intervention and Prevention Initiative (VIP) is a community organizing violence prevention strategy. VIP Mobilizers are residents that come together to lead a community responjse when violence occurs in their neighborhood. 

Project Right is offering VIP Mobilizer training on Thursday Mar 28, 2013.  Requirements to become a mobilizer include where you live, training, community meetings and more.

Posted:  February 27, 2013

Current Event
Grove Hall Reading Series
Sat, Mar 30, 2:00 pm

Hosted by Dorchester poet Arthur Collins.  Featuring local writers Veronique Epiter and Kurt Klopmier. 

Open mic.  Writers encouraged to read their work aloud. Writing exercise with Boston Public Library Writer in Residence Hollis Shore.  Writers of all experience levels are welcome.

Sponsored by Write on the DOT and the Grove Hall Branch Library.

Posted Feb 25, 2013

Dorchester Bay - Fundraiser Celebrating 34 Years
April 25, 2013
Dorchester Bay

At their 34th Anniversary fundraiser, Dorchester Bay will be honoring former Governor of Wisconsin, Jim Doyle. Governor Deval Patrick has beeninvited as keynote speaker.

Their goal is to raise $100,000 to support work in :
  • economic development,
  • community organizing,
  • home ownership and
  • rental housing.
Dorchester Bay EDC is a non-profit community development corporation helping to build a strong, diverse, and thriving community in the neighborhoods of Dorchester and Roxbury.

Posted:  February 26, 2013

Current Event
Boston Shines 2013, 11th Annual Citywide Neighborhood Clean-up.
April 26, April 27

Boston Shines 2013Please join Mayor Thomas M. Menino for Boston Shines 2013 the eleventh annual citywide neighborhood clean up 

Friday, April 26th
Saturday April 27th
8:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

Contact the Mayor's Office of Neighborhood Services at 617.635.3485 to volunteer or for more information.

This event is part of the Mayor's year-round clean up and community service program, Boston Shines 365.

Posted:  February 19, 2013

From the past

From the past

Boston Ballet at the Strand 2/15/13 Boston Ballet at the Strand Theatre - Engaging and Entertaining

The February 15, 2013 ArtPlace Open House at the Strand was well attended and encouraged visitors to answer questions about the future of the arts in Uphams Corner. 

The Dorchester audience offered high praise for the Boston Ballet's seven dance vignettes covering classical ballet to modern dance including  a performance by "Boys in Motion", a Boston Ballet community initiatives program.

Dances included Lost by Last, Paint it Black, Chairs in Motion, Niris, Blue Bird Pas De Deux, Gopak and Plan to B.

Posted:  February 15, 2013

Huntington & SpeakEasy - Powerful Performances at the Strand
Feb 20, 2013

"Two Plays, One House" -  was an excellent, well attended, free event at the Strand Theatre designed for the entire community as well as in support of Black History Month.

 Two Plays - One House

The event provided an introduction to two plays tightly linked to each other, "A Raisin in the Sun" and "Clybourne Park." .  It also gave an opportunity for the audience to engage in conversation about issues raised by both plays.

Posted:  February 21, 2013

Cultural Events Manager - Open Letter to Main Street - Dear Max

Strand Theatre MarqueeWishing you the best in finding the right person for the Cultural Events and Communications Manager (CECM) position. 

Making Uphams Corner into a destination for the arts is about tapping into the creative energies resident in the entire community and getting the diverse, ethnically complex community of people who live here involved. 

It's about taking a risk - finding someone who can make the Strand as vibrant as it once was.  It's also about getting the businesses and residents to buy into the idea that we are already a "destination for the arts."  We just have to start acting that way.
Posted:  February 23, 2013

Successful Open Mic Poetry Night at the Uphams Corner Library
Feb 19, 2013

Open Mic Poetry NightMore than 15 poets, very young to mature read their poetry during Open Mic Night on February 19, 2013 at the Uphams Corner Library. 

The poems were funny, heart-warming, clever, interesting and very creative.  So many different themes and styles.  Another successful event for the community.

Posted:  February 23, 2013

Uphams Corner Main Street February 2013 Board Meeting
Feb 19, 2013

Uphams Corner Main StreetThe Uphams Corner Main Street Board Meeting (2/19/13) covered several topics of interest to the general community: 
  • Filling the new Cultural Events and Communications Manager position,
  • How to handle businesses asking to borrow money,
  • The Public Works Improvement Program and
  • Details on the upcoming UCMS fundraising campaign.

Posted:  February 22, 2013

Boston Gets Jumpstart to Affordable Housing Construction

Mayor Menino Commonwealth of MA resources of $8.4 million will help jumpstart the construction of afforable housing in the City of Boston.

Mayor Menino and DND Director Sheila Dillon made the announement on Feb 19.  Creating affordable rental housing is key, they say, to Boston's economic recovery. 

Additional DND funding is tied to the projects obtaining LEED Silver status.

Posted:  February 21, 2013

Mayor Menino Announces Filing of Building Energy Reporting and Disclosure Ordinance
Feb 22, 2013

City of BostonThe Building Energy Reporting and Disclosue Ordinance, which would require all large and medium sized-buildings to report their annual energy and water use to the City of Boston, was filed with City Hall on Feb 22. 

The ordiinance is a component of the City's climate action plan to meet the Mayor's greenhouse gas reduction goals.

The City's strategy uses a "back-door" approach.  Rather than requiring building owners to set efficiency goals, the City is requiring them to collect data and turn it in to the City for posting on the Internet.  Once this data is available, all parties involved (City, residents/businesses and owners) can have meaningful conversations around Boston's goal of reducing greenhouse gases.    

Posted:  February 23, 2013

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