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National Association of African American Owned Media Plans to Hold Sony Fully Accountable for their Racist Emails

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LOS ANGELES -- The National Association of African American Owned Media (NAAAOM) recently sued AT&T and DirecTV for $10 billion for racial discrimination in contracting with 100% African American owned media.

NAAAOM stated in their lawsuit against AT&T and DirecTV that they spend approximately $22 billion per year licensing channels and advertising with less than $3 million per year going to 100% African American owned media.

The co-Chair of Sony Pictures Entertainment, Amy Pascal, and movie producer, Scott Rudin, exchanged racist emails about "a stupid Jeffery Katzenberg breakfast" with the first African American President of the United States, Barack Obama.

The racist emails revealed their belief the President would only want to talk about African American movies such as "Django Unchained," "The Butler," and "12 Years A Slave."

"Let's be 100% clear, the Sony emails are horrendous, very racist and completely unacceptable" said Mark DeVitre, President of NAAAOM, "And we plan to hold Sony fully accountable."  

"We know that institutionalized racism is reflected in the lack of contracting with 100% African American owned media companies.  The numbers are indisputable.  And therefore, we are requesting a meeting with Amy Pascal and CEO, Michael Lynton, and if we come away from that meeting and 100% African American owned media is not participating in a long term, significant agreement with Sony then all options are on the table including pickets, boycotts of all Sony products as well as an examination of our rights under the law," said DeVitre.

"I highly recommend we sit down immediately before we take action about this very serious matter. And let us also be very clear that Reverend Al Sharpton and Reverend Jesse Jackson do not represent or speak for us, in fact no African American person speaks for all African Americans.  The very idea of that is racist, just like no white person speaks for all white people.  THE RACISM MUST STOP TODAY!!!"



Peter Tosh Estate: Garner, Brown Families to Receive "Equal Rights" Share for the Year

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The Peter Tosh Estate Will Provide Portion of Profits from Activist Artist's Influential Anthem Addressing Racial Injustice and the Criminal Justice System

NEW YORK, Dec. 12, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- As thousands prepare to gather in Washington, D.C. this Saturday, for the National Action Network's March Against Police Violence, the estate of reggae icon and Grammy-winning musician Peter Tosh today announced that, over the next year, 10% of all net income from streaming and downloads of the Tosh song "Equal Rights" will be donated to the families of Michael Brown and Eric Garner.

"Brown and Garner are symbols of an issue that needs to be urgently addressed in America," said Brian Latture, manager of the Peter Tosh brand and CEO of entertainment management firm The MegaSource Group. "These cases of racially-motivated police brutality, and the no-indictment rulings for the cops, set off a movement of all ages and races demanding criminal justice reform. The time has come to re-energize the pursuit of equal rights through music, and I know that if Peter were physically with us he'd want to, in some way, help support the relatives of those that were killed in the line of living."

Released in 1977, "Equal Rights" still accurately voices feelings prevalent in communities today. Tosh pleads, "I don't want peace, I want equal rights and justice." Rolling Stone magazine called the song "unblinking… over deliciously spongy roots grooves."

A founding member of The Wailers, as well as a successful solo artist, Tosh is one of the most outspoken of Jamaica's reggae pioneers. As a musician and writer, Tosh earned the respect of popular music's greatest artists, including the Rolling Stones, who signed him to their label in 1978. He opened for the Stones throughout their 1978 US tour. He would have turned 70 this year.

"Peter was very altruistic and an advocate for justice," said Niambe McIntosh, Tosh's daughter and Administrator of The Peter Tosh Estate. "Eric Garner and Michael Brown are just two examples of rampant injustice in the police system. The time has come to marshall our efforts for equal rights and justice for all".

Additional information about Tosh can be found at: https://www.facebook.com/PeterTosh

"Equal Rights" is available at Pandora and Spotify, as well as the following:



Google Play:


Bob Adelman to Lecture and Consult in Photography at Library of Congress

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The noted civil-rights and arts photographer Bob Adelman will present a series of four lectures at the Library of Congress and serve as a consulting photographer to expand awareness of the Library’s visual collections and advise on potential new acquisitions.

Adelman will kick off his consultancy on Aug. 30 at the Library of Congress National Book Festival with a talk at 1:40 p.m. in the Special Programs Pavilion.  He will discuss his new book “Andy Warhol’s First Fifteen Minutes.” The annual National Book Festival, free and open to the public, will take place on Saturday, Aug. 30, at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center, 801 Mount Vernon Place, N.W., Washington, DC.

In this presentation, Adelman will relate his experience of witnessing, and capturing through photographs, the emergent artistic career of Andy Warhol during the early to mid-1960s.  Adelman, known for his passion and wit, will share some of his stories about Warhol, whom he befriended before Warhol became famous.

Throughout the coming year, Adelman will work with curators in the Library’s Prints and Photographs Division to review the collections, assist in identifying under-represented areas and advise on potential acquisitions.

In addition to his talk at the National Book Festival, Adelman will make presentations in conjunction with three upcoming exhibitions at the Library: “The Civil Rights Act of 1964: A Long Struggle for Freedom,” “Magna Carta: Muse and Mentor” and the photography of pioneering documentary photographer and social activist Jacob Riis.

“Through his lectures and consultancy, Bob Adelman will help the Library generate greater public attention to documentary photography as a crucial source of historical and cultural knowledge about the United States, especially depictions of the lives and contributions of its citizens,” said Helena Zinkham, chief of the Prints and Photographs Division.

For more than 60 years, Adelman has been an engaged presence in the world of documentary photography.  Born in New York City in 1930, Adelman grew up on Long Island.  He earned a bachelor’s degree from Rutgers University and a master’s philosophy from Columbia University, and studied law at Harvard.

Adelman studied photography under Alexey Brodovitch, the famed art director of Harper’s Bazaar magazine.  As a working photographer and producer of photographic books, Adelman has pursued an avid interest in social and political events.  This interest began with coverage of events related to civil rights, such as sit-ins by students across the American South and demonstrations by the Congress of Racial Equality (C.O.R.E.) in the early 1960s.  His engagement with issues of social justice continues to the present time.

Adelman has said of his photography, “My life’s work, in addition to being about race relations, is about the many and diverse social concerns in the great tradition of American documentary photography:  poverty, mental illness, alcoholism, inadequate housing, the immigrant experience, prostitution, delinquency, illiteracy and on and on.”

His mentor, Ralph Ellison, once said, “Adelman has moved beyond the familiar clichés of most documentary photography into that rare sphere wherein technical ability and social vision combine to create a work of art.”

Verna Curtis, curator of photography in the Prints and Photographs Division, said, “Adelman has immersed himself in key events of our time and known many of the great individuals who made them happen, from the inspirational Martin Luther King, Jr. and pop pioneers Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein to fiction writer Raymond Carver.  At a time when photographic documentation was becoming personal, Adelman delved deeply into the documentary tradition as Lewis Hine and Dorothea Lange, two of his heroes, had before him. He found important issues—such as poverty, education, war and women’s rights—and became involved in changing and improving what he had witnessed.  Adelman’s photographs were used in many venues: classrooms, court cases and fundraising campaigns.”

Adelman said in a recent interview, “When I photographed, I was intent on telling the truth as best I saw it and then to help in doing something about it.  It was a constant effort not only to document in as honest a way as I could, and to make what I was seeing vivid, but to figure out how to change things.”

Adelman has received many honors in recognition of his work, including a Guggenheim fellowship, Art Directors Club awards (New York, Washington and San Francisco), American Institute of Graphic Arts 50 Books awards and the University of Missouri’s School of Journalism Award.  He has taught at the International Center for Photography, the New School, the School of Visual Arts, Columbia University, Stanford University, Union College, the University of Minnesota, Ohio State University, the Museum of Fine Arts (Boston) and the Steamboat Falls Workshop.

The Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division holds approximately 14.4 million photographs, drawings and prints from the 15th century to the present day.  International in scope, these visual collections represent a uniquely rich array of human experience, knowledge, creativity and achievement, touching on almost every realm of endeavor: science, art, invention, government and political struggle, and the recording of history.  For more information, visit www.loc.gov/rr/print/.


Civil Rights Act of 1964 Exhibition to Open Sept. 10 at Library of Congress

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More Than 200 Items Featured in Library of Congress Exhibition “The Civil Rights Act of 1964: A Long Struggle for Freedom”

The Library of Congress will open “The Civil Rights Act of 1964: A Long Struggle for Freedom” on Wednesday, Sept. 10.  The exhibition will highlight the legal and legislative challenges and victories leading to its passage, shedding light on the individuals—both prominent leaders and private citizens—who participated in the decades-long campaign for equality.

Located in the Southwest Gallery on the second level of the Library’s Thomas Jefferson Building, 10 First St. S.E., Washington, D.C., the year-long exhibition will be free and open to the public Monday through Saturday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.  It closes on Sept. 12, 2015.

The exhibition will feature some of the most important materials in the Library’s collection documenting the events that led to the passage of this historic legislation and its legacy.  More than 200 items, including correspondence and documents from civil-rights leaders and organizations, photographs, newspapers, legal briefs, drawings and posters will be on view.

In addition, audio-visual stations throughout the gallery will feature 70 clips showing dramatic events such as protests, sit-ins, boycotts and other public actions against segregation and discrimination.  Eyewitness testimony of activists and from participants who helped craft the law will be included.

The exhibition will include two videos co-produced with HISTORY®.  An introductory film narrated by Julian Bond, a political and civil-rights leader and professor at American University and the University of Virginia, will focus on the significance of the Civil Rights Act.  The second film will explore the impact of the Civil Rights Act and will feature interviews with Taylor Branch, author and historian; U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg; U.S. Rep. John Lewis, a leader in the Civil Rights Movement; and Risa Goluboff, professor of law at the University of Virginia.

“The Civil Rights Act of 1964: A Long Struggle for Freedom” is made possible by a generous grant from Newman’s Own Foundation, with additional support from HISTORY® for both audio-visual and educational content and outreach.

The Library of Congress, the nation’s oldest federal cultural institution and the largest library in the world, holds more than 158 million items in various languages, disciplines and formats.  The Library serves the U.S. Congress and the nation both on-site in its reading rooms on Capitol Hill and through its award-winning website at www.loc.gov.


Library Acquires African-American Oral History Video Collection

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The HistoryMakers Archive Documents Black America’s Legacy

The Librarian of Congress, James H. Billington, announced today the donation of a video archive of thousands of hours of interviews—The HistoryMakers—that captures African-American life, history and culture as well as the struggles and achievements of the black experience.

“The HistoryMakers archive provides invaluable first-person accounts of both well-known and unsung African-Americans, detailing their hopes, dreams and accomplishments—often in the face of adversity,” said Billington. “This culturally important collection is a rich and diverse resource for scholars, teachers, students and documentarians seeking a more complete record of our nation’s history and its people.”

“The HistoryMakers represents the single largest archival project of its kind since the Works Progress Administration’s initiative to document the experiences of former slaves in the 1930s,” said Julieanna Richardson, founder and executive director of The HistoryMakers. “This relationship with the Library of Congress represents a momentous occasion for our organization. With the Library of Congress serving as our permanent repository, we are assured of its preservation and safekeeping for generations to come.”

The collection includes 9,000 hours of content that includes 14,000 analog tapes, 3,000 DVDs, 6,000 born-digital files, 70,000 paper documents and digital files and more than 30,000 digital photographs. The HistoryMakers has provided the Library with digital files of all of the analog tapes.

The collection comprises 2,600 videotaped interviews with African-Americans in 39 states, averaging three to six hours in length. The videos are grouped by 15 different subject areas ranging from science, politics and the military to sports, music and entertainment. For example, the ScienceMakers category currently features 211 top black scientists—about six percent of the interviews—in the fields of chemistry, engineering, physics, biology, electronics, anthropology, aerospace, mathematics and genetics, among other scientific professions. The percentages of interviews for the other categories break down as follows: ArtMakers (7 percent), BusinessMakers (12 percent), CivicMakers (13 percent), EducationMakers (17 percent), EntertainmentMakers (3 percent), LawMakers (6 percent), MediaMakers (10 percent), MedicalMakers (4 percent), MilitaryMakers (3 percent), MusicMakers (6 percent), PoliticalMakers (7 percent), ReligionMakers (3 percent), SportsMakers (2 percent) and StyleMakers (1 percent).

“The collection is one of the most well-documented and organized audiovisual collections that the Library of Congress has every acquired,” said Mike Mashon, head of the Library’s Moving Image Section. “It is also one of the first born-digital collections accepted into our nation’s repository.”

Oral histories are continually being added to the growing archive. The oldest person interviewed was Louisiana Hines, who passed away in 2013 at 114. She was one of the iconic “Rosie the Riveter” workers during War World II. One of the youngest is a prima ballerina, Ayisha McMillan, who was 29 at the time of her interview. Some of the other lesser-known participants who have shared their life stories are:

Arthur Burton, Sr.—one of the last surviving Pullman Porters who worked 20 days a month, averaging two hours of sleep a night at half the pay of factory workers.

Amazon Brooks—voted in her first election in 1920, the first year that women were granted the right to vote.

Ann Cooper—President-elect Barack Obama noted that her life exemplified the struggle and hope of the American-American experience in the 20th and 21st centuries.

Junius Gaten—delivered ice on his horse to black activist Ida B. Wells and former black Congressman John Roy Lynch; survived the violent Chicago Race Riot of 1919; and knew Al Capone, Marcus Garvey and Carter G. Woodson.

Judge William H. Murphy, Sr.—the third black student ever enrolled at the University of Maryland Law School.

Judge William Sylvester White—one of the first commissioned black officers in the Navy in 1944. Alonzo Pettie—the oldest living black cowboy.

The collection boasts a long list of notables. They include President Barack Obama when he was an Illinois state senator, General Colin Powell, child advocate Marion Wright Edelman, baseball legend Ernie Banks, entertainer/activist Harry Belafonte, poet/writer Maya Angelou, historian Lerone Bennett, Massachusetts Senator Edward Brooke, movie producer Reuben Cannon, historian John Hope Franklin, publisher Earl Graves, singer Isaac Hayes, Attorney General Eric Holder, musician B.B. King, poet Nikki Giovanni and actors Diahann Carroll, Ossie Davis and Ruby Dee. Interview highlights include:

Leon Branton Jr. on his involvement in the Angela Davis case:

“I can acquit Angela Davis, the black militant, but I cannot acquit Angela Davis, the communist, so communism must not come into this case at all.”

Angela Davis on living in a white household in a black community:

“I was living with a white family in Bedford Stuy, so I was living in a black community with a white family, going to school every day in Greenwich Village. … I think I learned then how to live simultaneously in many different worlds without feeling out of place.”

John H. Johnson on attending DuSable High School in Chicago:

“Nat ‘King’ Cole was at the school at that time and Redd Foxx was at the school. Dorothy Donegan was there. And they all went on to become very well-known. And as a matter of fact, Nat King Cole didn't know he could sing in those days.”

Barack Obama on his earliest memories:

“Lot of my memories have to do with sort of connecting up the struggle for African- American freedom with the struggle for freedom in Africa, and then with my father. I think all those things became connected in my mind, and I suspect had something to do with my interest then in public service and politics and civil-rights law subsequently.”

Ted “Double Duty” Radcliffe on playing against Ty Cobb:

“I played against Ty Cobb when he went to Cuba in ’25. … And he tried to steal second, I throwed him out both times. He quit. … He didn't like coloreds. He was a racist.”

Maya Angelou on her childhood:

“I knew that pineapples came from some exotic place like California or Africa or Paris, France. I knew they weren’t from anywhere around Stems. And I would keep that aroma on my hands as long as possible. … I would hold that aroma of pineapples because it was so far away.”

Isaac Hayes on his family’s poverty:

“I had a girlfriend that was two grades ahead of me, and I was so poor I couldn’t take her to the prom … so she broke up with me and somebody else took her to the prom. I didn't have to face embarrassment, ‘I can’t afford to take you.’”

A Harvard-educated lawyer and TV producer, Richardson launched The HistoryMakers, a nonprofit research and educational institution, in July 1999 with the goal of creating an archival collection of 5,000 video oral histories. She and her production team have traveled to more than 380 U.S. cities and towns, Norway and Mexico recording America’s missing stories. In addition to its oral-history online archive, The HistoryMakers has produced educational programs, public events and the annual celebrity interview series—“An Evening With…,”—broadcast nationally on the Public Broadcasting System. Developed in collaboration with Carnegie Mellon University, The HistoryMakers Digital Archive (www.thehistorymakers.com) has users in 51 countries across the globe from Afghanistan to Norway, Nigeria and China.

The HistoryMakers collection is housed in the Library’s Packard Campus for Audio Visual Conservation, a state-of-the-art facility located in Culpeper, Va. Home to nearly 7 million collection items, the Packard Campus is where the nation’s library acquires, preserves and provides access to the world’s largest and most comprehensive collection of films, television programs, radio broadcasts and sound recordings (www.loc.gov/avconservation/).

The HistoryMakers is a national 501(c)(3) non-profit educational institution founded in 1999, committed to preserving, developing and providing easy access to an internationally recognized, archival collection of thousands of African-American video oral histories. The HistoryMakers is the single largest archival collection of its kind in the world designed to promote and celebrate the successes and to document movements, events and organizations that are important to the African-American community and to American society.


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