02-19-2017  1:34 pm      •     
McMenamins

America's slave past is being analyzed as never before, yet it remains one of the most contentious issues in U.S. memory. In recent years, the culture wars over the way that slavery is remembered and taught have reached a new crescendo. From the argument about the display of the Confederate flag over the state house in Columbia, South Carolina, to the dispute over Thomas Jefferson's relationship with his slave Sally Hemings and the ongoing debates about reparations, the questions grow ever more urgent and more difficult. . . .

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"Linguicide is the linguistic equivalent of genocide. Genocide involves conscious acts of physical massacre; linguicide, conscious acts of language liquidation. This is precisely the fate of African languages in the diaspora… If history is replete with the death of languages, there have also been cases where languages have been resurrected from the dead. Israel, for instance, needed the resurrection of Hebrew to reconnect with the ancient memory…
The African continent's relationship to the world has thus far been that of donor to the West. Africa has given her human beings, her resources, and even her spiritual products… African languages are essential for the decolonization of African minds as well as for the African renaissance… All this calls for a very different attitude toward our languages on the part of African governments and the African intelligentsia."   -- from pages 17,65, 127 & 128.
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This informative how-to tome is the first, original e-book from Alpha/Penguin, the publisher of the popular "Complete Idiot's" line of guides. This means it is available only in digital format to be read electronically via computer or a Kindle. Like Wiley's "for Dummies" imprint, "Complete Idiot's" offerings are designed with beginners in mind, and break down each title's subject-matter into readily-digestible layman's terms. . . .

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It is a testament to the omni-directional influence of Barack Obama that a coloring book about African history would close with a quote from the President and a picture of him and the rest of the First Family. This makes one automatically wonder whether black Americans still need to look to distant ancestors from another continent for heroes, if the leader of the country is already one of their own. . . .

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Book Review

"Who am I? It's a fundamental question for everyone, of course, but for African-Americans, it has particular resonance. Since our history in America is filled with grand contradictions, marginalization, and grotesque lies, African-Americans have largely been left alone in the dark to grapple with the issue of who we are.
Our shared experience as people of African-American descent have been marked by an endless wave of mixed messages, leaving questions that lack finite answers. . . .

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Born into slavery in Georgia, Tom Wiggins was both blind and autistic. After discovering music, Tom was playing piano by age four. In 1908, he died an international musical celebrity in New York City.
"The Ballad of Blind Tom, Slave Pianist" by Diedre O'Connell tells the story of this unassuming man who could never forget a tune. He toured the country and the world, playing for packed music halls and private audiences, for celebrities and royalty. . . .

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American culture has become obsessed with the intricate details of celebrity lives. People have also become increasingly interested in their own ancestry, which has been propelled by sites like Genealogy.com.
Harvard scholar and renowned author Henry Louis Gates, Jr. has combined the appeal of both and has written a captivating, thoroughly researched new book entitled "In Search of Our Roots: How 19 Extraordinary African Americans Reclaimed Their Past." . . .


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1.     Your History: From the Beginning of Time to Present    By J.A. Rogers
2.     African People in World History   By John Henrik Clarke
3.     Africa: Mother of Civilization   By Yosef be-Jochannon
4.     Fifty Days on Board a Slave Vessel     By Pascoe G. Hill . . . [and 96 more] . . .


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Author M.T. Anderson will read from "The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing: Volume II: Kingdom on the Waves" from 7 to 9 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 6 at The Seattle  Public Library, Central Library, 1000 Fourth Ave., Microsoft Auditorium, Level 1....

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In "Moving Up," Dr. Suzan Johnson Cook, affectionately known as "Dr.…

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  • WASHINGTON (AP) — One month after the inauguration, the stretch of Pennsylvania Avenue in front of Donald Trump's White House still is a hard-hat zone. Skeletal remains of the inaugural reviewing stands poke skyward. Random piles of plywood and cables are heaped on the ground inside crooked lines of metal fencing. The disarray outside the president's front door, though not his fault, serves as a metaphor for the tumult still unfolding inside. Four weeks in, the man who says he inherited "a mess" at home and abroad is presiding over a White House that is widely described as itself being a mess. At a stunning pace, Trump has riled world leaders and frustrated allies. He was dealt a bruising legal blow on one of his signature policies. He lost his national security adviser and his pick for labor secretary to scandal. He's seen forces within his government push back against his policies and leak confidential information. All of this has played out amid a steady drip of revelations about an FBI investigation into his campaign's contacts with Russian intelligence officials. Trump says his administration is running like a "fine-tuned machine." He points to the rising stock market and the devotion of his still-loyal supporters as evidence that all is well, although his job approval rating is much lower than that for prior presidents in their first weeks in office. Stung by the unrelenting criticism coming his way, Trump dismisses much of it as "fake news" delivered by "the enemy of the people" — aka the press. Daily denunciations of the media are just one of the new White House fixtures Americans are adjusting to. Most days start (and end) with presidential tweets riffing off of whatever's on TV talk shows or teasing coming events or hurling insults at the media. At some point in the day, count on Trump to cast back to the marvels of his upset of Democrat Hillary Clinton in the November election and quite possibly overstate his margins of support. Expect more denunciations of the "dishonest" press and its "fake news." From there, things can veer in unexpected directions as Trump offers up policy pronouncements or offhand remarks that leave even White House aides struggling to interpret them. The long-standing U.S. policy of seeking a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict? Trump this past week offered this cryptic pronouncement: "I'm looking at two-state and one-state, and I like the one that both parties like. I can live with either one." His U.N. ambassador, Nikki Haley, the next day insisted, "We absolutely support a two-state solution." Trump's days are busy. Outside groups troop in for "listening sessions." Foreign leaders call or come to visit. (Or, in the case of Mexico's president, cancel out in pique over Trump's talk about the planned border wall.) After the president signed two dozen executive actions, the White House was awaiting a rush order of more of the gold-plated Cross pens that Trump prefers to the chrome-plated ones used by his predecessor. Trump hands them out as souvenirs at the signing ceremonies that he points to as evidence of his ambitious pace. "This last month has represented an unprecedented degree of action on behalf of the great citizens of our country," Trump said at a Thursday news conference. "Again, I say it. There has never been a presidency that's done so much in such a short period of time." That's all music to the ears of his followers, who sent him to Washington to upend the established order and play the role of disrupter. "I can't believe there's actually a politician doing what he says he would do," says an approving Scott Hiltgen, a 66-year-old office furniture sales broker from River Falls, Wisconsin. "That never happens." Disrupt Trump has. But there may be more sound and fury than substance to many of his early actions. Trump did select Judge Neil Gorsuch to replace the late Antonin Scalia on the Supreme Court, a nomination that has drawn strong reviews from conservatives. But the president is regrouping on immigration after federal judges blocked his order to suspend the United States' refugee program and ban visitors from seven Muslim-majority countries, which had caused chaos for travelers around the globe. Some other orders on issues such as the U.S.-Mexico border wall and former President Barack Obama's health care law are of limited effect. Trump says his early actions show he means to deliver on the promises he made during the campaign. "A lot of people say, 'Oh, oh, Trump was only kidding with the wall,'" the president told a group of police chiefs recently. "I wasn't kidding. I don't kid." But the Republican-led Congress is still waiting to see specifics on how Trump wants to proceed legislatively on top initiatives such as replacing the health care law, enacting tax cuts and revising trade deals. The messy rollout of the travel ban and tumult over the ouster of national security adviser Michael Flynn for misrepresenting his contacts with Russia are part of a broader state of disarray as different figures in Trump's White House jockey for power and leaks reveal internal discord in the machinations of the presidency. "I thought by now you'd at least hear the outlines of domestic legislation like tax cuts," says Princeton historian Julian Zelizer. "But a lot of that has slowed. Trump shouldn't mistake the fact that some of his supporters like his style with the fact that a lot of Republicans just want the policies he promised them. He has to deliver that." Put Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., in the camp of those more interested in substance than style. "I'm not a great fan of daily tweets," McConnell said Friday, referring to the "extra discussion" that Trump likes to engage in. But McConnell was quick to add: "What I am a fan of is what he's been actually doing." He credits Trump with assembling a conservative Cabinet and taking steps to reduce government regulation, and promised: "We like his positions and we're going to pursue them as vigorously as we can." The challenge may be to tease out exactly what Trump wants in the way of a health care plan, tax changes and trade policy. At his long and defiant news conference on Thursday, Trump tried to dispel the impression of a White House in crisis, squarely blaming the press for keeping him from moving forward more decisively on his agenda. Pointing to his chief of staff, Reince Priebus, Trump said, "You take a look at Reince, he's working so hard just putting out fires that are fake fires. I mean, they're fake. They're not true. And isn't that a shame because he'd rather be working on health care, he'd rather be working on tax reform." For all the frustrations of his early days as president, Trump still seems tickled by the trappings of his office. When New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie visited the White House last week to discuss the national opioid epidemic over lunch, the governor said Trump informed him: "Chris, you and I are going to have the meatloaf.'" Trump added: "I'm telling you, the meatloaf is fabulous." ___Follow Nancy Benac on Twitter at http://twitter.com/nbenac
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  • FDR executive order sent 120,000 Japanese immigrants and citizens into camps
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  • Pruitt's nomination was strongly opposed by environmental groups and hundreds of former EPA employees
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