Podcasts

Before George Floyd There Was The Uncommon Case Of Daniel Brown

BY JEANETTE LENOIR

“Social advance depends as much upon the process through which it is secured as upon the result itself.” – Jane Addams

It took a tragic incident during a festive gathering in 1875 to bring about change in American policing. And Daniel Brown, like George Floyd, was the catalyst that shifted the relationship between citizens and police in Baltimore; citizens concerned for their civil rights and the police for their authority to enter private homes.

Brown, a proud freeman and home owner, “provided the context in which [he] confronted Officer McDonald,” Shufelt writes, in an effort to find justification or make sense of the racial circumstances that led to him being clubbed and shot to death by the officer.  Brown, through the lens of the white immigrant cop from Ireland, forgot his place in America’s social order when he defended his humanity after the officer came knocking on his door for a noise complaint. And because of deep-rooted and long-standing racial conflicts in America Brown is portrayed in the media and the pages of history as a “too proud Black man” partly responsible for his death.

“But Daniel Brown’s individual response to a situation he perceived as an affront to his dignity as a freeman and the proprietor of his own home played a role in the tragedy,” writes Shufelt, and,  “The evidence shows that in his daily life Daniel Brown was in the habit of standing up for his rights with enough self-assurance to get the attention of his white acquaintances.”

This is the story of Daniel Brown. A proud American who knew his civil rights, stood up for himself and others, and was brutally beaten and shot to death for it by a police officer sworn to defend these rights. Nonetheless, the unjustified and brutal murder of Brown by Officer McDonald changed the course in American history when the white police officer was convicted of killing him.

Although the small gathering at this proud freeman’s home proved to be fatal for him, ending the life he’d diligently planned for himself and his wife, Keziah, Daniel Brown left behind a powerful legacy we see in civil rights movements like The Black Panther Party and Black Lives Matter.  And that’s a life well-lived, no matter how it ended.

A conversation with the author, Gordon H. Shufelt:

In The Uncommon Case of Daniel Brown, readers travel through praiseworthy hills and deplorable valleys of our American culture, landing squarely on a pivotal societal curve, when a white police officer gets convicted of killing a Black citizen.

The Uncommon Case of Daniel Brown can be purchased on Amazon or via the link below:

https://www.kentstateuniversitypress.com/2020/uncommon-case-of-daniel-brown/

Philips: U.S. Constitution Key Pivot To The Formation Of The Modern World

Editor’s Note: The views expressed are solely those of the author. James D.R. Philips is an Australian attorney and the author of the new book, “Two Revolutions and the Constitution: How the English and American Revolutions Produced the American Constitution.”
 
 

Australia probably isn’t the first place Americans think of on Independence Day, but it’s important to consider the many ways America’s example has reverberated around the world for centuries. Thomas Jefferson’s Declaration of Independence of July 4, 1776, had three great consequences for Australia. First, it prompted the founding of a British colony there. Second, it facilitated Australian independence. Third, it led to the structure of the Australian Constitution. American independence meant that the British could no longer send convicts to its former American colonies. Long-stay prisons in Britain were in short supply. The British needed a new colony to which they could transport convicts. They risked the moonshot of trying to establish a colony on the other side of the world, at Botany Bay (now in Sydney).

The success of the revolutionary war and Declaration of independence taught the British not to resist a settler colony whose people wanted independence. When Australians demanded independence, just over a century after the founding of the first Australian colony, the British did not stand in their way. The independence led to the Constitution. The Constitution (drafted while the First Fleet was hazarding its epic journey from Portsmouth in England to establish the new colony in Australia) had a profound influence on the structure and terms of the Australian Constitution, and therefore on Australia’s system of government.

Of course, a future Australia was not on his mind when Jefferson was drafting the declaration. He and other Founders were focused on protecting their legal and political rights from British predation. The Founders charged King George III with tyranny. They rebelled, left his kingdom and established a republic. Charles I suffered a similar fate, charged with tyranny by the Rump Parliament. He was tried and beheaded in 1649, and a British republic established. The American republic has endured.

The English republic was short-lived. But some 30 years after the end of the English republic, the English had a second revolution, called either the “English Revolution” or the “Glorious Revolution.” The English (with substantial Dutch help) forced James II to flee his kingdom, rather than putting him on trial and executing him. The English Revolution established finally that the monarch was subject to Parliament and to law. During the English Revolution, there were rebellions against English rule in Massachusetts, New York, and Maryland.

The English Revolution was a foundation of the development of pluralistic societies, which enjoyed freedom and representative government subject to law in England and America. The American Revolution further developed and cemented these principles and had a profound effect on the development of the modern world. The Founders believed that they were protecting their existing legal and political rights. Their conception of those rights developed in the British-American colonial period. There was plenty of scope for different perceptions in America and in England as to the extent of British control of aspects of colonial government, and to what extent American rights were subject to the King’s prerogative power or subject to Parliamentary legislation.

When, some 80 years after the English Revolution, George III and his Parliament began imposing taxes on Americans and seeking to increase British control over the colonies, Americans rebelled against Parliament as well as against the king. They believed that Parliament had abandoned its role as the protector of liberties against royal overreach. Most famously, colonial Americans believed that Parliament could not impose direct taxes on them because there could be no taxation without representation, and Americans were not represented in Parliament.

The American Bill of Rights was essential in the minds of many Americans because of the risk that Congress might betray the people, as Parliament had betrayed them. To Americans, the developing British concept of parliamentary supremacy had become a latent source of tyranny. Australia’s Constitution is largely a hybrid of the American and British models, using the American federal and national structure, but establishing Parliamentary supremacy (subject to that structure).

The most famous statement in the U.S. Declaration of Independence is universal in its aspiration: “That all [people] are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” Making these rights real and operable for all Americans is a work in progress. Still, it is momentous that the declaration stated in such compelling language that these rights were inherent and that when the British impeded them, Americans had a right to rebel. The declaration is a foundation of America. And it has a profound significance for Australians: It is one of Australia’s founding documents, too.

ePa Sponsors April DEI Virtual Event

As part of the mission of ePluribus: America to help advance diversity, equity, inclusion, accessibility and belonging in every aspect of American culture, we are proud to announce this partnership to teach the core concepts of diversity. This DEI event is structured to help CEO’s, HR officials, Diversity Officers, thought leaders, policy makers and everyone with a stake in DEI initiatives recognize and overcome the barriers of organizational inclusion and belonging. In many cases, we have to unlearn in order to learn better ways of expressing our collective humanity for the sake of a better world for all. And ultimately, that is the purpose and focus of ePa’s DEI initiative and collaboration. And as a thank you, subscribers will get a $20 discount that reduces the ticket to $39.00. The discount code for ePa subscribers is EPLUR.  

Yours Truly,

Jeanette Lenoir

April DEI Virtual Event!

Join these business professionals virtually as they learn and discuss strategies for shaping the work culture with Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.

Tuesday, April 13, 2021
10:00 am – 12:00 pm EST

Registration and the full itinerary for the event can be found here: www.thestrategiesthatwork.com

“When we open communication up, down, and across our organization, we enhance our ability to recognize and value our differences and similarities. Communicating effectively requires observation and empathetic listening to ensure understanding. As we identify our own listening skills and cognitive biases, we will become better equipped to mindfully acknowledge our barriers and intentionally work to put them aside, cultivating a safe, diverse, and inclusive workplace. Lynda and Kashonna collaborate to provide engaging and informative sessions in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion with a focus on improving communication. After forty-five minutes of content and engagement with breakout activities, we will entertain questions and share ideas for the remainder of the hour.”

My interview with Larry Wilner, Organizer:

Navigating The Labyrinth Of Grief

BY JEANETTE LENOIR

One day, a woman went to see Buddha. Her infant child had died during the night and she pleaded with Buddha to help her revive her dead child. Buddha sympathized with the devastated woman and told her to go to every home in the village and ask the people living there for black mustard seeds. However, she can only accept the black mustard seeds from homes that have never experienced a loss of a family member or a servant. The distraught mother went to every home in the village to beg for the seeds. Many were willing to give the woman the black mustard seeds, but she could not accept them because each one had lost someone in their home. Exhausted from her search, the woman went back to the Buddha and described how she went door to door looking for the seeds without luck. Buddha then explained that he sent the women to look for the black mustard seeds knowing she would not find them because no one is immune from the conditions of life, and because death is part of life, one is never alone in their grief. And this shared experience eases the path through our sorrow. The woman, still grief-stricken over the loss of her infant child could not comprehend that every home in the village had lost someone they loved, too. Though still mourning the loss of her child, Buddha’s enlightenment helped her find comfort. She went home and buried her child.

You see, like birth, death is a solitary journey that each of us must walk. And how we grieve and cope with death divides people in many ways, including culturally. Some whale in agony and throw themselves on the ground. Others curse God or end their own life due to the inability to cope with the pain of losing someone they love. Different customs and religions tell diverse stories of how Man copes with death, grief and the ceremonies surrounding it. From New Orleans, where death is mourned with celebrations of a life lived, to Africa, India, Asia, South America, the Caribbean’s and West Indies where death comes with strict customs for those grieving the loss of a loved one. The spectrum of grief is vast. And yet, despite knowing it will happen to each of us, death remains taboo in the human mind.

Brooke James is changing that.

When James lost her father to cancer, she found herself drowning in grief. There was no escape from the reminder of her tremendous loss. Even well-meaning condolences wounded like broken glass on delicate skin. She decided to turn her grief into advocacy. Similar to the Buddha’s wisdom shared with the grieving woman, James found solace and community, grieving the loss of her dad. She created a Podcast, widening the avenue people see as taboo: talking about death, planning for life after death and all that comes with the process of grieving. Brooke James became, The Grief Coach.

Brad Kane: A Post Election, Post Trump America

BY JEANETTE LENOIR

My conversation with author and veteran political analyst, Bradford R. Kane on a post election, post Donald J. Trump era.

Who is Brad Kane?

Bradford R. Kane has developed policy, legislation, and initiatives in Congress, California state government, and the nonprofit and private sectors. He was a speech writer and researcher for Congresswoman Maxine Waters, counsel to Congresswoman Cardiss Collins and counsel to the Energy & Commerce Subcommittee on Commerce & Consumer Protection.

Kane was a member of President Clinton’s Task Force on Health Care Reform. He was Deputy Controller for Legislation, and Deputy Secretary of Information Technology for the state of California. As a member of the Nielsen Media Research Task Force on Television Measurement, he created the Bipartisan Bridge and developed environmental, economic and racial equity initiatives. He was also a member of the United Nations Global Alliance on ICT & Development, CEO of the International Commission on Workforce Development, and Director of Strategic Initiatives and International Development at TechSoup Global.

His book, Pitchfork Populism: Ten Political Forces That Shaped an Election and Continue to Change America, is an examination of the political forces that led to the current form of faux populism in America. The book also evaluates the evolution of demographics and racial dynamics, the media’s role and impact, increased activism, bipartisanship and globalization.

     Click HERE to purchase Brad Kane’s book.

The Art Of Keeping Business Flowing During A Pandemic

BY JEANETTE LENOIR

The R&B Group may sound like your typical music alley or fun venue to explore but don’t let the name fool you. This exclusive high-level executive business networking group is turning the pursuit of rubbing elbows and making deals into an art form. And, since the start of the COVID pandemic, the group, in its 10th year hosting networking events in the New York region, has found another footing online connecting financial experts, HR officials, media executives, diverse portfolio entrepreneurs and the who’s who of the financial business world with each other. And it’s all thanks to the passionate advocacy undertaken by the group’s Founder and Director, Jay Rovert.

From New York, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Florida, Maryland, including DC and crossing to the West coast in parts of California, The R&B Group is making great strides in the business networking world in spite of the global health crisis still at our feet. In fact, the group is able to expand its reach thanks to the move to online platforms like Zoom, Skype, Microsoft Teams and Google Meet. Now more than ever, people all over the world are conducting more of their work and business online, including their social activities, learning and even teaching. The R&B Group is a great example of riding the unsuspecting waves of life and staying afloat, especially with the uncertainty of financial markets and conducting business during COVID. The R&B Group may just be a perfect fit for someone looking to connect with like-minded folks open to sharing their professional expertise and building a quality community centered on business development and of course, good music, food, drinks and wholesome fun. So, how does one get a ticket to enter? You must be invited by a standing member. To learn more about the process contact Rovert via LinkedIn, he’s excellent in responding and clear with his communication.

The age of technology is here to stay. Our lives are increasingly moving toward a more comfortable, sustainable and user friendly space we love and hate equally: the World Wide Web, making another aspect—production—of this new online world worthy of mention. Most of us don’t put too much thought into preparing for an online meeting. As long as you look presentable from the waste up and have pretty good lighting, you’re in business. But there’s so much more that goes into these events. Barrett Lester, Head of Video Production and a Creative Teams Leader, facilitated the Zoom interview between myself and Rovert. His passion for video production, his keen eye for background, lighting and his overall attention to detail are commendable. Lester does the work behind the scene many of us tend to take for granted. He loves producing and it shows. His work reminds me of a bumper sticker I read once: Hug a musician, they never get to dance. In that spirit, it’s important to recognize the work being done behind the scenes to create quality content and bring you information that just may change your life. Check him out on LinkedIn too, he’ll improve your online presentation and make you look good doing it. Don’t get left behind during these stressful times. Check out The R&B Group and find out of it’s a good fit for you and your business endeavors.  Tell Jay, Jeanette sent you.

Black Communities Will Bear The Brunt Of The Coronavirus Epidemic

BY JEANETTE LENOIR

From Anacostia to the Marshall Heights neighborhood and beyond, some Washingtonians have to find new ways to stay safe, active and mindful of the deadly virus buckling governments in every corner of the world. It’s no secret African Americans will bear the brunt of the coronavirus illness and lead the death toll despite making up only 14 percent of America’s population. ProPublica, The New York Times and other publications are already documenting the number of people dying from the airborne disease by race and class, and according to preliminary findings, the numbers are not looking good for black people.

“As of Friday morning, African Americans made up almost half of Milwaukee County’s 945 cases and 81% of its 27 deaths in a county whose population is 26% black. Milwaukee is one of the few places in the United States that is tracking the racial breakdown of people who have been infected by the novel coronavirus, offering a glimpse at the disproportionate destruction it is inflicting on black communities nationwide. In Michigan, where the state’s population is 14% black, African Americans made up 35% of cases and 40% of deaths as of Friday morning. Detroit, where a majority of residents are black, has emerged as a hot spot with a high death toll. As has New Orleans. Louisiana has not published case breakdowns by race, but 40% of the state’s deaths have happened in Orleans Parish, where the majority of residents are black,” stated the report by Talia Buford who covers disparities in environmental impacts for ProPublica.

Although a handful of states are keeping track of the disease’s impact, according to ProPublica, the CDC is not keeping track of deaths and infections by race. Thankfully, other institutions like hospitals and city health officials are. While many are running to the aid of hospital workers and other essential employees in the thick of this global crisis, it remains to be seen who will help black communities survive COVID-19.

Uncovering A Prestigious Black Cemetery Beneath A Strip Mall

By JEANETTE LENOIR

The Laurel Cemetery is a significant burial location for African Americans and yet, it sits unrecognized beneath a strip mall on Belair Road in Northeast Baltimore. Frederick Douglas spoke there during the funeral of a friend, 270 black Civil War soldiers are buried there, and it’s the final resting place for some of the movers and shakers in the African American community who called Baltimore home in the early 19th century. One would never know the sacredness of this cemetery at face value today because it’s easily walked over and used as a short cut to get to and from the strip mall that sits above it.

Thankfully, there’s good news to report on the cemetery that stood the test of time from 1852 – 1957.  A symposium to commemorate the historic cemetery will take place on June 15, 2019 at Coppin State University from 10:00 AM – 3:00 PM in the Talon Center, located at 2500 W. North Avenue, Baltimore, MD 21216. Click HERE for all the details.

My conversation with local Artist and Baltimore native, Terrell Brown, dives into this sad state of affairs of a once prominent resting place for Baltimore’s black elites.

Public Broadcasting In The U.S., The Changing Media Landscape And Its Impact On Global Policies

 

BY JEANETTE LENOIR

 

A visiting media scholar from Jagiellonian University in Poland, Dr. Rafal Kus, gave a poignant public lecture for the United Nations Association at the Unitarian Universalist Church in New Hartford on Thursday. Dr. Krus was invited by Utica College’s Communications and Media Department thanks to a grant from the Erasmus Program of the European Union. Dr. Krus specializes in the study of American television media.

The local United Nations chapter—Upper Mohawk Valley Chapter of the United Nations Association—is tied to a global network of UN supporters and educators dedicated to educate, inspire, mobilize and strengthen the U.S. system in order to achieve the goals stated in the UN charter. The talk, which aims to do just that, focused on public broadcasting in the U.S., media and politics, and the impact of media systems in the world.

Part of the goal, according to organizers is to learn how U.S. foreign policy has been shaped by the international media climate and how it relates to the United Nations. There’s currently a bill being considered in Congress that aims to slash funding to the UN And Greg M. Smith who serves as Vice President of the local chapter, UMVUNA, says the cuts are in addition to the UN reducing its own budget by $200 million. “Now the United States is saying an additional $250 million needs to come away. That’s problematic because if we do that then we’re going to lose some of the seats we have within the United Nations. And, without a voice or a presence in committees we don’t have a voice in what happens within the United Nations and very easily the UN could become the League of Nations which we all know didn’t’ do very well to prevent WWII.”

The full talk can be heard here: