Posts tagged with "washington dc"

Marking 162nd Emancipation Day in The District of Columbia

Emancipation Day in the District of Columbia commemorates the ending of slavery in the nation’s capital on Apr 16, 1862

On April 16, 1862, President Abraham Lincoln signed the District of Columbia Compensated Emancipation Act, which ended slavery in Washington, D.C. and freed over 3,000 enslaved individuals.

History:

  • On Apr 16, 1862, President Abraham Lincoln signed the Compensated Emancipation Act, which freed over 3,100 enslaved people in the District of Columbia.
  • The act was part of a broader effort by the Lincoln administration to end slavery in the United States.
  • The following year, President Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation, which freed all enslaved people in Confederate-held territory.
  • Emancipation Day has been celebrated in the District of Columbia since 1866.

 

 

 

 

 

Celebrations:

  • Emancipation Day is a public holiday in the District of Columbia.
  • The day is typically celebrated with parades, festivals, and other events.
  • The National Park Service also hosts a variety of programs and events to commemorate Emancipation Day.

Significance:

  • Emancipation Day is a reminder of the struggle for freedom and equality in the United States.
  • The day is also a time to celebrate the contributions of African Americans to the District of Columbia and the nation.

September 17, 1862:

  • Battle of Antietam Prompts the Emancipation Proclamation and Ends Potential European Intervention in the Civil War.

District of Columbia Emancipation Act of 1862

Historians discussed the District of Columbia Compensated Emancipation Act of April 16, 1862. The act freed about 3,100 slaves in the nation’s capital and compensated owners up to $300 for each former slave. The panel also talked about the influence the act had on the Emancipation Proclamation, which was issued eight months later on January 1, 1863. The National Archives hosted this 90-minute event on April 16, the annual Emancipation Day holiday in the District of Columbia.

DC Offers $2K E-Bike Program for Needy Residents

DC’s Electric Bicycle Incentive Program

The District of Columbia’s Electric Bicycle Incentive Program (EBIP) will soon provide vouchers of up to $2,000 to some District residents who purchase an electric bicycle. The program is designed to encourage the use of electric bicycles as a clean and sustainable transportation option. Ward 6 council member Charles Allen introduced legislation creating D.C.’s E-Bike incentive program.

Eligibility

To be eligible for the EBIP, you must be a District resident and purchase an electric bicycle from a participating retailer. The bicycle must be new and have a motor that is no larger than 750 watts. “DDOT will open the first application window to Preferred Applicants only. A Preferred Applicant is a District resident enrolled in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), Medicaid, or the DC Healthcare Alliance. If funds are still available, a second application window will open to Standard Applicants. DDOT anticipates fulfilling approximately 250 vouchers with the FY24 funding.”

How to Apply

To apply for the EBIP, you must submit an application to the District Department of Transportation(DDOT). The application and additional information is available HERE

Benefits of Electric Bicycles

Electric bicycles offer a number of benefits over traditional bicycles, including:

  • Reduced emissions: Electric bicycles produce zero emissions, making them a more environmentally friendly transportation option.
  • Increased range: Electric bicycles can travel further than traditional bicycles, making them a good option for commuting or running errands.
  • Reduced strain: Electric bicycles provide a boost of power, making it easier to ride up hills or carry heavy loads.
  • Convenience: Electric bicycles are easy to ride and can be used by people of all ages and abilities.

The retailers listed below are Authorized Retailers and have an agreement with DDOT. They are the only shops where you can redeem a voucher.

Authorized Retailers

Bicycle Pro Shop 3403 M St NW
Bicycle SPACE 1512 Okie St NE
Conte’s Bike Shop – Cathedral Heights 3410 Wisconsin Ave NW
Conte’s Bike Shop – Logan Circle 1412 Q St NW
Conte’s Bike Shop – Navy Yard 1331 4th St, Suite 107, SE
REI Bike Shop 201 M St NE
The Daily Rider 600 H St, Suite D, NE
Trek – Georgetown 3411 M St NW
Trek – Skyland 2227 Town Ctr Dr. SE
King Micromobility 502 23rd St NW
Mittens Pop-Up Mobile
Upshift Workshop Mobile

March for Gaza: Thousands Rally in DC for Global Day of Action

Thousands rallied at Freedom Plaza in Washington, D.C., Saturday as part of a global day of action calling for an immediate ceasefire in the Israel-Hamas war that started on Oct. 7 after Hamas militants launched an attack on Israel killing about 1,300 people.

Since the start of the war, Israel has launched an aggressive bombardment of Gaza and other parts of Palestine in response, sending shockwaves across the world. More than 23,350 people have been killed – mostly children and women – during its retaliatory attacks on Gaza, according to the Palestinian health ministry. 

Last week South Africa brought a case against Israel accusing it of committing the “crime of all crimes: genocide.”

Judges at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) are to decide whether Israel, in its war in Gaza, is guilty of an attempt to “destroy a national, ethnic, racial or religious group, in whole or in part,” as defined by the 1948 Convention on Genocide.

Freedom Plaza overflowed onto Pennsylvania Avenue with marchers chanting the popular “from the river to the sea, Palestine will be free,” as they waved a sea of flags in support of the Palestinian people who remain under siege.

Some marchers prayed on mats in the crowd, and outside the FBI building. Some of the speakers shared stories of losing hundred of people in their families and waiting helplessly for word on relatives surviving the night. The Biden administration has not called for a ceasefire in spite the urging of the international community, including the United Nations.

Egypt On The Potomac: Ancient Africa Hidden In Plain Sight

BY JEANETTE LENOIR

As we head further into the summer months, many will be looking to fill their calendars with fun activities and adventures. Here’s a fun, informative and family friendly idea: Egypt on the Potomac. It is an educational field trip across Washington, D.C. showing a direct architectural link to ancient Egypt or Kemet. Author and historian, Anthony Browder, created the program as part of the IKG Cultural Resource Center he founded in 1981.

Thanks to the incredible work of Browder, folks can sign up for a fun-filled, educational and empowering field trip across Chocolate City to learn all about the architecture, masonic history and the African inspired, (in some cases a complete copy) design of this great city. 

Here’s a short clip of the educational field trip that will hopefully inspire you to grab your own boarding pass to journey across Washington, DC. Oh, the mindful and empowering places you’ll go, as you discover and clearly see all the contributions made to current civilization and humanity, thanks to those who gave both to the world; Africans.

Egypt on the Potomac:

 

DC’s Eastern Market Is Turning 150 This Year!

BY JEANETTE LENOIR

📢 Eastern Market turns 150 in November and there’s a year-long celebration underway.

Eastern Market is the oldest continually operating public market in the nation. The celebrations kicked-off with Eastern Market Main Street’s transformation of the North Hall during cherry blossom season. Throughout the year the public will have more opportunities to celebrate the history of the Market, its future, and the role it plays in our community.  This weekend is the last weekend for Blossoms at the Market — it’ll be open both Saturday and Sunday. Be sure to check it out. The 150th celebrations have more exciting events and opportunities coming soon.

This weekend events:

  • April 8  DC  7pm Rawhides Country Dance
  • April 9  Outside Market Open for Easter 
Open 10am-3pm Tuesday-Sunday

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Troubled Waters: Misdirected Energy In Our 21st Century Awakening

BY JEANETTE LENOIR

Are Americans truly free? The simple answer is no because freedom is not free, and oppressors will never be free until all men are free.

The world is changing. George Floyd’s heinous murder was the latest violent incident that forced people from the comforts of their homes to the streets to protest police brutality and an unequal world that is steadily tilting toward normalcy of all kinds of injustices committed against Black people, including harsh economic inequalities that continue to divide us as a nation. Remember, it wasn’t that long ago that our president gave a hefty goodie bag to the wealthiest Americans with the Republican crafted Tax Cuts And Jobs Act of 2017, despite the cost—now and in the future—to already struggling Americans. Thanks to him and the elites he serves, poor people and their children for generations to come are saddled with paying the cost of their wealthy lifestyles. They get to keep raking in the dough by paying fewer taxes, while we sink deeper into debt and poverty. The inhumanity staining these political maneuvers helped pave the road to what’s happening all across America today. 

Make no mistake. This is a nation’s awakening. And, it’s about time that Americans agree that despite our cultural differences, the emperor and his rich crew of servants and benefactors of our miseries are behaving like descendants of colonial enslavers. “To be a slave is not to be able to determine your own destiny,” said Historian and Pan-Africanist Dr. John Henrik Clarke in his speech, Freedom’s Not Free. He explains that until we control our communities and our destiny, we don’t have sovereignty and no true freedom. That’s the blaring truth this nation is facing in this awakening.

Health care, low paying jobs, housing, the cost of education, including the steady pollution of our environment, especially our waters, have yet to compel those in positions to make a difference to do so and reverse the trend of the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer. Why is this? Are the numbers not clear enough? Are Americans not poor enough, sick enough? Is the brutality inflicted on Black people since the birth of our nation not been heinous enough? Evidently not, just look at what’s happening in Kentucky today. People are banging on polling station doors to be let in to vote. It’s reminiscent of the days Black people were beaten and terrorized with dogs and fire hoses when they tried to vote.

These are ever changing times Aretha Franklin sang, and man is that evident these days.  Those with disproportionate power, Mitch McConnell and the GOP, are muzzling voters left and right by closing polling stations, rejecting the option for mail-in ballots, and fear mongering to continue their blatant oppression and power grab, despite the need and loud demand for change. McConnell, determined to honor his lineage of oppressors like those with a death grip on the confederate flag, is no different than the terrorists Fannie Lou Hamer faced during the Mississippi voting rights movement. When Hamer testified before a credentials committee about the brutality she faced in August 1962, President Lyndon B. Johnson, determined to silence her, held an impromptu press conference to note the 9 month anniversary of JFK’s assassination and the wounding of Texas Governor John Connally at the same time she was testifying, knowing he would command the country’s attention at that pivotal moment. He silenced her then but her powerful words and testimony remain, just like her fighting spirit that lives in so many that have taken to the street in protest. Hamer left us with a powerful legacy and a story that matters today. Stories that will help lead us to the mountain top Martin Luther King, Jr. envisioned for all Black, Brown and poor people, unless we lose this powerful momentum with misdirected energy fighting each other. The oppressive tactic President Johnson used to silence Hamer is part of the GOP’s playbook. And it’s still being used today to maintain their choke-hold on true freedom and democracy. 

Let’s talk about Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. How is one man able to hold so much power over a nation that prides itself as a beacon of freedom and hope for mankind? How can one man, part of a nation of millions, single-handedly gag debate and votes on crucial legislation aimed at enacting the change the people are demanding? Police brutality is rampant but Congress can’t vote on matters like Qualified Immunity, or The Bipartisan Background Checks Act, The American Dream and Promise Act, The Equality Act and Securing America’s Federal Elections Act because one man, leading the Senate GOP, refuses to allow it. Our living document, the Constitution, meant to guide us into a civilizing nation is being used to preserve a dying breed of white men who never expected their power would be threatened by the people they govern, including their own children. They didn’t foresee this moment of mass unrest, so McConnell and the GOP are choosing to weaponize democracy and use it like the General Atomics MQ-9 Reaper against us: We the People. McConnell already showed us how capable he is in blocking crucial legislation during the Obama administration. So, do not be deceived, he will continue to put party over country if Kentuckians don’t show him the door this November. And, how spiritual and healing it would be if he’s replaced by Charles Booker, Kentucky’s youngest Black state lawmaker who’s predicted to face him in November.

These are trying times. Many of those protesting in our streets, taking down monuments and forcing changes we never thought we’d see, didn’t live through the Jim Crow era. And they weren’t alive during the civil rights movement either. But it’s beautifully evident they grew up holding dear to the ideals of American democracy instilled in them. As we acknowledge this new dawning, they’re right to be angry and demand change from the top of our forefathers heads to the bottom of the feet of those who continue to blindly carry out their exclusive will and vision for America.

“I know what the world has done to my brother and how narrowly he has survived it. And I know, which is much worse, and this is the crime of which I accuse my country and my countrymen, and for which neither I nor time nor history will ever forgive them, that they have destroyed and are destroying hundreds of thousands of lives and do not know it and do not want to know it,” James Baldwin wrote in his book, The Fire Next Time. These words, like howling ghosts, are echoing across the land as these protests continue and statues tumble down. Two years ago cities across the country were tiptoeing on the issue of these confederate statues. Today, they’re working overtime to take them down or face the protesters who will tear them down, burn them and throw them in rivers. In many ways, the elders have taught their children well. Who knew they were listening and willing to battle for our nation’s true freedom.

Unfortunately, and like all Black leaders have warned since the abolitionists movement, we are facing a serious threat in these changing times. And that’s the misdirected energy taking place beneath the surface of this just fight. Black writers, civil rights leaders and other influencers are bickering and openly attacking each other on social media. Civil rights lawyers S. Lee Merritt and Ben Crump have been mercilessly attacked for their White House visit for the signing of an executive order calling for more police training to reduce violent incidents, by the likes of Roland S. Martin and even the NAACP in Georgia who went so far to try to untie our fragile Black bond by saying Merritt, who represents the family of Ahmaud Arbery was an, “out-of-state lawyer who does not have deep relationships with our civil rights community.” How petty. This infighting and airing of dirty laundry is the misdirected energy that will undoubtedly derail this opportunity to enact concrete changes and end long standing injustices and structural racism.

Shaun King, a well-known biracial activist, is also being mocked and attacked by other prominent Black writers and influencers. And, according to his recent article, he’s being targeted for assassination by a group of retired law enforcement officials. Just take a trip on Twitter to see how some Black people are treating each other. Michael Harriot and Yvette Nicole Brown and many others are retweeting, sharing and posting about the measure of King’s blackness. The criticism is not new. King has come under scrutiny before and rightfully so. He should be held accountable for his civil rights work, but there’s a difference here and it’s no longer about accountability. It’s about being deserving of his post and the color of his skin, which makes no sense when other light skin figures like Rock Newman and Tom Joyner are easily accepted as Black people in society. It’s a sensitive issue that has always divided Black people. There’s the paper bag test, the good hair measure, and many more divisors that only serves to misdirect us away from what should be a common goal: economic sovereignty and social freedom.

So, it’s not just apathy we must worry about, but the lack of unity among Black people. And, the gap among poor people and other people of color who suffer trauma from racism and white supremacy should also be closed in an all out effort to finally create a world where we all feel good in, not just white people. It’s time to deliberately work toward our collective humanity and fight to end global white supremacy.

Historians have proven time and time again that history is cyclical. And yet, we still don’t learn. If we want to finally come out of this spinning cylinder of repeated events, we have to change our ways. We have to stop fighting each other because it only serves to detract us. It is misdirected energy that is crucially needed in this fight. These protests are real demands for tangible changes in our nation. Change in how the police operate, how American wealth is distributed, how education is achieved, change in housing, access to health care, equality in the workforce, equal pay for equal work, equality for the LGBTQ community, humane immigration policies, and environmental changes. We cannot afford to be distracted by the nonsense of how black King is or whether or not Merritt and Crump belong in certain parts of our country or deserving of the tragic cases they take on. We can’t afford these distractions!

We are at a critical time in our history and the concept of state vs. nation must be considered. Black people have been living in the concept of a state for far too long, and not as part of a nation. If we were part of this nation we wouldn’t need civil rights to be part of American society. This is also about culture continuity and building our economic base. And for that to happen we have to start trusting each other, as Dr. Clarke advised. He said struggle is the highest form of education. Black, brown and poor people must learn through their common struggle. And in that spirit, it’s time to ask the right question. And that is: where do we go from here?

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.

The Last Poets Block Party Showcased The Beauty Of Black Culture And The Continued Struggle For Equality

By JEANETTE LENOIR

 

The Last Poets Block Party in the Anacostia neighborhood of Washington, DC on May 19, 2019 was a stark reminder of the journey African Americans have walked for human rights, dignity and the freedom the Constitution highlights as a birth right for every American, despite its unequal distribution among her citizens. Hip-Hop, in many ways, is the avenue taken by those who needed a different way to protest discrimination, racism while emphasizing the value and beauty of black culture and infusing it with the power that has been systematically stripped from black people. The birth of the hip-hop movement is credited to The Last Poets: Jalal Mansur Nuriddin, Abiodun Oyewole and Umar Bin Hassan who were merely reacting to the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcolm X. 

The birth of hip-hop was born from the pain and suffering experienced by generations of black people in America. These artist took to the streets with a different kind of weapon to fight back; their rhymes and beats that gave the unjust status and mistreatment of blacks in America life. May 19, 2019 marks the 50th anniversary of the forming of The Last Poets. It’s also the birthday of the black revolutionary leader, Malcolm X. An in-depth report on the group’s inception can be found HERE.

Below are some of the highlights of this year’s celebration, organized by Busboys and Poets, of the forefathers of hip-hop and the movement to bring about a more just world for black and brown people.