Saturday, June 24, 2017

Brennan Center For Justice: SCOTUS Set To Hear First Partisan Gerrymandering Case in a Decade

Supreme Court of the United States


The case could impact congressional maps in around half a dozen states and legislative maps in about ten states and have major implications for the next round of redistricting after the 2020 Census.

June 21, 2017

Cross-posted from The American Prospect

Americans are fed up with gerrymandering. The most recent Harris poll shows that 74 percent of Republicans, 73 percent of Democrats, and 71 percent of independents believe that politicians shouldn’t have a hand in drawing lines that benefit them.  
Despite public opposition across the political spectrum, politicians have taken a stronger and stronger hand in line-drawing, resulting in gerrymandered maps that are more and more extreme. The problems continue to mount: A combination of “Big Data,” single-party control of state governments, and polarized politics have allowed paid political operatives to craft increasingly surgical gerrymanders far more potent than their precursors, locking in lopsided maps that are deeply unrepresentative of the electorate. 
The good news is that the Supreme Court has the chance to take a major bite out of extreme gerrymandering this fall when it hears Gill v. Whitford, an appeal of a landmark decision striking down a Wisconsin state assembly map as an unconstitutional partisan gerrymander.
In Wisconsin, Republican lawmakers drew the lower house map in secret, behind closed doors, with no input from Democrats. The result was a huge and disproportionate advantage for Republicans, at odds with Wisconsin’s status as a swing state. In 2012, Republicans won 60 of the 90 nine seats in the Wisconsin Assembly, despite winning only 48.6 percent of the two-party statewide vote; in 2014, they won 63 seats with only 52 percent of the statewide vote.
Read the full story on The American Prospect

The FBI’s Secret Dossier on the Legendary and Controversial Writer JAMES BALDWIN: THE FBI FILE By William J. Maxwell

James Baldwin: The FBI File
William J. Maxwell

Praise for James Baldwin: The FBI File:
“Maxwell presents the actual documentation in chronological order, using brief discussions to provide valuable context. . . He adeptly curates the strange hoard of documentation, but the primary sources will be most appreciated by completists. An unsettling demonstration of how a paranoid, reactionary government can treat significant artists.”—Kirkus
“This compendium offers an unquestionably unique look into the life of one of America’s most esteemed thinkers, whose work has seen a resurgence as a centerpiece of the Black Lives Matter movement.”—Publishers Weekly

Decades before Black Lives Matter returned James Baldwin to prominence, J. Edgar Hoover’s FBI considered the Harlem-born author James Baldwin the most powerful broker between black art and black power. Baldwin’s 1,884-page FBI file, covering the period from 1958 to 1974, was the largest compiled on any African American artist of the Civil Rights era. This collection of once-secret documents, never before published in book form, captures the FBI’s anxious tracking of Baldwin’s writings, phone conversations, and sexual habits—and Baldwin’s defiant efforts to spy back at Hoover and his G-men.

James Baldwin: The FBI File reproduces more than one hundred original FBI records, selected by the noted literary historian William J. Maxwell, whose award-winning book F.B. Eyes: How J. Edgar Hoover’s Ghostreaders Framed African American Literature brought renewed attention to bureau surveillance. Maxwell also provides an introduction exploring Baldwin’s enduring relevance in the time of Black Lives Matter along with running commentaries that orient the reader and offer historical context, making this book a revealing look at a crucial slice of the American past—and present.

Spector Travel of Boston: We design authentic travel experiences that will deeply expose you to the history, culture and local communities of Africa

Spector Travel has unprecedented knowledge of
Africa. We design authentic travel experiences
that will deeply expose you to the history, culture
and local communities of Africa.

Contact Spector Travel for expert advise on AFRICA!

Eric Conway: Baltimore Sun: Serenade festival celebrates JFK centennial by bringing together choral groups from around the world

The annual Serenade, a choral music festival presented by Alexandria-based Classical Movements, will include two Baltimore concerts and one in Annapolis. Ensembles from Zimbabwe, India, the U.S. and several other countries, as well as a choir made up of refugee girls, will perform programs that mark the John F. Kennedy centennial and one of his major legacies, the Peace Corps. (Courtesy video)
Eric Conway, D.M.A. writes:
Hello all,

Please see link below to a Baltimore Sun Article featuring Classical Movements, the organization that assists the Morgan choir in our international tours.  Classical Movements will present their Annual Washington-based Choral festival Serenade, with choral groups from all over the world performing.  Morgan's choir is mentioned in this article since we have used this group in recent years.  See list of free concerts listed in the Serenade Festival article.  Hopefully, you will be able to attend one of the concerts.


Link to Baltimore Sun Article:

We are what we repeatedly do.  Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit. - Aristotle
Eric Conway, D.M.A.
Fine and Performing Arts Department, Chair
Morgan State University
1700 East Cold Spring Lane
Carl Murphy Fine Arts Center, Room 329C
Baltimore, MD 21251

Friday, June 23, 2017

ASALH: Become a Featured Author, Register for the Founders of Black History's Featured Authors' Book Signing Event

Registration Deadline:
July 22, 2017
Dear Authors,  

Expose your title to an interested audience at the 2017 ASALH annual conference. As a participating author in the Authors' Book Signing Event, your title will be posted to the conference Featured Authors' Event page on the ASALH website. In addition, it will be listed in the Annual ASALH Convention Souvenir Journal. The souvenir journal is the gateway to more interested parties as conference members share the journal with their colleagues. Additionally, the souvenir journal is posted on the ASALH website. 
Reserve Your Space Now!
Applications Require ALL of the Following:
  1. Membership to ASALH (click link to pay online). ASALH Membership is required. If you are not a current member, you must first process your membership and then register as an author.
  2.  Author Processing Fee of $50.00 (click link to pay online).  
  3. Send for approval one(1) autographed copy of the book(s) you intend to sell by July 22, 2017 to Attn: Karen May-Book Signing Coordinator at the following address:
    2225 Georgia Avenue. NW
    Suite 331
          Washington, DC 20059     
★ To Process Fee(s) using ASALH Online:
  1. You will need to log in to ASALH Online to complete your transaction. Use your primary email address.
  2. Enter your password.
a. If this is your first time logging in, use the temporary   password Woodson1.
b. Click "Forgot Your Password" if you need to reset.

★ To Register by Mail:

Membership dues and Author's Processing Fee can be paid by check, or you can provide the credit card number on the Author Registration Form.
Event Date: Thursday, September 28, at 7:30 p.m. - 9:30 p.m.
The Featured Authors Event will take place on Thursday, Sep. 28, 2017, as part of the 101st Annual ASALH Conference, Sep. 27 - Oct. 1, 2017, in Cincinnati, Ohio. The event is open to the public and will be held in the Hilton Cincinnati Netherland Plaza Hotel. Conference Registration is not a prerequisite to participate in the featured Authors Event.

Our annual meeting is an occasion to share the cultural and historical contributions by people of African descent. Attendees from across the nation and around the world will convene to explore the 2017 National Black History theme: Crisis in Black Education.

With over 200 panels featuring prominent figures in Black cultural studies, as well as scholars and students from all disciplines, the ASALH Conference presents an optimal opportunity for you to present your research and current projects, as well as, learn about some of the other leading projects in the field of African American History.

Please plan to take advantage of this great opportunity.

Karen May
Publications and Exhibits Coordinator

John Malveaux: 90th birthday tribute July 29, 2017 during 22nd Central Ave Jazz Festival for living legend trumpet player Clora Bryant will include presentation of a scroll

John Malveaux of 

The 90th birthday tribute scheduled July 29, 2017 during 22nd Central Ave Jazz Festival for living legend trumpet player, vocalist, educator, and goodwill ambassador Clora Bryant will include presentation of a scroll to Clora from Los Angeles County Board of Supervisor, Second District & Chair of the Board, Mark Ridley-Thomas. Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, Fourth District Janice Hahn will also sign the scroll for Clora Bryant. Additionally, Supervisor Janice Hahn, will provide a FREE bus to transport 50 Long Beach residents to/from Central Ave Jazz Festival on July 29, 2017.

Mr. Rick Baptist, Vice President, Musicians Union of Hollywood (AFM local 47) is a trumpet player and he will present a plaque to Clora on behalf of local 47. Additional presentations will be announced as they are confirmed.

Dizzy Gillespie was so impressed with Clora Bryant that he gave her one of his bent horn trumpets. Please see pic Clora Bryant,

Schomburg Center: We are proud to serve as the world's #1 institution dedicated to Black history. I hope you will make a fiscal-year end donation.

As we prepare to begin a new fiscal year, we can't help but be grateful for all the support we've gotten from Schomburg Society members like you over the past 12 months.

Thanks to you, our exhibitions are more powerful and relevant than ever, our collection is more impressive, and our archives are more accessible.

We've shared some exciting news—the personal archive of James Baldwin has a home at the Schomburg Center, joining the collections of Maya Angelou, Paul Robeson, and other luminaries.

You can see why we are so proud to serve as the world's #1 institution dedicated to Black history and culture and why I hope you will make a fiscal-year end donation to help us make the most of this exciting acquisition.
Please make a special donation of $20 or more
From the 1950s until his death in 1987, James Baldwin loomed large as America's most prominent Black writer and intellectual. His novels and essays illuminated the African American experience, articulated a new vision of social justice, and powerfully explored inspired themes surrounding integration, class distinctions, and individuals' quests for acceptance in both post-war America and Europe.

The Schomburg Center will now be able to share James Baldwin's writings with a global community of scholars, while opening the life and works of this dominant literary figure to our many visitors.

As we celebrate this landmark acquisition and plan for the next fiscal year, we'd love to have your additional support. Please make a gift of $20 or more by June 30.

Because of your loyalty as a Schomburg Society member, this great institution has achieved new heights in our mission to showcase the contributions of people of African descent to the worlds of art, literature, theater, music, and diplomacy. Thank you so much for your support.


Kevin Young
Director, Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture

African Musical Arts: "A Celebration of African Composers for Piano" - new CD by Peter Henderson

A Celebration of African Composers for Piano
Peter Henderson, Piano 
African Music Publishers AGCD 2706 (2017)
Now released! Please listen to track excerpts and share link with your friends!

Recommended for your collection, this Black Music Month
African Musical Arts @ GRAND CENTER
3547 Olive Street, Suite 110
Saint Louis, MO 63104
Tel: 314-652-6800

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Works of Afro-Cuban Composer Leo Brouwer performed by Newman & Oltman Guitar Duo at 17th New York Guitar Festival Tuesday, June 27, 7 PM, Americas Society

Leo Brouwer (b. 1939) is an Afro-Cuban
composer, guitarist and conductor who is
featured at

Newman & Oltman Guitar Duo to Perform at 17th New York Guitar Seminar

The celebratEd Newman & Oltman Guitar Duo will perform at the 17th New York Guitar Seminar at Mannes on Tuesday, June 27. The Duo will be joined by Rene Izquierdo and Duo Cantabile in a concert and conversation honoring Cuban guitarist and Maestro Elías Barreiro.
The program includes works by Leo Brouwer, Manuel M. Ponce, Máximo Diego Pujol, Ignacio Cervantes and José Antonio "Ñico" Rojas. The concert will begin at 7:00 pm at Americas Society, 680 Park Avenue, New York.
The New York Guitar Seminar at Mannes, in partnership with the Americas Society, takes place June 26 to July 1. Tickets are $25.00 Adult, $15.00 Students/Seniors and must be purchased directly from the Americas Society.
The Newman & Oltman Guitar Duo's phenomenal musicianship places them solidly at the top of their field. Their innovative programming, matchless technique and ensemble precision, combined with their commitment to expanding the repertoire for guitar duo, make them a chamber ensemble of world renown.

New from TCG Books: "Sweat" by Lynn Nottage, Winner of the 2017 Pulitzer Prize for Drama

Lynn Nottage
Theatre Communications Group  

Lynn Nottage

NEW YORK, NY – Theatre Communications Group (TCG) is pleased to announce the publication of Sweat by Lynn Nottage. Sweat was first performed at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival in 2015 before playing at the Arena Stage in Washington, D.C. In the fall of 2016 the play received its Off-Broadway premiere at the Public Theater before transferring to Broadway in the spring of 2017.

Sweat brims with the kind of ripe, richly imagined life associated with the work of the great August Wilson…From first moments to last, this compassionate but clear-eyed play throbs with heartfelt life…That the people onstage are middle-class or lower-middle-class folks—too rarely given ample time on American stages—makes the play all the more vital a contribution to contemporary drama.”
–Charles Isherwood, New York Times

Lynn Nottage has written one of her most exquisitely devastating tragedies to date. In one of the poorest cities in America, Reading, Pennsylvania, a group of down-and-out factory workers struggle to keep their present lives in balance, ignorant of the financial devastation looming in their near future. Based on Nottage’s extensive research and interviews with residents of Reading, Sweat is a topical reflection of the present and poignant outcome of America’s economic decline.

Sweat is a passionate and necessary drama, a masterful depiction of the forces that divide and conquer us. It communicates its points with minimal fuss and maximum grit. Along with the rage, despair, and violence, there’s humor and abundant humanity. Prophetic before the 2016 election, the piece now reads as a cautionary tale of what happens when you don’t know how to resist.”
–David Cote, Time Out New York

Lynn Nottage is the recipient of two Pulitzer Prize Awards for Drama for Sweat and Ruined. She is the first woman playwright to be honored twice. Her other plays include Intimate Apparel; By the Way, Meet Vera Stark; Fabulation, or the Re-Education of Undine; Crumbs from the Table of Joy; and Las Meninas.

For over 50 years, Theatre Communications Group (TCG), the national organization for the American theatre, has existed to strengthen, nurture and promote the professional not-for-profit American theatre. TCG’s constituency has grown from a handful of groundbreaking theatres to nearly 700 Member Theatres and Affiliate organizations and more than 12,000 individuals nationwide. TCG offers its members networking and knowledge-building opportunities through conferences, events, research and communications; awards grants, approximately $2 million per year, to theatre companies and individual artists; advocates on the federal level; and serves as the U.S. Center of the International Theatre Institute, connecting its constituents to the global theatre community. TCG is North America’s largest independent trade publisher of dramatic literature, with 15 Pulitzer Prizes for Best Play on the TCG booklist. It also publishes the award-winning American Theatre magazine and ARTSEARCH®, the essential source for a career in the arts. In all of its endeavors, TCG seeks to increase the organizational efficiency of its member theatres, cultivate and celebrate the artistic talent and achievements of the field and promote a larger public understanding of, and appreciation for, the theatre.

Comment by email:
Wonderful, thank you, Bill!  [Gus Schulenburg]