Vlad Tells TK Kirkland What Bothers Him About Juneteenth

In this clip, Vlad explained to TK Kirkland why he feels a bit uneasy about Juneteenth. While Vlad said he’s happy black people received the acknowledgement, he believes the logic behind the holiday and it celebrating black people’s transition from chattel to human to be flawed. For TK, he said he doesn’t pay much attention to any holidays but is particularly tired of black people being given holidays in lieu of material concessions.

Why Some Black Activists Say Plan To Put Harriet Tubman On $20 Bill Is An Insult To Her Legacy

This week, the Biden administration announced that it would resume efforts to put the image of Harriet Tubman on the $20 bill, a move first championed by the Obama administration in 2016. Biden press secretary Jen Psaki said Monday that the Treasury Department is “exploring ways to speed up” the process to ensure the 19th century freedom fighter is recognized.

“It’s important that our notes, our money — if people don’t know what a note is — reflect the history and diversity of our country,” Psaki said during a White House press briefing. “Harriet Tubman’s image gracing the new $20 note would certainly reflect that.”

Many initially praised the move put forth by Obama-era Treasury Secretary Jack Lew to highlight the American abolitionist. To supporters, the idea of having Tubman, herself an ex-slave, replace former President Andrew Jackson, a slave owner, is a bold rebuke to an ugly era in American history.

But some Black activists say putting Tubman on the $20 bill is an uneasy fit with her legacy.

“Harriet Tubman did not fight for capitalism, free trade or competitive markets,” Feminista Jones, an activist, author and advocate, wrote in an op-ed for the Washington Post in 2015.

“She repeatedly put herself in the line of fire to free people who were treated as currency themselves,” Jones added. “She risked her life to ensure that enslaved Black people would know they were worth more than the blood money that exchanged hands to buy and sell them. I do not believe Tubman, who died impoverished in 1913, would accept the ‘honor.’”

Tubman, born into slavery around 1822, was the fourth of nine children, and grew up working in cotton fields in Dorchester County, Md. In 1849, Tubman escaped her plantation under the cover of darkness, following the North Star to Philadelphia, and at 27 years old began working as a maid. After saving enough money the following year, she returned to the South to liberate her sister’s family. Over the next 10 years, Tubman helped more than 700 slaves escape to freedom, becoming the most well known of the Underground Railroad’s “conductors.”

Jones, in an interview with Yahoo News this week, questioned why putting Tubman on a bill would honor her legacy.

“Why would we want to put somebody who fought for freedom from this kind of capitalist oppression?” Jones asked. “Why would we want to take her image and then make her the face of this thing that so many people lack access to?”

“I’ve studied Harriet Tubman extensively,” she added. “If there’s one thing that I understand, is that she did not get recognized for all of the amazing things that she did. She died a pauper, and she was a U.S. veteran. The [country] should have honored her as a veteran. She was the only woman to lead a raid for the Union Army. That in itself is just an amazing accomplishment for the all-women crowd. So why not acknowledge that?”

Instead of putting a Black woman, or any woman of color, on a note, Jones says Black women merely want to be valued equitably in society.

“When it comes to representation, I’ll be quite honest, I don’t care much about it,” Jones said. “Representation without action, without policy change, without improvement of daily life means nothing to me.”

Historically, Black women have made a fraction of what white men and women make, despite being the most educated population in the country. For every dollar a white man earns for work in the United States, a white woman earns 79 cents and a Black woman earns just 62 cents, according to a 2019 Bureau of Labor Statistics report.

The median net worth of Black women in America paints an even grimmer picture. Single Black women ages 20 to 39 with children but without a bachelor’s degree have a median net worth of $0, according to a 2017 report from the Samuel DuBois Cook Center on Social Equity. Single Black women ages 20 to 39 with a bachelor’s degree fare even worse, having a median net worth range of -$11,000 to $0. White women, on the other hand, fare considerably better. Single white women ages 20 to 39 with a bachelor’s degree have a median net worth range of $3,400 to $7,500.

The push to have Tubman on the $20 bill was initially set to coincide with the 100th anniversary of the women’s suffrage movement in 2020. But the year came and went without any revision to the $20 bill.

The plan to put Tubman on the $20 bill stalled under the Trump administration. Donald Trump, while still a candidate in 2016, called the push to replace Jackson with Tubman “pure political correctness.” He hailed Jackson as his political hero and installed a portrait of the former president in the Oval Office amid criticism from some historians and activists who noted that Jackson, in addition to being a slave owner, committed genocide against Native Americans.

However, not everyone is so supportive of the move. Ashley Stevens, a Black Twitter user with a substantial following, said she thinks “there’s some sort of perversion” in putting Tubman on the bill.

“A woman who was traded as capital becoming the face of capital doesn’t sit right with my spirit,” Stevens said Monday in a tweet that went viral. “If you wanna honor Tubman there are much better ways to do so that would change the material benefits of people’s lives. Build schools, parks, a historical center, etc in her name. Putting her face on the 20 dollar bill isn’t even a feel good. It’s giving me the yucks.”

Source: Yahoo

California Lawmakers to Consider Reparations for Slavery

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California lawmakers are setting up a task force to study and make recommendations for reparations to African Americans, particularly the descendants of slaves, as the nation struggles again with civil rights and unrest following the latest shooting of a Black man by police.

The state Senate supported creating the nine-member commission on a bipartisan 33-3 vote Saturday. The measure returns to the Assembly for a final vote before lawmakers adjourn for the year on Monday, though Assembly members overwhelmingly already approved an earlier version of the bill.

“Let’s be clear: Chattel slavery, both in California and across our nation, birthed a legacy of racial harm and inequity that continues to impact the conditions of Black life in California,” said Democratic Sen. Holly Mitchell of Los Angeles.

She cited disproportionate homelessness, unemployment, involvement in the criminal justice system, lower academic performance and higher health risks during the coronavirus pandemic.

Although California before the Civil War was officially a free state, Mitchell listed legal and judicial steps state officials took at the time to support slavery in Southern states while repressing Blacks.

The legislation would require the task force to conduct a detailed study of the impact of slavery in California and recommend to the Legislature by July 2023 the form of compensation that should be awarded, how it should be awarded, and who should be should be eligible for compensation.

The panel, which would start meeting no later than June 2021, could also recommend other forms of rehabilitation or redress.

In the last two years, Texas, New York, and Vermont have considered similar legislation, according to a legislative analysis. It said reparations could take the form of cash, housing assistance, lower tuition, forgiving student loans, job training or community investments, for instance.

Sen. Steven Bradford, a Democrat from Gardena who supported the bill, said he only wished it was more than a study.

He noted that Friday marked the 57th anniversary of the March on Washington and The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech.

“If the 40 acres and a mule that was promised to free slaves were delivered to the descendants of those slaves today, we would all be billionaires,” Bradford said. “I hear far too many people say, ‘Well, I didn’t own slaves, that was so long ago.’ Well, you inherit wealth — you can inherit the debt that you owe to African-Americans.”

Source: AP News

KFC Trinidad apologizes for ‘insensitive’ Emancipation Day artwork

The post, published on its social media pages on Saturday, was captioned “KFC wishes you a happy Emancipation Day”, however, the imagery was what triggered a wave of criticism as several Trinidadians viewed it as insensitive.

The artwork, which has since been deleted, depicted KFC’s famous spicy chicken drumstick, with the silhouette of what appeared to be a hand in the background displaying the black power gesture.

Several hours later, KFC TT returned with another graphic, one filled with balloons accompanied by a caption which wrote, “Happy Emancipation Day (sic) On August 1, 1985, Trinidad & Togabo became the first country in the world to declare a national holiday to commemorate the abolition of slavery.”

Source: Buzz Caribbean

Snapchat apologizes for Juneteenth filter that prompted users to ‘smile’ to break chains

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Snapchat is apologizing for a controversial Juneteenth filter that allowed users to “smile and break the chains,” saying the filter had not gone through its usual review protocols. The filter was panned by critics on Friday morning shortly after its release for its tone deafness, and was disabled by about 11AM ET.

“We deeply apologize to the members of the Snapchat community who found this Lens offensive,” a Snap spokesperson said in an email to The Verge. “A diverse group of Snap team members were involved in developing the concept, but a version of the Lens that went live for Snapchatters this morning had not been approved through our review process. We are investigating why this mistake occurred so that we can avoid it in the future.”

It isn’t the first time a Snapchat filter has gone badly awry. In 2017, it honored International Women’s Day by offering filters of famous women like Frida Kahlo, Rosa Parks, and Marie Curie, but added smoky eye makeup and a face “thinning” effect to the Curie filter. It had two misfires with filters in 2016: it released a Bob Marley filter in honor of 4/20 that put users’ selfies in what many users felt amounted to digital blackface, and later that year made an anime-inspired filter that created “yellowface” caricatures of Asians.

Source: The Verge