Conservatism and the Black Community


Conservatism and the Black Community

Although there are many conservative principles that resonate with a large portion of America, ultimately, the root word itself has a major problem with black and minority communities. What world would African Americans, Latinos, Native Americans and the many minorities in the country would like to conserve?

Is it the world of the 1950′s when racial tension, segregation and unfair laws held back minorities? Is it the current world in which some of our Latino brothers and sisters are considered illegal? Is is the world in which Native Americans were and are continually forcibly moved from their land and sent on reservations to rot?

I think conservatism works when people understand their rights, know that there is a system that will preserve and protect those rights and, the most important part, have had the opportunity to experience and enjoy those rights.

There have been certain periods of history when all three worked for certain groups. Although very still limited, the reconstruction period was a good period for African American men who wanted more for their community. However, when you consider not only those rights, but economic activity, wealth distribution, education and in general the social and economic ladder in this country, things get weird.

To take it a step further, it was Adam Smith, a 18th century economist who described the concept of the “invisible hand”. This invisible force basically allows local economies to thrive. Those with a valuable service and/or product can sell it depending on need in the community.

So, what happens when laws, policies and practices limit, stop and even destroy such productive economic activity in a community for generations? That “invisible hand” is stomped on and it’s fingers are broken.

You get what we call the present day African American community across the country (for the most part), blighted commercial and residential corridors with people who feel and understand to be marginalized without the belief that they can change their destiny. This perspective comes from not wanting to change but from experience of generations.

For years black businesses have gotten the short end of the stick in loans, real estate and opportunity. This leads to less investment, opportunity and for many African American’s less of a desire to change a system that has basically decided it will not change unless it destroys a large part of itself in the process. The Civil War, the Civil Rights Movement and even now with the Tea Party movement (although not on the same scale) are good examples.

For any conservative movement to work in minority communities it can’t come from a perspective of wanting to preserve, to protect or to undo. It has to come from the desire to really see change in these struggling and in some circumstances dying communities. It has to come from that passion and drive to see minorities doing better for themselves and their communities.

“I Am KHALIL COLEMAN”


“I Am KHALIL COLEMAN”, may be the most powerful words in my time today…

At age 28, I feel I have been birth to live in the cause of doing what’s right, teaching young people, and helping others in the face of injustice. As a child, I remember thinking of the great dream of King, or the great integrity of Malcolm X, and recall at an early age of maybe like 10 years old asking myself in spirit would the same great love that took these men, would it be the same love which take me…

Let me fast forward to the most recent 3-4 years of my life when my fight for justice became real in Milwaukee history. Along with my experience growing up preparing me for my journey, I have watched the nation execute Troy Davis, I have been in national fights for justice on behalf of Mumia Abu Jamal and other political prisoners, I have watched the cries of this nation with Travyon Martin… at the same time in Milwaukee we lost Darius Simmons. I have experienced disrespect by law enforcement to the mother and family of Darius. The criminalization of character as her son died in the streets. I have fought tired battle after battle with the murder of Derek Williams. I seen tears shed that no money, no apologies could console. I have watched as families be disrespected in the face of law and order, as they are sent away with nothing but more grief. I walked 4 miles (and many more afterwards) with Mr. Craig Stingley a crying father who is using all God’s strength to keep going, after is son was killed and no justice has come to him yet. I am witnessing the murder cover up of Dontre Hamilton. A human being who’s life was taken worse than a wild animal, and still no answers.

I start to ask myself, how did these great men feel in times as I feel now. My mother is not religious, but is a strong spiritual person. She told me growing up as a child, “If they did it to Jesus who loved the world, what make you think they won’t do it to you.” I believe she always understood who I would be, but was always afraid of what that meant. Today, as she watch me singled out on newscast and become a target for a police chief to call my name publicly, and watch my great love for what’s right, like many she fears in a timing we live in.

In a time of today, 2014, where Ferguson has become a peak of the climax across the nation of race relations, we ask… why did we stop fighting for what’s right? Where are the young voices who we can say “I Am…” why must we be silent? How dangerous is it for us to wake up? How much world changing it would be if more rose up?

Martin Luther King Jr. writes in 1968 “A New Sense of Direction”:

* King quotes Victor Hugo. “If the soul is left in darkness, sins will be committed. The guilty one is not he who commits the sin but he who causes the darkness.”

I think King refers to these as the great resistance. Where we can look around in see problems in our communities, such as; poverty, lack of employment, homicides, hunger, etc. We can look at this and see one is in sin, but where do these problems arise from? A system of injustice. So who is the guilt one?

* “The general causes of riots, we would have to say that the white power structure is still seeking to keep the walls of segregation and inequality substantially intact, while Negro determination to break through them has intensified. I find five basic causes of riots—the white backlash; pervasive discriminatory practices; unemployment; the war in Vietnam; and the urban problems of crime and extensive migration” -King

Relating back to Ferguson, or Milwaukee, or Chicago, or New York or any place where Black people reside in unjust treatments.. the next quote by King explains the pressure of a people who are continuously oppressed then suppressed. What took interest about Ferguson was the uprising of folks who was willing to stand up and throw back tear gas, or be shot by rubber bullets, or take an arrest on behalf of making a stand that “We Aren’t Going Anywhere.” One brother told me as I stood with many young warriors the first night curfew was imposed, which echoed many who took the last stand, “Where else do we have to go… I live here, I can’t run no more…”

Many times we express our great love to those taken unjustly by saying “I Am Oscar Grant”, “I Am Corey Stingley”, “I Am Eric Garner”, “I Am Mike Brown”… but it’s always after the facts of life. On Sept. 9th 2014, thirty influential Black men in the City of Milwaukee was called and about sixty showed up and said “I Am KHALIL COLEMAN”, after being targeted as a leader for justice (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=durQVlGcdDw). To me… that means much more then it just being about me. That’s the call of all those who are willing to make a stand for right in the face of wrong. To make a stand for justice in the face of injustice or Just Us. To say something when something MUST be said. Don’t let it only just be me. I made the stand and said it isn’t just the victims, I could be that victim, you could be that victim. But will you be one of the willing. There is no grander time, no greater time, and no perfect time to make that step.. but there is always a necessary time. In the end, I believe… anybody can be a leader. It’s just “ordinary people doing extraordinary thing” – Rosa Parks

I pray and move as if the Most High has the final say, but don’t wait until I Am no longer… it’s best when we stay alive! ” #Godtrust

The Color Purple Comes to Town


Milwaukee Repertory Theater opens its 2014/15 Season in the Quadracci Powerhouse with the glorious musical saga The Color Purple. Color Purple

 

 

 

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THE COLOR PURPLE,

A GLORIOUS MUSICAL SAGA FEATURING A TERRIFIC, MULTI-TALENTED CAST, OPENS IN MILWAUKEE REPERTORY THEATER’S QUADRACCI POWERHOUSE SEPTEMBER 26, 2014 

 

September 4, 2014 – [Milwaukee] – Milwaukee Repertory Theater’s 2014/15 Quadracci Powerhouse Season kicks off in grand style with an uplifting production of The Color Purple. This hit musical, based on Alice Walker’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, will be directed by Artistic Director Mark Clements, who reunites with the same creative team behind last season’s wildly successful hit production of Ragtime. This will be the fifth musical that Clements has directed at The Rep.

Called “inspirational” by The New York Times and “soaring and joyful” by Time Magazine, The Color Purple is an unforgettable story, spanning four decades, about a woman who triumphs over adversity and discovers her own unique voice in the world. With a joyous Grammy-nominated score featuring jazz, ragtime, gospel, and blues, The Color Purple captures the hearts of young and old, and reminds us that “it only takes a grain of love to make a mighty tree.” The Color Purple runs in the Quadracci Powerhouse from September 23 – November 2, 2014 and opens on Friday, September 26.

“We are thrilled to kick off our 2014/15 Season in the Quadracci Powerhouse with the award-winning musical The Color Purple and share it with Milwaukee audiences,” says Artistic Director Mark Clements. “The show has incredible music in it with a wonderful score performed by live musicians; and our production will feature a multi-talented cast of 27 actors. The Color Purple is an inspiring, epic story of a family, and a testament to the healing power of love and a celebration of life. The soul-stirring music, vivid characters, strong message of hope, women’s empowerment and the power of the human spirit, will make this what we believe will be an unforgettable experience at the theater.”

Clements added, “The Color Purple is a powerful story of redemption and we need to hear these stories, especially in these challenging times that we live in. My hope as a theater maker is that by offering this play to the Milwaukee community we can continue to have thought-provoking conversations with our audiences about the deeper themes explored in the play. We have many fascinating panel discussions scheduled around this production and we hope that our audiences will join us in these forums. I believe meaningful conversations around the work we do in the theater can be a first step in creating positive change in our community.”

The cast for The Color Purple includes: Broadway veterans Allyson Kaye Daniel, Zonya Love, and Nathaniel Stampley. Returning to The Rep are Melody Betts, Jonathan Butler-Duplessis, Carl Clemons-Hopkins, Jessie Hooker, Malkia Stampley, and Bethany Thomas. Making their Rep debuts are Gilbert L. Bailey II, Darryl Reuben Hall, Vanessa A. Jones-DuBose, Christina Acosta Robinson, Alexis J. Rogers, Leonard E.  Sullivan, and Stephanie Umoh. 2014/15 Artistic Intern Ensemble Members featured include: India Gurley, Taurean Hogan, Jennifer Latimore, and Vallea E. Woodbury. The children’s cast includes Izayah Briggs, Zuri McGowan, Chantae Miller, Nya, Esther O’Brien, Maya O’Day-Biddle, and Braylen Stevens.

For full cast bios, please visit www.MilwaukeeRep.com.

The Color Purple is presented by BMO Private Bank. The Executive Producers for this production are James E. and Mary K. Braza, Jackie Herd-Barber and Michael Barber. The production is also receiving additional support provided by City of Milwaukee Arts Board, Visit Milwaukee and Woo Connections. The Media Sponsor for this production is Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and the Media Partner is Shepherd Express.  The Quadracci Powerhouse Season is sponsored by H. Richard Quadracci Ewens and Emilio Cabrera in memory of Harry and Betty Quadracci.

The Color Purple Tickets

Tickets for The Color Purple begin at $30.00. Single Tickets for all of Milwaukee Repertory Theater’s 2014/15 productions are now on sale and can be purchased online 24/7 at www.MilwaukeeRep.com, through The Rep’s Ticket Office by calling 414-224-9490 or in person at 108 E. Wells Street. Group tickets are also available for purchase by calling Group Sales Manager Joy Surber at 414-290-5340.

To learn more about The Rep or its productions, please visit www.MilwaukeeRep.com.

TALKS AND EVENTS

Rep In Depth – get an insider’s look at the production from cast member Carl Clemons-Hopkins with a discussion that begins 45 minutes prior to every performance.

Talkbacks – Friday, October 3, 10, 17, 24, and 31 – Join artistic staff and members of the cast in a post-show discussion.

Young Professionals Night – Thursday, September 25, 6pm – Quadracci Powerhouse Theater Lobby. Join us for a pre-show happy hour featuring live music and complimentary appetizers and beer. This event is free with ticket.

Panel Discussions following the 2pm performances – The Rep, in conjunction with The Color Purple Community Committee, presents a series of panel discussions around the themes of the show. Each panel will include local community experts moderated by a member of The Rep’s Artistic staff.

  • September 28 – Moving North: Stories of the South in Milwaukee
  • October 5 –  Hell No! Standing Up Against Domestic Violence
  • October 12 – Strong Black Women
  • October 19 – Raising Awareness of Human Trafficking in Milwaukee
  • October 26 – Family Stories
  • November 2 – Alice Walker’s Use of Language in The Color Purple

For more information about the panel discussions, please visit www.MilwaukeeRep.com.  

PERFORMANCES:

Tuesday, 9/23/14 – 7:30pm – Preview/Pay What You Can

Wednesday, 9/24/14 – 7:30pm – Preview/Pay What You Can

Thursday, 9/25/14 – 6:00pm – Young Professionals Night/7:30pm – Preview

Friday, 9/26/14 – 8:00pm – Opening

Saturday, 9/27/14 ­­­­­­­­­­­­­– 4:00pm/8:00pm

Sunday, 9/28/14 – 2:00pm/7:00pm

Following 2:00pm performance, Panel Discussion: Moving North: Stories of the South in Milwaukee

Tuesday, 9/30/14 – 6:30pm –Early Bird/Audio-Description

Wednesday, 10/1/14 – 7:30pm

Thursday, 10/2/14 – 7:30pm

Friday, 10/3/14 – 8:00pm – Talkback

Saturday, 10/4/14 – 4:00pm/8:00pm

Sunday, 10/5/14 – 2:00pm/7:00pm

Following 2:00pm performance, Panel Discussion: Hell No! Standing Up Against Domestic Violence

Wednesday, 10/8/14 – 1:30pm – Bus Matinee/7:30pm

Thursday, 10/9/14 – 7:30pm – American Sign Language

Friday, 10/10/14 – 8:00pm – Talkback

Saturday, 10/11/14 – 4:00pm/8:00pm

Sunday, 10/12/14 – 2:00pm/7:00pm

Following 2:00pm performance, Panel Discussion: Strong Black Women

 

Wednesday, 10/15/14 – 7:30pm

Thursday, 10/16/14 – 7:30pm

Friday, 10/17/14 – 8:00pm – Talkback

Saturday, 10/18/14 – 4:00pm/8:00pm

Sunday, 10/19/14 – 2:00pm – Captioned/7:00pm

Following 2:00pm performance, Panel Discussion: Raising Awareness of Human Trafficking in Milwaukee

Wednesday, 10/22/14 – 1:30pm – Lunch Matinee/7:30 p.m.

Thursday, 10/23/14 –  7:30pm

Friday, 10/24/14 – 8:00pm – Talkback

Saturday, 10/25/14 – 4:00pm/8:00pm

Sunday, 10/26/14 – 2:00pm/7:00pm

Following 2:00pm performance, Panel Discussion: Family Stories

Tuesday, 10/28/14 – 7:30pm

Wednesday, 10/29/14 – 7:30pm

Thursday, 10/30/14 – 7:30pm

Friday, 10/31/14 – 8:00pm – Talkback

Saturday, 11/1/14 – 4:00pm/8:00pm

Sunday, 11/2/14 – 2:00pm/7:00pm – Closing

Following 2:00pm performance, Panel Discussion: Alice Walker’s Use of Language in The Color Purple

TICKET PRICES: Prices begin at $30.00.

TICKETS/INFORMATION: 414-224-9490 or buy tickets online at www.MilwaukeeRep.com

TICKET OFFICE LOCATION: 108 E. Wells Street in Milwaukee’s Downtown Theater District

TICKET OFFICE HOURS: Monday – Sunday, Noon – 6 pm*

*On days with performances the Ticket Office will stay open until fifteen minutes after curtain.

Please note: The Rep’s Ticket Office will be closed Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day.

 

 

Why We Need Tracey Dent in the 16th State Assembly District


Tracey Dent

Why We Need Tracey Dent in the 16th State Assembly District

Are you happy with the way things are? Me either and there is a new brand of leadership brewing in Milwaukee, however it has been held back by the old guard and those looking to keep the status quo. On Tuesday August 12th we have the chance to be counted among those who want a new way of thinking and acting for us.

This is why I am voting for Tracey Dent and I am asking you to do the same. The powers that be are happy with the step’n’fetch it politics as usual. Those who are the “new” game in town are only bought and sold union hacks with the same brand of politics as usual in mind. Tracey is not beholden to anyone but us. He has shown us time after time that his only interest is in the community at large and the need to make our community a better place for the future. I know there are many trying to hold him back because they lost their own bids for a race or because they do not have the community’s best interest in mind. I ask you to think about those folks and what have they done for you lately? When they lost did they continue to help the community or did they surely fall into the background and disappear because they didn’t get their way? Of those that are running is it to keep their steady income? Have they held their promises to the community as they said? Have they been accountable to you or answered your phone calls? Have they even bothered to do anything they said or was it all for show and once elected did they go back to sitting in their offices in their nice suits and do absolutely nothing?

These are some of the things you will need to ask yourselves and then I hope you will vote along with me for change I think we all know we can count on. Leon Young has not been a state rep we have seen do anything in our community. I do not know the last time he has shown up to comfort a family or stand on an issue. He is just happy to stand in the crowd and be counted as one of the familiar do nothing Black Elected. I can point out photo ops and news articles that show favor to him. However that has not created jobs, safer neighborhoods, or made change for us. Don’t you think we need to let Leon go? I think it is time for a change Milwaukee. Please help me in welcoming in new leadership that will bear fruit for us and future generations. Proven, tested, and tried, Tracey Dent!!

Peace Family,

WW