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poetry

Happy 100th Birthday Lawrence Ferlinghetti

Lawrence Ferlinghetti, poet, painter, activist, and co-founder of City Lights Booksellers & Publishers turned 100 years old today. Ferlinghetti is maybe best known for “A Coney Island of the Mind” and as publisher of the beat poets, which included being arrested for publishing Allen Ginsberg’s Howl and the ensuing First Ammendment trial. My favorite work […]

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Silence and shame are contagious; so are courage and speech. Rebecca Solnit

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My silences had not protected me. Your silence will not protect you. But for every real word spoken, for every attempt I had ever made to speak those truths for which I am still seeking, I had made contact with other women while we examined the words to fit a world in which we all […]

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It’s important to acknowledge that, most of the time, the underlying problem human rights organisations are trying to solve isn’t technical. It’s often a bureaucratic, institutional, process or workflow problem, and technology won’t solve it (and might exacerbate it). Human rights work attempts to prevent the abusive deployment of power against those who have little […]

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Activism is my rent for living on the planet. Alice Walker, from the documentary film Beauty in Truth (via)

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The thing that got me about Michael Brown’s death in Ferguson was when his mom said that he didn’t think he was going to live, anyway. She said she was always trying to get on him about going to school and doing his homework and graduating and all that. And he didn’t really think he […]

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Jamila Woods – blk girl soldier  (Direct link to soundcloud) This is so good and so timely. A day after Martin Luther King Jr. Day in the US, a day that this year was the stage for #BlackLivesMatter protest action, Jamila Woods, a vocalist and poet from Chicago, released this track. The song connects music to […]

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Public Shaming, Toxicity, and False Equivalencies.

Katherine Cross wrote a really nuanced, challenging text for Feministing about the recent discussions around public shaming, online toxicity, and how call out culture is used and (mis)represented in articles:  The solution is not, I realized, to remain silent and wait for the storm of controversy to pass. There will always be another one. Those […]

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Selma

What a stunning, important, moving, magnificent film. It might have not won the Oscar, but it will surely enter collective cultural memory and countless syllabi.  The entire ensemble of actors and actresses was great, lead by a brilliant David Oyelowo as Martin Luther King Jr. Great directing and cinematography, too. For me, the “4 little […]

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Someone who used whatever talent she had to do her work to the very best of her ability. And to help repair tears in her society, to make things a little better through the use of whatever ability she has. To do something, as my colleague David Souter would say, outside myself. ‘Cause I’ve gotten […]