Message To Our Spokane Brothas

What does it mean to be a brotha? Is that a term based upon skin color or ethnicity or is it an understanding of common goals? We are in a war that’s being fought on two levels. One is the immediate problem with COVID-19. The other is the systemic problems that lead to a disproportionate number of deaths among people of color and the poor.

If we are brothas we need to support each other in this war at both levels. We need to support each other in measurable ways, not just throw around cultural symbols. We need to start by asking little things of each other.

  • If you are a friend you will wear a mask because it protects you from me and me from you.
  • We need to believe in and support the idea of one justice indivisible. If you don’t know what I am talking about a starting point would be The 14 Principles listed at 4comculture.com.
  • The Spokane School District Board of Education wants to name several new school buildings. It would be nice if two of those schools were named after people of color. You can nominate someone: Nomination Link. I have nominated Frances Scott and Ruben Trejo.
  • It would be good to let us know your personal level of commitment: Ally, Actor or Accomplice. See page at 4comculture.com.
  • You need to have an online presence. You need to let your other brothas know what it is you stand for. One simple way to do this is to participate in online posting and messaging at Facebook.
  • Let’s become civic activists. Participate in local social justice organizations or engage in new methods of non-violent action that include physical, virtual and hybrid actions.
  • We each need to develop a social justice budget. It would be nice if you would donate on a regular basis to the things that you believe in. Let me suggest that you make a donation to anybody or any group that you choose, but do it in the name of Spokane Brothas. The reason I suggest doing that is to build a power base that would be respected. I would suggest a budget that would express your volunteer time as well as your cash contributions. For example a budget of $100 a month could include:
    • Volunteering: 7 hours a month at the national minimum wage of $7.25 per hour would be about a $50 in-kind contribution. What if you showed up to volunteer in a Brothas T-shirt?
    • Send a check to the Black Lens. About $4.00 a month buys a subscription.
    • Contribute to an informational issue campaign. For example about $16 pays for a MailChimp service that will send your message to a mailing list of thousands that you have built. In times of quarantine and isolation you have to find ways other than community meetings to deliver information about your issues. You could buy a yard sign with your message or issue or candidate.
    • Give $20 to local and/or regional progressive organizations or blue political parties – to the same organization/s every month so they can feel your presence.
    • Give $10 to national progressive organizations or blue political parties – to the same organization/s every month so they can feel your presence.

If we only had 14 brothas contributing at this level this would be $1400 per month or $16,800 per year. Imagine what would happen if we had 100 brothas.

Your comments are welcome. If I haven’t heard from you by June 12, I will assume you are not interested.

Bob L. info@4comculture.com

I Have A Dream

Martin Luther King

I am happy to join with you today in what will go down in history as the greatest demonstration for freedom in the history of our nation.

Five score years ago, a great American, in whose symbolic shadow we stand today, signed the Emancipation Proclamation. This momentous decree came as a great beacon light of hope to millions of Negro slaves who had been seared in the flames of withering injustice. It came as a joyous daybreak to end the long night of their captivity.

But one hundred years later, the Negro still is not free. One hundred years later, the life of the Negro is still sadly crippled by the manacles of segregation and the chains of discrimination. One hundred years later, the Negro lives on a lonely island of poverty in the midst of a vast ocean of material prosperity. One hundred years later, the Negro is still languishing in the corners of American society and finds himself an exile in his own land. So we have come here today to dramatize a shameful condition.

In a sense we have come to our nation’s capital to cash a check. When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir. This note was a promise that all men, yes, black men as well as white men, would be guaranteed the unalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

It is obvious today that America has defaulted on this promissory note insofar as her citizens of color are concerned. Instead of honoring this sacred obligation, America has given the Negro people a bad check, a check which has come back marked “insufficient funds.” But we refuse to believe that the bank of justice is bankrupt. We refuse to believe that there are insufficient funds in the great vaults of opportunity of this nation. So we have come to cash this check — a check that will give us upon demand the riches of freedom and the security of justice. We have also come to this hallowed spot to remind America of the fierce urgency of now. This is no time to engage in the luxury of cooling off or to take the tranquilizing drug of gradualism. Now is the time to make real the promises of democracy. Now is the time to rise from the dark and desolate valley of segregation to the sunlit path of racial justice. Now is the time to lift our nation from the quick sands of racial injustice to the solid rock of brotherhood. Now is the time to make justice a reality for all of God’s children.

It would be fatal for the nation to overlook the urgency of the moment. This sweltering summer of the Negro’s legitimate discontent will not pass until there is an invigorating autumn of freedom and equality. Nineteen sixty-three is not an end, but a beginning. Those who hope that the Negro needed to blow off steam and will now be content will have a rude awakening if the nation returns to business as usual. There will be neither rest nor tranquility in America until the Negro is granted his citizenship rights. The whirlwinds of revolt will continue to shake the foundations of our nation until the bright day of justice emerges.

But there is something that I must say to my people who stand on the warm threshold which leads into the palace of justice. In the process of gaining our rightful place we must not be guilty of wrongful deeds. Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred.

We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline. We must not allow our creative protest to degenerate into physical violence. Again and again we must rise to the majestic heights of meeting physical force with soul force. The marvelous new militancy which has engulfed the Negro community must not lead us to a distrust of all white people, for many of our white brothers, as evidenced by their presence here today, have come to realize that their destiny is tied up with our destiny. They have come to realize that their freedom is inextricably bound to our freedom. We cannot walk alone.

As we walk, we must make the pledge that we shall always march ahead. We cannot turn back. There are those who are asking the devotees of civil rights, “When will you be satisfied?” We can never be satisfied as long as the Negro is the victim of the unspeakable horrors of police brutality. We can never be satisfied, as long as our bodies, heavy with the fatigue of travel, cannot gain lodging in the motels of the highways and the hotels of the cities. We cannot be satisfied as long as the Negro’s basic mobility is from a smaller ghetto to a larger one. We can never be satisfied as long as our children are stripped of their selfhood and robbed of their dignity by signs stating “For Whites Only”. We cannot be satisfied as long as a Negro in Mississippi cannot vote and a Negro in New York believes he has nothing for which to vote. No, no, we are not satisfied, and we will not be satisfied until justice rolls down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream.

I am not unmindful that some of you have come here out of great trials and tribulations. Some of you have come fresh from narrow jail cells. Some of you have come from areas where your quest for freedom left you battered by the storms of persecution and staggered by the winds of police brutality. You have been the veterans of creative suffering. Continue to work with the faith that unearned suffering is redemptive.

Go back to Mississippi, go back to Alabama, go back to South Carolina, go back to Georgia, go back to Louisiana, go back to the slums and ghettos of our northern cities, knowing that somehow this situation can and will be changed. Let us not wallow in the valley of despair.

I say to you today, my friends, so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.

I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: “We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal.”

I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.

I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.

I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.

I have a dream today.

I have a dream that one day, down in Alabama, with its vicious racists, with its governor having his lips dripping with the words of interposition and nullification; one day right there in Alabama, little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers.

I have a dream today.

I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight, and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together.

This is our hope. This is the faith that I go back to the South with. With this faith we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope. With this faith we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. With this faith we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day.

This will be the day when all of God’s children will be able to sing with a new meaning, “My country, ‘tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing. Land where my fathers died, land of the pilgrim’s pride, from every mountainside, let freedom ring.”

And if America is to be a great nation this must become true. So let freedom ring from the prodigious hilltops of New Hampshire. Let freedom ring from the mighty mountains of New York. Let freedom ring from the heightening Alleghenies of Pennsylvania!

Let freedom ring from the snowcapped Rockies of Colorado!

Let freedom ring from the curvaceous slopes of California!

But not only that; let freedom ring from Stone Mountain of Georgia!

Let freedom ring from Lookout Mountain of Tennessee!

Let freedom ring from every hill and molehill of Mississippi. From every mountainside, let freedom ring.

And when this happens, when we allow freedom to ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God’s children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, “Free at last! free at last! thank God Almighty, we are free at last!”

Innocence Project In Spokane

Ricky Kidd spoke on his resilient 23 year fight for his freedom at the Gonzaga University School of Law February 24, 2020

In 1996, Ricky Kidd was wrongfully convicted of the double-homicide of George Bryant and Oscar Bridges in Kansas City, Missouri. Witnesses to the crime testified that three men entered Bryant’s home in the middle of the day. The two victims were found dead, Bridges in the basement and Bryant in the street outside his home. Bryant’s 4-year-old daughter was discovered alive in a closet inside the house.

Ricky became the lead suspect in the case after an anonymous tip came in naming him as one of the killers; evidence suggests this phone tip may have been called in by one of the actual perpetrators. Ricky had what should have been an airtight alibi for the crime: he was at the Jackson County Sheriff’s Lake Jacomo Office at the time of the murders, filling out an application for a gun permit.

Le’Taxione Has Come Home After Serving 23 Years

Le’Taxione has come home after serving 23 years of a life sentence without parole in Washington State, despite the fact that the courts held he was not a “Three Striker” and that his sentence was unlawful. Nevertheless the Washington Supreme Court held that they were powerless to correct this error and Le’Taxione™ sought and received a commutation of his sentence from Governor Jay Inslee. Le’Taxione is living now in Spokane. His mission is to create avenues to be used by youth in their journey to success – while simultaneously providing life altering opportunities to help assist them in addressing adverse childhood experiences, violence, criminality, homelessness, expulsions, the school to prison pipeline, addiction, mental health challenges etc. He is promoting mentorship, peer support groups, self-determination and empowerment. We will learn how at his:

IMPACTED YOUTH FORUM

Join Le’Taxione at the Impacted Youth Forum February 29, 2020 from 10:00-1:30 at Spokane Falls Community College in the Student Union Building SUB lounge. Youth are encouraged to speak at this event.

150,000 Wrongfully Accused Are STILL in Jails Today.

Here’s What You Can Do to Help.

The Breakdown with Shaun King The North Star

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Join Shaun as he unpacks the most important stories of injustice, racism and corruption, but also tells you who’s fighting back and how you can support and join them with practical action steps.

This story that needs our help now:
It’s up to us to free Myon Burrell! 17 years ago, Myon was charged and convicted of a murder that he did not commit. He is completely innocent, and has been in prison since 2002.

Ep. 179 – Do you know about Myon Burrell?

We can’t just stand by. Shaun lays the framework for how we will free him. Listen for two action steps that should leave us looking within.

Ep. 180 – FreeMyonBurrell.com



You need to care about the wrongly accused. We need to pressure County Attorney Michael Freeman, his colleagues and other elected officials to vacate Myon’s conviction and create a Conviction Integrity Unit to overturn more wrongful convictions. Myon has spent more than 17 years fighting for his freedom, and he is still fighting.

Make Calls

Sign a Petition

Visit FreeMyonBurrell.com right now for more details.

2020 Martin Luther King Days

3000 show up at Spokane Convention Center LINK TO MORE PHOTOS
2020 HOLY TEMPLE Commemorative Celebration LINK TO MORE PHOTOS

This year we gathered as usual Sunday January 19 at Holy Temple Church of God in Christ for the Commemorative Celebration. Monday January 20 we gathered at the Spokane Convention Center for a video presentation about the MLK East Central Community Center, inspirational speeches, Max Daniels of House of Soul gave his rendition of A Change Is Gonna Come with a slide presentation that illustrated previous MLK rallies and CLICK: Those Who Showed Up during the year to speak to power, marched around several blocks downtown, and returned to the Exhibit Hall where Michael Moon Bear youth drummers entertained.

But there were only two action steps suggested.

One was that we spread the love and brotherhood of Dr. King’s teachings and the other was that we show up February 3 at City Hall to ask the City Council to rename the East Central Community Center as the Martin Luther King Community Center.

People leave these rallies without knowing what they can do. What will you do between now and when we gather again in January 2021 for the MLK rally and march? In the next few weeks there are the impeachment proceedings followed by the campaigns for the presidential and other elections in November. We need to get busy.

100 Discussion to Action Groups

If you believe in CLICK: These Principles we need you to go to your local coffee house and form a discussion group with five to ten individuals to discuss issues, plan strategies and take actions. Begin building the community you want to live in. We want to build 100 of these discussion groups. If we have 100 discussion groups we will be able to turn out 500 to a 1000 people to demonstrate, to knock on doors, to participate in social justice activities. Regardless of whomever is elected we will have built the movement we need to support the human rights and social justice changes that Sam Cooke wrote about in one of the greatest songs of all time A Change is Gonna Come.

If you want to join us TEXT (509) 934-3933 with your name, email address and zip code. We will let you know about discussion groups in your area.

Here are some things that you can do immediately:

Read 198 Methods of Nonviolent Action. Click: https://4comculture.com/archives/14129

Read about the 12 things needed for a movement. Click: Where Do You Want to Start?

Listen to Shaun King’s podcast and take his action steps. Click: The Breakdown

Coffee and Discussion Groups

First Thursday Coffee and Discussion

We have all been to many meetings and rallies at the end of which no one knows what they can do.  If you participate in demonstrations, rallies and social media you need to go to your local coffee house and have a discussion with five to ten individuals about what you can do about racial and social justice and community development. Begin building the community you want to live in. We want to build 100 of these coffee discussion groups. You may want to come to one of these listed below. Or start your own and let us know. Be sure to invite someone from the affected classes.

There are now several First Thursday* Coffee and Discussion groups:

  • First Thursday Coffee & Discussion East Central Community Center 10 am (Resumes March 4, 2020) 500 S Stone
  • First Thursday Original Coffee & Discussion 10:00 am Clark’s Fork (meets 2nd & 4th Thursdays) 1028 N Hamilton St #100, Spokane, WA
  • First Thursday Evening Discussion 6 – 8 pm Location varies. TEXT (509) 934-3933 and ask for location.
  • African American Men’s Discussion TEXT (509) 934-3933 and ask for date, time, location.

*These groups originally started out on the First Thursday of each month. Now they meet on the dates and times established by each group.

Call to Participation

Those interested in racial and social justice
Those interested in community development
5-10 people meeting regularly for deep discussion
Willing to meet regularly to plan strategies and take actions

Contact TEXT (509) 934-3933 for more information.

Can they do it FOR us?…

Without Us? I Don’t Think So!What Do You Think?

The deadline for registration has been extended to Tuesday, October 8th for the 2nd Washington State People of Color Legislative Summit (POCLS)

Community leaders of color across Washington are cordially invited to join us on Saturday, October 12th, 10am-4pm at one of nine locations. The purpose of the summit is to hear from and connect POC communities leaders and legislators of color to build solidarity and mobilizing capacity across the state for issues that are of highest priority to our collective communities of color. Further updates:

  • Spokane location: Spokane Falls Community College Buyilding 30 room 212 3410 W Fort George Wright Dr. Spokane WA 99224
  • You can watch a live stream of the Opening and Full Plenaries  here:  https://www.tvw.org/watch/?eventID=2019101012 . You cannot engage over live stream.

You are welcome to invite POC community leaders you know to register for this event. Snacks and refreshments will be provided at each location. All locations have parking and are ADA accessible. This statewide summit will have separate meeting rooms sited at college campuses around the state, virtually joined together using “Zoom” video conferencing. Each site will have a lead facilitator and staff to provide support and ensure a productive conference. If you have any questions or comments, please contact the project manager at jenny.chang@leg.wa.gov


Below are photos from the People of Color Coalition Candidates Forum Sept 28 at East Central Community Center. Photographs By Robert Lloyd

No New Jail

Gallery

This gallery contains 42 photos.

Here Is something you and others can do. Ask your friends to copy, fill out and send the form below to Spokane County Commissioners: 500 N Cedar St Spokane WA 99201

Black Prisoner’s Caucus Family & Community Summit

Duaa-Rahemaal Williams

Duaa Williams organized this summit held at The Carl Maxey Center on September 28 2019 to bring the formerly incarcerated together with the communities they are still a part of. The goal is to bring “humanizing and fellowshiping” into the incarceration system, as NAACP President Kurtis Robinson said in an interview on KYRS radio:

2019 Spokane Students Striking Over Climate

How I Saw It By Robert J Lloyd