Oh Freedom! Teaching African American Civil Rights through American Art at the Smithsonian is a new Web-based project developed jointly by the Smithsonian American Art Museum and the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture. It offers teachers an introduction to the civil rights movement through the unique lens of the Smithsonian’s collections. Drawing connections between art and history, Oh Freedom! gives educators tools to help students interpret the long struggle for civil rights. Oh Freedom! broadens the definition of the civil rights movement beyond the 1950s and 1960s, presenting it as a longer and more complex quest for freedom, justice and equality throughout the course of the 20th century and into the present.
Oh Freedom! brings together more than three dozen featured artworks from the collections of the National Museum of African American History and Culture and the Smithsonian American Art Museum, from early 20th-century photographs by James VanDerZee and Cornelius M. Battey to Shepard Fairey’s iconic “HOPE” (from the series “Obama”). An interactive timeline, “Explore History in Art,” frames these artworks with artist biographies and secondary sources from the wider collections of the Smithsonian, such as historical artifacts, additional artworks, musical and vocal recordings, photographs and more. The Archives of American Art, the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, the National Museum of American History and the National Portrait Gallery also contributed to the site. These sources, along with a glossary and other materials, help students and teachers contextualize the stories revealed by each artwork.
“The momentous events of the civil rights era were the culmination of a long struggle for justice that is still inspiring us today,” said Elizabeth Broun, The Margaret and Terry Stent Director of the Smithsonian American Art Museum. “We are proud to use our rich collections to present this essential history in a new way in classrooms nationwide.”
The site offers lesson plans for teachers to download that were prepared by a national committee of teachers. Interactive features allow teachers to share new lesson plans using a prepared template, provide activities and reactions to the site, and discuss how artworks suit their particular classroom needs. Additional resources, such as teacher and student bibliographies, also are available online. The site is designed primarily for teachers of middle and high school students, especially those who teach social studies.
“As a middle school social studies teacher, the Oh Freedom! website is easy to use with its lesson plans and abundant teacher resources about civil rights,” said Penny Prado, a seventh- and eighth-grade social studies teacher at Riverdale Middle School in Jefferson, La. “It is important for a teacher to spark student interest in a topic, and the Oh Freedom! website definitely sparked the interest of my students.”
Oh Freedom! is the first Smithsonian Institution-wide collaboration that focuses specifically on civil rights. It was created jointly by members of the education, curatorial and new media departments of both museums. A national Content Advisory Council helped guide the site’s framework, artwork selection and the interpretation of art and history. A national Teacher Advisory Council consulted about the site’s usability, provided feedback on activities and developed lesson plans.
To explore Oh Freedom!, visit http://africanamericanart.si.edu.
They’re told their appearance isn’t the right fit. They’re relegated to fast food while their White peers climb the ranks to earn upwards of $50,000 a year.2
One of the industry’s serial offenders is Darden Restaurants, the company that owns and operates Olive Garden, Red Lobster, LongHorn Steakhouse and the high-end Capital Grille.
Black applicants are rarely hired at the Capital Grille, the only place within the company where workers can earn a living wage. And there’s no clear pipeline for workers to get from jobs at Red Lobster and Olive Garden to that higher-paid work.3
Darden is now facing a lawsuit because of its employment practices.4 Tell the company to respond to its workers’ demands and institute a promotions policy that allows Black workers to advance to liveable wage positions at the Capital Grille. It only takes a moment:
Black workers in the restaurant industry earn on average $4 less per hour than White workers, according to a report from Restaurant Opportunities Centers United (ROC-United).5 The reason lies in both the types of jobs and the types of restaurants that tend to be open to workers of color. For example, fine-dining bartenders are more than three times more likely to be White than Black, and servers at expensive restaurants are almost four times more likely to be White.
This level of discrimination is happening in one of the few industries that’s growing, even during our current recession. Restaurants account for one of every 12 private sector jobs.6 But despite the growth in this sector, Blacks are routinely pushed into the industry’s poverty-wage jobs.
It’s a problem nationwide. A study of expensive restaurants in Manhattan found that White applicants were twice as likely to get a job offer than applicants of color, who were less likely to even land an interview. The study also found that prospective employers were more likely to scrutinize the work experience of applicants of color.7
The problem with Darden
Darden runs nearly 2,000 restaurants nationwide and boasts annual sales of $7.5 billion.8,9 But the few Black workers who make it into the big leagues there often don’t stay very long. According to reports from two Black servers who worked at Darden’s Capital Grille in DC — a restaurant patronized by politicians, lobbyists, and others in the Washington elite — Black front-of-the-house staff were let go en masse within a short period of time because they “didn’t fit the company image.” They were all replaced by White workers.10
Despite the pattern of racial discrimination, Darden — the world’s largest full-service restaurant company — ranks in the “Top 100 Places to Work,” an annual list published by Fortune Magazine.11 The company gets high marks for a diverse workforce (of course, there’s no mention of who works which jobs) and for generating the third-most job growth of all the companies on the 2011 list.12
The company’s CEO is Clarence Otis Jr., an African-American businessman. In an interview with USA Today, Otis boasts about his company’s “talent evaluation process” and practice of providing employees with “advanced training and development.”13 But that’s not the story that’s reveals itself if you talk to the company’s Black employees, as our partners at ROC-United have done.14
At a time when Black unemployment is nearly twice the national average and the private sector is being heralded as our greatest hope, Darden’s pattern of relegating Black workers to the lowest-wage work is unconscionable.
Please join us in calling on Darden to respond to its workers demands and institute a promotions policy that allows Black workers to advance to liveable wage positions at the Capital Grille. And when you do, please ask your family and friends to do the same. When we win with this company, we’ll have a huge impact on the rest of the restaurant industry:
MILWAUKEE – Baseball great Hank Aaron will be Marquette University’s Commencement speaker at this year’s spring ceremony. As part of the ceremony, Aaron will receive an honorary doctor of humane letters degree.
“Mr. Aaron is a superb role model for our graduates, someone we are proud to present as an illustration of the principles of leadership and excellence that Marquette exemplifies,” said Father Scott R. Pilarz, S.J., Marquette University president. “While his contributions to baseball are unparalleled, more importantly, his work on behalf of racial equality and civil rights continue to help youth achieve their dreams.”
Aaron played as an outfielder for the Milwaukee Braves, Atlanta Braves and Milwaukee Brewers from 1954-1976 and holds many of baseball’s most distinguished records. In 1976, Hank Aaron hit his 755th and final home run at Milwaukee County Stadium, having broken Babe Ruth’s home run record two years before.
Aaron was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1982 and was named the Atlanta Braves’ vice president and director of player development, making him one of the first minority executives in Major League Baseball.
In 1999, Major League Baseball announced the introduction of the Hank Aaron Award, which honors the best overall offensive performer in the American and National Leagues. That same year he ranked fifth on The Sporting News’ list of the 100 Greatest Baseball Players and was elected to the Major League Baseball All-Century Team.
In addition to Aaron’s contributions to baseball, he has worked on behalf of racial equality, civil rights and helping others through his Chasing the Dream Foundation, which helps underprivileged children.
Marquette will also award Sister Mary Miguel Conway, BVM, with an honorary doctor of humane letters degree. Sister Miguel is Co-Director of the Working Boys’ Center in Quito, Ecuador. The Working Boys’ Center serves over 400 families of working children annually at three locations in Quito. A graduate of Clarke College in Dubuque IA, Miguel spent 11 years teaching high school before being assigned to work at WBC in 1967. Madre Miguel, as she is called, is responsible for the creation of many family development activities at the WBC.
Marquette’s 131st Commencement ceremony will be held at the Bradley Center Sunday, May 20, 2012.
On March 8, members of the community will come together to raise funds for 19 nonprofits participating in Match Day. Match Day is an online giving event and the first of its kind in Wisconsin designed to raise awareness for basic needs in the greater Milwaukee area.
The Greater Milwaukee Foundation is coordinating the event, which showcases 19 organizations in the greater Milwaukee area meeting the food and shelter needs of individuals and families who are struggling. Match Day is modeled after similar online giving events sponsored by community foundations in cities like Columbus and Pittsburgh.
“It’s been three years since the economy took a tumble and things are still very tough for many individuals and families in our community,” said Ellen M. Gilligan, the Foundation’s president and CEO. “We know from the organizations that we support that too many people are continuing to struggle to meet the most basic needs that many of us take for granted. With Match Day, we want to leverage support from the community and increase the capacity of those nonprofits to meet the demand for their services.”
Beginning February 17, and on each day leading up to the online event on March 8, the public will have the chance to learn more about each of the 19 nonprofits participating in Match Day. Online giveaways will also be featured as part of the countdown on Facebook. Information on each nonprofit will be featured daily via the Foundation’s Facebook and Twitter pages and through www.matchdaymke.org.
To create Match Day, the Greater Milwaukee Foundation partnered with Razoo, an online platform that simplifies giving. Razoo also offers training to help nonprofits build robust online fundraising abilities to help strengthen their donor base for years to come. Before undertaking Match Day, Razoo helped create two similar days in Minnesota, netting $24 million in donations for 4,000 nonprofits.
For more information on Match Day, visit www.MatchDayMKE.org, and be sure to like the Greater Milwaukee Foundation’s Facebook page and follow them on Twitter.
About Greater Milwaukee Foundation
The Greater Milwaukee Foundation is a family of more than 1,000 individual charitable funds, each created by donors to serve the charitable causes of their choice. Grants from these funds serve people throughout Milwaukee, Waukesha, Ozaukee and Washington counties and beyond. Started in 1915, the Foundation is one of the oldest and largest community foundations in the world.
MADISON – The Assembly is scheduled to vote on legislation that would repeal the Equal Pay Enforcement Act, passed two years ago to address the income disparity between women and men doing the same work. Representative Leon D. Young (D-Milwaukee) issued the following statement in response:
“Employers who discriminate should be punished. By removing the ability for victims of discrimination to receive compensatory and punitive damages, we are telling employers that paying women and other minorities less pay for equal work is illegal but not deserving of punishment. Republicans are once again bowing to corporate interests that view discrimination laws a thorn in their side.
“Since the Equal Pay Enforcement Act was passed, Wisconsin has seen great improvement in income disparity between men and women. As a legislative body, we should be striving to continue that trend. Equality should not be a partisan value and any legislation that makes discrimination easier is just wrong.”
Editor’s Note: The editorial staff of the Community Journal apologize to First Aldermanic District Candidate Virgie Wynn-Martin for inadvertently excluding her answers from the final installment of our series in which we asked responding candidates their opinion on several issues of importance to the community. We had thought we accidently dumped the answers when doing an email purge. Due to time constraints because of printing deadlines, we decided to forgo inquiring about replacement answers. To our dismay, we discovered that we had not purged the answers as we first thought. We are printing Mrs. Wynn-Martin’s answers to the final three questions which ran in the February 15 edition of the Community Journal.
*Housing and foreclosures: There are too many foreclosures in our city. It saddens me because these are foreclosures that infest our neighborhoods with crime and unhealthy living standards. If the banks would offer foreclosed properties at a rent reduced rate, than the occupancy rate will help with some of the housing problems that plague Milwaukee. By doing this it will give our citizens a more affordable and safer community to reside.
* Should government be involved in the daily lives of citizens: They are already involved. We live in one of the most poverty stricken cities in America and have a 95%unemployment rate for our Black males. If they want to really get involved and make changes that we the people want to see, then skillful training and job creation would be number one on our government to do list. Funding programs like SDC Healthy Marriage and Relationship program. A program that gives hope and skill sets to families that otherwise wouldn’t have the opportunity to gain them. I want to see our community progress not degrees. If our government do not support our positive agencies that impact and effectively help the community sadly we will fail.
* Affirmative Action: In toady’s’ Milwaukee we should educate the youth on affirmative action and how it works and what it is put in place for. Growing up in the city i have faced many of these challenges being bi-racial. My experiences only made me stronger because i had educators and community support. Putting in place more programs and curriculum’s in our youth everyday lives will make them stronger and wiser.
President Obama pointing while emphasizing a point during his visit to Master Lock manufacturing on Wednesday.
“President Barack Obama makes a point about bringing jobs back to America during his visit Wednesday afternoon to the Master Lock manufacturing facility, located on Milwaukee’s north side at 2600 N. 32nd Street. President Obama praised the company, which makes locks and other security devices, for bringing 100 jobs back to Milwaukee’s central city from China. The president challenged other local and American companies to follow Master Lock’s example during his hour-long address before Master Lock employees, management and dignitaries representing local, county, state and federal government. He reemphasized his call for greater economic fairness in order to restore the nation’s economy. Master Lock was highlighted during President Obama’s State of the Union address as an example of an American company reviving–through action– the spirit of “Made in America” and pride in American innovation and manufacturing.” (Photo by Yvonne Kemp)
Monte Mabra, founder and director of “Voice of the Fatherless Child” organization (in foreground laying on floor next to his daughter who has her arm around his neck posing for a picture with participants in a recently held praise dancing audition), has reached an agreement with The Home Depot to help the home improvment chain fill 70 open positions at the Port Washington Road store.
Mabra has agreed to allow individuals seeking employment to come to the offices of “Voice of the Fatherless Child” Center for Intervention Through Entertainment, located at 4505 W. Burleigh St.
Home Depot representatives will be on hand to discuss the application and interview process on Thursday, February 16 at 5 p.m. (Photo by Yvonne Kemp)
Services set for Whitney Houston
Newark, N.J. — Whitney Houston’s funeral will be held Saturday in the church where she first showcased her singing talents as a child, her family choosing to remember her in a private service rather than in a large event at an arena.
The owner of the Whigham Funeral Home said Tuesday that the funeral will be held at noon at Newark’s New Hope Baptist Church, which seats up to 1,500.
The family said no public memorial service is planned at this time. Officials had discussed the possibility of opening up the Prudential Center, a major sports and entertainment venue, for a memorial, but the funeral home said it had been ruled out.
Funeral home owner Carolyn Whigham said the church service will be by invitation only, reflecting the family’s decision to keep the memorial more personal.
“They have shared her for 30-some years with the city, with the state, with the world. This is their time now for their farewell,” she said.
“The family thanks all the fans, the friends and the media, but this time is their private time,” she said.
Houston, 48, died Feb. 11 at a hotel in Beverly Hills, Calif., just hours before she was set to perform at producer Clive Davis’ pre-Grammy Awards bash. Officials say she was underwater and apparently unconscious when she was pulled from a bathtub.
After an autopsy Sunday, authorities said there were no indications of foul play and no obvious signs of trauma on Houston. It could be weeks, however, before the coroner’s office completes toxicology tests to establish the cause of death.
Los Angeles County coroner’s assistant chief Ed Winter said bottles of prescription medicine were found in the room. He would not give details except to say: “There weren’t a lot of prescription bottles. You probably have just as many prescription bottles in your medicine cabinet.”
Her body was returned to New Jersey late Monday.
Houston was born in Newark and was raised in nearby East Orange. She began singing as a child at New Hope Baptist Church, where her mother, Grammy-winning gospel singer Cissy Houston, led the music program for many years.
Her cousin singer Dionne Warwick also sang in its choir.
Houston’s family asked Tuesday that any donations in her memory be sent to the arts-focused public school that she attended as a child and that was named after her in the late 1990s.
In lieu of flowers, they said mourners should donate to the Whitney Houston Academy of Creative and Performing Arts in East Orange, a school serving students in kindergarten through eighth grade.
Houston attended the school as a girl when it was named the Franklin School and was a regular visitor for many years afterward. On Monday, students held an outdoor service in her memory.
An impromptu memorial for Houston was held Sunday during a sadness-tinged Grammys, with Jennifer Hudson saluting her memory with a performance of “I Will Always Love You.” Viewership for the awards show soared over last year by 50 percent, with about 40 million viewers tuning in to the program on CBS.
On Tuesday, a steady stream of well-wishers continued to stop at the New Hope Baptist Church, where the front fence was adorned with dozens of flowers, balloons and oversized cards, some with hundreds of signatures and condolences written on them.
Several people expressed disappointment that a public memorial had not been scheduled. But they also said they understood why the funeralwas being kept private.
“Maybe at some point down the road, they might do something,” said B.J. Frazier, of East Orange, who said she had performed as a singer with one of Houston’s aunts.
“But it’s like they’re saying today, they shared her for a long time and they just want her to themselves for now.”
Houston left behind one child, daughter Bobbi Kristina Brown, 18, from her marriage to singer Bobby Brown.
Educator Francis Brock Starms passes
Funeral services will be held Friday, February 17, at 11 a.m. at St. Mark AME Church, 1616 W. Atkinson Ave.
The viewing will be from 10 a.m. that Friday until the start of services.
Visitation will be Thursday, February 16 at Northwest Funeral Chapel, 6630 W. Hampton Ave., from 3 until 7 p.m. Family hour will be at the Chapel from 5 to 7p.m.
Born Frances Juanita Brock in Montgomery, Ala. on July 12, 1914 to Alpha Omega and Louis Edward Brock, whom both preceded her in death.
As a child, Starms and her family moved to California, where she attended elementary and junior high school. After she won an oratory contest at church, Starms was recognized by someone who offered to send her to school in Atlanta.
She attended Atlanta University Laboratory High School; continuing her education at Spelman College in Atlanta where she graduated with honors.
She went on to receive her Master of Arts Degree in Early Childhood Education at Atlanta University.
Her post graduate work also included scholarly research at the University of Southern California and the University of Wisconsin-Milwauke. In 2004 Starms was given an honorary doctorate in Public Service from the UW-Milwaukee.
Frances accepted Christ as her Lord and Savior at an early age. She was an active member of St. Mark AME for more than 62 years. On July 23, 1938, Frances united in holy matriony to Robert W. Starms. They were married for 45 years before Robert’s death. The union produced one child, a son, Stephen Brock Starms.
Starms begain her teaching career in Atlanta and continued in Indianapolis, Ind. Upon moving to Milwaukee in 1948, Starms began her employment with MPS, where she worked as a teacher. She was later appointed director of the district’s Head Start Program, becoming the first Black person to do so. Starms holds the distinction of being the only living person with three MPS schools named after her: Starms Early Childhood Center, Starms Monumental Early Childhood Center, and Starms Discovery Learning Center.
Starms was a prolific writer of poet whose work was published locally and nationally, receiving many awards.
Starms is preceded in death by her husband Robert, one brother, William Brock; two sisters Laura Collins and Paula Miller and a nephew, Ronald Miller.
She leaves to cherish her memory her son, Stephen, one niece, Sheila Miller, who she raised; two grandchildren: Stephanie (Tim) Morgan and Robert (Tawanda) Starms, six great grand-children: Marques, Ashley, Mia, Amber, Aaron, and Marissa; one great-great grandchild Malana; three nieces: Patsy Johnson, Evelyn Galloway and Janette Brock; four nephews: Jimmy Miller, Vincent, Wali and Kenneth Brock; two great nieces: Frances (Halbert) Algee, Kim Cowan and a host of grand nieces, nephews and many close friends.
–Obit edited by MCJ Staff
I have served this city for 29 years as a State Senator and State Representative and my integrity has never been questioned.
Yet, in recent days there have been news accounts that have dragged my name and reputation through the media.
Here are the facts:
Fact-No charge has been leveled against me by the Government Accountability Board
Fact-There is no written complaint against me by my accuser. An allegation was made in a phone call. My ex-staffer was let go, and she called the Government Accountability Board. They in turn wrote me that they would investigate.
Fact-The allegations were made a year ago! The Government Accountability Board hasn’t seen fit to investigate, or even call me to question me, apparently because they have been busy with the recalls.
It is unfair for me to be put in this position!
I have called for the Government Accountability board to conduct an investigation immediately, yet since then I’ve been told that it would be almost impossible to complete an inquiry before the election date.
Once again the timing is unfair to me and my campaign supporters.
I am running for City Treasurer on a solid record of service to the city:
• The community trusted me, when children got lead poisoned to create a law to save the lives of hundreds of thousands of children- and I did.
• The community trusted me, when kids were dying by being abandoned in day care vans, to pass bills that brought forth alarms and penalties to save children’s lives- and I did.
• The community trusted me and Representative Tamara Grigsby to develop a Transitional Jobs Program to train thousands of applicants- and we did.
I trust you to recognize that these “allegations” are just hearsay, I didn’t do them and I will be vindicated.
Now, I’m running for City Treasurer because we need a Treasurer who has the experience and dedication to manage the public’s finances efficiently and responsibly.
I have over 12 years of previous City of Milwaukee work experience and I am on the only candidate with 9 years’ experience on the State of Wisconsin’s Joint Finance Committee.
• Improve the City Treasurer’s service delivery system
• Institute a Financial Literacy Program
• Utilize the City’s Common Council to forestall the alarming rate of city home foreclosures.
People have trusted me for the past 29 years and when, as your next City Treasurer you trust me to handle our City’s finances with independence and innovation, I will.
Please remember to get your photo ID and come vote in the February 21st Primary Elections. Thank you for your support.