Say Her $12 Million Dollar Name!

Breonna Taylor On September 15th, the family of Breonna Taylor was awarded a twelve million dollar out-of-court settlement from the city of Louisville. Breonna Taylor had been shot and killed by police while she was sleeping in her own bed in her own home. To date, none of the policemen involved in the shooting have been arrested, which happened in March. It is now six months later. This is said to be the highest out-of-court settlement amount paid for the life of a black woman ever. In fact, some say that it is the highest amount paid for a black life, period - male or female. How did black female life become so worthless? There was a time when top dollar was paid for black female slave bodies on the auction block, because of the babies she could produce generating more profits for her owner. Then we reached the point in American society where black women were seen as maids or prostitutes and nothing more. Whites enjoyed the illusion of seeing black women as being so impoverished that

Anne Gamble Kennedy

Anne Gamble Kennedy From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Anne Gamble Kennedy Anne Gamble Kennedy  (25 September 1920 – 11 June 2001) was an American classical  pianist , piano professor, and accompanist for the  Fisk Jubilee Singers  of Nashville, Tennessee. Contents 1 Early life 2 Career 3 Recordings 4 References Early life Anne Lucille Gamble was born in  Charleston, West Virginia  to Dr.  Henry Floyd Gamble  and the former Nina Hortense Clinton. [1]  She was the younger of two children born to that union. She had two older step-siblings, Katherine Lee Gamble and Henry Floyd Gamble, Jr. Anne was eleven years old when her father was killed in a car accident in 1932. Dr. Gamble's mother had been a slave on the Howard's Neck Plantation in  Goochland County, Virginia . His father, Henry Harmon Gamble, was a foreman on the same plantation, and of Scotch-Irish and Native-American descent. [1]  Anne's mother was a high school music teacher and a

What Nazis Can Teach Us About American Police

In the wake of George Floyd's murder, everybody is talking about what to do next, how to overcome racism in this country. They argue about what laws to enact, whether or not to defund the police, how to invest in minority communities, etc. Frankly, I am much more interested in what makes white people hate people of color in the first place, which brings me back to the writings of Polish-Swiss psychologist, psychoanalyst, and philosopher Alice Miller . Alice Miller Miller made a career of examining the long-term effects of child abuse and the impact of repressed memories on the psyche. In her book For Your Own Good: Hidden Cruelty in Child-Rearing and the Roots of Violence , she examines German "poisonous pedagogy" as the cause of the rise of the Nazis and antisemitism . I will quote her for the rest of this blog, substituting the words "policemen" for Nazis, and "racism" for antisemitism. Her original writings were in German so I've had to m

They Make Me So Mad I Could Spit!

I hope that my white friends won't be offended by this. This article is not about my friends. (April says I shouldn't have to write that because my friends would know that this isn't about them. But I'm just being considerate.) I've been through many struggles with Wikipedia. I've fought with them to publish my articles on Ella Sheppard , Henrietta Myers , The National Association of Negro Musicians , Anne Gamble Kennedy , Matthew Washington Kennedy ,  Matthew Kennedy: One Man's Journey , and Nina Gamble Kennedy . Earlier frustrations resulted in my writing a blog called  "Wikipedia Goddamn."  After seeing that my Wikipedia article on my book has been "Nominated for deletion" I wrote the following: White people have to make me laugh. This bastard (on the Wikipedia "talk page") spews it out as an insult that "...she's been writing about herself for years..." Well, if white people had been writing about my

About "Practicing for Love: A Memoir" by Nina Kennedy

Many of you have heard about the release of the new memoir by Nina Kennedy titled Practicing for Love   (Dorrance Publishers). In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the official book launch has been postponed. But we are doing as much as we can to promote the book online, and will present a virtual book launch in the coming days. Meanwhile, here is an editorial by the author. "This book is about my life and experiences as a daughter of college professors, a child prodigy, as a student at Juilliard, a concert pianist, and ultimately as a black woman. I've heard a lot of white people say that they don't understand why so many blacks are so angry all the time, so I took it upon myself to explain it to them. Granted, I can only offer my own perspective as a classical musician, but I am sure I'm not the only one whose parents were discriminated against, and then hoped that the doors would be open for the next generation. I grew up listening to their complaints and

"What's It Like to be Oppressed?"

    One day, during one of my boring piano lessons at Curtis with Eleanor Sokoloff, while I was playing scales and Pischna exercises as usual, out of the blue Mrs. Sokoloff asked me: "What's it like to be oppressed?" I thought about it, and didn't know what to say. This woman was my teacher, after all, and I didn't know if my answer was going to affect my grade or what. It wasn't like I felt like my identity was so strongly tied to the black community, aside from my parents being on the faculty at Fisk University, and my being raised in a segregated black neighborhood and assigned to segregated black public schools. The black children at my school had bullied me mercilessly throughout my years there, perhaps because of my skin-color, or the fact that my mother demanded that I speak correctly and not use any of the slang that they all spoke. In fact, the one place where I was free from bullying was at the music conservatory on the white side of town. That w