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- Frank Lloyd Wright

June 2021

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Feb. 1st, 2021

The Harlem Hellfighters, part one

The Harlem Hellfighters, WWI, part one



The 369th Infantry Regiment of the 15th New York Army National Guard was formed, in part, due to the work of Emmett Jay Scott, long time secretary of Booker T. Washington, who was appointed Special Assistant to Newton D. Baker, the Secretary of War & the efforts of the 10th Calvery in Mexico, in 1913.

Prior to 1917, many Black men were turned away from military service. After the passing of the Selective Service Act of 1917, they seized the opportunity to signup, in the hopes of using it as a chance to change racial discrimination & how they were viewed by fellow white compatriots throughout the US.

Along with the 370th Infantry Regiment, they are known for being the first African-American regiments to serve with the American Expeditionary Forces (AEF) in WWI.

But how they got there is a long, hard earned story.

Originally, they were nicknamed the 'Black Rattlers'. The French nicknamed them the 'Men of Bronze' (Hommes de Guerre), & the Germans called them 'Hell-fighters' (Hollenkompfer), a name that stuck.

The 369th was called up to federal service, July 25, 1917, at Camp Whitman, NY, where they received formal military training. They were then called to active duty & split into 3 battalions, spread throughout New York, to defend rail lines, construction sites & other camps.

Oct of 1917, the Regiment was sent to Camp Wadsworth in South Carolina, for combat training based on the French frontlines. There, they faced severe discrimination, including an incident where 2 tried to buy a newspaper & were denied service.

Members of the 27th Division, an all white unit, came to their defense, saying if shop owners would not serve their Black compatriots, they could close up & leave.

But that was the exception, not the rule, & racial discrimination was rampant among other all white units, many of whom refused to serve alongside the 369th.

In April of 1918, the 369th was assigned to the French Army for the duration of US participation in WWI. There, they were treated like any other French unit. The Germans, however, tried propaganda to turn them against the Allied Forces, claiming Germany had never done anything to Blacks. Needless to say, it didn't work.

While still in the US, they experienced severe racial discrimination from other US units, to the point that the French Colonel J.L.A. Linard, of AEF headquarters was persuaded to write a discriminatory pamplet to distribute among French soldiers, titled 'Secret Information Concerning Black American Troops', making such claims of alleged inferior nature & racial tendencies of African-Americans.

May of 1918, they were attached to the French 16th Battalion & sent to the frontlines. There, they served continuously, until July 3rd, before returning to combat at the Battle of the Marne.

After that battle, they were then assigned to the 161st Division to participate in the Allied counterattack.

One tour for the 369th lasted 6 months, the longest of any American unit in WWI.

Sept 25, 1918, with the French 4th Army, they went on the offensive at Meuse-Argonne. There they sustained heavy losses, but managed to capture the important village of Sechault. At one point, they had pushed so hard & so fast, they left the French units behind & risked being cut off by the Germans. Hence, the name 'Hell-Fighters'.

By October, they were reassigned to the quieter village of Vosges, and remained there until Armistace Day, Nov 11, 1918. Nov 25th, they made their last advance & on Nov 26th, reached the banks of the River Rhine, becoming the first Allied unit to do so.

Dec 12, 1918, they were relieved of assignment & sent home, becoming the first unit to return. The unit was 'demobilized' Feb 28, 1919, at Camp Upton, NY.

The 369th became the first American unit to march up Fifth Avenue of New York City to their Armory in Harlem, from the Washington Square Park Arch.

Among the numerous honors the 369th received, they count 1 Medal of Honor, & numerous Distinguished Service Crosses, a unit citation- pinned to their colors, along with the first French 'Croix de Guerre' awarded an American, Pvt Henry Johnson, totaling 170 'Croix de Guerre' awarded among the entire unit, on Dec 13, 1918.


Officially, the 369th was under fire for a total of 191 days, never lost a foot of gained ground, never had any men taken prisoner of war- though they did have 2 captured who were recovered within days- and only once failed to fulfill an objective, due to French failures.

By the end of WWI, they had been at The Champagne- Marne, Meuse, Argonne, Champagne 1918, Alsace 1918- where they lost 1500 men, the highest casualty loss of any US regiment at the time. They also fought in the Battle of Belleau Wood and at Chateau-Thierry.

They went on to serve just as honorably in WWII, reorganized as the 369th Anti-aircraft Artillery Regiment.

In 1933, the 369th Regiment Armory was created to honor the unit for their service. The Armory stands at 142nd & Fifth Avenue in the heart of Harlem. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1994 and listed as a City Landmark in 1985.

In 201,7 the documentary movie was released, titled 'The Harlem Hellfighters Great War'.

Today, the 369th is known as the 369th Sustainment Brigade.

Part two- The 369th Harlem Hellfighters Military Band.

Jan. 28th, 2021

So, we got some snow overnight...

About an inch here, sometime between 1030pm and 2am, when I woke up and looked outside.

These were taken around 7am, early because I knew with the incoming high winds, the beauty wouldn't last.

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Jan. 22nd, 2021

Sometimes, a photo needs no words...

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Winter sun shining through Castor and Pollux.



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Jan. 18th, 2021

Willie O'Ree


Willie O'Ree



Willie O'Ree

Canadian Ice Hockey player, who played for the Boston Bruins as a winger. Made his debut on January 18, 1958, 63 years ago today.

Was inducted into the NHL Hall of Fame in 2018. Inducted in the Canadian Sports Hall of Fame in the Builder category, May, 2020. Inducted in the New Brunswick Sports Hall of Fame in 1984.

Feb 18, 2021, before the Bruins game with the New Jersey Devils, his #22 jersey will be officially retired.

He was also the first black ice hockey player.

* * * * * * *

Born in Oct 1935, in New Brunswick, Canada, he started his hockey career with the Quebec Aces, a minor league 'farm team'. He took an errant puck to his right eye, effectively blinding him.

Midway through his second season with the Aces, he was called up to the Boston Bruins, replacing an injured player. If they had known about his right eye, he never would have played professional hockey.

Somehow, he managed to keep it a secret and went on to play 2 games that season, returning in 1961 to play another 43 games, scoring 4 goals, and 10 assists, all in the 1961 season, a record for his entire career.

He noted that racist remarks were worse in host US cities than Canada, saying fans would yell, 'go back South!', 'How come you're not picking cotton?' and worse.

Back in the minor leagues, he played in the Western Hockey League, and scored 2 scoring titles between 1961 and 1974, scoring more than 30 goals, 4 or more times, with a goal high of 38 in the 1964-65 and 1968-69 seasons.

He played 50 games with the American Hockey League New Haven Nighthawks,in 1972-73, but played most of his career with the WHL's Los Angeles Blades and San Diego Gulls.

The San Diego Gulls retired his jersey to the rafters of Pechanga Arena.

He continued to play in the ice hockey minor leagues until the age of 43.

After O'Ree, there were no other Black ice hockey players signed to the NHL until Canadian Mike Marson in 1974.

Since 1998, he has been the NHL Diversity Ambassador.

Jan. 14th, 2021

The warp that never ends...

I mean, obviously it will, I was the one that warped it, but, yesterday, it sure felt like it was never ending.

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I spent almost a solid 2 hours weaving yesterday, so maybe a foot to a foot and a half. I can definitely see the end in another foot or so.

I swear it wasn't that long when I was doing the warp. LOL.

But I should have the weaving part done by Friday evening, and can twist or otherwise do something to the fringe over the weekend.

Hopefully.

Unless it magically grows another several feet on me.


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Jan. 11th, 2021

The Erlking's Daughter

If you are familier with the German legend, then you'll understand the inclusions.

Have not wet finished this, haven't decided if I want to include scattered beads in the fringe yet, so it's untrimmed as well. But I need to live with it a while, for it to decide if it's completely finished or not.

These are preview photos. Better will be taken when finished and when it's not completely overcast, freezing rain.

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Did you know...

Did you know...


We know the names of the original *architects* of the US Capitol building, but not one name for the *actual workers who built it*.

In fact, I could only find one page on the Architect of the Capitol website that mentions slave labor was used. It included a commemorative plaque, above a block of sandstone it says was quarried and dressed by slaves leased from white plantation holders, for use in building the Capitol. A mere, brief mention.

I have to wonder, if after Wednesday, Jan 6, 2021, it still exists.



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Jan. 8th, 2021

You know...

I'm not above admitting when I make a mistake or misspeak.

I will admit it and correct myself.

But what really annoys me is when there are people who go on and on about said mistake, long after you corrected yourself. And use slurs to do it.

I'm looking at you, social media.

The beauty of working from home, means I have plenty of time to mute and block the idiots who want to continue to focus on that one mistake and berate you for it, to the exclusion of all the rest of the facts in a comment.

My Twitter mute and block buttons are getting a workout today. And yes, the majority are , not surprisingly, white guys, many Gen Z who wouldn't know their ass from a hole in the ground.

Nope, not dealing with it. Not even mad about it, buh bye now.


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Jan. 7th, 2021

Yesterday...

We told you it wouldn't be a civil war.

We told you law enforcement would join them instead.

We told you there would be protests and riots.

We told you he was inciting violence.

We told you.


The canary in the coal mine died and still you ignored us.

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We told you so.
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Jan. 6th, 2021

Wordless Wednesday- Electoral Count Day, (this is going to take *days*, thanks to delusional fools)

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Jan. 4th, 2021

Work in progress in 8 parts...

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Dec. 23rd, 2020

(Not quite) Wordless Wednesday- The end is the beginning is the end...

Sunrise


They moved dad to 'Comfort Care' last night.

Nothing further will be done.

Ativan and morphine until the end.

May his passing be peaceful.



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Dec. 14th, 2020

Our postal service is a joke.

And I absolutely blame DeJoy moreso than the pandemic or the holidays.

Nov 30, received an order. Dec 2nd, said order went out, priority 3 day.

It took 3 days to go from the post office, 12 miles, to the distribution center.

It then took another 5 days to actually reach the city it was to be delivered in. Another day to actually be delivered.

9 days total.

This was before the holiday rush started.

Dec 7th, sent out 4 packages. One to Nevada, one to New Jersey, one to Minnesota and one to Michigan.

Nevada was first class mail, package. It arrived in 4 days.

New Jersey was priority 2 day, package. It took 5 days to arrive.

Minnesota was priority 2 day, package. It took 4 days to arrive.

Michigan was priority 3 day, package. It has yet to even reach Michigan.

Seriously. They have no idea where it is. It's 'somewhere in transit, arriving late'. Considering it was supposed to arrive Saturday, 'arriving late' is generous.

So, in my honest opinion- If you have not sent out any Christmas packages yet, they will not arrive in time for Christmas, no matter what the newsmedia or the post office tells you.



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Nov. 29th, 2020

Civil Rights Act of 1871

In March of 1871, President Grant called for an emergency session of Congress to deal with the growing racial violence in the South.

Civil Rights Act of 1871


Particularly virulent in South Carolina, US Attorney General, Gen Amos Akerman & Army Major Lewis Merrill, had gone there to investigate reports, finding evidence of at least 11 murders & more than 600 whippings & brutal assaults.

By April, Congress passes the Civil Rights Act of 1871, also known as the 1871 Ku Klux Klan Act.

The KKK had been founded in 1865, by former Confederate Army officers, in response to the ratification of the 13th & 14th Amendments. Southern states refused to ratify the 14th (orig. Act of April 1866), giving rise to 'black codes', which kept black people in virtual slavery without actually being such.

The Enforcement Act of April 1870 prohibits groups from banding together or using disguises, with the intent of violating citizens' Constitutional rights. It stops nothing.

The 1871 Act was intended to enforce the 14th & 15th Amendments. Because of southern states' black codes, Congress institutes Reconstruction in order to exert some control over the situation. The rise of the KKK coincides with this period- brutal lynchings & destruction of property, encouraged by state officials who refused to call in law enforcement was rampant.

Oct 17th, 1871, after attempting to quell the brutality, Grant institutes martial law & federal forces move in. By Dec 1871, more than 600 KKK members were imprisoned. 200 were indicted, 53 plead guilty, 5 were convicted. Klan terrorism declines in SC, but racial violence continues for decades.

The 1873 Slaughterhouse Cases all but gut the Act, after already having its sections scattered via the Revised Statutes. Cases in 1876 & 1879 further restrict the Act. An 1882 case invalidates the criminal conspiracy section entirely.

By then, black codes again begin to reappear.

Thus begins the era now known as Jim Crow.

Racial injustice, inequality & systemic racism continues to this day.



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Nov. 27th, 2020

You know...

If you're going to attempt to show your ass to a complete stranger and send them a wannabe cyberthreat via Facebook, Messenger, it might behoove you to show some modicum of intelligence and familiarity with the English language and spelling.

Particularly the spelling.

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Best I can tell, I made a comment on a BBC News post about the Oxford vaccine and this fool took exception to it.

Brief glance at his profile shows the trifecta- Trump supporter deeply entrenched in the delusion that the election was rigged/stolen, a 'Covid-19 is a hoax'-er, and a maskless plague rat.

Yes, it has been reported three ways from Sunday, but I really don't expect Facebook in particular to do a thing about it. Because White Guy.

Yes, I blocked him without engaging. Though, a sinister part of me really wanted to respond with 'fuck around and find out, asshole.' But, honestly, this sort of stupid just isn't worth the effort anymore.

So.

How's your day going?


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Nov. 25th, 2020

Interesting...

So we went back to martial arts class on Monday. Wore a mask through the class, and it wasn't *too* horrible to deal with.

Class again last night, 2 of our other instructors were there. Little more active of a class, so had a couple times where Mark broke out in a coughing fit, resulting in him having to go to the bathroom, and where I had to pause to catch my breath.

The interesting part is that *both* of the Senseis each had the virus around the same time as us, though, no where near as badly. And, of course, their symptoms were somewhat different. Neither has a sense of taste back yet, whereas, we never lost taste or smell.

So, that makes us wonder, was someone who came to class, asymptomatic and didn't know it, thus exposing the four of us?

We simply don't know.


A couple fellow students had had the virus in early October, and were out for 2+ weeks. They too, had really mild symptoms, almost cold like. And another had had it a few months ago, but he got it from his brother who gave it to the entire family and he hadn't been in class before being exposed. It took him a month to get over it.

So, community spread is definitely getting worse here. Wear a damn mask, people.

Getting ready to order our new Gis for when we test for black belt. That makes it that much more real, I think, that this is actually potentially going to happen. Which means we need to double down on practicing beforehand.



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Nov. 5th, 2020

We are officially statistics.

So, Oct 25th, we got flu shots. Went to exactly 2 places that weekend, well, that Sat- CVS for the vaccine and Walmart after for a few groceries. Then home.

That Monday we started feeling ill. Thought it was the flu, thought it was a reaction to the vaccine.

It wasn't.

Mark started getting really sick on Friday, I thought I was improving until I started throwing up with a dry, wrenching cough. It got worse on Sunday. Nonestop coughing with dry heaves and throwing up.

Then Mark started doing it. He ended up staying home that Monday- he gets his temp checked every day at work, so he'd been fine temp wise, though starting to feel run down himself last week.

Tuesday evening, we felt so absolutely drained, so absolutely worn down that we simply couldn't take it anymore.

So yesterday, we went to Urgent Care.

Still thinking, still hoping, it was simply a really bad case of flu.

It wasn't.

They triaged us, said our blood oxygen levels were concerning, that we'd need chest x-rays.

The doctor came in and said there were things that were concerning on the xrays, that lead her to believe we have Covid-19. Tat we could get tested if we wanted to, but it was a foregone conclusion.

We opted to get tested- throat swab. We get results in about 4-7 days, hopefully.

Meanwhile, we are officially considered Symptomatic with no known exposure.

We go back for a check up tomorrow. If our blood oxygen levels have dropped again, we may end up needing to be hospitalized. We are hoping it does not come to that. (I don't think it will, they've been steady since yesterday. I'm up to 92% currently, up from 90-91%, he's at 95%, up from 94% )

Meanwhile, we are resting and quarantining for the next two weeks.

So, thanks a hell of a lot, you damn maskless plague rats who can't be bothered to give a shit about your fellow human beings. This is why you wear a fucking mask.

Yes, I'm angry.

Oct. 25th, 2020

Ohio, 1807...

Ohio, 1807


In 1807, Ohio passed a series of laws called the Black Laws. They were meant to restrict emigration and settlement of free and escaped blacks in the state.

By 1829, they were only sporadically enforced and rising tensions among the ethnic whites, Irish immigrant workers- thinking black people were taking away jobs they thought should be theirs (sound familiar?) - and blacks in the city of Ohio led to the Cincinnati Riots.

June 1829, overseers of the poor announced that black people would be subjected to a $500 surety bond, to be paid within 30 days, or face expulsion from the city. Tensions grew higher.

Over the course of almost a week, from August 15th to August 22nd, a mob of whites, roughly 200-300, attacked black people, trying to force a mass emigration from the city. The mayor of the city did not condemn the violence againt black citizens until August 24th.

Mob violence and the destruction of their densely populated neighborhood in the First Ward caused an estimated 1100-1500 black people and other people of color to leave, heading to other towns and Canada.

Those that remained faced attacks and riots again in 1836 and 1841.



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Oct. 19th, 2020

George and Willie Muse

George and Willie Muse


Originally born in Truevine, Franklin County, Virginia, the albino grandsons of former slaves, they were just children when a white man, termed a bounty hunter for traveling circuses, aka, freak shows, lured them from the tobacco field they were working in, with a piece of candy.

Sold to the Ringling Brothers and P.T. Barnum Circus- yes, 'The Greatest Show on Earth', they were given the names Eko and Iko.

For 13 years, their mother Harriet waited for them to come home, moving from Truevine to Roanoke. VA- to the long vanished neighborhood known as Jordan's Alley in the West End. ( Just outside of the area known as Gainsboro- a predominately black historic neighborhood, and directly across from Hotel Roanoke, in what was considered 'Downtown'. West End was gone by the 1940s. )

She finally got her wish in 1927, when the circus rolled into Roanoke. But it wasn't easy, they had money, lots of it and she was a poor working woman. Still, fight for them she did. They finally came home, throwing themselves into her arms upon seeing her at the train station.

In 1928, it appears that the brothers went back to the circus, their mother having won not only backpay, but a contract and wages- that was still skimmed by the circus- for them. They sent her money out of those wages, that allowed her to buy a small farmhouse to live out her days.

Harriet passed of a heart attack in 1942 and was buried in an unmarked grave in a then segregated cemetery. The brothers returned for her funeral.

Willie Muse lived to be 108 years old. George Muse died in 1971.

Their descendants live in Roanoke and surrounds, to this day.



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Oct. 17th, 2020

William Hooper Councill

I'm trying to catch up to where I am on Instagram, so will be posting 2 a week for a couple weeks.


William Hooper Councill


William Hooper Councill
July 12, 1848- April 9, 1909

(There are a lot of achievements this man did in his life, only a few a listed here, up to the most lasting one. )

Born into slavery, his father escaped to Canada and tried several times to unsuccessfully rescue his family.

In 1857, he, his mother and brothers were sold from the auction block at Green Bottom Inn, there he saw 2 of his brothers sold away from the family, never to be seen again.

During the Civil War, he and his remaining brothers escaped to Union lines. They then attended , on a part time basis, the Freedman's Bureau School in Stevenson, Alabama.

In 1868, he helped start the Lincoln School in Huntsville, Alabama. In 1872, he served as an assistant enrollment clerk for the Alabama Legislature. He was secretary of the Colored National Civil Rights Convention in Wash, DC in 1873. He taught at Morris Brown College in Atlanta, Georgia, in 1874.

Using his connections in the Democratic Party and state legislature, he gained approval for his plan for the State Normal School for Negroes in 1875, becoming principal and later, president.

The State Normal School for Negroes is known today as Alabama A & M University, one of the first HBCUs.



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