Tuesday, August 25, 2009
As most of the world prepares to commemorate the four-year anniversary of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, I would caution us to not focus too much on what is happening along the U.S. Gulf Coast. As I maneuver through Seattle’s Central District, I cannot help but see the rising of “flood waters” in a community whose Black identity and historical legacy is in danger of being engulfed by an urban growth machine that speaks a language of uplift, new urbanism and revitalization.
For Seattle’s communities of color, queer communities, poor communities, youth, women of color, and grassroots activists, we need to be present for this meeting and bare witness to how “Our” Central District has been transformed by what some would consider “progress”. Unlike many of Our brothers and sisters of post-Katrina New Orleans – who have been scattered or internally displaced to the four winds and barred from returning to their legal homes – we are able to be present and we are more capable of holding those in power accountable to Our communities’ needs.
Here is the e-mail I received:
Subject: Central Area, Pike/Pine and Capitol Hill Neighborhood Plan Status Report Meeting — How Is Your Neighborhood Doing?
Thursday, September 3, 6-8 PM at the Miller Community Center, 330 19th Ave. E.
Please join members of the Seattle Planning Commission and the Neighborhood Planning Advisory Committee on Thursday, September 3 from 6 to 8 pm at the Miller Community Center for an important Central Area community meeting.These two citizen groups want to hear your thoughts. Come and tell us how the Central Area, Pike/Pine and Capitol Hill has changed since the creation of their Neighborhood Plans. Your comments and input at this meeting will help the City of Seattle complete a status report that will look at how well your neighborhood plan is achieving its goals and strategies.This meeting will provide an opportunity to learn about your neighborhood plan, the projects that have been implemented, and growth and changes that have occurred since your plan was written in the late 90's. We will explore issues such as growth, transportation, housing, economic development , basic utilities, neighborhood character, open space and parks, public services, public safety, and other issues.It would also be helpful to know your Neighborhood Plan and to bring it with you, so you can reference to them when needed.
So, here are the links to your Neighborhood Plans:
You can review draft status reports on-line at:
The follow up series of meetings, tentatively scheduled for late October, will be an opportunity to review the final status report. To learn more information, please visit the Neighborhood Planning website at http://www.seattle.gov/dpd/Planning/Neighborhood_Planning. With questions, please contact David Goldberg at (206) 615-1447 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Monday, August 24, 2009
- Electronic Intifada: http://electronicintifada.net
- US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation: http://www.endtheoccupation.org
- If Americans Knew: http://www.ifamericansknew.org
- Boycott-Divest-Sanctions: http://www.bdsmovement.net
- Campaign for Academic & Cultural Boycott of Israel: http://usacbi.wordpress.com
- Seattle Palestine Solidarity Committee: http://www.palestineinformation.org
Friday, August 21, 2009
- "Plot Your Own Rebellion"
- "From Douglass to Dyson: The Legacy of Black Pro-Feminist Men"
- "Palestine, South Africa, the Americas: Global Struggles for Liberation"
Thursday, August 13, 2009
MSNBC reports on a new study by Yale researchers Natalie Nitsche and Hannah Brueckner show that high-achieving Black women are less likely to marry and have children compared to their white female counterparts. Key findings in the study are:
- Among black women with postgraduate educations born between 1956 and 1960, the median age at which they gave birth for the first time was 34 years old. This was about the same as it was for white women in the same demographic.
- Once white women reached their 30s, many more of them did give birth, often more than once. Many black women did not.
- The rate of childlessness among this group of black women rose from 30 percent for those born between 1950 and 1955, to 45 percent for those born between 1956 and 1960.
- For highly educated black women born between 1961 and 1970, 38 percent have remained childless.
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
In a moment where our nation is celebrating a historic triumph for women of color - the confirmation of Sonia Sotomayor as the first Latina Supreme Court justice - I am disheartened by all the incidents of interpersonal and community violence targeting women on the national media front. There are so few critical analyses connecting the dots between isolated cases of aggressive, fatal attacks against women and a culture of gender-based violence that continues to go unrecognized.
On Aug. 4, a Pennsylvania man fired 36 bullets into a dance-aerobics class at a local gym, killing 3 women, wounding 9 and taking his own life. The gunman, George Sodini, left an online trail of misogynist rants on his personal website and video posted to YouTube, documenting his hatred for and desire to kill women as a result of years of sexual rejection. On Aug. 5, an LA Superior Court judge postponed the sentencing of pop singer Chris Brown for the brutal assault of singer Rihanna. There are two stories that have not received much national media attention. The first is the July 22 shooting death of Sharlona White of Tacoma at the Fort Lewis Post Exchange by her former boyfriend, who then turned the gun on himself. The second is the July 30 shooting death of a 30-year old African-American woman in Trenton, NJ. Following an argument, she was gunned down by her boyfriend in the presence of her three children.
Mako Fitts, Ph.D., is assistant professor of sociology in the Department of Anthropology, Sociology & Social Work at Seattle University. She is on the CARA board.