Wednesday, November 12, 2014

"Great War" Veteran J. Clarence Irvine, November 12, 1899 (d. 1972)

My maternal grandfather, John Clarence Irvine, whom I knew as "Granddaddy," volunteered for service in the Canadian Army during World War I. Granddaddy enlisted in March of 1917 at the age of 17, and was a part of the 73rd Battery (the Royal Highlanders) of the Canadian Expeditionary Force (see his attestation papers below--click to enlarge). He served through the end of the war and, during World War II, he was a major in the reserves. He later worked for the Canadian National Railway, from which he retired. 

Distant memories/
But one remains crystal clear/
Blue truck cowboy hat.
I have other material (photos, news articles, and other ephemera) about Granddaddy; most recently, I found out that he was listed on a 1926 registry of mink ranchers--interesting. I don't think that vocation lasted very long, because I have never heard about it in conversations with relatives.

Granddaddy was a devoted outdoorsman and an expert rifleman--according to an article I found, he won the Lanark and Renfrew Scottish Regiment's "Best Shot Trophy" many times. 

I have his hunting and fishing buttons and badges, and several of his pocket knives. I remember, as a small child, playing with my siblings in his blue truck (I am at right), and also investigating his "shed," where he kept his hunting rifles, fishing poles, and dozens of souvenirs from World War I--including hand grenades, helmets, gas masks, and bullets. 

Granddaddy also served as Chairman of the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters, Zone 4, as well as president of the local fish and game club in his hometown of Arnprior, Canada (outside of Ottawa).

What was left to me, in addition to the items listed above, was his kilt from the Scottish Lanark and Renfrew Regiment and a wooden name plate, which reads "Major J.C. Irvine."

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Thanks, Plainfield!

And elected us to serve in our respective roles with integrity and honesty. Hold us all accountable. Thanks for your support.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

VOTE "YES" on 3 Public Questions; Vote #2, #3, #7 - Rutherford, Jeffers, and Bellamy for Plainfield Board of Education

I have been inundated with questions as to whom I am supporting for Plainfield school board this year. In my opinion, the team worth supporting in this year's school board election consists of those who have demonstrated a longstanding commitment to our children. This team reached out to me to discuss how they want to improve the quality of education in our schools--they have longstanding ties to the Plainfield school district and are known in the district as involved citizens. 

Terrence Bellamy has been PTO President at Woodland School for the past 5 years--that's commitment. Carletta Jeffers has been a parent advocate for several years, with invaluable experience to offer about working for children with illnesses and other special needs, and David Rutherford has demonstrated his commitment through his volunteer service in the Plainfield school system, his own middle school teaching experience, and through his other community works. David represents the new generation of Plainfield’s young people who want to improve our schools. Terrence and Carletta have an unmatched track record of involvement as parents and through the PTOs. So, in addition to voting for me, please also vote yes on the 3 public questions, and vote for #2, #3, and #7 - Rutherford, Jeffers, and Bellamy for Plainfield Board of Education.



Monday, October 27, 2014

Jerry Green and the "Race" Card

ARTICLE III. SECTION 3. It shall be the obligation of the members and the officers of this Committee and Democratic elected and appointed officials to support the purposes for which the Party exists, and to work for the proper fulfillment of same and to support those Democratic candidates for election to public office duly nominated in a Primary Election. --Constitution & By-Laws Governing the Union County Democratic Committee

Many of us in Plainfield are familiar with Jerry Green's use of the "race" card to try and divide Plainfielders. He panders to what he views as an African American constituency for whom he has done NOTHING these past 30 years, and whom he doesn't respect. I noted this several months ago when, after his debacle in trying to prevent the Liberty Village PILOT project from being extended, he ranted in front of my Liberty Village constituents about how I didn't "care" about them--presumably because I didn't live in Liberty Village. The insinuation was that I wasn't representing the interests of black people--highly insulting to me as a black woman. Jerry was playing the "race" card.*

"I run this M%@$*&#&$@r!", you don't!
Well, as the Liberty Village folks discovered, Jerry Green doesn't live there, either--he lives in a leafy Second Ward neighborhood in the Hillside District, right near Sleepy Hollow. Jerry also like calling Democrats who have the temerity to want to run for office as "Republicans"--yet, when Frank Lautenberg (a Democrat) ran for Senator a few years back, Jerry Green supported Rob Andrews (who resigned under an ethics cloud). 

When Barack Obama (a Democrat) ran for President, Jerry Green supported Hillary Clinton over Barack Obama. Jerry Green attempted, during this recent primary, to paint me (a progressive Democrat) as some sort of "tea partier," even getting Steve Sweeney involved in trying to assassinate my character. Everyone knows that Jerry Green will do or say anything to get rid of me--he tried it again, and it didn't work. He ended up looking like a statewide fool. Now, with what he and his cohorts are doing in Linden, we see that Jerry Green really doesn't "run" anything--he is simply a "tool" of his "handlers."

Now, let's talk about the "race" card.

This looks familiar, doesn't it?
I posted on my other blog (click here) what Jerry Green is doing in Linden, New Jersey. That blog post is titled: "Jerry Green - Fake Democrat - is Not Supporting Democrat Derek Armstead of Linden." Derek Armstead, an African American Councilman who won the Democratic Primary for Mayor, is running in Column A with Cory Booker, et al (just as I am in Column A, having won my primary). I pasted at the top of my post the By-Laws of the UCDC--which Jerry Green, Chris Hudak, and others seem to be violating. Derek Armstead is poised to become the first African American mayor of the city of Linden, thus making history. In this same year, Bonnie Watson Coleman also stands on the threshold of becoming the first African American woman to represent New Jersey in Congress. Many of you are aware of the "tepid" support Watson Coleman received from Green during the primary--well, here, you see Green OPENLY IGNORING Derek Armstead. Look at the mailer which covers Derek's line position--OUTRAGEOUS. How is it possible that the Democratic Chairman of Union County is NOT supporting the Democratic standard bearer?

Armstead's LINE 8A ballot position is covered up here.
Linden Chairman Chris Hudak is also ignoring Armstead--what kind of "Democrats" are these people? What role does RACE play in what is happening in Linden? I have shared my questions via social media with Linda Carter, our Plainfield-based Democratic Freeholder. The word is that the county party and the local party are not supporting Armstead. I am not speaking about the merits of Armstead as a candidate here--I am talking about hypocrisy--the hypocrisy of an individual who WON the Democratic line--FAIR and SQUARE--and yet who seems to be a victim of race politics played at the expense of what is right. I would urge folks to contact our freeholders, State Chairman John Currie, and other prominent Democrats to find out what they think of this outright betrayal by Jerry Green and the Linden Democratic Party.

I am anticipating the usual nonsense from Jerry Green's blind supporters about me being critical of a "powerful" black man (we have already seen the LACK of "power" by this capitulator); that Jerry Green is the best "we've" got (no, he's not--there are many positive and progressive African American voices--Bonnie Watson-Coleman is one); why I am publicly criticizing Jerry Green (he impedes the power of the people, he has betrayed the values that the party is SUPPOSED to stand for, and he is a statewide embarrassment--need I say more?).

For those who have read what I showed above--how Jerry Green is deliberately obstructing the possibility of history being made in Linden by a black man--I ask you: why isn't Jerry Green supporting this black man?


Tuesday, October 21, 2014

6th Annual "State of Black Writers" Symposium at Essex County College

On Thursday and Friday, October 23-24, Essex County College’s Africana Institute, in partnership with the Akoma Newark Sister Circle, the Frances E.W. Harper Literary Society at the Newark Public Library, and the Humanities Division ,with support from Student Life and Activities, will host the Sixth Annual State of Black Writers Symposium at the main campus of Essex County College in Newark, NJ. The entire schedule is listed below. All events will be held in Smith Hall.

I will be moderating the Humanities Panel on Thursday, October 23, at 10:00 am. Our panel is titled "Site of Spectacle: Representing the Black Body." The black body has been the site of Humanities discourse (literature, theater, music, fine arts, media) for centuries—as spectacle, as commodity, and as symbol of resistance. Our panel seeks a fresh exploration of how the black body has been presented (and represented) in literature, media, and fine arts in the ongoing critical conversations of the 21st century, how cultural institutions shape the perceptions of the black body, and how these representations can be read as directly responding to the cultural climate in which they are produced.

Thursday, October 23:
10:00 – Humanities Division – “Site of Spectacle: Representing the Black Body” A Panel
11:30 – Dr. Randal Pinkett – “Black Faces in White Places” Feature Presentation
1:00 – Dr. Thomas Page – “Body Image and Spirituality” amongst African American males”
2:30 – Kofi Ayim – “Reflections on Jack Cudjo”
3:30 –Akoma Newark Sister Circle – “Women's Sexuality Sensuality and Power in Black Public Presentation – A Panel Discussion

Friday, October 24:
10:00am – Oloye I Karade – Writing Fantasy & Sci-Fi from the African perspective Workshop
11:30am – Willie Cooper – Forgotten Black Soldiers and Sailors, who fought in the Civil War
1:00 – Nashid Al-Amin – “The Black Vikings of the Middle Ages”
6:00pm – Sharpe James – “Political Prisoner”
8:30pm – Akoma Newark Sister Circle – “DJEMBE – A conversation on Wellness for men of color” Workshop

The symposium is FREE AND OPEN TO THE PUBLIC, and will convene in Smith Hall of the A. Zachary Yamba Building (Main Campus at 303 University Avenue) in the heart of Newark's University Heights.