It's been quite a while since I posted the last black American legend
for the Haiku Hall of Blackness. Here's one for the late Katherine
Dunham. Click on the interview below to hear more about this black American
The photo gallery provides an opportunity to see all those who died and to learn a little about them. I am especially struck by the faces of Peter O. Gonzalez-Cruz, 22, originally from New Jersey, and of 18 year-old Akyra Murray, a young black lesbian, who were among the youngest of the victims. I cannot right now articulate why they stand out so clearly for me...perhaps because they remind me of my students...may they rest...but still haunt our collective conscience as we fight to end gun violence.
"Do nothing out
of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above
yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests
of the others." (Philippians 2:3-4)
One of my favorite
scriptures appeared in my scripture reading for today--yes, I DO read scripture
every day--and I often post scripture on my Facebook page. How I intend to continue
to serve the residents of Plainfield is encoded in today's scripture reading from Paul's letter to the Philippians. I also create haiku based on my readings. This haiku above is inspired by the epistle of James, possibly my favorite New Testament book.
When I first ran for elective office back in 2010, I started having a good feeling in the last week or so of the election. My team and I had walked, knocked on doors, called--frankly, did everything we could to get my message out. In the days leading up, we decided to have a campaign theme song--The Black Eyed Peas song, "I Gotta Feeling." In the early evening. The song played as those vote tallies came in. As we awaited the election results last night, I started having a feeling of deja vu.... Although it was a tight race, my running mate, Charles McRae, and I prevailed. Thanks, Plainfield. We will continue to work hard for you.
This has been an exhausting couple of months, campaign-wise. I have walked through each ward, knocking on doors, sometimes catching folks at home, sometimes not. I have always done this--sometimes while working on local Democratic campaigns, and sometimes just working on community-related issues. I have run a clean campaign, focusing only on my own and my opponent's legislative record, attendance, and city council achievements. Since tomorrow is the primary election, I thought I would offer a little levity as we head into a very long day. Last week, when I was chatting with Congresswoman Bonnie Watson Coleman(with whom I am on the ballot), I made mention that the historic nature of this election in our district (CD-12), with Sec. Hillary Clintonheading the ticket, followed with Congresswoman Watson Coleman, the first African American woman ever elected to Congress in New Jersey, deserved some sort of special mention. With Linda Carter on as Freeholder, and me on the ballot as the Democratic standard bearer for the local ticket, we comprised a interesting group. I suggested, jokingly, that Mt. Rushmore could be re-envisioned. The fact that we have our own Rushmore--"Rushmore" Park here in Plainfield--made it all the more fun to think about.
Please come out and support ALL the Democrats in COLUMN A--VOTE COLUMN A, ALL THE WAY!
Linda Carter, Plainfield's own Union County Freeholder, has endorsed Charles McRae and me for the open City Council seats for the 3rd Ward and At-large, respectively. We are on the ballot with Linda, whose very first city council campaign I ran--she prevailed over two opponents, which attests to the hard work and strength we put into campaigning. Linda has canvassed the city with Charles and me, knocking on doors, going to events, making phone calls, and working hard for the COLUMN A Democrats. It is so awesome to be on the ballot with Charles, and with Linda, a longtime friend and ally. On Tuesday, support the whole ticket--COLUMN A--ALL THE WAY!