Let America Be America Again By Langston Hughes – (1901-1967)

Let America be America again.
Let it be the dream it used to be.
Let it be the pioneer on the plain
Seeking a home where he himself is free.

(America never was America to me.)

Let America be the dream the dreamers dreamed—
Let it be that great strong land of love
Where never kings connive nor tyrants scheme
That any man be crushed by one above.

(It never was America to me.)

O, let my land be a land where Liberty
Is crowned with no false patriotic wreath,
But opportunity is real, and life is free,
Equality is in the air we breathe.

(There’s never been equality for me,
Nor freedom in this “homeland of the free.”)

Say, who are you that mumbles in the dark?
And who are you that draws your veil across the stars?

I am the poor white, fooled and pushed apart,
I am the Negro bearing slavery’s scars.
I am the red man driven from the land,
I am the immigrant clutching the hope I seek—
And finding only the same old stupid plan
Of dog eat dog, of mighty crush the weak.

I am the young man, full of strength and hope,
Tangled in that ancient endless chain
Of profit, power, gain, of grab the land!
Of grab the gold! Of grab the ways of satisfying need!
Of work the men! Of take the pay!
Of owning everything for one’s own greed!

I am the farmer, bondsman to the soil.
I am the worker sold to the machine.
I am the Negro, servant to you all.
I am the people, humble, hungry, mean—
Hungry yet today despite the dream.
Beaten yet today—O, Pioneers!
I am the man who never got ahead,
The poorest worker bartered through the years.

Yet I’m the one who dreamt our basic dream
In the Old World while still a serf of kings,
Who dreamt a dream so strong, so brave, so true,
That even yet its mighty daring sings
In every brick and stone, in every furrow turned
That’s made America the land it has become.
O, I’m the man who sailed those early seas
In search of what I meant to be my home—
For I’m the one who left dark Ireland’s shore,
And Poland’s plain, and England’s grassy lea,
And torn from Black Africa’s strand I came
To build a “homeland of the free.”

The free?

Who said the free? Not me?
Surely not me? The millions on relief today?
The millions shot down when we strike?
The millions who have nothing for our pay?
For all the dreams we’ve dreamed
And all the songs we’ve sung
And all the hopes we’ve held
And all the flags we’ve hung,
The millions who have nothing for our pay—
Except the dream that’s almost dead today.

O, let America be America again—
The land that never has been yet—
And yet must be—the land where every man is free.
The land that’s mine—the poor man’s, Indian’s, Negro’s, ME—
Who made America,
Whose sweat and blood, whose faith and pain,
Whose hand at the foundry, whose plow in the rain,
Must bring back our mighty dream again.

Sure, call me any ugly name you choose—
The steel of freedom does not stain.
From those who live like leeches on the people’s lives,
We must take back our land again,

O, yes,
I say it plain,
America never was America to me,
And yet I swear this oath—
America will be!

Out of the rack and ruin of our gangster death,
The rape and rot of graft, and stealth, and lies,
We, the people, must redeem
The land, the mines, the plants, the rivers.
The mountains and the endless plain—
All, all the stretch of these great green states—
And make America again!

From The Collected Poems of Langston Hughes, published by Alfred A. Knopf, Inc. Copyright © 1994 the Estate of Langston Hughes.

June Notes

There are only 168 hours in a week.

“Paradise is one’s own place, One’s own people, One’s own world, Knowing and known, Perhaps even loving and loved.”

– Octavia E. Butler

Freddish” ~ Fred Rogers way of talking to children on Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood. Children tend to hear things literally. Fundamentally, Freddish anticipated the ways its listeners might misinterpret what was being said.

Cal·iph·ate – the rule or reign of a caliph or chief Muslim ruler. the area ruled by a caliph.

Splodge – a large blob or smear of something; a splotch mark with a large blob or smear of something.

Digital open-source intelligence investigator – finds fragments of information online: a social media post, or video or picture. Then he combines all the data to pinpoint a specific location. find any data points, or like any building that is unique, and then compare that to the satellite imagery and narrow it down further to one building.

“Go into yourself and test the deeps in which your life takes rise; at its source you will find the answer to the question whether you must create…No one can build you the bridge on which you, and only you, must cross the river of life.”

~ Rainer Maria Rilke (December 4, 1875–December 29, 1926)

“You gotta be willing to fail… if you’re afraid of failing, you won’t get very far,” Steve Jobs and NeXT

Failure means a stripping away of the inessential.

In every career, your job is to make and tell stories, of course. You will build a body of work, but you will also build a body of affection, with the people you’ve helped who’ve helped you back. This is the era of Friends in Low Places. The ones you meet now, who will notice you, challenge you, work with you, and watch your back. Maybe they will be your strength. ~ Robert Louis Krulwich

This is your time, and it feels normal to you. But, really, there is no ‘normal.’ There’s only change, and resistance to it, and then more change.” ~ Meryl Streep

“Who decides limits? And based on what? You said you worked hard? Well, maybe you need to work a little harder. Is that really the limit of your strength? Could the you of tomorrow beat you today? Instead of giving in, move forward.” — Saitama (One Punch Man)

”You’ll laugh at your fears when you find out who you are.” — Piccolo (Dragon Ball Z)

“Style has a profound meaning to Black Americans. If we can’t drive, we will invent walks and the world will envy the dexterity of our feet. If we can’t have ham, we will boil chitterlings; if we are given rotten peaches, we will make cobblers; if given scraps, we will make quilts; take away our drums, and we will clap our hands. We prove the human spirit will prevail. We will take what we have to make what we need. We need confidence in our knowledge of who we are.” ~ Nikki Giovanni

Impetus ~ the force or energy with which a body moves. the force that makes something happen or happen more quickly.

Securitization~the process in which certain types of assets are pooled sothat they can be repackaged into interest-bearing securities. The interest and principal payments from the assets are passed through to the purchasers of the securities.

To save money one has to cook and pack 90 percent of one’s meals, snacks and coffee.

Leadership includes the triad of mindset, mentors, and culture.

Biotransformation ~ The changes (both chemical and physical) that occur to a substance (especially a drug) by the actions of enzymes within an organism.

Symbolic Systems – the meaningful symbols that represent the world about us. Or the study of “the science of the mind.” Blending computer science, psychology, linguistics and philosophy, it examines the relationship between humans and computers.

Do things with love for yourself.

What’s an NFT? NFTs allow you to buy and sell ownership of unique digital items and keep track of who owns them using the blockchain. NFT stands for “non-fungible token,” and it can technically contain anything digital, including drawings, animated GIFs, songs, or items in video games. NFTs are operated using the same blockchain technology as cryptocurrencies and have seen their popularity rise in the last couple of years.

OpenSea is NFT Marketplace.

Always write down a quote from teaching every day. Kids are so funny.

Day in the History of Racial Injustice

Vincent Jen Chin

June 23, 1982Vincent Jen Chin (May 18, 1955 – June 23, 1982) was a Chinese American draftsman who was beaten to death in a racially motivated hate crime by two white men, Chrysler plant supervisor Ronald Ebens and his stepson, laid-off autoworker Michael Nitz.

They assailed Chin following a brawl that took place at a strip club in Highland Park, Michigan, where Chin had been celebrating his bachelor party with friends in advance of his upcoming wedding. They assumed Chin was of Japanese descent and witnesses described them using racial slurs as they attacked him.

Nitz held Chin while Ebens repeatedly bludgeoned Chin with a baseball bat until Chin’s head cracked open. A policeman who witnessed the beating said that Ebens was swinging the bat like he was swinging “for a home run.”

Ebens and Nitz blamed him for the success of Japan’s auto industry. Both were charged with second-degree murder, but bargained the charges down to manslaughter and pleaded guilty in 1983. They were ordered to pay $3,000 and serve three years’ probation, with no jail time.

Chin’s case has been cited by some Asian Americans in support of the idea that they are considered “perpetual foreigners” in contrast to “real” Americans who are considered full citizens.

May Notes

Transnational networks ~ contacts, coalitions, and interactions across national boundaries that are not controlled by the central foreign policy organs of governments.

hegemonic ~ ruling or dominant in a political or social context.


Explore the edges of the sandbox.

Color outside the lines.
Spill some milk.

There are many ways to play, coach and live, and you must walk the path that fits you best.

Be creative. Be unique. Be YOU.

~ Mano Watsa

Give constructive feedback by respectfully critiquing the work while backing you views with examples plus evidence and providing possible solutions.

State what was meaningful, evocative, interesting, exciting, and/or striking in the work just witnessed. Ask neutral questions about the work, and the artist responds. Questions are neutral when they do not have an opinion couched in them. State opinions, after you are given permission from the artist; the artist has the option to say no.

All art is political.

Write an essay about the future that you envision for yourself. Create a plan to achieve it.

zaftig ~ having a full, rounded figure; plump (typically used of a woman). It comes from Yiddish zaftik, which means “juicy” or “succulent” and itself derives from zaft, meaning “juice” or “sap.”

Janky is a slang term for something run down, of poor quality, or unreliable. It can also be used for someone considered undesirable in some way. Janky first emerged in the 1990s, featured in rap songs as early as Ice Cube’s 1993 “Really Doe”: “Hard to swallow, janky as Rollo / Count to ten, and don’t try to follow.” Rollo is reference to Rollo Lawson, a recurring character on the 1970s sitcom Sanford and Son, who had a seedy reputation on on the show.

Continue the good. Cultivate kindness.

Everyone is a dumpster fire every now and then. Drawing by Robin Sallie

international vs transnational ~ As adjectives the difference between international and transnational. is that international is of or having to do with more than one nation while transnational is between or beyond national boundaries .

Three levels of oppression—interpersonal, institutional, and internalized—are linked with each other and all three feed off of and reinforce each other. In other words, all three levels of oppression work together to maintain a state of oppression.

The coronavirus is a microscopic ball studded with specially shaped spikes that it uses to recognize and infect our cells. Antibodies can thwart such infections by glomming onto the spikes, like gum messing up a key.

“Even if it makes others uncomfortable, I will love who I am.”

– Janelle Monáe

long COVID – people struggle with debilitating symptoms for months (or even years), while struggling to get care or disability benefits.

Endemicity ~ 1: belonging or native to a particular people or country. b : characteristic of or prevalent in a particular field, area, or environment problems endemic to translation the self-indulgence endemic in the film industry. 2 : restricted or peculiar to a locality or region

agita ~ anxiety, stress, or aggravation.

reification ~ the act of treating something abstract, such as an idea, relation, system, quality, etc., as if it were a concrete object

pantheist ~ the doctrine that the universe conceived of as a whole is God and, conversely, that there is no God but the combined substance, forces, and laws that are manifested in the existing universe.

I had lost track of the narrative in my own story.

Third culture kids (TCK) or third culture individuals (TCI) are people who were raised in a culture other than their parents’ or the culture of their country of nationality, and also live in a different environment during a significant part of their child development years.

written journal: a mix of what happened, a mix of what you are thinking, and a mix of drafts.

A meta-analysis looks comprehensively at published evidence on a topic and figures out which way that evidence collectively points. A small study here and there might not give us findings we can count on alone, but put a bunch more studies together and you’re likelier to get a reliable picture.

Day in the History of Racial Injustice

Illustration of an attack on black Memphians. Harper’s Weekly, 26 May 1866

The Memphis massacre of 1866 was a series of violent events that occurred from May 1 to 3, 1866 in Memphis, Tennessee. The racial violence was ignited by political and social racism following the American Civil War, in the early stages of Reconstruction. After a shooting altercation between white policemen and black veterans recently mustered out of the Union Army, mobs of white residents and policemen rampaged through black neighborhoods and the houses of freedmen, attacking and killing black soldiers and civilians and committing many acts of robbery and arson.

A sketch from Harper’s Weekly of a freedmen’s schoolhouse burning during the Memphis Massacre 150 years ago this month. (Tennessee State Library & Archives)

No criminal proceedings took place against the instigators or perpetrators of the Memphis riots. The United States Attorney General, James Speed, ruled that judicial actions associated with the riots fell under state jurisdiction. But, state and local officials refused to take action, and no grand jury was ever invoked.

The sign, a private marker placed by the NAACP, and approved by the National Park Service, as it now stands in Army Park.
Christopher Blank/WKNO-FM