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Ian Frazier – THE VERTICAL FARM

No. 212 Rome Street, in Newark, New Jersey, used to be the address of Grammer, Dempsey & Hudson, a steel-supply company. It was like a lumberyard for steel, which it bought in bulk from distant mills and distributed in smaller amounts, mostly to customers within a hundred-mile radius of Newark. It sold off its assets in 2008 and later shut …

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Race Relations Influence Some Teens’ Roommate Choices

As nearly 10 million girls around the country head into their freshman year of college this month, many will have to contend with living away from home and with strangers for the first time. One of the issues they might have to deal with are prejudices and insecurities (both their own and others) as they navigate living with a roommate, …

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Black Agenda Radio – 7.04.16

This is Black Agenda Radio, the radio magazine that brings you news, commentary and analysis from a Black Left perspective. Your hosts are Glen Ford and Nellie Bailey, here they are with a weekly hour of African American political thought and action.

– In two three weeks, Philadelphia will host the Democratic National Convention and thousands of protesters who would like to shut the whole thing down. We spoke with Erica Mimes, of the Philly Coalition for REAL Justice, part of the People of Color DNC Resistance Against Police Terrorism and State Repression. They’ve teamed up with “Shut Down DNC” for a march at the height of the convention, on Tuesday, July 26th. But Philadelphia officials have not yet granted them a parade permit. Mimes doesn’t expect fairness of the city.

– MONEY makes the world of the Democrats and the Republicans go round, according to Dr. Thomas Ferguson, professor of political science at the University of Massachusetts, at Boston. Dr. Ferguson is author of the book, “The Golden Rule: The Investment Theory of Party Competition and the Logic of Money Driven Politics.” He says says this election season has been quite unusual, on both sides of the two-party system. Bernie Sanders mounted a challenge to the Democratic establishment with mostly small campaign contributions, and Donald Trump used his personal fortune to raise issues that Republicans hardly ever talk about. Does that mean Donald Trump marches to a different drummer?

– Mumia Abu Jamal, the nation’s best known political prisoner, is among the speakers who will address a mass meeting on “The Politics of Incarceration in Palestine and the United States,” on July 15th, at the Malcolm X and Betty Shabazz Educational Center, in New York City. Nyle Forte, a young minister and Phad candidate from Newark, New Jersey, is also a speaker, along with others who recently traveled to Palestine. We asked Nyle Forte what Israeli treatment of Palestinians has to do with mass Black incarceration in the United States.

– On the 4th of July in the year 1852, the great abolitionist Frederick Douglass said, “There is not a nation on earth guilty of practices more shocking and bloody than are the people of the United States at this very hour.” We spoke with Margaret Kimberley, Black Agenda Report editor and senior columnist, and asked her if Frederick Douglass’s assessment sounds familiar, in the present day.

– Holidays like the 4th of July don’t mean much to the 2.2 million people locked up in this country’s prisons. Political prison Yan Lahman has for months been denied direct communication with the outside world. His commentary, for Prison Radio, is titled “Prisoners’ Voices Blocked and Censorship of U.S. Prisons.” It’s read by Lynn Stewar, the people’s lawyer who has also been a political prisoner, herself.

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Black Agenda Radio – 6.20.16

This is Black Agenda Radio, the radio magazine that brings you news, commentary and analysis from a Black Left perspective. Your hosts are Glen Ford and Nellie Bailey, here they are with a weekly hour of African American political thought and action.

– The People’s Organization for Progress, POP, does not hesitate to demonstrate, whether it’s marking the anniversary of the 1967 rebellion in Newark, New Jersey, or protesting President Obama’s attempt to cut Social Security. Recently, POP hit the streets to protest New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s executive order that sets up a blacklist of companies that have agreed to Boycott, Divest and Sanction Israel. Larry Hamm is chairman of POP. He’s also a Bernie Sanders delegate to the upcoming Democratic National Convention.

– The City of Philadelphia is welcoming the Democrats to town, but the welcome mat does not extend to protest marchers. Cheri Honkala is a longtime poor people’s activist, based in Philadelphia.

– The Democratic Party’s presumptive presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, ran the Caribbean country of Haiti with an iron fist when she was Secretary of State. Clinton helped to engineer the rise to the presidency of Michel “Sweet Mickey” Martelly, who was finally forced out of power by popular demand, this year. Nikolas Barry-Shaw, a Voting Rights Associate with the Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti, says Clinton’s record in Haiti is an embarrassment to her campaign, which would prefer that Haiti not be in the news.

– Gunmen riddled the home of Haitian presidential candidate Dr. Maryse Narcisse, who represents Fanmi Lavalas, the political party of former President Jean Bertrand Aristide, who was overthrown by a U.S.-backed coup in 2004. Aristides’ party has been banned from most elections since then. We spoke with Pierre Labossier, of the Haiti Action Committee. He says the U.S. State Department fought tooth and nail to try to force the Haitian people to accept the results of last year’s rigged elections.

– New federal rules would make it harder for people to get payday loans at usurious interest rates. Matt Stannard is Policy Director of Commonomics USA. He’d like to get rid of payday loans altogether, and providing alternative financing to poor people.

Visit the BlackAgendaReport.com, where you’ll find a new and provocative issue, each Wednesday.

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Sarah Lazare – Zuckerberg’s Facebook Giveaway: ‘Charity’ or Tax-Dodging Scheme?

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and his wife, Priscilla Chan, attracted attention and praise when they announced Tuesday they plan to “give” 99 percent of their Facebook shares—worth roughly $45 billion—to the causes of “advancing human potential and promoting equality.” However, there is a key problem with the declaration, unrolled in a public letter to the couple’s newborn child. The couple …

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Steven Rosenfeld – 6 Noxious Facts About America’s Billionaires

When Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg announced this week that he will give away 99 percent of his personal fortune—now estimated at $44 billion—during his lifetime, he was lauded in newspapers and TV broadcasts from coast to coast. But few people noted [3] that giving away his billions will still leave Zuckerberg, his wife Priscilla Chan and newborn daughter Max, with at …

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Black Agenda Radio – 10.19.15

Welcome, to the radio magazine that brings you news, commentary and analysis from a Black Left perspective.

– A broad coalition of activist organizations is gearing up for three days of Rise Up October protests against police lawlessness, in New York City, this weekend. Organizers plan to bring in 100 family members of victims of police violence from around the country. Newark, New Jersey’s People’s Organization for Progress is part of the Rise Up October campaign. Chairman Larry Hamm says POP has been fighting police brutality in northern New Jersey for 35 years. POP sent several busloads to Washington, DC for the recent anniversary of the Million Man March.

– Cynthia McKinney, the former six-term congresswoman from Georgia and 2008 presidential candidate on the Green Party ticket, recently earned her PhD in Leadership and Change from Antioch University. For her dissertation, McKinney explored the challenges faced by the late Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez. She’s now exploring ways to deploy more “non-traditional” Black candidates for Congress. But, that’s easier said than done.

– Mustapha Hefny was born in Egypt and immigrated to the United States more than three decades ago. The U.S. government granted him citizenship, but it refuses to acknowledge that he’s a Black man. Mr. Hefny is a Nubian, an ancient, unmistakably Black people who were part of the Egyptian Empire, sometimes ruling as Pharoahs. Nubians have always lived in what is now southern Egypt and northern Sudan. But the United States classifies Nubian immigrants from southern Egypt as white, and Nubians from northern Sudan as Black, under Directive 15 of the U.S. Office of Management and Budget. So, for almost 30 years, Mostapha Hefny has been demanding that United States recognize him as a Black man.

– Dr. Gerald Horne, the professor of History and African American Studies at the University of Houston, has written yet another book. Horne is one of the most prolific and influential Black political thinkers of our time. His most recent work is titled “Race to Revolution: The U.S. and Cuba During the Slavery and Jim Crow.” His new book, on the Haitian Revolution, should be out this week. And after that, Dr. Horne plans on turning out books on Paul Robeson and Black majority rule in South Africa. He was recently interviewed on WFHB Community Radio, in Bloomington, Indiana.

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Black Agenda Radio – 08.10.15

Mumia Abu Jamal, the nation’s best known political prisoner, has been confirmed to be suffering from hepatitis C, a serious liver disease that doctors believe played a part in his near-death, earlier this year, from diabetic shock. But, the State of Pennsylvania doesn’t provide adequate treatment for prison inmates with Hepatitus C. Attorney Brete Grote says the state’s inaction has caused Abu Jamal’s legal team to file papers in court.

Despite his medical problems, Mumia continues to write regular essays for Prison Radio. Here’s his latest, entitled, “Donald Trump and the Politics of Resentment.”

World’s Largest Indoor Vertical Farm Breaks Ground in Newark, New Jersey – Lorraine Chow

Newark, New Jersey will soon be home to the largest indoor vertical farm in the world. The city just broke ground on the massive, 69,000-square-foot AeroFarms headquarters that’s capable of producing up to 2 million pounds of vegetables and herbs annually once it’s in full operation. The new $30 million complex dwarfs Japan’s (already impressive) 25,000-square-foot vertical indoor farm, which had been the world’s largest until …