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Haiti's pain, Ida Wells- Barnett (1862- 1931) reads the news!

Haiti's pain is just still unbelievable! I am seeing campaigns for people are still short of food, water and medicines! This is no way to be at this time in history! Please let us all do all that we can for Haiti!

And regarding the story of the joy of a black woman who finally got back her parents house in a case that begun in 1960, I was just wondering if this is the speed we really want for ending some negative traits.. denying justice on the basis of color!?

I was just thinking that Ida Well-Barnett who preceded Rosa Parks is not happy reading such news today, so I wrote her a note and a few quotes to inspire myself, us and her.. who knows, may be she continues struggling for justice!

Marian Wright Edelman
Whoever said anybody has a right to give up?

Martin Luther King, Jr.
If you lose hope, somehow you lose the vitality that keeps life moving, you lose that courage to be, that quality that helps you go on in spite of it all. And so today I still have a dream.
The Trumpet of Conscience

History, despite its wrenching pain, cannot be unlived, but if faced with courage, need not be lived again.
Maya Angelou

Dear Ida Wells- Barnett

Some people I was talking to were surprised to hear about you! I think we did not make enough of your courage!
I write regardless of the years that have passed since you were born and died. Your dates are 1862- 1931. You are American. You made change happen because you preceded Rosa Parks in refusing to be mistreated in May 1844 when you were asked to give up your train seat in what they called the white section. You were removed by force and sued and you won the circuit court, but the judgement was reversed by the Tennessee Supreme Court! You used your pen to fight racism and you wrote, “I felt that one had better die fighting injustice… than die like an animal in a trap!”

Ida, the world honors you to this very day. I congratulate you! It is a great thing we have advanced so much in communication! I can Google your name and find out a lot of things, almost feel your heart and see your mind. It is almost possible to live through centuries with reading and internet. But I have to tell you a sad thing and I do not know how this will inspire us but it will make us think! We still have racial, tribal (this word and negative ethnicity bother me but I have no other) tensions. We have problems being just- I really like your struggle for it was about justice for all and not just color- to people and we base it on color or language differences! People do not see black in white still … or white in black. Humans are very careful about whether is black or white or if one has a mixture. Differences are welcome if they are preferred for beauty and so on... but when they are used for injustice.. you cannot be happy. And just to imagine that before you other people fought against slavery (18th Century)! It is getting real boring!

I wanted to tell you about the last story I read in this regard! You will not like our headlines even today and the realities are subtler than headlines. You see, the other day we read about Sallie Sanders who got keys 40 years later for a house unjustly taken from her. Her parents were not there to enjoy this. They were dead already. How sad! We are supposed to be happy with the win.. but why is this still an issue?

Woman Gets House Keys 40 Years Later
Judge: Hamtramck Violated Rights Of Blacks In City
POSTED: Monday, January 18, 2010
UPDATED: 7:26 pm January 18, 2010
HAMTRAMCK, Mich. -- Part of a discrimination case that started in the 1960s was settled Monday when a woman was given the keys to a new home in Hamtramck.
"It was justice denied," said 6th Circuit U.S. Appeals Court Judge Damon Keith.
"I call it Black removal," said Keith. "They would go into black neighbourhoods, completely wipe it out and then didn't try to relocate them."

Just imagine Ida! But I must keep my focus on justice! And struggle for it! So, I keep reading about courage! Below and above are some quotes I liked.

Philo Ikonya


olutosin's picture

Reading some books!

Dearest sister,

I started reading how to become women of influence in December 2009, and I am yet to finish the book! I do not really know how many times I have read it. The works of past heroes keep us going on and do you know what I want to do more than I am doing now.
One thing is certain, when these women hear and read what younger ones are doing today, sure they will be smiling in the graves and saying thumbs up!
You are doing so well sister!

Olutosin Oladosu Adebowale
Founder/Project Coordinator
Star of Hope Transformation Centre
512 Road
F Close
Festac Town


jadefrank's picture

In memory of Ida

Dear Philo,

So lovely to hear from you my dear! Each time you post in your journal, each time I read your words - I am moved and I am smiling. Because you too use your pen to fight racism, to fight gender discrimination, to fight violence and corruption - and you dear Philo do it in a poetic and beautiful way that moves beyond the words and beyond the movement. You are a true artist!

Thank you for this - for sharing your letter and for reminding us of Ida's courageous actions that have paved the way for justice and for other women, like Rosa Parks, like Rigoberta Menchu, or Jyotiba Phule, Sophie Ogutu, Susan B. Anthony, Shirin Ebadi, Aung San Suu Kyi and Philo Ikonya - to continue lighting the flame of justice.


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