Thursday, March 20, 2008

40th Anniversary of Howard 'A' building takeover

I was a freshman at Howard University when 1,200 of us entered the Administration building on March 20, 1968, sitting-in in protest over the threatened expulsion of 38 of our classmates who had been accused of disrupting Charter Day.

Four days later we marched back out, having shut down the University and having saved those students from expulsion, successful in having prevailed in all our demands save one: the removal of President James M. Nabrit, which would come to pass two years later when Dr. James Cheek took office.

While we were the first United States university closed down by student activism, Columbia University (which had supported our efforts) followed our protest with one of their own and because of better media coverage is generally assumed to have been first. I am happy to set the record straight.

Among the protest leaders, Michael Harris, the Freshmen class president would later become a lawyer in the Howard University Office of General Counsel. Howard University Student Association (H.U.S.A) president Ewart Brown, M.D. is currently Premier of Bermuda, and Tony Gittens, Ph.D. is executive director of the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities.

For further information, reference the 1968 NET (Public Television) documentary on the protest “Color Us Black.”
Also read Tom Myles’ 1969 book “Centennial Plus 1: A Photographic and Narrative Account of the Black Student Revolution: Howard University 1965-1968.”

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Wintry Mix

Early morning Ice in the street
The dreaded freezing rain aftermath
our pitiful 1" one and only DC snowfall this winter
our pitiful 1" one and only DC snowfall this winter
Photos (c) 2008 by the Incorrigible Curmudgeon

Winter's trending down here in DC and we have yet to have more than an inch of snow. All we seem to have earned is the dreaded 'wintry mix,' freezing rain & sleet, the lavender expanses on the TV weather maps, while everyone else gets the 'white stuff.'

We've had the usually hystrionics by the local meteorologists warning of impending apocalyptic snowfalls headed our way but they have all brushed past us to the North, some even to the South. North Carolina has received more snowfall than DC this winter. Hell, even Hotlanta got snow.

I feel cheated, and with only 3 more weeks until April I am not optimistic that we will make up for lost time this winter. The Cherry Blossoms will be in bloom this year starting March 27th.