Drayton's Gazette discusses social and political issues happening around the globe through the eyes of the African American, minority and disaffected communities.

Must Read

Author and Economist Moyo on “How the West Was Lost: Fifty Years Of Economic Folly”

Author and Economist Dambisa Moyo “How the West Was Lost: Fifty Years of Economic Folly — and the Stark Choices Ahead”

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Lincoln’s “House Divided” Speech

Lincoln’s “House Divided” speech

Mr. President and Gentlemen of the Convention:

If we could first know where we are and whither we are tending, we could better judge what to do and how to do it. We are now far into the fifth year since a policy was initiated with the avowed object and confident promise of putting an end to slavery agitation. Under the operation of that policy, that agitation has not only not ceased but has constantly augmented. In my opinion, it will not cease until a crisis shall have been reached and passed. “A house divided against itself cannot stand.” I believe this government cannot endure, permanently, half slave and half free. I do not expect the Union to be dissolved; I do not expect the house to fall; but I do expect it will cease to be divided. It will become all one thing, or all the other. Either the opponents of slavery will arrest the further spread of it and place it where the public mind shall rest in the belief that it is in the course of ultimate extinction, or its advocates will push it forward till it shall become alike lawful in all the states, old as well as new, North as well as South.

Have we no tendency to the latter condition?

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Chief Red Jacket of the Seneca Nation 1805 Speech

Seneca Chief Red Jacket

Address to White Missionaries and Iroquois Six Nations

delivered 1805, Buffalo Grove, New York

“We do not quarrel about religion”

*Friend and Brother: It was the will of the Great Spirit that we should meet together this day. He orders all things and has given us a fine day for our council. He has taken his garment from before the sun, and caused it to shine with brightness upon us. Our eyes are opened, that we see clearly; our ears are unstopped, that we have been able to hear distinctly the words you have spoken. For all these favors we thank the Great Spirit; and him only.

Brother: This council fire was kindled by you. It was at your request that we came together at this time. We have listened with attention to what you have said. You requested us to speak our minds freely. This gives us great joy; for we now consider that we stand upright before you, and can speak what we think. All have heard your voice, and all speak to you now as one man. Our minds are agreed.

Brother: You say you want an answer to your talk before you leave this place. It is right you should have one, as you are a great distance from home, and we do not wish to detain you. But we will first look back a little, and tell you what our fathers have told us, and what we have heard from the white people.*

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Nelson Mandela Speech 1964

Nelson Mandela was born the son of a Tembu tribal chieftain on July 18, 1918, at Qunu, near Umtata, in South Africa. He renounced his right to succeed his father and instead chose a political career. He attended college, became a lawyer, joined the African National Congress (ANC) in 1944 and helped found its powerful Youth League

In 1962, he was arrested by South African security police for his opposition to the white government and its apartheid (“separateness”) policies of racial, political, and economic discrimination against the nonwhite majority. In 1964, the government brought further charges including sabotage, high treason and conspiracy to overthrow the government. This is Mandela’s statement from the dock at the opening of his defense in the 1964 trial.

Nelson Mandela

I am the First Accused.

I hold a Bachelor’s Degree in Arts and practised as an attorney in Johannesburg for a number of years in partnership with Oliver Tambo. I am a convicted prisoner serving five years for leaving the country without a permit and for inciting people to go on strike at the end of May 1961.

At the outset, I want to say that the suggestion made by the State in its opening that the struggle in South Africa is under the influence of foreigners or communists is wholly incorrect. I have done whatever I did, both as an individual and as a leader of my people, because of my experience in South Africa and my own proudly felt African background, and not because of what any outsider might have said.

In my youth in the Transkei I listened to the elders of my tribe telling stories of the old days. Amongst the tales they related to me were those of wars fought by our ancestors in defence of the fatherland. The names of Dingane and Bambata, Hintsa and Makana, Squngthi and Dalasile, Moshoeshoe and Sekhukhuni, were praised as the glory of the entire African nation. I hoped then that life might offer me the opportunity to serve my people and make my own humble contribution to their freedom struggle. This is what has motivated me in all that I have done in relation to the charges made against me in this case.

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Must Read by: V.Lyn

 This is a fantastic book about two boys who grew up in the same neighborhood, mere blocks apart and with similar circumstances but this is a story about the different route that their lives took.  One went on to become a Rhodes Scholar, a decorated Veteran and a successful business man.

The other Wes Moore’s life took a tragic course one which had devastating consequences for a police officer and his family. This other Wes Moore  is now serving life in prison for the taking of a life in a botched robbery.

This is a powerful book that in no way excuses the now incarcerated (other) Wes Moore’s crime- his participation in  a crime that resulted in a police officer losing his life. This book does however serves to demonstrate the irony and the tragedy of two young African American boys trying to find their way in the inner city. Both fatherless- the authors father’s passing while Wes was a small child- both of these Wes’s by all accounts could have had similar futures. While this is the story of these two individuals from nearby neighborhoods, with the same name, it is also the story of many young black men trapped in a cycle of poverty, dysfunction, absent fathers, and overwhelmed mothers, and young men who all to often make the wrong decisions that not only adversely effects their lives but the lives of their families, and the ramifications of those actions to society.

UPDATE: The author of this insightful book has appeared on Tom Brokaw’s show Bridging the Divide on USA and has appeared on numerous television shows.

It is a must read book!! (more…)