Oct 302013

November 9 talk at Wild Fig Bookstore

By Janet Tucker

On November 9, Jakobi Williams, a former faculty member in UK’s history department who is now an Associate Professor at Indiana University, will speak and sign from his book From the Bullet to the Ballot: The Illinois Chapter of the Black Panther Party and Racial Coalition Politics in Chicago at the Wild Fig Bookstore (1439 Leestown Road).

With the fiftieth anniversary of the 1963 march on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, there has been a renewed interest in the history of the Civil Rights and other race-based social movements.  Williams’ powerful book tells another and often overlooked part of that national racial history: that of the Black Panther Party in Chicago and the long history of racial segregation in Chicago. From the Bullet to the Ballot focuses much of this story on Fred Hampton, a charismatic, highly effective and visionary leader of the Illinois Black Panther Party (ILBPP) whose life was cut short by a brutal murder by the guns of police on December 4, 1969 at the young age of 21. (Hampton was shot while sleeping in bed.)

Speaking of the legacy of the ILBBP, Williams stated, “the story of the Illinois Panthers is a multifaceted one. So too is the chapter’s legacy, touching on race, poverty, and politics in Chicago and the nation.  Fred Hampton’s conviction that the Panthers had to ‘unite with as many people as possible’ as Jose Jimenez puts it, lay behind the three most significant elements of this legacy: the ILBPP survival programs (free breakfast, medical clinics, etc.); the influence on racial coalition politics (particular through the Rainbow Coalition), and its ongoing effect as a catalyst for 21st century racial and political conflict in Chicago.”

The talk is sponsored by Central Kentucky Restoration of Voting Rights Campaign (ROVRC).  Kentucky is one of only four states that choose to punish convicted felons by taking their voting rights away for life. This has led to a quarter-million Kentuckians who have lost their right to vote, including one in four African American Kentucky men.

This is a huge insult to our democracy.  As we work toward building a broader and better functioning democracy, these are important discussions to have. Let us come together and discuss this rich history and what it means for our democracy today.

Williams’ talk and book signing will take place at 4:00 pm, November 9, at Wild Fig Bookstore. Wild Fig is located at 1439 Leestown Road in the Meadowthorpe shopping center.

Oct 042013

By Danny Mayer

Last month’s September publication will be North of Center’s last. Over the coming weeks, some unfinished and previously-planned articles will continue to be published to the website and Facebook page. Notwithstanding those backlog pieces, from here on out NoC will begin to fade away.

Aug 112013

Mudd wins street feminism design contest

RealDadsWEBHe called it a “simple, no-frills propaganda piece” whose text he liked. We concurred, and declared Kenwick resident Martin Mudd’s submission a winner in our street feminism sticker design contest. “I would love to personally plaster these all over Lexington,” Mudd stated at the end of his email submission.

Mr. Mudd will soon get the chance to do just that. His winning entry will be printed by NoC and distributed through town on lamp posts, telephone poles, magazine racks,discarded buildings, university dorm rooms, bathroom stalls, tavern walls, and any other areas needing some fatherly advice. He (and you) are welcome to join us in this endeavour.

What follows is Mudd’s artist/propaganda statement: Continue reading »

May 082013

Family fun bike ride

On Saturday, May 18, a morning of children-focused bike activities will take place in downtown Lexington. The morning will commence at 8:00 am with a “Bike Safety Rodeo” and the “Sprout Sprint,” a free youth bike race coordinated by the YMCA that is open to all kids up to age 12!

This year’s Sprout Sprint course will be a short closed circuit on which particpants will ride laps; kids will compete  for prizes in several age  brackets: 5 and under, 6 – 9, and 10 – 12. Heat races will take place every 10 minutes beginning at 8:00am.

At 10:00 am, the Family Fun Bike Ride will leave downtwon. The route will take riders along Fourth Street, down Newtown Pike, across Maxwell and High Streets, up South Ashland and around Richmond Road along the July 4 10K race route. Organizers demand that all riders must register in order to participate in any of the biking activities.
The morning promises raffles, music, booths, and more.

Design Your Own Revolution
“Design Your Own Revolution,” the third component of a larger work in progress called “discomfort,” will take place on May 24.

Announced in February, the revolution design project offered community members a limited amount of resources with which to design a revolution. Resources offered to the winning participant include one pop-up office space, one design consultant, one table, two chairs, two pencils and a pencil sharpener, one copy machine, 500 sheets of copy paper, and 100 $1.00 billls.

After reviewing entries, Dakota Smith was selected to define the role of the revolutionary. On Friday, May 24, from 9 am-3 pm, Dakota will be designing his own revolution at Land of Tomorrow (LOT) Gallery (527 East Third Street) with the help of Revolution Designer Paul Michael Brown.

Revolution curator Bruce Burris of ElandF West attributes no preconceived hopes for the project, “There is no particular method here and absolutely no expectation. I may or not be present. Dakota is welcome to buy $100 worth of cigarettes and beer, design a revolution or anything at all. Paul is welcome to assist or hinder or leave. 9am-3pm is meant to mimic a typical business day. Anyone may attend/observe during this time.”

Apr 052013

Bluegrass Community and Technical College is happy to have Dr. Yana Hashamova of Ohio State University speak on human trafficking, film and media.

According to most recent research, media environment influences the viewer’s emotions, attitudes, and behavior; establishes opinions on given social issues; and shapes young people’s perception of reality to a considerable degree. Various media venues are the main source of information about trafficking in people. This presentation examines cross-cultural and transnational media products on trafficking as well as attitudes toward trafficking, utilizing U.S. and Balkan media and social attitudes case studies.

The talk will take place Thursday, April 25, from 6:30-7:45 pm in the Oswald Auditorium.