48 years ago

WATCH: Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated 48 years ago Monday.

Chet Huntley reported the news in an NBC News Special Report, seen here.

King was in Memphis, Tenn., where sanitation workers, almost all of them black, had been on strike for weeks.

The night before he was killed, King gave the last speech of his life, the famous “I’ve Been to the Mountaintop” speech, before an audience of striking workers and their supporters.

He ended the speech by saying, “I don’t know what will happen now. We’ve got some difficult days ahead. But it really doesn’t matter to me now, because I’ve been to the mountaintop. I won’t mind. Like anybody, I’d like to live a long life. Longevity has its place but I’m not concerned about that now. I just want to do God’s will and He’s allowed me to go up to the mountain. And I’ve looked over. And I’ve seen the Promised Land. So I’m happy tonight. I’m not worried about anything. I’m not fearing any man. "Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord.”

The next evening, April 4, 1968, standing on the balcony of the Lorraine Motel, King was hit by a single rifle shot fired from the window of a nearby boarding house.

Beni Amer Boy

Growing up as kid, it seemed like every Eritrean household in the diaspora had this boy’s image on their wall. His inviting smile; his big pearly whites; his mud-stiffened ringlets hairdo known as the tiffa and tribal scars on his cheeks made him a memorable face. Although no one knows his name for certain, he does have a few aliases Eritreans commonly refer to him by, including Beni-Amer boy and smiling boy.

So who is he?

Despite being one of the most recognized images among Eritreans, we still don’t know much about him. All we know is this iconic picture was taken in 1965 by James P. Blair, a retired National Geographic photographer. We also know the picture was shot in Tesseney, Eritrea, a mid-size town near the Sudanese border. Aside from these few facts, there isn’t much information to go on.

Judging by the boy’s face, he seems to be between 14-16 years of age when Mr. Blair took his picture. Since the image was taken 48 years ago, this would make him around 62-64 years old today, assuming he’s still alive, of course. While this information is nice to know, it still doesn’t give inklings about his personal life. Unfortunately, we are still left with rumors to fill this void.


Lack of information about people usually results in rumors. Among the most entertaining ones about him is he was allegedly given a modeling job by Crest, a toothpaste company based in America. Another one of my favorites is a French model tourist visiting Tesseney was struck by his good looks and married him and took him to Paris with her. Perhaps the most plausible rumor is he allegedly joined the Eritrean Revolution and was martyred in the late 1960s.


Since Ethiopia annexed Eritrea in 1962, National Geographic presented him to the world as an Ethiopian boy. Additionally, the Ethiopian tourist agencies during the Haile Selassie and Mengistu Haile Mariam administrations used his image extensively to promote Ethiopian tourism. As a result, he became well known among Ethiopians, too. Even today, his image can be seen in many Ethiopian restaurants and households.


The Beni-Amers, who are generally classified as the largest subgroup within the Tigre ethnic group, are named after Amer Ibn Kunnu, a 15th century CE founder of the clan. In fact, their name literally means “sons of Amer”. They live mostly in south west Eritrea and around the Eritrean-Sudanese border. Although their original language was Bedawi (Beja/Hidareb), today they speak Tigre as their first language.

  • 1. What colour is the sky right now where you are?
  • 2. What would your ideal flower crown look like?
  • 3. How do gloomy days, when the sky is dark and the world is misty, make you feel?
  • 4. Have you ever used a ouija board? Do you believe in them?
  • 5. What's one of the nicest things anyone has ever done for you?
  • 6. What colour are your bedroom walls? Did you choose that colour? Why?
  • 7. What's some of your favourite album art?
  • 8. Are you planning on getting any tattoos? What ones?
  • 9. What are some movies that you think everyone should watch at least once?
  • 10. Where is your favourite place? Why is it your favourite place?
  • 11. Do you drown your pasta in cheese or just use a pinch?
  • 12. What hairstyle do you wear the most?
  • 13. What's your Hogwarts house?
  • 14. How often do you listen to music?
  • 15. Do you wear trousers or skirts more often?
  • 16. Do you care if people talk badly about you?
  • 17. When was the last time you cried?
  • 18. What are you sitting on right now?
  • 19. Who was the last person you talked to before you went to bed last night?
  • 20. Do you get a lot of colds?
  • 21. Does anyone hate you?
  • 22. Do you like watching scary movies?
  • 23. What piercings do you have? Do you want more?
  • 24. Did you have a dream last night?
  • 25. Do you think someone has feelings for you?
  • 26. Do you think someone is thinking about you right now?
  • 27. Has anyone ever told you that they don't want to lose you? Have you ever told anyone that you don't want to lose them?
  • 28. Do you ever pass notes to your friends in school?
  • 29. Do you replay past events in your head?
  • 30. Are you nice to everyone?
  • 31. Are you good at hiding your feelings?
  • 32. Have any of your friends ever seen you cry?
  • 33. How do you look right now?
  • 34. Do you have someone you can be your complete self around?
  • 35. Have you ever felt replaced?
  • 36. Did you wake up cranky today?
  • 37. Are you a jealous person?
  • 38. Do you like the beach?
  • 39. Would you rather go to a theme park, a zoo or an art museum?
  • 40. What's in your mind?
  • 41. What do your friends call you?
  • 42. Have you ever cried over a text?
  • 43. Are good byes hard for you?
  • 44. Do you think two people can last together forever?
  • 45. What are your favourite songs of all time?
  • 46. Where will you be five hours from now?
  • 47. Are you friends with the people you were friends with two years ago?
  • 48. Do you sleep wth your window open?
  • 49. Do you believe in love at first sight?
  • 50. What's your zodiac sign?

A/N: Woahohoho. Look at me, two fanfics in one day! My friend pitched this idea to me and I started getting sad even just thinking about it. SO I DECIDED TO BE AN ASSHOLE AND WRITE IT (I’m sorry in advance) 
Also I could have written a lot more memories, but that would been a lot of shit to write, and I’m just too lazy. 

Warnings: The fucking feels

Word Count: 3, 919

Summary: An old Dan (For story purposes let’s say he’s like 76), looking back on all his beautiful memories of the one he loves.

Dan’s POV

I remember almost everything about her. She was beautiful, funny, sarcastic, everything I dreamed of. And she was mine. Here I lay on this hospital bed, with my daughter and her wife watching over me. I guess you could say I’m on my death bed right now. I’ve grown old, and I lived a long, amazing life. But of course, my mind is always on her.

When We Met ~54 years ago (22 years old)~

I was getting prepared for the BBC radio show my best friend Phil and I hosted, back when I was younger obviously. A new intern came in that day, she was being trained. And of course, me being the clumsy, awkward person I am, bumped into her. Literally.

“Ouch!” I hear a voice, and things drop on the ground as I stumble over my own feet.

“Oh I’m so sorry!” I drop down and help her pick up the things she dropped.

“It’s alright, I’m pretty clumsy myself.” She laughs dusting off her shirt, and gets up from the floor. I follow her, slowly getting up and meeting her beautiful (Y/E/C) eyes. I felt my heart skip a beat, she was beautiful.

“I’m (Y/N) by the way. I’m a new intern here.” She smiles, sticking her hand out waiting for me to introduce myself. I was lost in my thoughts, but snapped back to reality, and shook her hand.

“I’m Dan. I have a radio show here.” I smile back at her, realizing that I hadn’t let go of her hand yet.

“Um, Dan. I think I might need my hand back” She laughs, the corner of her eyes crinkling.

“Sorry again.” I pull my hand away, and rub the back of my neck. “It was nice meeting you.”

“Nice meeting you too Dan.” She smiles at me again and walks off.

Later that day, while in the studio getting ready for the radio show when I hear her voice again.

“Hey Dan.” She taps the back of my shoulder, and greets me with her gorgeous smile again. “Fancy meeting you here.”

“Oh hey (Y/N).” I feel the heat rise in my cheeks, I can’t be falling for this girl already can I?

I introduce her to Phil, and we begin the radio show. Throughout it, I took quick glances at (Y/N) who was carefully listening to what the people behind the scenes were explaining, but also I noticed her taking glances at me and smiling. Once the radio show ended she came up to me again.
“This may be sudden, but how about we exchange numbers?” She asks awkwardly, staring at the floor.
“Of course!” I say a bit too excited, pulling out my phone.

Our First Kiss ~52 years ago (24 years old)~

(Y/N) and I became close friends after meeting her in the BBC studio. I’ve had a crush from the start, and little did I know she felt the same way. We were alone at my flat while Phil was out, and we were recording a baking video together for YouTube. I’ve introduced her to the Phandom long before that, and they loved her (And I fully understand why).

“HOWELL GRAB THE FLOUR.” She says dramatically, pointing to the bag of flour.

“You have legs grab them yourself.” I reply, crossing my arms.

“Fine. But you better watch your back Dan.” She says, pointing at me smiling. She walks over to the counter where the flour was left on while I turned around, reading the recipe over. While I’m reading the recipe, I feel something hit my head, and see white powder fall down onto the counter in front of me. I turn around and see her clutching her stomach laughing, her hand white from the flour.

“WHAT THE FUCK (Y/N)!” I yell, trying to hide my laughter.

“I told you to watch yourself.” She breathes out, trying to catch her breath from laughing so much.

“Oh it’s on.” I say, snatching the flour out of her hand and grabbing a handful of flour, and throwing it at her.

“HEY!” She lifts her arms up angrily, and chases me around the kitchen trying to steal the flour back.

“NO ENOUGH WITH THE FLOUR LETS JUST BAKE.” I breathe heavily from running around so much.
“Fine.” She pouts, finally grabbing the flour from my hand, and measuring it.

We finally finish putting the ingredients together, and now it was the worst part. Waiting for it to bake. I walk over to my phone, and turn on a slow song.

“Shall we dance?” I say, offering her my hand.

“Why of course.” She takes my hand, and I pull her in. She rests her hand on my shoulder, and I put my other hand on her waist. At the time we were unaware of each other’s feelings. But this was finally the time to confess (I also forgot the camera was on.)

I looked into her eyes lovingly, and she smiled, staring at me back. I looked down to her lips, then back into her eyes, and she opened her mouth to speak.

“Dan, I’ve been meaning to talk to you about something.” She tears her eyes away from my face, avoiding eye contact.

“Me too.” I say softly, still taking in her stunning facial features.

“I-I don’t know how to say this.” She mumbles, looking down at her feet.

“Hey (Y/N)?” I say, slowly leaning in closer to her.

“Hm?” Her head snaps back up to my eyes, and I see her cheeks turn a cute shade of pink. I smile, leaning in closer and she meets me halfway. Our lips meet, and the moment I’ve been waiting for has finally arrived. Her lips were so soft, and it’s like they molded perfectly against mine. We pull away, and she shakes her head laughing.

“What is it?” I ask.

“The camera is still on. You should probably edit that part out.” She responds still laughing.

I turn my head to the camera, and chuckle. “Yeah I guess so.” Then I lean in to kiss her again.

Moving in Together ~48 years ago (28 years old)~

We finally decided, after four years of dating, to move in together. After a long process of figuring out which house we want to live in, we finally chose one. It was a long day of packing, travelling, and then unpacking. But after everything, it was completely worth it.

“And done.” She walks into the lounge, falling onto the couch that I was already sitting on.

“Is that everything?” I ask, opening my arms as she climbs into them.

“Yup. Everything is unpacked.” She looks up into my eyes, and I lean down to kiss her lips.

“I’m happy we did this.” I say, smiling at her.

“Me too.” She replies.

“I love you”

“I love you too squish.”

I Finally Propose ~also 48 years ago (28 years old)~

I planned a very special night for (Y/N). I knew she loved picnics, so I decided to arrange a picnic in a very beautiful park, with cherry blossoms everywhere (another thing she loved.) While (Y/N) was at work, I was getting the food ready. Then after that, I got ready myself. I wore my normal grey t-shirt, with a leather jacket and black pants, and fixed my hobbit hair so I looked presentable. (Y/N) got home from work, and fixed herself up, while I was alone in our bedroom, figuring out what to say when I propose. We arrived at the park and she looked everywhere amazed.

“Oh my god this is BEAUTIFUL!” She exclaims, hopping over to me and clinging onto my arm.
“Not as beautiful as you.” I say, smiling down at her.

“Oh god that was so cheesy.” She laughs, hitting my arm playfully.

We sit down in the middle of some cherry blossoms, the petals slowly falling off around us. I lay out the blanket and take out the food I prepared.

“This is lovely Dan. Thank you for taking me.” She kisses my cheek, and reaches for a strawberry.

“You’re welcome love.” I must have been acting really nervous because at some point of the date, she noticed my fidgeting a lot.

“Are you alright Dan? You seem nervous tonight.” She rubs my arm, hoping that she can get an answer out of me.

“Oh…I’m fine. It’s just um….” I kept stuttering, I was a nervous wreck. She tilted her head at me confused, and I finally gained the courage to ask her the question I’ve been meaning to ask. “I need to ask you something.”

“Oh course.”

“Okay well.” I take her hands in mine, and walk away from the blankets underneath a cherry blossom tree. I stood there staring into her eyes before I finally knelt down on my knees. She looked at me in shock, I remember her telling me she had no idea that I was planning to that that night. “I love you so much (Y/N). You have been there for me through thick and thin, and I know I want to spend the rest of my life with you.” I reach into my pocket, and fumble with the small black box, trying to get it open. She laughs, covering her mouth with her hand tears running down her face. “Will you marry me?” I finally ask once I got the box open. She nods her head frantically, and lets out a mumbled “yes” before lifting me up and engulfing me in a hug.

Wedding Day ~47 years ago (29 years old)~

I stand awkwardly at the altar, impatiently waiting for my wife to be to walk down that aisle. Most of the guests have arrived, and Phil (who was obviously my best man) was standing at my side, trying to calm me down.

“Everything’s alright Dan. She’ll be out soon I promise.” Phil whispers to me.

“But what if she has cold feet? I wouldn’t blame her for not wanting to marry this.” I say sadly, looking down at my feet.

“Dan she loves you, a lot. And of course she’d want to marry you, why do you think she said yes in the first place.” Phil laughs at my paranoia. I knew she loved me, but my mind was running with thoughts.

Finally the bridesmaids and groomsmen walk out, and my heart rate increases thinking of (Y/N). After what felt like forever, she finally appears in the door way with her father. She looked so gorgeous I began to tear up. She smiled at me walking down the aisle, and mouthed “I love you” to me. After a long ceremony, and many tears (especially when exchanging vows) we finally exchanged rings.

“Dan?” The officiant says to me.

“Yes?” I say, my stomach doing flips because I know what’s going to happen next.

“You may kiss the bride.” I turn my head back to (Y/N) and smile at her, who is smiling at me back. I wrap my arms around her waist, and pull her into a deep, passionate kiss. We pull away, and grab each other’s hands turning to the crowd, and walking away.

I don’t remember too much of that night, but there was more special things that happened once we were alone (If you know what I mean *wink wink*)

Finding Out She’s Pregnant ~42 years ago (34 years old)~

I come home from another radio show with Phil, sniffing something delicious coming from the kitchen. I walk in, and see (Y/N) at the oven, stirring something inside a pot. I wrap my arms around her stomach, and press myself against her back kissing her neck.

“Hey Dan, how was work?” She asks.

“It was alright. Just the normal stuff.” I kiss her neck again, making her giggle. “How was your day?”

She let out a small sigh, and stepped away from the stove. “Dan can we talk in the living room?”

“Yeah.” I give her a worried look, and follow her over to the couch that has been there ever since we moved in.

“So lately, I’ve been feeling a bit sick.” She grabs my hand and starts playing with my fingers. “And I just figured out that I missed my period.”

“Oh?” I furrow my eyebrows confused, where was she leading this to?

“And I took a pregnancy test, and it came out positive.” She looks up into my eyes, smiling. I stare at her in shock, my jaw dropped.

“I’m sorry what?” I say in disbelief.

“I’m pregnant!” She exclaims again, this time more excited.

“Oh my god.” My eyes widen with the realization that we’re having a kid. “Oh my god” I engulf (Y/N) in a big head, tears rolling down my cheeks. “We’re having a kid.” I say out loud, so I know that this is really happening.

The Birth of Our Beautiful Daughter ~41 years ago (35 years old) A/N: They figured out they were pregnant near the end of the year

“Dan!” I hear (Y/N) yelling from the washroom, sounding scared. I run over to the bathroom, and see her standing there awkwardly. I look down to the ground and see some sort of water surrounding her feet. Wait…

“Dan my water broke.”

“Oh my god.” I book it out of the washroom, and try to find the keys to our car. (Y/N) waddles out of the washroom, grabbing everything we planned to bring and headed out the door. “Okay so we got our baby’s first outfit.” I look around, and see it lying on the couch, and pick it up. “Check…um.”

“DAN IF YOU DON’T HURRY I’M GOING TO KILL YOU.” I hear (Y/N) from outside. I take one last check of the house, and head out the door.

We arrive at the hospital, and get checked-in to the delivery room. After many hours of labour, (Y/N) finally had our beautiful baby girl, who we decided to name Luna. The nurses cleaned Luna up, and gave her to (Y/N) who was lying in the hospital bed with tears running down her face. I walk beside her, and stare into Luna’s beautiful brown eyes, like mine.

“My two beautiful girls.” I say, kissing (Y/N)’s forehead then Luna’s.

The Day I Lost Her ~33 years ago (43 years old)~

I was eating cereal with Luna before she had to go to sleep. That’s what we usually did, have a small snack before going to bed. (Y/N) bursts into the kitchen, looking stressed and frustrated.

“Ugh, I have to go to the BBC studio for a bit. They need me ASAP.” She paces around the kitchen, collecting her things before giving Luna and I a kiss, then leaving. “I love you.”

“I love you too honey.” I reply, smiling at her.

“Love you mommy.” Luna responds.

(Y/N) walks out the door, and drives to the BBC studio, leaving Luna and I alone again.

“So how’s school going sweetie?” I ask, taking a bite of my cereal.

“It’s going well. Math is a bit hard though.”

“Trust me it will get harder.”

After talking with Luna for a while, I tuck her in so she can go to bed. I sit in bed, waiting for (Y/N) to come home, but she didn’t come home for a long time. A few hours passed, and I began to get worried. She was probably still at the BBC studio, but what if something happened. My eyes begin to close, but my phone starts to vibrate, and I (Y/N)’s caller ID pops up.

“Hey love. You were getting me worried, where are-”

“Hello is this Dan Howell? (Y/N) Howell’s husband?” I hear a strange voice coming from the other end of the phone, and I feel a big lump in my throat.

“Um, yeah.” I choke out.

“Your wife has been in a car accident. She’s at the hospital right now.”

“Is she okay?”

“She’s in a critical state. You should come as soon as possible.”

No no no. This couldn’t be happening. I can’t leave Luna alone. Mine as well bring her.

I wake up Luna, telling her what happened, and we get into our other car quickly. The ride to the hospital was silent, my heart racing, and my mind running with horrible thoughts. I run into the waiting room, and go to the front desk.

“Hi! HI” I say, catching my breath as Luna and I arrive. “What room is (Y/N) Howell in?”

“She’s in room 203. Only one of you can go at a time.”

“Please can we both go, I don’t want to leave my daughter out here.”

The receptionist sighs, and looks around before answering, “Alright go ahead.”

Luna and I are practically running to the room, and we burst through the door. I hear the heart beat monitor slowly beeping, and see my wife lying on the bed, unconscious. I bring Luna over to the chair, and talk to the doctor who was standing by (Y/N)’s bed.

“Is she going to be okay? Please tell me she’s okay.” I quickly glance over at (Y/N), tears forming in my eyes.

“I’m sorry Mr. Howell. She’s in severe condition and most likely won’t make it.” The doctor avoids eye contact from me, and I look over to Luna who’s staring at her mother worried. A tear runs down my cheek, and I join Luna sitting down.

“Is mommy okay?” She asks, sitting on my lap. I pull Luna in closer, and stare at (Y/N)’s sleeping form.

“The doctor was saying she might not make it.” My voice cracks, and more tears start falling down my face.

I couldn’t lie to Luna, she had to know the truth. I feel her wrap her arms around my neck, and hear her silent sobs. We fall asleep cuddling, but I wake up to someone softly calling my name. I put Luna down in the chair gently, and walk over to (Y/N)’s bed. Her eyes were weakly opening, and her mouth was moving.

“Y/N” I whispered, happy tears falling from my eyes. I kiss her cheek gently, and grab her hand.

“Dan please take care of Luna.” She says, forcing a smile to comfort me.

“What do you mean? WE are going to take care of her, not just me.”


“No you’re going to make it out of this. You have to be strong. Please be strong.” I press my head into her chest, more tears falling from my eyes.

“I’m sorry. I love you so, so much. And Luna too.” I lift my head up and kiss her on the lips.

“I love you too, but you’re not leaving.” I say, staring into her beautiful (E/C) eyes like I always do when she’s around.

“I’m sorry.” Her eyes slowly close, and her heart monitor flat lines. At that moment, I felt like my whole world shattered.

I ran into the hall, calling for doctors who rushed to the room. I run into the room again, checking if Luna is awake. The horror on her face when the doctors surround her mother’s bed is unbearable. I quickly grab her hand and take her out of the room, as we wait patiently to hear about the person we love so much. We’re both crying, Luna’s arms wrapped around my neck as her tears fall onto my shoulders. I hold Luna, trying to stay strong but I just can’t. A doctor walks out, and I stand up from the chair outside the room, Luna’s legs wrapped around my waist, and her arms still clinging onto my neck. I look at the doctor waiting for a response, but he drops his head, and shakes it back and forth. I hear ringing in my ears, my heart felt like it shattered. I felt numb everywhere, and my vision became very blurry. The only thing I hear are my sobs, and Luna’s crying near my ear. I sit back down into the sit, so I don’t collapse onto the ground. I need to take care of Luna. That’s the one thing (Y/N) asked me to do.

Her Funeral ~33 years ago (43 years old)~

Today was the day I’ve been dreading. I really don’t want to go. I’ve been broken ever since she’s died, but I’ve been trying to stay strong for Luna. We have both been silent around the house. Barely saying a word to each other. I hear Luna silently crying in her room ever since that day. I would usually go in to comfort her, but I always ended up crying too. But sometimes, I’m just too weak to do anything.

I walk up to the casket, with Luna holding my hands. I look down at her lifeless body. Pale, the colour gone from her cheeks and lips, and stiff. I lean down, softly kissing her forehead, and whispering “I love you” to her. Luna sobbed as they closed her casket. I bit my lip, trying to fight back the tears.

We arrive at the graveyard. Everyone slowly walks towards the area she will be buried. They slowly lowered her casket into the ground, family members crying. Luna and I especially. I feel Phil at my side, he’s been my moral support. He has his own family to take care of, but lately he’s been helping me cope.

“Phil, can you take care of Luna for a bit. I need some alone time.” I look into Phil’s eyes desperately.

“Yes of course. You sure you’ll be okay?” He asks, obviously worried.

“I’ll be fine.” I force a smile, and hand Luna off to him who was still crying. I knelt down in front of her, and kissed her cheek, pulling her into a hug afterwards. “I love you Luna. Dad will be back soon alright?” She nods her head, and begins to walk away with Phil.

I look back at the grave. They already filled it with dirt. That’s it. The love of my life is gone. She was the light in my world, everything I dreamed of. I’m going to miss her adorable laugh, the way her eyes crinkled when she smiled, her sarcastic comments and her cheesy jokes. I’ll miss waking up to her cuddling with me in the morning. I loved every fiber of her being. But she’s gone. And there’s no way of reversing time to save her. All we have are our amazing memories together.

I walk up to the gravestone, placing down her favourite flower in front of it.  

“I love you (Y/N).” I pull out a small framed picture of the both of us, the day we started dating. It felt like a lifetime ago. I know that sooner or later I will begin to get over it. Barely. I’ll get used to feeling broken. I will probably be coping with this every day until the day I die. Why did this happen to a beautiful human being like (Y/N)?

~Present Day~

The love of my life passed away 33 years ago. I never moved onto another woman. There would never be another woman. Luna ended up growing up, finding herself an amazing girl. (I was very accepting of the fact then when she was 16 she came out as gay.) But every day since the day (Y/N) died, I haven’t felt the same. I barely felt truly happy. The only time I’ve felt happy is for Luna’s accomplishments. I miss my beautiful, amazing, wife so much. And now, I’ll finally be reunited with her again.

A. Peter Bailey's response to the Assassination of Malcolm X, 1965

“The following is exactly what I wrote 48 years ago in response to the assassination of Brother Malcolm:

Bro. Malcolm X has been assassinated. Once again, as has happened many times in U.S. history, a black man who was considered a threat to the white racist system has been murdered by other black men. Nat Turner, Denmark Vesey, Marcus Garvey and countless other black leaders were all destroyed by blacks working in alliance with the white power structure. We have to assume it was an alliance because the FBI and local police force and the press have constantly bragged that they have infiltrated the Black Muslim movement, thus they know every move the Black Muslims make. It this be true, and they are the ones who made the claims, then they are either lying about the infiltration or they knew that Bro. Malcolm’s life was in danger and made no attempt to stop the plotters. It is the same situation with the Ku Klux Klan. The FBI constantly brag that they have infiltrated the Klan, yet the Klan has been able to continue its campaign of brutality, harassment and lynching against black people. Again the question is if the Klan is infiltrated how are they able to operate so successfully? The FBI and the police force have almost completely immobilized the Communist Party and successful infiltration; only recently they and the NYC police force were able to infiltrate a small group of black men and accuse them of plotting the bombing of certain monuments. Yet now they and the press want us to believe that an organization, which claimed had been infiltrated by agents, plotted a crime of gigantic magnitude without the infiltrator finding out about it. It is no doubt that if the Black Muslims had planned to bomb or assassinate Wagner or some other comparable figures, they would have been halted before any such plan could succeed. The press is having a field day. It’s all so simple, a feud between the Black Muslims and Bro. Malcolm. Everything is in a tight little package. There are many of us who believe that there are others who desired the death of Bro. Malcolm. For instance those people who had him banned from France, those same people who worried about the effects of his trips abroad, those same people who dreaded the consequences of his trips South. He had spoken in Alabama and was due to speak in Mississippi. These people also would benefit from the removal of Malcolm X. He didn’t fir their pattern. He didn’t waste time criticizing Wallace, Barnett, Clark, Bull Conner and other individual villains speaking for white supremacy. He recognized that these men were products of an evil system, a system which has, for over 350 years, treated non-white people as sub-humans. He recognized that the above individuals were able to operate so freely because the system allowed them to do so. He realized that the power of the racists in Washington is so strong that they can block enforcement of any Civil Rights law. They might not be able to block the law from passing, but they could lock enforcement and laws without the desire and determination for enforcement are meaningless. He knew that powerful racists in the federal government had veto power over the selection of judges and that as long as they held this power, laws are totally meaningless. You let me select the judges and I don’t care what kind of laws you pass. The current situation in Selma is a perfect example of this lack of enforcement.

The Civil Rights law passed in July 1964 was hailed by the press and others as The Supreme accomplishment. Now no more laws would be needed. Voting rights were guaranteed. Bro. Malcolm attacked this belief. He called the laws a fraud. Selma has proven him right. Hundreds of black people are being beaten and jailed for attempting, not to vote, but to register to vote. What is the response of the federal government? Strict enforcement of the recently passed law. No! The arresting of brutal local law officers. No! It’s the same tired call for more laws. 

Bro. Malcolm saw those things occurring and recognizing that the federal government was either unable or unwilling to protect the lives and property of black people, he called for a new approach. Domestically, he told black people to unite and adopt a program of self-defense: internationally, he called for black people to look elsewhere for allies in the struggle for human rights. He said that our struggle is only a part of the worldwide struggle where formerly oppressed people were throwing off oppression and asserting themselves. He told us to make use of the U.N., especially the Commission on Human Rights, as other minority groups have done, most notable the Russian Jews. He traveled throughout Africa, the Middle East and Europe telling any group who would listen that black people in the U.S. needed their help in their struggle for human rights. He felt that Afro-Americans have a psychological complex about being a minority and that if they tied their struggle to the struggles of oppressed people throughout the world, it would help them, psychologically, in their own struggle. 

These two approaches by Bro. Malcolm, the call for self-defense and the internationalizing of the racial struggle, profoundly disturbed the power structure and their allies. They first tried to brand him as a wild man advocating violence. I heard him speak publicly and privately many times and I never heard him tell black people to roam the streets indiscriminately shooting whites. He only called for self-defense, which is a basic element in all human society. His specific words were: “In those areas where the federal government is either unable or unwilling to protect the lives and property of black people, then black people should prepare to defend themselves.” Hardly a statement advocating violence. I would called it a reasonable statement. The Human Rights Struggle is already a violent movement; the violence all being committed by the white supremacists.

When Bro. Malcolm traveled abroad, they had their people watch him. They feared his eloquent and well-documented speeches to friendly audiences. Newspapers cooperated by completely blacking out reports of his travels abroad; newspaper columnists dropped hints about taking away his passport and by attempting to brand him a communist. They finally had him banned from speaking at a rally in France. He wasn’t even allowed by the French bureaucrats to contact the American embassy in Paris. He told us when he commented on the official that he didn’t know that France has become a satellite of the U.S., the man blushed and implied that the American embassy was involved in the ban. Incidentally, Bro. Malcolm said that the French Communist Party had refused to allow the rally to be held in their hall and had put pressure on other owners to deny their halls. All of these things make us feel that there are others who desire and would benefit from the removal of Bro. Malcolm.

Bro. Malcolm was a considerate man, the most considerate man I had ever known. The press gleefully took his words out of context and tried to paint him as a monster when reporting his death. They claimed credit for there even being a Malcolm X. They scoffed at him by saying that he had a handful of followers, and, as one said, he had built up a myth. They were practically dancing over his body. The New York Times and the New York Herald Tribune, those pious, hypocritical prostitutes of the daily press, gave Zeus-like editorials about what a terrible man he was, the Herald Tribune saying that he was no loss to the Civil Rights movement. It must be said that the press devoted a fantastic amount of space and time to the death of such an “Insignificant” man. Their very press coverage of his death and the reaction of the people and others leaders showed that the Human Rights Movement suffered a considerable loss with the assassination of this articulate, forceful black man. He even presented an image that white America is not used to seeing in black men. They resented and feared not only what he was doing, but even more so the potential of what he could do in the future. Bro. Malcolm pointed this out very clearly when he told an antagonist on a radio program that if people like him would spend more time helping and protecting Rev. Martin Luther King and his followers and less time searching for material with which to attack him and other nationalists, the U.S. would be a better place to live.

Bro. Malcolm was a considerate man, a man who was always courteous to the people who worked with him. On the day that he was assassinated I spoke with him. He called me to the room where he was waiting for the rally to begin. this man who the press tries to paint as a monster called me backstage because he wanted to apologize for having spoken sharply to me the previous Saturday. He really hadn’t but he thought that he had called me backstage to apologize. He said that he had just been slightly upset. This is only one example of many such considerate acts that he did for people who worked for him. We talked of several other things in that room. I was one of the last five people that he spoke to before being assassinated. He was not feeling well and he mentioned to me that “The way I feel today I shouldn’t even be speaking publicly.” The press has combined with the police to tell so many lies about that day. One paper said that whites were banned from the rally; a lie only the press was banned; another said that an ambulance came to get him; another lie, we had to send two brothers over to the hospital to get a stretcher, which they brought back to the ballroom and placed Bro. Malcolm upon it and rolled him through the streets to the hospital. The brothers also reported that doctors refused to come to the ballroom; Bro. Malcolm laid on that ballroom stage for over 20 minutes. They say the police rushed right into the hall; another lie. I was sitting in the rear of the hall watching the entrance for the speaker who was expected. After hearing four shots I ran into the main hall, looked up front, saw nothing but confusion. The place sounded like a battlefield. I then ducked back out with groups of people running towards me and ducked into the bathroom, as the side area to avoid the shots. Then immediately after the last shots I ran out of the bathroom and down the center of the totally wrecked hall to the stage. Jumping onto the stage I saw Bro. Malcolm lying on the stage floor with bullet holes all over his chest. I leaned over him and saw that his skin was already getting that deathly look. There were several people administering to him when I got to the stage. I went into the room where others were holding his wife. I told her that someone had gone for the doctor, not knowing whether this was true or not. I then jumped from the stage and started to the rear of the hall to see if a doctor was on the way. It was then, almost ¾ of the way down the hall that I saw the first two cops and those two were just walking through the hall as though they were on a Sunday stroll. This, despite the fact that people were still screaming, crying and the place looked like a battlefield. I can categorically say that the police did not immediately react to the assassination in a professional way. The press lied about that too. And now members of the press have asked the police how a place so thoroughly guarded as the Mosque could be burned down so effectively. The press reporting after Bro. Malcolm’s assassination had been so blatantly an attempt to encourage blood-letting and suspicion among militant black groups that very few people in the black community have been fooled.”

Taken from “Witnessing Brother Malcolm X: The Master Teacher: A Memoir” By A. Peter Bailey. (pgs 110-119)

Eocypselus vincenti, E. rowei

By Fraizer on @saint-nevermore

Name: Eocypselus vincenti, E. rowei

Name Meaning: New Swift

First Described: 1984

Described By: Harrison

Classification: Dinosauria, Saurischia, Eusaurischia, Theropoda, Neotheropoda, Averostra, Tetanurae, Orionides, Avetheropoda, Coelurosauria, Tyrannoraptora, Maniraptoriformes, Maniraptora, Pennaraptora, Paraves, Eumaniraptora, Averaptora, Avialae, Euavialae, Avebrevicauda, Pygostylia, Ornithothoraces, Euornithes, Ornithuromorpha, Ornithurae, Neornithes, Neognathae, Neoaves, Cypselomorphae

Why am I doing a very long ago described bird randomly and out of order? Because art was donated of it of course! Eocypselus is an interesting little bird that looks a lot like what you’d expect the common ancestor of Swifts and Hummingbirds to look like. A small bird, less than 13 centimeters in length, it also probably had black feathers. It was found in the Fur Formation in Denmark and the Green River Formation in Wyoming, and though right now it has two species ascribed to it, it’s entirely possible that more will be in the future (because bird paleontology does a lot more with species than nonavian dinosaur paleo). It lived in the Ypresian age of the Early Eocene, with Y. vincenti living between 55 and 53 million years ago, and E. rowei living between 53 and 48 million years ago. Though it shares many features with swifts and hummingbirds, it is not thought to be in Apodiformes (the group containing the two) proper; instead, it shows that that group evolved their small size first, and then went on to evolve the specialized flight capabilities (speed and hovering) later. It probably was black in coloration, at least E. rowei was, and its feathers made up half the size of its wingspan. It also would have fit in the palm of your hand, and probably was an insectivore. 




Harrison, C. J. O. 1984. A revision of the fossil swifts (Vertebrata, Aves, Suborder Apodi) with descriptions of three new genera and two new species. Mededelingen van de Werkgroep voor Tertiaire en Kwartaire Geologie 4(21): 157-177. 

Ksepka, D. T., J. A. Clarke, S. J. Nesbitt, F. B. Kulp, L. Grande. 2013. Fossil evidence of wing shape in a stem relative of swifts and hummingbirds (Aves, Pan-Apodiformes). Proceedings of the Royal Society B 280: 20130580. 

Mayr, G. 2005. A new Cypselomorph bird from the Middle Eocene of Germany and the Early Diversification of Avian Aerial Insectivores. The Condor 107:342-352. 

Shout out goes to @justthatguyme!

Homelessness surges 34% under Tory Government, with 100,000 more families losing their home compared with 2010

The number of families being declared homeless has rocketed by more a third since the Conservatives took power in 2010, analysis of new official statistics by The Independent has revealed.

Between April 2016 and March 2017, 59,100 families were declared homeless by local authorities in England – a rise of 34 per cent on the same period in 2010-11.

The statistics paint a bleak picture of the UK housing crisis and the impact a lack of decent, affordable homes is having on thousands of families.

There has been a 60 per cent increase in the number of families being housed in insecure temporary accommodation. In particular, bed and breakfast-type hotels are increasingly being used to house families for long periods of time as local councils struggle to find them proper homes to live in.

There are now 77,240 families in England currently living in temporary accommodation – up from 48,240 just six years ago. Of these, almost fourth-fifths (78 per cent) are families with children, meaning there are currently 120,500 children living in insecure, temporary homes.

Of those being housed temporarily, 6,590 households are living in B&Bs, including 3,010 families with children. Almost half have been living in this type of accommodation, which often sees families crammed into one room and forced to share limited bathroom and cooking facilities with strangers, for more than six weeks.

This is illegal under the Homelessness (Suitability of Accommodation) Order 2003, which banned local authorities from housing families with children in B&Bs for more than a six-week period.

The stark new statistics are likely to pile more pressure on government ministers after the Grenfell Tower disaster prompted widespread criticism of the Conservatives’ approach to affordable housing.

Critics have accused the Government and Tory councils of causing a huge loss of genuinely affordable homes and deprioritising those living in social housing, while four former housing ministers are said to have failed to act on a report raising concerns about the safety of tower blocks.

Conservative housing policy since 2010 has prioritised the privatisation of social housing, both by extending the Right to Buy scheme and by forcing councils to sell off their most valuable council homes to private individuals and companies.

At the same time, ministers have mandated that social homes available at heavily discounted rents should be replaced by a new type of affordable housing that has more expensive rents much closer to market rates.

The newly released data shows a huge rise in the number of people being made homeless as a result of losing their social home. In the past 12 months, 4,010 families were declared homeless after losing a home rented in the social sector – a 56 per cent increase in six years.

The number of council homes in the UK has fallen by 165,000 since 2010 alone, with almost a third having been sold to private owners under the Right to Buy scheme.

As The Independent has previously revealed, ethnic minorities in England have borne the brunt of the country’s housing crisis and spiralling homelessness.

The number of BAME families being accepted as homeless has increased by 58 per cent in six years, while for households categorised as “White” the figure is much lower, at 34 per cent.

Commenting on the findings, Anne Baxendale, director of communications, policy and campaigns at housing charity Shelter, said: “The Grenfell Tower tragedy has left people without a home and living in a dire situation, it has also thrust the issue of homelessness into the spotlight.

“While Shelter is calling for those affected to be placed in good quality temporary accommodation nearby, and hope officials make good on their promise to do so, we know many local authorities simply don’t have enough affordable accommodation for those on low incomes.

“It’s a similar story across all London boroughs and the country more widely, so it’s no surprise that today’s homelessness stats reveal the problem is getting worse nationally, with more households becoming homeless every year.”

The statistics revealing soaring homelessness were released on the day the High Court ruled that the Conservatives’ flagship benefit cap policy is unlawful because it discriminates against single parents with young children. The same court has previously ruled that the policy also illegally discriminates against disabled people and their carers.

Homelessness charities report that the cap, together with other Tory welfare reforms, is a major cause of families losing their homes.

“Many of the families that come to Shelter for advice say the benefit cap is pushing them into homelessness,” said Ms Baxendale. “Many desperately want to work but can’t make up the required hours of work a week due to childcare issues or insecure work like zero-hours contracts.

“That’s why we’re pleased today’s High Court judgment, which Shelter provided evidence for, has found that the cap discriminates against lone parents with children under two. In the words of the judge, ‘real misery is being caused to no good purpose’. We are calling on the Government to scrap the cap immediately, before it pushes even more people into homelessness.”

Labour said the latest figures should make government ministers “hang their heads in shame”.

John Healey, the shadow housing minister, said: “These shocking figures are a direct result of decisions made by Conservative ministers: a steep drop in investment for affordable homes, crude cuts to housing benefit, reduced funding for homelessness services, and a refusal to help private renters.

“It is simply unacceptable that in a well-off country like ours families do not have a safe, stable and secure place to live.

“The unprecedented fall in homelessness under Labour shows that government can make a positive difference to the scandal of rising homelessness. Conservative ministers should hang their heads in shame.”

A Department for Communities and Local Government spokesperson said: “This Government is determined to help the most vulnerable in society, and is committed to ensuring people always have a roof over their heads.

“Statutory homelessness acceptances are less than half the 2003 peak. However, the Government is committed to do more to prevent more people becoming homeless in the first place.

“The Government is investing £550m to 2020 to tackle homelessness and rough sleeping. This includes £20m for Homelessness Prevention Trailblazer areas to trial new initiatives to prevent homelessness.

“In addition, the Government backed and is now implementing the Homelessness Reduction Act, which requires councils to provide support to people earlier.”

Today I will pay homage to 2 historical events that occurred on May 21th: 1. Blanche Bruce becomes that figure black man represented on United States Currency, I will do a speech he gave in the US Senate forecasting the end of voting privileges in Mississippi and the former confederate states.2. The assault on the campus of North Carolina A&T by the National Guard, Greensboro City Police and State Police that resulted in the murder of Willie Grimes on this date 48 years ago.