ohio on fire

Black Girl Classics

The Playlist Series: Songs You Will Hear at an African American Family Function

Sister Sledge: “We Are Family”
Frankie Beverly & Maze: “Before I let Go”
S.O.S. Band: “Don’t Stop the Music”
Slave: “Just A Touch of Love”
One Way: “Cutie Pie”
Patrice Rushe: “Forget Me Nots”
The Isley Brothers: “For the Love of You”
Juvenile: “Back that Ass Up”
Curtist Mayfield: “Pusherman”
Al Green: “Let’s Stay Together”
Stevie Wonder: “Isn’t She Lovely”
R. Kelly: “Step in the Name of Love”
Luther Vandross: “Never Too Much"
Shalamar: “Make That Move”
Teena Marie: “Square Biz”
Kool & the Gang: “ Get Down On it”
Sugar Hill Gang: “Rappers Delight”
Earth, Wind & Fire: “Reasons”
Strafe: “Set it Off”
The Gap Band: “You Dropped A Bomb on Me”
Chic: “Good Times”
Montel Jordan: “This “is How we Do It”
Evelyn Champagne King: “Love Come Down”
Club Nouveau: “Why You Treat Me So Bad”
McFadden & Whitehead: “Ain’t No Stoppin’ Us Now”
Sly and The Family Stone: “Family Affair:
Al Green: “Love and Happiness”
Switch: “I Call Your Name”
68 Boyz: “Tootsee Roll”  
The O'Jays: “Love Train“
Carl Carlton: "She’s A Bad Mama Jama”  
The Whispers: “Rock Steady”
Johnny Kemp: “Just Got Paid”
Kool & the Gang: “Celebration”
Ohio Players: “Love Roller Coaster”
Al Green: “Tired of Being Alone”
Marcia Griffiths: “ Electric Boogie (The Electric Slide)”
Roger:  "I Want to Be Your Man”
Ohio Players: “Fire”
Earth, Wind & Fire: “September”
The Commodores: “Brick House”
Michael Jackson: “Billie Jean”
Chaka Khan: “Ain’t Nobody”
Whitney Houston: “I wanna Dance With Somebody”
Parliament: “Flashlight”
DJ Casper: “Cha Cha Slide”
Zap: “ Computer Love”
The Whispers: “And the Beat Goes On”
S.O.S.: “Just Be Good to Me”
Frankie Beverly & Maze: “Happy Feelings”
Cameo: “Candy”
Vaughan Mason & Crew: “Bounce, Rock, Skate, Roll“
Guy: “I Like”
Cheryl Lynn: “Got to Be Real”
Cupid: “Cupid Shuffle”
The Gap Band: “Outstanding”


Someone on the Internet (in the comments under one of Maggie’s videos) said to understand precedent when it comes to free speech, you need to understand Schenck vs. United States and Brandenburg vs. Ohio.

This turned out to be surprisingly good advice. Thanks, Internet randomer!

Also, the whole ‘shouting FIRE in a theatre’ expression? Yeah, that’s got an origin story you might not expect…

Ten Greatest R&B Bands of All-Time

Ten Greatest R&B Bands of All-Time From About Entainment

1. Earth, Wind & Fire

Founded by Maurice White (who passed away February 3, 2016 at the age of 74) in Chicago in 1969, Earth, Wind & Fire is one of the greatest bands in music history. The group has sold over 100 million albums, including three triple platinum and two double platinum albums. Known as “The Elements of the Universe,” EW&F combines elements of African music, Latin music, R&B, jazz, and rock into a unique sound featuring the dynamic lead voice of Philip Bailey. Recording for over 40 years, the group has won six Grammy Awards, a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, four American Music Awards, and has been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, NAACP Image Awards Hall of Fame, Songwriters Hall of Fame, and the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Earth, Wind & Fire’s concerts are legendary. In the 1970s and 1980s, the group featured amazing illusions, including bass player Verdine White performing while being levitated above the stage, and the members appearing and vanishing in transparent cylinders as if they were traveling through space via the Star Trek transporter beam. Earth, Wind & Fire has recorded numerous classics over five decades, including “After The Love Has Gone (1979), "Shining Star” (1975), and “That’s The Way of the World” (1975).

2. The Isley Brothers

Recording for over 50 years, The Isley Brothers began as a vocal trio in the 1950s in Cincinnati, Ohio with Ronald Isley as lead singer performing with brothers Rudolph and O'Kelly Isley. The group expanded to six members in 1973 with their 3 + 3 album. Younger brothers Ernie lsley (guitar) and Marvin Isley (bass) joined the group along with Rudolph’s brother-in-law, Chris Jasper (keyboards).

The Isley Brothers have released four double platinum, six platinum, and four gold albums. Seven of their singles have reached number one on the Billboard R&B chart. Two of their songs, “Shout,” and Twist and Shout.“ were inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame. The Isleys were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1992. They have also received a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, and a BET Lifetime Achievement Award.

3. Parliament-Funkadelic

George Clinton is the legendary leader of the bands Parliament and Funkadelic which record separately and perform together in concert. Parliament began in the 1960s in New Jersey as a doo-wop vocal group called The Parliaments, and Funkadelic served as their band. The Parliaments eventually evolved into a mainstream funk group under the name Parliament, and Funkadelic assumed its own identity as a psychedelic soul group inspired by Jimi Hendrix and Sly & The Family Stone. Known collectively as Parliament-Funkadelic, P-Funk became the most outrageous African-American band of the 1970s and 80s, famous for landing the "Mothership” on stage during 4 hour marathon concerts. Mastermind Clinton is a genius lyricist who is idolized in the hip-hop world, and his talented musicians, especially keyboardist Bernie Worrell, bassist Bootsy Collins (from James Brown’s band), and guitarists Michael Hampton, Eddie Hazel, and Gary Shider are worshipped by rock fans.

Parliament-Funkadelic hit number one five times on the Billboard R&B singles chart, including “Flash Light” (1978), “One Nation Under A Groove” (1978), and “(Not Just) Knee Deep” (1979). P-Funk was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1997.

4. Kool & The Gang

Formed in 1964 in Jersey City, New Jersey, Kool & The Gang has been performing for over 50 years. Led by bass player Robert “Kool” Bell, the group began as a jazz instrumental band before transitioning into R&B and funk. Kool & The Gang has sold over 70 million records, including five platinum, three gold, and one double platinum album (Emergency in 1984). Its eight number one singles include “Celebration” (1980), “Ladies’ Night” (1979), “and "Joanna” (1983). Their honors include five American Music Awards, a Soul Train Legend Award, and a Grammy for Album of the Year for Saturday Night Fever (which included their song, “Open Sesame”).

5. Sly & the Family Stone

Formed in 1967 in San Francisco by Sylvester Stewart, Sly & The Family Stone was one of the most influential bands of the 1960s and 70s. They were the leaders of the “psychedelic soul” movement, combining R&B and rock into their own unique sound. The Family Stone were trailblazers with their integrated, multi-gender lineup. Their unforgettable performance at the historic Woodstock Festival in 1969 elevated their stature to one of the most revered acts in the world.

The group released three platinum albums, including the five times platinum Greatest Hits in 1970. They also recorded four number one singles including “Everyday People” (1968), “Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin)” (1969), and “Family Affair” (1971). The band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1993.

6. Maze featuring Frankie Beverly

The group Maze featuring Frankie Beverly began as Raw Soul in Philadelphia in 1970. After moving to the San Francisco Bay area, they were discovered by Marvin Gaye who renamed the band, Maze. Beginning with their 1977 self-titled debut release, all of their eight studio albums have been certified gold, plus their 1981 Live In New Orleans album. Maze has two number one singles, “Back In Stride” in 1985, and “Can’t Get Over You” in 1989. Their signature song, “Before I Let Go,” only reached number 13 on the Billboard R&B chart in 1981, however, it is one of the greatest live party jams of all-time. Now in its fifth decade, Maze continues to be one of the top touring attractions in R&B, and is a favorite of the annual

7. The Commodores

Formed in 1968 on the campus of Tuskegee Institute in Tuskegee, Alabama, The Commodores were one of the most successful R&B acts in he mid 1970s and early 1980s. Prior to releasing their first album Machine Gun on Motown Records in 1974, the band toured in 1971 as the opening act for The Jackson Five. With Lionel Richie as lead vocalist, the group recorded four number one albums, and six number one singles, including “Three Times Lady” (1978), “Easy” (1977), and “Still” (1979). After Richie left for a solo career, The Commodores won their first Grammy Award in 1986: Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals for “Nightshift.”

8. Rufus featuring Chaka Khan

Rufus featuring Chaka Khan recorded four gold and two platinum albums, including four number one albums, in the 1970s. The band hit the top of the Billboard R&B singles chart five times, including “Sweet Thing” (1975), “Do You Love What You Feel,” (1979) and “Ain’t Nobody” (1983) which won a Grammy Award for Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals. Their first hit single, “Tell Me Something Good,” composed by Stevie Wonder, also won a Grammy for Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals. Khan left the group for a solo career in 1978, however she reunited with the band for the 1983 album, Stompin’ at the Savoy – Live.

9. Cameo

In 1974, Larry Blackmon formed the group New York City Players which became one of the greatest funk bands known as Cameo. From 1979-1988, the group recorded eight gold and one platinum albums. It also reached number one on the Billboard R&B singles chart four times, including two consecutive chart topping songs in 1987, “Word Up!” and “Candy.” In 1987 and 1988, Cameo won an American Music Award for Favorite Soul/R&B Band/Duo/Group, and two Soul Train Music Awards: Best R&B/Soul Single - Group, Band or Duo (“Word Up!”), and Best R&B/Soul Album - Group, Band or Duo (Word Up!)

10. The Ohio Players

The Ohio Players dominated the mid 1970s with four consecutive number one albums on the Billboard R&B chart (including three platinum) Skin Tight (1974), Fire (1974), Honey (1975), and Contradiction (1976). The band also recorded five chart topping singles, including “Funky Worm” (1973), “Sweet Sticky Thing” (1975), “Love Rollercoaster” (1975). In addition to their distinctive, funkified sound, The Ohio Players were famous for the most erotic album covers


The Ohio Penitentiary was a prison that operated from 1834 to 1984 in what is now downtown Columbus, Ohio. The first prisoners were brought across the river from the territorial prison in Ohio, which was log-built, and built their own cell houses, which weren’t finished until 1837. The prison held men and women in separate cell blocks until the construction of a women’s facility in Marysville, which is now known as the Ohio Reformatory for Women. In 1885, Ohio Penitentiary was designated as the site for executions in the state. Condemned prisoners were executed by hanging until 1897, when the gallows were replaced by the electric chair. A total of 315 men and women were electrocuted between 1897 and 1963, when the death penalty was outlawed in Ohio.

In the early 1900’s, the city of Columbus enjoyed a period of time when the Penitentiary became a tourist attraction. The building’s architectural style was designed using the Eastern State Penitentiary as a model, and its likeness was featured on post cards. Tours of the growing city of Columbus would include a stop outside the penitentiary to admire “The Largest Prison in the World”. Ohio Penitentiary’s warden, E.G. Coffin, was touted as a nationally recognized expert on the operation of “model” prisons, and he traveled the country offering his knowledge and expertise to other wardens, state boards and review panels for penitentiaries. However, while he was traipsing across the nation dispensing his wisdom on how to run a model prison, the prisoners at Ohio Penitentiary suffered greatly from the overcrowded, squalid conditions. The prison was infested with rats and insects, and disease was rampant. Outbreaks of cholera were extremely common, as was food poisoning and influenza. The outbreaks of disease were contained within the prison, and the public was never made aware of them.

In April of 1930, a major fire tore through the prison and killed 322 inmates, seriously injuring 150. The fire broke out on a scaffolding, and quickly became very serious. Survivors said that many guards refused to unlock the cell doors when smoke began pouring into the cell blocks, and left the prisoners in their cells to die. A group of inmates overpowered a guard and took his keys to rescue other prisoners, but a riot quickly took over and soon all was chaos. When firefighters arrived to fight the blaze, they were attacked with rocks. Soldiers from nearby Fort Hayes and a troop of National Guardsmen were brought in to regain control of the rioting prisoners with machine guns and bayonets. The Ohio Penitentiary fire remains the deadliest prison fire in American history.

By the 1950’s, the overpopulation problem at Ohio Penitentiary reached its zenith, when the headcount soared to over 5,000, almost four times the capacity it was designed for. At this same time, medical experiments were conducted on inmates by a prominent virologist, who injected inmates with HeLa cells to observe if humans could develop an immune response to cancer without their informed consent.

By the early 1980’s, construction had begun on the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility, and in 1984, Ohio Penitentiary was shut down. The buildings were demolished in 1998.

Notable inmates at Ohio Penitentiary included:

O. Henry – The American short story writer was incarcerated for embezzlement charges, from his time as a teller and bookkeeper at the First National Bank of Austin. A later audit found him to have been framed for these charges.

Chester Himes – Celebrated author of numerous crime fiction and hard-boiled detective novels, Himes also wrote a book about the Ohio Penitentiary fire entitled “To What Red Hell.”

Charles Makley & Harry Pierpont – notorious gangsters and bank robbers, and associates of John Dillinger. The two men were sentenced to death for the murder of a Sherriff, and attempted to escape from Ohio Penitentiary by carving guns out of soap and painting them black with shoe polish. They made it as far as a corridor in their cell block when they were ambushed by prison guards. Makley was shot to death, and Pierpont was badly injured but survived, and was executed in the electric chair.

Sam Sheppard – A neurosurgeon and osteopath, Sheppard was wrongfully convicted for the murder of his wife, in one of the most notoriously crooked trials in American history. Sheppard’s story was the inspiration for the television show and later blockbuster film “The Fugitive” starring Harrison Ford.

Dr. James H. Snook – A respected veterinarian and Olympic athlete, Snook was convicted of the murder of Theora Hix, a student of his with whom he had a torrid sexual affair for over three years. When the relationship soured, Snook drove Hix to the outskirts of town and beat her to death with a hammer. At trial, he claimed that Hix had threatened to kill his family. The trial was considered outrageous because of the descriptions of sexual activity, including fellatio. Snook was found guilty and executed by electric chair in 1930.


The Kecksburg UFO incident

“The Kecksburg UFO incident occurred on December 9, 1965, at Kecksburg, Pennsylvania. A large, brilliant fireball was seen by thousands in at least six U.S. states and Ontario, Canada. It streaked over the Detroit, MichiganWindsor, Canada area, reportedly dropped hot metal debris over Michigan and northern Ohio, starting some grass fires, and caused sonic booms in the Pittsburgh metropolitan area. It was generally assumed and reported by the press to be a meteor after authorities discounted other proposed explanations such as a plane crash, errant missile test, or reentering satellite debris. However, eyewitnesses in the small village of Kecksburg, about 30 miles southeast of Pittsburgh, claimed something crashed in the woods. A boy said he saw the object land; his mother saw a wisp of blue smoke arising from the woods and alerted authorities. Another reported feeling a vibration and “a thump” about the time the object reportedly landed. Others from Kecksburg, including local volunteer fire department members, reported finding an object in the shape of an acorn and about as large as a Volkswagen Beetle. Writing resembling Egyptian hieroglyphs was also said to be in a band around the base of the object. Witnesses further reported that intense military presence, most notably the United States Army, secured the area, ordered civilians out, and then removed an object on a flatbed truck. The military claimed they searched the woods and found “absolutely nothing.”

We must remember the Greatest Generation for their sacrifices and heroism against fascist menaces, but we must remember they’re human beings, too. They made mistakes, just as many, if not more, than the Baby Boomers we millennials love to shit on. The Greatest are now held up by the standard of their generation’s name, but there’s a reason the Baby Boomers grew up in the world they did, there’s a reason there was so much pollution that Ohio rivers caught fire, there’s a reason we had an aggressive foreign policy that led to so many wars and societal shifts in such short time, there’s a reason for quite a lot of things before the Baby Boomers grew old enough to take the mantle of ‘young adult’.

And those answers do not lie in holding up the Greatest Generation as perfect, infallible human beings.

Don’t put them on a pedestal. Remember them, certainly for the amazing things they did, but also for the many other things they took part in. Much of it isn’t pretty, much of it isn’t nice to learn about, but it is all necessary to understand how our modern world was shaped.

Ohio police officer fired; video showed officer beating driver after traffic stop
Michael Amiott, a police officer in a Cleveland suburb seen on video repeatedly punching Richard Hubbard, a black motorist, during a traffic stop in August has been fired.
By Lauren del Valle, CNN

Notice that nobody’s rioting and smashing windows and snarling up traffic and storming town hall here.

Notice that tax dollars aren’t being dumped into working police officers overtime so that they can stand around all day in riot gear.

Notice that if the law decides “Hey, this cop was behaving badly, let’s discipline and fire him”, things move along smoothly, because reminding officers that they are not above the law helps to keep a community feeling safe.

About May 4th, 1970

Hi y'all, I thought since I’ve mentioned May 4th, I would make a post with a bit more information for you.

I have been a student at Kent State for two years now, and for my first year, I worked at the May 4th Visitor’s Center. I’ve talked to professors that were there, my parents who grew up in Ohio, survivors, and endless amounts of people on tour through the museum and memorial. Some people come with just a curiosity to understand what happened, others come to confront a horrible day in their memory…most are just kids being forced to go to the center for a diversity requirement for a class. Regardless, May 4th is a watershed moment and day for not only Kent State or Ohio or even the United States, but for the world in general. On that day, and the days following at Jackson State, we found the real cost of freedom – human lives.

I’m not here to give you an entire history lesson. In fact, it’s pretty straightforward how this came to be. On April 30th, President Nixon announced the expansion of the war in Vietnam across country borders into Cambodia. Most people who were a part of the anti-war movement saw this as an escalation and expansion of a conflict that was already wasting too many lives. The anti-war movement was spearheaded by young, college-aged students, and often flourished on campuses across the nation. Most kids, after all, had gone to college to avoid the draft. Those unlucky enough to afford college (especially POC), were instead drafted. If they managed to come back from Vietnam, which was honestly unlikely, they were filled with rage and anger and PTSD from what they had seen and done. College students were seeing their friends, at ages 18-25 come back from a foreign country disabled, scared, angry, and addicted. They saw friends commit suicide, fall into drinking and drug habits, and have their lives destroyed before they even started.

So, in response and following a few incidents (including the burning of the campus ROTC building – which i don’t condone. As a ROTC cadet, I can tell you that it isn’t the military’s fault. It’s the government’s.), the planned peaceful protest on May 4th was disbanded, and the National Guard, which had been on campus for several days, was told to disperse the crowd. When the gathered students did not disperse, the Ohio National Guard opened fire, killing four students and injuring nine, one suffering from permanent paralysis.
It’s still contested if the order to fire was ever given. Some say yes, others say no, others say that the sound of a rock hitting pavement sounded like a gunshot, so the ONG responded. But that isn’t what is important. What is important is that young adults just barely on their own and just starting their educations were killed, two of which weren’t even protesting – they were just walking to class.

And what’s more important for us so many years later is the impact the Kent Four had on our nation and how Kent State continues to shape dissent culture. Kent State spurred colleges across the nation, from Jackson State to Washington, to take action. To tell our government that kids will not die overseas and at home. It was a beautifully tragic moment in which American youth reared with their ugly, awesome power and finally pushed back, and for once, they were heard. While not at first or not as fast as wanted, the tragedy of May 4th is ultimately the turning point when it comes to American public opinion on the war in Vietnam. I guess people didn’t like it when the war was brought to our doorsteps.

As for today, if you don’t live in Kent, or haven’t attended Kent, it’s hard to understand how important this day is, and I understand that. I live in Johnson Hall, which overlooks the hill the ONG marched up. If I look out the window from where I’m currently sitting, I can see the pagoda where Allison Krause stood mere minutes before her death. I can see where the ONG knelt and took aim at the students in the parking lot. If I want to go to the Student Center, or my classes, I have to walk through the parking lot, and see the four eerie, roped off squares of ashphalt, sitting there like tombs for a war I never knew. I can point out exactly where Jimmy Miller’s brain was found, I can show you where a bullet struck a sculpture, I can walk you over the same path the National Guard took.

But more than that, I can tell you that Kent State changed American culture irreversibly. Perhaps without Kent State, the war in Vietnam would have lasted longer, or still be going on. Our grandparents and parents that were born during or after the war might not have lived through it. In our museum actually there’s a great display showing, based on birthdays, who would have been drafted. My entire family would have gone. Or maybe, without Kent State, we would have used the draft again in the War on Terror, or the Gulf War, or even some other future, imaginary war. Or, without Kent State, we would think it’s okay to use fatal military force against protesters, or we’d think it’s okay to park a tank in front of a university library.

One of my professors last year, Chris, was six feet from Allison Krause when she fell. The only reason she wasn’t shot was because she was washing tear gas out of her eyes. My flute teacher’s husband was working in Taylor Hall and heard the crack of rifle fire outside his office window. A man I gave a tour to was frantically searching for his girlfriend in the parking lot when the ONG crested the hill. My dad’s old boss was a soldier in the National Guard, stationed on campus.

In a day and age where GOP officials have called for “another Kent State” to deal with dissent, May 4th is more and more relevant to understanding our rights as human beings to protest, to fight for peace, and to be free and safe while doing so. I pray another Kent State will never happen, because no one deserves to die to prove a point. And honestly, Kent State left such a bad taste that never again will college students fear violent intervention. Sometimes, our lessons are forgotten, but never again will a student or anyone else die for believing that flowers are better than bullets.

Remember the Kent Four, and more importantly, remember what they gave you – freedom, at the cost of their lives.


The Ohio Players - Fire  live

in a scribble on @tjustmystuffpoetrymusic  (shameless self promotion of blog w no commercial potential frank)i made mention of the ohio express - but wat i meant at 1st wuz the Ohio Players - olds as fuckitus strikez again