Free Men back in print
Thanks to former Council member Joe Herzenberg for coming to our meeting last night and calling it to our attention.
Between 1942 and 1945, guard towers and barbed wire fences on this site confined a community of nearly 11,000 forcibly uprooted people of Japanese ancestry, most of whom were American citizens. All were victims of racial prejudice, wartime hysteria, and failed political leadership.
The development of the opera began in 2000 when I was introduced to the 1944 novel by Lillian Smith when a friend discovered a letter from Ms. Smith in her mother’s papers after her death. I was immediately smitten with Ms. Smith’s work and began writing a musical book based on the novel, which I would eventually turn into the libretto for the opera. As I wrote, it became more and more apparent from the intense passions of the characters and the sweeping historical context of the story that the material was suited more for opera than musical theatre. I was introduced to Chandler Carter who was the ideal composer, having grown up in the South with a strong interest in the African-American experience.
had just completed his opera, No Easy Walk To Freedom based on the life of Nelson Mandela and was eager to tackle issues of race closer to home. Our collaboration was sealed in 2002, and we began in earnest to develop the opera. We applied to New York City Opera’s VOX developmental program for new work, and the piece was accepted. Strange Fruit became part of the NYCity Opera’s VOX 2003: A Showcase of American Composers, and Ben Keaton, Music Director of Long Leaf Opera, was in the audience. Kismet! Chandler
Originality and truth and direct simplicity and honesty [are what I look for in a photograph]. I approach these things as a moralist, really, because some of these things I just said--honesty and truth--are moral values, but beauty is something else, and it's a word that should be used damn carefully. I don't know if I could tell you what I think beauty is but that it's got to be there.
[My students love me] because I love them. It's a thing I manufacture by my own love. They respond. There's love in everybody, and you have to evoke it. You evoke it by feeling it yourself. Mine is excessive. It's almost more than I can stand emotionally. Even lately, I've noticed that if I'm riding around in an automobile and I see children playing, I almost burst into tears because of just the sight of children. I've never loved children so much before, but I'm beginning to love them too. I must be going backwards. I was stopped with youth for a while, and now I've gone into childhood.
I don't think [documenting a person] is cold because I am warm myself and I think I can convey that. I'm essentially a born lover, and I love what I'm doing. I think I can put love in my work. I love life and I love people deeply, and that's what keeps me alive and keeps me happy.
At the heart of Payne’s philosophy is a one-page chart, titled “Hidden Rules Among Classes,” which appears in most of her books. There are three columns, for poverty, middle class and wealth, and 15 rows, covering everything from time to love to money to language. In a few words, Payne explains how each class sees each concept. Humor in poverty? About people and sex. In the middle class? About situations. In wealth? About social faux pas. In poverty, the present is most important. In the middle class, it’s the future. In wealth, it’s the past. The key question about food in poverty: Did you have enough? In the middle class: Did you like it? In wealth: Was it presented well?
Payne's critics seem less aggrieved by what she includes in her analysis than by what they say she has left out: an acknowledgment that the American economy and American schools systematically discriminate against poor people.
makes $175,000 a year. But he wants more; one of his motives for writing this book was the cash advance offered him by his publishers. Some readers will be tempted to see a discrepancy between these facts and the arguments against economic inequality made in the preceding chapters. But they should remember that those arguments are true (if they are true) even if Michaels's motives are bad, and they would be false (if they were false) even if his motives were good. Not to put too fine a point on it, the validity of the argument does not depend on the virtue of the person making them. Furthermore, the point of the book is not that people, including its author, should be virtuous. During the summer in which most of this book was written, a homeless man lived in the railroad underpass Michaels can see out his study window. A more virtuous person might have been tempted to go down and bring him some breakfast or maybe even invite him in for a shower and a meal. It never occurred to Michaels to do either of these things. Mainly he wished the man would go away. And his desire for the man to just not be there does not contradict the argument of this book; it's more like the motive for the argument of this book. The point is not that we should be nicer to the homeless; it's that no one should be homeless.
If I want to get out of generational poverty there are hidden rules. For instance when my kids were small if you came to my house to eat, I’m going to make sure you get enough. I'm going to feed you! But if you came when my kids were teenagers I’d say let me fix you something else, because what was important then was that they like it, now how much. Now that I’m hanging around with other people sometimes, I’ve noticed that in affluent situations, they don’t care about whether you like it or if it’s enough, it’s all about how beautiful it is, the presentation and how lovely it is. If I don’t know those hidden rules, if I come into that situation and try to mingle, I’m already ostracized.
Mayor Kevin Foy strongly defended a proposal to move the men's homeless shelter to the county's Homestead Road campus Friday, telling seniors who oppose the plan that they must reflect on their individual responsibility to the community's needy.
"Homelessness is part of an economic, social condition that we as a community struggle with. It's a blight on all of us. The way that we respond to this issue tells us who we are as a people, as a community. I just think we need to confront that," Foy told about 100 people gathered for a community meeting on the shelter at the new Robert and Pearl Seymour Center. "This is our moral challenge."
He was a seventh-grade dropout who developed an addiction to heroin at age 14. By the time he was 17 [he] had been convicted of several drug-related crimes and was sentenced to life in prison as a habitual felon. After serving 23 years in prison, he was released in 1998 with $100 to his name and Hepatitis C.
Largely ignored by the media, this tug of war between local governments and private industry is part of a trend in which state legislatures are carving out the nation's digital future by enacting laws that will govern the next generation of communications technology. Like the fight over net neutrality, these local laws will have tremendous impact on American's access to the Internet in years to come. But unlike that widely publicized congressional battle, these state-level regulations are struggled over in obscurity.
This is about fairness. It also requires cities to have a realistic business plan. It’s about government accountability.
The other side says we are neglecting rural North Carolina. That is not true. Eighty-two percent of the state has access. There’s more to be done, but it won’t be done if you don’t allow fair competition.
Some will say some communities need more and so government should do it. But at what cost? Our whole government is based on free enterprise. If you had closed your eyes at the hearing last week [May hearing of this committee], you might have thought you were in Moscow.
The telecommunications business is capital intensive and highly competitive. Cities have learned too late that telecommunications is more expensive than their consultants had said. Morganton is Exhibit A of why not to go into this business. Their municipal cable business told a private company to leave town. Morganton said no to free enterprise. It was a monopoly. Now it is losing money. It has a $1 million loss and $7 million in debt. There’s a lesson there.
A vote for this bill is a vote against government monopolies and against unfair trade practices.
Wilson has a strong history of being an economic leader in the state. We were leaders in the textile and tobacco industries. Our state leaders were proud of us. Our city decided to invest heavily in traditional infrastructure.
Now, we have been successful in getting new industry. State incentives have helped. Our state was our partner.
We realized we needed to invest in fiber optics infrastructure. This time our state is not our partner.
Kill this bill. We know who wrote it. We are at odds with a powerful industry. We were warned about huge corporations with deep pockets. We were told they would turn the legislature against their own local governments.
This is a direct assault on the citizens of this great state. BB&T and S.T. Wooten, our colleges, the Chamber of Commerce, businesses and citizens are on our side. They’re tired of waiting for someone else to bring this infrastructure.
The title of this bill is misleading. It is anything but fair. Our local cable provider has used public records law to gain access to our business model. That’s not fair.
This is David v. Goliath and all his cousins.
Does the state plan to level the playing field between public and private colleges?
Does the General Assembly really want to prevent private/public partnerships like the one we already have?
I am not asking these huge corporations not even based in North Carolina to believe in the City of Wilson. I’m asking the Legislature to let us believe in ourselves.
LOIS, for example, is a natural cousin of "smart growth" or anti-sprawl policies. Promoters of smart growth envision, for example, the redesign of a community so that residents can walk or ride bikes form home to school, from work to the grocery store. They want to scrap old zoning laws and promote multiple uses--residential, commercial, clean industrial, educational, civic--in existing spaces. They believe it's better to fully use the town center than to build subdivisions on green spaces on the periphery. Because LOIS businesses tend to be small, they can fit more easily inside homes or on the ground floor of residences Because they focus primarily on local markets, LOIS business place a high premium on being easily accessible by local residents. . . .
A TINA-dependent community, in contrast, is likely to suffer several kinds of environmental hazards. Box stores, for example, are characterized by gigantic parking lots, which cover vast tracts of land with concrete that drain off oil, gasoline, and other toxins into the water table, often in torrents that can lead to flooding. When national chains move on, these huge spaces are neglected, become eyesores, and lower property values. Nationwide Wal-Mart has three hundred vacant stores, and most are less than a mile away from the Supercenter that ook the predecessor store's place.
Citizens need to be out ahead. They can lead this effort by giving their input to their local government leaders.
UNC has its vision, but we have to articulate through our governments what we want.
The time line that the UNC Board of Trustees has proposed, with a concept plan coming to the Chapel Hill Town Council in October 2007, is dubious. We have to decide as a community if that schedule works for us. Studies on fiscal equity, transit, etc. need to be completed before we move forward.
This will be a lengthy process if the town goes through its normal paces and takes the proper amount of time. Cutting corners is not in the interest of our community.
The uncertainty that many citizens feel about what it is that we want is an issue. We must think about what we want for the town.
Some commission members, who worked to uncover what had been one of the state's least-known and darkest episodes, say they are concerned that Wright is no longer effective and that their work may not result in the change they had hoped for.But is only the messenger to blame?
"I had left it up to Rep. Wright to guide us," said Irving Joyner, a law professor at N.C. Central University and the commission's vice chairman. "Now the viability of that strategy is in question."
Leo Daughtry, a Smithfield Republican, was one of those who voted against [the House bill]. He said the legislature should concern itself with the issues of today: roads, public education, taxes. He said he would oppose any plan to fund remembrances of 1898, whether with a monument or with reparations to descendants of victims.
"I don't see where it would serve any purpose at this point to spend money on an event that occurred a hundred years ago that didn't affect any person living today," Daughtry said.