Ida B. Wells and Mary Church Terrell

Ida Bell Wells along with Mary Church Terrell were two anti-lynching activists. Both Ida Bell Wells  and Mary Church Terrell made anti-lynching advocacy and activism their lives work.

In 1892 in Memphis Tennesee there had been 255 lynchings(murders) of innocent Blacks.  However, the deaths of  Thomas Moss. Calvin McDowell and Henry Stewart forever changed the struggle against anti-lynching.

It was the lynching of these three Black men on March 9, 1892 the climax of  ugly events in Memphis. Their deaths were the result of anger, envy and resentment by  a white store owner. He worked a white mob into a state of frenzy and  attacked the three proprietors of the People’s Store as it was called. This mob of  hooligans fired shots into the People’s Store. The Black proprietors and customers inside responded with gun fire. Three male whites were shot. The People’s Store proprietors  were charged with conspiracy along with more than one hundred other Blacks. They were lynched. Mary  Church Terrell and Ida Bell Wells became advocates and activist for anti-lynching laws. Ida Bell Wells and Mary Church Terrell were personal friends of the Moss family and were devastated by the news of the lynching of Thomas Moss.

Ida Bell Wells learning of the deaths of these three one wrote in the newspaper FREE SPEECH “The city of Memphis has demonstrated that neither character nor standing avails the Negro if he dares to protect himself against the white man or become his rival.” She was a columnist and co-owner of the paper. Mary Church Terrell and Ida Bell Wells were threatened and the paper office attacked. Ida Bell Wells took to carrying a pistol for protection. She often  nearly escaped with her life.

Ida Bell Wells “A Winchester rifle should have a place of honor in every home. “When the white man … knows he runs a great risk of biting the dust every time his Afro-American victim does, he will have greater respect for Afro-American life.


Ryan Lochte is America’s Son

I set in front of my television outraged by the prejudicial spins on the Ryan Lochte robbery fabrication. Listening as journalists tried their best to justify his behaviors and worse his lies. Behaviors and an arrogance deeply rooted in an American history of White entitlement and privilege. Journalists looked into cameras urging us to excuse Lochte and his buds behaviors. We were asked to give them a break. Afterall, they’re kids and kids make mistakes. Life goes on. This was followed by praising Lochte’s athletic abilities. Give me a fukking break! What does his athletic abilities have to do with anything? This is not about some young folk getting drunk at a party. This is about entitled and privileged White men drunkards pissing on gas station floors, destroying property, trying to escape and making false accusations of being robbed, robbed by an armed person of color. No innocent children in this scenario, no boys will be boys. Lochte is thirty two years of age.

What makes Lochte’s behavior extremely frightening is his belief that he would be believed. A belief based on the color of his skin. It’s the accusing Black men of kidnapping White babies, only to discover their mother strapped them in car seats and pushed the car into the river. It’s the belief his whiteness would exempt him from laws the rest of us follow. The racism embedded in his psyche. He believed the same American rules would play themselves out in Brazil. Black sons and daughters don’t get the same understanding, compassion, love, empathy and forgiveness. Yet Blacks are demonized for speaking truthfully about systems of oppression. We’re said to be privileged and entitled for having the audacity to do so. We’re called out for not placing our hands over our heart during the American national anthem.

His lies nearly caused an international incident. Brazilians have every right to protest the audacity of Lochte, to come to their country and behave badly. The Brazilian government could have initiated a manhunt for Lochte’s fabricated perps. I’m horrified by what could have resulted. Innocent lives could have died because of his lies. The facts are Brazil has a history of being racist and abusive to her Black people. His actions could have fed this monster. I have no doubt Blacks in the poor favas of Brazil and worldwide understood the unspoken realities entrenched in his lies. For me, I saw America.

Blacks and people of color live daily with these historical and present day realities. Whether in America or Brazil. We have a history of paying the price for America’s sons entitlement, privilege, ignorance, intention and stupidity. Innocent Black bodies swinging from trees, beaten to death, imprisoned, crosses burning on the lawns of Black people, threats, dragged from their homes, communities bombed, set on fire and men falsely accused of rape by America’s daughters. America continues to coddle her White sons, while she justifies the murders of Black mothers sons and daughters. Lochte? Lochte is not deserving of anyone’s forgiveness, nor a second chance. I give less than a damn about his future and endorsements, and believe all corporations that employ him should be boycotted.

No America, your sons will not be held nor suckle at the breast of my compassion. Your poisoned womb gave birth to this liar. My arms and heart remain heavy with the blood of my murdered Black sons and daughters.

©Lorraine Currelley 2016. All Rights Reserved.

PEN Celebrates Authors

Harlem Fine Arts Show Honors Congressman Charles Rangel and Author and Entrepreneur B.Smith

The Annual Harlem Fine Arts Show celebrates its seventh year at New York City’s Riverside Church. The opening reception honored Congressman Charles Rangel and Author and Entrepreneur B. Smith. The annual exhibition features a group nationally and internationally acclaimed black artists. Among the many guests on hand to celebrate the honorees were Hosts Journalist Charlayne Hunter-Gault and Poet Nella Larsen, Journalist Ann Tripp, Assemblyman Keith Wright, Playwright Vy Higginson, Visual Artist Shimoda Donna Emanuel, Poet Patricia Arthur and Aleathia Brown/ Unveiled Unlocked.

Some highlights of Harlem Fine Arts Show were dynamic female Pastor Wright. She delivered the opening prayer and welcome. Lovingly referring to those present as beloved. Journalist & radio personality Ann Tripp introduced B. Smith and Dan Gasby co-authors of ‘Before I Forget’. Dan Gasby utilized this as an opportunity to educate about the devastating disease Alzheimers. He said,”It’s also about understanding that Alzheimer’s is a devastating disease that affects 5.2 million people. Almost two-thirds of Americans with the disease are women, according to the Alzheimer’s Association, and older African-Americans and Hispanics are more likely to have the disease than older whites are.”

There was an unveiling of a portrait of the Congressman Charles B. Rangel. He thanked everyone for attending and delivered a powerful message about the importance of community involvement. His lovely wife thanked those in attendance as well for honoring her husband. Congressman Rangel shared even though this would be his last year in congress, he would continue to be actively engaged in the life of the Harlem community.

Thanks to the gracious and welcoming LaZette McCants and volunteer Divas and Divos for a job well done!

Harlem Fine Arts Show, Riverside Church New York City until Sunday
February 8, 2016.

Harlem Fine Arts Show Gallery




(Photos Lorraine Currelley unless noted otherwise.)


Lorraine Currelley Curates Mom Egg VOX January 2016 Issue

Honored to curate  the VOX Gallery January 2016 Issue. Featured Poets and Writers E.J. Antonio, Jill Austen, Fay Chiang, Edward Currelley, Lorraine Currelley, Jacqueline Johnson, Nella Larsen, Carmel Mawle, Christopha Moreland, Kate Rushin, Alicia Anabel Santos , Margie Shaheed and Julia Stein.. Thanks to Marjorie A. Tesser, Founder & Editor in Chief, Mom Egg Review and featured contributors. Please visit and share widely.

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Ngoma’s Not Your Average String Thing

12654304_124513931265131_8021431466017120202_nOn Thursday August 6, 2015 Barrio Poetic featured poet Ngoma Hill is a dynamic wordsmith and musicologist. His performance was passionate, his words explosions of truth. Words and music tearing through and breaking down strangling societal isms and ills. Turning our collective anger,  and outrage into haunting passionate poems and songs of protest. All responding eloquently to the cries of the people for justice, equality, peace, and life. His musicology is  superb. “Ngoma’s Not Your Average String Thing -Vocals, Bamboo Flute, Electrik Violin, Acoustic Guitar, Yidaki (Didgeridoo) & Garage Band Tracks. Ngoma Hill performed works from his CD Lessons from the Book of Osayemi and his latest CD release Ngoma Lessons from the Book of Osayemi (Chapter ll) Spirit/Blues/Prophecy. Ngoma Hill’s performance ended with a standing ovation from audience members.

Ngoma,  a former member of the SPIRIT HOUSE MOVERS AND PLAYERS with Amiri Baraka and the Contemporary Freedom Song Duo, SERIOUS BIZNESS, Ngoma weaves poetry and song that raises contradictions and searches for a solution for a just and peaceful world. Ngoma was the Prop Slam winner of the 1997 National Poetry Slam Competition in Middletown, CT and was published in AFRICAN VOICES MAGAZINE, LONG SHOT ANTHOLOGY, THE UNDERWOOD REVIEW, SIGNIFYIN’ HARLEM REVIEW,BUM RUSH THE PAGE/DEF POETRY JAM ANTHOLOGY and POEMS ON THE ROAD TO PEACE (Volumes 1,2 & 3)-Yale Press. LET LOOSE ON THE WORLD”(CELEBRATING AMIRI BARAKA at 75) He was most recently published in the 35th Anniversary Issue of Blind Beggar Press and The Understanding Between Foxes and Light. He was also featured in the PBS Spoken Word Documentary, “The Apro-Poets” with Allen Ginsberg. Ngoma has hosted the slam at the Dr. Martin Luther King Festival of Social and Environmental Justice Festival (Yale University-New Haven, CT) for the past 18 years. Ngoma was selected as a participant at the Badilisha Poetry Xchange in Capetown, South Africa in fall of 2009.In December of 2011 he was initiated as a Priest of  Ngoma has hosted the slam at the Dr. Martin Luther King Festival of Social and Environmental Justice Festival (Yale University-New Haven, CT) for the past 18 years. Ngoma was selected as a participant at the Badilisha Poetry Xchange in Capetown, South Africa in fall of 2009.In December of 2011 he was initiated as a Priest of Obatala in Ibadan, Nigeria. More recently he returned to Ibadan to be initiated as a Priest of Ifa. –

Hill’s latest release Lessons from the Book of Osayemi (Chapter ll) Spirit/Blues/Prophecy continues his legacy of producing great music and poetry. Music for My Soldiers, Love Song, Where I Come From and Up South are four of the outstanding poems on Ngoma Hill’s  latest release. The authenticity of his poems content resonate with his audiences. There are no lies here, only truth telling. His poems and music is earth and soul grown. His words are love notes to listeners, those seeking truth. There is the presence of unrelenting hunger, thirst and raw passion. His poems had audience members moving and clapping in their seats, leading to a call and response. We became a chorus united in the refrain music for my soldiers, when he performed Music for My Soldiers. Where I Come From, another of Ngoma Hill’s poems is one man’s declaration of his rich heritage and that of a people. All poems are life explosions unabashedly unapologetic and uncompromising.

You can purchase both Lessons from the Book of Osayemi and Lessons from the Book of Osayemi (Chapter ll) Spirit/Blues/Prophecy @

iTunes,Amazon and Bandcamp

©Lorraine Currelley 2015. All Rights Reserved. Unauthorized duplication of this material without express and written permission from this author is strictly prohibited.

The Death of Sandra Bland, The Manufacturing of a Case for Suicide

Stories of Sandra Bland’s alleged suicide continue to flood the airwaves non stop! Lets be clear! The stories being fed by media and coming out of Texas are manufactured to support the state’s case of suicide. Story after story created to seduce, distract and dismantle the truth of what happened to Sandra Bland. I urge everyone to stop digesting b.s. and creating scenarios surrounding her alleged suicide. They’re lies and campaigns created to free those responsible for her death! Your actions do not support justice for Sandra Bland! In actuality they support Texas in building their case against Sandra Bland!
Sandra Bland did NOT pack her belongings, drive to Texas to start a job she was excited about, enjoy a wonderful visit with family and friends with plans to commit SUICIDE BY COP! A real term used in the mental health profession. Her actions do NOT meet the American Psychiatric Association Diagnostic Criteria from DSM – IV TR nor DSM -V- TR criteria for Suicide Ideation!
Feelings of depression are real! *Everyone experiences depression at some point. Mild Depression is often expressed as sadness. Manic Depression on the other hand leaves a person unable to perform normal daily functions. For example, the individual finds himself/herself unable to get out of bed, eat, dress and go to work. They’re overcome with a sadness that remains for a period of time. Mental health disorders are diagnosed by professionals! Usually when a person states they feel depressed they’re saying they feel sad, unless the words and behaviors expressed meet specific criteria.

Frankly, I’m surprised all black persons living in this country have not been diagnosed with PTSD including yours truly! I would expect everyone including yours truly to freely own this diagnosis! Daily we are assaulted with traumatic event after traumatic event. Brutality, murder and assaults to our humanity are our norm. PTSD ( Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) is the result of being traumatized. An individual(s) has/have witnessed or experienced a traumatic event. Police brutality and murders of civilians, the death of a loved one, pet and experiences as a veteran contribute to PTSD criteria.*If for any reason you cannot cope and you are in need of help please seek out a professional! Sometimes, a good talk with a friend, family member or clergy unless trained is NOT enough!

Please visit Mental Health & Advocacy for information, resources, data etc. on mental health disorders.

©Lorraine Currelley 2015. All Rights Reserved.