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Dear Friend,

Even President Lincoln didn’t do more for Black people than Black people did.  As President Franklin D. Roosevelt said eighty years later when challenged to desegregate the war industries: “make me do it.”  And we did.  
Emancipation was a war strategy proposed by self-emancipated slave turned abolitionist-publisher Frederick Douglass. Realizing the power of the idea, Lincoln drafted and signed the Emancipation Proclamation.  The nation’s sixteenth president, he was the first with the courage to do the right thing.
In the most oppressed of times across four centuries, African Americans have sacrificed our all to lead—and not just for our own benefit.  Every positive development fought for and died for by Blacks has improved this nation as a whole.   
That’s the truth we all need to know.  
With resistance, rebellion, abolition, and the Civil Right Movement, Blacks led the way on a moral, practical crusade from unsustainable oppression and toward justice, freedom, and universal human rights. 
The struggle of formerly enslaved people to educate themselves and their children led to public schools for all.  This at a time when schools were largely reserved for a White male elite.  Not until 1918, was public education mandated in every state and every child required to attend the elementary grades.
Voting rights for Black men reduced property requirements for poor Whites and paved legal ground for women's suffrage.  An end to race-based poll taxes liberated every American from voter suppression.
The Black Arts Movement cry for RELEVANCE! enacted changes in higher education.  Black Studies demonstrations led to Women’s Studies, Ethnic Studies, LGBTQ and Gender Studies; overturning systemic mis-education designed to justify White male supremacy. 
Tarana Burke launched the “Me Too movement” for the rights of women to challenge sexual assault.  Burke's initiative would be popularized a decade later as #MeToo.
Because of #BlackLivesMatter, America has been called to account worldwide.  It is a racial reckoning not heard since the Civil Rights Movement led to Women's Rights, the Anti-War Movement, an end to the Vietnam War, and even the Grey Panther Movement against ageism! 
As Black people, as people of conscience of every race, we fight for a better, more just, humane America. That’s what we do. 
And that’s what makes our vote this November 3 so critical.  Up ballot for Biden-Harris and down to state and local officials, vote for your life. 


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In 1621, a woman known only as Isabella gave birth to the first African-American child.  Her husband’s name was Antoney.  Their baby was baptized William in Jamestown Colony, Virginia.  That is all we know.  And yet we know more.  Kidnapped, sold, and transported across the seas, what horror William’s parents must have seen.  But in his eyes, they also saw hope.  And for that, they must have lived and dreamed better days.
On November 2, this author’s daughters, Ayo and Dara, were born in New York City.  Their father, Max Roach, had come to Brooklyn as a child; his parents fleeing the Great Depression and Jim Crow.  His grandparents were among North Carolina's post-Civil War emancipated.  In that promise was their future, their all. 
My father had come to the States from St. Kitts as a child; his mother having seen both of her twins die young.  My mother, Muriel, (born on this day, November 1) was American-born to immigrant parents.  Pregnant with my daughters, I carried my grandfather’s ashes back to Africa; delivering them to the departing sea.  Like his father’s fathers before him, he’d lived with the hope of seeing African shores once more.
It is for my daughters, and for yours, that these and many other books have been written.  Like Isabella—in spite of all that has happened to us as a people—in my daughters' eyes I see hope.  How can we say to our children any less than “Thank you.”
Day: Tuesday, November 2 
Place: Africa/Americas/Caribbean
Subject: Family
Inspirational Theme: Vision
This excerpt is from Sister Days: 365 Inspired Moments in Civil Rights History © Janus Adams (John Wiley & Sons, publisher)

BOOK JANUS for your Virtual Conference
The Janus Adams Show launches its fifth season on public radio with a fabulous roster of new episodes and availability on your favorite podcast channels:  AppleSoundCloudSpotifyStitcher 

November 2:  A conversation with environmental attorney, Barbara Freese, author of ‘INDUSTRIAL STRENGTH DENIAL:  Eight Stories of Corporations Defending the Indefensible.”  How far will corporate leaders go to deny wrongdoing and protect their bottom line? The better question is this: How far are we, as citizens and consumers, willing to let them go? 
November 7: #Words Matter
Whatever happens this week, whoever wins the presidency this much is for sure: in undoing the devastating effects of the Trump years #WordsMatter.  “The men (and women) who create power make an indispensable contribution to the nation’s greatness," said President Kennedy in a 1963 tribute to poet Robert Frost. "But, the men who question power make a contribution just as indispensable... When power corrupts, poetry cleanses.”

The Janus Adams Show airs and streams live Saturdays at 12:00 noon ET on WJFF Radio Catskill.  For more information about the shows and our guests, visit  Subscribe to the podcast on Apple, Stitcher, SoundCloud, and Spotify,. 

For updates on this month's programming, follow me on social media.
An upbeat, thought-provoking, and inspirational weekly intergenerational chat with my friend and co-host, Elle Cole—founder of This week: “This IS Who We Are.”  Check us out every Monday:
1:00 pm ET on Facebook @ CleverlyChanging
4:00 pm ET on LinkedIn @ JanusAdams
Be safe. Be well.  Happy reading (and listening),

Emmy Award-winning journalist, author, historian, keynote speaker, 
Dr. Janus Adams is publisher of and host of public radio’s
“The Janus Adams Show” and podcast.

Copyright © 2020 Janus Adams LLC, All rights reserved.

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