Monday, December 2, 2013

Today's Show

Technical difficulties, schmechnical difficulties, when you have a great Board Op, you get great air!

Thanks Harvey Soul Hall for thinking quick and popping in a great past show - an interview with Dr. Ann Creighton-Zollar from August 26th of this year. Her work researching and promoting the understanding of Problem of Being Without Sufficient levels of Vitamin D is worthy of repeating.  I hope you enjoy it and come away healthier. CLICK HERE to see the original blog post on DefendersLIVEradio.

And here's the show that should have aired.


  1. What happened to the people who USED to live in Dove Court? How has Mixed Income housing worked for them?
  2. If Shockoe Bottom is wonderful, creative, inspirational, and growing (and it is), why do they want to do this??? Click here to play relevant video.


Next Monday, December 9, 2013 at 6pm: City Council Meeting may hear and vote on "continued" ordinances on transfer of land under The Diamond from RMA back to the City and  the resolution for council to approve the concept of the plan the Mayor Dwight Jones and H. Louis Salomonsky and the Lovings and the Squirrels have preordained for our fair city. 

Monday, October 28, 2013

Saturday, October 26, 2013


Keep the voices and issues of DefendersLIVE and the Music of the World as presented through WRIR on the air!!!

and because the No BS Brass Band (which was just playing) might remind you as it does me just how amazing horn bands are!!! Tower of Power was my NBSBB way back in my sleepy secret teen-aged L.A. days ...

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Food Justice = Food and Economic Empowerment in Our Communities

Richmond's First Annual Green Harvest Festival

Duron Chavis, community advocate for RVA Farms, founder/coordinator of Happily Natural Day, partner in Renew Richmond
John Lewis, director community engagement Renew Richmond 501c3
Velma Hairston, educator, volunteer with Renew Richmond and advocate for community gardens in the Richmond area
Mike Kemetic, creative director for We R Natives, on the Patrick Henry School for Science and Art Board of Directors for their Charter Art Programs, host WRIR

Monday, September 23, 2013

Sep. 23rd on DefendersLIVE

About the Black Left Unity Network and its Black Activists Journal,

Download and listen to Today's show

Monday, September 9, 2013

Mike Kemetic on DefendersLIVE

The Intersection of Art and Social Justic in Richmond - a 54-minute chat with Richmond Man About Town.
More about his likes and inspirations at

Monday, September 2, 2013

What IS and WILL BE this Month:

In the event of any U.S. attack on Syria, the Defenders and other opponents of another war will gather at 5 pm that same day in front of the Richmond Federal Courthouse, 701 E. Broad St. Join us!

Stadium opponents will hold a news conference at 12:30 p.m. in front of Richmond City Hall the day after Mayor Jones announces plans to put a baseball stadium in Shockoe Bottom. Please plan to join us!



FOOD NOT BOMBS – Sundays at 4 pm. Free vegan meals served in Monroe Park, corner of Main and Belvidere streets. Volunteers welcome. (804) 303-544, or


Thurs., Sept, 5 — “SLAVE TRAIL” COMMISSION MEETING – 4 pm, East District Initiative, 701 N. 25th St. Be prepared to ask Commission members to take a stand opposing a stadium in Shockoe Bottom. And be prepared from them canceling the meeting, without notice.

Mon., Sept. 9 — COURT HEARING FOR JORDAN ROMEO ­— Richmond activist Jordan Romeo was charged with “obstructing free passage” while observing a police arrest. Please come out and show your support. 9:45 am, Manchester Courthouse, 920 Hull St. Facebook: “Court Support - Jordan’s Hearing.”

Sat., Sept. 14 — CLAUDE McKAY BLACK BOOK EXPO ­— Commemoration of this Jamaican-born figure of the Harlem Renaissance. Books, prints, posters, refreshments & live jazz. 1 pm, Elegba Folklore Society’s Cultural Center, 1st & East Broad streets.

Sun., Sept. 15 — CLAUDE McKAY BLACK BOOK EXPO ­— See above. Open till 7 pm.

Tues., Sept. 17 — RICHMOND STOP OF MOBILE JUSTICE TOUR ­— 6:30-9 PM, Wesley Memorial United Methodist Church, 1720 Mechanicsville Turnpike. For story and full schedule, see page 2.

Tues., Sept. 17 — RICHMOND CRUSADE FOR VOTERS MEETING ­— Regular monthly meeting. 7 pm, Military Retirees Club, 2220 Chamberlayne Ave. Information:

Fri.-Sat., Sept. 20-21 - 2013 WOMEN, WAR & PEACE CONFERENCE - focus on women’s roles in war and peacebuilding in West and North Africa, presented by VCU Dept. of World Studies, Virginia Friends of Mali, Richmond Peace Education Center, Richmond Sister Cities Commission. Information:

Tues., Sept. 24 — RICHMOND BRANCH NAACP MEETING — 7 pm, Club 533, 700 N. 3rd St. Information: 804-505-0083.

Sat., Sept. 28 — RACIST FLAG RAISING ­— The Sandston-based, neo-Confederate group Virginia Flaggers say they will raise the “rebel” flag just south of Richmond overlooking I-95. Maybe they will, and maybe they won’t.

Sat., Oct. 5. — RICHMOND ZINE FEST ­— An annual gathering of zine-makers and readers. Zines, workshops, food & more. 11 am-6 pm, Gay Community Center of Richmond. Information:

Thurs., Oct. 10 — GABRIEL DAY ­— The 213th anniversary of the day Richmond slave rebellion leader Gabried was executed at the town gallows in Richmond’s African Burial Ground. Join us at the Burial Ground to pay homage to him and his fallen comrades. Details to be announced.

Fri., Sat., Sun., Oct. 11-13. — RICHMOND FOLK FESTIVAL ­— Which does not advertise in the Defender, so look elsewhere for details.

Sat., Oct. 12 - COMMUNITY CONVERSATION on African and African American Resistance to Slavery, Ana Edwards will lead a presentation on revolutionary Africans in America, Gabriel and Lucy Goode Brooks; Dr. Michael Blakey will facilitate a discussion on resistance and how we commemorate our "heros". Hosted by William Byrd Community House, 224 S. Cherry St. Richmond 23220. Information: or 757-221-7889.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Vitamin D Deficiency as a Social Justice Issue

My guest today was Dr. Ann Creighton-Zollar and her passion is spreading the word about Vitamin D - a hormone produced in our bones and bloodstream by photosynthesis through the skin's exposure to sunlight - its deficiency in the general population of the U.S. and the prevalence of that deficiency in African Americans in particular.

To learn more about Dr. Creighton-Zollar and her work, visit
Website –
Facebook -

In addition Dr. Creighton-Zollar recommends the following resources:
The Vitamin D Council website
Vitamin D, Common Sense and the Goldilocks Principle

Monday, August 19, 2013

August 19: Book Talking

Virginia Defender editor Phil Wilayto joined me today to discuss a handful of books we have found critical to understanding the history of Richmond, Virginia as well as the interpretation of that history by key African scholars.

The books:

The River Where America Began: A Journey Along the James

by Bob DeansRowman & Littlefield, Apr 30, 2007
From the establishment of the first permanent English colony at Jamestown in 1607 to the fall of Richmond in 1865, the James River has been instrumental in the formation of modern America. It was along the James that British and Native American cultures collided and, in a twisted paradox, the seeds of democracy and slavery were sown side by side. The culture crafted by Virginia's learned aristocrats, merchants, farmers, and frontiersmen gave voice to the cause of the American Revolution and provided a vision for the fledgling independent nation's future. Over the course of the United States' first century, the James River bore witness to the irreconcilable contradiction of a slave-holding nation dedicated to liberty and equality for all. When that intractable conflict ignited civil war, the James River served as a critical backdrop for the bloodiest conflict in U.S. history. As he guides readers through this exciting historical narrative, Deans gives life to a dynamic cast of characters including the familiar Powhatan, John Smith, Patrick Henry, Thomas Jefferson, Benedict Arnold, and Robert E. Lee, as well as those who have largely escaped historical notoriety. The River Where America Began takes readers on a journey along the James River from the earliest days of civilization nearly 15,000 years ago through the troubled English settlement at Jamestown and finishes with Lincoln's tour of the defeated capital of Richmond in 1865. Deans traces the historical course of a river whose contributions to American life are both immeasurable and unique. This innovative history invites us all to look into these restless waters in a way that connects us to our past and reminds us of who we are as Americans.

Black Thunder: Gabriel's Revolt: Virginia: 1800

Arna Wendell BontempsBeacon Press, 1936
"Gabriel Prosser's 1800 slave revolt allowed Bontemps to warn of the rebellion that would come of poverty and racial oppression. This metaphor of revolution is at the same time a highly pertinent representation of black masculinity that will reward students of gender, slavery and the sensibilities of the 1930s." —Nell Irvin Painter

Rearing Wolves to our own Destruction:Slavery in Richmond, Virginia, 1782-1865

Midori TakagiUniversity of Virginia Press, Jun 29, 2000
RICHMOND WAS NOT only the capital of Virginia and of the Confederacy; it was also one of the most industrialized cities south of the Mason-Dixon Line. Boasting ironworks, tobacco processing plants, and flour mills, the city by 1860 drew half of its male workforce from the local slave population. Rearing Wolves to Our Own Destruction examines this unusual urban labor system from 1782 until the end of the Civil War. Many urban bondsmen and women were hired to businesses rather than working directly for their owners. As a result, they frequently had the opportunity to negotiate their own contracts, to live alone, and to keep a portion of their wages in cash. Working conditions in industrial Richmond enabled African-American men and women to build a community organized around family networks, black churches, segregated neighborhoods, secret societies, and aid organizations. Through these institutions, Takagi demonstrates, slaves were able to educate themselves and to develop their political awareness. They also came to expect a degree of control over their labor and lives. Richmond's urban slave system offered blacks a level of economic and emotional support not usually available to plantation slaves. Rearing Wolves to Our Own Destruction offers a valuable portrait of urban slavery in an individual city that raises questions about the adaptability of slavery as an institution to an urban setting and, more importantly, the ways in which slaves were able to turn urban working conditions to their own advantage.

How Europe Underdeveloped Africa

Walter Rodney
First edition: copyright 1972 by Bogle-L'Ouverture Publications, Great Britain, First US edition copyright 1974 by Howard University Press
1981 Edition with introduction by Vincent Harding, William Strickland, Robert Hill - Before a bomb ended his life in the summer of 1980, Walter Rodney had created a powerful legacy. This pivotal work, How Europe Underdeveloped Africa, had already brought a new perspective to the question of underdevelopment in Africa. His Marxist analysis went far beyond the heretofore accepted approach in the study of Third World underdevelopment. How Europe Underdeveloped Africa is an excellent introductory study for the student who wishes to better understand the dynamics of Africa s contemporary relations with the West.

The History of Pan-African Revolt

C. L. R. JamesPM Press, Nov 29, 2012 with introduction by Robin D. G. Kelley
Originally published in England in 1938 and expanded in 1969, this work remains the classic account of global Black resistance. This concise, accessible history of revolts by African peoples worldwide explores the wide range of methods used by Africans to resist oppression and the negative effects of imperialism and colonization as viewed in the 20th century. Written from a radical perspective with a substantial new introduction that contextualizes the work in the ferment of the times, "A History of Pan-African Revolt" is essential to understanding liberation movements in Africa and the diaspora and continues to reveal new insights, lessons, and visions to successive generations.C. L. R. James was a major figure in Pan-Africanism and the author of a wide array of fiction and nonfiction, including Beyond a Boundary, The Black Jacobins, Every Cook Can Govern, The Invading Socialist Society, A Majestic Innings: Writings on Cricket, and The Nobbie Stories for Children and Adults. Robin D. G. Kelley is a professor of history and American studies and ethnicity at the University of Southern California. He is a coeditor of Black, Brown, & Beige: Surrealist Writings from Africa and the Diaspora and the author of Freedom Dreams: The Black Radical Imagination and Thelonious Monk: The Life and Times of an American Original, which received several honors, including Best Book on Jazz from the Jazz Journalists Association and the Ambassador Award for Book of Special Distinction from the English Speaking Union. It was also a finalist for a PEN USA Literary Award. He lives in Los Angeles.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Today on DefendersLIVE

LISTEN to the show.

Sports Entertainment Venues offer fans the complete package. You can see the sports, shop the shops, eat the foods and spend the day - all without being bothered with the local neighborhood at all. Nice feeling, eh?

A scant 2 weeks ago, the much touted Redskins Training Camp opened. The camp will run through August 16. Fans are having a great time. Hundreds of thousands of people have attended already, as expected. Local businesses ramped up staffing and physical capacity in anticipation of the promised new business. But already, area businesses have not only NOT gained customers and sales they are LOSING it.

So who gained from this deal? 

Here is a link to an article with all the promises and some of the details of the financing deal:

Now. How exactly is this supposed to give us faith in what is likely to be proposed for Shockoe Bottom?

Visit to learn more and see an alternative vision.

Monday, August 5, 2013

What's Next? on DefendersLIVE

Today's interview features Kim Allen, president Richmond NAACP. Elected in November 2012, Kim assumed her responsibilities in January 2013, immediately embodying her "What's Next?" philosophy for moving the organization and its community initiatives forward. We talked about the Richmond NAACP's recent Education Conference as well as plans for the Saturday, Aug. 24th March on Washington 50th Anniversary and a follow-up March on Richmond for Jobs & Freedom on Saturday, Aug. 31st.

Interested in getting on the Aug. 24 bus to the March on Washington? 

  1. Visit, then
  2. Email name and number to
  3. OR Call Lynette Thompson at (804) 982-8072

Interested in helping or attending the Aug. 31 March on Richmond? 

Click here to download and listen to the Podcast MP3 of the full interview.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Today on DefendersLIVE

About Self-Defense, Empowerment, So-called "Terrorists", Political Prisoners, ET CETERA!

  • Camp Diva's presentation of "Free Angela and All Political Prisoners" last Thursday, July 18, 2013.
  • Justice Rally for Trayvon Martin, Saturday, July 20, 2013 organized by Jamil Jasey and RealTruePoet.
  • FREE Ashley Williams! Ashley's sentencing hearing today at 1pm a the John Marshall Courts building, 400 N. Marshall St.
  • July 25 Slave Trail Commission meeting, 4pm at East District Initiative Center, 700 N. 25th St. 23223
  • July 25 No Stadium in Shockoe Bottom Community organizing meeting, 7pm at William Byrd Community House, 224 S. Cherry St., 23220
  • Africa: Mali's national elections, July 28, 2013

Monday, July 8, 2013

Boulevard Stadium Referendum, Huguenot High Latino Student Protest

Today on DefendersLIVE, a discussion with Virginia Defender Newspaper editor Phil Wilayto about


3 Richmond school board members and the president of the Richmond NAACP stood alongside students and families protesting discriminatory practices at Huguenot High School on Thursday, June 20, 2013: A Latino student group was frisked, bags searched and then escorted to buses, having been implicated by rumor as being involved in a planned fight. During the search students were told that this was preferable to calling in the police because that could involve charges and possible detention and deportation. A meeting with the principal earlier in the week included parents, students, and community allies, aired parents' concerns about the difficulty of communicating with the administration and faculty when so few on staff  speak Spanish. Several students suffered consequences as a result of their participation, including being reassigned to the RPS Capital City Program (a title which signifies nothing), an alternative school in Gilpin Court established in 2004 to serve "students who are disruptive, low-performing and at risk of dropping out of school". According to a radio report on Weekly Sedition (WRIR) a list of demands provided by the students and their parents delineate why a protest on the second to last day of school was so important. This issue will be raised at the next meeting of the Richmond Public School Board on July 15, 6pm, at


Tonight's Richmond City Council meeting and the referendum to limit city property use for stadium development to the acreage that includes the site of the present stadium on the Boulevard, AND the resolution to prevent action until the referendum can go before the state's voting public in November. More information is posted at and there are many conversations building on Facebook.

The mayor of Richmond is perhaps caught between county administrations that refuse to contribute to a new stadium even though the fan-base of baseball in Richmond is primarily from the counties and the developers who will pay to develop a retail blockbuster on the Boulevard only if they can move the stadium development to the Bottom. But City Council members and the Slave Trail Commission and the institutions that state their purposes as the discovery, study, presentation, and/or preservation of our historical and cultural resources can certainly have opinions, can't they? So, where are their voices? The Squirrels management have at least said enough to imply that they'd be happy to stay on the Boulevard, though really they just want a new facility.

Speaking of facilities, what about the Arthur Ashe Center? THE city's public school event center? The plans for that are utter annihilation. Tear it down to make way for the improved sports complex on the Boulevard. Ok? Is a new Arthur Ashe Center planned? What facilities will offer what it offers to our schools? Will Arthur Ashe's legacy be a sculpture on Monument Avenue that is less about him and his contributions than it is about the state of the Confederacy, Public Art and Self-Determination in Richmond right now. Might he actually be pleased that his statue became about something more than an individual's achievements?

When we talk about the ongoing marginalization of Black History, there are contemporary issues at stake and one of the issues is a conflict: whether to seek to play IN the sandbox or outside of it. Should we accept that our elected officials simply react to shifting opinions and influences or do we want them to LEAD because we believe they have the strength of character to go to new places, create new spaces. OR is that not actually possible? Don't we have an historical precedence in defying authorities and systems of power and influence in order to move society forward? toward our ideals? Don't we?

That's what Shockoe Bottom's history and its prospects mean to me: having the principles and confidence to challenge the status quo and move us all forward.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Today at Noon, Tomorrow at 11 am

Today's show:

Join the Community Meeting to Oppose a Stadium in Shockoe Bottom

Baseball in Richmond, Va., has been on the Boulevard for nearly 60 years. But now powerful business and political figures want to move it to Shockoe Bottom, once the site of this country's second-largest market for enslaved Africans. Who would really benefit from a Shockoe Bottom stadium? Who would lose? And how could Shockoe Bottom be properly developed in a way that would promote an understanding of our common history, as well as establish Richmond as an international destination site for heritage tourism?

Come to a Community Meeting to discuss this important issue 

and learn how you can get involved in the campaign to oppose building a stadium in historic Shockoe Bottom. Co-sponsored by the Defenders for Freedom, Justice & Equality and other organizations to be announced.


Governor McDonnell announced on May 29, 2013 a transition from an application process to an automatic restoration process for non-violent felons. The enactment date for this transition is July 15, 2013.

New Criteria for Non-Violent Felon restoration (effective May 29, 2013):

  • Have been convicted of a non-violent felony in a Virginia court, or convicted in a U.S. District Court, military court or a court of another state or territory
  • Have completed serving the prison sentence and been released from probation or parole; and
  • Have paid all court costs, fines to the Commonwealth and restitution to the victims, satisfied all court-ordered conditions, and have no pending felony charges.

RIHD has long been involved in this issue including ongoing assistance for ex-offenders applying for restoration of their civil rights, sentencing disparities, earned second chance legislation, transportation for families to visit imprisoned loved ones, support for families and children of incarcerated parents.

Click "Listen" at

Monday, May 20, 2013

Murder trial of Ashley Williams began this morning

The murder trial of Ashley Williams began this morning in Richmond circuit court, John Marshals Courts Builiding, 400 N. Marshall St.

Ms. William is the single, poor, 27-year old, African American mother charged with deliberately neglecting her youngest child D’Shawn, allowing him to starve to death. D’Shawn died on May 30, 2009, and it is only because of intense community interest in the case that the prosecution of Ms. Williams was delayed until today. Members of the family and the community have packed virtually every court hearing over the last several years.

The previous judge recused himself without comment, and the trial is being presided over by a visiting jurist, Judge Alfred B. Swersky. The morning was taken up by jury selection. The composition of the 12 jurors and 2 alternates is 8 whites, 6 African American, and includes 5 white men, 3 white women, 3 Black men and 3 Black women. After jury selection and a short break, opening statements were made. The 2 sides presented diametrically opposed portraits of Ms. Williams.

The prosecution spoke first, arguing that Ms. Williams never wanted her youngest child, and neglected him in a way she did not her other children, that she failed to follow doctors orders and didn’t feed the child adequately, particularly giving him nothing to eat in the last 3 days of his life.

The defense, Virginia state delegate Joe Morrisey, assisted by Paul Gregorio, attorneys from the law firm of Morrissey & Goldman, argued that far from being a neglectful parent, Ms. Williams was an extraordinary and compassionate caregiver, who had taken into her home her terminally ill mother (who was dying of lupus), with 3 toddlers at home, and while working a full time job with no health benefits. She asked a half sister to care for her newborn until her mother passed. When she started receiving more family help, she brought D’Shawn back to her home. Concerned about his continued low weight (his birth weight was 5lb 13oz) she repeatedly brought him to physicians at Manchester Pediatrics and Memorial Hospital (confirming the name of the hospital). D’Shawn was seen by physicians as late as 2 weeks before he died. No alarms were raised. At her doctor’s suggestion she was feeding him PediaSure (a nutritional supplement food for infants and children) which she determinedly tried to get him to eat and then ran out of a few days before the end of the month as well as the money to buy it.

Morrissey said he would present several witnesses along with photographs and a video showing Ms. Williams trying to get D’Shawn to eat in the weeks before he died.

The trial broke for lunch, then resumed at 2:15. It is expected to continue into Wednesday.

Along with family members who are also witnesses in the trial, attending today were Marty Jewell (former city council member), Scott Price (Alliance for Progressive Values), members of the Defenders, of CollectiveX, and the prisoner support group SPARC, among others.

The Defenders are making a special appeal to the Black community! Ashley is facing up to 45 years in prison for crimes she did not commit. The judge is white, the 2 prosecutors are white. Her defense attorneys are white. Even the 4 news reporters covering the trial are white. The Virginia Defender is the only community newspaper covering the trial. Don’t let Ashley stand alone. Come out this afternoon. Come out tomorrow morning. The court room number will be posted. If you can only come for 20 minutes, don’t let this sister face this trial without knowing that her own community has her back.


Ana Edwards, on behalf of the Defenders for Freedom, Justice & Equality

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Today on DefendersLIVE - Monday, April 8, 2013

Today on DefendersLIVE

Our guest is Kelsea Jeter, VCU Gender Sexuality & Women's Studies major, working with others to oppose Virginia’s TRAP legislation (Targeted Regulations of Abortion Providers). This Friday, April 12, 2103, at 9 am, the Va Board of Health will hold the 3rd and final vote on this bad legislation. If it passes, 18 Virginia clinics that provide abortion services will close for lack of funds to implement the changes required by this bill within the stated period. 


  • Monday April 8, 12:30 - 3:30 pm - Information Demonstration at VCU’s Shaffer Court
  • Friday April 12, 7:00 am - Gather to Oppose TRAP vote! - Arrive early to secure a speaking spot for the 9 am Va Board of Health Meeting at 9960 Mayland Drive, Henrico. For more info visit the Facebook event page -


The Legislation itself: - search for “2011 Session SB 924”

Va Board of Health Agenda for the April 12 meeting, at which the final vote will take place -

Monday, April 1, 2013


The African Ancestral Chamber and the Defenders for Freedom, Justice & Equality will hold a press conference and vigil at 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday, April 3rd, at the corner of Crane and East Main streets in Shockoe Bottom. The purpose of the events is to commemorate Richmond Liberation Day, and bring attention to unfavorable developments such as a sports stadium within the historic district where captive Africans were sold.

April 3rd will be the 148th anniversary of the day that African American soldiers led Union troops into Richmond, liberating its people from Confederate rule, freeing enslaved Africans from the notorious Lumpkin's Jail and ending slavery in the city, where it had existed for more than 300 years. The day was annually celebrated by Richmond's African American community until the beginning of the Jim Crow era.

The corner of Crane and East Main streets is next to the Exxon gas station, which stands on the site of what once was Omohundro's Jail, a holding structure for enslaved Africans similar to Lumpkin's. Plans by various groups in the City calls for placing a stadium at this site.

Following the vigil, participants will visit Richmond's African Burial Ground to show their respect for the ancestors buried there.



Commemorating 150 year anniversary of the Civil War in Virginia. Presented by The Future of Richmond’s Past, this day-long, mult-site, series of events takes place on Saturday April 6, 2013.

DefendersLIVE Guests participating in the day's events: 
LOIS LEVEEN, author of the 2012 historical novel, The Secrets of Mary BowserASHBY ANDERSON - March 4, 2013SHAWN O. UTSEY - July 28, 2008 (obviously overdue for a follow-up interview on Peep This Richmond and Peep This Segou)
Full schedule for the Lumpkin's Jail / Main Street Station site:
  • From 9:30 a.m. until 12:30 p.m., a guided tour of the Richmond Slave Trail, led by Rev. Ben Campbell, will be offered. The tour begins at Main Street Station (Franklin St. entrance, nearest 15th St.), please ride the shuttle bus to Ancarrow's Landing. This 1.5-mile walk will conclude at Lumpkin's Jail near Main Street Station. Registration requested
  • 10:30 a.m., Ana Edwards will lead a walking tour of the African Burial Ground, including the Gabriel's Rebellion Historic Marker. The tour will begin at the Lumpkin's site. 
  • 12:30 p.m. - The Umoja Gospel Choir of the University of Richmond will perform. 
  • 1:00 p.m. - Dr. Matthew Laird of the James River Archaeology Institute will conduct a presentation about the Lumpkin's site excavation and its findings. 
  • 1:30 p.m. - The Ngoma Dance Company of the University of Richmond will perform. 
  • 1:30 p.m. - Park Ranger Mike Gorman will lead the Lincoln Walking Tour, following the 14th President's footsteps from the 2nd Floor of the Main Street Station to the White House of the Confederacy. This tour will last approx. 1.5 hours. 
  • 2:00 p.m. - "The Secrets of Mary Bowser" author, Lois Leveen, will offer remarks about her novel depicting the life of a Unionist spy behind Confederate lines. 
  • 2:30 p.m. - Randolph Harmon of the Ancestral African Chamber will present the Spoken Word. 
  • 3:00 p.m. - J. Ron Fleming, portraying Henry "Box" Brown, was helped by Richmonders in freeing himself by shipping himself north. The presentation will be followed by a walking tour to the Henry “Box” Brown monument. 
  • 3:30 p.m. - Dr. Shawn O. Utsey, Professor of African American Studies and Psychology, Virginia Commonwealth University 
  • 3:45 p.m. - The author of "Slaves Waiting For Sale," Dr. Maurie D. McInnis will offer remarks about the auction houses throughout Richmond. 
  • 4:00 p.m. - The Afrikan Arkestra, directed by Ashby Anderson, will perform selected work from "The Historic Richmond Jazz Suite." 

Monday, March 25, 2013

VCU SDS Challenges VCU-Military Drone Partnership

Some people like to argue that drone research at VCU is completely harmless or has nothing to do with the war overseas, but documents obtained via a Freedom of Information Act request by a friend of our organization show otherwise. VCU has been collaborating with the military to perfect these instruments of war as far back as 2008.
DRONE is the buzz-word in WAR TECHNOLOGY these days due to its highly publicized use for information-gathering and missile launching in well known conflict zones in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan. More notoriously and horrifically, however, DRONES are being recognized for their use in targeted assassinations of individuals "suspected" of "terrorist" activities, including the 16-year old son of one such assassinated suspect, and the botched attempts that result in the deaths of non-combatants. The justification for the use of DRONES is that it saves lives. In truth the only lives being saved are those of the men and women who pilot these killing machines remotely.

The quote above comes from a petition started by the VCU Students for a Democratic Society (SDS), long known for its anti-war stance. Guests Nicholas DeFillipis and Leigh Williams of the VCU SDS join us to chat about this critical topic.their challenge to VCU's partnership with the US Military in developing drone systems technology, who have posted this effort as a means to train up and coming engineers in this critical technology of the future. But SDS begs the question, aren't there other more positive uses for drones that could provide the same systems education? Join us today at 12 noon to learn more about this student-led campaign and what they feel are the ethics and the priorities at stake.

To learn more about VCU's SDS visit

There is also an April 11 National Day of Action to Protest War and Occupation on April 11. Visit to learn more about that.

12 noon online at or 97.3 lp FM radio.
Repeats Tuesdays at 11 am online only.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Gabriel's Rebellion Strikes Again!

Historian, author, director of public events and outreach for the state library Gregg Kimball, joins us on this Pledge Drive Monday to talk about interpreting history. Though really it is an excuse to promote a double header event this coming Wednesday, March 13:

Noon – 1 p.m. - "Pinning Gabriel's Rebellion" - Using the (relatively) new website HistoryPin (, historians Gregg Kimball, Michael Nicholls, and Phil Schwarz will trace the activities and events leading up to the best-planned slave insurrection in Virginia. The region's geography and the library's documents are merged on the website to graphically depict the actions and aftermath of the Henrico bondsman. Presented in partnership with VCU Libraries. Lecture Hall, Library of Virginia, 800 E. Broad St. Information: Ray Bonis, Archives Coordinator, Special Collections and Archives, James Branch Cabell Library, VCU Libraries; Phone: (804) 828-1108; email:

7 pm - “Gabriel's Conspiracy: Exploring the Richmond Slave Rebellion of 1800.” Presentations by Dr. Michael Nicholls, professor emeritus of history at Utah State University and author of “Whispers of Rebellion: Narrating Gabriel's Conspiracy,” and Dr. Philip J. Schwarz, professor emeritus of history at VCU and author of “Gabriel's Conspiracy: A Document History.” These two books will be on sale at the program. W.E. Singleton Center for the Performing Arts, 922 Park Ave.. Richmond. Presented by VCU Libraries in partnership with the Year of Freedom Committee, the VCU Department of History, the VCU Department of African American Studies and the Library of Virginia. Moderated by Omilade Janine Bell, founder/artistic director of the Elegba Folklore Society and Cultural Center, member of the Richmond Slave Trail Commission. Event registration

Monday, March 4, 2013

Today: Asbhy Anderson, Muse Creative Workspace

A conversation with one of Richmond's understated powers of creative sonic place-making, Ashby Anderson and the Muse Creative Workspace. In 2006 Anderson published the Historic Richmond Jazz Suite, consisting of tunes that call out and evoke the history of this place with, to sample just a few of the titles, "Devil's Half Acre", "Son of 2nd St." and "Locomotive 231". Anderson is currently working on a new suite with the working title "The Reclamation Project", an extension of the community struggle to reclaim Richmond's African Burial Ground, inspired by the work, but also by the visit he and his wife/business partner Terri paid to the site.

Live @ the Warehouse takes place on 3rd Thursdays. Tickets are $20, wine and cheese included, too.

Tune in tomorrow for the rebroadcast ONLINE only at 11 am:
Archived here under LISTEN in about a week.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Black History Month and All That

DefendersLIVE, for the time being remains DefendersLIVE.
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Last week I talked about Jayne Cortez, jazz poet and educator, who died December 28, 2013. Jayne will remain a constant reference during Black History Month on this program because her life encompassed many firsts and many lasts in contemporary Black culture, life, work and determination to free minds for the potential to free humanity through the arts.

Please click here to learn more and here to hear more, and more here.

Find your own voice and Use it.
Use your own voice and Find it.

... to quote a poet