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Paul Robeson, African-American anti-racist singer, new biography

This video from the USA says about itself:

The Tallest Tree: Paul Robeson, Part 1

22 May 2016

The life of Paul Robeson, a black actor with universal talent and appeal. Languages, Law, Sports, Singer, Movie Star and Activist.

This video is the sequel.

By Tom Sibley in Britain:

The tallest tree in the forest

Monday 24th October 2016

Gerald Horne’s excellent account of the towering legend that is Paul Robeson tells the story of a performer and activist who supported many progressive causes and the struugle for a new world order, says TOM SIBLEY

Paul Robeson: The Artist as Revolutionary
by Gerald Horne
(Pluto Press, £12.99)

THE AFRO-AMERICAN polymath Paul Robeson (1898-1976) was the son of a slave who, as a young man, was a brilliant athlete and an outstanding student with a degree in law.

By the 1930s, he had become an internationally known concert-hall performer whose deep bass baritone voice was recognised and revered across every continent.

He played Othello on the London stage and Broadway to critical acclaim.

He was the leading man in six major films including How Proud Was Our Valley, the story of the Welsh miners’ fight for jobs and communities in the 1930s.

He went to Spain in support of the republican government and the International Brigades in their struggle against international fascist military aggression.

And, above all else, he campaigned for his own people — black Afro-Americans so often denied civil rights, persecuted and always super-exploited by big business and the state.

Robeson explained his motivation when speaking to a packed Albert Hall on returning from Spain. “Every artist, every socialist must decide now where he stands… every artist must elect to fight for freedom or slavery.”

As Horne reminds us, Robeson chose to fight for freedom. While referring to the slave trade, he explained to his London audience that “the history of the capitalist era is characterised by the degradation of my people.”

In this period, and up to the deepening of the cold war in the 1950s, Robeson was indeed the “tallest tree in the forest.”

But, as Horne points out, he was not the only outstanding civil rights leader.

He was supported through good times and bad by leading figures in the movement, particularly Ben Davis and William Patterson, Communist Party leaders from the Afro-American community who were the two most foremost influences on Robeson’s political thinking and activity.

By the early 1950s, the cold war had really kicked in and Robeson became one of its first victims. His increase in attacks on institutionalised racism — Jim Crowism — together with his strongly expressed admiration for the Soviet Union were too much for the US authorities to bear.

When Robeson linked racism, imperialism, capitalism and colonialism with the threats that they posed to world peace and human survival, the ruling class took steps to shut him up.

His passport was confiscated on the grounds that his criticisms of the maltreatment of Afro-Americans should not be aired outside of the United States. Robeson was not to get his passport back for eight years.

Throughout the 1950s, Robeson faced constant harassment from the CIA, FBI and the McCarthyite House Committee on Un-American activities, before which he appeared on three occasions.

While Robeson retained his political integrity and refused to make concessions to nationalism and anti-Sovietism, the unrelenting attacks by the state and the media took their toll.

His opportunities to campaign were severely limited as many black organisations and most of the labour movement, consumed by cold war anti-communism, broke their links with Robeson.

Perhaps more importantly, his health was badly affected as his isolation from the mass movement became more marked.

And doubts grew in his mind about developments in the Soviet Union, particularly those related to anti-semitism and repression of political opponents by party and state.

He found it increasingly difficult in these circumstances to recover from a range of ailments.

Yet, through all this, Robeson remained loyal to the working-class and anti-racist movements, at home and abroad.

He was a socialist and internationalist to the end of his days and, as Horne emphasises, you cannot understand the successes achieved by the civil rights movement in the US during the 1970s and 1980s without an understanding of Robeson’s life.

He truly was the precursor of Martin Luther King and Malcolm X, as both leaders came to accept the class basis of racism in their later years.

The mass civil-rights movement which emerged in these years owes much to Robeson’s work in the previous four decades.

The exhibition Paul Robeson: Black Star, exploring his status as one of the most important film stars of the 1930s and 1940s, runs at the BFI Southbank in London until October 31, details: bfi.org.uk

Crab swims fast, video

This October 2016 video shows a swimming crab swimming fast.

Diver Harry Brummelhuis from the Netherlands made this video.

Young kestrel cleanses its feathers, video

This 11 October 2016 video shows a young kestrel cleansing its feathers in Biesbosch national park in the Netherlands.

Jos van den Elshout made this video.

US peace activist Tom Hayden, RIP

This video from the USA says about itself:

25 May 2016

In this excerpt from Overheard with Evan Smith, political and anti-war activist Tom Hayden reflects back on the Vietnam War 50 years since the Port Huron Statement. Hayden was in Austin to speak at the LBJ Library’s Vietnam War Summit in April 2016.

From Reuters news agency in the USA:

Prominent Anti-War Activist And Member of ‘Chicago 7’ Tom Hayden Dead At 76

He was one of several protesters arrested and charged with incitement and conspiracy during the Democratic national convention in Chicago in 1968.

10/24/2016 02:35 am ET | Updated 4 hours ago

Veteran social activist and politician Tom Hayden, a stalwart of America’s New Left who served 18 years in California’s state legislature and gained a dash of Hollywood glamour by marrying actress Jane Fonda, has died aged 76, according to media reports.

Hayden died in Santa Monica, California, after a lengthy illness, The Los Angeles Times reported on its web site. …

Hayden, who forged his political activism as a founding member of Students for a Democratic Society, which stood at the core of the 1960s anti-war and civil rights movements, was principal author of the group’s revolutionary manifesto, the Port Huron Statement.

The University of Michigan student ventured into the Deep South, where he joined voter registration campaigns and was arrested and beaten while taking part in the “freedom rider” protests against racial segregation.

Hayden, however, became perhaps best known as one of the “Chicago Eight” activists tried on conspiracy and incitement charges following protests at the turbulent 1968 Democratic National Convention. He was ultimately acquitted of all charges.

A New York Times book review of his 1988 memoir, “Reunion,” one of more than 20 books published under his name, called Hayden “the single greatest figure of the 1960s student movement.”

Outliving contemporaries Abbie Hoffman, Jerry Rubin, Eldridge Cleaver and Huey Newton, Hayden remained active in left-wing politics well into the 21st century, posting on Twitter just a week ago.

Winning election himself to the California state Assembly in 1982, and then the state Senate a decade later, Hayden went on to serve a total of 18 years.

Later he became director of the Peace and Justice Resource Center, a nonprofit left-wing think tank devoted mainly to analysis of continued U.S. military involvement in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan, drug policy and global poverty.

Hayden was married to actress Jane Fonda from 1973 to 1990, with whom he had two children. Midway through their marriage, the couple graced the cover of People Magazine.

In later years his writings were published in national publications including The New York Times, the Boston Globe and the Denver Post. He served on the editorial board and was a columnist for The Nation magazine, and was the author of more than 20 books.

Tributes poured in on social media.

Translated from Dutch NOS TV today:

Hayden visited Vietnam twice; the first time in 1965 without government permission. Later it turned out that the FBI had begun to spy on him in that year. In 1967 he returned to Hanoi. He came back with three prisoners of war, for which the government thanked him.

Contrary to some people who are pro-peace while young and become establishment warmongers later, Hayden kept opposing post-Vietnam ‘humanitarian’ wars (see his article on hawkish US foreign policy bigwig Samantha Power). Like he opposed the 1999 Yugoslavia war, though an administration of Hayden’s own Democratic Party waged that war. And like he opposed the US plans to join the war in Syria. And the Iraq, Afghanistan etc. wars.

Red deer mating season on video

This October 2016 video from the Hoge Veluwe national park in the Netherlands shows the red deer mating season.

Sjaak Timmer made this video.

Versatile Blogger Award, thanks Lacie!

Versatile Blogger Award

Lacie of the blog Building The Love Shack has been so kind to nominate Dear Kitty. Some blog for the Versatile Blogger Award.

Thank you so much for this generous gesture!

The award rules are:

Thank the person who nominated you

Share the award on your blog

Share seven random facts about yourself

Tag 15 follow bloggers and let them know that they have been nominated.

Seven facts about me are:

1. Where did most visits to my blog come from so far today?

Country Views
United States FlagUnited States 61
United Kingdom FlagUnited Kingdom 11
Netherlands FlagNetherlands 6
Costa Rica FlagCosta Rica 4
Canada FlagCanada 4
Germany FlagGermany 3
New Zealand FlagNew Zealand 3
Russia FlagRussia 3
Belgium FlagBelgium 3
Pakistan FlagPakistan 3
India FlagIndia 2
United Arab Emirates FlagUnited Arab Emirates 2
Australia FlagAustralia 2

2. Where did most visits to my blog come from this year?

Top Views by Country for 365 days ending 2016-10-24 (Summarized)

Country Views
United States FlagUnited States 82,810
United Kingdom FlagUnited Kingdom 19,582
Netherlands FlagNetherlands 6,399
Canada FlagCanada 5,604
Australia FlagAustralia 4,049
Germany FlagGermany 3,757
India FlagIndia 3,674
France FlagFrance 3,219
Romania FlagRomania 2,372
Spain FlagSpain 2,157
Jamaica FlagJamaica 1,969
Philippines FlagPhilippines 1,398
Ireland FlagIreland 1,165
Italy FlagItaly 1,064

3. Which blog posts and pages attracted most visits today so far?

Home page / Archives 9
Rubens, Rembrandt, differences in what they painted 8
Holocaust-denying pseudo-historian Irving, new film 6
Siberian accentor, first time ever in the Netherlands 4
Britain: Iraq war chickenhawk nazi Danny Lake 3
Greek nazis deny Holocaust 3
Big anti-TTIP, CETA demonstration in Amsterdam 2
New butterfly species arrives in the Netherlands 2
Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton and Thomas Paine 2
Japanese moviemaker arrested for anti-monarchy poster 2

4. Which blog posts and pages attracted most visits this month?

Top Posts for 30 days ending 2016-10-24 (Summarized)

2016-09-24 to Today

5. Which blog posts and pages attracted most visits this year?

Top Posts for 365 days ending 2016-10-24 (Summarized)

Title Views
Home page / Archives 11,888
Rubens, Rembrandt, differences in what they painted 1,390
Birdie Sanders, new sticker from the USA 1,326
Dutch government warned Blair on Iraq war 841
Most hated animals top 50 809
Bahraini king’s sexual harassment of Lebanese singer 748
Dadabhai Naoroji not the first Indian to be elected to British parliament 734
About 581
Dutch in Suriname, most cruel slave-masters 472
After Iraq, will Bush destroy archaeological treasures of Iran? 472
Colonia Dignidad, Pinochet’s nazi cult torture camp, on film 450

6. Which referrers referred most to my blog this month?

Referrers for 30 days ending 2016-10-24 (Summarized)

Referrer Views
Search Engines 5,048
WordPress.com Reader 1,143
Reddit 136
mail.yahoo.com 123
Twitter 101
Facebook 85
com.google.android.googlequicksearchbox 41
mereja.com/news/1363149 35
WordPress Dashboard 25
widgets.wp.com 18
pinterest.com 17
topix.com 13
theobamacrat.com 11
birdingfrontiers.com 10
en.gravatar.com/petrel41  9

7. Which referrers referred most to my blog this year?

Referrers for 365 days ending 2016-10-24 (Summarized)

Referrer Views
Search Engines 84,099
WordPress.com Reader 17,353
Facebook 2,077
mail.yahoo.com 1,816
Twitter 793
WordPress Dashboard 342
android-app 321
widgets.wp.com 254
Reddit 235
averypublicsociologist.blogspot.co.uk 221
dehai.org 217
lnkd.in 183
kopleft.com/youll-never-walk-alone-lyrics-and-history/ 168
en.gravatar.com/petrel41 158
topix.com 131
en.wikipedia.org 68
theobamacrat.com 66
Hacker News 65

My fifteen nominees are:

1. Cosmic Explorer

2. ItsNotWhatItsWhy

3. Illustration and Visual Media

4. Evelina

5. paintdigi

6. Las crónicas del Otro Mundo

7. P e d r o L

8. Luc Dewaele

9. flightattendantfailures

10. Mihran Kalaydjian

11. It Is What It Is

12. quercuscommunity

13. The Free

14. Tish Farrell

15. The Conversation Room