Archive for the ‘Civil Rights’ Category
To the Black People who were forced to come to this land, Black Nationalism was a top priority. Self-government was what Blacks wanted more than anything else. Between 1850 and 1860, Blacks became more daring in their determination to rule themselves. For 250 years they had expressed their nationalistic desires by rebelling against whites, terrorizing whites and establishing camps that were governed by Black People.
Those espousing nationalist or separatist philosophies have envisioned nationalism in quite different ways. For some, Black Nationalism demanded a territorial base; for others, it required only separate institutions within American society. Some have perceived nationalism in strictly secular terms; others, as an extension of their religious beliefs. Black Nationalists also differ in the degree to which they identify with Africa and African culture.
The movement, which can be traced back to Marcus Garvey’s Universal Negro Improvement Association of the 1920s, sought to acquire economic power and to infuse among blacks a sense of community and group feeling. Many adherents to black nationalism assumed the eventual creation of a separate black nation by African Americans. As an alternative to being assimilated by the American nation, which is predominantly white, black nationalists sought to maintain and promote their separate identity.
Black Nationalist Marcus Garvey, founder of the Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA), deplored black acceptance of white standards of beauty, for example, in preferring straight hair or a lighter skin color. During the 1920s he refused to place advertisements for hair straighteners or purported skin whiteners in Negro World, the UNIA newspaper. In the 1960s black nationalists embraced the political slogan Black Power, but they also proclaimed that “black is beautiful.”
W. E. B. Du Bois, one of America’s foremost black intellectuals and a leading figure in the founding of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People(NAACP), had strong ties to Africa. In 1919 he organized the first Pan-African Congress. During the 1920s he traveled to Africa. Yet for most of his life, Du Bois rejected Black Nationalism. In the 1920s he opposed Marcus Garvey and the UNIA. During the 1930s, as Du Bois grew more radical, he turned to socialism and internationalism rather than to Black Nationalism. But during the harsh anticommunism of the Cold War era, Du Bois lost his faith in American society. In 1961 he abandoned the United States and settled in Ghana, where he died two years later, shortly after taking Ghanaian citizenship.
In 1966 Bobby Seale and Huey Newton founded the Black Panther Party, which advocated militant self-defense and Black Nationalism. The Black Panther Party, like SNCC Black Power advocates, embraced a Black Nationalism that was primarily secular and political. By contrast, Nation of Islam leaders Elijah Muhammad and the charismatic Malcolm X grounded their goals of racial separation in religious precepts. Black Muslims sought to establish separate economic enterprises, finding a religious justification for a racially separate business life.
In the late 1960s, at the height of the Black Power Movement, two acquaintances of Malcolm X, Gaidi Obadele and Imari Abubakari Obadele assembled a group of 500 militant black nationalists in Detroit, Michigan, to discuss the creation of a black nation within the United States. On March 31, 1968, 100 conference members signed a Declaration of Independence outlining the official doctrine of the new black nation, elected a provisional government, and named the nation the Republic of New Africa (RNA). The Republic of New Afrika took the concept of Black Nationalism to its ultimate stage when, in 1968, it declared Black People to be free and independent of the United States government.
The Republic of New Afrika declared Black People’s independence because it “believes that Black People in Amerikkka make up a nation of people, a people separate and apart from the Amerikkkan people. The RNA also believes that as a nation of people, We are entitled to all of the rights of a nation, including the right to land and self-determination. The RNA further believes that all the land in Amerikkka, upon which Black People have lived for a long time, worked and made rich as slaves, and fought to survive on is land that belongs to Us as a People, and it is land We must gain control of because, as Malcolm X said, land is the basis of independence, freedom, justice and equality. We cannot talk about self-determination without discussing it within the context of land. Therefore, the RNA [identified the five states of Mississippi, Louisiana, Alabama, Georgia and South Carolina as Black People’s land and] believes that gaining control of Our land is the fundamental struggle facing Black People. Without land, Black Power, rights and freedom have no substance.
According to Wilson Jeremiah Moses in his famous work Classical Black Nationalism, African nationalism as a philosophy can be examined from three different periods giving rise to various ideological perspectives for what we can today consider what African nationalism really is.
The first being pre-Classical African nationalism beginning from the time the Africans were brought ashore in the Americas to the Revolutionary period. After the Revolutionary War, a sizable number of Africans in the colonies, particularly in New England and Pennsylvania, were literate and had become disgusted with their social conditions that had spawned from Enlightenment ideas. Certain organizations as the Free African Society, African Masonic lodges and Church Institutions would serve as early foundations to developing independent and separate organizations.
By the time of Post-Reconstruction Era a new form of black nationalism was emerging among various African-American clergy circles. Separate circles had already been established and were accepted by African-Americans because of the overt oppression that had been in existence since the inception of the United States. This phenomenon led to the birth of modern African nationalism which stressed the need to separate and build separate communities that promote strong racial pride and also to collectivize resources. This ideology had become the philosophy of groups like the Moorish Science Temple and the Nation of Islam. Peaking in the Sixties African Nationalism brought on a heightened period of religious, cultural and political nationalism.
James Leonard Farmer, Jr. (January 12, 1920 – July 9, 1999) was a civil rights activist and leader in the American Civil Rights Movement. He was the initiator and organizer of the 1961 Freedom Ride, which eventually led to the desegregation of inter-state transportation in the United States.
In 1942, Farmer co-founded the Committee of Racial Equality, which later became the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE), an organization that sought to bring an end to racial segregation in the United States through nonviolence. Farmer was the organization’s first leader, serving as the national chairman from 1942 to 1944. He was an honorary vice chairman in the Democratic Socialists of America. 
Farmer was born in Marshall, Texas, to James L. Farmer, Sr. and Pearl Houston. His father was a professor at Wiley College, a historically black college, and a Methodist minister with a Ph.D. in theology at Boston University. His mother, a homemaker, was a graduate of Florida’s Bethune Cookman Institute and a former teacher. 
When Farmer was a young boy, about three or four, he had wanted a coke when out on the town with his mom. His mother had adamantly told him no, that he had to wait until they got home. Farmer, not understanding, wanted to get one right then. He watched another young boy go inside and buy a coke. Sadly, his mother had to inform him that the reason the other boy could buy the coke was because the other boy was white, and Farmer was colored. This defining, unjust moment was the first, but not the last, experience that Farmer had with segregation. 
At 10, Farmer’s Uncle Fred, Aunt Helen, and cousin Muriel had come down to visit from New York. They had no trouble getting a bedroom on the train down, but were worried about getting one on the way back. Farmer went to the train station with his dad. While convincing the manager to give his uncle a bedroom on the train, Farmer witnessed his dad lie to get what he wanted. His father being a minister, Farmer was shocked to hear the lies. On the way back, his father told him, “I had to tell that lie about your Uncle Fred. That was the only way we could get the reservation. The Lord will forgive me” (Farmer 1985, 65). Still, Farmer was very upset that his father had to lie to get the bedroom on the train. This event was when Farmer began to dedicate his life to the end of segregation. 
Farmer was a child prodigy; at the age of 14, he enrolled at Wiley College, where he was the captain of the debate team. While there, a professor of English, Melvin Tolson, became his mentor.  His part in its winning performance was portrayed by Denzel Whitaker in the 2007 film The Great Debaters, directed by and starring Denzel Washington.
At 21, Farmer was invited to the White House to talk with president Roosevelt. Eleanor Roosevelt had signed the invitation. Before the talk with the president, Mrs. Roosevelt talked to the group. Farmer found a liking to her immediately, and the two of them monopolized the conversation. When the group went in to talk to President Roosevelt, Mrs. Roosevelt followed and sat in the back. After the formalities were done, the young people were allowed to ask questions. Farmer asked, “On your opening remarks you described Britain and France as champions of freedom. In light of their colonial policies in Africa, which give the lie to the principle, how can they be considered defenders?” (Farmer 1985, p 69). The president tactfully avoided the question. Mrs. Roosevelt then exclaimed, “Just a minute, you did not answer the question!” (Farmer 1985, p 70). Although Roosevelt still did not answer the question as Farmer phrased it, Farmer was placated knowing that he had got the question out there. Civil rights LAD.
Farmer earned a Bachelor of Science at Wiley College in 1938, and a Bachelor of Divinity from Howard University School of Religion in 1941.
Inspired by Howard Thurman, a professor of theology at Howard University, Farmer became interested in Gandhi-style pacifism. 
During the 1950s, Farmer served as national secretary of the Student League for Industrial Democracy (SLID), the youth branch of the socialist League for Industrial Democracy. SLID later became Students for a Democratic Society.
Farmer married Winnie. They met in Chicago and fell in love with each other. Winnie found herself with child not long after they were married. Then she found a note from a girl in one of Farmer’s coat pockets. The note was the beginning of the end of their marriage. When Winnie miscarried, they divorced not soon afterwards. Lula, who Farmer married a few years later, wrote the note. Lula was diagnosed with Hodgkins disease, and the two were told not to have children. When Lula was still alive many years later, they looked for a second opinion. They were then given the green light to try to have children. After an unfortunate miscarriage, they finally had a little girl, Tami Lynn Farmer, born on February 14, 1959. 
The Formation of CORE
Farmer talked to A. J. Muste, the executive director of the Fellowship of Reconciliation (FOR), about an idea to combat racial inequality. Muste found the idea promising but wanted to see it in writing. Farmer spent months writing the memorandum making sure it was perfect. A. J. Muste wrote him back asking him about money to fund it and how they would get members. Finally, Farmer was asked to propose his idea in front of the FOR National Council. In the end, FOR chose not to sponsor the group, but gave Farmer permission to start the group in Chicago. When Farmer got back to Chicago, the group began setting up the organization. The name decided upon was CORE, the Committee of Racial Equality.  The name was changed about a year later to the Congress of Racial Equality. 
Jack Spratt was a local diner in Chicago that would not serve colored people. CORE decided to do a large-scale sit in where they would occupy all available seats. Twenty-eight persons entered Jack Spratt in groups with at least one black person in each group. No one who was served would eat until the black people were served, or they gave their plate to the black person nearest them. The other customers, already in the diner, did the same. The manager told them that they would serve the colored customers in the basement, but the group declined. Then it was proposed that all the colored people sit in the back corner and get served there, again the group declined. Finally the establishment called the police. When the police entered, they refused to kick the CORE group out. Having no other options, all patrons were served. Afterwards, CORE did tests at Jack Spratt and found that their policy had changed. 
The White City Roller Skating Rink only allowed white patrons to enter, when a black person would come to the window an excuse was given for why they could not enter. White CORE members were allowed to enter the rink, but black members were refused because of a “private party”. The CORE group, having proved that the rink was lying, decided to sue them. The court case continued to be delayed because of the defendants. When they finally could fight in court, a state lawyer came in to take over the prosecution. The lawyer sabotaged an easily won case, and the judge reluctantly had to rule in favor of the rink. Even though the case was a setback for CORE, the group was making a name for itself. 
In 1961 Farmer, who was working for the NAACP, was reelected as the national director of CORE, at a time when the civil rights movement was gaining power. Despite the Irene Morgan Supreme Court decision and the Boynton decision, interstate buses were still segregated. Gordon Carey proposed the idea of a second Journey of Reconciliation. Farmer jumped at the idea. This time, however, the group planned to journey through the Deep South. Farmer coined a new name for the trip: the Freedom Ride.
The plan was for a mixed race and gender group to test segregation on interstate buses. The group would spend time in Washington D.C. for intensive training. They would embark on May 4, 1961 half by Greyhound and half by Trailways. They would go through Virginia, the Carolinas, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, and finish in New Orleans on May 17. For overnight stops there were planned rallies and support from the black community. There were usually talks at local churches or colleges.
On May 4, the participants journeyed to the Deep South and challenged segregated bus terminals as well as seating on the vehicles. The trip down through Georgia went smoothly enough. The states knew about the trip and either took down the “Colored” and “White Only” signs, or didn’t enforce the segregation laws. Before the group made it to Alabama, the most dangerous part of the Freedom Ride, Farmer had to return home after the death of his father. The other riders were severely beaten and abused in Alabama and were forced to fly to New Orleans instead of finishing the ride as planned. Diane Nash and members of the SNCC quickly sent in students to restart the Freedom Ride where the first had left off. Farmer later rejoined in Montgomery, Alabama, but only after Doris Castle persuaded him to get on the bus at the last minute. The Riders were met with severe violence and garnered national media attention. Their efforts sparked a summer of similar rides by other Civil Rights leaders and thousands of ordinary citizens. In Jackson, Farmer and the other riders were immediately jailed. There was no violence in Jackson. The riders followed the jail no bail philosophy and after being in county and town jails the riders were sent to Parchman State Penitentiary.  Although the Freedom Rides were attacked by whites, they became recognized as an effective strategy, and the Congress of Racial Equality received nationwide attention. Farmer became a well-known civil rights leader. The Freedom Rides captured the imagination of the nation through photographs, newspaper accounts, and motion pictures. They inspired Erin Gruwell‘s teaching techniques and the Freedom Writers Foundation.
In 1963, Louisiana state troopers hunted him door to door for trying to organize protests. A funeral home director had Farmer play dead in the back of a hearse that carried him along back roads and out of town. He was arrested in August 1963 for disturbing the peace. 
Farmer was considered one of the “big four” of the Civil Rights Movement. 
Growing disenchanted with emerging militancy and black nationalist sentiments in CORE, Farmer resigned as director in 1966. He took a teaching position at Lincoln University, a historically black college (HBCU), and continued to lecture. In 1968 Farmer ran for U.S. Congress as a Liberal Party candidate backed by the Republican Party, but lost to Shirley Chisholm. His defeat was not total; in 1969 the newly elected President Richard Nixon offered him the position of Assistant Secretary of the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare (now Health and Human Services). The next year, frustrated by the Washington bureaucracy, Farmer resigned from the position.
Farmer retired from politics in 1971 but remained active, lecturing and serving on various boards and committees. In 1975 he co-founded Fund for an Open Society. Its vision is a nation in which people live in stably integrated communities, where political and civic power is shared by people of different races and ethnicities. He led this organization until 1999.
He published his autobiography Lay Bare the Heart in 1985. From 1984 through 1998, Farmer taught at Mary Washington College (now The University of Mary Washington) in Fredericksburg, Virginia, where a bust of him now stands on campus and the multicultural center is named after him. They also named a program after him that encouraged minority students to enroll and enter college. It is the James Farmer Scholars program. In 1998 President Bill Clinton awarded him the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
Farmer died in 1999 in Fredericksburg, Virginia of complications from diabetes
Danny Lebern Glover (born July 22, 1946) is an American actor, film director, and political activist. Glover is well known for his roles as Mr. Albert Johnson in The Color Purple, as Michael Harrigan in Predator 2, as corrupt cop James McFee in Witness, as Detective Roger Murtaugh in the Lethal Weapon film franchise, as Detective David Tapp in Saw and as George Knox in Angels in the Outfield. He has also appeared in many other movies, television shows, and theatrical productions. He is an active supporter of various humanitarian and political causes.
Glover was born in San Francisco, California, the son of Carrie (née Hunley) and James Glover. His parents, postal workers, were active in the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), working to advance equal rights. Glover’s mother, daughter of a midwife, was born in Louisville, Georgia and graduated from Paine College in Augusta, Georgia. Glover grew up with a love for sports, like his father. Glover suffered from epilepsy in his teens and as a young adult. According to his own account, he “developed a way of concentrating so that seizures wouldn’t happen.” Using this technique, which he describes as “a type of self-hypnosis“, Glover says he has not suffered a seizure since age 34.
Glover originally worked in city administration. Conservatory Theater, a regional training program in San Francisco. Glover also trained with Jean Shelton at the Shelton Actors Lab in San Francisco. In an interview on Inside the Actor’s Studio, Glover credited Jean Shelton for much of his development as an actor. Deciding that he wanted to be an actor, Glover resigned from his city administration job and soon began his career as a stage actor. Glover then moved to Los Angeles for more opportunities in acting, where he would later go on to co-found the Robey Theatre Company with actor Ben Guillory in honor of the actor, radical activist, and concert singer Paul Robeson in Los Angeles in 1994.
Glover has had a variety of film, stage, and television roles, and is best known for playing Los Angeles police Sergeant Roger Murtaugh in the Lethal Weapon series of action films. During his career, he has made many cameo appearances. For example, he appeared in the Michael Jackson video Liberian Girl of 1987. He has also appeared as the husband to Whoopi Goldberg‘s character Celie in The Color Purple, and as Lieutenant James McFee in the film Witness. In 1994 he made his directorial debut with the Showtime channel short film Override. Also in 1994, Glover and actor Ben Guillory formed the Robey Theatre Company in Los Angeles, focusing on theatre by and about Black people.
Glover earned top billing for the first time in Predator 2, the sequel to the sci-fi action film Predator. That same year he starred in Charles Burnett’s To Sleep with Anger, for which he won the Independent Spirit Award for Best Male Lead.
In common with Humphrey Bogart, Elliott Gould and Robert Mitchum, who have played Raymond Chandler‘s private eye detective Philip Marlowe, Glover played the role in the episode “Red Wind” of the Showtime network’s 1995 series Fallen Angels.
In 1997, under his former production company banner Carrie Films, Glover executive produced numerous films of first time directors including Pamm Malveaux’s neo-noir short film Final Act starring Joe Morton which aired on the Independent Film Channel.
In addition, Glover has been a voice actor in many children’s movies. Glover was featured in the popular 2001 film Royal Tenenbaums, also starring Gwyneth Paltrow, Anjelica Huston, Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson.
In 2004, he appeared in the low-budget horror film Saw as Detective David Tapp. In 2005, Glover and Joslyn Barnes announced plans to make No FEAR, a movie about Dr. Marsha Coleman-Adebayo‘s experience. Coleman-Adebayo won a 2000 jury trial against the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The jury found the EPA guilty of violating the civil rights of Coleman-Adebayo on the basis of race, sex, color and a hostile work environment, under the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Coleman-Adebayo was terminated shortly after she revealed the environmental and human disaster taking place in the Brits, South Africa, vanadium mines. Her experience inspired passage of the Notification and Federal Employee Anti-discrimination and Retaliation Act of 2002 (No FEAR Act).
In 2009, Glover performed in The People Speak a documentary feature film that uses dramatic and musical performances of the letters, diaries, and speeches of everyday Americans, based on historian Howard Zinn‘s “A People’s History of the United States”.
Glover played President Wilson, the President of the United States in 2012, a disaster film directed by Roland Emmerich and released in theaters November 13, 2009.
In 2010, Glover participated in a Spanish film called “I Want to Be a Soldier“.
Planned directorial debut
Glover sought to make a film biography of Toussaint Louverture for his directorial debut. In May 2006, the film had included cast members Wesley Snipes, Angela Bassett, Don Cheadle, Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Roger Guenveur Smith, Mos Def, Isaach De Bankolé, and Richard Bohringer. Production, estimated to cost $30 million, was planned to begin in South Africa, filming from late 2006 into early 2007. In May 2007, President of Venezuela Hugo Chávez contributed $18 million to fund the production of Toussaint for Glover, who is a prominent U.S. supporter of Chávez. The contribution annoyed some Venezuelan filmmakers, who said the money could have funded other homegrown films and that Glover’s film was not even about Venezuela. The following June, some Venezuelan filmmakers petitioned for Glover to reconsider using the funds provided by their president while the actor was scouting locations outside the Venezuelan capital Caracas. The petition resulted in the local film guilds Anac and Caveprol being outlawed by Venezuela; the country’s state-backed film institute Cnac was also instructed to sever ties with the guild. In April 2008, the Venezuelan National Assembly authorized an additional $9,840,505 for Glover’s film, which is still in planning.
On September 2, 2009, Glover signed an open letter of objection to the inclusion of a series of films intended to showcase Tel Aviv at the Toronto International Film Festival.
On April 16, 2010, Glover was arrested in Maryland during a protest by SEIU workers for Sodexo‘s unfair and illegal treatment of workers. He was given a citation and later released. The Associated Press reports “Glover and others stepped past yellow police tape and were asked to step back three times at Sodexo headquarters. When they refused, Starks says officers arrested them.”
While attending San Francisco State University, Glover was a member of the Black Students Union which, along with the Third World Liberation Front and the American Federation of Teachers, collaborated in a five-month student-led strike to establish a Department of Black Studies. The strike was the longest student walkout in U.S. history. It helped create not only the first Department of Black Studies but also the first School of Ethnic Studies in the U.S.
Hari Dillon, current president of the Vanguard Public Foundation, was a fellow striker at SFSU. Glover now sits on Vanguard’s advisory board. Glover is also a board member of The Algebra Project, The Black AIDS Institute, Walden House, and Cheryl Byron‘s Something Positive Dance Group. He was charged with disorderly conduct and unlawful assembly after being arrested outside the Sudanese Embassy in Washington during a protest over Sudan’s humanitarian crisis in Darfur.
Glover’s long history of union activism includes support for the United Farm Workers, UNITE HERE, and numerous service unions. In March 2010, Danny Glover supported 375 Union workers in Ohio by calling upon all actors at the 2010 Academy Awards to boycott Hugo Boss suits due to Hugo Boss announcement to close a manufacturing plant in Ohio after a proposed pay decrease from $13 to $8.30 an hour was rejected by the Workers United Union.
In January 2006, Harry Belafonte led a delegation of activists, including Glover and activist/professor Cornel West, in a meeting with President of Venezuela Hugo Chávez.
Glover was an early supporter of former North Carolina Senator John Edwards in the 2008 Democratic presidential primaries until Edwards’ withdrawal, although some news reports indicated that he had endorsed Ohio Congressman Dennis Kucinich, whom he had endorsed in 2004. After Edwards dropped out, Glover then endorsed Barack Obama.
Glover was an outspoken critic of George W. Bush, calling him a known racist. “Yes, he’s racist. We all knew that. As Texas’s governor, Bush led a penitentiary system that executed more people than all the other U.S. states together. And most of the people who died were Afro-Americans or Hispanics.”
Glover’s support of California Proposition 7 (2008) led him to use his voice in an automated phone call to generate support for the measure before the election.
On April 6, 2009, Glover was given a chieftancy title in Imo State, Nigeria. Glover was given the title Enyioma of Nkwerre, which means A Good Friend in the language of the Igbo people of Eastern Nigeria.
Glover has become an active member of Board of Directors of The Jazz Foundation of America. Danny became involved with The Jazz Foundation in 2005, and has been a featured host for their annual benefit A Great Night in Harlem for several years, as well appearing as a celebrity MC at other events for the foundation. In 2006, Britain’s leading African theatre company Tiata Fahodzi appointed Danny Glover as one of its three Patrons, joining Chiwetel Ejiofor and Jocelyn Jee Esien opening the organization’s tenth anniversary celebrations (Sunday 2 February 2008) at Theatre Royal Stratford East, London.
Glover is also an active board member of the TransAfrica Forum.
On January 13, 2010, Glover compared the scale and devastation of the 2010 Haiti earthquake to the predicament other island nations may face as a result of the failed Copenhagen summit the previous year. Glover said “…the threat of what happens to Haiti is a threat that can happen anywhere in the Caribbean to these island nations… they’re all in peril because of global warming… because of climate change… when we did what we did at the climate summit in Copenhagen, this is the response, this is what happens…” In the same statement, he called for a new form of international partnership with Haiti and other Caribbean nations and praised Venezuela, Brazil, and Cuba, for already accepting this partnership.
On November 1, 2011 Glover spoke to the crowd at Occupy Oakland on the day before the Oakland General Strike where thousands of protestors shut down the Port of Oakland.
Activism against Iraq war and invasion
Danny Glover has been an outspoken critic of the Iraq war before the war began in March 2003. In February 2003, he was one of the featured speakers at Justin Herman Plaza in San Francisco where other notable speakers included names such as author Alice Walker, singer Joan Baez, United Farm Workers co-founder Dolores Huerta and Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Oakland. Glover was a signatory to the April 2003 anti-war letter “To the Conscience of the World” that criticized the unilateral American invasion of Iraq that led to “massive loss of civilian life” and “devastation of one of the cultural patrimonies of humanity”. During an anti-war demonstration in Downtown Oakland in March 2003, Danny Glover praised the community leaders for their anti-war efforts saying that “They’re on the front lines because they are trying to make a better America… The world has come together and said ‘no’ to this war – and we must stand with them.”
On Obama administration
On the foreign policy of Obama administration, Glover said, “I think the Obama administration has followed the same playbook, to a large extent, almost verbatim, as the Bush administration. I don’t see anything different… On the domestic side, look here: What’s so clear is that this country from the outset is projecting the interests of wealth and property. Look at the bailout of Wall Street. Why not the bailout of Main Street? He may be just a different face, and that face may happen to be black, and if it were Hillary Clinton, it would happen to be a woman… But what choices do they have within the structure?”.
Honors and awards
In 2010, Glover delivered the Commencement Address and was awarded an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree from Utah State University. He was also the recipient of a tribute paid by the Deauville American Film Festival in France on September 7, 2011.
George Tawlon Manneh Oppong Ousman Weah (born October 1, 1966) is a Liberian humanitarian and politician, and an ex-footballer. He ran unsuccessfully for president in the 2005 election, losing to Ellen Johnson Sirleaf in the second round of voting. In the 2011 election he ran for vice president on Winston Tubman‘s ticket.
He also spent 14 years of his professional football career playing for clubs in France, Italy, and England, and won trophies in each of these three countries. In 1995, he was named FIFA World Player of the Year, European Footballer of the Year, and African Footballer of the Year.
George Tawlon Oppong Ousman Weah was born on October 1, 1966 in the Clara Town slum of Monrovia, the capital of Liberia. Little did his parents know at the time that their baby boy would one day rise to become their country’s most famous son.
Raised largely by his grandmother, Weah studied hard at school although it was apparent from a young age that he was destined for football stardom. Little George Weah was prodigiously talented with a football at his feet but this aptitude wouldn’t truly become evident until he made the move overseas.
As the future goal-scoring master looked for his golden ticket, he worked for the Liberia Telecommunications Corporation as a switchboard technician, whilst playing in Liberia for Young Survivors, Bongrange Company, Mighty Barolle and Invincible Eleven.
It was at Invincible Eleven that Weah caught the eye of the visiting scouts: not only did his 24 goals in 23 games win his side the title, but also earned him his much awaited move abroad.
Weah moved to Europe in 1988 when he was signed by Arsène Wenger, the manager of Monaco, who Weah credits as an important influence on his career. At Monaco, Weah was a member of the team that won the French Cup in 1991. In the 1990s Weah subsequently played for Paris Saint Germain (1992–95), with whom he won the French league in 1994 and became the top scorer of the UEFA Champions League 1994–95; and AC Milan (1995–1999), with whom he won the Italian league in 1996 and 1999. In 1995 he was named European Footballer of the Year and FIFA World Player of the Year. Weah also became famous at Milan for scoring a wonder goal against Verona at the San Siro. After leaving Milan in January 2000 Weah moved to Chelsea, Manchester City and Olympique Marseille in quick succession, before leaving Marseille in May 2001 for Al Jazira FC, in the United Arab Emirates, where he remained until his retirement as a player in 2003.
As successful as he was at club level, Weah was not able to bring over that success to the Liberian national team. He has done everything with the squad from playing to coaching to financing it, but failed to qualify for a single World Cup, falling just a point short in qualifying for the 2002 tournament. This has all led to Weah being known as one of the best footballers never to have played in a World Cup.
FIFA World Player of the Year 1995
Weah was named FIFA World Player of the Year in 1995, becoming the only African player to win the award. He was the fifth recipient of the award. The Silver trophy was won by Paolo Maldini, and the Bronze by Jürgen Klinsmann. The other four recipients were: Lothar Matthaus ’91, Marco Van Basten ’92, Roberto Baggio ’93, and Romario in ’94. Weah also won the silver trophy the following year which was won by Brazilian striker Ronaldo.
African Player of the Year 1989, 1994 and 1995
Weah won the African player of the year in 1989 when he was with AS Monaco and 1995 with AC Milan. That year he won almost every award a footballer could win. When he won the award in 1989, it was his first major award and he took it back home for the entire country to celebrate, similar to what he did when he won the world best title and the Onze Mondial title.
European Player of the Year 1995
Weah won the European Player of the Year in 1995, becoming the only African to win the award. Sports writers from all over Europe voted and awarded Weah as the best player in Europe for the year.
Onze Mondial 1995
- The French Magazine name Weah as the top player in Europe for 1995
- Fifa Fair Play Award 1996
- African Player of the Year
African Player of the Century
Weah was voted the African player of the Century by sport journalists from all around the world. This award puts Weah in the company of some of the greatest players to have ever played the game. Pelé won the same award as the South American player of the Century and Johan Cruijff as the European player of the century.
Weah was banned from six European matches for breaking the nose of the Portuguese defender Jorge Costa on November 20, 1996 in the players’ tunnel after AC Milan’s draw at FC Porto. Weah said he exploded in frustration after putting up with racist tauntings from Jorge Costa during both of the teams’ matches that autumn in the Champions League. Costa strenuously denied the accusations of racism and was not charged by UEFA as no witnesses could verify Weah’s allegations, not even his Milan team mates. Weah later attempted to apologise to Costa but this was rebuffed by the Portuguese, who considered the charges of racist insults levelled against him to be defamatory and took the Liberian to court. The incident led to him undergoing facial surgery and he was subsequently sidelined for three weeks. Despite the incident Weah still received the FIFA Fair Play Award in 1996.
Spell in England
Weah signed for Chelsea on loan from AC Milan on 11 January 2000, in a deal which would keep him with the West London club until the end of the 1999-2000 English season.
Weah’s time in England was deemed a success, especially at Chelsea where he instantly endeared himself to their fans by scoring the winner against rivals Tottenham Hotspur on his debut, and scored further league goals against Wimbledon and Liverpool. He also scored twice in Chelsea’s victorious 1999/2000 FA Cup campaign, netting crucial goals against Leicester City and Gillingham. This led to him starting in the final, which Chelsea won 1–0.
Chelsea manager Gianluca Vialli did not make Weah’s move permanent, and on 1 August 2000 he signed for newly promoted English Premier League side Manchester City on a free transfer on a two-year contract worth £30,000 a week. He played 11 games in all competitions for City, scoring four times, before leaving on 16 October 2000 after becoming dissatisfied with manager Joe Royle for selecting him as a substitute too frequently; he had only played the full 90 minutes in three of his 11 games for the Maine Road club. At City he scored once in the league against Liverpool (as he did at Chelsea), and three times against Gillingham (again as he had at Chelsea), this time in the League Cup; once in the first leg and twice in the second.
Weah is a devoted humanitarian for his war-torn country. At the 2004 ESPY Awards, he won the Arthur Ashe Courage Award for his efforts. Weah was named by Pelé as one of the top 125 greatest living footballers in March 2004. He has also been named a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador, a role which he has suspended while he pursues a political career.
Football and children
Weah has tried to use football as a way to bring happiness and promote education for children in Liberia. In 1998, Weah launched a CD called Lively Up Africa featuring the singer Frisbie Omo Isibor and eight other African football stars. The proceeds from this CD went to children’s programmes in the countries of origin of the athletes involved.
Weah is President of the Junior Professionals, a football team he founded in Monrovia in 1994. As a way to encourage young people to remain in school, the club’s only requirement for membership is school attendance. Many of the young people, recruited from all over Liberia, have gone on to play for the Liberian national team.
In 1998 a documentary about Weah’s footballing career at AC Milan was made broadcast on The A – Force BBC-TV, it was made by Pogus Caesar a British award winning producer and director.
George Weah was born and raised in the Clara Town slum of Monrovia. He is a member of the Kru ethnic group, which hails from south-eastern Liberia’s Grand Kru County, one of the poorest areas of the country. His parents were William T. Weah, Sr. and Anna Quayeweah. He was raised largely by his paternal grandmother, Emma Klonjlaleh Brown. He attended middle school at Muslim Congress and high school at Wells Hairston High School. Before his football career allowed him to move abroad, Weah worked for the Liberia Telecommunications Corporation as a switchboard technician.
He has four children. George Weah Jr, Tita, Timothy and one adopted son from Lebanon – Samer Hodroj
George Weah converted from Christianity to Islam before converting back. He hopes for peace for Muslims and Christians, and says they are “one people.”
Following the end of Second Liberian Civil War, Weah announced his intention to run for President of Liberia in the 2005 elections, forming the Congress for Democratic Change to back his candidacy. While Weah was a popular figure in Liberia, opponents cited his lack of formal education as a handicap to his ability to lead the country, in contrast with his Harvard-educated opponent, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf. Analysts also noted Weah’s lack of experience, calling him a “babe-in-the-woods”, while Sirleaf had served as Minister of Finance in the Tolbert administration in the 1970s and had held positions at Citibank, the World Bank and the United Nations. Weah’s eligibility to run for Presidency was also called into question as it was reported that he had become a French citizen in his footballing career at Paris St. Germain, but these complaints were rebuffed by the electoral commission in court and Weah was allowed to proceed.
Weah obtained a plurality of votes in the first round of voting on 11 October, garnering 28.3% of the vote. This qualified him to compete in a run-off election against Sirleaf, the second placed candidate. However, he lost the run-off to Sirleaf on 8 November, garnering only 40.6% to 59.4% for Sirleaf. Weah alleged that the election had been rigged through voter intimidation and ballot tampering, and many of his supporters protested the results in the streets of Monrovia. However, after assurances that the vote was fair several prominent African leaders called on Weah’s supporters to accept the result with grace and dignity, and Sirleaf became President. The African Union had characterized the elections as “peaceful, transparent, and fair”.
Weah’s lack of education became a campaign issue. He has been highly critical of those who say he is not fit to govern: “With all their education and experience, they have governed this nation for hundreds of years. They have never done anything for the nation.” He initially claimed to have a BA degree in Sports Management from Parkwood University in London. However this is an unaccredited diploma mill which awards certificates without requiring study. Weah then pursued a degree in business administration at DeVry University in Miami.
Weah also remained active in Liberian politics, returning from the United States in 2009 to successfully campaign for the Congress for Democratic Change candidate in the Montserrado County senatorial by-election. Some analysts saw these moves as preparation for a repeat run for the Presidency in 2011, and Weah did indeed later announce his intention to challenge Sirleaf in the 2011 election. After a series of failed alliances with other opposition parties, the Congress for Democratic Change chose Weah as its 2011 vice presidential candidate, running with presidential candidate Winston Tubman.