Martyrs of The Civil Rights Movement

1964 Harlem Riots

Most people know about Martin Luther King, Jr, Medgar Evers, and Malcolm X. They may even have heard of Viola Liuzzo, Lamar Smith, and Emmett Till, or know the names of the 4 little girls who perished in the 16th Street Baptist Church bombing in 1963. Harry and Harriette Moore, however, are probably not names that one conjures up when one hears the term Civil Rights, or thinks about those tumultuous times. Nor are Reverend James Reeb, Delano H. Middleton, or Johnnie Mae Chappell, mother of 10 who was shot dead while walking along a road looking for her waller.

There are dozens of people who became martyrs of the Civil Rights Movement. It was not their intentions but that is what happened. All of them were killed to preserve White Supremacy in the South and America in general, even though some of them were White. But they were considered ‘race traitors’ and ‘nigger lovers’; the Ku Klux Klan and other White racists had no use for such people.

These unknown martyrs should be remembered as much as the well-known for their unconditional love for fellow human beings, dedication, bravery, and strength in the face of hatred and adversity.

The home of the Moores after the Christmas Day bombing

They didn’t have to join the fight, particularly those who were not Black – they could have stayed in their White communities and been safe from the taunts, fists, clubs, snarling dogs, and flying bullets. Yet they stood with those that many called ‘worse than animals’ and lost their lives in the name of liberty and justice for all.

Harry T. Moore and his wife Harriette V. S. Moore were pioneer activists and leaders of the early civil rights movement in the United States, becoming the first martyrs of the movement. On the night of Christmas, December 25, 1951, a bomb that had been planted under the Moores’ bedroom floor exploded. They had celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary earlier that day. Harry died in the ambulance in transit from the attack, and his wife Harriette died from her injuries nine days later, on January 3, 1952. Their murder was the first assassination of any activist to occur during the civil rights movement, and the only time that a husband and wife were murdered during the history of the movement.

Reverend Bruce W. Klunder (July 12, 1937 – April 7, 1964) was a white Presbyterian minister and civil right activist, born in Colorado. He died when he was run over by a bulldozer while protesting the construction of a segregated school in Cleveland, Ohio. Klunder graduated from Yale Divinity School and then went to Cleveland in 1961 as assistant executive secretary of the Student Christian Union at Western Reserve University. He quickly became involved in the city’s civil rights fight. He had a passionate interest in civil rights, headed the local chapter of the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE), and led a restaurant sit-in in Sewanee, Tennessee in 1962. He was married, with two young children.Paul Guihard (1931 – 30 September 1962) was a French-British journalist for Agence France-Press. He was murdered in the 1962 riot at the University of Mississippi while covering the events surrounding James Meredith’s attempts to enroll at the all-white university. The only known journalist to have been killed in the backlash to the Civil Rights Movement, his murder remains unsolved.

Jonathan Myrick Daniels (March 20, 1939 – August 20, 1965) was an Episcopal  seminarian and civil rights activist. In 1965, he was assassinated by a shotgun-wielding construction worker, Tom Coleman, who was a special county deputy, in Hayneville, Alabama, while in the act of shielding 17-year-old Ruby Sales. He saved the life of the young black civil rights activist. They both were working in the Civil Rights Movement in Lowndes County to integrate public places and register black voters after passage of the Voting Rights Act that summer. Daniels’ death generated further support for the Civil Rights Movement. In 1991, Daniels was designated as a martyr in the Episcopal church, and is recognized annually in its calendar. He is memorialized in the Civil Rights Movement and other venues.

Samuel Leamon Younge Jr. (November 17, 1944 – January 3, 1966) was a civil rights and voting rights activist who was murdered for trying to desegregate a “whites only” restroom. Younge was an enlisted service member in the United States Navy, where he served for two years before being medically discharged. Younge was an active member of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) and a leader of the Tuskegee Institute Advancement League. Younge was the first African-American university student to be murdered in the United States due to his actions in support of the Civil Rights Movement. Three days after his death, SNCC became the first civil rights organization in the United States to oppose the Vietnam War, partly on the grounds that like Younge, innocent civilians should not face deadly violence.


The 41 names included in the Civil Rights Memorial are those of:

Louis Allen
  • Louis Allen
  • Willie Brewster
  • Benjamin Brown
  • Johnnie Mae Chappell
  • James Chaney
  • Addie Mae Collins
  • Vernon Dahmer
  • Jonathan Daniels
  • Henry Hezekiah Dee
  • Cpl. Roman Ducksworth Jr.
  • Willie Edwards
  • Medgar Evers
  • Andrew Goodman
  • Paul Guihard
  • Samuel Hammond Jr.
  • Jimmie Lee Jackson
  • Wharlest Jackson
  • Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
  • Rev. Bruce W. Klunder
  • Rev. George W. Lee
  • Herbert Lee
  • Viola Liuzzo
  • Denise McNair
  • Delano Herman Middleton
    Lamar Smith
  • Charles Eddie Moore
  • Oneal Moore
  • William Lewis Moore
  • Mack Charles Parker
  • Lt. Col. Lemuel Penn
  • Rev. James Reeb
  • John Earl Reese
  • Carole Robertson
  • Michael Schwerner
  • Henry Ezekial Smith
  • Lamar Smith
  • Emmett Till
  • Clarence Triggs
  • Virgil Lamar Ware
  • Cynthia Wesley
  • Ben Chester White
  • Sammy Younge Jr.
A police officer, Leslie Dean Jones, beats a youth during
the violence that erupted on March 28, 1968, in
Memphis, Tennessee. Larry Payne, the 16-year-old
in the background, was killed by Jones later in the day.

“The Forgotten”

“The Forgotten” are 74 men and women who are identified in a display at the Civil Rights Memorial Center. These names were not inscribed on the Memorial because there was insufficient information about their deaths at the time the Memorial was created. However, it is thought that these people died as a result of racially motivated violence between 1952 and 1968.

William L. Moore
  • Andrew Lee Anderson
  • Frank Andrews
  • Isadore Banks
  • Larry Bolden
  • James Brazier
  • Thomas Brewer
  • Hilliard Brooks
  • Charles Brown
  • Jessie Brown
  • Carrie Brumfield
  • Eli Brumfield
  • Silas (Ernest) Caston
  • Clarence Cloninger
  • Willie Countryman
  • Vincent Dahmon
  • Woodrow Wilson Daniels
  • Joseph Hill Dumas
  • Pheld Evans
  • J. E. Evanston
  • Mattie Greene
  • Jasper Greenwood
  • Jimmie Lee Griffith
  • A. C. Hall
  • Rogers Hamilton
  • Collie Hampton
  • Alphonso Harris
  • Izell Henry
  • Arthur James Hill
  • Ernest Hunter
  • Luther Jackson
  • Ernest Jells
  • Joe Franklin Jeter
  • Marshall Johnson
    Jimmie L. Jackson
  • John Lee
  • Willie Henry Lee
  • Richard Lillard
  • George Love
  • Robert McNair
  • Maybelle Mahone
  • Sylvester Maxwell
  • Clinton Melton
  • James Andrew Miller
  • Booker T. Mixon
  • Nehemiah Montgomery
  • Frank Morris
  • James Earl Motley
  • Sam O’Quinn
  • Hubert Orsby
  • Larry Payne
  • C. H. Pickett
  • Albert Pitts
  • David Pitts
  • Ernest McPharland
  • Jimmy Powell
  • William Roy Prather
  • Johnny Queen
  • Donald Rasberry
  • Fred Robinson
  • Johnny Robinson
  • Willie Joe Sanford
  • Marshall Scott Jr.
    Rev. James Leeb
  • Jessie James Shelby
  • W. G. Singleton
  • Ed Smith
  • Eddie James Stewart
  • Isaiah Taylor
  • Freddie Lee Thomas
  • Saleam Triggs
  • Hubert Varner
  • Clifton Walker
  • James Waymers
  • John Wesley Wilder
  • Rodell Williamson
  • Archie Wooden

The Demonic Murder of Colleen Slemmer

Colleen Slemmer was 19 years old when she was savagely murdered by Christa Pike, Tadaryl Shipp, and Shadolla Peterson on the night of January 12, 1995 (some sources state it was 13 January). She was lured close to the campus of the nearby University of Tennessee from the Knoxville, Tennessee Job Corps dorms with the promise of a truce and marijuana by her fellow students, and because she (according to her family) had a trusting nature, Colleen walked into a death trap.

Christa had become convinced that Colleen was after her boyfriend – though Christa’s friends denied this – Tadaryl, a Black youth about a year her junior, and two years Colleen’s junior. Christa had fallen hard for Tadaryl; the two dabbled in the occult and worshiped Satan together. Shadolla, 18 at the time, was a friend of Christa’s who went along with the couple on that fateful night.

No sooner had they arrived at their chosen secluded spot near an abandoned steam plant, than Christa and Tadaryl began their planned attack upon Colleen, while Shadolla served as a ‘look out’. Over the next half hour or so, Colleen was taunted, slashed, beaten, and had a pentagram cut into her chest. In the end, her head was smashed with a heavy piece of asphalt paving, which killed the suffering teen. Christa kept a piece of her victim’s skull as a ‘souvenir’. She bragged about the killing, showing off her disgusting trophy to various Job Corps students as she went about her day.

Barely 36 hours later, all 3 were arrested, the piece of skull was discovered in a pocket of Christa’s jacket, a Satanic Bible was found in Tadaryl’s room, and the log book showed that the 4 students had left the dorms yet only 3 of them had returned. ‘But we were only trying to scare her’, was Christa’s claim. ‘Things got out of control!’

On March 22, 1996 after only a few hours of deliberation, Pike was found guilty on both counts. On March 30, 1996, Pike was sentenced to death by electrocution for the murder charge and 25 years in prison for the conspiracy charge. Shipp received a life sentence with the possibility of parole. Peterson, who had turned informant, received probation for pleading guilty to being an accessory.


Following the guilty verdict Pike “launched, canceled and then relaunched” an appeal of her conviction in the Tennessee state courts. In June 2001, then again in June 2002, against the advice of her lawyers, Pike asked the courts to drop her appeal and sought to be executed via electrocution. Criminal Court Judge Mary Beth Leibowitz granted the request and an execution date of August 19, 2002 was set.
Pike soon thereafter changed her mind and on July 8, 2002 defense lawyers filed a motion to allow the appeal process to continue. This motion was denied. However on August 2, 2002 a three judge state appeals court panel ruled that the proceedings should be continued and the execution was not carried out.
In December 2008 Pike’s latest request for a new trial was turned down and she was returned to death row. This denied request is believed to be the final allowed under the appeals procedures in the State of Tennessee. As of this writing (December 2009) no execution date has been set and it is unknown whether or not she has undertaken any appeal of her conviction in the federal court system.

On August 24, 2001, Pike (with alleged assistance from inmate Natasha Cornett) attacked and attempted to strangle fellow inmate Patricia Jones with a shoe string, and nearly succeeded in choking her to death. She was convicted of attempted first degree murder on August 12, 2004. Although it is the position of the Tennessee Department of Corrections that Natasha assisted in this crime, their investigators concluded there was insufficient evidence to charge her with helping Pike attack Jones.

In March 2012, it was revealed that Pike had made escape plans involving corrections officer Justin Heflin and a New Jersey man named Donald Kohut. Kohut had visited Pike in prison, but complete details of his relationship to Pike were not immediately known. The attempted prison break was thwarted by a joint investigation involving the Tennessee Department of Corrections, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation and the New Jersey State Police. – Murderpedia from Wikipedia


Old Remedies (For Amusement Only)


  • Wash your face with a wet diaper.
  • Mix 3 teaspoons of honey into 8 ounces of apple cider. Rub on face several times daily.


  • Eat raw liver and drink fresh blood.

Ant Bites

  • Take a dip of snuff and rub the fresh dipped snuff on the bite.


  • Tie a leather thong around your waist and the appendicitis will enter the thong. Take the thong and tie it around a tree and the sickness will enter the tree.


  • Dissolve 3/4 teaspoon powder pectin (or 1-tablespoon liquid pectin) in a glass of purple grape juice. Drink once a day. This is from an Amish doctor and about 60% of the people who try it say it really works. The liquid dissolves better than the powder.
  • Take a dead cat into the woods to a hollow stump that has spunk in it. Twirl the cat overhead and then toss the cat to the south. Walk away north but do not look back.
  • Carry a potato in your pocket. It will not rot, but harden as it absorbs the arthritis.
  • Tie a strip of cloth soaked in turpentine around the limb.


  • If a child has asthma stand him up against a tree and drive a nail in the tree an inch above his head. If the child grows an inch in the next year, the asthma will disappear.
  • Eat lots of carrots.
  • Mix 1 tablespoon of salt in 1/2 cup strong cider vinegar. Swallow one half spoonful every ten seconds until gone.
  • Wear a muskrat skin on the chest with the fur next to the chest.

Baldness/Thinning Hair

  • Smear your head with fresh cow manure.
  • For thinning hair make a solution of salt and water and comb through hair every day until you see hair becoming thicker.
  • To prevent thinning and baldness, never cut the hair in the light of the moon.

Beard Growing

  • The Liquid obtained from boiling old boots was used to promote the growth of hair on the face of young men—an attempt to appear more masculine.

Bee Stings

  • Mix up honey and dirt dauber’s nest and rub it on the sting.


  • Catch a chaparral bird (roadrunner) in the early morning. Kill and eat it and the boil will go away.
  • Soak a small section of heel of homemade white bread in boiling water. Squeeze with back of spoon. Lay on sterile gauze or boiled cloth. Add pinch baking soda (1/4 tsp). Mix with soaked bread, wrap in gauze and apply to affected area.
  • Applying meat fat, raw potatoes, war sauerkraut or yellow lye soap to the boil will bring it to a head.


  • Apply ice wrapped in damp washcloth until pain stops. No scaring will occur.
  • Go to the lot and make a calf get up and defecate. Put the feces in a flour sack and cover the burn with it. Leave it on until the next morning.
  • Apply strong tea to the burned area.

Cancer – Preventing

  • Eat three almonds a day and you will not die from cancer.


  • Take a new broom and sweep across his/chills back in the sign of a cross.

Colds – Curing

  • Catching leaves in your hand, which fall from the trees in the fall, will cure a head cold.

Colds – Preventing

  • Eat an onion sandwich and wash your hair.


  • Close the windows and doors of the baby’s room and have the father keep smoking a pipe or cigar.


  • Put some cow dung in water and bring it to a boil. Gargle the water three times a day and your cough will be gone.
  • Bake onions and pour all the juice from the baked onions into a glass and drink.
    • Crick in the Neck
      • Go down to the hog pen and find where a hog has rubbed his neck against the fence, then rub your neck in the same spot.


      • Pack sheep droppings into a tobacco sack and soak in warm water. Apply the sack to your neck and wear it until the choking spell is over.


      • Pack the cut in axle grease.
      • Take a large army ant and apply him to the cut, so that he takes hold of each side of the wound with his pincers. Cut his head off from his body, leaving his head to hold the cut together.
      • Apply spider’s web to a bleeding cut.
      • Dandruff
        • To one quart of water, add one ounce of sulphur.  Shake very well very two hours and saturate the head every morning with the liquid.  Dandruff will disappear, leaving hair bright and glossy.


        • Eat several coconut cookies (some say this really works.)


        • Have someone blow tobacco smoke into the ear five times while saying, “Hurt, hurt, go away; go into a bale of hay.”


        • Gather a supply of rabbit dung and make a strong tea of the dung in hot water.  Strain and drink the tea every half hour until the sweating stops.


        • To cure the flu, put sulphur in your shoes.

        Foot Gone to Sleep

        • Wet your finger with spit and put the sign of the cross on the sole of your foot.


        • To get rid of freckles, get up at five-thirty on Sunday morning and go outside.  If there is a lot of dew get your hands real wet in the grass.  Rub the dew on your face and turn around nine times, saying, “Dew, dew, do, do, take my freckles; wear ‘em on you; dew, dew, thank you.”  Say this nine times while turning around.  Do not wash the dew off and do not wash your face until the next day.
        • To remove freckles or skin spots — take a small flatfish fresh from the sea and hold it firmly against the skin until the fish dies.  This will also cure the whooping cough


        • Sleep with a pair of scissors under your pillow.  The next morning the headache will be gone.


        • Hold your arms above your head and pant like a dog.
        • Take a drink of water while standing on your head.
        • Stick your head under water and count to twenty-five.
        • Put your head between your legs and look at the sun

        Ingrown Toenail

        • Tie a lizard’s liver to a leather string.  Take the leather string and tie it around your left ankle.  The ingrown toenail will disappear in nine days.


        • First, put your clothes on an anthill.  Then wash your head in kerosene.  Spring your head with sea salt and then, parting the hair, pour raw whisky on your scalp.  Let it stay for 48 hours.  Do not smoke or go near the fire.

      • Liver Trouble
        • Take one-half of a white turnip and one-half of a purple turnip and tie together with a white string.  Urinate on it.  Hang this on the bedpost of the bed on the first night, then on the foot post the second night until you circle the bed.


        • Put burned cornmeal in a tobacco bag and hang it around the neck.


        • Tie a black sock around your neck.  To keep mumps from going down on a boy, tie a red cloth around his waist.


        • Every night pour a bucket of cold water over your head.  Keep this up for fourteen days and you will be cured.
        • Take a piece of string and make nine knots in it


        • Find a rock that is partly covered with dirt.  Remove the rock from its resting place and spit on the bottom or covered side. Replace the rock in the same hole exactly as you found it.


        • People who perspire a lot should use a teaspoonful of ammonia in bathwater. Alum, borax or ammonia added to bathwater is also effective.

        Poison Ivy (oak, sumac, etc)

        • Make a paste from fels naptha soap and apply. Do not cover. Let it dry and flake off by itself. One application usually does the job. This from the 1930’s.

        Poor Eyesight

        • Pierced ears help cure poor eyesight
        • The first snow to fall in May is good for sore eyes


        • Tansey is a yellow flower that blooms on a leafy stem about two feet tall.  It usually grew wild in the local gardens.  The stem, flowers and all were gathered, deposited in some kind of bag, and hung up to dry.  Then when needed they were crushed and made into hop poultices for application to the chest and/or back of a person suffering from pneumonia


        • Sear the bite with a hot iron to keep from going crazy.


        • Apply the juice of the Aloe Vera leaf to the rash.  If it is a bull nettle rash, all you have to do is urinate on it.


        • Find a black-headed girl between the ages of twelve and sixteen and have her remove her right shoe.  Now rub her big toe well over the ringworm for about one minute.  Within a week the ringworm will have disappeared.
        • Take the best Cuba cigars; smoke one a sufficient length of time to accumulate about an inch of ash upon the end of the cigar.  Wet the whole surface of the ringworm with saliva then rub the ashes from the cigar thoroughly into and over the sore.
        • Circling ringworm with one’s wedding ring and crossing it three times will surely cure it.
        • Sore Eyes
          • Catch some bedbugs and crush them. Mix with salt and human milk. Rub this mixture on the eyes night and morning.

          Sore Throat

          • Take a black thread, tie nine knots in it, and wear it around your neck for nine days.
          • Heat coarse salt in a cast iron frying pan; fill hand knit wool stocking with heated salt. Sew top of stocking together. Hold around the neck with large safety pin.
          • Tie a piece of fatback on a string and swallow the fatback, pulling it up again by the string. Repeat several times.
          • To prevent catching strep throat, burn orange peels on the damper and inhale while they are burning.
          • Mix turpentine from a fir tree with sugar and swallow it.
          • Eat molasses candy made with a small amount of kerosene oil. Some people just boiled molasses and kerosene oil (or Minard’s Liniment) and took a couple of spoonfuls every few hours.
          • Rub kerosene oil and butter on the throat and chest.


          • Take a dirt dauber’s nest and make a mud out of it with vinegar. Daub it on the sprain and wrap a stocking around it.

          Stomach Ache/Cramps

          • Cut some hair off from behind the right ear in the light of the moon. Then throw it over your right shoulder
          • .Lie across a barrel and roll until your hands touch the ground on one side, then push with your hands and roll back until your feet touch the ground on the other side. Repeat several times.
          • A teaspoon of ground ginger in a glass of sweetened boiling water, sipped while very hot is a cure for stomach pain.


          • Hit the person stuttering in the mouth with a chicken gizzard.

          Warts (Warts were obviously a problem, because there are lots of these.)

          • Make a paste of baking soda and spirits of camphor and apply every night. Cover with a bandage. Remove in morning. Removes all kinds of warts, even stubborn planter’s warts that resist every “medical” treatment. This is from another Edgar Cayce reading.
          • Rub the wart with a rock. Put the rock in a tobacco sack and throw it over your left shoulder.
          • Rub the wart with a piece of bacon that has been stolen from a neighbor.
          • Catch a frog and rub him on the wart
          • Walk out into the road after dark when you can see the moon. Run around three times and spit over your right shoulder.
          • Take a tick from a dog and let the tick bit the wart. In two or three days the wart should be gone. Then put the tick back on the dog.
          • Cut bark from a tree and rub it on the warts. Then tape the bark back on the tree. By the time it grows on again, the warts should have gone.
          • Rub fatback on your warts and give it to a dog. If he eats the fat back, the warts will go away
          • Tie a horse hair around each wart and within a week all the warts will fall off
          • Rub fatback over the warts and throw it over your left shoulder. Don’t look to see where it goes. If an animal eats the fatback, your warts will disappear.
          • Apply chalk to warts; with same piece of chalk mark X over the oven door for each wart. As the chalk burns off, the warts will disappear.
          • Bathe warts occasionally for a week or so in water in which potatoes have been boiled.
          • When you go to church, make the sign of the cross over your warts three times.
          • Light a match , let it burn a little, then blow it out, touch the burnt end to wart and get someone to hid the match
          • Put butter on wart and have a cat lick it.
          • Warts can be cured by touching each one with a piece of string and then tying knots in the string — one knot for each wart. The string is buried in the ground, and when the string rots the warts disappear.
          • Another cure for warts is the bathe them in water found in a depression in a rock, at the same time saying “In the name of the Father, son, and Holy Ghost.” This only works if you come across such a rock accidentally — it’s no good if you go out looking for the rock.
          • Apply snail to warts.

          Whooping Cough

          • Put some hair from the person on a piece of bread outside the kitchen door where the moon can shine on it. If a dog comes along and eats it, the cough will be cured in five days.
          • Grab hold of a table leg when coughing.
          • Place a pan of fresh chicken droppings under the bed.

          Compiled and edited by Kathy Weiser/Legends of America, updated July, 2016


Hart Family Mystery

The Harts at a Bernie Sanders rally

The bodies of Jennifer and Sarah Hart, along with 3 of their 6 adopted children, Abigail, Jeremiah, and Markis, were found at the site of a crash off the coast of Highway 1 in Northern California. An upside down SUV was spotted by a passerby, which led to the discovery of the family’s remains – minus three: Devonte, Hannah, and Sierra are missing. The bodies of the women were inside the vehicle, while the teenagers were outside of it. Authorities are still searching for the missing children.

The vehicle had plunged into the water from a flat, gravel-covered outcrop where travelers can stop to admire the view, walk their dog or stretch their legs, the sheriff said. Investigators found no skid marks or brake marks, and Sheriff Tom Allman said it’s not clear yet whether the SUV rolled or launched off the edge.

Deputies from the Clark County Sheriff’s Office in Washington executed a search warrant Thursday night at the family’s home in Woodland, looking for any evidence in the missing persons case, said Sgt. Brent Waddell. He said the office is working with California authorities to find the missing children.

The Harts’ neighbor, Bruce DeKalb, said the family moved in about 10 months ago and was “very private.” He said he rarely saw the children playing outside, even in the warmer months. Another neighbor, Bill Groener, said the children were home-schooled and kept inside most of the time.– CNN

According to neighbor DeKalb, two of the children had come to him with concerns about how they were being treated within the Hart household. “One of the girls came to the door at 1:30 in the morning and said that she needed help and the parents were not treating her properly, and (she) wanted us to protect her,” DeKalb said. “We ended up getting her back to her parents … and then I went over there the next morning and just checked on things, and everything seemed normal, and we let it go from there.”

DeKalb said he and his wife also encountered Devonte, the one child he saw doing outside chores, such as taking the garbage bins to and from the street.

“About a week ago, he (Devonte) started coming over asking for food and saying that they were taking meals away from him due to punishment,” DeKalb told HLN. “And it started out as one time a day and escalated up to three times a day, until a week went by and we decided that we needed to get professional help.” 

Nov. 25, 2014 file photo provided by Johnny Nguyen shows Portland police Sgt. Bret Barnum and Devonte Hart, 12, hugging at rally in Portland, Ore., in support of protests in Ferguson, Mo.

Apparently, there had been troubles in the past for the Harts. In 2011, Sarah was charged with a misdemeanor in a case of domestic violence against daughter Abigail, for which she served several hours of community service and a year’s probation. More recently, due to the allegations of lack of care and withholding food, the family was once again under the investigation of Child Protective Services in Washington state.

This may be a reason for the accident, if it was indeed one – authorities are now starting to think that the plunge off the 100 feet cliff was intentional, though no suicide note has been found so far. If this was a murder-suicide, who was responsible? Was this the decision of both Hart women, or only one? And if so, which one? Yet most important, why? Why would they end their own lives, and those of their adopted children, this way?

The fatal plunge appears to have been intentional based on the lack of skid marks and the fact that the vehicle was at a full stop before accelerating off the cliff, the California Highway Patrol said Monday.

Though the investigation is in its preliminary stages, it appears the SUV had stopped about 70 feet from the cliff’s edge, then sped off it, the CHP said.

The vehicle’s speedometer was “pinned” at 90 mph when investigators found it, but it could have been stuck there for any host of reasons and it does not indicate that the car was traveling at that speed when it crashed, the CHP said. – LA Times

 Of course, close friends & associates of the family are in denial. Family friend Max Ribner took issue with the notion it was something other than a tragic accident. The couple adopted the six children, many of whom came from “hard backgrounds,” he said. “They transformed these kids’ lives.”

“This is a tragic accident of a magnitude that cannot be measured,” said Zippy Lomax, a photographer who knew the Harts. “They were really radiant, warm, adventurous, inspiring people. They were always on some grand adventure, and the kids were living this life that was kind of like this dream.”
 – CBS News

Soul Food

Soul food is a variety of cuisine originating in the Southeastern United States. It is common in areas with a history of slave-based plantations and has maintained popularity among the Black American and American Deep-South “cotton state” communities for centuries; it is now the most common regional cuisine in southern cities such as Charleston (South Carolina), New Orleans (Louisiana), Houston (Texas), Charlotte (North Carolina), Birmingham (Alabama) and Atlanta (Georgia). Soul food influences can be commonly found as far north as Richmond, Virginia, as far east as Jacksonville, Florida, and as far west as Houston, Texas. The expression “soul food” may have originated in the mid-1960s, when “soul” was a common word used to describe Black American culture. – Wikipedia

I grew up eating’soul food’, although most of my family didn’t call it that. To them as well as to me, it was simply food: breakfast and dinner usually (we never had lunch, only snacks until we ate ‘supper’), and dessert was something that I thought only rich people had. We never had a soup or salad course, we had everything at once, on the plate, and that was it. None of the fancy schmancy cultured stuff for us, and none of those namby pamby manners either! We ate our food, no playing around, and we always cleaned our plates.


I was picky as a kid but I generally ate what was put before me and this included fried squash, neck bones, stewed tomatoes and rice, and even oxtail soup. However, I refused to touch greens due to their limpness and to this day, I can’t stand the texture of cooked greens though I will eat creamed spinach on occasion. I never cared for boiled cabbage either, nor did I ever try chit’lins. Just the nasty stench of them cooking made me nauseous. To this day, I detest malodorous foods even though I used to eat – horror of horrors – pickled pigs’ feet, sardines with crackers, and sour pickles.

We had a big meal every Sunday around 2, 3-ish, and it was usually one of the following meats: pot roast, baked hen, ham, or barbecued chicken, with green beans or collards/turnip or mustard greens, even kale, macaroni-n-cheese (my brother’s and my favorite), a platter of fresh tomatoes, onions, and cucumbers, and some other vegetable dish, such as cooked summer squash, and cornbread. (We only had rolls on holidays and that’s the way it still is.) My grandmother made biscuits with only self rising flour and buttermilk or ‘sweet milk’, as the older generation called regular whole white milk; she also made a sort of fry bread with flour and a liquid, which she would cook in a cast iron skillet. It looked close to Indian naan bread but didn’t taste like it.

Why don’t I consume soul food today? I actually do – on Thanksgiving and sometimes Christmas. I used to enjoy going to a restaurant in Charlotte called Simmons Fourth Ward – regretfully closed – where I would always order the chicken with dressing and gravy. Damn, it was sooo delicious. But soul food is not very healthy; anything that tastes good isn’t. For me, soul food is comfort food. While I like a good stir fry, certain Greek dishes, Latin American specialties, Italian entrees, and even recipes from other parts of Europe, Africa and the Middle East, nothing beats a pot of homemade chicken-n-dumplings.

Traditionally-prepared soul foods tend to be very high in starch, fat, sodium, cholesterol, and calories. In contemporary times, some traditional-style soul foods have been implicated in the abnormally high rates of high blood pressure (hypertension), type 2 diabetes, clogged arteries (atherosclerosis), stroke, and heart attack suffered by Americans – especially those living in the Southern and Central United States. A foundational difference in how health is perceived of being contemporary is that soul food may differ from ‘traditional’ styles is the widely different structures of agriculture. Fueled by federal subsidies, the agricultural system in the United States became industrialized as the nutritional value of most processed foods, and not just those implicated in a traditional perception of soul food, have degraded. This urges a consideration of how concepts of racial authenticity evolve alongside changes in the structures that make some foods more available and accessible than others.

An important aspect of the preparation of soul food was the reuse of cooking lard. Because many cooks could not afford to buy new shortening to replace what they used, they would pour the liquefied cooking grease into a container. After cooling completely, the grease re-solidified and could be used again the next time the cook required lard. – Wikipedia

Want to try your hand at creating soul food in your own kitchen? Then visit the links provided!
My Recipes
Soul Food and Southern Cooking

The Black Race is Ruined

Institutionalized racism exists in this country. We of African descent have been maligned, beaten, lynched, tortured, loathed, spit upon, used, ill-treated, whipped, abused, discriminated against, despised, and raped since we were forcibly brought in chains to this country.

We of African descent had our languages, our culture, and our native religious beliefs taken from us, our names, our identity, and our heritage stolen. We were torn asunder from our families so that we do not even know who we are. (One of the things I admired most about Kunta Kinte was how he refused to forget his name, where he came from, and his people.)

White supremacy has brought those of us of African descent down low, so low that we are today at the very bottom of the barrel, the lowest on the totem pole, till we can go no lower.

Other races, more acceptable to the European-descent Americans for reasons I cannot claim to fathom, have come to this country and succeeded whereas we African-descent peoples are, for the most part, failures. (I admit that there are many middle-class African-descent Americans, even upper-class, but rarely do any of them extend a hand to help their poorer, under-class brothers and sisters. And there are far more lower-class African-descent Americans than there are European, Asian, and even Latin-descent Americans.)

Alcoholism, drug addiction, and drug dealing has become the normal behavior for many of us African-descent Americans. We are chronically under- and unemployed. Our high school drop out rate is very high. The teenage pregnancy rate is still high for us. Our men remain incarcerated at higher rates – mainly due to white racism, true, but also a life of crime chosen out of desperation sometimes.

Due to black-on-black criminal activity, many of us die prematurely. Many of our women are on public aid, and once a person becomes spoiled by the System, it is difficult to get off. Our women must raise children alone, while the men are in prison, dead, or just elsewhere (as my own father was). The youth of today prefer as their role models gangsta hip hop ‘stars’ who routinely refer to each other as ‘niggas’ and ‘mothafuckas’, and to women as ‘bitches’ and ‘hoes’. The rates are alarming.

I cannot see where the condition of African-descent peoples in America has improved much since the Civil Rights Movement. It is a shame that this country had to utilize such a program as Affirmative Action to get our people employed in jobs, careers, that matched their skills, training, and education.

Even with Obama as president, life hasn’t much changed for our people here. Will it ever? I believe it will only get worse. I cannot imagine how worse it can get, but it probably shall. However, if African-descent Americans would work together, life can get better for the generations that are coming. We of African descent need to unite, and not fight one another. We need to band together.

I regret that I wasn’t around to take part in the Civil Rights Movement – but I am here now, and I wish to offer my support, my time and expertise, such as it is, to any group, organization, project, or individual who would have need of someone to take part in helping to make strides toward solving the racial issues that exist in this country. Surely, there is some group out there that will find my

presence and aid invaluable.

It is time to do something, take action and stop talking about it among ourselves. I’m tired of seeing African-descent peoples continue to go backward in this country. We need to go forward! We need to see more peoples of African descent in power positions in banking & finance, technology, education, leadership, science, politics, film, music, and other areas I have neglected to mention. Arise, African-descent brothers and sisters…take charge of your lives and fight the elitist white male power!

Gourmet Sandwiches

My fiance has the same boring sandwich for lunch every work day: 3 or 4 slices of smoked or Black Forest ham, mustard, Swiss/Cheddar/Havarti/Provolone/Muenster/Pepper Jack or Colby cheese, and mayo, between 2 slices of plain white bread. My aunt’s ex had an even more dull sandwich – peanut butter, because it was cheap. He ate one every work day for about 25 years!
Why have the same old – same old when you can dine on a gourmet sandwich? Why use mustard, mayo or salad dressing when there are other options right in your neighborhood supermarket? Boring sliced bread can be replaced by crusty baguettes, focaccia, challah, hoagie rolls, flatbreads, ciabatta. Who says that a sandwich must only consist of meat, lettuce, tomatoes, and a slice or two of cheese?
The first time I tried something different with sandwiches was when I used cinnamon raisin bread, coleslaw, and roast beef to make one. I liked it so much that I used smoked turkey the next time, and while I don’t eat sandwiches a great deal, I like to have them on hot summer days when I feel much too lazy to cook.
Here are a couple of gourmet sandwich recipes found on the websites Silver Oak, Fab Food, Saveur, and Bon Appetit.

B.L.T. Lobster Roll
1 ½ pounds cooked lobster meat
6 slices bacon (about 6 ounces), cooked until crispy, chopped
½ cup lemon aioli (see Lemon Aioli recipe)
2 tablespoons finely chopped yellow onion
1 tablespoon finely diced celery
1 tablespoon finely diced fennel bulb
1 tablespoon finely chopped Italian parsley leaves
Fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 egg, lightly beaten
6 hot dog buns
12 cherry tomatoes, halved
1 cup arugula

Lemon Pepper Chicken and Veggie Wraps

Posted by Cynthia Lidman


1 pound thinly sliced, boneless, skinless chicken breasts
Kosher salt
Coarse black pepper

Zest of 1 lemon
Olive oil cooking spray
4 burrito-size tortillas
1 red bell pepper, sliced into thin strips
1/2 cup shredded iceberg lettuce
1 carrot, julienned
1/2 cup finely diced cucumber
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoon olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
Salt and pepper, to tasteDirections:

Heat a large skillet over a medium flame for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, prepare the chicken. Sprinkle both sides of each chicken breast with salt, black pepper, and lemon zest.

Spray the skillet with olive oil cooking spray; add the chicken to the skillet and cook for 3 to 5 minutes, until lightly browned on the bottom side. Flip and cook for an additional 3 to 5 minutes until cooked through. Slice the chicken into thin slices.
Lay out the four tortillas. Top each with ¼ of the warm chicken, leaving a one-inch border on the bottom of each tortilla and keeping the chicken to the center. Divide the red bell pepper, lettuce, carrot and cucumber equally between the tortillas and arrange on top of the chicken.

In a small bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, olive oil, garlic and salt and pepper, to taste. Spoon a little over each of the tortillas (on the toppings only).

Finally, it’s time to wrap. Fold up the one-inch end of the tortilla. Then, roll fold in one side of the tortilla and roll tightly. Secure with a toothpick, if desired. Serve immediately.


Mark Byrne


8 slices white bread (I’d use Italian)
4 tbsp. (2 oz.) unsalted butter, melted
2 cups grated sharp cheddar (8 1⁄2 oz.)
1 large tomato, thinly sliced
1⁄2 white onion, very thinly sliced
Salt and pepper, to taste
3 tbsp. Mrs. Ball’s brand chutney, or another sweet and sour chutney


Prepare a grill or grill pan to medium-high heat. Meanwhile, brush one side of each bread slice with the melted butter. Lay the bread, buttered side down, on a work surface. Divide the cheese between 4 slices, then top with 1–2 slices tomato and onion; season lightly with salt and pepper to taste.

Spread the chutney over the remaining slices of bread, then place them chutney side down atop the sandwiches. Using a grill basket if desired, grill, turning once, until the bread is toasted and the cheese is melted, about 3 minutes per side.

Roasted Eggplant Sabich Sandwiches
Recipe by Rick Martinez


2 tablespoons za’atar
3 garlic cloves, finely grated, divided
½ cup plus 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 large or 2 medium Italian eggplants (about 20 ounces), cut into ¾-inch-thick rounds
Kosher salt
½ cup parsley leaves with tender stems


Place a rack in center of oven; preheat to 450°. Whisk za’atar, 2 garlic cloves, and ½ cup oil in a small bowl. Spoon over both sides of eggplant rounds (about 1 tsp. per side) and rub into flesh. It will absorb, so use all of the za’atar oil! Generously season with salt. Roast eggplant on a wire rack set inside a rimmed baking sheet until tender and beginning to brown in spots, 35–45 minutes.

Meanwhile, pulse parsley and ½ cup chives in a food processor until finely chopped. Add tahini and pulse until smooth. With the motor running, slowly drizzle in ½ cup water and continue to pulse until sauce is the consistency of a thin yogurt; season with salt.

Toss cucumbers, tomatoes, mint, lemon juice, and remaining garlic clove, 2 Tbsp. oil, and 2 Tbsp. chives in a medium bowl; season Israeli salad with salt. Mix hummus, harissa, and cumin in a small bowl (if you like it spicy, add more harissa).

Generously spread tahini sauce and hummus mixture inside pita. Place a few rounds of eggplant (or one if using a large eggplant) inside. Stuff pita with Israeli salad, cabbage, eggs, and pickles.

Salmon Salad Sandwiches on Ciabatta
Recipe by Lora Zarubin
2 grilled salmon fillets (about 7 ounces each), skin removed, fish flaked
2 green onions, finely chopped
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon peel
1/2 cup (about) Piment d’Espelette Mayonnaise (see recipe)
4 4-inch squares ciabatta or focaccia