Category Archives: Culture

Fraternity Project

The memorial is a result of an early effort of ‘Alpha Phi Alpha’ fraternity to erect a monument to ‘King’. ‘King’ was a member of the fraternity, initiated into the organization via ‘Sigma Chapter’ on June 22, (1952), while he was attending ‘Boston University’.

‘King’ remained involved with the fraternity after the completion of his studies, including delivering the keynote speech at the fraternity ’50th anniversary’ banquet in (1956). In (1968), after ‘King’ assassination, ‘Alpha Phi Alpha’ proposed erecting a permanent memorial to ‘King’ in ‘Washington, D.C.’ The fraternity efforts gained momentum in (1986), after ‘King’ birthday was designated a national holiday. In (1996), the ‘United States Congress’ authorized the ‘Secretary of the Interior’ to permit ‘Alpha Phi Alpha’ to establish a memorial on ‘Department of Interior’ lands in the ‘District of Columbia’, giving the fraternity until November (2003) to raise $100 million and break ground.

In (1998), Congress authorized the fraternity to establish a foundation – the ‘Washington, D.C.’ ‘Martin Luther King Jr. National Memorial Project Foundation’ – to manage the memorial fundraising and design, and approved the building of the memorial on the ‘National Mall’.

In (1999), the ‘United States Commission of Fine Arts’ [CFA] and the ‘National Capital Planning Commission’ [NCPC] approved the site location for the memorial.



The ‘September 11 Museum’ was dedicated on May 15 (2014). and opened to the public on May 21. Its exhibits include 23,000 images, 10,300 artifacts, nearly 2,000 oral histories of those killed – mostly provided by friends and families – and over 500 hours of video.

The underground museum has artifacts from ‘September 11’ (2001), including steel from the ‘Twin Towers’ (such as the final steel, the last piece of steel to leave Ground Zero in May 2002). It is built at the former location of Fritz Koenig ‘The Sphere’, a large metallic sculpture placed in the middle of a large pool between the ‘Twin Towers’. Battered but intact after the attacks, ‘The Sphere’ was moved to be displayed at ‘Battery Park’. In December (2011), museum construction halted temporarily due, according to the ‘Associated Press’, to disputes between the ‘Port Authority’ of ‘New York’ and ‘New Jersey’ and the ‘National September 11 Memorial and Museum Foundation’ over responsibility for infrastructure costs.

On March 13 (2012), talks on the issue began and construction resumed. After a number of false opening reports, it was announced that the museum would open to the public on May 21 (2014). The museum was dedicated on May 15 (2014). In attendance were a range of dignitaries, from ‘President Barack Obama’, former ‘President Bill Clinton’, former ‘Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’ and ‘New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’ to former mayors ‘David Dinkins’, ‘Rudy Giuliani’ and ‘Michael Bloomberg’ and current mayor ‘Bill de Blasio’. During the hour-long ceremony LaChanze sang “Amazing Grace”, which she dedicated to her husband (who was killed in the World Trade Center that day).

During the five days between its dedication and the public opening, over 42,000 first responders and family members of ‘9/11’ victims visited the museum. An opening ceremony for the museum was held on May 21, during which twenty-four police officers and firefighters unfurled the restored 30-foot (9.1 m) national ‘9/11’ flag before it was brought into the museum for permanent display. The gates surrounding the museum were then taken down, marking their first removal since the attacks. Opening-day tickets quickly sold out. Despite the museum’s design (to evoke memories without additional distress), counselors were available during its opening due to the large number of visitors.

“The Donald”

On June 16, 2015, ‘Trump’ announced his candidacy for President of the ‘United States’ at ‘Trump Tower’ in ‘New York City’. ‘Trump’ drew attention to domestic issues such as illegal immigration, offshoring of American jobs, the ‘U.S.’ national debt, and Islamic terrorism, and announced his campaign slogan, “Make America Great Again”.

‘Trump’ runs as a self-described conservative, particularly in fiscal and religious matters. His campaign emphasises ‘American patriotism’, with a disdain for political correctness. ‘Trump’ is the second major-party presidential nominee in ‘American’ history whose experience comes principally from running a business (Wendell Willkie was the first). If elected, ‘Trump’ would become the first ‘U.S.’ President without prior government or military experience. In part due to ‘Trump’ lack of political experience, ‘Republican’ leaders such as ‘House Speaker’ ‘Paul Ryan’ were hesitant to support him early on, doubting his chances of winning the general election and fearing he could harm to the image of the ‘Republican Party’.

However, ‘Trump’ candidacy succeeded with ‘Republican’ primary voters, partly because of widespread media coverage, his status as a political outsider, his defiance of political correctness, and his experience in business. ‘Trump’ extensive platform has frequently changed throughout his campaign trail.

In his ‘RNC’ acceptance speech, ‘Trump’ promised to combat illegal immigration by building a wall along the U.S.–Mexico border, reform healthcare by repealing and replacing Obamacare, rebuild the U.S. military while improving veterans’ care, veto trade agreements that are unfavorable to ‘American’ workers, and tackle ‘Islamic’ terrorism by defeating ‘ISIS’ and suspending immigration from countries that have been compromised by terrorism until the government has perfected its ability to screen out potential terrorists.

Wonder Motown

‘Stevie Wonder’ was born in ‘Saginaw’, ‘Michigan’, in (1950) is a singer-songwriter and record producer. Among ‘Wonder’ works are singles such as “Superstition”, “Sir Duke”, “You Are the Sunshine of My Life” and “I Just Called to Say I Love You”; and albums such as ‘Talking Book’, ‘Innervisions’ and ‘Songs in the Key of Life’. He has recorded more than thirty ‘United States’ top ten hits and received twenty-two ‘Grammy Awards’.

In (1961), when aged 11, ‘Wonder’ sang his own composition, “Lonely Boy”, to ‘Ronnie White’ of the ‘Miracles’; White then took Wonder and his mother to an audition at ‘Motown’, where ‘CEO’ ‘Berry Gordy’ signed ‘Wonder’ to ‘Motown Tamla’ label. At the end of (1962), when ‘Wonder’ was 12 years old, he joined the ‘Motortown Revue’, touring the “chitlin circuit” theatres across ‘America’ that accepted black artists. At the ‘Regal Theater’, ‘Chicago’ his 20-minute performance was recorded and released in May (1963) as the album ‘Recorded Live: The 12 Year Old Genius’.

Released in late (1972), ‘Talking Book’ featured the No. 1 hit “Superstition”, is one of the most distinctive and famous examples of the sound of the ‘Hohner’ clavinet keyboard. ‘Book’ also featured “You Are the Sunshine of My Life”, which also peaked at No. 1. During the same time as the album release By (1975), in his 25th year, ‘Wonder’ had won two consecutive ‘Grammy Awards’: in (1974) for ‘Innervisions’ and in (1975) for ‘Fulfillingness First Finale’.

The (1980) saw ‘Wonder’ achieving his biggest hits and highest level of fame; he had increased album sales, charity participation, high-profile collaborations, political impact, and television appearances. ‘Wonder’ was in a featured duet with ‘Bruce Springsteen’ on the all-star charity single for ‘African Famine Relief’, “We Are the World”.

The Boss

‘Bruce Springsteen’ born in ‘Long Branch, New Jersey’ (1949) is a singer-songwriter widely known for his brand of poetic lyrics, ‘Americana’ working class, sometimes political sentiments centered on his native ‘New Jersey’ and his lengthy and energetic stage performances.

‘Springsteen’ had been inspired to take up music at the age of seven after seeing ‘Elvis Presley’ on The ‘Ed Sullivan Show’ in (1956). ‘Springsteen’ signed a record deal with ‘Columbia Records’ in (1972) with the help of ‘John Hammond’, who had signed ‘Bob Dylan’ to the same label a decade earlier.

‘Springsteen’ is probably best known for his album ‘Born in the U.S.A.’ (1984), which sold 15 million copies in the United States, 30 million worldwide, and became one of the best-selling albums of all time with seven singles hitting the ‘Top 10’.

Breaking Barriers

‘Michael Jackson’ was born in (1958), a singer-songwriter and actor, his contributions to music, dance, and fashion, along with his publicized personal life, made him a global figure in popular culture for over four decades.

He debuted on the professional music scene along with his brothers as a member of ‘The Jackson 5’ in (1968), and began his solo career in (1971). In the early (1980), ‘Jackson’ became a dominant figure in popular music.

The music videos for his songs, including those of “Beat It”, “Billie Jean”, and “Thriller” (1982), were credited with breaking down racial barriers and with transforming the medium into an art form and promotional tool.

The popularity of these videos helped to bring the then relatively new television channel ‘Music Television’ to fame.