Archive for Thursday, January 15, 2009

Some blacks choose Obama inauguration over work

January 15, 2009


— Asante Bradford gave his bosses nearly three months notice that he would not be at his desk on Jan. 20.

A day after Barack Obama's historic presidential win, Bradford knew he wanted to be able to whoop it up when Obama was sworn in as the nation's first black chief executive — and that he couldn't do that at work.

"I decided if I couldn't be (in Washington D.C.), I'm just going to take the day off, just so I can scream and holler," said Bradford, 40, who works for the state of Georgia as a liaison to the entertainment industry. He plans to watch the festivities at home with friends.

People across the country may notice the absence of their black colleagues and classmates on Inauguration Day, as many who won't be traveling to Washington gather at homes, restaurants and churches, huddle around TVs and watch the historic swearing in from afar. And while the ceremony itself will only last a few hours, the entire day offers a chance to reflect and rejoice in the moment.

"Being at work is not an option," said Brenda Wilson, a 51-year-old manager at the American Cancer Society in Atlanta who abandoned her dreams of heading to Washington but will not be in the office. "I wouldn't be able to get any work done, wondering what was going on."

Coming a day after the federal observance of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday — many black Americans deem the day as something of a holiday requiring cultural solidarity, much like the Million Man March or the first King holiday in 1986. Then as now, many black people felt compelled to miss work, said Mark Anthony Neal, a professor of black popular culture at Duke University.

It recalls the 1965 theatrical classic "Day of Absence," a one-act satire by black playwright Douglas Turner Ward that ponders events in a fictitious Southern town when all of the black people suddenly go missing.

"There's a symbolism to this moment that would allow that they stay home and celebrate in their own ways," said Neal, who plans to watch the ceremony with his daughters at their school.

Some businesses, particularly those with a large number of black employees, will accommodate workers, realizing the significance of the day.

Offices at The 100 Black Men of Atlanta will be closed to give the staff "an opportunity to participate in the experience" of the inauguration, said its chief executive officer John Grant. The group is a local chapter of The 100 Black Men of America, an organization of professional men who serve as mentors and role models for at-risk youth.

Many from there will spend at least part of their day at a boys' charter school in Atlanta, watching the ceremony with about 175 sixth- and seventh-graders, including quite a few who will interrupt their workdays to volunteer.

"We want to sit with these young men and have a conversation with them about the importance of what this means to the nation, to the world and the image for young African-American men to see (Obama) with his wife and family and what this can mean for them," Grant said.

Organizations like the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, headquartered in Baltimore will stay open, though employees will likely pause to watch the events.

Morehouse College, the renowned historically black institution in Atlanta, has not canceled classes but will offer a campus viewing for students and faculty.

"It's important for students to view and discuss the significance of an extraordinary moment in American history," said Robert Franklin, president of the all-male college. "At the same time, we want to continue the work of preparing future leaders."

The college is also sending two busloads of students to Washington.

But others, like Bari A. Williams, a corporate attorney in Oakland, Calif., will have to experience history from afar. She said she's either planning to work from home or take the day off to watch the ceremony on TV with her only black co-worker in an office of about 50 lawyers.

"This is history unfolding live, said Williams, 28. "It's one of those 'Where were you?' moments that you'll discuss all of your life. This is the real New Year's Eve to me and all of my friends."

While thousands of blacks are expected to make the pilgrimage to the capital for the long inauguration weekend, others were convinced by the cold temperatures, high pricetag and big crowds to stay put.

Estella Gary, a 27-year-old public affairs specialist from Tallahassee, Fla., said she thought about being there in person, but got nervous that she might get caught in a logistical nightmare.

"I don't want to miss any of this historical moment at all," said Gary. "Who knows if I'll ever see it again?"

Instead, Gary is watching at home — alone. She said she doesn't want to repeat her Election Night mistake of watching with friends.

"It became a social hour," she said. "This time, I want to focus in and watch it. I don't want to be somewhere having a conversation about it."

As with Gary, the inauguration will likely be more introspective than jubilant for some, said Neal, the expert on black popular culture.

"You can understand why people actually want to pay attention to Obama taking the oath, to want to hear Aretha Franklin sing. That makes it very different than Election Night," Neal said. "It's a much more reflective moment."


Maddy Griffin 9 years, 3 months ago

Black folks won't be the only folks missing work on that day. It's a historical day for all of us.

jaywalker 9 years, 3 months ago

This story has blown up down here, mostly with racial undertones. Stomach wrenching.

Chris Ogle 9 years, 3 months ago

Stupid, stupid, stupid.... can't believe I even read this.

Flap Doodle 9 years, 3 months ago

Whizzing away over $150 million on a orgy of self-congratulation is a great example for a country with a struggling economy. Not.

Raider 9 years, 3 months ago

I wonder how many lazy people are just using this as an excuse to skip work. There is such a thing as DVR. People could record it, or watch it on the internet.

kmat 9 years, 3 months ago

Me thinks madmike is having a little tantrum because his dear Bushie is leaving office and people with brains are taking control again. Poor little madmike. And of course a female that works to get a good position in govt (or business, or anything in life) is a bitch. My dad always told me if a woman calls you a bitch, it's an insult. If a man calls you a bitch, it's because he's intimidated and has a small d*ck.Snap - the money paying for Obama's party that day is from private donors. So, just how is putting all that money back into the economy a bad thing? You know, I'm taking a trip this spring, blowing my money as you would probably say. So, is that a bad thing that I'm not hoarding money and am putting it into the economy? If you want the economy to turn around, money has to be spent. This is why republicans screw up the economy, they have no idea how economics and capitolism work. Pathetic.

meggers 9 years, 3 months ago

Way to perpetuate ignorant, bigoted stereotypes. This white person will also be taking inauguration day off to soak up the festivities, and I know for a fact that there are people of all different ethnicities who are planning to do the same. One step forward, two steps back. Thanks, AP.

jengaman 9 years, 3 months ago

This headline cracks me up for whatever reason. I'm sooo glad that all of our worries will go away when Obama takes office...including work apparently.

kmat 9 years, 3 months ago

Invictus - how many businesses are profitting from this? How many people are working that day due to this? You are such a moron. $150 million is not chump change. No it is not going to turn the entire economy around (only a moron like you would even read that into anyone's post). If there was an event to possibly take place in Lawrence that would pump that kind of money into our economy, I doubt you'd be complaining. If you did, you'd be an even bigger moron than everyone on here with a brain already thinks you are.Go crawl into your hole come Tuesday with the rest of the brain washed right wingers.

Mary Darst 9 years, 3 months ago

I respect Martin Luther King Day, but this year I would sure opt for Tuesday

Flap Doodle 9 years, 3 months ago

Cholera in Zimbabwe could be wiped out with $150 million dollars.

meggers 9 years, 3 months ago

As upholding the law appears to be so important to you, ese, I expect you will be in full support of investigating unlawful activity in the Bush administration with regard to torture, war profiteering, extraordinary rendition, politicizing the Justice Department, and lying to the American public in making the case for war.

kmat 9 years, 3 months ago

Well snap, then you're little Bushie could have spent the funds he spent for an illegal war in Iraq to wipe of cholera and who knows what other diseases. Instead, he chose a war that would help him and his friends get richer.If you want to ridicule Obama having a party, just like Bush and every other republican prez have done, then you have to ridicule your own republican party as well. At least the dems didn't spends hundreds of thousands to play dress up with an ignorant Alaskan whacko.So what comment do you have for Bush spending almost half a million dollars on new china for the White House? I guess it's only ok for republicans to spend money.And I assume that you never spend money to celebrate anything in your life and give every cent you might have ever spent on celebrating to charity??

daddax98 9 years, 3 months ago

"Cholera in Zimbabwe could be wiped out with $150 million dollars"That's about what we spend in Iraq every 5 dayswhat was your point again?If you have vacation and want to take this day off what is the big deal; 4 day weekends are the S#!t.

Chris Ogle 9 years, 3 months ago

And more inauguration over work ... "news""And they've scrambled to think up new ways to deal with the insatiable appetite of wealthy supporters not just to attend but to buy themselves VIP status"

alm77 9 years, 3 months ago

"I wonder how much productivity will be lost when those blacks aren't working?" I wonder how much productivity was gained when "blacks" were working for free. Put that into your equation and I'd say there is a net gain. Funny how an internet poster is worried about productivity....

kmat 9 years, 3 months ago

Only feel sorry for me invictus because I have to live in a state filled with people like you. Unlike you, I have studied economics.Learn before you speak. Google Keynesian economics. It will teach you what happens when money is hoarded during economic slowdowns. It is what Obama and economists world wide know is needed to keep us from another depression and to turn the world economy around.

alm77 9 years, 3 months ago

inivict, if by "medical care" you mean they were raped and beaten then you'd be right. Civilization? I'd hardly call slavery civilized. You're seriously one sick individual.

Flap Doodle 9 years, 3 months ago

What is Anthony Weiner saying this year?President George W. BushThe White House1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NWWashington, D.C. 20500Dear Mr. President:The festivities surrounding your inauguration later this month are slated to cost $40 million – making this the most expensive inauguration in history. I urge you to re-direct those funds towards a use more fitting to these sober times – bonuses or equipment for our troops.Precedent suggests that inaugural festivities should be muted – if not cancelled – in wartime. In the midst of World War II, President Roosevelt held his 1945 inaugural at the White House, making a short speech and serving guests cold chicken salad and plain pound cake. During World War I, President Wilson did not have any parties at his 1917 inaugural, saying that such festivities would be undignified.Furthermore, $40 million could provide substantial support for our troops overseas. For example, we could buy armor for 690 unarmored humvees or provide a $290 bonus for each member of the armed services station in Iraq. Please re-direct all the funds raised for the inauguration to our brave men and women in uniform.

Chris Ogle 9 years, 3 months ago

alm77 says- "Funny how an internet poster is worried about productivity…."-------------------------------------------------Take a chill pill alm.... we are not worried, we just love to bitch.

kmat 9 years, 3 months ago

ese is just a giant racist. Me thinks you need to get a life, but you are probably scared to be out in the real world where blacks could actually be near you. Or you are just really jealous because a black man was able to achieve something great, which you haven't been able to do.

alm77 9 years, 3 months ago

xbus, in this weather, I have no choice but to chill! Which is why I'm cuddled up, unproductively, with my warm laptop this morning. ;)

BeeBee3 9 years, 3 months ago

What a TERRIBLE headline and TERRIBLE STORY. Come on AP writers. Really? Way to pigeonhole. A LOT of people will be missing work to see this historic day- black, white, green, yellow. Go Obama!

Woodduck_5363 9 years, 3 months ago

I agree with you BeeBee3 Lets not stay stuck on stupid this is a new era. We as a people elected this man to be our president for change, that means in all areas. Lets be proud that we have that right. Mr. President Obama I am with you and pray that you will have that insight to bring us ALL along. You have a big task ahead of you, I am confident that you will be just fine. May God Bless President Obama and May God Bless America

kmat 9 years, 3 months ago

Have you read the basics of economics yet invictus? We're waiting.

Flap Doodle 9 years, 3 months ago

He won't be my President. (haven't I been hearing that line over & over from the sinister side of the aisle for the last 8 years?)

Chris Ogle 9 years, 3 months ago

hey invictus, don't be afraid of black people just because they are smarter than you. The fact is, most people are. Even mutts like me.

Chris Ogle 9 years, 3 months ago

invictus, let me give you a hint. It really is not the elevators fault that you are stuck. You have to push the button. Good luck

kmat 9 years, 3 months ago

ese says he's not a racist because this article is talking about blacks, but in his/her posts says that;"I wonder if this months welfare check will reflect the lost day?"Yeah, you're not a racist. Just keep saying that to yourself. It doesn't matter what the article is about, it's your comments that show you to be a racist.

kmat 9 years, 3 months ago

I won't even bother with any video you post ese.

rachaelisacancer 9 years, 3 months ago

LJWorld, Kealing, whoever: How on earth has "ese" not been removed from this forum? While readers can debate the ignorant and racially-insensitive use of the headline on this story (or the story as a whole), when it comes to "ese", there's really no debate. His language is hateful, harmful, harassing and racist. Please consider his permanent removal.

Flap Doodle 9 years, 3 months ago

"It would take the average U.S. household 57,598 years to produce a carbon footprint equal to that of the new president’s housewarming party."

Left_handed 9 years, 3 months ago

There certainly seems to be a dearth of comments mentioning how racist this whole article was. Substitute "white" for "black" and you'd have a stomping, hairpulling garment rending panty wadding from the same liberal losers who are celebrating this racist claptrap. Go figure. ese pointed it out, and was subjected to a bunch of hate comments from the usual gang of libtards.

kmat 9 years, 3 months ago

ese didn't point it out, he made racist comments. BIG DIFFERENCE.

SMe 9 years, 3 months ago

The article is racist. Those staying home only because Obama is black are racist. Those calling them racist are racist. We're all racist to some extent what matters is how we handle it and live within our racism.To me Obama is a man, president elect. Nothing more, nothing less. To say "inauguration day is historical because he's black" is similar to saying, "He's pretty smart for his race."

Alexander Neighbors 9 years, 3 months ago

Some Whites angry some Blacks choose Obama inauguration over work...................................................... Some Whites are Really Angry that he is President .

9070811 9 years, 3 months ago

I guess most of you forget that is Mr. Obama is "white" as well as black. Ese- The country did vote in a white, a half white, also a half black. Did you mean too bad the country didn't vote in a "full white?"What a pathetic excuse for a headline. Is that for real? Many people will miss work, in fact, many people over the years have missed work for the inauguration.

kmat 9 years, 3 months ago

NO, you don't get it ese. Explain to me how your statement of “I wonder if this months welfare check will reflect the lost day?” is saying something negative about Obama. You are making a racist statement about black people, inferring that all blacks are on wellfare.Saturday Night Live is able to easily make fun of Obama without being racist, even having a white guy play his part. There's a difference between humor and generalized racist statements, which are what you make.I think the short bus is at your house, ready to pick you up.

9070811 9 years, 3 months ago

OOo Kmat, as much as I appreciate you pointing out those racist comments by ese; you also picked on the retarded kids. I think that was bit of a fail. Kind of undermines your whole point.

kmat 9 years, 3 months ago

I'm not picking on "special needs" kids (you're the one using the retarded term) - I used to be a special education teacher, for your info. It was my way of pointing out that he is a special needs person and does need some special teaching. He obviously has very poor communication skills and appears to be a little slow since he hasn't been able to pick up the fact the he is a RACIST and continues to make racist comments.Many people have to ride the short bus that need special help and attention and ese is one of them. People like me went to school to learn how to deal with these "special needs" individuals and to give them the training and help they need. Nothing terrible about that.

9070811 9 years, 3 months ago

whoooaa there buddy ol pal. I wasn't trying to get your panties in a bunch. I was taking it light heartedly. JC, man. In that case, can you offer your services to ese please?i'll pay for them

kmat 9 years, 3 months ago

Invictus thinks I'm dense, but yet this guy thinks that hoarding money is the basis of capitalism. Have you read up on basic economics yet Invictus? You shut up once I asked you about Keynesian economics (which is taught in high school econ classes and is the basis of the new bailout plan). Cat got your tounge on that subject?What you're seeing on here 9070811 is a bunch of hurt right wingers (many racist) that can't believe that Obama is taking over. Poor guys. Can't convince them it's not the end of the world. Take pity on them.

ksarmychick 9 years, 3 months ago

Hey LJworld where's the real news??? Why have you yet to write an article about Tim Geithner "forgetting" to pay his taxes. Instead of printing real news, you print this crap.

Chris Ogle 9 years, 3 months ago

News (used loosely):This article Blacks take the day off... 75 postsInaugural organizers face financial balancing act..1 postgo figure

local_support 9 years, 3 months ago

"They didn’t work for free they were given room, board, medical care and civilization."Wow invictus manages to put out some pro-slavery talking points. I like how you choose to believe that individuals taken from their homes in Africa were completely lacking in all of these areas. Later you attempt to amend this by stating you are referring to contemporary East African civilizations of today. Are you suggesting that by enslaving people we in fact liberated them from their bleak future?

Emily Hadley 9 years, 3 months ago

What a horrifically ignorant way to title an article on this event.

Jaylee 9 years, 3 months ago

what a horribly titled and put together would be crazy and cause whispers if a white(s) were to miss work, so they made sure to pinpoint blacks.this guy will write something for hillary like "women opt out of work for inauguration"at least he knows his headliners are all written for him whenever someone reflecting a new genre of individual is elected.

feeble 9 years, 3 months ago

snap_pop_no_crackle (Anonymous) says…Cholera in Zimbabwe could be wiped out with $150 million dollars.=============================Only if you get rid of Mugabe first.

9070811 9 years, 3 months ago

After a long day at class, and walking to and from class in this awesome day (for a polar bear). I am back, to say that I am glad that I am not a left winger or right winger, but a human with a brain, that can walk the line either way I like. Liberal this, conservative that. Can any of you think for yourselves? Must YOU GIVE YOURSELF a LABEL? Absolutely pathetic. ese: a lot is two wordsSecondly, the headline, and furthermore, this article is a bunch of bs. Everyone should know that the govt is more radical than you could ever imagine. And by govt I mean the hidden one. (I hope that opened Pandora's Box) I have to go take my anti-anxiety now.

Leslie Swearingen 9 years, 3 months ago

I am a white woman with a black child. I voted for Obama because I identify with his struggles because I know what my daughter has gone though in Lawrence. To me bigotry and racism is a family matter. He is the best man for the job and I am sorry that people cannot see past the color of his skin.Or the gender of his choice for Secretary of State.I watched the election with my daughter and when the west coast went blue she jumped up and yelled. "There is going to be someone in the White House with brown skin like me," We held each other and jumped up and down in jubilation.I cry when I read people write such hateful cruel things about people they don't even know. Your hate is like a monster with tentacles that reaches out and tries to grab people.Let my people go, oh, dear sweet God, let my people go.

fonz73 9 years, 3 months ago

This has GOT to be the most baited headline I've ever read. Wow. Words fail me.And from the AP no less.....I thought they were "liberal".'Nuff said. Back to my fried chicken, watermelon and general laziness.

pissedinlawrence 9 years, 3 months ago

Im quitting my job on that day and going to SRS for some money! Get Money, Obama

Chris Ogle 9 years, 3 months ago

invictus, sorry I'm late.... just got up. Good to see you holding up the fort. You know what they say..... winners never quit, and quitters never win. Hang in there man, that's the way I got my start.

Shane Garrett 9 years, 3 months ago

Wow, personal attacks. you all act like the South will Rise Again!

Shane Garrett 9 years, 3 months ago

Here is a much better news story that the LJW could have picked up.Singer Boy George was sentenced to 15 months in jail on Friday after being convicted of falsely imprisoning a male escort by handcuffing him to a wall in a London apartment.

VoiceUneed 9 years, 3 months ago

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