Wednesday, November 08, 2006


Election 2006: Deval Patrick Becomes First Black Governor of Massachusetts

Deval Laurdine Patrick (born July 31, 1956 in Chicago, Illinois) is a Massachusetts businessman, lawyer, and the first African-American elected governor of the state of Massachusetts. Patrick was born on Chicago's South Side in 1956, into an African-American family living on welfare and residing in a one-bedroom apartment. His father Pat Patrick, a member of jazz musician Sun Ra's band, left his wife Emily, son Deval, and daughter Rhonda in order to play music in New York City. In 1994, Clinton nominated Patrick to be Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights. As an Assistant Attorney General, Patrick worked on a range of issues, including racial profiling, human trafficking, and discrimination. He also played a key role as an advisor to post-apartheid South Africa during this time and helped to create their civil rights laws.

From FOX News:
BOSTON — Deval Patrick was elected governor of Massachusetts on Tuesday, restoring the Democratic Party to the Corner Office after a 16-year absence, and putting himself into the history books as the first black person to win the state's highest office in its 218-year history.

Patrick defeated Lt. Gov. Kerry Healey, the Republican nominee, as well as independent Christy Mihos and Grace Ross of the Green-Rainbow Party, based on a statistical analysis of the vote from voter interviews conducted for The Associated Press by Edison Media Research and Mitofsky International.

In addition to the state distinction, the victory made Patrick just the second African-American governor in the nation since Reconstruction. The first, L. Douglas Wilder of Virginia, left office more than a decade ago, in 1995.

Chisholm '72 - Unbought & Unbossed is the first historical documentary on Brooklyn Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm and her campaign to become the Democratic Party's presidential nominee in 1972. Following Chisholm from the announcement of her candidacy in January to the Democratic National Convention in Miami, Florida in July, the story is like her - fabulous, fierce, and fundamentally right on.

I recently read a great biography on Sun Ra ('Space is The Place - The Lives and Times of Sun Ra'), and while many, many musicians floated in and out of the band, Pat Patrick was probably the most, or maybe one of two most important members to Ra, who was of course very conscious, and taught where politics and creativity meet. I wonder how much the teachings of Ra, through Pat, had a bearing on Deval, if any. How cool.
Yeah, it's a "New Day" (Sun Ra track) here in Massachusetts . . . and it feels good.
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