Feb. 1, 2023
by Leon Irby (author's profile)


We were here before the mighty words of the Declaration of Independence were etched across the pages of history. Our forebears labored without wages. They made cotton "king". And yet out of a bottomless vitality, they continued to thrive and develop. If the cruelties of slavery could not stop us, the opposition we now face will surely fail...

Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929-68),
U.S. Clergyman, Civil rights leader
Letter, April 1963, from Birmingham Jail, Ala.

Universal Awakening

Like the ripple on a lake spreading out, humanity is awakening at an ever increasing speed.

A snowball at the top of a mountain has the potential to become huge, just by rolling down the mountain and gathering more snow. In a short time, this tiny snowball can become a force to be reckoned with. We humans are like this when it comes to exchanging energy and vision, and no matter how few people are involved at the beginning, there is the potential for massive change. As consciousness seekers, we are in the midst of this process, and it is amazing to see people we thought might never come around, waking up to their truth. Each time we see this, we can count ourselves blessed to be living at a time when the awareness of humanity seems to be at a tipping point, as more and more individuals open their minds and change their ways.

For some people, this revolves around an awareness of the environment, for others it is a spiritual awakening, and for many it is both. A great change in consciousness is sweeping through us all, as we recognize that things are not what they have seemed to be, that there is more to our lives than meets the eye. Many of us have the awareness and the energy at this time to break through old, outmoded ways of seeing things and to move into a new way of being in the world, and it is essential that we do so. The beauty of living at this time is that even small actions have a powerful ripple effect, and the reverberations of what we do have the power to reach and open many minds.

It is as if a scale is about to tip in favor of higher consciousness, and each one of us has the power to bring humanity closer to that point with the smallest of actions. Each time we move in the direction of our dreams and visions, we can visualize another small pebble dropping into the pond, or another gold weight on the scale, rippling and tipping our way to universal awakening.

Happy New Year!
For last year's words belong
to last year's language
and next year's words await
another voice. And to make
an end is to make a beginning.


Mr. Leon Irby #433802
New Lisbon Correctional
P.O. Box 189
Phoenix, MD



CONSIDERED ONE OF THE WORLD'S GREATEST HUMANITARIANS, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, was named the winner of the Nobel Peace Prize for his commitment to nonviolent activism on Oct. 14, 1964. In the first global recognition for his fight against systematic discrimination toward African-Americans, the 35-year-old pastor was, at the time, the youngest person ever to receive the honor and only the second Black American. Here, the civil rights leader proudly poses with his wife, Coretta, at a December ceremony commemorating the occasion in Oslo, Norway. During his speech in the European capital before an audience of several hundred that included the Nobel committee, royalty and other dignitaries, King declared: "I accept this award today with an abiding faith in America and an audacious faith in the future of mankind."

"A man is God's marvelous creation, crowned with glory and honor, and because of this you can't quite hem him in. You can put him in...prison, but somehow his mind {imagination} will break out through the bars to scratch across the pages of history."

- Martin Luther King, Jr.


On a bus
Died October 24th 2005
On that bus seat!
Barber Shop
In the stepin fletchit
Stand up
Men don't sat,
They on feet
That failed us!
Rest Rosa
Not from tireness,
But fly now
You earned our wings

By Leon Irby


Over the last 15 years, Julie Green has painted images of death row inmates' final meal requests onto ceramic dinner plates. Her ongoing project, titled The Last Supper, now features 600 plates, each of which illustrates a final meal in delicate blues reminiscent of historic porcelains. A plate from an Illinois execution in 1998 shows a can of Coke and a Camel cigarette. The singularity of every depicted meal is in sharp contrast to the mass of death row statistics: 1,411 people exceuted in the U.S. since 1976. Green has committed to painting 50 plates a year as long as executions persist. The plates are on display at the Mary and Leigh Block Museum of Art in Evanston, Illinois, through August 9.



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