Bob Dylan: Oxford Town


This is Dylan’s song that “deals with the Meredith case, but then again it doesn’t,” as he put it. The general facts are there: racial discrimination, tear gas, two men killed in Oxford, Mississippi. But he kept it vague enough that it was about the racist violence of the 1960s in general. He wrote this in 1962 and there was plenty more of that soon to come.

The song itself never charted but the album it was on, “The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan” (1963), went to #22 in the US and #1 in Britain.

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Oxford Town, Oxford Town
Ev’rybody’s got their hats bowed down
The sun don’t shine above the ground
Ain’t a-goin’ down to Oxford Town.

He went down to Oxford Town
Guns and clubs followed him down
All because his face was brown
Better get away from Oxford Town.

Oxford Town around the bend
He comes to the door, he couln’t get in
All because of the color of his skin
What do you think about that, my frien’ ?

Me and my gal, my gal’s son
We got met with a tear gas bomb
I don’t even know why we come
Goin’ back where we come from.

Oxford Town in the afternoon
Ev’rybody singin’ a sorrowful tune
Two men died ‘neath the Mississippi moon
Somebody better investigate soon.

How to be more Brazilian

A couple before performing on the first day of Carnaval in Salvador, Brazil, February 16th 2012. Via Business Insider. (Mario Tama/Getty Images)

Disclaimer: Not ALL Brazilians do ALL of these. Nor are Brazilians the only ones who do them. These are based on differences noted by Anglos living in Brazil and by Brazilians living in the English-speaking world. I have never been to Brazil myself – yet.


  • Put your old national identity to one side and make room for a new Brazilian one.
  • Be a Lusophone: learn Portuguese – Brazilian Portuguese, of course.
  • Be Catholic or at least Christian or at least respect religion.
  • Use metric units.
  • Use the 24-hour clock.
  • Listen to Brazilian music.
  • Watch Brazilian films.
  • Watch soccer or Brazilian telenovelas. Or both.


  • Eat rice and beans every day.
  • Buy freshly baked bread every day
  • Drink strong coffee, not that watered down stuff they drink in the US.
  • Eat pizza with a knife and fork.
  • Add sugar to your juice.
  • Take a full hour to eat lunch. And then brush your teeth. (You did bring your toothbrush, right?)
  • Order something not on the menu.

Hygiene and manners:

  • Share, especially food (give others a first bite).
  • Shower before you go out and before you go to bed.
  • Brush your teeth before breakfast and after every meal.
  • Do not burp in public.
  • Do not blow your nose.
  • Cough into your hands not into your arm.


  • Family comes first.
  • Greet people warmly.
  • Hug!
  • Be friendly to strangers. Help them if they need help. But do not necessarily trust them.
  • Your friend’s friend is your friend.
  • Struggle to be on time. Better late than never.
  • Parties: Arrive two hours late. Greet everyone personally when you get there.
  • Linger at parties, restaurants, the beach.
  • Sing along at concerts.
  • Kiss your girlfriend in public, hold her hand.
  • Bring back gifts from abroad.
  • Be judgemental about how people dress, yourself included. The world treats people better when they dress well.


  • Take time to actually talk to people.
  • When talking to someone try to put yourself in their shoes and speak to that. Get into what they are saying.
  • Talk with emotion, not like blah-blah-blah-blah.
  • Use strong eye contact to show interest.
  • Include everyone in the conversation.
  • Do not get straight to the point. Ask for things in a roundabout way.
  • Lie to protect people’s feelings.
  • Avoid saying no, even if it means making promises you later break or keeping your opinion to yourself.


  • Life is about people.
  • Measure your success by your happiness not your accomplishments.
  • Remember that the glass is half full, not half empty.
  • Be optimistic and fatalistic. Everything works out in the end. Things will get better tomorrow.
  • Stop and smell the roses. Enjoy today instead of worrying so much about tomorrow (but still worry).
  • Do something you love each day.
  • Love beauty in nature, people and architecture.
  • Complain about your country, especially the government, but be proud of your country too.
  • Be class-conscious more than race-conscious.
  • When asked where you are from, just give your nationality. Do not get into race or ethnicity or where your family came from.

– Abagond, 2018.

Sources: “Brazil – Culture Smart” (2006) by Sandra Branco and Rob Williams; Brazilian GringoGlobal Citizen Year, Lexiophiles, and endless YouTube videos.

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James Meredith

James Meredith (1933- ) was the first Black American to go to the University of Mississippi, better known as Ole Miss. President Kennedy had to call in the army to get him admitted.

On September 3rd 1962 the Fifth Judicial Circuit Court ruled that Ole Miss had to admit Meredith. Medgar Evers and Thurgood Marshall had chosen him as a test case.

On September 20th Meredith went to register for classes. The registrar was Ross Barnett – the governor himself. He refused to allow Meredith to register.

On September 29th at the Old Miss football game, Barnett said:

“I love Mississippi. I love her people, her customs! And I love and respect her heritage.”

The all-White crowd waved their Confederate flags while chanting:

“Never, Never, Never, Never, N-o-o-o Never.”

“Ross’s standing like Gibraltar. He shall never falter.”

“Never shall our emblem go, from Colonel Reb to Old Black Joe.”

“Ask us what we say, it’s to hell with Bobby K.”

On September 30th, at 4pm, 123 deputy US marshals, 316 border patrolmen, and 97 prison guards had moved into position at the Lyceum, the administration building, to make sure Meredith could register.

Hundreds of Whites gathered, chanting stuff like “2-4-6-8, we ain’t gonna integrate. We hate Kennedy!”

By 7pm violence broke out. Whites threw rocks and bottles, overturned cars, smashed windows.

The state police pulled out, leaving the US marshals to fight the rioters on their own. The marshals had no bullets. All they had was tear gas.

As the violence raged, the governor and then the president got on television.

Governor Barnett:

“Surrounded on all sides by the armed forces and oppressive power of the U.S.A., my courage and commitment do not waver … To the officials of the federal government I say, ‘Gentlemen, you are trampling on the sovereignty of this great state … You are destroying the Constitution of this great nation … May God have mercy on your souls …’”

President Kennedy (not knowing what Barnett just said):

“Americans are free … to disagree with the law, but not to disobey it. For in any government of laws and not of men, no man, however prominent and powerful, and no matter however unruly and boisterous, is entitled to defy a court of law… “

White rioters progressed to fire bombs and gunfire. They even went after reporters, smashing cameras. One reporter was shot in the back. The marshals were running out of tear gas.

Barnett would break his promises to Kennedy – and get on the radio and say stuff like:

“I call on Mississippi to keep the faith and courage. We will never surrender.”

President Kennedy at last called in the army (also without bullets). Whites blocked them and slowed them down. It took them six hours to arrive at Ole Miss.

By 4.30am the army had restored order.

By the numbers:

  • 160 marshals were injured, 28 of them shot.
  • 2 men killed.
  • 200 arrested, fewer than 50 of them students

At 7.55am, amid the shattered glass and overturned cars that were still smoking, Meredith went to register.

– Abagond, 2018.

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Happy Birthday Sandra Bland

I will never forget you.

Requiescat in pace.

– Abagond, 2018.

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Art Jones

Jones addresses Aryan Nations in 2014. From his campaign website.

Arthur Jones (1948- ), a neo-Nazi and former leader of the American Nazi Party, will be the Republican candidate in the 2018 Congressional election for the 3rd District of Illinois. The Republican primary is not till March 20th, but he is running unopposed. He will run against the Democratic candidate in the general election in November. In 2016 Trump got 40% of the district’s vote.

The picture above was taken from his campaign website. He is not hiding the fact that he is a neo-Nazi.

Also from his campaign website: 

  • On the Holocaust: “the biggest, blackest, lie in history … there is no proof such a so-called ‘HOLOCAUST,’ ever took place in Europe, against the Jews.”
  • On the Confederate flag: “This flag represents to millions of White Americans, a symbol of White pride and White resistance. It is the flag of a White counter revolution.”
  • On Mexico: “a nation whose leaders believe they can reconquer the American Southwest, by flooding our country with millions of illegal aliens. And, their plan is working.”
  • On crime: “According to the FBI, in 2007, 14,000 WHITE FEMALES of all ages, were raped and/or raped and then killed by BLACK MEN, but NOT ONE BLACK WOMAN was raped by any WHITE MEN in that same year.”

And he still uses the word “Negro”.

Even Tim Schneier, the Illinois Republican Party chairman, called his views “racist”.


  • for: English as the official language, flat income tax of 10%, term limits for federal judges, gun rights, the Neighborhood Amendment (keeping neighbourhoods at least 90% White and Christian by law).
  • against: US wars in the Middle East (= US subservience to Israel), sanctuary cities, amnesty for “illegal aliens”, Obamacare, abortion, homosexual marriage, NAFTA, TPP.

Trump: In 2016 he voted for Trump, but now regrets it: Trump has “surrounded himself with hordes of Jews including a Jew in his own family, that punk named Jared Kushner.”

Career path: Jones fought in Vietnam, worked at a foundry and, after a back injury, sold insurance for many years. He is now retired.

Jones salutes Joe McCarthy’s grave.

Politically he went from Young Republican and George Wallace supporter to Neo-Nazi. In the 1970s he marched in Skokie in full Nazi regalia. He now heads the America First Committee, Charles Lindbergh’s old organization that opposed the US going to war against Nazi Germany. Jones says membership is “open to any white American citizen of European, non-Jewish descent.” Thus his America.

Perennial candidate: Jones has been running for the 3rd District seat since the 1990s. In 2012 he got 11% of the Republican vote. In 2016 the state Republican party disqualified him after challenging some of the signatures on his petition. This time his petition was in order – and no other Republican qualified in time.

The 3rd Congressional District takes in parts of Chicago and some of its south-western suburbs. It is currently 74% White. It voted for Lincoln (1860), Eisenhower (1952), Humphrey (1968), Ford (1976), and Reagan (1980). After 1990 it was redrawn as a safe Democratic seat – and no Republican so far has carried it since, not in elections for Congress or for president.

– Abagond, 2018.

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Vanessa da Mata: Ainda Bem


This went to #21 in Brazil in 2006. I used to play it to death. All love songs should be sung in Portuguese 😉

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Ainda bem
Que você vive comigo
Porque senão
Como seria esta vida?
Sei lá, sei lá

Nos dias frios em que nós estamos juntos
Nos abraçamos sob o nosso conforto
De amar, de amar

Se há dores, tudo fica mais fácil
Seu rosto silencia e faz parar
As flores que me manda são fato
Do nosso cuidado e entrega

Meus beijos sem os seus, não dariam
Os dias chegariam sem paixão
Meu corpo sem o seu, uma parte
Seria o acaso e não sorte

Ainda bem
Que você vive comigo
Porque senão
Como seria esta vida?
Sei lá, sei lá

Se há dores, tudo fica mais fácil
Seu rosto silencia e faz parar
As flores que me manda são fato
Do nosso cuidado e entrega

Meus beijos sem os seus, não dariam
Os dias chegariam sem paixão
Meu corpo sem o seu, uma parte
Seria o acaso e não sorte

Neste mundo de tantos anos
Entre tantos outros
Que sorte a nossa, hein?
Entre tantas paixões
Esse encontro, nós dois, esse amor

Entre tantos outros
Entre tantos anos
Que sorte a nossa, hein?
Entre tantas paixões
Esse encontro, nós dois, esse amor

Entre tantas paixões
Esse encontro, nós dois, esse amor

Source: letras.mus.br.

Welcome to Black History Month 2018

Welcome to Black History Month 2018, one year into the Trump Era. God willing, I will get some posts done on Black history. “Black” means Africa and the Diaspora, not just the US part.

If you want to suggest or second a topic, please leave a comment below or “like” another person’s comment. Since I do a song every Sunday, musical suggestions are good too.

My suggestions (in alphabetical order):

  • Ava DuVernay
  • Almoravids
  • Anglophone Cameroon
  • Black Brazil
  • Black Britain
  • Black Great Recession
  • Black Lives Matter
  • Black Panther Party
  • Crack Era
  • Civil Rights Movement: 1950s
  • Civil Rights Movement: 1960s
  • Great Zimbabwe
  • Harlem Renaissance
  • John Hope Franklin
  • Middle Passage
  • Reconstruction
  • SNCC
  • Thurgood Marshall
  • Trans-Saharan Trade
  • US racism in the 1700s
  • US racism in the 1800s
  • US racism in the 1900s
  • W.E.B. Du Bois

Promised posts (do four of these)

  • African Christianity
  • Bantu Expansion
  • Black Israel
  • Libyan slave trade
  • Moors
  • South Africa
  • voter suppression
  • Zimbabwe

Completed posts:

– Abagond, 2018.

See also:


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