Before I get into the meat of my column, I would like  to express my joy at seeing so many students -- particularly students of color -- at the Affirmative Action hearing at the state capitol  Tuesday night (Dec. 19). The Joint Finance hearing room, where the Affirmative Action  hearing was held, was standing room only as the students, professors,  Affirmative Action professionals, and community people came to observe Ward Connerly, the anti-Affirmative Action proponent who has successfully initiated anti-Affirmative Action referenda in three states, and to give him no quarter.
      The students were very orderly, only putting their hands in the air and wiggling them to show their approval or disapproval to what was said, in spite of some of the outlandish things that were said. One committee member twice pleaded with people to be orderly. I think this individual was actually intimidated because he may not have seen that many people of color in a committee hearing before. Heck, I remember the anti-war and welfare rights days when folks would have taken over the hearing.
      The Capital City Hues will have more on the Connerly hearing in our first issue next year. But I just had to say congratulations to the students who turned out in such large numbers during final exam week. Their presence was felt and made a difference at this hearing. It was a good start to a campaign to defeat the forces that will surely try to ban state-initiated affirmative action efforts in this state. These students have reaffirmed my hope for the future.

                                                                                                ***

      A lot has happened in my life during 2006; the majority of that has been The Capital City Hues. Around this time last year, I  wasn't certain what I would be doing with the remainder of my life. I took a lot of hits in 2005 and wasn't sure what 2006 would bring. It  was the first Christmas I would spend without my mom and my son was far away in China. Sometimes life can feel like you are looking down at a precipice that has no bottom.
      Well, at the dawn of 2006, I made the decision to jump into the unknown and start The Capital City Hues. To be quite honest, I was scared to death. In a very esoteric way, The Hues was an extension of the things I had been working on all my life. But in a real human way, I was cut off from some of the things that had been important to me. I missed Betty.
      Quite frankly, I hadn't imagined myself  starting a newspaper. I had always worked for or with someone. While I might have had the skills, I didn't necessarily have the belief in myself to do it. The last thing I wanted others to say about me was that I was  "a legend in my own mind."
      But God works in mysterious ways and kept sending people my way to give me the message that I should go  ahead and start the paper. Sometimes, I'm pretty dense because He had to send a lot of people before I finally listened.
      Starting up a business is a pretty exciting thing, but also very scary. I knew that the vast amount of start-up businesses fail within the first five years. And I  wasn't quite sure why I should be one of the few who succeed. I had inherited some money from my mom -- she was always an avid reader -- and so I used it directly and indirectly to start The Hues.
      That  first issue was hard to put out because it was basically started from scratch and if the first issue bombed, The Hues would probably have a very short life indeed. But it ended up being a new face with a lot of great information and a lot of color and was good enough to get published another day. I will always be grateful to Mother Jacqueline Wright for being my first  "cover girl."
      It has been the tremendous community support along the way that has kept the paper -- and me -- alive.      While I will still be working for no pay for an indefinite time in the future, the advertising is starting to pay for the other expenses we incur.  We are going to make it into our second year of publishing.
      A whole issue of The Hues would have to be used to thank all the people who have touched  The Hues. God bless you all! In order to remain just and true to its roots, The Hues must always remain a community-centered paper. I pledge to do this with all my heart.
      Happy Holidays!
December 20, 2006
stories/columns


*
The Literary Divide: 2006 in review,
by Dr. Paul Barrows


*
Observing the Venezuelan election: Democracy in action,
by Jonathan Gramling


*
Volunteer Mentor African American Man Class: True Empowerment,
by Jonathan Gramling


*
Pasko ng Pinoy (Filipino Christmas),
by Heidi M. Pascual
(www.asianwisconzine.com)


*
Politicas de Hoy: El ano que llega en un ano pasara,
por Alfonso Zepeda Capistran


*
Simple things: Text of speech at Supermax rally,
by Lang Kenneth Haynes


*
Voices: Cameras on human rights violations,
by Dr. Jean Daniels


*
Poetry: Bob Fest 09.09.06,
by Dr. Daniel Kunene


*
The soul of Imani,
by  Jonathan Gramling


*
Jonathan Overby and Higher Ground,
by Jonathan Gramling


* Ujamaa in the Village,
by Jonathan Gramling


*
Middle Spread:
-- Enterprising women of goodwill
-- Spreading googwill and the Christmas spirit
--Madison Metropolitan Links Holiday Skating Party
-- Paz en la tierra a toddos



*
Winds of Change,
by Ramya Kapadia


*
The one-two punch at Wis. Dept. of Regulation & Licensing (Part 2),
by Jonathan Gramling

and  more!!
VOL I No. 21                                 December 20, 2006
Peace on Earth to All
Santa "Agnes Cammer" Claus wishes all a goodnight
Reflections/Jonathan D. Gramling
                                 
After the first year