In Celebration of National Postal Worker Day, Birthday Cards and Wishes for All

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Where to begin? Percussionists first. On National Postal Worker Day, a round of recognition for all the mail carriers who deliver our birthday wishes to Ndugu Chancler, Sameer Gupta, and Rashied Ali. Chancler’s energizing fireworks and climactic beats lit up Yoshi’s in Oakland, in 2002, in a historic rebirth of Miles Davis’ On the Corner, with four other Miles veterans. Chancler was also Michael Jackson’s drummer on “Billie Jean”—and played his final drums in 2018, after battling prostate cancer. Happy birthday, and rest in rhythm and power, to Chancler.

Fellow birthday-haver Gupta is a tabla legend who co-founded Brooklyn Raga Massive and supercharges the Supplicants and VidyA, saxophonist Prasant Radhakrishnan’s project. Every band Gupta joins is stronger and steadier for it, with a syncopating pulse that grounds the music. Happy 44th. And happy 87th to Rashied Ali, who gave John Coltrane’s final years their signature sound, thanks to Ali’s kinetic, expressive style, famously on their Interstellar Space duet.

You may also know July 1 as the day ice-vending machines were introduced in Los Angeles, and as Canada Day, but most importantly, it marks the greatest of them all: The happiest birthday in human history to the singularly creative, infinitely inspiring, always-celebrated Rita King, this Recharge writer’s mom and muse.

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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily crazy—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America will move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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