Tuesday, May 31, 2011

May in Black History

Each month we'll list daily black history notes for the month.  Here's what happened in May in Black History.
On May 31 in Black History...
In 1979, Zimbabwe was proclaimed independent. 
In 1961, Judge Irving Kaufman ordered Board of Education of New Rochelle, N.Y., to integrate schools. 
In 1955 - Supreme Court ordered school integration "with all Supreme Court ordered school integration "with all deliberate speed." 
In 1924 - Patricia Harris, the first Black woman to hold a presidential cabinet position, is born in Mattoon Illinois. 
In 1921, A Black Holocaust In America - The Tulsa Riot of 1921, the worst riot in American history. 15,000 Blacks were left homeless, between 300 and 3000 were killed, wounded and/or missing, 1500 homes were burned to the ground and over 600 Black owned businesses in a 35 square block area were bombed in the all Black Greenwood District of Tulsa, Oklahoma. 
In 1909, Three hundred Blacks and whites met at the United Charities Building in New York City at the first NAACP conference, May 31 and June 1. 
In 1881, Booker T. Washington was recommended by General Armstrong for the principalship of the newly planned Tuskegee Institute. 
In 1870, Congress passed the first Enforcement Act which provided stiff penalties for public officials and private citizens who deprived citizens of the suffrage and civil rights. The measure authorized the use of the U.S. Army to protect the rights of Blacks.

On May 30 in Black History...
In 1971 - Willie Mays scored his 1,950th run.  en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Willie_Mays
In 1965 - First Black student, Vivian Malone, graduated from the University of Alabama. In 1956 - Bus boycott began in Tallahassee, Florida. 
In 1943 - Gale Sayers, became the youngest player ever to be elected to the Football Hall of Fame. 
In 1903 - Countee Cullen was born in New York City. His poems were published in The Crisis, under the leadership of W. E. B. Du Bois. 
In 1854 - Kansas-Nebraska Act repealed Missouri Compromise and opened Northern territory to slavery. 
In 1822 House slave betrayed Denmark Vesey conspiracy. Vesey conspiracy, one of the most elaborate slave plots on record, involved thousands of Blacks in Charleston, S.C., and vicinity. Thirty-seven Blacks were hanged.

On May 29 in Black History...
In 1980, Vernon E. Jordan Jr., President of the National Urban League, critically injured in attempted assassination in Fort Wayne, Indiana. 
 In 1973 - Thomas Bradley elected mayor of Los Angeles. In 1914, Henry Ransom Cecil McBay, chemist, was born in Mexia, Texas. He received a Bachelor of Science from Wiley College in 1934 and a Master of Science from Atlanta University in 1936. Henry McBay earned a Doctor of Philosophy from the University of Chicago in 1945.
In 1865, President Andrew Johnson announced his program of Reconstruction. It required ratification of the 13th amendmant, but did not guarantee black suffrage. 
In 1851, Sojourner Truth delivers her infamous "Ain't I A Woman?" speech to the Ohio Women's Rights Convention.

On May 17 in Black History...
In 1997 - Laurent Kabilia becomes new President of Zaire and renames it the Democratic Republic of the Congo.The country was previously under the 37 year rule of Dictator Mobutu SeSE sEKO. In Dr. Patricia E. Bath of Los Angeles, a renowned ophthalmologist and Black woman, patented (1988) an apparatus that efficiently removes cataracts by using laser technology. 
In 1980 - Major race riot, Miami, Florida. Sixteen persons were killed and more than three hundred were injured. 
 In 1969 - Rev. Thomas Kilgore, a Los Angeles pastor, was elected president of the predominantly white American Baptist Convention. 
In 1957 - Prayer Pilgrimage, biggest civil rights demonstration to date, held in Washington. 
In 1956 - Boxer Sugar Ray Leonard was born in Wilmington, SC.Equipped with speed, ability and charisma, Sugar Ray Leonard, filled the boxing void left when Muhammad Ali retired in 1981.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sugar_Ray_Leonard#Early_life
In 1915 - National Baptist Convention was chartered. 
 In 1909 - White firemen on Georgia Railroad struck to protest employment of Blacks. 
 In 1875 - The first Kentucky Derby is won by African American jockey Oliver Lewis riding the horse Aristides. 14 of the 15 jockeys in the race are African Americans. 
 In 1864 - John William "Blind" Boone was born. Rachel Boone was a slave of the decendents of the Daniel Boone family who escaped to an army camp near Miami, MO. She gave birth to a son & moved to Warrensburg, MO.
  On May 16 in Black History…
In 1966 - Stokely Carmichael named chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee. National Welfare Rights Organization organized. 
In 1966 - Janet Jackson, singer was born in Gary, Indiana May 16, 1966. 
In 1930, Betty Carter, jazz singer was born. 
In 1990 - Sammy Davis Jr., actor, dancer, singer and world class entertainer died in Beverly Hills, California at age 64. Davis, born in Harlem, was a member of the popular and notorious Hollywood Rat Pack. He also held starring roles in a host of Broadway musicals and motion pictures. 
In 1979 - Asa Philip Randolph died.  Randolph was a labor leader and civil rights pioneer, in New York. 
In 1929, John Conyers, Jr., founder of the Congressional Black Caucus was born. 
In 1868, Senate failed by a margin of 34 to 16 to cast the two-thirds vote necessary to oust President Johnson. 
In 1826, John Russwurm becomes The 1st black college graduate by receiving his degree from Bowdoin College in Maine.*This claim is disputed by some sources which claim that Edward a .Jones graduated from Amherst a few days earlier. However Russwurm is recorded first.

On May 11 in Black History...
In 1967, Nine Caravans of poor people arrived in Washington for first phase of Poor People's Campaign. Caravans started from different sections of country on May 2 and picked up demonstrators along the way. In Washington, demonstrators erected camp called Resurrection City on sixteen-acre site near Lincoln Monument.In 1981 - Literary Critic and Editor, of Hoyt J. Fuller died. Hoyt was the editor of First World magazine and former editor of Black World, in Atlanta.
In 1965, Blacks held mass meeting in Norfolk (Va.) and demanded equal rights and ballots.
In 1933, Louis Farrakhan was born as Louis Eugene Walcott.
On May 10 in Black History...
In 1994, Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela was inaugurated as the first democratically elected State President of South Africa.
In 1963, Rev. Fred L. Shuttlesworth announced agreement on limited integration plan which ended the Birmingham demonstrations.
In 1962 - Southern School News reported that 246,988 or 7.6 per cent of the Black pupils in public schools in seventeen Southern and Border States and the District of Columbia attended integrated classes in 1962.
In 1951, Z. Alexander Looby elected to Nashville City Council.
In 1950, Jackie Robinson appears on the cover of Life magazine; first time an African American is featured on the cover in the magazine's 13 year history
In, 1919, Race riot in Charleston, South Carolina.  Two Blacks were killed.
In 1837, Pinckney Benton Stewart Pinchback (P.B.S. Pinchback) was born on this day.
In 1775, Black patriots participated in the first aggressive action of American forces, the capture of Fort Ticonderoga by Ethan Allen and "the Green Mountain Boy."
In 1652, John Johnson, a free black, granted 550 acres in Northampton County, VA., for importing eleven persons.
Check out these sites are where I get many of the daily black history info: http://www.blackfacts.com/ http://www.dayinblackhistory.com/

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Ain't I a Woman?

On May 29 in Black History...
In 1851, Sojourner Truth delivers her "Ain't I A Woman" speech.  "Ain't I A Woman?" is the name given to a speech, delivered extemporaneously, by Sojourner Truth, (1797–1883), born a slave in New York State. Some time after gaining her freedom in 1827, she became a well known anti-slavery speaker. Her speech was delivered at the Women's Convention in Akron, Ohio, on May 29, 1851, and was not originally known by any title.  In her speech, Truth argued that while American culture often placed white women upon a pedestal and gave them certain privileges (most notably that of not working), this attitude was not extended toblack women.  The speech received wider publicity in 1863 during the American Civil War when Frances Dana Barker Gage published a different version, one which became known as Ain't I a Woman? because of its oft-repeated question. This later version was the one recorded in most history books.

The first version of the speech was published by Marius Robinson, an abolitionist and newspaper editor who was present at the convention, and very interested in reporting about Truth. Robinson's account of the speech included not one instance of the question "Ain't I a Woman," let alone four repetitions of it. Instead, the only question that Robinson recorded was Truth asking "...can any man do more than that?"  Marius Robinson, who worked with Truth, recorded his version of the speech in the June 21, 1851, issue of the Anti-Slavery Bugle:

"I want to say a few words about this matter. I am a woman's rights. I have as much muscle as any man, and can do as much work as any man. I have plowed and reaped and husked and chopped and mowed, and can any man do more than that? I have heard much about the sexes being equal. I can carry as much as any man, and can eat as much too, if I can get it. I am as strong as any man that is now. As for intellect, all I can say is, if a woman have a pint, and a man a quart – why can't she have her little pint full? You need not be afraid to give us our rights for fear we will take too much, – for we can't take more than our pint'll hold. The poor men seems to be all in confusion, and don't know what to do. Why children, if you have woman's rights, give it to her and you will feel better. You will have your own rights, and they won't be so much trouble. I can't read, but I can hear. I have heard the bible and have learned that Eve caused man to sin. Well, if woman upset the world, do give her a chance to set it right side up again. The Lady has spoken about Jesus, how he never spurned woman from him, and she was right. When Lazarus died, Mary and Martha came to him with faith and love and besought him to raise their brother. And Jesus wept and Lazarus came forth. And how came Jesus into the world? Through God who created him and the woman who bore him. Man, where was your part? But the women are coming up blessed be God and a few of the men are coming up with them. But man is in a tight place, the poor slave is on him, woman is coming on him, he is surely between a hawk and a buzzard."

Twelve years later in May 1863Frances Dana Barker Gage published a very different version. In it, she gave Truth many of the speech characteristics of Southern slaves, and she inserted new material that Robinson didn't report. Gage's version of the speech was republished in 1875, 1881 and 1889, and became the historic standard. This version is known as "Ain't I a Woman?" after the oft-repeated refrain added by Gage.  Truth's own speech pattern was not Southern in nature, as she was born and raised in New York, and spoke only Dutch until she was nine years old.  The following is the speech as Gage recalled it in History of Woman Suffrage, which was, according to her, in the original dialect as it was presented by Sojourner Truth:

"Wall, chilern, whar dar is so much racket dar must be somethin' out o' kilter. I tink dat 'twixt de niggers of de Souf and de womin at de Norf, all talkin' 'bout rights, de white men will be in a fix pretty soon. But what's all dis here talkin' 'bout?"
"Dat man ober dar say dat womin needs to be helped into carriages, and lifted ober ditches, and to hab de best place everywhar. Nobody eber helps me into carriages, or ober mud-puddles, or gibs me any best place!" And raising herself to her full height, and her voice to a pitch like rolling thunder, she asked. 'And ain't I a woman? Look at me! Look at my arm! (and she bared her right arm to the shoulder, showing her tremendous muscular power). I have ploughed, and planted, and gathered into barns, and no man could head me! And ain't I a woman? I could work as much and eat as much as a man – when I could get it – and bear de lash as well! And ain't I a woman? I have borne thirteen chilern, and seen 'em mos' all sold off to slavery, and when I cried out with my mother's grief, none but Jesus heard me! And ain't I a woman?"
"Den dey talks 'bout dis ting in de head; what dis dey call it?" ("Intellect," whispered someone near.) "Dat's it, honey. What's dat got to do wid womin's rights or nigger's rights? If my cup won't hold but a pint, and yourn holds a quart, wouldn't ye be mean not to let me have my little half-measure full?" And she pointed her significant finger, and sent a keen glance at the minister who had made the argument. The cheering was long and loud.
"Den dat little man in back dar, he say women can't have as much rights as men, 'cause Christ wan't a woman! Whar did your Christ come from?" Rolling thunder couldn't have stilled that crowd, as did those deep, wonderful tones, as she stood there with out-stretched arms and eyes of fire. Raising her voice still louder, she repeated, "Whar did your Christ come from? From God and a woman! Man had nothin' to do wid Him."
Oh, what a rebuke that was to that little man. Turning again to another objector, she took up the defense of Mother Eve. I can not follow her through it all. It was pointed, and witty, and solemn; eliciting at almost every sentence deafening applause; and she ended by asserting:
"If de fust woman God ever made was strong enough to turn de world upside down all alone, dese women togedder (and she glanced her eye over the platform) ought to be able to turn it back, and get it right side up again! And now dey is asking to do it, de men better let 'em." Long-continued cheering greeted this. "'Bleeged to ye for hearin' on me, and now ole Sojourner han't got nothin' more to say."

Sojourner Truth
"The Spirit calls me, and I must go."

Truth (1797 – 1883) was the self-given name, from 1843 onward, of Isabella Baumfree, an African-American abolitionist and women's rightsactivist. Truth was born into slavery in Swartekill, New York, but escaped with her infant daughter to freedom in 1826. After going to court to recover her son, she became the first black woman to win such a case against a white man. Her best-known extemporaneous speech on racial inequalities, Ain't I a Woman?, was delivered in 1851 at the Ohio Women's Rights Convention in Akron, Ohio. During the Civil War, Truth helped recruit black troops for the Union Army; after the war, Truth tried unsuccessfully to secure land grants from the federal government for former slaves.


Saturday, May 28, 2011

Gil Scott-Heron, A Voice of Black Culture

Gil Scott-Heron, the poet and recording artist whose syncopated spoken style and mordant critiques of politics, racism and mass media in pieces like “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised” made him a notable voice of black protest culture in the 1970s and an important early influence on hip-hop, passed away yesterday, May 27, 2011 at the age of 62 in Manhattan, NY.
Gil Scott-Heron was born in Chicago, Illinois, but spent his early childhood in Jackson, Tennessee, the home of his maternal grandmother Lillie Scott.[citation needed] Gil's mother, Bobbie Scott-Heron, sang with the New York Oratorio Society. Scott-Heron's Jamaican father,Gilbert "Gil" Heron, nicknamed "The Black Arrow", was a football player who, in the 1950s, became the first black athlete to play for Glasgow's Celtic Football Club. Gil's parents divorced when he was young and Gil was sent to live with his grandmother Lillie Scott.[4] When Scott-Heron was 13 years old, his grandmother died and he moved with his mother to The Bronx in New York City, where he enrolled in DeWitt Clinton High School. He later transferred to The Fieldston School after one of his teachers, a Fieldston graduate, showed one of his writings to the head of the English department at Fieldston and he was granted a full scholarship.
Scott-Heron attended Lincoln University in Pennsylvania, as it was the college chosen by his biggest influence Langston Hughes. It was here that Scott-Heron met Brian Jackson with whom he formed the band Black & Blues. After about two years at Lincoln, Scott-Heron took a year off to write the novels The Vulture and The Nigger Factory.[5] He returned to New York City, settling in Chelsea, ManhattanThe Vulture was published in 1970 and well received. Although Scott-Heron never received his undergraduate degree, he had a Masters degree in Creative Writing from Johns Hopkins University.  Read the full article here:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gil_Scott-Heron

Scott-Heron began his recording career in 1970 with the LP Small Talk at 125th and LenoxBob Thiele of Flying Dutchman Records produced the album, and Scott-Heron was accompanied by Eddie Knowles and Charlie Saunders on conga and David Barnes on percussion and vocals. The album's 15 tracks dealt with themes such as the superficiality of television and mass consumerism, the hypocrisy of some would-be Black revolutionaries, and white middle-class ignorance of the difficulties faced by inner-city residents. In the liner notes, Scott-Heron acknowledged as influencesRichie HavensJohn ColtraneOtis ReddingJose FelicianoBillie HolidayLangston HughesMalcolm XHuey NewtonNina Simone, and the pianist who would become his long-time collaborator, Brian Jackson.  The album also included a live recitation of “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised” accompanied by conga and bongo drums. A second version of that piece, recorded with a full band including the jazz bassist Ron Carter, was released on Mr. Scott-Heron’s second album, “Pieces of a Man,” in 1971.

Mr. Scott-Heron often bristled at the suggestion that his work had prefigured rap. “I don’t know if I can take the blame for it,” he said in an interview last year with the music Web site The Daily Swarm. He preferred to call himself a “bluesologist,” drawing on the traditions of blues, jazz and Harlem renaissance poetics.
Yet, along with the work of the Last Poets, a group of black nationalist performance poets who emerged alongside him in the late 1960s and early ’70s, Mr. Scott-Heron established much of the attitude and stylistic vocabulary that would characterize the socially conscious work of early rap groups like Public Enemy and Boogie Down Productions and has remained part of the DNA of hip-hop by being sampled by stars like Kanye West. Read full article here:

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Breaking Ground in Ophthalmology

"My love of humanity and passion for helping others inspired me to become a physician."
Dr. Patricia Bath
Today in Black History...

In 1988 Dr. Patricia E. Bath of Los Angeles, a renowned ophthalmologist and Black woman, patented an apparatus that efficiently removes cataracts by using laser technology. 

About Dr. Bath:  She has broken ground for women and African Americans in a number of areas. Prior to Bath, no woman had served on the staff of the Jules Stein Eye Institute, headed a post-graduate training program in ophthalmology or been elected to the honorary staff of theUCLA Medical Center (an honor bestowed on her after her retirement). Before Bath, no black person had served as a resident in ophthalmology at New York University and no black woman had ever served on staff as a surgeon at the UCLA Medical Center. Bath is the first African American woman doctor to receive a patent for a medical purpose. Her Laserphaco Probe is used around the world to treat cataracts. The holder of four patents, she is also the founder of the American Institute for the Prevention of Blindness in Washington D.C.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Patricia_Bath  

Her Biggest Obstacles:
Sexism, racism, and relative poverty were the obstacles which I faced as a young girl growing up in Harlem. There were no women physicians I knew of and surgery was a male-dominated profession; no high schools existed in Harlem, a predominantly black community; additionally, blacks were excluded from numerous medical schools and medical societies; and, my family did not possess the funds to send me to medical school. [Dr. Bath says her mother scrubbed floors so she could go to medical school.]

Despite official university policies extolling equality and condemning discrimination, Bath experienced both sexism and racism during her tenure at both UCLA and Drew. Determined that her research not be obstructed by the "glass ceilings," she took her research abroad to Europe, where her research was accepted on its merits at the Laser Medical Center of Berlin, West Germany, the Rothschild Eye Institute of Paris, France, and the Loughborough (England) Institute of Technology. At those institutions she excelled in research and laser science, the fruits of which are evidenced by her patents for laser eye surgery.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Happy Birthday Janet and Betty!

Today in Black History...

"there's really only one jazz singer - only one: Betty Carter."Carmen McRae
In 1930, Betty Carter, jazz singer was born.  was an American jazz singer renowned for her improvisational technique and idiosyncratic vocal style.    Carter honed her scat singing ability while on tour with Lionel Hampton in the late 1940s. Hampton's wife Gladys gave her the nickname "Betty Bebop", a nickname she reportedly detested. In the 1950s Carter made recordings with King Pleasure and the Ray Bryant Trio. Her first solo LP, Out There, was released on the Peacock label in 1958.
In 1966 - Janet Jackson, singer was born in Gary, Indiana.  Janet Damita Jo Jackson (born May 16, 1966) is an American recording artist and actress. Known for a series of sonically innovative, socially conscious and sexually provocative records, as well as elaborate stage shows, television and film roles, she has been a prominent figure in popular culture for over 25 years. She is ranked by Forbes magazine as one of the richest women in entertainment. The youngest child of the Jackson family, she began her career with the variety television series The Jacksons in 1976 and went on to appear in other television shows throughout the 1970s and early 1980s, including Good Times and Fame.

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