Category Archives: Black History Month

Black History Month, Katherine Johnson – “Hidden Figures”

With the release and popularity of the movie “Hidden Figures” and this being Black History month, I thought that copying a post written by guest blogger Yahteebutterfly would be appropriate.

By Guest Blogger Yahtzeebutterfly

Katherine Johnson, the African American mathematician who calculated the trajectory of NASA’s first manned spacecraft was born on  August 26, 1918 in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia.

Her father, a farmer and logger who only had a sixth grade education, was a whiz at math.  In an interview with Cathy Lewis of WHROTV, Dr. Johnson recalled that her father could listen to a difficult math word-problem and immediately have the answer and that he could determine the number of board feet he could get from a tree just by looking at it. When it came time for high school and college for his four children he began working at a hotel and had extra jobs to support the studies of his four children.

Watching her three siblings enter elementary school before she did, Katherine could hardly wait to attend school.  She loved learning and had a special fascination for numbers.  She loved counting everything around her, even the number of steps she walked on her way to church. When she finally did attend school, she was such an outstanding student that she was skipped to second grade, and by the time she was 10, she entered high school where mathematician Angie King recognized her mathematical talent and mentored her during those four years.   Read the rest of this entry

Black History Month – 11 African American Inventors Who Changed the World

What an educational post! Thank you, Pastor Sneed.

Lionel Sneed Ministries

Article by Kristin Fawcett of “Mental Floss”


1. THOMAS L. JENNINGS

t-jenningsThomas L. Jennings (1791-1859) was the first African American person to receive a patent in the U.S., paving the way for future inventors of color to gain exclusive rights to their inventions. Born in 1791, Jennings lived and worked in New York City as a tailor and dry cleaner. He invented an early method of dry cleaning called “dry scouring,” and patented it in 1821—four years before Paris tailor Jean Baptiste Jolly refined his own chemical technique and established what many people claim was history’s first dry cleaning business.

People objected to an African American citizen receiving a patent, but Jennings had a loophole: He was a free man. At the time, U.S. patent laws said that the “[slavemaster] is the owner of the fruits of the labor of the slave both manual and intellectual”—meaning slaves couldn’t legally own…

View original post 1,426 more words

Remembering Martin Luther King, Jr

idealisticrebel

12 Historic Facts About Martin Luther King Jr.

IMAGE CREDIT:
GETTY

Monday, January 16, marks Martin Luther King Jr. Day, the federal date of recognition for one of the most important figures in the civil rights movement. Signed by President Reagan in 1983, the holiday marked the culmination of efforts that started just four days after King’s assassination in 1968, when Representative John Conyers of Michigan began 15 years of introducing and reintroducing a bill to establish the holiday. (Stevie Wonder joined the chorus of Americans backing Conyers’ efforts; in 1980 he wrote the song “Happy Birthday” to help create a groundswell of support.)

While it would be impossible to encompass everything King accomplished in a mere list, we’ve compiled a few intriguing facts that may pique your interest in finding out more about the man who helped unite a divided nation.

1. MARTIN LUTHER KING…

View original post 1,361 more words

This Month In Black American History – Rev. Abraham Lincoln DeMond

BY GUEST BLOGGER, YAHTZEEBUTTERFLY

On January 1, 1900 The Rev. Dr. A. L. DeMond welcomed the new year and the new century with a speech which he delivered at the Dexter Avenue Baptist Church (later to become pastored by Dr. Martin Luther King) in Montgomery, Alabama. Were it not for the Emancipation Proclamation Association publishing his speech pamphlet form, we might never have learned of Rev. DeMond or of his speech titled “The Negro Element in American Life, An Oration.”

Those members of the Dexter Avenue Baptist congregation in attendance on New Year’s Day in 1900 were treated to an oration which honored past and contemporary African Americans who championed freedom for slaves and civil rights for freedmen, as well as those African Americans who served in the U.S. Congress and in state legislatures, who advanced the education of African Americans, and who were great lawyers, doctors, military officers, writers, and artists.

Rev. DeMond asserted:

“There has never been a time since this nation was founded, so terrible in its oppression, so awful in its conditions, so cruel in its prejudices, but that Negro manhood, genius or bravery has been able to assert itself.”

His full speech can be found at Antislavery.eserver.org. Read the rest of this entry

December – This Month In Black American History

By Guest Blogger Yahtzeebutterfly

Birthdays

December 1, 1942 – Singer Carla Thomas, known as the “Queen of Memphis” for her hit songs in the 1960s.

 

December 2, 1931 – Civil rights attorney Solomon Leay Jr. in Montgomery, Alabama.  Some of the cases he worked on involved school desegregation, the Freedom Riders, and the march from Selma to Montgomery.

 

December 3, 1882 – Folk painter Ellis Ruley in Norwich, Connecticut

Read the rest of this entry

November – This Month in Black American History

By Guest Blogger Yahtzeebutterfly

 

Birthdays

November 1, 1915 – Artist and poet Margaret Taylor-Burroughs

Here she is reading her philosophy:

 

 

November 2, 1859 – Educator James Benson Dudley

Excerpt from NCpedia;

“ James Benson Dudley, educator and college president, was born in Wilmington to John Bishop and Annie Hatch Dudley, slaves of Edward B. Dudley (1789–1855), governor of North Carolina…”

“Dudley edited the ‘Wilmington Chronicle’, a Negro weekly newspaper, and was active in politics, serving as register of deeds for New Hanover County in 1891 and as delegate to the 1896 Republican National Convention in St. Louis. He was secretary of the board of trustees for the Agricultural and Mechanical College at Greensboro from 29 May 1895 to 27 May 1896 before succeeding John O. Crosby as president of that institution on 28 May 1896; he retained the post for twenty-nine years.”

 

November 4, 1942 – Ophthalmologist and inventor Patricia Bath in Harlem, New York

November 9, 1731 – Surveyor Benjamin Banneker in Baltimore County, Maryland

 

November 11, 1914 – Civil rights activist Daisy Bates, who guided the Little Rock Nine students who integrated Little Rock Central High School

Read the rest of this entry

Sheriff Joe Arpaio Charged With Criminal Contempt

Social Action 2014


Sheriff Joe Arpaio is in some legal trouble. Cenk Uygur and Ana Kasparian, hosts of The Young Turks, break it down. Tell us what you think in the comment section below. https://www.tytnetwork.com/join

“The longtime sheriff of metropolitan Phoenix was charged Tuesday with criminal contempt-of-court for ignoring a judge’s order in a racial-profiling case, leaving the 84-year-old lawman in a tough spot two weeks before Election Day as he seeks a seventh term.

Prosecutors promised two weeks ago that they would charge Sheriff Joe Arpaio, but the misdemeanor count wasn’t officially filed against him until U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton signed it.

On Wednesday, a federal judge set a Nov. 3 status conference — five days before the election — in the sheriff’s racial profiling case.

A formal trial date is scheduled for Dec. 6.

Arpaio could face up to six months in jail if convicted. A misdemeanor conviction would not…

View original post 20 more words

October – This Month In Black American History

By Guest Blogger Yahtzeebutterfly

Birthdays

October 1, 1939 – Physicist and space scientist Dr. George Caruthers in Cincinnati, Ohio. He created the far ultraviolet camera/spectrograph.

Man's First Moon-Based Space Observatory-The first observatory ever operated by man from a fixed platform outside the earth was this gold-plated ultra-violet (UV) camera/spectograph.It was placed on the moon by the Apollo 16 astronauts, after they landed there April 20,1972.

Man’s First Moon-Based Space Observatory-The first observatory ever operated by man from a fixed platform outside the earth was this gold-plated ultra-violet (UV) camera/spectograph.It was placed on the moon by the Apollo 16 astronauts, after they landed there April 20,1972.

Excerpt from an article at Edubilla.

“The Far Ultraviolet Camera/Spectrograph (UVC) was one of the experiments deployed on the lunar surface by the Apollo 16 astronauts. It consisted of a telescope and camera that obtained astronomical images and spectra in the far ultraviolet region of the electromagnetic spectrum.

“The main goals of the Far Ultraviolet Camera/Spectrograph spanned across several disciplines of astronomy. Earth studies were made by studying the Earth’s upper atmosphere’s composition and structure, the ionosphere, the geocorona, day and night airglow, and aurorae. Heliophysics studies were made by obtaining spectra and images of the solar wind, the solar bow cloud, and other gas clouds in the solar system. Astronomical studies by obtaining direct evidence of intergalactic hydrogen, and spectra of distant galaxy clusters and within the Milky Way. Lunar studies were conducted by detecting gasses in the lunar atmosphere, and searching for possible volcanic gasses. There were also considerations to evaluate the lunar surface as a site for future astronomical observatories.”

 

Read the rest of this entry

September – This Month In Black American History

By Guest Blogger Yahtzeebutterfly

Birthdays

September 2, 1766 – Businessman and abolitionist James Forten was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  Author Julie Winch discusses her book on the life of James Forten at this link.

September 3, 1895 – Lawyer Charles Hamilton Houston in Washington, D.C.

 

September 4, 1908 – Writer Richard Wright in Natchez, Mississippi

 

September 5, 1939 – Claudette Colvin, the first person arrested for not giving up her bus seat to a White woman in Montgomery, Alabama.

Interview by Democracy Now with Claudette Colvin:

Read the rest of this entry

Happy Birthday Katherine Johnson

By Guest Blogger Yahtzeebutterfly

 

R_1966-L-06717 001

Katherine Johnson

Katherine Johnson, the African American mathematician who calculated the trajectory of NASA’s first manned spacecraft was born on this day, August 26th, in 1918 in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia.

 Her father, a farmer and logger who only had a sixth grade education, was a whiz at math.  In an interview with Cathy Lewis of WHROTV, Dr. Johnson recalled that her father could listen to a difficult math word-problem and immediately have the answer and that he could determine the number of board feet he could get from a tree just by looking at it. When it came time for high school and college for his four children he began working at a hotel and had extra jobs to support the studies of his four children.

Watching her three siblings enter elementary school before she did, Katherine could hardly wait to attend school.  She loved learning and had a special fascination for numbers.  She loved counting everything around her, even the number of steps she walked on her way to church. When she finally did attend school, she was such an outstanding student that she was skipped to second grade, and by the time she was 10, she entered high school where mathematician Angie King recognized her mathematical talent and mentored her during those four years.   Read the rest of this entry

August – This Month In Black American History

By Guest Blogger Yahtzeebutterfly

Birthdays

 

August 1, 1894 – Benjamin Mays in Epworth, South Carolina

 

August 2, 1924 – James Baldwin

 

August 4, 1961 – Happy Birthday, President Barack Obama!

obama-happy-birthday Read the rest of this entry

July – This Month In Black American History

By Guest Blogger Yahtzeebutterfly

Each month, Yahtzeebutterfly writes a This month in Black American History.  Throughout the month, she updates in the comment section.  Your contributions and discussions are welcomed.

Birthdays

July 2, 1908 – Thurgood Marshall

 

July 6, 1931 –   Singer and actress Della Reese

 

 

July 7, 1915 –  Writer and poet Margaret Walker

Former Georgia Court Justice Leah Ward Sears tells of the impact of Margaret Walker’s poem “For My People” and then reads the poem:

Read the rest of this entry

June – This Month in Black American History

By Guest Blogger Yahtzeebutterfly

Birthdays:

June 3, 1904 – Physician and medical researcher Charles Drew in Washington, D.C.

 

June 6, 1939 – Child advocate Marian Wright Edelman in Bennettsville, South Carolina

Read the rest of this entry

May – This Month In Black American History

By Guest Blogger, Yahtzeebutterfly

In addition to this post, as the month continues, Yahtzeebutterfly adds historical information to the comment section.

BIRTHDAYS

May 1, 1930 – Little Walter in Marksville, Louisiana.

From Wikipedia:

 “Marion Walter Jacobs, known as Little Walter, was an American blues musician, singer, and songwriter, whose revolutionary approach to the harmonica and impact on succeeding generations earned him comparisons to such seminal artists as Django Reinhardt, Charlie Parker and Jimi Hendrix. His virtuosity and musical innovations fundamentally altered many listeners’ expectations of what was possible on blues harmonica.”

 

Video (“Little Walter R&R Hall of Fame film”) :

 

May 3, 1933 – Singer and songwriter James Brown was born in Bardwell, South Carolina.

Trailer video to movie biography of James Brown titled Get On Up :

Read the rest of this entry

April – This Month In Black American History

By Guest Blogger Yahtzeebutterfly

 

April 1, 1949 – Spoken-word, jazz/blues poet Gil Scott-Heron was born in Chicago, Illinois

See Xena’s excellent article,  The Gift of Gil Scott HeronSeeing the Present In The Past.

 

April 2, 1939 – Birth of singer and songwriter Marvin Gaye in Washington, D.C.

April 4, 1928 – Poet and author Maya Angelou was born in St. Louis, Missouri.

In case you missed her moving tribute to Nelson Mandela, here it is:

 

April 4, 1968 – Martin Luther King was assassinated.  

Every time another anniversary of Martin Luther King’s untimely death comes around,  there is an echo in my mind of him speaking about how he might not get to the “promised land” of brotherhood, equality, and social justice but that he had seen “the promised land” with all of its beauty from the mountaintop overlooking it.  Today, we are still not there.  It is a land that my heart yearns for.  It is a land that requires all of our fellow citizens’ hearts to yearn for before our arrival there is possible.  Hearts need to change and feel the qualities of that “promised land.”  It is actually a promise that we must give to each other before arrival is ever possible. Read the rest of this entry

Black History Month – Little Rock Central High School September 1957

By Guest Blogger, Yahtzeebutterfly

Little Rock school

Elizabeth Eckford being verbally attacked by the monstrous mob

The desegregation of Little Rock Central High School in September 1957 brought to the surface the vile racism of whites, both within the community and outside it.  A huge, nasty mob formed around the high school on September 4, the day that nine black students were to integrate the school.  The nine black students were, Minnijean Brown, Terrance Roberts, Elizabeth Eckford, Ernest Green, Thelma Mothershed, Melba Patillo, Gloria Ray, Jefferson Thomas, and Carlotta Walls.  Horrible acts of hate and violence were directed at them.

Just 12 years after the U.S. had liberated Hitler’s concentration camps where 6 million Jews were murdered, a New York Times reporter, Dr. Benjamin Fine, was spat upon and called a “dirty Jew” as he and a white woman, Grace Lorch, rescued Elizabeth Eckford from the mob.  Dr. Fine told Daisy Bates what he had witnessed: Read the rest of this entry

The Slow Integration of Major League Baseball

“Racism still exists, but one day thanks to the efforts of the early ball-players as well as pioneers like President Obama, and the undying commitment of decent Americans to accept people regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, religion, or even sexual orientation, we will see a new birth of freedom.”

I truly hope so.

Padre Steve's World...Musings of a Progressive Realist in Wonderland

Jackie Robinson Shaking Branch Rickey's Hand

Friends of Padre Steve’s World,

Back in 1947 Branch Rickey told Jackie Robinson, “Jackie, we’ve got no army. There’s virtually nobody on our side. No owners, no umpires, very few newspapermen. And I’m afraid that many fans will be hostile. We’ll be in a tough position. We can win only if we can convince the world that I’m doing this because you’re a great ballplayer, a fine gentleman.”

My friends, last week pitchers and catchers reported to their teams for the 2016 Baseball Spring Training, and it is time to reflect again on how Branch Rickey’s signing of Jackie Robinson helped advance the Civil Rights of Blacks in the United States. What Rickey did was a watershed, and though it took time for every team in the Major Leagues to integrate, the last being the Boston Red Sox in 1959, a dozen years after Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier.

View original post 2,031 more words

Black History Month – Clementa Pinckney, Pastor and State Senator

By Guest Blogger, Yahtzeebutterfly

062515-national-Rev-Clementa-Pinckney

Rev. Clementa Pinckney

Rev. Senator Clementa Pinckney was both a strong, inspirational leader and a caring, compassionate servant to his community.  It is my hope that he will be remembered in history books and during future Black History Months and also that his legacy will lead others to follow in his path.

Born July 30, 1973, in Beaufort, SC, Pinckney became a pastor at the age of 18 and a state representative at the age of 23. He was 27 when he became a state senator, a position he held until a white supremacist’s bullet took his life on June 17, 2015.

I watched a video where Rev. Pinckney explained to a group visiting the Mother Emanuel Church in Charleston why he chose to be both a pastor and a state legislator:

There are many people who say, “Why would you as a preacher, why would you as a pastor, be involved in public life?” And, I’ve already said it, but I’ll say it again.  Our calling is not just within the walls of a congregation, but we are part of the life of the community in which the congregation resides.

Read the rest of this entry

Black History Month – Desegregation of West End High School

By Yahtzeebutterfly, Guest Blogger

Desegregation of West End High School in Birmingham, AL was initiated in September of 1963. Patricia Marcus, shown in the following AP wire photo, was one of the two Black students enrolled there that September. The photograph is captioned with these words:

“Birmingham, ALA., Sept. 11—CAR WINDOW SMASHED—One of two Negro girl students who desegregated West End High School in Birmingham sits in car and is partially framed by broken auto window. A rock was hurled through the window as the Negro girls were leaving the school area after class this afternoon. (APWirephoto) 1963”

Yahtzee Article 2 - 1

As I look at this September 11, 1963,  photo of Patricia Marcus, I see a student who just wants to make it home safely after a thrown rock has shattered the window where she sits. Yet, at the same time, I see her in her eyes her strength and determination amidst what must have been hurt, anger, and shock. Associated with the hateful deed just committed against her is the Confederate flag in the left foreground.  Historically that symbol has appeared, all too often, at the scenes where racial violence has been committed.  All too often it announces the presence of hearts starved of compassion, open-mindedness, and understanding because of white supremacist indoctrination. Read the rest of this entry

Black History Month – Shirley Chisholm’s 1972 Presidential Campaign

February is Black History Month, and this year we are honored to have Yahtzeebutterfly as a guest blogger for the occasion. Yahtzeebutterfly loves history and collects historical documents and other items of black history interests.

By Yahtzeebutterfly, Guest Blogger

Shirley-Chisholm-for-PresidentWith February marking the beginning of the presidential primary season as well as start of Black History Month, I have been reflecting back upon Shirley Chisholm’s 1972 presidential campaign.

She had a great campaign slogan: UNBOUGHT AND UNBOSSED!

A  presidential campaign leaflet tells of her beginnings as an articulate advocate for the rights of ALL with her direct experience of helping Blacks, Puerto Ricans, Chicanos, Native Americans, and women, to name a few:

 

 “As a student, schoolteacher, and child-care supervisor, Shirley Chisholm lived, and worked with the shunned, the ignored, the forgotten people of New York’s largest ghetto (Bedford-Stuyvesant).”

Read the rest of this entry

%d bloggers like this: