Category Archives: Black History Month

On This Day You Made it To the Mountaintop, Remembering Dr. King

Thanks for the reminder and Dr. King’s encouraging words.

Nikki Skies

Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. – January 15, 1929 – April 4, 1968

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Martin Luther King Jr. was an American Baptist minister and activist who was a leader in the Civil Rights Movement.

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Ben Carson, Your Descendants From Africa Were Not Involuntary Immigrants. They Were Slaves.

Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson is attempting to water-down the history of a people who were kidnapped from their family, culture, possessions and country, and in chains, sold as property and forced into labor.

Quotation source, the Washington Post.

In 2016, Ben Carson did not say that Obamacare was the worst thing since “involuntary immigrants” — he said “slavery.”

I could go into all of the comparisons between immigrants and what Secretary Carson calls “involuntary immigrants,” but I think that everyone already knows the comparisons, including Ben Carson.  I want to address his statement from another perspective — that of this nation’ rule of law.

A definition of “rule of law” is:

“The principle that all people and institutions are subject to and accountable to law that is fairly applied and enforced; the principle of government by law.”

The principal foundation of America’s rule of law is our constitution. Read the rest of this entry

Black History Month–William Carney

In Saner Thought

During Black History Month I like to spotlight some people that most Americans have never heard of or the contribution they made to our society….

Who was the first African-American to win the Congressional Medal of Honor?

You guessed it…….William Carney.

William Carney was the first African-American recipient.

He was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for his actions on July 18, 1863 at Fort Wagner, S.C. while a member of the 54th Massachusetts Regiment in the Civil War — the state’s first all-black regiment. During the disastrous battle at Ft. Wagner, Carney noticed that the man who carried the flag had been wounded.

So Carney bravely rescued the flag and carried it for him. He delivered it safely to his regiment and reportedly shouted “Boys, the old flag never touched the ground.” Carney was wounded during the battle but was not killed.

After the war he spent 31 years…

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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…

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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…

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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

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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

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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…

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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.”

 

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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:

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Happy Birthday Katherine Johnson

By Guest Blogger Yahtzeebutterfly

 

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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.

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