Category Archives: Black History Month

August – This Month In Black American History

By Guest Blogger Yahtzeebutterfly



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.


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


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.


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.

The Inglorius Padre Steve's World

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


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

What Would America Be Today Had The South Won The Civil War?

6a00d8341cc27e53ef01a3fd0e6a37970b-550wiYears ago, I found a bargain book titled “The Complete Idiot’s Guide To American Heroes.” (Please, don’t laugh. Okay. Go ahead and laugh.) Under “Strange Encounters of the Heroic Kind” is the note that George Washington and Betsy Ross sat in adjacent pews at church. The other night as I was going through the book and read that part, I wondered about the “customs” claimed by those who still hold onto the Confederate battle flag. That led to the question, what would America be today had the South won the Civil War?

Native American Code Talkers in World War II

Native American Code Talkers in World War II

Would we have the inventions and research of people of color, including Native Americans that have benefited not only America, but mankind as a whole? What about music, literature, movies? What about the result of wars, especially World War II with the participation of the Tuskegee Airmen and Navajo “code talkers”?

This is open for discussion. I would very much like to hear your opinions, and any contributions that have helped make America great, and that would have been impossible, or hindered had the Confederacy won the Civil War.

The 10 Most Under-reported Black Stories of 2015

Ebony has published “The 10 Most Underreported Black Stories of 2015.   The list is long, so the following are several that I found quite interesting – things I did not know.

Black Lives Matter throws support behind police shooting victim, Zachary Hammond, who was White.

Zachary HammondThe Black Lives Matter movement is serious about the message that police violence is epidemic in America. So race didn’t factor in when they took up the cause of Zachary Hammond, an unarmed, White 19-year-old South Carolina man, who was shot to death by an officer on July 26, 2015 in Seneca, South Carolina.  Black Lives Matter publicly cried out for justice for Hammond, just as they did for so many other cases where Blacks were killed by cops. And just like so many others, the officer in Hammond’s case was not charged. While his family has vowed to continue to fight for justice,  Black Lives Matter has included Hammond’s name in the long list of victims of excessive police brutality.

As Lincoln Blades commented in The Grio, acknowledging the systemic causes of Hammond’s death means “admitting that black folks haven’t been lying or exaggerating when we’ve said that there is a real problem with policing in America.”

Bomb explodes outside Colorado Springs NAACP office Read the rest of this entry

Julian Bond, civil rights leader and former NAACP chairman, dies at 75

May he rest in peace.

The Fifth Column

Julian Bond died Saturday night after a brief illness in Fort Walton Beach, Florida. CNN Screenshot: Julian Bond died Saturday night after a brief illness in Fort Walton Beach, Florida.


Julian Bond, a civil rights leader and former board chairman of the NAACP, has died. He was 75.

Bond died Saturday night after a brief illness in Fort Walton Beach, Florida, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center, which he served as founding president in the 1970s.

The Tennessee native was on the forefront of the 1960s civil rights movement, and was among activists who protested for equal rights for African-Americans.

“With Julian’s passing, the country has lost one of its most passionate and eloquent voices for the cause of justice,” said Morris Dees, co-founder of the SPLU, a legal advocacy group that specializes in civil rights.

Bond’s civil rights activism went beyond the United States.

In 1985, police arrested him outside the South African Embassy, where he was protesting against apartheid, the…

View original post 56 more words

African American Family Records From Era of Slavery to be Available Free Online


African American fugitive slaves provide support to the Union war effort, circa 1863. African American fugitive slaves provide support to the Union war effort, circa 1863. (Photograph: Andrew J Russell/Medford Historical Society Collection/CORBIS)

Millions of African Americans will soon be able to trace their families through the era of slavery, some to the countries from which their ancestors were snatched, thanks to a new and free online service that is digitizing a huge cache of federal records for the first time.

Handwritten records collecting information on newly freed slaves that were compiled just after the civil war will be available for easy searches through a new website, it was announced on Friday.

The records belong to the Freedmen’s Bureau, an administrative body created by Congress in 1865 to assist slaves in 15 states and the District of Columbia transition into free citizenship.

Before that time, slaves were legally regarded as property in the US and their names were not officially documented. They…

View original post 542 more words

Black piano keys: Do you know?

The video is not just inspiring but it is also educational. Thanks so much for blogging this.

Black piano keys
At Carnegie Hall, gospel singer Wintley Phipps delivers perhaps the most powerful rendition of Amazing Grace ever recorded.

He says, “A lot of people don’t realize that just about all Negro spirituals are written on the black notes of the piano. Slaves were not permitted to use the white keys.

Probably the most famous on this slave scale was written by John Newton, who used to be the captain of a slave ship, and many believe he heard this melody that sounds very much like a West African sorrow chant. And it has a haunting, haunting plaintive quality to it that reaches past your arrogance, past your pride, and it speaks to that part of you that’s in bondage. And we feel it. We feel it. It’s just one of the most amazing melodies in all of human history.” After sharing the noteworthy history of the song…

View original post 18 more words

Black History Month – Trayvon Martin

Trayvon Benjamin Martin (February 5, 1995 – February 26, 2012) was a 17-year-old Black teen from Miami Gardens, Florida. His life became famous in his death that brought many issues to public interest, including neighborhood watch, stand your ground law, racial profiling, and police investigations. Trayvon’s death brought attention to the justice system and cultural diversity.

Trayvon Martin 5

Trayvon Benjamin Martin

Trayvon was born in Miami, Florida. At the time he was killed, he was a junior at Dr. Michael M. Krop High School. Trayvon is the son of Sybrina Fulton and Tracy Martin who divorced in 1999. On February 26, 2012, Trayvon was visiting his father who was at his fiancee’s townhouse at the Retreat at Twin Lakes in Sanford, Florida. That evening, Trayvon walked to a convenience store and purchased candy and juice. On his walk back, George Zimmerman saw him and called the Sanford Police reporting a suspicious person.   According to an ear witness who was on the phone with Trayvon, after noticing that he was being closely and consistently followed by a man in a truck, Trayvon ran. The man in the truck was George Zimmerman who left his vehicle and followed Trayvon. Subsequently, Zimmerman shot Trayvon in the heart, killing him.

Read the rest of this entry

Leesburg’s first African American Fire Chief

I read your question, read the link, and see what you mean.


‘This is Florida”

Leesburg has new fire chief

Almost 20 years after he joined the Leesburg Fire Department and said his career goal one day would be running his own department, David Johnson has been given the chief’s hat.

Johnson, who became deputy fire chief in 2012 and interim fire chief last December, aims to be an example for his team of fellow firefighters.

“They know me very well – I believe that my actions speak louder than words,” he said.

Johnson replaces former Chief Kevin Bowman, who retired last December.

“I think it’s great for the city of Leesburg that we can tap employees who elevate in our organization – especially somebody who put in 20 years and is the first African-American fire chief for the city,” Leesburg Mayor John Christian said. “I think it speaks volumes for all the work David has done.”

According to the news…

View original post 7 more words

Celebrating Black History Month.The Black History Moment Series #30: My Black History Heroes & Heroines. The End Of The Series.

Thanks so much for this series and for including the link to the entire series for those who missed it, or might want to return to this great blogging on Black History.

Black History Month 2014: Edgar Nixon

Thanks for writing this. Strength through struggle.

Social Justice For All

Edgar NixonToday I would like to honor and pay tribute to Edgar Daniel Nixon. As a community based social worker, Nixon caught my attention and my heart, since he dedicated his life to community organizing, activism, and social justice. Nixon was a key figure in organizing the now famous Montgomery Bus Boycott in 1955. Nixon played a pivotal role in bailing another civil rights hero, Rosa Parks out of jail. The bus boycott lasted 380 days, presenting over a year-long struggle for African Americans.  As testament to this struggle, Nixon’s home was firebombed and he was indicted for violating a state anti-boycott statute. Fortunately, the bus boycott helped to put an end to bus segregation, an embarrassing mark in US history.

Prior to helping organize the Montgomery Bus Boycott, Nixon was organizing people for voting rights as a part of his dedication to the civil rights movement. In fact, Nixon rallied and…

View original post 154 more words

%d bloggers like this: