Black History Month – Day 26

2006- first black and first black woman to reach summit of Mt. Everst – Sophia Danenberg She is bi-racial – back and Japanese. This was witnessed by Pa Nuru Sherpa and Mingma Tshiring.

http://www.blackpast.org/aah/danenberg-sophia-1972

Advertisements

Author Highlight Now Open

For the remainder of the month of March…

My blog will be open to any visiting writers, authors, poets, etc.

If you have a book coming soon, an interview you would like me to post, or if you’d like me to interview for you… I can and am willing to do so.

Just comment and let me know!

April 1 2015, coming to Amazon soon!!!

Day 27: Nichelle Nichols

In honor of the passing of Leonard Nimoy, Star Trek’s Mr. Spock, I will be highlighting one of the first African American women to appear in a role, where she was reduced to a servant.

Nichelle Nichols played Lieutenant Uhura on the original Star Trek series back in the 1960s. She was a bridge officer upon the USS Enterprise. Additionally it is a role that she didn’t want to keep but at the urging of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. she remained. Actress Whoopi Goldberg said it was Nichols role in Star Trek that encouraged her to ask for a role on Star Trek Generations, which was granted. Similarly, Mae Jemison (the first black female astronaut) used Lt. Uhura as an inspiration to become an astronaut.

Nichelle Nichols and William Shatner shared one of the first interracial kisses of that decade. In her autobiography, she stated she received a letter from a white Southerner who wrote, “I am totally opposed to the mixing of the races. However, any time a red-blooded American boy like Captain Kirk gets a beautiful dame in his arms that looks like Uhura, he ain’t gonna fight it.”

At Shatner’s Comedy Central roast in 2006, she famously stated that they should make history again and told him to kiss her black ass.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nichelle_Nichols
http://trekmovie.com/2014/07/31/koenig-leonard-nimoy-fought-to-get-nichelle-nichols-pay-equity-for-star-trek-nimoy-confirms/
http://www.nytimes.com/2015/02/27/arts/television/leonard-nimoy-spock-of-star-trek-dies-at-83.html?_r=0

Day 25: Dwight D Eisenhower

This is going to remain up for debate, but it isn’t too far fetched. Having worked on my family tree, and saw a lot of the women of color in the late 1800s pass for white, I believe this is probably very likely.

It has been said on numerous occasions, much to the dismay of our counterparts, that we’ve had black presidents in the past. Obama is not the first, and according to republicans – it isn’t the “black” half of him that won smmfh – and there are many rumors surrounding some of them.

We’ve heard that there was a Black Moor who was the actual first president of America before it was officially united in the 1700s. I’ve heard Andrew Jackson and even James Madison had “colored” blood. Warren G. Harding never denied it, because he’s the only one who accepted the fact that MANY TIMES whites had sexual relations with blacks (albeit by force at times).

But the one that really gets under people’s skin is the genealogy of Dwight D Eisenhower, the GREAT war hero.

64-38_jpg

This is a picture of President Eisenhower’s father and mother. Notice this is a black and white picture, but look at his mother’s features. She looks to have some “black” features such as a wide nose and the “white” in the picture seems to be a little darker than her husbands.

It is alleged that she was passing for white. At a time when, as forklore/word of mouth goes, there were only 2 families in the Virginia are with the name Link (which would be Ida’s mother’s last name)… they were black and white. Ida was orphaned at a young age, so that part of her history is unclear. We know she married a German immigrant and had 6 kids, one of which was president.

Day 18: Cathay Williams

The first African American woman to ENLIST in the military, and she passed herself off as a man named William Cathay.

She served in the “fought” in the American Civil War from impressment, but enlisted afterward from 1866 to 1868, when she was discharged by her commanding officer.

She died in 1892, in Colorado.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cathay_Williams

http://www.army.mil/africanamericans/profiles/williams.html

I have to put a side note.. I’ve been through a military examination; during a time when women weren’t allowed in the military and she was examined, how in the hell did they NOT know she was a woman? (Read the army link)

Day 14: Juan Garrido

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Today I celebrate Juan Garrido. He was the first African, the first black conquistador and the first FREE black to arrive in America and her surrounding sister lands. He traveled here in the 1500s, before the first slave ships.

He knew De Leon, Cortes… he helped search for the Fountain of Youth, Black Amazons… he also helped destroy the Aztecs. He published the “probanza.” He was born in West Africa, moved to Lisbon, Portugal and later lived in Spain before finally settling in Mexico City, Mexico.

http://www.theroot.com/articles/history/2012/10/who_was_the_first_african_american_100_amazing_facts_about_the_negro.html

Thanks Mr. Gates for this article.

“The more you know.”

Day 12: Slavery Matters

“The only problem I had with Kenny’s, umm, open letter was, umm, I don’t think anytime something bad happens in the black community we have to talk about slavery. Listen, slavery is, uh, well, I shouldn’t say one of the worst things ever, because I don’t know anything about it other than what I read or what my grandmother told me.” – Charles Barkley on TNT prior to tipoff

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sf-ZC5qQbuY (in it’s entirety)

Let’s address controversial commentary number one. I agree with Kenny Smith, Charles Barkley should NOT be the first person that everyone goes to for the “Black” voice and he should most definitely not be the one that speaks for everyone. Nothing Barkley has ever stated has been something I support, even in basketball. But that’s it, he played basketball.

For some of the things he says, it reflects in my mind the hypocrisy of this world. How dare you call someone else a thug and say the jury got it right, when you’ve been SO privileged that you could throw a man through a window in a bar and get a slap on the wrist. That was because of MONEY, not because you were justified. You were belligerent and drunk.

But I DIGRESS…

The heart of the matter is this… You don’t know anything about slavery except what your grandmother told you? *blank stare* So I take it you didn’t have history in school? Must not have read ANY books by ANY black writers or even by write writers at those times, huh? You never saw any pictures? And let’s move on from that, Charles is from the south. YOU DIDN’T NOTICE JIM CROW???? YOU DON’T RECALL THE HANGINGS? Yes, life in the south and in slavery must have been wonderful and Mary Poppins-ish…. *I’m literally shaking my head at the ignorance of some*

No you weren’t around during that time, but be grateful. Light-skinned or not, you would have still be colored and a second rate citizen. You most definitely wouldn’t have been at Auburn and you wouldn’t have been on TV. You wouldn’t be a millionaire, but you “don’t know anything about it.”

Let’s be serious Chuck. Stick to issues you do know about such as, the number of NBA Championship rings you lack. It is better to let people believe you are a fool than to open your mouth and prove them right.

NEXT

“When I’m sitting around a bunch of socialites and they start talking about the past and stuff, that’s my line,” Harvey said. “I just say it and walk off. I have my little drink in my hand, I just say it. ‘I don’t really care for slavery,’ and walk off. I don’t give a damn if they’re talking about Christopher Columbus. I don’t give a damn if they’re talking about a treaty. I don’t give a damn if they’re talking about an amendment, a bill. I don’t care what the subject is. It could be prohibition,” he continued. “I don’t care what the subject is. When you’re saying it and I don’t know what the hell you’re talking about, my favorite line is, ‘I don’t give a damn about slavery.”

So for what it is worth, what he said and what he was implying are two different things. He might not want to get into that conversation, which is fine. That is his prerogative. But to openly say, you don’t give a damn about slavery, when taken out of context, makes you look bad. You look like you’re catering to non-existent fantasy. Not as offensive as Charles, but equally frowned upon.

The fact of the matter is this. Slavery matters and mattered. There’s misconceptions taught in school everyday, and some of us live with the fallacies and inconsistencies of an education system that wants to sugarcoat what really happened.

1. Slavery was bad. No matter the race, no matter the gender, it was bad. Men, women and children. Black, white and native. Everyone (yes even some black folks) owned slaves. Irish people were once enslaved but were not as valuable as black slaves.

2. THE EMANCIPATION PROCLAMATION DID NOT (I repeat) DID NOT FREE ENSLAVED PEOPLE. The 13th Amendment “formally abolishing slavery in the United States, the 13th Amendment was passed by the Congress on January 31, 1865, and ratified by the states on December 6, 1865.” The Proclamation was a written declaration of feelings by Abraham Lincoln declaring that the Union didn’t sit well with people being forced into involuntary servitude while the country claimed to be free. Congratulations, you all been saluting an idea that wasn’t enforced until two whole years later.

3. I did a full out report and debate on FDR being the better president than Lincoln. Funny thing is, research taught me a lot that I hadn’t know about Lincoln and that FDR was more for the poor than Lincoln was. Lincoln said that if he could have ended the war and brought together the country without ending slavery he would have. His end to slavery was not to help black people, BUT to hurt the economic stability of the south (which we know it did.)

4. (this is a repeat) SLAVERY WAS BAD. This was the beginning of the obviousness of a class system and separation of Upper, Middle and Lower class. Slavery was bad, the physical and mental scars. Slavery was bad, even the aftermath of slavery was bad.

5. SLAVERY WAS NOT 400 YEARS AGO!!!!!!! Some of the first slaves were documented to have arrived 600 years ago, with the last slave LEGALLY (didn’t mean they didn’t continue doing it illegally) being brought here was The Clotilde in 1859. Slavery “ended” in 1865. So slavery has been over for 150 years. Let me put that in perspective for you……. I can trace my family lines back to the 1840s.
My great-great-great grandparents were born in the 1840s.
With the exception of three persons, most of my great-great grandparents were born in the decades of 1860-1880. (One was born in 1850s, two were born in 1890).
My great grandparents were born between the years 1893 and 1918.
My grandparents were born in the 1930s.
My parents were born in the 1960s.
I was born in 1985.

There’s only 80 years between me and the last slave-born relative. Consider the Civil Rights movement ended only 45 years ago (15 years before I was born) and it puts into perspective how FRESH slavery really is in history.

Day 11 – Jackie Robinson West

I was going to do a tribute to Whitney Houston, 3 years to the day she passed away. But something more urgent, more pressing came to my attention this morning.

The Jackie Robinson West little league baseball team has been stripped of their title.

Little League Team Stripped of Title

My concern is how they crucified these boys, not once, not twice, but three times before FINALLY “finding” something to disqualify the boys for. They used a loophole, which to me isn’t a violation of rules, that allowed for players to play on the team even when they had a residence somewhere else. Like many, and unfortunately, black kids — their parents are separated. They live in two different areas. It is not the child’s fault that this condition occurs. But had these kids been an all white team, would this even be a problem? Would anyone else raise an issue with it?

They were not out robbing stores or people’s homes, they were in the wrong school districts, they were drinking, smoking, etc… they were being kids and staying in an environment that kept them out of trouble. People are SUCCESSFULLY told them that no matter how “good” they act, they will always be bad. By taking away something these boys EARNED and DESERVED, the league has sent a message. No cheaters won’t be tolerated, but we only investigate minorities. There is no excuse to have to have done this three times. None of the kids were over-age, as some of the violators of the past have been… the teams only problem is that some of the kids parents are not married and/or do not live in the same house, in the same area. It is a shame that we pick on kids who are doing positive and trying to remain in a positive light, yet let other kids use “affluenza” as a defense for underage drinking, hit-and-run accidents, vehicular manslaughter and get a slap on the wrist.

I’m glad the kids got to meet President Obama and I pray the LL reconsiders the message they are sending out. Congratulations NONETHELESS to the team that truly put their blood, sweat and tears out there to win! We still stand with you!

http://jackierobinsonwest.org/

p110614ps-0535

Day 10: Della Reese

Shoutout to one of Detroit’s MANY talented persons – Delloreese Patricia Early.

Most notable for her role in Touched By An Angel, many people forgot that she’s come a long way from her jazz singing, curse-filled comedic roles. My generation, and the previous ones, don’t know her as Tess. We know her as “Vera.”

From Blackbottom Detroit, an all black neighborhood in the D, she began singing. She sang with Mahalia Jackson’s choir, and even went to Cass Tech. She partially studied at Wayne State University as well. She had one of the first (and most likely only) gospel acts that graced the strip in Las Vegas.

She is now a minister in out in Calfornia, going by the name Rev. Dr. Della Reese Lett.

Here is to one of the D’s talents, one of the funniest, caringest, and seemingly grandma-esque to all … Della Reese.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Della_Reese