Black Mail Blog

Black History: Special Delivery!!


October 2015

Black Mail Trivia: Which Alabama NAACP Staffer Investigated Sexual Assault Committed Against Black Women?

Black History: Special Delivery!!


Black Mail Trivia Question:

Since the inception of slavery, through the Jim Crow era and beyond, Black women have been targets of sexual violence which they often suffered with in silence with no hope of justice or protection.  As the Civil Rights Movement began to emerge, the sexual violence of black women received more attention and advocacy.

Which NAACP staffer investigated and rallied the black community of Alabama in opposition to sexual assault committed against black women?

A)Thurgood Marshall

B)Rosa Parks

C)Roy Wilkins

D)Ella Baker

E)E.D. Nixon

Answer will be posted at 6pm EST.


Did you miss yesterday’s post?  Click here to learn about Dr. Patricia Bath and her invention of a medical device to remove cataracts (a leading cause of blindness among African Americans).

AWESOME! Mortician Opens Fresh Food Store Because He Was Tired Seeing People Die

Mortician Erich March was tired of seeing people in his East Baltimore community die of conditions like diabetes and hypertension.

Source: AWESOME! Mortician Opens Fresh Food Store Because He Was Tired Seeing People Die

Dr. Patricia Bath: 1st African American Female To Patent A Medical Invention

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Dr. Patricia Bath
Dr. Patricia Bath

 Born in 1942, ophthalmologist, Dr. Patricia Bath, was the first African American female doctor to patent a medical invention. Her patent for the Cataract Lasephaco Probe removes cataracts using a laser device. Her device made cataract removal painless and much more accurate. Throughout her career, Dr. Bath has been focused on the treatment and prevention of blindness. Her invention was patented in 1988. The method in use before her invention used a type of grinding/drill like device to remove cataracts. In the U.S., about half of the vision loss in African Americans is caused by cataracts.

Dr. Bath graduated from Howard University School of Medicine in 1968 and completed additional ophthalmology and corneal transplant training at New York University and Columbia University. She became the first African American female surgeon at UCLA Medical Center and the first woman to be on the faculty of Jules Stein Eye Institute at UCLA. She is also the founder of the American Institute for the Prevention of Blindness.  Dr. Bath is also credited with introducing “community ophthalmology” a new discipline in the field of ophthalmology. The new discipline incorporates elements of health care, community medicine and clinical ophthalmology. She also incorporated the use of telemedicine into her practice using it to reach remote areas. She identifies the “right to sight” as her credo. She is seen as a pioneer in research and innovation within the field of ophthalmology.


Did you miss yesterday’s post?  Click here to learn more about Ron Galimore, the first African American male gymnast to be selected for US Gymnastics Olympic team.

Ron Galimore: 1st Black Male Gymnast To Make The U.S. Olympic Team


Ron Galimore
Ron Galimore

Ron Galimore was born on March 7, 1959.  Willie Galimore, his father (a running back for the Chicago Bears) died while Ron was five in a car accident.  Ron Galimore also played football, but his first love was gymnastics.  Galimore continued his involvement in gymnastics in college first attending Louisiana State and then later transferring to Iowa State. In 1981 he became the first gymnast to score a perfect 10 at the NCAA Championships.

Galimore was standout athlete and gymnast. He was selected to represent the U.S. as part of the men’s gymnastic team in 1980. Galimore was considered to be a a strong contender for a medal there. However, the U.S. boycotted the 1980 Olympics to protest Russia’s invasion of Afghanistan. Galimore graduated from Iowa State, and eventually ran his own gym for a number of years in Tallahassee, FL.   He was inducted into the Iowa Sports Hall of Fame in 1998. Ron Galimore currently resides in Indianapolis, Indiana and serves as the Chief Operating Officer of USA Gymnastics.

Click the link below to view a video of Ron Galimore at the 1980 Olympic trials as well as a brief interview he did with Bryant Gumbel:;_ylt=ArlcjhV3vlpLMDQvPtNTycebvZx4?p=ron+galimore+1980+olympic+trials+video&toggle=1&cop=mss&ei=UTF-8&fr=yfp-t-901&fp=1

Did you miss yesterday’s post? Click the link below to view the post; a thought provoking quote made by Martin Luther King, Jr.

MLK Quote: He who passively accepts evil is as much involved in it as he who helps to perpetuate it. He who accepts evil without protesting against it is really cooperating with it.

Black History:  Special Delivery!!

mlk quote 2

He who passively accepts evil is as much involved in it as he who helps to perpetuate it.  He who accepts evil without protesting against it is really cooperating with it.

-Martin Luther King, Jr.


Did you miss yesterday’s post?  Click here to learn more about Lily Ann Granderson, a former slave who established “midnight schools” to teach other slaves to read and write.

Lily Ann Granderson: Started “Midnight School” To Educate Slaves

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Lily Ann Granderson also known as MIlla Granson, was born a slave in 1816 in Virginia. She was moved to Kentucky as a child, where she was taught to read by the children of her owner, even though it was illegal to educate slaves. She then organized a clandestine school, eventually educating hundreds of slaves. She carried on this secret project first in Kentucky and then in Mississippi for seven years, helping many slaves to write freedom passes that allowed them to escape North. The school was finally discovered by authorities in Kentucky, becoming the subject of lengthy debate in the state legislature. After much deliberation, they passed a bill making it possible for slaves to teach other slaves.

When her master died she was sold to a Mississippi slave owner and worked in the cotton fields. She soon, however, began to work in the main house where she started a “midnight school”. Laws in Mississippi prevented slaves from becoming taught how to read and write by their owners. So teaching had to be done in secret.   Punishment would have been severe if she was discovered. Granson taught hundreds of slaves how to read and write between 11pm to 2am at night.

She generally had about 12 students in her class at a time. When missionaries arrived in 1863 to set up schools for black children in the wake of the civil war, they were surprised to learn about Granderson’s “moonlight” school that was already in operation. As a free woman, Granderson was hired as a teacher by the American Missionary Association. Last reported records regarding Granson indicated that she was 54 years old in 1880, still teaching and married.  The date of death is uncertain.


Did you miss yesterday’s post about the “Wailing Wall” in Detroit?  Click the link below to learn about how the wall was used to facilitate housing discrimination.

The Wailing Wall: Remnant of Racism & Segregation In The City of Detroit

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Wailing Wall/8 Mile Wall
Wailing Wall/8 Mile Wall

The Wailing Wall of Detroit, MI (also referred to as 8 Mile Wall or Birwood Wall) is a concrete wall which stands 6 feet high and is a foot thick. The wall extends for approximately half a mile. It is a visible reminder of racial segregation in the City of Detroit. Following World War I, blacks migrated to Detroit in great numbers. Detroit was a major industrial center and at the time was home to a large immigrant population as well. Detroit’s industrial complex provided employment opportunities that drew many blacks from the South in search of a better life. They settled in segregated neighborhoods downtown such as Black Bottom and Paradise Valley as well as in the country-side which would later become Brightmoor and Wyoming Avenue on the Northwest Side of Detroit.

As Detroit continued to grow, it’s rural farmland was quickly being developed into housing developments. These housing developments were financed in part by loans from the Federal Housing Authority (FHA). However, the FHA would not give loans in neighborhoods that were deemed to be “undesirable” or “distressed”. These terms were used as code words that represented neighborhoods with a significant number of Jews and/or Blacks. As a result, the Wyoming/8 Mile area of Detroit remained largely undeveloped. Access to land in the inner city was rapidly being developed mostly for manufacturing companies. As a result, developers began looking at land near the Wyoming/8 Mile area in Northwest Detroit. In order to secure FHA loans for potential white buyers, developers would have to address the locations proximity to black neighborhoods that were already established in the area.  In 1941, a development company proposed the idea of building a wall to separate the new housing that would be built for whites, from the existing black neighborhood. It was mainly symbolic in nature. However, it served as a clear dividing line between black and white neighborhoods. This “symbolic” gesture satisfied the FHA, and it began to approve loans to build houses in the area.

Over time, the neighborhoods did integrate, due to the advances gained through the civil rights movement, the growth of the black middle class, and the eventual exodus of whites from the community. The wall still stands today, a visible memory of the impact of segregation and discrimination.

Trivia Answer: Who Was The 1st African American To Run For President Of The U.S.

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Earlier today, we asked our Black Mail Readers:  Who was the first African American to run for President in the U.S?

1)Barak Obama

2)George Edwin Taylor

3)Shirley Chisholm

4)Jesse Jackson

The answer is #2, George Edwin Taylor.  In 1904, Taylor was selected to lead the ticket of the National Negro Liberty Party for the office of president of the United States. Born in 1857 in Arkansas, Taylor was orphaned at the age of 4 or 5 following the death of his mother.  He eventually came to reside in Wisconsin and was taken in by a black farmer whom he lived with until the age of 20.  He attended college and became very involved with labor and political movements in Wisconsin.  His political leadership lead to his being chose by the National Negro Liberty Party to represent them as a candidate for president in 1904. Click the link below to learn more about George Edwin Taylor:

Joseph Searles: The First African American Trader on The New York Stock Exchange

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Joseph Searles
Joseph Searles (on the right)

Joseph Searles became the first African American member of the New York Stock Exchange on February 13, 1970, when he was employed as a floor trader and partner of Newburger, Loeb and Co.  Searles grew up in Ft. Hood, TX. In college he was a stand-out football player at Kansas University. After KSU, he graduated from George Washington University Law School. He then played for the New York Giants in the 1960’s. There were only a few black players in the league at the time. His success bothered many people. He was asked to cut his afro and hide his car (a green Jaguar) when coming to practices. He played for the Giants until 1967.

Searles played for the Giants until 1967. Soon after, he entered politics, working for Mayor John Lindsey. Searles also had two gubernatorial appointments as Chairman and Director of the State of New York Mortgage Agency where he was responsible for municipal housing issues totaling more than $600 million. It was after this time working in government that he took the job working on the NY Stock Exchange as its first black floor trader.


Did you check out our trivia question posted earlier today?  Click the link and take the trivia quiz!  Answers will be posted at 6pm EST.

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