Black Mail Blog

Black History: Special Delivery!!


January 2018

MLK Sanitized To Satisfy……

Black History: Special Delivery!!

Powerful quote from! Dr. King’s legacy is being both sanitized and euthanized!

We celebrate his birthday and make anniversaries of noteworthy events in his life, but by their very veneration the Powers That Be have sanitized Dr. King’s memory, removing everything they find threatening.”


“What’s Your Life’s Blueprint?” – Remembering Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Black History:  Special Delivery!!

Black Mail Readers,

Today, the United States celebrates the MLK holiday; celebrating the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  In honor of Dr. King, we would like to share one of his lesser known speeches to students at Barton Junior High School in Philadelphia, PA in 1967.   The speech is an inspiring commentary for African American youth.  We encourage you to watch the video with children in your circle and have a discussion.  Though the video was made over 50 years ago, it still resonates today!

Celebrating The 50th Anniversary Of, “Sitting By The Dock Of The Bay”

Black History: Special Delivery!!

Today, January 8, 2018 marks 50 years since the posthumous release of, “Sitting By The Dock Of The Bay. ” by Otis Redding (1941-1967) in 1968. It was the first posthumous recording to reach number one in the U.S. The song was not his typical soulful sound and he was strongly advised not to release it. However, Redding felt strongly that it would be a number one hit. He was right! Redding died in a plane crash, at age 26, about a month before the song was released.

Shout out to Black Mail follower and supporter JaDonnia B. for suggesting the idea for this post!

Check out her blog, “Diversity University” !


Quote: “My authenticity is my rebellion.” -Viola Davis

Black History: Special Delivery!!

My authenticity is my rebellion.” -Viola Davis

Racism In Retail (Again)…..

Black History: Special Delivery!!

Retailer H & M recently pulled a photo of a black boy wearing a hoodie with said, “coolest monkey in the jungle“. Not sure how NO ONE thought about how this would be viewed as offensive. The ad has been pulled, but not before social media blasted the retailer. Not surpisingly, the retailer also had some defenders on social media making comments like, “I see a sweet little black boy wearing a sweater with ‘coolest monkey in the jungle. I see nothing else. Hope this helps.
Another said, “Perhaps it was an innocent mistake and no-one even thought that they injected racism into the ad.”

Unfortunately, the disrespect of comparing black people to monkeys has a long standing racist history!


“Systemic Racism Kills….LITERALLY. DAILY.” -Bree Newsome

Black History: Special Delivery!!

Another powerful quote from a SHEro on the frontlines Bree Newsome!

Systemic racism kills. Literally. Daily. This is why I have no space for folks who try to reduce the issue of racism to a mere “culture war”, as though racism is just a bad idea held by otherwise decent people & not a brutal system that deprives people of humanity

-Bree Newsome

Dr. Charles “Pruner” West: The Rose Bowl’s 1st African American Quarter Back

Black History: Special Delivery!!

Dr. Charles Fremont “Pruner” West (1899 – 1979) led Washington and Jefferson College to its first and only Rose Bowl appearance in 1922 against the UCLA Golden Bears. West was the first African American quarterback to play in the Rose Bowl. He was playing the position of half back at the time but was asked to play quarterback due to another player’s injury. West led his team to the first scoreless tie in Rose Bowl history. The small liberal arts college located in Washington, PA was not expected to be a contender against such a formidable opponent.

The cost of travel limited the number of players who could accompany the team to the Rose Bowl. Just 11 players made the trip. During the trip one of the players became ill and had to be hospitalized. Another player who had stowed away in the baggage car, took that players seat on the train and then played in the game. West’s appearance in the Rose Bowl would take place 25 years before Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier in major league baseball. In 1916, Fritz Pollard of Brown University became the first African American to play in the Rose Bowl. West was the first to play in the Rose Bowl in the quarterback position.

An outstanding athlete, Pruner was also a two-time national pentathlon champion. He was named to the 1924 Olympic team but ultimately was not allowed to participate. West had sustained a hamstring injury but still traveled with the team while recuperating. Upon arrival, he was healthy enough to compete; however French Olympic officials refused to let him do so because he was listed as an alternate. This decision was heartbreaking for West.

West is also remembered for his participation in a 1923 college football game against the Washington and Lee Generals. It was the southern schools’ tradition to “request” that northern teams bench their black quarterbacks. When asked how he felt about possibly being benched, West indicated that he could not prevent himself from being benched but vowed to never play for the college again if he was benched. Washington and Jefferson refused to play without West and dropped out of the game. West often experienced racial discrimination when traveling with his college team. During the 1921 season, the team traveled to a game in West Virginia. A local pharmacist put up a display in his store window of a doll painted jet black in a football uniform next to a toy ambulance (implying what would be done to West during the game). Washington and Jefferson defeated the West Virginia team. Following the victory, West went over to the pharmacy and asked if he could have the display. Embarrassed, the pharmacist gave it to him. West’s daughter still has the display.

West went on to play for the Akron Pros an NFL franchise that folded in 1926. He then retired from sports to attend medical school at Howard University. He would go on to a successful 50 year career in medicine in Alexandria, VA. He died of cancer in 1979. He was 80 years old. West was posthumously inducted in the Rose Bowl Hall of Fame on December 30, 2017.


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