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Black History: Special Delivery!!

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Predatory Blending

Black History:  Special Delivery!!

Today, I came across a quote I shared on social media on “predatory blending”. It is just as true today as it was 11 years ago and inspired more reflection to flow from my pen:

Beware of “Predatory Blending”.  Your associations should embrace you not erase you. -Enid Gaddis, Black Mail Founder

I created the term, “predatory blending” to describe the assimilation that can be expected from black people or other people of color as we navigate, infiltrate, integrate, and situate ourselves in various settings from employment, entrepreneurship,  community involvement, civic engagement, education, etc.

There are times when our “acceptance” or even or “eligibility” for inclusion is based on our ability to assimilate. Assimilation leads to erasure. When assimilation is required for acceptance, the often hidden but powerful forces of “predatory blending” are at work.

Don’t allow your wisdom, wit, and work to be manipulated and re-worked so that your influence and imprint is watered down and unrecognizable. Don’t let systems and shysters mine the riches of your intellect and innovation co-opting it for causes that refuse to accept the totality and phenomenality of your essence and presence. Bring the fullness of YOU into these spaces. Refuse to be erased.

THIS IS NOT….

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Black History: Special Delivery!!

Journalist Charles Blow’s 6/7/20 New York Times article, Allies Don’t Fail Us Again shares a thought provoking quote. With recent protests, nationally and internationally calling for reform following the death of George Floyd, “This is not the social justice Coachella. This is not systemic racism Woodstock. This has to be a forever commitment, even after protest eventually subsides.” Power to his pen!

Octavia Butler Quote

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Octavia Butler (1947-2006)

Drowning people sometimes die fighting their rescuers.
-Octavia Butler

Anita Scott Coleman:  Harlem Renaissance Author & Poet

Black History:  Special Delivery!!

anita scott coleman
Anita Scott Coleman (1890-1960)

Anita Scott Coleman (1890-1960) was a significant contributor to the Harlem Renaissance.  The Harlem Renaissance (1918-1937) represented a time of social, political and artistic innovation among African Americans.  At the time, it was referred to as the “New Negro Experience”.  Though many of the celebrated artists and artisans of the movement lived in the Harlem area; its impact was both national and international in scope and impact.  Continue reading “Anita Scott Coleman:  Harlem Renaissance Author & Poet”

The Legacy Of Ntozake Shange

Black History: Special Delivery!!

Author, poet, spoken-word artist, and playwright Ntozake Shange (pronounced en-toh-ZAH-kee SHAHN-gay) died on October 27, 2018. She was 70 years old. Shange is best known for her prolific play, “For Colored Girls Who Considered Suicide When The Rainbow Is Enuf”.

At the time, the play was only the second by an African American woman on Broadway after, Lorraine Hansberry’s “A Raisin In The Son”. Shange was just 27 years old when the play premiered. Over 750 Broadway performances were held.

Shange has been referred to by Maiysha Kai as, “One of the original conjurers of what we now know as black girl magic“. Born Paulette Williams in 1948, she eventually changed her name to Ntozake Shange to identify with her African roots. Ntozake translated, in Zulu means “she who comes with her own things. Shange means, “she who walks like a lion.”

Shange graduated from Trenton High School in New Jersey. She also graduated from Barnard College and the University of Southern California, earning a master’s degree in American studies.

Sara Bellamy said of Shange, “Ntozake Shange invited us to marvel at the resiliency and power that women of color harness in order to survive a hostile world. She invited us to practice the ritual of loving ourselves.”

Certainly this queen used the power of her pen to elevate the voices and experiences of black women. May she rest in power!

Sources:

https://www.google.com/amp/s/theglowup.theroot.com/in-memoriam-for-colored-girls-who-grew-up-on-ntozake-s-1830060936/amp

James Baldwin Quote

Black History: Special Delivery!!

A child cannot be taught by anyone that despises him.”

-James Baldwin

Harriet Wilson: 1st African American Woman To Publish A Novel In the United States

Black History: Special Delivery!!

Harriet Adams Wilson (1825-1900)

On September 5, 1859, Harriet E. Wilson, (1825-1900) published, “Our Nig” making her the first African American woman to publish a novel in the United States. Wilson was born in Milford, New Hampshire. Her father was African American and her mother was white. When her father died, her mother abandoned her; leaving her at the home of a family where she worked as an indentured servant. She would remain with the family until the 1840’s. Wilson was married in 1851 and had a son named George. After being abandoned by her husband, she left her son in the care of foster parents and left to seek work in Boston. George died at the age of 7.

 

Wilson is said to have gone by the name, “Dr. Hattie E. Wilson” and worked as clairvoyant and psychic healer. She traveled across the U.S. making speeches on the spirit world and race relations. Wilson’s novel, “Our Nig” was a fictional story about her experience as an indentured servant, as well as her experiences with racism and prejudice. Continue reading “Harriet Wilson: 1st African American Woman To Publish A Novel In the United States”

Celebrate The Skin You’re In!!

Black History: Special Delivery!!

Quote: “My color is my joy, not my burden.” -Bebe Moore Campbell

54th Anniversary of “I Have A Dream Speech”

Black History:  Special Delivery!!

 

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Photo Credit: Library of Congress

August 28, 2017 marks the 54th anniversary of the historic “I Have A Dream Speech” given by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr, in Washington, DC during the March on Washington.  More than 200,000 flooded the capital for the historic speech.  Below are some little known facts about the March that you may not know.

  • The March on Washington along with the speech given by Dr. King was said to pressure President Kennedy to approve federal civil rights legislation in Congress.
  • Dr. King was not the “originator” of the “I have a dream” language contained in his speech. It is likely that this language was first used by then 22 year old Prathia Hall after the burning of the Mount Olive Baptist Church in 1962.  King had preached at a church service following the bombing.  Prathia Hall prayed during the service.  During her prayer she shared the “I have a dream” language.  Check out our previous Black Mail post for more information on Prathia Hall.  https://wordpress.com/post/blackmail4u.com/169
  • Originally, the speech was entitled, “Normalcy – Never Again” and did not contain any “I have a dream” wording. Dr. King was encouraged by gospel singer Mahalia Jackson who whispered to him during the speech, “Tell ‘em about the dream Martin.  Tell em’ about the dream.“
  • Dr. King was the last speaker of the day. Many of the march participants, had already left to return to their homes and missed the historic speech.
  • William Sullivan, head of the FBI’s domestic intelligence division wrote a memo after the speech labeling Dr. King “as the most dangerous Negro of the future in this nation from the standpoint of communism, the Negro, and national security.”
  • King’s speech, initially did not get much attention in the media. The march itself received most of the media attention.  By the time of King’s death in 1968, the speech, had been largely forgotten.
  • Dr. King first shared, “I have a dream” during a speech in Detroit two months before the March on Washington. Several of his staffers actually tried to discourage him from using the language again.

Check out a video excerpt of the speech:

Source(s):

Blackmail4u.com

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I47Y6VHc3Ms&feature=yout

http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2013/08/i-have-a-dream-speech-facts-trivia.html

http://www.cnn.com/2013/08/28/us/mlk-i-have-a-dream-9-things/index.html

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