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Black History: Special Delivery!!

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African American History Month

Rev. Dr. Martin Luther Luther. Jr.: “Smaller And Smaller”

Black History: Special Delivery!!

“So the Dr. King that we celebrate on the third Monday of January keeps getting smaller and smaller.” -Jean Theoharis

A powerful quote from Jean Theoharis; who also went on to remind us that:

“……. the King memorial in Washington, DC. Part of the memorial showcases quotes from King, and none of the quotes that were chosen include the words “segregation” or “racism.” It’s extraordinary — we have a monument to Dr. King that doesn’t speak to race.”

As we remember the life of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., we must be careful not to sanitize and water down his legacy. Many misuse his legacy, attempting to “rebrand” and “repackage” his message to make it more passive and palitable. We must sit with and learn from his life in totality.

Check out this article by PR Lockhart where Jean Theoharis is interviewed.

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.vox.com/platform/amp/identities/2018/4/4/17193286/martin-luther-king-assassination-50th-anniversary-jeanne-theoharis

Mahalia Jackson: Serious About Securing The Bag!!

Black History: Special Delivery!!

Quote: “If you want me to sing this Christmas song with the feeling and the meaning, you better see if you can locate that check.”
-Mahalia Jackson

Mahaila Jackson (1927-1971) is celebrated as one of the greatest gospel singers of all time. She is referred to as “The Queen Of Gospel”. As a child she shared a small “shot gun” house with 13 people. Raised by an aunt after the death of her mother, Jackson quit school in 4th grade to help out at home. Her amazing vocal skills were evident even when she was a young child. She moved to Chicago at age 16 looking for better opportunities. Instead she found only low income domestic work. While in Chicago she joined Greater Salem Baptist Church and began touring with the Johnson Brothers as a “fish and bread” singer (singing for donations). She would later sell 10 cent tickets for her performances and also found work singing at funerals and revivals. She promised to live a pure life and not use her vocal skills for secular entertainment….a promise she kept.

She made her first recording in 1937, “God’s Gonna Separate The Wheat From The Tares”. She would later partner with Thomas Dorsey, a gifted African American composer. Together they issued ushered in the golden age of gospel. In 1954 she launched her own radio show, “The Mahalia Jackson Hour”. It was the first all gospel radio hour. When she wanted to move into TV, executives declined feeling that a “negro” would not be well received in southern markets. Her radio show was canceled after 5 months because it failed to secure a national sponsor.
By 1960 she was an international singing sensation. Her financial success resulted in a racist backlash. She received threats from whites who didn’t want a black woman living in their community. Her own challenges with racism fueled her participation in the Civil Rights Movement. She lended her voice and finances to the movement. She soon became friends with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Her final performance took place I’m 1971 in Germany. She died at 60 of heart failure in 1972 after a surgery on her abdomen.

Sources:

http://www.mahaliajackson.us/biography/1969.php

http://www.britanica.com/biography/Mahalia-Jackson

The Power of Black Girl Magic!

Black History: Special Delivery!!

Altanta Black Star reports that a young queen flexing her “black girl magic” caused some classmates to become upset. During, classroom free time, this young queen proclaimed loudly “I have black girl magic!!”. This proud proclamation apparently provoked tears from other students and prompted an email to this young queen’s mother from the teacher, asking if she could talk to her daughter about other classmates being upset.

Keep flexing that BLACK GIRL MAGIC young queen!!

Full article can be viewed at this link:

https://atlantablackstar.com/2018/11/30/can-you-speak-with-her-teacher-sends-letter-home-complaining-student-told-classmates-she-has-black-girl-magic/

Two Congregations: Two Acts Of Senseless Violence

Black History: Special Delivery!!

Pastor Eric Manning of Emmanuel AME Church embraces Rabbai Jeffrey Myers of Tree Of Life Synagogue.

These two leaders now share a tragic bond; both having lost members of their congregations to senseless hate crimes. In 2015, Dylan Roof murdered 9 members of Emmanuel AME Church in Charleston, SC. On October 27, 2018, eleven members of Tree Of Life Congregation in Pittsburgh, PA.

In the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr, “Now is the time to make justice a reality for all God’s children.

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

Happy 106th Birthday Dr. Dorothy Height

Black History: Special Delivery!!

Happy 106th Birthday Dr. Dorothy Height!
Born on March 24, 1912, in Richmond, VA, she spent her life fighting for civil rights and women’s rights. One of Height’s major accomplishments was directing the integration of all of the YWCA’s centers in 1946. In 1957, Height became the president of the National Council of Negro Women. In 1963, Height was one of the organizers of the famed March on Washington. Ironically, she, nor any other women were allowed to speak at the march.

Cynthia Marshall:  1st NBA African American Female CEO

Black History: Special Delivery!!

CYNTHIA-MARSHALL
Cynthia “Cynt” Marshall – Interim CEO Dallas Mavericks

On Monday, February 26, 2018, Cynthia Marshall was announced as the new interim CEO of the Dallas Mavericks. Marshall is 58 years old and recently retired from an executive role as a Chief Diversity Officer with AT & T. She retired after a 36 year career with there. After leaving AT & T, Marshall launched a consulting firm which focused on the areas of leadership, diversity/inclusion, and culture transformation.

She was recruited by Dallas Mavericks owner, Mark Cuban following the resignation of the former CEO, Tederma Ussery amid allegations of sexual harassment and workplace misconduct that was released in a recent Sports Illustrated article. Marshall will have the opportunity to drop the “interim” portion of her job title if she chooses. Highly recommended from AT & T leadership, Marshall has some tough work ahead of her. She appears to be up to the challenge!

Sources:

http://theurbannews.com/business/2008/im-every-woman-cynthia-g-marshall-president-att-north-carolina/

http://www.espn.com/espnw/sports/article/22587581/interim-ceo-cynthia-marshall-hopes-make-dallas-mavericks-model-response-misconduct

https://sportsday.dallasnews.com/dallas-mavericks/mavericks/2018/02/26/new-interim-ceo-cynthia-marshall-promises-2019-mavericks-will-standard-diversity-inclusiveness

Black Mail Black History Quiz

Black History: Special Delivery!!

Comment If you’d like us to send you a copy of the quiz!!

Darlene Anderson:  1st African American Woman To Become A Professional Roller Derby Skater

Black History:  Special Delivery!!

 darlene anderson

 

Darlene Anderson made history in 1958 when she became the first African American female roller derby professional skater.  Anderson was very athletic, playing sports in high school.  Her mother stopped her from playing baseball because she felt the sport was too rough.  Anderson took up roller derby instead.  Her parent’s thought she was taking ice-skating lessons.  She didn’t let them know right away it was roller derby; being fearful that they would make her quit.  Anderson’s parents were raising her to be a “lady” and she knew they would not approve of her competing in a sport like roller derby.

She had no idea that she would compete professionally in the sport.  At that time, roller derby was an extremely popular sport across the U.S.  A time trial held at Olympic Auditorium, gave Anderson her “big break”.  The time trial launched her career as a professional roller derby skater.  Though skeptical at first, Anderson’s parents became her biggest supporters.  She rose to fame quickly, unanimously winning, 1958 “rookie of the year” award at age 19 while skating for the Brooklyn Red Devils.  She also skated professionally for the Hawaii All Stars, San Francisco Bay Bombers, New York Chiefs, Los Angeles Braves, and many other teams.

Anderson felt she was treated well by her teammates and other professionals within the sport.  She would encounter the occasional rowdy fan but feels she was accepted as an equal with other skaters.  After concluding her career, she accomplished another “first”, becoming the first African American woman to be a Pari Mutuels Clerk with the Southern California Racing Association.  Pari Mutuels  is a  form of betting at horse tracks.

Sources:

https://lasentinel.net/darlene-anderson-broke-roller-derby-color-barrier-in-1958.html

http://derbymemoirs.bankedtrack.info/Anderson_Darlene.html

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