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African American History Month

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.

Location, Location, Location:  The Cost of Racism for Businesses In Black Neighborhoods

Black History:  Special Delivery!!

location

Using data from online consumer business ratings, researchers have now been able to quantify the dollar value impact on revenue growth for businesses located in black neighborhoods.  The research suggests that businesses in black neighborhoods face a negative stigma because of their location within black communities. The stigma centers around businesses being considered as less capable, having less quality, etc.

“Five-star Reviews, One-Star Profits:  The Devaluation of Businesses In Black Communities”  is a new report released by the Brookings Institution on February 18, 2020, looks at businesses in black neighborhoods that are highly rated in online reviews. The research looked at Yelp ratings of businesses. Yelp is an online platform that allows consumers to rate businesses and share feedback. 

According to the Brookings Institution data, businesses in black neighborhoods that are highly rated by customers using the Yelp platform experience a significantly lower rate of revenue growth than businesses not located in black neighborhoods.  The report indicates that the unrealized revenue equates to approximately $3.9 billion in lost revenue annually for businesses with high ratings located in black neighborhoods. According to Brookings Institution lead researcher Andre Perry, “These businesses in black neighborhoods that have high ratings should experience higher revenue growth, but they are not.”  He goes on to also say, “Our model shows that it’s the concentration of blackness in the neighborhood that correlates with the lack of revenue growth. Continue reading “Location, Location, Location:  The Cost of Racism for Businesses In Black Neighborhoods”

Dunbar Hospital:  Detroit’s First Hospital for African-Americans

Black History: Special Delivery!!

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Dunbar Hospital Staff – 1922

Dunbar Hospital in Detroit, MI, was founded in 1918. Healthcare for Detroit’s African Americans was severely inferior to care available for white patients. At this time more than 30,000 African-Americans lived in Detroit. The city was very segregated. Black physicians could not join the staff of Detroit’s White hospitals and patients were denied care at the city’s White hospitals. Thus, 30 Black doctors, members of the Allied Medical Society (now the Detroit Medical Society), incorporated Dunbar Hospital, the city’s first nonprofit community hospital for the African-American population.

Continue reading “Dunbar Hospital:  Detroit’s First Hospital for African-Americans”

The Deleted Passage Of The Declaration of Independence That Denounced Slavery

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declaration of independence

In drafting the Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson challenged the inhumanity of slavery.  However, Jefferson enslaved over 600 people throughout his lifetime.  Out of the 600 people he enslaved, he only freed seven.  Jefferson believed that the enslaved were incapable of caring for themselves and therefore should not be freed. He felt that freeing the enslaved would be harmful to them. Continue reading “The Deleted Passage Of The Declaration of Independence That Denounced Slavery”

Dr. Jose` Celso Barbosa:  Afro-Puerto Rican, Physician, Political Leader, & Activist

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Dr Jose Barbosa
Dr. Jose`Celos Barbosa (1857-1921)

Dr. Jose`Celso Barbosa (1857-1921) was a trailblazing physician, political leader, and activist. Known as the “father of the Statehood for Puerto Rico movement”. Barbosa was born in the city of Bayamon, Puerto Rico. His parents were of African and European descent. Barbosa received his primary and secondary education at the Jesuit Seminary in Puerto Rico. He was the first person of mixed ancestry to attend. Barbosa was also the first Puerto Rican to earn a medical degree in the United States.

Continue reading “Dr. Jose` Celso Barbosa:  Afro-Puerto Rican, Physician, Political Leader, & Activist”

Dr. Willa B. Player: 1st Black Female College President Of A 4-Year Fully Accredited Liberal Arts College

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Dr. Willa B. Player (1917-2003)

Dr. Willa Beatrice Player (1917 – 2003) was an African American educator and civil rights, activist. She made history by becoming the first African American woman to lead a four year, fully accredited liberal arts college.  Player took the helm as president of Bennett College for Women from 1956-1966.

Continue reading “Dr. Willa B. Player: 1st Black Female College President Of A 4-Year Fully Accredited Liberal Arts College”

Rep. Rashida Tlaib Quote

Black History: Special Delivery!!

State of Michigan Rep. Rashida Tlaib Quote! “I come from the most
beautiful, blackest community in the nation.” -Rep. Rashida Tlaib
#blackmail4u #blackhistory #Blackhistorymonth #blackhistoryquote #blackhistoryfact #rashidatlaib #detroit #detroitovereverything #motorcity #datruth #blackisbeautiful #quote

Help Us Reach Our Goal

Black History: Special Delivery!!

Blackmail4u.com
Help us reach our goal! Just 2,500 more website views are needed to reach our February goal. Head to the website and check out some Black History, facts, quotes, and news!! WITH YOUR HELP WE CAN DO IT.

Henry Lewis:  The First African American Conductor Of A Major Symphony Orchestra

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henry lewis
Henry Lewis (1932 – 1996)

Henry Lewis (1932 – 1963) was born in Los Angeles, California.  His father worked as a car dealer and his mother was a nurse.  He began taking piano lessons at age 5.  Lewis would also learn to play a number of stringed instruments including the clarinet.  His talent in playing the double base earned him a scholarship to UCLA.  When he was 16 years old, he joined the Los Angeles Philharmonic.  This made Lewis the first black instrumentalist in a major symphony orchestra.  He later joined the military.  During his military service, he conducted the Seventh Army Symphony based in Germany from 1955 – 1956.

In 1961 he accepted the role of assistant conductor for the Los Angeles Philharmonic under the leadership of Zubin Mehta.  He served in this role until 1965.  Lewis then relocated to New Jersey in 1968 and became music director and conductor of the New Jersey Symphony. He was the first African American conduct to hold these roles for a major symphony orchestra.    At the time he took over it was small,  community ensemble.  Under his leadership, the group gained national renown as an orchestra, had a schedule of 100+ concerts per year with a budget exceeding $1 million dollars annually.  In 1972 he was also the first African American to conduct the Metropolitan Opera.  Lewis was married to famous white opera singer Marilyn Horne from 1960-1979.  The couple had one daughter, Angela in 1965.  They divorced in 1974.

Lewis retired from the New Jersey Symphony in 1976 but continued to tour extensively as a guest conductor for almost 20 years until his death.  He was a widely acclaimed musician and conductor; a true trailblazer.  At age 63, he died of a heart attack in 1996.

Sources:

https://aaregistry.org/story/henry-lewis-first-black-conductor-of-a-major-symphony-orchestra/

https://blackthen.com/henry-lewis-conductor-broke-racial-barriers-u-s-orchestras/

https://www.blackpast.org/african-american-history/lewis-henry-jay-1932-1996/

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