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AFrican American political figures

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

“I’m Simply A Strong Black Woman.” -Maxine Waters

Black History: Special Delivery!!

Queens!!

Black History:  Special Delivery!!


The black women in this slide show are TRUE ROYALTY!  They should inspire us all!  They are diverse in their pursuits and chosen paths.  If you don’t know who they are…….It’s time to do some research and learn about their accomplishments!  

Diane Nash – Unsung Hero Of The Civil Rights Movement

Black History: Special Delivery!!

diane-nash1

 

A native of Chicago, IL, Diane Nash (1938-) was one of the pioneering forces behind the Civil Rights movement. Nash and many other women  were champions of the movement.  She became active in the movement in 1959 as a new student at Fisk University in Nashville, TN.  While at Fisk she would encounter the harsh realities of segregation and prejudice that were previously unknown to her.  In 1959 she attended a workshop focused on non-violent protesting. She would quickly become a respected leader of Nashville’s “sit in” movement.  Her efforts were instrumental in organizing the first successful campaign to end segregation of lunch counters.  This effort engaged hundreds of black and white college students as volunteers.  She was also one of the founders of the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC).  SNCC would play a major role in the civil rights movement by engaging young college students in civil rights activism.  These efforts were successful and in 1960, Nashville became first southern city to desegregate lunch counters.  Continue reading “Diane Nash – Unsung Hero Of The Civil Rights Movement”

Holla Back? Time To Drop Da Mic?

Black History:  Special Delivery!!

drop-the-mic

Black Mail Readers:

Check out the quote below from Boyce Watkins.  Watkins is an African American economist, author, political analyst and commentator.  A strong supporter of financial literacy and entrepreneurship, he is considered one of the founding fathers of “Financial Activism”, which has as its objective “creating social change through the use of conscientious capitalism”.  The quote below by Boyce Watkins calls us to reflect on the music industry and its impact on black men.  It was tweeted by Watkins on February 13, 2017

“For the last 20 years, the music industry has consistently rewarded black men for promoting music that celebrates our extinction.  -Boyce Watkins

We want to hear from you Black Mail readers!  Do you agree with his statement?  Why or why not?   Comment and let us know what you think.

Celebrating Our Sisters: The Women Behind The Montgomery Bus Boycott

Black History: Special Delivery!!

bus boycott

December 5, 2015 marked 60 years since the start of the Montgomery Bus Boycott. With 75-80% of bus riders in Montgomery being African American, the economic impact of the boycott was devastating. During the boycott, approximately 325 private vehicles picked up thousands of passengers on a daily basis from 43 dispatch stations and 42 pick up sites from 5am-8pm. Crippled economically, the city of Montgomery was forced to desegregate its bus system. Many are familiar with the efforts of the Montgomery Improvement Association in overseeing the boycott. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was its first president. However, many may be unaware of the critical role that the Women’s Political Council played in launching the boycott.

The Women’s Political Council (WPC) was founded in 1946 by Mary Fair Burks, a professor at Alabama State College. Burks launched the organization after she was arrested due to a traffic dispute involving a white woman. The purpose of the organization was to educate blacks in Montgomery on their constitutional rights and increase voter registration among blacks. Within in one week, Burks recruited 40 women to join the organization. Burks was the organization’s first president. The Women’s Political Council became very active in advocating for civil rights. By the 1950’s the organization had approximately 300 members, all of whom were registered voters (which was an impressive accomplishment for women at that time).

Jo Ann Gibson Robinson, a professor at Alabama State College became president in 1950. She focused the efforts of the organization on addressing discrimination on city buses. WPC met a number of times with local city officials in Montgomery in 1954 and 1955, to no avail. WPC had actually been contemplating a boycott of the Montgomery City bus line for several years (even before the arrest of Rosa Parks.) After Rosa Parks was arrested on December 1, 1955, WPC decided to call for a boycott. The WPC distributed 50,000 fliers that read, The Women’s Political Council will not wait for Mrs. Parks’ consent to call for a boycott of city buses. On Dec. 2, 1955, the women of Montgomery will call for a boycott to take place on Monday, Dec. 5.”

On December 5, 1956, the Supreme Court ruled that segregation on public buses was illegal; thus ending the 381 day bus boycott. The WPC continued to work in advocating for the civil rights of blacks. The tireless efforts of this group of women deserves to be celebrated.

Check out some of our recent posts:

December 5, 1955 – 381 Day Economic Boycott Begins!

Jane Matilda Bolin: 1st Black Female Judge In The United States

26 Children’s Books That Celebrate Black Heroes

Interesting Facts About Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice

Black History: Special Delivery!!

TUESDAY FAST FACT: Did you know that our sister and former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is an accomplished pianist? She has accompanied famed cellist, Yo-Yo Ma, Aretha Franklin, and also has performed for Queen Elizabeth II. Rice was also very accomplished educationally as well; entering the University of Denver at age 15 and obtaining her Ph.D by age 26.

c rice 2002 concert yo yo ma
Condoleezza Rice & Cellist Yo-Yo Ma in 2002

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