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Black History: Special Delivery!!

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African American Woman

Bisa Butler: The Artistry Displayed Through Her Quilts Will Amaze You!!

Black History: Special Delivery!!

Electric-Relaxation

Artist Bisa Bulter brings together artistry and creativity through her quilts.  Made from bold and vibrant patterns her quilts portray people from all walks of life. Bisa Bulter was born in Orange, NJ. She was the youngest of four siblings. Her artistic talents became apparent early. At age four she won a blue ribbon in the Plainfield Sidewalk art competition. At age five, she was named the “artist of the month” at her nursery school. Continue reading “Bisa Butler: The Artistry Displayed Through Her Quilts Will Amaze You!!”

Dr. Alfreda Johnson Webb: First African American Woman in the U.S. To Receive A Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine

Black History:  Special Delivery!!

webb

Dr. Alfreda Johnson-Webb (1923 – 1992)

Alfreda Johnson Webb (1923-1992) was born in Mobile, Alabama.  She earned a bachelors of science degree from Tuskegee Institute (now University).  Webb also obtained a masters degree in anatomy from Michigan State University.  She then attended Tuskegee’s Institute’s College of Veterinary Medicine in 1949.  Webb was the first African American woman to graduate from a school of veterinary medicine.  She was also the first African American woman licensed to practice veterinary medicine in the U.S. Continue reading “Dr. Alfreda Johnson Webb: First African American Woman in the U.S. To Receive A Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine”

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

Harriet Tubman’s 1854 Christmas Eve Rescue

Black History: Special Delivery!!

Christmas Eve 1854 – Harriet Tubman returned to her Maryland home to free her brothers Ben and Henry. Her coded message: “Tell my brothers to be always watching unto prayer and when the good old ship of Zion comes along, to be ready to step on board.” This was the second time that she attempted to help them escape. The first time was 1849 when she escaped. Ben and Henry became scared and turned back.

Traveling more than 100 miles, they arrived at William Still’s Anti-Slavery office in Philadelphia on Dec. 29, 1854.

Sources:

http://www.harriet-tubman.org/escape/

http://www.harriettubmanbiography.com/harriet-tubman-s-flight-to-freedom.html

TO WOMEN OF COLOR

Black History: Special Delivery!!

“To Women Of Color,

Our backs tell stories no books have the spine to carry.”

-Rupi Kaur

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

“I AIN’T SCARED!” -Maxine Waters

Black History: Special Delivery!!

Congresswoman Maxine Waters has been one of several political and public figures to be sent exclusive device in the mail. Her response: “I AIN’T SCARED!!”

Happy Birthday 74th Birthday Diana Ross!

Black History: Special Delivery!!

The legendary songstress was actually named Diane not Diana. Her name was, incorrectly printed as Diana, and that’s what folks started using. Another interesting fact about Diana Ross is that her neighbor growing up in Detroit was the legendary Smokey Robinson. Many also don’t know that her group, The Supremes original name was The Primettes.
What’s your favorite song or movie featuring Diana Ross?

The National Association of Colored Women: Activists for Racial Justice

Black History:  Special Delivery!!

 

NACW

Established in July 1896, the National Association of Colored Women was founded by Josephine St. Pierre Ruffin after Southern journalist, James Jacks called African American women, “prostitutes”, “thieves and liars”.  Ruffin believed the best way to halt racial and sexist attacks on women was by initiating social and political activism.  Her goal was to create positive images of African American women and leverage their collective strength to fight injustice. Ruffin is quoted as saying, “Too long have we been silent under the unjust and unholy charges; we cannot expect to have them removed until we disprove them through ourselves.”

She united with other African American women who also had the same goal.  NACW was the result of merging several African American women’s clubs including the National League of Colored Women and the National Federation of Afro American Women to form NACW as the first African American National Organization.  The organization underwent a name change in 1957, becoming the National Association of Colored Women’s Clubs (NACWC).

NACW counted a number of influential women as part of it’s membership including:  Mary Church Terrell, Ida B. Wells Barnett, Mary McLeod Bethune, Frances Ellen Watkins Harper, and Margaret Murray Washington.   NACW’s national motto is, “Lifting As We Climb.”  The organization’s nine objectives include:

To work for the economic, moral, religious and social welfare of women and youth

  • To protect the rights of women and youth
  • To raise the standard and quality of life in home and family
  • To secure and use our influence for the enforcement of civil and political rights for African Americans and all citizens
  • To promote the education of women, youth and young adults through scholarship funds available through our region, state and local club levels including the NACWC’s
  • Hallie Q. Brown Scholarship Fund and the Dr. Patricia Fletcher Scholarship Funds.
  • Foster mentorship through the NACWC National Association of Youth Clubs (NAYC) and the NACWC Grandparents Academy Program
  • To obtain for women of color, opportunities for reaching the highest levels in all fields of human endeavor.
  • To promote understanding between the races so that justice and good will may prevail among all people.

 

. NACWC remains active with 30+ chapters across the U.S.

Sources:

http://nacwc.org/history

http://www.blackpast.org/aah/national-association-colored-women-s-clubs-inc-1896

 

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