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Louise Stokes & Tidye Pickett: 1st African American Women To Qualify For U.S. Olympic Team

Black History:  Special Delivery!!

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Tidye Pickett (back row, far right), Louise Stokes, (3rd from the left-back row)

Tuskegee Institute (now Tuskegee University) has the distinction  of having one of the first women’s track teams in the United States.  The team was started in 1929.  3 years later, two African American women,  Louise Stokes (1913-1978) and Tidye Pickett (1914-1986) qualified for the 1932 Olympics in track and field.     (Neither Stokes nor Pickett attended Tuskegee).   They traveled to the Olympics with the team but were not allowed to compete because of their race.  Replaced by 2 white teammates, Pickett and Stokes watched from the stands as their team competed.

Continue reading “Louise Stokes & Tidye Pickett: 1st African American Women To Qualify For U.S. Olympic Team”

John B. McClendon, Jr: Creator Of The Fast Break, Zone Press, And 4 Corners Offense

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John B. McClendon, Jr. (1915 – 1999)

 

John B. McLendon, Jr. (1915-1999) was trailblazing African American basketball coach.  He is also recognized as the first African American basketball coach at a predominately white university and the first African American coach of a professional sports team.

McClendon, Jr.’s attended Sumner High School in Kansas City.  While an all around athlete, McClendon, , Jr., did not play basketball while in high school.  He was born in Hiawatha, KS and graduated from University of Kansas with a degree in physical education.  He studied basketball at Kansas and was trained by the creator of the sport, Dr. James Naismith. McClendon Jr. was not allowed to play of the varsity team at the University of Kansas because he was black.  However, he would go on to build an impressive career as a coach winning 8 CIAA (Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association) championships.  McClendon, Jr. also invented several aspects of the game including the fast break, zone press, and four corners offense. Continue reading “John B. McClendon, Jr: Creator Of The Fast Break, Zone Press, And 4 Corners Offense”

Diane Nash – Unsung Hero Of The Civil Rights Movement

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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”

Quote:   Racial “Superiority is a mere ‘PIGMENT’ Of The Imagination”

Black History:  Special Delivery!!



Racial superiority is a mere “PIGMENT” of the imagination.  

~Author Unknown

Holla Back? Time To Drop Da Mic?

Black History:  Special Delivery!!

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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.

Al Jarreau Dead At 76

Black History:  Special Delivery!!


We have lost another legend!   Al Jarreau has passed away early Sunday morning on.February 12, 2017. He was recently hospitalized for exhaustion in Los Angeles and had cancelled his tour schedule.

Jarreau released his first album at age 35 in 1975.  The 7 time grammy award winning artist was know as the “Acrobat of Scat”.   Jarreau released 16 albums during his career. Truly an iconic voice is now silent!

He leaves behind his wife Susan, and son Ryan.

What’s you favorite Al Jarreau song?   One my favorites is, “We’re In This Love Together”.

Ebony Magazine has some great info about his life.  Check it out!EBONY http://www.ebony.com/entertainment-culture/al-jarreau-dead#ixzz4YUobKeeG

Fab New Photo Of Harriet Tubman & 10 Amazing But Little Known Facts About Her Life

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Harriet Tubman (1819?-1913) She is believed to be between 43-46 years old in this photo

 

A newly discovered photo of a “younger” Harriet Tubman (1819? – 1913) is getting lots of publicity in the media! The photo was discovered among other pictures belonging to a deceased friend of Tubman’s.  It is estimated that Tubman is in her early to mid 40’s in the picture.  Her photo along with 44 other photos will be auctioned on March 30 by Swann Galleries.  The photo was likely taken just after the Civil War.  Tubman was then residing in Auburn, NY on land that would later become the Harriet Tubman National Historical Park.

Tubman also made the news in 2016 after it was announced that her image would be added to the $20 bill beginning in 2030 replacing, President Andrew Jackson. While many of us are familiar with Tubman’s bravery and heroism in bringing hundreds of people to freedom, via the Underground Railroad, I’d like to share some lesser known facts about her life!

  1. Tubman’s was given the name Araminta Ross at birth (nickname: Minty). She adopted the name Harriet after running away to escape slavery to aid in disguising her identity. Harriet was her mother’s name. Her last name, “Tubman” was taken when she married her first husband John Tubman who was a free man.
  2. It is estimated that Tubman walked approximately 90 when she escaped slavery. No one knows exactly how long it took her to make the trip.
  3. Tubman’s husband was not interested in following her North. He remarried a free woman of color after Tubman’s escape and had several children with her; leaving Harriet heart-broken. She would later remarry Nelson Davis in 1869.  He was 22 years younger than Tubman.  They remained married for 19 years until his death.
  4. Tubman suffered from a health condition that would cause her to fall asleep suddenly without warning. She also experienced severe headaches, and seizures. The condition (possibly temporal epilepsy) was caused due to a head injury she received while enslaved at the age of 12. She was hit in the head with a 2 pound iron weight that was thrown at another enslaved African but hit Tubman instead. After her head injury she began to see visions which she believed were from God.
  5. Tubman never had any biological children.  However, she and her second husband Nelson Davis adopted a child (a girl), Gertie in 1874.
  6. When rescuing enslaved persons, she threatened to shoot any of her “passengers” who thought to turn back.
  7. Tubman was a soldier, spy, and nurse for the Union Army during the civil war. She was known for her ability to treat dysentery successfully using native herbs.
  8. She was the first woman to lead an armed war expedition during the Combahee River Raid with 300 other African American soldiers. 3 gun boats were used in the raid to liberate 700 enslaved blacks in South Carolina. She would later be denied payment for her war time service and was only able to collect a widow’s pension from her husband’s death which was $20/month. Ironically, in 2016, Tubman was selected to replace Andrew Jackson on the new $20 bill which will be released in 2030.
  9. In the late 1890’s Tubman had brain surgery at Massachusetts General Hospital due to pain and “buzzing” in her head which made it difficult for her to sleep (likely related to her childhood injury). She refused to take anesthesia and instead chewed a bullet during the operation. This was something she had seen soldiers do during the civil war when their limbs were amputated.
  10. She established a home for the aged and indigent in Auburn, NY where she spent the last years of her life.

Harriet Tubman’s life and legacy is certainly one that deserves to be celebrated! She was truly a phenomenal woman.

Sources:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/harriet-tubman-whos-being-recognized-more-and-more-is-a-total-10-in-rare-portrait_us_589b44c9e4b0c1284f29b3b9

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

Christina Jenkins: Inventor of The “Sew In” Hair Weave

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 Christina Jenkins is credited with inventing the sew in hair weave technique. The process of adding in hair extensions was centuries old.  Jenkins improved on these techniques by creating a process of sewing in hair extensions rather than pinning them to the scalp.  While employed by a wig maker in 1949, Jenkins became aware that customers often complained that their wigs would fall off their heads frequently.  She began to explores ways to rectify this concern.  Jenkins sew in technique was considered revolutionary when it was first introduced.  She obtained a patent in 1951 for the process. Her technique was extremely popular with clients and cosmetologists.  Jenkins traveled the world sharing her technique.  The technique she used was a very lengthy process.

Jenkins opened the “Hairweev Academy” to train licensed cosmetologists. People came from all over the country to be trained in the technique. She offered the cosmetologists that she trained franchising opportunities to use the technique.   However, many students did not fulfil the financial obligations of the franchise agreement.  As a result, Jenkins quickly lost control of her invention and personal finances began to suffer.  She attempted to take legal action against these individuals.  However, Jenkins lacked the finances she needed to do so and was unable to continue running the business.

The sale of hair extensions is currently a billion dollar industry. There are many different hairweaving techniques today.  Her invention was a game changer for the hair industry.  Christina Jenkins died in 2003.

Madison Washington: Architect Of The Most Successful Slave Revolt In U.S. History

Black History: Special Delivery!!

 

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In 1841, Madison Washington, an enslaved African American started a slave revolt aboard the ship, “Creole”. The vessel was taking 130 enslaved people from Virginia who were to be sold in New Orleans.  Madison Washington had escaped to freedom in Canada, but returned to try and free his wife.  He was captured and returned to slavery in Virginia. Washington and the enslaved men and women traveling aboard the “Creole” endured deplorable conditions and abuse. Led by Washington, 12 other enslaved people onboard the “Creole”, launched a revolt.  One of the slave traders was killed and crew members were also wounded.  Washington and the other slaves were able to take control of the ship and demanded that it be sailed to Nassau, Bahamas.  Continue reading “Madison Washington: Architect Of The Most Successful Slave Revolt In U.S. History”

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