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Dr. Myra Adele Logan: First Woman To Perform Open Heart Surgery

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Dr. Myra A. Logan (1908-1977) made history in 1943 by becoming the first woman to operate on a human heart. Logan was born in Tuskegee, Alabama. Her father was the treasurer of Tuskegee Institute. Her mother was well known suffragist and health care advocate. Her mother also had a college degree, which would have been rare at that time. Logan earned an MS in psychology from Columbia University. She then was awarded a scholarship to attend New York Medical College. She graduated in 1933 and completed an internship at Harlem Hospital in the emergency room. Continue reading “Dr. Myra Adele Logan: First Woman To Perform Open Heart Surgery”

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

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

~Author Unknown

Comparing Betsy Devos To Ruby Bridges? No Comparison At All!

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 (Left) Norman Rockwell Painting “The Problem We All Live With”

(Right) Cartoon by Glenn McCoy depicting Betsy Devos

Conservative artist, Glenn McCoy published a cartoon, Monday, February 13, 2017 in which he  appears to compare, Education Secretary, Betsy Devos and civil rights activist, Ruby Bridges. The cartoon was published after protests at a Washington DC school made it difficult for Devos to enter the a main entrance.  She eventually was able to enter the school through a different entrance.

Continue reading “Comparing Betsy Devos To Ruby Bridges? No Comparison At All!”

Holla Back? Time To Drop Da Mic?

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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.

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

Black History: Special Delivery!!

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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

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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”

Shirley Chisholm Quote

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“If they don’t give you a seat at the table, bring a folding chair.”

-Shirley Chisholm

World’s 1st Black Flight Attendant – Leopoldine Smith

Black History: Special Delivery!!

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Leopoldine Emma Doualla-Bell Smith

Leopoldine Emma Doualla-Bell Smith (1939 – ) is recognized as being the world’s first black flight attendant. Born in the West African country of Cameroon, Smith was a princess in the royal Douala family. At the age of 17, Smith was offered the opportunity to serve as a “ground hostess” for the Union Aeromaritime de Transport (UAT), a french airline that served France’s African air routes. Smith graduated from high school in 1956 and then went to Paris for additional ground hostess and flight education training. She began her career as a flight attendant in 1957. Smith did not know, at the time, that she was making history, becoming the first black flight attendant for any airline in the world. She began her career one year prior to Ruth Carol Taylor who is recognized as the United States’ first black flight attendant in 1958. Smith recalled that her hiring as a flight attendant was big news in her hometown and that that it was announced in the local newspaper. On her first air flight, she recalled that she was screaming and yelling, thinking she might die, while another flight attendant attempted to calm her down.

Continue reading “World’s 1st Black Flight Attendant – Leopoldine Smith”

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