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Black History: Special Delivery!!

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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!  

Thomas Bethune Wiggins: Enslaved, Blind, Musical Genius

Black History: Special Delivery!!

 

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Thomas Greene Bethune Wiggins (1849-1908)

 

Thomas Greene Bethune Wiggins (1849 – 1908) was born to enslaved parents who lived on a Georgia plantation. The family was owned at first by Wiley Jones but was then sold to General James Bethune in Columbus, GA. Wiggins was blind from birth and was also considered to be autistic. He showed an early aptitude for music and also was said to have a great memory. By the age of 4 he was able to play the piano and made his musical concert debut at the age of 8, in Atlanta, GA.   Wiggins was hired out as an enslaved musician. The fee for his performance was $15,000. He would be the first African American to perform at the White House for President James Buchanan in 1859, when he was 10 years old. Two of his original piano pieces “Oliver Galop” and “Virginia Polka” were published in 1860. During the Civil War, his musical talents were used to raise funds for Confederate relief efforts. By 1865, Wiggins was 16 years old and was considered an “indentured” servant to General Bethune. Continue reading “Thomas Bethune Wiggins: Enslaved, Blind, Musical Genius”

DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince: 1st Rap Artists To Win A Grammy Award

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Jeffrey Townes aka “DJ Jazzy Jeff” (left), Will Smith aka “The Fresh Prince” (right)

On February 22, 1989, DJ Jazzy Jeff (Jeffrey Townes) and The Fresh Prince (Will Smith) won the first Rap Grammy Award, for “Best Rap Performance” for their hit single, “Parents Just Don’t Understand” written by Ready Rock C (Clarence Holmes).  The group eventually sold over 5 million albums worldwide.  The rap group formed in 1986.  At the time the group launched, the Grammy Awards did not include a hip hop category.  This did not occur until 1989.  Though the group was nominated the category nomination was not going to be televised.  The group was however, asked to perform their hit single at the Grammy Awards Show.  Continue reading “DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince: 1st Rap Artists To Win A Grammy Award”

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

A Legend Honors A Legend: Stevie Wonder Reflects On Prince

Black History:  Special Delivery!!

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Stevie Wonder, was interviewed on CNN about how Prince influenced him.  A legend honors,  a legend!! Check out the video.

Prince Dead At 57

Black History:  Special Delivery!!

Music icon Prince found dead in his home today 4/21/16. He was 57.

Check the article on CNN for more info:

http://www.cnn.com/2016/04/21/entertainment/prince-estate-death/index.html

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Did You Know R & B Singer Chaka Khan Was A Former Member Of The Black Panther Party?

Black History: Special Delivery!!

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Chaka Khan

 

Legendary R & B singer, Chaka Khan was born, Yvette Marie Stevens on March 23, 1953. Born, in Great Lakes, IL, she gained international acclaim for her signature sound and stage presence. Khan gained popularity beginning in the 1970’s. Her first singing group, the Crystalettes, was comprised of Khan and her sister Yvonne when she was 11 years old. She identifies singers such as Billie Holiday and Gladys Knight as some of her early musical inspirations. Later Khan and her sister launched the musical group, “The Shades of Black”.

Khan joined the Black Panther Party in 1969 at age 16. She sold newspapers for the Black Panther Party and also worked in the party’s free breakfast program for children. Before joining the Black Panther Party she changed her name from Yvette Marie Stevens to Chaka Adunne Aduffe Yemoja Hodarhi Karifi. She received her new name as part of a Yoruba naming ceremony.   Continue reading “Did You Know R & B Singer Chaka Khan Was A Former Member Of The Black Panther Party?”

The African American Negro Academy

 Black History:  Special Delivery!!

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Members of American Negro Academy

The American Negro Academy (ANA) was founded in Washington DC in 1897.  It was a society of black intellectuals committed to promoting, education, arts, and science among African Americans. The organization was founded by Alexander Crummell, a well know literary and religious figure. The ANA had five primary objectives:  defense of the Negro against vicious assaults, publication of scholarly works, fostering higher education among negroes, formulation of intellectual taste, and the promotion of literature, science and art.  It was the first organization of its kind in the United States to convene black artists and scholars from across the globe. Continue reading “The African American Negro Academy”

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