Black Mail Blog

Black History: Special Delivery!!


Martin Luther King Jr.

St. Augustine Four:  Unsung Heroes Of The Civil Rights Movement

Welcome To Black Mail!

Where we bring you Black History, Special Delivery.

Youth and young adults were present and active in the civil rights movement. The St. Augustine Four, Audrey Nell Edwards, JoeAnn Anderson Ulmer, Willie Carl Singleton, and Samuel White are among the trailblazers who made their mark on the civil rights movement. 

The St. Augustine Four were arrested in July 1963 for attempting to integrate a whites-only lunch counter at a local Woolworths.  Following their arrest, local law enforcement tried to force them to promise they would no longer participate in further demonstrations.  The St. Augustine Four refused.  The group was also pressed to say the organizer of the movement in St. Augustine, Dr. Robert Hayling was to blame for contributing to the delinquency of minors. The St. Augustine Four again refused.

Backed by their families and the community, The St. Augustine Four stood firm, refusing to concede. In response, they were jailed by the sheriff and then sent to reform school.  The NAACP attempted to gain their release.  The judge informed them that the issue was now beyond local jurisdiction. It took special action from the governor of Florida to get them released in January of 1964 (nearly six months later). 

Continue reading “St. Augustine Four:  Unsung Heroes Of The Civil Rights Movement”

History Of The King Holiday

Black History: Special Delivery!!

It took 15 years of advocating before the King holiday was signed into law. The late Congressman John Conyers of Michigan first introduced a bill for a federal holiday in 1968 just 4 days after King’s assassination. Each year for 15 years, Conyers with the support of the Congressional Black Caucus continued to advocate for the holiday. Finally, in 1983, the King holiday was approved. It would take until the year 2000 for all 50 states to adopt the holiday.


A Second Tragedy Occurred At The Lorraine Motel On April 4, 1968

Black History: Special Delivery!!

Dr. King’s assassination was not the only tragedy to occur at the Lorraine Motel on April 4, 1968. After witnessing his assassination Lorraine Bailey, (wife of the owner) had a stroke and later died. She was also the switchboard operator. This is partially why there was a delay in getting an ambulance to the hotel. The motel was African American owned and operated and hosted many black celebrities and influential figures.


Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Cesar Chavez:  Champions For Justice

Black History: Special Delivery!!

cesar chavez

1966 Telegram from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr to Cesar Chavez

Both Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Cesar Chavez became nationally recognized during the 1950s.  King gained acclaim through his involvement with the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) and the support of the Montgomery Bus Boycott.  Chavez gained notoriety for his involvement with organized labor.  He moved up within the Community Service Organization (CSO) and eventually became its national director.  The fight to win union rights for Mexican American farmworkers won the attention and admiration of King.  Chavez later left the organization when he saw the group did not have the resources and resolve to aid in organizing farmworkers in 1958. Continue reading “Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Cesar Chavez:  Champions For Justice”

Honoring King’s Life, But Working Against His Agenda??

Black History: Special Delivery!!

“You can’t honor Dr. King’s life and then work against his agenda.” – Rev. Dr. William Barber

Rev. Dr. Martin Luther Luther. Jr.: “Smaller And Smaller”

Black History: Special Delivery!!

“So the Dr. King that we celebrate on the third Monday of January keeps getting smaller and smaller.” -Jean Theoharis

A powerful quote from Jean Theoharis; who also went on to remind us that:

“……. the King memorial in Washington, DC. Part of the memorial showcases quotes from King, and none of the quotes that were chosen include the words “segregation” or “racism.” It’s extraordinary — we have a monument to Dr. King that doesn’t speak to race.”

As we remember the life of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., we must be careful not to sanitize and water down his legacy. Many misuse his legacy, attempting to “rebrand” and “repackage” his message to make it more passive and palitable. We must sit with and learn from his life in totality.

Check out this article by PR Lockhart where Jean Theoharis is interviewed.

Mahalia Jackson: Serious About Securing The Bag!!

Black History: Special Delivery!!

“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 “shotgun” 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. Continue reading “Mahalia Jackson: Serious About Securing The Bag!!”

“….Justice For All God’s Children”

Black History: Special Delivery!!

A powerful quote from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

NOW is the time to make justice a reality for ALL God’s Children.”
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

MLK: “A Father We Have Yet To Bury”

Black History: Special Delivery!!

On April 3, 2018, Dr. Bernice King and her siblings took part in a service at Mason Temple Church in Memphis, TN to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Dr. King’s assassination which occurred on April 4, 1968. The last public speech given by King was at Mason Temple on April 3, 1968. Bernice King comments on the trauma and grief she and her siblings still experience even as adults. …..50 years later. Not only was Dr.

King assassinated, but so was King’s mother, Alberta King who was shot and killed while playing the organ at a church in 1974. King’s brother Rev. Alfred Williams died from drowning in 1969. Many felt the “accidental drowning” may not have been an accident. Alfred King was also very active in the civil rights movement and worked closely with his brother.

Bernice King’s words in commemorating the 50th anniversary of her father’s assassination, are both poignant and moving as she reflects on experiencing the grief and trauma of the father that they “have yet bury“. The grief and trauma of these experiences is still present with them……… 50 years later.

Click on the link below to view an excerpt of Bernice King’s comments:

Blog at

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: