In 2015, John R.K. Howard and 2 other white students at Dietrich High School in Idaho were accused of assaulting a mentally disabled black student. uring the assault, a coat hanger was placed in the victim’s rectum and then kicked in. Attorney’s for Howard suggested that the victim fabricated information to help advance a $10 million lawsuit that has been filed by the victim’s parents. The town’s mayor, Don Heiken told The Guardian that Howard “got a slap on the wrist”. The victim’s family reported that their son was chronically abused and that the school did not do enough to stop it. Statements made by parents in court documents suggest that Howard was the ringleader of the abuse which included the victim being coerced to sing racially offensive songs, being called racial slurs, and being photographed naked. Continue reading “Privilege Prevails Once Again: Man Accused Of Assaulting Mentally Disabled Black Man Receives NO Jail Time”→
Richard Ewell was the first African American to win national skating titles in pair skating (1972) and singles skating (1970). He won the pair skating title with African American skater Michelle McCladdie. Ewell’s first figure skating coach was the legendary African American skater, Mabel Fairbanks. Ewell later went on star in Icecapades and now coaches figure skating in California.
“Usually when people talk about the strength of black women…. they ignore the reality that to be strong in the face of oppression is not the same as overcoming oppression, that endurance is not to be confused with transformation.”
Burl Toler (1928-2009) takes his place in history as the very first African American official in the National Football League (NFL). Toler is also known for his career as a college football player at the University of San Francisco. The team was undefeated and untied in 1951 but was denied a bowl game because of their refusal to leave two African American players behind, Burl Toler and Ollie Matson. Toler later became a 9th round draft pick for the Cleveland Browns but never played a game for the team due to a knee injury he sustained in a college game.
Toler began officiating for the NFL in 1965; making him the first African American official in a major American professional team sport. Toler’s career spanned 25 years as a head linesman and field judge in the NFL. He was also the first African American official to work in a Super Bowl Game. Toler retired in 1990.
While Toler was the first African American official in the NFL. Johnny Grier was the first African American to be an NFL referee. In professional football there are several on-field officials. Many times, these roles can be referred to as a “referees”. So technically speaking, Grier was the first African American “referee” in the NFL. However, Toler remains the first African American official in the NFL. Toler died at the age of 81 in 2009.
Viola Davis has joined a signature group of actors by wining an Emmy, Oscar, and Tony award. On 2/26/17 Davis completed the “triple crown” by winning the Oscar for best supporting actress for her role in “Fences”.
Madame CJ Walker, a self made millionaire was a pioneering entrepreneur developing hair care products that catered to black women. She was orphaned at the age of 7, widowed with a young child by age 18, and could barely read or write……YET she let none of this stop her. In achieving success, she also wanted to empower other black women to be successful by creating employment opportunities for them. She shared this quote at at a National Negro Business League Convention:
“I am not merely satisfied in making money for myself. For I am endeavoring to provide employment for hundreds of the women of my race”
Launched on February 26, 1872, Cookman Institute was an early forerunner of the historically black colleges and universities. Rev. S.B. Darnell founded Cookman Institute in Jacksonville, FL. It was named after Rev. Alfred Cookman who was a Methodist Minister. Rev. Cookman donated funds toward construction of the new building. Cookman Institute was closely affiliated with Clark University. It was the first the educational institution for African Americans in Florida and remained so for quite some time. In operation for close to 50 years, Cookman Institute touched the lives of thousands of students. Many of Cookman’s first students were ex-slaves. Continue reading “Cookman Institute: Pioneering Institution That Proceeded Historically Black Colleges & Universities”→
The 25th Infantry Bicycle Corp was formed in 1869. It was one of four African American military units serving as a peacekeeping force west of the Mississippi. The black soldiers were known as “Buffalo Soldiers”. The unit was originally stationed in Texas until 1880. It then moved to the Dakota Territory and then eight years later the unit moved to Fort Missoula, Montana. The soldiers were used as guards and peacekeepers during railroad and mine strikes. They also fought forest fires in Montana and Idaho. The development of the chain driven safety bicycle in 1874 and in 1888 the pneumatic tire invention increased the use of bicycle for sports and leisure piqued the interest of the military as a possible method of transport.
The U.S. Army began experimenting with the use of bicycles in 1896 deploying the 25th Infantry to pilot its efforts. The newly formed group was initially comprised of eight black enlisted officers and their white commander, Lieutenant James A. Moss. The 25th Infantry was given its first long distance assignment of riding north to Lake McDonald and back. The trip was a “test” to see how they would bicycles would perform. It was distance of 126 miles. The trip took 3 days. The Infantry encountered extremely challenging weather including heavy rain, fierce winds, and deep mud. The group experienced flat tires and may other issues with their bikes. Again in August 15, the group conducted another test run. Leaving Fort Missoula they headed for Yellowstone Park. It was a ten day trip of 500 miles. They remained in Yellowstone for 5 days before returning to Fort Missoula. The groups speed in covering the terrain was impressive. They averaged 6 miles per hour over the roughest and steepest part of the terrain. Continue reading “25th Infantry Bicycle Corp: Black Soldiers On Wheels”→