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African American History Month

The Second Emancipation Proclamation (1962)

Black History: Special Delivery

Welcome To The Black Mail Blog and Podcast! At Black Mail, we bring you, Black History: Special Delivery.

Our topic today is the 1962 Second Emancipation Proclamation.

In 1962 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and other civil rights leaders urged President Kennedy to issue a Second Emancipation Proclamation Order.  The first Emancipation Proclamation was issued on January 1, 1863, to free the enslaved.  This second proclamation was being prompted as a call to action for ending racial segregation. 

 King announced the idea in a New York City press conference in 1961.  At the press conference, King reminded the crowd of President Lincoln’s statement that the United States could not exist being “half-slave and half-free.”  Bringing the issue forward to the present-day, King asserted that the Kennedy administration should recognize that the nation cannot continue being half segregated. and half segregation free. 

Continue reading “The Second Emancipation Proclamation (1962)”

Ancient African Roots Of Dentistry & The Discovery of Diabetes

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Located in northern Africa, ancient Egypt is considered to be a pioneer in the fields of medicine.    The Egyptians were also very intentional about dental care.  Hesy-Ra was the first recorded dentist and is regarded as a pioneer of some of today’s dental techniques.  He was not only a dentist but also a physician and a scribe. 

Hesy-Ra lived during Egypt’s third dynasty, around 2600 BC.  He served under pharaoh Djoser. Hesy-Ra may be earliest physician and dentitst identified by name.  He was given the title “Chief of Physicians and Dentists” by Pharoah Djoser.  This title seems to indicate that dentistry was recognized as a specialty even back then.  Ancient records reflect that a portion of Hesy-Ra’s dental practice focused on laborers who were building the pyramids.  Records indicate that some of his treatment methods included drilling holes in the teeth of his patients.  This is quite remarkable when we know that the first dental instruments to perform modern-day root canals were not invented until the 1830’s.   The drilling procedures performed by Hesy-Ra would have been excruciatingly painful for patients because anesthesia had not yet been invented.    

Hesy-Ra’s tomb was discovered by French archaeologists Auguste Mariette and Jacques de Morgan in Saqqara.  Wooden panels in the tomb were inscribed with titles that denoted his official duties, including being a physician, dentist, and scribe.  Hesy-Ra is also believed to be the first physician to speculate about the condition of diabetes.  He observed that it caused “frequent urination,” which we now know is a primary symptom of the illness. 

Sources: 

https://www.historyofinformation.com/detail.php?id=3180

https://www.ancient.eu/article/50/ancient-egyptian-medicine-study–practice/

The Hidden History Of Slavery In Michigan

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Image result for gateway to freedom memorial
Gateway To Freedom Memorial in Detroit, MI, by African American artist, Ed Dwight

Detroit, MI is known for being an important stop on the Underground Railroad.  You may not know that people were also enslaved in Detroit and surrounding areas prior to Michigan obtaining statehood. Many roads, schools, and other institutions in the Detroit area are named after wealthy slave-owning families.  If you live in or near Detroit, you will recognize these names, Macomb, Campau, Beaubien, McDougall, Brush, Cass, Hamtramck, Dequindre, Groesbeck Livernois, Rivard, and many others. From its founding in 1750, slavery existed during Detroit’s existence as a French, British, and then American settlement. The Burton Collection of the Detroit Public Library has an original ledger book of William Macomb.  The ledger lists his property and includes over 20 enslaved individuals.  The first mayor of Detroit, John R. Williams, who has two streets in Detroit that bear his name, also owned slaves along with priests of the Catholic Church in Detroit.  The men who financed the Detroit Free Press were also former slave owners.  The Free Press used its platform to support slavery prior to the Civil War. 

People of African and Native/Indigenous descent were both enslaved in Detroit.  Enslavement of native peoples occurred first. Slavery played an integral role in the relationship between European settlers and Native tribes.  The Native system of enslavement involved taking captives to settle conflicts or build alliances. This would occur by women and children of rival factions being exchanged or given to confirm an alliance or settle a dispute.  When the French arrived, they also adopted this practice to establish trade alliances with Native peoples as well.  Native women were victims of labor trafficking and sexual violence.  The enslaved were used as pawns to help bolster trading alliances between European settlers and Native tribes.  Slavery continued to exist in the Northwest Territory (which included Michigan) even though it was abolished in 1787.  Slave owners used loopholes or flat-out ignored the law to maintain their ownership of the enslaved.

Continue reading “The Hidden History Of Slavery In Michigan”

Jason Wright: 1st Black President & General Manager Of An NFL Team

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In August 2020, Jason Wright (1982 – ) was hired as the Washington Football Team president, making him the first Black president of an NFL team.  Wright is also currently the youngest president of an NFL team.  He spent seven years as a running back with the Atlanta Falcons, Arizona Cardinals, and Cleveland Browns. Wright earned an MBA from the University of Chicago.  He then spent seven years at McKinsey and Company, where he focused on helping to turn around struggling companies. 

Wright’s key focus in his new role will be improving team culture, addressing allegations of sexual harassment, and advancing its legacy after its name change. Wright is confident about his ability to make a positive impact.  He states that the “psychological and emotional well-being” of his employees is his top priority. Born and raised in Los Angeles, Wright’s mother was a flight attendant, and his father was a civil rights activist and entrepreneur in the insurance industry.  Wright is married and has two children

Sources:

https://www.cnbc.com/2021/02/01/23-black-leaders-who-are-shaping-history-today.html

https://www.wusa9.com/article/sports/nfl/washington-nfl/washington-football-team-black-gm-martin-mayhew-black-team-president-jason-wright-jennifer-king/65-3c97e0fe-ad03-4840-a5ca-947b8a09cbfd

Esteban Hotesse: The Tuskegee Airmen’s Forgotten Afro-Latinx Pilot

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Esteban Hotesse (1919 – 1946) is the only known Latinx member of the Tuskegee Airmen.  The Tuskegee Airmen was a black military unit that saw combat during World War II.  Hotesse was born in Moca, Dominican Republic and immigrated to the U.S. with his mother and younger sister in 1923.  The family settled in Manhattan.  Hotesse enlisted into the Army Air Corp in 1942.  He was first assigned to the 619th Bombadier Squadron, which later merged with the 477th Bomdadier Group M in 1944.  The 477th was one of the Tuskegee Airmen squadrons that remained stationed in the U.S. and did not see combat overseas. The 477th did, however have to combat racism and discrimination on U.S. soil.  The 477th and 619th merged after the military leaders began receiving pressure to provide more opportunities for black soldiers to fill key positions in the air corp. 

Continue reading “Esteban Hotesse: The Tuskegee Airmen’s Forgotten Afro-Latinx Pilot”

Acupuncture & Activism: Dr. Mutulu Shakur & The People’s Drug Program

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Dr. Mutulu Shakur (1950 – )

Established on 1970, The People’s Drug Program was launched at Lincoln Hospital in New York by the Young Lords, the Black Panther Party, and other community activists. The Young Lords is a Puerto Rican liberation organization founded in 1968. The Black Panther Party was Black power political organization founded in 1966. Instrumental in this cause was Mutulu Shakur, a member of the black liberation group, the Republic of New Afrika.  Shakur was interested in the use of acupuncture to treat addiction.  Shakur became aware of acupuncture when his son received it after a car accident.    Shakur received training and began to practice acupuncture as part of the People’s Drug Program in 1971 along with Walter Bosque and other community volunteers. 

Continue reading “Acupuncture & Activism: Dr. Mutulu Shakur & The People’s Drug Program”

Help Us Reach Our Goal

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Help us reach our goal! Just 2,500 more website views are needed to reach our February goal. Head to the website and check out some Black History, facts, quotes, and news!! WITH YOUR HELP WE CAN DO IT.

The National Ex-Slave Mutual Relief, Bounty, and Pension Association Of The United States

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slave-pension-broadside_crop

Following the end of slavery in the U.S., many formerly enslaved people felt betrayed by the government because they received no financial or material assistance as they exited slavery.  The National Ex-Slave Mutual Relief, Bounty, and Pension of the United States was chartered in 1898 to advocate for the payment of pensions to the formerly enslaved.  The pensions were to serve as reparations for the economic robbery of slavery and, would also help with burial costs.  Formerly enslaved woman, Callie House became a nationally recognized leader of the organization.  The group claimed to have a membership in the hundreds of thousands who made financial donations to fund the organization. It unsuccessfully sued the government for access to money gained through a tax on cotton confiscated during the civil war. Continue reading “The National Ex-Slave Mutual Relief, Bounty, and Pension Association Of The United States”

Middle School Classroom Display Features Nooses As “Back To School Necklaces”

Black History: Special Delivery!!

NBCNEWS.COM reports that 3 teachers at Roosevelt Middle School in Long Island, NY have been placed on administrative leave due to a classroom display containing 2 nooses, that were referred to as “BACK TO SCHOOL NECKLACES”. The student body is mostly African American and Latino. The display was discovered on February 7, 2019.

Supporters of the teachers feel that the display was a “joke”. How is it possible that not one of the teachers questioned this? DISTURBING! Check out the NBC News article for more info:

https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/three-teachers-new-york-put-leave-after-noose-images-displayed-n970591?cid=sm_npd_nn_fb_blk

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