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TO WOMEN OF COLOR

Black History: Special Delivery!!

“To Women Of Color,

Our backs tell stories no books have the spine to carry.”

-Rupi Kaur

63rd Anniversary Of The Montgomery Bus Boycott: Honoring The Unsung HE-roes and SHE-roes

Black History:  Special Delivery!!

rosa parks

December 5, 2018 marks the 63rd anniversary of the Montgomery Bus Boycott.  On May 21, 1954, just a few days after the groundbreaking Brown vs. Board of Education Supreme Court decision (declaring segregated schools unconstitutional) Jo Ann Robinson penned a letter to the mayor of Montgomery, AL on behalf of the Women’s Political Council (WPC).  The WPC was a civic organization for black women.  It was originally started because the local chapter of the League of Women Voters refused to accept black women as members.  Robinson’s letter demanded better conditions and treatment for African American riders on city buses.  She threatened a boycott if conditions did not improve.

On December 1, 1955, just a year and a half later, Rosa Parks, a then 42 year old seamstress and NAACP field secretary refused to give up her seat on a city bus in Montgomery.  Her courageous effort was an act of planned and deliberate resistance.  Of her efforts, activist, Eldridge Cleaver said, “somewhere in the universe a gear in the machinery shifted.”   Parks was arrested and fined $10.  Though Parks is historically recognized as the face of the boycott, there were many other unsung individuals who were critical to the success of the boycott.

Jo Ann Robinson and the Women’s Political Council had long been civil rights advocates; even before the Montgomery Bus Boycott galvanized leaders such as Rosa Parks, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and others.  The role that women played in the Montgomery Bus Boycott deserves more recognition.  Many women, at that time were employed as domestic workers and used the bus for transportation; more so than men in the community.  This often made them targets of mistreatment.  The WPC began taking action even before the “Montgomery Improvement Association” had selected Dr.  Martin Luther King, Jr as its leader.  On the night of Rosa Parks’ arrest they began distributing flyers calling for a boycott.  Their efforts were an essential catalyst for the boycott.  The majority of the 50,000 African Americans living in Montgomery refused to ride the buses during the 54 week long bus boycott.  Instead they walked, bicycled and carpooled.

WPC flyer
Women’s Political Council Flyer

The revenue lost by the City of Montgomery due to the boycott was significant.  While the boycott was under-way, the constitutionality of segregating public transportation was was being litigated in U.S. District Court (Browder vs. Gayle).  On June 5, 1956, a panel of judges ruled 2 to 1 that segregation was unconstitutional citing the president set by the Brown vs. Board of Education ruling.  Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., was the President of the Montgomery Improvement Association at the time.  It was the organization that was coordinating the efforts of the boycott.  Dr. King refused to end the boycott until the ruling was fully implemented.  This occurred on November November 13, 1956.  The City of Montgomery appealed the decision.  Their appeal was rejected by the Supreme Court.

Today we salute not only the heroic efforts of Rosa Parks, and also the unsung efforts of Jo Ann Robinson, The Women’s Political Council (WPC), Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and the thousands of men, women, and children participated in the boycott.

 

Sources:

https://kinginstitute.stanford.edu/encyclopedia/browder-v-gayle-352-us-903

https://timeline.com/this-unheralded-woman-actually-organized-the-montgomery-bus-boycott-db57a7aa50db

https://www.biography.com/people/jo-ann-robinson-21443551

 

Winnie Mandela – Dead at 81

Black History: Special Delivery!!

Nomzamo Winifred “Winnie” Madikizela-Mandela has died at age 81. The former wife of Nelson Mandela, the two were married for 38 years. However over three decades of that time was spent in separation sure to Nelson Mandela’s imprisonment due to his opposition of apartheid oppression.

Source:

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.bbc.co.uk/news/amp/world-africa-43621112

Black Mail Fast Fact: Coffee 1st Discovered In Ethiopia

Black History: Special Delivery!!

Coffee originated in Ethiopia! It was first discovered around the 10th or 11th century. It represents 60% of Ethiopia’s export revenue. Second only to oil, coffee is the most valuable legally traded commodity in the world.

Many coffee farmers in Ethiopia have struggled financially with bulk of profits going to middle men and distributors. Many coffee farmers have abandoned the cultivation of coffee in favor of more lucrative crops. Climate change is also taking its toll.

Still, Ethiopia continues to be a larger exporter of coffee. Its various types of coffees are sought after all over the world.

Sources:

http://www.wipo.int/ipadvantage/en/details.jsp?id=2621

http://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2017/06/19/533538555/ethiopias-coffee-farmers-are-on-the-front-lines-of-climate-change

http://equalexchange.coop/history-of-coffee-in-ethiopia

The Harriet Tubman Travel Agency: Specializing In “Underground Excursions”

Black History:  Special Delivery!!


Ben Carson’s, ill-fated reference this week, of enslaved Africans as being immigrants received major shade on social media. (Click here to view our blog post on the incident) 

Amid the social media black lash, a quote from @justlikecandi_1 received thousands of likes and retweets.  It is the prefect combination of humor truth, and sarcasm.  

The Ishango Bone: Early Tool Used For Mathematic Computations

Black History:  Special Delivery!!

IshangoBone
Ishango Bones

 

The Ishango Bone is likely one of the oldest mathematical tools in existence. Sources differ regarding the date of its discovery with some indicating that it was discovered in 1950 while others site 1960 as the date of discovery. The bone was found amongst the ruins of a settlement near Lake Edward that was buried after a volcanic explosion. The Ishango Bone was discovered by geologist, Jean de Heinzelin de Braucort (1920-1998) in the Ishango region of the Democratic Republic of Congo. The bone is believed to be the fibula of a baboon. It measures approximately 10cm-14cm in length and is inscribed with a organized series of notches. At one end of the tool is a sharp quartz edge that is believed to have been used as a writing instrument. The Ishango Bones discovered by Heinzelin de Braucourt are housed at the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences. Continue reading “The Ishango Bone: Early Tool Used For Mathematic Computations”

Bertin Nahum: Robotic Surgical Equipment Inventor

Black History: Special Delivery!!

Bertin Nahum
Bertin Nahum

Black Mail Fast Facts: Bertin Nahum (1970-) a native of Benin, West Africa is the CEO of Medtech located in France which he founded in 2002. His company specializes in creating robotic surgical equipment to guide surgeons, and biologists during biopsies, implants and surgeries. He is considered to be one of the world’s most revolutionary high tech entrepreneurs.  One of his most notable robotic inventions developed in 2010 is, “ROSA”. ROSA helps surgeons perform brain surgery. The robot is utilized in hospitals around the world. Nahum holds an Engineering Degree from the National Institute of Applied Sciences (France) and a Master of Science in Robotics from Coventry University (United Kingdom).

Other recent Black Mail Posts:

Miriam Benjamin: Inventor of The Gong Signal Chair

Benjamin Thornton: Inventor of Telephone Message Recording Device:

 

 

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