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Black History: Special Delivery!!


Black History Blog

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

Black History: Special Delivery!!

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 Man Behind Abigail Fisher & The University of Texas Court Case

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Edward Blum (left) and Abigail Fisher (right)

Abigail Fisher, the 25 year old woman who recently filed suit against the University of Texas because was denied did not act alone. Fisher’s suit alleges that she was denied admission because she was white. (Never mind that she didn’t have the grades or test scores to get in.)  Fisher was carefully selected by Edward Blum. Blum has, over the years selected plaintiffs to bring lawsuits designed to weaken civil rights advances. Blum is not a lawyer but he is serious about rolling back the clock on civil rights legal advancements. Continue reading “The Man Behind Abigail Fisher & The University of Texas Court Case”

Remembering The Incomparable Maya Angelou: Gone To Soon

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 Maya Angelou was born, “Marguerite Johnson” on April 4, 1928. She was nicknamed Maya (meaning “my sister”) by her brother. Angelou grew up in Stamps, Arkansas and as a child, was raised by her grandmother. At the age of 7, while visiting her mother in Chicago, Angelou was sexually molested by her mother’s boyfriend. Angelou was ashamed to tell an adult, so she told her brother. She found out later that one of her uncles killed her attacker. Angelou felt that her words had killed the man and as a result did not speak for 5 year until she was 13. Angelou is the mother of one son named, Guy who she had at age 16.  Angelou led a colorful and storied life. Though she never went to college, she was the recipient of more than 50 honorary degrees. Continue reading “Remembering The Incomparable Maya Angelou: Gone To Soon”

1944 Port Chicago Disaster & Mutiny

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On July 17, 1944, an ammunition ship exploded while being loaded in Port Chicago, California during World War II. The blast killed 332 people and injured another 390. Approximately 2/3 of those killed were African American Sailors. Lack of adequate procedures and lack of training were seen as the primary causes of the explosion. At the time, Navy units assigned to the loading of munitions were typically segregated African American units. The men had not been trained in handling of munitions. Safety standards were also not properly adhered to due to the rush to keep pace with the loading schedules. On the evening of July 17, two merchant ships were in the process of being loaded with 4,600 tons of explosives, depth charges, and ammunition. There was also another 400 tons of explosives that were on rail cars that were nearby. A series of several explosions occurred at 10:18pm. The explosions were reportedly felt as far away as Nevada. Every single building in Port Chicago was damaged from the explosion. Continue reading “1944 Port Chicago Disaster & Mutiny”

Easter Monday: An African American Tradition For Washington DC Residents

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easter monday 2
Easter Monday Celebration 1936


For residents of Washington DC, the annual White House Easter Egg Roll is a long standing tradition that dates back to 1878. The Easter Egg Roll celebrates the Easter holiday with an Easter Egg hunt on the White House lawn. However, at its inception, African Americans were not permitted to participate. In 1891, the National Zoo, instituted Easter Monday. On Easter Monday, Washington DC’s African American residents dressed up in their Easter finery and visited the National Zoo.
Continue reading “Easter Monday: An African American Tradition For Washington DC Residents”

Angela Davis On Identifying & Dismantling the Structures In Which Racism Is Embedded!

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“The challenge of the 21st century is not to demand equal opportunity in the machinery of oppression, but rather to identify and dismantle those structures in which racism continues to be embedded” -Angela Davis

This quote challenges us, “not to demand equal opportunity in the machinery of oppression”.    What a thought provoking statement!    If we “demand” and then receive “equal opportunity in the machinery of oppression” what have we really gained?  Are we “struggling” in the right direction?

What are you thoughts on this quote Black Mail Readers? We’d love to hear your feedback!

Recent Posts:

1895 Photo Of Black Man’s Lynching Used As Table Décor At Joe’s Crab Shack In Minnesota

The Ishango Bone: Early Tool Used For Mathematic Computations

1895 Photo Of Black Man’s Lynching Used As Table Décor At Joe’s Crab Shack In Minnesota

The Ishango Bone: Early Tool Used For Mathematic Computations

Black History:  Special Delivery!!

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”

And There It Is!! President Obama Tells Us How/Why Donald Trump’s Bigotry Is Being Endorsed/Embraced

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 Since the inception of his presidency, President Obama has been blamed for nearly everything that is wrong with the country. At a recent press conference, President Obama spoke candidly on this issue.  He also specifically addressed rhetoric being spread that it is he, (President Obama), who is responsible for Republicans embracing/endorsing the bigotry displayed by Donald Trump. 
Continue reading “And There It Is!! President Obama Tells Us How/Why Donald Trump’s Bigotry Is Being Endorsed/Embraced”

Why Do People Think Black History Starts With Slavery and Ends With MLK?


Black History: Special Delivery!!


Dr. Jane Landers is a History professor at Vanderbilt University who has done extesnive research into the presence of Africans in the Americas that predates the antebellum south or British colonization efforts of the 1500’s.  Her work is fascinating paints a very different picture than what most of us have been taught in school.  For many of us we encapsulate black history as starting with slavery and ending with MLK. In this short video, she shares some fascinating history and little known facts about the history of Africans in the Americas!

Continue reading “Why Do People Think Black History Starts With Slavery and Ends With MLK?”

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