Marian Anderson

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Happy Birthday!!

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Who are the Unsung Heroes of The Civil Rights Movement: Black Women

The unsung heroes of the civil rights movement are black women you’ve never heard of (Summary taken from https://usat.ly/2ocv0yR via @usatoday​)

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History remembers the male leaders who fought for human rights, but it was women who made so many victories possible.

On that historic August day in 1963, Martin Luther King Jr. told us his dream. We didn’t get to hear what the women of the civil rights movement dreamed of, because none spoke at length during the official program of the March on Washington.

Women such as:

 

  • Daisy Bates, a leader in the movement to end segregation in Arkansas and guide for the nine students who integrated Little Rock’s Central High in 1958

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  • Ericka Huggins, a former leader in the Black Panther Party, which she said also struggled with sexism.
  • Coretta Scott King, a leader in her own right, used her talent as a singer to raise awareness and funds for her husband’s movement and to advocate for human rights broadly. She was an earlier critic of the Vietnam War than her husband, and persuaded him to speak out against it
  • Members of the Women’s Strike for Peace (see picture above), including Coretta Scott King, participated in a demonstration across from the United Nations in New York

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  • The political savvy of lifelong activist Ella Baker, one of the most influential woman in the civil rights movement, birthed the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, one of the most prominent African American civil rights organization’s of it’s time; and set its agenda. Baker also had pivotal roles in the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC).

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  • Dr. Pauli Murray, the gender non-conforming activist and legal scholar who coined the term “Jane Crow” for the sex discrimination black women faced. Her book States’ Laws on Race and Color has been referred to as the “bible” of Brown v. Board of Education, the 1954 Supreme Court ruling which declared separate public schools for black and white students unconstitutional.
  • Diane Nash was one of the major organizers of the Selma to Montgomery Voting Rights marches in 1965. Nash, a co-founder of SNCC, also helped orchestrate the campaign to integrate lunch counters in Nashville in 1960.
  • Dorothy Height, a major leader of her day, served as president of the National Council of Negro Women, and also stood on the platform with King during the March on Washington

Today, there’s a new generation of black female activists fighting for social justice. Three of them — Alicia Garza, Patrisse Cullors and Opal Tometi — founded and lead Black Lives Matter.

Donna Brazile, a political strategist and former interim chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee, said the nation should be ready for more of them.

“Black women are taking an active role in beginning what I call the next phase of the black political movement, which is to prepare for a century in which the minority citizens of today will become the majority citizens of tomorrow,” she said. “Black women are going to lead that way, but we’re not going to be alone. We’re going to bring as many people with us. Because in moving the country forward, we can leave no one behind.”

Read More at  https://usat.ly/2ocv0yR (via usatoday​)

Marcus Garvey

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Faces of Our History: Maxwell L. Roach

max-roach-thumbMaxwell Roach was born to Alphonse and Cressie Roach on January 10, 1924 in Pasquotank County, North Carolina. Max’s mother was a gospel singer, so music was always in his home growing up.

Max started playing the bugle in parade orchestras very young, it wasn’t until he was 10 years old that he started playing the drum for in gospel bands. At age 18, fresh out of school he was called upon to fill in for Sonny Greer who worked with the Duke Ellington orchestra. From there he started playing in the jazz clubs. Max landed his 1st professional recording on December 1943, he worked with Coleman Hawkins.

Max was known for his bebop style of play. He played alongside many of the major names in jazz, Dizzy Gillespie, Thelonious Monk, Charlie Parker, Bud Powell, Miles Davis and Coleman Hawkins.

Max furthered his knowledge by studying classical percussion at the Manhattan School of Music in 1950 to 1953. In 1952, Max and Charles Mingus founded Debut Records releasing a record on May 15, 1953, known as “Jazz at Massey Hall”. Max also released “Percussion Discussion”.

Max musical talents allowed him to present to solo concerts, proving the he could satisfy an audience on his own merit. This opened the door for many opportunities like recording a duet with the oration by Dr. Martin Luther King, “I Have a Dream”. Max also wrote music for theater, he was known for working with Sam Shepard.

Max also worked with Hip Hop Artist Fab Five Freddy and the New York Break Dancers. Max shared that there was a direct link between the two. The expression of these young black artists and the art form in which he had pursued his whole life.

Max was given the MacArthur Foundation grant in 1988. He also was recognized and awarded for his many contributions to music. Max was also elected to the International Percussive Art Society Hall. In 1986, London name a park in Brixton after him which he went do to officially open it. In 2009, he was inducted into the North Carolina Music Hall of Fame.

On August 16, 2007 Maxwell Roach passed away in Manhattan. He was buried in the Woodlawn Cemetery, in The Bronx, New York City.

Sidney Poitier

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First Black American Actor To Win An Academy Award For Best Actor, for his role in the movie, “Lillies of the Field.” (1963). Happy Birthday!!

Is Black History Month Necessary?

Faces of Our History: John S. Rock

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John S. Rock was born to free African American parents John and Maria in Salem, New Jersey on October 13, 1825.

Although attending school in his formative years was rare for African American children, his parents pushed him to focus on his education. John did exactly what his parents required him and earned enough to allow him to become a teacher. In 1844, he landed a job in a Salem class from where he would continue for four years.

John had an amazing work ethic, so much so he got the attention of fellow teachers. He began teacher classes longer and offered private tutor classes. Dr. Shaw and Dr. Gibson, two distinguished medical doctors taught him all they knew about medicine. John started his apprenticeship, to that he could gaining the appropriate medical training to pursue his career. In 1848, John applied to medical school but was denied due to his race.

In 1849, John transferred to a dentistry and started his apprenticeship under Dr. Harber who had recently opened a dental practice in Philadelphia in 1850. A year after he was awarded a medal for his work on a set of silver dentures. John applied to American Medical College in Philadelphia and was admitted. In 1852, he graduated becoming the f1st African American earn a degree in medicine.

John was proud of his accomplishments, at the age of 27 he had established himself and was well-respected as a teacher, dentist, and physician.

John was also known as a passionate abolitionist and civil rights leader. John became a part of the national Equal Rights League, along with many other famous abolitionist including Fredrick Douglass, Henry H. Garnet and many others.

John is known for coining the phrase “Black is Beautiful” during a speech in March 1858 at Faneuil Hall. It was later said that although he did not speak those exact works, rather saying something similar like “the beautiful, rich color of the negro”.

In 1856, John traveled to Paris seeking medical attention after being denied a passport. Upon his return doctor’s orders stated that he needed to cut his workload to remain healthy. During this time, he decided to study law. John passed and was admitted to the Massachusetts Bar. He began to work even harder for the rights of African Americans.

John felt as though he was not making any head way for his fellow African Americans and strive to achieve another level in which he could make more of an impact. February 1, 1865, congress approved the 13th Amendment ending slavery. Charles Sumner put forth a motion that made John the 1st African American to be admitted to the bar of the US Supreme Court and also the 1st African American to be received on the floor the US House of Representatives.

The Civil Rights Acts which enforced the 13th Amendment was passed on April 9, 1866. John was excited and happy, but shortly after fell ill. On December 3, 1866 he passed away in his mother home at the age of 41. He was laid to rest and buried in Everett’s Woodlawn Cemetery.