#HappyMothersDay

Unlike Josephine Baker, she did not s survive the 1917 riots in East St. Louis, Illinois, and ran away a few years later at age thirteen and began dancing in vaudeville and on Broadway. Alternatively, in 1925, she did not go to Paris where, after the jazz revue La Revue Nègre failed, her comic ability and jazz dancing drew the attention of the director of the Folies Bergère to later became one of the best-known entertainers in both France and much of Europe.

 

via #HappyMothersDay

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#HappyMothersDay

smartselectimage_2016-08-08-01-20-11.pngUnlike Josephine Baker, she did not s survive the 1917 riots in East St. Louis, Illinois, and ran away a few years later at age thirteen and began dancing in vaudeville and on Broadway. Alternatively, in 1925, she did not go to Paris where, after the jazz revue La Revue Nègre failed, her comic ability and jazz dancing drew the attention of the director of the Folies Bergère to later became one of the best-known entertainers in both France and much of Europe.

She didn’t grow up in a shotgun home shared by 13 people, and her voice doesn’t captivate audiences and move people to want salvation like Mahalia Jackson.  No at age 12 her voice wasn’t heard all the way to end of the block.

Her passion was not promoting injustice as a radical black activist and philosopher.  She was arrested as a conspirator attempting to free George Jackson.  She never maintained an arsenal of registered guns, she did always have a blue box of Argo starch in the cabinet by the door in the kitchen.  She would not have run for the Communist Party VP seat.  She didn’t use her voice in place people would only speak about in the comfort of their dining rooms.  That was not her story.

Her wall was not filled with books and famous artists.  Intellectuals didn’t meet regularly at her home where Anderson, Nash, and Bennett urged Charles Johnson to organize, that W.E.B. DuBois, Jean Toomer, Countee Cullin, Langston Hughes, James Weldon Johnson, and others essentially began the movement called the Harlem Renaissance with readings and speeches. No that was not here story, but she had keen ability to read you your rights if she felt moved to do so.

You won’t find her name among Mrs. D. J. Dupuy, Ms. Georgia M. Johnson, Mrs. H. W. Johnson and others who ran branches of the NAACP during World War II.

She was a mother of 3, a grandmother, someone’s daughter, aunt, sister and a wife to the illustrious Robert Hughes Williamson.  She was always present, she was not the owner of Castle, but her home was her castle filled with everything needed to manage a home worthy of its definition.  Trials and tribulation were not uncommon, and neither was perseverance.  She was not wealthy by most standards, but her children had the best and not one day in 54 years did they ever go hungry, without shelter, without scolding, without love. Punishments varied from the inability to use to phone to the driving the car.  If you looking for “Susie Homemaker” you in the wrong story if you’re looking to have your faults minimized you’re on the wrong LifeTime channel.  If you looking for someone to pick you every time you fell you are so far from the River of Denial.  If you want to have lived a life that echoes “get up and move on”, “find a way to make it work”.  If you’re looking warm and fuzzy – you’ll find it in the Cheeseburger Pie.  Watch her face as she makes it, listen as she talks about it, watch her as she slices it and delivers it to those around her…there you will find all the love you need.  Who’s is this woman she’s my mother Nettie Williamson – Happy Valentines Day.

Sources: Sartain, Lee. Invisible Activists: Women of the Louisiana NAACP and the Struggle for Civil Rights, 1915–1945 (1). Baton Rouge, US: LSU Press, 2007. ProQuest ebrary. Web. 14 February 2017.

Copyright © 2007. LSU Press. All rights reserved.

About Education

 

 

 

 

 

Did You Know

The Beatles held the top spot on the Billboard Hot 100 for 3 and half months longer than any other group with the song, “I Wanna Hold Your Hand”.  Guess who broke the record?

 

 

On May 9, 1964, the Great Louis Armstrong, age 63, broke the Beatles’ stranglehold on the U.S. pop charts with the #1 hit “Hello Dolly.”

Final Celebration of #BlackHistory 2018

The Case of General Motors and 5 Black Women

In DeGraffenreid, five Black women brought suit against General Motors, alleging that the employer’s seniority system perpetuated the effects of past discrimination against Black women. Evidence adduced at trial revealed that General Motors simply did not hire Black women prior to 1964 and that all of the Black women hired after 1970 lost their jobs in a seniority-based layoff during a subsequent recession. The district court granted summary judgment for the defendant, rejecting the plaintiffs’ attempt to bring a suit not on behalf of Blacks or women, but specifically on behalf of Black women.

The court stated:

[P]laintiffs have failed’ to cite any decisions which have stated that Black women are a special class to be protected from discrimination. The Court’s own research has failed to disclose such a decision. The plaintiffs are clearly entitled to a remedy if they have been discriminated against. However, they should not be allowed to combine statutory remedies to create a new ‘super-remedy’ which would give them relief beyond what the drafters of the relevant statutes intended. Thus, this lawsuit must be examined to see if it states a cause of action for race discrimination, sex discrimination, or alternatively either, but not a combination of both.’

Although General Motors did not hire Black women prior to 1964, the court noted that “General Motors has hired female employees for a number of years prior to the enactment of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.”‘ Because General Motors did hire women-albeit white women-during the period that no Black women were hired, there was, in the court’s view, no sex discrimination that the seniority system could conceivably have perpetuated.

In Brittany Cooper’s book – Beyond Respectability – The Intellectual Thought of Race Women the historical process of elimination black woman has and is prevalent right before our very eyes.  She contends that black women’s participation in black liberation and feminist struggles has been either erased or framed around their roles as activists, rarely affording them the title of public intellectual despite their formidable theoretical outputs.  Incorporating the lives of

Fannie Barrier Williams – Fannie Barrier Williams was an educator, political activist, and women’s rights advocate who worked for advancement opportunities of African Americans. She called especially for social and educational reforms to improve the plight of black women in the Southern States of the U.S.

 

 

Mary Church Terrell – Mary Church Terrell, a writer, educator, and activist, co-founded the National Association of Colored Women and served as the organization’s first president. Known as “Mollie” to her family, Church who was born in Memphis, Tennessee in 1863, lived a life of privilege due to the economic success of her parents, both former slaves.

 

 

Pauli Murray – In 1963 she became one of the first to criticize the sexism of the civil rights movement, in her speech “The Negro Woman and the Quest for Equality”.

 

 

 

 

 Toni Cade Bambara – Originally named Miltona Mirkin Cade at birth, Toni Cade Bambara was a civil rights activist, writer, teacher, and filmmaker.  She was born in 1939 in Harlem, New York.  At the age of six, she changed her name to Toni, and in 1970 she added the surname Bambara after finding it among her great-grandmother’s belongings.Bambara earned her BA in theater arts/English at Queens College in 1959, the same year she published “Sweet Town,” her first short story.  She was a social investigator from 1959 to 1961, and then worked in the psychiatry department of New York City’s Metropolitan Hospital.  During that time she studied in Florence as well as Paris, and earned an MA degree from City College of New York in 1964.  In 1965, she was hired to teach English at the City University of New York’s fledgling SEEK program for economically-disadvantaged students.  While there, she published short stories and became interested in film production.  From 1969 to 1974 she was an associate professor of English at Livingston College.

Source:  Beyond Respectability The Intellectual Thought Of Race Women, Black Past.org

Crenshaw, Kimberle () “Demarginalizing the Intersection of Race and Sex: A Black  Feminist Critique of Antidiscrimination Doctrine, Feminist Theory and Antiracist Politics,” University of Chicago Legal Forum: Vol. 1989: Iss. 1, Article 8.

#BillyGraham and #AfroAmerican #History

As the nation mourned the death of “America’s pastor,” one aspect of the Rev. Billy Graham‘s life especially worth highlighting is his connection to the historic civil rights movement. The Christian evangelist evolved from a farmer’s son in the segregated South into an unlikely proponent of racial equality, intersecting with the lives of two of the most iconic Black…

via Billy Graham’s Relationship With Black America, Explained — News One

Margaret E. Morton – The Woman Who Would Not Step Aside

In these days of analyzing confusing elections and examining consequential figures in our past, people who cleared a path for our future stand out.  Margaret E. Morton had an extraordinary career in Connecticut politics that was sparked by her role in a Bridgeport neighborhood issue.  In the early 1970’s, she and other East End residents had asked the city to install a stop sign at the site of frequent accidents. Their request was rejected by the city, symptomatic of a growing chasm between white city leaders and East End’s black residents.The East Enders struck back, organizing to support black candidates for elected office. Margaret Morton ran as the Democratic Party’s candidate for a vacant seat in the state House of Representatives in 1972.  Her victory catapulted Morton into Connecticut history: she was the first African-American woman elected to the General Assembly.

In 1980, Margaret Morton decided to run for the state Senate after the incumbent, a well-known attorney, told her he wouldn’t seek re-election.  Margaret Morton later learned that the attorney intended to run and the Democratic Party machinery wanted her to withdraw her name for consideration.  “I was told, not asked, to step aside,” she said.

In her interpersonal dealings, Margaret Morton’s soft-spoken and gracious demeanor was in stark contrast to the wise-cracking, cigar chomping political operatives in Bridgeport.  Margaret Morton’s rivals may have underestimated her tenacity and organizational skills.  Among her supporters: newly deputized registrars of voters that enlisted people to register as voters affiliated with the Democratic Party.[1]  The voter registration drive paid off.  Margaret Morton beat the attorney by eight votes in a primary election, clearing the way for her to become the first African-American woman in Connecticut’s state Senate.  She subsequently rose to the rank of Deputy President Pro Tempore, a leadership role she held until she retired from the General Assembly in 1992.[2]

During her tenure, Margaret Morton championed causes to help impoverished people in the state’s urban areas.  She supported the adoption of a state income tax, for instance.  “People continue to talk about cutting spending. When you cut spending in the government you’re cutting people, which in return are services to people,” she said.[3]   In the Assembly, Morton chaired the committee on Human Rights and Opportunities and rose to the rank of Assistant House Majority Leader.  She oversaw the appointment of two African American judges during her years in office.  In total, she served four terms as a State Representative and six terms as a State Senator.

Margaret Morton was born in 1924 in Pocahontas, Virginia, to Aaron and Leona (Hurt) Woods.  She was raised in Bluefield, West Virginia and graduated from high school summa cum laude. [4]  After marrying James Morton in 1941, the couple moved to Bridgeport, then a vibrant manufacturing center.

The Mortons, who had four children, established and ran Morton’s Mortuary funeral home in Bridgeport’s East End.  All throughout her political career, she never forgot her roots.   Upon being named Deputy President Pro Tempore,  Morton made the following Statement:  My grandfather was the child of the master in the slaves and he yearned for education, he longed for education.  He went as far as he could go in school and he taught.  One thing he instilled in his children and he sent them all to normal school in those days which allowed them to become whatever they wanted to become and some were teachers and others entered into other professions. But I think that man is happy today, looking down to see his granddaughter in this position.  And my mother is happy and all of you know my mother and you know all about my mother.  I know she is happy today.  And you know what else?  I think she believes all the nice things these nice guys said about me.  Because she really believed in me. [5] Margaret Morton died March 10, 2012.  Fulfilling her grandfather’s dream, Margaret Morton had become a role model for future generations.  On the day that she would have turned 88, Bridgeport City Hall’s annex was renamed in her honor at a ceremony befitting a trailblazer.

[1] http://www.washingtonpost.com/archive/politics/1984/06/24/flip-side-of-voter-drives-can-be-polarized-parties/bb514a93-8dbc-4856-8429-5e307f06ebff/

[2] http://www.ct.gov/sots/lib/sots/registermanual/2012dedicationweb.pdf

 [3] “Weicker Gets His Income Tax, But Citizens Fight It,” The Christian Science Monitor,  08 Oct 1991.

[4] http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/ctpost/obituary.aspx?pid=156477743

[5] Senate Session Transcript 02/14/90 [http://search.cga.state.ct.us/dtsearch.asp?cmd=getdoc&DocId=7395&Index=I%3A%5Czindex%5C1990&HitCount=0&hits=&hc=0&req=&Item=425]

 

Source:  By Mary Witkowski – Bridgeport Public Library

Ben Carson – Slaves and the Carnival Cruise Ship Filled with Hot Dying Men/Women and Children with Dreams and Aspiration of a Better Africa

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Dialectical Fluidity of Race

Between self-definition and other-definition, between an individual’s chosen racial identity versus society’s imposed racial identity — facilitates an understanding of race as a social construction

Ben Carson – Slaves and the Carnival Cruise Ship Filled with Hot Dying Men/Women and Children with Dreams and Aspiration of a Better Africa

WASHINGTON ― Ben Carson made his debut as secretary of Housing and Urban Development Monday by telling agency employees about the virtues of the “can-do” American society. Carson said this value system was best exemplified by slaves, whom he characterized as immigrants who came to the United States with very little and worked very hard.

“That’s what America is about,” Carson said. “A land of dreams and opportunity. There were other immigrants who came here in the bottom of slave ships, worked even longer, even harder for less. But they too had a dream that one day their sons, daughters, grandsons, granddaughters, great grandsons, great granddaughters might pursue prosperity and happiness in this land.”

By 1830 slavery was primarily located in the South, where it existed in many different forms. African Americans were enslaved on small farms, large plantations, in cities and towns, inside homes, out in the fields, and in industry and transportation.

Though slavery had such a wide variety of faces, the underlying concepts were always the same. Slaves were considered property, and they were property because they were black. Their status as property was enforced by violence — actual or threatened. People, black and white, lived together within these parameters, and their lives together took many forms.

Enslaved African Americans could never forget their status as property, no matter how well their owners treated them. But it would be too simplistic to say that all masters and slaves hated each other. Human beings who live and work together are bound to form relationships of some kind, and some masters and slaves genuinely cared for each other. But the caring was tempered and limited by the power imbalance under which it grew. Within the narrow confines of slavery, human relationships ran the gamut from compassionate to contemptuous. But the masters and slaves never approached equality.

View the Video Here

Black Group Identity

Work on Black group identity is not easy to characterize, in part because of relatively limited research on this issue, especially that which examines ethnic group differences (Porter and Washington, 1993). Typically, analysis highlights the influence of social class on identity (e.g., Landry, 1987; Farley, 1984). Some inquiry suggests that class is only a part of the puzzle. Broman et al. (1988) reveal that older, less-educated respondents in urban areas and highly-educated Blacks living outside the West were most likely to feel close to other Blacks. Gurin et al. (1989) show that identity, defined as common fate and as more Black than American, was not simply related to class. Males and those of upperclass status were more likely to feel a common fate with Blacks. Younger Blacks and those who did not work full-time were also more likely to feel more Black than American. Williams, T. K., & Thornton, M. C. (1998).

Introduction to the Subfield

The sociology of race and ethnicity began to take shape in the late 19th century. The American sociologist W.E.B. Du Bois, who was the first African-American to earn a Ph.D. at Harvard, is credited with pioneering the subfield within the United States with his famous and still widely taught books The Souls of Black Folk and Black Reconstruction.

However, the subfield today differs greatly from its early stages. When early American sociologists focused on race and ethnicity, du Bois excepted, they tended to focus on the concepts of integration, acculturation, and assimilation, in keeping with the view of the U.S. as a “melting pot” into which difference should be absorbed. Concerns during the early 20th century were for teaching those who differed visually, culturally, or linguistically from the white Ango-Saxon norms how to think, speak, and act in accordance with them. This approach to studying race and ethnicity framed those who were not white Anglo-Saxon as problems that needed to be solved and was directed primarily by sociologists who were white men from middle to upper-class families.

As more people of color and women became social scientists throughout the twentieth century, they created and developed theoretical perspectives that differed from the normative approach in sociology, and crafted research from different standpoints that shifted the analytic focus from particular populations to social relations and the social system.

Note: Ben Carson you should take another look…

Source:  Huffington Post

Source:  The American Slave: A Composite Autobiography, George P. Rawick, General Editor, with A Comprehensive Name Index for The American Slave, compiled by Howard E. Potts and Subject Index, from Index to The American Slave, edited by Donald M. Jacobs, assisted by Steven Fershleiser.

Source:  PBS

Source: Williams, T. K., & Thornton, M. C. (1998). Social construction of ethnicity versus personal experience: The case of afro-amerasians. Journal of Comparative Family Studies, 29(2), 255-267. Retrieved from http://nclive.org/cgi-bin/nclsm?url=http://search.proquest.com/docview/232586794?accountid=13217

Watch Night 2017

watchnight

The Black Community

On This date in 1862 the first Watch Night Services were celebrated in Back communities in America.

The Watch Night service can be traced back to gatherings also known as “Freedom’s Eve.” On that night, Black slaves and free blacks came together in churches and private homes all across the nation awaiting news that the Emancipation Proclamation actually had become law.  At the stroke of midnight, it was January 1, 1863; all slaves in the Confederate States were declared legally free. When the news was received, there were prayers, shouts and songs of joy as many people fell to their knees and thanked God.

Huffington Post

“Watch Night Service” in the Black Church in America symbolizes the historical fact, that on the night of Dec. 31, 1862 during the Civil War, free and freed blacks living in the Union States gathered at churches and/or other safe spaces, while thousands of their enslaved black sisters and brothers stood, knelt and prayed on plantations and other slave holding sites in America — waiting for President Abraham Lincoln to sign the Emancipation Proclamation into law. The Emancipation Proclamation legally recognized that the Civil War was fought for slavery.

Methodist

There’s another explanation of the Watch Night Service.  It is said that the slaves in the Old Suth would gather in desperation on the last night of the year to await news regarding which of them would be sold on New Year’s Day to satisfy their masters’ outstanding debts.  Which is unlikely considering they would have no reason to wait for January 1st to sell slaves to pay off creditors.

The practice may have begun with the Moravians, a small Christian denomination in Europe held in 1733 on the estate of a German count.

On this day in 1770, America’s first-known “watch-night” service was held at St. George’s Methodist Church in Philadelphia.

Watch Night services are a tradition started by John Wesley, the founder of the United Methodist Church. In all honesty, he borrowed the tradition from Moravian Christians that used them as a late-night vigil for the faithful; however, as time marched on, John molded this into a New Year’s Eve service where Christians were invited to review the year, confess to sins and pray for the year ahead. These services remain in Methodist worship manuals as “Covenant Renewal Services.

What are you watching for on this 2016 – 2017 Watchnight?

Source:

http://www.aaregistry.org/historic_events/view/first-watch-night-service-occurs

http://blackchristiannews.com/2016/12/john-wesley-the-methodist-church-and-the-history-of-the-first-watch-night-service/

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/rev-joan-r-harrell/watch-night-service-in-the-black-church-in-america-150-years-_b_2389965.html

From Christmas to Twelfth Night in Southern Illinois by John J. Dunphy

President Obama Signs ‘Emmett Till Bill’ To Reopen Civil Rights Cold Cases

Well, well, well now that’s a gift!!!! Merry Christmas,

The new legislation will allow civil rights cold cases that happened prior to 1970 to be reopened.

Source: President Obama Signs ‘Emmett Till Bill’ To Reopen Civil Rights Cold Cases