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

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.


The Trump Phenomenon

trump racism

The Oxford English Dictionary‘s defines the word racism as Prejudice, discrimination, or antagonism directed against someone of a different race based on the belief that one’s own race is superior: a programme to combat racism.  A man named Richard Henry Pratt in 1902 was railing against the evils of racial segregation.  I would like to take this opportunity to create my own ideas about the #TrumpRacisimPhenomenon.

It is written–

  1. Segregating any class or race of people apart from the rest of the people kills the progress of the segregated people or makes their growth very slow.
    1. Is that why our inner city schools, grades and characteristics of our children are combined in one location are slightly different from all the rest?
  2. Association of races and classes is necessary to destroy racism and classism
    1. Racism has not been destroyed because of the determination to not allow associations among races and classes, i.e.
      1. Democrat/Republican
      2. Black/White
      3. Christian/Muslim
      4. Yale University/Gateway Community College
      5. Apples/Trees/Strange Fruit

Although Pratt might have been the first person to inveigh against racism and its deleterious effects by name, he is much better-remembered for a very different coinage: Kill the Indian…save the man.

“A great general has said that the only good Indian is a dead one,” Pratt said. “In a sense, I agree with the sentiment, but only in this: that all the Indian there is in the race should be dead. Kill the Indian in him, and save the man.”

  1. Was this ideology the catalyst for the derogatory term, “He’s an oreo” meaning a man who is black on the outside and white on the inside. A black man who has learned to think and act as a “white” man.  I don’t agree that we have different thought processes, we have the same goals and desires for our lives and our children, some of us did not have the “Indian” removal process blanketing our lives and hence we may forever remain on the other side of the fence.

We’re still living with the after-effects of what Pratt thought and did. His story serves as a useful parable for why discussions of racism remain so deeply contentious even now. According to NPR writer Gene Demby.

“The history of the Carlisle Indian School is inexorably bound to its founder, Richard Henry Pratt, whose attitude toward Native Americans shaped virtually every dimension of it” according to the Dickinson chronicles.

  1. If that be true, then all the hooha over the racist remarks from and around Donald Trump should be mute. He is acting 100% in his “man given rights minus the Indian”.  America do you not like fruits of your labor or are you hiding behind the fruit that has been slammed open for the world to see how rotten we still are.



America is a Republic

Republic vs Democracy by MsConcerned



Racism is Contagious

Racism is not as pretty as these flowers


Contagious definition, capable of being transmitted by bodily contact with an infected person or object

Racism definition, a belief or doctrine that inherent differences among the various human racial groups determine cultural or individual achievement


Communicable diseases are caused by pathogens passed from one human to another. Pathogens are viral, bacterial, parasitic and fungal. If that be true, then I suspect racism is a communicable disease.  Let’s take a look as some other communicable diseases:

  1. Common Cold – you have it, you sneeze, touch the door knob or the well-known infectious location – the elementary classroom;
  2. Gastroenteritis – spread by contact, sharing food, using contaminated utensils;
  3. Strep Throat – A streptococci bacteria targeted to teens, by sneezing, coughing or shaking hands;
  4. Fifth Disease – spreads easily because it’s contagious before one has symptoms via direct contact with nasal and throat discharge;
  5. Gonorrhea – a sexually transmitted disease
  6. Racism –  caused by lack of understanding, breeding, and family belief systems.  This disease is spread via contact with a racist, reading about a racism and racists, teens are highly susceptible to this disease because of their age and lack of understanding and wisdom, it can be shared at the dinner table, on the bus, plane, and railways.  Racism easily spreads through the eyes and ears via the following:

I read a post a few minutes ago, subject matter: President Obama chose to go to his daughter’s graduation instead of going to Muhammad Ali’s funeral.  Someone replied, “Why would anyone care?” Another poster replied, “…because he’s black…”  You have got to be kidding me! Racism has become contagious when an issue between two different races defaults to “because they are _____________.”


#RacismisContagious, #racism