Black History Month: Homeland Heroes

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For the final part of the series, I decided to end it recognizing our brothers and sisters across the pond from various African nations. As usual, only ten noteworthy figures. In this case, there will be five men and five women. And if you want to know more about these and other historic icons, click on the link, search the net or visit your local library.

Kwame Nkrumah  – Led the Gold Coast to independence from colonial rule, and became President of the new country – Ghana. A leading advocate of of Pan-Africanism, and African independence.

Wangari Maathai – Kenyan environmental and political activist, who led initiatives to plant trees and the green belt movement. Awarded the Nobel peace prize 2004.

Haile Selassie – Emperor of Ethiopia from 1930. Selassie became an inspirational figure in the movement for African independence for the way he resisted the Italian invasion of Ethiopia during the 1930s.

Funmilayo Ransome Kuti – Activist, feminist, instrumental in the dethroning of King Alake Ademola of Egbaland who wanted to impose taxes on women.

Asbel Kiprop – Double world champion and Olympic champion (2008) in 1500m.

Yaa Asantewa – Military leader of what is known as the ‘Yaa Asantewa War’, which was the last war between the Asante and the British, and during which she became referred to by the British as the ‘Joan D’Arc of Africa’.

Kofi Annan – Secretary General of The United Nations from 1997-2006.

Miriam Makeba – Nicknamed “The Mother of Africa”, involved in radical activity against apartheid but also in the civil rights movement and then black power.

Chinua Achebe – Nigerian, novelist. He authored the best-selling 1958 classic, Things Fall Apart which has made him into one of the best selling African authors.

Margaret Ekpo – famous for being a fashionable woman who combined western and Nigerian fashion influences.

Black History Month: Gentlemen’s Club

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In our continuing series for Black History Month (BHM), we now focus on the brothas. As with the last two entries, I will highlight only a few (usually 10) historic figures. And as always, if you want to find out more about these and other individuals, please click on the links and browse through the websites or do a search online or at your local library.

As you know, there’s an important need for articles, blog posts and websites that showcase accomplishments and great deeds by African Americans. Too often, we’re slammed with negative news, silly memes and racist propaganda concerning our people, especially black men. Stereotypes that make us appear shiftless, violent and lazy persist. Hopefully, this article helps to counter those beliefs, but more positive images and news must continue.

So, without further ado, here are a list of black history’s notable male figures:

Carter G. Woodson – Known as “Father of Black History Month” who founded The Journal of Negro History in 1916 and started Negro History Week a decade later.

Matthew Henson –  Believed to be the first man to reach the North Pole.

Philip Emeagwali – Won the Gordon Bell supercomputing prize in 1989 for applying the power of networked computers to analysis of oil field reserves.

Ralph Ellison – Won the National Book Award for his first novel Invisible Man.

The Nicholas Brothers – Acrobatic tap dancing team of the mid-20th century. (They count as one entry.)

Hiram Revels – First black U.S. Senator.

Matt Baker – First successful black artist in the comic book industry.

Bayard Rustin – Civil rights activist of the 1960’s, involved in numerous groups and movements including a Communist movement working to free the Scottsboro Boys, a group of nine Black men unfairly accused of raping two white women in Alabama.

Langston Hughes – Legendary author and poet from the Harlem Renaissance.

Percy Julian – Scientist known for his research and developments in synthetic compounds.

Final part: Black History Month: Homeland Heroes

Black History Month: Black, Gay & Proud

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It isn’t often you hear about the accomplishments and historical moments of our LGBT brothas and sistas during this time of year. So, I felt that it’s time to help give them their due and making history, black history.

As with my previous BHM article, the list will feature a few notable and brief mentions. Please check out more information on these and other black LGBT history makers and prominent individuals.

Alice Walker – Civil rights icon and author of The Color Purple for which she won a Pulitzer Prize.

Patrik Ian Polk – An openly gay film director who is known for his films on the African American LGBT experience and relationships.

Kye Allums – The first Division I openly transgender athlete in NCAA sports history. Today, Kye is a transgender advocate and the founder of Project I Am Enough, a project dedicated to encouraging self-love & self-definition for everyone.

James Baldwin – Writer of Giovanni’s Room, lived most of his life as an expatriate in Paris where he attempted to escape American prejudice towards blacks and gay individuals, overall celebrated civil rights icon.

Simon Nkoli – An openly gay black South African political activist, formed the Saturday Group, the first black gay group in all of Africa.

Wanda Sykes – Comedian, actress, gay rights activist.

Kylar Broadus – The first transgender person ever to testify before the US Senate when he spoke in support of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA).

Darren Young – Openly gay WWE wrestler.

CeCe McDonald – Transgender advocate. (I wrote about her here.)

Robin Roberts – Television Broadcaster, an anchor on ABC’s Good Morning America.

Next up, Black History Month: The Gentlemen’s Club

Black History Month: Ladies First

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To celebrate Black History Month (BHM), I decided to give the spotlight to some of history’s greatest and often overlooked black people. Some you may have heard of and some you may not. However, this and other articles dedicated to BHM will acknowledge some, but not all, movers and shakers.

Since we always focus on the accomplishments and firsts of African American men most often as opposed to African American woman, this time around, the latter will be showcased first. Again, not all black women will be featured (only ten will be highlighted) as it’s a pretty long and evergrowing list. So, it’s best to do some research on as many historic and famous black women as possible to learn more about black women’s history. In the meantime, click on the links to learn more about these individuals. And remember, the list of black greatness never ends.

Fannie Lou Hamer – Instrumental for campaigning for black voting rights, especially in her homestate of Mississippi.

Madam C. J. Walker – A self-made business woman widely regarded as being America’s first female millionaire. She is recognized mainly for creating hair care products for black women.

Mary McLoad Bethune – Founder of the Daytona Educational and Industrial Institute for Girls in 1904 and established the Bethune-Cookman University along with the Cookman Institute.

Ava DuVernay – First black female director to receive a Golden Globe nomination and have a film nominated for the Best Picture Oscar.

Edmonia Lewis –  A neoclassical African American and Native American sculptor, friend of abolitionists, and sculptor.

Jackie Joyner-Kersee – Dominant in women’s track and field. Considered by many people to be the best all-around female athlete in the world.

Leontyne Price – New York Metropolitan Opera soprano 1960 – 1985. One of the most popular opera sopranos of recent history, known as the first black American-born prima donna, She was the first black opera singer on television.

Angela Benton – CEO of NewMe Accelerator, tech entrepreneur dedicated to encouraging minority-owned startups in Silicon Valley.

Christina Lewis Halpern – The self-described opinionated woman, wife, mother and social entrepreneur launched All Star Code in an effort to prepare talented minority boys for careers in science and technology.

Rebecca Lee Crumper – The first African American doctor and the first African American doctor to publish a medical book Book of Medical Discourses.

Again, this is only a snippet of the many, many accomplishments done by black women. Check out more info and more black female history makers online or at your local library.

Next: Black History Month: Black, Gay and Proud.

Losing Whiteness: Why White People Are So Pissed

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Why are white people so angry? What do they have to be angry about? The anger of white folks is nothing new. But still, what’s up with them?

To answer that, you have to take a look at what white supremacy means to a white person. Johnny Silvercloud at afrosapiophile.com explains it when discussing a photo he took of a white woman kneeling to Donald Trump, hands up, wearing a flag with the words ‘Trump: Make America Great Again” (Click on the link to view the photo.):

The structure and ideologies of white supremacy must be very comfortable. I would imagine that it feels good to know that you are infinitely above suspicion when it comes to any form of social deviance, including crime. It probably feels soothing to know that no matter what, a white person will NEVER have to answer for the behavior of other whites. I’ll go as far as suggesting that white people may get a sad level of satisfaction in hearing non-white people talk, discuss, protest all these things that nonwhites suffer from due to white supremacy.

White supremacy is the only, ultimate euphoria for white people. A society constructed by and for the elevation of white folks is almost, I would guess, like heaven to white people. Your physical traits are promoted as the standards of beauty by which all others should follow. You’re constantly portrayed as heroes and saviors in the entertainment industry saving everyone else from certain doom. Your criminals are presented as angels. Some are even elevated to legendary and celebrity statuses, partly thanks to the white-owned media. History lessons in public and private schools tell the tales of great white people. The list goes on and on making whiteness as not only the default, but also the ultimate level of human kind, the highest platform in a racial caste system.

Now, imagine that world slowly but surely crumbling. You see the cracks, and start panicking. Your fear turns to anger, and you start seeing red at the people trying to change the world, eliminating whiteness in the process. So, you mobilize and radicalize. White supremacy and the privileges that come with it will not go down without a fight.

One would think that white people would accept a changing world, a world that views all people as equals and treats them as such. They would realize that they’re not better than everyone else, but instead are like everyone else.

Some have, it seems. However, apparently whiteness is just too damn valuable to give up for many. It’s a drug they can’t afford to lose. And we’re seeing them heavily cling on to whiteness at the expense of the rest of the world and themselves.

Too Little, Too Late: Trump Supporters Regret Their Votes

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Welp, it looks like some supporters of the Donald (I will never refer to him as ‘President Trump’) realized they made a big mistake. According to numerous tweets, they wish they could take it back. For whatever reason, they’re disappointed in the man they’ve elected. There’s even a name for it. Trumpgret. And there are plenty of them.

Pardon me while I sip on some tea and give minus fucks about anyone being sympathetic towards them. Why am I’m ranting like this? I’m a black person in America. I’ve been disappointed all my life my this nation. Black people and other marginalized groups have been screwed by this nation and have been constantly told to get over it. So, allow me to tell these fools to lay in the bed they’ve made and like it.

Here’s the reality of it all. They voted for what many people, including myself, was the worst possible candidate to lead this nation. And as we speak, the consequences are coming into fruition.

They didn’t elect a president. They’ve elected a dumbass dictator. And I’m not interested in the list of reasons and excuses why they voted for Trump. He’s in office now, and they should shut the hell up and deal with it.

But Wolf, you’re being mean. So? The truth is that a racist, sexist xenophobe with the temper tantrum of a Tasmanian devil and the ego the size of Jupiter is now this nation’s president, and whatever reason they had for voting for him was apparently more salient.

And now, they regret voting for a jackass.

Again, I don’t give a flying fruitcake fuck about their feelings. Their feelings helped screw up the nation with the world to follow. If they want change, they should stop crying and start moving. Help get that loser out of office and help install a more competent replacement. Do what you can to prevent his policies. Reject his regime in any way possible. Do something! Otherwise, if you don’t, then please kindly sit your ass down and shut the fuck up.

R.I.P. Mary Tyler Moore

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From the New York Times:

Mary Tyler Moore, whose witty and graceful performances on two top-rated television shows in the 1960s and ’70s helped define a new vision of American womanhood, died on Wednesday in Greenwich, Conn. She was 80.

Her family said her death, at Greenwich Hospital, was caused by cardiopulmonary arrest after she had contracted pneumonia.

Click here to read the rest of this article.