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.
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
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.
Robin Roberts – Television Broadcaster, an anchor on ABC’s Good Morning America.
Next up, Black History Month: The Gentlemen’s Club
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.
Here are my thoughts.
Like many of you, I’m still in a slight state of panic. However, I’m not too surprised. Donald Trump is this country’s new President, despite his numerous – and I do mean numerous flaws, shortcomings and examples of his overwhelming ignorance, the same traits pathetically found within most of his disciples.
Will I watch Trump getting inaugurated into office? Maybe. Maybe not. Those who won’t, I don’t blame you. Those who are but don’t care about Trump will do so to see how it goes out or curiosity to see what happens. Those who adore him will no doubt enjoy this as they see it as the first day of making America ‘great’ again.
Now, before any possible trolling from Trump supporters begin, which will probably be loaded with elementary school-grade name calling and racism, subtle or overt, I want to say that Barack Obama was not perfect either. But compared to Trump, he was still a gentleman. And sadly, the average Trump voter sees that as a huge problem.
Barack Obama is a successful black man who became the most powerful politician in the nation. That’s a major problem to them. It’s big enough that people on the right are willing to make up and(or) believe any lie and conspiracy theory, and instead of criticizing his policies with genuine insight and information, they prefer to unleash their inner Klansman spirits and call him and his family every racist name in the book, even make some up if need be.
“But they are not racist,” they claim.
People call Obama a divisive president who ignited racism as if it magically began in November of 2008. (Most of those who make that claim unwittingly exposed their racial hatred towards the former Commander-in-Chief.) But who’s the one who mentioned building a wall on the U.S.-Mexican border? Who wants to keep Muslims out of the country? Who keeps referring to black people as “the blacks” and that we all live in the inner city?
And we need not to bring up the obvious that if Obama was accused of half the shit Trump is accused of, not only would he had never been got so much as a nomination, he would likely be in prison. Again, Obama was not perfect. But after learning about Trump’s racism, misogyny, sexual harassment and Islamophobia, I’d rather have four more years of Obama. Hell, he can stay in the White House for as long as he lives. Turn the White House into the Black House, dammit!
I’m joking here.
But seriously, the nervousness that blacks and other marginalized people in this society feel is not without good reason. Though we are told different by ‘privileged’ folks who not only don’t truly know, but don’t wish to hear about our struggles. Some of them believe they are in worst shape than we. And as such transformed fear and hatred into ‘virtues’. To them it’s necessary to look down on those who are worse off than they are. They think they not only deserve the best, but that they are the best as far as human race goes.
As far as black people go, we’ve endured that crap for what seemed like eons now. With Trump beginning his term as President of the United States, it’s nothing new that half of this nation would walk to the ends of the earth for this man, because he embodies all that they admire: hatred, ignorance, wealth, a fragile male ego, whiteness, an overprivleged human being with no fucks given about who he hurts.
As I’ve said several times, Trump is their savior, a wealthy white male who shares the same disdain they do about all they consider is ‘wrong’ with this country. He’s their messiah who came back to save America – from us.
But here’s the thing, and it may sound unbelievable, but many black people love this country. We love this country more than Trump and his followers. Why? In a sense, we’re its conscience. We’re the little angels on America’s shoulders telling it what it should do to better itself and its people. While this nation listened and has definitely improved, it still refuses to fully reflect on its sins. Trump being President is that time where America decided to listen to the little devils on the opposite shoulder. And if you watch cartoons, you always know that what happens next isn’t good.
However, black people will survive. Humanity will survive. We will likely have to fight harder than ever, but we will make it. Black people are survivors. We always have been ever since we were kidnapped from our homeland. And we will survive the Trump era no matter what it takes.
What say you?
In June 2015, my alter ego caught wind of the Charleston Massacre through a Facebook message. One of my friends said how there were police cars surrounding the old Emanuel A.M.E. Church that evening. I immediately knew something horrible happened, most likely a shooting – a fatal shooting.
Part of me hoped that it wasn’t another case of black folks acting gun crazy. I was relieved to later found it that the suspect was a white guy. But my heart plunged to discover that the victims were all black. I would’ve felt just as bad if the victims were of any other color. But hearing how it was a mass shooting of black churchgoers by one white guy opened up historic wounds.
I won’t go into much detail over the details. I’m confident you all know what went down that tragic night. So, I’ll fast forward to the present day when the court ruled that the man responsible is to be sentenced to death.
And so, here’s where I start contemplating the whole issue of Dylann Roof’s crime, his penalty and all things inside and out.
Today is Martin Luther King Day, a day where that one line from all of Dr. King’s numerous speeches is recited, broadcast, misinterpreted and misused ad nauseum where we’re told that he wished for a more or less colorblind society. But anyone who has read or heard more than just that ‘color of skin, content of character’ line learned that he was about way more. King was a revolutionary. A freedom fighter. He knew racism was a major problem in America at that time, and I’m sure he would feel no different if he were alive today.
Dr. King would observe the tragedy in Charleston and attest it as the extremism that racism brings. Uncontrolled white racial hatred is a lethal weapon whether it’s in the hands of people in white sheets, Confederate flag wavers suits with briefcases. It’s everywhere. It’s a matrix of oppression which kept unchecked will destroy lives year after year.
The Charleston Massacre took and ruined lives, but the violent racist mindset behind it has seriously messed up the man responsible. No, I’m not asking for sympathy, forgiveness or even mercy for Dylann Roof. After all, why should we go easy on him when he has taken nine lives without remorse? But I still have mixed feelings toward him getting the death penalty.
On one hand, he more than deserves it. An eye for an eye. But then again, how can a society teach that death is wrong when it kills people as punishment? Sending Roof to die seems too easy, if not costly.
I prefer that he suffers for the rest of his life somehow. I want him to wish he was dead. I desire him to be broken to the point where he’s the one pleading for forgiveness from the families he hurt.
Life or death, Roof is screwed either way. And at this point, hearing about his death sentence is poetic justice. He killed black folks, and the system that protects white folks will kill him, if it still plans on going through with it. Is it a step in the right direction towards healing? Maybe. Maybe not. But the shooting certainly didn’t quell the beast of white racial hatred. Be prepared for more victims to be devoured.
The term ‘alt-right’ or ‘Alternative Right’ is just a fancy shmancy term coined by Richard Spencer for Neo-Nazis, white nationalists, white supremacists, white racists, etc., pretty much any (white) person who identifies with the term.
Composed of mostly young, paranoid, insecure, white male sociopaths, the alt-right firmly believes that white genocide is in progress due – in part – to multiculturalism and political correctness. Since they feel threatened that their place as the dominant species is being taken away from them, they’ve adapted a culture of familiar, but nonetheless disturbing, hatred. Here are a list of things that they fear and hate the most (in no particular order):
To put it simply, the alt-right thinks women should stay in the home barefoot, naked, pregnant and in the kitchen and not hold jobs, vote or run for office. They want things to be like it was before feminism was born when women were seen and not heard. But now that they have more freedoms, the alt-right men’s clubalt-right men’s club dreads that they’re being oppressed while women are gaining more privileges.
No different than other racist groups, the alt-right believes the white race is the most superior. Seeing other groups of people in what they declare are white ethnocentric spaces – such as entire countries – obtaining careers and(or), fighting white supremacy or involved in crimes where white people are victims fuels their fear of the disappearance of the whiteness.
Fitting in with their disdain for multiculturalism, the alt-right seems to have this imagined vendetta towards Black Lives Matter (BLM). Since most of them are cop supporters and conspiracy theorists, they think the movement is against both police and white people with no evidence to support their presupposition. It’s so strong, they willingly pin certain crimes on the movement if the victims are cops and(or) whites even though there’s no connection with BLM.
Islam and Muslims
To put it simply, all Muslims are terrorists and all terrorists are Muslims…and BLM. They, along with immigrants, must be kept out of America, a nation the alt-right declares as a white Christian nation.
While the hatred is not quite as cut-and-dry as the previous subjects as some members of the white nationalist movement have courted the gays to join their causes. But, in large part, they simply detest the LGBQT community. They see their lifestyle as anything but normal, something to be feared and – of course – loathed upon.
A conservative that is deemed ‘weak’ is labeled a ‘cuck’ or ‘cuckservative’. In the minds of the alt-right, any conservative that goes against the extremist values of the movement is unfaithful and is therefore emasculated.
No explanation needed. They hate them for being the polar opposites of everything they stand for.
An online Facebook video has been in the news about the kidnapping and torture of a disabled white man by four black teens. The story is pretty straightforward but nonetheless disturbing.
Four teens kidnapped a young white male with mental disabilities, held him for hours, and brutally assaulted him while yelling “Fuck Trump!” and “Fuck white people!” (Most conservative news sites suggest that the young man is a Trump supporter.) One of the four kidnappers recording the others brutalizing him. The video is about 30 minutes long.
The young man was held for hours in Chicago’s West Side, until he was ultimately freed. He was seen walking disoriented down a street where the incident took place. The suspects were arrested and charged recently for their crimes. As of now, they could be charged as hate crimes.
First off, I won’t sugarcoat this. What those teens have done to that poor man was inexcusably horrible. And I hope that the young man gets justice and recovers from this traumatic ordeal.
So, why are so-called alt-right…no, white supremacist douche bags took this opportunity to turn this crime into a Black Lives Matter (BLM) calling card when BLM had nothing to do with it? News reports did not mention once that BLM had any ties to the criminals. In fact, it was confirmed by Chicago police that there were no ties whatsoever.
Yet, white racists went into overdrive blaming BLM and even black people in general for this one singular crime. Fox’s own Glenn Beck parroted the racist accusations. The hashtag ‘BLMKidnappingBLMKidnapping‘ formed by white supremacists was the most trending topic on Twitter. And as of this writing is still among the most popular hashtags.
Even members of BLM themselves condemned the attack.
So, I’ll ask again, why are these assholes putting in precious time and effort to demonize an entire movement for one crime, a crime in which they had no affiliation with?
This is nothing new of course. BLM has been on the receiving end of slander since its inception. And minorities in this nation are subject to collective blaming for individual crimes, real or imagined.
Make no mistake though. What happened in Chicago was real. The terror was real. BLM’s involvement with the torture wasn’t.
So, let’s not also sugarcoat this fact. Racists like those who define themselves as the alternative right or just run-of-the-mill white supremacists have habits of trying to make shit up out of their own twisted and devious imaginations to promote black inferiority. It doesn’t matter if there is no proof or evidence that it was a done by BLM supporters even if the police themselves – whom they admire – says so. It also doesn’t really matter if the young man is scarred for life, physically and mentally, and that expressing sympathies seem like the more humane thing to do.
What is more important, however, is that this was a grim example of black-on-white crime. It was a reverse racist incident. And a movement to save black lives is not only anti-white but are the ones responsible for this. Racists will take this lie and run with it to justify their hatred of black people. Let morals, facts and logic be damned.
So again, I hope and pray that the young man recovers and get through this tragedy. As for those who are reading this article and are still lamenting that this was an example of BLM’s terror against white people, you need to wake the fuck up and understand the facts. BLM is not anti-white. Black people who are pro-black are not anti-white. Those teens behind the kidnapping appear to be anti-white. Let’s hold them accountable and not the whole movement or the race.
And for those who produce or reproduce that vicious lie, know this: you’re helping the cycle of hate to continue. Your lie could bring more pain to innocent black people and produce more David Dukes, Richard Spencers or worse, more Dylann Roofs and Anders Breiviks. In other words, you’re no better than those teens.