The Desk Annex -  In Honor of Black History Month (4527 views) Notify me whenever anyone posts in this discussion.Subscribe
From: Entrances DelphiPlus Member Icon1/30/18 2:04 AM 
To: All  (16 of 40) 
 4286.16 in reply to 4286.15 

There are notables in the world of literature who should be acknowledged here. Unfortunately, the names and accomplishments will be paltry compared with the number who deserve recognition. But let me start with some obvious names.

Langston Hughes, poet, journalist, novelist, social activist, innovator of the jazzy poetry and a leader in the Harlem Renaissance.

A useful page to explore at this time is Celebrating Black History Month created by the Poetry Foundation. There it's possible to find works of many literary notables.

Toni Morrison caused a huge stir in the literary landscape, quick on the heels of Maya Angelou. As Angelou's search results display, her literary contemporaries appear with her. Notables such as Alice Walker, James Baldwin, and Zora Neale Hurston.

You may want to visit's Black History page to get a sense of the "not knee jerk" names that deserve to be recognized - and even they offer a very short list. However, they make available some interesting video clips worth exploring.

In order to find more notables, I visited the Pulitzer website. The story Shirley Scott wrote for her paper was what I reached, "What it's like to be black." It holds universal truths. They don't break down their awards according to the ethnicity of the writer. They just list the year in which their categories of writing were acknowledged. As we strive for equality, perhaps that's a very good thing.

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From: Entrances DelphiPlus Member Icon1/30/18 2:38 AM 
To: All  (17 of 40) 
 4286.17 in reply to 4286.16 

What are CC&Rs? If you're considering moving into a neighborhood to rent or own or just do business, it's critical that you become familiar with what rules that community has established in regard to the location.

What are sundown laws? Loewen's page has explanations and examples that are as recent as 2015. These types of cities still exist even though the Civil Rights Act was intended to put an end to the practice.

It became useful to have a copy of the The Negro Motorist's Green Book in order to know where the safe places were for travel, lodging, and food.


From: Entrances DelphiPlus Member Icon1/31/18 2:36 PM 
To: All  (18 of 40) 
 4286.18 in reply to 4286.17 

Back to the world of entertainment and particularly to music training, here's some research created and posted in a parallel forum on 

Jan-8 9:12 PM

Does anyone know about the Los Angeles All City Marching Band?

It was started by Donald Dustin. It's grown over time in size and recognition. One of the administrators is a former student of Dustin, Reggie Andrews. Others who have climbed the ladder of their own success and who were under the instruction of Dustin during those formative years were the two brothers who are part of The Waters (Luther and Oren).

Dustin urged adherence to formal orchestral formation and organized, healthy competition to rise above merely playing an instrument for class. He urged seeking advancement both in class and in inter-district music competition.

In class, he established a system of challenging the musician in the next higher seat of their section. Whoever won the competition, took the seat. There was no limit to the challenges that could be made. And this system eliminated the sense of earning the chair/seat through accession. (Learning about competition; learning to yearn for excellence; learning about earning your place in the sun; learning about healthy competition; learning not to settle.)

There have been various articles that take not of the inroads attributable to this band and how it came into being. There's even been a benefit concert to their credit.

There was discipline and an insistence on adherence to standards in order to excel. That is what each competition class ensemble did and each member was recognized for their excellence. Each ensemble brought home anywhere from first, second, or third place in their area of instrument in each round of at least four other ensembles. Each ensemble helped the school to place in the same levels for the overall competition in that area of musical instrument. And it wasn't uncommon for Gompers to take home the trophy for best musicians.

Yes, there was pride in the accomplishment. But there was still much more important things to do such as more practice on increasingly difficult works, getting a thorough education and excellent grades in academics and sports, discovering Life, maturing, attending to domestic responsibilities, and just having fun.

There was another subtle lesson being taught in Donald Dustin's classes. It was the essentials of becoming qualified through healthy competition. Cutthroat and unethical tactics simply don't work when you're trying to produce the best music possible. Dustin took all these principles to the next level when he created the All City Marching Band, one comprised primarily of Black and Hispanic musicians and marchers.

As we consider the accomplishments of the band, let us also consider where they are marching and one in particular with regard to the who involved in it. The Tournament of Roses Parade is the venue. For the first time in its history, it has elected Gerald Freeny, a Black man from the San Gabriel Valley area, as its president.

  • Edited February 13, 2018 6:14 pm  by  Entrances

From: Entrances DelphiPlus Member Icon2/1/18 11:49 AM 
To: All  (19 of 40) 
 4286.19 in reply to 4286.7 

Another concept that should be included in this discussion is that of "usurpation" or to "usurp" something, be it a physical item, a concept, governance over something, or credit for the work. This is something that is an extension of the Negro experience, one of the obstacles that needs to be overcome for each individual no matter what the year, decade, or century. It is a concept equally applied to women's climb to be more present in managerial and executive positions as well as presence on Boards of Directors.

An interesting word cloud is formed when we look at the word "usurp" on .

Synonyms for usurp

verb take over
...[Message truncated]


From: Entrances DelphiPlus Member Icon2/1/18 1:54 PM 
To: All  (20 of 40) 
 4286.20 in reply to 4286.7 

Miscegenation or interracial marriage are concepts we don't consider these days because the social norm has become one of freedom of choice and freedom of legal association. However, there was a time (starting in 1664) when laws existed the forbade marriage between white women and black men. It then became no interracial marriage. But what of the offspring? 

Word clouds relating to miscegenation bring up interesting synonyms as we see from the Power Thesaurus link above and from the one from Some are considerate and some are not. Consider:

Synonyms for miscegenation

noun composite, mixture
...[Message truncated]


From: Entrances DelphiPlus Member Icon2/5/18 9:15 PM 
To: All  (21 of 40) 
 4286.21 in reply to 4286.10 

Something that has been a social challenge for as long as this country has existed is not only equality for as well as women's empowerment and helping those of the underclass realize they are not shut out of opportunity. The Negro history shows that the concept of "I Can" (in the Hispanic culture, it's "Si, se quede") is possible.

Consider the strides of creating that concept through girls' empowerment via STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) that then became STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, and mathematics). According to a March 2017 Danya article, "Stats vary by country and by discipline, but generally speaking, women make up only 15-25% of the current STEM workforce, and the gap is broadening." The article asks the question, "Why does this matter?" and cites very valid reasons that include living in the cloud of stereotyping, wage gaps, and availability of role models. Additional reading in the subject area provides not only male-female comparison information that also includes the impact on several racial/ethnic groups and socioeconomic classifications.

The Women's Movement (suffrage) and the striving for equality of the Negro seem to parallel themselves in terms of how long the struggles have been alive and the experiences of either group. Even the writing of the Constitution was controversial with regard to not only slavery but the right to vote for all men as well as for women. And we haven't even considered the matter of pay or right to earn a living. Pay equity legislation is now taking hold. With each new decade, the efforts to bring wages into a state of parity seem to be gaining ground. But there's a lot more road to pave. Even in Britain, there were difficulties for the Negro and African sailors receiving comparable pay, let alone employment opportunities above servile roles.



From: Entrances DelphiPlus Member Icon2/6/18 11:25 AM 
To: All  (22 of 40) 
 4286.22 in reply to 4286.17 

There have been many Civil Rights Acts throughout our history. There have also been many versions of Voting Rights Acts. Here is a list of them. A good question to ask is why there are so many versions or re-introductions over the years. Another good question is what happened to the enforcement of those laws or, in the alternative, a move to amend them and extend the life of the original Act.

Likewise, there have been many iterations of some form of voting rights legislation.




  • Edited March 3, 2018 5:43 pm  by  Entrances

From: SonPar2/11/18 9:04 PM 
To: Entrances DelphiPlus Member Icon  (23 of 40) 
 4286.23 in reply to 4286.22 
One of the strongest influences Black History has had on American culture is with music.  All uniquely American music styles, including jazz, country, rock and roll, and gospel, have roots in the blues music styles that developed as an artistic expression of the African-American experience during the time of slavery.  This was a form of art born of long hours working in the field under a hot sun, of being separated from loved ones by uncaring white owners, and of being transported an ocean away from one’s birthplace and heritage.  This music, the Blues, was born of African styles and came to be perfected by itinerant country musicians who traveled from town to town to practice their craft for black and white audiences.  They developed a unique style of music that reflected the hardships they endured and gave them a way to escape.  During the early twentieth century, a visionary musician leader by the name of W.C. Handy began to codify this music and to incorporate its rhythm and styles into the American experience and culture.  This led to an interest by music producers such as Chess Records, who began traveling to the Mississippi Delta to find musicians to recruit for an urban rebirth of the blues.  This new expression of citified, urban jazz found practitioners in musicians such as Muddy Waters and Howlin’ Wolf, leading to a new form of popular music, race music.  Although primarily enjoyed by African-Americans, this attracted the interest of white musicians such as Elvis Presley and Jerry Lee Lewis, who helped to begin rock and roll, and Hank Williams and Jimmy Rodgers, who popularized country music.  Similarly, early jazz musicians and even classical musicians such as George Gershwin became fascinated with blues stylings, so that by the end of the 20th century, the music culture associated with America had morphed from this early country music into the rich plethora of musical stylings associated with modern culture.
For further discussion and history, see

From: Entrances DelphiPlus Member Icon2/13/18 8:43 PM 
To: All  (24 of 40) 
 4286.24 in reply to 4286.16 

And then there's art as in fashion. The new portrait of former First Lady Michelle Obama while wearing a dress that has a political statement in the design essentially emphasizes where we are at this point in time.


From: Entrances DelphiPlus Member Icon2/14/18 5:23 PM 
To: All  (25 of 40) 
 4286.25 in reply to 4286.3 

Let's take a closer look at the world of sports. It's interesting to note that baseball holds the distinction of being the first sport to have leagues. It grew in popularity shortly after the Civil War and teams were essentially integrated. It appears the focus was on having fun. But by 1868, something changed the landscape and Negroes were not allowed to play with the amateur league teams; integration was no longer allowed.

There was some fizzle and the amateur leagues gave way to professional leagues that sustained the no integrated teams bar. So Negro leagues were formed in 1895. Say the names, "Rube Foster, known as the father of black baseball, founded the Negro National League.  In 1923, Ed Bolden formed the Eastern Colored League. Financial difficulties caused efforts to sustain the a major stumbling block. Says U.S. History regarding the two aspects of the demise of the Black baseball leagues:

The legacy the Negro Leagues is one of courage, perseverance, and strength to overcome the oppressive racial segregation and volitile [sic] times of the era. Conversely, by losing its stars to the Major Leagues, it was a sweet-and-sour proposition — the leagues had to fold, but integration of the white baseball establishment was a major step toward gaining equality for the black populace of America.

ThoughtCo. offers a particularly good timeline of the history of baseball leagues and attributes the division to Jim Crow laws.

It was Jackie Robinson who essentially broke the color barrier when he signed with Brooklyn Dodgers. But John Donaldson is another name that needs to be remembered and celebrated. Efforts are afoot to have him included in the Baseball Hall of Fame because of his outstanding skill.

But what about basketball! Well, of all places, Uncyclopedia has a very colorful account of how basketball was born and moves into how it became a sport that eventually included Blacks via the Negro Basketball Association. Notice the names of the players and positions. Meanwhile, Wikipedia explains the Black Fives and what that means

Football is yet another sport (and league) worth discovering the who and the when. BleacherReport tells us it was 1946 when the first five Negroes broke the color barrier in football. Can you name those players? So, who is Charles Follis (1902-06) and why is he associated with Paul Robeson (1920-26)? Because both of them are attributed with being the first Black football players.

There are still other sports firsts for tennis, track & field, gymnastics, winter sports, golf. Perhaps those can be given more attention when their seasons arrive.



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