The Desk Annex -  In Honor of Black History Month (3256 views) Notify me whenever anyone posts in this discussion.Subscribe
 
From: Entrances DelphiPlus Member Icon1/14/18 4:16 PM 
To: All  (7 of 37) 
 4286.7 in reply to 4286.6 

There are concepts that gave rise to many parts of the Negro experience, and therefore the Civil Rights Movement. Which concepts? Things such as

In many instances, there was no right to pursue inclusion in certain places. Therefore, there were things such as "Colored Entrance". Sometimes there was no entrance at all; remember the days of no ramps on which wheelchairs could easily be navigated, just stairs. In other situations, one needed permission to even consider aspiring to doing something.

There was an assumption that if you were a person of color, the quality of your contribution was going to be of low quality and not usable or only marginally so at best. There was also an assumption that the education of the Negro would be lacking in quality thereby meaning comprehension would be low and resulting performance not up to par. That was also true for women of whatever race or ethnicity.

Why were Negroes required to sit at the back of the bus before the Civil Rights Movement? Part of the issue was that their stench from sweat, dirt, possibility of bugs, lack of hygiene would not waft from the front to the back and thereby overwhelm the entire bus.

Negroes were for the sake of serving and entertainment. Few merited recognition or reward. Consider Hattie
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  • Edited May 6, 2018 2:52 pm  by  Entrances
 
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From: Entrances DelphiPlus Member Icon1/14/18 4:38 PM 
To: All  (8 of 37) 
 4286.8 in reply to 4286.7 

To be sure, there is not universal hate and discrimination. It is not confined to one race nor one demographic. In fact, many who are White as well as other races and ethnicities who believe in equality and freedom. We should be thankful for their vision of a landscape open to humanity. It is through all hands participating together that we derive the bounty that is possible.

Black History (Month) is just the beginning of the story.

Rochester Institute of Technology has some very useful suggestions for creating a healthy and inclusive environment.

  • Edited January 14, 2018 5:37 pm  by  Entrances
 

 
From: Entrances DelphiPlus Member Icon1/15/18 2:13 PM 
To: All  (9 of 37) 
 4286.9 in reply to 4286.8 

In order to keep things in one location and findable, here is a wonderful comment from a FaceBook friend who responded to my request for notes about significant points in time or people to be mentioned in relation to Black History Month

Cat Zultner never apologize for sharing your interests or having a passion, my friend!!

For Black History month, I like Maya Angelou, Kathryn Johnson, Condoleeza Rice, Mae Jemison, Bessie Coleman, AF Major Shawna Kimbrell, Beverly Greene (she got her architecture degree same place I did and has strong ties to Chicago)

How can we overlook the significance of Anita Hill? There are also Yvonne Braithwaite Burke, Rita Walters, Maxine Waters, Diane Watson, Shirley Chisholm, Barbara Jordan (the Ms. Magazine interview), Loretta Glickman. Those are the more contemporary names (to which the list continues to grow) that are juxtaposed against names from the early days, names such as Phillis Wheatley, Hannah M
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  • Edited March 16, 2018 4:08 pm  by  Entrances
 

 
From: Entrances DelphiPlus Member Icon1/16/18 3:51 PM 
To: All  (10 of 37) 
 4286.10 in reply to 4286.9 

Some people want to believe that all of the American Negro history is of bondage and persecution. Yes, and no. This country was founded by free Negroes in addition to the others who immigrated here.

Some people want to believe (and exist with the myth) that the American Negro has had a difficult time amassing any type of significant wealth and prestige. Few know the story of Tulsa, Oklahoma's Black Wall Street. It was a gemstone and populated by thriving Negro businesses in many industries. But the other thing that has plagued the race is the other myth, that of violating White women, which then justifies punishment. A race riot burst forth after what may have been a mere stumble on an elevator. The #Me2 of 1921 destroyed the gem that was Wall Street. Official Black Wall Street is the most significant recount of what happened. You may be wondering how it came to be dubbed the Negro Wall Street of Oklahoma. That distinction goes to Booker T. Washington while he visited the city after a school was named for him.

Prior to the Greenwood devastation came the riots and destruction in Atlanta, GA (1906). There, too, was accusation of molestation and violation of a White woman (actually, the rumor was that there were several). And all of this was predicated on two men who sought to be elected to office, each wanting to preserve the institution of segregation and exclusion. Reading the account that relates to the two candidates, it appears the phrase "fake news" was being born not by #45 but by the two news publishers who aspired to be governor of the state.

There was an attempt at reparations for the victims of the Greenwood massacre in 2000. What was the outcome?

 

  • Edited January 16, 2018 4:01 pm  by  Entrances
 

 
From: Entrances DelphiPlus Member Icon1/18/18 11:36 PM 
To: All  (11 of 37) 
 4286.11 in reply to 4286.10 

The Black National Anthem is "Lift E'vry Voice and Sing." The chords are set to a very strong 4/4 meter. While it's usually sung by a choir, some have attempted to sing it as a solo. Doing it as a solo takes a tremendous amount of skill and artistry because the song's range includes nearly every voice, from baritone to soprano. It would be such a delight to hear it sung by an ensemble with the distinct registers performed by that particular voice and then seguing to the next person who is that voice range. What a performance that would be!

There are things that are useful (if not important) to know about the song.

 

 

 
From: Entrances DelphiPlus Member Icon1/27/18 11:19 PM 
To: All  (12 of 37) 
 4286.12 in reply to 4286.10 

In the world of entertainment, there are many names and events that need to be recognized. Primarily because of the talent exhibited by the performers. Then because of the obstacles that were intended to prevent these individuals from gaining recognition and compensation for their endeavors. Yet, they succeeded. While attempting to communicate the name of one tap dancing duo, I found their name (The Nicholas Brothers) but was overwhelmed by the others throughout time who have achieved greatness, in spite of the disrespectful jabs from comedians of this time. There was page after page of notables. And there's even a YouTube video dedicated to The Best of Tap. Bill "Bojangles" Robinson is designated the best in this video. For more recognitions, just use the the search string "negro tap dancers". Hold onto your seat when you find the results.

If we're just talking about tap as a dance form, there are places to visit such as the International Tap Association in order to learn about the legends of that form. There's also Tap Dance History, which also tells the history of tap and the rigors of trying to get paid for your work. They note:

Tap dancing started with the Negro slaves who would beat out rhythms and dance on river boats. Plantation owners called these dancers "Levee Dancers" thru out the south, these 'levee dancers' would wear shoes as well as not. Levee dancers would find fame with the minstrel shows around 1830 and would hire them to perform to the "Negro ditties" as they were called at the time, however, most of these Negro performers were actually white men who would wear face paint, (known as "Blackface") and acting or perform these dances due to racism. Eventually thru competition amongst the Minstrel show ... the black man had to paint his face, 'if' they could even get hired, which eventually they did.

There is a reference to Savion Glover as a contemporary tap dancer, choreographer, and actor. Unfortunately, the link to the site is broken. However, Time, Inc. shows us their selections of the 10 best tap dance scenes in film.

Gregory Hines soared to great heights with his abilities and then crossed over to ballet with Baryshnikov in White Knights. Let us also remember the struggles of even being accepted as a serious dancer of the ballet for Blacks. And now we have Misty Copeland has stepped into Prima Ballerina for the ABT as well as others who are changing the face of ballet. Misty Copeland isn't the only prima hitting the stage. We need to recognize the others holding that prestigious title. And there are choreographers we should know about. Alvin Ailey and Twyla Tharp aren't the only ethnic choreographers around.

  • Edited January 27, 2018 11:38 pm  by  Entrances
 

 
From: Entrances DelphiPlus Member Icon1/28/18 12:28 AM 
To: All  (13 of 37) 
 4286.13 in reply to 4286.12 

The 1950s and '60s were the dawning of a new American experience. It was the birth of the Civil Rights Movement. It was the beginning of the Muslim religion under Elijah Mohammad. It was a time when the Negro voice began to express its dissatisfaction with the status quo. Many spoke with many voices and expressions. Because the Muslims under the guidance of Mohammad vigorously and blatantly endorsed hate, there were few in the mainstream who would listen.

Out of that organization came the most vocal and the most compelling. It was Malcolm X (Shabazz). In his early days, he too advocated hate and many turned away. Then his pilgrimage to Mecca happened and his voice and message changed. In the end, he and Martin Luther King, were basically advocating for the same thing but in the language of their constituency so that the message could be understood. Because I refrained from listening to his message while he was alive, I've been very uneasy about saying anything positive or negative about the man. It's only been in the last 20 or so years that I've finally allowed myself the education of hearing what the man had to say. Amazingly, what I learned was what he described in the early '60s is what now exists in the 21st Century, more than 50 years later, which leaves me wondering whether we've actually made any progress whatsoever with regard to true equality.

Instead, they turned to figures leading the Southern Christian Leadership Conference or SCLC. From that organization came leadership by Martin Luther King, Jr., Ralph Abernathy, Bayard Rustin, and Fred Shuttlesworth.

Then came Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, SNCC for short. But it, too, became radicalized and promoted violence in order to meet its ends. It's demise was inevitable although its founding ideas were admirable. Names we should remember from that organization are Ella Baker, John Lewis, Stokely Carmichael, Hubert "Rap" Brown.

Collectively, the SCLC, SNCC, CORE, NAACP, and the National Urban League became known as the Big Five, each with a special focus for bringing equality to the land.

 

 
From: Entrances DelphiPlus Member Icon1/28/18 4:34 AM 
To: All  (14 of 37) 
 4286.14 in reply to 4286.13 

Yes, the subjects are diverse and many. There's politics both before and after the Civil War.

The first Black U.S. Senator was a free man, Hiram Revels. Reading the accounts of his work seem to point to the fact that history is, indeed, repeating itself in many ways. However, Revels was not the only Black legislature during those years immediately after the Civil War. The other members of Congress (both Senate and House of Representatives) included Joseph Rainey; also Benjamin Turner, Carlos de Large, Josiah Walls, Robert Elliott, and Jefferson Long. This image may be useful in identifying all seven. Their tenure on The Hill was arduous and lasted less than ten years. There was a long hiatus before Black representation on The Hill returned.

The first Black woman Senator was Carol Moseley Braun in 1992. Shirley Chisholm had two distinctions. She was the first Black woman in the House of Representative and served seven terms, from 1969 to 1983. She was also the first Black woman to run for President of the United States. Although mentioned in an earlier post, another person who is among firsts in politics is Yvonne Braithwaite Burke. Her words regarding the challenges women in politics face ring true with regard to women in general when it comes to breaking the glass ceiling.

  • Edited February 6, 2018 4:48 am  by  Entrances
 

 
From: Entrances DelphiPlus Member Icon1/30/18 12:34 AM 
To: All  (15 of 37) 
 4286.15 in reply to 4286.14 

As we consider issues such as civil rights and politics, we would be remiss if there were not at least a superficial consideration of the difficulties Negroes faced in becoming licensed professionals, especially in the area of law, lawyers, and judges. It was not uncommon for Blacks to be denied admission into American Bar Association (ABA) accredited schools. A natural transgression of that is the fact that they were also denied admission into the ABA as recognized and licensed professionals. Thus, the National Bar Association was formed and still exists. It was originally known as the National Negro Bar Association.

In spite of so many struggles for acceptance, women still had an even longer climb. Thus, Lutie Lytle is a name worth remembering because she was the first Negro woman to participate in a national bar association. Another woman who deserves recognition is Sadie Tanner Mosell Alexander who is noted as having been "the first Black woman to earn a doctorate degree at the University of Pennsylvania - and the first nationwide to earn a doctorate in economics. She was the first black woman to graduate from Penn's Law School, and then the first admitted to legal practice in Pennsylvania."

Sweatt v. Painter gave us the first glimmer of desegregation of schools. Mr. Sweatt applied for admission to the white University of Texas law school. In order to avoid admitting him, the school "hastily" erected a black law school on its campus. But the Supreme Court ruled that in light of the "blatant inequities", separate was not the same as equal.

Law school is a very competitive environment. The practice is to whittle down the first year admission class until there is only a certain percentage remaining who graduate. The basis for removal is usually couched in terms of poor academic performance. However, students of color and female students seem to have more than the usual difficulty in holding onto their seat until graduation. Ill health is cited as the reason why Mr. Sweatt dropped out of the University of Texas law school before the end of his second year. He pursued an alternative career with the Urban League after earning a master's degree in social work.

Through all of the struggles to be accepted, Thurgood Marshall rose in the ranks to become the first Black United States Supreme Court Associate Justice. He was succeeded by a very stormy and controversial confirmation hearing to seat Associate Justice Clarence Thomas as the second Black Justice on the Supreme Court. Interestingly, aside from their racial identification, the two are diametrically different in philosophies and style.

  • Edited January 30, 2018 1:03 am  by  Entrances
 

 
From: Entrances DelphiPlus Member Icon1/30/18 2:04 AM 
To: All  (16 of 37) 
 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 Biography.com'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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