Fact 19 : Malcolm X

Malcolm  Little, known as Malcolm X,  born in Omaha, Nebraska ,was the fourth child of eight children to a homemaker mother and a minister. His father Earl was a supporter of the Black Nationalist and with being a supporter came death threats from a white supremacy group called Black Legions. The family received numerous death threats to the point where they had to move twice by the time Malcolm was four years old. They ended up in Lansing, Michigan, which was just as bad because someone set their house on fire and it burned to the ground. When Malcolm was six years old, his father was murdered and his body was found on some trolley tracks. The tragedy broke up Malcolm’s family because his mother had a mental breakdown and was admitted to a mental institute which separated him and his siblings into foster homes.

By the time Malcolm was 15, he dropped out school and started engaging in criminal acts which landed him 6 years in prison on a burglary charge. While incarcerated he educated himself on the Nation of Islam, also known as Black Muslims, and it’s leader Elijah Muhammad; Malcolm’s siblings would visit him and talk to him about their converting to the religion as well. Muhammad’s theories were that the white society tries to keep black people from learning and achieving in the social, political and economic world. He also believed that in order for blacks to succeed, we needed to secure freedom, equality and justice by establishing our own state, separate from white people.

Towards the end on Malcolm’s imprisonment, he changed his last name form “Little” to “X” because he said Little was his slave name. He converted to the religion and traveled to Detroit, Michigan to meet with Muhammad. There, Muhammad appointed him as the minister of Temple number 7  in Harlem and Temple number 11 in Boston. H even started a newspaper column about the Nation of Islam titles Muhammad Speaks. With Malcolm having the newspaper, as well as speaking on radio stations and televisions, the number of members grew for the religion from 500 in 1952 to 30,000 in 1963. Muhammad who was a leader and Malcolm’s mentor, was caught in a secret scandal, impregnating  several women of the Islam Nation organization. Malcolm didn’t promise to keep quiet about the secret and was deeply hurt by his deception and betrayal to the religion.

 

 

photo credit: telesurftv.net

 

 

 

Shortly after the scandal, Malcolm made a bad comment about the assassination of President Kennedy and he was “silenced” by Muhammad for 90 days and was not able to speak about any events. Not too long after that Malcolm left the Nation of Islam and traveled to North Africa and the Middle East. He shared his thoughts and beliefs with different cultures and came back to the United States with a different mindset; being less angry, more optimistic about peaceful resolutions towards races American problems. When he would speak, he would talk talk to all races and not just African Americans.

 

photo credit: socialistalternatives.com

 

Since Malcolm had cut ties with Muhammad, there were undercover FBI informants who worked for the Nation that had put a hit out  on Malcolm, on behalf of Muhammad. After several attempts, at a speaking engagement, Malcolm was shot 15 times by three men and was dead at the scene. The three men were charged with his murder and he is buried in Hartsdale, New York.

The impact Malcolm made was going from an angry man to a more positive man who wanted all races to get along; which is the same thing Dr. Martin Luther King was doing, plus more but the two had different views of how the racism issues should be handled. Martin was more positive and nonviolent and before Malcolm went overseas, he was more militant and angry. It is unfortunate that the two couldn’t combine their thoughts and beliefs before Malcolm was assassinated. The two only had one meeting and it was at a news conference.  The two would have been a great team together but even separate they still got their points across and history has been made on their behalves and the will never be forgotten

 

t1largxagain.gi.jpg
photo credit: cnn.com

 

 

featured image photo credit: malcolmxnetwork.tumblr.com

sources: malcolmx.com; biography.com; history.com

 

Advertisements

Fact 18: Madame CJ Walker

Sarah Breedlove, known as Madame C.J. Walker was the first black woman billionaire in America when she created her own hair products.

At a  young age Sarah started losing some of her hair so she experimented with store bought products and her own concoctions she would mix together. She came up with a method called the “Walker System” where she would use scalp treatment,a mixture of lotion products, and a flat iron comb. Eventually she caught the attention of a hair product specialist, who was a millionaire, named Turnbo Malone. With Malone, she moved to Denver  and while there her husband Charles Walker helped her advertise her products and they made Denver her headquarters for the business. Her husband also encouraged her to change her name to something more recognizable–Madame C.J. Walker. She also had another branch in Pittsburh, Ohio that was managed by her daughter.

 

photo credit: askmeaboutmyhair.com

 

By 1910, Walker switched her headquarters to Indianpolis, Indiana and her business was known as the Madame C.J Walker Manufacturing Company. She even trained beauty culturalist and employed over 3,000 workers and they would go foor-to-door selling her products. The products were only for African American women hair. With her booming business, she profited several millon dollars and became the First Black Woman Billionaire.

She traveled to Latin American and the Caribbeans to promote her business and recruit more business women to sell her product and teach them different hair care methods. When she returned, she moved to Harlem, New York and ran her business from there. She began a Walker building before her death that was designed to be an arts center emphasizing in cultural. After she passed, it was registered as a national landmark.

 

photo credit: pinterest.com

 

 

sources: biography.com; history.com

featured image photo crediy: biography.com

 

Fact 17: First Black College for Women

On April 11, 1881, Spelman was the First College for Black Women,  It was founded by two school teachers and Baptist missionaries by the names Sophia B. Packard and Harriet E. Giles in the basement of Atlanta Friendship Baptist Church. The founders began to teach 11 women, who were motivated to learn basic education skills. At the time, the school was called Atlanta Baptist Female Seminary.

 

photo credit: spelman.edu

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The ladies met with business philanthropist John Rockefeller at a church conference, and he gave them donations to the school. With his donations, the school was able to relocate to a 9 acre site and  was re-named to Spelman Seminary in honor of Rockefeller’s wife, Laura Spelman Rockefeller and her family.

 

In 1891, Giles was the first president of the Seminary and she served for 18 years. During her time as president, 800 students enrolled and employed 30 teachers. The seminary offered high school diplomas and and college degrees.

On June 1, 1924, the seminary changed to Spelman College. Also, they were offered grants and donations from northern philanthropist, which expanded the college to 32 acres and 26 buildings.

photo credit: spelman.edu

 

The college now has 2,135 enrolled and is one of the Best Historical Black Colleges around. Famous people such as Alice Walker, writer of The Color Purple Book;  Esther Rolle,  who starred in Good Times; actress Keshia Knight Pulliam, known for her role in The Cosby Show Bernice King, daughter of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr; and actress A.J. Johnson for her roles in House Party and Baby have all attended Spelman and they are successful to this day.

 

photo credit: pinterest.com

 

 

 

 

photo credit: biography.com

 

photo credit: pinterest.com

 

photo credit: rollingout.com

 

photo credit: bizjournals.com

 

Featured image photo credit

sources: georgiaencyclopedia.org; blackamericanweb.com; u-s-history.com

 

 

 

 

Fact 16: Garrett Morgan

 

Garrett Morgan was born in Paris Kentucky, the 7th child out of 11 siblings. At the age of 14, he moved to Cincanatti, Ohio to find work and he did, working as a handyman. He also had jobs working in a sewing machine company and that caught his attention enough to obtain a patent for an improved sewing machine and he ended up opening his own repair business. He then moved to Cleveland, Ohio and opened up a tailor shop with his wife Mary, who was a seamstress.
Garrett found another hobby and that was experimenting with chemical solution in order to slow down or reduce the speed or friction created by the sewing maching needle, since the needles ran at a high speed. He had noticed that the woolen fabric hairs where straighter, so he had a light bulb moment and tried the idea on a dog’s fur and himself and he ame up with another company “G.A. Morgan Hair Refining Company and sold the cream to African Americans of course.

His next known invention was the gas mask, in which he created for safer breathing when being around gases, smoke, and other pollutants. He tried to market his invention to fire departments and eventually it became used World War 1. It protected soldiers from toxic gases. His gas mask invention earned him First Prize at the Second International Exposition of Safety and Sanitation. In order to get a reward for his invention, he had to hire a white actor to pose the inventor of his creation during his presentation at the ceremony. The reason for this was because, buyers weren’t eager to buy devices and inventions from African Americans, especially in the South, so he took different measures.

Another accomplishment he had was starting his own African American newspaper called the Cleveland Call. He also patented the T-Shaped traffic light that blinks yellow. Before his death, he was honored by the United States Government for that invention AND he was acknowledged for being a hero during a Cleveland Tunnel Explosion that he was not credited for because he was black.

Garrett was a very accomplished man and his inventions are used today in this everyday life.

 

photo credit: astrogeodata.it

 

 

Featured image photo credit: greatblackheros.com

 

Sources: biography.com; history.com

 

 

 

Grammy’s 2016

The show opened up with Taylor Swift performing a new song in a bedazzled out jump suit. LL COOL J began hosting reminiscing about past performers like Adele, Kendrick Lamar, and Lady Gaga. Kendrick Lamar won the first award of the night taking home Best Rap Album. The Weeknd graced the stage performing “Can’t feel My Face” & “In The Night”

photo credit: hollywoodlife.com

 

photo credit: independent.co.uk

One performance I really enjoyed was Ella Goulding and Andra Day. Andra’s voice is AMAZING.  A collection of artists paid homage to Lionel Richie. John Legend performed “Sunday Morning”, Demi Lavato performed “I love It”. Meghan Trainor performed “You are the sun, you are the way”, Tyrese performed “Brick House”and closing it out, the man himself, Lionel Richie performed “All Night Long”

photo credit: usmagazine.com

Ed Sheeran beat out Kendrick Lamar, Taylor Swift and Wiz Khalifa for song of the year for his hit “Thinking Out Loud.” I honestly love that song and I am glad he won. HE has a beautiful voice!

Kendrick Lamar, had an outstanding performance. He walked out with chains on his ankles and wrists, with the setting being in a jail, performing “Alright.” Some performers dressed like inmates and the others dressed in African attire. Miquel showed his face by singing Michael Jackson’s song “She’s Out of My Life.” Adele who hasn’t performed at the Grammys in four years, performed a new song for us. Meghan Trainor took home her first Grammy award for Best New Artist, and she made me cry with her accepting her award in tears. (I’m a big baby). Now Lady Gaga was the only performer to pay a tribute to David Bowie, and she did amazing as usual.

photo credit: essence.com

So the show didn’t show all the wins, mainly a lot of performances but I did some research and here is what I found out:

Kendrick Lamar: Best Rap Album; Best Rap Song “Alright”; Best Rap/Sung Collaboration “These Walls” featuring Bilal, Anna Wise, and Thundercat; Best Rap Performance; Best Music Video with Taylor Swift’s “Bad Blood”

The Weeknd: Best R&B Performance for “Earned It”; Best Urban Contemporary Album,

Taylor Swift: Album of the Year; Best Pop Vocal Album; Best Music Video “Bad Blood”,

Ed Sheeran: Best Solo Pop Performance; Song of the Year

photo credit: ew.com
photo credit: npr.org

 

It really irked me that they did not show all the winners. It was a lot of performances and honestly only cared for about 40% of them.

Kendrick had a powerful performances that dealt with today’s society of black men and his song “Alright” in general speaks about that. i am surprised that CBS, or the Grammy’s in general let him perform it that way but I AM PROUD that he did. Someone with that much power and attention should speak about real life issues.

photo credit: forbes.com

 

Well that’s all I have for ya. Let me know your thoughts about the show.

 

 

 Featured Image photo credit: revolvermag.com

Sources: google.com; rollingstones.com

 

 

 

Fact 15: First Black Prez: Barack Obama

In honor of president’s day, I’m dedicating Fact 15 to Barack Obama, the first black president. He’s been shunned on for him being a black president, only because there are a lot of racist individuals in the U.S. that don’t like black people. He’s dealt with death threats and all and still he remains confidence and while serving 2 terms.

Obama was born in Honolulu, Hawaii. His mother was born in Kansas and his father in Kenya. He graduated from Columbia College in New York City, obtaining a Political Science Degree. Two years after that, he moved to Chicago, getting a job as a community organizer for low-income communities. Three years later, he enrolled in Harvard Law School. While attending law school, he met Michelle, who was his adviser when he first started. He graduated in 1991 and moved back to Chicago working part time at University of Chicago Law School and working full time as a Civil Rights Lawyer. Him and Michelle got married in 1992 and had Malia in 1998 and Sasha in 2001. He ran for Illinois State Senate in 1996 and he won. In 2004 he ran for the United States Senate as a Democrat and he won with 52% of the vote; coincidentally he won by 52% of the vote when he won the Presidential Election in 2008 becoming THE FIRST BLACK PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES.

photo credit: blackenterprise.com

 

photo credit: nymag.com

Some of his accomplishments, while serving as the president have been:

  • Creating Affordable Care Act
  • Lowering gas prices
  • Being in charge of capturing Osama Bin Laden
  • Ended the war in Iraq
  • Expanded Hate Crime Protection

Of course he had many more accomplishments but that was just a few. He is a cool Prez. and an even better person in general. He is in touch with the new generation, for example:

  • he took a selfie with the U.S National Soccer team.
  • he joked around when he was giving a speech and had Keegan Key as his angry translator, whom he played in his show Key & Peele.
  • Obama also appeared on late night comedy television shows. That shows his sense of humor.
  • He visited some of the people of New Orleans, 10 years after Hurricane Katrina.
  • He went to a Bulls vs. Cavaliers game, just like a normal person.

 

photo credit: dailymail.co.uk

 

NOW here is why he is so coooool is the fact that he called Kanye West an asshole, now some presidents wouldn’t entertainment the celebrity business but he spoke on how he felt. Also he sang a small piece of “Amazing Grace” at a graduation ceremony, sounding soulful, as well as singing a small part of Al Green’s “Let’s Stay Together” and singing it just as soulful as Al Green. I get that “Uncle feeling” from him, like he’s part of the family.

It’s going to be a sad day to see him and his family leave the White House but it has been a pleasure to have them as thee First Black Family of the White House.

 

 

photo credit: cnn.com

 

 

Sources: washingtonmonthly.com; buzzfeed.com

 

 

Fact 14: Oscar Micheaux

 

Oscar Micheaux was born in Illinois and grew up in Great Bend, Kansas. In his early 20’s he purchased land in South Dakota and he homesteaded with white people. During that time he wrote books. His first book titled The Conquest: The Story of a Negro Pioneer in 1913. After losing his land, due to a regional drought, he moved to Sioux City, Iowa. While being there, he started his own publishing company titled The Western Book Supply Company. In 1917, he releases his second book title The Homesteader, then his third book, which was a sequel to the book, titled The Forged Note.

Oscar sold his second book by going door-to-door of white owners and some he did business with. The book was about African Americans life In the west. It was such a successful book at the time, that it was created into a movie. At first movie producers confronted him about producing the film BUT they would not let him direct the film and the money was not in his expectations, so he opted out. Oscar started selling stock to raise money for the production of the film. Once that was done, he started filming and it was released in February of 1919 in Chicago, Illinois; making his the first African American to produce a film.

 

photo credit: blackpast.org

 

His third film, Within The Gates, was a response to a movie named Birth of A Nation, directed by D.W. Griffith.  The response movie was  about worshiping the Ku Klux Kan. Oscar’s wanted to show in his film, a more truthful aspect of White Supremacy. The movie is about a biracial woman who travels up North to raise money for a school that attended black people.The movie did show the lynching of black people and an individual who is selling out his race.

Oscar made a total of 33 films and even worked with James Earl Jones father Rober Earl Jones. His last movie hebfilmed was in 1948, titled The Betrayal. He will forever be remember as “A Man Ahead of His Time.”

 

photo credit: projects.latimes.com