Black History Month is Here!!

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It’s thats time  of year again where black people get recognized only for one month. Now, there is Juneteenth that should give recognize worldwide by other races other than black people but that’s a different story.

I will be giving out a black History Fact a 2-3 days a week for the following month so look out for them!!

Why Do We Wear The African Head Wrap?

Many black women wear the head wraps that get in touch with their ancestry and African Roots. Some just wear it for the fashion and when they don’t feel like doing their hair—I’m guilty of that!!!

SO here’s some history:

  • It originated in  Sub-Saharan Africa, which is South Africa.
  • The white race imposed the wearing of wraps as a badge of enslavement during slavery.
  • The stereotype black mammy came along with the head wrap, which is a black woman who is taking care of a white family, like a servant.
  • The enslaved and their ancestors have looked at the head wrap as a helmet of courage that inspired an image of the true homeland (Africa).
  • It’s a uniform of rebellion–signifying resistance to loss of self-definition. The style in which it’s worn is a cultural marker.
  • Different cultures use head wraps, but the difference and significance is black women tie the scarf at the crown of her head, significantly portraying a crown—for Queen.
  • Here are a few ways me and my friends have worn them:
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Brea C.

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Randyy G.

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I think it’s good to know why we do certain things, why we wear certain styles & brands and where these trends originate. Sometimes, people don’t care about the history of what brand they’re wearing or how it came about.  Honestly, I don’t care either, sometimes. However, since it’s Black History Month and I wear these head wraps a lot, along with several other Black Women in this style,  I just wanted to enlighten y’all and myself on the legendary head wrap!!

Sources: ThePatriot.co.zw

Shout out to my friends for being my models!!

Birth of a Nation Compared to Modern Day

I know I’m extremely late about this topic but I still feel the need to talk about it. The day that Birth of a Nation came out, I went and saw it. I just want to point out a few things that I saw.

First off, I like that the movie starts off with Nat Turner, a slave rebellion leader, learning how to read, especially the bible. When he grew up to teach it at other plantations, he noticed that the other slaves were getting mistreated terribly and also being taught the word of God..WRONG. That brings me my first point. People will tell and even teach you something wrong just because they don’t think you’ll research or look more into it. The slaves were being taught to obey their master because it was supposedly in the Bible, until Nat Turner came to them to preach the actual word of God. That showed me that when you start speaking truthfulness, people will try to shut you up and even kill you; which brings me to my next point.

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Photo credit: jet mag.com

Nat’s master was around his age and they somewhat grew up together until the little boy’s father passed away and made Nat go work in the cotton field. Since the two had known each other since they were kids, the master was a little more lenient on Nat, until he had something to prove to his fellow white owners that he can be aggressive.

When Nat went to the other plantations to preach, not only did he notice that they were being taught the wrong word of God but he saw how terrified and in bad shape the slaves were. It made him look as if he was being treated way better than them, even though he was still a slave. That’s another correlation to today’s society; just because you may not face adversity, abuse and discrimination, that doesn’t mean it doesn’t go own…like police brutality against black people.

This movie had quite a few comparisons to modern society like “Where’s your pass at, you don’t belong over here?” translating to black people getting pulled over by the police and getting asked  “where is your driver’s license [pass]? What are you doing in this neighborhood.” Another, when the slaves were fed up and wanted their freedom, equal to today’s society of US wanting to speak up and speak out about issues  like the police and even the government wanting to shut us up. As I said before, when you start speaking truthfulness (Nat’s preaching), people who are against will try to shut you up, an example is Dr. Sebi; the man who had cured AIDs and some forms of cancer and all of sudden he dies, but that’s another story.

When I was in elementary, middle and high school, I had never heard about Nat Turner. The only abolitionist that I heard of was Frederick Douglass, Harriet Tubman, and Sojourner Truth. Maybe there were more but that’s all I REALLY remember. I wonder if I or many others didn’t learn about Nat because he rebelled against slave owners and the other abolitionists didn’t (that I know of).

Analyzing my childhhood learning, it seems that we, or maybe just the people in my class, didn’t learn about Nat Turner because the individuals in charge of the curriculum (board members or whatever) didn’t want to teach us that rebelling against higher authority, per se, we’re okay. BUT back then African Americans valued their freedom so much it was crucial for them to start fighting back, just like Nat and a few others during that century.

I find it extremely odd that this film flopped during the opening weekend. The film only grossed $7.1 million and came in 6th place with other competing movies. All in all, it’s still a good film to see, because of its comparison with modern society and I encourage people to go see it.

Features photo credit:thedailybeast.com

Organized Church Burning?

Another hate crime has occurred again, against African Americans. If you don’t know, Here’s a brief story on it. Tuesday November 1, in Greenville, Mississippi; a church by the name of Hopewell MB Church was set on fire around 10:00 at night. To add fuel to fire (literally) the words “Vote Trump” was spray painted on the side of the church. I have family in Greenville and some visited there. The 110 year old church is historic. My great great grandmother attended the church, way back when. I’m sure the people in the community are upset about how this historically black church was targeted as a hate crime.

When I first read about this story, I saw it on Facebook and a reporter named Erin Pickens in Jackson, Mississippi  posted about it. In the words of one of my old classmates who commented on the article:

“What year is it ?😞” –Shelby Emerson

But really though, what year is it that people are still burning churches like it’s the 1950’s or 60’s? It wasn’t acceptable back then but it was more common, with 10 churches being set on fire between 1950-1970, that was targeted to blacks.

Just last year, a predominately black church in Charlotte, North Carolina was set on fire on June 25, 2015. A day before that fire, a church in Macon, Georgia was set on fire. Even though The Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina wasn’t burned down, it was a hate crime as well, with 9 people being shot and killed by a white supremacist.

Now to switch focuses a bit, its clear that who ever did the Greenville church fire, is a Trump supporter. Even though Trump may not have organized this, it’s making his campaign look bad due to the crime being committed in his honor, so to speak. He could have organized this for more publicity. WHO KNOWS, Hillary could have organized it to make Trump look bad. Let’s face it, both candidates who are running for presidency aren’t saints, which brings me to my next blog post: Still Vote. Be on the look out for that soon.

But really…when will the hate crimes stop? Not even just against blacks, but Latinos, Hispanics, Muslims, etc. Especially doing a hate crime to a church!!! That’s a place of worship, no matter what the specific religion is.

Well this is just one of many rants. Let me know your thoughts!!

 

Danii out! ✌🏾️✌🏾️

 

 

photo credit: heavy.com

Harriet Tubman: New Face on the $20 Bill

BIG history was announced today. According to CNN, U.S Treasurer Jack Lew confirmed that Harriet Tubman will be the new face on the FRONT of the 20 dollar bill.  She is the first African American to be on any currency, and to add to that, she’s a woman as well.

Former President Andrew Jackson will still be on the 20 dollar bill but he’s going on the back. How ironic is it that Jackson was a slave owner and he’s sharing a dollar bill with a former slave?  According to officials, they didn’t want to completely remove Jackson from the bill because of his contributions to American History. He opened up the White House to the American people back then, but clearly black people weren’t invited so I guess it wasn’t open to ALL American people.

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credit: glee wikia

Other changes to the dollars bills are:  Alexander Hamilton staying on the front of the 10 dollar bill but on the back will be a montage of women such as Lucretia Mott, women’s rights activist; Sojourner Truth, Civil Rights and Women Rights Activist; Susan B Anthony, feminist and social reformer; Elizabeth Cady Stanton, social activist; and Alice Paul, American suffragist. The new bill is expected to start circulating in 2020. As far as the five dollar bill goes, President Abraham Lincoln is going to continue to stay on the front, and on the back will feature the Lincoln Memorial because of its historic events held there. To add to that, Martin Luther King Jr will be alongside with the Memorial.

 

Here’s some memes that folks put on social showing their humor and excitement of the announcement:

 

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Danii Gold out!!!

Featured image photo credit: bbc.com
Sources: cnn.money.com

 

 

Fact 21 : Dr. Martin Luther King Jr

Last but not least, and I did save the best for last, fact 20 goes to the courageous Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Martin was born in Atlanta, Georgia as Michael Luther King Jr, later on he changed his name to Martin. He graduated high school at the young age of 15 and started attending Morehouse College. He obtained his Bachelor’s degree in Sociology in 1948, then went on to Crozer Theological Seminary in Pennsylvania, where he was valedictorian of his class in 1951. After his education there, he went to Boston University to obtain his Masters degree, then his doctorate’s degree, which he completed in 1955 at age 25. While at Boston, he met his future wife Coretta Scott. As he was finishing up his doctorate, he followed in his father and grandfather’s footsteps and became a pastor at a church called Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery, Alabama. Also during that time, he became a member of the executive committee of the NAACP.

photo credit: cameronjamesmind.wordpress.com

In 1955, the local NAACP wanted to challenge the Montgomery bus policy and they had one case but due to the circumstances, they did not want to subject the 15 year old girl who was also pregnant and had refused to give up her seat. Then another opportunity came about when Rosa Parks had refused to give up her seat to a white man. Since Martin was the leader of the nonviolent demonstration, this was his first case to try out. He and the president of the local NAACP organized a city wide bus boycott. This meant that people would either carpool with others to get to their destination or even walk. After 382 of boycotting and the local transportation companies losing money, the Supreme Court ruled that “racial segregation in transportation was unconstitutional.”

photo credit: denverlibrary.org

 

Shortly after the ruling, Martin was elected to become president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. This group helped conduct nonviolent protests in order to promote civil rights reform. The group also tried to press the issue on voting rights by getting African Americans registered to vote. As the leader, Martin traveled all over the United States and spoke over 2500 times to crowds where there was social injustice and discrimination. Martin had protested all over and was arrested a few times because of not leaving businesses.

One of his biggest protests was in Birmingham, Alabama in 1963; that caught attention nationwide because pictures were taken , and it was brutal; blacks were assaulted by dogs and water hoses. Martin, along with several other protesters were arrested and that is what prompted his “Letter From a Birmingham Jail.” Later that year Martin organized a massive protest in Washington, D.C combined with other organizations asking for peaceful change. The march was also for equal jobs and freedom and it drew over 200,000 people. This “March on Washington” is where Martin delivered his famous “I have a Dream” speech.

photo credit: history.com

 

Martin was named “Man of the Year” by Time magazine in 1963 and the following year, he was the youngest person to win a Nobel Peace Prize. That same year, another accomplishment that Martin was part of was Congress passing the Civil Rights Acts; without Martin protesting around the country, it was have prolonged. The Civil Right Acts eliminated legal racial segregation in the United States. The act made it illegal to discriminate against blacks or any other minorities in education, transportation, hiring and public accommodations. In 1965, Congress also passed the Voting Rights Act, that eliminated barriers that blacks had to overcome just to vote. That same year, another march in Selma led to violence when protesters marched from Selma and attempted to march to Montgomery but they were stopped at the Edmond Pettus bridge by police officials and were attacked. The attacked was televised and the world saw it. Martin was not there but for the future marches, he planned to be in attendance.

photo credit: history.com

 

On April 4, 1968 Martin’s life was taken  when he was outside his hotel room on a balcony, when James Earl Ray shot his with a stray bullet and killed him. His murder angered a lot of people and even sparked a few riots. His killer was sentenced to 99 years in prison and he died in 1998 while there.

photo credit: clarionledger.com

 

Martin’s courageous acts and leadership skills have helped shaped America today. Even though, us African Americans still deal with racism and discrimination, it isn’t nearly as bad as it was when Martin was alive. He will forever be memorized as a leader of nonviolent demonstrations, a pastor, an activist, an educated black man, a Nobel Peace Prize winner and plenty more titles. He also has plaques and even a monument of himself, signifying his importance.

 

photo credit: iyl.bit

 

photo credit: abcnews.go.com

 

sources: nobleprize.org; thekingcenter.org; biography.com

 

 

Fact 20: The Black Panther Party

The Black Panther Party was founded in 1966 in Oakland, California by Bobby Seale and Huey Newton. The group was made for self-defense to patrol and protect blacks neighborhoods from police brutality. Their inspiration of starting the group was Malcolm X, who embraced economic and social issues. Malcolm had such a revolutionary philosophical, militant stance that after his death Huey and Bobby were motivated to start the Black Panther Party.

photo credit: rogerebert.com

Ways that the Panthers were helpful is, they organized many community programs that provided health clinics, shoes and breakfast for children. They had a 10 point program which were:

  • “We want freedom. We want power to determine the destiny of our black community.”
  • “We want full employment of our people.”
  • “We want an end to the robbery by the Capitalists of our Black Community.”
  • “We want decent housing, fit for shelter of human beings.”
  • “We want education for our people that exposes the true nature of this decadent American society. We want education that teaches us our true history and our role in the present day society.”
  • “We want all black men to be exempt from the military service.”
  • “We want an immediate end to police brutality and murder of black people.”
  • “We want freedom for all black men in federal, state, county and city jails and prisons.”
  • “We want all black people when brought to trial to be tried in court by a jury of their peer group or people from their Black communities, as written by the U.S Constitution.”
  • “We want land, bread, housing, education, clothing, justice and peace.”

 

They had a belief that economic exploitation was the root of all oppression in  U.S at the time. The Panthers caught a lot attention because of the stern beliefs and it even caught the eye of the FBI director  J. Edgar Hoover. He had his own vendettas against black leadership, including Dr. Martin Luther King. Hoover considered the party a BIG threat to national security and had planned on shutting them down but he didn’t. The party branched out to 45 chapters around the U.S and  they had the support of those branches all over the U.S.

photo credit: blackpast.org

 

The Black Panther Party had a rivalry with the U.S. Organization which led to a shootout, killing four of the Panther members. They also had officer related shootings that resulted in the death of three members. The Panthers had quite a few altercations but overall their purpose was to protect their communities.

They have inspired, more recently the Black Lives Matter movement, which is a movement that campaigns against violence towards black people; and you know the rest. So Malcolm X inspired the Black Panther Party, which inspired Black Lives Matter and who knows where else thatb can lead to! 🙂

photo credit: theatlantic.com

 

 

 

Sources: socialalternatives.org; britannica.com

featured image photo credit: zinnedproject.com