Black History Month: Dorothy Dandridge

Dorothy Dandridge was a singer, dancer and actress from the 1930s through the 50s . She got into the show business alongside her sister Vivian. In the 50’s she scored the leading role in Carmen, in which she was nominated for Best Actress at the Academy Award (The Oscars). Yes, Hattie McDaniel was the first black woman EVER to be nominated for an Academy Award for her supporting role in Gone with the Wind, and the first black woman to WIN that award; but Dorothy Dandridge was the first black woman to be nominated for a leading role. (Not knocking Ms. Hattie McDaniel)

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Even though Dorothy didn’t win, she did set the standard that African American women can be nominated for a leading role. She even turned down a few roles that portrayed black people in a bad light. She declined roles such as slaves, savages and servants that were only offered to black people. 

In 1954, Dorothy was featured on Life magazine AND she was the first BLACK woman to be on the cover.

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Ms. Dandridge definitely set the bar when it came to roles during that time and she should be remembered as a trailblazer.

 

Black History Month: Happy Birthday Huey Newton

Huey Newton was one of the founders of the Black Panther Party, alongside Bobby Seale, in 1966. The purpose of starting the organization was in response to police brutality against black people. The Black Panther Party wanted to demonstrate the need for black self-reliance. Read more about it here –> Black Panther Party Facts

Huey did live a life of crime but his accomplishments within the Black Panther Party overshadowed his wrongdoings, such providing social services to the community like health clinics and free meals for children.

 

Huey P. Newton | Zinn Education Project
zinnedproject.org

 

Huey even went back to school to obtain his Ph.D in social philosophy. His life was cut short when in 1989 he was killed in Oakland, California. His teachings will be remembered and the Black Panther Party is forever part of history.

 

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Black History Month

‘Tis the month that black people get the most recognition of their greatness. When you’re black, you celebrate the success of other black people all the time but when you aren’t, you mainly celebrate US in the month of February (and award shows sometimes ).

This month I’ll be highlighting some black history facts to educate you all, as well as others so be on the look out. ✊🏽

Black Panther Greatness

Featured image credit: qz.com

Talk about GREATNESS! Did you know that Black Panther made $218 MILLION over the weekend all over the country? Andddd it’s Black History Month! That some Black Excellence. I’m so proud of the movie’s debut success!

I went to see Black Panther on Friday, just like every other black person did this weekend and I enjoyed it of course. I will be the first to say that I’m not a Marvel fan….at all!! I’m not into superhero movies like that but I just HAD to see this film because:

  • Black director, Ryan Coogler
  •  Black film
  • Dope cast; Chadwick Boseman, Lupita Nyong’O, Danai Gurira, Daniel Kaluuya, Angela Bassett
  • And last but not least–Michael B Jordan.

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Spoiler Alert: I LOVED the story line and it made me think—maybe there is a whole different galaxy or planet or even a different country that has the advancements of technology that Wakanda had. The movie seemed more present day, especially with the settings of being in South Korea and London. I LOVED that there was a family tie between T’Challa (Boseman) and Killmonger (M.B. Jordan) and fighting for the throw because of a bad grudge being held.

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credit: collider.com

Also, I loved that Black Women played a significant part in the movie, from his sister being helpful with her technology knowledge by helping him drive a car while she was still stationed in Wakanda, to T’Challa being in South Korea. Also, Okoye being his right hand (wo)-man by helping him fight and using her sword power (like she did in Walking Dead). Also, Nakia was his eye candy but also a great spy working along to save others lives before T’Challa walked back into her life.

You hear a lot of one-man band superheroes but never a lot of black women superheros. There are Black Women Superheroes from the Marvel series like Storm from X-Men, Misty Knight, and Monica Rambeau, and maybe this movie will be the start of trying to make movies about them.

I’m just sooooo excited that black people mainly, but all races in general came out to A) support a Black Film, B) a Black director, C) a Marvel film that brings people from all races out…to support a black film–Black Panther.

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credit: entertainmentweekly.com

Fun Facts about the director: Ryan Coogler:

  • He directed his first film at age 27, which was Fruitvale Station
  • He directed his second film at age 29, which was Creed
  • Third film he directed was Black Panther, at age 31.

 

If you haven’t seen the movie….see it! If you have seen it…see it just ONE MORE TIME lol–for the culture–for the young directors like Ryan Coogler making a come up!!

Danii Gold out!

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 13: First Black owned Television show

The first black owned television station was WGPR-TV Detroit. It was founded by William Venoid Banks and it meant programming targeted to the black audience. Banks was a minister, attorney, and member of The International Free and Accepted Modern Masons (IFAMM), in which he founded. He also controlled Detroit’s first black owned radio station, called WGPR-FM.

photo credit: dbusiness.com

 

It all got started when Banks sat down with President Richard Nixon, and they started conversing about blacks involvement in the broadcasting field. Nixon told him that he needed to obtain a Federal Communications Commission License. With that license you are required to have enough fund to run the station for a whole year.Since Banks was the founder of the IFAMM, he used that money from member’s monthly subscriptions to start his radio station (WGPR-FM), but with purchasing the television station, he sold 100 acres of the Mason’s land in the Florida Gold Coast, with amounted to $750,000. They owned a hotel as well, that they sold.

photo credit: dbusiness.com

 

When he had the funds to start the station, it went live on September 29, 1975. The station aired locally produced shows such as Big City News, that showed success stories The Scene, which was a dance show that showed the city’s musical and dance talents.

photo credit freep.com

 

In the early 1980’s the station failed to attract an audience outside of Detroit, so another station took over the scene targeting blacks–B.E.T. By the 1990’s, WGPR-TV only showed reruns and infomercials on the station. By 1995, the station was sold to CBS but Banks still wanted the station to be targeted to blacks but eventually the name was changed to WWJ-TV, and they targeted a general audience, as you can see today.

 

featured image photo credit: geantav.hol.es

Sources: blackpast.org; dbusiness.com