Posts Tagged ‘history

10
Apr
14

When history is inconvenient, rewrite it

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The above is an actual quote by Heritage Foundation president and Teabagger extraordinaire Jim DeMint, formerly of the Senate until he found a way to make more money off the rubes principled conservatives.

Yes, the slaves were eventually freed because, according to DeMint’s conflation of history, it was in the Constitution that “all men are created equal and have inalienable rights”. They were also freed due to the efforts of William Wilberforce, noted English anti-slavery campaigner, who just happened to die in 1833, thirty years before the Emancipation Proclamation and the `13th and 14th Amendments to the Constitution. Government had no role in the freeing of the slaves. It was all people power!

But, wait, why did we need amendments to the Constitution if the freedom of slaves was in it from the start? Because, of course, nothing of the kind was in the Constitution. Slavery was allowed to continue, and the slaves were counted as three-fifths of a person for purposes of the census. I’m sure they were very glad to know that not only were they not full human beings under the Constitution, but that even that diminution of their humanity allowed slave states to have an outsized influence in Congress, since those slaves counted towards apportionment of House seats.

The fact is that history doesn’t look too kindly on the successors to those slave holders. They are, rather correctly, excoriated.

Continue reading ‘When history is inconvenient, rewrite it’

28
Feb
14

Black History Month

by @NerdyWonka and @NoShock

Donna Dem’s (@NoShock) Black History Month ‘Did You Know?’ Series:

In honor of Black History Month I decided to do a “Did You Know” series for the month of February. So often we hear about well known African-Americans who have made history through the ages. In order to give a little more perspective, I wanted to share some of the back stories that are rarely ever spoken of.

Did You Know That?

Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated on friend Maya Angelou’s birthday, on April 4, 1968. Angelou stopped celebrating her birthday for years afterward, and sent flowers to King’s widow, Coretta Scott King, for more than 30 years, until Coretta’s death in 2006.

Did You Know That?

Muhammad Ali, Golden Glove champion, Olympic Gold medalist, Heavy Weight boxing champion and Presidential Medal of Freedom awardee is considered one of the greatest athletes in boxing history had a penchant of being controversial and outspoken. He didn’t disappoint when he was awarded a star on the infamous Hollywood Walk of Fame. Ali didn’t want anyone “stepping on him” so of the more than 2500 stars that have been honored he is the only celebrity whose star is not located on the sidewalk. He was installed on a wall of the Kodak Theatre in true “I am the greatest” Muhammad Ali style.

Did You Know That?

Allensworth, CA is the first all-black Californian township, founded and financed by African Americans. Created by Lieutenant Colonel Allen Allensworth in 1908, the town was built with the intention of establishing a self-sufficient city where African Americans could live their lives free of racial prejudice.

It has since been designated Colonel Allensworth State Historic Park.

Did You Know That?

Althea Gibson, the first AA to win a Tennis Grand Slam event, the French Open and then later Wimbledon was also a talented vocalist and saxophonist who appeared at the legendary Apollo Theater and on the Ed Sullivan show before starting her tennis career.

Did You Know That?

After the success of Negro Digest (similar to the Reader’s Digest but aimed to cover positive stories about the African-American community), publisher John H. Johnson in 1945 decided to create a magazine to showcase black achievement while also looking at current issues affecting African Americans. The first issue of his publication, Ebony, sold out in a matter of hours. The magazine has been published continually since the autumn of 1945.

Did You Know That?

Frederick Douglas, Black abolitionist, orator and writer and Moneta Sleet, the first African American to win a Pulitzer Prize for his iconic photograph of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s widow, Coretta Scott King, at Dr. King’s funeral and Gregory Hines, world renowned tap dancer, choreographer, actor, singer and director all share a birthday on ♥ ♥Valentine’s Day ♥ ♥ .

Did You Know That?

Carter G. Woodson, the “Father of Black History“, was an African-American historian, author, journalist and University Dean. In 1926, Dr. Woodson initiated the celebration of Negro History Week, which corresponded with the birthdays of Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln. In 1972, it was renamed Black History Week. The celebration was expanded in 1976 to include the entire month of February and today Black History Month garners support throughout the country as people of all ethnic and social backgrounds discuss the black experience.

Did You Know That?

In her early life, Coretta Scott King was as well known for her singing and violin playing as she was for her civil rights activism. The young soprano won a fellowship to the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston, Massachusetts, the city where she met future husband Martin Luther King Jr.

Did You Know That?

Rosa Parks known as “the mother of the freedom movement” because she refused to give up her seat on a segregated bus, in 1965 she moved to Detroit and worked for U.S. Representative John Conyers as a secretary and receptionist until 1988. She was a gifted speaker but would donate all of her speaking fees to charity. At the end of her life she was being financially supported by the generosity of those in her community and was the first woman to lie in state at the U.S. Capitol Rotunda.

Continue reading ‘Black History Month’

24
Aug
13

The Dream Relived & Its Lasting Legacy…

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“3000 miles to history”

“Some people pooh-poohed the idea. They didn’t think it was going to work. They thought there was going to be a lot of violence, and so our committee met every weekand we said, O.K., what do we need to move this really large group of people from all over, to bring them in? We needed public relations. We needed to have a medical corps of nurses and doctors on hand. We needed to have Porta-Pottys, arrange transportation. Once we had charter buses, regular buses coming in—what’s going to happen to those? Where are people going to park?”

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Harry Belafonte

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As a kid, there was not much I could aspire to, because the achievement of black people in spaces of power and rule and governance was not that evident, and therefore we were diminished in the way we thought we could access power and be part of the American fabric. So we who came back from this war having expectations and finding that there were none to be harvested were put upon to make a decision. We could accept the status quo as it was beginning to reveal itself with these oppressive laws still in place. Or, as had begun to appear on the horizon, stimulated by something Mahatma Gandhi of India had done, we could start this quest for social change by confronting the state a little differently. Let’s do it nonviolently, let’s use passive thinking applied to aggressive ideas, and perhaps we could overthrow the oppression by making it morally unacceptable.”

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 The bus was on fire and was filling up with smoke. -Hank Thomas

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“Separate, but equal” drinking fountains in North Carolina, photographed by Elliott Erwitt in 1950.

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“When I first met Dr. King, I was 16, and he came to speak at our high school gathering. They have kids from all over the country come as representatives of their part of the country. So there were a couple hundred of us, and we would meet in groups and discuss politics, and we were discussingnonviolence because it was a Quaker-based group. And then Dr. King came and spoke, and I was just stunned, because this man was doing what we had talked about. They had just started the more publicly seen and known boycotts in Montgomery, and I just wept through the whole thing, because it made something real to me. It was real, but I hadn’t seen an example of it in my daily life, and there it was.”

Continue reading ‘The Dream Relived & Its Lasting Legacy…’

10
Jun
13

Confessions of an Obama-supportin’ Original Baby Boomer

by Jacquelineoboomer (@JOBoomr)

I’m confident some of my “political” involvement matches that of others, at least of my generation. (Okay, I don’t presume to say that it exactly matches, but, at the very least, it is representative.)

I started noticing national politics as a (part-Irish, Catholic) teenager in high school, when JFK came on the scene (even the nuns were happy) and I’d race home from school to watch his wonderful afternoon press conferences.

Being from the Northeast (where we and so many people in this vast country lived in a white, middle-class bubble), I also had the awful awakening in the ’60s to what for decades (outside of our bubble) had led up to the Civil Rights movement – and what was still going on, most specifically in the South, suddenly publicized on TV news programs – and suffered along with the nation when the best of the best leaders of “our time” were assassinated.

All of it cut me to the core, and left an impression on my heart that remains today.

After that, many baby boomers set out to “change the world,” which, we are just finding out, we didn’t.

I never felt connected to politics after the ’60s … so many of us were crushed by all of the events that had occurred, at least one of which (the shooting of Lee Harvey Oswald by Jack Ruby) we watched live on our black and white TVs.  I remember thinking our nation was lost. At the very least, my generation was experiencing what later might have been called varying levels of human rights post-traumatic stress disorder.

Click to see the rest of the post

18
Mar
13

This and That

President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama greet guests following the Women’s History Month reception in the East Room of the White House, March 18 (Photo by Pete Souza)

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OFA

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The full speech:

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