Month: June 2018

June 30 2010- Recy Corbitt Taylor

GM – FBF – Today, I want to share a story with you, Recy Corbitt Taylor was a 24-year-old sharecropper who was gang-raped in September 1944 in Abbeville, Alabama. Her attackers were local white teenagers who were never indicted, despite the efforts of Rosa Parks (then an investigator for the NAACP), a nationwide campaign that brought attention to this miscarriage of justice and even a confession from one assailant. The case received renewed public attention with a 2010 book, a 2017 documentary and when Taylor was mentioned by Oprah Winfrey during her acceptance speech for the Cecil B. DeMille Award at the 2018 Golden Globes. The movie comes on your stations next week July 2nd. Please watch and share with your babies.

Remember – “The people who done this to me … they can’t do no apologizing. Most of them is gone.” – Recy Taylor

Today in our History – June 30, 2010 – Taylor’s case, despite the involvement of Rosa Parks and the NAACP, faded from public attention as the 1940s progressed. But with the publication of At the Dark End of the Street: Black Women, Rape, and Resistance — a New History of the Civil Rights Movement from Rosa Parks to the Rise of Black Power (June 30, 2010), historian Danielle L. McGuire brought fresh attention to Taylor’s ordeal. McGuire was able to unearth primary documents and linked activist work on Taylor’s case to the Civil Rights Movement.

Director Nancy Buirski read McGuire’s book, which inspired her to make the documentary The Rape of Recy Taylor (2017). The movie contains interviews with Taylor, her brother and sister, as well as talks with family members of the accused rapists, to shine a light on both the attack and what caused such a miscarriage of justice.

Taylor’s attack began on the night of September 3, 1944, as she was walking home from a church revival meeting with two companions. A car that had been following the threesome stopped, and the occupants — seven white teenagers armed with guns and knives — accused Taylor of an attack that had taken place earlier in the day. Held at gunpoint, Taylor had no choice but to get into the car.

Instead of taking her to the police station, as they’d said, the teens took Taylor to a secluded area. Though she begged for mercy, they forced her to undress, and at least six raped her for several hours (one kidnapper would later say he did not participate in the sexual assault because he knew Taylor). Taylor said they threatened to kill her if she spoke out about what had happened before leaving her blindfolded at the side of a lonely road.

Taylor’s father, who’d been informed of the abduction, found her making her way home. Despite the warning, Taylor related details of the attack to her father, husband and the sheriff. She couldn’t name her rapists, but told the sheriff the car she’d been in was a green Chevrolet; he recognized the vehicle and brought Hugo Wilson to Taylor, who identified him as one of her assailants.

Wilson named the others who’d been with him: Herbert Lovett, Dillard York, Luther Lee, Willie Joe Culpepper, Robert Gamble and Billy Howerton (Howerton was the one who said he didn’t take part in the rape). However, Wilson also claimed that they had paid Taylor to have sex. (Though Taylor was known to be a diligent worker and dedicated churchgoer, the sheriff and others would eventually make false claims that Taylor had been jailed and had a history of venereal disease.)

Taylor’s house was soon firebombed, so she, her husband and daughter had to move in with her father and younger siblings. To protect his family, Taylor’s father maintained an armed vigil at night and slept during the day.

Rosa Parks (a victim of attempted rape herself who documented such crimes against black women) came from the Montgomery chapter of the NAACP to talk with Taylor. The official investigation didn’t even include a lineup for Taylor to try to identify her attackers. The grand jury met in early October, but only Taylor and her associates testified, and no indictments were issued.

Parks and other activists formed the “Committee for Equal Justice for Mrs. Recy Taylor” to bring attention to the case. There were committee branches in multiple states, and well-known people such as W.E.B. DuBois, Mary Church Terrell and Langston Hughes got involved. Alabama Governor Chauncey Sparks received numerous telegrams, postcards and petitions calling for justice.

An article in the Chicago Defender highlighted how Taylor and her husband had been offered money to “forget” the rape. And some writers drew attention to the fact that America was fighting fascism abroad during World War II while taking no steps to ensure that every citizen at home would be treated fairly and equally under the law.

Governor Sparks did order a private investigation; Willie Joe Culpepper even corroborated Taylor’s version of her ordeal, admitting, “She was crying and asking us to let her go home to her husband and baby.” Yet a second grand jury still failed to provide indictments in February 1945 (like the first, the members were all white and male, and some had family connections to the accused).

Sadly, after Taylor’s attack there was a consistent supply of new crimes — from black women who were sexually assaulted to black men lynched following unfounded accusations of sexual crimes — to draw activist attention, and her case faded from public view.

With help from Rosa Parks, Taylor spent a few months in Montgomery before returning to an area filled with people who’d contributed to her case passing without justice. Taylor ended up moving to Florida in 1965, where she found work picking oranges. She remained in Florida until her health worsened and relatives brought her back to Abbeville.

Through the years, the memory of her assault lingered for Taylor. But she was thankful she hadn’t been killed, telling NPR’s Michel Martin in 2011, “They was talking about killing me … but the Lord is just with me that night.”
Recy Corbitt Taylor (1919-2017). Make it a champion day!

June 29 1894- William J. Simmons

GM- FBF – Today, I am reflecting back to when I was a public school (High School History) teacher. Trenton, Ewing, Red Bank and Franklin Twp, N.J. I am proud that 427 students who went on to college on scholarships. I am now going to tell you about another great educator who had a college named after him. Enjoy!

Remember – “When one takes the time to invest in education past their high school learning years, they will place themselfs
in the oppertunity for a better econimc life.” – Dr. William J. Simmons

Today in our History – June 29, 1894 – William J. Simmons is born. Who will become an educator and have a College named for his dedication to young people learning.

William J. Simmons was an ex-slave who became Simmons College of Kentucky’s second president (1880–1890) and for whom the school eventually was named. Simmons greatly developed Howard University’s teacher training programs when he took over the school. In addition, he was a writer, journalist, and educator. In 1886 he became president of the American National Baptist Convention, one of the organizations that would merge to form the National Baptist Convention, USA. He was elected president of the Colored Press Association for his work as editor of the American Baptist, a newspaper in Louisville, Kentucky.

Rev. Dr. William J. Simmons was born a slave in Charleston, South Carolina, to Edward and Esther Simmons on June 29, 1849. While William was young, his Mother fled slavery with her three children, William and his two sisters Emeline and Anna. They initially landed in Philadelphia, PA, and was met by an uncle named Alexander Tardiff, who housed them, fed them and educated the children. Due to stemming pressures from slave traders, Tardiff relocated his extended family to Roxbury, Pennsylvania, Chester, PA, and ultimately settled down in Bordentown, New Jersey. Tardiff had received an education from the future Bishop Daniel Payneand undertook to give Simmons and his siblings an education on that basis. From 1862 to 1864 William served as an apprentice to a dentist.

He served in the Union Army during the US Civil War, enlisting September 15, 1864 and serving a one-year term. He took part in the siege of Petersburg, the Battle of Hatcher’s Run, and the Battle of Appomattox Court House and was present at the surrender of Confederate General Robert E. Lee. After the war, he returned to dentistry. In 1867, he converted to Baptist and joined a White Baptist church in Bordentown that was pastored by Reverend J. W. Custis. The congregation helped him through college. He attended Madison University (now Colgate University, graduated in 1868), Rochester University, and Howard University, from which he graduated with a bachelor’s degree in 1873. As a student, he worked briefly in Washington D.C. at Hillsdale School. In Hillsdale, he boarded with Simithsonian Institute employee, Solomon G. Brown. After graduating he moved to Arkansas on the advice of Horace Greeley to become a teacher there, but returned to Hillsdale soon after where he taught until June 1874.

The following summer, he married Josephine A. Silence on August 25, 1874 and moved to Ocala, Florida. The couple had seven children, Josephine Lavinia, William Johnson, Maud Marie, Amanda Moss, Mary Beatrice, John Thomas, and Gussie Lewis. In Florida, he invested in land to grow oranges, became principal of Howard Academy’s teacher training program and served as the pastor of a church, deputy county clerk and county commissioner. He campaigned for the Republican Rutherford B. Hayes. He served there until 1879. He was ordained that year and moved to Lexington, Kentucky where he pastored the First Baptist Church. The following year, he became the second president of the Kentucky Normal and Theological Institute, which he worked for a decade. The school was eventually renamed the State University of Louisville and later to Simmons College of Kentucky after Simmons due to schools progression under his tenure. He was succeeded in 1894 at Simmons College by Charles L. Purce.

In Kentucky he was elected for several years the chairman of the State Convention of Colored Men. On September 29, 1882, he was elected editor of the journal, the American Baptist where he criticized the failures of both political parties to support blacks in their civil rights and progress. He was also president of the American Baptist Company. in 1886 he was elected over T. Thomas Fortune to president of the Colored Press Association, having lost to W. A. Pledger the previous year. In 1883, Simmons organized the Baptist Women’s Educational Convention, and in 1884, Blanche Bruce appointed Simmons commissioner for the state of Kentucky at the 1884 World’s Fair in New Orleans. In 1886, he organized and was elected president of the American National Baptist Convention.[The convention was a call for African American Baptist unity and was also led by Richard DeBaptiste and featured notable presentations by Solomon T. Clanton and James T. White. In 1889 in Indianapolis, Simmons was a leader at the American National Baptist Convention and wrote a resolution to provide aid for blacks fleeing violence in the South and moving to the North.

Simmons received an honorary master’s degree from Howard University in 1881 and an honorary Doctorate degree from Wilberforce University in 1885. In 1887, he published a book entitled Men of Mark: Eminent, Progressive and Rising, which highlights the lives of 172 prominent African-American men, while serving as the school’s president. He was working on a sister edition of the title that would highlight the lives and accomplishments of prominent pre-1900 African-American women, but unfortunately died before its completion. He died on October 30, 1890, in Louisville, Kentucky. Research more about HBCU’s and share with your babies. Make it a champion day!

June 28 1900- Harriet E. Wilson

GM – FBF – I know that most of us have read or listened to an Ida B. Wells speach but did you know that their was a black lady auther long before her? Today, I will share that story with you. Enjoy!

Remember – “I wrote the book to tell my story and what I went through growing up in this new land. Now they want me to go to different cities speaking about it. I don’t do that good. I hear tell that a young negro girl is doing that, I hope one day I can listen to her speak about lynchings and civil rights. They say she is really good. God bless that child”

Today in our History – June 28, 1900 – Harriet E. Wilson (The first Black female to publish an article in the United States dies)

Harriet E. Wilson is considered the first female African-American novelist, as well as the first African American of any gender to publish a novel on the North American continent. Her novel Our Nig, or Sketches from the Life of a Free Black was published anonymously in 1859 in Boston, Massachusetts; and sunk into literary obscurity until 1983 when Henry Louis Gates republished the novel and documented it as the first African-American novel published in the United States.

The novel’s discovery forced literary historians to restructure the chronology of Black literature, displacing William Wells Brown from his previously accepted position as the first African American novelist. His Clotel: or, The President’s Daughter: A Narrative of Slave Life in the United States was originally published in London in 1853, but did not appear in the United States until 1864, when it was published in Boston as Clotelle: A Tale of the Southern States. Also, the novel, The Bondwoman’s Narrative by Hannah Crafts, published for the first time in 2002, may have been written before Wilson’s book,
Born Harriet E. “Hattie” Adams in Milford, New Hampshire, Wilson was the mixed-race daughter of Margaret Ann (or Adams) Smith, a washerwoman of Irish ancestry, and Joshua Green, an African-American “hooper of barrels.” After her father died when she was young, her mother abandoned her at the farm of Nehemiah Hayward Jr., a well-to-do Milford farmer “connected to the Hutchinson Family Singers”. Wilson’s mother died aged twenty-seven in Boston, after a violent and intoxicated quarrel with her Black partner. As an orphan, Wilson was bound by the courts as an indentured servant to the Hayward family until the age of 18. They overworked her mercilessly and ruined her health.

Wilson struggled to make a living after gaining her freedom. She married twice and her only son died at age seven in the poor house, where she had placed him while trying to survive as a widow.

On October 6, 1851, Wilson married Thomas Wilson in Milford. Their son, George Mason Wilson, was likely born in May or June of 1852. George, who was probably their first and only child was born at Goffstown, New Hampshire. As Gates explained in his introduction to the second edition of Our Nig, “One of the letters appended to Our Nig states that, abandoned by her husband, the author…was forced…to go to the ‘County House,’ where she gave birth to a child.”After the death of her husband, Wilson married a French apothecary named John Gallatin Robinson, who was 18 years her junior.
Wilson wrote only one novel, Our Nig. On August 18, 1859, she copyrighted it, and deposited a copy of the novel in the Office of the Clerk of the U.S. District Court of Massachusetts.

On September 5, 1859, the novel was published anonymously by George C. Rand and Avery, a publishing firm in Boston. She wrote her novel in an attempt to raise enough money to be reunited with her child. In her preface, Wilson wrote, “In offering to the public the following pages, the writer confesses her inability to minister to the refined and cultivated, the pleasure supplied by abler pens. It is not for such these crude narrations appear. Deserted by kindred, disabled by failing health, I am forced to some experiment which shall aid me in maintaining myself and child without extinguishing this feeble life.” Toward that end, Wilson asked, “I sincerely appeal to my colored brethren universally for patronage, hoping that they will not condemn this attempt of their sister to be erudite, but rally around me a faithful band of supporters and defenders.”
Unfortunately, the hoped-for patronage did not materialize, and tragically, George died of fever less than six months after her novel was published.

By the 1860s, Wilson had come to be known as “the colored medium” and was available for seances and readings. She was associated with the Spiritualist church and was listed in the Banner of Light as a trance reader and lecturer. A newspaper reported her lecturing on the topic throughout New England, including the towns of Lynn, Stoughton, Stoneham, and Worcester, Massachusetts and Hartford, Connecticut. One report counts an audience of 2,500 at one of these gatherings. Wilson also delivered lectures on labor reform, and children’s education. Although the texts of her talks have not survived, newspaper reports imply that she often spoke about her life experiences.

When she was not pursuing Spiritualistic activities, Wilson was employed as a nurse and healer (“clairvoyant physician”). For nearly 20 years from 1879 to 1897, she was the housekeeper of a boarding house in a two-story dwelling at 15 Village Street (near the present corner of Dover [now East Berkeley Street] and Tremont Streets in the South End.) She rented out rooms, collected rents and provided basic maintenance.

Despite Wilson’s active and fruitful life after Our Nig, there is no evidence that she ever wrote anything else for publication.
On June 28, 1900, Hattie E. Wilson died in the Quincy Hospital in Quincy, Massachusetts. She was buried in the Cobb family plot in that town’s Mount Wollaston Cemetery. Her plot number is listed as 1337, “old section.” Reserch more about woman authers and share with your babies. Make it a champion day!.

June 27 1972- Patricia Roberts Harris

GM – FBF – Today I will share with you a person who has broken the glass ceiling in everything that she had faced. Women are rising in the political process.Patricia Roberts Harris, the first African American U.S. Ambassador is named permanent chairman of the Democratic National Convention. She will later be appointed Secretary of Health and Human Services and Secretary of Housing and Urban development. June 27, 1972 Enjoy!

Temember – “Senator, I am one of them. You do not seem to understand who I am. I am a black woman, the daughter of a dining-car worker … If my life has any meaning at all, it is that those who start out as outcasts can wind up as being part of the system.” – Patricia Roberts Harris.

Today in our History – Junen 27, 1972 –

Patricia Roberts Harris (May 31, 1924 – March 23, 1985) served in the American administration of President Jimmy Carter as United States Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, and United States Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare (which was renamed the Secretary of Health and Human Services during her tenure). She was the first African American woman to serve in the United States Cabinet, and the first to enter the line of succession to the Presidency. She previously served as United States Ambassador to Luxembourg under President Lyndon B. Johnson, and was the first African-American woman to represent the United States as an ambassador.
In 1971, Harris was named to the board of directors of IBM. In addition she served on the boards of Scott Paper Co. and Chase Manhattan Bank.

She continued making an impact on the Democratic Party when, in 1972, she was appointed chairman of the credentials committee and a member-at-large of the Democratic National Committee in 1973. A testimony to her effectiveness and her commitment to excellence came when President Jimmy Carter appointed her to two cabinet-level posts during his administration.

Harris was appointed to the cabinet of President Jimmy Carter when he took office in 1977. At her confirmation hearing, Senator William Proxmire questioned whether Harris came from a background of too much wealth and power to be an effective Secretary of Housing and Urban Development. Harris responded “I am a black woman, the daughter of a Pullman (railroad) car waiter. I am a black woman who even eight years ago could not buy a house in parts of the District of Columbia. I didn’t start out as a member of a prestigious law firm, but as a woman who needed a scholarship to go to school. If you think I have forgotten that, you are wrong.” Once confirmed, Harris became the first African American woman to enter the Presidential line of succession, at number 13. Between 1977 and 1979 she served as Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), and in 1979, she became Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare, the largest Cabinet agency.

After the Department of Education Organization Act came into force on May 4, 1980, the educations functions of the Department of Health, Education and Welfare were transferred to the Department of Education. Harris remained as Secretary of the renamed Department of Health and Human Services until Carter left office in 1981. Because the department had merely changed names, as opposed to disbanding with new department being created, she did not face Senate confirmation again after the change.
Harris unsuccessfully ran for Mayor of Washington, D.C. in 1982, losing the September 14 primary election to incumbent mayor Marion Barry .That year, she was appointed a full-time professor at the George Washington National Law Center.In 1967, Lord Snowdon photographed Harris for Vogue at the United Nations. In her spare time, Harris enjoyed cooking and baking.

Patricia married William Beasley Harris in 1955 after only three months of dating. Her husband William died in November of 1984. She died of breast cancer at age 60 on March 23, 1985. She was interred at the Rock Creek Cemetery in Washington, D.C.

Patricia Roberts Harris, the first African American U.S. Ambassador is named permanent chairman of the Democratic National Convention. She will later be appointed Secretary of Health and Human Services and Secretary of Housing and Urban development. June 27, 1972. Research more about women in politic in real time and share with your babies. Make it a champion day!

June 26 1956- Bernard Anthony Harris Jr.

GM – FBF – As a baby boomer, I remember President John F. Kennedy telling the world that American will be on the moon by the end of the decade and we were on July 20, 1969. This morning let me tell you the story of the first Black man to take a walk in space. Enjoy!

Remember – “To be considered a part of the NASA team was one of the most thrilling events of my life” – Bernard A. Harris Jr.

Today in our History – June 26, 1956 – Bernard Anthony Harris Jr. is born and will grow up loving space exploration.

Bernard Anthony Harris Temple, Texas is a former NASA astronaut.

On February 9, 1995, Harris became the first African American to perform an extra-vehicular activity (spacewalk), during the second of his two Space Shuttle flights.
Harris first became interested in being an astronaut watching the Apollo 11 mission on TV in 1969. Selected by NASA in January 1990, Harris became an astronaut in July 1991, and qualified for assignment as a mission specialist on future Space Shuttle flight crews.

He served as the crew representative for Shuttle Software in the Astronaut Office Operations Development Branch. Harris was assigned as a mission specialist on STS-55, Spacelab D-2, in August 1991. He flew on board Columbia for ten days, (26 April 1993 – 6 May 1993); on the mission the Shuttle reached one year of accumulated flight time. Harris was part of the payload crew of Spacelab D-2, conducting a variety of research in physical and life sciences. During this flight, Harris logged over 239 hours and 4,164,183 miles in space.

His second mission was as the Payload Commander on STS-63 ( February 2, 1995 – February 11, 1995), the first flight of the new joint Russian-American Space Program. Mission highlights included the first rendezvous (but not docking) with the Russian space station Mir and retrieval of Spartan 204 satellite. During the flight, Harris became the first African-American to walk in space, while fellow astronaut Michael Foale became the first British-born spacewalker. (It was also on this flight that Eileen Collins became the first female Shuttle pilot.) On this mission, Harris logged 198 hours, 29 minutes in space, completed 129 orbits, and traveled over 2.9 million miles.

Harris left NASA in April 1996, but has continued research.[citation needed] He served as Vice President of SPACEHAB, Inc., and innovative space commercialization company, where he directed the company’s space science business. He also served as Vice President of Business Development for Space Media, Inc., an Informatics company, establishing an e-commerce initiative that is now part of the United Nations’ education program.

In the late 1990s , Harris served as a member of the Board of Regents of the Texas Tech University System.
In 1998, he founded The Harris Foundation, a Houston, Texas-based non-profit organization, whose stated mission is “to invest in community-based initiatives to support education, health and wealth. THF supports programs that empower individuals, in particular minorities and other economically and/or socially disadvantaged, to recognize their potential and pursue their dreams.”

In 2008, he appeared in Microsoft’s “I’m a P.C.” ad campaign. Harris also gave a keynote speech at the Exxon Mobil Texas State Science and Engineering Fair.

In 2009, he was elected Vice President of the American Telemedicine Association. He was elected President of the American Telemedicine Association in 2011, serving for a one-year term that ended in 2012.

In 2010, he was part of the Dream Tour where he travelled to over 30 schools around the country.

Currently, Dr. Harris is President and Chief Executive Officer of Vesalius Ventures, Inc., a venture capital accelerator, that invests in early-stage companies in Medical Informatics and Technology. Reserch more about Blacks in the space program with NASA and share with your babies. Make it a champion day!

June 25 1876- Isaiah Dorman

GM – FBF – Today I will tell you the story of the only Black man who was with General Armstrong Custer during that final engagement at the Rosebud, Montana Territory. Some people didn’t know this story. Enjoy!

Remember – “Goodbye, Rutten.” – Last words spoken by – Isaiah Dorman

Today in our History – June 25, 1876 – Battle of the Rosebud River – Some people will call it a massace.

On June 25, 1876, Dorman accompanied the detachment of Major Marcus Reno into the battle and was leftbehind when Reno retired across the river to the high bluffs. According to most accounts as in Connell (1985), he gave a good account of himself- shooting several braves with a non-regulation sporting rifle.

According to the account of one Indian survivor of the battle:
“We passed a black man in a soldier’s uniform and we had him. He turned on his horse and shot an Indian right through the heart. Then the Indians fired at this one man and riddled his horse with bullets. His horse fell over on his back and the black man could not get up. I saw him as I rode by.”
According to Connell 1985, white survivors tell a similar story. Dorman had been unhorsed but continued to fire at the Indians:
“Pvt. Roman Rutten, unlike Vestal, did fight at the Little Big Horn and his report of Isaiah’s last stand rings through. Rutten was on a horse that hated the odor of Indians so his immediate problem was how to stay in the saddle. During a wild ride he passed Isiaih, whose horse had been shot. The black man was on one knee, firing carefully with a non-regulation sporting rifle. He looked up and shouted, “Goodbye, Rutten.”

Other eyewitness accounts from survivors indicate that Dorman was tortured by a group of women who pounded him with stone hammers, slashed him repeatedly with knives, and shot his legs full of buckshot. One odd detail reported is that his coffee pot and cup were filled with blood.

A report that he had been ‘sliced open’ may be a translator’s error; near his body was that of one of the Ree (Arikara) scouts, which had been slashed open and a willow branch stuck in the opening. To the Indians, mutilations were characteristic of different tribes and particular marks meant certain things. As for the torture, the Indians considered him a traitor who had fought with the bluecoats against them.

Dorman’s body was found just out of the timber, near Charley Reynolds’s and he was buried on the Reno Battlefield. It was reinterred in 1877 in the Little Bighorn National Cemetery. In Quartermaster Nowlan’s official report on the 7th’s 1876 Campaign, an item of $62.50 is listed as being owed to Dorman for services rendered in June 1876.

A man named Isaac McNutt, who was a handyman at Ft Rice, attempted to claim the wages; but his claim was dismissed for lack of proof of connection.

Dorman’s Indian widow could not be found and the account may be still drawing interest somewhere in the Army bureaucracy. Research more about the 7th Calvary and the battle at the Rosebud in Montana Territory and share with your babies. Make it a champion day!

June 24 1970- Philadelphia International Records Was Created

GM – FBF – In my continuing celabration to Black Music Month. I have shown you the best recording companies that Memphis (STAX) and Chicago (CHESS) had to bring to our black music culture, now it is time for me to come home to the Deleware Valley where I was born and raised with the music that I grew up with THE SOUND OF PHILADELPHIA. Enjoy!

Remember – Dick Clark (American Bandstand), Jerry Blavat (The Geator with the Heater) and The Discophonic Scene along with WDAS – FM’s Jimmy Bishop, Butterball and still today Patty Jackson. Don’t forget that Trenton’s own Instant Funk was dicoverd by Philly’s own Walter “Bunny” Sigler.

Today in our History – June 24, 1970 – Philadelphia International Records was created – A term with varied meanings in popular music, “soul” broadly describes African American music characterized by emotional urgency and racial consciousness. More specifically, a soul style of black music emerged from rhythm and blues and gospel in the late 1950s and became popular with both black and white audiences through the 1970s. Different cities had distinct styles of soul, often associated with local record companies—Stax in Memphis, Motown in Detroit. In Philadelphia, soul was defined by Philadelphia International Records, a very successful label whose unique style of 1970s soul became known worldwide as the “Sound of Philadelphia.”
Philadelphia had especially vibrant scenes in rhythm and blues and gospel music in the mid-twentieth century. Taking elements from each, local artists began shaping the city’s version of the emerging soul style in the late 1950s and early 1960s. Gospel was a particularly strong influence; essentially, soul was the adaptation of the gospel style to songs with secular rather than sacred lyrics. Solomon Burke, who began preaching and singing gospel in Philadelphia in his pre-adolescent years, made a series of recordings for Atlantic Records in New York in the early 1960s that were fundamental in defining the new style. These records were among the first to be categorized as “soul” music, and Burke was later dubbed the “King of Rock and Soul.” Other Philadelphia-area singers with strong gospel roots who had soul hits in the early to mid-1960s included Garnet Mimms, Howard Tate, and Lorraine Ellison.

While these early artists came from Philadelphia, they recorded in New York City. The larger Philadelphia record companies were more focused on rock and roll and white pop music at this time. Some of the city’s smaller labels recorded local artists in the soul style, however, including two black-owned companies that were especially important in the evolution of Philadelphia soul: Harthon and Arctic. Singer Weldon McDougal, organist Luther Randolph, and guitarist Johnny Stiles created Harthon Records in the early 1960s. Prominent Philadelphia DJ Jimmy Bishop joined Harthon briefly but broke away in 1964 to form his own label, Arctic Records, taking many Harthon artists with him.

Harthon and Arctic each had a series of minor and regional hits in the 1960s, and Arctic had a huge hit with “Yes, I’m Ready,” a ballad by local singer Barbara Mason that reached the Top Ten in the national pop charts in 1965. Most Arctic artists were black, but the label also recorded the Temptones, a white group featuring singer Daryl Hohl. Hohl later changed his last name to Hall and with fellow Temple University student John Oates formed Hall and Oates, one of the most successful of the “blue-eyed soul” groups, as white soul music came to be known.

Philadelphia’s biggest record company at this time was Cameo Parkway Records, a hit-making juggernaut whose artists were in the pop charts throughout the late 1950s and early 1960s. Although Cameo Parkway had had hits with African American artists such as Chubby Checker, the Orlons, and Dee Dee Sharp, almost of all of its production staff and studio musicians were white and it had mostly ignored soul. That changed in 1964 when president Bernie Lowe, seeing the rise of Motown, asked a young black musician on his staff, Thom Bell, to form a rhythm section and begin producing soul music for the label. One of the groups Bell worked with at Cameo Parkway, and later at another local label, Philly Groove Records, was the Delfonics, one of the first groups identified specifically with the Philadelphia soul sound. Bell later shaped the sound of two other quintessential Philadelphia soul groups, the Stylistics and the Spinners. (The Spinners were from Detroit, but their biggest hits were recorded in Philadelphia.)

Small labels such as Harthon and Arctic were incubators for the burgeoning Philly soul style of the 1960s, serving as training grounds for the young songwriters, arrangers, singers, and studio musicians who later created the Sound of Philadelphia. Among this group were two individuals who, along with Thom Bell, emerged as the chief architects of that sound: singer Kenny Gamble and pianist Leon Huff.
Gamble and Huff had been hustling around the Philadelphia music scene since the late 1950s. In the mid-1960s they began writing songs together and then moved into producing records, using Philadelphia musicians and arrangers with whom they had worked over the years. After achieving success in the late 1960s with artists such as the Intruders, Soul Survivors, and Jerry Butler, Gamble and Huff secured a distribution deal with CBS Records and formed Philadelphia International Records in 1971.

Th e company located its headquarters in the former Cameo Parkway building on South Broad Street, which Cameo Parkway abandoned when it ceased operations in the late 1960s. While Philadelphia International made some recordings there, they recorded primarily at Sigma Sound Studios on north Twelfth Street, established in 1968 by former Cameo Parkway recording engineer Joe Tarsia. As Philadelphia International’s chief studio, Sigma Sound became a hit factory, with Tarsia serving as an important sonic architect of the Sound of Philadelphia.

Philadelphia International became one of the nation’s most successful record companies in the 1970s, producing a long string of hits with local artists such as Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes, Teddy Pendergrass, Billy Paul, and Patti LaBelle, as well as out-of-towners such as the O’Jays, Jackson Five, and Lou Rawls who came to Philadelphia to capture the label’s magic. With songwriter/producers Gamble and Huff at the helm, Thom Bell playing a key songwriting and producing role, and a core group of some thirty regular studio musicians and arrangers, Philadelphia International Records was the undisputed leader in soul music in the 1970s.

The studio musicians had a few hit records themselves, under the band name “MFSB” (short for Mother-Father-Sister-Brother). The biggest was “TSOP” (The Sound of Philadelphia), released in 1974. “TSOP” was the theme song for the popular black TV dance show “Soul Train” and became an anthem of Philadelphia soul. With its pulsing rhythm over lush strings and slick brass, it was a typical sophisticated Philadelphia International production. The label was also known for songs featuring socially conscious lyrics with messages of unity and love.
By the early 1980s, soul had run its course as a popular style. Radio, long the lifeblood of soul, had become very restricted in its programming and no longer served as an effective outlet for the music, while other black styles had gained in popularity, including funk, disco, and a new form of urban music that was coming into prominence, rap. Philadelphia International Records, the last of the great soul labels, went into decline in the early 1980s, signaling the end of the soul music era. Research more about black artist and music and share with your babies. Make it a champion day!

June 23 1997- Betty Shabazz

GM – FBF – Today I will take you to a women who suffered a lot when her husband was killed which was a tragedy. The hard thing is that she will pass in a most horrific fashion. PEACE!

Remember – “One of the things Malcolm always said to me is, ‘Don’t be bitter. Remember Lot’s wife when they kill me, and they surely will. You have to use all of your energy to do what it is you have to do,'” – Betty Shabazz

Today in our History – June 23,1997

Betty Shabazz, the widow of civil rights leader Malcolm X, died Monday, three weeks after being severely burned in a fire allegedly set by her 12-year-old grandson.

Shabazz, 61, had suffered third-degree burns over 80 percent of her body in the June 1 incident at her home in Yonkers, just north of New York City. She had remained in extremely critical condition, undergoing several operations as doctors struggled to replace damaged skin and save her life.

“Millions of people look to her for some kind of understanding of the history of the struggle,” said black activist and poet Amiri Baraka. “She’s the wife of one of the greatest African-American leaders of history.”

Within hours of the fire, Shabazz’s grandson was arrested and accused of setting the blaze, reportedly because he was unhappy he had been sent to live with his grandmother. He is being held in juvenile custody.

Doctors had said Shabazz might linger for weeks in critical condition but that patients with her severity of injuries usually have less than a 10 percent chance of survival.

Future Betty Shabazz went to Tuskegee, New York
As a young woman, Shabazz left the comfortable home of her adoptive parents in Detroit to study at the Tuskegee Institute, a well-known historically black college in Alabama. She later went to New York, where she became a registered nurse.

In New York, friends invited her to lectures by Nation of Islam founder Elijah Muhammad. He gave all of his followers the last name “X,” representing the African family name they would never know.

It was in 1956 that Betty X met Malcolm X, then a rising star in the Nation of Islam. Two years later they married, and within five years they had four daughters.

After splitting from Muhammad in 1964, Malcolm and Betty X adopted the Muslim surname Shabazz. In early 1965, Malcolm was gunned down while speaking at the Audubon Ballroom in Harlem. Betty Shabazz, pregnant with twins, was in the audience and covered her girls on the floor as the bullets flew.

“Sister Betty came through the people, herself a nurse, and people recognizing her moved back; she fell on her knees, looking down on his bare, bullet-pocked chest, sobbing, ‘They killed him!'” wrote Alex Haley in the book “The Autobiography of Malcolm X.”

Betty Shabazz was left to bring up six daughters alone.

“Betty was fortunate enough to have the wisdom to raise several individuals in her family, to give them their own personality, their own motivation, their own skills,” said Wilbert Tatum, publisher of The Amsterdam News, an African-American newspaper in New York. “She did a superb job in raising those children.”

After assassination, Shabazz earned doctorate
After her husband’s death, Shabazz returned to school, eventually earning a doctorate in education from the University of Massachusetts in 1975. She went to work as an administrator at Medgar Evers College in Brooklyn and traveled widely, speaking on topics such as civil rights and racial tolerance.

“One of the things Malcolm always said to me is, ‘Don’t be bitter. Remember Lot’s wife when they kill me, and they surely will. You have to use all of your energy to do what it is you have to do,'” Shabazz said in a May 1995 speech.

In 1994, Shabazz spoke publicly about the long-held suspicion that Louis Farrakhan, the current leader of the Nation of Islam, had been behind the assassination of her husband.

A year later, her daughter Qubilah Shabazz was charged in Minneapolis with trying to hire a hit man to kill Farrakhan. Betty Shabazz stood behind her daughter, insisting that an FBI informant entrapped her.

Qubilah Shabazz made a deal with prosecutors in which they agreed to drop charges if she completed treatment for alcohol and psychiatric problems. She signed an affidavit accepting responsibility for her conduct but maintained her innocence.

It is Qubilah Shabazz’s son who now stands accused of starting the fire that killed Betty Shabazz.

Betty Shabazz eventually reconciled with Farrakhan, shaking his hand on the stage of Harlem’s Apollo Theater as 1,400 people cheered at a fund-raiser for her daughter’s defense. She also spoke at Farrakhan’s Million Man March in October 1995. Research more about this American and share with your babies. Make it a champion day!

June 22 1893- Thomas W. Stewart

GM – FBF- Today I want to tell you about a man who invented many things to help Americans and the people of the world but this Invention is still needed today in homes, businesses and any building that has a hard service. Enjoy!

Remember – ” I like things to be clean and sanitized as much as possable and I think you do too.” – Thomas W. Stewart

Today in our History – June 22, 1893

Thomas W. Stewart, an African-American inventor from Kalamazoo, Michigan, patented a new type of mop (U.S. patent #499,402) on June 22, 1893. Thanks to his invention of a clamping device that could wring water out of the mop by using a lever, floor cleaning was not nearly the chore it once was.

Throughout much of history, floors were made out of packed dirt or plaster. These were kept clean with simple brooms, made from straw, twigs, corn husks, or horse hair. But some kind of wet cleaning method was needed to care for the slate, stone, or marble floors that were a feature of the homes of the aristocracy and, later, the middle classes. The word mop goes back probably as far as the late 15th century, when it was spelled mappe in Old English. These devices were likely nothing more than bundles of rags or coarse yarns attached to a long wooden pole.

Thomas W. Stewart, one of the first African-American inventors to be awarded a patent, lived his whole life trying to make people’s everyday lives easier. In order to save time and ensure a more healthy environment in the home, he came up with two improvements to the mop. He first designed a mop head that could be removed by unscrewing it from the base of the mop handle, allowing users to clean the head or discard it when it wore out. Next, he designed a lever attached to the mop head, which, when pulled, would wring water from the head without users getting their hands wet.

Stewart described the mechanics in his abstract:

1. A mop-stick, comprising a stick proper, provided with the T-head having the grooved ends, forming one portion of the clamp, the rod having a straight portion forming the other part of the clamp and from thence converging rearwardly to the sides of the stick, a lever to which the free ends of said rod are pivoted, a ring loose on the stick, to which the forked ends of the lever are pivoted, and a spring between said ring and the T-head; substantially as set forth.

2. The combination of a mopstick provided with a T-head, forming one part of the clamp, a moveable rod forming the other part of the clamp, a lever to which the free ends of said rod are pivoted, said lever being fulcrum-ed to a moveable support on the stick, and a spring exerting a resistance against the lever when the latter is thrown back; substantially as set forth. Research more about black inventions and inventors and share with your babies. Make it a champion day!

June 21 1823- Marcus Garvey

GM – FBF – Today I will show you and tell a story of a man who preceeded, The Nation of Islam or any other back nationalist organization. Enjoy!

Remember – ” Up you mighty race” – Marcus Garvey

Today in our History – June 21, 1823 – Marcus Garvey enters the Court house to be tried for many counts but taken money thru the U.S. Postal System is what they will fine him on.

Born in Jamaica, Marcus Garvey (1887-1940) became a leader in the black nationalist movement by applying the economic ideas of Pan-Africanists to the immense resources available in urban centers. After arriving in New York in 1916, he founded the Negro World newspaper, an international shipping company called Black Star Line and the Negro Factories Corporation. During the 1920s, his Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA) was the largest secular organization in African-American history. Indicted for mail fraud by the U.S. Justice Department in 1923, he spent two years in prison before being deported to Jamaica, and later died in London.

Born in Jamaica, Garvey aimed to organize blacks everywhere but achieved his greatest impact in the United States, where he tapped into and enhanced the growing black aspirations for justice, wealth, and a sense of community. During World War I and the 1920s, his Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA) was the largest black secular organization in African-American history. Possibly a million men and women from the United States, the Caribbean, and Africa belonged to it.

Garvey came to New York in 1916 and concluded that the growing black communities in northern cities could provide the wealth and unity to end both imperialism in Africa and discrimination in the United States. He combined the economic nationalist ideas of Booker T. Washington and Pan-Africanists with the political possibilities and urban style of men and women living outside of plantation and colonial societies. Garvey’s ideas gestated amid the social upheavals, anticolonial movements, and revolutions of World War I, which demonstrated the power of popular mobilization to change entrenched structures of power.

Garvey’s goals were modern and urban. He sought to end imperialist rule and create modern societies in Africa, not, as his critics charged, to transport blacks ‘back to Africa.’ He knitted black communities on three continents with his newspaper the Negro World and in 1919 formed the Black Star Line, an international shipping company to provide transportation and encourage trade among the black businesses of Africa and the Americas. In the same year, he founded the Negro Factories Corporation to establish such businesses. In 1920 he presided over the first of several international conventions of the UNIA. Garvey sought to channel the new black militancy into one organization that could overcome class and national divisions.

Although local UNIA chapters provided many social and economic benefits for their members, Garvey’s main efforts failed: the Black Star Line suspended operations in 1922 and the other enterprises fared no better. Garvey’s ambition and determination to lead inevitably collided with associates and black leaders in other organizations. His verbal talent and flair for the dramatic attracted thousands, but his faltering projects only augmented ideological and personality conflicts. In the end, he could neither unite blacks nor accumulate enough power to significantly alter the societies the unia functioned in.

Finally, the Justice Department, animated by J. Edgar Hoover’s Federal Bureau of Investigation and sensing his growing weakness, indicted Garvey for mail fraud. He was convicted in 1923, imprisoned in 1925, and deported to Jamaica in 1927. Unable to resurrect the unia, he moved to London, where he died in 1940.

Garvey’s movement was the first black attempt to join modern urban goals and mass organization. Although most subsequent leaders did not try to create black economic institutions as he had, Garvey had demonstrated to them that the urban masses were a potentially powerful force in the struggle for black freedom.Research more about this event in History and share with your babies. Make it a champion day!