Month: July 2018

July 11 2000- Vashti Murphy McKenzie

GM – FBF – Today, I want to tell you about a great American who was the first female bishop of the AME Church. Enjoy!

Remember – ” Doing God’s work and lifting people up is the way I show Love. – Vashti Murphy McKenzie

Today in our History – On July 11, 2000, journalist and clergywoman Vashti Murphy McKenzie became the first female bishop of the African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church. In 2005 she became the denomination’s first woman to serve as Titular Head. Her commitment to community development is evident in her work with urban American cities as well as in AIDS-stricken Africa.

Bishop Vashti Murphy McKenzie was born on May 28, 1947 into a prominent Baltimore, Maryland family. Her great-grandfather John Henry Murphy, Sr. founded the Afro-American Newspaper in 1892, and her grandmother Vashti Turly Murphy was a founding member of Delta Sigma Theta, an African American college sorority. Bishop McKenzie graduated with a degree in journalism from the University of Maryland in 1978. She later earned a master’s of divinity from Howard University and a doctor of ministry from United Theological Seminary.

Bishop McKenzie began her career in journalism, working as a radio and television broadcaster and newspaper reporter before pursuing studies in divinity. After being ordained in 1984, she served as pastor for small congregations before being assigned in 1990 to the Payne Memorial AME Church in Baltimore’s inner city. Under her direction, the congregation grew from 300 to 1,700 members. She initiated community development projects including job service programs and a senior care center. Ten years later, at its annual convention in Cincinnati, the AME Church elected her to be its first female bishop, presiding over the 18th Episcopal District in southeast Africa. In that capacity she was responsible for several congregations in Africa comprised of nearly 10,000 people. Her project initiatives again centered on community development, encouraging entrepreneurial business programs and building mission housing. She also expanded services to homeless children and those infected with HIV/AIDS.

In 2005 she became the first woman to serve as Titular Head of the AME Church, overseeing the Council of Bishops as its president. She currently presides over the 13th Episcopal District.

She is the author of three books and is married to Stan McKenzie, a former professional basketball player who now works alongside of his wife as Episcopal Supervisor in her district. They have three children. McKenzie, Vashti. Research more about this great American and share with your babies. Make it a champion day!

July 10 1989- David Norman Dinkins

GM – FBF – This morning I want to tell you a story about a native of Trenton, N.J. who goes on to be the Mayor of “The Big Apple” – Enjoy!

Remember – “I was born and raised in Trenton, N.J. then my mother came here to New York. She and my grandmother were domestics, cooking, cleaning for other people.” – Mayor David Dinkins (NYC)

Today in our History – July 10, 1989 – New York City Annouces First Black Mayor. He is from Trenton, N.J.

Dinkins, David N. (1927- ) – In 1989, David N. Dinkins defeated his challenger, former federal prosecutor Rudolph (Rudy) Giuliani, to become the first African American mayor of New York City.

David Norman Dinkins was born in Trenton, New Jersey in 1927. After graduating from high school, he enlisted in the Marine Corps at 18 and served briefly in World War II. After the war, he attended Howard University, graduating with a B.A. in Mathematics in 1950. Dinkins moved to New York City and received a law degree from the Brooklyn Law School in 1956. Dinkins is a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity.

David Dinkins’s political career began when he joined the Carver Club headed by a charismatic politician, J. Raymond Jones who was known as the Harlem Fox. Dinkins befriended three up and coming black New York politicians; Charles Rangel, Basil Paterson, Sr., and Percy Sutton. In 1965, Dinkins won his first electoral office, a seat in the New York State Assembly. Shortly afterwards Dinkins was offered the position of deputy mayor of New York by then Mayor Abraham Beam. Dinkins could not accept the post when it was revealed he had not paid income taxes for the past four years.

Dinkins did manage to secure the position of city clerk for New York which he held from 1975 to 1985. On his third run for the office, Dinkins was elected Manhattan’s Borough President in 1985. In 1989, Dinkins decided to run for Mayor of New York. He surprised political observers by defeating three time incumbent Mayor Ed Koch in the Democratic primaries. Despite facing a strong Republican challenger in former federal prosecutor Rudolph Giuliani, Dinkins narrowly won the mayor’s race.

Dinkins presided over a city well known for its municipal crises. His term, however, was particularly turbulent because an unprecedented crack epidemic and the resulting drug wars swept through the city. Especially affected were the impoverished African American and Puerto Rican neighborhoods that formed the core of Dinkins’s constituency. The crack epidemic also spawned a crime wave that exacerbated racial tensions.

Two episodes particularly tested the Mayor’s ability to be an effective municipal leader. In 1989, shortly after Dinkins took office, a young white woman was allegedly raped and brutalized by marauding black youth in Central Park. Months later a black teenager was murdered when he ventured into a white ethnic Brooklyn neighborhood. In both episodes Dinkins calmed racial tensions and earned an image as a peacemaker. Although Dinkins presided over a decrease in crime in the city, balanced the city budget by turning a $1.8 billion dollar deficit into a $200 million surplus, and maintained racial peace after the Rodney King verdict sparked rioting in a number of cities across the nation, he never completely shed his image as an ineffective political leader. The 1993 election proved a political rematch of 1989. This time, however, Rudolph Giuliani narrowly defeated David Dinkins for the Mayor’s office.

Former Mayor Dinkins accepted a professorship at Columbia University’s Center for Urban Research and Policy in 1994. Although he has endorsed various political candidates and clashed with fellow New Yorker and Presidential aspirant Al Shapton, Dinkins has not sought elective office. Research more about African – American Mayors in other cities across American. Make it a champion day!

July 9 2018- James Baskett

GM – FBF – Today, I would like to remind you that in Hollywood, actors of color over the last 25 years have been winning a lot more Academy Awards. Do you know who was the first Black Man to receive one? Enjoy!

Remember – ” Many people of my my race called me all kinds of bad names for the work that I was doing in Hollywood. That hurts because I only wanted to act and find/keep work. – James Baskett

Today in our History – July 9, 2018 –

James Baskett, the first male African American to win an Academy Award, was born in Indianapolis, Indiana on February 16, 1904. After high school Baskett planned to study pharmacy, but after he was offered a small part in a show in Chicago, Illinois his career path was forever changed. Baskett continued to take small roles in Chicago plays for a time, but later he went to New York City, New York and joined the Lafayette Players Stock Company, where he stayed for many years.

Baskett first appeared on film in a feature role in Harlem is Heaven, and continued on in such films as Policy Man and Straight to Heaven. Baskett was not confined to film and theater; he also played Gabby Gibson, a slick-talking lawyer on the popular radio program Amos ‘n’ Andy.

Baskett is best remembered for his portrayal of Uncle Remus in Disney’s 1946 picture Song of the South. Baskett had actually only tested earlier for a minor role, but Disney remembered him and he was asked play as Uncle Remus. In 1947, after some lobbying by popular Hollywood columnist Hedda Hopper, Baskett was awarded a special Academy Award “for his able and heartwarming characterization of Uncle Remus, friend and storyteller to the children of the world.” Yet, although the film was praised by the academy, Baskett and Disney both met with heavy criticism from many in the African American community who felt that the film was rife with racist undertones and that it encouraged harmful stereotypes. The debate over Song of the South continues, and due to this Disney has refused to release the film on home video in the United States. James Baskett passed away on July 9, 1948. Research more about Black Actors and share with your babies. Make it a champion day!

July 8 1895- John Lee Love

GM – FBF – Today, let me share with you a stroy of a Black Inventor, who had two great Ideas that are still used today. One by mason’s or construction workers for finishing walls and the other by Elementary school students. Enjoy!

Remember – ” I love coming up with Ideas that will make a project be done more safely, quicker and cheeper” – John Lee Love

Today in our History – July 8, 1895 –

Black Inventor John Lee Love – Invents The Plasterer’s Hawk –

John Lee Love – Inventor (d. 1931)

John Lee Love was a carpenter in Fall River, Massachusetts, who invented a couple of devices. In 1895, Lee patented a lightweight plasterer’s hawk. In 1897, he patented a portable pencil sharpener known as the “Love Sharpener.” Lee died in a car and train collision in North Carolina on December 26, 1931.

Little is known about the life of John Lee Love, the inventor of the portable pencil sharpener. It is speculated that he was born sometime during the reconstruction period – between 1865-1877. Love later worked as a carpenter in the community of Fall River, Massachusetts.

On July 8,1895, he created and patented an improved plasterer’s hawk, used by plasterers and masons. Love’s design featured a detachable handle and a foldable aluminum board, making it portable and lightweight.

A plasterer’s hawk – also known as a hand board – is a small, square, hand-held surface on which a load of plaster or mortar is carried. It is used in tasks such as the skimming (plastering) of walls or pointing of brickwork (filling gaps between bricks on the face of a wall). It has a straight handle underneath for carrying.

It is thought that the name “hawk” derives from the way that the object sits – like a hawker’s bird – on the arm, and also from the “assistant” role that they play – like the birds – in helping their owner do their job.

A hawk is often used alongside a larger mixing (or spot) board, onto which building compounds, such as plaster, are poured. These boards are much larger and hold the bulk of the mixture throughout the job. Mixing boards are often mounted on a stand or trestle, to make them easier to use.

Unlike a mixing board, a plasterer’s hawk is small enough to carry around the room as you work and you can hold it close to the wall being plastered, preventing plaster spillage from the trowel. It is repeatedly loaded from the main board throughout the job. In pointing, again, the hawk is loaded with small quantities of mortar from the mixing board and is carried close to the wall.

What is the difference between a hawk and a float?
Hawks are different from plasterer’s floats, which are small rectangular boards with a curved handle underneath. These are smoothed over freshly-applied plaster when it has firmed up, to level out irregularities in the surface.

Love’s second invention was his most successful, the pencil sharpener even though both are still being used today in 2018.Love hired lawyers from New York and Boston firms to represent him while applying for both of his patents.

Love died along with nine other passengers on December 26, 1931, when the car they were riding in collided with a train near Charlotte, North Carolina. Reports from the time indicate that he was not married. Research more about Black Inventors and share with your babies. Make it a champion day!

July 7 1915- Margaret Walker

GM – FBF – Today, I would like to remind you of a great American poet and writer. She also taught on the University level and she was sued in court by the wife of Richard Wright and she sued Alex Haley in court. If you never heard of her or if you fogotten this is a great read. Enjoy!

Remember – “When I was about eight, I decided that the most wonderful thing, next to a human being, was a book.” – Margaret Walker

Today in our History – July 7,1915 –

Margaret Walker (Margaret Abigail Walker Alexander by marriage; July 7, 1915 – November 30, 1998) was an American poet and writer. She was part of the African-American literary movement in Chicago, known as the Chicago Black Renaissance. Her notable works include the award-winning poem For My People (1942) and the novel Jubilee (1966), set in the South during the American Civil War.

Walker was born in Texas, Alabama, to Sigismund C. Walker, a minister, and Marion (née Dozier) Walker, who helped their daughter by teaching her philosophy and poetry as a child. Her family moved to New Orleans when Walker was a young girl. She attended school there, including several years of college, before she moved north to Chicago.

In 1935, Walker received her Bachelor of Arts Degree from Northwestern University. In 1936 she began work with the Federal Writers’ Project under the Works Progress Administration of the President Franklin D. Roosevelt administration during the Great Depression. She was a member of the South Side Writers Group, which included authors such as Richard Wright, Arna Bontemps, Fenton Johnson, Theodore Ward, and Frank Marshall Davis.

In 1942, she received her master’s degree in creative writing from the University of Iowa. In 1965, she returned to that school to earn her Ph.D.

Walker married Firnist Alexander in 1943 and moved to Mississippi to be with him. They had four children together and lived in the capital of Jackson.

Walker became a literature professor at what is today Jackson State University, a historically black college, where she taught from 1949 to 1979. In 1968, Walker founded the Institute for the Study of History, Life, and Culture of Black People (now the Margaret Walker Center) and her personal papers are now stored there. In 1976, she went on to serve as the Institute’s director.

In 1942, Walker’s poetry collection For My People won the Yale Series of Younger Poets Competition under the judgeship of editor Stephen Vincent Benet, thus making her the first black woman to receive a national writing prize. Her For My People was considered the “most important collection of poetry written by a participant in the Black Chicago Renaissance before Gwendolyn Brooks’s A Street in Bronzeville.” Richard Barksdale says: “The [title] poem was written when “world-wide pain, sorrow, and affliction were tangibly evident, and few could isolate the Black man’s dilemma from humanity’s dilemma during the depression years or during the war years.” He said that the power of resilience presented in the poem is a hope Walker holds out not only to black people, but to all people, to “all the Adams and Eves.”

Walker’s second published book (and only novel), Jubilee (1966), is the story of a slave family during and after the Civil War, and is based on her great-grandmother’s life. It took her thirty years to write. Roger Whitlow says: “It serves especially well as a response to white ‘nostalgia’ fiction about the antebellum and Reconstruction South.”

This book is considered important in African-American literature and Walker is an influential figure for younger authors. She was the first of a generation of women who started publishing more novels in the 1970s.

In 1975, Walker released three albums of poetry on Folkways Records – Margaret Walker Alexander Reads Poems of Paul Laurence Dunbar and James Weldon Johnson and Langston Hughes; Margaret Walker Reads Margaret Walker and Langston Hughes; and The Poetry of Margaret Walker.

Walker received a Candace Award from the National Coalition of 100 Black Women in 1989. In 1978, Margaret Walker sued Alex Haley, claiming that his 1976 novel Roots: The Saga of an American Family had violated Jubilee’s copyright by borrowing from her novel. The case was dismissed.

In 1991 Walker was sued by Ellen Wright, the widow of Richard Wright, on the grounds that Walker’s use of unpublished letters and an unpublished journal in a just-published biography of Wright violated the widow’s copyright. Wright v. Warner Books was dismissed by the district court, and this judgment was supported by the appeals court.

Walker died of breast cancer in Chicago, Illinois, in 1998, aged 83. Walker was inducted into The Chicago Literary Hall of Fame in 2014. Research more about this great American poet and writer. Please share with your babies and make it a champion day!

July 6 1971- Louis Armstrong “Satchmo “

GM – FBF – Today, I want to share a reminder to you that when you love what you do and do it well, you will never work you have found your passion and are living it to it’s fullist. This man was one of those rare people. Enjoy!

Remember – “Musicians don’t retire; they just stop when there is no more music in them” – Louis Armstrong

Today in our History – July 6, 1971 – SATCHMO DIES!

Louis was a trumpeter, bandleader, singer, soloist, film star and comedian. Considered one of the most influential artists in jazz history, he is known for songs like “Star Dust,” “La Vie En Rose” and “What a Wonderful World.”

Louis Armstrong, nicknamed “Satchmo,” “Pops” and, later, “Ambassador Satch,” was born in 1901 in New Orleans, Louisiana. An all-star virtuoso, he came to prominence in the 1920s, influencing countless musicians with both his daring trumpet style and unique vocals.

Armstrong’s charismatic stage presence impressed not only the jazz world but all of popular music. He recorded several songs throughout his career, including he is known for songs like “Star Dust,” “La Vie En Rose” and “What a Wonderful World.” Armstrong died at his home in Queens, New York, on July 6, 1971.

Louis Armstrong was born on August 4, 1901, in New Orleans, Louisiana, in a section so poor that it was nicknamed “The Battlefield.” 
Armstrong had a difficult childhood. His father was a factory worker and abandoned the family soon after Louis’s birth; his mother, who often turned to prostitution, frequently left him with his maternal grandmother. Armstrong was obligated to leave school in the fifth grade to begin working. 
A local Jewish family, the Karnofskys, gave young Armstrong a job collecting junk and delivering coal. They also encouraged him to sing and often invited him into their home for meals.

While he still had to work odd jobs selling newspapers and hauling coal to the city’s famed red-light district, Armstrong began earning a reputation as a fine blues player. One of the greatest cornet players in town, Joe “King” Oliver, began acting as a mentor to the young Armstrong, showing him pointers on the horn and occasionally using him as a sub.
By the end of his teens, Armstrong had grown up fast. In 1918, he married Daisy Parker, a prostitute, commencing a stormy union marked by many arguments and acts of violence.

Beginning in 1919, Armstrong spent his summers playing on riverboats with a band led by Fate Marable. It was on the riverboat that Armstrong honed his music reading skills and eventually had his first encounters with other jazz legends, including Bix Beiderbecke and Jack Teagarden.

Though Armstrong was content to remain in New Orleans, in the summer of 1922, he received a call from King Oliver to come to Chicago and join his Creole Jazz Band on second cornet.

Armstrong accepted, and he was soon taking Chicago by storm with both his remarkably fiery playing and the dazzling two-cornet breaks that he shared with Oliver. He made his first recordings with Oliver on April 5, 1923; that day, he earned his first recorded solo on “Chimes Blues.”
Armstrong soon began dating the female pianist in the band, Lillian Hardin. After they married in 1924, Hardin made it clear that she felt Oliver was holding Armstrong back. She pushed her husband to cut ties with his mentor and join Fletcher Henderson’s Orchestra, the top African-American dance band in New York City at the time.

While in New York, Armstrong cut dozens of records as a sideman, creating inspirational jazz with other greats such as Sidney Bechet, and backing numerous blues singers, namely Bessie Smith.

By 1968, Armstrong’s grueling lifestyle had finally caught up with him. Heart and kidney problems forced him to stop performing in 1969. That same year, his longtime manager, Joe Glaser, passed away. Armstrong spent much of that year at home, but managed to continue practicing the trumpet daily.
By the summer of 1970, Armstrong was allowed to perform publicly again and play the trumpet. After a successful engagement in Las Vegas, Armstrong began taking engagements around the world, including in London and Washington, D.C. and New York (he performed for two weeks at New York’s Waldorf-Astoria. However, a heart attack two days after the Waldorf gig sidelined him for two months.
Armstrong returned home in May 1971, and though he soon resumed playing again and promised to perform in public once more, he died in his sleep on July 6, 1971, at his home in Queens, New York.

Since his death, Armstrong’s stature has only continued to grow. In the 1980s and ’90s, younger African-American jazz musicians like Wynton Marsalis, Jon Faddis and Nicholas Payton began speaking about Armstrong’s importance, both as a musician and a human being.

A series of new biographies on Armstrong made his role as a civil rights pioneer abundantly clear and, subsequently, argued for an embrace of his entire career’s output, not just the revolutionary recordings from the 1920s.
Armstrong’s home in Corona, Queens was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1977; today, the house is home to the Louis Armstrong House Museum, which annually receives thousands of visitors from all over the world. 
One of the most important figures in 20th century music, Armstrong’s innovations as a trumpeter and vocalist are widely recognized today, and will continue to be for decades to come.

Research more about this great Anerican hero and share with your babies. Make it a champion day!

July 5 1975- Upset Jimmy Conners in the Wimbledon Finals

GM – FBF – Today, let me tell you the story of the first Black major tennis pro, who had to be respected because hw was #1 ranked in the world. Using his platform to help support human rights issues at the time. Enjoy!

Remember – ” If I was not able to play tennis, I would still speak out on the problems around the world that are effecting our people” – Arthur Ashe

Today in our History – June 5, 1975 – upset Jimmy Connors in the Wimbledon finals.

Arthur Ashe is the first African American to win the men’s singles at Wimbledon and the U.S. Open, and the first African-American man to be ranked No. 1 in the world.

Born on July 10, 1943, in Richmond, Virginia, Arthur Ashe became the first, and is still the only, African-American male tennis player to win the U.S. Open and Wimbledon. He is also the first African-American man to be ranked as the No. 1 tennis player in the world. Always an activist, when Ashe learned that he had contracted AIDS via a blood transfusion, he turned his efforts to raising awareness about the disease, before finally succumbing to it on February 6, 1993.

In 1975 Ashe registered another upset by beating Jimmy Connors in the Wimbledon finals, marking another pioneering achievement within the African-American community — becoming the first African-American male player to win Wimbledon — which, like his U.S. Open victory, remains unmatched. That same year (1975), Ashe became the first African-American man to be ranked No. 1 in the world. Ten years later, in 1985, he would become the first African-American man to be inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame.

For Ashe, however, success also brought opportunity and responsibility. He didn’t relish his status as the sole black star in a game dominated by white players, but he didn’t run away from it either. With his unique pulpit, he pushed to create inner city tennis programs for youth; helped found the Association of Men’s Tennis Professionals; and spoke out against apartheid in South Africa — even going so far as to successfully lobby for a visa so he could visit and play tennis there.

Ashe’s causes were shaped by both his own personal story and his health. In 1979 he retired from competition after suffering a heart attack, and wrote a history of African-American athletes: A Hard Road to Glory (three volumes, published in 1988). He also served as national campaign chairman of the American Heart Association.Ashe was plagued with health issues over the last 14 years of his life. After undergoing a quadruple bypass operation in 1979, he had a second bypass operation in 1983. In 1988 he underwent emergency brain surgery after experiencing paralysis of his right arm. A biopsy taken during a hospital stay revealed that Ashe had AIDS. Doctors soon discovered that Ashe had contracted HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, from a transfusion of blood that he was given during his second heart operation.

In his first tournament, Ashe reached the junior national championships. Driven to excel, he eventually moved to St. Louis to work closely with another coach, winning the junior national title in 1960 and again in 1961. Ranked the fifth best junior player in the country, Ashe accepted a scholarship at the University of California, Los Angeles, where he graduated with a degree in business administration.

In addition to his pioneering tennis career, Ashe is remembered as an inspirational figure. He once said: “True heroism is remarkably sober, very undramatic. It is not the urge to surpass all others at whatever cost, but the urge to serve others at whatever cost.” He also offered words about achieving success: “One important key to success is self-confidence. An important key to self-confidence is preparation.” Research more about this great American and share with your babies. Make it a champion day!

July 4 1910- John Arthur Johnson

GM – FBF – Today is the 242th birthday of this grand experiment, where the people of 12 of the 13 colonies told the realm of England that they wanted their freedom. (Georgia did not attend the first Continental Congress because of fighting conflict with the Creek Indian. They did send represenatives to the second Congress. George Walton being one and my baby girl attends the George Walton Academy in Walton County at the county seat of Monroe, GA. Also, 124 years later “The Fight of the Century” would place heaveyweight boxer Jack Johson on a road to disaster. Enjoy!

Remember – “I’m Jack Johnson. Heavyweight champion of the world. I’m black. They never let me forget it. I’m black all right! I’ll never let them forget it! – John Arthur Johnson (Jack Johnson) – World Heavyweight Champion

Today in our History – July 4,1910 – ” The Fight of the Century”

John Arthur Johnson (March 31, 1878 – June 10, 1946), nicknamed the Galveston Giant, was an American boxer who, at the height of the Jim Crow era, became the first African American world heavyweight boxing champion (1908–1915). Among the period’s most dominant champions, Johnson remains a boxing legend, with his 1910 fight against James J. Jeffries dubbed the “fight of the century”. According to filmmaker Ken Burns, “for more than thirteen years, Jack Johnson was the most famous and the most notorious African-American on Earth”. Transcending boxing, he became part of the culture and the history of racism in America.

The fight took place on July 4, 1910, in front of 20,000 people, at a ring built just for the occasion in downtown Reno, Nevada. Jeffries proved unable to impose his will on the younger champion and Johnson dominated the fight. By the 15th round, after Jeffries had been knocked down twice for the first time in his career, Jeffries’ corner threw in the towel to end the fight and prevent Jeffries from having a knockout on his record. Johnson later remarked he knew the fight was over in the 4th round when he landed an uppercut and saw the look on Jeffries face, stating, “I knew what that look meant. The old ship was sinking.” Afterwards, Jeffries was humbled by the loss and what he’d seen of Johnson in their match. “I could never have whipped Johnson at my best”, Jeffries said. “I couldn’t have hit him. No, I couldn’t have reached him in 1,000 years.”

The “Fight of the Century” earned Johnson $65,000 and silenced the critics, who had belittled Johnson’s previous victory over Tommy Burns as “empty”, claiming that Burns was a false champion since Jeffries had retired undefeated. John L. Sullivan commented after the fight that Johnson won deservedly, fairly, and convincingly.

Johnson was inducted into the Boxing Hall of Fame in 1954, and is on the roster of both the International Boxing Hall of Fame and the World Boxing Hall of Fame. In 2005, the United States National Film Preservation Board deemed the film of the 1910 Johnson-Jeffries fight “historically significant” and put it in the National Film Registry.

During his boxing career, Jack Johnson fought 114 fights, winning 80 matches, 45 by knockouts.

Johnson’s skill as a fighter and the money that it brought made it impossible for him to be ignored by the establishment. In the short term, the boxing world reacted against Johnson’s legacy. But Johnson foreshadowed one of the most famous boxers of all time, Muhammad Ali. In fact, Ali often spoke of how he was influenced by Jack Johnson. Ali identified with Johnson because he felt America ostracized him in the same manner because of his opposition to the Vietnam War and affiliation with the Nation of Islam. Research more about Jack Johnson and share with your babies. Make it a champion day!

July 3 1775- Prince Hall And Fourteen Other Blacks Were Initiated Into British Military

GM – FBF – Today, I would like to tell you a story about a “Secret Society”, One that goes back from across the waters and back to Europe and Africa. Many of you have family members who are and were part of this organization. Enjoy!

Remember – ” Let us have two houses of knowledge, that will give a foundation. – Prince Hall

Today in our History – July 3,1775 Prince Hall and fourteen other Blacks were initiated into British Military Lodge No. 441 of the Masons at Fort Independence, Massachusetts. Hall was a leather-dresser and caterer. On July 3, 1775, African Lodge No.1 was organized in Boston by a group of Black Masons.

Throughout North America, the Caribbean and Europe there are Freemasons whose lineage began here in Boston in 1775, when Prince Hall and 14 other freed black men secured a charter to join the international association.

The history of the Prince Hall Masons is exceptional, especially given the time in this country when the Lodge was founded.

On March 6, 1775, Prince Hall and 14 freed black men were made Masons by Worshipful Master John Batt of Army Lodge No. 441 of the 38th Regiment of Foot of the British Army. The Army Lodge’s Charter was under the Grand Lodge of Ireland Constitution.

As a new Master Mason, Prince Hall petitioned membership in the Masonic Lodges headed by colonists, but all his petitions were rejected. When the British Army left Boston in 1776, this Lodge, No. 441, granted Prince Hall and his brethren authority to meet as African Lodge No. 1 (Under Dispensation), to go in procession on St. John’s Day, and as a Lodge to bury their dead; but they could not confer degrees nor perform any other Masonic “work.”

Besides Hall, the other black Masons were Cyrus Forbes; Bristol Stenzer; Thomas Sanderson; Prince Taylor; Cato Gardner; Boston Smith; Peter Best; Fortune Howard; Prince Reed; John Carter; Peter Freeman; Benjamin Tyler; Cuff Bufform; and Richard Tilledge. For eight years these brethren, together with others who had received their degrees elsewhere, assembled and enjoyed their limited privileges as Masons.

Thirty-three Masons were listed on the rolls of African Lodge No.1 on Jan. 14, 1779. Finally on March 2, 1784, Prince Hall petitioned the Grand Lodge of England, through a Worshipful Master of a subordinate Lodge in London (William Moody of Brotherly Love Lodge No. 55) for a warrant or charter. On Sept. 29, 1784 a charter was issued to the African Lodge, making it a regular Lodge with all the rights and privileges of any Lodge in the world.

The Warrant to African Lodge No. 459 of Boston is the most significant and highly prized document known to the Prince Hall Masonic fraternity. It was delivered in Boston on April 29, 1787 by Captain James Scott, brother-in-law of John Hancock and master of the Neptune. African Lodge of Boston became the “Mother Lodge” of the Prince Hall Family.

All of this took place at a time in American history when it wasn’t safe for black men to be speaking with, much less asking for favors from, the British.

But it was also a time when free black men very much needed a means by which to advance the cause of black equality. Boston was a major port for selling slaves in the North. Black Codes were enacted by all the colonies, curtailing the movement of blacks, both free and slave, especially after dark.
Prince Hall looked to the Fraternal Order of Free and Accepted Masons because the chief purpose of Freemasonry is benevolence and charity to all mankind. Hall was convinced that Freemasonry’s ideals for the betterment of man made it an ideal organization to advance the cause of black equality in the colonies.

Today, the Prince Hall Masonic Order spans across all 50 states in the U.S. as well as Lodges in Canada, the West Indies, the Bahamas, Europe, and Asia. There are over 250,000 Prince Hall Masons worldwide, working in more than 5,000 Lodges that can trace their roots to African Lodge No. 459 which, as the Prince Hall Grand Lodge of Massachusetts, is located here in Boston, at 24 Washington St. in Grove Hall. Research more about The Masonic Order and sahre with your babies. Make it a champion day!

July 2 1917- East Saint Luis

GM – FBF – Today, I will share with you a crazy time in East St. Louis, IL. years before what happens in Tulsa, OK.

Remember – ” They were dragging us from our homes and killing us. Where is the President to help us.” – Unknown

Today in our History – July 2, 1917 – East Saint Louis go on a people hunt.

The city of East St. Louis, Illinois was the scene of one of the bloodiest race riots in the 20th century. Racial tensions began to increase in February, 1917 when 470 African American workers were hired to replace white workers who had gone on strike against the Aluminum Ore Company.

The violence started on May 28th, 1917, shortly after a city council meeting was called. Angry white workers lodged formal complaints against black migrations to the Mayor of East St. Louis. After the meeting had ended, news of an attempted robbery of a white man by an armed black man began to circulate through the city. As a result of this news, white mobs formed and rampaged through downtown, beating all African Americans who were found. The mobs also stopped trolleys and streetcars, pulling black passengers out and beating them on the streets and sidewalks. Illinois Governor Frank O. Lowden eventually called in the National Guard to quell the violence, and the mobs slowly dispersed. The May 28th disturbances were only a prelude to the violence that erupted on July 2, 1917.

After the May 28th riots, little was done to prevent any further problems. No precautions were taken to ensure white job security or to grant union recognition. This further increased the already-high level of hostilities towards African Americans. No reforms were made in police force which did little to quell the violence in May. Governor Lowden ordered the National Guard out of the city on June 10th, leaving residents of East St. Louis in an uneasy state of high racial tension.

On July 2, 1917, the violence resumed. Men, women, and children were beaten and shot to death. Around six o’ clock that evening, white mobs began to set fire to the homes of black residents. Residents had to choose between burning alive in their homes, or run out of the burning houses, only to be met by gunfire. In other parts of the city, white mobs began to lynch African Americans against the backdrop of burning buildings. As darkness came and the National Guard returned, the violence began to wane, but did not come to a complete stop.

In response to the rioting, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) sent W.E.B. DuBois and Martha Gruening to investigate the incident. They compiled a report entitled “Massacre at East St. Louis,” which was published in the NAACP’s magazine, The Crisis. The NAACP also staged a silent protest march in New York City in response to the violence. Thousands of well-dressed African Americans marched down Fifth Avenue, showing their concern about the events in East St. Louis.

The Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA) also responded to the violence. On July 8th, 1917, the UNIA’s President, Marcus Garvey said “This is a crime against the laws of humanity; it is a crime against the laws of the nation, it is a crime against Nature, and a crime against the God of all mankind.” He also believed that the entire riot was part of a larger conspiracy against African Americans who migrated North in search of a better life: “The whole thing, my friends, is a bloody farce, and that the police and soldiers did nothing to stem the murder thirst of the mob is a conspiracy on the part of the civil authorities to condone the acts of the white mob against Negroes.”

A year after the riot, a Special Committee formed by the United States House of Representatives launched an investigation into police actions during the East St. Louis Riot. Investigators found that the National Guard and also the East St. Louis police force had not acted adequately during the riots, revealing that the police often fled from the scenes of murder and arson. Some even fled from stationhouses and refused to answer calls for help. The investigation resulted in the indictment of several members of the East St. Louis police force.
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