Category: 1950 – 1999

October 10 1966- The Black Panther Party

GM – FBF – Today’s story is about the misinformation that many American’s black and white still have or had about this organizations. I was a benefactor of one of their programs that helped me and my brother by giving us a good meal before we went to school. The U.S. Government could not afford to have many programs during that time that would uplift black communities, so they found ways to infiltrate or ways to discrete the organizations true purpose. Read – Research and understand. Enjoy!

Remember – “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised” – Gill Scott -Heron.

Today in our History – October 10, 1966 – The Black Panther Party (BPP) was given lite to the world.

The Black Panther Party (BPP), originally the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense, was a political organization founded by Bobby Seale and Huey Newton in October 1966. The party was active in the United States from 1966 until 1982, with international chapters operating in the United Kingdom in the early 1970s, and in Algeria from 1969 until 1972.

At its inception on October 10,1966, the Black Panther Party’s core practice was its armed citizens’ patrols to monitor the behavior of officers of the Oakland Police Department and challenge police brutality in Oakland, California. In 1969, community social programs became a core activity of party members. The Black Panther Party instituted a variety of community social programs, most extensively the Free Breakfast for Children Programs, and community health clinics to address issues like food injustice.The party enrolled the largest number of members and made the greatest impact in the Oakland-San Francisco Bay Area, New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Seattle, and Philadelphia.

Federal Bureau of Investigation Director J. Edgar Hoover called the party “the greatest threat to the internal security of the country”, and he supervised an extensive counterintelligence program (COINTELPRO) of surveillance, infiltration, perjury, police harassment, and many other tactics designed to undermine Panther leadership, incriminate party members, discredit and criminalize the Party, and drain the organization of resources and manpower. The program was also accused of assassinating Black Panther members.

Black Panther Party members were involved in many fatal firefights with police including Huey Newton allegedly killing officer John Frey in 1967 and the 1968 Eldridge Cleaver led ambush of Oakland police officers which wounded two officers and killed Panther Bobby Hutton. The party was also involved in many internal conflicts including the murders of Alex Rackley and Betty Van Patter.

Government oppression initially contributed to the party’s growth, as killings and arrests of Panthers increased its support among African Americans and on the broad political left, both of whom valued the Panthers as a powerful force opposed to de facto segregation and the military draft. Black Panther Party membership reached a peak in 1970, with offices in 68 cities and thousands of members, then suffered a series of contractions. After being vilified by the mainstream press, public support for the party waned, and the group became more isolated. In-fighting among Party leadership, caused largely by the FBI’s COINTELPRO operation, led to expulsions and defections that decimated the membership.

Popular support for the Party declined further after reports appeared detailing the group’s involvement in illegal activities such as drug dealing and extortion schemes directed against Oakland merchants. By 1972 most Panther activity centered on the national headquarters and a school in Oakland, where the party continued to influence local politics. Though under constant police surveillance, the Chicago chapter remained active and maintained their community programs until 1974. The Seattle chapter lasted longer than most, with a breakfast program and medical clinics that continued even after the chapter disbanded in 1977. Party contractions continued throughout the 1970s, and by 1980, the Black Panther Party had just 27 members.

The history of the Black Panther Party is controversial. Scholars have characterized the Black Panther Party as the most influential black movement organization of the late 1960s, and “the strongest link between the domestic Black Liberation Struggle and global opponents of American imperialism”. Other commentators have described the Party as more criminal than political, characterized by “defiant posturing over substance”.

Ten-Point Program
The Black Panther Party first publicized its original Ten-Point program on May 15,1967, following the Sacramento action, in the second issue of The Black Panther newspaper. The original ten points of “What We Want Now!” follow:

We want freedom. We want power to determine the destiny of our Black Community.
We want full employment for our people.
We want an end to the robbery by the Capitalists of our Black Community.
We want decent housing, fit for shelter of human beings.
We want education for our people that exposes the true nature of this decadent American society. We want education that teaches us our true history and our role in the present day society.
We want all Black men to be exempt from military service.
We want an immediate end to POLICE BRUTALITY and MURDER of Black people.
We want freedom for all Black men held in federal, state, county and city prisons and jails.
We want all Black people when brought to trial to be tried in court by a jury of their peer group or people from their Black Communities, as defined by the Constitution of the United States.
We want land, bread, housing, education, clothing, justice and peace.Research more about the BPP and share with your babies. Make it a champion day!

October 8 1952- Clifford Adams

GM – FBF – Today I woud like to share with you a story of my High School track teammate and friend. He would go on and become one of Trenton, New Jersey’s finest. Enjoy!

Remember – ” Trenton Makes, The World Takes”!

Today in our History – October 8,19 52 – Clifford Adams was born.

If you’re a fan of ’70s band Kool and the Gang, Kool and the Gang’s trombonist Clifford Adams died at 62. Adams fought for his life ever since he learned he needed a liver transplant. Sadly, he didn’t have health insurance for the necessary medical care. A Trenton, New Jersey native, Adams’ family, friends, fellow musicians, and fans tried to raise money for the jazz musician while he was in the hospital. It remains unclear whether he ever received the transplant.

Even his fellow Kool and the Gang band member, trumpet player Michael Ray, was hoping for a miracle for his longtime friend. He told,He is my oldest friend in life and he has put two kids through college playing the trombone, which is a miracle.

Ray and Adams were childhood friends who grew up together in Trenton. Ray describes Adams as a wonderful father, husband, and friend. He also said, also added the following

If you knew Cliff you knew his infectious smile and his strong spirit. He was powered by family values and he was one of the baddest trombone players in all the planet. We miss you my friend. Make it a champion day!

October 7 1993- Toni Morrison

GM – FBF – Our story today is about one of the greatest writers of all time. I had a chase to meet with her because she came to Ewing High School, New Jersey to receive the Mickey Leland Award from my student club called The Spectrum Project and my Varsity Debate team from Red Bank Regional High School, New Jersey had a chase to sit in on one of her classes at Princeton University. She is both knowledgeable and kind and I hope that you enjoy her story. I won’t be able to return any response to your posts today last day of workshop. Make it a champion day!

Remember – “If there is a book that you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, you must be the one to write it.” Toni Morrison

Today in our History – October 7, 1993 – Writer, Toni Morrison awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature. Toni Morrison, original name Chloe Anthony Wofford, (born February 18, 1931, Lorain, Ohio, U.S.), American writer noted for her examination of black experience (particularly black female experience) within the black community. She received the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1993.

Morrison grew up in the American Midwest in a family that possessed an intense love of and appreciation for black culture. Storytelling, songs, and folktales were a deeply formative part of her childhood. She attended Howard University (B.A., 1953) and Cornell University (M.A., 1955). After teaching at Texas Southern University for two years, she taught at Howard from 1957 to 1964. In 1965 she became a fiction editor. From 1984 she taught writing at the State University of New York at Albany, leaving in 1989 to join the faculty of Princeton University.

Morrison’s first book, The Bluest Eye (1970), is a novel of initiation concerning a victimized adolescent black girl who is obsessed by white standards of beauty and longs to have blue eyes. In 1973 a second novel, Sula, was published; it examines (among other issues) the dynamics of friendship and the expectations for conformity within the community. Song of Solomon (1977) is told by a male narrator in search of his identity; its publication brought Morrison to national attention. Tar Baby (1981), set on a Caribbean island, explores conflicts of race, class, and sex. The critically acclaimed Beloved (1987), which won a Pulitzer Prize for fiction, is based on the true story of a runaway slave who, at the point of recapture, kills her infant daughter in order to spare her a life of slavery. Jazz (1992) is a story of violence and passion set in New York City’s Harlem during the 1920s.

Subsequent novels are Paradise (1998), a richly detailed portrait of a black utopian community in Oklahoma, and Love (2003), an intricate family story that reveals the myriad facets of love and its ostensible opposite. A Mercy (2008) deals with slavery in 17th-century America. In the redemptive Home (2012), a traumatized Korean War veteran encounters racism after returning home and later overcomes apathy to rescue his sister. God Help the Child (2015) chronicles the ramifications of child abuse and neglect through the tale of Bride, a black girl with dark skin who is born to light-skinned parents.

A work of criticism, playing in the Dark: Whiteness and the Literary Imagination, was published in 1992. Many of her essays and speeches were collected in What Moves at the Margin: Selected Nonfiction (edited by Carolyn C. Denard), published in 2008. Additionally, Morrison released several children’s books, including Who’s Got Game? The Ant or the Grasshopper? and who’s Got Game? The Lion or the Mouse?, both written with her son and published in 2003. Remember (2004) chronicles the hardships of black students during the integration of the American public school system; aimed at children, it uses archival photographs juxtaposed with captions speculating on the thoughts of their subjects. She also wrote the libretto for Margaret Garner (2005), an opera about the same story that inspired Beloved.

The central theme of Morrison’s novels is the black American experience; in an unjust society her characters struggle to find themselves and their cultural identity. Her use of fantasy, her sinuous poetic style, and her rich interweaving of the mythic gave her stories great strength and texture.

In 2010 Morrison was made an officer of the French Legion of Honour. Two years later she was awarded the U.S. Presidential Medal of Freedom. Research more about great American Black writers and share with your babies and make it a champion day!

October 6 1971

GM – FBF – Our story today is about love and no matter who is in love the law prevents you from being together. The Interracial marriage laws in the country were updated in some areas of the country by local law but in this state the couple had to take their fight up to the Supreme Court. This famous couple had books and articles named for them and even a famous movie that hit the BIG SCREEN. Enjoy!

Remember – “Intermarriage is one of the most provocative words in the English language” – Dr. Martin Luther King, JR.

Today in our History – October 6, 1971 is Loving Day, a holiday that celebrates the anniversary of Loving v Virginia. Even though the courts had listened to a similar case in North Carolina on October 6, 1971 the marriage case was John A. Wilkinson’s to Lorraine Mary Turner was officially recognized by that state. The Supreme Court case which declared interracial marriage legal across the US. It’s shocking to remember that the ruling — which was a blow against institutionalized racism, a step towards greater marriage equality for all, and the basis for last year’s award-winning film Loving, about the couple at the center of the legal storm — is only 50 years old, and that many of our parents were alive in an era when states could uphold laws barring people of different races from marrying. But it is true; and the fact that we’re only a generation removed from a time when people were locked up, fined and exiled for daring to marry or cohabit with somebody of a different race is one of the most glaring examples of the racism that runs deep throughout our country’s foundations.

The story of how childhood sweethearts Mildred and Richard Loving brought about one of the most important US legal rulings of the 20th century is a long one — and one that did not begin with them and their case. “Anti-miscegenation laws” — specific laws that prohibited marriage between people of different races — have a long and brutal history in the US that reaches back to the colonial era; a history that we’re still fighting today. In honor of Loving Day, let’s be sure that we know our history. Research more about Interacial marriages in the United States and share with your babies. Make it a champion day!

October 5 1957- Bernard Jeffery McCullough

GM – FBF – Today’s story is about a Black man coming from where many of our people come from the “GHETTO” it has been called many names across the country from the slums, to the hood, purlieus and black bottom.In essence the other side of the tracks. Coming from East Trenton, NJ I can relate. This person didn’t let it get to him because he had a vision for doing something with his life. Like many of us he made a few decisions that set him back but he always held onto that dream of a better life for himself and his family.

Whenever he could he would practice on his craft so that one day someone would see him and give him a shot. One day it happened for him because he was ready and hungry for the opportunity. The rest is history because he wanted so much so fast, his health suffered and he left us too soon but most would say he was one of the best in his profession. Enjoy!

Remember – “I can act. I’ve been acting for a long time, but like anything else, don’t anybody owe you anything. You’ve go to pay your dues. You go from A to Z; you don’t go from M to Z” -. Bernie Mac

Today in our History – October 5, 1957 – Bernard Jeffrey “Bernie” McCullough, or Bernie Mac, was born. He was an American comedian and actor, in Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A.
After losing his mother at the age of 16, Mac would set up stand-up comedy shows for neighborhood kids and spent most of his 20s serving various jobs such as a Furniture Mover and a UPS Agent. He derived most of his influences from legends such as Nipsey Russell, Redd Foxx and Richard Pryor, and admired centering his shows on themes pertaining to everyday life, marriage, parenting, family, race relations and racism.

This dimension of comedy expands to other genres in satire that Mac was particularly fond of, including Observational Comedy, Black Comedy and Insult Comedy.

While Mac was widely recognized as a state-of-the-art comedian as well as a popular film star, his popularity initially grew after he participated in some low-profile comedy shows in local clubs. Around 1990, a performance on HBO’s Def Comedy Jam furthered his popularity amongst a growing number of fans in the domestic, as well as the international setting. After taking a supporting role in the 1994 comedy film House Party 3, Mac was recognized for his abilities by Ice Cube in his 1995 film Friday. This drove his presence in the U.S film industry in full throttle, as he was called for acting positions in close to 12 films until 2001.

In the same year of 1995, he acted in trending films such as The Walking Dead and Don’t Be a Menace to South Central While Drinking Your Juice in the Hood. Two years down the line, Mac was acknowledged to have played stunning roles in the hit films How to Be a Player and Don King: Only in America. After gaining his first acting role in the 1998 classic The Players Club as the character ‘Dollar Bill’, Bernie Mac was now fully recognized as one of the most prominent and forthcoming comedian in Hollywood.

In 2000, Mac starred as himself in the documentary The Original Kings of Comedy in which together with Steve Harvey, D.L. Hughley and Cedric the Entertainer, gave their own views about African-American culture, race relations, religion and family.

In 2001, Mac casted together with an ensemble crew including George Clooney, Brad Pitt and Matt Damon in what was the first film in a tri-series, Ocean Eleven. In the years to follow, Mac was called up to star in Oceans Twelve (2004) and Oceans Thirteen (2007). In the same year, he was the host of the semi-autobiographical sitcom called The Bernie Mac Show, broadcasted by Fox Network. For this show, he was nominated twice for the Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series. The show also managed to win other awards such as won an Emmy for Outstanding Writing, the Peabody Award for broadcasting, and the Humanitas Prize for television writing.

The show was a major success, and perhaps the climax of Mac’s career, as he managed to communicate truly with the audience. One of his last major works came in 2004, when Mac played the role of a retired baseball player in the film Mr. 3000. Research more about American comedians and share with your babies. Make it a champion day!

October 4 1987- Will Mercer Cook

GM – FBF – Today’s lesson in our quest to find as many unsung Black history makers, was an U.S. Ambassador, Peace Corp worker , special envoy to Senegal where I was married. He comes from a musical family background. Worked at a HBCU and authored a book. Let’s learn more about him. Enjoy!

Remember –I have always viewed my role as a sort of ambassador or bridge between groups to help provide a dialog. – Will Mercer Cook

Today in our History – October 4 ,1987 Will Mercer Cook died of pneumonia at the age of 84 in a Washington, D.C. hospital.

Will Mercer Cook served as the United States ambassador to the Republic of Niger from 1961 to 1964. Cook directed U.S. economic, social, and cultural programs in Niger, which included the Peace Corps. During the mid-1960s he also became the special envoy to Gambia and Senegal. 
Will Mercer Cook was born on March 30, 1903, in Washington, D.C., to Will Marion Cook, a composer and Abbie Mitchell Cook, an actress and classical singer. Cook had one sibling, Abigail, an older sister. During his childhood, he frequently traveled with his family as they performed at various venues throughout the United States and abroad. Jazz superstar Duke Ellington lived on the same block in Cook’s middle class Washington, D.C. neighborhood.

Cook attended Washington, D.C. public schools and graduated from the historic Paul Laurence Dunbar High School in the city. In 1925 he earned his bachelor’s degree in French language and literature from Amherst College in Massachusetts and a teacher’s diploma the following year from the University of Paris in France. In 1929 Cook married Vashti Smith and they had two sons, Mercer and Jacques. Cook earned a master’s degree in French language and literature in 1931 from Brown University in Rhode Island and a doctorate from the same institution in 1936.

While still a graduate student, Cook was hired as an assistant professor of romance languages for one year at Howard University in Washington, D.C. After he earned his doctorate, Cook joined the foreign language faculty of Atlanta University in Atlanta, Georgia where he taught French until 1943.

During his career at Atlanta University, Cook received the prestigious Rosenwald Fellowship to conduct research abroad in Paris and the French West Indies. In 1943 Cook also became a professor at the University of Haiti. While in Haiti he authored the Handbook for Haitian Teachers of English and other studies related to the Haitian experience.

Cook completed his tenure in Haiti in 1943 and moved that same year to Washington, D.C. to accept what would become a permanent position as professor of romance languages at Howard University. While at Howard, Cook continued to produce scholarship on Haiti and he translated the works of African authors.

During the late 1950s Cook shifted his career to focus more on international relations. In 1958 he became foreign representative for the American Society of African Culture and later an administrator in the Congress of Cultural Freedom. President John F. Kennedy, in 1961, appointed Cook to serve as U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Niger, a position he held until 1964. Cook also served from 1964 to 1966 as special envoy to Senegal and Gambia.

Upon the completion of his foreign relations service, Cook rejoined the faculty of Howard, serving as chair of the department of romance languages. He also became a visiting professor at Harvard University. During the final phase of his teaching career, Cook continued to produce scholarship and translate texts of African and Caribbean scholars. In 1969, he co-authored with Stephen Henderson the groundbreaking anthology The Militant Black Writer in Africa and the United States. In 1970 Cook retired from teaching, but continued to publish books and articles.

On October 4, 1987, Will Mercer Cook died of pneumonia at the age of 84 in a Washington, D.C. hospital. Research more about Black Ambassadors and share with your babies. Make it a champion day!

January 12 1956- Who Was The Worlds Greatest Boxer?

GM – FBF – When boxers are in the ring, they’re simple. It’s when the fight is over, that’s when the other fight, the real fight, begins. That’s the problem.

Remember – You’ll pardon me gentlemen if I make the fight short. I have a train to catch. – Sam Langford

Today in our History – ( July 17 1886 – January 12, 1956) Pound for pound, who was the world’s greatest boxer?

Whenever boxing fans debate the question, the name most often mentioned is that of Sugar Ray. However, many boxing historians would argue in favor of Sam Langford, a lesser-known fighter born in Weymouth, Nova Scotia, in 1886.
During the first quarter of the twentieth century, the prospect of facing the five-foot-seven-inch dynamo, who weighed no more than 175 pounds at his peak, struck terror in the hearts of most of his contemporaries, including heavyweight champions Jack Johnson and Jack Dempsey.
In June 1916, the 21-year-old Dempsey quickly declined an opportunity to face an aging Langford. Recalling the incident years later in his autobiography, Dempsey wrote, “The Hell I feared no man. There was one man, he was even smaller than I, and I wouldn’t fight because I knew he would flatten me. I was afraid of Sam Langford.”
Jack Johnson, on the other hand, did face Langford, once, in April 1906, when Langford was only a 20-year-old lightweight who gave up over 40 pounds to the 28-year- old heavyweight contender. Johnson won a convincing 15-round decision over the youngster, but discovered just how tough the smaller fighter was and what kind of dynamite he carried in his fists.
Two and a half years later, Johnson won the heavyweight championship by defeating Tommy Burns. Over the ensuing years, Langford and his manager, Joe Woodman, hounded Johnson in futile pursuit of an opportunity to fight for the title.
“Nobody will pay to see two black men fight for the title,” Johnson said However, when Johnson grew weary of Australian boxing promoter Hugh “Huge Deal”’ McIntosh’s efforts to arrange a match with Langford, he admitted that he had no wish to face Langford again. “I don’t want to fight that little smoke,” said Johnson. “He’s got a chance to win against anyone in the world. I’m the first black champion and I’m going to be the last.”
Years later, Johnson confided to New England Sports Museum trustee Kevin Aylwood, “Sam Langford was the toughest little son of a bitch that ever lived.”
Despite participating in over 300 professional bouts in a 24-year ring career (from 1902 to 1926), Langford never won a world title. He defeated reigning lightweight champion Joe Gans by decision in December 1903 but was not recognized as the new champion because he came into the fight two pounds over the lightweight limit. Nine months later Langford fought the world welterweight champion, Joe Walcott, to a 15-round draw in a contest that the majority of those in attendance felt he deserved.
Surprisingly, Langford would never receive another opportunity to fight for a world title. Although he faced middleweight champion Stanley Ketchel in a six-round fight in April 1910, this was a predetermined no-decision contest that was rumored to be a preview for a 45-round title bout on the West Coast later that year. Unfortunately, Ketchel was murdered before that event could be held.
Although Langford began competing as a lightweight and then as a welterweight, once he matured physically, it became more difficult for him to keep within those weight limits. He was also aware of the fact that there was more money in fighting big fellows and subsequently went after heavyweights. Over the years he met and defeated many men much larger than himself: men like “Battling” Jim Johnson, Sam McVey, Sandy Ferguson, Joe Jeannette, Sam McVey, “Big” Bill Tate, George Godfrey and Harry Wills. Some of these fighters towered over Langford, who often also gave up as much as 40 pounds in weight. Reserch more about this great Canadian and share with your babies. Make it a champion Day!

January 11 1961- Hamilton Holmes And Charlayne Hunter

GM – FBF – It is incumbent upon all of us to build communities with the educational opportunities and support systems in place to help our youth become successful adults.

Remember – Is Georgia going to go down in history as another Alabama or Missassippi or are you going to do the right thing. – Charlayne Hunter

Today in our History – January 11, 1961 – The 1961 desegregation of the University of Georgia by Hamilton Holmes and Charlayne Hunter is considered a defining moment in civil rights history, leading to the desegregation of other institutions of higher education in Georgia and throughout the Deep South. When the two students walked on to North Campus on January 9 to register for classes, the event marked the culmination of a legal battle that had begun a decade earlier when Horace Ward unsuccessfully sought admission to the law school. Holmes and Hunter were represented by a legal team headed by Atlanta civil rights attorney Donald Hollowell and Constance Baker-Motley of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund. They were joined by Ward, who had earned his law degree at Northwestern, and by Vernon Jordan, a young Atlantan who had just graduated from Howard University Law School.

Holmes and Hunter had both attended all-black Turner High School in Atlanta where Holmes had been valedictorian, senior class president, and co-captain of the football team. Hunter had finished third in her graduating class, had edited the school paper, and had been crowned Miss Turner. Nevertheless, for a year and a half university officials gave a variety of reasons for denying their applications. While the court fight was being waged, the two students started their college careers at other institutions: Holmes at Morehouse and Hunter at integrated Wayne State University in Detroit.

On January 6, 1961, federal judge William Bootle handed down his finding that “the two plaintiffs are fully qualified for immediate admission” and “would already have been admitted had it not been for their race and color.”

On Monday, January 9, as the two students arrived on North Campus, they were met by a crowd of reporters and fellow students, the latter chanting “Two-four-six-eight! We don’t want to integrate!” Still, relative calm prevailed until the third evening after their arrival, when a mob of students descended on Myers Hall, where Hunter resided. The crowd hurled bricks and bottles before finally being dispersed by Athens police, who arrived with tear gas, and Dean of Men William Tate, who waded into the crowd demanding student IDs.

Later that night, Holmes and Hunter were escorted back to Atlanta by state troopers. They were informed by Dean of Students J. A. Williams that he was withdrawing them from UGA “in the interest of your personal safety and for the safety and welfare of more than 7,000 other students at the University of Georgia.” The riot and the suspension decision sparked an outcry, and more than 400 faculty members immediately signed a resolution calling for the return of Holmes and Hunter to campus. Within days, a new court order brought them back. Research more about this event in our history and share with your babies. Make it a champion day!

January 10 – Walter Payton

GM – FBF – People in tough times – it doesn’t mean they don’t have a great attitude

Remember – I try to run on the hottest days, at the hottest time, because that’s the most difficult time. And sometimes I worry about drying out, and dying. Walter Payton

Today in our History – ( July 25, 1953 – November 1, 1999) Walter Payton was an American footballer who played for the Chicago Bears. He was born in Columbia, Mississippi on July 25, 1953 to Peter and Alyne Payton. He had two siblings and was a member of the Boy Scouts, Little League, and the local church. He also played in the marching band at his high school, and participated in the track team as well as the school choir. He wanted to play football in high school, but because his brother Eddie was also on the team, he refrained from playing in order to avoid competing with his brother. After his brother graduated, Payton’s coach asked him to try out for the team and he did so but only on the condition that he be allowed to continue with the band. Once Payton got selected to the team, he was an immediate success. Despite the disadvantage of his relatively small build of 5 ft 10 in, Payton’s speed and strength made him an asset to the team.

The year that Payton started playing, his high school was integrated with a neighboring high school, and their head coach was made the assistant coach at the new school. To protest this decision, Payton and some of his teammates boycotted some matches the following season, but returned to play in the fall. He went on to earn state-wide honors as a member of Mississippi’s all-state team and led his school to a victorious season. Following in his older brother Eddie’s footsteps, he enrolled at Jackson State University, where they both played football. This was a team laden with future football stars such as Jerome Barkum, Robert Brazile, and Jackie Slater.

In 1973, Walter Payton was selected for the All-American Team and was named “Black College Player of the Year” the next year. He was a popular member of the team which earned him the nickname “Sweetness”. He graduated in 1975 with a Bachelor’s degree in Communications. He has since been inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame. His professional career lasted from 1975 till 1987. He made his career with the Chicago Bears, who drafted him in the first round of the 1975 NFL Draft. The Bears had been on a losing streak when he joined. At first he got very little time on the field but soon began to make his mark. He was selected to play in the 1977 Pro Bowl, and chosen the Pro Bowl Most Valuable Player.

MAN Of THE YEAR AWARD in nane of Walter Payton. Started on January 20, 1999 The Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award recognizes an NFL player for his excellence on and off the field. The award was established in 1970. It was renamed in 1999 after the late Hall of Fame Chicago Bears running back, Walter Payton. Each team nominates one player who has had a significant positive impact on his community. Do some research about this great American. Tell your babies. Make it a champion day!

January 6 1961- The Friendship Nine

GM – FBF – We as a people are ready for being treated like Americans, in all phases of our lives.

Remember – “A ham sandwich does not change, so why can’t I order one at this counter” – Diane Nash (Freedom Nine)

Today in our History – January 6, 1961 – The Friendship Nine, or Rock Hill Nine, was a group of African-American men who went to jail after staging a sit-in at a segregated McCrory’s lunch counter in Rock Hill, South Carolina in 1961. The group gained nationwide attention because they followed the 1960 Nashville sit-in strategy of “Jail, No Bail”, which lessened the huge financial burden civil rights groups were facing as the sit-in movement spread across the South. They became known as the Friendship Nine because eight of the nine men were students at Rock Hill’s Friendship Junior College.

The Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) sent four volunteers to Rock Hill, SC to sit-in: Charles Sherrod, Charles Jones, Diane Nash, Ruby Doris Smith-Robinson. They were sentenced to 30 days. This followed a sit-in a week earlier when 10 African American students in Rock Hill (to become known as the Friendship Nine) were arrested for requesting service at a segregated lunch counter. Saying “Jail, No Bail,” both groups (except for one person) refused to post bail and demanded jail time rather than paying fines as a statement “that paying bail or fines indicates acceptance of an immoral system and validates their own arrests” and as a practical strategy when financial resources were limited.

In 2015, Judge John C. Hayes III of Rock Hill overturned the convictions of the nine, stating: “We cannot rewrite history, but we can right history.” At the same occasion, Prosecutor Kevin Brackett apologized to the eight men still living, who were in court. The men were represented at the hearing by Ernest A. Finney, Jr., the same lawyer who had defended them originally, who subsequently went on to become the first African-American Chief Justice of the South Carolina Supreme Court since Reconstruction. Research more about The Rock Hill Nine and Restaurant protests during the 1950’s and 1960’s throughout America and tell your babies. Make It A Champion Day!