Category: 1950 – 1999

August 27 1963- W.E.B Dubois

GM – FBF – Today I would like to share with you a story of one of the greatest Black people in our time. Many know of his story but just in case you don’t by the end of the reading you will. Enjoy!

Remember – “To be a poor man is hard, but to be a poor race in a land of dollars is the very bottom of hardships.” – W. E. B. Du Bois

Today in our History – W.E.B. DuBois died in Accra on August 27, 1963.

Educator, essayist, journalist, scholar, social critic, and activist W.E.B. DuBois, was born to Mary Sylvina Burghardt and Alfred Dubois on February 23, 1868 in Great Barrington, Massachusetts. He excelled in the public schools of Great Barrington, graduating valedictorian from his high school in 1884. Four years later he received a B.A. from Fisk University in Nashville, Tennessee. In 1890 DuBois earned a second bachelor degree from Harvard University. DuBois began two years of graduate studies in History and Economics at the University of Berlin in Germany in 1892 and then returned to the United States to begin a two year stint teaching Greek and Latin at Wilberforce University in Ohio. I

n 1895, DuBois became the first African American to earn a Ph.D. at Harvard University. His doctoral thesis, “The Suppression of the African Slave Trade in America,” became the first book published by Harvard University Press in 1896. Later that year DuBois married Nina Gomer and the couple had two children. After the death of his first wife in 1950, DuBois married Shirley Graham who remained his wife until his death.

Before the close of the 19th century, DuBois also taught at the University of Pennsylvania and Atlanta University. During this time, he became the first scholar to systematically study African American urban life. DuBois’s first post-dissertation book, The Philadelphia Negro, released in 1899, determined that housing and employment discrimination were the principal barriers to racial equality and black prosperity in the urban North. His work and conclusions initiated the field of African American urban history.

DuBois lacked black public appeal of his contemporaries such as Booker T. Washington, Marcus Garvey, and Paul Robeson. He remained scathingly critical of white racism his entire life and unlike Washington he was unwilling to seek compromise in the quest for civil rights and racial justice. In 1903, DuBois published a groundbreaking collection of essays, The Souls of Black Folk, which challenged the civil rights strategies of black leaders like Washington while inspiring a cadre of young black activist scholars to use their work to combat racial oppression. 
In 1905 DuBois and other black leaders created the Niagara Movement to provide an organizational challenge to segregation and discrimination. DuBois edited the organization’s magazines, the Moon and the Horizon. As the Niagara Movement declined, DuBois became the co-founder of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) in 1909 and served as the editor of its magazine, The Crisis, until 1934 when he was fired by the organization.

DuBois’s departure from the NAACP reflected his disillusionment over the continuing power of white racism and what he felt was the compromising approach of black leaders, including his NAACP colleagues. Moreover, DuBois’s speeches and editorials made him unpopular with many whites and some blacks who, fearing white backlash, refused to support his positions on race.

DuBois, however, continued to believe scholarship could promote racial equality. He wrote numerous books and articles including Black Reconstruction in America in 1935. Largely discounted by scholars at the time, the book eventually became the basis for a dramatic reappraisal of the Reconstruction era by scholars in the 1960s and 1970s. His conclusions regarding the progress made by African Americans during the decade of Reconstruction have now been accepted by almost all mainstream historians.

By the early 1950s, at the height of the Cold War, DuBois devoted much of his energy to promoting peace between the United States and the Soviet Union. He embraced this controversial position at great personal and professional peril. His only foray into politics, a failed run in 1950 as a Socialist for the US Senate seat from New York, drew the attention of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). Stripped by the State Department of his passport in 1950 and criticized by many former allies and associates in the civil rights struggle, DuBois became a Communist, believing it offered the only hope for working class people around the world and the only major challenge to racism.

In 1961 DuBois gave up his citizenship and left the United States permanently for Accra, Ghana. With the support of Ghanaian President Kwame Nkrumah, DuBois became the editor of the proposed Africana Encyclopedia. Before the project was completed, DuBois died in Accra on August 27, 1963, on the eve of the March on Washington, the largest civil rights demonstration in the US to that date. Research more about this great American and share with your babies. Make it a champion day!

August 25 1956- Centralized Operations under COINTELPRO

GM – FBF – Today I would like to share with you a story about our government spying, paying off, infiltrating and disbanding individuals or groups that they deemed as a threat to the American cause. This group operated unchecked by the media or congress for decades. If you never heard of this ask one of your elders or research it for yourself. Enjoy!

Remember – “Prevent the RISE OF A “MESSIAH” who could unify, and electrify, the militant Black Nationalist movement. Malcolm X might have been such a “messiah;” he is the martyr of the movement today. Martin Luther King, Stokely Carmichael and Elijah Muhammed all aspire to this position. Elijah Muhammed is less of a threat because of his age. King could be a very real contender for this position should he abandon his supposed “obedience” to “white, liberal doctrines” (nonviolence) and embrace Black Nationalism. Carmichael has the necessary charisma to be a real threat in this way.” – J. Edgar Hoover – FBI Director

Today in our History – August 25, 1956 -Centralized operations under COINTELPRO officially began on August 25, 1956 with a program designed to “increase factionalism, cause disruption and win defections” inside the Communist Party USA (CPUSA).

COINTELPRO (Portmanteau derived from COunter INTELligence PROgram) (1956–1971) was a series of covert, and at times illegal, projects conducted by the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) aimed at surveilling, infiltrating, discrediting, and disrupting domestic political organizations. FBI records show that COINTELPRO resources targeted groups and individuals that the FBI deemed subversive, including the Communist Party USA, anti-Vietnam War organizers, activists of the civil rights movement or Black Power movement (e.g. Martin Luther King Jr., Nation of Islam, and the Black Panther Party), feminist organizations, independence movements (such as Puerto Rican independence groups like the Young Lords), and a variety of organizations that were part of the broader New Left.

The program also targeted white supremacist groups including the Ku Klux Klan and nationalist groups including Irish Republicans and Cuban exiles. The FBI also financed, armed, and controlled an extreme right-wing group of former Minutemen, transforming it into a group called the Secret Army Organization that targeted groups, activists, and leaders involved in the Anti-War Movement, using both intimidation and violent acts.

Centralized operations under COINTELPRO officially began on August 25, 1956 with a program designed to “increase factionalism, cause disruption and win defections” inside the Communist Party USA (CPUSA). Tactics included anonymous phone calls, IRS audits, and the creation of documents that would divide the American communist organization internally. An October 1956 memo from Hoover reclassified the FBI’s ongoing surveillance of black leaders, including it within COINTELPRO, with the justification that the movement was infiltrated by communists. In 1956, Hoover sent an open letter denouncing Dr. T.R.M. Howard, a civil rights leader, surgeon, and wealthy entrepreneur in Mississippi who had criticized FBI inaction in solving recent murders of George W. Lee, Emmett Till, and other black people in the South.[30] When the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), an African-American civil rights organization, was founded in 1957, the FBI began to monitor and target the group almost immediately, focusing particularly on Bayard Rustin, Stanley Levison, and eventually Martin Luther King Jr.

The “suicide letter”, that the FBI mailed anonymously to Martin Luther King Jr. in an attempt to convince him to commit suicide.

After the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, Hoover singled out King as a major target for COINTELPRO. Under pressure from Hoover to focus on King, Sullivan wrote:
In the light of King’s powerful demagogic speech. … We must mark him now if we have not done so before, as the most dangerous Negro of the future in this nation from the standpoint of communism, the Negro, and national security. 
Soon after, the FBI was systematically bugging King’s home and his hotel rooms, as they were now aware that King was growing in stature daily as the leader among leaders of the civil rights movement.

In the mid-1960s, King began publicly criticizing the Bureau for giving insufficient attention to the use of terrorism by white supremacists. Hoover responded by publicly calling King the most “notorious liar” in the United States. IN his 1991 memoir, Washington Post journalist Carl Rowan asserted that the FBI had sent at least one anonymous letter to King encouraging him to commit suicide. Historian Taylor Branch documents an anonymous November 21, 1964 “suicide package” sent by the FBI that contained audio recordings, which were obtained through tapping King’s phone and placing bugs throughout various hotel rooms over the past two years was created two days after the announcement of King’s impending Nobel Peace Prize.

The tape, which was prepared by FBI audio technician John 
Matter documented a series of King’s sexual indiscretions combined with a letter telling him “There is only one way out for you. You better take it before your filthy, abnormal, fraudulent self is bared to the nation”. King was subsequently informed that the audio would be released to the media if he did not acquiesce and commit suicide prior to accepting his Nobel Peace Award. When King refused to satisfy their coercion tactics, FBI Associate Director, Cartha D. DeLoach, commenced a media campaign offering the surveillance transcript to various news organizations including, Newsweek and Newsday. And even by 1969, as has been noted elsewhere, “[FBI] efforts to ‘expose’ Martin Luther King Jr. had not slackened even though King had been dead for a year. [The Bureau] furnished ammunition to conservatives to attack King’s memory, and…tried to block efforts to honor the slain leader.”

During the same period the program also targeted Malcolm X. While an FBI spokesman has denied that the FBI was “directly” involved in Malcolm’s murder, it is documented that the Bureau worked to “widen the rift” between Malcolm and Elijah Muhammad through infiltration and the “sparking of acrimonious debates within the organization,” rumor-mongering, and other tactics designed to foster internal disputes, which ultimately led to Malcolm’s assassination. The FBI heavily infiltrated Malcolm’s Organization of Afro-American Unity in the final months of his life. The Pulitzer Prize-winning biography of Malcolm X by Manning Marable asserts that most of the men who plotted Malcolm’s assassination were never apprehended and that the full extent of the FBI’s involvement in his death cannot be known.

Amidst the urban unrest of July–August 1967, the FBI began “COINTELPRO–BLACK HATE”, which focused on King and the SCLC as well as the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), the Revolutionary Action Movement (RAM), the Deacons for Defense and Justice, Congress of Racial Equality (CORE), and the Nation of Islam. BLACK HATE established the Ghetto Informant Program and instructed 23 FBI offices to “disrupt, misdirect, discredit, or otherwise neutralize the activities of black nationalist hate type organizations”.

A March 1968 memo stated the program’s goal was to “prevent the coalition of militant black nationalist groups”; to “Prevent the RISE OF A ‘MESSIAH’ who could unify…the militant black nationalist movement”; “to pinpoint potential troublemakers and neutralize them before they exercise their potential for violence [against authorities].”; to “Prevent militant black nationalist groups and leaders from gaining RESPECTABILITY, by discrediting them to…both the responsible community and to liberals who have vestiges of sympathy…”; and to “prevent the long-range GROWTH of militant black organizations, especially among youth.” Dr. King was said to have potential to be the “messiah” figure, should he abandon nonviolence and integrationism, and Stokely Carmichael was noted to have “the necessary charisma to be a real threat in this way” as he was portrayed as someone who espoused a much more militant vision of “black power.”

While the FBI was particularly concerned with leaders and organizers, they did not limit their scope of target to the heads of organizations. Individuals such as writers were also listed among the targets of operations.

This program coincided with a broader federal effort to prepare military responses for urban riots, and began increased collaboration between the FBI, Central Intelligence Agency, National Security Agency, and the Department of Defense. The CIA launched its own domestic espionage project in 1967 called Operation CHAOS. A particular target was the Poor People’s Campaign, a national effort organized by King and the SCLC to occupy Washington, D.C. The FBI monitored and disrupted the campaign on a national level, while using targeted smear tactics locally to undermine support for the march.[49] The Black Panther Party was another targeted organization, wherein the FBI collaborated to destroy the party from the inside out.

Overall, COINTELPRO encompassed disruption and sabotage of the Socialist Workers Party (1961), the Ku Klux Klan (1964), the Nation of Islam, the Black Panther Party (1967), and the entire New Left social/political movement, which included antiwar, community, and religious groups (1968). A later investigation by the Senate’s Church Committee (see below) stated that “COINTELPRO began in 1956, in part because of frustration with Supreme Court rulings limiting the Government’s power to proceed overtly against dissident groups …” Official congressional committees and several court cases have concluded that COINTELPRO operations against communist and socialist groups exceeded statutory limits on FBI activity and violated constitutional guarantees of freedom of speech and association.

The program was successfully kept secret until 1971, when the Citizens’ Commission to Investigate the FBI burgled an FBI field office in Media, Pennsylvania, took several dossiers, and exposed the program by passing this material to news agencies.[51] The Fight of the Century between Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier provided cover for the activist group to successfully pull off the burglary; Muhammad Ali was himself a COINTELPRO target due to his involvement with the Nation of Islam and the anti-war movement. Many news organizations initially refused to publish the information. Within the year, Director J. Edgar Hoover declared that the centralized COINTELPRO was over, and that all future counterintelligence operations would be handled on a case-by-case basis.

Additional documents were revealed in the course of separate lawsuits filed against the FBI by NBC correspondent Carl Stern, the Socialist Workers Party, and a number of other groups. In 1976 the Select Committee to Study Governmental Operations with Respect to Intelligence Activities of the United States Senate, commonly referred to as the “Church Committee” for its chairman, Senator Frank Church of Idaho, launched a major investigation of the FBI and COINTELPRO. Many released documents have been partly, or entirely, redacted.

The Final Report of the Select Committee castigated the conduct of the intelligence community in its domestic operations (including COINTELPRO) in no uncertain terms:
The Committee finds that the domestic activities of the intelligence community at times violated specific statutory prohibitions and infringed the constitutional rights of American citizens. The legal questions involved in intelligence programs were often not considered. On other occasions, they were intentionally disregarded in the belief that because the programs served the “national security” the law did not apply. While intelligence officers on occasion failed to disclose to their superiors programs which were illegal or of questionable legality, the Committee finds that the most serious breaches of duty were those of senior officials, who were responsible for controlling intelligence activities and generally failed to assure compliance with the law.

Many of the techniques used would be intolerable in a democratic society even if all of the targets had been involved in violent activity, but COINTELPRO went far beyond that … the Bureau conducted a sophisticated vigilante operation aimed squarely at preventing the exercise of First Amendment rights of speech and association, on the theory that preventing the growth of dangerous groups and the propagation of dangerous ideas would protect the national security and deter violence.

The Church Committee documented a history of the FBI exercising political repression as far back as World War I, through the 1920s, when agents were charged with rounding up “anarchists, communists, socialists, reformists and revolutionaries” for deportation. The domestic operations were increased against political and anti-war groups from 1936 through 1976. Research more about our government working to keep Black groups, Individuals and entertainers from gaining power. Share with your babies and make it a champion day!

August 24 1987- Bayard Rustin

GM – FBF – Today I would like to share with you a person who gave his energy, passion and knowledge to Black America. If you have ever heard of A. Phillip Randolph to Martin Luther King, Jr. To me he was the greatest mass organizer that Blacks had ever had because when you think of protest marches in cities across America or our Nation’s Capital it was a production of his from the 40’s to the 60’s. Enjoy!

Remember – “When an individual is protesting society’s refusal to acknowledge his dignity as a human being, his very act of protest confers dignity on him.” ― Bayard Rustin

Today in our History – August 24, 1987 – Bayard Rustin dies.

Bayard Rustin was one of the most important, and yet least known, Civil Rights advocates in the twentieth century. He was born in West Chester, Pennsylvania and raised by his maternal grandparents. His grandmother, Julia, was both a Quaker and an active member of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). Quakerism, and NAACP leaders W.E.B. Du Bois and James Weldon Johnson, who were frequent visitors, proved influential in Rustin’s life.

Rustin attended Wilberforce University (1932-1936) and Cheyney State Teachers College (1936), in each instance without graduating. After completing an activist training program conducted by the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC), he moved to Harlem, New York in 1937. In Harlem, he enrolled at the City College of New York, began singing in local clubs with black folksingers including John White and Huddie Ledbetter, became active in the efforts to free the Scottsboro Boys, and joined the Young Communist League, motivated by their advocacy of racial equality.

By 1941, Rustin quit the Communist Party and began working with union organizer A. Philip Randolph and A.J. Muste, leader of the Fellowship of Reconciliation (FOR). Together they organized the March on Washington Movement which protested segregation in the military and African Americans exclusion from employment in defense industries. Their protests resulted in President Franklin Delano Roosevelt issuing Executive Order 8802 creating the Fair Employment Practices Committee.

Rustin along with FOR members George Houser, Bernice Fisher, and James L. Farmer helped create the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) which pioneered the civil rights strategy of non-violent direct action. In 1944, he traveled to California to help protect the property of Japanese Americans interned during the war. In 1947, he and Houser organized the Journey of Reconciliation, the first Freedom Ride testing the Supreme Court decision outlawing racial discrimination in interstate travel. After organizing FOR’s Free India Committee, he traveled to India to study nonviolence; and to Africa meeting with leaders of the Ghanaian and Nigerian independence movements.

As a pacifist, Rustin was arrested for violating the Selective Service Act and was imprisoned at Lewisberg Federal Penitentiary from 1944 to 1946. Throughout his civil rights career he was arrested twenty-three times, including a 1953 charge for vagrancy and lewd conduct in Pasadena, California.

Rustin was openly gay and lived with partner, Walter Naegle, at a time when homosexuality was criminalized throughout the U.S. He was subsequently fired by the FOR, but became executive secretary of the War Resisters League. He also served as a member of the AFSC task force that wrote one of the most widely influential pacifist essays in U.S. history, “Speak Truth to Power: A Quaker Search for an Alternative to Violence,” in 1955.

In 1956, Rustin went to Montgomery, Alabama and advised Martin Luther King, Jr. on nonviolent strategies of resistance during the Montgomery Bus Boycott. King and Rustin helped organize the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC). However, in 1960 New York Congressman, Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. forced him to resign from SCLC due to concerns shared by many black leaders about Rustin’s homosexuality and communist past.

Due to the combination of the homophobia of these leaders and their fear he might compromise the movement, Rustin would not receive public recognition for his role in the movement. Nevertheless, Rustin continued to work in the Civil Rights Movement, organizing the seminal 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom with A. Philip Randolph

Throughout the 1970s and 1980s, Rustin remained politically active. Although he often shared their commitment to human rights, Rustin was a vocal critic of emerging black power politics. Toward the end of his life he continued to work as a human rights advocate, while serving on the Board of Trustees of the University of Notre Dame. The year before he died he testified in favor of New York State’s Gay Rights Bill. Bayard Rustin died in New York on August 24, 1987 from a perforated appendix. Research more about this great American and share with your babies. Make it a champion day!

August 20 1964- President lyndon Johnson

GM – FBF – Today I would like to share with you a Federal National Program that was Introduce to the country in hopes to give a facade of help but it was really and has been ever since a program of dependency. The United States President that started the program and the ones that Inherited the program really did not allow the program in its full totally to work. Let’s look at what has been called THE WAR ON POVERTY. Enjoy!

Remember – “Some years ago, the federal government declared a war on poverty and won,” – President Ronald Reagan

Today in our History – August 20, 1964 President Lyndon Johnson signed the Economic Opportunity Act (EOA) and created the Office of Economic Opportunity (OEO), providing both the strategy and the ammunition to fight the War on Poverty.

The Civil Rights Movement and investigative journalism combined in the early 1960s, inciting a nation to address the growing problem of poverty in America. A 1963 New York Times series on Appalachian poverty and Michael Harrington’s The Other America (1962) inspired discontent young Americans as well as President John F. Kennedy to take action. In response, Kennedy initiated federal pilot programs to address job creation, skills training, and hunger. Kennedy’s successor, President Lyndon Johnson, would use these as the basis for his War on Poverty.

In his State of the Union address on January 8, 1964, in the midst of the civil rights movement, President Johnson informed the nation that he had declared “unconditional war on poverty in America.” On August 20 of the same year, Johnson signed the Economic Opportunity Act (EOA) and created the Office of Economic Opportunity (OEO), providing both the strategy and the ammunition to fight the War on Poverty. One of the key provisions of the EOA was the creation of community action agencies that could apply for federal funds to support the development of service programs like Head Start, Legal Services, Job Corps, and VISTA (Volunteers in Service To America). These agencies were to include “maximum feasible participation of the poor.”

For many African Americans, the War on Poverty in general offered economic opportunities. The community action programs, in particular, provided a framework to further pursue the democratic goals of the civil rights movement. Following the Watts Riots in August of 1965, many black community organizations saw the community action programs of the War on Poverty as a way to gain some economic, political, and cultural power within their own communities. These organizations often directly challenged entrenched political and economic power structures. As a result, community action programs became the most controversial aspect of the War on Poverty.

Initially embraced by Congress and the American public, the OEO quickly came under constant scrutiny and criticism. Amidst the controversy over community action, President Johnson also was hesitant to expand the OEO budget at a time when he needed Congressional support for America’s increased involvement in Vietnam. As a result, the War on Poverty never received the funding necessary to effectively attack poverty. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., expressed the sentiments of many civil rights and antipoverty activists when he argued that the War on Poverty was being “shot down on the battlefields of Vietnam.” The administrations of Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford further emasculated OEO, either transferring its programs to other federal agencies or completely eliminating them. By the late 1970s, the OEO itself was gone.

But the War on Poverty lived on through some of the programs like Head Start and Legal Services that were transferred to other federal departments and especially through community antipoverty organizations. In urban areas like Los Angeles (California), Newark (New Jersey), Baltimore (Maryland) and New York, African Americans, inspired by the civil rights/ black power movement and the participatory ideals of the War on Poverty, formed black-controlled community organizations in the 1960s and 1970s that provided jobs, job training, housing, credit unions, and cultural programs, many of which are still active today.

The War on Poverty fell well short of its stated goal of eliminating poverty, but broadened efforts to democratize America and established community organizations that continue to battle poverty. Research more about Federal Government programs and the Impact on the society or the challenges made to the United States Supreme Court as being unconstitutional and share with your babies. Make it a champion day!

August 19 1974

GM – FBF – Today, I would like to give you some insight on our 33rd state that entered the Union. Did you know that Oregon was set up as a place where Blacks were not welcomed? The resulting Article 1, Section 35 of the Oregon state constitution:
No free negro, or mulatto, not residing in this State at the time of the adoption of this Constitution, shall come, reside, or be within this State, or hold any real estate, or make any contracts, or maintain any suit therein; and the Legislative Assembly shall provide by penal laws, for the removal, by public officers, of all such negroes, and mulattoes, and for their effectual exclusion from the State, and for the punishment of persons who shall bring them into the state, or employ, or harbor them. – I want to share with you a story of a Black woman who fought to be heard. Enjoy!

Remember – “The object of the National Association for the Advancement of the Colored People as you know is to make 12 million American Negroes physically free from…mentally free from ignorance, politically free from disenfranchisement and socially free from insult.” – Beatrice Morrow Cannady

Today in our History – August 19, 1974 – Beatrice Morrow Cannady dies. (1889 – 1974)

Beatrice Morrow Cannady was the most noted civil rights activist in early twentieth-century Oregon. Using her position as editor of the Advocate, Oregon’s largest, and at times the only, African American newspaper, Cannady launched numerous efforts to defend the civil rights of the approximately 2,500 African Americans in the state (in 1930) and to challenge racial discrimination in its varied forms.

Beatrice Morrow was born in 1889 in Littig, Texas. She reportedly graduated from Wiley College in Marshall, Texas, in 1908, worked briefly as a teacher in Oklahoma, and then enrolled in the University of Chicago, where she studied music. In 1912, she left the city for Portland, Oregon, to marry Edward Daniel Cannady, the founder and editor of the Advocate. Upon their marriage, Beatrice Cannady became assistant editor of the newspaper, beginning an affiliation that would continue for the next twenty-four years; she would become the editor and owner of the Advocate in 1930 after her divorce from Edward. In 1922, at the age of thirty-three, Cannady became the first African American woman to graduate from Northwestern College of Law in Portland. She was one of only two women in a class of twenty-two.

Two years after joining the Advocate, Cannady became a founding member of the Portland NAACP. She quickly emerged as its most powerful voice when she directed the local protest against the controversial anti-black film, The Birth of a Nation. Cannady and other community leaders carried on a fifteen-year campaign to limit the showing of the film. In 1928, NAACP Executive Secretary James Weldon Johnson invited her to address the association’s convention in Los Angeles. In her speech, which followed the keynote by W.E.B. DuBois, she said, “It is the duty of the Negro woman to see that in the home there are histories of her race written by Negro historians. . . . The Negro mother has it within her power to invest less in overstuffed furniture . . . and more in books and music by and about the Negro race so that our youth my grow up with a pride of race which can never be had any other way.”

Through the pages of the Advocate Cannady confronted the racial discrimination routinely practiced by restaurants, hotels, and movie theaters in Oregon and the Pacific Northwest. She successfully challenged the exclusion of African American children from public schools in Longview, Washington, and Vernonia, Oregon, and kept her readers informed of Ku Klux Klan activity throughout the state.

Cannady also assumed the role of unofficial ambassador of racial goodwill, writing articles, giving lectures, and using the new medium of radio to promote African American history and racial equality. Maintaining a collection of over three hundred volumes on African American history and literature, as well as a complete file of leading civil rights organization publications such as the NAACP’s Crisis magazine, Cannady transformed her living room into a reading and lending library about African Americans. In 1929, her efforts were recognized nationally when she was nominated for the Harmon Award in Race Relations, given by the Harmon Foundation in New York City.

Cannady’s activism extended far beyond U.S. race relations issues. She served as a member of the Oregon Prison Association and the Near East Relief Organization and used her affiliation with the Oregon Committee on the Cause and Cure of War to warn Oregonians about the dangers of war and militarism. Cannady also joined the Pan African Congress and in 1927 represented Oregon at its national convention in New York City. In 1932, she ran unsuccessfully for the office of state representative from District 5, Multnomah County.

Six years later, she left Oregon—and public life—when she moved to Los Angeles. Cannady died there in 1974. Research more about Black women freedom fighters and share with your babies. Make it a champion day!

August 17 1990- Pearl Mae Bailey

GM – FBF- Today, America is still morning the passing of “The Queen of Soul” Aretha Franklin yesterday and more will be said and shared with her and her family over the week. Did you know that there was a Black female entertainer who sung, played as an actress in Hollywood and performed on Broadway, besides staring in her own television show and sat in as guest host more than once for Johnny Carson of the famed “Tonight Show”? She also shared the stage with Aretha Franklin on many occasions. We who lived in and around Philadelphia and South Jersey saw her more than others as she frequent Atlantic City and The Latin Casino in Cherry Hill, NJ. She was known effectually as “PEARL”. Enjoy!

Remember – “Never, never rest contented with any circle of ideas, but always be certain that a wider one is still possible.” Pearl Bailey

Today in our History – August 17, 1990, Pearl Mae Bailey died in Philadelphia, PA. from coronary artery disease.

Legendary entertainer Pearl Mae Bailey was born on March 29, 1918 in Southamption County, Virginia to Rev. Joseph and Ella Mae Bailey. She grew up in Newport News, Virginia. Bailey began her acting and singing career early at the age of 15 with her debut performance at an amateur contest at Philadelphia’s Pearl Theater. Encouraged to enter the contest by her older brother, Bill Bailey, an aspiring tap dancer, Pearl Bailey won first prize in the competition.

After winning a similar contest at Harlem’s Apollo Theater, Bailey decided to start performing as a professional. In the 1930s she took jobs singing and dancing in Philadelphia’s black nightclubs. After the start of World War II, Bailey decided to tour the country with the USO where she performed for US troops. The USO performances spread her name and reputation across the country.

After the war ended Bailey moved to New York. She continued to perform in nightclubs but she also garnered a recording contract and now went on tour to promote her music. Her 1952 recording, “Takes Two to Tango,” was one of the top songs of the year. In 1946 Bailey made her Broadway debut in St. Louis Woman where she played the role of Hagar in a cast that also included Mahalia Jackson, Eartha Kitt and Nat King Cole. Although Bailey performed on stage she still performed in concert tours. On November 9, 1952, Bailey married jazz drummer Louie Bellson in London.

In 1954 Bailey made her film debut as a supporting actress in Carmen Jones. Playing the character, Frankie, she was most remembered for her rendition of “Beat Out That Rhythm on the Drum. Bailey also starred in the Broadway musical House of Flowers in 1954. By 1959 she was considered a leading African American actor and starred in films such as Porgy and Bess with Sidney Poitier and Dorothy Dandridge.

In 1970, Bailey, a lifelong Republican, was appointed by President Richard Nixon as America’s “Ambassador of Love.” In that post she attended several meetings at the United Nations. She later made a television commercial for President Gerald Ford in the 1976 election.

Although Bailey continued to release records and star in various films through the 1960s, had a short-lived television series in the early 1970s, her most celebrated entertainment achievement came in 1975 when she returned to the stage to star in an all-black production of Hello Dolly where she won a Tony Award.

While taking a break from acting, Bailey went back to school and earned a B.A. in theology from Georgetown University in 1985. In 1987 Bailey won an Emmy Award for her performance in an ABC Afterschool Special, Cindy Eller: A Modern Fairy Tale. The following year she was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Ronald Reagan.
On August 17, 1990, Pearl Mae Bailey died in Philadelphia from coronary artery disease. She was 72. Research more about this great American and share with your babies. Make it a champion day!

August 10 1965- Cassandra Quin Butt

GM – FBF – Today, I would like to share with you the story of a young lady who was with President Obama from his early days in IL. throught his time in the White House, Enjoy!

Remember – ” Dreams are just thant unless you work on turning a dream into your reality” – 
Cassandra Quin Butt

Today in our History – August 10, 1965 – Deputy White House Counsel to President Barack Obama is born.

Cassandra Quin Butt is Deputy White House Counsel to President Barack Obama on issues relating to civil rights, domestic policy, healthcare, and education. She brought seventeen years of experience in politics and policy to her position. She is a long-time friend of the President, acting as an advisor during his term in the U.S. Senate and throughout his presidential campaign. Additionally, she served as a member of the presidential transition team.

Butts was born on August 10, 1965, in Brooklyn, New York, and at age nine moved to Durham, North Carolina. She graduated from the University of North Carolina (UNC) at Chapel Hill with a BA in political science. While at UNC she participated in anti-apartheid protests. She entered Harvard Law School in 1988 where her friendship with future President Barack Obama began when both were filling out forms in the student financial aid line. Butts continued her activism at Harvard where she joined in protests regarding hiring practices for faculty of color. She received a JD from Harvard in 1991.

The first black woman to function as Deputy White House Counsel gradually rose to prominence Her first job was as a counselor at the YMCA in Durham, North Carolina, and after graduating from UNC she worked for a year as a researcher with the African News Service in Durham. For six years she was a registered lobbyist with the Center for American Progress (CAP), rising to Senior Vice President.

Butts served as an election observer in the 2000 Zimbabwean parliamentary elections and was a counsel to Senator Harris Wofford of Pennsylvania. Butts then performed litigation and policy work as assistant counsel for the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc., where she worked on civil rights policy and litigated voting rights and school desegregation cases. She spent seven years working as a senior advisor to U.S. Congressman and Democratic Majority Leader Dick Gephardt of Missouri. Working with Gephardt honed her political skills with her appointment as policy director on his 2004 presidential campaign, during which she helped formulate a universal health care plan. She also was his principal advisor on matters involving judiciary, financial services, and information technology issues. By 1998 Butts provided strategic advice to the Majority Leader on a range of issues including the 1998 presidential impeachment and legislation relating to the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. While working for Gephardt she helped draft the groundbreaking September 11th Victim Compensation Fund of 2001.

In her current White House position, Butts advises President Obama on general domestic policy concerns. Additionally, she specializes in matters related to presidential policy, ethical questions, financial disclosures, and legal issues surrounding the President’s decision to sign or veto legislation. Research more about this great American and share with your babies. Make it A champion day!

July 24 1954- Mary Eliza Church

GM – FBF – Today, I would like to share with you a story of an American social activist who was co – founder and first president of the National Association of Colored Women. She was an early civil rights advocate, an educator, an author, and a lecturer on woman suffrage and rights for African Americans. Enjoy!

Remember – “”Keep on going, keep on insisting, keep on fighting injustice.” – Mary Eliza Church Terrell

Today in our History – July 24,1954 – Mary Eliza Church Terrell Annapolis, MD.. Born Sept. 23, 1863, Memphis, Tenn.,

Civil rights activist and suffragist. She was born in Memphis, Tennessee,the daughter of Robert Church and Louisa Ayers, both former slaves. Robert was the son of his white master, Charles Church. During the Memphis race riots in 1866 Mary’s father was shot in the head and left for dead.

He survived the attack and eventually became a successful businessman. He speculated in the property market and was considered to be the wealthiest black man in the South. Although she was fair skinned enough to “pass” as a white person if she had so chosen, she placed herself firmly in the struggle for African American empowerment. She was an outstanding student and after graduating from Oberlin College, Ohio, in 1884, she taught at a black secondary school in Washington and at Wilberforce University in Ohio.

Through her father, Mary met Frederick Douglass and Booker T. Washington. She was especially close to Douglass and worked with him on several civil rights campaigns. After a two year traveling and studying in France, Germany, Switzerland, Italy and England (1888-1890), Mary returned to the United States where she married Robert Heberton Terrell, a lawyer who was later to become the first black municipal court judge in Washington. In 1892 Church’s friend, Tom Moss, a grocer from Memphis, was lynched by a white mob. Church and Frederick Douglass had a meeting with Benjamin Harrison concerning this case but the president was unwilling to make a public statement condemning lynching.

Terrell was an active member of the National American Woman Suffrage Association and was particularly concerned about ensuring the organization continued to fight for black women getting the vote. With Josephine Ruffin she formed the Federation of Afro-American Women and in 1896 she became the first president of the newly formed National Association of Colored Women. In 1904 she was invited to speak at the Berlin International Congress of Women. She was the only black woman at the conference and, determined to make a good impression, she created a sensation when she gave her speech in German, French and English.

During the First World War Terrell and her daughter Phillis joined Alice Paul and Lucy Burns of the Congressional Union for Women Suffrage (CUWS) in picketing the White House. She was particularly upset when in one demonstration outside of the White House, leaders of the party asked the black suffragist, Ida Wells-Barnett, not to march with other members. It was feared that identification with black civil rights would lose the support of white women in the South. Despite pressure from people like Mary White Ovington, leaders of the CUWS refused to publicly state that they endorsed black female suffrage. In 1909 Terrell joined with Ovington to form the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP).

The first meeting of the NAACP was held on 12th February, 1909. Early members included Josephine Ruffin, Jan Addams, Inez Milholland, William B. DuBois, Charles Darrow, Charles Edward Russell, Lincoln Steffens, Ray Stannard Baker, and Ida B. Wells-Barnett. Terrell wrote several books including her autobiography, “A Colored Woman in a White World” (1940). In the early 1950s she was involved in the struggle against segregation in public eating places in Washington. Her motto was “Keep on going, keep on insisting, keep on fighting injustice.” Research more about this great American and share with your babies. Make it a champion day!

July 12 1967- “BURN BABY BURN”

GM – FBF – Today, I would like to share with you a story about New Jersey’s largest City. The Riots during that summer of 1967 not only hit Newark but from Jersey City down to New Brunswick. I f you lived in Trenton, our city had a few people around town but thank God not as bad as North Jersey.

Remember – ” It was a scene in the old west, people shooting at police and police shooting back” – Mayor Hugh Addonizio of Newark, NJ.

Today in our History – July 12, 1967 – “BURN BABY BURN”

The Newark Riot of 1967 which took place in Newark, New Jersey from July 12 through July 17, 1967, was sparked by a display of police brutality. John Smith, an African American cab driver for the Safety Cab Company, was arrested on Wednesday July 12 when he drove his taxi around a police car and double-parked on 15th Avenue. According to a police report later released to the press, the police claimed that Smith was charged with “tailgating” and driving in the wrong direction on a one-way street. Smith was also charged with using offensive language and physical assault.

A witness who had seen Smith’s arrest called members of the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE), the United Freedom Party, and the Newark Community Union Project. These civil rights leaders were given permission to see Smith in his 4th Precinct holding cell. After noticing his injuries inflicted by the police, they demanded that he be transported to a hospital. Their demands were granted and Smith was moved to Beth Israel Hospital in Newark.

Around 8:00 p.m. black Newark cab drivers began to circulate the report of Smith’s arrest on their radios. Word spread down 17th Avenue, west of the precinct police station where Smith had been held. Residents in this predominantly black city recalled a long history of similar events with the Newark Police. Many of them angrily gathered on the streets facing the 4th Precinct.

At 11:00 p.m. one of the civil rights leaders informed the police that a peaceful protest would be organized across the street from the precinct. A police officer handed the leader a bullhorn to address the crowd. Bob Curvin, a member of CORE, was joined by Timothy Still, the president of a poverty program, and Oliver Lofton, who was the administrator of the Newark Legal Services Project. Although the three speakers urged a nonviolent protest march, an unidentified local resident took the bullhorn and urged violence. Young men from the neighborhood began to pick up bricks and bottles and searched for gasoline. Shortly afterwards, objects were thrown at the precinct windows.

Shortly after midnight, two Molotov cocktails were thrown at the precinct. Then a group of 25 people on 17th Avenue began to loot stores. The looting drew larger crowds and Newark was now engulfed in rioting.

Despite the violence, on Thursday morning Newark Mayor announced that Wednesday night’s activities were isolated incidents and were not of riot proportions. At 6:00 p.m. Thursday night, a large group of young kids gathered on the street where traffic had been blocked. Word spread along 17th Avenue that people would again demonstrate against the precinct. Human Rights Commission Director James Threatt arrived and told the crowds to disperse. They refused and rioting commenced for a second night.

After midnight Thursday, looting spread throughout the major commercial district of the ghetto in Newark. Groups of young adults smashed windows while chanting “Black Power.” At the same time the looting spread, the police were given clearance to use firearms to defend themselves. At 2:20 a.m. Mayor Addonizio asked New Jersey Governor Richard J. Hughes to send in the National Guard to help in restoring order.

At around 4:00 a.m. a looter was shot while trying to flee from two police officers. By early Friday morning five people had been killed and 425 people were jailed. Hundreds were wounded. More than 3,000 National Guardsmen arrived later in the day along with five hundred state troopers. By mid-afternoon, the Guardsmen and the troopers arrived, formed convoys, and were moving throughout the city.

Despite the presence of National Guardsmen and state troopers rioting continued for three more days. As the riot approached its final hours, 26 people, mostly African Americans, were reported killed, another 750 were injured and over 1,000 were jailed. Property damage exceeded $10 million. The riot, the worst civil disorder in New Jersey history, ended on July 17, 1967. Research more about this wild time in “BRICK CITY” 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!