Category: 2000 & Later

October 28 2009- “This Is It” The Movie By Micheal Jackson

GM – FBF – Today’s story can only be told by people who lived through it. Coming out of Gary, Indiana in 1968, The Jackson’s were STARS with number one hits, T.V. specials and even a Saturday morning cartoon show. I personally saw him perform over his career six times between his brothers and by himself. His personal life and professional life is an open book and I feel sorry for how his life ended but so did Dorothy’s, “Bird” and Billie to name a few. I just know that he was better than what you saw in the move but at that part of his life I guess that was all that he had left. Enjoy!

Remember – “There were times when I had great times with my brothers, pillow fights and things, but I was, used to always cry from loneliness.” – Michael Jackson

Today in our History – October 28, 2009 – “THIS IS IT” the movie by Michael Jackson opens in Theaters.
The announcement earlier this year that Michael Jackson would be doing 50 concerts in London was greeted with equal parts euphoria and cynicism. Was he doing it for us? Was he doing it for money? Then in June, less than a month before the start of the sold-out run, Jackson died of cardiac arrest, and the news that a film of the show’s rehearsal footage was on the way added another layer of ambivalence. Awesome. Creepy. But, for now, “Michael Jackson’s This Is It’’ is the fierce last word on the matter. Jackson had no apparent plans to phone, fax, text, or IM it in.

The movie still arrives, screened for critics only hours before opening, with an eerie taint. It comes days before Halloween; its star, while far from death at the time, a diminished version of his electrifying self, his face a wan mask. Next weekend, that popular chiller about the couple in the haunted house won’t be the only paranormal activity at the box office. Yet watching Jackson pop, lock, rock, writhe, thrust, and clutch his crotch, even at 50 percent, leaves a feeling of woe: This show really would have been major.

Over the summer news outlets ran some of the footage – or footage very much like it. For a movie audience, the question is whether an hour and a half of the same will be any fun, especially when so much of it is barely camera-phone quality. The opening minutes seem doubtful. Jackson chops, poses, and slides through “Wanna Be Startin’ Something.’’ He doesn’t commit to any sort of vocal styling. And you can see him thinking about how to work the song out.

Watching a great artist decide how to move doesn’t seem much more exciting than watching a waiter set a table: When’s dinner? That, of course, is the terrible punch line of this entire experience: This is it. So, instead, we devour even Jackson’s lassitude. It’s our last supper. (Besides, what waiter is going to serve you wearing a tuxedo jacket with one sequined lapel and shoulders that look like something from a Tim Burton movie?)

Lest anyone get the morbid sense that the film is a necrophiliac’s delight, Jackson often feels vibrantly, reassuringly human. He sashays with one of his female dancers at one point. He puts the spotlight on his band and dancers, and his perfectionism never approaches divadom. When Jackson stands over the keyboard of the show’s musical director, trying to coax a note out of him, and says “I just want to hear it the way I wrote it,’’ what’s so funny is how little it is for him to ask. But also it’s a side of Jackson we never got to see. His Peter Pan syndrome and his professionalism truly coexist. He wants the show to be flawless. He also wants every element of the experience to appear to emanate from his every gesticulation. He’s a life force. He’s the Wiz.

He’s also a man with too much integrity to let anyone else call the shots. Indeed, the director of the concert and this movie, Kenny Ortega, seems more like a jolly personal assistant, repeatedly telling Jackson how much he loves him. It’s the sort of thing you expect to hear a fan blurt out as a movie star accepts an award. Jackson responds in kind: “I love you, too.’’
Ortega is a Hollywood veteran (he choreographed “Dirty Dancing’’ and directed the “High School Musical’’ franchise), and the movie is a dutiful tribute to its star. The crosscutting of footage isn’t seamless, but we get a decent sense of how most of the numbers would go. The crew filmed an inspired sequence in which Jackson inserts himself into classic Hollywood movies such as “Gilda’’ and “The Big Sleep,’’ alongside Rita Hayworth and Humphrey Bogart. The sequence is for “Smooth Criminal,’’ and it now has posthumous logic. Of course a legend plays with legends.

Clearly, Jackson expected just enough of himself to aim for some high points, even in these run-throughs. He tells the dancers and crew begging him to let go and really sing that he’s saving his voice for the actual performances. But you get the sense that he had to test how hard he could push that complex instrument. So even as he demurs when the band breaks out the gospel tambourine at the end of a Jackson Five medley, he still puts his foot into some of the songs. His singing voice is rarely more beautifully acrobatic than on the movie’s version of “Human Nature.’’

This all calls to mind the comeback concerts of Jackson’s friend Liza Minnelli, who hit Broadway last year at less than her best but was determined to bring the house down every night. There was no reason to think that Jackson wouldn’t have accomplished the same thing. Even if he didn’t manage to blow the crowds away 50 times, he would have risked it all trying. Research more about this American Black Entertainer and share with your babies. Make it a champion day!

October 24 2002- John Allen Muhammad

GM – FBF – Today’s story is about a spree of murders and attempted murders that happened a year after the 9/11 attacks in NYC and Washington, D.C. Which many people were still afraid and in a state of fear. These acts of endangering human life happened around the greater Washington, D.C. area over a three week time period in October 2002. These acts would be called “The Beltway sniper attacks”.

Remember – “ I am a monster who “stole people’s lives.” – Lee Boyd Malvo

Today in our History – October 24, 2002 – John Allen Muhammad and Lee Boyd Malvo are arrested.

Here’s a look at the shooting spree that occurred in the Mid-Atlantic/Washington area in October 2002. Ten people were killed and three injured in sniper-style shootings.
John Allen Muhammad and Lee Boyd Malvo were arrested, tried and convicted for the shootings. Muhammad received a death sentence and was executed on November 10, 2009. Malvo was convicted and is waiting for resentencing after a federal judge overturned his two life sentences.
Timeline – DC Area Shooting Spree: 
October 2, 2002 – A shot is fired through a window at a Michael’s crafts store in Aspen Hill, Maryland, but no one is hit.

– Not linked by ballistic evidence.
October 2, 2002 – The first killing takes place when 55-year-old James D. Martin, a program analyst for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, is shot in the parking lot of Shoppers Food Warehouse in Wheaton, Maryland.

– Not linked by ballistic evidence.
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As the national nonprofit Mental Health America has identified, depression in America is on the rise. And many are left untreated.

October 3, 2002 – Police are called to a crime scene and find James L. Buchanan, a 39-year-old landscaper who has been fatally shot while mowing a lawn at a commercial establishment near Rockville, Maryland.

October 3, 2002 – Premkumar Walekar, 54, a part-time cab driver, is killed while pumping gas into his taxi at a station in the Aspen Hill area of Montgomery County, Maryland.

October 3, 2002 – Sarah Ramos, 34, of Silver Spring, Maryland, is killed at a post office near Leisure World Shopping center. A witness reports seeing a white van or truck speed from the post office parking lot immediately after the shooting.

October 3, 2002 – Lori Ann Lewis-Rivera, 25, of Silver Spring is shot dead at a Shell gas station in Kensington where she was vacuuming her van.

October 3, 2002 – In the only killing in Washington and the first one to occur at night, Pascal Charlot, 72, is shot in the chest as he walks along Georgia Avenue. He is taken to a hospital, where he dies less than an hour later.

October 4, 2002 – In a Michael’s parking lot in Fredericksburg, Virginia, Caroline Seawell, 43, is shot as she puts her bags inside her Toyota minivan. She is released from a Fairfax hospital on Monday, October 14.

October 7, 2002 – Iran Brown, 13, is shot and critically wounded outside Benjamin Tasker Middle School in Maryland’s Prince George’s County.

October 9, 2002 – A tarot card is found near the scene of the shooting at the school. CNN sources say it is the “Death Card” with the message “Call me God” for police.

October 9, 2002 – Dean Harold Meyers, 53, of Gaithersburg, Maryland, is killed while pumping gas at a station in Manassas, Virginia. A white minivan seen in the area is first thought to have some connection with the shooting but is later cleared by police.

October 11, 2002 – Kenneth Bridges, 53, a Philadelphia businessman, is killed at an Exxon station just off I-95 near Fredericksburg, Virginia. Police enforce a huge roadblock, trying to find a white van-like vehicle (similar to a Chevy Astro) with a ladder rack on top.

October 14, 2002 – Linda Franklin, 47, of Arlington, Virginia, is killed by a single gunshot in a Home Depot parking lot in Falls Church, Virginia.

October 19, 2002 – Jeffrey Hopper, 37, is shot in a parking lot at a Ponderosa Steakhouse near I-95 in Ashland, Virginia, 83 miles south of Washington. Doctors remove the bullet from the victim during surgery on October 21 and connect him to the others by ballistics.

October 21, 2002 – Police surround a white van at a pay phone at an Exxon gas station in Richmond, Virginia. They arrest one man in the vehicle and a second man “in the vicinity” but later say that they cannot be connected to the sniper shootings.

October 22, 2002 – Bus driver Conrad Johnson, 35, of Oxon Hill, Maryland, is shot as he stands on the top step inside his commuter bus in Aspen Hill, Maryland. He later dies at a hospital in Bethesda. Investigators confirm on October 23 that his death is connected to the sniper.

October 24, 2002 – John Allen Muhammad and Lee Boyd Malvo are arrested. They are found sleeping in a 1990 Chevy Caprice at a rest stop in Frederick County, Maryland.
November 10, 2009 – After receiving the death penalty in 2004, Muhammad is executed.

May 26, 2017 – A federal judge overturns two of Malvo’s life sentences in Chesapeake and Spotsylvania County in Virginia. Malvo remains in prison as his Virginia convictions still stand, as well as his previous sentences from Maryland.

June 21, 2018 – A federal appeals court agrees Malvo’s four life sentences from Virginia must be vacated based on a 2012 Supreme Court decision that it is unconstitutional for juveniles to receive mandatory life sentences without the possibility of parole.

Timeline – Other incidents where Muhammad/Malvo were charged or considered suspects:

February 16, 2002 – Keenya Cook, 21, is murdered. Her aunt was a former friend of Muhammad’s ex-wife. There is circumstantial but not ballistic evidence.

March 19, 2002 – Sixty-year-old Jerry Taylor is shot and killed on a Tucson, Arizona, golf course.

May 2002 – A synagogue in Tacoma, Washington, is vandalized. Police consider Muhammad as a suspect. Guns used in both incidents belong to a man with whom Malvo and Muhammad had stayed for a time.

September 5, 2002 – Shooting at a Clinton, Maryland, pizzeria. Paul LaRuffia is injured.

September 14, 2002 – Benny Oberoi, 22, is shot and wounded outside the Hillandale Beer & Wine Store in Silver Spring, Maryland. The shooting is linked by circumstances, witnesses and location of the alleged snipers, but not by ballistics.

September 15, 2002 – Shooting at a Brandywine, Maryland, liquor store. Muhammad Rashid is injured.

September 21, 2002 – Million Waldemariam, 41, is shot three times and killed at a liquor store in Atlanta. Ballistics on a .22 caliber handgun links both the Atlanta and the Montgomery shootings.

September 21, 2002 – Shooting at a Montgomery, Alabama, liquor store. Owner Claudine Parker is killed and clerk Kellie Adams is seriously injured. Ballistics are a match to Bushmaster .223 rifle and eyewitness accounts link to the DC snipers. Capital murder charges are filed against Muhammad and Malvo.

September 23, 2002 – Shooting outside a beauty shop in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, kills 45-year-old Hong Im Ballenger, the shop manager. Malvo and Muhammad are charged with capital murder and armed robbery on October 31 when ballistics match the Bushmaster .223 rifle.

September 26, 2002 – Wright Williams is injured at his grocery store in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

Research more about The BeltWay Shootings and sahre with your babies. Make it a champion day!

October 22 2007- Lowell Dennis Smith

GM – FBF – Today’s story is about a man who wanted to move like no other. His style was one of a kind and no one could do the moves like he did. Enjoy!

Remember – “Nobody cares if you can’t dance well. Just get up and dance. Great dancers are great because of their passion.” – Lowell Dennis Smith

Today in our History – Lowell Dennis Smith – October 22, 2007 let this earth.

Lowell Dennis Smith, a ballet dancer and teacher who for some years was a principal dancer with the Dance Theatre of Harlem and later was director of the company’s school, died Oct. 22 at UCLA Medical Center. He was 56.

The cause of death was lung cancer, said his longtime friend Rick Frey. Smith had been dividing his time between Los Angeles and New York City.

Born in 1951 in Memphis, Tenn., he studied dance at the North Carolina School of the Arts in Winston-Salem and then performed as a dancer and actor in Memphis and later with the Eglevsky Ballet on Long Island, New York.

He joined the Dance Theatre of Harlem in the late 1970s and danced with the company for 17 years. One of his best known roles was as Stanley Kowalski in a dance adaptation by Valerie Bettis of the Tennessee Williams play “A Streetcar Named Desire.”

“Stanley screams all the time so his movement has to scream,” Smith said in a 1996 interview with the Commercial Appeal of Memphis. “Movement is as much a vocabulary as words.”

He performed the role of Stanley onstage and for a television broadcast of “Great Performances: Dance in America” in 1986.

“Lowell Smith, a superlative dramatic dancer, explodes with a typically sure and nuanced passion Floyd, all of Memphis. that makes Stanley’s anger and desire vividly immediate,” dance critic Jennifer Dunning wrote in a review of the televised performance for the New York Times.
Smith also had prominent roles in “Equus,” choreographed by Domy Reiter-Soffer, about a boy who blinded horses and the psychiatrist who treated him, as well as in “Fall River Legend,” by choreographer Agnes de Mille, about a famed murder case and the accused, Lizzie Borden.

Beyond dance drama, he performed in a number of traditional ballets and modern classics such as “The Four Temperaments” by George Balanchine.

Later in his career, Smith choreographed “Pas de Deux for Phrygia and Spartacus,” a duet that the Dance Theatre of Harlem premiered in New York City in 2001. He also created works for the company’s educational program and helped lead master classes for young students in cities around the United States.

Smith is survived by his mother, Dorothy S. Smith, and two sisters, Pamela D. Smith and June Smith. Research more about African – American dance and share with your babies. Make it a champion day!

October 30 2006- Moses Ernest Tolliver

GM – FBF – Today’s story is of a Black artist from Alabama whose work would be seen in a lot of places around the United States. He had fun in what he did and loved his art and people enjoying it. Enjoy!

Remember – “Some folks feel that if your not from a big city that you don’t have an expression and story to tell” – Moses Ernest Tolliver

Today in our History – October 30, 2006, Moses Ernest Tolliver dies.

Moses Ernest Tolliver (July 4, 1918-20 – October 30, 2006) was an African-American folk artist who became disabled as an adult. He was known as “Mose T”, after the signature on his paintings, signed with a backwards “s”.

Celebrated folk artist Mose Ernest Tolliver was one of the most well-known and well-regarded artists to achieve fame in Alabama in what has come to be known as the genre of Outsider Art. His vibrant and colorful pieces often depicted fruits and vegetables, animals, and people and were always signed “Mose T” with a backward “s.” His style fluctuated between the simplistic and pastoral to the abstract and erotic. His body of work is represented in galleries in Atlanta, Washington, D.C., and New York.

The exact year of his birth is unknown, but Mose or Moses Tolliver was born in the Pike Road Community near Montgomery on July 4 around 1920. His parents, Ike and Laney Tolliver, were sharecroppers and had 12 children. He attended school through the third grade until he and his family moved to Macedonia, Pickens County. Eventually, his parents found that they could no longer afford the farming life and moved the family to Montgomery in the 1930s.

Tolliver took on a number of odd jobs to help his family financially. He tended gardens, painted houses, and worked as a carpenter, plumber, and handyman. In the 1940s, he married Willie Mae Thomas, a native of Ramer and a childhood friend. The couple had 13 children in all, but only 11 survived to adulthood. He continued working odd jobs to support his family. Tolliver worked on and off for the Carlton McLendon family for 25 years. In the 1960s, he was injured in an accident at McLendon’s Furniture Company, when a half-ton crate of marble fell on him. He was left unable to work and had to walk with crutches.

Several sources cite Tolliver’s accident as the impetus for his turn to art. Tolliver, however, claimed that he painted well before the accident. His initial works were made from tree roots, which he sculpted and painted. Later, he moved on to painting landscapes, a subject with which, as a former farmer and gardener, he was particularly familiar. The accident provided more time for him to devote to his art. Tolliver also saw paintings by McLendon’s brother, Raymond, which convinced him he could do just as well. McLendon offered to pay for art lessons for Tolliver, but he declined, opting to find his now signature style on his own. Tolliver began selling his art in the 1960s. He hung his finished pieces in his front yard and sold them for a few dollars, believing that the art is done when someone buys it.

His works often feature brightly colored watermelons and birds. His wife was also a frequent subject, and he painted a number of self-portraits, complete with crutches. Some of his more popular paintings were his Moose Lady pieces. The recurring Moose Lady figure is an erotic figure of a woman with spread legs, which is roughly based on an Egyptian piece that Tolliver saw in a discarded book. The picture featured a Ka, the Ancient Egyptian symbol for a soul, ascending from a body with elongated arms. Tolliver occasionally added a little of himself into his erotic paintings, sometimes attaching his own hair to them.

Given his raw, self-taught style, Tolliver’s paintings fall into what is known as the Outsider Art genre. He used house paint on cardboard, wood, metal, Masonite, and even furniture and frequently used bottle caps for mountings. He often used solid colors in his backgrounds and was partial to bright hues, such as red, yellow, and orange. He was particularly fond of purple.

In 1981, the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts mounted a one-man show of his work, but Tolliver did not rise to national prominence until the following year. His artwork was featured, along with the work of fellow Alabama Outsider artist Bill Traylor, at the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. The show was titled “Black Folk Art in America: 1930-1980.” Some art critics and historians believe that Traylor, who was discovered after his death in 1947 in Montgomery, was a significant influence on Tolliver.

Tolliver’s work has appeared at such renowned institutions as the American Folk Art Museum in New York, the High Museum of Art in Atlanta, the New Orleans Museum of Art, the Milwaukee Art Museum, and the American Visionary Art Museum in Baltimore. Tolliver and his artwork were the subjects of two books: Mose T from A to Z: The Folk Art of Mose Tolliver by Anton Haardt and Mose T’s Slapout Family Album by Robert Ely, an English teacher, Montgomery native, and friend of Tolliver’s, who wrote poems to accompany the paintings included in his book. Tolliver’s work has also appeared in books on Outsider Art and African American art.

Early in his career, Tolliver sold his paintings for a few dollars. Later, his prices depended on his mood. Today, Mose T paintings sell for thousands of dollars. By the 1980s, despite painting 10 pieces a day, Tolliver could not keep up with the demand for his work. He hired his daughter Annie Tolliver to duplicate his signature style and subjects and even to sign his name to the pictures. Later, she developed as an acclaimed artist in her own right. Tolliver also encouraged his other children to paint, and his sons Charlie and Jimmy began painting in the early 1990s.

Tolliver died of pneumonia on Oct. 30, 2006, at Baptist Medical Center East in Montgomery. His wife, Willie Mae, preceded him in death in 1991. Research more about Black artists and share with your babies. Make it a champion day!

September 21 2008 – Nancy Alene Hicks Maynard

GM – FBF – Today, I would like to share with you a story of a Black women who was a great believer of the press, who would go on to become the first Black woman to own a newspaper. Enjoy!

Remember – A newspaper is the center of a community, it’s one of the tent poles of the community, and that’s not going to be replaced by Web sites and blogs.- Nancy Alene Hicks Maynard

Today in our History – September 21, 2008 – Nancy Alene Hicks Maynard dies.

Nancy Alene Hicks Maynard (1 November 1946 – 21 September 2008) was an American publisher, journalist, former owner of The Oakland Tribune, and co-founder of the Maynard Institute for Journalism Education. She was the first African-American female reporter for The New York Times, and at the time of her death, The Oakland Tribune was the only metropolitan daily newspaper to have been owned by African Americans.

Maynard was born Nancy Alene Hall in Harlem, New York City, to jazz bassist Alfred Hall and Eve Keller, a nurse. Maynard first became interested in journalism when, after a fire destroyed the elementary school she once attended, she was unhappy with the portrayal of her community in the coverage by the news media. She went on to attend Long Island University Brooklyn and graduated with a journalism degree in 1966.

Maynard began her journalism career as a copy girl and reporter with the New York Post. She was hired by The New York Times in September 1968, at the age of 21. Almost immediately, she was sent to Brooklyn to help cover the Ocean Hill-Brownsville school decentralization controversy, which drew accusations of racism and anti-Semitism and resulted in a citywide teachers’ strike and the establishment of new school districts throughout the city. After less than one year at the Times, Maynard was hired as a full-time reporter, becoming the first African-American woman to work as a reporter at the newspaper.

During her first few years at The New York Times, Maynard covered important race-related stories such as race riots and Columbia and Cornell University black student takeovers, as well as politically significant events like a memorial for Robert F. Kennedy. She later wrote for the paper’s education and science news departments, primarily on health-care coverage. In 1973, she spent a month in China analyzing its medical system, including stories about the use of acupuncture in surgical operations. Among her other story topics were the Medicare system, an explanation of the arrangement of whiskers on a lion’s face and coverage of Apollo program.

Maynard and her husband Robert C. Maynard left their jobs and founded the Maynard Institute for Journalism Education in Oakland, California where she served as its first president in 1977. Since its founding, the institute has been credited with training and preparing hundreds of minority students for careers in news editing, newsroom managers, and other careers in journalism. Maynard served as a member of the board until 2002.

In 1983, Maynard and her husband purchased The Oakland Tribune, which was in poor financial shape at the time. The Oakland Tribune became the first and, at the time of Maynard’s death, the only major metropolitan daily newspaper to be owned by African Americans. The two served as co-publishers for almost 10 years together, and were credited with bringing a significant amount of diversity into the newsroom. After Robert C. Maynard died in 1993, Maynard sold the paper, which was experiencing declining revenues, to ANG Newspapers.

Not long after graduation, Maynard was married to Daniel D. Hicks, with whom she had her first child, her son David. After Hicks’s death in 1974, she married Robert C. Maynard in 1975 after they met at a convention. He already had a daughter, Dori. As a couple, they had their third child, Alex.
Maynard, who made her home with partner Jay T. Harris in Santa Monica, California, died at UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles on September 21, 2008 at the age of 61 after an extended illness. Research more about Black women in the press and share with your babies. Make it a champion day!

September 19 2002- Etta Zuber Falconer

GM – FBF – Today I would like to share with you a story that most people have forgotten or have never been told. It is about a woman who was born in the South but gained fame in a lot of places outside the South as a mathematician. Enjoy!

Remember – “Mathematics is the heart of everything that we do in life, not to understand it is like saying I don’t care to know myself” – Etta Zuber Falconer

Today in our History – September 19, 2002 Etta Zuber Falconer died.

Mathematician Etta Zuber Falconer was born on November 21, 1933, in Tupelo, Mississippi. Her mother, Zadie L. Montgomery, was a musician, and her father, Dr. Walter A. Zuber, was a physician. She graduated from George Washington Carver High School in 1949. Zuber was only fifteen years old when she enrolled into Fisk University in Nashville, Tennessee. One of her early instructors was Evelyn Boyd Granville, an associate professor of mathematics.

Zuber graduated Summa Cum Laude in 1953 with a bachelor’s degree, with a major in mathematics and minor in chemistry. While at Fisk, Zuber was a member of the Phi Beta Kappa academic honors society. At the age of nineteen, Zuber enrolled into the University of Wisconsin at Madison, supporting herself with various jobs. She graduated with her Master’s Degree in Mathematics in 1954.

Zuber returned to Mississippi in 1955 to teach math at Okolona Junior College. It was there that she met Dolan Falconer, and the two married the same year. They had three children: Dolan Falconer Jr., Dr. Alice Falconer Wilson, and Dr. Walter Falconer, and were separated only by the Dolan’s death in 1990.

During the summer of 1962, Falconer began attending the National Science Foundation (NSF) Teacher Training Institute summer program at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign while beginning her PhD studies at the University of Illinois. In 1963 she left Okolona College to accept a teaching position at Howard High School in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Falconer was named institute director of NSF in 1964, but her time was cut short when her husband was offered a teaching position at Morris Brown College, and the family relocated to Atlanta, Georgia. Falconer began teaching at Spelman College in 1965 and was awarded an NSF Faculty Fellowship (1967–1969) that enabled her to teach part time, while continuing to work on her PhD at Emory University.

In 1969 Falconer became the eleventh African American woman to receive a PhD in mathematics. She specialized in Abstract Algebra. In 1971 when her husband accepted a teaching position in Virginia, Falconer obtained a position as an associate professor of mathematics at Norfolk State College. After a year, they returned to Georgia, and Falconer returned to Spelman College in 1972 where she was named associate professor of mathematics and chairperson of the Mathematics Department. She held those positions until 1985.

Additionally, Falconer chaired the Natural Sciences Division from 1975 to 1990. She also became one of the first African American women in the nation to earn a Master’s Degree in Computer Science, which she received from Atlanta University in 1982. While teaching at Spelman College, Falconer was responsible for instituting a summer science program for pre-freshmen, an annual Spring Science Day, the NASA Women in Science Program, the NASA Undergraduate Science Research Program, and the College Honors Program. She was also founder of the local chapter of the National Association of Mathematicians.

Falconer was awarded the UNCF Distinguished Faculty Award (1986–1987), the Spelman Presidential Award for Excellence in Teaching (1988), the Spelman Presidential Faculty Award for Distinguished Service (1994), NAM’s Distinguished Service Award (1994), the AWM Louise Hay Award, for outstanding achievements in mathematics education (1995), QEM’s Giants in Science Award (1995), and an honorary doctorate of science from the University of Wisconsin-Madison (1996). She has also been a member of countless panels, societies, organizations, and committees.

Dr. Etta Zuber Falconer died of pancreatic cancer on September 19, 2002, in Atlanta, Georgia, at the age of sixty-eight. She is survived by her three children. Research more about this great American and share with your babies. Make it a champion day!

September 11 2001- America Is Attacked in Washington D.C

GM – FBF – Today, I would like to share with you a story that shook my life as well as other Americans. I was working for Minolta in the Regional Headquarters at Broadway and Reade in the Tribecca section on NY.. Since we were just a couple of blocks from the World Trade Center we entertained our guests who visit our offices. So the famous Windows on the World our company had standing reservations every day for those who don’t know it was located on the top floors 106th and 107th floors of the North Tower (Building One).

On Monday, September 10th we had a celebration for signing a contract with Con-Edison. My VP of sales was so happy that he gave us the next day off. The rest is History as you know. I was not the only one who traveled from Willingboro, NJ to Manhattan but the ones who do over the years you get to know here is the story of another person who lived in Willingboro but did not make it out of the towers that horrible morning called 9/11.

Remember – The attacks of September 11th were intended to break our spirit. Instead we have emerged stronger and more unified. We feel renewed devotion to the principles of political, economic and religious freedom, the rule of law and respect for human life. We are more determined than ever to live our lives in freedom. –Rudolph W. Giuliani – New York City Mayor

Today in our History – September 11, 2001 – America is attacked in Washington, D.C., Shanksville, PA. and New York City, New York. – Joan D. Griffith of Willingboro, N.J. dies.

Joan D. Griffith, 39, of Willingboro, N.J. worked in the World Trade Center as an office manager and assistant vice president for Fiduciary Trust. She and her husband, Peter, lived in Willingboro for nine years, raising two daughters, Paula and Joann. Griffith used her first name at work, but friends and family called her Donna, her middle name. Just days before the attack, Griffith and her husband returned from a Caribbean cruise taken to celebrate their 20th anniversary.

Peter Griffith described his wife as a wonderful spouse and devoted mother. He said she enjoyed cooking and reading romance novels. Research more about this American tragity and share with your babies. Make it a champion day!

August 29 2005- Hurricane Katrina

GM – FBF – Today’s story is about a disaster, people who live in different parts of the country are going to expect this and move on with their lives. One day in our nation’s southern states came something that no one was expecting. Even though they were warned to leave well before the devastation hit but many of our people could not leave if the wanted to and this is what happened.

Remember – “They see us screaming for help but it was slow in coming. I have six children and no transportation. I ‘m not going anywhere.” – Hurricane Katria victim

Today in our History – August 29, 2005 – Early in the morning on August 29, 2005, Hurricane Katrina struck the Gulf Coast of the United States. When the storm made landfall, it had a Category 3 rating on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale–it brought sustained winds of 100–140 miles per hour–and stretched some 400 miles across. The storm itself did a great deal of damage, but its aftermath was catastrophic. Levee breaches led to massive flooding, and many people charged that the federal government was slow to meet the needs of the people affected by the storm. Hundreds of thousands of people in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama were displaced from their homes, and experts estimate that Katrina caused more than $100 billion in damage.

The tropical depression that became Hurricane Katrina formed over the Bahamas on August 23, 2005, and meteorologists were soon able to warn people in the Gulf Coast states that a major storm was on its way. By August 28, evacuations were underway across the region. That day, the National Weather Service predicted that after the storm hit, “most of the [Gulf Coast] area will be uninhabitable for weeks…perhaps longer.”

During the past century, hurricanes have flooded New Orleans six times: in 1915, 1940, 1947, 1965, 1969 and 2005.
New Orleans was at particular risk. Though about half the city actually lies above sea level, its average elevation is about six feet below sea level–and it is completely surrounded by water. Over the course of the 20th century, the Army Corps of Engineers had built a system of levees and seawalls to keep the city from flooding. The levees along the Mississippi River were strong and sturdy, but the ones built to hold back Lake Pontchartrain, Lake Borgne and the waterlogged swamps and marshes to the city’s east and west were much less reliable. Before the storm, officials worried that surge could overtop some levees and cause short-term flooding, but no one predicted levees might collapse below design height. Neighborhoods that sat below sea level, many of which housed the city’s poorest and most vulnerable people, were at great risk of flooding.

The day before Katrina hit, New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin issued the city’s first-ever mandatory evacuation order. He also declared that the Superdome, a stadium located on relatively high ground near downtown, would serve as a “shelter of last resort” for people who could not leave the city. (For example, some 112,000 of New Orleans’ nearly 500,000 people did not have access to a car.) By nightfall, almost 80 percent of the city’s population had evacuated. Some 10,000 had sought shelter in the Superdome, while tens of thousands of others chose to wait out the storm at home.

By the time Hurricane Katrina struck New Orleans early in the morning on Monday, August 29, it had already been raining heavily for hours. When the storm surge (as high as 9 meters in some places) arrived, it overwhelmed many of the city’s unstable levees and drainage canals. Water seeped through the soil underneath some levees and swept others away altogether. By 9 a.m., low-lying places like St. Bernard Parish and the Ninth Ward were under so much water that people had to scramble to attics and rooftops for safety. Eventually, nearly 80 percent of the city was under some quantity of water.

Many people acted heroically in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. The Coast Guard, for instance, rescued some 34,000 people in New Orleans alone, and many ordinary citizens commandeered boats, offered food and shelter, and did whatever else they could to help their neighbors. Yet the government–particularly the federal government–seemed unprepared for the disaster. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) took days to establish operations in New Orleans, and even then did not seem to have a sound plan of action. Officials, even including President George W. Bush, seemed unaware of just how bad things were in New Orleans and elsewhere: how many people were stranded or missing; how many homes and businesses had been damaged; how much food, water and aid was needed. Katrina had left in her wake what one reporter called a “total disaster zone” where people were “getting absolutely desperate.”

(For one thing, many had nowhere to go. At the Superdome in New Orleans, where supplies had been limited to begin with, officials accepted 15,000 more refugees from the storm on Monday before locking the doors. City leaders had no real plan for anyone else. Tens of thousands of people desperate for food, water and shelter broke into the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center complex, but they found nothing there but chaos. Meanwhile, it was nearly impossible to leave New Orleans: Poor people especially, without cars or anyplace else to go, were stuck. For instance, some people tried to walk over the Crescent City Connector bridge to the nearby suburb of Gretna, but police officers with shotguns forced them to turn back.)

Katrina pummeled huge parts of Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama, but the desperation was most concentrated in New Orleans. Before the storm, the city’s population was mostly black (about 67 percent); moreover, nearly 30 percent of its people lived in poverty. Katrina exacerbated these conditions, and left many of New Orleans’s poorest citizens even more vulnerable than they had been before the storm.

In all, Hurricane Katrina killed nearly 2,000 people and affected some 90,000 square miles of the United States. Hundreds of thousands of evacuees scattered far and wide. Today, after years of recovery and rebuilding efforts, people along the Gulf Coast have made great strides in returning to life as usual even as they continue to rebuild. Research more about American disasters and share with your babies. Make it a champion day!

July 23 2013- Emlie Griffin

GM – FBF – Today I would like to share with you a story of a boxer who killed a man in the ring, which hurt his career from that to his last in the ring. Enjoy!

Remember – ” I did not want to kill him because we were friends but he called me a word that I would hurt anybody because that is not a good way to live.” – Emile Griffith.

Today in our History – July 23, 2013 – Boxer Emlie Griffith dies. Considered to be one of the best during his era.

Emile Griffith, in full Emile Alphonse Griffith, (born February 3, 1938, St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands—died July 23, 2013, Hempstead, New York, U.S.), professional American boxer who won five world boxing championships—three times as a welterweight and twice as a middleweight.

Griffith came to the United States as a teenager and was encouraged to become a boxer by his employer, the owner of a hat factory. In 1958, after winning the New York Daily News and Intercity Golden Gloves amateur welterweight (147-pound) titles, he began his professional career. In his first 24 bouts as a professional, Griffith lost only twice, at which point he was given his first chance at a title bout. Griffith, who would hold the welterweight professional championship three times, first won it from Benny (“Kid”) Paret in a 13-round knockout on April 1, 1961; he lost it to Paret in a rematch by a 15-round decision on September 30, 1961; and he regained it by a knockout of Paret on March 24, 1962. This last fight resulted in tragedy when in the 12th round Griffith backed Paret into a corner and continued to punch him as he slumped against the ropes until the referee finally stepped in to stop the fight. Paret lapsed into a coma and died 10 days later. Griffith, who insisted that the brutality was not associated with remarks Paret had made prior to the bout about his sexuality, was shaken by the death and was never as aggressive in the ring. Despite this, Griffith successfully defended his world welterweight title twice in 1962 before surrendering it to Luis Rodríguez by a 15-round decision on March 21, 1963. On the rematch Griffith recaptured the title once more by a 15-round decision over Rodríguez on June 8, 1963.

On April 25, 1966, Griffith won the world middleweight (160-pound) title by outpointing champion Dick Tiger in 15 rounds. His attempt to retain both championships (contrary to U.S. boxing rules) was disallowed, and he relinquished the welterweight title. On April 17, 1967, he was defeated by Nino Benvenuti on points in a 15-round middleweight title match. On September 29 of that year, he won the middleweight championship for the second time by outscoring Benvenuti in 15 rounds, but he lost it again to Benvenuti by a 15-round decision on March 4, 1968. Griffith retired from the ring in 1977, with 85 wins (23 knockouts), 24 losses, and 2 draws. He was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 1990. Research more about Black boxers and share with your babies. Make it a champion day!

July 20 2017- Jesse L. Jackson

GM – FBF – Today, I want to share with you a story about a man who is a civil rights Icon and also the first Black Man to run for President of the United States.

Remember – “At the end of the day, we must go forward with hope and not backward by fear and division”. Jesse Jackson

Today in our History July 20, 2017 – Jackson wins another award.

Reverend Jesse L. Jackson Sr. received the highest honor presented by the National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA) at its annual convention in Norfolk, Virginia.

The legendary activist received the NNPA Lifetime Legacy Award for his decades of service as one of the country’s foremost civil rights, religious and political figures.

After a video tribute that chronicled Jackson’s life and a surprise solo performance of “Hero,” by Jackson favorite, Audrey DuBois Harris, the iconic preacher accepted the award from NNPA President and CEO Dr. Benjamin F. Chavis, Jr., and NNPA Chairman Dorothy R. Leavell.

“I’m not easy to surprise,” Jackson told the crowd, which gave him a standing ovation as he headed to the podium to accept the honor.

The Presidential Medal of Freedom winner, Jackson has been called the “Conscience of the Nation,” and “The Great Unifier,” challenging America to be inclusive and to establish just and humane priorities for the benefit of all.

Born in 1941 in Greenville, South Carolina, Jackson began his theological studies at Chicago Theological Seminary, but deferred his studies when he began working full time in the Civil Rights Movement alongside Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

“This honor takes on a special meaning for me because my first job was selling the ‘Norfolk Journal and Guide’ newspaper and then the ‘Baltimore AFRO-American’ and then the ‘Pittsburgh Courier,’” Jackson said of the iconic Black-owned newspapers. “We couldn’t see the other side of Jackie Robinson. We couldn’t see the other side of Sugar Ray Robinson,” he said, noting that the Black Press told the full stories of those sports heroes.

He reminisced about the fateful night in Memphis in 1968 when an assassin’s bullet cut down King.

“I was with Dr. King on that chilly night in Memphis and I went to the phone to talk to Mrs. King. I couldn’t really talk,” he said. “I told her, ‘I think Dr. King was shot in the shoulder,’ even though I knew he was shot in the neck. I just couldn’t say it.”

During the ceremony, Leavell and Chavis said Jackson has carried King’s legacy well.

“We still need him,” Leavell said of Jackson.

Chavis called Jackson a “long-distance runner who’s made a difference not only in this country, but all over the world.”

Leavell recalled Jackson’s historic run for the presidency in 1984 in a campaign that registered more than 1 million new voters and catapulting Democrats in their successful effort to regain control of the Senate.

Four years later, Jackson ran again, this time registering more than 2 million new voters and earning 7 million popular votes.

“It’s a wonder that my neighbors didn’t call the police the night he gave that iconic speech at the Democratic National Convention [in 1984],” said Leavell, whom Jackson presided over her wedding ceremony more than 40 years ago. “There was so much emotion that night that I felt, they told me that I could be anything that I wanted to be,” Leavell said, pointing to Jackson and photographers flocked to take pictures of the civil rights leader while holding his coveted NNPA award.

Dubois Harris said Jackson is a “King of a man,” and, although she had been under the weather all week, nothing would stop her from attending Jackson’s big night, she said.

“We stand on his shoulders,” Dubois Harris said. “He continues to be a pioneer of civil rights and humanity and he’s all that’s good and right in the world.”

Over decades, Jackson has earned the respect and trust of presidents and dignitaries and his Rainbow PUSH organization has aided countless Black and minority families with various struggles.

But his work not only has helped the poor or minorities.

In 1984, Jackson secured the release of captured Navy Lt. Robert Goodman from Syria, and he also help shepherd the release of 48 Cuban and Cuban-American prisoners in Cuba.

Jackson was the first American to bring home citizens from the United Kingdom, France, and other countries who were held as human shields by Saddam Hussein in Kuwait and Iraq in 1990.

He also negotiated the release of U.S. soldiers held hostage in Kosovo and, in 2000, Jackson helped negotiate the release of four journalists working on a documentary for Britain’s Channel 4 network who were held in Liberia.

Jackson said President Trump should and can be defeated, with the aid of the Black Press, who this year has led a drive to register 5 million new African-American voters.

“The first time I saw an image of Black achievement was in the Black Press,” Jackson said. “Today, the Black Press is more important than ever. This is the season of ‘Fake News,’ but we need the truth now more than ever.” Research more about Jesse Jackson and share with your babies. Make it a champion day!