Category: Civil Rights Activists

May 28 1885- Horace King

GM – FBF – Happy Memorial Day, Horace King did a lot of things during his lifetime but will be rememberd as a builder of bridegs. Enjoy!

Remember – I loved to build bridges in order for the every day person could have an easier travel. – Horace King

Today in our History – May 28, 1885 – Horace King dies after leaving a great mark on Alabama, Georgia’s history.

Horace King, born a slave on September 8, 1807 in Chesterfield District, South Carolina, was a successful bridge architect and builder in West Georgia, Northern Alabama and northeast Georgia in the period between the 1830s and 1870s. King worked for his master, John Godwin who owned a successful construction business. Although King was a slave, Godwin treated him as a valued employee and eventually gave him considerable influence over his business. Horace King supervised many of Godwin’s business activities including the management of construction sites. In 1832, for example, King led a construction crew in building Moore’s Bridge, the first bridge crossing the lower Chattahoochee River in northwest Georgia. Later in the decade, Godwin and King constructed some of the largest bridges in Georgia, Alabama, and Northeastern Mississippi. By the 1840s King designed and supervised construction of major bridges at Wetumpka, Alabama and Columbus, Mississippi without Godwin’s supervision. Godwin issued five year warranties on his bridges because of his confidence in King’s high quality work.

In 1839, Horace King married Frances Thomas, a free African American woman. The couple had had four boys and one girl. The King children eventually joined their father at working on various construction projects. In addition to building bridges, King constructed homes and government buildings for Godwin’s construction company. In 1841, King supervised the construction of the Russell County Courthouse in Alabama. Despite the success of the company in attracting work, Godwin nonetheless fell into debt. King was emancipated by Godwin on February 3, 1846 to avoid his seizure by creditors. King continued to work for Godwin’s construction company and when his former owner died in 1859, King assumed controlled of Godwin’s business.

During the Civil War, King continued to work on construction projects usually for the Confederacy including a building for the Confederate navy near Columbus, Georgia. Confederate officials also forced King to block several waterways to prevent Union access to strategic points in Georgia and Alabama.

In 1864 Frances Thomas King died. Immediately after the Civil War ended King married Sarah Jane Jones McManus. Also after the war King began to prosper as he worked on the reconstruction of bridges, textile mills, cotton warehouses and public buildings destroyed during the conflict. After passing down the family business to his son, John Thomas King, Horace King was elected as a Republican to the Alabama House of Representatives, serving from 1870 to 1874.

Horace King died on May 28, 1885 in LaGrange, Georgia. Reserach more about this great American and share with your babies, Make it a champion day!

May 20 1851- Francis Ellen

GM – FBF- Today, I give you the history of the woman who was called – ” The mother of woman’s activisim” Enjoy!

Remember – “Political life in our country has plowed in muddy channels, and needs the infusion of clearer and cleaner waters.” – Frances Ellen Watkins Harper

Today in our History – May 20,1851 – Worked with the Underground Railroad to help get escaped slaves to Canada.

Frances Ellen Watkins Harper (September 24, 1825-February 22, 1911), was an African-American writer, lecturer, and political activist, who promoted abolition, civil rights, women’s rights, and temperance. She helped found or held high office in several national progressive organizations. She is best remembered today for her poetry and fiction, which preached moral uplift and counseled the oppressed how to free themselves from their demoralized condition.
Frances was born in Baltimore, Maryland, to free parents whose names are unknown. After her mother died in 1828, Frances was raised by her aunt and uncle. Her uncle was the abolitionist William Watkins, father of William J. Watkins, who would become an associate of Frederick Douglass. She received her education at her uncle’s Academy for Negro Youth and absorbed many of his views on civil rights. The family attended the African Methodist Episcopal (AME) church.

Following the passage in 1850 of the Fugitive Slave Law, conditions for free blacks in the slave state of Maryland deteriorated and the Watkins family fled Baltimore. Frances Watkins moved on her own to Ohio, where she taught sewing at Union Seminary. She moved on to Pennsylvania in 1851. There, alongside William Still, Chairman of the Pennsylvania Abolition Society, she helped escaped slaves along the Underground Railroad on their way to Canada.

Watkins continued to write, and in 1854 her Poems on Miscellaneous Subjects attracted critical notice and became her biggest commercial success. In these poems she attacked not only racism but also the oppression of women. Most of the earnings from this and her other books went to help free the slaves. In 1854 she also began her lecturing career. She was much in demand on the anti-slavery circuit and she traveled extensively in the years before the Civil War.

John Brown, who had been principal at Union Seminary when Watkins had worked there,* led the unsuccessful uprising at Harper’s Ferry in 1859. Watkins gave emotional support and comfort to Mary Brown during her husband’s trial and execution. In a letter smuggled into John Brown’s prison cell, Watkins wrote, “In the name of the young girl sold from the warm clasp of a mother’s arms to the clutches of a libertine or profligate,—in the name of the slave mother, her heart rocked to and fro by the agony of her mournful separations,—I thank you, that you have been brave enough to reach out your hands to the crushed and blighted of my race.”

In 1859 Watkins’s tale “The Two Offers” appeared in the Anglo-African, the first short story to be published by an African-American. Although cast in fictional form, the piece is actually a sermon on the important life choices made by young people, women in particular. The tale relates the tragedy of a woman who mistakenly thinks romance and married love to be the only goal and center of her life. “Talk as you will of woman’s deep capacity for loving,” Watkins preached, “of the strength of her affectional nature. I do not deny it; but will the mere possession of any human love, fully satisfy all the demands of her whole being? . . . But woman—the true woman—if you would render her happy, it needs more than the mere development of her affectional nature. Her conscience should be enlightened, her faith in the true and right established, and scope given to her Heaven-endowed and God-given faculties.”

In 1860, Frances Watkins married Fenton Harper, a widower with three children, and moved to Ohio. Their daughter, Mary, was born in 1862. Fenton died in 1864. After the war was over, Frances Harper toured the South, speaking to large audiences, encouraging education for freed slaves, and aiding in reconstruction.

Harper first became acquainted with Unitarians before the war, due to their support of abolition and the Underground Railroad. Her friend Peter H. Clark, a noted abolitionist and educator in Ohio, had become a Unitarian in 1868. When Harper and her daughter settled in Philadelphia in 1870, she joined the First Unitarian Church.

With slavery a thing of the past, Harper turned her energy to women’s rights. She spoke up for the empowerment of women and worked with Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton to secure votes for women. Unlike Anthony and Stanton, Harper supported the Fourteenth Amendment, which, together with the Fifteenth, granted the vote to black men but not to women. Recognizing the ever-present danger of lynching, she reasoned that the African-American community needed an immediate political voice. With that would come the possibility of securing further legal and civil rights.

During the next few decades, Harper wrote a great deal and had her works published frequently. Because of her many magazine articles, she was called the mother of African-American journalism. At the same time she also wrote for periodicals with a mainly white circulation.

Long fascinated with the character of Moses, whose modern equivalents she sought in the women and men of her own era, Harper treated this theme in poetry, fiction, and oratory. Before the Civil War, in her 1859 speech, “Our Greatest Want,” she had challenged her fellow blacks: “Our greatest need is not gold or silver, talent or genius, but true men and true women. We have millions of our race in the prison house of slavery, but have not yet a single Moses in freedom.”

The poems in Harper’s Sketches of Southern Life, 1872, present the story of Reconstruction, as told by a wise and engaging elderly former slave, Aunt Chloe. Harper’s serialized novel, “Sowing and Reaping,” in the Christian Recorder, 1876-77, expanded on the theme of “The Two Offers.” In “Trial and Triumph,” 1888-89, the most autobiographical of her novels, Harper presented her program for progress through personal development, altruism, non-discrimination, and racial pride.

In 1873 Harper became Superintendent of the Colored Section of the Philadelphia and Pennsylvania Women’s Christian Temperance Union. In 1894 she helped found the National Association of Colored Women and served as its vice president, 1895-1911. Along with Ida B. Wells, Harper wrote and lectured against lynching. She was also a member of the Universal Peace Union.

Although busy as a writer and active in public life, Harper continued to engage personally in social concerns at the local level. She worked with a number of churches in the black community of north Philadelphia near her home, feeding the poor, preventing juvenile delinquency, and teaching Sunday School at the Mother Bethel African Methodist Episcopal (AME) church.

Both Unitarians and the AME church have claimed Harper as a member. She was reluctant to choose between the two. AME was the church she had been raised in. It was family and home to her, and she always remembered where she came from and what her people had been through. Her reasons for joining the Unitarian church, on the other hand, may have been partly political. Although she had had personal and professional contacts in both black and white communities ever since her first book of poems was published, many doors remained closed to her. In a society where color lines were clearly drawn, a Unitarian church provided a rare opportunity for the races to meet. The Unitarians she knew could help to advance the causes she supported in places she could never go.

Harper’s christology was Unitarian. Christ was not a distant God to her, but a role model for the kind of exalted existence that all human beings could attain. In Iola Leroy, 1892, her final and famous novel (which, until recently, was her only-remembered novel), she envisioned a Christ-like role for African-Americans, who, by transcending their suffering, had the opportunity to transform society.

Harper died on 22 February 1911, nine years before women gained the right to vote. Her funeral service was held at the Unitarian Church on Chestnut Street in Philadelphia. She was buried in Eden Cemetery, next to her daughter, who had died two years before.

Although an extremely popular writer during her lifetime, Harper was not acclaimed by literary critics. Following her death W.E.B. Du Bois, whose ideal of high style was Henry James, eulogized her with faint praise: “She was not a great singer, but she had some sense of song; she was not a great writer, but she wrote much worth reading.” Shortly after, Harper’s communicative and intentionally popular style was dismissed as sentimental hackwork by African-American male critics and her message held in suspicion because her mixed-race protagonists were not sufficiently black.

During the 20th century, as her reputation waned and the best of her poetry languished unread. Harper’s gravestone fell over and was covered by grass. In her celebrated poem, “Bury Me In a Free Land,” she wrote,

I ask no monument, proud and high, 
To arrest the gaze of passers-by; 
All that my yearning spirit craves, 
Is bury me not in a land of slaves.

In recent decades, however, black women and feminists in general have resurrected Harper’s legacy. In 1992 African-American Unitarian Universalists honored her and commemorated the one-hundredth anniversary of Iola Leroy by installing a new headstone. In the excavation, the old headstone was uncovered, forgotten but still enduring. Harper’s call for full human development—black and white, male and female—also endures, as urgent and vital during these decades following the Civil Rights movement and Women’s Liberation as it was during Reconstruction and its aftermath. Make It A Champion Day!

May 8 1858- John Brown

GM – FBF – Today we Introduce a man who gave his life for the freedom of Blacks and his last words before he was hung is below. For in less than two (2) years the Civil War will begin. Enjoy!

Remember – “I, John Brown, am now quite certain that the crimes of this guilty land will never be purged away but with Blood.” ―John Brown

Today in our History – May 8, 1858 – John Brown holds antislavery convention in Canada.

As the October elections saw a free-state victory, Kansas was quiet. Brown made his men return to Iowa, where he fed them tidbits of his Virginia scheme. In January 1858, Brown left his men in Springdale, Iowa, and set off to visit Frederick Douglass in Rochester, New York. There he discussed his plans with Douglass, and reconsidered Forbes’ criticisms. Brown wrote a Provisional Constitution that would create a government for a new state in the region of his invasion. Brown then traveled to Peterboro, New York, and Boston to discuss matters with the Secret Six. In letters to them, he indicated that, along with recruits, he would go into the South equipped with weapons to do “Kansas work”.

Brown and twelve of his followers, including his son Owen, traveled to Chatham, Ontario, where he convened on May 8th – 10th a Constitutional Convention. The convention, with several dozen delegates including his friend James Madison Bell, was put together with the help of Dr. Martin Delany. One-third of Chatham’s 6,000 residents were fugitive slaves, and it was here that Brown was introduced to Harriet Tubman. The convention assembled 34 blacks and 12 whites to adopt Brown’s Provisional Constitution. According to Delany, during the convention, Brown illuminated his plans to make Kansas rather than Canada the end of the Underground Railroad. This would be the Subterranean Pass Way.[citation needed] Delany’s reflections are not entirely trustworthy. Brown was no longer looking toward Kansas and was entirely focused on Virginia. Other testimony from the Chatham meeting suggests Brown did speak of going South. Brown had long used the terminology of the Subterranean Pass Way from the late 1840s, so it is possible that Delany conflated Brown’s statements over the years. Regardless, Brown was elected commander-in-chief and he named John Henrie Kagi as his “Secretary of War”. Richard Realf was named “Secretary of State”. Elder Monroe, a black minister, was to act as president until another was chosen. A.M. Chapman was the acting vice president; Delany, the corresponding secretary. In 1859, “A Declaration of Liberty by the Representatives of the Slave Population of the United States of America” was written.

Although nearly all of the delegates signed the constitution, very few delegates volunteered to join Brown’s forces, although it will never be clear how many Canadian expatriates actually intended to join Brown because of a subsequent “security leak” that threw off plans for the raid, creating a hiatus in which Brown lost contact with many of the Canadian leaders. This crisis occurred when Hugh Forbes, Brown’s mercenary, tried to expose the plans to Massachusetts Senator Henry Wilson and others. The Secret Six feared their names would be made public. Howe and Higginson wanted no delays in Brown’s progress, while Parker, Stearns, Smith and Sanborn insisted on postponement. Stearns and Smith were the major sources of funds, and their words carried more weight. To throw Forbes off the trail and to invalidate his assertions, Brown returned to Kansas in June, and he remained in that vicinity for six months. There he joined forces with James Montgomery, who was leading raids into Missouri. He will lead a raid on Harpers Ferry Armory,VA. in October 1859 and was captured with others and hung. Research more about John Brown and share with your babies. Make it a champion day!

April 23, 1871- James Monroe Whitfield

GM – FBF – In exeutive meetings every day this week and will not be able to respond to any posts. Thanks for stopping and make it a champion day!

Remember – ” Painting is silent poetry and poetry is painting that speaks.” – James Monroe Whitfield

Today in our History – April 23, 1871 – Black Poiet Dies – 
James Monroe Whitfield, a black abolitionist and colonizationist, was born on April 10, 1822 in New Hampshire. Little is known about his early life except that he was a descendant of Ann Paul, the sister of prominent black clergyman Thomas Paul. Whitfield had little formal education. Nonetheless by the age of 16, he was publishing papers for Negro rights conventions.
Although his main occupation was as a barber, Whitfield eventually became well known as a poet whose work was published in North Star as well as Frederick Douglass’ Paper and The Liberator during the period he lived in Buffalo, New York. While living in Buffalo between 1839 and 1859, Whitfield worked with other abolitionists and emigrationists such as James T. Holly and Martin Delany. Whitfield promoted the National Emigration Convention in 1854 and 1856 and the African-American Repository one of the earliest black-oriented national publications.

Frederick Douglass initially recognized Whitfield’s leadership and activism and gave the young poet national exposure in his publications. Eventually Whitfield would disagree with Douglass whom he saw as too accommodating to the mostly white abolitionist movement. The men also disagreed on the wisdom of large scale emigration of African Americans from the United States. Despite their differences, Douglass allowed Whitfield to publish his views in a series of letters to Douglass’s newspaper the North Star in 1853.

In 1858 Whitfield publicly supported the proposal by Missouri Congressman Frank P. Blair to acquire land in Central America, to be used for black colonization. The following year, Whitfield was given the position of fact-finding commissioner by the proponents of this scheme and was sent to Central America where he lived for two years.

Upon his return to the United States in 1860, he found the nation on the verge of civil war. Like Martin R. Delany and other emigrationists, Whitfield now turned his efforts toward supporting the war effort which he believed would emancipate the slaves and potentially allow blacks to live as full citizens in the United States.

Settling in San Francisco, California Whitfield worked as a barber but continued to write poetry. Abdicating his role in political activism, Whitfield moved to the Pacific Northwest, working first in Portland, Oregon and later in Placerville, Idaho. Whitfield returned to California and became Grand Master of the Prince Hall Masons for the state, a post he held between 1864 and 1869. In May of 1869, he moved to Elko, Nevada, where he and three other black men sat on a jury, a first for the state of Nevada. He continued to write and publish poetry.

James Monroe Whitfield died in San Francisco on April 23, 1871 of heart disease and was buried in a Masonic cemetery in that city. Research more about blacks and the spoken word. Share with your babies and make it a champion day!

April 17, 1823- Miffin Wibstar Gibbs

GM – FBF- ” Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.” – Mifflin Wister Gibbs

Remember – “Thank God for Canada! In the context of this narrative [in Underground] and beyond, Canada was certainly an additional option for the many traveling the treacherous terrain of the Underground Railroad in pursuit of what was perceived as “freedom.” – Mifflin Wister Gibbs

Today in our History –

Born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on April 17, 1823, Mifflin Wistar Gibbs apprenticed as a carpenter. By his early 20s he was an activist in the abolition movement, sharing platforms with Frederick Douglass and helping in the Underground Railroad. Black intellectual ferment of the era gave him a superb education outside the classroom, and he became a powerful writer. In 1850 he migrated to San Francisco, California; starting as a bootblack, he was soon a successful merchant, the founder of a black newspaper, Mirror of the Times, and a leading member of the city’s black community.

In 1858 Gibbs moved to Victoria in what is now British Columbia, part of a mass migration of black men and women seeking equality under the British flag. Again he prospered, first as a merchant, then as a property developer, contractor, and elected politician. In 1866 Gibbs was elected to the Victoria (BC) City Council becoming the second black elected official in Canada and only the third elected anywhere on the North American continent.

Gibbs briefly returned to the US in 1859 to court and marry Maria Alexander, who had studied at Oberlin College. In developing a coal mine in the Queen Charlotte Islands in 1869-70, he built British Columbia’s first railroad. A tireless advocate for the black community, he helped to organize the colony’s first militia, an all-black unit known as the African Rifles. As an elected delegate to the Yale Convention, he also helped to frame the terms by which British Columbia entered the Canadian confederation.

Mifflin and Maria Gibbs separated in the late 1860s. Returning to the United States in 1870, Gibbs studied law in Oberlin, Ohio (where his wife Maria had settled, and where four of their five children graduated from Oberlin College). He toured the Reconstruction South and settled in Little Rock, Arkansas, soon becoming the first black elected municipal judge in the United States. His long and sometimes dangerous efforts on behalf of the Republican Party earned him an ambiguous reward: at the age of 74, Republican President William McKinley in 1897 named Gibbs U.S. consul in Tamatave, Madagascar. After four years Gibbs resigned in 1901 at 78 for health reasons. He returned to publish an autobiography, Shadow and Light, in 1902, with an introduction by Booker T. Washington.

Back in Little Rock, Gibbs launched Capital Citiy Savings Bank, became a partner in the Little Rock Electric Light Company, gained control of several pieces of local real estate, and supported various philanthropic causes. He died in Little Rock on July 11, 1915 at the age of 92. Research more about blacks moving to Canada and share with your babies. Make it a champion day! I won’t be able to respond to any posts today – Speaking at Apalachee High School – Winder, GA. – Thanks for all of your support with the daily History Lessons, I thank You and make it a champion day!

April 6, 1957- Dred Scott

GM – FBF – Two hundread sixty one years ago, The Dred Scott Case is remembered as dividing the nation, precipitating the Civil War and ultimately being overturned by the Thirteenth and Fourteenth Amendments.

Remember – “A man is a man, until that man finds a plan, a plan that makes that man, a new man”. – Dred Scott

Today in our History – April 6,1857 – Dred Scott case: the Supreme Court decision.

The Dred Scott decision was the culmination of the case of Dred Scott v. Sanford, one of the most controversial events preceding the Civil War. In March 1857, the Supreme Court issued its decision in that case, which had been brought before the court by Dred Scott, a slave who had lived with his owner in a free state before returning to the slave state of Missouri. Scott argued that time spent in a free state entitled him to emancipation. But the court decided that no black, free or slave, could claim U.S. citizenship, and therefore blacks were unable to petition the court for their freedom. The Dred Scott decision outraged abolitionists and heightened North-South tensions.

This convoluted case (1857), both a cause and an effect of sectional conflict, contributed to antebellum political and constitutional controversy. It also made Chief Justice Roger B. Taney seem a satanic figure to contemporary antislavery activists and many later historians.

Dred Scott, a black slave, and his wife had once belonged to army surgeon John Emerson, who had bought him from the Peter Blow family of St. Louis. After Emerson died, the Blows apparently helped Scott sue Emerson’s widow for his freedom, but lost the case in state court.

Because Mrs. Emerson left him with her brother John Sanford (misspelled Sandford in court papers), a New York citizen, Scott sued again in federal court, claiming Missouri citizenship. Scott’s lawyers eventually appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Originally, Justice Samuel Nelson was to write a narrow opinion, arguing that the case belonged in the state, not a federal court. But northern antislavery justices John McLean of Ohio and Benjamin R. Curtis of Massachusetts planned to dissent, arguing that Scott should be freed under the Missouri Compromise because he had traveled north of the 36°30′ line, whereas the Court’s southerners wanted to rule the compromise unconstitutional.

President James Buchanan‘s supporters considered it a final answer to the sectional controversy, although they were unaware at the time that Buchanan had influenced Justice Robert Grier of Pennsylvania to join the southern majority so that it would look less like a sectional decision.

The Dred Scott case remained the subject of noisy constitutional and historical debate and contributed to the divisions that helped lead to Abraham Lincoln‘s election and the Civil War. Research more about this case and the impact that it will have on enslaved people in the United States until President Abraham Lincoln”s Emancipation Proclamation. Make It A Champion Day!

March 30, 1957- Edith Mae Savage

GM – FBF – ” The most that we can do is never give up on the Capitol City of Trenton because this is our home.” – Edith Savage.

Remember – ” Our chrildren need to be educated with our Black Institutions and Organizations at a young age in order for them to carry the tourch of our people in the future.” – Edith Savage

Today in our History – March 30, 1957 – Edith Savage was introduced to Martain Luther King and his wife who would become great friends until their deaths.

Edith Mae Savage-Jennings (March 17, 1924 – November 12, 2017) was an American civil rights leader from New Jersey. She was known for her association with civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr.

She was notable for being a guest to the White House under every president of the United States from Franklin D. Roosevelt through Barack Obama. She was inducted into the New Jersey Women’s Hall of Fame in 2011. Savage was born in 1924 at Jacksonville, Florida, one of six children in her family. Her parents died when she was two years old. Following the death of her parents, Savage and her siblings went to live with her aunt, who moved the family to New Jersey.

At age 10, Savage met First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt when she was selected to hand the First Lady flowers on behalf of the New Jersey State Federation of Colored Women’s Clubs. Although told not to say anything, Savage thanked Roosevelt which led to the two becoming pen pals for the remainder of Roosevelt’s life.

At 12 years old, she joined the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP).
At only 13 years old, Savage helped to integrate the Capital Theater in Trenton, New Jersey, when she refused to sit in the balcony, which was the designated seating area for blacks. Savage’s first job was in the sheriff’s office, where she continued to speak out against discrimination.

On March 30, 1957, while Savage was raising funds for King’s Southern Leadership Conference, she was introduced to civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. King and his wife, Coretta Scott King, became Savage’s close friends. After Martin’s death, Savage worked with Coretta to found the King Center.

In 1964, Savage and then first lady of New Jersey Helen Meyner went on a presidential mission to integrate a school in Mississippi. Savage and Meyner met with local women in an effort to convince the locals to allow for the school to be integrated peacefully. Later that same year, she organized the New Jersey Democratic Coalition.

In 2017, she was a keynote speaker at the Women’s March in Trenton. Savage was the coordinator of the Mid-Atlantic States Poor People’s Campaign of SCLC in 1968. President Jimmy Carter appointed her as a U.S. Delegate at the World Women’s Conference in Houston, Texas in 1977.

Besides promoting civil rights, Savage wanted to combat problems in the African-American community through education. She believed the importance of parenting and mentoring to give children role models.On October 28, 1993, Savage married C. Donald Jennings. Rosa Parks attended the wedding and Coretta Scott King served as maid of honor. Her husband died on June 19, 2011 at age 94. ]Savage died on November 12, 2017 at her home in Trenton, New Jersey at the age of 93.Savage received more than 100 awards and honors for her work in Civil Rights. She was inducted into the New Jersey Women’s Hall of Fame in 2011. The city of Trenton proclaimed February 19, 2016 as Edith Savage-Jennings Day.

Savage was a guest to the White House under every president of the United States from Franklin Delano Roosevelt through Barack Obama. Mrs. Savage helped me in so many ways over my career that are to many to share right now and we all miss her. Research more about this great American and share with your babies. Make it a champion day!

March 14, 1977- Fannie Lou Hamer

GM – FBF – “You can pray until you faint, but unless you get up and try to do something, God is not going to put it in your lap” – Fannie Lou Hamer

Remember – , “I am sick and tired of being sick and tired.” – Fannie Lou Hamer

Today in our History – March 14, 1977 –

Fannie Lou Hamer (1917-1977) was a civil rights activist whose passionate depiction of her own suffering in a racist society helped focus attention on the plight of African-Americans throughout the South. In 1964, working with the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), Hamer helped organize the 1964 Freedom Summer African-American voter registration drive in her native Mississippi. At the Democratic National Convention later that year, she was part of the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party, an integrated group of activists who openly challenged the legality of Mississippi’s all-white, segregated delegation.
Born Fannie Lou Townsend on October 6, 1917, in Montgomery County, Mississippi. The daughter of sharecroppers, Hamer began working the fields at an early age. Her family struggled financially, and often went hungry.
Married to Perry “Pap” Hamer in 1944, Fannie Lou continued to work hard just to get by. In the summer of 1962, however, she made a life-changing decision to attend a protest meeting. She met civil rights activists there who were there to encourage African Americans to register to vote. Hamer became active in helping with the voter registration efforts.
Hamer dedicated her life to the fight for civil rights, working for the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC). This organization was comprised mostly of African American students who engaged in acts of civil disobedience to fight racial segregation and injustice in the South. These acts often were met with violent responses by angry whites. During the course of her activist career, Hamer was threatened, arrested, beaten, and shot at. But none of these things ever deterred her from her work.In 1964, Hamer helped found the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party, which was established in opposition to her state’s all-white delegation to that year’s Democratic convention.
She brought the civil rights struggle in Mississippi to the attention of the entire nation during a televised session at the convention. The next year, Hamer ran for Congress in Mississippi, but she was unsuccessful in her bid.Along with her political activism, Hamer worked to help the poor and families in need in her Mississippi community.
She also set up organizations to increase business opportunities for minorities and to provide childcare and other family services. Hamer died of cancer on March 14, 1977, in Mound Bayou, Mississippi.

March 12, 2015- Willie T. Barrow

MafGM – FBF – “I am about doing the work of our people in Chicago or the Nation” – Willie T. Barrow

Remember – ” I am proud to with Jesse Jackson and Operation PUSH to support the people of our great City” – Willie T. Barrow

Today in our History – March 12, 2015 – Religious leader and civil rights activist Reverend Willie T. Barrow was born on December 7, 1924 to Octavia and Nelson Taplin, a minister. Barrow was raised in Burton, Texas, where as a student she led a demonstration of rural African American schoolchildren against a segregated school system. Barrow later attended Warner-Pacific Theological Seminary in Portland, Oregon, and helped build a church in that city in the 1940s.
Upon graduation, Barrow was ordained as a minister and began her career as both a spiritual and social activist. From 1953 to 1965, she was a field organizer for Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, where she was responsible for the organization of transportation, shelter, meetings and rallies for demonstrations, including the 1965 March on Selma, Alabama. During the 1960s, Barrow was among the founding members of Operation Breadbasket in Chicago, Illinois, a program that provided spiritual guidance and practical assistance to communities in need. Later, in 1968, she led a three-person delegation to North Vietnam and participated in the negotiation of the Vietnam Peace Treaty.
Barrow went on to serve as co-chair of the Rainbow/PUSH Coalition, the organization that grew out of Operation Breadbasket. At the Coalition, she coordinated activities and served as an aide to Reverend Jesse Jackson, Sr. Barrow also served as associate minister of the Vernon Park Church of God in Chicago, and was active in the National Urban League and National Council of Negro Women.
Barrow was honored with a Doctor of Divinity degree from Monrovia, Liberia and a Leadership Certificate from Harvard University. She also received awards from the League of Black Women, the Christian Women’s Conference, and the Indo-American Democratic Organization. In September of 1997, a street on Chicago’s South Side was renamed in her honor; and, that same year, the Reverend Willie Barrow Wellness Center was opened to bring affordable and accessible health care to needed areas in Chicago. She authored the book, How to Get Married and Stay Married, which was published in 2004.
Reverend Barrow passed away on March 12, 2015 at the age of 90. Reserch more about the NAACP, SCLC and Operation PUSH and people who are Civil Rights Activeist and share with your babies. Make it a champion day!

March 5, 1985- Mary McLeod Bethune

GM – FBF – “The true worth of a race must be measured by the character of its womanhood.” – Mary McLeod Bethune

Remember – “Without faith, nothing is possible. With it, nothing is impossible.” – Mary McLeod Bethune

Today in our History – March 5, 1985 – Mary McLeod Bethune is Honored With Her Image on a U.S. Postage Stamp.

Mary Jane McLeod Bethune (born Mary Jane McLeod; July 10, 1875 – May 18, 1955) was an American educator, stateswoman, philanthropist, humanitarian and civil rights activist best known for starting a private school for African-American students in Daytona Beach, Florida. She attracted donations of time and money, and developed the academic school as a college. It later continued to develop as Bethune-Cookman University. She also was appointed as a national adviser to president Franklin D. Roosevelt as part of what was known as his Black Cabinet. She was known as “The First Lady of The Struggle” because of her commitment to gain better lives for African Americans.

Born in Mayesville, South Carolina, to parents who had been slaves, she started working in fields with her family at age five. She took an early interest in becoming educated; with the help of benefactors, Bethune attended college hoping to become a missionary in Africa. She started a school for African-American girls in Daytona Beach, Florida. It later merged with a private institute for African-American boys, and was known as the Bethune-Cookman School. Bethune maintained high standards and promoted the school with tourists and donors, to demonstrate what educated African Americans could do. She was president of the college from 1923 to 1942, and 1946 to 1947. She was one of the few women in the world to serve as a college president at that time.

Bethune was also active in women’s clubs, which were strong civic organizations supporting welfare and other needs, and became a national leader. After working on the presidential campaign for Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1932, she was invited as a member of his Black Cabinet. She advised him on concerns of black people and helped share Roosevelt’s message and achievements with blacks, who had historically been Republican voters since the Civil War. At the time, blacks had been largely disenfranchised in the South since the turn of the century, so she was speaking to black voters across the North. Upon her death, columnist Louis E. Martin said, “She gave out faith and hope as if they were pills and she some sort of doctor.”

Honors include designation of her home in Daytona Beach as a National Historic Landmark,[3] her house in Washington, D.C. as a National Historic Site,[4] and the installation of a memorial sculpture of her in Lincoln Park in Washington, D.C. The Legislature of Florida is expected to designate her in 2018 as the subject of one of Florida’s two statues in the National Statuary Hall Collection. Research motr about this great American and share with your babies. Make it a champion day!