Category: Events- Bombings, Lynches, mass murders of blacks

June 4 1972- Angela Davis

GM – FBF – This is one of the most wanted Individuals in the USA back in the 60’s and 70′. Enjoy!

Remember – “Jails and prisons are designed to break human beings, to convert the population into specimens in a zoo – obedient to our keepers, but dangerous to each other.” – Angela Davis

Today in our History – June 4, 1972 – Angela Davis acquitted.

Angela Yvonne Davis, a black militant, former philosophy professor at the University of California, and self-proclaimed communist, is acquitted on charges of conspiracy, murder, and kidnapping by an all-white jury in San Jose, California.

In October 1970, Davis was arrested in New York City in connection with a shootout that occurred on August 7 in a San Raphael, California, courtroom. She was accused of supplying weapons to Jonathan Jackson, who burst into the courtroom in a bid to free inmates on trial there and take hostages whom he hoped to exchange for his brother George, a black radical imprisoned at San Quentin Prison. In the subsequent shoot-out with police, Jonathan Jackson was killed along with Superior Court Judge Harold Haley and two inmates.

Davis, who had championed the cause of black prisoners and was friends with George Jackson, was indicted in the crime but went into hiding. One of the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s most wanted criminals, she was apprehended only two months later. Her trial began in March 1972 and drew international attention because of the weakness of the prosecution’s case and obvious political nature of the proceedings. In June 1972, she was acquitted of all charges.

After leaving the criminal justice system, she returned to teaching and writing and in 1980 was the vice-presidential candidate of the U.S. Communist Party. In 1991, she became a professor in the field of the history of consciousness at the University of California at Santa Cruz. Four years later, she was appointed a presidential chair at the university amid controversy that stemmed from her communist and black militant background. Her writings include Angela Davis: An Autobiography and Women, Race, and Class. Though no longer a member of the Communist Party, Davis continues to be active in politics, most notably speaking out against the death penalty. Reserch more about other great Black women in history and share with your babies. Make it a champion day!

May 31 1921- The Tusla Race

GM – FBF – What is the definition of a Riot – a noisy, violent public disorder caused by a group or crowd of persons, as by a crowd protesting against another group, a government policy, etc., in the streets.- What is the definition of a Massacre – the unnecessary, indiscriminate killing of a large number of human beings or animals, as in barbarous warfare or persecution or for revenge or plunder. Read the story and you tell me what happened in Tulsa, OK during the days on May 31 and June 2, 1921. THIS IS A STORY NOT TOLD AND HONORED ENOUGH. PEACE!

Remember – ” It was terrifying like what my grandparents use to talk about during slavery. We could not stop the waves of bombs, gunfire and total hate towards our people. No one should have to live like that” – Tulsa Resident

Today in our History – May 31, 1921

Tulsa race riot of 1921, race riot that began on May 31, 1921, in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and was one of the most severe incidents of racial violence in U.S. history. Lasting for two days, the riot left somewhere between 30 and 300 people dead, mostly African Americans, and destroyed Tulsa’s prosperous black neighbourhood of Greenwood, known as the “black Wall Street.” More than 1,400 homes and businesses were burned, and nearly 10,000 people were left homeless. Despite its severity and destructiveness, the Tulsa race riot was barely mentioned in history books until the late 1990s, when a state commission was formed to document the incident.

On May 30, 1921, Dick Rowland, a young African American shoe shiner, was accused of assaulting a white elevator operator named Sarah Page in the elevator of a building in downtown Tulsa. The next day the Tulsa Tribune printed a story saying that Rowland had tried to rape Page, with an accompanying editorial stating that a lynching was planned for that night. That evening mobs of both African Americans and whites descended on the courthouse where Rowland was being held. When a confrontation between an armed African American man, there to protect Rowland, and a white protestor resulted in the death of the latter, the white mob was incensed, and the Tulsa riot was thus ignited.

Over the next two days, mobs of white people looted and set fire to African American businesses and homes throughout the city. Many of the mob members were recently returned World War I veterans trained in the use of firearms and are said to have shot African Americans on sight. Some survivors even claimed that people in airplanes dropped incendiary bombs.

When the riot ended on June 1, the official death toll was recorded at 10 whites and 26 African Americans, though many experts now believe at least 300 people were killed. Shortly after the riot there was a brief official inquiry, but documents related to the riot disappeared soon afterward. The event never received widespread attention and has been noticeably absent from the history books used to teach Oklahoma schoolchildren.

In 1997 a Tulsa Race Riot Commission was formed by the state of Oklahoma to investigate the riot and formally document the incident. Members of the commission gathered accounts of survivors who were still alive, documents from individuals who witnessed the riots but had since died, and other historical evidence. Scholars used the accounts of witnesses and ground-piercing radar to locate a potential mass grave just outside Tulsa’s Oaklawn Cemetery, suggesting the death toll may be much higher than the original records indicate. In its preliminary recommendations, the commission suggested that the state of Oklahoma pay $33 million in restitution, some of it to the 121 surviving victims who had been located. However, no legislative action was ever taken on the recommendation, and the commission had no power to force legislation. In April 2002 a private religious charity, the Tulsa Metropolitan Ministry, paid a total of $28,000 to the survivors, a little more than $200 each, using funds raised from private donations. There is a lot more to this story and should be a major movie on the BIG screen, please research more about this massacre and share with your babies. Make it a champion day!

May 26 1928- Bunion Derby

GM – FBF – Even during the “Great Depression” people of color were doing outstanding feats but little to no recognition. Read the story of the first national footrace which people of color won three spots in the top ten. Enjoy!

Remember – “Running is nothing more than a series of arguments between the part of your brain that wants to stop and the part that wants to keep going.” – Winner of the Bunion Derby – Andy Payne

Today in our History – The 1928 Bunion Derby: America’s Brush with Integrated Sports.

From March 4 to May 26, 1928, a unique event grabbed the attention of the American public—an eighty-four day, 3,400-mile footrace from Los Angeles to New York City, nicknamed the bunion derby. The 199 starters included five African Americans, a Jamaican-born Canadian, and perhaps as many as fifteen Latinos, Native Americans and Pacific Islanders, representing about ten percent of the competitors. The rest were white. The derby consisted of daily town-to-town stage races that took the men across the length of Route 66 to Chicago, then on other roads to the finish in Madison Square Garden. All were chasing a $25,000 first prize, a small fortune in 1928 dollars.

Given the racial climate of 1928, black participation in the bunion derby seemed a risky venture, better suited for more tolerate racial times, either the 1870’s when professional distance racing was the rage and men of all races were accepted in to its fold, or our modern age, when the sight of African runners leading endurance events is an everyday occurrence. The 1928 race would take the men into the Jim Crow segregated South, where most whites believed blacks lacked the ability to concentrate for anything longer than the sprint distances, and had no business competing against whites.

Bunion derby organizer Charles C. Pyle looked back, longingly, to the 1870’s when the craze for professional distance running gripped the land, and sports promoters could make a fortune sponsoring these events. In those days, most towns and cities had their own indoor tracks, where “pedestrians” raced in six day “go as you please” contests of endurance. Participants were free to run, walk, or crawl around these tracks for six days. They often set up cots inside the track oval and survived on three hours sleep a night. This was a sport of the working classes. Fans bet money on their favorite pedestrians and followed them with all the fervor of today’s NFL fans. Stamina not ethnicity was the single qualifier to become a pedestrian star. Black America had its hero, Haitian born, Frank Hart who made a fortune in the sport and averaged ninety miles a day in one six day endurance race.

C. C. Pyle’s “bunioneers” found far harsher conditions than the pedestrians faced in the calm environment of an indoor track. His men tackled the mostly unpaved and pot-holed Route 66 across the American West, running daily ultra-marathons across one thousand miles of the most challenging terrain on the planet–the ninety-five degree heat of the Mojave Desert, and the freezing mountain passes and thin air of Arizona and New Mexico.

By the time derby reached eastern New Mexico, only ninety-six of the original 199 starters remained, including three of the five African American starters–Eddie Gardner of Seattle, Sammy Robinson of Atlantic City, New Jersey, and Toby Joseph Cotton, Junior of Los Angeles–and Afro-Canadian Phillip Granville, of Hamilton, Ontario. After overcoming all that, the black runners faced a man made hell when Route 66 took them to Texas where the Ku Klux Klan dominated the state legislature and the city governments of Dallas, Forth Worth and El Paso. Gardner, Joseph, Cotton, and Granville were forced out of the communal sleeping tent into a “colored only” tent, then bombarded with death threats and racial slurs as they slogged their way across the muddy, tendon ripping roads of the Texas Panhandle. In McLean, Texas, an angry mob surrounded Gardner’s trainer’s car, and threatened to burn it, claiming that blacks had no business racing against whites. In Western Oklahoma, a farmer trained a shotgun on Eddie Gardner’s back, and rode behind him for an entire day, daring him to pass a white man. After Phillip Granville’s experience with Jim Crow segregation, he began referring to himself as Jamaican Indian, and “anything but negro,” and disassociated myself from the black runners.

This abuse continued across Texas, Oklahoma and Missouri, a total of a thousand miles and twenty-four days of running hell before the derby crossed into Illinois. The men were helped along way by tightly knit black communities in Oklahoma City, Tulsa, and Chandler, Oklahoma, that raised money for them, gave them a clean bed for the night, and a solid meal to keep them going in the face of so much hate. They also were supported and protected by the white runners who had bonded with them like brothers over the brutal miles on Route 66.

The heroism of the black bunioneers was a symbol of hope and pride to black communities they passed along way, and to black America as a whole, who followed the men’s struggle across Texas, Oklahoma and Missouri in the Amsterdam News, California Eagle, Black Dispatch Chicago Defender, and Pittsburgh Courier. The competitors also put to rest the long held belief that blacks were unsuited to long distance running, given that three-fifths of the blacks finished compared to about twenty-five percent of the whites. The derby also showed the nation that blacks and whites could compete against one another even if they were not yet ready to live together in harmony.

On May 26, 1928, fifty-five weary men make their final laps around the track in Madison Square Garden that marked the end of their eighty-four day ordeal. Three of the top ten finishers were runners of color, including the $25,000 first prize winner, Andy Payne, a part Cherokee Indian from Oklahoma, the $5,000 third place winner, Phillip Granville of Canada, and the $1,000 eighth place winner, Eddie Gardner of Seattle. These three bunioneers were cut from the same social cloth as their white competitors—they were blue-collar men who were looking for a piece of the American dream. They did not run for loving cups or medals, but for prize money that could lift a mortgage off a farm, buy a house, or give their children some decent clothes to wear, and in the case of the black runners, they risked their lives to do so. This was a far different mentality from the university athletes and members of athletic clubs who looked down their noses at these working class distance stars, but it was also strikingly modern, a herald of the rise of professional sports in the years to come, where merit, not race determined fame and glory. This race was run in the following year but with no blacks permitted to run becuse of the nation’s depression. I could not find pictures of the winner receiving the winnings and trophy. Make it a champion day!

May 22 1982- Marion Croak

GM – FBF- Technology is part of our lives and will continue, today we look at a Black woman who is a giant in her field. Enjoy!

Remember – “Believe in the power of truth … Do not allow your mind to be imprisoned by majority thinking. Remember that the limits of science are not the limits of imagination.” – Marian Croak

Today in our History – May 22, 1982 – Marion Croak joins then named Bell Laboratories. (AT&T).

As part of Face2Face African Americans commitment to informing and connecting black people around the world, I have resolved to devote each day of the month in celebrating black women and man who have contributed to highlight their inventions and/ or contributions to the USA and the world.

Marian Croak is the senior vice president for application and services infrastructure for AT&T. Croak has been granted 100 patents in relation to voice over internet protocol or VOIP. She has an additional 100 patents currently under review with the U.S. Patent Office. Her patents are directly related to “assessing the installation of a component in a packet-switched network” to “dynamically adjusting broadband access bandwidth.” As told to BizTech.

Her journey started in 1982 when she began working at AT&T – Croak, along with other colleagues advocated for the switch from wire technology to internet protocol. Croak spent 32 years at AT&T; in 2014 she left the iconic company to join Google as its vice president of research and development for access strategy and emerging markets. In this role, she’s responsible for expanding internet capabilities around the globe.

Croak is a graduate of Princeton University and the University of Southern California. She earned a PhD in Social Psychology and Quantitative Analysis.

In 2013 Croak was inducted into the Women in Technology International (WITI) hall of fame. She also sits on the board of the Holocaust and Human Rights Educational Center.

We honor Marian Croak’s contributions to the world as a black woman. Make it a champion day!

May 19 1968- The Original Last Poets

GM – FBF – I was in Junior High School (Junior High School #1) Trenton, NJ. In that school year all 5 Junior High Schools came together and went undefeated in Mercer County, NJ Footbal, Jr. # 3 defeated Jr. # 1 as we lost the city Basketball Championship for the first time in 10 years. We also lost the Baseball Championship to Jr.# 3 but ran away with the City Track Championship for 15 years going undefeated.With three weeks left until the end of the school year, as President of the 9th grade class, I still had one last party to host in our brand new common area named after Thurgood Marshall. I travled to Harlem, N.Y. and purchased some music (Bootleg out of a car trunk) of The Last Poets. I got permission of the building Principal and I played three songs of The Last Poets at the start, middle and end of the dance. Peace to the words of the Last Poets.

Remember -“There wouldn’t be an America if it wasn’t for black people. So you have some dedicated black Americans who will die a million deaths to save America. And this is home for us.” – Abiodun Oyowele

Today in our History – May 19, 1968 – The Original Last Poets were formed on Malcolm X’s birthday, at Marcus Garvey Park in East Harlem. On October 24th 1968, the group performed on pioneering New York television program Soul!.

Luciano, Kain, and Nelson recorded separately as The Original Last Poets, gaining some renown as the soundtrack artists of the 1971 film Right On!

In 1972, they appeared on Black Forum Records album Black Spirits – Festival Of New Black Poets In America with “And See Her Image In The River” and “Song of Ditla, part II”, recorded live at the Apollo Theatre, Harlem, New York. A book of the same name was published by Random House (1972 – ISBN 9780394476209).

The original group actually consisted of Gylan Kain, David Nelson and Abiodun Oyowele. Nelson left in the fall of 1968 and was replaced by Felipe Luciano, then Luciano left to start the Young Lords and was replaced by Alafia Pudim (later known as Jalaluddin Mansur). Following the success of the reformed Last Poets first album, Luciano, Kain, and Nelson reunited to record their only album Right On in 1967, the soundtrack to a documentary movie of the same name that finally saw release in 1971. (See also Performance (1970 film featuring Mick Jagger) soundtrack song “Wake Up, Niggers”.) The Right On album was released under the group name The Original Last Poets to simultaneously establish their primacy and distance themselves from the other group of the same name.

The Jalal-led group coalesced via a 1969 Harlem writers’ workshop known as East Wind. Jalal Mansur Nuriddin a.k.a. Alafia Pudim, Umar Bin Hassan, and Abiodun Oyewole, along with poet Sulaiman El-Hadi and percussionist Nilaja Obabi, are generally considered the best-known members of the various lineups. Jalal, Umar, and Nilaja appeared on the group’s 1970 self-titled debut LP and follow-up This Is Madness. Nilija then left, and a third poet, Sulaiman El-Hadi, was added. This Jalal-Sulaiman version of the group made six albums together but recorded only sporadically without much promotion after 1977.

Having reached US Top 10 chart success with its debut album, the Last Poets went on to release the follow-up, This Is Madness, without then-incarcerated Abiodun Oyewole. The album featured more politically charged poetry that resulted in the group being listed under the counter-intelligence program COINTELPRO during the Richard Nixon administration. Hassan left the group following This Is Madness to be replaced by Sulaiman El-Hadi (now deceased) in time for Chastisment (1972). The album introduced a sound the group called “jazzoetry”, leaving behind the spare percussion of the previous albums in favor of a blending of jazz and funk instrumentation with poetry. The music further developed into free-jazz–poetry with Hassan’s brief return on 1974’s At Last, as yet the only Last Poets release still unavailable on CD.

The remainder of the 1970s saw a decline in the group’s popularity. In the 1980s and beyond, however, the group gained renown with the rise of hip-hop music, often being name-checked as grandfathers and founders of the new movement, often citing the Jalaluddin solo project Hustler’s Convention (1973) as their inspiration. Because of this the band was also interviewed in the 1986 cult documentary Big Fun In The Big Town. Nuriddin and El-Hadi worked on several projects under the Last Poets name, working with bassist and producer Bill Laswell, including 1984’s Oh My People and 1988’s Freedom Express, and recording the final El Hadi–Nuriddin collaboration, Scatterrap/Home, in 1994.

Sulaiman El-Hadi died in October 1995. Oyewole and Hassan began recording separately under the same name, releasing Holy Terror in 1995 (re-released on Innerhythmic in 2004) and Time Has Come in 1997.

Their lyrics often dealt with social issues facing African-American people. In the song “Rain of Terror”, the group criticized the American government and voiced support for the Black Panthers.

More recently, the Last Poets found fame again refreshed through a collaboration where the trio (Umar Bin Hassan) was featured with hip-hop artist Common on the Kanye West-produced song “The Corner,” as well as (Abiodun Oyewole) with the Wu-Tang Clan-affiliated political hip-hop group Black Market Militia on the song “The Final Call,” stretching overseas to the UK on songs “Organic Liquorice (Natural Woman)”, “Voodoocore”, and “A Name” with Shaka Amazulu the 7th. The group is also featured on the Nas album Untitled, on the songs “You Can’t Stop Us Now” and “Project Roach.” Individual members of the group also collaborated with DST on a remake of “Mean Machine”, Public Enemy on a remake of “White Man’s God A God Complex” and with Bristol-based British post-punk band the Pop Group.

In 2010, Abiodun Oyowele was among the artists featured on the Welfare Poets’ produced Cruel And Unusual Punishment, a CD compilation that was made in protest of the death penalty, which also featured some several current positive hip hop artists.

In 2004 Jalal Mansur Nuriddin, a.k.a. Alafia Pudim, a.k.a. Lightning Rod (The Hustlers Convention 1973), collaborated with the UK-based poet Mark T. Watson (a.k.a. Malik Al Nasir) writing the foreword to Watson’s debut poetry collection, Ordinary Guy, published in December 2004 by the Liverpool-based publisher Fore-Word Press. Jalal’s foreword was written in rhyme, and was recorded for a collaborative album “Rhythms of the Diaspora (Vol. 1 & 2 – Unreleased) by Malik Al Nasir’s band, Malik & the O.G’s featuring Gil Scott-Heron, percussionist Larry McDonald, drummers Rod Youngs and Swiss Chris, New York dub poet Ras Tesfa, and a host of young rappers from New York and Washington, D.C. Produced by Malik Al Nasir, and Swiss Chris, the albums Rhythms of the Diaspora; Vol. 1 & 2 are the first of their kind to unite these pioneers of poetry and hip hop with each other.[8]

In 2011, The Last Poets Abiodun Oyewole and Umar Bin Hassan performed at The Jazz Cafe in London, in a tribute concert to the late Gil Scott-Heron and all the former Last Poets.

In 2014, Last Poet Jalaluddin Mansur Nuriddin came to London and also performed at The Jazz Cafe with Jazz Warriors the first ever live performance in 40 years of the now iconic “Hustlers Convention”. The event was produced by Fore-Word Press and featured Liverpool poet Malik Al Nasir with his band Malik & the O.G’s featuring Cleveland Watkiss, Orphy Robinson and Tony Remy. The event was filmed as part of a documentary on the “Hustlers Convention” by Manchester film maker Mike Todd and Riverhorse Communications. The executive producer was Public Enemy’s Chuck D. As part of the event Charly Records re-issued a special limited edition of the vinyl version of Hustlers Convention to celebrate their 40th anniversary. The event was MC’d by poet Lemn Sissay and the DJ was Shiftless Shuffle’s Perry Louis.

In 2016, The Last Poets (World Editions, UK), was published. The novel, written by Christine Otten, was originally published in Dutch in 2011, and has now been translated by Jonathan Reeder for English readers. Research more about Black poets and share with your babies. Make it a champion day!

May 18 1896- May Plessy V. Ferguson a Supreme Court Case

GM – FBF – This one case after the Dread Scott decesion will legally let Jim Crow stand for decades. Enyoy!

Remember – “But in view of the constitution, in the eye of the law, there is in this country no superior, dominant, ruling class of citizens. There is no caste here. Our constitution is color-blind, and neither knows nor tolerates classes among citizens. In respect of civil rights, all citizens are equal before the law. The humblest is the peer of the most powerful. The law regards man as man, and takes no account of his surroundings or of his color when his civil rights as guarantied by the supreme law of the land are involved.” ― John Marshall Harlan

Today in our History – May Plessy v. Ferguson a Supreme Court Case that will legaly keep people of color back for decades.

Plessy v. Ferguson, case in which the U.S. Supreme Court, on May 18, 1896, by a seven-to-one majority (one justice did not participate), advanced the controversial “separate but equal” doctrine for assessing the constitutionality of racial segregation laws. Plessy v. Ferguson was the first major inquiry into the meaning of the Fourteenth Amendment’s (1868) equal-protection clause, which prohibits the states from denying “equal protection of the laws” to any person within their jurisdictions. Although the majority opinion did not contain the phrase “separate but equal,” it gave constitutional sanction to laws designed to achieve racial segregation by means of separate and supposedly equal public facilities and services for African Americans and whites. It served as a controlling judicial precedent until it was overturned by the Supreme Court in Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka (1954).

The case originated in 1892 as a challenge to Louisiana’s Separate Car Act (1890). The law required that all railroads operating in the state provide “equal but separate accommodations” for white and African American passengers and prohibited passengers from entering accommodations other than those to which they had been assigned on the basis of their race. In 1891 a group of Creole professionals in New Orleans formed the Citizens’ Committee to Test the Constitutionality of the Separate Car Law. They hired Albion Tourgée, a Reconstruction-era judge and social reformer, as their legal counsel. As plaintiff in the test case the committee chose a person of mixed race in order to support its contention that the law could not be consistently applied, because it failed to define the white and “coloured” races. Homer Plessy, who was seven-eighths white and one-eighth African American, purchased a rail ticket for travel within Louisiana and took a seat in a car reserved for white passengers. (The state Supreme Court had ruled earlier that the law could not be applied to interstate travel.) After refusing to move to a car for African Americans, he was arrested and charged with violating the Separate Car Act. At Plessy’s trial in U.S. District Court, Judge John H. Ferguson dismissed his contention that the act was unconstitutional. After the state Supreme Court affirmed the district court’s ruling, the U.S. Supreme Court granted certiorari, and oral arguments were heard on April 13, 1896. The court rendered its decision one month later, on May 18.

Majority Opinion
Writing for the majority, Associate Justice Henry Billings Brown rejected Plessy’s arguments that the act violated the Thirteenth Amendment (1865) to the U.S. Constitution, which prohibited slavery, and the Fourteenth Amendment, which granted full and equal rights of citizenship to African Americans. The Separate Car Act did not conflict with the Thirteenth Amendment, according to Brown, because it did not reestablish slavery or constitute a “badge” of slavery or servitude. In reaching this conclusion he relied on the Supreme Court’s ruling in the Civil Rights Cases (1883), which found that racial discrimination against African Americans in inns, public conveyances, and places of public amusement “imposes no badge of slavery or involuntary servitude…but at most, infringes rights which are protected from State aggression by the XIVth Amendment.”

Yet the act did not conflict with the Fourteenth Amendment either, Brown argued, because that amendment was intended to secure only the legal equality of African Americans and whites, not their social equality. Legal equality was adequately respected in the act because the accommodations provided for each race were required to be equal and because the racial segregation of passengers did not by itself imply the legal inferiority of either race—a conclusion supported, he reasoned, by numerous state-court decisions that had affirmed the constitutionality of laws establishing separate public schools for white and African American children. In contrast, social equality, which would entail the “commingling” of the races in public conveyances and elsewhere, did not then exist and could not be legally created: “If one race be inferior to the other socially, the Constitution of the United States cannot put them upon the same plane.” In response to Plessy’s comparison of the Separate Car Act to hypothetical statutes requiring African Americans and whites to walk on different sides of the street or to live in differently coloured houses, Brown responded that the Separate Car Act was intended to preserve “public peace and good order” and was therefore a “reasonable” exercise of the legislature’s police power.

Dissenting Opinion
In his lone dissenting opinion, which would become a classic of American civil rights jurisprudence, Associate Justice John Marshall Harlan insisted that the court had ignored the obvious purpose of the Separate Car Act, which was, “under the guise of giving equal accommodation for whites and blacks, to compel the latter to keep to themselves while traveling in railroad passenger coaches.” Because it presupposed—and was universally understood to presuppose—the inferiority of African Americans, the act imposed a badge of servitude upon them in violation of the Thirteenth Amendment, according to Harlan. The effect of the law, he argued, was to interfere with the personal liberty and freedom of movement of both African Americans and whites. Because it thus attempted to regulate the civil rights of citizens on the arbitrary basis of their race, the act was repugnant to the principle of legal equality underlying the Fourteenth Amendment’s equal-protection clause. “Our Constitution is color-blind,” Harlan wrote,

Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.
and neither knows nor tolerates classes among citizens. In respect of civil rights, all citizens are equal before the law. The humblest is the peer of the most powerful. The law regards man as man, and takes no account of his surroundings or of his color when his civil rights as guaranteed by the supreme law of the land are involved.

He concluded that “in my opinion, the judgment this day rendered will, in time, prove to be quite as pernicious as the decision made by this tribunal in the Dred Scott Case” (1857), which had declared (in an opinion written by Chief Justice Roger B. Taney) that African Americans were not entitled to the rights of U.S. citizenship. Research more about the courts and people of color in the Country and share with your babies. Make it a champion day!

May 16 1917- Eugene Jacques Bullard

GM – FBF – The “Great War” , World War I America had no black flying airmen but in World War II we will hear of the Tuskegee Airmen. Read the story of an American who flew a plane long before America would let blacks fly. Enjoy!

Remember – “Tout le sang qui coule rouge; All blood is red.”

Today in our History – May 16, 1917 – The first black combat pilot twenty-four years before the first Tuskegee Airmen took flight. – Eugene Jacques Bullard

Eugene Jacques Bullard (1895 – 1961) was born October 9, 1895, in Columbus, GA as the seventh out of ten total children born to William Octave Bullard and Josephine “Yokalee” Thomas. Eugene’s father was originally from Martinique but William arrived in the United States of America as a slave when his owners settled here after fleeing Haiti during the French Revolution. His mother, Josephine, was a Creek Native American. Bullard is considered to be the first African-American military pilot to fly in combat, and the only African-American pilot in World War I. Ironically, he never flew for the United States.

In 1906, at the age of 11, Bullard ran away craving adventure. He was also traumatized by his dad’s near lynching experience by a mob of drunken white men who had found out that Mr. Bullard hit a white man in self-defense. Young Eugene took off shortly after this incident and for the next six years, he wandered the South in search of freedom.

In 1912 he stowed away on the Marta Russ, a German freighter bound for Hamburg, and ended up in Aberdeen, Scotland. From there he made his way to London, where he worked as a boxer and slapstick performer in an African American entertainment troupe. In 1913, Bullard went to France for a boxing match. Settling in Paris, he became so comfortable with French customs that he decided to make a home there. He later wrote, “… it seemed to me that French democracy influenced the minds of both black and white Americans there and helped us all act like brothers.” In early October 1914, at the age of 19, Bullard joined the French Foreign Legion, eager to fight in World War I against the Central Powers. About a year later he was transferred to the French army’s 170th Infantry, known as the “Swallows of Death,” after the decimation of his Foreign Legion unit. Bullard saw action on the western front, first as a foot soldier, then as a machine gunner, surviving a number of near death moments. Through the Battle of Champagne, Battle of the Somme, and the Battle of Verdun; Eugene lost almost all his teeth, survived a hole in his thigh from shrapnel and a bloody bombing at the village of Fleury. For his gallantry, the French government awarded Bullard the Croix de Guerre (Cross of War) in June 1916 at a ceremony Lyon.

Although fit with new dentures and recovered from his leg wound, Eugene was deemed no longer fit to be a foot soldier. Yet he was determined to get back into the action. After seven months of training, he became an aircraft gunner in the French air force’s Lafayette Flying Corps, an all-American volunteer outfit. Before long, Bullard, now a corporal, set his sights on the cockpit. Having mastered several maneuvers, Eugene earned his wings on May 16 1917, becoming the first black combat pilot twenty-four years before the first Tuskegee Airmen took flight.

By war’s end in November 1918, Bullard had flown on twenty missions and was credited with shooting down at least one enemy plane. Legend has it that he painted a bleeding heart on the fuselage of his airplane and below it wrote, “Tout le Sang qui coule est rouge!” (All blood runs red!). During his lifetime, Eugene Ballard was awarded fifteen French war medals. Including the Knight of the Légion d’honneur, Médaille Militaire, Croix de Guerre, Volunteer’s Cross (Croix du combattant volontaire), Wounded Insignia, World War I Commemorative Medal, World War I Victory Medal, Freedom Medal, and the World War II Commemorative Medal.

After being discharged from the Armed Forces Eugene Bullard became part owner of his own nightclub, Le Grand Duc at 52 rue Pigalle, in France. His club was one of the most popular and famous spots for singers and musicians at the time. Luminaries such as the Prince of Wales, Pablo Picasso, Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald and England’s Prince of Wales were seen in his establishment. While working the nightclub scene he also became friends with Josephine Baker, Louis Armstrong, and Langston Hughes.

During the second World War Eugene Bullard agreed to serve France again as a spy. He was very successful at this endeavor because the Germans didn’t think that African Americans were capable of understanding German and Eugene spoke English, German and French. While serving in this capacity he occasionally worked with the famous French spy Cleopatra Terrier.

Despite being named a Knight of the Legion of Honor in New York City during a lavish ceremony, being embraced by President-General Charles de Gaulle of France in 1960 when he visited the USA and labeled a “True French Hero,” helping to relight the Eternal Flame of the Tomb of the Unknown French Soldier at the request of France, and being buried with full honors by the Federation of French War Officers, Eugene Bullard was never recognized in the United States for any of his achievements. It wasn’t until 1994 that the United States Air Force recognized him and posthumously commissioned him a Second Lieutenant.

Eugene Bullard married a French Countess and had one son (died of double pneumonia) and two daughters. He passed on October 12, 1961, from stomach cancer in New York City. He is currently interred in the French War Veterans’ section of Flushing Cemetery in the New York City borough of Queens. Research more about blacks in Aveation and share with your babies. Make it a champion day!

May 14 1985- Osage Ave

GM – FBF – With Mother’s Day over I can now run what happened yesterday in the city of brotherly love back in 1985.

Remember – The Philadelphia police have declared war on it’s own people – Osage Ave. Resident

Today in our History – May14, 1985 –

The Day after a City Bombed Its Own People – It was 33 years ago yesterday that Philadelphia earned the sorry distinction of being the first U.S. city government to bomb its own people. More than three decades ago, Philadelphia police, after surrounding and engaging in a shootout with a group of mostly black members of the communalist group MOVE who were holed up in their row house on Osage Avenue in West Philadelphia, dropped two “satchel bombs” containing powerful C-4 explosive (provided by the FBI) onto the building’s roof. As firefighters, ordered not to take any action to put out the spreading flames from the explosions, stood by and watched, the MOVE house burned to the ground, killing 11 of the 13 people in the building, including five children and MOVE’s founder, John Africa. The inferno also destroyed 65 adjacent buildings, decimating two blocks of the mostly black lower-middle-class neighborhood.

At a federal trial a year later, a jury found that the city of Philadelphia had used “excessive force” and had violated the constitutional rights of lone adult survivor Ramona Africa and the dead victims. It awarded $1.5 million to her and the families of two of the victims.

In 1986, the city’s then mayor, W. Wilson Goode, impanelled a body, known as the MOVE Commission, to investigate the atrocity. Its conclusion, announced in 1986: “Dropping a bomb on an occupied row house was unconscionable.” It also found that “Police gunfire prevented some occupants of 6221 Osage Ave. from escaping from the burning house to the rear alley.” It is worth remembering this slaughter of innocents by uniformed personnel whose official duty was supposedly to “protect and serve” their community, at a time when the European Union is seeking the UN Security Council’s approval to begin bombing Libyan ports and ships to prevent African and Middle Eastern refugees from fleeing to Italy and Europe. It is worth remembering this slaughter when the U.S. is using remotely piloted missile-equipped drones to blow up homes and vehicle convoys in the hope of killing alleged terrorists, killing numerous innocent civilians in the process. And it is worth remembering this slaughter when a growing movement is developing to protest the murders of unarmed Americans, mostly people of color, by the nation’s increasingly militarized police.

Nobody in the city leadership of Philadelphia was ever prosecuted for the killing of the people in the MOVE house on Osage Avenue, though the incident was wholly instigated and orchestrated by city police. (The city paid to have the destroyed homes rebuilt, but they then had to be rebuilt again because of substandard construction.) This lack of accountability for a city’s murder, by bombing, of 11 of its residents, including children, is truly shocking. But it is perhaps less surprising when one sees that nobody has been called to account either for the officially sanctioned murder of hundreds of innocents by the U.S. targeted-killing drone campaigns in Afghanistan, Somalia, Pakistan, Syria, and other countries, and when one recalls that only a few indictments have been handed down against any of the police officers who have been killing hundreds of unarmed people across the country every year. It’s ironic that the national media remain obsessed with the trial of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the young man whose fate is being determined by a jury after his recent conviction for the Boston Marathon bombing, an act of terrorism that killed three people, while the 33th anniversary of the MOVE bombing—an event that was orchestrated by the police, and where the deaths were deliberate and intentional since the victims were not permitted to flee the burning building—goes largely unmarked. Meanwhile, one journalist, Mumia Abu-Jamal, who has not remained silent, and who has regularly memorialized that terrible event, writing from a prison cell or recording reports by phone for Prison Radio, is currently in grave danger.

Prison medical staff failed to notice that Abu-Jamal, currently serving a life sentence without chance of parole after a 1982 conviction for the killing of white Philadelphia police officer Daniel Faulkner in 1981, had lost some 60 pounds between January and March of this year. They took no action at all until he collapsed on the floor from sugar shock in late March. Rushed to a hospital with his blood-glucose level at a point where he was at risk of going into a diabetic coma and suffering renal failure, he was finally given insulin. But he was then returned to the prison—where he was immediately offered a meal of prison pasta. Prison officials have rebuffed efforts by Abu-Jamal’s family and supporters to have him treated by expert physicians knowledgeable about diabetes as well as about the serious skin eruptions that have been plaguing him. Yet Pennsylvania’s Department of Corrections in the past allowed millionaire convicted murderer John Eleuthere du Pont to be treated by his own private physician in the prison.

Abu-Jamal’s supporters fear the state’s law-enforcement and prison system may be trying to accomplish what the federal courts, by overturning his death sentence as unconstitutional, prevented them from doing: silencing this voice of truth, but by medical neglect and malpractice instead of with a lethal injection. Meanwhile, here’s what Abu-Jamal had to say five years ago, on the 25th anniversary of the MOVE bombing: “May 13th, 1985 is more than a day of infamy, when a city waged war on its own alleged citizens, but also when the city committed massacre and did so with perfect impunity, when babies were shot and burned alive with their mothers and fathers, and the killers rewarded with honors and pensions, while politicians talked and the media mediated mass murder.” Research more about MOVE and share with your babies. Make it a champion day!

May 12 1968- Poor People’s Campaign

GM – FBF – “The Souls of Poor Folk: Auditing America 50 Years After the Poor People’s Campaign Challenged Racism, Poverty, the War Economy/Militarism and Our National Morality.” – I ask has there been any change for the poor in America?

Remember – “we as a nation must undergo a radical revolution of values. We must rapidly begin the shift from a “thing‐oriented” society to a “person‐oriented” society. When machines and computers, profit motives and property rights are considered more important than people, the giant triplets of racism, materialism, and militarism are incapable of being conquered…” – Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Today in oue History – May 12, 1968 – Poor People’s Campaign: A Dream Unfulfilled (50 Years Later) – In early 1968, the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and other civil rights leaders planned a Poor People’s Campaign in Washington, D.C., for the spring. The group planned to demand that President Lyndon Johnson and Congress help the poor get jobs, health care and decent homes.

Campaign organizers intended the campaign to be a peaceful gathering of poor people from communities across the nation. They would march through the capital and visit various federal agencies in hopes of getting Congress to pass substantial anti-poverty legislation. They planned to stay until some action was taken.

But weeks before the march was to take place, King was assassinated. His widow, Coretta, and a cadre of black ministers, including the Revs. Ralph Abernathy and Jesse Jackson, decided they would pick up where King had left off and that the Poor People’s March on Washington would go forward.

Thousands of people participated in the march on May 12, 1968.

A week later, protestors erected a settlement of tents and shacks on the National Mall where they camped out for six weeks. Jackson became mayor of the encampment, which was called Resurrection City. Conditions were miserable.

Although as many as 50,000 people ended up marching, the Poor People’s Campaign was considered a failure by people who had grown weary of protesting and did not see immediate changes.

The closing was sort of unceremonious. When the demonstrators’ permit expired on June 23, some [members of the House of] Representatives, mostly white Southerners, called for immediate removal. So the next day, about 1,000 police officers arrived to clear the camp up of its last few residents. Ultimately, they arrested 288 people, including [civil rights leader and minister Ralph] Abernathy.

Although not much has changed for many poor Americans, the role of religion in the black community has changed greatly since the days when King and others wielded such power.

Over the years, megachurches have become more popular in black communities, just as they have in white communities. These megachurches have amassed influence and wealth partly because of their sheer number of parishioners. Some have created satellite churches and broadcast their gospel on television.

Research more about The Poor People’s Struggle in America by watching a video or reading books to your babies and make it a champion day!

May 10 1930- The NPHC

GM – FBF – Today we look bsch on our, Greek lettered fraternities and sororities. Coming together to create a union. Enjoy!

Remember – “It’s all about love. We’re either in love, dreaming about love, recovering from it, wish for it or reflecting on it.” – Unknown

Todat in our History – May 10, 1930 –

The National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC) is a collaborative organization of nine historically African American, international Greek lettered fraternities and sororities. The nine NPHC organizations are sometimes collectively referred to as the “Divine Nine”. The member/partner organizations have not formally adopted nor recommended the use of this term to describe their collaborative grouping. The NPHC was formed as a permanent organization on May 10, 1930 on the campus of Howard University, in Washington, D.C. with Matthew W. Bullock as the active Chairman and B. Beatrix Scott as Vice-Chairman. NPHC was incorporated under the laws of the State of Illinois in 1937.

The council promotes interaction through forums, meetings and other mediums for the exchange of information and engages in cooperative programming and initiatives through various activities and functions.

Each constituent member organization determines its own strategic direction and program agenda. Today, the primary purpose and focus of member organizations remains camaraderie and academic excellence for its members and service to the communities they serve. Each promotes community awareness and action through educational, economic, and cultural service activities.

The National Pan-Hellenic Council was established in an age when racial segregation and disenfranchisement plagued African Americans, the rise of each of the black fraternities and sororities that make up the NPHC bore witness to the fact that despite hardships African Americans refused to accede to a status of inferiority.

The organization’s stated purpose and mission in 1930:

Unanimity of thought and action as far as possible in the conduct of Greek letter collegiate fraternities and sororities, and to consider problems of mutual interest to its member organizations.

The founding members of the NPHC were Kappa Alpha Psi, Omega Psi Phi, Alpha Kappa Alpha, Delta Sigma Theta, and Zeta Phi Beta. The council’s membership expanded as Alpha Phi Alpha (1931), Phi Beta Sigma (1931), Sigma Gamma Rho (1937), and Iota Phi Theta (1996) joined this coalition of Black Greek letter organizations (BGLOs). In his book on BGLOs, Lawrence Ross coined the phrase “The Divine Nine” when referring to the coalition.

As required by various campus recognition policies, neither the NPHC, nor its member national or chapter organizations discriminate on the basis of race or religion.

In 1992, the first permanent national office for NPHC was established in Bloomington, Indiana on the campus of Indiana University through the joint cooperation of Indiana University and the National Board of Directors of NPHC. Research more about this time honored Tridition and share with your babies. Make it a champion day!