Category: Female

November 20 1910- Pauli Murray

GM – FBF – Today I want to share with you a story of a black woman, who was well educated and also one of the founders of (NOW) National Organization for Woman. Enjoy!

Remember – “We had been led to believe that American education is inferior. We have been impressed with American technology, however, and through your Constitutional law class—the first time we have ever been taught by an American—we have come to change our views. We used to accept without questioning whatever the lecturer said. Through your class we have learned to inquire.” – Pauli Murray

Today in our History – November 20,1910 Pauli Murray was born on November 20, 1910 in Baltimore, Maryland, the daughter of Agnes and William Murray.

Pauli Murray was born on November 20, 1910 in Baltimore, Maryland, the daughter of Agnes and William Murray. Her father, a Howard Universitygraduate, taught in the Baltimore public schools. Both of Murray’s parents died when she was a child. Her mother suffered from a brain hemorrhage and died in 1914. Her father was the victim of typhoid fever and died in 1923.

Despite such heartbreaking tragedy, Murray pursued her life goals. In 1933 she graduated from Hunter College in New York City, New York. Despite a stellar academic record, Murray in 1938 was denied admission into the University of North Carolina Law School in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. She later enrolled in the Howard University Law School in Washington, D.C. and graduated in 1944. Not long afterwards, Murray sought admission to Harvard University Law School in Cambridge, Massachusetts for an advanced law degree but was denied admission because of her gender. She enrolled at the University of California at Berkeley where she received a master of law degree in 1945. Twenty years later, in 1965, she became the first African American awarded a J.S.D. (a law doctorate) from Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut. Her degree was based on her dissertation, “Roots of the Racial Crisis: Prologue to Policy.”

Murray argued that her experiences encountering and overcoming racial and gender discrimination gave her special insight into the nature of racial and sexual hierarchies in U.S. and wrote about its various manifestations in America’s legal history. Murray coined the term “Jane Crow and Jim Crow” to describe the impact of dual discrimination. She also joined both the civil rights movement and the feminist movement. In 1966 Murray was one of the founders of the National Organization for Women (NOW) with feminist icon Betty Friedan.

Murray’s life took an abrupt turn when at the age of 62 she entered a seminary and became in 1977 the first black female priest ordained by the Episcopal Church. On July 1, 1985, cancer claimed the life of Pauli Murray in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Her autobiography Song in a Weary Throat: an American Pilgrimage was published posthumously in 1987. Research more about black female lawyers and share with your babies. Make it a champion day!

November 19 1983- Tina Turner

GM – FBF – Today’s look back into our History is about a black female singer who In the wake of divorce, debt and dismal record sales, Turner mounted a stellar comeback. WHEN SHE WAS 45, THE AGE when many pop singers’ careers have faded, Tina Turner’s 1984 album, Private Dancer, delivered her from commercial purgatory to become the singer’s biggest success.

Remember – “Sometimes you’ve got to let everything go – purge yourself. If you are unhappy with anything… whatever is bringing you down, get rid of it. Because you’ll find that when you’re free, your true creativity, your true self comes out.” – Tina Turner

Today in our History – November 19, 1983: Tina Turner begins her fabled Eighties comeback when her version of Al Green’s “Let’s Stay Together,” produced by of Martyn Ware and Ian Craig Marsh of Heaven 17, hits the British charts.
Born Anna Mae Bullock in Nutbush, Tenn., she began recording with Ike Turner’s Kings of Rhythm, later marrying the bandleader and adopting the stage name Tina. The group earned six top 40 hits on the Billboard Hot 100, including its Grammy-winning cover of Creedence Clearwater Revival’s “Proud Mary,” which reached No. 4 in 1971.

Behind the facade of the couple’s success, however, Ike was abusing Tina, and she walked out on him in 1976, famously carrying only a Mobil credit card and 36 cents. They divorced two years later.

Though freed from her marriage, Turner struggled professionally; playing cabaret-style shows to settle debts while two solo albums fizzled on the charts. Her fortune began to change when Olivia Newton-John invited Turner to appear on her 1979 TV special. The cameo led to Turner meeting Roger Davies, who became her manager and flew with the singer to England to work on Private Dancer, her debut on Capitol Records.

The album generated Turner’s first five solo top 40 hits on the Hot 100, including her first No. 1, “What’s Love Got to Do With It.” The smashes pushed Private Dancer to No. 3 on the Billboard 200 on Sept. 29, 1984, and to a 39-week run in the top 10. Following Private Dancer, Turner earned a further dozen hits on the Hot 100 through 1996.

Turner continued recording and touring through 2008. Now retired from performing and living in Switzerland with her husband, German music producer Erwin Bach, she is developing an autobiographical stage musical, with performances set to begin in London in March 2019. Research more on Black Female artists and share with your babies. Make it a champion day!

I am facilitating a sales Managers Workshop for today and tomorrow and will not be able to respond to any posts.

November 17 1834- Nancy Green

GM – FBF – Today, I would like to share with you a story of a Black American Female who made a lot of appetences for the company that she worked for and received a lot of death threats and nasty letters for trying to feed herself and family She was a great lady who died a terrible death and I know that you didn’t know about this true American story. Learn and Enjoy!

Remember – “Many of my people didn’t like what I was doing but I had to eat also.” Nancy Green

Today in our History – November 17, 1834 Nancy Green was born and would become a household name as the first and original “Aunt Jemima”.

Nancy Green (November 17, 1834 – August 30, 1923) was a storyteller, cook, activist, and the first of several African-American models hired to promote a corporate trademark as “Aunt Jemima”.

Green was born into slavery on November 17, 1834, near Mount Sterling in Montgomery County, Kentucky. She was hired in 1890 by the R.T. Davis Milling Company in St. Joseph, Missouri, to represent “Aunt Jemima”, an advertising character named after a song from a minstrel show. Davis Milling had recently acquired the formula to a ready-mixed, self-rising pancake flour from St. Joseph Gazette editor Chris L. Ruttand Charles Underwood and were looking to employ an African-American woman as a Mammy archetype to promote their new product. In 1893 Green was introduced as Aunt Jemima at the World’s Columbian Exposition held in Chicago, where it was her job to operate a pancake-cooking display.

Her amicable personality and talent as a cook for the Walker family, whose children grew up to become Chicago Circuit Judge Charles M. Walker and Dr. Samuel Walker helped establish a successful showing of the product, for which she received a medal and certificate from the Expo officials. After the Expo, Green was offered a lifetime contract to adopt the Aunt Jemima moniker and promote the pancake mix. This marked the beginning of a major promotional push by the company that included thousands of personal appearances and Aunt Jemima merchandising. Nancy Green maintained her job with Davis Milling (which was renamed Aunt Jemima Mills Company in 1914) until her death in 1923; she was still working as Aunt Jemima at the time. A lawsuit claims that Nancy Green’s heirs as well as other heirs from the other women used as Aunt Jemima models deserve $2 billion and a share of future revenue from the sales of popular demand.

The federal lawsuit was filed in Chicago by another model (Anna Short Harrington)’s grandsons who claim that she and Green were the roots in creating the recipe for the nation’s first self-proclaimed pancake mix. It also states that Green was the originator and came up with the idea of adding powdered milk for extra flavor in the pancakes. Quaker Oats, who is the current owner of the brand, says this image of Aunt Jemima was in fact fake and never real claiming that there are no trace of contracts between the women who displayed as Aunt Jemima models and their bosses. The suit was dismissed as the heirs failed to prove that they were related to the lady who posed as Aunt Jemima.

Green was one of the organizers of the Olivet Baptist Church. Her career allowed Green the financial freedom to become an activist and engage in antipoverty programs. She was one of the first African-American missionary workers. She used her stature as a spokesperson to become a leading advocate against poverty and in favor of equal rights for individuals in Chicago.

Green died on August 30, 1923, in Chicago when a car collided with a truck and flipped over onto the sidewalk where she was standing. She is buried in the northeast quadrant of Chicago’s Oak Woods Cemetery. The famous image of Aunt Jemima was based on the real image of Nancy Green, who was known as a magnificent cook, an attractive woman of outgoing nature and friendly personality, an original painting of which sold for $9,030 at MastroNet. The painting was rendered by A. B. Frost, who is now well known as one of the great illustrators of the Golden Age of American Illustration. Share your story about Aunt Jemima or research more about Nancy Green and share with your babies. Make it a champion day!

November 14 1915- Mabel Fairbanks

GM – FBF – Today’s story is about the first Black/Native American woman to excel and be honored for her body of work. She is in the American and International halls of fame in her sport. She was orphaned and homeless but still had a vision of greatness. She was not allowed to try out for the Olympics but she still showed the world her talents. Enjoy!

Remember – “I’VE CRIED ENOUGH FOR ALL OF US” – Mabel Fairbanks

Today in our History – November 14, 1915 – Mabel Fairbanks was born.

Mabel Fairbanks (November 14, 1915 – September 29, 2001) was an American figure skater and coach. As an African American and Native American woman she paved the way for other minorities to compete in the sport of figure skating. She was inducted into the US Figure Skating Hall of Fame, as the first person of African American and Native American descent, and the International Women’s Sports Hall of Fame.

Mabel Fairbanks was born on November 14, 1915 in Florida’s Everglades. Her father was African American while her mother was Seminole and of English descent. In a 1999 interview, she said, “my mother took in everybody – every kid off the street – and gave them a place to stay and something to eat. So I never knew who were my real sisters and brothers, but my older sister told me there were 14.”

Fairbanks was orphaned at the age of eight when her mother died. After staying with a teacher who treated her like a “maid,” she joined one of her brothers in New York City. She worked for him and his wife at their fish market on 8th Avenue in Harlem but they became displeased when, out of sympathy, she gave a family more fish than they had paid for. A wealthy woman saw her sleeping on a park bench and offered her a job as a babysitter at a home overlooking Central Park.

Fairbanks began figure skating around 1925 to 1928. After observing children at the Central Park ice rink, she bought herself used skates, stuffed them with cotton because they were two sizes too big, and began skating at the rink. She said, “Blacks didn’t skate there. But it was a public place, so I just carried on.” She gained further inspiration after seeing Sonja Henie in the 1936 film One in a Million.

In the 1930s, Fairbanks, due to her race, was denied access to the local rink by the cashier but she kept returning util the manager admitted her. Maribel Vinson Owen and Howard Nicholson provided her with technical advice. Fairbanks was not allowed to compete in the national qualifying event for the Olympics or any competition. In a 1998 interview, she said, “If I had gone to the Olympics and become a star, I would not be who I am today.”

Fairbanks performed in shows in New York until the 1940s. She often wore pink or purple skate boots rather than the more common black or white. She practiced on a 6ft by 6ft rink constructed by her uncle Wally in her room. After relocating to Los Angeles, she toured internationally, skating with Ice Capades in Mexico and later with Ice Follies. After returning to the United States, she saw a sign with “Colored Trade Not Solicited” at the Pasadena Winter Gardens. She stated, “my uncle had newspaper articles written about it and passed them out everywhere until they finally let me in.”

Fairbanks coached singles and pairs, including Tiffany Chin, Billy Chapel, Scott Hamilton, Kristi Yamaguchi / Rudy Galindo, Tai Babilonia / Randy Gardner, Leslie Robinson, Michelle McCladdie, Richard Ewell, Debi Thomas, Atoy Wilson, and Jean Yuna. She also taught skating to the children of many celebrities. In 1997, she became the first African American inducted into the US Figure Skating Hall of Fame. She was inducted into the International Women’s Sports Hall of Fame in October 2001.

Fairbanks never married. She was diagnosed with myasthenia gravis in 1997 and with acute leukemia in mid-2001. She died on September 29, 2001 at Providence Saint Joseph Medical Center in Burbank, California. She is interred in the ground at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery, Hollywood, California. Her grave is right at the beginning of the bridge to the Clark Mausoleum. Research more about black female skaters and share with your babies. Make it a champion day!

November 12 2007- Aletra Hampton

GM – FBF – Today’s story is about a family and their singing prowess, the heart and soul of the group was the most business minded and let her other sister’s gain most of the fame. Indianapolis, Indiana is where they planted their roots but they were sellers in Cincinnati, Ohio, Carnegie Hall and The Apollo Theater. Enjoy!

Remember – “Dad was a self-taught musician as well as a self-taught artist”, recalled Aletra. He was responsible for the whole thing. He taught everybody;from the age of three, they all played instruments. “He was the leader of the band for a while, but Dad got tired” – Aletra Hampton

Today In Our History – November 12, 2007 – Aletra Hampton died.

Aletra Hampton (October 8, 1915 – November 12, 2007) was an American jazz pianist and singer, best known for her performances during the 1940s and 1950s as a member of the Hampton family band and the Hampton Sisters, a quartet she formed during World War II with her siblings, Carmalita, Virtue and Dawn. The Middletown, Ohio, native began performing at a young age and moved with her family to Indianapolis, Indiana, in 1938.

Hampton and her eight siblings performed in the 1940s and 1950s in Duke Hampton’s band, their oldest 
brother’s jazz orchestra. The group became well known as the house band at nightclubs in Indianapolis and Cincinnati, Ohio, and toured the United States playing at venues that included New York City’s Carnegie Hall and Harlem’s Apollo Theater and the Savoy Ballroom. The family’s band dissolved in the 1950s, but Hampton and two of her sisters, Virtue and Carmalita, continued to perform as the Hampton Sisters for several more years. The trio reunited in Indianapolis in 1981 after almost a twenty-year hiatus. Hampton and her sister, Virtue, continued to perform as a duo, mostly in Indianapolis, until 2006.

Hampton and her siblings received Indiana’s Governor Arts Award (1991) for their contributions to the state’s musical heritage. In addition, Hampton was inducted into the Indianapolis Jazz Foundation’s Hall of Fame (1999); received an honorary doctorate of music degree from the University of Indianapolis(2004); and was a recipient of NUVO newspaper’s Cultural Vision Lifetime Achievement Award (2006).

The Indiana Historical Society released The Hampton Sisters, A Jazz Tribute (2003), a compact disc featuring Aletra and Virtue Hampton. Close members of Hampton’s musical family include her brother, “Slide” Hampton, a National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Master; her sister, Dawn (Died in 2016), a well-known New York City cabaret singer and swing dancer; and her nephew, Pharez Whitted, a jazz trumpeter. Research more about family entertainment groups and share with your babies. Make it a champion day!

November 8 1975- Syvilla Fort

GM – FBF – Today’s story is about a person who loved to dance. She loved it so much she began teaching dance at the age nine. She went to high school and attended one of the best dance schools in the nation. The rest is history as they say. Enjoy!

Remember – “ Many people love to dance in clubs and in houses and that is fine but when I think of dance, I think of flying and controlling one’s body to a point that you can express any feeling.” – Syvilla Fort

Today in our History – November 8, 1975 – Syvilla Fort died.

Syvilla Fort, born on July 3, 1917 in Seattle, was a professional dancer in the 1930s and early 1940s and prominent dance instructor in New York City for three decades between 1948 and 1975. Her dance style, which combined African, Caribbean, and American rhythms, influenced hundreds of professional dancers and actors.

Fort began studying ballet when she was three years old but was denied admission to several Seattle ballet schools because of her race. Forced to learn at home in private lessons, she soon excelled in dance and at age nine began to teach modern dance, tap, and ballet to the neighborhood kids.

In 1932 she graduated from high school and entered the Cornish School of Allied Arts in Seattle, becoming its first African American student. At Cornish she met John Cage, an American composer, who had Fort perform some of his first compositions. They continued this collaboration through her years at Cornish.

In 1937 Fort relocated to Los Angeles to begin her professional career. There she met dancer Katherine Dunham. Fort later joined Dunham’s dance company in Chicago. While with Dunham’s company, Fort injured her knee which ended her professional dance career prematurely in 1945. In 1948 Fort was appointed chief administrator and dance teacher at the Katherine Dunham School of Dance in New York. Fort retained that position until 1954 when the school closed due to financial problems.

Soon afterwards Fort and her husband, Buddy Philips, opened a dance studio in New York City on West 44th Street. It was here that Fort developed her Afro-Modern technique, which combined the modern styles of dance, learned from the Dunham School, with the techniques she had acquired at Cornish. Fort’s school became popular among aspiring actors and had a number of students who went on to illustrious careers including Marlon Brando, James Dean, Jane Fonda, and James Earl Jones. Fort was also a part time Professor of Physical Education at Columbia University’s Teachers College between 1954 and 1967.

Fort’s dance studio thrived until she was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1975. The cancer spread rapidly and she died on November 8, 1975. Just days before her death, Syvilla Fort attended a concert in her honor organized by the Black Theater Alliance. Research more about black dance and share with your babies. Make it a champion day!

November 5 1901- Etta Moten Barnett

GM – FBF – Today’s story is about one of the great female pioneers of entertainment. She was so focused that she raised her children as a single parent and still finished her college which is tough during any era but in the 30’s was hard. Both Hollywood and New York Theater was honored with her talents, she mentored young black women, was a civil rights advocate and spent time in countries in Africa. She was the first Black Female entertainer to perform at the White House and lived to the age of 102. Enjoy!

Remember – “ I would not accept that my talents were not going to be seen because I was black, I got most of what I sat out for and I am at peace” – Etta Moten Barnett

Today in our History – November 5, 1901 – Etta Moten Barnett was born.

Etta Moten Barnett, singer, actress, civic activist and humanitarian, was born Nov. 5, 1901 to Rev. Freeman F. Moten and Ida Norman Moten in Weimar, Texas. As the daughter of an African Methodist Episcopal minister and a schoolteacher, the church and education were central to Etta Moten Barnett’s upbringing. As early as 10 years old, Barnett instructed Sunday school in her father’s church and performed in the church choir. Barnett was educated at Paul Quinn College’s secondary school for children in Waco, Texas, where she had received a full scholarship in singing. When her father was transferred to a church in Los Angeles in 1914, Barnett attended school there for two years. The family then moved to Kansas City, Kan., and she went to high school at Western University (a high school and junior college combined) in Quindaro, Kan.

At age 17, while attending Western University, Etta met and married Lieutenant Curtis Brooks – a former teacher – and moved to Oklahoma. Together she and Brooks had three daughters: Sue, Gladys and Etta Vee. After six of years of marriage, they divorced and she and her children returned to Kansas. Upon her return, Barnett enrolled in the University of Kansas. With her parents’ help raising her daughters, Barnett studied voice and drama and spent her summers touring with Jackson Jubilee Singers, a popular gospel group in Kansas, to pay her way through school. She also hosted a university radio program, where she sang gospel and popular music, and formed a quartet similar to the Jubilee Singers, which also performed on the university radio station.

Barnett received a bachelor of fine arts degree in 1931. Following graduation, Barnett joined the Eva Jessye Choir of New York. She also appeared on the professional stage in the Fast and Furious , an all-black musical revue written by Zora Neale Hurston, and another musical called Zombie . Zombie played in New York for two months, then toured to Chicago and California. Among Barnett’s other Broadway credits are Sugar Hill and Lysistrata .

When Zombie closed in California in 1932, Barnett decided to audition for film roles in Hollywood. However, at this time, because few parts were available to African American actresses, she found work dubbing vocals for Barbara Stanwyck in Ladies of the House (1932) and Ginger Rogers in Professional Sweetheart (1933). Finally, in 1933, Barnett received her first on-screen part singing “My Forgotten Man” in The Gold Diggers of 1933 . From this film appearance, Barnett won national acclaim for her musical talent, received invitations for lectures and concerts, and in 1934 was invited by Eleanor Roosevelt to sing “My Forgotten Man” at a birthday celebration for President Franklin D. Roosevelt—becoming the first African American woman to perform at the White House.

Barnett was also offered another on-screen singing role in Flying Down to Rio (1933) with Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers. In this role, she appeared as a Brazilian singer and sang “The Carioca,” which was nominated for an Academy Award for best song.

In 1934 she married Claude Barnett, founder and director of the Associated Negro Press. She met Barnett in Chicago in 1931 on her way to New York City. Once married, Etta and her three daughters, who had remained in Kansas City with her parents, moved to Chicago to live with Claude. Her daughters eventually changed their surname and were adopted by Barnett. Etta and Claude remained married until his death in 1967.
In 1942 Barnett returned to New York to play the part of Bess in George Gershwin’s opera, Porgy and Bess . Gershwin reportedly wrote the role of Bess with Barnett in mind, but when offered the role Barnett graciously declined the part because it required a soprano. Finally, seven years after the opera’s rather inauspicious Broadway debut in 1935, Barnett agreed to take the role in a 1942 revival. With Barnett in the role of Bess, the opera gained critical and commercial acclaim. It ran for one year on Broadway and then toured throughout the United States and Canada until 1945.

In addition to her accomplishments in Hollywood and on the Broadway stage, she hosted her own radio shows, “Etta Moten Sings,” “Etta Moten – with Music and Conversation” and “I Remember When;” performed with the Duke Ellington Orchestra, the New York Philharmonic and the Chicago Symphony; was a soloist on Meredith Wilson’s radio show, “Carefree Karnival;” and served as community relations director for Chicago station WNUS.

Barnett’s influence was not limited to the artistic sphere; she also devoted considerable time to civic affairs, such as the African American Institute (AAI), the Chicago Council on Foreign Relations, the Chicago Lyric Opera, the DuSable Museum, the Field Museum, the South Side Community Art Center, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, the National Conference of Christians and Jews and the National Council for Community Services to International Visitors. She was active in women’s issues as a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority, the Links, the National Council of Negro Women, the Women’s Board of the University of Chicago and the Women’s Board of the Chicago Urban League. She was also involved in the International Women’s Year and United Nations Decade for Women World Conference activities and events throughout the 1970s and 1980s.

Along with her husband, Barnett supported African independence and progress. Together they traveled many times to Africa, often as part of official United States delegations to independence ceremonies and presidential inaugurations for Ghana, Nigeria, Zambia and Lusaka. In 1958, along with her husband, Barnett attended the All African People’s Conference. She was present at the All African Women’s Conference in 1960. Barnett participated in the Delta International of the Diaspora, a Delta Sigma Theta program to study the lives of people of African descent throughout the world, and represented the AAI as part of the women’s task force in Africa. In 1988 she received a citation from AAI recognizing her many years of service to Africa.

From the Barnetts’ visits to Africa, they amassed an impressive private African art collection. According to one Chicago Tribune reporter, who toured Barnett’s home in the 1990s, “Africa is far more evident than Broadway or Hollywood. In every one of Moten’s 14 rooms, the decor is punctuated with masks and sculptures, ivory and good-luck charms from Benin to Zimbabwe.”

In addition to her AAI citation, Barnett received a citation of merit from the University of Kansas in 1943; a citation for service from the National Association of Business and Professional Women in 1958; a citation in recognition for contributions to Afro-American Music from Atlanta University in 1973; and a 1974 citation from WAIT for her contributions to the City of Chicago. In 1979 she was inducted into the Black Filmmakers Hall of Fame. She also was the recipient of a Living Legend Award from the National Black Arts Festival, the Order of Lincoln Medallion from the state of Illinois and a host of honorary degrees (Atlanta University in 1976, Spelman College in 1983, University of Illinois in 1987, and Lincoln University in Pennsylvania and North Carolina Central University, both in 1989).

She considered her 100th birthday (attended by Harry Belafonte, Studs Terkel, and about 400 others) as her life’s high water mark so no elaborate funeral arrangements were made. She suggested that donations could be given to Chicago’s Second Presbyterian Church Restoration Fund.
After a protracted struggle with pancreatic cancer, Barnett died on Jan. 2, 2004, at the age of 102. Research more about Black female entertainers and share with your babies. Mak eit a champion day!

November 3 1992- Carol Moseley Braun

GM – FBF – Today’s story coincides with the flavor of today which is the elections on this coming Tuesday, so I hope that you have early voted or have plans to vote on Tuesday. This young lady was born in Chicago, Illinois, came up through the city’s school system and graduated from the University of Illinois. Worked for the people in many aspects of government work and went on to become the first female Senator elected from Illinois and the first African American woman in the U.S. Senate. Enjoy!

Remember – “It’s not impossible for a woman – a Black woman – to become President.” Carol Moseley Braun

Today in our History – November 3, 1992 – Carol Moseley Braun, the first African American woman to be elected to the U.S. Senate.

Carol Moseley Braun, the first African American woman to be elected to the U.S. Senate, was born in Chicago, Illinois on August 16, 1947. She attended the Chicago Public Schools and received a degree from the University of Illinois in 1969. She earned her degree from the University of Chicago Law School in 1972.

Moseley Braun served as assistant prosecutor in the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Chicago from 1972 to 1978. In the latter year she was elected to the Illinois House of Representatives and served in that body for ten years. During her tenure Moseley Braun made educational reform a priority. She also became the first African American assistant majority leader in the history of the Illinois legislature. Moseley Braun returned to Chicago in 1988 to serve as Cook County Recorder of Deeds.

Capitalizing on the public furor over the Clarence Thomas-Anita Hill controversy and in particular the way in which Hill was treated by U.S. Senators, Carol Moseley Braun upset incumbent Senator Alan Dixon in the Illinois Democratic Primary in 1992 and went on to become the first female Senator elected from Illinois and the first African American woman in the U.S. Senate. During her term in the U.S. Senate (1992-1998) Moseley Braun focused on education issues. She served on the Senate Finance, Banking and Judiciary Committee; the Small Business Committee; and the Housing and Urban Affairs Committee.

In 1998, Moseley Braun was defeated for re-election in a campaign marred by allegations of illegal campaign donations during her 1992 campaign, although she was never formally charged with misconduct. Moseley Braun was also hurt by her business ties to Nigerian dictator Sami Abacha. After her 1998 defeat President Bill Clinton nominated Moseley Braun to the post of U.S. Ambassador to New Zealand and Samoa, a post she held until 2001.

Late in 2003 Moseley Braun announced her candidacy for the Democratic Nomination for President. However, she failed to attract financial support and withdrew from the race on January 14, 2004.

After teaching briefly at Morris Brown College in Atlanta, Georgia, Moseley Braun returned to Chicago where she now lives. Research more about black female political figures and share with your babies. Make it a champion day!

October 26 1997- The Million Woman March

GM – FBF – Today’s story was a test of how our black females can get together like their male counterparts. It was a challenge but they pulled it off. Enjoy!
Remember – “We are mothers. We are caregivers. We are artists. We are activists. We are entrepreneurs, doctors, leaders of industry and technology. Our potential is unlimited. We rise.” -Alicia Keys

Today in our History – October 25, 1997 – The Million Woman March in Philadelphia, PA.

The march was founded and formulated by Phile Chionesu, a grassroots activist, human rights advocate, Black Nationalist/Freedom Fighter, and owner of an African crafts shop; she was not associated with any national black organizations. After several months of underground organizing, Chionesu asked Asia Coney to join her, making her the third National Co-Chair.

The march was envisioned and intended to help bring social, cal, and economic development and power throughout the black communities of the United States, as well as to bring hope, empowerment, unity and sisterhood to women, men and children of African descent globally regardless of nationality, religion, or economic status. One main focus of the march for the women involved was family unity and what it means to be an African American woman in America. The women of the march called for three things: repentance for the pain of black women caused by one another, and the restoration and resurrection of African American family and community bonds. The march included scheduled hours of prayer and speeches.

The day was filled with prayer, music, and inspirational speeches. These events were meant to promote positive change. The march started from the Liberty Bell and ended at the steps of the Philadelphia Art Museum.[5] Speakers at the event included Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, the ex-wife of Nelson Mandela; Congresswoman Maxine Waters; Sista Souljah; Jada Pinkett Smith; Attallah and Ilyasah Shabazz, the daughters of Malcolm X; and Dr. Dorothy Height. A message was read from Assata Shakur from her exile home of Cuba.
The march has been considered a social phenomenon due to its unconventional and unique way of organizing. It has influenced several mass gatherings by demonstrating a grassroots approach that had not been employed before.

These women were able to use different methods of spreading information via media coordinators like BWN NJ Delegate Stacey Chambers, Alpha Kappa Alpha, and, by word of mouth, fliers, black-run media, the Internet, and a network of women’s organizations. The Million Woman March was the launching pad for the development of the first global movement for women and girls of African descent throughout the Diaspora.[according to whom?]

Estimates of attendance for the march vary widely. The Philadelphia police gave no official estimates, but were preparing for up to 600,000 people. However, a study provided by the University of Pennsylvania in addition to aerial footage, photos, and other research data and information obtained from news and other sources, indicates that the gathering drew at least 500,000 people. Police sources gave numbers varying from 300,000 to 1 million. The attendees came even despite cold temperatures and light rain. Organizers estimated an attendance of 2.1 million. Phile Chionesu suggested there were more than 2.5 million people. “The rally brought together women from across the country – some wearing jeans and sweat shirts, others in festive African garb.”There were signs throughout the march saying, “I am one in a million” and “Black Women: No more AIDS, abuse, addiction”.[4] Supporters also bought buttons and apparel such as T-shirts, hats and flags with march logos.

The mission of the Million Woman March was for African American women to be self-determined. The march was also intended to draw attention to statistics that marginalize African American women. Research has shown that 94 of 1,000 African American teenage girls are victims of violent crime.

African American women are eighteen times more likely to get AIDS than white women. In 1996, African American men earned thirty dollars more than African American women per week, while, African American women were paid forty dollars less than white women per week. From these statistics, African American women and supporters wanted to take a stand, and part of the protest was because of inequalities like these.

The Million Woman March has continued its mission under the direction of the founder and national offices. Since the march, over 50 conferences, over 100 forums, online radio broadcasts for 12 years, and many social justice protests for women and African American females have taken place.Research more about black woman’s movements and share with your babies. Make it a champion day!

October 25 1892- Irene McCoy

GM – FBF – Today our story centers around a civil rights activist, who like some others who left the streets and moved into the political field. While in politics she had an opportunity to really make a change for her and her people. Enjoy!

Remember – ” Helping others in time of need is the best that anyone of us can do” – Irene McCoy Gains.

Today in our History – Irene McCoy Gaines was born October 25, 1892.

Irene McCoy Gaines was a civil rights activist and a community leader. Born October 25, 1892, in Ocala, Florida, to Charles and Mamie McCoy, she had one older sister who died while Gaines was a child. Her family moved to Chicago, Illinois when she was an infant. In 1903, Gaines’s mother became a single parent after a divorce. After she graduated from Wendell Phillips High in Chicago in 1908, Gaines attended Fisk University (Nashville, Tennessee) from 1908 to 1910, and then the University of Chicago from 1910 to 1912. She studied civics and social work at both campuses.

When she returned to Chicago in 1910, Gaines began working at the Cook County Juvenile Court as a stenographer, which helped her become aware of the problems affecting the youth in her community. After World War I started, she found a new job with the US Department of Labor’s War Camp Community Service Program as an organizer for the girls division.

On October 7, 1914, McCoy married Harris Barrett Gaines, a law student at the time. They had two sons, Harris Barrett, Jr., in 1922, and Charles Ellis in 1924. Her children’s public school education offered a window into the desperate inequality between segregated schools.

In 1920, Gaines became the industrial secretary for the first African American branch of the YWCA in Chicago, and during the 1920s, she became involved with and took leadership positions in many different activist groups. Because of her association with groups such as the Chicago Urban League, Woman’s City Club, Woman’s Trade Union League, Illinois Women’s Voters’ League, the District Federation of Colored Women’s Clubs, University Society, and Household of Ruth, she quickly gained a great reputation in Chicago’s African American community for her extensive social work. Beginning in 1930, Gaines began working for the welfare department of Cook County, where she would remain until 1945.

In 1939, Gaines founded the Chicago Council of Negro Organizations and remained its first president until 1953, and used her position to protest the inequality caused by segregated schooling. She was able to secure improved facilities and establish one of the first integrated nursery schools.

In 1940 Gaines became the first African American woman to run for the Illinois State Legislature. Although she lost that election, she became one of the organizers of the first march on Washington in 1941, and led 50 Chicago-area protesters to Washington, D.C., to meet with other demonstrators from across the nation. They formed committees that visited heads of government agencies to protest discrimination against blacks in employment. The national March on Washington Movement eventually resulted in President Franklin Roosevelt’s Executive Order 8802 which banned discrimination in companies which received federal funds.

She also championed the condition of women, and in 1947 she testified before the United Nations about discrimination and oppression of women of color in the US, becoming one of the first individuals in the world to address that issue before this international body.

In 1958, at the age of 66, Gaines received the George Washington Medal of Honor for her lifelong efforts in improving her community. In the following year, she received the Fisk University Distinguished Alumni Service Award, and in 1962 Wilberforce University awarded her an honorary degree.
Irene McCoy Gaines died of cancer on April 7, 1964, in Chicago at the age of 72. Research more about civil rights workers and share with your babies. Make it a champion day!