Tag: Brandon hardison

GM – FBF – Today’s American Champion event begins during the late 1960s, Rep. Charles Diggs (D-Mich.) created the Democracy Select Committee (DSC) in an effort to bring black members of Congress together.

GM – FBF – Today’s American Champion event begins during the late 1960s, Rep. Charles Diggs (D-Mich.) created the Democracy Select Committee (DSC) in an effort to bring black members of Congress together.Diggs noticed that he and other African-American members of Congress often felt isolated because there were very few of them in Congress and wanted to create a forum where they could discuss common political challenges and interests.“The sooner we get organized for group action, the more effective we can become,” Diggs said.The DSC was an informal group that held irregular meetings and had no independent staff or budget but that changed a few years later. As a result of court-ordered redistricting, one of several victories of the Civil Rights Movement, the number of African-American members of Congress rose from nine to 13, the largest ever at the time, and members of the DSC decided at the beginning of the 92nd Congress (1971-1973) that a more formal group was needed.Today in our History – January 4, 1971 – The Congressional Black Caucus organized.Since its establishment in 1971, the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) has been committed to using the full Constitutional power, statutory authority, and financial resources of the federal government to ensure that African Americans and other marginalized communities in the United States have the opportunity to achieve the American Dream. As part of this commitment, the CBC has fought for the past 48 years to empower these citizens and address their legislative concerns by pursuing a policy agenda that includes but is not limited to the following: • reforming the criminal justice system and eliminating barriers to reentry;• combatting voter suppression;• expanding access to world-class education from pre-k through post-secondary level;• expanding access to quality, affordable health care and eliminating racial health disparities;• expanding access to 21st century technologies, including broadband;• strengthening protections for workers and expanding access to full, fairly-compensated employment;• expanding access to capital, contracts, and counseling for minority-owned businesses; and• promoting U.S. foreign policy initiatives in Africa and other countries that are consistent with the fundamental right of human dignity.For the 116th Congress, the CBC has a historic 55 members of the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate, representing more than 82 million Americans, 25.3 percent of the total U.S. population, and more than 17 million African-Americans, 41 percent of the total U.S. African-American population.In addition, the CBC represents almost a fourth of the House Democratic Caucus. The CBC is engaged at the highest levels of Congress with members who serve in House leadership. Representative James E. Clyburn (D-SC) serves as the Majority Whip in the House of Representatives, Representative Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) serves as Chairman of the House Democratic Caucus and Representative Barbara Lee (D-CA) serves as co-chair of the House Democratic Steering and Policy Committee. In addition, five CBC members serve as chairs on full House committees, and 28 CBC members serve as chairs on House subcommittees.While the CBC has predominately been made up of members of the Democratic Party, the founding members of the caucus envisioned a non-partisan organization. Consequently, the CBC has a long history of bipartisan collaboration and members who are both Democrat and Republican.As founding member Rep. William L. Clay, Sr. said when the CBC was established, “Black people have no permanent friends, no permanent enemies…just permanent interests.” Research more about this American Champion organization and share it with your babies. Make it a champion day!

/ In Brandon Hardison / Tags: / By Herry Chouhan / Comments Off on GM – FBF – Today’s American Champion event begins during the late 1960s, Rep. Charles Diggs (D-Mich.) created the Democracy Select Committee (DSC) in an effort to bring black members of Congress together.

GM – FBF – Today’s American Champion event was according to a letter by the tobacco planter John Rolfe, the widower of Pocahontas, a ship landed in England’s 12-year-old Jamestown settlement and “brought not anything but 20, and odd, Negroes, which the Governor and the Cape Merchant bought for victuals – provisions.

GM – FBF – Today’s American Champion event was according to a letter by the tobacco planter John Rolfe, the widower of Pocahontas, a ship landed in England’s 12-year-old Jamestown settlement and “brought not anything but 20, and odd, Negroes, which the Governor and the Cape Merchant bought for victuals – provisions.The “20 and odd’’ already had been through hell. They were taken prisoner of war in what is now Angola by African mercenaries working with the Portuguese; marched to the Atlantic coast, where they were branded, penned, forcibly baptized; and finally chained head-to-foot below deck on a Spanish ship headed for Mexico and a life of slavery. The San Juan Bautista carried about 350 enslaved people, more than a third of whom died on the crossing. Then, in the Gulf of Mexico, the ship was attacked by two English privateers – pirates under a foreign flag of convenience. The two ships carried about 60 of the Africans north toward Virginia.Virginia had no law to permit or ban slavery. But the Africans became slaves in fact, if not law. In 1624, two of them, identified as Anthony and Isabella, were listed in the household of Capt. William Tucker, a military commander and settler.The following year, the two appear again in a census, this time along with “William theire Child Baptised.’’ Another African child, unnamed, also appears for the first time in the same 1625 census. But William is the first identified by name.Today in our History – January 3, 1821 – The first African American was born, William Tucker.A family that traces its bloodline to America’s first enslaved Africans said Friday that their ancestors endured unimaginable toil and hardship — but they also helped forge the nation.“Four hundred years ago, our family started building America, can I get an Amen?” Wanda Tucker said before a crowd in the Tucker Family Cemetery in Hampton, Virginia.“They loved,” she continued. “They experienced loss. They worked. They created. They made a way out of no way, determined that their labor would not be in vain.”Tucker, a college professor in Arizona, spoke at one of several events in Virginia this weekend that will mark the arrival of more than 30 enslaved Africans at a spot on the Chesapeake Bay in August 1619.The men and women who came from what is now Angola arrived on two ships and were traded for food and supplies from English colonists. The landing is considered a pivotal moment in American history, setting the stage for a system of race-based slavery that continues to haunt the nation.Many of the first Africans are known today by only their first names. They included Antony and Isabella, who became servants for a Captain William Tucker.They had a son named William Tucker who many believe was the first documented African child born in English-occupied North America.“We’re still here,” Tucker shouted in her family’s shaded cemetery, which included many worn gravestones, as well as white crosses where ground penetrating radar had recently found unmarked graves.The Africans came just 12 years after the founding of Jamestown, England’s first permanent colony, and weeks after the first English-style legislature was convened there.American slavery and democratic self-rule were born almost simultaneously in 1619. But the commemoration of the Africans’ arrival comes at a time of growing debate over American identity and mounting racial tension.During his remarks, Virginia Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax rebuked President Donald Trump’s racist tweets. One had called on four Democratic congresswomen of color to “go back” to their home countries, even though three were born in the U.S.“You do not tell us to go back to where we came from,” said Fairfax, who is black. “We built where you came from.”Fairfax, who is facing allegations of sexual assault from two women, said he met Trump in July when they marked the 400th anniversary of the legislature in Jamestown.“The president had to bow down to the descendant of an enslaved African,” Fairfax said.People at the ceremony also said the Tucker family’s story symbolizes those of all African Americans.“I think our family history is like some many other peoples,” said Carolita Jones Cope, 60, before the ceremony. Cope is a retired U.S. Department of Labor attorney who lives in Springfield, Virginia, and is among the descendants.“Our descendants arrived here not by choice but in a bound status,” she said. “But they became landholders, business owners and farmers. And they supported each other through the struggle.”Research more about this great American Champion event and share it with your babies. Make it a champion day!

/ In Brandon Hardison / Tags: / By Herry Chouhan / Comments Off on GM – FBF – Today’s American Champion event was according to a letter by the tobacco planter John Rolfe, the widower of Pocahontas, a ship landed in England’s 12-year-old Jamestown settlement and “brought not anything but 20, and odd, Negroes, which the Governor and the Cape Merchant bought for victuals – provisions.

GM – FBF – Today’s American Champion event forced the American government to act On 6 August 1965 President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act into law, calling the day “a triumph for freedom as huge as any victory that has ever been won on any battlefield” (Johnson, “Remarks in the Capitol Rotunda”).

GM – FBF – Today’s American Champion event forced the American government to act On 6 August 1965 President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act into law, calling the day “a triumph for freedom as huge as any victory that has ever been won on any battlefield” (Johnson, “Remarks in the Capitol Rotunda”). The law came seven months after Martin Luther King launched a Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) campaign based in Selma, Alabama, with the aim of pressuring Congress to pass such legislation.“In Selma,” King wrote, “we see a classic pattern of disenfranchisement typical of the Southern Black Belt areas where Negroes are in the majority” (King, “Selma—The Shame and the Promise”).In addition to facing arbitrary literacy tests and poll taxes, African Americans in Selma and other southern towns were intimidated, harassed, and assaulted when they sought to register to vote. Civil rights activists met with fierce resistance to their campaign, which attracted national attention on 7 March 1965, when civil rights workers were brutally attacked by white law enforcement officers on a march from Selma to Montgomery.Today in our History – January 2, 1965 – A voter registration drive, led by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. started in Selma, Alabama.The 1964 Civil Rights Act prohibited discrimination in employment and public accommodations. But many African Americans were denied an equally fundamental constitutional right, the right to vote.The most effective barriers to black voting were state laws requiring prospective voters to read and interpret sections of the state constitution. In Alabama, voters had to provide written answers to a 20-page test on the Constitution and state and local government. Questions included: Where do presidential electors cast ballots for president? Name the rights a person has after he has been indicted by a grand jury?In an effort to bring the issue of voting rights to national attention, Martin Luther King, Jr. launched a voter registration drive in Selma, Alabama, in early 1965. Even though blacks slightly outnumbered whites in the city of 29,500 people, Selma’s voting rolls were 99 percent white and 1 percent black.For seven weeks, King led hundreds of Selma’s black residents to the county courthouse to register to vote. Nearly 2,000 black demonstrators, including King, were jailed by County Sheriff James Clark for contempt of court, juvenile delinquency, and parading without a permit.After a federal court ordered Clark not to interfere with orderly registration, the sheriff forced black applicants to stand in line for up to five hours before being permitted to take a “literacy” test. Not a single black voter was added to the registration rolls.When a young black man was murdered in nearby Marion, King responded by calling for a march from Selma to the state capitol of Montgomery, 50 miles away. On March 7, 1965, black voting-rights demonstrators prepared to march. “I can’t promise you that it won’t get you beaten,” King told them, “… but we must stand up for what is right!”As they crossed a bridge spanning the Alabama River, 200 state police with tear gas, night sticks, and whips attacked them. The march resumed on March 21 with federal protection. The marchers chanted: “Segregation’s got to fall … you never can jail us all.” On March 25 a crowd of 25,000 gathered at the state capitol to celebrate the march’s completion. Martin Luther King, Jr. addressed the crowd and called for an end to segregated schools, poverty, and voting discrimination. “I know you are asking today, ‘How long will it take?’ … How long? Not long, because no lie can live forever.”Within hours of the march’s end, four Ku Klux Klan members shot and killed a 39-year-old white civil rights volunteer from Detroit named Viola Liuzzo. President Johnson expressed the nation’s shock and anger.”Mrs. Liuzzo went to Alabama to serve the struggle for justice,” the President said. “She was murdered by the enemies of justice who for decades have used the rope and the gun and the tar and the feather to terrorize their neighbors.”Two measures adopted in 1965 helped safeguard the voting rights of black Americans. On January 23, the states completed ratification of the 24th Amendment to the Constitution barring a poll tax in federal elections. At the time, five Southern states still had a poll tax. On August 6, President Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act, which prohibited literacy tests and sent federal examiners to seven Southern states to register black voters. Within a year, 450,000 Southern blacks registered to vote. Research more about the great American Champion event and share it with your babies. Make it a champion day!

/ In Brandon Hardison / Tags: / By Herry Chouhan / Comments Off on GM – FBF – Today’s American Champion event forced the American government to act On 6 August 1965 President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act into law, calling the day “a triumph for freedom as huge as any victory that has ever been won on any battlefield” (Johnson, “Remarks in the Capitol Rotunda”).

GM – FBF – Today’s American Champion event is a quarterly academic journal covering African-American life and history.

GM – FBF – Today’s American Champion event is a quarterly academic journal covering African-American life and history. It was founded in 1916 by Carter G. Woodson.The journal is owned and overseen by the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH) and was established in 1916 by Woodson and Jesse E. Moorland. The journal publishes original scholarly articles on all aspects of the African-American experience. The journal annually publishes more than sixty (60) reviews of recently published books in the fields of African and African-American life and history. As of 2018, the Journal is published by the University of Chicago Press on behalf of the ASALH.Today in our History – January 1, 1916 – The Journal of African American History, formerly The Journal of Negro History.The Journal of African American History (formally the Journal of Negro History) was one of the first scholarly texts or journals to cover African-American history. It was founded in January 1916 by Carter G. Woodson, an African-American historian and journalist. The journal was and is a publication of the Association for the Study of African American Life and History, an organization founded by Woodson. The journal was the dominant source to learn about African American history at the time of its conception, because there were no other such texts. The journal gave black scholars the chance to publish articles examining African-American history and culture while also documenting the current black experience in the United States. While the journal mainly published the work of black authors and encouraged their academic success, it was also an outlet for white scholars who had different views than their counterparts. Woodson’s efforts to cover African-American history at a time where it was unacknowledged has led him to receive the nickname “Father of African American History.” Carter G. Woodson (1875–1950) was a professor and historian at Howard University. He was among the first black scholars, such as other notable figures like W. E. B. Du Bois, to receive a doctoral degree.So, naturally was a pioneer in the field of black history and African American studies. After getting his Ph.D. in history from Harvard University, he joined the faculty at Howard University.During his time of the study, there was really no such thing as black history. Woodson was one of the first black scholars to identify this need and do something about it. On the creation of The Journal of Negro History, Carol Adams, the CEO of the Chicago Museum of African American History, commented: “He didn’t just see a need, he moved to fill the need,” Adams says. “It wasn’t easy to get your work published if you were an African-American scholar, for example, so he started a journal and then a press.” In 1915, Woodson co-founded the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History (ASNLH). This organization’s name was changed to, much like the Journal of Negro History’s rechristening to the Journal of African American history, the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (also abbreviated as ASALH). This non-profit organization, founded in Chicago and based in Washington, D.C. This organization, along with Woodson, was responsible for the creation of African American History week in 1926, choosing the week that coincided with the birthdays of Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln to bring attention to the importance of black history. African American history week built upon the work of the Journal of Negro History, as is celebrated the need to examine the history and celebrate African-American culture.The journal is published by the (ASALH) Association for the Study of African American Life and History. Woodson’s work establishing the Journal of Negro History and African American History week were the early roots of what we now know as Black History Month.Black History Month is every year in February, still covering the week of Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln’s birthdays that was originally chosen by Woodson.Since its conception in 1926, the Journal of African American History has featured and published the work of several notable scholars over the years. These include famous names such as Benjamin Quarles, John Hope Franklin, and W. E. B. Du Bois.To name a few other couple of notable figures who were on record as adding to the history of African Americans, Jesse Moorland is the first to come to mind. Moorland on record was a key contributor along with Woodson himself for beginning black history month. Moorland contributed to what is now known as one of the world’s largest libraries on African-American history through considerable donations of personal novels and manuscripts along with activist Arthur Spingarn. Both of whom are remembered through the Moorland-Spingarn Research Center at Howard University.To add to the list of notable figures, Joe R. Feagin comes to mind. Joe is currently the president of the American Sociological Association, he completed research on issues with racism in society who contributed as well to the history of African Americans originally started by Carter Woodson, the father of African-American history. The Journal of African American History played a vital role for women of color in the 1900s. Before it was commonplace for women to be openly welcomed in the world of academia, the Journal of African American History (still known then as The Journal of Negro History) provided women of color with an outlet to publish their work without the ridicule of others. The first black female historians paved their way using the Journal of Negro History. Female authors contributed nine percent of the articles published in the Journal of Negro History, compared to an average of only three percent in other notable journals of the time, such as Mississippi Valley Historical Review or the Journal of Southern History. The Journal of Negro History was therefore quite revolutionary in its time by allowing more female authors to contribute to the journal. One of the most notable examples includes Marion Thompson Wright, the first black female to receive a doctoral degree in history. She published her own work on blacks in New Jersey in the Journal of Negro History. The Journal of African American History is owned by the Association for the Study of African American Life and History. In 2018, the editor V. P. Franklin, who began working for his alma mater, Harvard University along with Harvard’s Evelyn Brooks Higginbotham, a well-known historian in African-American studies decided to sign a deal with the University of Chicago Press to have it publish the journal on behalf of the ASLAH. Pero. G. Dagbovie is an acclaimed history professor at Michigan State University focused primarily on black history, black women’s history, and Black Power. He is also a well known author of countless books including African American History Reconsidered and the biography of Carter G. Woodson, the founder of The Journal of African American History. Because of Dagbovie’s work and his unique background on African-American history, he has been appointed as the next editor of the Journal, replacing V.P Franklin. As mentioned above, The Journal of African American History was essential for starting the effort to document and fill the need for the study of black history. However, it also gave black scholars opportunities to challenge the status quo, fight stereotypes, and attempt to create a more favorable perception of African Americans.It also gave people of color the chance to publish their works and be recognized in the academic field. It really encouraged and fostered the academic success of black Americans, especially black historians. Research more about this American Champion event and share it with your babies. Make it a champion day!

GM – FBF – Today’s American Champion event, were nine young men and a woman who were wrongfully convicted in 1971 in Wilmington, North Carolina, of arson and conspiracy.

GM – FBF – Today’s American Champion event, were nine young men and a woman who were wrongfully convicted in 1971 in Wilmington, North Carolina, of arson and conspiracy. Most were sentenced to 29 years in prison, and all ten served nearly a decade in jail before an appeal won their release. The case became an international cause célèbre, in which many critics of the city and state characterized the activists as political prisoners. Amnesty International took up the case in 1976 and provided legal defense counsel to appeal the convictions. In 1978, Governor Jim Hunt reduced the sentences of the ten defendants. In Chavis v. State of North Carolina, 637 F.2d 213 (4th Cir., 1980), the convictions were overturned by the federal appeals court on the grounds that the prosecutor and the trial judge had both violated the defendants’ constitutional rights. They were not retried. In 2012, the Wilmington Ten, including four who had already died, were pardoned by Governor Bev Perdue.Today in our History – December 31, 2012 – The Willington Ten were pardoned.In the 1960s and 1970s, black residents of Wilmington, North Carolina were dissatisfied with the lack of progress in implementing integration and other civil rights reforms achieved by the American Civil Rights Movement through congressional passage of civil rights legislation in 1964 and 1965.Many struggled with poverty and lack of opportunity. Despair at the 1968 assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. increased racial tensions, with a rise in violence, including the arson of several white-owned businesses.Tension increased further after the 1969 racial integration of Wilmington high schools. The city chose to close the black Williston Industrial High School, a source of community pride. It laid off black teachers, principals, and coaches, transferring students among white-majority schools.Several clashes between white and black students resulted in a number of arrests and expulsions.In response to tensions, members of a Ku Klux Klan chapter and other white supremacist groups began patrolling the streets. They hung an effigy of the white superintendent of the schools and cut his phone lines. Street violence broke out between them and black men. Students decided to boycott the high schools in January 1971. In February, the United Church of Christ sent then-23-year-old Benjamin Chavis, from their Commission for Racial Justice, to Wilmington to try to calm the situation and work with the students. Chavis, who had once worked as an assistant to King, preached non-violence and met with students regularly at Gregory Congregational Church to discuss black history, as well as to organize the boycott.On February 6, 1971, Mike’s Grocery, a white-owned business, was firebombed. Firefighters responding to the fire said they were shot at by snipers from the roof of the nearby Gregory Congregational Church. Chavis and several students had been meeting at the church, which also held other people. The neighborhood erupted in rioting that lasted through the next day, in which two people died.The North Carolina governor called up the North Carolina National Guard, whose forces entered the church on February 8 and removed the suspects. The Guard claimed to have found ammunition in the building. The violence resulted in two deaths, six injuries, and more than $500,000 (equivalent to $3.2 million in 2019) in property damage.Chavis and nine others, eight young black men who were high school students, and an older, white, female anti-poverty worker, were arrested on charges of arson related to the grocery fire. Based on testimony of two black men, they were tried and convicted in state court of arson and conspiracy in connection with the firebombing of Mike’s Grocery.The “Ten” and their sentences:• Benjamin Chavis (age 24) – 34 years• Connie Tindall (age 21) – 31 years• Marvin “Chilly” Patrick (age 19) – 29 years• Wayne Moore (age 19) – 29 years• Reginald Epps (age 18) – 28 years• Jerry Jacobs (age 19) – 29 years• James “Bun” McKoy (age 19) – 29 years• Willie Earl Vereen (age 18) – 29 years• William “Joe” Wright, Jr. (age 19) – 29 years• Ann Shepard (age 35) – 15 yearsAt the time, the state’s case against the Wilmington Ten was seen as controversial both in the state of North Carolina and in the United States. One witness testified that he was given a minibike in exchange for his testimony against the group. Another witness, Allen Hall, had a history of mental illness and had to be removed from the courthouse after recanting on the stand under cross examination.Each of the ten defendants was convicted of the charges. The men’s sentences ranged from 29 years to 34 years for arson, considered severe punishment for a fire in which no one died. Ann Shepard of Auburn, New York, age 35, received 15 years as an accessory before the fact and conspiracy to assault emergency personnel. The youngest of the group, Earl Vereen, was 18 years old at the time of his sentencing. Reverend Chavis was the oldest of the men at age 24.Several national magazines, including Time, Newsweek, Sepia and The New York Times Magazine, published articles in the late 1970s on the trial and its aftermath. When then President Jimmy Carter admonished the Soviet Union in 1978 for holding political prisoners, the Soviets cited the Wilmington Ten as an example of American political imprisonment.Amnesty International took on the Wilmington Ten case in 1976. They classified the eight men still in prison as among 11 black men incarcerated in the U.S. who were considered to be political prisoners, under the definition in the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights. In 1976 and 1977, three key prosecution witnesses recanted their testimony. In 1977 60 Minutes aired a special about the case, suggesting that the evidence against the Wilmington Ten was fabricated. In 1978, the New York Times reporter Wayne King published an investigatory article; based on testimony of a witness whose anonymity he protected, he said that perhaps the prosecution had framed a guilty man, as his source said that he had committed the crimes at the behest of Chavis. In 1978 Governor Jim Hunt reduced the sentences of the Ten. In Chavis v. State of North Carolina, 637 F.2d 213 (4th Cir. 1980), the federal 4th Circuit Court of Appeals overturned the convictions, as it determined that: (1) the prosecutor failed to disclose exculpatory evidence, in violation of the defendants’ due process rights (the Brady disclosure); and (2) the trial judge erred by limiting the cross-examination of key prosecution witnesses about special treatment the witnesses received in connection with their testimony, in violation of the defendants’ Sixth Amendment right to confront the witnesses against them. It ordered a new trial, but the state chose not to prosecute again. Chavis and the other seven prisoners were released.A group called the Wilmington Ten Foundation for Social Justice was established to work to improve conditions in the city.In May 2012, Benjamin Chavis and six surviving members of the group petitioned North Carolina governor Bev Perdue for a pardon. The NAACP supported the pardon, as well as arguing for compensation to be paid to the men and their survivors for their years in jail.On December 22, 2012 The New York Times published an editorial titled, “Pardons for the Wilmington Ten”, that urged Governor Perdue to “finally pardon” the group of civil rights activists.Perdue granted a pardon of innocence for each of the ten on December 31, 2012. The pardon qualified each of the ten to state compensation of $50,000 per year of incarceration. The claims were approved by the North Carolina Industrial Commission and signed off on by the North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper’s office in May 2013. Total compensation was $1,113,605: Ben Chavis received $244,470 (equivalent to $268,000 in 2019), Marvin Patrick received $187,984 (equivalent to $206,000 in 2019), with most of the remaining rewards being $175,000 each (equivalent to $192,000 in 2019). As four of the Wilmington Ten were deceased before the December 2012 pardons, their families received no compensation. As of February 2014, a case was pending before the NC Industrial Commission, seeking that compensation be awarded to the families of the four deceased: Jerry Jacobs (d. 1989), Joe Wright (d. 1991), Ann Shepard (d. 2011), and Connie Tindall (d. 2012). Research more about this American Champion event and share it with your babies. Make it a champion day!

GM – FBF – Today’s American Champion fought on both sides of the Civil War, served as Gainesville’s mayor and became Florida’s first black representative.

GM – FBF – Today’s American Champion fought on both sides of the Civil War, served as Gainesville’s mayor and became Florida’s first black representative. But when he died, few heard of it. Without a word and without a marker.He might be one of the lesser-known black Florida leaders in the state’s history. He was born into slavery in 1842 in Winchester, Virginia. He later became the only person in Alachua County’s history to serve as the Gainesville mayor, a county commissioner, a school board member, a state senator and a U.S. congressman. With that, he laid the groundwork for the Civil Rights era to come a century after him, but many today are surprised to learn he ever existed.Today in our History – December 30, 1842 – Josiah Thomas Walls was born.Overcoming deep political divisions in the Florida Republican Party, Josiah Walls became the first African American to serve his state in Congress. The only black Representative from Florida until the early 1990s, Walls was unseated twice on the recommendation of the House Committee on Elections.When he was not fiercely defending his seat in Congress, Walls fought for internal improvements for Florida. He also advocated compulsory education and economic opportunity for all races: “We demand that our lives, our liberties, and our property shall be protected by the strong arm of our government, that it gives us the same citizenship that it gives to those who it seems would … sink our every hope for peace, prosperity, and happiness into the great sea of oblivion.”Josiah Thomas Walls was born into slavery in Winchester, Virginia, on December 30, 1842. He was suspected to be the son of his master, Dr. John Walls, and maintained contact with him throughout his life. When the Civil War broke out, Walls was forced to be the private servant of a Confederate artilleryman until he was captured by Union soldiers in May 1862. Emancipated by his Union captors, Walls briefly attended the county normal school in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. By July 1863, Josiah Walls was serving in the Union Army as part of the 3rd Infantry Regiment of United States Colored Troops (USCT) based in Philadelphia. His regiment moved to Union–occupied northern Florida in February 1864. The following June, he transferred to the 35th Regiment USCT, where he served as the first sergeant and artillery instructor. While living in Picolota, Florida, Walls met and married Helen Fergueson, with whom he had one daughter, Nellie. He was discharged in October 1865 but decided to stay in Florida, working at a saw mill on the Suwannee River and, later, as a teacher with the Freedmen’s Bureau in Gainesville. By 1868, Walls had saved enough money to buy a 60–acre farm outside the city.One of the few educated black men in Reconstruction–Era Florida, Walls was drawn to political opportunities available after the war. He began his career by representing north–central Florida’s Alachua County in the 1868 Florida constitutional convention. That same year, Walls ran a successful campaign for state assemblyman. The following fall, he was elected to the state senate and took his seat as one of five freedmen in the 24–man chamber in January 1869. Josiah Walls attended the Southern States Convention of Colored Men in 1871 in Columbia, South Carolina.After gaining traction in 1867, the Florida Republican Party disintegrated into factions controlled by scalawags and carpetbaggers—each group fighting for the loyalty of a large constituency of freedmen. The disorganized GOP faced another grim situation when their nominating convention met in August 1870.The three previous years would be remembered as the apex of anti–black violence in the state, orchestrated by the well–organized Jacksonville branches of the Ku Klux Klan. In the face of such unrestrained intimidation, Florida freedmen were widely expected to avoid the polls on Election Day.Fearing conservative Democrats would capture the election in the absence of the black vote, state GOP party leaders—a group made up entirely of white men from the scalawag and carpetbagger factions—agreed that nominating a black man to the state’s lone At–Large seat in the U.S. House of Representatives would renew black voters’ courage and faith in the Republican Party. Passing over the incumbent, former Union soldier Representative Charles Hamilton, the state convention delegates advanced the names of their favorite black candidates. Fierce competition between the nominees led tounruly debate as well as attempts to cast fraudulent votes, and almost resulted in rioting. Walls’s reputation as an independent politician who would not fall under the control of a single faction gave him the edge, and the convention selected him for the party’s nomination on the 11th ballot. The narrow victory was not encouraging for Walls. In the general election, he would confront not only Democratic opposition but also the doubts of his own party.Walls faced former slave owner and Confederate veteran Silas L. Niblack in the general election. Niblack immediately attacked Walls’s capabilities, arguing that a former slave was not educated enough to serve in Congress.Walls countered these charges by challenging his opponent to a debate and speaking at political rallies throughout northern Florida (the most populous section of the state). The campaign was violent; a would–be assassin’s bullet missed Walls by inches at a Gainesville rally, and Election Day was tumultuous. As one Clay County observer noted, Florida had been “turned upside down with politics and the election.” Walls emerged victorious, taking just 627 more votes than Niblack out of the more than 24,000 cast. After presenting his credentials on March 4, 1871, he was immediately sworn in to the 42nd Congress (1871–1873) and given a seat on the Committee on the Militia.Walls feared the cause of public education would languish if it were left to the states. During the 43rd Congress, he enthusiastically supported a measure to establish a national education fund financed by the sale of public land. Walls addressed this issue in his first major floor speech on February 3, 1872: “I believe that the national Government is the guardian of the liberties of all its subjects,” Walls said. “Can [African Americans] protect their liberties without education; and can they be educated under the present condition of society in the States where they were when freed? Can this be done without the aid, assistance, and supervision of the General Government? No, sir, it cannot.” The bill passed with amendments protecting a state’s right to segregated education and granting states greater control over the distribution of federal funds, but the money was never appropriated. Walls’s support for education was further frustrated when the Civil Rights Bill—a battered piece of legislation seeking to eliminate discrimination in public accommodations, first introduced in 1870—came to a vote in February 1875. In November 1876, Walls won a seat in the Florida state senate, where he championed his cause of compulsory public education. Ultimately frustrated by the futility of Republican politics after the collapse of Reconstruction, he took a permanent leave of absence in February 1879.The opportunity to face his old foe Bisbee for the Republican nomination to a Florida U.S. House seat lured him back into politics in 1884. He lost and then ran unsuccessfully in the general election as an Independent candidate. In 1890, Walls lost another bid for the state senate. In 1885, his wife, Helen Fergueson Walls, died and Josiah Walls married her young cousin, Ella Angeline Gass.His successful farm was destroyed when his crops froze in February 1895. Walls subsequently took charge of the farm at Florida Normal College (now Florida A&M University), until his death in Tallahassee on May 15, 1905, interment in the Negro Cemetery. Josiah Walls had fallen into such obscurity, no Florida newspaper published his obituary. Research more about this great American Champion and share it with your babies. Make it a champion day!

GM – FBF – Today’s American Champion was an American economist, academic, and political administrator; he served as the first United States Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (H.U.D.) from 1966 to 1968, when the department was newly established by President Lyndon B. Johnson.

GM – FBF – Today’s American Champion was an American economist, academic, and political administrator; he served as the first United States Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (H.U.D.) from 1966 to 1968, when the department was newly established by President Lyndon B. Johnson. He was the first African American to be appointed to a US cabinet-level position. Prior to his appointment as cabinet officer, he had served in the administration of President John F. Kennedy. In addition, he had served in New York State government, and in high-level positions in New York City. During the Franklin D. Roosevelt administration, he was one of 45 prominent African Americans appointed to positions and helped make up the Black Cabinet, an informal group of African-American public policy advisers.Weaver directed federal programs during the administration of the New Deal, at the same time completing his doctorate in economics in 1934 at Harvard University.Today in our History – December 29, 1907 – Robert Clifton Weaver was born.Robert Clifton Weaver was born on December 29, 1907, into a middle-class family in Washington, D.C. His parents were Mortimer Grover Weaver, a postal worker, and Florence (Freeman) Weaver. They encouraged the boy in his academic studies. His maternal grandfather was Dr. Robert Tanner Freeman, the first African American to graduate from Harvard in dentistry. The young Weaver attended the M Street High School, now known as the Dunbar High School. The high school for blacks at a time of racial segregation had a national reputation for academic excellence. Weaver went on to Harvard University, where he earned a Bachelor of Science and Master of Arts degree. He also earned a Doctor of Philosophy degree in Economics, completing his doctorate in 1934. In 1934, Weaver was appointed as an aide to United States Secretary of the Interior Harold L. Ickes. In 1938, he became special assistant to the US Housing Authority. In 1942, he became administrative assistant to the National Defense Advisory Commission, the War Manpower Commission (1942), and director of Negro Manpower Service. With a reputation for knowledge about housing issues, in 1934 the young Weaver was invited to join President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Black Cabinet. Roosevelt appointed a total of 45 prominent blacks to positions in executive agencies, and called on them as informal advisers on public policy issues related to African Americans, the Great Depression and the New Deal.Weaver drafted the U.S Housing Program under Roosevelt, which was established in 1937. The program was intended to provide financial support to local housing departments, as a subsidy toward lowering the rent poor African Americans had to pay. The program decreased the average rent from $19.47 per month to $16.80 per month. Weaver claimed the scope of this program was insufficient, as there were still many African Americans who made less than the average income. They could not afford to pay for both food and housing. In addition, generally restricted to segregated housing, African Americans could not necessarily take advantage of other subsidized housing.In 1944, Weaver became director of the Commission on Race Relations in the Office of the Mayor of Chicago.In 1945, he became director of community services for the Chicago-based American Council on Race Relations through 1948. In 1949, Weaver become director of fellowship opportunities for the John Hay Whitney Foundation. In 1955, Weaver the first black State Cabinet member in New York when he became New York State Rent Commissioner under Governor W. Averell Harriman. In 1960, he became vice chairman of the New York City Housing and Redevelopment Board.In 1961, Weaver became administrator of the United States Housing and Home Financing Agency (HHFA). After election, Kennedy tried to establish a new cabinet department to deal with urban issues. It was to be called the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Postwar suburban development, following the construction of highways, and economic restructuring had drawn population and jobs from the cities. The nation was faced with a stock of substandard, aged housing in many cities, and problems of unemployment.In 1961, while trying to create HUD, Kennedy had done everything short of promising the new position to Weaver. He appointed him Administrator of the Housing and Home Finance Agency (HHFA), a group of agencies which Kennedy wanted to raise to cabinet status.When Dr. Weaver joined the Kennedy Administration, whose Harvard connections extended to the occupant of the Oval Office, he held more Harvard degrees – three, including a doctorate in economics – than anyone else in the administration’s upper ranks. Some Republicans and southern Democrats opposed the legislation to create the new department. The following year, Kennedy unsuccessfully tried to use his reorganization authority to create the department. As a result, Congress passed legislation prohibiting presidents from using that authority to create a new cabinet department, although the previous Republican Dwight D. Eisenhower administration had created the cabinet-level U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare under that authority.He contributed the compilation housing bill in 1961. He took part in lobbying for the Senior Citizens Housing Act of 1962. In 1965, Congress approved the department. At the time, Weaver was still Administrator of the HHFA. In public, President Lyndon B. Johnson reiterated Weaver’s status as a potential nominee but would not promise him the position. In private, Johnson had strong reservations. He often held pro-and-con discussions with Roy Wilkins, Executive Director of the NAACP.Johnson wanted a strong proponent for the new department. Johnson worried about Weaver’s political sense. Johnson seriously considered other candidates, none of whom was black. He wanted a top administrator, but also someone who was exciting.Johnson was worried about how the new Secretary would interact with congressional representatives from the Solid South; they were overwhelmingly Democrat as most African Americans were still disenfranchised and excluded from the political system. This was expected to change as the federal government enforced civil rights and the provisions of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. As candidates, Johnson considered the politician Richard Daley, mayor of Chicago; and the philanthropist Laurence Rockefeller.Ultimately, Johnson believed that Weaver was the best-qualified administrator. His assistant Bill Moyers had rated Weaver highly on potential effectiveness as the new Secretary. Moyers noted Weaver’s strong accomplishments and ability to create teams. Ten days after receiving the report, the president put forward the nomination, and Weaver was successfully confirmed by the United States Senate.Weaver served as Secretary of United States Department of Housing and Urban Development from 1966 to 1968. Weaver had expressed his concerns about African Americans’ housing issue before 1930 in his article, “Negroes Need Housing”, published by the magazine The Crisis of the NAACP after the Stock Market Crash. He noted there was a great difference between the income of most African Americans and the cost of living; African Americans did not have enough housing supply because of many social factors, including the long economic decline of rural areas in the South. He suggested a government housing program to enable all the African Americans the chance to buy or rent their house.In 1945, Weaver began teaching at Columbia University. In 1969, after serving under President Johnson, Weaver became president of Baruch College. In 1970, Weaver became a distinguished professor of Urban Affairs at Hunter College in New York and taught there until 1978. In 1935, Robert C. Weaver married Ella V. Haith. They adopted a son, who died in 1962.Weavers served on the boards of Metropolitan Life Insurance Company (1969-1978) and Bowery Savings Bank (1969-1980). He served in advisory capacities to the United States Controller General (1973-1997), the New City Conciliation and Appeals Board (1973-1984), Harvard University School of Design (1978-1983), the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) Legal Defense Fund and NAACP executive board committee (1978-1997). Robert C. Weaver died age 89 on July 17, 1997, in Manhattan, New York. Research more about this great American Champion and share it with your babies. Make it a champion day!

/ In Brandon Hardison / Tags: / By Herry Chouhan / Comments Off on GM – FBF – Today’s American Champion was an American economist, academic, and political administrator; he served as the first United States Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (H.U.D.) from 1966 to 1968, when the department was newly established by President Lyndon B. Johnson.

GM – FBF – Today’s American Champion was Waiting in line to register at her first Continental Congress, she crew stares from some in the throng – “They do when you’re different,” she says.

GM – FBF – Today’s American Champion was Waiting in line to register at her first Continental Congress, she crew stares from some in the throng – “They do when you’re different,” she says. Others came right up and introduced themselves in a gesture of cordiality.”I would think,” says Karen Batchelor Farmer, 26, of Detroit, the first known black member of the 87-year history of the National Society of Daughters of American Revolution, “that they are trying to make me feel at home.”For the Daughters, whose 207,000 members can trace their ancestry back to the Revolutionary War, trying to make Karen Farmer feel “at home” this week is something of a milestone which many Americans once might not have thought possible.Admission of a black to their ranks coupled with an upsurge in youthful members are indicators, be they slight, of the changes in Daughters are undergoing today. One-third of the entire membership is now in the 18-35 age group. But the older members still set the tone for the DAR’s conservative stand on political issues.Daughters of the American Revolution is a very exclusive organization, one that uses a lineage-based membership for its female members. To be eligible for membership, you have to be able to prove that you descend from a person that had ties to the United States’ Independence. Achieving membership is no easy task for some people, and it gets even harder if you have a black lineage. Because of this, DAR was sometimes viewed as a racist organization not out of fact, but out of lack of diversity.Today in our History – December 28, 1977 – Karen Batchelor Farmer is placed in the Daughters of the AMERICAN Revolution. Some of the other requirements once you get past the lineage is that you have to be personally acceptable to society and over 18 years old. The former part is a bit unusual, although there is no record of anyone being turned away for not being personally acceptable. Chapters of DAR exist in all 50 U.S. States and has even found worldwide fame with availabilities in Spain, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and even the United Kingdom. With many other locations on the map, chapters have grown in numbers in the 20th century and now boast over 180,000 members. But back in 1977 on this day of the 28th, they welcomed their first African American member.Karen Batchelor Farmer was admitted after a long genealogical research that started in 1976. It took two years for her to trace her ancestors roots back to William Hood, a patriot who served during the Revolution in the defense of Fort Freeland. Contrary to popular belief, Farmer didn’t reach out to DAR, and it was the other way around. The Ezra Parker Chapter in Michigan contacted Karen and invited her to join the chapter, shattering notions that they were a racist or bigoted organization. This was a huge news story in its day and even made it as a featured story in the New York Times. Along with a couple of interviews and television appearances, this unexpectedly became a big story for its time.Lost in the history is the role that the late James Dent Walker played, the former head of Genealogical Services at the National Archives. With this help, it was made possible, and he also served as the inspiration for Batchelor who co-founded the Fred Hart Williams Genealogical Society in the year of 1979. Karen continues to research her history and is a shining example that black history isn’t always rooted in negative periods like slavery. Research more about this great American Champion and make it a champion day!

GM – FBF – Today’s American Champion was an African-American sociologist who founded the Department of Records and Research at the Tuskegee Institute in 1908.

GM – FBF – Today’s American Champion was an African-American sociologist who founded the Department of Records and Research at the Tuskegee Institute in 1908.His published works include the Negro Year Book and A Bibliography of the Negro in Africa and America, a bibliography of approximately seventeen thousand references to African Americans.Today in our History – December 26, 1904 – Monroe Nathan Work – Creates The Negro Year Book. Work was born to former slaves in Iredell County, North Carolina, and moved in 1867 to Cairo, Illinois, where his father pursued farming. At the age of 23, Work entered Arkansas City High School (Kansas), an integrated high school in Arkansas City, Kansas. He graduated 3rd in his class, and after undergoing training at the Chicago Theological Seminary, he enrolled in the University of Chicago to become a sociologist. He did research on the correlation between the highest crime rates among blacks and the large proportion living in slums. His paper on the subject would become the first article published in the American Journal of Sociology by an African American. He finished school in Chicago with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Philosophy and a Master of Arts degree in Sociology. After graduating in 1903, Work moved to Savannah, Georgia, to become a professor at Georgia State Industrial College. He married Florence E. Hendrickson of Savannah on December 27, 1904, and they had no children. In July 1905, Work attended the conference of the Niagara Movement at the invitation of W. E. B. Du Bois.In 1908, he accepted a proposal by Booker T. Washington to found the Department of Records and Research at the Tuskegee Institute. While there, he would begin the Negro Year Book, a publication that incorporated his periodic summation of lynching reports, which resulted in the Tuskegee Institute becoming one of the most quoted and undisputed sources on this form of racial violence.According to Work’s biographer, these resources were the largest of their kind in an era when scholarship by and about black Americans was highly inaccessible, and overlooked or ignored by most academics in the US. Work received the Harmon Award in Education in 1928 for his research and involvement in the Negro Year Book and his work on A Bibliography of the Negro in Africa and America.In 1918, he was elected to the American Negro Academy, which was the earliest major African-American learned society.Work died of natural causes in Tuskegee in 1945. Make it a champion day!

GM – FBF – Today’s American Champion was a famous African American sportsman.

GM – FBF – Today’s American Champion was a famous African American sportsman. He was known for his professional football career and remarkable performance in 15 seasons of the National Football League.He represented University of Tennessee while playing college football. He was declared NFL Defensive Player of the Year twice.Today in are History – December 26, 2004 – Reggie White dies.Reginald Howard White was born on December 19, 1961 in Chattanooga, Tennessee. He received his early education from Howard High School from where he began playing football. He was trained under Coach Robert Pulliam, a former defensive lineman. In his senior year he made a record of 88 solo tackles and garnered All-American honors. The Knoxville News Sentinel claimed he was rated the number one recruit in Tennessee. Upon graduation, he enrolled in University of Tennessee where he played football for three years. His effective defensive techniques during the games earned him the “Andy Spiva Award”, which is given to most improved defensive player of the year.In 1981, it was recorded that White made 95 tackles and blocked three extra-point attempts. During his game against Memphis State, he had 10 tackles and two sacks which earned him the team’s “outstanding defensive player” title.Moreover, he was named “Southeast Lineman of the Week”, after his performance and win in the game against Georgia Tech. In the 1981 Garden State Bowl, he made eight tackles against Wisconsin and received another title for “Best Defensive Player”. After his ankle injury during the 1982 season, his performance dropped off. However, he maintained his reputation of best defensive player and led the team with seven sacks.Subsequent to losing a game to Iowa with 28-22, Reggie White made up his mind to polish his skills. His determination paid off in the 1983 season when he had 100 tackles and record-breaking 15 sacks. In the 1983 Florida Citrus Bowl, his team defeated Maryland with 30-23 score. In the second quarter of the game he sacked heralded Maryland quarterback Boomer Esiason. His spectacular performance rendered him the All-American, SEC Player of the Year. In fact, he became the finalist of a Lombardi Award. While playing at University of Tennessee, he registered 293 tackles, four fumble recoveries and 32 sacks in total which became remained a record for his school till 2013.Upon his graduation from the University of Tennessee, White signed with the United States Football League’s Memphis Showboats. He played for them for two seasons and scored 198 tackles, seven forced fumbles and 23.5 sacks. In 1985, when the Football League collapsed the Philadelphia Eagles brought him onboard. He remained with the Philadelphia Eagles for eight season playing for the National Football League. In a single season, he made a record of registering 21 sacks and became the only player ever to gain 20 sacks in just 12 games. With his outstanding performance, White raised Eagle’s rank among other National Football league’s teams. One of the sports channel credited him with being the greatest player in the history of Eagles’ franchise.After his tenure with the Eagles, White became a free agent during early 1990s. The Green Bay Packers signed him and he played for six seasons with them. Once again, he brought victories for his team and helped them to win two Super Bowls and Super Bowl XXXI titles.He was received the NFL Defensive Player of the Year award, in 1998. Reggie White died on December 26, 2004, in North Carolina at the age of 43. Research more about this great American Champion and share it with your babies. Make it a champion day!