Black History - Site Content

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Billie Holiday

 American jazz singer 

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 Angela Davis

Activist, Educator, Scholar, and Politician 

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Leontyne Price

American Soprano

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 Mum Bett 

 Civil Rights Activist  

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Maya Angelou

 Activist, Actress, Author, Poet, Director, and Producer  

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 Zora Neale Hurston

Author 

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Women In History - Site Content

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Madam CJ Walker 

African-American Entrepreneur, Philanthropist, and Political / Social Activist 

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Coretta Scott-King

Public Speaker, Civil Rights Activist

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Nina Simone 

American Singer, Songwriter, Musician, Arranger, and Civil Rights Activist 


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 Susan Unterberg 

 American Contemporary Photographer and Philanthropist. 

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 Katherine Johnson   

 African-American mathematician  


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Madam Curie

 Polish and Naturalized-French Physicist and Chemist  

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Women In History - Site Content

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  Chief Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti 

 Teacher, Political Campaigner, Women's Rights Activist and Aristocrat 

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 Annie Jiagge 

 Lawyer, Judge and Women's Rights Activist.  

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  Luisa Capetillo

 Social Labor Organizer and Author 

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  Ida B Wells

 African-American Investigative Journalist, Educator and Civil Rights Activist 

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  Justice Ruth Bader-Ginsburg

 Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States

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  Susan B Anthony

 American Writer, Lecturer, Abolitionist and Activist 

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Women In History - Site Content

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 Bell Hooks  

American Author and Activist


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  Oprah Winfrey

 American media proprietor , Philanthropist and Actress


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Rosa Parks

Civil Rights Activist

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  Gloria Marie Steinem 

 American Feminist, Journalist, and Social Political Activist  

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Alice Walker

American Novelist, Short Story Writer, Poet, and Activist.

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  Madam C.J. Walker 

 Entrepreneur, Philanthropist, and Political and Social Activist 


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Elijah Blake - Hanging Tree

This young man's heartfelt message is amazing !! Check out this great video

Black History - Site Content

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Dick Gregory

Comedian, Civil Rights Activist, Diet Guru

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Aretha Franklin 

Vocalist, Musician, Activist

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Malcom X

Minister, Activist

Coming Soon
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Leontyne Price

American Soprano

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Alex Haley

Author

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Alice Walker

Novelist, Short Story Writer, Poet, and Activist. 

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Black History - Site Content

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Mum Bett  -  Civil Rights Activist 

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Maurice Ashley - Grandmaster

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  Octavia Spencer  - Actress / Producer

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Zora Neale Hurston - Author

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Alain LeRoy Locke - Philosopher

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Langston Hughes - Poet

Black History 4: Women in History

Luisa Capetillo

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  Luisa Capetillo (October 28, 1879 – October 10, 1922) was one of Puerto Rico's most famous labor leaders. She was a social labor organizer and a writer who fought for equal rights for women, free love and human emancipation.

Capetillo was born in Arecibo, Puerto Rico, to a Spanish father Luis Capetillo Echevarría from the Basque country and Luisa Margarita Perone, a Corsican immigrant. In Arecibo, she was home schooled by her parents, who were both very liberal regarding their philosophical and political ideologies. After the Spanish–American War, the American Tobacco Company, which had gained control of most of the island's tobacco fields, would hire people to read novels and current events to the workers. It was at the cigar making factory in Arecibo that she found a job as a reader and had her first contact with labor unions. In 1904, Capetillo began to write essays, titled "Mi Opinión" (My Opinion), about her ideas, which were published in radical and union newspapers. In her book "Mi Opinion" she urges women to fight for social equality: "Oh you woman! who is capable and willing to spread the seed of justice; do not hesitate, do not fret, do not run away, go forward! And for the benefit of the future generations place the first stone for the building of social equality in a serene but firm way, with all the right that belongs to you, without looking down, since you are no longer the ancient material or intellectual slave." 

Ida B Wells

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Ida Bell Wells-Barnett (July 16, 1862 – March 25, 1931), more commonly known as Ida B. Wells, was an African-American investigative journalist, educator, and an early leader in the Civil Rights Movement. She was one of the founders of the NAACP. She became one of the most famous black women in America, during a life that was centered on combating prejudice and violence.

Wells was born into slavery in Holly Springs, Mississippi. She was freed by the Emancipation Proclamation during the American Civil War. At the age of 16, she lost both her parents and her infant brother in the 1878 yellow fever epidemic. She went to work and kept the rest of the family intact with the help of her grandmother. Wells moved with some of her siblings to Memphis, Tennessee, where she found better pay as a teacher. Soon she co-owned the newspaper, Memphis Free Speech and Headlight.

In the 1890s, Wells documented lynching in the United States, investigating frequent claims of whites that lynchings were reserved for black criminals only. Wells exposed lynching as a barbaric practice of whites in the South used to intimidate and oppress African Americans, who created economic and political competition. A white mob destroyed her newspaper office and presses, as her investigative reporting was carried nationally in black-owned newspapers.

Subjected to continued threats, Wells left Memphis for Chicago. She then married and had a family, while continuing her work writing, speaking, and organizing for civil rights for the rest of her life. Wells was outspoken regarding her beliefs as a Black female activist and faced regular public disapproval, including that of leaders with diverging viewpoints from both the civil rights movement and the women's suffrage movement. She was none-the-less active in women's rights and the women's suffrage movement, establishing several notable women's organizations. Wells was a skilled and persuasive speaker and traveled nationally and internationally on lecture tours.

Justice Ruth Bader-Ginsburg

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  Ruth Bader Ginsburg born Joan Ruth Bader; March 15, 1933 is an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States. Ginsburg was appointed by President Bill Clinton and took the oath of office on August 10, 1993. She is the second female justice (after Sandra Day O'Connor) of four to be confirmed to the court. Following O'Connor's retirement, and until Sotomayor joined the court, Ginsburg was the only female justice on the Supreme Court; a position she still holds today.  During that time, Ginsburg became more forceful with her dissents, which were noted by legal observers and in popular culture. She is generally viewed as belonging to the liberal wing of the court. Ginsburg has authored notable majority opinions, including United States v. Virginia, Olmstead v. L.C., and Friends of the Earth, Inc. v. Laidlaw Environmental Services, Inc.

Before her tenure as Supreme Court justice, Bader Ginsburg co-founded the Women's Rights Law Reporter in 1970, the first U.S. law journal to focus exclusively on women's rights. Two years later, she co-founded the Women's Rights Project at the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), once again making sure women's voices were heard in law as she continues to advocate for women's rights. 

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg Interview

Bell Hooks

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The American author was known for her social activism that was often mirrored through her writing of oppression, women's rights and race. Some of Bell Hooks' most notable works include Ain't I A Woman?, Black Women and Feminism and The Feminist Theory in which she declared, "Feminism is a movement to end sexism, sexist exploitation and oppression."

Bell Hooks Interview: Culturism & Criticism


Bell Hooks: Spike Lee

Susan Brownell Anthony

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Susan B. Anthony (February 15, 1820 – March 13, 1906) was an American social reformer and women's rights activist. Born into a Quaker family committed to social equality, she collected anti-slavery petitions at the age of 17. In 1856, Anthony began working as the New York State agent for the American Anti-Slavery Society. She spent years promoting the society's cause up until the Civil War. After which she played a pivotal role in the women's suffrage movement. She even took matters into her own hands in 1872, when she voted illegally in the presidential election. Anthony was arrested for the crime, and she unsuccessfully fought the charges; she was fined $100, which she never paid. In recognition of her dedication and hard work, the U.S. Treasury Department put Susan B. Anthony's portrait on dollar coins in 1979, making her the first woman to be so honored.

Oprah Winfrey

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Motivated by the unequal pay she received in the start of her broadcasting career, Oprah set out to start her own television show and from there built an empire catering to helping women grow, develop and thrive. "I never did consider or call myself a feminist, but I don't think you can really be a woman in this world and not be." She has since developed the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls, the Oprah Winfrey Network and was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2013

 

Oprah's speaks about "The Power of Women"

Black History 5: Women in History II

Rosa Parks

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  Rosa Louise McCauley Parks (February 4, 1913 – October 24, 2005) was an American activist in the civil rights movement best known for her pivotal role in the Montgomery Bus Boycott. The United States Congress has called her "the first lady of civil rights" and "the mother of the freedom movement"

Click here :The Rosa Parks Story

Gloria Marie Steinem

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  Gloria Marie Steinem (born March 25, 1934) is an American feminist, journalist, and social political activist who became nationally recognized as a leader and a spokeswoman for the American feminist movement in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Steinem was a columnist for New York magazine, and a co-founder of Ms. magazine. In 1969, Steinem published an article, "After Black Power, Women's Liberation", which brought her to national fame as a feminist leader. In 2005, Steinem, Jane Fonda, and Robin Morgan co-founded the Women's Media Center, an organization that works "to make women visible and powerful in the media".

As of May 2018, Steinem travels internationally as an organizer and lecturer, and is a media spokeswoman on issues of equality.

Click here: Gloria Steinem Interview

Alice Walker

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 Alice Walker (born February 9, 1944) is an American novelist, short story writer, poet, and activist. She wrote the novel The Color Purple (1982), for which she won the National Book Award for hardcover fiction, and the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. She also wrote the novels Meridian (1976) and The Third Life of Grange Copeland (1970), among other works. An avowed feminist, Walker coined the term "womanist" to mean "A black feminist or feminist of color" in 1983.

Click here: Alice Walker Interview1

                    Alice Walker Interview2

Madam C. J. Walker

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  Sarah Breedlove (December 23, 1867 – May 25, 1919), known as Madam C. J. Walker, was an African-American entrepreneur, philanthropist, and a political and social activist. Walker was considered the wealthiest African-American businesswoman and wealthiest self-made woman in America at the time of her death in 1919. Although she was eulogized as the first female self-made millionaire in the US, her estate was worth an estimated $600,000 upon her death. According to Walker's obituary in The New York Times, "she said herself two years ago that she was not yet a millionaire, but hoped to be some time".

Walker made her fortune by developing and marketing a line of cosmetics and hair care products for black women through the business she founded, Madam C. J. Walker Manufacturing Company. Walker was also known for her philanthropy and activism. She made financial donations to numerous organizations and became a patron of the arts. Villa Lewaro, Walker's lavish estate in Irvington-on-Hudson, New York, served as a social gathering place for the African-American community.

Her name, Madam C. J. Walker, came as a result of her marriage to Charles Joseph Walker who died in 1926.

Coretta Scott-King

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Coretta Scott King, (born April 27, 1927, Marion, Alabama, U.S.—died January 30, 2006, Rosarito, Mexico),

Although most known for her marriage to Martin Luther King Jr. and her work with Civil Rights, Coretta Scott King devoted much of her life to women's equality. She helped found NOW (National Organization for Women) in 1966 and played a key role in the organization's development. In her efforts for women's rights, King was also notably the first woman to deliver the class day address at Harvard.


Coretta Scott King Interview 

Coretta Scott King - Life w/Martin

Nina Simone

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Eunice Kathleen Waymon (February 21, 1933 – April 21, 2003), known professionally as Nina Simone, was an American singer, songwriter, musician, arranger, and civil rights activist. Her music spanned a broad range of musical styles including classical, jazz, blues, folk, R&B, gospel, and pop.

Nina Simone was not only a trained classical pianist and accomplished musician; Simone also performed and spoke at civil rights meetings, such as at the Selma to Montgomery marches. Like Malcolm X, her neighbor in Mount Vernon, New York, she supported black nationalism and advocated violent revolution rather than Martin Luther King's non-violent approach. She hoped that African Americans could use armed combat to form a separate state, though she wrote in her autobiography that she and her family regarded all races as equal. Simone's social commentary was not limited to the civil rights movement; the song "Four Women" exposed the Eurocentric beauty standards imposed on black women in America, as it explored the internalized dilemma of beauty that is experienced between four black women with skin-tones ranging from light to dark. She explains in her autobiography “I Put a Spell on You” that the purpose of the song was to inspire black women to define beauty and identity for themselves without the influence of societal impositions.

Nina Simone's "Four Women"

Black History 6: Women In History III

Susan Unterberg

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  Susan Unterberg (born 1941) is an American contemporary photographer and philanthropist. Her work often focuses on themes of familial relationships and nature, and it is included in several permanent collections of major museums across the United States. In 2018, she stepped forward as the founder and funder of the Anonymous Was A Woman Award.

In July 2018, Unterberg revealed herself as the founder and sole funder of the Anonymous Was A Woman Award. Between 1996 and 2018, she had secretly contributed $5.5 million to the fund. which was then awarded to 220 underrecognized female artists over the age of 40.

In a recent interview, she stated her reasons for coming forward as being a great time for women to speak up. “I feel I can be a better advocate having my own voice," and that she can now work openly to further the organization's cause and to encourage philanthropists and women artists. On top of the grant award program, Unterberg is considering other forms of programs, possibly seminars, to add balance to the organization.

Susan Unterberg Interview

Katherine Johnson

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  Katherine Coleman Goble Johnson (born August 26, 1918) is an African-American mathematician whose calculations of orbital mechanics as a NASA employee were critical to the success of the first and subsequent U.S. manned space-flights. During her 35-year career at NASA and its predecessor, she earned a reputation for mastering complex manual calculations and helped the space agency pioneer the use of computers to perform the tasks. Katherine’s life story is highlighted in the movie, “Hidden Figures.”

Johnson graduated from high school at 14 and entered West Virginia State, a historically black college. As a student, she took every math course offered by the college. Multiple professors mentored her, including chemist and mathematician Angie Turner King, who had also mentored Johnson throughout high school, and W. W. Schieffelin Claytor, the third African American to receive a PhD in math. Claytor added new math courses just for Katherine. She graduated summa cum laude in 1937, with degrees in mathematics and French, at age 18. She took on a teaching job at a black public school in Marion, Virginia.

Katherine Johnson Interview

Madam Curie

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Marie Skłodowska-Curie Born Maria Salomea Skłodowska (November 7, 1867 – July 4 1934) was a Polish and naturalized-French physicist and chemist who conducted pioneering research on radioactivity. She was the first woman to win a Nobel Prize, the first person and only woman to win twice, and the only person to win a Nobel Prize in two different sciences. She was part of the Curie family legacy of five Nobel Prizes. She was also the first woman to become a professor at the University of Paris, and in 1995 became the first woman to be entombed on her own merits in the Panthéon in Paris. 

Her achievements included the development of the theory of radioactivity (a term that she coined),[4][5] techniques for isolating radioactive isotopes, and the discovery of two elements, polonium and radium. Under her direction, the world's first studies into the treatment of neoplasms were conducted using radioactive isotopes. She founded the Curie Institutes in Paris and in Warsaw, which remain major centers of medical research today. During World War I she developed mobile radiography units to provide X-ray services to field hospitals.

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Black History 7: Women In History IV

Billie Holiday

Eleanora Fagan (April 7, 1915 – July 17, 1959), known as Billie Holiday, was an American jazz singer

  Eleanora Fagan (April 7, 1915 – July 17, 1959), known as Billie Holiday, was an American jazz singer with a career spanning nearly thirty years. Nicknamed "Lady Day" Holiday had a huge influence on jazz music and pop singing. Her vocal style, strongly inspired by jazz instrumentalists, pioneered a new way of manipulating phrasing and tempo. She is known for having the most recognizable voice in vocal jazz history.  Her vocal delivery and improvisational skills were her trade mark.

She won four Grammy Awards, all of them posthumously, for Best Historical Album. She was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1973. Lady Sings the Blues, a film about her life was released in 1972. 

In November 1938, Holiday was asked to use the service elevator at the Lincoln Hotel, instead of the passenger elevator, because white patrons of the hotel complained. This was totally unacceptable to Billy and she left the band shortly after. Holiday spoke about the incident weeks later, saying, "I was never allowed to visit the bar-lounge, or the dining room as did other members of the band ... and I was made to leave and enter through the kitchen."

Holiday said her father, Clarence Holiday, was denied medical treatment for a fatal lung disorder also because of racial prejudice, and that singing "Strange Fruit" reminded her of the incident. "It reminds me of how Pop died, but I have to keep singing it, not only because people ask for it, but because twenty years after Pop died the things that killed him are still happening in the South", she wrote in her autobiography. "The version I recorded for Commodore", Holiday said of "Strange Fruit", "became my biggest-selling record.", which was the equivalent of a top-twenty hit in the 1930s.

**Them There Eyes - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F7Q8Zwd-sSg

Lover Man - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=thSfGPZGmnQ

**All of Me - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4P0hG3sD0-E

**Strange Fruit - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dnlTHvJBeP0

Angela Davis

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   Angela Davis, (born January 26, 1944) is an American political activist, academic, and author who emerged as a prominent Black Activist in the 1960s with the Black Panther Party during the Civil Rights Movement. Davis, a professor emerita at the University of California, Santa Cruz, in its History of Consciousness Department, is also a former director of the university's Feminist Studies department. Her research interests are feminism, African-American studies, critical theory, Marxism, popular music, social consciousness, and the philosophy and history of punishment and prisons. She attended the University of Frankfurt for graduate work in philosophy and in 1965, she graduated magna cum laude, a member of Phi Beta Kappa. She co-founded Critical Resistance, an organization working to abolish the prison–industrial complex. In a 2007 television interview, Davis said, "Herbert Marcuse taught me that it was possible to be an academic, an activist, a scholar, and a revolutionary." 

She was in France when she learned of the 1963 Birmingham church bombing, committed by members of the Ku Klux Klan, in which four young black girls were killed. She grieved deeply as she was personally acquainted with the victims.

In 1970 on August 18, four days after the warrant was issued, the FBI director J. Edgar Hoover listed Davis on the FBI's Ten Most Wanted Fugitive List; she was the third woman to be so listed. She was accused of aggravated kidnapping and first-degree murder in the death of Judge Harold Haley" involving 17-year-old African-American high-school student Jonathan Jackson, whose brother was George Jackson, one of the three Soledad Brothers. In a daring attempt to free his brother, he gained control over a courtroom in Marin County, California; armed the black defendants and took Judge Harold Haley, the prosecutor, and three female jurors as hostages. As Jackson transported the hostages and two black convicts away from the courtroom, the police began shooting at the vehicle. The judge and the three black men were killed in the melee; one of the jurors and the prosecutor were injured. Across the nation, thousands of people began organizing a movement to gain her release.  In New York City, black writers formed a committee called the Black People in Defense of Angela Davis. 

Angela Davis cont'd

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Angela Davis Continued ....  

   By February 1971 more than 200 local committees in the United States, and 67 in foreign countries, worked to free Davis from prison. John Lennon and Yoko Ono contributed to this campaign with the song "Angela". On June 4, 1972, after 13 hours of deliberations, the all-white jury returned a verdict of not guilty. The fact that she owned the guns used in the crime was judged insufficient to establish her role in the plot.  

As early as 1969, Davis began public speaking engagements. She expressed her opposition to the Vietnam War, racism, sexism, and the prison–industrial complex, and her support of gay rights and other social justice movements. In 2001 she publicly spoke against the war on terror following the 9/11 attacks and discussed the broken immigration system. She said that to solve social justice issues, people must "hone their critical skills, develop them and implement them." Later, in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in 2005, she declared that the "horrendous situation in New Orleans" was due to the country's structural racism, capitalism, and imperialism. Davis was an honorary co-chair of the January 21, 2017 Women's March on Washington, which occurred the day after President Trump's inauguration.

Bob Dylan's song "George Jackson" (1971) is a tribute to George Jackson, one of the Soledad Brothers and the older brother of Jonathan Jackson, who was killed during an escape attempt from San Quentin.

John Lennon and Yoko Ono recorded their song "Angela" on their album Some Time in New York City (1972) in support, and a small photo of her appears on the album's cover at the bottom-left.

The jazz musician Todd Cochran, also known as Bayete, recorded his song "Free Angela (Thoughts...and all I've got to say)" that same year.

Tribe Records co-founder Phil Ranelin released a song dedicated to Davis, titled "Angela's Dilemma," on Message From The Tribe (1972), a spiritual jazz collectible.

If you are interested in learning more about Angela Davis, here are a few books written by Ms. Davis that I’m sure you will enjoy.

Women, Race, and Class

An Autobiography

Women, Culture, and Politics

The Prison Industrial Complex 

Angela Davis Speaks! 

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Black History 8: Women In History V

Maya Angelou

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  Through her literature, public speaking and powerful writing, Maya Angelou inspired both women and men to overcome gender and race discrimination. In 2011, President Obama, awarded her the Presidential Medal of Freedom for her works during the Civil Rights Movement. She wrote 36 books, seven autobiographies and received over 50 honorary degrees throughout her career that spanned over 50 years. 

Maya Angelou met novelist John Oliver Killens in 1959 and, at his urging, moved to New York to concentrate on her writing career. She joined the Harlem Writers Guild, where she met several major African-American authors, including John Henrik Clarke, Rosa Guy, Paule Marshall, and Julian Mayfield, and was published for the first time.  As an award-winning author she is known for her acclaimed memoir “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings” 1969, which tells of her life up to the age of 17. It was this book that first brought her international recognition and acclaim.

She worked as a nightclub dancer and performer, cast member of the opera Porgy and Bess, coordinator for the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, and journalist in Egypt and Ghana during the decolonization of Africa. She was an actress, writer, director, and producer of plays, movies, and public television programs. In 1982, she was named the first Reynolds Professor of American Studies at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. She was active in the Civil Rights Movement and worked with Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X. Beginning in the 1990s. She made approximately 80 appearances a year on the lecture circuit, something she continued into her eighties. In 1993, Ms. Angelou recited her poem "On the Pulse of Morning" (1993) at the first inauguration of Bill Clinton, making her the first poet to make an inaugural recitation since Robert Frost at the inauguration of John F. Kennedy in 1961.


Maya Angelou Cont'd

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 Maya Angelou Cont'd

In Accra, she became close friends with Malcolm X during his visit in the early 1960s. Ms. Angelou returned to the U.S. in 1965 to help him build a new civil rights organization, the Organization of Afro-American Unity; he was assassinated shortly afterward, which left her devastated. 

In 1968, Martin Luther King Jr. asked Ms. Angelou to organize a march. She agreed but postponed and he was assassinated on her 40th birthday (April 4, 1968). Devastated once again, she was encouraged out of her depression by her friend James Baldwin. As Gillespie states, "If 1968 was a year of great pain, loss, and sadness, it was also the year when America first witnessed the depth of Maya Angelou's spirit and creative genius". Despite having almost no experience, she wrote, produced, and narrated Blacks, Blues, Black!

In late 2010, Maya Angelou donated her personal papers and career memorabilia to the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in Harlem.

"Why The Caged Bird Sings" by Maya Angelou


The Story of Maya Angelou


I Know Why Caged Bird Sing


Maya Angelou recites: Phenomenal Woman


Coming Soon

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 Coming Soon 

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Coming Soon

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 Coming Soon 

Coming Soon

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 Coming Soon 

Black History Celebrated 3

Aretha Franklin

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"Aretha helped define the American experience," former President Barack Obama said in a statement "In her voice, we could feel our history, all of it and in every shade our power and our pain, our darkness and our light, our quest for redemption and our hard won respect. May the Queen of Soul rest in eternal peace." 

 She was born in Memphis, Tennessee, in 1942, but was raised mostly in Detroit, where her father, C.L. Franklin, was a prominent minister and a nationally known gospel singer. Franklin sang in the choir of her father's church and, though she declined her dad's offer of piano lessons and taught herself instead, began recording gospel music at age 14. 

 The first woman admitted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, she had 88 Billboard chart hits during the rock era, tops among female vocalists. At the peak of her career from 1967 to 1975 she had more than 24 Top 40 hits. 

 She won 18 Grammy awards, including the honor for best female R&B performance for eight straight years. 


Leontyne Price

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Mary Violet Leontyne Price (born February 10, 1927) is an American Soprano. Born and raised in Laurel, Mississippi she rose to international 

acclaim in the 1950s and 1960s, and was the first African American to become a Prima Donna at the Metropolitan Opera

After her retirement from the opera stage in 1985, she continued to appear in recitals and orchestral concerts until 1997.


Leontyne Price talks about opening the Metropolitan Opera House

Alex Haley

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Alexander Murray Palmer Haley August 11, 1921 – February 10, 1992 was an American writer and the author of the 1965 book “The Autobiography of Malcom X” and 1976 book “Roots: The Saga of an American Family.” ABC adapted the book as a television miniseries of the same name and aired it in 1977 to a record-breaking audience of 130 million viewers. In the United States, the book and miniseries raised the public awareness of African American history and inspired a broad interest in genealogy and family.


Alex Haley talks about "Roots: The Saga of an American Family"

Alice Walker

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Alice Walker (born February 9, 1944) is an American novelist, short story writer, poet, and activist. She wrote the novel The Color Purple (1982), for which she won the National Book Award for hardcover fiction, and the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. She also wrote the novels Meridian (1976) and The Third Life of Grange Copeland (1970), among other works. An avowed feminist, Walker coined the term "womanist" to mean "A black feminist or feminist of color" in 1983

Alice Walker Interview

Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti

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Chief Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti, (October 25, 1900 –  April 13, 1978), was also known as Funmilayo Anikulapo-Kuti. She was a teacher, political campaigner, women's rights activist and traditional aristocrat in Nigeria. She served with distinction as one of the most prominent leaders of her generation. She was also the first woman in the country to drive a car. Ransome-Kuti's political activism led to her being described as the doyen of female rights in Nigeria and regarded as "The Mother of Africa." Early on, she was a very powerful force advocating for the Nigerian woman's right to vote. She was described in 1947, by the West African Pilot, as the "Lioness of Lisabi" for her leadership of the Egba women on a campaign against their arbitrary taxation. That struggle led to the abdication of the high king Oba Ademola II in 1949.

Annie Jiagge

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Annie Ruth Jiagge (October 7, 1918 – June 12, 1996), also known as Annie Baëta Jiagge, was a Ghanaian lawyer, judge and women's rights activist. The first Ghanaian woman to become a lawyer, she was also the first woman in Ghana and the Commonwealth of Nations to become a judge. She was a principal drafter of the Declaration on the "Elimination of Discrimination Against Women" and a co-founder of the organisation that became Women's World Banking.

Black History Celebrated 2

Zora Neale Hurston - Author

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 Zora Neale Hurston, (born January 7, 1891, Notasulga, Alabama, U.S.—died January 28, 1960, Fort Pierce, Florida), American folklorist and writer associated with the Harlem Renaissance who celebrated the African American culture of the rural South. 

 

Zora Neale Hurston is considered one of the pre-eminent writers of twentieth-century African-American literature. Hurston was closely associated with the Harlem Renaissance and has influenced such writers as Ralph Ellison, Toni Morrison, Gayle Jones, Alice Walker, and Toni Cade Bambara.

In 1975, Ms. Magazine published Alice Walker's essay, "In Search of Zora Neale Hurston" reviving interest in the author. Hurston's four novels and two books of folklore resulted from extensive anthropological research and have proven invaluable sources on the oral cultures of African America.

Through her writings, Robert Hemenway wrote in The Harlem Renaissance Remembered, Hurston "helped to remind the Renaissance--especially its more bourgeois members--of the richness in the racial heritage."

 

Zora Hurston Fieldwork 1928 (Rare Footage)


Cudjo Lewis "Black Cargo" 

(Barracoon e-book  written by Zora Neale Hurston)


Africa Town A Story Worth Knowing


 



Alain LeRoy Locke

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 Oct 16, 2014 - Alain LeRoy Locke was the first African American to be named a Rhodes Scholar. ... AlainLeRoy Locke was a philosopher best known for his writing on and support of the Harlem Renaissance.Alain LeRoy Locke was born on September 13, 1885, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. 

 

Locke served as secretary and editor of the newly established Associates in Negro Folk Education. Between 1936 and 1942 this organization published nine "Bronze Booklets" written by leading African American scholars. Locke wrote two of these, Negro Art: Past and Present and The Negro and His Music, and edited a third, The Negro in Art: A Pictorial Record of the Negro Artist and of the Negro Theme in Art. The latter reemphasized his belief that African American artists should look to the works of their African ancestors for subject matter and styles to apply to modern painting and sculpture.

Locke continued his work in philosophy, actively promoting his theory of cultural pluralism (a society made up of several different cultures and their beliefs). This interest led to his pioneering 1942 social science anthology, coedited with Bernhard Stern, When Peoples Meet: A Study in Race and Culture Contacts, an examination of dominant and minority populations in various countries around the world.



Ossie Davis speaks about Dr. Locke:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Qq9mvU0CHM


Langston Hughes

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Born: February 1, 1902
Died: May 22, 1967

Langston Hughes was one of the most important writers and thinkers of the Harlem Renaissance, which was the African American artistic movement in the 1920s that celebrated black life and culture. His literary works helped shape American literature and politics. Hughes, like others active in the Harlem Renaissance, had a strong sense of racial pride. Through his poetry, novels, plays, essays, and children's books, he promoted equality, condemned racism and injustice, and celebrated African American culture, humor, and spirituality.

 Andrew Neuendorf discussing the influence of Hughes & Locke on the Harlem Renaissance https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7eHHc0olPS4

Angela Davis - Activist

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Angela Davis, activist, educator, scholar, and politician, was born on January 26, 1944, in the “Dynamite Hill” area of Birmingham, Alabama.  

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-MzmifPGk94


Dick Gregory

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Richard Claxton Gregory

Comedian, Civil Rights Activist, Diet Guru

Born October 12, 1932   St. Louis, MO

Died August 19, 2017


https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/aug/20/dick-gregory-obituary?CMP=share_btn_link

Black History Celebrated 1

Mum Bett - Civil Rights Activist

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  Born into slavery in 1742, Mumbet (as she was then known) became the first woman to sue successfully for her freedom in the American Republic.  She was working for her slave owner, Colonel John Ashley, in Sheffield, Massachusetts when she heard people discussing the new Massachusetts Constitution and its Declaration of Rights.  She then approached attorney Theodore Sedgwick to bring a case in the Court of Common Pleas, arguing that she too had rights under this constitution.  The name of her fellow slave, Brom, was added to the case,  Brom and Bett v. Ashley, which in 1781, succeeded in winning them their freedom.  Afterwards, John Ashley asked her to return to his home as a paid employee, but instead she worked as a housekeeper and nurse for the Sedgwicks under her new name, Elizabeth Freeman.  She died in 1829 and was buried in the Sedgwick family plot. 
>> Learn more: http://elizabethfreeman.mumbet.com/

Maurice Ashley - Grandmaster

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 Maurice Ashley is a Jamaican American chess grandmaster, author, commentator, app designer, puzzle inventor, and motivational speaker. In 1999 he earned the Grandmaster title, making him the world's first Grandmaster of a dark skin colour.  I was schooled by the best hustlers back in the day! This was actually in Washington Square Park  

Learn more: https://ftw.usatoday.com/2016/05/grandmaster-maurice-ashley-chess-hall-of-fame-ferguson-schools

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 Octavia Spencer will be an executive producer on the indie film, Mumbet, which is based on the film A Free Woman on God’s Earth by Jana Laiz and Ann-Elizabeth Barnes. 

List of available books can be found here:
http://elizabethfreeman.mumbet.com/
 

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Maurice Ashley playing 30 chess tables with the kids !! 

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