Category: Commemorations

Good Black News Wishes You and Yours a Very Happy New Year!

Good Black News would like to kick off this new decade by thanking our readers and followers, old and new, for making 2019 another strong year of progress and perseverance. Even when times and events are challenging, your steady support always keeps us going!

Please continue to read, share and spread the word as GBN continues to strive to share positive information with you as often as we can as much as we can.

Best of everything to you in 2020 and beyond. Happy New Year!

Universal Hip Hop Museum in the Bronx Awarded $3.75 Million Grant by New York State

Universal Hip Hop Museum at Bronx Terminal Market (image via Kevin Ross/radiofacts.com)

New York state officials have approved a $3.75 million grant to help build the Universal Hip Hop Museum, according to cnn.com.

The museum will be located in the Bronx and is the brainchild of local hip hop aficionados. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced the $3.75M grant last Thursday to the nation’s first museum dedicated to hip-hop.

To quote from CNN:

Now at a temporary location in the Bronx Terminal Market, The Universal Hip Hop Museum is the brain child of New Yorkers who have been on the hip-hop scene since the very beginning. One of these New Yorkers is executive director Rocky Bucano. Born and raised in the Bronx, Bucano was a DJ as a teenager in the early 1970’s.

Bucano describes the 8-year-old museum as an “ambitious, audacious dream.” Bucano’s co-founders include hip-hop legends Kurtis Blow and Grand Wizzard Theodore, who helped pioneer the popular DJ technique known as scratching.

According to CNN the founding board of directors includes Ice-T and cultural ambassadors include New York natives LL Cool J, Rakim, Big Daddy Kane, Grandmaster Flash, Fab Five Freddy and Nas.

In 2018, the Universal Hip Hop Museum announced that Public Enemy’s Chuck D would serve as the chairman of the museum’s celebrity board.

Thanks to the state funding, the 50,000-square-foot hip-hop museum will have a permanent place to call home in Bronx Point come 2023. The museum’s construction will begin in the summer of 2020.

The museum will showcase all aspects of hip-hop culture — from fashion and breakdancing, as well as the evolution of hip-hop — highlighting artists new and old, from the late ’70s to today. The museum will offer workshops, mentorships and programming to help area youths.

To visit the museum’s site for tickets or to donate, go to: https://www.uhhm.org

To read more: https://www.cnn.com/2019/12/20/us/new-york-hip-hop-museum-trnd/index.html

Umoja! Good Black News Wishes You and Yours a Very Happy Kwanzaa

Heri Za Kwanzaa! Kwanzaa, for those who are new to the party or need a refresher, is an African American and pan-African seven day cultural holiday that goes from December 26 to January 1 and celebrates family and community.

During the holiday, communities and families celebrate with feasts, music, and dance, and end the holiday with a day dedicated to reflection and recommitment to the seven principles.

To read more: https://nationaltoday.com/kwanzaa-december-26/

Good Black News Wishes Blessings for You and Yours on this Very Merry Christmas

On a day when so many family members, friends and loved ones come together to celebrate, GBN wishes you a Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, a blessed and bountiful Kwanzaa and Hopeful Holidays all around.

As we give to each other, let us always strive to remember what a gift we have in life, and to cherish that spirit always for ourselves as well as others all year long.

Love and Peace,

The Good Black News Team

Frederick Joseph, #BlackPantherChallenge Founder, Raises $35,000 For Children With #SantaClausChallenge

New York author and creator of the #BlackPantherChallenge, Frederick Joseph, launches the #SantaClausChallenge after learning the Operation Cover Chicago 2019 toy drive was short 9,000 toys. With only four days until the toy drive, Joseph called on others to join the challenge by donating or buying a gift for kids in Chicago.

Another Chance Church, launched Operation Cover Chicago 2019 with the aim to make it a Christmas to remember for 10,000 families who otherwise couldn’t afford to buy toys. Statistics show that the Chicagoland community is comprised of 9% of students who are homeless and 45% of adults who are unemployed or under-employed.

Frederick Joseph kicked off the #SantaClausChallenge with a $500 donation to their GoFundMe, which aims to raise $35,000 to purchase toys for children ages three to 15. Inspired by his generosity, GoFundMe made a donation of $5,000. “All children deserve to feel like they matter, especially during the Holidays,” said Frederick Joseph. “This is an opportunity to show them that the community cares and is standing behind all families. I’m calling on others to take action and donate to help more kids experience the joy of Christmas.”

As of December 17th, the challenge met its goal by raising $35,000 to service 10,000 families.

Joseph successfully created the #BlackPantherChallenge, an international movement that raised over $950,000 to send over 73,000 children to see the Black Panther film for free in 2018. He’s been rallying behind community based GoFundMes ever since, having raised over $1.25 million to date for good causes.

Operation Cover Chicago 2019 will be giving away the toys to 10,000 families on December 20, 2019 at 9550 S. Harvard Chicago IL, 60628 at 7pm. To make a donation, visit:

https://www.gofundme.com/f/operation-cover-chicago-2019

“Find Black Santa” App Helps Families Locate Black Santas Across U.S. and Abroad

Find Black Santa App created by Jihan Woods (photo via findblacksanta.com)

According to wthr.com, after having trouble finding a Santa Claus her sons could relate to, Dallas psychiatrist Jihan Woods decided to make sure others wouldn’t encounter the same problem.

In 2018, she created a Kickstarter campaign raising some $5,000 in 30 days. The result was a very special app called “Find Black Santa.”

“After several years of trying to find a Santa that was relatable – that my children could identify with, I realized that kind of all over the U.S., but specifically in Dallas, I wasn’t able to find a Santa that represented our family,” Woods explained.

The app lists Santas in 35 states and Washington, D.C. – from Oregon, to one in the Mall of America, and as far south as Florida. She’s even located them in London, Canada, and Amsterdam.

Since creating the app, organizations have reached out to Woods to tell her about their black Santas. And black Santas have asked her to list them for events.

To find Black Santa, click here.

To read more: https://www.wthr.com/article/app-helps-families-search-black-santa

 

Former U.S. Poet Laureate Rita Dove Wins $100,000 Wallace Stevens Award From Academy of American Poets

Former U.S. Poet Laureate Rita Dove (photo via commons.wikipedia.org)

Rita Dove, Commonwealth Professor of English at the University of Virginia, received the Wallace Stevens Award from the Academy of American Poets, according to jbhe.com. The award is given annually to recognize “outstanding and proven mastery in the art of poetry.” Established in 1994, the award comes with a $100,000 prize.

Winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry in 1987 for Thomas and Beulah, Dove also served as Poet Laureate of the United States from 1993 to 1995. She is the only poet to receive the National Humanities Medal and the National Medal of Arts.

Dove has published 10 collections of poetry including her latest book Collected Poems, 1974-2004 (2016). In addition to poetry, Dove has published a book of short stories and the novel Through the Ivory Gate (1992).

Dove is a summa cum laude graduate of Miami University in Ohio, where she majored in English.  She holds a master of fine arts degree from the University of Iowa, and joined the faculty at the University of Virginia in 1989.

Maya Angelou and Rupaul to be Inducted into State of California Hall Of Fame

California Hall of Fame Inductees Maya Angelou, Rupaul

Author Maya Angelou and performer/television series host RuPaul are among the inductees for the 2019 class of California Hall of Fame, according to sfgate.com.

California’s governor Gavin Newsom and his wife Jennifer Siebel Newsom announced the inductees on Wednesday.

The class includes civil rights leader James M. Lawson Jr., actor and comedian George Lopez, soccer player and two-time World Cup champion Brandi Chastain, skateboarder and entrepreneur Tony Hawk,  chef and restaurateur Wolfgang Puck, astrophysicist France A. Córdova, author Jeanne Wakatsuki Houston,and winemaker Helen M. Turley.

The class will be inducted during a ceremony on December 10. The California Hall of Fame started in 2006 and inductees are selected each year by the governor and first partner.

Read more: https://www.sfgate.com/news/article/Maya-Angelou-RuPaul-among-California-Hall-of-14832054.php

HISTORY: Meet Robert Smalls, Boat Captain for Union Navy who Escaped Slavery and Became 1st African-American Elected to U.S. Congress

U.S. Naval Captain and U.S. Congress Member Robert Smalls (photo via Library of Congress)

by Lori Lakin Hutcherson (@lakinhutcherson)

On this Veteran’s Day, Good Black News is choosing to honor former Union Navy boat captain and oft-hidden historical figure Robert Smalls of South Carolina.

Robert Smalls was the first black man elected to U.S. Congress during Reconstruction. He was born into slavery in 1839 in Beaufort, S.C., and started his remarkable, implausible journey to national prominence by daring to escape slavery during the Civil War with his family. 

Smalls, like many other enslaved peoples, was made to work for the Confederate forces during the Civil War. Menial labor such as grave digging, cooking, digging trenches, etc. were the most common jobs, but some enslaved peoples were used in skilled labor positions, such as Smalls, who could navigate the waters in and around Charleston, so was used to guide transport ships for the Confederate Navy.

On May 13, 1862, Smalls convinced several other enslaved people to help him commandeer a Confederate transport ship, the CSS Planter, in Charleston harbor. Smalls sailed from Confederate-controlled waters to the U.S. blockade.

By doing so, not only did he gain freedom for himself, several enslaved peoples and members of his family, his example of cunning and bravery helped convince President Abraham Lincoln to accept black soldiers into the U.S. Army and Navy. Check out PBS video about this event below:

Smalls became Captain of the same boat for the Union Navy and helped free enslaved peoples as he fought and outwitted the Confederate Navy several more times during the duration of the War. After the South surrendered, Smalls returned to Beaufort, S.C. and purchased his master’s house, which was seized by the Union in 1863. His master sued to get it back, but lost in court to Smalls. Continue reading “HISTORY: Meet Robert Smalls, Boat Captain for Union Navy who Escaped Slavery and Became 1st African-American Elected to U.S. Congress”

Four African-American Academics Named MacArthur “Genius” Fellows in 2019

2019 MacArthur Fellows (l to r):Emmanuel Pratt, Saidiya Hartman, Kelly Lytle Hernandez, Walter Hood (photos via MacArthur Foundation)

via jbhe.com

The Chicago-based MacArthur Foundation announced the selection of 26 individuals in this year’s class of MacArthur Fellows. The honors, frequently referred to as the “Genius Awards,” include a $625,000 stipend over the next five years which the individuals can use as they see fit.

Fellows are chosen for their “extraordinary originality and dedication in their creative pursuits.” The goal of the awards is to “encourage people of outstanding talent to pursue their own creative, intellectual, and professional inclinations” without the burden of having to worry about their financial situation.

This year, five of the 26 MacArthur Fellows are Black and four have current ties to academia:

Saidiya Hartman is a professor of English and comparative literature at Columbia University in New York City. Professor Hartman’s major fields of interest are African American and American literature and cultural history, slavery, law and literature, and performance studies.

She is the author of Lose Your Mother: A Journey Along the Atlantic Slave Route (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2007) and Wayward Lives, Beautiful Experiments: Intimate Histories of Social Upheaval (W.W. Norton, 2019). Dr. Hartman is a graduate of Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut. She holds a Ph.D. from Yale University.

Walter Hood is a professor of landscape architecture and environmental planning and urban design in the College of Environmental Design at the University of California, Berkeley. He is the author of Blues & Jazz Landscape Improvisations (Poltroon Press, 1993).

Professor Hood is a graduate of North Carolina A&T State University. He holds two master’s degrees from the University of California, Berkeley, and a master of fine arts degree from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Continue reading “Four African-American Academics Named MacArthur “Genius” Fellows in 2019″