Tag: Black History Month

BLACK HISTORY MONTH: Gift Ideas For Friends, Family or Yourself

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Shirley Chisholm T-Shirt

article bvia madamenoire.com

Who says Black History Month isn’t a celebration? Check out 10 super chic items for you (or others) that celebrate blackness.

To see more options and to click through to buy, go to: I’m Black Y’all: 10 Black History Month Gifts For Yourself

BLACK HISTORY MONTH: Inspiring Stories of African Americans to Air on Disney Channel this February

Disney Animator Floyd Norman (photo via ShadowAndAct.com

article via ShadowAndAct.com

To cultivate kids’ deeper interest in history and inspire them to feel their own significance in the present and future, stories about distinguished men and women including the Tuskegee Airmen Chief Civilian flight instructor Charles Alfred “Chief” Anderson, the history-making commercial airline pilot Stephanie R. Grant, animator and Disney legend Floyd Norman, and physician, role model and activist Dr. Myiesha Taylor, will be presented as part of Disney|ABC Television Group’s “Be Inspired” interstitial series during Black History Month on Disney Channel, Disney XD and Disney Junior.

Paul DeBenedittis, senior vice president, Programming Strategy, Disney Channels Worldwide, said, “As television programmers, we work every day to better serve our kid viewers by reflecting the diverse and varied world they live in, and our ‘Be Inspired’ programming is designed to give them access to stories that can spark their deeper exploration into the rich and celebrated history of African Americans.”

The initiative begins with the story of acclaimed African-American pilot Charles Alfred “Chief” Anderson Sr., known as the “Father of Black Aviation” for his brave and innovative leadership as Chief Civilian Flight Instructor for the Tuskegee Airmen. The story, hosted by Nathaniel Potvin (Disney XD’s “MECH-X4”), originates from the non-profit Tomorrow’s Aeronautical Museum in Compton, California, and includes the museum’s founder and executive director Robin Petgrave, Ted Lumpkin of the Tuskegee Airmen 100th Fighter Squadron, and Kimberly Anyadike, the youngest African-American female to pilot an airplane across the United States. Geared toward kids age 6-14, the interstitial began airing Weds, Feb 1, on Disney Channel and Disney XD.

For younger viewers (age 2-7), Doc McStuffins, the title character from the acclaimed animated series, introduces notable women and men in a series of interstitials to be presented on Disney Junior. They are Stephanie R. Grant, a pilot who led the first all-female African-American flight crew to operate a commercial airliner; Disney legend Floyd Norman, one of the first African-American animators at Walt Disney Studios during the 1950s; and Dr. Myiesha Taylor, an emergency doctor and founder of the Artemis Medical Society, an organization comprised of over 4700 women physicians of color from around the world. Disney Junior and Disney Channel will debut the interstitials beginning Weds, Feb, 8.

To read more, go to: Inspiring Stories of Distinguished African Americans to be Presented During Black History Month on Disney Channels – Shadow and Act

Black History Month: Google Doodle Salutes Pioneering Sculptor Edmonia Lewis

Google Doodle of sculptor Edmonia Lewis (image via Google)

article by Michael Cavna via chicagotribune.com

To kick off its celebration of Black History Month, Google turns to a 19th century artist who burned so bright that her twin gifts of blazing talent and steely determination could not be denied even in the face of her era’s discrimination. Time and again, sculptor Edmonia Lewis — nicknamed “Wildfire” — faced obstacles and setbacks, yet she persevered as if her greatness were already cast.

Lewis was orphaned at age 9, when she was adopted by maternal aunts and joined their Mississauga tribe.  She endured bitter racial bias at Oberlin College, which she began attending at age 15; she was falsely accused of poisoning classmates and was beaten, and was ultimately denied the chance to graduate.

She then was refused apprenticeships in Civil War-era Boston, until she encountered the well-connected sculptor Edward Brackett, whose clients included well-known abolitionists.  And she would then run a small art studio in Rome (a space formerly used by neoclassicist Antonio Canova), eschewing assistants because she was often without the means of fellow expat artists in Italy.

Yet she would shine as the first woman of American Indian and African-American descent to discover international renown in the arts.

Wednesday’s Google Doodle, by artist Sophie Diao, salutes Lewis and her great work “The Death of Cleopatra,” which rests today in Washington at the Smithsonian American Art Museum. (Her work “Forever Free” resides nearby, with the Howard University Gallery of Art.) And the ribboned “Google” wording shines bright, befitting Lewis’s nickname.

To read more: Google Doodle salutes pioneering sculptor Edmonia Lewis to kick off Black History Month – Chicago Tribune

Puma Creates BHM Sneakers in Honor of Iconic Olympic Sprinter Tommie Smith

Image #: 13530908 American athletes Tommie Smith (middle, gold medal) and John Carlos (right, bronze medal) at the Award Ceremony for the 200m race at the 1968 Olympic Games in Mexico City, October 16, 1968. The Olympics Black Power salute was a notable black power protest and one of the most overtly political statements in the history of the modern Olympic Games. DPA/LANDOV
American athletes Tommie Smith (middle) and John Carlos (right) at the Award Ceremony for the 200m race at the 1968 Olympic Games in Mexico City, October 16, 1968. (Photo: DPA/LANDOV)

The image above is a powerful one. This black power salute is embedded in our history. In 1968 Olympics athletes Tommie Smith (gold) and John Carlos (bronze) made history during the Olympic games in Mexico City. With the world watching the sprinters stood on the medal podium and raised their black-gloved fists in the air in silent protest for human rights and for black Americans to stand in solidarity.

It’s that powerful image that was the inspiration for Puma’s capsule collection honoring Tommie Smith and Black History Month. What I didn’t realize is that gold medalist Tommie Smith removed his suede Pumas right before he stepped onto the podium shoeless in black socks, to represent poverty and slavery.  After that subtle statement, he then raised his fist.  With that unmistakable gesture, Tommie Smith altered the course of history and dedicated his life to change. Emblazoned with Tommie Smith’s silhouette, with fist raised, the Black History Month Pack honors a legacy on the track and off. I must applaud Puma for honoring this hero.

Yara Shalhidi and Tommie Smith at the Puma and Sheikh Shoes Launch Celebration at Mastro’s Beverly Hills
Yara Shalhidi and Tommie Smith at the Puma and Sheikh Shoes Launch Celebration at Mastro’s Beverly Hills (Photo credit: Charles Jim-George)

puma

Check out Puma’s Black History Month Collection here:

http://us.puma.com/en_US/men/featured/black-history-month

Sheikh Shoes:

http://www.shiekhshoes.com/m-9-puma.aspx

For more about the 1968 Olympic Black Power Salute:

http://time.com/3880999/black-power-salute-tommie-smith-and-john-carlos-at- the-1968-olympics/

Lesa Lakin GBN Lifestyle
Lesa Lakin, GBN Lifestyle

Bryan Stevenson’s Equal Justice Initiative Receives $1,000,000 Grant from Google

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Bryan Stevenson at Google headquarters in Mountain View, Calif., Feb. 26, 2016. (photo via theroot.com)

article by Angela Bronner Helm via theroot.com

Tech giant Google announced on Friday that its philanthropic arm would be donating $1 million to Bryan Stevenson’s Alabama-based non-profit, Equal Justice Initiative.

The Harvard-educated Stevenson is a lawyer who has for decades fought the good fight—winning major legal challenges eliminating excessive and unfair sentencing, exonerating innocent prisoners on death row, confronting abuse of the incarcerated and the mentally ill and aiding children prosecuted as adults in a deeply flawed American criminal justice system.

EJI has also created the nation’s first lynching memorial and fastidiously marked lynching sites throughout the South.

Justin Steele, a principal with Google.org and the Bay Area and racial justice giving lead told USA Today, “I think what’s exciting about what EJI is doing is that at a national level it is really trying to tell the untold history around race in this country and help people develop a deeper understanding for the narrative around race and how we have gotten to where we are.”

Google.org made the announcement during a Black History Month celebration at its Mountain View, Calif., headquarters where Stevenson gave a speech on how the Google grant will help further his work.

USA Today reports that the racial justice grants were born out of a growing consensus inside Google that it must respond to the police slayings of African Americans and the fatal shooting of nine black citizens inside a Charleston, S.C., church last summer.

In November, Google.org made its first racial justice grants, giving $2.35 million to community organizations in the San Francisco Bay Area. This week, Google.org made four more grants, totaling $3 million.

Keeping in line with the activist mantra of organizing locally and thinking globally, the Equal Justice Initiative grant was the only grant gifted to a national non-profit—all other money was given to local organizations in the Bay Area working to eliminate racial disparities in education.

To see video of Bryan Stevenson’s Google talk, click here.

Read more at USA Today.

BUSINESS: Ernst and Young LLP Hosts Free Black History Month Executive Roundtable in Los Angeles

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article by Lori Lakin Hutcherson (@lakinhutcherson)

In celebration of #BlackHistoryMonth, Ernst and Young LLP will be hosting a Black History Month Executive Roundtable event in Los Angeles tonight that focuses on stories of cultivating and leveraging diverse teams and achievements of successful black professionals.

Ernst and Young partner Gracelyn Hodge will be moderating the panel. Panelists will be Dr. Robert Cherry, Chief Medical and Quality Officer at UCLA Health, Cookie Johnson, President of CJ by Cookie Johnson, Beverly Kuykendall, President of American Medical Depot and Guy Primus, CEO and Co-Founder of The Virtual Reality Company.

WHEN:
Wednesday, February 24, 2016
6:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. |  Reception/Networking
7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. |  Program/Panel Discussion/Q&A

WHERE:
The L.A. Hotel Downtown, 333 South Figueroa Street, Los Angeles, CA 90071

RSVP:
http://bit.ly/1S6PKDi 

Janelle Monae, Jesse Williams, Ava DuVernay, Ryan Coogler to Headline #JUSTICEFORFLINT Benefit on Feb. 28

Ava DuVernay and Ryan Coogler in Hollywood on Dec. 14, 2015. (Alberto E. Rodriguez / Getty Images for Disney)

article by Jaimie Etkin via buzzfeed.com

On Feb. 28, comedian Hannibal BuressCreed director and co-writer Ryan Coogler, singer Janelle MonaeGrey’s Anatomy star Jesse WilliamsSelma director Ava DuVernay, and other entertainment notables will be joining forces onstage for a free event in Flint, Michigan, BuzzFeed News can exclusively reveal. The Buress-hosted gathering, dubbed #JUSTICEFORFLINT, is open to the public and presented by Blackout for Human Rights, an activist collective founded by Coogler which is devoted to addressing human rights violations in the U.S.

For almost two years, Flint’s residents — many of whom are black and impoverished — have been subjected to massive lead and bacterial contamination in Genesee County’s water supply, and forced to avoid tap water.

#JUSTICEFORFLINT will take place at the Whiting Auditorium (1241 E. Kearsley St.) on Sunday, Feb. 28 at 5:30 p.m. ET to raise both awareness and funds for those affected by the water crisis. It will also be live-streamed via revolt.tv, and donations will be collected at the event and via text. Along with all the star power, organizers have also invited members of the Flint community to share their stories with the audience.

“With the #JUSTICEFORFLINT benefit event we will give a voice to the members of the community who were the victims of the choices of people in power who are paid to protect them, as well as provide them with a night of entertainment, unity, and emotional healing,” Ryan Coogler told BuzzFeed News in a statement. “Through the live stream we will also give a chance for people around the world to participate, and to donate funds to programs for Flint’s youth.”

Though the event does coincide with the Academy Awards — which largely snubbed Creed in nominations and did the same with DuVernay’s Selma last year  Coogler said Feb. 28 was chosen because it fell on the final weekend of Black History Month, and that the date overlap was a coincidence.

The idea for #JUSTICEFORFLINT emerged at Blackout’s last event #MLKNOW held on Martin Luther King Day (Jan. 28), which took place at Riverside Church in Harlem and drew more than 2,200 attendees and nearly half a million views online.

To read the full article, go to: http://www.buzzfeed.com/jaimieetkin/ryan-coogler-justice-for-flint-event?utm_term=.yt20eLa7#.wo7RP0QW

President Obama to Meet With Leaders of the Black Lives Matter Movement At The White House

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President Barack Obama (Source: SAUL LOEB / Getty)

article by Zon D’Amour via hellobeautiful.com

The Obamas are adding to their epic legacy by powerfully celebrating Black History Month. First, Michelle Obama held African dance classes at The White House and now President Obama is set to meet with leaders of the Black Lives Matter Movement.

The President and The First Lady will host a Black History Month reception with two generations of activists as leaders from the Civil Rights Movement will also be present.

In this space, there will be an open dialogue, “…to discuss a range of issues including the Administration’s efforts on criminal justice reform, building trust between law enforcement and the communities they serve and the president’s priorities during his final year in office” according to an email from a senior administration official obtained by Buzzfeed.

Here is a list of the attendees, per the White House:

• Aislinn Pulley, Co-Founder and Lead Organizer with Black Lives Matter Chicago

• Al Sharpton, Founder and President of the National Action Network

• Ben Crump, President of the National Bar Association

• Brittany Packnett, Member of the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing, Co-Founder of We The Protestors and Campaign Zero

• C.T. Vivian, Civil Rights Leader and Author

• Carlos Clanton, President of the National Urban League Young Professionals

• Cornell Brooks, President of the NAACP

• Deray Mckesson, Co-Founder of We the Protestors and Campaign Zero

• Deshaunya Ware, Student Leader of Concerned Student 1950 at University of Missouri

• John Lewis, United States Representative (D-GA)

• Marc Morial, President of the National Urban League

• Mary Patricia Hector, National Youth Director of the National Action Network

• Melanie Campbell, President of the National Coalition on Black Civic Participation

• Rashad Robinson, Executive Director of Color of Change

• Sherrilyn Ifill, President of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund

• Stephen Green, National Director of the NAACP Youth and College Division

• Wade Henderson, President of the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights

To read more, go to: http://hellobeautiful.com/2016/02/18/president-obama-black-lives-matter-black-history-month/

Ten Museums in the U.S. Focused on African American History

article by JoAnna Niles via huffingtonpost.com

Black History Month is a celebration of African American history in the U.S.  Though most of it was done involuntarily, our blood, sweat, tears and lives literally built this country. Of course there is more to Blacks in America than slavery and Jim Crow; we’re inventors, writers, award winners, record breakers, politicians, medical professionals, entrepreneurs, artists, activists, musicians and so much more. I love learning about the history and culture through my travels, but there is nothing like learning something new about my own.

If you’re generally interested in history, want to know more about blacks in America or want to share more about black history with a child in your life, here are ten museums within the United States focused on African American History:

African American Museum in Philadelphia

The African American Museum in Philadelphia is the first institution built by a major United States city to showcase the life and work of African Americans. In addition to sharing stories on how African Americans contributed to America’s founding, it includes a hands-on exhibit for children to explore the daily lives of children in Philadelphia during the slavery and reconstruction era. Visit AAMPmuseum.org for more information.

National Civil Rights Museum

Located at the Lorraine Hotel in Memphis, TN, the National Civil Rights Museum is built around the site of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr’s assassination. Permanent exhibits include topics on slavery, the Civil War, Reconstruction, the rise of Jim Crow events during the Civil Rights movement that lead to change within America. Learn more at CivilRightsMuseum.org.

Negro Leagues Baseball Museum

Located in Kansas City, MO, The Negro Leagues Baseball Museum showcases story of the founding of the Negro Leagues Baseball during the times of segregation and features more than Jackie Robinson, Willie Mays, Satchel Paige and Hank Aaron. Take a tour to see artifacts, photos and statues of Negro League players dating from the late 1800s to the 1960s. Learn more at NLBM.com.

Negro Leagues Baseball Museum

The National Voting Rights Museum and Institute

The National Voting Rights Museum is located in Selma, AL, a pivotal site in Voting Rights Movement. Located at the foot of the Edmund Pettus Bridge, the museum includes exhibits that remind visitors, old and young the struggle people went through to obtain voting rights almost 100 years after the 15th Amendment, granting African American men the right to vote. For current visiting hours and costs, visit NVRMI.com.

New Orleans African American Museum

I really wish I knew about this when I visited New Orleans, but I guess it’s an excuse to go back. The New Orleans African American Museum of Art, Culture and History focuses on the cultural history of blacks within New Orleans, particularly in Tremé community. The museum is currently under construction, but you can visit NOAAM.org or their Facebook Page for updates on re-opening.

National Underground Railroad Freedom Center

The National Underground Railroad Freedom Center is located in Cincinnati, OH and focuses on accomplishments of the men, women and children involved in the assistance of freeing thousands of slaves. It also includes awareness of modern-day slavery and human trafficking within American. For more information about special and permanent exhibits, visit Freedomcenter.org

National Great Blacks In Wax Museum

Located in Baltimore, MD, the National Great Blacks in Wax Museum was the first wax museum of African American history in the United States. It displays exhibits we all know and learn of in school, but also includes little known facts, encouraging visitors to gain an interest in African American history. Learn more at Greatblacksinwax.org

National Great Blacks In Wax Museum

Northwest African American Museum

The Northwest African American Museum’s mission is to “…spread knowledge, understanding and enjoyment of the histories, arts and cultures of people of African descent for the enrichment of all.” Located in Seattle Washington, the museum features programs and exhibits of African Americans within the Northwest through the arts and writing. Learn more at NAAMNW.org

Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History

Located in midtown Detroit, the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History is the world’s largest institution dedicated to the African American experience. The museum was founded a guide to educate visitors the achievements of African Americans throughout the years and overall celebration of black culture. For more information, visit TheWright.org

To read more, go to: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/joanna-niles/10-museums-in-the-us-focused_b_9203258.html?utm_hp_ref=black-voices&ncid=tweetlnkushpmg00000051

 

Black History Month: Then and Now in Education with Charlotte Grimké and John B. King Jr.

Charlotte Forten Grimké (Image: Wikipedia.org)

article by Robin White Goode via blackenterprise.com

For Black History Month, we are honoring pioneers and their heirs apparent.

There are so many black pioneers in the arena of education, but one who stands out is Charlotte Forten Grimké, who was born into an affluent family that had fought for racial equality for generations.

THEN

Charlotte Forten Grimké   (1837-1914)

Charlotte Forten Grimké was the first northern African American schoolteacher to go south to teach former slaves.

Grimké was born in Philadelphia in 1837 into an influential and affluent family. Her grandfather had been an enormously successful businessman and significant voice in the abolitionist movement. The family moved in the same circles as William Lloyd Garrison and John Greenleaf Whittier: intellectual and political activity were part of the air Charlotte Forten Grimké  breathed.

She attended Normal School in Salem, Massachusetts, and began her teaching career in the Salem schools, the first African American ever hired. But she longed to be part of a larger cause, and with the coming of the Civil War Grimké found a way to act on her deepest beliefs. In 1862, she arrived on St. Helena Island, South Carolina, where she worked with Laura Towne.

As she began teaching, she found that many of her pupils spoke only Gullah and were unfamiliar with the routines of school. Though she yearned to feel a bond with the islanders, her temperament, upbringing and education set her apart, and she found she had more in common with the white abolitionists there. Under physical and emotional stress, Grimke, who was always frail, grew ill and left St. Helena after two years.

Today, Grimké is best remembered for her diaries. From 1854-64 and 1885-92, she recorded the life of an intelligent, cultured, romantic woman who read and wrote poetry, attended lectures, worked, and took part in the largest social movement of her time. She was determined to embody the intellectual potential of all black people. She set a course of philosophical exploration, social sophistication, cultural achievement and spiritual improvement. She was, above all, dedicated to social justice.

NOW

John B. King Jr.

John B. King Jr. (Image: Wikipedia.org)

John B. King Jr., (1975–)
John King Jr. is the first person of African American and Hispanic descent to be appointed Acting Secretary of the Department of Education. Previously he was Acting Deputy Secretary, and before that, the first African American and first Puerto Rican to be appointed Commissioner of Education of the State of New York.

Before King assumed these high-profile leadership roles, he was an award-winning teacher, receiving the James Madison Memorial Fellowship for secondary-level teaching of American history, American government, and social studies. He also co-founded a high-performing charter school in Boston, the Roxbury Preparatory Charter School.

King received a B.A. in government from Harvard, a Juris Doctor from Yale, and a Ph.D. in educational administrative practice from Columbia University Teachers College.

Although King was born into a well-educated and accomplished family (his father was the first black principal in Brooklyn, New York; he later became executive deputy superintendent of schools; his grandfather had attended New York University Law School), he experienced devastating loss and instability as a youngster, losing both his parents by the time he was 12. Seeing school and teachers as an anchor, he himself became a teacher and education leader, perhaps living out the potential that Charlotte Forten Grimké foresaw for all people of African descent more than a hundred years earlier.