Monthly Archives: February 2017

BLACK HISTORY MONTH 2017 – DAY TWENTY EIGHT (THE TEST OF A RACE)


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Thank you all for choosing us for your daily dose of African American pride. We will be going deep on this last day, to the core of the black condition! We wonder why?!! We wonder how God or whoever the higher power is could allow this to happen to a race? We wonder why, if we are (and we are) the foundation of human life, can we suffer the most horrific treatment of any race upon the planet? Slavery was the most heinous crime committed in the world’s history! Yet, in the words of the past….”One cannot hold down a race without being down with them”. I offer what the whole of our race has been looking for, an answer, so we can move past the mental pain of the past… The race embarrassment we feel, the shame of being worked like animals for another race for 400 years. We think of the conditioning we endured, our family ties broken and the long term effects of such a long systematic capture.

The Test Of A Race:

There is a higher power in our plight, whether you believe or not! I can connect you to what I’m saying by the comparison of the Jew’s struggles. Not just the Holocaust, but the fact that they were chosen to be the first tapped by God. They are, as they say, “Chosen People”. This is not a slam to other races. It’s a fact in human history. It does not mean they are better or their souls are more pure. It simply means they are the ones contacted to deliver the message. They are the race most in need at the time. Our gift was being the foundation of human life. It’s a proven fact that Africa is the birth place of humanity! That led us to be the first to usher in civilization to human life. We set up kingdoms, trade and empires. We come from Kings and Queens. I know it was a long, long time ago and it feels unreal, but the fact is Africa was the hub of life for trade, education and wealth and natural resources. These gifts have come with responsibilities, which turned into the burdens of a race. Why? Tests of a race tests the resolve of a race. Look at it in this way, no man/woman goes through life without tests or hardships… It’s the same for a race. As a whole, we are meek by nature. No really, it may not seem so now with Chicago, gangster music, thugs etc., but the Europeans tagged the African Nation as “docile” and we were. Another factor in our history, as I always say, was the most damaging thing to us as a race. It was neglecting to record our history through the written word. Our history was passed down orally by elders and chieftains. This was another factor showing that Africans were not connected to the world, except for the Moors. We traveled little and did not have a feel for the new tone of the rest of the world. Others deemed our wealth of natural resources valuable. We had gold, oil, silver, diamonds, spices and rare plants and animals. It made us a target, once the Muslims fell. They were our bearer of hostility. Africa was a nation of Islam. Know your history! This led to the European Colonization of Africa in the 1870’s and 1900’s. It also led to a scramble in Africa and some chose to help the Europeans. We put up little fight. There was no war or united stand off. A few pockets of Africans resisted and some countries stood ground, but then money and British rule crushed the last bit of South Africa. Now you’re in the mind set and can see the bigger picture. That is why it is said ” Your life is the life of the past/future”. You do not just live for yourself, your family, your tree, you live for the whole of Africans now, African American life!”

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DO YOU KNOW MARC MORIAL? ….PLEASE KNOW WHO ARE!!!

That is the test of the African race. You’re now in America. We are the fruits of the struggle. The past lives had very little say in their condition. We fought with time, blood, lives and sacrificed family, language and religion. We had to learn a new culture while dealing with sheer hatred. They saw us as less then human. Imagine that! From the fathers and mothers of human life to being regulated, world wide, as sub humans. Another thing you should know is that we are not the minority in life. We are the majority in the world. Our total world population 7 billion. Whites only account for one quarter of the world population. We, and the rest of the world, tend to forget that. Not even Asians compare with only 1.7 billion people. We, by far, out populate every other race. We were scattered and held in deplorable conditions in the world, mainly Africa. When you’re hungry or thirsty, you can only think of the basic human needs! We were beaten down mentally and physically throughout the world and have no united voice. They, as a practice, killed off black leadership. Nelson Mandela came close. Our conditions are so dire that we are in the corners of the world, but we can’t help each other. Who can led us? African Americans have the best chance of that.

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Wake The F*** Up:

What can we do? We can secure ourselves in America (maybe not during the Trump era). We can buy businesses. We already effect the world through music and creative vibe in pop culture. But we have to translate that into a core of sustained wealth amongst ourselves. We have to build an empire of black on black businesses to strengthen what the world respects, “money”. Then we can begin to connect with blacks throughout the world. The first thing we must do is forgive ourselves for being enslaved. We can move past the shame, hurt and hate. We must not forget, never. That is the purpose of BHM, Kwanzaa and our days such as MLK, Malcolm X day etc. Do you ever see a bitter black man/woman who blames everything on the white man? That time is over. It has to be! Saying this hurts me cuz I use to be that, but we should know our past. You have to get past that part of it. If you’re reading this I ask, “Are still effected by something that happened in your past (childhood)?” You have to face it and make peace with it. You can not let it define you, but strengthen you! It’s the same with a race of people.

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The love I have for our race cannot be expressed in words. It’s a driven hunger for knowledge and understanding for our past. I’ve dedicated the rest of my life to it. I’ve learned, reluctantly, from my mother and now I fully embrace our plight. I focus on our present and future, even if I don’t live to see the victory. You, like I, should be in the business of securing the future. You can see this by securing the future for your children. If you understand that, then you can understand the duty to your race as well. It is a fact that hate can not kill a race. Note the Native Americans. They’re still here as well. Their journey is longer and harder than our own. Be invested in the solution or will you go through life selfishly and only thinking of yourself and family in front of you? Another thing is that this is our home now! Engrave yourself in the American culture you helped build.

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The Test Of A Race:

Bringing to the real of our condition, it’s the test of our race that is the reality. The white man is not what we must overcome. They are just the perpetrators of our test. I have to say it even if you don’t believe it. God it the “orchestrator.” You were the foundation of human life and now you will be tested. Now you know and ow you can grow. Note when I speak of religion, I don’t single out or refer to any certain religion. I mean whatever you believe. The truth lives in all of them! We will continue to bring this topic into focus so stay with us! I don’t want to be a just blogger. I wish to build a legacy with words!

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We thank you so much for joining us and making us your go to for the fruits of African American life. The celebration of Black History Month is our “rejoice”, our celebration of survival. It’s a code of honor for all the black lives that were given to bring us to an era of “now we can.” You live in a time that you must celebrate. Imagine being born black in the 1800’s. No doubt, I would be hanging in some tree because I’m too rebellious to be openly controlled. Thank you, from the heart of Black Determination.

KJS
YoungBlackHistorian from the soul of the team of BlackAwarenessFoundation.com
Copyright 2017

BLACK HISTORY MONTH – DAY TWENTY SEVEN (DJ KOOL HERC, THE FATHER OF HIP HOP)


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Happy Black History Month to you and yours. We opened the month with the founder of Black History Month, Carter G. Woodson. As we come to the last two days of BHM, I had to focus on the “Father” of an art-form that has taken over pop-culture and become a multi-billion a year business that supports thousands of people of all races. This music is Hip Hop and we should know where and who it came from!

Social world “alert” to the living legend profile with love, respect and pride. The architect of today’s pop culture art form is so contagious that it pushes the final nail in the coffin of Rock and Roll. Pushed it to the back burner. It developed billionaire companies under the push of Hip Hop music. It afforded generations of opportunities and goals for millions of youths. It allowed them to dream, focus, study and appreciate history. It taught them to hone a craft and learn the proper construction of lyrics and beats. He, of course, was not the only innovative spirit. I must take time to acknowledge Grandmaster Flash’s innovative techniques on the turntables (the ones and twos). It gave new light to the profession of DJs. Then Flash joined with the group Furious Five, which were Melle Mell, Cowboy, Kid Creole, Mr. Ness (A.K.A. Scorpio) and Rahiem. They gave us “The Message”, “White Lines” and the song that became a calling card in music, “The Roof is on Fire”. The art flourished with creative input from Funky 4+1, Kurtis Blow, Grandmaster Caz, Afrika Bumbaataa, The Sugar Hill Gang, Spoonie Gee, Cold Crush Brothers, Treacherous Three, King T (not the 90’s King Tee), M.C. Lyte and many, many others. Then the next wave was Run D.M.C., Jam Master Jay (R.I.P.) and countless others.

We have a historical Hip Hop landmark. The soil of birth is 1520 Sedgwick Avenue. The 102 unit apartment building is a true rose in a concrete jungle. The building is located in the Morris Heights neighborhood in the Bronx, New York, the haven of Hip Hop. It’s where DJ Kool Herc reigned over block parties and park parties. He Djed over the community room house party and that sparked it all. DJ Herc is credited with helping jump start Hip Hop Rap music at a house concert at 1520 Sedgwick Avenue on August 11, 1973 in the recreation room. The first M.C. was Theodore Puccio. During a rally to save the building. DJ Kool Herc barked into the mic “1520 Sedgwick is the Bethlehem of Hip Hop culture”. On that day, Kool Herc was DJing for his sister Cindy’s back to school party in the Sedgwick building’s rec room. They sent out flyers and Cindy charged $.25 for females and $.50 for males. With two turntables, a mixer and two copies of the same record, Kool Herc unveiled the DJ technique while Theodore Puccio and Coke La Rock demonstrated another innovation called rapping. Others whom were present were Grandmaster Flash, Busy Bee, Afrika Bambaataa, Sheri Sher, Mean Gene, Red Alert and KRS-ONE.

Clive Campbell (DJ Kool Herc), the Father of Hip Hop was born April 19, 1955 in Kingston, Jamaica. His siblings numbered six. Clive was the first born to his parents Keith and Nettie Campbell. Early in life, Clive was inspired by people’s own versions of music like dance hall and a version of speech on the mic called toasting. They introduced and praised the artist during and at the end of their songs. He emigrated with his family at the age of 12 to The Bronx, New York.

From there, he created an art form that has inspired the world! Music breaks down race, age, gender and language barriers. Clive did just that to a wave of culture hungry youths. The lack of due wealth that he deserves alluded him, the father of the art. He should be without worry in America, but some are not honored properly until they are gone. This venom comes from the health scare he had in 2011 and his struggle to pay the medical bills. The Kool Herc fund was designed and became fruitful, but should he not enjoy the riches of his creation?

We built the music that moves the world! We’re the most creative race upon the earth. Have Pride in the creators you and we are. Thank you all so much.

-KJS
#YoungBlackHistorian
Copyright 2017

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BLACK HISTORY MONTH 2017 – DAY TWENTY SIX (SERENA WILLIAMS, G.O.A.T.)

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Happy Black History Month to you and yours. We have progressed in our powerful profiles, during BHM, to living legends. You can see the plight in real time. Serena Williams is most definitely the best female tennis player and it could be argued that she is the best athlete ever! She elevated from a little black girl in the ghettos of America to a world known female great in a sport lightly touched by African Americans. The path was blazed by Arthur Ashe (men’s) and Althea Gibson (women’s). Neither were as skilled and physically gifted as Williams. This is a game from kings and queens known first as the “Real Tennis 1789.”

To the Greatest Female Athlete of All Time, that’s no question that BlackAwarenessFoundation.com proudly and passionately presents:

Serena Jameka Williams was born September 26, 1981 in Saginaw, Michigan. She was raised in Compton, California and Florida. Williams means so much to the African American eperience, known as tge best American tennis player. I will reflect her rise from a little different angle, being a woman of so much attention. The emergence of the Williams sisters pushed a new era in “power” and “athleticism” in the women’s game of tennis. Serena has been voted “Sportsperson of the year” numerous times! She holds the most combined Majors in tennis history and the most single Majors ever in women’s tennis with 23 leads. Her story is known well so I hope I reach you with her and her sister Venus as they reshaped Tennis at its core. She is deep in today’s pop, culture having connections with Hip Hop, fashion and the spotlight of Hollywood. To us, she has connections with Common and Drake. She projects the powerful women that added to today’s culture and lifestyle in a social media age. We can see her effect in real time. I have to say without using exploitation in this time of respect and honor, that her body is cultural “lore” known to many black males as the perfect example of our envision of the female body. A child bearing African type and the image of Pop Culture today.

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1995, The Year of Change:

The Williams’ turned pro from a very highlighted amateur career. They turned pro for the WTP in a unfamiliar opportunity for blacks. The Williams sisters burst onto the game and was highlighted by Venus, not Serena, at the time. Their parents became famous as well. Richard Williams was the passion/fire and Oracene Price was their quiet rock. Serena is the youngest of five daughters in a blended family with Venus being her full sister. They worked on the game of tennis in the shadows of the ghetto of Compton, California and became local heroes in a world of Crips/Bloods and the uncertainty of poverty life. They ushered in an era of “power” (Serena) and “athleticism” (Venus). It overwhelmed the game of women’s tennis. A game based in basics and dantines. Serena’s forehand is considered the most powerful shot in the history of the game. Her style is aggressive and high risk. She chose, because of her body structure, to out muscle and intimidate which was more associated with other sports. They entered in 1995 and have now revolutionized the game with a new age style of play. They were faster and stronger and rose to be role models in the African American community. They are inspiration to little black girls.

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G.O.A.T. (greatest of all time):

Serena, with passion, will, strength and a competitiveness has the nature of Micheal Jordan, Jerry Rice and Floyd Mayweather. She pushed the skill of her craft to new athletic heights. The Williams sisters forced women’s tennis players to change the way they played and they are still adjusting! Serena excels in physical dominance. Her aim and goal was so far reaching. Just imagine if a Latin basketball player achieved the goal of becoming the best NBA player in the sport! It’s hard to envision huh.

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Hardship/Discrimination:

There are sone things about their climb that most media outlets overlooked. For BHM, we come from a little different angle. The change in an old world institution of tennis to a aggressive grunting power swinging black girl was met with resistance. The struggles of yesterday are alive today. They may be less or more subtle, but nevertheless, rooted in the same hate and discrimination based from the inventors of slavery (tennis is born in England). The sisters were met with ridicule and discrimination. Players shunned them while on tour and traveling country to country. Serena has fought and still speaks up for equal pay for “All” women, but focused on the inequality of equal pay in women’s tennis. The sport in which Serena carried. A sport with better ratings and a newfound expansion and popularity. She is now being toasted. There is no doubt that she is the greatest female tennis player in history. Please do not underestimate the struggle and progression her and her sister went through. Our paths to greatness have always been met with hatred. Make no mistake, we are still taking our rightful fair place in American society. I wish to bring you in touch with that despite the light of popularity she has. This is a plight we can see in real time, Serena’s career and life. It’s a reflection of our stance in the structure of American society. She means so much more to us than just a great athlete. Serena is, without question, the most elite female tennis player ever. Yet, she is also a symbol for African Americans as the “New Reflection”. Her titles are too numerous to list. It would take me 10 pages, but in summary, here it is; An 86 percent career win record, Ranked No. 1 longer than any tennis player in history (male or female). Won five gold medals in Olympic Games, 23 Single Majors is the open era record. She elevated a race in respect and notoriety as Jackie Robinson did to Americans’ mind set. She propels the “Yes, we can” projection.

Serena Williams the “Brand”:

Did you know that in 2009, Serena became minority owner of the NFL Miami Dolphins? As I said, she means more to our culture than just a tennis player, sex symbol or pop culture icon. She is a source of pride and strength for our race, directly to the core of little black girls. She has built a “Brand” that is known world wide. She co-wrote a book with her sister Venus titled “Venus/Serena: Serving from the hip; 10 Rules for living, loving and winning.” Serena, as a pop culture icon, has been in countless T.V. shows and movies. Marketing her name and body as the norm in America. She is a “brand” in tennis that has changed the sport. Her much overlooked Charity work has directly impacted us on a community level. In 2015, she linked with the Equal Justice Initiative that provides “paid” legal representation for those in need who have been denied fair tria

She is the greatest female athlete and maybe the best athlete ever. My money still goes to either Micheal Jordan or Barry Sanders, but for her to be the only female in that discussion is a major accomplishment and an historical feat.

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With Love, For The Love of Black History, I am a Product of Determination

KJS
#YoungBlackHistorian from the Team of the B.A.F.
Copyright2017

BLACK HISTORY MONTH – DAY TWENTY FIVE (BARACK OBAMA, 44TH BUT FIRST)


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Happy Black History Month to you and yours. He is the former president of the free world and the culmination of a long struggle known to the world and history as the Civil Rights Movement. Now whites and blacks are screaming to leave the ACA (Obama Care) in place. Less than a year ago, it was the worst thing ever! Trump ran on Repeal/Replace Obama care, but now we all see how hard that woula be. How amazing it was for Obama to introduce Universal Health Care for us. We are in the last days of February, Black History Month, in America. The last of our profiles have been dedicated to our living leaders. There could be no hope without the milestone accomplishments along the way. Many only see the pain of our struggle. Yet, the steady progression is a reality. Yes, there are some old Jim Crow attitudes and actions that still prevail in America. Black young lives are still devalued by whites and the American Justice system. The fact is we still have miles to go. But, we “MUST” acknowledge the major leaps forward in equality in almost every area in North American culture.

There is no position that represents America and represents power more than the highest seat in America, the Presidency of the Free World! The milestone of the toils of plantation life to the manifestation of an African American U.S. President, Barack Obama represents the culmination of 397 years of slavery. From the year 1619 in Jamestown, Virginia when 20 black slaves stepped on to American soil.

There have been major milestones in the journey of human decency by African Americans. Such as the amendments based on the life and protest of a race intended to be servants of a new country. Such as, Amendment 13 on February 1, 1865, Amendment 14 on June 6, 1866 and Amendment 15 on February 27, 1869. In order, these Amendments to the U.S. Constitution are as follows… Amendment 13 – Slavery prohibited, Amendment 14 – Citizenship defined privileges of U.S. citizens and Amendment 15 – Rights of citizens to vote. The Civil War was most pointedly the fate of slavery in America. The reconstruction era milestone, the Harlem Renaissance period milestone, Brown vs. The Board of Education milestone, the civil rights era milestone and the twentieth century black-nationalism milestone. Then there’s the world popularity with black music, sports and entertainment. We have the ears and eyes of the world’s major milestones, but all these are the culmination of the Seal of America’s Presidency!

Never let yourselves or any others devalue this unimaginable attainment of our race!

These are the tears of desperation of the slave in the fields crying out to the heavens of God! The slave girl whom watched her children being ripped from her clutching arms to be sold as goods to a far off Plantation, knowing she would never see them again. This is the man/woman whom walked in a land where they were spit on and belittled! It’s a family knowing their children were mere targets of any angered whites. These are the emotions of a black man, unable to protect or provide for his family. This is the dream of Benjamin Banneker. This is the voice of protest from Frederick Douglass and W.E.B Du Bois. This is validation of Nat Turner’s stand. This is the last mile for the NAACP, the last for Medgar Evers, Jessie Jackson, Malcolm X and Martin Luther King Jr.

Leader of the entire Free World! Blacks have been instrumental in America’s journey to the major super power of the Free World. We have taken the greatest throne in the world! The relief of the “Tears in the Trap” rooted in the hope for better. We’ve come to a great achievement. Lost a little on the newer generation, are the small personal racial discriminations our 60’s and 70’s brothers and sisters endured. Lost on “US” is the Presidency. Our generation thinks “It’s about time”. The past generation thinks “I can’t believe it”. When you saw the tears and overjoy of Jessie Jackson, Julian Bond, Rev. Al Sharpton and others, it was amazing. Thank you for the Civil Rights Movement – proof of the blood and lives lost in the process.

Let’s do the one-two on Mr. Obama!

Barack Hussein Obama II (August 4, 1961 – Current)

His death will surely become a new Black History Date. Obama was the 44th President of the United States and the FIRST African American to hold the office. He was born in Honolulu, Hawaii to his mother Stanley Ann Dunham. She is of English ancestry from Wichita, Kansas. His father is Barack Obama Sr., a Luo from Nyang’ oma Ko gelo, Kenya. His parents met at the University of Hawaii in Manoa. His father was a foreign exchange student, there on a scholarship. They divorced in 1964. Obama Sr. returned to Kenya and remarried. He only visited his son, Obama II once before his death in an automobile accident in 1982. Obama II was 21 years old.

Obama II said regarding his father, “That my father looked nothing like the people around me. My father black as pitch. My mother white as milk, barely registered in my mind”. He attended Columbia University and Harvard Law School. A move to Chicago, Illinois pushed him into a community organization working with low income Chicago residents’ developing projects. In 1996, Obama officially launched his own political career, winning the election to the Illinois State Senate.

It must be touched upon, the backbone of his life. His validation in urban black communities, the strength of Michelle LaVaugh Robinson who became the First Lady and the first African American to hold this position – MRS. OBAMA. They married in 1992 and have two daughters, Malia and Sasha Obama.

Obama was reelected in 1998 and again in 2002. He also ran, however unsuccessfully, in the 2000 Democratic primary for the U.S. House of Representatives seat. He did not let this destroy his dream of affecting change politically. At this time, the dream of presidency was not yet formulated!

His early stance against the President George W. Bush’s push for war with Iraq in 2002 set him up for his 52% victory for the vacant Senate seat and his legendary keynote speech at the 2004 Democratic National Convention in Boston, Massachusetts.

In February, 2007, Obama formally announced his candidacy for the Presidency of the United States. With a historic minority vote and youth drive, unprecedented voter turnout won the 2008 Presidential race and re-elected in 2012!

For the first time in American history, the election of the President had a deeper meaning to the policies and politics of the White House at that time. The critics of Obama are far and wide. The new criticism, I have expound on, is African American President hopeful, Republican Ben Carson. His remarks that President Obama is not connected to the majority of blacks, that he is coming from a mostly suburban existence bears no reflection on Obama’s blackness. In the path of our past, many of our leaders came from privileged existences. Benjamin Banneker, W.E.B Du Bois and Martin Luther King Jr. have all come from different backgrounds. What bonds us is the need for an all-encompassing unity to improve our condition.

What this Presidency meant to our World Wide pride is the culmination of our long fought struggle. It pushes us to the fore front of our greater duty to blacks World Wide!

Love your race!

A Product of Determination
#youngblackhistorianinthepopculture
-KJS
Copyright 2017

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BLACK HISTORY MONTH 2017 DAY – TWENTY FOUR (JAMES MEREDITH, ACTIONS OVER WORDS)

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Happy Black History Month to you and yours. Have you ever heard of James Meredith? He is still alive as are many people we have profiled. There’s still not as many as there should be! Meredith made such an impact on American history and the Civil Rights Movement. I’ve added the words “Action over Words” to the title of this post because Meredith was truly that action beyond words. In speeches alone or with many he stood up and at 83 years old today, he’s “still standing”. BlackAwarenessFoundation.com presents the living past:

James Howard Meredith was born in Kosciusko, Mississippi on June 25, 1933. He is a Civil Rights Movement figure, writer, political adviser and Air Force veteran. He is most worldly know for becoming the first African American student admitted to the segregated, racist University of Mississippi. Young Meredith was used to being called J-Boy by his family and friends, growing up in Mississippi under Jim Crow laws of the 30’s- 40’s. Meredith’s heritage is African and Native American. He is of the Choctaw Tribe. He has built a pride and self-reliance. After being effected by segregated local schools and the community of Mississippi in the late 30’s, Meredith joined the Air Force to find his worth. Because Benjamin O. Davis was one of his heroes, he however didn’t like the racism and structure of the military. Still, he served well and was a veteran honorable.

After hearing that the then President, John F. Kennedy Jr.’s inaugural address, Meredith wanted to test the president’s administration to see if they would enforce civil rights and deal with the segregation of schools and Universities. In 1961, Meredith applied to the University of Mississippi. He insisted on his civil rights, right now! Then he sought to attend a state college funded by the federal government. They only allowed white students while they gained and applied for the federal money. Meredith wrote this in his first application for admission…

“Nobody handpicked me… I believe, and believe now, that I have a Divine Responsibility… I am familiar with the probable difficulties involved in such a move as I am undertaking and I am fully prepared to pursue it all the way to a degree from the University of Mississippi.” Meredith was denied twice, but his “actions” got the attention of the great Medgar Evers (R.I.P.) who was the head of the NAACP at the time. Evers told him his fight was the fight of our race and not to give up. Later that year, the legal team of the NAACP filed lawsuit to the District Court of Mississippi with the world and president Kennedy watching. The court ruled in favor of Meredith, giving the NAACP one of its greatest victories. However, it came with resistance. Mississippi’s governor, Ross Barnett, vowed that “no school will be integrated while I am governor”. The governor denied admission and Robert Kennedy, brother of the president and acting as the U.S. Attorney General, called Barnett and threatened a charge of civil contempt and a fine of $5,000.00.

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Ole Miss Riot of 1962:

This was a direct result of Meredith’s push for admission. As he was to enroll, riots broke out. When the governor pulled back, the police and whites rioted and resulted in three deaths that day! The next day, Kennedy ordered the National Guard to take control. On Oct. 1, 1962, Meredith walked on campus and became the First African American student at the University of Mississippi. Cleve McDowell was the second black student admitted and became his roommate. Meredith earned a Law degree at the University.

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1966 March Against Fear:

Meredith is best known for becoming the first African American to be admitted to the University of Mississippi. His victory fueled the Civil Rights Movement. I wrote in the opening, “Action over Words.” To me and many, Meredith’s greatest act of courage to our cultural history was his plan to stage a 220 mile “solo” march from Memphis, through Tennessee, to Jackson, Mississippi, known as the most racist place in America at that time. He named it the March without Fear. His main goal was to bring attention to the passage of the 1965 Voting Rights Act which had been signed, but not yet passed. He said, “Please no civil rights organization join me. This walk is for the common man and to prove a man without fear of a country he fought for!” True to the hate and racism in America, Meredith was shot on his second day. He was hospitalized and while he recovered, African Americans organized and finished his march. Civil rights organizations came, despite his wishes. Meredith rejoined the march which grew to 15,000 and registered 4,000 voters.

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He is revered in circles of the Civil Rights Movement. Today he is 83 years old and still embodies “actions over words”. He is still enjoying honors as well. In 2002 and 2012, The University of Mississippi led events to mark his 40th and 50th anniversaries of Meredith’s integration. He received the high honor by the Harvard University, the “Medal of Education Impact.”

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James Howard Meredith, today, is a living legend. “FootPrints” of the past in today’s time. He is the true reason we do these Black History Month profiles! We honor the courage and actions of the man. From the bloodlines of Black Pride, I come.

#YoungBlackHistorian and BlackAwarenessFoundation.com
Copyright 2017
-Mr. KJS.

BLACK HISTORY MONTH 2017 – DAY TWENTY THREE (STEPHANIE ST. CLAIR, MADAME QUEEN OF HARLEM)

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Happy Black History Month to you and yours. Unlike any of the powerful profiles of BHM, we will focus on an individual that was not “all law abiding” and also not a male! We, at BlackAwarenessFoundation.com, do not condone lawlessness, but me, as a product of American ghetto life, have a certain respect for the underground life. We needed it as much as the political, revolutionary or constitutional fights were. This was out of necessity and greed, a greed every race suffers from. Crime has elevated other races throughout American history. Such as Joe Kennedy Sr., the leader of the Kennedy Political Clan (father of John Kennedy to frame your mind). B
He built the Kennedy empire off of “bootlegging” moonshine. The Madame Queen was more to her community than a criminal. She was an important part of the fabric of Harlem, in its boom era, that built a Mecca for African Americans. She was a part of the Harlem Renaissance just like Philip A. Payton jr., Mary “Pigfeet” Dean, Langston Hughes, Allain Locke and Zora Neale Hurston. So, in spite of her known fame, BlackAwarenessFoundation.com “still” Proudly presents:

Stephanie Saint Clair (Madame Queen of Harlem) lived from 1886 to 1969 on the Martinique island (East Caribbean). She had a hard accent that she never lost, but told everyone she was European from France. Why? Because she didn’t want people to know her horrific past. She ran an illegal empire of betting called “Numbers”. Some of you grew up with it a part of your culture as I did. Some have never heard of it, but know the federally ran lotto etc. This was born from the ghetto game. Also not reported was that she was a life long activist for the black race and was supported strongly in her Harlem community. She came to New York in 1912, but before that her early life was so tragic it stirs the soul. She had to overcome being a young poor black girl in the poverty life of the Caribbean’s in the early 1900’s. She became ill as a young girl and she missed almost two years of school, which added to her inability to read and write. She went to work as a babysitter to a rich white family. As a young teen, she was raped repeatedly by a white boy of the rich family. How important it was to read and write then and now! In 1912, she remarkably saved enough money to voyage to America and amazingly learned english on her way here. As the number racket queen to be, she will be remembered as a criminal in American history. She was much more than that. While using illegal business to help secure Harlem at its underground level in the years after prohibition era, she fought hard and won against the Italian Mafia and their attempt to take over black Harlem. It’s a war touched on very little. Is this because the blacks won? She was a hero in the Harlem community and was respected just as the many famed writers, actors, jazz/big band musicians, and club owners of Booming Harlem were. Madame Queen ran the underworld and prevented white hands and the mafia/corrupt police to control their riches in the roaring 20’s. Thid was right before the “Great Depression” gripped all of America. She also found and cultivated Ellsworth “Bumpy” Johnson who, in his own right, is a legend in Harlem history. Johnson gave rise to Frank Lucus. I’m digging too deep, but there are two sides of our American history and we needed it as they tried to control all parts of African American life.

Harlem USA:

Her introduction to the fast life of the Harlem underworld was painful for her. It was a hard lesson. She met a small time hustler Duke and soon St. Clair was asked, at dinner, to prostitute for Duke. Her response was a dinner fork to the eye. She ran for her life and ran from New York on a bus back to a shipping port to go back home. However, the bus was hijacked by the Ku Klux klan. Male passengers were hanged, beat to death and some burned alive in front of her and the black female passengers. St. Clair was repeatedly raped along with the other woman all night long on the bus. At that moment, she said under a smelly white man, she vowed to never be a victim again! At that moment, she became the Madame Queen and returned to Harlem N.Y.

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Madame Queen and Bumpy Johnson

Madame Queen:

Above is a rare image of St.Clair and Bumpy Johnson. After small time hustling, she saved once again. This time it was $30,000.00. From 1913-l to 1917 with her partner in crime and lover Ed, she saw the assets that these numbers provided. It was profit from the unorganized numbers game. She went into business for her self. Her first act was to shake a short sighted Ed. She told him of her plans without him and he responded by trying to rob Madame Queen. Her rage was so built up that she pushed Ed so hard that he cracked his head against the wall and died. Around that time, she met a young Ellsworth Johnson.

Numbers Game:

The numbers was a African American invention. It was an illegal gambling system that let working blacks dream of that big payday, tax free! The system used street number runners that took a three digit number by the black population in the community (like 515). The number was based on horse track races and were announced after the last race of the day. It was a huge business on the east coast. The Number “Ghetto” Game gave rise to the lotto and all the legal gambling you see today. Madame Queen ran this business and built it on a lucrative enterprise. So much so that the mafia sought to use it. She paid off the Harlem police and cultivated the existing state of police corruption in Harlem.

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Activism:

Madame Queen used to put out adds in Harlem newspapers, educating residents about rights, pushing voting and made people register to work or do business with her. She was so loud that she was arrested and spent eight months in a workcamp. It did not break her though. Upon her release, she was contacted to testify on police corruption at the Seabury Commission hearings. Twenty cops were jailed which gave her fear from the Harlem police Department.

Mafia-War:

The time was after prohibition. The mafia was looking to recoup all that lost illegal money that the “Harlem Numbers” lost them. This was the answer for Dutch Schultz (possibly the most violent mafia member ever). He took Harlem by storm and the Italians were happy to be rid of the wildcard. Every number runner gave into Schultz except Madame Queen. At that time, “Bumpy Johnson” became her groomed enforcer. He went toe-to-toe with Schultz for five years in a bloody turf war. He organized Harlem and won! The queen fell to the background as “Bumpy” took his rightful place and rose to be the King of Harlem underground.

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Queen sets down the crown:

She welcomed “Bumpy” who cannot be overstated. His reign in Harlem was fierce! St.Clair retired from the number game when it became a dying business that Bumpy turned to drugs. She pushed political reform and met and married Sufi-Abdul-Hamad AKA “Black Hitler”. He strongly opposed the Jewish take over of N.Y. However, again Hamad tried to rob her of her reported millions and met the same fate. He was shot and killed. She was imprisoned for 10 years in N.Y. State (Belford) for the crime. In 1969, upon her release at age 82, it was the last year of her life. Bumpy came to live with her and they wrote poetry. She died quietly as a wealthy woman and never again became a victim.

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Author Brian Jackson wrote “The Queen of Harlem” and many movies were made about her. Most noted was Hoodlum, in which the great Cicely Tyson played her in 1997. Laurence Fishburne played Ellsworth “Bumpy” Johnson.

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She was Harlem’s fearless and used violence for justice! We support her love and duty to the Harlem community.

Truly Yours, KJS
#YoungBlackHistorian
Copyright 2017

BLACK HISTORY MONTH 2017 – DAY TWENTY TWO (DR. CORNEL WEST, THE BLACK MIND)


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Happy Black History Month to you and yours. Intelligence rules these people’s profile. Yes, we need activists. We’ve needed warriors. We’ve needed the loving black woman. We also need the black mind. Dr. West is a shining example. African American progression lives in Cornel West. In him, rests the ideas, beliefs and practices of our restless past. Martin Luther King Jr., Malcolm X and W.E.B Du Bois influenced and, in some cases, shaped Dr. West.

The intellect and the positive progression live on in a leader like West. The passion for his race translates into the students he gives realistic education to. It gives credibility to the new age social struggle that is unique to the black nation in the times of technology. He is a prominent member of the Democratic Socialists of America. He’s in the area of pop culture, steering us to the lessons of the past and a direct plan for the future. He’s been on such t.v. shows as The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, Real Time with Bill Mahr, CNN, C-SPAN, MSNBC, Fox News and PBS with hardline media commentary. Have you ever heard West speak? His cadence of delivery with an air of “I KNOW”, “YOU KNOW” when he’s speaking to the same conservative followers whom still see us as “chattle” is remarkable. His points are backed with the pride of the black nation in America.

West firmly stands on these two principles, if nothing else, 1. Race matters! 2. Democracy matters! Now, let’s get to the factual one-two on this black leader…

Cornel Ronald West (June 2, 1953 – Current)

He was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma and raised in Sacramento, California by his mother Irene “Bias”, a teacher/principle and his father, Clifton Louis West Jr., a general contractor for the Defense Department. The Irene B Elementary School in Elk Grove, California is named after his mother.

So, pride was a luxury that young West was afforded early. His early life was as a demonstrator in the civil rights protest, demanding black course studies at his high school. He later wrote that he admired “The sincere militancy of Malcolm X, the defiant rage of the Black Panther Party and the livid black theology of James Cone”. In 1970, West graduated high school and enrolled in Harvard University where he took course classes from the likes of Robert Nozick and Stanley Cavell. Young West achieved Magna Cum Laude. While in Harvard, he was noted for his political ideas and connected the Black Panther Party agenda to real incorporation into society.

However, his love and respect for the Black Panther Party was less than his religious devotion. Christianity and the vision of his path prevented him from ever officially joining the Black Panther Party. We must speak on his bold firmness in his Christian beliefs. West is rooted in the African American Church system. However, in his many speeches across the country, he asks for no favoritism for religion. The words prophetic and prophecy have appeared often in his works. He is also an author who analyzes issues of race, class and justice. His best known works are “Race Matters”, a collection of essays released exactly one year after the Rodney King tragedy.

As a political activist, he never hesitated in demonstrations that supported the cause of racial political justice. He has even touched on such subjects as black-Jewish relations, the renewed popularity of Malcolm X and, of course, the personal nature of his adopted home state and the significance of the L.A. riots.

West has one foot in the black struggle and one foot in the social higher classes of America. This was a balance that cost him some of his social ties in 2001. The new Harvard University President, Lawrence Summers reportedly admonished West for devoting too much time to political activity and affirmative action programs and not enough to his duties as a Harvard Professor and educator. Summers’ critics were joined by supporters and detractors of West, inside and outside of Harvard. Eventually, West resigned his position.

He is a living legend with more than 20 honorary degrees and has written over 20 published books. West is a long time member of the Democratic Socialists of America. He is an honorary chairman, Co-founder of the Network of Spiritual Progressives and an Advisory Board member of the International Bridges to Justice!

His recognition and awards are too many to name. It’s a true contribution to us now! It’s his intelligent face and words constructed to advance our causes. He is a tangible leader who is represented in the society of white America. He is a strong supporter of Bernie Sanders and shuns the Clinton campaign. He is helping shape the new direction of black America. A leader without the flaws and demons that the media has exposed (See Marion Berry). In the elite circles of black life, he is revered in the influence of the ages of Oprah Winfrey and her woman heroism. There is a connection to the pop culture of urban Americans and the Political lively hood of his contemporaries. He rests in the rare position of balance in every area of the newer black culture.

How prideful and fulfilled he must have been in 2008 with the newly elected President Barack Obama! Some say “Where is our black leadership?” I say “Where are you looking?”

Please visit his official website. The mind and the pen will outlast the blood of our fighters. Balance is the major key. I love ya’ll more than I love myself. I would give anything for the safety of the black grandchild that has not yet been born.

#YoungBlackHistorian
#TheSiteWithInsight
– KJS

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BLACK HISTORY MONTH 2017 – DAY TWENTY ONE (THE LYNCHING MURDER OF MACK CHARLES PARKER)

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Happy Black History Month to you and yours. Our history in America has footprints of blood. The transition from “slavery to society” was painful and life sacrificing. Many black lives were lost that you and I will never know. White stubborn anger was aimed at black free life. Its not a huge jump for us to understand now the attitude of the not so distant past. You can see the change in white attitudes since Trump took office. In the past, the 1930’s to 70’s, whites used to have total control, resisted change and made life for “all” minorities hard in America. They still need to feel superior to a race and they were used to controlling black life. It has traveled down generations and that transition was filled with assault, intimidation, hate, discrimination and murder. One of the last high profiled lynching cases was in the U.S. That galvanized the black community and shocked America. We travel back to 1959 and the injustice of justice with the lynching and murder of a young black life…………BlackAwarenessFoundation.com remembers Mack Parker.

Mack Charles Parker was born in 1936 and died April 24, 1959. He was an ex-military, young blackman kidnapped from jail. He was beaten, shot and lynched. Parker was born in Mississippi. His light was extinguished before he could reach his fullest.

The Case:

Young Parker was accused of the February 23, 1959 kidnap and rape of June Walters, a pregnant white woman in Pearl River County in Mississippi. Walters was waiting in a disabled car with her four year old daughter while her husband sought help of repairs. Parker and four friends were returning from “Slim’s”, a bar for blacks in the community of Poplarville. It was famed in the time for serving “white lighting moonshine.” They spotted what they thought an abandoned car. Parker and the others pulled over and got out with flashlights in hand on that dark night. Upon seeing Walters and her child, he quickly returned to their Chevy, knowing full well how Mississippi was in 1959! The police report states that Parker soon returned and, at gunpoint, kidnapped Walters and her four year child. He allegedly took them down a hill to Black Creek Ford Road and raped Walters in front of her screaming four year old. Afterwards, he got up and disappeared into the night.

Mississippi State Wide Man Hunt:

The Lumberton police shut down the town and went door to door. Parker was arrested by the make/color of the Chevy. He was arrested and beaten in front of his mother. It was said that his screams could be heard several houses away. No handgun was found.

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Parker vehemently denied the charges of kidnap and rape. The “real” that came out during trial and in detail, years later, was June Walters was covering up for an affair with a white man in town. In A Pearl River County Court room, Parker was represented by R. Jess Brown, a civil-rights activist/attorney. The case made National attention shocked America a blackman raping a pregnant white woman in front of a child! Blacks were opposed saying the cry of the 60’s movement started with the Parker trial. “No Justice…No Peace” The White world strengthened the myth of the “Savage BlackMan”. They plead not guilty.

The FBI report states that at 12:15 a.m. on April 25,1959, two months after his arrest, a vigilante mob of 8-10 hooded men “somehow” gained access to the jail house and no one was there except the keys to the cells! Prisoners tried to help, but were held back at gunpoint. Parker’s bloody hand prints were trying to hold on to the bars. He was beaten and dragged off to a waiting car and drove off into the night to “Parker’s hell.” The plan, later told by Jewell Alford, “who I pray gets a higher justice”, said “Our plan was to castrate Parker and hang him from the Pearl River Bridge.” Parker fought back when the car stopped and was shot twice in the chest. While dying, he was hung by a chain and tossed into the river.

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The embarrassment of a secure prisoner kidnapped from a police station brought 60 FBI agents to Poplarville the next day. The names came out through FBI questioning. They were Jewell Alford, Christopher “Crip” Reyer, L.C. Davis, “Preacher” Lee, his son James Lee, Herman Schultz, Arthur Smith and J.P. Walker. They were all members of the White Citizen’s Council (KKK). The Mississippi National Guard was brought in by the FBI. The Federal grand jury failed to even indict the men accused. The judge was said to have been angered by so many FBI agents and news over a black man. Over 30 reporters flocked to town to cover the trial that never was. A book came out by H. Smead called “Blood Justice”. In the book, its clear the author thought Parker was guilty. It did not represent the truth. The facts came out later that June Walters was having an affair with a local white man and word was getting out she hoped this would overshadow the rumors. “Blame The Blackman” was a tactic white women have used since slavery. The image of the white woman and a black man was the unspoken ultimate taboo. We knew it well. In 2009, the FBI announced that they reopened the Parker case.

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The horror of black life under constant threat was unlike what we feel today. The price of life was even less than what it is today and that is saying alot because we’re still dying today…. Rest In Peace Mack C. Parker…nuff said #YoungBlackHistorian KJS copyright 2017

BLACK HISTORY MONTH 2017 – DAY TWENTY (WILLIE O’REE , BLACK ICE)

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Happy Black History Month to you and yours. It’s day twenty already and I am thrilled to celebrate our history and heritage. We are the light wrapped in dark skin. We are the roots of human life. Now the branches and limbs tower over us and overshadow us. The fight and plight is in our destiny. Just as “might” and “birthright” are in our bones! We, at BlackAwarenessFoundation.com, present another “looked over” black contributor, another first color barrier breaker. Have you ever heard of Willie O’Ree? He was in the first black National Hockey League.

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Willie Eldon O’Ree: was born October 15, 1935 and still lives today in Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada. He is the “First Black Player.” In the NHL, his position on the ice was the “winger” for the Boston Bruins. He is referred to as the “Jackie Robinson” of Ice Hockey. Although Mr.O’Ree is a born Canadian, we are all African and all suffer the same discrimination. We may have, as a race, taken time to understand our brotherly world bond. Enemies of the black race have been ranking our status in the world. So we honor the first black ice hockey player, Mr. O’Ree.

Making O’Ree’s accomplishment even more remarkable, he is legally blinded in his right eye due to being hit there by an errant puck. O’Ree kept it a secret and made his NHL debut January 18, 1958 for the Boston Bruins. Do you think he went through what Jackie went through in being the first black man? He said “Racism is much worse in the U.S. than here in Canada.” He went on to say “Growing up black in Toronto and Montreal was less dangerous than in America. The worst I dealt with was remarks when I played in the U.S. ‘Go back to the South’ and the one he heard the most ‘How come you ain’t picking cotton boy?'” He said he needed to be more protective when he played in the U.S. in those early days. This was in the late 50’s and early 60’s.

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Black Ice:

In the minor leagues and while working his way up to the NHL, O’Ree won two scoring titles. The team he is most connected with is the San Diego Gulls. More than his game at the pro level was his contribution in life. Now, all NHL players are required to enroll in a preseason diversity training seminar. Also any verbal abuse, racially, on the ice is punished by fines and suspensions. His will and determination has paved the way to 23 black players introduced to the NHL. To keep with the facts (cuz words matter), as we do at the B.A.F. you should know that Art Dorrington was the first black player to sign an NHL contract in 1950, but never played a game in the NHL.

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O’Ree is more to the NHL, than the first black player. He is the dignity driven, pride filled man who earned the respect of a “sport” and the legends and powers of the NHL. O’Ree now lives in sunny Berkeley, California. He is an icon of hockey. On April 7, 2010 O’Ree received the “Order of Canada”. It’s the highest civilian award for a Canadian citizen. Many African American hockey players from around the world have said Willie O’Ree was their inspiration to play pro hockey.

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The fight against injustice, discrimination and just pure racism is often a silent personal struggle until you knock down the door, but know that he wont walk through that door alone. The door Willie O’Ree opened is still serving and feeding the black cause!

I am #YoungBlackHistorian from the #SiteWithInsight
I will keep bringing the real in our history and culture.
Copyright 2017.

BLACK HISTORY MONTH 2017 – DAY NINETEEN (BENJAMIN O. DAVIS JR., THE GENERAL)

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Happy Black History Month to you and yours. I used to, like many young black youth, have no respect or love for the U.S. military. I considered it selling out. Why would you fight for a country that won’t stand up for us in America? However, a chance to fight for freedom and a chance to do something to secure our freedoms in America was their stance in wars of the past, mainly the Civil War. In my intense study of black history, the military has offered us some of our first steps to freedom, self reliance, equality and money! It was the money earned from the Civil War that paved the way to black communities in America. The most noteable was the Harlem Renaissance. It gave many ex-slaves the roots of family and foundation. The military man/woman also gave blacks pride and respect in america.

Today we give love to perhaps the most famed and loved Black military soldier, “Our General”. BlackAwarenessFoundation.com presents:

Benjamin Oliver Davis Jr. was born in 1912 and died in 2002. He was an American United States Air Force Officer and is best remembered as the commander of the World War Two Tuskegee Airmen! He was first African American General officer in the United States Air Force. On December 9, 1998 President Bill Clinton advanced Davis to the rank of four-star General.

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Davis was Commander of the famed 99th Fighter Squadron and the 332nd Fighter Group. He was also a pilot and flew over sixty missions. Many of those were combat missions. The Davis family used the military to uplift their condition. Davis Sr. broke the color barrier. Mr. Benjamin O. Davis Sr. was the first African American General in the U.S. Army. Davis Jr. Was born in Washington D.C. as the second of three children. To say these children grew up in a military lifestyle would be an understatement. It was made harder still due to his mother’s death. Elnora Dickerson Davis died of complications from childbirth while trying to deliver her fourth child in 1916. Both mother and child died. Becoming an officer and being proud children of a high ranking military father led all the children to become military themselves. Davis’s first love was flying and being a pilot in a time when there were no black combat pilots. He also became the only one in the family that did not join the Army. Instead, he went to the Air Force. In 1942, he became the first officer to get his wings from Tuskegee Air Field. Racism did not miss young Davis. While at Air Academy School (four years), Davis was racially isolated by his white classmates. Their plan was “The silent treatment” to force him to drop out. He ate alone and had no roommate. This only made him more focused and determined.

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He graduated in 1936 ad the 35th in a class of 276. The first African American to graduate was Mr. Henry Ossian Flipper (1877). Davis became the fourth. He was assigned to the all black 24th Infantry Regiment (original Buffalo Soldier Regiments) at Ft. Benning, Georgia. Blacks were banned from the officer’s club. In 1941, President Roosevelt, under public pressure to involve blacks in the war, ordered the War Department to create an all black flying unit. In 1942, the Tuskegee Airmen began and Davis was the Commander. The victories of the Tuskegee Airmen could not be ignored and brought attention and reward to Davis. In 1948, President Truman signed Executive Order 9981 ordering racial integration of all armed forces. The then Colonel Davis helped draft the order. The Air Force was the first service to fully integrate.

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In war, the Tuskegee Airmen or as they were know by the enemy and U.S. soldiers, “The black pilots” were feared by the enemies and respected by white American soldiers. Tuskegee gained the U.S. military something greater than racism which was positive attention and respect beyond color! Davis’s decorations and honors are too many to name. He is one of the most decorated African American soldier! Some are Distinguished Flying Cross Air Medal, Rank of four-star General and Air Force Service Medal. In 2002 Davis was listed as one of the 100 Greatest African Americans.

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Both Davis and his long time wife, Agatha Davis, died in 2002. She died in early 2002 from Alzheimer’s disease at age 89. Davis died later in 2002 and was buried at Arlington National Cemetery. The legacy of General Davis and the American military go hand and hand. He gave black pilots the pride and poise to become heroes, role models and honorary members of black history. Davis was a true leader and overcame hate to become great. We salute the life of General Benjamin O. Davis Jr.

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We are so versatile as a race and creative as a people. No other race will ever dim our light! We help make America great and these are the roots of Black History Month!
#YoungBlackHistorian from the team of #TheSiteWithInsight
-KJS
Copyright 2017