Oct 12, 1932 – August 19, 2017
My First Hero
In my youth, I was consciously aware of the Black and white divide by living in a predominately white middle to low-income neighborhood. Have I been called a “nigger” in this environment? Yes. I have two distinct memories as a child under the age of 8 years old being called “nigger” by little chubby white girl with red hair, Susie. And by the way, she was the same age as me. Just saying!
Moving forward to the civil rights movement, I was a young teenager who didn’t really believe in turning the other cheek but I wasn’t for violence meeting with more violence. My eyes were opened to the country I lived in by Dick Gregory. His cowboy analogy, I cleaned house by. “When mother America forgets ….”, “ … the cowboy always needs an Indian” and “… history repeats itself and 4 lay dead…” Awesome man, comedian, and activist.
Joseph Cinque aka Sengbe Pieh
June 28, 1839
Joseph Cinqué (c. 1814 – c. 1879) formerly known as Sengbe Pieh, from West Africa – Sierra Leone was captured and enslaved with others illegally by slave traders in 1839. At the time of his capture, Joseph had a wife and 3 children.
Cinque was sold to a Portuguese slave trader who sold him in Cuba to 2 Spaniards. The 2 Spaniards had plan to sell Cinque and 110 others to sugar plantations in Cuba. Instead, Cinque lead a revolt on board the ship Amistad to force them to take them back to Sierra Leone. For two months, they were at sea and eventually the US coast guard boarded and charged the slaves with mutiny and murder.
Ciinque and the other slaves were tried and the decision was made in their favor. Later, the case was appealed to the Supreme Court and in March 1840, the Supreme Court ruled that the Africans mutinied to regain their freedom after being kidnapped and sold illegally.
One of my favorite groups!
May 3, 1933 – James Brown is born in Barnwell, South Carolina. The only child of a poor backwoods family, he will be sent, to Augusta, Georgia at age five, to live at an aunt’s brothel. He will evolve from a juvenile delinquent to become one of the most influential Rhythm & Blues singers, with a career that will span more than five decades and include the hits “I Got You,” “Cold Sweat,” “Living in America,” “Prisoner of Love,” “Sing It Loud, I’m Black and I’m Proud.” Incarcerated in 1988 for aggravated assault, Brown will be released in 1991 and return to the recording scene, where he will continue to influence a new generation of artists including M.C. Hammer, Prince, and many others. He will be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on January 23, 1986 and on February 25, 1992, will receive a Lifetime Achievement Award at the 34th annual Grammy Awards. He will join the ancestors on December 25, 2006.
Here is treat: James Brown on the Ed Sullivan Show… for those who know
McKinley Morganfield was born, April 4, 1915, in a small town in Issaquena County, Mississippi. This is the smallest populous county east of the Mississippi River with census count as of 2010 at 1,406 people. He grew up on the Stovall Plantation sharecropping. Morganfield got his nickname “Muddy Waters” from playing in the mud puddles by the Mississippi River. He started with the harmonica at 5 years. By the time he was 17 years old he was playing the harmonica and guitar.
In1941 Morganfield was discovered by Alan Lomax and another music archivist from the Library of Congress, traveling the back roads of Mississippi looking for the legendary Robert Johnson. They recorded two of Morganfield’s songs and lit a fire in the ambitious young man. He will leave Mississippi for Chicago two years later to become a blues singer better known as “Muddy Waters.” He will join the ancestors on April 30, 1983 in Chicago,
Special Thanks: Munirah Chronicle