Today in Black History – October 15

1877 - Jackson College in Jackson, Mississippi is established.

1883 - The U.S. Supreme Court declares that The Civil Rights Act
	of 1875 is unconstitutional. The Civil Rights Act of 
	1875 stated that "All persons within the jurisdiction of
	the United States shall be entitled to the full and 
	equal enjoyment of the accommodations, advantages, 
	facilities, and privileges of inns, public conveyances
	on land or water, theaters, and other places of public 
	amusement; subject only to the conditions and 
	limitations established by law and applicable alike to 
	citizens of every race and color, regardless of any 
	previous condition of servitude."

1890 - Savannah State College in Savannah, Georgia is 
	established.

1890 - The Alabama Penny Savings Bank is founded in Birmingham,
	Alabama by Reverend William Reuben Pettiford with $2,000 
	in capital. Although, so strapped for funds in its initial 
	months that its officers will not draw salaries, the bank 
	will prosper so well that during the panic of 1893, it will 
	remain open when larger, white banks in Birmingham fail.  

1917 - The first significant group of African American officers 
	is commissioned by the U.S. Army.

1949 - William Hastie is nominated for the U.S. Circuit Court 
	of Appeals. He will be the first African American to 
	sit on the court.

1953 - Toriano Adaryll Jackson is born in Gary, Indiana.  He 
	will become a singer and member of The Jackson Five 
	known as Tito.

1957 - The Sickle Cell Disease Research Foundation opens in Los
	Angeles, California. It is the forerunner to a national
	association and over 50 local chapters dedicated to 
	providing education, screening, counseling, and research
	in the genetic disease that affects over 50,000 
	individuals, mostly African Americans.

1964 - Bob Hayes wins a gold medal for the 100-meter dash in the
	1964 Olympic Games in Tokyo with a time of ten seconds, 
	equaling the world record. 

1968 - Wyomia Tyus becomes the first person to win a gold medal 
	in the 100-meter race in consecutive Olympic games. 

1969 - Abdi Rashid Ali Shermarke, President of Somalia, is 
	assassinated.

1974 - The National Guard is mobilized to restore order in the 
	Boston school busing crisis.

1989 - South African officials release eight prominent political 
	prisoners, including Walter Sisulu, a leader of the 
	African National Congress. 

1991 - Judge Clarence Thomas is confirmed as the 106th associate
	justice of the United States Supreme Court, despite 
	sexual harassment allegations by Anita Hill, with a 
	Senate vote of 52-48.  He becomes the second African 
	American to sit on the Supreme Court.

1993 - African National Congress leader Nelson Mandela and South
	African President F.W. de Klerk are awarded the Nobel 
	Peace Prize for their work to end apartheid and laying 
	the foundations for a democratic South Africa.

1994 - Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide returns to his 
	country, three years after being overthrown by army 
	rulers. The U.N. Security Council welcomes Aristide's 
	return by voting to lift stifling trade sanctions 
	imposed against Haiti. 

2005 - The Million More Movement convenes on the National Mall 
	in Washington, DC.  In addition to celebrating the 10th
	anniversary of the Million Man March, there is a call 
	for an end to the war in Iraq, and pointed criticism of
	the federal response to Hurricane Katrina.

Today in Black History – October 11

1864 – Slavery is abolished in Maryland.

1865 – Jamaican national hero, Paul Bogle leads a successful
protest march to the Morant Bay Courthouse. Poverty and
injustice in Jamaican society and lack of public
confidence in the central authority had urged Paul Bogle
to lead the march. A violent confrontation with official
forces will follow the march, resulting in the death of
nearly 500 people. Many others will be flogged and
punished before order is restored. Paul Bogle will be
captured and hanged on October 24, 1865. His forceful
demonstration will pave the way for the establishment of
just practices in the courts and bring about a change in
official attitude, making possible the social and economic
betterment of the Jamaican people.

1882 – Robert Nathaniel Dett, is born in Ontario, Canada. He will
become an acclaimed concert pianist, composer, arranger,
and choral conductor. He will receive his musical
education at the Oliver Willis Halstead Conservatory in
Lockport, NY, Oberlin College (BM, 1908, composition and
piano), and the Eastman School of Music (MM, 1938). He
will become President of the National Association of Negro
Musicians from 1924-1926. His teaching tenures will
include Lane College in Tennessee, Lincoln Institute in
Missouri, Bennett College in North Carolina, and Hampton
Institute in Virginia. It will be at Hampton Institute
that he develops the choral ensembles which will receive
international acclaim and recognition. He will join the
ancestors on October 2, 1943, in Battle Creek, Michigan,
after succumbing to congestive heart failure.

1887 – A. Miles registers a patent on an elevator.

1919 – Arthur “Art” Blakey is born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Blakey, a jazz drummer credited as one of the creators of
bebop, will be best known as the founder of the Jazz
Messengers. The band will become a proving ground for some
of the best modern jazz musicians, including Horace Silver,
Hank Mobely, Freddie Hubbard, Wayne Shorter, Sonny Rollins,
Wynton Marsalis, and Branford Marsalis. He will join the
ancestors on October 16, 1990.

1939 – Coleman Hawkins records his famous “Body and Soul” in New
York City.

1939 – The NAACP organizes the Education and Legal Defense Fund.

1972 – A major prison uprising occurs at the Washington, DC jail.

1976 – The United Nations Day of Solidarity with South Africa is
declared by the membership of the United Nations. A
special day of solidarity is observed with the numerous
political prisoners who are being held in South Africa.

1980 – Billie Thomas joins the ancestors after a heart attack in
Los Angeles, California at the age of 49. He was an actor,
most notable as the third child to portray Buckwheat in
the Our Gang comedies, a role he played in some 80
episodes of the popular film series.

1985 – President Reagan bans the importation of South African gold
coins known as Krugerrands.

1991 – Redd Foxx (John Elroy Sanford), comedian (Sanford & Sons,
Harlem Nights), joins the ancestors at the age of 68.

1994 – U.S. troops in Haiti take over the National Palace.

Being 100

This is one of my favorite Bloggers. And this post is of such a serious nature, I have to re-post it on my blog.  I’m feeling the brotha and if I could do something about his plight and concerns I would.  My point of view on this is that every America should have access to health coverage.  I have heard too many horror stories about someone having to pay $8,000.00 before they will start treatment for cancer.  That’s BULLSHIT!

My Mom Is Dying Of Fucking Cancer, And You Want To Shut Down The Fucking Government? Fuck You

47744_634070356626146_1856762945_n

My mom was named after Vivien Leigh. She started her freshman year at Carnegie Mellon University at 16. She likes Steely Dan, Jill Scott, and Marvin Gaye, but her favorite musician is Ivan Lins. She had a fro in the 70s, and a jeri curl in the 80s. She met her husband (my dad) on a blind date. She makes the best French toast I’ve ever had. She wants to be Tina Turner when she grows up.

My mom has lung cancer. This cancer is terminal. She was diagnosed a year ago. The initial prognosis gave her four to six months, but a couple rounds of chemotherapy, an avalanche of love and support from friends and family, and her own zest for life has allowed her to outpace it. She is, in every sense of the word, a cancer survivor.

My mom’s cancer has metastasized. Her tumors have spread, and there is nothing the doctors can do about that. Her treatment is now directed towards helping her deal with the pain so she can be (relatively) comfortable. This is called “managing symptoms.” She is home, but under hospice care. A nurse comes a few days a week. As does a chaplain. Friends and family come often. I’m there four or five days a week. My sister catches two buses after work to come some days. My dad is always there.

My mom has good days and bad days. On good days she’s able to walk around, cook, water her plants, and even occasionally leave the house. Aside from her weight and hair loss, on good days my mom seems, for lack of a better term, healthy. She even went to church two weekends in a row. On bad days, pain flares up her legs and back, and she is very limited in movement and activity. She needs assistance walking, sitting down, standing, showering, and getting dressed. When this occurs, she takes extra doses of her pain medication. This helps with her pain, but it affects her lucidity.

My mom has more good days than bad days right now. She had a bad day yesterday. Hopefully she’ll have a good one today.

My mom hasn’t been able to work in over a year. She worked as an insurance adjuster for Walgreens before she got sick. Walgreens extended her health benefits for a year. That year recently ended. She applied for an extension. The status of that application is pending. We are confident she’ll receive it.

My mom, a real person living a real life and experiencing real pain, is who I think of when reading and/or watching news about our government shutting down because of one party’s opposition to the president’s universal health care plan. I know how expensive her medication is. Without the aid of insurance, most families—mine included—would not be able to afford it. I also know there are thousands of real people out there—mothers, fathers, daughters, sons—who are experiencing the same type of very real pain, but are uninsured and unable to manage their symptoms. These people do not have many good days.

I will not pretend that I know all of the particulars of the Republican party’s opposition to the Affordable Care Act. It sounds and feels like they’re just opposed to anything President Obama plans to do, but I do not know. I am neither a policy wonk nor a politician. I was in Washington, D.C. last weekend, but I am not an insider. I am, however, a son. A son who has been able to spend some good and some bad days with his mom this year. A son who knows that his mom’s quality of life is directly correlated to how well we’re able to manage her symptoms. A son who wishes to say one thing to those intent on denying American citizens an assurance that our terminally ill loved ones will be able to afford to manage their symptoms as well:

Fuck you.

—Damon Young (aka “The Champ”)

Today in Black History 10/9

Today in Black History - October 9             *

1823 - Mary Ann Shadd (later Cary) is born free in Wilmington, 
	Delaware, the eldest of thirteen children.  She will 
	become the publisher of Canada's first anti-slavery 
	newspaper, "The Provincial Freeman", devoted to displaced
	African Americans living in Canada. This also makes her 
	the first woman in North America to publish and edit a 
	newspaper.  She will then become a teacher, establishing 
	or teaching in schools for African Americans in 
	Wilmington, Delaware, West Chester, Pennsylvania, New 
	York, Morristown, New Jersey, and Canada. She will also
	be the first woman to speak at a national Negro 
	convention. In 1869, she will embark on her second 
	career, becoming the first woman to enter Howard 
	University's law school. She will become the first 
	African American woman to obtain a law degree and among 
	the first women in the United States to do so.  She will 
	join the ancestors in 1893.

1894 - Eugene Jacques Bullard is born in Columbus, Georgia.  

1906 - Leopold Senghor is born in Joal, Senegal, French West 
	Africa (now in Senegal).  He will become a poet and 
	president of Senegal from 1960 to 1980.  Senghor will 
	attempt to modernize Senegal's agriculture, instill a 
	sense of enlightened citizenship, combat corruption and 
	inefficiency, forge closer ties with his African 
	neighbors, and continue cooperation with the French. He 
	will advocate an African socialism based on African 
	realities, free of both atheism and excessive 
	materialism. He will seek an open, democratic, 
	humanistic socialism that shunned such slogans as 
	"dictatorship of the proletariat." A vigorous spokesman
	for the Third World, he will protest unfair terms of 
	trade that work to the disadvantage of the agricultural
	nations. In 1984, Senghor will be inducted into the 
	French Academy, becoming the first Black member in that 
	body's history. 

1929 - Ernest "Dutch" Morial is born in New Orleans, Louisiana.
	He will become the first African American mayor of New 
	Orleans in 1978 and be re-elected in 1982.

1940 - The White House releases a statement which says that 
	government "policy is not to intermingle colored and 
	white enlisted personnel in the same regimental 
	organizations."	

1959 - Mike Singletary is born in Houston, Texas.  He will 
	become a second-round draft pick for the Chicago Bears 
	in 1981.  He will be the first or second leading tackler
	for each of his eleven seasons. Over his career he will 
	amass 1488 tackles (885 solo), 51 passes defended, 13 
	fumble recoveries, and 7 interceptions.  He will be an
	All-NFC selection nine straight years from 1983-1991, 
	will be selected to ten consecutive Pro Bowls, and 
	Defensive Player of the Year in 1985 and 1988. He will 
	be enshrined in the Football Hall of Fame in 1998.

1961 - Tanganyika becomes independent within the British 
	Commonwealth.

1962 - Uganda gains its independence from Great Britain. 

1963 - Uganda becomes a republic within the British Commonwealth. 

1989 - The first NFL game with a team coached by an African 
	American, Art Shell, takes place as his Los Angeles 
	Raiders beat the New York Jets 14-7 on Monday Night 
	Football.

1999 - Milt Jackson, a jazz vibraphonist who made the instrument 
	sing like the human voice as a longtime member of the 
	Modern Jazz Quartet, joins the ancestors at the age of 
	76.  He succumbs to liver cancer in a Manhattan hospital.