Black History Moments

Black History is American history and by failing to remember the good and the bad…future generations lose momentum…

Long before Tiger Woods entered the golf world, Charlie Sifford was breaking barriers and making the road easier. A prolific golfer, Mr. Sifford was the first Black man to gain entrance to the PGA, an association that had a “whites only” clause in it’s bylaws. Although other Black players tried to integrate the PGA it was Sifford who after 9 years of unsuccessful attempts, finally broke the color barrier in 1961. Sifford credited Black athletes such as Joe Lewis and Jackie Robinson as helping him stay determined in spite of the death threats, hate mail and continual denials to the PGA. In 2004 Sifford became the first Black person inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame. Tiger Woods referred to Sifford as “the Grandfather I never had,” and in 2014 at the age of 91 and one year before his death, President Barack Obama awarded him the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

#BlackHistoryMonth
#CharlieSifford
#BarrierBreaker
#PGA
#Respect

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Black History Moment

Black History is American history and by failing to remember the good and the bad…future generations lose momentum…

W.E.B. Dubois is one of the greatest minds ever. He was the first Black to graduate from Harvard with a PhD. He also attended Fisk University and the University of Berlin in Germany. He co-founded the NAACP, he is considered the Father of American Sociology, and he was an activist, prolific writer, and Pan-Africanist. Born in 1868, Dubois experienced 19th and 20th century life as a Black American. Highly educated, the doors of the eminent universities would not hire him. He coined the phrase, “Double Consciousness” and explained that Black Americans lived a twoness experience in America…one as a Negro and one as an American. Writing in 1903, Dubois felt that being Black and American and trying to reconcile the two experiences would be difficult. Dubois hoped for it to be “possible for a man to be both a Negro and an American without being cursed and spit upon by his fellows, without having the doors of opportunity closed roughly in his face.” 105 years later Dubois’ double consciousness is still relevant and scholars and intellectuals continue to debate his words and legacy.

#BlackHistoryMonth
#WEBDubois
#ProphetScholarActivist
#DoubleConsciousness

Black History Moment

Black History is American history and by failing to remember the good and the bad…future generations lose momentum…

Feb. 23 will always be a special day of Black History celebration because Geneva Estelle Lamb Ellis was born on this day in 1926. Gebo as she was affectionately called represents a generation of strong, determined, practical and beautiful Black women who had to navigate between two worlds…the world that their parents groomed them in-a world of segregation, lynching, disenfranchisement, deference to all things White-and a world that their children, grand and great grand children would be groomed in-a world of new opportunities, Civil Rights, affirmative action, Black power and Black pride. Gebo, like all of these grand-mothers did the best they could bridging the gaps between such different generations. Their advice and wisdom emphasized manners, cleanliness, getting a good education, loving God and treating people right. They disdained lying lips, women who kept dirty homes and men who wouldn’t work. They churched hard, gardened harder, saved any and everything, and gave to everyone in need. They healed with aloe plants, spider webs, snuff, pine needles, castor oil and red clay. And they loved. They loved unconditionally, matter of factly and unfailingly. They raised their own, their neighbor’s children, their grands and a few greats on incomes that could barely sustain one person. And in spite of it all, we are here as testaments to their commitment and faith. For their sacrifices, their tears, their pain, I salute my Gebo and all the Black grandmothers like her who became the backbone of an entire generation. Your living was not in vain. Make sure their living was not in vain.

#BlackHistoryMonth
#GrandMothers
#Gebo
#RestingInHeaven

Black History Moments

Black History is American history and by failing to remember the good and the bad…future generations lose momentum…

This is a picture of what separate but equal looked like. The Black man seated at the desk outside the classroom is George McLaurin. He was the first Black student admitted to the PhD program at the University of Oklahoma and to attend the school he had to sue for admission. The practice was that if Black students applied to public White colleges and universities, rather than admit them, the White institution would pay for the Black students to attend the nearest Black college or university. McLaurin already had his Master’s degree and wanted to obtain a doctorate. The only PhD program was at Oklahoma so McLaurin sued to attend. Yet his admission came with conditions. All of his campus experiences-his dining experiences, library visits, bathrooms, athletic seating- would have to be segregated. McLaurin decided enough was enough. With Thurgood Marshall as one of his lawyers, he sued the University of Oklahoma again claiming the segregated class experience prevented him from an equal learning experience and his case made it all the way to the Supreme Court in 1950. The Supreme Court sided with Mr. McLaurin and this marked the beginning of the end of segregating public schools, colleges and universities. Although Mr. McLaurin did not finish his PhD program at Oklahoma, his courage and commitmemt to endure the extreme isolation and exclusion that he experienced is a testament to his strength. Salute.

#BlackHistoryMonth
#GeorgeMcLaurin
#SeparateAintEqual
#PhDLife
#BreakBarriers
#BlackMenRock

Black History Moments

Black History is American history and by failing to remember the good and the bad…future generations lose momentum…

Black History has been made once again in the 2018 #WinterOlympics! This Nigerian bobsled team became the first African nation to compete in the bobsledding event marking what will perhaps be the beginning of a new era. Teammates, Seun Adigun, Ngozi Onwumere and Akuoma Omeoga raised money to sponsor their trip through Go Fund Me. In addition to a tough financial challenge, the women found themselves without a coach or a bobsled a week before their history making moment after the coach abruptly quit. Yet, they persisted and with much support they found and purchased another sled to use for the competition. Although these real-life #Wakanda women warriors finished last place in their first ever Winter Olympics, they have already torn down barriers for others to follow in their footsteps. They also remind us that the path with the most resistance is usually the path that will lead to the most success!

#BlackHistoryMonth
#AfricanBeauties
#WakandaWarriors
#Trailblazers
#Persist
#Nigeria

Black History Moments

Black History is American history and by failing to remember the good and the bad…future generations lose momentum…

Vonetta Flowers had aspirations of winning gold medals for the U.S. Olympic track team, but after a few unsuccessful attempts, Flowers decided to modify her dream and turned to bobsledding. As a bobsledder, Flowers had immediate success and at the 2002 Winter Olympic games, Flowers made history becoming the first Black person to win a gold medal in the Winter Olympics. Flowers, a mother of twins, continued competing and retired in 2006. From the track to the snow, Flowers reminds us to recognize the difference in goals and methods. Flowers’ goal was to win medals. Her original method of track and field did not work so she chose a different method, bobsledding. If you haven’t accomplished your goal, be encouraged. You may just need to tweak your method!

#BlackHistoryMonth
#VonettaFlowers
#WinterOlympics
#Trailblazer
#ChangeIsGood

Black History Moments

Black History is American history and by failing to remember the good and the bad…future generations lose momentum…

Zora Neale Hurston was an anthropologist, author, and bonafide member of the Harlem Renaissance but died penniless and in obscurity. Roughly 30 years after her death, Alice Walker, author of The Color Purple, discovered her writings and a revival of Hurston’s career began and continues today. Hurston’s novel, Their Eyes Were Watching God, is one of the most widely read novels in high schools across the U.S. Her writings captured Black life in a unique style and from a feminine perspective. Hurston reminds us that sometimes our contributions won’t get the recognition they deserve, but do them anyways! Someone is going to make sure they are not forgotten!

#BlackHistoryMonth
#GoneButNotForgotten
#ThankYouAliceWalker
#TheirEyesWereWatchingGod

Black History Moments

Black History is American history and by failing to remember the good and the bad…future generations lose momentum…

Being multifaceted and multi-talented during the era that Lena Horne was born into came with advantages and disadvantages. A natural beauty, Horne could sing, dance, and act but if you look back over her career, she is most noted for her Jazz singing and performances. This is because Hollywood was not ready to feature Black women prominently and Horne refused to do demeaning roles. This made her choices extrememly limited and in some of the films that she did receive parts for, her scenes would be cut out before shown to White audiences. Yet, Horne persisted and resisted. She was a very prominent Civil Rights activists working with Paul Robeson, Malcom X and she supported Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Her associations also contributed to her challenges with Hollywood and mainstream television but she was determined to fight for equality and rights for Black people. Lena Horne’s career spanned 70 years and she died at the age of 92 in 2010. When we think of the Hollywood greats or TV personalities, Lena Horne’s name probably won’t come to mind but it should. For every success we see today, there was someone just as gifted if not even more talented who came before them to pave the way.

#BlackHistoryMonth
#LenaHorne
#BlackandBeautiful
#ShePersisted
#SomeoneWasDeniedForYouToAchieve

Black History Moments

Black History is American history and by failing to remember the good and the bad…future generations lose momentum.

This statue of Frederick Douglass is on the campus of the University of Maryland and is a great depiction of the fiery orator that Douglass became during his time as an abolitionist. Douglass, who escaped from slavery in Maryland is one of the greatest voices of America. During the 19th century, no person was photographed more than Douglass. People marvelled at his speaking and intellectual abilities-some even refusing to believe he had once been a slave. Douglass spoke with power and conviction that all men were created equal and that slavery was the vilest institution imaginable. Douglass wrote and published his own autobiography about his experiences as a slave. He was nominated for Vice President of the United States, he counseled several presidents and spoke passionately after slavery was abolished about equality for the newly freed men, women and children. Douglass is testament to resilience. What you are born into, does not mean you have to stay there. You can determine your own destiny.

#BlackHistoryMonth
#BlackExcellence
#FrederickDouglass
#HowYouStartIsNotHowYouHaveToFinish

Black History Moments

Black History is American history and by failing to remember the good and the bad…future generations lose momentum.

Because I personally know and have worked with this amazing woman, I can vouch for how incredible her story is. Becoming the first Black rabbi in mainstream Judaism is no easy task. The education experience alone included studies in Jerusalem, learning the Hebrew language as well as enduring all of the personal challenges of merging Blackness, her Pentecostal roots and Judaism. Rabbi received hate mail, death threats, and endured much opposition against herself and her daughter but she persisted. Rabbi Stanton’s journey is truly incredible and inspiring. She was honored at the White House by President Barack Obama at his inaugural Jewish American Heritage month in 2010. She continues to spread hope and encouragement through her travels and rabbinic duties.

#BlackHistoryMonth
#ShePersisted
#ShareHerStory
#RabbiAlysaStanton
#Hope