Friday, May 18, 2018

Stacey Abrams for governor of Georgia

Stacey Yvonne Abrams born December 9, 1973 is an American politician, lawyer, author and businesswoman who was the House Minority Leader for the Georgia General Assembly and State Representative for the 89th House District.She is a member of the Democratic Party.

Georgia House Minority Leader Stacey Abrams is a rising star in the Democratic Party, and it’s not hard to see why. Her vision of expanding the Democratic electorate by mobilizing the state’s considerable population of nonvoters and minority voters is an appealing road map for a national party eager to turn Georgia blue.

Abrams believes her success registering voters with the nonprofit New Georgia Project and her experience limiting conservative overreach as a Democratic leader equip her to go toe-to-toe with the GOP-dominated legislature as governor. And she hopes to bring Georgians the employment, education and health care opportunities available to working families in other, bluer states.
                       Speech to Pave it Blue

I want to follow up on the note Congressman John Lewis sent about how together, one week from today, we can shatter a glass ceiling.

Stacey Abrams is running for governor of Georgia. And when she wins, she'll be the first Black woman ever elected governor of any state. Her leadership will move the South, and in turn, the nation, forward.

I know Stacey, and she inspires me and gives me hope for the future—from her efforts on criminal-justice reform and voting rights to blocking Republican attempts to undermine the economic security of working families.

That's why I'm joining with MoveOn, Rep. Lewis, and many others today for a moneyblast for Stacey Abrams. We're counting on thousands of people across the country chipping in $3—or whatever they can afford—and MoveOn has set an ambitious goal of raising $100,000 in one day to power her campaign to victory in the primary next Tuesday. Will you join us?

Monday, April 16, 2018

Roland Martin: Be A Part Of The Poor People’s Campaign

Roland Martin: Be A Part Of The Poor People’s Campaign: This year marks the 50th Anniversary of the Poor People’s Campaign which is dedicated to uniting people all over the country to come against racism, poverty, war economy, ecological destructi…

Monday, April 2, 2018



You may not know Gladys West, but her calculations revolutionized navigation.
She is one of the mathematicians responsible for developing the global positioning system, better known as GPS.

Like many of the black women responsible for American achievements in math and science, West isn't exactly a household name. West was one of only four black employees at the Naval Proving Ground in 1956. She accepted a position at the Dahlgren, Virginia, facility doing calculations, with her early work focusing on satellites. West also programmed early compute d in the development of GPS.

Gladys Mae Brown,born 1931 in Dinwiddie, VA. As a girl growing up in Dinwiddie County south of Richmond, all Gladys Mae Brown knew was that she didn’t want to work in the fields, picking tobacco, corn and cotton, or in a nearby factory, beating tobacco leaves into pieces small enough for cigarettes and pipes, as her parents did.

“I realized I had to get an education to get out,” she said. When she learned that the valedictorian and salutatorian from her high school would earn a scholarship to Virginia State College (now University), she studied hard and graduated at the top of her class. She studied mathematics at Virginia State College. In 1956 she began to work at Naval Surface Warfare Centerwas Dahlgren Division, where she was the second black woman ever to be employed. She met her husband Ira West at the naval base a mathematician named Ira West.The two dated for 18 months before they married in 1957.
While he spent most of his career developing computer programs for ballistic missiles launched from submarines, her calculations eventually led to satellites.

Gladys West collect data from satellites, eventually leading to the development of the Global Positioning System. Her supervisor recommended her as project manager for the Seasat radar altimetry project, the first satellite that could remotely sense oceans. In 1979, Gladys West was recommended for commendation. Mrs.West was a programmer in the Dahlgren Division for large-scale computers and a Project Manager for data processing systems used in the analysis of satellite data.

In 1986, Mrs West published "Data Processing System Specifications for the Geosat Satellite Radar Altimeter", a 60-page illustrated guide. The Naval Surface Weapons Center (NSWC) guide was published to explain how to increase the accuracy of the estimation of "geoid heights and vertical deflection", topics of satellite geodesy. This was achieved by processing the data created from the radio altimeter on the Geosat satellite which went into orbit on 12 March 1984. She worked at Dahlgren for 42 years.

Today, West lives in King George County, Virginia.  Her contributions to GPS were only uncovered when a member of West's sorority, Alpha Kappa Alpha, read a short biography West had submitted for an alumni function.  West is completing a PhD via a distance learning program with Virginia Tech.

                           Calculating the Future

                           Honoring Gladys West

  Information sources:
 Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Sunday, March 25, 2018

Rev. Dr. William Barber: ‘Nothing Would Be More Tragic

Rev. Dr. William Barber: ‘Nothing Would Be More Tragic Than For Us To Turn Back Now’

Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II, President of Repairers of the Breach and a recipient of the 2018 North Star Award delivered a rousing acceptance speech during this year’s National CARES Mentoring Movement Gala.

During his remarks, Rev. Barber told Black America, “My brothers and sisters we are a people that have come from worst than what we see now and nothing would be more tragic than for us to turn back now.”

“Don’t you ever let it come out of your mouth that we’ve never seen anything this bad; that we’ve never seen racism in the White House.” Barber continued, “Don’t you even dare let your children hear you utter that because we came through 250 years of slavery and 100 years of legalized Jim Crow — nothing would be more tragic than for us to turn back now.”

Rev. Barber diagnosed what the world is witnessing in the White House and Congress a s a “moral malady.”

“We’re going backwards rather than forwards,” Rev. Barber said. “The Voting Rights Act has been gutted. 52 years later we have less voting rights than we had August 6th 1965." 

In addressing poverty in America, the President of the Repairers of the Breach said, “There are over 140 million people [that are] poor and working poor in this country. The majority of them are white, not Black. The majority of them are women and children.”

In closing, Barber announced a 40-day build up to an initiative called the "Souls of Poor Folks" that will confront lawmakers and "reset the moral narrative."

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Reverend Dr. William Barber Delivers Masterful History Lesson

Reverend Dr. William Barber  -  Delivers Masterful History Lesson, Declares 'It's Movement Time Again'

Roland S. Martin
Published on Feb 8, 2018

Rev. William Barber delivered the benediction at the close of #RolandMartinUnfiltered Presents: The State Of Our Union.

During his closing remarks, Rev. Barber addressed our current political climate, the lack of morality in it, the existence racial animus and the browning of America.

Barber offered a masterful history lesson dissecting the reconstruction period, civil rights era and our not so distant past.

The President of Repairers of the Breach chastised those in America whose intent is to reverse the progress African Americans, women and progressives have made over the course of the last 100 years.

Barber began his commentary reading a passage from Ezekiel 22, out of what he called the “Millennial version” of the Bible.

Barber began with the premise that God was angry because priests were “desecrating” his holy things. He continued, “Your politicians have become like wolves — prowling and killing and taking whatever they want.”

“And your preachers are covering up for the politicians by pretending to have received visions and revelations; they say this is what God says and I God have not said a thing.”

“And because your politicians are like wolves, and your preachers are covering up for your politicians; extortion is rife; robbery is epidemic; the poor and the needy are being abused; and the immigrants and the strangers are being kicked around at will with no access to justice.”

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Thursday, March 8, 2018

Mother Mary Elizabeth Lange

             Mother Mary Elizabeth Lange

Elizabeth Clarisse Lange was born in 1784 in Haiti or Santiago de Cuba. Her parents fled Haiti during the revolution and went to Cuba, where Lange received her education. She arrived first in Charleston, South Carolina, then traveled to Norfolk, Virginia, and finally settled in Baltimore, Maryland, She came to Baltimore in 1813 and settled in Fells Point. Baltimore had a large population of French-speaking Caribbean Catholics. Lange, a well-educated free black woman in a slave-holding state, also had money from her merchant father. She saw a need in educating children of Caribbean immigrants and slaves, a practice which was illegal at that time.

Lange used her money and set up a school in her home with her friend, Marie Magdaleine Balas. They offered a free education, but after 10 years finances became a problem. Rev. James Hector Joubert, a Sulpician with the backing of the Archbishop of Baltimore Monsignor James Whitfield, came to the rescue. Joubert presented Lange with a challenge to found a religious congregation for the education of black children. Joubert would provide direction, solicit financial assistance and encourage other women of color to become members of the first order of African-American nuns in the history of the Catholic Church.

On July 2, 1829, Lange and three other women (Rosanne Boegue, Marie Balas, and an older student, Almaide Duchemin) took their first vows. Lange took the name of "Sister Mary" and became the first superior general of the new community. The sisters adopted a religious habit of a black dress and cape, with a white cap. They started in a rented house with four sisters and twenty students. The school later became known as St. Frances Academy, and is still in operation today in Baltimore. While experiencing poverty, racism, and untold hardships, the Oblate Sisters sought to evangelize the Black community through Catholic education. The Oblate sisters educated youths and provided homes for orphans. They nursed the sick and dying and sheltered the elderly. In addition to schools, the sisters later conducted night classes for women, vocational and career training, and established homes for widows.

Mother Mary's early life prepared her well for the turbulence that followed the death of Father Joubert in 1843. There was a sense of abandonment at the dwindling number of pupils and defections of her closest companions and co-workers. Yet through it all Mother Lange never lost faith in Providence. Mother Mary Lange practiced faith to an extraordinary degree. In fact, it was her deep faith which enabled her to persevere against all odds. To her black brothers and sisters she gave herself and her material possessions until she was empty of all but Jesus, whom she shared generously with all by witnessing to His teaching. In close union with Him, she lived through disappointment and opposition until God called her home, February 3, 1882 at Saint Frances Convent in Baltimore, Maryland.

Information sorces:
Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

           Mary Elizabeth Lange Presentation

     Mother Mary Lange May Become The First African-American Saint

           Black Nuns and "Subversive Habits"

   Currents anchor Liz Faublas speaks with Dr. Shannen Dee Williams, a professor at the University of Tennessee, who is completing the manuscript for a book about Black Catholic Religious Sisters in the United States titled "“Subversive Habits: Black Nuns and the Struggle to Desegregate Catholic America after World War I.”

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Frankie Manning

Frankie Manning contributed more to the Lindy Hop than any other person,as a dancer, innovator and choreographer. For much of his lifetime he was an unofficial Ambassador of Lindy Hop. Originally touring as a dancer and choreographer with  Whitey's Lindy Hoppers in  the 30's and 40's, he helped spread the popularity of the Lindy Hop  through three continents.  Once again, since the swing dance revival that started in the 1980s, Frank Manning was a driving force worldwide with his teaching, choreography and performance. His own love of swing music and dancing was contagious as his dazzling smile.

In 1935, a dancer named Frankie Manning won a dance competition with a daring feat: He flipped his partner over his back and onto her feet, the Lindy Hop “air step” that would make Manning, arguably the most famous swing dancer of all time.

His career included both a first act and a later revival, bookending a 30-year job and a quiet life at the post office. He started dancing in his teens, and he was still dancing at his 85th birthday party, when he danced with 85 different partners.

Manning was born May 26, 1914 in Jacksonville, Florida. After his parents separated, at the age of 3 he moved to Harlem with his mother, who was a dancer.

Manning began dancing as a child. Manning's mother sent him to spend summers with his father, aunt and grandmother on their farm in Aiken, South Carolina. On Saturdays, farmhands and locals would come to the farm to play music on the front porch with harmonicas and a washtub bass. Manning's grandmother encouraged the bashful boy to get out in the yard and dance with the others. Once he got in the dance circle, he developed a feel for dancing and did not want to stop.

Back in New York, he started attending the dances at the Renaissance Ballroom in 1927 after his mother invited him to help her decorate the ballroom for a Halloween dance and promised to take him to the 9:00 dance that night.Watching from the balcony, he was surprised to see his mother dancing formal ballroom styles such as foxtrot and waltz, having only seen her dance before in a much looser and casual style at neighborhood rent parties. He danced with his mother later that night and she told him afterwards that "Frankie, you'll never be a dancer, because you're too stiff.

"Manning really loved his mother and wanted to do things to please her, so that is why he wanted to learn how to dance. He started listening to records on a Victrola in his bedroom and would practice dancing with a broom or a chair trying to get "un-stiff". When he was older, he started going to Harlem's Savoy Ballroom, which was for better dancers, and was also the only integrated ballroom in New York.

He frequented the Savoy in the 1930s, eventually becoming a dancer in the elite and prestigious "Kat's Corner," a corner of the dance floor where impromptu exhibitions and competitions took place. During a dance contest in 1935, Manning and his partner, Frieda Washington, performed the first aerial in a swing dance competition against George "Shorty" Snowden, the inventor of the term Lindy Hop, and his partner, Big Bea, at the Savoy Ballroom. The airstep he performed was a "back to back roll" and was danced while Chick Webb played "Down South Camp Meeting," which was Manning's request after having heard the song earlier in the evening. The airstep went flawlessly to the music and astonished the more than 2,000 audience members.

[If you're into 20s and  30s dancing, you've probably heard of the Lindy Hop. It popularised the Swing era and was a fusion of many dances, including jazz, tap, breakaway and Charleston.It was born in and important to the African-American communities in Harlem, but entered the mainstream in the 1930's.

The dance can be wild and spontaneous, with frenzied kicks and body movements, or it can be cool and sophisticated, and it is usually partnered. It can be fascinating and interesting to watch.]

Although he didn't come up with the name, Frankie Manning was known as the ambassador of the Lindy Hop because he helped make the dance popular.

He taught, performed and choreographed versions of the dance, introducing people to the fashionable moves all over America.

Frankie developed his own unique style of Lindy Hopping and is responsible for many innovations of the dance. This included dancing at a sharp angle to the ground like a track runner, instead of in the upright, stiff ballroom position of his predecessors.

In 1935, Herbert White organized the top Savoy Ballroom lindy hop dancers into a professional performance group that was eventually named Whitey's Lindy Hoppers. Manning created the troupe's first ensemble Lindy Hop routines and functioned as the group's de facto choreographer, although without that title. The troupe toured extensively and made several films. While with Whitey's, Manning also danced with Norma Miller, who became known as the Queen of Swing. Whitey's Lindy Hoppers disbanded around World War II when many of the male dancers entered the armed forces. Manning himself served in the U.S. Army.After the war, in 1947, Manning created a small performance group called the Congaroos. When the Congaroos disbanded in 1955, Manning quietly settled into a career with the United States Postal Service. Some 30 years later, Manning started his second career in dancing: travelling the world as a renowned instructor and inspirator.

In 1982, Al Minns, a former member of Whitey's Lindy Hoppers, started to teach Lindy Hop at the Sandra Cameron Dance Center, where he introduced a new generation of dancers to the Lindy Hop. Before he died in 1985, he told his students that Manning, another surviving member of Whitey's Lindy Hoppers, also lived in New York City.

In 1986, dancers Erin Stevens and Steven Mitchell contacted Manning and asked him to teach them the Lindy Hop. Manning at first declined, before finally agreeing to meet with them; he was skeptical that a much younger generation would really be interested in swing or Lindy. However, Mitchell and Stevens returned to California and helped to spread Lindy Hop to the West Coast and other areas of the U.S. Thus, the swing revival began. That same year, Lennart Westerlund contacted Manning and invited him to Sweden to work with The Rhythm Hot Shots. Manning traveled to Sweden in 1987 and returned there every year from 1989 onward to teach at the Herräng Dance Camp.

Manning died in Manhattan on April 27, 2009, aged 94.

Frankie Manning Foundation
The mission of the Frankie Manning Foundation is to carry on the work and the spirit of Frankie Manning in spreading the joy of Lindy Hop, danced to big band swing music, throughout the world. In accordance with Manning's own values, and those of the Savoy Ballroom where the Lindy Hop got its start, the fund seeks to promote projects which are grounded in unity and collaboration, and which enable people of all different backgrounds to participate in our joyous dance of Lindy Hop.

Information sorces:

                                Frankie Manning Tribute Video

                                Lindy Hop - Hellzapoppin (1941)

                        Frankie Manning - Never Stop Swinging!

This video was released back in 2009 on the weekend the world Lindy Hop community was to come together and celebrate his 95th birthday. Frankie Manning brought Lindy Hop to so many people all over the world and was a part of so many lives, his legacy lives on in every person that is transformed into a dancer by way of Lindy Hop. He was truly a one of kind person and who's memory will never be forgotten.

                           Part 2 Frankie Manning's first Aerial

        Frankie Manning's Funeral Services - Shim Sham led by Chazz Young - 2009-05-02

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Dr. Benjamin Franklin Chavis Jr.

                                         Dr. Benjamin Franklin Chavis Jr.

Dr. Benjamin Franklin Chavis Jr. was born January 22, 1948. He is an African American civil rights leader, community organizer and faith leader.

Dr. Chavis grew up in the city of Oxford, North Carolina, Benjamin Chavis was a member of one of the most prominent African American families in North Carolina. His parents were well known educators and his ancestors included John Chavis, a Revolutionary War soldier with George Washington’s Army who became one of the first African Americans to attend Princeton University.  John Chavis later operated a private school in antebellum North Carolina that accepted both black and white students. John Chavis, according to Benjamin, was killed in 1838 for teaching slave children to read and write.

As a twelve-year-old, Chavis effectively desegregated his hometown's whites-only public library, becoming the first African American to be issued a library card in the town's history. Chavis graduated from Mary Potter High School in 1965 and entered St. Augustine College in Raleigh as a freshman. In 1965, while a college freshman, Chavis became a statewide youth coordinator in North Carolina for the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC). He also joined CORE, SNCC and AFSCME.

He earned a Bachelor of Arts in Chemistry from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte (1969).

After working in the civil rights movement and serving time in North Carolina's prison system as the leader of the Wilmington Ten, Chavis received his Master of Divinity (magna cum laude) from Duke University (1980) and a Doctor of Ministry from Howard University (1981). Chavis was admitted into the PhD program in Systematic Theology as a graduate student at Union Theological Seminary in New York City and completed all of the academic course requirements.

In 1968, Chavis also worked for the presidential campaign of Robert F. Kennedy. After his graduation from UNCC in 1969, Chavis returned to Oxford and taught at the Mary Potter High School, still all black even though the courts ordered school desegregation. In 1970 following the murder of 23-year-old Henry Marrow and the acquittal by an all-white jury of the two men who killed him, Chavis organized a protest march from Oxford to North Carolina's State Capitol Building in Raleigh. Following the Oxford to Raleigh march, Chavis organized a black boycott of white businesses in Oxford that lasted for 18 months until the town agreed to integrate its public facilities, including schools.

Ben Chavis was appointed as the Southern Regional Program director for the United Church of Christ Commission for Racial Justice UCC-CRJ. Chavis’s work with this organization brought him to Wilmington, North Carolina in 1971 to assist in the campaign to desegregate the city’s public school system. In 1972 Chavis and nine other individuals were arrested and  later convicted of conspiracy and arson. They became known as the “Wilmington 10.”  Chavis’s eight year incarceration received international attention.  He also wrote two books there: Psalms from Prison and An American Political Prisoner.

In 1971 the Commission for Racial Justice assigned Field Officer Chavis to Wilmington, North Carolina to help desegregate the public school system. Since the city abruptly closed the black high school, laid off its principal and most of its teachers, and distributed the students to other schools, there had been conflicts with white students. The administration did not hear their grievances, and the students organized a boycott to protest for their civil rights.

Chavis and nine others were arrested in February 1972 charged with conspiracy and arson. Following a controversial trial, the entire group were convicted in 1972. The oldest man at age 24, Chavis drew the longest sentence, 34 years. The ten were incarcerated while supporters pursued appeals. The case of the Wilmington Ten received massive international condemnation as a political prosecution. In December 1980, the Federal Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals ordered a new trial and overturned the original conviction because of "prosecutorial misconduct."

In 1978 Amnesty International described Benjamin Chavis and eight others of the Wilmington Ten still in prison as “American political prisoners” under the definition of the Universal Rights of Man and the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights. They were prisoners of conscience. From this experience Benjamin Chavis wrote two books: An American Political Prisoner Appeals for Human Rights (while still in prison) and Psalms from Prison. In 1978, Chavis was named as one of the first winners of the Letelier-Moffitt Human Rights Award.

Dr.Chavis received his ordination in the United Church of Christ in 1980.

In 1981, he coined the term environmental racism: “Racial discrimination in the deliberated targeting of ethnic and minority communities for exposure to toxic and hazardous waste sites and facilities, coupled with the systematic exclusion of minorities in environmental policy making, enforcement, and remediation.” To prove the validity of his definition, Chavis in 1986 conducted and published the landmark national study: Toxic Waste and Race in the United States of America, that statistically revealed the direct correlation between race and the location of toxic waste throughout the United States. Chavis is considered by many environmental grassroots activists to be the “father of the post-modern environmental justice movement” that has steadily grown throughout the nation and world since the early 1980s.

In 1985, Chavis became the executive director of the United Church of Christ and CEO of UCC-CRJ.   In 1993 Chavis was selected to become the Executive Director and CEO of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP).  At 45 he was the youngest person to hold both posts.  During his brief controversial term at the helm of the NAACP Chavis called for programs that would address crime and economic issues that had been ignored by the group.  He also steered it toward the environmental justice movement that he had launched a decade earlier.   

Chavis was forced to resign his NAACP position sixteen months after he took office when it was revealed that he used NAACP funds for an out-of-court settlement of a sexual harassment charge.

He forged a close relationship with  Louis Farrakhan and was national director of the Million Man March, the huge civil rights rally that came to Washington,DC in 1995. After becoming a Muslim, Chavis was appointed the East Coast regional minister of the Nation of Islam.

"It's the same God," Muhammad said of his decision to switch faiths. "I just come at it from a different theological perspective."

His next career move came in 2001. With hip-hop celebrity Russell Simmons, Muhammad founded the Hip-Hop Summit Action Network, a coalition of musicians, civil rights activists and others that aims to educate at-risk youth about important life issues, such as personal finance, through the musical language they know best. He serves as its president and chief executive.

On December 31, 2012, Chavis and the surviving members of the Wilmington Ten were granted Pardons of Innocence by North Carolina Governor Beverly Perdue. The New York Times editorialized for the pardons of innocence for the Wilmington 10 as the case had become an international cause celebre as a case of virulent racist political prosecution.

Chavis currently serves as the CEO and President of the National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA).Dr. Chavis is based at his office in Manhattan, where he works with Russell Simmons, as well as his office in Washington, DC, the headquarters of the NNPA.

Information sorces: chavis-dies/

       The Wilmington 10: North Carolina Urged to Pardon Civil Rights Activists Falsely Jailed 40 Years Ago

                                Dr Benjamin Chavis on The Rock Newman Show

                      Dr. Benjamin F. Chavis, Jr. on BBC HardTalk in London

   Dr. Benjamin Chavis speaks at Washington DC Green Festival, Sunday September 30, 2012

                      Deep Speech from the movie Belly

             Blood Done Sign My Name with Nate Parker & Dr. Ben Chavis

         Dr. Ben Chavis, President of NNPA: The Power of the Black Press

Friday, February 23, 2018

The Greensboro Massacre Nov 1979

The Greensboro Massacre, a tragic event in the history of North Carolina.
Four Communist Workers' Party members and another person,student body president at local HBCU Bennett College;  were killed during a confrontation between anti-racist protesters and White supremacists, Ku Klux Klan and American Nazi Party members. The organizers were in the process of conducting a racially-integrated effort to organize a labor union in a local plant. At the time of the killings, they were leading an “Anti-Klan Rally” to “push back” against the Klan and Nazi effort to intimidate workers from joining the union.

Around 11 AM, this November 3rd, WVO members and supporters gather at two locations in the Black neighborhood. Some are gathering at the publicly announced assembly point, a Community Center that faces a well-traveled, four-lane highway. A larger crowd is gathering at the actual starting point for the march, Morningside Homes, a housing project surrounded by narrow, two-lane streets rarely travelled by whites other than the police.

Morningside Homes is in the center of an area known as “The Grove” which has a reputation as the roughest Black neighborhood in town. This assembly point obviously offered the potential for better security than the Community Center. WVO in publicizing one assembly point while actually using another apparently hoped to confuse potential attackers as well as perhaps other left political groups whose participation they did not want.

November 3,1979,  Klansmen and American Nazis drove an armed caravan into an anti-Klan rally and shot five protesters to death,stabed and beat other protesters. The crimes occurred in front of TV cameras, which filmed the KKK and Nazi assailants holding up photos of the persons to be assassinated and then shooting each organizer through the head.

Up to this point the police are almost totally absent. In fact, two police intelligence officers are parked a block down the street. They have followed the Klan caravan from the outskirts of town. Once the shooting starts, they call reinforcements but make no effort themselves to stop the shooting or arrest the attackers. Other police who are assigned to protect the march are at various staging areas, the closest 10 or 12 blocks away. Some are in a restaurant halfway across town eating lunch.

As the Klan and Nazis drive out of the neighborhood, a few police arrive, stop some of the cars and arrest some of the attackers. As WVO members lie wounded and dying in the grass the police arrest two other WVO members for inciting to riot and interfering with the police.

Within months, the Klan and Nazi assailants were acquitted of murder charges by an all-white State jury. Then, less than a year later, the killers were acquitted of civil rights violations by an all-white Federal jury.

In 1980, survivors filed a civil suit in Federal District Court seeking $48 million in damages. The Christic Institute led the legal effort. The complaint alleged that law-enforcement officials knew "that Klansmen and Nazis would use violence to disrupt the demonstration by Communist labor organizers and black residents of Greensboro but deliberately failed to protect them." Four federal agents were named as defendants in the suit, in addition to 36 Greensboro police and municipal officials, and 20 Klansmen and members of the American Nazi Party. Among the federal defendants was Bernard Butkovich of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, who had worked as an undercover agent in 1979 and infiltrated one of the American Nazi Party chapters about three months before the protest. He testified that a Klansmen had referred in a planning meeting to using pipe bombs for possible assaults at the rally, and that he took no further action.

The Christic legal team was led by attorneys Lewis Pitts and Daniel Sheehan, together with People's Law Office attorney G. Flint Taylor and attorney Carolyn MacAllister of Durham, North Carolina. A Federal jury in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, found two Klansmen, three Nazis, two Greensboro police officers, and a police informant liable for the wrongful death of Dr. Michael Nathan, a non-CWP demonstrator, and for injuries to survivors Paul Bermanzohn and Tom Clark, who had been wounded. It awarded two survivors with a $350,000 judgment against the city, the Ku Klux Klan, and the American Nazi Party for violating the civil rights of the demonstrators. The widow Dr. Martha "Marty" Nathan, was paid by the City in order to cover damages caused by the KKK and ANP as well. She chose to donate some money to grassroots efforts for social justice and education.

Several survivors joined a hundreds-strong march in 2004 to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the massacre. Without support or authorization from city government, a community group called the Greensboro Truth and Reconciliation Commission started an investigation that year. The conclusion? Police and the FBI knew about the possibility of violence ahead of time.

Please take time to watch the videos to get a real feel of what happened.

                     Greensboro Massacre 1979 (Short Documentary)

         The Greensboro Massacre Nov 1979

    Information sources: Massacre-         457293493.html

                CNN: Surviving a 'massacre'

               Greensboro: Closer to the Truth

                           30th Aniversary of Greensboro Massacre

     Greensboro Massacre Victim Reflects on Charlottesville Violence

Monday, February 19, 2018

Charlotte Hawkins Brown

                                                 Charlotte Hawkins Brown

Charlotte Hawkins was born in 1883 to Caroline Frances Hawkings and Edmund H. Hight, a brick mason, in Henderson, North Carolina. Charlotte never knew her father, therefore, she used her mother’s maiden name.  When Charlotte was about 7 years old, her mother took her to Massachusetts, where living conditions were better for blacks.  Charlotte blossomed in her new environment, showing enough early self-confidence and ability to be chosen speaker at her grammar school graduation ceremony in Cambridge, Massachusetts.  She would later recall that these years were unscarred by racial prejudice.  In fact, her high school principal remained a lifetime friend and supporter.

It was in 1901, when she accepted a position with the American Missionaries Association (AMA), to teach in a one room school house in rural Guilford County, North Carolina near Greensboro. While spending her formative years in Cambridge, Massachusetts, she became well acquainted with a classical education, which included the study of literature and the arts.

In 1902, Brown established the Palmer Memorial Institute in Sedalia,North Carolina. [Alice Freeman Palmer, first woman (white) to become president of a university in the United States].She named the school for Alice Freeman Palmer, , who was a friend and benefactor.

It first operated out of an old blacksmith shop, but eventually grew to house hundreds of students in more than a dozen buildings. Palmer grew to become known as an elite black preparatory school, hosting students from all over the country and world. During her tenure at Palmer, Brown actively toured, speaking on behalf of women’s suffrage and racial equality. She devoted her life to the improvement of the African American community’s social standing and was active in the National Council of Negro Women, an organization founded by celebrated educator Mary McLeod Bethune in 1935. As president of the North Carolina State Federation of Negro Women’s Clubs, Brown also directed African American women’s formal civic experiences for more than 20 years.

Married briefly to Edward Brown, who died, Charlotte "will inherit" nephews from her late husband, poor orphans including Maria Brown, future Mrs. Nat King Cole. Maria will be raised in the Palmer Memorial Institute, in the strictest discipline and we imagine the satisfaction of Aunt Charlotte when freshly graduated, Maria announced that she was going to marry a certain Spurgeon Ellington.

Things are not exactly going to happen as Charlotte would have liked. Soon, Maria will divorce but keep her married name, which she finds very practical for her new life choice: the song. Is it because they have the same name, she is in any case engaged as a singer of the orchestra of Duke Ellington, through which she will meet the charming Nat Cole,

More than 3000 guests, a religious service led by Hazell Scott and Adam Clayton Powell, thousands of curious around the church and later, a feast, unfolding, not at the Waldorf Astoria who refused to host a black wedding, but at the Belmont Plaza where Sarah Vaughan will be singing all night long.  Everyone will agree that Nat and Maria are the most charming couple in the world.

In addition to her work at the Palmer Institute, Brown was active in national efforts to improve opportunities for African Americans, including the Southern Commission for Interracial Cooperation and the Negro Business League. She was the first African American woman named to the national board of the YWCA. She was an honorary member of Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority.

              Treasures: Charlotte Hawkins Brown

             Palmer Memorial Institute Trailer

    Information sources:
    Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia 

Monday, February 12, 2018

Percy Lavon Julian

                            Percy Lavon Julian

Percy Julian was born in  Montgomery, Alabama, first child of six born to James Sumner Julian and Elizabeth Lena Julian Both of his parents were graduates of what was to be Alabama State University. His father, a railroad mail clerk, and his mother, a school teacher stressed education to their children. This emphasis would ultimately prove successful as two sons went on to become physicians and three daughters would receive Masters degrees, but it was son Percy who would become the most successful of the children.

Percy Lavon Julian  April 11, 1899 – April 19, 1975 was an African American research chemist and a pioneer in the chemical synthesis of medicinal drugs from plants. He was the first to synthesize the natural product physostigmine, and a pioneer in the industrial large-scale chemical synthesis of the human hormones progesterone and testosterone from plant sterols such as stigmasterol and sitosterol. His work laid the foundation for the steroid drug industry's production of cortisone, other corticosteroids, and birth control pills.

After college, Julian accepted a position as a chemistry instructor at Fisk University. He left in 1923 when he received a scholarship to attend Harvard University to finish his master’s degree, though the university would not allow him to pursue his doctorate. He traveled for several years, teaching at black colleges, before obtaining his Ph.D. at the University of Vienna in Austria in 1931.

In the 1930s chemists recognized the structural similarity of a large group of natural substances—the steroids. These include the sex hormones and the cortical hormones of the adrenal glands. The medicinal potential of these compounds was clear, but extracting sufficient quantities of them from animal tissue and fluids was prohibitively expensive. As with other scarce or difficult-to-isolate natural products, chemists were called upon to mimic nature by creating these steroids in the lab and later by modifying them to make them safer and more effective as drugs.

He later started his own company to synthesize steroid intermediates from the wild Mexican yam. His work helped greatly reduce the cost of steroid intermediates to large multinational pharmaceutical companies, helping to significantly expand the use of several important drugs.

Julian received more than 130 chemical patents. He was one of the first African Americans to receive a doctorate in chemistry. He was the first African-American chemist inducted into the National Academy of Sciences, and the second African-American scientist inducted (behind David Blackwell) from any field.

 Desiring to leave academia, Julian applied for jobs at prominent chemical companies, but was repeatedly rejected when hiring managers discovered that he was black. Ultimately, he obtained a position at Glidden Company as the lab director. There he invented Aero-Foam, a product that uses soy protein to put out oil and gas fires and was widely used in World War II, as well as other soybean-based inventions.

Julian continued his biomedical work as well, and discovered how to extract sterols from soybean oil and synthesize the hormones progesterone and testosterone. He was also lauded for his synthesis of cortisone, which became used in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis.

Julian left Glidden in 1953 and established his own laboratory, Julian Laboratories, in 1954. He sold the company in 1961, becoming one of the first black millionaires, before founding Julian Research Institute, a nonprofit organization that he ran for the rest of his life.

          PBS NOVA S34E08 Forgotten Genius

Information sources:
  Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia