Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Shirley Graham Du Bois



                                      Shirley Graham Du Bois

The Rev. David Graham feared that a mob was coming to burn down his church. The community meeting he had organized to protest the killing of a young Black boy by a policeman had stirred up trouble. So Graham stood before his congregation with a loaded gun and a Bible, told the women and children to get out of harm’s way, and prepared, alongside 21 armed men, to fight.

In the end, nothing came of it, but the reverend’s young daughter, Shirley, about age 6, was marked forever by the scene and others like it in the American South at the turn of the last century. As a result, she devoted her life to fighting racism and oppression as a writer and an activist. Unlike the contributions of her second husband, famed civil rights activist W.E.B. Du Bois, Graham Du Bois’ have largely been forgotten, 

Shirley Graham Du Bois (November 11, 1896 – March 27, 1977) was an American award-winning author, playwright, composer, and activist for African-American and other causes. In later life she married the noted thinker, writer, and activist W. E. B. Du Bois. The couple became citizens of Ghana in 1961 after they emigrated to that country. She won the Messner and the Anisfield-Wolf prizes for her works.

She was born Lola Shirley Graham, Jr. in Indianapolis, Indiana, in 1896, as the only daughter among six children. Her father was an African Methodist Episcopal minister, and the family moved often. In June 1915, Shirley graduated from Lewis and Clark High School in Spokane, Washington.

She married her first husband, Shadrach T. McCants, in 1921. Their son Robert was born in 1923, followed by David in 1925. They divorced in 1927. In 1926, Graham moved to Paris, France, to study music composition at the Sorbonne. She thought that this education might allow her to achieve better employment and be able to better support her children. Meeting Africans and Afro-Caribbean people in Paris introduced her to new music and cultures.

After meeting Africans in Paris while studying at the Sorbonne in 1926, Graham composed the musical score and libretto of Tom Tom: An Epic of Music and the Negro (1932), an opera. She used music, dance and the book to express the story of Africans' journey to the North American colonies, through slavery and to freedom. It premiered in Cleveland, Ohio. The opera attracted 10,000 people to its premier at the Cleveland Stadium and 15,000 to the second performance.

In 1931, Graham entered Oberlin College as an advanced student and, after earning her B.A. in 1934, went on to do graduate work in music, completing a master's degree in 1935. In 1936, Hallie Flanagan appointed Graham director of the Chicago Negro Unit of the Federal Theatre Project, part of President Franklin D. Roosevelt's Works Progress Administration. She wrote musical scores, directed, and did additional associated work.

According to the Oxford Companion to African-American Literature, her theatre works included Deep Rivers (1939), a musical; It's Morning (1940), a one-act tragedy about a slave mother who contemplates infanticide; I Gotta Home (1940), a one-act drama; Track Thirteen (1940), a comedy for radio and her only published play; Elijah's Raven (1941), a three-act comedy; and Dust to Earth (1941), a three-act tragedy.

Due to the difficulty in getting musicals or plays produced and published, Graham turned to literature. She wrote in a variety of genres, specializing from the 1950s in biographies of leading African-American and world figures for young readers. She wanted to increase the number of books that dealt with notable African Americans in elementary school libraries.
  Owing to her personal knowledge of her subjects, her books on Paul Robeson and Kwame Nkrumah are considered especially interesting. Other subjects included Frederick Douglass, Phillis Wheatley, and Booker T. Washington; as well as Gamal Abdul Nasser, and Julius Nyerere. One of her last novels, Zulu Heart (1974), included sympathetic portrayals of whites in South Africa despite racial conflicts.

In the late 1940s, Graham became a member of Sojourners for Truth and Justice – an African-American organization working for global women's liberation. Around the same time, she joined the American Communist Party.
She and Du Bois married in 1951, the second marriage for both. She was 54 years old; he was 83. They later emigrated to Ghana, where they received citizenship in 1961 and he died in 1963. In 1967, she was forced to leave after a military-led coup d'état, and moved to Cairo, Egypt, where she continued writing. Her surviving son David Graham Du Bois accompanied her and worked as a journalist.

Du Bois couldn’t have had that last important phase of his life without the partnership he had with Shirley. Before their marriage, Du Bois was in a “sparring match” with communists, says Gerald Horne, a historian at the University of Houston, but that quickly changed as he came to see his wife’s logic. While older activists fought solely against racial discrimination, “young lions like Shirley said no, economics is also affecting us” and supported the Communist Party.

When Du Bois was arraigned as a suspected communist during the Red Scare, Graham Du Bois rallied to her husband’s defense by giving speeches nationwide. She didn’t wave a gun or a Bible, but she held sway over audiences, and Du Bois was eventually cleared. In 1961, the couple left the U.S. for Ghana because of anti-communist and anti-Black extremism, a move, Woodard says, that was “engineered” by Graham Du Bois, who was forced to leave behind her post as founding editor of the Black magazine Freedomways.

Graham Du Bois continued supporting radical causes. She was the founding director of Ghana Television, met with government officials in China and introduced Malcolm X to Ghanaian President Kwame Nkrumah. She embraced Malcolm X like a “son” and was “instrumental” in his success, by providing him with support and contacts. She may have been a controversial figure in her time, but it’s puzzling why Graham Du Bois never earned a bigger entry in history books.



Souces: Libby Coleman - THE BADASS WIFE OF W.E.B. DU BOIS, Professor Adrienne         Gosselin - Michael Schwartz Library Cleveland State University, Wikipedia,

         Shirley Graham Du Bois speaking at UCLA 11/13/1970


           Shirley Graham Dubois


          David DuBois: My Mother, Shirley Graham DuBois


        David DuBois: My Mother's Marriage to W.E.B. DuBois




Alice Augusta Ball




Alice Augusta Ball (July 24, 1892 – December 31, 1916) was an African American chemist who developed an injectable oil extract that was the most effective treatment for leprosy until the 1940s. She was also the first woman and first African American to graduate from the University of Hawaii with a master's degree.

Alice Augusta Ball, a pharmaceutical chemist, was born in Seattle, Washington in 1892 to Laura Louise (Howard) Ball, and James P. Ball, Jr. Alice Ball's father was a newspaper editor, photographer, and a lawyer. Her grandfather, James Ball Sr., was a famous photographer, and was one of the first African Americans in the United States to learn to daguerreotype. James P. Ball, Sr. moved to Hawaii for health reasons in 1903 with his family and opened a studio. He died less than a year later and the family returned to Seattle in 1905. After returning to Seattle, Ball attended Seattle High School and received top grades in the sciences. She graduated from Seattle High School in 1910.

Alice Ball entered the University of Washington and graduated with two degrees in pharmaceutical chemistry in 1912 and pharmacy in 1914. In the fall of 1914, she entered the College of Hawaii (later the University of Hawaii) as a graduate student in chemistry.  On June 1, 1915, she was the first African American and the first woman to graduate with a master of Science degree in chemistry from the University of Hawaii. In the 1914-1915 academic year she also became the first woman to teach chemistry at the institution.

In her postgraduate research career at the University of Hawaii, Ball investigated the chemical makeup and active principle of Piper methysticum (kava) for her master's thesis. While working on her thesis, Ball was asked by Dr. Harry T. Hollmann, an assistant surgeon at Kalihi Hospital in Hawaii, to help him develop a method to isolate the active chemical compounds in chaulmoogra oil.

Chaulmoogra oil had previously been used in the treatment of Hansen's disease (leprosy) with mixed results. Most patients with Hansen's disease were hesitant to take the oil over the long term because it tasted bitter and tended to cause an upset stomach.

Ball developed a process to isolate the ethyl esters of the fatty acids in the chaulmoogra oil so that they could be injected, but died before she could publish her results. At the time of her research Ball became ill. She worked under extreme pressure to produce injectable chaulmooga oil and, according to some observers, became exhausted in the process.  Ball returned to Seattle and died at the age of 24 on December 31, 1916. According to her obituary, she suffered injuries from inhaling chlorine gas during a class demonstration in Honolulu.
 
Arthur L. Dean, a chemist and the president of the University of Hawaii, continued her work, published the findings, and began producing large quantities of the injectable chaulmoogra extract. Dean published the findings without giving credit to Ball, and renamed the technique the Dean Method, until Hollmann spoke out about this. In 1918, a Hawaii physician reported in the Journal of the American Medical Association that a total of 78 patients were released from Kalihi Hospital by the board of health examiners after treatment with injections. The isolated ethyl ester remained the preferred treatment for Hansen's disease until sulfonamide drugs were developed in the 1940s.

Although her research career was short, Ball introduced a new treatment of Hansen's disease which continued to be used until the 1940s. The University of Hawaii did not recognize her work for nearly ninety years. In 2000, the university finally honored Ball by dedicating a plaque to her on the school's lone chaulmoogra tree behind Bachman Hall. On the same day, the former Lieutenant Governor of Hawaii, Mazie Hirono, declared February 29 "Alice Ball Day" which is now celebrated every four years. More recently, Ball was honored by the University of Hawaii Board of Regents with a Medal of Distinction in 2007.

Souces: http://www.blackpast.org, Wikipedia 

                              Alice Augusta Ball


Monday, February 27, 2017

Native American boarding schools


                      Unseen Tears and Pain of The Native Americans 
   
 Native American boarding schools were established in the United States during the late 19th and early 20th centuries to educate Native American children and youths according to Euro-American standards. These boarding schools were first established by Christian missionaries of various denominations, who often started schools on reservations and founded boarding schools to provide opportunities for children who did not have schools nearby, especially in the lightly populated areas of the West. The government paid religious societies to provide education to Native American children on reservations. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) founded additional boarding schools based on the assimilation model of the Carlisle Indian Industrial School.

Children were usually immersed in European-American culture through appearance changes with haircuts, were forbidden to speak their native languages, and traditional names were replaced by new European-American names (to both "civilize" and "Christianize"). The experience of the schools was often harsh, especially for the younger children who were separated from their families. In numerous ways, they were encouraged or forced to abandon their Native American identities and cultures. Investigations of the later twentieth century have revealed many documented cases of sexual, manual, physical and mental abuse occurring at such schools.

The Carlisle school is famous, or perhaps infamous, in American history. Civil War veteran Richard Henry Pratt founded the school in 1879. Pratt was a reformer and a do-gooder and devoted his life to what he saw as helping American Indians to survive--by forcing them to abandon their cultures and adopt white ways. "Kill the Indian in him, and save the man," Pratt once wrote, and at his boarding school Indians from all over the country were removed from their families, the boys had their hair cut, all were dressed in white clothing, and they were taught English and an industrial education. Discipline was harsh, and native languages and cultural practices were strictly forbidden. It is a sad story, not the least because nearly 200 children died at the school.

At the same time, schools like Carlisle (which became a national model for a time) brought together Indians from all over the country and provided opportunities to become acquainted, share notes, and begin pan-tribal networks that would grow into national organization such as the National Congress of American Indians. I knew anecdotally that any number of children from Columbia Plateau tribes had attended Carlisle-

Carlisle taught young Indians to reject their culture and seek second-class status in white society as mechanics and domestic workers.  Native American children taken from their familis and put into school to assimilate them into white society. The slogan for this governmental campaign '"kill the Indian to save the man". no official apology has ever been issued. Never forgotten.

A similar system in Canada was known as the Canadian Indian residential school system. On June 11, 2008, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper issued a 3,600-word formal apology to First Nation, Métis and Inuit people for the legacy of Indian Residential Schools, which he called a "sad chapter in our history." The Anishinabek Nation Grand Council Chief John Beaucage said, "Our first thoughts today are for our elders, many of them have suffered lifelong physical and emotional pain because of their residential school experiences."

Similarly, the Anglican Church of Canada, which ran many of the boarding schools and was sued for abuses, has issued an official apology in addition to paying court-ordered settlements. It has further adopted a policy of a "living apology" and has been working to support First Nations and other indigenous peoples within their own cultures.
     
                               Into the West-Carlisle Indian School


    Unseen Tears: The Native American Boarding School Experience in Western New York Part 1


    Unseen Tears The Native American Boarding (Residential) School Experience in Western New York Part 2


Thursday, February 23, 2017

Rev. C.H.C. White








      My father was kind, educated, caring and persistent
  
     My father was a preacher teacher, and peace maker

     My father was a leader, musician, athlete and Scout Master

     My father was a thinker, a dreamer and a man who loved    

     My father had his God inside him and he shared to all 

     My father loved my mother and all those around knew it  

     My father loved my sisters and brother and they felted it

     my father lover me and I always knew it,I could feel his faith in me


                       Dance With My Father

Friday, February 17, 2017

The Orangeburg Massacre



                                The Orangeburg Massacre

The Civil Rights Act of 1964 ordered all public places and schools to desegregate and serve blacks and whites equally. For four years, from 1964 to 1968, Orangeburg's All Star Bowling Lanes refused to obey the Act and continued to turn away African Americans, including members of a Little League team who were in town for the Little League World Series. Black and white community members and business leaders urged All Star to integrate and filed appeals with the U.S. Justice Department, but all their efforts failed.

In February 1968, 300 students from South Carolina State and Claflin College demonstrated in the parking lot of the bowling alley. They were met by 100 law enforcement officers who beat them with sticks and drove them away. Two days later, the violent events known as The Orangeburg Massacre took place on the campus of South Carolina State.

An act of racism in a small Southern town led to a peaceful protest by frustrated black college students who were denied use of the community’s only bowling alley.

A conservative Southern governor, wanting to appear tough to his white constituents, overreacted to the civil rights protest ordering a massive show of armed force. As emotions frayed and the situation veered out of control, nine white highway patrolmen opened gunfire onto a college campus—killing three black students and wounding 27 others.

All the students were unarmed and in retreat from the highway patrolmen at the time of the shooting. Yet, without warning, they were shot in their backs with deadly buckshot.

The killings occurred on February 8, 1968 on the campus of South Carolina State College in Orangeburg, South Carolina. Until the shooting, South Carolina was a southern state that had proudly celebrated a record of nonviolence during the turbulent civil rights years. One of the bloodiest tragedies of the Civil Rights era after four decades of deliberate denial. The killing of four white students at Kent State University in 1970 left an indelible stain on our national consciousness. But most Americans know nothing of the three black students killed at South Carolina State College in Orangeburg two years earlier.

In 1968, Orangeburg was a typical Southern town still clinging to its Jim Crow traditions. Although home to two black colleges and a majority black population, economic and political power remained exclusively in the hands of whites. Growing black resentment and white fear provided the kindling; the spark came when a black Vietnam War veteran was denied access to a nearby bowling alley, one of the last segregated facilities in town. Three hundred protestors from South Carolina State College and Claflin University converged on the alley in a non-violent demonstration. A melee with the police ensued during which police beat two female students; the incensed students then smashed the windows of white-owned businesses along the route back to campus. With scenes of the destruction in Detroit and Newark fresh in their minds, Orangeburg’s white residents, businessmen and city officials feared urban terrorists were now in Orangeburg. The Governor sent in the state police and National Guard.

By the late evening of February 8th, army tanks and over 100 heavily armed law enforcement officers had cordoned off the campus; 450 more had been stationed downtown. About 200 students milled around a bonfire on S.C. State’s campus; a fire truck with armed escort was sent in. Without warning the crackle of shotgun fire shattered the cold night air. It lasted less than ten seconds. When it was over, twenty-eight students lay on State’s campus with multiple buckshot wounds; three others had been killed. Almost all were shot in the back or side. Students and police vividly describe what they experienced that night.

In Orangeburg, police fingered Cleveland Sellers as the inevitable ‘outside agitator’ who, they claimed, had incited the students. Twenty-three years old, he had returned home, leaving his position as Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) program director, to organize black consciousness groups on South Carolina campuses. Sellers had already attracted the attention of law enforcement officials as a friend of SNCC head Stokely Carmichael, who had frightened many Americans with his call for ‘Black Power.’ Carmichael’s ideas articulated the Movement’s shift from a focus on integration to one of gaining political and economic power within the black community.

South Carolina officials therefore saw Sellers as a direct challenge to their power. Wounded in the Massacre, Sellers was arrested at the hospital and charged with ‘inciting to riot.’ Though students made clear he was only minimally involved with their demonstrations, Sellers was tried and sentenced to one year of hard labor. He was finally pardoned 23 years after the incident. The U.S. Justice Department charged the nine police officers who admitted shooting that night with abuse of power. However, neither of two South Carolina juries would uphold the charges.








      Sources: Wikipedia, FRANK BEACHAM - The Legacy of the Orangeburg Massacre,
TIM ARANGO - The New York Times

        The Orangeburg Massacre

The murder of 3 young men,Henry Smith, Samuel Hammond, Delano Middleton and the wounding of 27 young men and women in a incident on the campus of South Carolina State College, over two years before the Kent State shooting, has received limited exposure to this day.
Dean of Student Life at Ferris State University, Leroy Wright tells the story of the Orangeburg Massacre.

   A Police Massacre Of Black (African American) College Students In Orangeburg South Carolina


      The Orangeburg Massacre *Final Cut*


         The Orangeburg Massacre


      40 years ago, the Orangeburg Massacre-2/2


     Rep. Bakari Sellers reflects on The Orangeburg Massacre


     1968 Orangeburg Massacre: A First-Hand Retrospective
Orangeburg 1968 


The Kissing Kids Case


                                         The Kissing Case

James Hanover Thompson and David "Fuzzy" Simpson ,as children were wrongly accused of raping a White girl in 1958.

"We were playing with some friends over in the white neighborhood, chasing spiders and wrestling and stuff like that and one of the kids suggested that one of the little white girls give us a kiss on the jaw...the girls gave me a peck on the cheek, and then kissed David on the cheek. So, we didn't think nothing of it. We were just little kids."




I grew up in New Bern ,NC the eastern part of the state. When I was 12 years old The Kissing Case occurred in Monroe, NC I knew nothing about it but as I got older I knew something had happened in Monroe and be careful in that area.     ( But things happened every where in NC it was not a good world I lived in.)

The Kissing Case is an incident that sparked protests and legal challenges related to the Civil Rights Movement. In 1958 in Monroe, North Carolina, two black boys, seven-year-old David "Fuzzy" Simpson and nine-year-old James Hanover Thompson, were arrested after being kissed by a white girl on their cheeks in a neighborhood game. They were charged and convicted of molestation and sentenced to a reformatory until the age of 21.


On the date, October 28, 1958, two Black boys, 7-year-old James Hanover Thompson, and 9-year-old David “Fuzzy” Simpson, were among a group of children in Monroe, North Carolina, none more than 10, none younger than 5, were playing as young children do without much pattern or apparent direction. Most of the children were white.

One of the girls, Sissy Sutton, kissed Hanover on the cheek. When her mother overheard relaying the day’s events to her sister, she became livid. She called the other white parents, armed herself, gathered some friends, and went out looking for the boys. She intended to kill them.

Mrs. Sutton went to Hanover’s home with her posse, not only to kill the boys but to lynch the mothers. They arrived almost at the same time as six carloads of police — nearly the entire police force of Monroe. Fortunately, no one was at home.

Later that afternoon, a squad car spotted the two boys pulling a little red wagon filled with pop bottles. The police jumped from the car, guns drawn, snatched the boys, handcuffed them, and threw them into the car. One of cops slapped Hanover, the first of many beatings he would endure.
When they got to the jail, the boys were beaten unmercifully. They were held without counsel and their mothers were not allowed to see them.

For several nights the mothers were so frightened that they didn’t sleep in their own house. Gunmen in passing cars fired dozens of shots into the Thompson home. They killed Hanover’s dog. Both women were fired from their jobs as housekeepers. Mrs. Thompson was evicted from her home. The Klan held daily demonstrations outside of the jail.

On November 4, 1958, six days after taking the boys into custody, local authorities finally held a hearing. The boys had still not seen their parents, friends, or legal counsel. At the hearing, the judge found the boys guilty of three charges of assault (kissing) and molestation. He ordered that the boys be incarcerated in an adult facility for black prisoners, and told the boys that if they behaved, they might be released at age 21.

Civil rights leader Robert F. Williams, head of the local chapter of the NAACP raised protests about the arrests and sentencing. Former First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt tried to talk with the governor. At first the local and state governments refused to back down in the case. Williams called Conrad Lynn, a noted black civil rights lawyer, who came down from New York to aid in the boys' defense. Governor Luther H. Hodges and state attorney general Malcolm Seawell rejected Lynn's writ (on behalf of Williams) to review the detention of the boys.

Joyce Egginton, a reporter for the London News-Chronicle traveled to Monroe, she sneaked into the prison where the boys were held, under the pretense of being a social worker. She also sneaked in a camera. On December 15, 1958, a front page picture of Hanover and Fuzzy in the reformatory, along with an article, appeared all over Europe.

News organizations in England, Germany, Italy, France, Belgium, Spain, all carried the story. The United States Information Agency received more than 12,000 letters expressing outrage at the events.

An international committee was formed in Europe to defend Thompson and Simpson. Huge demonstrations were held in Paris, Rome and Vienna and in Rotterdam against the United States. The U.S. Embassy in Brussels was stoned. It was an international embarrassment for the U.S. government.

In February, North Carolina officials asked the boys’ mothers to sign a waiver with the assurance that their children would be released. The mothers refused to sign the waiver, which would have required the boys to admit to being guilty of the charges.

Two days later, after the boys had spent three months in detention, the governor pardoned Thompson and Simpson without conditions or explanation. The state and city never apologized to the boys or their families for their treatment.


         Dwight "Dee" Thompson discuss Kissing Case of 1958


         The Kissing Case

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

11th Annual Moral March on Raleigh & HKonJ People’s Assembly


         

      11th Annual Moral March on Raleigh & HKonJ People’s Assembly

         Over 100,000 People Joined the Biggest-Ever Moral March in North Carolina

Saturday, February 11, 2017 The Moral March on Raleigh was part of a love and justice movement. They fight for an intersectional agenda to support public education, economic sustainability, workers’ rights and livable wages, health care For all, medicaid expansion, environmental justice, equal protection under the law without regard to race, immigration status, gender, gender identity or sexual orientation, voting rights for all, and criminal justice.

This year, the Moral March on Raleigh will focus on our moral duty to stand against the repeal of the life-saving Affordable Care Act, the legislative tyranny of our extremist-led General Assembly, the racist and unconstitutional gerrymandering which undermines the vote of all North Carolinians, the anti-family, anti-worker, and anti-LGBTQ hate bill 2, and the extremism and lies of Trumpism, which undermine our Democracy at the federal, state and local level.

     "Standing Down is Not an Option!" | Rev. Dr. William J. Barber, II


Donald Trump and his administration have undermined our Democracy and democratic institutions by making regressive federal appointments and inviting white nationalists into the White House. They have demonized our immigrant and Muslim brothers and sisters by building a wall on our Mexican border, pushing through an Executive Order which effectively bans many refugees and Muslims from our country, and blaming Latinos for voter fraud that does not exist.

     Thousands of NC citizens pack Raleigh for 2017 Moral March


For the past eleven years, a fusion movement has been growing in North Carolina. In 2006, the Historic Thousands on Jones St. (HKonJ) People’s Assembly Coalition was formed under the leadership of Rev. Dr. William J. Barber, II and the North Carolina NAACP. It has grown to include over 200 coalition partners. Each year this fusion movement comes together on the second Saturday in February to hold a mass people’s assembly to reaffirm its commitment to the 14 Point People’s Agenda and to hold lawmakers accountable to the people of North Carolina.

This year’s annual people’s assembly was held in the wake of the election of Donald Trump and the political coup by our extremist legislators to limit the power of Governor Roy Cooper. We will continue our fight to challenge and expose the immoral and unconstitutional policies supported and passed by former-Governor Pat McCrory, Speaker Tim Moore, Senate Leader Phil Berger and other extremists Republicans in the NC General Assembly.

This year, the Moral March on Raleigh will focus on our moral duty to stand against the repeal of the life-saving Affordable Care Act, the legislative tyranny of our extremist-led General Assembly, the racist and unconstitutional gerrymandering which undermines the vote of all North Carolinians, the anti-family, anti-worker, and anti-LGBTQ hate bill 2, and the extremism and lies of Trumpism, which undermine our Democracy at the federal, state and local level.

           11th Annual Moral March on Raleigh


Donald Trump and his administration have undermined our Democracy and democratic institutions by making regressive federal appointments and inviting white nationalists into the White House. They have demonized our immigrant and Muslim brothers and sisters by building a wall on our Mexican border, pushing through an Executive Order which effectively bans many refugees and Muslims from our country, and blaming Latinos for voter fraud that does not exist.

For the past eleven years, a fusion movement has been growing in North Carolina. In 2006, the Historic Thousands on Jones St. (HKonJ) People’s Assembly Coalition was formed under the leadership of Rev. Dr. William J. Barber, II and the North Carolina NAACP. It has grown to include over 200 coalition partners. Each year this fusion movement comes together on the second Saturday in February to hold a mass people’s assembly to reaffirm its commitment to the 14 Point People’s Agenda and to hold lawmakers accountable to the people of North Carolina.

If you believe that an injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere, if you understand that what happens in North Carolina has implications for the future of the nation, if you believe that we can build a moral movement together to save the soul of our state and country, then join us now as we organise and work to show the North Carolina General Assembly, “Forward Together, Not One Step Back!”We are calling on all people of conscience and concern to join and work with us as we stand against the extreme and regressive agenda being pushed in North Carolina. This agenda is a reflection of what is happening across the United States.

       Rev William Barber Speaks at The Moral March


     Voices from the Street The 11th Annual Moral March on Raleigh HKonJ




Sunday, February 12, 2017

Ida B Wells



                                         Ida B Wells
"One had better die fighting against injustice than die like a dog or a rat in a trap." Ida B. Wells 

Ida B. Wells-Barnett was a fearless anti-lynching crusader, suffragist, women's rights advocate, journalist, and speaker. She stands as one of our nation's most uncompromising leaders and most ardent defenders of democracy.  

The courage, determination and drive of Ida B. Wells stands out as a story we need to know and model ourselves after. 

Ida B. Wells was born July 16, 1862, as the child of slaves in Holly Springs, Mississippi. Her father, James, was a Native American and a skilled carpenter. Her mother, Elizabeth Bell, was Black and was a "famous" cook.  Her father helped start Shaw University in Holly Springs. It later became Rust College, which still exists today.

When Ida was only fourteen, a tragic epidemic of Yellow Fever swept through Holly Springs and killed her parents and youngest sibling. Emblematic of the righteousness, responsibility, and fortitude that characterized her life, she kept the family together by securing a job teaching. Her paternal grandmother, Peggy Wells, along with other friends and relatives, stayed with her siblings and cared for them during the week while Wells was away teaching. Without this help, she would have not been able to keep her siblings together.  Wells resented that in the segregated school system, white teachers were paid $80 a month and she was paid only $30 a month. This discrimination made her more interested in the politics of race and improving the education of black people. She managed to continue her education by attending near-by Rust College.

In 1883, Wells took three of her younger siblings to Memphis, Tennessee, to live with her aunt and to be closer to other family members. She also learned that she could earn higher wages there as a teacher than in Mississippi. Soon after moving, she was hired in Woodstock for the Shelby County school system. During her summer vacations she attended summer sessions at Fisk University, a historically black college in Nashville. She also attended LeMoyne. She held strong political opinions and provoked many people with her views on women's rights. At 24, she wrote, "I will not begin at this late day by doing what my soul abhors; sugaring men, weak deceitful creatures, with flattery to retain them as escorts or to gratify a revenge."

On May 4, 1884, a train conductor with the Memphis and Charleston Railroad ordered Wells to give up her seat in the first-class ladies car and move to the smoking car, which was already crowded with other passengers. The year before, the Supreme Court had ruled against the federal Civil Rights Act of 1875 (which had banned racial discrimination in public accommodations). This verdict supported railroad companies that chose to racially segregate their passengers.

Wells refused to give up her seat. The conductor and two men dragged Wells out of the car. When she returned to Memphis, she hired an African-American attorney to sue the railroad. Wells gained publicity in Memphis when she wrote a newspaper article for The Living Way, a black church weekly, about her treatment on the train. When her lawyer was paid off by the railroad, she hired a white attorney. She won her case on December 24, 1884, when the local circuit court granted her a $500 award.

The railroad company appealed to the Tennessee Supreme Court, which reversed the lower court's ruling in 1887. It concluded, "We think it is evident that the purpose of the defendant in error was to harass with a view to this suit, and that her persistence was not in good faith to obtain a comfortable seat for the short ride." Wells was ordered to pay court costs. Wells' reaction to the higher court's decision expressed her strong convictions on civil rights and religious faith, as she responded: "I felt so disappointed because I had hoped such great things from my suit for my people...O God, is there no...justice in this land for us?"

While teaching elementary school, Wells was offered an editorial position for the Evening Star in Washington, DC. She also wrote weekly articles for The Living Way weekly newspaper under the pen name "Iola," gaining a reputation for writing about the race issue. In 1889, she became co-owner and editor of Free Speech and Headlight, an anti-segregation newspaper that was started by the Reverend Taylor Nightingale and was based at the Beale Street Baptist Church in Memphis. It published articles about racial injustice. In 1891, Wells was dismissed from her teaching post by the Memphis Board of Education due to her articles that criticized conditions in the colored schools of the region. Wells was devastated but undaunted, and concentrated her energy on writing articles for the The Living Way and the Free Speech and Headlight.

In 1889 Thomas Moss, a friend of Wells, opened the Peoples Grocery in the "Curve," a black neighborhood just outside the Memphis city limits. It did well and competed with a white-owned grocery store across the street. While Wells was out of town in Natchez, Mississippi, a white mob invaded her friends' store. During the altercation, three white men were shot and injured. Moss and two other black men, named McDowell and Stewart, were arrested and jailed pending trial. A large white lynch mob stormed the jail and killed the three men.

After the lynching of her friends, Wells wrote in Free Speech and Headlight, urging blacks to leave Memphis altogether:

   "There is, therefore, only one thing left to do; save our money and leave a    town which will neither protect our lives and property, nor give us a fair    trial in the courts, but takes us out and murders us in cold blood when       accused by white persons".

Wells emphasized the public spectacle of the lynching. More than 6,000 black people did leave Memphis; others organized boycotts of white-owned businesses. After being threatened with violence, she bought a pistol. She later wrote, "They had made me an exile and threatened my life for hinting at the truth."

 Her newspaper office was destroyed as a result of the muckraking and investigative journalism she pursued after the killing of her three friends. She could not return to Memphis, so she moved to Chicago. She however continued her blistering journalistic attacks on Southern injustices, being especially active in investigating and exposing the fraudulent "reasons" given to lynch Black men, which by now had become a common occurrence.

In Chicago, she helped develop numerous African American women and reform organizations, but she remained diligent in her anti-lynching crusade, writing Southern Horrors: Lynch Law in All Its Phases. She also became a tireless worker for women's suffrage, and happened to march in the famous 1913 march for universal suffrage in Washington, D.C. Not able to tolerate injustice of any kind, Ida B. Wells-Barnett, along with Jane Addams, successfully blocked the establishment of segregated schools in Chicago.

                                       Ida B Wells with her four children, 1909

In 1895 Wells married the editor of one of Chicago's early Black newspapers. She wrote: "I was married in the city of Chicago to attorney Ferdinand L. Barnett, a widower with two sons, Ferdinand and Albert. She was one of the first married American women to keep her own last name as well as taking her husband's.She retired to what she thought was the privacy of a home." She did not stay retired long and continued writing and organizing. By 1901, she bought all shares in the paper and became the owner. In 1906, she joined with William E.B. DuBois and others to further the Niagara Movement, and she was one of two African American women to sign "the call" to form the NAACP in 1909.











                       Ida B. Wells Barnett and Ferdinand Barnett with their family

Although Ida B. Wells was one of the founding members of the National Association for the
 Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), she was also among the few Black leaders to explicitly oppose Booker T. Washington and his strategies. As a result, she was viewed as one the most radical of the so-called "radicals" who organized the NAACP and marginalized from positions within its leadership. As late as 1930, she became disgusted by the nominees of the major parties to the state legislature, so Wells-Barnett decided to run for the Illinois State legislature  which made her one of the first Black women to run for public office in the United States. A year later, she passed away after a lifetime crusading for justice.

Source: Wikipedia, Andrew Bozeman,SF BayView http://people.duke.edu/~ldbaker/classes/AAIH/caaih/ibw

      The Legendary Ida B Wells Her Great Passion For Justice Anti Lynching Crusader



Friday, February 10, 2017

Annie Turnbo Malone



              Annie Minerva Turnbo Malone

Annie Minerva Turnbo Malone born August 9, 1869 – May 10, 1957, was an American businesswoman, inventor and philanthropist. In the first three decades of the 20th century, she founded and developed a large and prominent commercial and educational enterprise centered on cosmetics for African-American women.

Entrepreneur and philanthropist Annie Minerva Turnbo Malone was born to Robert Turnbo and Isabella Cook in Metropolis, Illinois on August 9, 1869.  Her parents were former slaves and her father joined the Union Army during the Civil War. When her father went off to fight for the Union with the 1st Kentucky Cavalry in the Civil War, Isabella took the couple's children and escaped from Kentucky, a neutral border state that maintained slavery. After traveling down the Ohio River, she found refuge in Metropolis, Illinois. There Annie Turnbo was later born, the tenth of eleven children.

Annie Turnbo was born on a farm near Metropolis in Massac County, Illinois. Orphaned at a young age, Annie attended a public school in Metropolis before moving to Peoria to live with her older sister Ada Moody in 1896. There Annie attended high school, taking particular interest in chemistry. However, due to frequent illness, Annie was forced to withdraw from classes.

While out of school, Annie grew so fascinated with hair and hair care that she often practiced hairdressing with her sister. With expertise in both chemistry and hair care, Turnbo began to develop her own hair care products. At the time, many women used goose fat, heavy oils, soap, or bacon grease to straighten their curls, which damaged both scalp and hair.

When she and her family moved to Lovejoy, Illinois, now known as Brooklyn, Illinois., Annie decided she wanted to become a "beauty doctor."  At the age of 20 she had already developed her own shampoo and scalp treatment to grow and straighten hair.  Taking her creation to the streets, she went around in a buggy making speeches to demonstrate and promote the new shampoo.

While living in Brooklyn, Illinois, around the turn of the century, Malone developed a chemical product that straightened African American hair without damage. She claimed to have studied chemistry and to have been influenced by an aunt who was trained as an herbal doctor. Her first store front was located at Madison and 4th Street. She expanded her hair care line to include other beauty products, including her popular Wonderful Hair Grower. She developed and patented the pressing comb which is still in use today. To promote her new product, Turnbo sold the Wonderful Hair Grower in bottles from door-to-door. Her products and sales began to revolutionize hair care methods for all African Americans.

In 1902, Turnbo moved to a thriving St. Louis, where she and three hired assistants sold her hair care products from door-to-door. As part of her marketing, she gave away free treatments to attract more customers.

In 1902 she married Nelson Pope; the couple divorced in 1907.

Due to the high demand for her product in St. Louis, Turnbo opened her first shop  there on 2223 Market Street in 1902. She also launched a wide advertising campaign in the black press, held news conferences, toured many southern states, and recruited many women whom she trained to sell her products.

Due to the growth in her business, in 1910 Turnbo moved to a larger facility on 3100 Pine Street. In addition to a manufacturing plant, it contained facilities for a beauty college, which she named Poro College. The building included a manufacturing plant, a retail store where Poro products were sold, business offices, a 500-seat auditorium, dining and meeting rooms, a roof garden, dormitory, gymnasium, bakery, and chapel. It served the African-American community as a center for religious and social functions.

The College's curriculum addressed the whole student; students were coached on personal style for work: on walking, talking, and a style of dress designed to maintain a solid persona. Poro College employed nearly 200 people in St. Louis. Through its school and franchise businesses, the college created jobs for almost 75,000 women in North and South America, Africa and the Philippines.

On April 28, 1914, Annie Turnbo married Aaron Eugene Malone, a former teacher and religious book salesman. Turnbo Malone, by then was worth well over a million dollars.

By the 1920s, Annie Turnbo Malone had become a multi-millionaire. In 1924 she paid income tax of nearly $40,000, reportedly the highest in Missouri. While extremely wealthy, Malone lived modestly, giving thousands of dollars to the local black YMCA and the Howard University College of Medicine in Washington, DC. She also donated money to the St. Louis Colored Orphans Home, where she served as president on the board of directors from 1919 to 1943. With her help, in 1922 the Home bought a facility at 2612 Goode Avenue (which was renamed Annie Malone Drive in her honor).

The Orphans Home is still located in the historic Ville neighborhood. Upgraded and expanded, the facility was renamed in the entrepreneur's honor as the Annie Malone Children and Family Service Center.  As well as funding many programs, Malone ensured that her employees, all African American, were paid well and given opportunities for advancement.

Her business thrived until 1927, when her husband filed for divorce. Having served as president of the company, he demanded half of the business' value, based on his claim that his contributions had been integral to its success.  The divorce suit forced Poro College into a court-ordered receivership. With support from her employees and powerful figures such as Mary McLeod Bethune, she negotiated a settlement of $200,000. This affirmed her as the sole owner of Poro College, and the divorce was granted.

After the divorce, Turnbo Malone moved most of her business to Chicago’s South Parkway, where she bought an entire city block.  Other lawsuits followed. In 1937, during the Great Depression, a former employee filed suit, also claiming credit for Poro's success. To raise money for the settlement, Turnbo Malone sold her St. Louis property. Although much reduced in size, her business continued to thrive

On May 10, 1957, Annie Malone suffered a stroke and died at Chicago's Provident Hospital. Childless, she had bequeathed her business and remaining fortune to her nieces and nephews. At the time of her death, her estate was valued at $100,000.

Sources:Wikipedia , Mark C. Carnes and John A. Garraty, eds., American National Biography , http://www.freemaninstitute.com 



                                    The Annie Malone Story


        KETC | Living St. Louis | Annie Malone


        Annie Malone: The Creator of the African-American Hair Care Industry


Thursday, February 9, 2017

Madam C. J. Walker



                                            Madam C. J. Walker

"I am not merely satisfied in making money for myself, for I am endeavoring to provide employment for hundreds of women of my race. ... I want to say to every Negro woman present, don't sit down and wait for the opportunities to come. Get up and make them!"

"I am a woman who came from the cotton fields of the South. From there I was promoted to the washtub. From there I was promoted to the cook kitchen. And from there I promoted myself into the business of manufacturing hair goods and preparations....I have built my own factory on my own ground."

"I want you to understand that your first duty is to humanity. I want others to look at us and see that we care not just about ourselves but about others."


Sarah Breedlove December 23, 1867 – May 25, 1919 , known as Madam C. J. Walker, was an African American entrepreneur, philanthropist, and a political and social activist. Eulogized as the first female self-made millionaire in America, she became one of the wealthiest African American women in the country, "the world's most successful female entrepreneur of her time," and one of the most successful African-American business owners ever.

Walker made her fortune by developing and marketing a line of beauty and hair products for black women through Madame C.J. Walker Manufacturing Company, the successful business she founded. Walker was also known for her philanthropy and activism. She made financial donations to numerous organizations and became a patron of the arts. Villa Lewaro, Walker’s lavish estate in Irvington-on-Hudson, New York, served as a social gathering place for the African American community.

Sarah Breedlove–who later would come to be known as Madam C. J. Walker–was born on December 23, 1867 on the same Delta, Louisiana plantation where her parents, Owen and Minerva Anderson Breedlove, had been enslaved before the end of the Civil War.  This child of sharecroppers transformed herself from an uneducated farm laborer and laundress into one of the twentieth century’s most successful, self-made women entrepreneurs.

Orphaned at age seven, she often said, “I got my start by giving myself a start.” She and her older sister, Louvenia, survived by working in the cotton fields of Delta and nearby Vicksburg, Mississippi. At 14, she married Moses McWilliams to escape abuse from her cruel brother-in-law, Jesse Powell.

Her only daughter, Lelia (later known as A’Lelia Walker) was born on June 6, 1885. When her husband died two years later, she moved to St. Louis to join her four brothers who had established themselves as barbers. Working for as little as $1.50 a day, she managed to save enough money to educate her daughter in the city’s public schools. Friendships with other black women who were members of St. Paul A.M.E. Church and the National Association of Colored Women exposed her to a new way of viewing the world.

Initially, Sarah learned about hair care from her brothers, who were barbers in Saint Louis. Around the time of the Louisiana Purchase Exposition (World's Fair at St. Louis in 1904), she became a commission agent selling products for Annie Turnbo Malone, an African American hair-care entrepreneur and owner of the Poro Company. While working for Malone, who would later become Walker’s largest rival in the hair-care industry, Sarah began to adapt her knowledge of hair and hair products to develop her own product line.

In July 1905, when she was thirty-seven years old, Sarah and her daughter moved to Denver, Colorado, where she continued to sell products for Malone and develop her own hair-care business. Following her marriage to Charles Walker in 1906, she became known as Madam C. J. Walker and marketed herself as an independent hairdresser and retailer of cosmetic creams. (“Madam” was adopted from women pioneers of the French beauty industry.  Her husband, who was also her business partner, provided advice on advertising and promotion; Sarah sold her products door to door, teaching other black women how to groom and style their hair.

In 1906 Walker put her daughter in charge of the mail order operation in Denver while she and her husband traveled throughout the southern and eastern United States to expand the business. In 1908 Walker and her husband relocated to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where they opened a beauty parlor and established Lelia College to train "hair culturists." After closing the business in Denver in 1907, A'lelia ran the day-to-day operations from Pittsburgh, while Walker established a new base in Indianapolis in 1910. A'lelia also persuaded her mother to establish an office and beauty salon in New York City's Harlem neighborhood in 1913.

In 1910 Walker relocated her business to Indianapolis, where she established the headquarters for the Madame C. J. Walker Manufacturing Company. She initially purchased a house and factory at 640 North West Street. Walker later built a factory, hair salon, and beauty school to train her sales agents, and added a laboratory to help with research. She also assembled a competent staff that included Freeman Ransom, Robert Lee Brokenburr, Alice Kelly, and Marjorie Stewart Joyner, among others, to assist in managing the growing company.  Many of her company's employees, including those in key management and staff positions, were women.

In 1913, while Walker traveled to Central America and the Caribbean to expand her business, her daughter A’Lelia, moved into a fabulous new Harlem townhouse and Walker Salon, designed by black architect, Vertner Tandy. “There is nothing to equal it,” she wrote to her attorney, F.B. Ransom. “Not even on Fifth Avenue.”

Walker herself moved to New York in 1916, leaving the day-to-day operations of the Madam C. J. Walker Manufacturing Company in Indianapolis to Ransom and Alice Kelly, her factory forelady and a former school teacher. She continued to oversee the business and to work in the New York office. Once in Harlem, she quickly became involved in Harlem’s social and political life, taking special interest in the NAACP’s anti-lynching movement to which she contributed $5,000.                                                                                                                                      
In July 1917, when a white mob murdered more
than three dozen blacks in East St. Louis, Illinois, Walker joined a group of Harlem leaders who visited the White House to present a petition advocating federal anti-lynching legislation.

As her business continued to grow, Walker organized her agents into local and state clubs. Her Madam C. J. Walker Hair Culturists Union of America convention in Philadelphia in 1917 must have been one of the first national meetings of businesswomen in the country. Walker used the gathering not only to reward her agents for their business success, but to encourage their political activism as well. “This is the greatest country under the sun,” she told them. “But we must not let our love of country, our patriotic loyalty cause us to abate one whit in our protest against wrong and injustice. We should protest until the American sense of justice is so aroused that such affairs as the East St. Louis riot be forever impossible.”

Between 1911 and 1919, during the height of her career, Walker and her company employed several thousand women as sales agents for its products. By 1917 the company claimed to have trained nearly 20,000 women. Dressed in a characteristic uniform of white shirts and black skirts and carrying black satchels, they visited houses around the United States and in the Caribbean offering Walker's hair pomade and other products packaged in tin containers carrying her image. Walker understood the power of advertising and brand awareness. Heavy advertising, primarily in African American newspapers and magazines, in addition to Walker's frequent travels to promote her products, helped make Walker and her products well known in the United States. Walker became even more widely known by the 1920s as her business market expanded beyond the United States to Cuba, Jamaica, Haiti, Panama, and Costa Rica.

In addition to training in sales and grooming, Walker showed other black women how to budget, build their own businesses, and encouraged them to become financially independent. In 1917, inspired by the model of the National Association of Colored Women, Walker began organizing her sales agents into state and local clubs. The result was the establishment of the National Beauty Culturists and Benevolent Association of Madam C. J. Walker Agents (predecessor to the Madam C. J. Walker Beauty Culturists Union of America). Its first annual conference convened in Philadelphia during the summer of 1917 with 200 attendees. The conference is believed to have been among the first national gatherings of women entrepreneurs to discuss business and commerce.  During the convention Walker gave prizes to women who had sold the most products and brought in the most new sales agents. She also rewarded those who made the largest contributions to charities in their communities.

Walker contributed scholarship funds to the Tuskegee Institute. Other beneficiaries included Indianapolis's Flanner House and Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church; Mary McLeod Bethune's Daytona Education and Industrial School for Negro Girls (which later became Bethune-Cookman University) in Daytona Beach, Florida; the Palmer Memorial Institute in North Carolina; and the Haines Normal and Industrial Institute in Georgia. Walker was also a patron of the arts.

In 1917 Walker commissioned Vertner Tandy, the first licensed black architect in New York City and a founding member of Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity, to design her house in Irvington-on-Hudson, New York. Walker intended for Villa Lewaro, which cost $250,000 to build, to become a gathering place for community leaders and to inspire other African Americans to pursue their dreams. She moved into the house in May 1918.

Walker became more involved in political matters after her move to New York. She delivered lectures on political, economic, and social issues at conventions sponsored by powerful black institutions. Her friends and associates included Booker T. Washington, Mary McLeod Bethune, and W. E. B. Du Bois, among others. During World War I Walker was a leader in the Circle For Negro War Relief and advocated for the establishment of a training camp for black army officers.  In 1917 she joined the executive committee of New York chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), which organized the Silent Protest Parade on New York City's Fifth Avenue. The public demonstration drew more than 8,000 African Americans to protest a riot in East Saint Louis that killed thirty-nine African Americans.

The New York Times pronounced it “a place fit for a fairy princess.” Enrico Caruso, the world-famous opera tenor, was so entranced by its similarity to estates in his native Naples that he coined the name “Lewaro” in honor of A’Lelia Walker Robinson, Madam Walker’s only daughter.

Walker told her friend Ida B. Wells, the journalist and anti-lynching activist, that after working so hard all her life -- first as a farm laborer, then as a maid and a cook, and finally as the founder of an international hair care enterprise -- she wanted a place to relax and garden and entertain her friends.

She also wanted to make a statement, so it was no accident that she purchased four and a half acres in Irvington-on-Hudson, New York, not far from Jay Gould’s Lyndhurst and John D. Rockefeller’s Kykuit amidst America’s wealthiest families. She directed Vertner Woodson Tandy -- the architect who already had designed her opulent Harlem townhouse -- to position the 34-room mansion close to the village’s main thoroughfare so it was easily visible by travelers en route from Manhattan to Albany.

Indeed, the Times reported that her new neighbors were “puzzled” and “gasped in astonishment” when they learned that a black woman was the owner. “Impossible!” they exclaimed. “No woman of her race could afford such a place.”

The woman born in a dim Louisiana sharecropper’s cabin on the banks of the Mississippi River now awoke each morning in a sunny master suite with a view of the Hudson River and the New Jersey Palisades. The child who had crawled on dirt floors now walked on carpets of Persian silk. The destitute laundress, who had lived across the alley from the St. Louis bar where Scott Joplin composed ragtime tunes, now hosted private concerts beneath shimmering chandeliers in her gold music room.

But the home was not constructed merely for her personal pleasure. Villa Lewaro, she hoped, would inspire young African-Americans to “do big things” and to see “what can be accomplished by thrift, industry and intelligent investment of money.”

“Do not fail to mention that the Irvington home, after my death, will be left to some cause that will be beneficial to the race -- a sort of monument,” she instructed her attorney, F. B. Ransom. As the largest contributor to the fund that saved Frederick Douglass’s Anacostia home, Cedar Hill, she understood the importance of preservation as a way to claim and influence history’s narrative.

For her opening gathering in August 1918, Madam Walker honored Emmett Scott, then the Special Assistant to the U. S. Secretary of War in Charge of Negro Affairs and the highest ranking African-American in the federal government. At this “conference of interest to the race” -- with its who’s who of black Americans and progressive whites -- she encouraged discussion and debate about civil rights, lynching, racial discrimination, and the status of black soldiers then serving in France during World War I.

After a weekend of conversation, collegiality, and music provided by J. Rosamond Johnson -- co-composer of “Lift Ev’ry Voice and Sing” -- and Joseph Douglass, master violinist and grandson of Frederick Douglass, Scott wrote to her, “No such assemblage has ever gathered at the private home of any representative of our race, I am sure.”

After Madam Walker died at Villa Lewaro on May 25, 1919 -- barely a year after moving in -- her daughter continued the tradition of hosting events, occasionally opening the home for public tours to honor Walker’s legacy. Later dubbed the “joy goddess of Harlem’s 1920s” by poet Langston Hughes because of her impressive soirees, A’Lelia Walker feted Liberian President Charles D. B. King and his entourage in 1921 with a Fourth of July fireworks display and concert by the Ford Dabney Orchestra.

       Black History Month Feature: Madam CJ Walker - The First Female Self-Made Millionaire


       Meet the First Self-Made Female Millionaire