Black History Month: February 2019
To recall and celebrate the positive contributions to our nation made by people of African descent, American historian Carter G. Woodson established Black History Week beginning on Feb. 12, 1926. In 1976, as part of the nation's bicentennial, the week was expanded into Black History Month.
TODAY'S SPOTLIGHT ON
Minister Louis Farrakhan was born Louis Eugene Walcott on May 11, 1933, in Roxbury, Massachusetts. After his mother recognized his artistic talent, young Louis was given a violin by his mother before his sixth birthday and began years of formal training. Later he became popularly known as "The Charmer," and achieved fame in Boston as a vocalist, calypso singer, dancer, and violinist, but in 1955 after hearing the Honorable Elijah Muhammad speak he joined the Nation of Islam and gave up his career as a musician. By the late '70s Farrakhan was leading the organization. One of his greatest accomplishments to date has been organizing the Million Man March in Washington in 1995.
MINISTER LOUIS FARRAKHAN TRIVIA:
Raised by his mother, who was from St. Kitts.
Played with the Boston College Orchestra and the Boston Civic Symphony at the age of 13.
Won the Ted Mack Amateur Hour at age 14. He was also one of the first blacks to appear on the popular show.
Graduating from high school at age 16, he earned an athletic scholarship for his prowess as a track sprinter and attended Winston-Salem Teachers' College in North Carolina, excelling in the study of English.
Introduced the POWER concept and in 1986 introduced a line of personal care products and a program for black economic development.
Developed The Final Call in 1979, an internationally circulated newspaper that follows in the line of The Muhammad Speaks.
Married his childhood sweetheart in September 1953, fathered nine children, and has 23 grandchildren and 4 great-grandchildren
MINISTER LOUIS FARRAKHAN'S QUOTES:
On being gifted: “We are all gifted, but we have to discover the gift, uncover the gift, nurture and develop the gift and use it for the Glory of God and for the liberation struggle of our people.”
On white people: “White people are potential humans – they haven't evolved yet.”
On justice: “There really can be no peace without justice. There can be no justice without truth. And there can be no truth, unless someone rises up to tell you the truth.”
On growth: “I am not the same man I was 35 years ago. And I hope that five years and ten years from now, I'll be a better man, a more mature man, a wiser man, a more humble man and a more spirited man to serve the good of my people and the good of humanity.”
On black leadership: “Black leadership has to recognize that principles more than speech, character more than a claim, is greater in advancing the cause of our liberation than what has transpired thus far.”
(Source: Brainy Quotes)
TODAY IN BLACK HISTORY:
In 1902, World renown Opera singer Marian Anderson was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She became the first African-American to perform with the New York Metropolitan Opera in 1955.
In 1923, Jazz saxophonist, Academy Award-nominated actor Dexter Gordon born in Los Angeles, California. He is considered one of the first bebop tenor players. Gordon received a nomination for Academy Award for Best Actor for his role in the 1986 film Round Midnight.
In 1988, Figure skater Debi Thomas wins a Bronze Medal becoming the first black to win a medal at the Winter Olympics.
In 1999, Olusegun Obasanjo a retired Nigerian Army General, a Christian of Yoruba descent won the 1999 elections as the People's Democratic Party candidate with 62.6% of the vote.
BLACK HISTORY MONTH QUESTION OF THE DAY
Who is the first black pro golfer?
A) Tiger Woods
B) John Shippen
C) Robert Hawkins
Answer: John Shippen. At 16-year-old, he became the first black pro golfer at the 1896 US Open at Shinnecock Hills.(Source: blackamericaweb.com)
BLACK HISTORY MONTH FACT OF THE DAY:
Underground Railroad: The Underground Railroad, a vast network of people who helped fugitive slaves escape to the North and to Canada, was not run by any single organization or person. Rather, it consisted of many individuals — many whites but predominantly black — who knew only of the local efforts to aid fugitives and not of the overall operation. Still, it effectively moved hundreds of slaves northward each year — according to one estimate, the South lost 100,000 slaves between 1810 and 1850.
BLACK HISTORY MONTH SPOTLIGHT
Barack Obama was the 44th President of the United States and the first African American ever elected to that position.
Barack was born on August 4th, 1961 in Honolulu, Hawaii to a white American mother, Ann Dunham and a black Kenyan father Barack Obama Sr. Barack's dad left for Harvard, then ultimately moved Kenya and his mom remarried and moved to Jakarta. Barack later moved back to Hawaii and was mostly raised by his grandparents. He managed to get into Panahous School, Hawaii's top prep academy.
Barack attended Columbia University. He later moved to Chicago and became a community organizer for a small Chicago church-based group for three years, helping poor South Side residents cope with a wave of plant closings. He then attended Harvard Law School, and in 1990 became the first African-American editor of the Harvard Law Review.
Barack then chose to practice civil-rights law in Chicago, representing victims of housing and employment discrimination and working on voting-rights legislation. He also began teaching at the University of Chicago Law School — and married a fellow attorney, Michelle Robinson. Eventually, he was elected to the Illinois state senate, where his district included both Hyde Park and some of the poorest ghettos on the South Side.
In 2004, Obama was elected to the U.S. Senate as a Democrat, representing Illinois.
In 2008, he ran for President, and despite having only four years of national political experience, he won.
In January 2009, he was sworn in as the 44th President of the United States.
BLACK HISTORY MONTH EXTRA
Barack Obama's final State of the Union: