Juneteenth

Terms for the end of Civil War hostilities began at a courthouse in Virginia in April of 1865, but it didn’t end in Texas until June later that year. Slaves continued to work and personal freedoms were ignored because no one got the word.  No social media, no media of any kind, no newspapers for slaves who of course were not allowed to read (outlawed by the Slave Codes). General Robert E. Lee, commander of …

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W. E. B. Du Bois

We have chosen to use the image of William Edward Burghardt Du Bois (February 23, 1868 – August 27, 1963) as our avatar and logo because he is the embodiment of an uncompromising  intellectual, a principled black man that could not and would not tolerate the treatment of African Americans during his lifetime. A writer, civil rights activist, historian, and college professor, Du Bois could have lived a comfortable life. but he chose to engage …

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Why We Celebrate Black History Month

Since Carter G. Woodson’s efforts in the 1910’s, and the idea of setting aside a time of year to celebrate the accomplishments of African-Americans, disparaging remarks about his efforts and the idea of documenting and celebrating black accomplishments have been subject to criticism.  Unfortunately even black Americans seem to have found Black History Month inadequate (celebrate 365, they say) or forget about it all together. Some people feel that the time has past for a separate time …

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Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. & Voting Rights

After the Civil War, three amendments were added to the United States Constitution to address the new reality for free blacks.  The 13th forbidding slavery, the 14th guaranteeing all people the same rights and privileges as everyone else and finally the 15th, the right to vote without regard to race or color or previous condition of servitude. The right to vote proved to be elusive for blacks especially in the South. States and local governments, …

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Celebrate King’s Day

The hallmark of change was non-violent change.  Nobel Peace Laureate Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. championed a movement that became a world wide model for civil change. Those that disagree with the direction the United States has taken in respect to rights note both the spirit and letter of the law,  have often resorted to violence. Brandishing weapons, taking hostages, even threatening federal agents has become a familiar tactic.  Especially among right-wing zealots. Who would …

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American Football

American football is the most popular sport in the United States. The National Football League (NFL) is the most popular sports league in the U.S. based on average attendance and revenue generated. Football evolved from the sport of rugby. The first football game played was on November 6, 1869 between Rutgers University and Princeton University. In 1876, the first rules for American football were written.  Walter Camp, known as the “father” of American Football first …

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Sounds of Jazz & Miles Davis

Jazz is a uniquely African-American music genre. Since the late 1800’s the blending of African sounds imported with the people of West Africa to the Americas including the United States, coupled with the mastery of European musical instruments, jazz was born. Call and response, gospel, and the introduction and use of African beat patterns were distinctly different from the standard musical structure of European music, this created a wholly different sound. Arguably. beginning with the …

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The Chitlin’ Circuit

Before Rock and Roll in the 1950’s, before arenas began to integrate, black performers traveled what was known as the Chitlin’ Circuit. Not to be confused with the Chitlin’ Strut. The Chitlin’ Strut is a food festival. If you ever traveled through the Southeastern United States, South Carolina or more specifically, in the Aiken area, in the fall, mostly in November, the unforgettable smell of pig innards fill the air. The tiny town of Sally, …

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The Sounds of Protest

Songs set the tone. Lyrics and beats set the mood. The Sound of the Times have been used to express opinions and feelings in difficult times. Protest songs have been important to Blacks since our struggle began. No matter if it was slavery, human rights, civil rights, wars, lynching or police brutality, we have expressed feelings in songs. June is when we commemorate Black Music Appreciation Month (the decree first issued by President Carter in 1979), one cannot …

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The Sound of the Times

Whether it was the civil rights movement, the Vietnam War, anti-war protests, riots after the untimely death of iconic figures, it was music that set the mood of our people and indeed the country and world. Music calmed anxieties and eased some pain. Marvin Gaye’s, Ecology Song (Mercy Mercy Me), a prayer for the land and air, man’s dominion. Marvin knew we had abused the earth, he said it in a song. Edwin Starr didn’t …

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