If I could take all my parts with me when I go somewhere, and not have to say to one of them, “No, you stay home tonight, you won’t be welcome,” because I’m going to an all-white party where I can be gay, but not Black. Or I’m going to a Black poetry reading, and half the poets are antihomosexual, or thousands of situations where something of what I am cannot come with me. The day all the different parts of me can come along, we would have what I would call a revolution.
Excerpt from: Movement in Black : The Collected Poetry of Pat Parker, Black Lesbian Poet and activist, working with Oakland Feminist Women’s Health Center, the Black Panther Party, the Black Women’s Revolutionary Council and various LGBTQ organizations.
Read more here.
Early on, New Orleans’ three-tiered racial hierarchy and large population of free people of color (in French, gens de couleur libres) distinguished it from other North American cities. During the colonial and antebellum period, free people of color enjoyed relative affluence and freedom in comparison to enslaved Africans and people of African descent. However, they did not enjoy the same social, political, economic and educational privileges as whites in the city. Even before the Civil War, many free people of color began to describe themselves as “Afro-Creole” or “creoles of color,” adapting the term “Creole” to denote their pre-colonial heritage. Scholars continue to study how the population of free people of color became so substantial in New Orleans; the racial classification of Creoles of color in various time periods; and their roles in colonial, antebellum and postbellum New Orleans society.
This acrylic-on-canvas painting, titled “Racism/Incident at Little Rock,” is one of Ulloa’s most famous works. Created in 1957, it’s a commentary on the desegregation of Central High School in Little Rock, Ark. - VCStar
Domingo Ulloa is known as an “Undiscovered Master”, and in 1993, was formally declared the “Father of Chicano Art” by the California State Assembly.
September 25, 1957, became a historic day in the Nation when nine courageous children risked their lives to attend Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas. Confronted by a hostile crowd and escorted by the Screaming Eagles of the 101st Airborne, they shouldered the burden of integrating a then segregated public school system. Although the Supreme Court’s Landmark 1954 decision in Brown v. Board of Education struck down racial segregation in public schools, it was the courageous actions of these nine young champions of school integration that tested the strength of that decision. Their actions not only mobilized a Nation to insure that access to a quality education was granted to all Americans, but they helped to define the civil rights movement. They became known as the Little Rock Nine.
Today In History
'Bessie Coleman became the first Black licensed pilot when she was awarded her pilot's certificate in France on this date June 15, 1921.'
(photo: Bessie Coleman)
- CARTER Magazine
In 1942 a young African American Ph.D. in mathematics, David Blackwell, interviewed for a teaching job at Berkeley. He was hired, but not for many years.
When finally invited to join the statistics faculty in 1952, several of Blackwell’s new colleagues told him there was a backstory to his failed application a decade earlier. It had been decided to offer him a position in mathematics, they said, but the wife of the departmental chair, who sometimes invited the faculty to dinner, insisted she would not have a black person in her house — and the offer was squelched.
Blackwell, who eventually became the first tenured black professor in the University of California system, shares this vivid memory in a 10-hour interview with the Bancroft Library’s Regional Oral History Office (ROHO). His life history is part of a recently completed oral-history series on 18 pioneering African American faculty and senior administrators, hired before the advent of affirmative-action policies in the 1970s, who broke barriers and laid the groundwork for those who followed.
"As an actress, Ms. Dee was a bridge between the Harlem Renaissance and contemporary black theater. Inspired by Paul Robeson whom she met at the Schomburg’s American Negro Theater, she helped make artistry as a form of activism real and meaningful for actors as influential as Harry Belafonte and Audra McDonald." —Dr. Khalil Gibran Muhammad, The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture
THE KING OF SUMMER | 1950s
A young Martin Luther King Jr. (left) on “Chicken Bone Beach” in Atlantic City.
John W. Mosley (1907-1969)
Master African American Photographers Series
Lucy Hicks Anderson was a pioneer in the fight for marriage equality. She spent nearly sixty years living as a woman, doing domestic work, and working as a madam. During the last decade of her life, she made history by fighting for the legal right to be herself with the man she loved.
After marrying her second husband, soldier Reuben Anderson, in Oxnard, California, in 1944, local authorities discovered that she was assigned male at birth. The couple was charged with perjury for marrying despite their both being legally male, resulting in ten years of probation. Standing up to the charges against her, Anderson said, “I defy any doctor in the world to prove that I am not a woman. I have lived, dressed, acted just what I am, a woman.” Years later, Anderson and her husband were charged again, this time with fraud after she received federal money reserved for military spouses. Both went to prison and were banned from Oxnard upon their release.
Lucy Hicks Anderson spent the remainder of her life in Los Angeles until her death in 1954, at age 68, leaving behind a legacy of authenticity and determination in the face of unjust laws.
5 Black Trans Women who Paved the Way — Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition
Free Black Communities and the Underground Railroad: The Geography of Resistance — Cheryl Janifer LaRoche
This enlightening study employs the tools of archaeology to uncover a new historical perspective on the Underground Railroad. Unlike previous histories of the Underground Railroad, which have focused on frightened fugitive slaves and their benevolent abolitionist accomplices, Cheryl LaRoche focuses instead on free African American communities, the crucial help they provided to individuals fleeing slavery, and the terrain where those flights to freedom occurred.
This study foregrounds several small, rural hamlets on the treacherous southern edge of the free North in Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio. LaRoche demonstrates how landscape features such as waterways, iron forges, and caves played a key role in the conduct and effectiveness of the Underground Railroad. Rich in oral histories, maps, memoirs, and archaeological investigations, this examination of the “geography of resistance” tells the new powerful and inspiring story of African Americans ensuring their own liberation in the midst of oppression.
Funny story: The other day I was on a plane home and sat beside someone I had an amazing conversation with. I brought up this blog, she brought up her friend’s upcoming book, and having actually seen the pre-order information on amazon, I thought many people would actually be quite interested in pre-ordering this book. It sounds amazing.
Dreaming with the Ancestors: Black Seminole Women in Texas and Mexico by Shirley Boteler Mock
Indian freedmen and their descendants have garnered much public and scholarly attention, but women’s roles have largely been absent from that discussion. Now a scholar who gained an insider’s perspective into the Black Seminole community in Texas and Mexico offers a rare and vivid picture of these women and their contributions. In Dreaming with the Ancestors, Shirley Boteler Mock explores the role that Black Seminole women have played in shaping and perpetuating a culture born of African roots and shaped by southeastern Native American and Mexican influences.
Mock reveals a unique maroon culture, forged from an eclectic mixture of religious beliefs and social practices. At its core is an amalgam of African-derived…