My tribute to black women who should apparently " smile more ..."
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Sounds about right.

Sounds about right.

I’m a woman who speaks in a voice and I must be heard At times I can be quite difficult, I’ll bow to no man’s word We who believe in freedom cannot rest We who believe in freedom cannot rest until it comes

Ella’s Song - Sweet Honey In the Rock #MondayMusic #FreedomSummer

U.S. Senate establishes Harriet Tubman national park in Auburn, first for African-American woman

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Senate voted unanimously Wednesday night to establish a national historical park at Harriet Tubman’s former home and related properties in Auburn, culminating a six-year effort by Central New York’s members of Congress.

If the House of Representatives passes the Senate legislation, it would mark the first time in U.S. history that a national park was established in honor of an African-American woman.

The Senate bill, authored by U.S. Sens. Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand of New York and Maryland’s two senators, establishes national historical parks at Tubman’s former home in Auburn and at her childhood residence along Maryland’s Eastern Shore.

Tubman, born into slavery, became a leader of the abolitionist movement and used the Underground Railroad network of anti-slavery activist to help rescue dozens of family and friends from slavery.

"Harriet Tubman, who called Auburn her home, is a pioneer and a true American hero who deserves to be honored for her bravery, service to the nation and compassion," Schumer said today after the Senate passed the bill by unanimous consent.

Gillibrand said, “Harriet Tubman is a remarkable American hero who continues to inspire people today. Her unwavering commitment to helping others while risking her own life in the long fight for equality has left an indelible legacy. This National Historic Park in Auburn would provide an important place where men and women of all backgrounds can come together and reflect on the significance of her life.”

The bill in Congress authorizes federal grants of up to $7.5 million to preserve and restore Tubman’s home and related historic properties on 32 acres along South Street in Auburn.

The park would include Tubman’s former home at 180 South St., as well as the Tubman Home for the Aged and the Thompson Memorial AME Zion Church and Rectory. The park does not include the nearby home that belonged to former U.S. Secretary of State William Seward, a friend of Tubman’s. Seward’s former home is now a house museum open to the public.

In Maryland, the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad National Historical Park would trace Tubman’s early life where she was born and later escaped from slavery to become a leader of the Underground Railroad

U.S. Rep. Dan Maffei, D-Syracuse, introduced the House bill to establish the park in February 2013. The legislation now has the bipartisan support of 101 House members who have signed on as co-sponsors. The supporters include all 27 members of New York’s congressional delegation and the Congressional Black Caucus.

Maffei today called the Senate’s passage of the bill “a huge victory for Auburn and all of Central New York.”

Maffei has said the national historical park designation will provide a boost in tourism to Central New York. Data from similar national parks suggests the Tubman home in Auburn would see an additional 20,000 visitors per year.

Maffei discussed his bill for the park with Vice President Joe Biden last month during a flight to Syracuse aboard Air Force Two. Biden made the trip to attend his niece’s wedding in Auburn.

During the trip, Maffei said he invited the vice president to visit the Tubman Home on a future trip to Upstate New York.

Contact Washington Correspondent Mark Weiner at mweiner@syracuse.com or 571-970-3751. Follow him on Twitter @MarkWeinerDC

The do nothing Senate just did something incredible.

The Janet Collins Story, presented by Sweet Blackberry

by Karyn Parsons

Animated short on Janet Collins, first African-American soloist to perform at the Metropolitan Opera to be narrated by Chris Rock.

Hi, I’m Karyn Parsons. I played Hilary Banks on the TV showThe Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. I am also the founder of Sweet Blackberry, an award-winning organization whose mission is to bring little-known stories of African American achievement to kids.

Actor, Comedian, producer and father of two young girls,Chris Rock, has come on board to narrate Janet’s story.

SWEET BLACKBERRY SHARES STORIES THAT INSPIRE!

Sweet Blackberry’s mission is toshare stories that empower and instill a sense of pride in children. Previous films by Sweet Blackberry have received the prestigious Parent’s Choice Award and Learning Magazine’s Teacher’s Choice Awards, among others. They were narrated by noted actors Alfre Woodard andQueen Latifah. Both films showed on HBO and HBO Family and have been distributed to libraries and schools all over the world andhave made a difference!

So much so that a chorus of parents and teachers, around the country, are calling out for us to make more films! For our next story, we will feature theFirst Black Prima Ballerina Janet Collins! 

SPREAD THE STORY OF THE FIRST BLACK PRIMA BALLERINA

Janet Collins was a remarkable woman who overcame incredible obstacles to become the first African American soloist to perform at the Metropolitan Opera! When only 15 years old, the talented Janet Collins was asked by the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo to join their company on the condition that she perform inwhiteface!

She declined and later became a celebrated Prima Ballerina at a time when this was unheard of. She also won awards for her dancing on Broadway including the 1950 title ofBest Dancer on Broadway

Janet Collins set the stage for an explosion of African American dancers for years to come, paving the way for companies like Alvin Ailey and the Dance Theater of Harlem.

WHY IS THIS STORY SO IMPORTANT? 

“What she did by dancing the way she did “- dancer, actor, and painterGeoffrey Holdersaid – “To be a Prima Ballerina at the Metropolitan Opera House – gave everybody hope.” 

Janet Collins’s story shows children that they can be anythingeven if you are being told that what you are is not the model for success. She knocked down the barriers!Janet Collinsrose to such heights that it is our duty at Sweet Blackberry to share her story with as wide an audience possible!

Janet Collins was also a real life Black Prima Ballerina. Little girls grow up dreaming of princesses and ballerinas, but some don’t have role models to follow and little-known Janet Collins was just that! It’s important that wenurture young girls’ (and boys’) self-esteem by providing them with strong, positive images and let them know that they are beautiful.

JOIN US! 

Janet’s story belongs to all of us. We need collaborators to get this done! Together, we will make a 20-minute, animated film, to be narrated byChris Rock, bringing to life Janet’s inspiring story, that will be distributed to libraries and schools, broadcast to a wide audience, and enjoyed in homes across the country. 

WHERE THE MONEY WILL GO

Celebrated children’s book illustrator R. Gregory Christie(who has worked with the New Yorker and New York Times, as well as in over 50 books) has signed on to create the look of the film (including the great illustrations above).

Emmy-Award nominated creative studio PixelPirate Production, will be handling the animation of the film. They’ve done work with Nick, Marvel and many other brands for kids and adults, so we’re sure they’ll do Janet Collins proud.

In addition, there are the important touches:title design;sound, mixingandmusic clearances; anactor, extras, equipmentand all the other things needed toshoot a live action sequence; post productionand aneditor; as well asdigital masteryso the project is ready to land in a classroom, on TV or in a home.

CHECK OUT OUR COOL REWARDS !

The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air cast!The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air cast!
THIS.Thank you Karyn!!#SUPPORT

Mercy Douglass’ graduating class of 1960.

Black doctors founded the two hospitals that eventually merged to become Mercy-Douglass. In the 1940s and ’50s, the hospital’s school of nursing was a training ground for young women looking to launch a professional career at a time when opportunities for African Americans were very limited.
The University of Pennsylvania hosted the alumni tea, and for several years, has been gathering photos, transcripts, letters and stories from the African American women who attended Mercy-Douglass.



Paying Tribute to the Women Who Helped Integrate Pa.’s Health Care System
 Taunya English | Newsworks.Org

Mercy Douglass’ graduating class of 1960.

Black doctors founded the two hospitals that eventually merged to become Mercy-Douglass. In the 1940s and ’50s, the hospital’s school of nursing was a training ground for young women looking to launch a professional career at a time when opportunities for African Americans were very limited.

The University of Pennsylvania hosted the alumni tea, and for several years, has been gathering photos, transcripts, letters and stories from the African American women who attended Mercy-Douglass.

Paying Tribute to the Women Who Helped Integrate Pa.’s Health Care System

 Taunya English | Newsworks.Org

"Another Negro woman has been arrested and thrown in jail because she refused to get up out of her seat on the bus for a white person to sit down. It is the second time since the Claudette Colvin case that a Negro woman has been arrested for the same thing. This has to be stopped. Negroes have rights too, for if Negroes did not ride the buses, they could not operate. Three-fourths of the riders are Negroes, yet we are arrested, or have to stand over empty seats. If we do not do something to stop these arrests, they will continue. The next time it may be you, or your daughter, or mother. This woman’s case will come up on Monday. We are, therefore, asking every Negro to stay off the buses Monday in protest of the arrest and trial. Don’t ride the buses to work, to town, to school, or anywhere on Monday. You can afford to stay out of school for one day if you have no other way to go except by bus. You can also afford to stay out of town for one day. If you work, take a cab, or walk. But please, children and grown-ups, don’t ride the bus at all on Monday. Please stay off all buses Monday.


Women, Black women of the Women’s Political Council who started the Montgomery Bus Boycotts. Oh, did that part get left out of the history books? 

"Another Negro woman has been arrested and thrown in jail because she refused to get up out of her seat on the bus for a white person to sit down. It is the second time since the Claudette Colvin case that a Negro woman has been arrested for the same thing. This has to be stopped. Negroes have rights too, for if Negroes did not ride the buses, they could not operate. Three-fourths of the riders are Negroes, yet we are arrested, or have to stand over empty seats. If we do not do something to stop these arrests, they will continue. The next time it may be you, or your daughter, or mother. This woman’s case will come up on Monday. We are, therefore, asking every Negro to stay off the buses Monday in protest of the arrest and trial. Don’t ride the buses to work, to town, to school, or anywhere on Monday. You can afford to stay out of school for one day if you have no other way to go except by bus. You can also afford to stay out of town for one day. If you work, take a cab, or walk. But please, children and grown-ups, don’t ride the bus at all on Monday. Please stay off all buses Monday.


Women, Black women of the Women’s Political Council who started the Montgomery Bus Boycotts. Oh, did that part get left out of the history books? 

The 6888th Central Postal Directory Battalion was the only all African-American, all-female battalion during World War II. Called the Six Triple Eight, the women moved mountains of mail that clogged warehouses in Birmingham for American service members and civilians in the mid-1940s.

The 855 women of the Six Triple Eight were responsible for redirecting mail to more than seven million people - all U.S. armed forces in the European theater of operations, including The Army, Navy, Marine Corps, civilians and Red Cross workers. 
 
The battalion was commanded by Major Charity Adams Earley, the highest ranking African-American woman in the military by the end of the war. The Six Triple Eight were also the first black female battalion to travel overseas. 
 
Though they were an integral part of military morale during wartime, the women slept in seperated barracks and ate in black-only dining halls. They were segregated on two fronts: Because they were black and because they were women. The women worked diligently in a building with no heat. They worked three shifts, seven days a week. When they returned home, there was no parade and no celebration for their efforts. 

Simply breath taking. 




Rev. Addie Wyatt has passed away at the age of 88, at Advocate Trinity Hospital. Wyatt dedicated her life to fight for African-American and women’s rights. Her passion for social justice began when she was denied a job in 1941, as a typist, because she was black. She later became the first female international vice president of a major American Labor Union. TheChicago Sun-Times reports:

In 1941, a teenage Addie Wyatt applied for a job as a typist in Chicago’s meat-packing industry.


Black people weren’t needed for office jobs, she was told. If she wanted work, she’d have to roll up her sleeves, and step onto the shop floor — slopping stew into cans.


The Rev. Wyatt took that job, setting her life’s course as a tireless advocate for the rights of women, African-Americans and anyone else she felt wasn’t getting a fair shake in life.


"She always believed in being fair and honest, and she stood for what was right," said the Rev. Wyatt’s sole surviving sibling, Maude McKay, 74, of Glenwood. "She just couldn’t take injustice."

Rev. Addie Wyatt has passed away at the age of 88, at Advocate Trinity Hospital. Wyatt dedicated her life to fight for African-American and women’s rights. Her passion for social justice began when she was denied a job in 1941, as a typist, because she was black. She later became the first female international vice president of a major American Labor Union. TheChicago Sun-Times reports:

In 1941, a teenage Addie Wyatt applied for a job as a typist in Chicago’s meat-packing industry.

Black people weren’t needed for office jobs, she was told. If she wanted work, she’d have to roll up her sleeves, and step onto the shop floor — slopping stew into cans.

The Rev. Wyatt took that job, setting her life’s course as a tireless advocate for the rights of women, African-Americans and anyone else she felt wasn’t getting a fair shake in life.

"She always believed in being fair and honest, and she stood for what was right," said the Rev. Wyatt’s sole surviving sibling, Maude McKay, 74, of Glenwood. "She just couldn’t take injustice."


Ann Gregory became the first African-American female to compete in a USGA championship at the 1956 U.S. Women’s Amateur. (USGA Museum)

Ann Gregory became the first African-American female to compete in a USGA championship at the 1956 U.S. Women’s Amateur. (USGA Museum)

12 Things The Negro Must do to Improve Himself - Nannie Helen Burroughs


1. The Negro Must Learn To Put First Things First. The First Things Are: Education; Development of Character Traits; A Trade and Home Ownership.
• The Negro puts too much of his earning in clothes, in food, in show and in having what he calls “a good time.” The Dr. Kelly Miller said, “The Negro buys what he WANTS and begs for what he needs.”

2. The Negro Must Stop Expecting God and White Folk To Do For Him What He Can Do For Himself.
• It is the “Divine Plan” that the strong shall help the weak, but even God does not do for man what man can do for himself. The Negro will have to do exactly what Jesus told the man (in John 5:8) to do—Carry his own load—“Take up your bed and walk.”

3. The Negro Must Keep Himself, His Children And His Home Clean And Make The Surroundings In Which He Lives Comfortable and Attractive.
• He must learn to “run his community up”—not down. We can segregate by law, we integrate only by living. Civilization is not a matter of race, it is a matter of standards. Believe it or not—some day, some race is going to outdo the Anglo-Saxon, completely. It can be the Negro race, if the Negro gets sense enough. Civilization goes up and down that way.

4. The Negro Must Learn To Dress More Appropriately For Work And For Leisure.
• Knowing what to wear—how to wear it—when to wear it and where to wear it, are earmarks of common sense, culture and also an index to character.

5. The Negro Must Make His Religion An Everyday Practice And Not Just A Sunday-Go-To-Meeting Emotional Affair.

6. The Negro Must Highly Resolve To Wipe Out Mass Ignorance.
• The leaders of the race must teach and inspire the masses to become eager and determined to improve mentally, morally and spiritually, and to meet the basic requirements of good citizenship.
• We should initiate an intensive literacy campaign in America, as well as in Africa. Ignorance— satisfied ignorance —is a millstone about the neck of the race. It is democracy’s greatest burden.
• Social integration is a relationship attained as a result of the cultivation of kindred social ideals, interests and standards.
• It is a blending process that requires time, understanding and kindred purposes to achieve. Likes alone and not laws can do it.

7. The Negro Must Stop Charging His Failures Up To His “Color” And To White People’s Attitude.
• The truth of the matter is that good service and conduct will make senseless race prejudice fade like mist before the rising sun.
• God never intended that a man’s color shall be anything other than a badge of distinction . It is high time that all races were learning that fact. The Negro must first QUALIFY for whatever position he wants. Purpose, initiative, ingenuity and industry are the keys that all men use to get what they want. The Negro will have to do the same. He must make himself a workman who is too skilled not to be wanted, and too DEPENDABLE not to be on the job, according to promise or plan. He will never become a vital factor in industry until he learns to put into his work the vitalizing force of initiative, skill and dependability. He has gone “RIGHTS” mad and “DUTY” dumb.

8. The Negro Must Overcome His Bad Job Habits.
• He must make a brand new reputation for himself in the world of labor. His bad job habits are absenteeism, funerals to attend, or a little business to look after. The Negro runs an off and on business. He also has a bad reputation for conduct on the job—such as petty quarrelling with other help, incessant loud talking about nothing; loafing, carelessness, due to lack of job pride; insolence, gum chewing and—too often—liquor drinking. Just plain bad job habits!

9. He Must Improve His Conduct In Public Places.
• Taken as a whole, he is entirely too loud and too ill-mannered.
• There is much talk about wiping out racial segregation and also much talk about achieving integration.
• Segregation is a physical arrangement by which people are separated in various services.
• It is definitely up to the Negro to wipe out the apparent justification or excuse for segregation.
• The only effective way to do it is to clean up and keep clean. By practice, cleanliness will become a habit and habit becomes character.

10. The Negro Must Learn How To Operate Business For People—Not For Negro People, Only.
• To do business, he will have to remove all typical “earmarks,” business principles; measure up to accepted standards and meet stimulating competition, graciously—in fact, he must learn to welcome competition.

11. The Average So-Called Educated Negro Will Have To Come Down Out Of The Air. He Is Too Inflated Over Nothing. He Needs An Experience Similar To The One That Ezekiel Had—(Ezekiel 3:14-19). And He Must Do What Ezekiel Did. 
• Otherwise, through indifference, as to the plight of the masses, the Negro, who thinks that he has escaped, will lose his own soul. It will do all leaders good to read Hebrew 13:3, and the first Thirty-seven Chapters of Ezekiel.
• A race transformation itself through its own leaders and its sensible “common people.” A race rises on its own wings, or is held down by its own weight. True leaders are never “things apart from the people.” They are the masses. They simply got to the front ahead of them. Their only business at the front is to inspire to masses by hard work and noble example and challenge them to “Come on!” Dante stated a fact when he said, “Show the people the light and they will find the way!”
• There must arise within the Negro race a leadership that is not out hunting bargains for itself. A noble example is found in the men and women of the Negro race, who, in the early days, laid down their lives for the people. Their invaluable contributions have not been appraised by the “latter-day leaders.” In many cases, their names would never be recorded, among the unsung heroes of the world, but for the fact that white friends have written them there.
The Negro of today does not realize that, but, for these exhibits A’s, that certainly show the innate possibilities of members of their own race, white people would not have been moved to make such princely investments in lives and money, as they have made, for the establishment of schools and for the on-going of the race.

12. The Negro Must Stop Forgetting His Friends. “Remember.”
• Read Deuteronomy 24:18. Deuteronomy rings the big bell of gratitude. Why? Because an ingrate is an abomination in the sight of God. God is constantly telling us that “I the Lord thy God delivered you” —through human instrumentalities.
• The American Negro has had and still has friends—in the North and in the South. These friends not only pray, speak, write, influence others, but make unbelievable, unpublished sacrifices and contributions for the advancement of the race—for their brothers in bonds.
• The noblest thing that the Negro can do is to so live and labor that these benefactors will not have given in vain. The Negro must make his heart warm with gratitude, his lips sweet with thanks and his heart and mind resolute with purpose to justify the sacrifices and stand on his feet and go forward— “God is no respector of persons. In every nation, he that feareth him and worketh righteousness is” sure to win out. Get to work! That’s the answer to everything that hurts us. We talk too much about nothing instead of redeeming the time by working… . .

Nannie Helen Burroughs - published in the 1900s

(Source: aaregistry.org)