— Jamilah Lemieux is EBONY.com’s Senior Editor
Michel Martin is the host of NPR’s Tell Me More. When her show ends in August, she will remain with NPR. Follow her at @NPRMichel.
Women on Black Wall Street: Photo Gallery
This photograph, of female clerical workers, was taken in the old home office on Parrish street.
The North Carolina Mutual Quintet, Led by Bessie Whitted, last on the right.
This is Carmen Enza Saunders, the first person at the company to sell over one million dollars worth of insurance.
Here, Robert Kenneddy Congratulates Ms. Saunders on her outstanding accomplishment.
Viola Turner is presented with a corsage by Ms. Della Williams.
Viola Turner, Elna Spaulding and Carmen Saunders at one of the company’s celebrated banquets.
Viola Turner, the first female on the board of directors, sits with them for a picture.
The women at North Carolina Mutual gather for a picture during a social event.
This 1955 photo shows a woman using the technology that the home office was then famous for having.
An office at North Carolina Mutual, probably during the 1930s.
Female workers during the later half of the 1900s, probably between 1960 and 1980.
A secretarial bay around the same time.
For many years, Durham NC was known as the Capitol of the Black Middle Class because of its vibrant African-American community. The heart of this community was a neighborhood called Hayti anchored by what is now North Carolina Central University at one end, and a street of thriving black-owned financial business at the other.
This street, downtown Durham’s Parrish Street, known as Black Wall Street from about 1910 until 1970, was famous throughout the country because of the successfull black-owned financial businesses, like Mechanics and Farmer’s Bank and the North Carolina Mutual Life Insurance Company, that were founded there. These businesses were unique in their success, and in the opportunities they provided for intelligent African American men and women to succeed in the world of business, a field traditionally dominated by white men.
Today, few people know about the Parrish Street’s rich history, and even fewer know about the women who shaped it’s legacy. These women, who were often an overlooked part of the community, did more than keep house and type dictation. In several cases, they were the leaders who kept these businesses running smoothly and successfully!
Source : Paulimurrayproject.org
Chattanooga Police Captain Makes HistoryWednesday, the Chattanooga Police Department announced its top picks for new leadership. One of the 15 individuals promoted within the department made history. Lieutenant Corliss Cooper is now the first African-American Female Captain in the history of the Chattanooga Police Department.
27-year police veteran Corliss Cooper is woman leading that trail blazing. From Patrol to Captain, Cooper’s journey from being recognized as a minority to a leader has been anything but smooth. “Women just… they didn’t pay us any attention. Like yeah you work here, but you can’t hold your own,” says Cooper.
Cooper says that there were plenty of qualified black women that could have held the position of captain. But, 162 years passed without any of them ever been promoted into that role. “There were a many of years where I was down just thinking. Wow, I’m never going to get it because I didn’t play the role. I was always true to myself.”
But even with the doubt, Corliss’s late father proved to be enough inspiration to continue her career. It was his legacy that weighed the heaviest on her heart. “My family was there to see it. Sorry I’m just thinking about my dad. I just wish that my dad could have been there because that’s how I got started. He gave me the application.”
An application that ultimately shattered a 162-year-old glass-ceiling.’We asked Corliss what’s next for her career and she tells us—retirement in two years.
Jesus does not try to be popular, scintillating or relevant to the masses planning to assassinate her by saying, “You know these hoes ain’t loyal.” Instead, he lovingly speaks divine truth into a volatile situation by simply calling those who wish to judge this unnamed woman for her adultery and disloyalty to look at themselves before demeaning, demoralizing and killing this woman. Bryant, the commentators and all of us would do well to follow this example before throwing stones at women to get a quick amen, or an explosive, though hugely effective, media sound bite.
So, maybe the problem isn’t that “these hoes ain’t loyal.” Maybe the problem is that black women have been too loyal for far too long to men who aren’t truly loyal to them.
Frances Cudjoe Waters is a United Methodist pastor as well as a writer, blogger and frequent lecturer with a focus on issues of faith and justice, culture and family life. She has written for The Root and the Huffington Post and blogs at BTransformed.com. Follow her on Twitter.
He understands the burden and pain of racial prejudice.
He knows about racism. But, when the topic is sexism, there is only silence from my Black male friends.
It seems they do not want to accept gender prejudice hurts Black women.
The lives of African American men and women are uniquely equal. American history created a male-female relationship formed by equally dismal circumstances.
We were kidnapped together, chained together, bore the slave-holder’s whip together, worked the fields together, escaped together, and fought for freedom together.
Without Black women, the Civil Rights Movement would have failed.
Alabama’s Black women led by Jo Ann Gibson Robinson organized the Montgomery Bus Boycott. Aurelia Browder, a Black woman, was a plaintiff in Browder v. Gayle, the U.S. Supreme Court case that desegregated the Montgomery buses.
Fannie Lou Hamer was beaten for registering poor Black voters in Mississippi. Attorney Constance Baker Motley risked her life to represent Blacks across the Deep South.
Vivian Malone desegregated the University of Alabama with Governor George Wallace blocking the schoolhouse door. Charlene Hunter desegregated the University of Georgia.
When Daisy Bates led the Central High 9 her house was firebombed.
But, male organizers decided Rosa Parks, the famous matriarch of the Civil Rights Movement, would not be allowed to speak at the 1963 March on Washington.
And, when activist Gloria Richardson, co-founder of the Cambridge Nonviolent Action Committee in Maryland, attempted to speak at that 1963 March, Black men took away her microphone.
Black women were arrested, jailed, and risked their lives with men. Police dogs in Birmingham attacked men and women, alike.
While only he stood at the podium or pulpit or microphone she stood in the shadows because freedom was more important than recognition of her contribution to achieving it. That was a different time.
Today, there is no reason for a lack of Black female leadership.
She should be at the decision-making table and her wisdom should be respected and requested.
The need is great within the Black community. Yet, too often, her power is under-utilized.
Since a Black man understands the effect of racism on his dreams and opportunities then the plight of a Black woman should not be a mystery to him.
He should be able to empathize and acknowledge the many ways in which sexism can limit her dreams and opportunities.
He should support her goals and ambition.
A women’s full participation in society has become a global initiative.
This March, Women’s Month, the United Nations is holding its 58th Conference on the Status of Women.
But, African American women and girls have those paths.
However, they need encouragement to follow them. They need women as well as men to value their contributions, talent, and hard-work.
Sexism is a form of discrimination and oppression that undermines the spirits of girls and women who have a great deal to offer the community.
More so, Black women should have a chance to be a full complete person, not just defined by the work she does for others. But a human being confident in her ability to navigate the world, receiving acclaim when apparent, and compensation appropriate to her skills.
She should be able to enjoy her own talents and choose when she wants to share them with others.
In “Still I Rise” poet Maya Angelou writes of Black women seeking a daybreak that’s wondrously clear, bringing the gifts that their ancestors gave.
When Black men treat Black women with respect and as equals, Black women will rise into that wondrously clear daybreak.
For 400 years, Black women have been freedom fighters while holding up families, households, businesses, and organizations.
There is a saying that women hold up half the sky.
In the African-American community, women hold up much more.
With loving respect from Black men, the sky is the limit for Black women.
Gloria J. Browne- Marshall, an Associate Professor of Constitutional Law at John Jay College, in New York City, is a legal correspondent covering the U.S. Supreme Court, the United Nations, and major legal issues. She is author of “Race, Law, and American Society: 1607 to Present.” Twitter:@GBrowneMarshall
The point is, even by sexualizing women to make an ostensibly parodic commentary on how hip-hop sexualizes women, you are still sexualizing women. And even if your dancers are well-treated and knew what their job was beforehand, you’re still mocking those who dance for real in rap videos for potentially a myriad of reasons, and/ or assuming that they don’t know what they’re doing, or that they are victims. That is racially problematic at best. And when you’re the fully-clothed white woman at the center, and your video director is still working with the same slow-mo ass shots as the ones you seem to want to satire (his direct inspiration: “what was the most hip-hop thing you could ever do?”)—well, that shit is definitely racially problematic, and particularly so in a banner year for twerking and white women treating black women as props.
It’s such a shame, because beyond the “ironic objectification” and pretty dunderheaded generalizations about hip-hop, the song could have been good—a real-talk “critique of sexism in the industry,” as Pitchfork enthused. This video says to me that Allen’s feminism applies only to Allen and her ilk. It’s white feminism to the max.
Monique Morris, author of the forthcoming book “Black Stats: African Americans by the Numbers in the Twenty-first Century,” told New America Media that not only would a young black female victim not be in the public eye, but the type of conversation that followed Martin’s death wouldn’t happen:
As with boys, the “talk” with black girls and young women is also a discussion about racism in America; and as with boys, it should include tips for how to be safe in the presence of law enforcement and include clear instructions about how to behave when they are suspected of wrongdoing in the presence of someone with a gun,” she said. “But the talk also requires a candid discussion about sexism and patriarchy in our society and our racial justice movements. Our girls need to know how to identify sexism in all its forms, how to understand the ways it intersects with racism to create problematic narratives about the femininity of girls of color, and how their own education and self-determination can change these narratives and their devastating effects on policies and practices associated with education, justice, and the economy.
Why don’t we talk about young black females? - MPR