August 2, 2010 1 Comment
July 3, 2010 Leave a comment
Madam C.J. Walker (December 23, 1867 – May 25, 1919) was an African-American businesswoman, hair care entrepreneur andphilanthropist. She made her fortune by developing and marketing a hugely successful line of beauty and hair products for black women under the company she founded, Madam C.J. Walker Manufacturing Company.
June 29, 2010 Leave a comment
Ayuba Suleiman Diallo (1701–1773), also known as Job ben Solomon, was a famous Muslim slave who was a victim of the Atlantic slave trade. Born in Bondu, Senegal West Africa, Ayuba’s memoirs were published as one of the earliest slave narratives, that is, a first-person account of the slave trade, in Thomas Bluett’s Some Memories of the Life of Job, the Son of the Solomon High Priest of Boonda in Africa; Who was a Slave about two Years in Maryland; and afterwards being brought to England, was set free, and sent to his native Land in the Year 1734.
He came from a prominent Fulbe family of Muslim religious leaders. His grandfather had founded the town of Bondu, and he grew up withSambo the heir to the Kingdom of Futa. In 1730, while on a trip to the Gambia River to sell two slaves and to buy supplies like paper, Ayuba was captured by a group of Mandingoes. Ayuba became a victim of the ever-growing slave exploitation of the Senegambia region. Before being boarded on his ship to the New World, Ayuba attempted to negotiate a slave exchange with the captain. However, the word did not reach his father in time, and Ayuba was taken aboard. Ayuba was transported to Annapolis, Maryland, where he was purchased by Mr. Tolsey of Kent Island, Maryland. Ayuba was initially put to work in the tobacco fields; however, after being found unsuitable for such work, he was placed in charge of the cattle. While in captivity, Ayuba used to go into the woods to pray. However, after being humiliated by a child while praying, Ayuba chose to run away. He was captured and imprisoned at the Kent County Courthouse. It was there that he was discovered by a lawyer, Thomas Bluett, traveling through on business.
The lawyer was impressed by Ayuba’s ability to write in Arabic. In the narrative, Bluett writes the following:
Upon our Talking and making Signs to him, he wrote a Line or two before us, and when he read it, pronounced the Words Allah andMahommed; by which, and his refusing a Glass of Wine we offered him, we perceived he was a Mahometan, but could not imagine of what Country he was, or how he got thither; for by his affable Carriage, and the easy Composure of his Countenance, we could perceive he was no common Slave.
When another African who spoke Wolof, a language of a neighboring African ethnic group that Ayuba understood, was able to translate for him, it was then discovered that he had aristocratic blood. Encouraged by the circumstances, Mr. Tolsey allowed Ayuba to write a letter in Arabic to Africa. Eventually, the letter reached the office of James Oglethorpe, Director of the Royal African Company. After having the letter authenticated by John Gagnier, the Laudian Chair of Arabic at Oxford, Oglethorpe purchased Ayuba for ₤45.
Bluett and Ayuba traveled to England in 1733. Ayuba learned English, and when he reached England, he was in the company of many prominent people, including the royal family. In July 1734, Ayuba returned to Gambia and later returned to his homeland. His homeland was ravished by war, but being a prosperous individual, he was able to regain his old lifestyle, which included owning his own household slaves. His memoirs were published by Bluett in English and French. Ayuba was an extremely rare exception in the slave trade. Due to his intelligence and monetary prowess, he was able to legally escape the hardships of slavery and return back home to Africa.
June 21, 2010 Leave a comment
He and other government officials had high hopes that German athletes would dominate the games with victories (the German athletes achieved a “top of the table” medal haul). Meanwhile, Nazi propaganda promoted concepts of “Aryan racial superiority” and depicted ethnic Africans as inferior.
Owens surprised many by winning four gold medals: On August 3, 1936 he won the 100m sprint, defeating Ralph Metcalfe; on August 4, the long jump (later crediting friendly and helpful advice from Luz Long, the German competitor he ultimately defeated); on August 5, the 200m sprint; and, after he was added to the 4 x 100 m relay team, he won his fourth on August 9 (a performance not equaled until Carl Lewis won gold medals in the same events at the 1984 Summer Olympics).
Just before the competitions, Owens was visited in the Olympic village by Adi Dassler, the founder of the Adidasathletic shoe company. He persuaded Owens to use Adidas shoes, the first sponsorship for a male African-American athlete.
On the first day, Hitler shook hands only with the German victors and then left the stadium. Olympic committee officials insisted Hitler greet every medalist or none at all. Hitler opted for the latter and skipped all further medal presentations. On reports that Hitler had deliberately avoided acknowledging his victories, and had refused to shake his hand, Owens recounted:
When I passed the Chancellor he arose, waved his hand at me, and I waved back at him. I think the writers showed bad taste in criticizing the man of the hour in Germany.
Hitler expressed his feelings about Owens and Africans in private. Albert Speer, Hitler’s architect and later war armaments minister, recollected:
Each of the German victories, and there were a surprising number of these, made him happy, but he was highly annoyed by the series of triumphs by the marvelous colored American runner, Jesse Owens. People whose antecedents came from the jungle were primitive, Hitler said with a shrug; their physiques were stronger than those of civilized whites and hence should be excluded from future games.
Owens was cheered enthusiastically by 110,000 people in Berlin’s Olympic Stadium, on the street, Germans sought his autograph. Owens was allowed to travel with and stay in the same hotels as whites, while at the time blacks in many parts of the United States were denied equal rights. After a New York City ticker-tape parade o Fifth Avenue in his honor, Owens had to ride the freight elevator at the Waldorf-Astoria to reach the reception honoring him.
Owens said, “Hitler didn’t snub me—it was FDR who snubbed me. The president didn’t even send me a telegram.” Jesse Owens was never invited to the White House nor bestowed honors by presidents Franklin D. Roosevelt (FDR) or his successor Harry S. Truman during their terms. In 1955, President Dwight D. Eisenhower honored Owen by naming him an “Ambassador of Sports.”
June 16, 2010 Leave a comment
In The Depths of Solitude
- i exist in the depths of solitude
pondering my true goal
trying 2 find peace of mind
and still preserve my soul
constantly yearning 2 be accepted
and from all receive respect
never comprising but sometimes risky
and that is my only regret
a young heart with an old soul
how can there be peace
how can i be in the depths of solitude
when there r 2 inside of me
this duo within me causes
the perfect oppurtunity
2 learn and live twice as fast
as those who accept simplicity
June 14, 2010 Leave a comment
Bruce’s Beach was a small beach resort in the city of Manhattan Beach, California, that was owned by and operated for African Americans. It provided the African American community with opportunities unavailable at other beach areas because of segregation.
As a result of racial friction from disgruntled white neighbors, the property was seized using eminent domainproceedings in the 1920s and closed down. Some of the area was eventually turned into a city park in the 1960s and renamed to bear the Bruce’s Beach name in 2007.
More beaches after the jump