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Viola Irene Davis Desmond: A Canadian colossus in the fight against racial segregation and the right to equal opportunities for women PDF Print E-mail
Written by Dr. JEAN FILS-AIMÉ PhD   
Sunday, 19 February 2017 18:35

Viola Irene Davis Desmond was born in Halifax, Nova Scotia on July 6, 1914, one of 15 children in what was an unlikely family in that era (White mother, Black father).

Very early, she chose her path as a businesswoman. The Halifax of her childhood and youth showed a clear need for a Black beautician who devoted herself to the needs of Black women for skin and hair care. In spite of her intelligence, such employment was not permitted due to the color of her skin. In Nova Scotia at that time, the trade of beautician was forbidden to Black women.

Undaunted, rather than indulge in self-pity, she chose to follow her dream and try her luck in Montreal and the United States. Imperturbable, she studied skin and hair care aesthetics in Montreal and New York.

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A Portrait of Paul Cuffee PDF Print E-mail
Written by Ezrah Aharone   
Thursday, 04 August 2016 14:40

Then there’s the monumental but seldom-noted feats of Paul Cuffee who was born free in 1759 in Massachusetts.  His African-born father, Kofi (Cuffee) Slocum, was captured at age 10 from the Ashanti Kingdom and later freed by Quakers.  Cuffee always related to his roots, which fueled his life’s inspiration to return to Africa.  So his “both/and” correlations begin with the fact that his ancestry traces directly to the Kingdom of Ashanti, which remains today as a “constitutionally protected, sub-national traditional state in the Republic of Ghana.”i

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Dr. Rebecca Lee Crumpler 1831-1895: The First African-American Female Physician PDF Print E-mail
Written by Crystal R. Emery   
Wednesday, 20 July 2016 17:26

Rebecca Lee Crumpler challenged the prejudice that prevented Black Americans form pursuing careers in medicine to become the first Black woman in the United States to earn an MD degree.  Although little has survived to tell the story of her life, Dr.  Crumpler secured her place in the historical record with her two-volume book, The Book of Medical Discourses, published in 1883.

Miss Crumpler was born a free woman of color in 1831 in Delaware.  Early in her life she moved to Pennsylvania, living with her aunt, "whose usefulness with the sick was continually sought".  At that time "I early conceived a liking for, and sought every opportunity to relieve the sufferings of others," she wrote.

By 1852 Dr.  Crumpler had moved to Charlestown, Massachusetts, where she worked as a nurse for the next eight years.  In 1860, with the help of written recommendations from the doctors she worked with, she was admitted to the New England Female Medical College.  When she graduated in 1864, Dr.  Crumpler was the first Black woman in the United States to earn an MD degree and the only Black woman to graduate from the New England Female Medical College, which closed in 1873.

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Paul Robeson: The Unheralded God-father of the Civil Rights Movement. PDF Print E-mail
Written by H. Lewis Smith   
Saturday, 09 April 2016 16:55

“I ask again” he said so defiantly, “shall Negro sharecroppers from Mississippi be sent to shoot down brown-skinned peasants in Vietnam…to serve the interests of those who oppose Negro liberation at home and colonial freedom abroad?” – Paul Robeson

Preceding Malcolm X or MLK in the valiant struggle for civil rights was the perspicacious Paul Robeson, April 9, 1898 – January 23, 1976. Robeson was a singer, actor, social activist, lawyer and athlete. His Alma mater was Rutgers College where he excelled as an all-around athlete, basketball, football, baseball and track & field. He became a transcendent international figure who inspired and touched the hearts and soul of people world-wide along with many high profile Black African-Americans. His being a cosmopolitan, larger than life figure abroad can be attributed to hi123-paul-dubiouss multiple roles as political activist, artist, singer and actor along with his ability to converse in circa twenty different languages1.  He was a visionary leader who sacrificed tremendously because of his unyielding devotion to the causes of anti-racism, peace and socialism established him as the pacesetter…and God-father of the 60s Civil Rights Movement.

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A Biographical Event: Malcolm X in Rochester PDF Print E-mail
Written by Erica Bryant   
Thursday, 30 May 2013 20:55

 

Fifty years ago today, Malcolm X was in town. He passed through Rochester (New York) frequently in that era, when African-Americans were fighting hard for rights that are taken for granted now:

The right to buy a house wherever you could afford. To have an equal shot at education. To close up the gas station where you worked without being beaten into paralysis by police who claimed you were robbing the place.

The beating of the gas station attendant, Rufus Fairwell, was one injustice that drew 800 people to a meeting on police brutality on Feb. 17, 1963. Dr. Walter Cooper, who chaired the meeting, saw Malcolm X in the crowd at Baden Street Settlement Center and asked him to speak.

“If we lived in a more humane and enlightened society, (Malcolm X) would have been a nuclear physicist,” Dr. Cooper said on Wednesday. “This is the kind of mind he had.”  Mid-20th century America did not feel humane or enlightened if you were Black, so Malcolm X spent his life fighting.

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A Biographical Event: Rev. Dr. King’s Pilgrimage in India PDF Print E-mail
Written by Dr. Panakal Ph.D   
Thursday, 26 July 2012 15:12


 

People have been traveling to India for thousands of years; they were lured by its landscape, rich heritage and history. They were also fascinated by the globe’s oldest culture, gems of classical wisdom, wealth on land and precious metals buried deep under the ground. The travelers included ancient Chinese, the Greek thinker Megasthense, the Persians, the Romans and today hordes of young people with backpacks from all over the world.

If in the past the long voyage to India had been limited to a coterie of individuals, in our times the situation has changed with safe and affordable air travel resulting in the increasing number of people visiting India. The long waiting lines at airport ticket counters, crowded airports and planes would attest to this fact.

“THE LAND OF GANDHI”

On February 10, 1959, Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King landed in New Delhi prompted by his vehement desire to see Gandhiji’s homeland, to gather relevant data on Satyagraha or the most enlightened political-spiritual ideology of the last century, in contrast to Nazism and Fascism ravaging Europe. He wanted also to hold discussions with India’s leaders. Upon arrival at the Palam airport in New Delhi, he said: “To other countries I may go as a tourist, but I come to India as a pilgrim. It is because of Mahatma Gandhi, a truly great man of our times.” The following is a compendium of his memorable visit to a vast region of the world, India; he termed “the land of Gandhi”.

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Smokey Robinson: A Portrait PDF Print E-mail
Written by Judalon Harris   
Sunday, 01 April 2012 18:18

 

Intro:  The chanter was born William Robinson Jr. February 19, 1940, in Detroit, MI. At the age of six, Smokey Robinson wrote a song, sang it and gave probably one of his first live performances during a school play. After such a performance Smokey’s mother must have known he has a gifted voice. She would call family members and have Robinson sing to them on the phone.

Growing up in the hood, (Detroit’s North End) must have been very challenging. He played sports as most do to avoid trouble. At the time, he thought being the stupendous international recording artist/entertainer and multi-talented person he is was an impossible dream. Never mind barriers outside, he was 10 when his mom passed away. Reportedly, the day she passed she called for his son and, “’told him to be good.’” He has been more than good! He has been stellar and still is. With The Miracles he graced the Top 40, at least 25 times in a decade. For decades he’s living his impossible dream.

Anytime smoke gets in your eyes/clothes etc., it is difficult to get out or it always impacts you. Smokey soul, gospel, neo-soul, pop, jazzy and Doo-wop singing icon Robinson is no different. He has been in our hearts and souls for decades. We love his impactful contributions to music and our lives. Thankfully now he is and has been all over the place. His tour dates are easily found on the web; he’s on TV, in movies, on the Internet (Facebook, Twitter, MySpace…), in articles etc.

Smokey Robinson has a fifty plus years on the music scene as a vocalist, songwriter, pianist, recording executive and producer, a walking musical, a living Motown archive. In addition, he is a public speaker and business man. Last summer, he performed at Hoosier Park in Anderson. He sang an array of his original classics (such as songs from the Quiet Storm album considered as one of the most highly acclaimed soul records of the 70s), some award winning hits of the 1980s as well as some of his 2009 CD, Time Flies When You’re Having Fun. Smokey Robinson’s voice is still extra smooth, velvety, soulful, seductive, extraordinary, unique, classical and everlasting.

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Jackie Ormes: The First Female African-American Cartoonist PDF Print E-mail
Written by Kymberly Keeton   
Saturday, 17 December 2011 14:44

 

I was on Facebook recently and saw this post regarding African American female cartoonists. The site is entitled, The Ormes Society that was featured on the social networking site. The society is named after Jackie Ormes, the first African American Woman Cartoonist (who was born August 1st 1911). I immediately went online to research her profile and how long she had been creating black cartoons. Nancy Goldstein, a scholar, wrote a biography about Jackie Ormes and features some really amazing work by the cartoonist on her website.

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A Portrait of the Outstanding Harvard Academic Teenager: Saheela Ibraheem PDF Print E-mail
Written by www.yourblackworld.com   
Tuesday, 26 July 2011 00:00

Saheela Ibraheem, a Nigerian teenager, applied to 14 universities across the country, not an extraordinary number of applications, but enough to give her some options.  One thing that clearly makes Ibraheem different from the other applicants is her age, 15 years old.  “It’s the age thing. I wanted to make sure I had options,” said Saheela.

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A biography of the first Afro-Canadian city councillor in London, Canada: Harold Usher PDF Print E-mail
Written by Patricia Turnier   
Saturday, 05 March 2011 18:41

  

Harold Usher, P.Eng., DTM  was born inBelize (in Central America) and arrived in Canada in 1963. Harold has devoted most of his life contributing to the betterment of mankind, the community, and his fellow citizens, starting from his childhood membership in his Primary School (St. Mary’s) Choir and the Boys Brigade inBelize to acting in Dramatic plays for hisMethodistChurch inBelize. He participated also in Drama groups inJamaica and Montreal,CANADA.

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