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In 1918, A Black Man Avoided Lynching & Convinced The Mob To Donate To His School. | InspireMore

His passion for his students was so strong that not even tornadoes, financial difficulties, or an attempted lynching could stop his work. In the dictionary, a hero is defined as “a person who is admired or idealized for courage, outstanding achievements, or noble qualities.” Oftentimes, heroes work tirelessly behind the scenes to give aid to those who are less fortunate, never giving a moment’s thought to recognition for their good deeds. Risking their lives to help others without doing it for the spotlight is the true mark of a noble hero. Throughout our country’s history, there have been many men […]

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Fannie Lou Hamer | PBS

Fannie Lou Hamer was born in 1917, the 20th child of Lou Ella and James Lee Townsend, sharecroppers east of the Mississippi Delta. She first joined her family in the cotton fields at the age of six. Although she managed to complete several years of school, by adolescence she was picking hundreds of pounds of cotton a day. In the early 1940s she married Perry Hamer, known as Pap, and worked alongside him at W.D. Marlow’s plantation near Ruleville, in Sunflower County. Hamer’s ability to read and write earned her the job of timekeeper, a less physically demanding and more […]

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Josephine Holloway cleared path for girls of color to be Scouts | Tennessean

While many things have changed since Holloway launched her first troop in 1924, the essential value of Girl Scouting remains. When people think of Girl Scouts this time of year, visions of Thin Mints, Trefoils and Samoas dance in their heads. Cookie season is sweet. But I’d like to offer even more substantial food for thought during Black History Month. It is also at this time of year that Girl Scouts in Middle Tennessee remember the wisdom and courage of one of our pioneers. Among the country’s first African-American Girl Scout troop leaders, Nashville’s Josephine Groves Holloway cleared a path […]

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The Cruel Story Behind The ‘Reverse Freedom Rides’ | NPR WAMU 88.5

After three days on a Greyhound bus, Lela Mae Williams was just an hour from her destination—Hyannis, Mass.—when she asked the bus driver to pull over. She needed to change into her finest clothes. She had been promised the Kennedy family would be waiting for her. It was late on a Wednesday afternoon, nearly 60 years ago, when that Greyhound bus from Little Rock, Ark., pulled into Hyannis. It slowed to a stop near the summer home of President John F. Kennedy and his family. When the doors opened, Lela Mae and her nine youngest children stepped onto the pavement. […]

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‘Self Made’ Trailer: Octavia Spencer Radiates Strength as C.J. Walker in Netflix Series | IndieWire

Blair Underwood and Tiffany Haddish join the Oscar winner in a lively period piece about a black woman succeeding. After the debacle that was the Oscars all but ignoring black talent this year, audiences are long overdue to see black characters thriving and succeeding onscreen. Like most progressive change in Hollywood these days, when the movies won’t do it, television steps up to the plate. Enter Netflix’s exciting new four-part limited series, “Self Made: Inspired by the Life of Madam C.J. Walker,” starring Octavia Spencer as America’s first female self-made millionaire. With an uplifting first trailer released today, as well […]

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11 charts that track the progress America has made in racial equality — and all the visceral ways we still have left to go | Business Insider

February is Black History Month, when Americans celebrate the achievements of well-known black figures and the progress that has been made so far for the US black population. There have been improvements in different areas of living (such as black employment and earnings) since the 1960s, when many of the government tools tracking racial disparities were launched. For example, the number of black students earning a college degree has risen dramatically in the last several decades. Still, inequality persists. For instance, change in overall household wealth has been minimal for black families compared to their white neighbors. The following 11 […]

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6 myths about the history of Black people in America | Vox

Six historians weigh in on the biggest misconceptions about black history, including the Tuskegee experiment and enslaved people’s finances. To study American history is often an exercise in learning partial truths and patriotic fables. Textbooks and curricula throughout the country continue to center the white experience, with Black people often quarantined to a short section about slavery and quotes by Martin Luther King Jr. Many walk away from their high school history class — and through the world — with a severe lack of understanding of the history and perspective of Black people in America. Last summer, the New York […]

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Don’t pit slavery descendants against black immigrants. Racism doesn’t know the difference. | USA Today

An anti-African, anti-black-immigrant stance is shortsighted. As we celebrate Black History Month, we should not divide the black community. Should African American/black identity be defined by descendants of slavery, or by African ancestry? This increasingly bitter debate in the black community is undermining the spirit of Black History Month. At the center of the conflict is the social movement referred to as ADOS, or the American Descendants of Slavery. Co-founded in 2016, ADOS is a political and social movement whose purpose is to advocate for reparations — compensating those who have been wronged — on behalf of black Americans. The […]

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There Have Been 10 Black Senators Since Emancipation | The New York Times

Elected 150 years ago, Hiram Revels was the first. A few days ago, 300 people gathered in the Old State Capitol in Jackson, Miss., to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the election of Hiram Revels as the nation’s first African-American member of Congress. As nearly everyone knows, in the nation’s more than two centuries of existence Barack Obama is our only black president. Less familiar is the fact that of the nearly 2,000 men and women who have served in the Senate only 10 have been black. Of these, Revels and Blanche K. Bruce were elected from Mississippi during Reconstruction. […]

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Ten “Must Watch” Black History Documentaries | PBS

Documentaries can open windows to our past. Through the lens of talented filmmakers, we can re-live iconic moments in history like the 1963 March on Washington or climb aboard a Greyhound bus to join the Freedom Riders on their journey through the Jim Crow South. Documentaries offer rich insight into our society and culture, connect us to some of our proudest and most shameful moments in American history, and remind us of how far we’ve come. What follows is a list of powerful documentaries exploring Black history and culture in America. The African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross This Emmy […]

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