And do you know what summer time means? Bikinis. And Beaches. And Pools. (Oh my!)
Usually me and the girls make a trip to Palm Springs in the summer.
Because nothing says “IT’S HOT” like Palm Springs in the summer time.
We love it!
We spend our time day drinking and playing in the pool.
I know.
You don’t know what’s harder to believe:
That I day drink or that a black girl got in the pool and got her hair wet.
(Definitely that I got my hair wet)
ANYWAYS.
Good times are always had by all. I think.
I don’t always remember.
Except that one time we were all in the pool and they cleared everyone out because of a CODE BROWN
Which was definitely not awesome.
I’m pretty sure I’ll never forget that because WHO THE FUCK doesn’t get out of the pool to POOP?
I mean, I feel like I’m dealing with a certain amount of pee (because people are gross, and lazy, and YOU AREN’T GOING TO MISS ANYTHING BY GOING TO PEE, FFS)
And this is why pools are so heavily chlorinated.
But really?
EWWW. TO ALL OF IT.
I can’t remember if the pool was closed for the day after that (see: day drinking)
But I know that *I* was done swimming for the day.

What does this have to do with anything? I bet you’re thinking that I’m gonna talk about current events, don’t you?
Well you’re wrong* because this is a black HISTORY fact. As in, in the past.
Like in the past, black people weren’t even allowed to swim in a pool with white folks.
As in, on this day in 1964, James “Jimmy” E. Brock wouldn’t allow Martin Luther (the) King, Jr and others to eat at the Monson (Motor Lodge) restaurant.
And on June 18th they planned a “swim-in” (I see what they did there) where black and white protesters jumped into the whites-only pool
And in protest to THEIR protest, Jimmy Brock poured muriatic acid (which is generally used to clean the pool’s tiles) into the pool hoping the swimmers would get scared and leave.

Pool

They didn’t. Police were called, people were arrested.
And this guy will forever remembered as the asshole on the wrong side of history.

So I don’t have to draw any similarities to what happened in 1964 to what happened in McKinney, Texas because
a) These kids weren’t protesting at all. They were INVITED TO A POOL PARTY. AND.
b) Segregation has been illegal since 1954. OR SO I HEARD.
I mean, YEAH. The police were called because of a code brown (people in the pool and yes we are “tolerant” and “love all people” and we “have black friends” but where the holy hell did all THESE black folks come from? This is too many!)
BUT. NOBODY GOT ARRESTED (not even the woman who was attacking a child and using racial slurs).
(note: Damn, people ain’t playin’ around when it comes to getting racists fired from their jobs. Good job, Internet!)
And OKAY, (EX) Police Office Eric Casebolt will ALSO be remembered as the asshole on the wrong side of history.

BUT STILL.

COMPLETELY the same because even though FIFTY-ONE FUCKING YEARS have passed, apparently black kids in a pool is just as upsetting to some white folks in 2015 as it was in 1964 DIFFERENT.

*wrong. As in OF COURSE I AM.

I went to a Dodgers game last night*. Which was not smart ’cause I still wasn’t packed completely for Coachella, but I would never turn down tickets because that’s ridiculous and also I can buy whatever I forget on the way and I can sleep when I’m dead.

Nesto bought us tickets, but then ditched me, so I gave the extra ticket to my cousin. Told her I’d meet her there since it’s definitely easier for me to get there from Beverly Hills than to go home first.

SO. I got there, got my gift and got comfy in my seat while I waited for my cousin to get there. While I was waiting, the guy sitting directly in front of me wearing his Dodgers jersey (#42), as people do, called Security over to point out a guy sitting waaaay down in front because he was smoking a cigarette. Well. First he called over this lady and pointed him out. And she went down to check it out, then SHE brought Security over.

He starts whispering to security.
Security: Which one is he?
*more whispers*
Security: OH. The one in the 42 Jersey? *SMIRKS*
Me: HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA
*coughs and looks away*

Y’all.

JR Day

I haven’t laughed that hard at anybody since that one time this teenager was being a jerk in the movie theater skipping up and down the aisles and generally being an annoyance to everyone fell down the stairs. All of them. Yes. I’m petty. So?

*Yesterday, was the Civil Rights Game/ Jackie Robinson day at Dodgers Stadium/baseball fields all over the country. It was pretty awesome. Mrs. Rachel Robinson received a standing ovation because we Dodgers fans love our own. *sniff* I may have gotten some dirt in my eye or something over in the Left Field.

“..We’ll all wear 42 , that way they won’t tell us apart.”

Also. Good Job! We won last night.

So. There’s a guy here at work.
He…Ummm…is not my favorite.
Mostly because I think he believes he should be my favorite.
I HAVE NO IDEA WHY HE FEELS THAT WAY.
And I have never given him any sort of indication that he’s my favorite co-worker.
Mostly because he isn’t.

ANYWAYS.
He called me at work after he’d left for the day.

Him: Hey. Can you do me a favor?
Me: I don’t know.
Him: I’d really appreciate it if you did.
Me: Well. Tell me what the favor is, THEN I can tell you if I can do it.
Him: DANG. WHY ARE YOU SO MEAN?
Personally, I don’t think it’s mean to want to know what it is you want.
You’re the one asking for the favor, mother fucker.
I don’t owe you shit.

Turns out I *could* do the favor for him. He left his iPad at work and he needed me to lock it up for him.

But, seriously. DUDE. I’m not in the habit of just saying yes and I don’t even know what the fuck it is you want from me.
ESPECIALLY, work people who tap dance on my nerves just by existing in the same space as I do.

The other day my co-worker got an email. Another co-worker of hers is getting married in two weeks. (YAY!!) And her supervisor sent an e-mail requesting they defray some of the cost by donating money to the bride/co-worker. I would like to add this request was SPECIFICALLY for money. Not gifts.

Umm…what?
So, lemme get this straight: You want her to donate money to help pay for a wedding that she is not even invited to?
What part of the game is that?
WHERE THEY DO THAT AT?
Somebody. Please help me out.

Because HELLLL NAW. She asked me if I got the e-mail too.
Me: Nope. And you better hope I don’t, because if I do, I’m gonna go HAM. AND? I’m gonna reply all.
Because FUCK YOU, that’s why.

If you can’t afford this wedding that YOU planned for YOURSELF, maybe you shouldn’t have it.
The Courthouse is pretty reasonable.
OR. You could elope.
OR. Talk a friend into getting an internet certificate so they can marry you. (Holy Briya at your service!)
OR. If you INSIST on having a wedding: Wait until YOU can afford it.

SHIT.

I get it. Weddings are expensive. That’s why I didn’t have one.
I got married while I was already on vacation on the beach.
The whole thing probably cost $300 bucks or so.
Including the very tiny wedding rings purchased on a Private’s salary.

THE BIGGER ISSUE, THOUGH, IS WHY IS IT OKAY TO ASK PEOPLE TO FUND THINGS THAT ARE CLEARLY YOUR RESPONSIBILITY?

Oh, you need to get your hair done?
You can’t pay your cell phone bill?
Would you walk up to a stranger on the street and ask them to buy you a new outfit because you can’t afford it?
No? Then stop it. STAAAAHP.
(And if you would, you deserve the junk punch that you get for asking)

You shouldn’t be trying to make any of these things somebody else’s problems.

That shouldn’t be what crowdfunding is used for.

I mean, YES. There are things/reasons/emergencies* that relying on the kindness of strangers/friends/family is not completely inappropriate.
Nobody ever PLANS to have wildly expensive emergencies appear out of nowhere.
And sometimes big dreams require big money.

But that thing where you think that somebody else is supposed to finance the lifestyle that you want to become accustomed to? No. In fact, not just no. HELL no.

Even though it may not sound like it, I say this with love:
Learn how to manage your money.
Learn how to save up for things that you want.
Get a better paying job.
Get A job.
Be responsible for the things that you want.
NO.

I know the internet makes it look easy. But. It isn’t. My paycheck won’t let me be great either. Anthropologie has pretty dresses. And the ones I love most are ALL expensive. So I have to wait until payday before I can buy it. Or two paydays. Or three. Or maybe I won’t buy it at all because in reality, I don’t really NEED an almost $400 dress.

Until I become independently wealthy, I can’t have everything that I want. And that’s the way it is. I’m not asking friends/family/co-workers to fund my insane lust for expensive dresses.
Because that isn’t how that works. *I* want it, *I* save for it. ME.

You want it? YOU save for it. *YOU*.

But don’t ask me. Because even if I *do* have extra change lying around (Which. Is HIGHLY unlikely with a college student living in my pocketbook), I want to spend it on me. Possibly my husband.

Not you. You go fuck fund yourself.

*yes. these are ALL my opinions

Because it’s flat on one side
(That’s right, random songs because WHY NOT!)
Briya here! So this time *I* am not the one still talkin’ about the Oscars. My Sissie is. So please to enjoy Nisha’s contribution to Let’s Talk About Black People Month.


They say that people don’t move when they see smoke, but when they feel the fire. So, Bri gets her wish and you get your BHFOTD. (FINALLY. JAYSUS – B.)

I was so enraged over the recent ignorant statements of E Online correspondent/Fashion Police host(/Lollipop looking*) Giuliana Rancic that I was motivated to write about it.
zendaya
This is 18 year old Disney Star Zendaya. Apparently she smells like patchouli and weed.
Zendaya could not have handled the situation more eloquently for a young lady. In case you haven’t noticed, many Black women are choosing to go natural.
Unfortunately, what comes with the territory also includes stereotyping and judgments by our white counterparts.
Unless of course, THEY appropriate styles normally seen on people of color. Then it’s BOLD. And Epic. And Epically Bold.KJ Braids

On black folks, it’s ghetto. OH.

In the 1960s, natural Black hair was transformed from a simple expression of style into a revolutionary political statement. It became a fundamental tool of the Black movement in America, and hair came to symbolize either a continued move toward integration in the American political system or a growing cry for Black power and nationalism.” Prior to this, the idealized Black person (especially Black women) “had many Eurocentric features, including hairstyles.” However, during the movement, the Black community endeavoured to define their own ideals and beauty standards and hair became a central icon which was “promoted as a way of challenging mainstream standards regarding hair.” During this time, black hair “was at its height of politicization,” and wearing an Afro was an easily distinguishable physical expression of black pride and the rejection of societal norms.[

Black militants and members belonging to the movement perpetuated the idea that straightening one’s hair, whether chemically or with the use of heat, was an act of self-hatred and a sign of internalized oppression imposed by White mainstream media. At this time, a Black person’s “ability to conform to mainstream standards of beauty [was] tied to being successful.” Thus, rejecting straightened hair symbolized a deeper act of rejecting the belief that straightening hair and other forms of grooming which were deemed ‘socially acceptable’ were the only means of looking presentable and attaining success in society. The pressing comb and chemical straighteners became stigmatized within the community as symbols of oppression and imposed White beauty ideals. Blacks sought to embrace beauty and affirm and accept their natural physical traits. The ultimate goals of the Black movement was to evolve to a level where Black people “were proud of black skin and kinky or nappy hair. As a result, natural hair became a symbol of that pride.

Natural
Deja vu anyone??
THE STRUGGLE IS REAL
*My sissie would NEVER call Giuliana a lollipop (Big ol’ head, stick body). I would. Because I am petty.

**ALSO – YEAH THAT’S RIGHT. I SURE DID ADD A PICTURE OF MYSELF.
You’re welcome guys! LOLOLOL

Heyo!
So I…totally got distracted yesterday.
‘Cause yannow. WORK. I have a pretty awesome job.
But they do NOT care about black people my duties as BHFOTD AMBASSADOR.
I’m kidding, of course.
They do. They make each and every one of us come to work so they can have a Black History Presentation on MLK, Jr. Day.
That I never go to. Because if you want ME to celebrate being black, give me the day off. I’m just sayin’.

ANYWAYS.
As usual, yesterday’s post woulda been about the Academy Awards. Because OF COURSE IT WOULD.
After all, I watched. In fact, as usual, I watched every single movie in the Oscar nominated Best Picture category.
I liked them ALL. Except American Sniper.
Generally I like war movies. Blame it on the fact that I am a military wife.
Even the ones that turn me in to a sobbing mess because they are too close to my life.
(See: Hurt Locker. Never forget that I had a meltdown so bad that I almost had to leave the theatre)
(Sorry again, Dani. lol)
When they’re made well. This one…wasn’t. I’ma leave it at that.

I loved all the other ones, though. I didn’t even hate Boyhood. I did hate that it was LONG. SOFA KING LONG.
Two hours and 46 minutes.
And lemme tell y’all. That’s a long time for me to sit (reasonably) still. Luckily, there was chips and guac. And vodka.
I got through it. Which is more than I can say for Gone with the Wind.
Y’all. That movie is almost 4 hours long.
FOUR.
I tapped out. I tried. I really did.
Because I’ve never seen it AND since I was gonna talk about Hattie McDonald, first black person to win an Oscar,
I thought maybe I should. But I couldn’t. Because it was fours long.
I got up to around the halfway mark.

A few things:
In this movie, these people went to a party so long that all the women retired upstairs for a nap.
Like..wow. Y’all really doing the most. A nap. So you can day drink AND night drink. TURN UP!

ALLLLL this time, I thought it was Hattie’s character that said “I don’t know nothin’ bout birthin’ no babies!”
That was not her. That was Prissy (Butterfly McQueen)Huh.

The more you know.

ALSO. You can file these things under THINGS I DID NOT KNOW (about Hattie McDonald):
She appeared in over 300 movies, but only got credit for about 80-ish.
She was the first black woman to sing on the radio in the US.
She has TWO stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. TWO! (Radio/Motion Pictures)
AND. She was the first Black Oscar winner honored with a postage stamp.

Hattie accepting her award
I don’t know if I forgot or just never knew that she sat separately from the rest of the cast of Gone With The Wind.
But, WOW.

Now everyone sits all together at the Oscars, and they’ll have a diverse cast of presenters, and not once single person of color nominated in any of the acting categories.
In fact, the only Oscar given to black person/people was given for Best Original Song.

I’m not even gonna say it. ‘Cause I don’t have to. But you know what I’m thinking. And I guess so were the Oscars.

I really, REALLY do. And this one never fails to make me laugh
Even though I have always, ALWAYS hated Star Trek, the TV Show.

final frontier

But you know what I DON’T HATE?
Black History!
And since we’re TALKING about Star Trek (and we totally are)
Look at all this lovely in one picture!

IN SPACE

On the left we have Nichelle (my belle) Nichols. One of the first African American women TV Characters
Who was not a servant. She’s also one of the participants in the first interracial kiss on US Television.
With none other than Captain James T Kirk, Intergalactic Ho.

As it turns out, Nichelle wanted to leave the show, but Dr Martin Luther (the) King, Jr. told her
she “could not give up” because she was playing a vital role model for black children and young women across the country,
as well as for other children who would see blacks appearing as equals.

And.

It’s good she stayed on, because on your right, we have one of those black girls she would end up influencing.
That there is former NASA astronaut Mae Jemison.
She was the first African-American woman to travel in space, aboard the shuttle Endeavour.
She served as the science mission specialist on the STS-47 Spacelab J flight, which launched 12 September 1992.
She was ALSO the first “real” astronaut to appear on Star Trek.
Jemison has cited Nichols’ role of Lieutenant Uhura as her inspiration for wanting to become an astronaut.
And there you have it guys! Art imitating life, or something like that.
But not the Imitation of Life* because THESE women are definitely proud of being black and pioneering the way
for other young black women to do and be things that they’d never thought they could.
Yes. I did just randomly throw in movie reference.
(Look at me, Dani! I finally remembered the name of this damn movie on my own!)
Well. Not randomly. The Oscars are THIS WEEKEND.
So yeah. There’s a pretty good chance I’ll have something to say about the Oscars.
Aside from making cracks about how #OscarsSoWhite it won’t wear a jacket and long pants in the winter.
Or maybe not.
See you Monday for ONE! MORE! WEEK! of BHFOTDs!

*YES. Imitation of Life was an Oscar nominated film. Not for Best Picture, doe.
If you’ve never seen it, YOU SHOULD. You should also buy some stock in Kleenex.
Because LAWD HAVE MERCY, MAHALIA JACKSON SANGING AT A FUNERAL WILL HAVE YOU LAID OUT.
LAID. OUT.
ALSO, It definitely is a reflection of colorism in America.
AND the reason why even now, such lists as Celebrities you didn’t know were black exist
Because being thought of as any other race (Interjection!: Did you know that Vanessa Williams ancestry is ancestry is 23% from Ghana, 17% from the British Isles, 15% from Cameroon, 12% Finnish, 11% Southern European, 7% Togo, 6% Benin, 5% Senegal and 4% Portuguese?)
(I’ll let YOU decide if that was a related comment)
is still better than being thought of as Black in America.

Well you guys, it sorta worked!

With enough bullying I got Nisha to send me something.

SORTA. She ain’t write me anything, but she sent me an article.

But I’ll make it work.

TODAY IN BLACK HISTORY…. In 1870, Congress passes a Resolution to readmit the State of Mississippi.  To end martial law and be readmitted into Congress, southern states were forced to overturn any pro-slavery legislation in their state constitutions. Although some states initially refused to comply, all eventually accepted the conditions and were slowly readmitted into Congress.

So. Lemme tell you how BHFOTDs usually work. I alternate between dicking off at work and working super hard because I HAVE WORK TO DO, but also I ENJOY TELLING Y’ALL STUFF ABOUT BLACK PEOPLE. Then randomly I’ll get an idea, or see something somewhere or in this case have my sissie send me something that will spark whatever stuff I decide to write. And THEN, I’ll do a little research, very little OBVIOUSLY because I AM AT WORK AND I HAVE WORK TO DO. But some. I’ll look around to make sure my fact isn’t a crock of shit or incorrectly dated (if my fact is one of these here TODAY IN BLACK HISTORY type things).

NOW. I just looked up this here fact and this is a direct quote from one of the random sites I came across: “The period of post-war reconstruction brought about an era of progress and positive change for race relations in American History”

And then my head exploded.

Y’all.

I mean…WE WEREN’T SLAVES ANYMORE. So I mean, PROGRESS.

But then..

ONE: Between 1873 and 1883 the Supreme Court handed down a series of decisions that virtually nullified the work of Congress during Reconstruction. Regarded by many as second-class citizens, blacks were separated from whites by law and by private action in transportation, public accommodations, recreational facilities, prisons, armed forces, and schools in both Northern and Southern states. In 1896 the Supreme Court sanctioned legal separation of the races by its ruling in H.A. Plessy v. J.H. Ferguson, which held that separate but equal facilities did not violate the U.S. Constitution’s Fourteenth Amendment.

TWO: From 1882 – 1968, Mississippi lynched a total of 539 Black folks. Which is the highest total of all the states. They also lynched a few white folks. 42 of them to be exact. I would also like to point out that my PARENTS were born in 1948. That being said, I would also like to thank God that my Daddy is from California and wasn’t one of the TWO black people they lynched in that time period.

THREE: Anybody ever heard of Freedom Summer of 1964? If you’ve seen Mississippi Burning, you’ve heard of Freedom Summer. (Cliff Notes Version: In 1964 three Mississippi civil rights workers were murdered on the night of June 21–22 in Neshoba County, Mississippi. The three young men had been working on the “Freedom Summer” campaign, attempting to prepare and register African Americans to vote after they had been disenfranchised since 1890. There was a GIGANTIC Federal investigation and when the state refused to prosecute (because WHY WOULD THEY?) the federal government started chargin’ folks with civil rights violations, a few (7/18) of them even served time.

ANYWAYS.

Yeah. So progress. And positive change.

And I’ll be ME, and say that this is definitely a 3 steps forward, 5 steps back type of situation. Because even though there has been PROGRESS, it seems like people are just finding new and different ways to disenfranchise black people. I mean, if you ask me death by cop is the new lynching.

NOT THAT ANYBODY ASKED ME.

On the OTHER HAND, THIS HAPPENED.

The Cliff Notes version: This is a  speech by U.S. District Judge Carlton Reeves, one of just two African-Americans to have ever served as federal judges in Mississippi. He read it to three young white men before sentencing them for the death of a 48-year-old black man named James Craig Anderson in a parking lot in Jackson, Miss., one night in 2011. They were part of a group that beat Anderson and then killed him by running over his body with a truck, yelling “white power” as they drove off.

In related “this is how math works” comments: Three – Five = Negative Two.

 

Actually, I don’t. I mean, I LIKE IT. But I don’t LOVE it.
No. We’re not talking about football. ‘Cause I do sorta love football.
I’m talking about basketball. KINDA.

The All-Star weekend was this weekend!
And I missed MOST of it. But I didn’t miss this:
Kevin Hart getting’ schooled by 13 year old Mo’ne Davis at the Celebrity Basketball game.
DAAAAMN son.

It was in New York. And, I don’t know if you know this, but it was DAMN COLD in New York.
I mean…I don’t think it was Boston cold, but JEEZ.
Boston is currently so cold it’s making the news.
But we are NOT talking about Boston having the snowiest month in history.
We’re talking about New York news. HISTORY if you wanna get technical.
BLACK HISTORY if you wanna be exact. And I do. OBVIOUSLY.

Did you know that TODAY in 1951, New York City Council Passes Bill Prohibiting Racial Discrimination in Public Housing Developments? The bill was directed mainly at the Stuyvesant Town housing project, which was a public-private partnership project owned by the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company and the City of New York.

(Imagine that: An insurance with a history of discrimination dating back to when it was called National Union Life & Limb and was insuring Civil War soldiers AND The City of New York that EVEN TODAY IN 2015 unfairly targets African Americans under the “Stop-and-Frisk” policy* were being discriminating against black folks. Who’da thunk it?).

Managers of the housing development prohibited African American tenants and dispossessed residents who had been active in the campaign to end racial discrimination. Lawsuits were filed on the basis that the project was public- or semi-public, and violated anti-discrimination laws for New York City public housing, which were rarely enforced.

One month later, the Brown-Issacs Bill became law in New York City, making racial discrimination in public housing developments a misdemeanor offense punishable by a fine and prison term for the owner of any housing development constructed with public assistance to discriminate on account of race, color, or nationality.

And everybody lived happily ever after.

OR. Maybe 50+ years later on a different coast, in 2003, the Housing Rights Center of Los Angeles filed a housing discrimination case against Donald Sterling on behalf of 18 tenants. The lawsuit featured several racist statements allegedly made by Sterling to employees. While the final terms for the plaintiffs were confidential, the settlement obtained by the plaintiffs against Sterling was one of the largest of its kind and the public benefit terms were significant and wide-ranging.

AND THEN, In 2006, the U.S. Department of Justice then sued Sterling for housing discrimination for using race as a factor in filling some of his apartment buildings. In November 2009, ESPN reported that Sterling agreed to pay a fine of $2.7 million to settle claims brought by the Justice Department that Sterling engaged in discriminatory rental practices against Hispanics, blacks, and families with children.

But I was sorta talking about basketball, wasn’t I?
WELL. My BLACK History FOTD was about New York. And how it’s (still) racist.
But I’m feeling generous, because it’s President’s Day and I’m mad I have to work and y’all don’t
AND I know how some white folks get all riled up because THEY DON’T HAVE A WHITE HISTORY MONTH.
AND since now we have both white AND (one) black Presidents
I’ll also leave you with this White History fact.

In 2014, Donald Sterling became the first white owner of a basketball team who was stripped of his ownership and banned from the NBA fo’ life.
For being a racist who got caught being racist.

Just like that I brought it full circle. Like a basketball.

*Since nobody has developed a sarcasm font, I’m just gonna designate COMIC SANS. Because you can’t be taken seriously AND also use comic sans. You can do one or the other. But not both.

TSU 2012

Nisha (MY SISSIE!), George, (Char)Maine, Cricket. Hey Now!
This would be TSU Homecoming 2012.

I started goin’ to my sissie’s Tennesee State homecomings back when she was a student.
And kept goin’ back because DAMN. That’s how you get live, y’all.
I enjoyed it so much that I insisted our cousin who went to ‘SC go because, sorry USC, THAT is not a homecoming.

TO BE FAIR, I suppose. At USC you go for the football.
And at HBCUs, it’s all about the Band.
I mean, yeah..all Colleges/Universities have bands, but HBCU GOT BANDS THAT MAKE YOU DANCE
(I promise that’s not Oscar winner, Juicy J guys. It’s safe to click)

ANYWAYS. Since we’re talking about HBCU bands, and we are, let’s talk about sommore black history. ‘Cause it’s still February.
In the US, black marching bands formed as part of the military with the earliest musicians being fifers, drummers, trumpeters and pipers in Colonial-era militias.
Historians believe that nearly 5,000 Blacks were integrated in the pre-revolutionary war military as musicians, because most units banned black, mulattos, or native Americans in the military from bearing arms.
(AAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA….*deep breath* HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA *cough*…. I wonder why?)

By the end of the Civil War, there were 185,000 black men inducted into the army as “United States Colored Troops”. Many would stay on after the war to form the first black units, while others went on to play in civilian bands.
Marching Bands had become integrated into the American Society by the late 19th century, including the first permanent black Minstrel troupes with one led by W.C. Handy.
These black Minstrel groups helped disseminate African-American styles of music and dance across the country.

Between 1880-1910 there were about 10,000 bands in the US, with many of them being Marching Bands. This was also the case in the African-American Community, especially in New Orleans, where black bands helped to raise money for numerous causes. Additionally, there was a rise in rural, self-taught bands that were strongly rooted in gospel and secular music- they basically replaced the voice using their instruments. Much of the music of these bands was characterized by offbeat phasing, polyrhythms, melodies and countermelody, syncopation and call-and-response patterns; all of which are hallmarks of other forms of African-American vernacular music. By the turn of the century, these bands were firmly established in New Orleans, the birthplace of jazz and the blues.

During World War I, many black military units again had military bands. Upon their return to the US in 1919, many of these musicians went on to join the faculty of the budding music departments of black college and universities.
These bands were initially formed at these historically black colleges to help raise money. Traditionally, many of these marching bands were linked to the ROTC and supported by the athletic department. The first marching band to deviate the military drill type formations was the University of Illinois band, who formed letters, words and intricate patterns on the field while playing in 1905. Their band director, Albert Austin Harding is considered a pioneer of the modern marching band.

Likewise at HBCUs numerous faculty set up the foundation for the modern black marching bands, including Major Nathaniel Clark Smith, the first officially titled Band Director at an HBCU. AND. W.C Handy, who joined the faculty at Alabama A&M leading to the adoption of the minstrel band style into HBCU bands. By the 1960’s, HBCU marching bands had developed a distinctive performance style and tradition which will have folks who didn’t even GO to an HBCU harassing you to find out when is your next homecoming so they can be down there boogying with the band. And also drinking. Because it’s time to GET GEEKED Y’ALL, IT’S HOMECOMING WEEK, which means the Alpha Day party right after you leave the Battle of the Bands, WHICH ALSO MEANS DAY DRINKING. And football. I’m pretty sure there’s also a football game or something too.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.