I do! One of my oldest friends (oldest) baby love is getting hitched! And I’m goin’ down to North Carolina (I’ve already told someone that I’m specifically bringing a white tee to spin over my head so not sorry in advance)


Issa two-fer. Her (oldest) baby is having a baby! So I am ALSO going to a baby shower! I am very excited seeing all my friends become grannies. HOT ASS GRANDMAS to be sure, but grandmas nonetheless. (But not me! I remain a favorite auntie, hallelu!)

Occasionally I drop the veil at work and I was talking to one of the researchers about going to a baby shower and a wedding all in one weekend and she’s from Miami and y’all. She told me that in Miami the men usually go to the baby showers but also they have DANCERS?!

We had a whole ass conversation about it because girl, what? I’m pregnant and you bringing a flat bellied, big booty bitch (this is a compliment, but STILL) clacking her heels and I can’t even see my FEET?! AND the baby shower is all night?! Because the show don’t start until like 10pm after the parents leave and stuff? I just…no. I’m pregnant. I’m tired. Also? I’m from California. We close. We go to bed here. I’m day party age. I want to be home by 8 pm (those of you who are fixing to bring festivals into this, SHUT YOUR HOLES. That doesn’t count.)

She was like, GIRL, you gotta go at least once and THAT, my friends, is the sound of me getting to the point. Because did you know that in 2023, the Florida NAACP called for Travel Advisory to Florida in response to the African American Studies ban? They’re urging the Black Community to avoid visiting or moving to the state of Florida.

They said y’all not gonna pretend y’all wasn’t mistreating Black Folks. Black history is American History. Or: ” There is no ‘feel-good’ version of the horrors and inequalities Black Americans have faced and continue to face. Slavery, Jim Crow and lynchings followed by school segregation, mass incarceration, police brutality houring discrimination, health care disparities, and wage gap are all tough truths to face.” (DAMN. He was not playing with these people AT ALL)

Anyway. Listen. I KNOW. TECHNICALLY this isn’t really a HISTORY fact because it just happened except it is because The Green Book was a thing in these here United States from 1936-1966 and THAT was 57 years ago (and when you think about that’s only 7 years before I was born so not that long ago and fuck y’all for saying that WAS a long ass time ago – you know who you are) but that still counts as HISTORY that in typical (white) US fashion we just KEEP FUCKING REPEATING THE SAME OLD SHIT.

Whew. So anyway. Hope y’all weekend is great. Ummm..I’ll be posting pictures of my weekend because I’m gonna be hanging out with my aces (and the dress I’m wearing to the wedding is fie…no that’s not a typo iykyk). Hope you’re not planning to go to Florida.

And yet here I am again. Talking about music. BUT. If it helps, it’s today’s Superbowl gimme! I *did* watch the game. And the half-time show. And all I have to say about THAT is that I could never. Never ever, never ever, ever ever, get on her level. (I’m taking liberties, but I think you get the point)

ANYWAY also not the point!

The point is that Sheryl Lee Ralph (the original Dreamgirl) sang the Black National Anthem which was performed for the first time on a Super Bowl game field. It was pre-recorded broadcast by Alicia (“No, God, I am a soprano”) Keys in 2021 and Mary Mary sang it OUTSIDE of the Super Bowl Stadium last year and wow, looks like we in the mfing the house** you guys! ALSO, it was the anniversary of the very first time it was publicly performed 123 years ago, February 12, 1900!

AND that some [white] people were BIG MAD which is WILD when you consider that a person* who should honestly be out of a job, but isn’t because whiteness is a hell of a drug but also I’m not trying to get caught up by an alphabet agency so do your own due diligence if you really want to know who said it, really got on the internet and tweeted “Why is the NFL trying to divide us by playing multiple anthems?” And I just— wanna talk to her. Really.

I just have so many things to ask:

Did you know that Lift Every Voice and Sing was originally a poem written by James Weldon Johnson, Phi Beta Sigma man? “Lift Every Voice and Sing” was first recited by a group of 500 students in 1900. His brother J. Rosamond Johnson would later set the poem to music. And in 1919, the NAACP dubbed it the Black National Anthem.

And that the Star Spangled Banner was made the official national anthem of the united states in 1931? (So it seems like maybe Black Folks been singing ‘bout freedom long before the US was lying about this being the land of the free and home of the brave)

And really the last thing I want to know is if she knows what the five fingers said to the face?

*person – a human being regarded as an individual. She very loosely fits the description

**also, another ye song reference I cannot use and GD him for ruining his music for me

***also I watched the game from the comfort of my own house because even though I am On The Mend™, I still didn’t want to be around people filling rooms with negativity because also hurray a team won, but when are the KC Chiefs gonna change their name AND their racist chant?

I haven’t been watching (and not because I don’t love it because I DO, but also do we talk enough about how football is SUPER RACIST to the point of not paying black football players for concussion claims because they claimed they were already cognitively dysfunctional [translation: brain injuries didn’t matter ‘cause they were already dumb af] , or Jerry Jones, the current owner of the Dallas Cowboys, was caught in 4K protesting segregation back in HIS DAY which kinda also brings to the forefront that the US’s horrible past is not quite as far away as [white] people like to pretend it is, all while still beefing that kneeling for the national anthem – which is also wildly racist – is disrespectful), but IT IS SUPER BOWL TIME and there’s always some black history facts to be had because even though black people make up half of the NFL, every year there is some random First Black Person To Do A Football Thing. The first Black person to play in the NFL was 1920! That’s just a little bit over 100 years ago*! You mean to tell me that in the 103 years Black People have been playing football, there is still a first to be had? HOW IS THIS POSSIBLE?!

I think y’all know the answer.

Racists work hard to keep Black people out, but Black people CLEARLY work harder. [We outchea!]

Anyway. That’s not what this post is about! (LOLOLOL)

These posts are just a collection of random thoughts I have while I’m writing about stuff that Black People Are Doing™ during the shortest month of the entire year that we have been allotted to show off our accomplishments before I get to the point of today’s Black History Fact of the Day. And today, I don’t have just ONE fact, today’s going to be a lightning round, the Quarterback edition!

Martin Briscoe – First Black starting QB in modern football (1968)

Doug Williams – First Black QB to be drafted in the first round (1978), to start and win a SB (1988)

Cam Newton – First Black QB to be named MVP, #1 overall draft pick (2011)

Patrick Mahomes – First Professional Athlete (Black/White/Whatever) to have a half a billion dollar contract

Patrick Mahomes AND Jalen Hurts – First Time Black Quarterbacks meet in the Super Bowl (2023)

And there you have it folks! Some facts for BEFORE the Super Bowl even starts. Will there will be more history happening during the big event? Stay tuned on the next Dragonball Z!

*But to keep it a buck, after the first Black football player it took 26 more years before they signed another Black player AND they only did it because “y’all better integrate or GTFO of our stadium”  

Not funny “haha!”, but funny “WEIRD” how it feels like history just…repeats itself?

Like, every year I say to myself I will be more prepared, or how Texas tried (and failed) to secede, or how some states are banning books (Did you know the most banned book for all time was 1984? HAHAHAHAHAHA *cough*)

And now, we’re banning…teaching Black History? I….okay. I’m not really sure how you can BAN history since yannow, it HAPPENED and people who lived in it, are STILL ALIVE. But also? I’m not really here to discuss CURRENT EVENTS because HISTORY is what I do (and I guess sometimes praise, since I just told ya’ll I listen to gospel while I clean).

So! Let’s talk about what John Berry Meachum in Missouri did when it was illegal to provide “instruction of negroes and mulattoes (also know as them mixed race chirren), in reading or writing”. HE bought a steamboat which he anchored in the middle of the Mississippi River, which made placed it under the authority of the federal government. This floating “Freedom School” had students that were ferried back and forth between St. Louis and the Freedom School in small skiffs, even attracting teachers from the East. Hundreds of Black children were educated in the 1840’s and ‘50’s. One of those kids was James Milton Turner, who would go on to establish 30 new schools for African Americans after the Civil War.

Not that I’m saying that some of these states are trying to make teaching Black people illegal again (right now, anyway), but I AM saying that Florida is the cruise capital of the world, so they’ve already GOT BOATS. If you know, teachers in Florida were interested in how to teach Black History without getting arrested.

I was busy fighting for my life, in case anybody was interested. I was home slathered in Vicks and sipping on some sizzurp (don’t worry guys! I’m not going to link it but I know that y’all are singing along with my faves, OSCAR WINNING Three 6 Mafia. Also my sizzurp was prescribed by a medical doctor because I was falling apart).

Being sick was not awesome, but I gotta be honest, being hopped up on Sudafed was surprisingly good for my productivity once I started feeling like a person! After spending so many days feeling like somebody was holding a pillow over my face, I used the little bit of energy that I had to clean. Because also being cooped up in the house was starting to feel a little claustrophobic. So I opened the doors and windows, turned on some gospel and cleaned, it WAS Sunday after all, and I *am* Black (shut up. you know who you are). Anyway, gospel music and cleaning the house are a THING because cleanliness is next to godliness but also black people and music and gospel and here I am still not getting to the point but reminding y’all that gospel music historically helped enslaved people escape to freedom by wading in the water using codes and spiritual hymns as a guide AND ALSO provided theme music errmm…unity for the Black community during the civil rights era. Hymns would often be turned into chants for marches.  Because Jesus walks with them on the right side of history – yes. Another missed opportunity to link a song but Ye is persona non grata in this b*tch, so here we are. Talking about marching. And Jesus.

And Marching Bands? YES. AND MARCHING BANDS. Because even though I did NOT watch the Grammy’s, I *DID* see TSU Aristocrat of Bands (Tennessee State University Marching band) is the FIRST Marching band to win a Grammy. See, look at me bringing it back around (honestly this is a live look at what it looks like when I write these facts) to the whole point of this email.

Tennessee State University’s (TSU) band Aristocrat of Bands is now the first collegiate band to not just the one, but two Grammys!  TSU’s Aristocrat of Bands’ gospel album “The Urban Hymnal” won Best Roots Gospel Album. The band’s feature on poet J. Ivy’s spoken word album “The Poet Who Sat By The Door” made for its second win for Best Spoken Word Poetry Album.

And then of course, I did some digging and did you know (you didn’t. because I didn’t until right now) that TSU was the first HBCU band to appear on national TV during a Chicago Bears NFL game in 1955, the first HBCU band to perform for an inauguration of the president of the US in 1961 for JFK. And it 2002, they were the first HBCU band to be named as an Official Band™ for an NFL Team (Tennessee Titans)?

WELL YOU DO NOW. I’m so glad my sissie went to TSU. (Because this means I get to brag about her and her school and go to an HBCU Homecoming. Be jealous!)

Oh yeah. I heard that Beyonce broke the record for most grammy wins. See. Look at me. Knowing sh*t about the grammys without watching one single minute.  You’re welcome!

I always say that people will tell me the news I need to know. Even when I’m minding my business (and drinking water – yes I really do be out here minding my business and staying hydrated. It’s why I look so good for my age.), the news people want me to know will be dropped right into my lap.

No less than 3 (and never forget three IS the magic number, kids) people mentioned the exact same news story to me.


But. Yannow. I don’t.

The thing about HISTORY repeating itself IS THAT IT HAPPENS IN THE PAST.

But, while I’m here, let’s talk about “Reverse Freedom Rides of 1962”

Lemme set the scene for y’all:

It’s 2022 1962 and the racists are BIG MAD. Black people had successfully desegregated schools in the 1950’s and were NOW trying to integrate interstate buses and bus terminals by boarding Greyhound buses and crisscrossing the South. To be met with baseball bats and firebombs, and yet segregationists saw these Freedom Riders as troublemakers. A spokesperson for the local KKK ahem, I mean, SEGREGATIONIST GROUP said that the North was sending down people causing confusion and trying to destroy 100 years of racism and racial terror “workable tradition and good relations between the races”

I… am just leaving space for y’all to think about what kinda “workable tradition and good relations” they had when a random white person could make you get up outcha seat because they want to sit down and you could be lynched for just looking at a white person and lawd help you if you told a white person no. :::hears Rosa Parks by Outkast playing faintly in the distance:::

Back to my story, with one correction. I ain’t fixin’ to use a fancy $5 word like “Segregationist” when racist is right here, and easier to type.

SO. THE RACISTS thought to themselves ain’t NO WAY these liberals really care about integrating interstate transit or civil rights. This is about making them look foolish and getting black votes.

[Narrator: They did NOT NEED liberal help looking stupid and getting black voters to vote for Democratic party. They were doing fine all by themselves.]

But the Republicans/Racists had an idea! They could do Freedom Rides too! But in reverse! And they would use the same “weapon”: they were gonna send migrants Black people to the North!

These republicans/racists (of yesterday AND today apparently) tapped into a network of local groups were called Citizens’ Councils. These councils were essentially the KKK without their hoods and masks. They held meetings in fancy hotels and wore suits and ties, yannow, for respectability. “They could be members of the police force (SO YOU’RE SAYING POLICE ARE RACIST*?)”. Or bankers, businessmen OR THE GOVENOR OF FUCKING FLORIDA, and the like.  

So they advertised, with flyers and radio commercials to attract Black people to accept bus tickets, bought with the money from the state budget the councils had raised. Their ideal recruits were single mothers with many children and men who had been entangled in the criminal “justice” system. They targeted “people who were placing a burden, as they saw it, on public resources” [But I guess using welfare money to build a volleyball stadium is different]. They sought media coverage, saying that the primary motivation was to “bring a more equitable distribution of the colored population” which is WILD considering when they were trying to leave, y’all were stopping them. But I mean, WHO ARE ME TO SAY? I am simply the great grand-daughter of an enslaved woman, grand-daughter of a sharecropper and the daughter of a woman who was literally detained for trying to integrate her local separate but unequal high school.

ANYWAY. The Citizens Councils’ plan didn’t quite work how they wanted. They’d pictured thousands and it ended up being a few hundred that boarded buses to New York, New Hampshire, Indiana, Idaho, Minnesota, California and elsewhere. One of the elsewheres was Massachusetts, near VP Harris’ residence the Kennedys’ “summer White House”, talmbout the Kennedys and those fine folks will take care of them and give them a better life. And did.

Hearing media reports that Reverse Freedom Riders were on the way, religious leaders, the local NAACP chapter and concerned residents teamed up to help. They convinced the local community college to open its dorms to the new arrivals. The local jail provided the bedding. And when the summer semester started and students came back to the dorms, they got the governor to lobby for nearby Otis Air Force Base to open its barracks.

Turns out that the Reverse Freedom Rides exposed the callousness of the Southern segregationists, not the hypocrisy of Northern liberals. Private citizens from across the country wrote to offer their support. Some suggested housing the Reverse Freedom Riders in their own towns and homes; others wrote checks. The first donation arrived from Little Rock, where many of the Reverse Freedom Rides originated.

By the late fall, the scheme fizzled out unceremoniously. Funds that the Citizens’ Councils had raised were drying up, and riders were hard to trick into leaving their lives behind for racist BS recruit.

And. Scene.

OKAY. So now in your head I want you to make flashing forward to the present noises (or. if you need a little help, try this sound – you’re welcome). We are now back in Twenty thousand and Twenty-two. And I’m back in the Current Times that I don’t discuss because HISTORY is not about what happened Today. But if I *did* I would talk about how racists never learn which is why you should always look at what the racists do to black and indigenous folks because they’ll do the exact same thing to the next “undesirables” history always repeats itself.

BUT MY JOB (that I gave myself) is to talk about HISTORY. And I did. And know I’m going to go back to minding my business AND DRINKING WATER because water is life and that’s probably why all the places where the water supply is fucked belongs to places where the population is largely black and indigenous !

 Anyway. I’m out. See you in February or whenever I feel like writing another fact OR somebody decides that I need to write something and I agree or I’m procrastinating or… you get the point.


*Because I like to show my work, please note this article is directly from National Law Enforcement Memorial and Museum.

Y’all almost got out of here without my yearly Black History “Disney ain’t sh*t” post! ALMOST. Because this morning somebody asked me why Stevie Wonder* is everywhere and after I checked to make sure he wasn’t dead, I said, “I dunno. But will he be my next BHFOTD? Find out on the next Dragon Ball Z!” And he almost was! Steveland Morris is a musical genius and I love him (and I wished his people loved him the way I did because if they did they’d tell him to just gon’ and shave off those last 4 braids he’s clinging to. He can’t even see them! Or can he?). ANYWAY that is NOT the point. HE IS NOT TODAY’S FACT.

I guess now is just as good a time as any to point out that YES, I’m always saying things that a) other people are thinking and b) keep me from having nice things. Did y’all know that back in the blogger days (and also the BEFORE times), I spent a lot of time going to Disneyland? Because one of my favorite couples always got free passes and even though MOST bloggers could ask for free tickets, EYE could not because every year I tell people that Disney ain’t sh!t and then I show my work?

TO BE FAIR (and I am, it’s the libra way) they’re workin’ on it. I mean, it took Disney until 1997 to make a Black HUMAN cartoon characters (The Muses. You’re welcome). It should be noted that the first Disney movie was released in 1937 and I’m almost POSITIVE there were Black People in 1937. Again, not the point. The point is that in *checks notes* 2020, Disney/Pixar featured its first Black LEAD character. [hmm…1997, 1998 *counts on fingers* you know what? nvmd]

That movie was Soul, and having a black lead was not the only first in that movie! The first Black lead in a Pixar flick also had the first Black co-director, Kemp Powers. Written by Pete Docter and Mike Jones, Pixar recognized that if the lead was going to be Black, “we’d better get some black people in here quick! need a lot of help.” Britta Wilson, the company’s vice president for inclusion strategies, helped build an internal “Cultural Trust” made up of some of the studio’s Black employees, a group that was diverse in terms of gender, jobs and age. Further complicating their work was the fact that animation is a medium of caricature; the Pixar crew strove to create characters who were recognizably Black while avoiding anything that recalled the racist stereotypes in old cartoons, like The Jungle Book and Dumbo. [:::shifty eyes::: those aren’t the examples used in the article I found, BUT I AM NOT WRONG] Docter, who has written about animation history, acknowledged, “There’s a long and painful history of caricatured racist design tropes that were used to mock African-Americans.” In fact, Pixar and Doctor integrated Black culture in order to remove their caricature, stereotypes, and tropes and not just make white characters who were brown-skinned.

Reflecting on the creation of “Soul,” Powers said, “When someone told me I was Pixar’s first Black director, I said that can’t be right. Pete said — and my hope is — this is an indicator of changes that are going to be pretty rapid.” There are more animators of color and women in the business than there were 15 or 20 years ago, he noted. “It’s sad it’s taken this long, but I’m glad it’s coming finally.”

*closes up all the tabs I had open to talk about this film I’ve never seen* YES, I KNOW. It’s on my list. Anyway. That’s ALSO the end of Black History Month for those of you who aren’t black ‘cause EVERY DAY is Black history when YOU are. Hope y’all enjoyed this year’s talk about black people doing stuff while I’m trying to ALSO do stuff. See you next year! Or whenever I have something I feel like talking about. BYEEEEE!!!

*I have exactly TWO Stevie Wonder stories. But I’m going to be nice (LOLOLOL) and tell you the one about how when auntie’s baby got dedicated/christened at one of the blackest churches in Los Angeles, Stevie Wonder was there and the pastor had Stevie come on up and sing a song because of COURSE he did which meant that we were there MUCH longer than we expected to be even for a black church which ALWAYS runs longer than… umm.. LONG (yeah, I was gonna say something crass but this is a church story so just kidding) and also, the pastor mispronounced by niece’s name.

I’m late (as usual) BUT February 23rd in 1870 Mississippi was FORMALLY readmitted to the Union!

Along with S. Carolina, Mississippi was one of only TWO states in the union in 1860 in which the majority of the states population were enslaved. Mississippi joined the confederacy ‘cause it heard the rest of the union talmbout “all men are created free and equal” AND THE HELL YOU SAY, THEY PAID FAIR AND SQUARE FOR THOSE PEOPLE THEY STOLE FROM ANOTHER CONTINENT. So they bounced.

Anyway, blah blah blah, Civil War. Yakety smakety… Emancipation Proclamation. All of Mississippi had been declared “in rebellion” in the Proclamation, and Union forces accordingly began to free slaves in the U.S.-controlled areas of Mississippi at once. According to one Confederate lieutenant from Mississippi, slavery was the cause for which the state declared secession from the Union, saying that “This country without slave labor would be completely worthless … We can only live & exist by that species of labor: and hence I am willing to fight to the last.”

Where was I? OH. The confederacy lost and in order to come back to the union, Congress required Southern states to draft new constitutions guaranteeing African-American men  the right to vote(Is *here* where I say that Black WOMEN weren’t allowed to vote until 1965, orrrr?). The constitutions also had to ratify the Fourteenth Amendment*, which granted African Americans equal protection under the law.

Two days after Mississippi was readmitted to the union, Hiram Revels was sworn into office as a U.S. senator, becoming the first African-American to sit in Congress. Southern Democrats opposed seating Revels. They based their opposition on the U.S. Supreme Court’s Dred Scott decision, which had held in 1857 that blacks could not be citizens. They argued that since no black man was a citizen before the 14th Amendment was ratified in 1868, Revels couldn’t satisfy the requirement for nine years’ prior citizenship.

In 1875 white conservatives in the state came up with the “Mississippi Plan” to insure their victory in the upcoming elections. This plan used intimidation of black voters and outright fraud to guarantee that white Democrats would take control of the state government. I…just want to take a moment of silence while we all look at the current republican plan of action regarding black votes. Also if you don’t know that republicans and dems switched sides, I’m gonna need you to read a g-ddamn book.

White Democrats took control of the judicial branch of government as well in 1876, and Congressional Reconstruction in Mississippi was all but finished. The next year saw the official end of Reconstruction, with the Compromise of 1877 that made Rutherford B. Hayes President of the United States, removed all military forces from the former Confederacy, and the authorized southern states to “deal with blacks without northern influence.” Even in this environment, Black Mississippians continued to be elected to local office. It would be another 100 years before another Black would be elected to the Senate (Edward Brooke, Massachusetts 1967-79).

Black residents were deprived of all political power after white legislators passed a new state constitution in 1890 specifically to “eliminate Black people [“the n-word”] from politics”, according to the state’s Democratic governor, James K. Vardaman. It erected barriers to voter registration and instituted electoral provisions that effectively disenfranchised most black Mississippians and many poor whites. Estimates are that 100,000 black and 50,000 white men were removed from voter registration rolls in the state over the next few years. Seeing the success of this deliberate “Mississippi Plan”, South Carolina and other states followed it and also achieved white Democratic dominance.

Anyway, welcome back Mississippi, I guess. So glad to see how much has changed in 150ish years!

*This completely ignores the fact that the 13th Amendment allows slavery/involuntary servitude if you are punished of a crime and WOW HOW SURPRISING THEY STILL MANAGED TO KEEP SLAVERY UNDER A DIFFERENT NAME. It’s almost like this country cannot function without slave labor. I…feel like I read that before RECENTLY. Like EARLIER IN THIS SAME FACT.

Which is interesting in that most of my family sings surprisingly well AND I *will* sing but mostly not in public and almost always when it’s inappropriate and/OR when what I want to say/talk about has a lyric that goes along with it*.

FOR INSTANCE: I have been “working out” and by working out what I mostly mean is that I’ve been doing yoga and some strength training on an app. I don’t count derby because derby is just me learning how to skate on a banked track without busting my butt which, I gotta be honest happens a lot more than I talk about but this last time I fell was a doozy and luckily falling on the track hurts less than falling on the inside of the track which is cement. But apparently I’m pretty committed to learning how to skate derby (for fun), so I guess no pain, no gain. [also,  this song is from 1988, so yannow. I WAS VERY YOUNG]

Wow look at me getting in a favorite song AND the BHFOTD toute-de-suite. That’s right kids! Today’s fact is about Betty Wright! An original bad girl!

Born Bessie Regina Norris on December 21, 1953, she was the youngest of seven children of Rosa Akins Braddy-Wright and her second husband, McArthur Norris. Bessie began her professional career at the age of two when her siblings formed the Echoes of Joy, a gospel group. Heh. She contributed to vocals on the group’s first album, released in 1956. She and her siblings performed together until 1965, when she was 11 years old. Following the group’s break-up, Wright, who was already using the name Betty Wright, decided to switch musical styles from gospel to rhythm and blues, singing in local talent shows until she was spotted by a Miami record label owner, who signed her to her first label (Deep City Records) in 1966, when she was 12. She released the singles “Thank You Baby” and “Paralyzed”, which found Wright local fame in Miami. Her first album, My First Time Around, was released when she was age 14. Her first hit single was “Girls Can’t Do What the Guys Do”. In 1970, while still in high school, she released “Pure Love” at the age of 16.

About a year later, Wright released her signature song and side piece anthem “Clean Up Woman“, written by Clarence Reid and Willie Clarke and recorded when she was 17. The record reached number two on the R&B charts, where it stayed for eight weeks. It crossed over to the pop charts [which is just a fancy way of saying that even white people liked it], peaking at number six and staying on the Billboard Hot 100 for 14 weeks. Where it eventually sold over 1 million copies and was certified gold in 1971. Wright struggled with a successful follow-up until 1972 when the single “Baby Sitter” (one of Wright’s first compositions) reached the top 50 of the Hot 100 and peaked at number six on the R&B charts. Another hit that emerged during this early period was 1973’s “Let Me Be Your Lovemaker”, which peaked at number 55 on the Hot 100 and number 10 on the R&B chart, it was the first instance (after “Baby Sitter”) where Wright showed off her powerful whistle register vocals. She kept on singin’ and went on to form her own label, Miss B Records, issuing the album Sevens the following year. In 1988, Wright made history as the first black female artist to score a gold album on her own label, when her 1987 album, Mother Wit achieved that certification. The album was notable for the come-back hits “No Pain, No Gain,” which returned her to the top 20 on the R&B chart for the first time in a decade, and “After the Pain”.

Betty Wright’s legacy can be found all through hip hop and R&B, her music has been sampled by:

Mary J. Blige: Real Love

DJ Quik: Tonite

Slim Thug (ft. TI and Bun B): 3 Kings

Candyman: Knockin Boots

Color me badd: I wanna sex you up (Which. Was not a cleared sample. She won 35% of royalties for righting the song)


[ALSO MARIAH CAREY. Because before Mariah, there was Betty. And also Minnie Riperton, but y’all know what I’m saying]

*No, I’m never sorry as anybody who has heard me singing loudly and aggressively off key can attest.  

** ALSO. IT’S TWOSDAY. So I’m giving you a second favorite song: YOU’RE WELCOME.

And in the middle of all those twos is a ONE. And today that ONE (First, if you will) is Autherine Juanita Lucy, the FIRST Black student to attend the University of Alabama (in 1956. That is 66 years ago for those who like to talk about how racism is So! Long! Ago!*). In 1952, she and Polly Myers, a civil rights activist with the NAACP) applied to University of Alabama because Lucy wanted to get a second undergrad degree, not for political reasons but to get the best possible education in the state and separate was definitely not equal. Women were accepted, but their admittance was taken back when they found out that they were not white. Lucy and Myers charged the University with racial discrimination in a court case that took almost three years to resolve. On June 29, 1955, the NAACP secured a court order preventing the University from rejecting the admission applications of Lucy and Myers (who had married and was then known as Pollie Myers Hudson) based upon their race. Lucy was finally admitted to the University but it rejected Hudson on the grounds that a child she had conceived before marriage made her an unsuitable student. Even though Lucy was officially admitted, she was still barred from all dormitories and dining halls. Days later, the court amended the order to apply to all other African-American students seeking admission.

At least two sources have said that the board hoped that without Hudson, the more outgoing and assured of the pair and whose idea it originally was to enroll at Alabama, Lucy’s own acceptance would mean little or nothing to her, and she would voluntarily decide not to attend. But Hudson and others strongly encouraged her, and on February 3, 1956, Lucy enrolled as a graduate student in library science, becoming the first African American ever admitted to a white public school or university in the state. Lucy attended her first class on Friday, February 3, 1956. On Monday, February 6, 1956, white people LOST. THEIR. SHIT. Riots broke out on the campus and a mob of more than a thousand men pelted the car in which the Dean of Women drove Lucy between classes. Threats were made against her life and the University president’s home was stoned. The police were called to secure her attendance. These riots at the University were what was, to date, the most violent, post-Brown, anti-integration demonstration. After the riots, the University suspended Lucy from school because her own safety was a concern and also they didn’t want her there.

Lucy was known and described as “the architect of desegregating Alabama’s education systems.” Thurgood Marshall helped win the 1954 landmark Supreme Court desegregation case, Brown v. Board of Education. The Brown decision said that racial segregation in public schools was unconstitutional (illegal). Marshall had a great amount of confidence that if the Supreme Court decided something, then the rest of the country would follow its decision. (HA. HAHA. HAHAHAHAHAHAHA. *cough*) Attorneys for Lucy and the NAACP helped build a lawsuit against the University because they believed the school helped the white mob by not having protection for her and prevented Lucy from attending class. A series of legal proceedings lasted from 1953 until 1955.

While Lucy felt defeated from being expelled and losing the court case, Thurgood Marshall, who would become the first African-American Supreme Court Justice in 1967, thought differently. In a letter to Lucy, he said, “Whatever happens in the future, remember for all concerned, that your contribution has been made toward equal justice for all Americans and that you have done everything in your power to bring this about.”

ANYWAY. In 1988, her expulsion was officially annulled by the University and she enrolled in the grad program and received an MA degree in 1992. The University named an endowed fellowship in her honor and unveiled a portrait of her in the student union. The inscription reads “Her initiative and courage won the right for students of all races to attend the University. She is a sister of the Zeta Phi Beta sorority.” [Hey Nisha and Auntie’s baby!] THEN, in 2010, the Autherine Lucy Clock Tower was dedicated in a new space honoring her, Vivian Malone, and James Hood (the Malone-Hood Plaza)—three individuals who pioneered desegregation at the University of Alabama. The Plaza is located beside Foster Auditorium, where, in 1963 – which is AFTER 1956, Alabama Governor George Wallace unsuccessfully attempted to bar Malone and Hood from registering at the University. Additionally, on September 15, 2017, a special marker was erected in her honor near Graves Hall (home of the College of Education) on the UA campus. Lucy returned to speak at the ceremony and compared the crowd that welcomed her with the hatred she had encountered the first time she entered the university. Almost feels like all that hollering Alabama and states like it did about “Heritage not Hate” actually meant their “Heritage IS Hate”,  but I, a California girl am just speculating because California likes their racism to look like concern as to why random black person who is minding their black  ass business is somewhere they don’t want to see black people.

Oh that’s right! Back to University of Alabama and all this sucking up to their first Black student because well, University of Alabama is in Alabama. In May 2019, Lucy attended the University of Alabama’s spring graduation, where the school presented her with an honorary doctorate.

AND MY FAVORITE THING: In 2022, the university added Lucy’s name to what was formerly Bibb Graves Hall, now known as Lucy-Graves Hall. Why is this my favorite thing? Because Bibb Graves was a Ku Klux Klan member and ALABAMA THOUGHT LEMME JUST ADD THIS BLACK WOMAN’S NAME TO THIS KKK MEMBER’S BUILDING AND THAT WON’T BE WEIRD AT ALL.

Surprisingly, the announcement was met with backlash! Students and alumni and faculty joined together to ask WHAT THE F*CK IS WRONG WITH Y’ALL?!

ANYWAY. On February 11th. Of 2022, they voted to reverse the decision and removed Graves name. “Well, somehow the honoring of Autherine Lucy Foster sort of took the background to us honoring white supremacy and that’s not what we wanted,” trustee John England Jr. told the university’s student paper, The Crimson White. “We’ve heard enough from people whose opinion matters to us — students, faculty, staff — that we can do that in a better way than what we’ve done.”

See? Look at me. Givin’ y’all a first and a story where an institution tried real hard to hold on to it’s white supremacy and the people of said institution pried it from them! This all coulda been avoided if they had just done the right thing, but here we are.

*I know that NOBODY who gets these e-mails would EVER say anything like “this kinda racism was SO LONG AGO” ‘cause I raised y’all better than that. But in case you decide to send this out into the ether, please let ‘em know! My mama is older than 66 years old which, I know, SEEMS impossible considering that her oldest grandbaby is 30-something and I ALSO am only 30-something which should realistically make her 40-something and yet here we are. Sometimes the math don’t math! Lean into it!