Archives for the month of: February, 2016

Well. I mean. Not technically*.
I mean I’ve talked about him here…

[Thriller/Well Vodka. Don’t do it]

And I talked about him THERE (but really this was about Quincy Delight Jones. Jr. and The Grammys)
And. Usually I take the day after Super Bowl Sunday to talk about Football.
But since I hate the Broncos, the Steelers didn’t play AND the Panthers didn’t win, let’s talk about other stuff.

Like Michael Jackson. Which IS talking about the Super Bowl I guess, because guess who was the first artist (black/white or any other color) to perform SOLO at the Super Bowl?

Michael Joseph Jackson.

Michael Jackson performed Jam, Billie Jean, Black or White, We are the World, and Heal the World at Super Bowl 27 at The Rose Bowl in Los Angeles, CA.
It has been claimed to be one of the most watched events in American television history. After 1993, there was a deliberate effort to attract top performers for the halftime shows.

Did you guys know that Los Angeles has hosted the Super Bowl a total of 7 times? The only two cities that have hosted more times are tied at 10 times (Miami/New Orleans)
And I am not mad at all. Because really, Miami? New Orleans? I would like to go to both of those places even though I feel like no good could come from me being there.

California is HUGE. So if we combined ALL (San Diego/NorCal) of the California Super Bowls we win at 11! It doesn’t work that way, but I’M JUST SAYING. LA hasn’t been able to host because you need a team in order to have a Super Bowl.
(Hellooooo, Los Angeles Rams!)

I guess until then I can comfort myself with the fact that this last Super Bowl was played in the Bay Areaaaaaa. (Y’all know I’m not sorry for that)
Where the Caroline Panthers were in the home of the Black Panthers, The Party that is. I’m pretty sure there’s no relation.
(Aside from the fact that SOME people didn’t like blackness of either of these panthers. No? Nobody..? FINE)

The Black Panther Party’s core practice was its armed citizens’ patrols to monitor the behavior of police officers and challenge police brutality in Oakland, California.
In 1969, community social programs became a core activity of party members. The Black Panther Party instituted a variety of community social programs, most extensively the Free Breakfast for Children Programs, and community health clinics.
Scholars have characterized the Black Panther Party as the most influential black movement organization of the late 1960s, and “the strongest link between the domestic Black Liberation Struggle and global opponents of American imperialism.”
Other commentators have described the Party as more criminal than political, characterized by “defiant posturing over substance”.
Which I suppose is how “other commentators” have described Cam Newton.

Hmmmm….I wonder who those “other commentators” are? [Hint: No, I don’t. I know exactly who they are]

There is considerable debate about the impact that the Black Panther Party had on the greater society. Author Jama Lazerow writes:

As inheritors of the discipline, pride, and calm self-assurance preached by Malcolm X, the Panthers became national heroes in black communities by infusing abstract nationalism with street toughness—by joining the rhythms of black working-class youth culture to the interracial élan and effervescence of Bay Area New Left politics … In 1966, the Panthers defined Oakland’s ghetto as a territory, the police as interlopers, and the Panther mission as the defense of community. The Panthers’ famous “policing the police” drew attention to the spatial remove that White Americans enjoyed from the police brutality that had come to characterize life in black urban communities

In my opinion, such as it is, there is no debate. Without Black Panthers leading the way, would there be a Black Lives Matter?

ANYWAYS. Hope you enjoyed today’s super random BHFOTD.

*guess I didn’t really talk about him THIS time either.


Hi Guys!

Most of you know that in previous years, I bullied my sister into writing some of these BHFOTDs with me.
Because I’m lazy.
But this year my sissie got a BIG! FANCY! PROMOTION!
So she’s busier than a one legged man in an ass kicking contest. Or so she says.
I thought supervisors just sat around telling other people what to do?
No? Fine.
This year I’m gonna give her a pass, but I’m gonna “respectfully” suggest that she figure out a way to get it together for next year.


[She cute]

If you see her in the street, leave her alone! Because she knows ju jitsu and will probably kick your ass, Stranger Danger.
Or say hi and ask for a BHFOTD. Choose your own adventure and all that.

I was ALLLL set to write about something else entirely when my sissie’s birthday twin passed away yesterday.
Did you guys know that Nisha shared a birthday with Maurice White, lead singer of Earth Wind & Fire?

nisha bday
You can see what a joy it is to be related to me.

Back to Maurice. He was the founder of the band Earth, Wind & Fire. He was also the older brother of current Earth, Wind & Fire member Verdine (VERDINE!) White, and former member Fred White.
With Maurice as the bandleader and producer of most of the band’s albums, EWF earned legendary status winning six Grammy Awards out of 14 nominations, an NAACP Hall of Fame Award, a star on the Hollywood Boulevard Walk of Fame and four American Music Awards and the sale of over 90 million of the group’s albums worldwide.

As a member of the band, Maurice was bestowed with such honors of being inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the Vocal Group Hall of Fame, The Songwriters Hall of Fame and The NAACP Image Awards Hall of Fame.

Maurice White and EWF will also go down in Black history as the first African American band to sell out Madison Square Garden.

White has been called “an innovator” and “someone who has had a profound impact upon the music industry as a whole” by Chaka Khan, and has been cited as a main influence by artists such as Bilal and Lenny Kravitz (NSFW. NOT SORRY).

Lest you think this is some doom & gloom obituary type fact of the day, I have a fun fact!
Nisha & Maurice were not only birthday twins.
Nisha was only a few degrees of separation from Maurice White.

Maurice White composed As One which was performed by Memphis Bleek (Jay-Z’s The Blueprint2: The Gift & The Curse)
Memphis Bleek recorded Hood to Hood with Ras Kass.
Ras Kass used to date … YOU GUESSED IT! My Sissie!
That’s all for this week folks. I get weekends off!
Stay tuned next week for “What does Briya have to say about Black People?”

Mostly because when I go out alcohol is involved.
Then my phone gets drunk and I’m looking back at my pictures

[I’m sure it’s only a coincidence* that Monica is in both of these pictures when my phone is drunk]

And then I remember: Whiskey. My phone enjoys whiskey.
Also. My subjects are uncooperative. Ahem.

[Hi, Megan!]

Luckily I have a day job.
[No you guys, this isn’t my day job either. Even though y’all be acting like it, this is just an entertaining side gig]

Gordon Parks
[guessing prolly not a selfie]

This gentleman is Gordon Parks.
Gordon Parks purchased his first camera at the age of 25 after viewing photographs of migrant workers in a magazine.
His early fashion photographs caught the attention of Marva Louis, wife of the boxer Joe Louis, who encouraged Parks to move to a larger city. Parks and his wife relocated to Chicago in 1940.
He became interested in the low-income black neighborhoods of Chicago’s South Side. In 1941, Parks won a photography fellowship with the Farm Security Administration for his images of the inner city. Parks created some of his most enduring photographs during this fellowship, including “American Gothic, Washington, D.C.,” picturing a member of the FSA cleaning crew in front of an American flag.

After the FSA disbanded, Parks continued to take photographs for the Office of War Information and the Standard Oil Photography Project. He also became a freelance photographer for Vogue
Relocating to Harlem, Parks continued to document city images and characters while working in the fashion industry. His 1948 photographic essay on a Harlem gang leader won Parks a position as a staff photographer for LIFE magazine, the nation’s highest-circulation photographic publication.

He became the first African-American photographer for both Life and Vogue magazines.

Parks held this position at Life for 20 years, producing photographs on subjects including fashion, sports and entertainment as well as poverty and racial segregation.

He was also took portraits of African-American leaders, including Malcolm X, Stokely Carmichael and Muhammad Ali.

[I love photos of Muhammad Ali. Really I do]

In 1969, Parks became the first African American to direct a major Hollywood movie, the film adaptation of The Learning Tree. He wrote the screenplay and composed the score for the film.
His next film, Shaft, was one of the biggest box-office hits of 1971, inspiring a genre of films known as Blaxploitation. His attempt to deviate from the Shaft series, with the 1976 Leadbelly, was unsuccessful. Following this failure, Parks continued to make films for television, but did not return to Hollywood.

He would go on to publish a number of books throughout his lifetime, including works of fiction, volumes on photographic technique, several memoirs and retrospectives as well,
including A Choice of Weapons. Which is COMPLETELY different from Weapon of Choice. Go figure.

*coincidence. As in she is probably the reason that my phone can’t even see straight.

So lemme tell y’all something. We used to live in Boston.
And one year I sprung for ridiculously expensive tickets at the Garden for a Lakers (or Celtics, I guess if you’re from BAHSTON) game.
My husband is a shit talker from a long line of shit talkers.
You guys. I was pretty sure we were gonna get jumped before the end of the game.
That the Lakers won.
Eventually the people sitting in our section realized it was all in good fun.
Plus they respected LA fans from LA repping their home team. Whew.

As we were wandering to the exit, we were looking at all the memorabilia on our level.
I can say a LOT of things about the Celts (but I won’t because I’m being nice for a change)
But they have HISTORY. Lots of it.

Including Bill Russell. Boston Celtic. Birthday Boy. And Kappa Man.
(Y’all. This was the fact I wanted to give y’all for their Founder’s Day, but didn’t because not only is this an awesome BHFOTD. It’s his birthmonth!)
(I coulda waited for his birthday next Friday, but I didn’t. BECAUSE I DO WHAT I WANT)

*clears throat and pushes up glasses*

Bill Russell played center for the Boston Celtics from 1956 to 1969. A five-time NBA Most Valuable Player and a twelve-time All-Star, Bill has eleven (11!)NBA championships during his thirteen-year career.
He also holds the record for the most championships won by an athlete in a North American sports league.
(This does not include the only other person who did it because 1) It’s hockey and 2) He’s white and this is not White History Month )

He was the first African American player to achieve superstar status in the NBA. He also served a three-season (1966–69) stint as player-coach for the Celtics, becoming the first African American NBA coach
For his accomplishments in the Civil Rights Movement on and off the court, Barack Obama awarded him the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2011.

Russell is one of only seven players in history to win an NCAA Championship, an NBA Championship, and an Olympic Gold Medal. He was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame and the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame.
He was selected into the NBA 25th Anniversary Team in 1971 and the NBA 35th Anniversary Team in 1980, and named as one of the 50 Greatest Players in NBA History in 1996, one of only four players to receive all three honors.

In 2009, the NBA announced that the NBA Finals Most Valuable Player trophy would be named the Bill Russell NBA Finals Most Valuable Player Award in honor of Russell.
The following day, during halftime of the All-Star game, Celtics captains Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, and Ray Allen presented Russell a surprise birthday cake for his 75th birthday.(Awwwww)
Russell attended the final game of the Finals that year to present his newly christened namesake award to its winner, Kobe Bryant, Los Angeles Laker.
Y’all didn’t really think I wouldn’t figure out a way to bring this back around to my home team did you?

*closes wikipedia tab*
*Being at a basketball game is less horrifying when I’m seated in a place where there is NO WAY I will run into a basketball player.
**Relatedly: A LOT OF TALL PEOPLE REALLY LOVE BASKETBALL. [screams internally]

I and (some of) my co-workers have a terrible habit of nicknaming people at work.
And I have to say, we’re pretty good at it.

How did they get these names? WELL. LET ME TELL YOU A STORY.

This Jackass at work called himself reprimanding me ‘cause some random patient couldn’t reach me on the phone
because apparently I’m just a robot who is not allowed to get up from my desk to go pee. Or fetch files. Or ANYTHING.
ANYWAYS. He tells this person that if he can’t reach me again to contact him and he’ll make sure I do my job.

And I did what any professional would do:
I went to my actual boss and told on him.
And because she’s awesome, she set up a meeting with me, him and HIS boss.
In this meeting, I let him know in no uncertain terms that he ain’t shit, and he ain’t never gon’ BE shit.
And if he has a problem with me he needs to TAKE IT UP WITH MY BOSS.
At which point he starts tap dancing and beat boxing because “pfft…uhhh…He would never PRESUME…”
Some of y’all don’t really know me, so take note. I am never here for the BS.
And I believe in clapping back in the most professional way possible. With a smile. At work.
Catch me in the street and please believe these hands are rated E for Everyone.

After that, whenever I was talking about him I called him Bojangles.
(related: I had no idea there was a video)
(also you should maybe not click that if you’re still at work)

He DEFINITELY was not as awesome as Bill “Bojangles” Robinson. (TA-DAAAAA!!)
Bill Robinson was the best known and most highly paid African American entertainer in the first half of the twentieth century.
His long career mirrored changes in American entertainment tastes and technology, starting in the age of minstrel shows, moving to vaudeville, Broadway, the recording industry, Hollywood radio, and television.
He is best known today for his dancing with Shirley Temple in a series of films during the 1930s, and for starring in the musical Stormy Weather (1943), loosely based on Robinson’s own life, and selected for preservation in the National Film Registry.
Robinson used his popularity to challenge and overcome numerous racial barriers, including:

• one of the first minstrel and vaudeville performers to appear without the use of blackface makeup
• one of the earliest African American performers to go solo, overcoming vaudeville’s two colored rule (One black is not enough. Three blacks is TOO GD MANY)
• a headliner in the first African-American Broadway show, Blackbirds of 1928
• the first African American to appear in a Hollywood film in an interracial dance team (with Temple in The Little Colonel)
• the first African American to headline a mixed-race Broadway production

During his lifetime and afterwards, Robinson also came under heavy criticism for his participation in and tacit acceptance of racial stereotypes of the era, with critics calling him an Uncle Tom figure. Robinson resented such criticism, and his biographers suggested that critics were at best incomplete in making such a characterization, especially given that Hollywood has a history (and a present) of only offering African Americans VERY SPECIFIC types of roles (I mean…how do you think they keep the #OscarsSoWhite?)

Also. In his public life Robinson led efforts to:
• persuade the Dallas police department to hire its first African American policemen
• lobby President Roosevelt during World War II for more equitable treatment of African American soldiers
• stage the first integrated public event in Miami, a fundraiser which was attended by both black and white city residents

Robinson is remembered for the support he gave to fellow performers, including Fred Astaire, Lena Horne, Jesse Owens, and the Nicholas brothers.
Any tap dancer worth his tap shoes credits Bill “Bojangles” Robinson as an influence.
AND! In 1989, the U.S. Congress designated May 25, Robinson’s birthday, as National Tap Dance Day.

Which is completely different that my ex-coworker Bojangles.
Who ended up getting fired for biting another co-worker on the job.
Until tomorrow!

Occasionally I am incapable of keeping my smart ass comments to myself.
ANYWAYS. One day my co-worker took exception:
CW: You know you’re too pretty to be such a jerk.
:::spins around in my chair to respond:::
Me: Not true! I’m pretty, and can therefore get away with being an arsehole if I want.
(For now I’m gonna ignore that this entire conversation is sexist and stupid because really?)
CW: Do your friends think you’re an arsehole?
Me: Yes.
CW: …
Me: Birds of a feather and all that.
CW: Do they know you think they’re arseholes?
Me: Yes. Because they’re MY friends
CW: ….
Me: *blinks*
CW: ….walks off grumbling that I’m cocky

What is the moral of this story and WHAT does this have to do with the today’s email?
*when you are black
**No. The co-worker was not black because if he was he woulda aborted the mission when I spun around in my chair to address this conversation.

Hint: It’s all the other months. It’s the history books. It’s the Oscars. It’s…you know what?

And so today is fact number

number 1
Woo! See What I did there?

That there is Mr. Cameron Jerrell Newton.

First things first: Newton is the only player in the modern era to, within a one-year span, be awarded the Heisman Trophy, win a national championship, and become the first overall pick in an NFL draft.
In his rookie year, Newton broke numerous rookie and all-time NFL records for passing and rushing yards. He became the first rookie quarterback to throw for 400 yards in his first game, shattering Peyton Manning’s first-game record by 120 yards.
(Do y’all think Peyton’s still salty? I guess we’ll find out Sunday won’t we?)
He also broke Otto Graham’s 61-year-old record for passing yards by any quarterback in an NFL debut. Newton would go on to become the first rookie quarterback to throw for 4,000 yards in a season, as well as the first rookie quarterback to rush for 700 yards.
He also ran for 14 touchdowns, more in a single season than any quarterback in NFL history, breaking Steve Grogan’s 35-year-old record.
In 2015, Newton became the first quarterback in NFL history to throw for 30 touchdowns and rush for 10 in the same season (35 passing, 10 rushing).
He also became the only quarterback ever to have 300 yards passing, 5 touchdown passes, and over 100 yards rushing in the same game.
In the final game of the 2015–16 season Newton tied Steve Young’s record for the most career rushing touchdowns by a quarterback—a record that Young set after 15 seasons in the NFL, compared to Newton’s five.
It should be noted that these facts are not just BLACK HISTORY. THIS IS JUST HISTORY.


And boy OH BOY does the media hate him for being so fly.
And black. ‘Cause boy is he ever.
There have been think pieces galore about his cockiness on the field.
And his antics off.
And guess who has two thumbs and DGAF?

That’s right Cam. Go on that field and GO AWF. DAB ON ‘EM.

Hallo! For you new suckers folks, WELCOME TO COOL SHIT BLACK PEOPLE BE DOIN’ THAT I’M HERE TO TELL YOU ABOUT. I don’t know how you got on this list (maybe you asked nicely, maybe I just added you ‘cause I felt like it), but here you are!
Not sorry about the foolishness that goes along with e-mails from me. And maybe Nisha. Hey, Nisha are you gonna be writing some facts this month too, or are you leavin’ me ALLLLL BYYYY MYY SE-EEEH-ELFFFFF?
Please to be enjoying February/Black History Month/ If we’re gonna give you a month to talk about Black History we will give you the shortest month of the year even with the extra day we get for Leap Year