Archives for the month of: February, 2018

Because…I do.

But not just ANY hello kitty tees. But not just ANY hello kitty tee. These kind:

hello kitty

I have an impressive…collection of tees. [:::whistles and looks away:::]

Apparently I can never resist them. And I’ve pretty much been on a shopping moratorium because WHERE I’M GON’ PUT ALL THESE TEES?!

So, when I got the email for this shirt, I ignored it because I’M NOT SUPPOSED TO BE SHOPPING and I AM KICKING MYSELF BECAUSE GOOD LAWD*

hello panther

Hello! Sometimes you get gimmes because I get lazy, but also it’s something EYE think is interesting and because I write the facts, you get what I give you.

RELATEDLY. I’m pretty capable of finding a #BHFOTD anywhere, so let’s do this:

LET’S TALK ABOUT BLACK PANTHER Y’ALL.

It was VERY. VERY. Good. That’s really all I’m gon’ say because it JUST came out and I’m not spoilin’ this movie for anybody.

 

BUT. There are things that I can talk about that won’t ruin this at all:

(Black Panther firsts lightning round)

  • First Marvel Studios production to feature a primarily African-American cast.
  • First MCU film to be converted to ScreenX, a 270-degree wraparound format, that played in over 101 locations in eight countries.
  • First Disney film with a “cross-nation release in Africa” (OMG y’all. Have you seen people cosplaying the SHIT outta this movie at the moving picture shows? HEART. EYES.)
  • First 24 hours of ticket presales were the largest ever for a Marvel film. Two weeks ahead of its release, Fandango announced that the film outsold all previous superhero films at the same point in the sales cycle, breaking the record previously held by Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. AMC also revealed that the film was out-selling all previous Marvel films, with strong sales in both urban areas and suburban locations [because I guess black folks will support movies that show black folks being represented BECAUSE REPRESENTATION MATTERS.]

 

AND SPEAKING OF REPRESENTATION – In early January 2018, New York resident Frederick Joseph created a GoFundMe campaign in hopes to raise money to help children of color at the Boys & Girls Club in Harlem see Black Panther. oseph called the release of Black Panther a “rare opportunity for young students (primarily of color) to see a black major cinematic and comic book character come to life. This representation is truly fundamental for young people, especially those who are often underserved, unprivileged, and marginalized both nationally and globally.” The campaign exceeded its goal, and given the popularity of its intent, Joseph asked others to create their own campaigns in their own communities to take more children to see the film, which he named the “Black Panther Challenge” Over 400 additional campaigns were started around the world, with many celebrities offering their support and contributions to the campaigns, such as actress Octavia Spencer who intended to buy out a theater in Mississippi for underserved members of the community. Obi Umunna, a Jacksonville, Florida-based attorney born to Nigerian immigrants, participated in the challenge saying, “I just want for kids in my community to have the same opportunity and to see this movie… I think this is an awesome opportunity for them to see themselves represented in a very positive light… compared to some of the negative images that you see on a daily basis”. The campaign became the largest GoFundMe in history for an entertainment event and raised over $400,000.

ANYWAYS. Go see it. And FFS, STAY UNTIL THE VERY DAMN END. IT’S A GOTDAMN MARVEL MOVIE, STAY FOR THE BONUS CLIPS AT THE END.

*do not worry, I’ll be righting this wrong IMMEDIATELY, RIGHT AWAY (on payday)

 

Advertisements

Because I’m busy.
But. Since I was talkin’ about me in the LAST BHFOTD, I’m gonna continue talkin’ ‘bout me:

Yesterday was Seminar Day.
So I spent all of yesterday, taking the guest speaker all over campus to meet various people, which means that I was away from my desk more than I was at it.
And since I don’t learn and STILL refuse to plan these facts out, you didn’t get one.

But never fear! Today is ALSO Seminar Day (more like a half day, really and I didn’t have to do half as much stuff for this dude as I usually do), but I got time.
So let’s talk about the A-hole MD from Brown sommore.
Because he cancelled.
AFTER ALL OF THAT, THAT MOTHER FUNKER CANCELLED.
Y’all know I was furious, right?

My doc was copied on the e-mail, and when he saw me, the first thing he said was “I’M SORRY IT’S NOT MY FAULT”
Because while I don’t ALWAYS speak my mind (because concert tickets are expensive and I can’t go if I get fired from my job)
I feel like I always get my point across.

Kinda like Barbara Jordan, lawyer, educator and politician.

Ms. Jordan was the first African American elected to the Texas Senate after Reconstruction, the first Southern African-American woman elected to the United States House of Representatives. She was best known for her eloquent opening statement at the House Judiciary Committee hearings during the impeachment process against Richard Nixon, and as the first African-American woman to deliver a keynote address at a Democratic National Convention. She received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, among numerous other honors. She was a member of the Peabody Awards Board of Jurors from 1978 to 1980. She was the first African-American woman to be buried in the Texas State Cemetery

Jordan credited a speech she heard in her high school years by Edith S. Sampson with inspiring her to become a lawyer. Because of segregation, she could not attend The University of Texas at Austin and instead chose Texas Southern University (HBCU), majoring in political science and history, and pledging Delta Sigma Theta. She graduated magna cum laude, then attended Boston University School of Law, graduating in 1959.

Jordan taught political science at Tuskegee Institute for a year, then in 1960, she returned to Houston, passed the bar and started a private practice. Jordan campaigned unsuccessfully in 1962 and 1964 for the Texas House of Representatives. She won a seat in the Texas Senate in 1966, then was re-elected to a full term in the Texas Senate in 1968, she served until 1972. She was the first African-American female to serve as president pro tem of the state senate and served one day, June 10, 1972, as acting governor of Texas. To date Jordan is the only African-American woman to serve as governor of a state (excluding lieutenant governors).

In 1972, she was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives, the first woman in her own right to represent Texas in the House. She received extensive support from former President Lyndon B. Johnson, who helped her secure a position on the House Judiciary Committee. In 1974, she made an influential televised speech before the House Judiciary Committee supporting the impeachment of President Richard Nixon, Johnson’s successor as President. She delivered a 15-minute televised speech in front of the members of the U.S. House Judiciary Committee that were part of the impeachment process against Richard Nixon. This speech is thought to be one of the best speeches of the 20th century. She defended the checks and balances system, which was set in place to inhibit any politician from abusing their power. :::side eye:::

Jordan never flat out said that she wanted Nixon impeached, but rather subtly and cleverly implied her thoughts. She simply stated facts that proved Nixon to be untrustworthy and heavily involved in illegal situations, and quoted the drafters of the Constitution in order to argue that actions like Nixon’s during the scandal corresponded with their understanding of impeachable offenses . She protested that the Russian hacking scandal will forever ruin the trust American citizens have for their government. Oh, did I say Russian hacking? I definitely meant to say Watergate. Ahem. Maybe I should also fix those links* This powerful and influential statement earned Jordan national praise for her rhetoric, morals, and wisdom.

Jordan supported the Community Reinvestment Act of 1977, legislation that required banks to lend and make services available to underserved poor and minority communities. She supported the renewal of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and expansion of that act to cover language minorities; this extended protection to Hispanics in Texas and was opposed by Texas Governor Dolph Briscoe and Secretary of State Mark White. She also authored an act that ended federal authorization of price fixing by manufacturers. During Jordan’s tenure as a Congresswoman she sponsored or cosponsored over 300 bills or resolutions, several of which are still in effect today as law.

And there you go! Black women being first, so other black women can be next. Because REPRESENTATION MATTERS.

Relatedly. I wanna acknowledge that Barbara had one more first: She would have been the first lesbian known to have been elected to the United States Congress. Although Jordan never publicly acknowledged her sexual orientation, her Houston Chronicle obituary mentioned her longtime companion of more than 20 years, Nancy Earl. Her legacy inspired the Jordan Rustin Coalition, a Los Angeles-based organization dedicated to the empowerment of Black LGBT people and families.

 

*I’m not going to fix those links. Go on and look at them.

 

One of the things that I do is schedule Seminars.
My docs invite other doctors (PhDs, MDs, DVMs, DMVs <- okay. I made that one up) to come talk to them and the rest of the researchers.
THEN I e-mail the guest speaker, and set up all his stuff – flights and lodging and alladat.
Seems not that bad, right?
For the most part these guests have been super nice and easy going and they made all of this relatively painless.

BUT THERE’S ALWAYS ONE.
THIS ONE couldn’t fly anything but first class because BLAH BLAH BLAH
THIS ONE needed a VERY. SPECIFIC. FLIGHT. because he wanted to be back at a very specific time.
THIS ONE has an EXECUTIVE ASSISTANT, but his wife called me because she ALSO had requests about his travel.
(that I ignored, because ma’am… if you don’t get…)

ANYWAYS.
I finally get him all squared away, then his assistant calls me TO CHANGE HIS FLIGHT.
[which, OF COURSE was nonrefundable and a million dollars because first class]
After I stop screaming internally, I call the assistant back:

Me: So. He can have the same flight on a different day, with just a change fee. Otherwise, I’ll have to buy A WHOLE NEW MILLION DOLLAR FIRST CLASS TICKET. PLEASE DO NOT MAKE ME TO THAT.
Her: Let me ask him. Because I don’t want to say yes, and then he changes his mind.
Me: I don’t want to have to fly all the way to Rhode Island to strangle your doctor.
Her, thinking that I’m kidding: Ohh, hahahahaha.
Me: …
Her: Okay then. I’ll find out and call back.

I am very, VERY professional. But I was also very serious.

And here I was thinking that if ONLY it were true that all black people knew each other*
Because then I coulda called Ruth Simmons, 18th president of Brown University, and the FIRST black President of an Ivy League institution, to get him together.
[oh, look! A president I can acknowledge! – says the girl who has no president]

Ahem.
Simmons was elected Brown’s first female president in November 2000, assuming that office in the fall of 2001. In 2002, Newsweek selected her as Woman of the Year, while in 2001, Time named her as America’s best college president.

Ruth Simmons was born in Grapeland, Texas, the last of 12 children of Fanny (née Campbell) and Isaac Stubblefield. Her father was a sharecropper, until the family moved to Houston during her school years. Her paternal grandfather descends partly from the Benza and Kota people, slaves from Gabon, while her maternal line is traced back to the indigenous peoples of the Caribbean who were enslaved by the Spaniards.

She earned her bachelor’s degree, on scholarship, from Dillard University in New Orleans, Louisiana, in 1967. She went on to earn her master’s and doctorate in Romance literature from Harvard University in 1970 and 1973, respectively.

After that she was a VERY busy lady: Assistant professor of French at the University of New Orleans from 1973-1976 and Assistant Dean of the UNO College of Liberal Arts from 1975-76. She moved to California State University, Northridge in 1977 as administrative coordinator of its NEH Liberal Studies Project. From 1978-79, she was acting director of CSU-Northridge’s International Programs and visiting associate professor of Pan-African Studies. She moved to the University of Southern California in 1979 as assistant dean of graduate studies, and then as associate dean of graduate studies. THEN She moved to Princeton University in 1983 and served as assistant dean of faculty and then associate dean of faculty from 1986 to 1990. Simmons served as provost at Spelman College from 1990 to 1991 and returned to Princeton as its vice provost from 1992 to 1995. And in 1995, Simmons became the first African-American woman to head a major college or university when she was selected as president of Smith College, which she led until 2001. As president of Smith College, Simmons started the first engineering program in a U.S. woman’s college.

Simmons became president of Brown in October 2001, succeeding Gordon Gee. At Brown, she completed a $1.4 billion initiative – the largest in Brown’s history – known as Boldly Brown: The Campaign for Academic Enrichment in order to enhance Brown’s academic programs. And in 2013, she established the University Steering Committee on Slavery and Justice to examine this complex history of slavery and the founding Brown family wealth, and make recommendations for how the university might approach the relevant issues.

On September 15, 2011, Simmons announced that she would step down from the Brown presidency at the end of the academic year, June 30, 2012. On June 19, 2017, she was named interim president of Prairie View A&M University, a Historically Black University and a member of the Texas A&M University System, assuming the office on July 1, 2017. On December 4, 2017, she was officially named the eighth president of Prairie View. She is the first woman to serve as president of the university.

*closes up Wikipedia tab*

I would say that it’s interesting it took until 1995 to see First Black Presidents (of major colleges and universities), but maybe it’s not so much interesting as it is ABOUT TIME that the descendants of the enslaved people who built these institutions/ and or created the wealth of the people who did, are now making history in these institutions. But yannow. I’m just providing facts, not commentary.

 

*We don’t all know each other, but I feel like the degrees of separation are in my favor:
This one time my auntie met Michelle Obama, who in, incidentally married to President Barack Obama.
Who appointed Dr. Simmons to the President’s Commission on White House Fellowships in 2009.
So basically, I’m the man, sitting next to the man, who’s sitting NEXT to the goddamn man who knows Ruth Stubblefield Simmons.

 

I’ve kinda been on a black women in black history kick. [Aside from Monday because, SUPER BOWL]
Because I am one. Because I was raised by one. And because I’m raising/raised? one.
And I love us. A LOT.
We’re innovative, and brilliant, and beautiful, and funny AND SHADY AF.

aunties baby

Dis auntie’s baby, y’all. And she don’t care if the ENTIRE FACEBOOK knows she don’t like your boyfriend.
Yes, Yes…I know the rest of y’all are tryna get on our level.So please don’t with the, “but all…”

BECAUSE LISTEN.

We been doin’ this for a long time. And the older we get, the more fucks we lose.

Like today’s BHFOTD, April D. Ryan, former White House Correspondent.

ADR

The internet is undefeated guys. Everybody can get it.

April D. Ryan is a graduate of Morgan State University (HBCU alumni!)and was awarded an honorary doctorate from her alma mater in 2017. She began her media career as a jazz disc jockey before turning to reporting. Ryan has been a member of the White House press corps for American Urban Radio Networks since January 1997 and has long been the only black female reporter among the White House correspondents. She is a member of the National Press Club and is one of only three African Americans to have served on the board of the White House Correspondent’s Association.

As a White House correspondent, Ryan has covered four presidential administrations. Following the election of President Donald Trump, Ryan gained notoriety in 2017 after notable exchanges with him and his press secretary Sean Spicer. At a February press conference, when Trump began talking about “inner city places” and urban crime, she asked him if he planned to meet with the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC). He responded by telling her to set up the meeting with them before asking, “Are they friends of yours?” Because OBVIOUSLY all black people know each other.

As one of the few African Americans in the White House press corps, Ryan is often the only journalist asking questions on issues concerning minorities, which she has come to resent. She said in an interview in May 2017, “Why can’t the dynamic of all people be in that room? Why can’t it be? All people are covered under the White House. Am I correct? So I really dislike that, but I have no qualms with it. If you want to call me a black reporter, I am the black reporter who also asks other issues and questions on China, Russia, Syria, North Korea. So if you want to label me a black reporter, I’LL BE DAT [I’m kiddin’…she actually said I take it with a badge of honor. But she meant what *I* said.].”

In May 2017, the National Association of Black Journalists named Ryan as the “Journalist of the Year”. She joined CNN as a political analyst in 2017.

Her first book, The Presidency in Black and White: My Up-Close View of Three Presidents and Race in America, was published in 2015 and won an NAACP Image Award. Her second book, At Mama’s Knee: Mothers and Race in Black and White, was published in 2016. Her work has also appeared in Politico. Her blog, Fabric of America, is devoted to minority issues and stories in the United States.

 

Empty elevator means #mirroredelevatordoorselfie

A post shared by briya (@briya) on

A mirrored elevator selfie.

Even though I know good and well the elevators in my building have closed circuit TV.
Guess who has two thumbs and gives zero damns? THIS GIRL.
And those security guards have probably seen me:
• Put on lipstick
• Check for food stuck in my teeth
• Check for mocos
• Fix my tights/stockings/leggings (as leggings not pants)
• Stretch. What? An empty elevator is a great place to stretch out for a couple seconds.
• Flee. Because one time this dude DUCKED to get into the elevator and y’all KNOW I’m not having that.

I’m pretty sure they’ve seen worse. Because people are gross when they think they’re alone. [You’re neverrrr alooooone] *

And basically we have Marie Van Brittan Brown to thank for that.

Marie was an African-American inventor, who became the originator of the home security system (patent number 3,482,037) in 1966, along with her husband Albert Brown (the patent was granted in 1969). For her invention she received an award from the National Science Committee.

Marie worked as a nurse and her husband, Albert Brown, worked as an electronics technician. Their work hours were not the standard 9-5, and the crime rate in their Queens, New York City neighborhood was very high. Even when the police were contacted in the event of an emergency, the response time tended to be slow.** [The more things change, the more they stay the same] As a result, Brown looked for ways to increase her level of personal security. She needed to create a system that would allow her to know who was at her home and contact relevant authorities as quickly as possible.

Brown’s security system was the basis for the two-way communication and surveillance features of modern security. Her original invention was comprised of peepholes, a camera, monitors, and a two-way microphone. The final element was an alarm button that could be pressed to contact the police immediately.

Although the system was originally intended for domestic uses, many businesses began to adopt her system due to its effectiveness. The Browns’ patent was later referenced by thirteen other inventors including some as recently as 2013.

 

* You know how certain phrases make you think of song lyrics (and people)? This one does that. HI KAREN. LOVE YOU!
** Just in case all you thought I listened to was alternative and gospel. YOU’RE WELCOME.

 

By that, I mostly mean I don’t go to church. I mean, I HAVE BELIEFS* but going to church is not really my jam.
[You may call your higher power whatever you like. Or maybe you don’t believe at all and that’s fine too]

I’m mostly a do no harm, take no shit kinda person.
[Please note that you should try Jesus. You should not try me]
And as such, I spend a lot of Sundays volunteering at a Health Clinic as an pro-choice escort.
Yes. ONE OF THOSE clinics. I! AIN’T! SHAME!

Depending on where I’m assigned, my job is:
To walk whoever is visiting the clinic for whatever reason they’re visiting ** from the parking lot to the door.
To stand around and block protesters from yelling at/harassing patients (basically me standing in front of people yelling)
Opening the door to let them in.
And wear this fancy vest:
BLM Pro Choice
Dassit.

No. I don’t have to fist fight antis. Or tell them they all wrong as two left shoes.
In fact, I’M NOT SUPPOSED TO TALK TO THEM AT ALL.
That’s right kids! The policy is not to engage, so they do not get the pleasure of me telling them to go FUCK THEMSELVES
And that’s a lot harder than you think, guys. Because if you think all pro-choice escorts get treated the same, HAVE I GOT NEWS FOR YOU.
I get a lot of crap for being black. A LOT!
SO MUCH that once I tapped out and moved to a different post before I flying kicked some anti in the mouth.
That ain’t gon’ make me quit, doe.

Because I believe in reproductive rights. And everyone’s right to have them. Much like today’s BHFOTD.

Faye Wattleton. First African American, AND the youngest president ever elected to Planned Parenthood Federation of America, AND the first woman since Margaret Sanger to hold the position.

Faye earned her Master of Science degree in maternal and infant care, with certification as a nurse-midwife, from Columbia University in 1967. While working towards her master’s degree, she interned at a hospital in Harlem. There, she saw first-hand the “life-threatening effects of unsafe abortions performed on female patients” and she began to work in women’s health advocacy. In 1967, she was an assistant director of Public Health Nursing services in Dayton, Ohio. This is where she “began her career as an effective coalition builder for reproductive rights.” The same year, she also joined the board of the local Planned Parenthood and shortly after, Wattleton became the president of the Planned Parenthood of Dayton.

During her presidency at Planned Parenthood Federation of America, from 1978 to 1992, Fay transformed the organization into the politically engaged entity that it is today, while at the same time dramatically increasing its health-care services. Anticipating that the 1980s would bring many political challenges, she restructured the organization so that it could respond to the new environment created by the Ronald Reagan administration and the rise of the Religious Right. She also led Planned Parenthood’s growth as a health-care provider. By the time she left the organization, it had more than 170 affiliates in 49 states and Washington, D.C., and operated more than 800 health centers.

She also:
• has received 14 honorary doctoral degrees
• was named Humanist of the Year
• formed (along w/ 15 other black men and women) African American Women for Reproductive Freedom
• received the S. Roger Horchow Award for Greatest Public Service by a Private Citizen
• was inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame
• AND served as the president of the Center for the Advancement of Women, which she helped found.

And now, I’m climbing off my soapbox and wrapping up this BHFOTD. As a side note, I almost never know who the fact is gonna be about in advance. This is one I randomly found while looking for something else. But now I wish that I COULD talk to the antis, just so I could tell them this. Could I maybe just scatter fliers around to learn ‘em something? No? FINE.

 

*I also have a weird sense of humor and a ridiculously varied taste in music. Deal with it!
** MY SPECIFIC PLACE is not a Planned Parenthood, but offers all kinds of services also. Because it’s a HEALTH CLINIC.

 

 

SO. I haven’t really been watching Pro Football this year.
[forever a USC Trojan fan]
For probably all the reasons you expect.
But it’s the SUPER BOWL, right?
AND WHO DOESN’T LOVE TO ROOT AGAINST THE PATRIOTS WATCH THE BIG GAME?

I begrudgingly watched it, because it’s customary to dig out a BHFOTD from it every year.
[but did not watch one single minute of the halftime show because EFF JT. NO Janet! No Peace!]
[I just really never liked him or his music – yeah, I said it! – additionally he’s a culture vulture AND he was tryna have a hologram of Prince at his show even though Prince SPECIFICALLY stated he would not like that AND I heard (because I ain’t watch) that he played the song that he and Janet performed that got HER banned AND SO for real, EFF THAT GUY]

Anyways, So I’m watchin’. Oh Look! There’s state sponsored propaganda*!
I mean, Medal of Honor Recipients Participating in The Coin Toss! (Ahem)
Fifteen people. Here’s most of them.

medal of honor

Don’t fret guys, the ones not pictured are ALSO white.

Which brings me to today’s BHFOTD:

Did you know that No African American was awarded a Medal of Honor either during World War II or immediately afterwards with respect to their actions during that conflict? Probably not related, but ALSO: Did you know that segregation ended in the military in 1948?

This changed in 1992 when a study conducted by Shaw University and commissioned by the U.S. Dept. of Defense and the United States Army asserted that systematic racial discrimination had been present in the criteria for awarding medals during the war. After an exhaustive review of files the study recommended that several of the Distinguished Service Crosses awarded to African Americans be upgraded to the Medal of Honor. On January 13, 1997, more than fifty years after the end of the war, President Bill Clinton awarded the Medal to seven African American World War II veterans. Vernon Baker was the only living recipient—the other six men had been killed in action or died in the intervening years.

On March 18, 2014 following a review of 23 other Citations of Hispanic, and Jewish soldiers that may have been passed over for the Medal of Honor due to their race or religion, former Special Forces soldier Melvin Morris, an African American was selected to be included into the review in order to allow his Distinguished Service Cross (DSC) Medal, which is the United States Army’s second highest award for combat valor to be upgraded to the Medal of Honor (MOH) the Nation’s highest decoration for courage in combat.

melvin
Yes. I really did dig up a picture of our black president giving a black man his long overdue medal of honor. Because ALL BLACK EVERYBODY.

And that’s today’s fact. It’s short (for the most part) because I have stuff to do and I can’t do it if I’m writing 12 page long facts every day. Happy Monday, people!

 

* casual reminder that the United States Coast Guard and the Pentagon PAID the NFL to publicly honor the military during sporting events. and that if you want to take the politics out of sports you could maybe start there.

Long, long ago, some friends and I ran a half marathon.
Well. I didn’t really RUN, it was more of a walk/run with a lot of walking because it was HOT AF in Pasadena and my knee was being weird and…you know what?
Let’s go with I *FINISHED* a half marathon.

Anyways.
When I was training, there was this girl Crystal who apparently saw me as her competition.
Honestly. I have no idea why. I’m not very fast (unless something/somebody is actually chasing me), and I DIDN’T. EVEN. KNOW. HER.
But when we’d train, she’d pace me and then right before the end she would sprint past me EVERY SINGLE RUN.
I mean. I guess if that’s how you motivate yourself, you should do you. But it wasn’t like she was gonna win a prize for beating me specifically.

The day of the run, we get in the pack of people to start, blah blah blah, AAAAND we’re all off!
I’m starting off fine and maybe a mile or so into the run, who sprints past me, smirking and waving? CRYSTAL!
In my head, I’m like REALLY? REALLY THO?
But whatever. I have miles and MILES to go (13.1 to be exact) and I didn’t care enough* to make this a competition against me and her.
Also, I’m running with a friend, so I’m chilling.

BUT THEN, my friend, started having some issues said she was gonna walk

go on

SO. I did. Popped in my headphones and put a little more pep in my step.
When I (eventually) got to the finish line, I waited for her.
She was a lot further back than I thought. But then. THERE SHE GO!
SHE’S ALMOST TO THE FINISH LINE, GUYS. AND WE’RE CHEERING.
And then we realize it’s NOT HER. It’s CRYSTAL.
And Crystal was VERY disappointed to realize that *EYE* crossed the finish line first.
WOMP. WOMP.

And so today’s BHFOTD is about being second.
Yes. TECHNICALLY yesterday’s story was ALSO about being the second to do something, BUT.
Montana wasn’t even a state when the first black person did it, FFS!

Anyways. Let’s talk about Kellee Edwards!

Kellee Edwards is a pilot, scuba diver and adrenaline junkie who loves to explore by land, air and sea. Her level of enthusiasm for wanting to explore the world, her daredevil (yet stylish) Instagram posts, and desire to try just about anything that thrills her, landed her her own show earlier this year on the Travel Channel. Her show Mysterious Islands, which debuted on the network October 10th, takes viewers on the hunt to find the best bargains, private beaches and magical experiences on the planet’s lesser-known islands. Kellee is the only Black woman featured right now on the television network (and the second in history. Queen Latifah was the first!)

“It’s also no secret that the travel media has been dominated by older white males for so long. It’s not a space that they should own and solely represent any longer. I’ve been well received and welcomed by some of your favorite TV hosts and they make it known that they are rooting for me. Being a black woman in the adventure travel space is even more isolated and I’m glad I’ve been given a platform and opportunity to show that I can do it just as well.”

You never know. Maybe one day they’ll have third black person with their own show. And then maybe one day WE WON’T HAVE TO COUNT THEM BECAUSE WE’LL BE PROPERLY REPRESENTED. (*cough*)

So that’s today’s fact! Sometimes being first means you can help somebody else be second. And sometimes being second just means you’re the first loser. I’ll leave you to figure out which statement goes with which story! Happy Friday, kids. Go out and be great!

 

*I really didn’t. But I’m not going to lie and tell you that I didn’t get an IMMENSE amount of pleasure watching her face fall on the ground when she saw me already at the finish line, eating a banana and drinking some chocolate milk. You know why? Because I’m petty. I’m also not sorry.

 

Once upon a time…
My sisters (including the sister/cousin) and I crashed a cruise with my mama and her sisters
Because BIH! Y’ALL *THOUGHT* Y’ALL WAS GOIN’ TO THE CARRIBEAN WITHOUT US.

To be fair, they hardly ever saw us.
We spent a majority of the cruise at the beach or drinkin’ or drinkin’ at the beach and occasionally we shopped.
But I’m pretty we shopped because we got ran outta the water by jellyfish. Don’t ask.
Just know that if you go to Haiti, it’s beautiful and the people are very nice (SHUT UP. You know who you are)
And they have jellyfish the size of small animals.

We had a great time. Aside from the jellyfish incident.
People who cruise are generally super nice; everybody is there to have a good time.
Especially the Librarians I met. MAN, those librarians could party.
HOW do I know they were Librarians? They were wearing matching shirts.
They were on vacation! They were in the ship casinos and the bars and the clubs partying it up. Woo!

AND THEN. I ended up in line with one of them, and this lady turned to talk to me only…
I did not understand a word the lady said. NOT ONE!
I was so confused!
So was she!
I was wearing a similarly colored shirt to hers, so I think she thought I was with their party.
I was not.
And then I got a GOOD look at her shirt.
And it did NOT say LIBRARIAN.

IT SAID LIBERIAN.

Oops.

ANYWAYS. Today is the VERY! FIRST! DAY! of February, so…

You know why

That’s right, kids! Welcome to your first BHFOTD.
And since I like firsts on the first, let’s talk about Wilmot Collins. First Black mayor of Helena!

Wilmot Collins, Liberian-born American (who is also a Libra and I don’t care if that’s not important to anyone but me) and FIRST black person to be elected mayor of any city in the history of Montana since statehood** He defeated four-term incumbent mayor James E. Smith (R) in the 2017 mayoral election on November 7, 2017. I wonder why the incumbent lost*** ::insert thinking emoji here::

Collins fled his native Liberia for Helena in 1994, as a refugee from the First Liberian Civil War. He had petitioned for refugee status to join his wife, who had moved to Montana two years before he did. He subsequently became a United States citizen, and worked for the Montana Department of Health and Human Services, specializing in child protection. For two decades, he has been a member of the United States Navy Reserve. Through the years, Collins and his family have faced their “fair share” [::side eye:: Fair Share?] of racism, saying, “people marked our home with ‘KKK’ and ‘Go back to Africa.’” Others tried to burn his car. But he wasn’t deterred to run for office to help ALL Helena residents.

“It bothered me a lot as a former refugee myself to hear some of the things being said about refugees [by trump – yes. I removed the capitalization. Eff that guy. ],” Collins said. “But what I think the community is saying is, ‘we don’t care about the color of your skin, your creed, your sexual orientation, we are looking for the best possible candidate to move us forward’ and they believed I was the one.”

So there you go. Look at Black people WHO ARE ALSO IMMIGRANTS making history. And ALSO making Black History.
Sorry today’s fact was so long. I never know how much I’m gonna say until I start sayin’ it.

Hope you enjoyed today’s BHFOTD! And if not, I’LL BE HERE ALL MONTH.

 

* Hi there new folks (if there ARE in fact, new folks), one stereotype I like to uphold is that this particular black person likes music (and watermelon but that’s a story for another day). That means that I’ll add music to these facts whenever I feel like it. AND I PICK WHATEVER KIND OF MUSIC I WANT. And I do love me some MCR. Please to enjoy with me. Or not. But since I write the fact Ima do what I want.

** In 1873, pre-statehood Montana elected the first black mayor of any city in the territory of Montana with the election of E. T. Johnson, a black barber from Washington, D.C. Johnson’s victory occurred before Montana had become a state or Helena had been officially incorporated as a city. So. It took Montana 144 years before they elected another black person to bring the total to TWO.

*** sarcasm font = comic sans font