You all haven’t been getting your facts the way I usually give them and y’all. I’m sorry. I mean, I haven’t even written a Disney is the Devil post. And those are my favorite because to be honest, they make it SO. SO. EASY. BUT. It’s been a very busy month. If it’s not vacation, it’s work. And truly. Maybe next year will be the year that I finally get my shit together and PLAN THESE OUT AHEAD.


Anyway. Today is no different. I have a pile of work to do, and so much catching up on CURRENT EVENTS that I really just don’t have the time for a fancy lead in, so lemme just get to your BHFOTD.

:::flexes fingers and clears throat:::

William Levi Dawson, the politician (NOT the composer*) was a politician who represented Chicago, IL for more than 27 years in the US House of Representatives from 1943 to 1970.

Dawson moved to the Chicago area in 1912 to study at Northwestern University Law School. He was initiated into Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity, the first fraternity founded by and for African Americans, at Theta Chapter. He reached Chicago at the beginning of the Great Migration of hundreds of thousands of African Americans from rural areas of the South to industrial cities in the North and Midwest.

Dawson entered politics, becoming a member of the Republican Party in 1930 as a state central committeeman for the First Congressional District of Illinois until 1932. He was elected as a Democratic Representative for Illinois in 1942.

He was active in the civil rights movement of the times and sponsored registration drives. Dawson was a vocal opponent of the poll tax, which in practice was discriminatory against poorer voters. Poll taxes were among a variety of measures passed by southern states to disfranchise most black voters and tens of thousands of poor whites as well, particularly in Alabama through the 1940s.

Dawson, a member of the Democratic National Committee (DNC), had the long-term goal of increasing national black support for the party. Since the Civil War, most blacks had been allied with the Republican Party, as it had emancipated the slaves and led the movement for amendments to grant them citizenship.

NeNe laugh

[Sorry. That laugh just slipped out]

Dawson was the first African American to chair a committee in the United States Congress, when he chaired the Committee on Expenditures in Executive Departments. He served as Chair of that committee and its successor for most of the years between 1949 and 1970.


While I was looking for/up this fact, I learned that the Committee on Expenditures in the Executive Departments, has gone through a few name changes! It was created in 1927 by consolidating the 11 Committees on Expenditures previously spread among the various departments of the federal government to oversee how taxpayer monies were spent.

AND THEN. It was renamed Committee on Government Operations in 1952 and renamed AGAIN as the Committee on Government Reform. The name changed ONE MO’ GAIN to the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.

AND THEN. The 116th Congress changed it again to its current name: the Committee on Oversight and Reform.


*And to make this long post even LONGER: William Levi Dawson, THE COMPOSER, was an African American composer, choir director, and professor specializing in black religious folk music, ALSO KNOWN AS NEGRO SPIRITUALS. And then, I fell down another wormhole that talked about how negro spirituals are typically sung in a call and response form, with a leader improvising a line of text and a chorus of singers providing a solid refrain in unison.

For instance: Is anybody praying for an impeachment?

Chorus of singers providing solid refrain: King Jesus is a listenin’   (which, by the by, is popular composition by William Levi Dawson. Composer. Not Congressman)

And that’s today’s fun fact. Stay tuned for WTF I’m gonna pull out of a rabbit’s hat to talk about on the last day of Black History Month!