Archives for the month of: February, 2022

I say a lot of ridiculous sh*t to my friends guys. I do a lot of ridiculous things as well. Truly. Ion’t know how the lot of y’all put up with me at all. BUT YOU DO, AND I LOVE YOU FOR IT.

IN FACT, just yesterday I said something so ridiculous that I am still pretty unclear on how I’m not blocked.

And then I said: it’s me and the rules don’t really apply to me. It’s maybe my favorite perk.

(If you know me, then you know how true this is in general)

The response: Ok, white man.

(Some of you will guess who said this to me. Some of you don’t know them. REST ASSURED THAT IT TAKES ONE TO KNOW ONE, SIR)

ANYWAY. It all sounds like foolishness until you find out that Sarah Rector was so rich that in 1913, Oklahoma legislature declared her as white so that she could reap the benefits that all of her cash money dollars could afford her.

Ahem. Sarah Rector was born in 1902 near the all-black town of Taft, located in the eastern portion of Oklahoma. Her parents were the grandchildren of enslaved Blacks owned by Creek Indians before the Civil War. And so they and their descendants were listed as freedmen and were entitled to land allotments under the Treaty of 1866 made by the united states with the Five Civilized Tribes. Which meant that around 600 Black children were allotted land. Sarah was allotted 159.14 acres. This was a mandatory step in the process of integration of the Indian Territory with Oklahoma Territory to form what is now the State of Oklahoma.

The land that Sarah was allotted was not suitable for farming and her dad leased it to Standard Oil Company to cover the expenses of maintaining all that land. YOU WILL NEVER GUESS WHAT HAPPENED GUYS. In 1913, the independent oil driller B.B. Jones drilled a well on the property which produced a “gusher” that began to bring in 2,500 barrels (400 m3) of oil a day. Rector began to receive a daily income of $300 from this strike. The law at the time required full-blooded Indians, black adults, and children who were citizens of Indian Territory with significant property and money, to be assigned “well-respected” white guardians [I can’t see anybody being called “well-respected” whose sole purpose is take money from black people but *looks around* you know what…? Nevermind] There was pressure to change Rector’s guardianship from her parents to a local white resident named T.J. (or J.T.) Porter, an individual known to the family. Rector’s allotment subsequently became part of the Cushing-Drumright Oil Field. In October 1913, Rector received royalties of $11,567.

In 1914, an African American journal, The Chicago Defender, began to take an interest in Rector, just as rumors began to fly that she was a white immigrant who was being kept in poverty. The newspaper published an article claiming that her estate was being mismanaged by her family and that she was uneducated, and had a poor quality of life. This caused National African American leaders Booker T. Washington and W. E. B. Du Bois to become concerned about her welfare, later creating Children’s Department of the NAACP, which would investigate claims of white guardians who were suspected of depriving black children of their land and wealth. Washington also intervened to help the Rector family. In October of that year, she was enrolled in the Children’s School, a boarding school at the Tuskegee Institute in Alabama, headed by Washington. Upon graduation, she attended the Institute.

Rector was already a millionaire by the time she had turned 18 in 1920. She owned stocks, bonds, a boarding house, businesses, and a 2,000-acre piece of prime river bottomland. At that point, she left Tuskegee and, with her entire family, moved to Kansas City, Missouri. She purchased a house on 12th Street, known as the Rector House, which is currently owned by a local nonprofit, with the intention of restoration and historical and cultural preservation.

Rector was living her best life.[hey. Don’t listen to that at work] She threw lavish parties and entertained celebrities such as Count Basie and Duke Ellington. She died in 1967, at the age of 65. She’s interred in her childhood hometown of Taft.

I have lots to say about this and not a lot of time to say it but the main point is that she died NOT THAT LONG before I was born. Also can you imagine being so rich that they call you white just so you can live your life with YOUR GODDAMN money?

That’s all folks! Happy Friday!

See you next week. Up to you to figure out if that’s a threat or a promise!

Today is one of these days where I wanna talk about me. Like, I love dropping random songs into my facts. I also love corny jokes (which most of y’all know) I am a number nerd. I LOOOOVE numbers (And numerology! Because numbers! FOR INSTANCE. Yesterday was 2/2/22. Yes. I was very excited about this. So many 2s! DID Y’ALL KNOW that the number 2 is about partnerships? The balance of 2 individual people, concepts, or things. A yin and yang, if you will. OR, in the context of what I’m doing here BLACK AND WHITE.

What does being a number weirdo have to do with any of this? WELL. Yesterday while I was not sending a new fact, I saw a fact that happened yesterday and I was slightly sad that I didn’t send it yesterday because also happened on 2/2 but, in 1948. Which lacks 2s. 74* years ago. But then I said to myself: I can send/write this tomorrow! Because I run this show and I run it on black people time.

ANYWAY Did you know that 74 years ago Harry Truman sent a special message to Congress about Civil rights?  AND BECAUSE I CARE, I read the whole message and it’s a lot (ahem. That’s what she said?), and because I know we don’t all have the bandwidth to read a bunch of bullsh*t, I mean…the entire message, Imma just…. Give y’all some cliff notes, because while TECHNICALLY I’m not writing this fact, Imma show my work because I don’t want y’all thinking I just be out here cutting and pasting all willy nilly.

Y’all ready to get into today’s fact?

AHEM :::pushes up glasses and cracks knuckles:::

By 1947 the question of black civil rights in the South** had become a national issue when a committee President Harry S. Truman appointed to study the issue called for legislation which among other things would to protect voting rights for Southern blacks and provide federal protection against lynching.  In response to the report President Truman sent a special message to Congress on the issue on February 2, 1948.  That message, the first by a sitting president to address the question of black civil rights, is linked here because I know ain’t nobody finna read all that.

The Beginning of the message:

To the Congress of the United States:

In the State of the Union Message on January 7, 1948, I spoke of five great goals toward which we should strive in our constant effort to strengthen our democracy and improve the welfare of our people. The first of these is to secure fully our essential human rights. I am now presenting to the Congress my recommendations for legislation to carry us forward toward that goal.

This Nation was founded by men and women who sought these shores that they might enjoy greater freedom and greater opportunity than they had known before. The founders of the United States proclaimed to the world the American belief that all men are created equal, and that governments are instituted to secure the inalienable rights with which all men are endowed. In the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States, they eloquently expressed the aspirations of all mankind for equality and freedom.

These ideals inspired the peoples of other lands, and their practical fulfillment made the United States the hope of the oppressed everywhere. Throughout our history men and women of all colors and creeds, of all races and religions, have come to this country to escape tyranny and discrimination. Millions strong, they have helped build this democratic Nation and have constantly reinforced our devotion to the great ideals of liberty and equality. With those who preceded them, they have helped to fashion and strengthen our American faith—a faith that can be simply stated:

We believe that all [white] men are created equal and that they have the right to equal justice under law. *Please note that I ADDED white here because I think it was there originally? I am only 3/5ths confident that I’m correct though.

We believe that all white men have the right to freedom of thought and of expression and the right to worship as they please.

We believe that all white men are entitled to equal opportunities for jobs, for homes, for good health and for education.

We believe that all white men should have a voice in their government and that government should protect, not usurp, the rights of the people.

These are the basic civil rights which have historically only been offered to white men are the source and the support of our democracy.

Today, the American white people enjoy more freedom and opportunity than ever before. Never in our history has there been better reason to hope for the complete realization of the ideals of liberty and equality. HAHAHAHAHA…*serious face*

I could stop here (and I promise, he had SO MUCH MORE TO SAY and I really don’t know why considering the Reverend Doctor Martin Luther (thee) King Jr’s Montgomery Bus Boycott was in 1955 so clearly not a damn thang had changed between now and then), but I will not! Or at least, I’m not just gonna stop talking. Imma wrap this up all cute for y’all because already this is longer than I would like. [Yes. I am definitely stopping myself from saying something deeply inappropriate here]

BACK TO THIS MESSAGE: He goes on to say that This is Not Who America Is™. Okay, he didn’t. He said that something about achieving the ideals that this Nation was founded on so long ago and well.  I’m pretty sure these statements are Separate but Equal(ly offensive statements to Black People) in meaning. He said other stuff that I don’t feel like getting into about providing statehood for Hawaii and Alaska, and equalizing the opportunities for residents to become naturalized citizens (WHEW, CHILE), and settling evacuation claims of Japanese-Americans (again, Not My Lane)

He ends with this:

If we wish to inspire the peoples of the world whose freedom is in jeopardy, if we wish to restore hope to those who have already lost their civil liberties, if we wish to fulfill the promise that is ours, we must correct the remaining imperfections in our practice of democracy.

We know the way. We need only the will.

And ALL I’m going to say about that is that nothing. Imma just gently place this tweet down and you can read into that what you will.

*Also I guess I can’t say that I’m into numbers and numerology without pointing out that 74 years is really 7+4 that is really 11 which is technically 1+1 which equals. Two. SO MANY 2’S YESTERDAY!

BUT THREE IS ALWAYS GONNA BE THE MAGIC NUMBER. I know. I am definitely insane. But it’s also why these facts are so much fun.

It’s MEEE, baby – Erykah Badu. And me. Because I am definitely singing out loud as I type. Sorry, not sorry to my co-workers.

Welcome to February! It’s been a VERY long time, but we back! And by “we” I definitely mean me – this remains a one woman show. WHICH IS FINE, because that means I can say what I wanna say (which I was gon’ do anyway). Y’all excited yet? I’m just going to assume the silent eyerolling I heard all the way from here means yes. Can you believe that in 2022 there are still Black history firsts for me to write about on the first day of February we made it to another year?! While still being in a panorama?! Amazing! Congratulations! Glad to see we’re all here being annoyed by the current state of things. Hope you’re doing something to fix it in your corner of the world wherever that is! Yes. I’m starting early on my BS. You’re welcome.

Also! Welcome new people! Hi Erica! [My mama told her I was funny! She did not tell her that when I add you to the list, you run the risk of me dragging you into my foolishness.]

ANYWAY. Today is probably the ONLY day that I have, scheduled (sorta) a fact. I’m sending this from the past! I wrote this yesterday! So that tomorrow I can look for ANOTHER FACT because even though I SAID I was going to do better and stop lollygagging when I know I have facts to write, I. HAVE. NOT. New Year. Same me. Mostly.

I also want to say that somebody needs to do something nice for me for getting this out when I am hungover. WHY AM I HUNGOVER? Glad you asked! Because I make poor decisions while watching football and drinking whiskey. YOU GUYS. I haven’t watched football in I honestly cannot remember, but it was on where I was so I did. I watched the KC snatch defeat from the jaws of victory (FYI: Your team name is racist). AND THEN, drunk me cried watching OBJ comfort Deebo Samuel because OF COURSE I DID. And then I remembered how much I love play off games because now everyone is emotionally invested and how it’s the only place men are really allowed to cry because yannow boys don’t cry. Or so they say. Unless sportsball. Only women are “allowed”* to cry. BUT WHAT IF WOMEN WERE IN FOOTBALL? WOULD WOMEN IN FOOTBALL ALLOWED TO CRY?

Then I thought WOMEN IN FOOTBALL? WHAT?

YES! That is the sound of me getting to the point of this email! Y’all know I love doing firsts for the first day of BHFOTD! [Yes! Imma use allll the exclamation points!! Because I do what I want!!]

Jennifer King (no relation to Reverend Doctor Martin Luther the King – I am assuming this because I’m sure if she was they’d be shouting it from the mountain top…did y’all…see what I did there?) born in Eden, North Carolina became the first Black woman to become a full-time coach in NFL History. In December of 2021. She attended Guilford College, where she played college basketball and softball, before graduating with a degree in sports management in 2006. She went on to play in the Women’s Football Alliance from 2006 – 2019. She was an assistant coach at Greensboro College from 2006 to 2016. AND THEN she was hired as the women’s basketball head coach at Johnson & Wales University in North Carolina, where she turned around a program that had existed for only two years prior into a national champion within two seasons.

King was one of 40 women to attend the NFL’s Women’s Forum in 2018, where she met then-Carolina Panthers head coach Ron Rivera and expressed her interest in working with in the NFL. She was hired as an intern by the Panthers later that year, where she assisting in coaching their wide receivers. She got her first full-time coaching gig in 2018 as an assistant wide receivers and special teams coach for the Arizona Hotshots of the Alliance of American Football (AAF). After the AAF folded in 2019, King was once again brought on as an intern for the Panthers, this time working with the running backs. She interned once more as a coach with the Washington Football Team in 2020, working once again under Rivera who joined Washington that season. She was promoted to assistant running backs coach the following year, making her the first (only) black woman to become a full-time coach in NFL history. In 2021.

As a sidenote, I checked to see how many NFL head coaches have never played in the NFL. The answer is 11 (12, I guess if you count Jenny, yes now that I’ve written about her I can call her that, but also women don’t play in the NFL?). There is exactly ONE person that coached an NFL team AND a major league baseball team. But it’s looking like Ms. King is the only coach that PLAYED basketball, football AND softball and coached Basketball (and won a national championship) and now Football. It’s giving being twice as good to get half as much, but I’m SURE there are other reasons that it took so long to add a Very Qualified Person to their roster that had nothing to do with not having a penis. [comic sans remains the sarcasm font of choice]

And here we are! Fact #1 down for February 1. *cue the soca horns* Hope you enjoyed the only fact is not going to be a last minute scramble because I continue to be a menace to both myself and you. Woo! See you tomorrow with a flashback fact because I’m gonna continue to take Wednesdays off! Happy February everyone! Let’s get ready to learn y’all some sh!t about black folks you may or may not have known because the only time we talk about black folk accomplishments is February ruuuuumbbbllle!

*women are allowed to do whatever TF we want. Including cry. But also know we will cry and still cut you.