Archives for the month of: February, 2023

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!