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?

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.

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.

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!
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.

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

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.



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

Because some of them would be SO! MUCH! BETTER! with pictures.

Especially when I tell random stories about when I was a newly married military wife because 1) I looked so young! (I was. I was 19), and 2) MY HAIR (hairstyles rarely age well. But whatever. I was in Hawaii and I was still cute)

ANYWAYS. I was one of two military wives of 1/3 (One. Three. Not one third). As such, I got to hang out with ALL the boys when they didn’t go to the town bars because 18 was old enough to drink on base ONLY [You’re old enough to be shipped off to war, you’re old enough to drink. Those were the days]. So it would be me, other wife (never girlfriends) and anywhere from 5-10 Marines. One of the last times we were all together was for a going away party. Pretty much all the guys were changing duty stations or getting out. So we had a cookout at a park in Kaneohe.

THIS IS WHEN PICTURES WOULD COME IN HANDY. Imagine 10 or so just barely 21 year old Marines drinking and playing in the park:

  • I have a picture of one of my favorites passed out on a picnic table getting the mother of all sunburns.
  • I have a picture of my 3 year old peeing at a tree because I asked one of the boys to take him to the bathroom since he said he was going that way. (So, really I have a picture of TWO boys pissing on a tree)
  • I have a picture of all of them together (plus their kids) before they all went their separate ways in the Corps. Black. White. Brown. Semper Fi. Do or Die. Etc.


This was 1993.


TODAY in 1948 President Truman signed Executive Order 9981, abolishing racial discrimination in the US Armed Forces.  It expanded on Executive Order 8802 by establishing equality of treatment and opportunity in the military for people of all races, religions, or national origins. The order also established a committee to investigate and make recommendations to the civilian leadership of the military to implement the policy. The order eliminated Montford Point as a segregated Marine boot camp. It became a satellite facility of Camp Lejeune.

Most of the actual enforcement of the order was accomplished by President Dwight D. Eisenhower’s administration (1953–1961), including the desegregation of military schools, hospitals, and bases. The last of the all-black units in the United States military was abolished in September 1954. [NINETEEN HUNDRED AND FIFTY-FOUR!]

Fifteen years after Truman’s order, on July 26, 1963, Secretary of Defense Robert S. McNamara issued Directive 5120.36 obligating military commanders not to employ their financial resources against facilities used by soldiers or their families that discriminated based upon sex or race.



Which is why on THAT DAY in 1993, a bunch of just barely old enough kids could all get together, get drunk and say goodbye the way that Marines do.

That’s today’s random BHFOTD that is not in February, but seemed especially appropriate today.

As you were.




I was watching Boogie Nights. And LOL. I’m not sure if it’s supposed to be this hilarious, or it was me. To be fair though, I am easily amused.
ANYWAYS. It was my first time (seeing the movie. Ahem) and it reminded me of this story, which of course reminded me of a black history fact:

When Nesto was deployed, EVERYONE went by a nickname. I have my theories on why this was, but it’s not really important to the story unless you really wanna understand how terrifying it must be to be told that if they know who YOU are they can find out who your family is and retaliate accordingly. ANYWAYS. Nesto’s name wasn’t Shadow. Which I found kinda hilarious, because here’s a guy that already has a nickname and y’all give him a different one, but okay.

SO THIS ONE TIME… we had a cookout, and he invited some guys that were deployed with him.

Him to me: This is so-and-so. He was deployed with me.
Me: So what’d y’all call him over there?
Him: Dirk.
Me. Who is also standing next to my mama: AS IN DIGGLER?! And then I laughed so hard I almost choked.

And now for the black history fact. It’s safe for work. Promise.

(The moral of this story: I can find a black history fact pretty much anywhere. You’ve been warned)

And that’s all folks! Thanks for playing this year’s look at stuff black people did even though white people did they’re damnest to hold them down! Stay tuned for next year’s BHFOTD where I’m going to SAY that I’m going to do better and plan them out, but them I’m not because that isn’t what I do. Not sorry. Although I really hope God’s got a sense of humor, or I’m gonna be in a LOT OF TROUBLE.
Love y’all!

Hi Guys!

I know, I know…IT’S we don’t care about black history anymore because it’s MARCH. BUT. I was on vacation AND I came back to office feckery. So yesterday was NOT the day, and I don’t plan these out so you get what you get when I give it to you [WOW. I am really turning into my mama]. ALSO. It’s the second to last BHFOTD until next February*. OR. Until I feel like writing a surprise fact, which definitely won’t be happening any time soon. ON TO TODAY’S FACT!

SO. As I write this fact Spanky is supposed to be somewhere studying for midterms, but I’m fairly certain that she’s watching/waiting on a giraffe to give birth.
BUT. I will say that she’s had an amazing experience.
Last semester she “studied” abroad.
Yes. Because that chile sent me pictures of her everywhere but class. Clubs. Restaurants. Her bed. Other countries.

Me: How you gettin’ any school work done?
ALSO ME: As long as she’s passing her classes, do I really care?

No. If we’re gonna be honest. And I am, because hello! In fact, sounded like she learned more from traveling that I expected. She messaged me from Munich to tell me that her and her friends went to the Dachau Concentration Camp memorial. I ain’t get any pictures, because Spanky knows that I would fly to wherever she was to knock her phone on the ground. But, she told me how heartbreakingly sad it was to SEE. And how cold it was when she was there and she was layered up. She told me couldn’t imagine being in that weather with no jacket or shoes. She couldn’t understand how people could watch other people being marched 3 miles from the train station to certain death. [Short answer: because people have no problem letting horrifying things happen to other people so long as that people is not them] She also told me that every German student is required to tour a concentration camp. Because they’re pretty serious about this terrible history not repeating itself.

And in typical me fashion, I said: This is what it looks like to really be sorry for things that you’ve done. You acknowledge it, and learn from it, AND YOU DON’T LET IT HAPPEN AGAIN.

And in typical YOU fashion I’m sure you realized that I’ve finally gotten to my fact for today:

Did you know that there is such a thing as America’s Black Holocaust Museum? It was located in Milwaukee, WI. It was founded in 1988 by James Cameron, the only known survivor of a lynching attempt. When Cameron was 16, he and two friends were charged in the murder of a white man during an armed robbery attempt. He said he ran away before the man was killed. The three were arrested. A lynch mob “broke” into the jail and the two friends were beaten and hanged. Cameron was beaten but before he was hanged an unidentified woman intervened, saying he was not guilty. He was returned to the jail. After that come to Jesus (literally), he changed his life, got an education, and studied all his life about slavery and the African-American experience in the United States. He worked in civil rights, wrote independent articles, and collected materials having to do with African-American history.

After retirement, Cameron and his wife visited Yad Vashem, the Holocaust museum in Israel. He thought that the focus on the personal history of individuals and their stories, rather than on numbers and processes, led to a better understanding of the reality of the Holocaust. Then living in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, in 1988 he founded the museum, with the help of philanthropist Daniel Bader, having been collecting materials on the African-American experience in the US for many years.

ABHM’s facility, located in Milwaukee, was the only memorial dedicated specifically to the victims of the enslavement of Africans in the United States. The building was closed due to financial issues, but re-opened as a virtual facility on February 25, 2012 (Me: with another typical belated birthday shout out). The Virtual Museum has guided tours related to six distinct historic earas:
Before Captivity in Africa
The Middle Passage
Slavery in the Americas
Reconstruction era of the United States
Civil Rights
• Modern Day Injustices [I’m assuming this one isn’t linked because it’s AN ONGOING PROJECT. So as a favor, here’s one from YESTERDAY.]

ABHM unlike these here united states welcomed visitors of all races and backgrounds, and encouraged community understanding of the nation’s history of racism, prejudice, social change and cross-cultural understanding.

*Y’all get a second fact, just because I hate ending BHM with sad and depressing facts.

So this one time I was at a bar watching football and talking smack to the bartender (because YES, I DON’T CARE IF THE STEELERS ARE LOSING, THEY ARE STILL MY TEAM, SIR, AND THEY COULD TOTALLY TURN THIS GAME AROUND), and this black lady who ALSO was a Steelers fan walks in:

Bartender says hello to her and then turns to me: Hey! She’s also a Steelers fan.
Bartender: Oh, do you two know each other?
Me: Why yes, I do. All black people know each other.
Bartender::: looks shamed ::::
Me::: is highly amused:::

The moral of the story is that NOT ALL BLACK PEOPLE KNOW EACH OTHER.

Unless of course you are John Mercer Langston and Langston Hughes:

John Mercer Langston was born free in 1829 in Louisa County, Virginia the youngest of Lucy Jane Langston (a freedwoman of mixed decent – African and Native American) and Ralph Quarles, a white planter from England. Quarles had freed Lucy and their daughter Maria in 1806, in the course of what was a relationship of more than 25 years. Their three sons were born free, as their mother was free. After his parents died, John was moved to Chillicothe, Ohio with his guardian and his brothers. He enrolled in the preparatory program at Oberlin College (following after his brothers who were the first black students to be admitted) at the age of 14. John Langston earned a bachelor’s degree in 1849 and a master’s degree in theology in 1852 from Oberlin. Denied admission to law schools in New York and Ohio because of his race, Langston studied law (or “read the law”, as was the common practice then) as an apprentice under attorney and Republican US congressman Philemon Bliss; he was admitted to the Ohio bar in 1854.

With his brothers, helped runaway slaves to escape to the North along the Ohio part of the Underground Railroad. In 1858 he and Charles partnered in leading the Ohio Anti-Slavery Society, with John acting as president and traveling to organize local units, and Charles managing as executive secretary in Cleveland.

In 1863 when the government approved founding of the United States Colored Troops, John Langston was appointed to recruit African Americans to fight for the Union Army. He enlisted hundreds of men for duty in the Massachusetts Fifty-fourth and Fifty-fifth regiments, in addition to 800 for Ohio’s first black regiment. Even before the end of the war, Langston worked for issues of black suffrage and opportunity. He believed that black men’s service in the war had earned their right to vote, and that it was fundamental to their creating an equal place in society.

In 1864 Langston chaired the committee whose agenda was ratified by the black National Convention: they called for abolition of slavery, support of racial unity and self-help, and equality before the law. To accomplish this program, the convention founded the National Equal Rights League and elected Langston president. He served until 1868. Like the later National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), the League was based in state and local organizations.

In 1868 Langston moved to Washington, D.C. to establish and serve as dean of Howard University’s law school; it was the first black law school in the country. Appointed acting president of the school in 1872, and vice president of the school, Langston worked to establish strong academic standards. He also engendered the kind of open environment he had known at Oberlin College. Langston was passed over for the permanent position of president of Howard University School of Law by a committee that refused to disclose the reason.

During 1870, Langston assisted Republican Senator Charles Sumner from Massachusetts with drafting the civil rights bill that was enacted as the Civil Rights Act of 1875. The 43rd Congress of the United States passed the bill in February 1875 and it was signed into law by President Ulysses S. Grant on March 1, 1875.

In 1888, Langston was urged to run for a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives by fellow Republicans, both black and white. Leaders of the biracial Readjuster Party, which had held political power in Virginia from 1879 to 1883, did not support his candidacy. Langston ran as a Republican and lost to his Democratic opponent. He contested the results of the election because of voter intimidation and fraud. After 18 months, the Congressional elections committee declared Langston the winner, and he took his seat in the US Congress. He served for the remaining six months of the term, but lost his bid for reelection as Democrats regained control of Virginia. Langston was the first black person elected to Congress from Virginia, and he was the last for another century.

From 1891 until his death in 1897, he practiced law in Washington, DC. He died at his home, Hillside Cottage at 2225 Fourth Street NW in Washington, DC, on the morning of November 15 from malaria induced acute indigestion.


John Langston was the great-uncle of Langston Hughes, poet.

Happy Wednesday kids! See you tomorrow. Maybe. If I’m not swamped.

Everyone is at home, with a paid day off, and I am at work. DAMMIT.
I didn’t think to take today off because I never remember holidays that don’t apply to me.
But also, since I’m off on Friday and NEXT Monday (so don’t be looking for a fact), I guess I won’t complain too loudly.

NORMALLY, I’d just do a random black fact because after all, that’s what I do.

And really, I COULD talk about our only black President to fulfill this requirement…
For instance: I looked up little known facts about my President, and did you know he says he says he hasn’t liked ice cream since working at Baskin-Robbins as a teenager?
It also said that his childhood nickname was Barry and let’s be honest, that is NOT a little known fact, nor is that at ALL surprising. His name is BARACK FFS. What the hell ELSE would they call him?

ANYWAYS. I’m not counting those as THE fact. Even though, those ARE facts.

Today, I’ma talk about President John F. Kennedy. And his part in Black History.

On this day in 1962 , President John F. Kennedy issues Executive Order 11063, which mandates an end to discrimination in housing. The order, which came during the burgeoning Civil Rights movement, prohibited federally funded housing agencies from denying housing or funding for housing to anyone based on their race, color, creed or national origin.

Since the 1950s, American minorities, particularly African Americans, had been largely relegated to living in overcrowded inner-city ghettos or impoverished rural areas. The “American Dream” of owning a house in the suburbs, or even a small apartment in a safe city neighborhood was unobtainable for many minority families because federally funded lending agencies often refused to give minorities home loans. Although Kennedy’s order was largely a symbolic landmark for ending de facto segregation in housing, the policy was never enforced. The order left it up to the individual housing and funding agencies to police themselves, leaving much room for non-compliance from state to state. After his assassination in 1963, civil rights activists continued to lobby for integrated neighborhoods*. It took Kennedy’s successor, Lyndon B. Johnson, until 1968, however, to get a majority of Congress to support a fair housing law.

Speaking of this being Presidents’ Day and The Fair Housing Act and alladat, I have another President that I want to talk about and HIS part in Black History:

In 1973, Justice Department lawyers filed a case against y’all’s (NEVER MY) president (us v. fred trump, donald trump, and trump management, inc) for a constant pattern and practice of discrimination. The Justice Department then issued a news release that said the trumps violated the law “by refusing to rent and negotiate rentals with blacks, requiring different rental terms and conditions because of race, and misrepresenting that apartments were not available.” The suit was settled after almost two years, and on June 10, 1975, the trumps signed an agreement prohibiting “discriminating against any person in the terms, conditions, or priveleges of sale or rental of a dwelling.” The agreement also required the trumps to place ads informing minorities they had an equal opportunity to seek housing at their properties.

Another fun fact: Did you know that donald trump did not want to pay for the ads? “This advertising, while it’s, you know — I imagine it’s necessary from the Government’s standpoint, is a very expensive thing for us,” Trump said, according to a court transcript. “It is really onerous. Each sentence we put in is going to cost us a lot of money over the period we are supposed to do it.” [funny, he wasn’t so worried about the cost of ads when he did this.]

So there you go. I know I usually focus on black folks ‘cause the lordt only knows we only have one (very short) month to show off all the shit black folks be doin’ for the culture. But every once in a while, I want white people to know that y’alls names be going down in black infamy history too. You’re welcome!

Happy Monday, guys! You’ve almost made it to the end of another black history month.
*white flight: migration of middle class white populations out of cities to avoid the influx of minorities and return to more racially homogeneous suburban regions. However, some historians have challenged the phrase “white flight” as a misnomer whose use should be reconsidered. In her study of Chicago’s West Side during the post-war era, historian Amanda Seligman argues that the phrase misleadingly suggests that whites immediately departed when blacks moved into the neighborhood, when in fact, many whites defended their space with violence, intimidation, or legal tactics.

*see also: Gentrification: The Same. Only, backwards.

So for the last few weeks I have been BEYOND STRESSED. And it was completely “so-called ruler of the united states (SCROTUS)” work related.
Because of the Muslim Terrorist ban (that bans ZERO people from the countries where terrorists have so far resided) I had been internally screaming/worrying that one of my researchers wasn’t going to be let back into the country. She went home to her family in her primarily Muslim country while Obama was still our President and was due to return AFTER y’all’s (NEVER MY)president called all Muslims terrorists except for the countries where he has business dealings, but I’m sure that’s coincidental.

I can’t even tell you how low-key (and HIGH KEY) stressed some of our researchers (and the people who employ them) were/are. We got an e-mail from the higher ups requesting that maybe some of our international researchers should chill on travel until this was all straightened out.
Relatedly: I gotta say it’s nice to know that my place of employ understands that this is upsetting, and provided some recommendations to help relieve their concerns.

ANYWAYS. The other day I ran into said researcher in the breakroom.
And I was VERY excited to see her.
I mean…not excited enough to show emotion, because that’s not my jam
but I *DID* let her know I was glad to know she made it back safely.
[And by safely, I meant AT ALL]

I mean, these researchers are kinda like my kids.
I make sure they care of the things they need to take care of that aren’t research related because researchers are only interested in research not making sure that all their paperwork is turned in on time. AND I smack them around when they sass me. I’m kidding. They know better than to sass me.

Also. I’m not really in charge of them*
But I could be one day.

Because of Mary Frances Berry, Birthday Girl.

Berry attended Nashville’s segregated schools, graduating with honors from high school and attending Fisk University in Nashville. She transferred to Howard University, where she received her bachelor’s degree. [whew. Come THROUGH, HBCUs!] Following this, Berry studied at the University of Michigan, received a Ph.D. in history from the University of Michigan and a J.D. from the University of Michigan Law School.

Berry spent the next six years working at the University of Maryland, eventually becoming interim provost of the Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences. In 1976, she became chancellor of the University of Colorado in Boulder, Colorado, the first black woman to head a major research university.


1. Took a leave of absence from the University of Colorado when President Jimmy Carter named her assistant secretary for education in the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare (1977).
2. Returned to Howard University as a professor of History and Law. (1980)
3. Was appointed to the U.S. Civil Rights Commission, where during her tenure, she became involved in legal battles with Ronald Reagan, INCLUDING keeping her seat when Reagan attempted to remove her from the board. ( Sally Gates, are you listening?) AND banging on fellow African American Clarence M Pendleton Jr, when he tried to fall in line with Reagan’s social and civil rights views that pissed off the liberals and feminists. (Checks the date. MAN, y’all Republicans been pissing off liberals and feminists for a long ass time)
4. Co-founded the Free South Africa Movement, dedicated to the abolition of apartheid in South Africa. (1984)
5. Took a tenured chair at the University of Pennsylvania, while continuing to serve on the Civil Rights Commission. (1993)
a. She was also appointed chair of the Civil Rights Commission by President Bill Clinton, who reappointed her for another term in 1999.
6. She also wrote NINE books. (When the hell she have time to do that?! I can’t even get these effing facts out on time.)

And unlike Frederick Douglass, she’s still alive! According to her website, “As Berry continues her research, writing and activism, she insists that each generation has the responsibility to make a dent in the wall of injustice.”

Guess that means we better get crackin’!

*No. I’m not in charge of them. But let’s face it, you never want to be on the wrong side of the person who makes sure you get paid.


Many African Americans moved to Oklahoma in the years before and after 1907, which is the year Oklahoma became a state. Oklahoma represented change and provided a chance for African Americans to get away from slavery and the harsh racism of their previous homes. Most of them traveled from the states in the south where racism was very prevalent, and Oklahoma offered hope and provided all people with a chance to start over. They traveled to Oklahoma by wagons, horses, trains, and even on foot.

Many of the African Americans who traveled to Oklahoma had ancestors who could be traced back to Oklahoma. A lot of the settlers were relatives of African American slaves who had traveled on foot with the Five Civilized Tribes (Well, would you look at that? Turns out I *AM* civilized. Or at least partially.) along the Trail of Tears. Others were the descendants of runaway slaves who had fled to Indian Territory (present day Oklahoma) in an effort to escape lives of oppression.

During the oil boom of the 1910s, the area of northeast Oklahoma around Tulsa flourished, including the Greenwood neighborhood, which came to be known as “the Negro Wall Street” (now commonly referred to as “the Black Wall Street” …not to be confused with these guys) The area was home to several prominent black businessmen, many of them multimillionaires. Not only did African Americans want to contribute to the success of their own shops, but also the racial segregation laws prevented them from shopping anywhere other than Greenwood.

The buildings on Greenwood Avenue housed the offices of almost all of Tulsa’s black lawyers, realtors, doctors, and other professionals. In Tulsa at the time of the riot, there were fifteen well-known African American physicians, one of whom was considered the “most able Negro surgeon in America” by one of the Mayo (as in the Mayo Clinic) brothers. Greenwood published two newspapers, the Tulsa Star and the Oklahoma Sun, which covered not only Tulsa, but also state and national news and elections.

Greenwood boasted a variety of thriving businesses that were very successful up until the Tulsa Race Riot.

Post Riot, The community mobilized its resources and rebuilt the Greenwood area within five years of the Tulsa Race Riot and the neighborhood was a hotbed of jazz and blues in the 1920s. However, the neighborhood fell prey to an economic and population drain in the 1960s, and much of the area was leveled during urban renewal in the early 1970s to make way for a highway loop around the downtown district. Several blocks around the intersection of Greenwood Avenue and Archer Street were saved from demolition and have been restored, forming part of the Greenwood Historical District.

And this makes for today’s somewhat somber MOMENTS IN BLACK HISTORY-Ry-ry….

Just so I don’t leave you all sad and depressed on this gloomy Friday afternoon, here’s a fun fact:

The Gap Band , comprised brothers Charlie, Ronnie and Robert Wilson, the band first formed as the Greenwood, Archer and Pine Street Band in 1967 in their hometown of Tulsa, Oklahoma. The group shortened its name to The Gap Band in 1973.

And lucky you. This fun fact also comes with a song! You’re welcome. Feel free to shake your groove thang.