At band camp I had to mail Spanky a package overseas (because she likes to wait until the last minute to tell me that she needs something and “could you please mail it to me, mommy, right now immediately?) and I worked a couple blocks from this janky ass post office (really it was just a counter and one grumpy dude with a scale, a cash register, and a bin to dump mail in, but whatever. I was really grateful because getting to the post office when you work where I work is HARD TO DO because they’re mostly closed by the time I get off work, so only having to walk a block or so on my lunch was clutch) and my co-worker asked me to pick her up some stamps. 100 of them. Because apparently she still REGULARLY mails things out. She gave me $40. Which SHOULD have been enough, but apparently stamps have gone up by A LOT. So I got her as much as $40 would get her and brought back change. I got her the most ridiculous stamps that they had because if you send me to do something you should expect that I’m going to find a way to embarrass you if at all possible, ESPECIALLY since they didn’t have any black history stamps which is basically what this whole rambling e-mail is about:

On April 7, 1940, the Post Office Department (POD) issued a stamp honoring African-American educator Booker T. Washington (founder of Tuskegee Normal and Industrial Institute, now called Tuskegee University, and former dinner guest of President Theodore Roosevelt) as part of its Famous Americans Series. He was the nation’s first stamp to honor an African American.

TA DAAAA!!!! Sometimes I keep it simple. But only because I’m busy and got too much to do to be writing long ass paragraphs before I get to my point.
SOMETIMES.

But. Because I care (and I hate the post office), I would like you to know that you can NOW make your OWN stamps. Of anything you like. Mailed directly to you. ORIGINALLY, I power puffed myself and I was gonna turn THAT into my stamp because LOOK. AT. IT.

power-puff-me

It’s so cute! It even has my kitty!

But then I remembered it’s Black History Month so I changed my mind:

blm-stamp

CAN YOU BELIEVE THAT STAMPS ARE 49 DAMN CENTS?!

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But I hate the Patriots. HATE. Have ever since my time in Boston.

So, we can talk about other stuff about the Super Bowl.
Like that whole segment on HBCUs. Because WHAT?
I been watching plenty of Super Bowls since they moved it to make more money February and I don’t remember anything like this.
AND the cherry on top?
My sissie’s school (Tennessee State University) got mad love in that segment.
(For reals. I’m so glad she went to TSU)

But here’s the thing. I’ve already done some facts on some TSU Alumni.
Some non-famous ones, like this dude.
AND some famous ones like Orpah Winfrey. (NO, I didn’t misspell it, her mama did).
That one was long before I started being forced to blog them.
I been doing these for a surprisingly long time, you guys.
And every once in a while I learn something that I didn’t already know.
Okay, ALL the time. I do these facts randomly, so when I go looking I almost always find new information that I pass along to you.

EVENTUALLY.

FOR INSTANCE: Orpah is always billed as the first Black woman to have a talk show, which…NOPE*.
That person was Delloreese Early. Changed to Della Reese in the 1950’s.
(see? Finally got around to the fact)

Della Reese (born Delloreese Patricia Early – wow, that’s a mouthful. And probably what she said) is an American nightclub, jazz, gospel and pop singer, film and television actress, one-time talk-show hostess and ordained minister, whose career has spanned six decades.

Della was discovered by the gospel singer Mahalia Jackson, and her big break came when she won a contest, which gave her a week to sing at Detroit’s well-known Flame Show Bar. In 1953, she signed a recording contract with Jubilee Records, for which she recorded six albums. Later that year, she also joined the Hawkins Orchestra. In 1957, Reese released a single called “And That Reminds Me.” After years of performing, she gained chart success with this song. It became a Top Twenty Pop hit and a million-seller record. That year, Reese was voted by Billboard, Cashbox and various other magazines, as “The Most Promising Singer.” Motown singer Martha Reeves cites Reese as a major influence and says she named her group The Vandellas after Van Dyke Street in Detroit and Della Reese. (Another thing I did not know)

In 1969, she began a transition into acting work which would eventually lead to her greatest fame. Her first attempt at television stardom was a talk show series, Della, which was cancelled after 197 episodes (June 9, 1969 – March 13, 1970). Then in 1970, Reese became the first black woman to guest host The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson. She appeared in several TV movies and miniseries, was a regular on Chico and the Man and played the mother of B. A. Baracus in The A-Team (TV Show, not the movie), and in 1989 she starred alongside Eddie Murphy, Richard Pryor and Arsenio Hall in the movie Harlem Nights, in which she performed my favorite part of this entire movie.

After the death of one of her BFF’s (Redd Foxx), she went on to be a lead character in Touched by an Angel in 1994, the show was cancelled in 2003, but it continued re-running heavily in syndication and on The Hallmark Channel. In 2014, she retired from acting after filming for the TV Series Signed, Sealed, Delivered (Touched by an Angel spinoff) and unlike Frederick Douglass is very much alive and living her life.

And that’s how I’m starting week two of Black History Month, by being petty about a Patriots win.

But if you really need me to say something nice about the Patriots, here it is: Martellus Bennett is NOT going to celebrate his win at the White House.

(boop. Still petty)

*Orpah WAS the first Black Woman to have a nationally syndicated talk show, doe. SO. She’s still got that #1 slot. Along with first black woman to own a billion (BILLION) dollar company. Woo!

Shaddup. I am too.

Anyways.

Did I ever tell you that Nesto tried to get me to join the Marine Corps? Because recruiters love it when you do their work for them and sucker one of your friends into joining with you on some buddy plan BS(plus I’m a black woman AND I took the ASVAB and as long as I didn’t wanna touch their planes I probably coulda wrote my own ticket), only:

  1. I’m hard headed and never would’ve made it1 through boot camp. #idowhatiwant
  2. I was pregnant with Adam.
  3. Honestly, I’m not crazy enough to have joined the Marine Corps. Yes. They are all crazy. All.
  4. IF I were go into the military, I would have chosen the Air Force.

And they woulda had to take me too, because…

On today’s date in 1981 (Nineteen hundred and eighty-one which is only 35 years ago), The Air Force Academy drops its ban on applicants with sickle cell trait.

I have no idea why this would be considered a Black History Fact. I’m sure it’s just coincidence that the sickle cell trait is most common among African Americans2.

Relatedly, or maybe not: Isn’t it interesting how you can discriminate against an entire people without ever specifically mentioning them?

Like say…banning a country’s citizens without EVER mentioning that the most people from that country practice specific religion?

And just like that, we’ve gotten through the first week of Black History Month! Happy Friday! See y’all on Monday!

  1. Doing what I want includes sticking random gospel songs in places you don’t expect. Jesus is everywhere, guys. Even in my BHFOTDs. But not boot camp. Boot camp is hell.
  2. As agreed comic sans = sarcasm font

So we all know about Urban Dictionary, yes? For you old folks (Hi Mom! Hi Dad!), Urban dictionary is like the Merriam Webster of slang/aave (because let’s be honest and admit that most “slang” is just African American Vernacular English that has made its way to the mainstream). Did you hear those young kids talmbout something you’ve never heard before? You can probably find it there. BUT FFS, DON’T LOOK IT UP AT WORK. Because it’s probably not safe.

I’m sure you’re wondering WTH kind of lead in is THIS? WELL I’LL TELL YOU. I was crying while reading the news and I saw this article about my congresswoman: “Your Ultimate Auntie, Rep. Maxine Waters, Takes ‘Knuck if You Buck’ Stance on trump” [yes I fuckingdid lower case his name]. And I, Crime Mob enthusiast, ‘bout died. But I’m sure people all over the world were like WHUT DOES THAT EVEN MEAN?!

USUALLY I wouldn’t EVER do a fact on this guy, because I *thought* that Frederick Douglass was one of the people that teachers teach during Black History Month. But it turns out I was wrong, so here’s a fun story about Mr. Frederick Douglass (born Frederick Augustus Washington Bailey, 1818 – 1895*) that should help you figure out what that means:

When Douglass was 12, his slave owner’s wife taught him the alphabet. The slave owner, Hugh Auld felt that literacy would encourage slaves to desire freedom (because THAT would definitely be the reason slaves wanted to be free, not yannow, SLAVERY ITSELF). The wife then came to believe that education and slavery were incompatible. Douglass continued, secretly, to teach himself how to read and write. He later often said, “knowledge is the pathway from slavery to freedom.” In later years, Douglass credited The Columbian Orator, an anthology that he discovered at about age twelve, with clarifying and defining his views on freedom and human rights. The book, first published in 1797, is a classroom reader, containing essays, speeches and dialogues, to assist students in learning reading and grammar.

When Douglass was hired out to William Freeland, he taught other slaves on the plantation to read the New Testament at a weekly Sunday school. For about six months, their study went relatively unnoticed. While Freeland remained complacent about their activities, other plantation owners became incensed about their slaves being educated. One Sunday they burst in on the gathering, armed with clubs and stones, to disperse the congregation permanently.

As punishment for teaching other slaves to read, he was sent to a “slave-breaker” at 16.He whipped Douglass regularly until finally Douglass was like, SQUARE UP, and then the THAT particular slave owner learned that you should not knuck if you are not buck. (NSFW. Also. I AIN’T SORRY) Translation: Mr. Slave Owner man got his ass handed to him and decided that violence was not the answer.

And that’s today’s story time.

Not enough? There’s also this:

“Douglass was a firm believer in the equality of all peoples, whether black, female, Native American, or recent immigrant”.
I’ma just leave that there because AGAIN, I’m just here to tell you about black HISTORY. Even when it applies to current events.
* He’s not being recognized more and more because unless we talmbout Zombie Freddie he is DEAD. DEAD. Like me, at that whole Black History “speech”

*CLEARS THROAT*

HELLO AND WELCOME TO BLACK HISTORY MONTH!
I feel like I haven’t any added anybody recently, so I don’t have to write out disclaimers, BUT in case YOU send this to somebody new this year: please be aware that these are random black history facts, based on whatever I feel like talking about. Ain’t no martin luther (the) king jr, no malcolm x and definitely no george washington carver facts (EFF nuts and peanut butter. fight me) to be found here. what you get is what I give you, when I give it to you with weekends off for being black and doing hoodrat things with my friends and family. Please to enjoy (or don’t. One monkey don’t stop no show)

How y’all been? Good?
HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA….*coughs* that’s rhetorical. I read the news. I know how y’all doin’.

Shall we catch up on what *I* been doin’? Great!
Last year, I took my first international trip!
It was too. Mexico doesn’t count because I live in California.
Canada doesn’t count because it’s just upper america. (nah. I’m not upper casing america until it earns it)

I went to London to see my baby girl.
Although I guess I can’t really call her a baby anymore, she’s 21!
Which. Didn’t mean as much as it woulda if she’d been stateside, ‘cause the legal drinking age across the pond is 18. But it DID mean that she got to buy her mama a drink (it also meant she got carded because even though she ISN’T a baby, she still looks like one)
It was a short trip, but well worth it. Also would definitely recommend. It’s truly interesting to go somewhere and see how other people live.
Even though it was KINDA like being home, only with more accent, and much more walking.
Also, I totally recommend Virgin. I absolutely love their service. They’re always super nice, the seats are comfy and OMG so much food
(and booze, DID Y’ALL KNOW THE BOOZE WAS FREE ON INTERNATIONAL FLIGHTS?!)
In fact, the only real hiccup on this trip was when I was returning back the u.s., I got the extra pat down because I’m an american traveler.
For reals.

heathrow

(though I suppose it’s better than TSA messing with my hair because I’m black)

But then, 10 hours and several movies later, I was home sweet home and Obama was still my president. I was tired y’all. I could not imagine coming back to Tom Bradley (International Airport) and finding a full blown protest happening*.

BUT THIS IS BLACK HISTORY MONTH, SO I’M NOT GONNA TALK ABOUT CURRENT EVENTS. I’ma talk about HISTORY. Specifically, Tom Bradley.

AHEM

*opens Wikipedia page*

Thomas J. Bradley was the first and only Black Mayor of Los Angeles, serving from 1973 – 1993, marking his the longest tenure by any mayor in the city’s history.

Tom Bradley, was the grandson of a slave in Calvert, Texas, born in 1917. The family moved to Arizona to pick cotton and then in 1924, his family moved to 1924 to the Temple-Alvarado area of LA. Tom went to (f)UCLA in 1937 on an athletic scholarship and joined Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity (y’all know I looked for a picture of him in his crimson and cream, but I do not have all day to look for one. But you know I woulda paid cash money to be able to link to a video of Tom doin’ a shoulder shimmy).

Tom left his studies in 1940 to join the LAPD. He became one of the “just 400 blacks” in the department (of 4000).

“When I came on the department, there were literally two assignments for black officers. You either worked Newton Street Division, which has a predominantly black community, or you worked traffic downtown. You could not work with a white officer, and that continued until 1964” [hmmm…I wonder what happened in 1964?]

Bradley attended Southwestern University Law School while still a police officer and began his practice as a lawyer when he retired from LAPD, specializing in international trade issues. *cough* his entry into politics came when he decided to become president of the United Club, which was part of the California Democratic Council, , a liberal, reformist group organized in the 1950s by young Democrats energized by Adlai E. Stevenson’s presidential campaigns.

In 1969, Bradley first challenged incumbent Mayor Sam Yorty, a conservative Democrat (later Republican) though the election was nonpartisan. Bradley held a substantial lead over Yorty in the primary, but was a few percentage points shy of winning the race outright. However, in the runoff, Yorty pulled an amazing come from behind victory to win reelection primarily because he played racial politics. Yorty questioned Bradley’s credibility in fighting crime and painted a picture of Bradley, his fellow Democrat, as a threat to Los Angeles because he would supposedly open up the city to feared Black Nationalists. Bradley did not use his record as a police officer in the election. But her emails, with the racial factor, even many liberal white voters became hesitant to support Bradley.

With the passage of the 1974 redevelopment plan and the inclusion of business leaders on in influential committees, Bradley received support from downtown businesses. Bradley helped contribute to the financial success of the city by helping develop the satellite business hubs at Century City and Warner Center. Bradley was a driving force behind the construction of Los Angeles’ light rail network. He also pushed for expansion of Los Angeles International Airport and development of the terminals which are in use today. The Tom Bradley International Terminal is named in his honor.He went on to serve for twenty years as mayor of Los Angeles, surpassing Fletcher Bowron with the longest tenure in that office.

Bradley ALSO ran for Governor of California twice, in 1982 and 1986, but lost both times to Republican George Deukmejian. He was the first African American to head a gubernatorial ticket in California. In 1982, the election was extremely close. Bradley led in the polls going into Election Day, and in the initial hours after the polls closed, some news organizations projected him as the winner. Ultimately, Bradley lost the election by about 100,000 votes. These circumstances gave rise to the term the “Bradley effect” which refers to a tendency of voters to tell interviewers or pollsters that they are undecided or likely to vote for a black candidate, but then actually vote for his white opponent. [I’m sensing some sort of parallel, but I just can’t…reach it. Maybe if I was a little bit taller, y’all. Nope. Not sorry.]
*closes Wikipedia page*

And with that, is the end of today’s Black History fact. They’re not always this long, but when they are I definitely say “that’s what she said”. See you tomorrow for tomorrow’s fact about black people who did stuff that you probably didn’t know about because they save all the (same) black people for February like black folks aren’t doing stuff the rest of the year!
*But if I did, I’d probably join the protest, because I firmly believe that protests need to disrupt to get your attention, otherwise you’d just ignore it and go on with your lives.

FEBRUARY STILL AIN’T HERE AND I’M SENDING OUT FACTS LIKE WHY DON’T YOU JUST SAVE THESE FOR BLACK HISTORY MONTH, DAMN.

Well, guys:
1. You signed up for this. And?
2. I do what I want.

Also. I felt like we could probably use some time to NOT think about the current state of events and go back to a simpler time.
A time when people were loud and proud and racist as opposed to quiet and fake and racist America was great.

ANYWAYS.

I could lead in with a story about how my kids have gone to all kinds of schools (military and civilian) and the only time there was a (military) police presence was after 9/11 but honestly when you live on a military installation seeing guys with weapons isn’t as scary as it would be in other situations especially when you know that they’re there for your protection and safety from OUTSIDE (as in, out of the country) harm. I could also comment how in 2001 Spanky was 5 years old. And even as it happened I couldn’t believe that I was sending my baby girl off to kindergarten that had armed guards. Though, tbh, I had no doubt that my babies were safe as they could possibly be smack dab in the middle of a Marine Corps base. (something something, “When death smiles at Marines, Marines smile back.” Hey did you know they just had a birthday? Number 241. Yes. You get all kinds of random information in my facts of the day. Once a Marine wife, ALWAYS a Marine wife. You’re welcome)

BUT. I’m not gonna do that. Because I can’t think of one single way to link these two stories of fear together.

I’m just going to say that TODAY in 1960, six year old Ruby Bridges was escorted by federal marshals escorted her into William Frantz Elementary School in New Orleans. And that she needed federal marshals to protect her from protesters who were none too pleased with racial integration [of schools] and that immigrants Muslims black children would be learning alongside white children.

So that’s today’s random story of the day. No lead in. No smart ass comments about how this is post racial america and thank God we don’t need US Marshals to escort students to school because we had a black president for 8 damn years and if we can do that we can all just breathe a sigh of relief because what racism?

Or, nah?

There is so much to do in LA*. SO MUCH!

But I don’t get to do any of it this weekend.
Because I’m going to get drunk have a mini-reunion in Vegas with my cousins.
Which is awesome ‘cause I don’t know if you know this but my family is sofa king awesome. (woo! Work filters gonna have to WORK to catch them curse words today)
This shouldn’t be a surprise at all because…have we met? I had to get it from somewhere
OK. I haven’t really met ALL of y’all, but MOST of y’all. But you must’ve heard about me ‘cause how did you get here? (Not sorry!)
Also, I’m kiddin’. I’m glad you’re here. And you better be too. ‘Cause you don’t get to quit me.

ANYWAYS.

Because I care (AND because you don’t get to choose the lead ins) lemme tell y’all ‘bout some stuff you can do in LA If you’re around this weekend and don’t have stuff to get into:

Friday: You can go to the Music Center and they have dance lessons and DJs for freeeee!
Saturday: Cinespia is showing Sabrina (one of my faves) at Hollywood Forever. I mean, yeah, it’s at a Cemetery, AND now that the hipsters know about it you gotta deal with a bunch of kids with weird mustaches eating fancy food/drinking PBR while talking about their fixie bikes. BUT. YOU get to bring in your own food and booze and with enough liquor even hipsters are tolerable, so there’s that.
Sunday: MLK Sit-In. Also free.

Why am I talking about a protest on this lovely summer afternoon?
(And here y’all were thinkin’ that it’s not February and there’s no BHFOTD but in typical “I have lots of work to do, so lemme take this time to drop some history on y’all” fashion, HERE I AM)

I wanted to tell you that TODAY in 1917, Between 8,000 and 10,000 African-Americans marched down 5th Avenue in New York City in a protest known as The Silent Parade.

*CLEARS THROAT*

The purpose of the parade was to protest lynching and anti-black violence. The parade was precipitated by the East St. Louis Riots in May and July 1917, when between 40 and 250 blacks were killed by white mobs.
The ferocious brutality of the attacks and the failure of the authorities to protect innocent lives contributed to the radicalization of many blacks in St. Louis and the nation.

Men, women, and children carried placards that read:
“MOTHER, DO LYNCHERS GO TO HEAVEN?; “GIVE ME A CHANCE TO LIVE”; “TREAT US SO THAT WE MAY LOVE OUR COUNTRY”; “MR. PRESIDENT, WHY NOT MAKE AMERICA SAFE FOR DEMOCRACY?; AND “YOUR HANDS ARE FULL OF BLOOD.”

July 28

My bad. THESE are the photos from 1917.

Silent Protest

The march was organized by an ad-hoc group formed at St. Philip’s Church in Harlem. James Weldon Johnson was a key organizer of the “Negro Silent Protest Parade.”
As the protesters marched silently down 5th Avenue, Boy scouts distributed fliers from the NAACP.

NAACP literature outlined the objectives and goals of the march:
We march because by the Grace of God and the force of truth, the dangerous, hampering walls of prejudice and inhuman injustices must fall.
We march because we want to make impossible a repetition of Waco, Memphis, and East St. Louis, by arousing the conscience of the country and bringing the murders of our brothers, sisters, and innocent children to justice.
We march because we deem it a crime to be silent in the face of such barbaric acts.
We march because we are thoroughly opposed to Jim-Crow Cars, Segregation, Discrimination, Disfranchisement, Lynching, and the host of evils that are forced on us. It is time that the Spirit of Christ should be manifested in the making and execution of laws.
We march because we want our children to live in a better land and enjoy fairer conditions than have fallen to our lot.

If I were into commentary (and I’m not, OBVIOUSLY) I’d talk about how in June of 2012, there was AGAIN a somewhat silent protest on 5th Ave to protest NYPD’s stop and frisk policies, which the organizers say single out minority groups and create an atmosphere of martial law for the city’s black and Latino residents. OR I’d talk about how many protests, and marches there have been after every murder of black people that basically state the same thing but almost 100 (99, if we’re gonna get exact) years later.

But yannow. I’m not. I’m just here so y’all learn some stuff about black history.

BLM

Nah. This one isn’t from 1917 either. But I guess it coulda been.

 

*note: I occasionally send BHFOTD emails randomly throughout the year. This one was originally sent on 7/28, but I got enough requests to blog it that I gave in to the harassment. HERE Y’ALL GO. Just be aware you missed all the fun stuff I mentioned because it was all last week.

I was a VERY busy lady. VERY.
Sorry you ain’t get a fact on Friday, but not really sorry because it was the start of my vacation!
And lemme tell y’all. Sometimes I need vacations from my vacations.
Because I be doing a lot. I WAS NOT ALONE IN MY EXTRANESS.

I was in Oakland for the weekend!
I went up because The Boy had a show Saturday, and I am nothing if not a supportive mother fucker who loves to go to concerts
I went with my sissie and my cousin. Because they’ve never been up to see him play a show.
I’m biased, of course, but I still say he’s pretty damn good.

BUT.

Here’s the thing about traveling to the Bay:
I have a lot of friends there.
And when I can, I try to cram seeing everybody into one trip.
So! Meet some for Dinner. Sommore for Lunch.
OH. You say you have a thingy that’s sorta local? Sign me up.
[Do I know the way to San Jose? I do. Now]

Anyways.

It was interesting. Because I got to see one of my BFFs doing her workshit*
And I’ll be honest, she’s kinda amazing at her workshit [don’t forget about the work filters! I never do]
And so for a couple hours, I listened to her and some people talk about smoking, and e-cigarettes.
I’m sure you’re not surprised at all to hear that I have opinions about things that affect black people.
Especially how for tobacco companies SPECIFICALLY targeted black folks in its advertisements and promotional efforts for menthol cigarettes, which are more addictive than other types of cigarettes.

But I’m not here to talk about that. I’m here to talk about don’t challenge ME to find an obscure fact during black history month because I will most certainly find one
Dr Louis Wade Sullivan, first black intern at New York Hospital, and founding dean and director of the Medical Education Program at Morehouse College in 1975.
Who in 1981, became Dean and President when, the school became independent from Morehouse College and was renamed Morehouse School of Medicine (MSM), making it the first minority medical school founded in the United States in the twentieth century.
AND THEN. In 1989 Sullivan was appointed by U.S. president George H. W. Bush to lead the nation’s policy efforts and champion the health and welfare of the country as Secretary of Health and Human Services.
Among his efforts to improve the health and health behavior of Americans were the public education program focused on the health dangers from tobacco use (including the successful efforts to prevent the introduction of “Uptown,” a non-filtered, mentholated cigarette),

Dr Sullivan returned to Morehouse School of Medicine in 1993, serving as president until his retirement on July 1, 2002, and remains a member of the school’s board of trustees. In 2003 he was elected as a trustee of the National Health Museum, and serves on the boards of Medical Education for South African Blacks, Africare, Southern Center for International Studies, and Association for Academic Health Centers, and on the editorial board of Minority Health Today. He has also served on the boards of several national corporations.

In 2014 Sullivan published his autobiography, Breaking Bad Ground: My Life in Medicine, with the University of Georgia Press. In the book’s foreword, his friend Andrew Young notes that “Sullivan remains one of the medical world’s wisest and most inspirational public voices.”
And with that, here ends the month (plus extra Leap day!) of Black People doing cool shit that you didn’t know about probably because you have no idea how deep I had to dig for that fact.
See you next year kids! Or yannow, whenever I decide to write a “fancy” fact for y’all. Or myself.
Until then, anytime you’re looking for an interesting fact about shit Black folks have done that you didn’t know Black folks do, DO YOUR GOOGLES. The internet is FREEEEE!

 

 

*hey! Do you live in California? Check out Em’s workshit. And then maybe think about voting for it. Maybe. If you’re into that kinda thing.

Have you guys seen this making the rounds?

Of course you have. Because that tiny lady in blue is 106 years old.
And for Black History Month, Virginia McLaurin was invited to the White House to meet our first
(and probably only in my lifetime at least) Black President and his equally Black First Lady.
Whew. So much progress in one picture.

I mean… Ms. Virginia was born in 1909
As a child growing up in the South, she said she didn’t imagine that there could ever be a world where white and black people were integrated.
“This was white and this was black. There were so many things we weren’t allowed to do, we were raised up like that,” she said.
“I felt like it would always be that way.”

Hmm. If I were the kind of person who provided commentary, I would comment that there are people who are fighting like hell RIGHT NOW to return to the “Bad Old Days”
But. I’m not. I’m just here to provide Black History Facts.

Which. That wasn’t. The actual BHFOTD is about Booker Taliaferro Washington.
Taliaferro, huh? I had no idea.

Booker T. was the first African American to be invited to the White House for dinner.
In the autumn of 1901, Booker T. Washington was on a speaking tour.
In Mississippi, he received a telegram from President Theodore Roosevelt.

The telegram asked Washington to come to the capitol for a conference.
When Washington arrived, he received an invitation to dine with the President.
According to Roosevelt biographer, Edmund Morris (author of The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt),
the dinner proceeded “behind closed doors, under the disapproving gaze of a negro butler”.
[Whatever, Uncle Ruckus]

Y’all. White people LOST THEIR COLLECTIVE SHIT.
The next day, the Memphis-Scimitar reported: The most damnable outrage which has ever been perpetrated by a citizen of the United States was committed by the President,
when he invited a nigger to dine with him at the White House…

AND THEN. A U.S. Senator from South Carolina proposed a retaliatory measure:
“The action of President Roosevelt in entertaining that nigger will necessitate our killing a thousand niggers in the South before they will reach their place again.”

[Thinks about prison pipeline, and cops unnecessarily killing black people at a higher rate than any other race]
[Still makes no comment]
[Not even that it seems like some people are still pretty intent on putting black folks “in their place”]

For the remainder of his term as U.S. President (1901-1908), Theodore Roosevelt was never again to invite a black person to dinner at the White House.
However, Roosevelt later stated on the issue of race something that would later be echoed, albeit in his own words, by Martin Luther King Jr. Roosevelt stated:

“…the only wise and honorable and Christian thing to do is to treat each black man and each white man strictly on his merits as a man, giving him no more and no less than he shows himself worthy to have.”

And it turns out when you do that, we end up here.
And you end up with Republicans racists AGAIN losing their collective shit because you put a Black man in the White House twice
And since (in theory) you can’t just go ‘round killing up black folks until they “reach their place”, they’re just gonna try to vote in the most racist person since Hitler into Office.
[But I’m not makin’ no comments though]

So this weekend was Oscar Movie Madness you guys.
Even though I feel some kind of way about the fact that the Oscars would like to pretend that there were no viable black candidates for Oscar nominations,
Oscar Movie Madness (OMM for short) is tradition. And includes booze, food things, card games, and me in pajamas on Lex’s couch all weekend.
AND! Because my friends love me they added movies that SHOULDA been best picture noms, but weren’t: Creed and Straight Outta Compton.
10/10 Recommend them both.

BUT! Both movies DID receive other Oscar nominations:
Creed (Best Supporting Actor): The (white) co-star.
Straight Outta Compton(Best Original Screenplay): The (white) writers.
With an extra FUCK YOU to the CAST who were NOT invited to the Award Show.
I mean, I could talk about how hard you gotta reach to find a non-black person to nominate in some of the blackest movies ever.
But I won’t. Because my boss is not here today, so I’m super busy and don’t have time to go on a 17-point Kanye-style rant.

Anyways.
We were supposed to play Cards Against Humanity afterwards. Because we were supposed to finish early-ish.
But we didn’t. Things happen.
Have you guys every played that game? It’s like apples to apples. Only, imagine that nothing is sacred.
For INSTANCE – I played the winning card for this fill in the blank:

But before I kill you, Mr. Bond, I must show you ________.

CAH

And with that, let’s get to the BHFOTD about the owner of said vagina:
Toni Morrison. Novelist, editor, and Professor Emeritus at Princeton University
First African American to win the Nobel Prize for Literature

Ta-daaaaa! I’ll see myself out. And I’ll see y’all tomorrow.