black-history-today

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Official #BlackoutDay Masterpost (Created: March 29, 2015. Updated: March 6th, 2017)

Welcome to the official #BlackoutDay / #TheBlackout Masterpost.

This post was originally hosted on WhatWhitesWillNeverKnow and is now on @theblackoutofficial.

In this post you’ll find the history of the movement, including important changes to the team and format, and FAQ. 

 Let’s get started…

(Click on “Read More” to read the full post)

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Today in Black History for February 7th
  1. 1974 - Grenada achieves independence from Great Britain

  2. 1967 - Chris Rock Born
    Comedian, author, recording artist, actor, and talk show host Chris Rock was born in South Carolina. He will become a critically comedian, hosting his self titled show on HBO. He will also bring to the forefront a boycott of the flag of his birthplace. He will star in and make a few movies of his own.

  3. 1946 - Filibuster in U.S. Senate killed FEPC bill

  4. 1945 - Irwin Molison appointed to Customs Court

  5. 1926 - Black History Week
    Carter G. Woodson creates Negro History Week. In 1976 it became Black History Month.

  6. 1926 - Negro History week originated by Carter G.Woodson is observed for the first time.

  7. 1883 - Eubie Blake born
    Eubie Blake, pianist, born.

  8. 1872 - Alcorn A&M College opened.

Today’s Tribeca selection in honor of LGBT Pride Month is Whoopi Goldberg’s important and invigorating documentary portrait, Moms Mabley: I Got Somethin’ to Tell You (2014), in which one bold comic icon honors another.

Moms Mabley was an unparalleled comedy pioneer who submerged her own sexuality behind a broad and brittle character that mesmerized audiences who knew nothing of this side-splitting stand-up’s true queer identity. Goldberg’s film is a deeply fascinating study of the duality between performer and persona but also a heartfelt tribute to a trailblazer who redefined what it meant to be a “funny woman,” as well as what such a woman could potentially achieve.

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Black History: Today would have been Barbara Jordan’s 81st birthday. The Texas trailblazer was the first black woman from the South elected to the U.S. House of Representatives.

“’We the people,’ it’s a very eloquent beginning. But when that document was completed on the 17th of September in 1787, I was not included in that ‘we the people.’ I felt somehow for many years that George Washington and Alexander Hamilton just left me out by mistake. But through the process of amendment, interpretation, and court decisions, I have finally been included in ‘we the people.’ Today I am an inquisitor.“  — Rep. Barbara Jordan, as a member of the House Judiciary Committee, the panel that adopted articles of impeachment that led to President Nixon’s resignation

Today in Black History for February 21st
  1. 1992 - Eva Jessye choral director for the first Broadway production of Porgy and Bess died in Ann Arbor, Michigan Feb. 21, 1992.

  2. 1987 - Black Rebellion in Tampa, Florida
    African Americans in Tampa, Florida rebelled after an African American man was killed by a white police officer while in custody.

  3. 1965 - Malcolm X (39) assassinated in Audubon Ballroom at a rally of his organization. Three Blacks were later convicted of the crime and sentenced to life imprisonment.

  4. 1961 - Otis Boykin patents the Electrical Resistor
    Otis Boykin, Inventor, patented the Electrical Resistor. U.S. 2,972,726 He is responsible for inventing the electrical device used in all guided missiles and IBM computers, plus 26 other electronic devices including a control unit for an artificial heart stimulator (pacemaker). He began his career as a laboratory assistant testing automatic controls for aircraft. One of Boykin’s first achievements was a type of resistor used in computers, radios, television sets, and a variety of electronic devices. Some of his other inventions included a variable resistor used in guided missiles, small component thick-film resistors for computers. The innovations in resistor design reduced the cost of producing electronic controls for radio and television, for both military and commercial applications. Other inventions by Otis Boykin also included a burglarproof cash register and chemical air filter.

  5. 1940 - John Lewis, founder and chairman of SNCC, born

  6. 1936 - Barbara Jordan born
    2/21/1936: On this day Barbara Jordan, who will be the first African American woman elected to the House of Representatives, is born

  7. 1933 - Nina Simone born
    Nina Simone (Eunice Waymon), 66, singer (“I Love You Porgy,” “Trouble in Mind”) born Tryon, NC, Feb 21, 1933.

  8. 1917 - Thelonious Monk, jazz great born
    Thelonious Sphere Monk (1917–82) Jazz musician; born in Rocky Mount, N.C. He was raised in New York

  9. 1895 - North Carolina Legislature adjourns
    North Carolina Legislature, dominated by Black Republicans and white Populists, adjourned for the day to mark the death of Frederick Douglass.
Today in Black Music History for February 13th

1975 - Columbia Records releases Earth, Wind & Fire’s “Shining Star”, the group’s first major hit. The song would rise to number one on Billboard’s Hot 100

1983 - Marvin Gaye sang a soulful, drum machine-accompanied version of “The Star-Spangled Banner” before The 33rd National Basketball Association All-Star Game that was played at The Forum in Inglewood, California. Julius Erving was voted Most Valuable Player as The Eastern Conference defeated the Western Conference, 132–123.

1989 - “I Wanna Dance with Somebody (Who Loves Me)”, the first single from Whitney Houston’s second studio album “Whitney” becomes Houston’s first single to be certified platinum with shipment of over one million units

1999 - Monica’s “Angel of Mine”, originally recorded by British R&B Girl group Eternal, becomes the third number one single from Monica’s “The Boy is Mine” album

2011 - Mavis Staples won her first Grammy award in the category for Best Americana Album for You Are Not Alone. In her acceptance speech, a shocked and crying Staples said “This has been a long time coming.”

7th of April 1994: The Rwandan genocide begins. 

In the early hours of the Morning of April the 7th, the Rwandan army, Police and Hutu militia forces began their genocidal purge of the Tutsi minority residing in Rwanda. The Genocide was to last until the 15th of July but during that time it is estimated between 500,000 and 1 million tutsi and moderate hutu had been systematically murdered

To give some context to why this atrocity happened. Rwanda has two types of people. Hutu and tutsi. The Tutsi Minority had ruled the country as a monarchy until 1884 when the German empire colonised it. The German settlers made a great distinction between the two classes, favouring the tutsi because of their lighter skin, natural tallness and their willingness to accept christianity. The Hutu where treated as a lower people, after ww1 Germany lost control of the colony and it was granted to Belgium, who continued the pro tutsi policy. The Belgians introduced identity cards to label the citizens of rwanda tutsi or hutu. Or a very small minority who made up 1% of the country called Twa. 

After ww2 Rwanda saw its transition from a belgian colony with a tutsi monarchy to a hutu controlled republic. Extremist Hutu began killing tutsi and the Twa where marginalised. Many fled to neighbouring countries. Tutsi’s from fought back from other countries, which in turn made the hutu government opress the tutsi’s still living in Rwanda. Juvénal Habyarimana took power in Rwanda in a coup in 1971, through use of propaganda the government made the hutu remember the past years of tutsi opression. The Hutu hated the tutsi. 

The Rwandan patriotic front (RPF) was a rebel group made up of tutsi refugees who invaded Rwanda in 1990 iniating a civil war. On the 6th of April 1994 president Habyarimana’s plane was shot down. The government blamed the RPF however evidence suggests extreme hutu’s shot the plane down to spark a genocide. 

The Killing began next morning. The police and the army killed and raped and burned tutsi settlements. Any moderate hutu’s were killed. The government encouraged the hutu majority to arm themselves with clubs, pitch forks, machetes and bats. Neighbours killed neighbours. The UN dispatched a peacekeeping force and France set up refugee camps and safe zones for displaced tutsi’s. However the French army had orignially backed the hutu government and helped train hutu militia. 

Despite the ongoing genocide the RPF won the war and set up a tutsi majority government lead by paul kagame. This caused 2 million hutus to flee into the democratic republic of Congo, which in turn started the congo wars. Reffered to as the “African world war”. 

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May 14th 1881: Mary Seacole dies

On this day in 1881, the nurse Mary Seacole died in London aged 76. Originally from Jamaica, the young Mary was taught her nursing skills by her mother. When war broke out in the Crimea, she applied to give medical assistance to wounded servicemen but was refused, and so gave treatment independently. Her patients admired ‘Mother Seacole’ and helped raised money for her after the war when she was left destitute. Despite her exemplary national service and popularity in Britain, Seacole faced discrimination at home due to her race, and was unable to vote or hold public office. She has thus often been forgotten and placed in the shadow of famous Crimean War nurse Florence Nightingale, however, in 2004 Seacole was voted the greatest black Briton.