Malcolm X on his last visit to Accra had announced a desire to create a foundation he called the Organization of Afro-American Unity. His proposal included taking the plight of the African-Americans to the United Nations and asking the world council to intercede on the part of beleaguered blacks. The idea was so stimulating to the community of African-American residents that I persuaded myself I should return to the States to help establish the organization.
We all read Malcolm’s last letter to me.
I was shocked and surprised when your letter arrived but I was also pleased because I only had to wait two months for this one whereas previously I had to wait almost a year. You see I haven’t lost my wit. (smile)
Your analysis of our people’s tendency to talk over the head of the masses in a language that is too far above and beyond them is certainly true. You can communicate because you have plenty of (soul) and you always keep your feet firmly rooted on the ground.
I am enclosing some articles that will give you somewhat of an idea of my daily experiences here and you will then be better able to understand why it sometimes takes me a long time to write. I was most pleased to learn that you might be hitting in this direction this year. You are a beautiful writer and a beautiful woman. You know that I will always do my utmost to be helpful to you in any way possible so don’t hesitate.
Signed Your brother Malcolm
(Excerpt from Maya Angelou’s memoir A Song Flung Up To Heaven)
So for those wondering who Colton is and why everyone’s freaking out about him, here’s a video talking about his experience with theatre. He’s so, so sweet and has dealt with a lot and he’s! Only! 21! How amazing is that that this incredibly genuine, goofy, talented 21-year-old got to go on as Evan Hansen in Dear Evan Hansen and make his Broadway debut today? Basically, everyone SHOULD freak out about Colton Ryan getting to go on today and how incredible he must be feeling right now.
Mabel Hampton was a famous African-American lesbian activist.
She was a dancer in New York City in the 1920s, where she starred in all-black productions during the Harlem Renaissance. Mabel Hampton was in a romantic relationship with Lillian Foster, for 46 years until Foster’s death.
On a meager income, she managed to make many financial contributions to many gay and lesbian organizations.
Hampton collected memorabilia, letters, and other records documenting her history, providing a window into the lives of black women and lesbians during the Harlem Renaissance. She left a legacy of invaluable archival materials to the Lesbian Herstory Archives. She also marched in the first National Gay and Lesbian March on Washington. Then in 1984, she spoke before thousands of onlookers at New York City Lesbian and Gay Pride Parade, where, she is quoted as saying, “I, Mabel Hampton, have been a lesbian all my life, for 82 years, and I am proud of myself and my people. I would like all my people to be free in this country and all over the world, my gay people and my black people.”