PushBlack https://pushblack.org Pushing Black Stories to the Top of Your Feed Mon, 07 Jan 2019 16:47:07 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.1.1 These Two Hometown Heroes are Taking Back Compton https://pushblack.org/2017/06/28/these-two-hometown-heroes-are-taking-back-compton-b/ Wed, 28 Jun 2017 20:04:41 +0000 https://pushblack.org/?p=4556 Compton is one the nation’s most beloved cities, especially for hip hop fans. Though well-respected for its music, the city also has quite the reputation when it comes to gangs and violence. As a result of the crack epidemic and the United States’ malicious Drug War of the 1980s, decades of gang-related violence plagued the streets of Compton. While local ...

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Compton is one the nation’s most beloved cities, especially for hip hop fans. Though well-respected for its music, the city also has quite the reputation when it comes to gangs and violence.

As a result of the crack epidemic and the United States’ malicious Drug War of the 1980s, decades of gang-related violence plagued the streets of Compton. While local and national media painted the city as gang-infested and hopeless, the public grew accustomed to images of extreme violence, crime, and police brutality.

Fast forward to today and gang violence continues to pose a threat to Compton’s youth. However, there are some hometown heroes stepping up to advocate for change.

Mayor Aja Brown and world-renowned rapper Kendrick Lamar are two of the city’s champions working towards putting an end to gang violence. Both Aja and Kendrick have first-hand experiences losing friends and family to gang culture.

Their dedication to the community has motivated them to reach back into their city and promote a message of unity and peace.

Unlike politicians who sit back and make decisions about their communities without ever stepping foot in them, Aja chooses to work with people in the streets to best serve their needs.

In 2014, she held a meeting with 75 active gang members to discuss actions to reduce the city’s violent killings. The consensus was that they needed access to more jobs.

In response, Aja created “Compton Empowered”, a community-based gang reduction and intervention initiative. Compton Empowered encourages ex-gang members to take back their neighborhoods through peace treaties and employment opportunities.

Within the first six months of the program, Compton saw a 50% decrease in homicides and placed over 30 former gang members in jobs. Her brave and bold efforts are working.




As for Kendrick Lamar, his music masterfully blends conscious and gangster rap. He paints vivid pictures of daily life in Compton for young African-Americans.

Lamar appeals to a wide audience while still being one of the most important voices for the streets. His experiences have led him to maintain a genuine commitment to his people.

While Kendrick has been criticized for his Reebok endorsement, he transformed his opportunity from simply endorsing a shoe to creating a product with a message. It’s aimed at bringing together local Bloods and Crips.

One shoe says “Red” and the other “Blue” with matching accent colors on the front of the shoe. Inside the tongue reads “neutral” as a clear plea for peace.

Most rappers price their shoes and clothes excessively high. Kendrick’s are affordable and accessible to those in the community he cares about.

More than just a shoe, these are a symbol of Kendrick’s purpose-driven career. The partnership reimagines the way celebrities brand themselves and engage social issues.

Historically, politicians and rappers have often been at odds with each other. Therefore, what is happening in Compton is rare and beautiful.

Aja’s political clout and access to city partners, such as Boys & Girls Club and youth women’s empowerment organizations, combined with Kendrick’s access to millions around the world, make them a dynamic force when working towards the same goals.



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These Two Hometown Heroes are Taking Back Compton https://pushblack.org/2017/06/28/two-hometown-heroes-taking-back-compton-a/ Wed, 28 Jun 2017 19:57:42 +0000 https://pushblack.org/?p=4549 Compton is one the nation’s most beloved cities, especially for hip hop fans. Though well-respected for its music, the city also has quite the reputation when it comes to gangs and violence. As a result of the crack epidemic and the United States’ malicious Drug War of the 1980s, decades of gang-related violence plagued the streets of Compton. While local ...

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]]>
Compton is one the nation’s most beloved cities, especially for hip hop fans. Though well-respected for its music, the city also has quite the reputation when it comes to gangs and violence.

As a result of the crack epidemic and the United States’ malicious Drug War of the 1980s, decades of gang-related violence plagued the streets of Compton. While local and national media painted the city as gang-infested and hopeless, the public grew accustomed to images of extreme violence, crime, and police brutality.

Fast forward to today and gang violence continues to pose a threat to Compton’s youth. However, there are some hometown heroes stepping up to advocate for change.

Mayor Aja Brown and world-renowned rapper Kendrick Lamar are two of the city’s champions working towards putting an end to gang violence. Both Aja and Kendrick have first-hand experiences losing friends and family to gang culture.

Their dedication to the community has motivated them to reach back into their city and promote a message of unity and peace.

Unlike politicians who sit back and make decisions about their communities without ever stepping foot in them, Aja chooses to work with people in the streets to best serve their needs.

In 2014, she held a meeting with 75 active gang members to discuss actions to reduce the city’s violent killings. The consensus was that they needed access to more jobs.

In response, Aja created “Compton Empowered”, a community-based gang reduction and intervention initiative. Compton Empowered encourages ex-gang members to take back their neighborhoods through peace treaties and employment opportunities.

Within the first six months of the program, Compton saw a 50% decrease in homicides and placed over 30 former gang members in jobs. Her brave and bold efforts are working.




As for Kendrick Lamar, his music masterfully blends conscious and gangster rap. He paints vivid pictures of daily life in Compton for young African-Americans.

Lamar appeals to a wide audience while still being one of the most important voices for the streets. His experiences have led him to maintain a genuine commitment to his people.

While Kendrick has been criticized for his Reebok endorsement, he transformed his opportunity from simply endorsing a shoe to creating a product with a message. It’s aimed at bringing together local Bloods and Crips.

One shoe says “Red” and the other “Blue” with matching accent colors on the front of the shoe. Inside the tongue reads “neutral” as a clear plea for peace.

Most rappers price their shoes and clothes excessively high. Kendrick’s are affordable and accessible to those in the community he cares about.

More than just a shoe, these are a symbol of Kendrick’s purpose-driven career. The partnership reimagines the way celebrities brand themselves and engage social issues.

Historically, politicians and rappers have often been at odds with each other. Therefore, what is happening in Compton is rare and beautiful.

Aja’s political clout and access to city partners, such as Boys & Girls Club and youth women’s empowerment organizations, combined with Kendrick’s access to millions around the world, make them a dynamic force when working towards the same goals.



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Thurgood Marshall Was the Right Man at the Right Time https://pushblack.org/2017/06/28/thurgood-marshall-was-the-right-man-at-the-right-time-b/ Wed, 28 Jun 2017 19:04:19 +0000 https://pushblack.org/?p=4547 This year marks the 50th anniversary of Thurgood Marshall’s historic appointment to the U.S. Supreme Court. As the nation’s first African-American Justice, Marshall exemplified an unyielding commitment to the fight for equality for marginalized groups. Throughout his twenty-four year tenure on the Supreme Court, Marshall championed Civil Rights issues and made tremendous strides, combining legislation and political activism. Upon being ...

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This year marks the 50th anniversary of Thurgood Marshall’s historic appointment to the U.S. Supreme Court. As the nation’s first African-American Justice, Marshall exemplified an unyielding commitment to the fight for equality for marginalized groups.

Throughout his twenty-four year tenure on the Supreme Court, Marshall championed Civil Rights issues and made tremendous strides, combining legislation and political activism.

Upon being denied entry to University of Maryland Law School due to his race, Marshall’s first-hand experience with racial discrimination prepared him for a life of dismantling injustice and intolerance.

Of the 32 cases he argued before the Supreme Court, he prevailed in 29, which made him the most winningest Justice of all-time up to that point.




Marshall appeared to always be on the right side of history as seen through his involvement as legal counsel for the NAACP and his impressive voting record in major cases. Marshall proudly sided with the victors in the famous Roe v. Wade case protecting women’s rights to abortion.

Most notably, he spearheaded one of the most important cases of the 20th century, Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka. Marshall’s ingenious use of the U.S. Constitution to refute the “separate but equal” doctrine and undermine years of racial segregation cemented him as one of the nation’s greatest legal figures.

It is truly unbelievable that 50 years have passed since Thurgood Marshall began his remarkable career as a Supreme Court Justice. Though his compassion for disenfranchised communities was unmatched by his peers, he fearlessly pressed forward without their support.

The fact that none of his Supreme Court decisions have ever been overturned clearly reveals the permanent impression Marshall left on the legal field. The undeniable impact of his work on race relations in America solidifies his place among the most influential Civil Rights pioneers of our generation with the likes of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcolm X.

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Thurgood Marshall Was the Right Man at the Right Time https://pushblack.org/2017/06/28/thurgood-marshall-was-the-right-man-at-the-right-time-a/ Wed, 28 Jun 2017 19:01:38 +0000 https://pushblack.org/?p=4543 This year marks the 50th anniversary of Thurgood Marshall’s historic appointment to the U.S. Supreme Court. As the nation’s first African-American Justice, Marshall exemplified an unyielding commitment to the fight for equality for marginalized groups. Throughout his twenty-four year tenure on the Supreme Court, Marshall championed Civil Rights issues and made tremendous strides, combining legislation and political activism. Upon being ...

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This year marks the 50th anniversary of Thurgood Marshall’s historic appointment to the U.S. Supreme Court. As the nation’s first African-American Justice, Marshall exemplified an unyielding commitment to the fight for equality for marginalized groups.

Throughout his twenty-four year tenure on the Supreme Court, Marshall championed Civil Rights issues and made tremendous strides, combining legislation and political activism.

Upon being denied entry to University of Maryland Law School due to his race, Marshall’s first-hand experience with racial discrimination prepared him for a life of dismantling injustice and intolerance.

Of the 32 cases he argued before the Supreme Court, he prevailed in 29, which made him the most winningest Justice of all-time up to that point.




Marshall appeared to always be on the right side of history as seen through his involvement as legal counsel for the NAACP and his impressive voting record in major cases. Marshall proudly sided with the victors in the famous Roe v. Wade case protecting women’s rights to abortion.

Most notably, he spearheaded one of the most important cases of the 20th century, Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka. Marshall’s ingenious use of the U.S. Constitution to refute the “separate but equal” doctrine and undermine years of racial segregation cemented him as one of the nation’s greatest legal figures.

It is truly unbelievable that 50 years have passed since Thurgood Marshall began his remarkable career as a Supreme Court Justice. Though his compassion for disenfranchised communities was unmatched by his peers, he fearlessly pressed forward without their support.

The fact that none of his Supreme Court decisions have ever been overturned clearly reveals the permanent impression Marshall left on the legal field. The undeniable impact of his work on race relations in America solidifies his place among the most influential Civil Rights pioneers of our generation with the likes of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcolm X.

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What Motown and Techno Have in Common https://pushblack.org/2017/06/28/what-motown-and-techno-have-in-common-b/ Wed, 28 Jun 2017 16:32:38 +0000 https://pushblack.org/?p=4539 The global electronic music industry is worth $7.1 billion. From house clubs to international music festivals, the industry has amassed millions of fans and cemented itself as an industry soundhouse. Few know the roots of this genre in Black America. One of the largest subsets of the genre, techno, can trace its origins to a geographic location: Detroit, Michigan (well, ...

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The global electronic music industry is worth $7.1 billion. From house clubs to international music festivals, the industry has amassed millions of fans and cemented itself as an industry soundhouse. Few know the roots of this genre in Black America.

One of the largest subsets of the genre, techno, can trace its origins to a geographic location: Detroit, Michigan (well, the suburbs).

To some accounts, three middle-class African-American DJ-producers are the brains behind techno: Derrick May, Juan Atkins, and Kevin Saunderson. However, other accounts delineate Juan Atkins as the sole originator.

Either way, they eventually would come together to enhance European “synth-pop” tracks with African-American sounds such as Chicago house, funk, electro, and electronic jazz creating a new, completely electronic and fast-paced sound.

Techno encapsulated afrofuturism through sounds that were primarily all-instrumental and with beats more complex than the syncopation of house music.

“We were just kids having fun. The technology allowed us to make this music. It just happened.” – Juan Atkins

The name “techno” was first used by Juan Atkins, who named his 1983 song “Techno City.” Atkins’ songs gained traction on local radio waves and eventually landed him a deal with Virgin Records.

Since the label was based in the U.K., Detroit’s new sound gained immense traction overseas and forever solidified the originators’ place in history.




The dark side of this international attention was an emergence of what NPR calls “blackface DJs”. These DJs were white people who created fictional backstories and presented themselves as Black people to give their music more “authenticity”.

Blackface DJs would create names that “sounded Black”, like DJ Marques, and claim to come from places with high Black populations such as Gary, IN, Harlem, NY, or the Cabrini Green housing projects in Chicago.

Techno’s influence helped spur the development of later musical sounds. As techno and house music seemed to bounce ideas off of each other, artists like DJ Deeon and DJ Slugo developed a distinct sound through “ghetto house.”

Techno music continues to be both produced and enjoyed by diverse audiences across the globe. Some current top songs include “Remember Pig & Dan Remix” by Matador “System Hack Original Mix” by Carlo Ruetz, and “Zoo Project Pax Remix” by Dennis Cruz.

Though now a global music industry, techno will never completely detach from its rooted Black hands in Detroit, Michigan.

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What Motown and Techno Have in Common https://pushblack.org/2017/06/28/what-motown-and-techno-have-in-common-a/ Wed, 28 Jun 2017 16:20:30 +0000 https://pushblack.org/?p=4531 The global electronic music industry is worth $7.1 billion. From house clubs to international music festivals, the industry has amassed millions of fans and cemented itself as an industry soundhouse. Few know the roots of this genre in Black America. One of the largest subsets of the genre, techno, can trace its origins to a geographic location: Detroit, Michigan (well, ...

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The global electronic music industry is worth $7.1 billion. From house clubs to international music festivals, the industry has amassed millions of fans and cemented itself as an industry soundhouse. Few know the roots of this genre in Black America.

One of the largest subsets of the genre, techno, can trace its origins to a geographic location: Detroit, Michigan (well, the suburbs).

To some accounts, three middle-class African-American DJ-producers are the brains behind techno: Derrick May, Juan Atkins, and Kevin Saunderson. However, other accounts delineate Juan Atkins as the sole originator.

Either way, they eventually would come together to enhance European “synth-pop” tracks with African-American sounds such as Chicago house, funk, electro, and electronic jazz creating a new, completely electronic and fast-paced sound.

Techno encapsulated afrofuturism through sounds that were primarily all-instrumental and with beats more complex than the syncopation of house music.

“We were just kids having fun. The technology allowed us to make this music. It just happened.” – Juan Atkins

The name “techno” was first used by Juan Atkins, who named his 1983 song “Techno City.” Atkins’ songs gained traction on local radio waves and eventually landed him a deal with Virgin Records.

Since the label was based in the U.K., Detroit’s new sound gained immense traction overseas and forever solidified the originators’ place in history.




The dark side of this international attention was an emergence of what NPR calls “blackface DJs”. These DJs were white people who created fictional backstories and presented themselves as Black people to give their music more “authenticity”.

Blackface DJs would create names that “sounded Black”, like DJ Marques, and claim to come from places with high Black populations such as Gary, IN, Harlem, NY, or the Cabrini Green housing projects in Chicago.

Techno’s influence helped spur the development of later musical sounds. As techno and house music seemed to bounce ideas off of each other, artists like DJ Deeon and DJ Slugo developed a distinct sound through “ghetto house.”

Techno music continues to be both produced and enjoyed by diverse audiences across the globe. Some current top songs include “Remember Pig & Dan Remix” by Matador “System Hack Original Mix” by Carlo Ruetz, and “Zoo Project Pax Remix” by Dennis Cruz.

Though now a global music industry, techno will never completely detach from its rooted Black hands in Detroit, Michigan.

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The Awe-Inspiring Tale of The Real McCoy https://pushblack.org/2017/06/28/the-awe-inspiring-tale-of-the-real-mccoy-a/ Wed, 28 Jun 2017 14:50:10 +0000 https://pushblack.org/?p=4519 “The Real McCoy” is a phrase you have probably heard at some point in your life, but do you know the man behind the legend? Meet renowned inventor Elijah McCoy. Elijah was born in 1844, the son of formerly enslaved Blacks who escaped from Kentucky to Canada by way of the Underground Railroad. Educated in segregated Canadian schools, Elijah quickly ...

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“The Real McCoy” is a phrase you have probably heard at some point in your life, but do you know the man behind the legend? Meet renowned inventor Elijah McCoy.

Elijah was born in 1844, the son of formerly enslaved Blacks who escaped from Kentucky to Canada by way of the Underground Railroad. Educated in segregated Canadian schools, Elijah quickly realized he had a knack for science and math.

At an early age, he enjoyed tinkering with machines as well as taking things apart and rebuilding them. Though he was one of 12 kids, Elijah’s parents recognized his promise and supported him in traveling to Scotland to study mechanical engineering at age 15.

After the Civil War, Elijah was determined to move to the United States with his family to pursue a career in mechanical engineering. To his dismay, all the available engineering jobs were reserved for white men despite being equally qualified.

Out of necessity, Elijah took a position as a fireman (one who adds coal to a train engine) and as an oiler (one who greased a train’s engine and gears) for Michigan Central Railroad. Although these were menial jobs relative to his qualifications, they would later become the inspiration for Elijah’s revolutionary inventions.

Dissatisfied with the fact that locomotives required frequent stops to oil its parts, Elijah drew on his engineering background to think through ways to improve this process. To address this issue, he invented and patented a lubricating cup that continuously distributed oil evenly over the engine’s moving parts.




His invention reinvented locomotive travel by allowing trains to run for long periods of time without needing to stop for maintenance. Elijah’s invention gave birth to the name “The Real McCoy” to distinguish from all the imitation lubricating cups that popped up following his success.

The moniker came to mean “the real deal” and denoted authenticity and originality to all those who were looking to purchase one of these products. While his invention continues to be used in trains to this day, it is his name that has become a cultural mainstay.

From childhood tinkering to 57 patents, Elijah McCoy became the most prolific Black inventor of his time even gaining the respect of notable public figures like Booker T. Washington for his remarkable output.

Elijah’s journey reveals the age-old adage that it’s not always about where you start, but where you end up that matters in life. Though he did not get the engineering job he initially wanted, he transformed the opportunities he was given into a career he never imagined possible.

Many people are in jobs that they do not want to be in and are not sure if they are truly walking in their purpose. Elijah McCoy is an example of how we can make the best of our situations by learning a business, finding a niche and way to improve it, and then creating a solution by starting our own enterprise.

Elijah never let his current situation dictate the ways in which he utilized his talents and brought value to an industry he was undoubtedly passionate about.



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The Awe-Inspiring Tale of The Real McCoy https://pushblack.org/2017/06/28/the-awe-inspiring-tale-of-the-real-mccoy-b/ Wed, 28 Jun 2017 14:47:20 +0000 https://pushblack.org/?p=4526 “The Real McCoy” is a phrase you have probably heard at some point in your life, but do you know the man behind the legend? Meet renowned inventor Elijah McCoy. Elijah was born in 1844, the son of formerly enslaved Blacks who escaped from Kentucky to Canada by way of the Underground Railroad. Educated in segregated Canadian schools, Elijah quickly ...

The post The Awe-Inspiring Tale of The Real McCoy appeared first on PushBlack.

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“The Real McCoy” is a phrase you have probably heard at some point in your life, but do you know the man behind the legend? Meet renowned inventor Elijah McCoy.

Elijah was born in 1844, the son of formerly enslaved Blacks who escaped from Kentucky to Canada by way of the Underground Railroad. Educated in segregated Canadian schools, Elijah quickly realized he had a knack for science and math.

At an early age, he enjoyed tinkering with machines as well as taking things apart and rebuilding them. Though he was one of 12 kids, Elijah’s parents recognized his promise and supported him in traveling to Scotland to study mechanical engineering at age 15.

After the Civil War, Elijah was determined to move to the United States with his family to pursue a career in mechanical engineering. To his dismay, all the available engineering jobs were reserved for white men despite being equally qualified.

Out of necessity, Elijah took a position as a fireman (one who adds coal to a train engine) and as an oiler (one who greased a train’s engine and gears) for Michigan Central Railroad. Although these were menial jobs relative to his qualifications, they would later become the inspiration for Elijah’s revolutionary inventions.

Dissatisfied with the fact that locomotives required frequent stops to oil its parts, Elijah drew on his engineering background to think through ways to improve this process. To address this issue, he invented and patented a lubricating cup that continuously distributed oil evenly over the engine’s moving parts.




His invention reinvented locomotive travel by allowing trains to run for long periods of time without needing to stop for maintenance. Elijah’s invention gave birth to the name “The Real McCoy” to distinguish from all the imitation lubricating cups that popped up following his success.

The moniker came to mean “the real deal” and denoted authenticity and originality to all those who were looking to purchase one of these products. While his invention continues to be used in trains to this day, it is his name that has become a cultural mainstay.

From childhood tinkering to 57 patents, Elijah McCoy became the most prolific Black inventor of his time even gaining the respect of notable public figures like Booker T. Washington for his remarkable output.

Elijah’s journey reveals the age-old adage that it’s not always about where you start, but where you end up that matters in life. Though he did not get the engineering job he initially wanted, he transformed the opportunities he was given into a career he never imagined possible.

Many people are in jobs that they do not want to be in and are not sure if they are truly walking in their purpose. Elijah McCoy is an example of how we can make the best of our situations by learning a business, finding a niche and way to improve it, and then creating a solution by starting our own enterprise.

Elijah never let his current situation dictate the ways in which he utilized his talents and brought value to an industry he was undoubtedly passionate about.



The post The Awe-Inspiring Tale of The Real McCoy appeared first on PushBlack.

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Why Did Black Voters Flee The Republican Party In The 1960s? https://pushblack.org/2017/06/27/why-did-black-voters-flee-the-republican-party-in-the-1960s-d/ Tue, 27 Jun 2017 22:00:01 +0000 https://pushblack.org/?p=4528 It is not uncommon to hear pundits talk about about Black voters’ unfaltering loyalty to the Democratic party, regarding the Black vote for Democrats as an inevitability. Indeed, for the past few presidential races, 90% of Black voters have chosen the Democratic candidate. However, 100 years ago Black voters had this same loyalty for the the Republican Party. Even as ...

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It is not uncommon to hear pundits talk about about Black voters’ unfaltering loyalty to the Democratic party, regarding the Black vote for Democrats as an inevitability. Indeed, for the past few presidential races, 90% of Black voters have chosen the Democratic candidate.

However, 100 years ago Black voters had this same loyalty for the the Republican Party. Even as recent as the 1960’s, only two-thirds of Black voters identified as Democrats. So why did this party shift occur?

According to some political scientists, Barry Goldwater happened. Goldwater, the Republican nominee in the 1964 presidential race, is considered the forefather of the Tea Party movement.

Goldwater opposed the passage of the Civil Rights Act, which appealed to Southern White segregationists, and ushered in a conservative movement that overtook the Republican party.
Black voters, in turn, realizing the Party of Lincoln had become hostile to them, did not take long to switch parties.

PushBlack fam, it is important that we keep this in mind in our fight to hold our politicians accountable and ensure that our votes are not taken for granted.

Via NPR.org

 

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You Can Thank These Black Women For Your Favorite Movies https://pushblack.org/2017/06/26/you-can-thank-these-black-women-for-your-favorite-movies-b/ Mon, 26 Jun 2017 16:56:08 +0000 https://pushblack.org/?p=4509 We all have films that we love in the Black community, but how often do we pay attention to exactly who brought those movies to life for us? While we all may be able to recognize a Spike Lee joint, there are countless Black directors whose contributions to the film industry go unrecognized. This is especially true when it comes ...

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We all have films that we love in the Black community, but how often do we pay attention to exactly who brought those movies to life for us?

While we all may be able to recognize a Spike Lee joint, there are countless Black directors whose contributions to the film industry go unrecognized. This is especially true when it comes to Black female directors, so PushBlack has decided to highlight five of our favorite Black female filmmakers.

Although underrepresented in the film industry overall, Black women are responsible for some of our most iconic and cherished movies. Black female filmmakers have demonstrated their ability to combine personal stories and history to unearth truths about relationships, families, sexuality, social justice issues, cycles of oppression and much more.

These women have often made a point to use their work as a space to combat existing inequalities, provide alternative narratives and simply be visible.



Ava DuVernay

Ava DuVernay is one of the most talented directors and screenwriters of the 21st Century. She continues to defy odds and redefine what it looks like to be a thriving filmmaker in Hollywood.

Unlike many of her contemporaries, she did not attend film school and primarily learned how to direct films from observing on sets. Though her growing body of work is not extensive, each of her films has received critical acclaim.

For Selma (2014), she became the first Black female director to be nominated for a Golden Globe award and the first Black female director nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture. In 2017, her documentary film 13th (2016) also received an Academy Award nomination for Best Documentary feature.

Recently, it was announced that DuVernay’s next film, A Wrinkle in Time, will have a budget topping $100 million, which makes her the first Black woman to ever direct a film with a budget that substantial. Click here to buy Ava DuVernay’s films.

Gina Prince-Bythewood

Gina Prince-Bythewood is most well-known for directing the incredible film Love and Basketball (2000). As her directorial debut, the film truly resonated with the Black community and has become a staple in our homes.

As a graduate of the prestigious UCLA film school, Gina started her exciting career as a writer for the popular show A Different World before moving into directing.

Since 2000, Gina has directed two important films: The Secret Life of Bees (2008) and Beyond the Lights (2014). Both movies center on stories of Black women navigating complex familial and romantic relationships.

Currently, Gina is focused on an upcoming movie for Marvel called Silver and Black after the recent success of her own show Shots Fired on Fox. Click here to buy Gina Prince-Bythewood’s films.



Kasi Lemmons

Kasi Lemmons is the woman responsible for bringing us the classic Eve’s Bayou (1997) starring Samuel L. Jackson and Lynn Whitfield. This was her first film as a director after a promising acting career.

Voted one of Time’s Most Influential Films on Race, Eve’s Bayou tackles the realities of Black wealth, coming-of-age, infidelity, and family. Pulitzer Prize-winning film critic Roger Ebert praised it as the best film of 1997.

Lemmons is also known for dynamic and powerful casts in her films and has worked with Sidney Portier, Don Cheadle, Forest Whitaker, Jennifer Hudson and Angela Bassett just to name a few. Her other films include The Caveman’s Valentine (2001), Talk to Me (2007), and Black Nativity (2013). Click here to buy Kasi Lemmons’ films.

Julie Dash

Julie Dash makes the list because she is a pioneer in African-American cinema. She is the first Black woman in history to receive a general theatrical release and distribution for a film in the United States.

Her movie, Daughters of the Dust (1991), broke the mainstream and told the story of three generations of Gullah women. In 2004, the film was selected to be preserved in the U.S. Film Registry by the Library of Congress for its significant cultural and historical impact.

She has gone on to create and direct several TV movies including the notable The Rosa Parks Story (2002) starring Angela Bassett and Cicely Tyson.



Dee Rees

Dee Rees made her debut on the film scene with the groundbreaking movie Pariah (2011), which told the story of a Black teenage girl coming to terms with her identity as a lesbian. Though she had directed short films and documentaries in the past, Pariah was her first major release.

The film raked in far too many accolades to list. Those include 7 NAACP Image Award nominations and The Sundance Festival’s Excellence in Cinematography award. Dee followed up with the hit TV movie Bessie (2015) starring Queen Latifah and brought home four Emmy Awards for her work.

Currently, she is co-writing and directing a movie for FX with the amazing Shonda Rhimes.

This list is in no way exhaustive and cannot possibly capture the full breadth of Black women’s contributions to the film industry. Though we focus primarily on Black female directors, Black women have a long tradition of accomplishment as screenwriters and producers as well.

If you are interested in learning more about Black women filmmakers, check out Sisters in Cinema. This documentary pays homage to Black women’s achievements in film and illuminates a rich history that has remained hidden for far too long.

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You Can Thank These Black Women For Your Favorite Movies https://pushblack.org/2017/06/26/can-thank-black-women-favorite-movies-a/ Mon, 26 Jun 2017 16:52:32 +0000 https://pushblack.org/?p=4498 We all have films that we love in the Black community, but how often do we pay attention to exactly who brought those movies to life for us? While we all may be able to recognize a Spike Lee joint, there are countless Black directors whose contributions to the film industry go unrecognized. This is especially true when it comes ...

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We all have films that we love in the Black community, but how often do we pay attention to exactly who brought those movies to life for us?

While we all may be able to recognize a Spike Lee joint, there are countless Black directors whose contributions to the film industry go unrecognized. This is especially true when it comes to Black female directors, so PushBlack has decided to highlight five of our favorite Black female filmmakers.

Although underrepresented in the film industry overall, Black women are responsible for some of our most iconic and cherished movies. Black female filmmakers have demonstrated their ability to combine personal stories and history to unearth truths about relationships, families, sexuality, social justice issues, cycles of oppression and much more.

These women have often made a point to use their work as a space to combat existing inequalities, provide alternative narratives and simply be visible.



Ava DuVernay

Ava DuVernay is one of the most talented directors and screenwriters of the 21st Century. She continues to defy odds and redefine what it looks like to be a thriving filmmaker in Hollywood.

Unlike many of her contemporaries, she did not attend film school and primarily learned how to direct films from observing on sets. Though her growing body of work is not extensive, each of her films has received critical acclaim.

For Selma (2014), she became the first Black female director to be nominated for a Golden Globe award and the first Black female director nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture. In 2017, her documentary film 13th (2016) also received an Academy Award nomination for Best Documentary feature.

Recently, it was announced that DuVernay’s next film, A Wrinkle in Time, will have a budget topping $100 million, which makes her the first Black woman to ever direct a film with a budget that substantial. Click here to buy Ava DuVernay’s films.

Gina Prince-Bythewood

Gina Prince-Bythewood is most well-known for directing the incredible film Love and Basketball (2000). As her directorial debut, the film truly resonated with the Black community and has become a staple in our homes.

As a graduate of the prestigious UCLA film school, Gina started her exciting career as a writer for the popular show A Different World before moving into directing.

Since 2000, Gina has directed two important films: The Secret Life of Bees (2008) and Beyond the Lights (2014). Both movies center on stories of Black women navigating complex familial and romantic relationships.

Currently, Gina is focused on an upcoming movie for Marvel called Silver and Black after the recent success of her own show Shots Fired on Fox. Click here to buy Gina Prince-Bythewood’s films.



Kasi Lemmons

Kasi Lemmons is the woman responsible for bringing us the classic Eve’s Bayou (1997) starring Samuel L. Jackson and Lynn Whitfield. This was her first film as a director after a promising acting career.

Voted one of Time’s Most Influential Films on Race, Eve’s Bayou tackles the realities of Black wealth, coming-of-age, infidelity, and family. Pulitzer Prize-winning film critic Roger Ebert praised it as the best film of 1997.

Lemmons is also known for dynamic and powerful casts in her films and has worked with Sidney Portier, Don Cheadle, Forest Whitaker, Jennifer Hudson and Angela Bassett just to name a few. Her other films include The Caveman’s Valentine (2001), Talk to Me (2007), and Black Nativity (2013). Click here to buy Kasi Lemmons’ films.

Julie Dash

Julie Dash makes the list because she is a pioneer in African-American cinema. She is the first Black woman in history to receive a general theatrical release and distribution for a film in the United States.

Her movie, Daughters of the Dust (1991), broke the mainstream and told the story of three generations of Gullah women. In 2004, the film was selected to be preserved in the U.S. Film Registry by the Library of Congress for its significant cultural and historical impact.

She has gone on to create and direct several TV movies including the notable The Rosa Parks Story (2002) starring Angela Bassett and Cicely Tyson.



Dee Rees

Dee Rees made her debut on the film scene with the groundbreaking movie Pariah (2011), which told the story of a Black teenage girl coming to terms with her identity as a lesbian. Though she had directed short films and documentaries in the past, Pariah was her first major release.

The film raked in far too many accolades to list. Those include 7 NAACP Image Award nominations and The Sundance Festival’s Excellence in Cinematography award. Dee followed up with the hit TV movie Bessie (2015) starring Queen Latifah and brought home four Emmy Awards for her work.

Currently, she is co-writing and directing a movie for FX with the amazing Shonda Rhimes.

This list is in no way exhaustive and cannot possibly capture the full breadth of Black women’s contributions to the film industry. Though we focus primarily on Black female directors, Black women have a long tradition of accomplishment as screenwriters and producers as well.

If you are interested in learning more about Black women filmmakers, check out Sisters in Cinema. This documentary pays homage to Black women’s achievements in film and illuminates a rich history that has remained hidden for far too long.

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The Emergence of Jazz as the Ultimate Genre https://pushblack.org/2017/06/26/the-emergence-of-jazz-as-the-ultimate-genre-b/ Mon, 26 Jun 2017 15:24:40 +0000 https://pushblack.org/?p=4496 The origin of jazz is a complex story about the relationship between music and race in America. It was born from Black artists who came from a tradition of making the most of their limited resources to create something out of nothing. These individuals subverted the traditional use of European instruments and made something new. They drew on the Black ...

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The origin of jazz is a complex story about the relationship between music and race in America. It was born from Black artists who came from a tradition of making the most of their limited resources to create something out of nothing.

These individuals subverted the traditional use of European instruments and made something new. They drew on the Black experience in America to create a sound and culture that the world had never experienced before.

The African elements, particularly the drums, are responsible for jazz’s unique rhythm and feel while many of the harmonies can be traced back to Europe. This unlikely combination produced one of America’s most treasured and original genres of music.

Without a doubt, the Black experience in the U.S is responsible for the birth and evolution of jazz. The majority of the art form’s most important innovators were African-American, and some early jazz pieces can be linked to negro spirituals.

Blues, another Black form of musical expression, also played an integral role in the development of jazz and provided the foundation for its creation.




New Orleans is the birthplace of modern jazz music. As a port city with people arriving from all parts of the world, its position as a melting pot for cultural exchange truly helped jazz thrive and rise to popularity within the city.

Jazz reinvigorated New Orleans nightlife because it was more upbeat than traditional classical music and offered people an opportunity let loose and dance. It also became the preferred music for the city’s famed Storyville red light district and was played frequently in brothels.

Although the first jazz recording debuted in 1917, its presence had been felt way before that. As is the case with most art forms, there is no official date that marks the birth of jazz, and several competing stories exist about its origins.

Even the word “jazz” itself has its own history. Originally, it was spelled “j-a-s-s” and considered a dirty word because it referred to a woman’s backside.

Another early spelling was “j-a-s” which is thought to have two different interpretations. Dating back to 1860, there was an African-American slang term, “jasm”, which meant “energy” and could be linked to the name and style of music.

On the other hand, it could have referred to the “jasmine” perfume that New Orleans prostitutes wore to seduce their suitors. The term “jazz” did not exist until the music reached New York City and was spelled that way on Broadway.

An early jazz pioneer, Jelly Roll Morton, claimed to have invented jazz in 1902. However, a Black man named Charles “Buddy” Bolden formed a band in 1895 that is said to have been responsible for what eventually became known as jazz music.




The reality is that many of these New Orleans musicians were on the cutting edge of a musical genre that there simply was no language for at the time. Prior to jazz, most modern forms of music were played off of sheet music. Jazz musicians often had learned to play music by ear and had an ability to improvise on the spot, which was highly uncharacteristic and impressive.

For over one hundred years, the genre has been vibrant and its influence on contemporary Hip-Hop and R&B is undeniable. Notable musicians like Louis Armstrong, Nat King Cole, Mary Lou Williams, John Coltrane, and Miles Davis ring a bell in the homes of people from all different racial backgrounds.

Jazz is as American as sweet potato pie. Black people used musical ingredients that others disregarded to whip up something delicious. Many would even say it’s better than the original recipe.

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The Remarkable Legacies of the Stokes Brothers https://pushblack.org/2017/06/23/remarkable-legacies-stokes-brothers/ Fri, 23 Jun 2017 22:14:52 +0000 https://pushblack.org/?p=4479 The Stokes brothers are political legends in Cleveland, Ohio. Here’s why. Though born as the great-grandsons of enslaved Africans, and raised in the impoverished Cleveland neighborhood of Central, Carl and Louis Stokes would grow up to become judges, political leaders, and history makers. As a high-school dropout, Carl Stokes would later join the army, work in foundry, and then complete ...

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The Stokes brothers are political legends in Cleveland, Ohio. Here’s why.

Though born as the great-grandsons of enslaved Africans, and raised in the impoverished Cleveland neighborhood of Central, Carl and Louis Stokes would grow up to become judges, political leaders, and history makers.

As a high-school dropout, Carl Stokes would later join the army, work in foundry, and then complete high school, college, and law school before becoming Cleveland’s first Black mayor in 1967. And, in doing so, he would become the first Black mayor of a major metropolitan city in the United States.

In the mayoral race, Carl defeated the grandson of President William Taft and overcame a city population that was ⅔ white in order to secure his victory. He would later serve in the Ohio legislature and preside as a municipal judge.

In 1962, Stokes became the first  Black anchorman of a television show in New York. Later, he’d return to Cleveland to work as general counsel for the United Auto Workers.

“The honorable Carl B. Stokes changed the course of the city’s history. His achievements not only set a standard for elections in major metropolitan communities but also established an agenda to meet the needs of Cleveland residents regardless of their racial and ethnic background….in his two terms in office from 1967-1971, he accomplished much that serves the city steadfastly today.”

  • The Stokes Project: Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Humanities Center




Some of Carl Stokes’ most notable political accomplishments include creating “Cleveland Now!” – a public/private partnership providing community resources, and advocacy for civic participation and against voter apath.

He opened City Hall jobs to Blacks and advocated for poor communities and racial unity.  In addition, he was a staunch advocate for community-oriented police divisions, a dream that may be realized through recent consent decrees promulgated by the U.S. Department of Justice.

“Mr. Stokes was credited with using humor and hard work to ease the misgivings of Cleveland’s white voters. ‘I went into every white home that would let me in there and every hall that would have me…I didn’t sit back. Carl Stokes doesn’t sit back.’”

His brother, Louis Stokes, was also a leader of “firsts.” In 1968, Louis was elected as Ohio’s first Black congressman and served 30 years in the U.S. House of Representatives.

As a crusading civil rights attorney, Louis argued against redistricting that would suppress the Black vote, as well as the iconic Terry v. Ohio “stop and frisk” case in 1968.

 The Supreme Court decision in Terry v. Ohio permitted police to stop and search individuals under “reasonable suspicion” that the person has committed, is committing, or is about to commit a crime and “may be armed and presently dangerous.”

In opposing this ruling, Louis grew attached to the case because he had been subjected to this unjust treatment that continues to exist today.

As a Congressman, Louis helped found the Congressional Black Caucus and chaired special investigations into the assassinations of both John F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King, Jr.

Together, the Stokes brothers left an indelible impact on both Cleveland and the nation. Carl Stokes was mayor during the infamous Cuyahoga River fire in 1969, when an oil slick caught fire in the long-polluted Cuyahoga River – causing $100k in damage and fueling environmentalist and pollution activists to respond.




For this and other reasons, Cleveland “became a symbol of environmental degradation, of which both Carl and Louis Stokes responded. Their advocacy and urge for greater federal involvement in pollution control helped push forward the federal Clean Water Act of 1972.

Through August 2017, the city of Cleveland will celebrate the legacies and achievements of the Stokes brothers through programming, dedications, and special events.

In recognizing the 50th anniversary of Carl Stokes’ mayoral election, the Jack, Joseph, and Morton Mandel Humanities Center is leading community partners in celebrating their monumental legacy and impact on the city of Cleveland.

In the area and wanting to get involved? Check out the full year’s events here.

 

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The Emergence of Jazz as the Ultimate Genre https://pushblack.org/2017/06/23/emergence-jazz-ultimate-genre-a/ Fri, 23 Jun 2017 20:43:02 +0000 https://pushblack.org/?p=4486 The origin of jazz is a complex story about the relationship between music and race in America. It was born from Black artists who came from a tradition of making the most of their limited resources to create something out of nothing. These individuals subverted the traditional use of European instruments and made something new. They drew on the Black ...

The post The Emergence of Jazz as the Ultimate Genre appeared first on PushBlack.

]]>
The origin of jazz is a complex story about the relationship between music and race in America. It was born from Black artists who came from a tradition of making the most of their limited resources to create something out of nothing.

These individuals subverted the traditional use of European instruments and made something new. They drew on the Black experience in America to create a sound and culture that the world had never experienced before.

The African elements, particularly the drums, are responsible for jazz’s unique rhythm and feel while many of the harmonies can be traced back to Europe. This unlikely combination produced one of America’s most treasured and original genres of music.

Without a doubt, the Black experience in the U.S is responsible for the birth and evolution of jazz. The majority of the art form’s most important innovators were African-American, and some early jazz pieces can be linked to negro spirituals.

Blues, another Black form of musical expression, also played an integral role in the development of jazz and provided the foundation for its creation.




New Orleans is the birthplace of modern jazz music. As a port city with people arriving from all parts of the world, its position as a melting pot for cultural exchange truly helped jazz thrive and rise to popularity within the city.

Jazz reinvigorated New Orleans nightlife because it was more upbeat than traditional classical music and offered people an opportunity let loose and dance. It also became the preferred music for the city’s famed Storyville red light district and was played frequently in brothels.

Although the first jazz recording debuted in 1917, its presence had been felt way before that. As is the case with most art forms, there is no official date that marks the birth of jazz, and several competing stories exist about its origins.

Even the word “jazz” itself has its own history. Originally, it was spelled “j-a-s-s” and considered a dirty word because it referred to a woman’s backside.

Another early spelling was “j-a-s” which is thought to have two different interpretations. Dating back to 1860, there was an African-American slang term, “jasm”, which meant “energy” and could be linked to the name and style of music.

On the other hand, it could have referred to the “jasmine” perfume that New Orleans prostitutes wore to seduce their suitors. The term “jazz” did not exist until the music reached New York City and was spelled that way on Broadway.

An early jazz pioneer, Jelly Roll Morton, claimed to have invented jazz in 1902. However, a Black man named Charles “Buddy” Bolden formed a band in 1895 that is said to have been responsible for what eventually became known as jazz music.




The reality is that many of these New Orleans musicians were on the cutting edge of a musical genre that there simply was no language for at the time. Prior to jazz, most modern forms of music were played off of sheet music. Jazz musicians often had learned to play music by ear and had an ability to improvise on the spot, which was highly uncharacteristic and impressive.

For over one hundred years, the genre has been vibrant and its influence on contemporary Hip-Hop and R&B is undeniable. Notable musicians like Louis Armstrong, Nat King Cole, Mary Lou Williams, John Coltrane, and Miles Davis ring a bell in the homes of people from all different racial backgrounds.

Jazz is as American as sweet potato pie. Black people used musical ingredients that others disregarded to whip up something delicious. Many would even say it’s better than the original recipe.

The post The Emergence of Jazz as the Ultimate Genre appeared first on PushBlack.

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Dashcam Reveals Heartbreaking Truth Behind Philando Castile’s Murder https://pushblack.org/2017/06/22/dashcam-reveals-heartbreaking-truth-behind-philando-castiles-murder/ Thu, 22 Jun 2017 19:12:05 +0000 https://pushblack.org/?p=4477 On Tuesday evening, Ramsey County, MN released dashcam footage of the police-led shooting death of our brother Philando Castile. This heartbreaking imagery adds an exclamation point to the end of this year-long sentence. A sentence that began on July 6, 2016 as Castile’s girlfriend, Diamond Reynolds, live-streamed the gut wrenching scene of officer Jeronimo Yanez killing Castile as she and ...

The post Dashcam Reveals Heartbreaking Truth Behind Philando Castile’s Murder appeared first on PushBlack.

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On Tuesday evening, Ramsey County, MN released dashcam footage of the police-led shooting death of our brother Philando Castile. This heartbreaking imagery adds an exclamation point to the end of this year-long sentence. A sentence that began on July 6, 2016 as Castile’s girlfriend, Diamond Reynolds, live-streamed the gut wrenching scene of officer Jeronimo Yanez killing Castile as she and her daughter sat defenseless and terrified in the car.

This image will haunt them forever.

Castile followed the officer’s orders. He pulled his car over. He was respectful. He informed the officer that he had a license to carry a firearm. He reached for his driver’s license as requested by the officer. After all of this, within only 74 seconds, Philando Castile was shot and killed by a police officer frightened by nothing more than the sight of Black skin. Respectability did not save our brother’s life.

Yanez lied to Castile about the reason for being pulled over. He claimed it was for a broken tail light. However, the dashcam footage reveals he thought Castile and his girlfriend fit the description of robbery suspects – primarily because of Castile’s “wide-set nose.” Castile, fed a lie by the officer, had no reason to see the interaction as anything other than a routine traffic stop. No reason to assume the officer was approaching him with aggression fueled by bias.

Raise your hand if you have a “wide-set nose.” Damn near any one of us could have ended up like Castile on that evening.

Castile was not involved in any robbery. In fact, he held a critical role in his community by working daily to add value to the lives of youth as a supervisor for the St. Paul Public Schools  Nutrition Services Department.

He was loved by the people he served. And, he loved the people dearly. When asked by his friend and coworker John Thompson why he worked extra shifts in the summer, Castile simply responded, “I’m working this summer because I love the kids…man, I love everybody.” Those were the last words Thompson heard from Castile.

Officer Yanez has been on paid leave for the past year. He was likely able to spend quality time with his wife from the comfort of their suburban home and be present for his infant daughter’s first milestones.

Castile, on the other hand, was robbed of the chance to help his girlfriend raise her then-4-year-old daughter and to continue enhancing the lives of the school children he served.

As the verdict came in to clear Yanez of all charges, the police department announced they were firing the officer but are now negotiating a “separation agreement” to help him transition to a new career. Yes, NEGOTIATING. Yanez can request a package he deems appropriate.

This situation we are in is like a terrible movie playing on a non-stop loop. As Black bodies continue falling in the streets at the hands of the State, the officers involved are rarely held accountable for their actions. In a sense, they are actually rewarded.

Although the jury has made their decision, the battle is not yet over. Join us in signing the Color of Change petition to demand that Yanez does not receive severance pay. Demand that police officers are not allowed to profit from the theft of Black lives and the destruction of Black families. Click here to sign the petition.

The post Dashcam Reveals Heartbreaking Truth Behind Philando Castile’s Murder appeared first on PushBlack.

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Celebrating Juneteenth in the Realities of 2017 https://pushblack.org/2017/06/22/celebrating-juneteenth-realities-2017/ Thu, 22 Jun 2017 18:49:10 +0000 https://pushblack.org/?p=4470 It’s been over 150 years since our ancestors were “freed” from slavery. Well, it’s been 150 years for some of them. On June 19th, we celebrated the 152nd anniversary of “Juneteenth,” or “freedom day.” It was on this day in 1865 that the last enslaved Africans were freed in Galveston, TX. Although President Lincoln enacted the Emancipation Proclamation two years ...

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It’s been over 150 years since our ancestors were “freed” from slavery. Well, it’s been 150 years for some of them. On June 19th, we celebrated the 152nd anniversary of “Juneteenth,” or “freedom day.” It was on this day in 1865 that the last enslaved Africans were freed in Galveston, TX. Although President Lincoln enacted the Emancipation Proclamation two years prior, the onus was upon slave owners to both inform and free the enslaved. While accounts differ as to why there was a 2.5-year delay in Galveston, TX, this delay did conveniently fall after the harvest season.

But in the last 150-ish years, how far have we truly come? While our community has accomplished many feats, or “firsts”, as diverse as space travel to assuming the office of the President, there has been relatively little gained for the masses of Black people. This leaves our civil rights organizations and social justice advocates to beckon the same calls as previous generations. To illustrate, we’re taking you through some notable civic and social justice campaigns from the time of emancipation until now. With this knowledge, can we say that we are truly free?

Following the Civil War, African-Americans mobilized to fight against racial discrimination and improve their education, employment, and political opportunities. While Reconstruction policies under President Andrew Johnson “excluded Blacks from southern politics and allowed state legislatures to pass restrictive ‘black codes,’” political and grassroots mobilization by both Blacks and whites alike helped to fuel resistance to these discriminatory practices and mark a new trajectory beginning in 1866.




During the “Radical Reconstruction” period (1866-77), Congress granted African-American men full citizenship – including the right to vote. With the ratification of the 13th Amendment, enforcement of the Emancipation Proclamation (Juneteenth), and action from groups like the Union League, eventually over 250 African-American delegates would be elected – more than 100 of whom had been born into slavery. In all, during the Reconstruction period, 15 African Americans served in the U.S. Congress while well over 600 held state and local offices across the South. Hiram Revels (Mississippi) would become the first African-American elected to the U.S. Senate.

However, this progress didn’t stop (and actually fueled) racial discontent – especially amongst southern Whites. During the first two years of Reconstruction, Equal Rights Leagues were organized to protest discrimination, demand equality and ensure suffrage for all. As the oldest nationwide human rights organization, the National Equal Rights League (NERL) was founded in 1864 to liberate Black people in the United States.

With Frederick Douglass amongst its founding members, the NERL would associate itself with Republican politics (the political group that held ideals similar to today’s Democratic party) in order to actualize full civil rights for Blacks. Through protest, legal action, and advocacy, NERL’s most notable accomplishments include successful lawsuits to end streetcar segregation in 1866, as well as an unsuccessful attempt to integrate the school system in Pennsylvania.

Fast-forward to the Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and 1960s. During this period, groups like the Southern Christian Leadership Council (SCLC), the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE), the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) continued advocating for full realization of rights owed to Blacks under the Constitution of the United States.

With a goal of ultimate equality, these groups mobilized voter registration drives and taught individuals how to overcome poll taxes and tests geared to disenfranchise Black voters. Additionally, they tirelessly organized on-the-ground, nonviolent protests coupled with civil disobedience.

These groups’ dedication to achieving political, social, educational, and economic equality for all undoubtedly changed the course of American history and opened up numerous doors for our continued political advancement. With such capstones as the Voting Rights Act of 1965, the desegregation of public universities and the desegregation of public accommodations, the work of these groups has not been in vain – yet echoes of their sentiments continue to stir in present-day.

In present times, we have yet to elect a Black woman to the position of governor of any state. And, while integration has improved the educational prospects of some of our youth – it has not come without a cost: a void of Afrocentric pedagogy, depreciating property values in Black neighborhoods and the gentrification of our communities.

Additionally, Blacks continually fall short of full-employment while voter ID laws depreciate the Black vote and hate crimes demonstrate that racial tension continues to surmount. Meanwhile, Democratic leaders justify using shackled Black bodies to maintain state-owned establishments. While groups like Black Lives Matter have mobilized in response to ongoing police brutality, older civil rights organizations such as the NAACP have not yet decreased their dockets.

Today, 150-ish years later, are we that far removed from the very first Juneteenth? Or, has slavery assumed but another name? If our advocacy organizations are continually making the same call, perhaps it’s time for us to assume a new strategy. Perhaps it’s time for a revolutionary one.

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Dashcam Reveals Heartbreaking Truth Behind Philando Castile’s Murder https://pushblack.org/2017/06/21/dashcam-reveals-heartbreaking-truth-behind-philando-castiles-murder-a/ Wed, 21 Jun 2017 16:51:59 +0000 https://pushblack.org/?p=4466 On Tuesday evening, Ramsey County, MN released dashcam footage of the police-led shooting death of our brother Philando Castile. This heartbreaking imagery adds an exclamation point to the end of this year-long sentence. A sentence that began on July 6, 2016 as Castile’s girlfriend, Diamond Reynolds, live-streamed the gut wrenching scene of officer Jeronimo Yanez killing Castile as she and ...

The post Dashcam Reveals Heartbreaking Truth Behind Philando Castile’s Murder appeared first on PushBlack.

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On Tuesday evening, Ramsey County, MN released dashcam footage of the police-led shooting death of our brother Philando Castile. This heartbreaking imagery adds an exclamation point to the end of this year-long sentence. A sentence that began on July 6, 2016 as Castile’s girlfriend, Diamond Reynolds, live-streamed the gut wrenching scene of officer Jeronimo Yanez killing Castile as she and her daughter sat defenseless and terrified in the car.

This image will haunt them forever.

Castile followed the officer’s orders. He pulled his car over. He was respectful. He informed the officer that he had a license to carry a firearm. He reached for his driver’s license as requested by the officer. After all of this, within only 74 seconds, Philando Castile was shot and killed by a police officer frightened by nothing more than the sight of Black skin. Respectability did not save our brother’s life.

Yanez lied to Castile about the reason for being pulled over. He claimed it was for a broken tail light. However, the dashcam footage reveals he thought Castile and his girlfriend fit the description of robbery suspects – primarily because of Castile’s “wide-set nose.” Castile, fed a lie by the officer, had no reason to see the interaction as anything other than a routine traffic stop. No reason to assume the officer was approaching him with aggression fueled by bias.

Raise your hand if you have a “wide-set nose.” Damn near any one of us could have ended up like Castile on that evening.

Castile was not involved in any robbery. In fact, he held a critical role in his community by working daily to add value to the lives of youth as a supervisor for the St. Paul Public Schools  Nutrition Services Department.

He was loved by the people he served. And, he loved the people dearly. When asked by his friend and coworker John Thompson why he worked extra shifts in the summer, Castile simply responded, “I’m working this summer because I love the kids…man, I love everybody.” Those were the last words Thompson heard from Castile.

Officer Yanez has been on paid leave for the past year. He was likely able to spend quality time with his wife from the comfort of their suburban home and be present for his infant daughter’s first milestones.

Castile, on the other hand, was robbed of the chance to help his girlfriend raise her then-4-year-old daughter and to continue enhancing the lives of the school children he served.

As the verdict came in to clear Yanez of all charges, the police department announced they were firing the officer but are now negotiating a “separation agreement” to help him transition to a new career. Yes, NEGOTIATING. Yanez can request a package he deems appropriate.

This situation we are in is like a terrible movie playing on a non-stop loop. As Black bodies continue falling in the streets at the hands of the State, the officers involved are rarely held accountable for their actions. In a sense, they are actually rewarded.

Although the jury has made their decision, the battle is not yet over. Join us in signing the Color of Change petition to demand that Yanez does not receive severance pay. Demand that police officers are not allowed to profit from the theft of Black lives and the destruction of Black families. Click here to sign the petition.

The post Dashcam Reveals Heartbreaking Truth Behind Philando Castile’s Murder appeared first on PushBlack.

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Dashcam Reveals Heartbreaking Truth Behind Philando Castile’s Murder https://pushblack.org/2017/06/21/dashcam-reveals-heartbreaking-truth-behind-philando-castiles-murder-b/ Wed, 21 Jun 2017 16:44:19 +0000 https://pushblack.org/?p=4464 On Tuesday evening, Ramsey County, MN released dashcam footage of the police-led shooting death of our brother Philando Castile. This heartbreaking imagery adds an exclamation point to the end of this year-long sentence. A sentence that began on July 6, 2016 as Castile’s girlfriend, Diamond Reynolds, live-streamed the gut wrenching scene of officer Jeronimo Yanez killing Castile as she and ...

The post Dashcam Reveals Heartbreaking Truth Behind Philando Castile’s Murder appeared first on PushBlack.

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On Tuesday evening, Ramsey County, MN released dashcam footage of the police-led shooting death of our brother Philando Castile. This heartbreaking imagery adds an exclamation point to the end of this year-long sentence. A sentence that began on July 6, 2016 as Castile’s girlfriend, Diamond Reynolds, live-streamed the gut wrenching scene of officer Jeronimo Yanez killing Castile as she and her daughter sat defenseless and terrified in the car.

This image will haunt them forever.

Castile followed the officer’s orders. He pulled his car over. He was respectful. He informed the officer that he had a license to carry a firearm. He reached for his driver’s license as requested by the officer. After all of this, within only 74 seconds, Philando Castile was shot and killed by a police officer frightened by nothing more than the sight of Black skin. Respectability did not save our brother’s life.

Yanez lied to Castile about the reason for being pulled over. He claimed it was for a broken tail light. However, the dashcam footage reveals he thought Castile and his girlfriend fit the description of robbery suspects – primarily because of Castile’s “wide-set nose.” Castile, fed a lie by the officer, had no reason to see the interaction as anything other than a routine traffic stop. No reason to assume the officer was approaching him with aggression fueled by bias.

Raise your hand if you have a “wide-set nose.” Damn near any one of us could have ended up like Castile on that evening.

Castile was not involved in any robbery. In fact, he held a critical role in his community by working daily to add value to the lives of youth as a supervisor for the St. Paul Public Schools  Nutrition Services Department.

He was loved by the people he served. And, he loved the people dearly. When asked by his friend and coworker John Thompson why he worked extra shifts in the summer, Castile simply responded, “I’m working this summer because I love the kids…man, I love everybody.” Those were the last words Thompson heard from Castile.

Officer Yanez has been on paid leave for the past year. He was likely able to spend quality time with his wife from the comfort of their suburban home and be present for his infant daughter’s first milestones.

Castile, on the other hand, was robbed of the chance to help his girlfriend raise her then-4-year-old daughter and to continue enhancing the lives of the school children he served.

As the verdict came in to clear Yanez of all charges, the police department announced they were firing the officer but are now negotiating a “separation agreement” to help him transition to a new career. Yes, NEGOTIATING. Yanez can request a package he deems appropriate.

This situation we are in is like a terrible movie playing on a non-stop loop. As Black bodies continue falling in the streets at the hands of the State, the officers involved are rarely held accountable for their actions. In a sense, they are actually rewarded.

Although the jury has made their decision, the battle is not yet over. Join us in signing the Color of Change petition to demand that Yanez does not receive severance pay. Demand that police officers are not allowed to profit from the theft of Black lives and the destruction of Black families. Click here to sign the petition.

The post Dashcam Reveals Heartbreaking Truth Behind Philando Castile’s Murder appeared first on PushBlack.

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Why is the FBI so threatened by Assata Shakur? https://pushblack.org/2017/06/20/why-is-the-fbi-so-threatened-by-assata-shakur-mc/ Tue, 20 Jun 2017 21:27:47 +0000 https://pushblack.org/?p=4455 Black liberation activist Assata Shakur was placed on the FBI’s most wanted terrorist list. As the only woman and only black person on the list, what makes Shakur such a threat? Colorlines outlines the history of this list and Assata Shakur’s background in this article. “Assata Shakur has been given many names over the past four decades. Her political allies ...

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Black liberation activist Assata Shakur was placed on the FBI’s most wanted terrorist list. As the only woman and only black person on the list, what makes Shakur such a threat? Colorlines outlines the history of this list and Assata Shakur’s background in this article.

“Assata Shakur has been given many names over the past four decades. Her political allies in the 1970s struggle for black liberation knew her as a comrade and freedom fighter. Ever since her escape from a New Jersey prison and exile in Cuba, she’s become an icon to many on the radical left. Some, mostly critics, still call her by her birth name, Joanne Chesimard. Now the Federal Bureau of Investigation has a new name for her: terrorist.”




Assata Shakur, originally from Queens, NY, was an activist, Black nationalist, and uncompromising orator and community mobilizer. Though born as “Joanne Deborah Bryon,” Shakur later changed her name to “Assata” (“she who struggles”) and “Shakur” (“the thankful”). Though remembered as a radical, her philosophical views were not necessarily always in alignment with this typecast. Instead, it wasn’t until the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.  in 1968 that “precipitated Assata Shakur’s embrace of the militant Black Power movement and her rejection of nonviolence.

Her political involvement traversed the Black Panther Party and the Black Liberation Army, ultimately leading to her surveillance through the FBI’s COINTELPRO program. As a result, she fled and went into hiding – and is likely still alive today. Her 1987 autobiography provides some insight into her political affiliations and movement, but still much is left unsaid. Learn more about her heroic actions, uncompromising political attitude, and unwavering love for Blackness in the article below.




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Kaepernick Ain’t The Only One https://pushblack.org/2017/06/20/kaepernick-aint-the-only-one-mc/ Tue, 20 Jun 2017 20:56:00 +0000 https://pushblack.org/?p=4453 In recent months, Colin Kaepernick transitioned from headlines that praised  his protest of the national anthem, to headlines that praised his charitable contributions. In addition to fighting famine in Somalia, he supported Meals on Wheels with $50,000 to assist the elderly in the U.S. But Kaepernick isn’t the first athlete to use his [or her] power of celebrity to make a political ...

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In recent months, Colin Kaepernick transitioned from headlines that praised  his protest of the national anthem, to headlines that praised his charitable contributions. In addition to fighting famine in Somaliahe supported Meals on Wheels with $50,000 to assist the elderly in the U.S.

But Kaepernick isn’t the first athlete to use his [or her] power of celebrity to make a political stance or impact social good.

Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf, an NBA player for the Denver Nuggets refused to honor the national anthem during the 1995-1996 NBA season.

It all started on March 10, 1966, when Abdul-Rauf sat down in the middle of the anthem, stating that the American flag was “a symbol of oppression, of tyranny.”

Abdul-Rauf, a Muslim, also cited religious reasons for his rejection of the national anthem: “I’m a Muslim first and a Muslim last. My duty is to my creator, not to a nationalistic ideology.”




The NBA suspended him without pay – using a rule that requires players to “stand and line up in a dignified posture”during both the U.S. and Canadian anthem. In response, Abdul-Rauf decided to stand during the national anthem. But rather than place his hand on his chest, he held them up in prayer.

For the rest of his career, Abdul-Rauf endured great scrutiny and criticism for his activism. He ultimately left the NBA and closed his career by playing for a variety of international clubs.

But there are still current NBA players protesting – to this day.

David West, NBA veteran and current forward for the Golden State Warriors, has subtly protested the U.S. national anthem for years  Long before Kaepernick took a knee, West stood (and continues to stand) last in line and two feet behind his teammates during the “Star Spangled Banner.” While Kaepernick’s protest sought to raise awareness on racial injustice in America, West explains that his reasons are much deeper:

“I can’t start talking about civic issues. I can’t start talking about civility and being a citizen if motherf——don’t even think I’m a human being. How can you talk about progress and how humans interrelate with one another when you don’t recognize our humanity? We got to somehow get that straight first so we’re on the same playing field. And that’s how I feel.”

But even David took a note from his athletic, activist-minded predecessors who used their position and influence to impact a variety of social issues during their lifetimes.

Paul Robeson, a former NFL player that retired to devote his career to the arts, also used his influence to impact social justice efforts. As a frequent speaker, marcher and avid activist in the 1940s, the State Department ultimately revoked his passport in response to his activism. In Robeson’s own words, “as an artist I [came] to sing, but as a citizen, I will always speak for peace, and no one can silence me in this.”

And, it wasn’t just the men who used the court, gym or camera to impart political knowledge on the masses — the women did so as well.




Althea Gibson, the first Black woman to compete on the world tennis tour and to win a Grand Slam in 1956, eventually became the New Jersey State Commissioner of Athletics. She set her sights high, later challenging Democrat Frank J. Dodd for the New Jersey Senate in 1977.

And there’s even more: Hank Aaron, Jackie Robinson, Wilma Rudolph – the list continues. Perhaps Kaepernick, Abdul-Rauf or West have a political career in their future? But even if not, we certainly appreciate their activism, support, and  public protests today. #Salute.

Via Sports Illustrated and Fusion.

 

 

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What Happened to this Black Innovation? The Real Origins of Country Music https://pushblack.org/2017/06/16/what-happened-to-this-black-innovation-the-real-origins-of-country-music-c/ Fri, 16 Jun 2017 04:50:37 +0000 https://pushblack.org/?p=4441 The backlash and controversy over Beyoncé performing at the 2016 Country Music Awards was a powerful reminder of just how far the genre has strayed away from its roots. The average connoisseur of country music likely has little appreciation for (or knowledge of) the genre’s true origins: with Black people. There would be no Garth Brooks, Reba McEntire, or Rascal ...

The post What Happened to this Black Innovation? The Real Origins of Country Music appeared first on PushBlack.

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The backlash and controversy over Beyoncé performing at the 2016 Country Music Awards was a powerful reminder of just how far the genre has strayed away from its roots. The average connoisseur of country music likely has little appreciation for (or knowledge of) the genre’s true origins: with Black people. There would be no Garth Brooks, Reba McEntire, or Rascal Flatts if not for the influence of African American culture on early country artists.

 

Country music was born in the South in the midst of a tumultuous racial climate. In the early 1920s, DeFord Bailey – a talented Black man – appeared on the Nashville music scene with harmonica skills unlike anything before seen. Bailey would later become the first African American to play for the Grand Ole Opry, the largest and most prestigious platform for country music for decades.

 

Although Bailey is considered a pioneering country music artist, the genesis of the genre dates back even before his time. The instrumentation used in early country music gives us clues about how exactly the art form developed. For example, the banjo was invented by enslaved Southern Blacks as early as the 1690s and was used on plantations to provide music while they worked in the fields. The fiddle was also introduced to the enslaved around this time, and much of the music created with these two instruments became early forms of blues, R&B, and country.




 

In spite of our contributions to founding country music, very few Black country artists have achieved mainstream success. However, the legendary Charley Pride is one notable exception. As the only African American ever inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame, Pride overcame tremendous racial barriers on the way to the top.

 

Though he was signed to a major record label, no one saw his face for the first three years. This was purposeful – as an attempt to conceal his racial identity and not startle a mostly white audience. Despite being discriminated against once his race was revealed, Pride went on to perform all over the country, produce 29 number one hit songs, and sell over 70 million records (the most since Elvis Presley).

 

In addition to DeFord Bailey and Charley Pride, there have been many Black artists who have crossed genres and dabbled in country music. While Ray Charles is remembered as a soul musician, he also played the harmonica and often performed with the Florida Playboys, a country band.  In 1962, Charles even released a full-fledged country album which received immense praise as possibly one of the greatest country albums of all-time. Tina Turner and Esther Phillips also explored country music and proved that it was not exclusively a space for whites or men.

 

Although Black artists are not the face of country music, our presence and impact on its evolution are undeniable. The current success of Darius Rucker, from Hootie and the Blowfish, is a testament to the groundwork that was laid for Black country artists for at least three centuries. Country music is part of the fabric of the South and African American culture has been weaved into that history. We are the originators of music from the soul.




The post What Happened to this Black Innovation? The Real Origins of Country Music appeared first on PushBlack.

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What Happened to this Black Innovation? The Real Origins of Country Music https://pushblack.org/2017/06/16/what-happened-to-this-black-innovation-the-real-origins-of-country-music-b/ Fri, 16 Jun 2017 04:49:00 +0000 https://pushblack.org/?p=4439 The backlash and controversy over Beyoncé performing at the 2016 Country Music Awards was a powerful reminder of just how far the genre has strayed away from its roots. The average connoisseur of country music likely has little appreciation for (or knowledge of) the genre’s true origins: with Black people. There would be no Garth Brooks, Reba McEntire, or Rascal ...

The post What Happened to this Black Innovation? The Real Origins of Country Music appeared first on PushBlack.

]]>
The backlash and controversy over Beyoncé performing at the 2016 Country Music Awards was a powerful reminder of just how far the genre has strayed away from its roots. The average connoisseur of country music likely has little appreciation for (or knowledge of) the genre’s true origins: with Black people. There would be no Garth Brooks, Reba McEntire, or Rascal Flatts if not for the influence of African American culture on early country artists.

 

Country music was born in the South in the midst of a tumultuous racial climate. In the early 1920s, DeFord Bailey – a talented Black man – appeared on the Nashville music scene with harmonica skills unlike anything before seen. Bailey would later become the first African American to play for the Grand Ole Opry, the largest and most prestigious platform for country music for decades.

 

Although Bailey is considered a pioneering country music artist, the genesis of the genre dates back even before his time. The instrumentation used in early country music gives us clues about how exactly the art form developed. For example, the banjo was invented by enslaved Southern Blacks as early as the 1690s and was used on plantations to provide music while they worked in the fields. The fiddle was also introduced to the enslaved around this time, and much of the music created with these two instruments became early forms of blues, R&B, and country.




 

In spite of our contributions to founding country music, very few Black country artists have achieved mainstream success. However, the legendary Charley Pride is one notable exception. As the only African American ever inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame, Pride overcame tremendous racial barriers on the way to the top.

 

Though he was signed to a major record label, no one saw his face for the first three years. This was purposeful – as an attempt to conceal his racial identity and not startle a mostly white audience. Despite being discriminated against once his race was revealed, Pride went on to perform all over the country, produce 29 number one hit songs, and sell over 70 million records (the most since Elvis Presley).

 

In addition to DeFord Bailey and Charley Pride, there have been many Black artists who have crossed genres and dabbled in country music. While Ray Charles is remembered as a soul musician, he also played the harmonica and often performed with the Florida Playboys, a country band.  In 1962, Charles even released a full-fledged country album which received immense praise as possibly one of the greatest country albums of all-time. Tina Turner and Esther Phillips also explored country music and proved that it was not exclusively a space for whites or men.

 

Although Black artists are not the face of country music, our presence and impact on its evolution are undeniable. The current success of Darius Rucker, from Hootie and the Blowfish, is a testament to the groundwork that was laid for Black country artists for at least three centuries. Country music is part of the fabric of the South and African American culture has been weaved into that history. We are the originators of music from the soul.




The post What Happened to this Black Innovation? The Real Origins of Country Music appeared first on PushBlack.

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What Happened to this Black Innovation? The Real Origins of Country Music https://pushblack.org/2017/06/16/happened-black-innovation-real-origins-country-music-a/ Fri, 16 Jun 2017 04:47:01 +0000 https://pushblack.org/?p=4436 The backlash and controversy over Beyoncé performing at the 2016 Country Music Awards was a powerful reminder of just how far the genre has strayed away from its roots. The average connoisseur of country music likely has little appreciation for (or knowledge of) the genre’s true origins: with Black people. There would be no Garth Brooks, Reba McEntire, or Rascal ...

The post What Happened to this Black Innovation? The Real Origins of Country Music appeared first on PushBlack.

]]>
The backlash and controversy over Beyoncé performing at the 2016 Country Music Awards was a powerful reminder of just how far the genre has strayed away from its roots. The average connoisseur of country music likely has little appreciation for (or knowledge of) the genre’s true origins: with Black people. There would be no Garth Brooks, Reba McEntire, or Rascal Flatts if not for the influence of African American culture on early country artists.

 

Country music was born in the South in the midst of a tumultuous racial climate. In the early 1920s, DeFord Bailey – a talented Black man – appeared on the Nashville music scene with harmonica skills unlike anything before seen. Bailey would later become the first African American to play for the Grand Ole Opry, the largest and most prestigious platform for country music for decades.

 

Although Bailey is considered a pioneering country music artist, the genesis of the genre dates back even before his time. The instrumentation used in early country music gives us clues about how exactly the art form developed. For example, the banjo was invented by enslaved Southern Blacks as early as the 1690s and was used on plantations to provide music while they worked in the fields. The fiddle was also introduced to the enslaved around this time, and much of the music created with these two instruments became early forms of blues, R&B, and country.




 

In spite of our contributions to founding country music, very few Black country artists have achieved mainstream success. However, the legendary Charley Pride is one notable exception. As the only African American ever inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame, Pride overcame tremendous racial barriers on the way to the top.

 

Though he was signed to a major record label, no one saw his face for the first three years. This was purposeful – as an attempt to conceal his racial identity and not startle a mostly white audience. Despite being discriminated against once his race was revealed, Pride went on to perform all over the country, produce 29 number one hit songs, and sell over 70 million records (the most since Elvis Presley).

 

In addition to DeFord Bailey and Charley Pride, there have been many Black artists who have crossed genres and dabbled in country music. While Ray Charles is remembered as a soul musician, he also played the harmonica and often performed with the Florida Playboys, a country band.  In 1962, Charles even released a full-fledged country album which received immense praise as possibly one of the greatest country albums of all-time. Tina Turner and Esther Phillips also explored country music and proved that it was not exclusively a space for whites or men.

 

Although Black artists are not the face of country music, our presence and impact on its evolution are undeniable. The current success of Darius Rucker, from Hootie and the Blowfish, is a testament to the groundwork that was laid for Black country artists for at least three centuries. Country music is part of the fabric of the South and African American culture has been weaved into that history. We are the originators of music from the soul.




The post What Happened to this Black Innovation? The Real Origins of Country Music appeared first on PushBlack.

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Things To Do This Week: Celebrate Juneteenth https://pushblack.org/2017/06/16/things-to-do-this-week-celebrate-juneteenth-c/ Fri, 16 Jun 2017 04:20:21 +0000 https://pushblack.org/?p=4434 2017 marks the 152nd anniversary of Juneteenth –  the oldest known celebration commemorating the end of slavery in the United States. Although many associate Abraham Lincoln’s January 1, 1863 signing of the Emancipation Proclamation as the end of this brutal practice, it wasn’t until two years later that Union soldiers announced the end of the Civil War, and read aloud ...

The post Things To Do This Week: Celebrate Juneteenth appeared first on PushBlack.

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2017 marks the 152nd anniversary of Juneteenth –  the oldest known celebration commemorating the end of slavery in the United States. Although many associate Abraham Lincoln’s January 1, 1863 signing of the Emancipation Proclamation as the end of this brutal practice, it wasn’t until two years later that Union soldiers announced the end of the Civil War, and read aloud a declaration to free the quarter-million slaves residing in Texas.

 

On June 19, 1865, Union General Gordon Granger announced freedom for all slaves in the Southwest from the port of Galveston, TX. This “General Order #3,” was met with jubilant celebrations by the formerly enslaved and marked what we now know and celebrate as “Juneteenth.”

 

In what some call “our Independence Day,” Juneteenth celebrations criss-cross the United States through a myriad of festivals, music, song, and reflections that honor our ancestors and celebrating this very important step toward freedom. However, even though not all states officially recognize Juneteenth as a state holiday or observance, local civic and social groups often implement their own events despite this legal ignorance.

 

Additionally, the day has been repeatedly recognized on a federal level as the U.S. Senate has unanimously passed legislation recognizing the 19th of June as “Juneteenth Independence Day” through last year. While it’s not as likely for our current political leadership to recognize such a holiday, activists have petitioned President Trump to issue a Presidential Proclamation, as well as to honor the enslaved African Americans who built the White House. Time will tell.




 

But in the spirit of our resilience and vitality, citizen-led and organic celebrations pop up across the United States even without “formal” recognition. PushBlack has highlighted a few of our favorites below. If you’re in any of these cities, be sure to check them out!

 

Galveston, Texas arguably boasts one of the largest Juneteenth festivals as the island is where this historical moment first took place. This year, the city will feature multiple days of parades, festivals, picnics, African-American heritage exhibits, reenactments, concerts, and more. With over 20 events, there’s sure to be something for every member of your family. For a full list of upcoming events, click here.

 

San Francisco, California comes in as the second largest Juneteenth celebration in the United States. This year’s event will feature three blocks of live entertainment, fashion shows, a job fair, a petting zoo, free health screenings, a black astronauts exhibit, a black invention exhibit, classic cars and motorcycles, and resources for the arts and craft community. Not to mention, the weekend also includes film screenings and an open call for performers. Wanna check it out on June 17th? Find out more here.

 

Washington, D.C. is also planning a weekend of events, complete with a prayer breakfast, 5K run, flag ceremony, and a wreath laying ceremony. In order to “Do it for the Culture,” some celebrations are housed at Smith Public Trust – a local Black-owned business, and will feature live painting, vendors from the community, local artists, and live music. Right outside of DC, in Prince George’s County, Maryland, the city will host its annual celebration at Walker Mill Regional Park – complete with cultural programming, food, and fun. Find out more here.

 

Don’t see your city above? Check out this list of Juneteenth festivals featuring Memphis, TN;  Yonkers, TN; Sacramento, CA; Atlanta, GA; Daytona Beach, FL, and more!




The post Things To Do This Week: Celebrate Juneteenth appeared first on PushBlack.

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Things To Do This Week: Celebrate Juneteenth https://pushblack.org/2017/06/16/things-to-do-this-week-celebrate-juneteenth-b/ Fri, 16 Jun 2017 04:12:02 +0000 https://pushblack.org/?p=4430 2017 marks the 152nd anniversary of Juneteenth –  the oldest known celebration commemorating the end of slavery in the United States. Although many associate Abraham Lincoln’s January 1, 1863 signing of the Emancipation Proclamation as the end of this brutal practice, it wasn’t until two years later that Union soldiers announced the end of the Civil War, and read aloud ...

The post Things To Do This Week: Celebrate Juneteenth appeared first on PushBlack.

]]>
2017 marks the 152nd anniversary of Juneteenth –  the oldest known celebration commemorating the end of slavery in the United States. Although many associate Abraham Lincoln’s January 1, 1863 signing of the Emancipation Proclamation as the end of this brutal practice, it wasn’t until two years later that Union soldiers announced the end of the Civil War, and read aloud a declaration to free the quarter-million slaves residing in Texas.

 

On June 19, 1865, Union General Gordon Granger announced freedom for all slaves in the Southwest from the port of Galveston, TX. This “General Order #3,” was met with jubilant celebrations by the formerly enslaved and marked what we now know and celebrate as “Juneteenth.”

 

In what some call “our Independence Day,” Juneteenth celebrations criss-cross the United States through a myriad of festivals, music, song, and reflections that honor our ancestors and celebrating this very important step toward freedom. However, even though not all states officially recognize Juneteenth as a state holiday or observance, local civic and social groups often implement their own events despite this legal ignorance.

 

Additionally, the day has been repeatedly recognized on a federal level as the U.S. Senate has unanimously passed legislation recognizing the 19th of June as “Juneteenth Independence Day” through last year. While it’s not as likely for our current political leadership to recognize such a holiday, activists have petitioned President Trump to issue a Presidential Proclamation, as well as to honor the enslaved African Americans who built the White House. Time will tell.




 

But in the spirit of our resilience and vitality, citizen-led and organic celebrations pop up across the United States even without “formal” recognition. PushBlack has highlighted a few of our favorites below. If you’re in any of these cities, be sure to check them out!

 

Galveston, Texas arguably boasts one of the largest Juneteenth festivals as the island is where this historical moment first took place. This year, the city will feature multiple days of parades, festivals, picnics, African-American heritage exhibits, reenactments, concerts, and more. With over 20 events, there’s sure to be something for every member of your family. For a full list of upcoming events, click here.

 

San Francisco, California comes in as the second largest Juneteenth celebration in the United States. This year’s event will feature three blocks of live entertainment, fashion shows, a job fair, a petting zoo, free health screenings, a black astronauts exhibit, a black invention exhibit, classic cars and motorcycles, and resources for the arts and craft community. Not to mention, the weekend also includes film screenings and an open call for performers. Wanna check it out on June 17th? Find out more here.

 

Washington, D.C. is also planning a weekend of events, complete with a prayer breakfast, 5K run, flag ceremony, and a wreath laying ceremony. In order to “Do it for the Culture,” some celebrations are housed at Smith Public Trust – a local Black-owned business, and will feature live painting, vendors from the community, local artists, and live music. Right outside of DC, in Prince George’s County, Maryland, the city will host its annual celebration at Walker Mill Regional Park – complete with cultural programming, food, and fun. Find out more here.

 

Don’t see your city above? Check out this list of Juneteenth festivals featuring Memphis, TN;  Yonkers, TN; Sacramento, CA; Atlanta, GA; Daytona Beach, FL, and more!




The post Things To Do This Week: Celebrate Juneteenth appeared first on PushBlack.

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