Category Archives: Black History

Ruby Bridges Through Her Eyes

The Moral Universe

Having grown up in the area where Norman Rockwell painted some of his most famous works, I remember not only the actual photographs of the little girl, but also the iconic painting of the girl in the white dress flanked by four federal marshals.

The white dress, white socks and shoes emphasize the darkness of her skin. On the wall behind her is a racial epithet. Smashed tomatoes lie at the foot of the wall. You don’t see the marshals’ heads, but their fists are clenched as if ready for battle.

Friday I had the privilege of hearing the woman who grew out of that little girl speak. Ruby Bridges’ name is writ large in the history of civil rights. As she came onto the stage at Smith College, the crowd jumped to its feet with thunderous applause.

ruby nowMs. Bridges is a reluctant speaker. She never meant to spend the…

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Little Known Black History Fact: Dorothy Counts

Nearly 60 years ago, Dot Counts-Scoggins, then known as Dorothy Counts, endured racism so harsh that her parents had to send her to school out-of-state. As one of the first students to racially int…

Source: Little Known Black History Fact: Dorothy Counts

Little Known Black History Fact: The 25th Anniversary Of The LA Riots

This Saturday, April 29, the 25th anniversary of the Los Angeles riots will take place, marking a turbulent time in Black American history. The riots were ignited as a result of the acquittal of fo…

Source: Little Known Black History Fact: The 25th Anniversary Of The LA Riots

Remembering Maya Angelou & MLK

Black History: Special Delivery!!


Today we remember the incomparable Maya Angelou. She would have been 89 today (4/4/17). Many don’t know that Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated on her 40th birthday birthday in 1968. After his assassination, she refused to celebrate her birthday. Instead she would send flowers to King’s widow, Coretta Scott King.

Ironically before Dr. King’s death, he had asked, Maya Angelou to travel with him and visit churches to raise money for his efforts to support the poor. Angelou agreed, but stated she could not begin until after her birthday. A promise she would never get the chance to fulfill. She was notified of his death while preparing for her birthday party.

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What I’m Reading for Black History Month

chronic bibliophilia

It’s here again, that somber, dark, short month where the world outside is dismal. As usual, I plan to use this month’s reading to keep the fires burning in my mind and heart by focusing exclusively on works by black Americans.  Here is what is on the queue for this month’s reads and reviews. What are you reading?

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Walking With The Wind: A Memoir of the Movement by John Lewis– Book Review by Julie Ahn

Race, Class and Ethnicity in American History

For a boy who grew up in the cotton farms of Alabama, to now a sixth-term United States Congressman, John Lewis led an extraordinary life that helped changed American history. Growing up knowing he was different from his cotton farming family, John Lewis left his Alabama home and went to Nashville to study at a Baptist college, where his life and the civil rights movement became inexorably entwined. John Lewis embarked on this peaceful protest and strode into the forefront of the civil rights movement partaking in the lunch counter sit ins, Freedom Rides, Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party, Bloody Sunday in Selma, and the March to Montgomery. Through all the threats, beatings, taunts, arrests, and injustice, John Lewis describes in his memoir, Walking with the Wind, how he challenged a system that was injustice and helped people of race to achieve their full potential, becoming one…

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“March” by John Lewis

chronic bibliophilia

marchtrilogy960x510Alternating between Inauguration Day 2009 and the 1960s, John Lewis, along with co-author Andrew Aydin and Illustrator Nate Powell, tell the story of the civil rights movement through three powerful graphic novels. The trilogy – “March” – follows Lewis from his childhood growing up on a farm in Alabama through his increasing inspiration and involvement in the civil rights movement. Through the stories of protests, sit-ins, the Freedom Ride, the March on Washington, and the signing of the Voting Rights Act, Lewis makes this legendary struggle palpably real and persuasively relevant.

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The “March” trilogy is easily accessible and yet undoubtedly powerful. Its illustrations are stark and evocative; its words are sparse and moving. Each panel advances this gut-wrenching story in a way that makes it clear – this is not just a history lesson. It is a plea for remembrance and a call to action. Published between 2013 and 2016, these novels are timely…

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