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Unlimited Whispers’ Black History Month 2012

Posted January 31, 2012 11:59 PM By Deirdre B Pride

For Unlimited Whispers’ Black History Month 2012  we will select black history makers who are still doing their thing.  I will feature one individual each day and add their photo to my back drop for the day as well as a brief synopsis on their career and what makes them great.  On March 1st all 29 photos will be tiled on the back drop and remain there until Black History Month 2013.  Harry Belafonte will kick off  Unlimited Whispers’ Black Hero Month 2012.

Before we kick this off I want to reiterate how Black History came about.  Over the years we’ve heard the comments that Black History was chosen in February because it’s the shortest month.  Well, this isn’t factual at all.   Once you read this you’ll actually see how silly that theory is and you may wish you never even said it.  BTW, we have 29 days this year.  Read on to learn about the history of Black History Month.

The story of Black History Month begins in Chicago during the late summer of 1915. An alumnus of the University of Chicago with many friends in the city, Carter G. Woodson traveled from Washington, D.C. to participate in a national celebration of the fiftieth anniversary of emancipation sponsored by the state of Illinois. Thousands of African Americans traveled from across the country to see exhibits highlighting the progress their people had made since the destruction of slavery. Awarded a doctorate in Harvard three years earlier, Woodson joined the other exhibitors
with a black history display.

Despite being held at the Coliseum, the site of the 1912 Republican convention, an overflow crowd of six to twelve thousand waited outside for their turn to view the exhibits. Inspired by the three-week celebration, Woodson decided to form an organization to promote the scientific study of black life and history before leaving town.  On September 9th, Woodson met at the Wabash YMCA with A. L. Jackson and three others and formed the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History (ASNLH).

Carter G. Woodson believed that publishing scientific history would transform race relations by dispelling the wide-spread falsehoods about the achievements of Africans and peoples of African descent.  He hoped that others would popularize the findings that he and other black intellectuals would publish in The Journal of Negro History, which he established in 1916.  As early as 1920, Woodson urged black civic organizations to promote the achievements that researchers were uncovering.  A graduate member of
Omega Psi Phi, he urged his fraternity brothers to take up the work. In 1924, they responded with the creation of Negro History and Literature Week, which they renamed Negro Achievement Week.  Their outreach was significant, but Woodson desired greater impact.  As he told an audience of Hampton
Institute students, “We are going back to that beautiful history and it is going to inspire us to greater achievements.”  In 1925, he decided that the Association had to shoulder the responsibility.  Going forward it would both create and popularize knowledge about the black past. He sent out a press release announcing Negro History Week in February, 1926.

Woodson chose February for reasons of tradition and reform.  It is commonly said that Woodson selected February to encompass the birthdays of two great Americans who played a prominent role in shaping black history, namely Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass, whose birthdays are the 12th and the 14th, respectively.  More importantly, he chose them for reasons of tradition.  Since Lincoln’s
assassination in 1865, the black community, along with other Republicans, had been celebrating the fallen President’s birthday.  And since the late 1890s, black communities across the country had been celebrating Douglass’.  Well aware of the pre-existing celebrations, Woodson built Negro History Week around traditional days of commemorating the black past.  He was asking the public to extend their study
of black history, not to create a new tradition.  In doing so, he increased his chances for success.

Yet Woodson was up to something more than building on tradition. Without saying so, he aimed to reform it from the study of two great men to a great race.  Though he admired both men, Woodson had never been fond of the celebrations held in their honor. He railed against the “ignorant spellbinders” who addressed large, convivial gatherings and displayed their lack of knowledge about the men and their contributions to history.  More importantly, Woodson believed that history was made by the people, not simply or primarily by great men.  He envisioned the study and celebration of the Negro as a race, not simply as the producers of a great man. And Lincoln, however great, had not freed the slaves—the Union Army, including hundreds of thousands of black soldiers and sailors, had done that. Rather than focusing on two men, the black community, he believed, should focus on the countless black men and women who had contributed to the advance of human civilization.

From the beginning, Woodson was overwhelmed by the response to his call.  Negro History Week appeared across the country in schools and before the public.  The 1920s was the decade of the New Negro, a name given to the Post-War I generation because of its rising racial pride and consciousness.
Urbanization and industrialization had brought over a million African Americans from the rural South into big cities of the nation.  The expanding black middle class became participants in and consumers of black literature and culture.  Black history clubs sprang up, teachers demanded materials to instruct their pupils, and progressive whites stepped and endorsed the efforts.

Woodson and the Association scrambled to meet the demand.  They set a theme for the annual celebration, and provided study materials—pictures, lessons for teachers, plays for historical performances, and posters of important dates and people.  Provisioned with a steady flow of knowledge, high schools in progressive communities formed Negro History Clubs.  To serve the desire of history buffs to participate in the re-education of black folks and the nation, ASNLH formed branches that stretched from coast to coast.  In 1937, at the urging of Mary McLeod Bethune, Woodson established
the Negro History Bulletin, which focused on the annual theme. As black populations grew, mayors issued Negro History Week proclamations, and in cities like Syracuse progressive whites joined Negro History Week with National Brotherhood Week.

Like most ideas that resonate with the spirit of the times, Negro History Week proved to be more dynamic than Woodson or the Association could control.  By the 1930s, Woodson complained about the intellectual charlatans, black and white, popping up everywhere seeking to take advantage of the public interest in black history.  He warned teachers not to invite speakers who had less knowledge than the students themselves.  Increasingly publishing houses that had previously ignored black topics and authors rushed to put books on the market and in the schools.  Instant experts appeared everywhere, and non-scholarly works appeared from “mushroom presses.”  In America, nothing popular escapes either commercialization or eventual trivialization, and so Woodson, the constant reformer, had his hands full in promoting celebrations worthy of the people who had made the history.

Well before his death in 1950, Woodson believed that the weekly celebrations—not the study or celebration of black history–would eventually come to an end.  In fact, Woodson never viewed black history as a one-week affair.  He pressed for schools to use Negro History Week to demonstrate what students learned all year.  In the same vein, he established a black studies extension program to reach adults throughout the year.  It was in this sense that blacks would learn of their past on a daily basis that he looked forward to the time when an annual celebration would no longer be necessary. Generations
before Morgan Freeman and other advocates of all-year commemorations, Woodson believed that black history was too important to America and the world to be crammed into a limited time frame.  He spoke of a shift from Negro History Week to Negro History Year.

In the 1940s, efforts began slowly within the black community to expand the study of black history in the schools and black history celebrations before the public.  In the South, black teachers often taught Negro History as a supplement to United States history.  One early beneficiary of the movement reported that his teacher would hide Woodson’s textbook beneath his desk to avoid drawing the wrath of the
principal.  During the Civil Rights Movement in the South, the Freedom Schools incorporated black history into the curriculum to advance social change.  The Negro History movement was an intellectual insurgency that was part of every larger effort to transform race relations.

The 1960s had a dramatic effect on the study and celebration of black history.  Before the decade was over, Negro History Week would be well on its way to becoming Black History Month.  The shift to a month-long celebration began even before Dr. Woodson death.  As early as 1940s, blacks in West Virginia, a state where Woodson often spoke, began to celebrate February as Negro History Month.  In Chicago, a now forgotten cultural activist, Fredrick H. Hammaurabi, started celebrating Negro History
Month in the mid-1960s.  Having taken an African name in the 1930s, Hammaurabi used his cultural center, the House of Knowledge, to fuse African consciousness with the study of the black past.  By the late 1960s, as young blacks on college campuses became increasingly conscious of links with Africa, Black History Month replaced Negro History Week at a quickening pace.  Within the Association, younger intellectuals, part of the awakening, prodded Woodson’s organization to change with the times.
They succeeded.  In 1976, fifty years after the first celebration, the Association used its influence to institutionalize the shifts from a week to a month and from Negro history to black history. Since the mid-1970s, every American president, Democrat and Republican, has issued proclamations endorsing the Association’s annual theme.

What Carter G. Woodson would say about the continued celebrations is unknown, but he would smile on all honest efforts to make black history a field of serious study and provide the public with thoughtful celebrations.

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Diddy: “Revolt” Talks Leaked Prematurely, Deal Not Solidified, But…….

Posted January 31, 2012 9:54 PM By Deirdre B Pride

Get More: Music News

Diddy was spotted in Miami and informed MTV that talks about Revolt was  leaked prematurely.  When asked by Sway of MTV, about new cable network “Revolt,” Diddy quickly responded that it was a leaked information and he would address it once the deal is “solidified.” He didn’t seem to happy about the leak either. That didn’t stop Diddy who is always in promo mode, from spilling a tiny promo towards Revolt’s direction.

Diddy says, “When I have everything officially solidified, I’ll be able to speak on it more. Only thing I can say is, we’re coming with a new energy, we’re coming with something that people are going to want to tune in to see.” He then went on too sing MTV and BET influence on him and the cable network game.

He say’s, “We want to give thanks to MTV and BET for paving the way,” he said. “Somebody had to bubble, somebody had to come up out of the grind of working with the greats over at MTV and BET, and I thank y’all for all the support. MTV gave me my first shot, made me a global star.”

Spoiler: Diddy was on a break from shooting French Montana’s Shot Caller remix video.

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Just because you didn’t score tickets to Super Bowl XLVI doesn’t mean you have to miss out on all the action, in particular the parties. 50 Cent, Pitbull, and Lil Jon invite fans to watch a live Yahoo!stream of their Bud Light Hotel pre-game show taking place Saturday, Feb. 4 at 10 p.m. ET, 7 p.m. PT.

RSVP to the 50 Cent, Pitbull, Lil Jon livestream here.

Yahoo! will also be covering the show live via Twitter. Be sure to follow us. Watch the concert on omg!’s Super Bowl Party Central page. #PreGameParty

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Video: Wanda Sykes Chats with Chealsea Lately

Posted January 31, 2012 7:51 PM By Deirdre B Pride

 

The comedian recounts her eventful trip to Mexico City. She talks about how disciplining the kids goes down.  Plus, hear why she considers herself a “punishment mommy.”   She also talks about her upcoming movie.

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Legal Whispers: NFL Related Dementia and Brain Disease Lawsuits Are Growing

Posted January 31, 2012 6:18 PM By Deirdre B Pride

The number of NFL related dementia and brain disease lawsuits are growing to a staggering number.  There were more that 300 suits filed by retired NFL players and also includes Jim McMahon. The cases have been merged together in Philadelphia and they expect more lawsuits follow.

A request was made and approved to have all the suits “consolidated.” The judge overseeing the case wanted to bring everybody together and put this in an organized environment. Where all the legal issues and the medical issues and the scientific issues can all be decided in one place

The suits accuse the NFL of negligence and intentional misconduct in its response to the headaches, dizziness and dementia that former players have reported. Some say they have no symptoms but want to be monitored for future health problems.  Sounds familiar?  Remember it was part of the story line for “Any Given Sunday?”  I know that the movie is purely fictional, but fiction is often based off facts.

So far Brent Boyd who played for Minnesota is the only living player with a degenerative brain disease.  Usually the disease is found in autopsies of NFL and NHL players when it’s too late.

I’ve said this before….football players are at an extremely high risk of injury and they get paid far less that a typical NBA player who deals with far less danger.  Simply put; NFL ballers are not sufficiently compensated, appreciated or respected.  The typical NBA and NFL games are equally important to fans. Both league’s memorabilia are hot commodities during their designated season.  I just don’t get it. I just wonder why they are paid to little.  Feel free to help me understand…….

Yahoo Sports the NFL vows to vigorously defend the claims and the league supported the consolidation in Philadelphia for logistical purposes.  I’m thinking that the union agreements that were previously made may hinder the plaintiffs case somewhat. It’s a shame because how were they to know that the game would leave them disabled?  The only positive thing is that the problem is being brought to the forefront.  It’s been a well kept secret for far too long.

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New Video: Lil Wayne ft. Bruno Mars “Mirror”

Posted January 31, 2012 3:55 PM By Deirdre B Pride

I like this song.

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