#28DaysOfRoyalty: Guion “Guy” Bluford

August 30, 1983 – Guion “Guy” Bluford became the first African American to travel to space. Bluford received his BS from Pennsylvania State University in 1964, joined the U.S. Air Force during the Vietnam War and earned his master’s degree in aerospace engineering in1974. He was determined and kept his eye on the prize. There were 35 people chosen to be a part of NASA’s astronaut class of 1978. Of the 35, 3 were African-American males and six were females, including Sally Ride. It was evident to the three males (Bluford, Fred Gregory and Ron McNair) that one of them would make history by becoming the first African American astronaut to successfully go to space. Click on link below to watch the video and learn more about Guion Bluford.

http://www.worldstarhiphop.com/videos/video.php?v=wshh7tASxy03URLCtk03

Guion Bluford  Born November 22, 1942  (Currently 71yrs old)

Guion Bluford
Born November 22, 1942
(Age 71)

I felt an awesome responsibility, and I took the responsibility very seriously, of being a role model and opening another door to black Americans, but the important thing is not that I am black, but that I did a good job as a scientist and an astronaut.”

– Guion Bluford

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Work Cited

  • Huffington Post
  • Biography Channel
  • Youtube – WSHH
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28 Days of Royalty: Daisy Bates

“Pioneer. Leader. Citizen. Daisy Bates: The First Lady of Little Rock.”

Enjoy these short videos below – they give you a great overview of who Daisy Bates was to her community.

“Pioneer. Leader. Citizen. Daisy Bates: The First Lady of Little Rock.”

Daisy Bates was a woman before her time – she, at a time when women were not seen as equals, spoke as a leader and made moves only men were expected to make. I am somewhat familiar with her story – as I grew up in Pine Bluff, Arkansas up until 1998. Daisy Bates vowed to make a difference. She was the president of the Little Rock NAACP chapter. Even when the 1954 Brown v. Board of Education case ruled that segregation in public schools was unconstitutional, Arkansas public schools still would not comply with the law. In 1957 Bates aided in creating the Little Rock Nine, a group of nine African American students who would eventually be permitted to attend Central High School in Little Rock. It took President Eisenhower to send federal troops to make this happen. But finally in

Throughout it all, Bates provided these students with moral support and welcomed them into her home. She was an incredible woman who stood shamelessly for the rights of blacks.

Daisy Bates November 11, 1914 - November 4, 1999

Daisy Bates
November 11, 1914 – November 4, 1999

“No man or woman who tries to pursue an ideal in his or her own way is without enemies.”

-Daisy Bates

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Work Cited:

  • bio.com
  • youtube

28 Days of Royalty: Rosa Parks

5 Things You May Not Know About Rosa Parks (courtesy of History.com):

  1. Parks was not the first African-American woman to be arrested for refusing to give up her seat on a Montgomery, Alabama bus — * There were a few (2-4) others before her
  2. Parks had a prior encounter with the bus driver, James Blake, who demanded she vacate her seat for the white passenger — *He had forced her to vacate the bus once before after she refused to enter through the back door even though she payed her fare at the front door. She vowed to never ride on a bus driven by him again
  3. Parks not giving up her seat was not premeditated — *She states in her autobiography that if she had been paying attention she actually would have never gotten on Blake’s bus, thus there probably wouldn’t have been an issue on that specific day
  4. Parks was not sitting in a whites-only section — *She was sitting in a middle section that was available to African Americans
  5. Parks did not refuse to leave her seat because her feet were hurting — *Physically, she felt just as she felt any other day after a long day’s work. But mentally, she was tired of giving in

View her story below:

Rosa Parks February 4, 1913 - October 24, 2005

Rosa Parks
February 4, 1913 – October 24, 2005

“You must never be fearful about what you are doing when it is right.”

“The only tired I was, was tired of giving in.”

“Arrest me for sitting on a bus? You may do that.”

– Rosa Parks

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Work Cited

  • bio.com
  • history.com
  • youtube.com
  • Google images

28 Days of Royalty: Frederick Douglass

♡♥>>  http://www.worldstarhiphop.com/videos/video.php?v=wshhYF9dn6W7RVbw838K  <<♥♡

Continuing our ‘Black Heritage Series’ – take a few minutes to watch this short but informative video on Fredrick Douglas (please click on link above).

Frederick Douglass February 1818 - February 20, 1895

Frederick Douglass
February 1818 – February 20, 1895

“If there is no struggle, there is no progress.”

“I prefer to be true to myself, even at the hazard of incurring the ridicule of others, rather than to be false, and to incur my own abhorrence.”

– Frederick Douglass

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Work Cited:

  • image: voiceofdetroit.net
  • Video courtesy of WSHH

28 Days of Royalty: Sojourner Truth

Today we continue to recognize trailblazing African Americans. Let’s shine the spotlight on Sojourner Truth…

Sojourner Truth escaped slavery in the late 1820’s with her youngest daughter, leaving the rest of her children behind. Soon after her escape, Truth learned her 5 year-old son had been illegally shipped from New York to Alabama to a slave owner–after New York had abolished slavery in July of 1827. Sojourner fought in court for her son’s freedom and safe return to New York. And she won. This was the first time an African American woman successfully sued a white man in a United States court.

Sojourner Truth is even more well-known for her “Ain’t I a Woman” speech she gave at the Ohio Women’s Rights Convention in 1851. Check it out below, it’s powerful.

Sojourner Truth was a strong women’s rights and civil right activist and believed anything [a white man] could do [people of color, including women] could do just as well, if not better.

Sojourner Truth 1797 - November 26, 1883

Sojourner Truth
1797 – November 26, 1883

“If women want rights more than they got, why don’t they just take them, and not be talking about them.”

“I’m not going to die, I’m going home like a shooting star.”

– Sojourner Truth

~ ♥ ~

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Work Cited

  • bio.com
  • image: success.com (via Google)

28 Days of Royalty: Lewis Howard Latimer

Despite our past or current circumstances, we are capable of greatness.

Don’t believe me? Read on to learn about Lewis Howard Latimer: the son of parents who escaped slavery; a boy who fell into the role of being the man of his mother’s household after his father fled; a man who self-taught himself to draft and bring ideas to realistic forms on paper; and a man who despite all of his tough circumstances, carved out his own path for success.

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Meet Mr. Lewis Latimer…

Born in 1848 to parents who escaped from slavery just six years before, Lewis Howard Latimer grew up for the most part without a father. His father was captured in Boston and trialed as a fugitive. Although his father eventually bought his freedom after his trial, he soon after left his family around the time of the Dred Scott decision in 1857, possibly fearing being captured again. From that day forward, Latimer’s focus was on providing for his mother and siblings. After an honorable discharge from the U.S. Navy during the Civil War, Latimer managed to teach himself a special skill of mechanical drawing and drafting from observing the men at a patent law office where he worked.

The inventions began.

Post-Civil War was all about scientific and engineering advancements. Latimer was promoted to a draftsman and began assisting others in their inventions. One of these inventions included the telephone by Alexander Graham Bell. Latimer worked directly with Bell in drafting the patent of his telephone. He worked with Thomas Edison, as well. “Latimer’s deep knowledge of both patents and electrical engineering made Latimer an indispensable partner to [the] Edison [company] as he promoted and defended his light bulb design,” (biography.com). Throughout it all, Latimer also did some inventing. He redesigned the railroad bathroom car along with an early air conditioner.

Lewis Howard Latimer September 04,1848 - December 11, 1928

Lewis Howard Latimer
September 04, 1848 – December 11, 1928

“For who would live if life held no allurements?”

“Tomorrow may be fair, however stormy the sky of today.”

“We create our future, by well improving present opportunities: however few and small they be.”

– Lewis Latimer

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So what will you do or change today that will help carve out your own or your child’s unique path for success? Share with us below.

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Work Cited:

  • biography.com
  • image: muhammadyungai.com

28 Days of Royalty: Madame C.J. Walker

Determined ♥ Innovative ♥ Inspiring.

Do you have a bright idea that you think can help many people and in the process pay your bills and possibly even send your children to college? Did you give up or slow down on that idea because it was just too difficult, strenuous and/or too time-consuming to achieve? This is perfect for you! Read on and learn about a courageous African-American woman who bravely built her company from the ground up even when all odds were stacked against her and her only daughter.

Born Sarah Breedlove in 1867 on a Louisiana plantation that her parents sharecropped, Madame C.J. Walker would go on to become America’s first self-made female millionaire. Walker became an entrepreneur after suffering from a scalp disorder that resulted in severe hair loss. During the 1890’s, when her hair began to fall out, Walker sought remedies that she hoped would cure her scalp condition. In 1905, Walker began working as a sales agent for Annie Malone, another black female hair product entrepreneur. The sales position relocated Walker to Denver; this move became the catalyst for Walker’s success. There in Denver, she found her third (but short-term) husband Charles Joseph Walker, changed her name to “Madame” C.J. Walker, founded her own hair product business, and began a door-to-door sales hustle of her products. She strategically traveled the deep south to promote and teach interested potential customers how to get the most out of her products. As business picked up, Walker moved to Pittsburgh in 1908 to temporarily run her business and open a beauty college-like establishment to train her sales teams. The actions Walker took in her business were innovative, creative, and avante-garde. In 1910 she had moved her business to the then-largest inland manufacturing area, Indianapolis. There she built a factory, a one-stop shop (hair and nail beauty salon), and another beauty college. Throughout the growth of her “all-things hair and beauty” empire, Walker supported the efforts of black higher education and the civil rights movement. She donated generously to what we know today as Historically Black Colleges & Universities (HBCU’s) and to organizations like the NAACP.

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Madame C.J. Walker December 23, 1867 - May 25, 1919

Madame C.J. Walker
December 23, 1867 – May 25, 1919

“I got my start by giving myself a start.”

“One night I had a dream, and in that dream a big black man appeared to me and told me what to mix up for my hair. I made up my mind that I would begin to sell it.”

“I am a woman who came from the cotton fields of the south. From there I was promoted to the washtub. From there I was promoted to the cook kitchen. And from there I promoted myself into the business of manufacturing hair goods and preparations. I have built my own factory on my own ground.”

– Madame C.J. Walker

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Embarking upon the entrepreneurship path is not an easy one but it is a well-worth-it one. Each individual is born with and acquire through schooling and training special skills and talents. If there is a special something you do well and enjoy doing, take the leap! Be bold and put the fears to the side. Become the entrepreneur you are absolutely capable of becoming. Requirements: Hard-work. Dedication. Time. Persistence. Patience and Positivity. Believe in yourself and your capabilities. Do your homework and research whatever it is to learn more and to stay in the know.

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Work Cited

  • madamecjwalker.com
  • video: WSHH youtube

28 Days of Royalty: W.E.B. Du Bois

William Edward Burghardt Du Bois, known simply as W.E.B. Du Bois, was born in Massachusetts on February 23, 1868. He was an intelligent man who stood for equal rights and the advancement of blacks. Coming from a predominately white town and schooling where he was nurtured, received support, and identified himself as a “mullatto”, Du Bois moved to Nashville Tennesse in 1885 to attend Fisk University. If he had ever wondered what it was like to be hated for the mere color of your skin – living in Tennesse provided him with that experience. “For the first time he began analyzing the deep troubles of American racism,” (biography.com).

Du Bois began to focus his attention on the advancement of blacks – through his accomplishments and efforts, his popularity rose significantly over the years.

  • Du Bois became the first African-American to earn a PhD from Harvard University in 1895
  • Du Bois became the first publisher of an African American case study in 1899 with the study The Philadelphia Negro: A Social Study** This study was the first significant piece that began his writing career. ** The talented tenth phrase was introduced in this study – which is “a term that described the likelihood of one in ten black men becoming leaders of their race,” (bio.com).
  • Du Bois nationally became known after publicly expressing ill thoughts toward Booker T. Washington’s Atlanta Exposition Speech, or as Du Bois called it, the “Atlanta Compromise”. **Washington believed that in order for blacks to advance, they must focus on getting a vocational education as to help them in the workforce which would then enable them to provide for their family. So he urged blacks to not work towards political goals-leave politics to white people, just as long as the blacks were given opportunities to work and a due process in court – separate but equal was A-ok. Du Bois strongly disagreed; he felt this was yet another method that would keep blacks inferior and dependent (much like sharecropping). He advocated equality, so whatever it was whites did, blacks should have the right to strive for, under the 14th amendment.
  • Author of The Souls of Black Folk
  • He was a known supporter of women’s rights
  • Du Bois co founded NAACP in 1909 and had a big role in the making of the organization’s magazine, The Crisis
  • Later, Du Bois moved to Africa where he also helped in the advancement of African colonies by aiding in their freedom from European rule
  • Du Bois died at the age of 95, on August 27, 1963, one day shy of Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech
W.E.B. Du Bois February 23, 1868 - August 27, 1963

W.E.B. Du Bois
February 23, 1868 – August 27, 1963

“The problem of the twentieth century is the problem of the color line.”

“A classic is a book that doesn’t have to be written again.”

– W.E.B. Du Bois

~ ♥ ~

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Work Cited

http://www.biography.com/

28 Days of Royalty: Ruby Bridges

Following the 1954 Brown v Board of Education ruling that desegregated public schools in the U.S., six years later little Miss Ruby Bridges (1960) would be the first and only brave student to integrate William Frantz Public School in New Orleans. Accompanied by federal marshals, Bridges began first grade on November 14, 1960. She, alone, was taught by Mrs. Henry. Bridges had no classmates. Bridges met no new friends. Being the only black girl in the school, all who she came in contact with were the federal marshals who escorted her from her home to school everyday, the upset protesters who rambunctiously voiced their opposition to integration, and Mrs. Henry who developed a love for her as if she was one of her own. She soon began to meet with a child psychiatrist, Dr. Robert Coles, on a weekly basis. He later went on to write a children’s book about her.

Children's book written by child psychiatrist, Dr. Coles about Bridges

Children’s book written by child psychiatrist, Dr. Coles about Bridges

Bridges returned to William Franz Public school in 1962 for second grade.

This time around, there were no marshals to escort her and no Mrs. Henry. But there were plenty of kids around, black kids too. A segregated William Franz school was a thing of the past.

At such a tender age, Ruby Bridges made history. Afraid and alienated-Bridges courageously went to school everyday without missing a beat. And everyday she spoke this prayer while in the car on her way (and once even as she walked through the angry mob of people):

“[God] please be with me…and be with those people too. Forgive them because they don’t know what they’re doing.”

A painting of Bridges being escorted to school in between federal marshals.

A famous painting of Bridges being escorted to school in 1960 between federal marshals.

Ruby Bridges Then & Now

Ruby Bridges Then & Now

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“Each and everyone of us is born with a clean heart. Our babies know nothing about hate or racism. But soon they begin to learn — and only from us. We keep racism alive. We pass it on to our children. We owe it to our children to help them keep their clean start.”

“Don’t follow the path. Go where there is no path and start a trail.”

– Ruby Bridges

~ ♥ ~

To read more about Ruby Bridges’ story, visit her website here.

28 Days of Royalty: Thurgood Marshall

What comes to mind when we think of Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall?

Intelligent. Powerful. Activist. Strong. Fighter. Winner.

Born July 2nd, 1908 in Baltimore, Maryland, Thurgood Marshall was the great-grandson of slaves. He was a smart young man growing up with goals to go to college then become a dentist. During high school he would get into trouble in the classroom and as his teacher’s disciplinary action, Marshall was instructed to memorize parts of the U.S. Constitution. To give you an idea of just how many times he found himself in a little trouble, by the time he had graduated from high school, Marshall had memorized the entire U.S. Constitution. September of 1926, he went on to attend college in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania at Lincoln University.

Marshall had always held 2-3 part-time positions to make ends meet. He was a very skilled speaker; capable of persuading any crowd with his oratory skills. Embracing this skill, Marshall decided to change his course of study to law in his second year of college.

After being rejected from his first choice university — Maryland Law School — because of his race, Marshall went on to attend one of the most well-known historically black colleges today, Howard University. During his time at Howard, Marshall became an active member of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). In 1933, not only did Marshall graduate first in his class, he also passed the bar exam later that year.

He began fighting significant civil rights cases and made equality a reality for blacks. “Overall between 1940 and 1961, Marshall won 29 of the 32 cases he argued before the U.S. Supreme Court,” (about.com).

In December of 1952, Marshall argued the infamous Brown v Board of Education case before the U.S. Supreme Court. This case was like no other. No longer were the NAACP and Marshall fighting for the segregated equal in “separate but equal” (Plessy v Ferguson 1896), but they were fighting for equal. Period.

May 17, 1954 the court ruled unanimously in Marshall’s favor. October 2, 1967, Thurgood Marshall became Justice Thurgood Marshall, the first African-American to serve on the United States Supreme Court. Marshall served from the age of 59 to 82.

Thurgood Marshall  July 2, 1908 - January 24, 1993

Thurgood Marshall
July 2, 1908 – January 24, 1993

“Today’s Constitution is a realistic document of freedom only because of several corrective amendments. Those amendments speak to a sense of decency and fairness [to all].”

“Customary greeting to Chief Justice Warren E. Burger, ‘What’s shaking, chiefy baby?'”

– Thurgood Marshall

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The law is a fascinating subject. Knowledge of your country’s Constitution gives you power – just as it did for Marshall. Also, having the confidence and ambition to pursue your goal(s), whether if you started out with that goal or if it came into fruition years later after starting something totally different, takes strength and hard-work that we all possess. Like Nike says, Just Do It.

We want to know what path you chose – was it easy? Did you start out with this same path? Has it remained the same since you chose it? Comment below and let us know :)

xoxo

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Work Cited