#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: Jackie Robinson

After baseball became segregated in 1889, the Major Leagues had not seen an African American player until Jackie Robinson in 1947. Jackie Robinson was a jack-of-all-trades type of athlete. He excelled at baseball, football, track and basketball; he even was named to the All-American football team. Financial troubles struck Robinson, just as it did in many African American households, causing Robinson to put some dreams and talents on hold. He enlisted himself into the U.S. Army and remained active for two years before getting honorarily discharged.

In 1945 Robinson returned to baseball. He played with the Kansas City Monarchs in the Negro League before being drafted by Brooklyn Dodgers’ president himself, Branch Rickey in 1947. Remember, baseball, the All-American sport, had been segregated for over 50 years. By Robinson accepting the offer to play for the Dodgers, he “pioneered the integration of professional athletics in America,” (jackierobinson.com). His brave participation in a sport where its players and fans hated the color of his skin and acted maliciously towards Robinson and his family because of their “blackness”, challenged the ill beliefs of whites in all of America. Like a true Hall of Fame-r, Jackie Robinson finished off his first year in the Major Leagues with an impressive resume of stats. Despite the cruelty he experienced from opposing teams, like being kicked in his ankles repeatedly by their spiked cleats, Robinson managed to still hit 12 home-runs, have “a league-leading 29 steals” and he walked away with the Rookie of the Year title. I’m curious if their mistreatment of him on the sly was more motivation for Robinson to hit those home-runs so he wouldn’t have to stop and endure discriminatory abuse… What doesn’t kill us, makes us stronger. And what tries to stop us, pushes us harder.

In 1962, Jackie Robinson was inducted into baseball’s Hall of Fame.

Jackie Robinson January 31, 1919 - October 24, 1972

Jackie Robinson
January 31, 1919 – October 24, 1972

“I’m not concerned with your liking or disliking me… All I ask is that you respect me as a human being.”

“There’s not an American in this country free until every one of us is free.”

-Jackie Robinson

~ ♥ ~

I help to change my nation by empowering our young girls and helping them realize their worth. How will you help change your nation? Comment below :)

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Work Cited:

  • jackierobinson.com
  • image: psacard.com (google images)

28 Days of Royalty: Harriet Tubman

Tired of the injustice. Spirit broken by the everyday occurrence of violence & abuse. Fatigued by the fight to keep her family together. Afraid that she would be sold after her former master’s death. It was time to go. To find a better life, North is where she’d flee.

Harriet Tubman was no stranger to hardship and struggle. But by 1849, she had had enough. After her husband refused to escape with her, Tubman set out to find freedom alone, around 90 miles north by way of the underground railroad. She succeed too. But she did not stop there. Tubman returned many times to the dangerous, dirty south with a mission to aid in the freedom of her family members and other slaves via the underground railroad. She became known as the “conductor” of the underground railroad, a complex, secret passageway of supportive households along the route to freedom, that would feed and house runaway slaves. Tubman is often referred to as the Moses of African-Americans,  our leader. In 1851, after the Fugitive Slave Law was passed–that required policemen of the north to help capture runaway slaves and send them back to their owners in the south–Tubman rerouted and helped slaves escape to Canada, where slavery was banned. Once the Civil War broke out, Tubman became a cook, nurse and a spy for the Union Army. Liberating more than 700 slaves in South Carolina, Tubman was the first woman to lead an “armed expedition.”

Harriet Tubman  1820 - March 10, 1913

Harriet Tubman
1820 – March 10, 1913

Watch this short, but influential 3 minute video below (courtesy of the History channel), on Harriet Tubman and the Underground Railroad.

Harriet Tubman Short Video

“I was the conductor of the Underground Railroad for eight years, and I can say what most conductors can’t say; I never ran my train off the track and i never lost a passenger.”

“If I could have convinced more slaves that they were slaves, I could have freed thousands more.”

“Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.”

– Harriet Tubman

~ ♥ ~

Remember, “every great dream begins with a dreamer” and every success begins with someone who acted upon their dream…

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Work Cited:

  • biography.com
  • video: History Channel | Youtube

xox

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.

~ ♥ ~

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

~ ♥ ~

~ ♥ ~

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

~ ♥ ~

“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: Ida B. Wells

There really are some incredible women in our past, our present and to-be in our future. One of which is a brave African-American journalist, newspaper editor, suffragist and civil rights leader named Ida B. Wells.

She was a force to be reckoned with.

Ida B. Wells was born July 16, 1862 in Holy Springs, Mississippi. In the late 1880’s, Wells worked as a teacher at a segregated-all-black elementary school to provide for her siblings after the death of her parents and a younger sibling during the 1878 yellow fever epidemic. She resented the fact that she was paid $25/month while white teachers were paid more than triple the amount, ~$80/month. Fueled by her resentment and the “reign of terror” violence that came down on African-Americans, Wells used her talents in writing and social skills to spread awareness about the plight of the negro people. She wrote extensively on the lynchings that were still taking place in America post-Civil War’s Emancipation Proclamation of 1863. A lot of Wells writing assessed the motives behind the violence black people were experiencing. Like the lynchings, she believed it was done to tame and stifle the growth and ambitions of blacks who competed with whites. In addition to Wells’ active involvement in the civil rights movement, she was also an activist of the women’s suffrage movement that fought for the rights of women.

“For more than 40 years, Ida B. Wells was one of the most fearless and respected women in the United States. [She] was one of the most articulate women of her time,” (idabwells.org).

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Ida B. Wells
July 16, 1862 – March 25, 1931

“Somebody must show that the Afro-American race is more sinned against than sinning, and it seems to have fallen upon me to do so.”

“The Afro-American is not a bestial race.”

– Ida B. Wells

~ ♥ ~

Interesting Fact: Wells was one of the first people to fight for blacks’ right to sit wherever they please on public transportation. After being physically forced by the conductor to vacate a Memphis, Tennessee train in 1884, Wells filed a lawsuit against the Chesapeake and Ohio Railroad for wrongfully vetoing her decision to sit in the ladies coach section of the train. After articulating her experience in an article, she seemed to have found her calling in writing.

Ida B. Wells is a great person to study for many reasons, especially if you are interested in journalism. Writing this post was both fun and educational – which by the way is #WhatCe’MarieIsAllAbout ;) – it was difficult to stop adding information. We try to keep the posts short and scrumptious – we know how it is to have the attention span of a fly haha jk

Do you have a daughter or know a young girl or boy who is interested in a career in journalism or even just loves to write? Maybe you have someone in mind who could learn something new today (we all do!) why not let that “newness” be about Ms. Ida B. Wells? :) Share or forward this post with a friend and with the friend of a friend. Let’s spread the love ♥