Tell me you thoughts, Post, Blog up your Words, Tweet Your Positive Message… Then get up and go out and do something about it! – P. Lowe
His grandfather began the family’s long tenure as pastors of the Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta. From 1960 until his death King acted as co-pastor alongside his father. King attended public schools in Georgia, graduating from high school at the age of fifteen. He received a B.A. degree in 1948 from Morehouse College, a distinguished institution located in Atlanta from which both his father and grandfather had graduated. After three years of theological study at Crozer Theological Seminary in Pennsylvania, where he was elected president of a predominantly white senior class, he was awarded a B.D. degree in 1951. With a fellowship won at Crozer he enrolled in graduate studies at Boston University, completing his residence for the doctorate in 1953 and receiving the degree in 1955. In Boston he met and married Coretta Scott.
In 1954, King became pastor of the Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery, Alabama. Always a strong worker for civil rights, King was, by this time, a member of the executive committee of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. He was ready, then, early in December 1955, to accept the leadership of the first great nonviolent demonstration of contemporary times in the United States, the bus boycott. The boycott lasted 382 days. On December 21, 1956, the Supreme Court of the United States declared unconstitutional the laws requiring segregation on buses. During the boycott, King was arrested, his home was bombed, and he was subjected to personal abuse, but at the same time he emerged as a leader.
In 1957 he was elected president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, an organization formed to provide new leadership for the now burgeoning civil rights movement. The ideals for this organization he took from Christianity; its operational techniques from Mahatma Gandhi. In the eleven-year period between 1957 and 1968, King traveled over six million miles and spoke over twenty-five hundred times, appearing wherever there was injustice, protest, and action; and meanwhile he wrote five books as well as numerous articles. In these years, he led a massive protest in Birmingham, Alabama, that caught the attention of the entire world, providing what he called a coalition of conscience and inspiring his “Letter from a Birmingham Jail”, a manifesto of the civil rights struggle. He planned the drives in Alabama for the registration of voters; he directed the peaceful march on Washington, D.C., of 250,000 people to whom he delivered his address, “I Have a Dream”. He conferred with President John F. Kennedy and campaigned for President Lyndon B. Johnson. He was arrested upwards of twenty times and assaulted at least four times; he was awarded five honorary degrees; was named Man of the Year by Time magazine in 1963; and became not only the symbolic leader of American Blacks but also a world figure.
On October 14, 1964, at the age of thirty-five, King was the youngest man to have received the Nobel Peace Prize. When notified of his selection, he announced that he would turn over the prize money of $54,123 to the furtherance of the civil rights movement. In 1965, he and the SCLC helped to organize the Selma to Montgomery marches and the following year he took the movement north to Chicago. In the final years of his life, King expanded his focus to include poverty and the Vietnam War. In 1968 King was planning a national occupation of Washington, D.C., to be called the Poor People’s Campaign, when he was assassinated on April 4, 1968 in Memphis, Tennessee.
King was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the Congressional Gold Medal posthumously. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day was established as a U.S. federal holiday in 1986.
“I’m for truth, no matter who tells it. I’m for justice, no matter who it is for or against. I’m a human being, first and foremost, and as such I’m for whoever and whatever benefits humanity as a whole.”
African Americans are a strong race of people, we have to be considering it was their backs this Country was built upon. So it would not be surprising as soon as the chains were loose the next generation of African Americans would achieve great things as Madam C.J. Walker did. -Preston Lowe
An illiterate, impoverished daughter of freed slaves built the largest black-owned business in America, made a fortune by 1920 With absolutely no rights as a person and over came 9 Years before Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King was born.
Today I have fellow African American children being born hearing their Mother and Fathers say we have strikes against us and this is “just downright mean country and Being Black you will never make it.
2Pac famously said “Although it seems heaven sent, we ain’t ready to see a black President”. Sadly, 2Pac himself did not live to see That Day.
The Emancipation Proclamation was an executive order issued by President Abraham Lincoln on January 1, 1863. On September 22, 1862, Lincoln had issued a preliminary proclamation that he would order the emancipation of all slaves in any state.
Only 4 short Years Later on December 23, 1867 Sarah Breedlove better known as Madam C. J. Walker was born. By 1910 Walker’s innovations led to sales reaching over $4.3 million in 2002 dollars.
The bases of my study is to figure out how an African American Woman who worked on a plantation where her Parents were actual slaves could turn it around and become worth $4.3 million dollars and only 47 years after the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation without Government help or assistance.
Walker was born Sarah Breedlove on December 23, 1867 in Delta, Louisiana to Owen and Minerva Breedlove. Her parents and elder siblings were slaves on Madison Parish plantation owned by Robert W. Burney. She was the first child in her family born into freedom after the Emancipation Proclamation was signed. Her Older Brothers and Sisters were actual slaves….
Let’s start at the beginning… And as my childhood Pastor Rev C.A. Williams would say, It’s Yours to Accept or Reject.
1500 Black plantation slavery begins in the New World when Spaniards begin importing slaves from Africa
1522 African slaves stage a rebellion in Hispaniola. This is the first slave uprising in the New World.
1527 Esteban, a Moroccan-born Muslim slave, explores what is now the Southwestern United States.
1573 Professor Bartolome de Albornoz of the University of Mexico writes against the enslavement and sale of Africans.
1598 Isabel de Olvera, a free mulatto, accompanies the Juan Guerra de Resa Expedition which colonizes what is now New Mexico.
The first African slaves were brought to Jamestown, Virginia in 1619.
Massachusetts was the first colony to legalize slavery in 1641.
Captain Jope’s ship brings the first Africans to what will later be called America. Jope trades these Africans for food and supplies. This trade of Africans is as temporary indentured servants in the same way that English whites are owned as laborers in the New World.
Because the Spanish had Christianized these Africans, this labor arrangement is for a specified time and then they are free to live their lives, just as the English laborers are. These Africans had been stolen from the cargo of a Spanish vessel on the high seas.
1644 The first black legal protest in America occurs when 11 blacks successfully petition the government of New Amsterdam for their freedom.
1663 September 13. The first documented attempt at a rebellion by slaves took place in Gloucester County, Virginia.
1688 February 18. The Quakers of Germantown, Pennsylvania, passed the first formal antislavery resolution.
The instrumental role of AFRICAN-AMERICANS in the founding of the United States.
March 5, 1770, American slave Crispus Attucks and other Patriots (Colonists who were against British rule) fought with the Red Coats (British soldiers) at Dock Square in Boston in an unofficial skirmish. Attucks was the first of five people to die in the fight. The soldier who shot the Patriots were tried for murder, but most were acquitted (the future US President John Adams was the lawyer for the British soldiers); the acquittals further enraged the people of Boston.
American History in Black & White 1
1773 Phillis Wheatley becomes the first notable black poet in America when Poems on Various Subjects, Religious and Moral is published in England. Wheatley gains acclaim for her writings in both Europe and America.
1777 Vermont becomes the first state to abolish slavery.
1790 President George Washington appoints Benjamin Banneker, a free black who owns a farm near Baltimore, Md., to the District of Columbia Commission. A mathematician and compiler of almanacs, Banneker works on the survey of Washington, D.C. He becomes one of the first important African-American intellectuals.
1817 The American Colonization Society is established to transport freeborn blacks and emancipated slaves to Africa, leading to foundation of a colony that becomes the Republic of Liberia in 1847.
American History in Black & White 1820
1827 On March 16, Freedom’s Journal becomes the first black-owned and operated newspaper in the United States.
1836 Alexander Lucius Twilight becomes the first black elected to public office; he serves in the Vermont legislature. Also the first African-American college graduate, Twilight had received his degree from Middlebury College in 1823.
1862 Mary Jane Patterson becomes the first black woman to graduate from an American college.
1863 President Abraham Lincoln signs the Emancipation Proclamation on Jan. 1 and thus frees the slaves of the Confederate states in rebellion against the Union.
The 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which abolished slavery, was adopted by the 38th Congress. Ratification was completed December 6, 1865
1865 The Civil War ends on April 26, after the surrender of the Confederate generals Robert E. Lee and J.E. Johnston. Congress establishes the U.S. Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands to aid four million black Americans in transition from slavery to freedom
Madam C. J. Walker was born Sarah Breedlove, to recently freed slaves on December 23, 1867 on a Delta, Louisiana plantation just five years after President Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation. Her Parents were Owen and Minerva Breedlove sharecroppers on their former owner Robert W. Burney’s plantation.
American History in Black & White 3
The black population of the United States in 1870 was 4.8 million
American History in Black & White 4
During Madam C.J. Walker’s childhood Yellow fever kills 3,093 in New Orleans and Yellow fever struck the plantation where the Breedloves lived and, in 1874, Sarah’s parents fell sick and died.
Orphaned at age seven, Madam C.J. Walker often said, “I got my start by giving myself a start.” She and her older sister, Louvenia, survived by working in the cotton fields of Delta and nearby Vicksburg, Mississippi.
Madam C. J. Walker moved in with her older sister and brother-in-law, Willie Powell. Powell lashed, whipped, and throttled Sarah Breedlove at every opportunity… while screaming at her: “College? What the hell a li’l n—- gal gon’ do in college? One o’ them yallow n— from up north fillin’ you up with nonsense, wastin’ yo time. You think you read ’nuff, you won’t be a n— no mo? N— can’t hardly feed themselves, but they talkin’ ’bout college an’ walkin ’round dressed like they got a hunnert dollers in they pocket, thinkin’ they’s white folks.”
A Column from Wade Hampton III from the Bastrop Advertiser Newspaper on June 21 1879 Talking about the Colored Vote difference between the North and South.
At the age of 14, Madam C.J. Walker married Moses McWilliams to escape Powell’s abuse and three years later her daughter, Lelia McWilliams (A’Lelia Walker) was born.
American History in Black White 5
When Sarah was 20, her husband died, Lelia was just 2 years old. Many documents say Moses died around 1887 or 1888 simply of unknown causes, other say perhaps in a race riot or lynching or died in an accident. I even found documents that say Moses McWilliams was brutally murdered and tossed from the bluffs overlooking the Mississippi River in cold blood by a white mob – incensed over McWilliams‘ lobbying efforts for equal wages.
American History in Black White 6
1899 Composer and pianist Scott Joplin publishes “The Maple Leaf Rag,” one of the most important and popular compositions during the era of ragtime, precursor to jazz.
American History in Black White 7
Breedlove left the uneasy Reconstruction environment of the deep South and joined her brothers in St. Louis, Missouri, where she worked for years as a washerwoman. Her brothers were all barbers at a local barbershop. It was a step up from sharecropping, but at $1.50 a day it wasn’t very far.
American History in Black White 8
Breedlove would ultimately be inspired by the message of Booker T. Washington, whose autobiography Up From Slavery was a 1901 best-seller. Washington called for black people to lift themselves up by developing skills, working hard, and emphasizing good character.
American History in Black & White 9
Breedlove found her future in beauty products. She learned valuable lessons at the elbow of a black role model, Annie Turnbo Malone, who sold her shampoos and hair-pressing irons to crowds in St. Louis for the 1904 World’s Fair.
American History in Black White 10
Annie Malone hired Breedlove as a commission agent and sent the former washerwoman to Denver, Colorado in July 1905.
American History in Black & White 11
A chemist and entrepreneur, Annie Turnbo Malone became a millionaire by successfully developing and marketing hair products for black women in St. Louis.
American History in Black & White 12
As a black woman, Turnbo was denied access to regular distribution channels. To sell her products, she and her assistants went door-to-door, giving demonstrations. Business grew steadily. After a positive response at the World’s Fair, Turnbo’s Poro company went national.
In 1906 While in Denver, Breedlove met her second husband, a man named Charles Joseph Walker, a newspaper advertising salesman, who encouraged her to use the name “Madam C. J. Walker” and helped her create compelling advertisements to sell her products.
“Madam C.J. Walker” traveled for a year and a half on a dizzying crusade throughout the heavily black South and Southeast, selling her products door to door, demonstrating her scalp treatments in churches and lodges, and devising sales and marketing strategies.
Allensworth is the first all-black Californian township, founded and financed by African Americans. Created by Lieutenant Colonel Allen Allensworth in 1908, the town was built with the intention of establishing a self-sufficient city.
Jack Johnson became the first African-American man to hold the World Heavyweight Champion boxing title in 1908
Walker’s innovations led to wild success: in 1908, sales reached $6,672 (over $123,000 in 2002 dollars) — and would hit $250,000 (over $4.3 million in 2002 dollars) within a few years. Madam Walker created a college for her future employees. They were trained in the art of hair styling. Leila College, run by Madam Walker’s daughter,A’Lelia, taught their students what became known as the Walker Method.
1909 Matthew Henson is among the first people to reach the North Pole.
1910, Walker had moved the Mme. C. J. Walker Manufacturing Company to the railroad hub of Indianapolis, Indiana.
Walker made most of her fortune between 1911 and 1917, making Madam C.J. Walker the first “SELF-MADE” American woman White or Black and First African American MALE or FEMALE to become a millionaire.
1911 Preston Lowe’s Great Grandmother Thelma Thompson was Born and died in 2007.
At the National Negro Business League Convention in July, 1912, Walker said:
“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.”
In 1913, while Walker traveled to Central America and the Caribbean to expand her business, her daughter A’Lelia, moved into a fabulous new Harlem townhouse and Walker Salon, designed by black architect, Vertner Tandy. “There is nothing to equal it,” she wrote to her attorney, F.B. Ransom. “Not even on Fifth Avenue.”
1913, the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority was incorporated at Howard University.
In 1914 Annie Turnbo married Aaron E. Malone, a St. Louis school principal.
1914 Sam Lucas becomes the first black actor to star in a full-length Hollywood film. Lucas played Tom in Uncle Tom’s Cabin.
Walker herself moved to New York in 1916, leaving the day-to-day operations of the Madam C. J. Walker Manufacturing Company in Indianapolis to Ransom and Alice Kelly, her factory fore-lady and a former school teacher.
Madam Walker had a mansion called “Villa Lewaro” built in the wealthy New York suburb of Irvington on Hudson, New York, near the estates of John D. Rockefeller and Jay Gould.
1916 Fritz Pollard is the first black football player to be named “All-American” as well as the first black player to appear in a Rose Bowl.
Her Madam C. J. Walker Hair Culturists Union of America convention in Philadelphia in 1917 must have been one of the first national meetings of businesswomen in the country. Walker used the gathering not only to reward her agents for their business success, but to encourage their political activism as well. As she put it:
“This is the greatest country under the sun. But we must not let our love of country, our patriotic loyalty cause us to abate one whit in our protest against wrong and injustice. We should protest until the American sense of justice is so aroused that such affairs as the East St. Louis riot be forever impossible.”
Passed by Congress June 4, 1919, and ratified on August 18, 1920, the 19th amendment granted women the right to vote.
Warned by physicians that her hypertension required a reduction of her activities, Madame Walker nevertheless continued her busy schedule. She died at age 52 in 1919 at her estate.
1922 Aviator Bessie Coleman, who later refuses to perform before segregated audiences in the South, stages the first public flight by an African-American woman.
Jack Johnson, the first African-American heavyweight champion, patented a wrench in 1922.
Interracial Scandal Rocks the 1928 Presidential Election Herbert Hoover Excused of Dancing with Mary Booze. Gov Theodore G. Bilbo says She is Fair Skinned but is as black as the ace of spades!
During the 1928 presidential election, Bilbo helped Al Smith carry the state despite overwhelming anti-Catholicism, by claiming that Herbert Hoover had met with a black member of the Republican National Committee and danced with her. In a speech in Memphis on October 17, Bilbo asserted that during a visit to Mississippi in 1927, “Hoover insisted that his train be routed through Mount Bayou … in order that he might visit Mrs. Mary Booze, a negress, socially,” and added, “Mary Booze is as black as the ace of spades. And Hoover danced with her.” Though widely reported, and followed by an anonymous political flyer featuring a doctored photo supposedly showing Hoover and Mrs. Booze dancing together, which was circulated throughout the South, the story did not prevent Hoover from being elected President of the United States the following month.
Theodore Gilmore Bilbo was an American politician. Bilbo, a Democrat, twice served as governor of Mississippi (1916–20, 1928–32) and later was elected a U.S. Senator (1935–47). A master of filibuster and scathing rhetoric, a rough-and-tumble fighter in debate, he made his name a synonym for white supremacy. Proud of being a racist, Bilbo believed that black people were inferior, defended segregation, and was a member of the Ku Klux Klan.
1930 Benjamin Oliver Davis Sr. becomes the first black colonel in the U.S. Army.
In 1938, first lady Eleanor Roosevelt challenged the segregation rules at the Southern Conference on Human Welfare in Birmingham, Alabama, so she could sit next to African-American educator and activist Mary McLeod Bethune.
1940 Hattie McDaniel becomes the first black to receive an Oscar for her supporting role in Gone With the Wind.
In 1946 Future Senator Robert Byrd penned a letter to Mississippi’s senator Theodore Bilbo: “I shall never fight in the armed forces with a Negro by my side … Rather I should die a thousand times, and see Old Glory trampled in the dirt never to rise again, than to see this beloved land of ours become degraded by race mongrels, a throwback to the blackest specimen from the wilds.” —Robert C. Byrd, in a letter to Sen. Theodore Bilbo (D-MS), 1946
1947 Jackie Robinson plays baseball for the Brooklyn Dodgers, the first black in the major leagues in the modern era.
1948 Alice Coachman takes gold in the high jump at the Olympic Games in London. She is the first black woman to win Olympic gold and the only American woman that year to win.
1950 Ralph J. Bunche, undersecretary of the United Nations, is the first black to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. He receives the honor for his work as the United Nations mediator in the Arab-Israeli dispute in Palestine.
1951 Amos ‘n’ Andy move from radio to television and become the first TV show to have an all-black cast.
1955 Opera diva Leontyne Price is triumphant in the title role of the National Broadcasting Company’s Tosca, making her the first black to sing opera on television. That same year, singer and guitarist Chuck Berry travels from St. Louis to Chicago, recording “Maybellene,” an immediate sensation among teenagers. The hit helps shape the evolution of rock and roll.
1956 Arthur Mitchell, future director of the Dance Theatre of Harlem, becomes the only black dancer in the New York City Ballet. George Balanchine creates several roles especially for him.
1958 Martin Luther King Jr. was stabbed by a woman while attending a book signing at Blumstein’s department store in Harlem, New York.
1964 Martin Luther King Jr. is the youngest person awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. He is 35.
1967 Thurgood Marshall is the first African American to be appointed to the Supreme Court.
In 1967, chemist and scholar Robert H. Lawrence Jr. became the first black man to be trained as an astronaut. Sadly, Lawrence died in a jet crash during flight training and never made it into space.
1975 Lee Elder is the first black to play in the Masters Tournament at Augusta, Ga. Tennis player Arthur Ashe wins the singles title at Wimbledon, becoming the first black to win a major men’s singles championship.
1989 President George Bush nominates Colin Powell as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, making him the first black officer to hold the highest military post in the United States
In 1992, Dr. Mae Jemison became the first African American woman to go into space aboard the space shuttle Endeavor.
1996 At the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta, Ga., sprinter Michael Johnson becomes the first man of any race to win gold medals in the 200 meters and the 400 meters, setting a 200-meter world record of 19.32 seconds.
2002 Halle Berry becomes the first African-American woman to be awarded an Oscar for best actress in a leading role. She wins for her role in Monster’s Ball. Denzel Washington wins the Academy Award for best actor in a leading role for his part in Training Day.
More to come
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