Wednesday, February 7, 2018

#BlackHistoryMonth - 28 Days Of Black Women In History ( Day 5: Sister Rosetta Tharpe)

Sister Rosetta Tharpe

Also known as the God Mother of Rock N Roll is Sister Rosetta Tharpe.  This woman is a legend in the rock n roll industry but hasn't got much of the recognition like the men who she inspired like Elvis Presley who listened to her growing up. She was the type of artist to shout, and swing hips before Little Richard and Johnny Cash. She turned this type style into a international sensation honey. Let me just say she was a bad ass woman.

Rosetta Nubin is her birth name. She was born in Arkansas. When she first picked up a guitar at age 4 who knew by age 6 she would be performing with her  mother and a evangelist group in churches in the South. Rosetta and her mother continued playing all the way to the 1920's spiritual music, which is now known as gospel.

She had a very unique voice. Her particular style was a mix of blues, jazz and gospel. During the 1930s it was not typical to see a woman playing a guitar especially a black woman. People in the gospel community had a hard time accepting her also. She never let the haters change her. By age 23 in 1938, she joined the Cotton Club Revue. It was a New York City club that became very popular. Rosetta had a hit with her single, "Rock Me."  It had a traditional gospel and rock 'n' roll vibe mixed with blues.


Now her music was kinda sexual but was also gospel so you can imagine the uproar she sent people . She was dominating the industry as a black woman guitarist. She even collaborated with many men in her field.  By the 1940s she even collaborated with white artists Jordanaires. Now it was still segregation while she was performing for mixed audiences. She wasn't able to sleep in the hotels so she slept on the bus. She even had to get food from the back door because she couldn't come inside. She did what she had to do, so she could be successful. 

Later she started to get a celebrity status. Around the time of  World War II she created a song called 
"Strange Things Happening Everyday," with Decca Records. That song reflected on everything going on in the world at that time. It is her biggest record to date. Now some people think it's gospel ,and some think rock n roll. You listen and decide.

She broke down the door for black women who wanted to play instruments the men did especially guitar. She toured in Europe years before dying in 1970s by a stroke. 
She influenced many of your favorites like Chuck Berry and Elvis Presley. Because she was a openly bi sexual woman who played gospel in rock n roll, the industry didn't give her the recognition she deserved. But in 2007 she was inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame. Recently she was elected into the Rock Hall of Fame. 

Monday, February 5, 2018

#BlackHistoryMonth - 28 Days Of Black Women In History ( Day 4: Coretta Scott King)

Coretta Scott King

The strong, talented, civil rights activist, writer, daughter and wife Coretta Scott King is what you call a strong black woman.  She was the wife of Martin Luther King Jr.  After his death she kept his legacy alive. Let's go right in.

Mrs . King was born in Alabama 1927. Many people don't know she had a passion for singing and playing the violin.  After graduating high school she went to Antioch College in Ohio.  There she received her Bachelor of Arts in music and education in 1951. She moved to Boston to attend New England Conservatory of Music in Boston, Massachusetts.  While in Boston she met Martin Luther King Jr.  She eventually married Martin and had 4 children. 

She was heavily involved in her husbands civil rights movement, and was right by his side during the 1950s and '60s. Coretta was even part of the historic Montgomery Bus Boycott in 1955.  She's worked to make sure the Civil Rights Act was passed in 1964 along with others. Coretta had the same beliefs as her husband and that was equal opportunity, and justice.  She wore many hats also as a public mediator and liaison to peace and justice organizations.
She was more than a wife and mother she made sure to continue her husband's legacy after his aassassination in 1968. She took on the role for racial equality  and became active in the women's movement.  She founded the King center in honor of her husband's attributes. Today Martin Luther King Jr birthday is a national holiday.  Ronald Reagan signed the legislation because of Coretta dedication to get it did 
She was highly known in the political world especially for the Kennedy's who admired her and her husband's well doings. 

In 2005 Coretta died to complications dealing with cancer. Her legacy was celebrated with over 10,000 guest at her funeral.  She was inducted into the Alabama Women's Hall of Fame after 

She was the backbone that held this country together after the death of Mr. King that led many feeling hopeless and discouraged. She was left to pick up the pieces and raise 4 children all while being strong and still fighting for a cause. 

Sunday, February 4, 2018

#BlackHistoryMonth - 28 Days Of Black Women In History ( Day 3:Bessie Coleman)

Bessie Coleman 

Bessie made history in 1922 by becoming the first African American woman to fly a flight in the United States. She was the first ever black woman to even earn a pilot license. She read stories about World War I pilots that got her interest in one day becoming a pilot herself. She broke barriers by actually finishing high school and attending college. She did one semester due to financial issues at Langston Industrial College. 
She went on to live with her brothers in Chicago during a time when the tension between blacks and whites were at a all time high. She wanted to get out badly and expressed her dreams to her brother who showed no encouragement. 

Back then every flying school denied her so she taught herself French and moved to France. Nothing was stopping her. A well known school
Caudron Brother's School of Aviation was where she attended school.  There she was the first African American woman to get her pilot license. She specialized in stunt flying and made money  performing aerial tricks. 
Sadly she died doing what she loved . She died in a plane crash in 1926 while testing her new aircraft.

She paved a way for black women who wanted to fly planes .Because of her dedication she followed her dreams and made history .

Saturday, February 3, 2018

#BlackHistoryMonth - 28 Days Of Black Women In History ( Day 2: Mary McLeod Bethune )

Mary McLeod Bethune

Mary is someone in black history I look up to.  She was born in South Carolina 1875. She grew up with both parents both who had been slaves and in a house with 16 siblings. Mostly everyone did field work like picking cotton and farming.  Mary got a blessing when a school for African American children opened near by. By her attending that school she was able to share what she learned with her family. She had to walk miles everyday but did it because she was eager to learn all she could. She went on into life to actually earn a scholarship to Barber-Scotia College in North Carolina. She was so passionate about education she even went to Dwight Moody's Institute for Home and Foreign Missions and later became a teacher back in South Carolina.  

Mary believed that a highrr education was a way to advance as a African American. She started the Daytona Normal and Industrial Institute for black girls in Daytona, Florida, in 1904. Starting out with five students, she eventually increased it to 250 students over the next years.

With her school being such a success she created the National Council of Negro Women in New York. Franklin Roosevelt made her the director of the Division of Negro Affairs of the National Youth Administration.  She went on to ruffle a few feathers including the Ku Klux Klan who hated the work she was doing by helping blacks get educational skills. She was a powerful black women encouraging blacks to get vocational learning so they could provide for themselves instead of doing farm work. She worked with the NAACP and National Negro League.  Mary contributed to World War II by being a assistant director to the Women Army Corps and helped African American Women Who wanted to join the military. 

Mary was one of the world's leading educators, and activist. She later died in May 1955 leaving behind a legacy she is still being reward for. 

"I leave you a thirst for education. Knowledge is the prime need of the hour." Bethune closed with 'If I have a legacy to leave my people, it is my philosophy of living and serving. 

-Mary McLeod Bethune