Google Kicks Off Black History Month With Doodle Of Sculptor Edmonia Lewis

Black History Month is officially upon us and that means for the next 28 days we’ll be celebrating our beautiful, unapologetic blackness, although it should be celebrated by everyone throughout the year.

One of the best parts about February is learning about great African-Americans that you may not be familiar with and their great contributions. As they do every year, Google has kicked off Black History Month with a Google Doodle and this year they put the spotlight on the little-known, but groundbreaking artist Edmonia Lewis.

The Doodle depicts Lewis sculpting one of her most famous works, The Death of Cleopatra, which is currently on display at the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington, D.C. The sculpture was first revealed at the Centennial Exhibition in Philadelphia in 1876. Lewis’s realistic portrayal of the Cleopatra’s death shocked viewers and received acclaim from critics, who called it “the most remarkable piece of sculpture in the American section” of the show.

The Google Doodle of Lewis was created by Sophie Diao and is a very timely representation, given the recent Women’s Marches across the country, which celebrated the greatness, courage and strength of women worldwide.

Diao recently told the Huffington Post that she had always been inspired by Lewis’ work.

“I really wanted to show her in the process of sculpting, emphasizing her small stature (she was only four feet tall!) and one of her most famous pieces, ‘The Death of Cleopatra,’” Diao told HuffPost.

“I chose this piece to highlight in particular not only because it’s such a striking sculpture, but it depicts a female commander and Egyptian queen. I found her choice of subject matter extremely powerful.”

Lewis was the first woman of African-American and Native American heritage to achieve global recognition as a sculptor. According to the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington, Lewis was born in Greenbush, New York, in 1844 and died in London in 1907.

She began an art education at Oberlin College in Ohio in 1859, but was unable to graduate after being accused of poisoning her two white roommates, which she was acquitted but not before getting a brutal beating by a white mob, the Huff Po noted. Afterwards she moved to Boston and saw her career take off and made enough money to move to Europe where she ended up setting down in Rome.

While she created numerous works of art, sadly the majority of her work did not survive.

While you may have not known Edmonia Lewis by name before, know you do. And hopefully her work will continue to inspire future generations of artists.

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Hit Television Show ‘Martin’ Made Its Debut 24 Years Ago

UPDATED: Wednesday, Oct. 12, 9:16 P.M. EST:

With news of Tommy Ford‘s untimely passing, NewsOne takes a stroll down memory lane to check out the start of the Martin sitcom, where the actor earned his name.

Watch best scenes with Tommy below:

VIDEO CREDIT: YouTube


After appearing in small parts in film and television in the late ’80s to early ’90s, comedian, actor, and producer Martin Lawrence  would make a big splash on network television with the Fox network series Martin.

The show made its debut on August 27, 1992 as part of a block of programming that included the hit programs Livin’ Single, starring Queen Latifah and Kim Fieldsand New York Undercover, starring Malik Yoba and Michael DeLorenzo.

Battling for ratings supremacy against NBC’s Thursday night format, Martin had the weighty task of luring viewers away from The Cosby Show, A Different World,” and Seinfeld.

Martin was set in the city of Detroit with Lawrence as main character disc jockey Martin Payne. Lawrence was paired in the show with Tisha Campbell-Martin, who played Gina Waters. Much like his stand-up act, Martin’s character was brash and extreme, leading to comical confrontations and zany situations with best friends Tommy Strawn, played by Thomas Mikal Ford and Cole Brown, played by Carl Anthony Payne II.

Gina’s best friend, Pamela James, played by Tichina Arnold, verbally sparred with Martin often on the show and resulted in big belly laughs in their war of insults. Saturday Night Live  alum Garrett Morris also played the role of Stan Winters, Martin’s boss at the radio station.

One of the hallmarks of the show was Lawrence playing several characters, including females such as Sheneneh Jenkins, the loud and confrontational neighbor from across the hall who had questionable taste in friends and fashion.

Lawrence also took on the role of Edna “Mama” Payne, taking no care in covering up his thick mustache when in character as well as other characters such as tired pimp Jerome, security guard Otis, marital arts expert Dragonfly Jones, and Hustle Man.

The show would suffer in ratings toward the end of its five-year run, with some speculating that tension on the set led to the demise of the show. In 1996, Campbell filed a lawsuit against Lawrence and the other show producers for sexual, physical, and verbal abuse. HBO Studios settled out of court with Campbell, and for the show’s final season in 1997, she would not appear in any scenes with Lawrence on the set.

Martin lives on in nationwide syndication on stations such as *TV One and MTV2 and its comic legacy remains wholly intact. Several sitcoms with African-American casts would never follow the show’s formula of slapstick comedy quite to the level it was performed there, but the program certainly helped lead the way for following shows to feature comics-turned-actors such as Bernie Mac and Cedric The Entertainer.

NewsOne salutes Ford, Lawrence and the entire Martin cast. Thanks for the laughs.

What were some of your favorite episodes from the Martin show? Let us know in comments.

*NewsOne is part of Interactive One, a division of Radio One, which owns interests in TV One.

PHOTO CREDIT: Getty | VIDEO CREDIT: YouTube

SEE ALSO:

‘Martin’ Sitcom Star Tommy Ford, Dead At 52

T.I. On Why People Should Make Their Kids Watch The “Roots” Reboot [EXCLUSIVE VIDEO]

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T.I. talks about the new reboot of Alex Haley’s 1977 “Roots” series and whether it has been reworked to catch the attention of a new generation in a new, digital age. He explains why he thinks it will reach today’s generation of kids, whether it be the first night it airs or later on. Monie Love describes the feeling she had of watching the original series air at 7 years old, and explains why it may be difficult for kids these days to connect with that.

Plus, T.I. explains to Monie why he is adamant in his belief that every mother, father or caretaker of every child should sit them down beside them to watch with them. He says “Roots,” as well as film and television programs like it, is necessary to “challenge [kids’] integrity.” Click on the audio player to hear more in this fascinating exclusive interview on the Ed Lover Show

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Here’s Why 2016 Had The Best Black History Month Ever

There’s no denying how huge Black History Month was this year. In fact, the cosmos even treated us to the gift of a leap year, giving us one more day for celebration.

While looking back on February, there were moments that shifted the conversation surrounding Black Pride among Hollywood, politics, and television. From Beyonce’s Black Panther-themed performance at the Super Bowl, to the Twitter trending #ObamaAndKids, to young Black girls forging their own creative lane in literature, the revolution was too big to ignore.

Take a look at some of the moments that proved Black Power can never be silenced.

Beyonce Gets Everyone In “Formation” 

Beyonce

While football enthusiasts enjoyed the 50th Super Bowl, music fans were vying for another performance from Beyonce Knowles-Carter. Just 24 hours before her show-stopping appearance with Bruno Mars and Coldplay, the singer released the dynamic “Formation.” The surprise single also came with a powerful video that took on police brutality, Hurricane Katrina, and Black Pride. After performing the single for over 110 million people, Beyonce faced backlash for her politically-charged imagery and costumes. As we know, the Beyhive and even non-fans came to Beyonce’s defense when critics deemed her Super Bowl performance racist.

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Kendrick Lamar Owns The Grammys With Inspiring Performance 

The 58th GRAMMY Awards - Show

Just a week later, Kendrick Lamar took his own stand against institutionalization and police brutality with his powerful performance of “The Blacker The Berry” and “Alright” at the 58th Grammys. The rapper took home a well-deserved four Grammys for his critically acclaimed album, To Pimp A Butterfly. In 2015, “Alright” was declared a protest anthem at the height of the Black Lives Matter Movement. The artist’s decision to push the envelope definitely awakened new conversations about social justice.

Plus, the Michael Jackson tributes tucked into Bey and K.Dot’s performances were also a classic touch.

#ObamaAndKids Brightens The World 

Obama And Child

The trending topic known as #ObamaAndKids came to fruition last Saturday, when Michael Skolnik, activist and entrepreneur, posted a classic photo of Obama and a child, reminding the world of the impact the nation’s first Black president has on today’s youth. After visiting The White House for a special celebration of Black History Month, he witnessed White House photographer Pete Souza snap the photo above of the president meeting a wide-eyed toddler.

Supporters then shared hundreds of photos of Obama with kids:

The “You Know It’s Black History Month When…” Moment

President Obama and First Lady Address Reception For Black History Month

During another event at the White House for Black History Month, a familiar voice (Traci Braxton) shared her love for the First Lady with the compliment, “Haay Michelle!” The president took the playful moment in stride, joking, ““We know it is Black History Month when you hear somebody say, ‘Haay, Michelle! Girl, you look so good!’”

Well, she does look good.

 #BlackGirlMagic Continues 

Classic company American Girl launched their third African-American doll this month named Melody Ellison. Melody comes from Detroit circa the 1960s and has dreams of becoming a singer. But the new doll wasn’t the only #BlackGirlMagic moment of the month…

New York native Anaya Lee Willabus became the youngest published author in U.S. history with her chapter-book The Day Mohan Found His Confidence. The nine-year-old said her love of books started at the age of 2.

Marley Dias, 11, also shared her love of reading with the #1000BlackGirlBooks campaign. The challenge was meant to collect 1,000 books with Black female lead characters. Her reason for the book drive? Dias was tired of reading books about young White males and dogs. The collection will be donated to schools in Jamaica.

Stars Bring Awareness To NAACP Awards 

47th NAACP Image Awards - Arrivals

Following the #OscarsSoWhite controversy, actors of color became even more vocal about their political and social beliefs. Earlier this month at the NAACP Image Awards, Quantico actress Aunjanue Ellis wore a dress reading, “Take it Down Mississippi,” a motion for the state to remove the Confederate symbol from their flag.

NewsOne Presents “Bridging The Gap” 

Bridging The Gap

The fight for equality has been a long battle. NewsOne opened up the conversation between the warriors of the past and present with our video series Bridging the GapBlack liberation leaders spoke with activists from Ferguson and the Black Lives Matter movement about music, justice, LGBT issues, and most of all, their determination to continue that fight for future generations.

“Black-ish” Takes On Police Brutality 

LA Times Envelope Emmy Screening of ABC's 'Black-ish'

The stars of ABC comedy black-ish delivered powerful commentary last week on police brutality. The episode took on various perspectives of racism, protesting and civil rights, helping craft a balanced approach to the nation’s most sensitive subject. The show’s creator, Kenya Barris, explained:

“Well, my hopes are that it starts a great conversation and, at the same time, makes people laugh and think. My fear is: I don’t what to piss anyone off. I don’t want to politicize the show. I don’t want people to feel like it’s not funny enough. I don’t want people to feel like it’s too heavy to be a comedy.”

The Obamas Share One Unforgettable Dance

Virginia McLaurin Dances With Barack and Michelle Obama

Virginia McLaurin, a 106-year-old White House guest, won over the Obamas with her quick dance moves. “Slow down now, don’t go too quick!,” Obama joked during their meeting. McLaurin was invited to the White House after making a video explaining her dream to meet the first Black president. Their dancing and touching jokes reached over 11 million people on Facebook.

Chris Rock Makes Hollywood Cringe With Oscars Monologue

Chris Rock

Comedian Chris Rock used his hosting duties at the Oscars Sunday night to address police brutality and Hollywood’s problem with diversity. His opening monologue included highlights about slavery, noting Black people didn’t have time to worry about Hollywood accolades due to more important past injustices like segregation and lynching. “We had real things to protest; you know, we’re too busy being raped and lynched to care about who won best cinematographer,” Rock quipped. 

There were also amazing skits featuring Black people inserted in the nominated films, and a hilarious bit featuring Angela Bassett called “Black History Month Minute” that paid tribute to everyone’s favorite Black actor, Jack Black.

Feeling proud yet?

CB4 Gif

PHOTO CREDIT: Getty, Giphy | VIDEO CREDIT: YouTube

SEE ALSO: 

WATCH: Chris Rock Slams Hollywood Diversity, Trolls Stacey Dash In Oscars Monologue

Bridging The Gap: Black History Month Across Generations

Black History Month: Modern-Day Sports Icons & Moments


The sports heroes of today are praised more than ever before. With the help of technology and social media, many athletes have built relationships with their fans that make their iconic moments that much more special.

From Serena and Venus Williams taking over the tennis world, to Usain Bolt’s Olympic wins, there’s plenty of inspiration for the next generation of sports leaders.

In honor of Black History Month 2016, NewsOne will honor the accomplishments of our Black politicians, organizers, entertainers, and everyday people who have undoubtedly contributed to this great nation.

PHOTO CREDIT: Getty

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Black History Month: Celebrating Black Women In Television


Black women aren’t stuck in the roles of yesteryear. Over time, they’ve graced screens – both big and small – playing versatile, relatable, and touching roles that help inspire #BlackGirlMagic all over the world.

Even in 2016, Black actresses are still making history with their presence and craft.

In honor of Black History Month 2016, NewsOne will honor the accomplishments of our Black politicians, organizers, entertainers, and everyday people who have undoubtedly contributed to this great nation.

PHOTO CREDIT: Getty

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Bridging The Gap – Revolution Music Then & Now

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Music can be considered the soul of protest.

Black liberation movements have long relied on music to inspire, to heal, to motivate, and to challenge the status quo while adding to the richness of Black culture. Artists have historically used their gifts as vehicles for change — from Nina Simone who famously declared it was an artist’s duty to reflect the times, to Kendrick Lamar’s revolutionary love story “Alright.”

And though separated by space and time, it’s this music that brings together two generations of activists fighting for the same basic human rights.

Fifty years after Bobby Seale and Huey P. Newton founded the Black Panther Party for Self Defense, Americans still grapple with understanding the revolutionary group created to dismantle state-sanctioned violence, combat systemic racism, and serve the community through numerous social programs. But much like the current Black liberation movement Black Lives Matter — founded by Patrisse Cullors, Opal Tometi, and Alicia Garza — the Panthers’ complicated history is often misunderstood.

But it’s the music of these two revolutions that both provide insight and serve as an archival record of the history of Black struggle and joy.

Larry Fellows III — an organizer from St. Louis, Mo. who served as the first Young Leader Fellow with Amnesty International USA in 2015 — and Sekou Odinga — a former member of the Black Panther Party and member of the Panther 21 who later spent 33 years behind bars as a political prisoner — discuss revolution music and how deeply woven art is in the tapestry of resistance.

Bridging The Gap -- Larry Fellows and Sekou Odinga

“I think music is a part of Black people’s lives, throughout history, our history in the States…The Panthers definitely had music. Music was a big part of our day,” Odinga said referencing Simone, Curtis Mayfield, and others who inspired his movement.

“I listen to a lot of Marvin [Gaye], Donny Hathaway, a lot of Nina protesting…there are a lot of records that I listen to that…it’s so frustrating because it’s still reflecting what is happening right now,” Fellows said.

Bridging The Gap -- Larry Fellows and Sekou Odinga

In honor of Black History Month, watch the second installment of “Bridging The Gap,” a series that honors the Black liberation movements of the past and present while building a bridge that will better help us understand how to propel what has become the largest Black liberation movement in recent years forward.

PHOTO CREDIT: Asia Feliciano/NewsOne, Getty

SEE ALSO:

Bridging The Gap – The Intersection Between Black Lives Matter & The Black Panther Party

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Why Black History Month Is For Everyone (Not Just Black People)

President Obama Honors Medal Of Freedom Recipients

Source: Chip Somodevilla / Getty


Black history can never fit into one month. It is too big, too rich, and too important. But Black history’s special focus in the month of February is purposeful for a variety of reasons. It gives attention to a history that is far too often excluded from mainstream narratives; it centers the stories of exceptional personnel in America who do not receive nearly enough acclamation, and it reminds the country of its past, the reasons for its present, and the potential of its future.

The necessity of focusing on Black history is a response to the whitewashed version of history that exists in the normative spaces of American culture. But despite this obvious fact, Black History Month always faces questioning, and even contention, in how it is perceived by certain groups in American society.

Some see Black history month as “divisive” and even “problematic” because it supposedly separates Black history from American history. Some erroneously believe that the month wrongly makes African-American identity a “special case,” rather than the “equal” space all American history should share.

To many people, the above reasons are laughable. The reality of American history is that the history of Africans who would become American, is a special case in American history. The figures and personnel who would become heroes and leave legacies behind in the African American community – from Truth to Tubman, Washington to Du Bois, X to King, Davis to Angelou – are heralded in a special way during this month in museums, schools, and other public spaces.

But perhaps most notably and has been touted in recent years, Black history did not begin with slavery, and it has increasingly become important for that ideology to resonate with the public. It is one of many reasons that Black History Month is not just for Black people, but also for the American public at large to be involved in reimagining the history of Black people in America beyond that of just pain, struggle, and strife.

African history is deeply connected with Black history beyond just the slave trade. Understanding the traditions that transcended slavery, indeed understanding the historical differences between slavery on the African continent and the Transatlantic Slave Trade, and reading about the kingdoms and civilizations that took place in African history, can broaden the understanding of African American history as a whole.

Moreover, I think it is vital to the American psyche at large, to understand that African-American history, one in which the nation’s roots are submerged in blood and tears, is also one of incredible humanity, beauty, and exceptional achievement in the face of exceptional challenges. Oftentimes, the small and great achievements of African Americans, specifically with regard to contributions to American society beyond the abolishment of slavery, de-segregation, and civil rights, is situated in the historical American imagination between ignorance and underrepresentation. From science and technology, to cooking and beauty products, African-American inventors and pioneers like Garrett Morgan and George Washington Carver and Madam C.J. Walker’s contributions to American society deserve the spotlight.

Black history month is for everyone because the many stories of African Americans are the stories of a people who, despite the endless challenges to their humanity throughout history (and indeed the present), teach the world how to be more human. But especially what the world finds most appealing about America, from its music to its ideals, is exemplified best by African Americans, who are a people that remind us of America’s shameful past, but also of its great moments in time, and hopefully, its great moments to come.

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YAASSSS!!! Misty Copeland Becomes First Black Principal Dancer At ABT

2015 Tony Awards - Alternative Views

Source: Mike Coppola / Getty


Misty Copeland is out here making history like it’s nothing! The gorgeous ballerina just got promoted as a principal dancer for the American Ballet Theater. Copeland has spent the last eight years as a soloist for the company.

For days, social media has been buzzing with pictures of Copeland being embraced by Lauren Anderson and Raven Wilkinson, after one of her performances as the lead, Odette/Odile, in Swan Lake. Copeland made history in this role as well, as she and her co-star, Brooklyn Mack, were the first black pair to perform as the lead roles in a mainstream production of Swan Lake. Anderson was the first African-American principal dancer at Houston Ballet and Wilkinson is the famed dancer of the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo from the 1950s.

By @flaviosnyc via @RepostWhiz app: #LaurenAnderson #Mistycopeland (#RepostWhiz app)

A photo posted by Misty Copeland (@mistyonpointe) on Jun 28, 2015 at 11:55am PDT

Copeland has long spoken out about her goals to make it as a principal dancer for the company. It’s also no secret that black women struggle to get lead roles—if roles at all—in the ballet world, so we’re all super excited about her big win. Congrats, Misty!

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Misty Copeland Makes History With Swan Lake Performance

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10 Facts You Probably Didn’t Know About Michael Jackson

Michael Jackson Birthday

Beloved singer, entertainer, and songwriter Michael Jackson and his unfortunate passing in June of 2009 shocked the globe, with fans across various nations still mourning the loss of the “King Of Pop.” With his brand still strong and his legacy largely intact, Jackson was as enigmatic as he was talented. While today (August 29) would have marked his 54th birthday, NewsOne fondly remembers Michael Jackson as a peerless superstar that has influenced some of music’s biggest current stars. Below, we list 10 facts that casual fans may not have known about the notoriously private Michael Jackson.

1. Michael Jackson Is The Highest-Earning Deceased Artist: Besting the vaunted Rock and Roll artist Elvis Presley and former Beatles member singer-songwriter John Lennon, Michael Jackson has been recognized by the Guinness Book Of World Records in a new category for Highest-Earning Deceased Artist, gaining the top honor. In the first year after his passing in 2009, Jackson’s estate raked in a reported $1 billion.

2. Michael Jackson Was A Shrewd Businessman: While many viewed Jackson as a boyish and playful figure, Michael Jackson birthday underneath that exterior was the mind of a man who made investments that continue to pay off to this day. In 1985, he wisely purchased the rights to 250 Beatles backlogged songs penned by Lennon and Paul McCartney for $47 million. In 1995, Jackson sold a portion of the catalog to Sony for $95 million, resulting in the powerful joint venture music publishing company Sony/ATV, with annual revenues hovering around $1 billion. This doesn’t include his many endorsement deals, licensing, and other streams of revenue Jackson has generated from his name.

3. Michael Jackson Owns The Distinction Of Having The Biggest Recording Contract Ever: Nine months after his passing, the estate of Michael Jackson signed a deal with Sony Records that gives the company access to a vast vault of unreleased recordings for a whopping $250 million. Ten albums are expected to be released by 2017, including the recent soundtrack to the tour documentary “This Is It.”

4. Hackers Broke In To Online Servers And Got Access To 50,000 Michael Jackson Tracks: Michael Jackson’s music was a victim of an online hacker attack, with the thieves downloading 50,000 songs not intended for the public. Sony quickly plugged the hole in their security and vowed to move ahead with the release of new music.

5. DJs And Clubs Nationwide Have Sparked Off Annual Parties In Michael Jackson’s Name: From Washington, D.C.; Los Angeles; New York City; and all points in between, big name DJs have crafted themed parties in honor of Michael Jackson. Celebrated producer and hip-hop artist DJ Spinna has also taken his well-attended (and friendly) “MJ vs. Prince” dance parties all across the nation.

6. “Billie Jean” Was First Video From A Black Artist To Air On MTV: “Billie Jean” was the second single from Michael Jackson’s sixth solo album, “Thriller.” Produced by Jackson and the legendary Quincy Jones, the track got the video treatment and sparked off a revolution of sorts. Fans nationwide would seek to imitate Jackson’s hairstyle and dance moves and the clip is considered largely responsible for putting MTV in to the mainstream conversation.

Watch “Billie Jean” here:

[ione_embed src=http://www.youtube.com/embed/Zi_XLOBDo_Y service=youtube width=420 height=315]
7. Thriller Wasn’t The Only Hit Album In Jackson’s Catalog: Five of Michael Jackson’s solo studio albums count among the highest-selling records of all time. Thriller’s predecessor, “Off The Wall,” which was released in 1979, has sold a worldwide 20 million, which pales considerably next to “Thriller,” sitting at 110 million sold. The albums “Bad,” “Dangerous,” and “HIStory” have also sold well into millions as well.

8. Michael Jackson Is The Most-Awarded Artist Of All Time: With 23 Guinness World Records, 40 Billboard Awards, 13 Grammys, and 26 American Music Awards, Michael Jackson has won more awards than any other musical artist. Jackson has also received congressional honors for his humanitarian outreach efforts.

Watch Jackson’s “We Are the World” video here:

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9. Michael Jackson Inspired Artists Outside Of His Genre: Usher, Justin Timberlake, Chris Brown, and Justin Bieber owe a great credit to Michael Jackson and have all called him an influence. But even rockers, such as Adam Lambert, Green Day, and female superstars like Beyoncé and Madonna, have all said they’ve looked up to Jackson. Even the brash Diddy called Jackson a “hero” of his.

Watch Usher and Jackson perform here:

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10. Michael Jackson’s Death Shifted MTV’s Programming In Tribute: In the hours after his death, media giant MTV – which had largely moved from its original music video-only programming – went back to its roots and aired hours upon hours of Michael Jackson videos and footage. The in-house news team even took time away from talking usual celeb fare and focused solely on the career of Jackson. Few other stars have commanded such a response.

SEE ALSO: Happy Birthday To Jazz Legend Benny Carter!

10 Facts About Historic “Mother” Emanuel AME Church And Its Pastor Clementa Pinckney

A tragedy still unfolding has thrust “Mother” Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina into the spotlight, as well as its pastor, Rev. Clementa Pinckney. However, this historic congregation — one of the first A.M.E. congregations, has seen its share of hardship over the past two centuries, with faith and fortitude seeing it through the darkest days. Here are 10 facts you need to know about the church and its now deceased pastor, to understand Mother Emanuel’s unique place in American history:

1) In 1816 Black members of Charleston’s Methodist Episcopal Church withdrew over disputed burial grounds and under the leadership of Morris Brown, formed a circuit of 3 churches of people of color affiliated with the newly established African Methodist Episcopal Church. Emanuel’s congregation grew out of the Hampstead Church, located at Reid and Hanover Streets.

2) In 1822 the church was investigated for its involvement with a planned slave revolt. Denmark Vesey, one of the church’s founders, had organized plans for a major slave uprising in Charleston. The plot was foiled by an informant, and Vesey was hanged, along with 36 enslaved people.

3) As a result of the revolt plot, Emanuel AME Church was burned, and laws were passed in a number of southern states restricting the movement of Black people.

4) Parishioners rebuilt the church after fire and worshipped there until 1834, when South Carolina outlawed all-Black churches.

5) The congregation had to continue worshipping underground until 1865, when the church formally reorganized. It was then that the name “Emanuel” ( meaning “God is with us”) was adopted.

6) Richard Harvey Cain, who served South Carolina as a Republican representative to Congress from 1873–1875 and 1877–1879, had led Emanuel after the Civil War. During his tenure the church was “one of the strongest political organizations in the state.”

7) Today Emanuel A.M.E. is the oldest AME church in the South.

8) It houses the oldest Black congregation south of Baltimore.

9) The current church building is a Gothic Revival-style structure built in 1891.

10) The current pastor is Clementa C. Pinckney, who is a Democratic state senator in South Carolina. Born July 30, 1973 in Beaufort, S.C., he has served in the state senate since 2000, and before that he served in the state house of representatives. His wife is Jennifer Benjamin and his 2 children are named Eliana and Malana.

USA Today is reporting that Pickney is among the casualties of a mass shooting at Mother Emanuel A.M.E.

SEE ALSO: Multiple Victims In South Carolina Church Shooting, Suspect On Loose

SOURCES:

USA Today

U.S. House of Representatives: History, Art and Archives

National Park Service: Charleston Historic, Religious and Community Buildings

Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church: “Mother Emanuel” A.M.E. Church History

Gettysburg College: The Vesey Revolt

On Borrowed Ground: Free African-American life in Charleston, South Carolina 1810-61

South Carolina Statehouse

BLACK MUSIC MOMENT #9: Court Overturns 2Live Crew Obscenity Ruling

Where: (click below to visit venue on Foursquare)

Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals
56 Forsyth Street, NW, Atlanta, GA

When: 5/8/1992

What: After two years of countersuits and trials, the Eleventh Federal Circuit Court of Appeals overturned a previous ruling that 2 Live Crew’s As Nasty As They Wanna Be was obscene and sale of the album illegal. The decision was a major win for free speech in music.

In celebration of Black Music Month, TheUrbanDaily’s “It’s All Black Music” presents100 Rewarding Black Music Moments, sponsored by Southwest Airlines.

Each Black Music Moment is associated with an actual place that you can visit. During the month of June, check in to at least three of these places on Foursquare to unlock TheUrbanDaily’s exclusive “It’s All Black Music” Badge. Check out the locations and details on our Foursquare page!

An Adorable 5-Year-Old Recreated The Iconic Images Of Black Female Heroines & We Want To Adopt Her

It’s always great (and reassuring) to see young people tribute icons and legends, especially in the Black community. Similar to the Because Of Them, We Can campaign that honored Black history with contemporary women posing as historical icons, photographer Marc Bushelle is giving tribute to Black female icons and heroines by using his adorable daughter Lily as the model!

MUST READ: Why Blue Ivy Hair Haters Need To Read The Children’s Book ‘I’m A Pretty Little Black Girl’

As Bushelle told Mashable.com, “We thought that this would be a good thing to adapt to teach Black history and empower our little girl.” Definitely!

It was Bushelle’s wife Janine Harper who initiated the project when she came across Jaime Moore‘s Not Just A Girl photography set that featured Harper’s daughter Emma emulating women of great achievement like (the first woman to win the Nobel Peace Prize) Marie Curie, Coco Chanel and Susan B. Anthony.

Keeping it female-centric, Bushelle chose amazing Black women that ranged from fashion to science like Toni Morrison, (first Black female aviator) Bessie Coleman and (first Black woman to fly into space) Dr. Mae Jemison. Even the uber-glamazon Grace Jones was recognized!

The pictures are uploaded on Bushelle’s official Facebook page and official website, and every tribute photo features an informative blurb about the subject. We especially love the diversity of Black women chosen. It’ll inspire Lily to know she can be whatever she aspires to be in years to come. His latest set honors Admiral Michelle Howard, who in 2014 became “the first female four-star admiral in the U.S. Navy and the highest ranking Black woman in the military.”

Mashable noted that the Bessie Coleman picture was Janine’s favorite but Marc still can’t decide his! “They are almost like my babies and they are all special in their own way.”

Honoring our greats has been a sweeping online trend, as last month a few Black female bloggers and writers recreated iconic images of Rosa Parks, Angela Davis and Billie Holliday.

Check out the rest of the images here!

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CELEBRATE! #BlackOutDay Is The One Hashtag You Should Be Using Today…


Fed up with all the negative stereotypes about African-Americans, YouTube personality Frenchesca Ramsey joined forces with Tumblr friend T’Von to promote #BlackOutDay — a hashtag created to celebrate Black beauty and existence, according to ABC News.

The hashtag, which encourages users to share images of themselves, is now trending on Twitter.

Reports ABC News:

“We’re asking black people to share pictures, videos and GIFs of themselves to celebrate our people coming from all different walks of life,” Ramsey said. “It’s a celebration of black beauty and our individuality.

“Unfortunately, in most popular media talking about black people and our bodies, it’s mostly of us breaking the law, being killed or mistreated,” Ramsey added. “So it’s nice to combat these negative images and stereotypes with positive representations of ourselves.”

Are you participating in #BlackOutDay? Let us know in the comments.

Here are a few beautiful images so far:

SOURCE: ABC News | PHOTO CREDIT: Getty

Howard University Awesomely Adds More Black History Pages Into Wikipedia

madame cj walker

Most of us use Wikipedia whenever we need our memories refreshed or some quick information on various people and topics. So much can be discovered while you’re on there too, because one click always leads into another. However, there are still flaws and missing pages from this massive online textbook and many a Black legacy has been wrongfully absent –until now. The Wikimedia D.C. foundation, based out of Howard University, is aiming to add more Black history-themed content to Wikipedia’s pages, to highlight the other great achievements of lesser known heroes, events, and places.

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As a Black History Month project, it’s both a personal and public outpour of gratitude for the HBCU foundation. For every Thursday this month, they meet at a Howard University research center to gather a list of who and what they’ll like to add to Wikipedia, also collaborating with prominent historical institution the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in New York and the respected NPR.

Some of the notable features recently added include Myra Adele Logan, the first woman to conduct open-heart surgery, and Farish Street of Jackson, Mississippi, a National Landmark and home of thriving Black businesses in the 1970s. Logan and Farish Street were just as influential as Madame C.J. Walker and the Black Power movement, but are not as ingrained in our general cognizance. James Hare, the Wikimedia D.C. president, spoke to The New York Times, about how the initial development of Wikipedia exercised a specific outlook: “The stereotype of a Wikipedia editor is a 30-year-old white man, and so most of the articles written are about stuff that interests 30-year-old white men. So a lot of black history is left out.”

The cause of adding more stories of color (pun intended) unto Wikipedia is a commendable effort and it really speaks to the impact Wikipedia has gained as a persuasive and informative platform. It used to be a joke that if something wasn’t on Wikipedia, it really wasn’t important (basically, the original Instagram). Wikimedia D.C understands that the stepping-stones of Black history must be rightfully traced back to the people and events that tore important barriers down.

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Howard University Middle School Teachers Fired For Teaching Black History

blackmon

Three teachers at the Washington, D.C., public charter school Howard University Middle School of Math and Science were reportedly fired for teaching Black history lessons to their students that extended beyond the school’s yearly curriculum, according to NBC News 4.

SEE ALSO:  All Of The Above: What If Education Was Measured By More Than A Test?

The school, which is located on the campus of the famed Black university, has a student population of about 90 percent African American. The three instructors who allegedly went overboard in their Black history teachings gave their two-week notice last week but still received pink slips in front of their students at the new principal’s, Angelique Blackmon (pictured), command.

Ironically, Blackmon is Black.

One parent, Delrica Battle, claims there were students who witnessed the firings and were traumatized by the act telling ABC News 7, “While students are still present in the classroom? How unprofessional.  These children are crying. They said they couldn’t say goodbye. The teachers are upset, the students are upset.”

Reportedly, the teachers were escorted off the school’s premises by police officers, which made the scene even more upsetting for those who witnessed it.

Blackmon, who hails from Atlanta and was just reportedly brought on board, is apparently not very popular with many of the student’s parents who have reportedly described her as being “abrasive.” One unnamed parent said that Blackmon, who had adopted Montgomery County Public Schools’ curriculum, has reportedly banned such historical topics as Kwanzaa and lessons about the late-former D.C. Mayor Marion Barry.

The D.C. Council Education Committee are now reportedly investigating the case of the terminated middle school teachers.

Watch news coverage of the firings here: