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Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Dr. Olivia J. Hooker - Persistence in the face of ignorance

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https://blackamericaweb.com/2018/02/14/little-known-black-history-fact-olivia-j-hooker/


Yes. More firsts. I'll be glad when that monicker can be retired but I don't see it happening soon.

Olivia J. Hooker. Remember that name. She turned 102 this past Monday (Feb. 12). She was the 1st African-American to be join the United States Coast Guard after the U. S. Navy rejected her. She had signed on to the Navy but said, "Ta Ta" after rethinking the antics they'd pulled to keep her out initially.

Wow. Getting choosy about who even wants to defend this country. Just wow. Then again, the U. S. Army wasn't desegregated until Truman took office as President. And that's because the U. S. Was getting its butt kicked in both "theaters' of engagement.

But I digress.

Olivia was really dedicated because even after witnessing the horror of the burning, looting and demolition her home, and the all-Black area of Tulsa, Oklahoma known as "Black Wall Street", she STILL desired to join this land's armed forces. Would not have been me. Nope.

A graduate of Ohio State University, Columbia University and finally of U. of Rochester where she earned her Ph D. She went on to teach at Fordham and didn't retire until 7 years go!

Dr. Hooker is still active in a civilian branch of  the Coast Guard.

http://coastguard.dodlive.mil/2013/10/olivia-hooker-a-spars-story/


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all info courtesy of blackamericaweb and Coast Guard Compass

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Angela James - Badass Extraordinaire of, not just Canadian women's hockey but of, hockey. Period.




Now retired, Angela James held many titles, one being an inductee into Canada's Hockey Hall of Fame. Known for playing fierce defense, she earned another title of being the "Wayne Gretzky of Women's Hockey." She earned every national and international award possible but when it came to the 1998 Nagano Winter Olympics, the 1st time a women's hockey event had ever been featured, she was cut out due to "factors."

Factors?

What the hell are "factors?" A disease?

Anyhoo, whatever these "factors" were, her absence screwed Canada royally. The Land-o-Maples-Leaves LOST to America in the gold medal finals.

Anyhoo, James went on to win many other awards and titles and retired in 2000. She turned to coaching and opened her own women's ice hockey school.

In 2010, she became the second Black player to be inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame behind fellow Canadian, Grant Fuhr.. Lear more about Angela James below.

https://blackamericaweb.com/2018/02/08/little-known-black-history-fact-angela-james/

info courtesy: blackamericaweb.com

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Thursday, February 1, 2018

William Wells Brown - Fugitive slave, Renaissance Man, Free man





Well, it's that time again. Yep! It's BLACK HISTORY MONTH! How generous. Oh my. A whole month. The shortest, coldest one at that. It's a time when certain folks think all this stuff is made up, or plain just don't give a rat's ass about any of it.

But I digress.

So, to kick off the celebration of my skinfolk surviving over 400 years in this place (my Grandfather used to say that we were "prisoners of war." LOL.Granddad wasn't know for his subtlety.), let me start with an man who had been a slave. After escaping bondage, and through sheer power of will, William Wells Brown, not only became free but a writer and a playwright.

He settled in Boston after fleeing chattel slavery on a Missouri steamboat. He was educated by Quakers and had established a life, with a wife and kids, but still was a fugitive. With the passage of the Fugitive Slave Act, a vicious little piece of  "law" that could be enforced against runaway "property" no matter to where said "property'" had fled,  (free state be damned!), Brown sailed to Europe until some White acquaintances could buy his freedom.. While abroad he created books and plays. His best known work is Clotel. or The President's Daughter.  The plot of the narrative follows the trials and tribulations of one of good, ole boy Tommy Jefferson's daughters by one of his slaves. I do not know if was one of the daughters he had with Sally Hemings. If not, that means old TJ loved sneaking off to the slave quarters on the regular.

I any case, Brown lived a full life in Europe and came back to the States in 1854 a free man. He taught and studied and even became a physician too. Talk about a Renaissance Man.

Read more about William Wells Brown at:

https://blackamericaweb.com/2018/01/30/little-known-black-history-fact-william-wells-brown/




Also this day in 1902, poet Langston Hughes was born.