Black History is 365!

(Image by Greg Montani from Pixabay)

“He who is not courageous enough to take risks will accomplish nothing in life”.

(Muhammad Ali)

Another Black History month has come and gone. 

What did you do to commemorate the great things you learned during past Black History months?  How did your community or work organization celebrate the one month out of the year set aside to highlight Black History?

Yes, I am happy we get a month to showcase the great things black people have done and celebrate things we are currently doing.  This year just seems a bit subdued—it could be because of COVID-19 but it seems the month flew by and not much was celebrated.  I saw a few spots on TV discussing Black History month and the importance of remembering the past but nothing really jumped out at me as a highlight.  I hope the country did not go into a shell because of the insurrection that occurred on January 6, 2021.  Just a thought!

My Black History month moment came as a complete surprise to me.  I saw an Instagram story from my niece Jayla that read:  So sad, none of this is taught in school.

Look at the list below and tell me how many of these things you knew were invented by a black person:

Product

Inventor

Date

Air Conditioning Unit

Frederick M. Jones

1949

Almanac

Benjamin Banneker

1791

Auto Cut off switch

Granville T. Woods

1839

Auto Fishing Device

George Cook

1899

Baby Buggy

William H. Richardson

1889

Biscuit Cutter

Alexander P. Ashbourne

1875

Blood Plasma Bag

Charles Drew

1945

Clothes Dryer

George T. Sampson

1971

Curtain Rod Support

William S. Grant

1896

Door Knob

Osbourn Dorsey

1878

Door Stop

Osbourn Dorsey

1878

Elevator

Alexander Miles

1867

Fire Escape Ladder

Joseph W. Winters

1878

Fire Extinguisher

Thomas Marshall

1872

Folding Chair

Nathaniel Alexander

1911

Gas Mask

Garrett Morgan

1914

Golf Tee

George T. Grant

1899

Ice Cream Scoop

Alfred L. Cralle

1897

Ironing Board

Sarah Boone

1887

Lantern

Michael C. Harvey

1884

Mail Box

Paul L. Downing

1891

Peanut Butter

George W. Carver

1896

Pencil Sharpener

John L. Love

1897

Spark Plug

Edmond Berger

1839

Stethoscope

Thomas A. Carrington

1876

Straightening Comb

Madam C. J. Walker

1905

Street Sweeper

Charles B. Brooks

1890

Thermostat Control

Frederick M. Jones

1960

Traffic Light

Garrett Morgan

1923

Tricycle

Matthew A. Cherry

1886

I pride myself in knowing history but could only match three inventions to inventors:

  • Traffic light (Garret Morgan)
  • Straightening comb (Madame C. J. Walker)
  • Peanut butter (George Washington Carver)

Everything else on this list was brand new to me.  How can this be?  We are taught a modified version of history in school.  It is completely one sided and it appears we are supposed to learn as much as possible in February so we can get back to the regularly scheduled history program.  Imagine growing up in a country that shares tidbits of your history—how would you feel when you finally discover great things were being kept from you?

I waited for February to end before diving into Black History to extend the conversation.  Yes, I am happy to have a month dedicated to my history but as you can see from the list above, we need more time.  How can someone invent the elevator in 1867 and we have no knowledge of this fact?  I apologize, maybe it is just me with no knowledge of this fact, but my point is this was a MAJOR invention, but we do not pay homage to Alexander Miles.  Truth be told, I never heard his name before.  How is that possible?  Thanks to Sarah Boone I can iron my clothes daily, so I have a pressed look at work.  Imagine how we would look if she did not invent the ironing board?  How would the mailman deliver your mail without Paul L. Downing?  I am sure most people in the world still use some version of the mailbox.

So, Black History Month is over, but your lessons do not have to stop.  I encourage you to continue to seek out Black History and share with others.  We all have a lot to learn—let’s get to it! 😊

What did you learn during Black History month?  How do you plan to keep the conversation going?  Thanks!

“If you know whence you came, there is really no limit to where you can go”.(James Baldwin)

Poetic Fridays

(Image by Peggy und Marco Lachmann-Anke from Pixabay)

 

The Revolution is being televised

The Revolution is being televised

America can no longer hide behind the lies

We see the injustices daily

The same ones that leave us flailing

Just like we had when we sang ‘We shall overcome’

How long does the revolution need to go on?

Before the injustices of this land come to an end

Lucky for us the cameras have begun to roll

Because without the footage nobody would believe the carnage

That occurs daily and causes fear

That continues to show on the nightly news

Even though the perpetrators know they are recorded

The Revolution is being televised

But, does it matter?

Black Lives Matter Role Call

justice-2755765_1920

(Image by CQF-avocat from Pixabay)

Usually when people are sad, they don’t do anything.   They just cry over their condition.  But when they get angry, they bring about a change.”

(Malcolm X.)

Guess it is time to get angry again.  Day after day we read of another black person being killed in America for no reason other than being black.  Terribly sad to keep writing this same line month after month after month.  We cannot go a month without another instance of police killing or shooting someone black simply because they are black.

American politicians condemn OTHER countries for violating the human rights of their citizens but have nothing to say when black people are brutalized in America.  The Supreme Leader of North Korea, Kim Jong-un receives the wrath of the American political system when he imprisons his citizens for no cause but police killing a black person in America gets nothing.  Weird world, huh?

Chinese troops storm Tiananmen Square in 1989 and killed over 300 Chinese citizens and three weeks later the U.S. CONGRESS votes to impose economic sanctions on the Peoples Republic of China.  The Chinese government brutalized Chinese citizens and the U.S. government was so appalled that we imposed sanctions and condemned the Chinese government.  Police killing black people in America gets nothing.

Jamal Khashoggi, a Saudi citizen is attacked, beaten, killed, and dismembered by officials of the Saudi Arabian government at the consulate in Turkey.  Multiple senators and congress members swiftly condemned this act and DEMANDED the Saudi government do something.  Black man gets shot in the back SEVEN times in Wisconsin gets nothing.

Citizens of Hong Kong protest for human rights against the Chinese government and the United States government passes the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act on 27 November 2019.  https://www.congress.gov/bill/116th-congress/senate-bill/1838/text.  Americans march daily for police reform, human rights, equal treatment and to stop the senseless killing of black people—no Human Rights and Democracy Act for the death of black Americans.  Would say that is a double standard but it is more joke than anything else.

Marching, praying, and voting have not ignited the change needed in America.  Maybe Malcolm X. was right all the time—we need our day in court at the United Nations to put America on trial for neglect of citizens.  The daily videos of black people being beaten, brutalized, and killed would present an open and shut case in a court of law.

My court argument would be:

  • How do you defend a cop’s knee on a black man’s neck (George Floyd) for 8 minutes and 46 seconds?
  • How do you defend Louisville cops with a no knock warrant shooting a black women (Breonna Taylor) who was in the BED?
  • How do you defend three Georgia overzealous citizens who run down, trap and then kill a black man (Ahmaud Arbery) out for a jog?
  • How do you defend a Kenosha, Wisconsin police officer who shot a black man (Jacob Blake) 7 times in the BACK in front of his kids?
  • How do you plead America?

Verdict:  guilty, guilty, guilty, guilty. 

The defense rests, being black in America is an exhausting experience.

Please vote—thank you!

 “We declare our right on this earth to be a man, to be a human being, to be respected as a human being, to be given the rights of a human being in this society, on this earth, in this day, which we intend to bring into existence by any means necessary”.

(Malcolm X.)