How Marsha Johnson inspired the Stonewall Riots of 1969 which led to the first Gay Pride March

Some heterosexuals feel they are being gagged against speaking and writing unflattering things about gays. They assert the sledge hammer is unleashed to kill the proverbial fly leading to job losses and for some lucrative deals. It is not to say homophobic comments should be entertained. However, it underlines the power that gays and related people now enjoy. It wasn’t always so though. An incident is often cited as altering the oppressive condition gays, lesbians, bisexuals, trans and intersex people found themselves. More about this The Stonewall Riots of 1969…

Read More

‘The Birth of a Nation’; the 1915 film screened at the White House depicting blacks as savages

D.W. Griffith’s 1915 film, The Birth of a Nation is considered as the birth of the American film industry. The film’s effect on the film medium and culture was so immense that that the repercussions are still felt in the lives of people of African stock. The film stands out on many fronts technically. It contained the first scene shot at night with phosphorous light. It was through this film that new developments in editing and camera movement were executed. But culturally, it proved disastrous for people of color such…

Read More

Beating the odds, Elbert F. Cox became the first black man to earn a Ph.D. in mathematics in 1925

Becoming the first black man in history to receive a doctorate in mathematics and the first African American to do so was an extraordinary feat for Elbert Frank Cox, considering the times. In 1925, the year he earned his Ph.D. in mathematics from Cornell University, only 28 doctoral degrees had been awarded in mathematics in the U.S. Records also pointed out that up until that year, only about 50 African Americans had received doctorates of any kind. More about this By becoming the second black student at the time to…

Read More

Dion ‘Crazy’ Diamond, the ‘jail guest’ who protested segregation through private sit-ins from age 15

During the 1960s, a black teenager took it upon himself to protest for equal rights for African Americans. Dion Diamond is a civil rights activist, who started protesting segregation and holding private sit-ins right from the age of 15. Born on July 2, 1941, Diamond who grew up in Petersburg, Va. in the 1950s said he grew tired of looking at the “whites only” signs. That’s when he began what he calls “his own private sit-ins” at lunch counters and running out the back door whenever the police came. More…

Read More

Sonny Jones; Beaumont’s first Black bus driver decades after the 1943 riots

When the Beaumont Riot of 1943 was contained after hours of ransacking black homes and businesses on the flimsy claim of a black man raping a white, the society was even more polarized. Given that destruction was caused to 200 Black businesses and 100 homes, emotions were raw but time does heal and so in 1973, a black man became Beaumont’s first black bus driver. It wasn’t all perfume and smiles as his fellow white bus drivers wanted nothing to do with him as did the whites who used the…

Read More

Remembering Wilma Rudolph, first African American to win 3 gold medals in track and field

We cannot think of being acceptable to others until we have first proven acceptable to ourselves – Malcolm X Wilma Rudolph was an American sprinter and the first American woman to win three gold medals in track and field at a single Olympics. Born on June 23, 1940, in St. Bethlehem, Tennessee, Rudolph was the 20th of 22 children across her father’s two marriages. More about this A sickly child, Rudolph was hit by double pneumonia, scarlet fever and polio as a child, as a result, she could not walk…

Read More

Four philosophical ideas ancient Greek philosophers ‘borrowed’ from the Egyptians

Knowledge, on its own merit, is better considered the property of all humanity. This may seem like a lofty idea but since cultures learn from each other all the time, it would be counterproductive to insist on withholding information that is universally utilizable. Of course, many aspects of the modern world prohibit a free exchange of ideas and information. Patenting comes to mind. More about this For much of human history, however, the opening paragraph rang true. It is in this vein that we can look at what the earliest…

Read More

Black Battalion, the men who offered to serve Canada in uniform but denied opportunity to fight

While Blacks in America had it and continue to have it tough, the tale is no different in neighboring Canada. When the First World War broke in 1914, black Nova Scotians who were willing and able to serve for Canada in the war were told it was a white man’s war and largely turned away. Despite that, two years later, 600 black men formed a segregated unit known as the No. 2 Construction Battalion. The Black Battalion, as the unit was also called, sailed to England in March 1917 and…

Read More