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hiphopastronaut:

"I became one of the human guinea pigs who rode high-speed rocket sleds," Alton Yates

hiphopastronaut:

"I became one of the human guinea pigs who rode high-speed rocket sleds," Alton Yates

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crackerydaiquiri:

I highly recommend watching this, if you haven’t already:

"Windrush is a four-part series of one-hour television documentaries originally broadcast on BBC2 in 1998 to mark the 50th anniversary of the arrival in Britain of the MV Empire Windrush, the ship that brought the first significant wave of post-war West Indian migrants.”

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"I had decided I would not go anywhere with a piece of paper in my hand asking white folks for any favors."

— Rosa Parks

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I don’t want anybody to give me love, just give me my constitutional rights. - Lillie Mae Carroll Jackson

We do not beg for civil rights as crumbs from the table of democracy. We insist on our right to sit at the table. - Juanita Jackson Mitchell

I don’t want anybody to give me love, just give me my constitutional rights. - Lillie Mae Carroll Jackson

We do not beg for civil rights as crumbs from the table of democracy. We insist on our right to sit at the table. - Juanita Jackson Mitchell

Photoset

"The Greatest Two Minutes in Sports"

The 140th Kentucky Derby takes place today. 

Some fans of the Kentucky Derby know that African American jockeys were quite successful in the early days of the race. But very few know that the trainer of the first winner Aristides in 1875 was former slave Ansel Williamson.

Aristides was ridden by jockey Oliver Lewis, also an African-American. In fact, African-Americans dominated horse racing, America’s longest, continuous sporting event. 

Once upon a time the Kentucky Derby was a Black thang. African-Americans once dominated the horse racing game so thoroughly between the Civil War and the turn of the 20th century that when the first Kentucky Derby was run in 1875 thirteen of the fifteen jockeys at the starting line were African-American. The dominance of the sport also extended to and included African-American horse owners, trainers, exercise riders and stable hands.

The next two Derby winning trainers — James Williams and Ed Brown — were also black. Black athletes dominated horse racing for the next three decades, winning 15 of the first 28 Derbies.

Sooooooooo, what happened? Whites resented the jockeys, who were bringing in big salaries, and also couldn’t deal with the fact that Blacks were dominating what was, in the nineteenth century, America’s national pastime. 

Klan intimidation, collusion to deny Black jockeys and trainers work and access to US tracks were factors as well. In addition the mass migration of African-Americans from the farms of the South to northern cities combined to ethnically cleanse horse racing of its African-American presence by the turn of the early 20th century. 

Black jockeys also faced intimidation from white jockeys. The racing establishment never banned African-American jockeys but they turned a decided blind-eye to racism. What are the results? An African-American hasn’t won the Kentucky Derby in over a century. 

Today, jockeys and trainers from Latin America dominate the sport. 

The top 10 jockeys, based on earnings by the horses they rode (mounts) in the United States in 2010, include the following Latinos: Ramón A. Domínguez (1,474 starts, $16,911,880); John R. Velázquez (1,192 starts, $16,743,328 horses’ earnings); Joel Rosario (1,335 starts, $15,897,538); Rafael Bejarano (1,292 starts, $14,225,120); Javier Castellano (1,243 starts, $13,037,706); Martín García (933 starts, $10,151,584); José Lezcano (1,054 starts, $9,277,682).

Of course, owners take 60% of the earnings from winnings. And most owners are still rich white men. 

The owners of the horses are more often otherwise anonymous extraordinarily rich Southerners than they are urbane self-made millionaires. They have money because their fathers had money and he had money because his father had money and so on until you think there might be a father who owned somebody else’s father. They are the unknown rich, without whom, there is no horse racing. Yet, they are almost never the featured player in the media’s coverage of the event.

(The Montreal Review, Fox News Latino, Trans Griot, ESPN)

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"It seems hardly a gracious thing to say, but it strikes me as true, while our men seem thoroughly abreast of the times on almost every other subject, when they strike the woman question they drop back into sixteenth century logic."

Anna Julia Cooper  in The Higher Education of Women (1890-1891)

When you identify with your ancestors sooo strongly that it’s a damn shame.

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"African American romance and marriage within the context of the institution of slavery could be the most challenging and devastating of slave experiences. From the initiation of a romance, black men and women had to confront and compromise with their masters about control of their intimate lives, aware that their owner typically had the final say about if and when they could marry, and even who. Even after a slave’s marriage, his or her master still commonly decided when slave husbands and wives could see each other, if and when they could live or work together, the fate of their children, and sometimes even the number of children they had.

Slaves nonetheless had their own way of doing things, refusing to concede too much, sometimes refusing to concede at all. If the slave master’s interference in the slave’s personal life was interminable, so too was the slave’s resistance to this kind of intervention. Like their owners, slave attitudes and decisions about courtship and marriage were shaped by gender convention and community concerns, but not necessarily the same conventions or concerns. The matrifocality of many slave families, for example, meant that the realities of slave manhood and womanhood differed substantially within the context of family life from those whose familial experiences were nuclear and patriarchal. Likewise, extended families and slave communities were important, not just because they monitored slave behavior and maintained slave values, thereby protecting the integrity of the community. Members of slave communities also actually played substantial physical, material, and emotional roles in the lives of slaves. To a large extent, they were the slave’s family. The presence of meaningful kinship ties embodied in the extended family or community, therefore, allowed slaves to take on a variety of marital arrangements and familial structures. One’s master might have had the final authority, but there also were other slaves and slave institutions that exerted influence, perhaps more influence than masters realized. Within the broad contours of slave life that masters insisted on designing, slaves found spaces of their own, choosing what lines to and not to cross as they constructed their own domestic terrain."

"Slave Marriage and Family Relations" in Life in Black and White: Family and Community in the Slave South (pdf)

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Margaret “Mag” Palm, Conductor on the Underground Railroad
(In the photo, Palm is demonstrating how slave catchers who attempted to kidnap her tied her hands.)
Mag Palm lived on the outskirts of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania in a shack. To earn a living, she scrubbed floors and beat rugs for wealthy white families. Despite her poverty, she helped fugitives slaves find freedom on the Underground Railroad.

In the black community she was better know as “Maggie Bluecoat” for the sky-blue uniform coat of an officer of the War of 1812 that she wore when she served as a conductor on the Underground Railroad. Mag was so notorious for helping slaves escape that on several occasions slave-owners from Maryland attempted to kidnap her and sell her into slavery to put an end to her practices. David Schick, whose father was Palm’s employer, recounted one of these episodes:

She lived up Long Lane, back of the old fair grounds. On this occasion she was attacked by a group of men who made the attempt to kidnap her and take her south where they expected to sell her and derive quite a profit. She was a powerful woman, and they would have, from the sale, derived quite a profit. These men succeeded in tying Mag’s hands; She was fighting them as best as she could with her hands tied. She would attempt to slow them and succeeded in one instance in catching [an attackers] thumb in her mouth and bit the thumb off. John Karseen, who was crippled and ran a novelty shop on Baltimore Street, happened along at just the right time and by using his crutch was able to assist Mag in her fight with these kidnappers and drove them off and freed her from her bonds.


Palm carried a gun to protect herself and her passengers. When an abductor appeared one day, SHE WENT AFTER HIM saying “if she could have found him she would have shot him.”
(via The Effect Of The Confederate Invasion of Pennsylvania on Gettysburg’s African-American Community & The Colors of Courage: Gettysburg’s Forgotten History: Immigrants, Women, and African Americans in the Civil War’s Defining Battle)

Margaret “Mag” Palm, Conductor on the Underground Railroad

(In the photo, Palm is demonstrating how slave catchers who attempted to kidnap her tied her hands.)

Mag Palm lived on the outskirts of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania in a shack. To earn a living, she scrubbed floors and beat rugs for wealthy white families. Despite her poverty, she helped fugitives slaves find freedom on the Underground Railroad.

In the black community she was better know as “Maggie Bluecoat” for the sky-blue uniform coat of an officer of the War of 1812 that she wore when she served as a conductor on the Underground Railroad. Mag was so notorious for helping slaves escape that on several occasions slave-owners from Maryland attempted to kidnap her and sell her into slavery to put an end to her practices. David Schick, whose father was Palm’s employer, recounted one of these episodes:

She lived up Long Lane, back of the old fair grounds. On this occasion she was attacked by a group of men who made the attempt to kidnap her and take her south where they expected to sell her and derive quite a profit. She was a powerful woman, and they would have, from the sale, derived quite a profit. These men succeeded in tying Mag’s hands; She was fighting them as best as she could with her hands tied. She would attempt to slow them and succeeded in one instance in catching [an attackers] thumb in her mouth and bit the thumb off. John Karseen, who was crippled and ran a novelty shop on Baltimore Street, happened along at just the right time and by using his crutch was able to assist Mag in her fight with these kidnappers and drove them off and freed her from her bonds.

Palm carried a gun to protect herself and her passengers. When an abductor appeared one day, SHE WENT AFTER HIM saying “if she could have found him she would have shot him.”

(via The Effect Of The Confederate Invasion of Pennsylvania on Gettysburg’s African-American Community & The Colors of CourageGettysburg’s Forgotten History: Immigrants, Women, and African Americans in the Civil War’s Defining Battle)

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The films are:

Daisy Bates was a complex, unconventional, and largely forgotten heroine of the civil rights movement who led the charge to desegregate the all-white Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas in 1957.

Baffled by his dad’s reluctance to change his traditional soul food diet in the face of a health crisis, filmmaker Byron Hurt sets out to learn more about this rich culinary tradition and it’s relevance to black cultural identity. He discovers that the love affair that his dad and his community have with soul food is deep-rooted, complex, and in some tragic cases, deadly.

Take an in-depth look at masculinity in rap music and hip-hop culture — where creative genius, poetic beauty, and mad beats collide with misogyny, violence, and homophobia. The film includes interviews with famous rappers like Mos Def, Fat Joe, Chuck D, Jadakiss, and hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons, as well as commentary from Michael Eric Dyson, Beverly Guy-Sheftall, Kevin Powell, and Sarah Jones.

Filmmaker Shukree Hassan Tilghman sets off on a cross-country campaign to end Black History Month. His thoughtful, humorous journey explores the complexity and contradictions of relegating an entire group’s history to one month in a so-called ‘post-racial’ America.

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