Actor Morgan Freeman reportedly said “Black history is American history” therefore the accomplishment of African-Americans should not be relegated to any one month.
But in 1926, historian Carter G. Woodson thought differently. He envisioned a period of the calendar year to acknowledge the milestone achievements of Blacks in America. He decided that the second week of February would appropriately date “Negro History Week.” This time-frame was chosen because it coincided with the birthday of Abraham Lincoln on Feb. 12 and of Frederick Douglas on Feb. 14, both of which Black communities had celebrated together since the late 19th century.
“If a race has no history, it has no worthwhile tradition, it becomes a negligible factor in the thought of the world, and it stands in danger of being exterminated,” Woodson said.
The expansion of Black History Week to Black History Month was later proposed by the leaders of a Black United Students organization at Kent State University in Feb. 1969. The first celebration of the Black History Month took place at Kent State one year later, in Feb. 1970.
Six years later as part of the bicentennial of the USA, the informal expansion of Negro History Week to Black History Month was officially recognized by the U.S. government.
The United Kingdom adopted a BHM in 1987with October the period of celebration.
In 1995, Canada officially recognized February as Black History Month by honoring Black Canadians. By 2008 the country north of the USA unanimously approved the annual declaration.
Here are a few BHM Highlights:
Marathon “Psalms of Bob Marley” Programs Birthday Tribute To Jamaican Legend
Radio personality Habte Selassie will delve into the archives of WBAI-FM and that of his own in order to treat his listeners to reggae scriptures worthy of a tribute to the 72nd birthday anniversary of reggae icon Robert Nesta Marley.
During his “Labbrish” aired on the community radio station at 99.5 FM, the long-serving music archivist who for decades has been hosting the Saturday morning music / talk program will unleash a slew of recordings to highlight the legacy of “the Trench Town genius” who revolutionized Jamaica’s home-grown music and in the process endeared millions to tune into his lyrical message.
Named by the lexicon from the Jamaican patois definition for gossip, labbrish typifies talk, dialogue and conversation the calculated personality regularly encourages while promoting a philosophy of optimism and positive thinking.
“We look to the future calmly, collectively and courageously” he often tells listeners accustomed to his topical program relating to health, politics, soccer, music and a myriad of current affairs.
According to Selassie, the collaborative program slated to air Feb. 4 with musicologists known as Midnight Ravers is slated to begin two days before the actual birth date of the legendary Rastafarian who had he lived would have been 72 years old.
Marley died May 11, 1981 in Miami at age 36.
Undoubtedly, Selassie will introduce scholars and associates of the legend as well as open the phone lines to fans who may want to pay tribute to the iconic reggae superstar.
Selassie is no stranger to marathon broadcasts, since helming the specialized program decades ago he has hosted tributes to Jimmy Hendrix and Peter Tosh, broadcasted live remote concerts featuring Steel Pulse, a British reggae band and regularly positioned himself in Brooklyn on Labor Day to relay the pageantry and politics of the West Indian American Day Carnival Association’s parade along Eastern Parkway.
Lady Liberty Coins $100 Solid Gold Currency of Black Female
The US Mint has unveiled a commemorative $100 gold coin that features an image of Lady Liberty as a Black woman.
The 24-karat gold coin marks the Mint’s 225th anniversary coinage by the Department of the Treasury and the very first time a Black woman has been minted on US currency.
The 2017 American Liberty 225th Anniversary Gold Coin shows the woman’s head in profile with a crown of stars. It also features the year of the mint’s founding, 1792, as well as 2017.
It is the first in a series of gold coins featuring Lady Liberty, which has been used on American coinage since the late 1790s.
That an ethnic woman has been emblazoned on a gold coin is historic, Mint Principal Deputy Director Rhett Jeppson said in a statement.
“We boldly look to the future by casting Liberty in a new light… looking forward to ever brighter chapters in our nation’s history book.”
The goal of minting the coin is to reflect the “the cultural and ethnic diversity of the United States,” Jeppson added.
It is the first in a series of 24-karat gold coins that will also depict Liberty in designs representing Asian-Americans, Hispanic-Americans and Indian-Americans.
Jamaican Woman Markets Patois-Speaking Doll
A Jamaican teacher has expanded education from the classroom to the world market by introducing a Jamaican patois-speaking doll.
Saffron Jackson created a line she named Zuree Dolls with the first she developed called Toya that “labbrish” in the vernacular of the island.
Squeeze her torso and Toya asks: “Wah gwaan?”
“Me name Toya, and me a wah Zuree Doll from the beautiful island of Jamaica.”
Jackson launched it online the week of Nov. 30.
The strategic marketing debut before the holiday shopping season reaped a windfall that surpassed her goal of selling 400 dolls to fellow nationals.
A single order from Miami, Florida requested 50 toys.
“People love that it speaks Jamaican,” Jackson said.
“I’ve been getting sales from Australia, Estonia, Amsterdam, Germany, and all these places, which shows there is a massive demand for our culture.”
Available in a variety of skin tones and hair textures, the Zuree collection is as diverse as the people on the island.
The name Zuree is Swahili, and translates to interpret beautiful.
“The idea behind this is to show little girls that regardless of their skin tone or hair texture, they’re indeed beautiful,” Jackson said.
The Toya doll is the first in a line of Zuree items celebrating the island’s culture and come with a pink canvas travel bag.
Along with a clothing line for Toya, Jackson said a Zuree Girls book series is already available.
A talking Rasta bear will be released next month. – Women’s History Month.
Catch You On The Inside!