Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Jackie Ormes - Cartoonist

Jackie Ormes at the drawing board
Jackie Ormes was born Zelda Mavin Jackson in Monongahela, Pennsylvania. Ormes started in journalism as a proofreader for the Pittsburgh Courier, a weekly African American newspaper that came out every Saturday. Her 1937-38 Courier comic strip, Torchy Brown in Dixie to Harlem, starring Torchy Brown, was a humorous depiction of a Mississippi teen who found fame and fortune singing and dancing in the Cotton Club.
In the United States at mid-century, in an era when there were few opportunities for women in general and even fewer for African American women, Jackie Ormes blazed a trail as a popular artist with the major black newspapers of the day.

    Nancy Goldstein discusses her biography Jackie Ormes: 
The First African American Woman Cartoonist.

Jackie Ormes chronicles the life of this multiply talented, fascinating woman who became a successful commercial artist and cartoonist. Ormes's cartoon characters (including Torchy Brown, Candy, and Patty-Jo 'n' Ginger) delighted readers of newspapers such as the Pittsburgh Courier and Chicago Defender, and spawned other products, including fashionable paper dolls in the Sunday papers and a black doll with her own extensive and stylish wardrobe. Ormes was a member of Chicago's Black elite in the postwar era, and her social circle included the leading political figures and entertainers of the day. Her politics, which fell decidedly to the left and were apparent to even a casual reader of her cartoons and comic strips, eventually led to her investigation by the FBI.

African American Stories of the Past

Destination Freedom
Stories of noteworthy Black Americans.
Old Time Radio Series in the Public Domain


This landmark Chicago-based 1948-51 series was one of radio's first to profile African American history with the cooperation of The Chicago Defender. Cast includes Arthur Peterson, Fred Pinkard, Horace Games, Janice Kingslow, Jonathan Hole, Louise Pruitt, Maurice Copeland, Oscar Brown Jr., Stuart Sklam, Greg Pascal (singer) and announcers Hugh Downs and Charles Mountain. Music by Bobby Christian and Elwyn Owen.

It's perfect as a teaching tool for youngsters.
These are very well produced episodes. Each production runs about 30 minutes. The audio quality is very good. They may be downloaded  and shared as part of a lesson or mixtape or just for addition to your iPod. I found the review by Assam (below) helpful.

Search the Internet Archive for many more obscure audio, video and text files on many topics.

Reviewer: Assam - 4.00 out of 5 stars4.00 out of 5 stars4.00 out of 5 stars4.00 out of 5 stars - November 30, 2010
Subject: History of the Negro people of the USA
A series of very high quality sketches and dramatised biographies of noteworthy black americans, with an emphasis on civil rights, Jim Crow-busting, and in freedom in general.

To aid searches, here is a list of the subjects of each piece where it is not otherwise obvious.

The Knock-Kneed Man {Crispus Attucks}
Railway to Freedom {Harriet Tubman}
Dark Explorers {Moors in New Spain}
The Making of a Man {Frederick Douglass}
The Key to Freedom {Frederick Douglass}
The Heart of George Cotton {Drs Daniel Wms & Ulysses Grant Daly}
Arctic Autograph {Matthew Hansen}
The Story of 1875 {Charles Caldwell}
Poet in Pine Mill {George Weldon Johnson}
Shakespeare of {Harlem Langston}
Citizen {Toussaint l'Ouverture}
Little David {Joe Louis}
The Boy Who Was Traded for a Horse {George Washington Carver}
Echoes of Harlem {Duke Ellington}
The Rhyme of the Ancient Dodger {Jackie Robinson}
Peace Mediator {Ralph J Fudge}
Black Boy {Richard Wright}
Help the Blind {Josh White}
The Ballad of {Satchel Paige}
The Saga of Melody Jackson {Henry Armstrong}
Anatomy of an Ordinance {Rev Archibald Kerry}
Negro Cinderella {Lena Horne}
Ghost Editor {Roscoe Dungee}
Norfolk Miracle {Dorothy Mayner}
The Trumpet Talks {Louis Armstrong}
The Long Road {Mary Church Tarot}
Black Hamlet {Henri Christophe}
Father to Son {William Clayton Powell}
Of Blood and the Boogie {Albert Hammond}
The Man Who Owned Chicago {Jean-Baptiste du Saint}
The Birth of a League {Northern Migration}
Premonition of the Panther {Sugar Ray Robinson}
The Liberators {William Lloyd Garrison & Wendell Phillips}
The Shy Boy {Fats Waller}
Kansas City Phone Call {Nat King Cole}
Last Letter Home {33nd Fighter Group}

Monday, March 4, 2013

The Color of Justice (1970)

  The Color of Justice - Department of Justice.  This moving image examines race, the Constitution, and desegregation over time. The film uses the March 3, 1970 incident at Lamar High School in Lamar, South Carolina, where a group of white parents rioted against desegregation, as a backdrop for the discussion.

National Archives and Records Administration - ARC Identifier 567612 / Local Identifier 129-BOP-12

This movie is part of the collection: FedFlix

Producer: National Archives and Records Administration

Language: English
Creative Commons license: CC0 1.0 Universal

Well. 43 years and a day later how much has changed?

Miriam Makeba born 4 March 1932

Mama Africa

Miriam Makeba (4 March 1932 – 9 November 2008), nicknamed Mama Africa, was a Grammy Award-winning South African singer and civil rights activist.
In the 1960s she was the first artist from Africa to popularize African music in the U.S. and around the world. She is best known for the song "Pata Pata", first recorded in 1957 and released in the U.S. in 1967. She recorded and toured with many popular artists, such as Harry BelafontePaul Simon, and her former husband Hugh Masekela.
She actively campaigned against the South African system of apartheid. As a result, she discovered that her South African passport had been revoked in 1960 and the South African government revoked her citizenship and right of return in 1963. As the apartheid system crumbled she returned home for the first time in 1990.
Makeba died of a heart attack on 9 November 2008 after performing in a concert in Italy organized to support writer Roberto Saviano in his stand against the Camorra, a mafia-like organisation local to the region of Campania.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Amanishakheto: Warrior Queen of Nubia

From Wikipedia,
Kushite Queen of Meroe

Bracelet from the tomb of Amanishakheto in Nubia.
Full name Amanishakheto
Buried Meroe (Beg. N 6)
Predecessor Amanirenas
Successor Amanitore
Amanishakheto was a Kandake of Nubia. She seems to have reigned from 10 BC to 1 AD, although most dates of Nubian history before the Middle Ages are very uncertain.
In Meroitic hieroglyphs her name is written as Amanikasheto (Mniskhte or (Am)niskhete). In Meroitic cursive she is referred to as Amaniskheto qor kd(ke) which means Amanishakheto, Qore and Kandake ("Ruler and Queen").[1]

The Meroe pyramids, 6 is highlighted.
Amanishakheto is known from several monuments. She is mentioned in the Amun-temple of Kawa, on a stela from Meroe, and in inscriptions of a palace building found at Wad ban Naqa, from a stela found at Qasr Ibrim, another stela from Naqa and her pyramid at Meroe (Beg. no. N6).[1]
Amanishakheto is best known from a treasure of jewellery recovered in 1834 from her pyramid in Meroe by Italian explorer Giuseppe Ferlini. These pieces are now in the Egyptian Museum of Berlin and in the Egyptian Museum of Munich.
She is known for having defeated a Roman army sent by Augustus to conquer Nubia, having broken a favourable peace treaty.

Kandake or Kentake, also Candace, was the title for queens and queen mothers of the ancient African Kingdom of Kush, also known as Nubia and Ethiopia.
In the New Testament of the Christian Biblea treasury official of "Candace, queen of the Ethiopians" returning from a trip to Jerusalem was baptised by Philip the Evangelist:
Then the Angel of the Lord said to Philip, Start out and go south to the road that leads down from Jerusalem to Gaza, which is desert. And he arose and went: And behold, a man of Ethiopia, an Eunuch of great authority under Candace, Queen of Ethiopians, who had the charge of all her treasure, and had come to Jerusalem to worship.[1]
The name Candace and its variants derive from the title Kandake.

Warrior queens?

A legend in the Alexander Romance claims that Candace of Meroë fought Alexander the Great.[2] In fact, Alexander never attacked Nubia, and never attempted to move further south than the oasis of Siwa in Egypt.[3][4]
In 25 BC the kandake Amanirenas, as reported by Strabo, attacked the city of Syene, today's Aswan, in territory of the Roman Empire; Emperor Augustus destroyed the city of Napata in retaliation.[5][6]
Most scholars would dismiss the accounts of HerodotusStrabo, and Diodorus as compelling evidence to support the existence of women warriors in Africa, although all three ancient writers have proved accurate in the great majority of their testable observations about life in the centuries before Christ. As time proceeds, the evidence supporting the presence of a tradition of African women warriors grows in its persuasiveness.[citation needed] An impressive series of Nubian warrior queens, queen regents, and queen mothers, known as kentakes (Greek: Candace "Candake"), are only appearing to the light of history through the ongoing deciphering of the Meroitic script. They controlled what is now Sudan,Ethiopia, and parts of Egypt.
Bas-reliefs dated to about 170 B.C. reveal kentakes Shanakdakheto, dressed in armor and wielding a spear in battle. She did not rule as queen regent or queen mother but as a fully independent ruler. Her husband was her consort. In bas-reliefs found in the ruins of building projects she commissioned, Shanakdakheto is portrayed both alone as well as with her husband and son, who would inherit the throne by her death. The following African queens were known to the Greco-Roman world as the "Candaces": Amanishakhete, Amanitore, Amanirenas, Nawidemak, and Malegereabar.

[edit]Kandakes of Kush

James Baldwin's Impressions of 20th Century America.

James Baldwin here gives a candid talk on his impression of blackness ( being black) in America, from the perspective of someone who was raised in Harlem in the early 20th century by parents who came from the rural south.

Chinua Achebe - Nigerian novelist, poet, professor, and critic.

Chinua Achebe

Chinua Achebe (2008)
BornAlbert Chinụalụmọgụ Achebe
16 November 1930 (age 82)
OgidiNigeria Protectorate
OccupationDavid and Marianna Fisher University Professor and professor of Africana studiesBrown University
Notable work(s)"The African Trilogy": Things Fall ApartNo Longer at EaseArrow of GodA Man of the People andAnthills of the Savannah

Chinua Achebe (born 16 November 1930 as Albert Chínụ̀álụmọ̀gụ̀ Àchèbé) (pron.: /ˈɪnwɑː əˈɛb/)[1] is a Nigerian[2] novelistpoetprofessor, and critic. He is best known for his first novel and magnum opus,[3] Things Fall Apart (1958), which is the most widely read book in modern African literature.[4]
Raised by his parents in the Igbo town of Ogidi in southeastern Nigeria, Achebe excelled at school and won a scholarship for undergraduate studies. He became fascinated with world religions and traditional African cultures, and began writing stories as a university student. After graduation, he worked for the Nigerian Broadcasting Service (NBS) and soon moved to the metropolis of Lagos. He gained worldwide attention for Things Fall Apart in the late 1950s; his later novels includeNo Longer at Ease (1960), Arrow of God (1964), A Man of the People (1966), and Anthills of the Savannah (1987). Achebe writes his novels in English and has defended the use of English, a "language of colonisers", in African literature. In 1975, his lecture An Image of Africa: Racism in Conrad's "Heart of Darkness" became the focus of controversy, for its criticism of Joseph Conrad as "a bloody racist" and was later published.
When the region of Biafra broke away from Nigeria in 1967, Achebe became a supporter of Biafran independence and acted as ambassador for the people of the new nation. The war ravaged the populace, and as starvation and violence took its toll, he appealed to the people of Europe and the Americas for aid. When the Nigerian government retook the region in 1970, he involved himself in political parties but soon resigned due to frustration over the corruption and elitism he witnessed. He lived in the United States for several years in the 1970s, and returned to the U.S. in 1990 after a car accident left him partially disabled.
Achebe's novels focus on the traditions of Igbo society, the effect of Christian influences, and the clash of Western and traditional African values during and after the colonial era. His style relies heavily on the Igbo oral tradition, and combines straightforward narration with representations of folk stories, proverbs, and oratory. He has also published a number of short stories, children's books, and essay collections. Since 2009, he has been a professor at Brown University in the United States.

Chinua Achebe, Pt.1/3 Chinua Achebe, Pt. 2/3 Chinua Achebe, Pt 3/3