Thursday, July 27, 2006

Clarence Mitchell: the 101st Senator

Clarence Mitchell, (1911-1984), earned the nickname the “101st. Senator,” thanks to his effective USA lobbying efforts for civil rights.

His influence helped pass the 1964 Civil Rights Act, and the Voting Rights Act of 1965 (signed into law by President Lyndon Johnson on August 6, 1965, and just recently renewed for another 25 years by President George Bush in July, 2006).

Mitchell helped extend a ban against voting literacy tests in 1970.  He was instrumental in gaining enforcement powers for the EEOC (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission) in 1972.

President Jimmy Carter awarded Mitchell the Medal of Freedom in 1980 for his lifetime battle for civil rights.

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Posted by Hugh Smith on 07/27 at 10:01 PM
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Tuesday, July 18, 2006

175 Miles of Black History from Gettysburg to Monticello

John Messeder, writing in the GettysburgTimes.com, reports that “an organization attempting to unite 175 miles of history, from Gettysburg to Monticello, recently received a grant to help research and interpret the African American role in the USA’s formation."

"The Journey Through Hallowed Ground Partnership has been awarded a $10,000 grant from the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities to research, identify and interpret African American sites along the pathway.

Partnership President Cate Magennis Wyatt feels that “Understanding African American history helps us understand the fabric of our American culture and expands our understanding of ourselves as a people."

The 175-mile Old Carolina Highway, now designated U.S. 15, once carried Thomas Jefferson toward Philadelphia during his work on the Declaration of Independence. Eight presidents have made their homes in the region.

Although possibly best known for its Civil War battles, the region played critical roles in the Revolutionary War and the War of 1812. It also has a high concentration of Underground Railroad stations.

In announcing the $10,000 Virginia Foundation for the Humanities grant, Wyatt noted much African American history is only beginning to be documented at local levels."

Posted by Hugh Smith on 07/18 at 10:24 PM
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Thursday, July 13, 2006

Baseball's King of the Long Ball

With Tuesday’s 2006 baseball All-Star Game behind us, and rampant speculation swirling about Barry Bonds‘ quest to catch Henry Aaron, we take a quick look at the career of the all time home run king, Hammerin’ Hank.

He passed Babe Ruth’s record on April 8th, 1974 when he hit home run number 715 as an Atlanta Brave.

Aaron became a professional player in 1952 for the Indianapolis Clowns, a black barnstorming team, and famous sports name in African American history.

The National League Milwaukee Braves purchased his contract for $2,500 later that year and assigned him to their Eau Claire, Wisconsin farm team.

Hank Aaron was promoted to Jacksonville in the Sally League in 1953 finally breaking in at the major league level in 1954, never to look back.  On August 1, 1982, the greatest home run hitter of all time with 755 “round trippers” was inducted into the baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York.

With baseball behind him, Hank has been a success in the business world too as an entrepreneur, and as a corporate Vice President of Community Relations for Turner Broadcasting System, Inc.

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Posted by Hugh Smith on 07/13 at 01:02 PM
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Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Booker T. Washington July 4th Dream

Booker T. Washington opened Tuskegee Institute in the temporary quarters of an AME church on July 4, 1881, ten days after arriving in Alabama.

Washington cleverly used students to construct the permanent campus.  Forty buildings were constructed during the first 20 years of Tuskegee, almost all by student labor.

Sometimes, ingenuity goes a long way when access to money is limited.

Independence Day in the USA reminds us that belief in a set of ideals is powerful currency for a nation, an individual, or an educator like Booker T. Washington.

Resourcefulness afforded Washington ultimate success while creating the Tuskegee campus.

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Posted by Hugh Smith on 07/04 at 03:36 PM
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