THE LEADING BLACKS

"Today's black leaders, I'm afraid, have become leading blacks. And you don't ever confuse the two. Black leaders are chosen by us...The leading blacks are chosen by the media." —Dr. Julia Hare

♥ ARIAN WOMEN LIKE ARETHA FRANKLIN

Born today, March 25(as Aretha Louise Franklin), in Memphis, Tennessee.

She is 70 today; still recording, y’all.

9 Little Known Facts About Notable Women in Black History

sourcedumal:

thechanelmuse:

From the article:

Nina Simone - Her involvement in civil rights was spurred by an incident at her first classical piano recital at age 12. During the recital, her parents sat in seats in the front of the building to see her play, but were told to move to the back to make way for white guests. She wasn’t having that though. The young girl refused to perform until her parents were moved back to the front. Ahhh, to be young, gifted and black.

Grace JonesDid you know that model Grace Jones was supposed to be an X-Men character? Not literally, but the character of Dazzler, a mutant able to convert sound vibrations into light and energy beams (what fun is that?) was initially supposed to be a disco singer. This character was to be made in the image of crazy (but cool) Grace Jones, with the bald fade and all by illustrator John Romita, Jr. However, those in charge wanted to promote model Bo Derek instead, and modeled the character after her. How dope would a singing superhero who looked like Grace be? “DO YOU THINK I’M SEXYYYYYY???”

Phylicia Rashad After years of being Clair Huxtable, a role that garnered her Emmy nominations but no wins, Rashad took her talents to Broadway, where she finally won a much deserved award. In 2004, she was the first black woman to win a Tony Award for a dramatic lead on Broadway as loyal mother Lena Younger in “A Raisin in the Sun.”

Diahann Carroll Before there were shows like Moesha, Girlfriends, and the likes (with black female leads), there was Julia. Diahann Carroll was the first black woman to be the star of an American television show in 1968 without having to play a maid or any other stereotypical role. Julia was a pretty big deal too, winning her a Golden Globe for best female TV star in 1969.

Maya Angelou - As a friend and coordinator for Martin Luther King Jr.’s Southern Christian Leadership Conference, when Dr. King was killed on her birthday (April 4, 1968), she said she found herself unable to celebrate her birthday from then on. As a hero to her, she was very impacted by his death. Therefore, on her birthday, for many years, she instead decided to send flowers to Coretta Scott King every year until her death in 2006.

Condoleezza Rice If you didn’t know, Condoleezza Rice is pretty awesome. Not only is she a talented and accomplished pianist who backed everyone from Aretha Franklin to Yo-Yo Ma, but on top of that, Rice is an exceptionally intelligent woman as well. She entered college at the age of 15, getting her Bachelor’s cum laude from the University of Denver at the age of 19. And after that success, she went on to be an assistant professor at Stanford by age 26. Yikes! I guess I should step my game up…

Octavia Butler - Science fiction writer Octavia Butler, author of the brilliant book Kindred, the Patternist series (which brought usWild Seed), and many other notable works was diagnosed as being dyslexic as a child. Despite all that, she tried her hand at writing as a young girl, and eventually solidified her love for science fiction as a pre-teen. What a blessing for her to be able to create such amazing works after all that, and despite her alleged disorder, she won numerous awards for her work.

Barbara Jordan Known as the first black woman to serve on the Texas Senate, and later for being the first black woman from the “Deep South” to serve on the House of Representatives, Barbara Jordan was also a national champion debater. At Texas Southern University, which was all black at the time, in 1954, with Barbara Jordan at the helm, debate team defeated folks at Yale and even tied Harvard University in the battle of words–the latter was said to be one of her proudest moments in college. She later graduated magna cum laude from TSU.

Chaka Khan Were you a fan of Reading Rainbow back in the day? I bet you 50 cents (that’s all I’ve got) that you probably didn’t know Chaka Khan was one of the lucky performers to sing the popular theme song to the show: “Butterfly in the skyyyyyyyy, I can go twice as hiiiiiiiiiiigh!” Though she wasn’t the first to sing the track, it’s pretty safe to say that she did it the funkiest! Love her, love the show, and I loved her rendition of the song. Chaka love the kids.

GRACE JONES AS A MOTHAFUCKIN MUTANT???? AAHHHH!!! MARVEL Y’ALL SOME BITCHES!!!!!

(via posttragicmulatto-deactivated20)

When I decided to be a singer, my mother warned me I’d be alone a lot. Basically we all are. Loneliness comes with life.

Whitney Houston

(Source: thesmithian, via darkjez)

It always felt like I couldn’t do enough drugs. I felt like I was on an operating table, like, ‘Hello! I’m still awake!’ I knew I needed something other than drugs to deflect the feelings that didn’t feel good, or pain. And that came in the form of consciousness. Of adding another element to the scenario. If there was pain, if there was too much feeling, I had to add another element.

And that wasn’t a superficial element like drugs. It had to be a consciousness of who I am. I am not the pain. When I meditate, I say, ‘I am not my feelings. I am the awareness of my feelings.’ Immediately, there is a separation. Immediately, I can observe it and at that moment, I have a choice.

RuPaul, as excerpted from Rich Juzwiak’s profile on the drag performer and television producer.

ETERNAL REVERENCE
Don Cornelius
The television and music LEGEND—the first black executive in television to wholly own his brand—died of his a gunshot wound to his head at his home in Encino, California today, Wednesday, February 1, 2012. The case is still under investigation. 
The circumstances of his death, however tragic, don’t belie his triumphs in creating one of the world’s most successful and famous entertainment brands. I like to think he changed the entire scope of the music industry for the better.

ETERNAL REVERENCE

Don Cornelius

The television and music LEGEND—the first black executive in television to wholly own his brand—died of his a gunshot wound to his head at his home in Encino, California today, Wednesday, February 1, 2012. The case is still under investigation. 

The circumstances of his death, however tragic, don’t belie his triumphs in creating one of the world’s most successful and famous entertainment brands. I like to think he changed the entire scope of the music industry for the better.

ETERNAL REVERENCE

Kara Walker Forever and Ever

(via rubyshimmer)

ETERNAL REVERENCE

whb2:

Patrice Lumumba (1925-1962)

Patrice Lumumba, the first legally elected prime minister of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), was assassinated 50 years ago today, on 17 January, 1961. This heinous crime was a culmination of two inter-related assassination plots by American and Belgian governments, which used Congolese accomplices and a Belgian execution squad to carry out the deed.

Ludo De Witte, the Belgian author of the best book on this crime, qualifies it as “the most important assassination of the 20th century”. The assassination’s historical importance lies in a multitude of factors, the most pertinent being the global context in which it took place, its impact on Congolese politics since then and Lumumba’s overall legacy as a nationalist leader.

For 126 years, the US and Belgium have played key roles in shaping Congo’s destiny. In April 1884, seven months before the Berlin Congress, the US became the first country in the world to recognise the claims of King Leopold II of the Belgians to the territories of the Congo Basin.

When the atrocities related to brutal economic exploitation in Leopold’s Congo Free State resulted in millions of fatalities, the US joined other world powers to force Belgium to take over the country as a regular colony. And it was during the colonial period that the US acquired a strategic stake in the enormous natural wealth of the Congo, following its use of the uranium from Congolese mines to manufacture the first atomic weapons, the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombs.

With the outbreak of the cold war, it was inevitable that the US and its western allies would not be prepared to let Africans have effective control over strategic raw materials, lest these fall in the hands of their enemies in the Soviet camp. It is in this regard that Patrice Lumumba’s determination to achieve genuine independence and to have full control over Congo’s resources in order to utilise them to improve the living conditions of our people was perceived as a threat to western interests. To fight him, the US and Belgium used all the tools and resources at their disposal, including the United Nations secretariat, under Dag Hammarskjöld and Ralph Bunche, to buy the support of Lumumba’s Congolese rivals , and hired killers.

In Congo, Lumumba’s assassination is rightly viewed as the country’s original sin. Coming less than seven months after independence (on 30 June, 1960), it was a stumbling block to the ideals of national unity, economic independence and pan-African solidarity that Lumumba had championed, as well as a shattering blow to the hopes of millions of Congolese for freedom and material prosperity.

The assassination took place at a time when the country had fallen under four separate governments: the central government in Kinshasa (then Léopoldville); a rival central government by Lumumba’s followers in Kisangani (then Stanleyville); and the secessionist regimes in the mineral-rich provinces of Katanga and South Kasai. Since Lumumba’s physical elimination had removed what the west saw as the major threat to their interests in the Congo, internationally-led efforts were undertaken to restore the authority of the moderate and pro-western regime in Kinshasa over the entire country. These resulted in ending the Lumumbist regime in Kisangani in August 1961, the secession of South Kasai in September 1962, and the Katanga secession in January 1963.

No sooner did this unification process end than a radical social movement for a “second independence” arose to challenge the neocolonial state and its pro-western leadership. This mass movement of peasants, workers, the urban unemployed, students and lower civil servants found an eager leadership among Lumumba’s lieutenants, most of whom had regrouped to establish a National Liberation Council (CNL) in October 1963 in Brazzaville, across the Congo river from Kinshasa. The strengths and weaknesses of this movement may serve as a way of gauging the overall legacy of Patrice Lumumba for Congo and Africa as a whole.

The most positive aspect of this legacy was manifest in the selfless devotion of Pierre Mulele to radical change for purposes of meeting the deepest aspirations of the Congolese people for democracy and social progress. On the other hand, the CNL leadership, which included Christophe Gbenye and Laurent-Désiré Kabila, was more interested in power and its attendant privileges than in the people’s welfare. This is Lumumbism in words rather than in deeds. As president three decades later, Laurent Kabila did little to move from words to deeds.

More importantly, the greatest legacy that Lumumba left for Congo is the ideal of national unity. Recently, a Congolese radio station asked me whether the independence of South Sudan should be a matter of concern with respect to national unity in the Congo. I responded that since Patrice Lumumba has died for Congo’s unity, our people will remain utterly steadfast in their defence of our national unity.

-By Georges Nzongola-Ntalaja

Watch this documentary on his assassination.

if you haven’t watched the movie, u should, its great …

(via godbody)