“When I live down in the ghetto, every day I have to jump fence, police try and hold me, ya dig? Not for a week – for years! Years, till we have to get free now. It’s either you a bad, bad man and they shoot you down, or you make a move and show people improvement. It doesn’t have to be material, but in freedom of thinking," Bob Marley, the Rastafarian, iconic musician and freedom fighter told New York Professor Vivien Golman in 1979. Vivien Goldman, a former Public Relations for Bob Marley, teaches a course called "Marley and Post-Colonial Music".
Person of Year
Tributes to civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. were held in the Unites States nationwide, on Monday January 19, 2015. The day was marked by massive march protests over the treatment of minorities by law enforcement. "This march is about reclaiming Martin Luther King. He was a radical organizer - he's been arrested, he believed in non-violence, but he was also disruptive," said Linda Sarsour, spokeswoman for the Justice League NYC, which organized the #Dream4Justice March, a well attended tribute and protest march.
On November 26, 2014, the United Nations (UN) Under Secretary General (SG) of Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), Baroness Valerie Amos, resigned from her position. Since then, several people outside and inside the UN have been seeking the position.
It is said that "better late than never". George Junius Stinney,Jr., a 14-year-old Black boy convicted and executed in South Carolina in 1944 for murders he did not commit was finally cleared in a new ruling by Judge Carmen Mullen. In her ruling, Judge Carmer Mullen said that the prosecution at the time failed on all accounts, denying the constitutional rights to the boy and rushing to condemn him without clear evidences.
President Obama has convened a cabinet meeting on Monday December 1, 2014 to discuss the tough lessons learned from the ongoing unrest in Ferguson, Missouri. The meeting also included young people from civil rights and activist groups based in Ferguson , mayors, and law enforcement officials from and across the country.
The topic was how to address the deteriorating relations between the police and the communities they serve, and how to ensure that the divide is bridged.
His name is Rasheen Aldridge. Born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri, the 20 years old Aldridge is a natural leader. After graduating from High School, he enrolled at Forest Park Community College, while working minimum wage jobs, the lot of many Black youth in underpriviledged areas, such as East Saint Louis or Ferguson, Missouri. But that did not stop him.
Marie Bamutese, AfroAmerica Network Black Woman of Year 2014, is a survivor. As a schoolgirl, Marie Bamutese survived two of the worst tragedies the World has even known:
Marion Barry, the prominent civil rights activist and self styled former mayor of Washington, D.C. has died. He was 78 years old.
"I’m proud to be gay, and I consider being gay among the greatest gifts God has given me, " Apple CEO Tim Cook has said in a letter written for Bloomberg Businessweek, while publicly coming out as gay and declaring his support for equality.
Tim Cook, though the CEO of perhaps the most prominent company in the World today, has managed to keep a low profile on his personal life. In the letter he says that his decision to publicly acknowledge his sexuality was intended to "bring comfort to anyone who feels alone" and to "inspire people to insist on their equality."
On Wednesday, October 29, 2014, Zambia’s Vice President, Guy Scott, has been appointed President of Zambia, hence becoming the first post independence African white head of state. He has replaced the late Zambian President Michael Chilufya Sata, following the death of the latter in London on October 28, 2014.
Although his appointment is temporary, the fact that he is white in an African democratic independent country make him a first. The only other white heads of state were either under apartheid in South Africa or during colonial times.
August 25: Birthday of Athea Gibson, the first black to with a Grand Slam Title, the French Open.
Athea Gibson was born on August 25, 1927, in Silver, South Carolina, from two cotton sharecropers parents. She was an American tennis player and professional golfer. In 1956, she won the French Open, becoming the first black to win a Grand Slam title and hence cross the color line of international tennis. In both 1957 and 1958 , she won both the Wimbledon and the U.S. Nationals, the precursor of the U.S. Open. This won her the Associated Press Female Athlete of the Year. During her career, she won 11 Grand Slam tournaments, including six doubles titles. She was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame and the International Women's Sports Hall of Fame. In the early 1960s she also became the first black player to compete on the women's professional golf tour. She died on September 28, 2003.