Black Girls Rock 2015 Recap
Apr06

Black Girls Rock 2015 Recap

The annual Black Girls Rock awards show was hosted by Regina King and Tracee Ellis Ross. Here are the recipients: Rock Star Award– Erykah Badu Ms. Badu was given this award by Janelle Monae who views Badu as her big sister. She said “She was the first woman to reach out to me and take me on tour.” Change Agent Award- Principal Nadia Lopez       She is an educator and founded Mott Hall Bridges Academy. She wants her scholars to “take over the world.” and she said “The ‘she’ that is great lives in all of us, whether recognized or not.” Performance by Jill Scott who sang about what love really is, performance by Erykah Badu, Lala Hahaway, Faith Evans, and Fantasia Social Humanitarian Award – Dr. Helene Gayle She had a long career in public health and during her speech She thanked her parents for giving her the determination to aspire to excellence but to use that excellence to give back to others. “My mom told me ‘you have a good brain and a big mouth, so use them,'” the crowd laughed and she concluded by saying “when black girls rock, stuff happens.” Shot Caller Award- Ava DuVernay She always loved movies, but later decided to be a director. She was presented this award by Carmen Ejogo, Selma star. DuVernay said “When a black woman makes a film its not an interpretation, its a reflection. I follow this mantra: “Lights is my spirit, Camera is my mind and Action is my life.” Star Power Award- Jada Pinkett-Smith  She was introduced by her husband Will Smith, who stated that he couldn’t imagine living life without her. Sh Pinkett Smith said “If you want people to treat you like a queen, you gotta act like one.” Living Legend Award- Cicely Tyson “When I read a script, I try to find some seed of fact, truth, inspiration,” she said. Tyson also told the young girls in the audience “the moment anyone tries to demean or degrade you, you have to know how great you are. No one is going to bother to put you down if you were not a threat to them.” Michelle Obama,  First Lady of the United States (FLOTUS) related to young girls her fears of not being pretty enough, smart enough, or being too tall. She learned that all the doubts she has were tests in disguise and she chose to rise to the various challenges. “The secret to anything in life is education.” Other stars included Tatyana Ali, Melissa Harris Perry, Debra Lee and Beverly Bond For further information about #BlackGirlsRock visit this website...

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Ah, Let’s Bid March Adieu with These Women
Apr02

Ah, Let’s Bid March Adieu with These Women

Hello, ColorBlind Readers ! March may be over, but I wanted to reflect on these two women as we close out another fabulous Women’s History Month. Mahalia Jackson (October 26, 1911-January 27, 1972): Jackson is often referred to as the Queen of Gospel with excellent reason. She began singing at the age of only four, spending her childhood living with her Aunt Duke after her mother died. By age 12, the New Orleans-bred girl perfected her talent within the Mt. Moriah Baptist Church.  At 16, Jackson moved to Chicago to support herself, but was soon discovered while touring with a gospel group from Greater Salem Baptist Church. She officially signed a recording contract with Columbia Records in 1954. Jackson began signing alongside favorites like, Thomas Dorsey and Duke Ellington. Her voice was an instrument of influence during the Civil Rights Movement, in which she befriended Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. King even asked Jackson to sing after his infamous “I Have A Dream” speech in 1963. The singer died on January 27, 1972 in Chicago of heart failure. Jackson’s influence still appears in modern culture, such as her portrayal by Ledisi in this year’s “Selma”. Ledisi also sang Jackson’s “Take My Hand, Precious Lord” in the film (Check out the real Mahalia Jackson singing the song below). “Take My Hand, Precious Lord”- Mahalia Jackson Marian Kramer (Birth date unknown- Present): Kramer is an activist born in Detroit. She has made countless efforts to ensure civil and welfare equalities in the city. During the 1960’s, Kramer worked closely with an organization called CORE (Congress on Racial Equality) in Louisiana. The progress she encountered was incorporated in civil issues in Detroit. In the 1970s’s, Kramer formed a Marxist-Leninist party while making changes to affordable housing. By 1987, she was president to the Michigan Welfare Rights Organization and established the National Welfare Rights Union. It was clear that Kramer had become a figure-head for those who struggled, particularly those who couldn’t stand alone and advocate for themselves. She even strongly opposed Governor John Engler when he attempted to rid of general assistance during the 1980’s. Kramer organized tent city protests in Detroit to make it known Engler was making an unjust decision to lower-income citizens. She has traveled to foreign countries, such as Uganda, to speak against other related issues. Kramer continues her work and is the recipient of the Letelier-Moffit National Award for Human Rights from 1993.   I hope you all made Women’s History Month 2015 a blast ! Stay empowered and enlightened ! Jessica...

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