Lessons On Teaching The N-Word

Karen Brown, New England Public Radio

Editor’s Note: This segment contains language that some listeners may find offensive.


Elizabeth Stordeur Pryor is a historian of race in America at Smith College. She’s thought a lot about how to teach and write about the N-word. And she comes from an interesting perspective: Her father is Richard Pryor, the late comedian who used the word in many of his routines.

New England Public Radio’s Karen Brown (@kbrownreports) reports.

By the Atlantic Voice

In the City of South Fulton’s Justice System, Black Women Hold All The Reigns

By the Atlantic Voice

(Photo: Reginald Duncan / The Atlanta Voice)

One year into the creation of the town of South Fulton, Georgia, the city is the first in history which all the criminal justice departments are run by African American Women.  As the November elections near, the country is watching to see if Georgia elects its first woman governor. Read more how Police Chief Sheila Rogers, Chief Judge Tiffany Sellers, Court Administrator Lakesiya Cofield, Chief Court Clerk Ramona Howard, City Solicitor La Dawn Jones and Public Defender Viveca Famber Powell plan to use their leadership to work within the systems to provide guaranteed access, respect for those accused and victims rights.  With guidelines that make sure everyone understands what is happening to them, they hope to change the negative climate and restore faith between law enforcement and  those within the system.  Read more on the Atlanta Voice Here

Madonna Thunderhawk


Lakota People’s Law Project

CELEBRATING WOMEN’S HISTORY MONTH
Madonna Thunderhawk

Born on the Yankton Sioux Reservation, Madonna belongs to the Oohenumpa band of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe. She was an early adopter of the Red Power Movement, taking part in the occupation of Alcatraz to persuade the government to adopt an official policy of self-determination.  In the early 1970’s she was a part of the occupation of mount Rushmore which had been seized by the government in 1877 and was director of the Wounded Knee Legal Defense Offense Committee.  Along with Lorelei De Cora and a handful of Native American women she founded the Women of All Red Nations who worked to address children and family rights, political prisoners, threats to indigenous lands and sterilization abuse.   As co-founder for the Black Hills Alliance, she was responsible for preventing the Union Carbide Corporation from mining uranium on sacred land and keeping developers from ruining their water supplies. Joining with the Romero Institute, they formed the Lakota People’s law project , encouraging reform of the Child Welfare Act enabling Lakota children to live with their families or on their ancestral homeland.  Her presence against the Dakota Access pipeline was inspiring and an encouragement to the dissenters.  Read more about Madonna Thunder Hawk in the article by Elizabeth Castle, The Original Gangster: The Life and Times of Red Power Activist Madonna Thunder Hawk here.

Alicia Dickerson Montemayor

By Fair use, Wikipedia Commons

CELEBRATING WOMEN’S HISTORY MONTH
Alicia Dickerson Montemayor
Of Irish and Hispanic descent, Alicia became a civil rights activist and first woman in Texas to be elected to a national office that was not designed for women. She was the associate editor of the LULAC (League of Latin American Citizens) newspaper where she prolifically wrote for the inclusion of girls and women into activism, encouraging women to vote and have lives outside the home (1936). She was instrumental in developing the charter of women’s division in Laredo LULAC that supported the poor, abused and raised funds for the orphanage and flood victims.  She endured being denied key positions because of her race only to be hired and have caucasians refuse to work with her.  Despite this, she persisted and wrote for LULAC, advocating for women, children and the poor, showing the importance of independent thinking. Her prolific collection of papers are in the collection of the University of Texas, Austin.  Read more about Alicia’s life and works here and here.

Comandanta Ramona

By bastian (Heriberto Rodriguez) from Chiapas, Mexico Wikipedia Commons

CELEBRATING WOMEN’S HISTORY MONTH
Comandanta Ramona

Was an indigenous Mexican Woman from Chiapas who became the face of women’s and indigenous people’s rights when NAFTA came into her village.  She joined the EZLN and became the voice of women who were disregarded by the Mexican Government as being such a small minority that they could not influence the government and were ignored.  She and 100,000 others led a march from Chiapas to Mexico City to let the government know that they would no longer endure a government that would not help them.  She took control of the city of San Cristobal de las Casas and in 1997 and later went to Mexico City to found the National Indigenous Congress.  She delivered the first peace talks between the government and the Zapatistas.  She fought for the independence from foreign influence of their indigenous lands that should be used for their own subsistence and later created the Revolutionary Women’s Law, a collection of 10 laws that included, among other things, reproductive health facilities, access to education, technology and small business support, and to no longer being mentally, physically and emotionally abused, upending class and sexist norms. She is symbolized and revered in a doll that is made and sold throughout Mexico that wears indigenous clothing and carries either a baby or a gun.  Read more about her life here and here.

 

Mamie Phipps Clark

Scholars and civil rights activists Mamie and Kenneth Clark.
Courtesy/credit to the Garland County Historical Society

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Mamie Phipps Clark

The African American Psychologist whose focus was the development of self-consciousness in black children.  For her Master’s thesis she conducted doll experiments to discover how African American children perceived themselves toward racial identification and how they were affected by segregation.  The study showed that those children in segregated schools identified and played with white instead of black dolls and was influential enough to affect the outcome of the Brown vs. Board of Education Court case, bringing out in the open the effects of segregation on school age children.
Mamie and her husband were the first African Americans to receive Doctoral degrees from Columbia University. Read more about this study and Mamie’s life and work here and a youTube video here and here

 

 

Mary Church Terrell (1863-1954)

Autobiography of Mary Church Terrell


CELEBRATING WOMEN’S HISTORY MONTH
Mary Church Terrell

Mary Terrell was the daughter of two former slave and known for co-founding the  Association of Colored Women, Mary was also a writer, educator and activist. After a friend was lynched in 1892, and her appeal to President Harrison failed to produce a condemnation, she formed the National Colored Women’s League to address the problems facing black communities. Their motto “Lifting As We Climb” fostered the ideas of racial growth through community activism and education. Her politics brought her to the presidency of the women’s Republican League in Washing, D.C. and she directed a program for black women. She served on Washington’s Board of Education.  All of this led to her signing the original charter for the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. She wrote articles, poems and short stories about gender and race.  You can find more about Mary’s life here and here.  Read about her now struggles in her autobiography A Colored Woman in a White World.

Sojourner Truth

By Randall Studio – National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution, Public Domain, Wikipedia Commons


CELEBRATING WOMEN’S HISTORY MONTH

Sojourner Truth, born Isabella Baumfree; c. 1797 – November 26, 1883)

In 1806 She was sold with a flock of sheep for $100 into slavery. After marriages that were not allowed, children kept by illegally by slave owners, she took it upon herself to go to court to get her son back. She is the first black woman to ever challenge a man in a U.S. court. She won. This did not stop the hardships of being a black woman working in white male households. In 1843 Isbella changed her name to Soujourner Truth and devoted her life to the abolition of slavery. In 1850 she spoke at the first National Women’s Rights Convention in Massachusetts. Besides her abolitionist work, other accomplishments and talks include recruiting black troops for the Union Army, she counseled Abraham Lincoln on her beliefs and her life experience, she worked to desegregate Washington’s street cars and worked to secure land grants from the government for former slaves. She is one of the very first women to advocate for women’s rights.  Read more about Soujourner here and here.

You can read her memoirs The Narrative of Soujourner Truth: A Northern Slave in 1850

 

Amanda Gorman

IMAGE: JULIA ROBINSON / MASHABLE


CELEBRATING WOMEN’S HISTORY MONTH

Amanda Gorman
In spite of a speech impediment and her young age,she has dedicated her work to social justice, she is Harvard student, a U.N. Youth delegate, a HERlead Fellow in training and she is an Ambassador for the School of Doodle. She’s been published in award-winning anthologies, the Huffington Post and at 16 she founded One Pen One Page to promote youth activism and literacy. This year, at age 20 she became the very first National Youth Poet Laureate, taking her place at the Morgan Library.
Follow the links and watch her read and check out her series of blog posts in the National Library of Congress
I think we’ll be seeing a lot more of her!

              

 

Video via Mashable

Grace Lee Boggs

     Book: Living For Change

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Grace Lee Boggs 1915 – 2015

Grace was a Chinese-American advocate for civil and labor rights and was well known for her work in the Detroit Black Power movement.  In the 1940’s she helped edit the Correspondence, a radical newsletter where she met her African-American husband James Boggs.  They were married in 1953.  Together they became activists for labor and civil rights, Black power, feminism and other issues.  Books that she co-authored or wrote include: Revolution And Evolution In The Twentieth Century,  Living For Change; and  The Next American Revolution: Sustainable Activism For The Twenty-First Century with Scott Kurashige.  Although her ideas focused on revolution, her personal philosophy was tempered by the human experience and being able to transform your own world from a place of non-violence.  Read more about her life and works on the NPR article celebrating her 100th year and the NYTimes obituary.  Here books are still in print on Amazon.