An Open Letter from a Member of DPIC                 For as long as I can remember, the month of February has held such a ...
The Library of Congress, Association for the Study of African American Life and History                             The Du...
Great Movies to Watch     Voting Rights Act of 1965                                                                       ...
CELEBRATING BLACK HISTORY MONTH                                            Gwendolyn                                      ...
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African American History Month


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During the month of February we are paying honor and recognition to African American Heritage Month.

African American Heritage/Black History Month represents the accomplishments of African Americans in the past.

While information is available 365 days a year about key African Americans in history, African American Heritage/Black History Month is a time to reflect and gain motivation to achieve our personal goals. During this month we pay our respects to the past and leaders who fought for what was right. It's also a time to motivate ourselves to overcome obstacles and strive for a better tomorrow.

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African American History Month

  1. 1. An Open Letter from a Member of DPIC For as long as I can remember, the month of February has held such a strong significance in not only my individual life, but my family and social surroundings as well. Growing up in a suburb outside the city of Chicago, where the minority representation was significantly low, my mother made it a point to make sure that my brother and myself were able to always understand to make the absolute most out of Black History Month as it is being recognized on a national scale. My mother couldn’t solely rely on the local school systems to make sure that our knowledge of Black History was intact, so she made it a point of this to be an everyday learning experience for my brother and myself, not limited to the 28 days within the bookends of the month of February. Why does Black History Month mean such a tremendous deal to me? Does it have to do with the fact that I am African American? That’s a good place to start; however, when you take the time to read and study the story of my ancestors, you are immediately engulfed in an enriching tale of prominence, disaster, triumph, perseverance, struggle and victory. This is indeed any classic Creating Diversity Awareness in the Workplace anecdote that not even Hollywood could masterfully fit on the silver screen. But many stories of reality that played an instrumental role in shaping the foundation of America, to bring us where we February 2012 Newsletter are today, not just black, but of every and all ethnicities that make up this great land. Where would America be without the Trans Atlantic Slave Trade, which produced hundreds of thousands of free labor to build this land? Where would America be if President Lincoln eventually opted not to sign the Emancipation Proclamation which abolished slavery and made it unconstitutional? Where would America be if Crispus Attucks was not made a martyr for America to be the first to give his life in the American Revolution? Where would America be if it was not for the reconstruction period of the United States, where now hundreds of thousands of Black men and women were able to user their skills in a more constructive way of assisting with service for this country. Where would America be without the Harlem Renaissance? Without the Civil Rights Movement? Without the Invention of “The Blood Bank”, “the Gas Mask”, the Watch, the development of the first beauty product line, the carbon filament for the light bulb? Without the Tuskegee Airmen? Without the Underground Railroad? Without the NAACP or the United Negro African American History Month College Fund? Without Hip Hop? I take it to a greater level when I ask, where would the WORLD be without any of the pre mentioned? The Library of Congress, National Archives and Records By the time of Woodsons death in 1950, Negro History I cannot answer that question, and I thank God everyday that I live in a world where I do not have Administration, National Endowment for the Humanities, Week had become a central part of African American life to ask that question. This is the sole reason why it is important for African American History Month National Gallery of Art, National Park Service, and substantial progress had been made in bringing to not just be bottled as “Black History”, but it’s open to being WORLD HISTORY. I encourage Smithsonian Institution and United States Holocaust more Americans to appreciate the celebration. At mid– each and every one that is reading this to really take time to go over this month’s DPIC newsletter Memorial Museum join in paying tribute to the c e n t u r y, m a y o r s o f c i t i e s n a t i o n w i d e i s s u e d as we celebrate African American History Month. Go over this newsletter and don’t just limit generations of African Americans who struggled with proclamations noting Negro History Week. yourself to enriching ones knowledge to what is on this file, but treat yourself to independent adversity to achieve full citizenship in American society. research and learn something you’ve never known before. And add that to your based learning’s. The celebration was expanded to a month in 1976, the For this is not just my history but it’s yours as well. And if you do not know your history, you are As a Harvard-trained historian, Carter G. Woodson, like nations bicentennial. President Gerald R. Ford urged doomed to repeat it. And I thank God every day that my mother took that seriously. Enjoy. W. E. B. Du Bois before him, believed that truth could not Americans to “seize the opportunity to honor the too- be denied and that reason would prevail over prejudice. often neglected accomplishments of black Americans in - Maurice D. Proffit His hopes to raise awareness of African Americans every area of endeavor throughout our history.” That DPIC (Community Team) contributions to civilization was realized when he and the year, fifty years after the first celebration, the association organization he founded, the Association for the Study of held the first African American History Month. By this Negro Life and History (ASNLH), conceived and time, the entire nation had come to recognize the announced Negro History Week in 1925. The event was importance of Black history in the drama of the American first celebrated during a week in February 1926 that story. Since then each American president has issued encompassed the birthdays of both Abraham Lincoln and African American History Month proclamations. And the Frederick Douglass. The response was overwhelming: association—now the Association for the Study of African Black history clubs sprang up; teachers demanded American Life and History (ASALH)—continues to materials to instruct their pupils; and progressive whites, promote the study of Black history all year.The Staff Management | SMX DPIC includes: Kenyatta Draper, 
 not simply white scholars and philanthropists, steppedLupe Gonzalez, Katie Smith, Jenny Reints, Roxanne Ramoutar, 
 forward to endorse the effort.Avery Yancey, Dayna Corona, Jessica Lewis, Justin Schwartz, 
  2. 2. The Library of Congress, Association for the Study of African American Life and History The DuSable Museum chose to celebrate Black Women in American Culture and History this year. We would also Barack Obama is the like to reflect on the value of contribution from a few of our famous male figures: (based in Chicago, IL) President of the United W. E. B. DuBois, an African American educator, Martin Luther King, Jr., a great civil rights of African American History States of America The DuSable Museum of African American History author, historian, sociologist, philosopher, poet, activist who was the leading force behind located in the historic Hyde Park area of Chicago located and leader. Besides being one of the founders of the withdrawal of segregation laws in the at 740 East 56th Place (57th Street and South Cottage the NAACP, he was the very first African American 1960s. King was the youngest person to Grove Avenue) in Washington Park unites art, history to receive a doctoral degree from Harvard receive the Nobel Peace Prize for his work and culture. University. to end racial segregation. Founded in 1961 by teacher and art historian Dr. Frederick Douglass, was an American social Quincy Jones, African American music Margaret Burroughs and other leading Chicago citizens, As President, Barack Obama has dedicated reformer, orator, writer and statesman. After impresario who won over twenty Grammy the DuSable Museum is one of the few independent himself to putting Americans back to work and escaping from slavery, he became a leader of the awards, an Emmy award and several Oscar institutions of its kind in the United States. Developed to restoring economic security to middle-class abolitionist movement. nominations. preserve and interpret the experiences and families. He’s been driven by the basic values achievements of people of African descent, it is that make our country great: America prospers Langston Hughes, a Poet, Essayist, Novelist, Carter Godwin Woodson was an educator dedicated to the collection, documentation, preservation when were all in it together, when hard work Playwright, Journalist, & Lyricist born in Joplin, and philosopher, mentor to African American and study of the history and culture of Africans and pays off and responsibility is rewarded, and Missouri. Sometimes called The Poet Laureate of scholars, and founder of the African African Americans. The DuSable Museum is proud of its when everyone—from Main Street to Wall Street Harlem. One of Americas great writers. American Historical Association. diverse holdings that number more than 15,000 pieces —does their fair share and plays by the same and include paintings, sculpture, print works and rules. Barack Obama was elected President of Malcolm X, born Malcolm Little, was an African Sidney Poitier was the first Afro-American historical memorabilia. Special exhibitions, workshops the United States on November 4th, 2008, and American Muslim minister and human rights actor to win the Oscar (Lilies of the Fields, and lectures are featured to highlight works by specific sworn in on January 20th, 2009. activist. To his admirers, he was a courageous 1963). artists, historic events or collections on loan from advocate for the rights of African Americans. individuals or institutions. BB King, a famous guitarist is frequentlyDIVERSITY WORD SEARCH called the undisputed King of the Blues.ABOLISHMENT AFRICAN AMERICAN George Washington Carver discoveredANCESTORS CIVIL RIGHTS CONTRIBUTION hundreds of new uses for crops such as the peanut. In addition, he developed methodsFAMILY HISTORICAL INSPIRATION of crop rotation that conserved nutrients inLEADERSHIP PREJUDICE SEGREGATION the soil. Zora NealeUNITED Chicago is a city rich in African-American History and the HURSTON Lewis H. Latimer was the only African Renowned author who wrote Museum is named for Jean Baptiste Point DuSable, a American member of Thomas A. Edisons stories, novels, anthropological Haitian of African and French descent, who in 1779 team of scientists. He helped pave the way folklore and an autobiography. established the trading post and permanent settlement in the development of the electric light bulb. Of Hurstons novels and more which would become known as… Chicago. than 50 published short stories, Henry ("Hank") Aaron broke Babe Ruths plays, and essays, she is best Permanent exhibits at the DuSable Museum include: “A home run record when he hit his 715th known for her 1937 novel Their Slow Walk to Greatness: The Harold Washington Story,“ home run in 1974. He set a Major League Eyes Were Watching God. “Paintings / Drawings / Sculptures: Masterpieces from record with 755 home runs in his career. the DuSable Museum Collection,“ “Red, White, Blue & Black: A History of Blacks in the Armed Forces“ and Comedian Bill Cosbys 1984 sitcom, The “Africa Speaks.” Programming for families and children Cosby Show, became the highest ranking includes musical performances, film festivals, arts and sitcom for 5 years in a row. The program Ella crafts workshops, lectures, book signings, and special aired for eight years. FITZGERALD events. "The First Lady of Song," Benjamin Banneker, scientist and Ella Fitzgerald was arguably The DuSable Museum remains a community institution mathematician is credited with helping to the finest female jazz singer dedicated to serving the cultural and educational needs design the blueprints for Washington, D.C. of all time having sold over of our members. Our research, curatorial and educational divisions are committed to listening and 40 million albums and Alex Haley, a Pulitzer Prize winning author winning 13 Grammy awards. responding to these needs, as well as the ever- who wrote "The Autobiography of Malcolm X" and "Roots: The Saga of an American increasing demands of art and cultural historians, and patrons nationwide. Family”.FEBRUARY 2012 NEWSLETTER DIVERSITY PROGRAM INCLUSION COUNCIL CREATING DIVERSITY AWARENESS IN THE WORKPLACE NEWSLETTER FEBRUARY 2012
  3. 3. Great Movies to Watch Voting Rights Act of 1965 With celebrating Black History during the month, check out some ground-breaking movies that changed the views of the world. In the century following Reconstruction, African Americans in the South faced overwhelming obstacles to Roots (1977) voting. Despite the Fifteenth and Nineteenth Plot: A dramatization of author Alex Haleys Amendments to the U.S. Constitution, which had family line from ancestor Kunta Kintes enfranchised black men and women, southern voter enslavement to his descendants liberation. registration boards used poll taxes, literacy tests, and Awards: Won 9 Emmy Awards: Outstanding achievement in Film Sound other bureaucratic impediments to deny African Editing, Music Composition for a series, Americans their legal rights. Southern blacks also risked Director, Film Editing, Lead Actor (Louis harassment, intimidation, economic reprisals, and Gossett Jr), Limted Series, Supporting Actor physical violence when they tried to register or vote. As a (Ed Asner), Supporting Acress (Olivia Cole), We say goodbye in 2011-2012 to a few of our popular African Writing for a Drama result, African Americans had little if any political power, President Lyndon B. Johnson made civil rights American stars: Etta James (songstress), Don Cornelius (Soul either locally or nationally. In Mississippi, for instance, one of his administrations top priorities, using Train), Whitney Houston (icon), David Peaston (gospel), Joe Glory (1989) only five percent of eligible blacks were registered to his formidable political skills to pass the Twenty- Frazier (boxer), Fred Shuttlesworth, Gil Scott-Heron, Nick Ashford Plot: Robert Gould Shaw leads the vote in 1960. Fourth Amendment, which outlawed poll taxes, (musician, song writer), Clarence Clemons (musician), Heavy D US Civil Wars first all-black volunteer in 1964. Now, a week after "Bloody Sunday" in company, fighting prejudices of both his (entertainer), Nate Dogg (rapper), Vesta Williams (musician), own Union army and the Confederates. The Voting Rights Act of 1965, grew out of both public Selma, Johnson gave a televised speech before Patrice ONeal (comedian), Bubba Smith (football player turned Awards: Won 3 Academy Awards: Best protest and private political negotiation. Starting in 1961, Congress in which he denounced the assault. actor), Wangari Maathai (Nobel Prize winner), Clarice Taylor (Cosby Sound, Best Cinematography and Best CORE joined SCLC (Southern Christian Leadership Two days later, the President sent the Voting Show grandmother), Mia Davis (actress from Road Trip), Jessy Actor in a Supporting Role (Denzel Conference) in staging nonviolent demonstrations in Rights bill to Congress. Washington) Dixon (gospel), John Mackey (NFL Hall of Fame), Dwayne McDuffie Georgia, and Birmingham. They hoped to attract national (cartoon creator Static Shock) and many more. Malcom X (1992) media attention and pressure the U.S. government to The resolution, signed into law on August 6, Plot: The biopic of the controversial and protect Blacks constitutional rights. Newspaper photos 1965, empowered the federal government to influential Black Nationalist leader. and TV broadcasts of Birminghams racist police oversee voter registration and elections in Awards: Nominated for 2 Academy Awards commissioner, Eugene "Bull" Connor, and his men counties that had used tests to determine voter violently attacking the protesters with water hoses, police eligibility or where registration or turnout had The Color Purple (1985) dogs, and nightsticks awakened the consciences of been less than 50 percent in the 1964 Plot: The life and trials of a young African whites. presidential election. It also banned American woman and her letters to God. discriminatory literacy tests and expanded voting Awards: Nominated for 11 Academy Selma, Alabama was the site of the next campaign. In rights for non-English speaking Americans. Awards the first three months of 1965, Local residents and visiting volunteers held a series of marches demanding The laws effects were wide and powerful. By Dreamgirls (2006) an equal right to vote. As in Birmingham, they met with 1968, nearly 60 percent of eligible African Plot: Based on the Broadway musical, a violence and imprisonment. In the worst attack yet, on Americans were registered to vote in Mississippi, trio of black female soul singers cross over Sunday, March 7, a group of Alabama state troopers, and other southern states showed similar to the pop charts in the early 1960s. local sheriffs officers, and unofficial possemen used tear improvement. Between 1965 and 1990, the “Red Tails” is A Hit at the Box Office Awards: Won the Oscar for best The film was inspired by real events, and the actors got Achievement in Sound Mixing and Best gas and clubs against 600 peaceful marchers. By now, number of black state legislators and members Performance by a supporting actress the nation was watching. of Congress rose from two to 160. instruction from real Tuskegee Airmen — some of whom are (Jennifer Hudson) nearly 100 years old. In 1944, after enduring racism throughout their recruitment and Ray (2004) training in the Tuskegee training program, the 332nd Fighter Plot: The life and career of the legendary popular music pianist, Ray Charles. Group of young African American USAAF fighter pilots are Awards: Won the Oscar for best finally sent into combat in Italy, although flying worn-out Curtiss Achievement in Sound Mixing and Best P-40 Warhawk aircraft. Chafing at their ground attack missions Performance by a lead actor (Jaime Foxx) Maya Harriet against trains and enemy ground transport, the Tuskegee ANGELOU TUBMAN Airmen recognize that they may never take on fighter-to-fighter Civil rights activist, poet, Escaped slavery to become a Soul Food (1997) action against the Luftwaffe. The tight-knit group of Joe teacher and prize winning leading abolitionist. She led Plot: Mama Joes grandson Ahmad cooks "Lightning" Little, Martin "Easy" Julian, Ray "Ray Gun" or up a scheme to bring the family together, autobiographical novelist. hundreds of enslaved people to "Junior" Gannon, and Samuel "Joker" George under the back to the table, in the midst of family One of only two poets asked freedom along the route of the tensions and disagreements. guidance of Major Emanuel Stance and Col. A.J. Bullard, face to read at a Presidential Underground Railroad, and was Awards: Won 4 NAACP Image Awards: a military bureaucracy still resistant to accepting black flyers as inauguration. known as the Moses of her Outstanding Lead Actress (Vanessa equals. The Tuskegee Airmen are then tasked with escorting Williams), Best Motion Picture, Supporting people. She later became a spy the first flight of bombers to directly attack Berlin. Ultimately, Actress (Irma Hall) and Outstanding Young for the Union Army. the Tuskegee Airmen are awarded the Presidential Unit Actor (Brandon Hammond) Citation in honor of their achievements.FEBRUARY 2012 NEWSLETTER DIVERSITY PROGRAM INCLUSION COUNCIL CREATING DIVERSITY AWARENESS IN THE WORKPLACE NEWSLETTER FEBRUARY 2012
  4. 4. CELEBRATING BLACK HISTORY MONTH Gwendolyn Toni Sojourner honors African American women and the myriad of BROOKS MORRISON TRUTH roles they played in the shaping of our nation. An American poet. She was Famous author of such works An American slave, abolitionist, appointed Poet Laureate of as "Beloved", "The Bluest Eye", and women’s rights activist Illinois in 1968 and Poet "Song of Solomon", "Tar baby", Sojourner Truth is best-known Laureate Consultant in Poetry to and many other great works. for her speech, Aint I a the Library of Congress in She was awarded the Nobel Woman?, which was delivered 1985. Prize for Literature in 1993. in 1851 at the Ohio Womens Rights Convention in Akron, Ohio. Oprah Shirley Halle Alice WINFREY CHISHOLM BERRY WALKER Businesswoman, talk show In 1968 she became the first American actress and a former An American author, poet, and host, actress, producer, and black woman to be elected to fashion model. Berry became activist. She has written both philanthropist, hailed by Life the United States Congress the first and, as of 2011, only fiction and essays about race Magazine as the most influential representing New York’s 2th woman of African American and gender. She is best known woman of her generation. In Congressional District for seven descent to have won the for the critically acclaimed novel 2005 Business Week named her terms from 1969 to 1983. Academy Award for Best The Color Purple (1982) for the greatest black philanthropist Actress. which she won the Pulitzer Prize in American history. for Fiction. Mary Mcleod Condoleezza Coretta Scott Carol Moseley BETHUNE RICE KING BRAUN Educator and activist mobilized She served as the 66th United Mrs.  Kings  most  prominent  role   In 1992, Carol Moseley-Braun thousands of black women as States Secretary of State, and may  have  been  in  the  years  aDer   became the first African leader and founder of the was the first female African- her  husband  1968  assassina=on   American woman to be elected National Association of Colored American secretary of state. when  she  took  on  the  leadership  of   to the U.S. Senate. After serving Women and National Council of Rice was President Bushs the  struggle  for  racial  equality   her term in the U.S. Senate, she Negro Women. She helped National Security Advisor during herself  and  became  ac=ve  in  the   was appointed a special advisor establish Bethune-Cookman his first term, making her the Women’s  Movement.   in the Department of Education. College. first woman to serve in that She is currently Ambassador to position. New Zealand and the Independent State of Samoa. Madame CJ Dr. Mae Wilma Marion WALKER JEMISON RUDOLPH ANDERSON African-­‐American  businesswoman,   NASA astronaut and the first The first American woman to win Broke barriers for black artists in hair  care  entrepreneur  and   black woman to travel in space three gold medals in track and the United States, becoming the philanthropist.  She  made  her   when she went into orbit aboard field at the 1960 Olympic first black person, American or fortune  by  developing  and   the Space Shuttle Endeavour on games. Named Associated otherwise, to perform at the marke=ng  a  hugely  successful  line   September 12, 1992. Press Woman Athlete of the Metropolitan Opera in New York of  beauty  and  hair  products  for   ROSA PARKS – African year twice. City on January 7, 1955. black  women  under  the  company   American Civil Rights activist she  founded,  Madam  C.J.  Walker   called the mother of the modern Manufacturing  Company.   day civil rights movement.FEBRUARY 2012 NEWSLETTER DIVERSITY PROGRAM INCLUSION COUNCIL CREATING DIVERSITY AWARENESS IN THE WORKPLACE NEWSLETTER FEBRUARY 2012