Kings and Queens Accepting the Torch

I couldn’t think of a better way to end the African American History Month other than to post something inspirational that shows the continued spirit of African Americans despite the struggles that we have and are still overcoming from the injustices of discrimination. Just like our ancestors, we will continue to push forward!!!

These children have received the torch and are running with it!

Hope this vid brings you hope for the next generation. Also to have gratitude for those that sacrificed so much for us to have the privileges that we have today. This is evidence that if we live each day with the intent to touch the lives of others, there is a huge positive impact on humanity.

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Perpetual Holocaust of Africans

Truthfully, I know the responses that Africans, Blacks, African Americans receive when we bring light to our past and present of being terrorized throughout history…..such sayings as, “That was a long time ago”, or “Slavery is over, you must get over it, besides that, no one in this generation dealt the terror or received it”. This is exactly why I felt compelled to write this post.

I choose to remember my African history because after all, we are approaching that short month in which historian Carter G. Woodson and the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History announced the second week of February to be “Negro History Week”. This became a precursor to Black History Month in America which began in
1976, and since then, every U.S. president has officially designated the month of February as Black History Month.

Many ask, “Why do Blacks need a month for their history”. How about this…..our history is rarely taught in the public school system and if it is, there are so many deletions and changes made to it that it would be unrecognizable to our ancestors. Let’s just look at the term “Black History” itself. It doesn’t tell anyone where we are from, it’s just a color. We have been called everything throughout the centuries except for what we truly are, “African”. So I leave you with these thoughts to ponder and if you would choose to educate others, no matter what their heritage that the holocaust of Africans worldwide is in full effect, even till this day. Just know that this is blood spilled on American soil and doesn’t even begin to touch the holocaust that occurred in world history or before the Atlantic Slave Trade, surpassing all death tolls of any nation of people ever reported.

Perpetual Holocaust

East St. Louis Massecre July 1917

Red Summer Massecre (including Elaine, Arkansas) 1919

Black Wall Street Tulsa Murders (Greenwood) May 1921

Tuskeegee Syphilis Experiment 1932-1972

16th Street Baptist Church Bombing September 1963

Hurricane Katrina Deaths from little or no government response and displacement of children from families- 2005

Flint, Michigan Deaths and Chronic Illnesses from Water Pollution (2012-present)- most victims predominately African American

Charleston Church Shooting June 17, 2015

Unfortunately, since it’s inception, the United States of America has perpetuated a holocaust and the death toll of my people continually rises, while we hear, “Get over it” .

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Did You Know? Celebrating African American History!

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As African Americans, most of us take great pride in teaching our children and youth about our history all year round.  In America, February has been chosen as the height of this celebration of the rich contribution that we have made to not only America, but the entire world.  However, there is a sadness that grabs me when I think about even the above title….African-American History Month.  Why not simply African History?  We have a rich history before the Americas as well.  A history of being educators, agricultural experts and inventors of things made to aid our journey into outer space as well as much needed health inventions and procedures.

We know about many great contributors and have taught our children about greats such as George Washington Carver, Frederick Douglas, Martin Luther King, Jr., Marcus Garvey, Harriet Tubman, and so many others that would fill pages and pages.  Being that I come from a discipline in healthcare, I want to take you on a journey with me to educate about some unsung heroes in the healthcare industry who have made a huge impact on our lives.

dr-patricia-era-bath-e1476281303884Dr. Patricia Bath          (Photo credit: Scholastic, Teacher’s Activity Guide)          

Did You Know…..Dr. Bath was born in Harlem, New York in 1942 and earned her medical degree from Harvard University followed by a fellowship in Opthalmology at Columbia University.  She had an interest in science from an early age.  In 1981, she invented the Laserphaco Probe which made her famous.  She patented the device in 1988 after years spent perfecting it.  She was the first African American female to physician to secure a medical patent.  This device was used for cataract correction during eye surgery and was less invasive, more precise and had less risk associated with it than other devices.  It has been used world-wide.  Bath also co-founded the American Institute for the prevention of blindness and the first woman to chair an ophthalmology residency program in the US.  She is an example of what it is to work tirelessly for improvement of health for all.

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                (Photo credit:  Celebrating Black History Month, Triocountysentry)

Otis Boykin

Did You Know…..Otis Boykin is best known in the medical field for improving the pacemaker.  In addition to this, he made devices that we use on a daily more effecient and affordable, such as the television and computers.  Boykin was born in Dallas, Texas and attended Fisk College in Nashville, Tennessee.  He went on to the Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago to further his education.

Boykin began to study electronics and learned about resistors.  He found that resistors allow a safe amount of currency to flow through a device because you can slow the electrical flow.  He patented a “wire precision resistor” in 1959 which allowed specific amounts of electrical currents to flow for a specific purpose.  If that wasn’t magnificent enough, he came back with an improved version that could withstand   shifts in temperature and air pressure.  This breakthrough allowed devices to be made even cheaper and more reliable than what had ever been seen before.  His resistors were even used in military missiles.  His invention for the control unit for the pacemaker, which was a device that was implanted in the body to help the heart beat normally, was a great invention that allowed the pacemaker to be regulated more precisely.  He is a true legend.

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(Photo credit:  google photos)

Garrett Morgan

Did You Know…….Garrett Morgan was born in 1877 in Paris and passed in 1963.  He is most known for  inventing an early version of the gas mask and a new form of the traffic signal.  If that was not amazing enough, he also invented the “safety hood” in 1914, which made polluted air safer to breath.  It was used in World War I to protect soldiers from poisonous gases.  In 1916 in Ohio, during the drilling of a tunnel being drilled under Lake Erie that tragically collapsed, 32 workers were trapped and while firemen could not rescue the men due to gases and fumes, Morgan and other men used his safety hood to reach the trapped men and rescue others also.

Oh, but wait, there is more!  What we are all probably more familiar with is his invention and patent for the traffic signal in 1923.  His traffic signal was the first to use 3 instead of 2 commands which made traffic flow more efficiently.  He sold the patent rights for a whopping $40K to G.E., which was more like a cool $1/2 million now.

To these 2 heroes and heroin as well as many others that gave of their time, sweat and hard work and made this world a better place to live.  Here is also to the up and coming Baths, Boykins, and Morgans of our day and time.  Keep pushing forward, breaking open doors and leaving them open for others to come after you.   Thank you for your contributions.