Discover and read the best of Twitter Threads about #GladYouAsked

Most recents (24)

#OnThisDay Bobby Seale and Huey P. Newton, after drafting the "Ten Point Program," founded the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense.

Don't know about the Black Panther Party?

Glad you asked. #GladYouAsked
The names of Elaine Brown, Ericka Huggins, Kathleen Cleaver, Barbara Easley, Fred Hampton, Eldridge Cleaver in addition to the founders belong in this pantheon of freedom fighters.
I am humbled that a real G, the Queen, freedom fighter Dee Oliver Velez, a member of the Panthers and the Young Lords, follows me. Knowing I was going to do this thread, I ran back and re-read as much about the history of the Panthers to make sure I got it right.
Read 34 tweets
#OnThisDay October 12, 1932 Richard Claxton ("Dick") Gregory was born in St. Louis, MO. He was a prominent civil and human rights activist, political candidate and comedian.

Who was Dick Gregory?

Glad you asked. #GladYouAsked
I was fortunate to have been able to meet this King twice: once as a student at Fisk University, and the second when I was busy getting arrested in front of the South African embassy, 1984-1985. Mr. Gregory was the FIRST person to get arrested - IN 1977!
I have so much love for Mr. Gregory, his wife and family. This brother broke barriers, was making HUGE sums of money ($500K in 1960s, y'all) but said Imma go out her and sacrifice it all to fight for my people. Heck all people.
Read 29 tweets
#OnThisDay October 13, 1926 Jesse Leroy Brown, the first Black naval aviator, was born in Hattiesburg, MS.

Don't know about Jesse Brown?

Glad you asked. #GladYouAsked Image
Most people, with good reason, know about the incredible exploits of the Tuskegee Airmen, led by Gen. Benjamin O. Davis, Jr. Until that point, the US military had ZERO combat pilots. The Tuskegee Airmen flew in the Army. The other branches had ZERO Black pilots. ImageImage
His parents were sharecroppers. A smart, excellent athlete, he dreamed of being a pilot. Instead of going to Howard or Hampton, where his parents wanted him to go to college, he went to Ohio State. He had to work as a janitor and load freight cars at night.
Read 15 tweets
#OnThisDay October 13, 1914 Inventor and engineer Garrett A. Morgan patented the gas mask. This breathing device was used during WWI and to rescue people in coal mines.

Don't know about Garrett A. Morgan?

Glad you asked. #GladYouAsked Image
If you stopped at a traffic light, thank Garrett Morgan. If you used a sewing machine and the needle didn't break or burn out, thank Garrett Morgan. For those firefighters and others who use a gas mask, thank Garrett Morgan.

HE INVENTED THEM ALL.
Born in Paris, KY in 1877, he was the 7th of 11 children of parents who were formerly enslaved. Like most children in those days, he started working as a teenager to bring in money to the household and had to quit school in the 6th grade.
Read 18 tweets
#OnThisDay October 12, 1919 Doris ("Dorie") Miller, a messman on the USS Arizona who shot down several planes during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, was born.

Don't know about Dorie Miller?

Glad you asked. #GladYouAsked Image
African Americans have always served our nation with gallantry and honor. Crispus Attucks was the 1st person to die for this nation and James Armistead risked his life as a spy. Benjamin Davis, Jr. led the Tuskegee Airmen and Harriet Tubman was the 1st woman to lead an infantry. ImageImageImageImage
Only 3 years before Miller was born, Waco, TX was the scene of one of the most brutal lynchings in America, when 17 year old Jesse Washington was burned alive on the lawn of the city hall. I did a thread on this horror earlier; here's a link.⬇️

wacohistory.org/items/show/55
Read 25 tweets
#OnThisDay October 8, 2014 Thomas Eric Duncan, the first person diagnosed with the Ebola Virus, died. What happened, and how was the virus, that killed thousands in Africa contained?

Glad you asked.

#GladYouAsked
Amidst a pandemic, it's easy to forget the US was able to contain several deadly epidemics before they became full-blown pandemics (an epidemic affects a particular region; a pandemic is world-wide). I thought the Ebola Virus = Bubonic plague. Real talk.
Shortly before his death, Duncan, who lived in Liberia, had traveled to the US from West Africa, which was in the throes of the largest outbreak of the often-fatal disease since its discovery in 1976.
Read 17 tweets
Transparency alert here for my followers or would be followers.

In my 61 revolutions around the sun, I've seen a hell of a lot of life. As I remind some of these youngins, I've driven more miles in reverse than they have forward.

Here's an encapsulation of my TL.

THREAD
I worked as a Hill staffer for 20 years, 6 different members of Congress. I have been involved in politics since I was 12 years old, fighting for home rule for DC; managed over 40 local, county, state and federal campaigns.
Between the ages of 11-25, I have been arrested over 23 times by the police. With the exception of the two times I was arrested with my friend the late Dr. Kamu Jennings in front of the South African embassy protesting apartheid? FOR NOTHING.
Read 16 tweets
#OnThisDay October 6, 1993 Dr. Mae Carol Jemison, the first Black woman astronaut, pioneer, medical doctor and scientist was inducted into the National Women's Hall of Fame.

Who was Dr. Mae Jemison?

Glad you asked. #GladYouAsked
I have been fortunate to know, and be around, some of the smartest people who've ever stepped foot on this planet. If you are ever around a smart Black woman, you KNOW she went through some extra hell.

Point blank, period.
Black women have been STEM innovators since . . . forever. Black women invented GPS (Gladys West)🔥; literally got us into outer space (Katherine Johnson)🤩; Nola Hylton (developed MRI for breast cancer)🤗 and don't forget Dr. Kizzmekia Corbett (COVID-19 vaccine)🤩. Among others
Read 24 tweets
#OnThisDay October 7, 1800 Gabriel Prosser, one of the co-organizers of over 1,000 enslaved men with plans to march on and seize Richmond, VA, was hanged. He was betrayed by two enslaved men who were with him.

Don't know about Gabriel Prosser?

Glady you asked. #GladYouAsked
Enslaved Africans fought, escaped and were determined to get freedom - by any means necessary - since landing on these shores in 1526. You did know we've been here since that time, right? ⬇️

washingtonpost.com/history/2019/0…
1619 is also a key date in the enslavement of African Americans in the United States. In addition to being brought here as enslaved people, VA started cranking up the laws that ensured enslaved Africans would never, ever have a whiff of freedom.

washingtonpost.com/history/2019/0…
Read 14 tweets
#OnThisDay October 6, 1917 Freedom fighter, activist and founder of the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party, Fannie Lou Hamer, was born in Ruleville, MS.

Don't know about Fannie Lou Hamer?

Glad you asked. #GladYouAsked Image
If you want to read some great books about Fannie Lou Hamer, check out Paula Gidding's classic "When and Where I Enter," and "Freedom's Daughters," by Lynne Olson.

When I read about her at Fisk University? She was so amazing, I didn't think she was a real person. ImageImage
She was the 20th and last child of sharecroppers Lou Ella and James Townsend. At 6, Hamer joined her family picking cotton - she could do 200 lbs per day. By age 12, she left school to work. When the plantation owner found out she could read, she was made the record + timekeeper.
Read 29 tweets
#OnThisDay October 6, 1871, the FISK UNIVERSITY Jubilee Singers began their FIRST national tour. The Jubilee Singers saved my alma mater, Fisk University, they also introduced the world to gospel music.

Don't know about the Jubilee Singers?

Glad you asked. #GladYouAsked
Ahem.

Let me add the GRAMMY AWARD WINNING Jubilee Singers.

In order to be a Jubilee Singer, you've got to be the BEST of the BEST. It's not easy. Anyone who's a Jubilee Singer, for the rest of their lives, are held in high regard by any Fiskite.

fiskjubileesingers.org
Check out the thread below for the complete story on Fisk University and the Jubilee Singers⬇️⬇️⬇️⬇️

Read 15 tweets
#OnThisDay October 5, 1929 Autherine Lucy, the first Black student at the University of Alabama, was born.

Don't know about Ms. Autherine Lucy?

Glad you asked. #GladYouAsked
Whenever you tune in your TV on Saturday, and watch the big, bad University of Alabama football players do their thing, take a moment and say thanks and a prayer to the moral courage of a Black woman who made it possible for every Black person who attend 'Bama to go there.
Autherine Lucy was the youngest of ten brothers and sisters. Born in Shiloh, AL, her parents were farmers. Lucy left Shiloh in 1947 to attend Selma University in Selma, Alabama. She earned a teaching certificate and graduated from HBCU Miles College, but wanted more.
Read 19 tweets
#OnThisDay October 4, 1982 Herman M. Sweatt, the plaintiff in the Sweatt v. Painter separate-but-equal decision, died.

Don't know about Mr. Herman M. Sweatt?

Glad you asked. #GladYouAsked
Sweatt v. Painter is one of the most important Constitutional cases of all time. It was the first direct challenge to the infamous "separate but equal" decision SCOTUS delivered in the infamous "Plessy v. Ferguson" case, and led the way to the Brown decision.
Heman Marion Sweatt was an Black mail carrier from Houston. Theophilus Shickel Painter was the University of Texas' president at the time. In 1946, Sweatt and Painter, along with representatives from the NAACP and other university officials, met at the University of Texas.
Read 15 tweets
#OnThisDay October 3, 1904 Mary McLeod Bethune, educator, stateswoman, philanthropist, business person, humanitarian, womanist and civil rights activist, opened Bethune-Cookman College in Daytona Beach, FL.

Who was Mary McLeod Bethune?

Glad you asked. #GladYouAsked Image
If there is ever a Mt. Rushmore of civil rights leaders, the visage of Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune must be one of them. My grand mother took me to the statue in my home town of DC dedicated to her. "Who is that, Granny?" "That's what libraries are for. Look her up. You tell me." Image
Born number 15 of 17 siblings, in 1875 to parents who were formerly enslaved, her mom and dad bought a small farm in South Carolina. Deeply religious, they encouraged their curious daughter to attend a mission school where she thrived. Image
Read 27 tweets
#OnThisDay November 10, 1910 lawyer, activist, educator, civil rights fighter and the first Black woman ordained as an Episcopal priest, Pauli Murray, was born.

Who was Pauli Murray?

Glad you asked. #GladYouAsked
There is an OUTSTANDING documentary about the greatness of Anna Pauline Murray, "My Name is Pauli Murray." Out of respect for her gender fluidity, I will use the last name, Murray, versus a traditional pronoun.
nytimes.com/2021/09/15/mov…
Bornin Baltimore, MD, the 4th of 6 children, her mom died when s/he was 4. Her dad suffered from the long-term effects of typhoid fever, and was murdered by a white guard when he was sent to the notorious Crownsville State Hospital. S/he was raised by grandparents.
Read 18 tweets
#OnThisDay October 1, 1851 10,000 abolitionists broke into a Syracuse, NY courtroom and freed Williams "Jerry" Henry, an enslaved man, who then escaped to Canada by way of the Underground Railroad.

Don't know about the escape of Jerry Henry?

Glad you asked. #GladYouAsked
This escape was done in the wake of Congress' passing of the Fugitive Slave Act. They were actually a pair of federal laws that allowed for the capture and return of runaway enslaved people within the territory of the United States.
Enacted by Congress in 1793, the first Fugitive Slave Act authorized local governments to seize and return escapees to their owners and imposed penalties on anyone who aided in their flight. Widespread opposition in the North led to the 2nd, more repressive, law.
Read 18 tweets
#OnThisDay September 30, 1962 President John F. Kennedy authorized the use of federal troops to escort James Meredith's integration of the University of Mississippi.

Who was James Meredith?

Glad you asked. #GladYouAsked
Even though SCOTUS in the famous 1954 Brown v. Board of Education decision banned segregation in public schools, Mississippi and other southern schools didn't care. In VA, Prince Edward county JUST CLOSED THE WHOLE SCHOOL SYSTEM.
James Howard Meredith was raised on a farm with nine brothers and sisters, largely insulated from the racism of the time. His first experience with institutionalized racism occurred while he was riding a train from Chicago with his brother.
Read 19 tweets
#OnThisDay September 19, 1915 Alabama passes a law that barred white female nurses from treating Black male patients, yet another "Jim Crow" law passed in the wake of the end of Reconstruction.

Don't know about Jim Crow?

Glad you asked. #GladYouAsked
"Jim Crow" is a catchall name referring to the repressive de jure and de facto laws to suppress Black movement, voting and freedom. The original name goes back before the Civil War, though. And you thought cultural appropriation was a new thing . . .
In the early 1830s, white actor Thomas Dartmouth “Daddy” Rice was propelled to stardom for performing minstrel routines as the fictional “Jim Crow,” a caricature of a clumsy, dimwitted Black enslaved man. He took the song from a Black man who sang it in Kentucky.
Read 19 tweets
#OnThisDay March 14, 2018 Afro-Brazilian politician, human rights activist Marielle Francisco de Silva (Marielle Franco) was assassinated. She was an outspoken critic of police brutality.

Don't know about Marielle Franco?

Glad you asked. #GladYouAsked #HispanicHeritageMonth
My late friend, Dr. Kamu Jennings, educated me when he was with Amnesty International about the plight of Afro-Brazilians. Here he is in Rio de Janiero as he was rallying Black women there to fight police corruption and wanton rape.
First, a little background. Brazil was probably the country that had the most enslaved Africans, probably 10X the amount brought to the US. In the US, interracial relationships were forbidden (except, of course, the rape of Black women and children).
Read 20 tweets
#OnThisDay August 18, 1934 Roberto Enrique Clemente Walker, the first Latinx professional MLB baseball player was born.

Don't know about Roberto Clemente, his fight against racism or his humanitarian work?

Glad you asked.

#GladYouAsked #HispanicHeritageMonth
The contributions of Afro-Latinx people are often ignored. Most Africans from the Middle Passage ended up in South America or the Caribbean, not the US. Afro Latinx face the racism, discrimination and white supremacy just like all other Black/African people.
Roberto was born in Puerto Rico, the youngest of 7 children. His dad worked for the sugar cane company; Clemente and his brothers worked w/their dad in the fields, loading and unloading trucks. He was a track star, and was an Olympic hopeful before focusing on baseball.
Read 20 tweets
#OnThisDay June 8, 1961 Joan Trumpauer Muholland, along with dozens of other Freedom Riders, were arrested and sent to Parchman Prison.

Don't know about Joan Trumpauer Muholland?

Glad you asked.

#GladYouAsked #WhatAnAllyLooksLike
As one of the late Rep. John Lewis' Chiefs of Staff, I first found out about Ms. Muholland's greatness from Mr. Lewis' stories about her. I was stunned I didn't know more about this amazing human being.
Joan Trumpauer was born in Washington, DC. Her mother, from Georgia, was the first to marry a "northerner." Her great-grandparents owned human beings, and after the United States Civil War, they became sharecroppers.
Read 26 tweets
#OnThisDay October 16, 1859 John Brown and his men begin their march to Harpers Ferry for an armed insurrection against the enslavement of human beings.

Who was John Brown?

Glad you asked.

#GladYouAsked
When I was young, I was taught John Brown was some wild-eyed, irrational, crazy white man who led a failed movement of white and enslaved people to overthrow a garrison of weapons. NOTHING about John Brown was positive. Thank God for Fisk Unversity and John Hope Franklin.
Dr. Franklin is one of the greatest historians this nation's ever produced. ALL historians bow down to his greatness. He didn't teach at Fisk when I was there but would occasionaly visit. I literally lived in his pocked when he arrived on campus.
Read 34 tweets
#OnThisDay September 15, 1963 Addie Mae Collins (14), Carol Robertson (14), Denise McNair (11) and Cynthia Wesley (14) were murdered when the 16th Street Baptist Church was bombed by the KKK.

Don't know about the bombing of this church?

Glad you asked.

#GladYouAsked
Let me warn all in advance right now.

This thread is probably gonna trigger somebody.

If that's the case, stop now.
First, a little background. Birmingham, Alabama, was founded in 1871 and rapidly became the state’s most important industrial and commercial center. It was also one of America’s most racially discriminatory and segregated cities.
Read 11 tweets
#OnThisDay Jan E. Matzeliger, inventor and businessman, was born in Paramaribo, Dutch Guiana.

Don't know about Jan Matzeliger?

Glad you asked.

#GladYouAsked
Look down at your feet. If you are wearing a pair of shoes, you just need to thank this brother who made shoes affordable and possible for all people. Shoes used to be a commodity only for the rich and wealthy, he flipped the script and changed the game. Forever.
His father was a Dutchman of German descent; his mother was an enslaved Black woman of the plantation which his father owned. So you know what went down there. At ten, Matzeliger was apprenticed in the Colonial Ship Works in Paramaribo, where he was a mechanical genius.
Read 14 tweets

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