We Still Here (day 14 of 28)

Wishing you all a day full of love! Today's entry is a bit long, as we pay tribute to Prince's dazzling legacy, and commemorate the many Black struggles that took place in his hometown #Minneapolis, #Minnesota.

#BHM #ShareBlackStories #ShareTheLove
Prince Rogers Nelson was born June 7, 1958. A well-rounded entertainer, Prince was a singer-songwriter, producer, multi-instrumentalist, guitar virtuoso, & professional dancer. His eclectic, genre-bending music & flamboyant and androgynous persona forever imprinted on the world.
Born to musician parents with familial roots in Louisiana, Prince Rogers was given his father’s stage & band name and encouraged to explore interests in music. At 7, he wrote his first song, “Funk Machine”, with his father’s piano.
His parents divorced when Prince was 10. His mother remarried, and Prince ended up frequently switching homes, living at his mother & stepfather’s, father’s, aunt’s, and eventually a neighbor’s basement.
Prince continued his training in the arts. An avid pianist since early in life, he also trained in classical ballet while attending High School, through the Minneapolis Public Schools’ Urban Arts Program. Prince would later become an advocate for dancers and dance theaters.
Prince signed with Warner Bros. Records at 19 and from then on, enjoyed a long, prolific, and successful career.

Like Stevie Wonder, Prince is critically acclaimed for his innovations in music, pioneering the Minneapolis sound, a funk-rock subgenre, and blending a wide variety of genres in his work.
Prince’s hometown Minneapolis is a center of folk, funk, and alternative rock music, and recently a vibrant community of Hip-hop and rap artists also emerged. In addition to Prince, Minneapolis also produced heavyweights including Bob Dylan and Lizzo.
Black people have resided in Minneapolis since early 1800s, with many arriving to escape slavery.

Although Minnesota was a free state, it was documented that army officers, fur traders, and travelling southerners brought slavery to the state with little consequence.
In 1862, Joseph Godfrey, a man born into slavery near Mendota, MN, escaped and joined the Dakota, Minnesota’s first people, with whom he fought against white settler-colonists during the U.S.–Dakota War of 1862.
Considered a progressive state, Minnesota granted Black men the right to vote in 1868, two years before the US Constitution granting such a right at the federal level.
It was also a center of Black organizing and empowerment. From late 1800s to early 1900s, Groups were formed to fight against discrimination, including the Minnesota Protective and Industrial League, the Afro-American League, and the Minnesota Citizen Civil Rights Committee.
In 1902, the annual meeting of the National Afro-American Council was held in St. Paul. Organized by St. Paul attorney Fredrick McGhee, the meeting was attended by national leaders including W. E. B. Du Bois, Ida B. Wells, and Booker T. Washington.
Splitting with Washington regarding Blacks’ pursuit of civil rights, Du Bois, McGhee, and others formed the Niagara Movement, which led to the formation of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) in 1910.
However, acts of discrimination and racial violence existed throughout history and to this day. Through practices concerning education, housing, labor, and policing, Black Americans were afforded significantly fewer opportunities than whites.
In Minneapolis, restrictive housing covenants against minorities remained in many deeds as recently as 2017. Many white employers refused to hire Blacks for skilled positions, limiting the economic mobility for Blacks. At times, racist grievances turned violent.
Blacks fought against racism both in the courts as well as in the community by organizing. Lena O. Smith, the first black woman to become an attorney in Minnesota, challenged housing discrimination in the courts.
Anthony Cassius organized the all-black waiters union at the Curtis Hotel in Minneapolis in 1935, winning a $13,000 wage increase and $3,500 in back pay for black waiters in 1940.
Nellie Stone Johnson organized at the Minneapolis Athletic Club, helped create the Democratic–Farmer-Labor Party (DFL), and later became the first black elected official when she was elected to the Minneapolis Library Board in 1945.
Post-WWII, the Great Migration brought more African Americans to Minnesota with many settling in Minneapolis.
And the struggles against oppression continued. The 2020 murder of George Floyd by police officer Derek Chauvin became yet another flashpoint of Black struggles in America, sparking massive worldwide protests.
We embody where we come from and the places we live. We are our history. And we still here.

Artwork provided courtesy of Greg Edwards (@GregtheGrouch).

@ApaPbcd @SoCalNOMA

#BlackHistoryMonth #Art #History #Inspiration #Housing #DopeBlackArt
If you would like to bid on a 24 x 36 version of today's artwork or any piece that we have/will be sharing, please head over to app.galabid.com/abundanthousing. Greg is generously donating all proceeds to our work de-segregating Los Angeles. Thank you!

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More from @AbundantHousing

15 Feb
We Still Here (day 15 of 28)

The queen of neo soul, Erykah Badu, was born Erica Abi Wright on February 26, 1971. She was raised by a single mother in #Dallas, #Texas. 1/

#BHM #HERstory #ShareBlackStories #threadstorytime Image
Badu started her training in the arts at age 4 and was a cast member at The Black Academy of Arts and Letters in her youth. By 14, she was freestyling for a local radio station. 2/
Believing her original name was a “slave name”, Badu decided to spell it as “Erykah” early in life, incorporating the term “kah” which means “inner self”. Her adopted surname, “Badu”, refers to the 10th born child in the native language of Akan people from Ghana. 3/
Read 13 tweets
13 Feb
Good morning and welcome to the weekend! Day 13 of our collab with artist Greg Edwards (@GregtheGrouch) features Amanda Gorman, who at 22 is the youngest entry of this series. Her story demonstrates the empowerment that comes with having a voice & creative outlet.

#BHM #thread Image
Poet and activist Amanda Gorman was born in Los Angeles, California, in 1998. She grew up with a speech impediment and has an auditory condition making her hypersensitive to sound.

Facing these conditions, Amanda did not despair. Writing in 2018, she said,

“I always saw it as a strength because since I was experiencing these obstacles in terms of my auditory and vocal skills, I became really good at reading and writing."

Read 12 tweets
11 Feb

Under state law, LA has to plan for 456,000 more homes by 2029. In October, @Planning4LA will finalize a plan (the “housing element”) explaining how they’ll achieve this ambitious goal.

Of course, *how* we plan for more homes is key. Together with 19 other civic orgs, @AbundantHousing has called for an Equitable Distribution of housing, where *every* neighborhood, particularly high-resource areas, plans for strong housing growth.

This aligns with the FAIR Plan that we developed with @PacificUrbanism, which estimates each neighborhood’s housing need, based on factors like median income, access to jobs, and access to transit.

Read 12 tweets

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