#OnThisDay September 14, 1921 Constance Baker Motley, Manhattan Borough President and the first Black woman named as a federal judge, was born.

Who was Constance Baker Motley?

Glad you asked.

This Queen, who attended my alma mater of Fisk University for two years, was a trailblazer her whole life, was a lawyer🔥, judge🔥🔥, state senator🔥🔥🔥 and Borough President 🔥🔥🔥🔥of Manhattan, New York City.
Born the ninth of 12 children of immigrant parents from the island of Nevis, Motley was simply an amazing high school student. When she graduated, her family didn't have enough money for college and she got a job with the National Youth Administration, a New Deal position.
After giving a speech, a local philanthropist and her church pitched in to send her to Fisk University. After two years there, she returned to New York and graduated from NYU and got her law degree from Columbia Law School.
After graduating from Columbia's Law School in 1946, she was hired by the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund (LDF) as a civil rights lawyer, their first woman attorney. She was the lead trial attorney in MANY early civil rights cases.
Among other casese, she represented Martin Luther King Jr., the Freedom Riders, and the Birmingham Children Marchers. She visited Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. while he sat in jail, as well as spent a night with civil rights activist Medgar Evers under armed guard.
In 1950, she wrote the original complaint in the case of Brown v. Board of Ed. The first Black woman ever to argue a case before the U.S. Supreme Court. In Meredith v. Fair she won James Meredith's fight to be the first Black student to attend the University of MS in 1962.
She won NINETY PERCENT of the cases she argued before SCOTUS y'all. 🔥🤩She was otherwise a key legal strategist in the civil rights movement, helping to desegregate Southern schools, buses, and lunch counters. This Queen was just getting started.
In 1964, Motley was the first BLACK WOMAN elected to the New York State Senate and devoted much of her time to advocated for housing equality for majority-Black and Latinx, low-income tenants. She won re-election handily.
Through her sheer political skill, savvy and genious, she worked within the Democratic Party, resigned her seat and was selected in 1965 as Manhattan Borough President—-the 1st Black woman in that position. In November 1965, she was elected to succeed herself for a full 4yr term.
Pause here for a second.

Black women have forced, and forged, the Democratic Party from one that founded the KKK to one that elected Barack Obama, Kamala Harris and the first Black woman federal judge.

Remember that.
She was nominated by President Lyndon B. Johnson on January 26, 1966, to a seat on the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York vacated by Judge Archie Owen Dawson. Welp, racism, man, which has been winning since 1526 was gonna rear its head.
Racist ass US Senator James Eastland of MS delayed her confirmation process for 7 months b/c he opposed Baker's victories for the Freedom Riders, integrating the University of MS and, of course, the Brown decision. 🤬🤬🤬🤬
This is the same Sen. Eastland who said Black ppl were inferior animals, SCOTUS's Brown decision was to be ignored, the 3 civil rights workers who were found murdered was a hoax invented by northerners . . . oh man this guy was a horrible human being.
Despite Eastland, she was confirmed by the United States Senate on August 30, 1966 becoming the first Black federal judge. She served as Chief Judge from 1982 to 1986. She assumed senior status on September 30, 1986. Her service ended when she died in 2005.
This member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. received hundreds of awards and accolades during her rich, amazing and awesome life. One of her key cases where she was the presiding judge on the case of Blank v. Sullivan & Cromwell, a landmark case for women lawyers.
In Blank, the plaintiffs accused a law firm of sex discrimination. Due to the nature of this case and Motley's gender and race, there were calls for Motley to withdraw from the case assuming she would be biased. 🙄
She fairly, of course, ruled in favor of the plaintiffs. I mean come on now.


Constance Baker Motley, rest in peace and power Queen.


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More from @JamesMWilliam18

15 Sep
KKK members routinely called in bomb threats intended to disrupt civil rights meetings as well as services at the church on Sunday or during Bible study.


You can't make this stuff up. Image
At 10:22 a.m. some 200 church members were in the building—many in Sunday school classes before the start of the 11 am service—when the bomb detonated on the church’s east side, spraying mortar and bricks from the front of the church and caving in its interior walls.
Most parishioners were able to evacuate the building as it filled with smoke, but the bodies of four young girls (14-year-old Addie Mae Collins, Cynthia Wesley and Carole Robertson and 11-year-old Denise McNair) were found beneath the rubble in a basement restroom. Image
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15 Sep
#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 Image
Let me warn all in advance right now.

This thread is probably gonna trigger somebody.

If that's the case, stop now.
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15 Sep
#OnThisDay Jan E. Matzeliger, inventor and businessman, was born in Paramaribo, Dutch Guiana.

Don't know about Jan Matzeliger?

Glad you asked.

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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
15 Sep
While I was out, two big things happened for me. One was my FOURTH WEDDING ANNIVERSARY followed by the 52nd birthday of my beautiful wife who has taken the role of Mrs. Nurse Dark and Lovely as I get better.

God is good. Image
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14 Sep
#OnThisDay September 14, 1874 In the Battle of Liberty Place, a white supremacist militia attacked New Orleans and over threw Louisiana's elected, integrated government.

Don't know abou the Battle of Liberty Place?

While history might not repeat itself, it sure does rhyme. This insurrection, which resulted in the deaths of about 13 people, was the immediate by-product of the success of the Black vote, integration and Reconstruction. Sounds familiar?
That's because we had a similar, larger insurrection on January 6, 2021 on the grounds of the US Capitol. And some fools want to honor those who tried to overthrow the government of the US on September 18, 2021.

Man please.
Read 17 tweets
27 Aug
My paternal grand father, Eugene, had a 3rd grade education. Got his GED when he was in the Army fighting the Germans at the Battle of the Bulge. I asked him why didn't he smoke like his wife and a lot of other people.

"Son, I'm not a rocket scientist, but even I have the good sense to know putting all that smoke in your lungs is doing you no damn good." For some random reason, I pulled up some old cigarette ads from the 1960s. Here's a few.
Read 7 tweets

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