BOTWC - Weekly Roundup https://www.becauseofthemwecan.com/blogs/newsletter BOTWC Weekly Roundup Mon, 21 Jan 2019 13:03:27 GMT TSU's Aristocrat of Bands Marching Band Makes History With First Grammy https://www.becauseofthemwecan.com//blogs/botwc-firsts/viola-davis-is-now-the-third-black-woman-to-reach-egot-status https://www.becauseofthemwecan.com//blogs/botwc-firsts/viola-davis-is-now-the-third-black-woman-to-reach-egot-status Sun, 05 Feb 2023 20:54:51 GMT newsletter@becauseofthemwecan.com This HBCU's marching band just won a grammy! "The Urban Hymnal" won the award for Best Roots Gospel Album, making them the first marching band to win in that category, The Tennessean reports. "Hymnal" was co-produced by songwriters and producers Dallas Austin and Sir the Baptist and TSU professor Larry Jenkins. "These kids worked so hard," Sir the Baptist said. "And to be honest with you guys, HBCUs are so grossly... This HBCU's marching band just won a grammy! "The Urban Hymnal" won the award for Best Roots Gospel Album, making them the first marching band to win in that category, The Tennessean reports. "Hymnal" was co-produced by songwriters and producers Dallas Austin and Sir the Baptist and TSU professor Larry Jenkins. "These kids worked so hard," Sir the Baptist said. "And to be honest with you guys, HBCUs are so grossly underfunded to where I had to put my last dime in order to get us across the line. My cousin got us across the line even when I gave all. We're here with our pockets empty, but our hands aren't!" TSU's historic feat follows another historic moment for a Nashville-based HBCU. In 2021, The Fisk Jubilee Singers' Celebrating Fisk! album won Best Roots Gospel Album, their first-ever Grammy win. Seeing their hard work pay off in the same way, Professor Jenkins thanked his students. "Your hard work and dedication created the pen that allowed you to write your own page in the history books," he said. "We all know we made history, but this is also February. We also made Black history."  Only a few students were able to attend and accept the Grammy Award in-person, resulting in a party on campus! Congrats, Aristocrat of Bands. Just call us Tennessee State University GRAMMY-Award Winning Aristocrat of Bands! We WON in the Best Gospel Roots Album category! TSU’s Aristocrat of Bands has made history as THE 1st COLLEGIATE MARCHING BAND to WIN A GRAMMY!#ExcellenceIsOurHabit! pic.twitter.com/K6RPmdrqKT — Tennessee State University (@TSUedu) February 5, 2023 Photo credit: The Tennessee Tribune/The Tennessean Captain Janet Days Just Made History As the First Black Commanding Officer of the World’s Largest Naval Base https://www.becauseofthemwecan.com//blogs/botwc-firsts/captain-janet-days-just-made-history-as-the-first-black-woman-commanding-officer-of-the-world-s-largest-naval-base https://www.becauseofthemwecan.com//blogs/botwc-firsts/captain-janet-days-just-made-history-as-the-first-black-woman-commanding-officer-of-the-world-s-largest-naval-base Sun, 05 Feb 2023 23:34:44 GMT newsletter@becauseofthemwecan.com This is HUGE! Captain Janet Days is now the first Black woman commanding officer in Naval Station Norfolk’s (NAVSTA) 106-year-history, 13NewsNow reports. The Chicago native graduated Summa Cum Laude from Old Dominion University and was commissioned through Naval ROTC’s Enlisted Commissioning Program. Within her 24-year career, she's taken numerous tours aboard: USS Simon Lake homeported at La Maddalena, Italy, USS Mahan, and USS Forrest Sherman. She’s also been deployed twice! Her leadership hasn't gone unnoticed;... This is HUGE! Captain Janet Days is now the first Black woman commanding officer in Naval Station Norfolk’s (NAVSTA) 106-year-history, 13NewsNow reports. The Chicago native graduated Summa Cum Laude from Old Dominion University and was commissioned through Naval ROTC’s Enlisted Commissioning Program. Within her 24-year career, she's taken numerous tours aboard: USS Simon Lake homeported at La Maddalena, Italy, USS Mahan, and USS Forrest Sherman. She’s also been deployed twice! Her leadership hasn't gone unnoticed; Days was awarded the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal (7), Army Commendation Medal (2), Army Achievement Medal, and the Afghanistan Campaign Medal.    This past Friday, she was sworn in as NAVSTA’s 51st Commanding Officer, a role that is typically reserved for white men, making history as the first Black commanding officer of the world’s largest naval base, which is located in Norfolk, VA. This wasn’t the first time Days made history; in 2021, she was named the first Black woman Executive Officer at Naval Station Norfolk. In her new role, she'll be overseeing 6,200 acres, including 13 piers, an 8,000-foot airfield, 63 ships, two 188 aircrafts and 18 squadrons. A true trailblazer and an inspiration to us all, this is a great start to Black History Month. Congratulations, Captain Days!  Photo: Naval Station Norfolk Autumn Lockwood Is the First Black Woman to Coach In the Super Bowl https://www.becauseofthemwecan.com//blogs/news/autumn-lockwood-is-the-first-black-woman-to-coach-in-the-super-bowl Tue, 07 Feb 2023 08:15:02 GMT newsletter@becauseofthemwecan.com Philadelphia Eagles' assistant performance coach just made history as the first Black woman to coach in the Super Bowl. We recently reported on Nicole Lynn’s Super Bowl LVII feat of becoming the first Black woman to represent an NFL quarterback in the championship, but when it comes to Black Girl Magic, there’s always more where that came from! Meet Autumn Lockwood, former soccer player, certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist, and a... Philadelphia Eagles' assistant performance coach just made history as the first Black woman to coach in the Super Bowl. We recently reported on Nicole Lynn’s Super Bowl LVII feat of becoming the first Black woman to represent an NFL quarterback in the championship, but when it comes to Black Girl Magic, there’s always more where that came from! Meet Autumn Lockwood, former soccer player, certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist, and a member of the National Strength and Conditioning Association.  Lockwood joined the Eagles in August of 2022 as a Sports Performance Coach; now she’s heading into her first major championship! She’s the first Black woman to achieve this feat but the fourth woman in NFL history to do so.    This is cool. Autumn is a former UNLV strength & conditioning assistant and the daughter of a former Rebel cornerbacks coach. #BEaREBEL https://t.co/hK3BLiHP8p — Mark Wallington (@UNLVFBSID) February 2, 2023 Congratulations, Autumn! Photo: LinkedIn/ GMA This 9-Year-Old Made History After Becoming the Second Youngest Person Ever to Graduate High School https://www.becauseofthemwecan.com//blogs/news/9-year-old-david-balogun-is-the-youngest-kid-to-graduate-high-school Tue, 07 Feb 2023 00:12:07 GMT newsletter@becauseofthemwecan.com He wants to be an astrophysicist! 9-year-old David Balogun just made history as the second youngest high school graduate. From Bucks County, Pennsylvania, Balogun's love for learning was cultivated by his parents Ronya and Henry Balogun who both have achieved advanced degrees.  According to his mother, raising a young son with extraordinary intellectual gifts is challenging. "I had to get outside of the box. Playing pillow fights when you're not supposed to,... He wants to be an astrophysicist! 9-year-old David Balogun just made history as the second youngest high school graduate. From Bucks County, Pennsylvania, Balogun's love for learning was cultivated by his parents Ronya and Henry Balogun who both have achieved advanced degrees.  According to his mother, raising a young son with extraordinary intellectual gifts is challenging. "I had to get outside of the box. Playing pillow fights when you're not supposed to, throwing the balls in the house. He's a 9-year-old with the brain that has the capacity to understand and comprehend a lot of concepts beyond his years and sometimes beyond my understanding," Mrs. Balogun told WBALTV. It didn’t take the young genius long to finish grade school; he tested out of elementary and middle school early and was able to take remote courses at Reach Cyber Charter School. His favorite subjects are science and computer programming, and he likes studying supernovas and black holes. Now that he's received his diploma, Bucks County Community College is up next, thanking both his parents and teachers for his success. "They didn't bog me down. They also advocated for me, saying, 'He can do this. He can do that.'”   When he’s not in the books, he likes to play sports and the piano, and he’s currently working on his black belt in martial arts. Keep shooting for the stars, David!  Photo: CNN/ WGAL Washington Commanders Running Back Jaret Patterson Visiting His Second Grade Teacher Will Put You In Your Feels https://www.becauseofthemwecan.com//blogs/the-feels/washington-commanders-running-back-visiting-his-elementary-school-teacher-will-touch-your-heart Sun, 05 Feb 2023 13:33:37 GMT newsletter@becauseofthemwecan.com We need more of this!  Jaret Patterson decided to give back to someone who had a great influence on him: his second grade teacher. The 23-year-old running back is a Maryland native who proved to be a star. He broke barriers at University at Buffalo with his twin brother, James Patterson, before landing the opportunity to play for his home team, the Washington Commanders.  Patterson displays his love for the game on and off... We need more of this!  Jaret Patterson decided to give back to someone who had a great influence on him: his second grade teacher. The 23-year-old running back is a Maryland native who proved to be a star. He broke barriers at University at Buffalo with his twin brother, James Patterson, before landing the opportunity to play for his home team, the Washington Commanders.  Patterson displays his love for the game on and off the field, but his heart is his biggest asset. He decided to surprise his second grade teacher, Mr. Diedren Coon, at Glenarden Woods Elementary School.  The Prince George’s County Public Schools (PGCPS) shared the special surprise in an Instagram post; it was just what we needed to feel the love right before Valentine’s day!  View this post on Instagram A post shared by PGCPS (@pgcps)   Patterson told Because of Them We Can, “He [Mr. Coon] was a person that helped me build that confidence and foundation in the classroom, especially in reading. I just wanted to thank him for that, for impacting my life at a young age. I just told him whether it's playing football or when I'm done playing, I want to impact people's lives just as he impacted my life.” Some people say to teach is to touch a life forever and Mr. Coon is surely making a difference in his students' lives. Because of our educators, we can!  These Adorable Childhood Photos of Our Black Leaders Will Make Your Day https://www.becauseofthemwecan.com//blogs/the-feels/these-adorable-childhood-photos-of-our-black-leaders-will-make-your-day Thu, 02 Feb 2023 16:00:09 GMT newsletter@becauseofthemwecan.com Let’s humanize our heroes! Oftentimes we only hear about the struggles and sacrifices of our leaders. In awe of their contributions and commitment to keeping their legacy alive, we sometimes morph our leaders into caricatures of themselves, forgetting that they are human too. While we are indeed magical, that magic is less Hogwarts and more “mama made miracles every Thanksgiving.” Do you catch our drift? The magic is in the... Let’s humanize our heroes! Oftentimes we only hear about the struggles and sacrifices of our leaders. In awe of their contributions and commitment to keeping their legacy alive, we sometimes morph our leaders into caricatures of themselves, forgetting that they are human too. While we are indeed magical, that magic is less Hogwarts and more “mama made miracles every Thanksgiving.” Do you catch our drift? The magic is in the commitment, the dedication in spite of, the peaks, the valleys and everything in between. It’s important to remember that our leaders were just ordinary, everyday people who answered the extraordinary calling on their lives. In honor of Black History Month, let’s look at some of our Black leaders before the fame in this adorable collection of childhood photos that will make your day.    Coretta Scott King These Adorable Childhood Photos Of Our Black Leaders Will Make Your Day/ Photo Courtesy of National Visionary Leadership Project   View this post on Instagram A post shared by Hampton Blu Network (R) | News (@hamptonblunetwork)   Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. These Adorable Childhood Photos Of Our Black Leaders Will Make Your Day/ Photo Courtesy of Intellectual Properties Management, Inc. Licensor of The King Estate/Associated Press   View this post on Instagram A post shared by TV One (@tvonetv)   Maya Angelou These Adorable Childhood Photos Of Our Black Leaders Will Make Your Day/ Photo Courtesy of MayaAngelou.com   View this post on Instagram A post shared by Maya Angelou (@drmayaangelou)   Malcolm X These Adorable Childhood Photos Of Our Black Leaders Will Make Your Day/ Photo Courtesy of PBS     Ruby Bridges These Adorable Childhood Photos Of Our Black Leaders Will Make Your Day/ Photo Courtesy of Bettman/Getty Images   View this post on Instagram A post shared by Nina Turner (@ninaturnerohio)   John Lewis These Adorable Childhood Photos Of Our Black Leaders Will Make Your Day/ Photo Courtesy of John Lewis Family Photo/Walking with the Wind/Atlanta Journal Constitution   Dr. Angela Davis These Adorable Childhood Photos Of Our Black Leaders Will Make Your Day/ Angela Davis as a child with her mother, 1946/Photo Courtesy of Schlesinger Library   View this post on Instagram A post shared by Angela Davis (@_angeladavis1944)   Barack Obama These Adorable Childhood Photos Of Our Black Leaders Will Make Your Day/ Photo Courtesy of Obama for America   View this post on Instagram A post shared by Barack Obama Fan Club (@officialobamafanclub) Michelle Obama These Adorable Childhood Photos Of Our Black Leaders Will Make Your Day/ Photo Courtesy of Netflix   Muhammad Ali These Adorable Childhood Photos Of Our Black Leaders Will Make Your Day/ Ali (left) pictured with younger brother, January 1942/Photo Courtesy of Rex/The Guardian View this post on Instagram A post shared by Muhammad Ali (@muhammadali)   Oprah Winfrey These Adorable Childhood Photos Of Our Black Leaders Will Make Your Day/ Photo Courtesy of Oprah Winfrey/Instagram   View this post on Instagram A post shared by Tribeca (@tribeca) Jackie Robinson These Adorable Childhood Photos Of Our Black Leaders Will Make Your Day/ Robinson circa 1925/Photo Courtesy of Hulton Archive/Getty Images   View this post on Instagram A post shared by BLM860 (Black Lives Matter Hartford CT) (@blm860_)   Nina Simone These Adorable Childhood Photos Of Our Black Leaders Will Make Your Day/ Photo Courtesy of The Nina Simone Project/National Trust for Historic Preservation   View this post on Instagram A post shared by Soul Music (@soul_music_explosion)   Happy Black History Month! These Adorable Childhood Photos Of Our Black Leaders Will Make Your Day/ Photo Courtesy of Maya Soetoro-Ng/DailyMail 5 Important Things You Should Know About Selma Burke, the Sculptor Behind the Dime Design https://www.becauseofthemwecan.com//blogs/culture/5-important-things-you-should-know-about-selma-burke-the-sculptor-behind-the-dime-design Mon, 06 Feb 2023 22:58:32 GMT newsletter@becauseofthemwecan.com More hidden history! Selma Hortense Burke was born on December 31, 1900 in Mooresville, North Carolina, the seventh of 10 children born to Mary Jackson and Neal Burke. She found her passion for art at a young age, parlaying that into a successful career as an internationally renowned sculptor. Burke made a name for herself during Harlem’s renaissance era, and all of her hard work eventually led to her getting... More hidden history! Selma Hortense Burke was born on December 31, 1900 in Mooresville, North Carolina, the seventh of 10 children born to Mary Jackson and Neal Burke. She found her passion for art at a young age, parlaying that into a successful career as an internationally renowned sculptor. Burke made a name for herself during Harlem’s renaissance era, and all of her hard work eventually led to her getting the opportunity to create a bronze relief portrait of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, which would be cemented in history as a part of our American currency. View this post on Instagram A post shared by Unpopular_Black_History (@unpopularblackhistory)   Burke considered herself “a people’s sculptor" and hoped to use her work to speak to people all across the world, even those uninterested in art. She was known for her brass, bronze, alabaster, and limestone sculptures that focused on the human body. In addition to President Roosevelt, Burke also commissioned busts and figures for prominent African-American influencers like John Brown, Duke Ellington, Mary McLeod Bethune, and A. Philip Randolph.   View this post on Instagram A post shared by Saint Augustine's University (@saufalcons)   Some of Burke’s most known work includes Torso (1937), Temptation (1938), (Untitled) Woman and Child (1950), and Together (1975). Her final sculpture was completed in 1980, a nine-foot bronze statue of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. that is housed in Marshall Park in Charlotte, North Carolina. President Jimmy Carter awarded Burke with a Women’s Caucus for Art Lifetime Achievement award in 1979. She also received honorary doctorates from Livingstone College in 1970 and Spelman College in 1988. Today, Burke’s sculptures are still on display at various institutions, including Winston-Salem State University, the Smithsonian American Art Museum, and in her hometown at the Mooresville Public Library. Burke passed away in 1995, but her work is alive and well. To make sure we preserve her story and legacy, here are 5 important things you should know about Selma Burke, the sculptor behind the dime design, courtesy of the National Women’s History Museum:   Burke drew her inspiration for art from African artifacts. As a young girl, Burke would often sculpt small objects and animals out of the white clay she found near a riverbed. “One day, I was mixing the clay and I saw the imprint of my hands. I found that I could make something…something that I alone had created,” she told the New York Post in 1945.  Her father encouraged her to keep up with her art, and she would use things he brought back from his travels as models for her sculptures. After the family inherited a collection of African artifacts from Burke’s uncles who were missionaries, it cemented her interest in African art in particular.    She was an HBCU graduate.  As a budding artist, Burke was doing well, but her mother encouraged her to have a plan B and get into a career as a nurse. She listened and earned a degree from the Slater Industrial and Slater Normal School, now Winston-Salem State University, before attending Saint Agnes Training School for Nurses and graduating as a registered nurse in 1924.  Burke was molded in the Harlem Renaissance. After school, she moved to New York during the 1920s, landing a job as a private nurse for Amelia Waring, heiress of the Otis Elevator empire. It was Waring who helped Burke gain exposure for her art in New York, and Burke became steeped in the Harlem Renaissance. She went on to study at Sarah Lawrence College, working as a model to pay for school. From New York, she traveled to Paris and Europe, studying under artists like Henri Matisse and Aristide Maillol.    She was a devout teacher. After the rise of Nazis in Europe, Burke returned to New York City where she taught art to youth through the Progress Administration’s Federal Art Project and the Harlem Community Arts Center. In 1940, she opened the Selma Burke School of Sculpture, and the next year she earned her master’s from Columbia and held her first solo exhibit in New York. She would continue teaching throughout her career, eventually moving to Pennsylvania and running the Selma Burke Art Center in Pittsburgh from 1968-1981.    It was her portrait of President Roosevelt that inspired the dime design. During World War II, Burke enlisted in the Navy as one of the first Black women to sign up. However, she injured herself while driving a truck and while recuperating, she won a national contest to commission a bronze relief portrait of President Franklin Roosevelt. Burke agreed to do the job but felt that pictures of the President wouldn’t suffice; she requested a sit-down meeting with him so she could draw her own sketch. Roosevelt agreed and during a two-day period in February 1944, Burke sketched him. He passed away less than a year later in April 1945.  On September 24, 1945, Roosevelt’s successor, President Harry S. Truman, unveiled the relief portrait done by Burke, and it became the inspiration for the image that was later commissioned on the U.S. dime. While the dime image’s credit is officially listed to U.S. Mint Chief Engraver John Sinnock, many agreed over the years that it was Burke’s depiction that Sinnock used.  Because of Selma Burke, we can! 5 important things you should know about Selma Burke, the sculptor behind the dime design. Burke seated next to her sculpture of Booker T. Washington, circa 1930. Photo Courtesy of the Archives of American Art/Smithsonian Institution Negro History Week: Here’s the True Story Behind Black History Month https://www.becauseofthemwecan.com//blogs/culture/negro-history-week-here-s-the-true-story-behind-black-history-month Mon, 06 Feb 2023 22:55:02 GMT newsletter@becauseofthemwecan.com Let’s take a look at how we got here! Most people have heard the name Carter G. Woodson, but some may not know why he’s famous or what his contributions to society are. Here’s a quick rundown to get you up to speed about the father of Negro History Week and the true story behind Black History Month. According to the NAACP, Woodson was born in 1875, the son of... Let’s take a look at how we got here! Most people have heard the name Carter G. Woodson, but some may not know why he’s famous or what his contributions to society are. Here’s a quick rundown to get you up to speed about the father of Negro History Week and the true story behind Black History Month. According to the NAACP, Woodson was born in 1875, the son of formerly enslaved people. He worked on the family farm as a child and in the West Virginia coal mines as a teen, but he never really had any consistent formal education when he was younger. Still, he developed a ferocious appetite for learning, self-teaching, and mastering simple subjects. Woodson didn’t enter high school until he was 20 years old and graduated less than two years later.  He would go on to earn his bachelor’s degree from Berea College in Kentucky, traveling and working globally in the Philippines before earning a master’s from The University of Chicago then a Ph.D. from Harvard, becoming only the second Black person to do so after W.E.B. Du Bois. According to Google Arts & Culture, while working on his dissertation at Harvard, Woodson encountered two university professors who outrightly challenged Woodson’s assertion that Black people had any history at all. The professors believed that African-Americans were innately intellectually inferior and saw education as their only hope. They then challenged Woodson to present valid research to prove that Black people had a history, a history that Woodson had already spent his whole life researching, even before attending Harvard. View this post on Instagram A post shared by The Museum of Public Relations (@prmuseum)   The scholar attempted to present his research findings but was banned from academic conferences, such as the American Historical Association Conference, despite being a member. That’s when Woodson realized that if he was going to do the job of promoting and preserving Black history, Black people would need their own institutions to house that information. In 1915, the historian and minister Jesse E. Moorland partnered, founding the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History (ASNLH), an organization funded through philanthropic efforts with the goal of researching and promoting the achievements of people of African descent, History.com reports. Today it is called the Association for the Study of African-American Life and History (ASALH). That following year, Woodson also started a scholarly journal, the Journal of Negro History, known today as the Journal of African-American History.  After nearly a decade of scholarly work, Woodson launched a national Negro History week in 1926. He chose the month of February to commemorate the birthdays of Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass, two figures whose birth dates were already honored among the Black community. His celebration prompted schools and communities to organize local celebrations and establish educational initiatives to further the movement. Woodson sought for the week to serve as an overview of all the things Black people should’ve been learning all year, “emphasiz[ing] not Negro history, but the Negro in history,” seeking to make the connection of Black people and their contributions as a key building block to understanding all of American history.  View this post on Instagram A post shared by Afro Charities, Inc. (@afrocharities)   After the first celebration, mayors all over the nation began recognizing Negro History Week annually and by the late 1960s, the civil rights movement helped evolve the celebration into Black History Month on college campuses. Woodson passed away before the evolution happened, at the age of 74 in 1950. However, his work continued, and his legacy continued with many answering the call after his passing. In 1976, President Gerald Ford officially recognized Black History Month, urging Americans to “seize the opportunity to honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of Black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout our history.”  Today, Black History Month continues as a way to shine a light on the vast contributions of Black people across the globe. While we too carry the torch, it is important to remember that there were people like Woodson who dedicated their life’s work to making sure we had access to the information that is so readily available today. Where there were no roads, he paved them, where doors were shut, he built houses and opened them all. May we never forget the sacrifice.  Happy Black History Month! Negro History Week: Here’s the true story behind Black History Month/Photo Courtesy of UMass Amherst