Monthly Archives: July 2010


The Perseids are coming! The Perseids are coming!


 Observing Photo Gallery Magazine Archive Shop at Sky

Apophis and Earth in 2029
Dan Durda

Bulletin at a Glance

This Week’s Sky at a Glance

The Sky is Not Falling

July 30, 2010 | This past week, news surfaced that a sizable asteroid has a roughly 1-in-1,000 chance of whacking Earth sometime in the next two centuries. But don’t let the news spoil your summer vacation — the story is being overplayed. > read more 



Perseid montage
Gain Lee

Dark Nights for the Perseids

July 27, 2010 | Mark your calendar for watching the year’s best-known meteor shower late on the nights of August 11th and 12th. > read more 

Tour August’s Sky by Eye and Ear!

July 30, 2010 | Venus, Mars, and Saturn dance in the west after sunset, while soon afterward giant Jupiter rises in the east — all that, and Perseid meteors too! Host: S&T’s Kelly Beatty. (6MB MP3 download: running time: 6m 48s) > read more 

Ceres in 2010

May 27, 2010 | Ceres, the largest main-belt asteroid, is well placed for observation in June through August 2010. > read more 

This Week’s Sky at a Glance


West view after sunset

This Week’s Sky at a Glance

July 30, 2010 | Venus, Saturn, and Mars have formed up into a triangle at dusk. Watch it change shape day by day. And Vega overhead means the Sagittarius Teapot, rich in deep-sky objects, is on best display in the south. > read more 



"First light" for Tatakoto's telescope
Edwin Aguirre & Imelda Joson

A Telescope for Tatakoto

July 29, 2010 | A tiny South Pacific atoll rolled out the welcome mat for dozens of eclipse-goers — and got an unexpected thank-you gift in return. > read more 


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July 29, 2010 11:48 AM

Shirley Sherrod Vows to Sue Andrew Breitbart

Posted by Brian Montopoli

Ousted USDA official Shirley Sherrod said in a speech to the National Association of Black Journalists in San Diego this morning that she will sue Andrew Breitbart, the conservative journalist and activist who posted the out-of-context video of her that resulted in her forced resignation.

Speaking of a lawsuit, Sherrod said she “will definitely do it,” arguing that “he had to know that he was targeting me.”

“Now whether he was also trying to target the NAACP, he had to know he was targeting me,” she added.

Sherrod said she wished Breitbart had come to the event “because I really would like to talk to him.”

“At this point he hasn’t apologized and I don’t want it at this point,” she said. “He will definitely hear from me.”


Sherrod also said she wasn’t sure if she would take an offer from chastened Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack for a new job at the USDA.

“I have many, many questions before I make a decision,” she said, adding the has “not had a chance to read the offer.”

Breitbart could not immediately be reached for comment. He has said the video was that intended not to sabotage Sherrod’s career but instead take down the NAACP.

Speaking around the same time, President Obama said Sherrod “deserved better than what happened last week.” The comments that appeared in the edited video were part of a larger story about how she realized that race should not be the determining factor in who she helps.


What? Just Breitbart?
Don’t forget, Ms. Sherrod, he was not the only one who stabbed you in the back.
Have Breitbart bring forth that certain someone from Georgia he said gave him the edited tape. (Fat chance of him being able to pull that off.) Sue for libel, slander, malicious intent, defamation of character, punitive damage, fraud, and mental and physical distress.
But, whatever you do, please do not accept an out-of-court settlement.
Take Breitbart and all to court.
Invertebrates like Faux News, Breitbart, O’Reilly, Vilsack, Cook, USDA, NAACP, et. al. need to all be made an example of for their craven behaviour.
And that is just for starters.

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July 29, 2010 ColorLines Direct. News and commentary from

What’s Next for Arizona’s SB 1070?Activists storm the state as lawyers hunker down for a long fight.ALSO: A Breakdown of Legal Challenges to SB 1070


Scenes from SB 1070 Demonstrations Across the NationColorLines hits the streets–and surfs the Web–to illustrate a day of activism.


Get the latest and get involved with our new Twitter account, @colorlines. We’re on Facebook and Tumblr too!

More from

In Arizona, Feds Are Fighting a Monster They Built
The federal judge weighing SB 1070 zeroed in on a question the feds can’t answer: How does the law depart from the course Washington has already set?

Dream Act Moves to the Top of the List
Sen. Harry Reid is talking with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi about the possibility of making the Dream Act a standalone bill.

Obama Slipping Among Latinos
A new poll shows that worry about jobs and immigration reform is hurting the president’s approval ratings.

NYC Settles Sean Bell Case for $7 Million
It’s getting expensive for city police forces to keep shooting unarmed citizens.

Why the “Conversation on Race” is Just Babble

Two essays well worth reading.

The Kids Are All Right, But Not the Queer Movement
Intentionally or not, Lisa Cholodenko has rendered on the big screen the narrow racial realities of our new gay world order.

Follow for ongoing coverage of the legal fight against SB 1070 is published by the Applied Research Center • 900 Alice Street, Suite 400, Oakland, CA 94607

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Here is an update on the Sean Bell case that made headlines over four years ago. I have posted on this case here, here, and here.

The family of Mr. Bell and his friends harmed that night, have been awarded $7 million in a settlement the City of New York will now have to pay.


NYC Settles Sean Bell Case for $7 Million

by Julianne Hing  | 

Wednesday, July 28 2010, 11:49 AM EST

New York City agreed on Tuesday to pay the family and friends of Sean Bell $7 million, four years after police officers shot and killed the 23-year-old black man the night before his wedding day.

Bell’s two children will receive $3.25 million and the remaining $3 million will go to Bell’s friend Joseph Guzman, Bell’s friend who was also injured that night. Trent Benefield will get $900,000. The New York Times reports that the wrongful death lawsuit also accused the NYPD of negligence, assault and civil rights violations.

Five police officers were involved in the incident on November 26, 2006, that left Bell dead and injured two of his friends. Bell was leaving a club in Queens the night before his wedding when NYPD officer Gescard Isadora thought he heard Bell and his friends refer to a gun in their possession. He alerted his fellow officers after Bell’s car hit an unmarked police car, and within seconds officers shot 50 bullets at Bell’s car. Three detectives who shot Bell were acquitted by a judge in 2008. The other two officers involved did not face criminal charges. Bell and his friends did not have a gun with them.

Police brutality is expensive. It’s tough to convict cops of misconduct in court, but city settlements for police misconduct is not uncommon. In the last three years, Detroit has spent over $19 million to settle police misconduct lawsuits. Between 2008 and July of this year, Newark paid $1.7 million to the victims of police misconduct. New York City already settled $35.2 million worth of lawsuits for police abuse in 2009 alone.

Insofar as payouts represent an acknowledgment of some culpability, they remain one of the only ways to wrest some justice from the courts for misbehaving cops. Still, it’s little comfort for families who’ve lost loved ones to police, when no amount of money will ever return their dead sons and fathers to them. As NYT reports Nicole Paultre Bell, Sean Bell’s fiancee, saying outside the federal courthouse yesterday: “No amount of money can provide closure, no amount of money can make up for the pain. We’ll just try to learn how to live with it and move on.” Nicole Paultre Bell will not receive a share of the settlement, because NYPD shot and killed her fiance before the couple could make it to the alter that morning and they are thus not legally related.

Photo: Nicole Paultre-Bell with her and Sean Bell’s baby Jordan in March 2007. behind March 14, 2007 in New York City. Photo by Stephen Chernin/Getty Images.


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Cult Leader to be Retried on Rape Accomplice Charges

by Larry Keller  on July 28, 2010

A proponent of multiple wives, polygamous prophet Warren Jeffs appears destined to have multiple trials. The Utah Supreme Court on Tuesday reversed Jeffs’ two convictions on charges of rape as an accomplice and ordered that he be tried again.

“He was thrilled,” said Jeffs’ attorney, Wally Bugden. “He believed his prayers, and the prayers of many others, have been answered.” Despite a “media lynching,” Bugden added, “he felt the rights of an individual were protected by the Constitution.”

Jeffs is the leader of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (FLDS), with an estimated 10,000 followers. The sect first split from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints — commonly known as the Mormon Church — in 1890 after Mormon officials renounced polygamy under pressure from the U.S. government. The FLDS captured national attention in 2008, when authorities acting on reports of sexual abuse of a minor raided its El Dorado, Texas, compound and placed 219 children and women in protective custody. Jeffs is considered a prophet in the FLDS, which has compounds in several western states, Mexico and Canada.

After spending nearly two years on the run, Jeffs was tried in 2007, convicted and sentenced to two consecutive sentences of five years to life in prison. The charges stemmed from his arranging the marriage of an unwilling 14-year-old girl, Elissa Wall, to her 19-year-old cousin, Allen Steed, in 2001. Wall testified at Jeffs’ trial that she implored him to release her from the marriage. Instead, he instructed her to give herself to Steed “mind, body and soul, and obey him without question,” she said. That action by Jeffs was the source of the second rape as an accomplice count filed against him. The first was alleged to have occurred soon after Wall and Steed were married and first had sex.

It was Jeffs who performed her marriage ceremony to Steed, Wall testified at trial, ordering her to “go forth and replenish the Earth and raise good priesthood children.”

The law under which Jeffs was charged states that the victim must be younger than 18 years, and “the actor” must be in a position of special trust with the victim. Jeffs’ attorney argued on appeal that the jury instruction should have focused on Steed’s “position of special trust” with Wall rather than that of Jeffs.

The Utah Supreme Court agreed. “The state interprets the term ‘actor’ to mean the defendant,” the court opined. “We conclude that the state’s interpretation is erroneous.” The opinion added, “We regret the effect our opinion today may have on the victim of the underlying crime, to whom we do not wish to cause additional pain. However, we must ensure that the laws are applied evenly and appropriately, in this case as in every case.”

Defense attorney Bugden said that prosecutors tried Jeffs on a “far-fetched legal theory” and that “it would be very difficult for them to meet their burden of proof” if there is a retrial. But Jeffs won’t be going anywhere soon. He still faces criminal charges in Texas in connection with his own alleged marriages to underage girls in 2005. The judge has denied him bail in that case, Bugden said. There also remains a federal indictment stemming from his time as a fugitive on the Utah charges.

The Southern Poverty Law Center began listing the FLDS as a hate group in 2005 because of its racist tenets. “The black race is the people through which the devil has always been able to bring evil unto the earth,” Jeffs has preached. As for homosexuality, Jeffs said, “It is like murder. Whenever people commit that sin, then the Lord destroys them.”


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#1 R&B Song 1976:  “You’ll Never Find Another Love Like Mine,” Lou Rawls

Born:  Roy Milton, 1907


1948   The only time in music history that two brothers charted on the same day with separate singles on separate labels happened when Joe Liggins jumped on the R&B hit parade with “Dripper’s Blues,” reaching #9, while Jimmy Liggins entered the charts with “Teardrop Blues,” rising to #7.

1954   The Castelles’ “Over A Cup Of Coffee” ($1,000) was released.

1961   The group that sang backup for most of Chubby Checker’s hits finally hit with one of their own when the Dreamlovers’ “When We Get Married” charted (#10 pop).

1965   Motown Records was in such a rush to get a new Four Tops single in the marketplace after the tremendous success of “I Can’t Help Myself” that they recorded the group on a Thursday singing “It’s The Same Old Song” and had the 45 in stores by next Monday.

1967   Janis Joplin played a benefit for the Free Clinic with Blue Cheer and the Charlatans (with Bill Cosby on drums).

1976   George Benson’s Breezin’ album reached #1, selling more than a million copies for the jazz-soul artist.

File:Breezin GB.jpg

1976   Natalie Cole secretly married her producer, Marvin Yancy Jr., but they did not announce it until seven months later (on Valentine’s Day) when she also announced she was pregnant.

1986   With apparently no limits to his talent, Stevie Wonder was nominated for an Emmy for his performance on Bill Cosby’s The Cosby Show.

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#1 R&B Song 1983:  “She Works Hard For the Money,” Donna Summer

Born:  George “Buddy” Guy, 1936


1936   One of the best blues guitarists of the ’50s, Buddy Guy, was born today. He was so infatuated with the guitar that at age thirteen he made his own and taught himself to play. Moving to Chicago in 1957, he beat out Otis Rush, Magic Sam, and Junior Wells at a battle of the blues at the Blue Flame Club. Influenced by Lightin’ Slim, Lightin’ Hopkins, and T-Bone Walker, he was known more for performing than recording, and had his only R&B hit in 1962 with “Stone Crazy” (#12).



1949   Lucky Millender & His Orchestra charted with “Little Girl, Don’t Cry,” peaking at #15 R&B. Big John Greer did the vocals on what is now a $50 collectible.

1955   Chuck Berry’s classic first single “Maybellene” was released.

1955   Muddy Waters charted with “Mannish Boy,” reaching #5 R&B. The tune was actually the same as Bo Diddley’s “I’m A Man.”

1989   John Lee Hooker performed at the Newport Folk Festival’s Thirtieth Anniversary Show with Leon Redbone, Pete Seeger, and Theodore Bikel, among others.

1991   Arsenio Hall’s entire TV program was devoted to Patti LaBelle.

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Through the years while I have been blogging, I have many times used the famous Jim Crow Museum as a reference for when I needed stereotypical and racist images that explained how America condoned the assaults upon the humanity of Black Americans.

The Jim Crow Museum, located Ferris State University in Big Rapids, Michigan, and now closed due to the campus construction during the summer of 2010, is the brainchild of Mr. David Pilgrim. He began collecting racist memorabilia as a child when he bought a small Mammy salt shaker from a White store owner. David took the shaker outside, threw it on the ground, and broke it into a thousand pieces in an attempt to destroy centuries of racist subjugation of Black Americans:

“When he was 12 or maybe 13, David Pilgrim had the uncontrollable urge to buy a salt shaker. But not just any salt shaker.

He bought a Mammy salt shaker — a caricature of a woman slave made into a salt shaker — from an antiques dealer in his hometown of Mobile, Ala.

It was small, he remembers, and cheap “because I never had much money.”

No matter what the price, the minute the money exchanged hands between the young black child and the white businessman, David Pilgrim threw the salt shaker on the ground, breaking it into a million pieces — as if that action alone could shatter years of racist attitudes and degradation.

“It was not a political act,” Pilgrim writes. “I simply hated it.” (1)

He realized that instead of destroying such artifacts, he would seek to preserve them as tools of education:

“That was the last time he destroyed what he describes as a “racist object … racist garbage.” Instead, he started collecting them.” (1)

Mr. Pilgrim joined Ferris State’s faculty in 1990, founded the museum in 1998. Until then, he had kept the objects in his home. From his collecting such memorabilia, sprang the idea for the creation of a museum for the public display of such items. He then founded the Jim Crow Museum of Racist Memorabilia to educate people of the history of Jim Crow and how the hated objects came into being.

Today, the Museum has more than 4,000 items that Mr. Pilgrim has donated to the Jim Crow Museum of Racist Memorabilia which he founded at the university.

Many people who visit the museum, and its more accessible website, have questioned why Mr. Pilgrim would even want to buy objects that ridicule, humiliate, and disrespect Black people. He states that even though these artifacts were meant to degrade Black Americans, these artifacts can still educate people unaware of how callously America disregarded the humanity of Black Americans:

“… remind people what it was like to live “under Jim Crow segregation … in a land where every black person was considered inferior to every white one.” (1)


Some of the objects Mr. Pilgrim has collected include the following:

* A parlor game from the 1930s called “72 Pictured Party Stunts” that instructs players to “Go through the motions of a colored boy eating watermelon.” The game’s card shows a dark black boy with bulging eyes and blood red lips eating a watermelon as large as he is.

* A 1916 magazine advertisement that shows a little black boy, again in caricature, drinking from an ink bottle. The caption reads: “Nigger Milk.” Pilgrim bought the print in 1988 from an antique store in LaPorte, Ind., for $20. (1)

The website of the museum has volumes of information on the many types of racist stereotypes and numerous examples of racist memorabilia.

The site has sections devoted to explaining the historical context and rationalization of Whites behind the creation of so many well-known racist icons:  Mammy, Golliwog, Pickaninny, Sambo, Rastus (Cream of Wheat Man), Coon, Uncle Ben, the Tragic Mulatto (always—-always—-presented as a female, and never as a male, as if male mulattos/biracials were never born), Jezebel, the Black Brute, Sapphire, and so many others.

The site also posts a “Question Of The Month,” where Mr. Pilgrim (or another responder) will answer various questions about the site, as well as questions relating to racism, race relations, the history of Jim Crow, and the impact of segregation and the racist memorabilia on the lives of Black Americans.

In addition to managing the site and the museum, Mr. Pilgrim also gives speaking engagements and traveling lectures.

The site’s directive is as follows:

*Collect, exhibit and preserve objects and collections related to racial segregation, civil rights, and anti-Black caricatures

*Promote the scholarly examination of historical and contemporary expressions of racism

*Serve as a teaching resource for ferris State University courses which deal directly, or indirectly, with the issues of race and ethnicity

*Serve as an educational resource for scholars and teachers of the state, national and international levels

*Promote racial understanding and healing

*Serve as a resource for civil rights and human rights organizations.

Here is a video on the Jim Crow Museum:


To reach the site, click here, and enter a world where the abominable was considered fashionable and accepted.

Where the vile and reprehensible was sanctioned, condoned and throughout this nation’s history.

Where the legacy of such history still remains with us all.

(1)   Jim Crow Museum In The Spotlight At Annual Dinner“, The Mukegon Chronicle, November 11, 2006.


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“Who controls the past controls the future. Who controls the present controls the past.”

George Orwell


I first spoke of the Mammy Statue in my “Towards The End Of Aunt Jemima” post back in 2007. Here is an excerpt on the Mammy statue that Southern White women proposed to have erected to honor, as they put it, all the Black women who had toiled under slavery, and into Jane Crow segregation, for former White masters:


“In the 1923s, the Daughters of the Confederacy asked the Congress to set aside a site in the Capitol area where a monument in recognition of the “Black Mammy” could be built. Black women across the nation were enraged at the proposal for a Mammy statue. Civil rights leader Mary Church Terrell wrote that if it were built, ‘there are thousands of colored men and women who will fervently pray that on some stormy night the lightning will strike it and the heavenly elements will send it crashing to the ground.”  Black people were so angered and offended at the thought of such an outrage even being suggested that they protested vociferously against this monument of insulting degradation against the image of black womanhood, and as a contemptuous sign of black servitude. They instead suggested that “a better memorial would be to extend the full rights of American citizenship to the descendants of these Mammies”. Ending the lynching, public humiliation of black people on trolley cars and other forms of transportation, giving black people the right to vote, were what black people needed, not more racist/sexist slaps in the face. So great was the pressure brought by black people, black leaders and black groups, that the monument was rightfully killed in the House of Representatives.”

Many Black people at that time were enraged that such an idea would be proposed. The very thought of putting up a statue of a “mammy” was the height of callous disregard, insulting, and a desire not to acknowledge the humanity of Black women. As a result, the mammy statue was scrapped, and never came to be.


That many Whites sought to cling to the image of Mammy, an image that was created to assault the humanity, sexuality, and womanhood, of ex-enslaved Black women comes as no surprise.


Mammy’s Cupboard, 1940. This place is still in existence:







The mammy stautue movement fell through, and rightfully so.

But, the most well-known of all mammy products still exists, even if she has been cleaned up for a more contemporary consumer public, she is still a racist image.


But, across America, there still stand statues which are ignominous and cruel insults to the humanity of Black people who survived American race-based slavery, the destruction of Reconstruction, and the 100-year reign of terror known as Jane Crow segregation. One such statue that still stands is the “Good Darky”, as referenced by Abagond in his post, “Uncle Jack, the Good Darky“.

The statue still stands. As I was reading Abagond’s post, the first thought I had was to have the descendant of the statue’s creator donate the statue to the Smithsonian, intact, with no change to its original inscription. This statue, even though egregious, is a testament to the disregard so many Whites had against the humanity of Black people (and still do). It shows how venomous racist America was, and still is, against her Black citizens. Better to have it brought forth before the eyes of all U.S. citizens to see that here———–here—–is evidence of how lowly so many non-Blacks thought of Black Americans (and still do). But, the removal of the original inscription on the statue is a sordid desire to erase the true history of what Black people endured under slavery and segregation. The removal of the inscription is a rancid attempt to revise history—-to eradicate and annihilate the truth————–to destroy the fact that statues and so-called monuments such as these are true testimony to the freakish carnival house mentality that non-Blacks viewed Black Americans with.

It is the myth of the ever faithful, good, compliant, “Yassuh,” Mammy, Darky, Sambo, Rastus, Coon that so many non-Blacks continue to believe in and grasp to as if a pile of cocaine. It is the numbing, brain-rotting belief in the myth that Black Americans could never have possibly been like all other human beings who live in this world.

The myth that enslaved black people ever were happy with being enslaved. The myth that Black people stood by and did not defend their right to live as free human beings and citizens. The myth that Black people did not resist slavery. The myth that Black people did not fight against the pigmentocracy of Jane Crow segregation.




Assaults that still stand the tests of time in the form of stereotypes———-and monuments.

But, Uncle Jack’s “Darky” statue is not the only example of contempt that millions of Black Americans had to contend with (and still do).

The statue honoring the White Southerners who took part in the Colfax Massacre, still stands as fact as one of this country’s most venal coup d-etats that occurred, and many people are ignorant of that important part of history.

The fact that a school was named after the founder of the Ku Klux Klan, and is still named after that person, even when the Black parents protested to the school board to have the name changed.

The fact that the infamous Black lawn jockeys still exist on many people’s lawns throughout America.




The facts that forms of racist memorabilia, helps one to realize the psychotic hate and cognitive dissonance the creators of these objects had in their pysche to fashion such objects of vile hatred.

Mammy/Aunt Jemima, Rastus, Uncle Ben. The desire to kill and consume that which is hated and discriminated against. The desire to engulf and cannibalize the Other.b


File:Cream of Wheat advertisement.jpg
Rastus, Cream of Wheat Man.

Some of these products still are sold and bought outside of America.

 Darkie Toothpaste.

Originally sold in China until 1985 with the racist image to the left, it was revamped when Colgate bought the company in 1984. Colgate changed the name to “Darlie”, remade the image into a half White/Black Man face, and continues to sell the toothpaste overseas. Even though Colgate changed the name to “Darlie”, in China, the Cantonese toothpaste product “Haak Yahn Nga Gou” name  (Traditional Chinese: 黑人 hēirén, or “black man”) literally translates into “Black Man Toothpaste.” The toothpaste is also still sold in Malaysia. countries in Southeast Asia, Hong Kong, as well as China.

These and many facts stand as proof that slavery was never the benign institution so many people then—-and now—wish to make it as. These statues are proof that the destruction of Reconstruction was stomped into the ground before it could even begin.

These statues, monuments, schools, streets, highways and physical remnants are evidence of how hateful and visceral America has been to her Black citizens. They obscure and hide the true realities of how horrorific life was for Black people living under slavery and segregation.

Just as White men were the primary producers and consumers of the Sambo/Gentle Darky/Rastus/Brute Rapist stereotypes, so, too, were White women the main producers and consumers of the Mammy/Jezebel/Sapphire stereotype.

And still are.

Many times, these stereotypes overlap in a ying-yang, back-and-forth scenario with both White men and White women.

These objects were all created to defile, to debase, to crush and to obliterate the humanity of Black Americans, created during a time when the value of Black life was neglible, and none-existent.

And still is.


Such objects/icons disparage and disrespect the full humanity of Black Americans.

But, such objects still stand as testament to the evil, vicious, brutal and cruel hate that Black Americans have prevailed against.

And still fight against.







“Aunt Jemima, Uncle Ben, and Rastus: Blacks In Advertising, Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow,” by Marilyn Kern-Foxworth

“The Colfax Massacre: The Untold Story of Black Power, White Terror, & the Death of Reconstruction,” by Leeanna Keith.

“Mammy: A Century of Race, Gender, and Southern Memory,” by Kimberly Wallace-Sanders “

“The Day Freedom Died: The Colfax Massacre, the Supreme Court, and the Betrayal of Reconstruction,” by Charles Lane.


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#1 R&B Song 1957:  “Short Fat Fannie,” Larry Williams

Born:  Jazz musician Charlie Christian, 1916


1959   The Drifters recorded the samba-style “Dance With Me” (#15 pop, #2 R&B), heralding the Latin influence on Jay & the Americans, Tony Orlando & Dawn, and future Drifter hits.

1959   The Isley Brothers recorded the immortal “Shout.” The song was an adaptation of Jackie Wilson’s perpetual classic, “Lonely Teardrops.”

1965   The Supremes performed at the world-famous Copacabana in New York at the start of a three-week stay, portions of which would be recorded for a future album.

1978   Prince’s debut chart single, “Soft and Wet,” reached #12 R&B and #92 pop. He was named after the Prince Rogers Trio, a jazz ensemble, and was inspired to become a performer after seeing a James Brown concert in 1968, when he was ten. He went on to learn more than twenty instruments.

1978   Earth, Wind & Fire charted with the Beatles’ “Got to Get You Into My Life” from the Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, reaching #1 R&B and #9 pop. The (often) ten-member group was considered one of the most exciting live performance acts of the ’70s and ’80s. The band also managed to have forty-eight R&B chart singles through 2004.

1987   Four Tops Day was declared by Michigan Governor James Blanchard to honor the quartet’s contributions to music. The group performed at the governor’s meeting with guest sax player, Arkansas governor and future president  Bill Clinton, backing the act on-stage.

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