Black History

Children of Color Being Sought After From All The Ivy League Schools

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What’s the one thing ALL children from minority families can say they’ve heard at least once? “You have to work twice as hard to earn half as much.”

We all know what that means. It’s all over the news how people of color are always blocked from access and opportunity to a real solid education or a chance to make a decent living. It’s no wonder this country is already in hell’s hand basket. But every once in a while there comes a story that makes us smile. In today’s case there are three.

Munira Khalif, a senior at Mounds Park Academy in St. Paul, Minnesota was accepted to all eight Ivy League schools. Also several other universities who are up there in reputation. The big name schools are Brown, Columbia, Cornell, Dartmouth, Harvard, Yale, Princeton and the University of Pennsylvania. Khalif was also accepted to Stanford, Georgetown and the University of Minnesota. Let’s hope she knows about Stanford offering free tuition to families who make under $125,000 a year.

Meanwhile in Utica, New York, Vietnamese immigrant Trinh Truong was accepted to all 13 schools she applied to — including 5 Ivy League schools.

Not to be forgotten, Harold Ekeh, 17, another New York state teen and immigrant was accepted to all eight Ivy League schools.

These kids and their parents had a goal and a plan then busted it out until they made it. That’s to be applauded. It definitely couldn’t have been easy. That’s what one has to do today. Set a goal, make a plan and then work until it gets done and gets you there. Too many liars out there telling you there’s an easy way to make it. That in itself is the worst lie anyone can ever believe. So congrats to these three and to all the others busting out those grades to get to the next level. You go and get your hustle on! We know you’re gonna make that paper right.

For more details on the two ladies:

For details on Harold and his choices:

Yejide The Mama Wize – Ageless Hip Hop Sound



Yejide was raised in music. Being the youngest of 7, she was exposed to several genres of music, including her father’s Be-Bop and Jazz, her mother’s Rhythm and Blues and Disco and her siblings love for Funk, Soul and Hip Hop. Her older brother had her writing rhymes and blending and mixing records by 1980. She was an excellent student in school and was a technically trained dancer from the age of 8 until her sophomore year at Brooklyn Technical HS.

Her love of dance and music became her signature. She’s danced Jazz, Ballet, Tap, Modern, Bolero & East Indian Mudrahs on the stages of Lincoln Center, Avery Fisher Hall, Alice Tully Hall and the world renowned Carnegie Hall. She won 1st place for singing at the NAACP-sponsored ACTSO Award for the Brooklyn Youth Council and was a delegate at the NAACP conventions for 3 consecutive years, introducing new bills to the legislative branch, before the age of 17.


Yejide was given the name, “The Night Queen”, by her mother because she always came home at the darkest of night.  Yejide danced with a crew called the X-Men and they named her Storm because of the “powers and elements that awakened when she ‘tranced’ out on the dance floor”.

Simultaneously, she became a staple on the undergound Hip Hop and Spoken Word circuit, sometimes doing two or three shows a week. Since 1993, Yejide has accumulated thousands of physical photographs and tens of Hi8 analog video tapes of the underground House scene, the NYC Hip Hop scene, live shows and several parties and celebrations. She never leaves home without her camera.

Yejide was a contributing writer for Red Eye Mag and a few online periodicals. She had her own column in The Black Track Newspaper called, “Let Me Just Remind You” that covered African American socio-political topics and music reviews. In 1997, after she graduated John Jay College with her Bachelor’s Of Science in Criminal Justice, she created We Manifest, a performance and production company. She saw a need for talented women to express themselves without a man’s influence, and created the D.A.W.T.A.H.Z. Series: a 6-year running showcase featuring female artists that traveled throughout NYC.

Yejide was featured in Blu Magazine, Mass Appeal, Shout, Urb and Red Eye Mag for her thoughts on female MCs, We Manifest and the DAWTAHZ series. She danced for Fonda Rae, Afrika Bambaatah, Colonel Abrams, Barbara Tucker, Michael Watford and Whodini. She’s proud to have lyrically blessed stages with Pam Africa, KRS-One, Apani, Baba Israel, Lady Blue, Mos Def, The Anomolies Crew, Strong Hold, Jessica Care Moore, 3 Bean Stew, Second 2 Last, Imani Uzuri, Wunmi, Full Circle, INI Mighty Lock Down, StaHHr, Hydra and Scienz Of Life, to name a few. She’s performed at Theater Barbey in Bordeau, France with Breez Evahflowin and Poison Pen for “Per4Mentalz”, a 4-day Hip Hop Concert in 2000. She drove down to State of the Union in DC with Tah Phrum Da Bush to perform with Tha Remainz and Jasiri X. She dropped Seventh, her first CD in 2000, with production from Scienz Of Life, Mic One of Animated Cartunes and the world famous, DJ Evil Dee. She kept performing and being The Mama Wize throughout NYC and the college circuit for the next 5 years.


We Manifest branched out into: Hair By Nature – a natural hair maintenance service; Balance~Wearable Art – innovative, eclectic and colorful jewelry, oils, books and all-natural body products; and Finger Food & Photos – a cypher with business owners, activists, writers and artists building and reasoning while enjoying The Mama Wize’s culinary treats. As an avid party-goer and performer, she’s been a welcome family member of Da BeatMinerz since 1995, dancing to their selections at Sputnik, Opus 21, Joe’s Pub and their annual Bearthday parties at Sutra during the Memorial Day weekends!

Currently, Yejide is on DJ Evil Dee’s “Broadcasting Live” Mixtape Album and working on new music, selling Balance ~ Wearable Art at festivals and online, writing the BEATMINERZ Radio blog and building up the We Manifest brand. Thank you for your interest and look out for The Mama Wize.



The Conversation Project – Will You Join In The Conversation?

The Conversation Project

In the hopes of starting a positive healing process, after the lost lives of young people for what appears to be no reason other than the color of their skin, we came together – to talk. OPENLY, HONESTLY, CANDIDLY. Not to point fingers, not to incite, but to try to delve into the rawness of the truth so as to simply begin to heal and begin to work together towards solutions and STEPS FORWARD instead of feeling sucked into the abyss that evil forces are trying to keep our country in.

THE CONVERSATION (PART ONE) What It Means To Be Black In America In This Century

ELDERS LEADING THE CONVERSATION: Kenneth L. Foote, Mark Anthony Neal, Dr. Christopher Emdin

SQUIRES JOINING IN: Elijah M. Brown, Tywan Anthony

Concept by Carmen M Colon and Kenneth L. Foote, Directed by: Paul Mondesire Videotaped by: DK Knighton

TOPIC ONE: Justice or Just Us


Send in your conversations and let’s keep talking to each other. Submit your videos to: MFIR.RADIO@GMAIL.COM



Cathay Williams (September 1844 – 1892) was an American soldier. She is the first African-American female to enlist, and the only documented to serve in the United States Army posing as a man, under the pseudonym William Cathay. 

Williams was born in Independence, Missouri to a free man of color and a woman in bondage, making her legal status also that of a slave. During her adolescence, Williams worked as a house servant on the Johnson plantation on the outskirts of Jefferson City, Missouri. In 1861 Union forces occupied Jefferson City in the early stages of the American Civil War. At that time, captured slaves were officially designated by the Union as “contraband,” and many were forced to serve in military support roles such as cooks, laundresses, or nurses. At age seventeen, Williams was impressed into serving the 8th Indiana Volunteer Infantry Regiment, commanded by Colonel William Plummer Benton.

For the next few years, Williams travelled with the 8th Indiana, accompanying the soldiers on their marches through Arkansas, Louisiana, and Georgia. She was present at theBattle of Pea Ridge and the Red River Campaign. At one time she was transferred to Little Rock, where she would have seen uniformed African-American men serving as soldiers, which may have inspired her own interest in military service. Later, Williams was transferred to Washington, D.C., where she served with General Philip Sheridan‘s command. When the war ended, Williams was working at Jefferson Barracks.

Despite the prohibition against women serving in the military, Williams enlisted in the United States Regular Army on 15 November 1866 at St. Louis, Missouri for a three year engagement, passing herself off as a man. Only two others are known to have been privy to the deception, her cousin and a friend, both of whom were fellow soldiers in her regiment.

Shortly after her enlistment, Williams contracted smallpox, was hospitalized and rejoined her unit, which by then was posted in New Mexico. Possibly due to the effects of smallpox, the New Mexico heat, or the cumulative effects of years of marching, her body began to show signs of strain. She was frequently hospitalized. The post surgeon finally discovered she was a woman and informed the post commander. She was discharged from the Army by her commanding officer, Captain Charles E. Clarke on October 14, 1868.

In September 1891, a doctor employed by the Pension Bureau examined Williams. Despite the fact that she suffered from neuralgia and diabetes, had had all her toes amputated, and could only walk with a crutch, the doctor decided she did not qualify for disability payments. Her application was rejected.

The exact date of Williams’ death is unknown, but it is assumed she died shortly after being denied a pension, probably sometime in 1892. Her simple grave marker would have been made of wood and deteriorated long ago. Thus her final resting place is now unknown.


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File:Bobby Robinson 1965.jpg

Born in Union, South Carolina, Robinson served in the US Army in World War II.After the war, Robinson moved to New York City and opened “Bobby’s Record Shop” (later “Bobby’s Happy House”) in 1946. His was the first black-owned business on Harlem‘s famed 125th Street. Located on the corner of 125th St. and Frederick Douglass Boulevard (formerly, “8th Avenue”), his shop remained open until January 21, 2008, forced to close only because its landlord planned to raze the building for new construction. Robinson’s store outlasted large chain store competitors, including HMV and the Wiz.

The store became a focal point for the independent record producers establishing themselves in New York, and Robinson spent some time assisting Ahmet Ertegun at Atlantic Records. He produced his first recording, “Bobby’s Boogie” by saxophonist Morris Lane and his band, in 1951, but originally specialised in recording vocal groups including the Mello-Moods, the Rainbows, the Vocaleers and the Du-Droppers. However, he also recorded blues performers such as Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee, and had his first major success with “Shake Baby Shake” byChampion Jack Dupree in 1953. The record was released on Red Robin Records, which Robinson had established the previous year, originally under the name Robin Records until forced to change the name after legal threats by another company.

Having enjoyed healthy local sales with doo-wop and blues discs in the early-to-mid-1950s, he established several more record labels in the 1950s and 1960s, some in partnership with his brother, Danny Robinson. Among them wereWhirlin’ Disc Records in 1956, Fury Records and Everlast Records in 1957, Fire Records in 1959, and Enjoy Records in 1962. He launched Fire and Fury as vehicles for rhythm and blues and rock and roll artists, most of which were produced by him in New York, but some were produced by others and acquired by him in various Southern cities.

Robinson produced numerous million-selling records by such notable performers as Wilbert HarrisonThe ShirellesLee Dorsey, and Dave “Baby” Cortez, many of whom were signed to the label by A&R man Marshall Sehorn. One of his earliest hits was Harrison’s “Kansas City“, over which he faced legal action brought by Herman Lubinsky of Savoy Records, who claimed he had Harrison under contract.Robinson produced Gladys Knight & the Pips‘ first hit, “Every Beat of My Heart” (after he signed them to Fury; the original version was recorded in Atlanta, issued locally on Hintom and leased to Vee Jay, who had the bigger hit). Robinson produced several of Elmore James‘ greatest records as well as recordings by other leading blues musicians including Lightnin’ HopkinsArthur Crudup, and Buster BrownKing Curtis‘s “Soul Twist” was the first release of his Enjoy label in 1962, and over twenty years later, he released the highly successful hit, “I’m The Packman (Eat Everything I Can)” by The Packman, on the same label. The rights to Robinson’s recordings on Fire and Fury were sold to Bell Records in 1965.

In the 1970s, Robinson produced some of the first hip-hop music records for his “Enjoy” label and had considerable influence and success in that genre through the mid-1980s. He achieved another success in 1979, when he recordedGrandmaster Flash & the Furious Five‘s first record, “Superrappin'”, an innovative record which was very influential in hip-hop’s early years. A local hit among New York area hip-hop fans, the music industry, however, was not ready for the new sound, and the record failed to hit nationwide.

Robinson then went to commercial success with other old school hip hop artists, including Pumpkin and Friends, the Funky Four Plus One MoreSpoonie Gee (Robinson’s nephew), and Kool Moe Dee with the Treacherous Three.

Robinson chalked up yet another success when he produced Doug E. Fresh‘s “Just Having Fun (Do The Beatbox)”, which introduced beatboxing to the record-buying public.

Robinson died on January 7, 2011 at the age of 93, after a period of declining health.

Dr.Patrica E. Frankel

Dr. Patricia Bath, ophthalmologic surgeon, inventor, and activist for patients’ rights, was born in Harlem, New York in 1942, the daughter of Rupert Bath, an educated and well-traveled merchant seaman, and Gladys Bath, a homemaker and housecleaner. They were loving and supportive parents who encouraged their children to focus on education and believe in their dreams and ideas.

Thus Bath developed a love of books, travel and science. She excelled at school and began to show her aptitude in biology in high school where she became editor of the Charles Evans Hughes High School’s science paper and won numerous science awards. In fact, she was chosen in 1959 at the age of 16 to participate in a summer program offered by the National Science Foundation at Yeshiva University. She gained notoriety when, while working at Yeshiva, she derived a mathematical equation for predicting cancer cell growth. One of her mentors in the program, Dr. Robert O. Bernard, incorporated her findings into a paper he presented at an international conference held in Washington, D.C., in 1960.

Following this experience, Bath won a 1960 Merit Award fromMademoiselle magazine, completed high school in just two and a half years, and entered New York’s Hunter College to study chemistry and physics. She earned a B.A. from Hunter in 1964. From there Bath went to medical school at Howard University in Washington, D.C.

Bath finished her M.D. in 1968 and returned to New York as an intern at Harlem Hospital, followed by a fellowship in ophthalmology at Columbia University from 1969-70. During this time Bath began to notice differences among the patient population in hospitals she had worked in.

At Harlem Hospital, where there were many African American patients, nearly half were blind or visually impaired. But at Columbia Eye Clinic, the blindness rate was markedly lower. She conducted a study documenting her observation that blindness among blacks was nearly double the rate of blindness among whites. She concluded that this was largely due to many African Americans’ lack of access to ophthalmic care. With this finding Bath established a new discipline known as Community Ophthalmology, now studied and practiced worldwide. She also helped bring eye surgery services to Harlem Hospital’s Eye Clinic, which has since helped to treat and cure thousands of patients.

From this point on, Bath’s list of firsts continued to grow. She became the first African American resident at New York University where she finished her medical training in 1973. Meanwhile she also married and had a child, while completing a fellowship in 1974 in corneal and keratoporosthesis surgery.

Black History on this day the 13th of Feb


1968: Black athletes make silent protest

1968: Black athletes make silent protest
Peter Norman, Tommie Smith and John Carlos

Two black American athletes have made history at the Mexico Olympics by staging a silent protest against racial discrimination.

Tommie Smith and John Carlos, gold and bronze medallists in the 200m, stood with their heads bowed and a black-gloved hand raised as the American National Anthem played during the victory ceremony.

The pair both wore black socks and no shoes and Smith wore a black scarf around his neck. They were demonstrating against continuing racial discrimination of black people in the United States.

As they left the podium at the end of the ceremony they were booed by many in the crowd.

‘Black America will understand’

At a press conference after the event Tommie Smith, who holds seven world records, said: “If I win I am an American, not a black American. But if I did something bad then they would say ‘a Negro’. We are black and we are proud of being black.

“Black America will understand what we did tonight.”

Smith said he had raised his right fist to represent black power in America, while Carlos raised his left fist to represent black unity. Together they formed an arch of unity and power.

He said the black scarf represented black pride and the black socks with no shoes stood for black poverty in racist America.

Within a couple of hours the actions of the two Americans were being condemned by the International Olympic Committee.

A spokesperson for the organisation said it was “a deliberate and violent breach of the fundamental principles of the Olympic spirit.”

It is widely expected the two will be expelled from the Olympic village and sent back to the US.

In September last year Tommie Smith, a student at San Jose State university in California, told reporters that black members of the American Olympic team were considering a total boycott of the 1968 games.

‘Dirty negro’

He said: “It is very discouraging to be in a team with white athletes. On the track you are Tommie Smith, the fastest man in the world, but once you are in the dressing rooms you are nothing more than a dirty Negro.”

The boycott had been the idea of professor of sociology at San Jose State university, and friend of Tommie Smith, Harry Edwards.

Professor Edwards set up the Olympic Project for Human Rights (OPHR) and appealed to all black American athletes to boycott the games to demonstrate to the world that the civil rights movement in the US had not gone far enough.

He told black Americans they should refuse “to be utilised as ‘performing animals’ in the games.”

Although the boycott never materialised the OPHR gained much support from black athletes around the world.




In Context
That evening, the silver medallist in the 200m event, Peter Norman of Australia, who was white, wore an OPHR badge in support of Smith and Carlos’ protest.But two days later the two athletes were suspended from their national team, expelled from the Olympic village and sent home to America.

Many felt they had violated the Olympic spirit by drawing politics into the games.

On their return both men were welcomed as heroes by the African-American community but others regarded them as trouble-makers. Both received death threats.

Thirty years after their protest, the two men, who went on to become high school athletics coaches, were honoured for their part in furthering the civil rights movement in America.

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