Booker T Washington On Success

In recognition of Black History Month, Transformation Publications will present poems, essays, and other artistic creations by Black artists, musicians, and writers.

   Booker T Washington   (April 5, 1856 – November 14, 1915) 
Booker T Washington (April 5, 1856 – November 14, 1915) 

Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome.

 

 

Photo Credit: Hale Aspacio Woodruff (August 26, 1900 September 06, 1980).

 

Listen to Paul Robeson sing Nobody Knows The Trouble I’ve Seen here.

 

Note: During the late sixties the Black students of Rutgers University in New Brunswick, NJ fought a loosing battle to have the new student center named after Paul Robeson from where he graduated. Because of his communist lable from Joseph McCarthy and because of the color of his skin, Rutgers University chose to have no connection with one of its most famous Black students.

 

On This Day, February 26, 1962, the US Supreme court disallows race separation on public transportation.

 

On This Day, February 26, 2012, Trayvon Benjamin Martrin was shot and killed by George Zimmerman, a neighborhood watch volunteer. 

Josephine Baker On Differences

In recognition of Black History Month, Transformation Publications will present poems, essays, and other artistic creations by Black artists, musicians, and writers.

   Josephine Baker   (June 03, 1906 – April 12, 1975)
Josephine Baker (June 03, 1906 – April 12, 1975)

Surely the day will come when color means nothing more than skin tone, when religion is seen uniquely as a way to speak one’s soul; when birth places have the weight of a throw of the dice and all men are born free.

 

 

Photo Credit: Black Betty Boop photographed by Tao Writer from the private collection of Melvin and Robin Jackson, ©️2017.

Learn more about the life of Josephine Baker here.

Listen to Richie P Havens sing Freedom here.

On This Day, January 25, 1870, Hiram Rhodes Revels become the first Black man elected to the United States Senate.

Langston Hughes On The Weary Blues

In recognition of Black History Month, Transformation Publications will present poems, essays, and other artistic creations by Black artists, musicians, and writers.

   Langston Hughes   (February 01, 1902 – May 22, 1967)
Langston Hughes (February 01, 1902 – May 22, 1967)

The Weary Blues by Langston Hughes

Droning a drowsy syncopated tune,
Rocking back and forth to a mellow croon,
     I heard a Negro play.
Down on Lenox Avenue the other night
By the pale dull pallor of an old gas light
     He did a lazy sway . . .
     He did a lazy sway . . .
To the tune o’ those Weary Blues.
With his ebony hands on each ivory key
He made that poor piano moan with melody.
     O Blues!
Swaying to and fro on his rickety stool
He played that sad raggy tune like a musical fool.
     Sweet Blues!
Coming from a black man’s soul.
     O Blues!
In a deep song voice with a melancholy tone
I heard that Negro sing, that old piano moan—
     “Ain’t got nobody in all this world,
       Ain’t got nobody but ma self.
       I’s gwine to quit ma frownin’
       And put ma troubles on the shelf.”

Thump, thump, thump, went his foot on the floor.
He played a few chords then he sang some more—
     “I got the Weary Blues
       And I can’t be satisfied.
       Got the Weary Blues
       And can’t be satisfied—
       I ain’t happy no mo’
       And I wish that I had died.”
And far into the night he crooned that tune.
The stars went out and so did the moon.
The singer stopped playing and went to bed
While the Weary Blues echoed through his head.
He slept like a rock or a man that’s dead.

 

Photo Credit: “Madiba,” by Kadir Nelson (May 15, 1974 -).

  

 

Listen to Wynton Marsalis play his version of the Weary Blues here.

 

🎂Happy Birthday Huey Percy Newton (February 17, 1942 – August 22, 1989) In Memoriam🌹 

 

On This Day, February 17, 2016, Channing Dungey became the first African-American president of ABC Entertainment Group.

Malcom X On Narrow-Mindedness

In recognition of Black History Month, Transformation Publications will present poems, essays, and other artistic creations by Black artists, musicians, and writers.

   Malcom X   (May 19, 1925 – February 21, 1965)
Malcom X (May 19, 1925 – February 21, 1965)

[I met] blonde-haired, blue-eyed men I could call my brothers, and I’ve seen too much of the damage narrow-mindedness can make of things, and when I return home to America, I will devote what energies I have to repairing the damage.

 

Photo Credit: Picasso’s Wives and Lovers, k Madison Moore.

 

  

Listen to Tupac Amaru Shakur aka 2Pac sing Changes  here.

 

 

On This Day, February 16, 1999, Testimony began in the Jasper, Texas trial of John William King. He was charged with murder in the gruesome dragging death of James Byrd Jr. King was later convicted and sentenced to death.  

Bob Herbert On Wealth

In recognition of Black History Month, Transformation Publications will present poems, essays, and other artistic creations by Black artists, musicians, and writers.

   Bob Herbert   (March 07, 1945 -)
Bob Herbert (March 07, 1945 -)

Overwhelming imbalances in wealth and income inevitably result in enormous imbalances of political power. So the corporations and the very wealthy continue to do well. The employment crisis never gets addressed. The wars never end. And nation-building never gets a foothold here at home.

Photo Credit: Chain Gang, William Johnson (March 18, 1901 – April 13, 1970).

 

 

  

Listen to the O’Jays (Walter Williams, Eric Grant and Eddie Levert)  sing For The Love of Money here.

 

     
   

🌹Nat King Cole (March 17, 1919 – February 15, 1965) In Memoriam🌹

 

On This Day, February 15, 1982, Duke Ellington recorded Take The “A” Train. 

Ralph Ellison on Shame

In recognition of Black History Month, Transformation Publications will present poems, essays, and other artistic creations by Black artists, musicians, and writers.

   Ralph Ellison   (March 1, 1913– April 16, 1994)
Ralph Ellison (March 1, 1913– April 16, 1994)

I am not ashamed of my grandparents for having been slaves. I am only ashamed of myself for having at one time being ashamed.

 

Photo Credit: The first and most identifiable image of the 18th century abolitionist movement was a kneeling African man. Source Credit here.

 

Listen to Tyrese sing Shame here

 

 

On This Day, February 13, 1960, Black college students begin a series of lunch counter sit-ins in Nashville, Tennessee.

LeBron James On Race

In recognition of Black History Month, Transformation Publications will present poems, essays, and other artistic creations by Black artists, musicians, and writers.

   LeBron James   (December 30, 1984 -) 
LeBron James (December 30, 1984 -) 

No matter how much money you have, no matter how famous you are, no matter how many people admire you, being black in America is tough.

  

Photo Credit: Biggest Fan by Alonzo Adams.

 

 

 

  

Listen to Donny Hathaway sing The Ghetto here.

 

 

🎂Happy Birthday Bill Russell (February 12, 1934 -)

 

 

On This Day, February 12, 1968, Soul on Ice by Eldridge Cleaver was published for the first time.