Blast From The Past:
OUR HAMITE AWARD WINNER FOR 2006:
The Buffalo Soldiers
The Buffalo Soldiers began their existence after the civil war. In 1866 the United States Congress created a division of all black army units, being the 9th and 10th cavalry and the 38th, 39th, 40th and 41st infantry regiments.
African American soldiers made $13.00 per month, far more than the average black civilian made.
They received their name from the Native Americans who likened them to buffalos with their curly kinky hair, and also because of the way they fought like with the courage of a buffalo.
The Buffalo Soldiers were like the National Guard of their time, protecting and enforcing. They were dispatched to where ever the President desired and had an excellent reputation for getting the job done. They would guard the mail for safe delivery, protect our National Parks, etc. One high ranking white general named John Pershing called them "Good soldiers" and earned the nickname 'Nigger Jack' because of his admiration for these brave black men.
The Buffalo Soldiers fought in the Indian Wars, the Spanish-American War, including the Battle of San Juan Hill in Cuba where they earned many Medals Of Honor. They fought in the Philippine-American War, and in 1918 the 10th Cavalry fought at the Battle of Ambos Nogales during the First World War, where they assisted in forcing the surrender of the federal Mexican and Mexican militia forces.
But on American soil, they were basically hated because of the color of their skin. It's amazing how they were sent to protect and help the citizens but many time were mistreated and killed because of racism. It seems white people didn't care too much for these brave peacekeeping Americans and that was a shame.
A lesser known action was the Buffalo Soldiers 9th Cavalry's participation in the fabled Johnson County War, an 1892 land war in Johnson County, Wyoming between small farmers and large, wealthy ranchers.
It culminated in a lengthy shootout between local farmers, a band of hired killers, and a sheriff's posse. The 6th Cavalry was ordered in by President Benjamin Harrison to quell the violence and capture the band of hired killers. Soon afterward, however, the 9th Cavalry was specifically called on to replace the 6th. The 6th Cavalry was swaying under the local political and social pressures and was unable to keep the peace in the tense environment.
The Buffalo Soldiers responded within about two weeks from Nebraska and moved the men to the rail town of Suggs, Wyoming, creating "Camp Bettens" Despite a racist and hostile local population. One soldier was killed and two wounded in gun battles with locals. Nevertheless, the 9th Cavalry remained in Wyoming for nearly a year to quell tensions in the area.
What brave soldiers they were. On September 6, 2005, Mark Matthews, who was the oldest living Buffalo Soldier, died at the age of 111. He was buried at Arlington National Cemetery, and this is why we chose this year to award these great African American enforcers with the 2006 Annual Hamite Award in recognition of their courageous service to our country.
Liberators of Cuba, soldiers of the 10th Cavalry after the Spanish-American War
Buffalo Soldiers of the American 10th Cavalry Regiment who were taken prisoner during the Battle of Carrizal, Mexico in 1916.
Buffalo soldiers of the 25th Infantry, some wearing buffalo robes
Ft. Keogh, Montana
For the year 2006:
- Major General Walter E. Gaskin was the first African-American to command a United States Marine Corps division
- Sophia Danenberg was the first African-American to reach the peak of Mount Everest
|How were blacks feeling in 2006?
Tommie Smith and John Carlos
Three Proud People mural in Newtown
DID YOU KNOW?
Ever wonder how the term "African American" came into existence? After the civil rights movement, blacks felt the need for a more accurate term to describe the race than colored or Negro, which was associated with much pain and suffering. In the late 1960s, and early 1970s, blacks no longer approved of the term Negro. In its experimental stages, the term Afro-American was used for a while but didn't last. Later the Black Power movement made us feel proud using black as the term in describing our race.
The song, "Say It Loud – I'm Black and I'm Proud" by James Brown became an unofficial anthem of the Black Power movement. But it wasn't until the 1980s the term African American was advanced on the model of, for example, German-American or Irish-American to give descendants of American slaves and other American blacks who lived through the slavery era a heritage and a cultural base. The term was popularized in black communities around the country via word of mouth and ultimately received mainstream use after Jesse Jackson publicly used the term in front of a national audience. Subsequently, major media outlets adopted its use.
| Sports in 2006 |
- January 22, 2006 - a career-high 81 points was scored by Los Angeles Laker Kobe Bryant against the Toronto Raptors.
- July 28, 2006 - a statue of Satchel Paige was unveiled in Cooper Park, Cooperstown, New York commemorating the contributions of the Negro leagues to baseball.
- May 28, 2006 - San Francisco Giant Barry Bonds connects with his 715th career home run, to surpass Babe Ruth on the all-time list.
- In 2006, former MLB pitcher Mudcat Grant released his long-awaited book, The Black Aces, Baseball's Only black Twenty-Game Winners, featuring chapters on each of the black pitchers to have at least one twenty win season, and also featuring Negro League players that Mudcat felt would have been 20 game winners if they were allowed to play.
President George W. Bush
Juanita Millender McDonald
| Political Scene in 2006 |
- 2006 - George W. Bush served as the 43rd President of the United States from 2001 to 2009. He was elected president in 2000 after a close and controversial election, becoming the fourth president to be elected while receiving fewer popular votes nationwide than his opponent. incumbent Vice President Al Gore was on the losing end.
- 2006 - History was made when Juanita Millender McDonald, Rep. John Conyers, Rep. Charles Rangel, and Rep. Bennie G. Thompson all chaired full committees in the House.
- November 7, 2006 - Deval Patrick is the second African American in the United States to be elected Governor by popular vote in the state of Massachusetts.
| Race in 2006 |
- December 4, 2006 - The Jena Six were six black teenagers in Jena, Louisiana convicted in the 2006 beating of Justin Barker, a white student at the local Jena High School, which they also attended. Barker was injured by the members of the Jena Six and received treatment at an emergency room. While the case was pending, it was often cited by some media commentators as an example of racial injustice in the United States. Some observers believed that the defendants had been charged initially with too-serious offenses and had been treated unfairly.
| Television / Movies in 2006 |
- Yo Momma was an American television show based upon insulting another's mother for fun. The show—which ran from 2006 to 2007, and as the title suggests—used "yo momma" jokes, and many episodes featured guest appearances from rappers.
Season 1: Los Angeles
Week One: Method Man
Week Two: Mike Jones
Week Three: Chingy
Week Four: Ne-Yo
Best of LA: The were selected as the jury for the hosts
Season 2: New York City
Week One (Brooklyn): Jadakiss
Week Two (Manhattan): E-40
Week Three (Bronx): Fat Joe
Week Four (Queens): Chamillionaire
Best of NY: As was the case in Season One, the mommas of the weekly runner-ups were jury members.
Season 3: Atlanta
Week One: Ying Yang Twins
Week Two: Bow Wow
Week Three: Jermaine Dupri
Week Four: Frankie J
Best of Atlanta
Academy Award Winners:
- 2006 - Forest Whitaker for The Last King of Scotland. Best Actor in a Leading Role.
- 2006 - Jennifer Hudson for Dreamgirls. Best Actress in a Supporting Role.
- 2006 - Willie D. Burton for Dreamgirls. Academy Award for Best Sound.
Isabel Sanford with The Jeffersons co-stars, Sherman Hemsley and Mike Evans
John Jordan "Buck" O'Neil
Comedian Timmie Rogers
Coretta Scott King
Robert Jr. Lockwood
| Famous Deaths in 2006 |
- January 6, 2006 - Lou Rawls was an American recording artist, voice actor, songwriter, and record producer. He was known for his smooth vocal style.
- January 14, 2006 - Bubba Morton was an American right fielder in Major League Baseball who played.
- January 24, 2006 - Fayard Antonio Nicholas, an African American choreographer, dancer and actor.
- January 30, 2006 - Coretta Scott King was an American author, activist, and civil rights leader, and the wife of Martin Luther King, Jr. from 1953 until his death in 1968.
Trivia: Coretta Scott King helped lead the African-American Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s. King was an active advocate for African-American equality. King met her husband while in college, and their participation escalated until they became central to the movement. In her early life, Coretta was an accomplished singer, and she often incorporated music into her civil rights work.
- February 17, 2006 - Harold Atkins Hunter was an American professional skateboarder and actor. He was best known on screen for his part in Larry Clark's 1995 film Kids, playing the role of Harold.
- March 6, 2006 - Kirby Puckett was an American professional baseball player.
- March 7, 2006 - Gordon Parks, was an African American photographer, musician, writer and film director.
- March 21, 2006 - Bob Delegall was an American actor, television director and producer.
- May 4, 2006 - Michael Taliferro was an American film and television actor, sportsman and singer.
- May 21, 2006 - Katherine Dunham, an African American dancer, choreographer, author, educator, and social activist.
- June 6, 2006 - Billy Preston was an American musician whose work included R&B, rock, soul, funk and gospel. A virtuoso keyboardist, particularly on Hammond organ.
- September 7, 2006 - Robert Earl Jones was an American actor. One of the first prominent black film stars, he was best known for his leading roles in films such as Lying Lips.
- September 24, 2006 - Henry "Mule" Townsend was an American blues singer, guitarist and pianist.
- October 2, 2006 - Tamara Janice Dobson was an African-American actress and fashion model.
- October 3, 2006 - Patrice Yvonne Holloway was an African-American soul and pop singer.
- October 24, 2006 - Enolia Pettigen McMillan, was the first female national president of the NAACP.
- October 6, 2006 - John Jordan "Buck" O'Neil was a first baseman and manager in the Negro American League, mostly with the Kansas City Monarchs.
- November 10, 2006 - Gerald Levert, an African American R&B singer, songwriter and producer.
- November 17, 2006 - Ruth Brown, was an African American singer-songwriter and actress also known as "Queen of R&B".
- November 21, 2006 - Robert Lockwood, Jr. also known as Robert Junior Lockwood, was an American Delta blues guitarist, who recorded for Chess Records among other Chicago labels in the 1950s and 1960s. The only direct student of Robert Johnson, he is well known as a longtime collaborator with Sonny Boy Williamson II and for his work in the mid-1950s with Little Walter.
- December 14, 2006 - Mike Evans was best known for his recurring role as Lionel Jefferson on All in the Family and was the first actor to play Lionel on the spin-off The Jeffersons.
- December 17, 2006 - Timmie Rogers was an American comedian, singer-songwriter, bandleader and actor who appeared on many national TV shows in the 1960s and 1970s.
- December 25, 2006 - James Brown, an African American recording artist and musician. One of the founding fathers of funk music and a major figure of 20th-century popular music and dance, he is often referred to as "The Godfather of Soul".
- 2006 - Sterling Houston was an African-American experimental playwright, actor, musician and prose writer renowned for his works of social commentary exploring black and gay identity.
The Civil Rights movement of the 60s was a total success. Now the second part of our journey begins. |
Now here's the problem.
For the last hundred years or so, white Americans have had every privilege simply for being white.
Unconstitutional Jim Crow laws instituted in the past had restricted blacks in every sense of the word.
Blacks were routinely treated as second-class citizens even after fighting courageously in every single American war, Revolutionary war included.
During this Jim Crow period, whites created a humongous stronghold and power structure for their families in America that still stands today. They completely understand how to navigate this power structure, and do it very well.
But after the 60s, blacks, on the other hand, found it difficult to penetrate and become a part of this American structure and ones that attempted were generally fought every step of the way, not by outright in your face racism, but a new one called casual racism which is just as harmful.
Ever since slavery ended, blacks who are of African culture didn't get much help assimilating into an American (European) way of life. After victory with our Civil Rights in the 60s, many didn't understand how to challenge this power structure in a productive and intelligent way growing frustrated and angry. Many were resorting to violence until an amazing man named DJ Kool Herc steps onto the scene to save the day!
DJ Kool Herc spinning records
DJ Kool Herc was the beginning of Hip Hop and gave many a positive outlet instead of violence, and whether older blacks liked it or not for our younger people would replace the guidance of influential civil rights leaders of past and become the voice they listened to for knowledge and help.
The media began to portray Hip hop/rapper figures as the brains of the black race. They are treated as wise ones and royalty. But they forgot or just ignored the many blacks who achieved with brainpower as college graduates, as opposed to artistic ability. Because of this portrayal, Hip-hop/Rap artist have without a doubt become an influential voice in the black community.
Many older blacks who were trained by our past Civil Rights leaders excellent moral guidance and teachings liked their beats but not the messages because it was filled with much hate and violence, especially on our people.
So when a younger black person who has been trained by these lyrics attempt to enter the white power structure workforce, they very seldom get through the front door, and it has nothing to do with racism, and if they are lucky enough to get that far they usually don't last, because they don't understand how to deal and work with people.
Don't get it wrong; Hip hop/rap music is a part of who we are, and we are all so proud of our ability to create something out of nothing that the entire world loves and imitates. But it also comes with a tremendous responsibility when possessing such great power and influence to help people and especially our own. Don't forget to teach our young that beats are good, but books are better!
There are many who keep the entertainment value of Hip hop/rap in perspective and understand how to maintain a balance, but there are also many easily influenced ones who fail and don't have a clue. So an important question arises. Will Hip-Hop lead the weaker one's in learning to live in the real world so we all can achieve and soar like the eagles or will it sell us out for the love of fame and money?
- James Dewitt Yancey (February 7, 1974 – February 10, 2006), better known by the stage names J Dilla and Jay Dee, was an American record producer and rapper who emerged from the mid-1990s underground hip hop scene in Detroit, Michigan. Yancey died in 2006 of the blood disease thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura.
- Lumumba Carson (August 4, 1956 – March 17, 2006), known by his stage names Baba Professor X the Overseer, Professor X, or PXO was born the son of Brooklyn-based activist Sonny Carson. Carson died from complications associated with spinal meningitis in 2006.
- DeShaun Dupree Holton (October 2, 1973 - April 11, 2006), better known by his stage name Proof, was an American rapper and actor from Detroit, Michigan. Proof was shot and killed during an altercation at the CCC nightclub in Detroit.
- John Edward Hawkins (November 15, 1969 – May 1, 2006), better known as H.A.W.K. or Big Hawk was an American rapper from Houston, Texas and a founding member of the late DJ Screw's rap group the Screwed Up Click.
On May 1, 2006, Hawkins, 36, was shot to death.
- Nini-X aka Bloody Mary (Avenue Piru Gang) - Deceased. Died in a motorcycle accident.
| Famous Weddings in 2006 |
- January 1, 2006 - Dominique Wilkins and Robin Campbell Wilkins were wed.
- March 10, 2006 - Shamari Fears and Ronald De Voe were wed.
- April 22, 2006 - Aonika Laurent and Sean Patrick Thomas were wed.
- May 20, 2006 - Mo'nique and Sidney Hicks were wed.
- July 2, 2006 - Derek Fisher and Candace Fisher were wed.
- July 15, 2006 - Cheryl Cole and Ashley Cole were wed.
- July 2006 - Elton Brand and Seneca Simmons were wed.
- July 2006 - Mike Epps and Michelle Mccain were wed.
- September 2, 2006 - Tamyra Gray and Sam Watters were wed.
- September 2006 - French Montana and Deen Kharbouch were wed.
- October 8, 2006 - Ike Turner and Audrey Madison were wed.
- November 2006 - Kevin Frazier and Yasmin Cader were wed.
- 2006 - Omar Epps and Keisha Spivey were wed.
| Famous Divorces in 2006 |
- January 1, 2006 - Lil Wayne and Antonia Carter were divorced.
- April 2006 - Gabrielle Union and Chris Howard were divorced.
- May 24, 2006 - Prince and Manuela Testolini were divorced.
- July 20, 2006 - Michael Strahan and Jean Muggli were divorced.
- November 2006 - MC Harvey and Alesha Dixon were divorced.
- November 2006 - Regina King and Ian Alexander, Sr. were divorced.
- 2006 - Brian Lovell and Stacey Dash were divorced.
- 2006 - Garcelle Nilon and Daniel Saunders were divorced.
- 2006 - Michael Jordan and Juanita Vanoy were divorced.
- 2006 - Dawnn Lewis and Johnny Newman were divorced.
- 2006 - Mos Def and Maria Yepes were divorced.
Soul Train ran from 1971-2006
Mary J. Blige
| Music in 2006 |
Billboard Top Soul Hits:
- "Be Without You" Mary J. Blige
- "What You Know" T.I.
- "It's Goin' Down" Yung Joc
- Snap Yo Fingers" Lil Jon featuring E-40 and Sean Paul of the YoungbloodZ
- "Me & U" Cassie
- "Shoulder Lean" Young Dro featuring T.I.
- "Déjà Vu" Beyoncé featuring Jay-Z
- "Pullin' Me Back" Chingy featuring Tyrese
- "Call on Me" Janet with Nelly
- "Say Goodbye" Chris Brown
- "Money Maker" Ludacris featuring Pharrell
- "Irreplaceable" Beyoncé
Popular Soul Dances:
- Harlem shake
- Cat Daddy
- Gas Pedal
Musical Happenings in 2006:
- Funk master Sly Stone appeared in public for the first time since 1987 wearing a Cockatoo-Style mohawk at the Grammys.
Blues Hall of Fame for 2006:
The Blues Hall of Fame is a music museum located in Memphis, Tennessee. Until recently, the "Blues Hall of Fame" was not a physical building, but a listing of people who have significantly contributed to blues music. Started in 1980 by the Blues Foundation, it honors those who have performed, recorded, or documented blues. The actual building for the hall opened to the public on May 8, 2015
- Paul Butterfield
- James Cotton
- Roy Milton
- Bobby Rush
BET Awards winners in 2006:
The BET Awards were established in 2001 by the Black Entertainment Television network to celebrate African Americans and other minorities in music, acting, sports, and other fields of entertainment over the past year. Funny man Damon Wayans hosted the show.
TV ratings (in millions)
Best Female Hip-Hop Artist
- Missy Elliott
Best Male Hip-Hop Artist
Best Gospel Artist
- Kirk Franklin
Best Female R&B Artist
- Mary J. Blige
Best Male R&B Artist
- The Black Eyed Peas
Best New Artist
- Chris Brown
- Kanye West feat. Jamie Foxx – "Gold Digger"
Video of the Year
- "Be Without You" (Mary J. Blige) & "Gold Digger" (Kanye West feat. Jamie Foxx) (Tie)
- Chris Brown – "Yo (Excuse Me Miss)"
- Anthony Hamilton
- Taraji P. Henson
- Terrence Howard
Best Female Athlete
- Venus Williams
Best Male Athlete
- LeBron James
- Harry Belafonte
Lifetime Achievement Award
- Chaka Khan
Grammy winners in 2006:
The 48th Annual Grammy Awards took place on February 8, 2006, at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California.
Best New Artist
- John Legend
Best Traditional Blues Album
- 80-B. B. King & Friends
Best Comedy Album
- "Never Scared"-Chris Rock
Best Dance Recording
- Galvanize"-The Chemical Brothers & Q-Tip
Best Compilation Soundtrack Album
- "Ray"-Ray Charles
Best Score Soundtrack Album for a Motion Picture
Best Gospel Performance
- "Pray"-CeCe Winans
Best Gospel Song
- "Be Blessed"-Yolanda Adams
Best Traditional Soul Gospel Album
- "Psalms, Hymns & Spiritual Songs"-Donnie McClurkin
Best Contemporary Soul Gospel Album
- "Purified"-CeCe Winans
Best Gospel Choir or Chorus Album
- "One Voice"-Saints Unified Voices - Gladys Knight, choir director
Best Historical Album
- Alan Lomax, (Jelly Roll Morton)
Best Jazz Instrumental Solo
- Why Was I Born?-Sonny Rollins
Best Jazz Instrumental Album, Individual or Group
- Beyond the Sound Barrier-Wayne Shorter Quartet
Best Jazz Vocal Album
- Dianne Reeves-Good Night, and Good Luck
Best Short Form Music Video
- Lose Control-Missy Elliott, Fat Man Scoop & Ciara
Best Album Notes
- 'The Complete Library of Congress Recordings **Alan Lomax, (Jelly Roll Morton)
Best Male Pop Vocal Performance
- "From the Bottom of My Heart" - Stevie Wonder
Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals
- "Feel Good Inc." - Gorillaz & De La Soul
Best Remixed Recording, Non-Classical
- Superfly (Louie Vega EOL Mix)
Louie Vega (remixer) (Curtis Mayfield)
Best Female R&B Vocal Performance
- "We Belong Together"-Mariah Carey
Best Male R&B Vocal Performance
- "Ordinary People"-John Legend
Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals
- "So Amazing"-Beyoncé & Stevie Wonder
Best R&B Song
- "We Belong Together"-Mariah Carey
Mariah Carey, Jermaine Dupri, Manuel Seal, & Johnta Austin songwriters
Best R&B Album
- "Get Lifted"-John Legend
Best Contemporary R&B Album
- The Emancipation of Mimi-Mariah Carey
Best Traditional R&B Vocal Performance
- A House Is Not a Home-Aretha Franklin
Best Urban/Alternative Performance
- Welcome to Jamrock-Damian Marley
Best Rap/Sung Collaboration
- "Numb/Encore" - Jay-Z & Linkin Park
Best Rap Solo Performance
- "Gold Digger" - Kanye West
Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group
- "Don't Phunk With My Heart" - The Black Eyed Peas
Best Rap Song
- "Diamonds from Sierra Leone"-Kanye West
Best Rap Album
- "Late Registration" - Kanye West
Best Reggae Album
- "Welcome to Jamrock"-Damian Marley
Best Spoken Word Album
- Dreams from My Father-Barack Obama
Low-rise jeans and thong whale tail of the 2000s
Young woman in low-rise jeans
Nike Jordan Tennis Shoes
Men's baseball cap
| Fashions in 2006 |
The 2000s fashion are often described as being a "mash-up", where trends saw the fusion of previous styles, global and ethnic clothing (e.g. boho), as well as the fashions of numerous music-based subcultures. Hip-hop fashion generally was the most popular among young people, followed by the unisex indie look later in the decade.
When the 2000s kicked off, the fashion was profoundly influenced by technology. From late 1999 until late 2001, there was a monochromatic futuristic approach to fashion, with metallics, shiny blacks, heavy use of gray, straps, and buckles becoming commonplace. This was called "Y2K fashion". Particular pieces of Y2K clothing included mesh tops, box-pleated skirts, handkerchief tops, satin skirts, leather skirts, concert t-shirts with rhinestones, sparkling shoes, halter tops, and sequinned pants. Girl's fashion trends were oversized sunglasses, aviator sunglasses, oversized hoop earrings, jeans worn for numerous occasions (such as low-rise, boot-cut, fabric accents down the sides, fabric accents sewn into the flares, lace-up sides and tie-dye), wedge flip flops, hot pants, denim jackets, chunky sweaters, pashmina scarves, Skechers, belly shirts, and tube tops. Women wore long-sleeved shirts with bell sleeves, cowl-neck tops, crop tops, Burberry, hoodies, flare jeans, hip-huggers, low rise pants, white jeans, whale tails, cargo pants (especially ones made out of silk, satin, and velvet) hip-hop inspired sweatpants, daisy dukes, thong underwear, and solid bright-colored tights. These fashions remained popular well into the late 2000s. Popular accessories of the early 2000s include white belts, aviator sunglasses, trucker hats, hoop earrings, Mary Janes, leg warmers (worn with mini skirts), ugg boots, flip-flops, jelly shoes, lace-up sandals, newsboy caps, ponchos, and jelly bracelets.
At the very beginning of the decade, the excitement of entering the new millennium had become evident in fashion in the first couple of years, although this was only prominent in nightclub and "going out" attire. Clothing was mostly made in black, though silver was also fashionable. An example of this would be a tracksuit, a dress shirt, a pair of pants, a camp shirt, or a jacket in a fancy metallic pattern for going out; while also compromising of items such as leather coats and pants, puffy vests and jackets, ribbed sweaters and shirts, and chunky dress shoes, usually in futuristic colors such as black, silver, light gray, and white. After the events of 9/11, fashion became more conservative, forgoing the futuristic styles of before. Distressed denim made a comeback, with sandblasted highlights, frosted jeans, ripped jeans, and whiskering becoming commonplace. A lower rise jean had emerged during this part of the decade, effectively getting rid of the high-waisted styles of the 1990s. Light-colored polo shirts (sometimes striped and with collars popped), cargo pants (even ones made out of linen during warmer months), khaki chinos, bootcut jeans, corduroy pants, and rugby shirts. Practical hiking jackets (of the type made by Berghaus), fleeces, puffer jackets, and padded tartan lumberjack-type shirts were worn as winter outerwear along with brown, grey, burgundy, rust, maroon, or forest green turtleneck sweaters, and odd navy blue, stone grey, beige, or natural linen sportcoats that fastened with three buttons. These fashions continued into the mid and late 2000s. Men's Accessories of the early 2000s included white belts, Aviator sunglasses, trucker hats, flip-flops, oxford shoes, argyle socks, sneakers from brands such as Nike, Skechers, Adidas, and Puma, baseball caps (bearing the logos of football, soccer, basketball, and baseball teams), and jelly bracelets.
Youth fashion was strongly influenced by Hip-Hop. The clothing of American hip-hop fans underwent an evolution from the sagging baggy gangster jeans of the late 1990s to a more retro look by the end of the decade. Popular items of clothing included wide leg jeans, baseball jackets,Nike Air Jordans, tracksuits, sweatpants, bucket hats, stunna shades, fur-lined puffer jackets, and flat-brim trucker hats or baseball caps (often retaining the store label). During the early 2000s, many wealthy white jocks and preppies imitated the gangsta lifestyle, eschewing the semi-formal conservative look of the 1980s and 90s in favor of gold bling, expensive designer clothes, sneakers, dark jeans, and sweatpants.
For African-American men, the cornrows (popularized by former NBA player Allen Iverson) and buzz cut were a popular trend that continued into the early 2000s.
How did "acting" Cool begin for African Americans?|
It seems like it's been around forever and
expected of every black kid growing up
For most blacks, cool started on the southern plantations. Opportunists slavemasters devised a way for slaves to work harder and reap the benefits of their labor. During the year at a chosen plantation slave masters would hold a "Corn Shucking Festival." Slaves from nearby plantations would also join this event with their owner's permission, so it was almost like a community gathering of all the local slaves, with greedy slavemasters making all the money.
The slave who shucked the most corn won an award, sometimes cash or a suit of clothes. Anyone who found a red ear of corn also received a reward - perhaps a kiss from a young woman or a jug of whiskey. It was at these events that the term Shuckin' and jivin' came into existence by the slaves while working and telling tall stories, talking smack, and joking around with each other.
These gatherings, even though involving hard work had to be an event looked forward to by the slaves, because it was one of the few times during the year blacks had a chance to interact with one another. Shuckin' and jivin' would become a tool the slaves would use to convince their masters of an untruth, and even among themselves. It was an early form of being cool.
After slavery blacks were free (sort of) to do as they pleased. Most blacks wanted to assimilate into American culture very much but were shut out by the white racist. African and European culture met head on in what was supposed to be fair in America guaranteed by our Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, but blacks didn't stand a chance.
Why, what happened?
Because most whites banded together by breaking the law and made blacks second class citizens and would go on to murder, lynch, rape, humiliate them all the way until the 1960s Civil Rights movement. After Lincoln, every single United States President was aware of this and did nothing. Whites achieved like crazy and prospered while blacks lagged far behind and got along the best way they knew how.
Blacks disliked whites very much for this terrible treatment and instead of violent disobedience, they protested by living their lives opposite of white culture. I mean let's face it, why would blacks want to imitate or become a part of a race of people that hated them?
This is when being cool became a symbol of white resistance and protest. Being cool would show you were down with the struggle. During slavery, we had already created our language which was AAVE and many blacks communicated this way. Any black that did not use it was looked down as trying to act white, joining the enemy sort of speak.
We developed our own way of walking with a proud gait, (George Jefferson strut) our own style of music, our own style of dance, our own style of food, our own style of worship, that didn't have anything in common with white folks and that suited blacks just fine. We were poor, but we were proud and cool and everyone who practiced these traits was cool and a part of the resistance.
In the process, we were creating a new culture that was admired over the world. Blacks have always had a remarkable ability to create something out of nothing. But sadly there was significant risk with this lifestyle in a great country such as America.
What were the downfalls?
Oscar Micheaux felt it was wrong for blacks to live this way in America. Oscar was an African American author, film director and independent producer of more than 44 movies and he is regarded as the first major African-American feature filmmaker, the most successful African-American filmmaker of the first half of the twentieth century and the most prominent producer of race films. He produced both silent movies and "talkies" after the industry changed to incorporate speaking actors.
Oscar felt that blacks should become aggressive and use their brainpower in achieving instead of just settling for what the white man doled out. This man lived in some of the most racist times in American history, but he didn't let that stop him from fulfilling his dreams and doing it the legal way.
Evidently, Oscar had a brother who was the very cool type and was content on just putting up a show, or a front as living a successful life. We all know the type. A person that was living beyond his means. Blacks of his day called this way of living “the good life.”
Oscar didn't like it and was very upset with his brother. He later wrote in his book and discussed the culture of doers who want to accomplish, and those who see themselves as victims of injustice and hopelessness, and do not want to step out and try to succeed, but instead like to dress up, act cool and pretend to be successful while living the city lifestyle in poverty.
Oscar understood that education doesn't belong only to white people, it's a gift for all humanity to better ourselves, and honestly the best-proven way. Chinese, Japanese, Middle-Eastern and all other non-white nations understand this and have prospered by education. It's one of humanities treasure to learn.
But many blacks associated education with white and stayed far away from it, to continue with their cool lifestyle. A foolish mistake, and just what racist whites want you to believe.
Early Europeans completely dominated the Africans because they were better educated. They had guns we had spears, you do the math. In Africa our ancestors didn't value education, but traditions and silly ones at that. But that didn't save them. Education would have, though.
So without a doubt, it is entirely wrong to associate teaching and learning to white people. Many of us would look down upon another black who tried to better himself through education by saying they were trying to act white, and it wasn't cool. Racist whites laughed at us for believing this way because they knew we would always be behind.
After the 1960s, when our full Civil Rights were finally restored, many blacks chose to live the more standard American way by attending school to learn. But many also wanted to remain trapped in time with the old AAVE living in what they still perceived as defiance to the white American way of doing things. But were they only hurting themselves?
Later in time, being cool had become so prevalent in the black community it confused many kids, because they didn't quite understand if they were going to hang out with the cool kids or the so-called boring kids who liked to read and learn. At an early age, they are at a critical crossroad. Taking the cool route may seem easier, and a lot of fun, but would be a devastating mistake.
After the Civil Rights era we now have the opportunity to attend school and achieve as much as we can, but being cool has snatched many of the black kids and locked them into a culture hating education and in the process ruining their young lives.
Many entertainment figures reap much money from this cool culture by portraying cool as, well cool. They tell impressionable ones what's cool to hear, talk about, wear, eat, etc. and at the same time padding their cool humongous bank accounts.
These even get on television and flaunt their riches in a youngster's face never explicitly teaching on how they might be as successful, without being dishonest, stealing or selling drugs. Education is not cool for them to preach.
One thing is for sure, being cool can be a lot of fun and there's no denying that. Everybody wants to be liked, and it seems like cool people are respected and admired the most, from the clothes they wear to the type of songs they listen to the way they talk, the effortless way they seem to accomplish every task is amazing.
They possess incredible confidence. But truthfully everything they've accomplished wouldn't have been possible without the sacrifices of our wonderful ancestors. So don't you agree we owe a particular moral responsibility to them?
Kids should remember cool is not the real deal, It's a game we can't get caught up in. Our ancestors endured so much so we could achieve. We should never forget that. That's what this site was created. Browse through its pages, and you're going to read stories of amazing blacks.
They made it possible for us, and we're sure they would advise us to achieve through education first and foremost and save the cool for the weekends, and I ain't Shuckin and Jivin!
By White House (Pete Souza) / Maison Blanche (Pete Souza) (The Official White House Photostream) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
By Senate Office of Richard Lugar [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
United States Census for African Americans
in the 2000s
John Jordan "Buck" O'Neil
| Our Community in 2006 |
Newsworthy Events in the Black Community:
- March 19, 2006 - 84 year old civil rights activist Fred Shuttlesworth delivers his final sermon in front of 300 people at the Greater New Light Baptist Church.
- December 7, 2006 - John Jordan "Buck" O'Neil was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President George W. Bush; the award was given to his brother, Warren, on his behalf.
- December 15, 2006 - Musician and blues singer B.B. King is awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President George W. Bush.
- In 2006, Bessie Coleman was inducted into the National Aviation Hall of Fame, arguably aviation's most prestigious honor.
- 2000s - The United States Population is 281,421,906 with a total of 34,658,190 being African Americans.
- 2006 - Vivica A. Fox received an NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actress in a Drama Series in " Missing".
photo#100 - By own work by Ranko [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons
photo#101 - By Unknown Public Domain [Public domain or Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
See page for author [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
By Staff Sgt. Bradley Lail, USAF [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
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