blast from the past

blast from the past
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  Blast From The Past:
update information

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annual hamite award

Michael Jordan
    Michael Jordan also known by his initials, MJ, is an American former professional basketball player. He is also a businessman and principal owner and chairman of the Charlotte Hornets. Jordan played 15 seasons in the National Basketball Association (NBA) for the Chicago Bulls and Washington Wizards.

    His biography on the NBA website states "By acclamation, Michael Jordan is the greatest basketball player of all time." Jordan was one of the most effectively marketed athletes of his generation and was considered instrumental in popularizing the NBA around the world in the 1980s and 1990s.

    After a three-season stint at the University of North Carolina, where he was a member of the Tar Heels' national championship team in 1982, Jordan joined the NBA's Chicago Bulls in 1984. He quickly emerged as a league star, entertaining crowds with his prolific scoring. His leaping ability, illustrated by performing slam dunks from the free throw line in slam dunk contests, earned him the nicknames "Air Jordan" and "His Airness."

    He also gained a reputation for being one of the best defensive players in basketball. In 1991, he won his first NBA championship with the Bulls, and followed that achievement with titles in 1992 and 1993, securing a "three-peat."

    Although Jordan abruptly retired from basketball at the beginning of the 1993–94 NBA season to pursue a career in baseball, he returned to the Bulls in March 1995 and led them to three additional championships in 1996, 1997, and 1998, as well as an NBA-record 72 regular-season wins in the 1995–96 NBA season. Jordan retired for a second time in January 1999 but returned for two more NBA seasons from 2001 to 2003 as a member of the Wizards.

    Among his numerous accomplishments, Jordan holds the NBA records for highest career regular season scoring average (30.12 points per game) and highest career playoff scoring average (33.45 points per game). In 1999, he was named the greatest North American athlete of the 20th century by ESPN and was second to Babe Ruth on the Associated Press's list of athletes of the century.

    Jordan is a two-time inductee into the Basketball Hall of Fame, having been enshrined in 2009 for his individual career, and again in 2010 as part of the group induction of the 1992 United States men's Olympic basketball team ("The Dream Team").

    Jordan is also known for his product endorsements. He fueled the success of Nike's Air Jordan sneakers, which were introduced in 1985 and remain popular today. Jordan also starred in the 1996 feature film Space Jam as himself. In 2006, he became part-owner and head of basketball operations for the then-Charlotte Bobcats, buying controlling interest in 2010. In 2015, Jordan became the first NBA player in history to become a billionaire.

    We honor Michael Jordan with the 2009 Hamite Award by the positive example he set for the millions of kids that looked up to him. He lived by example. A very successful businessman away from the game, he proved we could have it all if we just strived for it. (I believe I can fly) is the way he lives his life. America belongs to all of us. Thanks Michael.

Michael Jordan
Michael Jordan
photo #102-yr-1999

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african american first

 For the year 2009:
  • Michelle Obama was the first African-American First Lady of the United States

  • Michael Steele was the first African-American chair of the Republican National Committee

  • Eric Holder was the first African-American United States Attorney General

  • Susan Rice was the first African-American woman United States Ambassador to the United Nations

  • Ron Kirk was the first African-American United States Trade Representative

  • Lisa P. Jackson was the first African-American woman Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency

  • Desir้e Rogers was the first African-American White House Social Secretary

  • Duke Ellington was the first African-American to appear by himself on a circulating U.S. coin

  • Annette Gordon-Reed was the first African-American to win the Pulitzer Prize for History

  • Charles F. Bolden, Jr. was the first African-American Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration

  • Alysa Stanton was the first African-American woman rabbi

  • Ursula Burns was the first African-American woman CEO of a Fortune 500 company

  • Serena and Venus Williams was the first African-American doubles team to be named year-end world champion by the International Tennis Federation

  • Geoffrey S. Fletcher was the first African-American to win an Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay (Precious)

  • Tiana was the first African-American animated Disney Princess

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Congratulations Mr. President. "WE" Did It!

president obama Obama and others celebrate the naming of a street in Chicago after ShoreBank co-founder Milton Davis in 1998
president obama Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Richard Lugar and Committee member Barack Obama at a base near Perm, Russia. This is where mobile launch missiles are being destroyed by the Nunn-Lugar program.Date August 2005
president obama Obama in his official portrait as a member of the United States Senate in 2007 I got a feeling that hair is gonna be getting gray real soon!
president obama President George W. Bush meets with President-elect Obama in the Oval Office on November 10, 2008

Who still doesn't think Role Models are important?
If past leaders were alive they would be crying tears of Joy

president obama
president obama
Barack Obama takes the oath of office administered by Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr.
at the Capitol, January 20, 2009


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women in sports

Michael Jordan
Michael Jordan
photo #102-yr-1999

Serena  Williams
Serena Williams
photo #101

     Sports in 2009
  • Basketball great Michael Jordan was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame, having been enshrined in 2009 for his individual career, and again in 2010 as part of the group induction of the 1992 United States men's Olympic basketball team ("The Dream Team").

  • 2009 - NBA Finals The Los Angeles Lakers defeat the Orlando Magic 4 games to 1 to win the 2009 NBA Championship. The Lakers' Kobe Bryant is named Finals MVP.

  • 2009 - Floyd Mayweather, Jr. came out of retirement by facing lightweight champion Juan Manuel Marquez and defeating him by unanimous decision.

  • 2009 - Wimbledon Championships Serena Williams defeats Venus Williams 7–6(3), 6–2.

  • 2009 - Australian Open Serena Williams defeats Dinara Safina, 6–0, 6–3.

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Obama family
Obama family portrait in the Green Room
photo #105-yr-1992

washington dc

 President  Barack Obama
President Barack Obama
photo #108-yr-2008

 Senator Roland Burris
Senator Roland Burris
photo #102-yr-1991

     Political Scene in 2009
  • January 20, 2009 - Barack Obama is sworn in as the 44th President of the United States, and the first African American to hold the office. Born in Honolulu, Hawaii, Obama is a graduate of Columbia University and Harvard Law School, where he served as president of the Harvard Law Review. He was a community organizer in Chicago before earning his law degree. He worked as a civil rights attorney and taught constitutional law at University of Chicago Law School between 1992 and 2004.

  • February 2, 2009 - Eric H. Holder, Jr., becomes the first African American to serve as Attorney General.

  • 2009 - Roland Burris becomes U.S. Senator Illionis, completing the unexpired term of Barack Obama who was elected President of the US.

  • 2009 - Former Maryland Lt. Governor Michael S. Steele becomes Chairman of National Republican Committee.

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education and hate

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black Movies in America

     Movies in 2009
  • Black Dynamite - (archive footage) action comedy film starring Michael Jai White, Salli Richardson, Arsenio Hall, Kevin Chapman and Tommy Davidson.

  • Michael Jackson's This Is It a 2009 American documentary–concert film directed by Kenny Ortega that documents Michael Jackson's rehearsals and preparation for the concert series of the same name.

  • Blaxploitation Films:
    movies that emerged in the United States in the 1970s targeted for black audiences

  • Black Dynamite :  starring Michael Jai White, is a spoof of blaxploitation films.

  • Academy Award Winners:
  • 2009 - Mo'Nique for Precious. Best Actress in a Supporting Role.

  • 2009 - Roger Ross Williams for Music by Prudence. Best Documentary Short Subject

  • 2009 - Geoffrey Fletcher for Precious. Academy Award for Best Writing Adapted Screenplay.

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famous african american deaths

Michael Jackson
Michael Jackson
photo #101-yr-1958

     Famous Deaths in 2009
  • March 13, 2009 - Anne Brown was an African American soprano who created the role of "Bess" in the original production of George Gershwin's opera Porgy and Bess in 1935.

  • March 14, 2009 - Altovise Davis was an American entertainer, best known as Sammy Davis, Jr.'s third wife.

  • June 25, 2009 - Michael Jackson,  an African American singer, songwriter, dancer, and actor. Called the King of Pop.

  • October 8, 2009 - Abu Talib, an African American blues and jazz guitarist, singer, and harmonica player.

  • November 3, 2009 - Hugh Morgan Hill, who performed as Brother Blue was an African American educator, storyteller, actor, musician, street performer and living icon in Boston.

  • December 17, 2009 - Alaina Reed Hall was an American actress best known for her roles as Olivia, Gordon's younger sister, on the long-running children's television series Sesame Street, and as Rose Lee Holloway on the NBC sitcom 227.

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green door to success

Did you know you came from an amazing race of people who cared for you? It's true. The amazing accomplishments of our ancestors are recorded on this website. Years ago as slaves it was illegal for slaves to read and write, and a felony for anyone caught teaching them.

The slavemaster wanted to keep them ignorant so they wouldn't organize and rebel against their authority. He was able to dominate blacks in this way. The slavemaster understood the power of education.

Sadly today too many of our own have not learned how truly important it is to learn. Some may look at education as a white thing and to pick up a book as a sellout. Has any ignorant person ever made you feel that way? If so, you should run away as fast as you can from a person like this. You will meet him in a few years while he's pushing a shopping cart around town.

Education and learning are not white; it's a gift for all humankind. Read at all cost; it will add a new dimension to your life, bringing a whole new world you never knew existed. Your ancestors made it all possible for you.

green door to success

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deceased hip-hop artist
  • Tony D, born Anthony Depula (Date of Birth 1967, died April 5, 2009), was a hip hop artist from Trenton, New Jersey. Although he was a hip hop artist & DJ, he was most famous for being an influential producer in hip hop music. Depula died on April 5, 2009, after being involved in a car accident.

  • Roderick Anthony Burton II (November 25, 1987 – May 18, 2009) better known by his stage name Dolla, was an American hip hop recording artist from Decatur, Georgia. Burton was shot to death at the valet stand of the Beverly Center shopping mall in Los Angeles.

  • Adam Michael Goldstein (March 30, 1973 – August 28, 2009), better known as DJ AM, was an American DJ, remixer, record producer and musician. Goldstein was found dead in his New York City apartment on August 28, 2009, from an apparent drug overdose.

  • Children of the Corn was a hip-hop group formed in the 1990s consisting of neighborhood friends/Harlem rappers Mase, Big L, Cam'ron, Herb McGruff and Bloodshed. Bloodshed was shot and killed October 30, 2009.

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african americans and weddings

Debbi  Morgan
Actress Debbi Morgan with Dorian Harewood in The Jesse Owens Story, 1984
photo #102-yr-1956

     Famous Weddings in 2009
  • June 6, 2009 - Mike Tyson and Lakiha Spicer were wed.

  • June 27, 2009 - Kendra Wilkinson and Hank Baskett were wed.

  • June 27, 2009 - Victoria Rowell and Radcliffe Bailey were wed.

  • June 2009 - Debbi Morgan and Jeffrey Winston were wed.

  • August 8, 2009 - Jay Sean and Thara Prashad were wed.

  • September 4, 2009 - Christina Milian and Dream were wed.

  • September 25, 2009 - Tika Sumpter and Hosea Chanchez were wed.

  • September 27, 2009 - Khloe Kardashian & Lamar Odom Khloe & Lamar said their “I dos” in front of friends, and family.

  • September 2009 - Hannibal Jackson and Kellie Shanygne Williams were wed.

  • November 1, 2009 - Phaedra Parks and Apollo Nida were wed.

  • December 2009 - Claudia Jordan and Datari Turner were wed.

  • 2009 - Austin Null and Brittany Null were wed.

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famous african american divorces

Shaquille ONeal
Shaquille O'Neal
photo #106-yr-2000

R. Kelly
R. Kelly
photo #104-yr-1998

     Famous Divorces in 2009
  • January 8, 2009 - R. Kelly and Andrea Lee were divorced.

  • January 2009 - Persia White and Saul Williams were divorced.

  • January 2009 - Kimora Lee Simmons and Russell Simmons were divorced.

  • April 15, 2009 - Lance Gross  and Tika Sumpter were divorced.

  • July 2009 - Tyrese and Norma were divorced.

  • August 7, 2009 - Tracy Morgan and Sabina Morgan were divorced.

  • September 10, 2009 - Hosea Chanchez and Robin Givens were divorced.

  • November 2009 - Usher Raymond and Tameka Foster were divorced.

  • December 2009 - Jerry Rice  and Jackie Mitchell were divorced.

  • 2009 - Ivan Sergei and Tanya Sergei were divorced.

  • 2009 - Damon Dash and Rachel Roy were divorced.

  • 2009 - Sugar Mosley and Jin Mosley were divorced.

  • 2009 - Shaquille O'Neal  and Shaunie O'Neal were divorced.

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the meaning of cool
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.

cool black americans

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.

cool black americans

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!

the meaning of cool

By White House (Pete Souza) / Maison Blanche (Pete Souza) (The Official White House Photostream[1]) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
By Senate Office of Richard Lugar [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

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Taj Mahal
Photo of Taj Mahal performing in 1971
photo #110-yr-2009

soul music in 2000s

Jamie Foxx
Jamie Foxx
photo #100-yr-1967

Alicia Keys
Alicia Keys
photo #100-yr-2002

BB King
B.B. King
photo #109-yr-2009

Serena  Williams
Serena Williams
photo #101

     Music in 2009

  Billboard Top Soul Hits:
  • "Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)" Beyonc้

  • "Blame It" Jamie Foxx featuring T-Pain

  • "Birthday Sex" Jeremih

  • "Knock You Down" Keri Hilson featuring Kanye West and Ne-Yo

  • "Best I Ever Had" Drake

  • "Pretty Wings" Maxwell

  • "Empire State of Mind" Jay-Z featuring Alicia Keys

  • "Papers" Usher

  • "I Invented Sex" Trey Songz featuring Drake

  Popular Soul Dances:
  • Turfing

  • Jerkin

  • Harlem shake

  • Cat Daddy

  • Krumping

  • Gas Pedal

  • Wop

  • Ailey

  • Graham

  • Dougie

  • Twerking

  Musical Happenings in 2009:
  • June 25, 2009, after suffering from cardiac arrest. The Los Angeles County Coroner ruled Michael Jackson's death a homicide, and his personal physician Conrad Murray was convicted of involuntary manslaughter. Jackson's death triggered a global outpouring of grief and a live broadcast of his public memorial service was viewed around the world.

  • R&B singer Rihanna's 51st Grammy Awards performance was called off because of a violent incident with singer Chris Brown.

 Blues Hall of Fame for 2009:
    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

  • Reverend Gary Davis
  • Son Seals
  • Taj Mahal
  • Irma Thomas

 BET Awards winners in 2009:
    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. Jamie Foxx hosted the show.

    The awards are presented annually, and are broadcast live on BET. The annual presentation ceremony features performances by artists, and some of the awards of more popular interest are presented in a televised ceremony.

    TV ratings (in millions)
  • 10.6

  • Best Female Hip-Hop Artist
  • M.I.A

  • Best Male Hip-Hop Artist
  • Lil Wayne

  • Best Gospel Artist
  • Mary Mary

  • Best Female R&B Artist
  • Beyonc้

  • Best Male R&B Artist
  • Ne-Yo

  • Best Group
  • Day26

  • Best New Artist
  • Keri Hilson

  • Best Collaboration
  • Jamie Foxx feat. T-Pain – "Blame It"

  • Video of the Year
  • "Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)" (Beyonc้)

  • Viewer's Choice
  • T.I. feat. Rihanna – "Live Your Life"

  • Centric Award
  • Jazmine Sullivan

  • Best Actress
  • Taraji P. Henson

  • Best Actor
  • Will Smith

  • Best Female Athlete
  • Serena Williams

  • Best Male Athlete
  • LeBron James

  • Humanitarian Award
  • Alicia Keys and Wyclef Jean

  • Lifetime Achievement Award
  • The O'Jays

  • Controversy:
    Selection of nominations brought up controversy in the sports category. Reggie Bush was nominated for the award twice, in 2007 and 2009, despite putting up average numbers on the field. He was nominated among athletes who were considered the best of the best in their sports, which upset some sports fans, as Bush has not accomplished enough to be on the same list.

 Grammy winners in 2009:
    The 51st Annual Grammy Awards took place at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, on February 8, 2009.

    Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album
  • Still Unforgettable – Natalie Cole

  • Best Female R&B Vocal Performance
  • "Superwoman" – Alicia Keys

  • Best Male R&B Vocal Performance
  • "Miss Independent" – Ne-Yo

  • Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal
  • "Stay with Me (By the Sea)" – Al Green & John Legend

  • Best Traditional R&B Vocal Performance
  • "You've Got the Love I Need" – Al Green & Anthony Hamilton

  • Best Urban/Alternative Performance
  • "Be OK" – Chrisette Michele &

  • Best R&B Song
  • "Miss Independent" – Ne-Yo

  • Best R&B Album
  • Jennifer Hudson – Jennifer Hudson

  • Best Contemporary R&B Album
  • Growing Pains – Mary J. Blige

  • Best Rap Solo Performance
  • "A Milli" – Lil Wayne

  • Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group
  • "Swagga Like Us" – Jay-Z & T.I. featuring Kanye West, & Lil Wayne

  • Best Rap/Sung Collaboration
  • "American Boy" – Estelle & Kanye West

  • Best Rap Song
  • "Lollipop" – Lil Wayne & Static Major

  • Best Rap Album
  • Tha Carter III – Lil Wayne

  • Best Jazz Vocal Album
  • Loverly – Cassandra Wilson

  • Best Jazz Instrumental Solo
  • "Be-Bop" – Terence Blanchard

  • Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album
  • Monday Night Live at the Village Vanguard – The Vanguard Jazz Orchestra

  • Best Gospel Performance
  • "Get Up" – Mary Mary

  • Best Gospel Song
  • "Help Me Believe" – Kirk Franklin

  • Best Pop/Contemporary Gospel Album
  • Thy Kingdom Come – CeCe Winans

  • Best Traditional Gospel Album
  • Down in New Orleans – The Blind Boys of Alabama

  • Best Contemporary R&B Gospel Album
  • The Fight of My Life – Kirk Franklin

  • Best Traditional Blues Album
  • "One Kind Favor"– B.B. King

  • Best Reggae Album
  • "Jah Is Real"– Burning Spear

  • Best Spoken Word Album
  • An Inconvenient Truth – Beau Bridges, Cynthia Nixon & Blair Underwood

  • Best Instrumental Arrangement Accompanying Vocalist(s)
  • "Here's That Rainy Day" – Natalie Cole

  • Hall of Fame Award
  • "Banana Boat (Day-O)" Harry Belafonte

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 american standards
 american standards

"all men are created equal"
The cornerstone of American Principles
But is it true, or just empty words?

Well, once again we have to go back in history to get the likely answer.

Just imagine in your mind what America was going through in it's beginning. Poor European immigrants from around the world braved the mighty oceans traveling to the "New World" for a better life. Anything was better than where they were leaving.

The church had dominated the thinking of Europeans for many years but with the invention of the printing press and sharing of information they slowly began forming their ideas and belief systems independent of the church. One of these beliefs was in social science which taught the Negro was an inferior ape-like creature with no prospect for advancement and whites were superior to them.

Sounds silly I know, but Europeans believed it (and some still do today). They brought these beliefs with them to America. This is the reason whites didn't want anything whatsoever to do with blacks because in their superior way of thinking it would be a step backward to intermingle and share America with people of African descent whom they considered beast like.

the negro is a beast

Europeans were much smarter and more advanced than Africans. Africans were a tribal people lost in time practicing all sorts of superstitious traditions. Leaders didn't teach their citizens to read or write, and much of African history was lost forever because of this failure. Africans would pass their culture down to the next generation orally.

The Sahara Desert kept these Sub Saharan Africans landlocked away from the rest of the world and because of this fact were not able to share in the worlds new love for education and science.

When Africans finally collided with the Europeans through the slave trade, they were shocked at the degree of hate these people had against them. Europeans loved science because it excused them from a moral conscience they had been burdened with in their practice of religion. So when they raped, pillaged, and murdered they did so in the name of science or white superiority which made it perfectly O.K. with their hearts.

After the Africans made it to America and were forced to work as slaves, it took many years until white people began to feel they were wrong about the mistreatment of blacks and started movements to free them. After slavery was finally abolished in 1863, another form of hate and discrimination would appear on the scene named Jim Crow.

After Abraham Lincoln had died, every single U.S. President up unto Lyndon Baines Johnson would ignore the Declaration of Independence principle that "All men are created equal" and violated the law of the land by disobeying our U.S. Constitution that guaranteed Negroes first class citizenship with Jim Crow laws. They just refused to accept blacks as equals. Throughout history this was referred to as the "Negro Problem"

It would remain this way until the 1960s Civil Rights movement.

Some of the early Americans who penned the Declaration of Independence and U.S. Constitution which was essentially a moral roadmap for all Americans to live by were honest to true goodness Americans who understood the vision for the United States.

But on the other hand, this true vision of America was too lofty for most whites to follow. They sought only to take from our country for their selfish gains. They considered themselves privileged ones.

But not all were anti-American.

Great men such as Wiliam Whipple who was a signer of the Declaration of Independence was a true American.

During the Revolutionary War period Whipple wrote as follows to Josiah Bartlett, “The last accounts from South Carolina were favorable. A recommendation is gone thither for raising some regiments of blacks. This, I suppose, will lay a foundation for the emancipation of those wretches in that country. I hope it will be the means of dispensing the blessings of Freedom to all the human race in America.”  William Whipple

Even though these true Americans like William Whipple didn't particularly like blacks, they were special people because they put their personal feelings on the back burner and American ideals and principles first. William Whipple could not sign the Declaration of Independence and own slaves at the same time, so what did he do? He set his slave free. Many other true early Americans did the same thing.

william whipple
William Whipple, a signer of the United States Declaration of Independence and a true American

But most American leaders chose to ignore American ideals and principles for their advantage and held on to their slaves, and after slavery was outlawed created illegal laws that made a joke of the U.S. Constitution, and trashed the Declaration of Independence which was anything but being true American and this is the way it remained until the 1960s Civil Rights movement.

Not much has changed. We still have a strong racist element in America and will continue to do so until this dark period in America's history is talked about and hashed out between the races. Many white Americans will probably never change their negative view of blacks which was initiated by erring scientist years ago and continue to pass their hate down from generation to generation.

So what does this have to do with American standards?

America in its infancy was slowly creating a standard that would become admired over the world. Although quickly fading from practice in our day the American standard consisted of honesty in business dealings, promoting fairness, practicing proper relationships, justice, civility, right dress, speech, eating, and anything positive that enriched the community as a whole. Yes, even racist anti-Americans understood and lived by these standards when it didn't conflict with their hate.

Now here's the problem.

With blacks finally attaining enforcement of their civil rights in the 1960s, many didn't quite know which standard to live. Many wondered to themselves, "Should we live under the American standard where many were unkind to us and made us feel unwelcome or continue living under the old Negro standard that was adopted during and after slavery?"

In the following movie, great black filmmaker Oscar Micheaux created a film entitled "Birthright" which was about a well spoken black man named (Peter) who left his Southern roots to go to Harvard and obtain his education. He returned to the south with the hopes of opening up schools to teach the young black kids. He met a beautiful woman (Sissy), and both shared a mutual love interest, and while at a house he was living they had a conversation where she mentioned that since he had an education, he now lived under a different code or (standard) than the other black people in the Southern town. Sissy tells him that since he changed his code (standard) and returned to judge the residents, it wasn't fair. Blacks in the city still lived by the old Negro code or standard. This movie can be found in its entirety on Netflix under (Pioneers of African-American Cinema) There are still many blacks today who live by this old Negro code or standard.

What's a Negro standard?

Many blacks took pride in being different from white America, even down to this day. So during slavery we created our special language to communicate with each other (AAVE), our flashy style of dress, our own and unique way we dealt with one another, it's a standard white people just wouldn't understand, and we loved it because it belonged to us. It's how we survived for decades.

 american standards

Did blacks hold onto the old Negro standard
after the Civil Rights movement?

After the 60s, it wasn't easy trying to blend in and assimilate into the American way of doing things, especially when you know there are ones that hate you. It could be very discouraging. It was especially hard on our black men. But happily many blacks made the smart choice of choosing the American standard, even though they knew they would be called Uncle Toms or sellouts by members of our race for trying to act white or like the enemy as they saw it.

These people were wise because they understood just like the slaves of old what this country was founded on and this gave them strength to live as true Americans. They could care less about racist whites and their hate for us or the foolish blacks who would say bad things about them. They remembered true American brothers like William Whipple and made their mind to follow the American standard of living.

Now if these blacks had stayed in the old Negro standard, they would have been left behind. You cannot blend the American standard with the old Negro standard. It would never work, and that goes for others such as Mexicans, Chinese, Middle Eastern, etc. We all must live by one standard way of doing things in America, even if we may hate one another.

So, if one from the old Negro standard wants to achieve it would be a mistake to look at it as trying to be white. No, we are working to be better Americans, true Americans. Browse through this website and learn about the countless number of blacks who died so that we could attempt this.

After the Civil Rights movement when whites were finally able to have contact with blacks through the event of integration many came to the realization that blacks were not much different than themselves. We're all humans, not like those crazy racist scientists preached as fact years ago to ruin America. They have much blood on their hands.

We must achieve and become victorious even under the bad hand of white racist which without a doubt we will encounter on our American journey. The only difference is today; it's not out in the open like it once was.

But on the other hand, we will also encounter the William Whipple's of the world. How do you think we elected a black President? It couldn't have been accomplished without white people. That in a sense was William voting for our first black president. So when issues arise, don't hate America, if you must hate at all hate the actions of the anti-American racist who reside in her.

 american standards

We can't let anyone hold us back from achieving our dreams which wouldn't make any sense believing "I'm gonna waste my life away with selfish pleasure seeking because of the white man, and also my homies will call me a sellout if I attempt to better myself." which is the thinking from the old Negro standard.

We must all strive to be sharp, smart, successful and proud African Americans living under American standards because it's the best in the world and many of our ancestors died for the opportunity we have today.

So to answer the above question, are all men created equal? It depends on who point of view you take. If you look through the eyes of racist anti-American people, then we are not created equal, but if you look at it through the eyes of true Americans, yes without a doubt we are all created equal and share mutually in achieving in America which is the greatest country in the world.

I think I'll look at it through the eyes of true America, like our friend and American brother William Whipple.


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whitetail fashion
Low-rise jeans and thong whale tail of the 2000s
photo #101-yr-2000

low-rise jeans
Young woman in low-rise jeans
photo #102-yr-2000

mens shoe
Nike Jordan Tennis Shoes
photo #103-yr-2000

mens baseball cap
Men's baseball cap
photo #104-yr-2000

     Fashions in 2009

  Popular Fashions:

    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 Fashions:
    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.

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United States Census for Negroes
United States Census for African Americans
in the 2000s

Anna J. Cooper
American author, educator, and speaker
Anna J. Cooper

photo #103-yr-1893

Dorothy Irene Height
Dorothy Height
photo #108-yr-1957

Our Community in 2009

Newsworthy Events in the Black Community:
  • January 20, 2009 - Dorothy Height was an honored guest at the inauguration of President Barack Obama, and was seated on the stage

  • 2009 - the United States Postal Service released a commemorative stamp in Anna J. Cooper's honor.

  • 2009 - a tuition-free private middle school was opened and named in Anna Julia Cooper's honor, Episcopal School on historic Church Hill in Richmond, Virginia.

  • 2000s - The United States Population is 281,421,906 with a total of 34,658,190 being African Americans.

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african americans and religion

How did religion begin for the American Negro?

Well, it was an exciting journey for sure, but as usual, we have to go back into history for the likely answer. Before arriving in America as slaves, generally speaking, our ancestors practiced a religion which included fetishism.

What is fetishism you may ask?

 Traditional  Benin Voodoo Dance
Traditional Benin Voodoo Dance

Fetishism is a man-made object (such as the doll aound the lady's neck in the picture) that is thought to have power over others. Africans were extremely superstitious in their native land.

But once exposed to religious teachers in America, quickly left their superstitious past behind them, and would frown upon new arrivals of Africans who practiced fetishism in religion.

In Europe, the Roman Catholic Church had lost their grip on people with their questionable religious practices. There were many who thought the Church was wrong and formed a protest or a Protestant Reformation that resulted in the creation of tons of different religions with their doctrines and teachings claiming to be Christian.

Religion definition:
A religion is an organized collection of beliefs, cultural systems,
and world views that relate humanity to an order of existence.

Episcopal, Jesuits, Methodists, Protestant, Anglican, Lutheranism, Calvinism, Presbyterianism, Wesleyanism were all against Roman Catholic teachings.

But there would be a new religion on the horizon for humanity that went by the name of science. The introduction of science was in many ways entirely different than Christianity because it taught man to believe and rely on himself and his creations, rather than on a Supreme Being he couldn't see.

Faith is something foreign and unbelievable to a scientist. Also, this new form of religion would give these believers complete moral authority to do as they wished without a guilty conscience or retribution from a Surpreme Being.

This is what made slavery right or moral in the eyes of so many whites because new science taught that whites were superior and blacks inferior. The theory of evolution is another example in clear teaching that the world exists because of a big bang instead of being created, and also man evolved from apes rather than being created.

Do you believe in Evolution? If so, evolution is your religion because mainstream religion and evolution just don't jive, it's either one or the other.

During slavery, most of the first black congregations and churches were founded by free blacks, but slaves learned about Christianity by attending services led by a white preacher or supervised by a white person. Slaveholders often held prayer meetings at their plantations. Methodist and Baptist were the preferred choices of slaves because of its message.

But after slavery blacks were still restricted in the white churches so what they did next is not a surprise. They began to form their churches free from white rulership and exclusion, but kept the doctrine and teachings, but of course with a more lively twist (singing and dancing). It's clear they still had African culture in their hearts. This would mark the beginning of a new American creation, the black church.

The following is a very brief history of religion in Black America:

Pentacostal -
 Pentacostal Movement
    William Seymour
William J. Seymour - photo#111-yr-2015

Charles Fox Parham an independent holiness evangelist who believed strongly in divine healing, was an important figure in the emergence of Pentecostalism as a distinct Christian movement. But it wasn't until one of his black students named William J. Seymour learned these teaching and took it back to California with him that the Pentecostal movement took off like wildfire.

Seymour's preaching sparked the famous three-year-long Azusa Street Revival in 1906. Worship at the racially integrated Azusa Mission featured an absence of any order of service. (whites would later dislike this) People preached and testified as moved by the Spirit, spoke and sung in tongues, and fell in the Spirit. Blacks whites and other races would attend these services. But there was a matter of Jim Crow to be kept in mind that made it illegal for blacks and whites to mix.

So whites broke away from Seymour and began their Pentecostal churches. It's a fact that the beginning of the widespread Pentecostal movement in the United States is considered to have started with one-eyed black preacher William J. Seymour's Azusa Street Revival.

The Church Of God in Christ (COGIC) -
 The Church Of God in Christ baptism
Church Of God in Christ Baptism

The Church Of God in Christ was formed in 1897 by a group of disfellowshiped Baptists, most notably Charles Price Jones (1865–1949) and Charles Harrison Mason (1866–1961) and is a Pentecostal Christian denomination with a predominantly African-American membership. It ranks as the largest Pentecostal denomination and the fifth largest Christian denomination in the U.S. Evangelical Baptist, and Methodist preachers traveled throughout the South in the Great Awakening of the late 18th century and appealed directly to slaves, and a few thousand slaves converted. Early COGIC leaders were very much attracted by the Pentecostal message and would break from the Baptist for this reason.

A.M.E. Church -
The African Methodist Episcopal Church, usually called the A.M.E. Church, is a predominantly African-American Methodist denomination based in the US. It is the oldest independent Protestant denomination founded by blacks in the world. It was founded by the Rt. Rev. Richard Allen in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in 1816 from several black Methodist congregations in the mid-Atlantic area that wanted independence from white Methodists.

Baptists -
Baptists are individuals who comprise a group of denominations and churches that subscribe to a doctrine that baptism should be performed only for professing believers (believer's baptism, as opposed to infant baptism) and that it must be done by complete immersion (as opposed to affusion or sprinkling). Other tenets of Baptist churches include soul competency (liberty), salvation through faith alone, Scripture alone as the rule of faith and practice, and the autonomy of the local congregation. Baptists recognize two ministerial offices, pastors, and deacons. Baptist churches are widely considered to be Protestant churches, though some Baptists disavow this identity.

Islam -
An adherent of Islam is called a Muslim. Jews felt like they were chosen people who were promised a land filled with milk and honey, a holy land. This promise was made to Abraham and his seed. Abraham's wife Sarah had trouble conceiving children so to keep the promise alive and in the family she chose Hagar who was an Egyptian handmaid to have sexual relations with Abraham to bear a son, which is what they did. This son's name was Ishmael.

But something happened later that would throw things into a tizzy. At a very old age Sarah was now able to have kids and bore a son named Isaac.

Now here's the problem. Does the promise belong to Sarah's son or Hagar's son? Sarah felt it belonged to her bloodline, so she sent Hagar and Ishmael into the wilderness for them to die. But guess what? They didn't die. Muhammad who was the final prophet sent by God as identified in the Quran was born within Ishmael's seed line.

So even to this day these two groups don't care for each other.

Science -
This religion by far has proven to be the most destructive for humankind. Its users have created a world of me, me, me, by magnifying themselves, sincerely believing they are all of that and a bag of chips. Also the belief that spirited competition is healthy and useful. Win at all cost! The survival of the fittest theory. Many genocides were accomplished in the name of science. It teaches us that man originates from apes, (many blacks lost their life because of this false teaching) the earth was created from nothing and in essence humans are their gods. The bad far outweighs the good with the practice of science. Just look around.

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