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life on the edge of cool

Archive for Black History

AFRICA: Kangas


We love the vivid colours of the Kanga. The Kanga is mainly worn by women throughout Eastern Africa and features a strip which contains a message in Swahili.

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Mississippi Gets First Black Major Party Candidate For Governor In Modern Times


JACKSON, Miss. — Hattiesburg Mayor Johnny DuPree on Tuesday became the first black candidate in modern times to win major-party nod for Mississippi governor in a state that hasn’t had a black statewide official since Reconstruction.

DuPree, 57, won a Democratic primary runoff and advances to the Nov. 8 general election to face Republican Lt. Gov. Phil Bryant, 56, of Brandon.

“I’m just so proud of the fact that we had people who believed in us, believed in the message, believed in what we’re trying…. Full article HERE

Motown songwriter Nick Ashford (Ashford & Simpson) dies at 70


Motown songwriter Nick Ashford, who penned hits such as Ain’t No Mountain High Enough with wife Valerie Simpson, has died at the age of 70.

Ashford, who was being treated for cancer, died in a New York hospital, former publicist Liz Rosenberg said.

Ashford and Simpson met in a church choir and penned a string of hits including You’re All I Need To Get By and Chaka Khan hit, I’m Every Woman.

They also had a hit themselves in the 1980s with Solid (As A Rock).

Ashford moved from his native South Carolina to New York to pursue a music career in the early 1960s.

Simpson later inscribed “Nick Ashford slept here” on the park bench he slept on in the city’s Bryant Park, when he first came to New York and was homeless.

The couple’s breakthrough hit was Ray Charles’s Let’s Get Stoned in 1966.

Full BBC article HERE

Race, are we so different?


The project “Race: Are We So Different?” is an American exhibit that helps people to understand what race is and what it is not.

About the exhibit: We all know that people look different. Throughout history, those differences have been a source of strength, community and personal identity. They have also been the basis for discrimination and oppression.

Africa: Don’t Forget The Somalia Appeal

AFRICA: Morocco 1936


First Black Secret Service Special Agent Dies


Charles L. Gittens, the first African American to serve as a Secret Service agent, died late last month, the Associated Press reports. He was 82 years old. Gittens joined the service in 1956 and in 1971 was promoted to lead the Washington bureau, the second-most-important Secret Service office in the United States.

As the special agent in charge of field operations in the city, he was a key part of the personal security detail surrounding Gerald Ford…. Full article HERE