THE CULTURE CORNER

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“A people without the knowledge of their past history, origin and culture, is like a tree without roots.”

 Marcus Mosiah Garvey (1887-1940)

Every year in October we celebrate BLACK HISTORY MONTH. Black history is with us every second, minute, hour, week, month and year. PANTHER NEWSLETTER’S CULTURE CORNER will attempt to enlighten you with what they never told you in your history class. Our story will be told right here – So enjoy the journey of clarification.

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Not widely known but true…

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The True Story of the Statue of Liberty

It’s hard to believe that after many years of schooling (secondary and post) the following facts about the Statue of Liberty were never taught. Hundreds of thousands (if not millions) of people have visited the Statue of Liberty over the years but yet not one person knows the true history behind the Statue. So much important Black history (such as this) is hidden from us (Black and White).  What makes this even worse is the fact that the current twist on history perpetuates and promotes white supremacy at the expense of Black Pride. In France, the original Statue of Liberty resides.  However, there is a difference…the statue in France is BLACK!

“Yuh never know?  Well yuh know now.”  Read on…

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Did you know…? 

Through out history, African Americans have invented some important and fun devices? Here are seven examples…

Elijah McCoy

Image Credits: New York Public Library.

Elijah McCoy (1843–1929) invented an oil-dripping cup for trains. Other inventors tried to copy McCoy’s oil-dripping cup. But none of the other cups worked as well as his, so customers started asking for “the real McCoy.” That’s where the expression comes from.

Lewis Latimer

Image Credits: Queensborough Public Library, Long Island Division, http://www.blackinventor.com.

Lewis Latimer (1848–1928) invented an important part of the light bulb; the carbon filament.  Latimer worked in the laboratories of both Thomas Edison and Alexander Graham Bell.

Jan Ernst Matzeliger 

Image Credits: United Shoe Machinery Corporation, http://www.blackinventor.com.

Jan Ernst Matzeliger (1852–1889) invented a shoemaking machine that increased shoemaking speed by 900%!  In 1992, the U.S. made a postage stamp in honour of Matzeliger.

Granville T. Woods

Image Credit: http://www.princeton.edu/~mcbrown/display/woods.html.

Granville T. Woods (1856–1910) invented a train-to-station communication system. Woods left school at age 10 to work and support his family.

George Washington Carver

Image Credits: AP/Wide World, Photo Disc. 

George Washington Carver (1860–1943) invented peanut butter and 400 plant products! Carver was born a slave.  He didn’t go to college until he was 30.

Madam C. J. Walker

Image Credits: Walker Collection of A’Lelia Perry Bundles.

Madam C. J. Walker (1867–1919) invented a hair-growing lotion. Walker grew up poor. But she became the first female African-American millionaire.

Garrett Morgan

Image Credits: AP/Wide World, Corbis.

Garrett Morgan (1877–1963) invented the gas mask. Morgan also invented the first traffic signal.

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More tributes to our S/Heroes

Jomo Kenyatta: {The Burning Spear} (1889 – 1978) served as the first Prime Minister (1963–1964) and President (1964–1978) of Kenya. He is considered the founding father of the Kenyan nation. As a boy, Kenyatta assisted his grandfather, who was a medicine man and took interest in Agikuyu culture and customs. He received his preliminary education at the Scottish Mission Centre at Thogoto and also received his elementary technical education there.

Louise Bennett: {OM, OJ, MBE} (1919 – 2006); was born in Kingston, Jamaica and was the celebrated and much-loved Jamaican folklorist, writer, and artiste. “Miss Lou“, as she was affectionately known, wrote her poems in the language of her people, known as Jamaican Patois or Creole, and helped to put this language on the map and to have it recognised as a language in its own right, thus influencing many poets and writers to do similar things. In 1974, she was appointed to the Order of Jamaica. On Jamaica’s Independence Day 2001, the Honorable Mrs. Louise Bennett-Coverley was appointed as a Member of the Jamaican Order of Merit for her invaluable and distinguished contribution to the development of the Arts and Culture. She died in Toronto Canada on July 26, 2006.

Winston Rodney (OD) also known as Burning Spear the Jamaican roots reggae singer and musician; was born March 1, 1948 in Saint Ann’s Bay, Saint Ann, Jamaica. Like many famous Jamaican reggae artists, Burning Spear is known for his Rastafari Movement messages. Marcus Garvey, the political activist had a great influence in his life. Rodney met Bob Marley in 1969, and having told him that he wanted to get into the music business, Marley advised him to start at Clement Dodd’s Studio One label. Burning Spear was originally Rodney’s group and is named after Jomo Kenyatta, the first Prime Minister and President of an independent Kenya.

Abebe Bikila (1932 – 1973) was born August 7, 1932 in the village of Jato, 9 kilometers outside the town of Mendida, Ethiopia. His father was a shepherd. Abebe decided to join the Imperial Bodyguard to support his family, and walked to Addis Ababa where he started as a private. Onni Niskanen, a Finnish-born Swede, was hired by the Ethiopian government to train potential athletes. He soon spotted Bikila. He was the first black African in history to win a gold medal in the Olympics in the Marathon event which he won twice, Rome 1960 and Tokyo 1964. A stadium in Addis Ababa is named in his honour.

Kipchoge (“Kip”) Keino was born January 17, 1940 and is the chairman of the Kenyan Olympic Committee. Kip Keino was among the first in a long line of successful distance runners to come from Kenya and has helped and inspired many of his fellow countrymen and women to become the athletic force that they are today.

Merlene Ottey, born May 10, 1960 in Hanover, Jamaica. Ottey began her career representing Jamaica, but since 2002, she has represented Slovenia, where she now resides. She is ranked fourth on the all-time list of female performers in the 100 meters and third in the 200 meters.  Ottey holds the record for being the oldest track medallist ever, for running the fastest Women’s Indoor 200 metres (in 21.87 seconds), for having the most Olympic appearances (seven) than any other track and field athlete, and for having the most women’s World Championships medals (fourteen). Her career achievements and longevity have led to her being called the “Queen of the Track”.

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Here ends your history lesson for this month.

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 Log on for more CULTURE CORNER next month and remember…

Live for yourself – you will live in vain
Live for others – you will live again
In the kingdom of JAH man shall reign
Pass it on…

Bunny Wailer

 

‘Til next month – Everyting Bless.

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3 Responses to “THE CULTURE CORNER”

  1. Just a brief note to say this is a great newsletter and you are now listed alongside some of the best informative black history sites. Respect is due to you Ras Normski.

  2. hello this is a interesting site i wonder how you find the time to keep updating it. anyway, keep up the good work.thnx

  3. Laschelle Says:

    Love this site thank you so much for all the eye opening information. I just never knew. The word states “My people parish from a lack of knowledge.”

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