Blackness University
"I’m not concerned with your liking or disliking me… ALL I ASK IS THAT YOU RESPECT ME AS A HUMAN BEING.” — Jackie Robinson
BLACK FIRSTS: 52 years ago today (July 23, 1962), Jackie Robinson, Bob Feller, Bill McKechnie, and Edd Roush are inducted into the Hall of Fame. Robinson, the first black player to participate in major league ball during the 20th century, also becomes the first African-American elected to the Major League Baseball shrine in Cooperstown, NY.

"I’m not concerned with your liking or disliking me… ALL I ASK IS THAT YOU RESPECT ME AS A HUMAN BEING.” — Jackie Robinson

BLACK FIRSTS: 52 years ago today (July 23, 1962), Jackie Robinson, Bob Feller, Bill McKechnie, and Edd Roush are inducted into the Hall of Fame. Robinson, the first black player to participate in major league ball during the 20th century, also becomes the first African-American elected to the Major League Baseball shrine in Cooperstown, NY.

"IT’S NOT THE LOAD that brings you down, IT’S THE WAY YOU CARRY IT!  — Lena Horne
Everyone has burdens! However, the problem is never MOTIVATION to handle the issue … it’s FOLLOW THROUGH. We all know “what to do” … and we have all experienced our mind sabotaging our aspirations. Today, shut down the argument in your head … and follow through! Lift up what weighs you down …

"IT’S NOT THE LOAD that brings you down, IT’S THE WAY YOU CARRY IT!  — Lena Horne

Everyone has burdens! However, the problem is never MOTIVATION to handle the issue … it’s FOLLOW THROUGH. We all know “what to do” … and we have all experienced our mind sabotaging our aspirations. Today, shut down the argument in your head … and follow through! Lift up what weighs you down …

"SOUL IS a feeling, NOT A COLOR!" — Lionel Richie 
CONGRATULATIONS to Lionel Richie, who received the lifetime achievement award for his prolific career as part of Motown group The Commodores and as a solo artist. 
Richie also said “TALENT IS a god given gift and NOT A CATEGORY, and out of the box is the magical place where true talent goes to thrive and breathe …” 
Today, be OUT OF THE BOX in your thinking … let YOUR light shine, and share your talents with the world. 

"SOUL IS a feeling, NOT A COLOR!" — Lionel Richie 

CONGRATULATIONS to Lionel Richie, who received the lifetime achievement award for his prolific career as part of Motown group The Commodores and as a solo artist. 

Richie also said “TALENT IS a god given gift and NOT A CATEGORY, and out of the box is the magical place where true talent goes to thrive and breathe …” 

Today, be OUT OF THE BOX in your thinking … let YOUR light shine, and share your talents with the world. 

"My Doctor told me I would never walk again. My Mother told me I would. I BELIEVED my mother!" — Wilma Rudolph
Happy Birthday Wilma Rudolph … On September 7th, 1960, in Rome, Wilma became the FIRST AMERICAN WOMAN  to win 3 gold medals in the Olympics. She won the 100-meter dash, the 200-meter dash, and ran the anchor on the 400-meter relay team. NEVER UNDERESTIMATE THE POWER OF DREAMS AND THE INFLUENCE OF THE HUMAN SPIRIT. We are all the same in this notion. THE POTENTIAL FOR GREATNESS LIVES WITHIN EACH OF US.”  

"My Doctor told me I would never walk again. My Mother told me I would. I BELIEVED my mother!" — Wilma Rudolph

Happy Birthday Wilma Rudolph … On September 7th, 1960, in Rome, Wilma became the FIRST AMERICAN WOMAN  to win 3 gold medals in the Olympics. She won the 100-meter dash, the 200-meter dash, and ran the anchor on the 400-meter relay team. NEVER UNDERESTIMATE THE POWER OF DREAMS AND THE INFLUENCE OF THE HUMAN SPIRIT. We are all the same in this notion. THE POTENTIAL FOR GREATNESS LIVES WITHIN EACH OF US.”  

"THE kind of BEAUTY I WANT is the hard to get kind … that comes from within: STRENGTH, DIGNITY and COURAGE!" — Ruby Dee 
12 Of Ruby Dee’s Most Memorable Quotes
A beacon of elegance and grace, Ruby Dee was a creative trailblazer, using her love of the arts and uplifting others to create an extraordinary legacy.
Born in Cleveland, Ohio, on October 27, 1922, Dee became a standout figure in the civil rights movement and successful film and stage actress. She earned eight Emmy nominations, winning one, and even snagged a late-career Best Supporting Actress Oscar nomination for her role in the 2007 film “American Gangster.” Dee died on Wednesday, at her New Rochelle, New York, home. But her creative and social contributions live on. 
Along the journey of her life, Dee offered powerful words that encouraged and empowered those she touched. And in celebration of her life, we’ve gathered 12 of Ruby Dee’s most inspiring quotes.
“The kind of beauty I want most is the hard-to-get kind that comes from within - strength, courage, dignity.”
“The greatest gift is not being afraid to question.”
“That’s what being young is all about. You have the courage and the daring to think that you can make a difference. You’re not prone to measure your energies in time. You’re not likely to live by equations.”
“Classism and greed are making insignificant all the other kinds of isms.”
“The greatest gift is not being afraid to question.”
“You just try to do everything that comes up. Get up an hour earlier, stay up an hour later, make the time. Then you look back and say, ‘Well, that was a neat piece of juggling there — school, marriage, babies, career.’ The enthusiasms took me through the action, not the measuring of it or the reasonableness.”
“It takes a long time to really be married. One marries many times at many levels within that marriage. If you have more marriages than you have divorces within the marriage, you’re lucky and you stick it out.”
“Paradise is to be the ultimate instrument, fulfilling God’s desperate intent that we love each other.”
"There is so much to do, … Ossie left a lot of work that we are still trying to finish."
"God, make me so uncomfortable that I will do the very thing I fear."
"Don’t do me any favors."
"There was so much meanness in the atmosphere, … but marvelous things pierce through the darkness of poverty and racism. You meet all kinds of people that help put life in perspective and turn the horror into some kind of lesson or avenue of awakening that lives with you all your days."
R.I.P. Ruby Dee … an American Original ….

"THE kind of BEAUTY I WANT is the hard to get kind … that comes from within: STRENGTH, DIGNITY and COURAGE!" — Ruby Dee 

12 Of Ruby Dee’s Most Memorable Quotes

A beacon of elegance and grace, Ruby Dee was a creative trailblazer, using her love of the arts and uplifting others to create an extraordinary legacy.

Born in Cleveland, Ohio, on October 27, 1922, Dee became a standout figure in the civil rights movement and successful film and stage actress. She earned eight Emmy nominations, winning one, and even snagged a late-career Best Supporting Actress Oscar nomination for her role in the 2007 film “American Gangster.” Dee died on Wednesday, at her New Rochelle, New York, home. But her creative and social contributions live on. 

Along the journey of her life, Dee offered powerful words that encouraged and empowered those she touched. And in celebration of her life, we’ve gathered 12 of Ruby Dee’s most inspiring quotes.

  • “The kind of beauty I want most is the hard-to-get kind that comes from within - strength, courage, dignity.”
  • “The greatest gift is not being afraid to question.”
  • “That’s what being young is all about. You have the courage and the daring to think that you can make a difference. You’re not prone to measure your energies in time. You’re not likely to live by equations.”
  • “Classism and greed are making insignificant all the other kinds of isms.”
  • “The greatest gift is not being afraid to question.”
  • “You just try to do everything that comes up. Get up an hour earlier, stay up an hour later, make the time. Then you look back and say, ‘Well, that was a neat piece of juggling there — school, marriage, babies, career.’ The enthusiasms took me through the action, not the measuring of it or the reasonableness.”
  • “It takes a long time to really be married. One marries many times at many levels within that marriage. If you have more marriages than you have divorces within the marriage, you’re lucky and you stick it out.”
  • “Paradise is to be the ultimate instrument, fulfilling God’s desperate intent that we love each other.”
  • "There is so much to do, … Ossie left a lot of work that we are still trying to finish."
  • "God, make me so uncomfortable that I will do the very thing I fear."
  • "Don’t do me any favors."
  • "There was so much meanness in the atmosphere, … but marvelous things pierce through the darkness of poverty and racism. You meet all kinds of people that help put life in perspective and turn the horror into some kind of lesson or avenue of awakening that lives with you all your days."

R.I.P. Ruby Dee … an American Original ….

"I wasn’t "REALLY" naked. I simply didn’t have any clothes on!” ― Josephine Baker
Happy Birthday to the great Josephine Baker. She would have been 108 years old today!
Josephine Baker was the first African-American woman to star in a major motion picture, Zouzou (1934) or to become a world-famous entertainer. Baker, who refused to perform for segregated audiences in America, is also noted for her contributions to the Civil Rights Movement. 
Today, BE YOU — and don’t apologize for it. You won’t be naked, you just won’t have any clothes on (i.e., masks). TURN UP!  

"I wasn’t "REALLY" naked. I simply didn’t have any clothes on!” ― Josephine Baker

Happy Birthday to the great Josephine Baker. She would have been 108 years old today!

Josephine Baker was the first African-American woman to star in a major motion picture, Zouzou (1934) or to become a world-famous entertainer. Baker, who refused to perform for segregated audiences in America, is also noted for her contributions to the Civil Rights Movement. 

Today, BE YOU — and don’t apologize for it. You won’t be naked, you just won’t have any clothes on (i.e., masks). TURN UP!  

Maya Angelou’s Final Tweet: “LISTEN TO YOURSELF and in that final quietude … YOU MIGHT HEAR THE VOICE OF GOD!”
A phenomenal woman indeed! 
Statement from Dr. Maya Angelou’s Family:
Dr. Maya Angelou passed quietly in her home before 8:00 a.m. EST. Her family is extremely grateful that her ascension was not belabored by a loss of acuity or comprehension. She lived a life as a teacher, activist, artist and human being. She was a warrior for equality, tolerance and peace. The family is extremely appreciative of the time we had with her and we know that she is looking down upon us with love. R.I.P. Dr. Angelou …

Maya Angelou’s Final Tweet: “LISTEN TO YOURSELF and in that final quietude … YOU MIGHT HEAR THE VOICE OF GOD!”

A phenomenal woman indeed! 

Statement from Dr. Maya Angelou’s Family:

Dr. Maya Angelou passed quietly in her home before 8:00 a.m. EST. Her family is extremely grateful that her ascension was not belabored by a loss of acuity or comprehension. She lived a life as a teacher, activist, artist and human being. She was a warrior for equality, tolerance and peace. The family is extremely appreciative of the time we had with her and we know that she is looking down upon us with love. R.I.P. Dr. Angelou …

"SEE EVERY OPPORTUNITY as golden, AND KEEP YOUR EYES ON THE PRIZE … yours, not anybody else’s."  — Roberta Flack
BLACK MUSIC FLASHBACK: 41 years ago today (March 10th), Roberta Flack’s “Killing Me Softly With His Song” is No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100. ”The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face” won the 1973 Grammy Record of the Year and “Killing Me Softly with His Song” won the same award at the Grammy Awards of 1974. Roberta shares the distinction with U2 as the ONLY ARTISTS TO WIN “SONG OF THE YEAR” IN CONSECUTIVE YEARS.
Today’s watchwords:  single focus.  Keep both eyes on YOUR prize! 

"SEE EVERY OPPORTUNITY as golden, AND KEEP YOUR EYES ON THE PRIZE … yours, not anybody else’s." — Roberta Flack

BLACK MUSIC FLASHBACK: 41 years ago today (March 10th), Roberta Flack’s “Killing Me Softly With His Song” is No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100. ”The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face” won the 1973 Grammy Record of the Year and “Killing Me Softly with His Song” won the same award at the Grammy Awards of 1974. Roberta shares the distinction with U2 as the ONLY ARTISTS TO WIN “SONG OF THE YEAR” IN CONSECUTIVE YEARS.

Today’s watchwords:  single focus.  Keep both eyes on YOUR prize! 

“It is better to fail in originality, than to succeed in imitation." — Michael Jackson
BLACK MUSIC FLASHBACK: 30 years ago today (February 28th), Michael Jackson’s Thriller album wins EIGHT Grammy Awards, including Best Album and Male Pop Vocal.
Think about it. Leap year comes every 4 years; but a Michael Jackson only comes around once in a lifetime. How original is this: the BEST SELLING ALBUM OF ALL TIME can only be celebrated every four years. 
Today, BE AN ORIGINAL OF YOU; NOT A COPY of someone else. Celebrate your individuality! 

It is better to fail in originality, than to succeed in imitation." — Michael Jackson

BLACK MUSIC FLASHBACK: 30 years ago today (February 28th), Michael Jackson’s Thriller album wins EIGHT Grammy Awards, including Best Album and Male Pop Vocal.

Think about it. Leap year comes every 4 years; but a Michael Jackson only comes around once in a lifetime. How original is this: the BEST SELLING ALBUM OF ALL TIME can only be celebrated every four years. 

Today, BE AN ORIGINAL OF YOU; NOT A COPY of someone else. Celebrate your individuality! 

"I don’t DANCE TO ANYONE’S TUNE, unless I want to" — Florence Ballard
Born in Detroit in 1943, singer Florence Ballard, became famous in the 1960s as a member of The Supremes, a group which she started with childhood friends Mary Wilson and Diana Ross. She sang on 16 different Top 40 hits but left the group in 1967 after a dispute with Motown Records.
On February 21, 1976, Florence died of a blood clot on one of her coronary arteries. She was only 32 years old.
Ballard’s short life witnessed more than its share of disappointment and sadness. But her contribution to music, especially as a member of The Supremes, brought joy to fans around the world. Ballard, Diana Ross, and Mary Wilson dazzled the world with their talent and style, becoming role models to millions of people.  
Today, remember YOU are no one’s puppet. Don’t dance to ANYONE’S tune unless YOU want too!  R.I.P. Florence Ballard
LISTEN TO FLORENCE BALLARD IN HER OWN WORDS ON WHY SHE LEFT MOTOWN:  CLICK HERE

"I don’t DANCE TO ANYONE’S TUNE, unless I want to" — Florence Ballard

Born in Detroit in 1943, singer Florence Ballard, became famous in the 1960s as a member of The Supremes, a group which she started with childhood friends Mary Wilson and Diana Ross. She sang on 16 different Top 40 hits but left the group in 1967 after a dispute with Motown Records.

On February 21, 1976, Florence died of a blood clot on one of her coronary arteries. She was only 32 years old.

Ballard’s short life witnessed more than its share of disappointment and sadness. But her contribution to music, especially as a member of The Supremes, brought joy to fans around the world. Ballard, Diana Ross, and Mary Wilson dazzled the world with their talent and style, becoming role models to millions of people.  

Today, remember YOU are no one’s puppet. Don’t dance to ANYONE’S tune unless YOU want too!  R.I.P. Florence Ballard

LISTEN TO FLORENCE BALLARD IN HER OWN WORDS ON WHY SHE LEFT MOTOWN:  CLICK HERE