Friday, March 2, 2018

Women's History Month - Nevertheless She Persisted is really about every women who had to use her tenacity and courage to accomplish whatever she set out to accomplish. It's universal!

Think about our mothers and grandmothers, they've been persisting for a long time. We recognize our courage and commitment, as we continuously break down the barriers placed in front of us and are steadfast in fighting for what we believe in.

Today women make up 15% of active military, did you know that? Women are dominating film as producers, directors and writers. Women are taking initiatives within the business world and becoming the bosses, entrepreneurs and leading companies to victory.

Nevertheless She Persisted really is our rallying cry because we know that together, we can produce and deliver change, great change, new initiatives, ideas, opportunities while clearing the path for other women to follow. We have just begun.

#Sheshereforit #WomensHistoryMonthHHC #NeverthelessShePersisted

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Introduction: Women’s History Month, we all know that women should be celebrated more than one month right? I mean after all we are champions, aren’t we? The definition provided is Women’s History Month is a celebration of women while recognizing the incredible contributions we’ve made to our nation, our culture, our society and yes, I will include our communities. I am definitely here for it and do trust and believe we have given even more.  There’s always a theme for every month in which there’s some characteristic to a celebration, such as Black History Month, where the theme was African Americans in Times of War, where we made significant contributions and aided in a great manner, in addition to making many sacrifices. Women’s History Month this year's theme is “Nevertheless, She Persisted: Honoring Women Who Fight and fought All Forms of Discrimination Against Women. WOW, how apropos in this current climate in which we’re living, in the “Me Too” movement and women who continue to forge forward bringing attention to judgments and perceptions.

We as strong women refuse to be silent anymore, refuse to be ignored and refuse to be pushed aside; this is what it’s about. Being a woman, it's easy for me to comprehend the discriminations that our gender face on a daily basis, but despite the challenges we've endured throughout history, it's encouraging to see how far we've come in the past century and even more so in demonstrating the importance that our voices be heard. Often times, as women, we are perceived as vulnerable, which is comical to me because I believe we have to be vulnerable in order to find that power within us.

Being a strong woman means to me that I can, and will stand up for myself. It means that I am a fully-functioning human being, one who is independent and able to do things for herself. It means that I have opinions and beliefs that I stand for, and that I refuse to settle for anything less. It doesn’t mean that I don’t ask for help. I do, quite often. Asking for help doesn’t define me as fragile; it means I’m able to concede that I’m not a super woman, all alone mind you, and that I’m going to need other people, other superwomen, sometimes. Being strong doesn’t mean that I close myself off from others and act like I’m better than them. (Actually, I’m always striving to be better, live better, love better, which is about me rather than anyone else.) It doesn’t mean that I force my beliefs down other people’s throats, constantly judging others for how they think, that’s not me. It doesn’t mean that I’m ‘inevitably bitter or jaded’. In fact, a strong woman is a woman who loves herself and her world and is therefore positive, loving, and self-assured. Simply put, to be a strong woman simply means that I am grounded and confident in who I am. Let’s be real, how many times have you heard that strong women are too much, too intimidated, too jaded, miserable and bitter, nope not me.  I just have a backbone and I am proud of myself and others who are not afraid of being themselves in a world that might not support us the way in which we should be. During this women’s history month I will speak to my passionate, strong women who are not afraid of being who they are, point blank period.

"Here's to strong women everywhere, may we know them, may we be them, may we raise them"

#Sheshereforit Women's History Month HHC

Friday, February 23, 2018

Cathay Williams Only Woman Buffalo Soldier U.S. Army.jpg
African Americans in Times of War - Black Women in the Military: Cathay Williams (September 1844 – 1893) was an American soldier who enlisted in the United States Army under the pseudonym William Cathay. She was the first African-American woman to enlist, and the only documented to serve in the United States Army posing as a man. Williams was born in Independence, Missouri to a free man and a woman in slavery, making her legal status also that of a slave. During her adolescence, Williams worked as a house slave on the Johnson plantation on the outskirts of Jefferson City, Missouri.
In 1861 Union forces occupied Jefferson City in the early stages of the Civil War. Despite the prohibition against women serving in the military, Cathay Williams enlisted in the United States Regular Army under the false name of "William Cathay on November 15, 1866 at St. Louis, Missouri for a three-year engagement, passing herself off as a man. She was assigned to the 38th United States Infantry Regiment after she passed a cursory medical examination. Only two others are known to have been privy to the deception, her cousin and a friend, both of whom were fellow soldiers in her regiment. Shortly after her enlistment, Williams contracted smallpox, was hospitalized and rejoined her unit, which by then was posted in New Mexico. Possibly due to the effects of smallpox, the New Mexico heat, or the cumulative effects of years of marching, her body began to show signs of strain. She was frequently hospitalized. The post surgeon finally discovered she was a woman and informed the post commander. She was discharged from the Army by her commanding officer, Captain Charles E. Clarke on October 14, 1868.
#BlackHistoryMonthHHC #Sheshereforit

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

African American Women in Times of War: While women in the United States Armed Forces share a history of discrimination based on gender, black women have faced both race and gender discrimination. Initially barred from official military status, black women persistently pursued their right to serve.

At the outset of World War I, many trained black nurses enrolled in the American Red Cross hoping to gain entry into the Army or Navy Nurse Corps. As the war escalated, public pressure increased to enlist black women. Finally, shortly after the Armistice, 18 black Red Cross nurses were offered Army Nurse Corps assignments. Assigned to Camp Grant, Illinois, and Camp Sherman, Ohio, they lived in segregated quarters and cared for German prisoners of war and black soldiers. Cessation of hostilities halted plans to assign black nurses to Camp Dodge, Camp Meade, Fort Riley, and Camp Taylor. By August 1919, all black nurses had been released from service as the nursing corps were reduced to their peacetime levels. One of these pioneering women, Aileen Cole Stewart, later wrote, The Story of the Negro nurse in World War I is not spectacular. We arrived after the Armistice was signed, which alone was anticlimactic. So we had no opportunity for “service above and beyond the call of duty;” But each one of us…did contribute quietly and with dignity to the idea that justice demands professional equality for all qualified nurses.

Black women served their country in other capacities as well. Four black women were among the 3,480 “Y” women volunteers who helped soldiers and sailors overseas. At the request of the Army, the YMCA provided recreation for the American Expeditionary Force by staffing canteens, nursing, sewing, baking, and providing amusement and educational activities for the soldiers.

Charity Adams Earley, commander of the 6888th Central Postal Directory Battalion in World War II, summarized the history of women in the military when she wrote in 1989: The future of women in the military seems assured…. What may be lost in time is the story of how it happened. The barriers of sex and race were, and sometimes still are, very difficult to overcome, the second even more than the first. During World War II women in the service were often subject to ridicule and disrespect even as they performed satisfactorily…. Each year the number of people who shared the stress of these accomplishments lessens. In another generation young black women who join the military will have scant record of their predecessors who fought on the two fronts of discrimination—segregation and reluctant acceptance by males

In the past, women, particularly minority women, have always responded when there was a crisis or need. We acknowledge all minority women in uniform. You are the strength of our success. You represent the patchwork quilt of diversity which is America—race, creed, color and ethnicity.

#BlackHistoryMonthHHC #Sheshereforit 

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

BHM - African Americans in Times of War - The Fifty-fourth Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry Regiment was the first military unit consisting of black soldiers to be raised in the North during the Civil War. Prior to 1863, no concerted effort was made to recruit black troops as Union soldiers. The adoption of the Emancipation Proclamation in December of 1862 provided the impetus for the use of free black men as soldiers and, at a time when state governors were responsible for the raising of regiments for federal service, Massachusetts was the first to respond with the formation of the Fifty-fourth Regiment.

The formation of the regiment was a matter of controversy and public attention from its inception. Questions were raised as to the black man's ability to fight in the "white man's war." Although Massachusetts governor John A. Andrew believed that black men were capable of leadership, others felt that commissioning blacks as officers was simply too controversial; Andrew needed all the support he could get. The commissioned officers, then, were white and the enlisted men black. Any black officers up to the rank of lieutenant were non-commissioned and reached their positions by moving up through the ranks. On 28 May 1863, upon the presentation of the unit's colors by the governor and a parade through the streets of Boston, spectators lined the streets with the hopes of viewing this experimental unit. The regiment then departed Boston on the transport De Molay for the coast of South Carolina.

The regiment was comprised of 1000 enlisted men, and a full complement of white officers. Captain John W. M. Appleton donated the Enlistment roll of Company A of the 54th Massachusetts Infantry Regiment. The remaining recruits became the nucleus of the Fifty-fifth Massachusetts Infantry Regiment.

#BlackHistoryMonthHHC #Sheshereforit 

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

African Americans In Times of War - The Slippery status of African American soldiers and civilians.

As during the American Revolution, black sailors and soldiers saw the second war with Britain as a means to advance their own agenda. For free blacks, the War of 1812 provided the chance to broker their participation in ways that enhanced their individual and collective status within society. Yet for free blacks, the war did not advance their march toward equality but rather initiated a new era of prejudice and racial discrimination. For enslaved peoples, serving as participants could provide an avenue to freedom, but it did not happen as often as expected.

After the Revolutionary War, the US government had chosen to limit the size of the American army, and this ultimately created opportunities for free blacks and slaves. The traditional fears of a large standing army, as well as burdening fiscal concerns, carried great considerations and prompted Americans to rely upon citizen soldiers. The 1792 federal militia act further defined the role of American citizens in defending their country by placing responsibility for arming the militia on the individual and making states responsible for training and enforcement of the federal and state statutes.

Each state did have the authority to clarify the federal mandate, even though most simply mimicked the wording of the 1792 act. New Jersey (1792), Vermont (1797), North Carolina (1806), and New Hampshire (1808) required free white male citizens to serve but took no position on African Americans. Some states such as North Carolina and Virginia permitted blacks to muster alongside whites. Others such as Connecticut (1784), Massachusetts (1785), and South Carolina (1800) exempted blacks from the militia altogether; South Carolina even forbade “negroes” to be “armed with any offensive weapons unless in cases of alarm.”

#BlackHistoryMonthHHC #Sheshereforit

Friday, February 9, 2018

BHM - African Americans in Times of War:

African Americans were indeed forced to fight, quite literally, for their survival following the war. James Weldon Johnson characterized the bloody summer of 1919 as the Red Summer. Fears of labor unrest, "bolshevism" stemming from the Russian Revolution of 1917, and the return of black soldiers spawned a nationwide surge in violence, much of it directed at African Americans. Race riots erupted in several cities, the most significant occurring in Washington, D.C., and Chicago. In October 1919, whites in Elaine, Arkansas, massacred hundreds of black people in response to the efforts of sharecroppers to organize themselves. In the South, the number of reported lynchings swelled from sixty-four in 1918 to eighty-three in 1919. At least eleven of these victims were returned soldiers. For African Americans, the end of the war brought anything but peace.

How African Americans responded to the postwar resurgence of white supremacy reflected the depths to which the aspirations of the war and expectations for democracy shaped their racial and political consciousness. The war radicalized many African Americans and deepened a commitment to combat white racial violence. At the same time, the contributions of the soldiers, as well as peoples of African descent more broadly, to the war effort swelled racial pride. Marcus Garvey tapped into this social, political, and cultural milieu. A native of Jamaica, Garvey brought his new organization, the Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA), to New York and soon attracted thousands of followers. The UNIA, predicated upon the principles of Black Nationalism and African diasporic unity, quickly became the most dominant mass movement of the postwar era. A host of other radical organizations and newspapers complemented the UNIA and signaled the arrival of the "New Negro." World War I represents a turning point in African American history, one that shaped the course of the black experience in the twentieth century.

#BlackHistoryMonthHHC #Sheshereforit