Retrograde Waters

Hello. I'm Rose, 20-something Nebraskan. If you want to know more feel free to ask, I'm not going to waste space here.
This is a personal blog that serves as a miscellaneous collection of things I find cute, cool, interesting, and enraging.
I know that all people are equal and deserve the same rights and respect, and I welcome everyone of all and any race, religion, nationality, gender, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, romantic orientation, age, ability, anything else I may have forgotten (let me know!) and any combination or absence thereof. I do NOT welcome discrimination and bigotry. If *I* say or do anything that is offensive or insensitive, please tell me! I try to consider everyone/different perspectives and experiences when speaking, but I could always make a mistake, and educating myself is a constant process: I will be grateful rather than offended to have small-mindedness on my part pointed out. It's the only way I'll know to correct it.
Thank you and have a nice day!
(Blog NSFW: strong language, various topics of discussion, and occasional images of anatomy and/or nudity.)
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Posts tagged "black history"

afrikanwomen:

Yennenga, also known as Yennenga the Svelte, was a legendary African princess, considered the mother of the Mossi people of Burkina Faso. She was a famous warrior whose son Ouedraogo founded the Mossi Kingdoms.

Yennenga was the daughter of Nedega, an early 12th century king of the Dagomba Kingdom in what is now Northern Ghana. She was a beautiful and beloved princess who from the age of 14, fought in battle for her father against the neighbouring Malinkés. Skilled with javelins, spears and bows, she was an excellent horsewoman and commanded her own battalion. Yennenga was such an important fighter that when she reached a marriageable age, her father refused to choose a husband for her or allow her to marry. To express her unhappiness to her father, Yennenga planted a field of wheat. When the crop grew, she let it rot. She explained to her father that that was how she felt, being unable to marry. Nedega failed to be moved by this gesture and locked his daughter up.

One of the king’s horsemen helped Yennenga, dressed as a man, escape on her stallion. Attacked by Malinkés, her companion was killed, and Yennenga was left alone. She continued to ride north. One night, when she was exhausted from crossing a river, Yennenga’s stallion took her into a forest.She met a solitary elephant hunter called Riale. When he saw through Yennenga’s disguise, they fell in love. Yennenga and Riale had a son they named Ouedraogo, which means “stallion” and is now a common name in Burkina Faso. Ouedraogo founded the Mossi Kingdom.

Yennenga is considered by the Mossi to be the mother of their empire and many statues of her can be found in the capital city of Burkina Faso, Ouagadougou. A statue of a golden stallion, called the Étalon de Yennenga, is awarded as the first prize in the biennial Panafrican Film and Television Festival of Ouagadougou . The national football team is nicknamed “Les Étalons” (“the Stallions”) in reference to Yennenga’s stallion.

(via afrogeekgoddess)

puntland:

Coastal Sanaag & Bari, Puntland - Mid to late 1840s

Illustrations done by French explorer Charles Guillain, between 1846 and 1848, during his visits to the coastal Sanaag and Bari regions of Puntland.

(via diasporicroots)

joshdll:

Fresco in Italy showing a Moorish Roman cavalryman.  Circa approximately 300CE.  Could be older.  I’m just guessing.

I’m sorry, I can’t hear you over all the Black people in Europe HUNDREDS OF YEARS BEFORE THE MIDDLE AGES.

(via diasporicroots)

1bohemian:

Two men dancing, Harlem, 1920s.

According to George Chauncey’s eponymous Gay New York, the Harlem Renaissance of the ’20s provided an opportunity for gay men to create their own social and cultural spaces within the burgeoning nightlife in the neighborhood. 

1bohemian:

Two men dancing, Harlem, 1920s.

According to George Chauncey’s eponymous Gay New York, the Harlem Renaissance of the ’20s provided an opportunity for gay men to create their own social and cultural spaces within the burgeoning nightlife in the neighborhood. 

(via marvelous-merbutler)

blackwomenworldhistory:

Bessie Stringfield, motorcyclist (1911-1993)

Imagine being a African-American woman motorcyclist riding in the 1930’s around a deeply divided segregated South. Bessie Stringfield did not have to imagine it. She lived it. Born in Kingston, Jamaica in 1911, she migrated to Boston only to be orphaned by the age of 5. An Irish woman adopted her and gave the courageous young girl her first motorcycle, while she was in high school. Bessie did not use the name of her adopted Irish mother. She would tell people, “I am not allowed to use it.” At 16 years old, Bessie sat on a 1928 Indian Scout. She had no training at all but her natural gift for riding proved useful.
Bessie is said to have been given the skills to operate the bike because of her relationship with God. She credited “the Man Upstairs” and only Him for showing her how to manipulate the controls. As she put it, “When I get on the motorcycle I put the Man Upstairs on front.” Bessie’s faith carried her through many challenges, she attributed Catholic beliefs and a supportive adoptive mother as her main source of strength.
In Bessie’s lifetime she owned 27 Harleys, traveled to 48 states, rode eight solo cross-country tours, served in the U.S. Army as a motorcycle dispatch rider, became a licensed practical nurse, founded the Iron Horse Motorcycle Club and once (disguised as a man) she won a flat track race in Miami, FL. Upon removing her helmet, she was denied the prize money but her appetite for life did not go without notice. The press dubbed Bessie as the “Motorcycle Queen of Miami.”
Personally, she suffered the tragic loss of three children and true to her outgoing nature Bessie married and divorced six times. After over 60 years of riding, Bessie Stringfield died in 1993. She was 82. Unwittingly, Bessie blazed a trail for other women to follow. The American Motorcycle Association (AMA) established the Bessie Stringfield Award to recognize women leaders in motorcycling. She balanced more than two wheels. Bessie managed to juggle sexism and racism with a positive, resilient spirit.
[source]

More on Bessie from the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame.

blackwomenworldhistory:

Bessie Stringfield, motorcyclist (1911-1993)

Imagine being a African-American woman motorcyclist riding in the 1930’s around a deeply divided segregated South. Bessie Stringfield did not have to imagine it. She lived it. Born in Kingston, Jamaica in 1911, she migrated to Boston only to be orphaned by the age of 5. An Irish woman adopted her and gave the courageous young girl her first motorcycle, while she was in high school. Bessie did not use the name of her adopted Irish mother. She would tell people, “I am not allowed to use it.” At 16 years old, Bessie sat on a 1928 Indian Scout. She had no training at all but her natural gift for riding proved useful.

Bessie is said to have been given the skills to operate the bike because of her relationship with God. She credited “the Man Upstairs” and only Him for showing her how to manipulate the controls. As she put it, “When I get on the motorcycle I put the Man Upstairs on front.” Bessie’s faith carried her through many challenges, she attributed Catholic beliefs and a supportive adoptive mother as her main source of strength.

In Bessie’s lifetime she owned 27 Harleys, traveled to 48 states, rode eight solo cross-country tours, served in the U.S. Army as a motorcycle dispatch rider, became a licensed practical nurse, founded the Iron Horse Motorcycle Club and once (disguised as a man) she won a flat track race in Miami, FL. Upon removing her helmet, she was denied the prize money but her appetite for life did not go without notice. The press dubbed Bessie as the “Motorcycle Queen of Miami.”

Personally, she suffered the tragic loss of three children and true to her outgoing nature Bessie married and divorced six times. After over 60 years of riding, Bessie Stringfield died in 1993. She was 82. Unwittingly, Bessie blazed a trail for other women to follow. The American Motorcycle Association (AMA) established the Bessie Stringfield Award to recognize women leaders in motorcycling. She balanced more than two wheels. Bessie managed to juggle sexism and racism with a positive, resilient spirit.

[source]

More on Bessie from the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame.

(via afrogeekgoddess)

diasporadash:

Saint Benedict of Palermo 

St. Benedict of Palermo (1524-1589) was the first Christian saint of African origin to be canonized in modern times. Born in Sicily (then part of Spain) his parents were freed slaves, said to have come from Ethiopia. In the early 1600’s he was widely venerated in Italy, Spain and Latin America. The statue carved in Sevilla, Spain in the 1730’s captures the saint’s charismatic personality. The glass eyes and bone teeth, his life-like expression, wide spread arms, expressive hands and the movement of his garments add to the animated look of the statue. It’s really quite impressive!

Roman Catholic saint, Benedict of Palermo (1526-89), who was born into a family of African slaves in Sicily, led an exemplary life as a Franciscan monk there, and was canonized in 1807.

This saint is sometimes referred to as Benedict the Moor or Benedict the African, and in the sculpture his racial identity is emphatically conveyed: his grave face and extended hand are a rich ebony black, their darkness framed and amplified by the brilliant gilding of his robe.

By the time this sculpture was carved around 1734, Benedict had long since attracted an ardent following, in Europe, in the colonial Americas and in Africa. Today he’s the official patron saint of African-America, with churches in his honor from Bahia to the Bronx. And images of him, no matter how stylistically varied, continue to combine traces of Renaissance Europe and of Africa. In him the two are inseparable, are one.

Photo by Trish Mayo

[SOURCES: http://www.flickr.com/photos/obsessivephotography/5426040605/, http://www.nytimes.com/2012/11/09/arts/design/african-presence-in-renaissance-europe-at-walters-museum.html?pagewanted=2&_r=0&smid=fb-share&adxnnlx=1352704315-6Lj9Bs3VP2mGLyGJ7JLBZg]

(via diasporicroots)

dglsplsblg:

Harriet Tubman (pictured far left) with slaves she helped rescue in 1885
Frederick Douglass said of her, “Excepting John Brown — of sacred memory — I know of no one who has willingly encountered more perils and hardships to serve our enslaved people than Harriet Tubman.

dglsplsblg:

Harriet Tubman (pictured far left) with slaves she helped rescue in 1885

Frederick Douglass said of her, “Excepting John Brown — of sacred memory — I know of no one who has willingly encountered more perils and hardships to serve our enslaved people than Harriet Tubman.

(via diasporicroots)

chelebelleslair:

Hazel Dorothy Scott (June 11, 1920 – October 2, 1981) was an internationally known, American jazz and classical pianist and singer; she also performed as herself in several films. She was prominent as a jazz singer throughout the 1930s and 1940s. In 1950, she became the first woman of color to have her own TV show, The Hazel Scott Show, featuring a variety of entertainment. To evade the political persecution of artists in the McCarthy era, Scott moved to Paris in the late 1950s and performed in France, not returning to the United States until 1967.

Born in Port of Spain, Hazel was taken at the age of four by her mother to New York. Recognized early as a musical prodigy, Scott was given scholarships from the age of eight to study at the Juilliard School. She began performing in a jazz band in her teens and was performing on radio at age 16.

On October 2, 1981, Hazel Scott died of cancer at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City. She was 61 years old, and survived by her son Adam Clayton Powell III. She was buried at Flushing Cemetery in Queens, New York, near other musicians such as Louis Armstrong, Johnny Hodges, and Dizzy Gillespie.

(via diasporicroots)

queermuseum:

A’Lelia Walker and I have some things in common. She was “a striking, tall, dark-skinned woman who was rarely seen without her riding crop and her imposing, jeweled turban” (asEric Garber described her in his essay, A Spectacle in Color: The Lesbian and Gay Subculture of Jazz Age Harlem). And I too look great in a jeweled turban, when I happen to have access to one. Walker was the daughter of Madame CJ Walker, the first female African-American millionaire in America. I know this because I grew up about two blocks from her mansion in the small town of Irvington, New York, and we learned about her every year in school.
But nothing was ever said about A’lelia, her only child, who was one of the leading social lights of the Harlem Renaissance. Her salons walked the line between famous and infamous. AsMabel Hampton, one of the attendees put it, they were:
“Funny parties — there were men and women, straight and gay. They were kinds of orgies. Some people had clothes on, some didn’t. People would hug and kiss on pillows and do anything they wanted to do. You could watch if you wanted to. Some came to watch, some came to play. You had to be cute and well-dressed to get in.”
Everyone who was anyone came to her parties. As Lillian Faderman wrote in Odd Girls & Twilight Lovers:
“A’Lelia Walker probably had much to do with the manifest acceptance of bisexuality among the upper class in Harlem: those who had moral reservations about bisexuality or considered it strange or decadent learned to pretend a sophistication and suppress their disapproval if they desired A’Lelia’s goodwill.”
But her parties didn’t stop at The Dark Tower, her apartment on 136th St. - she also brought the Harlem Renaissance to Irvington. Countee Cullen, Langston Hughes, and other literary heavyweights walked the main street of my town on a regular basis during the 1920s.
And I never learned a thing about it in school. So who knows what queer history your hometown is hiding…
-Hugh

queermuseum:

A’Lelia Walker and I have some things in common. She was “a striking, tall, dark-skinned woman who was rarely seen without her riding crop and her imposing, jeweled turban” (asEric Garber described her in his essay, A Spectacle in Color: The Lesbian and Gay Subculture of Jazz Age Harlem). And I too look great in a jeweled turban, when I happen to have access to one. Walker was the daughter of Madame CJ Walker, the first female African-American millionaire in America. I know this because I grew up about two blocks from her mansion in the small town of Irvington, New York, and we learned about her every year in school.

But nothing was ever said about A’lelia, her only child, who was one of the leading social lights of the Harlem Renaissance. Her salons walked the line between famous and infamous. AsMabel Hampton, one of the attendees put it, they were:

“Funny parties — there were men and women, straight and gay. They were kinds of orgies. Some people had clothes on, some didn’t. People would hug and kiss on pillows and do anything they wanted to do. You could watch if you wanted to. Some came to watch, some came to play. You had to be cute and well-dressed to get in.”

Everyone who was anyone came to her parties. As Lillian Faderman wrote in Odd Girls & Twilight Lovers:

“A’Lelia Walker probably had much to do with the manifest acceptance of bisexuality among the upper class in Harlem: those who had moral reservations about bisexuality or considered it strange or decadent learned to pretend a sophistication and suppress their disapproval if they desired A’Lelia’s goodwill.”

But her parties didn’t stop at The Dark Tower, her apartment on 136th St. - she also brought the Harlem Renaissance to Irvington. Countee Cullen, Langston Hughes, and other literary heavyweights walked the main street of my town on a regular basis during the 1920s.

And I never learned a thing about it in school. So who knows what queer history your hometown is hiding…

-Hugh

(via ushistoryminuswhiteguys)

anothergirlontheirt:

jadedid:

deejaybird:

Cudjoe Lewis is believed to be the last African born on African soil and brought to the United States by the transatlantic slave trade. He was a native of Takon, Benin, where he was captured in 1860 during an illegal slave-trading venture. Congress outlawed the importation of slaves in 1808. Together with more than a hundred other captured Africans, he was brought on the ship Clotilde to Mobile, Alabama. Cudjoe and 31 other enslaved Africans were taken to the property owned by Timothy Meaher, shipbuilder and owner of the Clotilde. 5 years later slavery was over so Cudjoe and his tribespeople requested to be taken back to Africa, but it was left ignored. He and other Africans established a community near Mobile, Alabama which became called Africatown. They maintained their African language and tribal customs well into the 1950s. He died in 1934 at the age of 94. Before he died, he gave several interviews on his experiences including one to the writer Zora Neale Hurston. During her interview in 1928, she made a short film of Cudjoe, the only moving image that exists in the Western Hemisphere of an African transported through the Transatlantic Slave Trade.

Between Zora and Du Bois… seriously. They did everything I can only hope to be able to scratch the surface of doing.

Nothing I or you ever do will match this. Effing amazing.

anothergirlontheirt:

jadedid:

deejaybird:

Cudjoe Lewis is believed to be the last African born on African soil and brought to the United States by the transatlantic slave trade. He was a native of Takon, Benin, where he was captured in 1860 during an illegal slave-trading venture. Congress outlawed the importation of slaves in 1808. Together with more than a hundred other captured Africans, he was brought on the ship Clotilde to Mobile, Alabama. Cudjoe and 31 other enslaved Africans were taken to the property owned by Timothy Meaher, shipbuilder and owner of the Clotilde. 5 years later slavery was over so Cudjoe and his tribespeople requested to be taken back to Africa, but it was left ignored. He and other Africans established a community near Mobile, Alabama which became called Africatown. They maintained their African language and tribal customs well into the 1950s. He died in 1934 at the age of 94. Before he died, he gave several interviews on his experiences including one to the writer Zora Neale Hurston. During her interview in 1928, she made a short film of Cudjoe, the only moving image that exists in the Western Hemisphere of an African transported through the Transatlantic Slave Trade.

Between Zora and Du Bois… seriously. They did everything I can only hope to be able to scratch the surface of doing.

Nothing I or you ever do will match this. Effing amazing.

(via ushistoryminuswhiteguys)