Saturday, February 25, 2017

Just When You Thought You Heard It All News: The Black History Edition

This story blew my mind, and made my day!
In 1886, Ex-slave, Amanda Eubanks, was left millions in the will of her former master. In June of that year, the Georgia State Supreme Court sustained the will of the late David Dickson, making Amanda Eubanks the wealthiest Negro in America. Mr. Dickson, a former slaveholder, willed more than half a million dollars to Ms. Eubanks. White relatives of his had contested the will, on the grounds that it was illegal for a white man to leave property to his black illegitimate children.

The iconic cartoon character Betty Boop was inspired by a Black jazz singer in Harlem. Introduced by cartoonist Max Fleischer in 1930, the caricature of the jazz age flapper was the first and most famous sex symbol in animation. Betty Boop is best known for her revealing dress, curvaceous figure, and signature vocals “Boop Oop A Doop!” While there has been controversy over the years, the inspiration has been traced back to Esther Jones who was known as “Baby Esther” and performed regularly in the Cotton Club during the 1920s.

Baby Esther’s trademark vocal style of using “boops” and other childlike scat sounds attracted the attention of actress Helen Kane during a performance in the late 1920s. After seeing Baby Esther, Helen Kane adopted her style and began using “boops” in her songs as well. Finding fame early on, Helen Kane often included this “baby style” into her music. When Betty Boop was introduced, Kane promptly sued Fleischer and Paramount Publix Corporation stating they were using her image and style. However video evidence came to light of Baby Esther performing in a nightclub and the courts ruled against Helen Kane stating she did not have exclusive rights to the “booping” style or image, and that the style, in fact, pre-dated her.

Baby Esther’s “baby style” did little to bring her mainstream fame and she died in relative obscurity but a piece of her lives on in the iconic character Betty Boop. 

The first licensed African American Female pilot was named Bessie Coleman.

Born in Atlanta, Texas in 1892, Bessie Coleman grew up in a world of harsh poverty, discrimination and segregation. She moved to Chicago at 23 to seek her fortune, but found little opportunity there as well. Wild tales of flying exploits from returning WWI soldiers first inspired her to explore aviation, but she faced a double stigma in that dream being both African American and a woman.

She set her sights on France in order to reach her dreams and began studying French. In 1920, Coleman crossed the ocean with all of her savings and the financial support of Robert Abbott, one of the first African American millionaires. Over the next seven months, she learned to fly and in June of 1921, the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale awarded her an international pilot's license. Wildly celebrated upon her return to the United States, reporters turned out in droves to greet her.

Coleman performed at numerous airshows over the next five years, performing heart thrilling stunts, encouraging other African Americans to pursue flying, and refusing to perform where Blacks were not admitted. When she tragically died in a plane accident in 1926, famous writer and equal rights advocate Ida B. Wells presided over her funeral. An editorial in the "Dallas Express" stated, "There is reason to believe that the general public did not completely sense the size of her contribution to the achievements of the race as such." 


Saturday, February 18, 2017

Little Cesar's Founder Paid Rosa Parks Rent

This is truly a "just when you thought you heard it all news" story. 

Perhaps the most sincere form of benevolence is that which is not made known. No gifts for glory, and no charity for recognition. Just giving to those who deserve to be given to. 

Those who knew Mike Ilitch, the Little Caesars founder and Detroit Tigers owner who died last Friday, have spent the past few days fondly remembering his impact on friends, on Detroit residents, and on the sports community.

Ilitch also had an impact on the daily life of one of the most iconic figures from the civil rights movement.

For more than a decade, Ilitch had quietly paid for Rosa Parks' apartment in downtown Detroit.

That story came to light thanks to Damon Keith, a Detroit native and federal judge.

"They don't go around saying it, but I want to, at this point, let them know, how much the Ilitches not only meant to the city, but they meant so much for Rosa Parks, who was the mother of the civil rights movement," Keith told WXYZ.

Shortly after her famed defiance of segregation sparked the Montgomery, Alabama, bus boycott, Parks moved to Detroit and became an important presence in the city for years afterward.

But in 1994, Parks was robbed and assaulted in her home at the age of 81.

Keith, himself an important legal figure in the civil rights movement, worked to find Parks a new, safer apartment at the Riverfront Apartments in Detroit

Ilitch read the story in the newspaper and called Keith, offering to pay for Parks' housing indefinitely. With no fanfare, Ilitch continued paying for the apartment until Parks died in 2005, Keith said.

The entire episode was made public in 2014. Keith even showed the reporter a copy of a 1994 check for $2,000 from Little Caesars Enterprises to Riverfront Apartments.

It has taken on a new life in light of Litches death last week.

Michigan Lt. Gov. Brian Calley posted on Facebook a link to an article on the subject on Friday. "It will give you a sense of the kind of man Mike Ilitch was," he wrote.

The Parks' donation further shows Ilitch's commitment to Detroit, where he was born and raised. Ilitch established Little Caesars headquarters there, owned the Detroit Tigers and Red Wings, and helped usher in a new era for the city.


Saturday, February 11, 2017

Just When You Thought You Heard It All News (2-11-2017)

The dispatcher tried to get the location of the girl and her father, but the 9-year-old was so upset she had trouble communicating.
Dispatcher: "Are you in the car with him?"
Little girl: "Yes, and he's driving really (fast), and I think I'm going to get into a wreck and kill myself."
The girl and her father eventually ended up at her grandparents' home, and police followed.

Authorities said her father "hacked" his breathalyzer device installed in his car in order to drive. He was arrested.

A mother is hoping police press charges against a daycare worker she says was caught on surveillance video breastfeeding her child without her permission.

Kaycee Oxendine recorded video from the security footage inside Carrboro Early School on Friday that shows a woman adjusting her top and bringing Oxendine's 3-month-old son to her chest to breastfeed him.

Oxendine works at the daycare as a pre-kindergarten teacher. On Friday, she said her son's teacher told her he was constipated. When another woman working in the nursery that day asked Oxendine if she could breastfeed the boy to see whether it would help, Oxendine told her no, twice.

"She said that she had a son and did I want her to put my child to her breast and breastfeed?" Oxendine recalled. "And I said no, that's nasty. We don't do things like that."
Oxendine said moments after she left the room, video shows the daycare worker picking up her baby and breastfeeding him for several seconds. The woman stopped when another worker who was in the room at the time, stood up to leave.

"As a mom, you've taken something from me, because I wasn't able to defend my child," Oxendine said. "I wasn't there."

The daycare director, Daron Council, told ABC11 that an employee reported what happened and that the worker who did the breastfeeding is no longer there. He said she usually worked at the Orange Chatham Early School, was licensed, and had been working in childcare for more than a decade.

Oxendine said the woman was fired on Friday, but she wants her to face criminal charges.

Later Friday evening, Oxendine rushed her baby to UNC Hospital because she said he became ill and was throwing up.

Her son was born prematurely, is lactose intolerant and can't have any milk products.

"To me, a criminal act was committed against him," she said. "Not only did you put your breast to my son, you also made my son sick because he's lactose intolerant. So you've put something in his body that his body can't digest."

Records show the North Carolina Dept. Of Health and Human Services inspected both Carrboro and Orange Chatham Early Schools in October and November of last year. Both facilities received superior classifications.

Council said nothing like this had ever happened in one of the facilities. He said as soon as he found out what happened Friday, he reported it to DHHS and informed parents of the children who were under the woman's care that day.

"He's done everything in his power that he can do so I'm not angry at the director," Oxendine said. "I'm not angry at the childcare center. I'm very angry at the employee. I do hope that there's justice for my son."

Carrboro police said they were investigating the incident as misdemeanor child abuse. So far, no charges have been filed.

A psycho Boston-area man wanted a world record and, by gosh, he nailed it  by pounding 38 nails into a board with his skull in under two minutes.
Scratching your head at how Ferraro is able to do that? His skull is more than twice as thick as the average human’s  16 millimeters in thickness compared to an average of 6.5, according to the Daily Mail.
Ferraro discovered he was thickheaded when he was a kid and went head-first through a wooden door while chasing his brother, according to Guinness.
When Ferraro isn’t banging his head against nails for glory, he works as a professional wrestler under the name “Gino Martino.”


Monday, February 6, 2017

Coal Miners Supported Trump. But Want To Keep Obama Care!

Those of us with our feet firmly rooted in reality have no doubt that those who voted and or supported Trump were doing so against their best interest. The vast majority of these people, excluding a few misguided African-Americans actually believe that an inept, classist billionaire actually had their best interests at heart. That is until their great white hope hit them where it hurt the most, their wallets.
“All these guys heard was “coal-mining jobs” and they were on Trump’s heels in support. Well now, black lung has them coughing another tune since Donald’s planning on getting rid of the Affordable Care Act”.
— Coal Country, USA
During Donald Trump’s campaign, people didn’t care what he was talking about. They didn’t care what he was actually saying he’d take away. All they heard was “Make America Great Again” after every other statement and they were so thirsty for change that they drank the kool aid.
As far as some miners are concerned America might be getting ready to go back into the “Great” depression. Which is ironic given the fact that they blindly followed this clown into office.
According to a provision of the ACA called “miscellaneous provisions,” the black lung illness was covered. Before then, it was like pulling teeth trying to get companies to pay benefits for respiratory disabilities which occurred during years of mining.
However, mining Trump supporters couldn’t see that. It was more important to take America “back to the good ol’ days.”
But, without “Obamacare” backing them, these Trump-supporting miners will have to just have to live with “black lungs”.
Neil Yonts, a Democrat and coal miner for 35 years initially supported Hillary Clinton, but ended up voting for Trump.
“May be a mistake,” says Yonts, “but, I heard him say he’d bring coal back.”
Maybe a mistake?! 
Yonts began reconsidering his votes after being diagnosed with black lung disease.
“When they eliminate the Obamacare they may just eliminate all the black lung program,” says Yonts.  “It may all be gone. Don’t matter how many years you got.”
According to the source, black lung is an ever-advancing respiratory disease. Meaning, without proper treatment, it will only get worse over time.
Before Obamacare miners with respiratory problems had to prove their claim to the company before the company would ever pay out money.
It’s kind of similar to military veterans dealing with the Department of Veteran Affairs. You have to prove that your illness was acquired while in service. If you can’t prove it, they won’t cover it.
It’s the same thing with these mining companies. However, Obamacare made it so that, after so many years of mining if they had respiratory issues, it was up to the company to prove they didn’t get it from years worked. If the company couldn’t prove it happened elsewhere, they had to pay up.
Now, Trump steps in as “Lord and Savior”…only for them to find out he was the coal-mining “Anti-Christ.”
And, in that day, many will be deceived.
It’s a sad day for these miners as well as the rest of lower and middle-class Americans who voted for Donald.
They really should’ve known better than to vote Donald Trump as president. But what is done is done. I guess some people just didn't realize that making America great again was not an all inclusive proposition.


Saturday, February 4, 2017

Just When You Thought You Heard It All News (2-4-2017)

“It was nice of him to hang around.” But it's not like this moron had a choice anyway!

A burglar who got himself stuck in a second-story bathroom window during an attempted break-in has been jailed.

Police in Radcliffe, near Manchester in northern England, arrived on the scene in December to find Sean Crawshaw suspended 15 feet above the ground. 

The 47-year-old’s head was firmly wedged inside the small window, his knees were placed on the sill and his legs were dangling below:

Fire crews in Montana used dogged determination to free an inquisitive puppy from a tire wheel.

The Butte-Silver Bow Fire Department was called into action after an 8-month-old coonhound’s curiosity got the better of him. Blaze’s owners left him alone in their yard on Monday afternoon and somehow he managed to get his head stuck in a tire wheel.

With a lot of coconut oil, patience, a lot of ear tucking, and some powerful skin-pulling, Blaze’s head was quickly and successfully extricated from the tire wheel without the use of tools but with firefighter Zach Osborne’s brute strength,” the fire department wrote on Facebook.

Police say a customer at a Wal-Mart store in Florida fatally shot a man who was among a group suspected of stealing two carts full of merchandise.

The Orange County Sheriff's Office said in a statement that the shooting occurred Saturday after suspects left the store with stolen items.

Sheriff's Capt. A.L. Nieves says the men were loading the merchandise into a car when a worker and a customer who came to the employee's aid confronted them.

Nieves says the customer was armed and fired at a suspect, who he thought was going for a weapon. Nieves did not identify anyone involved.

The suspect later died at a hospital after deputies found him at a gas station.

The shooting is under investigation, and the remaining robbery suspects remain at large.