- Karen Edmond
Notable Advancements For Black Americans April 2022!
April 2022 will go down in history as a historic turning point for America. Americans witnessed the historic and much fought for Emmett Till Anti-Lynching Bill passed. Plus have seen the U.S. Senate confirm the first Black female justice, Judge Ketanji Brown - Jackson, to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court.
Pictured above "Mrs. Mamie Till Mobley stands before a portrait of her slain son, Emmett Till, in her Chicago home on July 28, 1995." https://www.nbcwashington.com/news/national-international/senate-passes-bill-to-honor-emmett-till-and-his-mother/2934066/
The inspiration behind the Emmett Till Anti-Lynching Act has to do with the long-term issue of violence plus outright murder, plus injustices that Black North American men, women, and children have experienced in the United States. Per a USA Today article by author Orlando Mayorquin titled. "Biden Signed The Emmett Till Anti-lynching Act. Who was Emmett Till and what happened to him?," published on March 30, 2022, shares that, "A more than a century-long effort to pass anti-lynching legislation culminated Tuesday when President Joe Biden signed a landmark bill that makes lynching a federal hate crime."
Pictured above President Joe Biden signing bill into activation, with Vice President Kamala Harris, Senator Corey Booker of NJ, Senator Rev Raphael Warknock of GA, members of Congress and top justice department officials with the Great Granddaughter of Ida B Wells Michelle Duster plus Emmett Tills cousin Rev Wheeler Parker who is also pictured below holding the signed decree. The law lays out a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison and fines.
Article further states that "The effort began 122 years ago when the first anti-lynching bill was introduced in Congress by U.S. House of Representatives member George Henry White, the only Black member of Congress. That bill failed; the years passed, and numerous attempts at passing similar legislation never came to fruition." In addition, USA Today's report includes the activism of Emmett Till's beloved mother, Mrs. Mamie Till, who took a stand against racism by exposing the truth of what happened to her 14-year-old son.
Pictured above Congressman George Henry White February 21, 1900 submitted a petition that was submitted on the House Floor with the support of New Jersey Black citizenship.
The article states that when "Till's disfigured remains were sent home to his mother, Mamie Till, in Chicago, she wanted the world to see the cruelty of her son's murder. Till's killers left his face completely unrecognizable. Mamie helped organize a large funeral attended by thousands and allowed the media to photograph and publish images of her son's open casket.
The coverage revealed the sheer brutality of his death and illuminated the violence and hatred Black people in America had to face during the Jim Crow era. Activists rallied around Till's lynching and embarked on a struggle to end Jim Crow and other discrimination against African Americans in what became known as the Civil Rights movement."
Although President Biden signed the Emmett Till Anti-Lynching Act on March 30, 2022, many African American churches celebrated the announcement of said legislation passing on the first Sunday, April 3, 2022, per church announcements across the nation. The jubilant celebration of the Emmett Till Anti-Lynching Bill passing was soon followed by the U.S. Senate confirming the first Black female justice on April 7, 2022, to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court. Judge Ketanji Brown - Jackson won by a vote of 53-47. Jackson is the 116th justice of the U.S. Supreme Court. Jackson will become the first Black woman to serve on the court, fulfilling a campaign promise by then-candidate Joe Biden during the 2020 presidential campaign.
Pictured below President Joe Biden and Supreme Court Justice Ketanji Brown-Jackson.
The month of April has always brought forth the winds of change for Black America. Sometimes the winds of change are sweet, such as on
April 12, 1787, "Richard Allen and Absalom Jones organized the Free African Society, a mutual self-help group in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania."
April 9, 1816, when "The African Methodist Episcopal Church was organized at the first independent black denomination in the United States."
April 1910, The National Urban League was established and celebrated its 100 anniversary in 2022.
April 24, 1944, "The United Negro College Fund was founded."
April 19, 1947, "Jackie Robinson became the first Black person to play major league baseball."
April 15, 1950, "The Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee was founded in Raleigh, North Carolina."
April 3, 1963, "Under the leadership of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Black citizens began a campaign against discrimination in Birmingham."
On April 8, 1974, "Henry Aaron hit his 715th home run to become the all-time leading hitter of home runs." for example. https://www.fs.fed.us/people/aasg/calendar/timeline.html
Noted per other occasions, the winds of change have been bitter in April. For example
April 7, 1712, "A slave insurrection occurred in New York City, resulting in the execution of 21 African Americans."
April 6, 1931, "Nine young blacks were accused of raping two white women in a boxcar. They were tried for their lives in Scottsboro, Alabama, and hastily convicted, and the case attracted national attention."
April 4, 1968, "Martin Luther King was assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee. In the following week, riots occurred in at least 125 places throughout the country."
On April 30, 1992, "The Cosby Show" broadcast the final original episode of its highly successful eight-season run.
April 3, 1996, "Commerce Secretary Ron Brown and distinguished business leaders were killed in a plane crash in Dubrovnik, Croatia."
On April 9, 2021, Rapper extraordinaire Earl Simmons, aka DMX, passed away.
On April 17, 2021, "gifted storyteller Robert Ross, aka Black Rob, passed away.
April 22, 2021, Gregory Edward Jacobs, aka Shock G, the lead vocalist and producer of the hip hop, funk-influenced group Digital Underground." Who would introduce the world to Tupac Shakur. Jacobs passed away on April 22, 2021.
April is the month that Black American Christians reflect on the death of Jesus Christ and fast & pray. As well as celebrate the Resurrection of Christ all in the self-same month. Joy and pain - sunshine and rain.
(Pictured below 14 year old Emmett with his mother Ms. Mamie Till)
With the enforcement of the Emmett Till Anti Lynching Bill and witnessing the first Black female Supreme Court Justice, Judge Ketanji Brown-Jackson, the month of April 2022 stands true to bring both sunshine and rain but mainly the winds of change. And as this 1968 United Negro College Fund Campaign implies below, we still have quite a ways to go. To make sure that every Black boy & girl has equal opportunities for success. Plus protection of life. Just like our ancestors fought for unashamedly.
Thank you for reading. I dedicate this song to my long-term friends Kimberly, Linda, Rosalind Arthur, Miko, and Gwen. Now please enjoy Eddie Kendricks "He's A Friend of Mine." https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yXFl75Te-eQ