Welcome to the morning announcements with Bomani Armah on Tuesday, January 3, 2022. I am Bomani Armah and we are 214 Days away from Watermelon Day at Sankofa. We are here to Honor the Ancestors, Prepare the Descendants, and Love Right Now.
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Sadie Tanner Mossell Alexander
January 2, 1884 – March 25, 1951
A pioneering Black professional and civil rights activist of the early-to-mid-20th century. In 1921, Mossell Alexander was the first African-American to receive a Ph.D. in economics in the United States. In 1927, she was first woman to receive a law degree from the University of Pennsylvania Law School and went on to become the first Black woman to practice law in the state. She was also the first national president of Delta Sigma Theta sorority, serving from 1919 to 1923. Mossell Alexander and her husband were active in civil rights, both in Philadelphia and nationally. In 1946 she was appointed to the President’s Committee on Civil Rights established by Harry Truman.
“I knew well that the only way I could get that door open was to knock it down; because I knocked all of them down.” – Sadie Alexander
Can you imagine the amount of pressure a young black woman would be under as she’s trying to be the first African American to receive a Ph.D. in economics? All the stereotypes about African intelligence and the capacity of women were thrown at her at the same time. There most certainly would’ve been doors slammed in her face as she walked down the halls of academia, of law, and business. She was a lawyer, an economist and a community leader, all at the turn of the century, when black people were getting lynched daily and women had just barely won the right to vote. Sadie used her courage and intellect as a battering ram. She has completely changed the world around her. I am thoroughly impressed by this ancestor, as I am with all of them on this list. I am glad she gave us this quote, to preserve her spirit of tenacity. Let’s pour a libation for Sadie Alexander.
We never forget so never fear,
for homies who ain’t here, we’re pouring out a beer
Because of you it will never be the same
We keep saying your name while we pour champagne
For the mothers and the father figures,
your flame still flickers, we’re pouring out some liquor
We’re the sons and the daughters of heroes and martyrs
We honor you by pouring out some water
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Sudan Independence Day
I’m bringing back “Tonight’s Book” with help from Africa Acesss and the Africana Book Awards.
Africa Access, a 501 c (3) organization was founded in 1989 to help schools, public libraries, and parents improve the quality of their K-12 collections on Africa. Africa Access Review, Read Africa and Children’s Africana Book Awards (CABA) have been effective initiatives in our efforts to inform the public about quality K-12 books on Africa. In 1991, Africa Access in collaboration with the Outreach Council* of the African Studies Association created the Children’s Africana Book Awards with three major objectives (1) to encourage the publication of children’s and young adult books that contribute to a better understanding of African societies and issues, (2) to recognize literary excellence, and (3) to acknowledge the research achievements of outstanding authors and illustrators. The first CABA was presented in 1992. Today over 127 books have been recognized and more than 100 authors and illustrators are members of our Winners Circle. Each winning title has been vetted by our awards jury which is composed of African Studies and Children’s Literature scholars.
Author: Elizabeth Zunon
Genre: Juvenile Fiction
Publisher: Bloomsbury Children’s Books
Release Date: May 21, 2019
This beautifully illustrated story connects past and present as a girl bakes a chocolate cake with her father and learns about her grandfather harvesting cacao beans in West Africa. Chocolate is the perfect treat, everywhere! As a little girl and her father bake her birthday cake together, Daddy tells the story of her Grandpa Cacao, a farmer from the Ivory Coast in West Africa. In a land where elephants roam and the air is hot and damp, Grandpa Cacao worked in his village to harvest cacao, the most important ingredient in chocolate. “Chocolate is a gift to you from Grandpa Cacao,” Daddy says. “We can only enjoy chocolate treats thanks to farmers like him.” Once the cake is baked, it’s ready to eat, but this isn’t her only birthday present. There’s a special surprise waiting at the front door . . .
Africa Acess Review
The picture book begins with a young girl, presumably in the U.S., making a chocolate cake with her father. As they blend the ingredients, father tells her about her Ivorian grandfather and his cacao farm. Father notes his role as a 7 year old, working with others in the village gathering and scooping out cacao pods after his schoolwork and chores were done. As he grew older, he helped Grandpa Cacao bag the beans to sell to cacao buyers. The money the family earned bought food, school supplies, uniforms, books and fabric for special occasion clothes. The story ends with a sweet surprise. …Zunon’s text and illustrations do an excellent job of showcasing this satisfying family story and capturing the time-consuming, labor-intensive process cacao farming entails. She makes it easy to identify Grandpa Cacao as a young man by representing him and the village cacao workers in white, opaque screen-print shapes. Zunon explains that she used the opaque technique to show how Grandpa “exists in the little girl’s imagination as an almost mythical figure.” The tropical backgrounds of the cacao plantation and the contemporary scenes are done in oil paint on watercolor paper with collage elements.
Baba Bomani & The Frederick Douglass Writing Club
Prince George’s Publick Playhouse
5445 Landover Rd, Hyattsville, MD 20784
Sunday February 5, 2023, 2pm-3pm
Black National anthem