Friday, February 27, 2015

Black History Month 2015: Zora Neale Hurston


Born in Alabama on January 7, 1891, Zora Neale Hurston spent her early adulthood studying at various universities and collecting folklore from the South, the Caribbean and Latin America. She published her findings in Mules and Men. Hurston was a fixture of the Harlem Renaissance, rubbing shoulders with many of its famous writers. In 1937, she published her masterwork of fiction, Their Eyes Were Watching God. Hurston died in Florida in 1960.

*Black History Month post are little blurbs. They are not in depth bios so please click links and/or pictures to read more

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Black History Month 2015: Maya Angelou


Maya Angelou was an African-American author, playwright, poet, dancer, actress, and singer. Her illustrious 50-year career included publishing 36 books, including volumes of poetry and three books of essays. Angelou is credited also for producing and acting in several plays, musicals, movies, and TV shows.  She is best known, however, for her first autobiography, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (1969). The book depicts the tragedies of Angelou's traumatic childhood, detailing a brutal rape at 7 1/2, and an early adulthood encumbered by teenage pregnancy.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Black History Month 2015: Harriet Tubman


Harriet Tubman, the great African American abolitionist who rescued hundreds of slaves and led them to freedom was born into slavery as Araminta Harriet Ross. She escaped slavery and made it her life’s mission to help other enslaved blacks escape their miserable fate and lead a life of dignity. She had a very hard childhood as she was born to parents who were bonded slaves. As a small girl she was made to do backbreaking chores and hard work, and also physically assaulted and beaten up. Once she was hit on her head so hard that she suffered from seizures, narcoleptic attacks and severe headaches all through her life. But, she was never disillusioned by the numerous problems in her life and found her calling in helping people escape slavery. She also worked as a cook, nurse and a spy for the Union Army during the American Civil War and became the first woman to lead an armed expedition in the war when she led several hundreds of slaves in the Combahee River Raid. She played an active role in the women’s suffrage movement in New York and spent her later years tending to her family and other people in need.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Black History Month 2015: Marie Van Brittan Brown


The home security system changed home safety, and the modern home security market owes a great deal of gratitude to Marie Brown. She invented the first closed-circuit home security system. Marie Van Brittan Brown was born in 1922. She grew up in Jamaica, Queens, in New York City, which is also where she and her husband, Albert, came up with the security system in 1966.

Marie Brown's invention revolutionized the home security market. Although it was originally intended for home use only, businesses soon caught on and her invention became even more popular. Her system influenced other inventions that eventually led to the modern home security systems. Marie Brown''s home security system was invented for home owners who were afraid of rising crime rates. It was designed so that an individual could view the surroundings, but from a safe distance. It could be set up anywhere on the property, with whatever angle the owner of the property desired. The invention had four peep holes and a camera that could move and capture images out of each hole when necessary. Captured footage was displayed on a monitor.

Brown even had plans to provide a mechanism where people could unlock their doors with remote controls. Brown''s home security system was fairly large by today's standards. It consisted of a camera of a motorized track, a monitor, a circuit board and several wires. The camera track and circuit took up a great deal of space on the wall it was attached to.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Black History Month 2015: Garrett Augustus Morgan


With only an elementary school education, Garrett Morgan, born in Kentucky on March 4, 1877, began his career as a sewing-machine mechanic. He went on to patent several inventions, including an improved sewing machine and traffic signal, a hair-straightening product, and a respiratory device that would later provide the blueprint for WWI gas masks. The inventor died on August 27, 1963, in Cleveland, Ohio.

*Black History Month post are little blurbs. They are not in depth bios so please click links and/or pictures to read more

Friday, February 20, 2015

Black History Month 2015: Benjamin Banneker


Benjamin Banneker was born on November 9, 1731, in Ellicott's Mills, Maryland. A free black who owned a farm near Baltimore, Banneker was largely self-educated in astronomy by watching the stars and in mathematics by reading borrowed textbooks. He became an active writer of almanacs and was appointed by President George Washington to the District of Columbia Commission.

*Black History Month post are little blurbs. They are not in depth bios so please click links and/or pictures to read more

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Black History Month 2015: Shirley Chisholm


Born in Brooklyn, New York, in 1924, Shirley Chisholm is best known for becoming the first black congresswoman (1968), representing New York State in the U.S. House of Representatives for seven terms. She went on to run for the 1972 Democratic nomination for the presidency—becoming the first major-party African-American candidate to do so. Throughout her political career, Chisholm fought for education opportunities and social justice. Chisholm left Congress in 1983 to teach. She died in Florida in 2005.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Black History Month 2015: George Washington Carver


George Washington Carver was born into slavery in Diamond, Missouri, around 1864. The exact year and date of his birth are unknown. Carver went on to become one of the most prominent scientists and inventors of his time, as well as a teacher at the Tuskegee Institute. Carver devised hundreds products using one of these crops—the peanut—including dyes, plastics and gasoline. He died in 1943.

*Black History Month post are little blurbs. They are not in depth bios so please click links and/or pictures to read more

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Black History Month 2015: Langston Hughes


James Mercer Langston Hughes (great nephew of James Mercer Langston - see yesterday post) was born on February 1, 1902, in Joplin, Missouri. He published his first poem in 1921. He attended Columbia University, but left after one year to travel. His poetry was later promoted by Vachel Lindsay, and Hughes published his first book in 1926. He went on to write countless works of poetry, prose and plays, as well as a popular column for the Chicago Defender. He died on May 22, 1967.

Poet, novelist, short story writer, playwright, song lyricist, radio writer, translator, author of juvenile books, and lecturer. In early years worked as assistant cook, launderer, busboy, and at other odd jobs; worked as seaman on voyages to Africa and Europe. Lived at various times in Mexico, France, Italy, Spain, and the Soviet Union. Madrid correspondent for Baltimore Afro-American, 1937; visiting professor in creative writing, Atlanta University, 1947; poet in residence, Laboratory School, University of Chicago, 1949.

*Black History Month post are little blurbs. They are not in depth bios so please click links and/or pictures to read more

Black History Month 2015: John Mercer Langston


John Mercer Langston was born on December 14, 1829, in Louisa County, Virginia. In 1854, Langston became the first African-American lawyer in Ohio. In 1888, he became the first African American to win a congressional election in the state of Virginia, having run as a Republican candidate for a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives. Langston served in Congress from 1890 to 1891. He died in Washington, D.C., in 1897.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Black History Month 2015: Myrlie Evers-Williams


Mrs. Evers-Williams was an honor student at Alcorn A & M College, Lorman, Mississippi, where she met and married another outstanding student, Medgar Evers. They moved to historic Mound Bayou, Mississippi, where they embarked on business careers with Magnolia Mutual Life Insurance Company. Business responsibilities demanded extensive travel in the Delta where they witnessed the burden of poverty and injustice imposed on their people. Determined to make positive changes in that society, both Medgar and Myrlie opened and managed the first NAACP Mississippi State Office. They lived under constant threats as they worked for voting rights, economic stability, fair housing, equal education, equal justice, and dignity.

She has held the position of Director, Planning and Development for the Claremont College; first African-American woman to serve as Commissioner, Board of Public Works, Los Angeles, California; vice president, Seligman & Latz; and national director of consumer affairs, Atlantic Richfield. She chronicled the life of her late husband, Medgar, and the civil rights struggle in Mississippi in a book, For Us, the Living.

Myrlie Evers-Williams was married for 18 years to Walter Edward Williams, himself a civil rights activist. He died two days after she was elected chairman of the board of the NAACP. On February 10, 1998, Evers-Williams announced that she had successfully completed her mission and would not seek another term of office but would devote her efforts to establishing the Medgar Evers Institute, linking business, government, and communities to further human rights and equality.

*Black History Month post are little blurbs. They are not in depth bios so please click links and/or pictures to read more

from and to read more 

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Black History Month 2015: Coretta Scott King


Coretta Scott King was one of the most influential women leaders in our world. Prepared by her family, education, and personality for a life committed to social justice and peace, she entered the world stage in 1955 as wife of the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and as a leading participant in the American Civil Rights Movement. Her contributions to the world has been massive.

A life-long advocate of interracial coalitions, in 1974 Mrs. King formed a broad coalition of over 100 religious, labor, business, civil and women’s rights organizations dedicated to a national policy of full employment and equal economic opportunity, as Co-Chair of both the National Committee for Full Employment and the Full Employment Action Council. She was (and still is) an example of the saying "behind every great man is an equally great woman."

*Black History Month post are little blurbs. They are not in depth bios so please click links and/or pictures to read more

Read more about Mrs. King here

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Black History Month 2015: Medgar Evers

Medgar Evers was a native of Decatur, Mississippi, attending school there until being inducted into the U.S. Army in 1943. Evers enrolled at Alcorn State University, majoring in business administration. Evers stayed busy by competing on the school's football and track teams, also competing on the debate team, performing in the school choir and serving as president of the junior class. On Christmas eve 1951 Evers married classmate Myrlie Beasley. He completed his degree the following year.

After graduation the couple moved to Mound Bayou, MS, where T.R.M. Howard had hired him to sell insurance for his Magnolia Mutual Life Insurance Company. Howard was also the president of the Regional Council of Negro Leadership (RCNL), a civil rights and pro self-help organization. Involvement in the RCNL gave Evers crucial training in activism.

He helped to organize the RCNL's boycott of service stations that denied blacks use of their restrooms. The boycotters distributed bumper stickers with the slogan "Don't Buy Gas Where You Can't Use the Restroom." Evers applied to the University of Mississppi Law School in February 1954. His application was rejected because at the time university was segregated. When his application was rejected, Evers became the focus of an NAACP campaign to desegregate the school, a case aided by the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in the case of Brown v. Board of Education 347 US 483 that segregation was unconstitutional. In December of that year, Evers became the NAACP's first field officer in Mississippi.

In June 12, 1963, Evers pulled into his driveway after returning from an integration meeting where he had conferred with NAACP lawyers. Emerging from his car and carrying NAACP T-shirts that stated, "Jim Crow Must Go", Evers was struck in the back with a bullet that ricocheted into his home. He staggered 30 feet before collapsing, dying at the local hospital 50 minutes later.

Black History Month 2015: Betty Shabazz


Born Betty Dean Sanders on May 28, 1934, the Detroit native had dreams of becoming a teacher as a young woman after leaving Tuskegee University before landing at Brooklyn State College School of Nursing in New York. It was in the city she met her future husband and converted to Islam in 1956. The pair married two years later, after a traditional Islamic courtship.
After the family converted to an orthodox form of Islam, they broke away from the Nation of Islam and changed their family name to Shabazz. Tensions between the NOI and the former national spokesman came to a head when he was assassinated on February 21, 1965. Pregnant with the couple’s twin daughters at the time, Shabazz was without financial support.

*Black History Month post are little blurbs. They are not in depth bios so please click links and/or pictures to read more

Cited from and to read more click here

Monday, February 9, 2015

Black History Month 2015: Malcolm X


Malcolm X, the activist and outspoken public voice of the Black Muslim faith, challenged the mainstream civil rights movement and the nonviolent pursuit of integration championed by Martin Luther King Jr. He urged followers to defend themselves against white aggression “by any means necessary.” Born Malcolm Little, he changed his last name to X to signify his rejection of his “slave” name. Charismatic and eloquent, Malcolm became an influential leader of the Nation of Islam, which combined Islam with black nationalism and sought to encourage and enfranchise disadvantaged young blacks searching for confidence in segregated America. After Malcolm X’s death in 1965, his bestselling book The Autobiography of Malcolm X popularized his ideas, particularly among black youth, and laid the foundation for the Black Power movement of the late 1960s and 1970s.

*Black History Month post are little blurbs. They are not in depth bios so please click links and/or pictures to read more
Article Details: Malcolm X
Author: Staff
Website Name:
Year Published: 2009
Publisher: A+E Networks

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Black History Month 2015: Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Martin Luther King Jr. (1929-1968) was a Baptist minister. He was also an social activist. One of the most well known civil right leaders of the American civil rights movement from the mid-1950s until 1968 when he was assassinated. King was about peaceful protest while seeking equality for African Americans, the economically disadvantaged and victims of injustice through peaceful protest. He was pivotal in movement such as the Montgomery Bus Boycott, the March on Washington, and the march from Selma to Montgomery, these events helped bring about such landmark legislation as the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965. King was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964 and is remembered each year on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, a U.S. federal holiday since 1986. 

Monday, February 2, 2015

Big Girls Do Cry by Carl Weber

Series: Big Girls Book Club (book 2)
Paperback: 336 pages
Publisher: Dafina; Reprint edition (January 1, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0758231822
ISBN-13: 978-0758231826
Rating 4 stars

From book: 
Welcome to the Big Girls Book Club, where only one rule applies: members must be at least a size 16. Sisters and original BGBC members Isis and Egypt have left New York for Richmond, where Isis is happily married and living in the lap of luxury. Her sister Egypt has moved to get away from her past.

My Review:
Chapters are told in the point of view of a specific character. Isis is the sister of Egypt. This chick has issues. Like fo' real! She has always been selfish and thought about only herself. She is twisted as hell. When someone makes her angry she often imagines herself harming or killing them. Egypt, the sister of Isis and wife to Isis ex-boyfriend. "What?" you say. "Scandalous child." I say. Now mind you, Isis should have chosen her man more wisely. Unfortunately, she chose wrong and her sister reaped the benefits. Lorraine is a sex deprive wife who thinks her husband is cheating on her. Jerome is Lorraine's best friend and ex-lover who loves to turn me out. Yes honey...he's gay. He is also part of the reason why Lorraine thinks her husband is cheating.

As you can gather this book is full of drama, deceit, and twist. I was a good quick read. In the end there are some happy endings though I was not completely satisfied with the way it ended. Love prevail for most of the characters while other relationships ended harshly. So all in all, it's a great page turner.

Happy Reading!

Carl Weber
Carl Weber is a New York Times and #1 Essence® bestselling novelist.

In addition to his writing, Weber is the founder and publisher of Urban Books and in 2005, he was named Blackboard's Publisher of the Year. He is the owner of the Urban Knowledge chain of book stores and a past recipient of Blackboard's Bookseller of the Year award.

Weber graduated from Virginia State University and holds an MBA in marketing from the University of Virginia.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

African American Readathon

African American Read-a-thon

African American Read-a-thon
February 19 – 23, 2015

Inspired by Jamie (@brokeandthebookish) to be a better book pusher. Meghann figured what way to be a better book pusher than to show her love for African American authors. February is Black History Month in the United States and as a part of BHM the National Council of Teachers of English hosts an annual African American Read-In (#aari15). She figured not everyone will be able to make it to in-person events so this is the online version!

Join in!
All you have to do to join in the fun is post your intro post to your blog, YouTube channel, Instagram, or Facebook. Be sure that your post is public so you can place it in the linky below. You do not have to be a blogger to participate. 

Your intro post should include the readathon button and a tentative TBR or listing of books you want to read/have read. Sign-ups are open until Feb. 23, no book is too small!

What are we reading?
There's no minimum or maximum to read here. This should be fun! Up for reading are any books authored by people of African heritage/decent. This includes African American authors and other who may identify as being Black without being American. All genres count! YA, MG, Adult, Fiction, Nonfiction, etc. For a list of book suggestions check out the NCTE website and Goodreads listopias. I'll be posting my TBR and more resources in my intro post.

Host a mini challenge!
Want to get involved? Help spread your love for AA authors and their work by hosting a mini-challenge. You can claim one of the ideas below or create your own. Mini-challenges should offer one prize that fits the theme. If you're up for the task send me an email at becomingbooksblog [AT] 

Mini Challenge Ideas
Show Off Your Diverse Book Shelves - Post your diverse books shelfies!
Cover Love - Showcase all your favorite AA author's book covers.
Photo Challenge - Create photos of your book titles. You can be as literal or figurative as you'd like. e.g. book: The Color of Water, photo: Glass of water with crayons in it. 
Push It, Push It Good - Become a book pusher!! What AA author is the world missing out on or book you feel deserves more attention?

She'll be updating this space with mini-challenges as they are confirmed. 

Twitter Chat
Don't forget to use #AAReadathon on Twitter and Instagram. On Sunday, Feb. 22 at 7 p.m. EST we'll have a Twitter chat to discuss all our great reads. She's hoping to have another online surprise for all ya'll but she's working out the details. More to come!

This wouldn't be a readathon without prizes ;) She'll be giving away books, of course, as well as amazon gift cards so be sure to check-in at see what's happening each day. 
If you are an author, publisher or just an awesome person and want to sponsor a prize please email becomingbooksblog [AT]

I don't really have a list as I am just going to read at random but one book I know I want to read is:
X by Ilyasah Shabazz, Kekla Magoon 

Black History Month or National African American History Month

Hey y'all. Today is the start of Black History Month or National African American History Month also know as Heritage Month. During this month you will see on some television station and across most media platforms the contributions African American has made to the United States and Canada (there are other countries that have their own month to celebrate).

There is always a debate around this time about whether or not there should a Black History because American History is Black History. There are other arguments for and against. I personally don't see the big deal! At least we "black" know that in February our contributions will be talked about. Besides, we have the most known heritage month but it is not the only. March is Irish-American month. June is Gay and Lesbian month. Sept 15th - Oct 15th is Hispanic month. So let's stop the craziness and take these months for what the are meant to do-learn more about each other cultures. Besides if you don't believe in heritage months, there's a simple solutions, don't pay attention to it.

Anyway, this month this blog will celebrate. Valentine's day is also in February so I will be combining themes. Hopefully, you all will enjoy reading the variety of posts I have plan. That's it folks. See ya in the next post and as always Happy Reading!