Blast From The Past:
OUR HAMITE AWARD WINNER FOR 1989:
Sugar Ray Robinson
Sugar Ray Robinson, born Walker Smith Jr. was an African-American professional boxer. Frequently cited as the greatest boxer of all time, Robinson's performances in the welterweight and middleweight divisions prompted sportswriters to create "pound for pound" rankings, where they compared fighters regardless of weight.
He was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 1990.
Robinson was 85–0 as an amateur with 69 of those victories coming by way of knockout, 40 in the first round. He turned professional in 1940 at the age of 19 and by 1951 had a professional record of 128–1–2 with 84 knockouts.
From 1943 to 1951 Robinson went on a 91 fight unbeaten streak, the third longest in professional boxing history. Robinson held the world welterweight title from 1946 to 1951 and won the world middleweight title in the latter year.
He retired in 1952, only to come back two and a half years later and regain the middleweight title in 1955. He then became the first boxer in history to win a divisional world championship five times, a feat he accomplished by defeating Carmen Basilio in 1958 to regain the middleweight championship.
Robinson was named "fighter of the year" twice: first for his performances in 1942, then nine years and over 90 fights later, for his efforts in 1951.
Renowned for his flamboyant lifestyle outside the ring, Robinson is credited with being the originator of the modern sports "entourage".
After his boxing career had ended, Robinson attempted a career as an entertainer, but struggled, and was challenged financially until his death in 1989. In 2006, he was featured on a commemorative stamp by the United States Postal Service.
This year's award choice will go to one of the greatest boxers of all time. We proudly honor the memory of Sugar Ray Robinson with the 1989 Hamite Award for giving us hope in a time of despair. The black person needed a hero during this period in American history, and Sugar Ray was just that.
In Robinson's last years, he was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease. He died in Los Angeles at the age of 67 and was interred in the Inglewood Park Cemetery, Inglewood, California.
Sugar Ray Robinson |
American boxer Sugar Ray Robinson (1921-1989) being held aloft by other boxers.
||Famous African American Quotes |
Sugar Ray Robinson - frequently cited as the greatest boxer of all time
"Rhythm is everything in boxing. Every move you make starts with your heart, and that's in rhythm or you're in trouble."
|How were blacks feeling in 1989?
Did you know you came from an amazing race of people who cared for you? It's true. The amazing accomplishments of our ancestors are recorded on this website. Years ago as slaves it was illegal for slaves to read and write, and a felony for anyone caught teaching them.
The slavemaster wanted to keep them ignorant so they wouldn't organize and rebel against their authority. He was able to dominate blacks in this way. The slavemaster understood the power of education.
Sadly today too many of our own have not learned how truly important it is to learn. Some may look at education as a white thing and to pick up a book as a sellout. Has any ignorant person ever made you feel that way? If so, you should run away as fast as you can from a person like this. You will meet him in a few years while he's pushing a shopping cart around town.
Education and learning are not white; it's a gift for all humankind. Read at all cost; it will add a new dimension to your life, bringing a whole new world you never knew existed. Your ancestors made it all possible for you.
| Sports in 1989 |
- 1989 - Frank Robinson was awarded the American League Manager of the Year Award in 1989.
- 1989 - The honor of being the first African American league president goes to Bill White to lead MLB National League.
- 1989 - Oakland Raiders Art Shell holds the distinction of becoming the second-ever African American head coach in the history of professional football, and the first in the sport's modern era.
- February 5, 1989 - Professional basketball player Kareem Abdul-Jabar becomes the first NBA player to score a whopping 38,000 career points.
- April 9, 1989 - Baseball standout Rickey Henderson steals his 800th career base.
- August 24, 1989 - Baseball's Pete Rose is sadly given a lifetime ban for gambling.
- October 1, 1989 - Football's Dallas Cowboy, Ed "Too Tall" Jones records his 1,000th career NFL tackle.
President George Bush
President Ronald Reagan
Ronald H. Brown
General Colin L. Powell
| Political Scene in 1989 |
- 1989 - George Herbert Walker Bush, an American politician who served as the 41st President of the United States from 1989 to 1993. A Republican, he previously served as a congressman, an ambassador, and Director of Central Intelligence.
- 1989 - Ronald Reagan was an American politician, commentator, and actor, who served as the 40th President of the United States from 1981 to 1989. Prior to his presidency, he served as the 33rd Governor of California from 1967 to 1975, following a career as an actor and union leader in Hollywood.
- February 7, 1989 - Ronald H. Brown is elected chair of the Democratic National Committee, becoming the first African American to head one of the two major political parties.
- August 10, 1989 - President George H. W. Bush selects General Colin L. Powell as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. The first black to do so.
- November 7, 1989 - Douglas Wilder becomes the governor of Virginia, the first African American to do so.
- November 7, 1989 - David Dinkins is elecetd the mayor of New York.
- November 7, 1989 - Norm Rice is elecetd the mayor of Seattle.
| Race in 1989 |
- August 23, 1989 - Yusef Hawkins was a 16-year-old African-American who was shot to death in Bensonhurst, a predominantly Italian-American working-class neighborhood in the New York City borough of Brooklyn. Hawkins and three friends were attacked by a crowd of 10 to 30 white youths, with at least seven of them wielding baseball bats. One, armed with a handgun, shot Hawkins twice in the chest, killing him.
- September 2, 1989 - Activist Al Sharpton leads a civil rights march through Bensonhurst, Brooklyn.
Analysis: The two men who led the mob that beat and chased Hawkins were tried separately. Joseph Fama, the man who fired the shots that killed Hawkins, was convicted of second-degree murder on May 17, 1990. The other main defendant in the case, Keith Mondello, was acquitted on May 18, 1990, on murder and manslaughter charges, but convicted of 12 lesser charges including riot, menacing, discrimination, unlawful imprisonment and criminal possession of a weapon. America is changing. This website has done a year by year study since 1863 of the negroes treatment in America, and it wasn't many years ago that these men would have walked away scot free. Consistently, justice for blacks simply did not exist, and that was from the Presidents all the way down to white American citizens. Other members of the gang that chased and beat Hawkins were tried as well. John Vento was convicted of unlawful imprisonment and received a sentence of 2 to 8 years in August 1990 and was released in 1998. A fourth man, Joseph Serrano, was convicted on the charge of unlawfully possessing a weapon and sentenced to 300 hours of community service on January 11, 1991. The acquittal of Vento on a murder charge and the light sentence handed out to Serrano, sparked more protests by the African-American community in Bensonhurst. Shortly before that march was set to begin on January 12, 1991,, Al Sharpton was stabbed and seriously wounded by Michael Riccardi in a Bensonhurst schoolyard. Sharpton later recovered from his wounds.
Oscar Devereaux Micheaux
| Television / Movies in 1989 |
- Harlem Nights - Redd Foxx (as Bennie Wilson)
- See No Evil, Hear No Evil - It stars Richard Pryor as a blind man and Gene Wilder as a deaf man who work together to thwart a trio of murderous thieves.
- 1989 - The Directors Guild of America honored Oscar Devereaux Micheaux with a Golden Jubilee Special Award.
- 1989 - The Black Filmmakers Hall of Fame gave Oscar Devereaux Micheaux a posthumous award.
Academy Award Winners:
- 1989 - Denzel Washington for Glory. Best Actor in a Supporting Role.
- 1989 - Russell Williams for Glory. Academy Award for Best Sound.
- March 27, 1989 - The first African American soap opera begins airing, "Generations" made it's premiere on
| Famous Birthdays in 1989 |
- January 30, 1989 - Khaleed Leon "Khleo" Thomas an American actor, rapper, singer, and entertainer best known for his role as Zero in Holes and Mixed Mike in Roll Bounce.
- February 21, 1989 - Corbin Bleu is an American actor, model, dancer, producer and singer-songwriter of Jamaican-Italian heritage.
- March 19, 1989 - Craig Lamar Traylor an American actor. He made his debut in an episode of ER in 1996.
- April 15, 1989 - Andre Jamal Kinney an American actor best known for his recurring role in Hannah Montana as Cooper, Jackson Stewart's friend.
- May 5, 1989 - Chris Brown is an American recording artist, dancer, and actor.
- May 29, 1989 - Brandon Mychal Smith an American actor, comedian, singer, dancer, and rapper, best known for playing Bug Wendal in Gridiron Gang.
- June 9, 1989 - Logan Laurice Browning an American actress & professional dancer. She is best known for playing Sasha in the 2007 film Bratz.
- June 17, 1989 - Simone Sherise Battle was an American actress and singer from Los Angeles, California. She was a finalist on The X Factor in 2011.
- June 21, 1989 - Jascha Akili Washington an American television and film actor.
- July 15, 1989 - Tristan Paul Mack Wilds an American actor and recording artist. He is known for his roles as Michael Lee on the HBO original drama series The Wire.
- August 19, 1989 - Percy Romeo Miller, Jr better known by his stage name Romeo (previously Lil' Romeo), is an American rapper, actor, basketball player, entrepreneur, and model.
- September 17, 1989 - Danielle Brooks an American actress best known for her role as Tasha "Taystee" Jefferson on the Netflix original series Orange Is the New Black.
Alvin Ailey in en:1955
CREDIT: en:Carl Van Vechten, photographer - photo #100-yr-1989
Sugar Ray Robinson
| Famous Deaths in 1989 |
- March 5, 1989 - James Richmond Barthé, African-American sculptor.
- April 5, 1989 - Bill Gunn was an American playwright, novelist, actor and film director.
- April 10, 1989 - Bessie Griffin was an African-American gospel singer. Born Arlette B. Broil in New Orleans, Louisiana. She sang for a while with the Southern Harps, had her own radio show in New Orleans, and later appeared in night clubs, on Broadway and in 1962 on The Ed Sullivan Show.
- April 12, 1989 - Sugar Ray Robinson was an American professional boxer. Frequently cited as the greatest boxer of all time, Robinson's performances in the welterweight and middleweight divisions prompted sportswriters to create "pound for pound" rankings, where they compared fighters regardless of weight.
- July 24, 1989 - Ernest Fredric "Ernie" Morrison was an American child actor who performed under the stage name "Sunshine Sammy."
- October 8, 1989 - Onest Conley was an American film actor.
- December 1, 1989 - Alvin Ailey African-American choreographer and activist.
- Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five member Keith "Cowboy" Wiggins died due to his addiction to crack cocaine on September 8, 1989.
- Osbourne Ruddock, (28 January 1941 – 6 February 1989) better known as King Tubby, was a Jamaican electronics and sound engineer, known primarily for his influence on the development of dub in the 1960s and 1970s. King Tubby was shot and killed outside his home.
- Rapper Michael Menson, of the group Double Trouble died after being doused in gasoline and set on fire.
Actress Debbi Morgan with Dorian Harewood in The Jesse Owens Story, 1984
| Famous Weddings in 1989 |
- April 1989 - Kimberly Elise and Maurice Oldham were married.
- July 11, 1989 - Rae Dawn Chong and C. Thomas Howell were married.
- September 5, 1989 - LaToya Jackson and Jack Gordon were married.
- September 16, 1989 - Natalie Cole and Andre Fischer were married.
- December 31, 1989 - Shari Belafonte and Sam Behrenswere married.
- 1989 - Terrence Howard and Lori Howard were married.
- 1989 - Victoria Rowell and Tom Fahey were married.
- 1989 - Terry Crews and Rebecca Crews were married.
- 1989 - Najee and Regina Jackson were married.
- 1989 - Charles S. Dutton and Debbi Morgan were married.
- 1989 - Michael Jordan and Juanita Vanoy were married.
| Famous Divorces in 1989 |
- February 1989 - Mike Tyson and Robin Givens were divorced.
- 1989 - Montel Williams and Rochele See were divorced.
How did "acting" Cool begin for African Americans?|
It seems like it's been around forever and
expected of every black kid growing up
For most blacks, cool started on the southern plantations. Opportunists slavemasters devised a way for slaves to work harder and reap the benefits of their labor. During the year at a chosen plantation slave masters would hold a "Corn Shucking Festival." Slaves from nearby plantations would also join this event with their owner's permission, so it was almost like a community gathering of all the local slaves, with greedy slavemasters making all the money.
The slave who shucked the most corn won an award, sometimes cash or a suit of clothes. Anyone who found a red ear of corn also received a reward - perhaps a kiss from a young woman or a jug of whiskey. It was at these events that the term Shuckin' and jivin' came into existence by the slaves while working and telling tall stories, talking smack, and joking around with each other.
These gatherings, even though involving hard work had to be an event looked forward to by the slaves, because it was one of the few times during the year blacks had a chance to interact with one another. Shuckin' and jivin' would become a tool the slaves would use to convince their masters of an untruth, and even among themselves. It was an early form of being cool.
After slavery blacks were free (sort of) to do as they pleased. Most blacks wanted to assimilate into American culture very much but were shut out by the white racist. African and European culture met head on in what was supposed to be fair in America guaranteed by our Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, but blacks didn't stand a chance.
Why, what happened?
Because most whites banded together by breaking the law and made blacks second class citizens and would go on to murder, lynch, rape, humiliate them all the way until the 1960s Civil Rights movement. After Lincoln, every single United States President was aware of this and did nothing. Whites achieved like crazy and prospered while blacks lagged far behind and got along the best way they knew how.
Blacks disliked whites very much for this terrible treatment and instead of violent disobedience, they protested by living their lives opposite of white culture. I mean let's face it, why would blacks want to imitate or become a part of a race of people that hated them?
This is when being cool became a symbol of white resistance and protest. Being cool would show you were down with the struggle. During slavery, we had already created our language which was AAVE and many blacks communicated this way. Any black that did not use it was looked down as trying to act white, joining the enemy sort of speak.
We developed our own way of walking with a proud gait, (George Jefferson strut) our own style of music, our own style of dance, our own style of food, our own style of worship, that didn't have anything in common with white folks and that suited blacks just fine. We were poor, but we were proud and cool and everyone who practiced these traits was cool and a part of the resistance.
In the process, we were creating a new culture that was admired over the world. Blacks have always had a remarkable ability to create something out of nothing. But sadly there was significant risk with this lifestyle in a great country such as America.
What were the downfalls?
Oscar Micheaux felt it was wrong for blacks to live this way in America. Oscar was an African American author, film director and independent producer of more than 44 movies and he is regarded as the first major African-American feature filmmaker, the most successful African-American filmmaker of the first half of the twentieth century and the most prominent producer of race films. He produced both silent movies and "talkies" after the industry changed to incorporate speaking actors.
Oscar felt that blacks should become aggressive and use their brainpower in achieving instead of just settling for what the white man doled out. This man lived in some of the most racist times in American history, but he didn't let that stop him from fulfilling his dreams and doing it the legal way.
Evidently, Oscar had a brother who was the very cool type and was content on just putting up a show, or a front as living a successful life. We all know the type. A person that was living beyond his means. Blacks of his day called this way of living “the good life.”
Oscar didn't like it and was very upset with his brother. He later wrote in his book and discussed the culture of doers who want to accomplish, and those who see themselves as victims of injustice and hopelessness, and do not want to step out and try to succeed, but instead like to dress up, act cool and pretend to be successful while living the city lifestyle in poverty.
Oscar understood that education doesn't belong only to white people, it's a gift for all humanity to better ourselves, and honestly the best-proven way. Chinese, Japanese, Middle-Eastern and all other non-white nations understand this and have prospered by education. It's one of humanities treasure to learn.
But many blacks associated education with white and stayed far away from it, to continue with their cool lifestyle. A foolish mistake, and just what racist whites want you to believe.
Early Europeans completely dominated the Africans because they were better educated. They had guns we had spears, you do the math. In Africa our ancestors didn't value education, but traditions and silly ones at that. But that didn't save them. Education would have, though.
So without a doubt, it is entirely wrong to associate teaching and learning to white people. Many of us would look down upon another black who tried to better himself through education by saying they were trying to act white, and it wasn't cool. Racist whites laughed at us for believing this way because they knew we would always be behind.
After the 1960s, when our full Civil Rights were finally restored, many blacks chose to live the more standard American way by attending school to learn. But many also wanted to remain trapped in time with the old AAVE living in what they still perceived as defiance to the white American way of doing things. But were they only hurting themselves?
Later in time, being cool had become so prevalent in the black community it confused many kids, because they didn't quite understand if they were going to hang out with the cool kids or the so-called boring kids who liked to read and learn. At an early age, they are at a critical crossroad. Taking the cool route may seem easier, and a lot of fun, but would be a devastating mistake.
After the Civil Rights era we now have the opportunity to attend school and achieve as much as we can, but being cool has snatched many of the black kids and locked them into a culture hating education and in the process ruining their young lives.
Many entertainment figures reap much money from this cool culture by portraying cool as, well cool. They tell impressionable ones what's cool to hear, talk about, wear, eat, etc. and at the same time padding their cool humongous bank accounts.
These even get on television and flaunt their riches in a youngster's face never explicitly teaching on how they might be as successful, without being dishonest, stealing or selling drugs. Education is not cool for them to preach.
One thing is for sure, being cool can be a lot of fun and there's no denying that. Everybody wants to be liked, and it seems like cool people are respected and admired the most, from the clothes they wear to the type of songs they listen to the way they talk, the effortless way they seem to accomplish every task is amazing.
They possess incredible confidence. But truthfully everything they've accomplished wouldn't have been possible without the sacrifices of our wonderful ancestors. So don't you agree we owe a particular moral responsibility to them?
Kids should remember cool is not the real deal, It's a game we can't get caught up in. Our ancestors endured so much so we could achieve. We should never forget that. That's what this site was created. Browse through its pages, and you're going to read stories of amazing blacks.
They made it possible for us, and we're sure they would advise us to achieve through education first and foremost and save the cool for the weekends, and I ain't Shuckin and Jivin!
By White House (Pete Souza) / Maison Blanche (Pete Souza) (The Official White House Photostream) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
By Senate Office of Richard Lugar [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Soul Train ran from 1971-2006
Robert Jr. Lockwood
Gladys Knight and the Pips
| Music in 1989 |
Billboard Top Soul Hits:
- "Oasis" Roberta Flack
- "Superwoman" Karyn White
- "Can You Stand the Rain" New Edition
- "Dreamin'" Vanessa Williams
- "Just Because" Anita Baker
- "Just Coolin'" LeVert featuring Heavy D
- "Closer Than Friends" Surface
- "Lucky Charm" The Boys
- "Girl I Got My Eyes On You" Today
- "Every Little Step" Bobby Brown
- "Love Saw It" Karyn White
- "Real Love" Jody Watley
- "Start of a Romance" Skyy
- "My First Love" Atlantic Starr
- "Miss You Like Crazy" Natalie Cole
- "Me, Myself and I" De La Soul
- "Have You Had Your Love Today" The O'Jays
- "Show and Tell" Peabo Bryson
- "Keep on Movin'" Soul II Soul
- "Turned Away" Chuckii Booker
- "Shower Me With Your Love" Surface
- On Our Own" Bobby Brown
- "Batdance" Prince
- "Something in the Way (You Make Me Feel)" Stephanie Mills
- "It's No Crime" Babyface
- "My Fantasy" Teddy Riley featuring Guy
- "Remember (The First Time)" Eric Gable
- "Can't Get Over You" Maze featuring Frankie Beverly
- "Back to Life (However Do You Want Me)" Soul II Soul featuring Caron Wheeler
- "Miss You Much" Janet Jackson
- "Baby Come to Me" Regina Belle
- "You Are My Everything" Surface
- "Don't Take It Personal" Jermaine Jackson
- "Home" Stephanie Mills
- "Here and Now" Luther Vandross
- "Ain't Nuthin' in the World" Miki Howard
- "All of My Love" The Gap Band
- "Tender Lover" Babyface
Popular Soul Dances:
- The Macarena
- The Robot
- The Electric Slide
- The MC Hammer
- The Worm
- Hip Hop
- Crip Walk
- Cabbage patch
- Running Man
- Chicago stepping
- KC Two-Step
- Detroit Ballroom
Musical Happenings in 1989:
- MTV's Yo! MTV Raps debuts; the show will lead to many hip hop artists finding new audiences.
- 2 Live Crew's Nasty As They Wanna Be is accused of obscenity, resulting in a legal battle that gained national attention. N.W.A.'s "F..k Tha Police" similarly becomes the target of protest from law enforcement officers.
- The first compact disc jukebox is introduced.
- Milli Vanilli wins the Grammy Award for Best New Artist, even as a Rolling Stone poll of rock critics results in the group being voted the worst new band of the year. After it is revealed that members of the group did not sing on the hit songs, Milli Vanilli becomes the first performers to return their Grammy.
Blues Hall of Fame for 1989:
The Blues Hall of Fame is a music museum located in Memphis, Tennessee. Until recently, the "Blues Hall of Fame" was not a physical building, but a listing of people who have significantly contributed to blues music. Started in 1980 by the Blues Foundation, it honors those who have performed, recorded, or documented blues. The actual building for the hall opened to the public on May 8, 2015
- Clifton Chenier
- Robert Lockwood, Jr.
- Memphis Slim
American Music Awards winners in 1989:
The American Music Awards was created by Dick Clark to compete with the Grammy Awards. Michael Jackson and Donny Osmond co-hosted the first award show with Rodney Allen Rippy and Ricky Segall in 1974. Unlike the Grammys, which are awarded on the basis of votes by members of the Recording Academy, the AMAs are determined by a poll of the public and fans, who can vote through the AMAs website.
Favorite Pop/Rock Female Artist
- Whitney Houston
Favorite Pop/Rock New Artist
- Tracy Chapman
Favorite Soul/R&B Male Artist
- George Michael
Favorite Soul/R&B Female Artist
- Whitney Houston
Favorite Soul/R&B Band, Duo, or Group
- Gladys Knight & The Pips
Favorite Soul/R&B Album
- Faith - George Michael
Favorite Soul/R&B Single
- "Nice 'N' Slow" - Freddie Jackson
Favorite Soul/R&B New Artist
- Al B. Sure!
Favorite Rap/Hip-Hop Artist
- DJ Jazzy Jeff & the Fresh Prince
Favorite Rap/Hip-Hop Album
- "He's the DJ, I'm the Rapper" - DJ Jazzy Jeff & the Fresh Prince
Special Achievement Award
- Michael Jackson
Grammy winners in 1989:
The 31st Annual Grammy Awards were held on February 22, 1989 at Shrine Auditorium, Los Angeles. They recognized accomplishments by musicians from the previous year.
Record of the Year
- Linda Goldstein (producer) & Bobby McFerrin for "Don't Worry, Be Happy"
Song of the Year
- Bobby McFerrin for "Don't Worry, Be Happy"
Best New Artist
- Tracy Chapman
Best Traditional Blues Recording
- Willie Dixon for Hidden Charms
Best Contemporary Blues Recording
- The Robert Cray Band for Don't Be Afraid of the Dark
Best Opera Recording
- Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, Siegmund Nimsgern, Jessye Norman, Eva Randova, Hans Sotin
Best Contemporary Folk Recording
- Tracy Chapman for Tracy Chapman
Best Gospel Performance, Male
- Larnelle Harris for Christmas
Best Gospel Performance by a Duo or Group, Choir or Chorus
- The Winans for The Winans Live at Carnegie Hall
Best Soul Gospel Performance, Female
- Aretha Franklin for One Lord, One Faith, One Baptism
Best Soul Gospel Performance, Male
- BeBe Winans for "Abundant Life"
Best Soul Gospel Performance by a Duo or Group, Choir or Chorus
- Take 6 for Take 6
Best Jazz Vocal Performance, Female
- Betty Carter for Look What I Got!
Best Jazz Vocal Performance, Male
- Bobby McFerrin for Brothers
Best Jazz Vocal Performance, Duo or Group
- Take 6 for "Spread Love"
Best Jazz Instrumental Performance, Group
- Roy Haynes, Cecil McBee, David Murray, Pharoah Sanders & McCoy Tyner for Blues for Coltrane: A Tribute to John Coltrane
Best Jazz Fusion Performance
- Yellowjackets for Politics
Best Pop Vocal Performance, Female
- Tracy Chapman for "Fast Car"
Best Pop Vocal Performance, Male
- Bobby McFerrin for "Don't Worry, Be Happy"
Best R&B Vocal Performance, Female
- Anita Baker for "Giving You the Best That I Got"
Best R&B Vocal Performance, Male
- Terence Trent D'Arby for Introducing the Hardline According to Terence Trent D'arby
Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal
- Gladys Knight & The Pips for "Love Overboard"
Best Rhythm & Blues Song
- Anita Baker, Randy Holland & Skip Scarborough (songwriters) for "Giving You the Best That I Got" performed by Anita Baker
Best Rap Performance
- "Parents Just Don't Understand"-DJ Jazzy Jeff & the Fresh Prince
Best Reggae Recording
- Ziggy Marley & the Melody Makers for Conscious Party
Best Rock Vocal Performance, Female
- Tina Turner for Tina Live in Europe
Best Spoken Word or Non-musical Recording
- Jesse Jackson for Speech by Rev. Jesse Jackson
The first award for Best Rap Performance was first presented to DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince for "Parents Just Don't Understand". The ceremony was not without controversy; nominees Jeff and Smith led a boycott in protest of the award presentation not being televised, and some members of the rap community felt that more qualified artists were overlooked.
Will more blacks adopt the American standard?
Maybe it's time to send the old Negro standard to the black museum
In America's beginning, immigrants from Europe had the incredible opportunity to live a better life and perhaps become rich beyond their wildest dreams. This was a hope that had never existed for regular everyday people in the entire history of man.
In contrast, Africans were sold into slavery, mostly by their governments and forced to travel to America as slaves. For them, this was not a dream, but an atrocious nightmare. The opportunity didn't exist for the vast majority of blacks to make a better life for themselves.
Once in America, these Europeans would eventually band together to focus on a common enemy, the black-skinned negro. This banding together against the blacks made whites stronger, and blacks weaker.
Some of these whites were very vocal in their dislike for black people, calling them bad names such as savages, animals, wild beast, ignorant, etc., and others were indifferent, choosing to remain on the sidelines by remaining silent. But they were just as guilty for allowing democracy to be trampled.
Even though professing to be the most intelligent compassionate creatures on earth, they couldn't understand how their actions would undermine everything America was supposed to represent. They became terrible guardians of hope and justice in a new and civilized world.
After slavery was finally outlawed in America, it was replaced with another oppression just as worse in the form of Jim Crow laws. These laws regulated blacks to 2nd class citizenship. These laws made blacks feel like they were not a part of the American process, and made many feel worthless as human beings and lacking in self-confidence.
But after the 60s civil rights movement, blacks started to slowly come around and take what belonged to them regarding good jobs, moving to nicer neighborhoods, etc. But still faced a white power structure at the job and at home that failed to recognize them as real American brothers. Even though new Civil Rights laws were in place, blacks still faced an uphill battle every day, but now in the form of a silent hate, called covert racism.
It's a situation that still exist in America.
Especially before the sixties, blacks were excluded in all aspects of American living by whites. Thus the need to create a black way of doing things became necessary. Many blacks in those days took pride in being different from white America. We felt that if whites didn't want anything to do with us professionally or socially, we didn't want anything to do with them.
So, we spoke our language using jive talk and slang and created special handshakes when greeting one another. We designed our style of colorful clothes and fashioned our hair differently. We ate our style of soul food.
These were all great and original African-American inventions that we needed for our own identity and kept us with a measure of sanity in a racist and vile America.
These inventions were considered being hep/ hip by all, and if a black person didn't practice these Negro standards, they would be regarded as a sell-out or trying to act white.
Blacks were very smart to invent the Negro standard, so what's the problem?
The problem began after the Civil Rights movement of the 60s. It was now legal for blacks to achieve equality in America as much as our hearts desired. We now had the law on our side. Even though this was still not a guarantee to eliminate racism and exclusion, it would make our fight a little easier.
But sadly, many blacks were not prepared and attempted to bring the old Negro standard way of doing things into the American mainstream. There was an immediate culture clash. Whites didn't know anything about black Americans and became afraid and filled with even more hate towards them because now they had to share America equally.
Now with the law on our side, you would think that blacks would have run to the schools and colleges to educate themselves. But many were afraid of the white power structure because it was very intimidating.
But not to the black woman. She knew the only way to win this struggle was to fight fire with fire, by becoming better educated. She attended school and learned all she could, and quickly realized she was just as smart if not smarter than whites. She then went out to fight.
She was victorious and continues to be so today.
The black male didn't put up a good fight like the female because he was intimidated by the hate other races directed towards him and chose to live a life of running game and boy-like behavior to make his living. Also, the black man didn't want to abide by the America standard way of doing things because he still considered it an enemy.
The result was that many of our people got left behind by not successfully making the distinction between white people and the American standard. These are two different things, and that needs repeating. These are two separate things and are easily confused as being the same. White people don't own the American standard, and they don't control it. White people knew blacks get hung up on this stumbling block and discouraged us at every step.
There would be many blacks who gauged and jumped this obstacle, but far too many quit or didn't even try. The successful ones would go on to make a nice living and provide for their families and care less about racist whites and their hate for us, or the foolish blacks who would say bad things about them for acting white. To this very day, it remains a difficult thing for blacks to give up the old negro way of thinking.
For example, we are not acting white if we.......
- We live in America and are Americans. English is our nations official language. It's the American standard to speak proper English, and not only for white people. It's for yellow, brown, red and all Americans.
- America is a civilized country and at the moment the best in the world. Its citizens are courteous and considerate to one another. This is not a white thing. It's the American standard.
- The American standard teaches us to take care of our families and handle our business as responsible adults, which is not a white thing to practice, but an American thing to do.
- To attend school and shoot for the stars to better ourselves is not a white thing, it's expected of all Americans to keep the country smarter and stronger which once again goes to the American standard category, not white people category.
If we try to take our old way of thinking out in public or to the workplace, we surely will be met with problems. It won't work. Other races don't understand our old negro standard and will become annoyed or offended, just like we would if in a group of people and couldn't understand what they were doing or saying. This is why the old Negro standard and American standard cannot exist side by side.
Refusal to depart from the old Negro standard is one reason we still have black slums, living near poverty, low self-esteem and every other negative we can think. The Negro standard at one time served a necessary purpose but now holds us back as a race. It's time to put the Negro standard in a black museum. It's outdated.
Give up the swag?
But let's make one thing clear, it's not advocated giving up the music, fried chicken, chitterlings, corn bread and collard greens or even the swag that took years to perfect. There are a place and time for everything. No, that's not the point. The point is always to exercise common sense when dealing with other races and remain cognizant of the American standard.
There will still be plenty of hate to face us.
Yes, there will be, but it's better to have success and be hated than to be unsuccessful and hated. A word of caution though. There are many of our people who hate us also and would love if we still lived in the old Negro standard.
Do you believe that successful blacks have a moral obligation to help its people? Our ancestors thought so. They understood the path for success and continually stressed education and living within the American standard as the only way to achieve that.
Today, we don't have our ancestors to look up to for advice. But believe it or not, singers, entertainers, rappers and sports athletes have taken their place. Most blacks give these people the top priority and will follow their every word, frequently ignoring their education, and buying their product. The question becomes, are these people for their own needs or are they instructing the black community to embrace the American standard?
Womens fashions in the 1980s
Mens fashions in the 1980s
The rah-rah skirt is a short flounced layered skirt that originated in cheerleading and became a popular fashion trend among teenage girls in the early 1980s. Later in the 1980s it was often worn with leather, denim or lace.
Jheri curl hairstyle worn in the 1980s.
A medium-length hi-top fade haircut
| Fashions and Styles in 1989 |
The early 1980s were very different from the rest of the decade, with some carryovers from the late 1970s. Clothing colors were subdued, quiet and basic; varying shades of brown, tan, and orange were common. Fashionable clothing in the early 1980s included both unisex and gender-specific attire. Widespread fashions for women in the early 1980s included sweaters (including turtleneck, crew neck, and v-neck varieties); fur-lined puffer jackets; tunics; faux-fur coats; velvet blazers; trench coats (made in both fake and real leather); crop tops; tube tops; knee-length skirts (of no prescribed length, as designers opted for choice); loose, flowy, knee-length dresses (with high-cut and low-cut necklines, varying sleeve lengths, and made in a variety of fabrics including cotton, silk, satin, and polyester); high-waisted loose pants; embroidered jeans; leather pants; and designer jeans. Women's pants of the 1980s were, in general, worn with long inseams - a style carried over from the 1970s. Accessories for women included thin belts, knee-high boots with thick kitten heels, sneakers, jelly shoes (a new trend at the time), mules, round-toed shoes and boots, jelly bracelets (inspired by Madonna in 1983), shoes with thick heels, small, thin necklaces (with a variety of materials, such as gold and pearls), and small watches. The fitness craze of the 1970s continued into the early 1980s. General women's street-wear worn in the early 1980s included ripped sweatshirts, leotards, tights, sweatpants, and tracksuits (especially ones made in velour). Prior to the mid-1980s, it had been taboo to show a slip or a bra strap in public. A visible undergarment had been a sign of social ineptness. With the new fashion's most extreme forms, young women would forgo conventional outer-garments for vintage-style bustiers with lacy slips and several large crucifixes.
In the early 1980s, fashion had carried onward from the late 1970s. Athletic clothes were more popular than jeans during this period, as were more subdued colors. Looser pants remained popular during this time, being fairly wide but straight, and tighter shirts were especially popular. The general public, at this time, wanted to wear low-maintenance clothing with more basic colors, as the global recession going on at the time kept extravagant clothes out of reach. Popular clothing in the early 1980s worn by men includes tracksuits, v-neck sweaters, polyester and velour polo-neck shirts, sports jerseys, straight-leg jeans, polyester button-ups, cowboy boots, beanies, and hoodies. In the mid 1980s, popular trends included wool sport coats, Levi 501s, Hawaiian shirts, shell suits, hand-knit sweaters, sports shirts, hoodies, flannel shirts, reversible flannel vests, jackets with the insides quilted, nylon jackets, gold rings, spandex cycling shorts, cowboy boots, and khaki pants with jagged seams. T-shirts underneath expensive suit jackets with broad, padded shoulders, hawaiian shirts (complemented with sport coats, often with top-stitched lapels for a "custom-tailored" look), and (in counterpoint to the bright shirt) jackets that were often gray, tan, rust or white. Easy-care micro-suede and corduroy jackets became popular choices, especially those with a Western style.
Rap and hip-hop:
Athletic shoes had been worn as casual wear before, but for the first time they became a high-priced fashion item. Converse shoes were popular in the first half of the 1980s. Air Jordan basketball shoes (named for basketball player Michael Jordan) made their debut in 1984. The NBA banned these shoes from games when they debuted, which increased their cachet. Soon, other manufacturers introduced premium athletic shoes. Adidas sneakers took the decade by storm, becoming popular among teenage boys and young men; the Adidas sneaker was popularized by the Run-D.M.C. song My Adidas. Nike had a similar share of the market, with Air Max and similar shoes. High-tops, especially of white or black leather, became popular. In the early 1980s, long and white athletic socks, often calf-high or knee-high, were worn with sneakers. As the decade progressed, socks trended shorter, eventually topping out just above the height of the shoe. Ensembles featuring the colors of Africa (green, yellow and red) became wildly popular among African Americans, as did kente cloth. In the urban hip-hop communities, sneakers were usually worn unlaced and with a large amount of gold jewelry, as well as headwraps.
The Jheri curl often spelled Jerry curl or Jeri Curl is a permed hairstyle that was common and popular among African American, Black Canadian, and Black British, especially during the 1980s and the 1990s. Invented by the hairdresser Jheri Redding, the Jheri curl gave the wearer a glossy, loosely curled look. It was touted as a "wash and wear" style that was easier to care for than the other popular chemical treatment of the day, the relaxer. A hi-top fade is a style of haircut where hair on the sides is cut off or kept very short while hair on the top of the head is very long (in contrast, a low fade is a style where hair on the top is kept shorter). It was common among young black people between 1985 and 1993.
United States Census for African Americans
in the 1980s
Asa Philip Randolph
Frederick D. Gregory
| Our Community in 1989 |
Newsworthy Events in the Black Community:
- 1989 - Frederick D. Gregory was the first person ever of African lineage to command any space mission with the launch of STS-33 in 1989 on the orbiter Discovery, which carried a classified payload. He then commanded STS-44 on Atlantis which in addition to deploying a Department of Defense satellite, DPS 15, also conducted extensive studies to evaluate medical countermeasures to long duration space flight. Analysis: America is truly changing right before our eyes. This website has done a year by year of African American achievement which was usually without the participation of whites. But in Frederick D. Gregory case we have whites and blacks working together to accomplish a goal, an American goal. This was unheard of a few short years ago. Are we up to the challenge?
- Ragtime Musician Scott Joplin received a star on the St. Louis Walk of Fame.
- February 3, 1989 - the United States Postal Service issued a 25 cent postage stamp in Civil Rights leader Asa Philip Randolph honor.
- February 11, 1989 - Barbara C. Harris was the first woman ordained a bishop in the Anglican Communion.
- HIV and without treatment, average survival time after infection with HIV is estimated to be 9 to 11 years. Trivia:Infection with HIV occurs by the transfer of blood, semen, vaginal fluid, pre-ejaculate, or breast milk. Within these bodily fluids, HIV is present as both free virus particles and virus within infected immune cells. AIDS was first clinically observed in 1981 in the United States. The initial cases were a cluster of injection drug users and gay men.
- The 1980s - Pac-Man is considered one of the classics of the medium, virtually synonymous with video games, and an icon of 1980s popular culture. Pac-Man is an arcade game developed by Namco and first released in Japan on May 22, 1980.
- 1980 - Less than a school year differentiated the years of schooling attained by African Americans and white Americans born after 1980.
- 1980s - The United States Population is 226,504,825 with a total of 26,482,349 being African Americans.
How did religion begin for the American Negro?
Well, it was an exciting journey for sure, but as usual, we have to go back into history for the likely answer. Before arriving in America as slaves, generally speaking, our ancestors practiced a religion which included fetishism.
What is fetishism you may ask?
Traditional Benin Voodoo Dance
Fetishism is a man-made object (such as the doll aound the lady's neck in the picture) that is thought to have power over others. Africans were extremely superstitious in their native land.
But once exposed to religious teachers in America, quickly left their superstitious past behind them, and would frown upon new arrivals of Africans who practiced fetishism in religion.
In Europe, the Roman Catholic Church had lost their grip on people with their questionable religious practices. There were many who thought the Church was wrong and formed a protest or a Protestant Reformation that resulted in the creation of tons of different religions with their doctrines and teachings claiming to be Christian.
A religion is an organized collection of beliefs, cultural systems,
and world views
that relate humanity to an order of existence.
Episcopal, Jesuits, Methodists, Protestant, Anglican, Lutheranism, Calvinism, Presbyterianism, Wesleyanism were all against Roman Catholic teachings.
But there would be a new religion on the horizon for humanity that went by the name of science. The introduction of science was in many ways entirely different than Christianity because it taught man to believe and rely on himself and his creations, rather than on a Supreme Being he couldn't see.
Faith is something foreign and unbelievable to a scientist. Also, this new form of religion would give these believers complete moral authority to do as they wished without a guilty conscience or retribution from a Surpreme Being.
This is what made slavery right or moral in the eyes of so many whites because new science taught that whites were superior and blacks inferior. The theory of evolution is another example in clear teaching that the world exists because of a big bang instead of being created, and also man evolved from apes rather than being created.
Do you believe in Evolution? If so, evolution is your religion because mainstream religion and evolution just don't jive, it's either one or the other.
During slavery, most of the first black congregations and churches were founded by free blacks, but slaves learned about Christianity by attending services led by a white preacher or supervised by a white person. Slaveholders often held prayer meetings at their plantations. Methodist and Baptist were the preferred choices of slaves because of its message.
But after slavery blacks were still restricted in the white churches so what they did next is not a surprise. They began to form their churches free from white rulership and exclusion, but kept the doctrine and teachings, but of course with a more lively twist (singing and dancing). It's clear they still had African culture in their hearts. This would mark the beginning of a new American creation, the black church.
The following is a very brief history of religion in Black America:
William J. Seymour - photo#111-yr-2015
Charles Fox Parham an independent holiness evangelist who believed strongly in divine healing, was an important figure in the emergence of Pentecostalism as a distinct Christian movement. But it wasn't until one of his black students named William J. Seymour learned these teaching and took it back to California with him that the Pentecostal movement took off like wildfire.
Seymour's preaching sparked the famous three-year-long Azusa Street Revival in 1906. Worship at the racially integrated Azusa Mission featured an absence of any order of service. (whites would later dislike this) People preached and testified as moved by the Spirit, spoke and sung in tongues, and fell in the Spirit. Blacks whites and other races would attend these services. But there was a matter of Jim Crow to be kept in mind that made it illegal for blacks and whites to mix.
So whites broke away from Seymour and began their Pentecostal churches. It's a fact that the beginning of the widespread Pentecostal movement in the United States is considered to have started with one-eyed black preacher William J. Seymour's Azusa Street Revival.
The Church Of God in Christ (COGIC) -
Church Of God in Christ Baptism
The Church Of God in Christ was formed in 1897 by a group of disfellowshiped Baptists, most notably Charles Price Jones (1865–1949) and Charles Harrison Mason (1866–1961) and is a Pentecostal Christian denomination with a predominantly African-American membership. It ranks as the largest Pentecostal denomination and the fifth largest Christian denomination in the U.S. Evangelical Baptist, and Methodist preachers traveled throughout the South in the Great Awakening of the late 18th century and appealed directly to slaves, and a few thousand slaves converted. Early COGIC leaders were very much attracted by the Pentecostal message and would break from the Baptist for this reason.
A.M.E. Church -
The African Methodist Episcopal Church, usually called the A.M.E. Church, is a predominantly African-American Methodist denomination based in the US. It is the oldest independent Protestant denomination founded by blacks in the world. It was founded by the Rt. Rev. Richard Allen in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in 1816 from several black Methodist congregations in the mid-Atlantic area that wanted independence from white Methodists.
Baptists are individuals who comprise a group of denominations and churches that subscribe to a doctrine that baptism should be performed only for professing believers (believer's baptism, as opposed to infant baptism) and that it must be done by complete immersion (as opposed to affusion or sprinkling). Other tenets of Baptist churches include soul competency (liberty), salvation through faith alone, Scripture alone as the rule of faith and practice, and the autonomy of the local congregation. Baptists recognize two ministerial offices, pastors, and deacons. Baptist churches are widely considered to be Protestant churches, though some Baptists disavow this identity.
An adherent of Islam is called a Muslim. Jews felt like they were chosen people who were promised a land filled with milk and honey, a holy land. This promise was made to Abraham and his seed. Abraham's wife Sarah had trouble conceiving children so to keep the promise alive and in the family she chose Hagar who was an Egyptian handmaid to have sexual relations with Abraham to bear a son, which is what they did. This son's name was Ishmael.
But something happened later that would throw things into a tizzy. At a very old age Sarah was now able to have kids and bore a son named Isaac.
Now here's the problem. Does the promise belong to Sarah's son or Hagar's son? Sarah felt it belonged to her bloodline, so she sent Hagar and Ishmael into the wilderness for them to die. But guess what? They didn't die. Muhammad who was the final prophet sent by God as identified in the Quran was born within Ishmael's seed line.
So even to this day these two groups don't care for each other.
This religion by far has proven to be the most destructive for humankind. Its users have created a world of me, me, me, by magnifying themselves, sincerely believing they are all of that and a bag of chips. Also the belief that spirited competition is healthy and useful. Win at all cost! The survival of the fittest theory. Many genocides were accomplished in the name of science. It teaches us that man originates from apes, (many blacks lost their life because of this false teaching) the earth was created from nothing and in essence humans are their gods. The bad far outweighs the good with the practice of science. Just look around.
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