Diversity Works! Magazine Black History Month 2007

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Diversity Works! Magazine Black History Month 2007


<p>An official publication of theWinter Edition 2007DiversityWorks!M a g a z i n eUrban League=Vol ume 2 I ssue 1Did You Hear What I Think I Said: The Impact of Nonverbal Communication onCorporate DiversityBuilding a Solid Family Foundation andSuccessful BusinessRemembering Our LegendsAfrican American Quilting: A Legacy=Urban LeagueSan Diego CountyEmpowering Communities.Changing Lives.An Affiliate of the National Urban Leaguecontents16. African American History -- Black InventorsColors of Inovation - Thomas L. Jennings,born in 1791, is believed to have been... 20. History of the African American Quilt - The his-tory of the quilt as it pertains to ...28. Building A Solid Family Foundation andSuccessful Business - As a husband, father andbusiness owner...29. Freeing Our Families From GenerationalPoverty - If your childhood was anything likemine, you grew up...32. Black Families: A Need to Look at Our Past,Present and Future - While traveling throughEurope, Africa and ...35. Black Business Association of San Diego Makes its Professional Debut - The Urban League ofSan Diego County welcomes the newly...36. Strategies For Cross-Generational RelationshipBuilding - Here we highlight what we thinkare the best ways to push past generational...38. Diversity Works! Employer Partners - As one ofover 57000 employers in the region...4. Message from the Publisher4. Message from the President/CEO6. Editor-in-Chief -- Speak Your Legacy8. Remembering Our Legends - The final months of2006, called on Americans to take...10. NUL -- History of the National Urban League - TheNational Urban League, which has played so...12. Black Inventions and Inventors - Biscuit Cutter, A.P.Ashbourne; Super Soaker, Lonnie Johnson...13. FYI -- how much do you know about your history - How much do you know about your BlackHistory?...14. Book Review - Los Angeles, CA) - Africans andAfrican Americans have been overlooked...15. Black History Facts - How much do you knowabout African-Americans past and present?...CREDITSPublisher - Maurice D. WilsonEditor-in-Chief - Pamela S. PerkinsManaging Editor - Sheri L. WilliamsAssistant Editor - Paulette Bartley-RoysterResearch &amp; Development Manager - NJ MitchellLayout &amp; Design - Graphics by DesignPhotographer - Larry MorganCover Design - Graphics by DesignCover Design Concept - NJ MitchellContributing Writers - P.S. Perkins, NJ Mitchell, Wil CasonWalter Davis, S. L. WoodsNonverbal Communicationwithin the corporate culture isoften overlooked and/or under-valued in its impact upon thehealth of the organization.Communication Practitionersoften cite that NonverbalCommunication accounts for asmuch as 93 percent of an indi-vidual's believability.DiversityWorks!Cover Story22. The Impact of Nonverbal Communication4 Black History MonthBlack History is American History!!!We dedicate this issue of Diversity Works! Magazine to the history and contributions of of a people integral to estab-lishing the United States as the superpower she is today. Black History IS U.S. American History.There are a plethora of Black History Month activities in the schools, churches, organizations and associations of San Diego, but from a birds eye view, you might not know it. While this may because for concern, I am not in a panic. Black History Month as an observance originated by Carter G. Woodson wasnot an attempt to award special recognition to some and not to others, but a noble effort to remind all of us of the significant contributions of a specific culture to the incredible fabric of American pluralism. We can not separate BlackHistory from American History or World History. It is the very circumstance of imperialistic domination and theresulting enslavement of African people that placed America in the economic superpower status it enjoys today--theresult of 400 hundred years of free and cheap labor. Yes, the legacy continues.We must teach our youth that although none of us are proud of the past, we are ready to moveforward with mutual respect and forgiveness - forgiveness of those who sold and bought us, aswell as the lingering effects of self-enslavement. Our discussions of the past should not be relegated to one day, one week, or one month.Our history helps us to live boldly in our present and move hopefully into our future. Thedialogue and healing between the many cultures that comprise the American experience islong overdue.Making Diversity Work is first understanding how events from the past shape ourfuture. Let us go forward in the spirit of conciliation and celebration in our common her-itage of building this great nation and the contributions of Black Americans to that lega-cy - past, present and future! Maurice Wilson, PublisherAs I travel around I am often asked, How is the League doing? My response is, "Like allother non-profits we have our challenges, primarily fiscally in the area of fund raising." Inthe face of ever-changing societal needs and concerns, new funding mandates and fluctuatingsponsor support, the Urban League finds itself where most service agencies are - in a state offlux, a state of transition. We are transitioning from a 53-year-old social service organization try-ing to do business, to a business that does social service work. This is wholly different from howwe operated and pursued funds in the past although our mission and purpose has notchanged. To put it succinctly, we are re-engineering the Urban League of San Diego Countyfrom Good to Great!We often suffer from a lack of historical understanding of who and what the Urban League is. Many challengeour existence but are unaware of the many lives we have touched and helped. Please do not pass over the article in thisissue declaring the wonderful legacy of our national agency. Many believe that institutions such as ours have outlastedtheir usefulness. I say, they do not understand the collective importance of our heritage and continual efforts to evolve. This brings me to my message on Black History Month: If our actions are based upon assumptions of others, then before we draw conclusions we should get to know the truthfirst. And because many are not aware of factual American history, they operate on assumptions, biases, and unrealisticperceptions. This causes a breakdown in our willingness to understand, show compassion and reason towards one anoth-er. It also leads to indifference, fear and discrimination.As with the existence of the Urban League, many are challenging the need for Black History Month. I say we need it nowmore than ever because many are not only forgetting our past, but there are energies around us causing us to repeat ourpast. Black Nationalist Marcus Garvey once stated, AMan without a history is like a tree without roots. Knowing aboutthe past accomplishments of African Americans overrides the belief that they and other Black and Brown Ethnic-Americansmade no contributions to the development of our nation.On the contrary, if you take a little time to do some research, you will find that African Americans played a significantrole in making America the superpower she is today through the harshest of times. This month, take every opportunityto learn more about them. I leave you with a quote from Hispanic philosopher George Santayana, Those who cannotremember the past are doomed to repeat it. Let's not forget our REALAmerican history. Learn the truth that sets us ALLfree and don't dwell negatively on the past.Cecil Steppe, PresidentHow Are WE Doing?6 Black History MonthEditor-in-ChiefWelcome to the winter edition of Diversity Works!Magazine. It is an exciting time to witness the vastcontributions of African Americans and other EthnicAmericans to the economic, political, religious andsocial affairs of U.S. American history. In this issue wecelebrate the contributions of Blacks to technology,innovation and invention. We celebrate a legacy ofresilience. There is a lot to be grateful for as well as mat-ters to be concerned about. Not since Post-Reconstruction have African Americans been able tomake the type of socio-political and economic gains ofthe past three decades. With the recent win ofDemocrats to the House and the Senate, we now sit insome of the most important seats of decision-making inthe history of Black political achievement. We are expe-riencing unprecedented contributions to the fields ofBiotechnology, Neuroscience, Aeronautics, Medicine,Sports, City Planning, Waste Management,Entertainment, Education and the list continues. I encourage Black families to sit down with their chil-dren and surf the net for the astounding contributionswe are making in every arena of American life; if we donot, our children will continue to be fed what appears tobe an inexhaustible supply of negative images andstereotypes of Black culture. I am purposefully notincluding a list of our heroes and sheroes, because our"people are destroyed for lack of knowledge"! Do yourhomework and find out why we are the most resilientpeople on the planet. If you do not know who you areor whose you are, there are thousands of people linedup to tell you who you are not! Which brings me to themain point of my letter todayWho are you? Who or what are you named after?Does your name have a meaning? Are you aware that itis a tradition of many Jewish families to name theirchild after the 8th day of their lives so that they mayknow the spirit of the child before they name them andthus mark them for life with a word that will followthem forever? Naming and Identity are incredibly com-plex issues for people of African descent here in theAmericas due to the scourge of slavery and its identitydestroying legacy. How many young fathers and mothersbrand their children with exotic, ethnic sounding namesnot possessing a clue as to what that name means IF ithas a meaning. What about nicknames like Killer orMonster? Where are the names of our AfricanAncestors or the African American forefathers and fore-mothers? How are we keeping their legacies alive?What about personal identity and the urban identifica-tion with pimps, thugs, ho's and "bit@#*#? Have we soquickly forgotten the very recent fallout of the "N" wordblast across the airwaves of media around the GLOBEby a citizen of our own country - the one we built brickby brick? But of course, he used the same word or aderivative of the same word invoked by some Blackfolks in every corner of the nation. What's the problem? The problem is the POWER of naming and identifica-tion. What you name, you claim! We hear this preachedfrom many a pulpit on any given day of the week, butwe pour forth into the streets spewing toxic garbagefrom our mouths continuing the defeatist legacy thatmany of our children are adopting. "He who owns thewords, owns everything!" Do you own any words?What words do you use to define yourself and thosewithin your community? Could there be a connectionbetween our naming and the destructive conditions thatexist within our communities? Until we recognize ourGod-given source of power- the WORD - and its impacton our community health, we will continue to bury alegacy of hope, endurance, brilliance, sacrifice, love andcourage under a pile of self-hate so high we could notdig out of it if we wanted to. Do youwant to claim your rightful her-itage? Do you want our communi-ty to be "transformed by renewingits mind"? Celebrate BlackHistory Month by reclaimingyour incredible legacy! Speakthe word of healing today andclaim it for yourself and yourpeople. Otherwise, there'salways the "N" word -NOBODY, NOTHING,NADA!. </p> <p>Diversity Works 78 Black History MonthI'm Black and I'm ProudSay It Loud.The final months of 2006, called on Americans to take a moment and reflect on the legacy of two great public figures. As I ponder the lega-cy they leave behind, I remember their immortal words that have left an indelible mark on my psyche. 38th President Gerald Ford calledfor "ATime of Healing" during the Watergate scandal, a time when the nation felt deeply shocked and betrayed. The other soul thatdanced into our lives sliding across our hearts was the Godfather of Soul, James Brown. I will never ever forget, his call to "Say it Loud; I'mBlack and I'm Proud!" It changed my world. As I began to think about their legacy and recall the numbers that have transitioned over the pasttwo years within the African American community, during this celebration of Black History Month I thought it time to remember and pay hom-age to a legacy that speaks volumes about a people of faith, resilience and PRIDE! The origins of Black History Month can be traced to 1926,when Harvard-educated Black historian Carter G. Woodson founded Negro History Week to celebrate the history, contributions and cultureof African-Americans. Woodson chose the second week in February for the new festival to link the celebrations to the birth dates of Blackactivist Frederick Douglass (February 7, 1817) and President Abraham Lincoln (February 12, 1809). Fifty years later, as part of the American bi-centennial celebrations in 1976, the week was expanded to become National Black History month. Happy Black History Month!Remembering Our Legends James Brown (1933-2006), TheGodfather of Soul, before his transitioncelebrated 50 years in Showbiz. SAY ITLOUD, I'M BLACK AND I'M PROUD! Coretta Scott King (1927-2005), the wifeof Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. FirstLady of the Civil Rights Movement Richard Pryor (1940-2005), King ofComedy/Actor Legend. In the 70's hewrote comedy for Mel Brooks and LilyTomlin. His 1982 album "Live on theSunset Strip" is considered by many tobe his masterpiece. In 1988 he was thefirst recipient of the Mark Twain MarkHumor Award Rosa Parks (1913-2005), Mother of theCivil Right Movement, she was 42 yearsyoung on December 1, 1955. She wasnot any more tired that day than anyother day, but in her own words "theonly tired I was, was tired of giving in",on that day, she refused to give up herseat to a white man John H. Johnson (1918-2005), Founder&amp; Chairman of Johnson PublishingCompany, Inc, "Failure is a word that Idon't accept", read his best selling auto-biography Succeeding Against the Odds Luther Vandross (1951-2005) Lutha,R&amp;B Superstar, many famous songsincluding: "Here and Now" Johnnie L.Cochran Jr.(1937-2005),Famed Attorney and Law Legend, wasone of the most sought after lawyers inthe United States Wilson Pickett (1941-2006) R&amp;B/Rock&amp; Roll and Soul Singer. Inducted intothe Roc...</p>


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