Groundbreaking – breaking new ground; innovative; pioneering.
Hattie McDaniel became one of the first African American women to sing on radio by the 1920s. She became the first African American to win an oscar for her supporting role as Mammy in “Gone with the Wind” in 1940. An amazing feat seeing as though all of the film’s black actors were barred from attending the film’s premiere held in Atlanta, Ga.
McDaniel underwent scrutiny from the black community. They believed the she further perpetuated the stereotype of the African American as nothing more than a menial worker. However, by 1947, she starred on CBS radio’s The Beulah Show. Although she played a maid she managed to use her talents to break racial stereotypes.
Unfortunately, McDaniel suffered a heart attack around the same time they began filming a television version of the show. Actress Louise Beavers took over her role, which had initially been played by Ethel Waters.
McDaniel has been posthumously awarded two stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in addition to being inducted into the Black Filmmakers Hall of Fame. Is there any reason to think anything other than groundbreaking when you think of Hattie McDaniel?
I did my best, and God did the rest. – Hattie McDaniel
Determined – having made a firm decision and being resolved not to change it.
When I think of Mr. Medgar Evers I think of determination, because he was determined to fight against racial inequality in the United States.
As an NAACP field secretary he became a target for those who were against racial equality and desegregation in America. As the first state field secretary of the NAACP in Mississippi, he recruited members throughout the state, as well as organized voter-registration efforts, demonstrations, and boycotts of white-owned companies that practiced discrimination.
Evers also worked to investigate crimes committed against blacks, the most well-known being the lynching of Emmett Till (14-year-old African-American boy who had allegedly been killed for talking to a white woman).
Because of his activism, he became one of the most well-known civil rights figures in the state of Mississippi, leading to threats and violent action against both he and his family. Mr. Evers was shot in the back in the driveway of his home in Jackson and died less than an hour later.
His wife, Myrlie continued to search for new evidence in the case of her husband’s murder since Beckwith, his murderer had been set free after two all-white juries deadlocked. In 1990, he was indicted for Evers’ murder and in 1994, nearly 31 years after Evers’ death, he was convicted and sentenced to life in prison.
Today, we thank Mr. Evers for his fight for racial equality. His determination inspires me to never give up and always see the bigger picture. Our country needs determined people like Mr. Evers and his wife Myrlie.
You can kill a man but you can’t kill an idea. – Medgar Evers
Bold – (of a person, action, or idea) showing an ability to take risks; confident and courageous.
Angela Davis. Talk about bold. Angela Davis is an educator and activist who became known for her involvement in a politically charged murder case in the early 70s. She knew about racial prejudice from her life experiences in Alabama, and as a teenager, she organized interracial study groups, that were broken up by the police.
Davis became a professor at UCLA, but loss favor with administration due to her ties with the Black Panther Party and communism. Although she was fired, she fought them in court and got her job back, but chose not to return when her contract expired.
Davis was brought up on charges in connection with an escape attempt made for George Lester Jackson. He and other prisoners had been accused of the murder of a prison guard, although it is believed that they were used as scapegoats because of their political involvement in prison.
After 18 months in jail, Angela Davis was acquitted in June 1972. After some time traveling and lecturing, she returned to teaching and teaches courses on the history of consciousness.
What this country needs is more unemployed politicians. – Angela Davis