Black History Month: February 2023
To recall and celebrate the positive contributions to our nation made by people of African descent, American historian Carter G. Woodson established Black History Week beginning on Feb. 12, 1926. In 1976, as part of the nation's bicentennial, the week was expanded into Black History Month.
TODAY'S SPOTLIGHT ON
With sales of over 250 million records worldwide, Rihanna is the second-best-selling female music artist of all time. She has earned 14 number-ones and 31 top-ten singles in the US and 30 top-ten entries in the UK. Her accolades include nine Grammy Awards, 13 American Music Awards (including the Icon Award), 12 Billboard Music Awards, six Guinness World Records, the NAACP's President's Award, and an Academy Award nomination. Time named her one of the 100 most influential people in the world in 2012 and 2018. Forbes ranked her among the top ten highest-paid celebrities in 2012 and 2014. As of 2022, she is the wealthiest female musician, with an estimated net worth of $1.4 billion.
- Robyn Rihanna Fenty was born on February 20, 1988, in Saint Michael, Barbados. She is the daughter of accountant Monica (née Braithwaite) and warehouse supervisor Ronald Fenty.
- She has two biological brothers, two half-sisters, and a half-brother.
- RiRi attended army cadets when she was at school, and her drill sergeant was singer Shontelle.
- At age 15, she won a talent show by singing “Hero” by Mariah Carey.
- In 2003 alongside two classmates, she formed a girl band in Barbados.
- Rihanna was discovered by record producer Evan Rodgers in the Barbados in 2003. Her demo tapes were sent to Def Jam Records, and it was Jay-Z who listened and signed her.
- Rihanna’s debut album “Music of the Sun” was released in August 2005, which reached number 10 on the Billboard 200 list, and over two million copies were sold worldwide.
- She was ranked number eight on Maxim’s Hot 100 Women list in 2007.
- In 2007 Rihanna was given the honorary title of “Ambassador for Culture and Youth” for Barbados.
- Rihanna won her first Grammy Award for her hit with Jay-Z, “Umbrella.”
- In 2011 her hit “S&M” became her tenth number-one single to get onto the Billboard list.
- At age 23, she was the youngest artist to have had ten number ones featured on Billboard.
- In May 2019, Fenty fashion was launched under Louis Vuitton, which made Rihanna the first woman of color to have a luxury fashion brand.
- Rihanna has 25 known tattoos, she got her first one back in 2006, which was a musical note on her foot.
- Rihanna performed live for the first time in years during halftime of 2023 Super Bowl LVII. Her representative later confirmed to the AP that she is pregnant with her second child.
(Source: The Fact Site)
- Rihanna on constantly being in the media: "I don't do things for the response or for the controversy. I just live my life."
- Rihanna on following your heart: "I always believed that when you follow your heart or your gut, when you really follow the things that feel great to you, you can never lose, because settling is the worst feeling in the world."
- Rihanna on God working things out: "God just has a way of working things out the way he wants to and you have no say in that."
- Rihanna on taking risks: "I take risks because I get bored. And I get bored very easily."
Rihanna on being a black woman: [“I’m a black woman. I come from a black woman, who came from a black woman, who came from a black woman and I’m gonna give birth to a black woman. And so, it doesn’t even…it’s a no brainer. That’s who I am, it’s the core of who I am in spirit and in DNA. And, I’d always stand up for what I believe in and who I love and who I know, who I respect. My mother raised me to be an incredible woman and she’s a strong incredible example of what to be and how to fight obstacles in life. And, I’m sure her mom has also taught her. And, that’s how I’m gonna be. We’re impeccable. We are impeccable. We’re special and the world is just gonna have to deal with that.”] SOUNDCUE (:39 OC . . . deal with that)
Rihanna accepts the President's Award at NAACP Image Awards:
["I'm lucky I was able to start the Clara Lionel foundation in 2012, and if there's any thing that I've learned, it's that we can only fix this world together. We can't do it divided. I cannot emphasize that enough. We can't let desensitivity seep. The, if it's your problem then it's not mine. It's a woman's problem, it's a black people problem, it's a poor people problem. I mean, how many of us in this room have colleagues and partners and friends from other races,'s sexes, religion, show of hands. You know, they want to break bread with you, right? They like you? Well then, this is their problem too. So when we are marching and protesting and posting about the Michael Brown Juniors and the Atatiana Jeffersons of the world, tell your friends to pull up. Thank you to the naacp for all of your efforts to ensure equality for our communities. Thank you for celebrating our strength and tenacity. We have been denied opportunities since the beginning of time, and still we prevail. So I am honored. Imagine what we could do together. Thank you for this honor."] SOUNDCUE (1:45 OC . . . for this honor)
In 2014, Rihanna opened up about winning a Grammy win for Best Urban Contemporary Album for her record, Unapologetic ["I was so shocked. Really. I was at home and one of my friends hit me and said 'You just won a Grammy.' And I was like 'What?' And when I went on the internet, I just saw Unapologetic. It was an emotional moment, surprisingly. But I, I was in shock. I'm excited. It's still . . . it was a good feeling to still be that excited at this point in my career."] SOUNDCUE (:20 . . . in my career)
TODAY IN BLACK HISTORY:
- In 1635, America's first public school, the Boston Latin School, opened in Boston. Black students were excluded from attending.
- In 1907, Wendell P. Dabney establishes The Union. The Cincinnati, Ohio paper's motto is "For no people can become great without being united, for in union there is strength."
- In 1920, Andrew "Rube" Foster organized the National Association of Professional Baseball Clubs (Negro League), the first black baseball league.
- In 1923, The first Black professional basketball team "The Renaissance" organized.
- In 1957, Southern Christian Leadership Conference organized at New Orleans meeting with Martin Luther King Jr. as president.
- In 1965, Malcolm X’s home in New York City was bombed. He and his family were not hurt and he decided to keep a longstanding speaking commitment at Detroit, arriving the next day to give the presentation below. This proved however to be his last public appearance. One week later on February 21, Malcolm was killed as he began to give a presentation in Harlem.
- In 1970, The New York Stock Exchange admits its first Black member, Joseph Searles.
BLACK HISTORY MONTH QUESTION OF THE DAY:
Stripped of his heavyweight title in 1967 for refusing induction into the U.S. military, Muhammad Ali regained the heavyweight championship on October 30, 1974, in Kinshasa, Zaire (present-day Democratic Republic of the Congo), with an eighth-round knockout of which prizefighter?
A) George Foreman
B) Joe Frazier
C) Leon Spinks
The answer is B) George Foreman. Ali defended his title in a famous 15-round victory over Frazier on October 1, 1975, in the Philippines. Ali relinquished the crown to Olympic champion Spinks in a 15-round decision on February 15, 1978, in Las Vegas, Nevada.
BLACK HISTORY MONTH FACT OF THE DAY:
Reggae: Reggae music was first heard in the 1960s in Kingston, Jamaica. Its beats were inspired by R&B, African and ska rhythms. Lyrics were highly-political and often about the Rastafarian religious movement popular among many Jamaicans. Legendary musician Bob Marley & The Wailers helped popularize the sound around the world. Today's reggae stars include Vybez Kartel, Movado and Sean Paul who offer up a mix of hip-hop and reggae known as dancehall.
BLACK HISTORY MONTH SPOTLIGHT: PATRICK MAHOMES
On February 12th, 2023, Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes became the first Black quarterback in NFL history to win more than one Super Bowl with his compelling 38-35 victory over the Philadelphia Eagles. Previously, Mahomes led the Chiefs to victory against the San Francisco 49ers at the 2019 Super Bowl. In addition, Mahomes and Eagles' quarterback Jalen Hurts are the youngest starting quarterback pair in Super Bowl history. The two were also the first Black quarterbacks to play against each other in the Super Bowl since the league's inception.