Recent Posts

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Today / Re: Today
« Last post by Mystic1 on June 21, 2016, 01:35 AM »
bird’s song 
and last cloud fading 
together
these blossoms and I – next spring
perhaps only blossoms
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Haiku, Limerick, Zen, Mookuka And Other Fun Poetry / Re: Haiku Of The Day
« Last post by Mystic1 on June 21, 2016, 12:36 AM »
cherry blossom
on this single petal -
still no regrets
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A-Friends Cafe / Re: Black History
« Last post by A-FRIEND on June 15, 2016, 08:27 PM »
Now that is totally new to me G. I had no clue. Thanks for the info.
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A-Friends Cafe / Re: Black History
« Last post by Mystic1 on June 14, 2016, 03:13 PM »
Grace Wisher, The 13 Year Old African American Girl Who Helped Make The Star Spangled Banner


Mary Pickersgill is often credited with sewing the Star-Spangled Banner which flew over Fort McHenry in Maryland and inspired Francis Scott Key to write our national anthem. Less known is that Grace Wisher, an African American girl at just 13 years old, also helped make the flag. It’s another testament to the deeply rooted, yet oft unmentioned, contributions of African Americans to the very core of this country.

Fragment of original Star Spangled Banner on view as part of “For Whom It Stands” exhibition at the Reginald F. Lewis Museum. Courtesy of the Star Spangled Banner Flag House.

Indenture was a waning practice in early 19th century Baltimore, although Maryland law did allow for courts to take away children of African Americans who were considered “lazy, indolent, and worthless free negroes” to bind the youngsters into apprenticeship. Orphans usually met a similar fate.

The size of the Star-Spangled Banner and its six-week timeline for completion would have necessitated many people working on the flag, including Mary Pickersgill’s three nieces and Grace Wisher. The household also had an enslaved person, whose name we do not know.

The home where Pickersgill and Wisher lived is now a museum called the Star-Spangled Banner Flag House. It holds a 1962 painting by famed Baltimore artist Robert McGill Mackall. The portrait features the Pickersgill household and the three men who commissioned the garrison and storm flags for Fort McHenry: Commodore Joshua Barney, General John Stricker, and Colonel George Armistead. As a tribute to Wisher, the Star-Spangled Banner Flag House drew in a ghost figure into the painting that represents the young girl. Due to our uncertainty of what she looked like, the placeholder is a traced line, but the recognition is tangible.

http://americanhistory.si.edu/blog/2014/05/the-african-american-girl-who-helped-make-the-star-spangled-banner.html
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A-Friends Cafe / Re: Black History
« Last post by Mystic1 on June 14, 2016, 02:42 PM »
This was great. I think Obama and Clinton (With his sax.) should get together next year and do a Soul/Jazz/Funk/R&B/Spoken Word album. I'd buy it. They could make an appearance on The Tonight Show to promote it.  :beatnik :blusmoke
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A-Friends Cafe / Re: Black History
« Last post by A-FRIEND on June 10, 2016, 08:33 PM »
G, you gotta give me feedback on this. I loved it.

https://youtu.be/ziwYbVx_-qg
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A-Friends Cafe / Re: Black History
« Last post by A-FRIEND on June 10, 2016, 07:42 PM »
Great info G. Thanks
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A-Friends Cafe / Re: Black History
« Last post by Mystic1 on June 09, 2016, 02:29 PM »



Two Headed Nightingale


Millie and Christine McKoy were conjoined twins born into slavery, who later became one of the most notable “human oddities” attractions in the world. Billed as the “Two-Headed Girl” and also the “Two-Headed Nightingale,” the McKoy sisters delighted crowds with song and dance performances, as well as reading aloud poetry they wrote together. Although they were born under circumstances that could have defeated them, they managed to carve out an interesting life.

The sisters were born near the town of Whiteville, N.C. on July 11, 1851, to slave parents Jacob and Monemia, who were owned by blacksmith Jabez McKay.

Joined at the lower spine, the twins stood at an angle away from each other. Each sister had her own arms and limbs, although they shared a pelvis. Their mother thought of them as one girl, using the name “Millie-Christine” to refer to both of them. Family members also referred to them as “Sister.”

McKay, aware of what the girls could command from traveling circuses and sideshows, sold the twins for $1,000 to an agent when they were just 10 months old. Before too long, they landed in the possession of merchant Joseph Pearson Smith. Smith hired the girls out on various road shows, giving them the billing of “The Carolina Twins.”

At just 3-years-old, they became a featured attraction in P.T. Barnum’s American Museum in New York. A showman who worked there kidnapped them and shipped them to England where they toured between 1854 and 1855. While there, the girls were subjected to embarrassing public examinations during the exhibitions in order to prove they were truly joined. This invasion of their privacy continued until they reached their teen years.

Smith, along with their mother, went to England in 1856 to retrieve the girls and sued to regain custody. Smith won and returned the girls to North Carolina where they rejoined their family on Smith’s farm. While the rest of the McKoy family worked as slaves, Smith managed the twins’ stage career.

From historical accounts, they were treated well and taught to read, write, and speak several languages by Smith’s wife.

When the Emancipation Proclamation ended slavery in 1863, the twins and their family remained with Smith.

They earned as much as $600 a week – a near fortune at the time and enough money to buy their father a farm in North Carolina. For the next three decades, Smith managed the McKoy twins’ career. They continued to draw huge crowds and increased their notoriety by publishing an autobiography in 1869.

Their fans included British royalty like Queen Victoria, who invited them to Buckingham Palace to perform in 1871. The twins rejoined P.T. Barnum’s traveling circus until their health began to fade. They retired to Columbus County in North Carolina and continued doing charity work for Black schools and churches in the South. They lived the rest of their lives out of the spotight.

When Millie died of tuberculosis in October 1912, doctors gave Christine morphine to help end her life quickly and painlessly. Still, some accounts say that Christine outlived her twin by as many as 17 hours.
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A-Friends Cafe / Re: Black History
« Last post by A-FRIEND on June 07, 2016, 09:39 PM »
You just know this got banned

https://youtu.be/jJyKTilOQXA
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A-Friends Cafe / Re: Black History
« Last post by A-FRIEND on June 05, 2016, 08:56 PM »
Nothing I can say to improve on that G. Well said and thanks for saying it.
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