Musician, Composer, Singer, Bandleader, Film star, Comedian
Louis Daniel Armstrong, born August 4, 1901, nicknamed “Satchmo,” “Pops” and, later, “Ambassador Satch,” was a native of New Orleans, Louisiana. An all-star virtuoso, he came to prominence in the 1920s, influencing countless musicians with both his daring trumpet style and unique vocals. Armstrong’s charismatic stage presence impressed not only the jazz world but all of popular music. He recorded several songs throughout his career, including he is known for songs like “Star Dust,” “La Vie En Rose” and “What a Wonderful World.”
Armstrong was one of the first popular African-American entertainers to “cross over” to wide popularity with white (and international) audiences. He rarely publicly politicized his race, to the dismay of fellow African Americans, but took a well-publicized stand for desegregation in the Little Rock crisis. He was able to access the upper echelons of American society at a time when this was difficult for black men. In 2017, he was inducted into the Rhythm & Blues Hall of Fame.
Russell lived in Springfield, Ohio, until she was 14, at which point her family moved to Columbus for her high school years, her interest in food started at a young age. The dishes of her youth were a mix of soul food and midwestern staples. A young Russell was bitten by the hospitality bug and got her first taste of cooking for others.
In high school, Russell participated in a career academy that first introduced her to the idea of woking in a restaurant as a career. From there she moved to Chicago after high school to attend the cooking and hospitality institute of Chicago (A le cordon bleu school that closed in 2017). Russell has cooked in various places, she agreed to be the chef de cuisine at Rumiko and Kikko which led her in the direction of becoming the first black woman to receive a michelin star. Her work ethic shines through in both her food and leadership.
American Lawyer and Civil Rights Activist
Thurgood Marshall born 2 July 1908, Baltimore, Maryland, United States. Best known as the first African-American Supreme Court justice, played an instrumental role in promoting racial equality during the civil rights movement. As a practicing attorney, Marshall argued a record-breaking 32 cases before the Supreme Court, winning 29 of them. In fact, Marshall represented and won more cases before the high court than any other person. During his 24-year term as Supreme Court justice, Marshall’s passionate support for individual and civil rights guided his policies and decisions. Most historians regard him as an influential figure in shaping social policies and upholding laws to protect minorities.
MADAM C.J. WALKER
Entrepreneur, Philanthropist, and Political and Social Activist
Madam C.J. Walker Born 23 December 1867, Delta, Louisiana, United States created specialized hair products for African American hair care and was one of the first American women to become a self-made millionaire. Madam C.J. Walker invented a line of African American hair products after suffering from a scalp ailment that resulted in her own hair loss. She promoted her products by traveling around the country giving lecture-demonstrations and eventually established Madame C.J. Walker Laboratories to manufacture cosmetics and train sales beauticians. Her business acumen led her to be one of the first American women to become a self-made millionaire. She was also known for her philanthropic endeavors, including a donation toward the construction of an Indianapolis YMCA in 1913. Walker’s life was portrayed in the 2020 TV show Self Made, with Octavia Spencer portraying Walker.
Hope is powerful. It takes up so much of your heart, even when you say you’re going to give up on it. It takes hold of you. It’s in everything you do and everything you see. You hope things will get better, you hope you will succeed, you positive things will last, you hope relationships will last. You hope there’s no discrimination, greed and endangerment to so many people. There’s a lot of hope seeping through us. Even when feeling defeated, don’t give up because things will and can turn around for the better. This world we live in has the good, bad, and everything in-between. Sometimes it feels like the bad out-ways the good, and we feel we should back down. We shouldn’t. We shouldn’t feel intimidated by it, because all it takes is one person’s hope and strength to head us in a better direction. When that hope combined together!! We can make so many changes. It’s already been done, so we’ve got to keep putting it forward. It’s an uphill battle but it’s worth the climb. I hope we can do better. I hope we can be better. I hope one day there will be more good that overtakes the bad.
Written By: @AmaniVHenry
Inspired By: Hope – Emeli Sande
Instagram & Facebook: @AmaniVHenry
“The way to bring about change is to be proactive and active.”
– Octavia Spencer
“Throughout life people will make you mad, disrespect you and treat you bad. Let God deal with the things they do, cause hate in your heart will consume you too.“
– Will Smith
“Do not judge me by my successes, judge me by how many times I fell down and got back up again.“
– Nelson Mandela
If we’ve taken the time to really reflect whilst staying at home, we’ll begin to realise all the things taken for granted. I mean the majority of the time it takes something overwhelming for us to open our eyes (I’m sure there’s many that would say ‘My eyes have always been open’) 😀 and that may be true but unfortunately it takes time for people to get on the same page. They may be slow readers, a picture book kind of person or a turned into a TV Show/Movie kind of person either way they’ll get there and some may even throw the book away. (Let’s get back on track) What I’m getting at what we need to take away is appreciation. Appreciation for the family and friends in our lives. Appreciation for the work people do or are doing to help those that really need it. Appreciation for yourself! And despite the fear and sadness (We’ve had our moments for various reasons) we shouldn’t be afraid to smile and keep others smiling. Spirits are low but we can take it higher. As we are all in it just simply saying I Do.
Written By: @AmaniVHenry
Inspired By: I Do By Aloe Blacc
Instagram & Twitter: @AmaniVHenry
To take the lead can be difficult whether you are a man or a woman. In history, however, it’s been seen that women are less “capable”. There are many arguments as to why but that’s all becoming background noise. The noise we need to be hearing are those that say I’ve got this and actually giving them the support they deserve to prove they do. I often don’t like using that word prove. I won’t prove it, I will simply show you. This will constantly be a debate like many other issues we are facing but by simply giving someone a chance and not being so difficult about their gender, you may learn a thing or two. Like how “capable” they are. I guess easy is simply boring and a challenge is more fun. There are many that will accept that challenge, hasn’t stopped people in the past. We should be equals, for those that push forward for us, we should support and push forward for them.
– Proud Mary –
Taraji P. Henson