Noted Sculptor Ed Dwight to Appear at Educator's Open House Scheduled at
DuSableMuseum on Wednesday, October 3, 2007 Wednesday September
CHICAGO, IL--(MARKET WIRE)--Sep
26, 2007 -- In conjunction with the DuSable Museum of African American History's current attendance record-breaking exhibition,
"In The Hands of African American Collectors: The Personal Treasures of Bernard and Shirley Kinsey," the Museum will present
an Educator's Open House with very special guest, the noted sculptor Ed Dwight, on Wednesday, October 3, 2007 from 4:00 PM
until 6:00 PM. The event will take place at the Museum which is located at 740 East 56th Place (57th Street at South Cottage Grove Avenue) in
Self-guided tours of the Museum; a "blues history vignette" by acclaimed
bluesman Fernando Jones; information on available Museum resources and a special presentation by sculptor Ed Dwight are all
on-tap for this event which is open to all Chicagoland educators, grades pre-school through high school.
A man whose resume reads: former Air Force Test Pilot, America's first African American Astronaut Trainees, computer systems engineer, aviation consultant, restaurateur,
real estate developer, and construction entrepreneur can best be described as a true "renaissance man." Ed Dwight has succeeded
in all these areas. However, for the last twenty-five years, he has focused his direction on fine art and sculpture projects
and since his art career began in 1976, Dwight has become one of the most prolific and insightful sculptors in America.
All teachers and educators who participate in the Educator's Open House
will receive: two (2) CPDUs and a 20% discount in the Museum Store. Light refreshments will be served. In addition, the first
twenty-five educators to register will receive a complimentary copy of the curriculum guide, "Making Connections."
For more information or to register for The Educators Workshop please
call 773-947-0600 ext.225, or 255. The Educators Workshop is FREE to all educators and school personnel.
The Educators Workshop is sponsored by Kraft Foods with additional support
provided by the Chicago Park District, Illinois Arts Council, Clear Channel Radio and United Airlines, the official airline
of the DuSableMuseum.
The DuSable Museum of African American History, one of the oldest institutions
of its kind in the country, has been dedicated to the collection, preservation, interpretation and dissemination of the history
and culture of Africans and Americans of African descent for 46 years. For more information on the Museum and its programs,
please call (773) 947-0600 or you may visit our website at www.dusablemuseum.org.
Story 2. Mountain
View Colored Officers Club located at Fort Huachuca, AZ.
Sierra Vista Herald:Sunday, October 8, 2006 Last modifiedSunday, September 24, 2006 10:39 PM MDT
Fort Huachuca's Myer Elementary School Principal Connie Johnson talks with Lee
N. Coffee Jr., the guest speaker at Saturday's Third Annual Gala Fund-raiser held by the Southwest Association of Buffalo
Soliders. Coffee, an author, talked about the history of black patriots from pre-Revolutionary War days to the present at
the event to raise funds to save the post's World War II Mountain View Colored Officers Club. (By Bill Hess-Herald/Review)
Pascua Yaqui Tribe gives $50,000 to help save historic building
By Bill Hess
FORT HUACHUCA — For years members of the Southwest Association of Buffalo
Soldiers have been working to save the World War II Mountain View Colored Officers Club on this southeastern Army Post.
Saturday night the group received its first major donation from the Pascua Yaqui Tribe when the
tribal chairwoman announced a $50,000 gift.
In February Association President Tom Stoney Sr., made a pitch to the tribe
and Wednesday he was called back to answer more questions from the tribal council’s 11 members.
Stoney had no
idea the tribe would make a decision so fast.
Tribal Chairwoman Herminia Frias made the surprise announcement after
Arizona Democratic Gov. Janet Napolitano spoke.
“We are helping preserve history,” Frias said of the donation,
which will officially be given to the Sierra Vista city government to manage. The formal presentation will be soon.
deciding to provide some of the tribe’s revenue sharing funds to help save the club was easy, she said.
(Stoney) captured the tribal council’s heart,” Frias said.
When she announced the tribal council’s
unanimous approval, the nearly 300 people at the Third Annual Gala Fund-raiser to save the World War II Mountain View Colored
Officers Club, were on their feet giving the chairwoman and the tribe a standing ovation.
Napolitano, who had spent
Saturday traveling around Cochise County as part of her reelection campaign, stayed away from partisan politics during her
comments at the gala.
In the audience were Republicans and Democrats who are seeking election. Both parties have been
supporting the effort to keep part of the post history involving black soldiers alive.
Saying she was honored to be
at the gala — although she had to leave early to attend another event — Napolitano wanted to personally thank
the men and women “who serve and train here to serve our country.”
Saving the old club is part of the ensuring
the history of black soldiers who served during World War II will be recognized, the governor said.
During that war,
more than 40,000 soldiers were trained to be part of the Army’s two black infantry divisions, the 92nd and the 93rd,
both of which saw combat, one in Europe and the other in the Pacific, she said.
Black WACs were also trained at the
post, Napolitano added.
Since the days after the Civil War, black soldiers have provided settler protection and that
included those assigned to the post, she said.
Ten percent of Arizona’s population of 6 million are veterans,
with many returning to the state “because it is a great place to live,” Napolitano said.
The state owes
veterans a debt, she said, and that is being paid off by the construction of another home for veterans in Tucson and the construction
of a third state-operated cemetery in northern Arizona. The state and the U.S. government entered into an agreement, which
led to federal funds being used to build a veterans’ cemetery in Sierra Vista, which will be operated and maintained
by the state.
Another thing that is important is the important economic base Fort Huachuca provides, the governor said.
the support of the local people and others in the state, Arizona was able to come up with a joint vision and advocacy to ensure
the state’s military installations were not impacted by the last Base Realignment and Closure Commission round, she
Fort Huachuca’s legacy in the state is one that cannot be allowed to disappear, Napolitano said, as she
promised continued support for the post and the Southwest Association of Buffalo Soldiers drive to save the old officers’
Looking at Stoney, Napolitano said she expects she will be soon receiving another letter asking for her support.
silently responded in the affirmative by nodding his head up and down.
The association’s president said the Army
Corps of Engineers has approved a lease, which the group intends to sign soon, and that work on establishing a foundation
to go forward with a major fund-raising effort is in process.
Building 66050, which was the only structure built during
the war specifically as a club for black officers, and which has been used for many other functions has been boarded up for
years and nearly went down to a wrecking ball in 2002.
Harlan Bradford Sr., chairman of the association’s board
of directors, said there is too much history to allow the structure to be demolished.
The gala’s theme this year
was “Open My Doors Once Again,” and it will be a multi-million dollar effort.
During World War II, the
club was the scene of shows put on by many entertainers — Lena Horne, Duke Ellington, Dinah Shore and Louis Armstrong.
The post also was where boxer Joe Louis demonstrated his skills.
Entertainment Saturday night was provided by Joe Anton
and his Desert Swing, a musical group that played the sounds of the big band era of World War II.
The Sierra Vista
Community Chorus also performed a number of songs made popular by Horne.
One of them — “Stormy Weather,”
Horne’s signature song — was sung by chorus member Phyllis Andrews.
The club needs to be saved as a national
treasure, not just one important to the black community, guest speaker and author Lee Coffee Jr., told the audience.
worthy cause,’” said the retired medical first sergeant.
When he first enlisted in the Army, he said he
did not know that much about the history of what black soldiers have done for the United States.
But when he was assigned
to Fort Sill, Okla., he visited a post museum that was dedicated to the history of America’s western movement after
the Civil War.
It was in that museum he saw a display of a Buffalo Soldier of the 10th Cavalry, the unit so named after
the sacred animal by Native Americans.
After leaving the museum he went to the post library and checked out six books
about black soldiers.
When he left the museum, “I stood an inch taller,” he said of the budding knowledge
of the history of blacks who have served in America’s armed forces.
It makes no difference what blacks have been
called throughout America’s history — colored, Negro, Afro-American, African-American — what is important
is how they have responded to the call when the nation was in need, Coffee said.
Throughout the nation’s history,
and even before the 4th of July in 1776, blacks have been patriotic, he said.
To blacks, “duty, honor and courage”
is more than a motto; it is part of their being, as it is for all who serve in the nation’s military, Coffee said.
a speech with some humorous personal asides, he went through the trial and tribulations of those who served in every war the
nation has fought.
Most of the time, the blacks were in segregated units and recognition for their valor never came,
or when it did, it was decades after their brave acts, he said.
But, still they soldiered on, Coffee added.
are some wrongs that were done yesterday that we can’t correct today,” Coffee said.
What is important is
knowing those wrongs will not be repeated, he added
However, perhaps some wrongs will be corrected with the saving
of Building 66050, the noted author Buffalo Soldier historian said.
Although the former Mountain View Colored Officers
Club is only a shell, a shadow of what it once was, its history is tied to the nation, especially during those early and dark
days of World War II, Coffee said.
There is only one black officers club from that period that can live on, the author
Many people do not know that the Alamo in San Antonio, Texas, almost was demolished, said Coffee, who calls San
From its beginnings in the early 1700s , it served as a mission, a fort, warehouse and grocery store
and it was only through willpower of people with a vision that the important part of Texas history was saved, Coffee said.
same can be what will happen for Building 66050, he added.
The history of the club is directly tied to Arizona and
Dec. 7, 1941, the speaker remarked.
The nation lost a battleship named after the state when the Japanese attacked that
fateful Sunday more than 60 years ago.
“The history of the USS Arizona is directly tied to Fort Huachuca and
tied to the officers club,” Coffee said.
The club’s history is part of the fort, and although Sierra Vista
didn’t exist in those days, it is part of Sierra Vista today, Coffee said.
What needs to be done to save the
fort is “to combine jubilation, exhilaration, motivation and determination,” he said
Coffee said the question
that only each individual can answer when it comes to ensuring the club is saved is: “What can I do?”
I can't remember the name of the Buffalo Soldier
presenter at Pistor Middle School who asked me to email, but...just for the record, I'm an award winning former reporter
for both the Chicago Sun Times and Arizona Daily Star and a screenwriter, now serving as part time story
editor for Epiphany Pictures in Los Angeles, which means I choose which movies get read by the producers there.
A close friend and mentor is also assisting me in completing a script for production next year.
As for my family history and experiences in Native
America, we're Black Creeks on my mother's side, and I married a Hopi artist, and lived on his reservation for 8 years.
We have a daughter who combines the two cultures beautifully--here's a picture of her, too. I have gone on the week
long Little Big Horn Memorial Ride with the Lakota as well, and know that they harbor real bitterness against the Buffalo
Soldiers for their part in several military actions in that area. However, at Ft. Defiance, and on Hopi, Buffalo Soldiers
are remembered with deep love--there used to be a museum on the Apache rez that had lots of historical photos, one of which
had been blown up to "mural" size, of Buffalo Soldiers with little Apache kids on their laps. But that museum burned
down several years ago, taking all that wonderful stuff with it.
Apparently the Black soldiers were sent among
these people during a very bad epidemic of some sort that threatened to wipe out Hopi and several neighboring Native villages.
Many older Hopis told me, when I first got there, that they remembered being fed by the soldiers because they'd been so close
to starving before they got there. And the Navajos, apparently, had been taking this opportunity to raid them and steal
their crops--and some of their kids--for a long time. The soldiers protected and nursed them, and they think Black people
are kind and also very "smart," they'll tell you. I was met with open arms, but they also called me, "Castila," the
Hopi word for "Castillian," or "Black Spaniard." When I asked why, they told me about a Black katsina (the Hopi
way of saying and spelling kachina), with woolly hair, who represents Esteban the Moor, the man who was killed by the Zuni's
for his arrogance. You know his story. They said they were very relieved to find that the Black soldiers were
nothing like him. But the name for Black Spaniard is still what they call you up there. I can't remember the name
of the katsina, but I have seen him "dance."
On my Dad's side, we know that our first American
ancestor was a white indentured servant who left England in 1698 aboard the ship Barbadoes, looking for a
better life. As far as we can tell, there were no slaves there, either. All first born males are named for the
Englishman, Samuell, in his honor, as opposed to being forced to do so. From what we can tell, neither side of our family
were slaves--my Mom's people did share crop, briefly, but bought their land later, and forever refused to even work for white
people, once they'd done that.
One of my teachers, you should also know, was
Mamie Till Mobley, the mother of Emmett Till, the Chicago teenager who was lynched
for whistling at a white woman. The attached article just appeared in Educational Leadership, a magazine read
by millions of administrators, and I was showered with letters about it this week. Mamie went on to write books, plays
and to be featured in many documentaries about the Civil Rights Movement. But to me, she'll always be Miz Mobley, my
fifth grade inspiration.
An African American woman from Charleston, South Carolina, will soon make an historic homecoming visit to the West African nation of Sierra Leone.
Mrs. Thomalind Martin Polite and her daughter Fait
Photo by Rick McKee/charlestonphotographer.com
Mrs. Thomalind Martin Polite, a 31 year old speech
therapist, has a unique story to tell. Thomalind is the 7th generation descendant of Priscilla, a 10 year old girl taken on
the slave ship Hare from Sierra Leone to South Carolina in 1756. Very few African Americans can trace their family history
for 250 years, but even fewer can identify a specific ancestor from Africa and know where in that vast continent he or she
came from. Thomalind homecoming is, thus, important for Sierra Leoneans who will be delighted to receive their long-lost kinsman
from America and for black Americans who will share in her joy at finding her ancestral home in Africa.
journey to Africa in May, 2005 will be called Priscilla Homecoming
in honor of the little girl who survived the Middle Passage” the Hare torturous voyage across the Atlantic ”
then endured another 55 years of slavery in America.
Tuskegee Airmen Lt. Col. Wheeler Reminds Nation at Convocation: "We're Standing on Their Shoulders"
News Release: Feb. 28, 2005 Tuskegee Airmen Lt. Col. Wheeler Reminds Nation at Convocation: "We're Standing on Their
TUSKEGEE UNIVERSITY, AL - (February 28, 2005) ; On Thursday, Feb. 24, Tuskegee University honored America's
first Black fighter pilots ; the legendary Tuskegee Airmen ; during its annual Tuskegee Airmen Convocation in the University
Chapel. The event recognized the Tuskegee Airmen's exemplary combat performance during World War II, including
the destruction of 260 enemy aircraft, earning more than 850 medals and persuading then-U.S. President Harry S. Truman in
1948 to issue Executive Order 9981, desegregating the U.S. Military. From 1940 to 1946, some 1,000 Black pilots were trained
at Tuskegee. The keynote speaker was one of the original Tuskegee Airmen, retired Lt. Col. William M. Wheeler.
The WWII combat fighter pilot served with the 332nd Fighter Group/302nd Fighter Squadron and is credited with destroying three
enemy bombers in strafing missions. Wheeler described a time of segregation in America when African Americans lived
in abject poverty, battled discrimination, were considered to have inferior intelligence and weren't trusted with military
weaponry. He described days of playing baseball in the streets using cans as balls, of working by the light of kerosene lamps,
of living life in ghettos. Still, he said, a number of Blacks fought their way out of poverty into middle class lives, pushing
their children toward college educations and daring to see some participate in the Tuskegee Experiment. The
experiment was to test whether Blacks could engage successfully in battle and could command the skies in planes. Those accustomed
to bigotry, Wheeler said, expected the experiment to fail. There was something, however, that they didn't count on. Defacto
segregation and institutional racism permeated openly in this country, he explained. There were naysayers in the white power
structure, but we were, fortunately, college educated, bright men with such a high esprit de corps that we never lost one
of the bombers we escorted in over 200 combat missions, a record still unmatched. Soon the whites knew if the Tuskegee
Airmen escorted them, they had a great chance of making it home, Wheeler said, earning a roaring applause from the Airmen
in the audience and the other attendees. Born in Detroit, Mich., the original Tuskegee Airman was attending
Howard University when he volunteered to become an Army Air Corps pilot. Wheeler was inducted into service in 1943. He recalled
flight training as an aviation cadet in Tuskegee. We slept in Tuskegee's dormitories, and attended chapel, and danced
with the girls, Wheeler said. I remember the sound of our feet as we marched across campus. It was a wonderful time.
It was Tuskegee that demanded and won the government contract to train the Tuskegee Airmen on its airfield, Moton Airfield.
It is the dedication to keeping the spirit of the Tuskegee Airmen alive in the minds of the future Black aviators Tuskegee
is beginning to train in its new airway science program and in the hearts of all Americans that Tuskegee began its annual
Airmen Convocation five years ago, explained Tuskegee University's President, Dr. Benjamin F. Payton. That is why
it is important that, for as long as we can, we feature as the speaker of each convocation one of the original Airmen, Payton
said. This is an opportunity to learn about civil rights in America, about the Tuskegee Airmen, to learn the whole story of
Blacks in aviation. At the heart of the civil rights struggle is the only group in this country that had to fight for the
opportunity to fight. They fought for victory not only against fascism abroad, but against segregation and racism here at
home. For his bravery and service, Wheeler received several decorations, including the Air Medal; the European/African/Middle
Eastern Theater Campaign Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster; American Campaign Medal; National Defense Service Medal; Victory Medal
WWII; Victory in Europe Commemorative Medal; WWII Victory Commemorative Medal; and the D-Day Commemorative Medal.
At the Convocation, he added another award to his collection. On the occasion of this fifth annual Tuskegee Airmen Convocation
and for your leadership, your unselfish devotion to sharing the story of the Tuskegee Airmen with conviction, it is my pleasure
to present to you the Tuskegee University Distinguished Achievement Award, Payton told Wheeler. It had been
more than 60 years since Wheeler had returned to his beloved Tuskegee, a University he described as one that has contributed
immensely to world progress. His trip followed his wife's recent death, but he said he brought her with him in his heart.
He shed tears but later smiled and raised the Distinguished Achievement Award above his head. I love this country, he
said. It's a country worth fighting for and dying for. I don't know how we lived through the threats, through that time of
misunderstanding. But I thank God we did. Out of our struggle came great people who fought for equal rights and equal opportunities.
We're not going to forget them. We're all standing on their shoulders. Following the annual Tuskegee Airmen
Convocation, the National Park Service, Tuskegee University and the Tuskegee Airmen Inc. came together for a groundbreaking
ceremony, themed Celebrating the Legacy of the Tuskegee Airmen, at the Tuskegee Airmen National Historic Site at historic
Moton Field airport where the Airmen trained. For more information regarding the Airmen Convocation, contact
Denise L. Berkhalter of the Tuskegee University Office of Marketing and Communications at 334-724-4553 or 552-1292. For details
regarding the Tuskegee Airmen National Historic Site, contact Shirley Baxter of the National Park Service at 334-727-3200.