Category Archives: Giant Negros

Alphas March to End Gang Violence in Chicago

Way to step up, guys! Now get the Kappas and Omegas (and Sigmas and Thetas) in there to to provide an example of how real black men work and cooperate peacefully together.

Fraternity Marches Through Ongoing Gang War To End Violence In Chicago

Whenever protests against police brutality occur in the United States, critics of the Black Lives Matter movement and other race-related protests are quick to criticize marchers for ignoring so-called black-on-black crime and for only speaking out when a white police officer is involved in a black person’s death.

But last weekend, the men of Alpha Phi Alpha, a historically black intercollegiate fraternity, proved this is not the case.

Nearly 300 men marched in the freezing rain and snow in Chicago’s Chatham neighborhood on Saturday to demand an end to violence in their community. Joined by Alderman Michelle Harris and Illinois state Reps. Marcus Evans and Elgie Sims, all Democrats, the fraternity marched down 79th Street, where community members say a gang war is raging.

According to the Chicago Tribune, Chatham has the 16th-highest violent crime rate of any neighborhood in Chicago.

“We wanted to show that the community was not giving up,” said Sims, who is a member of Alpha Phi Alpha and currently represents Illinois’ 34th District, which includes portions of the South Side of Chicago. “We wanted the business owners to know that we stood with them and we were going to be there making a statement, standing with them, to encourage patrons to patronize those businesses, to encourage people to feel comfortable and safe in their community.”

The Rev. Roosevelt Watkins, pastor of Chicago’s Bethlehem Star Missionary Baptist Church and a member of Alpha Phi Alpha, told the Chicago City Hall Examiner that the march’s purpose was to “confront the violence on these blocks and to reinvigorate economic development on 79th Street.”

“Black business owners, residents, were coming outside of their homes, opening their windows, customers were stepping outside of their shops,” Lamar Brown, a law student who participated in the march, told The Huffington Post. “They were applauding us, yelling ‘Good job,’ clapping. Even people in cars were stopping their cars, giving us thumbs up. I think the effort itself was really embraced by the community.”

Just added the Alphas to my “Giant Negro” list…

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Posted by on November 24, 2015 in BlackLivesMatter, Giant Negros


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Simone Biles

If you haven’t heard of this diminutive woman, trust me – you will by the 2016 Olympics barring injury or unforeseen circumstance. Move over, Dominique Dawes!

Like the majority of great gymnasts she is tiny – only 4′ 9″ tall. Check her floor routine out!

An on the bars!

And the megawatt smile…

Got into the sport when my little one competed. Would just about give Dad a heart attack every time she would do those aerials over the beam or on the bars.

And then there is fellow American teammate Gabby Douglas, who is currently running a close second…


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Posted by on October 30, 2015 in Giant Negros


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The Black Father They Don’t Think Exists

Riding the Subway downtown, I see a lot of different folks. From the millennials in natty suits, to the homeless. Coming back to the office from a meeting out in the ‘burbs on a train which travels through one of the poorer sections of the city, I wound up next to a young black man, in dreads and a T-Shirt… Who was pushing a baby carriage.  Struck up a conversation with him. Turns out he was the father, and he took care of the child, a little girl about 18 months old, on weekends – so his unmarried ex-girlfriend could get chores done and have some free time. He was a worker for the Subway system, who worked on the repair crew at night, and had gotten the job shortly before his daughter was born. He had taken the child on a walk along one of the waterfront parks, and announced that her birth had really turned his life around…

The Black Dad That You Don’t Think Exists

The black dad that you don’t think exists falls asleep with his son on his chest after rocking him for what felt like forever. His wife transfers the baby from his arms to the crib and coaxes him to bed where he only sleeps for three or four hours. He spent most of his wife’s pregnancy talking about legacy and is determined to create one. So he rises at 3:30 in the morning to take photographs of the city at its emptiest. He has to be to work at 7 and knows he won’t have the energy to chase his dreams after a dehumanizing 12 hour shift.

The black dad that you don’t think exists hasn’t taken a shower alone in a week. Lately he’s been combining the baby’s bath time and his own shower to maximize the ever evaporating resource of free time. After, he likes to dress his son in color palettes to match his own.

The black dad you don’t think exists wants to give his son everything, even the things he doesn’t have, yet. He wants to learn how to fish so he can teach his son how to fish. He wants to take him camping. He says things like, “we need to look up activities to stimulate the baby’s sensory development.” His wife is content to let their son bang his toys together.

The black dad that you don’t think exists sees a pretty sunset and insists upon a family portrait by the water. He takes a lot of family portraits. And still he laments about wishing he took more. The black dad that you don’t think exists fights with his wife about who gets to comfort the baby when he cries. He’s designated Sundays as family day. He slow cooks sausages and peppers. He refuses to miss his son’s doctor’s appointments, the same way he refused to miss his wife’s prenatal appointments. He dreams up family field trips. Plans to show his son the world.

The black dad that you don’t think exists sneaks his son a taste of whipped cream. He says he can’t believe a day will come when his son won’t give him unlimited cuddles. He lets his son use his dreadlocks as handlebars to pull himself into a standing position. He wishes he could make a room entirely out of pillows so his baby never fell down on anything hard.

The black dad that you don’t think exists is nurturing. He is soft. He is kind. Gentle. Thoughtful. Hardworking. Dedicated. Creative. Sleep-deprived. Caring. Devoted. Well-informed. Present. Supportive. Dynamic. Loving. Important.

The black dad that you don’t think exists does. And he is not an anomaly.

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Posted by on October 26, 2015 in Giant Negros


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Elijah Cummings Obliterates Republican Witch Hunt Benghazi Committee

Elijah Cummins has had a long relationship with the Clintons. Not that that in any way influenced this butt kicking…


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Posted by on October 23, 2015 in Giant Negros, The Clown Bus


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The Story of Jeremiah Hamilton – The First Black Wall Street Millionaire

Great tidbit of previously unknown or forgotten history here…

The Story of Wall Street’s First Black Millionaire

Jeremiah Hamilton made white clients do his bidding. He bought insurance policies on ships he purposely destroyed. And in 1875, he died the richest black American.

No one will ever erect a statue honoring Jeremiah G. Hamilton. As an African American broker in the mid-1800s, Hamilton was part of no one’s usable past: Wall Street in that time was completely white, and New York’s black leaders disdained him for his brashness. But his death, in 1875, attracted national attention, and scores of newspapers reported that Hamilton was the richest non-white man in the country and that his estate was worth about $2 million, or about $250 million today.

Hamilton worked in and around Wall Street for 40 years. Far from being some novice feeling his way around the economy’s periphery, he was a skilled and innovative financial manipulator. Unlike later black success stories such as that of Madam C. J. Walker—the early 20th-century manufacturer of beauty products, often assumed to be the first African-American millionaire—who would make their fortunes selling goods to black consumers, Hamilton cut a swath through the thoroughly white New York business world in the middle decades of the 19th century.

He may have been successful, but he was not well-liked. “The notorious colored capitalist long identified with commercial enterprises in this city,” one obituary spat, “is dead and buried.” Rumors of counterfeiting and scams against insurance companies dogged him until he died. Not that the ethics or business practices of many of his antebellum contemporaries could bear too much scrutiny, but Wall Street was never going to be a level playing field for a trailblazing African American. His forays soon earned him the nickname of “The Prince of Darkness.” Others, with even less affection, simply called him “Nigger Hamilton.”

Yet for all that, brokers and merchants generally were more interested in the color of the man’s money than his skin. Not that Hamilton gave a damn one way or the other. In general, he simply carried on amassing his fortune whenever an obstacle arose.

Born in 1807, either in the Caribbean or in Richmond, Virginia (his story of where he came from depended very much on whom he was talking to), Hamilton first made his mark on the historical record in 1828. In that year, the 20-year-old ran a cargo of counterfeit Haitian coin to Port-au-Prince for a consortium of New York merchants. When the Haitian authorities uncovered the criminal enterprise, Hamilton fled.

After news of the abortive expedition broke in New York, the newspapers condemned him. Most notably, the editor of Freedom’s Journal, the first African-American newspaper, cursed Hamilton for what he viewed as his disgraceful role in undermining the existence of the world’s first and only black republic. Under considerable pressure to name names, the African-American entrepreneur kept his silence and the identities of the New York merchants who had bankrolled the counterfeiting expedition were never revealed. Although still young, Hamilton apparently had learned the ways of Wall Street.
Five years later, he had shifted his focus permanently to New York, where he quickly acquired a reputation for over-insuring vessels and then arranging for them to be scuttled, which proved quite lucrative (for him, at least). Indeed, it was businessmen such as Hamilton who drove the nascent marine-insurance industry to organize itself. By 1835 all of the New York marine-insurance companies made no secret that they had collectively agreed never to insure any voyage involving Hamilton.

In the mid-1830s, the United States was in the throes of a real-estate boom, and Hamilton jumped headlong into the frenzy. He bought 47 lots of land in what is present-day Astoria. Even more impressively, he invested heavily in property in Poughkeepsie, buying several tracts of land in the town, an iconic local mansion, and a 400-foot-long wharf. In all, he gambled more than $10 million in today’s money that the boom would continue. Following the herd turned out to be the worst business decision of Hamilton’s life. He had bought at the top of the market, only weeks before what became known as the Panic of 1837. Hamilton dodged his creditors for several years, but, taking adroit advantage of new federal legislation, declared bankruptcy in 1842.

Although Hamilton had bought and sold some stocks in the 1830s, the second act of his New York business career, beginning after 1842, was defined by his Wall Street speculations. His bets did not always pay off, but they most definitely were distinguished by wile and creativity. For instance, in the mid-1840s, he dragged the Poughkeepsie Silk Company into court so that the struggling firm could be legally dissolved, leaving the cash realized from the sale to individual shareholders, including himself.

Perhaps more impressive to modern eyes, Hamilton, by the 1860s, if not earlier, ran what was termed a “pool,” which resembled a hedge fund. It worked like this: Investors pooled their money, depositing it for Hamilton to invest on their behalf. The benefit of such an arrangement was that the pool’s contents were used as an assurance that would let Hamilton borrow more money, so that a much larger sum was available to play the market. It was entirely up to Hamilton to decide which stocks were purchased, but the point of a pool, as with a hedge fund, was to take aggressive and therefore more hazardous positions in the market. In effect, Hamilton was risking other people’s savings in order to speculate.

What may be even more startling today was that white New Yorkers, eager to join Hamilton’s pool, were driven to giving him gifts to gain his favor. In the mid-1860s, Hamilton advised one to “send him a basket of champagne and a box of segars.” Furthermore, Hamilton made it absolutely clear that when it came to such offerings, “he did not want any but the very best.”

Consider the greater historical context of such a statement: In the middle of a war of almost unimaginable carnage over the existence of slavery, less than 12 months after the Draft Riots—New York’s own cataclysm, in which the mutilated bodies of African Americans were hanged from lampposts—an unapologetic wealthy black man let it be known that he was willing to receive cigars and champagne (mind you, only “the very best”) as acknowledgment of his benevolence. In order to gain privileged access to this African American’s wisdom about the market prospects of listed corporations—modern entities beyond most Americans’ understanding that were laying thousands of miles of railroad track and steaming huge iron vessels across oceans—some white New Yorkers were willing to grovel….Read the Rest Here, including Hamilton’s toe to toe battle with Cornelius Vanderbuilt

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Posted by on October 23, 2015 in Black History, Giant Negros


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Black Scientist Attempts to Create Time Machine

With all the hype about the movie, “Back to the Future”, whose premise was in part, time travel to the year 2015 – it isn’t surprising there is interest in examining the possibility of time travel again. There are several bits of Einstein’s Theory of Relativity which have been bent, if not broken by new discoveries. For example, we now know that some particles do travel faster than the speed of light, something which the Theory says can’t happen.Scientists may also have begun fledgling steps toward creating what in Star Trek is called a “Warp Bubble” in research on a new type of propulsion.

You never know what is on the next scientific horizon.

Meet The Physicist Building A Time Machine To See His Dead Father

This is an important day for Ronald L. Mallett, a retired professor of theoretical physics at the University of Connecticut who is trying to invent a machine that will allow him to travel back in time to reunite with his dead father. Of course, this is an important day for many of us. Today, after all, is Oct. 21, 2015, the date on which Marty McFly and Emmett Lathrop “Doc” Brown, Ph.D., emerged from a time machine of their own into a future world of hoverboards, flying cars and people wearing two ties at once for some reason.

For many of us, this is an opportunity to take stock of the “Back to the Future” franchise’s various predictions and think about the ways in which they have — or, in most cases, haven’t — come true.

Yes, there are hoverboards. No, people don’t have fax machines in their bathrooms. And with the Cubs down 3-0 in their pennant series against the Mets, it looks like it will be at least another year before they win their first World Series since Theodore Roosevelt was president.

But how about time travel itself? Mallett, who considers “Back to the Future” one of his favorite films, acknowledges that the idea of getting into a souped-up DeLorean and zooming into the future is the sort of fantasy that remains relegated to the imaginations of movie producers. But he insists that time travel could, in fact, become a reality, though perhaps on a very limited scale. Whether or not he succeeds, the author of Time Traveler: A Scientist’s Personal Mission to Make Time Travel a Reality may one day follow “Doc” to Hollywood fame; Spike Lee has reportedly bought the rights to his life story.

Not surprisingly, many of Mallett’s peers do not share his belief that we are anywhere close to building a machine that allows us to travel through time. As Sean Carroll, a theoretical physicist at Caltech, put it in an email to The Huffington Post, “Unfortunately, ‘building a time machine’ here on Earth is not realistic.”

“To the best of our current understanding, we simply can’t build time machines at all,” Carroll continued. “But one thing is clear: if we could build a time machine, it would require an enormously strong gravitational field, similar to that you would experience right next to a black hole. Nothing we can imagine making in a laboratory comes anywhere close.

Still, Mallett is determined to pursue his dream.

Below, he shares his thoughts on the realities of time travel, his favorite time-travel films, and his reception among his fellow physicists. The interview has been condensed and edited for clarity.

“Back to the Future” came out in 1989. How close do you think we now are to being able to travel through time, and do you think this is something that people will ever be able to do?

It’s important to realize that the real science of time travel is based on Einstein’s theories of relativity. In a nutshell, Einstein’s special theory of relativity, published in 1905, states that time slows down for moving clocks. In other words, the faster a clock moves the more time slows down. Your heart is a clock, so this would mean that your heart rate will slow down the faster that you move. So if you were able to travel fast enough, you would not age at the same rate as everyone else, and this would allow you to arrive in the future younger than everyone else. In other words, this is time travel to the future. This form of time travel has actually been achieved on a limited scale using fast-moving planes and high-speed subatomic particles.

An experiment was done at the U.S. Naval Observatory in 1971 using two atomic clocks. One of clocks was kept at rest at the Naval Observatory and the other clock was flown around the world at the speed of sound. When the two clocks were compared at the end of the flight, it was found that the clock that had been on the passenger jet had actually slowed down compared to the clock at rest. This means that the plane and passengers had flown fractions of a second to the future. The effect depends on speed. For rockets traveling close to the speed of light, the effect would be more dramatic. An astronaut traveling close to the speed of light returns to earth only a few years older and finds they have arrived decades into the Earth’s future.

Einstein’s general theory of relativity, published in 1915, says that time can be altered by gravity. In particular, Einstein showed that the stronger gravity is, the more time slows down. This has actually been observed. Clocks at the surface of the earth where gravity is strong run slower than clocks at high altitude aboard satellites where gravity is weak. This effect of gravity on time has practical consequences for the GPS units in our cars.

How did you get interested in time travel?

My interest in time travel began with a personal tragedy. I was the oldest of four children and grew up in the Bronx. My father, Boyd Mallett, was a television repairman. For me the sun rose and set on him. He was the center of my life. He spent a lot of time with me giving me scientific gifts like a gyroscope and a crystal radio set. My father looked like a healthy man but he had a very weak heart. He died of a massive heart attack at 33 years old. I was 10 years old and his death devastated my world. I was very depressed. Fortunately, I loved to read, and about a year after he died, when I was 11, I came across a Classics Illustrated edition of H.G. Wells’ famous classic, The Time Machine. The quote at the very beginning of the story changed everything for me. It said, “Scientific people know very well that time is just a kind of space and we can move forward and backward in time just as we can in space.” It was at that moment that I decided that I would have to figure out how to build a time machine so that I could see my father again and perhaps save his life.

Has your understanding of the science changed over the years?

After my father died, the family was very poor and I used to go to the Salvation Army for paperback books, which only cost 5 cents. On one of my visits, when I was 12, I came across a popular level book entitled The Universe and Dr. Einstein by Lincoln Barnett. The book implied that Einstein said that time is not fixed, time could be altered. That made me realize that there was real science behind the possibility of time travel. That’s when I also began to realize that I would have to understand Einstein’s work in order to understand how to build a time machine….Read The Rest Here

I am adding Dr Mallett to my “Giant Negroes” category – for no other reason than beating the system which prevents so many aspiring young black folks from entering and succeeding in the STEM Field.


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Posted by on October 22, 2015 in Giant Negros


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Correcting History – Free Black Man Convicted of Freeing Slaves in 1840’s Pardoned by Delaware

Righting the historical wrongs. Samuel Burris had titanium plated brass cajones, knowing what would happen to him if he was caught by the slave catchers!

Delaware Governor to Pardon Man Who Helped Slaves Escape

Not even the threat of being sold into slavery could stop Samuel Burris, a conductor on the Underground Railroad, from helping slaves to freedom in the 19th century.

A free black man, Burris was caught helping a slave try to escape from Delaware in 1847. After Burris was tried and found guilty of enticing slaves to escape, part of his sentence was that he be sold into slavery for seven years. Instead, a Pennsylvania anti-slavery society raised the money to purchase him and set him free. And Burris went right back to helping slaves escape.

Now, Delaware Gov. Jack Markell has decided to posthumously pardon Burris for that long ago conviction, according to two people who have sought that step.

Ocea Thomas of Atlanta said in a telephone interview Tuesday that she received a phone call last weekend letting her know Markell would pardon Burris, who died in the 1860s and was one of Thomas’ ancestors. Phone and email messages left Tuesday for Markell’s spokeswoman, Kelly Bachman, were not immediately returned.

Thomas says she became emotional after learning that Burris, the brother of her great-great grandmother, would be pardoned.

“I stood there and cried. It was pride. It was relief. I guess justification. All of that,” Thomas said.

Robin Krawitz, a historian at Delaware State University who is writing a book about Burris, said historians don’t know exactly how many slaves Burris helped escape but they do know he continued his work even after his conviction, at great personal risk. Slaveholders and sympathizers eventually complained to the state legislature, saying Burris hadn’t stopped enticing slaves to leave their masters. Burris left the state when lawmakers responded with a law that could have brought a lashing so severe it would have been tantamount to a death sentence.

Thomas, Burris’ relative, says she was told the pardon will take place on Nov. 2, the anniversary of Burris’ conviction. The state had already been planning to unveil a historical marker honoring Burris that day. The marker will be placed in Delaware’s Kent County, near where Burris grew up.

Robert Seeley, of Havertown, Pennsylvania, who had asked the governor earlier this year to pardon Burris and two other men, confirmed that he’d also been contacted about the pardon.

“It’s a victory. It brings honor to the Burris family and it brings justice for Samuel Burris and his descendants. It’s making a wrong a right finally,” Seeley said.

Seeley had asked the governor to pardon Burris as well as two others who had worked to get slaves to freedom: John Hunn and Thomas Garrett, one of Seeley’s relatives who is credited with helping more than 2,000 slaves escape. Seeley says he got the idea after outgoing Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn granted clemency to three abolitionists convicted for hiding and helping escaped slaves.

Seeley says he’s been working with Markell’s office but that the governor can’t issue a pardon in Hunn and Garrett’s cases because they were tried in federal court, not state court. He says President Barack Obama would need to pardon them and that he plans to continue to work on a pardon in their case.

“Even if it comes out to be a proclamation or a declaration or not an official presidential pardon, so be it. We’ll see what we can do,” he said, adding there is “a lot of red tape.”

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Posted by on October 21, 2015 in Black History, Giant Negros


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