Black History Month 2020 Celebration of Culture


>>AS WE KICK OFF THE SECOND
ANNUAL BLACK HISTORY MONTH CELEBRATION OF CULTURE, PLEASE
WELCOME KAWAMBE-OMOWALE AFRICAN DRUM AND DANCE THEATER. [MUSIC] [APPLAUSE]>>GOOD MORNING. I LOVE YA. WE ARE KAWAMBE-OMOWALE. AND THE PIECE THAT WE JUST
PERFORMED IS CALLED FUNGA. IT WAS (INDISCERNIBLE) WHO WAS
RESPONSIBLE PRIMARILY FOR PRESENTING THIS PIECE TO
AMERICAN AUDIENCES FROM HER EXPERIENCES IN LIBERIA AND
SIERRA LEONE. AND SHE PRESENTED THIS AS A
CONGLOMERATE REALLY. THE DANCE WAS CHOREOGRAPHED
FIRST AND THEN THE SONG IS A PIECE THAT WAS CREATED,
DEVELOPED BY BABATUNDE OLATUNJI. AND SO, FUNGA IS A WORD FOR
DRUM. AND ALAFIA AND ASE ARE YORUBA
WORDS. ALAFIA MEANING HELLO, WELCOME,
AND YES AS AN AFFIRMATIVE. ASE IS AFFIRMATIVE, POWER. AND SO, WE WELCOME YOU FROM THE
EARTH THAT WE WALK ON AND THE SKY TO WHICH OUR SPIRITS, AND WE
WELCOME YOU FROM OUR HEARTS. SO THANK YOU. [APPLAUSE]>>GOOD MORNING. OKAY, WE’RE GOING TO TRY THIS
ONE MORE TIME. BECAUSE WHERE I COME FROM, MY
GRANDMA SAID IF YOU HAVE HOME TRAINING, WHEN SOMEBODY SPEAKS
TO YOU, YOU SPEAK BACK TO THEM. THIS IS A CELEBRATION. THIS IS NOT A FUNERAL. I KNOW I’M DRESSED IN ALL BLACK,
BUT I’M DRESSED IN ALL BLACK BECAUSE BLACK LOOKS GOOD ON ME
AND BLACK IS BEAUTIFUL, AMEN? SO I’M GOING TO ASK THIS ONE
MORE TIME TO FIND OUT WHERE THE ENERGY IS IN THIS BUILDING. GOOD MORNING, PHOENIX.>>GOOD MORNING.>>ALL RIGHT. I AM TRUTH B. TOLD AND IT IS MY
HONOR TO WELCOME YOU TO THE 2ND ANNUAL CITY OF PHOENIX BLACK
HISTORY MONTH CELEBRATION OF CULTURE. ONCE AGAIN, THANK YOU TO
KAWAMBE-OMOWALE AFRICAN DRUM AND DANCE THEATER FOR SUCH A
SPIRITUAL AND MOVING OPENING PERFORMANCE. I DON’T KNOW ABOUT Y’ALL, BUT I
CAME TO HAVE A GOOD TIME. Y’ALL READY TO HAVE A GOOD TIME? SO ORIGINALLY — REAL QUICK, I
WANT TO LET YOU KNOW A LITTLE BIT ABOUT MYSELF, SINCE WE’RE
GOING TO BE SPENDING ABOUT AN HOUR AND A HALF TOGETHER. I’M ORIGINALLY FROM
SAGINAW, MICHIGAN, BUT I’VE BEEN HERE FOR SIX YEARS. GROWING UP IN MY ELEMENTARY
SCHOOL, I GREW UP WITH ALL CULTURES AND UNDERSTANDING THE
IMPORTANCE OF EMBRACING EVERYTHING. FAST-FORWARD, I’VE BEEN HERE
ABOUT SIX AND A HALF YEARS, AND I’M STARTING TO SEE PEOPLE BE
ALLOWED — IT SOUNDS FUNNY TO SAY IT THAT WAY, BUT BE ALLOWED
TO REPRESENT THEMSELVES. THIS IS A CELEBRATION, SO WE ARE
GOING TO CELEBRATE. WE ARE NOT GOING TO APOLOGIZE
FOR WHO WE ARE AND WHAT WE HAVE BEEN THROUGH. AND IF YOU ARE BLACK — AND I
DON’T KNOW ABOUT YOU, BUT I HAVE A LITTLE EXPERIENCE WITH THIS. IF YOU KNOW YOUR STORY AND YOUR
HISTORY OF WHAT WE’VE GONE THROUGH, EVERY DAY IS RIPE FOR A
CELEBRATION. SO WHILE WE ARE IN BLACK HISTORY
MONTH, WE ARE ABSOLUTELY GOING TO CELEBRATE AND HAVE A GOOD
TIME. IF THERE IS SOMETHING THAT MAKES
YOU FEEL A CERTAIN KIND OF WAY, WE CAN TALK ABOUT IT LATER. BUT FOR NOW, WE’RE GOING TO HAVE
SOME FUN. IS THAT ALL RIGHT? ALL RIGHT. SO, NEXT I WOULD LIKE TO WELCOME
PHOENIX’S DIRECTOR OF THE EQUAL OPPORTUNITY AND DEVELOPMENT
DEPARTMENT — EXCUSE ME — DON LOGAN TO THE STAGE. PLEASE SHOW A ROUND OF APPLAUSE
AND SHOW SOME LOVE FOR DON LOGAN. [APPLAUSE]>>I WOULD LIKE TO TAKE A MOMENT
TO SHARE A BRIEF HISTORY FACT ABOUT BLACK NATIONAL ANTHEM. THEY TOLD ME NOT TO SING, BUT
Y’ALL KNOW HOW I AM. “LIFT EVERY VOICE AND SING,”
IT’S ONE OF THE MOST CHERISHED SONGS IN THE AFRICAN-AMERICAN
HISTORY. AS PART OF THE CIVIL RIGHTS
MOVEMENT, IT IS OFTEN REFERRED TO AS THE BLACK NATIONAL ANTHEM. THE SONG WAS WRITTEN AT A
CRITICAL TIME WHEN JIM CROW WAS REPLACING SLAVERY AND
AFRICAN-AMERICANS WERE SEARCHING FOR AN IDENTITY. AUTHOR AND NAACP LEADER
JAMES WELDON JOHNSON WROTE THE WORDS AS A
POEM, WHICH HIS BROTHER JOHN THEN SET TO MUSIC IN 1871. “LIFT EVERY VOICE AND SING” IS
OFTEN PERFORMED AT THE BEGINNING OF CIVIL RIGHTS CELEBRATIONS AND
IT’S FOLLOWING THE NATIONAL ANTHEM. AT THIS TIME, I WILL ASK THAT
YOU STAND, IF YOU CAN, REMOVE YOUR HATS AND WELCOME
MS. WHITNEY M. YOUNG TO THE STAGE, WHO WILL
PERFORM THE NATIONAL ANTHEM, FOLLOWED BY
MR. RON WILLIAMS, WHO WILL PERFORM THE
BLACK NATIONAL ANTHEM. ♪ OH SAY, CAN YOU SEE ♪
♪ BY THE DAWN’S EARLY LIGHT ♪ ♪ WHAT SO PROUDLY WE HAILED AT
THE TWILIGHT’S LAST GLEAMING ♪ ♪ WHOSE BROAD STRIPES AND
BRIGHT STARS ♪ ♪ THROUGH THE PERILOUS FIGHT ♪
♪ OR THE RAMPARTS WE WATCHED ♪ ♪ WERE SO GALLANTLY
STREAMING ♪ ♪ AND THE ROCKET’S RED GLARE ♪
♪ THE BOMBS BURSTING IN AIR ♪ ♪ GAVE PROOF THROUGH THE
NIGHT ♪ ♪ THAT OUR FLAG WAS STILL
THERE ♪ ♪ OH SAY DOES THAT
STAR-SPANGLED BANNER YET WAVE ♪ ♪ OER THE LAND OF THE FREE ♪
♪ AND THE HOME OF THE BRAVE ♪ [APPLAUSE] ♪ LIFT EVERY VOICE AND SING
‘TIL EARTH AND HEAVEN RING ♪ ♪ RING WITH A HARMONY OF
LIBERTY ♪ ♪ LET OUR REJOICING RISE HIGH
AS THE LISTENING SKIES ♪ ♪ LET IT RESOUND LOUD AS THE
ROLLING SEA ♪ ♪ SING A SONG FULL OF THE FAITH
THAT THE DARKNESS HAS TAUGHT US ♪
♪ SING A SONG FULL OF THE HOPE THAT THE PRESENT HAS BROUGHT
US ♪ ♪ FACING THE RISING SUN OF OUR
NEW DAY BEGUN ♪ ♪ LET IT RESOUND ‘TIL VICTORY
IS WON ♪ THANK YOU, PLEASE BE SEATED. [APPLAUSE]>>NEXT, I WOULD LIKE TO WELCOME
THE MAYOR OF THE CITY OF PHOENIX TO THE STAGE. PLEASE JOIN ME IN WELCOMING
MAYOR KATE GALLEGO. [APPLAUSE]>>PHOENIX IS THE FIFTH LARGEST
CITY IN THE NATION. WE HAVE SO MANY THINGS THAT MAKE
THIS CITY UNIQUE. OUR DIVERSITY OF IDEAS, PEOPLE,
AND BACKGROUNDS THAT MAKE THIS COMMUNITY TRULY A WONDERFUL
PLACE TO LIVE, WORK, AND PLAY. ONE OF OUR MOST UNIQUE TRAITS IS
THE OPENNESS OF OUR RESIDENTS. PEOPLE MOVE FROM AROUND THE
GLOBE TO MAKE PHOENIX THEIR HOME, AND THAT HAS CREATED A
WELCOMING AND ACCEPTING CULTURE THAT IS REPLICATED IN FEW OTHER
PLACES. YOUR LAST NAME OR YOUR ADDRESS
IS NOT YOUR TICKET TO SUCCESS HERE, AS IT IS IN SO MANY OTHER
LARGE CITIES. IT IS ONE’S WILLINGNESS TO PUT
IN THE HARD WORK TO MAKE POSITIVE CHANGE. DESPITE BEING A RELATIVELY YOUNG
CITY, WE HAVE A BEAUTIFUL HISTORY HERE, SUCH AS THE
TANNER CHAPEL AME CHURCH IN EASTLAKE PARK, THE OLDEST
AFRICAN-AMERICAN CONGREGATION IN ALL OF ARIZONA, DATING BACK TO
1887, OR PLACES LIKE THE GEORGE WASHINGTON
CARVER MUSEUM, WHERE FORMER PHOENIX CITY COUNCIL
MEMBER AND VICE MAYOR CALVIN GOODE GRADUATED FROM
HIGH SCHOOL. THESE BUILDINGS REFLECT HOW FAR
WE HAVE COME AND HOW MUCH MORE THERE IS TO BE DONE. SOON WE WILL BE REINVIGORATING
THE PHOENIX POINTS OF PRIDE PROGRAM, BUT IT’S ONE THAT HAS
ALREADY WORKED HARD TO RECOGNIZE THE BLACK HISTORY IN THIS
COMMUNITY AND THE AFRICAN-AMERICANS WHO HAVE
CREATED A BETTER CITY. WHEN EVERYONE IN OUR COMMUNITY
HAS OPPORTUNITY, WHEN EVERYONE IN OUR COMMUNITY IS EMBRACED,
OUR COMMUNITY IS STRONGER AND MORE SUCCESSFUL TOGETHER. WE HAVE TO REMEMBER THE HISTORY
AND HOW WE GOT THERE AND TO CONTINUE TO MOVE FORWARD TO USE
THAT HISTORY TO CREATE AN EVEN STRONGER CITY. AND THAT IS WHY IT IS MY HONOR
TO TODAY AT THIS EVENT PROCLAIM AFRICAN-AMERICAN CULTURE AND
HISTORY DAY AND ASK EVERY RESIDENT IN THE CITY OF PHOENIX
TO PARTICIPATE IN THIS IMPORTANT EVENT. [APPLAUSE] ENJOY THIS WONDERFUL EVENT,
THANK YOU.>>NOW WE WILL HEAR FROM
PHOENIX’S CITY MANAGER ED ZUERCHER. PLEASE GIVE ED ZUERCHER A ROUND
OF APPLAUSE AS HE COMES TO THE STAGE. [APPLAUSE]>>AS I WAS REFLECTING ON WHAT I
WOULD SAY TODAY, I ACTUALLY WENT TO THE WORDS THAT MILTON WROTE. AND YOU SEE IT IN THE BEGINNING
OF YOUR PROGRAM, WHERE HE SAID, “CELEBRATIONS LIKE THIS ARE
DESIGNED TO BE WELCOMING TO ALL WHO ARE INTERESTED WITHOUT
EXCEPTION, AND WE WILL ALL WALK AWAY WITH A COLLECTIVE RESPONSE,
‘I DIDN’T KNOW THAT,’ UPON HEARING OF SPECIFIC
CONTRIBUTIONS THAT HAVE BEEN MADE.” AND THAT MADE ME CURIOUS TO
LEARN HOW BLACK HISTORY MONTH BEGAN. AND MANY OF YOU IN THIS ROOM
PROBABLY ALREADY KNOW THIS, BUT IT WAS CREATED TO RECOGNIZE AND
CELEBRATE THE CONTRIBUTIONS OF AFRICAN-AMERICANS, AND IT WAS
THE IDEA OF CARTER G. WOODSON, WHO WAS A HARVARD-TRAINED
HISTORIAN, WHO LAUNCHED WHAT WAS THEN CALLED NEGRO HISTORY WEEK
IN FEBRUARY 1926. WOODSON CHOSE FEBRUARY IN ORDER
TO ENCOMPASS THE BIRTHDAYS OF TWO GREAT AMERICANS WHO PLAYED A
PROMINENT ROLE IN BLACK HISTORY IN AMERICA. NAMELY, ABRAHAM LINCOLN, BORN ON
FEBRUARY 12th, AND FREDERICK DOUGLASS, BORN
ON FEBRUARY THE 14th. BUT THE ACTUAL CREATION OF THE
MONTH AS WE KNOW IT WAS FIRST PROPOSED BY BLACK EDUCATORS AT
KENT STATE UNIVERSITY IN OHIO AND WAS CELEBRATED IN 1970. SIX YEARS LATER, BLACK HISTORY
MONTH WAS CELEBRATED ALL ACROSS THE UNITED STATES WHEN
GERALD FORD AS PRESIDENT RECOGNIZED THE MONTH-LONG
CELEBRATION DURING THE BICENTENNIAL. IN THAT ADDRESS, PRESIDENT FORD
URGED AMERICANS TO SEIZE THE OPPORTUNITY TO HONOR THE
TOO-OFTEN-NEGLECTED ACCOMPLISHMENT OF BLACK
AMERICANS IN EVERY AREA OF ENDEAVOR THROUGHOUT OUR HISTORY. AND I THINK IT’S NOTABLE THAT
PRESIDENT FORD SAID “OUR HISTORY,” NOT “BLACK HISTORY,”
BECAUSE IN FACT, THE HISTORY OF AFRICAN-AMERICANS IN THE UNITED
STATES IS THE HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES, AND WE SHOULD
REMEMBER THAT. WE ARE NOT SEPARATING — [APPLAUSE] WE ARE NOT SEPARATING. WE ARE RECOGNIZING OUR SHARED
HISTORY BY HIGHLIGHTING THE EXPERIENCE OF OUR
AFRICAN-AMERICAN AMERICANS. [APPLAUSE]>>PLEASE JOIN ME IN WELCOMING
OUR KEYNOTE SPEAKER, DR. STEWART, TO THE STAGE,
WITH HIS PRESENTATION ENTITLED “AND WE ARE STILL
HERE.”>>IN 1976, I RECEIVED A LETTER
FROM THE FIRST INSTITUTIONAL BAPTIST CHURCH. AND THEY WERE LOOKING FOR A
PASTOR. AND I READ THE LETTER AND I
SAID, “AIN’T NO BLACK PEOPLE IN ARIZONA.” AND I THREW THE APPLICATION IN
THE TRASH. I WAS LIVING IN NEW YORK CITY A
FEW BLOCKS FROM HARLEM, THE MECCA OF BLACK PEOPLE. GOD HAS A HILARIOUS SENSE OF
HUMOR. HERE I AM 43 YEARS LATER, GIVING
A TED TALK FOR BLACK HISTORY MONTH IN PHOENIX, ARIZONA. BUT SPEAKING OF BLACK PRESENCE
IN ARIZONA, BLACK PRESENCE IN ARIZONA HAS ACTUALLY BEEN HERE
FOR ABOUT 500 YEARS. THERE WAS A BLACK EXPLORER BY
THE NAME OF ESTEBAN, OR ESTEVANICO, WHO ACCOMPANIED THE
FIRST TWO EUROPEAN EXPLORERS THAT MADE IT TO WHAT IS NOW
ARIZONA. HE WAS AN AFRICAN BORN IN
MOROCCO AND BELIEVED TO HAVE BEEN ORIGINALLY A MUSLIM WHO HAD
CONVERTED TO CHRISTIANITY. FAST-FORWARD 300 YEARS AROUND
1861 AND 1862, BLACKS WERE BROUGHT HERE TO BE SLAVES. THE WHITES WHO ARE LIVING IN
WHAT IS NOW ARIZONA SIDED WITH THE CONFEDERACY TO MAINTAIN
SLAVERY HERE IN ARIZONA. AND IT WAS KNOWN AS CONFEDERATE
ARIZONA. THEN CAME A FEW YEARS LATER THE
BUFFALO SOLDIERS, 1868 TO 1869. AND THEY WERE STATIONED AT FORT
HUACHUCA IN SOUTHERN ARIZONA. AND THEY PLAYED A KEY ROLE IN
ARIZONA BECOMING A STATE. THEY WERE A COMBINATION, IF YOU
WILL, OF PARK RANGERS, POLICEMEN, MAILMEN, AND SOLDIERS
ALL ROLLED INTO ONE. AND SO THEY WERE VERY MUCH
INVOLVED IN WHO WE ARE AS A STATE OF ARIZONA. SO YOU CAN SEE BY WHAT I’VE SAID
THAT SYSTEMATIC RACISM AND PREJUDICE, UNFORTUNATELY, HAS
BEEN A PART OF ARIZONA FOR A LONG TIME. THE AFRICAN-AMERICAN CHURCH HAS
PLAYED A VITAL AND VIBRANT ROLE IN THE CITY OF PHOENIX. THE MAYOR JUST MENTIONED THE
HISTORIC TANNER CHAPEL AFRICAN-AMERICAN EPISCOPAL
CHURCH, WHICH IS THE OLDEST BLACK CHURCH IN PHOENIX, THAT
WAS ORGANIZED IN 1887. AND THEN AFTER THAT, THERE WAS
THE SECOND BAPTIST CHURCH, WHICH WAS ORGANIZED IN 1905, VERY NEAR
WHERE THE CHASE FIELD IS LOCATED NOW, NEAR 5th STREET AND
JEFFERSON. AND IT BECAME THE FIRST COLORED
BAPTIST CHURCH, AND ULTIMATELY IN THE ’40s BECAME THE FIRST
INSTITUTIONAL BAPTIST CHURCH. AND THEN THERE WAS THE FIRST
CHURCH OF GOD IN CHRIST THAT WAS ORGANIZED IN 1925. NOW, ALL OF THESE CHURCHES WERE
BUILT IN WHAT WAS KNOWN AS THE BOOKER T. WASHINGTON
NEIGHBORHOOD. THE BOOKER T. WASHINGTON
NEIGHBORHOOD WAS A THRIVING COMMUNITY UNTIL THE LATE ’70S
AND THE EARLY ’80S WHEN URBAN RENEWAL CAME IN AND DECIMATED
THE NEIGHBORHOOD. THERE WERE BLACK SCHOOLS, BLACK
CHURCHES, BLACK BUSINESSES, VERY RENOWNED BLACK DOCTOR BY THE
NAME OF DOCTOR WINSTON HACKETT. HE EVEN BUILT THE
BOOKER T. WASHINGTON MEMORIAL HOSPITAL ON
JEFFERSON STREET. THAT WAS A HOSPITAL FOR
AFRICAN-AMERICANS. AND HE ACTUALLY LIVED IN THAT
NEIGHBORHOOD TOO. AND THEN AT THE END OF THE AREA,
WHICH STARTED PROBABLY ABOUT 5th STREET AND JEFFERSON ON TO 24th
STREET, THERE WAS THE RENOWNED EASTLAKE PARK, WHICH AT ONE TIME
EASTLAKE PARK REALLY HAD A LAKE. WHEN I ARRIVED HERE AS PASTOR IN
1977, THE STREETS OF JEFFERSON AND WASHINGTON WERE LINED WITH
SINGLE-FAMILY HOMES OF STABLE AFRICAN-AMERICAN FAMILIES THAT
HAD LIVED THERE FOR MANY, MANY YEARS. AND SO, IT WAS A GREAT PLACE
TO BE. LET ME TALK ABOUT THE JIM CROW
ERA IN THE CITY OF PHOENIX. THAT’S WHEN SEGREGATION AND
RACIAL DISCRIMINATION WAS LEGALIZED. THERE IS A TOWN THAT STILL
EXISTS CALLED ELOY, ARIZONA. NOW, ELOY, BUT OUTSIDE OF ELOY,
THERE IS A TOWN CALLED RANDOLPH. AND IT WAS A PREDOMINANTLY BLACK
TOWN WHERE THE PEOPLE WHO HAD COME FROM LOUISIANA AND OKLAHOMA
AND TEXAS TO PICK COTTON, THEY CALLED THAT THEIR HOME. AT ONE TIME, AFRICAN-AMERICANS
WERE FORBIDDEN FOR LIVING NORTH OF THOMAS ROAD IN THE PHOENIX,
ARIZONA. IT WAS A LAW. YOU COULD NOT LIVE THERE IF YOU
WERE BLACK. AND SO, THE BOOKER T. WASHINGTON
NEIGHBORHOOD FROM VAN BUREN SOUTH TO THE RAILROAD, AND THEN
YOU HAVE SOUTH PHOENIX WHICH WAS AT ONE TIME THE HISTORICALLY
LARGEST CONGLOMERATION OF BLACK PEOPLE WHO LIVED IN PHOENIX. NOW, YOU MIGHT WANT TO KNOW
THIS, THAT THERE WERE TWO BROTHERS, THE JONES BROTHERS,
WHO HAD A CONSTRUCTION COMPANY. AND THE JONES BROTHERS BUILT A
SUBDIVISION OF SOLID CONCRETE STABLE SINGLE-FAMILY HOMES FROM
BROADWAY SOUTH BETWEEN 24th STREET AND 16th STREET. AND MANY OF THOSE HOMES ARE
STILL EXISTING RIGHT NOW, WHERE PEOPLE LIVE IN THOSE HOMES THIS
VERY DAY. EVEN THERE WERE ONE OR TWO
STREETS IN SOUTH PHOENIX WHERE THERE WERE CUSTOM-BUILT HOMES BY
UPPER-CLASS AFRICAN-AMERICANS. AND THAT IS A HISTORY THAT YOU
MIGHT WANT TO KNOW. LET ME TALK A FEW MOMENTS ABOUT
THE FIRST AFRICAN-AMERICAN WHO BECAME A MEMBER OF THE CITY
COUNCIL. HIS NAME WAS
DR. MORRISON WARREN. HE WAS AN ASU FOOTBALL STAR. HE HAD AN EARNED DOCTORATE
DEGREE IN EDUCATION. AND HE WAS APPOINTED IN 1966,
BUT HE CHOSE ONLY TO SERVE ONE TERM. AND AFTER HIM CAME THE
WORLD-RENOWNED CALVIN C. GOODE, WHO WAS ELECTED IN 1972 AND
STILL HAS THE RECORD OF BEING THE LONGEST-SERVING CITY
COUNCILMAN IN THE CITY OF PHOENIX. AND HE’S STILL LIVING AT
92 YEARS OLD. CAN WE GIVE AN APPLAUSE FOR
MR. CALVIN GOODE? [APPLAUSE] AFTER CALVIN GOODE, THERE WAS
CODY WILLIAMS AND THEN THERE WAS MICHAEL JOHNSON. SO THERE WERE FOUR
AFRICAN-AMERICANS WHO HAVE SERVED ON THE CITY COUNCIL OF
PHOENIX, ARIZONA. LET ME SHARE WITH YOU IN THE FEW
MINUTES I HAVE REMAINING A COUPLE OF OTHER
AFRICAN-AMERICANS THAT I THINK YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT. ONE IS GEORGE ROGERS. HE DIED SHORTLY AFTER I ARRIVED
IN 1977. HE WAS AN INSURANCE COMPANY
OWNER, AS WELL AS HE OWNED ONE OF THE FIRST BLACK NEWSPAPERS,
THE ARIZONA GLEAM. AND HE WAS RECOGNIZED AS A
PIONEER. THEN THERE WAS THE LATE REVEREND
DR. GEORGE BENJAMIN BROOKS, SR., WHO FOUNDED THE ONLY
AFRICAN-AMERICAN PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH IN THE STATE OF ARIZONA. AND THEN HE PARTNERED WITH
LINCOLN J. RAGSDALE, SR., WHO WAS A BUSINESSMAN AND MORTICIAN
AND INSURANCE COMPANY AGENCY. AND THEY JOINED TOGETHER TO
BECOME THE DYNAMIC DUO TO DESEGREGATE THE PUBLIC
RESTAURANTS IN DOWNTOWN PHOENIX. THEN THERE IS THE HONORABLE
CLOVES CAMPBELL, SR. HE BECAME THE FIRST
AFRICAN-AMERICAN WHO WAS ELECTED TO THE SENATE OF ARIZONA AND —
BUT MORE IMPORTANTLY, HE IS THE STATE LEGISLATOR IN ALL OF THE
UNITED STATES TO PUT FORTH LEGISLATION TO HONOR DR. MARTIN
LUTHER KING WITH HIS OWN DAY. AND HE DID THAT SHORTLY AFTER
DR. KING WAS ASSASSINATED IN 1968. I CANNOT GO FURTHER WITHOUT
TALKING ABOUT SOME POWERFUL SISTERS THAT WERE A PART OF
JUSTICE HERE IN THE CITY OF PHOENIX. THERE WAS A LADY WHEN I CAME
HERE NAMED VERNELL COLEMAN. SHE WAS HANDICAPPED, BUT SHE WAS
IN A WHEELCHAIR. VERNELL COLEMAN DID MORE FOR THE
COMMUNITY IN A WHEELCHAIR THAN MOST OF US DO STANDING UP. [APPLAUSE] AND ONE OF HER CONTEMPORARIES
WAS OPAL ELLIS. LET ME TELL YOU ABOUT
OPAL ELLIS. OPAL ELLIS FEARED NO MAN WHEN IT
CAME TO SPEAKING TRUTH AND POWER. AND I MEAN THAT LITERALLY. AND THEN ONE OF HER PARTNERS
WAS THE LATE HONORABLE JUDGE JEAN WILLIAMS,
WHO BECAME THE FIRST FEMALE TO BE ELECTED AS — TO BE
APPOINTED AS A MUNICIPAL JUDGE HERE IN PHOENIX, ARIZONA. LET ME TALK ABOUT
MARTIN LUTHER KING IN ARIZONA AS I CLOSE. MARTIN LUTHER KING JR. CAME TO
ARIZONA ONLY ONE TIME. THAT WAS IN THE YEAR OF 1964. HE WAS INVITED BY THEN-PRESIDENT
OF THE ARIZONA STATE UNIVERSITY, WHICH WAS A VERY COURAGEOUS MOVE
AT THAT TIME, RIGHT IN THE MIDDLE OF THE CIVIL RIGHTS
MOVEMENT. AND HE SPOKE BEFORE THOUSANDS
THERE. BUT BEFORE HE SPOKE BEFORE
THOUSANDS AT ASU IN TEMPE, HE SPOKE AT THE HISTORIC TANNER
CHAPEL AME CHURCH, AND SPOKE TO HIS BLACK BROTHERS AND SISTERS,
ENCOURAGING US TO STAY IN THE FIGHT, TO CONTINUE TO FIGHT FOR
JUSTICE AND FIGHT FOR CIVIL RIGHTS. AND THEN THE ARIZONA
MARTIN LUTHER KING JR. FIGHT, WHICH WE’RE VERY
INFAMOUS FOR, AS WELL AS FAMOUS FOR. IT WAS DEFEATED IN THE STATE
LEGISLATURE PERENNIALLY. AND THEN ON MAY 18th, 1986,
GOVERNOR BRUCE BABBITT DECLARED BY EXECUTIVE ORDER THE
MARTIN LUTHER KING JR. HOLIDAY FROM THE PULPIT OF
THE FIRST INSTITUTIONAL BAPTIST CHURCH AND SAID, “YOU’RE
GOING TO HAVE TO FIGHT FOR THAT.” LATER THAT YEAR, GOVERNOR
EVAN MECHAM WAS ELECTED AND HE PROMISED IN HIS CAMPAIGN THAT
WHEN HE BECAME GOVERNOR IN JANUARY OF 1987, HE WOULD
DEFEAT — HE WOULD RESCIND THE KING HOLIDAY. AND HE DID THAT AND BROUGHT ALL
FIRESTORM DOWN ON ARIZONA. ARIZONA LOST A HALF A BILLION
DOLLARS IN CANCELLED CONVENTIONS, SPORTS EVENTS, AND
CONCERTS, AS WELL AS THE PROPOSED 1993 SUPER BOWL THAT
DIDN’T EVER HAPPEN. IT WAS DEFEATED TWICE AT THE
POLLS, PROPOSITIONS ON KING HOLIDAY IN 1990. AND ARIZONA BECAME KNOWN AS THE
NEW ALABAMA. WELL, IT WAS AT THAT TIME IN
1990 THAT WE STARTED VICTORY TOGETHER A COALITION
WHICH IS THE MOST BROAD-BASED COALITION THAT’S EVER EXISTED IN
ARIZONA, WITH PEOPLE FROM EVERY WALK OF LIFE. AND WE TRIED ONE MORE TIME. AND ON NOVEMBER THE 3rd, 1992,
WE MADE HISTORY AS THE ONLY STATE IN THE UNION TO VOTE A
KING HOLIDAY FOR THE PEOPLE OF ARIZONA. COME ON, GIVE PRAISE FOR THAT. [APPLAUSE] IN MY MESSAGE ON THE FIRST KING
HOLIDAY AT THE AMERICA WEST ARENA, WHICH WAS BRAND NEW AT
THAT TIME. IT IS NOW TALKING STICK. BUT WE HAD 19,000 PEOPLE THERE. AND IN MY THANKS FOR THE PEOPLE
OF ARIZONA FOR SUPPORTING US, I SAID, WE MUST NOW MOVE FROM
SYMBOL TO SUBSTANCE AS IT RELATES TO WHAT DR. KING
PREACHED ABOUT, WHAT HE PRACTICED RELATIVE TO LOVE,
LIBERTY, AND JUSTICE FOR ALL. WE MUST MOVE FROM SYMBOL TO
SUBSTANCE. THAT’S WHY I SAY TO YOU TODAY,
AND WE ARE STILL HERE. GOD BLESS YOU. [APPLAUSE]>>HERE TODAY PERFORMING A SCENE
FROM THEIR CURRENT RUNNING OFF-OF-BROADWAY PRODUCTION,
“SISTERS,” A NONSTOP CELEBRATION OF AFRICAN-AMERICAN WOMEN TOLD
THROUGH TOP 40 MUSIC FROM BESSIE SMITH TO BEYONCE. JOIN ME IN WELCOMING THE BLACK
THEATER TROUPE. GIVE IT UP ONE TIME. [APPLAUSE] [STOMPING AND CLAPPING] [PIANO MUSIC] ♪ MY MILKSHAKE BRINGS ALL THE
BOYS TO THE YARD ♪ ♪ AND THEY’RE LIKE IT’S BETTER
THAN YOURS ♪ ♪ DAMN RIGHT, IT’S BETTER THAN
YOURS ♪ ♪ I COULD TEACH YOU, BUT I
WOULD HAVE TO CHARGE ♪ ♪ MY MILKSHAKE BRINGS ALL THE
BOYS TO THE YARD ♪>>TAMEKA. ♪ AND THEY’RE LIKE IT’S BETTER
THAN YOURS ♪>>TAMEKA JONES. TAMEKA!>>OH, OH.>>WE’RE SUPPOSED TO BE FINDING
A SONG FOR OUR BIG NUMBER.>>WELL, EVERYBODY LOVES THIS
SONG. YOU DIDN’T HEAR THAT BEAT, BEAT,
BEAT?>>I HEARD THE LYRICS, LYRICS,
LYRICS.>>WHO CARES ABOUT THOSE?>>REVEREND BLACKWELL DOES, AND
HE WILL BE AT THE SERVICE THIS EVENING FOR GRANDMA.>>WELL, I GOT THINGS TO DO.>>LIKE STUDYING, I HOPE. JUST BECAUSE YOU GOT INTO
COLLEGE DOES NOT MEAN THAT YOU CAN SLACK OFF ON YOUR STUDIES.>>I SWEAR, THERE’S MORE STAIRS
EVERY YEAR.>>I DON’T KNOW HOW GRANDMA
MANAGED.>>WHY DO ALWAYS END UP HERE
AFTER SOMEBODY DIES?>>YEAH, IN THIS MESS.>>THIS IS YOUR FAMILY HISTORY
UP HERE. AND IF YOU LOOK HARD ENOUGH,
YOU’LL FIND OUT A LOT ABOUT YOUR GREAT-GRANDMOTHER.>>SO. MOST THIS STUFF IS STILL JUNK.>>WHOSE STUPID IDEA WAS IT TO
PERFORM A SONG TONIGHT?>>IT IS NOT STUPID. GRANDMA STARTED THE CHOIR AND WE
HAVE ALWAYS BEEN THE MUSICAL ONES. CHOOSING THIS ONE SONG IS A JOB
FOR THE ENTIRE FAMILY. AND YOU, YOUNG LADY, NEED TO
UNDERSTAND WHERE IT IS YOU COME FROM AND WHAT IT MEANS AS A
BLACK WOMAN. I WOULD HAVE THOUGHT YOUR MOTHER
WOULD HAVE TAUGHT YOU BETTER.>>WHAT ARE YOU SAYING? I AIN’T A GOOD MOTHER?>>OF COURSE NOT. BUT GRANDMA WOULD BE ROLLING
OVER IN HER GRAVE IF SHE COULD HEAR THE KIND OF MUSIC YOUR
DAUGHTER IS DANCING TO.>>OH, PLEASE. YOU KNOW THOSE RAPPERS ARE JUST
ORAL HISTORIANS OF THE STREET.>>ORAL HISTORIANS?>>DON’T YOU REMEMBER GRANDMAMA
TELLING US ABOUT GOD’S MUSIC VERSUS THE DEVIL’S MUSIC?>>YES, I DO. ♪ PRECIOUS LORD ♪ [PIANO MUSIC] ♪ TAKE MY HAND ♪
♪ LEAD ME ON ♪ ♪ LET ME STAND ♪
♪ I AM TIRED ♪>>ME, TOO. ♪ I AM WEAK ♪
♪ I AM WORN ♪ ♪ THROUGH THE STORM ♪
>>SING, SISTER. ♪ THROUGH THE NIGHT ♪
♪ LEAD ME ON TO THE LIGHT ♪ ♪ TAKE MY HAND ♪
♪ PRECIOUS LORD ♪ ♪ AND LEAD, LEAD ME HOME ♪
>>YES, YES, SING, SISTER, YES. [APPLAUSE]>>I’M SO SORRY I’M SO LATE. MY CAR WAS HARD TO PARK WITH ALL
THOSE OVERGROWN HEDGES OUT THERE. AND WHO WAS SUPPOSED TO BE
MOWING THE LAWN?>>THAT WOULD BE ROBERTA.>>AND THOSE HEDGES, IT’S BEEN
WHAT, FOUR WEEKS?>>IT’S MY JOB TO GO THROUGH THE
MAIL AND GET THE FINANCES IN ORDER. YOUR BUSY-ASS HUSBAND IS ON LAWN
DUTY. HI, HEATHER.>>OH, WELL, DID YOU TELL HIM? MY BUSY-ASS HUSBAND IS IN THE
RECORDING STUDIO.>>WELL, YOU KNOW WHAT, YOU NEED
TO GO AHEAD AND –>>YOU KNOW THIS, ROBERTA. NOT TODAY.>>IT’S NOT EASY BEING IN LOVE. [PIANO MUSIC] ♪ DON’T KNOW WHY ♪
♪ THERE’S NO SUN UP IN THE SKY ♪
♪ STORMY WEATHER SINCE MY MAN AND I AIN’T TOGETHER ♪
♪ KEEPS RAINING ALL THE TIME ♪ ♪ LIFE IS BEAR ♪
♪ GLOOM AND MISERY EVERYWHERE ♪
♪ STORMY WEATHER ♪ ♪ JUST CAN’T KEEP MY POOR SELF
TOGETHER ♪ ♪ I’M WEARY ALL THE TIME ♪
♪ THE TIME ♪ ♪ SO WEARY ALL THE TIME ♪
♪ SINCE YOU WENT AWAY, THE BLUES WALKED IN AND MET ME ♪
♪ IF YOU STAY AWAY, OH, ROCKING CHAIR WILL GET ME ♪
♪ ALL I DO IS PRAY THE LORD ABOVE WILL LET ME WALK IN THE
SUN ONCE MORE ♪ ♪ CAN’T GO ON ♪
♪ EVERYTHING I HAD IS GONE ♪ ♪ STORMY WEATHER SINCE MY MAN
AND I AIN’T TOGETHER ♪ ♪ KEEPS RAINING ALL THE TIME ♪
♪ KEEPS RAINING ALL THE TIME ♪ [APPLAUSE] YEAH, SINGING LIKE THAT WAS
NAMING PAIN.>>YOU MEAN TAKING THE PAIN,
RIGHT?>>IDENTIFYING IT CAME FIRST. AND, YOU KNOW, THIS WAS WAY
BEFORE THE WOMEN’S MOVEMENT.>>YOU MEAN THE WHITE WOMEN’S
MOVEMENT.>>BLACK, WHITE, GREEN, PURPLE,
ROBERTA, IT’S FOR ALL WOMEN TRYING TO OVERTHROW THE YOKE OF
SUBSERVIENCE.>>AND WE KNOW ALL ABOUT THAT
SUBSERVIENCE.>>YOU KNOW, I ALWAYS THOUGHT
THE SONG “I WILL FOLLOW HIM” WAS ABOUT SUBMISSIVENESS TO MEN.>>YEAH, YOU WHITE GIRLS SING A
LOT OF THAT STUFF.>>THAT’S WHAT THEIR MUSIC WAS,
HONEY.>>WELL, IT’S A HELL OF A LOT
BETTER THAN THIS MUSIC WE’VE GOT TODAY. AND UNLIKE THIS FACEBOOK
GENERATION WE’VE GOT GOING ON UP OVER HERE —
>>AIN’T NOTHING WRONG WITH FACEBOOK.>>YOU KNOW, BILLIE KNEW HOW TO
KEEP HER PRIVATE BUSINESS PRIVATE. [PIANO MUSIC] ♪ THERE AIN’T NOTHING I CAN DO
OR NOTHING I CAN SAY ♪ ♪ THAT FOLKS DON’T CRITICIZE
ME ♪ ♪ BUT I’M GOING TO DO JUST AS I
WANT TO ANYWAY ♪ ♪ I DON’T CARE IF THEY DESPISE
ME ♪ ♪ IF I SHOULD TAKE THE NOTION
AND JUMP INTO THE OCEAN ♪ ♪ IT AIN’T NOBODY’S BUSINESS IF
I DO ♪>>YOU HEAR THAT? ♪ IF I SHOULD GO TO CHURCH ON
SUNDAY THEN CABARET ALL DAY ON MONDAY ♪
♪ IT AIN’T NOBODY’S BUSINESS IF I DO ♪
♪ IF I SHOULD GIVE HIM MY LAST NICKEL AND IT LEAVES ME IN A
PICKLE ♪ ♪ IT AIN’T NOBODY’S BUSINESS IF
I DO ♪ ♪ I SWEAR I WON’T CALL NO
COPPER IF I’M BEAT UP BY MY PAPA ♪
♪ IT AIN’T NOBODY’S BUSINESS IF I DO ♪
♪ NO, I SAID IT AIN’T NOBODY’S BUSINESS ♪
♪ NO, IT AIN’T NOBODY’S BUSINESS ♪
♪ I SAID, IT AIN’T HIS BUSINESS ♪
♪ IT AIN’T HER BUSINESS ♪ ♪ IT AIN’T YOUR BUSINESS ♪
♪ IT’S MY BUSINESS ♪ ♪ AIN’T NOBODY’S BUSINESS IF I
DO ♪ [APPLAUSE] QUICK, WHO DO I REMIND YOU OF?>>BILLIE HOLIDAY IF YOU WERE
PRETTIER.>>WELL, THANK YOU FOR BUYING IN
TO THE WHITE MALE SYSTEM OF DEFINING BEAUTY BY LIGHT SKIN
AND LONG HAIR. WHAT YOU GOING TO DO, HOLD UP A
PAPER BAG UP TO ME NEXT?>>CAN’T YOU TAKE A JOKE?>>NO, NONE OF THIS IS FUNNY. MAIDS BEING MISTREATED, BILLIE
AND ALL OF HER PROBLEMS.>>YES, SHE WAS THE FIRST
BLACK — I MEAN, AFRICAN-AMERICAN WOMAN WHO WAS
REALLY FAMOUS, WASN’T SHE?>>I SUPPOSE YOU COULD SAY THAT
WITH THE POPULAR CULTURE, BUT SHE HAD 12 HITS IN THE 1930s. SHE WAS THE MOST POPULAR
CELEBRITY OF HER TIME.>>AND SHE STILL HAD TO USE THE
SERVICE ENTRANCE.>>I WANT TO SAY HER BIGGEST HIT
WAS “GOD BLESS THE CHILD.”>>WHAT? NO, THAT WAS JILL SCOTT. SHE SANG IT WITH GEORGE BENSON.>>”GOD BLESS THE CHILD”?>>”GOD BLESS THE CHILD” BY
JILL SCOTT.>>BLASPHEMY! YOU KNOW THAT’S BLASPHEMY,
RIGHT?>>WHAT’S WRONG WITH JILL SCOTT?>>SING IT FOR HER, BABY. [PIANO MUSIC] ♪ THEM THAT’S GOT SHALL GET ♪
♪ THEM THAT’S NOT SHALL LOSE ♪ ♪ SO THE BIBLE SAYS AND IT
STILL IS NEWS ♪ ♪ OH, MAMA MAY HAVE, AND PAPA
MAY HAVE ♪ ♪ BUT GOD BLESS THE CHILD
THAT’S GOT HIS OWN ♪ ♪ THAT’S GOT HIS OWN ♪
>>ALL RIGHT. WELL, SHE KNOWS THE WORDS. ♪ YES, THE STRONG GETS MORE ♪
>>THAT’S RIGHT, BABY. ♪ WHILE THE WEAK ONES FADE ♪
♪ EMPTY POCKETS DON’T EVER SEEM TO MAKE THE GRADE ♪
♪ MAMA MAY HAVE, AND PAPA MAY HAVE ♪
♪ BUT GOD BLESS THE CHILD THAT’S GOT HIS OWN ♪
♪ THAT’S GOT HIS OWN ♪ [APPLAUSE]>>THAT’S MY BABY. WELL DONE, BABY, WELL DONE. BUT THAT WAS BILLIE’S SONG
FIRST.>>SEE, LIFE IS GRAND, ISN’T IT?>>YEAH, WELL, SOMETIMES.>>ROBERTA, WHEN LIFE KICKS YOU
IN THE GUT, JUST VOMIT OUT THE TOXINS.>>ARE YOU TRYING TO MAKE HER
FEEL BETTER? ♪ EVERY DAY IS SO WONDERFUL ♪
♪ THEN SUDDENLY IT’S HARD TO BREATHE ♪
♪ NOW AND THEN I GET INSECURE ♪
♪ FROM ALL THE PAIN ♪ ♪ SO ASHAMED ♪
♪ YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL NO MATTER WHAT THEY SAY ♪
♪ WORDS CAN’T BRING YOU DOWN ♪ ♪ YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL IN EVERY
SINGLE WAY ♪ ♪ WORDS CAN’T BRING YOU DOWN ♪
♪ SO DON’T YOU BRING ME DOWN TODAY ♪ [APPLAUSE]>>SEE, MAMA, WHAT YOU NEEDED
ALL ALONG WAS… ♪ R-E-S-P-E-C-T ♪
♪ FIND OUT WHAT IT MEANS TO ME ♪
♪ R-E-S-P-E-C-T ♪ ♪ TAKE CARE, TCB ♪
♪ OH, OH ♪ ♪ WHAT YOU WANT ♪
♪ BABY, I GOT IT ♪ ♪ AND WHAT YOU NEED ♪
♪ YOU KNOW I GOT IT ♪ ♪ AND ALL I’M ASKIN’ ♪
♪ IS FOR A LITTLE RESPECT WHEN YOU GET HOME ♪
♪ JUST A LITTLE BIT ♪ ♪ HEY BABY ♪
♪ JUST A LITTLE BIT ♪ ♪ WHEN YOU GET HOME ♪
♪ JUST A LITTLE BIT, JUST A LITTLE BIT ♪
♪ OH ♪ ♪ I AIN’T GONNA DO YOU WRONG
WHILE YOU’RE GONE ♪ ♪ AIN’T GONNA DO YOU WRONG
‘CAUSE I DON’T WANNA ♪ ♪ NOW ALL I’M ASKIN’ IS FOR A
LITTLE RESPECT WHEN YOU COME HOME ♪
♪ JUST A LITTLE BIT ♪ ♪ HEY BABY ♪
♪ JUST A LITTLE BIT ♪ ♪ WHEN YOU COME HOME ♪
♪ JUST A LITTLE BIT ♪ ♪ YEAH ♪
♪ JUST A LITTLE BIT ♪ ♪ R-E-S-P-E-C-T ♪
♪ FIND OUT WHAT IT MEANS TO ME ♪
♪ R-E-S-P-E-C-T ♪ ♪ TAKE CARE, TCB ♪
♪ YEAH, YEAH ♪ ♪ SOCK IT TO ME, SOCK IT TO ME,
SOCK IT TO ME, SOCK IT TO ME ♪ ♪ SOCK IT TO ME, SOCK IT TO ME,
SOCK IT TO ME, SOCK IT TO ME ♪ ♪ JUST A LITTLE BIT ♪
♪ JUST A LITTLE BIT ♪ ♪ JUST A LITTLE BIT ♪
♪ RE, RE ♪ ♪ RE, RE, RE, RE ♪
♪ RE, RE, RE, RE ♪ ♪ RESPECT, JUST A LITTLE BIT ♪
♪ YEAH ♪ ♪ JUST A LITTLE BIT ♪
♪ SOCK IT TO ME, SOCK IT TO ME, SOCK IT TO ME, SOCK IT TO ME ♪
♪ SOCK IT TO ME, SOCK IT TO ME, SOCK IT TO ME, SOCK IT TO ME ♪
♪ SOCK IT TO ME, SOCK IT TO ME, SOCK IT TO ME, SOCK IT TO ME ♪
♪ SOCK IT TO ME, SOCK IT TO ME, SOCK IT TO ME, SOCK IT TO ME ♪
♪ SOCK IT TO ME, SOCK IT TO ME, SOCK IT TO ME, SOCK IT TO ME ♪
♪ SOCK IT TO ME, SOCK IT TO ME, SOCK IT TO ME, SOCK IT TO ME ♪
♪ NOW WHAT WE WANT ♪ ♪ IS A LITTLE RESPECT ♪ [APPLAUSE] [PIANO MUSIC]>>NOW I GET THE PLEASURE OF
INTRODUCING A GENTLEMAN THAT I’VE KNOWN FOR A LITTLE BIT OF
TIME. HE’S KIND OF DECENT AT WHAT HE
DOES. HE GOES BY THE NAME OF
TRUTH B. TOLD.>>I AM A SPOKEN WORD ARTIST. I HAVE BEEN BLESSED TO BE A
FULL-TIME ARTIST TEN YEARS AS OF THIS APRIL, HAVING LIVED HERE
FOR SEVEN YEARS OF THIS JULY. THAT MEANS I AM TECHNICALLY A
PHOENIX POET SINCE THE MAJORITY OF MY CAREER HAS BEEN HERE. I GET TO TRAVEL NATIONWIDE. I’VE DONE STAGES. I WORK IN SCHOOLS. I’VE BEEN ON NATIONAL
TELEVISION. I WROTE A COMMERCIAL FOR BET’S
BLACK HISTORY MONTH. IT WAS SUPPOSED TO AIR JUST FOR
BLACK HISTORY MONTH. IT AIRED FOR THREE YEARS. I’M KIND OF GOOD AT WHAT I DO. SO, RIGHT NOW I’M GOING TO SHARE
A SPOKEN WORD PIECE WITH YOU. THE WORK THAT I DO IS ENGAGING. IT IS MEANT TO CHALLENGE YOU. IT IS MEANT TO MAKE YOU THINK. IF YOU FEEL SOME KIND OF WAY
AFTER THIS POEM, ONE, EVERYTHING I SAY IN IT IS TRUE, AND TWO,
FEEL FREE TO SPEAK TO ME IN THE LOBBY AFTERWARDS. THIS PIECE IS BASICALLY BLACK
AMERICA’S VOICE TO AMERICA. AND IT IS ENTITLED “OPEN LETTER
TO AMERICA.” I ALSO DO THIS THING WHEN I
PERFORM WHERE I ALLOW THE AUDIENCE TO YELL “REWIND” WHILE
I PERFORM. SO I HAPPEN TO SAY A LINE THAT
JUST HITS YOU A PARTICULAR WAY, YOU CAN YELL “REWIND.” I WILL SAY THE LINE AGAIN ON
DEMAND. YOU CANNOT MESS ME UP. THIS IS MY JOB, OKAY? WE WERE NEVER MEANT TO BEND
VOLUNTARILY, ONLY FORCIBLY ONTO SHIPS OR TO SOMEONE ELSE’S WILL. IN AMERICA’S MIND, I’M STILL
NOTHING MORE THAN THE THIRD PICK IN THAT SLAVERY DRAFT WITH
IDEALS OF BENDING OUR BACKS, TRANSFORMING COTTON INTO CASH,
AND RECEIVING LASHES FOR SPEAKING BACK. BOY, KNOW YOUR PLACE.>>REWIND.>>IN AMERICA’S MIND, I’M
NOTHING MORE THAN THE THIRD PICK IN A SLAVERY DRAFT WITH IDEALS
OUR BACKS, TRANSFORMING COTTON INTO CASH, AND RECEIVING LASHES
FOR SPEAKING BACK. BOY, KNOW YOUR PLACE. LEARN WHAT RACE IS. UNDERSTAND YOUR RACE SHOULD ONLY
COME FIRST IN RACES. YOU HAD NO PLAN FOR ME AFTER
SLAVERY. MADE ME CRIMINAL JUST FOR
BREATHING. CREATED GAME, DECONSTRUCTED
RECONSTRUCTION ERA TO GIVE WHITE FOLK BROKE LIKE US SOMETHING TO
LOSE. CHOOSE BETWEEN SKIN PRIVILEGE OR
PERSECUTION. KEEP GAME MOVING ALONG. REWRITE RULES. FORCE US TO BE THE ONLY ONES TO
ADHERE TO THEM. MAKE US EAT JIM’S CROW UNTIL IT
BECOMES OUR BEST FRIEND. MAKE US SIT IN BACK OF BUS. CALL US OUTCASTS. CAST OUT OVER 3,000 PIECES OF
BENT AND BROKEN STRANGE FRUIT THROUGHOUT OUR — SORRY, YOUR
STOLEN COUNTRY.>>PLEASE JOIN ME IN WELCOMING
RON WILLIAMS TO THE STAGE, WHERE HE WILL PERFORM “WAKE UP,
EVERYBODY.” GIVE HIM SOME LOVE ONE TIME. [APPLAUSE]>>YEAH, THIS IS A HOMECOMING
FOR ME. SOME THINGS CHANGE. SOME THINGS STAY THE SAME. WAKE UP. [PIANO MUSIC] ♪ YEAH ♪
♪ WAKE UP EVERYBODY NO MORE SLEEPIN’ IN BED ♪
♪ NO MORE BACKWARD THINKIN’ ♪ ♪ TIME FOR THINKIN’ AHEAD ♪
♪ THE WORLD HAS CHANGED SO VERY MUCH ♪
♪ FROM WHAT IT USED TO BE ♪ ♪ THERE IS SO MUCH HATRED WAR
AND POVERTY ♪ ♪ OH, OH, OH, OH, OH ♪
♪ WAKE UP ALL THE TEACHERS ♪ ♪ TIME TO TEACH A NEW WAY ♪
♪ MAYBE THEN THEY’LL LISTEN TO WHATCHA HAVE TO SAY ♪
♪ ‘CAUSE THEY’RE THE ONES WHO’S COMING UP AND THE WORLD IS IN
THEIR HANDS ♪ ♪ WHEN YOU TEACH THE CHILDREN,
WE TEACH EM THE VERY BEST YOU CAN ♪
WHOO! ♪ THE WORLD WON’T GET NO BETTER
IF WE JUST LET IT BE ♪ ♪ LA, LA, LA, LA, LA, LA ♪
♪ THE WORLD WON’T GET NO BETTER WE GOTTA CHANGE IT, JUST
YOU AND ME ♪ ♪ YEAH ♪
♪ WAKE UP ALL THE DOCTORS MAKE THE OLD PEOPLE WELL ♪
♪ THEY’RE THE ONES WHO SUFFER AND CATCH ALL THE HELL ♪
♪ BUT THEY DON’T HAVE SO VERY LONG BEFORE THE JUDGMENT DAY ♪
♪ WON’TCHA MAKE THEM HAPPY BEFORE THEY PASS AWAY ♪
♪ WAKE UP ALL THE BUILDERS TIME TO BUILD A NEW LAND ♪
♪ I KNOW WE CAN DO IT IF WE ALL LEND A HAND ♪
♪ THE ONLY THING WE HAVE TO DO IS PUT IT IN OUR MINDS ♪
♪ SURELY THINGS WILL WORK OUT ♪
♪ THEY DO IT EVERY TIME ♪ ♪ THE WORLD WON’T GET NO BETTER
IF WE JUST LET IT BE ♪ ♪ LA, LA, LA, LA, LA, LA ♪
♪ THE WORLD WON’T GET NO BETTER WE GOTTA CHANGE IT, JUST
YOU AND ME ♪ ♪ YEAH ♪
♪ CHANGE IT, JUST YOU AND ME ♪ ♪ CHANGE IT ♪
♪ CAN’T DO IT ALONE ♪ ♪ NEED SOME HELP Y’ALL ♪
♪ CAN’T DO IT ALONE ♪ ♪ WELL ♪
♪ WAKE UP EVERYBODY ♪ ♪ WAKE UP EVERYBODY ♪
♪ NEED A LITTLE HELP Y’ALL ♪ ♪ YES, I DO NEED A LITTLE
HELP ♪ ♪ CHANGE THE WORLD FROM WHAT IT
USED TO BE ♪ ♪ YEAH, WAKE UP EVERYBODY ♪ [APPLAUSE] THANK YOU.>>GOOD AFTERNOON. MY NAME IS GENE BLUE. I WAS BORN IN CLEVELAND, OHIO
AND GRADUATED FROM KENT STATE UNIVERSITY. I WAS RECRUITED BY PHOENIX UNION
HIGH SCHOOL IN 1955 AND ENDED MY 70-YEAR CAREER IN EDUCATION AS
THE DEAN OF STUDENTS AT CENTRAL HIGH SCHOOL IN 2006. I PARTNERED WITH MY SISTER JEAN
TO ESTABLISH SCHOLARSHIPS FOR STUDENTS PURSUING CAREERS IN
PUBLIC EDUCATION IN ARIZONA AND OHIO. A PHOENIX SCHOOL HAS THE HONOR
OF BEARING MY NAME. I PUT MY MONEY WHERE MY HEART
LIVES.>>Y’ALL BETTER KNOW Y’ALL’S
CITIES. YES, IT’S BETTY FAIRFAX. THANK YOU FOR DR. GENE BLUE FOR
THAT.>>GOOD AFTERNOON, MY NAME IS
CAROL COLES HENRY. I WAS A BABY WHEN MY FAMILY CAME
TO ARIZONA TO WORK IN THE AGRICULTURAL FIELDS. I REMEMBER PICKING COTTON AS A
BOY. I GRADUATED FROM THE EIGHTH
GRADE IN GILA BEND, BUT THE HIGH SCHOOL DID NOT ALLOW
AFRICAN-AMERICAN STUDENTS TO ATTEND. MY FAMILY MOVED TO PRESCOTT TO
ENSURE THAT WE COULD ATTEND HIGH SCHOOL. MY FAMILY LATER MOVED TO PHOENIX
AND I ATTENDED CARVER HIGH SCHOOL. I GRADUATED FROM PHOENIX COLLEGE
AND ARIZONA STATE UNIVERSITY. I WORKED FOR PHOENIX UNION HIGH
SCHOOL FOR 30 YEARS. I ALSO RAN A TAX ACCOUNTING
BUSINESS. I MARRIED A BEAUTIFUL HIGH
SCHOOL TEACHER NAMED GEORGIE AND HAD THREE SONS. I AM BEST KNOWN FOR SERVING FOR
22 YEARS AS A PHOENIX CITY COUNCIL MEMBER. TO COMMEMORATE MY YEARS OF
SERVICE TO THE CITY, A MUNICIPAL BUILDING WAS NAMED IN MY HONOR. LET THE PUBLIC BE SERVED.>>MY NAME IS MICHAEL JOHNSON. I WAS BORN A SLAVE IN NEW YORK
STATE IN 1797. I ESCAPED WITH MY DAUGHTER AND
FOUGHT TO FREE MY SON WHO WAS ILLEGALLY SOLD INTO SLAVERY. I HELPED UNION SOLDIERS DURING
THE CIVIL WAR. I AM WELL KNOWN FOR BEING AN
ABOLITIONIST AND WOMEN’S RIGHT ADVOCATE. I DELIVERED A PROFILE SPEECH AT
THE OHIO WOMEN’S RIGHTS CONVENTION IN 1851. I ROCKED THE CROWD WHEN I
DECLARED, “AIN’T I A WOMAN?” THE TRUTH IS POWERFUL AND IT
PREVAILS. CAN I GET AN AMEN?>>AMEN. THE WHOLE CONGREGATION KNOWS WHO
THAT IS. [APPLAUSE] MY NAME IS TERRY JACKSON. I WAS BORN IN FRANKSTON, TEXAS. AND AT THE AGE OF FOUR, MY
FAMILY MOVED TO PHOENIX. I WAS IN THE UNITED STATES ARMY
AND SERVED IN OKINAWA, JAPAN DURING WORLD WAR I —
WORLD WAR II. I ATTAINED THE RANK OF SERGEANT. I EARNED MY B.S. AND MY MASTER’S
DEGREE FROM ASU. IN THE 1950s, I WAS ONE OF THE
FOUNDERS OF THE FIRST AFTERNOON AMERICAN CONSTRUCTION COMPANY IN
THE STATE OF ARIZONA. AND WE BUILT HOMES PRIMARILY IN
THE SOUTH PHOENIX AREA. FROM 1964 THROUGH 1989, I WORKED
FOR THE CITY OF PHOENIX WHERE I RETIRED AS AN EXECUTIVE LEADER. I WAS A LOVING HUSBAND,
DEDICATED FATHER AND GRANDFATHER, BUSINESSMAN AND
COMMUNITY LEADER. A MUNICIPAL BUILDING IS NAMED
AFTER ME. I AM BLACK EXCELLENCE. [APPLAUSE]>>MY NAME IS CODY WILLIAMS. I’M JUDGE OF THE SOUTH MOUNTAIN
JUSTICE COURT. I WAS BORN IN MUSKOGEE, A SMALL
TOWN NEAR TULSA, OKLAHOMA. MY FAMILY LOST ITS BUSINESS
DURING THE BURNING OF BLACK WALL STREET IN 1921. I SERVED AS A TUSKEGEE AIRMAN
AND AT LUKE AIR FORCE BASE FLYING P-51 FIGHTER PLANES. I ATTENDED ARIZONA STATE
UNIVERSITY, CALIFORNIA COLLEGE OF MORTUARY SCIENCE, AND UNION
GRADUATE SCHOOL. I MARRIED AND HAD FOUR CHILDREN. I FUNDED A LAWSUIT WHICH
RESULTED IN A 1953 RULING DECLARING SEGREGATION
UNCONSTITUTIONAL IN ARIZONA. I LED PROTESTS AND SERVED AS THE
VICE PRESIDENT OF THE MARICOPA COUNTY NAACP. I OPENED AND RAN A MORTUARY AND
SUCCESSFULLY LOBBIED THE PHOENIX CITY COUNCIL TO PASS A PUBLIC
ACCOMMODATIONS LAW IN 1964. IN 1996, COUNCILMAN
CODY WILLIAMS AND HIS COLLEAGUES
RENAMED THE SKY HARBOR GENERAL AVIATION TERMINAL AFTER ME. I AM A BLACK EXCELLENCE IN
ACTION. [APPLAUSE]>>GOOD AFTERNOON. MY NAME IS NIKKI HICKS. MY GIFT OF VISIONS AND
PREMONITIONS FROM GOD CAME AFTER I WAS HIT ON THE HEAD BY A SLAVE
OWNER. HE GAVE ME A DESTINY AND I
COURAGEOUSLY ROSE TO THE CHALLENGE. I CONDUCTED 13 MISSIONS HELPING
OF HUNDREDS OF SLAVES TRAVEL NORTH TO FREEDOM. HOW DID I DO IT? HUH, WELL, THEY DON’T CALL ME
MOSES FOR FUN. I CREATED A PATHWAY CALLED THE
UNDERGROUND RAILROAD. WE TRAVELED BY NIGHT AND IN
SECRET, MEN, WOMEN, YOUNG AND OLD. I WAS THE FIRST WOMAN TO LEAD AN
ARMED EXPEDITION IN THE CIVIL WAR. I HELPED JOHN BROWN RECRUIT
SOLDIERS FOR THE RAID ON HARPER’S FERRY. I WAS TRULY THE FIRST STEALTH
MILITARY APPARATUS. THEY CONSIDERED PUTTING ME ON
THE $20 BILL, BUT HONEY, I THINK I LOOK BETTER ON THE 100. [APPLAUSE] I WANT EVERYONE WHO ISN’T FREE
TO KNOW THERE IS STILL A WAY TO FREEDOM. SOMETIMES YOU JUST HAVE TO BLAZE
YOUR OWN TRAIL. [APPLAUSE]>>GOOD AFTERNOON. I AM GEORGE DEAN. I PROUDLY BROKE BARRIERS
THROUGHOUT MY ENTIRE LIFE AND FOUGHT FOR THE RIGHTS OF THOSE
IN NEED. I CAME TO ARIZONA IN 1945 AND
LIVED IN THE MATTHEW HENSON HOUSING PROJECT. AFTER I SERVED IN THE U.S. ARMY,
MARRIED A WONDERFUL WOMAN, STARTED A FAMILY, I GRADUATED
FROM ASU WITH AN EDUCATION DEGREE. I SERVED ON THE ARIZONA HOUSE OF
REPRESENTATIVES AND WAS FIRST AFRICAN-AMERICAN ELECTED TO THE
ARIZONA STATE SENATE. I SERVED FOR 10 YEARS IN THE
LEGISLATURE, WORKED FOR ARIZONA PUBLIC SERVICE FOR 31 YEARS,
PUBLISHED THE ARIZONA INFORMANT, AND COACHED POP WARNER FOOTBALL. I WAS TRULY UNBOUGHT AND
UNBOSSED.>>I LOVE Y’ALL. I REALLY DO.>>GOOD AFTERNOON, MY NAME IS
DR. ANN HART. RAISED ON THE SOUTH SIDE OF
CHICAGO, I GRADUATED FROM PRINCETON UNIVERSITY AND HARVARD
LAW COLLEGE. EARLY IN MY LEGAL CAREER, I
WORKED AT AUSTIN AND SIDLEY. I SUBSEQUENTLY WORKED AT
NON-PROFITS AND AS ASSOCIATE DEAN OF STUDENT SERVICES AT THE
UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO. I ALSO WORKED FOR COMMUNITY AND
EXTERNAL AFFAIRS AT THE UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO MEDICAL
CENTER. I MARRIED IN 1992 AND WE HAVE
TWO CHARMING DAUGHTERS. AS FIRST LADY, MY INTENTION WAS
TO SERVE AS A ROLE MODEL FOR WOMEN AND WORK AS AN ADVOCATE
FOR POVERTY AWARENESS, EDUCATION, NUTRITION, PHYSICAL
ACTIVITY, AND HEALTHY EATING. I SUPPORTED AMERICAN DESIGNERS. I AM A FASHION ICON. BEAUTY, INTELLIGENCE, GRACE,
INTELLECT. I AM A FASHION ICON. I AM A POWERFUL BLACK QUEEN. [APPLAUSE]>>GOOD AFTERNOON, MY NAME IS
ART HAMILTON. I WAS THE SECOND YOUNGEST PERSON
EVER ELECTED TO THE ARIZONA STATE LEGISLATURE. I SERVED 26 YEARS IN THE BODY,
18 CONSECUTIVE YEARS AS PARTY LEADER. I SERVED WITH SEVEN ARIZONA
GOVERNORS. I AM THE FIRST AND ONLY ARIZONAN
EVER TO BE ELECTED PRESIDENT OF THE NATIONAL CONFERENCE OF STATE
LEGISLATURES, AN ORGANIZATION THAT REPRESENTS ALL 50 STATES,
ALL 4,000 STATE LEGISLATORS, AND ALL 30,000 STAFF. IN 1985, A LOCAL SCHOOL DISTRICT
WAS KIND ENOUGH TO NAME AN ELEMENTARY SCHOOL IN MY HONOR. I CURRENTLY RUN MY OWN BUSINESS.>>THAT’S RIGHT, LIVING HISTORY
RIGHT IN THE BUILDING. PLEASE, IF YOU COULD, GIVE A
LOUD ROUND OF APPLAUSE FOR EVERYBODY WHO PRESENTED UP HERE
TODAY. THANK YOU ALL VERY MUCH FOR THE
PRESENTATION.>>WE WOULD LIKE TO THANK EACH
OF OUR DISTINGUISHED PRESENTERS FOR JOINING US FOR THIS FUN WAY
TO LEARN ABOUT THOSE WHO HELPED SHAPE BLACK CULTURE AND HISTORY
BOTH NATIONALLY AND LOCALLY. OUR FINAL SPEAKER TODAY IS ONCE
AGAIN PHOENIX’S DIRECTOR OF THE EQUAL OPPORTUNITY DEPARTMENT,
DON LOGAN. PLEASE WELCOME DON AS HE COMES
BACK TO THE STAGE ONE MORE TIME. [APPLAUSE]>>YOU KNOW, THE EMCEE SAID LAST
TIME I WAS UP HERE I COULDN’T SING. THEY WASN’T GOING TO ALLOW ME TO
SING. HE DIDN’T KNOW I WAS GOING TO
GET THE MIC AFTER HE WAS DROPPING IT. HOW ABOUT ANOTHER HAND FOR OUR
EMCEE, TRUTH B. TOLD? [APPLAUSE] AND IF I COULD JUST EXTEND UPON
THE WORDS THAT TRUTH TALKED ABOUT HERE JUST AS HE LEFT THE
STAGE, WE WANT TO GROW THIS EVENT. AND THIS EVENT COULD NOT HAVE
HAPPENED WITHOUT THE COLLABORATIVE EFFORTS OF LEADERS
FROM ALL ACROSS THE CITY IN DIFFERENT DEPARTMENTS. BUT IN ORDER FOR US TO TAKE THIS
WHERE WE WANT IT TO GO, WE’RE GOING TO NEED EACH AND EVERY ONE
OF YOU TO LEAVE AND TALK ABOUT WHAT YOU WERE EXPOSED TO TODAY,
WHAT LESSONS THAT YOU TAKE AWAY THAT YOU MAY NOT HAVE KNOWN
ABOUT BLACK HISTORY. I MEAN, THE FOLKS THAT WERE JUST
STANDING HERE ON THIS STAGE ARE LIVING LEGENDS. [APPLAUSE] WE GOT PASTOR STEWART HERE,
CIVIL RIGHTS ICON IN ARIZONA. I NEVER KNEW EASTLAKE PARK HAD
WATER. THAT WASN’T DURING MY TIME. BUT I LEARNED THAT TODAY IN
TERMS OF DRIVING PAST 16th STREET AND JEFFERSON AND LOOKING
OVER THAT PARK, I HAVE A DIFFERENT VIEW OF THAT PARK. AND WE HOPE TO SEE YOU HERE NEXT
YEAR. THANK YOU. [APPLAUSE]

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  1. #coronavirusAZ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a7m_WRxkzHg @17:00 Hello Arizona 5th largest city in the USA We are having an economic meltdown and a very big health crisis. What are you doing?!

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