Steve Cokely

Steve Cokely

Steve Cokely, an American political researcher and teacher who lectured nationally on political and economic issues particularly related to the African American and other diaspora communities, was born June 17, 1952 and died on April 11, 2012.     Cokely’s early years were spent as special assistant to Eugene Sawyer, then-Mayor of Chicago, Illinois, but he was forced to resign when he lectured before the Nation of Islam on the alleged fact that Jewish doctors infected black babies with  the HIV virus. Prior to that time, he was assistant to Mayor Harold Washington, whom he believed was murdered because of his staunch Democratic-leaning advocacy on righting the multitudinous wrongs and errors of racial injustice in the city of Chicago.     Known to those of adverse societal indulgings as a “conspiracy theorist,” many of Cokely’s theories, over time, have proven to be true or as close to the truth as the Black community ever needed to be. However, no one ever stuck to their truths, at the risk of life, limb, and personal happiness, without having something tremendous invested in making certain the truth is told.     For example, Master Teacher Cokely lectured on $5 gas prices coming in October of 2007.  At the time, gas was on what Wall Street called a “roller coaster” ride and had peaked at $2.76 per gallon for regular and slightly more than $3 for diesel. By October of 2008, the average price was $2.95 a gallon; by October of 2009, it was $2.49; by October of 2010, it was $2.82; by October of 2011, it spiked to $3.48 a gallon for regular and...
Queen Nanny

Queen Nanny

Queen Nanny or Nanny (1685 – 1755) – Jamaican National Hero, was a leader of the Jamaican Maroons in the eighteenth century.  Much of what is known comes from oral history.  Historical documents refer to her as the “rebels old obeah woman,” and they legally grant “Nanny and the people now residing with her and their heirs . . . a certain parcel of Land containing five hundred acres in the parish of Portland . . .” (quoted in Campbell 177, 175). Nanny Town was founded on this land. Video can be seen here: Queen...
Marimba Ani (Dona Richards)

Marimba Ani (Dona Richards)

Marimba Ani (born Dona Richards) is an anthropologist and African Studies scholar best known for her work Yurugu, a comprehensive critique of European thought and culture, and her coining of the term Maafa for the African holocaust. Life and Work Marimba Ani completed her BA degree at the University of Chicago, and holds MA and Ph.D. degrees in anthropology from the Graduate Faculty of the New School University. In 1964, during Freedom Summer, she served as an SNCC field secretary, and married civil-rights activist Robert Parris Moses; they divorced in 1966. She has taught as a Professor of African Studies in the Department of Black and Puerto Rican Studies at Hunter College in New York City, and is credited with introducing the term Maafa to describe the African holocaust. Yurugu Ani’s 1994 work, Yurugu: An Afrikan-Centered Critique of European Cultural Thought and Behavior, examined the influence of European culture on the formation of modern institutional frameworks, through colonialism and imperialism, from an African perspective. Described by the author as an “intentionally aggressive polemic”, the book derives its title from a Dogon legend of an incomplete and destructive being rejected by its creator.   Examining the causes of global white supremacy, Ani argued that European thought implicitly believes in its own superiority, stating: “European culture is unique in the assertion of political interest”. In Yurugu, Ani proposed a tripartite conceptualization of culture, based on the concepts of Asili, the central seed or “germinating matrix” of a culture, Utamawazo, “culturally structured thought” or worldview, “the way in which the thought of members of a culture must be patterned if the asili...
Lewis Latimer

Lewis Latimer

Lewis H. Latimer was born in Chelsea, Massachusetts in 1848. He first worked as an assistant to Alexander Graham Bell. Later, Latimer became a member of Thomas Edison’s elite research team, “Edison’s Pioneers.” As one of “Edison’s Pioneers”, Latimer, created a light bulb with a filament made of the much more durable carbon. This was a major improvement on the light bulb Thomas Edison created that had a paper filament which burned out quickly. Latimer sold the patent for the “Incandescent Electric Light Bulb with Carbon Filament” to the United States Electric Company in 1881. He continued on to publish his first book related to electrical lighting entitled, Incandescent Electric Lighting (1890). Additionally Lewis Latimer is less kown for his love of peotry and writing poetry. Below is perhaps his most famous poem Ebon Venus that he wrote for his wife for their wedding day. This poem was later included in his first book of poetry entitled “Poems of Love and Life”. Ebon Venus Let others boast of maidens fair, Of eyes of blue and golden hair; My heart like needles ever true Turns to the maid of ebon hue. I love her form of matchless grace, The dark brown beauty of her face, Her lips that speak of love’s delight, Her eyes that gleam as stars at night. O’er marble Venus let them rage, Who sets the fashions of the age; Each to his taste, but as for me, My Venus shall be ebony. -Lewis Latimer From his book of...