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Distant Cousins...

Callao Cave, Luzon Island, The Philippines

Image credits:
Callao Cave Archaeology Project

 

Topics: Biology, DNA, Evolution, History, Research


(Inside Science) -- In a jungle cave in the Philippines, scientists have discovered fossils of what may be a new human species they call Homo luzonensis. The newfound teeth and bones combine primitive and modern traits in a way never previously seen together in one species, and suggest much remains to be discovered about human evolution outside Africa.
 
Image Source: Homo luzonensis

Although modern humans, Homo sapiens, are now the only surviving branch of the genus Homo, other species of humans once roamed across Earth. For example, previous research suggested Homo erectus, the most likely ancestor of modern humans, made its way out of Africa by at least 1.8 million years ago. In contrast, modern humans may have only begun dispersing from Africa roughly 200,000 years ago.

Fifteen years ago, scientists revealed an unusual extinct human species from the Indonesian island of Flores -- Homo floresiensis, often called "the hobbit" due to its diminutive size, which lived on Earth during the same time as modern humans. This finding hinted that other hominins -- any relatives of modern humans dating from after our ancestors split from those of chimpanzees -- might await discovery in Southeast Asia.
 

Researchers Find a New Ancient Human Species in the Philippines
Charles Q. Choi, Live Science

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Ethics of Genesis...

MS. TECH; EVOLUTION: WIKIMEDIA COMMONS

 

Topics: Biology, Ethics, Genetics, Science Fiction


Note: The article "went there" before I could.

"Beware the beast man, for he is the devil's pawn. Alone among God's primates, he kills for sport or lust or greed. Yea, he will murder his brother to possess his brother's land. Let him not breed in great numbers, for he will make a desert of his home, and yours. Shun him... for he is the harbinger of death." Internet Movie Database, Planet of the Apes (1968) Synopsis

 

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Human intelligence is one of evolution’s most consequential inventions. It is the result of a sprint that started millions of years ago, leading to ever bigger brains and new abilities. Eventually, humans stood upright, took up the plow, and created civilization, while our primate cousins stayed in the trees.

Now scientists in southern China report that they've tried to narrow the evolutionary gap, creating several transgenic macaque monkeys with extra copies of a human gene suspected of playing a role in shaping human intelligence.

“This was the first attempt to understand the evolution of human cognition using a transgenic monkey model,” says Bing Su, the geneticist at the Kunming Institute of Zoology who led the effort.

According to their findings, the modified monkeys did better on a memory test involving colors and block pictures, and their brains also took longer to develop—as those of human children do. There wasn’t a difference in brain size.

Su’s monkeys raise some unusual questions about animal rights. In 2010, Sikela and three colleagues wrote a paper called “The ethics of using transgenic non-human primates to study what makes us human,” in which they concluded that human brain genes should never be added to apes, such as chimpanzees, because they are too similar to us.

“You just go to the Planet of the Apes immediately in the popular imagination,” says Jacqueline Glover, a University of Colorado bioethicist who was one of the authors. “To humanize them is to cause harm. Where would they live and what would they do? Do not create a being that can’t have a meaningful life in any context.”

 

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Not to go all Cassandra on you, but...

At the story's heart is Caesar (Andy Serkis), a chimpanzee who gains human-like intelligence and emotions from an experimental drug. Raised like a child by the drug's creator, Will Rodman (James Franco) and a primatologist Caroline Aranha (Freida Pinto), Caesar ultimately finds himself taken from the humans he loves and imprisoned in an ape sanctuary in San Bruno. Seeking justice for his fellow inmates, Caesar gives the fellow apes the same drug that he inherited. He then assembles a simian army and escapes the sanctuary - putting man and ape on a collision course that could change the planet forever. Internet Movie Database, Rise of the Planet of the Apes (2011) Storyline

 

Chinese scientists have put human brain genes in monkeys—and yes, they may be smarter
Antonio Regalado, MIT Technology Review

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Black Comic Books Aren't Worth A Quarter!

How much do you think the first black comic book is worth?  I picked up "Brotherman #1" at a store for 25 cents.  When I went to the register, the clerk let me have it for free!  How much do you think the first comic book is worth?  In recent years, "Action Comics #1" sold for two and three million dollars?!  As comic book creators, are we expecting too much value from our merchandise? Whoever is supposed to buy our stuff is probably never going to value it beyond its retail price at the vendor's booth.  Since this is the case, then all of our efforts to be remembered end the moment it leaves the newsstand.  I visited Africomics, the premier black comic book portal, recently and found broken links among dead webpages.  Every comic book creator used the free submission link feature rather than banner advertising which no one has ever used according to the site owner.  Was it because they didn't think their comics were worth the ad space or that only search engines would crawl the site?  A fellow named Roye Okupe who created Youneek Studios' Malinka tried to help othe black comic book creative types last year with Creative Biz Launch.  It failed to draw support or fill the need of black comic book creators who are a dime a dozen at fan conventions.  What all of this means is that black comics are only self-serving a need for creative types to feel like they could have made something worth two or three million dollars

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Sunshine Fascism...

Source: Ecosia Images


Topics: Civics, Existentialism, History, Politics


"We are a people of different religions, but we are one. Which faith conquers the other is not the question; rather, the question is whether Christianity stands or falls... We tolerate no one in our ranks who attacks the ideas of Christianity … in fact our movement is Christian. We are filled with a desire for Catholics and Protestants to discover one another in the deep distress of our own people." (1928) Wikiquote: Religious views of Adolf Hitler

 

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Fascism is a movement that promotes the idea of a forcibly monolithic, regimented nation under the control of an autocratic ruler. The word fascism comes from fascio, the Italian word for bundle, which in this case represents bundles of people. Its origins go back to Ancient Rome, when the fasces was a bundle of wood with an ax head, carried by leaders.

On March 23, 1919, the Fasci Italiani di Combattimento — a group that grew out of a number of earlier movements that had also used the image of the fascio in their names — met for the first time in Piazza San Sepolcro in Milan. At this rally, Mussolini said that membership in the new group “commits all fascists to sabotaging the candidacies of the neutralists of all parties by any means necessary.”

“Mussolini thought that democracy was a failed system. He thought that liberty of expression and liberty of parties was a sham, and that fascism would organize people under state power,” Ben-Ghiat says. “Their idea was you would be freer because you wouldn't have any class consciousness. You’re just supposed to worship the nation. It’s nation over class.”

The corollary of that belief was the idea that anything that might impede national unity had to be gotten rid of, and violently. In fact, violence was seen as beneficial to society.

And “society” was not a loosely defined idea. Rather, Mussolini and those who came after him had very specific ideas about who got to be part of the nation. It followed that those who did not fit the mold were seen as disruptive to that unity, and thus subject to violence.

To set the tone for a dystopian movie, one typically gets a noir treatment: lighting is dark, air is misty; camera angles are stark and weather is typically overcast. The decision to "go glum" is likely due to only having a few hours to make their point and resolve any plot twists to the denouement and conclusion. An in-your-face theatrical release might involve swastikas, goose stepping and nostalgic, feel-good faux patriotism.

Even though there have been decidedly darker days under authoritarian regimes, every day looks like any other day when ruled by fascism. There are for example, photos of Hitler on holiday at his villa in Bavaria. It looked sunny; he (for a monster) looked happy.

Democracy depends on a shared set of facts that can be debated in discussed either in a court, on a congressional floor or near a coffee machine at work. It's affable and seeks a happy medium: no one gets everything they desire, but it does require compromise.

Fascism is nothing at all like that. Like George Orwell's famous novel, "1984," fascism requires and demands power for its own sake. It wants what it wants for the sake of wanting. History has no meaning to it at all. Logic and reason have no appeal or sway in people who traffic in "alternative facts" or its Karl Rove precursor: "created realities."

- It is why you can justify the outright theft of land from First Nations' peoples and slaughter them at will for "Manifest Destiny."

- It is why you can have the transatlantic slave trade with no moral or monetary compensation (reparations) to its African Diaspora descendants.

- It is why they demonize people of color as "lazy, shiftless, moochers and cheats" on all things, particularly academic, and now the SAT college scandal has blown up the previous myth of meritocracy in their faces that they were desperate to maintain for credentials and supremacy. 

- It is why as presidential Manchurian Candidate, can say "WikiLeaks! I love WikiLeaks," and on the arrest of Julian Assange can say with a straight, orange face "I know nothing about WikiLeaks."

- It is why the same can incite violence of his followers and deny doing so in the same breath.

- It is why the Attorney General can send an unsolicited 19 page memo campaigning for a job to essentially not be the top cop, but the president's personal Roy Cohn and slow walk the Mueller Report to Congress and the public.

- It is why we insist on telling ourselves comforting fables about American benevolence; about being Winthrop's "shining city on a hill" (who himself had no stomach for "the other") so as to not face our own national depravity...

...our own foundation of racism, sexism, homophobia, genocide and fascism.

Giovanni Gentile (not Mussolini) coined the phrase "Fascism should more properly be called corporatism, since it is the merger of state and corporate power." But this is not what access media conglomerates will say about it. They'll pretend there is still a middle ground that only requires compromise and clever arguments. They will still opine for a former, mythological days where things worked if only (typically) democrats gave concessions to republicans' demands.

During the Great Depression, Marine Major General Smedley Butler narced on what was called the Business Plot to overthrow Franklin D. Roosevelt and install Butler as a dictator compliant to corporate interests. He wrote the treatise "War is a Racket."

There are quite a few American billionaire families with Nazis ties, starting with Ford, GM, Chrysler, IBM, and JP Morgan Chase. The Koch’s father did business with the Nazis and Russians. The Bush’s and Kennedy’s (Prescott and Papa Joe) were Nazi sympathizers.

Ayn Rand provided the fictional cover: behind every massive fortune, there are likely crimes.

 

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To set the tone for a dystopian movie, one typically gets a noir treatment: lighting is dark, air is misty; camera angles are stark and weather is typically overcast.

 

When you tell yourself comforting lies, a liar may ascend to power.


Fascism like weather can change its environs and display its power on blithe, sunny days.

 

Related link:

More Than A Dozen European Billionaires—Linked To BMW, L’Oréal, Bosch—Have Families With Past Nazi Ties
Madeline Berg, Forbes Magazine

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Event Horizon...

Scientists have obtained the first-ever image of a black hole — at center of the galaxy M87. Credit: Event Horizon Telescope collaboration et al.

 

Topics: Astrophysics, Black Holes, Cosmology, Einstein


(Yesterday) At six simultaneous press conferences around the globe, astronomers on Wednesday announced they had accomplished the seemingly impossible: taking a picture of a black hole, a cosmic monster so voracious that light itself cannot escape its clutches.

This historic feat, performed by the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT)—a planet-spanning network of radio observatories—required more than a decade of effort. The project’s name refers to a black hole’s most defining characteristic, an “event horizon” set by the object’s mass and spin beyond which no infalling material, including light, can ever return.

“We have taken the first picture of a black hole,” the EHT project’s director, Sheperd Doeleman, said in a news release. “This is an extraordinary scientific feat accomplished by a team of more than 200 researchers.”

The image unveils the shadowy face of a 6.5-billion-solar-mass supermassive black hole at the core of Messier 87 (M87), a large galaxy some 55 million light-years from Earth in the Virgo galaxy cluster. Such objects are a reflection of Einstein’s theory of general relativity, which predicts that only so much material can be squeezed into any given volume before the overwhelming force of its accumulated gravity causes a collapse—a warp in the fabric of spacetime that swallows itself. Left behind is an almost featureless nothingness that, for lack of better terms, scientists simply call a black hole.

"Gargantua," special effects from the movie, Interstellar, 2014 (Kip Thorne et al guessed right):
Image Source: HDQ Walls dot com

 

At Last, a Black Hole’s Image Revealed, Lee Billings, Scientific American

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I am acquainted with a local Emmy award winning filmmaker where I live who is producing a reboot of his tv crime series from 2008.  Although he is black, he writes and produces material that does not come from the Black experience.  Does the fact that if something is written, produced and directed by a black person still qualify as a black narrative?  Out of Darkness: Cleveland is a black crime sci-fi drama about a shadow devouring crime.  Where they used to hide in the shadow, now they are being devoured by it.  So, this is a black narrative that isn't really about black people.

https://youtu.be/GQzDvWXof_4

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Quantum Droplets...

For ultracold experiments, atoms are held in vacuum by a glass cell, shown here. The atoms are then cooled to ultralow temperatures to create a Bose–Einstein condensate. (Photo courtesy of Wolfram Scheible.)

 

Topics: Bose-Einstein Condensate, Condensed Matter Physics, van der Waals


In his PhD thesis from 1873, Johannes van der Waals devised a theoretical framework to describe the gas and liquid phases of a molecular ensemble and the phase transition from one to the other. That work resulted in the celebrated equation of state bearing his name. To this day, the van der Waals theory is still the prevailing picture in most physicists’ minds to explain the emergence of the liquid state. It asserts that the liquid state arises at high densities from an equilibrium between attractive interatomic forces and short-range repulsion. Now, a new type of liquid has emerged in ultracold, extremely dilute atomic systems for which the van der Waals model does not predict a liquid phase.

Using the tools of laser cooling and trapping, experimenters can reach the ultracold regime to create atomic quantum gases.1 Quantum interference effects between atoms are an important part of the statistical descriptions of those systems. However, if a monatomic ensemble is simply cooled, any chemical species will form a liquid instead of a gas due to van der Waals forces and the system will never reach the quantum regime. So to see quantum effects, the classical liquid state must be avoided. That requires extremely low densities that keep the distances between atoms much larger than the range of attractive forces that would bind the liquid. But keeping the atoms far apart traps them in a dilute, metastable state. A whole new mechanism is needed for atoms in such dilute conditions to form a liquid phase.

 

Ultradilute Quantum Droplets, Igor Ferrier-Barbut, Physics Today
Igor Ferrier-Barbut is a researcher at the Institut d’Optique and CNRS in Palaiseau, France.

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Lumpy Neutron Stars...

An artist’s rendition of a neutron star. Credit: Kevin Gill Flickr (CC by 2.0)

 

Topics: Astronomy, Astrophysics, Einstein, Gravitational Waves, Neutron Stars


Gravitational waves—the ghostly ripples in spacetime first predicted by Einstein and finally detected a century later by advanced observatories—have sparked a revolution in astrophysics, revealing the otherwise-hidden details of merging black holes and neutron stars. Now, scientists have used these waves to open another new window on the universe, providing new constraints on neutron stars' exact shapes. The result will aid researchers in their ongoing quest to understand the inner workings of these exotic objects.

So far, 11 gravitational-wave events have been detected by the LIGO (Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory) interferometers in Washington and Louisiana and the Virgo gravitational-wave observatory in Italy. Of these events, 10 came from mergers of binary black holes, and one from the merger of two neutron stars. In all cases, the form of the waves matched the predictions of Einstein's theory of general relativity.

For the binary black hole events, the passing waves lasted less than a second; for the merging neutron stars, the emissions occurred for about 100 seconds. But such rapid pulses aren't the only types of gravitational waves that could be streaming through the universe. In particular, solitary neutron stars might be emitting detectable gravitational waves as they spin—signals that could reveal important new details of the stars' topography and internal composition.

 

Gravitational Observatories Hunt for Lumpy Neutron Stars
David Appell, Scientific American

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AI, Control and Turing...

Image Source: Comic Book dot com - Star Trek


Topics: Artificial Intelligence, Computer Science, Existentialism, Star Trek


If you're fan enough as I am to pay for the CBS streaming service (it has some benefits: Young Sheldon and the umpteenth reboot of The Twilight Zone hosted by Oscar winner Jordan Peele), the AI in Starfleet's "Control" looks an awful lot like...The Borg. I've enjoyed the latest iteration immensely, and I'm rooting for at least a season 3.

There's already speculation on Screen Rant that this might be some sort of galactic "butterfly effect." Discovery has taken some license with my previous innocence even before Section 31: we're obviously not "the good guys" with phasers, technobabble and karate chops as I once thought.

That of course has been the nature of speculative fiction since Mary Shelley penned Frankenstein: that playing God, humanity would manage to create something that just might kill us. Various objects from nuclear power to climate change has taken on this personification. I've often wondered if intelligence is its own Entropy. Whole worlds above us might be getting along just fine without a single invention of language, science, tools, cities or spaceflight, animal species living and dying without anything more than their instinct, hunger and the inbred need to procreate unless a meteor sends them into extinction. Homo sapien or homo stultus...

It is the Greek word mimesis we translate to mean "imitate" but can actually be more accurately said as "re-presentation." It is the Plato-Aristotle origin of the colloquial phrase "art imitates life."

Re-presented for your consumption and contemplation:

Yoshua Bengio is one of three computer scientists who last week shared the US$1-million A. M. Turing award — one of the field’s top prizes.

The three artificial-intelligence (AI) researchers are regarded as the founders of deep learning, the technique that combines large amounts of data with many-layered artificial neural networks, which are inspired by the brain. They received the award for making deep neural networks a “critical component of computing”.

The other two Turing winners, Geoff Hinton and Yann LeCun, work for Google and Facebook, respectively; Bengio, who is at the University of Montreal, is one of the few recognized gurus of machine learning to have stayed in academia full time.

But alongside his research, Bengio, who is also scientific director of the Montreal Institute for Learning Algorithms (MILA), has raised concerns about the possible risks from misuse of technology. In December, he presented a set of ethical guidelines for AI called the Montreal declaration at the Neural Information Processing Systems (NeurIPS) meeting in the city.

Do you see a lot of companies or states using AI irresponsibly?

There is a lot of this, and there could be a lot more, so we have to raise flags before bad things happen. A lot of what is most concerning is not happening in broad daylight. It’s happening in military labs, in security organizations, in private companies providing services to governments or the police.

What are some examples?

Killer drones are a big concern. There is a moral question, and a security question. Another example is surveillance — which you could argue has potential positive benefits. But the dangers of abuse, especially by authoritarian governments, are very real. Essentially, AI is a tool that can be used by those in power to keep that power, and to increase it.

AI pioneer: ‘The dangers of abuse are very real’
Yoshua Bengio, winner of the prestigious Turing award for his work on deep learning, is establishing international guidelines for the ethical use of AI.
Davide Castelvecchi, Nature

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Antithesis of Wisdom...

 

Topics: Biology, Civics, Climate Change, Existentialism, Entropy, Mars, Politics


Chimpanzees look up to those they consider to be more prestigious, echoing the way that young people admire celebrities such as David Beckham and Cheryl Cole, according to a new study. Researchers found that apes copy the actions of those they consider to have high status within their group.

Professor Whiten commented, “Teenagers look to pop stars as social models, copying their clothing, mannerisms and speech. Adults are inspired by prominent members of their society, such as successful professionals. Our study shows that chimpanzees are similarly selective in their choice of trend setters.” [1]

 

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Abstract

Humans follow the example of prestigious, high-status individuals much more readily than that of others, such as when we copy the behavior of village elders, community leaders, or celebrities. This tendency has been declared uniquely human, yet remains untested in other species. Experimental studies of animal learning have typically focused on the learning mechanism rather than on social issues, such as who learns from whom. The latter, however, is essential to understanding how habits spread. Here we report that when given opportunities to watch alternative solutions to a foraging problem performed by two different models of their own species, chimpanzees preferentially copy the method shown by the older, higher-ranking individual with a prior track-record of success. Since both solutions were equally difficult, shown an equal number of times by each model and resulted in equal rewards, we interpret this outcome as evidence that the preferred model in each of the two groups tested enjoyed a significant degree of prestige in terms of whose example other chimpanzees chose to follow. Such prestige-based cultural transmission is a phenomenon shared with our own species. If similar biases operate in wild animal populations, the adoption of culturally transmitted innovations may be significantly shaped by the characteristics of performers. [2]

 

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Thwaites glacier in West Antarctica is often referred to as the "Doomsday glacier" because of its sheer size and position as "'backstop' for four other glaciers which holds an additional 10-13 feet of sea level rise." [3] Add the two feet of sea level Thwaites holds and Florida may have a little more to fear than the denials of their republican senators on the impact of climate change.

I've used the term fascism before, not because it's powerful but because it's stupid. The basis of its appeal is fear: fear of the "other," fear of the future, fear particularly of a supposed loss of birth numbers, therefore future voters and numerical power. So-called "white" supremacy has always been a math game of bad algebra and pure ignorance.

But it does not benefit the crowd proudly without Melanin, intellect and possessing MAGA hats: the celebrity chimps with all the bananas above them they worship use the faux demarcation points of politically constructed cultural differences to rob blind the very people that become their shock troops. Rigging elections is not beneath the 1% simians, as they've motivated their rubes that their "white" team won, despite the lack of sharing of spoils after said rigging, Russian interference or not. Socialism is thrown up as demon while demons rob rubes. They ask for "trick-down" bananas" and get feces. Smoking causing cancer must be denied. Humans causing climate impact MUST be denied until the last drop of oil; the last fracking of methane. Then, the royal chimpanzees will wall themselves up as sea levels rise, soundproof beyond "weeping and gnashing of teeth." They'll have extra bananas to live on as the rest of the planet starves. Eventually, their impressive supplies will run out. Perhaps they'll resort to the cannibalism as the Jamestown colonists did in desperation, eating their own children first. Eventually they will see their last sunrise in splendid, decaying mansions atop a canopy of the forest they razed. Currently, their high potentate Orange Orangutan cannot discriminate "orange" and "origin"; that his own father was born in the Bronx and not the Germany and thinks windmills causes cancer.

Homo sapiens, (Latin: “wise man”) the species to which all modern human beings belong. Homo sapiens is one of several species grouped into the genus Homo, but it is the only one that is not extinct. [YET] See also human evolution. Source: Britannica

Entropy - the measure of a system's thermal energy per unit temperature that is unavailable for doing useful work. Because work is obtained from ordered molecular motion, the amount of entropy is also a measure of the molecular disorder, or randomness, of a system. Encyclopedia Britannica

Having stupid citizens also serves a more ‘noble’ purpose. Although most of us want to be treated as intelligent beings, it is also in the interest of ruling parties – be they political or religious – to have an overall stupid population, dumb enough to make them controllable. Education and knowledge are being pushed aside in favour of technical training. Governments are more interested in a highly-skilled labour force than in critical and intelligent citizens. The media feed the population with ready-made entertainment and information, thus forming people’s minds according to what is preferable for the overall functioning of society. Zoereei, Homo stultus

Mars may have been a living world once. We still study it. We wish to terraform it. Mars as a world still takes 687 days to complete its year. It will take 365.25 days for Earth to complete its year...whether we're here, or not.
 

Homo Stultus - foolish man, stupid man: the chimps are exonerated.

1. Chimpanzee trend-setters: New study shows that chimps 'ape' the prestigious, University of St. Andrews, 2010, Phys.org
2. Prestige Affects Cultural Learning in Chimpanzees, Victoria Horner, Darby Proctor, Kristin E. Bonnie, Andrew Whiten, Frans B. M. de Waal, PLOS Journal
3. A glacier the size of Florida is on track to change the course of human civilization. Pakalolo, Daily Kos

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Sagittarius A...

Getty Images


Topics: Astronomy, Astrophysics, Black Holes, Cosmology, Einstein


They've captured our imaginations for decades, but we've never actually photographed a black hole before – until now.

Next Wednesday, at several press briefings around the world, scientists will apparently unveil humanity's first-ever photo of a black hole, the European Space Agency said in a statement. Specifically, the photo will be of "Sagittarius A," the supermassive black hole that's at the center of our Milky Way galaxy.

But aren't black holes, well, black, and thus invisible, so none of our telescopes can "see" them? Yes – therefore the image we're likely to see will be of the "event horizon," the edge of the black hole where light can't escape. [1]

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Next week, a collection of countries around the world are going to make a big announcement, and no one is sure exactly what it’s going to be. However, there are some possibilities, and the most exciting one is that they are about to reveal the first-ever photograph of the event horizon of a black hole.

Taking a photo of a black hole is not an easy task. Not only are black holes famous for not letting any light escape, even the nearest known black holes are very far away. The specific black hole astronomers wanted to photograph, Sagittarius A*, lies at the center of our galaxy 25,000 light-years away.

The international Event Horizon Telescope project announced its plan to photograph Sagittarius A* back in 2017, and they enlisted some of the world’s biggest telescopes to help out. The researchers used half a dozen radio telescopes, including the ALMA telescope in Chile and the James Clerk Maxwell telescope in Hawaii, to stare at Sagittarius A* over the past two years.

And while a picture of the black hole itself is impossible, the EHT astronomers were really aiming at the next best thing: the event horizon, the border of the black hole beyond which not even light can escape. At the event horizon, gravity is so strong that light will orbit the black hole like planets orbit stars, and our telescopes should be able to pick that up. [2]
 

1. 'Something no human has seen before': The first-ever photograph of a black hole will likely be unveiled next week, Doyle Rice, USA Today
2. We Might Be About to See the First Ever Photo of a Black Hole, Avery Thomson, Popular Mechanics

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February Twenty-Eight...

Topics: African Americans, Civil Rights, Education, Human Rights, Women's Rights

"Love, truth and justice must fight again." Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II

Note: For this month as last year, I started the posting with the title February One... depicting the significance of the day in Greensboro, NC A&T and this nation's history. The urgency of the crisis with Bennett defined every day as its own encapsulation of history, so it led to spelling out the dates for each post this year. Every day beyond February is a day in the nation's history.

I will also be taking a break after today until 4 April. I have to get ready for a conference in Florida, my Master's thesis defense and application to the doctoral program in Nanoengineering. It will be a minute...

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This is an audio file of Dr. Barber's remarks at the 59th annual observance of the sit-in movement, February 1, 1960. The entire event was live-streamed on Facebook, which encompassed excellent choir performances, comments and civic awards. Dr. Barber made these remarks without notes, or as millennials say, "straight off the dome." He was impressive, humorous, passionate, cogent and powerful. I used his portrait from NC A&T's website as an intro to this month and this audio reproduction. This admittedly imperfect audio provides what I hope is an appropriate outtro.

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This month started at a stated crisis of funding for Bennett College. They exceeded their stated public goal of 5 million dollars, raising 8.2 million dollars. Despite that, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools headquartered in Georgia, where Stacey Abrams lost her bid for governor by theft, decided to revoke their accreditation prompting an appropriate lawsuit by Bennett. I hope for their continued success and accreditation with either SACS or from another agency.

This crisis then became a curiosity: how many HBCUs are there? Having attended one doesn't mean I have this info "at the ready." I found a website that listed the total at 107, some of them sadly for previous funding crises like Bennett just recently encountered, now closed. Rather than just give a single link and call it a day, I decided to give whatever history the schools made public. I published the history of the ones closed as well, as precious jewels lost. A classmate in California coordinates as part of an HBCU college fair and displays A&T to a lot of African American youth that for the fair probably would not have heard of Aggie Land or any others. Once upon a time due to De Jure segregation, these were our only options. Now with the Internet literally in our hip pockets, we're more focused on other things and being a part of other cliques versus connection with legacies. Anonymity and apathy can lead to future funding crises and closures. We cannot allow ignorance and neglect to self-foreclose our own legacies.

The list of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) had striking similarities:

1. Many were started or headed by African American women - many during a time when American women as a whole didn't have the right to vote.
2. The institutions started somewhere around the Civil War, soon after or inspired by other examples before them.
3. Many were associated or affiliated with either a church or ministries, not interested in expanding "prosperity gospel," but emancipation and opportunity.

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America. U.S. Constitution - Preamble

The very things a freed and exploited people would demand of the nation they had served ceaselessly without compensation or reparations, long overdue. That freedom - imperfect as it is - appears to be under assault by foreign actors and their installed puppet.

And mere years after the savagery of penal slavery, my ancestors wanted themselves and their posterity educated, something during slavery they were systematically denied. Full emancipation is the self-actualization of determining one's own future through one's own efforts, unimpeded by faux social barriers and bigotry.

The other commonality I've personally experienced is the comity of being an alumni. We wear the paraphernalia of our respective universities and identify each other as Aggies, Bison; Eagles, Rams (NC A&T, Howard, NC Central and Winston-Salem State University, respectively). We have greetings like "Aggie Pride" shared with each other publicly and openly. We feel the weight and pride of our ancestors and the history that came before us. We express our joy at homecoming games and tailgates. We are uncles and aunties to the children of close college friends: we are family.

The ONE true thing:

Humanity is one species descended originally from the African continent. Each of us has a measure of Carotene and Melanin, determined by where on the globe our ancestors encountered ultraviolet light and the chemical interactions it encouraged. "Race" is a political construct created by a kleptomaniacal few to manipulate the masses they openly disdain and steal from. It's being used here and overseas as the rise of right wing extremism is being exploited towards a dark end of expanding the old Russian empire. Here, they've done this since the Bacon's rebellion when so-called "white people" were created by the then 1%, as well as during and after the Civil War. I use the term in quotes because Titanium Dioxide is the die that is used in paint and dental fillings that upon absorption of all the colors of the spectrum reflect the color our eyes interpret as white. It's worked like a charm, so far.

A kleptomaniac has a mental disorder that compels the person to steal. Unlike a shoplifter, who will steal an item he or she wants or needs, a kleptomaniac steals for the thrill of stealing, often taking items that have little or no value. Vocabulary.com

I supplement this definition with one caveat: they are stealing something of significant value. They are stealing our wealth, our health and healthcare; the air we breath, the water we drink; the environment we'll leave our grandchildren. Wilber Ross during the contrived 35-day shutdown is a textbook case of how isolated and clueless he, and they are from the rest of humanity. His greenhouse footprint like most American oligarchs is probably more than anyone in his entire state combined. The sad part is, they feel entitled to "burn down the forest" while living in the bright sun and plentiful rain in the canopy of its trees. Eventually, karma has its say and the entire ecosystem fails, them included. Their very avarice is a slow motion, extinction-level event. T.S. Elliot's famous poem, "The Hollow Men" last lines - this is the way the world ends, not with a bang...but a whimper - become apropos, though there are many interpretations.

They did this during the 2016 elections that now see the "chickens coming home to roost" in taxes some of the MAGA enthusiasts are having to pay in. Tax cuts for kleptomaniacs work like that: when corporations are given 10-year tax breaks, it's the middle class property owners that pay for what would have been their fair share of taxes. If those same corporations and 1% receive a tax cut, it is all of us that pays that bill, meaning you may not get a refund this year as you are accustomed to, and many rudely found out. The kleptomaniacs are robbing us in plain sight, and using racial animus, sexism, homophobia and xenophobia to keep us divided because they KNOW if we grouped together, they would no longer have power over any of us. It's worked like a charm since the Bacon's rebellion, a history not taught and you ought to revisit. It's been passed down several generations now from one kleptomaniac sociopath to another, swallowed "hook, line and sinker" by one duped generation after another. Since no one seems to have caught on, why change a proven formula? It's probably through all his seemingly irrational word salad, what the Propecia Ferret wearing orange pumpkin head meant about "winning"... he wasn't talking about us: only his kind, which he's only marginally a part of in name only, as a peruse of his tax returns will likely reveal, along with huge loans from money-laundering Russia. That would compromise anyone, and we typically don't give a foreign asset the nuclear codes. I pray this madness ends soon, or the stress on our republic; body politics and ecosystems globally will result in catastrophic, unrecoverable failure, as predictable as the fall of Rome.

We have sojourned in this land 400 years since the first slaves arrived (not "indentured servants," Governor "Black Face" Northam), in 1619. The nation of Ghana has graciously extended the offer of the "Year of Return" to the African diaspora. Some of us may take them up on it. I hope we don't have to. Though this union is imperfect, we helped build it and have stake in its success. That means fighting: at the ballet box and as citizens.

The kleptos in our current swamp - R or D variety - will keep running this game for 400 more years...if we have the luxury of that much time, and if we let them.

"Love, truth and justice must fight again." Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II

All together tirelessly, for the country, the planet and way of life we love.
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The Final Four...

Winston-Salem State University Donald Julian Reaves Student Activity Center - Woolpert

Topics: African Americans, Civil Rights, Education, Human Rights, Women's Rights

Wilberforce University

Wilberforce University is a four-year, fully accredited liberal arts institution offering 20 academic concentrations in business, communications, computing and engineering sciences, humanities, natural sciences and social sciences. Wilberforce University also offers dual degree programs in architecture, aerospace, and nuclear engineering. Through the University’s Adult and Continuing Education Program, we offer Credentials for Leadership in Management and Business (CLIMB), for individuals interested in completing their bachelor of science degrees in organizational management, health care administration and information technology.

Early in 1856, the Methodist Episcopal Church purchased property for the new institution at Tawawa Springs, near Xenia, Ohio. For many years the institution operated with great success. The Civil War in 1862, shifted enrollment and financial support, unfortunately facilitating the closing of the original Wilberforce in 1862, for a year. In March of the 1863, Bishop Daniel A. Payne of the African Methodist Episcopal Church negotiated to purchase the University’s facilities. Payne, a member of the original 1856 corporation, secured the cooperation of John G. Mitchell, principal of the Eastern District Public School of Cincinnati, Ohio and James A. Shorter, pastor of the A.M.E. Church of Zanesville, Ohio. The property was soon turned over to them as agents of the church. The University was newly incorporated on July 10, 1863. In 1887 the State of Ohio began to fund the University by establishing a combined normal and industrial department. This department later became Central State University. Wilberforce also spawned another institution, Payne Theological Seminary. It was founded in 1891 as an outgrowth of the Theological Department at Wilberforce University. Today, Wilberforce University continues to build on its sacred traditions in the 21st Century.

Wiley College

In 1873, less than eight years after all hostilities were quieted from the Civil War, the Freedman’s Aid Society of the Methodist Episcopal Church founded Wiley College near Marshall, Texas for the purpose of allowing Negro youth the opportunity to pursue higher learning in the arts, sciences and other professions.

Named in honor of Bishop Isaac William Wiley, an outstanding minister, medical missionary and educator, Wiley College was founded during turbulent times for Blacks in America. Although African-American males were given the right to vote in 1870, intimidation of America’s newest citizens in the form of violence increased. The U.S. Supreme Court helped pave the way for segregation with the 1896 Plessy v. Ferguson decision that approved of the “separate but equal” doctrine.

Bishop Wiley was born in Lewistown, Pennsylvania, on March 29, 1825. He became interested in the Christian ministry as a boy, joining the church at 14 years of age and became active in missionary work. At 18, he was authorized to preach under ministerial direction. Due to difficulties with his voice, he studied medicine and upon graduation from medical school became a medical and educational missionary in China. Wiley was elected bishop in 1864 and organized a Methodist conference in Japan. Bishop Wiley died on November 22, 1884 in his beloved China.

Winston-Salem State University

Winston-Salem State University was founded as Slater Industrial Academy on September 28, 1892. It began in a one-room frame structure with 25 pupils and one teacher. In 1895 the school was recognized by the State of North Carolina and in 1899 it was chartered by the state as Slater Industrial and State Normal School.

In 1925, the General Assembly of North Carolina recognized the school's curriculum above high school, changed its name to Winston-Salem Teachers College and empowered it under authority of the State Board of Education to confer appropriate degrees. Winston-Salem Teachers College thus became the first black institution in the nation to grant degrees for teaching in the elementary grades.

The School of Nursing was established in 1953 and awards graduates the bachelor of science degree. In 1963 the North Carolina General Assembly authorized changing the name from Winston-Salem Teachers College to Winston-Salem State College. A statute designating Winston-Salem State College as Winston-Salem State University received legislative approval in 1969. On October 30, 1971, the General Assembly reorganized higher education in North Carolina. On July 1, 1972, Winston-Salem State University became one of 16 constituent institutions of the University of North Carolina subject to the control of a Board of Governors.

Xavier University of Louisiana

Katharine Drexel was born into great wealth in Philadelphia in 1858. Her father was Francis Anthony Drexel, head of the Drexel Banking Company and her mother was Hannah Langstroth Drexel. Her mother died within weeks of Katharine’s birth leaving Francis with sole responsibility not only for Katharine but also for her older sister Elizabeth. A few years later, their father married Emma Bouvier. A younger sister, Louise, was added to the family 3 years later.

Katharine and her sisters were privileged not only by wealth, but also by faith and love. Their lives were permeated by the word and example of their parents who stressed the primacy of faith and the necessity of good stewardship.

Both of their parents died when all three girls were in their 20’s. They were devastated by both deaths but they were determined to carry on the legacy of their parents.

At the time of Francis’ death, the Drexel’s had amassed a $15 million fortune that today would probably be worth close to $300 million. In his will, Francis had put the money in trust and indicated that the income from the trust was to be equally divided by his daughters and their offspring, not their husbands. His intent was to ward off suitors who might be looking for money. If at the death of the third daughter, there were no surviving offspring, the principal of the trust was to be divided among a group of Philadelphia area charities that he designated.

In order to identify Xavier’s founding mission we need to return to the year 1915. That year, Archbishop Blenk of New Orleans approached Mother Katharine about the lack of Catholic higher education for African Americans. With the guidance of the Josephites, Archbishop Blenk was able to offer a plan: Southern University that had been located uptown on Magazine St. in New Orleans had been moved to Baton Rouge in 1912 due to pressure from White neighbors. Their abandoned building which was well suited to higher education was about to be auctioned to the highest bidder.

After prayer, consultation and a personal visit to see the property, Mother Katharine purchased the building and surrounding property through a third party. Old Southern—became St. Francis Xavier, named after a great missionary.

Xavier flourished from the beginning. By 1925 a Teachers College and College of Arts and Sciences had been established and by 1927 a College of Pharmacy had been added. As the college thrived and the high school also expanded, it became clear that additional space was needed. Property on Washington and Pine was purchased in 1929 and the new buildings were dedicated in 1932.
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February Twenty-Seven...

Elizabeth "Lizzie" Evelyn Wright - Founder of Voorhees College

Topics: African Americans, Civil Rights, Education, Human Rights, Women's Rights

Virginia State University

Virginia State University was founded on March 6, 1882, when the legislature passed a bill to charter the Virginia Normal and Collegiate Institute. The bill was sponsored by Delegate Alfred W. Harris, a Black attorney whose offices were in Petersburg, but lived in and represented Dinwiddie County in the General Assembly.

Fact
The first person to bear the title of president, John Mercer Langston, was a well-known African-American of his day. Until 1992, he was the only African-American elected to the United States Congress from Virginia (elected in 1888); and he was the great-uncle of the famed writer Langston Hughes.

Virginia Union University

Researched by Raymond Hylton, Professor of History

Virginia Union University - History Header

Our mission at Virginia Union University was first put into operation shortly after April 3, 1865, the date when Richmond, Virginia was liberated by troops of the United States Army of the James. It was then that representatives from our founding organization, the American Baptist Home Mission Society, came to the former Confederate capital as teachers and missionaries. In that same month, eleven teachers were holding classes for former slaves at two missions in the city. By November 1865 the Mission Society had established, and was officially holding classes for, Richmond Theological School for Freedmen, one of the four institutions forming the “Union” that gives our University its name. Even though the Civil War had ended and that same year the 13th Amendment to the Constitution officially abolished slavery, many trials still lay ahead. It became more and more certain that freedom would not, of itself, be enough. It could not sufficiently address the problems of a large, newly-emancipated population that had been systematically kept down and denied training skills, opportunities, and even literacy itself. Some slaves had been severely punished for even trying to read the Bible.

Fortunately, there were many who cared, and who would try to impart the education and skills necessary for the full enjoyment of freedom and citizenship, to the newly-freed population. One such group of concerned individuals were the members of the American Baptist Home Mission Society (ABHMS). They proposed a “National Theological Institute” designed primarily at providing education and training for African-Americans to enter into the Baptist ministry; and soon this mission would expand into offering courses and programs at college, high school and even preparatory levels, to both men and women.

In 1865, following the surrender of the Confederacy, branches of the “National Theological Institute” were set up in Washington, D.C. and Richmond, Virginia. The Washington institution received a $1,500 grant from the Freedman’s Bureau and met at various locations including: Judiciary Square; “I” Street; Louisiana Avenue and, finally, Meridian Hill. The school became known as Wayland Seminary; and it acquired a sterling reputation under the direction of its president, Dr. George Mellen Prentiss King. Dr. King administered Wayland for thirty years (1867-97) and stayed on as a professor for twenty additional years at both Wayland and at Virginia Union University. The King Gate which currently faces Lombardy Street and is situated between Ellison Hall and the Baptist Memorial Building was named in his honor shortly before he died in 1917. Among the notable students to grace Wayland’s halls were: Dr. Adam Clayton Powell, Sr. the famous pastor of New York’s Abyssinian Baptist Church; Dr. Booker T. Washington, founder of Tuskegee University and author of Up From Slavery; Reverend Harvey Johnson of Baltimore, Maryland – pastor and early civil rights activist; Kate Drumgoold, author of A Slave Girl’s Story: Being an account of Kate Drumgoold (1898); Henry Vinton Plummer, Civil War Naval combat hero and U.S. Army Chaplain to the “Buffalo Soldiers”; and Albert L. Cralle, inventor of the ice-cream scoop.

Virginia University of Lynchburg

Virginia Seminary and College was organized in May 1886 during the 19th annual session of the Virginia Baptist State Convention at the First Baptist Church in Lexington, Va. The Rev. P.F. Morris, pastor of Court Street Baptist Church in Lynchburg, Va., offered the resolution that authorized the establishment of the institution. Just 21 years out of slavery, African American Baptist leaders founded Lynchburg’s oldest institution of higher education for men and women to meet the growing demands of our community for better-educated and trained ministers, missionaries, and public school teachers.

In July 1886, lawyer James H. Hayes of Richmond was appointed to obtain a charter for the school. During the 1888 session of the Virginia Baptist State Convention, the location of the school in Lynchburg, the plans and specifications for the first brick building, the letting of the contract for the erection of the building and the charter were approved. The cornerstone of the first building was laid in July 1888. The school was opened on Jan. 18, 1890, by Professor R. P. Armstead with an enrollment of 33 students.

Voorhees College

Inspiration, determination, imagination, faith. All four have been pillar principles in Voorhees College's century-long history of changing minds and changing lives.

That history started with Elizabeth Evelyn Wright, who at 23 was only a little older than today's Voorhees students when she came to Bamberg County. A native of Georgia, Wright had found her inspiration while studying at Booker T. Washington's famed Tuskegee Institute. She said time at Tuskegee gave her a mission in life: being “the same type of woman as Mr. Washington was of a man." Knowing the importance of education, she moved to Denmark and started the first of several schools in the rural area She survived threats, attacks and arson.

Wright went back to Tuskegee to finish her degree before returning to South Carolina to try again. Undeterred and envisioning a better future for blacks through education, she founded Denmark Industrial School in 1897, modeling it after Tuskegee. New Jersey philanthropist Ralph Voorhees and his wife donated $5,000 to buy the land and build the first building, allowing the school to open in 1902 with Wright as principal. It was the only high school for blacks in the area.

West Virginia State University

Beginning of West Virginia State University

Acts of the Legislature of West Virginia at its Twentieth Regular Session, commencing January 14, 1891.

CHAPTER LXV.

AN ACT accepting the provisions of the act of congress approved August thirtieth, eighteen hundred and ninety, entitled "An act to apply a portion of the proceeds of the public lands to the more complete endowment and support of the colleges for the benefit of agriculture and the mechanic arts, established under the provisions of an act of congress approved July second, eight hundred and sixty-two," and providing for the apportionment of said endowment according to the provisions of said act. [Passed March 4, 1891.]

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February Twenty-Six...

Dr. Hakeem Oluseyi, American Cosmologist, "Outrageous Acts of Science" personality and Tougaloo College Alumni Biography: American Physical Society

Topics: African Americans, Civil Rights, Education, Human Rights, Women's Rights

Texas Southern University

Houston Colored Junior College (1927-1934)
On September 14, 1927, the Houston Public School Board agreed to fund the development of two junior colleges: one for whites and one for African-Americans. And so, with a loan from the Houston Public School Board of $2,800, the Colored Junior College was born in the summer of 1927 under the supervision of the Houston School District. The main provision of the authorization was that the college meet all instructional expenses from tuition fees collected from the students enrolling in the college. The initial enrollment for the first summer was 300. For the fall semester, the enrollment dropped to 88 students because many of the 300 enrolled during the summer semester were teachers who had to return to their jobs once the school year began.

The Colored Junior College was established to provide an opportunity for African-Americans to receive college training. The Junior College progressed so fast that by 1931, it became a member of the Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools and was approved by the Southern Association of Colleges.

Tougaloo College

Tougaloo College is a private, coeducational, historically black four-year liberal arts, church related, but not church controlled institution. It sits on 500 acres of land located on West County Line Road on the northern edge of Jackson, Mississippi. In Good Biblical Style, one might say that the Amistad, the famous court case which freed Africans who were accused of mutiny after they killed a part of the captor crew of the slave ship Amistad and took over the vessel, begat the American Missionary Association, and the American Missionary Association begat Tougaloo College and her five sister institutions.

In 1869, the American Missionary Association of New York purchased five hundred acres of land from John Boddie, owner of the Boddie Plantation to establish a school for the training of young people "irrespective of religious tenets and conducted on the most liberal principles for the benefit of our citizens in general". The Mississippi State Legislature granted the institution a charter under the name of "Tougaloo University" in 1871. The Normal Department was recognized as a teacher training school until 1892, at which time the College ceased to receive aid from the state. Courses for college credit were first offered in 1897, and in 1901, the first Bachelor of Arts degree was awarded to Traverse S. Crawford. In 1916, the name of the institution was changed to Tougaloo College.

H. Councill Trenholm State Community College

H. Councill Trenholm State Technical College was created through the consolidation of John M. Patterson State Technical College and H. Councill Trenholm State Technical College in April 2000. The Trenholm Campus was designated as the main campus of the combined institutions. Both institutions were accredited by the Council on Occupational Education, which granted approval for the merger in March 2002.

In December 2014, Trenholm State was granted initial accreditation by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) to award associate degrees.

In May 2015, H. Councill Trenholm State Technical College officially became H. Councill Trenholm State Community College.

Patterson Site
The John M. Patterson State Technical School was established as a result of the 1947 passage of Regional Vocational and Trade School Act 673 by the Alabama State Legislature. The Montgomery County Board of Revenue and the City of Montgomery purchased 43 acres of land at the junction of the Southern Bypass and U.S. 231 South in 1961. The school opened on September 4, 1962. Patterson was named a technical college by action of the State Board of Education in 1974.

Tuskegee University

Welcome to Tuskegee University- "the pride of the swift, growing south." Founded in a one room shanty, near Butler Chapel AME Zion Church, thirty adults represented the first class - Dr. Booker T. Washington the first teacher. The founding date was July 4, 1881, authorized by House Bill 165.

We should give credit to George Campbell, a former slave owner, and Lewis Adams, a former slave, tinsmith and community leader, for their roles in the founding of the University. Adams had not had a day of formal education but could read and write. In addition to being a tinsmith, he was also a shoemaker and harness-maker. And he could well have been experienced in other trades. W. F. Foster was a candidate for re-election to the Alabama Senate and approached Lewis Adams about the support of African-Americans in Macon County.

What would Adams want, Foster asked, in exchange for his (Adams) securing the black vote for him (Foster). Adams could well have asked for money, secured the support of blacks voters and life would have gone on as usual. But he didn't. Instead, Adams told Foster he wanted an educational institution - a school - for his people. Col. Foster carried out his promise and with the assistance of his colleague in the House of Representatives, Arthur L. Brooks, legislation was passed for the establishment of a "Negro Normal School in Tuskegee."

A $2,000 appropriation, for teachers’ salaries, was authorized by the legislation. Lewis Adams, Thomas Dryer, and M. B. Swanson formed the board of commissioners to get the school organized. There was no land, no buildings, no teachers only State legislation authorizing the school. George W. Campbell subsequently replaced Dryer as a commissioner. And it was Campbell, through his nephew, who sent word to Hampton Institute in Virginia looking for a teacher.

Booker T. Washington got the nod and he made the Lewis Adams dream happen. He was principal of the school from July 4, 1881, until his death in 1915. He was not 60 years old when he died. Initial space and building for the school was provided by Butler Chapel AME Zion Church not far from this present site. Not long after the founding, however, the campus was moved to "a 100 acre abandoned plantation" which became the nucleus of the present site.

University of the Virgin Islands

The University of the Virgin Islands (UVI) was chartered on March 16, 1962, as the College of the Virgin Islands — a publicly funded, coeducational, liberal arts institution — by Act No. 852 of the Fourth Legislature of the U.S. Virgin Islands. According to that law, UVI's cornerstone objective is to provide for "...the stimulation and utilization of the intellectual resources of the people of the Virgin Islands and the development of a center of higher learning whereby and where from the benefits of culture and education may be extended throughout the Virgin Islands."

The enabling legislation was the result of at least two years of preparation and planning. In 1960, the V.I. Legislature created a temporary body called the Virgin Islands College Commission, comprised of interested island residents, to survey the need for a territorial college. In April 1961, Governor Ralph M. Paiewonsky pledged to establish such a college in his inaugural address. And in July 1961, Governor Paiewonsky hosted a Governor's Conference on Higher Education, at which twenty educators observed and analyzed the Virgin Islands' educational scene, and made recommendations for the creation of the College of the Virgin Islands (CVI).

The first campus opened on St. Thomas in July 1963, on 175 acres donated by the federal government. The first Board of Trustees took office in August 1963. In 1964, the college founded a second campus on St. Croix, on 130 acres also donated by the federal government.
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February Twenty-Five...

Written by Rev. Nita Byrd, University Chaplain

The patron Saint of Saint Augustine’s University is Augustine of Hippo. Saint Augustine was born on November 13, 354 CE in Thagaste, Numidia, a province in North Africa which is present day Algeria. Source: History

Topics: African Americans, Civil Rights, Education, Human Rights, Women's Rights

Saint Augustine's University

Saint Augustine’s University was chartered as Saint Augustine Normal School and Collegiate Institute on July 19, 1867, by the Reverend J. Brinton Smith, D.D., secretary of the Freedman’s Commission of the Protestant Episcopal Church, and the Right Reverend Thomas Atkinson, D.D., Bishop of the Diocese of North Carolina. Bishop Atkinson became the first president of the Board of Trustees and Dr. Smith was the first principal. The new school opened its doors for instruction on January 13, 1868.

In 1893, the School’s name changed from Saint Augustine Normal School to Saint Augustine’s School. In 1919, the name changed to Saint Augustine’s Junior College, the first year in which postsecondary instruction was offered. The School became a four-year institution in 1927. In 1928, the institution was renamed Saint Augustine’s College. Baccalaureate degrees were first awarded in 1931.

The College further extended its mission by establishing St. Agnes Hospital and Training School for Nurses to provide medical care for and by African Americans. It was the first nursing school in the state of North Carolina for African-American students, and served as the only hospital to served African Americans until 1960. One most famous patients to be admitted to St. Agnes was Jack Johnson, the first African-American world heavyweight boxing champion. Johnson was admitted following an accident that ultimately led to his death in 1946.

Saint Philip's College

St. Philip's College, founded in 1898, is a comprehensive public community college whose mission is to empower our diverse student population through educational achievement and career readiness. As a Historically Black College and Hispanic Serving Institution, St. Philip's College is a vital facet of the community, responding to the needs of a population rich in ethnic, cultural, and socio-economic diversity.

Stillman College

Stillman College, authorized by the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in the United States in 1875, held its first classes in 1876 and was chartered as a legal corporation by the State of Alabama in 1895. At that time, the name was changed from Tuscaloosa Institute to Stillman Institute. The Institute was a concept initiated by the Reverend Dr. Charles Allen Stillman, pastor of First Presbyterian Church of Tuscaloosa. The mandate for the Institution expanded over the years and it acquired its present campus tract of over 100 acres.

Stillman College is a liberal arts institution with a historical and formal affiliation with the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). It is committed to fostering academic excellence, to providing opportunities for diverse populations, and to maintaining a strong tradition of preparing students for leadership and service by fostering experiential learning and community engagement designed to equip and empower Stillman’s students and its constituents.

Talladega College

The history of Talladega College began on November 20, 1865 when two former slaves, William Savery and Thomas Tarrant, both of Talladega, met in convention with a group of new freedmen in Mobile, Alabama. From this meeting came the commitment: "...We regard the education of our children and youths as vital to the preservation of our liberties, and true religion as the foundation of all real virtue, and shall use our utmost endeavors to promote these blessings in our common country."

With this as their pledge, Savery and Tarrant, aided by General Wager Swayne of the Freedmen's Bureau, began in earnest to provide a school for the children of former slaves of the community. Their leadership resulted in the construction of a one-room schoolhouse, using lumber salvaged from an abandoned carpenter's shop. The school overflowed with pupils from its opening, and soon it was necessary to move into larger quarters.

Meanwhile, the nearby Baptist Academy was about to be sold under mortgage default. This building had been built in 1852-53 with the help of slaves including Savery and Tarrant. A speedy plea for its purchase was sent to General Swayne. General Swayne then persuaded the American Missionary Association to buy the building and 20 acres of land for $23,000. The grateful parents renamed the building Swayne School, and it opened in November of 1867 with about 140 pupils. Thus, a building constructed with slave labor for white students became the home of the state's first private, liberal arts college dedicated to servicing the educational needs of blacks.

Tennessee State University

FOUNDED IN 1912

Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University (TSU) is a comprehensive, urban, coeducational, land-grant institution. Our Nashville home offers two locations—the 500-acre main campus nestles in a beautiful residential neighborhood along the Cumberland River, and the downtown Avon Williams campus sits near the center of Nashville’s business and government district.

AGRICULTURAL AND INDUSTRIAL NORMAL SCHOOL

In 1909, the Tennessee State General Assembly created three normal schools, including the Agricultural and Industrial Normal School, which would grow to become TSU. The first 247 students began their academic careers on June 19, 1912, and William Jasper Hale served as head of the school. Students, faculty, and staff worked together as a family to keep the institution operating, whether the activity demanded clearing rocks, harvesting crops, or carrying chairs from class to class.

Texas College

The College’s history states that in the Spring of 1894, Texas College was founded by a group of ministers affiliated with the Christian Methodist Episcopal (CME) Church. The founding represented the start of the educational process for a group of disenfranchised individuals in the area of east Texas, City of Tyler.

The Charter as originally issued July 1, 1907, indicates that the name of the corporation was established as “Texas College,” with the purpose of an educational institution designed to operate under the supervision care and ownership of the CME Church in America. The exclusive educational direction was to include the education of youths, male and female, in all branches of a literary, scientific and classical education wherein [all] shall be taught theology, normal training of teachers, music, commercial and industrial training, and agricultural and mechanical sciences.

On June 12, 1909, the name of the college was changed from Texas College to Phillips University. The noted change was associated with Bishop Henry Phillips, as a result of his leadership and educational interests for mankind. The name change was short lived and reportedly lasted until actions for a name reversal occurred in 1910 at the Third Annual Conference of the church. In May 1912, the college was officially renamed Texas College.
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February Twenty-Four...

Spelman College - About Us

Topics: African Americans, Civil Rights, Education, Human Rights, Women's Rights

South Carolina State University

Founded in 1896 as the state's sole public college for black youth, SOUTH CAROLINA STATE UNIVERSITY has played a key role in the education of African-Americans in the state and nation. As a land-grant institution, it struggled to provide agricultural and mechanical training to generations of black youngsters. Through its extension program, it sent farm and home demonstration agents into rural counties to provide knowledge and information to impoverished black farm families.

The University has educated scores of teachers for the public schools. It provided education in sciences, literature, and history. The support of the Rosenwald Fund and the General Education Board helped the institution survive the Depression. After World War II, the state legislature created a graduate program and a law school at SOUTH CAROLINA STATE UNIVERSITY to prevent black students from enrolling in the University of South Carolina's graduate and legal education programs. The legislature also dramatically increased funding at the college in an effort to make "separate but equal" a reality in higher education in South Carolina. During the 1950s and 1960s hundreds of S.C. STATE students participated in local civil rights demonstrations and were arrested. In 1968 three young men were slain and 27 wounded on the campus by state highway patrolmen in the Orangeburg Massacre.

Since 1966, S.C. STATE has been open to white students and faculty, but it has largely retained its mission and character as an historically black institution. In 1971, the agricultural program was terminated and the college farm was transformed into a community recreation center consisting of a golf course as well as soccer and baseball fields. Today there are nearly 5000 students majoring in a wide range of programs that include agribusiness, accounting, art, English, and drama as well as fashion merchandising, physics, psychology, and political science.

Southern University of New Orleans

Southern University at New Orleans (SUNO) was founded as a branch unit of Southern University and Agricultural & Mechanical College in Baton Rouge (SUBR) on September 4, 1956.

On September 21, 1959, SUNO opened its doors on a 17-acre site located in historic Pontchartrain Park, a subdivision of primarily African American single-family residents in eastern New Orleans.

Established as an open community of learners, classes began with 158 freshmen, one building and a motivated faculty of 15. The University offered 10 courses in four academic disciplines: Humanities, Science, Social Science and Commerce.

Today, SUNO serves as a beacon for those looking for educational advancement in an environment that provides the personal attention students need for success.

Our mission is to be one of America’s premier institutions of higher learning and to graduate students ready to contribute to the city and nation.

Southern University at Shreveport

Southern University at Shreveport, a unit of the Southern University System located at Baton Rouge, Louisiana, was created by Act 42 of the ordinary session of the Louisiana Legislature on May 11, 1964, and designated a two-year commuter college to serve the Shreveport-Bossier City area. Its basic emphasis was to provide the first two years of typical college and university work.

Governor John H. McKeithen signed this Act on June 27,1964, and the Institution was opened for instruction on September 19, 1967. The definitive designation of Southern University at Shreveport as a unit of the Southern University System reflects historical precedence.

Southern University and A&M College

As the nation’s only historically black college system with five campuses in Louisiana’s three largest cities, Southern University and A&M College (SUBR) has a rich history that is filled with pride, excellence and resiliency.

Southern originally began in New Orleans, Louisiana in 1880, after a group of black politicians, P.B.S. Pinchback, Theophile T. Allain, and Henry Demas petitioned the State Constitutional Convention in 1879, in order to establish an institution of higher learning for “colored people.”

The following year, Southern came into existence and was chartered on April 10, 1880, with the passage of ACT 87 of the Louisiana General Assembly, which allowed the establishment of an institution of higher learning for African Americans.

Southern officially opened their doors on March 7, 1881 on Calliope Street in New Orleans.

The university had twelve students, five faculty members, and a budget of $10,000. It remained at that location until 1883, and then relocated to Magazine Street and Soniat Street Square.

Southwestern Christian College

1865
On the campus stands the first dwelling erected in Terrell. This home, built by a man named Terrell, was constructed in an octagonal shape to give better protection against Indians. Today it remains as one of the twenty surviving Round Houses in the entire nation--listed by the Dallas Centennial as a place to visit. Even when it was built, the house was the object of interest as it contained the first glass windows in Kaufman County. The doors, however, were typical of the pioneer houses in that they were put together with wooden pegs. The original doors have long since been removed, and other rooms have been added at the back of the house, but the original logs used as supports in the house are still supporting the building. The local chapter of the Historical Society has placed a historical marker at the Round House site.

1948
In the Fall of 1948, with some forty-five students attending, a small beginning was made in Fort Worth, Texas, under the name of Southern Bible Institute. George P. Bowser (1874-1950) played a significant role in this effort.

1949
The Board intended to buy property in Fort Worth to erect a permanent school plant, but in the summer of 1949, an opportunity was afforded to purchase the school property formerly owned by the Texas Military College in Terrell. When the military school closed and the property was offered for sale, the Trustees purchased it. At this time the name was changed to Southwestern Christian College.

Spelman College

Founded in 1881 as the Atlanta Baptist Female Seminary, we became Spelman College in 1924. Now a global leader in the education of women of African descent, Spelman is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and we are proud members of the Atlanta University Center Consortium.

Today our student body comprises more than 2,100 students from 43 states and 10 foreign countries. Spelman empowers women to engage the many cultures of the world and inspires a commitment to positive social change through service. We are dedicated to academic excellence in the liberal arts and sciences and the intellectual, creative, ethical and leadership development of our students.

Spelman is proud of its 76 percent graduation rate (average over six years), one of the best in the nation, but our support doesn’t stop once you step on stage to take your diploma. Our global alumnae network is strong, providing connections and helping hands to graduates as they begin on their path of global engagement.
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February Twenty-Three...

Topics: African Americans, Civil Rights, Education, Human Rights, Women's Rights

Shaw University

Shaw University, located in Raleigh, North Carolina is the first historically Black institution of higher education in the South and among the oldest in the nation. The University was founded in 1865 by Henry Martin Tupper, a native of Monson, Massachusetts, a soldier in the Union Army during the Civil War, and a graduate of Amherst College and Newton Theological Seminary.

Shaw boasts many “firsts”: the first college in the nation to offer a four-year medical program, the first historically Black college in the nation to open its doors to women, and the first historically Black college in North Carolina to be granted an “A” rating by the State Department of Public Instruction. Dr. Paulette Dillard currently serves as the University's 18th President.

The mission of Shaw University is to advance knowledge, facilitate student learning and achievement, to enhance the spiritual and ethical values of its students, and to transform a diverse community of learners into future global leaders. The University currently enrolls more than 1,800 students and offers more than 30 degree programs, including accredited programs in athletic training, kinesiotherapy, social work, divinity, religious education, and teacher education.

Shelton State Community College

Shelton State Community College is part of a state system of public colleges. This system originated in the Alabama Trade School and Junior College Authority Act enacted by the state legislature in May 1963. The governing board for the institutions within this system is the Alabama State Board of Education (ASBE) and the Chancellor, Alabama College System, Department of Postsecondary Education, is the chief executive officer of the system.

Shelton State Community College was established by resolution of the ASBE on January 1, 1979. That resolution combined two existing institutions: Shelton State Technical College, established in 1952, and the Tuscaloosa branch campus of Brewer State Junior College, an institution whose main campus was located in Fayette, Alabama. The Tuscaloosa branch campus of Brewer State had been in operation since 1972.

Shorter College

Shorter College is a private, faith-based, two-year liberal arts college located in North Little Rock, Arkansas. Founded in 1886 by the African Methodist Episcopal Church, Shorter College is one of the nation’s 110 Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) and the only private, two-year HBCU in the nation. With a Fall 2014 enrollment of over 400 students, Shorter College is the fastest growing campus is Central Arkansas.

Shorter College’s open enrollment policy makes obtaining an associate’s level degree possible for any person having earned a high school diploma or GED completion from an accredited agency. Small, intimate classroom settings and an outstanding faculty create an enjoyable and supportive atmosphere for learning that empowers students to excel toward the pursuit of academic excellence.

Simmons College of Kentucky

A few months after the end of the Civil War in 1865, members of the Kentucky State Convention of Colored Baptist Churches proposed the establishment of Kentucky’s first post secondary educational institute for its “Colored” citizens. In 1879 the State Convention purchased four acres of land in Louisville to serve as the campus for the Kentucky Normal and Theological Institute.

Dr. William Simmons became the second President in 1880 and led the Institute through a period of rapid growth in enrollment and facilities. His efforts led to the addition of a competitive sports program and the attainment of university status. Although Dr. Simmons’ tenure ended in 1890, he set the foundation for continued growth, which included a dramatic expansion of the liberal arts program.”

In the period of 1893 to 1922, student registration increased from 159 to over 500. In recognition of Dr. Simmons’ leadership, the University was renamed Simmons University in 1918.
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February Twenty-Two...

Savannah State University - Normal Class of 1900

Topics: African Americans, Civil Rights, Education, Human Rights, Women's Rights

Rust College

RUST COLLEGE was established in 1866 by the Freedman's Aid Society of the Methodist Episcopal Church. Its founders were missionaries from the North who opened a school in Asbury Methodist Episcopal Church, accepting adults of all ages, as well as children, for instruction in elementary subjects. A year later the first building on the present campus was erected.

In 1870, the school was chartered as Shaw University, honoring the Reverend S.O. Shaw, who made a gift of $10,000 to the new institution. In 1892, the name was changed to Rust University to avoid confusion with another Shaw University. The name was a tribute to Richard S. Rust of Cincinnati, Ohio, Secretary of the Freedman's Aid Society. In 1915, the title was changed to the more realistic name, Rust College.

As students progressed, high school and college courses were added to the curriculum, and in 1878 two students were graduated from the college department. As public schools for Negroes became more widespread the need for private schools decreased, and in 1930 the grade school was discontinued. The high school continued to function until 1953.

Saint Paul's College (closed 2013)

Saint Paul’s College, the beleaguered HBCU in Lawrenceville, Va., will cease operation on June 30, according to its board of trustees.

A spokesperson for the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) confirmed that Belle S. Wheelan, president of the regional accrediting body, had received a May 28, letter from the chairman of the board of trustees at Saint Paul’s College notifying her of the decision to close the 125-year-old institution. Efforts to reach Board Chairman Oliver W. Spencer Jr., were unsuccessful.

In recent years, SACS cited Saint Paul’s for a series of deficiencies and violations, among them the lack of financial stability and too many faculty without terminal degrees. The college was eventually stripped of its accreditation. A federal judge later issued a preliminary injunction, allowing the college to keep its accreditation on a probationary basis so that Saint Paul’s could continue to enroll students and hold classes. It opened last fall with about 111 students.

During a two-year probation, the private college struggled, but couldn't fix what accreditors found lacking at the institution that largely serves low-income, first-generation students. Saint Paul’s struggled to rebound. Student enrollment continued to tumble, slipping below 100 and the money it raised from gifts, alumni donations, and desperate appeals, never seemed to be enough for the fledgling college to thrive.

Savannah State University

Savannah State University (SSU) is the oldest public historically black college or university in the state of Georgia and the oldest institution of higher learning in the city of Savannah. The school was established in 1890 as a result of the Second Morrill Land Grant Act, which mandated that southern and border states develop land-grant colleges for black citizens. Later that year, the Georgia General Assembly passed legislation creating the Georgia State Industrial College for Colored Youths, which served as Georgia’s 1890 land-grant institution until 1947. A preliminary session of the Georgia State Industrial College was held in the Baxter Street School Building in Athens, Ga., before moving to Savannah in October 1891. Richard R. Wright, Sr., was appointed the first president of the institution in 1891, which opened with five faculty members and eight students.

The college awarded its first degree in 1898 to Richard R. Wright, Jr., the son of the founding president and became the ninth president of Wilberforce University. Cyrus G. Wiley of the class of 1902 was the first alumnus to become college president in 1921, the same year the first female students were admitted as residents on campus. In 1928, the college became a four-year, degree-granting institution, ending its high school and normal school programs.

Upon the creation of the University System of Georgia (USG) in 1932, the college became one of the first members of the system and its name was changed to Georgia State College. Its name changed again in 1950 to Savannah State College, and the institution received initial accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) in 1955. The USG Board of Regents elevated the college to university status in 1996 and renamed the institution Savannah State University.

Selma University (ref site - no website available)

The institution was founded in 1878 as the Alabama Baptist Normal and Theological School to train African Americans as ministers and teachers. The school purchased the former Selma Fair Grounds later that same year, moving into the fair's old exposition buildings. Noted ministers such as William H. McAlpine, James A. Foster and R. Murrell were among the founders. At a meeting in Mobile, Alabama in 1874, the first trustees were elected: C. O. Booth, Alexander Butler, William H. McAlpine, Holland Thompson and H. J. Europe. The convention voted to locate the school in Selma in 1877. The school opened four years later in the Saint Phillips Street Baptist Church of Selma (which later became the First Baptist Church).

In 1881, the school was incorporated by an act of the legislature under the name of Alabama Baptist Normal and Theological School of Selma. In 1886, Charles L. Purce succeeded Edward M. Brawley as president at Selma.[1] Purce was successful as president, and helped the university pay off a debt of $8,000. In 1894, he accepted the presidency of Simmons College of Kentucky, then known as the State University at Louisville.

On May 14, 1908, the name was officially changed to Selma University. Wikipedia
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