Archive for February, 2013

What Black History Month Means to Me, A Matlock Series

February 27, 2013

What Black History Month Means to Me, A Matlock Series

The last post in our 2013 series, “What Black History Month Means to Me,” (#MatlockBlackHistoryMonth) comes from Brand Team Account Supervisor Brittany Burns.

I have always felt honored to be born in Black History Month. It gives me a sense of hope and aspiration knowing that my ancestors have accomplished so much. Their notable accomplishments and success fuels my desire to do better. Throughout the month of February, I take the time to reflect on my own life, what I have accomplished and how I can make improvements.
As a child, I remember riding to school with my dad. Every February, the radio stations would provide a Black History Month fact on the airwaves. Those morning were always memorable, I can recall hearing about well know African American heroes, such as Martin Luther King, Jr., Rosa Parks, Madam CJ Walker, Jackie Robinson, Nelson Mandela, Michael Jackson, Oprah Winfrey and Colin Powell, but also some unsung heroes. I even heard stories about local New Orleanans accomplishments. As an African American, I felt a sense of pride walking into school with White, Black, Asian, Hispanic and others.

Advertisements

Matlock’s Black History Month series spotlights History Maker’s Part 3

February 26, 2013

The third and final installment of our series acknowledging African Americans who shape American history, celebrates Henry O. Tanner, an artist who touched the hearts of millions with his artistic tributes to the human experience.  Mr. Tanner’s evolution from a boy in Pittsburg to a Paris legend is one worth noting.

Henry Ossawa Tanner (1859-1937)
The most distinguished African American artist of the nineteenth century, Henry Ossawa Tanner was the first African American artist to achieve international acclaim. Born on June 21, 1859, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to an AME Bishop and former slave, Tanner decided to become an artist when he saw a painter at work during a walk in Fairmount Park near his home. Two of his most important works depicting African American subjects are The Banjo Lesson of 1893 and The Thankful Poor of 1894. In 1895 Tanner’s “Resurrection of Lazarus” was purchased by the French government and was added to the collection of the Louvre. In 1908 his first one-man exhibition of religious paintings in the United States was held at the American Art Galleries in New York. Mr. Tanner became the first African American to receive a full academician of the National Academy of Design in 1927. To learn more about this great history maker, go to…….
http://clinton2.nara.gov/WH/EOP/First_Lady/html/hot-bio.html
http://www.the-athenaeum.org/art/list.php?m=a&s=du&aid=1900

What Black History Month Means to Me, A Matlock Series

February 25, 2013

What Black History Month Means to Me, A Matlock Series

Here is the fifth post of our Matlock series, “What Black History Month Means to Me,” (#MatlockBlackHistoryMonth). This one is provided by Reggie Hankerson, our Associate Creative Director.

To me Black History Month is a time to remember and honor all of the brave, talented, fearless and inspiring people that have come before us and helped shaped the world into a better place for us all. It’s a time to reflect on the struggles and sacrifices that numerous people from many backgrounds made in an attempt to gain equal rights for all people. It’s also a time to celebrate the many notable accomplishments that African Americans have made and continue to make in various fields such as science, sports, politics, education, entertainment, etc. And lastly, to me it means not only reflecting on these things but looking forward as well to be sure we all continue to strive for a better world for us all.

– rh

Matlock’s Black History Month series spotlights History Maker’s Part 2

February 22, 2013

Matlock’s Black History Month series spotlights History Maker’s Part 2

Robert Sengstacke Abbott (1870-1940)
Born in Frederica, St. Simons Island, Georgia, to freed slaves, Robert Abbott studied the printing trade at Hampton Institute and received a law degree from Kent College of Law, Chicago. Because of racial prejudice he was unable to practice law, but rather founded “The Chicago Defender” newspaper in 1905. With the tagline of “The World’s Greatest Weekly” it was the nation’s most influential Black weekly newspaper by the advent of World War I. At its height the paper is said to have had over one million readers nationwide. Touting stories that spoke out against racial inequality and other atrocities affecting Black Americans, it played a pivotal role in the “Great Migration” movement that resulted in over one and a half million Southern Blacks migrating to the North between 1915-1925. To learn more about Mr. Robert Sengstack Abbott , we recommend going to http://www.pbs.org/blackpress/news_bios/defender.html
http://www.nndb.com/people/733/000141310/

What Black History Month Means to Me, A Matlock Series

February 21, 2013

What Black History Month Means to Me, A Matlock Series

Here is the fourth post in our series, “What Black History Month Means to Me,” (#MatlockBlackHistoryMonth). This one is provided by Erika Ludwig, an Account Coordinator with our Reputation Group.

Black History Month is a reminder of incredible hardships, unfailing hope, and enduring strength. For me, it is also a celebration of our nation doing the right thing – validating the rights of the minority.

I look at the diversity in our nation and I’m moved by how far we have come. I admire Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. for his role in the advancement of civil rights and the legacy he left behind. I am thankful for Rosa Parks resisting racial segregation, and I am thankful for everyday people standing up for what is right and just.

So this month, Black History Month, let us celebrate the many sacrifices and achievements by Black Americans that have changed our world for the better. Let us celebrate the progress we have made, and let us celebrate the opportunity for a brighter future for all.

I will leave you with one of my favorite quotes from Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. “The time is always right to do what is right.”

Presidents’ Day: The Holiday with an Identity Crisis

February 18, 2013

Presidents Day

Happy Presidents’ Day to all!! While many people work on this holiday, as a Federal holiday, others have the day off. There are a handful of holidays throughout the year that are recognized as Federal holidays but not considered a non-working holiday by many non-government entities. However, did you know the history behind this holiday? Particularly this background has provided this day with an “identity crisis”?

Ask half a dozen people who Presidents’ Day is meant to honor, and you may get half a dozen different answers. Beyond the issue of which presidents are honored, there isn’t even universal agreement on whether there is an apostrophe in “presidents.”

Aside from the grammatical issue, this holiday is recognized by different names. While the ‘official’ holiday name is Presidents’ Day, legally, this day is still designated as George Washington’s Birthday.

But the confusion/discrepancy doesn’t stop there. While this holiday is a Federal holiday, numerous States celebrate differently and on other days of the year.

Let’s look at the origin of this holiday and where the name discrepancy evolved. Originally recognized as Washington’s Birthday on February 22nd, the federal government revised this to celebrate ALL Presidents, and the date was altered to be the third Monday of February.

In 1968, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Uniform Holiday Bill creating three national holidays to be celebrated on three designated Mondays during each year to encourage more family time. The three holidays were Washington’s Birthday, designated to be observed in February on the third Monday of the month; Memorial Day, designated to be observed in May on the last Monday of the month; and Veterans Day designated to be observed in October on the fourth Monday of the month. This bill also requested a formal change in name from Washington Day to Presidents Day, however this portion of the bill was denied.

In 1971, President Nixon signed an executive order stating that all presidents’ birthdays should be celebrated on the holiday of “Washington’s Birthday” in February. The reason for this executive order was to consolidate the two federal holidays of Washington’s Birthday and Lincoln’s Birthday that were currently being celebrated.

It’s fascinating that within a four year stretch, “time off” was created for more family time, then it was reduced elsewhere. However it makes sense that once the Federal holiday of George Washington’s birthday was created for all to enjoy, a separate day in February for only school kids and government employees to have off on Lincoln’s birthday wasn’t necessary.

While the Federal holiday of George Washington’s Birthday is celebrated, albeit under the more common pseudonym President’s Day, many states recognize and/or celebrate this holiday differently. In particular:

  • In Virginia, the holiday is officially (and legally) named George Washington Day and only recognizes the first president of the United States, who hailed from Virginia.
  • Massachusetts recognizes the Federal holiday of “Presidents’ Day” as “George Washington Day” and celebrates “Presidents Day” by honoring the four presidents originally from this state: John Adams, John Quincy Adams, Calvin Coolidge and John F. Kennedy. This Presidents Day is honored on May 29th, JFK’s birthday.
  • Alabama uniquely celebrates this holiday as “Washington and Jefferson” day, even though Thomas Jefferson’s birthday is in April.
  • Indiana and Georgia celebrate “George Washington Day” in December.
  • And, many states, including California, hold “Presidents’ Day” as a federal holiday and celebrate Lincoln’s birthday as a state holiday.

So, Happy Presidents’ Day/George Washington’s Birthday to all!! However you want to spell it, call it or celebrate it, we hope you enjoy!!

References

http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/index.php?pid=28963#axzz1kEV4nKgP
http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/index.php?pid=28963#axzz1ihEvVCdd
http://www.whitehouse.gov/about/presidents/abrahamlincoln
http://www.snopes.com/holidays/presidents/presidentsday.asp

What Black History Month Means to Me, A Matlock Series

February 15, 2013

Here is the third post of our Matlock series, “What Black History Month Means to Me,” (#MatlockBlackHistoryMonth). This one is provided by Pamela Bishop, our VP & Brand Group Director:

What Black History Month means to me…
Black History Month is a two way mirror. It is a time to reflect on the sacrifices that have been made by our ancestors and predecessors that help us to enjoy the accomplishments of today. It is also a time to re-evaluate my personal contribution to Black History and what I am doing to pave the way for generations to come. Pamela Bishop, VP & Group Director-Brand, Matlock Atlanta.

Matlock’s Black History Month series spotlights History Maker’s Part 1

February 14, 2013

As we continue our focus on Black History Month, we would like to celebrate a few outstanding African Americans.  History is constantly being made and we here at Matlock want to show our appreciation to those who have played, or are currently playing, a part in shaping American history.  To begin this series, who better to start us off than the first African American female astronaut, Mae Jemison!

As we continue our focus on Black History Month, we would like to celebrate a few outstanding African Americans.  History is constantly being made and we here at Matlock want to show our appreciation to those who have played, or are currently playing, a part in shaping American history.  To begin this series, who better to start us off than the first African American female astronaut, Mae Jemison!

Mae C. Jemison (1956-current)
Mae Jemison is the first African American woman to be admitted to the astronaut training program in 1987 and became the first Black female astronaut when she traveled into space aboard the Endeavor in 1992 as a science mission specialist. Since her retirement from NASA in 1993, Ms. Jemison founded her own company “Jemison Group,” as well as many foundations promoting the uses of arts and science in our everyday lives. Want to learn more about Mae Jemison? Check out http://www.drmae.com; http://www.biography.com/people/mae-c-jemison-9542378

What Black History Month Means to Me, a Matlock Series

February 7, 2013

Cheree Anderson

by Cheree Anderson, Project Coordinator, Matlock Atlanta

In grade school, I learned about our country’s Founding Fathers, I was tested on my knowledge of the first pilgrimages to America. My English lessons introduced me to the great writers and poets of our time. Science class presented a different view of my world and allowed me to experiment with ideas. I was a sponge. I absorbed all of this information and could recite it at will. However, no matter how much knowledge I gained or how “smart” I thought I was, I always felt like I wasn’t as good as some of my fellow classmates.

In 3rd grade all of that changed. This was the first time I can remember actively participating in Black History Month at school. It was then that I learned of the contributions African-Americans (or freed slaves) had made to our modern-age. I was astounded by innovations that would not have been if not for my ancestors. You see, I had countless lessons about the great Thomas Edison… inventor of the light bulb, but it wasn’t until Black History Month that I learned about Lewis Latimer who invented the most important part of the light bulb — the carbon filament. From the cotton gin to the traffic light and everything in between, African-Americans were pioneers in innovation. Learning of my ancestors’ accomplishments motivated me and provided a young Cheree with just the right amount of encouragement to feel like I, too, could do anything I put my mind to.

 

What Black History Month Means to Me

February 5, 2013

Welcome to our series “What Black History Means To Me”, a series of insights provided by Matlock team members during the month of February/Black History Month. We encourage readers to provide your own insights on what Black History Month Means to You as well. Please do so by commenting or messaging us on Facebook and/or our Blog, or on Twitter at #BlackHistoryMonth.Wilton and his granddaughter.

What Black History Month Means To Me, Wilton Wallace, Senior Associate, Matlock NY Office

Black History Month (BHM) is a period of reflection, celebration, and learning. I reflect on how far we have come against all odds. It reinforces my understanding of the strength that has brought us thus far. Our challenges remain significant but that strength allows us to continue the struggle toward a better tomorrow. Yes, we can!

I celebrate the contributions that African Americans and others have made to this country and the world. BHM helps me appreciate the melting pot that makes this country stronger through the diverse quilt we have become since most have learned slavery should never have existed. How much farther along would we be if the talent and humanity of African Americans had been unleashed earlier?

In my early life, it was Black History Week. Now, observances continue for at least a month. For me, the month is just a kick off because there are sound reasons to inspire others throughout the year.  Even after more than 60 observances, I learn something new each year and endeavor to share that knowledge.

This year, my new granddaughter may be too young to take in much but I pray that in future months and years I can be active in sharing facts related to her proud heritage. Hopefully, that sharing will aid her in developing the self-confidence necessary for her to contribute something good to society.