More than 100,000 Black women and allies have participated in GirlTrek’s #BlackHistoryBootCamp, a 21-day walking challenge that celebrates a different Black woman of historic significance each day and the podcast has been downloaded nearly 225,000 times. The finale is June 30th.
Revolutionary Black women such as Stagecoach Mary, Rosetta Tharpe, Mamie Till-Mobley, Dovey Johnson Roundtree, Ida B. Wells and Ella Baker have been among those featured by GirlTrek cofounders T. Morgan Dixon and Vanessa Garrison who co-lead the #BlackHistoryBootCamp discussions. Thousands listen in live and walk in solidarity as the two not only honor these little-known champions of Black culture and womanhood with rich and lively conversation, but share reading resources, speeches and a specially-curated playlist of songs dedicated to each hero highlighted.
“For three weeks straight, you have studied Black women, walked in their footsteps, and danced in the daily celebration of their lives –all of this– in the midst of a world that says you don’t matter,” Dixon said.
The accompanying #BlackHistoryBootCamp podcast has been downloaded nearly 220,000 times across Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and Buzzsprout platforms. The most listened to episode features Audre Lorde, a beloved inspiration to GirlTrek’s very mission to inspire Black women to lead healthier, happier lives through radical self-care that starts with daily walking.
The #BlackHistoryBootCamp has been covered by outlets such as NPR, Essence, and Parade.
Listen to the 21st and final #BlackHistoryBootCamp call on Tuesday, June 30th at noon EST. The call-in info is 1 (646) 876-9923, code: 734464325.
With nearly 800,000 members and counting, GirlTrek as profiled on CNN, is the largest health movement and nonprofit for Black women and girls in the country. GirlTrek encourages Black women to use radical self-care and walking as the first practical step to leading healthier, more fulfilled lives. GirlTrek is on a mission to inspire one million Black women to walk in the direction of their healthiest, most fulfilled lives by the end of 2020 and it all starts with taking the pledge atGirlTrek.org.
Memphis’ Beale Street Historic District and WDIA Radio Station Added to U.S. Civil Rights Trail
Beale Street Historic District joins together the Historic Daisy Theater/Randle Catron Interpretive Center, the Withers Collection Museum and Gallery, Historic First Baptist Beale Street Church and Robert R. Church Park.
WDIA Radio and the Beale Street Historic District are now stops on the U.S. Civil Rights Trail as announced today by Gov. Bill Lee; Commissioner Mark Ezell, Tennessee Dept. of Tourist Development and Secretary/Treasurer of the U.S. Civil Rights Trail Marketing Alliance; Memphis Mayor Strickland; Shelby County Mayor Lee Harris; and President and CEO of Memphis Tourism Kevin Kane. The announcement was made during a press event hosted by Memphis Tourism at the original B.B. Kings on Beale Street.
“Today is a special day as Tennessee shines a brighter light on the brave men and women who stood up for equal rights,” said Gov. Bill Lee. “I am proud that with the addition of these two sites, travelers from around the world will have the opportunity to learn more about Memphis’ deep civil rights history.”
This acceptance is in large part due to Memphis Tourism’s efforts alongside Tennessee Department of Tourist Development’s continued leadership and their sustaining membership of the U.S. Civil Rights Trail Marketing Alliance.
WDIA Radio was the first radio station in the country programmed entirely for African Americans. Efforts to break down racial boundaries pushed WDIA Radio to the top of the charts, both on the air and in the Memphis community.
The Beale Street Historic District is a National Historic Landmark. The 15-block area was a hotbed for several African American businesses, a Freedman’s Bank, the headquarters of Ida B. Wells’ anti-segregationist newspaper, “Free Speech,” and churches after the Civil War. African Americans came to work, entertain and be entertained, shop and strategize during the Civil Rights Movement.
“The addition of Beale Street and WDIA to the U.S. Civil Rights Trail will help spread the word of the historical significance of this community to our country’s long journey to equality and human rights,” said Mayor Lee Harris, Shelby County Mayor. “Both these sites will be invaluable additions to the trail and these additions will lead to countless conversations and learning opportunities for visitors and our residents.”
WDIA Radio and the Beale Street Historic District join original stops in Memphis which include Clayborn Temple, Mason Temple Church of God in Christ and the National Civil Rights Museum at the Lorraine Motel.
The U.S. Civil Rights Trail is a collection of churches, courthouses, schools, museums and other landmarks in the Southern states and beyond that played a pivotal role in advancing social justice in the 1940s, 1950s and 1960s, shifting the course of history.
With the newly-added stops, Tennessee now has 12 stops on the U.S. Civil Rights Trail including Fisk University and Woolworth’s on 5th in Nashville and Green McAdoo Cultural Center in Clinton. Visitors from around the world travel to Tennessee to explore where history was made.
About the U.S. Civil Rights Trail
The U.S. Civil Rights Trail is a collection of churches, courthouses, schools, museums and other landmarks primarily in the Southern states where activists challenged segregation in the 1940s, 1950s and 1960s to advance social justice. Famous sites such as the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama; Little Rock Central High School in Arkansas; the Greensboro, North Carolina, Woolworth’s where sit-ins began; the National Civil Rights Museum at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tennessee; and Dr. King’s birthplace in Atlanta, to name a few. The people, locations and destinations included in the Civil Rights Trail provide a way for families, travelers, and educators to experience history firsthand and tell the story of how “what happened here changed the world.” For details about dozens of significant sites and to see interviews with civil rights foot soldiers, visit civilrightstrail.com.
Memphis is a world-class sports destination that is complemented by the legendary food and music the city is known for around the world. The city is headlined by live music and full of one-of-a-kind experiences that include Beale Street, National Civil Rights Museum, Stax Museum of American Soul Music, Sun Studio, Elvis Presley’s Graceland and Memphis Zoo, home to two giant pandas. Stunning Mississippi River views, mouthwatering barbecue, lively festivals, and intriguing galleries and museums round out the many attractions and activities for visitors to experience in Memphis. These only begin the list of what’s so great about the Home of the Blues, Soul and Rock ‘n’ Roll. For more information, visit www.memphistravel.com
About the Tennessee Department of Tourist Development
Tennessee is the home of the blues, bluegrass, country, gospel, soul, rockabilly and rock ‘n’ roll-delivering an unparalleled experience of beauty, history and family adventure, infused with music that creates a vacation that is “The Soundtrack of America. Made in Tennessee.” In 2018, Tennessee’s tourism industry generated $22.02 billion in economic impact, more than $1.81 billion in state and local tax revenue and more than 187,757 tourism-related jobs. Explore more at tnvacation.com and join other Tennessee travelers by following “tnvacation” on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram and YouTube or “Tennessee” on Snapchat.
Qatar Airways and Brooklyn Nets Celebrate Black History Month
To tip off the month, Qatar Airways hosted students and former Tuskegee
Airman for a series of events
On Monday, Qatar Airways, official airline partner of the Brooklyn Nets, celebrated Black History Month
by honoring the historical achievements of African Americans during the Nets game at Barclays Center.
The luxury airline invited Tuskegee Airman Willie Jackson, local community organization, United Youth
Aviators, and students and alumni from Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) to enjoy a
series of activities throughout the evening.
To tip off the night, Qatar Airways presented former Tuskegee Airman and President of the 369th
Regiment Sergeant (ret.) Willie Jackson, with a special game ball delivery. The evening also included an
on-court, around the world competition with an HBCU alumni, for the opportunity to win roundtrip tickets
to incredible Qatar Airways destinations. Additionally, the airline highlighted stories of seven Black
aviation pioneers throughout the arena during the night and distributed Black History Month themed rally
towels to the first 5,000 fans in attendance.
“Black History Month is a time of reflection and an important reminder of the work we have left to do,”
says Senior Vice President of the Americas Eric Odone. “At Qatar Airways, we are fortunate to have
opportunities to engage with the community, and we’re grateful that our partnership with the Brooklyn
Nets and Barclays Center allows us to take these educational commitments further.”
Leading up to Black History Month, in partnership with Qatar Airways, Nets player Nic Claxton visited the
Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum along with 20 children from United Youth Aviators. United Youth
Aviators is a specially-curated program that offers students from New York City the opportunity to learn
about aviation from an early age and ultimately how to fly a plane. Representatives from Qatar Airways
accompanied the group on their private tour around the museum, where they experienced the rich
aviation history and cultural significance.
The Doha-based airline also hosted the group from United Youth Aviators in a private suite at the Nets
game on February 3 where they participated in a Q&A session with Willie Jackson on his experience with
the Tuskegee Airmen. The children were also invited to stand on-court with Nets players during the
The month-long celebration of African American history is part of Qatar Airways’ corporate social
responsibility efforts aimed at building stronger communities and providing youth with meaningful
A multiple award-winning airline, Qatar Airways was named ‘World’s Best Airline’ by the 2019 World
Airline Awards, managed by Skytrax. It was also named ‘Best Airline in the Middle East’, ‘World’s Best
Business Class’, and ‘Best Business Class Seat’, in recognition of its ground-breaking Business Class
experience, Qsuite. It is the only airline to have been awarded the coveted ‘Skytrax Airline of the Year’
title, which is recognized as the pinnacle of excellence in the airline industry, a record five times.
Qatar Airways operates a modern fleet of more than 250 aircraft via its hub, Hamad International Airport
(HIA), to more than 160 destinations worldwide. The world’s fastest-growing airline added several new
destinations to its network last year, including Rabat, Morocco; Izmir, Turkey; Malta; Davao, Philippines;
Lisbon, Portugal; Mogadishu, Somalia; Langkawi, Malaysia; and Gaborone, Botswana. The airline will
add Santorini, Greece; Dubrovnik, Croatia; Osaka, Japan; Nur-Sultan and Almaty, Kazakhstan; Cebu,
Philippines; Accra, Ghana; Trabzon, Turkey; Lyon, France; Luanda, Angola; and Siem Reap, Cambodia,
to its extensive route network in 2020.
Bay Area artscollective SambaFunk! performed Sunday, January 27th as part of the Senator Kamala Harris for President 2020 Campaign Rally in Oakland.
Theo Aytchan Williams, Samba Funk! Artistic Director said, “We are beyond honored to have been invited to participate in this historic moment in time by performing at the Senator Harris for President Campaign Rally.”
The group recently released a new version of the classic “Lift Every Voice & Sing” to coincide with Black History Month in February and to celebrate the song’s 120th Anniversary.
“Lift Every Voice and Sing” often referred to as the “Black National Anthem”, was originally written as a poem in 1899 by James Weldon Johnson to be recited by 500 students at the Stranton School in Jacksonville, Florida as a welcoming poem to educator Booker T. Washington in commemorate of Abraham Lincoln’s birthday. It was later put to music by John Rosamond Johnson and adopted as the Black National Anthem by the NAACP.
The SambaFunk! version of “Lift Every Voice & Sing” comes on the 120th anniversary of the song being written in hopes that the new release will shine a light on the Black Experience and ignite a sense of pride among Black and oppressed people worldwide. Historically music often plays a significant role in bringing people together for positive change. The group hopes this song evokes conversations between Americans of all backgrounds.
Williams said, “2019 is the perfect time for the message of this monumental work to be heard around the world to help raise our collective consciousness and present a living example of how music can play a significant role in unification.”
Many are already celebrating the song and its goodwill message including several NBA teams who will be performing the song as part of their Black History Month presentations.
Samba Funk! will also be seen in the EPIX documentary series, Elvis Goes There on February 11th with host film critic Elvis Mitchell, performing “Lift Every Voice & Sing”.
Mastered in the world-renowned Bernie Grundman studio in Hollywood, the song was released Martin Luther King Jr. weekend, January 20th and is available wherever music is sold and streamed.
To learn more about Samba Funk! and listen to “Lift Every Voice and Sing”, visit the website at sambafunk.com.
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