From concerts to operas to solo performances and vaudeville, Matilda Sissieretta Joyner Jones was a master of any stage she stepped on and could command an audience from the first note she sang. Her chosen stage name was either Madame Jones or Madame Sissieretta Jones, but many referred to her simply as the “Black Patti,” a comparison to the Italian opera singer Adelina Patti. Jones became the first black performer to take the stage at Carnegie Hall, which was known as simply the Music Hall in New York at the time, and was a regular at Madison Square Garden. Four U.S. presidents heard her perform, as did the British royal family, and her talents brought her to stages around the world, from Europe to Australia, South America, and beyond. She was known as one of the greatest opera singers of her time, but she retired in 1915 to care for her mother. In 1933, Madame Jones left the world stage at the age of 65. | public domain.
On #ThisDayinHistory, a monumental movement made its march to Montgomery, Alabama, with the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., at the front of the crowd. It was the end of a five-day march that began in Selma, Alabama, a follow-up to the march over the Edmund Pettus Bridge that was attacked on a day that became known as “Bloody Sunday.” When King and the thousands of peaceful protesters arrived in Montgomery, a major turning point in the civil rights and voting rights movement was reached, and American history was made. | by AP.
On #ThisDayinHistory in 2002, Halle Berry became the first black woman to ever take home an Academy Award for Best Actress. It marked a major change in 74 years of the awards show’s history, but to this day, even 15 years later, she is still the only black actress to receive an award in that category. | by Getty Images.
Yesterday, London was the site of a heartbreaking attack that took the lives of four and injured more than 20 others, but today, the city is showing its resiliency in the face of such pain. Signs at tube stations across London have been covered with quotes that inspire strength and courage, with the statement #WeAreNotAfraid ending every message. | by Matt Dunham/AP.
Young Sofia has a message she wants to share with the world about what it's like to have Down syndrome. Special thanks to sofia-sanchez.com. #WDSD17
Born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, Shirley Chisholm was a political force to be reckoned with and a powerhouse who opened doors left and right, pushing through to Capitol Hill and almost to the White House. In 1968, she became the first black woman elected to Congress, representing New York’s 12th district. Her campaign slogan? “Unbought and unbossed.” She began her term in January 1969 and held the seat until 1983. In 1972, she officially announced her campaign for president, making her the first woman to run as a Democrat and the first black major-party candidate in history. She lost the nomination to Gov. George McGovern, who lost the race to Richard Nixon, but she won a place in history and showed generations that it’s possible for them, too. #WomensHistoryMonth | by Charles Gorry/AP.
On #ThisDayinHistory in 1922, Mahatma Gandhi was imprisoned for civil disobedience, beginning a six-year sentence. The leader of the movement calling for independence from British rule in India, he advocated nonviolent resistance to the crown’s rule. After one protest turned violent, he was charged with plotting against the government and faced one of many arrests. | by AP.
On #ThisDayinHistory in 1959, the Dalai Lama fled Tibet after a failed uprising against Chinese rule, marking the last time he set foot in the country. He has since acted as both a spiritual and political figure for the people of Tibet, meeting with world leaders and spreading messages of peace and peaceful resistance. | by AP.
Today, Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg celebrates her 84th birthday. She’s held the position since 1993 and is one of just four women to ever sit on the court. Happy 84th, Notorious RBG. | by Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images
In Chennai, India, people gathered to celebrate Holi, the festival of colors. They covered their friends, family, and strangers with bright colors to celebrate the end of winter, the beginning of spring, the last full moon on the lunar calendar, and a day of playful freedom in the spirit of Krishna’s pranks. | by Arun Sankar/AFP/Getty Images.
She lost her father to cancer in 2009, and since then, Stephanie has been homeless. She’s one of the 78 people from across America that Justin Doering has featured in his series @fiftysandwiches, which he’s hoping will give voices to members of the homeless community in America who haven’t had a chance to be heard. Read more at Upworthy.com.
It has been 105 years since #ThisDayinHistory when Juliette Gordon Low officially registered the Girl Guides in Savannah, Georgia, marking the beginning of what we now know as the Girl Scouts of the USA. Founded as an organization to teach girls and young women the skills needed to be self-reliant and resourceful, it’s been a force in the lives of American women everywhere for more than a century. | by AP.
#ThisDayinHistory marks just 24 years since Janet Reno’s confirmation as the attorney general of the United States, making her the first woman to ever hold the position. She grew up in Miami-Dade, just outside of the Everglades, becoming valedictorian of her high school class, attending Cornell University, and then going on to Harvard Law, where she was one of 16 women in a class of 500 students. A powerhouse career led her to a seat as Florida’s state attorney, and then to a nomination from President Bill Clinton to U.S. attorney general. She is the second-longest serving attorney general in American history, and was a role model for Americans everywhere. | by Barry Thumma/AP.
Today marks the 150th birthday of a major force in American history and a champion of human rights everywhere, Lillian Wald. She worked tirelessly to ensure that the promise of “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” was extended to everyone, regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, or age. She founded Manhattan’s Henry Street Settlement in 1893, where nurses offered public health services to low-income families and a variety of classes and recreational activities for families. It was from that building that nurses in public schools first became a reality. An advocate for racial equality, every class taught there was integrated, and Wald became a founding member of the NAACP. She marched for women’s suffrage, championed child labor laws, fought for world peace, and has been honored in the Hall of Fame for Great Americans since 1970. Happy birthday to you, Lillian Wald. | by Harris & Ewing/The Library of Congress.
At the Valley State Prison in Chowchilla, California, inmates have the option of spending their time learning cosmetology skills that can be put to use once they’re released. After completing 1,600 hours of training, both through textbook and hands-on skills, they’re ready to take a written exam and receive a cosmetology license, helping them be prepared to enter a job and start a new life when they get out of prison. | by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
A new statue stands in Manhattan, facing down the Wall Street bull, fearlessly defiant and representing every woman around the world who ever stood up and said, “I can” when someone said, “You can’t.” Created by artist Kristen Visbal, the statue was installed on the eve of #InternationalWomensDay and the #DayWithoutaWoman by State Street Global Advisors and will stay for a month as a reminder of the strength women can bring to workplaces everywhere. #shemakesadifference#IWD2017 | by Mark Lennihan/AP.
It may have been only seven years ago, but #thisdayinhistory marks Kathryn Bigelow’s Oscar wins for “The Hurt Locker.” The movie took home six awards that year, including the Academy Award for Best Director — marking the first time a woman ever received that recognition. | by Gabriel Bouys/AFP/Getty Images.
On #thisdayinhistory in 1965, the first of three marches from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama, crossed over the Edmund Pettus Bridge. A group of nearly 600 civil rights protesters, with John Lewis at the front, marched to support the voting rights movement, and they were met by state troopers. When the marchers refused to turn around and go home, the line blocking their way responded violently. 17 demonstrators were hospitalized and more than 50 were treated for non-life-threatening injuries. On March 9, the marchers gathered and crossed the bridge again, led by Martin Luther King Jr. | by AP.
In every industry, in every country, women push back against stereotypes and glass ceilings to break through barriers and reach new levels in their career fields. Paloma Granero is an indoor skydiving instructor in Madrid, Spain, who has noticed that, in her field, “the instruction jobs still mostly go to men, whereas the administrative jobs go mostly to women.” Read more at Upworthy.com. | by Susana Vera/Reuters.
After almost 20 years of faithful work at the Goodyear tire factory in Gadsen, Alabama, Lilly Ledbetter, a shift supervisor at the time, discovered a note slipped into her locker, letting her know that she wasn’t being paid equally to her male counterparts at the company. She filed suit against the company for pay discrimination under the Civil Rights Act, and the case was taken to the Supreme Court. SCOTUS ruled that her case was time-barred, meaning when she filed suit, it had been more than 180 days since the decision regarding her pay was made, so she had no case. But the outcome of her case led to the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009, signed into law by President Barack Obama, which resets that 180-day limit with each new paycheck issued. #WomensHistoryMonth | by Fanny Carrier/AFP/Getty Images.
On #ThisDayInHistory, Frances Perkins was sworn in as the U.S. Secretary of Labor under President Franklin D. Roosevelt, a position she held from 1933 to 1945. Not only was she the first woman to hold that position, but she was also the first woman to be appointed to the U.S. Cabinet and is the longest serving Secretary of Labor in U.S. history. While holding that position, she was the driving force behind the United States’ adoption of social security, child labor laws, the federal minimum wage, and unemployment benefits. #WomensHistoryMonth | by AP.
These fishermen are out on what’s left of the Aral Sea, a body of water that was once one of the world’s largest saltwater lakes. In the 1960s, water was diverted away for agricultural projects, and the sea dried out until 2000, when just one-tenth of the water was left. But Kazakhstan has begun conservation efforts to rebuild the sea and the fishing industry that once thrived with it. Read more at Upworthy.com. | by Didier Bizet.
Today, he would have turned 113 years old, and his messages and stories are more important now than ever before. Happy birthday to Theodor Seuss Geisel, better known as Dr. Seuss, a mind that brought us both children’s books that transcend time and political cartoons that are all too relevant again. Read more at Upworthy.com. | by AP.
Last night, Feb. 28, President Donald Trump addressed a joint session of Congress for the first time. As members of the Senate and House walked in, a few visibly stood out from the rest. Democratic women wore white together to honor the women’s suffrage movement and show their support for the rights of women and to let the country know that they will stand up for every bit of progress made towards full equality in this nation. #WomensHistoryMonth | by Win McNamee/Getty Images.
History is made every day, and tomorrow’s heroes are sitting with us right now. Who will be the next leader, astronaut, scientist, author, or musician? Who will we celebrate during future Black History Months? Will it be you? #BlackHistoryMonth | (Clockwise from top left) of Dr. Mae C. Jemison courtesy of NASA; of President Barack Obama by Mark Wilson/Getty Images; of NASA mathematician and physicist Katherine Johnson courtesy of NASA; of author James Baldwin by Jenkins/Getty Images.
Today we celebrate the 120th birthday of a woman and voice that changed history. Marian Anderson was a contralto singer, regarded as one of the finest in the world, and the first black singer to perform with the New York Metropolitan Opera in 1955. She was a popularly requested performer on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean, and with her voice, she broke down the walls built by segregation. In 1939, she was invited to perform an Easter concert at the Lincoln Memorial by Eleanor Roosevelt after the first lady heard that the Daughters of the American Revolution had rejected Anderson as an act at their Constitution Hall based on nothing other than the color of her skin. So instead, Anderson sang to a crowd of 75,000 and for radio shows broadcasting live to millions of Americans. In 1961, she performed at President John F. Kennedy’s inauguration, and in 1963, Kennedy awarded her the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Happy birthday to you, Marian. #BlackHistoryMonth | by London Express/Getty Images.
Representation matters — and “Moonlight” playwright Tarell Alvin McCraney took his moment in the spotlight to dedicate his Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay to remind the world of that very important, critical fact. | Evan Agostini/Invision/AP.
Since the 2016 election, there has been a spike in hate crimes and threats directed at the Muslim and Jewish communities in the United States, but the Council on American-Islamic Relations has spoken out against them and spoken up for themselves and every community being attacked. They are offering a reward for information that will help find the people calling in bomb threats to Jewish community centers across the United States, hoping to bring an end to the hateful practice. Read more at Upworthy.com. | by Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images.
On #ThisDayInHistory in 1870, Hiram R. Revels was sworn into the U.S. Senate, becoming its first black member and taking a seat that had been vacated at the same time as Jefferson Davis, former president of the Confederacy. Revels spent his time in the Senate advocating for equality and the end of segregated school systems, pushing for policies that wouldn’t become federally recognized until the Brown v. Board of Education Supreme Court case more than 80 years later. #BlackHistoryMonth | courtesy of the Library of Congress.
For months, the Anne Frank Center for Mutual Respect has continually issued statements condemning the rhetoric and actions of President Donald Trump. Most recently, the center has spoken out against his lack of an unprompted response to the spate of anti-Semitism and threats made against the Jewish community in America. Read more at Upworthy.com. | courtesy of the Anne Frank House.
Co-founder of the NAACP, sociologist, historian, author, editor, Pan-Africanist, and civil rights activist W.E.B. Du Bois was a prolific scholar and figure in American history and a man who helped shape the world as we know it. Today we celebrate his 149th birthday. During his 95 years alive, he saw sweeping changes in American culture, and just a year after his death, the Civil Rights Act was enacted, putting into law many of the reforms he spent his entire life campaigning for. #BlackHistoryMonth | via Hulton Archive/Getty Images.
After many long months of protests at the Standing Rock Sioux reservation in Cannon Ball, North Dakota, the Oceti Sakowin protest camp came to a fiery end as protesters set structures on fire ahead of a deadline to vacate on Feb. 22 issued by the Army Corps of Engineers. Construction on the Dakota Access Pipeline will move forward, but protesters are not done fighting to protect their water yet. Read more at Upworthy.com. #NoDAPL | by Stephen Yang/Getty Images.
Though these storks may not be the prettiest birds you’ve seen, they’re now one of the most cherished in the villages they call home. After years of India’s greater adjutant stork being reviled for its looks and scavenger habits, a conservationist effort has turned sentiments around, and local children are being taught to be proud of the endangered species — of which only 1,200 are thought to remain in the world. | by Anupam Nath/AP.
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