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I consider myself a lifelong learner. It allows me to improve as a person, bit by bit and day by day. Boredom will set in if my mind isn’t growing.
Vanessa McDowell is a warrior in the arena of civil rights. And when she speaks, she grabs you by the scruff of the neck and doesn’t let go. Armed with the breastplate of faith, she remains steadfast in her values, morals and unshakable fight for justice and equality.
Before officially announcing her run for Milwaukee’s mayoral office, Democratic state Sen. Lena C. Taylor had a subtle tip to inquiring minds: her sneakers. For weeks, she donned Chuck Taylor All Stars, pointing to her sneakers as a roundabout way of answering the question if she’d be running. Now as the only woman and person of color running for the position, Taylor faces off with the four-term incumbent Mayor Tom Barrett, as well as two other candidates. Leading up to the Feb. 18, primary, she’s prepared for the challenge, seeing herself as one of Milwaukee’s own all-stars.
Prenicia Clifton vividly recalls the time she was urged to camouflage her beautiful almond skin with white paint just so she could blend with the rest of the cast in a China opera company. She declined.

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Female Buffalo Soldier Private Cathay Williams

Cover: Female Buffalo Soldier Private Cathay Williams Artist: John W. Jones gallerychuma.com



UMOJA Publisher/Editor: Black Women Are The Bomb dot Com

I consider myself a lifelong learner. It allows me to improve as a person, bit by bit and day by day. Boredom will set in if my mind isn’t growing.



Vanessa McDowell: Madison’s Next Generation of Civil Rights Activists

Vanessa McDowell is a warrior in the arena of civil rights. And when she speaks, she grabs you by the scruff of the neck and doesn’t let go. Armed with the breastplate of faith, she remains steadfast in her values, morals and unshakable fight for justice and equality.



‘Taylor-Made’ for Milwaukee?

Before officially announcing her run for Milwaukee’s mayoral office, Democratic state Sen. Lena C. Taylor had a subtle tip to inquiring minds: her sneakers. For weeks, she donned Chuck Taylor All Stars, pointing to her sneakers as a roundabout way of answering the question if she’d be running. Now as the only woman and person of color running for the position, Taylor faces off with the four-term incumbent Mayor Tom Barrett, as well as two other candidates. Leading up to the Feb. 18, primary, she’s prepared for the challenge, seeing herself as one of Milwaukee’s own all-stars.



Singing Voices Matter

Prenicia Clifton vividly recalls the time she was urged to camouflage her beautiful almond skin with white paint just so she could blend with the rest of the cast in a China opera company. She declined.



An Evening with Black Panther Icon Bobby Seale

There’s a reason we recognize the authentic voice of our ancestors. It’s an amalgam of big momma telling us how it was, daddy schooling us on how it really is, and justice hungry activists clamoring on how it must be(come).



Black Veterans Honored with Mural at Milwaukee County War Memorial

African American men and women in the armed forces, past and present, are being honored in a new mural at the Milwaukee County War Memorial Center. It’s the first work dedicated to black veterans in the war memorial’s 62-year history.



Invisible Black History

Many scholars call Black history invisible because it has been deliberately suppressed, concealed, and squelched for centuries. Dr. James Loewen calls it deliberate lies in his outstanding book: Lies my Teacher Told Me. The good news is that the emerging scholarship of recent years is beginning to fill in the missing pages of Black history. And what a story that is emerging.



State Patrol Focused on Highway Safety, Enhancing Diversity

It’s accurate to say that Tony Burrell has dedicated his entire professional career to serving and protecting Wisconsin residents and visitors. A 30-year law enforcement veteran, it’s also accurate to say that Burrell - Wisconsin’s first African American State Patrol superintendent - ended up in the Badger State due to an “unexpected break.”.



Memories Through Song

The cloudy Saturday sky brightened the empty vestibule of St. Paul African Methodist Episcopal Church as a small choir of six formed for their monthly rehearsal. Led by choir director Jeffrey Brown, the voices joined together to sing gospel favorites such as “Woke Up This Morning” and “Amazing Grace.” Smiles ensued as the room was electrified by the singing of returning and new members. What separates them isn’t important; it’s what brings them together that is meaningful.



B.Excellent: Empowering the World Through Rap

K. Sankofa didn’t waste any time bringing in Black History Month with his “B. Excellent” music video that was dropped on the first of February.



Election 2020: How School Board Candidates View the Issues

Three seats on the Madison Metropolitan School District school board are up for general election on April 7. Here’s where they stand on issues ranging from steps to closing the achievement gap to reasons they deserve your vote.



Black Women’s Health and Wellness Center in Dane County Open

Dane County’s first Black Women’s health and wellness center officially opened on Feb. 1 as supporters stood elbow-to-elbow to celebrate the momentous occasion. Lisa Peyton-Caire, the Foundation for Black Women’s Wellness founder, along with dozens of community members, partners and supporters filled the Black Women’s Wellness Center, located at 6601 Grand Teton Plaza in Suite A2 on Madison’s west side.



A Night to Remember: Boys and Girls Clubs of Dane County’s Hearts for Helping Fundraiser Gala

I t was an event few said they would soon forget. The 11th annual Hearts for Helping, sponsored by the Boys & Girls Club of Dane County, is designed to spotlight difference-makers during an elegant evening of live music, dancing and food. And the dancefloor stayed packed.



Madison Black Chamber of Commerce Black Business Awards Recognition & Exhibition

The 3rd Annual Madison Black Chamber of Commerce Black Business Awards Recognition & Exhibition highlighted the significant role that African Americans have made in shaping the economy through entrepreneurship and community investment.



YWCA Madison Circle of Women Attracts Nearly 1,000

At what’s becoming one of the must-attend events of the year, close to 1,000 attended the 2020 YWCA Madison Circle of Women fundraiser on Feb. 19 at the Alliant Energy Center. The event celebrates the power of individual philanthropy and showcases the impact programs have had and how they’ changed lives.



No Struggle, No Progress: A Warrior’s Life from Black Power to Education Reform

I love history books and biographies and I just finished a great book that seems to combine both. No Struggle No Progress: A Warrior’s life from Black Power to Education Reform.



Antarctica: The End of the World – And the Beginning

Did you know that Antarctica was once thriving with lush vegetation that would rival Africa? That’s because Antarctica was once adjoined to Africa. As if that was not enough, two hundred million years ago, Australia, New Zealand, South America, even India, along with Africa, were all adjoined to Antarctica as one humongous land mass called Gondwana. At that time, there was also a mega aggregation of contiguous northern continents called Pangaea.



Equity and Inclusion Champion Roger Pulliam Has Passed Away

Roger Pulliam, a champion of equity and inclusion at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater who devoted his life to opening the doors of education for everyone, has died at the age of 77.



Julius Morgan, Beloved Family Man, Veteran, Educator and Former State Employee, Passed Away

Julius Morgan passed away peacefully at the William S. Middleton Memorial Veterans Hospital in Madison Dec. 27, with his family by his side. He was 82. Born in Milledgeville, Georgia, to parents, EW and Rossie Belle (Travick) Morgan.



UMOJA Shorts — March 2020

Boys & Girls Clubs of Dane County Picks Laura Ford-Harris as New Acting Chief Development Officer Boys & Girls Clubs of Dane County announced the addition of Laura Ford-Harris to its senior leadership team. She joins the Club as the acting chief development officer. Ford-Harris will replace Janine Stephens who will leave after eight years [...]


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