I keep a picture of the two teams who played in the 1924 Black Baseball League World Series. The teams were the Kansas City Monarchs and the Hilldale Giants. The Black Baseball leagues are one of the many results of race segregation in America. The leagues history extends back to just after the American Civil War when Black baseball players could not play in the so-called traditional White leagues, so they would form their own leagues.
The same history gave birth to Black colleges and Black organizations that still exist today. African American Greek organizations perform social service functions across the country where there are Black college graduates. The National Newspaper Publishers Association, National Bar Association, National Medical Association, and numerous others are still here, today, and open to new members.
Within the last two weekends, I attended and participated in two events that would be considered Black events.
One event was our own African American Women of Achievement, and the other was the Black Writers On Tour, founded and sponsored by Dr. Rosie Milligan, in Los Angeles.
Black Writers On Tour concentrates on providing an opportunity for Black writers and introduces Black writers to agents and publishers, to connect and network. Dr. Milligan is a powerful example and exponent of providing and giving opportunities for Black writers to discover and hone their talents and give birth to the creative giants that is hidden within many of us. To put it simply, she gives us an opportunity to tell our own story, and do it right now. She reminds us that you can’t tell it from the grave!
The irony is that years ago Dr. Milligan was part of a group put together by America’s corporate giants called African American Women On Tour. After that failed, she continued the tradition with her Black Writers On Tour. Hers has been a success because of her immense organizing talents and love for the people. This was her eighteenth year and this, like those in the past, was a major success.
The Women of Achievement event celebrates African American women who give service to the community through their professions, like our Women in Business, to our Women in Medicine and in Ministry, our Women Presidents of Service Organizations, such as the AKA’s, Deltas, Links, Phi Delta Kappa, Jack & Jill, to this year’s honorees, Women Church Workers.
We note that this year’s keynote speaker, Jewel Diamond Taylor, was a member of the African American Women On Tour. She and Dr. Milligan are two giants who are still standing and sharing their immense talents with our community.
We look forward to next year’s Black Writers On Tour and the 2015 Women of Achievement. We are also looking forward to the celebration of the Journal’s 25th year of publishing. We urge you to watch the Journal for details about when and where. Like the Black Baseball leagues and the African American Women On Tour, it has not been an easy road to travel but we are still standing strong.
We appreciate the support to those who have supported us over the past twenty-five years as we look forward to the next twenty-five years through the work of our sons and their families.