The Kupkake Fairy

Celebrates Black History Month

with

Big Brothers Big Sisters

546,959 children live at or below the federal poverty level in NC. 65% of these children live in a single parent home.  They are in need of someone who will stand in their corner. 

We are the NEW

Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Triangle

We’ve sharpened our focus.  Modernized how we look and talk.  Our purpose is for every child live up to their full potential. Our mission is to provide children facing adversity with strong and enduring, professionally supported relationships that change their lives for the better

$34.99

  A portion of proceeds goes to support this wonderful organization

Continue below to learn more about these amazing individuals

Bessie Coleman

  • Bessie Coleman was the first black woman to earn a pilot's license. Because flying schools in the United States denied her entry, she taught herself French and moved to France, earning her license from Caudron Brother's School of Aviation in just seven months. Coleman specialized in stunt flying and parachuting.

  • One of her contacts through her job as a manicurist was Robert S. Abbott, publisher of the Chicago Defender. He encouraged her to go to France to study flying there.
    She left for France in 1920 using the funds she received from several sponsors including Abbott

  • In 1923, Bessie Coleman bought her own plane. On April 30, 1926, she went for a test flight, with her mechanic piloting the plane and Bessie in passenger seat.  A loose wrench got wedged in the open gear box, and the controls jammed. Bessie Coleman was thrown from the plane and she died in the fall to the ground. Every April 30, African American aviators fly in formation over Lincoln Cemetery and drop flowers on Bessie Coleman’s grave.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

  • Dr. King was born Michael King Jr., however, his father inspired by the Protestant Reformation leader Martin Luther, changed his own name and that of his 5-year-old son.

  • King entered college at the age of 15. King skipped grades nine and 12 before enrolling at Morehouse College.

  • King escaped an assassination attempt a decade before. King was approached by Izola Ware Curry. Curry said, “I’ve been looking for you for five years,” and she plunged a seven-inch letter opener into his chest. The tip of the blade just missed his aorta, Surgeons later told King that just one sneeze could kill him. From his hospital bed King affirmed his nonviolent principles and he felt no ill will toward his attacker.​

Madam

CJ Walker

  • Madam C.J. Walker was born Sarah Breedlove, near Delta, Louisiana. After suffering from a scalp ailment that resulted in her own hair loss, she invented a line of African-American hair care products in 1905. Her business acumen led her to be one of the first American women to become a self-made millionaire.

  • As her business continued to grow, Walker organized her agents into local and state clubs. Her Madam C. J. Walker Hair Culturists Union of America convention in Philadelphia in 1917, widely recognized as one of the first national meetings of businesswomen in the country.

  • By the time she died at her estate, she had helped create the role of the 20th Century, self-made American businesswoman; established herself as a pioneer of the modern black hair-care and cosmetics industry; and set standards in the African-American community for corporate and community giving.

George Washington Carver

  • George Washington Carver was born into slavery. Carver invented hundreds of products, including from peanuts (milk, plastics, paints, dyes, cosmetics, medicinal oils, soap, ink, wood stains) and from sweet potatoes (molasses, postage stamp glue, flour, vinegar and synthetic rubber) and even a type of gasoline. Contrary to popular belief, George Washington Carver did not invent peanut butter.

  • George Washington Carver was one of many children owned by Moses Carver. A week after his birth, George was kidnapped along with his sister and mother from the Carver farm by raiders from Arkansas. The three were sold in Kentucky. Among them only the infant George was located by an agent of Moses Carver and returned.

  • Tuskegee's agricultural department achieved national renown under Carver's leadership, with a curriculum and a faculty that he helped to shape. Including methods of crop rotation and the development of alternative cash crops for farmers in areas heavily planted with cotton. The development of new crops and diversification of crop use helped to stabilize the livelihoods of both white and black people.

Queen

Charlotte

  • Princess Sophie Charlotte  married George III of England at the age of 17, becoming the Queen of England and Ireland.  She was the second Black Queen of England. The Royal couple had fifteen children, thirteen of whom survived to adulthood. Their fourth eldest son was Edward Augustus, Duke of Kent, later fathered Queen Victoria.  She was the mother of two future British monarchs, George IV and William IV

  • In Queen Charlotte’s era slavery was prevalent and the anti-slavery campaign was growing. Portrait painters of the royal family were expected to play down or soften Queen Charlotte's African features. Sir Allan Ramsey, an anti-slavery intellectual of his day, produced the most African representations of the Queen. The Coronation painting by Ramsey, played a subtle political role in the anti-slavery movement.

  • Upon her wedding day, Charlotte spoke no English. However, she quickly learned English, with a strong German accent. Charlotte had  influence on political affairs through the King. Her influence was discreet and indirect. She used her closeness with George III to make recommendations for offices. Charlotte particularly interested herself in German issues. And it is possible that it was due to her efforts that the King supported British intervention in the continuing conflict between Joseph II and the Charles Theodore of Bavaria in 1785.

Nat King Cole

  • Nathaniel Adams Cole, known professionally as Nat King Cole, was an American jazz pianist and vocalist. He recorded over one hundred songs that became hits on the pop charts. In 1956, Cole became the first African-American performer to host a variety television series, and for many white families, he was the first black man welcomed into their living rooms each night

 

  • As an African-American performer, Cole struggled to find his place in the Civil Rights movement. He had encountered racism firsthand, especially while touring in the South. In 1956, Cole had been attacked by white supremacists during a mixed race performance in Alabama. He was rebuked by other African Americans, however, for his less-than-supportive comments about racial integration made after the show.  Deeply hurt by the criticism in the black press. Emphasizing his opposition to racial segregation "in any form", he agreed to join other entertainers in boycotting segregated venues.  Until his death in 1965, Cole was an active and visible participant in the civil rights movement, playing an important role in planning the March on Washington in 1963.

Harriet Tubman

  • In 1849, Harriet Tubman decided to escape slavery. Two of her brothers, Ben and Harry, accompanied. However, after a $300 reward was posted they returned to the plantation.  She crossed into the free state of Pennsylvania with a feeling of relief and awe, and recalled later: “When I found I had crossed that line, I looked at my hands to see if I was the same person. There was such a glory over everything; the sun came like gold through the trees, and over the fields, and I felt like I was in Heaven.”

 

  • Escaping slavery changed in 1850, with the passage of the Fugitive Slave Law. This law stated that escaped slaves could be captured in the North and returned to slavery, leading to the abduction of former slaves and free blacks living in Free States. In response to the law, Tubman re-routed the Underground Railroad to Canada, which prohibited slavery categorically.

 

  • Tubman became an armed scout and spy and the first woman to lead an armed expedition in the war, she guided the Combahee River Raid, which liberated more than 700 slaves in South Carolina.

Fredrick Douglas

  • He was born Frederick Augustus Washington Bailey, but after escaping slavery, Douglass used assumed names to avoid detection. His host, named Nathan Johnson suggested a new name, Mr. Johnson came up with Douglas, a character in Sir Walter Scott's poem The Lady of the Lake.

  • He was deemed the 19th century's most photographed american. There are 160 separate portraits of Douglass, more than Abraham Lincoln. Douglass wrote extensively on the subject, calling photography a "democratic art" that could finally represent black people as humans rather than "things." He gave his portraits away at talks and lectures, hoping his image could change the common perceptions of black men.

  • He was nominated for Vice President of the United States.  As part of the Equal Rights Party ticket in 1872, Douglass was nominated as a VP candidate, with Victoria Woodhull as the Presidential candidate. Woodhull was the first-ever female presidential candidate He did receive one vote at each of two nomination conventions.

Malcolm X

  • As a prisoner in 1950, Malcolm wrote a letter to President Harry Truman in which he declared himself a Communist opposed to the Korean War. This brought him to the attention of the FBI, which began surveillance that would last until his death. . It had a hard time discrediting him, however, because of the law-abiding way in which he lived his post-prison life. In 1958, an FBI informant called him a man “of high moral character” who “neither smokes nor drinks.” Apparently, he was seldom even late for an appointment. 

  • He began signing his name "X" rather than "Little" in 1950. His explanation for this was that the name "Little" was forced upon his ancestor by white slave owners, whereas the "X" represented his true, unknown, African family name.

  • During his time in the Nation of Islam, Malcolm X opposed racial integration. He was disparaging of the mainstream civil rights movement and Martin Luther King's philosophy of nonviolent resistance to gain equality and acceptance. Malcolm X believed in the strict separation of the races.Shortly after his conversion, he made a pilgrimage to Mecca. The trip changed him. Malcolm X would later say that seeing Muslims of "all colors, from blue-eyed blonds to black-skinned Africans," coming together as equals persuaded him that racial problems could be overcome through Islam.

Jackie Robinson

  • Jackie Robinson was a prolific athlete.  Jackie lettered in football, basketball, track and baseball at UCLA. He was also an accomplished tennis player, and had won the junior boys singles championship in the Pacific Coast Negro Tennis Tournament.

  • In 1942, Jackie was drafted into the Army as a lieutenant and stationed in Fort Hood, Texas.  After refusing to sit in the back of a segregated bus, Robinson was court-martialed, but eventually exonerated. He played a major role in the Civil Rights Movement. Jackie Robinson used his celebrity to increase awareness about social injustice. He fund raised for freedom riders and lobbied politicians to support key civil rights initiatives. He was a board member of the NAACP and campaigned all across the country in support of the Movement.

  • Upon retiring from baseball, Jackie Robinson became the first African American Vice President at a major US corporation, Chock Full O’ Nuts. He also founded Freedom National Bank in Harlem in 1964, a time during which there were very few black-owned banks.

Alexandre Dumas

 

  • But even in his fame, Dumas experienced racism and was constantly referred to as ‘the negro’ even when the critics and the French society preferred his book to those of his contemporaries.

 

  • His mother wanted him to become a priest, sending him to the seminary but he kept running away and she had to give up. At one point in his teens, he was faced with the decision either keep his name, which would get him a place with the royal family or choose a different one. The boy, who adored his father, chose his father’s name and came to be known as Alexandre Dumas.

Billy Holiday

  • Billie Holiday was born as Eleanora Fagan Holiday. Her father (Clarence Holiday) was only 15 and her mother (Sadie Fagan) was only 13 years old when Billie was born.Eleanora hated her name, especially the nickname of Nora. Her father used to call her Bill because she was such a tomboy but she wanted a pretty name. She loved the actress, Billie Dove, so went with Billie.

  • Billie’s first singing job was at Pod’s and Jerry’s on 133rd Street in New York in 1929. Billie would not take tips off the table and made the men give the money to her. The other girls said “she thinks she’s a lady” and that was the beginning of Billie’s nickname “Lady Day.” Years later her friend and musical partner, Lester Young, started calling her “Lady” but took “Day” from “Holiday” to make “Lady Day.”  

 

  • According to Carmen McRae, friend and American jazz singer, Billie burned her hair once with curling tongs just before she had to go on stage. So Carmen went out to buy some gardenias to put them on Billie’s head.  From that moment on Ms. Holiday wore gardenias in her hair.

  • When the band was traveling, Billie was not allowed to be in the dining room with her white members of the band because she was black. If she had to use the bathroom she would stop along the side of the road and just go in the bushes.

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