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Blaike Bibbs, Political Organizer: Black History in the Making

BLAIKE-BIBBS

At an early age Blaike Bibbs, Chatham County native and N. C. College Democrats Director of Development, learned that politics provides a platform for change.  This is not an overnight change – it is more like a marathon towards change. Blaike describes herself as an “innovative person who seeks to create synergy, education and action around voter registration techniques and initiatives.”

“In 2008, when I was 10 years old, I heard President Obama’s speech accepting the nomination,” says Blaike. “I remember I got the impression that everything he was saying was really about equality and fairness; treating people who aren’t well-off fairly, treating women fairly, treating disadvantaged people fairly. So, being the person I am, I started researching his positions on everything, and the more I learned, the more I realized that these are the same things I believe government should be about.”

Blaike-with-Rev.-Jesse-Jackson
Blaike (2nd from right) with (l-r) her mother, Kellye Jones, Rev. Jesse Jackson & Bruce Davis.

In 2010, Blaike was asked to speak at a rally in North Carolina about health care reform. She talked about her family — her mother, Kellye Jones, had a cerebral aneurysm and her two brothers are autistic. She says they were lucky because they had health care, but she couldn’t imagine what it would’ve been like if they didn’t have it.

“Again, health care is about fairness—making sure every family can afford it.”

Soon after that Blaike began volunteering and started the North Carolina Association of Teen Democrats Minority Caucus. February 2011 she was elected president of the Chatham County and Chapel Hill Teen Democrats, running on the platform of making the local and broad community a better place by promoting the 19th Amendment.

She was elected First Vice President of the North Carolina Association of Teen Democrats, the official high school auxiliary of the North Carolina Democratic Party in April 2011.

Later that same year, Blaike founded Jump 2 Vote, a statewide non partisan voter registration program created by young people and supported by Democracy North Carolina. This program enables high school students to register a minimum of 200 new voters, at high school basketball games or other approved high school games and tournaments, in exchange for community service hours.

Blaike was the first North Carolina student and one of 48 students in the nation selected to attend the Young Democrats of America High School Leadership Academy in Washington, DC. It focuses on an inside view of elections, media, campaign finance, grassroots organizing and engaging youth in the voting process. She attended in 2011 and 2012.

Blaike-volunteers-on-Deborah-Ross'-campaign
Blaike volunteers on Deborah Ross’ (far right) campaign

Currently a sophomore at NC State University, Blaike has worked with political campaigns for former President Barack Obama, former US Congressman Bob Etheridge, former Candidate for US Congress Bruce Davis and former Candidate for US Senate Deborah Ross, creating awareness on issues and synergy at the polls.

“It’s really all about voter registration for me,” Blaike says. “It’s fun, and at the end of the day you can step back and feel proud of what you accomplished as a group. Sometimes we go to some really rural areas to do voter registration, like places that only have one doctor in town. Since there’s not much of a population, and since these areas are pretty conservative, you don’t really expect to register a lot of voters—but we usually do! Just the other week, we went to an area like that and registered over 40 voters.”

She realizes in order for Democrats to have the voter turnout needed to turn North Carolina’s November 2018 election results Blue the awareness and involvement needs to start now. As a college student herself, Blaike knows that today’s college students are innovative, social media savvy and quick responders to causes they deem relatable.  They are impactful and effective in promoting change.  Their passion for issues goes

beyond demographic, geographic and transportation limits.

Blaike has a plan to achieve those results by mobilizing college students. “On Saturday, February 18, 2017 the North Carolina College Democrats will host its First Annual Blue Brunch for North Carolina’s college students and friends.  It will be a dynamic event with discussions on redistricting, Why We Love the Democratic Party and how to become more involved with the Democratic Party. We are extremely excited to have Hilary Cooper, daughter of Governor Roy Cooper, provide the keynote address.”

The vision for the Blue Brunch is to increase networking opportunities and open dialogue for North Carolina’s College Democrats.  The brunch plans to accomplish this by focusing on three areas- chartering, caucus interest forms and discussions led by leaders within North Carolina Democratic Party.

The North Carolina College Democrats invites you to meet some of the leaders within the North Carolina Democratic Party on February 18th, 11:00am at the Goodwin House (220 Hillsborough St. – Raleigh) and learn more about how we can turn North Carolina Blue!

For more information, contact Blaike Bibbs at babibbs@ncsu.edu.

Submitted Photos (click on photo to start slideshow):

BLACK HISTORY FACT

MARY CHURCH TERRELL, Civil Rights & Suffrage Movement Advocate

Mary Church Terrell was a charter member of the NAACP and an early advocate for civil rights and the suffrage movement.  “I cannot help wondering sometimes what I might have become and might have done if I had lived in a country which had not circumscribed and handicapped me on account of my race, but had allowed me to reach any height I was able to attain.”

—Mary Church Terrell

Synopsis

MARY-CHURCH-TERRELL
Mary Church Terrell

Mary Church Terrell was born on September 23, 1863, in Memphis, Tennessee. The daughter of small-business owners who were former slaves, she attended Oberlin College. Terrell was a suffragist and the first president of the National Association of Colored Women and—at the suggestion of W.E.B. Du Bois—a charter member of the NAACP. She died in 1954.

Bio

An influential educator and activist, Mary Church Terrell was born Mary Eliza Church on September 23, 1863, in Memphis, Tennessee. Her parents, Robert Reed Church and his wife, Louisa Ayers, were both former slaves who used their freedom to become small-business owners and make themselves vital members of Memphis’ growing black population.

From an early age Terrell and her brother were taught the value of a good education. Hardworking and ambitious, Terrell went on to attend Oberlin College in Ohio, where, in 1884, she became one of the first African-American women to earn a college degree. Four years later she earned her master’s degree in education.

Around this time she met Robert Heberton Terrell, a talented attorney who would eventually become Washington, D.C.’s first black municipal judge. In 1891 the couple married.

Terrell was not someone who sat on the sidelines. In her new life in Washington, D.C., where she and Robert settled after they married, she became especially involved in the women’s rights movement. In particular, she focused much of her attention on securing the right to vote. But within the movement she found reluctance to include African-American women, if not outright exclusion of them from the cause.

Terrell worked to change that. She spoke out frequently about the issue and with some fellow activists founded the National Association of Colored Women in 1896. She was immediately named the organization’s first president, a position she used to advance social and educational reforms.

Other distinctions also came her way. Pushed by W.E.B. Du Bois, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People made Terrell a charter member. Later, she became the first African-American woman ever appointed to a school board and then served on a committee that investigated alleged police mistreatment of African Americans.

In 1913, Terrell became an honorary member of newly founded Delta Sigma Theta sorority at Howard University, and she received an honorary degree in humane letters from Oberlin College in 1948, as well as honorary degrees from Howard and Wilberforce Universities.

In her late years, Terrell’s commitment to taking on Jim Crow laws and pioneering new ground didn’t wane. In 1949 she became the first African American admitted to the Washington chapter of the American Association of University Women. And it was Terrell who helped bring down segregated restaurants in her adopted home of Washington, D.C. After being refused service by a whites-only restaurant in 1950, Terrell and several other activists sued the establishment, laying the groundwork for the eventual court order that ruled that all segregated restaurants in the city were unconstitutional.

Toward the end of a life that witnessed fantastic civil-rights changes, Terrell saw the U.S. Supreme Court’s historic Brown v. Board of Education ruling in 1954, which ended segregation in schools. Just two months later, Terrell died on July 24 in Annapolis, Maryland.

Today, Mary Church Terrell’s home in Washington, D.C., has been named a National Historic Landmark.

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Phyllis Coley

Phyllis D. Coley is CEO/Publisher of Spectacular Magazine and Host of Spectacular Magazine Radio Show.

With a B.A. in English from NCCU, the Durham native began her professional career as Promotions/Marketing Director for New York City’s WKTU-FM. While at the radio station, Coley discovered the rap group Kid ‘n Play and managed them for five years, guiding their music and movie careers to success. Moving back to Durham, Coley produced a nationally syndicated television show, The Electric Factory, while working as News Director for FOXY 107/104. In April 2002, recognizing a void in highlighting the achievements of African Americans, she started her own business publishing ACE Magazine. Coley launched Spectacular Magazine in November 2004. Recognizing the lack of pertinent and truthful information, Coley began Spectacular Magazine Radio Show in March 2009. Coley is the organizer of Durham’s Annual MLK/Black History Month Parade and the Annual North Carolina Juneteenth Celebration. She currently serves on Central Children’s Home Board of Directors, Raleigh Chamber of Commerce’s Board of Advisors, as Immediate Past Secretary of the Durham Rotary Club Board of Directors and is one of the founding members of the Triangle United Way’s African American Leadership Initiative.

pcoley@spectacularmag.com

http://www.spectacularmag.com

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