Celebrating Our Story

THE WEEK LY GLEANER | FEBRUA RY 16 - FEBRUARY 22, 2021 | www.jamaica-gleaner.com | I on 5 April 1937 in the Harlemsectionof NewYork City. He grew up in the South Bronx, where he graduated fromMorris High School. At sixteen he entered the City College of New York. He became company commander of the Pershing Rifles, attained ROTC’s highest rank of cadet colonel, and was named a“distin- guishedmilitarygraduate.”Whenhegrad- uated in 1958with a bachelor of science in geology, Powell was commissioned a second lieutenant in the Regular Army. During the next decade Powell mas- tered infantry tactics andunit leadership. After completing Infantry Officer Basic, Ranger, and Airborne schools, he joined the3dArmoredDivision inWestGermany as a platoon leader. From December 1962 to November 1963 Powell was assigned to Vietnam, where he served as an adviser toaSouth Vietnamese infantry battalion. Wounded duringthistour,hereceivedaPurpleHeart. During this tour he received the Soldier’s Medal for repeatedly returning to a burning helicopter to rescue others despite being injured himself. General Powell’s tenure as Chairman coincided with the end of the ColdWar; his chairmanshipsawmore change in the world than that of anyof hispredecessors. Powell was the principal architect of the reorientation of US strategy and the re- duction of the armed forces in response to the changed strategic environment. He directed the most significant change innationalmilitary strategy since the late 1940s, devising a strategy that focused on regional and humanitarian crises rather than on the Soviet Union. Powell’s concept of a “base force” suffi- cient tomaintain theUnitedStates’super- power status won Secretary of Defense Dick Cheney’s and President Bush’s sup- port for a25per cent reduction in the size of the armed forces. SUSAN RICE Susan Rice is currently White House Director of Domestic Policy in theBiden/ Harris Administration. Susan Rice was born in Washington DC. Her maternal grandparents were Jamaican immigrants to Portland, Maine and her paternal grandparents were the descendants of enslaved Africans and from South Carolina. Rice’s parents divorced when she was tenyears of age, and in1978, hermother married Alfred Bradley Fitt, an attorney, who at the time was general counsel of the US Congressional Budget Office. Rice said that her parents taught her to“never use race as anexcuseor advan- tage,”andas a younggirl she“dreamedof becoming the first US senator from the District of Columbia”. She attended Stanford University, where she won a Truman Scholarship and graduated with a BA with honours in history in 1986. Shewas also awarded aNationalMerit Scholarshipandelected Phi Beta Kappa her junior year. Rice attendedNewCollege, Oxfordon a Rhodes Scholarship, where she earned Master of Philosophy (1988) and Doctor of Philosophy (1990) degrees, both in International Relations. Her doctoral dissertationwas entitled Commonwealth Initiative in Zimbabwe, 1979–1980: Implications for International Peacekeeping. ChathamHouse, theRoyal Institute of International Affairs, hon- oured her dissertation as the UK’s most distinguished in international relations. Rice said that her parents taught her to“never use race as anexcuseor advan- tage,”andas a younggirl she“dreamedof becoming the first US senator from the District of Columbia”. HARRY BELAFONTE Actor, musician and human rights ac- tivist, Harry Belafonte’s parents are from Jamaica andMartinique. At a young age Belafonte was sent to Jamaica where he attended school in Browns Town, St, Ann. From 1932 to 1940, he lived with one of his grandmothers in Jamaica and attended Wolmer’s School. When he returned to New York City, he attended George Washington High School after which he joined the Navy and served duringWorldWar II In the 1940s, he was reportedly working as a janitor’s assis- tant inNYCwhena tenant gavehim, as a gratuity, two tickets to see theAmerican NegroTheater. He fell in lovewith the art formand alsomet Sidney Poitier. At the end of the 1940s, he took classes in acting while performing with the American Negro Theatre. He subse- quently received a Tony Award for his participation in theBroadway revue John Murray Anderson’s Almanac. Belafonte supported the Civil Rights Movement in the 1950s and 1960s and was one of Martin Luther King Jr.’s con- fidantes. Like many other civil rights activists, Belafonte was blacklisted dur- ing the McCarthy era. During the 1963 Birmingham Campaign, he bailed King out of Birmingham City Jail and raised $50,000 to release other civil rights pro- testers. He financed the 1961 Freedom Rides, supportedvoter registrationdrives, and helped to organize the 1963 March onWashington. During the “Mississippi Freedom Summer” of 1964, Belafonte bankrolled the Student Non-violent Coordinating Committee,flyingtoMississippithatAugust withSidneyPoitierand$60,000incashand entertaining crowds in Greenwood. Belafonte’spolitical beliefsweregreatly inspired by the singer, actor and activ- ist Paul Robeson, who mentored him. Robeson opposed not only racial preju- dice in theUnitedStates but alsowestern colonialism in Africa. T HE HELPING Hands Jamaica Foundation will dedicate the funds raised during their‘Lend a Helping Hand’capital campaign to build the Goodwill Early Childhood Learning Centre in Portland, Jamaica, where founding member, the late Denise Jones, grew up, in memoriam to commemorate her incredible spirit and dedication. Denise was instrumental in the development of HelpingHands Jamaica Foundation and served on the board tirelessly for over 15 years. Her passion to support the children of Jamaica by providing much-needed access to education in the most vulnerable communities was inspirational. “She was one of our most dedicated champions and a pillar of strength and guidance for so many of us. Denise leaves us with a legacy of giving and caring. We will move that forward through each nail we hammer and every brushstroke we paint,” said Karl Hale. The foundation’s ‘Lend a Helping Hand’ capital campaign, launched on December 14, will raise vital funds for the building of the Goodwill Early Childhood Learning Centre. Once complete, the centre will create a lasting and meaningful legacy of Denise Jones, and carry on her vision of eliminating barriers to education for children. To date, Helping Hands Jamaica Foundation has raised more than $2,000,000 and built 23 schools, thanks to our generous sponsors and donors. ‘Her passion was inspirational’ REMEMBERING DENISE Legendary singer and actor, Harry Belafonte CONTRIBUTED Susan Rice Former US Secretary of State Powell. FILE PHOTOS STORY CONTINUED FROM 4 FEBRUARY 16 - MARCH 15, 2021 | www.jamaica-gleaner.com | CELEBRATING OUR STORY - AWEEKLY GLEANER BLACK HISTORY FEATURE 8