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The Journey: Dr. Sandra Braham
Video: The Journey: Dr. Sandra Braham - 3/27/2015 4:38:21 AM
EL PASO, TX (KTSM) -

Dr. Sandra Braham is the CEO for the YWCA El Paso del Norte Region- the largest in the nation. Her accomplishments and accolades are countless, but when asked, it's not a place she ever thought she would be.


"I majored in biology thinking I would go to medical school,” said Braham.


Her path to service started soon after college graduation when she started working with college programs. She helped others obtain access to an education; and though she grew up in Kinloch, the first black community west of the Mississippi just across the creek from Ferguson, Missouri…


"Everyone was African - American"


She says she never realized the difference the color of her skin could make, until she experienced racism with a supervisor while working a retail job. The case ended up with the Missouri Human Rights Commission.


Dr. Braham recalled that time, "That was quite traumatizing for me to go through that and so since that time I've been very clear about the fact that being an African-American, certainly being an African-American woman, being a leader has its positives and negatives because we live in this skin."

 


Doctor Braham's strength may have come from overcoming a slew of challenges growing up. Her parents were divorced when she was very young and so her dad wasn't around much, her mom suffered from schizophrenia and at 15 ended up in foster care. She endured failed attempts to be taken in and ended up with a friend's family before heading off to college on scholarships.


In high school, activities kept her busy; she shared some of her activities while looking through a yearbook.


"10, 11, 12 I was afro ball, pep club, speech club all three years, dance club, honor roll, gospel choir."


But as she got older, she says it was faith in God that helped her.


"Whenever I found myself with nowhere to go, crying - just in a mess; I prayed and just asked God for help and just ask god to keep me strong, to help me overcome and the doors were always open."


Braham's family were slaves in the south.


"I think as a nation we have not done enough to help people understand the legacy of hundreds of years of slavery and what that did to the psyche of a people," said Braham.


Photos of her ancestors are just a piece of her past she treasures in a book - now torn, with pages time has turned yellow. She says people can't believe she has so many momentos; but living in foster care she says that's all she had to document her memories. There's letters and photos and pages and pages of her time in theatre and dance.

Today her success has made it possible for others to make their own memories. Providing a hand-up and inspiring others is something she wouldn't change.


"Well certainly many people helped me and so I feel a compulsion, for lack of a better word, to give back and to help others."


But says she is most proud of her role as wife and mother to three children.


"People see me as very strong in the community – ‘oh, she is such a strong woman, independent woman’ - but in this house I am a wife and I am a mother and those are the roles that I am most proud of."


Though she's met many people along her journey and could look up to a variety of role models, she admires her mom the most.


"I look at my mom and even in her, even having schizophrenia, she is a great mom when she is in the right frame of mind. She kept us grounded and encouraged us."
 

The Journey: Dr. Sandra Braham
Video: The Journey: Dr. Sandra Braham - 3/27/2015 4:38:21 AM
EL PASO, TX (KTSM) -

Dr. Sandra Braham is the CEO for the YWCA El Paso del Norte Region- the largest in the nation. Her accomplishments and accolades are countless, but when asked, it's not a place she ever thought she would be.


"I majored in biology thinking I would go to medical school,” said Braham.


Her path to service started soon after college graduation when she started working with college programs. She helped others obtain access to an education; and though she grew up in Kinloch, the first black community west of the Mississippi just across the creek from Ferguson, Missouri…


"Everyone was African - American"


She says she never realized the difference the color of her skin could make, until she experienced racism with a supervisor while working a retail job. The case ended up with the Missouri Human Rights Commission.


Dr. Braham recalled that time, "That was quite traumatizing for me to go through that and so since that time I've been very clear about the fact that being an African-American, certainly being an African-American woman, being a leader has its positives and negatives because we live in this skin."

 


Doctor Braham's strength may have come from overcoming a slew of challenges growing up. Her parents were divorced when she was very young and so her dad wasn't around much, her mom suffered from schizophrenia and at 15 ended up in foster care. She endured failed attempts to be taken in and ended up with a friend's family before heading off to college on scholarships.


In high school, activities kept her busy; she shared some of her activities while looking through a yearbook.


"10, 11, 12 I was afro ball, pep club, speech club all three years, dance club, honor roll, gospel choir."


But as she got older, she says it was faith in God that helped her.


"Whenever I found myself with nowhere to go, crying - just in a mess; I prayed and just asked God for help and just ask god to keep me strong, to help me overcome and the doors were always open."


Braham's family were slaves in the south.


"I think as a nation we have not done enough to help people understand the legacy of hundreds of years of slavery and what that did to the psyche of a people," said Braham.


Photos of her ancestors are just a piece of her past she treasures in a book - now torn, with pages time has turned yellow. She says people can't believe she has so many momentos; but living in foster care she says that's all she had to document her memories. There's letters and photos and pages and pages of her time in theatre and dance.

Today her success has made it possible for others to make their own memories. Providing a hand-up and inspiring others is something she wouldn't change.


"Well certainly many people helped me and so I feel a compulsion, for lack of a better word, to give back and to help others."


But says she is most proud of her role as wife and mother to three children.


"People see me as very strong in the community – ‘oh, she is such a strong woman, independent woman’ - but in this house I am a wife and I am a mother and those are the roles that I am most proud of."


Though she's met many people along her journey and could look up to a variety of role models, she admires her mom the most.


"I look at my mom and even in her, even having schizophrenia, she is a great mom when she is in the right frame of mind. She kept us grounded and encouraged us."
 

The Journey: St. Augustine, a destination for runaway...
Video: The Journey: St. Augustine, a destination for runaway... - 3/27/2015 4:38:21 AM
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During Black History Month we are exploring 'The Journey' four hundred fifty years of the African-American experience. It tells a little known true story about the role "free blacks" who came to the new world with the spanish, played in the Civil Rights Movement.

Today, we look at how St. Augustine was a destination for runaway slaves.

The King of Spain created the edict of 1693 which to my knowledge and other scholars appears to be the first civil rights legislation in the New World. It stated that if you were enslaved on an English plantation, if you could make it to Spanish territory that you would be given your freedom. With the provision that you join the militia, became Catholic and provided some service.

Governor Montiano who was governor of Spanish Florida at that time decreed that any freedom seekers that ran away from the Carolinas and they, the runaway slaves, that made their way down from the Carolinas to Spanish Florida would obtain their freedom and would be able to live free at Fort Mose.

It is a part of US history that's just not well known. The first Underground Railroad runs south. It runs south to St. Augustine, not North.

How do people on a plantation hear that you can find freedom in Spanish Florida?
 
It would kinda start out like… if you hear in the background there's some music, maybe some drums playing… the tune would be "Steal Away" and that would be a signal that they need to Steal Away to Fort Mose.
 
It might help or it might not matter to you that from Charleston to St. Augustine is 377 miles.

In the Carolinas or Georgia or as far north as New York we have runaway slaves from Virginia and New York trying to make their way to St. Augustine really beginning at the end of the 17th Century and then in earnest in the 18th Century.
 
This was a story not about slavery. But that the Fort Mose story is a story about freedom.

The Journey: St. Augustine, a destination for runaway...
Video: The Journey: St. Augustine, a destination for runaway... - 3/27/2015 4:38:21 AM
-

During Black History Month we are exploring 'The Journey' four hundred fifty years of the African-American experience. It tells a little known true story about the role "free blacks" who came to the new world with the spanish, played in the Civil Rights Movement.

Today, we look at how St. Augustine was a destination for runaway slaves.

The King of Spain created the edict of 1693 which to my knowledge and other scholars appears to be the first civil rights legislation in the New World. It stated that if you were enslaved on an English plantation, if you could make it to Spanish territory that you would be given your freedom. With the provision that you join the militia, became Catholic and provided some service.

Governor Montiano who was governor of Spanish Florida at that time decreed that any freedom seekers that ran away from the Carolinas and they, the runaway slaves, that made their way down from the Carolinas to Spanish Florida would obtain their freedom and would be able to live free at Fort Mose.

It is a part of US history that's just not well known. The first Underground Railroad runs south. It runs south to St. Augustine, not North.

How do people on a plantation hear that you can find freedom in Spanish Florida?
 
It would kinda start out like… if you hear in the background there's some music, maybe some drums playing… the tune would be "Steal Away" and that would be a signal that they need to Steal Away to Fort Mose.
 
It might help or it might not matter to you that from Charleston to St. Augustine is 377 miles.

In the Carolinas or Georgia or as far north as New York we have runaway slaves from Virginia and New York trying to make their way to St. Augustine really beginning at the end of the 17th Century and then in earnest in the 18th Century.
 
This was a story not about slavery. But that the Fort Mose story is a story about freedom.

The Journey: St. Augustine, a destination for runaway...
Video: The Journey: St. Augustine, a destination for runaway... - 3/27/2015 4:38:21 AM
-

During Black History Month we are exploring 'The Journey' four hundred fifty years of the African-American experience. It tells a little known true story about the role "free blacks" who came to the new world with the spanish, played in the Civil Rights Movement.

Today, we look at how St. Augustine was a destination for runaway slaves.

The King of Spain created the edict of 1693 which to my knowledge and other scholars appears to be the first civil rights legislation in the New World. It stated that if you were enslaved on an English plantation, if you could make it to Spanish territory that you would be given your freedom. With the provision that you join the militia, became Catholic and provided some service.

Governor Montiano who was governor of Spanish Florida at that time decreed that any freedom seekers that ran away from the Carolinas and they, the runaway slaves, that made their way down from the Carolinas to Spanish Florida would obtain their freedom and would be able to live free at Fort Mose.

It is a part of US history that's just not well known. The first Underground Railroad runs south. It runs south to St. Augustine, not North.

How do people on a plantation hear that you can find freedom in Spanish Florida?
 
It would kinda start out like… if you hear in the background there's some music, maybe some drums playing… the tune would be "Steal Away" and that would be a signal that they need to Steal Away to Fort Mose.
 
It might help or it might not matter to you that from Charleston to St. Augustine is 377 miles.

In the Carolinas or Georgia or as far north as New York we have runaway slaves from Virginia and New York trying to make their way to St. Augustine really beginning at the end of the 17th Century and then in earnest in the 18th Century.
 
This was a story not about slavery. But that the Fort Mose story is a story about freedom.

The Journey: Dr. Sandra Braham
Video: The Journey: Dr. Sandra Braham - 3/27/2015 4:38:21 AM
EL PASO, TX (KTSM) -

Dr. Sandra Braham is the CEO for the YWCA El Paso del Norte Region- the largest in the nation. Her accomplishments and accolades are countless, but when asked, it's not a place she ever thought she would be.


"I majored in biology thinking I would go to medical school,” said Braham.


Her path to service started soon after college graduation when she started working with college programs. She helped others obtain access to an education; and though she grew up in Kinloch, the first black community west of the Mississippi just across the creek from Ferguson, Missouri…


"Everyone was African - American"


She says she never realized the difference the color of her skin could make, until she experienced racism with a supervisor while working a retail job. The case ended up with the Missouri Human Rights Commission.


Dr. Braham recalled that time, "That was quite traumatizing for me to go through that and so since that time I've been very clear about the fact that being an African-American, certainly being an African-American woman, being a leader has its positives and negatives because we live in this skin."

 


Doctor Braham's strength may have come from overcoming a slew of challenges growing up. Her parents were divorced when she was very young and so her dad wasn't around much, her mom suffered from schizophrenia and at 15 ended up in foster care. She endured failed attempts to be taken in and ended up with a friend's family before heading off to college on scholarships.


In high school, activities kept her busy; she shared some of her activities while looking through a yearbook.


"10, 11, 12 I was afro ball, pep club, speech club all three years, dance club, honor roll, gospel choir."


But as she got older, she says it was faith in God that helped her.


"Whenever I found myself with nowhere to go, crying - just in a mess; I prayed and just asked God for help and just ask god to keep me strong, to help me overcome and the doors were always open."


Braham's family were slaves in the south.


"I think as a nation we have not done enough to help people understand the legacy of hundreds of years of slavery and what that did to the psyche of a people," said Braham.


Photos of her ancestors are just a piece of her past she treasures in a book - now torn, with pages time has turned yellow. She says people can't believe she has so many momentos; but living in foster care she says that's all she had to document her memories. There's letters and photos and pages and pages of her time in theatre and dance.

Today her success has made it possible for others to make their own memories. Providing a hand-up and inspiring others is something she wouldn't change.


"Well certainly many people helped me and so I feel a compulsion, for lack of a better word, to give back and to help others."


But says she is most proud of her role as wife and mother to three children.


"People see me as very strong in the community – ‘oh, she is such a strong woman, independent woman’ - but in this house I am a wife and I am a mother and those are the roles that I am most proud of."


Though she's met many people along her journey and could look up to a variety of role models, she admires her mom the most.


"I look at my mom and even in her, even having schizophrenia, she is a great mom when she is in the right frame of mind. She kept us grounded and encouraged us."
 

First all African-American little league team stripped...
Video: First all African-American little league team stripped... - 3/27/2015 3:48:39 AM
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The Chicago based Jackie Robinson West little league team, winner of the 2014 United States little league World Series title, has been forced to give up their title. They were the first all African-American team to win the title. But after conducting an investigation, the little league organization discovered that some of the players for Jackie Robinson West live outside the geographical area the team represents.

According to the league's investigation, the team used an inaccurate boundary map and looked for players in other neighborhoods and districts to build a stronger team.

First all African-American little league team stripped...
Video: First all African-American little league team stripped... - 3/27/2015 3:48:39 AM
-

The Chicago based Jackie Robinson West little league team, winner of the 2014 United States little league World Series title, has been forced to give up their title. They were the first all African-American team to win the title. But after conducting an investigation, the little league organization discovered that some of the players for Jackie Robinson West live outside the geographical area the team represents.

According to the league's investigation, the team used an inaccurate boundary map and looked for players in other neighborhoods and districts to build a stronger team.

First all African-American little league team stripped...
Video: First all African-American little league team stripped... - 3/27/2015 3:48:39 AM
-

The Chicago based Jackie Robinson West little league team, winner of the 2014 United States little league World Series title, has been forced to give up their title. They were the first all African-American team to win the title. But after conducting an investigation, the little league organization discovered that some of the players for Jackie Robinson West live outside the geographical area the team represents.

According to the league's investigation, the team used an inaccurate boundary map and looked for players in other neighborhoods and districts to build a stronger team.

The Journey: African American Experience
Video: The Journey: African American Experience - 3/27/2015 3:44:04 AM
EL PASO, TEXAS (KTSM) -

For the past three weeks, NewsChannel 9 has been taking a look at Black History Month with the Journey of local stories.

This week, we hear from a UTEP Campus leader at the African American Studies Program.

"I think we need to celebrate the history of the African American communities every single day not just in February."

These are not hollow words from Dr. Selfa Chew, UTEP's Assistant Director of African American Studies.

The program is designed to study the African American Experience. That experience is marked with slavery, followed by atrocities against black men, women and children alike.

"Our students are here because the want to celebrate the struggle of the community. In the classroom students are also exposed to the successes of the civil rights movement." Dr. Chew explains.

It's an opportunity to showcase the achievement of important people in the struggle for Civil Rights. The greatest of them all being Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., who promoted equality through peaceful protest.

That message lived on long after Dr. King died in 1968.

Dr. Chew brings that history lesson and many others to students. "It's a celebration of the birth of the Civil Rights of a community that is very much a part of the United States."

She sees the history of the African American Experience as an opportunity to change the world.

"When you have and educated student who is aware of diversity and respect then you can create a better society."
 

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