February 11, 1958 – Ruth Carol Taylor is the FIRST African-American woman hired as a flight attendant. Hired by Mohawk Airlines, her career lasts only six months, due to another discriminatory barrier – the airline’s ban on married flight attendant.
Florynce Rae “Flo” Kennedy was an African-American lawyer, activist, civil rights advocate, lecturer and feminist. Kennedy graduated at the top of her class at Lincoln High School, after which she worked many jobs including owning a hat shop and operating elevators. After the death of her mother Zella in 1942, Kennedy left Kansas for New York City, moving to an apartment in Harlem with her sister Grayce. Of the move to New York she commented, “I really didn’t come here to go to school, but the schools were here, so I went.”
In 1944 she began classes at Columbia University School of General Studies, majoring in pre-law and graduated in 1949. However, when she applied to the university’s law school, she was refused admission. In her autobiography Kennedy wrote: The Associate Dean, Willis Reese, told me I had been rejected not because I was a Black but because I was a woman. So I wrote him a letter saying that whatever the reason was, it felt the same to me, and some of my more cynical friends thought I had been discriminated against because I was Black. Kennedy met with the dean and threatened to sue the school. They admitted her. She was the only black person among eight women in her class. In a 1946 sociology class at Columbia University, Kennedy wrote a paper that analogized the discourses of race and sex. “Kennedy hoped that comparing ‘women’ and ‘Negroes’ would hasten the formation of alliances. Kenned became a lawyer. She used Intersectionality as her approach to activism. Sherie Randolph, in her book Florynce “Flo” Kennedy: The Life of a Radical Black Feminist, quotes Flo saying: “My main message is that we have a pathologically, institutionally racist, sexist, classist society. And that niggerizing techniques that are used don’t only damage black people, but they also damage women, gay people, ex-prison inmates, prostitutes, children, old people, handicapped people, native Americans.
Kennedy was one of many narrators in the second volume of a film entitled Come Back, Africa: The Films of Lionel Rogosin, which discussed African-American history as well as apartheid in South Africa. This film was created to “serve as a unique piece of African American oral history. In 1974, People magazine wrote that she was “The biggest, loudest and, indisputably, the rudest mouth on the battleground.” In 1997, Kennedy received a Lifetime Courageous Activist Award, and the following year was honored by Columbia University with their Owl Award for outstanding graduates. In 1999, the City University of New York awarded her the Century Award.
Florynce Rae “Flo” Kennedy was born in Kansas City, Missouri on February 11, 1916. She died on December 21, 2000, at the age of 84.
The points you paid when you signed a mortgage to buy your home may help cut your federal tax bill. With points, sometimes called loan origination points or discount points, you make an upfront payment to get a particular rate from the lender.
The Fine Print for Deducting Points- The IRS rules for deducting purchase mortgage points are straightforward, but lengthy. You must meet each of these seven tests to deduct the points in the year you pay them.
1. Your mortgage must be used to buy or build your primary residence, and the loan must be secured by that residence. Your primary home is the one you live in most of the time. As long as it has cooking equipment, a toilet, and you can sleep in it, your main residence can be a house, a trailer, or a boat. Points paid on a second home have to be deducted over the life of your loan.
2. Paying points must be a customary business practice in your area. And the amount can’t exceed the percentage normally charged. If most people in your area pay one or two points, you can’t pay 10 points and then deduct them.
3. Your points have to be legitimate. You can’t have your lender label other things on your settlement statement, like appraisal fees, inspection fees, title fees, attorney fees, service fees, or property taxes as “points” and deduct them.
4. You have to use the cash method of accounting. That’s when you report your income to the IRS as it comes in and report your expenses when you pay them. Almost everybody uses this method for tax accounting.
5. You must pay the points directly. That is, you can’t have borrowed the funds from your lender to pay them. Any points paid by the seller are treated as being paid directly by you.
In addition, monies you pay, such as a downpayment or earnest money deposit, are considered monies out of your pocket that cover the points so long as they’re equal to or more than points. Say you put $10,000 down and pay $1,000 in points. The downpayment exceeds the points, so your points are covered and therefore you can deduct them if you itemize. If you were to put nothing down but you paid one point, that $1,000 wouldn’t be deductible.
6. Your points have to be calculated as a percentage of your mortgage. One point is 1% of your mortgage amount, so one point on a $100,000 mortgage is $1,000.
7. The points have to show up on your settlement disclosure statement as “points.” They might be listed as loan origination points or discount points.
Tip: You can also fully deduct points you pay (for the year paid) on a loan to improve your main home if you meet tests one through five above.
Where to Deduct Points
Figured out that your points are deductible? Here’s how you deduct them:
Your lender will send you a Form 1098. Look in Box 2 to find the points paid for your loan.
If you don’t get a Form 1098, look on the settlement disclosure you received at closing. The points will show up on that form in the sections detailing your costs or the sellers’ costs, depending on who paid the points. Report your points on Schedule A of IRS Form 1040.
There are two things related to points that you can’t deduct:
1. Interest buy-downs your builder paid
Some builders put money in an escrow account (as a buyer incentive) that the lender taps each month to supplement your mortgage payment. Those aren’t considered points even though the money is used for an interest payment and it’s prepaid. You can’t deduct the money the builder put into that escrow account.
2. Interest payments from government programs
You can’t deduct points paid by a federal, state, or local program, such as the federal Hardest Hit Fund, to help you if you’re experiencing financial trouble.
I did not always appreciate Black History Month. In fact, that it attempted to compress all of black history into a single month, seemed the ultimate segregation. I felt this way about Mother’s Day and Indigenous People’s Day, too, among others. However, now I see Black History Month as an opportunity to, in a sense, double down on our efforts to learn who we as Americans actually are, shorn of the myths too many have spun about us.In this regard, here is a story I have never told (I think): When I was a sophomore at Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia, I was blessed to have two of the greatest teachers of history perhaps in the world: Staughton Lynd and Howard Zinn. Yes, that Howard Zinn: author of A PEOPLE’S HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES. One assignment, I don’t recall from which teacher, was to read W.E.B. DuBois’ BLACK RECONSTRUCTION. The failure of Southern reconstruction after the Civil War had been laid on newly liberated black people, who had been formerly enslaved. All the newspapers and politicians (white of course) colluded in this deception. Countering this, DuBois wrote about what had happened from a principled and highly documented black perspective.
His book about what really happened to the South after the Civil War was not to be found in all of Atlanta. I was finally permitted to see the one copy that remained, battered and torn, and under glass, in the rare books room at my school.
Somehow my teachers managed to make copies of this great book and give them to our class. Reading it changed the way I saw the North, the South, electoral politics, rich and poor people, and the power of the media to shape people’s thinking and their lives.
The Civil War, in which so many died hideously, and because of which so much was lost, could have affected America quite differently. For instance, think of what it would have meant if the enslaved Africans and African-Americans (lots of white and mixed race progeny ended up enslaved of course) had received the forty acres and a mule promised each of them for their 300 years plus of unpaid servitude?
With land of their own, people of color would not have remained serfs and fifth class citizens for another hundred years. White people would not have suffered the humiliation (many of them) of being, racially, in the same camp as bullies, racists, thieves and murderers.
There are books today as important to the understanding of the Americas as BLACK RECONSTRUCTION (DuBois’ writing is graceful and a delight of read, no matter the sorrow or outrageousness of the tale). For instance, as an American you can hardly claim to know where you live if you haven’t read THE SLAVE SHIP by Marcus Rediker or THE HALF HAS NEVER BEEN TOLD, a chilling study of the capitalist foundation of America—enslaved people forced to produce as if they are machines—by Edward E. Baptist.
THE COLOR PURPLE asks many questions of its readers, but a very important one is: Who do you believe? In that regard, it has astonished me that “Pa” the rapist stepfather who bedevils Celie’s life, is routinely believed by everyone. Even readers of the novel! He lies about everything, including Celie’s age, her character, and her looks. But he is believed, even by people who do not like him. Why is this? And shouldn’t we examine this tendency to be gullible, or to be afraid to say what we know is true, in our own lives?