Tag Archives: toni

Little-Known Black History Fact: Molly Williams

Posted by BuellBoy

Drawing of Molly Williams pulling fire pump through snow storm

Drawing of Molly Williams pulling fire pump through a snow storm in 1818

A slave named Molly Williams was the first known female firefighter in the United States. Little is known about her life, but female firefighters know her heroic story.

Owned by a New York merchant named Benjamin Aymar, Williams became part of the Oceanus Engine Company firehouse in 1815 and would be known as Volunteer Number 11. The members of the house credited her for being as tough as the male firefighters. She would fight amongst them in a calico dress and checked apron.

Besides the bucket brigades, Molly pulled the pumper to fires through the deep snowdrifts of the blizzard of 1818 to save towns. On December 27, 1819, the Fire Department reported that the fire buckets were rapidly being superseded by the use of hose, so the era of fire buckets ended.

Even as a slave, Williams had gained the respect of her fellow firefighters. Her story and strength paved the way for other women, including one the first paid Black female firefighters and the most tenured in the country – Toni McIntosh of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, who served for over 11 years.

Today there are many African-American women working as career firefighters and officers in the United States, along with a number of counterparts in the volunteer ranks. The African American Fire Fighter Museum is a non-profit organization dedicated to collecting, conserving and sharing the heritage of African American firefighters.

The Museum is housed at old Fire Station 30. This station, which was one of two segregated fire stations in Los Angeles, between 1924 and 1955, was established in 1913, to serve the Central Ave community.

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Filed under African-Americans, Civil Rights Movement, Culture, History, Holidays, Uncategorized, US

44-D’s Twenty-Five Days of Christmas Music Videos


December 1st Do They Know Its Christmas? (Band Aid)

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December 2nd The Christmas Song (Christina Aguilera)

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December 3rd Christmas Time is Here (Toni Braxton)

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December 4th Santa Baby (Eartha Kitt and Friends)

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December 5th I’m Dreaming of A White Christmas (Bing Crosby)

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December 6th Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas (Luther Vandross)

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December 7th Joy to the world (Mahalia Jackson)

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December 8th Thank God Its Christmas (Queen)

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December 9th Last Christmas (Wham!)

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December 10th The Christmas Song (Nat King Cole)

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December 11th Blue Christmas (Elvis Presley)

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December 12th Feliz Navidad (Jose Feliciano)

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December 13th Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas (James Taylor)

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December 14th Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas (Judy Garland)

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December 15th Let It Snow (Boyz II Men)

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December 16th Jingle Bells (Bebe and Cece Winans)

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December 17th Little Drummer Boy (Celtic Woman)

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December 18th Here Comes Santa Claus (Gene Autry)

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December 19th The First Noël (Allison Crowe)

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December 20th Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas (John Denver)

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December 21st Merry Christmas, Baby (Bruce Springsteen)

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December 22nd Silent Night (Kelly Price)

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December 23rd All I Want For Christmas is You (Mariah Carey)

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December 24th Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree (Brenda Lee)

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December 25th Merry Christmas Darling (The Carpenters)

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Filed under Art, Christmas, Hip-Hop, History, Holidays, Jazz, Music, Pop, Pop Culture, Rock & Roll, Uncategorized, United States, Video/YouTube

44-D’s Twenty-Five Days of Christmas Music Videos (Dec 3rd)

Christmas Time Is Here Performed by Toni Braxton

Jumping high heels first into the Christmas genre, Toni Braxton has come up with a spectacular first effort. Teetering into smooth jazz territory, Braxton gives her sophisticated, breathy vocals a workout on this untraditional Yuletide collection. Instead of revamping old holiday standards, Braxton has co-written seven new songs–with husband Keri “Mint Condition” Lewis, her sister Tamar, David Foster, and Kenny “Baby Face” Edmonds–and has created what sounds more like a proper Toni Braxton album than a seasonal offering. When Braxton did decide to cover a classic, she choose more contemporary tunes such as perennial favorite “The Christmas Song,” which she revives with aplomb and crisp pacing, and the beloved “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” which she doesn’t tinker with at all. Braxton also pulls Charlie Brown’s “Christmas Time Is Here” out of mothballs and gives it a contemplative, melancholy spin that serves the tune well.

Lyrics

Christmas time is here
Happiness and cheer
Fun for all that children call
Their favorite time of the year

Snowflakes in the air
Carols everywhere
Olden times and ancient rhymes
Of love and dreams to share

Sleigh bells in the air
Beauty everywhere
Yuletide by the fireside
And joyful memories there

Christmas time is here
We’ll be drawing near
Oh, that we could always see
Such spirit through the year
Oh, that we could always see
Such spirit through the year…

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Filed under Art, Christmas, Holidays, Music, Pop Culture, United States, Video/YouTube