The Blackest Questions

The Blackest Questions: Luther Vandross or Barry White?

Episode 6

Voting Rights Activist and Organizer, LaTosha Brown, was on our ballot this week and went to the wire with Dr. Christina Greer. No election fraud or hanging chads here, just trivia and celebrating our blackness. 


Promo: [00:00:00] You are now listening to theGrio’s Black Podcast Network, Black Culture Amplified. [00:00:04][4.0]

Dr. Christina Greer: [00:00:06] Hi, and welcome to the Blackest Questions. I’m your host, Dr. Christina Greer, politics editor for theGrio and associate professor of political science at Fordham University. In this podcast, we asked our guests five of The Blackest Questions so we can learn a little bit more about them and have some fun while we’re doing it. We’re also going to learn a lot about Black history, past and present. So here’s the way this works. We have five rounds of questions about us Black history, the whole diaspora, current events, everything. With each round, the questions will get a little bit tougher and the guest has 15 seconds to get it right. If they answer the question correctly, they will receive one symbolic Black fist and hear this. If they get it wrong, they’ll hear this. But we’ll love em anyway. And after the five questions, there’ll be a Black bonus round in the end, just for fun. Our guest for this episode is Selma, Alabama native LaTosha Brown. She’s a community organizer, political strategist, national speaker, writer and co-founder of Black Voters Matter, a nonprofit dedicated to expanding Black voter engagement and increasing progressive power. And when she has the time, she’s known to belt out a note here and there. LaTosha, I can’t thank you enough for joining us on The Blackest Questions. [00:01:18][72.0]

LaTosha Brown: [00:01:19] I am so happy to be here. I’m so excited. Looking forward, a little nervous because I’m like, you know what, this 51 year old brain don’t work like it used to. [00:01:28][8.7]

Dr. Christina Greer: [00:01:29] I’ve been on television with you. You were one of the sharpest minds. You are one of the sharpest minds. And one of the fly is 51 year olds I’ve ever seen. [00:01:37][7.5]

LaTosha Brown: [00:01:37] Oh, well I’ll take that. [00:01:37][0.2]

Dr. Christina Greer: [00:01:40] You should take it all the way to the bank. I think you’re ready. It’s going to be fantastic. You ready? Have some fun. [00:01:44][3.9]

LaTosha Brown: [00:01:44] Let’s have some fun. [00:01:45][0.7]

Dr. Christina Greer: [00:01:46] Okay. First question, who was the first African-American woman to serve in Congress and to run for president on a major party ticket? [00:01:55][8.8]

LaTosha Brown: [00:01:56] Well, there was an amazing woman named Shirley Chisholm who literally laid the foundation. And the work. Matter of fact, she was such an inspiration for me and others. And then there was just she was just a bad sister. You know, if you know anything about Shirley Chisholm, I want people, whoever is listening to this, they need to go and they need to look at clips of Shirley Chisholm of as she is talking about her run from government for a run for Congress, also her run for president. I mean, it was actually profound at the moment in which he came out and she ran for president. The whole notion of a woman running, nevertheless, a Black person running. So, yes, Shirley Chisholm and everybody should know that sista’s name. [00:02:35][39.4]

Dr. Christina Greer: [00:02:36] Okay, well, that is the correct answer. Shirley Anita St Hill Chisholm was elected to Congress in 1968, and she ran for the presidency in 72. She was born in Brooklyn. I actually currently LaTosha live in Shirley Chisholm’s old district. She was born on November 30th, 1924, to a father from Guyana and a mother from Barbados, which taps into my book, Black Ethnics, where we talk about the Black people from the Caribbean and Africa and from the U.S. South. So she graduated cum laude from Brooklyn College in 1946, and she initially worked as a nursery school teacher, and she later got her master’s from Columbia University and early childhood education in 1951. This is before she went to Albany to serve as a legislator and then moved on to Congress. So in her awareness of racial and gender inequality, she joined local chapters of community organizations like the NAACP and the Urban League. And in 1964, she became the second Black woman in the New York legislature, and she retired from Congress in 1983 and passed away on January 1st, 2005. And so, LaTosha, you’ve already talked about just how brilliant Shirley Chisholm was. I’m actually working on a book about Barbara Jordan, and I’ve obviously come across a lot of research on Shirley Chisholm. Barbara Jordan was the second Black woman elected to Congress. Shirley Chisholm The first Black woman elected to Congress. Why do you think it’s so important to see women who look like us in those roles in Congress? [00:04:01][84.2]

LaTosha Brown: [00:04:02] You know what was so profound about I think representation matters. I think the fact that you see these Black women and these weren’t just like Black women, they had to look. They cared the power, the spirit and the legacy of Black women’s leadership. Both of them came out of a space that they were very they were very vocal about the injustice happening to our communities. Both of them, I think what they had in and in common is that they were relentless. They knew that they were up against this white male patriarchy infrastructure and as well as the sexism in our own communities and what we saw in both of their and both of their races. We saw that element of of of sexism. Shirley Chisholm, quite frankly, on the Black male national leadership, never got behind her. Right. They were were not supportive to her. And so even though she literally was not just a voice of reason, but she literally captured the voices of people who had been marginalized. You know, when you’re looking at the work that I think why it’s really important when we’re talking about representation is what we represent. The question for me is, you know, are you representing a Black face or are you representing Blackness? And when you represent Blackness, that means are you coming to the table with an ideology that is informed by the Black experience where you recognize that this until we actually have have justice and equity in this country, that we have a responsibility to speak to that. And I think both of those women in their own ways. You had Barbara Jordan, who was a southern woman from Texas, and you had Shirley Chisholm, who is a northern woman from from New York. That at the end of the day, what you saw, the commonality is that they loved Black people and they love justice and they used their voice and their skills and gifts to be able to fight for our people. And so representation matters because literally it’s me looking at them. You know what? What’s unfortunate is that I was a grown up. I was grown before I even knew that Shirley Chisholm had had ran for that. There had been this Black woman that ran for president. I didn’t know that. Right. Nobody taught me that in school. [00:06:07][125.0]

Dr. Christina Greer: [00:06:08] And this is American history. [00:06:09][1.4]

LaTosha Brown: [00:06:11] This is American History. [00:06:11][0.7]

Dr. Christina Greer: [00:06:11] Well, you know, what I think is so fascinating, LaTosha, is that when she ran in 72. And I wrote a paper about her and Shirley Mitchell, who ran before Shirley Chisholm on the Communist Party ticket. But, you know, all the Black leaders, you know, they assemble in Indiana for the big conference and they say, you know, we should put up someone Black. So she says, here I am. And they’re like, ooh, by Black women we meant Black men, right. And then she goes to the Gloria Steinem and Bella Asbugs of the world, and they’re like, We should put up a woman to run in 72. And Shirley says, Well, here I am. And they’re like, Oh, by woman, I meant white woman. So she always found herself in this in-between space. But I love the way you use the word relentless, because when I hear you talk about Shirley Chisholm and Barbara Jordan, who I see is actually Latosha Brown advocating for marginalized communities and representing Black people, not just, you know, in a superficial way, but really someone who loves Black people. And so I can’t thank you enough for the work you do and B, for joining us here on on Blackest questions. Now, you ready for question number two? You’re already one for one. [00:07:11][60.6]

LaTosha Brown: [00:07:12] Come on. [00:07:12][0.3]

Dr. Christina Greer: [00:07:13] All right. You ready! Let’s go. We Hot! [00:07:14][1.4]

Dr. Christina Greer: [00:07:15] Okay. Question number two. In 2018, she became the first African-American woman to be a major party gubernatorial nominee in the United States. Who is this person and what state? [00:07:26][11.3]

LaTosha Brown: [00:07:28] Let’s say the state. My home state of Georgia. And there’s a woman named Stacey Abrams who is active, was leading the ticket in 2018. She’s now the nominee again in 2022. So it is the amazing Stacey Abrams. [00:07:46][17.9]

Dr. Christina Greer: [00:07:47] You are correct. Stacey Abrams, born on December 9th, 1973, and raised in Gulfport, Mississippi, where she moved to Georgia, she received degrees from Spelman College, the University of Texas and Yale Law School. She served in the Georgia House of Representatives from 2007 to 2017. In 2010, she became the first woman to lead either party in the state legislature. She’s a New York Times best selling author, a voting rights activist, an entrepreneur and a small business owner. And in 2018, she lost her campaign to Brian Kemp. But as you said, LaTosha is running again on the Democratic Party line for 2022. Now, have you worked closely with Stacey and some of the voter activism and institution building that you all have that you’ve done in Georgia? [00:08:29][42.9]

LaTosha Brown: [00:08:31] Oh, we have absolutely supported and supported the campaign. The beauty about Stacey is in that same spirit as we talked about with Shirley Chisholm and Barbara Jordan. You know, there’s. This rich legacy, this throughline of Black women standing in this space, using our voice, having a vision of how we going to go forward. Right. And literally organizing our people so we can have a victory. And I think Stacey has done that standing in the space and listening to her, like literally being able to be on the front lines of the voting rights struggle, that it’s not just about being elected, but on the voting rights struggle. That is what really inspires me most about her. [00:09:08][37.5]

Dr. Christina Greer: [00:09:09] Now, what do you think can be done differently this time around? Because we know that certain institutional barriers were put in place by the then secretary of state, who also happened to be her opponent running on the Republican Party ticket. Brian Kemp. What’s different between 2018 and 2022? Are you feeling more or less optimistic because of some of the voting rights struggles that we’ve seen so evident in Georgia? [00:09:33][23.6]

LaTosha Brown: [00:09:34] Well, let me say this. I want to I want to go back to 2018 just to for to even correct the record in the nation. We won that election. Brian Kemp talked about Republicans stole that election. At the end of the day, there were hundreds of thousands of voters, disproportionately Black voters, that were dropped off the voting rolls. Matter of fact, we did. So we filed a suit against the state of Georgia because there were 190,000 voters who had been dropped off the voting rolls because they were at an incorrect address when in fact, when we did research that none of them, many of them had never even moved. So they were still many of them had been staying in the same address for 30 years. So they would literally dropped off the for the voting rolls for no reason by a Republican that wanted to have an advantage. So I’ll just say that what we did in 2018, we came right back and 2020 and showed the power of organizing and working, working in coalitions. I think that same thing is going to be required as we move forward. But what I can tell you that is change is that we’re in this political environment where we are seeing white supremacy out front. The Republicans are not. They’re saying the quiet part out loud. Right now, what we’re seeing is what we’re seeing is a a ban on abortions. You know that at the end of the day, we have a government to say it’s going to regulate a woman’s body and her ability to be able to have agency over her body and actually having access to health care. We also are in this moment that we’re seeing voter suppression immediately. People may know or may recall that immediately after the 2020 election, we had a Senate race in the state of Georgia and immediately we had record turnout. And as a result of that, we saw the next legislative session led by the Republicans and a crooked Brad Kemp, who’s the governor. Now that there was an effort, there was a bill passed called Senate Bill 202 that essentially was a voter suppression bill that was enacted in law. So now as a voter, I have less voter protection now as they vote in the state of Georgia than I had in 2018, as well as the millions of other voters. And so there are barriers that have been placed up to make it more difficult and harder. But let me tell you something. We got that fire and we are coming. We are organizing. We’re coming strong. When they go low, we go hard. [00:11:50][136.6]

Dr. Christina Greer: [00:11:51] Oh, LaTosha Relentless Brown. I love it. Oh, I’m so thankful for you. Are you ready for question number three? You’re on a roll. [00:11:58][6.3]

LaTosha Brown: [00:11:58] Let’s go. I’m on a roll. [00:11:59][1.1]

Dr. Christina Greer: [00:11:59] Okay. Question number three. In 1969, he was the first Black athlete to be on a collegiate scholarship at Auburn University. What is his name and what position did he play? [00:12:11][11.7]

LaTosha Brown: [00:12:13] Oh, you got me. You got me. Let me see the Michigan. Let me see Auburn. Ironically, guess where I went to school. [00:12:18][5.7]

Dr. Christina Greer: [00:12:20] Where’d you go? [00:12:21][0.3]

LaTosha Brown: [00:12:22] I’m not going to tell you. I know. [00:12:23][1.5]

Dr. Christina Greer: [00:12:24] Tell the audience we know. [00:12:25][0.9]

LaTosha Brown: [00:12:28] He went to Auburn. He was. Okay, repeat the question again. [00:12:31][2.8]

Dr. Christina Greer: [00:12:31] In 1969, he was the first Black athlete to be on a collegiate scholarship at Auburn University. What is his name and what position did he play? [00:12:40][9.4]

LaTosha Brown: [00:12:43] Well, I know it had to be football because Auburn is all about football, so I know it’s football. [00:12:47][3.6]

Dr. Christina Greer: [00:12:48] I’m going to go ahead and give you the answer. It’s James Curtis Owens, a.k.a. The Big O. And you were correct. Play football. He played running back. And so he was born in 1951, on July 9th in Fairfield, Alabama. He was a highly recruited talent, and he helped integrate the Fairfield High School sporting system. His senior season at Auburn, the team finished the season with a ten one record and a top five national ranking. He was drafted in 1973 to the New Orleans Saints, but was cut in the pre-season due to injuries. He went into coaching and became the head football coach at Miles College from 1986 to 1989. And then he went on to become a pastor in Alabama and passed away on March 26th in 2016. So we know here at the Grio that Alabama is a place where you have to pick a side as soon as you’re born. So how did you land on Auburn University at Montgomery as a choice for you? [00:13:41][52.3]

LaTosha Brown: [00:13:41] You know, part of it was. Was proximity, and part of it was resources. The bottom line is I had to pay for school myself. And so I went to a place that was close to my home where I would have some support and what I could afford at the time. You know, give and I think that’s why it’s so important at this moment that we still continue to push for there to be the elimination of student debt that many of us had to make really, really difficult choices because we didn’t have resources. We didn’t come from wealthy families with a trust fund. Right. I had to work I had to work at at Domino’s Pizza in the night. And I think quinces in the day in save some money and then got me another gig at the mall in the evening, even though I did get a discount on some shoes. So that was pretty fly, right? [00:14:26][45.3]

Dr. Christina Greer: [00:14:28] Because you’re strategic. That’s why. [00:14:29][1.4]

LaTosha Brown: [00:14:30] That’s right. That’s right. That’s right. So that’s that’s how I landed there. I landed into the space that, quite frankly, I had access to. It was affordable for me at the time. [00:14:39][9.3]

Dr. Christina Greer: [00:14:40] MhhMmmm I love how you weave in the real importance of canceling student debt, because to have the freedom of choice is such a powerful tool, especially for Black women, to be able to go anywhere that they want and need to go. And obviously, the price tag of universities as a college professor, I know that the price tag of universities really does limit not just people being able to go where they want to go, but even the majors that they want to to major in what they’re interested in. You know, a lot of people want to do a lot more community work, but are worried about debt and loans. And so they actually can’t do the real grassroots organizing that they may have wanted to do because they’ve got crippling debt in some instances. Okay. You ready for question number four? [00:15:21][41.1]

LaTosha Brown: [00:15:22] Come on, let’s go. Let’s go. Okay. [00:15:23][1.4]

Dr. Christina Greer: [00:15:23] We’re still hot. Don’t worry about it. We’re still okay. [00:15:25][1.5]

LaTosha Brown: [00:15:25] Come on, let’s. Come on. [00:15:26][0.8]

Dr. Christina Greer: [00:15:27] Question number four, these two civil rights activists and friends both died July 17th, 2020. One was the first African-American lawmaker to lay in state in the Capitol Rotunda, and the other was the first non-elected Black person to lie in state at the Georgia state Capitol. Who were these two? [00:15:47][19.6]

LaTosha Brown: [00:15:48] Well, one of them happened to be my mentor, and I miss him desperately. And actually, I’m getting full thinking about him right now. Reverend C.T. Vivian and John Lewis, they died on July 17th, which happened to be my mother’s birthday. It was a very challenging a moment for me. Reverend C.T. Vivian, I can just tell you, out of firsthand experience, I’ve never met another person in my life like him. Just. I remember, you know, sitting. One day, I went to his home, and I literally sit at his feet, and I felt like I felt like I was in the presence of a prophet, you know, and just his belief around Black people and love and ability. And I remember one day he said something really profound to me. He said, you know, he had been offered this job in an ink factory and his wife was pregnant and he had this he he wanted to go get this job at this ink factory because at the time he was a preacher and he’s in a movement, but the movement wouldn’t paying. Right. And so he was like, I got I got a baby coming. And his wife, you know, his wife was like, no, this is your calling. And his wife encouraged him to stay with the movement. And he looked at me, he said, you know what, if I had done that, he said, he said, I would have missed my life. And that has been so profound to me. Even as I do my work now, I’m constantly thinking and making decisions not based on, okay, that has the best financial benefit for me or that has the best opportunity to position me. But I’m looking at how can I make sure I’m making decisions that I don’t miss my life, that I don’t miss the life that that was created for me, the path that was created for me of my purpose, of tapping into my purpose. And so the answer is I’m very, very, very, very 99.99.99 sure that it is Representative John Lewis, who is also from the state of Alabama. That let you know, Christina, we got some good that’s come out of Alabama and. [00:17:47][119.4]

Dr. Christina Greer: [00:17:48] There is something in the water in Alabama and you are absolutely correct. Representative John Lewis was a longtime civil rights activist and politician serving as a member of Georgia’s House of Representatives from 1987 through 2020. And he’s known for causing “good trouble” through activism. And so he was 80 years old, and so he was in the House of Representatives from the state of Georgia, I should say. And then Reverend C.T. Vivian was a community organizer, minister, author, served with Martin Luther King and mentor to LaTosha Brown, which obviously explains a lot of your work and who you are. And both Lewis and Vivian participated in the Freedom Rides and both received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from then President Barack Obama. And so I definitely felt your energy when you were talking about Reverend C.T. Vivian. So how closely did you work with either of them in when you were starting out and then. Sort of as you’ve really built this foundation in the state of Georgia. Did you check back in? I mean, it’s always so interesting when mentor mentee roles. I mean, the great thing is that Reverend Vivian got to see who you became. Right. I’m sure. I think at one point she was little LaTosha. And now he sees this woman leading the nation and how we articulate injustice, how we articulate what’s going on with Black women, how we articulate what’s going on with voting rights. I mean, how does that make you feel to know that they get to see you actually flourish? These are seeds they planted. [00:19:15][86.2]

LaTosha Brown: [00:19:16] You know, I learned so much from both of them. I worked more closely. I worked on some level with both of them around voting rights and and youth leadership. We actually we used to run a youth leadership camp in in Selma, and they would come almost every year for the Jubilee Festival, which was the Selma to Montgomery march. And so. But Reverend Vivian, I spent a lot of time with he and another civil rights leader named Reverend James Orange, who was also a part of that network, who and they would feed and they would just feed into me and pour into us kind of knowledge and experience and the stories. But I will say this one particular time, you know, as I never would call myself an activist, I thought it was arrogant to call yourself a activist. I felt like the community that was like a title that I felt like the community should give you don’t just go around and say you are activist, you do the work in the community will let you know if you’re an activist or not. Right. And so I remember and I had that same kind of feeling around an organizer. I organized. But when I looked at folks from the civil rights movement and many of them I met and would listen to and knew, I never thought of myself in that same category. I was like, Yeah, I’m a baby organizer. Yall the real deal Hollifield, right. And so one day this was right after Hurricane Katrina. After Hurricane Katrina, I had done a whole lot of work helping to organize effort down there, a movement called Saving Ourselves Coalition. And I was in New Orleans, and it was one of those days that I was just feeling, you know, the request. It was so overwhelming. I was so overwhelmed with requests that even though we were doing a whole lot of work, you know, sometimes as an organizer, you don’t know if you’re make an impact. I was like, it just I can never catch up. I won’t ever be able to address all of this. And Reverend Vivian walked in. We were at this whole at this hotel gathering, and he walked in and he said, My sister, my sister, you are an organizer. And that was it. Like from that day forward, there is.. I felt like I had earned the title of I Am an Organizer. And from that day forward and when I introduced myself more than introducing my founder of organizations, more than any of the other things. Right. It is so much pride and power when I say I am LaTosha Brown and I am an organizer, I you know how I know? Because C.T. Vivian told me so. [00:21:42][145.8]

Dr. Christina Greer: [00:21:43] Cause C.T. Vivian told me so. Oh, my goodness. You you are an inspiration and you’re on a roll. So I think we should just keep going into question number five. Organizer LaTosha Brown is here with us in the Blackest Questions if you’re just tuning in. Okay, you ready? [00:21:57][13.8]

LaTosha Brown: [00:21:58] I’m ready. [00:21:58][0.2]

Dr. Christina Greer: [00:21:59] Last big question and then we’ll go into the bonus round. This Black woman delivered a speech on December 20th, 1964, where she declared, I am sick and tired of being sick and tired. Who was she and who did she delivered the speech with? [00:22:14][14.8]

LaTosha Brown: [00:22:15] This little light of mine. I’m gonna let it shine. Let it shine. Let it shine. Let it shine. That is the favorite song of my sHero is Fannie Lou Hamer, who was from Mississippi. She represented the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party, Freedom Democratic Party and was an amazing sister who at the end of the day, what we want for people to know, even in that speech, it was so profound that the president in the in the midst of her while she was going to speak on the floor of the Democratic Convention, the the president was so afraid that she was, the country would hear her. Now, this is a woman who was a sharecropper, who had been a sharecropper, that he actually cut in during that time and actually had a did a speech himself so that they he would divert people from her. [00:23:13][57.5]

Dr. Christina Greer: [00:23:14] That’s right. He was. And, you know, and I’m a huge fan of LBJ in a lot of different ways because he helped usher through the Civil Rights Act and the Voting Rights Act and the Immigration Act. But when you think about how he was so afraid of Fannie Lou Hamer, this former, you know, child of sharecroppers. And so you are correct, the answer was Fannie Lou Hamer. And she was giving that speech with Malcolm X. And so she delivered the speech at a rally at the Williams Institutional C Church in Harlem, New York. Hamer was born in Montgomery County, Mississippi, on October six. 1917. She was a civil rights activist on the front lines of the fight for voting rights for African-Americans. And she often doesn’t get the credit that she rightfully deserves. She passed away from breast cancer on March 14th, 1977, when she was only 59 years old. Now, LaTosha, I’m actually working on finishing up a book on Barbara Jordan, Fannie Lou Hamer and Stacey Abrams. And so I’m thinking about these strong Black women from the South who did insider and outsider politics. But when you think of Fannie Lou Hamer, how does she specifically impact your work? [00:24:20][66.1]

LaTosha Brown: [00:24:22] You know, I am originally, as you talked about earlier, I’m from Alabama. I’m from the Deep South. So here is a woman from the Deep South that knew that there was fire in her voice. You know, she knew that there was power in her voice and she knew that her agency didn’t come from her title. It didn’t come from where she grew up. It didn’t come from whether she had money or not, that she had a certain kind of wit and wisdom that was that she was born with and that she had agency to be able to utilize that. And so for me, the way that she asserted and affirmed her all humanity and fought for the humanities of others, right. Like are some of us. And there are some people that get caught up in you know, they feel they have to be validated by where they went to school. They have to be validated around what their titles are, that to be validated around, you know, where they worked or how much money they had, this was they had none of that. Right. This just did not have any money. Matter of fact, when she started registering people to vote, she got kicked off. She and her husband got kicked off of the plantation that they had been sharecroppers on. This was a woman who had been beaten. If you people go and read the story, had been viciously beaten when she was actually placed in jail and righteously placed in jail and had problems for the rest of her life and even had a limb where she had been damaged. Yet she continued to persist and do the work. This is a woman that even the man, even though, you know, we don’t talk about this story, but even the men in the civil rights movement didn’t think some of them didn’t think that she was polished enough that she was was was framed enough that literally at the end of the day, whether she said “that is or that aint”, that the end of the day she knew there was power in truth, and she stood in that. And so the thing that if there were something that so I loved about this sister is the way that she embraced her humanity. And she did not allow the world to tell her that she was less than anything than what God created her. You know, the other part about her story that I think often gets kind of overlooked is that she was had a beautiful relationship with her husband. If you look at if you read some of the of her work, she was actually a major proponent for Black love around families. She felt like that Black folk that deserved to be loved and that even in the midst of all she was going through, she had this brother that that was a sharecropper with her that didn’t have a lot, just like she didn’t have a lot. But but together they could do this thing. And so there was something really profound about a woman who actually could sit in this space that at the end of the day, she didn’t feel like she needed anything else to validate her other than her humanity. And so that in itself, for no other reason. That is why I love it, sister. [00:27:12][170.7]

Dr. Christina Greer: [00:27:13] Oh, thank you so much. And you know, once I finish this book, I will be sure to send you a copy. You know, I talk. You mentioned Roe v Wade and the decision from the Supreme Court the other day. You know, in addition to all of the work that Fannie Lou Hamer did and all the abuse she endured, she also endured what they called a Mississippi appendectomy. She’s one of the thousands of Black women and native women who were forcibly sterilized during her, you know, during a routine operation. And so what she did for us as Black people, Black women, especially what she did for this country. We can never thank her enough for. Okay, LaTosha, I think you were fantastic. I think we learned a ton. I know our listeners loved hearing about your relationship with Reverend C.T. Vivian. I just. I’m going to have to go and replay this episode, but are you ready for some Black bonus rounds? [00:28:05][51.2]

LaTosha Brown: [00:28:05] Oh, come on, let’s go to the bonus round. Let’s. Let’s get it, let’s get it. [00:28:08][3.4]

Dr. Christina Greer: [00:28:08] Let’s strike while its hot. Now, these are just quick, quick fire. You ready? [00:28:11][2.6]

LaTosha Brown: [00:28:11] Okay. Yes. [00:28:12][1.0]

Dr. Christina Greer: [00:28:13] Okay. First one, Raisin Cane’s or Zaxby’s? [00:28:15][1.7]

LaTosha Brown: [00:28:16] Zaxby’s. [00:28:16][0.0]

Dr. Christina Greer: [00:28:18] Southwest or Delta? [00:28:18][0.7]

LaTosha Brown: [00:28:19] Delta. [00:28:19][0.0]

Dr. Christina Greer: [00:28:21] Are you up the street or down the road? [00:28:22][1.3]

LaTosha Brown: [00:28:23] I am up the street on the hill.. [00:28:24][1.2]

Dr. Christina Greer: [00:28:26] Luther Vandross or Barry White? [00:28:27][1.2]

LaTosha Brown: [00:28:28] Oh, Luther. [00:28:28][0.3]

Dr. Christina Greer: [00:28:31] If you could rename the Edmund Pettus Bridge, who would you rename it after? [00:28:34][3.8]

LaTosha Brown: [00:28:35] It would be the People’s Bridge. [00:28:36][1.2]

Dr. Christina Greer: [00:28:39] Okay. Last one. Better voice. Mahalia Jackson or Ella Fitzgerald? [00:28:42][3.7]

LaTosha Brown: [00:28:44] Oh, that’s a tough one. That’s a tough one. That’s a tough one. So that’s a tough one. For different reasons. Is a tough. Ella Fitzgerald had a perfect pitch. I’m a singer, so I like appreciate them both differently. And I don’t you know, I’m always in this like. Do you compare two voices? Mahalia Jackson just had the kind of soul and the spirit that if you would hear her singing, she made the hair stand up on your body. Right. Well, Ella Fitzgerald had perfect pitch. Right. Which is like this. Thousands of people like like it’s crazy. So. Oh, okay. Well, I got to go Mahalia. I got to go Mahalia. [00:29:22][38.1]

Dr. Christina Greer: [00:29:23] Oh, my goodness. Okay, well, promise us you will come back to the Blackest Questions. LaTosha Brown. [00:29:28][5.0]

LaTosha Brown: [00:29:29] Absolutely. Oh, this was so much fun. All right. [00:29:32][2.7]

Dr. Christina Greer: [00:29:33] Thank you so much. So this is LaTosha Relentless Brown. I can’t thank you enough for joining us. And I want to thank our listeners for listening to The Blackest Questions. The show is produced by Cameron Blackwell and Camille Cruz. If you like what you heard, please download the app and listen and watch many more great shows and share it with everyone you know. [00:29:51][17.7]

Promo: [00:29:51] Don’t forget, you can listen to theGrios Writing Black Podcast hosted by me Maiysha Kai. This isn’t your typical writing podcast. We interview any and everybody that has anything to do with writing from comics to poets to authors to journalists, to politicians and more. Remember, that’s Writing Black every Sunday, right here on theGrio’s Black Podcast Network. Download the Grio’s app to listen to Writing Black wherever you are. [00:29:51][0.0]