The History of 420
It all began in 1971, in San Rafael high school in Northern California. A group of five high school students known as the “Waldos” namely; “Steve Capper, Dave Reddix, Jeffrey Noel, Larry Schwartz and Mark Gravich” decided to meet every day at 4:20pm next to the Louis Pasteur statue behind the wall on the school grounds after their extra mural activities. The main reason for their meeting was to embark on a grail quest to find an abandoned cannabis crop, after the grower had left a map.
Initially the Waldos referred to their rendezvous plan as the “420 Louis” but, after a few failed expedition plans they then shortened it to 4:20, which a lot of teens started using as a secret code to get together and smoke cannabis. The 420 movement was later publicized by Steve Hager, the editor of a popular cannabis magazine “High Times” after they published a feature on a “420 smoking and a 4/20 holiday” in 1991 and later made the connection to the Waldos in 1998. This was one of the reasons why The High Times eventually bought the” 420.com” domain name.
Nowadays the 420 movement has conceived and given birth to many events, activism/protest groups and concerts across world lobbying for the legalization of cannabis in various states and countries across the world. April 20th, has become the international counter culture holiday as people gather to celebrate and consume cannabis. There are many concerts such as “HempFest”; which takes place in Seattle, Washington and around the world there are other special events such as the 4/20 Picnic in Melbourne, Australia. There have also been a lot of pro-cannabis protests across many countries such as: England, New Zealand, Slovenia, Northern Cyprus and Canada.
The 420 phenomenon was eventually given some legislative recognition in 2003 when “California Senate Bill 420” was introduced to regulate medical marijuana use, in deliberate reference to the cannabis culture. In 2010, there was also another bill in Guam, which failed to launch; known as the “Bill 420”. The 420 movement has also been celebrated within youth college institutions and also in the film, arts and media spaces such as the pawn shop scene in Pulp Fiction whereby all the clocks are set at 420. In 2014, the Facebook group page of the 420 Magazine reached more 1.1 million likes. There was also a world renowned musical band by the name of the “Grateful Dead” which made the hippie and cannabis celebratory life soundtrack vibes and was very much instrumental sound in the early 70’s when the Waldos started the 420 movement.
Over the last few decades there have been many theories as to what the 420 movement was innately all about and in essence, what the source and inspiration behind its inception was all about. Some people formulated a few farfetched speculations such as: “420” was a police dispatch code in California in the early 70’s for “marijuana smoking in process; others think that there are 420 active chemical ingredients in marijuana; still others even went as far as hypothesizing that “420 has something to do with Hitler’s birthday, which is April 20th”.
To date, the 420 movement continues to be celebrated all over the world, by all races, ethnic groups, cultures and creeds. It has become the definitive flag of unity for all the cannabis enthusiasts, who have since found sentimental and meaningful ways to celebrate April 20, known as the International Cannabis Holiday. The 420 code has also been integrated into the day to day communication context of both the young and the old, linguistically speaking. This is definitely one monumental revolution that will coexist with mankind on this earth, for as long both marijuana and clocks remain part of our lives.
My personal contribution to this revolution would be in lobbying for legalization of cannabis for all personal, medicinal and commercial purposes, so that we can leave this world better than we found it. Until then, I will continue taking my 4:20 breaks during my long and stressful days, to celebrate the cannabis culture; and to reflect on its amazing benefits for mankind. Should we bump into each other in the concrete jungle corridors anywhere in the world, please make sure you tell me or ask me where the 420 gathering shall be taking place on that day. Let love and peace reign.
By: Lennox Mokwena
History of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs)
Short Description: Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCSs) have played a major role in the USA. Learn its history and importance here.
The United States of America has several colleges and universities across the country. There are schools focused on engineering, agriculture and technology, liberal arts, and several other specializations.
However, education in the country was not always as diverse and accessible as it is today. Once, minorities struggled to receive educational opportunities, giving birth to alternative learning methods. One such alternative to education became HBCUs.
HBCU stands for Historically Black Colleges and Universities. The Higher Education Act of 1965 that increased federal funding for universities and colleges coined the term HBCU.
HBCUs have played an important role in the African American community as institutions providing these students the opportunity to obtain higher education when no other college would. HBCUs are higher educational institutions that were established to provide education to African American students in the United States.
History of HBCUs
Before the Civil War, higher education for black people was almost non-existing. Newly freed slaves were being denied admission to traditional higher education colleges and universities. Individuals who managed to receive some education, such as Fredrick Douglass, regularly studied in lesser desirable and dangerous environments, while others had to resort to teaching themselves whatever they could.
Why Did the US Need HBCUs?
Historically Black Colleges and Universities were established to provide higher education to disenfranchised Black Americans in the US, who were initially prohibited from attending traditional American colleges and universities.
Richard Humphreys founded the first HBCU, Cheyney University of Pennsylvania. During the times of slavery and segregation, most colleges and universities prohibited access to black Americans.
Under the Higher Education Act of 1965, HBCUs that were established and accredited before 1964 were officially declared as institutions of higher learning. The act also allocated federal financial assistance to these institutions. These institutions became responsible for the Black middle class constituting lawyers, doctors, engineers, teachers, and other professionals. HBCUs continued to harvest Black professionals, leaders, and celebrities.
Today, the two oldest medical HBCUs – Meharry Medical College and Howard University – are sources of more than 80% of the African American physicians and dentists practicing in the country.
How Did It All Start?
In 1764, when teen Richard Humphreys arrived in Philadelphia from the British Virgin Islands, he was disturbed by the conditions of African Americans in the country. Like most adherents to the Quaker principle, Humphrey opposed slavery and freely donated to abolitionist causes. He was convinced that education was the key to improving the lives of Black Americans.
At the age of 79, Humphreys modified his will, adding a bequeathment for the establishment of schools to instruct descendants of the African American race in various branches of agriculture, mechanics, arts, and trades to prepare and qualify them to work as teachers.
Humphreys passed away three years later, but his enormous philanthropic legacy continued. In 1837, 1/10 of his total estate, worth $10,000, was dedicated to developing the Institute for Colored Youth in Philadelphia. The institute was the first to provide higher education to African Americans.
In 1904, the school was relocated to a farm owned by George Cheney, around 40 miles outside of Philadelphia. The institution was renamed as Cheney University and began to grant degrees to African American students. Today, Cheney University is the oldest African American institute, which is still operational.
Just as Richard Humphrey envisioned while making last-minute edits to his will, these educational institutions played a major role in helping African Americans get access to higher education, dismantling the difficulties for freedom.
There are several institutions founded after 1964 with rostering student bodies mostly comprising of people of color. These are not considered “historically’ Black colleges.
Although education in the HBCUs is open to students of all races, the need for designation of HBCUs can be traced back to American history in which African American students were denied access to traditional American colleges and universities. These institutions arose out of necessity and were the only resort Black Americans had to receive higher education or attain graduate and undergraduate degrees for many years.
Hence, these colleges and universities can be considered symbolic of the segregation and the slavery era of American history.
The Second Morrill Land Act
In 1890, the Second Morrill Land-Grant Act stated that the states that wanted to use the federal land-grant funds had to make their schools and colleges open for Blacks and Whites or the funds should be given to segregated Black colleges to operate properly as a substitute to White schools.
Sixteen Black educational institutions were given 1890 land-grant funds. At this point, several HBCUs were already established, including Cheyney University of Pennsylvania, Harris-Stowe University, University of the District of Columbia, and Howard University. However, the Second Morrill Land-Grant Act opened the doors for many HBCUs to establish with government funding.
Why Are HBCUs Still Relevant?
While the initial mission of these institutions was to educate side-lined and segregated African Americans, today, these institutions are comprised of students from all demographics. Currently, one-fourth of the total students enrolled in the HBCUs are of non-Black ethnicity.
Still, HBCUs are considered as the best option for African American students to get higher education. Many students at Howard University say that HBCUs are among the very few institutions that have surpassed racism, which is still prevalent in society. HBCU supporters say these institutions are not only important for African American students but also for the whole society.
A White student from Howard, Mark McCluskey, says he was considered a minority for the first time in his life but shares the sentiments of his peers about the value of preserving HBCUs. These institutions are relevant in the current society because they can spread knowledge about various cultures that the country has ignored over the past two centuries.
HBCUs serve society as an environment that encourages belonging, empowerment, and a sense of Black determination that African Americans often struggled to achieve in the US. This was particularly true during the abolition of slavery period to the Civil Rights outlawing segregation in all forms.
It will not be wrong to say that the importance of Historically Black Colleges and Universities is still as great as it was since their inception.
The Landrace Effect: Africa as the Best Cannabis Purebred Strain Breeders
Africa the continent famously known for her abundance of natural resources, such as diamonds, sugar, salt, gold, iron, cobalt, uranium, copper, bauxite, silver, petroleum and cocoa beans, but also woods and tropical fruits.
Not forgetting of course cannabis, a ton of it. Glorious, sublime, majestic cannabis. I’m not talking about the fields of gorgeous hemp, rich in CBD and natural oils. No no no, I, my dear friends, am talking about some of the best AAA grade stanky danky psychosomatic icky sticky furry sparkly Marijuana out there…
Yes, and I’ll say it, in the entire world.
The term Landrace is not a technical one, but it is however one I need to lay down the exact definition for, as this word forms the cornerstone of this blog.
“Definition of landrace cannabis strains (also called landraces or purebreds) have developed in its natural environment and has never been crossed with any other strain but inbred through many, many generations.
Most landrace genetics are therefore 100% Sativa or 100% Indica, although there are some exceptions”
I’ve decided to do a simple list for you as I know many of you may be stoned reading this, I know I am while writing this (I just hit a joint of some yummy though strangely floral Blue Cheese and it’s hit me directly in the side of the face).
As the equator runs slap bang straight through sub saharan Africa no one can argue that it makes for some of the most perfect weather for growing some serious bud. In fact Africa actually produces mostly uplifting sativa dominant strains making for lovely clear headed highs.
Africa’s landrace strains contain extremely high percentages of THC.
Right, going forward here is an informative straight to the point list of some of the BEST African landrace strains:
Now I’m talking about a 100% sativa… Uplifting energizing and as clear as day is how I would describe the high you get off this earthy strain. Packing a pine punch in flavor with a complement of robust terpenes just to let you know that this tall bushy tree isn’t fucking around.
This is the perfect get up and go, the espresso of weed.
South African Kwazulu
This super strain hails from the Zulu Nation in Kwazulu Natal where it can be found growing freely on the Drakensberg slopes. With happy and euphoric after effects, and a sweet smell and taste, it makes for a lovely easy smoke.
This is another landrace sativa straight out of South Africa, the southernmost tip of Africa. Some have described this deeply satisfying chron as inspiring and motivational. For those frugal folk out there this strain is super long lasting so less smoking therefore less spending!
Traditionally grown outdoors this easy to grow, highly productive and extremely resilient strain hits hard to the brain but with an intriguing, consciously holistic high. While treating the body to a warm pleasant feeling the mind will be on a creative trek.
Known as one of the ‘c’ s in Malawis ‘three Cs’, this refers to their biggest exports namely ‘chambo’ which is fish, ‘chamba’ which is weed and ‘chombe’ which is tea. Hopefully one time in your life you will be able to smoke this musky spicy bud with hints of cinnamon and if you do expect complete mental clarity as yes I dare say it is yet another sativa out of Africa
This vigorous growing, well branched Kenyan sativa growing freely on the slopes of kilimanjaro boasts 18% THC which is seriously high for Marijuana flowers. Bursting with lemony citrus goodness, this trippy magic smoke will change your mood instantly for the better, that’s for sure.
This beautiful dagga is nick named the ‘Elephant Stomper’ and is utilized for its hyper effects. Many stoners report feeling excited, cerebral and focused.
One can only look back and reflect on how stunning and rich in resources the African continent is bursting with vibrancy and passion. No wonder the weed it produces shows such complexity.
Also explains why many travelers and ganja obsessed enthusiasts hunt for just the right phenotypes, trying to recreate what nature has done so perfectly.
What’s the deal with 420?
April 20th is an annual holiday for weed smokers around the world. From Cali to Amsterdam, DC to South Africa and everywhere in between, weed smokers have anointed this day as a celebration of cannabis culture.
But how did 420 start?
Word is that in 1971 5 friends from San Rafael High in California, Steve Capper, Dave Reddix, Jeffrey Noel, Larry Schwartz, and Mark Gravich — chose to get together at 4:20 p.m. because by that time, extracurricular activities were usually over. The friends used to blaze up at the Louis Pasteur statute on the grounds of their school engaging in an activity that at the time was strictly illegal, so they started to use “420” as code for weed.
Legend has it that one member of the group, Reddix, got a job working with Grateful Dead bassist Phil Lesh. Grateful Dead fans began to spread the word of the ritual by distributing flyers inviting people to smoke “420” on April 20 at 4:20 p.m. The magazine High Times printed a copy of the flyer and from there, it blew up around the world!