February 15, 2012

Cody wins black history award

Navajo recording artist and anti-domestic violence advocate wins Initiative Radio Award

Cody named National Treasure and Icon of Cultural Unity for proudly embracing both her rich culturesEvery February "Initiative Radio with Angela McKenzie" observes Black History Month, with the month-long "Salute to Black History Makers" series and the presentation of the Initiative Radio Black History Makers Award to a noteworthy person whose life journey represents black history in the making.

This year, Radmilla Cody takes home the honor for having survived harsh racial discrimination since early childhood, to become a leading voice for the Navajo Nation and for women who are dealing with domestic violence on Navajo and for raising awareness of the existence of Black Native Indians in our society. In 1997 Cody became the 46th Miss Navajo Nation and was the first and is thus far the only Miss Navajo Nation who is part black. Winning the crown was a bittersweet victory for Cody because Navajo purists believed that being part black disqualified her from being a legitimate ambassador for the Navajo people--regardless of the fact that Navajo is her native tongue and she is exceptionally skilled in the traditional practices of her tribe.
Comment:  For more on Radmilla Cody, see Black/Red: Related Through History and Documentary About Hearing Radmilla.

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