10 incredible black women you should know about

Source: https://www.cnn.com/2019/02/23/us/african-american-women-in-history/index.html

"Being dragged off that bus was worth it just to see Barack Obama become president," said Claudette Colvin, who before Rosa Parks was arrested for keeping her bus seat in Montgomery, Alabama.

“Being dragged off that bus was worth it just to see Barack Obama become president,” said Claudette Colvin, who before Rosa Parks was arrested for keeping her bus seat in Montgomery, Alabama.

Black history is American history.

It’s easy to say. But while most grade school teachers agree that the experience and contributions of African-Americans are essential to understanding the nation’s past, only about 9% of total class time — about one or two lessons — gets devoted to it, a 2015 study by the National Council for the Social Studies found.
 
Part of why, the study found, is that teachers often lack the confidence to teach black history and aren’t sure “how and what content should be delivered.”
 
Certainly worthy are these trailblazers, who excelled in fields that, until they made their mark, had been off-limits to black women.
 

The first published poet

Phillis Wheatley, the first published African-American woman poet, is shown in an engraved portrait.

Phillis Wheatley, the first published African-American woman poet, is shown in an engraved portrait.
Phillis Wheatley was the first African-American poet to publish a book.
Born in 1753, she was brought to New England from West Africa as a slave when she was nearly 8 years old.
The Wheatley family purchased and named the young girl, and after discovering her passion for writing (they caught her writing with chalk on a wall), tutored her in reading and writing.
She studied English literature, Latin, Greek and The Bible. With the family’s help, Phillis Wheatley traveled to London in 1773 and published her first poems. Soon after, when she returned to America, she was granted her freedom.
 

The first college graduate

Mary Jane Patterson made history when she graduated in 1862 from Oberlin College.

Mary Jane Patterson made history when she graduated in 1862 from Oberlin College.
Mary Jane Patterson was 16 years old when her family, among others, moved to Ohio in hopes of sending their children to college. The daughter of a master mason, Patterson became the first black woman to graduate from an established American college, Oberlin College.
Three years after her completing her studies in 1862, Patterson was appointed a teacher assistant in the Female Department of the Institute of Colored Youth in Philadelphia, according to the African American Registry.
She later taught at the Preparatory High School for Colored Youth, renamed Dunbar High School, serving as the school’s first black principal from 1871 to 1874.
 

The first nurse

Mary Eliza Mahoney is recognized as the first black nurse in the United States.

Mary Eliza Mahoney is recognized as the first black nurse in the United States.
Mary Eliza Mahoney, born in 1845, had been a cook, a janitor and a washerwoman before she began working at the New England Hospital for Women and Children, according to Jacksonville University.
When she was 33, she entered the hospital’s 16-month nursing program and earned her certification.
In a 40-year career, Mahoney directed the Howard Orphan Asylum in Long Island, New York, and was a founding member of the group that became the American Nurses Association.
After retirement, Mahoney continued to fight for minority rights and in 1920 became one of the first women to register to vote in Boston.
 

The first bank president

Maggie Lena Walker broke race and gender barriers as the first woman to establish and serve as president of a US bank.

Maggie Lena Walker broke race and gender barriers as the first woman to establish and serve as president of a US bank.
Maggie Lena Mitchell, the daughter of a former slave, went to public schools in Richmond, Virginia, became a teacher and established a newspaper before founding the St. Luke Penny Savings bank in 1903, according to the National Park Service.
In chartering the bank and serving as its first president, Mitchell broke gender and racial barriers.
She later she served as board chairwoman when the bank merged with two other Richmond banks, the park service reports. The resulting entity until 2009 was recognized as the nation’s oldest continually African-American-operated bank.
 

The first to refuse to give up her seat

Before Rosa Parks, Claudette Colvin, then 15, was arrested for not giving up her bus seat to a white person in Montgomery, Alabama.

Before Rosa Parks, Claudette Colvin, then 15, was arrested for not giving up her bus seat to a white person in Montgomery, Alabama.
Claudette Colvin broke ground nearly 10 months before Rosa Parks.
In March 1955, Colvin, then just 15 years old, was arrested for violating an ordinance in Montgomery, Alabama, that required segregation on city buses, according to a Stanford University entry. Colvin went to jail without a chance to call her family, a University of Idaho researcher wrote.
Colvin and other women challenged the law in court. But black civil rights leaders, pointing to circumstances in Colvin’s personal life, thought Parks would make a better icon for the movement.
“Being dragged off that bus was worth it just to see Barack Obama become president,” Colvin said in the 2017 book “Still I Rise.” “So many others gave their lives and didn’t get to see it, and I thank God for letting me see it.”
 

The first White House correspondent

Alice Dunnigan made history in 1947 as the first black woman to cover the White House.

Alice Dunnigan made history in 1947 as the first black woman to cover the White House.
Alice Dunnigan was mostly ignored during White House news conferences — until John F. Kennedy became President. That’s when Jet Magazine, in 1961, ran the headline, “Kennedy In, Negro Reporter Gets First Answer in Two Years,” according to The Poynter Institute, a journalism school and think tank.
Dunnigan, born in 1906 in rural Kentucky, was the daughter of a tenant farmer and a laundress. She began penning columns at just 13 years old.
She graduated from Kentucky State University and taught for 18 years before moving to Washington. In 1947, she became chief of the Associated Negro Press and the first African-American woman accredited to cover the White House, according to the Kentucky Commission on Women Foundation.
 

The fastest in the world

Track star Wilma Rudolph, 20, lunges across the finish line at the 1960 Summer Olympics in Rome.

Track star Wilma Rudolph, 20, lunges across the finish line at the 1960 Summer Olympics in Rome.
Wilma Rudolph was dubbed “the fastest woman in the world” and in 1960 became the first American woman to win three gold medals in track and field at the same Olympic Games, according to the National Women’s History Museum.
Rudolph also championed civil rights, refusing to attend a segregated homecoming parade in her honor.
Rudolph later earned a degree from Tennessee State University and was inducted into the US Olympic Hall of Fame.
 

The first Nobel Peace Prize winner

Kenyan environmental and political activist Wangari Maathai was the first African woman to receive the Nobel Peace Prize. She earned her bachelor's and master's degrees in the United States.

Kenyan environmental and political activist Wangari Maathai was the first African woman to receive the Nobel Peace Prize. She earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in the United States.
Kenyan ecologist Wangari Maathai became the first black woman to win the Nobel Peace Prize.
An outspoken environmentalist, Maathai was honored in 2004 for standing at the “front of the fight to promote ecologically viable social, economic and cultural development in Kenya and in Africa,” according to the African American Registry.
Maathai earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees at American universities before completing her doctorate and founded the Green Belt Movement, the largest tree-planting campaign in Africa. She has been recognized as Time Magazine’s “Hero of the Planet.”
 

The first in space

Mae Jemison is an engineer, physician and NASA astronaut. She became the first African-American woman to travel into space in 1992.

Mae Jemison is an engineer, physician and NASA astronaut. She became the first African-American woman to travel into space in 1992.
Mae Jemison began studying at Stanford University when she was just 16 years old. She earned a degree in chemical engineering and in 1981 a doctorate in medicine from Cornell University.
Jemison was chosen for NASA’s astronaut program in 1987 and became the first black woman to travel in space in 1992 after launching with the Space Shuttle Endeavour crew.
Afraid of heights, she nevertheless logged 190 hours, 30 minutes, 23 seconds in space, NASA said.
 

The first trans politician

Andrea Jenkins hugs a supporter in 2017, upon winning a Minneapolis City Council seat.

Andrea Jenkins hugs a supporter in 2017, upon winning a Minneapolis City Council seat.
Andrea Jenkins in 2017 became the first openly transgender person of color elected to public office in the United States.
By the time voters chose her to serve on the Minneapolis City Council, she’d notched more than 25 years of public service experience, working as a policy aid, nonprofit director and employment specialist.
Jenkins campaigned on issues including reducing police violence, combating climate change, ending voter suppression and making available more affordable housing. She is a writer, performance artist, poet and transgender activist.
 

Why We Celebrate Black History Month—And What We Still Need To Learn

Source: Why We Celebrate Black History Month—And What We Still Need To Learn

Statement by NOW President Toni Van Pelt and Christian Nunes, Chairwoman of the Racial Justice Committee

02.01.2019
WASHINGTON – Every February, we observe Black History Month as a way of celebrating, honoring and absorbing the lessons of the African Americans who have contributed so much to our culture, our communities and our nation. This year, we are witnessing a transformation in our politics, with more women of color running for office, getting elected and making a difference than ever before.While Donald Trump and his overwhelmingly white, male Administration wage a mean-spirited, discriminatory and racially divisive campaign to undermine civil rights protections, we need to remember the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Dr. King said, “We are now faced with the fact that tomorrow is today. We are confronted with the fierce urgency of now. In this unfolding conundrum of life and history, there ‘is’ such a thing as being too late. This is no time for apathy or complacency. This is a time for vigorous and positive action.”

Black History Month reminds us of the “fierce urgency of now.”  That’s always been the watchword of the National Organization for Women. As part of NOW’s core principles, we see human rights as indivisible, and we will continue to stand in solidarity and follow the lead of African Americans across the country, working together to overcome the barriers to justice and equality that have been imposed by racism.

Contact

NOW Press , press@now.org , 202-628-8669
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Beyoncé’s Dad and Quincy Jones Highlight America’s Colorism Problem

Even as Zendaya, Yara Shihidi, and Amandla Stenberg become voices for a new generation, there is concern that only a certain ‘type’ of black girl gets the spotlight.

Source: Beyoncé’s Dad and Quincy Jones Highlight America’s Colorism Problem

Talk will focus on Letitia Carson, an Oregon pioneer

Central Oregon Coast NOW Meeting!  Business meeting will follow talk.

Jan Meranda and Dr. Bob Zybach will give a presentation on Letitia Carson on Tuesday, Feb. 28, at 6 p.m. at the Newport High School Boone Center.

This program is cosponsored by The Newport Public Library Foundation and the Central Oregon Coast NOW Foundation in recognition of Black History Month.  

Letitia Carson, a former slave, was one of the first black women to cross the Oregon Trail in 1845, along with her white husband, David. Their daughter, Martha, was born along the way, and their son, Adam, came several years later. When David Carson died, Letitia and her children were left out of his estate settlement, and their land was taken from her by Greenberry Smith, a wealthy white landowner.  

Letitia’s story is signifi cant because she fought for years to regain her property and eventually won, becoming the first black woman to make a successful homestead claim in the Pacifi c Northwest.  

Zybach is a forest scientist with a Ph.D. in environmental sciences. He and Meranda, a writer and genealogist from Salem, have collaborated on researching Letitia Carson’s history for nearly 30 years.  

Jane Kirkpatrick drew on their research to write her 2014 novel, “A Light in the Wilderness,” and Meranda recently published the first in her series of biographies on Carson, “Freedom’s Light: The Letitia Carson Story Begins.” Zybach’s article, “Strangely Absent from History: Carson vs. Smith, 1852-1857,” appeared in a recent issue of The Oregon State Bar Bulletin.  

This program is free and open to the public. Copies of Meranda’s book will be available for purchase and signing. For more information, go online at www.newportlibrary.org or call 541-265-2153.

Jan Meranda stands at the grave of Letitia Carson, who is the subject of a presentation on Tuesday, Feb. 28, at 6 p.m. at the Newport High School Boone Center.This event is in recognition of Black History Month.

Dr. Bob Zybach, along with Jan Meranda, will give a presentation on Letitia Carson, a former slave and one of the fi rst black women to cross the Oregon Trail in 1845. The talk is being held in recognition of Black History Month. (Courtesy photos)

Newport News Times, February 22, 2017, B3

 

Black History Month 2016: 15 Interesting Facts About Famous African-Americans And The February Celebration

BY @SUPERJULIA ON 01/31/16 AT 8:09 AM

Are you ready to learn? Black History Month begins in the U.S. Monday, and the observance, celebrating African-Americans’ achievements and contributions to the country, runs throughout February. Although some chapters of the national story are famous — such as the one centered on Jackie Robinson’s debut as the first black Major League Baseball player — others are less well-known.

Here are 15 bits of information you should know about Black History Month.

1. Black History Month started in 1926. The observance was proposed by Carter Godwin Woodson, an author and historian, as Negro History Week. It expanded in the 1970s.

2. The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People was founded in 1909. It’s now considered “the nation’s oldest, largest and most widely recognized grassroots-based civil-rights organization,” according to its website.

3. The U.S. isn’t the only country to celebrate Black History Month. Canada also observes it in February, while the U.K. recognizes it in October.

4. There are more than 45 million African-Americans living in the U.S.,according to Census Bureau data. That’s about 15 percent of the nation’s population.

5. In 2013, New York had the most African-American residents, with 3.7 million.

6. There are more than 2 million black veterans.

7. By 2060, the black population is forecast to make up almost 18 percent of the U.S. population.

8. In 2005, actor Morgan Freeman said Black History Month was “ridiculous” because “black history is American history.” More than 10 years later, actress Stacey Dash expressed a similar opinion.

9. The first black birth on record in what would become the U.S. happened in St. Augustine, Florida, in 1606. And the first African-American birth occurred in 1624, according to the African American Registry.

10. The first black NBA player was Earl Lloyd in 1950. He played for the Washington Capitols and was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame more than half a century later, in 2003.

11. African-Americans were responsible for the invention of 3D graphics, blood banks, gas masks, potato chips and Super Soaker water guns, according to HowStuffWorks and the Atlanta Black Star.

12. One out of every four cowboys in the 1800s was black, CNN reported.

13. The 114th Congress, the current one, is the most diverse ever. Forty-six House and Senate members are black, according to the Pew Research Center.

14. The first black U.S. senator was Hiram Revels in 1870. The day he officially joined Congress, “visitors in the Senate galleries burst into applause as … [he] entered the chamber to take his oath of office,” according to the Senate website.

15. President Barack Obama proclaimed February to be Black History Month Friday, writing that as the nation observes it, “we recognize these champions of justice and the sacrifices they made to bring us to this point, we honor the contributions of African-Americans since our country’s beginning, and we recommit to reaching for a day when no person is judged by anything but the content of their character.”

http://www.ibtimes.com/black-history-month-2016-15-interesting-facts-about-famous-african-americans-february-2284855