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Archive for the ‘Black History Month’ Category

Remembering the Women During Black History Month

Posted by YWM on February 14, 2012

Black Women In the Military

 Revolutionary War

Phillis Wheatley

Not only did African-American females serve as spies during the Revolutionary War, they also found innovative ways to assist. According to Lucy Terry, Black women disguised themselves as men fighting side by side against the British. Phillis Wheatley literate Black woman, used her writing ability to praise and express appreciation for General George Washington during the Revolutionary War. He showed his appreciation by inviting her to visit him at his headquarters in February of 1776.

War of 1812

The War of 1812 was basically a naval war. Female assistance was limited to making bandages and tending the sick and wounded sailors. Additionally, Black women were able to take care of the farms so that the White men could leave their homes and families and go off to war knowing things would run smoothly.

Civil War

Harriet Tubman

While we know Harriet Tubman for her leadership and bravery in the fight against slavery, she also served as a Union spy, an unpaid soldier, a volunteer nurse, and a freedom fighter.

Another former slave, Susan King Taylor, became famous for her volunteer service during the Civil War. Taylor met Clara Barton, founder of the American Red Cross, and volunteered as a nurse and launderer for Black Civil War troops while traveling with her husband’s unit. She formed the Boston Branch of the Women’s Relief Corps after the war. Her 1902 memoir is the only written record of Black Civil War volunteer nurses.

Spanish-American War

Black American females again played the role of nurse. Over 75 percent of all deaths during the Spanish-American War resulted from typhoid and yellow fever. Black female volunteer nurses were told that they were immune to the diseases because their skin was darker and thicker. As a result became casualties of the disease when they returned home. Segreagation meant that Whites never knew of the high casualty rate.

World War I

The National Association of Colored Graduate Nurses founded in 1909, provided leadership and direction for the women’s abilities and service. In 1917, the co-founder of the Red Cross urged Black nurses to enroll in the American Red Cross. Despite not allowed to join until November 1918, two months before World War I ended African-American women continued making bandages, taking over jobs that men held so they could be soldiers, working in hospitals and troop centers, and serving in other relief organizations.

World War II

It was not until World War II (1942) that any women were officially allowed to serve in the armed forces in great numbers. The Army had the Women’s Army Corps (WAC); the Navy had Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service (WAVES); and the Coast Guard had the SPARS. The majority of African-American women served in the WAC. They served in segregated units, as did the African-American men. Out of the 271,000 women serving during this period, only 4,000 were African-American women.

Desert Storm

African-American women served with distinction during Operation Desert Storm, as officers, noncommissioned officers, and enlisted soldiers. Of the 35,000 females who went to Desert Storm, an estimated 40 percent of them were African-Americans.

LT Phoebe Jeter, who headed an all-male platoon, ordered 13 Patriots fired (anti-missile missiles), destroying at least two Scuds (Iraqi surface-to-surface missiles). Another African-American woman, CPT Cynthia Mosely, commanded Alpha Company, 24th Support Battalion Forward, 24th Infantry Division (Mechanized), a 100-person unit that supplied everything from fuel to water to ammunition. Her unit resupplied fuel for all of the forward brigades because it was closest to the front lines.

Alls of these women paved paved the way for those serving today.  In 1993, Black women comprised 33 percent of Army female recruits, 22 percent of Navy female recruits, 17 percent of Marine Corps female recruits and 18 percent of Air Force female recruits. Today 30.3 percent of the military is African-American women; approximately 33.6 percent serve as enlisted, and 13.1 percent serve as commissioned and warrant officers.

Check back for more information on Black women in the military during Black History Month

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Remembering the Women During Black History Month

Posted by sherrysaunders on February 10, 2012

This Day in History

1927 – Opera singer (Mary) Leontyne Price was born in Laurel, Mississippi. She rose to international acclaim in the 1950s and 1960s, and was one of the first African Americans to become a leading artist at the Metropolitan Opera

After studying at Wilberforve College (now Central State University) in Ohio, she went to the Juilliard School of Music in New York. Leontyne Price scored a major success when, in 1952, she appeared as Bess in Porgy and Bess in Dallas, Chicago, Pittsburgh, and Washington, D.C. The following year, Porgy and Bess played in London, Paris, Vienna, Berlin, and New York.

She was the first Black to sing opera on television. She made her La Scala debut as Aïda in May of 1960.  She debuted at the old Metropolitan Opera House as Leonora in Il Trovatore in January 1961.

The Emmy award winning singer continued to appear in recitals and concerts until early-2000.  During her illustrious career she was awarded the Presidential Medial of Freedom and the NAACP’s Spingarn Medal.

Roberta Flack

1937- Singer, songwriter Roberta Flack was born in North Carolina, and grew up in Virginia.  She is a noted American singer, songwriter, and musician, who despite being classically trained, is know for singing jazz, soul, R&B, and folk music. Flack is best known for her  #1 singles including “The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face“, “Killing Me Softly with His Song” and “Feel Like Makin’ Love“, as well as “Where Is the Love” and “The Closer I Get to You“, two of her many duets with Donny Hathaway. “The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face” won the 1973 Grammy Record of the Year and “Killing Me Softly with His Song” won the same award at the Grammy Awards of 1974. She and U2 are the only artists to win the award in consecutive years.

During her early teens, Flack so excelled at classical piano that Howard University awarded her a full music scholarship at the age of 15. She eventually changed her major from piano to voice and became an assistant conductor of the university choir. Flack became the first African-American student teacher at an all-Caucasian school near Chevy Chase, Maryland. She graduated from Howard University at 19 and began graduate studies in music.  She was discovered singing at a club on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC.

In 1999, Flack’s name and star were placed on Hollywood’s Walk of Fame. That same year, she gave a concert tour in South Africa, including a performance attended by President Nelson Mandela.  She has new album coming out in 2012.

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Remembering the Women During Black History Month

Posted by sherrysaunders on February 8, 2012

This Day In History

Saluting a Misbehavin’ Woman

On February 8, 1986 Stanford University pre-med student Debi Thomas became the first African American to win the Women’s Singles at the U.S. National Figure Skating Championship competition.  In that same year she  was named Wide World of Sports’ Athlete of the Year. Two years later she added a second national title and won a bronze medal in the 1988 Olympics. She was inducted into the U.S. Figure Skating Hall of Fame in 2000.

After earning three world professional skating championships, Thomas graduated from Stanford in 1991 with a degree in engineering and from Northwestern University Medical School in 1997.

In June 2005, Thomas graduated from the Orthopaedic Residency Program at Charles R. Drew University in Los Angeles.  In July 2006, she began a one-year fellowship at the Dorr Arthritis Institute at Centinela Hospital in California, for sub-specialty training in adult reconstructive surgery. She currently works as an Orthopedic Surgeon.

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Remembering the Women During Black History Month

Posted by YWM on February 7, 2012

This Day In History

Saluting a Misbehavin’ Woman

Roy Wilkins, Autherine Lucy and Thurgood Marshall , 1956 Image Courtesy of the Library of Congress

Autherine Juanita Lucy was the first African American to integrate the University of Alabama.  She was also will also be remembered as the first black student in the history of desegregation to be suspended by a school after a riot of white students and community members protesting her attendance.  Despite her February 7, 1956 suspension and subsequent expulsion, which was overturned in April 1988, she earned her master’s degree in elementary education from the University of Alabama in 1992.

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It Happened This Week: Black History Month

Posted by sherrysaunders on February 22, 2011

Did you know? Here are some interesting facts to remember during Black History Month.
February 22

1832 The Female Anti Slavery Society of Salem was established.  Mary A. Battys was the first president.

1956 – In Montgomery, Alabama, 80 participants in the three-month-old bus boycott voluntarily gave themselves up for arrest after an ultimatum from white city leaders. Martin Luther King and Rosa Parks were among those arrested. Later in 1956, the U.S. Supreme Court mandated desegregation of the buses.

February 23

1868 – William Edward Burghardt Du Bois (W.E.B. Du Bois), educator and activist, is born in Great Barrington, Mass.

1965 – Constance Baker Motley elected Manhattan Borough president, the highest elective office held by an African American woman in a major American city.

1979 – Frank E. Peterson Jr. is named the general in the Marine Corps. He is the first African American to hold this post. He was also the first African-American Marine Corps aviator and the first African-American Marine Corps general. Peterson retired from the Marine Corps in 1988 after 38 years of service. “At the time of his retirement he was by date of aviator designation the senior ranking aviator in the U.S. Marine Corps and the United States Navy with respective titles of “Silver Hawk” and “Gray Eagle”. His date of designation as an aviator also precedes all other aviators in the U.S. Air Force and Army.

February 24

1864 – Rebecca Lee Crumpler becomes the first black woman to receive an M.D. degree. She graduated from the New England Female Medical College. Rebecca Lee Crumpler was born in 1833. She worked from 1852-1860 as a nurse in Massachusetts.

1999 Lauryn Hill, Hip-hop and R&B star won five Grammy awards, the most ever won by a woman.

February 25

1948 – Martin Luther King ordained as a Baptist minister.February 26

1971 – President Nixon met with members of the Congressional Black Caucus and appointed a White House panel to study a list of recommendations made by the group.

 

February 26

1869 – Fifteenth Amendment guaranteeing African Americans the right to vote sent to the states for ratification. It was ratified February 3, 1970

1920 – In 1920, Dr. Carter Godwin Woodson (1875-1950) founded “Associated Publishers.”

February 27

1872 Charlotte E. Ray, the first Black woman lawyer, graduated from Howard University.

1902 – Opera singer Marion Anderson was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. In 1939, Anderson was scheduled to perform at the Daughters of the American Revolution  concert hall. After the DAR refused to allow her to perform, she performed an outdoor concert on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C.

1942 Charlayne Hunter-Gault was born on this date.  In 1961, she and Hamilton Holmes integrated Georgia University.  Upon her graduation in 1963 she became the University’s first Black graduate.  She went onto become a nationally recognized and respected journalist.

1988 Ice skater Debie Thomas because the first Black American to win a medal (Bronze) at the Winter Olympics.

February 28

1776 George Washington wrote a letter to poet and slave, Phyllis Wheatley, inviting her to visit his Cambridge, MA headquarters.  She had earlier sent him a poem she had written in his honor.

1943 The play Porgy and Bess, Staring Todd Duncan and Anne Brown, opened on Broadway

1999 Venus and Serena Williams both won tennis tournaments on this day making it the first time in the Women’s Tennis Association’s history that sisters had won championships on the same day.  Venus won in Oklahoma City and Serena won in Paris.

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It Happened This Week: Black History Month

Posted by sherrysaunders on February 16, 2011

Did you know? Here are some interesting facts to remember during Black History Month

February 15

1848 – Sarah Roberts barred from white school in Boston. Her father, Benjamin Roberts, filed the first school integration suit on her behalf (Roberts vs. City of Boston).

February 16

1951 – New York City Council passed bill prohibiting racial discrimination in city-assisted housing developments

1923 – Bessie Smith makes her first recording, Down Hearted Blues which sold 800,000 copies for Columbia Records

 

 


February 17

1938 – Dr. Mary Frances Berry, the first woman to serve as a chancellor of a major research university, is born in Nashville, Tenn

February 18

1931 – Pulitzer Prize winner, Toni Morrison is born in Lorain, Ohio.

1688 – The historic “Germantown Protest” by Germantown, PA Quakers denounced slavery and the slave trade.

February 19

2002Vonetta Flowers became the first black gold medalist in the history of the Winter Olympic Games. She and partner Jull Brakken won the inagural women’s two-person bobsled event.

1919 – The Pan-African Congress, organized by W.E.B. Du Bois, held its first meeting, in Paris. There were fifty-seven delegates: sixteen from the United States and fourteen from Africa. Blaise Diagne of Senegal was elected president and Du Bois was named secretary.

February 20

1936 – Jazz singer, actress, Nancy Wilson born in Chillicothe, Ohio

1936: Barbara Jordan, the first African American woman elected to the House of Representatives, is born

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On This Date: Black History Month

Posted by sherrysaunders on February 8, 2011

Did you know? Here are some interesting facts to remember during Black History Month

February 8

1986 – Oprah Winfrey becomes the first African American woman to host a nationally syndicated talk show.

1986 – Pre-med student Debi Thomas became the first African American to win the Women’s Singles of the U.S. National Figure Skating Championship competition.

1968 – Three students were killed by officers during a demonstration on the campus of South Carolina State in Orangeburg, South Carolina. The students were protesting segregation at an Orangeburg bowling alley.

1944 – Harry S. McAlphin is the first African American to receive credentials to attend White House press conference.

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This Day in Our History

Posted by joyinhome on February 28, 2010

This post concludes YWM’s recognition of unique contributions to the history of the United States.

February 27

1942 – Journalist Charlayne Hunter was born this day in Due West, South Carolina.

1902 – Marian Anderson, world-renowned opera singer, is born in Philadelphia, PA.

1872Charlotte E. Ray graduates from Howard Law School. She is the first African American lawyer in the U.S.

1869 – Congress adopted the 15th constitutional amendment, making it illegal for the US or any single government to deny or abridge the right to vote “on account of race, color or previous condition of servitude.”

1833 – Maria W. Steward delivered one of the four speeches which confirmed her place in history as the first American-born woman to give public lectures. Stewards lectures focused on encouraging African-Americans to attain education, political rights, and public recognition for their achievements. Her speech on this day was titled “On African Rights and Liberty.”

February 28

1990 – Philip Emeagwali awarded the Gordon Bell Prize (computing’s Nobel Prize) for solving one of the twenty most difficult problems in the computing field. Emeagwali is also the creator of what is now known as the Internet.

1984 – Musician and entertainer Michael Jackson wins eight Grammy Awards. His album, “Thriller”, broke all sales records to-date, and remains one of the top-grossing albums of all time.

1932 – Richard Spikes invented/patented automatic gear shift.

1879 – Southern Blacks fled political and economic exploitation in “Exodus of 1879.” This Exodus continued for several years. One of the major leaders of the Exodus movement was a former enslaved African, Benjamin (“Pap”) Singleton.

1708 – Revolt of the enslaved in Newton, Long Island (N.Y.) and seven whites were killed. As a result, two Black enslved males and an enslved Native American were hanged, and a Black woman was burned alive.

Stay tuned for the YWM Women’s History Month series and recognition.

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This Day in Our History

Posted by joyinhome on February 26, 2010

Everyday this month, a little-known fact about history made on this date will be featured.

February 26

1964 – The Kentucky boxing champion known to all as Cassius Clay, changed his name to Muhammad Ali as he accepted Islam. “I believe in the religion of Islam. I believe in Allah and in peace…I’m not a Christian anymore.”

1933 – Godfrey Cambridge, actor and comedian is born in New York.

1928 – Singer Antoine Dominique “Fats” Domino is born.

1920 – In 1920, Dr. Carter Godwin Woodson (1875-1950) founded “Associated Publishers.”

1884 – Congressman James E. O’Hara of North Carolina is born.

1869 – Fifteenth Amendment guaranteeing African Americans the right to vote sent to the states for ratification.

Stay tuned for more factoids.

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This Day in Our History

Posted by joyinhome on February 24, 2010

Everyday this month, a little-known fact about history made on this date will be featured.

February 24

1966 – Elected leader and first president of Ghana, Kwame Nkrumah, ousted in military coup while he is away on a peace mission to Vietnam.

1940 – Former world heavyweight boxing champion Jimmy Ellis was born James Albert Ellis in Louisville, Kentucky. Ellis won the World Boxing Association title after beating Jerry Quarry in April 1968.

1864 – Rebecca Lee Crumpler becomes the first black woman to receive an M.D. degree. She graduated from the New England Female Medical College. Rebecca Lee Crumpler was born in 1833. She worked from 1852-1860 as a nurse in Massachusetts.

1811 – First Bishop of the AME Church, Daniel Payne, is born. He was one of the founders of Wilberforce University in Ohio. In 1863 he became its first president, and the first African-American president of a college in the United States.

Stay tuned for more factoids.

 

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