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February 2016

Dovey Johnson Roundtree: A True Drum Major For Justice

Black History: Special Delivery!!

 

dovey johnson roundtree
Dovey Johnson-Roundtree

 Dovey Johnson Roundtree (1914 – ) was a true unsung hero and pioneer. Roundtree’s legal victories paved the way for desegregation of transportation in the U.S. Roundtree is a native of Charlotte, NC and a graduate of Spelman College. Her grandmother was a close friend of Mary Mcleoad Bethune. Bethune recruited Roundtree to assist her in her work with First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt in forming the Women’s Army Auxiliary Corp during World War II. Roundtree recruited black women all over the south to the Women’s Army Auxiliary Corp (WAAC). Continue reading “Dovey Johnson Roundtree: A True Drum Major For Justice”

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Roy L. Clay: The Godfather of Silicon Valley

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Known as the “Godfather of Silicon Valley”, Roy Clay, Sr. (1929 -) was born in Kinloch, Missouri. He graduated from St. Louis University, majoring in mathematics. One of the first jobs he sought after graduation was at McDonnell Aircraft. His resume did not reveal that he was black. He was called for an interview. When he arrived, he was told that there were no jobs for “professional negroes”.He learned to do computer coding in 1956. Bill Gates was just a baby. There were no college level computer programming or computer science classes. At that time, computers were highly unstable and most could not even be counted on to function for a full day without failing. Clay joined Hewlett-Packard Computers (HP) in 1965 to help build its first computer by its co-founder David Packard. Clay’s professional profile had garnered his attention due to his work on the Manhattan Project.

Click the link below to continue reading!  There is also an awesome video of an interview with Roy Clay, Sr.

Source: Roy L. Clay: The Godfather of Silicon Valley

Roy L. Clay: The Godfather of Silicon Valley

Black History:  Special Delivery!!

 

Known as the “Godfather of Silicon Valley”, Roy Clay, Sr. (1929 -) was born in Kinloch, Missouri. He graduated from St. Louis University, majoring in mathematics. One of the first jobs he sought after graduation was at McDonnell Aircraft. His resume did not reveal that he was black. He was called for an interview. When he arrived, he was told that there were no jobs for “professional negroes”.

He learned to do computer coding in 1956. Bill Gates was just a baby. There were no college level computer programming or computer science classes. At that time, computers were highly unstable and most could not even be counted on to function for a full day without failing. Clay joined Hewlett-Packard Computers (HP) in 1965 to help build its first computer by its co-founder David Packard. Clay’s professional profile had garnered his attention due to his work on the Manhattan Project.

Continue reading “Roy L. Clay: The Godfather of Silicon Valley”

Lift Every Voice and Sing: The Black National Anthem

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james weldon johnson
James Weldon Johnson (1871-1938) wrote “Lift Every Voice and Sing” in 1900 as a poem. It was later set to music by his brother Rosamond Johnson.

In 1900, “Lift Every Voice And Sing”, was written by James Weldon Johnson (1871-1938), a high school principal in Jacksonville, FL. Johnson was an educator, lawyer, diplomat, writer, and civil rights activist. He was a major contributor to the Harlem Renaissance. Johnson attended Atlanta University. Upon graduation, he was the first African American to pass the Florida Bar Exam. Johnson eventually became a grammar school principal.
Continue reading “Lift Every Voice and Sing: The Black National Anthem”

Dr. Harold Freeman: Fighting Cancer Related Healthcare Disparities

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harold freeman
Dr. Harold P. Freeman

 

Dr. Harold Freeman (1933 – ) is a national expert when it comes to poverty and cancer. Born in Washington DC, Freeman attended Catholic University and then went to medical school at Howard University. Freeman began his medical career at Harlem Hospital in 1967. He was alarmed to discover that many of his patients suffered with advanced stages of cancer. Freeman made it his mission to determine why his primarily African American patients experienced such a high mortality rate. His goal was to reduce the health disparities for cancer patients that were associated with race and income. Continue reading “Dr. Harold Freeman: Fighting Cancer Related Healthcare Disparities”

Freedom’s Journal: The 1st African American Owned & Operated Newspaper

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freedoms journal 

Freedom’s Journal was the first African American owned and operated newspaper in the United States. It was a 4 column publication that was printed, weekly on Fridays. The publication was started by John Russwurm and Samuel Cornish in 1827 in New York City. The paper featured foreign and domestic news, editorials, biographies, births, deaths and advertisements from the local community. The paper openly decried the ills of slavery, discrimination and other issues of concern within the African American community. The publication was strategic in its efforts to combat the negative stereotypes of blacks published in white-owned newspapers which openly supported slavery and mistreatment of blacks. 
Continue reading “Freedom’s Journal: The 1st African American Owned & Operated Newspaper”

The African American Negro Academy

 Black History:  Special Delivery!!

american_negro_academy
Members of American Negro Academy

The American Negro Academy (ANA) was founded in Washington DC in 1897.  It was a society of black intellectuals committed to promoting, education, arts, and science among African Americans. The organization was founded by Alexander Crummell, a well know literary and religious figure. The ANA had five primary objectives:  defense of the Negro against vicious assaults, publication of scholarly works, fostering higher education among negroes, formulation of intellectual taste, and the promotion of literature, science and art.  It was the first organization of its kind in the United States to convene black artists and scholars from across the globe. Continue reading “The African American Negro Academy”

Dr. Levi Watkins, Jr.: Performed The 1st Implantation of An Automatic Heart Defibrillator

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levi watkins jr
Dr. Levi Watkins, Jr.

In 1980, Dr. Levi Watkins, Jr. (1944-2015) performed the first implantation of an automatic defibrillator in a human heart. Watkins was also a professor of cardiac surgery and an associate dean at John Hopkins School of Medicine in Baltimore Maryland. Dr. Watkins was born in Parson, Kansas. He grew up in Montgomery, AL and became good friends with civil rights leader, Dr. Ralph Abernathy. He also met Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., who, at the time had just started preaching at Dexter Avenue Baptist Church. Watkins was inspired by Dr. King and also became involved in the civil rights movement, serving as a volunteer driver transporting church members who were participating in the Montgomery Bus Boycott in 1956. Continue reading “Dr. Levi Watkins, Jr.: Performed The 1st Implantation of An Automatic Heart Defibrillator”

Rev. Daniel J. Jenkins: Founder of Jenkins Orphanage & Jenkins Orphanage Band

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Daniel Jenkins
Daniel Jenkins, Founder of Jenkins Orphanage (now Jenkins Institute)

Jenkins Institute, originally chartered as, “Jenkins Orphanage” was founded on December 16, 1891 by Pastor Daniel J. Jenkins. It received its official charter from the State of South Carolina in 1892. Its mission was to provide, “a safe, secure, loving home environment for orphans and destitute boys and girls in need”. Jenkins was pastor of a small African American church. He also worked as a labourer. On a cold December day in 1891, Rev. Jenkins was working, hauling timber, when he encountered 4 young boys. They were huddled in a railroad car and had been abandoned by their parents. All of the boys were under the age of 12. The plight of the boys touched Jenkins, as he was also orphaned as a child. Born a slave, he too, was orphaned at a young age and turned off his plantation and left to fend for himself. He then went from farm to farm working for room and board. Jenkins brought the boys home to his wife, Lena, and provided them with food and beds. Though Jenkins and his wife had children of their own and not much money; they did not hesitate to help the young boys who were in need. Their act of kindness to these 4 boys would start a life long journey of helping children. Continue reading “Rev. Daniel J. Jenkins: Founder of Jenkins Orphanage & Jenkins Orphanage Band”

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