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Black History: Special Delivery!!

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February 2018

Jimmie Lee Jackson:  His Death Inspired The Selma To Montgomery March “Bloody Sunday”

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Jimmie lee jackson
Jimmie Lee Jackson (1938 – 1965)

Jimmie Lee Jackson (1938 – 1965) was born in Marion, Alabama. In February, 1965, Jackson was a 26 year old Vietnam veteran, a father, and the youngest deacon at his church.  He worked as a laborer.  Jackson was also an active supporter of voting rights.  He had been working with other activists to advocate for voting rights in Selma and Marion, Alabama.  When Dr. Martin Luther King arrived in Selma in 1965, Jackson had already attempted to register to vote several times.  Dr. King decided to bring the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) to Selma because he was concerned about the police brutality being experienced by non-violent black activists. He hoped to get the attention of national media outlets to the violence that was occurring.  He hoped this attention would put pressure on President Lyndon Johnson to pass voting rights legislation. Continue reading “Jimmie Lee Jackson:  His Death Inspired The Selma To Montgomery March “Bloody Sunday””

Joseph N. Jackson:  Inventor of A TV Remote Control

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JosephNJackson
Dr. Joseph N. Jackson

Joseph N. Jackson (1929 – ) holds 6 U.S. patents for telecommunications and fertility prediction inventions. Jackson’s first patent was for his contribution to a v-chip device that allowed users to block selected content on cable television. This type of technology is commonly used for parental controls. He also holds patents for TV remote control devices. Jackson was not the first person to invent the remote control.  The first TV remote controls introduced in the U.S. were created by Zenith in 1950.  The remote was called, “Lazy Bones”.  However it was not wireless.  It was attached to the TV by a long cord.  Consumers didn’t like it because it was a frequent trip hazard.   Development of a remote control patent goes back much further than 1950.   The first wireless remote control device, the “Flash-Matic” was developed in 1955 by Zenith engineer, Eugene Polley.  Continue reading “Joseph N. Jackson:  Inventor of A TV Remote Control”

Matthew Cherry – Black Inventor

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ma cherry

Inventor Matthew Cherry is known for his patent and invention of the velocipede (forerunner to todays tricycle and bicycle) in 1886 and a street car fender in 1888. Little is known about the life of this inventor.

Horace Pippin:  African American Depression Era Artist

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Horace-Pippin- Self Portrait-2
Horace Pippin – Self Portrait

Horace Pippin (1888 – 1946) was born in West Chester, Pennsylvania. As a small child, he moved with his family to Goshen, New York. Born just 23 years after emancipation and the civil war, his grandparents were enslaved. His parents were domestic workers. Pippin was a self taught artist whose only formal training was a few art classes that he took as an adult. Early in life, he developed a love for art and creative expression. In fact, Pippin would “illustrate” his spelling words. The family did not have the financial resources to buy art supplies. When he was 10 years old, Pippin won a box of crayons as part of an art contest. Though he was limited in terms of having art materials, his talent was recognized within his community. Due to his mother’s poor health, he left school at age 15 to work and support his family. He worked various jobs including, being employed on a farm, working as a hotel porter, and in a factory.

Continue reading “Horace Pippin:  African American Depression Era Artist”

Dr. Betty Wright Harris:  African American Chemist And Inventor Who Patented Test To Detect Explosives

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Dr. Betty Wright Harris (1940 – )

Dr. Betty Wright Harris (1940 – ) was born in Monroe, Louisiana. She was the 7th of 12 children. Her parents were farmers. Her mother was also a school teacher who encouraged her children to pursue education. Harris started college at the age of 16. In 1961, She received a bachelor of science degree in chemistry with a minor in Mathematics from Southern University, a historically black college. In 1963, she earned her master of science degree in chemistry from Atlanta University, also a historically black college. She would then teach chemistry and math at the college level for ten years. During this time she worked at Mississippi Valley State University as well as Southern University.

She briefly worked for IBM before taking a position at Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL). Harris obtained her Ph.D from New Mexico State University. It was at LANL that she began to specialize in the study of explosives and nuclear weapons. She developed an expertise in the clean up of environmental hazards as well as environmental restoration. She is recognized as a leading expert in these areas. In 1986 she received a patent for a “sensitive spot test” that she created to detect the presence of 1,3,5-triamino-2,4,6 trinitrobeneze (TATB). This invention made it possible for the military as well as private industry to identify the presence of explosive materials. The Department of Homeland Security also utilizes the spot test to screen for nitroaromatic explosives.

Continue reading “Dr. Betty Wright Harris:  African American Chemist And Inventor Who Patented Test To Detect Explosives”

Dr. Euphemia Lofton Haynes – 1st African American Female Ph.D. In Mathematics

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Dr. Euphemia Lofton Haynes (1890 – 1980)

Euphemia Lofton Haynes (1890-1980) was born in Washington, DC.  She received her BA from Smith College and an MA in education from University of Chicago in 1930.  She obtained her Ph.D in Mathematics from Catholic University in 1943.  Her father was Dr. William S. Lofton, a well respected African American dentist.  He also supported many charities and African American businesses financially.  Her mother, Lavinia Day Lofton was very active in the Catholic Church.  Lavinia Lofton held a BA in mathematics and a minor in psychology.

Euphemia married Harold Appo Haynes in 1917.  Harold Haynes was a principal and then deputy superintendent in charge of the “colored” schools in Washington DC.  Dr. Euphemia Haynes taught in the Washington DC’s public schools for forty-seven years.  She was the first female chair of the DC Board of Education and played an integral role in integration of DC schools. She was also a vocal opponent of the “track system” which disproportionately impacted African American students in a negative way.  Under the track system, students were placed in either academic or vocational programs based on their educational achievement early in their education. There was no recourse available to change the “track” if a student’s academic achievement improved or their interests changed. Continue reading “Dr. Euphemia Lofton Haynes – 1st African American Female Ph.D. In Mathematics”

Charles Haley: 1st Five Time Super Bowl Champion

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Charles Haley is the first five-time super bowl champion. He is one of only two such players to do so. The other player to do so is Tom Brady. Haley won two Super Bowls championships with the 49ers and three with the Cowboys. He was a defensive starter in all five championship games.

Haley was inducted into the Pro Football Hall Of Fame in 2015.

Sources:

http://www.wbur.org/onlyagame/2016/11/25/charles-haley-fear-no-evil-book

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.ninersnation.com/platform/amp/2017/6/10/15775010/tom-brady-five-super-bowl-rings-charles-haley

We Must Tell Our Children……

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Let’s inspire and encourage our children! They shall be GREAT!
“We must tell our children,
Resilience is your superpower. Brilliance is hardwired in your DNA! Your “CAN-DO” is stronger than any “CAN-NOT” the world may try to impose on you. You are the answer to the prayers of your ancestors. Your hands are gifted. You shall do great things.”

-Enid Gaddis, Black Mail

The National Association of Colored Women: Activists for Racial Justice

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NACW

Established in July 1896, the National Association of Colored Women was founded by Josephine St. Pierre Ruffin after Southern journalist, James Jacks called African American women, “prostitutes”, “thieves and liars”.  Ruffin believed the best way to halt racial and sexist attacks on women was by initiating social and political activism.  Her goal was to create positive images of African American women and leverage their collective strength to fight injustice. Ruffin is quoted as saying, “Too long have we been silent under the unjust and unholy charges; we cannot expect to have them removed until we disprove them through ourselves.”

She united with other African American women who also had the same goal.  NACW was the result of merging several African American women’s clubs including the National League of Colored Women and the National Federation of Afro American Women to form NACW as the first African American National Organization.  The organization underwent a name change in 1957, becoming the National Association of Colored Women’s Clubs (NACWC).

NACW counted a number of influential women as part of it’s membership including:  Mary Church Terrell, Ida B. Wells Barnett, Mary McLeod Bethune, Frances Ellen Watkins Harper, and Margaret Murray Washington.   NACW’s national motto is, “Lifting As We Climb.”  The organization’s nine objectives include:

To work for the economic, moral, religious and social welfare of women and youth

  • To protect the rights of women and youth
  • To raise the standard and quality of life in home and family
  • To secure and use our influence for the enforcement of civil and political rights for African Americans and all citizens
  • To promote the education of women, youth and young adults through scholarship funds available through our region, state and local club levels including the NACWC’s
  • Hallie Q. Brown Scholarship Fund and the Dr. Patricia Fletcher Scholarship Funds.
  • Foster mentorship through the NACWC National Association of Youth Clubs (NAYC) and the NACWC Grandparents Academy Program
  • To obtain for women of color, opportunities for reaching the highest levels in all fields of human endeavor.
  • To promote understanding between the races so that justice and good will may prevail among all people.

 

. NACWC remains active with 30+ chapters across the U.S.

Sources:

http://nacwc.org/history

http://www.blackpast.org/aah/national-association-colored-women-s-clubs-inc-1896

 

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