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Black History: Special Delivery!!

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February 2018

Matthew Cherry – Black Inventor

Black History: Special Delivery!!

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

 

George Branham III:  1st African American Bowler To Win A Major PBA Title

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George Branham, III (1962 – )

George Branham III (1962 – ) was the first African American to win the Professional Bowlers Association (PBA) title. Branham was born in Detroit, MI. His father, George Branham, Jr., taught him how bowl in 1968. The family relocated to San Fernando Valley, CA. After high school, Branham played on bowling leagues, and worked at bowling alleys to perfect his skills. He turned pro at age 23. His pro career started with eight consecutive tournament wins between 1985-1987. In 1986, he became the first African American to win a major PBA event.

Continue reading “George Branham III:  1st African American Bowler To Win A Major PBA Title”

1886 Carroll County Courthouse Massacre

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Carroll County Courthouse – Carroll County, MS

On March 17, 1886, in Carroll County, Mississippi, 23 people lost their lives in the “Carroll County Courthouse Massacre”. The circumstances leading up to the massacre occurred in January 1886 when two brothers Ed and Charley Brown dropped molasses on Robert Moore, a white man. The brothers transporting the molasses to a saloon. Ed and Charley were of Native American and African American ancestry. The situation was initially resolved without incident. Moore did mention the incident to a friend as well as Carollton attorney James Liddell. Liddell decided to take matters into his on hands.
Liddell challenged Ed and Charley, accusing them of dropping the molasses on Robert Moore intentionally. The men began to argue but the verbal altercation was broken up by bystanders before it became physical. Later in the day, Liddell heard that the Brown brothers had been speaking negatively about him, after which an argument ensued. The argument resulted in shots being fired. All 3 men were wounded. The Brown brothers pressed charges against Liddell for attempted murder. The white residents of the town were not happy that black men had decided to press charges against a white person.
On the day of the trial, March 17, 1886, over 50 white men armed with guns ran into the courtroom and began firing at the Brown brothers and other blacks in attendance. The Brown brothers were killed. Other blacks in the courtroom tried to escape by jumping out of second floor windows but were shot by armed white men outside of the courthouse. 23 blacks lost their lives during the massacre. No whites were injured. There were no arrests from the incident nor was anyone ever charged. Bullet holes on the courtroom walls were not covered until the courthouse renovation in the early 1990s. Governor Robert Lowry stated that the “riot” was initiated by the the “conduct of negroes”. News of the massacre received national press attention. However, there was no formal investigation of the incident. African American U.S. Senator Blanche K. Bruce requested federal action from President Grover Cleveland. The president denied his request. The massacre has received little attention and remains unsolved.

Sources:
http://www.blackpast.org/aah/carroll-county-courthouse-massacre-1886
http://www.mshistorynow.mdah.ms.gov/articles/381/the-carroll-county-courthouse-massacre-1886-a-cold-case-file

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