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NASA Mathematician Recieves Medal Of Freedom

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Katherine G. Johnson is African American mathematician and physicist. In 1969 she calculated the flight path for NASA’s historic Apollo space mission to the moon.  Employed by NASA for over 30 years, she retired from  in 1986.

Johnson’s love for math dates back to her childhood. She recalls that she loved to “count everything”.  A gifted student, she graduated from high school at age 14.

On November 24, 2015, she was one of 17 individuals to receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom.  She is truly a pioneer!  She is also a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc!  We salute you Soror Jackson!! Well done!

Click here to view the video of the event on NBCBLK.COM

http://www.nbcnews.com/video/nasa-mathematician-recieves-medal-of-honor-573771331621

 

AWESOME! Mortician Opens Fresh Food Store Because He Was Tired Seeing People Die

Mortician Erich March was tired of seeing people in his East Baltimore community die of conditions like diabetes and hypertension.

Source: AWESOME! Mortician Opens Fresh Food Store Because He Was Tired Seeing People Die

95th Engineer Battalion Unit: Key Force in Building The Alaska/Canada Highway

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95th Engineer Battalion - Public Domain Image
95th Engineer Battalion – Public Domain Image

95th Engineer Army Battalion Unit: Major Force in Building The Alaska/Canada Highway

The African American 95th Engineer Army Battalion unit was formed in April 1941 at Fort Belvoir, Virginia initially in preparation for World War II. The unit was sent to Alaska and Canada in 1942 to assist with building the Alcan (Alaska/Canada) Highway. The need for the highway was identified in the 1930’s but World War II was the catalyst that started construction. The construction process was compared to building the Panama Canal. The 95th Engineers joined forces with two other back units already working in Alaska as well as 4 white units. All the unit was almost exclusively African American the officers were white. The unit was no stranger to discrimination while working on the project. They were discouraged from interacting with local towns people and their unit accomplishments were largely ignored by the press. Despite the challenges, the 95th Engineers developed a reputation for excellence. The unit was noted in particular for their skill in bridge building. The unit completed the construction project a year ahead of schedule in 1943.

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Hazel Johnson-Brown: 1st African American Woman Brigadier General

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Hazel Johnson-Brown
Hazel Johnson-Brown

Born in 1927, Hazel Johnson-Brown was the first African-American woman to be a Brigadier General in the United States Military in 1979. She joined the army in 1955 shortly after President Truman banned segregation in the armed services.

Hazel Johnson-Brown was one of 7 children. She was raised on her father’s farm in West Chester, PA. Inspired by a public health nurse at the age of 12, she decided that she too wanted to become a nurse one day. Her application to the West Chester School of Nursing in Pennsylvania was rejected because she was black. Undeterred, she moved to New York in 1947 and enrolled in Harlem Hospital School of Nursing. She graduated and took a job at Philadelphia Veteran’s Hospital in 1953. It was there that her co-workers encouraged her to join the Army. She initially enlisted for what she thought would be a two year tour. She excelled and quickly began to rise through the ranks.

Hazel Johnson-Brown - Receiving Rank of Brigadier General
Hazel Johnson-Brown – Receiving Rank of Brigadier General

She continued her education while in the army, eventually earning a masters degree in nursing education from Columbia University and a Ph.D in education administration from Catholic University. She retired from military service in 1983 and then pursued a second career in academia teaching at George Mason University and Georgetown University. She retired from academia in 1997. She currently lives in Washington D.C. area.

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White Shoes Photo Series

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Over My Dead Body From the “White Shoes” Photo Series, 2013 By Nona Faustine

Learn more about the “White Shoes” Photography series by Nona Faustine. The imagery is POWERFUL!!

Nona has chosen to display herself in naked at various locations associated with slavery in New York.  She chose to pose nude to highlight the vulnerability and inhumane treatment of slaves.  In the photos, she is nude with the exception of wearing white shoes. Nona indicates that “white shoes” represent the “white patriarchy” from which she says we have been unable to escape.  This is a courageous work!

Click on the link below to read the full need article:

http://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/jonathanjonesblog/2015/aug/05/the-scars-of-america-nude-artist-slavery-sites-nona-faustine

Dr. Charles H. Wright: Physician With A Passion for African American History

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dr charles h wright

Dr. Charles Howard Wright (1918 – 2002) was an African-American physician. He founded the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History in Detroit, MI. Wright practiced both general medicine as well as obstetrics and gynecology. Wright became motivated to preserve African American history after visiting a memorial to Danish World War II heroes in Denmark. Visiting this memorial, convinced him that African Americans needed a place and platform to preserve and teach about African American history, life and culture.

In 1965, in partnership with a racially diverse group of 33 individuals, Wright opened the International Afro-American Museum on West Grand Boulevard in Detroit, MI (pictured above). The next year he also began a traveling exhibit of African History which toured the state in a converted mobile home.

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In 1978, the City of Detroit agreed to lease space to Wright for land in the Midtown area of Detroit. Groundbreaking took place in 1985 and the museum was named the “Museum of African American History”. The museum was expanded in 1997 and in 1998 it was renamed, “The Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History”. The museum is described as, “the world’s largest institution dedicated to the African American experience.” The museum is home to over 35,000 artifacts and archival materials.

Charles Wright Museum

Click here to visit the museum website.

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Geraldine Bledsoe Ford: 1st African American Woman To Be Elected As A Judge

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Born in 1928, Geraldine Bledsoe-Ford was the first African-American to be elected as a judge in the United States.  She was born and raised in Detroit, Michigan.  In 1966, she scored a surprising upset victory to become a judge on the Detroit Recorders Court.  Ford’s qualifications swept the election and she led the ticket repeatedly for the following 33 years. After a court reorganization, she served another year as a Circuit Court Judge, before retiring in 1999.

She spent much of her career hearing criminal cases.  On the bench she was known as “Mean Geraldine” to unprepared attorneys and those to whom she issued tough prison sentences.  However, Judge Ford also had a softer side; serving as a mentor to many aspiring lawyers.  Her daughter, Deborah Geraldine Bledsoe-Ford also served as a judge in Detroit as well.

Geraldine Bledsoe-Ford died in 2003.

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HBCU VINTAGE VIDEO

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Check out this great video on the importance of HBCU’s during Would War II from blacktimetravel.com

http://blacktimetravel.com/heres-how-black-colleges-were-perceived-during-world-war-ii/

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