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Dr. Alfreda Johnson Webb: First African American Woman in the U.S. To Receive A Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine

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Dr. Alfreda Johnson-Webb (1923 – 1992)

Alfreda Johnson Webb (1923-1992) was born in Mobile, Alabama.  She earned a bachelors of science degree from Tuskegee Institute (now University).  Webb also obtained a masters degree in anatomy from Michigan State University.  She then attended Tuskegee’s Institute’s College of Veterinary Medicine in 1949.  Webb was the first African American woman to graduate from a school of veterinary medicine.  She was also the first African American woman licensed to practice veterinary medicine in the U.S. Continue reading “Dr. Alfreda Johnson Webb: First African American Woman in the U.S. To Receive A Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine”

Delta Sigma Theta Sorority’s Role In The 1913 Women’s Suffrage March In Washington, D.C.

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Delta Sigma Theta Sorority was founded on January 13, 1913 by 22 African American women at Howard University. DST was the only African American women’s organization to participate in the historic march for women’s suffrage that took place in Washington DC.

March organizers did not want black women to participate. They were told to march in back of the procession. African American anti-lynching activist Ida B. Wells Barnett, also a member of Delta Sigma Theta, to march in the back of the procession with her sorority sisters. Instead she joined the delegation of white women from her home state of Illinois refusing. Bravo to the ladies of Delta Sigma Theta for their activism past, present, and future.

Source:

https://www.deltasigmatheta.org

https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/she-the-people/wp/2013/03/03/despite-the-tremendous-risk-african-american-women-marched-for-suffrage-too/?utm_term=.affda01654b2

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”

Black Mail Fast Fact: 1st African American Museum In The U.S.

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In 1868, the College Museum was founded at Hampton Institute (now Hampton University) by Samuel Chapman Armstrong (1839 – 1892). It is the oldest African American Museum in the U.S. Now known as the Hampton University Museum, it is still in operation on Hampton’s campus.

Armstrong was a white Union army general who commanded U.S. Colored Troops. Armstrong believed that education and training were essential to newly freed slaves. Armstrong worked worked with the Freedman’s Bureau and founded Hampton Normal Institute in 1868. One of his most famous pupils was Booker T. Washington. Washington greatly admired Armstrong and his approach to education. It was upon Armstrong’s recommendation that he was appointed to lead Tuskegee Institute. Washington patterned much of Tuskegee’s educational programming after Hampton Institute.

For more information on the museum, check out their website:

http://museum.hamptonu.edu

Sources:

http://museum.hamptonu.edu

http://www.hamptonu.edu/about/armstrong.cfm

Carole Simpson: Trailblazing African American Journalist

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Carole Simpson (1940 – ) is an award winning pioneer in the field of broadcast journalism. As an African American female journalist, she has achieved many “firsts” in the field.

Simpson was born in Chicago, IL in 1940. She excelled in school was encouraged to go into teaching because of the lack of opportunities available to women and people of color in the field of journalism.

Simpson attended the University of Illinois and then transferred to the University of Michigan where she graduated with a bachelor’s degree in journalism in 1962. She was the only African American journalism major in her graduating class. Her first job after college was working at Tuskegee University as a journalism instructor as well director of the university’s information department.

She began her broadcast career at WWTW, a public access station in Chicago. Simpson would go on to achieve several “firsts” throughout her 40 year career in journalism:

  • Simpson became the first woman to broadcast radio news in Chicago in 1965
  • She was also the first African American woman to anchor a major television network evening newscast when she joined NBC Nightly News in 1970
  • Simpson was also the first woman or minority to be the sole moderator of a presidential debate in 1992.

Simpson ended her broadcast career in 2003 but continued to work for ABC as an ambassador, traveling on behalf of the network visiting schools to educate students on the changing media landscape. She officially retired in 2006.

Throughout her career she experienced, racism sexism; still she persevered and continued to excel.   In 2007, Simpson joined Emerson College, in Boston, MA as a journalism instructor and leader in residence.

Simpson married James Marshall in 1965.  They have one daughter, Dr. Mallika Joy Marshall and one son, Adam Marshall.

Sources:

http://www.encyclopedia.com/people/literature-and-arts/journalism-and-publishing-biographies/carole-simpson

http://www.diversityjournal.com/10122-news-lady-the-carole-simpson-story/

http://www.blackenterprise.com/event/carole-simpson-legacy-journalism/

American Tennis Association: Oldest African American Sports Organization In U.S.

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The game of tennis dates back to the medieval era. The more modern form of lawn tennis that is played today was patented by Walter C. Wingfield, in Great Britain in 1874; with the first Wimbledon tournament being played in 1877. In the United States, the first tennis court was built in 1876. Some historically black colleges (HBCU’s) began offering tennis to its students beginning in the 1890’s. African American tennis players began playing in invitational tournaments at Philadelphia’s Chautauqua Tennis Club in 1898. When the United States Lawn Tennis Association( (USLTA) formally banned blacks from playing in its tournaments a group of African American men met to begin planning for an organization that would allow blacks to compete in the sport competitively. The group initially met on November 30, 1916. The American Tennis Association (ATA) was officially launched, and held its first national championships in August 2017. The championships consisted of three events, (men’s and women’s singles and men’s doubles) at Druid Park in Baltimore, MD.

Continue reading “American Tennis Association: Oldest African American Sports Organization In U.S.”

Diane Nash – Unsung Hero Of The Civil Rights Movement

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A native of Chicago, IL, Diane Nash (1938-) was one of the pioneering forces behind the Civil Rights movement. Nash and many other women  were champions of the movement.  She became active in the movement in 1959 as a new student at Fisk University in Nashville, TN.  While at Fisk she would encounter the harsh realities of segregation and prejudice that were previously unknown to her.  In 1959 she attended a workshop focused on non-violent protesting. She would quickly become a respected leader of Nashville’s “sit in” movement.  Her efforts were instrumental in organizing the first successful campaign to end segregation of lunch counters.  This effort engaged hundreds of black and white college students as volunteers.  She was also one of the founders of the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC).  SNCC would play a major role in the civil rights movement by engaging young college students in civil rights activism.  These efforts were successful and in 1960, Nashville became first southern city to desegregate lunch counters.  Continue reading “Diane Nash – Unsung Hero Of The Civil Rights Movement”

Dr. Myra Adele Logan: First Woman To Perform Open Heart Surgery

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Dr. Myra A. Logan (1908-1977) made history in 1943 by becoming the first woman to operate on a human heart. Logan was born in Tuskegee, Alabama. Her father was the treasurer of Tuskegee Institute. Her mother was well known suffragist and health care advocate. Her mother also had a college degree, which would have been rare at that time. Logan earned an MS in psychology from Columbia University. She then was awarded a scholarship to attend New York Medical College. She graduated in 1933 and completed an internship at Harlem Hospital in the emergency room. Continue reading “Dr. Myra Adele Logan: First Woman To Perform Open Heart Surgery”

Morehouse College: Celebrating 150th Anniversary

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Morehouse College is a private historically black college (HBCU) for men. Morehouse opened its doors in 1867 to educated black males who were formerly enslaved to become ministers and teachers. It opened approximately 2 years after the close of the Civil War. Its original name was Augustus Institute and it was located in Augustus Georgia. The Augustus Institute relocated to Atlanta in 1879 and became the Atlanta Baptist Seminary. Classes were first held in the basement of Friendship Baptist Church. The school moved to its current location in the 1880’s after John D. Rockefeller donated land to the college.

Continue reading “Morehouse College: Celebrating 150th Anniversary”

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