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Black History: Special Delivery!!


Black Mail Trivia: Who Was The First African American To Run For President In The U.S.

Black History:  Special Delivery!!


Black Mail Trivia

Which individual was the first African American to run for president in the United States?

1)Barak Obama

2)George Edwin Taylor

3)Shirley Chisholm

4)Jesse Jackson

Answer will be posted at 6pm EST

Maya Angelou Quote: “I do not trust people who don’t love themselves and yet tell me, ‘I love you.’ There is an African saying which is: Be careful when a naked person offers you a shirt. -Maya Angelou

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mayaquote 12


5 Black Firsts At The Olympic Games

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Check out these 5 Black Olympic Firsts!



Born in Haiti, Constantin Henriquez de Zubriera was the 1st black to compete in the Olympics. He competed at the 1900 games in Paris.



U.S. hurdler, Geoarge Poage was the first African American to win a medal at the Olympics. He won two bronze medals at the 1904 Olympics in St. Louis, MO

3)Alice Coachman


Alice Coachman was an American high jumper who finished first at the 1948 Olympics. She was the first black woman to win a gold medal.

4)Vonetta Flowers


Vonetta Flowers along with her partner Jill Bakken received the gold medal in bobsledding in 2002. Flowers is the first African American to win a gold medal at the Winter Olympics.



In 2006, Shani Davis won first place in the 1,000 meter speed skating competition. He was the first black Olympian win an individual medal at the Winter Olympics.


Did you miss yesterday’s post on the “Tour For Diversity In Medicine”?  Click the link to learn more about how two African American Physicians are traveling the country by bus to encourage students of color to pursue careers in medicine!

Edith Spurlock Sampson: 1st Black Woman Elected As Judge By Popular Vote & 1st African American Appointed To U.S. Delegation of The United Nations

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Edith Sampson
Edith Sampson

Edith Spurlock Sampson (1901?-1979) was born in Pittsburgh, PA. There appears to be some discrepancy regarding her year of birth. Some reports indicate that she may have been born earlier than 1901. She was one of seven children. At the age of 14, she dropped out of school to work full time. She later returned and completed high school. She married Rufus Sampson, a field agent for Tuskegee University after her high school graduation. The two later divorced.

After working briefly, she enrolled in New York University School of Social Work. One of her teachers, George W. Kirchwey suggested she pursue a law career after being impressed with how well she did in a criminology class. She relocated to Chicago to care for two children left by her deceased sister. She attended John Marshall Law School at night and worked full time. She then enrolled in Loyola University Law School. In 1927 she would become the first woman to receive a Masters of Law degree from Loyola. Sampson then went to work for Cook County in 1927 as a probation officer and then assistant referee in the juvenile court system. In 1938 she opened her own law practice along with her second husband. She was one of the first women to argue cases before the U.S. Supreme Court. In 1947, she was appointed as the Assistant Prosecutor for Cook County.

1n 1950 Sampson was the first African American appointed to the permanent U.S. delegation of the United Stations. In 1961 at the age of 61, Sampson won election as a judge on the Chicago Municipal Court. With this election she would become the first African American woman in the U.S. elected to the bench by a popular vote. She retired in 1979 and died in Chicago in 1979.

Did you get a chance to check out yesterday’s post on Mabel Franks, a pioneer in figure skating?  Click the link below to view the post!

Mabel Fairbanks: African American Pioneer in Figure Skating

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Mabel Fairbanks
Mabel Fairbanks

Mabel Fairbanks never had the opportunity to be an Olympic ice skater. However she was certainly a pioneer of the sport. She is the first African American woman to be inducted into the U.S. Figure Skating Hall of Fame. Many of the sports best and brightest were also coached by Fairbanks.

Mabel Fairbanks was born on November 14, 1915 in the Florida Everglades. Little is known about her early life. What we do know is that she was employed as babysitter. She began watching white children skate at a local ice rink and wanted to join them. In 1938, Mabel bought a pair of black leather skates in a pawnshop. She paid $1.50 for the skates. The skates were too big, so she stuffed the insides of the boots with cotton. She first skated on a frozen pond in Harlem and then went to Central Park to practice.

Because she was black, she was denied entry in skating rinks. She was determined to learn and did not let this set back deter her. Eventually she was able to skate in local rinks and received some coaching. She also listened in on lessons offered by other instructors to white skaters. She then began copying their moves. By her early 20s, Fairbanks had formed a novelty act in partnership with a roller skater and took her portable rink and show on the road. Soon she was skating at the Gay Blades Ice Arena in Manhattan to mixed-race audiences. She went on to skate in other shows as well.

Mabel Fairbanks
Mabel Fairbanks

Though her talent was undeniable, the U.S. Skating Team refused to allow her to participate because she was black. Fairbanks eventually went to Los Angeles and started a career as a skating coach. She continued performing in ice shows as well. She coached some of the sports’ best know talents: pairs champions Tai Babilonia and Randy Gardner; Scott Hamilton, and Kristi Yamaguchi. Atoy Wilson, the first African American to win a U.S. skating title was coached by Fairbanks as well.

Fairbanks was a staunch advocate for equality in the sport of skating. She played a key role in the Culver City Skating Club of Los Angeles admitting their first black member in 1965. She was inducted into the U.S. Figure Skating Hall of Fame in 1977. She did not have any jumps or skating moves named after her (such as the Lutz, named after Alois Lutz or the Sachow named after Ulrich Slachow). One of her signature moves a spin—where she extended her leg back and above her head and another where she hold her leg straight up—which are commonplace today were dismissed as “spin variations.”

Mabel Fairbanks
Mabel Fairbanks

She died in 2001 at the age of 85, She was posthumously inducted into the International Women’s Sports Hall of Fame. .


Did you see yesterday’s Black Mail post on Joseph Cottrell, the African American entrepreneur that took the Jheri Curl from the salon into African American homes! Click the link below to see yesterday’s post:


Selma To Montgomery Quiz – Answers

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Earlier today, we invited our Black Mail Readers to take a quiz on the Selma To Montgomery March. As promised here are answers!
1)T or F: March on Selma was in support of passing the Civil Rights Act.  FALSE
2)T or F: March on Selma was organized by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  FALSE
3)T or F: The NAACP & SCLC organized the marches  FALSE
4)Bonus Question: How many miles was the march from Selma to Montgomery A)17 miles B)45 miles C)54 miles  ANSWER IS C – 54 MILES

Selma To Montgomery March: Test Your Knowledge

 Black History: Special Delivery!!

selma march

Test your civil rights knowledge on the historic 1965 “Selma To Montgomery March”! Answers will be posted at 6pm EST

1)True or False  March on Selma was in support of passing the Civil Rights Act

2)True or False  March on Selma was organized by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

3)True or False  The NAACP & Southern Christian Leadership Conference organized the marches

4)Bonus Question: How many miles was the march from Selma to Montgomery

A)17 miles  B)45 miles   C)54 miles

Answers will be posted at 6pm EST

Quote: “When you are accustomed to privilege, equality feels like oppression.” -Unknown

Black History:  Special Delivery!!

-Author Unknown

Macon Bolling Allen: The First African American Lawyer In The United States

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macon bolling allen
Macon Bolling Allen

Macon Bolling Allen is the first African American in the United States licensed to practice law. Allen was born free in 1816 in Indiana. He learned to read and write on his own and eventually gained employment as a school teacher. Allen moved to Portland Maine in the 1840’s. He was employed there by abolitionist lawyer, General Samuel Fessenden. Allen worked as a clerk and studied law. He was encouraged by General Fessenden to obtain a license to practice law in Maine because anyone could be considered for licensure who was deemed to have good character. However, Allen’s request for licensure was denied. He was not considered a citizen due to being African American. Allen, then instead took the bar examination test and passed. He was then given a license to practice law. Despite possessing a license, he found very little work in Maine for two reasons: most whites were not willing to be represented by a black attorney and there were very few blacks living in Maine making it difficult to develop a client base.

By 1845, Allen had relocated to Boston. He took the bar exam in Boston and passed. Allen walked 50 miles to the testing site because he could not afford the travel expenses. After being admitted to the bar in Boston, he opened a law practice with Robert Morris Sr. This would be the first African American law office in the United States. Though Allen fared much better in Boston in building his clientele, racism and discrimination hindered his success. To supplement his income, Allen took an exam to become Justice of the Peace for Middlesex County in Massachusetts.

Following the Civil War, Allen relocated again; this time to Charleston, SC. Allen opened a law practice there with two other African American attorneys; William Whipper, and Robert Brown. By 1873, Allen was appointed as a judge on the Inferior Court of Charleston. He was then elected as a probate judge for Charleston County, in South Carolina. Allen moved again following Reconstruction to Washington D.C. working as a lawyer for the Land and Improvement Association.

Very little is known about Allen’s family in Indiana. Once moving to Boston, he met and married his wife Hannah. They had 5 sons. Allen died on October 10, 1894 in Washington D.C. He was survived by his wife and one son.

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