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Dr. George Herman Canady:  African American Psychologist Who Explored The Impact of Bias In IQ Testing

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george canady
Dr. George Herman Canady (1901-1970)

Born in Okmulgee, Oklahoma, Dr. George Herman Canady (1901-1970) was an African American psychologist who explored bias in IQ testing administration.  Canady earned a BA, in Sociology with a minor in Psychology from Northwestern University in 1927, a masters of arts in Clinical Psychology in 1928, and a Ph.D. in psychology, all from Northwestern University.  Canady was also a member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fratenity, Inc. He is most recognized for being the first psychologist to examine how the race of the test proctor could possibly create bias when administering IQ testing.  This was the focus of his master’s thesis, “The Effects of Rapport on the IQ:  A Study in Racial Psychology.”  His work provided recommendations for improving testing environments. Continue reading “Dr. George Herman Canady:  African American Psychologist Who Explored The Impact of Bias In IQ Testing”

The Life and Legacy of Thurgood Marshall:  First African American U.S. Supreme Court Justice

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Thurgood Marshall
Thurgood Marshall (1908-1993)

Many are aware that Thurgood Marshall (1908 – 1993) made history when he was appointed as the first African American justice on the U.S. Supreme Court. Marshall was an accomplished litigator and civil rights trailblazer even before his appointment to the Supreme Court. Out of 32 cases litigated before the Supreme Court, he won 29! His wins include several landmark decisions including, Brown v. Board of Education which resulted in the desegregation of public schools and Smith vs. Allwright which won a key victory in eliminating voting rights discrimination for African-Americans. Marshall was also a vocal advocate against police brutality and women’s rights. He was also against the death penalty.

Marshall was named “Thoroughgood” at birth. He shortened his name to “Thurgood” in the second grade to make it easier for himself to write out. Marshall graduated as one of the top 3 students in his class at Frederick Douglass High School in Maryland. He wanted to attend the University of Maryland but did not apply knowing he would be refused admission due to his race. He then enrolled in Lincoln University, a historically black college (HBCU) and graduated in 1930. While at Lincoln, he was suspended for hazing and pranking students. His initial plan was to pursue a degree in dentistry. Marshall married, Vivien Burey while at Lincoln. He would go on to graduate from Lincoln with honors, earning a degree in literature and philosophy. He then attended Howard University’s law school and graduated in 1933 as the class valedictorian.

Marshall developed his interest in law practice because his father would take him to observe court proceedings. They would then engage in a detailed discussion regarding the cases. His father would relentlessly challenge Marshall on his views on cases. Marshall credits his father with his eventual pursuit of law as a profession. Marshall’s mother initially did not want him to go into law as a career. She feared that as a black attorney he would not be able to make a living which is why she encouraged him to go into dentistry instead. She later came around and pawned her wedding and engagement rings to pay his law school entrance fees.

Continue reading “The Life and Legacy of Thurgood Marshall:  First African American U.S. Supreme Court Justice”

Harry S. McAlpin:  First African-American Journalist To Receive White House Press Credentials

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Henry S McAlpin
Harry S. McAlpin (1906 – 1985)

African-American journalist, Harry S. McAlpin (1906-1985) became the first African American journalist to receive White House press credentials.  In 1944, he attended his first White House press conference with President Franklin Roosevelt. McAlpin was formerly a war correspondent and news reporter for the National Negro Press Association and the Atlanta Daily World.   An Airforce veteran, McAlpin was also a war correspondent during World War I.   Continue reading “Harry S. McAlpin:  First African-American Journalist To Receive White House Press Credentials”

Smith v. Allwright: Landmark Voting Rights Supreme Court Case Litigated By Thurgood Marshall

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smith v allwright

Smith v. Allwright began in U.S. Federal court in 1940.  The case was filed by Dr. Lonnie Smith (1901 – 1971) in Houston, Texas, an African American dentist and civil rights activist.  Smith was also an officer in the  Houston branch of the NAACP.    The legal challenges centered around the practice of excluding blacks from voting in primary elections.  At the time, the Democratic Party was the dominant political party in most Southern states.  Many Southern white democrats favored segregation and other laws to subjugate black people and prevent them from voting.  One such tool that they employed to prevent black people from voting was to declare the Democratic primary elections to be closed to blacks.

Continue reading “Smith v. Allwright: Landmark Voting Rights Supreme Court Case Litigated By Thurgood Marshall”

Red Summer Race Riots of 1919

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red-summer-riots

James Weldon Johnson, was the first to call the race riots that occurred during the summer of 1919, “Red Summer”.  During this time, race riots broke out across the country due to the growing animosity and tension between blacks and whites.  Riots broke out in Arkansas, Texas, South Carolina, Tennessee, Oklahoma, Washington, DC, Illinois, and Nebraska.  One of the most violent of these riots occurred in Chicago, IL.  Riots occurred in over three dozen cities.  The riot was started when a black teen, floated onto a white beach.  The teen was violently attacked.  From there, the beatings spilled over into white neighborhoods; with blacks passing through these neighborhoods being attacked.  Chicago police did not intervene to stop the attacks.  Blacks then responded by attacking whites that entered their neighborhoods.  It would eventually take a rain storm and the Illinois National Guard to regain order after 5 days.  It would be in Chicago, Washington, DC and Elaine, AK that the largest number of deaths occurred. Continue reading “Red Summer Race Riots of 1919”

Lift Every Voice and Sing: The Black National Anthem

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james weldon johnson
James Weldon Johnson (1871-1938) wrote “Lift Every Voice and Sing” in 1900 as a poem. It was later set to music by his brother Rosamond Johnson.

In 1900, “Lift Every Voice And Sing”, was written by James Weldon Johnson (1871-1938), a high school principal in Jacksonville, FL. Johnson was an educator, lawyer, diplomat, writer, and civil rights activist. He was a major contributor to the Harlem Renaissance. Johnson attended Atlanta University. Upon graduation, he was the first African American to pass the Florida Bar Exam. Johnson eventually became a grammar school principal.
Continue reading “Lift Every Voice and Sing: The Black National Anthem”

10 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Rosa Parks!

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Rosa Parks

 

In honor of Rosa Parks birthday, I’m reposting, 10 THINGS YOU PROBABLY DIDNT KNOW ABOUT ROSA PARKS.  She was truly a phenomenal woman!  Many focus on her actions that launched the Montgomery Bus Boycott.  But she was an activist long before that!  She traveled the south on behalf of the NAACP investigating sexual assaults of black women.

Click the link to learn more!

 

Source: 10 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Rosa Parks!

Paul R. Williams: African American Architect To The Stars

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paul r williams
Paul R. Williams

Paul R. Williams (1894-1980) was a renowned architect during a period in history where African American architects were rare. Williams was orphaned at 4 when his parents died.   His new foster family recognized his artistic talents and encouraged him to utilize them. His career spanned 50 years and 3,000 projects.

Williams opened his own architectural firm at the age of 28. He mastered the skill of rendering his architectural drawings upside down. He developed this skill so that his white clients (who might have been uncomfortable sitting next to him because he was black) could see his drawings right side up as they sat across the table from him.  Known as an architect to the stars, Williams designed homes for celebrities such as  Frank Sinatra, Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz, Lou Chaney, Barbara Stanwyck, and Charles Correll.

In 1953 he received the prestigious Springarn Medal from the NAACP for his outstanding contributions as an architect and member of the African American Community.  Williams in reflecting on his life noted the irony that most of the homes he designed and constructed were on property whose deeds included segregation covenants that prohibited blacks from purchasing the property.

 

Jacqueline Berrien, Former EEOC Chair, Dies at 53

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Jacqueline Berrien
Jacqueline Berrien

Former EEOC Chair – Jacqueline Berrien dead at 53.  Berrien died of cancer.  President Obama shared, “she has spent her entire career fighting to give voice to under represented communities and protect our most basic rights.”  A focus of her tenure as EEOC Chair was combating workplace discrimination.  During her term as Chair, the EEOC won the largest award under the American With Disabilities Act (ADA) $240 million for intellectually disabled men in EEOC VS. Hill Country Farms. The payout was later reduced to $1.6 million due to statutory caps.

She was also instrumental in the passage of regulations concerning the Genetic Non Discrimination Act of 2008.  A leader by example, during federal sequestration, when staff were furloughed without pay, Berrien donated her pay to a federal employee assistance fund. Prior to joining the EEOC, she worked for the NAACP Legal Defense Fund.   Click the link below to read more about this phenomenal woman!

https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/jacqueline-berrien-former-eeoc-chairwoman-dies-at-53/2015/11/12/1ecc41da-8956-11e5-9a07-453018f9a0ec_story.html

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