Black History Month-02/04/2018

Today, I would like to focus on the first African American woman who is believed to have published a novel in the United States.

Harriet E. Wilson was born around 1828, possibly in Milford, NH. When she was 23, she moved to Massachusetts working as a seamstress. In 1851 she married Thomas Wilson, but Wilson abandoned Harriet less than a year later before the birth of their son.

Wilson was living in a poorhouse. She had no choice but to abandon her son and move to Boston to make a living and regain custody of her son. Wilson would write to support herself and her child.

HW

She published her novel: Our Nig, or, Sketches from the Life of a Free Black, in a Two-story White House, North. Showing that Slavery’s Shadows Fall Even Therein 1859.  Her son died six months later at the age of seven.

The few facts that we know of Wilson all comes from her book. Her story was published by Massachusetts publisher, George C. Rand and Avery.

Wilson died on June 28, 1900.

For more information visit:

http://www.blackpast.org/aah/wilson-harriet-e-adams-c-1828

http://www.harrietwilsonproject.net/harriet-wilson-.html

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Black History Month Day 02-03-2018

Welcome to day three of Black History Month. Today I would like to turn your attention to the first African American to win the men’s singles at Wimbledon, and the U.S open, and was the first African American to be ranked number one in the world.

Arthur Ashe was born on July 10, 1943 in Richmond, Virginia. Ashe was reading by the age of four. After the death of his mother, Ashe’s father became more strict on his children. They attended church every Sunday and would have to return straight home after school.

Not too long after the death of his mother, Ashe started playing tennis. At the age of seven he picked up a racket for the first time. Tennis coach. Dr. Robert Walter Johnson Jr., was drawn to Ashe and made sure that he excelled.

ashe

Later on Ashe moved to St. Louis to work with another coach and he won the junior national title in 1960 and again one year later. He accepted a scholarship at the University of California and from there he graduated with a degree in business.

In 1975, Ashe defeated Jimmy Connors in the Wimbledon finals, which made him the first African American to win Wimbledon. A decade later, he became the first African American man to be introduced into the International Tennis Hall of Fame.

Not only was Ashe a great tennis player, but he was an inspiration. Ashe said: “One important key to success is self-confidence. An important key to self-confidence is preparation”.

On February 6, 1993, Ashe died of pneumonia at New York hospital. He was laid to rest in Richmond, VA. For more information on Arthur Ashe, visit https://www.biography.com/people/arthur-ashe-9190544.

Black History Month: Day 22

Charles Henry Turner was the first African American psychologist. He was also a biologist, an educator, and a zoologist.

Turner was born in Cincinatti, Ohio on February 3, 1867. His father owned a large collection of books, and Turner began to read, and became interested in insects.

He attended Woodward High School, and he then earned his B.S at the University of Cincinatti in 1891. He earned his Masters in biology the following year. Afterwards, he decided to get married and have three children.

charles-turner

Provided by Google

 

Turner was the first scientist to prove that insects can hear and distinguish different pitches. He also discovered that honeybees can see color, and that roaches can learn by trial and error.

Turner decided to move to St. Louis to teach at Sumner High School until 1922. He published more than 70 research papers during his career.

Turner moved to Chicago to live with his son in 1922. He died on February 14, 1923.

A school for disabled African American children was opened and named after him in St. Louis, two years after his death.