Black History Month: Day 27

Horace Mann Bond was an educator who had a passion for teaching. He served as the first president of Fort Valley State college from 1939 to 1945.

Bond was born in Nashville, Tennessee in 1904. He was born to a family who were highly educated. He was three years of age when he began to read. He began his education early, entering high school at the age of nine. He was a college freshman at the age of 14.

Bond began teaching at Langston University in Oklahoma after completing college. He married Julia Washington in 1930. They had three children.

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Bond earned his PhD from the University of Chicago in 1936. He moved to Pennsylvania in 1945, and became the first black president of Lincoln University. He traveled to Africa in 1949 to establish relationships with people.

He helped with the founding of the American Society of African Culture. In 1957 he became a professor at Atlanta University. He stood  for equal education opportunities for black youth.

He was the author of Education for Freedom: A History of Lincoln University, The Education of the Negro in the American Social Order, and The Education of the Negro in Alabama.

Bond died in the year of 1972, at the age of 68.

Black History Month: Day 24

Lucy Parsons was a labor organizer who fought for the rights of the poor, women, and equality for people of color.

Parsons was born in Texas around 1853. Her ancestry consisted of African American, Native American, and Mexican. It is possible that she was born of slave parents. She would only claim that she was Mexican, and a Native American.

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Around 1870, she met her soon to be husband, Albert Parsons. Since Albert was white, their marriage probably wasn’t legal. The couple was forced to leave Texas due to their political involvement. They moved to Chicago in 1873.

Parsons began to write for “The Socialist” in 1878. She would write about the homeless, women, and unemployed veterans. Throughout Chicago she became a powerful writer, and inspirational speaker.

She contributed to the founding of the International Working People’s Association(IWPA) in 1883. The IWPA organized a labor strike in 1886 to support the eight hour work day. Nearly 80,000 workers were involved, and the movement caused violence to erupt five days later.

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Several of the organizers were jailed, including Albert. They were all hanged.

Parsons continued to raise awareness after her husband’s death. She condemned lynching, and continued to advocate for people of color. She also joined the Communist Party in 1939.

Parsons continued to work hard for change until her death. She died in a house fire in Chicago on March 7, 1942.

Black History Month: Day 23

Let’s get straight into it. Catherine Ferguson was a pioneer and an educator. She started a Sunday school in New York city.

Ferguson was born in 1779 into slavery. She was separated from her mother at the age of eight. The separation inspired her to help other children in the future.

At the age of 16, her freedom was bought by a female friend, for $200. To repay her female friend, she would serve her for 11 months, which equaled to $100. The rest of the money was raised by a merchant in New York.

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Ferguson became a cake baker. She would bake for weddings and parties. She was married at the age of 18, and birth two children, but they passed during their infancy.

During her lifetime, she cared for neglected children in her neighborhood. She would bring the children to Sunday school, which was located in the basement of a church. She would hold prayer meetings for the children, and adults.

She would take care of children, until she found them a suitable home.

Ferguson died in 1854 in her home from cholera. After her death, she was recognized for her social work, and she gained attention from the press. The Katy Ferguson home for unwed mothers was established in 1920 as a tribute to her work.

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.

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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.