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.

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Black History Month: Day 25

Salem Poor was a war hero. He was patriot of the American Revolutionary war.

Poor was born into slavery in the year of 1747 in Massachusetts. In 1769, he bought his freedom. He was married in 1771 to a free black woman, and had a son named Jonas.

Poor enlisted in the army in 1775. Blacks weren’t welcomed as soldiers, but black men risked their lives willingly, in hope of freedom from slavery.

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Poor became well known in a battle that took place on June 16, 1775. Poor was enlisted with Captain James Frye. Frye and his men, including Poor, marched from Cambridge, Massachusetts to Charleston, Massachusetts, and settled there at the top of the hill.

The British were aware, and there were casualties. Poor shot and killed a Lieutenant. He was credited for the killings of other soldiers as well.

More than a 1,000 black fighters lost their lives at the battle of Bunker Hill. The fighters wanted to prove their loyalty. George Washington was still against black men enlisting and volunteering.

The British offered freedom to slaves who would fight for England. Blacks were welcomed as soldiers under Washington’s command.

In 1775, Poor was recognized for his heroism by minutemen officers and a colonel, who petitioned that Poor behaved like an experienced officer, and an excellent soldier.

Poor re-enlisted several times before he was discharged in 1780. He was married three more times throughout his lifetime. He was also jailed in 1799 for a small period of time, for “breach of peace”.

Salem died in 1802.

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.

Know Your Black History

Welcome to day 18 of Black History Month. Last night I started thinking about who else I wanted to dig up information on, and I came across a picture of a young black boy in jailhouse clothing.

George Stinney Jr. was the youngest person executed in the United States. Stinney was born on October 21, 1929 in Pinewood, South Carolina.

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On March 23, 1944, Stinney was arrested for the murder of two young white girls. Sources say, the girls disappeared while riding on their bikes looking for flowers. They passed by the Stinney’s property, and asked George if they knew where maypops could be found.

The girls did not return, and a search was done. Their bodies were found the next morning and were filled with severe wounds to the head.

Let’s keep in mind, Stinney was a young 90lb boy  who was then arrested later, and interrogated. The arresting officers claimed that Stinney confessed to murdering them. According to the “confession”, Stinney wanted to have sex with one of the girls. Both girls fought him off, and he picked up an iron weapon and murdered them.

Let us also keep in mind, that there was no written confession.

It took no more than 10 minutes for an all white jury to convict Stinney of murder. He was executed on June 16, 1944 at the South Carolina State Penitentiary.

Black History Month: Day 17

Today I want people to know the story of Lena Baker. She was wrongfully convicted of murder of her white employer. She was found guilty and executed.

Lena Baker was born on June 8, 1900 in Georgia. She, and her siblings were sharecroppers. By 1940, Baker was a mother of three, and worked as maid. A few years later she began working for Ernest Knight.

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Black History Month: Day 15

Welcome to day 15 of Black History Month. Today I’m turning the spotlight on Joseph Cinque. Joseph Cinque led the first revolt on La Amistad, a Spanish slave ship.

Cinque was born in Sierra Leone around 1814. He was a rice farmer and a trader. He was married with three children. In 1839, he was abducted while working in a rice field. He was taken to the slave depot in Sierra Leone.

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He was bound to chains for months, and was placed on a slave ship to Cuba. Cinque was able to pick the lock off his chains to set himself and others free. The captain was killed, and other crew members evacuated the ship.

Cinque ordered a sea captain on board to sail towards Africa, but the sea captain purposely rerouted the ship so progress wouldn’t be made. After 63 days, the ship arrived at Long Island, New York.

Cinque, and the other slaves were captured, charged with murder, and imprisoned. They would soon face the death penalty.

In 1839, Cinque faced the court, and spoke on why he and the other slaves had the right to defend themselves, and their freedom. In 1841, the court ruled in favor of Cinque, and the other slaves. They were free to go. In 1842, they arrived in Africa.

Cinque died in the year of 1879.