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.

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Black History Fact of the Day

Alain Locke was a writer, philosopher, and educator. He was the first black Rhodes Scholar.

Locke was born on September 13, 1885 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He graduated from Philadelphia Central High in 1902. He graduated from Harvard University in 1907, with degrees in both philosophy and literature.

He was chosen as the first African American Rhodes scholar. He was denied admissions to different colleges due to his race. He was accepted into Hertford College in 1907.

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He promoted African American artists, musicians, and writers. He also encouraged them to find inspiration when producing work.

In March of 1925, Locked was the guest editor of the periodical survey graphic, titled “Harlem, Mecca of the New Negro”. It was special on the Harlem Renaissance, which helped educate whites on its culture.

Locke’s writing focused on the identity of the African American. He published the New Negro in 1925, and it instantly became a classic.

He has been named the Father of the Renaissance, due to his part in the development of the movement.

Locke died on June 9, 1954, in New York. He suffered a heart attack.

Black History Month: Day 12

Welcome to day 12 of Black History Month. Today I’m turning the spotlight on Bridget “Biddy” Mason. She was able to support her family with her financial success.

Biddy was born in Mississippi in 1818 as a slave. She was owned in Georgia and South Carolina, even though she was from Mississippi. In 1848, she walked over 1,000 miles behind a wagon to Salt Lake City.

Her duties consisted of cooking, herding, setting up, and breaking camp.

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Black History Month: Day 11

Let’s keep the black history facts going. Today I would like to turn your attention to Benjamin O. Davis Jr. He was the first black Air Force General. He led the Tuskegee Airman flight squadron.

Benjamin Davis Jr. was born on December 18, 1912, in Washington D.C. When he was 13 years old, he attended an exhibition at Bolling Field. He took a ride on a plane, and enjoyed it so much that he decided that he wanted to be a pilot.

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He graduated from Central High school, in Cleveland, Ohio in 1929. He then attended Case Western Reserve for a year, and later attended the University of Chicago.

Davis still hoped to become a military pilot. He reached out to Oscar De Priest. De Priest sponsored Davis for a position in the United States Military Academy, in New York.

Davis faced hardships in the academy. No one would speak to him, eat with him, or be his roommate. Despite what he went through, Davis graduated in 1936. Later on, he married the young lady he dated during his time at the academy, Agatha Scot.

He applied for the army air corps, and although he had a high standing in his graduating class, he was denied because of his color, and there wasn’t a black squadron.

He traveled to Tuskegee Alabama, to teach military tactics, at the Tuskegee institute. He was promoted to the First Lieutenant rank on June 19, 1939, and eventually up to Captain. In 1942, he completed his training at the Tuskegee Army Air Field, and became the first black officer to make a solo flight in an army air corps plane.

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In 1942, he became the commander of the Tuskegee Airmen. After more than 30 years of military service, President Clinton honored him in 1970 with a four-star insignia, and in 1991, Davis wrote about his challenges and achievements in his book(Benjamin O. Davis Jr.: American).

Benjamin O. Davis Jr. died on July 4th 2002.

 

BLACK HISTORY MONTH: DAY 9

Welcome to day nine of Black History month. Today I’m turning the spotlight on inventor, Granville T. Woods. Woods made contributions to the inventions of the telephone, and more.

Woods was born in Columbus, Ohio on April 23, 1856 to free parents. He received little education, but he worked hard. He had multiple occupations, such as a railroad engineer, an engineer on a british ship, and a railroad worker.

He decided to settle down in Cinncinatti, Ohio, and began to work on ways to modernize the railroad. In 1888, he developed an overhead electric system for conducting lines for the railroad.

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In 1887, he patented his invention of the Synchronous Multiplex Railway Telegraph. This invention allowed communication between trains and stations. In 1889, he filed a patent for an improved steam boiler.

The rights to Woods’ telegraphony patent were purchased by Alexander Graham Bell’s company. He then became a full time inventor. He also created the automatic air brakes, so the trains can stop. In addition, his electric car was powered by wires.

He also invented the third rail in 1901, which is a power pick up device. This is one of his most important inventions, and it is still used today. His inventions and contributions paved the way.

Woods died on January 30, 1910.

Read more about Granville T. Woods at http://www.biography.com/people/granville-t-woods-9536481#induction-telegraph

DAY 8 OF BLACK HISTORY MONTH

Today I would like to turn your attention to Barbara C. Jordan. She was the first African American elected from the deep south, and the first congresswoman from that area since 1883.

Jordan was born on February 21, 1936, in Houston Texas. She graduated from Phyllis Wheatley high school in 1952. In 1956, she earned her B.A from Texas Southern University, and her law degree in 1959 from Boston University. In 1960, she began to practice law.

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She worked on the John F. Kennedy campaign in 1960 as well, and that’s when her political work came about. She organized a “get out and vote” campaign as well. She ran for the Texas House of Representatives in 1962 and 1964, but lost both times.

In 1966, she ran for Texas Senate, and won. She won over the other senators, showing them that she was worthy of the position. She helped with the passing of bills, establishing minimum wage for the state, and the Texas Fair Employment Practices Commission.

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She was the first black woman to preside over a legislative body. She also became the first black chief executive in 1972. In 1974, she gave a 15 minute opening statement of the impeachment hearing for Richard Nixon.

In 1976, she delivered the keynote address at the Democratic National Convention, which made her the first African American to do so.

Although Jordan battled multiple sclerosis, she continued to work hard for equal rights and opportunites. Jordan never married, and kept her personal life private. She died on January 17, 1996 in Texas from pneumonia.

Read more about Barbara C. Joran at http://www.history.com/topics/black-history/barbara-c-jordan

DAY 7 OF BLACK HISTORY MONTH

Welcome to day seven of Black History Month everyone! Today I would like to turn your attention to Doctor Charles Drew. Drew was the most prominent African American in the medical field.

Drew was the first African American to develop ways of processing, and storing blood plasma in blood banks.

Charles R. Drew was born on June 3, 1904, to a middle class family in Washington D.C. He was athletic growing up. He won several medals for swimming in elementary school. Later on, he gained interest in football and basketball.

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In 1922, Drew graduated from high school, and attended Amherst college on a sports scholarship. He earned his bachelors in 1926. He wanted to pursue his medical career, but couldn’t afford to. He then became a biology teacher, and a coach for Morgan college.

In 1928, Drew attended McGill University in Canada. He was a top student, and was a memeber of the Alpha Omega Alpha. He completed internships at the Royal Victoria Hospital, and the Montreal General Hospital.

In 1938, Drew studied at Columbia University, and trained at the Presbyterian Hospital, in New York. That is when Drew discovered a method for processing, and storing blood. He also discovered that plasma lasts much longer than whole blood, making it possible to be stored for long periods of time.

Drew created two of the first blood banks. In 1941, he returned to Howard, and served as a professor. He became chief surgeon at Freedman’s Hospital, and became the first African American examiner for the American Board of Surgery.

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Drew died on April 1, 1950 due to a car accident. He left behind a wife, and four children, and a legacy that will always be remembered.

Read more about Charles Drew at https://www.acs.org/content/acs/en/education/whatischemistry/african-americans-in-sciences/charles-richard-drew.html