Black History Fact of the Day

We often hear the story of Rosa Parks, who refused to give up her seat to a white passenger, but there was someone else who did the same thing months before Parks did.

Claudette Colvin was born in Montgomery, AL on September 5, 1939. She grew up in a poor neighborhood. She was an A student who studied very hard. She studied black leaders such as Harriet Tubman and Sojourner Truth.

On March 2, 1955, Colvin refused to give up her seat to a white passenger. “It’s my constitutional right to sit here as much as that lady. I paid my fare, it’s my constitutional right”, said Colvin.


After being charged and spending several hours in jail, her minister bailed her out. The NAACP considered taking on her case, but they refused it because of her age(15). Plus she became pregnant out of wedlock and they thought that could bring negative attention.

During her case she declared herself not guilty, but the court ruled against her and she was placed on probation. She gained a reputation as a troublemaker, dropped out of school, and it was difficult for her to find a job.

She became one of the four women that were plaintiffs in the Browder v. Gayle case. The decision in the case ruled that the Montgomery’s segregated bus system was unconstitutional.

In 1958, Colvin moved to New York where she found work as a nurse’s aid at a nursing home. She retired in 2004.

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Black History Month Fact of the Day

Maggie Walker was born on July 15, 1864 in Richmond VA. After the death of her father, her mother would support her and her brother by working as a laundress. Walker would help her mother by delivering the clean clothes.

Walker attended Lancaster and the Richmond Colored Normal School. She joined the Independent Order of St. Luke, an organization that supports the advancement of African Americans.

In 1883, Walker completed her training as a teacher and graduated. She taught for a few years and ended her teaching career in 1886 when she got married.


In 1902, she established a newspaper called the St. Luke Herald. In 1903, she founded the St. Luke Penny Savings Bank. She was president of the bank until 1929. She is recognized as the first African American woman to charter a bank. She opened an emporium in 1903. She would offer African American women jobs and offered the black community access to cheaper goods.

In 1915, her husband died. She had to manage a home with her large family. In 1921 she ran for superintendent of public instruction. She did not receive the position but she continued working as an advocate for African Americans and served on the board of trustees for several women groups.

Her health started declining and eventually she was confined to a wheelchair. She died on December 15, 1934.

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Black History Fact of the Day

African American jazz singer Adelaide Hall was born on October 20, 1901 in Brooklyn, NY. She learned to play piano at the Pratt Institute in New York.

Hall and her sister, Evelyn, were encouraged to form a piano and vocal duo. The group’s time was cut short due to Evelyn’s death. In 1921, Hall earned a small part in a broadway musical called Shuffle Along.

She married Bertram Hicks in 1924, who soon became Hall’s business manager. In 1925, she made her way to German to perform in a musical called Chocolate Kiddies. She also met Duke Ellington. They performed Creole Love Call in 1927.


Hall replaced a member of the Blackbirds and instantly became well known. She would often use the scat technique.

Hall purchased a home in a white community in the 1930s. Some whites were not too happy about her being apart of the neighborhood. After a fire broke out at her home, she headed off to Europe with her family.

In 1939 she moved to London. She appeared in Kiss Me Kate and starred with Lena Horne in Jamaica in 1957. In 1963, her husband passed away. She took some time off but made a comeback in 1984 singing Creole Love. Her last performance was in March 1992.

In 1993, Hall passed away in her home in London.

For more information on Adelaide Hall, visit

Black History Month 02/09/2018

She was a mathematician, scientist and part of a small group of African American women who worked as an aeronautical engineer.

Mary Jackson was born in Virginia on April 9, 1921. She attended an all black school and graduated in 1937 with high honors. In 1942, she earned her bachelor’s degrees in mathematics and physical science.

In 1951, she was hired at the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics in Virginia. She worked as a research mathematician (human computer). A couple of years later she moved to the Compressibility Research Division of NACA.

Mary Jackson

Due to discrimination against people of color, Jackson considered quitting, but she changed her mind after speaking with her supervisor. She was promoted to aeronautical engineer, which made her the first African American female engineer for NASA.

In 1978, Jackson became a human resources administrator. She helped women minorities with their careers and advancement. She encouraged them to study and take extra classes. Jackson was honored by many charities for her service.

Mary Jackson died at the age of 83 on February 11, 2005. The story of Jackson and her colleagues was told through the film Hidden Figures in 2016, and in 2018 it was announced that Jackson Elementary, which was named for President Andrew Jackson in Utah, will be renamed Mary W. Jackson Elementary School.

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Black History Month: 02/05/2018

For day 5 of Black History Month, I would like to turn your attention to the first African American to win an Oscar in 1940 for her role in Gone With the Wind.

Hattie McDaniel was born in Wichita, KS on June 10, 1893. She was the 13th child. McDaniel and her family moved to Denver, CO. in 1901. She attended the 24th Street Elementary school and was one of the only two black students in her class.

She gained popularity in school from her singing. She started professionally singing and dancing in high school. She decided to drop out of school in 1909 to focus on her career. She was married in 1911, started an all ladies minstrel show and began working in radio.


McDaniel earned her first small film role in 1931 as an extra in a musical. A year later, she was featured as a housekeeper in the Golden West. Movie roles were hard to come by so she had no choice but to take on odd jobs to support herself.

McDaniel returned to radio due to not finding a movie role. She took over the starring role on the Beulah Show in 1947. In 1951, she started filming a television version of the Beulah Show.

She faced controversy for her role in The Little Colonel. She was attacked by the black media because some of them felt that her role was negative and stereotypical. She was often criticized for the slave and servant roles.

McDaniel had to step away from her career after being diagnosed with breast cancer and suffering a heart attack. She passed away on October 26, 1952. After her passing, she was awarded two stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and was introduced into the Black Filmmakers Hall of Fame in 1975.

For more information on Hattie McDaniel visit:

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.


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.

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Will it ever stop?

So I’m doing a little news reading, and I come across an article on NFL player Ezekiel Elliot. There’s a video of him pulling down a lady’s shirt, and exposing her chest. What made him do this? I’m not sure.

There’s currently a women’s a group that is speaking out against the matter and calling it sexual assault. The women would like for Elliot to be punished for his actions.

This isn’t this first time we hear about him getting into some type of trouble that involves a woman. Last year, there were allegations of him abusing a woman. No charges were filed, and he wasn’t arrested.

I can’t say what really happened. Only him and that lady knows, but let’s be honest it seems as if too many people are getting away with abuse, and rape. For example, Brock Turner only served three months for sexual assault.

Student, James Enochs, was charged with raping two women, but he only served one day in jail, and was given one year of probation. Also teenager, Kraigen Grooms, sexually abused an one year old. He was given a 10 year suspension, five years of supervision release, and he must be registered as a sex offender. He was released after serving two years in jail.

The list goes on. I guess rape and harassment isn’t that serious these days. What are your thoughts?