Fannie Lou Hamer
Hamer is best known for championing black voting rights, especially in her home state of Mississippi, one of many hotbeds for racially motivated voter suppression.
Madam C.J. Walker
Walker, born Sarah Breedlove, is widely regarded as one of the first American women to become a self-made millionaire. Prompted by her experience with early hair loss during the 1890s, Walker created hair care remedies primarily with black women in mind.
Mary McLeod Bethune
After struggling to balance school with working on a plantation to help support her family, Bethune went on to become an educator herself, founding the Daytona Educational and Industrial Institute for girls in 1904. Bethune’s successful stewardship and fundraising for the school eventually gave way to a 1932 merger with the Cookman Institute to form what’s now known as Bethune-Cookman University, a historically black college.
Although she lived mere blocks away from an all-white elementary school, segregation forced Ruby Bridges to travel for miles every day to attend an all-black kindergarten. Then, in 1960, Bridges was thrust into the national spotlight at the tender age of 6, as the first black child to racially integrate an all-white elementary school in the South. The move came less than a decade after the Supreme Court‘s Brown v. Board of Education ruling struck down school segregation.
Hello, everyone! Today I’m going to be writing about Black History Month, which is happening right now in the month of February. What do you know about it? It’s certainly a month to recognize and remember the important roles so many black men and women have played in the past 240 years (and beyond) of our country’s history. Books, articles, and films highlight many of these individuals. And of course, there are historic figures like Martin Luther King Jr., or Frederick Douglass, or Harriet Tubman, who are some of the most well-known and most-talked-about. But I think we all know there were far more “unsung heroes” who existed and don’t get the recognition they deserve. I’d like to share two that I’ve learned and would enjoy learning more about when my time permits!
- Tom Bass: He was a native Missourian, born into slavery in Boone County on January 5, 1859. After the Civil War ended and being raised by his grandparents, he entered the horse training world at the young age of 20. His accomplishments are many, perhaps most notably training horses (Saddlebreds, a gaited breed, were his specialty) for Buffalo Bill Cody, Theodore Roosevelt, and Will Rogers. He developed a more-controlling yet also gentler on the horse’s mouth bit, aptly named the Tom Bass bit, that is still used today. He died at the age of 75 and was inducted into the Hall of Famous Missourians in 1999. A good book that I have skimmed through and would love to fully read (again, when I eventually have a spare moment…maybe when I’m 80?!) that talks a lot about his life and work is Tom Bass: Black Horseman by Bill Downey.
- Harriet Jacobs: I’m a huge Mercy Street (PBS TV show) fan and am really enjoying seeing how Season 2 is unfolding. This season has focused a lot more on the contrabands/free blacks, what their plight was specifically in Alexandria, Virginia (where the show is set), and the people who helped them establish a life free from the chains of slavery. They’ve introduced a character named Charlotte Jenkins, who is based on real-life abolitionist Harriet Jacobs. There is an excellent article here (http://www.pbs.org/mercy-street/blogs/mercy-street-revealed/the-freedmens-cause-african-american-abolitionists/) that explains the historical significance of Jacobs and all that she (and many, many others) unfairly endured, yet ultimately overcame. Jacobs eventually became an advocate for the “refugees from slavery” by educating them, securing food and health care, and recording her experiences so they are preserved for us to read about. On a side note, the Mercy Street blog also has a lot of other good articles detailing the historical accuracy of the show — from the development of nursing to female soldiers and beyond — and I highly recommend checking them out!
There are certainly many more I would love to share with you, but my tight time forces me to conclude. I hope you’ve enjoyed learning a bit about two of my favorite African-American historical figures, and I look forward to who my fellow bloggers choose to write about for Black History Month!
Greetings from the other side of space,
My name is Terragan and this will be a platform I’ll be using to get my thoughts out into the space we occupy. I’m a junior studying History and Global Studies and love the frequent question of ‘what I’m going to do with that?’ The easy answer has been to see the world through any number of opportunities, the most reoccurring one would be to serve as a US ambassador. That’d be neat, I guess.
The hard answer is that I really don’t know. Call it my submissive nature but I’m often fickle and can change my whole plan at the drop of a hat, flip of a coin, or by the suggestions made by those that form my community of support. The one thing I know I want in life is to be free, call it a dreamer’s desire, but the option to drop everything and jump on an adventure that can span the width of worlds has been the pillar granite I stand on. Meeting new people on those adventures are That is the wonder I find in life.
More about myself: I like space, both literal and in thought. Breathing room, but close enough for the intimacy and togetherness of life to take hold. I also love to dance…not well, but I’m stubborn on continuing this hobby. I like to dream. Why have your head in the clouds when you can have it amongst the stars?
I’m excited to be able to confide into you all.
One year ago at this time I wrote a 5 page paper on the history behind Easter egg hunts for my religious studies class. Since Easter is almost here I thought I would share some information. Believe it or not, Easter eggs and the Easter bunny all originate from different parts of the world. But one of the ways Easter egg hunts began was through a German myth from the 1600s. It was believed that Eoster, a Teutonic goddess, had a pet bird who laid eggs in baskets and hid them. When Eoster transformed her pet bird to a bunny, it continued to lay eggs. This myth is based on the belief that rabbits symbolize fertility. This idea was started in Germany and was spread to America in the 1700s when immigrants arrived in Pennsylvania for the first time. They called their custom “Osterhase”. Often children would decorate baskets before they searched for the eggs because the baskets symbolized nests. Some people even left carrots out for the Easter bunny in order to show their gratitude.
Hope you enjoyed it!!!!!!!!!!!