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Black History:Madame C.J. Walker

Madame C.J. Walker was a female entrepreneur who created specialized hair products for African Americans and became the first female self-made millionaire in America. She cumulated her fortune through hard work, innovative ideas, and a fierce dedication to her craft and her people. By the time of her passing in 1919, Walker had built one of the largest African American owned manufacturing companies in the world with an international network of over 15,000 Madame Walker agents, beauty schools in three states, and a 32 room mansion at Irvington-on-the-Hudson, New York.

Black History Month

Adah Belle Thoms was an African American nurse and one of the first nurses inducted into the American Nurses Association Hall of Fame when it was established in 1976. Thoms cofounded the National Association of Colored Graduate Nurses. She was also director of the Lincoln School for Nurses and fought for African Americans to serve as army nurses during World War I.

Black History Month

A famous dress and costume designer, Zelda Wynn Valdes was known for her curve accentuating gowns for many celebrities like Dorothy Dandridge, Josephine Baker, and Ella Fitzgerald. She was the first African American to own a store on Broadway when she opened her own boutique, Chez Zelda in 1948. Zelda also served as the chapter president of the National Association of Fashion and Accessory Designers and was the head costume designer of the Dance Theater of Harlem. She was commissioned by Hugh Heffner to create the first Playboy Bunny costume and her bold sexy creation sealed her spot in fashion history.

Black History‬

A Kenyan artist living in Brooklyn, New York, Wangechi Mutu is considered one of the most important contemporary African artists of recent years, and her work has achieved much global acclaim. A modern day feminist, Wangechi uses gender inequality, racism, over-consumption, environmental issues as subject matter in her art. She currently has an exhibit, Wangechi Mutu: A Fantastic Journey, at the Brooklyn Museum through March 9, 2014.

Black History

Althea Gibson became the first African-American to play in, and win, the women’s singles title at Wimbledon in 1957. In total, she won 11 Grand Slam tournaments, including six doubles titles, and was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame and the International Women’s Sports Hall of Fame.

Black History: Katherine Dunham

Katherine Dunham has been called the “matriarch and queen mother of black dance. ” Dunham had one of the most successful dance careers in American and European theater of the 20th century and maintained the Katherine Dunham Dance Company for almost thirty years. Dunham was an innovator in African-American modern dance as well as a leader in the field of dance anthropology in addition to being an author, educator and social activist.

Black History‬; Aja Brown

 

 

At 31, Aja Brown currently serves as Mayor of Compton, California. She made history in 2013 as the youngest mayor to ever be elected in Compton, California. She graduated from the University of Southern California with a Bachelor’s Degree in Public Policy, Urban Planning and Development and earned a Master’s Degree in Urban Planning with a concentration in Economic Development. Brown has outlined an ambitious agenda to transform the poverty-stricken Compton of 97,000 people through fiscal reform, construction projects, jobs, better diet and civic promotion.

Black History Month

On February 13, 1970, Joseph L. Searles III became the first black floor member and floor broker in the New York Stock Exchange He was a member of the Stock Exchange Luncheon Club. He worked as a floor partner in the firm of Neuberger, Loeb and Company. He graduated and played football at Kansas State University. Graduated George Town U., Law Degree. Played with NY Giants, presently serves on Board.

Black History Month

Gerorge Hickman was an original member of the Tuskegee Airmen, America’s first black military fighter pilots. Hickman entered into the Army in 1943 and graduated from the Tuskegee Institute in Alabama in 1944. The former Cadet Captain was the grandson of slaves. He was banned from flying after talking back to a white superior officer who mistreated a fellow black cadet. Despite any racism he experienced, Hickman continued to show kindness and helped others. He, along with the other remaining Tuskegee Airmen received a congressional gold medal in 2007.

Black History Month:Eleanor Roosevelt

In 1938, first lady Eleanor Roosevelt challenged the segregation rules at the Southern Conference on Human Welfare in Birmingham, Alabama, so she could sit next to African-American educator and activist Mary McLeod Bethune. Roosevelt would come to refer to Bethune as “her closest friend in her age group.”

Black History Month: Did You Know?

Before becoming a professional musician, Chuck Berrystudied to be a hairdresser.

Chuck Berry‘s famous “duck walk” dance originated in 1956, when Berry attempted to hide wrinkles in his trousers by shaking them out with his now-signature body movements.

Black History Month:Black History Month

After African-American performer Josephine Bakerexpatriated to France, she famously smuggled military intelligence to French allies during World War II. She did this by pinning secrets inside her dress, as well as hiding them in her sheet music.

Black History Month:

Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated on friend Maya Angelou’s birthday, on April 5, 1968. Angelou stopped celebrating her birthday for years afterward, and sent flowers to King’s widow, Coretta Scott King, for more than 30 years, until Coretta’s death in 2006.

Black History Month:

Before Wally Amos became famous for his “Famous Amos” chocolate chip cookies, he was a talent agent at the William Morris Agency, where he worked with the likes of the Supremes and Simon & Garfunkel.

Black History Month :306 group

 

During the 1930s, painter Charles Alston founded the 306 group, which convened in his studio space and provided support and apprenticeship for African-American artists, including Langston Hughes; sculptor Augusta Savage; and mixed-media visionary Romare Bearden.

 

Black History Month: Allensworth is the first all-black Californian township

Allensworth is the first all-black Californian township, founded and financed by African-Americans. Created by Lieutenant Colonel Allen Allensworth in 1908, the town was built with the intention of establishing a self-sufficient city where African-Americans could live their lives free of racial prejudice.

 

Black History Month: Muhammad Ali

 As a child Muhammad Ali was refused an autograph by his boxing idol, Sugar Ray Robinson. When Ali became a prizefighter, he vowed never to deny an autograph request, which he honored throughout his career.

Muhammad Ali, the self-proclaimed “greatest [boxer] of all time,” was originally named after his father, who was named after the 19th-century abolitionist and politician Cassius Marcellus Clay.

 

Black History Month: Bessie Smith’s First Recording

On this day Bessie Smith makes her first recording, “Down Hearted Blues,” which sells 800,000 copies for Columbia Records.

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