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Mymcbooks Celebrates Black History Month 2012

Black History Month 2012 Theme: “Black Women in American History and Culture”

Artist Hubert Sam created this year’s image which depicts the 2012 National Theme for Black History Month. “Our poster recognizes “Black Women in American History and Culture” who we honor through their achievements.”

Click link to learn more:

Mymcbooks introduces 2012 Black Women in American History and Culture.


Bessie Coleman, the daughter of a poor, southern, African American family, became one of the most famous women and African Americans in aviation history. “Brave Bessie” or “Queen Bess,” as she became known, faced the double difficulties of racial and gender discrimination in early 20th-century America but overcame such challenges to become the first African American woman to earn a pilot’s license. Coleman not only thrilled audiences with her skills as a barnstormer, but she also became a role model for women and African Americans. Her very presence in the air threatened prevailing contemporary stereotypes. She also fought segregation when she could by using her influence as a celebrity to effect change, no matter how small.

Coleman was born on January 26, 1892, in Atlanta, Texas, to a large African American family (although some histories incorrectly report 1893 or 1896). She was one of 13 children. Her father was a Native American and her mother an African American. Very early in her childhood, Bessie and her family moved to Waxahachie, Texas, where she grew up picking cotton and doing laundry for customers with her mother.

The Coleman family, like most African Americans who lived in theDeep South during the early 20th century, faced many disadvantages and difficulties. Bessie’s family dealt with segregation, disenfranchisement, and racial violence. Because of such obstacles, Bessie’s father decided to move the family to “Indian Territory” inOklahoma. He believed they could carve out a much better living for themselves there. Bessie’s mother, however, did not want to live on an Indian reservation and decided to remain in Waxahachie. Bessie, and several of her sisters, also stayed inTexas. To read more click link below


Ida B. Wells-Barnett was a fearless anti-lynching crusader, suffragist, women’s rights advocate, journalist, and speaker. She stands as one of our nation’s most uncompromising leaders and most ardent defenders of democracy. She was born inHollySprings,Mississippi in 1862 and died inChicago,Illinois 1931 at the age of sixty-nine.

Although enslaved prior to the Civil War, her parents were able to support their seven children because her mother was a “famous” cook and her father was a skilled carpenter. When Ida was only fourteen, a tragic epidemic of Yellow Fever swept throughHollySpringsand killed her parents and youngest sibling. Emblematic of the righteousness, responsibility, and fortitude that characterized her life, she kept the family together by securing a job teaching. She managed to continue her education by attending near-byRustCollege. She eventually moved toMemphisto live with her aunt and help raise her youngest sisters.

It was in Memphiswhere she first began to fight (literally) for racial and gender justice. In 1884 she was asked by the conductor of the Chesapeake & Ohio Railroad Company to give up her seat on the train to a white man and ordered her into the smoking or “Jim Crow” car, which was already crowded with other passengers. Despite the 1875 Civil Rights Act banning discrimination on the basis of race, creed, or color, in theaters, hotels, transports, and other public accommodations, several railroad companies defied this congressional mandate and racially segregated its passengers. It is important to realize that her defiant act was before Plessy v. Ferguson (1896), the U.S. Supreme Court decision that established the fallacious doctrine of “separate but equal,” which constitutionalized racial segregation. Wells wrote in her autobiography:

I refused, saying that the forward car [closest to the locomotive] was a smoker, and as I was in the ladies’ car, I proposed to stay. . . [The conductor] tried to drag me out of the seat, but the moment he caught hold of my arm I fastened my teeth in the back of his hand. I had braced my feet against the seat in front and was holding to the back, and as he had already been badly bitten he didn’t try it again by himself. He went forward and got the baggageman and another man to help him and of course they succeeded in dragging me out.

Wells was forcefully removed from the train and the other passengers–all whites–applauded. When Wells returned toMemphis, she immediately hired an attorney to sue the railroad. She won her case in the local circuit courts, but the railroad company appealed to the Supreme Court of Tennessee, and it reversed the lower court’s ruling. This was the first of many struggles Wells engaged, and from that moment forward, she worked tirelessly and fearlessly to overturn injustices against women and people of color. To read more click on the link below:


Cara Barton born on December 25, 1821 in Oxford, Mass., the youngest of 5 children in a middle-class family, Barton was educated at home, and at 15 started teaching school. Her most notable antebellum achievement was the establishment of a free public school in Bordentown, N.J. Though she is remembered as the founder of the American Red Cross, her only prewar medical experience came when for 2 years she nursed an invalid brother. In 1861 Barton was living in Washington, D.C., working at the U.S. Patent Office. When the 6th Massachusetts Regiment arrived in the city after the Baltimore Riots, she organized a relief program for the soldiers, beginning a lifetime of philanthropy.    

When Barton learned that many of the wounded from First Bull Run had suffered, not from want of attention but from need of medical supplies, she advertised for donations in the Worcester, Mass., Spy and began an independent organization to distribute goods. The relief operation was successful, and the following year U.S. Surgeon General William A. Hammond granted her a general pass to travel with army ambulances “for the purpose of distributing comforts for the sick and wounded, and nursing them.”

For 3 years she followed army operations throughout theVirginiatheater and in theCharleston,S.C., area. Her work inFredericksburg,Va., hospitals, caring for the casualties from theBattleof the Wilderness, and nursing work at Bermuda Hundred attracted national notice. At this time she formed her only formal Civil War connection with any organization when she served as superintendent of nurses in Maj. Gen. Benjamin F. Butlers command.


The woman we know as Sojourner Truth was born into slavery in New York as Isabella Baumfree (after her father’s owner, Baumfree). She was sold several times, and while owned by the John Dumont family in Ulster County, married Thomas, another of Dumont’s slaves. She had five children with Thomas. In 1827, New York law emancipated all slaves, but Isabella had already left her husband and run away with her youngest child. She went to work for the family of Isaac Van Wagenen.

While working for the Van Wagenen’s — whose name she used briefly — she discovered that a member of the Dumont family had sold one of her children to slavery in Alabama. Since this son had been emancipated under New York Law, Isabella sued in court and won his return.

Isabella experienced a religious conversion, moved to New York City and to a Methodist perfectionist commune, and there came under the influence of a religious prophet named Mathias. The commune fell apart a few years later, with allegations of sexual improprieties and even murder. Isabella herself was accused of poisoning, and sued successfully for libel. She continued as well during that time to work as a household servant. To read more click on the link below:


Born in New Orleansin 1911, Mahalia Jackson grew up in a shotgun home shared by 13 people. Raised by her Aunt Duke after her mother died in 1917, economic circumstances forcedJackson to quit school and work at home when she was in fourth grade. Her earliest influences were the sights and sounds of Uptown New Orleans: banana steamships on theMississippi River, acorns roasting inAudubonPark, hot jazz bands, the beat-driven music of theSanctifiedChurch, and Bessie Smith’s bluesy voice wafting from her cousin Fred’s record player. ButJackson found her greatest inspiration atMt.MoriahBaptistChurch, where she sang on Wednesday, Friday, and four times on Sunday. Even at age 12, her powerful voice could be heard all the way to the end of the block. “You going to be famous in this world and walk with kings and queens,” said her Aunt Bell, predicting an illustrious future for a voice that would change the face of American music, empower the Civil Rights movement, and bring Mahalia Jackson worldwide renown. To read more click on the link below:


On Sept. 17, 1956, Ann Gregory teed off in the U.S. Women’s Amateur Championship at Meridian Hills Country Club in Indianapolis, becoming the first African-American woman to play in a national championship conducted by the United States Golf Association.

Other talented female black players would follow, including professionals Renee Powell and Althea Gibson, the great tennis player who turned to golf at the age of 32.  But Gregory was the first black woman to compete on the national scene and, arguably, the best.

“She was a determined and confident golfer,” said Powell, “and she was such a warm-hearted, inspirational individual that she helped me by her example, by the kind of person she was.  She set the stage for every other black female who came into golf after her.”

In 1963, Gregory was competing in the U.S. Women’s Amateur in Williamstown, Mass.  A handsome woman with great warmth, she was by then a veteran who mingled easily with the other contestants, but there had been an embarrassing moment earlier in the week.

Polly Riley, a contestant, was unpacking a suitcase when she saw Gregory, dressed entirely in white, walking in the hall of the inn in which they were both staying. To read more click on the link below: Story by Rhonda Glenn, USGA.


Frances (Fannie) Barrier was the youngest of three children born to Anthony and Harriet Barrier. Her father, born in Pennsylvania,  
came to Brockport, New York. Pennsylvania The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is a U.S. state that is located in the Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic regions of the United States. The state borders Delaware and Maryland to the south, West Virginia to the southwest, Ohio to the west, New York and Ontario, Canada, to the north, and New Jersey to…
as a child. He claimed to be partially of French descent. He worked as a barber and later became a coal dealer. Her mother Harriet was born in Chenango, New York and the couple married in Brockport. The family attended the First Baptist Church in Brockport, and was the only black family in the congregation. Fannie recalled her Brockport youth as a time of innocence, but her personal experience and growing awareness of the unfair treatment received by women of color led her to pursue a lifetime of activism.

All three Barrier children attended Brockport public schools. After graduation, Fannie Barrier went on to theBrockportNormal School, a teachers college (now SUNY Brockport), and was the first black to graduate in 1870. After graduation, Fannie Barrier went to theWashingtonD.C. area to teach joining the emerging education movement which focused on freedmen and freedwomen. She reported that she was “shattered” by the discrimination she encountered in the more southern city. She also experienced significant difficulties due to her race when she enrolled in theSchoolofFine ArtsinWashingtonto study portrait painting, and had a similar experience when she attempted to study at the New England Conservatory of Music inBoston,Massachusetts.Chenango is a town in Broome County, New York, United States. The population was 11,454 at the 2000 census.The Town of Chenango is in the eastern part of the county, northeast of Binghamton.- History :The town was first settled around 1787….

While teaching in Washington, D.C., she met her future husband S. Laing Williams of Georgia. He worked in the United States Pension Office while studying law at Columbian University (later George Washington University Law School). They were married in Brockport in August 1887, returned to Washington, and eventually settled in Chicago, Illinois where Williams was admitted to the Illinois bar and began a successful law practice. The couple joined All Souls (Unitarian) Church inChicago. To read more click on link below:

January 31, 2012 - Posted by | Black History Month | , , , ,

1 Comment »

  1. Thank you. I especially liked the stories on Bessie Coleman and Ann Gregory

    Comment by Cherese Vines | February 1, 2012 | Reply

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