BLACK HISTORY MONTH PROFILE: Euphemia Lofton Haynes

Dr. Euphemia Lofton Haynes was the first African American woman to earn a Ph.D. in Mathematics.

Euphemia Lofton Haynes“Martha Euphemia Lofton was born in Washington, D.C. in 1890, the first child and only daughter of Dr. Willian Lofton and Mrs. Lavinia Day Lofton. Her father, Dr. William S. Lofton was a renown African-American dentist and financier in the African-American business community. Lavinia Day Lofton, her mother, was active in the Catholic church. After graduating from Washington D.C. Miner Normal School with distinction, she went on to earn an undergraduate mathematics major (and psychology minor) from Smith College in 1914. In 1917 she married Harold Appo Haynes.

Haynes pursued graduate studies in mathematics and education at the University of Chicago, earning a masters degree in education in 1930. She continued her graduate work in mathematics at the Catholic University of America where in 1943 she became the first African-American woman to earn a Ph.D. in mathematics. Her dissertation on “The Determination of Sets of Independent Conditions Characterizing Certain Special Cases of Symmetric Correspondences” was written under the supervision of Professor Aubrey Landrey.

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The “Indian Experiment” at Hampton Institute

Did you know that from 1878 to 1923, Native American students were brought to Hampton Institute from Northern Plains tribes to be “re-educated?” The first group to come were prisoners of western Indians wars who were being held in St Augustine, FL. More non-captive students came as time passed. Black and Indian students took classes together. In “Indians at Hampton Institute, 1877-1923,” author Donald Lindsey shows “the complicated way that one black institution, while still under white control, devised to manage the education and socialization of African and Native American students, not for their needs but in the interests of the broader Anglo-American society.”

Hampton Institute - Sioux Indian1

Louis Firetail (Sioux, Crow Creek), wearing tribal clothing, in American history class, Hampton Institute, Hampton, Virginia. Frances Benjamin Johnston Collection (Library of Congress)

A listing of students by name and tribal affiliation as well as some first person accounts written by students can be found online: http://www.twofrog.com/hampton.html.

Read more at “The American Indian at Hampton Institute, Virginia” and “The ‘Indian Experiment’ at Hampton Institute.

BLACK HISTORY MONTH PROFILE: Timothy Thomas Fortune

Timothy Thomas Fortune was born a slave in Marianna, Florida, to Sarah Jane and Emanuel Fortune on October 3, 1856. He attended Howard University from 1876 to 1877. He was trained as a printer and traveled to New York where he was hired by “The New York Sun” in 1878 and later promoted to the editorial staff. From 1891 to 1907 he was the editor and co-owner of several influential New York-based black newspapers including “The New York Globe” and “The New York Freeman,” the latter of which was renamed “The New York Age” in 1887. Fortune’s tenure at “The New York Age” for over 20 years established him as the leading African American journalist of the late 19th and early 20th century. Under his editorial direction, the paper became the nation’s most influential black paper, and was used to protest discrimination, lynching, mob violence, and disenfranchisement.

In 1890 Fortune co-founded the Afro-American League. It was one of the earliest equal rights organizations in the United States and a precursor of the Niagara Falls Movement and The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). Fortune wrote intermittently for “The Amsterdam News” and for “The Norfolk Journal and Guide.” He also served as an editor of Marcus Garvey’s “Negro World.” At its height the “Negro World” had a circulation of over 200,000. With distribution throughout the United States, Canada, Europe, Africa, the Caribbean, and in Central America it may have been the most widely distributed newspaper in the world at that time. Thomas Fortune died on June 2, 1928.

Read more about T. Thomas Fortune: http://to.pbs.org/15vLIde

The Cherokees Free Their Slaves

The status of the slaves of the Cherokee Nation has been in dispute for a long time.

Following on the heels of the Emancipation Proclamation, in February 1863 the Cherokee Nation declared that all slaves within its limits were “forever free.” In 1983, the descendants of these slaves, known as the Cherokee Freedmen, were removed from tribal membership rolls and prohibited from voting in Cherokee elections. A series of protracted legal battles over Freedmen citizenship ensued and continue today.

Read the rest of the story on the Disunion blog.

Guide to African American Resources in Florida Available Online

“The Black Experience” in an online guide to resources that are available for the study of African American history in the State Archives of Florida. It is an update of the material presented in the 1988 (revised 2002) publication, “The Black Experience: A Guide to African American Resources in the State Library and Archives of Florida.” The revised guide includes recent acquisitions in addition to older resources that remain important.

 

BLACK HISTORY MONTH PROFILE: Septima Poinsette Clark

Septima Poinsette Clark (1898-1987), an educator and civil and human rights activist, is often referred to as the “Grandmother of the Civil Rights Movement.” One of her greatest contributions to the movement was the development of citizenship schools throughout the South. From 1962 to 1964 she trained more than 10,000 teachers for the schools and registered 700,000 black voters.

Septima Clark“Many phenomenal African American women remain unrecognized for their contributions to the progression of the Civil Rights Movement. These women were behind the scenes working just as hard as men for little to no acknowledgment…Clark is perhaps the only woman to play a significant role in educating African Americans for full citizenship rights without gaining sufficient gratitude. ” Source: http://bit.ly/YveOCW

“Septima Clark was born in Charleston, South Carolina, on May 3, 1898, and was the second of eight children. In 1916 she finished 12th grade and, unable financially to attend Fisk University as her teachers had hoped and, as an African American, forbidden to teach in the Charleston public schools at that time, Poinsette took the state examination that would permit her to teach in rural areas. Her first job was on John’s Island, South Carolina. The racial inequity of teachers’ salaries and facilities she experienced while there motivated her to become an advocate for change.

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BLACK HISTORY MONTH PROFILE: Frances Ellen Watkins Harper

Frances HarperFrances Ellen Watkins Harper (September 24, 1825 – February 22, 1911) was an African-American abolitionist, poet and author. Born free in Baltimore, Maryland, she had a long and prolific career, publishing her first book of poetry at age 20 and her first novel, the widely praised “Iola Leroy,” at age 67.

“Born in Baltimore, poet, fiction writer, journalist, and activist Frances Ellen Watkins Harper was the only child of free African American parents. She was raised by her aunt and uncle after her mother died when Frances was three years old. She attended the Academy for Negro Youth, a school run by her uncle, until the age of 13, and then found domestic work in a Quaker household, where she had access to a wide range of literature. After teaching for two years in Ohio and Pennsylvania, she embarked on a career as a traveling speaker on the abolitionist circuit. She helped slaves escape through the Underground Railroad and wrote frequently for anti-slavery newspapers, earning her a reputation as the mother of African American journalism.

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Footnote.com and Lowcountry Africana Join Forces to Create a Free Interactive Slave Records Collection

Newly Digitized Records Preserve the Names of More Than  30,000 Slaves

SALT LAKE CITY – July 19, 2010 – Today Footnote.com (www.footnote.com) and Lowcountry Africana (www.lowcountryafricana.net) announced the launch of a new free collection of historical records from the South Carolina Department of Archives and History containing estate inventories and bills of sale for Colonial and Charleston South Carolina from 1732 to 1872.  FamilySearch International donated the copies of the microfilm of the original historical documents.

Charleston’s role as a port of entry during the Atlantic Slave Trade means many thousands of African Americans may have ancestors who came from, or through, South Carolina. This new collection on Footnote.com will assist African American genealogy research by forming, in many cases, a seamless paper trail from Emancipation to the 1700s.

“Research about African American history and genealogy has often been especially difficult because of limited access to primary source material,” says Henry Louis Gates Jr., Director of the W. E. B. Du Bois Institute for African and African American Research.

“Footnote.com is spearheading a revolution in access to the black past by digitizing major portions of the black archive, and making these records available on the Internet.  The publication of these records from South Carolina in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries is the latest example of their bold commitment to resurrecting the African American past.”

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