Garrett-Evangelical News

G-ETS Black Alumni Association Survey

The Center for the Church and the Black Experience at Garrett-Evangelical is working toward the creation of a G-ETS Black Alumni Association. We are committed to providing a space through which Black Alumni can continue to grow and be supported in their ministries in and beyond the local church.

In order to design the G-ETS Black Alumni Association effectively and efficiently, we would love to hear from you. Please take 1 to 2 minutes to complete the online form below that will help us better serve you.


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Dr. Isabella M. Garnett

Dr. Isabella M. Garnett (August 22, 1872 – August 23, 1948)

Trailblazing Nurse/Doctor/Philanthropist/Entrepreneur

During Black History Month 2014, the Center for the Church and the Black Experience is honoring faithful Black women freedom fighters. Today we honor Dr. Isabella M. Garnett.

garnettA member of an early black family that settled in Evanston, Illinois, Dr. Isabella Garnett joined the medical profession at a time when it was not commonplace for women, especially black women, to have such aspirations.

Isabella Maude Garnett, the seventh of nine children, attended the local schools as did her siblings.  After high school, she moved to Minneapolis, attended business school and worked for a printer.  When Dr. Daniel Hale Williams, founder of the Provident Hospital and Training School for Nurses in Chicago, recruited her in 1893, she returned from Minneapolis to attend.

She stated “I took up nursing to work my way through school, but I knew I wanted to be a physician and have my own hospital someday.”  After earning a diploma in 1895, Miss Garnett worked as a nurse and later attended the Physician’s and Surgeon’s College (now the University of Illinois College of Medicine), graduating in 1901.  After Dr. Garnett built a private practice in Chicago, she returned to Evanston and shared an office with her dentist brother, William.

In 1907, she married Arthur DeLyons Butler, a medical student at Northwestern University.  Local hospitals became more reluctant to admit black patients, so in May 1914, the couple opened the interracial Evanston Sanitarium in their home.  The only medical facility for blacks north of Chicago, it became the Community Hospital in 1930.  She served as its Superintendent until 1946.

Dr. Garnett’s long-time affiliation with the Second Baptist Church of Evanston inspired her to pay off its longstanding mortgage in 1942.  During a testimonial in recognition of her support of the hospital and service in organizations such as the NAACP and the Iroquois League, she turned over a purse of nearly $4,700.00 collected on her behalf.

The Isabella Butler Park in northwest Evanston stands as a memorial to her legacy.

Sources:

Compiled by Rhonda K. Craven

Gloria St. Clair Hayes Richardson

Gloria St. Clair Hayes Richardson (May 6, 1922– )

Leader of the Cambridge Movement

During Black History Month 2014, the Center for the Church and the Black Experience is honoring faithful Black women freedom fighters. Today we honor Gloria St. Clair Hayes Richardson.

richardsonGloria Richardson was an outspoken leader during the fight to overturn the Jim Crow laws in Cambridge, MD during the early 1960s.  She incorporated armed self-defense tactics that inspired the more militant factions of the Black Power Movement.  A native of Baltimore, MD, she moved with her family to Cambridge, her mother’s home town, during the Great Depression.  Mrs. Richardson earned a sociology degree in 1942 from Howard University and worked briefly as a civil servant based in Washington, DC.  She returned to Cambridge and unsuccessfully sought a job in social work.  In 1948, she married a local school teacher, Harry Richardson, and for the next thirteen years, she was a mother and homemaker.
 
After her divorce from Mr. Richardson, a freedom ride came to Cambridge in 1961.  Subsequently, she and her daughter joined the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC).[1]  Though she disagreed with the concept of non-violence, a year later, Mrs. Richardson organized the Cambridge Nonviolent Action Committee (CNAC), the first adult-led affiliate.  The group initially used sit-ins to desegregate segregated restaurants, bowling alleys, and movie theatres, but later Mrs. Richardson worked more aggressively to change the chronic low wages, high unemployment and low voter registration numbers in the city.  Because CNAC’s confrontations were more violent, the Governor called in the National Guard in the summer of 1963, placing the city under martial law.  U. S. Attorney General Robert Kennedy brokered an agreement between CNAC and Cambridge’s white politicians, resulting in the Treaty of Cambridge that desegregated key public facilities and institutions.  
 
Mrs. Richardson was recognized as one of six “Negro Women Fighters for Freedom” during the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom.  She was also scheduled to make remarks, but the microphone was taken from her immediately after she greeted the audience.  In 2013, on the 50th anniversary of the March, she spoke out about the sexism she and other female participants encountered in the Movement.  

In 1964, Mrs. Richardson resigned from CNAC and moved to New York, where she remained active in other civil rights organizations.

1 The Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), founded in April 1960, did civil rights field work across the South by participated in Freedom Rides and sit-ins and organizing voter registration drives.

Sources:

Compiled by Rhonda K. Craven

Luisa Moreno

Luisa Moreno (August 30, 1907-November 4, 1992)

Labor Leader/Social Activist

During Black History Month 2014, the Center for the Church and the Black Experience is honoring faithful Black women freedom fighters. Today we honor Luisa Moreno.

morenoA Guatemalan immigrant who became a union organizer in the United States and an outspoken critic of injustice, Luisa Moreno was a passionate crusader on behalf of all workers, particularly women of color.

Born Blanca Rosa Lopez Rodriguez to an upper-class family, Mrs. Moreno’s family immigrated to the United States in 1916.  She attended the College of the Holy Name in California before returning to Guatemala.  For the next few years, she wrote poetry and worked for local newspapers, which fueled her interest in social issues.  When she moved to New York City in 1928 with her husband, Guatemalan artist Miguel Angel de Leon, Mrs. Moreno immediately became involved in labor organizing after she saw how segregation affected people of color living there.  Because of her parents’ disapproval of her outspoken positions, she changed her name to Luisa Moreno in honor of the Mexican labor organizer, Luis Moreno.   

During the Great Depression, to support her unemployed husband and their daughter, Mrs. Moreno worked in a sweat shop in Spanish Harlem, experiencing first-hand the challenges of long hours for little pay.  Soon, she took a job at a cafeteria and participated in a strike with her co-workers during which her face was bloodied.  Mrs. Moreno joined the Communist Party, having been attracted by its goals of desegregating public facilities, organizing workers, providing relief for those in need, protesting police brutality and the deportation of Mexicans.  She traveled the country, organizing black and Latina cigar rollers in Florida, cane workers in Louisiana, sugar beet workers in Colorado, field and packing house workers in California, as well as tuna packers in San Diego.  Mrs. Moreno became a leader in several union organizations, including the United Cannery Agricultural Packing, and Allied Workers of America (UCAPAWA).

By 1937, Mrs. Moreno and her husband had divorced, but the single mother was undeterred in her quest for justice.  As a forceful bilingual speaker and writer who was also trustworthy and likeable, she was effective in building coalitions among the diverse groups as she helped people see the oppression that affected them all.  She also organized in San Diego the El Congreso de Pueblos que Hablan Español (the National Spanish-Speaking Congress) that networked Mexican American unions, organizations, clubs and associations.  This triggered an investigation by the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC).

Mrs. Moreno continued her work across the country and married Gray Bemis, a U. S. Navy sailor, in 1947.  They settled in San Diego, but in 1948, after she had applied for U. S. citizenship, the HUAC determined that she was a “dangerous alien”.  As the situation deteriorated and she saw that her associates were being affected by the HUAC’s witch hunt, she and Bemis decided to voluntarily leave the country, moving to Mexico and then back to Guatemala, where they opened some small businesses.  Though she no longer worked as an organizer, Mrs. Moreno’s legacy as an early activist remains etched in the labor movement’s history.

Sources:

Compiled by Rhonda K. Craven

Nana Afia Dokuaa

Nana Afia Dokuaa (?-?)

First Woman Ruler of Eastern Ghana

During Black History Month 2014, the Center for the Church and the Black Experience is honoring faithful Black women freedom fighters. Today we honor Nana Afia Dokuaa.

During the early 19th century, Nana Afia Dokuaa ascended to leadership as both King and Queenmother of Ghana.  To date, she is the only female who has held those positions simultaneously.   

In 1817, instead of a male heir of her uncle taking the reins of leadership, Nana Dokuaa ascended the Ofori stool to become the 24th Okyenhene (King) and the Ohemaa (Queenmother) of Okyeman (Akyem Abuakwa) (Ghana) from 1817 to 1835.  She continued the tradition of resisting the overlordship of the Asantes (against whom she battled 99 times) and participated in an anti-Asante alliance of coastal chiefs and the British administration.  Nana Dokuaa led the Akyem Abuakwa contingent in 1826 during the battle of Katamanso, and in 1831, was instrumental in the allied victory at Datamanso and the subsequent treaty that same year that freed Ghana from Asante suzerainty.  

Queenmother Dokuaa organized towns and villages into their current divisions for war and administration purposes.  She also labored to prevent revolts and divisions in her kingdom.

As a warrior, Nana Dokuaa also led several other campaigns, including the Gyadam War.  After a quarrel with the Kotokuhene (rulers), she ordered various soldier troops to force the Kotokus from Gyadam.  Because the neighboring Kwabenghene allowed them to depart peacefully, there was no violence.

The birth of royal male twins to Nana Dokuaa and her husband, Barima Twum Ampofo, inspired the ongoing celebration of "ABAM" (The Twins Day), which is celebrated annually; all twins in Ghana attend.  

Nana Dokuaa’s accomplishments have been immortalized in songs praising her achievements.

Sources:

Compiled by Rhonda K. Craven

Amanda Johnson Dunlap

Amanda Johnson Dunlap (1845? – April 16, 1912)

Civil War Cook/Devoted Wife

During Black History Month 2014, the Center for the Church and the Black Experience is honoring faithful Black women freedom fighters. Today we honor Amanda Johnson Dunlap.

Considered to be the first woman who applied for a Civil War pension, Amanda Johnson Dunlap served as a cook in several camps for the Union Army, crossing enemy lines to secure provisions for the commanding officers.  She later married a white man whose mental illness was not a deterrent to her love for him.

Born in slavery around 1845 in Tennessee, Amanda Johnson made her escape after the Civil War began and found safety with the Union troops.  Because of her outstanding culinary skills, she became the private cook of Colonel Cameron.  One day, he was attacked by Confederate soldiers as she was serving him his meal.  She got away on horseback but was permanently separated from that camp.  Mrs. Dunlap then sought refuge in the camp of General John McAllister Schofield.  During the 1864 siege of Nashville, TN, the food supply ran out, so Gen. Schofield signed a passport that ensured Mrs. Dunlap’s safety as she crossed enemy lines to replenish provisions for the troops.

After the war, she traveled to Illinois and married George Dunlap, a White man about twenty years her junior.  The couple lived in Evanston, IL, and throughout their marriage, Mr. Dunlap was repeatedly incarcerated.  He was eventually committed to a mental institution.

Mrs. Dunlap applied for a government pension to supplement her income from cleaning and cooking in local homes.  Though much effort went into securing this support from Washington, DC, her request was denied.  As far as we know, Mrs. Dunlap was the first woman to seek pension payments from the War.
 
From her deathbed, which was covered with war memorabilia such as buttons, photos and the passport signed by Gen. Schofield, Mrs. Dunlap wrote a letter to a local justice, requesting that he persuade the local chapter of the Grand Army of the Republic (G. A. R.), a fraternal organization of Union Army veterans, to attend her funeral.  Many of them were present, in recognition of her faithfulness to the Union cause.

Sources:

  • Evanston Daily News 4/19/1912, 1
  • 1880, 1900, 1910 U. S. Census records

Compiled by Rhonda K. Craven

Madam Flora Batson Bergen

Madam Flora Batson Bergen (April 16, 1864 – December 1, 1906)

Queen of Song/Philanthropist

During Black History Month 2014, the Center for the Church and the Black Experience is honoring faithful Black women freedom fighters. Today we honor Madam Flora Batson Bergen.

bergenAs one of the most internationally renowned operatic sopranos of the late 19th century, Flora Batson Bergen was often described as “the greatest colored singer in the world”.  She was also called the “double-voiced queen of song” in acknowledgement of her soprano-baritone range.  

The daughter of a Civil War widow, Mrs. Bergen was born in Washington, DC.  She and her mother relocated to Providence, RI in 1867, where she joined various local choirs.  By 1878, she was singing for Storer College in Harpers Ferry, WV.  Though Mrs. Bergen was offered a full music scholarship at Storer, she decided to continue singing professionally.  Temperance reformer Thomas N. Doutney was her manager, so she participated in many temperance revivals.

In 1885, during a revival at the Masonic Temple in New York City, her rendition of “Six Feet of Earth Make Us All One Size” caught the ear of John G. Bergen, the white manager of the black Bergen Star Concert Company.  Her critically acclaimed performance of the song for ninety consecutive nights led him to invite her to join his group, and within two years, she was an international star.  At the end of 1887, they married in a controversial but beneficial union, as both of their careers flourished.  After John Bergen’s death in 1896, she toured with black basso Gerard Millar, whom she later married.  Her international travels included concerts where she sang before dignitaries such as Pope Leo XIII, Queen Victoria of England, and Queen Liliuokalani of Hawaii.

Though opera selections were in her repertoire, her primary genre was the ballad, and Mrs. Bergen often received standing ovations and jewelry in recognition of her title, “The Queen of Song”.  As vaudeville became more popular and her solo engagements decreased, for the remainder of her life, Mrs. Bergen performed primarily for religious organizations and charities.

Sources:

Compiled by Rhonda K. Craven

 

Audrey Layne Jeffers

Audrey Layne Jeffers (February 12, 1898-June 24, 1968)

Organizer/Philanthropist/Politician

During Black History Month 2014, the Center for the Church and the Black Experience is honoring faithful Black women freedom fighters. Today we honor Audrey Layne Jeffers.

jeffersOften referred to as the “Mother of Trinidadian Philanthropy”, Audrey Layne Jeffers helped to define “community care” by inspiring the wealthy to help the poor.  Born to an upper-class family, her life was dedicated to easing the burdens of poor blacks living in Trinidad and Tobago.  Educated in Great Britain, Miss Jeffers was a founder of the Union of Students of African Descent (later the League of Colored Peoples).  During World War I, she served with West African troops and even established a fund to help those soldiers.  Jeffers was the founder of a Junior School that educated poor black children, and in 1921, she joined other like-minded women to set up feeding programs through the Coterie of Workers so that hungry students would have a mid-day meal.

Over time, the organization, now known as the Coterie of Social Workers, expanded its reach by establishing homes for the elderly, homeless and blind, as well as day care centers. In 1936, she was an honored guest of the Negro Progress Convention in British Guyana, marking the 100th anniversary of slave emancipation.  That May, the Coterie hosted the First Conference of British West Indies and British Guyana Women Social Workers in the Port of Spain, which was the first major women's conference of the English-speaking Caribbean.  Miss Jeffers took advantage of an opportunity to run for public office in October 1936 and became the first woman elected to the Port of Spain City Council.

In 1946, the Governor appointed her to the Legislative Council, and in 1959, she was made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire.  These positions allowed her to expand the work not only in her home country but also throughout the Caribbean.  To this day, many of Miss Jeffers’ methodologies are still in use.   

Sources:

Compiled by Rhonda K. Craven

Georgia M. DeBaptiste Faulkner

Georgia M. DeBaptiste Faulkner (November 24, 1867- ?)

Writer/Missionary/Teacher/Social Worker

During Black History Month 2014, the Center for the Church and the Black Experience is honoring faithful Black women freedom fighters. Today we honor Georgia M. DeBapiste Faulkner.

faulknerThe daughter of a Baptist pastor, writer, and missionary, Georgia Mabel DeBaptiste Faulkner distinguished herself as a writer who dedicated herself to education and local and foreign missions.  Born in Chicago to Rev. Richard DeBaptiste, Pastor of Olivet Baptist Church, Miss Faulkner was educated in the local schools.  Her mother, Georgianna, died when she was six years old.  After her high school years, she was published in The Baptist Herald, The Baptist Headlight, The African Mission Herald, and Our Women and Children.  Her interest in music paralleled that of her brother, both of whom were accomplished pianists.

In the 1890s, Miss Faulkner emerged as an early leader in the National Baptist Convention’s Women’s Auxiliary, serving as its President for many years.   She was also President of the Mothers Union, in association with the Missionary Society.  In 1899, she married Henry C. Faulkner, and together they traveled to Liberia, a place to which she returned many times, for missionary work.  Over the years, she taught music and language classes across the country in universities, normal and industrial schools and seminaries in Kentucky, Missouri, Illinois, Alabama, Virginia and Liberia (where she served as an assistant principal).  Miss Faulkner was also a social worker in New York and Chicago, where she served as the Superintendent for the Home for Business and Working Young Women (supported by the Methodist Episcopal Church, Rock River Conference).   Her other community involvements included the Urban League, the YW C A, the NAACP and the World’s Fellowship of Faiths.  She also organized the Butler Community Center in Chicago. Miss Faulkner’s prolific work on behalf of the communities in which she lived continued the tradition she learned from her father.

Sources:

Sheyann Webb-Christburg

Sheyann Webb-Christburg (February 17, 1956- )

Lifelong Freedom Fighter

During Black History Month 2014, the Center for the Church and the Black Experience is honoring faithful Black women freedom fighters. Today we honor Sheyann Webb-Christburg.

christburgA participant in the 1965 March across Alabama’s Edmund Pettus Bridge (“Bloody Sunday”), Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. called 9-year old Sheyann Webb the “youngest freedom fighter”. Today, using her own experiences as an example, Sheyann Webb-Christburg continues to speak about the importance of youth involvement in struggles for social justice.  

One of eight children, Sheyann Webb was born in Selma, AL in 1956 and attended racially segregated public schools.  After a chance encounter with Dr. King outside her church in January 1965, she attended her first meeting to learn about plans for non-violent protests against the unjust voting practices.  Sheyann’s parents, who were active in the Civil Rights Movement, wanted her to be informed but not involved as they sought to protect her from the very real potential for violence and backlash.  Still, eight year-old Sheyann sneaked out at night and skipped classes in order to attend the rallies and demonstrations.  

Over time, Sheyann became a conduit of information for her classmates as well as her teachers, many of whom were afraid to participate for fear of losing their jobs.  During the rallies, Sheyann inspired attendees with her powerful singing, and she grew close to Dr. King, who was moved by her dedication.  After the murder of one protester during a rally, plans were made to march the 54 miles between Selma, AL to Montgomery, AL, the state capital, to present a voting rights petition to Gov. George Wallace.

On March 7, 1965, Sheyann and her teacher, Mrs. Margaret Moore, were part of the group that made the first Montgomery March attempt, which ended in a bloody confrontation with police beating, trampling and gassing marchers who refused to turn back after they had crossed the bridge.  Though she and her family were persecuted as a result of her continued involvement, Sheyann’s passion never waned.  She wasn’t allowed to march on the third attempt, but she did participate at the successful rally in Montgomery.  National television exposure to the violence led President Lyndon B. Johnson to propose and sign the Voting Rights Act soon after.  Sheyann asked her parents to register to vote as their birthday present to her.  Agreeing to her request, the first time they voted, they took her along as a witness.

Sources:

Compiled by Rhonda K. Craven

Carrie Crawford Smith

Carrie Crawford Smith (February 7, 1877 – November 19, 1954)
Educator/Employment Agency Owner

During Black History Month 2014, the Center for the Church and the Black Experience is honoring faithful Black women freedom fighters. Today we honor Carrie Crawford Smith.

SmithCarrie G. Crawford, a native of Nashville, TN, graduated from Fisk University in 1897.  After teaching in various Southern schools, she relocated to Illinois and married Edward A. Smith, a scavenger, in 1907.  In 1916, the family, with five children in tow, relocated to Evanston, IL during the first Great Migration.[1]   She opened the Smith Employment Agency in 1918 that provided “Select Help for Private Families”, according to an advertisement of the time.  Mrs. Smith, who hired both black and white women, wrote the “Smith Employment Agency Standards and Principles”.  This contract explicitly stated that employers were not to put their black employees in any degrading situations.  For more than 40 years, she tenaciously maintained her high standards not only for employers but also for employees.  Mrs. Smith was known to withdraw women from homes when her rules were violated.

In the 1920s, with her marriage ended, Mrs. Smith continued to build her business by adhering to high performance standards.  At the same time, she was actively involved in the Evanston community via the NAACP, the Matilda Dunbar Club, the Evanston Interracial Council and the Ebenezer A. M. E. church.  Mrs. Smith also taught Work Projects Administration (WPA) [2] classes during World War II and continued her education through reading and local studies.  After her death, her sons continued the agency for a time.

1 The first Great Migration was a movement of blacks from the South to urban cities in the Northeast, Midwest [1910-1930]. 

2 The Works Projects Administration was a New Deal agency during Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s presidency that provided job opportunities in construction, the fine arts, and literacy projects. 

Sources:

Compiled by Rhonda K. Craven

Ai-jen Poo

Ai-jen Poo, (b 1974-)

Domestic Advocate/Labor Organizer

Director, National Domestic Workers Alliance

During Black History Month 2014, the Center for the Church and the Black Experience is honoring faithful Black women freedom fighters. Today we honor Ai-jen Poo.

PooDomestic workers have been historically been employed by upper middle class or affluent families to perform household and childcare duties. Historically, for many African American women, domestic work has largely been experienced as menial and inferior. It is reported by the Association of Black Women Historians that during the 1960s, nearly 90 percent of working black women in the South labored as domestic servants in white homes. Domestic workers were the backbone of the Civil Rights Movement, as they were the catalyst for the success of the Montgomery Bus Boycott.  

Ai-jen Poo, Director of the National Domestic Workers Alliance (NDWA) and Co-director of the Caring Across Generations campaign, has been organizing immigrant women domestic workers since 1996. NDWA is America’s leading voice for dignity and fairness for millions of domestic workers in the United States.  

Ms. Poo is the daughter of pro-democracy immigrants from Chiang Kai-shek's Taiwan. Her father was a scientist and one-time political activist from whom she inherited her passion for justice. She began her work as a labor organizer while a student at Columbia University. Outraged by stories of low pay and abuse at the hands of employers, Ms. Poo began organizing maids, nannies, and other domestic workers. Her organization is powered by 35 local, membership-based affiliate organizations representing over 10,000 nannies, housekeepers, and caregivers for the elderly located in 19 cities and 11 states around the country.

Among Ms. Poo’s numerous accolades are the Ms. Foundation Woman of Vision Award, the Independent Sector American Express NGen Leadership Award, Newsweek’s 150 Fearless Women list, and TIME’s list of the 100 Most Influential People in the World.

Source:
Photo:  http://www.domesticworkers.org/sites/default/files/images/Ai-jen_HeadShot_2_LoRes.jpg (Accessed 1/24/14)
http://www.domesticworkers.org/aijen-poo#long (Accessed 1/24/14)
Burnham, Linda & Theodore, Nik, Home Economics: The Invisible and Unregulated World of Domestic Work, National Alliance of Domestic Workers, New York 2012, P 41.
http://content.time.com/time/specials/packages/article/0,28804,2111975_2111976_2112169,00.html (Accessed 1/24/14)
http://www.abwh.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=2%3Aopen-statement-the-help (Accessed 1/24/14)

Compiled by Beverly Moore

Daisy Elizabeth Adams Lampkin

Daisy Elizabeth Adams Lampkin (August 9, 1884-March 10, 1965)

Fundraiser/Influencer/Women’s Suffrage Leader

During Black History Month 2014, the Center for the Church and the Black Experience is honoring faithful Black women freedom fighters. Today we honor Daisy Elizabeth Adams Lampkin.

LampkinBorn August 9, 1884 in Reading, Pennsylvania, Daisy Adams Lampkin became one of the most highly acclaimed African American women of her time. While Mrs. Lampkin is best known her role as the first woman elected to the national board of the NAACP, she spent much of her life rallying for racial and gender equality.

Mrs. Lampkin’s social and political activism began shortly after graduating from high school. After migrating to Pittsburgh, she worked as a motivational speaker for housewives and organized women into consumer protest groups. She was an active leader in the Lucy Stone Women’s Suffrage League and the National Suffrage League where she rallied for women’s right to vote. Understanding the challenges unique to African American women, Mrs. Lampkin also became involved with the National Association for Colored Women (NACW) and was later named National Organizer and Chair of the Executive Board.
From 1930-1964, Mrs. Lampkin served three consecutive terms as a national officer for the NAACP. Throughout her years of service, she was hailed as the NAACP’s top membership recruiter and fundraiser.  In addition to her lobbying, organizing, and fundraising efforts, Mrs. Lampkin has also been credited with persuading a young Baltimore attorney, Thurgood Marshall, to become a member of the NAACP's Legal Defense Committee.

In December 1964, for her dedication to racial and gender equality, Mrs. Lampkin was honored with the Eleanor Roosevelt-Mary McLeod Bethune World Citizenship Award from the National Council of Negro Women. After more than fifty years of work on behalf of others, Mrs. Lampkin passed away on March 10, 1965 at the age of 81.


Sources:
Photo: Blackpast http://www.blackpast.org/aah/lampkin-daisy-1884-1964 (Accessed 1/24/14)
http://www.nwhm.org/education-resources/biography/biographies/daisy-adams-lampkin/ (Accessed 1/24/14)
http://old.post-gazette.com/blackhistorymonth/19980202lampkin.asp (Accessed 1/24/14)
http://www.archives.gov/education/lessons/woman-suffrage/awsa-memorial.html (Accessed 1/24/14)

Compiled by Beverly Moore

Joyce Banda

Joyce Banda (April 12, 1950-)

Head of State/Reformer/Visionary

President of the Republic of Malawi

During Black History Month 2014, the Center for the Church and the Black Experience is honoring faithful Black women freedom fighters. Today we honor Joyce Banda.

“I will serve my country and my people with your help and the help of God and to the best of my ability.”

BandaMalawi, surrounded by Mozambique, Zambia, and Tanzania, is a small landlocked country about the size of Pennsylvania, located in Southeast Africa. Malawians made history by electing Dr. Joyce Banda as their first female head of state on April 7, 2012 following the death of 78-year-old President Bingu wa Mutharika. As Malawi’s first female President, Dr. Banda is the continent’s second female Head of State, and is a champion for women, children, and the underprivileged. Forbes magazine has recognized Dr. Banda as one of Africa's most powerful women.

Before her election to the presidency, Dr. Banda spent thirty years as a development practitioner, a philanthropist, and a champion for social justice and equality. President Banda’s driving vision is to eradicate poverty in Malawi through economic growth and wealth creation. To date, she has prioritized programs to help women and children gain social and political power through entrepreneurship and education. Among her first initiatives as President was the creation of the Presidential Initiative on Poverty and Hunger Reduction aimed at increasing food security. Dr. Banda has also created the Presidential Initiative on Maternal Health and Safe Motherhood, aimed at reducing Malawi’s high infant mortality rates.

President Banda holds a Bachelor of Social Studies in Gender Studies from the Atlantic International University in the United Sates, and a diploma in Non-Governmental Organization and Management from the International Labour Organization (ILO) Centre in Turch, Italy. Currently, President Banda is completing a Master of Arts Degree in Leadership at Royal Roads University in Canada. Jeonju University of South Korea conferred an Honorary Doctorate Degree on President Banda in January 2013.


Source:
Photo: Republic of Malawi http://www.un.int/wcm/content/site/malawi/cache/offonce/pid/15104 (Accessed 1/24/14)
http://www.apbspeakers.com/speaker/joyce-banda (Accessed 1/24/14)
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Her-Excellency-Dr-Joyce-Banda/325799237543309?sk=info (Accessed 1/24/14)
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-17662916 (Accessed 1/24/14)

Compiled by Beverly Moore

 

Ruby Doris Smith-Robinson

Ruby Doris Smith-Robinson (April 25, 1942-October 9, 1967)

Determined Leader and Change Agent

Former Executive Secretary, Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC)

During Black History Month 2014, the Center for the Church and the Black Experience is honoring faithful Black women freedom fighters. Today we honor Ruby Doris Smith-Robinson.

Smith-RobinsonThough her life was brief, Ruby Doris Smith Robinson left a legacy of leadership for African-American women to follow. Born in Atlanta, Georgia, on April 25, 1942, she was the second oldest of seven children born to Alice and J. T. Smith. Her father was a bi-vocational minister and furniture mover, and her mother was a beautician. The Smiths lived in a middle class community in Atlanta and enjoyed a relatively comfortable life, yet they were always aware of looming racial and gender inequality. Ruby Smith entered Spelman College in 1959, where she quickly became involved in the Atlanta Student Movement [Founded by Lonnie King and Julian Bond in 1960 comprised of African-American college students across Atlanta’s University system calling for an end to inequality]. In 1964, she married Clifford Robinson, and a year later she gave birth to a son, Kenneth.

Mrs. Robinson regularly picketed and protested with other students who worked to integrate key Atlanta institutions. In February 1961, she became involved in activities sponsored by Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC). Mrs. Robinson was a bold and daring colleague, the creator of SNCC's own, “jail, no bail policy,” and one of the original Freedom Riders. Mrs. Robinson, like many young activists, spent forty-five days at Parchman State Penitentiary in Jackson, Mississippi for her civil rights activism. Robinson remained in Mississippi after being released from prison to work on SNCC's voter registration campaign.  

While women played an important role in SNCC and other civil rights organizations, the administrative leadership was largely male-dominated. In 1966, Robinson broke the pattern of exclusive male leadership by being elected the first female Executive Secretary. Mrs. Robinson was considered hard and uncompromising as she courageously challenged both gender discrimination and racial segregation in society.

In April 1967, Mrs. Smith Robinson was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer. Tragically, she died later that year on October 9, 1967, at the age of twenty-five.

Source:
Photo: Public Domain http://www.blackpast.org/aah/robinson-ruby-doris-smith-1942-1967  (Accessed 1/23/14)
http://boards.ancestry.com/topics.obits/66141/mb.ashx   (Accessed 1/23/14)
http://mlk-kpp01.stanford.edu/kingweb/about_king/details/660616.htm  (Accessed 1/23/14)
http://www.atlantamagazine.com/history/story.aspx?ID=1200025 (Accessed 1/28/14)

Compiled by Beverly Moore

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