Blog : Celebrating Black History

The First African American To Win An Academy Award

The First African American To Win An Academy Award

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Hattie McDaniels' Acceptance Speech

On February 29, 1940, Hattie McDaniel took a long walk from a segregated table in the back of the Coconut Grove in Los Angeles to accept the Academy Award for her role as Mammy in “Gone With the Wind.”

She was the “First African-American” to win an Oscar. Though “Gone With The Wind” won a precedent eight awards that evening, no award presented was more historic than the one presented to Hattie McDaniel as Best Supporting Actress.

Hattie  McDaniels’ acceptance speech:

“Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, fellow members of the motion picture industry and honored guests: This is one of the happiest moments of my life, and I want to thank each one of you who had a part in selecting me for one of their awards, for your kindness. It has made me feel very, very humble; and I shall always hold it as a beacon for anything that I may be able to do in the future. I sincerely hope I shall always be a credit to my race and to the motion picture industry. My heart is too full to tell you just how I feel, and may I say thank you and God bless you.”

On this day: February 24, 2017

On this day: February 24, 2017

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On this day: February 24, 2017, we remember:

Booker Taliaferro Washington an educator, author, and orator. Born April 5, 1856, Washington was from the last generation of black American leaders born into slavery and became a leading voice of former slaves and their descendants.

In his autobiography, Up From Slavery, Washington details his personal experiences as a child slave during the Civil War, to his difficulties and obstacles to get an education and his work establishing vocational schools Washington was also a controversial figure in his own lifetime, and W. E. B. Du Bois, among others, criticized some of his views.

Washington became the first leader of Tuskegee Institute, the forerunner of Tuskegee University in Alabama. He led the institution for the rest of his life and became a prominent national leader among African Americans, with considerable influence with wealthy white philanthropists and politicians.

Washington served as an advisor to Theodore Roosevelt and William Howard Taft. Washington was the dominant leader in the African American community. Washington, as the guest of President Theodore Roosevelt in 1901, was the first African American ever invited to the White House.

The First Black Woman To Charter A Bank In The United States

The First Black Woman To Charter A Bank In The United States

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Maggie Lena Walker is recognized as being the first black woman to charter a bank in the United States.

Maggie Lena Walker (1864–1934)

In 1903 Maggie Lena Walker founded the St. Luke Penny Savings Bank. Serving as the bank’s first president. This earned her the recognition of being the first African-American woman to charter a bank in the United States. Later she agreed to serve as chairman of the board of directors when the bank merged with two other Richmond banks to become the Consolidated Bank and Trust Company. Until 2009, the bank thrived as the oldest continually African American-operated bank in the United States.

 

 

 

Walker shared: “Let us put our money together; let us use our money; let us put our money out at usury among ourselves, and reap the benefit ourselves.”

Black History: A Tribute To Dr. Carter Godwin Woodson

Black History: A Tribute To Dr. Carter Godwin Woodson

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In celebration of Black History Month, we pay tribute to Dr. Carter Godwin Woodson.

Carter Godwin Woodson was one of the first scholars to study African American History. An African-American historian, author, and journalist Woodson was the founder of the Association for the Study of African American Life and History. The founder of The Journal of Negro History in 1915, Dr. Woodson is also cited as the “Father of Black History.

In 1926, Dr. Carter Godwin Woodson pioneered the celebration of “Negro History Week,” designated for the second week in February, to coincide with marking the birthdays of Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass. The week of recognition became accepted and has been extended to the full month of February, known as Black History Month.

Dr. Woodson wrote the following regarding Negro History Week 1926.

“If a race has no history, it has no worthwhile tradition, it becomes a negligible factor in the thought of the world, and it stands in danger of being exterminated … In such a millennium the achievements of the Negro properly set forth will crown him as a factor in early human progress and a maker of civilization … Must we let this generation continue ignorant of these eloquent facts? Let truth destroy the dividing prejudices of nationality and teach universal love without distinction of race, merit or rank.”

Dr. Carter G, Woodson’s legacy continues on, with Black History Month being a national cultural force recognized by a variety of media formats, organizations, and educational institutions.