Archive for the ‘First to Accomplish’ Category

Ernie Davis, First African American Heissman Trophy Winner   Leave a comment


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ernest “Ernie” Davis (December 14, 1939 – May 18, 1963) was an American football running back and the first African-American athlete to win the Heisman Trophy. Wearing number 44, Davis competed collegiately for Syracuse University before being drafted by the Washington Redskins, then almost immediately traded to the Cleveland Browns in December 1961. However, he would never play a professional game, as he was diagnosed with leukemia in 1962. He is the subject of the 2008 Universal Pictures movie biography The Express, based on the non-fiction book Ernie Davis: The Elmira Express, by Robert C. Gallagher.

 College career

Davis played football for Syracuse University, and went on to gain national fame for three seasons (1959–1961), twice winning first-team All-American honors. As a sophomore in 1959, Davis led Syracuse to the NCAA Division I-A national football championship, capping an undefeated season with a 23-14 win over The University of Texas in the Cotton Bowl Classic. That same year, Elmira Star-Gazette sports writer Al Mallette coined the nickname for Davis, the “Elmira Express”. Davis was voted Most Valuable Player of the 1960 Cotton Bowl Classic and the 1961 Liberty Bowl. In his junior year, he set a record of 7.8 yards per carry and was the third leading rusher in the country with 877 yards, having rushed 100 yards in 6 of 9 games.

Davis found discrimination prevalent in the American South during his Cotton Bowl Classic visit. Author Jocelyn Selim writes that at the banquet following the 1960 game, Davis was told he could only accept his award and then would be required to leave the segregated facility. Davis refused and his teammates, nearly all of them white, voted to boycott the banquet.[1]

A different account of the banquet is given by John Brown. He was Davis’ teammate at Syracuse and on the Cleveland Browns, his roommate and a close friend. According to an article in the Houston Chronicle, all the players from the game attended the banquet. Brown recalls that the teams sat on opposite sides of the room. After everyone ate and the trophies were handed out, the three black Syracuse players, including Brown and Davis were asked to leave and were taken to another party in Dallas by local NAACP representatives. One Syracuse player, Ger Schwedes, recommended that the whole Syracuse team leave the banquet to show solidarity with their black teammates, but the suggestion was overruled by Syracuse officials. When the Chronicle asked Brown whether the film is a truthful portrayal of his friend, Brown said ” … in short, no.”[2]

Davis became the first black athlete to be awarded the Heisman Trophy (the highest individual honor in collegiate football), following his 1961 senior-year season at Syracuse University. President John F. Kennedy had followed Davis’ career and requested to meet him while he was in New York to receive the trophy.[3] Later in 1963, when Elmira chose February 3 to celebrate Davis’ achievements, Kennedy sent a telegram, reading:

Seldom has an athlete been more deserving of such a tribute. Your high standards of performance on the field and off the field, reflect the finest qualities of competition, sportsmanship and citizenship. The nation has bestowed upon you its highest awards for your athletic achievements. It’s a privilege for me to address you tonight as an outstanding American, and as a worthy example of our youth. I salute you.[4]

During his time at Syracuse, Davis wore the same number, 44, as legendary Orangeman Jim Brown, helping to establish a tradition at the school that was acknowledged on November 12, 2005, when the school retired the number in an on-field ceremony. Davis also played basketball at Syracuse for one season 1960-1961. Syracuse University, as way to honor all of the athletes that have worn the number 44 and has always worn 44 was granted permission by the United States Postal Service to change its zip code to 13244.

While attending Syracuse, Davis was a member of the Sigma Alpha Mu Fraternity, a nationally recognized Jewish fraternity. Davis was the first African-American to become part of the organization not only at the Syracuse chapter, but for the national fraternity as a whole.[5]

Davis was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1979.

Ernie Davis was a member of The Pigskin Club of Washington, D.C. National Intercollegiate All-American Football Players Honor Roll.

 Pro football career

Davis was the number-one pick in the 1962 NFL Draft, becoming the first African American football player to be taken first overall. Selected by the Washington Redskins,[6] his rights were then traded to the Cleveland Browns for Bobby Mitchell and a first-round draft choice.[7] He was also drafted by the Buffalo Bills of the American Football League.[8]

The decision of the Redskins to draft Davis was a reluctant one by Redskins’ owner George Preston Marshall. Marshall for years, had refused to sign any black players, and the Redskins were the last NFL team to do so. He was known to be notoriously racist, and backed his decision by stating that he wanted to appeal to the NFL’s southern market. The Redskins were for years the southernmost team in the NFL before the birth of the Dallas Cowboys in 1960. The signing only came when Interior Secretary Stewart Udall issued an ultimatum to Marshall – Sign a black player, or the Redskins’ 30-year lease on the D.C. Stadium (now the Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium) would be revoked. The D.C. Stadium was property of the Washington city government and was funded just the same. Marshall’s response was then the selection of Davis. Davis himself refused to play for the Redskins, and demanded a trade. “I won’t play for that S.O.B.” He was quoted as saying. Thus the trade to Cleveland was engineered by Paul Brown shortly after Art Modell had purchased the team and without the knowledge or consent of Modell. This was standard operating procedure with the Browns from their inception in 1946.[9][10]

Davis signed a three-year, $200,000 contract with the Browns in late December 1961, again without the knowledge or consent of Modell, while he (Davis) was in San Francisco, California practicing for the East-West Shrine Game.[11] Originally reported at $80,000, the contract, according to Davis’ attorney, A. William (Tony) DeFilippo, consisted of $80,000 for playing football, including a $15,000 signing bonus; $60,000 for ancillary rights, such as image marketing; and $60,000 for off-season employment.[11] It was the most lucrative contract for an NFL rookie up to that time.[11] However, the Browns’ dream of pairing Davis with Jim Brown in the backfield took a tragic turn when Davis was diagnosed with leukemia during preparations for the 1962 College All-Star Game and also at Browns training camp. The rift between Brown and Modell worsened when Modell brought in doctors who said Davis could play pro ball but Brown refused to suit him up. This resulted in Modell firing Brown in a stealth maneuver, while all Cleveland newspapers were on strike.

Davis never played a game as a professional, with his only appearance at Cleveland Stadium coming during a 1962 pre-season game, in which he ran onto the field as a spotlight followed him. Following his death, the Browns retired his number 45 jersey.[12]

Death

In the summer of 1962, Davis was diagnosed with acute monocytic leukemia and began receiving medical treatment. The disease was incurable and he died in Cleveland Lakeside Hospital May 18, 1963, at the age of 23. Both the House and the Senate of the United States Congress eulogized Davis, and a wake was held at The Neighborhood House in Elmira, New York, where more than 10,000 mourners paid their respects. During the funeral, a message was received from President Kennedy, and was read aloud to all of the people attending the service. Davis is buried at Woodlawn Cemetery, Elmira, Chemung County, New York, in the same cemetery in which Mark Twain is buried. His commemorative statue stands in front of Ernie Davis Middle School, which Davis attended as Elmira Free Academy during his high school years. The building was named in his honor after its conversion to a middle school. Another statue of Davis stands on the campus of Syracuse University, near the steps of Hendricks Chapel and the Quad where pre-game pep rallies are held. He was elected in the Fall of 2008(to what?), coinciding with the premiere of The Express and the beginning of construction of Ernie Davis Hall, a dorm on the Syracuse campus. Syracuse later named The field at the Carrier Dome Ernie Davis Legends Field.

The Express

A motion picture biography, The Express, directed by Gary Fleder and based on the non-fiction book The Elmira Express: the Story of Ernie Davis by Robert C. Gallagher, began production in April 2007[13] and was released on October 10, 2008. Rob Brown plays Davis, with Dennis Quaid portraying Davis’ Syracuse University coach, Ben Schwartzwalder.

In 2011, the sports teams of rival schools Southside High School (Elmira, New York) and Elmira Free Academy combined and together formed the Elmira Express, named after Ernie Davis

Posted February 28, 2012 by pennylibertygbow in First to Accomplish, Sports

Marian Wright Edelman, Activist for the Rights of Children   2 comments


Marian Wright Edelman (born June 6, 1939) is an American activist for the rights of children. She is president and founder of the Children’s Defense Fund.

 Biography

 Early years

In 1953, her father died when she was 14, urging in his last words, “Don’t let anything get in the way of your education.”[1]

She attended Marlboro Training High School there, and went on to Spelman College and traveled the world on a Merrill scholarship and studied in the Soviet Union as a Lisle fellow. She also became involved in the Civil Rights Movement, and after being arrested for her activism, she decided to study law and enrolled at Yale Law School J.D. 1963.

 Activism

Edelman was the first African American woman admitted in the Mississippi Bar when she began practicing law out of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc.‘s Mississippi office. During her time in Mississippi, she worked on racial justice issues connected with the civil rights movement and represented activists throughout the Mississippi Freedom Summer of 1964. She also helped get a Head Start program established in her community.[2]

Edelman moved in 1968 to Washington, D.C. where she continued her work and contributed to the organizing of the Poor People’s Campaign of Martin Luther King Jr. and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. She founded the Washington Research Project, a public interest law firm and also became interested in issues related to childhood development and poverty-stricken children.[2]

In 1973, she founded the Children’s Defense Fund as a voice for poor, minority and disabled children. The organization has served as an advocacy and research center for children’s issues, documenting the problems and possible solutions to children in need. To keep the agency independent, she saw that it was financed entirely with private funds.[2]

As founder, leader and principal spokesperson for the CDF, Mrs. Edelman worked to persuade Congress to overhaul foster care, support adoption, improve child care and protect children who are disabled, homeless, abused or neglected. A philosophy of service absorbed during her childhood under-girds all her efforts. As she expresses it, “If you don’t like the way the world is, you have an obligation to change it. Just do it one step at a time.”[3]

She continues to advocate youth pregnancy prevention, child-care funding, prenatal care, greater parental responsibility in teaching values and curtailing children’s exposure to the barrage of violent images transmitted by mass media.[3]

Edelman serves on the board of the New York City based Robin Hood Foundation, a charitable organization dedicated to the elimination of poverty.

Personal life

It was in 1967, during a tour by Robert Kennedy and Joseph Clark of Mississippi’s poverty-ridden Delta slums, that she met Peter Edelman, an assistant to Kennedy. They married on July 14, 1968. Edelman and her husband, a Georgetown law professor, have three sons, Joshua, Jonah, and Ezra. Joshua is an educational administrator; Jonah has a Ph.D. from Oxford and works in education advocacy; and Ezra is television producer.

Posted February 27, 2012 by pennylibertygbow in Civil Rights, First to Accomplish

Condoleezza Rice, American Political Scientist   Leave a comment


Condoleezza Rice (play /ˌkɒndəˈlzə/; born November 14, 1954) is an American political scientist and diplomat. She served as the 66th United States Secretary of State, and was the second person to hold that office in the administration of President George W. Bush. Rice was the first female African-American secretary of state, as well as the second African American (after Colin Powell), and the second woman (after Madeleine Albright). Rice was President Bush’s National Security Advisor during his first term, making her the first woman to serve in that position. Before joining the Bush administration, she was a professor of political science at Stanford University where she served as Provost from 1993 to 1999. Rice also served on the National Security Council as the Soviet and East European Affairs Advisor to President George H.W. Bush during the dissolution of the Soviet Union and German reunification.

Following her confirmation as Secretary of State, Rice pioneered the policy of Transformational Diplomacy, with a focus on democracy in the Greater Middle East. Her emphasis on supporting democratically elected governments faced challenges as Hamas captured a popular majority in Palestinian elections, and influential countries including Saudi Arabia and Egypt maintained authoritarian systems with U.S. support. While Secretary of State, she chaired the Millennium Challenge Corporation‘s board of directors.[1]

In March 2009, Rice returned to Stanford University as a political science professor and the Thomas and Barbara Stephenson Senior Fellow on Public Policy at the Hoover Institution.[2][3] In September 2010, Rice became a faculty member of the Stanford Graduate School of Business and a director of its Global Center for Business and the Economy.[4]

Early life

Rice was born in Birmingham, Alabama the only child of Angelena Ray Rice, a high school science, music and oratory teacher, and John Wesley Rice, Jr., a high school guidance counselor and Presbyterian minister.[5] Her name, Condoleezza, derives from the music-related term, con dolcezza, which in Italian means, “with sweetness”. The family had roots in the American South going back to the pre-Civil War era, and worked as sharecroppers for a time after emancipation. Rice grew up in the Titusville[citation needed] neighborhood at a time when the South was racially segregated.

Early education

Condoleezza Rice as an undergraduate student at the University of Denver

Rice began to learn French, music, figure skating and ballet at the age of three.[6] At the age of fifteen, she began piano classes with the goal of becoming a concert pianist.[7] While Rice ultimately did not become a professional pianist, she still practices often and plays with a chamber music group. She accompanied cellist Yo-Yo Ma playing Brahms’s Violin Sonata in D Minor at Constitution Hall in April 2002 for the National Medal of Arts Awards.[8]

High school and university education

In 1967, the family moved to Denver, Colorado. She attended St. Mary’s Academy, an all-girls Catholic high school in Cherry Hills Village, Colorado, graduating in 1971. After studying piano at the Aspen Music Festival and School, Rice enrolled at the University of Denver, where her father was then serving as an assistant dean.

Rice’s initial college major was piano, but after realizing she did not have the talent to play professionally, she began to consider an alternative major.[7][9] She attended an international politics course taught by Josef Korbel, which sparked her interest in the Soviet Union and international relations. Rice later described Korbel (who was the father of Madeleine Albright, a future U.S. Secretary of State), as a central figure in her life.[10]

In 1974, at age 19, Rice was inducted into the honor society Phi Beta Kappa, and was awarded a B.A., cum laude, in political science by the University of Denver. While at the University of Denver she was a member of Alpha Chi Omega, Gamma Delta chapter.[11] She obtained a master’s degree in political science from the University of Notre Dame in 1975. She first worked in the State Department in 1977, during the Carter administration, as an intern in the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. In 1981, at the age of 26, she received her Ph.D. in political science from the Josef Korbel School of International Studies at the University of Denver. Her dissertation centered on military policy and politics in what was then the communist state of Czechoslovakia.[12]

Early political views

Rice was a Democrat until 1982, when she changed her political affiliation to Republican, in part because she disagreed with the foreign policy of Democratic President Jimmy Carter,[13][14] and because of the influence of her father, who was Republican. As she told the 2000 Republican National Convention, “My father joined our party because the Democrats in Jim Crow Alabama of 1952 would not register him to vote. The Republicans did.”[15]

Academic career

Condoleezza Rice during a 2005 interview on ITV in London

Rice was hired by Stanford University as an assistant professor of political science (1981–1987). She was promoted to associate professor in 1987, a post she held until 1993. She was a specialist on the Soviet Union and gave lectures on the subject for the Berkeley-Stanford joint program led by UC Berkeley Professor George Breslauer in the mid-1980s.

At a 1985 meeting of arms control experts at Stanford, Rice’s performance drew the attention of Brent Scowcroft, who had served as National Security Advisor under Gerald Ford.[16] With the election of George H. W. Bush, Scowcroft returned to the White House as National Security Adviser in 1989, and he asked Rice to become his Soviet expert on the United States National Security Council. According to R. Nicholas Burns, President Bush was “captivated” by Rice, and relied heavily on her advice in his dealings with Mikhail Gorbachev and Boris Yeltsin.[16]

Because she would have been ineligible for tenure at Stanford if she had been absent for more than two years, she returned there in 1991. She was taken under the wing of George P. Shultz (Ronald Reagan‘s Secretary of State from 1982–1989), who was a fellow at the Hoover Institution. Shultz included Rice in a “luncheon club” of intellectuals who met every few weeks to discuss foreign affairs.[16] In 1992, Shultz, who was a board member of Chevron Corporation, recommended Rice for a spot on the Chevron board. Chevron was pursuing a $10 billion development project in Kazakhstan and, as a Soviet specialist, Rice knew the President of Kazakhstan, Nursultan Nazarbayev. She traveled to Kazakhstan on Chevron’s behalf and, in honor of her work, in 1993, Chevron named a 129,000-ton supertanker SS Condoleezza Rice.[16] During this period, Rice was also appointed to the boards of Transamerica Corporation (1991) and Hewlett-Packard (1992).

At Stanford, in 1992, Rice volunteered to serve on the search committee to replace outgoing president Donald Kennedy. The committee ultimately recommended Gerhard Casper, the Provost of the University of Chicago. Casper met Rice during this search, and was so impressed that in 1993, he appointed her as Stanford’s Provost, the chief budget and academic officer of the university in 1993[16] and she also was granted tenure and became full professor.[17] Rice was the first female, first minority, and youngest Provost in Stanford history.[18] She was also named a senior fellow of the Institute for International Studies, and a senior fellow (by courtesy) of the Hoover Institution.

Provost promotion

Former Stanford President Gerhard Casper said the university was “most fortunate in persuading someone of Professor Rice’s exceptional talents and proven ability in critical situations to take on this task. Everything she has done, she has done well; I have every confidence that she will continue that record as provost.”[19] Acknowledging Rice’s unique character, Casper told the New Yorker in 2002 that it “would be disingenuous for me to say that the fact that she was a woman, the fact that she was black and the fact that she was young weren’t in my mind.”[20]

Balancing school budget

As Stanford’s Provost, Rice was responsible for managing the university’s multi-billion dollar budget. The school at that time was running a deficit of $20 million. When Rice took office, she promised that the budget deficit would be balanced within “two years.” Coit Blacker, Stanford’s deputy director of the Institute for International Studies, said there “was a sort of conventional wisdom that said it couldn’t be done… that [the deficit] was structural, that we just had to live with it.” Two years later, Rice announced that the deficit had been eliminated and the university was holding a record surplus of over $14.5 million.[21]

Special interest issues

Rice drew protests when, as provost, she departed from the practice of applying affirmative action to tenure decisions and unsuccessfully sought to consolidate the university’s ethnic community centers.[22]

Return to Stanford

During a farewell interview in early December 2008, Rice indicated she would return to Stanford and the Hoover Institution, “back west of the Mississippi where I belong,” but beyond writing and teaching did not specify what her role would be.[23] Rice’s plans for a return to campus were elaborated in an interview with the Stanford Report in January 2009.[24] She returned to Stanford as a political science professor and senior fellow at the Hoover Institution on March 1, 2009.[25]

Music

Yo-Yo Ma with Rice after performing together at the 2001 National Medal of Arts and National Humanities Medal Awards, April 22, 2002.

Rice is an accomplished pianist and has performed in public since she was a young girl. At the age of 15, she played Mozart with the Denver Symphony, and while Secretary of State she played regularly with a chamber music group in Washington.[8] She does not play professionally, but has performed at diplomatic events at embassies, including a performance for Queen Elizabeth II,[26][27] and she has performed in public with cellist Yo-Yo Ma and singer Aretha Franklin.[28] In 2005, Rice accompanied Charity Sunshine Tillemann-Dick, a 21 year-old soprano, for a benefit concert for the Pulmonary Hypertension Association at the Kennedy Center in Washington.[29][30] She has stated that her favorite composer is Johannes Brahms, because she thinks Brahms’s music is “passionate but not sentimental.” On a complementary note, on Friday, April 10, 2009 on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, she stated that her favorite band is Led Zeppelin.

Private sector

Rice headed Chevron’s committee on public policy until she resigned on January 15, 2001, to become National Security Advisor to President George W. Bush. Chevron, for unspecified reasons, honored Rice by naming an oil tanker Condoleezza Rice after her, but controversy led to its being renamed Altair Voyager.[31]

She also served on the board of directors for the Carnegie Corporation, the Charles Schwab Corporation, the Chevron Corporation, Hewlett Packard, the Rand Corporation, the Transamerica Corporation, and other organizations.

In 1992, Rice founded the Center for New Generation, an after-school program created to raise the high school graduation numbers of East Palo Alto and eastern Menlo Park, California.[32] After her tenure as secretary of state, Rice was approached in February 2009 to fill an open position as a Pac-10 Commissioner,[33] but chose instead to return to Stanford University as a political science professor and the Thomas and Barbara Stephenson Senior Fellow on Public Policy at the Hoover Institution.

Early political career

In 1986, while an international affairs fellow of the Council on Foreign Relations, Rice served as Special Assistant to the Director of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

From 1989 through March 1991 (the period of the fall of Berlin Wall and the final days of the Soviet Union), she served in President George H.W. Bush’s administration as Director, and then Senior Director, of Soviet and East European Affairs in the National Security Council, and a Special Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs. In this position, Rice helped develop Bush’s and Secretary of State James Baker‘s policies in favor of German reunification. She impressed Bush, who later introduced her to Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, as the one who “tells me everything I know about the Soviet Union.”[34]

In 1991, Rice returned to her teaching position at Stanford, although she continued to serve as a consultant on the former Soviet Bloc for numerous clients in both the public and private sectors. Late that year, California Governor Pete Wilson appointed her to a bipartisan committee that had been formed to draw new state legislative and congressional districts in the state.

In 1997, she sat on the Federal Advisory Committee on Gender-Integrated Training in the Military.

During George W. Bush’s 2000 presidential election campaign, Rice took a one-year leave of absence from Stanford University to help work as his foreign policy advisor. The group of advisors she led called itself The Vulcans in honor of the monumental Vulcan statue, which sits on a hill overlooking her hometown of Birmingham, Alabama. Rice would later go on to give a noteworthy speech at the 2000 Republican National Convention. The speech asserted that “…America’s armed forces are not a global police force. They are not the world’s 911.”[15][35]

National Security Advisor (2001–2005)

Rice, Secretary of State Colin Powell, and Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld listen to President George W. Bush speak about the Middle East on June 24, 2002

On December 17, 2000, Rice was named as National Security Advisor and stepped down from her position at Stanford.[36] She was the first woman to occupy the post. Rice earned the nickname of “Warrior Princess,” reflecting strong nerve and delicate manners.[37]

On January 18, 2003, the Washington Post reported that Rice was involved in crafting Bush’s position on race-based preferences. Rice has stated that “while race-neutral means are preferable,” race can be taken into account as “one factor among others” in university admissions policies.[38]

Terrorism

During the summer of 2001, Rice met with CIA Director George Tenet to discuss the possibilities and prevention of terrorist attacks on American targets. On July 10, 2001, Rice met with Tenet in what he referred to as an “emergency meeting”[39] held at the White House at Tenet’s request to brief Rice and the NSC staff about the potential threat of an impending al Qaeda attack. Rice responded by asking Tenet to give a presentation on the matter to Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and Attorney General John Ashcroft.[40]

When asked about the meeting in 2006, Rice asserted she did not recall the specific meeting, commenting that she had met repeatedly with Tenet that summer about terrorist threats. Moreover, she stated that it was “incomprehensible” to her that she had ignored terrorist threats two months before the September 11 attacks.[39]

In August, 2010, Rice received the U.S. Air Force Academy’s 2009 Thomas D. White National Defense Award for contributions to the defense and security of the United States.[41]

Subpoenas

In March 2004, Rice declined to testify before the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States (the 9/11 Commission). The White House claimed executive privilege under constitutional separation of powers and cited past tradition. Under pressure, Bush agreed to allow her to testify[42] so long as it did not create a precedent of presidential staff being required to appear before United States Congress when so requested. Her appearance before the commission on April 8, 2004, was accepted by the Bush administration in part because she was not appearing directly before Congress. She thus became the first sitting National Security Advisor to testify on matters of policy.

In April 2007, Rice rejected, on grounds of executive privilege, a House subpoena regarding the prewar claim that Iraq sought yellowcake uranium from Niger.[43]

Iraq

Rice was a proponent of the 2003 invasion of Iraq. After Iraq delivered its declaration of weapons of mass destruction to the United Nations on December 8, 2002, Rice wrote an editorial for The New York Times entitled “Why We Know Iraq Is Lying”.[44]

In October 2003, Rice was named to run the Iraq Stabilization Group, to “quell violence in Iraq and Afghanistan and to speed the reconstruction of both countries.”[45] By May 2004, the Washington Post reported that the council had become virtually nonexistent.[46]

Leading up to the 2004 presidential election, Rice became the first National Security Advisor to campaign for an incumbent president. She stated that while: “Saddam Hussein had nothing to do with the actual attacks on America, Saddam Hussein’s Iraq was a part of the Middle East that was festering and unstable, [and] was part of the circumstances that created the problem on September 11.”[47]

Weapons of mass destruction

In a January 10, 2003 interview with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer, Rice made headlines by stating regarding Iraqi WMD: “The problem here is that there will always be some uncertainty about how quickly he can acquire nuclear weapons. But we don’t want the smoking gun to be a mushroom cloud.”[48]

After the invasion, when it became clear that Iraq did not have nuclear WMD capability, critics called Rice’s claims a “hoax,” “deception” and “demagogic scare tactic.”[49][50] “Either she missed or overlooked numerous warnings from intelligence agencies seeking to put caveats on claims about Iraq’s nuclear weapons program, or she made public claims that she knew to be false,” wrote Dana Milbank and Mike Allen in the Washington Post.[51]

Rice characterized the August 6, 2001 President’s Daily Brief Bin Ladin Determined To Strike in US as historical information. Rice indicated “It was information based on old reporting.”[52] Sean Wilentz of Salon magazine suggested that the PDB contained current information based on continuing investigations, including that Bin Laden wanted to “bring the fighting to America.”[53]

Role in authorizing use of torture techniques

A Senate Intelligence Committee reported that on July 17, 2002, Rice met with CIA director George Tenet to personally convey the Bush administration’s approval of the proposed waterboarding of alleged Al Qaeda leader Abu Zubaydah. “Days after Dr Rice gave Mr Tenet her approval, the Justice Department approved the use of waterboarding in a top secret August 1 memo.”[54] Waterboarding is considered to be torture by a wide range of authorities, including legal experts,[55][56][57][58] war veterans,[59][60] intelligence officials,[61] military judges,[62] human rights organizations,[63][64][65][66][67][68][69][70] the U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder,[71] and many senior politicians, including U.S. President Barack Obama.[72]

In 2003 Rice, Vice President Dick Cheney and Attorney General John Ashcroft met with the CIA again and were briefed on the use of waterboarding and other methods including week-long sleep deprivation, forced nudity and the use of stress positions. The Senate report says that the Bush administration officials “reaffirmed that the CIA program was lawful and reflected administration policy”.[54]

The Senate report also “suggests Miss Rice played a more significant role than she acknowledged in written testimony to the Senate Armed Services Committee submitted in the autumn.”[54] At that time, she had acknowledged attending meetings to discuss the CIA interrogations, but she claimed that she could not recall the details, and she “omitted her direct role in approving the programme in her written statement to the committee.”[73]

In a conversation with a student at Stanford University in April 2009, Rice stated that she did not authorize the CIA to use the enhanced interrogation techniques. Said Rice, “I didn’t authorize anything. I conveyed the authorization of the administration to the agency that they had policy authorization, subject to the Justice Department’s clearance. That’s what I did.”[74] She added, “We were told, nothing that violates our obligations under the Convention Against Torture. And so, by definition, if it was authorized by the president, it did not violate our obligations under the Conventions Against Torture.”[74]

Secretary of State (2005–2009)

Main article: Condoleezza Rice’s tenure as Secretary of State

Rice signs official papers after receiving the oath of office during her ceremonial swearing in at the Department of State. Watching on are, from left, Laura Bush, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, President George W. Bush.

On November 16, 2004, Bush nominated Rice to be Secretary of State. On January 26, 2005, the Senate confirmed her nomination by a vote of 85–13. The negative votes, the most cast against any nomination for Secretary of State since 1825, came from Senators who, according to Senator Barbara Boxer, wanted “to hold Dr. Rice and the Bush administration accountable for their failures in Iraq and in the war on terrorism.” Their reasoning was that Rice had acted irresponsibly in equating Saddam’s regime with Islamist terrorism and some could not accept her previous record. Senator Robert Byrd voted against Rice’s appointment, indicating that she “has asserted that the President holds far more of the war power than the Constitution grants him.”[75]

As Secretary of State, Rice championed the expansion of democratic governments. Rice stated that the September 11 attacks in 2001 were rooted in “oppression and despair” and so, the US must advance democratic reform and support basic rights throughout the greater Middle East.[76] Rice also reformed and restructured the department, as well as US diplomacy as a whole. “Transformational Diplomacy” is the goal that Rice describes as “work[ing] with our many partners around the world… [and] build[ing] and sustain[ing] democratic, well-governed states that will respond to the needs of their people and conduct themselves responsibly in the international system.”[77]

Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak and Condoleezza Rice (2007)

As Secretary of State, Rice traveled widely and initiated many diplomatic efforts on behalf of the Bush administration. Her diplomacy relied on strong presidential support and is considered to be the continuation of style defined by former Republican secretaries of state Henry Kissinger and James Baker.[78]

Speculation on 2008 presidential campaign, views on successor

There had been previous speculation that Rice would run for the Republican nomination in the 2008 primaries, which she ruled out on Meet the Press. On February 22, 2008, Rice played down any suggestion that she may be on the Republican vice presidential ticket, saying, “I have always said that the one thing that I have not seen myself doing is running for elected office in the United States.”[79] During an interview with the editorial board of the Washington Times on March 27, 2008, Rice said she was “not interested” in running for vice president.[80] In a Gallup poll from March 24 to 27, 2008, Rice was mentioned by eight percent of Republican respondents to be their first choice to be Senator John McCain’s Republican Vice-Presidential running mate, slightly behind Mike Huckabee and Mitt Romney.[81]

Republican strategist Dan Senor said on ABC’s This Week on April 6, 2008, that “Condi Rice has been actively, actually in recent weeks, campaigning for” the vice presidential nomination. He based this assessment on her attendance of Grover Norquist‘s Americans for Tax Reform conservative leader’s meeting on March 26, 2008.[82] In response to Senor’s comments, Rice’s spokesperson denied that Rice is seeking the vice presidential nomination, saying, “If she is actively seeking the vice presidency, then she’s the last one to know about it.”[83]

In August 2008, the speculation about a potential McCain-Rice ticket finally ended when then-Governor Sarah Palin of Alaska was selected as McCain’s running-mate.

In early December 2008, Rice praised President-elect Barack Obama‘s selection of New York Senator Hillary Clinton to succeed her as Secretary of State, saying “she’s terrific”. Rice, who has spoken to Clinton since her selection, said Clinton “is someone of intelligence and she’ll do a great job”.[84]

Political positions

Terrorist activity

Rice’s policy as Secretary of State viewed counter-terrorism as a matter of being preventative, and not merely punitive. In an interview on December 18, 2005, Rice stated: “We have to remember that in this war on terrorism, we’re not talking about criminal activity where you can allow somebody to commit the crime and then you go back and you arrest them and you question them. If they succeed in committing their crime, then hundreds or indeed thousands of people die. That’s why you have to prevent, and intelligence is the long pole in the tent in preventing attacks.”[85]

Rice meets with Afghan Foreign Minister Rangin Dadfar Spanta to discuss anti-terrorism efforts

Rice has also been a frequent critic of the intelligence community’s inability to cooperate and share information, which she believes is an integral part of preventing terrorism. In 2000, one year after Osama bin Laden told Time “[h]ostility toward America is a religious duty,”[35] and a year before the September 11 terrorist attacks, Rice warned on WJR Detroit: “You really have to get the intelligence agencies better organized to deal with the terrorist threat to the United States itself. One of the problems that we have is a kind of split responsibility, of course, between the CIA and foreign intelligence and the FBI and domestic intelligence.” She then added: “There needs to be better cooperation because we don’t want to wake up one day and find out that Osama bin Laden has been successful on our own territory.”[86]

Rice also has promoted the idea that counterterrorism involves not only confronting the governments and organizations that promote and condone terrorism, but also the ideologies that fuel terrorism. In a speech given on July 29, 2005, Rice asserted that “[s]ecuring America from terrorist attack is more than a matter of law enforcement. We must also confront the ideology of hatred in foreign societies by supporting the universal hope of liberty and the inherent appeal of democracy.”[87]

In January 2005, during Bush’s second inaugural ceremonies, Rice first used the term “outposts of tyranny” to refer to countries felt to threaten world peace and human rights. This term has been called a descendant of Bush’s phrase, “Axis of Evil“, used to describe Iraq, Iran and North Korea. She identified six such “outposts” in which she said the United States has a duty to foster freedom: Cuba, Zimbabwe, Burma and Belarus, as well as Iran and North Korea.

Abortion

Rice said “If you go back to 2000 when I helped the president in the campaign. I said that I was, in effect, kind of libertarian on this issue. And meaning by that, that I have been concerned about a government role in this issue. I am a strong proponent of parental choice—of parental notification. I am a strong proponent of a ban on late-term abortion. These are all things that I think unite people and I think that that’s where we should be. I’ve called myself at times mildly pro-choice.”[88] She would not want the federal government “forcing its views on one side or the other.”[89]

Rice said she believes President Bush “has been in exactly the right place” on abortion, “which is we have to respect the culture of life and we have to try and bring people to have respect for it and make this as rare a circumstance as possible” However, she added that she has been “concerned about a government role” but has “tended to agree with those who do not favor federal funding for abortion, because I believe that those who hold a strong moral view on the other side should not be forced to fund” the procedure.[89]

Discrimination

Rice experienced firsthand the injustices of Birmingham’s discriminatory laws and attitudes. She was instructed to walk proudly in public and to use the facilities at home rather than subject herself to the indignity of “colored” facilities in town. As Rice recalls of her parents and their peers, “they refused to allow the limits and injustices of their time to limit our horizons.”[90]

However, Rice recalls various times in which she suffered discrimination on account of her race, which included being relegated to a storage room at a department store instead of a regular dressing room, being barred from going to the circus or the local amusement park, being denied hotel rooms, and even being given bad food at restaurants.[91] Also, while Rice was mostly kept by her parents from areas where she might face discrimination, she was very aware of the civil rights struggle and the problems of Jim Crow laws in Birmingham. A neighbor, Juliemma Smith, described how “[Condi] used to call me and say things like, ‘Did you see what Bull Connor did today?’ She was just a little girl and she did that all the time. I would have to read the newspaper thoroughly because I wouldn’t know what she was going to talk about.”[91] Rice herself said of the segregation era: “Those terrible events burned into my consciousness. I missed many days at my segregated school because of the frequent bomb threats.”[91]

During the violent days of the Civil Rights Movement, Reverend Rice armed himself and kept guard over the house while Condoleezza practiced the piano inside. According to J.L. Chestnut, Reverend Rice called local civil rights leader Fred Shuttlesworth and his followers “uneducated, misguided Negroes.”[92][93] Also, Reverend Rice instilled in his daughter and students that black people would have to prove themselves worthy of advancement, and would simply have to be “twice as good” to overcome injustices built into the system.[94] Rice said “My parents were very strategic, I was going to be so well prepared, and I was going to do all of these things that were revered in white society so well, that I would be armored somehow from racism. I would be able to confront white society on its own terms.”[95] While the Rices supported the goals of the civil rights movement, they did not agree with the idea of putting their child in harm’s way.[91]

Rice was eight when her schoolmate Denise McNair, aged 11, was killed in the bombing of the primarily black Sixteenth Street Baptist Church by white supremacists on September 15, 1963. Rice has commented upon that moment in her life:

I remember the bombing of that Sunday School at 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham in 1963. I did not see it happen, but I heard it happen, and I felt it happen, just a few blocks away at my father’s church. It is a sound that I will never forget, that will forever reverberate in my ears. That bomb took the lives of four young girls, including my friend and playmate, Denise McNair. The crime was calculated to suck the hope out of young lives, bury their aspirations. But those fears were not propelled forward, those terrorists failed.[96]

Condoleezza Rice, Commencement 2004, Vanderbilt University, May 13, 2004

Rice states that growing up during racial segregation taught her determination against adversity, and the need to be “twice as good” as non-minorities.[97] Segregation also hardened her stance on the right to bear arms; Rice has said in interviews that if gun registration had been mandatory, her father’s weapons would have been confiscated, leaving them defenseless against Ku Klux Klan nightriders.[91]

Public perception and criticism

Rice makes an appearance at Boston College, where she is greeted by Father William Leahy.

Rice has been criticized both in the U.S. and abroad for her involvement in the George W. Bush administration. Protesters have sought to exclude her from appearing at schools such as Princeton University[98] and Boston College,[99] which prompted the resignation of an adjunct professor at Boston College. There has also been an effort to protest her public speeches abroad.[100]

Time and Forbes magazines

Rice has appeared four times on the Time 100, Time magazine‘s list of the world’s 100 most influential people. Rice is one of only nine people in the world whose influence has been considered enduring enough to have made the list—first compiled in 1999 as a retrospective of the 20th century and made an annual feature in 2004—so frequently. However, the list contains people who have the influence to change for better or for worse, and Time has also accused her of squandering her influence, stating on February 1, 2007, that her “accomplishments as Secretary of State have been modest, and even those have begun to fade” and that she “has been slow to recognize the extent to which the U.S.’s prestige has declined.”[101] In its March 19, 2007 issue it followed up stating that Rice was “executing an unmistakable course correction in U.S. foreign policy.”[102]

In 2004 and 2005, she was ranked as the most powerful woman in the world by Forbes magazine and number two in 2006 (following the Chancellor of Germany, Angela Merkel).[103]

Criticism from Senator Barbara Boxer

California Democratic Senator Barbara Boxer has also criticized Rice in relation to the war in Iraq: “I personally believe—this is my personal view—that your loyalty to the mission you were given, to sell the war, overwhelmed your respect for the truth.”[104]

On January 11, 2007, Boxer, in a debate over the war in Iraq, said, “Now, the issue is who pays the price, who pays the price? I’m not going to pay a personal price. My kids are too old, and my grandchild is too young. You’re not going to pay a particular price, as I understand it, within immediate family. So who pays the price? The American military and their families, and I just want to bring us back to that fact.”

The New York Post and White House Press Secretary Tony Snow called Boxer’s statement an attack on Rice’s status as a single, childless female and referred to Boxer’s comments as “a great leap backward for feminism.”[105] Rice later echoed Snow’s remarks, saying “I thought it was okay to not have children, and I thought you could still make good decisions on behalf of the country if you were single and didn’t have children.” Boxer responded to the controversy by saying “They’re getting this off on a non-existent thing that I didn’t say. I’m saying, she’s like me, we do not have families who are in the military.”[106]

Conservative criticism

According to the Washington Post in late July 2008, former Undersecretary of State and U.N. Ambassador John R. Bolton was referring to Rice and her allies in the Bush Administration whom he believes have abandoned earlier hard-line principles when he said: “Once the collapse begins, adversaries have a real opportunity to gain advantage. In terms of the Bush presidency, this many reversals this close to the end destroys credibility… It appears there is no depth to which this administration will not sink in its last days.”[107]

Former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld repeatedly criticized Rice after their terms in office ended.[clarification needed] In 2011 she finally responded, saying that Rumsfeld “Doesn’t know what he’s talking about.”[108]

Former Vice President Dick Cheney‘s new book, In My Time suggested that Rice had misled the president about nuclear diplomacy with North Korea, saying she was naïve. He called her advice on the issue “utterly misleading.” He also chided Rice for clashing with White House advisors on the tone of the president’s speeches on Iraq. And says the secretary of state “tearfully admitted” that the Bush administration should not have apologized for a claim the president made in his 2003 State of the Union address on the supposed search for uranium. She “came into my office, sat down in the chair next to my desk, and tearfully admitted I had been right,” Cheney wrote. Rice responded: “It certainly doesn’t sound like me, now, does it?”, saying that she viewed the book as an “attack on my integrity.”[109]

Rice has also been criticized by other conservatives. Stephen Hayes of the Weekly Standard accused her of jettisoning the Bush Doctrine.[110] Other conservatives criticized her for her approach to Russia policy and other issues.[111] Many criticize Rice in particular for her opposition to the change of strategy in Iraq and surge in U.S. forces that began in 2007.[112]

Views within the black community

Rice’s approval ratings from January 2005 to September 2006

Rice’s ratings decreased following a heated battle for her confirmation as Secretary of State and following Hurricane Katrina in August 2005. Rice’s rise within the George W. Bush administration initially drew a largely positive response from many in the black community. In a 2002 survey, then National Security Advisor Rice was viewed favorably by 41% of black respondents, but another 40% did not know Rice well enough to rate her and her profile remained comparatively obscure.[113] As her role increased, some black commentators began to express doubts concerning Rice’s stances and statements on various issues. In 2005, Washington Post columnist Eugene Robinson asked, “How did [Rice] come to a worldview so radically different from that of most black Americans?”[114]

Rice and Australian Foreign Minister Alexander Downer participate in a news conference at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California, May 23, 2007.

Other writers have also noted what they perceive to be a distance between Rice and the black community. The Black Commentator magazine described sentiments given in a speech by Rice at a black gathering as “more than strange—they were evidence of profound personal disorientation. A black woman who doesn’t know how to talk to black people is of limited political use to an administration that has few black allies.”[115] When Rice invoked the civil rights movement to clarify her position on the invasion of Iraq, Margaret Kimberley, another writer for The Black Commentator, felt that her use of the rhetoric was “offensive.” Stan Correy, an interviewer from the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, characterized many blacks involved with civil rights and politics as viewing this rhetoric as “cynical.”[116] Rice was also described by Bill Fletcher, Jr., the former leader of the TransAfrica Forum, a foreign policy lobbying organization in Washington, D.C., as “very cold and distant and only black by accident.”[113] In August 2005, American musician, actor, and social activist Harry Belafonte, who serves on the Board of TransAfrica, referred to blacks in the Bush administration as “black tyrants.”[117] Belafonte’s comments received mixed reactions.[113]

Rice has defended herself from such criticism on several occasions. During a September 14, 2005 interview, she said, “Why would I worry about something like that? … The fact of the matter is I’ve been black all my life. Nobody needs to tell me how to be black.”[118]

Notable black commentators have defended Rice, including Mike Espy,[119] Andrew Young, C. Delores Tucker (chair of the National Congress of Black Women),[120] Clarence Page,[121] Colbert King,[122] Dorothy Height (chair and president emerita of the National Council of Negro Women)[122] and Kweisi Mfume (former Congressman and former CEO of the NAACP).[123]

Family and personal life

In the 1970s, Condoleezza Rice dated and was briefly engaged to American football player Rick Upchurch. She left him because, according to her biographer Marcus Mabry, “She knew the relationship wasn’t going to work.”[124] Her mother, Angelena Rice, died of breast cancer in August 1985, aged 61. In July 1989, Condoleezza’s father, John Wesley Rice, married Clara Bailey,[125] to whom he remained married until his death, in December 2000, aged 77.[126] He was a football and basketball coach throughout his life.[127]

Rice has never married and has no children

Maggie Walker, First African American Female Bank President   Leave a comment


Maggie Lena Walker (July 15, 1864(4-7)-December 15, 1934) was an African American teacher and businesswoman. Walker was the first African American female bank president and the first woman to charter a bank in the United States.[1] As a leader, she achieved successes with the vision to make tangible improvements in the way of life for African Americans and women. Disabled by paralysis and limited to a wheelchair later in life, Walker also became an example for people with disabilities.

Walker’s restored and furnished home in the historic Jackson Ward neighborhood of Richmond, Virginia has been designated a National Historic Site, operated by the National Park Service.

 Childhood, education

According to biographical material she supplied, Walker was born as Maggie Lena Mitchell in Richmond, Virginia to William Mitchell and Elizabeth Draper Mitchell 2 years and 2 months after the end of the American Civil War. Census information, as well as a diary passage saying that she was four years old on her mother’s wedding on May 1868, set the date back to 1864 or 1865.[2] Her mother was a former slave and assistant cook in the Church Hill mansion of Elizabeth Van Lew, who had been a spy in the Confederate capital city of Richmond for the Union during the War, and was later postmistress for Richmond. Her father was a butler and writer.[3]

The Mitchell family moved to their own home on College Alley off of Broad Street nearby Ms. Van Lew’s home where Maggie and her brother Johnnie were raised.[4] The house was near the First African Baptist Church which, like many black churches at the time, was an economic, political, and social center for the local black community.[5] After the untimely death of William Mitchell, Maggie’s mother supported her family by working as a laundress. Young Maggie attended the newly-formed Richmond Public Schools and helped her mother by delivering the clean clothes.

 Teacher, mother, leader

She taught grade school for three years until, in 1886, when she married Armstead Walker Jr., a brick contractor. Her husband earned a good living, and she was able to leave teaching to take care of her family and her work with the Independent Order of St. Luke. Maggie and Armstead Walker Jr. had sons, Russell and Melvin, and purchased a home in 1904.

When she was fourteen years old, young Maggie joined the local council of the Independent Order of St. Luke. This fraternal burial society, established in 1867 in Baltimore, Maryland, administered to the sick and aged, promoted humanitarian causes and encouraged individual self-help and integrity. She served in numerous capacities of increasing responsibility for the Order, from that of a delegate to the biannual convention to the top leadership position of Right Worthy Grand Secretary in 1899, a position she held until her death.

 Businesswoman, banker

In 1902, she established a newspaper for the organization, The St. Luke Herald. Shortly thereafter, she chartered the St. Luke Penny Savings Bank. Mrs. Walker served as the bank’s first president, which earned her the recognition of being the first 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, which grew to serve generations of Richmonders as an African-American owned institution.

Tragedy struck in 1915 when her husband was accidentally killed, leaving Mrs. Walker to manage a large household. Her work and investments kept the family comfortably situated. When her sons married they brought their wives to 110½ East Leigh Street, her home in Richmond’s Jackson Ward district, the center of Richmond’s African American business and social life at the turn of the century.

Ms. Walker received an honorary Masters degree from Virginia Union University in 1923, and was inducted into the Junior Achievement U.S. Business Hall of Fame in 2002

 Persevering despite disability

Mrs. Walker’s health gradually declined, and by 1928 she was using a wheelchair due to paralysis. Despite her physical limitations, she remained actively committed to her life’s work including serving as leader of the Independent Order of St. Luke and chairman of the bank until her death on December 15, 1934. She is buried in Richmond’s Evergreen Cemetery.

  Heritage

In Maggie’s honor Richmond Public Schools built a large brick high school adjacent to Virginia Union University. Maggie L. Walker High School was one of two schools in the area for black students, during the period of racial segregation in schools. The other was Armstrong High School. After generations of students spent their high school years there, it was totally refurbished in the late 20th century to become the regional Maggie L. Walker Governor’s School for Government and International Studies.

The National Park Service operates the Maggie L. Walker Historical Site at the former Jackson Ward home. In 1978 the house was designated a National Historic Site and was opened as a museum in 1985. The site states that it “commemorates the life of a progressive and talented African American woman. She achieved success in the world of business and finance as the first woman in the United States to charter and serve as president of a bank, despite the many adversities. The site includes a visitor center detailing her life and the Jackson Ward community in which she lived and worked and her residence of thirty years.The house is restored to its 1930’s appearance with original Walker family pieces.” [1]

 

Posted February 16, 2012 by pennylibertygbow in Entrepeneur, First to Accomplish

Matthew Henson – African American Man First Person to ever Reach North Pole   Leave a comment


Matthew Henson - Did you know the first man to reach the North Pole, was African American?

Matthew Alexander Henson (August 8, 1866 – March 9, 1955) was an African American explorer and associate of Robert Peary on various expeditions, the most famous being a 1909 expedition during which he may have been the first person to reach the Geographic North Pole.

 

LifeHenson was born on a farm in Nanjemoy, Maryland on August 8, 1866.[1] He was still a child when his parents Lemuel and Caroline[citation needed] died. He was sent to live with his uncle, who paid for his education until he died. After his uncle’s death, Henson got a job as a dishwasher at “Janey’s Home-Cooked Meals Cafe”. At the age of twelve he went to sea as a cabin boy on a merchant ship called Katie Hines. The captain, Captain Childs, took him under his wing and thought of him as his son. Childs and Henson were close for a long time. Henson sailed around the world for the next several years. He visited places such as China, Japan, the Phillipines, France, Africa, and southern Russia, educating himself and becoming a skilled navigator.

Henson met Commander Robert E. Peary in November 1887 and joined him on an expedition to Nicaragua, with 4 other people that Peary chose. Impressed with Henson’s seamanship, Peary recruited him as a colleague. For years they made many trips together, including Arctic voyages in which Henson traded with the Inuit and mastered their language, built sleds, and trained dog teams. In 1909, Peary mounted his eighth attempt to reach the North Pole, selecting Henson to be one of the team of six who would make the final run to the Pole. Before the goal was reached, Peary could no longer continue on foot and rode in a dog sled. Various accounts say he was ill, exhausted, or had frozen toes. In any case, he sent Henson on ahead as a scout. In a newspaper interview Henson said: “I was in the lead that had overshot the mark a couple of miles. We went back then and I could see that my footprints were the first at the spot.”[2] Henson then proceeded to plant the American flag.

Although Admiral Peary received many honors, Henson was largely ignored and spent most of the next thirty years working as a clerk in a federal customs house in New York. But in 1944 Congress awarded him a duplicate of the silver medal given to Peary.[3] Presidents Truman and Eisenhower both honored him before he died in 1955.[4]

In 1912 Matthew Henson wrote the book A Negro Explorer at the North Pole about his arctic exploration. Later, in 1947 he collaborated with Bradley Robinson on his biography Dark Companion. The 1912 book, along with an abortive lecture tour, enraged Peary who had always considered Henson no more than a servant and saw the attempts at publicity as a breach of faith.[5]

Henson died in the Bronx on March 9, 1955, at the age of 88, and was buried at Woodlawn Cemetery; after her death in 1968, his wife Lucy was buried with him. In 1988, the Hensons’ remains were both exhumed and reburied at Arlington National Cemetery, near the grave of Admiral Peary and his wife.[1] In 1961 an honorary plaque was installed to mark his Maryland birthplace.[6]

Henson in 1953, holding a portrait of Robert E. Peary[edit] FamilyHenson married Lucy Ross in 1906.

During their expeditions, both Henson and Peary fathered children with Inuit women, two of whom were brought to the attention of the American public by S. Allen Counter, who met them on a Greenland expedition.[7]

With an Inuit woman named Akatingwah, Matthew Henson fathered his only child, a son named Anauakaq. After 1909 Henson never saw Akatingwah or his son again, though he did receive updates about them from other explorers for a time. Anauakaq, who died in 1987, arrived in the United States with Kali Peary, Robert Peary’s son, on May 29, 1987, to visit his father’s family and grave site. Anaukaq and his wife, Aviaq, had five sons who, in turn, had many children of their own who still reside in Greenland.[8][9]

The “discovery” of Anauakaq and Kali and their meeting with their Henson and Peary relatives were documented in a book and documentary entitled North Pole Legacy: Black, White and Eskimo.[7][8]

Matthew Henson is also a relative of actress Taraji P. Henson (“The Division”, Hustle & Flow),[10] and the great-great uncle of Annapolis, Maryland native and film Director Stanley V. Henson, Jr. [11] who is the great-great grandson of Matthew Henson’s brother and recently worked with Bill Cosby and Dick Gregory on “Sow your dreams” which includes an appearance by Taraji P. Henson. Matthew Henson’s father Lemuel Henson is Stanley V. Henson, Jr’s great-great-great grandfather.

[edit] Honors
Poster from U.S. Office of War Information. Domestic Operations Branch. News Bureau, 1943The Explorers Club, under its “polar” President Vilhjalmur Stefansson, invited Henson to join its ranks in 1937. Eleven years later the Club reconsidered Henson’s membership and instead awarded Henson its highest rank of Honorary Member, an honor reserved for no more than 20 living members at a time.[12]

On May 28, 1986, the United States Postal Service issued a 22 cent postage stamp in honor of Henson and Peary;[13] they were previously honored in 1959, but not by name.[14][15]

On April 6, 1988 Henson was reinterred in Arlington National Cemetery near Peary’s monument. Many members from his American family and his Inuit family (Anauakaq’s children) were in attendance.[16]

In October 1996, the United States Navy commissioned USNS Henson, a Pathfinder class Oceanographic Survey Ship, in honor of Matthew Henson.

On November 28, 2000, the National Geographic Society awarded the Hubbard Medal to Matthew A. Henson posthumously. Dr. S. Allen Counter petitioned the National Geographic Society for many years to present its most prestigious medal to Henson. He attended the ceremony with Audrey Mebane, Henson’s 74-year-old great-niece. The medal was presented at the newly named Matthew A. Henson Earth Conservation Center (MAHECC) in Washington, D.C., and accompanied a scholarship given in Henson’s name by NGS.

The Matthew Henson Earth Conservation Center in Washington, D.C. is named for him, as are Matthew Henson State Park in Aspen Hill, Maryland, Matthew Henson Middle School[17] in Pomonkey, Maryland,[18] Matthew Henson Elementary School[19] in Baltimore, Maryland and Matthew Henson Elementary School[20] in Palmer Park, Maryland. Matthew Henson lived for a time in the landmark Dunbar Apartments in Harlem, in New York City.

In 2002, scholar Molefi Kete Asante listed Matthew Henson on his list of 100 Greatest African Americans.[21]

[edit] LegacyHenson’s exploits and life were portrayed in the 1998 TV movie Glory & Honor. Henson was played by Delroy Lindo, and Henry Czerny played Robert Peary. The film won a Primetime Emmy and a Golden Satellite Award for Lindo’s performance as Henson.[22]

Henson’s role in polar expeditions was part of E.L. Doctorow’s book Ragtime

Posted February 15, 2012 by pennylibertygbow in First to Accomplish, Sports

Dr. Daniel Hale Williams, performed one of the world’s medical miracles when he successfully repaired a torn heart from a knifewound.   Leave a comment


Dr. Daniel Hale Williams, performed one of the world's medical miracles when he successfully repaired a torn heart from a knifewound.

Daniel Hale Williams (January 18, 1858[1] – August 4, 1931) was an American surgeon. He was the first African-American cardiologist,and performed one of the first successful open-heart surgeries in the United States. He also founded Provident Hospital, the first non-segregated hospital in the United States.

 CareerWilliams was among the first to have performed cardiac surgery. Earlier surgeries on the pericardium were performed by Francisco Romero in 1801, Dominique Jean Larrey prior to 1850, and by Henry Dalton in 1891.[4] Also in 1891, he started the Provident Hospital and training school for nurses in Chicago, Illinois. This was established mostly for African-American citizens.[5] In 1893 he repaired the torn pericardium of a knife wound patient, James Cornish, the second on record.[4] He performed this surgery at Provident Hospital, Chicago, on 10 July 1893[6] About fifty-five days later, James Cornish had successfully recovered from the surgery.[5]

In 1893, during the administration of President Grover Cleveland, Williams was appointed surgeon-in-chief of Freedman’s Hospital in Washington, D.C.. In addition to organizing the hospital, Williams also established a training school for African-American nurses at the facility.

Williams was a teacher of Clinical Surgery at Meharry Medical College in Nashville, Tennessee and was an attending surgeon at Cook County Hospital in Chicago. He worked to create more hospitals and accessibility for African Americans. In 1895 he co-founded the National Medical Association for African American doctors, and in 1913 he became a charter member and the only African American doctor in the American College of Surgeons.

  Personal lifeDaniel Hale Williams was born and raised in the city of Hollidaysburg, Pennsylvania. His father, Daniel Hale Williams, Jr. was the son of an African-American barber and a Scots-Irish woman.[7] He lived with his father who was a “free negro” barber, his mother, his one brother and five sisters. His family eventually moved to Annapolis, Maryland. Unfortunately, shortly after when Daniel was nine, his father died.[8] Williams was married in 1898 to Alice Johnson, daughter of sculptor Moses Jacob Ezekiel and a maid of mixed ancestry.[9] Williams died of a stroke in Idlewild, Michigan on August 4, 1931. His wife, Alice Johnson, died in 1924.[5]

  LegacyWilliams was honored, amongst others, for his achievements in the Stevie Wonder song “Black Man”, from the album Songs in the Key of Life.

In 2002, scholar Molefi Kete Asante listed Daniel Hale Williams on his list of 100 Greatest African Americans.[10]

He received honorary degrees from Howard and Willberforce Universtities, was named a charter member of the American College of surgeons and was a member of the Chicago Surgical Society.

A Pennsylvania State Historical Marker was placed at US 22 eastbound (Blair St., 300 block), Hollidaysburg, Pennsylvania commemorating his accomplishments and marking his boyhood home. [11]

Posted February 15, 2012 by pennylibertygbow in First to Accomplish, Surgeons

Frederick Fritz Pollard, First African American Head Coach   Leave a comment


This article is about the African American football pioneer. For his son, the Olympic hurdler, see Fritz Pollard, Jr..
Frederick Douglass Pollard
No. 35     Free Agent
Running Back
Halfback / Quarterback
Personal information
Date of birth: January 27, 1894(1894-01-27)
Place of birth: Chicago, Illinois
Date of death: May 11, 1986(1986-05-11) (aged 92)
Place of death: Silver Spring, Maryland
High School: Lane Tech (IL)
Height: 5 ft 9 in (1.75 m) Weight: 165 lb (75 kg)
Career information
College: Brown
Debuted in 1920 for the Akron Pros
Last played in 1926 for the Akron Indians
Made coaching debut in 1921 for the Akron Pros
Last coached in 1925 for the Hammond Pros
Career history
 As player:

 As coach:

Career highlights and awards
  • 1x NFL Championship (1920)
  • 1x First-Team All Pro (1920)
  • Inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame (2005)
Career NFL statistics as of 1926
Touchdowns     16
Stats at NFL.com
Pro Football Hall of Fame
College Football Hall of Fame

Frederick Douglass “Fritz” Pollard (January 27, 1894 – May 11, 1986) was the first African American head coach in the National Football League (NFL). Pollard along with Bobby Marshall were the first two African American players in the NFL in 1920. Sportswriter Walter Camp ranked Pollard as “one of the greatest runners these eyes have ever seen.”

Professional football player

He later played pro football with the Akron Pros, the team he would lead to the NFL (APFA) championship in 1920. In 1921, he became the co-head coach of the Akron Pros, while still maintaining his roster position as running back. He also played for the Milwaukee Badgers, Hammond Pros, Gilberton Cadamounts, Union Club of Phoenixville and Providence Steam Roller. Some sources indicate that Pollard also served as co-coach of the Milwaukee Badgers with Al Garrett for part of the 1922 season. He also coached the non NFL team Gilberton in 1923 and is believed to have had some coaching duties with Hammond in 1923 as well.

Pollard, along with all nine of the black players in the NFL at the time, were removed from the league at the end of the 1926 season, never to return again. He spent some time organizing all-black barnstorming teams, including the Chicago Black Hawks in 1928 and the Harlem Brown Bombers in the 1930s.

 Legacy

In 2005, Fritz Pollard was inducted to the Pro Football Hall of Fame. He appears as a free agent in Madden NFL 09 and is also a part of the game’s Hall of Fame feature.

Pollard’s son Fritz Pollard, Jr. won the bronze medal for 110 m hurdles at the 1936 Summer Olympics in Berlin.[1]

The Fritz Pollard Alliance, a group promoting minority hiring throughout the NFL, is named for Pollard.

Brown University and the Black Coaches & Administrators co-sponsor the annual Fritz Pollard Award, which is presented to the college or professional coach chosen by the BCA as coach of the year.[2]

 See also

Portal icon Biography portal

 References

  1. ^ Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named sol1936; see Help:Cite errors/Cite error references no text
  2. ^ Brown University – Brown University and the Black Coaches Association establish annual Fritz Pollard Award February 18, 2004

 External links

Posted February 15, 2012 by pennylibertygbow in First to Accomplish, Sports