John Mercer Langston
(December 14, 1829- November 15, 1899)
Pictured above: John Mercer Langston was an abolitionist, attorney, educator, activist, diplomat and politician in the United States. He was the youngest of 4 children who was born to freed blacks in Louisa County Virginia 1829. The house above belonged to him and is now an National Historic Landmark in Oberlin, Ohio.
Pictured above: Now and then. The John Mercer Langston Elementary School in Washington D.C. located at 33 P Street NW which opened in 1902 for black students.
Pictured above: Some of John Mercer Langston books available on Amazon.
Pictured above: A family legacy with Langston Hughes his great uncle John Mercer Langston and the great-grandfather of Langston Hughes, Charles Henry Langston.
Pictured above: Langston University established in 1897 in Oklahoma.
Pictured above: Langston’s Alma Mater Oberlin college in Ohio where he received his B.A and M.A.
Pictured above: Howard University in the 1800’s where John M. Langston was the 1st Dean of this all black law school he started. He was also the 1st African-American lawyer.
Pictured above: John 68 and his wife 82 Caroline Matilda Wall whom he married and had 5 children with in 1854, buried together in Washington D.C.
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Charles F. Gardner
( 1886-1951)Elfrida, Arizona
Pictured above: Charles F. Gardner- the owner of the only Negro store of its kind in the electrician and locksmith business. This shop was located in Chicago, Illinois on 2933 State Street during circa 1899.
Pictured above: Marian Anderson born February 27, 1897-April 8, 1993 in Philadelphia.
Pictured above: Marian Anderson performing her first open-air concert in front of Lincoln Memorial on April 8, 1939 and continued breaking the record in the United States when on January 7, 1955 as the first African -American who she sang at the Metropolitan Opera House. After her death she was honored with her own postage stamp.
Pictured above: Marian met many people, received a Kennedy Center Honor in 1978 for her lifetime achievements. She won a Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1963 along with another African-American named Ralph Bunche. She also but was banned from singing at the Constitution Hall in 1939 because of the (DAR) so she sang at Lincoln Memorial with the honor of having The President and First Lady Roosevelt’s support.
Pictured above: Marian Anderson books and music dedicated to the memory of great opera singer.
Pictured above: Marian Anderson died at the age of 96 April 8 at the home of her nephew conductor James DePreist and is buried Eden Cemetery in Collingdale, Pennsylvania. She was married to Orpheus Hodge King.
Pictured above: 1899 Football Team of Claflin University. The first charter college to allow all races to attend also who formed an African-American college football team.
Pictured above: Claflin University founded in 1869 by a Vermont minister Alonzo Webster. He wanted to set up an education to help freed slaves receive citizenship. This college named after a Boston Philanthropist Lee Claflin and his son William Claflin was the first to have graduates. It is know as an HBCU-(Historically Black College or University)
Pictured above: Lee Claflin(1791-1871) and his son William Claflin(1818-1905)
Pictured above: Claflin University Marching Band of the late 1800’s.
Pictured above: Arthur Rose Museum (The Council of Independent Colleges) late 1800’s
Pictured above: Original Campus of Claflin University in the late 1800’s
Claflin University Website
Click above to visit the Claflin University website and found out about alumni, curriculum and events and locations.
Moses Fleetwood Walker
October 7, 1856-May 11, 1924
Pictured above: Moses is sitting grouped with his (minor league) Oberlin College Team in 1880’s.
Pictured above: Walker is posing with the (AA) Toledo Blue Stockings of 1884. He joined the team on May 1, 1884 and played 42 games, averaged .263, scored 23 runs until he injured his ribs and he was let go in September 22, 1884. On August 23, 1889, Walker was also the last Negro to play in the International league until Jackie Robinson.
Pictured above: left to right- Weldy Walker and his brother Moses Walker. Both played for Toledo Blue Stockings. Him and his brother owned the Union Hotel in Steubenville Ohio and managed an Opera House in Ohio.
Pictured above: Moses Walker was married to Arbella Taylor after college and had one child. She later died of cancer at 32 years old on June 12, 1895. Three years later, he got remarried to a Ednah Jane Mason the same year he was sentenced for mail robbery and tragically she died May 26, 1920. He died on May 11, 1924 from lobar pneumonia in Cleveland, Ohio and buried next to his first wife in Union Cemetery-Beatty Park also buried there is his younger brother Weldy Walker.
Setting the record straight……
Pictured above: William Edward White was discovered as the first African-American to play for the Stockings in 1879 but because he lived his life as a white man he never received credit for being the first so Moses Fleetwood Walker took the plate in 1884 when he joined the (AA) in 1884. During his reign, his brother Weldy Walker followed him as third African-American to play while Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier in 1947.
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Thomas Mundy Peterson a.k.a Thomas Henry Peterson
(October 6, 1824-February 4, 1904)
Pictured above: African-American men standing in line for the first time to vote on March 31, 1870 including Thomas Mundy Peterson who was first in line.
Pictured above: Thomas Mundy Peterson was honored with a Gold Medallion from the city of Perth Amboy, New Jersey after raising money for the town. He said that it was a symbol of great accomplishment for him so he wore it proudly all the time.
Pictured Above: (Then and now) Thomas Mundy Peterson was also given the honor of having a school named after him in 1989 on State Street Perth Amboy, New Jersey. They declared March 31 a city holiday named after Thomas Mundy Peterson.
Pictured Above: Him and his wife were buried at the St. Pete’s church in New Jersey with an honorary grave site by the citizens of Perth Amboy.
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Congratulations to all 19 of our first African-American women judges!!
Pictured above: 19 beautiful black educated women who won all 19 judicial seats in Harris County, Texas which is the third-largest county in the United States.
Pictured above: While making history in Texas, these 19 African-American women made U.S. History in 2018.
Pictured above: A time in history when women could not serve jury duty until the late twentieth century.
Pictured above: These women who were lawyers and judges from different parts of the world starting in 1910, paved the way for women to serve in the judicial system .
Educational Background of all 19 Judicial candidates of 2018 for Harris County
1. Lucia Bates–
MBA / University of Phoenix and BBA / University of Houston
2. Erica Hughes–
HBCU graduate, Member of Delta Sigma Theta and U.S Army
3. Sandra Peake–
University of Houston College of Law, Houston, TX
4. Cassandra Hollemon–
South College of Law of Texas and BBA from University of St. Thomas in Political Science
5. Germaine Tanner–
Thurgood Marshall School of Law and Political Science major at University of Illinois of Urbana
6. Latosha Lewis Payne–
University of Texas Law School and the first to graduate high school and college in her family.
7. Angela Graves-Harrington–
Mississippi State University, Jackson State University, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority and Thurgood Law
8. Lori Chambers Gray–
South Texas Law School
9. Linda Marie Dunson–
Magna Cum Laude, Texas Southern University of Law, University of Houston & Thurgood Law School
10. Michelle Moore–
Magna Cum Laude, B.S. from A&M University
11. Ronnisha Bowman–
B.A degree from Texas Southern University in Public Affairs and Judicial system
12. Shannon Baldwin–
U.S. Army Reserves 1987(second lieutenant), Delta Sigma Theta and Cum Laude, B.S. in Law Enforcement and Political Science from Houston University and Thurgood Law School
13. Tori J. Finch–
Thurgood Marshall Law School, Texas Southern University, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. Gamma Mu Chapter (President); Delta Mu National Honor Society; Mu Kappa Tau National Honor Society; and Phi Beta Lambda Business Fraternity, Inc., XI XI Chapter.
14. Tonya Jones–
B.A in Political Science from Baylor University and Phi Delta Alpha Pre-law
15. LaShawn Williams–
Daughter of an Army Soldier, Graduate of Thurgood Law School and Licensed to practice law in Texas and Tennessee.
16. Sharon M. Burney–
24 years in education, Graduate of Thurgood Law School, Masters Degree in Future Studies
17. Ramona Franklin–
B.A. in English from Florida Agriculture and Mechanical University, M.S. in sports administration from Lynn University, a J.D. from the Thomas M. Cooley Law School at Western Michigan University
18. Dedra Davis–
South Texas College of Law
19. Marie T. Jackson–
B.A. Political Science from the University of Texas at Arlington, Doctor of Jurisprudence at
Texas A&M School of Law formerly Texas Wesleyan School of Law
Congratulations again ladies!! Keep up the Great Work!
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John Willis Menard-(April 3, 1838-October 9, 1893)
Pictured above: Born in New Orleans, Louisiana he was the first African-American to serve in Congress.
Pictured above: John Willis Menard addressing the House of Representatives in 1869 as he takes his seat in Congress.
Pictured above: John Willis Menard attended both Ohio Central College , Muskingum University and Iberia College which is his Alma Mater.
Pictured above: John Menard was a novelist who wrote about his time in Florida and was an advocate for civil rights during his active years in Congress.
Pictured above: John Willis Menard died at the age of 55 and buried in the District of Columbia at Graceland Cemetery and he was survived by a daughter named Alice Menard(who is unknown at this time)
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Ella Josephine Baker– (December 13, 1903-December 13, 1986)
“Remember we are not fighting for the freedom of the Negro, but for the freedom of the human spirit, a larger freedom that encompasses all mankind.”
Pictured above: African-American Civil and Human Rights Activist from Norfolk, Virginia.
Pictured above: Ella Baker elementary schools established in Washington, New York and other cities along with an art center in honor of her.
“Strong people do not need strong leaders.”
Pictured above: Ella Baker was involved with NAACP between 1938-1953, SCLC between 1957-1960 and SNCC between 1960-1966. During her years serving these organizations, she also worked with Martin Luther King Jr. whom she had opposite viewpoints with at times but she respected the mission and fought for freedom and citizenship.
Pictured above: Books written about Ella Baker’s history and active years fighting for Civil Rights.
Picture above: Ella Baker born to parents Georgiana & Blake Baker was a very private person. She was married to T.J. “Bob” Roberts for 20 years, won the Candace Award from National Coalition of 100 Black Woman in 1984, was part of the “Free Angela” campaign, was inducted into the National Hall of Fame in 1994 after dying at the age of 83 on her birthday.
Pictured above: Ella Baker was honored with her own postage stamp in 2009.
Thank you for reading about Ella Josephine Baker. Discover more about Black History throughout the month of February.
Susie King Taylor -(August 6, 1848 -October 6, 1912)
Pictured above: 1st African-American Army nurse and laundress
Pictured above: She taught soldiers how to read and write. She was the first to organize and educate formerly enslaved men, women and children in a freed man’s schools on Saint Island in Georgia. In April of 1862, on St. Simon Island, she would teach 40 children in a day.
Pictured above: Memoirs and stories written by Susie King Taylor during her Civil War experiences.
Pictured above: Reminiscences written after a trip to Louisiana in the 1890’s to care for a dying son published in 1902.
Pictured above: Susie King Taylor Community School in the late 1800’s and present day.
Pictured above: Mount Hope Cemetery in Roslindale, Massachusetts where Susie Ann Taylor aka (Susan Ann Baker) is buried next to her late husband Edward King who died before their first child was born.
Picture above: Some of the different honors given to Susie King Taylor after her passing.
Zora Neale Hurston -(January 7, 1898 – January 28, 1906)
Anthropologist, Novelist, Folklorist and major literary figure of Harlem Renaissance
Zora Neale Hurston was born in Notasulga, Alabama in 1898 to John and Lucy Potts Hurston. She was the 5th of 8 children and when she was 9 years old her mother died and her dad remarried shortly after. Her father John decided to move the family to Eatonville, Florida, which was founded in 1887 and was the oldest incorporated black town in America.
Pictured above: Zora attended Eatonville High School in 1917 at the age of “26”…yes that’s correct and she finished in one year. She had to lie to the Public School system that she was born in 1901 instead of 1891, in order to qualify for a free education. After she received her diploma in 1918, she took a job as a manicurist and waitress in order to pay for her tuition at Howard University in Washington D.C.
For example, she published a short story John Redding Goes to Sea in the university magazine. Hurston also submitted some of her work to the Opportunity Literary Contest..
Pictured above: Zora attended Howard University 1919 and received her Associates Degree in one year and published her 1st stories with the Howard newsletter.
Pictured above: Zora Hurston’s writings and stories told through her eyes during her life.
Pictured above: “The eyes were watching God” the movie trailer released March of 2005 based on the novel by Zora Neale Hurston and was produced by Oprah Winfrey, Quincy Jones and Matthew Carlisle
Pictured above: Zora was honored on her 119th birthday in 2003 by the United States with her own postage stamp. Zora suffered a stroke in 1959 and moved to St. Lucie County Welfare Home in Florida. Shortly after her 69th birthday, she died from heart disease and was buried in the Garden of Heavenly Rest in Fort Pierce, Florida. Alice Walker revived her memory by celebrating her life through her work.
Pictured above: Some of Zora Hurston’s famous quotes…..like every great writer…she lives on.
Thank you for reading about Zora Neale Hurston…keep reading everyday for more black history facts.