Writely So 365

07/02/2009

Richard Long

Filed under: Black History — writely so 365 @ 2:06 AM
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richard-longRenowned scholar of language and the arts Richard Long was born on February 9, 1927, in Philadelphia, where he spent his childhood. Long attended Temple University, where he received his B.A. in 1947 and his M.A. in 1948. He conducted post-graduate studies at the University of Pennsylvania and at Oxford, England, and Paris, France. From 1957 to 1958, he studied at the University of Paris on a Fulbright Scholarship. He went on to earn his Ph.D. from the University of Poitiers in 1965.

Long began his career in academia teaching English at West Virginia State College and Morgan State College. While completing his doctoral work, he also worked as a lecturer at the University of Poitiers. Upon returning to the United States, he taught English and French for the Hampton Institute and directed its College Museum. From 1969 to 1971, he lectured in Afro-American studies at Harvard University. The following year, he worked as a visiting professor of linguistics for the University of North Carolina. Subsequently, he taught English and Afro-American studies at Atlanta University from 1968 to 1987. Since 1973, he has been a professor at Emory University’s Graduate Institute of the Liberal Arts. In addition, he has worked as a visiting lecturer to universities in West, Central and South Africa, and India.

Long serves on the editorial boards of several publications, including the Langston Hughes Bulletin, Phylon and the Zora Neale Hurston Bulletin. He served as president for the College Language Association and the Southeastern Conference on Linguistics. He currently serves as commissioner for the Smithsonian Institute‘s National Museum of African Art and sits on the boards of the High Museum of Art and the Society of Dance History Scholars. He founded the Triennial Symposium on African Art, Atlanta University’s Annual Conference at the Center for African and African American Studies, and the New World Festivals of the African Diaspora. He was a U.S. committee member at the Second World Black and African Festival of Arts and Culture in Lagos, Nigeria, from 1971 to 1977 and has acted as a consultant for both the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Long’s published works include Black Americana (1985) Black Writers and the American Civil War (1989) The Black Tradition in American Dance (1989) and African Americans: A Portrait (1993). His work has also been included in more than twenty anthologies and encyclopedias of African American culture.

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05/02/2009

Joyce Hughes

Filed under: Black History — writely so 365 @ 2:14 AM
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joyce-hughesNorthwestern University law professor Joyce Hughes’ life has been marked by a series of important firsts. Hughes was born in Gadsden, Alabama, on February 7, 1940. Her parents, determined not to have their children limited by a segregated South, made the decision to move their family north to Minnesota.

After graduating from Carleton College magna cum laude, Hughes was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship to spend a year at the University of Madrid. Upon returning to the United States, she attended the University of Minnesota Law School. Hughes was the first African American female to receive her J.D. from the University Minnesota Law School in 1965.

Following law school, Hughes was awarded a clerkship with a federal district court judge in Minnesota. This was also a first. She practiced law with a small Minneapolis firm after her clerkship, and in 1971, joined the faculty of the University of Minnesota Law School. Hughes was the first woman and the first African American to teach there, as well as the first African American female to be hired as a tenure track professor at any majority white institution. During this time, she also served on the Board of Directors of the National Urban League.

In 1975, Hughes became a member of the Northwestern University Law School faculty, and in 1979 she was first African American female tenured full professor in any department at Northwestern University. Hughes also became politically active, serving on the Chicago Board of Education, where she was influential in school desegregation policy; in the legal department of Continental Illinois National Bank; and as the first woman and the first African American General Counsel of the Chicago Transit Authority.

Hughes continues to teach at Northwestern University. Currently, she sits on the Board of Directors of Chicago’s Leadership Council for Metropolitan Open Communities and the Board of Visitors of Bennett College, Greensboro, North Carolina.

04/02/2009

Charles Hayes

charles-hayesAlways the leader, Charles Hayes first displayed his true calling while working as a machine operator in Cairo, Illinois. Appalled by the working conditions and the meager salaries, Hayes helped to organize the United Packinghouse Workers of America. Later, this organization became prominent in union reform for women and minorities.

In 1983, Hayes was invited to perform his most challenging role yet as a member of the House of Representatives, a seat previously occupied by Chicago Mayor Harold Washington. During his career in Congress, Hayes made significant changes. He authored and introduced the School Improvement Act of 1987, which was later passed by the House. This act allocated millions of dollars to public schools across the country, allowing them to purchase much-needed textbooks, computers and supplies. He also introduced the Economic Bill of Rights, which outlined a plan for the equal distribution of national wealth.

The influential congressman was also one of the founding members of Operation PUSH with Jesse Jackson. At Hayes’ funeral, Congressman Jesse Jackson, Jr. called Hayes a forerunner, groundbreaker and pathfinder. Never losing sight of his original role as advocate for the workers, Hayes was a very active member in the Education and Labor Committee as well as the Small Business Committee until the time of his death in 1997.

Courtsey of The History Makers

03/02/2009

Madeline Murphy Rabb

Filed under: Black History — writely so 365 @ 1:34 AM
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madeline-murphy-rabb

Collector, dealer and lover of art Madeline Murphy Rabb was born in Wilmington, Delaware, on January 27, 1945. The second of five children, Rabb is the daughter of a television personality and a judge. After completing high school, Rabb attended the University of Maryland in 1961. Leaving there in 1963, she went to the Maryland Institute College of Art, earning a B.F.A. in 1966. After moving to Chicago, she attended the Illinois Institute of Technology, earning an M.S. in 1975.

Upon completing her bachelor’s degree, Rabb moved to Chicago and took a position with Tuesday Publications as assistant director of art and production. After taking several years off to devote herself to her family and various civic activities, Rabb became the vice president and business manager of Myra Everett Designs in 1977. From there, she went on to Corporate Concierge as an account executive in 1978, and in 1979 she opened Madeline Murphy Rabb Studio, where she created and sold original works. In 1983, Rabb was hired by the city of Chicago to serve as its executive director of fine arts, a position she held for seven years, during which time she heightened the organization’s national visibility. After working as a freelance art consultant for a few years, Rabb once again opened her own business, Murphy Rabb, Inc. (MRI), in 1992, where she remains as president. MRI serves corporate, governmental and private clients, helping them conceptualize and build important art collections. Recently, MRI implemented the art program for the John Stroger, Jr. Hospital of Cook County.

Rabb has also traveled the country lecturing, serving on panels and participating in workshops on a wide variety of issues. She is the curator of African American art collections at Ariel Capital Management and Brown Capital Management, and she has served on the Illinois Arts Council, the Folk Art Advisory Committee of the Field Museum of Natural American History, and the Woman’s Board of the Museum of Contemporary Art. She has testified before congressional panels on the National Endowment for the Arts and has had her original works published in several books. Rabb has also made several television appearances, including on the Oprah Winfrey Show. Her husband, Dr. Maurice Rabb, passed away in 2005. They have two children.

Courtsey of The History Makers

02/02/2009

George Washington Carver and Thomas J. Martin

Filed under: Black History — writely so 365 @ 9:12 AM
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George Washington Carver (1864 – 1943) who made agricultural advancements and inventions pertaining to the use of peanuts and Percy Julian, who helped create drugs to combat glaucoma, were the first African-Americans admitted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame in 1990.

Thomas J. Martin patented a fire extinguisher in 1872.

Courtesy of biography.com

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