CuriShorts
CuriPow on 06/05/2020

The Niagara Movement

In 1905 Twenty-nine black intellectuals and activist from fourteen states met near Niagara Falls, New York to establish the Niagara Movement. Led By W.E.B. Du Bois and William Monroe Trotter, the organization encouraged blacks to press for immediate civil rights without compromise. In 1909 the movement merged with the NAACP.

CuriPow on 06/04/2020

Self-Help

Because white southern school boards routinely denied black taxpayers the funds necessary to construct black schools in the 1910's and 1920's African Americans pooled their limited resources and embarked on programs of school construction. Sharecroppers who had been born slaves donated their meager life saving so their grandchildren could have an education. Even people without children mortgaged their homes and lands to fund the schools. Occasionally assisted by funds from white philanthropists such as Julius Rosenwald or sympathetic white neighbors, the outside funding never exceeded 12 percent of overall building funds.

CuriPow on 06/03/2020

No Glass Ceilings

In 1922 Bessie Coleman was the first black woman to earn a pilot's license. Because flying schools in the United States denied her entry, she taught herself French and moved to France, earning her license from France's well-known Caudron Brother's School of Aviation in just seven months.

CuriPow on 06/02/2020

Serving My Country

By 1940, people of Mexican descent in the U.S. were twice as likely to have been born and raised in the States than not. Often the children of immigrants who had entered in previous decades, they strongly identified with the country of their birth. The result was massive Mexican American participation in World War II, the most recent estimate being that some 500,000 Mexican Americans served in the conflict.

CuriPow on 06/01/2020

The Forgotten Presidential Candidate

George Edwin Taylor was born in Little Rock, Arkansas to Nathan Taylor and Amanda Hines. When the State of Arkansas passed the Free Negro Expulsion Act in 1859, Amanda Hines took young George to Alton, Illinois. However, Hines became ill and died of Tuberculosis around 1861.

CuriPow on 05/31/2020

Quiet Brilliance

Little has been written about Richard Spikes in terms of his childhood, education and personal life. What is known is that he was an incredible inventor and the proof of this is in the incredibly diverse number of creations that have had a major impact on the lives of everyday citizens.

CuriPow on 05/30/2020

A Fighter For Mexican-American Rights

George Isidore Sanchez was a pioneer in civil rights, fighting for the rights of Mexican-Americans in New Mexico, Texas and throughout the country. He served on the faculty of the University of New Mexico, held several concurrent teaching, chair, and dean positions at The University of Texas at Austin.

CuriPow on 05/29/2020

The Motorcycle Queen of Miami

Bessie Stringfield was the first Jamaican-American woman to ride across the United States solo and was one of the few civilian motorcycle dispatch riders for the United States Army during World War II. Credited with breaking down barriers for both women and African-American motorcyclists, she was inducted into the Motorcycle Hall of Fame.

CuriPow on 05/28/2020

Owning The Music

In 1921 the first black record company was created, the Pace Phonograph Company which used the Black Swann Label. Henry Pace was the owner of a music publishing company and in 1921 they released their first hit with Ethel Waters, "Down Home Blues/Oh, Daddy". which sold more than a half million records in six months.

CuriPow on 05/27/2020

Air Engagement

In 1917 Eugene Bullard became the first and only black combat pilot to fly during WW I. Bullard flew more than 20 combat missions and was nicknamed the "Black Swallow of Death".

CuriPow on 05/26/2020

Activist, Writer, Artist, and Controversialist

Born LeRoi Jones, Imamu Amiri Baraka changed his name after becoming a Muslim. Baraka is a poet, playwright, essayist, political activist, and founder of the Black Arts Repertory Theater in New York.

CuriPow on 05/25/2020

Social Scientist

Edward Franklin Frazier (a.k.a. E. Franklin Frazier) was an American sociologist whose work on African American social structure provided insights into many of the problems affecting the black community.

CuriPow on 05/24/2020

Before Brown v. Board of Education

In 1946, eight years before the landmark Supreme Court decision in Brown v. Board of Education, Mexican Americans in Orange County, California won a class action lawsuit to dismantle the segregated school system that existed there.

CuriPow on 05/23/2020

Unbridled Determination

Daisy Lee Gatson Bates was an activist, journalist, civil rights activist and publisher and former head of the NAACP (Little Rock, AR). Bates has a rich history of accomplishments but is well known for her involvement in the Little Rock Nine.

CuriPow on 05/22/2020

Silent Star

Sessue Hayakawa, whose given name was Kintaro Hayakawa, achieved fame and widespread recognition in the early decades of the U.S. film industry.

CuriPow on 05/20/2020

Overacheiver

Testtdi Antonia Novella overcame childhood poverty and illness to become one of the leading doctors in the United States. She was trained as a pediatrician and served in the public health sector. After spending several years at the National Insitute of Health (NIH), Novello was appointed United States Surgeon General by President George Bush. She was the first woman and Latina to hold this position. Novello used this role to bring national attention to important health issues, such as alcohol abuse, smoking, violence, and AIDS, as well as issues that especially affected women and Hispanics.

CuriPow on 05/19/2020

The First In The Nation

Edward Alexander Bouchet graduated valedictorian from Hopkins Grammar School in 1870. That same year, he began his studies at Yale University. He completed his bachelor's degree in 1874. Bouchet made history two years later, becoming the first African American to earn a doctorate degree in the United States. After earning his doctorate in physics, he taught at the Institute for Colored Youth in Philadelphia for more than 25 years.

CuriPow on 05/18/2020

The Borinqueneers

The 65th Infantry originated as a Puerto Rican outfit in the form of the Battalion of Porto Rican Volunteers (May 20, 1899) in the aftermath of the Spanish-American War of 1898. They were regarded as colonial troops, part of the first “American Colonial Army.” In 1908, and by then a regiment, the unit officially became part of the U.S. Army. It came to be known as the Porto Rican Regiment. During WWI the regiment was sent to the Canal Zone in Panama- far from the European battlefields. In 1920, the unit’s name changed from the Porto Rican Regiment to the 65th Infantry Regiment, United States Army.

CuriPow on 05/17/2020

Inventor, Physical Therapist And Forensic Scientist

A forensic scientist, an inventor, and a physical therapist, Bessie Blount Griffin is sadly not commonly recognized as a prominent African figure even though she has made a significant number of contributions to benefiting our world in the realms of injury rehabilitation.

CuriPow on 05/16/2020

The Real McCoy

Elijah McCoy was working as a fireman on the Michigan Central Railroad, shoveling coal and lubricating engine parts with a handheld oil can when he realized that there must be a better, more efficient way of delivering oil to the vital gears, screws, and cylinders that kept the mighty locomotive engine running. He wondered if a mechanical device existed that could automatically drip the proper amount of oil into the moving parts of the engine whenever and wherever needed so that a train would no longer have to be stopped every few miles to be manually lubricated. After experimenting for two years in a makeshift machine shop, McCoy came up with a design for a special “lubricating cup” that could be fitted into the steam cylinders of locomotives and other stationary machinery.

CuriPow on 05/15/2020

Unknown Hero

Dr. Feng Shan Ho single-handedly saved thousands of Austrian Jews during the Holocaust. When Dr. Ho arrived in Vienna in 1937 as a Chinese diplomat, Austria had the third largest Jewish community in Europe. Just one year later, however, the Nazis took over Austria and began persecuting Jews. Although they tried to flee, Austrian Jews had nowhere to go because most of the world's nations would not accept Jewish refugees. Against all odds, many would survive thanks to Dr. Ho. As Chinese General Consul in Vienna, he went against his boss' orders and began issuing Jews visas to Shanghai, China. These lifesaving documents allowed thousands of Jews to leave Austria and escape death. After 40 years of diplomatic service that included ambassadorships to Egypt, Mexico, Bolivia, and Colombia, Dr. Ho retired to San Francisco, California. At age 89, he published his memoirs, "Forty Years of My Diplomatic Life." Dr. Ho died in 1997, an unknown hero of World War II.

CuriPow on 05/14/2020

The Brown Condor

John Charles Robinson, nicknamed the Brown Condor, was an African American aviator who fought with the Imperial Ethiopian Air Force against Benito Mussolini and Italy during the Second Italian-Ethiopian War, 1935–1936. He is also known as the Father of the Tuskegee Airmen for his contributions to the aviation programs he began at the Tuskegee Institute in Alabama in the early 1940s.

CuriPow on 05/13/2020

Stagecoach Mary

In 1885 Mary Fields also known as "Stagecoach Mary", was the first African-American woman star route mail carrier in the United States. Fields obtained the star route contract for the delivery of U.S. mail from Cascade, Montana to Saint Peter's Mission in 1885. She drove the route with horse and wagon, not a stagecoach, for two four-year contracts: from 1885 to 1889 and from 1889 to 1893.