CuriShorts
CuriPow on 08/25/2019

Born To Fly

Katherine Sui Fun Cheung was born in Canton, China in 1904 (a year after the Wright brothers’ first flight). When she was 17 she moved with her father to California to study music at the Los Angeles Conservatory. After graduating, she continued her studies at Cal Poly Pomona and the University of Southern California.

CuriPow on 08/24/2019

Getting My Pulitzer

The first African American to receive a Pulitzer Prize for drama was Charles Gordone in 1970 for the dramatic work No Place To Be Somebody. Gordone took the theater world by storm and brought a new type of race consciousness to the stage. His play came on the scene in the 1960s when people embraced the emergence of long-silenced African American voices. Its truths brought many awards to Gordone and the opportunity to produce more plays, screenplays, and creative projects.

CuriPow on 08/23/2019

On The Steps Of Justice

John Swett Rock, one of the first Black Americans to obtain a medical degree, also had a successful career as a teacher, doctor, dentist, abolitionist, and lawyer. Rock was born in Salem County, New Jersey, on October 13, 1825. Rock grew up in a slave-free state, but with modest means; his parents rejected the common, but often necessary, the practice of putting black children to work instead of attending school. His family encouraged his education up until the age of 18.

CuriPow on 08/22/2019

Making Moves In Medicine

In 1891 Halle Tanner Dillon Johnson became the first black woman to practice medicine in Alabama and also the first woman ever admitted on examination to practice medicine in that state.

CuriPow on 08/21/2019

Hole In One

Nancy Lopez was the most celebrated player in women's golf in the decade after her rookie year in 1978. She began playing golf as a young girl and was an accomplished amateur before starting her professional career while a sophomore at Tulsa University in Oklahoma. Lopez was named Player of the Year by the Ladies Professional Golf Association four times (1978-79, 1985 and 1988) and was inducted into the Hall of Fame when she was only 30 years old (1987). The greatest female golfer of her generation, she was also known for her cheerful persona on the course.

CuriPow on 08/20/2019

Shining Star

As the first Chinese-American movie star, Anna May Wong used her fame to challenge racism and stereotypes in Hollywood. Born in 1905 in Los Angeles, California to second-generation immigrants.

CuriPow on 08/19/2019

The Greensboro Four

The Greensboro Four were four young black men who staged the first sit-in at Greensboro: Ezell Blair Jr., David Richmond, Franklin McCain, and Joseph McNeil. All four were students from North Carolina Agricultural and Technical College.

CuriPow on 08/18/2019

All-American

Donald Argee Barksdale learned the game of basketball in the parks and recreation centers that dotted the neighborhoods of Oakland, California during the days of his youth. He never played a minute of high school basketball at Berkeley High due to rules that limited the number of black players to one on varsity teams. The social barriers and racial quotas that threatened to derail his career from the very beginning failed to dampen the spirit of optimism in Barksdale.

CuriPow on 08/17/2019

Lawyer, Educator, Politician, and Civil Rights Leader

Barbara Jordan spent a lifetime breaking racial and gender barriers. Most notably, she was the first African American US congresswoman to come from the deep South, the first female representative from Texas and the first African American woman elected to the Texas Senate. There had not been a black Texas state senator since 1883. A gifted orator, she famously delivered the keynote address at the 1976 Democratic National Convention -- the first black woman ever to do so.

CuriPow on 08/16/2019

Raising The Flag

Ira Hamilton Hayes was a Pima Native American and a United States Marine who was one of the six flag raisers immortalized in the iconic photograph of the flag raising on Iwo Jima during World War II at the Battle of Iwo Jima.

CuriPow on 08/15/2019

Distinguished Medal Of Honor

Phillip Bazaar joined the Union Navy in New Bedford, Massachusetts. Seaman Bazaar was assigned to the USS Santiago de Cuba. The Santiago de Cuba was a wooden, brigantine-rigged, side-wheel steamship under the command of Rear Admiral David D. Porter. Bazaar and 5 other crew members, under the direct orders from Rear-Admiral Porter, carried dispatches during the battle while under heavy fire from the Confederates to Major General Alfred Terry.

CuriPow on 08/14/2019

First In The Nation

Mary Eliza Mahoney was the first African American to study and work as a professionally trained nurse in the United States, graduating in 1879. Mahoney was one of the first African Americans to graduate from a nursing school, and she prospered in a predominantly white society. She also challenged discrimination against African Americans in nursing.

CuriPow on 08/13/2019

Social Scientist For Civil Rights

Mamie Phipps Clark was born in Hot Springs, Ark., and Kenneth Clark was born and raised in Harlem, N.Y. Both obtained their bachelor's and master's degrees from Howard University. Influenced by her work with children in an all-black nursery school, Mamie decided to conduct her master’s thesis, "The Development of Consciousness of Self in Negro Pre-School Children". Not long after, she met her soon-to-be husband, Kenneth Clark, who partnered with her to extend her thesis research on self-identification in black children. This work was later developed into the famous doll experiments that exposed internalized racism and the negative effects of segregation for African-American children.

CuriPow on 08/11/2019

Go For Broke 442

The 442nd Regimental Combat Team was the most decorated unit of its size in the U.S. Army during World War II, with a roughly 4000-strong unit consisting of Japanese-Americans, mostly from Hawaii and some recruited from the internment camps where Japanese were incarcerated during the war.

CuriPow on 08/10/2019

From Slave To Inventor

Born as a slave in 1849 on a plantation in Woodland, Alabama, Andrew Beard was a farmer, carpenter, blacksmith, railroad worker, businessman, and an inventor. He was a self-educated farmer in Alabama when he thought up the idea of inventing a plow. In 1881, he patented one of his plows, which he sold for $4,000 three years later. In 1887, he invented another plow, sold it and used the proceeds to finance a profitable real estate business and a taxi company. In 1892, he patented his rotary engine.

CuriPow on 08/09/2019

By Any Means

Cathay Williams was born to an enslaved mother and a free father in Independence, Missouri in 1844. During her adolescence, she worked as a house slave on the Johnson plantation on the outskirts of Jefferson City, Missouri. In 1861, Union forces occupied Jefferson City during the early stages of the Civil War. At this time, captured slaves were officially designated as contraband and were forced to serve in military support roles such as cooks, laundresses, or nurses. Before her voluntary enlistment, at just 17 years old, Williams served as an Army cook and a washerwoman. In this role, she accompanied the infantry all over the country. Williams served under the service of General Philip Sheridan and witnessed the Red River Campaign and the Battle of Pea Ridge.

CuriPow on 08/08/2019

Fighting For The Rights Of A Community

Clarence Takeya Arai was a founding member and the first president of the Japanese American Citizens Leauge (JACL), an organization that has advocated since 1930 for the inclusion of Japanese in American society, the restoration of Asian American civil rights, and the Japanese American redress claims of 1948 and 1988.

CuriPow on 08/07/2019

Nuclear Physicist And Designer Of The A-Bomb

Ted Taylor was born in 1925 in Mexico City, Mexico. During WWII, from 1943-1946, he served on active duty in the United States Navy. He then received a bachelor's degree from the California Institute of Technology in 1945, pursued a master's degree from the University of California Berkeley, and later received a Ph.D. in theoretical physics from Cornell University in 1954.

CuriPow on 08/06/2019

The 99th Pursuit Squadron

On January 16, 1941, the War Department announced the formation of the 99th Pursuit Squadron, an African-American unit, and of the Tuskegee Institute training program. On March 7, 1942, the first graduating class of the Air Corps Advanced Flying School at Tuskegee Field included Col. (later Gen.) Benjamin O. Davis, Jr., who became the commanding officer of the 99th Fighter Squadron and later the 332d Fighter Group.

CuriPow on 08/05/2019

The King of Ragtime

In 1911 Scott Joplin's opera Treemonisha was the first black folk opera written by a black composer. His first major success was "Maple Leaf Rag" which earned him the title "King of Ragtime".

CuriPow on 08/04/2019

Latin Lover

Antonio Moreno was born and raised in Spain. He moved to New York at an early age to pursue a career on stage. Moreno traveled to California and worked in bit parts in films until he was discovered by the film pioneer D.W. Griffith, who launched him on a screen career in 1914.

CuriPow on 08/03/2019

Flying First Class

Ruth Carol Taylor was the first African-American airline flight attendant in America, She made the historic mark back on February 11, 1958.

CuriPow on 08/02/2019

Representing All North Carolinian's

John Adams Hyman, politician, state senator, and congressman, was born a slave near Warrenton, Warren County. Sold and sent to Alabama, he returned to Warren County in 1865 a free man. With the rise of African American participation in North Carolina politics, Hyman became a delegate to the second Freedman's Convention held in Raleigh during 1866.