With the help of the DEI committee and other incredible staff members, WNS hopes to bring awareness to both known and hidden figures this Black History Month, in order to show our students that the possibilities are endless.
Jane was a pioneer in law and was the first Black woman to attend Yale Law School in 1931. Years later in 1939, she became the first Black female judge in the United States, serving for 10 years. One of her profound contributions throughout her career was working with private employers to hire people based on their skills, which helped to avoid discrimination because of race. Let’s take some time today to celebrate Jane Bolin and others that have contributed so much to Back History.
Image source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jane_Bolin
Benjamin O. Davis Sr.
We celebrate the accomplishments Benjamin O. Davis Sr., who was the first Black general in the American military. Davis Sr. served for 50 years as a temporary first lieutenant at an all-Black unit during the Spanish American War. Throughout his service, he was a professor of military science at Tuskegee and Wilberforce University, and special assistant to the Secretary of the Army. When Davis Sr. retired in 1948, President Harry Truman oversaw the ceremony. Davis Sr. was laid to rest at Arlington National Cemetery. Let’s take some time today to celebrate Benjamin O. Davis Sr. and others that have contributed so much to Back History.
Image source: http://blackhistorynow.com/benjamin-davis-jr/
We all know the story of Rosa Parks, but before Rosa refused to give up her seat on a bus in 1955, there was a brave 15-year-old who chose not to sit at the back of the bus. That brave young girl was Claudette Colvin. Standing firm within her constitutional rights to remain seated near the middle of the vehicle, Claudette challenged the driver and was later arrested. She became the first woman to be detained for her resistance, but her story isn’t always heard. Let’s take some time today to celebrate Claudette Colvin and others that have contributed so much to Back History.
Image source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Claudette_Colvin
He was the first African American on the staff of LIFE magazine, and later would be the brains behind some of the most beautiful imagery in the pages of Vogue. In addition, he was the first Black director of a major film, Shaft, helping to really shape the blaxploitation film era in the ’70s. Let’s take some time today to celebrate Gordon Park and others that have contributed so much to Back History.
we celebrate the accomplishments of Mae Jemison. She’s known as an astronaut, but she wasn’t just the first African American woman who orbited into space aboard the space shuttle Endeavour. She’s also a physician, teacher, a Peace Corps volunteer, and president of the Jemison Group, which is a tech company. To this day, she continues to work for the advancement of young women of color getting more involved in technology, engineering, and mathematical careers. Let’s take some time today to celebrate Mae Jemison and others that have contributed so much to Back History.
Image source: https://www.biography.com/astronaut/mae-c-jemison
Ailey was an acclaimed dancer and choreographer who earned great recognition for his impact on modern dance. After honing his technique at the Lester Horton Dance Theater, Ailey started the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in 1958, which was a multiracial troupe that provided a platform for talented Black dancers. Let’s take some time today to celebrate Alvin Ailey and others that have contributed so much to Back History.
Image source: http://pressroom.alvinailey.org/bios/alvin-ailey-founder
We celebrate the accomplishments of Shirley Chisholm, who became the first Black woman elected to Congress. She represented New York’s 12th District from 1969 to 1983. Later in 1972, she became the first woman to run for the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination. Senator Kamala Harris recently paid tribute to Chisholm in her presidential campaign announcement by using a color scheme and logo similar to Chisholm’s. Let’s take some time today to celebrate Shirley Chisholm and others that have contributed so much to Black History.
Mary Mcleod Bethune
Mary became one of the most important black educators, civil and women’s rights leaders, and government officials of our time. She helped organize black advisers to serve on the storied “Black Cabinet,” under President Franklin D. Roosevelt. First lady Eleanor Roosevelt considered Mary to be one of her closest friends. The college founded by Mary, Bethune-Cookman, set educational standards for today’s black colleges, and her role as an advisor to President Roosevelt gave African Americans an advocate in government. Let’s take some time today to celebrate Mary Mcleod Bethune and others that have contributed so much to Back History.
At the 1948 Summer Olympics in London, Alice became the first African-American woman from any country to win an Olympic gold medal. She incredibly set the record for the high jump, leaping to 5 feet and 6 1/8 inches. Throughout her athletic career, she won 34 national titles and was officially inducted into the National Track-and-Field Hall of Fame in 1975. Years later, she was inducted into the U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame in 2004. Let’s take some time today to celebrate Alice Coachman and others that have contributed so much to Back History.
Mariah Carey is greatly known for her whistle register, which is the highest the human voice is capable of reaching. Minnie Riperton, however, perfected the singing technique years before and was best known for her five-octave vocal range. The range can be heard on her biggest hit to date entitled, “Lovin’ You,” which was originally created as an ode to her daughter, Maya Rudolph. Riperton died before she could become a household name, but her legacy continues to live on. Let’s take some time today to celebrate Minnie Riperton and others that have contributed so much to Back History.
Image source: https://rockandrollparadise.com/minnie-riperton-71979/
Marie Van Brittan Brown
We celebrate the accomplishments of Marie Van Brittan Brown. Did you know that the first home security system was invented by a Black nurse? Although Marie was a full-time nurse, she recognized the security threats to her home and created a system that would alert her of strangers at her door and contact authorities as quickly as possible.
Her original invention consisted of peepholes, a camera, monitors, and a two-way microphone. The finishing touch was an alarm button that, when pressed, would immediately contact the police. Her patent laid the groundwork for the modern home security systems we have today. Let’s take some time today to celebrate Marie Van Brittan Brown and others that have contributed so much to Black History.
Image source: https://timeline.com/marie-van-brittan-brown-b63b72c415f0?gi=f31128cc6e99
Lonnie G. Johnson
we celebrate the accomplishments of Lonnie G. Johnson. Did you ever enjoy water gun fights as a kid? I’m sure we all did and Lonnie Johnson was the man that gave us the most famous water gun — the Super Soaker. Lonnie wasn’t a toymaker, but was actually an Aerospace Engineer for NASA. His resume includes a stint with the US Air Force, work on the Galileo Jupiter probe and Mars Observer project, and more than 40 patents. In addition to that, he is also working on the Johnson Thermoelectric Energy Converter (JTEC) which converts heat directly into electricity — but it’s the water gun that has given us the most joy. Let’s take some time today to celebrate Lonnie G. Johsnon and others that have contributed so much to Black History.
Image source: https://danwin.com/2013/11/lonnie-johnson-the-millionaire-super-soaker-inventing-rocket-scientist/
we celebrate the accomplishments of Lisa Gelobter. If you ever enjoyed an animated Gif on the web then you have Lisa Gelobter to thank for that. Gelobter was involved with the advent of Shockwave, a technology that formed the beginning of web animation. She also played a major role in the emergence of online video, later serving on the senior management team at Hulu. Previously, Lisa was the Interim Head of Digital for BET Networks and ran Technology, Product and Business Operations. Let’s take some time today to celebrate Lisa Gelobter and others that have contributed so much to Black History.
Image source: https://generalassemb.ly/instructors/lisa-gelobter/7180
we celebrate the accomplishments of Brehanna Daniels, who has broken down a barrier in a sport that is not usually associated with African Americans or women. She is a pit crew member, a tire changer, affiliated with NASCAR Racing. In 2016, Daniels was invited to participate in the NASCAR Drive for Diversity Pit Crew Development Program, which is geared toward people of color of both genders, exposing them to the world of NASCAR Racing. Daniels performed much better than expected, beating many of her male counterparts in the course. Three weeks later she was invited to a Nascar Pit Crew Combine. At the Dover International Speedway race held in Dover, Delaware in 2017, Daniels became the first African American woman to pit a vehicle in a national NASCAR series race. Let’s take some time today to celebrate Brehanna Daniels and others that have contributed so much to Black History.
Image source: https://www.glamour.com/story/brehanna-daniels-game-changer
Black History Month Events
Black History Month Kick-Off Party featuring special guest, DJ Dense, from the LA Clippers! 2/1, 6-7pm
An Evening of Live Jazz featuring the Dre Gray Experiment: 2/11; 6-7 pm
Kick off the long weekend with a relaxing evening of live jazz provided by the Dre Gray Experiment
In the Kitchen with Charlie Jordan Brookins: 2/16; 5-6 pm
Join us in the kitchen as Charlie Jordan Brookins shows us how to put a modern twist on Southern classic side dishes! Ingredient list here. We hope to see you there.
Tuesday, 2/23, 5pm: West African Dance Class with Noni Jones
Thursday, 2/25, 6pm: BHM Closing Party with DJ Dense
Please note these are open to the WNS community only, please check your inbox for Zoom details.