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February 2021

John Lewis | American Civil rights Leader and Politician

John Lewis, in full John Robert Lewis, (born February 21, 1940, near Troy, Alabama, U.S.—died July 17, 2020, Atlanta, Georgia), American civil rights leader and politician best known for his chairmanship of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) and for leading the march that was halted by police violence on the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama, in 1965, a landmark event in the history of the civil rights movement that became known as “Bloody Sunday.” A brief history of...

Black History NJ: The Complete Series

Jersey Joe Walcott Arnold Raymond Cream, aka Jersey Joe Walcott, was born in Merchantville, NJ, on Jan. 31, 1914. He held the record for the oldest heavyweight champion for more than four decades. His father, an immigrant from Barbados, died when Walcott was 15, which forced him to go to work to provide for his mother and younger siblings. At 16-years-old, he began boxing professionally and adopted Jersey Joe Walcott as his moniker… Carla Harris Montclair resident Carla Harris is an author,...

Private First Class James Anderson, Jr.

The first African American U.S. Marine to receive the Congressional Medal of Honor, Private First Class James Anderson, Jr. died on February 28, 1967 during an unconscionable act of heroism. he Medal of Honor, America’s highest military decoration was posthumously awarded on August 21, 1967 to Anderson for sacrificing his life for his fellow soldiers by grasping a grenade and shielding the explosion with his body to protect their lives. The official Citation was: “For conspicuous gallantry...

Hiram Rhodes Revels

Hiram Rhodes Revels representing Mississippi became the first African American to be sworn into United States Senate on February 25, 1870. Revels served as a Republican representing the state of Mississippi from February 25, 1870 until March 3, 1871. He was born on September 27, 1827 in Fayetteville, North Carolina to free African Americans. Revels worked as an ordained Methodist minister and served as a high school principal in Baltimore, Maryland. English: “First African American Senator...

Elijah McClain - The Association Between Abusive Policing and PTSD Symptoms Among U.S. Police Officers

"I'm an introvert, I don't do those things. You all are beautiful and I love you. Please try to forgive me" were the last words spoken by Elijah McClain. He would have been 25. The Association Between Abusive Policing and PTSD Symptoms Among U.S. Police Officers Objective: Initiatives to curb police abuse in the United States are often viewed as “antipolice” or politically unpopular. Efforts to address police violence may be more acceptable if abusive practices are shown to have an adverse...

Patricia Bath - Pioneer Ophthalmologist - Inventor of laser cataract surgery

Patricia Bath was the first African American to complete a residency in ophthalmology in 1973. Two years later, she became the first female faculty member in the Department of Ophthalmology at UCLA's Jules Stein Eye Institute. In 1976, Bath co-founded the American Institute for the Prevention of Blindness, which established that "eyesight is a basic human right." In 1986, Bath invented the Laserphaco Probe, improving treatment for cataract patients. She patented the device in 1988, becoming...

Building Resilient Communities: A Moral Responsibility | Nick Tilsen

Working together creates empowerment. Thunder Valley CDC is a community development organization that is working with the local grassroots people and national organizations in the development of a sustainable regenerative community, that creates jobs, builds homes and creates a National model for alleviating poverty in America’s poorest communities. Nick is a citizen of the Oglala Lakota Nation and the founding Executive Director of the Thunder Valley Community Development Corporation. Nick...

Gentrification vs. Revitalization

As we work towards healing communities, it is imperative we understand the difference between gentrification and revitalization. Gentrification is a term that people throw around a lot, but it’s often oversimplified as neighborhood revitalization. In an enlightening talk, urban planning scholar Stacey Sutton shows us the true costs of gentrification. Stacey Sutton teaches at Columbia University. She thinks deeply about our common misconceptions around gentrification. This talk was given on...

Congresswoman Barbara Jordan

Congresswoman Barbara Jordan was born on February 21, 1936 in Houston, Texas. Known for her strong and commanding oratory skills, Barbara Jordan on July 12, 1976, became the first African American to deliver a Keynote Address at the Democratic National Convention. She also gave a keynote address at the 1992 Democratic Convention. Jordan was the first African American woman elected to the United States House of Representatives from the south in 1972. Barbara Jordan 1976-04-07 Prior to...

Rutgers launches research center for infant, toddler care policy

PATRICK LAVERY | NJ1015 NEW BRUNSWICK — A new offshoot of the National Institute for Early Education Research headquartered at Rutgers University, the Infant and Toddler Policy Research Center has been created to put a sharper focus on what New Jersey can do better to help children, specifically in their first three years of life, and support their parents and caregivers. NIEER founder and senior co-director W. Steven Barnett, a Rutgers professor, said every year of a child's life matters,...

Bass Reeves: The Real Lone Ranger Was Black

If you’re like me, you remember watching the popular television show, The Lone Ranger, where it depicted a white man who wore a disguise on a white horse and had a Native American counterpart with him named Tonto. The story we are most familiar with started out as a radio show, then a popular television show that ran from 1949 to 1957, then comic books, and several cartoons and big-budget movies. But like many things during slavery, history may have been obscured and the actual “Lone Ranger”...

First African-American television reporter: Trudy Haynes

Born on Tuesday, November 23, 1926, Broadcast Pioneers member Trudy Haynes, who made local history in August of 1965 as the market's first African-American television reporter, retired in December 1988 after 33 years on the air at KYW-TV, Channel 3. Before breaking the color line in Philadelphia TV, Trudy was already a trailblazer in the industry. In the early 50's she was the first African-American poster model for Lucky Strike cigarettes. She entered broadcasting in 1956 as women's editor...

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