Black Women's History Month

Women’s History Month Spotlight: How Alumna Jane Carpenter-Rock Depicts Multiple Americas at the Smithsonian’s American Art Museum

Written By Amber D. Dodd Passion is not something that is sought after it is planted within. An outer flame must spark inner devotion. So, when Jane Carpenter-Rock, Ph.D. (M.A. ’95), sat in a global humanities class in high school, the topic of art history resonated instantly. Iconography, the traditional or conventional images or symbols associated with a subject, was the day’s topic. “That’s when I really understood art to understand different places and times, different moments in time, different cultures, and topics that have inspired people throughout history,” Carpenter-Rock reminisced. The rest was history. Art history, that is. What

Dr. Jewel Plummer Cobb, Black Woman Scientist and Trailblazing Researcher

Courtesy of Talladega College Dr. Cobb was a distinguished professor and university administrator who conducted trailblazing cancer research, including studies that advanced the understanding of how skin cells that produce melanin become cancerous. But she was also deeply concerned about equity in American life. She called health care delivery “one of the tragedies in America.” In a 1989 book, I Dream a World: Portraits of Black Women Who Changed America, she stated, “We have what I would call educational genocide
when I see more black students in the laboratories than on the football field, I’ll be happy.” Dr. Cobb was born in

Dean Sandra Crewe on the Connection Between Women’s History Month and Social Work Month


By Seth Shapiro Over 80 percent of modern-day social work practitioners are women, according to many sources, and the field itself was founded primarily by women. So it’s also fitting that March is not only Women’s History Month, but also Social Work Month. Sandra Crewe (PhD ’97), dean of the School of Social Work, has devoted so much of her life to the field. Many of the women she thinks about during this month are pioneers in social work – Inabel Burns Lindsay, the first dean of the School of Social Work and the first female academic dean at Howard,

How Gloria Richardson (BA ’42) Found Her Activist Voice at Howard

By Janelle Harris Dixon As a student at Howard in the 1930s and 40s, the acclaimed civil rights leader Gloria Richardson was already making an impact. She led the first major civil rights event to erupt outside of the Deep South after Black residents in her native Cambridge, Maryland refused to continue accepting the indignity of racial segregation. She was one of just six “Negro Women Fighters for Freedom” invited to speak at the historic March on Washington in 1963. She negotiated a treaty with the Kennedy administration that honored the demands of her community and ultimately dismantled Jim Crow

16 Black Women Who Shaped History

By Madeline Merinuk One of the best ways to get inspired is to examine the stories of courage and strength of others. As part of Together, We Rise, a 31-day package highlighting amazing Black people, experiences, allies, and communities that shape America and make it what it is today, we’ve compiled a list of Black women who have made historic impacts in our nation and the world as a whole. The history-making Black women included in this group defied odds, broke boundaries, and left special marks of excellence in their communities, paving the way for other Black women to do

Mamie Phipps Clark: The Pioneering Psychologist Behind the Famed “Dolls Test”

By Bayan Atari Fourteen years before the landmark court case Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka desegregated American public schools, Howard University graduate and psychologist Mamie Phipps Clark (BS ’38, MA ’39), with the help of her husband Kenneth Bancroft Clark, was already doing revolutionary work on the profound impact of segregation and racism on Black children’s self-esteem. The “Dolls Test” developed by the Clarks and administered to over 250 Black children would become an important part of the expert testimony they provided during the Brown v. Board case. When the Clarks published the dissertation “The Development of Consciousness

Women’s History Month: Del State’s Dr. Harriet Williams

Written by Carlos Holmes In the 130-year history of Delaware State University, Dr. Harriet Ruth Williams is known as one of its prolific administrative “utility players.” That baseball term – a designation for a player that can play multiple positions – is wholly appropriate for Dr. Williams within the context of the many roles she played at Del State that went far beyond her primary title as the longtime chair of the Department of Chemistry. Dr. Williams spent the vast majority of her 83 years actively connected Delaware’s only Historically Black Institution of Higher Education. Born in 1915 in Cheswold, Del., although

Twelve Black Women to Know

By Ashleigh D. Coren 1. Amanda Smith Photograph of Amanda Smith by T. B. Latchmore. Taken around 1885. National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution. Orator and evangelist Amanda Smith forged a new role for women in the Methodist church in the late 19th century. Some of Smith’s many accomplishments include establishing an orphanage for Black children outside of Chicago, Illinois. She was most well known for her powerful speeches and she ministered to many in England, India, and West Africa. 2. Lynette Youson Lynette Youson, “Gullah Fanner Basket,” 2002, sweetgrass, bulrush, pine needles, and palmetto fronds, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of Martha G. Ware and Steven R. Cole, 2011.47.76 Lynette Youson is a fifth-generation basket weaver

5 Pioneering Black Women Who Were Left Out of the History Books

Written By Zoe Kasta To mark the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment, The Boho Icons is a two-part series shining a bright light on the impactful stories of the Black movers and shakers of history, and today. Despite what you may have learned in school, the celebratory day that comprehended the rights for women to vote was not all fair. On the day of the Amendment, Black people were still facing major challenges for just attempting to vote, including extreme violence.   From traveling tirelessly from state to sate, demanding anti-lynching, and courageously speaking up in mass crowds, Black Suffrage Leaders endlessly put

Marian Croak and Patricia Bath Become the First Black Women to Be Inducted Into the National Inventors Hall of Fame

By Rashad Grove After almost 50 years of existence, the National Inventors Hall of Fame will be inducting Black women for the first time, NPR reports. Marian Croak, an engineer, and the late ophthalmologist and laser scientist Patricia Bath will make history as part of the inductees of 2021. In total, there are 30 Black inductees in the National Inventors Hall of Fame (NIHF). “Innovation drives the worldwide economy forward and improves our quality of life. This is especially apparent given what we have experienced over the past 18 months,” Michael Oister, the NIHF’s CEO, said in a statement. “It’s why at the National Inventors Hall of Fame

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