Black Women in American Culture and History: Unshakeable Persistence and Unflinching Sacrifice

Article excerpt

We must relight our own torches from Carter Woodson's bright flame, and continue the search for the sustaining truth; continue to spread the truth far and near, until we, in our turn, shall pass his saving light, undimmed, into the waiting hands of posterity. (1)-

Mary McLeod Bethune

In 1927, Carter G. Woodson introduced correspondence courses designed to "cover every aspect of the history of the Negro race, its economic progress, its social problems, African art, African anthropology, and African philosophy." (2) A decade later in 1937, Woodson at the behest of Mary McLeod Bethune established the Negro History Bulletin, now known as the Black History Bulletin (BHB). Seventy-five years later, this issue of the BHB illuminates the unshakeable persistence and unflinching sacrifice of Black women.

For example, authors Regina A. Lewis and Stephen Marble "continue to spread the truth far and near" as they describe the unshakeable persistence and unflinching sacrifice of Shirley Chisholm, Fannie Lou Hamer, Lucinda Todd, and Carlotta Walls LaNier, just to name a few.

After Woodson's death in 1950, Bethune, president of the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History (now known as the Association for the Study of African American Life and History) called for persistence in leadership. Her message, "Let us put our minds to task of keeping his torch forever burning--an eternal light moving ever higher for all men to see--finding and inscribing for history the records of a race; lighting the path to the future with the incentive of a racial heritage of our high achievement," (3) delivered at the thirty-fifth Annual Meeting of the Association marked the first meeting that Woodson did not call to order* Author Dionne Hope Griffin encourages readers to speak the names of African American female mathematicians and scientists such as Euphemia Haynes, Marjorie Lee Browne, Evelyn Boyd Granville, and Marie Maynard Daly to inspire our future mathematicians and scientists, thereby "lighting the path to the future. …


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