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     Black Heroes; George Washington Carver; Mary McLeod Bethune; Langston
    Hughes; Paul Cuffe; James Weldon Johnson; Sojourner Truth; Duke Ellington;
    Harriet Tubman; Frederick Douglass; William Whipper
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Sarah Pereira was born in Cleveland, Ohio, the daughter of Alexander and Mary Brown Martin. Her father was a distinguished black attorney and her mother was a much loved and respected educator. Dr. Pereira graduated with honors in French from Ohio State University. First black at Ohio University Phi Beta Kappa. She earned a master's degree in French at Case Western Reserve University and a PhD in romance languages at Ohio State University. Dr. Pereira has taken advanced study in Spanish, French, Italian and Portuguese and has received fellowships for the study of foreign languages from five universities, including Vanderbilt,
Georgetown and Catholic University. She taught languages at Shaw, at Tennessee A and I, and served for 22 years at the University of the District of Columbia, from which she retired in 1980. She was for 13 years a member of the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'is of the United States. Dr. Pereira, through all this, has been a consistent and tireless advocate of the unity of mankind, lecturing and teaching on the principles of world unity, harmony of science and religion, equality of men and women and freedom from prejudices. During this black history month, the Baha'i Student Association salutes Dr. Pereira. Lydia Jane Martin was born in Cleveland in 1907. She was the eldest daughter of Alexander Martin, the first black assistant attorney general
and Mary Brown Martin, a distinguished educator and Cleveland school board member. She received her BA degree from Ohio State University and a master's in education from Case Western Reserve University. She received a master's in library science from Catholic University. She taught French, German and education at North Carolina Central University and Durham and at St. Augustine College and Raleigh, North Carolina. She served as dean of women at both Delaware State College and Arkansas State College. She worked as a librarian in the Cleveland Public Library and became the first black professional librarian at Case Western Reserve University serving in that post for 17 years. Wherever she lived or worked or studied, Lydia Martin championed the idea of racial unity and encouraged activities that would bring people together. Though she changed jobs and professions, she never changed her main purpose in life to assist in the bringing about of the consciousness of the oneness of humanity.
She died in March of 1983. During this black history month, the Baha'i Student Association remembers Lydia Jane Martin, a lifelong worker for the unity of mankind. Louis Gregory was born on June 6, 1874, the son of former slaves. He graduated from Fisk University and took a law degree at Howard. He became a Baha'i in 1908 and immediately began to promote racial unity. Gregory was one of the organizers and principal speakers at the first conference for race unity held in Washington, D.C. in May 1921. He traveled nationwide to speak in schools, churches and conferences. With courage and humility, he met with high and low, educated and illiterate and was accepted everywhere. He was the first black elected to the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'is of the
United States in 1912 and served a total of 16 years on that governing body. For 43 years, Louis Gregory worked unceasingly in the effort to bring about the consciousness of the oneness of humanity. He died July 30, 1951. During this black history month, the Baha'i Student Association solutes Louis Gregory. Robert S. Abbott was known as the Dean of Negro Journalism. He was editor in columnist of the Chicago Defender during its most influential years. Through his writing, he educated blacks to demand their rights. The South despised him for his courage and with death threats forbade him to return to the land of his birth. Known as the Tussan Lovature of Journalism, his early career was one of toil, poverty and hardship. He never lost the common touch and was a militant defender of the lowly. He believed in God and his race. When he sought to raise the black race to the level of
the white race, he was branded a radical. He became a Baha'i in 1934 and in that year he addressed the national convention with these words. I hope to acquire more power, power to fight for the unity of humanity. I am identifying myself with this cause and I go up with you or down with you, anything for this cause. Let it go out and remove the darkness everywhere, save my people, save America from herself. During this black history month, the Baha'i Student Association remembers Robert S. Abbott with pride. Matthew Bullock, son of slaves, entered Harvard Law School in 1904, earning his tuition as football coach at Massachusetts Agricultural College, the first black head coach at a predominantly white institution. During World War I, his vigorous opposition to racist policies incurred the hostility of commanding officers who caused him to serve 15 months
on the front lines without leave. He was recommended for a medal, which his colonel refused to approve. After the war, he served in a career of law and public service in Boston, ever a champion of social justice and human dignity. Bullock traveled frequently to encourage racial harmony. He traveled through North and South America, the Caribbean, and Africa. In 1949, he was a member of the delegation from the Baha'i International community to the third conference of non-governmental organizations. Matthew Bullock died on December 17, 1972, after a long and distinguished career of service to humanity. During this black history month, the Baha'i Student Association remembers Matthew Bullock. Alain Leroy Locke, one of the leading lights of the Harlem Renaissance, graduated from Harvard with honors in philosophy and English in 1907. He received a PhD in 1918 from Harvard.
In that same year, he was awarded a Rhodes Scholarship to Oxford for three years. After his return to the U.S., Dr. Locke spent six months in the Southern States, where for the first time in his life, he came face to face with total segregation. From then until his death in 1954, while teaching philosophy at Howard University, Dr. Locke devoted his literary and avocational talents to the analysis, interpretation, and cultural achievements of blacks and their relations with other races. After he became a Baha'i in the early 20s, Dr. Locke immediately incorporated its teachings in his writings and public speeches, wherein he pointed out that the advance of blacks is a part of the common advancement of all mankind, lifting the level of civilization as a whole. Dr. Locke's books and poems are numerous, the best known being the Negro in America, the Negro in his music, and the
Negro in art. During this black history month, the Baha'i Student Association honors Alain, Leroy Locke. Her managerians. Mary Brown Martin was born in Raleigh, North Carolina, circa 1877. She graduated from the Cleveland Normal School for Teachers. She taught school in Cleveland, Ohio, Birmingham, Alabama, and Cotton Plant, Arkansas. Mary Brown Martin was the first black every elected to the Cleveland Board of Education. She served two full terms and was elected to a third, but died shortly thereafter at the age of 62. In Cleveland, all flags were flown at half mast and all public schools closed in her honor. Newspaper articles praised her humanitarian service and her adherence to the principles of her Baha'i religion. She was known as the mother to all mankind. The Mary B. Martin School was named and tribute to her excellent service to education and
her example of fairness and justice. During this black history month, the Baha'i Student Association remembers Mary Brown Martin, our teacher. Alberta Diaz was born and reared in South Carolina and earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from South Carolina State College on a four-year scholarship. She was among that class of students in 1955, 56, who voiced their support for those teachers who were fired because of membership in the NAACP. She went on to earn a Master's in Education Administration at the University of Massachusetts and a doctorate in teacher education as well. She earned the honor of membership in Phi Delta Kappa. In 1978, Phi Delta Kappa honored her as College Professor of the Year, and in 1979, honored her again with the Recognition Award. For three years, she has served as Director of the Lewis Gregory
Institute in South Carolina. One of the principal concerns of both the Institute and of Mrs. Diaz is the bringing of harmony and unity between the various races and nationalities. Alberta Diaz is at present serving as a member of the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'is of the United States. During this black history month, the Baha'i Student Association salutes Alberta Diaz. Alexander Martin was born December 8, 1874 in Cleveland, Ohio. He took a law degree from Case Western Reserve University and was one of only five blacks to be accepted by Phi Beta Kappa in the 19th century. He lived to be almost 90 years of age and practiced law for 65 years. He was one of the founders of the Urban League of Cleveland. He became known as a great orator among both black and white listeners and was especially known for
his lectures and talks on the Oneness of Mankind and the necessity for unity and harmony between the races. His home on 40th Street was a center of attraction for Baha'i meetings and any form concerned with the bringing about of the consciousness of the Oneness of Humanity. He was a wonderful father to four children, two of whom distinguished themselves in the field of education and two of whom distinguished themselves in the field of law. During his Black History Month, the Baha'i Student Association remembers Alexander Martin, Phi Beta Kappa, attorney, and tireless worker in the cause of racial unity. On a plantation in Diamond Grove, Missouri, a man was born who was later to be known as
the Wizard of Tuskegee. Raised in a south that was bitterly divided, this man was destined to surpass bigotry and secure prominence worldwide for his agricultural contributions. At an early age, George Washington cover embarked on a journey to learn, discover, and to experiment. He was a black man seeking education in a system reserved for whites. But George Washington cover was a survivor for he had something that transcended black and white. He had a burning passion to learn. Cover excelled in his schooling and in 1896 accepted a request to teach a Tuskegee Normal Industrial Institute in Alabama. He established a school of agriculture and earned recognition as the Wizard of Tuskegee. It was here at Tuskegee that George Washington cover demonstrated another great passion, the passion to help others. When Southern crops were devastated
by the bull weevil, it was cover who became the South's hero for his development of the peanut. Later in Africa, cover combated the damage of the Tetsi fly by developing alternative forms of milk. Yet cover was a silent hero. For he was a humanitarian and not a businessman whose love reached all people of all races. He advanced the black race by advancing the human race. For his dedication to humanity, we honor George Washington cover, a black hero. She was fearless at an early age. A poor black woman raised in the South the mid-great racial strife. She refused to believe her dreams would not come true. She refused to believe her visions would die. Mary McLeod Bethune instead chose to believe in herself. She embarked
on a mission to educate herself and to educate others. She knew education was the key to narrowing the gap between black and white. At the early age of 29, overcoming many obstacles, Mary Bethune opened the doors of the Daytona Educational Industrial School for Negro Girls in Florida. Raising the money to support the school was difficult, but Mary Bethune possessed the resolve and resilience to succeed. Soon, people began to believe in her the same way Mary McLeod Bethune believed in herself. Even in the nation's capital, officials were compelled to listen. Invited to Washington she served under two presidents, Hoover and Roosevelt, establishing with Eleanor Roosevelt a lasting friendship. In her lifetime, she represented her country in many capacities, always extending the belief of her people and the belief in her country. For the determination to build her dreams into our reality, we honor Mary
McLeod Bethune, a black hero. He was a poet, songwriter and a novelist, and in each he excelled exquisitely. Born at the turn of the century, Langston Hughes was to become an important voice for black America, a voice that yearned to be heard. Early in his career, Hughes embarked on a journey to foreign nations, learning from other cultures, that which he was to bring back to his own country. He arrived at home at a time when many young blacks wish to express feelings untold. The association of these voices synthesized into the Harlem Renaissance, of which Langston Hughes became a major contributor. Hughes wrote from his soul. He reached deep inside himself, exposing feelings felt by blacks that had never before been expressed. By
pulling his culture together in verse, Hughes sparked in the black man the incentive to search for an identity, the incentive to be someone. To his country he communicated the hardships of being black to an America that did not know. He warned America not to be mistaken for the black man possesses the resolve to endure. Yet Hughes knew for the black man to thrive in white America, he must unite. The black man must act to achieve the dreams his mind so actively sought. To the world Langston Hughes gave a cry from his soul for equality, a cry that was not bitter or broken, but a cry that was compassionate and hopeful for the future, and tolerant of the past. For the light provided amid the darkness, we honor Langston Hughes, a black hero. She was a writer, demonstrator, and organizer. Born amidst the conflict between North
and South, she was not exposed to the atrocities that afflicted her people. No, Mary Church Terrell was raised in an atmosphere of affluence, but her well did not misguide her. For she felt the persecution of her people. She embarked at an early age to lead a crusade to fight injustice, whenever or wherever it existed. For the rest of her life, Mary Church Terrell became a living testimony to the principles of equality for all citizens. In her lifetime she accomplished many things, including organizing Delta Sigma Theta sorority, member of the NAACP, and appointee to the Washington D.C. school board. Yet, the greatest service she bestowed on society was as its constant watchdog for inequality. Terrell was on perpetual duty, guarding the sacred hopes and aspirations of blacks and women against the ugly hand of discrimination. Her watchful eyes spanned far and wide. Often chosen as a United States delegate to international
conferences, Terrell stood before all people with a simple message. A message that declared that Mary Church Terrell was a respecter of human rights, a defender of justice. Finally, in 1953 she won her final battle in the restaurants of our nation's capital. For she forced the enactment of an age-old law that banned discrimination of respectable persons regardless of color. At age 89 in every way, Mary Church Terrell was a respectable person. For the battle she fought for all of us, we honor Mary Church Terrell, a black hero. He was a prosperous businessman and ship owner by the turn of the 17th century. Yet this man was not like most of his merchant associates, for he was only twenty-one years old. A quaker
and a negro, Paul Cuffey was born near New Bedford, Massachusetts, a free man. At the early death of his father, he turned to the sea to conduct his business. It was here off the shores of New England that he amassed a small fortune, for he was as a businessman clever and prudent. As a black man, however, he was benevolent and devoted to the problems of his people. On a farm purchased at an early age, he built a school for free negro children providing the rudiments of a formal education. An education he never had. Later he fought the state of Massachusetts for the right to vote. With his mind and with his money he battled for the rights of the black man to be counted as an American. But Paul Cuffey learned that he was fighting an America that would not listen. Disillusioned, he took to the seas. Landing in Africa Sierra Leona, he founded the Society for Immigration of Free Negroes to Africa. Shortly afterwards he died. For the ability to rise above his
own circumstances and to advance the circumstances of others, we honor Paul Cuffey, a black hero. He was an author, a diplomat, and a black civil rights leader. In each he fulfilled his mission as an American citizen heroically. Born just a few years after the Civil War, James Weldon Johnson grew up in a south where the black man was free in name alone. Rising to prominence as a writer, Johnson began to assume responsibility as a black spokesman. Articulate and emotional, Johnson had the ability to enhance black hopes while impressing white leaders. His popular porn, lift every voice and sing, call for unity among blacks. While some of his other writings explored the plight of the Negro in white America. In all, Johnson understood the journey for black equality would be arduous and often disappointing. But
he was ready to make the trip. Be it arguing against American foreign policy or leading a silent march of protest. James Weldon Johnson was in the forefront of civil action. As a leader of the NAACP in the 1920s, he showed his diligence and dedication. By strengthening local chapters, he increased the organization's effectiveness to deal with many problems. Never bitter Johnson proved to be a skilled mediator. Humane, sensitive, and intelligent. He was a consistent and clear voice in an America that needed one. For a lifetime of service we honor James Weldon Johnson, a black hero. She could achieve with a word what many were unable to achieve in a lifetime. So it was said of sojourner truth, born a slave at the turning of the 18th century. In her early
years she realized the power of God. As she suffered her faith strengthened. She believed God was inside her acting as the guiding force in the pilgrimage of her soul. With unshaken faith she set out to preach her message. As her fame spread, the message remained liberty for all. Sojourner truth lived at a time when the Negro faith was being tested by the bonds of slavery. While some abandoned hope she stood tall as the prophet of optimism. For those who belittled the Negro, she demonstrated a fierce intelligence and an unmatched ability to communicate the glory of God and the glory of the black people. Yet her work was not limited to anti-slavery. No sojourner truth spoke for all whose rights were being violated. As she talked many listened for her meaning transcended the petty disputes among people. In the very soul of her message she was living proof God was alive and working in sojourner truth.
For the thoughts and words that came from her heart, we honor sojourner truth, a black hero. Make a talented young kid, add flashy clothes, a touch of dixie land, and what you've got is the Duke. Duke Ellington of course. Born at the turn of the 19th century, young Edward Kennedy Ellington had dreamed of becoming an architect. Yet as he grew he showed a tremendous propensity for music. At age seven he played the piano, and by the time he was 19 he had his own band, The Washingtonians. In those days, big time for musicians meant getting booked into Harlem's famous Cotton Club. In 1927 the Duke performed the Cotton Club, thus beginning a public life marked by precious melody. Be it jazz, mainstream, Kansas City style, Ellington translated American life through music. Beautiful music. Known for his appetite
for life and pleasure, Ellington also demonstrated a tremendous capacity for work. In a career that brought over 5,000 compositions, he'd never stopped qualifying his life to the beat and mood of his soul. Composing, writing, and playing, the Duke did it all. For the world of his listeners he added a gracious element to life, becoming the quintessence of elegance and style. And before he'd allow his nimble soul to retire, he'd have thrilled people of all races, and still does today. For sharing the magical moments of his life, we honor Edward Kennedy Ellington, a black hero. On a plantation in Maryland, this young slave toil on the soil of her master. Here in the fields among men, Harriet Tubman developed strength and endurance. Qualities she would employ for the rest of her life. As a young adult,
Tubman escaped the bonds of slavery and moved north to freedom. Yet Harriet knew that being free herself was not enough, for she wanted to share her freedom with her people. Armed with her tremendous ability to escape trouble, she returned to the south to lead the slave from bondage. In the years to come, her reputation spanned far and wide, rallying the hopes of many behind her missions. The systematic effort of white and blacks to help the slave was known as the underground railroad. Fearless and clever, Harriet Tubman became the railroad's most active conductor, traveling by night, by disguise and secret passage. Upon delivered her passengers to safety, the price of the ticket for freedom was in risking your life, but for as long as Harriet Tubman was conductor, the price was right. Guided by cleverness, motivated by purpose, she was indeed a lady who knew no fear. For the pilgrimages
she made in the name of freedom, we honor Harriet Tubman, a black hero. Born in a south-divided in black and white, Frederick A. Douglas was to play a major role in christening the black man's voyage toward equality. Raised as a slave in Tuckahoe, Maryland, Douglas was sent to Baltimore in 1825. While working as a houseboy, he learned to read and write. At age 21, after moving north in disguise, he gained his freedom. As a former slave he took advantage of the opportunity to speak his mind, a mind stocked with bitter memories. With dramatic force and a sense of urgency, Douglas conveyed the compassion of his people. When he all rated his words acted in unison to smash barriers and dissolve prejudices of the many who listened. Traveling in pre-Civil War America, Douglas appealed
to an individual sense of fairness. His pointed rhetoric and willingness to stand tall amid his detractors made him the spokesman for the black race. Although he was sometimes vindictive toward the white man, he stressed racial cooperation and humanity among all people. For Douglas knew the black man must struggle to move upward in American society, and he understood education was the key. Believing in the ideals of America, he simply asked his fellow countrymen to live up to them. In the wisdom of his words, Douglas planted the seeds that were to become the actions of black leaders in years to come. His influence is still with us. For the ability to stand up for what he believed in, and to make others believe it too, we honor Frederick A. Douglas, a black hero. He envisioned a day when both blacks and whites would live and work together, and in the
ways that he could, he worked to achieve that day. An abolitionist and a businessman thirty years before the Civil War, William Whipper was an optimist when most blacks were not. For Whipper believed in the basic ideals of his country. Indeed, America had served him well. As a young man, he was a prosperous and successful owner of a lumber business in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Yet as a dutiful citizen, he gave of his time and money for noble causes, such as his activities in the Negro Convention Movement of the 1830s, and of the American Moral Reform Society. An excellent writer, but not an eloquent speaker, Whipper preferred to work at the grassroots level, working to weave a national moral fabric that would transcend racial strife. At the same time he became active in the underground railroad, eating hundreds of slaves on their way to freedom. Yet he truly believed the subordinate role of the black man was temporary. For he felt someday, moral principles would
make Democratic America recognize the inherent equality of all men. To the cause of liberty, he advocated non-violence, non-aggressive protest. Unlike many men of his day, he was a peaceful man who believed moral justice was achieved through moral action. A belief echoed by some of the world's greatest leaders in generations to come. For his diligence in serving the cause of peaceful humanity, we honor William Whipper, a black hero.
Black Heroes; George Washington Carver; Mary McLeod Bethune; Langston Hughes; Paul Cuffe; James Weldon Johnson; Sojourner Truth; Duke Ellington; Harriet Tubman; Frederick Douglass; William Whipper
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George Washington Carver; Mary McLeod Bethune; Langston Hughes; Paul Cuffe; James Weldon Johnson; Sojourner Truth; Duke Ellington; Harriet Tubman; Frederick Douglass; William Whipper are among the proflies offered in these short spotlights on Black heroes.
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Chicago: “ Black Heroes; George Washington Carver; Mary McLeod Bethune; Langston Hughes; Paul Cuffe; James Weldon Johnson; Sojourner Truth; Duke Ellington; Harriet Tubman; Frederick Douglass; William Whipper ,” KUNM, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed February 29, 2024,
MLA: “ Black Heroes; George Washington Carver; Mary McLeod Bethune; Langston Hughes; Paul Cuffe; James Weldon Johnson; Sojourner Truth; Duke Ellington; Harriet Tubman; Frederick Douglass; William Whipper .” KUNM, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. February 29, 2024. <>.
APA: Black Heroes; George Washington Carver; Mary McLeod Bethune; Langston Hughes; Paul Cuffe; James Weldon Johnson; Sojourner Truth; Duke Ellington; Harriet Tubman; Frederick Douglass; William Whipper . Boston, MA: KUNM, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from