Month: May 2018

May 31 1921- The Tusla Race

GM – FBF – What is the definition of a Riot – a noisy, violent public disorder caused by a group or crowd of persons, as by a crowd protesting against another group, a government policy, etc., in the streets.- What is the definition of a Massacre – the unnecessary, indiscriminate killing of a large number of human beings or animals, as in barbarous warfare or persecution or for revenge or plunder. Read the story and you tell me what happened in Tulsa, OK during the days on May 31 and June 2, 1921. THIS IS A STORY NOT TOLD AND HONORED ENOUGH. PEACE!

Remember – ” It was terrifying like what my grandparents use to talk about during slavery. We could not stop the waves of bombs, gunfire and total hate towards our people. No one should have to live like that” – Tulsa Resident

Today in our History – May 31, 1921

Tulsa race riot of 1921, race riot that began on May 31, 1921, in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and was one of the most severe incidents of racial violence in U.S. history. Lasting for two days, the riot left somewhere between 30 and 300 people dead, mostly African Americans, and destroyed Tulsa’s prosperous black neighbourhood of Greenwood, known as the “black Wall Street.” More than 1,400 homes and businesses were burned, and nearly 10,000 people were left homeless. Despite its severity and destructiveness, the Tulsa race riot was barely mentioned in history books until the late 1990s, when a state commission was formed to document the incident.

On May 30, 1921, Dick Rowland, a young African American shoe shiner, was accused of assaulting a white elevator operator named Sarah Page in the elevator of a building in downtown Tulsa. The next day the Tulsa Tribune printed a story saying that Rowland had tried to rape Page, with an accompanying editorial stating that a lynching was planned for that night. That evening mobs of both African Americans and whites descended on the courthouse where Rowland was being held. When a confrontation between an armed African American man, there to protect Rowland, and a white protestor resulted in the death of the latter, the white mob was incensed, and the Tulsa riot was thus ignited.

Over the next two days, mobs of white people looted and set fire to African American businesses and homes throughout the city. Many of the mob members were recently returned World War I veterans trained in the use of firearms and are said to have shot African Americans on sight. Some survivors even claimed that people in airplanes dropped incendiary bombs.

When the riot ended on June 1, the official death toll was recorded at 10 whites and 26 African Americans, though many experts now believe at least 300 people were killed. Shortly after the riot there was a brief official inquiry, but documents related to the riot disappeared soon afterward. The event never received widespread attention and has been noticeably absent from the history books used to teach Oklahoma schoolchildren.

In 1997 a Tulsa Race Riot Commission was formed by the state of Oklahoma to investigate the riot and formally document the incident. Members of the commission gathered accounts of survivors who were still alive, documents from individuals who witnessed the riots but had since died, and other historical evidence. Scholars used the accounts of witnesses and ground-piercing radar to locate a potential mass grave just outside Tulsa’s Oaklawn Cemetery, suggesting the death toll may be much higher than the original records indicate. In its preliminary recommendations, the commission suggested that the state of Oklahoma pay $33 million in restitution, some of it to the 121 surviving victims who had been located. However, no legislative action was ever taken on the recommendation, and the commission had no power to force legislation. In April 2002 a private religious charity, the Tulsa Metropolitan Ministry, paid a total of $28,000 to the survivors, a little more than $200 each, using funds raised from private donations. There is a lot more to this story and should be a major movie on the BIG screen, please research more about this massacre and share with your babies. Make it a champion day!

May 30 1907- Charles Henry Turner

GM – FBF – How many of us as students had classes in zoology? Would you go and get a degree in that field? Thank God for Charles Henry Turner. Enjoy!

Remember – ” I loved science so much because it’s always hiding things from our past” – Dr. Charles Henry Turner

Today in our History – May 30, 1907 – On May 30,1907, Turner graduated from the University of Chicago with a Ph.D. in zoology, becoming the first African American to receive such a degree from the institution.

Charles Henry Turner, a zoologist and scholar, was the first person to discover that insects can hear and alter behavior based on previous experience.

Born in 1867 in Cincinnati, Ohio, Charles Henry Turner was a pioneering African-American scientist and scholar. Among his most notable achievements, Turner was the first African American to receive a Ph.D. in zoology from the University of Chicago, and the first person to discover that insects can hear and alter behavior based on previous experience. He died in Chicago, Illinois, in 1923.

Pioneering African-American scientist Charles Henry Turner was born on February 3, 1867, in Cincinnati, Ohio. His father worked as a custodian and his mother was a practical nurse, and the young Turner was actively encouraged to read and learn.

Turner excelled at his studies, graduating from Gaines High School in 1886 as class valedictorian. He enrolled at the University of Cincinnati that same year, and in 1887, he wed Leontine Troy. The couple later had two sons, Henry and Darwin, before his wife’s death in 1895.

Turner graduated with a bachelor’s degree in biology in 1891, and earned a master’s degree from the University of Cincinnati the following year. During his studies, Turner found work as a teacher at a number of schools, and had an assistantship at his alma mater from 1891 to 1893.

To help find a teaching position, Turner contacted Booker T. Washington at the Tuskegee Normal and Industrial Institute (later Tuskegee University) in Alabama. Some reports indicate that Turner lost out on a position at the institute to George Washington Carver, another distinguished African-American scientist. Instead Turner moved to Atlanta, Georgia, where he taught at Clark College (later known as Clark Atlanta University) from 1893 to 1905.

On May 30,1907, Turner graduated from the University of Chicago with a Ph.D. in zoology, becoming the first African American to receive such a degree from the institution. Shortly after being turned down for a teaching position at the University of Chicago, Turner moved to St. Louis, Missouri, where he taught at Sumner High School until 1922.

During his career, Turner published more than 70 research papers. He pioneered research techniques in the study of animal behavior and made several important discoveries that advanced our understanding of the natural world. Among his most notable achievements, Turner was the first person to discover that insects can hear and alter behavior based on previous experience. He showed that insects were capable of learning, illustrating (in two of his most famous research projects) that honey bees can see in color and recognize patterns. He conducted some of these experiments while working at Sumner without the benefit of research assistants or laboratory space.

In 1922, Turner moved to Chicago, Illinois, to live with his son Darwin. He died there on February 14, 1923. His last scientific paper was published the year after his death, in which he explored a method for conducting field research on fresh-water invertebrates.

Several schools have been named in Turner’s honor in St. Louis, Missouri, the city where he spent so many years as a teacher. On the campus of Clark Atlanta University, he is remembered on the Tanner-Turner Hall building. And children have learned about his influential work though the 1997 children’s book Bug Watching with Charles Henry Turner by M.E. Ross.

In recent years, his groundbreaking work has been reintroduced to the public through the publication of Selected Papers and Biography of Charles Henry Turner, Pioneer of Comparative Animal Behavior Studies (2003). Research more about this great American and share with your babies. Make it a champion day!

May 29 1905- Sarah E. Goode

GM – FBF – Today we are going to learn about a women who was fearless and creative for her time. Entrepreneur and inventor Sarah E. Goode was the first African-American woman to receive a United States patent.

Remember – “I know people who would sleep on the ground or on the floor. I wanted them to sleep with dignity like the people we belonged to during the slave days.” – Sarah E. Goode

Today in our History – May 29, 1905 – Sarah E. Goode dies.

Entrepreneur and inventor Sarah E. Goode was the first African-American woman to receive a United States patent.

Born into slavery in 1850, inventor and entrepreneur Sarah E. Goode was the first African-American woman to be granted a patent by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, for her invention of a folding cabinet bed in 1885.

Born into slavery in 1850, inventor and entrepreneur Sarah E. Goode went on to become the first African-American woman to be granted a patent by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, for her invention of a folding cabinet bed in 1885.

After receiving her freedom at the end of the Civil War, Goode moved to Chicago and eventually became an entrepreneur. Along with her husband Archibald, a carpenter, she owned a furniture store. Many of her customers, who were mostly working-class, lived in small apartments and didn’t have much space for furniture, including beds.

As a solution to the problem, Goode invented a cabinet bed, which she described as a “folding bed,” similar to what nowadays would be called a Murphy bed. When the bed was not being used, it could also serve as a roll-top desk, complete with compartments for stationery and other writing supplies.

Goode received a patent for her invention on July 14, 1885. She died May 29,1905. We all know how this type of bed changed our lives. Research more about this great American and share with your babies. Make it a champion day!

May 28 1885- Horace King

GM – FBF – Happy Memorial Day, Horace King did a lot of things during his lifetime but will be rememberd as a builder of bridegs. Enjoy!

Remember – I loved to build bridges in order for the every day person could have an easier travel. – Horace King

Today in our History – May 28, 1885 – Horace King dies after leaving a great mark on Alabama, Georgia’s history.

Horace King, born a slave on September 8, 1807 in Chesterfield District, South Carolina, was a successful bridge architect and builder in West Georgia, Northern Alabama and northeast Georgia in the period between the 1830s and 1870s. King worked for his master, John Godwin who owned a successful construction business. Although King was a slave, Godwin treated him as a valued employee and eventually gave him considerable influence over his business. Horace King supervised many of Godwin’s business activities including the management of construction sites. In 1832, for example, King led a construction crew in building Moore’s Bridge, the first bridge crossing the lower Chattahoochee River in northwest Georgia. Later in the decade, Godwin and King constructed some of the largest bridges in Georgia, Alabama, and Northeastern Mississippi. By the 1840s King designed and supervised construction of major bridges at Wetumpka, Alabama and Columbus, Mississippi without Godwin’s supervision. Godwin issued five year warranties on his bridges because of his confidence in King’s high quality work.

In 1839, Horace King married Frances Thomas, a free African American woman. The couple had had four boys and one girl. The King children eventually joined their father at working on various construction projects. In addition to building bridges, King constructed homes and government buildings for Godwin’s construction company. In 1841, King supervised the construction of the Russell County Courthouse in Alabama. Despite the success of the company in attracting work, Godwin nonetheless fell into debt. King was emancipated by Godwin on February 3, 1846 to avoid his seizure by creditors. King continued to work for Godwin’s construction company and when his former owner died in 1859, King assumed controlled of Godwin’s business.

During the Civil War, King continued to work on construction projects usually for the Confederacy including a building for the Confederate navy near Columbus, Georgia. Confederate officials also forced King to block several waterways to prevent Union access to strategic points in Georgia and Alabama.

In 1864 Frances Thomas King died. Immediately after the Civil War ended King married Sarah Jane Jones McManus. Also after the war King began to prosper as he worked on the reconstruction of bridges, textile mills, cotton warehouses and public buildings destroyed during the conflict. After passing down the family business to his son, John Thomas King, Horace King was elected as a Republican to the Alabama House of Representatives, serving from 1870 to 1874.

Horace King died on May 28, 1885 in LaGrange, Georgia. Reserach more about this great American and share with your babies, Make it a champion day!

May 27 1973- Shirley Ann Jackson

GM – FBF – This powerful black woman taught at Rutgers University, so she has to be one of the best, Enjoy!

Remember – “We need to go back to the discovery, to posing a question, to having a hypothesis and having kids know that they can discover the answers and can peal away a layer.” – Dr. Shirley Ann Jackson

Today in our History – May 27, 1973 – Shirley Ann Jackson, earned her Ph.D.

Shirley Ann Jackson, born in 1946 in Washington, D.C., has achieved numerous firsts for African American women. She was the first black woman to earn a Ph.D. from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (M.I.T.); to receive a Ph.D. in theoretical solid state physics; to be elected president and then chairman of the board of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS); to be president of a major research university, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in New York; and to be elected to the National Academy of Engineering. Jackson was also both the first African American and the first woman to chair the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

Jackson’s parents and teachers recognized her natural talent for science and nurtured her interest from a young age. In 1964, after graduating as valedictorian from her high school, Jackson was accepted at M.I.T., where she was one of very few women and even fewer black students. Despite discouraging remarks from her professors about the appropriateness of science for a black woman, she chose to major in physics and earned her B.S. in 1968. Jackson continued at M.I.T. for graduate school, studying under the first black physics professor in her department, James Young. In 1973, she earned her Ph.D.

Shirley Jackson completed several years of postdoctoral research at various laboratories, such as Fermi in Illinois, before being hired by AT&T Bell Laboratories in 1976, where she worked for 15 years. She conducted research on the optical and electronic properties of layered materials, surface electrons of liquid helium films, strained-layer semiconductor superlattices, and most notably, the polaronic aspects of electrons in two-dimensional systems. She is considered a leading developer of Caller ID and Call Waiting on telephones.

After teaching at Rutgers University from 1991-1995, Jackson was appointed chair of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission by Bill Clinton. In 1999, Jackson became President of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, where she still serves today. In 2004, she was elected president of AAAS and in 2005 she served as chairman of the board for the Society. Dr. Shirley Jackson is married to a physicist and has one son. Research more about black women and science and share with your babies. Make it a champion day!

May 26 1928- Bunion Derby

GM – FBF – Even during the “Great Depression” people of color were doing outstanding feats but little to no recognition. Read the story of the first national footrace which people of color won three spots in the top ten. Enjoy!

Remember – “Running is nothing more than a series of arguments between the part of your brain that wants to stop and the part that wants to keep going.” – Winner of the Bunion Derby – Andy Payne

Today in our History – The 1928 Bunion Derby: America’s Brush with Integrated Sports.

From March 4 to May 26, 1928, a unique event grabbed the attention of the American public—an eighty-four day, 3,400-mile footrace from Los Angeles to New York City, nicknamed the bunion derby. The 199 starters included five African Americans, a Jamaican-born Canadian, and perhaps as many as fifteen Latinos, Native Americans and Pacific Islanders, representing about ten percent of the competitors. The rest were white. The derby consisted of daily town-to-town stage races that took the men across the length of Route 66 to Chicago, then on other roads to the finish in Madison Square Garden. All were chasing a $25,000 first prize, a small fortune in 1928 dollars.

Given the racial climate of 1928, black participation in the bunion derby seemed a risky venture, better suited for more tolerate racial times, either the 1870’s when professional distance racing was the rage and men of all races were accepted in to its fold, or our modern age, when the sight of African runners leading endurance events is an everyday occurrence. The 1928 race would take the men into the Jim Crow segregated South, where most whites believed blacks lacked the ability to concentrate for anything longer than the sprint distances, and had no business competing against whites.

Bunion derby organizer Charles C. Pyle looked back, longingly, to the 1870’s when the craze for professional distance running gripped the land, and sports promoters could make a fortune sponsoring these events. In those days, most towns and cities had their own indoor tracks, where “pedestrians” raced in six day “go as you please” contests of endurance. Participants were free to run, walk, or crawl around these tracks for six days. They often set up cots inside the track oval and survived on three hours sleep a night. This was a sport of the working classes. Fans bet money on their favorite pedestrians and followed them with all the fervor of today’s NFL fans. Stamina not ethnicity was the single qualifier to become a pedestrian star. Black America had its hero, Haitian born, Frank Hart who made a fortune in the sport and averaged ninety miles a day in one six day endurance race.

C. C. Pyle’s “bunioneers” found far harsher conditions than the pedestrians faced in the calm environment of an indoor track. His men tackled the mostly unpaved and pot-holed Route 66 across the American West, running daily ultra-marathons across one thousand miles of the most challenging terrain on the planet–the ninety-five degree heat of the Mojave Desert, and the freezing mountain passes and thin air of Arizona and New Mexico.

By the time derby reached eastern New Mexico, only ninety-six of the original 199 starters remained, including three of the five African American starters–Eddie Gardner of Seattle, Sammy Robinson of Atlantic City, New Jersey, and Toby Joseph Cotton, Junior of Los Angeles–and Afro-Canadian Phillip Granville, of Hamilton, Ontario. After overcoming all that, the black runners faced a man made hell when Route 66 took them to Texas where the Ku Klux Klan dominated the state legislature and the city governments of Dallas, Forth Worth and El Paso. Gardner, Joseph, Cotton, and Granville were forced out of the communal sleeping tent into a “colored only” tent, then bombarded with death threats and racial slurs as they slogged their way across the muddy, tendon ripping roads of the Texas Panhandle. In McLean, Texas, an angry mob surrounded Gardner’s trainer’s car, and threatened to burn it, claiming that blacks had no business racing against whites. In Western Oklahoma, a farmer trained a shotgun on Eddie Gardner’s back, and rode behind him for an entire day, daring him to pass a white man. After Phillip Granville’s experience with Jim Crow segregation, he began referring to himself as Jamaican Indian, and “anything but negro,” and disassociated myself from the black runners.

This abuse continued across Texas, Oklahoma and Missouri, a total of a thousand miles and twenty-four days of running hell before the derby crossed into Illinois. The men were helped along way by tightly knit black communities in Oklahoma City, Tulsa, and Chandler, Oklahoma, that raised money for them, gave them a clean bed for the night, and a solid meal to keep them going in the face of so much hate. They also were supported and protected by the white runners who had bonded with them like brothers over the brutal miles on Route 66.

The heroism of the black bunioneers was a symbol of hope and pride to black communities they passed along way, and to black America as a whole, who followed the men’s struggle across Texas, Oklahoma and Missouri in the Amsterdam News, California Eagle, Black Dispatch Chicago Defender, and Pittsburgh Courier. The competitors also put to rest the long held belief that blacks were unsuited to long distance running, given that three-fifths of the blacks finished compared to about twenty-five percent of the whites. The derby also showed the nation that blacks and whites could compete against one another even if they were not yet ready to live together in harmony.

On May 26, 1928, fifty-five weary men make their final laps around the track in Madison Square Garden that marked the end of their eighty-four day ordeal. Three of the top ten finishers were runners of color, including the $25,000 first prize winner, Andy Payne, a part Cherokee Indian from Oklahoma, the $5,000 third place winner, Phillip Granville of Canada, and the $1,000 eighth place winner, Eddie Gardner of Seattle. These three bunioneers were cut from the same social cloth as their white competitors—they were blue-collar men who were looking for a piece of the American dream. They did not run for loving cups or medals, but for prize money that could lift a mortgage off a farm, buy a house, or give their children some decent clothes to wear, and in the case of the black runners, they risked their lives to do so. This was a far different mentality from the university athletes and members of athletic clubs who looked down their noses at these working class distance stars, but it was also strikingly modern, a herald of the rise of professional sports in the years to come, where merit, not race determined fame and glory. This race was run in the following year but with no blacks permitted to run becuse of the nation’s depression. I could not find pictures of the winner receiving the winnings and trophy. Make it a champion day!

May 25 1938- Otis Frank Boykin

GM-FBF- The creator has blessed us with fine Individuals who have the skill to teach and Invent Ideas that can help the human race, today you will read about another. Enjoy!

Remember – “The difference between genius and stupidity is, genius has its limits.” – Otis Frank Boykin

Today in our History – May 25, 1938 – Otis Frank Boykin, graduates from Booker T. Washington High School in Dallas, TX.

The inventor Otis Frank Boykin, known for inventing the wire precision resistor, was born on August 29, 1920 in Dallas, Texas. Boykin’s mother, Sarah Boykin, worked as a maid before dying in 1921 before Boykin’s first birthday. Boykin’s father, Walter Boykin, worked as a carpenter and later became a minister. 
In 1934, Boykin entered Booker T. Washington High School in Dallas, later graduating in 1938 as valedictorian of his class. Following high school, Boykin began college at Fisk University in Nashville, Tennessee, simultaneously working at an aerospace laboratory in Nashville as a laboratory assistant testing automatic controls for aircraft.

After graduating from Fisk in 1941, Boykin began working as a lab assistant for Majestic Radio and TV Corporation, in Chicago, Illinois, eventually rising to the rank of supervisor. In 1944, Boykin began working for the P.J. Nilsen Research Laboratory. In 1946 Boykin began graduate studies at Illinois Institute of Technology but dropped out within a year because his family could no longer financially assist Boykin with his tuition. Beginning in 1946 he briefly ran his own company, Boykin-Fruth, Inc., and began working on various inventions.

Otis Frank Boykin earned his first patent in 1959. He developed the wire precision resistor which enabled manufacturers to accurately designate a value of resistance for an individual piece of wire in electronic equipment. Two years later, in 1961, Boykin earned a patent for an improved version of this concept, an inexpensive and easily producible electrical resistor model with the ability to “withstand extreme accelerations and shocked and great temperature changes without change or breakage of the fine resistance wire or other detrimental effects.”

Boykin’s invention significantly reduced the cost of production of hundreds of electronic devices while making them much more reliable than previously possible. The transistor radio was one of the many devices affected by his work. Other applications of Boykin’s invention included guided missiles, televisions, and IBM computers. Additionally, Boykin’s device would enable the development of the control unit for the artificial heart pacemaker, a device created to produce electrical shocks to the heart to maintain a healthy heart rate.

Boykin created the electrical capacitator in 1965 and an electrical resistance capacitor in 1967 as well as a number of consumer products ranging from a burglar-proof cash register to a chemical air filter. In all, Boykin patented 26 electronic devices over the course of his career.

Otis Frank Boykin died in Chicago of heart failure on March 13, 1982 at the age of 61. Research more about Black Inventors and share it with your babies. Make it a champion day!



May 24 1956- Mary Beatrice Davidson Kenner and Mildred Davidson Austin Smith

GM – FBF – If you think that today’s post is too PC for you then you don’t understand how this Inventions help shape not just women but everyone’s lives. Enjoy!

Remember – “Science and everyday life cannot and should not be separated.” – Mary Beatrice Davidson Kenner

Today in our History – May 24, 1956 – Sister’s who Invenred things that we all understand today.

Before the advent of disposable pads, women were using cloth pads and rags during their period. Tampons were available for women but they were discouraged from using them because they were seen as not decent.

Mary Beatrice Davidson Kenner, an African-American inventor and her sister, Mildred Davidson Austin Smith founded an alternative in 1956 – a sanitary belt. Three years later, Mary invented the moisture-resistant pocket for the belt. This gave women a better substitute for handling their period, even if it was not as comfortable as the modern sanitary pad.

Kenner’s sanitary belt with its moisture-proof napkin pocket made it less likely that menstrual blood could leak. Her invention was patented 30 years after it was introduced because the company which was initially interested in her invention rejected it when they realized that Kenner was African-American. Nevertheless, Kenner went on to invent a lot of household items throughout her adult life.

Along with her sister Mildred, Kenner patented a bathroom toilet tissue holder that allowed the loose end of a roll to be accessible at all times.She further patented a back washer that could be attached to the wall of a shower to help people clean parts of their back that were hard to reach. Mildred, who was struck with multiple sclerosis at a young age, invented a children’s board game that explored family ties. In 1980, she trademarked the game’s name, “Family Treedition.” Her game was subsequently manufactured in several fashions, including the Braille language.

Mary was the more prolific inventor of the two as she eventually filed five patents in total, more than any other African-American woman in history. The two sisters did not have any professional training, and they never became rich from their inventions. They made inventions ultimately to improve the quality of life.

The sisters were both born in the town of Monroe, N.C., Charlotte. Mildred was born January 31, 1916, and died in 1993. Her sister, Mary was born May 17, 1912, but passed away at the age of 84. Research more about great women who helped shape our lives and work with your babies. Make it a champion day!.

May 23 1940- Jesse Ernest Wilkins Jr

GM – FBF – Today’s spotlight is on a boy /man who’s was called – The “negro genius” in the media. Enjoy!

Remember – “One day I will fly to the moon with math.” – Dr. Jesse Ernest Wilkins Jr.

Today in our History – May 23, 1940 – At 17 received a PHD. from The University of Chicago. Jesse Ernest Wilkins Jr.(November 27, 1923 – May 12, 2011)

In 1940 Wilkins completed his B.Sc. in math. In order to improve his rapport with the nuclear engineers reporting to him, Wilkins later received both bachelor’s and master’s degrees in mechanical engineering from New York University in 1982 and 2001, thus earning five science degrees during his life.

After initially failing to secure a research position at his alma mater in Chicago, Wilkins taught mathematics from 1943 to 1944 at the Tuskegee Institute (now Tuskegee University) in Tuskegee, Alabama. In 1944 he returned to the University of Chicago where he served first as an associate mathematical physicist and then as a physicist in its Metallurgical Laboratory, as part of the Manhattan Project. Working under the direction of Arthur Holly Compton and Enrico Fermi, Wilkins researched the extraction of fissionable nuclear materials, but was not told of the research group’s ultimate goal until after the atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima. Wilkins was the codiscoverer or discoverer of a number of phenomena in physics such as the Wilkins Effect, plus the Wigner-Wilkins and Wilkins Spectra.

When Wilkins’s team was about to be transferred to the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Oak Ridge, Tennessee (known at the time as site “X”), due to the Jim Crow laws of the Southern United States, Wilkins would have been prevented from working there. When Edward Teller was informed about this, he wrote a letter on September 18, 1944 to Harold Urey (who was the director of war research at Columbia at the time) of Wilkins’s abilities, informing him about the problem of Wilkins’s race, and recommending his services for a new position. As Teller explained:

Knowing that men of high qualifications are scarce these days, I thought that it might be useful that I suggest a capable person for this job. Mr. Wilkins in Wigner’s group at the Metallurgical Laboratory has been doing, according to Wigner, excellent work. He is a colored man and since Wigner’s group is moving to “X” it is not possible for him to continue work with that group. I think that it might be a good idea to secure his services for our work.

Wilkins then continued to teach mathematics and conduct significant research in neutron absorption with physicist Eugene Wigner, including the development of its mathematical models. He would also later help design and develop nuclear reactors for electrical power generation, becoming part owner of one such company,

In 1970 Wilkins went on to serve Howard University as its distinguished professor of Applied Mathematical Physics and also founded the university’s new PhD program in mathematics. During his tenure at Howard he undertook a sabbatical position as a visiting scientist at Argonne National Laboratory from 1976 to 1977.

From 1974 to 1975 Wilkins served as president of the American Nuclear Society and in 1976 became the second African American to be elected to the National Academy of Engineering.

From 1990 Wilkins lived and worked in Atlanta, Georgia as a Distinguished Professor of Applied Mathematics and Mathematical Physics at Clark Atlanta University, and retired again for his last time in 2003.

Throughout his years of research Wilkins published more than 100 papers on a variety of subjects, including differential geometry, linear differential equations, integrals, nuclear engineering, gamma radiation shielding and optics, garnering numerous professional and scientific awards along the way.

Wilkins had two children with his first wife Gloria Louise Steward (d.1980) whom he married in June 1947, and subsequently married Maxine G. Malone in 1984. He was married a third time to Vera Wood Anderson in Chicago in September 2003. He had a daughter, Sharon, and a son, Wilkins, III during his first marriage.

J Ernest Wilkins Sr. was an equally notable figure, but in different spheres. He was appointed Assistant Secretary of Labor in 1954 by U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower and thus became the first African American to hold a sub-cabinet position in the United States Government. One of Wilkins’ grandfathers was also notable for founding St. Mark’s Methodist Church in New York City.

In 2010 a niece of Wilkins, Carolyn Marie Wilkins, Professor of Music at the Berklee College of Music in Boston, wrote of Wilkins’ father and her family more generally in her biography Damn Near White: An African American Family’s Rise from Slavery to Bittersweet Success.

Wilkins died on May 1, 2011 in Fountain Hills, Arizona. He was survived by his two children, Sharon Wilkins Hill and J. Ernest Wilkins III, plus three grandchildren and two great-grandchildren, and was buried at the National Memorial Cemetery, Cave Creek, Arizona on May 5. Research more Black Mathmatician’s and share with your babies. Make it a champion day!

May 22 1982- Marion Croak

GM – FBF- Technology is part of our lives and will continue, today we look at a Black woman who is a giant in her field. Enjoy!

Remember – “Believe in the power of truth … Do not allow your mind to be imprisoned by majority thinking. Remember that the limits of science are not the limits of imagination.” – Marian Croak

Today in our History – May 22, 1982 – Marion Croak joins then named Bell Laboratories. (AT&T).

As part of Face2Face African Americans commitment to informing and connecting black people around the world, I have resolved to devote each day of the month in celebrating black women and man who have contributed to highlight their inventions and/ or contributions to the USA and the world.

Marian Croak is the senior vice president for application and services infrastructure for AT&T. Croak has been granted 100 patents in relation to voice over internet protocol or VOIP. She has an additional 100 patents currently under review with the U.S. Patent Office. Her patents are directly related to “assessing the installation of a component in a packet-switched network” to “dynamically adjusting broadband access bandwidth.” As told to BizTech.

Her journey started in 1982 when she began working at AT&T – Croak, along with other colleagues advocated for the switch from wire technology to internet protocol. Croak spent 32 years at AT&T; in 2014 she left the iconic company to join Google as its vice president of research and development for access strategy and emerging markets. In this role, she’s responsible for expanding internet capabilities around the globe.

Croak is a graduate of Princeton University and the University of Southern California. She earned a PhD in Social Psychology and Quantitative Analysis.

In 2013 Croak was inducted into the Women in Technology International (WITI) hall of fame. She also sits on the board of the Holocaust and Human Rights Educational Center.

We honor Marian Croak’s contributions to the world as a black woman. Make it a champion day!