2010 Celebration & Events
Celebrating Black History Month & African American Women
Jarena Lee a leading female preacher in the African Methodist Episcopal Church.
She was also an ardent abolitionist and was a member of the American Antislavery
Society. In 1833 she published her experiences as a traveling preacher in Religious
Experience and Journal. Read more about Mrs. Lee here.
Photo: "Mrs. Jarena Lee. Preacher of the A.M.E. Church. Age 60 years on the 11th
day of the 2nd month 1844. Philad 1844."
Claudette Colvin was only fifteen in 1955 when she was arrested for refusing to give up
her seat to a white man. Her actions predated Rosa Parks by 9 months.
Read an article about Ms. Colvin here.
Constance Baker-Motley one of the lawyers involved in the case Brown v. Board of
Education was a member of the NAACP’s Legal Defense Fund at the time. Brown v.
Board of Education was a landmark case helped launch the end of school
segregation. Baker-Motley went on to other important civil rights cases and then onto
a political career in the New York state senate, the first African American woman to
be elected to that position. In the 1980s she was appointed a federal judge, again
the first African American woman to serve in such a capacity. In 2001, in recognition
of her achievements and service, she received the Presidential Citizens' Medal from
President Bill Clinton.
Patricia Stephens-Due, who was an activist with The Congress of
Racial Equality (CORE) in the 1960s, co-wrote Freedom in the
Family: A Mother-Daughter Memoir of the Fight for Civil Rights with
her daughter Tananarive Due. Please follow this link to hear an
audio clip from NPR of them discussing the writing of the book and
their experiences of living in the South.
Photo of Patricia Stephens-Due and her daughter Tananarive Due.
Bessie Coleman, the first African American female pilot, flew during the 1910s and 1920s.
She was born in Texas but moved to Chicago and then to France, where she learned to fly.
She was a stunt pilot who refused to perform unless the audience was both black and
white. Learn more about her life and experiences by reading the page linked here.
Alice Walker the eminent writer of Color Purple and In Search of Our Mother's
Gardens: Womanist Prose reads her short story “Roselily” and talks about its creation.
page last updated 11/26/2012 2:14 PM