Midwife going on a call, 1941
Siloam, Green County, Georgia (vicinity)

Midwife going on a call, 1941

Siloam, Green County, Georgia (vicinity)

Jitterbugging in Negro juke joint, Saturday evening, outside Clarksdale, Mississippi.
November 1939

Jitterbugging in Negro juke joint, Saturday evening, outside Clarksdale, Mississippi.

November 1939

life:

Pat McGee rides barefoot as she demonstrates her skateboarding technique  in California. Looking ever so stylish, might we add, in that red sweater and white pants.
(see more — LIFE Goes Skateboarding)

Patti McGee was the first female pro skateboarder.  In 2010, she became the first woman inducted into the National Skateboarding Hall of Fame.

life:

Pat McGee rides barefoot as she demonstrates her skateboarding technique in California. Looking ever so stylish, might we add, in that red sweater and white pants.

(see moreLIFE Goes Skateboarding)

Patti McGee was the first female pro skateboarder.  In 2010, she became the first woman inducted into the National Skateboarding Hall of Fame.

Extraordinary, Ordinary People traces Condoleeza Rice’s life from childhood through George W. Bush’s appointment to the presidency.  I picked up this book because I’m interested in ground breakers and while I don’t agree with her politics, Condi is the highest serving black woman in the history of the US federal government.  I was curious to see how she got to that position. 
I expected Condi’s childhood as the daughter of a minister in 1960s Montgomery, AL to be the most interesting section of the book, but I ended up finding her college years and early career more compelling reading.  Condi is a dispassionate writer and she was still in elementary school during the peak of the 1960s civil rights movement which I think contributed to the distant way she wrote about that time.  Condi writes plainly about race and racism, but her writing on the Jim Crow South focus more on the ways she and her family avoided the limitations of segregation and found support within the black community.  If like Eugene Robinson you’ve ever wonder “How did she come to a worldview so radically different from that of most black Americans?,” this book touches on how her personal history influenced her Republicanism.
The most surprising information I learned in this book is that Condi dated a string of football players in her youth, including former Denver Bronco Rick Upchurch.  Also surprising: Condi counts both Stokely Carmichael and Benzion (father of Benjamin) Netanyahu as a family friends.   
If you’re looking to read a book about how a black woman reached the highest levels of her profession, this book would be a good choice.  I think this book would also be enjoyed by those who are interested in a career in international affairs or politics.  Condi gives a very thorough description of how she moved from a music performance major to an expert in Soviet affairs working for George H.W. Bush during the final days of the USSR.  And if you’re a Republican… well, this is your lady.

Extraordinary, Ordinary People traces Condoleeza Rice’s life from childhood through George W. Bush’s appointment to the presidency.  I picked up this book because I’m interested in ground breakers and while I don’t agree with her politics, Condi is the highest serving black woman in the history of the US federal government.  I was curious to see how she got to that position. 

I expected Condi’s childhood as the daughter of a minister in 1960s Montgomery, AL to be the most interesting section of the book, but I ended up finding her college years and early career more compelling reading.  Condi is a dispassionate writer and she was still in elementary school during the peak of the 1960s civil rights movement which I think contributed to the distant way she wrote about that time.  Condi writes plainly about race and racism, but her writing on the Jim Crow South focus more on the ways she and her family avoided the limitations of segregation and found support within the black community.  If like Eugene Robinson you’ve ever wonder “How did she come to a worldview so radically different from that of most black Americans?,” this book touches on how her personal history influenced her Republicanism.

The most surprising information I learned in this book is that Condi dated a string of football players in her youth, including former Denver Bronco Rick Upchurch.  Also surprising: Condi counts both Stokely Carmichael and Benzion (father of Benjamin) Netanyahu as a family friends.   

If you’re looking to read a book about how a black woman reached the highest levels of her profession, this book would be a good choice.  I think this book would also be enjoyed by those who are interested in a career in international affairs or politics.  Condi gives a very thorough description of how she moved from a music performance major to an expert in Soviet affairs working for George H.W. Bush during the final days of the USSR.  And if you’re a Republican… well, this is your lady.

1969: Doris Derby displays items made by the Poor People’s Corp. of Mississippi, a cooperative which set up workshops for the training of poor blacks.  
Doris Derby was a founding member of the New York branch of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee.  She also co-founded the Free Southern Theater which used theater to educate southern African Americans about their history and the importance of the civil rights movement.  Today Doris is the Director of the Office of African American Student Services and Programs at Georgia State University.

1969: Doris Derby displays items made by the Poor People’s Corp. of Mississippi, a cooperative which set up workshops for the training of poor blacks.  

Doris Derby was a founding member of the New York branch of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee.  She also co-founded the Free Southern Theater which used theater to educate southern African Americans about their history and the importance of the civil rights movement.  Today Doris is the Director of the Office of African American Student Services and Programs at Georgia State University.

Miss Lydia Monroe of Ringold, Louisiana, a student nurse at Provident Hospital in Chicago. Her father is a machinist at the Youngstown Sheet and Tube Company.
May 1942

Miss Lydia Monroe of Ringold, Louisiana, a student nurse at Provident Hospital in Chicago. Her father is a machinist at the Youngstown Sheet and Tube Company.

May 1942

African American woman being carried to police patrol wagon during demonstration in Brooklyn, New York.
1963

African American woman being carried to police patrol wagon during demonstration in Brooklyn, New York.

1963

In 1818, a large German family fled poverty in Germany and arrived in Louisiana.  Orphaned and separated from their extended family by indentured servitude, two little girls disappeared.  Twenty five years later, a German immigrant woman met a light skinned slave woman she believed to be Salomé Müller, one of the missing girls.  Although Mary Miller has no memory of a German childhood, she is renamed Sally Miller (an Anglicization of Salomé Müller) and a legal team is soon fighting for her freedom as a white woman.
The Lost German Slave Girl follows the case to the Louisiana Supreme Court and traces the history of slavery in Louisiana.  White looking slaves were not unusual in the antebellum South, slave women had born their masters children for generations, but a person of entirely European ancestry could not legally be kept as a slave.  This dichotomy required some serious mental gymnastics, but legally if the mother was a slave, so was the child.  Looking white was irrelevant to Sally Miller’s case, the central issue for the court was the race of Sally’s mother.  Was she the daughter of a German immigrant or the daughter of a slave?
Although the author makes his opinion known, in the end it is left up to the reader to decide whether Sally was a German girl sold into slavery by an opportunist or a woman born into slavery who saw a chance at freedom.  The book is a bit dense, but it was one of the more interesting books I read in 2011 (thought it was published in 2002).  If you’re interested in race as a social construct and the laws governing slavery, I think you’ll enjoy this book.

In 1818, a large German family fled poverty in Germany and arrived in Louisiana.  Orphaned and separated from their extended family by indentured servitude, two little girls disappeared.  Twenty five years later, a German immigrant woman met a light skinned slave woman she believed to be Salomé Müller, one of the missing girls.  Although Mary Miller has no memory of a German childhood, she is renamed Sally Miller (an Anglicization of Salomé Müller) and a legal team is soon fighting for her freedom as a white woman.

The Lost German Slave Girl follows the case to the Louisiana Supreme Court and traces the history of slavery in Louisiana.  White looking slaves were not unusual in the antebellum South, slave women had born their masters children for generations, but a person of entirely European ancestry could not legally be kept as a slave.  This dichotomy required some serious mental gymnastics, but legally if the mother was a slave, so was the child.  Looking white was irrelevant to Sally Miller’s case, the central issue for the court was the race of Sally’s mother.  Was she the daughter of a German immigrant or the daughter of a slave?

Although the author makes his opinion known, in the end it is left up to the reader to decide whether Sally was a German girl sold into slavery by an opportunist or a woman born into slavery who saw a chance at freedom.  The book is a bit dense, but it was one of the more interesting books I read in 2011 (thought it was published in 2002).  If you’re interested in race as a social construct and the laws governing slavery, I think you’ll enjoy this book.

Bessie Coleman, the first female African American pilot.  Part of Black Wings, a special airing on the Smithsonian Channel.  

For the non-USians: Does your country cover US history in schools at all?

Since I end up posting a lot of US-related history and I know many of my followers aren’t from the US, I’m curious how much emphasis US history gets in other countries. 

I assume US involvement in international affairs from WWII on gets some attention with the whole superpower thing.  And my impression has always been that Canadian schools end up covering some US history because there is overlap due to our shared geography (War of 1812, 54 40 or Fight).

The US clearly has a much shorter history than Old World countries and the US was a relatively unimportant country until the 20th century, so I wouldn’t expect all that much to be covered unless a student specialized in history.

P.S. If you don’t mind, name you country!

Trackwomen, Baltimore & Ohio Railroad Company
1943

Trackwomen, Baltimore & Ohio Railroad Company

1943


Cretonne textiles designed by Lois Mailou Jones

Cretonne textiles designed by Lois Mailou Jones

Eartha M.M. White and her mother Clara White, Jacksonville, Florida, 1910.
A former opera singer, Eartha was instrumental in the construction of the first school for black children in the Bayard neighborhood of Jacksonville.  By living frugally, Eartha was able to contribute to a range of philanthropic causes while working as a schoolteacher.  In 1904, Eartha founded the Clara White Mission in honor of her mother, a former slave who ran a soup kitchen out her home.  Initially founded to serve blacks in segregated Jacksonville, the Clara White Mission today provides social services to people of all races. 

Eartha M.M. White and her mother Clara White, Jacksonville, Florida, 1910.

A former opera singer, Eartha was instrumental in the construction of the first school for black children in the Bayard neighborhood of Jacksonville.  By living frugally, Eartha was able to contribute to a range of philanthropic causes while working as a schoolteacher.  In 1904, Eartha founded the Clara White Mission in honor of her mother, a former slave who ran a soup kitchen out her home.  Initially founded to serve blacks in segregated Jacksonville, the Clara White Mission today provides social services to people of all races. 

"Something which we think is impossible now is not impossible in another decade."

ourpresidents:

Happy birthday Susan B. Anthony!
February 15, 1820 - March 13, 1906
In 1978, President Jimmy Carter signed the bill authorizing the Susan B. Anthony Dollar Coin.  The U.S. Mint officially released the coin on July 2, 1979.

ourpresidents:

Happy birthday Susan B. Anthony!

February 15, 1820 - March 13, 1906

In 1978, President Jimmy Carter signed the bill authorizing the Susan B. Anthony Dollar Coin.  The U.S. Mint officially released the coin on July 2, 1979.