Articles About African-American culture and history :: Page 2

  • Virginia Hamilton book and award— Curating legacy of American writer

    virginia hamilton manuscripts office

    For many years after her death in 2002, the glass door to Virginia Hamilton’s writing office remained closed. Every day Arnold Adoff, her husband and writing partner, passed the office at their home in Yellow Springs, but he didn’t want to open it. Then in 2007 fellow children’s book writer Kacy Cook helped crack the vault, and out poured 35 years of research, notes, speeches and manuscripts that formed the gritty trail of an American intellectual and her life as mother, wife and prolific writer.

  • Achievement gap complex, but true

    When Joyce McCurdy accepted a teaching position in the Yellow Springs School District, there was a black chief of police, a black member of Council, and a black member of school board. The principal of the high school was black, and three of McCurdy’s colleagues were also black — and actively involved in the social issues of the day. The year was 1965.

  • Diversity gap creates social divide

    When Isabel Newman graduated from Bryan High School in 1943, Antioch Bookplate President Ernest Morgan hired her to work for the company. Soon after, he sent her to a six-week course at the Mergenthaler linotype school in New York, and upon her return, she worked for the company for over 40 years, retiring as a manager. At that company, whose president actively promoted racial integration, she recalled that typically a fourth of the employees were minorities. The support for a racially diverse staff appeared to be the same at Vernay Laboratories, where two of Newman’s sisters worked, Yellow Springs Instruments and Antioch College, the place that bred all three companies and their socially minded leaders.

  • A history of racial diversity

    When Robert Harris graduated from college with a degree in physics and math, he sought an engineering job in his hometown of Philadelphia. But the year was 1952, and companies weren’t hiring blacks for professional positions.

  • Benning served village in work, life

    Village Council Clerk Deborah Benning, right, with her mother, the late Etta Belle Harris. Deborah died on Nov. 24 of ovarian cancer.

    For each of the several hundred people who attended her memorial service at Bryan Community Center on Saturday, Dec. 5, Deborah Benning meant something unique. But in all her roles as mother, step-mother, partner, friend, Village Council clerk and long-time village resident, she was consistently seen as a supportive leader and a touchstone others could depend on. She served in that way for family and friends as well as for the Village of Yellow Springs, and her death on Nov. 24 is as much a part of local history as the legacy of her family as an early part of the village’s African American community.

  • Patterson honor: celebrating others

    You could call Faith Patterson a woman with a passion for bringing people together. As a leader of the African-American Cultural Works, or ACCW, she’s been pursuing that passion for more than a decade, spearheading such community-building events as Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner, the recent Roots brunch, and the upcoming annual AACW Blues/Jazz Fest.

  • A lifetime of making a difference

    On an ordinary street in town, there is an ordinary brick ranch with two ordinary maple trees planted in the front yard. But inside this ordinary house is a woman with an unordinary history. It’s a personal history that reflects advances in civil rights and decolonization. It’s the history of one woman with a pioneering spirit, keen leadership skills and a love of learning.

  • New King center director seeks arena for common ground

    As the first director of the Coretta Scott King Center for Cultural and Intellectual Freedom, Dana Murray Patterson has an opportunity, she said, to make the difference she has been working toward all her life. She hopes to make the center at Antioch College a beacon for cultural common ground and to connect the campus […]

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