Black History Month: Day 6 – Ruby Bridges

Good morning, Travelbox fans! Yesterday, I shared with you the story of Charles Hamilton Houston, the man whose decades long strategy led directly to the racial integration of American schools.  Today I wanted to share with you the story of a little girl who was the very first beneficiary of that legacy.  Her name is Ruby Bridges. … Continue reading Black History Month: Day 6 – Ruby Bridges

Black History Month: Day 5 – The Man Who Killed Jim Crow

Charles Hamilton Houston was born on September 3, 1895 in Washington, D.C. His father William was also a lawyer. Prior to his legal career, in the remarkable M Street High School, the first black high school in the United States. Houston then attended Amherst College in 1911 where he was elected Phi Beta Kappa and graduated as valedictorian in 1915. He would go on teach English at Howard University in Washington, D.C. Later he joined the U.S. Army as an artillery officer during World War I. At the time the army was racially segregated, and Houston bore witness to numerous situations in which black enlisted officers were treated unfairly. These incidents occurred inside the barracks, inside the military courts, and on the streets outside the Army camps (where he and several other officers came close to being lynched by white officers due to "niggers forgetting themselves just because they had a uniform on"). The racism that Houston experienced while serving fueled his determination to continue fighting for freedom once he got home. In his eyes, Houston was glad he hadn't died while serving the United States. His battlefield was back in America.

Black History Month: Day 4 – Shirley Chisholm

Not many people know who Shirley Chisholm is, despite the recency of her accomplishments. And I certainly never heard her discussed in any classroom I had. There were a few articles that discussed Mrs. Chisholm's legacy during our previous election, but still she is not as well known a figure as one would expect of a woman who: became the first African-American woman elected to the United States Congress; represented New York's 12th Congressional District (including Queens, Manhattan, and Brooklyn) for seven terms; became the first black candidate for a major party's nomination for President of the United States and became the first woman (of any ethnicity) to run for the Democratic Party's presidential nomination;

Black History Month: Day 3 – North Carolina Mutual Life Insurance Company

Today I'd like to share the story of the oldest and largest African-American life insurance company in the United States, The North Carolina Mutual Life Insurance Company.   I have to admit that I had not heard of this company until recently. I was even more surprised to hear that it is still active, meaning … Continue reading Black History Month: Day 3 – North Carolina Mutual Life Insurance Company

Black History Month: Day 1 – Estevanico

Most sources say that Estevanico was born in 1503 in the town of Azemmour, Morocco. Around 1520 or 1521, he was sold by the Portuguese into slavery in Europe and came into the service of Andrés Dorantes de Carranza. Apparently the men got along well, despite being master and servant, and when Dorantes joined Pánfilo de Narváez‘s expedition in 1527 to conquer Florida, Estevanico accompanied him. According to many sources, Estevanico became the first person from Africa known to have set foot in the present continental United States. Some actually attribute this distinction to Juan Garrido, however Garrido possibly only reached as far as Mexico in his North American journey.