— Jamilah Lemieux is EBONY.com’s Senior Editor
Michel Martin is the host of NPR’s Tell Me More. When her show ends in August, she will remain with NPR. Follow her at @NPRMichel.
Women on Black Wall Street: Photo Gallery
This photograph, of female clerical workers, was taken in the old home office on Parrish street.
The North Carolina Mutual Quintet, Led by Bessie Whitted, last on the right.
This is Carmen Enza Saunders, the first person at the company to sell over one million dollars worth of insurance.
Here, Robert Kenneddy Congratulates Ms. Saunders on her outstanding accomplishment.
Viola Turner is presented with a corsage by Ms. Della Williams.
Viola Turner, Elna Spaulding and Carmen Saunders at one of the company’s celebrated banquets.
Viola Turner, the first female on the board of directors, sits with them for a picture.
The women at North Carolina Mutual gather for a picture during a social event.
This 1955 photo shows a woman using the technology that the home office was then famous for having.
An office at North Carolina Mutual, probably during the 1930s.
Female workers during the later half of the 1900s, probably between 1960 and 1980.
A secretarial bay around the same time.
For many years, Durham NC was known as the Capitol of the Black Middle Class because of its vibrant African-American community. The heart of this community was a neighborhood called Hayti anchored by what is now North Carolina Central University at one end, and a street of thriving black-owned financial business at the other.
This street, downtown Durham’s Parrish Street, known as Black Wall Street from about 1910 until 1970, was famous throughout the country because of the successfull black-owned financial businesses, like Mechanics and Farmer’s Bank and the North Carolina Mutual Life Insurance Company, that were founded there. These businesses were unique in their success, and in the opportunities they provided for intelligent African American men and women to succeed in the world of business, a field traditionally dominated by white men.
Today, few people know about the Parrish Street’s rich history, and even fewer know about the women who shaped it’s legacy. These women, who were often an overlooked part of the community, did more than keep house and type dictation. In several cases, they were the leaders who kept these businesses running smoothly and successfully!
Source : Paulimurrayproject.org
Chattanooga Police Captain Makes HistoryWednesday, the Chattanooga Police Department announced its top picks for new leadership. One of the 15 individuals promoted within the department made history. Lieutenant Corliss Cooper is now the first African-American Female Captain in the history of the Chattanooga Police Department.
27-year police veteran Corliss Cooper is woman leading that trail blazing. From Patrol to Captain, Cooper’s journey from being recognized as a minority to a leader has been anything but smooth. “Women just… they didn’t pay us any attention. Like yeah you work here, but you can’t hold your own,” says Cooper.
Cooper says that there were plenty of qualified black women that could have held the position of captain. But, 162 years passed without any of them ever been promoted into that role. “There were a many of years where I was down just thinking. Wow, I’m never going to get it because I didn’t play the role. I was always true to myself.”
But even with the doubt, Corliss’s late father proved to be enough inspiration to continue her career. It was his legacy that weighed the heaviest on her heart. “My family was there to see it. Sorry I’m just thinking about my dad. I just wish that my dad could have been there because that’s how I got started. He gave me the application.”
An application that ultimately shattered a 162-year-old glass-ceiling.’We asked Corliss what’s next for her career and she tells us—retirement in two years.
"No Touching" feat @gdotmillls_ #BlackGirlMagic #HellaFun #Naturalhair #Fro #BlackGirlsRock #LL #HairPorn #Hair
ATLANTA ‑ Several black women, including elected officials and community leaders, gathered Wednesday to discuss how Georgia will make history in November.
For the first time in the state and nation, five African-American women will be on a statewide ballot.
These candidates include Doreen Carter for secretary of state, Liz Johnson for insurance commissioner, Robbin Shipp for labor commissioner, Connie Stokes for lieutenant governor and Valarie Wilson for school superintendent.
Wilson won the Democratic nomination in a Tuesday runoff against another black woman, Rep. Alisha Thomas Morgan of Austell.
“Never before in the history of Georgia or the nation has there been five African-American women on a ballot statewide,” said Rep. Dee Dawkins-Haigler, D-Lithonia. “So, we did not want to miss the opportunity to get out and announce this to everyone in the state of Georgia and tell everyone how important this election will be in November.”
Shipp said it was a happy accident that all five women ended up running together.
“I didn’t know when I qualified on March 7 that I was going to be making history. I was just trying to serve,” she said. “So joining these ladies, joining this slate from the top of the ticket to the bottom, I believe that we are presenting to the state of Georgia an opportunity to elect individuals who genuinely care about families, who genuinely care about our children.”
To rally votes, the candidates and a group of elected officials will go on a bus tour beginning in August. The bus tour will start in Metro Atlanta and travel to cities with a majority of registered black women voters.
“What you find (with bus tours like this) is women are just energized,” said Helen Butler, executive director for the Georgia Coalition for the People’s Agenda. “They understand that collectively they have the power.”
Rainbow PUSH Vice President and Executive Director Janice Mathis said their efforts show the dedication African-American women have toward important issues.
“It is a historic occasion, and it is so consistent with the way African-American women treat their institutions,” she said. “Whether it’s our churches or families or sororities, you won’t find women more devoted to causes than African-American women.”
Who says good girls aren’t fun? #SundayFunday #BaeHome #NationalIceCreamDay #Hermanas #CarefreeBlackGirls #OnePercent
Hi! I’ve been reluctant to open my questions these days but you just made it worth it! Thank you for your encouragement you stay kind!!
- Unapproachable Black Chick
A couple of times during “Sincerely, Me,” an ambitious production presented by ArtsCentric, the audience is asked to imagine how poorer our world would be without the legacy of African American women who raised their voices in song.
“I think what you’re trying to ask is why am I so insistent upon… giving out to them that BLACK-ness, that BLACK-power, that BLACK pushing them to identify with black culture; I think that’s what you’re asking. I have no choice over it; in the first place, to me we are the most beautiful creatures in the whole world, black people. And I mean that in every sense, outside and inside. And to me we have a culture that is surpassed by no other civilization but we don’t know anything about it. So again, I think I’ve said this before in this same interview, I think at some time before. My job is to somehow make them curious enough or persuade them, by hook or crook, to get more aware of themselves and where they came from and what they are into and what is already there, and just to bring it out. This is what compels me to compel them and I will do it by whatever means necessary.”
My philosophy, thanks Nina.