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#746458 - 02/15/12 08:11 AM African-American Sheroes and Heroes
AprilAlisaMarquette Offline

Registered: 09/10/09
Posts: 382
Loc: The South
Do enjoy the article entitled The Importance of Black History

In the article, I mentioned my belief that Black history is important because we never want to forget our heroes and sheroes, one of which is...

Elizabeth Taylor Greenfield

She is considered America's first black classical music singer. Born into slavery in Mississippi, Elizabeth was taken to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania by a Quaker woman called Mrs. Greenfield. As a child, Elizabeth sang and Mrs. Greenfield immediately recognized the child's talent. Thus she encouraged Elizabeth to study music and aided her to develop her extraordinary voice. Mind you now, in the 1800s it was unheard of for a person of color to study or sing classical music. Yet Elizabeth performed at local parties. Mrs. Greenfield died and Elizabeth wound up in Buffalo, New York, singing before the music association there. Critics raved about her, giving her the moniker the 'Black Swan.' Elizabeth toured the northern states, and her fame grew with every performance. Her sweet voice was compared with that of Jenny Lind, dubbed the 'Swedish Nightingale.' Elizabeth sailed to London to give many concerts with the backing of titled women. She received glowing reviews, and gave a command performance at Buckingham Palace in 1854. She later returned to Philadelphia to continue her ethnic contributions, by opening a vocal studio for students.

To learn about others in the article, please revisit this forum. I will post more in the coming days.

Feel free to inform us of an African-American who has inspired you! They can be living or dead; they can be known to you, or not.

Edited by AprilAlisaMarquette (02/15/12 08:12 AM)

#746647 - 02/16/12 04:42 AM Re: African-American Sheroes and Heroes [Re: AprilAlisaMarquette]
AprilAlisaMarquette Offline

Registered: 09/10/09
Posts: 382
Loc: The South
In the article I also mentioned...

Henry Ossian Flipper
1856 - 1940

As a boy, Henry was owned by a Georgia slave dealer. Living through the Civil War, he attended classes at the newly founded Atlanta University in 1869. A few years later a Congressman granted Henry an appointment to West Point Academy. Someone also offered him a great sum of money to refuse. Henry did not, but attended, along with four other black cadets.

At the Academy Henry studied engineering while he and the others were taunted by fellow white cadets. Yet he became the first black graduate in 1877. He became a Second Lieutenant in the U.S. Army. His first assignment was with the 10th Cavalry Regiment, one of four all black Buffalo Soldier regiments in the army. He became the first black officer to command regular troops in the U.S. Army.

Captain Nicholas Nolan called Henry an officer and a gentleman, just like any other officer. Although he daily faced racism, Henry also became a quartermaster and commissary officer. Upon leaving the army -- with what amounted to a dishonorable discharge -- Henry contested.

He took several jobs, including one with the Justice Department, and as an engineer in the petroleum industry. This scholar, soldier, engineer and businessman moved back to Georgia where he wrote and studied until his passing in 1940.

In 1999 -- long after his death, then-President Bill Clinton pardoned Henry O. Flipper. After his discharge was changed to honorable, a bust of him was unveiled at West Point. Since then an annual Henry O. Flipper award has been granted to graduating cadets at the Academy. It is given to those exhibiting perseverance, self-discipline, and leadership skills when faced with uncommon difficulties.

Henry O. Flipper´┐Żs life exemplifies the many achievements a person can acquire, if they so choose.


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