Category Archives: Women History

February 4, 2021 Dr. Shirley Ann Jackson, scientist

Dr Shirley Ann Jackson, President Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

 In honor of Black History Month, meet Dr. Shirley Ann Jackson. Her breakthroughs in telecommunications lead to inventions of the portable fax, touch tone phones, fiber optic cables, solar cells and the technology behind caller ID – thank you, Dr Jackson. She is the first African-American woman to get a PhD from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
and the first African-American woman to lead a top-ranked research university –
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
What a great example of servant leadership AND Women in STEM!
Dr. Shirley Ann Jackson, a theoretical physicist and famous black inventor, has been credited with making many advances in science. She first developed an interest in science and mathematics during her childhood and conducted experiments and studies, such as those on the eating habits of honeybees. She followed this interest to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) where she received a bachelor, and doctoral degree, all in the field of physics. In doing so she became the first African-American woman to earn a Ph.D. from MIT.

Currently, Jackson is the president of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, the oldest technological research university in the United States, and recently ranked by U.S. News and World Report as one of the nation’s top 50 universities. The mission of Rensselaer since its founding in 1824 has been to “apply science to the common purposes of life.” Dr. Jackson’s goal for Rensselaer is “to achieve prominence in the 21st century as a top-tier world-class technological research university, with global reach and global impact.”

February 3, 2021 – Karen Collins, museum curator

Karen Collins – AARP Magazine

Today’s featured Black Woman is alive and active in California. She was a school teacher, but when her teenage son was incarcerator, she went into a depression and to rise up she choose to help other black children understand the strengths of their ancestors. She started creating intricate dioramas of Black History. Over the course of 24 years, Karen Collins has created a view of Black History in shadowboxes from the beginning of the dark journey in 1619 through the generations. Her project is a mobile tour to schools, libraries, churches and community centers.

The African American Miniature Museum

Facebook page has pictures and I highly recommend the YouTube video. 

Thank you Karen for creating such a wonderful way to learn history – your teaching skills shine on!……/fri…/info-2020/karen-collins.html


February 2, 2021 – Ella Nora Phillips, pharmacist

Ella Nora Phillips
BGSU University Library

Today, we raise are glass of praise and thanks to Ella P. Stewart of Toledo OH

Ella Nora Phillips was born in Springtown, West Virginia in 1893. She was the nation’s first female African American Pharmacist earning her degree and licensing in 1916. Her motto was “fight for human dignity and world peace.” She and her husband, also a pharmacist, ran Stewart Pharmacy 1922-1945 in Toledo Ohio. They lived above the shop at 566 Indiana in Toledo, now the location of Warren A.M.E.

Since they had a “comfortable 8 rooms”, Ella and William became early B&B operators as blacks were not allowed to stay in Toledo hotels. They hosted Mary McLoed Bethune, W.E.B Dubois, Marian Anderson and Carter Woodson along with practically all the great entertainers not allowed to stay in Toledo hotels. She was a LEGEND in her outreach and support of women and blacks in Toledo with a school bearing her name: Ella P. Stewart Academy for Girls.

She was known for her work with the following organizations:

  • League of women voters
  • Red Cross
  • Toledo Board of Community Relations,
  • YWCA
  • NACW (National Association of colored Women) leadership where she received international attention
  • Women’ Advisory Committee of Defense Manpower of the US Department of Labor
  • Delegate to the International Conference of Women of the World
  • International Education Exchange Service
  • United Nations Educational Social and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)…

February 1, 2021- Maggie Lena Walker, banker

Maggie Lena Walker Image from National Museum of American History

Maggie Lena Walker, the daughter of a former slave and cook, was the first woman to charter a bank in the United States in 1902. The bank offered loans and mortgages to black residents of Richmond, Virginia who were otherwise denied service by white-owned banks.

A year later she started a department store allowing black customers to shop with dignity: To enter through the main doors instead of a side entrance, to try on clothing before buying, and to eat at lunch counters. Her store displayed clothing on brown-skinned mannequins and hired exclusively black women to work as clerks.

Later the same year, Walker utilized her newspaper to urge Richmond residents to boycott the city’s segregated streetcar system. The boycott was so effective the company operating the street cars declared bankruptcy two months later.