Andrew F. Brimmer, a Louisiana sharecropperâ€™s son, was the first black member of the Federal Reserve Board. Â Dr. Brimmer, an economist, held a number of high-ranking posts in Washington and taught at Harvard, but the economic conditions of poor, powerless, uneducated blacks was an abiding concern. He spoke about what he called the â€œschismâ€� between blacks who were educated and had marketable skills and those who did not. In later years he spoke frequently about how government policies no longer supported programs to help blacks enter the economic mainstream.
Dr. Brimmer was the assistant secretary of commerce for economic affairs when President Lyndon B. Johnson named him to the Fed board in 1966.
At the time, the Federal Reserve was bitterly divided over monetary policy. The chairman, William McChesney Martin Jr., threatened to resign if Mr. Johnson appointed a liberal who would vote in favor of lower interest rates.Â Continue reading
Joseph Lee was an African American who invented machinery for processing food and became very prominent in the food industry.
Lee was born in Boston, MA, and as a boy worked at a bakery. He soon began preparing, cooking and serving food, eventually opening two successful restaurants in the Boston area. In the late 1890s, Lee owned and managed the Woodland Park Hotel in Newton, MA, for 17 years. In 1902, as a way of maintaining an involvement in the food services industry, Lee opened a catering business called the Lee Catering Company that served the wealthy population of Boylston Street in the Back Bay.Â Continue reading
12-02Â marks the birthday of Charles Harris Wesley in 1891. He was an African-American historian, educator, and minister who was an early proponent of African-American studies.
Born in Louisville, Kentucky, Charles Wesley attended public schools in his hometown of Louisville, Kentucky and then went on to receive a B. A. at Fisk University in 1911, an M. A. in economics at Yale University in 1913, and a Ph.D. from Harvard University in 1925. Wesley’s doctorate in history was the third awarded by Harvard to an African-American. Wesley served on the Howard University faculty from 1913 to 1942.Â Continue reading
Turner, a slave and educated minister, believed that he was chosen by God to lead his people out of slavery. On August 21, 1831, he initiated his slave uprising by slaughtering Joseph Travis, his slave owner, and Travis’ family. With seven followers, Turner set off across the countryside, hoping to rally hundreds of slaves to join his insurrection. Turner planned to capture the county armory at Jerusalem, Virginia, and then march 30 miles to Dismal Swamp, where his rebels would be able to elude their pursuers.Â Continue reading
There areÂ 102 historically BlackÂ colleges andÂ 253 CatholicÂ colleges in the United States, yet onlyÂ oneÂ is bothBlack and Catholic.Â That distinction belongs to Xavier University of Louisiana, which strives to combine the best attributes of both its faith and its culture.
Located in New Orleans, the small liberal arts college dates back to 1915, when St. Katharine Drexel and theSisters of the Blessed SacramentÂ founded the coeducational secondary school from which it evolved.Â Continue reading