South Cook ISC Celebrates

Black History Month

In honor of Black History Month, South Cook ISC4 would like to acknowledge and share our appreciation for the accomplishments of African-Americans who have together helped to shape our society, our culture, and our world. Our staff members collaborated to share the resources below to shine a light on some lesser-known figures whose contributions should not be lost and to celebrate the achievements of figures who are already widely known and beloved. We invite you to celebrate this proud legacy with us, and we hope you enjoy the resources we’ve shared!

Black History Month

A Selection of African-American Heroes

As Chosen by South Cook ISC Staff

Rebecca Lee Crumpler

Rebecca Lee Crumpler
Rebecca Lee Crumpler, born February 8, 1831 as Rebecca Davis was an American physician. After studying at the New England Female Medical College, in 1864 she became the first African-American woman to become a doctor of medicine in the United States. Crumpler challenged the prejudice that prevented African Americans from pursuing careers in medicine. she became a published author, which was nearly unheard of for African-Americans at the time, and was even more rare for African-American women. crumpler is known for publishing “A Book Of Medical Discourses: In Two Parts” in 1883.

Ronald Daly Sr.

Ronald Daly Sr.
As one of the first African Americans to work at Donnelley, Daly continued his education, and, in 1975, earned his associate’s degree from Prairie State University. Two years later, he earned a B.A. degree from Governor’s State College, becoming the first person in his family to graduate from college. Daly continued his education, earning an M.B.A. from Loyola University of Chicago in 1980. He continued to work at R.R. Donnelley, and by the time he left in 2002, he had risen to the position of president of Donnelley Print Solutions, the largest division of the organization. Daly was then named president and CEO of Océ-USA Holding, Incorporated. At Océ, Daly is the first American to run the company’s North American operations, and the first American to sit on the board of directors of the Netherlands-based company.
History Maker's Biography of Ronald Daly Sr.
WhatTheyThink.com - Ronald Daly Sr. and Forbes

John Hope Bryant

John Hope Bryant
Bryant believes that people who come from underserved communities, such as the ones he grew up in, from Compton to South Central Los Angeles, California, have unlimited potential to contribute and to positively impact and change this world. He believes that most every successful big business was once a small one. And that the vast majority of these small business examples the founder was a single entrepreneur who came from little-to-nothing – just like John Hope Bryant did – and was simply relentless in their pursuit to do something, to become something, and to BUILD something. He believes that there is an undiscovered Steve Jobs in every underserved community in America, and in the world over – and he has made it his business to help find them, worldwide. John Hope Bryant believes that within the vast ‘Invisible Class’ is untapped GDP, entrepreneurial brilliance, and untapped prosperity for all waiting to be born. John Hope Bryant is in the business of both re-inventing each and every one to their God given potential to be great and boundless, and also to building a sustainable and transformational group of companies and organizations that are both highly successful, from commercial to nonprofit. Furthermore, Bryant believes that every entrepreneur can ‘do well and do good, too.’ Better still, they can ‘do well by doing good.’ John Hope Bryant has built a network of more than 40 entities that span from nonprofit and community to scaled commercial business enterprises and entrepreneurial start-ups alike. Today, these enterprises include some of the largest in the United States, in their sector or industry, and in one case, operates in more than 70 countries worldwide.

Dr. Mae Jemison

Dr. Mae Jemison
Dr. Mae Jemison, dancer and physician, was the first black woman to travel in space, as an astronaut on the space shuttle Endeavour in 1992, According to Webster's Dictionary, a dream is a "series of thoughts, images or emotions occurring during sleep." Nowadays, when we speak of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s dream of equality, it seems like one of those gauzy images that have little to do with our waking life. But King's dream wasn't an illusive fantasy to Dr. Mae Jemison. It was a call to action. "Too often people paint him like Santa -- smiley and inoffensive," said the African-American woman who broke the racial barrier on the space shuttle Endeavour in 1992. "But when I think of Martin Luther King, I think of attitude and audacity." Jemison said King's action on his dream made her life possible. As a little girl growing up in Chicago, she'd gaze at the stars. "I could see myself in space when others couldn't," she said. "I had to learn not to limit myself because of others' limited imagination."

Octavia E. Butler

Octavia E. Butler
Octavia Estelle Butler (1947 – 2006) was the first black female science fiction author to achieve national recognition. She was a pioneer in turning speculative fiction into a home for black expression. She was twice the winner of the Nebula and Hugo awards for science fiction, and she was the only writer in her genre to receive a prestigious MacArthur Fellowship. Her work is currently taught in more than 200 colleges and universities across the country.
Octavia Butler: Writing Herself Into The Story
Octavia E. Butler – About the Author

Martin Luther Kilson Jr.

Martin Luther Kilson
Martin Luther Kilson Jr. was an American political scientist, who in 1969 became the first African American to be named a full professor at Harvard College. Kilson was the valedictorian of his 1953 graduating class at Lincoln University. Winning several prominent scholarships and fellowships, he earned a Masters and a Doctoral degree in Political Science at Harvard University where he wrote a dissertation titled “United Nations Visiting Missions to Trust Territories.” He was later the Frank G. Thomson Professor of Government from 1988 until his retirement in 1999.

Valerie L. Thomas

Valerie L. Thomas
Valerie L. Thomas (born February 8, 1943) is an American scientist and inventor who began working for NASA in 1964. She invented the illusion transmitter, responsible for 3D movies and television, for which she received a patent in 1980. She was responsible for developing the digital media formats image processing systems used in the early years of the Landsat program.

Doris "Dori" Miller

Doris 'Dori' Miller
Doris “Dorie” Miller enlisted in the Navy in 1939 and was made a mess attendant in the United States “Jim Crow” Navy. Miller was eventually elevated to Cook, Third Class. He was eventually assigned to the USS West Virginia stationed in Hawaii. Miller was aboard the West Virginia on December 7, 1941, when it was subjected to a surprise attack by Japan. During the attack, Miller secured an unattended anti-aircraft gun and began firing at Japanese war planes. Miller had no previous training in operating the weapon. Miller shot down at least one Japanese aircraft before he ran out of ammunition and was ordered to abandon ship.

Florence Price

Florence Price
Florence B. Price was born in 1887 in Little Rock, Arkansas. She graduated high school as valedictorian at 14 years old and went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in organ and piano performance from the New England Conservatory in 1906. She relocated to Chicago, and in 1933 the Chicago Symphony Orchestra performed the world premiere of her Symphony No. 1 in E minor, making her the first black female composer to have her work performed by a major American orchestra. Florence B. Price composed more than 300 works in her lifetime that include symphonies, organ works, piano concertos, violin works, arrangements of spirituals, art songs, and chamber works.

Oscar Micheaux

Oscar Micheaux
Oscar Micheaux (October 2, 1884 – 1951) was a pioneering African American author and filmmaker, and without a doubt the most famous producer of race films. Micheaux (or sometimes written as “Michaux”), was born near Metropolis, Illinois and grew up in Great Bend, Kansas, one of eleven children of former slaves. As a young boy he shined shoes and worked as a porter on the railway. As a young man, he very successfully homesteaded a farm in an all-white area of South Dakota where he began writing stories. Given the attitudes and restrictions on black people at the time, Micheaux overcame them by forming his own publishing company to buy his books door-to-house.