black history facts

Black History Facts – John Cromwell & Mary Washington (Black CPAs)

Mary T. Washington - first black female cpa

When she attended Northwestern University’s School of Chicago Business in the late 1930s, Washington found that she was the only woman in the program, and certainly the only black female student. Being light-skinned, however, she was easily accepted as white, as Washington’s daughter, Barbara Shepherd, a retired Chicago Public School teacher, explained. Washington began building her tax-season clientele in 1939, and focused on serving the community of small black-owned businesses in her area. One of her early and long-time clients was S.B. Fuller, a self-made millionaire and owner of the cosmetics company Fuller Products Company. Fuller came to rely heavily on Washington’s services and advice, and later leased some of his business office space to her to accommodate her growing business. Washington earned her degree in 1941 and was able to serve her apprenticeship with Wilson. When she sat for the CPA licensing exam, again, she was the only woman in the room.

In 1943 she became the nation’s 13th African-American CPA, and the first female of the group to attain her license, she became a leader for future generations of accountants. The firm she began in her basement on the South Side of Chicago in 1939, known today as Washington, Pittman & McKeever, remains one of the largest African-American owned firms in the nation.

Read more here!


 

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In 1921, John Cromwell, Jr. became the first African-American CPA. He came from one of the more prominent African-American families in the country. His father was an attorney and the chief examiner for the U.S. Post Office. His older sister, was the first African-American alumna of Smith College, and went on to earn a Ph.D. in English from Yale. John Cromwell graduated from Dartmouth in 1906 as the best student in science.

Fifteen year passed, following Cromwell’s graduation, before he became a CPA. He was not allowed to sit for the CPA exam in Washington, D.C., Virgina or Maryland. Moreover, since all places had experience requirements, the biggest barrier to African-American CPAs was a Catch-22.

After becoming a CPA, Cromwell taught high school accounting in the District of Columbia. He worked exclusively within the black community. In 1930, he became comptroller of Howard University. In the early 1960s, 40 years after he earned his certificate, John Cromwell was still the only African-American CPA in our nation’s capitol.

Read more here!


As someone who has worked in accounting and audit for 4 years now, it is crazy to think just how hard these two worked to accomplish their goals.  Don’t give up, y’all!

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Black History Fact: Macon B. Allen

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Macon Bolling Allen is both the first African American licensed to practice law and to hold a judicial position in the United States. Allen passed the bar exam in Maine in 1844 and became a Massachusetts Justice of the Peace in 1848. He moved to South Carolina after the American Civil War to practice law and was elected as a probate court judge in 1874. Following the Reconstruction Era, he moved to Washington, D.C., where he worked as an attorney for the Land and Improvement Association.


 

Come through Macon! Macon represents the theme of “Lifting As We Climb” which means he went and improved himself only to use what he learned to help others.

 

Four Days of Black History Plus Some Quick Grammy Thoughts

Let’s start with what you all came for, Black History!

February 6th – Toni Morrison

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Toni Morrison is an American novelist, editor, and professor. Her novels are known for their epic themes, vivid dialogue, and richly detailed characters. Among her best known novels are The Bluest Eye, Sula, Song of Solomon and Beloved. She was also commissioned to write the libretto for a new opera, Margaret Garner, first performed in 2005. She won the Pulitzer Prize and the American Book Award in 1988 for Beloved and the Nobel Prize in 1993. On May 29, 2012, she received the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

February 7th – Lonnie Johnson

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Lonnie George Johnson is an American inventor and engineer who holds more than 80 patents. Johnson is most known for inventing the Super Soaker water gun, which has ranked among the world’s top 20 best-selling toys every year since its release.

February 8th – Diahann Carroll

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Diahann Carroll is an American television and stage actress and singer. She has had a long, successful career that has spanned nearly six decades. After appearing in some of the earliest major studio films to feature black casts such as Carmen Jones (1954) and Porgy and Bess (1959) and on Broadway, she starred in Julia (1968), one of the first series on American television to star a black woman in a non-stereotypical role. Later she played the role of Dominique Deveraux on the popular prime time soap opera, Dynasty. She is the recipient of numerous stage and screen awards and nominations.

February 9th – Matthew Henson

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Matthew Alexander Henson was the first African-American Arctic explorer, an associate of Robert Peary on seven voyages over a period of nearly 23 years. They made six voyages and spent a total of 18 years in expeditions. Henson served as a navigator and craftsman, traded with Inuit and learned their language, and was known as Peary’s “first man” for these arduous travels.

During their 1909 expedition to Greenland, Henson accompanied Peary in the small party, including four Inuit men, that has been recognized as the first to reach the Geographic North Pole (although this has also been subject to dispute). Henson was invited in 1937 as a member of The Explorers Club due to his achievement and was the first African American to be accepted. In 1948 he was made an honorary member, a distinction for 20 persons annually.


 

Man that was a lot of history.  And frankly, that’s the best part of this post because the Grammys were dull.

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I had every intention of doing a full recap, but there was nothing there.  The performances ranged from delightful (Lady Gaga/Tony Bennett) to cringeworthy (Kanye/Madonna).  No one performed anything up-tempo and with the show that long, you needed someone to up the energy.  It was mostly draining.  Even artists that are typically entertaining and fun were listless.

Honestly, I just wanted it to be over so I could watch Bob’s Burgers.  What were your thoughts?

Black History Fact – Dr. Charles Drew

charles drew

During World War II, African-American doctor Charles Drew pioneered many of today’s advancements in blood research and transfusion.

Charles Richard Drew was born on June 3, 1904, in Washington, D.C. He was an African-American physician who developed ways to process and store blood plasma in “blood banks.” He directed the blood plasma programs of the United States and Great Britain in World War II, but resigned after a ruling that the blood of African-Americans would be segregated. Dr. Charles R. Drew made some groundbreaking discoveries in the storage and processing of blood for transfusions. He also managed two of the largest blood banks during World War II.

Black History Fact: Hattie McDaniel

Time for another Black History Fact! Step into this!

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Hattie McDaniel (June 10, 1895 – October 26, 1952) was an American actress. She is best known for her role as Mammy in Gone with the Wind (1939) for which she won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress, making her the first African American to win an Academy Award.

In addition to acting in many films, McDaniel was a professional singer-songwriter, comedian, stage actress, radio performer, and television star; she was the first black woman to sing on the radio in the U.S. During her career, McDaniel appeared in over 300 films, although she received screen credits for only 80 or so.

McDaniel has two stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in Hollywood: one at 6933 Hollywood Boulevard for her contributions to radio and one at 1719 Vine Street for acting in motion pictures. In 1975, she was inducted into the Black Filmmakers Hall of Fame and in 2006 became the first black Oscar winner honored with a US postage stamp.


 

My personal favorite Hattie line was when she was accused of furthering stereotypes to which she responded:

“I’d rather make $700 an hour playing a maid than $7 actually being one!”

yas

 

Black History Facts Plus Random Thoughts

Hey y’all! It’s been a minute, now I’m back with the jumpoff.

I saw this on our dear friend Brash’s Facebook and thought it would be important to keep up with the important Black History facts she’s sharing here on the blog.

Feb. 2nd – Meet Alexander Miles. He is credited with an important evolutionary upgrade to the elevator. You know how the doors close automatically so you can ignore that coworker you don’t like or avoid the serial killer who’s after you? And also how you don’t have to close them when you get off the elevator? Thank Mr. Miles. He also improved the closing of the elevator shaft when the elevator isn’t on a floor.

Alexander-Miles

 


 

Now some cobbled together thoughts…

Empire is still the greatest.  I’m going to get up some more detailed thoughts this week.  (Finally!)

RuPaul’s Drag Race is FINALLY back!!! Best believe I’ll be here recapping it with you all.

The Super Bowl was a good game.  Missy Elliott is the queen of everything. Let’s enjoy a retrospective of some of her greatest hits.

I listened to Work It so so so so many times.  One of the greatest songs of the early 2000’s.  The amount of practice to get the backwards lyrics is why I didn’t do well in Pre-Calculus.

One Minute Man with Trina PLUS The Get Ur Freak On Remix with Nelly Furtado has me about to flip a table.

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Stone. Cold.  Classic.  If you don’t know this song by heart, rectify this immediately.  This is music video history.

 

That’s all for now.