ShowCase Fact Of The Day

Gautier, Freddie Mae Hurd (1930–2001)

Freddie Mae Gautier, civil rights activist, political advisor, businesswoman, and mentor was arguably the most politically influential black woman in Seattle in the latter half of the twentieth century. Born at the Seattle General Hospital on July 15, 1930, Gautier never knew her birth parents. When she was eight months old, Fred G. Hurd, a bakery owner, and his wife, Minnie Purnell Hurd, adopted her.  Although Gautier’s birth certificate listed her as white, Gautier identified herself as a “Negro” woman.

Gautier attended the Seattle Junior Academy and after high school, she studied at Oakwood College in Huntsville, Alabama, before obtaining a B.A. in education from UCLA. She married Raymond J. Gautier on July 15, 1961.  They had one daughter, Yvonne, and a son, Pierre.

Gautier first worked as a matron in the King County Sheriff’s office from 1953 to 1967.  During this period however, she befriended countless black migrants pouring into the city.  She also became a central political player in the civil rights movement, marching alongside Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and other leaders of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) in the South.  Then in 1963, she co-founded the local chapter of SCLC and later became the Western Vice President of the regional branch of the organization.

In 1963, Gautier gathered eleven black women to found the Benefit Guild, a charitable organization designed to promote unity and improve racial, social, and economic conditions in the community.  The Guild sponsored community programs for SCLC, participated in civil rights activities, and clothed and educated low-income families.  Between 1963 and 1983, the Guild raised more than $500,000 to support voter registration drives, a children’s clinic, and scholarships for black high school and college students in the Seattle area.

In 1964, Gautier, a Republican, ran unsuccessfully for one of the two 37th District Legislative seats.  She was defeated by Democrat Sam Smith, who later became the first African American elected to

Black Facts for December 14th

1970 - Griggs v. Duke Power Co. (1971)

December 14, 1970, Argued

March 8, 1971, Decided

MR. CHIEF JUSTICE BURGER delivered the opinion of the Court.

[1]We granted the writ in this case to resolve the question whether an employer is prohibited by the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title VII, from requiring a high school education or passing of a standardized general intelligence test as a condition of employment in or transfer to jobs when (a) neither standard is shown to be significantly related to successful job performance, (b) both requirements operate to disqualify Negroes at a substantially higher rate than white applicants, and (c) the jobs in question formerly had been filled only by white employees as part of a longstanding practice of giving preference to whites. n1

n1 The Act provides:

"Sec. 703. (a) It shall be an unlawful employment practice for an employer --

"(2) to limit, segregate, or classify his employees in any way which would deprive or tend to deprive any individual of employment opportunities or otherwise adversely affect his status as an employee, because of such individual"s race, color, religion, sex, or national origin.

"(h) Notwithstanding any other provision of this title, it shall not be an unlawful employment practice for an employer . . . to give and to act upon the results of any professionally developed ability test provided that such test, its administration or action upon the results is not designed, intended or used to discriminate because of race, color, religion, sex or national origin. . . ." 78 Stat. 255, 42 U. S. C. § 2000e-2.

Congress provided, in Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, for class actions for enforcement of provisions of the Act and this proceeding was brought by a group of incumbent Negro employees against Duke Power Company. All the petitioners are employed at the Company"s Dan River Steam Station, a power generating facility located at Draper, North Carolina. At the time this action was instituted, the Company had 95 employees at the Dan River Station, 14 of whom were Negroes; 13 of these

Source: Black Past

1939 - Ernie Davis

Ernest Davis commonly referred to as “Ernie” by friends and colleagues, was an American football halfback who passed away at the mere age of 23 due to complications from leukemia. Born in New Salem, Pennsylvania on December 14, 1939, Davis was a popular athlete in his school and college years. His athletic ability, perseverance and hard work came in to the limelight after becoming the first African American to have been awarded the Heisman Trophy. After his father passed away in a car accident, he lived with his mother and stepfather in Elmira, New York where he attended Elmira Free Academy. This is where Davis gained his foundational abilities as an incredible player in baseball, football and basketball.

A number of top college football programs began noticing Davis’ unique set of skills, especially when it came to football. Davis eventually went to Syracuse University for college, and played for the team from 1959 to 1961. While he never played in his freshman year, he was known to be quite thrilling to watch in practice sessions. Here he won the All-American honors twice, becoming a celebrity amongst the crowd of fans, peers and the like. His time at Syracuse was marred by immense accomplishments, and by the end of his time there, was known as the ‘Elmira Express’ due to his tremendous pace behind the ball. He led the Syracuse team to win a championship in 1959, finishing off the season with a record 11-0 winning streak. One of his most significant victories during this time was a 23–14 win against the Texas Longhorns, in the Cotton Bowl Classic of 1960. Ernie Davis was given the ‘Most Valuable Player’ award. In his 3rd year, he set some more records with a remarkable figure of 7.8 yards per carry and also being one of only a handful to have run for 100 yards six consecutive times. This figure was followed closely by another staggering effort the next season with 823 yards rushed.  The 1961 season featured a 8–3 win-to-lose figure, the most remembered match being against the Miami Hurricanes in the Liberty

Source: Black History Resources

1880 - Prologue: Selected Articles | National Archives

Spring 2001, Vol. 33, No. 1

Researching African Americans in the U.S. Army, 1866-1890

Buffalo Soldiers and Black Infantrymen

By Trevor K. Plante

During the Civil War approximately 186,000 African Americans served in the Union army in the U.S. Colored Troops.1 Black soldiers served in volunteer cavalry, artillery, and infantry units, but the opportunity to serve as regulars in the Army was not afforded African Americans until after the Civil War. In 1866, due in large part to the wartime service of the U.S. Colored Troops, Congress authorized the army to raise six black regiments: four infantry and two cavalry. This change was part of a much larger army reorganization and laid the foundation for the proud tradition of the "Buffalo Soldiers."2 This article describes records held by the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) to aid genealogists researching African Americans who served in the regular army from 1866 to 1890. It also highlights records related to Charles Woods, who served in Company E, Ninth U.S. Cavalry, as an example of how to trace an individual"s service in the army.

On July 28, 1866, Congress passed an act reorganizing the army by adding four regiments to the already existing six regiments of cavalry and expanding the number of infantry regiments from nineteen to forty-five. The reorganization included the creation of six colored regiments designated in November as the Ninth and Tenth Cavalry and the Thirty-eighth, Thirty-ninth, Fortieth, and Forty-first Infantry.3 The new colored regiments were to be composed of black enlisted men and white officers. Three years later, Congress reorganized the army again by reducing the number of infantry units from forty-five to twenty-five regiments. For the African American regulars, this reorganization changed only the infantry units and not the Ninth and Tenth Cavalry. The Thirty-eighth Infantry and Forty-first Infantry became the Twenty-fourth Infantry, while the Thirty-ninth and Fortieth were

Source: Archives Library Information Center (ALIC)

1945 - Stanley Crouch

Stanley Crouch , (born December 14, 1945, Los Angeles, California, U.S.), American journalist and critic noted for his range of interests and for his outspoken essays on African American arts, politics, and culture.

Crouch grew up in Los Angeles, where he attended two junior colleges and was an actor-playwright in the Studio Watts company (1965–67). While teaching at the Claremont Colleges (1968–75), he also wrote poetry and played drums. He was initially active in the civil rights movement but abandoned it for a more militant viewpoint. In 1975 he moved to New York City, where he promoted jazz performances and then became a staff writer for the Village Voice (1979–88). The racially themed poetry collection Ain’t No Ambulances for No Nigguhs Tonight (1972) referenced the 1965 Watts riots in Los Angeles in its title.

Writers Ralph Ellison and, especially, Albert Murray crucially influenced major changes in Crouch’s thinking. Like Murray, he criticized politicians and writers who viewed black people as victims and black culture as deprived. He came to oppose black nationalism, accusing it of narrowness of vision, even of racism; separatist leaders such as Malcolm X and Stokely Carmichael, according to Crouch, vitiated the civil rights movement. Although he was an enthusiastic admirer of what he considered avant-garde jazz in the 1970s, he opposed the music in the ’80s, when he became a spokesman and mentor for popular jazz trumpeter Wynton Marsalis. The objects of Crouch’s published attacks included many forms of racism as well as filmmaker Spike Lee, novelist Toni Morrison, and rap music. He wrote columns for The New Republic and the New York Daily News and articles for publications such as The New Yorker, Esquire, Harper’s Magazine, and JazzTimes. In 1987, with Marsalis, Crouch helped to establish a program of jazz concerts at the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts in Manhattan. The program was enshrined as an official department, Jazz at Lincoln Center, in 1991.

Crouch was the author of the essay

Source: Brittanica
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