OLYMPIA…Bremerton civil rights heroine Lillian Walker
The new book is called “Lillian Walker, Washington Civil Rights Pioneer,” written by John C. Hughes, an author and interviewer with The Legacy Project, an oral history program established by the Office of Secretary of State in 2008. The book is published by the Washington State Heritage Center and printed by Gorham Printing.Joyce.
“The YWCA’s goal is to make Mrs. Walker’s inspirational story available to all school and public libraries in the nation as an example of a young person who not only had the courage to stand up for what is right, but also to continue to stay involved in her community to make it better over a 70-year time period,” Jackson said.
Click here http://www.sos.wa.gov/legacyproject/oralhistories/lillianwalker/ to read The Legacy Project’s oral history on Lillian Walker based on sit-down interviews, as well as photos and other materials.
Lillian Walker helped found the Bremerton branch of the NAACP in 1943 and went on to serve as state NAACP secretary. She was conducting sit-ins and filing civil rights lawsuits when Martin Luther King was in junior high school.
Mrs. Walker and her late husband, James, arrived in the Navy Yard city of Bremerton in 1941 together with thousands of other African–American wartime workers who thought they had left racism behind in the South and industrialized cities of Midwest and East. But many Kitsap County businesses, including cafes, taverns, drug stores and barber shops, displayed signs saying, “We Cater to White Trade Only.” In a landmark case, the Walkers took a soda fountain owner to court and won.
Mrs. Walker is a charter member of the YWCA of Kitsap County, former chairman of the Kitsap County Regional Library Board, a 69-year member of Ebenezer African Methodist Episcopal Church, and a founder and former president of Church Women United in Bremerton.
To learn more about The Legacy Project, go to its web site at http://www.sos.wa.gov/heritage/LegacyProject/default.aspx.
Freedom’s Sisters is an exhibition created by Cincinnati Museum Center, organized for travel by Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Services, and made possible by a grant from the Ford Motor Company Fund.
Presented locally by Macy’s.
Freedom’s Sisters is the first and most comprehensive traveling exhibit on women in the Civil Rights movement, focusing on the lives and contributions of 20 African American women – from key 19th century historical figures to contemporary leaders – who have fought for equality for people of color. Visitors of all ages and backgrounds will be moved and inspired by the stories of the women celebrated in this interactive exhibit. Created by Cincinnati Museum Center, in collaboration with The Ford Motor Company Fund, and Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service (SITES), Freedom’s Sisters made its world premiere at Museum Center, and has now embarked on a three-year, nationwide tour. To see the full itinerary, click here.
Programming and Events
As Museum Center worked with Ford and SITES to develop the exhibit, a primary goal was to help encourage the next generation of leaders through dialogue on the civil rights struggle, past, present and future. Reaching young people was a crucial component of the exhibit’s mission. With Macy’s as the local presenting sponsor, 1,000 under served school children from the community joined the thousands of others who were able to see and benefit from this groundbreaking experience.
When Freedom’s Sisters opened on March 15, 2008, Museum Center was delighted to host all five of the “living legends” highlighted in the exhibit including: Myrlie-Evers Williams, Sonia Sanchez, Charlayne-Hunter Gault, Dr. Dorothy Height and Kathleen Cleaver. Several of these remarkable women returned to Cincinnati in July for the national N.A.A.C.P. convention. Myrlie-Evers Williams, in her address to conventioneers said that Freedom’s Sisters at Museum Center “was not to be missed!”
In association with Freedom’s Sisters, Museum Center hosted a poetry slam during National Poetry Month in April. An incredibly enthusiastic and diverse crowd turned out for the event—many of whom were brave even enough to get on the mic! In May, Museum Center presented a lecture by Darlene Clark Hine, Ph.D. Hine, who is considered a pioneer of African American women’s studies scholarship, was named Museum Center’s Distinguished Historian for 2008.
To provide a local tie, the Cincinnati History Museum developed a Cincinnati’s Freedom Sisters floor program, designed to educate children about the Civil Rights movement in Cincinnati. Through interactive smartboard activities students were able to access primary source material, and oral history interviews.
|Lonnie Bunch, museum director, historian, lecturer, and author, is proud to present A Page from Our American Story, a regular on-line series for Museum supporters. It will showcase individuals and events in the African American experience, placing these stories in the context of a larger story — our American story.
A Page From Our American Story
Freddie Stowers, the grandson of a South Carolina slave, holds a unique spot in America’s pantheon of war heroes — as the only African American awarded the Medal of Honor for service in World War I. Stowers’ story, however, must be told in two parts.
The first part of the story is his act of heroism in 1918; the second part is that it took more than 72 years before Stowers finally received the recognition he was due.
The United States was the last major combatant to enter World War I, the “war to end all wars.” The conflict began in Europe in 1914, but in the U.S., isolationist sentiments were strong resulting in a foreign policy of non-intervention. However, in April 1917, after a German U-boat sank the British ship Lusitania, killing 128 Americans on board, President Woodrow Wilson asked Congress to declare war on Germany. Three months later, on July 3, 1917, American troops landed in France.
Corporal Freddie Stowers came to France as part of the all-black Company C, 371st Regiment, 93rd Division that deployed in September, 1918. His service in France was short but courageous and memorable.
More than 50 years after the Civil War, America’s military was still segregated. The French, however, had no such rules, and Stowers and Company C were sent to the front lines to serve alongside French troops.
On September 28, just days after arriving in France, Stowers’ company was in the midst of an attack on Hill 188, Champagne Marne Sector, France, when enemy forces appeared to be giving up.
According to the War Department, German soldiers emerged from their trenches waving a white flag, arms in the air — military actions that signal surrender. It was a ruse, however. As Americans, including Cpl. Stowers, went to capture the “surrendering” Germans, another wave of the enemy arose and opened fire.
Very quickly, Company C’s lieutenant and non-commissioned officers were killed in the fight. This left the 21-year-old Stowers in command. Without hesitation, he implored his men to advance on the Germans.
Stowers would be mortally shot during the exchange. Wounded and dying, Stowers continued to fight on, inspiring his men to push the enemy back. With Stowers leading the counter-attack, Americans took out an enemy machine gun position and went on to capture Hill 188.
Following the battle, Stowers’ commanding officer nominated him for the Medal of Honor, but the nomination was never processed. The Pentagon said the paperwork was misplaced. Some raise the possibility that the nomination wasn’t misplaced at all, but deliberately lost. They point to the fact that American troops were segregated and suggest that racial bias in the military might be the reason for Stowers’ missing paperwork.
The final part of Freddie Stowers’ story begins in 1990. As the Department of Defense began to modernize its data systems, it ordered a review of all battlefield medal nominations. When Stowers’ recommendation was found, the Pentagon quickly took action to give the corporal the long overdue recognition and honor he deserved.
On April 24, 1991, more than 72 years after Stowers made the ultimate sacrifice for his nation, his sisters Georgiana Palmer and Mary Bowens, 88- and 77-years-old at the time, were presented his Medal of Honor by President George H. W. Bush.
Long before Stowers was honored by his nation, he, along with other members of Company C, received recognition from the French government: “For extraordinary heroism under fire.” Stowers and his unit received the Croix de Guerre – the French War Cross — the highest military medal France awards to allied soldiers.
Prior to World War I, 49 African Americans had been awarded the Medal of Honor, including 25 men who fought for the Union in the Civil War. There were 119 Medals of Honor recipients in World War I, with Stowers being the only African American. His long overdue recognition in 1991 is a small but important sign of the progress we as a nation have made.
|The National Museum of African American History and Culture is the newest member of the Smithsonian Institution’s family of extraordinary museums.
The museum will be far more than a collection of objects. The Museum will be a powerful, positive force in the national discussion about race and the important role African Americans have played in the American story — a museum that will make all Americans proud.
Injectable skin lightening products are unapproved, untested drugs that could potentially cause harm, FDA warns. FDA has not approved any injectable drugs for skin whitening or lightening.
“These products pose a potentially significant safety risk to consumers. You’re essentially injecting an unknown substance into your body—you don’t know what it contains or how it was made,” says In Kim, a pharmacist at FDA.
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