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Michele Valerie Ronnick

newspaperman, bookkeeper, novelist and short fiction writer, was born in Sandusky, Ohio. His father, Richard, had come from Kentucky and his mother, Mary Lott Anderson, from Indiana. After attending common schools in Sandusky, he came to Detroit at age sixteen, and in June 1875 graduated from Detroit High School as a member of the school's sixteenth class. Soon after Anderson began working for the Newcomb Endicott department store, one of the most important emporia in Detroit at that time. He rose from a parcel carrier in the 1870s to become a bookkeeper in the 1880s, and according to John M. Henderson in The Christian Recorder (7 November 1895, p. 2), he held “one of the highest and most responsible places.” His wife, Lucy Bowdree Anderson (1857–1961), from Jefferson, Ohio, whom Anderson had married in 1885 was similarly employed She was a bookkeeper ...

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Theresa A. Hammond

business leader and educator, born in rural Fallis, Oklahoma territory, to Lester Blayton, a Baptist preacher and Mattie E. Carter, a schoolteacher. Despite having only a fourth‐grade education Mattie Blayton was a schoolteacher who continually underscored the importance of academic achievement. Blayton's father, the mixed‐race, illiterate son of a Creek Indian, was a shaman before becoming a preacher. Blayton attended federally funded elementary and high schools for Native Americans in Meridian, Oklahoma. Later in life he reported that he had been unaware of the poverty of his childhood, though he noted that the only job he had ever hated was when his parents rented him and the family mule out by the day to work in the fields.

With his parents encouragement Blayton attended Langston University working menial jobs to cover his costs His education was interrupted when he volunteered for the U S Army during World War ...

Article

Theresa A. Hammond

educator and the first African American Certified Public Accountant (CPA), was born in the District of Columbia to John Wesley Cromwell Sr. and Lucy A. McGuinn. His grandfather, Willis H. Cromwell, had purchased his family's freedom from slavery and moved from Virginia to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in 1851. Cromwell's father was a leader in the African American community, an 1874 graduate of Howard University School of Law, the publisher of the People's Advocate newspaper, one of the first two African American clerks in the federal government, a prolific writer, and a public school teacher and principal in Washington, D.C.

John Jr. absorbed his family's values of education, achievement, and responsibility to the black community. He attended the preparatory high school at Howard University and entered Dartmouth College in 1902 at a time when fewer than a dozen African Americans had graduated from that latter institution. In 1900 ...

Article

Theresa A. Hammond

the first African American female certified public accountant in Virginia, was born Ruth Hortense Coles in Charlottesville, Virginia, to Bernard Albert Coles, a dentist, and the former Ruth Hortense Wyatt, a teacher. As a child she enjoyed playing “office” with her older sister and she excelled in school, graduating as valedictorian of her class at Jefferson High School when she was only fifteen years old. She entered Virginia State College for Negroes and majored in business administration. Despite graduating again as valedictorian Harris received only one job offer, as a bookkeeper for a meatpacking plant in Cleveland. Her accounting professor, George G. Singleton encouraged her to instead attend New York University for graduate school in accounting In the 1940s African Americans could not attend graduate professional schools in the Commonwealth of Virginia but to avoid lawsuits contending that the state did not provide separate but equal graduate ...

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Theresa A. Hammond

founder of the largest African American-owned certified public accounting firm, was born in Jamaica, West Indies, to Joseph Benjamin, a farmer with a third-grade education, and Edith Maud McCourty, a dressmaker. Mitchell grew up in a rural area in the town of Porus, the oldest of seven children and was the first person in his family to go to high school. He attended Kingston Technical High School and then moved to the United States in 1958 with his family settling in the Bronx Mitchell found a job in an ink factory and soon through a black employment agency he found a bookkeeping position for the Teamsters union downtown near city hall He wanted to further his education so he planned to attend the City College of New York CCNY and take engineering courses at night while working His employer however did not want him to leave ...

Article

Theresa A. Hammond

cofounder and first president of the National Association of Black Accountants, was born in St. Kitts, West Indies, the youngest of four sons of Reginald Ross, a plantation overseer, and Ruby Swanston, a nurse. When he was nine months old, his father died after a short illness. He and his three brothers moved to Yonkers, New York, in 1950 to live with their aunt and uncle, Annette Swanston, a seamstress, and Henry Phipps, a retired carpenter.

Ross s eighth grade guidance counselor tried to steer him into a trade or commercial high school as she did with other black students including his three brothers but Ross was determined to attend the academic high school with his friends who were mostly white Despite his good school record the white counselor refused to approve the academic high school until in desperation Ross told her that the real reason ...

Article

Janine Richardson

engineer, tax expert, and U.S. State Department economic adviser to the Virgin Islands, Ecuador, Haiti, and Brazil, was born in a tent at Crow Creek Ranch, Cheyenne, in the Territory of Wyoming. Smith's mother, Melissa (Boulware) Smith, was the Missouri-born daughter of an African American mother and a Choctaw Indian father. Smith's father, Silas Peter Smith, was of Scottish-Irish parentage and had spent his early life in the trans-Mississippi West where he reputedly served as a scout for General George Armstrong Custer. Nolle pronounced in Choctaw fashion according to his mother Nulle was one of nine children raised principally on Smith owned ranches and dairy farms in the Cheyenne Chugwater and Casper regions of Wyoming Smith s parents had settled in the frontier zone of Wyoming with the hope that their mixed race children would there have a better chance of attaining the ...

Article

Theresa A. Hammond

first African American female certified public accountant, was born Mary Thelma Morrison in Vicksburg, Mississippi, to William Morrison, a carpenter, and Daisy Morrison (maiden name unknown). Her mother passed away when she was six, and she moved to Chicago to live with her maternal grandparents.

Morrison attended Wendell Phillips High School in Chicago, where she excelled, especially in mathematics. As a young woman, she joined the Douglas National Bank as a bookkeeper. She later moved to Binga State Bank, one of the two largest black-owned banks in the nation. Binga State Bank had been founded by Jesse Binga in 1908, but it failed in 1930 at the outset of the Depression. Morrison worked as the assistant to the cashier and vice president, Arthur Wilson. Wilson was a certified public accountant; when he earned his CPA in 1923 he became only the second African American, after John W ...

Article

Theresa A. Hammond

founder of business schools at Texas Southern and Howard Universities, was born in Paducah, Kentucky, to Jess Wilson, a Pullman porter, and Rhea (Day) Wilson, a teacher. He graduated from Lincoln High School in Paducah.

After high school Wilson attended the University of Illinois where he majored in mathematics His maternal grandparents lived there and in order to pay in state tuition he registered under their address His father had been laid off by the railroad during the Depression and Wilson needed to cut his costs Early in one of his calculus classes the professor asked to speak with him She told him that although he was one of the top three students in the class he would never have the opportunity to work for the large corporations that would recruit his white classmates She suggested that he switch his major to commerce where perhaps his opportunities would ...