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Haynes, George Edmund  

Edgar Allan Toppin

sociologist and social worker, was born in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, the son of Louis Haynes, an occasional laborer, and Mattie Sloan, a domestic servant. He was raised by devout, hardworking, but poorly educated parents. His mother stressed that education and good character were paths to improvement. She moved with Haynes and his sister to Hot Springs, a city with better educational opportunities than Pine Bluff. Haynes attended Fisk University, completing his BA in 1903. His record at Fisk enabled him to go to Yale University, where he earned an MA in Sociology in 1904. He also won a scholarship to Yale's Divinity School but withdrew early in 1905 to help fund his sister's schooling.

In 1905 Haynes became secretary of the Colored Men's Department of the International (segregated) YMCA, traveling to African American colleges throughout the nation from 1905 to 1908 During this period ...


Joseph, Helen  

Susanne M. Klausen

teacher, social worker, and antiapartheid activist in South Africa, was born Helen Beatrice May Fennell in Sussex, England, on 8 April 1905. She grew up in London and graduated with a degree in English from King’s College, the University of London, in 1927. She taught at the Mahbubia School for girls in Hyderabad, India, from 1927 to 1930. After a serious horse-riding accident, she resigned and moved to South Africa in 1931 to take up a less demanding post at a school in Durban. Between 1942 and 1946 she worked full time as a Welfare and Information Officer in the South African Air Force, and during this period she learned a great deal about black South Africans’ extensive poverty. Consequently, after World War II, she trained as a social worker.

In 1951 Joseph became secretary of the Medical Aid Society of the Transvaal Clothing Industry In ...


Sweatt, Heman Marion  

John R. Howard

civil rights plaintiff and social worker, was born in Houston, Texas, to James Leonard Sweatt and Ella Rose (Perry) Sweatt, whose occupations are unknown. Sixteen years before Heman's birth the United States Supreme Court had held in Plessy v. Ferguson that state-imposed racial segregation did not offend the Equal Protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, and hence the Texas in which Sweatt grew up was rigidly segregated. He attended the all-black Jack Yates High School, graduating in 1930, and went from there to the all-black Wiley College in Marshall, Texas, graduating in 1934.

The decade following his graduation from college saw Sweatt trying to find himself. He taught in a public school for a couple of years and then in 1937 entered the University of Michigan matriculating in biology in hopes of attending medical school He left after a year returned to Houston took a ...


Young, Whitney Moore, Jr  

Ralph E. Luker

social worker and civil rights activist, was born in Lincoln Ridge, Kentucky, the son of Whitney Moore Young Sr., president of Lincoln Institute, a private African American college, and Laura Ray, a schoolteacher. Raised within the community of the private academy and its biracial faculty, Whitney Young Jr. and his two sisters were sheltered from harsh confrontations with racial discrimination in their early lives, but they attended segregated public elementary schools for African American children and completed high school at Lincoln Institute. In 1937 Young, planning to become a doctor, entered Kentucky State Industrial College at Frankfort, where he received a BS in 1941. After graduation he became an assistant principal and athletic coach at Julius Rosenwald High School in Madison, Kentucky.

After joining the U.S. Army in 1942, Young studied engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). In 1944 he married Margaret Buckner ...