The IUSB Vision Weblog

The way to crush the middle class is to grind them between the millstones of taxation and inflation. – Vladimir Lenin

Celebrating Black History

Posted by iusbvision on February 18, 2007

Jackie Robinson began his professional baseball career with the Kansas City Monarchs of he Negro league in 1945. He burst onto the Major League Baseball scene in 1947, breaking baseball’s color barrier and bringing his exciting style of play to the majors. In 1947, Robinson won the Rookie of the Year award. Behind the bat and legs of Robinson , the Dodgers won six pennants in his ten seasons. Robinson was named National League MVP in 1949, leading the league in hitting and steals, while knocking in 124 runs.

No athlete has had the impact on sports that Jackie Robinson did. Robinson opened the door for several generations of African-American athletes. In 1962, Jackie was elected to the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame. Sadly, Robinson died prematurely ten years later. Many feel his life was shortened due to the tremendous stress he underwent breaking the color barrier. To honor his memory, his number, 42, has been retired all across major league baseball.

Colin Powell served in the United States military for 35 years, rising to the rank of Four-star General. From 1989 to1993, Gen. Powell was as the first African American Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the highest military position in the Department of Defense. While in this position, he oversaw 28 crises, including Operation Desert Storm in the 1991 Persian Gulf War.

Prior to his appointment, Secretary Powell served as the chairman of America’s Promise – The Alliance for Youth, an organization dedicated to building the character and competence of young people. It was this experience that led many to believe he could become the Secretary of Education for the Bush administration.

President Bush nominated Colin L. Powell in December, 2000 as Secretary of State. After being unanimously confirmed by the U.S. Senate, he was sworn in as the first African American Secretary of State on January 20, 2001.

Clarence Thomas attended College of the Holy Cross, where he co-founded the school’s Black Student Union. He received a Juris Doctor degree from Yale Law School in 1974.

In 1981, he began his rise through the Reagan administration. He served as Assistant Secretary of Education for the Office of Civil Rights in the US Department of Education, and as Chairman of the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

In 1990, President George H. W. Bush appointed Thomas to the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. In 1991 President George H. W. Bush nominated Thomas to replace Thurgood Marshall after he announced his retirement. The Senate, in the closest confirmation vote for a Justice, confirmed Thomas as the first African American Supreme Court Justice. Thomas took his seat on October 23, 1991.

Guion Bluford Jr. was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in 1942. He received a Bachelor of Science degree in aerospace engineering from Penn State University in 1964. He then attended pilot training at Williams Air Force Base, Arizona, and received his pilot wings in 1966. Following his training, he served his country in the Vietnam War, flying 144 combat missions.

After the end of the war, he returned to school and earned a Master of Science degree with distinction in aerospace engineering from the Air Force Institute of Technology in 1974; a doctor of philosophy in aerospace engineering with a minor in laser physics from the Air Force Institute of Technology in 1978.

Bluford became a NASA astronaut in August 1979. He became the first African American astronaut to fly in space on August 30, 1983. Bluford logged over 650 hours in space before retiring in 1993.

Carlie Barr

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