Random Musings: A Blog Curated by beYOUteous RSS

Lorraine Hansberry: Playwright, Dramatist, Activist

Lorraine Hansberry was born the youngest of four to Carl Hansberry and Nannie Hansberry in Chicago, IL on May 19, 1930. She became the first African American, the youngest playwright, the fifth woman to win the New York Drama Critics Circle Award for the best play of the season on April 7, 1959 for her a play A Raisin in the Sun, which addressed equal rights in work/housing, and freedom.

Continue reading

Olive Ann Beech: The First Lady of Aviation

Olive Ann Beech was born on September 25, 1903 in Waverly, Kansas to Franklin Benjamin Mellor and Susannah Miller Mellor. She was the youngest of four girls and would become the co-founder, president, and chairwoman of Beech Aircraft Corporation. Her career spanned 50 years prior to her retirement in September 1982, she was the first woman to head a major aircraft company.

Continue reading

Annie Turnbo: Founder of Poro College & Pioneer Manufacturer of Cosmetics Products

Considered to be one of the first African American women to become a millionaire, Annie Minerva Turnbo was born in Metropolis, Illinois on August 9, 1869 to Robert and Isabella Turnbo. Turnbo took an interest in hair styling, in particular, developing a better way to straighten African American hair without damaging it. By 1920, Turnbo's hair care empire employed 300 people locally and 75,000 agents nationally.

Continue reading

Josephine Baker: The “Black Venus” from Boxcar Town

Born Freda Josephine McDonald on June 3 ,1906 in St. Louis, MO, Josephine Baker was a world renowned performer, World War II spy, and civil rights advocate who took part in the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom with 250,000 other civil rights supporters. In 1922, she joined the cast of Shuffle Along, which became the first successful African American musical, running for more than 500 performances.

Continue reading