Madame Tussauds' Wax Museum captures celebrity likenesses in wax. Similarly, the National Great Blacks in Wax Museum in Baltimore, Maryland honors African-American heroes and heroines. Match the following heroines with her accomplishment.
____ 1. The co-founder and first president of the National Association for Colored Women and the first African-American woman appointed to a school board.
____ 2. Active in the Civil Rights Movement, this president of the National Council of Negro Women was considered one of the "Big Six" in the Civil Rights Movement of the mid-twentieth century along with Martin Luther King, Jr. and others.
____ 3. The first African-American woman to graduate from nurse's training -- in 1879.
____ 4. In 1773, the first African-American and the first slave to publish a book of poems.
____ 5. In 1968, the first African-American woman elected to the U.S. Congress.
A. Phillis Wheatley
B. Mary Eliza Mahoney
C. Mary Church Terrell
D. Dorothy Height
E. Shirley Chisholm
The first African-American and the first slave to publish a book of poems, Phillis Wheatley's book, Poems on Various Subjects, Religious and Moral, was published in 1773. Brought to Massachusetts when she was about 8 years old, Wheatley was tutored by the daughter of her owner and published her first poem when she was 12 years old. Later, she wrote several poems honoring General George Washington during the Revolutionary War.
Mary Eliza Mahoney was also a pioneering African-American woman. The first black nurse, Mahoney completed her nurse's training in 1879. A strong women's rights advocate, she is also credited with being one of the first women to register to vote after the ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment in 1920. Mahoney has been inducted into the National Women's Hall of Fame.
The first president of the National Association of Colored Women, Mary Church Terrell spent her life advocating for civil rights and women's rights. The daughter of former slaves, Terrell attended Oberlin College and graduated in 1884. Having been taught the value of education by her parents, she proceeded to obtain her master's degree as well. When she joined the suffrage effort, she found that African-American women were often excluded from the conversation. Determined to change that situation, she co-founded and became the first president of the National Association of Colored Women. She later was a charter member of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and the first African-American woman appointed to a school board.
Dorothy Height built on the efforts of Mary Church Terrell and her colleagues in continuing the first for civil rights and women's rights. After being accepted to Barnard College, the institution declined to enroll her and she pursued her education at New York University. Her friendship with Mary McLeod Bethune would influence her for the rest of her life. As president of the National Council of Negro Women, she worked on civil rights with Martin Luther King, Jr., and others and was considered one of the "Big Six" in the Civil Rights Movement - and the only woman. Included in Height's many honors are the President Medal of Freedom, the Congressional Gold Medal and induction into the National Women's Hall of Fame.
Another groundbreaker was Shirley Chisholm, the first African-American woman elected to the U.S. Congress (1968). She served in the U.S. House of Representatives (representing New York) for seven terms. One of the founding members of the Congressional Black Caucus, Chisholm was a huge advocate for women, children, and minorities. Running for U.S. President in 1972, she became the first African American to run for that office from either major party. Her autobiography is titled Unbought and Unbossed. Chisholm has been inducted into the National Women's Hall of Fame.
Learn about more she-roes and celebrate amazing women. Almost all of these women immortalized as Blacks in Wax heroines are among the more than 850 women profiled in the book Her Story: A Timeline of the Women Who Changed America. We marvel at their passion, determination, and persistence and are proud to stand on their shoulders.
(answers: 1-C, 2-D, 3-B, 4-A, 5-E)