Habari Gani is Swahili for: “What’s the news?”
The NEWS for you is: EMPOWERMENT.
Here’s your EMPOWERMENT LESSON for the week of February 3:
This Week’s Black History Icon: 5 Things To Know About Mary Jane Patterson
In ADDITION to being the FIRST African American woman to receive a Bachelor of Arts degree (Oberlin College), Mary Jane Patterson ALSO:
- Taught at the Institute for Colored Youth for 5 years
- Taught at the Preparatory High School for Colored Youth (now Paul Laurence Dunbar High School, the FIRST U.S. public high school for African Americans)
- Helped found the Colored Women’s League of Washington, D.C.
- Is largely considered a pioneer in Black education who paved the way for other Black female educators
- As the FIRST African American female graduate of Oberlin College, graduated with HIGH honors
Extra tidbits: Mary Jane Patterson’s sisters, Emma and Chanie, also graduated from Oberlin College. None of the Patterson sisters ever married. Patterson was also a humanitarian, having dedicated her time to both the Home for the Aged and Infirm Colored People (D.C.), in addition to her work with the Colored Women’s League.