Habari Gani is Swahili for: “What’s the news?”
The NEWS for you is: EMPOWERMENT.
Here’s your EMPOWERMENT LESSON for the week of May 20:
This Week’s Black History Icon: 5 Things To Know About Charlotte E. Ray
In ADDITION to being the FIRST African American female lawyer in the U.S. Charlotte E. Ray was ALSO:
- A graduate of Howard University Law School; she was Howard’s FIRST African American female graduate
- The first female admitted to the D.C. bar
- The FIRST female permitted to argue cases in front of the U.S. Supreme Court
- The daughter of a lawyer; her father, Charles Bennett Ray, a prominent New York abolitionist who practiced commercial law
- Forced to close her law practice because her race and her gender made it difficult for her to attract clients
Extra tidbits: Ray later moved to Brooklyn, NY and became a teacher. After moving to Brooklyn, Ray became a member of the National Association of Colored Women’s Clubs. When she applied to Howard’s law school, Ray was forced to use only her initials, to prevent her application from being automatically rejected (Howard’s admissions policy at that time wasn’t favorable to female applicants). Ray was also an advocate for women’s suffrage: She served as delegate to the 1876 National Women’s Suffrage Association’s Conference.