Saturday, February 23, 2013

Vise Library celebrates Black History Month: Inventors

On the last day of this series of blogs we will be celebrating inventors.

George Washington Carver
George Washington Carver found over 300 hundred uses for peanuts and over hundreds of uses of soybeans, pecans and sweet potatoes.  He helped the South grow more than just cotton.  The South relied on the farm industry to be profitable. Carver's discoveries helped this area become successful in agriculture.   He gave away his discoveries freely and made sure to pass them on in order to be helpful.  He donated his life savings to continue research in agriculture.
  • George Washington Carver in the Vise Library: Checkout the book George Washington Carver located at 925 C331h

Madam CJ Walker
She invented products to help African American women treat their hair.  Madam CJ Walker believed that helping women care for their hair would help women feel good about themselves.  She started out selling her hair products door to door and performing demonstrations of their uses.  She became the first African American woman to become a millionaire.  Made CJ Walker was a pioneer philanthropist by donating time and money to various causes.
  • Madam CJ Walker in the Vise Library: Checkout the movie Madame CJ Walker, Entrepreneur located at 973.0496073 W178 

Lonnie G. Johnson
Johnson holds over forty patents mostly dealing with Nuclear Engineering.  He began his career with the Air Force and eventually working for NASA.  However, Lonnie's most famous invention is the SuperSoaker.  He invented the pressurized water gun through tinkering with a nozzle on his bathroom sink.  His invention of the SuperSoaker has generated over $200 million and sold over 40 million water guns.
  • Lonnie Johnson in the Vise Library: Read about Lonnie Johnson and other African-American inventors in the eBook The entrepreneurial spirit of African American inventors by clicking on the "links" tab on this page

Sources Consulted:

We hoped you have enjoyed and learned something from our series on Black History Month.  If you have any questions where materials on other key individuals dealing with Black History Month, please see the library front desk!

Friday, February 22, 2013

Vise Library celebrates Black History Month: Writers and Poets

Today's feature is on African American Writers and Poets

Alice Walker
Alice won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction for her novel The Color Purple in 1983.  Her writing deals with social and political change.  In addition to being a writer, Alice has taught African American women studies at Yale, Berkeley, UMASS and Wellesley.  She is a big supporter of women's rights and often travel to lend her voice in support of important issues.

  • Alice Walker in the Vise Library: Checkout the book Hard Times Require Furious Dancing located at 811.54 W177 Har

Nikki Giovanni
Giovanni is a very well known poet and has received numerous awards for her writing.  A lot of her earlier writing deals with civil rights and political issues.  Along with her writing, she is a college professor.  She has taught at Rutgers, VA Tech, and has been a traveling professor for Fisk University in Nashville. She also visited Cumberland University in Fall 2007 for a poetry reading.

  • Nikki Giovanni in the Vise Library:  Checkout the book Bicycles: Love Poems located at 811.54 Gio

Richard Wright
Richard Wright was a writer who's work race relations.  After his book Native Son was published, he was the most respected and wealthiest black writer in America.  The Book of the Month Club selected this book as their first book by an African American Author.

  • Richard Wright in the Vise Library:  Checkout the book Black Boy located at 813.52 W952b

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Thursday, February 21, 2013

Vise Library celebrates Black History Month: Art and Entertainment Stars

Today's Black History Month information is about stars in the art and entertainment world.

Jimi Hendrix: He was a guitar player, singer, songwriter who rose to fame in the 1960s. Audiences were captivated by his innovative electric guitar playing.

  • Jimi Hendrix in the Vise Library: Checkout the book Jimi Hendrix: A Brother's Story located at 787.871 Hen

Billie Holiday
She was discovered at the age of 18 in a jazz club.  She became one of the best known Jazz singers and sang with the likes of Louis Armstrong.  Billie Holiday was inducted in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2000.  Her biography Lady Sings the Blues was made into a movie starring Dianna Ross.

  • Billie Holliday in the Vise Library: Checkout the book Becoming Billie Holiday located at JUV Wea

Sidney Poitier
Sidney was the first African American actor with an Academy Award for his role in Lillies in the Field.  He has won other numerous awards including a Grammy for the audio version of his book Measure of a Man.  He is currently an Ambassador of the Bahamas to Japan.

  • Sidney Poitier in the Vise Library:  Checkout the book The Measure of a Man located at 791.43 P75m

Sources Consulted:

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Vise Library celebrates Black History Month: Sports Stars

In honor of Black History Month today the Vise Library Blog will be showcasing sports stars.

Ernie Davis: He played college football for Syracuse University and in 1961 was the first African-American man to win the Heisman trophy and to be picked first overall in the NFL draft. Tragically, he died of leukemia at age 23 before being able to play in a pro game.
  • Ernie Davis in the Vise Library: Read about Ernie Davis and other African American sports stars in the eBook, Integrating the Gridiron, which can be found by clicking the "links" tab on this page.

Arthur Ashe: He was the first and only African American tennis player to win the men's singles at Wimbledon, the U.S. Open, and the Australian Open. He also served as the national campaign chairman of the American Heart Association before his death from AIDS in 1993.
  • Arthur Ashe in the Vise Library: Checkout the book Arthur Ashe, located at JUV 796.34 AS

Sheryl Swoopes: She was the first woman signed to the Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA). She has won three Olympic gold medals and is often referred to as the "female Michael Jordan" because of her talent level.
  • Sheryl Swoopes in the Vise Library: Checkout the book The Stars of the WNBA to read about Sheryl Swoopes and other WNBA players, located at JUV 796.323082 S655s

Sources Consulted: