Respect where it's due: BM/WW IR in History

Discussion in 'The Attraction Between White Women and Black Men' started by Silvercosma, Nov 26, 2006.

  1. fnnysmrtprtty

    fnnysmrtprtty New Member

    This thread is AMAZING! Thank you...
  2. Silvercosma

    Silvercosma New Member

    And since we are talking about icebergs ...

    The first man in the world to reach the North Pole

    Matthew Henson and his wife Lucy Ross Henson and Akatingwah, the Inuit mother of his son


    Matthew Henson was born to free African American parents in Charles County, Maryland on August 8, 1886. In 1867 Matthew's parents sold their farm and moved to Georgetown, Maryland just outside Washington D.C.
    When Matthew was 13 he took a position as a cabin boy on a merchant ship. That was the beginning of Matthew Henson's sailing career. For the rest of his teenage years, Henson sailed around the world. He learned mathematics, navigation, the operations of a ship and how to read books and maps. By the time he was 21, Matthew Henson was an experienced sailor.


    Between his terms at sea, Henson would sometimes work to earn a little money. One job he had would change the course of his life. The year was 1887, the place was a fur and supplies shop in Washington, D. C. where Matthew Henson had been working as a clerk. It was a family owned shop so the owner knew Henson quite well. One day, as Henson was working, a man visited the store to buy some supplies. He was an engineer and explorer named Robert Peary. Peary needed supplies and a servant to take with him on a trip to Nicaragua. He was working for the government to chart the Nicaraguan jungle in hopes of building a canal there. The store owner told Peary that Henson was "bright and strong. He's only 21, but he's already been around the world." The trip to Nicaragua was the changing point in Henson's life. He used his mapmaking skills from his sailing experience to help Peary chart the Nicaraguan jungle. Peary was so impressed that he made Henson his trusted assistant and fellow explorer.

    Matthew Henson and Robert Peary

    Peary's dream was to reach the North Pole. He wanted to be the first man in the world to reach it and he wanted Matthew Henson to be right there with him. Henson was there every time except for the first attempt. Over the course of the first five trips, Henson learned everything he possibly could from the Eskimo about surviving in the arctic. He learned to break trails, build camp, repair sleds, drive a dog team, hunt polar bears, and even make clothes out of animal skins. Henson was so skilled and strong that Peary remarked "I couldn't get along without him."

    Akatingwah, the mother of all Henson Inuits in Greenland
    Matthew Henson's son was just a baby when Matt left the arctic for the last time in 1909. He never saw his son, Anaukaq, nor Akatingwah again. But other explorers gave him updates from time to time. Anaukaq has 5 sons who had many great grandchildren

    On his last trip to reach the North Pole, Peary took Henson with him. Peary was almost fifty, and more determined that ever to reach the North Pole before he died. Conditions in the arctic favored the expedition. It was spring and the winter storms had passed. The men had just enough supplies to take a single trip to the site that Peary had calculated to be the North Pole.


    April 9th, 1909, six men made a mad dash for the North Pole. They were (in order from first to last) Matthew Henson, followed by four Eskimos pulling Robert Peary on a sled (his feet were frostbitten.) Henson out ran them all, becoming the first man in the world to reach the North Pole. Peary handed him the American Flag, which he planted at the site, in the snow. He then posed for a picture with the four Eskimo guides who led Peary and Henson to the top of the world.


    The explorers returned home to a divided public. Their claim to be the first to reach the North Pole was disputed by some and believed by others. Matthew Henson was shoved out of the limelight. Peary, his fellow explorer and "friend" claimed that he was the first man to reach the North Pole even though it was not true. Years after that famous expedition, Henson was accepted as a member of the Explorer's Club. It was the club that gave Henson his well deserved recognition. The club worked to get Henson recognized as the true discoverer of the North Pole.

    Matthew Henson, his wife Lucy with Eisenhower

    Their efforts paid off. In 1954, a year before Henson died, President Dwight D. Eisenhower presented him with an award acknowledging his great accomplishment. Matthew Henson's family was so greatful, that after his death, they donated half of his insurance money to the Explorer's Club.

    Matthew Henson with his medal awarded by the Navy at age 81.
    The naval officer who presented it to him remarked "They sure waited a long time to give you this."

    This medal was approved by Congress and has been mistakenly called the "Congressional Medal of Honor". That is incorrect. Other medals were proposed for Matt but died in sub-committees. Details can be found in his full biography, Dark Companion, 1947. Finally in 2000 the National Geographic Society agreed with Dr. Allen Counter and presented the Hubbard Medal to Matt's grand niece, Audrey Mebane. They had given a Hubbard Medal to white man Bartlett, who did not reach the Pole, 90 years earlier.

    The 1-oz. sterling silver proof commemorative Henson Medal. This is the 5th medal issued by The American Negro Commemorative Society. Sculptured by Dudley Moore Blakely

    Read more here
  3. nobledruali

    nobledruali Well-Known Member

    No I'm afraid you'll just have to keep paying up because I'm enjoying your IR history lessons too much...hell we all are. :lol: Good to see you back at it boo :!: :wink:
  4. Silvercosma

    Silvercosma New Member

    I love it when you take advantage of me Noble .... [​IMG]

    Here is another "first" ...

    Salvation Army installed Israel Gaither as the first black leader of its U.S. operations. He and his wife Eva wed in 1967 - the first interracial marriage between Salvation Army officers in the United States.

    Commissioner Israel Gaither and his wife Eva Gaither


    Commissioner Israel Gaither is one of five children and the only son born to the Rev. Israel L. Gaither, Sr. and Lillian Gaither. The Commissioner was born and raised in New Castle, Pennsylvania.

    Commissioner Eva Gaither is a fifth generation Salvationist. She is also one of five children, born in Sidney, Ohio to Richard and Merle Shue.

    On their graduation from the Armys School for Officers Training in June, 1964 - Israel and Eva were ordained as ministers and commissioned as Salvation Army officers (clergy). Over their 40 years of service with The Salvation Army, the Gaithers ministry has impacted the Salvation Armys work in 111 countries most significantly in Africa, England and the United States.


    The Gaithers have served individually and jointly in numerous leadership positions throughout the Army, including roles as pastors of Salvation Army corps (congregations) in Aliquippa, Erie and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania as well as in Brooklyn New Yorks Bedford-Stuyvesant and various regional, national, and international leadership positions in business administration.
    In November 2002 Commissioner Israel Gaither was appointed to serve as the Salvation Armys Chief of the Staff, the first African-American to hold the position since the founding of the organization in 1865. As the organizations chief executive officer, the Commissioner served as second-in-command of the worldwide organization.

    Commissioner Eva Gaither served as the World Secretary for Womens Ministries an executive responsibility for the advancement of women in developed and developing sectors of the world. During this four-year period of service at The Salvation Armys International Headquarters in London, England, the Gaithers traveled to more than 30 countries through more than 50 visits to Salvation Army territories in order to provide support and guidance to the leaders in those regions as well as to minister to leaders needs.

    Among his varied leadership accomplishments, Commissioner Israel, as an African-American, in addition to serving as the Chief of the Staff, has obtained many other firsts in Salvation Army history. For example, he is the first to be conferred with the rank of commissioner, the highest that can be achieved in the organization.

    The Commissioner is also the first African-American to serve as a divisional commander; having served with Commissioner Eva as divisional leaders in Southern New England and again in Western Pennsylvania. These were followed by their appointments to several key territorial assignments for the Armys USA Eastern Territory, including the top leadership role of Territorial Commander, encompassing 11 northeastern states, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.

    Additionally, the Gaithers marriage in 1967 - during the turbulence of the AfricanAmerican civil rights era marked the first racially integrated marriage of Salvation Army Officers in the USA.


    Prior to being appointed to lead The Salvation Army in the USA Eastern Territory, the Gaithers served as the Territorial Leaders of the Armys work in Southern Africa. They were appointed as such in January 1999 marking yet another first for African-Americans in the organization - the first African-American Salvation Army Officer appointed to a position outside of the USA. In their respective roles as Territorial Commander and Territorial President of Womens Ministries at the headquarters in Johannesburg, South Africa, they oversaw the extensive work of The Salvation Army in the countries of South Africa and Mozambique; the Kingdoms of Lesotho and Swaziland and the Armys ministry on the island of St. Helena.

    On May 1, 2006 the Gaithers assumed the key executive leadership assignments of National Commander and National President of Womens Ministries for the United States of America. Commissioner Gaither is the first African-American to serve in this distinguished assignment.

    Described as an efficient administrator and gifted speaker Commissioner Gaither is a much sought after preacher, having addressed thousands of Salvationists and Christians worldwide. He has also received a number of honors for his global leadership and ministry including an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree from Asbury College in May 2005 in Wilmore, Kentucky. Commissioner Eva has served as guest presenter and speaker for a variety of womens programs.

    The Gaithers have two children Michele Gaither Sparks who holds a B.A. and M.A. from Asbury College. She serves as the Director of Communications at the Gatton College of Business and Economics at the University of Kentucky. Their son Mark, a physical education teacher and varsity basketball coach at Ringgold High School in Monongahela, Pennsylvania, holds a B.S. degree from Asbury and an M.A. from Robert Morris College in Pittsburgh, PA.

    Two grandchildren are the joys of the Gaithers life: Isaiah Highland Sparks ( 8 ) and Matthew Israel Gaither (18 months).
    Commissioner Israel Gaithers biography is currently being written by author Henry Gariepy who has authored more than 25 other books on various topics. It is the story of the remarkable journey of this Christian leader and his wife and is scheduled to be released in October 2006, in time for Commissioner Israel Gaithers birthday.

  5. OmahaBoy2003

    OmahaBoy2003 New Member

    I love reading this stuff. I need to get to cracking on finding some stuff myself.
  6. AliasSmithandJones

    AliasSmithandJones New Member

    I don't know if I missed them in the thread, but in case no one mentioned them, don't forget Kofi Annan, former Sec. General of the UN and his wife Nane.

    don't know how to insert the photo, but here's a link to t pic.[/img]
  7. fnnysmrtprtty

    fnnysmrtprtty New Member

  8. Silvercosma

    Silvercosma New Member

    [​IMG] Great addition AliasSmithandJones!!!! [​IMG]

    Keep it coming!! [​IMG]

    PS: to insert an image just highlight the link and click on the "img" button you see on top of the reply window.
  9. nobledruali

    nobledruali Well-Known Member

    :shock: DAYUM SILVER...YOU BEAT ME TO IT :!: As the say you're ONIT DOGGON' IT...LOL :!: :lol: Here are a couple more of them:
  10. lippy

    lippy Well-Known Member

    silver...this thread is wonderful...i appreciate you putting a positive spin on IR throughout history...i'm also very glad you are back posting!
  11. AliasSmithandJones

    AliasSmithandJones New Member

    Thanks for the tip Silver.
  12. maiseycat

    maiseycat New Member

    Dennis Rodman and Madonna


    I don't know that they've done anything for interracial relationships as a whole, but they're the first IR couple I remember seeing. I always admired Madonna (pointy bras and bad language aside) because she's a strong woman who's not afraid to put it all out there.
  13. Blacktiger2005

    Blacktiger2005 Well-Known Member


    What a great thread. I too have learned something. I wish more of this site was like this thread. The history of interaction of white women and black men is far more interesting to me. I will be contributing more to this thread on readings. I will be sending a list soon. The Abolitionist Movement, the World War Periods in Europe with black servicemen and white european women, and the history of black men and southern white women during slavery are fascinating. I heard Dr. Martin Luther King even had a white female companion before he met his wife Coretta Scott King.
  14. Blacktiger2005

    Blacktiger2005 Well-Known Member


    I should have read the thread fully. I found the post on Dr. Martin Luther King's white female companion. Again, thank you for a most outstanding thread. What a thread for futher research.
  15. Malik True

    Malik True New Member


    You can thank Noble for referencing this thread in another thread. I too thought all of this information was extremely interesting....
  16. Soulthinker

    Soulthinker Well-Known Member

    I hope Silvercosma will be back soon.
  17. Bug

    Bug Well-Known Member

    This is probably the most interesting thread ive read in this forum!!
    IR mixed with history my favourite.
  18. Blacktiger2005

    Blacktiger2005 Well-Known Member


    I have heard that the Jazz Era had many interracial stories. I'm currently researching this era and hope to make some contributions to this outstanding thread.
  19. Soulthinker

    Soulthinker Well-Known Member

    I know of the IR couple Nancy Cunard and Harry Crowder. They were a item back in the 20's and 30's. Paul Robeson had some IR affairs especially his co-star Peggy Ashcroft.
  20. Malik True

    Malik True New Member

    If it were not for these trailblazers many of us would not be afforded the opportunities and tolerance to indulge in our curiosity of people that are different from us. Deviating slightly from the intent of this thread I will from time to contribute not only info and photos of IR from decades ago, but I will post people of IR backgrounds...


    Eartha Mae Keith on a cotton plantation in the tiny town of North, South Carolina. Though her ancestry is somewhat uncertain, she states her mother was of African-American and Native American descent, and her father, German and Dutch descent. She was conceived of rape.Kitt suffered terrible abuse and neglect at the hands of a family to whom Anna Mae Riley entrusted her, or "given away for slavery" as Kitt describes in many interviews. Kitt was raised by Anna Mae Riley, a black woman whom she believed to be her mother, but after Riley's death, she was sent to live in New York City with Mamie Kitt, reportedly Riley's sister. Eartha Kitt believes that Mamie Kitt was her biological mother; she still has no knowledge of her father's identity, except that his surname was Kitt and that he was the son of the owner of the plantation on which she had been born.
    (Info taken from Wikipedia)
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2008

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