Ninety-two Years

Aunt Dora, a great aunt, indeed. Photography by Charles W. Thomas Jr.

Aunt Dora, a great aunt, indeed. Photography by Charles W. Thomas Jr.

Since her life inspired Giving Back…and her hands grace the book’s cover…and Feb 2 is her 92nd birthday, today (the 2nd day of Black History Month) we’re honoring Dora Atlas.

My great-aunt Dora is founder of Our Daily Bread of Asheboro, NC. Her story, “Rich Aunt,” opens Giving Back, and you can read it here.

Happy Birthday Aunt Dora! 

— VF (#BHM Day Two)

Luxuriant Soil

“Whereas our ancestors (not of choice) were the first successful cultivators of the wilds of America, we their descendants feel ourselves entitled to participate in the blessings of her luxuriant soil.” — Richard Allen

Richard AllenAs a descendent of Africans on America’s “luxuriant soil,” I relish celebrating and honoring my ancestors—their struggles, courage, achievements and imprint on our country’s history. In celebration of Black History Month, each day in February I’ll post a short story or other info about history makers, pathfinders and do-gooders in the realm of African American philanthropy.

Today, we honor Richard Allen (1760–1831), a minister, educator and writer, and the founder of the African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church. Allen also was co-founder in 1787 of the Free African Society, which represents an early form of collective giving. His selfless deeds during the Yellow Fever Epidemic of 1793 well as his formidable role in founding of the Black church, place him among the early framers of American philanthropy (as I talked about here).

— VF (#BHM Day One)

29 Days

Black History Month begins, again.

“Those who have no record of what their forebears have accomplished lose the inspiration which comes from the teaching of biography and history.”

Carter G. Woodson, Ph.D., The Father of Black History (1875–1950)