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Posts Tagged ‘Black Wall Street

american hero and civil rights leader Dr. Olivia J. Hooker died on november 21st 2018 at 103 years old.  her long and trailblazing life has been written about and honored by many these last few weeks, including receiving her very own google veterans day doodle and a beautiful tribute on nbc today.

Dr. Hooker was a survivor of the infamous tulsa race massacre of 1921, otherwise known as ‘black wall street’.  She was the first african american woman to join the US coast guard in 1945.

she received her phd in psychology at university of rochester at a time when many people of color had limited access to any forms of higher education.  she went on to work with children and served as distinguished professor at fordham university. this is how i learned about her and had the pleasure of meeting her.  Dr. Hooker’s accolades are many.  but what makes her a hero and treasure to america was her boundless heart and honorable character.   

she took me in as one of her own.  i have vivid memories of taking the metro north from the bronx where i was a young doctoral student at fordham to white plains.  she would pick me up in her car and we would drive to her house.  she would offer me a home cooked meal and we would laugh the day away.  she drove down to fordham for my doctoral hooding, she cheered me on in completing my post doc, shouted with joy when i got my first job as a professor and we had a huge celebration the two of us when i got tenure!!

she was always encouraging but also clear about the challenges and barriers that lay before me as an african american female psychologist.  often our discussions would revolve about the great needs among youth in our communities.  the strength, energy and most of all passion that is needed to serve.  the importance of love, generosity and optimism.  she taught me that titles, honors and awards are nice if and when they happen. but the true mark of success is making a difference in the life of yourself and others.   

i watched with awe as through her 80s, 90s and even into her 100s, she kept serving.  living life fully until the end. it has been a true honor to know such an amazing spirit as my mentor and friend.  the beautiful small service to lay her to rest this past wednesday was so special; just like she was. she will be missed but never forgotten.   

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  • In: Uncategorized
  • Comments Off on Crowing A Queen: Dr. Olivia Hooker, 103, still making history

I’ve written many times before about my mentor and friend, Dr. Olivia Hooker.

She is 103 and is the only living survivor of the Tulsa Riots of 1921 (Black Wall Street). She was also the first Black woman to be selected to the US Coast Guard and she was a prominent Psychologist and Professor at my alma mater, Fordham University.   

Dr. Hooker was recently interviewed for NPR. Hear the story of how things happened during the riots when she was just 6 years old.  Incredible story for an incredible woman.

Listen to the 6 minute interview here

 

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Dr. hooker at 6 years old. photo credit NPR

  • In: Uncategorized
  • Comments Off on Crowning A Queen: Dr. Olivia Hooker at 100 years is Living Black History

on this last day of Black History Month, we are going to celebrate the great achievements of Dr. Olivia Hooker.  

at 100 years old, Dr. Hooker has lived through a lot and is still giving back strong.   she is the oldest survivor of the tulsa massacre of 1921, also known as Black Wall Street and was the first black women to serve active duty in the U.S. Coast Guard.  

Dr. Hooker received her PhD from University of Rochester in Psychology, where she was the only women and only African American.  she is a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.  

she was a professor at Fordham University and practicing Child Psychologist.   in a tribute to her contributions to psychology and society, she was the recipient of an American Psychological Association (APA) presidential citation in 2011.

she has been an inspiration to me as my mentor and friend.

i hope reading about her will bring you inspiration as well…

to learn more about Dr. Hooker visit her facebook page

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