Fashion and Fun after Fifty

Archive for the ‘Black History Month’ Category

Black History Delaware > Rebecca Crumpler

Reposted from

Dr. Rebecca Lee Crumpler: First Black Female Doctor


Rebecca Crumpler Rebecca Davis Lee Crumpler was born free around 1831 to Absolum and Matilda Davis in Delaware.  She was raised by an aunt in Pennsylvania who is noted to have provided health care to her neighbors.  In 1852 Davis was living in Charlestown, Massachusetts where she worked as a nurse for eight years.  She enrolled in the New England Female Medical College in 1860.  Her acceptance at the college was highly unusual as most medical schools at that time it did not admit African Americans.  Despite its reluctance, the faculty awarded Davis her medical doctorate. 

That year she also married Arthur Crumpler. Dr. Crumpler practiced medicine in Boston and specialized in the care of women, children, and the poor.  She moved to Richmond, Virginia in 1865 to minister to freedpeople through the Freedmen’s Bureau.  Crumpler returned to Boston in 1869 where she practiced from her home on Beacon Hill and dispensed nutritional advice to poor women and children.  In 1883 she published a medical guide book, Book of Medical Discourses, which primarily gave advice for women in the health care of their families.  

Dr. Rebecca Davis Lee Crumpler died in 1895 in Fairview, Massachusetts.  Though her story was long forgotten, today she is honored for her groundbreaking achievements.  In 1989 Saundra Maass-Robinson, M.D. and Patricia Whitley, M.D. founded the Rebecca Lee Society, an organization which supports and promotes black women physicians.

Black History Delaware > William Judy Johnson

Reposted from


William "Judy" Johnson

William “Judy” Johnson

William Julius (“Judy”) Johnson was born in 1899. He was an African American Negro League baseball player.

Born in Snow Hill, MD. Judy Johnson was the son of William Henry and Annie Lee Johnson. His father was a sailor, a licensed boxing coach, and the athletic director of the Negro Settlement House in Wilmington. William Johnson wanted Judy to be a boxer, and Judy learned to box from his older sister, Emma, but Johnson, who was 5′ 11″ (1.80 m) and 150 lb (68 kg), was far better suited for a career in baseball.

After working as a dock worker during World War I, Johnson began his baseball career in 1918, reaching the top-level Negro Leagues in 1921 with Hilldale, a team for which he played through 1929. In 1918, for five bucks a game, his semi-pro career began with the Bacharach Giants.

The following year he tried out for the Philadelphia Hilldales, the premier team in the area. He failed to make the cut and joined the local Chester Stars to develop his skills. In 1921, he signed with the Madison Stars before finally making his professional debut with Hilldale of the Negro Leagues in 1922.

In 1930 Johnson was a player-coach for the Homestead Grays, and in that capacity he discovered Josh Gibson. From 1935 through his last season in 1938, Johnson was the captain of the Pittsburgh Crawfords, one of the greatest franchises of all time. Although his playing days preceded the break of the color barrier by nine years, Johnson became the first Black assistant coach for a major league team in 1954.

Judy Johnson Statue He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1975. Johnson Field at Wilmington’s Frawley Stadium is named for him. Johnson is known as Delaware’s folk hero of the diamond. Judy Johnson died on June 15, 1989, in Wilmington.

“Johnson was the best hitter among the four top third basemen in the Negro Leagues, but no-one would drive in as many clutch runs as he would. He was a solid ballplayer, real smart, but he was not the kind of fellow who could ‘just get it done.’ He was dependable, quiet, not flashy at all, but could handle anything that came up. No matter how much the pressure, no matter how important the play or the throw or the hit, Judy could do it when it counted. “

Cool Papa Bell


Johnnie Lonon – Millennial Making Black History

As we continue celebrating Black History Month, I wanted to feature a young man who graduated from my alma mater, Delaware State University, although it was Delaware State College when I attended in the 80s.  

Johnnie Lonon is a millennial making history.

This young man may have gotten his start at an HBCU in Dover, Delaware but I have no doubt that it truly began with a firm foundation from his family.  Unfortunately our young men today are not celebrated as much as they should which is why I wanted to dedicate this post to him.


J. Lonon Johnnie Lonon is a goal oriented, self-motivated young professional. Beginning his journey in Sayreville, New Jersey he has effectively navigated America’s education system as he attended Sayreville War Memorial High School and went off to Delaware State University where he graduated with a degree in Sports Management with a minor in Recreation Management.

DSU logo While at DSU, Johnnie was heavily involved on campus. He was the President of the Sports Management Organization, President of the Men of Color Alliance, Senior Resident Assistant in Medgar Evers Hall, Mr. Senior of the Royal Court, and a proud member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Incorporated.

Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity He graduated May 11, 2014 and landed a job with the Philadelphia 76ers just a month after!

Johnnie has been working with the Philadelphia 76ers for 19 months and absolutely loves it! He uses the NBA as a platform for businesses to reach their goals and create incredible memories for their employees and clients. He has been promoted twice and has closed over $250,000 in new business in the short time he has been there.

On December 1st he was promoted to the Account Executive position.

76ers logo Congratulations and all praises!

Johnnie is a well rounded individual who truly has the ambition to succeed with the strength to overcome failure. His mission is to be a positive influence on his friends, family, colleagues, and the community he lives in.

If you are interested in bringing out your business, school, church, family or friends out for a game this year, do not hesitate to reach out to him via email 


Please share this post with your family and friends!




Black History Delaware > Louis L. Redding

Reposted from

LouisLRedding (1)

Louis L. Redding, prominent African American lawyer and civil rights pioneer, was born in 1901.

Born in Alexandria, VA, Louis Lorenzo Redding grew up in Wilmington, DE, and graduated from Howard High School in 1919. Lawyer Redding, as he was affectionately called, continued his education and graduated from Brown University in 1923 and from Harvard Law School in 1928. In 1929, Redding became the first Black lawyer in Delaware. He was a respected civil rights pioneer for Delaware and America. prominent lawyer and civil rights advocate from Wilmington, Delaware. Redding, the first African American to be admitted to the Delaware bar, was part of the NAACP legal team that challenged school segregation in the Brown v. Board of Education case in front of the U.S. Supreme Court.

In 1950, Redding compiled a case against the University of Delaware, which barred black students. But the university’s chancellor, wanting to avoid a trial, decided to desegregate, becoming the first federally-funded institution to do so.

He also presented legal arguments that provided for the desegregation of schools in Claymont and Hockessin in 1952. In 1954, Mr. Redding assisted Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall, legal counsel for the NAACP, in the Brown vs. Education case, which struck down the “separate but equal” system of public school segregation across the country. These are but a small portion of the many great deeds that Lawyer Redding accomplished in his lifetime.

He fought to open schools and housing for minorities. A school The Louis L. Redding Intermediate School in Middletown, DE, was renamed for him.

“What we were doing was not addressed to the purpose of singularly changing lives,” wrote Redding. “We were trying to change the status and experience of a minority of Americans who happened to be Black. We were not trying to change our lives; we were trying to change the opportunities of American citizens.”

Louis L. Redding died on September 28, 1998. In 2000, the University of Delaware established the Louis L. Redding Chair in their School of Education.

Black History Delaware > Edward Loper, Sr.

Reposted from


Edward L. Loper, Sr. (April 7, 1916 – October 11, 2011) 

African American artist and teacher from Delaware

Edward Loper

Edward Loper was born to a poor family on the east side of Wilmington, Delaware, in a racially mixed section known as Frogtown.  At the time of his birth, his mother was 16. Loper was raised primarily by his maternal grandmother.  Growing up, he did not receive formal artistic training.He attended Howard High School, where he was an All-State football and basketball player.  At the time, this was the only high school in Delaware that African Americans were allowed to attend.  After graduating from high school in 1934, he had to forego an athletic scholarship at Lincoln University in Pennsylvania to start working in order to help his family financially.

In 1936, during the Great Depression, Loper started working in Delaware for the Works Progress Administration (WPA), rendering drawings of decorative art for the Index of American Design, a large archive of folk art images based in Washington, DC.  The job required him to illustrate images of objects in American design such as toys and furniture. He produced 113 of them in total. He later credited the job with giving him his start as an artist. Three of his renderings (a Windsor chair, a toy bank and a cast-iron fire screen) were later included in the Index of Modern Design’s 2002 exhibition,Drawing on America’s Past: Folk Art, Modernism and the Index of American Design.  The index is currently housed at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC.

Loper was encouraged to paint by his WPA co-worker Walter Pyle, the nephew of illustrator and author Howard Pyle. Loper began studying Howard Pyle’s work at the Wilmington Public Library.  He began taking the train to the Philadelphia Museum of Art on weekends, studying painting’s great masters; self-taught, he slowly developed his own style and technique.  He was employed by the Works Progress Administration Art Project from 1936–41, and at the Allied Kid leather tanning factory until 1947, at which point he became a full-time artist and teacher.

  Edward Loper, artist and painter

In 1937, Loper became the first African American to have a painting accepted at the Wilmington Society of the Fine Arts(now the Delaware Art Museum).  His painting After a Shower, a depiction of Wilmington on a stormy night, won honorable mention at a 1938 exhibition of the Wilmington Society of the Fine Arts, and was later purchased by the society for its permanent collection.  He was profiled inHoward University professor Alain Locke‘s landmark 1940 book The Negro in Art.  In 1941, he exhibited a painting at the University of Delaware. This was before African Americans were allowed to attend the university.

In the 1940s, Loper painted mostly landscapes and cityscapes of his neighborhood in Wilmington, in vivid colors.  By the early 1950s, with a growing appreciation of the works of Pablo Picasso, Loper had transitioned from creating self-described mood paintings to concentrating on color and shapes, including experimenting with a kind of kaleidoscopic cubism, refracting subjects into planes as if seen through shards of glass.

Loper’s artistic direction was solidified in 1963, after he was invited to attend classes at the Barnes Foundation in Merion, Pennsylvania, established by Albert C. Barnes in 1922 and home to one of the world’s largest private art collections.  He was first invited to study there when he met Barnes in 1946, but declined the original offer, as he was recently married with young children to care for.  He was taught by Violette de Mazia to carefully analyze classical techniques at the Barnes Foundation from 1963 to 1968.  When he saw Paul Cézanne‘s The Boy in the Red Vest, it changed the way he thought about color, having a major effect on the use and juxtaposition of color in his work.  He was heavily influenced by his study of the art at the Barnes Foundation.  Loper’s work of the 1960s and beyond became more dramatically structured, colorful and refracted than his earlier work.

The Delaware Art Museum organized Loper’s first retrospective in 1996, Edward L. Loper: From the Prism’s Edge, covering 60 years of his work. In 2007, the University of Delaware presented The Art of Edward Loper, Sr., a comprehensive retrospective.

34 St. Pierre, Quebec Oil on canvas, 36″ x 30″, 1980 Private collection, Austin, TX


Loper started teaching painting in 1940.  Starting in the late 1940s, to escape some of the racism he experienced at home, he began traveling to Quebec City in Canada, where he would paint boldly-colored cityscapes. He started taking his students there every summer starting in the 1960s.  Over the years he would teach at the Allied Kid Company, Delaware Art Museum, Delaware College of Art and Design, Lincoln University, Jewish Community Center in Wilmington, and finally, classes at his studio.  As a teacher, Loper was known for his charismatic, intense and demanding demeanor.

Edward Loper 1 Edward Loper 2 Edward Loper 3 Edward Loper 4 Edward Loper 5

Partnership Banner