Wednesday, February 23, 2005

In Honor of Black History Month

Did you know?

Ralph Bunche (1903-1971) was:

Orphaned in his teens and moved to Los Angeles to live with his grandmother, who changed his last name from "Bunch" to "Bunche."

The first African-American to receive a PhD in Political Science (Harvard, 1934). His dissertation was a comparative study of the protectorate and mandate systems in Dahomey (now Benin) and Togo.

Founder of the Howard University political science department - in 1929, even before he finished his PhD at Harvard.

The first head of the United Nations Trusteeship Division created as part of the global decolonization process.

The first person of color to receive a Nobel Peace Prize, in 1950. It was awarded in honor of his work to bring peace in the Middle East and establish the protectorate and later the state of Israel.

The namesake for many schools and institutes across the country, including two New York City public schools - one in Harlem (PS 125) and one in Queens (PS 132) where Chinese is taught to all students. Not to mention St. Louis's own Bunche Middle School, a magnet school now located in the former Southwest High School building which offers six languages: Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Russian and Spanish.

Also, a grandson by the same name is currently at law student at Columbia University in NYC, although is a native of London.

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