Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Honoring Black History Month at SC Williams Library

Randolph Montrose Smith seated in the third row with
graduating class of 1924 in front of the EAS Building.

By Leah Loscutoff,
Archives & Special Collections Librarian

Special thanks to Doris Oliver, Assistant Curator, for her assistance with the research for this blog post.

Since 1976, the month of February has been officially designated as Black History Month.

In the year of 1924, DeHart Hubbard was the first African American to receive an individual Olympic medal for the long jump. That same year Shirley Chisholm was born in Brooklyn, New York. She went on to become the first African-American woman elected to Congress in 1969.

Also in 1924, the first African-American student graduated from Stevens Institute of Technology. Randolph Montrose Smith was born in Barbados in 1901. He was just two years old when he arrived in New York City in 1903 on a ship named the Cearense. Unfortunately, not too much is known about Randolph, but we do know that he lived in upper Manhattan on West 140th Street while attending Stevens.

Searching the 1930 census records we also learned that he was working as a Civil Engineer for the Manhattan subway system after he graduated from Stevens, an excellent job opportunity for Civil Engineers at that time! Stevens Institute of Technology also created a scholarship in his name to which undergraduate students may apply.

Smith's picture in the year book, The Link
Black History Month is a time to recognize the central role and achievements of African Americans in U.S. history and in our local communities.  Stevens Institute of Technology is committed to diversity here on campus, and to celebrate Black History Month, the library wants to briefly highlight some of Stevens accomplishments by African-American alumni throughout the month. We will be posting more about the accomplishment of African Americans and Stevens during the month of February.

No comments: