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Fri Jun 25, 2021, 08:20 AM

An Iowa County Chooses to Be Named for a Black Professor, Not a Slaveowner

Johnson County selected Lulu Merle Johnson, a Black educator and historian, as its official eponym, replacing Richard Mentor Johnson, the ninth U.S. vice president.

A county in Iowa cut ties on Thursday with a slave-owning U.S. vice president for which it had been named, choosing instead to be named for a professor who was the first Black woman to earn a doctorate in the state.

They shared a surname: Johnson.

Johnson County chose Lulu Merle Johnson, who taught history at several historically Black colleges and universities, as its official eponym after a unanimous vote by the county’s Board of Supervisors. The county, a Democratic bastion, is home to Iowa City and the University of Iowa.

It had been named after Richard Mentor Johnson, the ninth vice president and a Kentuckian who had no known connections to Iowa. He served with President Martin Van Buren, a fellow Democrat, from 1837 to 1841.
. . .
In 1941, she received a Ph.D. in American history from the University of Iowa, becoming the first African American woman in the state to earn a doctorate, according to her biography. She was one of the first Black women in the United States to earn a doctorate in history, said a post on the website of the university, which named a fellowship after her that helps underrepresented minority graduate students.
. . .
source: https://www.nytimes.com/2021/06/24/us/iowa-lulu-merle-johnson-county.html


The entire article is well worth reading. Lulu Merle Johnson was a remarkable woman who overcame racism and sexism to become a pioneer. Richard Mentor Johnson was, as professor Ronald K. McMullen said, a “despicable person” during the board’s meeting.

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Reply An Iowa County Chooses to Be Named for a Black Professor, Not a Slaveowner (Original post)
SharonClark Jun 2021 OP
madaboutharry Jun 2021 #1
rurallib Jun 2021 #2
niyad Jun 2021 #3
malaise Jun 2021 #4
Ilsa Jun 2021 #5

Response to SharonClark (Original post)

Fri Jun 25, 2021, 08:23 AM

1. Iowa City, Royal Blue in a sea of Red.

Gotta love them.

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Response to SharonClark (Original post)

Fri Jun 25, 2021, 08:24 AM

2. Knew that was going to happen, didn't know when

Glad to hear it has happened.

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Response to SharonClark (Original post)

Fri Jun 25, 2021, 08:26 AM

3. Thank you for posting this most interesting article. Would you consider cross-posting

in Women's Rights And Issues? Dr. Johnsonas a truly remarkable woman. Thanks in advance.

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Response to SharonClark (Original post)

Fri Jun 25, 2021, 08:30 AM

4. Must Read

Get thee to the greatest page - made me feel good about humanity

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Response to SharonClark (Original post)

Fri Jun 25, 2021, 08:37 AM

5. Lots of great people in Iowa. nt

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