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SharonClark

(10,022 posts)
Fri Jun 25, 2021, 09:20 AM Jun 2021

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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An Iowa County Chooses to Be Named for a Black Professor, Not a Slaveowner (Original Post) SharonClark Jun 2021 OP
Iowa City, Royal Blue in a sea of Red. madaboutharry Jun 2021 #1
Knew that was going to happen, didn't know when rurallib Jun 2021 #2
Thank you for posting this most interesting article. Would you consider cross-posting niyad Jun 2021 #3
Must Read malaise Jun 2021 #4
Lots of great people in Iowa. nt Ilsa Jun 2021 #5

niyad

(115,913 posts)
3. Thank you for posting this most interesting article. Would you consider cross-posting
Fri Jun 25, 2021, 09:26 AM
Jun 2021

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

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