Today in History: Olivia Hooker Is Born

| February 12, 2019

2.-Olivia-Hooker-seated

The last known survivor of the 1921 Tulsa race riots and the first Afro-American woman to enter the United States Coast Guard in February, 1945, Olivia Juliette Hooke was born today, February 12th, 1915 in Muskogee, Oklahoma. Olivia Hooker became one of five female afro-americans to join the Women’s Reserve, known as SPAR (Semper Paratus Always Ready), and earned the rank of Yeoman, Second Class during her service in World War II. In 1947 she earned a Masters from Teachers College, Columbia University and later received her doctorate in psychology from the University of Rochester in 1962.  The title of her dissertation is Formboard Performance in Mongloid,  Undifferentiated, and Brain-Injured Children. She taught at Fordham University until 1985 and founded  the American Psychological Association’s (APA) Division 33, Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities. She served as an early director of the Kennedy Child Study Center in New York City, and is considered by many to be a role model, not only in and for the Armed Forces, but also for women and education; this is demonstrated by Hooker’s outstanding service to the nation and her scholarly contributions, as well as her humane and open treatment of others, seen in her work at a women’s correctional facility in Albion, New York.

The following articles are drawn from Proquest Historical Newspapers, which informs and inspires classroom teaching and learning.

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