In This Issue:

Editorial

Person of the Month

Feature Story

Neighborhood Spotlight

Women in Business

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Vol. 3, No. 1 | Winter 2021

Board of Trustees

Shirley A. Satterfield

President

 

Rev. Gregory Smith

Vice President

 

Antoine Newlin

Secretary

 

J. Robert Hillier, Lh.D., FAIA

Treasurer

 

Dawn T. Collins, Esq.

 

JoAnn Cunninham, Ed.D.

 

Ashley Hightower

 

Patricia Lindsay-Harvey

 

Rev. David McAlpin

 

Leighton Newlin

 

Robert Rivers, MD

Newsletter Committee

JoAnn Cunningham

Chair

 

Julian Edgren, Assoc. AIA

Editor, Designer

 

J. Robert Hillier, Lh.D., FAIA

 

Ashley Hightower

 

Antoine Newlin

 

Shirley A. Satterfield

 

Rev. Gregory Smith

WJHCS Board of Trustees

 

Shirley A. Satterfield

President

 

Rev. Gregory Smith

Vice President

 

Antoine Newlin

Secretary

 

J. Robert Hillier, Lh.D., FAIA

Treasurer

 

Dawn T. Collins, Esq.

 

JoAnn Cunningham, Ed.D.

 

Ashley Hightower

 

Patricia Lindsay-Harvey

 

Rev. David McAlpin

 

Leighton Newlin

 

Robert Rivers, MD

Newsletter Committee

 

JoAnn Cunningham

Chair

 

Julian Edgren

Editor, Designer

 

J. Robert Hillier, Lh.D., FAIA

 

Ashley Hightower

 

Antoine Newlin

 

Shirley A. Satterfield

 

Rev. Gregory Smith

Editorial

Happy New Year?

The beginning of a new year is usually an opportunity to reflect and look forward to the future, but this is no ordinary new year. This new year we are grieving the loss of over half a million lives to Covid in the United States, an incalculable and yet completely avoidable loss. We are also deeply frustrated by the continued abuse and murder of people of color in this country, 56 years after passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and over 150 years since “Equal Protection of the laws” was enshrined in the Constitution’s Fourteenth Amendment. Furthermore, we are dealing with the existential threat of a warming planet which is already causing historic droughts, floods, heat waves, forest fires, hurricanes, and other extreme weather seemingly every year.

 

The biggest issues we face today—the pandemic, the racial crisis, the climate catastrophe—have been devastating our communities, and it is likely things will get worse before they get better. So is there any hope for the future? Of course there is, but the only way to get hope is through action. And the biggest problems require coordinated and collaborative solutions—we must work together to survive.

 

President Biden seems to understand the magnitude of this task. He has said, “the work of the moment and the work of the next four years must be the restoration of democracy, of decency, honor, respect, the rule of law.” Only once we come together can we begin to truly tackle the biggest challenges facing us. And in the short term, President Biden has already rejoined the Paris climate agreement, introduced new measures to respond to the pandemic and boost the nation’s vaccination effort, and signed four executive orders addressing racial inquality. That our newly inaugurated president is committed to the well-being of this planet and its citizens is a welcome relief, even if this is merely the first step to realizing substantive change.

 

We hope you will join us this year in our mission to research, preserve, understand, appreciate and celebrate the rich and proud history of African-American’s in Princeton, New Jersey. Programs we have planned include:

-Annual Fundraising Event

-The installation and dedication of Heritage Tour plaques

-Expansion of guided walking tour program/availability

-Quarterly Newsletter

 

Thank you for your support.

 

Signed,

Board of Trustees, Witherspoon-Jackson Historical and Cultural Society

Person of the Month

Person of the Month

Dawn Collins, Esq.

WOMEN'S HISTORY MONTH

As we commemorate the accomplishments of African American women who are representatives of our beloved community, it is incumbent upon us to reflect upon the many young women who got their start in Princeton and have now launched successfully into new and exciting ventures across our nation and world. One such woman is our very own WJHCS Trustee, Dawn Terri Collins, Esq.

 

As the leading partner and co-founder of CollinsKim LLP, recently selected by U.S. News as one of the nation’s best law firms for Labor and Employment Litigation, she is a distinguished graduate of UCLA’s School of Law, class of 1997, and has made Los Angeles her home for the last 26 years. We are well assured that Dawn is heading high.

 

I had the privilege of interviewing Dawn several days after the deadly attack on the Capitol, on the day that we were waiting to hear the vote on impeachment. Our collective emotions were still running high as we tried to make sense of where our nation was and where we are heading.

 

Dawn, who speaks with a great sense of humility, attributes her success in life to the abundant love and support she received during her upbringing in Princeton. She makes it clear that the beauty of having grown up in the Witherspoon-Jackson Community was that it provided her with a strong appreciation for family values and community.

 

She explains, “I grew up with a very strong sense of belonging, and with the mindset that I could do anything I wanted to do.” She marveled that this idea was a generational one, instilled equally in both her mother, Shirley, and grandmother, Alice, as they were also nurtured within the confines of the same community. The gift of growing up in Princeton’s African American community offered Dawn endless possibilities. Her parents found it to be true and so did she.

 

For example, Dawn attend Stuart Country Day school from grades nine through twelve. Alongside her neighborhood, Stuart also became another safe place that provided an additional place of community and religious values. Dawn felt supported and nurtured in a learning environment that reinforced the power of women through education.

 

Dawn learned early on that a nurturing environment also invoked high expectations of her. She learned the importance of responsibility. She recalls that delivering papers–on the same route I had delivered a few years earlier–afforded her an opportunity not only to earn income and develop a business acumen, but also helped her understand the importance of knowing her neighbors, beyond the six or seven relatives living within a five-house radius.

 

Dawn notes that as a child she was very shy, but that the confidence she obtained from the varied layers of family and community supporters helped her to become the Vice President of her Junior and Senior class at Stuart Country Day School, and later helped her adjust to life away from home in Philadelphia at the Wharton School of Business, University of Pennsylvania. Despite now living on the other side of the country, Dawn feels a surge of confidence when she walks into a room of other professionals and is the only African American or only woman (or both). Because of what her mother taught her, and the strong sense of belonging to a community, she walks as if her ancestors were right there behind her.

 

Speaking of mom, I had to ask Dawn what it was like living under the shadow of our own local legend Shirley Satterfield. She paused and then described her mother as very encouraging and one who was especially good at celebrating success, saying, “she always encouraged us to do well in school, but it wasn’t ostracizing or overwhelming …she used to read to us Max Ehrmann poem ‘Desiderata’ reminding us that ‘…you’re a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars, you have a right to be here.’ and I now realize how important that poem was in shaping my sister and me into who we became.”

 

“Oh, but I can’t forget the importance of etiquette.” Dawn reminisced that her grandmother, who worked as the receptionist for Princeton Regional School and did domestic work, emphasized the importance of social etiquette, things like setting a table, knowing where everything was supposed to be placed, and of course dressing appropriately – all of which became important in the networking world of “LA Law”. Dawn recalls often being introduced by a prestigious law partner and mentor as “East Coast Reserve.”

 

Dawn acknowledges that she has endured her share of challenges navigating Law school and has journeyed through a variety of life situations that have exposed her to her share of explicit discrimination and implicit bias. Yet, she always held strong to the basic principles, instilled by her mother and grandmother, of hard work, entrepreneurship, and the importance of making family proud.

 

While reflecting on the challenges we face today and having witnessed the struggle of people falling through the cracks, Dawn acknowledges that success takes focus and discipline along with remembering that “Mom, Granny and the community” were most influential in helping her begin her journey.

 

As a civil litigator in Los Angeles for over 20 years, Dawn has served for four law firms, three as a Partner, and has represented employers such as Live Nation, the LA Clippers, DirectTV, and NBCUniversal. In 2018, after observing the on-going inequity in law firms and society at large, Dawn decided to leave “Big Law” and joined her law partner to start her own firm to represent individual employees in cases involving allegations of sexual harassment, discrimination based on gender, race, disability and pregnancy, retaliation, wrongful termination and wage and hour violations.

 

Her professional accomplishments have been recognized as she was voted “Best Lawyer, Litigations-Labor & Employment” in 2020 and 2021; and, for the seventh year in a row she has been voted a “Southern California Super Lawyer.” She appreciates the recognition, however, her continued focus and efforts are toward the justice and equality for those who she represents and mentors.

 

When asked what advice she would give any young woman today, after giving it some thought, she said, “I’d encourage her to find a mentor to become a guide to share the way, to learn to work with other people, recognizing that we don’t live in a homogeneous community, to appreciate your neighbors, especially those who are different than you, and to remember that family, community and education are all important.”

 

The foundation of family, neighborhood, good etiquette, and the understanding that we are each a “child of the universe” has helped Dawn achieve her goals and dreams, and, as a WJHCS Trustee, she is helping to give back a new generation of Witherspoon-Jackson residents. Moreover, she is living proof of the power of our community to shape and improve lives, in the past, present and future.

 

Submitted by Rev. Gregory S. Smith

FEATURE STORY

Carter Godwin Woodson

FEATURE STORY

A Journey

BLACK HISTORY MONTH

If a race has no history, if it has no worthwhile tradition, it becomes a negligible factor in the thought of the world, and it stands in danger of being exterminated.

 

–Carter G. Woodson

 

At the end of the Civil War, slaves were referred to as “colored,” a term that denoted “pride.”  By 1851, the mass of slaves was referred to as “colored” (or the British spelling, “coloured”). During the era of Jim Crow in the United States, “colored” was used to designate segregated places that were the only access for African Americans: colored drinking fountains, colored waiting rooms, etc.

 

Telephone directories designated the names and addresses of African Americans by placing a (C) after their names and listing their occupation: maid, waiter, domestic, washer, laborer, carpenter, laundress, etc. Many African Americans in the Southern states “did not think of themselves as or accept the label ‘African’ and did not want whites pressuring them to relocate to a colony in Africa, saying they were no more African than white Americans were British.”

 

Additionally, many African American organizations had titles and logos with the ethnic term “Colored” such as the National Association of Colored Women’s Club and the well- known National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP).

 

Beginning in the 18th century, the reference of “Negro” was used by the Spanish and Portuguese as a description to refer to the Bantu peoples that they encountered. Negro in Spanish and Portuguese of course means “black,” and is an ethnic term derived from the Latin word “Niger.” It has been recorded that during as far back as the 17th century, Native Americans were referred to as “Negro.” Through the years there have been many organizations and associations that highlight the history and contributions of the Negro race. These include The “American Negro Academy”, founded in 1897 to support liberal arts education, and the “Negro League” in 1920-1950 to designate the Negro Baseball League. The reference of “Negro” is still used today to embrace the works of a people: “Negro Spirituals,” “United Negro College Fund” and the “Journal of Negro Education.”

 

Of all references to the Negro, the one that has and continues to be honored and celebrated is “Negro History Month”.  This annual observance began in 1915 when Carter G. Woodson* and the noted Reverend Jesse E. Moorland began the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History (ASNLH).  This organization researched and promoted the achievements of Negros and other peoples of African descent.  In 1926 the organization sponsored a national “Negro History Week.” This recognition was chosen to be celebrated on the second week of February to honor both Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass’ birthdays. This week was recognized by schools, organizations and communities, inspiring many performances and lectures.

 

In February 1969, Black educators and the Black United Students at Kent State University proposed to change Black History Week to Black History Month. The first Black History Month was celebrated at this university from January 2 to February 28, 1970.

 

In 1976, Black History Month was celebrated throughout the United States in family, social, educational, religious and organizational arenas. President Gerald Ford recognized Black History Month during the Celebration of the United States Bicentennial. Black History Month was first celebrated in the United Kingdom in 1987, Canada in 1995, Ireland in 2010, and more recently in the Netherlands.

 

As the political and social times change, so does the recognition of the designation of a race! Black History Month is also now called “African American History Month.” Each year there is a theme for Black History Month. The 2021 Black History Theme is “The Black Family:  Representation, Identity, and Diversity.”
 

 
*Carter Godwin Woodson was the son of former slaves, born on December 19, 1875 in New Canton, Virginia. He became an American historian, author, journalist and the founder of the Association for the Study of African American Life.  He was one of the first scholars to study the history of the African Diaspora, including African American history.  He was the founder of The Journal of Negro History that was published in 1916.

 

Instead of finishing his school years, he worked in the coal mines of West Virginia. He then attended and graduated from Berea College in 1903, and eventually became a teacher and school administrator. He pursued an advanced degree at the University of Chicago. In 1912, one year after W.E.B. DuBois graduated from Harvard University, Carter G. Woodson was the second African American to earn a Ph.D. Most of his academic career was spent at Howard University where he earned the status of Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences.

 

Dr. Woodson died in Washington, D.C. on April 3, 1950 at the age of 74.

 

Submitted by,

Shirley A. Satterfield

NEIGHBORHOOD SPOTLIGHT

Dr. Rameck Hunt, MD, FACP

NEIGHBORHOOD SPOTLIGHT

Dr. Rameck Hunt, MD, FACP

When searching for a doctor, there are so many questions to ask.  Who will take my insurance? Where are they located? Do they have good reviews? I wonder who else goes to them?

 

These are some thoughts I had when I recently had to search for a new primary care physician. When asking family members for recommendations, almost everyone guided me to Dr. Rameck Hunt, MD, FACP. Dr. Hunt started working at the Princeton Medical Center (now Penn Medicine Princeton Medical Center) when it was located on Witherspoon Street in the Witherspoon-Jackson Neighborhood. He has worked in our community since 2006.

 

As a teen he made a pact with two other friends that they would all become doctors, fueling Dr. Hunt’s drive to become a Physician. The three later published a book, The Pact, which was later adapted as a feature film. Hunt is board certified in Internal Medicine with a specialty in Obesity Medicine and the Medical Director of the Weight Management Program.  

 

However, it is neither his accomplishments nor his expertise that makes him an incredible doctor; it is the way that he connects with his patients. Every patient of Dr. Hunt seems to agree that when you leave his office, you will have a better understanding of your body and what it needs to be and stay healthy. As he is the doctor to multiple WJHCS Trustees, we must share him with all of you.

 

Dr. Hunt will be the guest of honor at an upcoming WJHCS event. The event will focus on the Covid-19 Vaccine, ways to stay physically and mentally healthy, and more. This virtual event will be free to the public. Donations are welcomed. Please stay tuned for updates posted on this website. Subscribe to be automatically notified of our events and publications.

 

NEIGHBORHOOD SPOTLIGHT

Princeton African American Women Minding their Business

WOMEN'S HISTORY MONTH

BLACK HISTORY MONTH

 

Najwa Abdul Karim Comeau – Makeovers Studio/Doing Business as “Faces By Najwa”- Makeup artistry for weddings, proms, parties, graduations of just to feel beautiful inside and out.

 

Gayle Olivia Everett – “Olivia’s Wellness Connection”- in partnership with the Princeton Family YMCA. A wellness ministry to motivate and educate people from all walks of life to make their health a priority.

 

Bernadine Hines – Dog Walking and Sitting Service – “Birds were meant to fly, fish were meant to swim and dogs were meant to travel-better known as walking”. Bern will exercise your pouch and board him/her when you travel. Your dog will be treated like a member of the family.

 

Freda Howard – Freda Howard Interiors LLC is a residential firm that focuses on a full range of interior design and offers clients educated solutions and provides choices, convenience, knowledge, speed, and pleasure backed by education and experience.

 

Sally Ann Kornegay – “Sally’s Kitchen” Caterer for Princeton events, and delicious southern meals and pies.

 

Kayren Carter Mjumbe – “Museum in Motion” – A traveling museum highlighting legendary and unknown African Americans.

 

Jacqueline Tillmann, Esq. – Lewis Tillmann Law Offices, Handles cases in Arbitrations and Employment & Labor Litigations. She has been licensed for over 27 years.

 

Nina Tillmann – Dog Grooming – “Dogs’ tails are wagg’n and they are bragg’n!”

 

Marilyn M. Yates – “Knits by Marilyn” Original beautiful knitted hats and scarves

Community Calendar

WJHCS Trustees Accomplishments and Honors:

 

Honoree: Bob Hillier, FAIA

Award: Reginald F. Lewis Community Service Award for Excellence in Business

Date: February 12, 2021

Awarded By: First Baptist Church of Princeton

 

Honoree: Shirley A. Satterfield

Award: Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Award

Date: January 16, 2021

Awarded By: New Jersey Education Association (NJEA)

 

Honoree: Rev. David McAlpin

Award: Recognition Celebration

Date: January 30, 2021

Awarded By: Witherspoon Street Presbyterian Church

Get in Touch. Get Involved.

190 Witherspoon St, Princeton, NJ

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