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First African American Woman to be named Consulant in Poetry

Welcome to Today in History May!

Each day of May, we’ll be taking a look at something historical that a woman has done. Why? Because, when we learn about the cool things women have done in our history, we get inspired. We see what WE can do. We understand that we are changing the world, every day.

Know of some cool woman who did something that you admire? Share it right here!

Here’s our first, Today in History story:

On May 1, 1950 – Gwendolyn Brooks became the first African-American woman to receive the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry, named Library of Congress’s Consultant in Poetry. Today they call people who earn this distinction a Poet Laureate. There have been 5 female poets laureate and 16 male poets laureate. Prior to 1985, they were called consultants in poetry and there were 6 female consultants in poetry by 1985 and 23 male consultants in poetry.

Gwendolyn inspired readers to think about what it really means to support human rights and the dignity of each human life. Her point of view resonates with us today. We, as a group of people on this planet, still seem to struggle with the idea of basic, human rights.

The first woman consultant in poetry was  Louise Bogan, who held the post from 1945 to 1946.

 Louise Bogan, 1945 to 1946

Louise Bogan, 1945 to 1946

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Strong Spiders


Spiders spin “silk” that is stronger than the silk that we use for our clothes.

Scientists are trying to copy spider silk. How cool is that?

News source: Trends in Biotechnology, May 2008

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