Geraldine Louise Wilson was born on December 28, 1931 to Herbert and Hilda Wilson. She was the couple’s first child. The only census with information regarding Hilda is the 1940 Census.
The above picture was taken from Temple University’s yearbook from 1955. She lived on 1345 North Alden Street at the time majoring in Elementary Education. She was heavily involved at the school for she was a member of the Delta Sigma Theta, Modern Dance group, Concert Group, UCM, Canterbury Club, Panel of Americans, and the ECEED Club. The address listed was the same one provided on the news article marking her father’s death as well as The Delta Newsletter addressed to Geraldine at the same address in Philadelphia. I wish I had a scanner, but I am still at my internship.
Geraldine, or Gerry (her nickname), served as the consultant in Child Development as well as a resource person within numerous Head Start programs with experience in numerous states. She was also passionate about black History, or what she called within her papers Afro-American history. I do need to research that term a bit more. Yes, I have heard of it before, yet I am curious about the history of the term Afro-American. When asked what was black history, here was Gerry’s response (WHICH I LOVE!):
Some staff wanted to know what Black history really is. That is a difficult question to answer. It is also a question that requires a personal answer. Below is my answer. It is my personal opinion. I offer it to you. It can and possibly should be challenged. It is not the same answer I would have shared with you three years ago. It may not be the same answer I will give three years from now…
History is fact and opinion. The history of opinion can bind and enslave people. The history of fact can liberate people . History is not just what happened to them. History is also the effect on people of what happened. Knowing the history of Black people will help us answer those important questions: Who are we? Where did we come from? Where are we going? How do we get there?
It is not enough to know who the famous Black people are, whom we honor and respect. The existence of poor Black people is also a part of history. They have built this country, they have made money for others in this country. They remain poor for historical reasons we need to understand. The more need more than honor and respect. They need jobs, housing, and medical care. How they get these basic will be history. Knowing Black history means:
That we understand why our history was distorted and ignored.
That we learn who distorted our history and why.
That we discover who profited from distorting history and how they profited
That we know how long and how hard Black people have struggled against bondage.
That we know as surely as we know our name that the children of Africa are as old as man himself.”
It is funny how this document was written in 1968, yet the words still rang true today.
Well my summer job has officially began. Working with kids is always a challenge, but it is one of the best jobs to have.
Until the next post.