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Wednesday, April 13, 2011

April 13th

Born this day in 1854, Lucy Craft Laney, educator, founder of the Laney School, Civil Rights Activist. Born in Macon,Georgia to free parents. Laney was reading by the age of four and attending Atlanta University by the age of fourteen and graduated with a teachers degree by the age of eighteen. Laney taught for ten years and then 1883 opened her own school in the basement of Christ Presbyterian Church in Augusta, Georgia. Laney vision was an all girls school, but when young boys showed up for school,she accepted them into the school. Over the next several years the student body expanded to 200, school was licenced by the state. "The Haines Normal and Industrial Institute." The school was named after Francine E.H. Haines, a lifetime benefactor of the school who donated $10,000 to establish the Institute. Because of her work in education, Laney was one of the first African Americans to have her portrait displayed in the Georgia state capital in Atlanta.

April 12th

Born this day in 1844, Mollie Evelyn Moore Davis, poet, author and editor. Mollie was born in Alabama and at age 16 the family move to Texas and it is here, Mollie began her career  of writing for the Tyler newspapers. Over the next several years Mollie's poetry gained state wide attention. First book, " Minding the Gap and Other Poems",  was published in 1869 and 1872. In 1874, marriage to Mr. Davis(who was on the staff of the New Orleans Times) included a move to New Orleans, LA. By this time, Davis was a nationally recognized poet.
Davis wrote about her experiences of learning about her new home in a group of essays, "Kerenhappuch and I," in the Picayune New Orleans Times.For which she was an editor. Davis was known for her home salons. Listed below are her other works.

In War Times at La Rose Blanche (1888); Under the Man-Fig (1895), a novel of East Texas; A Christmas Masque of Saint Roch (1896); Under Six Flags (1897), a school history of Texas; An Elephant's Track and Other Stories (1897); The Wire-Cutters (1899), a novel of West Texas; The Queen's Garden (1900); Jaconetta: Her Loves (1901); A Bunch of Roses and Other Parlor Plays (1903); The Little Chevalier (1903); The Price of Silence (1907); and The Moons of Balbanca (1908). Selected Poems (1927) was published by friends years after her death on January 1, 1909. In 1955 a Japanese firm published her Ships of Desire.

Davis also had a camellias named in her honor(yes the bloom above). so cool!