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The Johnson County Board of Supervisors in Iowa Metropolis, Iowa, on June 24 (Thursday) voted unanimously to alter the county’s title from that of a slave proprietor to that of a Black professor, a pioneer in schooling.
The county is now named in honor of Lulu Merle Johnson. It was initially named for Richard Mentor Johnson, a long-time slave proprietor who took credit score for the homicide of Shawnee Chief Tecumseh on the Battle of Thames in 1805, in response to CBS News.
“We acknowledge that place-names embody the id and cultural values of a spot. For that motive, you will need to set up an eponym of Johnson County who represents what’s vital to the individuals who dwell right here,” Lisa Inexperienced-Douglass, Board of Supervisors member, tells the tv information outlet. “It has been a privilege to chair the Johnson County Eponym Committee, and to have the ability to acknowledge, honor, and set up Dr. Lulu Merle Johnson because the County’s official eponym.”
Johnson was a pioneer in each the state of Iowa, and within the improvement of Traditionally Black Schools and Universities, the place she taught historical past and served because the dean of girls at Cheyney State College in Pennsylvania.
Born in Gravity, Iowa, the educator was the primary of fourteen African American ladies to be enrolled on the College of Iowa. After graduating with each bachelor’s and grasp’s levels in 1930, Johnson remained on the college, instructing whereas working in direction of her Ph.D., which she earned in 1941. In doing so, she grew to become the primary Black girl to earn a Ph. D. on the College of Iowa, regardless of dealing with racism and sexism from college students and faculty administration, the report notes.
Earlier than Johnson County officers voted on the brand new title, Johnson’s alma mater in 2017 established the Lulu Merle Johnson Fellowship in her honor. “However such discrimination, college students of shade like Ms. Johnson shared their brilliance with our establishment and contributed to creating the UI who we’re at the moment,” Iowa’s interim Chief Variety Officer Lena M. Hill tells CBS News.