19 June 2021

Happy Juneteenth & Intro to Sema Hadithi Foundation

Happy Juneteenth (the first Federally official Juneteenth)!

Today I would like to highlight a new non-profit organization that I am a part of:

The Sema Hadithi African American Heritage and Culture Foundation.

The group was founded last year by Robert Burch and recently obtained official 501(c)(3) status. We are partnering with the Utah Division of State History and other organizations to help preserve and tell the story of African Americans in Utah.

Give them a follow on Facebook: Sema Hadithi African American Heritage and Culture Foundation

I am part of the Black Women Research Group which highlights amazing stories, some of which I have shared here. 

But there are so many other stories that others have compiled including a history of the celebration of Emancipation Day, Black women social clubs, the Black church in Utah, stories and illustrations of Buffalo Soldiers in Utah, and lynching of Black men in Utah.

I’m still working on a number of stories for this group and hopefully you will see more of them soon:
  • Frankie McMonnas (? – 1902) and her niece Frances Worfork (1879-1945). Frankie’s occupation on the 1900 census is listed as Nurse and Frances lists hers as School Teacher… Intriguing, hopefully I can learn more about these women.
  • Ella Louise DeBies (1889-1985): “A lady really had to work for a living in those days” but she was able to send her son to the U of U in the 1920s.
  • Colored Women want ads- classified advertisements of people looking to hire Colored Women, generally for domestic housework tasks. And Colored Women looking for people to hire them.
  • Restaurants where Black people were allowed to eat in SLC. So far I have the St Louis Hotel and CafĂ©, Black Elks Club, and some Asian owned cafes. (Anyone know of anything specific and I will add it to my list).
  • More short but intriguing stories from the Interviews with African Americans in Utah Oral History Collection at Special Collections, Marriott Library.

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