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African American Women Chemists in the Modern Era$
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Jeannette E. Brown

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780190615178

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2020

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190615178.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 16 October 2021

Chemists Who Are Leaders in Academia or Organizations

Chemists Who Are Leaders in Academia or Organizations

(p.129) 4 Chemists Who Are Leaders in Academia or Organizations
African American Women Chemists in the Modern Era

Jeannette E. Brown

Oxford University Press

Amanda Bryant-Friedrich (Fig. 4.1) is Dean of the College of Graduate Studies at the University of Toledo (Toledo). Amanda was born in Enfield, NC, a small town about fifteen miles from the North Carolina-Virginia border. Her father was a farmer and her mother was a housewife. Her father only had a sixth-grade education and did not read or write much. Her mother graduated from high school in Enfield. Her maternal grandfather was a child of a slave and her mother was one of twenty-two children from two wives. They lived on a farm owned by a man named Whitaker. As her mother’s family had been enslaved by the family that owned the farm, her last name was Whitaker. Amanda’s paternal grandfather was a businessman who owned his own farm, on the other side of town. He was also involved in the illegal production of moonshine. Amanda went to Unburden Elementary School in Enfield. Her first experience with school was dramatic, because she lived at the end of a dirt road and was really isolated from other families. The first day she went to kindergarten she saw all those little kids, and she was afraid because there were too many people there. But the daughter of her mother’s best friend was there and invited her to come in to the classroom. Her first science class was in general science in fourth or fifth grade. She was so fascinated, she changed her mind about her future career of secretary or teacher and decided on science. Amanda went to Enfield Middle school in Halifax County, then the second poorest county in the state. The school had only basic infrastructure for science classes. She remembers her middle school chemistry teacher, Ms. Crowley, who told the students to put a mercury thermometer in a cork and Amanda accidently stuck it in her hand. They did not have much in the school, but her teacher taught her what she could.

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