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Aileen Clarke Hernandez

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Information about Aileen Clarke Hernandez

Profile image of Aileen Clarke Hernandez

Profession

Category:
CivicMakers
Occupation(s):
Labor Activist
Foundation Executive

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Red
Favorite Time of Year:
Spring
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Jamaica
Favorite Quote:
Ah, But A Person's Reach Should Exceed Its Grasp, But What Is Heaven For?

Birthplace

Born:
5/23/1926
Birth Location:
New York, New York

Profession

Category:
CivicMakers
Occupation(s):
Labor Activist
Foundation Executive

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Red
Favorite Time of Year:
Spring
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Jamaica
Favorite Quote:
Ah, But A Person's Reach Should Exceed Its Grasp, But What Is Heaven For?

Birthplace

Born:
5/23/1926
Birth Location:
New York
See how Aileen Clarke Hernandez is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

Civil rights, union and women’s rights activist Aileen Clarke Hernandez was born Aileen Clarke on May 23, 1926, in Brooklyn, New York. Her Jamaican-born parents, theatrical seamstress Ethel Louise Hall Clarke and Garveyite brushmaker Charles Henry Clarke, named their daughter for Aileen Pringle, a film actress. Hernandez, who grew up in the ethnically-mixed Bay Ridge neighborhood of New York City, attended elementary school at P.S. 176 and graduated in 1943 as school newspaper editor, vice president, and salutatorian of Bay Ridge High School. At Howard University, she was taught by E. Franklin Frazier, Ralph Bunche, Sterling Brown, Alain Locke, Howard Thurman, Emmit Dorsey, Charles Hamilton Houston, James Nabrit, and Thurgood Marshall. Hernandez was a member of the Howard Players, edited The Hilltop, and was active in the NAACP with her friend Pauli Murray. Hernandez graduated magna cum laude from Howard University with her B.A. degree in political science in 1947.

Returning briefly for graduate studies at New York University, Hernandez moved to Los Angeles to take an internship with the International Ladies Garment Workers Union (ILGWU) and later went on to earn her M.S. degree in government from California State University at Los Angeles in 1961.

Hernandez worked for the IGLWU from 1951 to 1960; eventually she backed the efforts of the Federation of Union Representatives to obtain benefits from the IGLWU. In 1960, Hernandez resigned from the IGLWU to join the successful re-election campaign of California State Comptroller and future United States Senator Allan Cranston. In 1962, Hernandez was appointed by California Governor Pat Brown to be assistant chief of the California Division of Fair Employment Practices and began enforcing the state’s 1959 anti-discrimination law. In 1965, Hernandez was appointed a commissioner of the newly-formed United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) by President Lyndon B. Johnson. As the first female and second minority appointed to the EEOC Commission, Hernandez paid particular attention to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. In 1966, Hernandez co-founded the activist group, National Organization for Women (NOW), with her friend and Episcopal priest, Pauli Murray, author Betty Friedan, and others. From 1970 to 1971, Hernandez served as the second national president of NOW, following Friedan. In 1971, Hernandez helped found the National Women’s Political Caucus, and in 1972 helped create NOW’s Minority Women’s Task Force. That same year, Hernandez formed Sapphire Publishing Company with nine other black women. Leaving NOW in 1979, Hernandez served on the board of the Ms. Foundation from 1976 to 1985. Hernandez toured China in 1978, and after touring South Africa in 1981, released the book, South Africa: Time Running Out.

Hernandez served as the president of Hernandez and Associates, which she founded in 1967; she has taught at San Francisco State University and the University of California at Berkeley. Hernandez was a Regents Scholar in Residence at the University of California at Santa Barbara in 1996. Hernandez has been honored by the National Urban Coalition, the Northern California American Civil Liberties Foundation, Howard University and many other organizations. In 2005, Hernandez was one of 1,000 women from 150 nations who were collectively nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize for their work in social justice and civil rights.

Hernandez passed away on February 13, 2017.

See how Aileen Clarke Hernandez is related to other HistoryMakers
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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Aileen Clarke Hernandez's interview, session 1
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Aileen Clarke Hernandez lists her favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Aileen Clarke Hernandez describes her mother's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Aileen Clarke Hernandez talks about discrimination in Jamaica
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Aileen Clarke Hernandez describes her mother's education and occupation
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Aileen Clarke Hernandez describes her father's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Aileen Clarke Hernandez recalls her father's occupation
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Aileen Clarke Hernandez describes how her parents met
  • Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Aileen Clarke Hernandez talks about the Jamaican community in New York City
  • Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Aileen Clarke Hernandez describes her parents' personalities
  • Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Aileen Clarke Hernandez describes her earliest childhood memory
  • Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Aileen Clarke Hernandez describes the sights, sounds and smells of her childhood
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Aileen Clarke Hernandez describes her extended family
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Aileen Clarke Hernandez recalls St. Philip's Episcopal Church in Brooklyn, New York
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Aileen Clarke Hernandez describes her early experiences of discrimination
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Aileen Clarke Hernandez recalls her grade school education
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Aileen Clarke Hernandez recalls Bay Ridge High School, Brooklyn, New York
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Aileen Clarke Hernandez recalls the entertainment of her youth
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Aileen Clarke Hernandez remembers her activities at Bay Ridge High School
  • Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Aileen Clarke Hernandez recalls her decision to attend Howard University
  • Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Aileen Clarke Hernandez remembers segregation in Washington, D.C.
  • Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Aileen Clarke Hernandez describes her father's political involvement
  • Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Aileen Clarke Hernandez recalls her professors at Howard University
  • Tape: 2 Story: 12 - Aileen Clarke Hernandez recalls the activists at Howard University
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Aileen Clarke Hernandez remembers Pauli Murray
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Aileen Clarke Hernandez remembers organizing protests in Washington, D.C.
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Aileen Clarke Hernandez talks about racial discrimination in Washington, D.C.
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Aileen Clarke Hernandez recalls her activities at Howard University
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Aileen Clarke Hernandez remembers the end of World War II
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Aileen Clarke Hernandez remembers her influences at Howard University
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Aileen Clarke Hernandez remembers graduating from Howard University
  • Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Aileen Clarke Hernandez recalls becoming a union organizer
  • Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Aileen Clarke Hernandez recalls the conditions in the garment factories
  • Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Aileen Clarke Hernandez remembers training with the International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union
  • Tape: 3 Story: 11 - Aileen Clarke Hernandez describes her parents' response to her career
  • Tape: 3 Story: 12 - Aileen Clarke Hernandez recalls organizing a strike for the International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Aileen Clarke Hernandez describes the history of the International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Aileen Clarke Hernandez talks about her marriage
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Aileen Clarke Hernandez recalls the California Fair Employment Practices Act of 1959
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Aileen Clarke Hernandez recalls leaving the International Ladies' Garment Workers Union
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Aileen Clarke Hernandez recalls her role at the Fair Employment Practices Commission
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Aileen Clarke Hernandez remembers working for politician Alan M. Cranston
  • Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Aileen Clarke Hernandez recalls her support for President John Fitzgerald Kennedy, pt. 1
  • Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Aileen Clarke Hernandez recalls her support for President John Fitzgerald Kennedy, pt. 2
  • Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Aileen Clarke Hernandez remembers joining the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
  • Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Aileen Clarke Hernandez describes the reaction to her appointment to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
  • Tape: 4 Story: 11 - Aileen Clarke Hernandez talks about the Civil Rights Act of 1964
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Aileen Clarke Hernandez remembers Lady Bird Johnson
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Aileen Clarke Hernandez recalls the start of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
  • Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Aileen Clarke Hernandez talks about gender discrimination
  • Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Aileen Clarke Hernandez remembers Pauli Murray's role in the women's movement
  • Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Aileen Clarke Hernandez describes the history of the women's movement
  • Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Aileen Clarke Hernandez talks about the stereotypes of the women's movement
  • Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Aileen Clarke Hernandez recalls the founding of the National Organization for Women, pt. 1
  • Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Aileen Clarke Hernandez recalls the founding of the National Organization for Women, pt. 2
  • Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Aileen Clarke Hernandez recalls resigning from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
  • Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Aileen Clarke Hernandez remembers Evenson v. Northwest Airlines, Inc.
  • Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Aileen Clarke Hernandez recalls becoming an urban consultant
  • Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Aileen Clarke Hernandez recalls her decision to step down as president of the National Organization for Women
  • Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Aileen Clarke Hernandez describes the divisions within the women's movement
  • Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Aileen Clarke Hernandez remembers the challenges to the Equal Rights Amendment
  • Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Aileen Clarke Hernandez recalls the divide over abortion in the National Organization for Women
  • Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Aileen Clarke Hernandez recalls the debate over labor equality in the National Organization for Women
  • Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Aileen Clarke Hernandez talks about equality in the U.S. military
  • Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Aileen Clarke Hernandez reflects upon the political changes since 1970
  • Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Aileen Clarke Hernandez describes her work as an urban consultant
  • Tape: 6 Story: 10 - Aileen Clarke Hernandez recalls speaking at a conference in Germany
  • Tape: 6 Story: 11 - Aileen Clarke Hernandez remembers her international labor rights work
  • Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Aileen Clarke Hernandez remembers the California Women's Agenda
  • Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Aileen Clarke Hernandez talks about the California Civil Rights Coalition
  • Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Aileen Clarke Hernandez describes her hopes and concerns for the African American community
  • Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Aileen Clarke Hernandez reflects upon her life
  • Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Aileen Clarke Hernandez reflects upon her legacy
  • Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Aileen Clarke Hernandez reflects upon her family
  • Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Aileen Clarke Hernandez describes how she would like to be remembered
  • Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Slating of Aileen Clarke Hernandez's interview, session 2, pt. 1
  • Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Aileen Clarke Hernandez talks about the women's rights movement
  • Tape: 8 Story: 3 - Aileen Clarke Hernandez talks about her career
  • Tape: 8 Story: 4 - Aileen Clarke Hernandez recalls her testimony to the Presidential Commission on the Status of Women
  • Tape: 8 Story: 5 - Aileen Clarke Hernandez recalls the formation of National Organization for Women
  • Tape: 8 Story: 6 - Aileen Clarke Hernandez describes the failings of the National Organization for Women
  • Tape: 8 Story: 7 - Aileen Clarke Hernandez recalls her decision to leave the National Organization for Women
  • Tape: 8 Story: 8 - Aileen Clarke Hernandez reflects upon the National Organization for Women
  • Tape: 8 Story: 9 - Aileen Clarke Hernandez reflects upon the Civil Rights Act of 1964
  • Tape: 9 Story: 1 - Aileen Clarke Hernandez recalls discrimination within the National Organization for Women
  • Tape: 9 Story: 2 - Aileen Clarke Hernandez describes her role as an advocate for human rights
  • Tape: 9 Story: 3 - Aileen Clarke Hernandez describes her hopes and concerns for the African American community
  • Tape: 9 Story: 4 - Aileen Clarke Hernandez talks about President Barack Obama, pt. 1
  • Tape: 9 Story: 5 - Aileen Clarke Hernandez talks about President Barack Obama, pt. 2
  • Tape: 9 Story: 6 - Aileen Clarke Hernandez reflects upon the election of President Barack Obama
  • Tape: 9 Story: 7 - Aileen Clarke Hernandez talks about Hillary Rodham Clinton's presidential candidacy
  • Tape: 9 Story: 8 - Aileen Clarke Hernandez reflects upon her career, pt. 1
  • Tape: 9 Story: 9 - Aileen Clarke Hernandez reflects upon her career, pt. 2
  • Tape: 9 Story: 10 - Aileen Clarke Hernandez reflects upon her life
  • Tape: 10 Story: 1 - Aileen Clarke Hernandez reflects upon her legacy
  • Tape: 10 Story: 2 - Aileen Clarke Hernandez reflects upon her family
  • Tape: 10 Story: 3 - Aileen Clarke Hernandez describes how she would like to be remembered
  • Tape: 10 Story: 4 - Aileen Clarke Hernandez narrates her photographs, pt. 1
  • Tape: 10 Story: 5 - Aileen Clarke Hernandez narrates her photographs, pt. 2
  • Tape: 11 Story: 1 - Aileen Clarke Hernandez narrates her photographs, pt. 3