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Yvonne Seon

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Information about Yvonne Seon

Profile image of Yvonne Seon

Profession

Category:
EducationMakers
Occupation(s):
Historian

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Orange
Favorite Food:
Spaghetti
Favorite Time of Year:
Spring
Favorite Vacation Spot:
West Indies, California
Favorite Quote:
You Can Catch More Flies With Honey Than You Can With Vinegar.

Birthplace

Born:
12/20/1937
Birth Location:
Washington, District of Columbia

Profession

Category:
EducationMakers
Occupation(s):
Historian

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Orange
Favorite Food:
Spaghetti
Favorite Time of Year:
Spring
Favorite Vacation Spot:
West Indies, California
Favorite Quote:
You Can Catch More Flies With Honey Than You Can With Vinegar.

Birthplace

Born:
12/20/1937
Birth Location:
Washington
See how Yvonne Seon is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

Born in Washington, D.C., on December 20, 1937, Yvonne Seon graduated as salutatorian of her class at Paul Laurence Dunbar High School in Washington, D.C. Seon received a B.A. with honors from Allegheny College in 1959. She attended the American University as a Woodrow Wilson Fellow and in 1960 earned her M.A. in political science. That same year, she met Patrice Lumumba, leader of the newly independent Congo, on his only visit to the United States. The dynamic African leader offered Seon a job in his new government. Proficient in French, and with a keen interest in Africa, Seon accepted and served as secretary of the Inga Dam project for two years. She also served in a State Department delegation to a UNESCO conference in Paris. In 1966, Seon attended the First African Festival of the Arts held in Dakar, Senegal.

While in school at Union Graduate School, Seon became the first director of the Bolinga Black Cultural Resource Center at Wright State University. She returned to Washington, D.C., in 1972 to work for Congressman Howard Diggs. She became one of the first contributors to Africare, an American-based aid organization to Africa. By 1977, Seon was the first woman to serve on Africare's board of directors, and in 2002 she became its first vice chairwoman. When still a graduate student, Seon was drawn to the Unitarian Universalist Church, and was later ordained as a minister. Seon currently works as an associate professor of history at Prince George's Community College in Largo, Maryland, and resides in Cheverly, Maryland.

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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Yvonne Seon's interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Yvonne Seon lists her favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Yvonne Seon talks about her extended maternal and paternal family ancestry
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Yvonne Seon talks about her West Indian maternal family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Yvonne Seon describes her mother's involvement in pre-Civil Rights Movement organizing, pt. 1
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Yvonne Seon describes her mother's involvement in pre-Civil Rights Movement organizing, pt. 2
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Yvonne Seon describes her father's childhood
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Yvonne Seon talks about the Langston Terrace housing development in Washington, D.C.
  • Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Yvonne Seon describes her experience at Charles E. Young Elementary School in Northeast Washington, D.C., pt. 1
  • Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Yvonne Seon describes the sights, sounds and smells of her childhood in Washington, D.C.
  • Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Yvonne Seon describes her childhood personality
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Yvonne Seon describes her experience at Charles E. Young Elementary School in Northeast Washington, D.C., pt. 2
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Yvonne Seon describes her experience at Paul Laurence Dunbar High School in Washington, D.C.
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Yvonne Seon explains how she selected Allegheny College in Meadville, Pennsylvania
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Yvonne Seon describes campus life involvement as an undergraduate student at Allegheny College in Meadville, Pennsylvania
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Yvonne Seon talks about segregation of Allegheny College's Greek letter organizations
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Yvonne Seon describes her experience as a Woodrow Wilson Fellow and graduate student at American University
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Yvonne Seon describes how she met Patrice Lumumba, the first democratically elected leader of the Congo
  • Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Yvonne Seon talks about the demonization of Patrice Lumumba by the United States press and government
  • Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Yvonne Seon talks about the uncertainty and violence surrounding Congolese Independence and Patrice Lumumba's assassination, pt. 1
  • Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Yvonne Seon remembers being stopped by police while working in the Congo during the Congo Crisis
  • Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Yvonne Seon talks about the uncertainty and violence surrounding Congolese Independence and Patrice Lumumba's assassination, pt. 2
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Yvonne Seon talks about the death of Dag Hammarskjold, former Secretary-General of the United Nations in 1961
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Yvonne Seon talks about working on the Inga Dam Project in the Democratic Republic of the Congo
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Yvonne Seon describes Mobutu Sese Seko, dictator and president of Zaire, now the Democratic Republic of the Congo
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Yvonne Seon talks about traveling to Uganda's independence celebration in 1962
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Yvonne Seon talks about becoming a foreign affairs officer in the United States Department of State
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Yvonne Seon describes attending the 1962 UNESCO general conference in Paris, France
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Yvonne Seon describes her introduction to negritude and pan-Africanism at the 1966 World Festival of Black Arts in Dakar, Senegal, pt. 1
  • Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Yvonne Seon describes her introduction to negritude and pan-Africanism at the 1966 World Festival of Black Arts in Dakar, Senegal, pt. 2
  • Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Yvonne Seon talks about her visit to Maison Des Esclaves on Goree Island off the coast of Dakar, Senegal
  • Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Yvonne Seon describes her second expedition to Senegal in 1972
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Yvonne Seon describes her introduction to negritude and pan-Africanism at the 1966 World Festival of Black Arts in Dakar, Senegal, pt. 3
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Yvonne Seon describes the significance of the 1966 World Festival of Black Arts to Pan-Africanism
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Yvonne Seon talks about literature that emerged out of the Negritude Movement
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Yvonne Seon talks about E. Franklin Frazier's article, 'What Can the American Negro Contribute to the Social Development of Africa?'
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Yvonne Seon explains how she got onto the administrative staff at Wilberforce University in Wilberforce, Ohio as coordinator of student life programs
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Yvonne Seon talks about the history of Wilberforce University in Wilberforce, Ohio
  • Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Yvonne Seon talks about student civil rights demonstrations at Wilberforce University, pt. 1
  • Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Yvonne Seon talks about student civil rights demonstrations at Wilberforce University, pt. 2
  • Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Yvonne Seon talks about the establishment of the Bolinga Black Cultural Resources Center at Wright State University in 1971
  • Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Yvonne Seon talks about the Betty Thomas hiring discrimination events at Wright State University
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Second slating of Yvonne Seon's interview
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Yvonne Seon talks about joining the faculty at Wright State University and starting a doctoral program at Union Institute in 1970
  • Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Yvonne Seon describes the student body at Wright State University in 1970
  • Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Yvonne Seon describes the original vision for the Bolinga Black Cultural Resources Center at Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio
  • Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Yvonne Seon talks about construction of, and equipment in, the Bolinga Black Cultural Resources Center
  • Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Yvonne Seon describes the Bolinga Black Cultural Resources Center library
  • Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Yvonne Seon addresses critiques of the Bolinga Black Cultural Resources Center and its academic goals
  • Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Yvonne Seon talks about teaching a course in the literature of French speaking Africa at the Boling Black Cultural Resources Center
  • Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Yvonne Seon describes the guest list on opening night at the Bolinga Black Cultural Resources Center, pt. 1
  • Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Yvonne Seon talks about Alex Haley's research for his novel, 'Roots'
  • Tape: 5 Story: 11 - Yvonne Seon describes the guest list on opening night at the Bolinga Black Cultural Resources Center, pt. 2
  • Tape: 5 Story: 12 - Yvonne Seon talks about budgeting for programming at the Bolinga Black Cultural Resources Center, pt. 1
  • Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Yvonne Seon talks about budgeting for programming at the Bolinga Black Cultural Resources Center, pt. 2
  • Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Yvonne Seon talks about visiting faculty at the Bolinga Black Cultural Resources Center
  • Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Yvonne Seon talks about the history of the game Oware
  • Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Yvonne Seon talks about bringing the Colonel Charles Young collection of African objects and artifacts to Wright State University
  • Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Yvonne Seon talks about leaving Wright State University in 1973
  • Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Yvonne Seon explains how she got a job with Congressman Charles Diggs
  • Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Yvonne Seon talks about Congressman Charles Diggs' influence on the relationship between Portugese speaking Africa and the United States
  • Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Yvonne Seon talks about Congressman Charles Diggs' commitment to ending apartheid in South Africa
  • Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Yvonne Seon talks about attending the Sixth Pan-African Congress in 1974
  • Tape: 6 Story: 10 - Yvonne Seon talks about the establishment of Africare and discovery of the drought in the Sahel region
  • Tape: 6 Story: 11 - Yvonne Seon talks about developing a course on African American women at the University of Maryland, College Park
  • Tape: 6 Story: 12 - Yvonne Seon describes attending FESTAC '77, the Second World Black and African Festival of Arts and Culture, in Lagos, Nigeria, pt. 1
  • Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Yvonne Seon describes attending FESTAC '77, the Second World Black and African Festival of Arts and Culture, in Lagos, Nigeria, pt. 2
  • Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Yvonne Seon talks about the retention of West African culture in African American culture, pt. 1
  • Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Yvonne Seon talks about the retention of West African culture in African American culture, pt. 2
  • Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Yvonne Seon talks about becoming the first ordained woman minister in the Unitarian Universal Association
  • Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Yvonne Seon describes the focus of the Unitarian Universal denomination
  • Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Yvonne Seon talks about the role of spirituality in an Afro-centric worldview, pt. 1
  • Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Yvonne Seon talks about the role of spirituality in an Afro-centric worldview, pt. 2
  • Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Yvonne Seon describes race and gender discrimination she experienced applying for ministerial settlement, pt. 1
  • Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Yvonne Seon describes race and gender discrimination she experienced applying for ministerial settlement, pt. 2
  • Tape: 8 Story: 3 - Yvonne Seon describes difficulties small congregations may have facilitating growth
  • Tape: 8 Story: 4 - Yvonne Seon talks about facilitating diversity within the Unitarian Universalist denomination
  • Tape: 8 Story: 5 - Yvonne Seon talks about the role societal values of communalism play in a crisis
  • Tape: 8 Story: 6 - Yvonne Seon describes the challenges of communicating African spirituality
  • Tape: 8 Story: 7 - Yvonne Seon talks about megachurches and the interplay between wealth and spirituality
  • Tape: 8 Story: 8 - Yvonne Seon talks about spiritual healing practice
  • Tape: 9 Story: 1 - Yvonne Seon explains the ritual of cannibalism
  • Tape: 9 Story: 2 - Yvonne Seon describes her hopes and concerns for the African American community
  • Tape: 9 Story: 3 - Yvonne Seon reflects upon her legacy
  • Tape: 9 Story: 4 - Yvonne Seon talks about the significance of oral tradition to the African diaspora
  • Tape: 9 Story: 5 - Yvonne Seon describes how she would like to be remembered
  • Tape: 9 Story: 6 - Yvonne Seon narrates her photographs