Google on Thursday honoured the 151st birthday of Charlotte Maxeke by publishing a fitting doodle on the home page of its website in tribute to Maxeke.
KAMPALA | NOW THEN DIGITAL — Google, the largest technology company in the world, on Thursday, honoured Charlotte Maxeke with a fitting doodle announcing her 151st birthday on the company’s homepage.
- Charlotte Makgomo Maxeke, born in 1871 near Fort Beaufort, was a South African religious leader, social activist, and political activist.
- During the early 1900s, Charlotte Maxeke became the first black woman in South Africa to graduate from a university with a B.sc. from Wilberforce University Ohio.
- Maxeke was also the first woman of African descent to graduate from a university in the United States.
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Charlotte Makgomo Maxeke was an African religious leader and social and political activist. She was born in 1871 in Fort Beaufort, South Africa.
She planned to become a teacher, according to Wilberforce University, where she studied and received a degree. Her mother was a teacher, and her father was a highway foreman.
During the year 1891, Charlotte Maxeke and her sister, Kate, were invited by the African Jubilee Choir to participate in a tour of Britain.
The African Jubilee Choir was invited to sing for Queen Victoria, and during the tour Maxeke met students from Wilberforce University, witnessing for the first time that black students had opportunities in the United States that were not available in South Africa.
The African Jubilee Choir eventually toured the U.S.
Charlotte Maxeke was the first black woman from South Africa to earn a university degree, graduating with a B.Sc. from Wilberforce University, Ohio, in 1903.
In addition, she was the first black woman in Africa to attend an American university.
There are numerous sources that attribute Charlotte Maxeke’s (née Mannya) birthplace to Fort Beaufort in the Eastern Cape.
However, other sources state that she was born in the Polokwane area as her birth name Charlotte Makgomo Mannya was either Sotho or Pedi.
Her involvement in multiracial movements and addressing an organization for women’s voting rights began in 1918 when Charlotte Maxeke founded the Bantu Women’s League of SANNC (South African National Native Congress).
Among other things, Maxeke was involved in protests about low wages, set up an employment agency for Africans in Johannesburg, and was sometimes referred to as ‘the Mother of Black Freedom in South Africa’.
She was even named after an ANC nursery school in Tanzania because she was one of the first Black South Africans to fight for freedom from the exploitative and social conditions of African women.