Drusilla Dunjee Houston spent her life fighting against the efforts of white supremacists to hide and discredit the history of Africa and those of African descent. There were two events in the year 1915 that called Houston to this mission - her brother, Roscoe Dunjee, founded the Black Dispatch newspaper in Oklahoma, and W.E.B. Du Bois published his book 'The Negro,' which took aim at the racist belief that African peoples had no history to speak of.
Inspired to action, Houston took on the role of contributing editor for her brother's newspaper, where she served for many years. She also founded two new schools for women and girls in McAlester and Sapulpa, Oklahoma, intent on giving educational opportunities to those who had long been denied them. Her own scholarly work focused on the Cushite civilization, a powerful empire that thrived for thousands of years in the ancient world near the site of modern-day Sudan.
At his interview with The HistoryMakers, scholar and HistoryMaker Jacob H. Carruthers, Jr. was kind enough to share a quote from Houston that he treasures. It goes as follows: "Lift up your heads, downtrodden and discouraged Ethiopians, and listen to this marvelous story told of your ancestors who wrought mightily for mankind and built the foundations of civilization true and square in days of old."