Black History Now

This site is the Web’s largest and most comprehensive collection of historical Black American Biographies. It contains hundreds of inspirational stories of Black American Achievement. Our mission is inspiration… and our mission is education…the kind they don’t teach in schools. These extraordinary stories of perseverance and triumph remind us that Black American achievement has influenced every aspect of America’s past, and inspire us to even greater heights in the future.

Science & Invention

Lewis H. Latimer

1848-1928  Lewis H. Latimer was a leading engineer in the formative years of the electric power industry at the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th. He was a key member of the legendary group of inventors led by Thomas Edison. Close Brush with Slavery Latimer was born in Chelsea, Massachusetts,
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Mary McLeod Bethune

1875 – 1955 – The child of former slaves, Mary McLeod Bethune believed that education was the key to ensuring equality of opportunity for Blacks in the U.S. She acted on this belief by devoting her life to teaching, by founding a school that would become a college, and, ultimately, by advising leading national organizations
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Archer Alexander

c.1810-1879 – Archer Alexander was born into slavery, survived several attempts at recapture after his escape, and was ultimately memorialized as the model for the liberated slave appearing with Abraham Lincoln in the Lincoln Freedmen’s Memorial in Washington, DC, and in a biography written by his benefactor. Plantation Life Alexander was born near Richmond, Virginia,
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John S. Rock

1825-1866  John Swett Rock was a pioneer African American leader and orator in the years leading up to and during the Civil War. One of America’s first black physicians and lawyers and a dedicated advocate of civil rights and self improvement, he made history as the first African American to be admitted to practice before
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Military & Exploration

Daniel “Chappie” James

1920-1978  Daniel “Chappie” James dedicated his life to an extraordinary career in the U.S. Air Force. Over the course of three wars, in WWII, Korea, and Vietnam, he completed more than 160 combat missions as a fighter pilot. In recognition of his achievements, he received the honor of being the first African American in America’s
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Arts & Entertainment

Bessie Smith

1894(?) – 1937 – Bessie Smith’s outsize voice and personality made her one of the most popular performers of the early 20th century. Her willingness to fight against any slight, her enormously powerful singing style, and her passion for life informed her music and engaged audiences in that unique expression of the African American experience,
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Benjamin O. Davis, Sr.

1877-1970  Benjamin O. Davis, Sr. dedicated his entire life and career to the military, beginning at a time when African Americans were consigned to support service roles with no command authority over whites. He rose to the rank of full General, advised the Army on integration strategies, and in the process contributed to the dismantling
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Faith & Religion

Elijah Muhammad

1897-1975  Elijah Muhammad guided the Nation of Islam from its modest beginnings during the Great Depression, when a handful of African Americans met in a Detroit storefront, to its meteoric rise after World War II. Under his leadership, it became one of the most powerful religious and social institutions in the country. A Mysterious Messenger
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