Archive for June 2010

Harriet Tubman

Jun 11th, 2010 | By
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1821? – 1913  Known as the “Moses of her people,” Harriet Tubman was born a slave of purely African ancestry. She escaped to freedom and risked her life to save over 300 slaves, including her own parents, in 19 separate “freedom trips” on the Underground Railroad. During the Civil War, Tubman worked for the Union
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Jackie Robinson

Jun 11th, 2010 | By
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1919-1972 The first African American in the twentieth century to play major league baseball, Jackie Robinson was undoubtedly one of the most influential men in the history of America’s favorite pastime, and the first ballplayer of any race to appear on a United States postage stamp. He has been called the most significant ballplayer in
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Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Jun 11th, 2010 | By
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1929-1968  Martin Luther King, Jr. was one of the most important and significant African Americans of all time.  But his greatness of stature is best measured by his impact on all Americans, and indeed the entire global community in support of humanitarianism, universal dignity for all people, and nonviolent courageous action for positive social change.
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Bessie Coleman

Jun 11th, 2010 | By
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1892 – 1926  Bessie Coleman overcame an early life of hardship to become the first African American to earn an international pilot’s license, and the first Black woman to fly an airplane.  The symbolic power of her achievement made her an iconic figure for African Americans in the early 20th century and an inspiration for
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George Washington Carver

Jun 11th, 2010 | By
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1864? – 1943  George Washington Carver was an agricultural scientist and educator of international reputation, whose work had a critical impact on the agrarian economy of the post-Civil War Southern U.S.  He revolutionized the prevailing system of reliance on cotton and tobacco, while creating hundreds of new products based on alternative crops that found ready
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Alvin Ailey

Jun 8th, 2010 | By
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1931-1989  Alvin Ailey combined the spiritual music of his Baptist upbringing with a unique and revolutionary dance style to create an artistic legacy that is critically acclaimed throughout the world. A Nomadic Childhood Ailey was born in Rogers, Texas, on January 5, 1931. His mother, Lula, was only 16 years old when she met Alvin
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Matthew Alexander Henson

Jun 8th, 2010 | By
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1866-1955  Matthew Henson and his more famous partner, the explorer Robert Peary, adventured together on eight challenging Arctic expeditions over a period of 18 years, braving lethal conditions. This partnership culminated in their successful assault on the North Pole, the first to reach this milestone in exploration. Henson’s knowledge of navigation, carpentry, sled dogs, and
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Paul Laurence Dunbar

Jun 8th, 2010 | By
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1872 – 1906  Once called the “poet Laureate of the Negro Race,” and praised as “the first American Negro poet of real literary distinction,” Paul Laurence Dunbar was popular with both Black and White turn of the century readers.  Although he lived only  to the age of 33, Dunbar published eleven books of poetry, four
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W.C. Handy

Jun 8th, 2010 | By
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1873-1958  W.C. Handy used his musical knowledge and deep appreciation for rural black folk idioms to develop a new form and style, known as the blues. It would become the most popular genre of its time, and a foundation for nearly all subsequent popular music. As such, his importance cannot be overestimated. Minstrel Shows and
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Louie Armstrong

Jun 8th, 2010 | By
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1901 – 1971  Louis Armstrong, known to generations of adoring fans and admirers as “Satchmo,” was among the preeminent jazz musicians of all time.  His influence on this uniquely American — and predominantly African American — art form cannot be overestimated. Armstrong was able to use that influence and visibility to rise to the stature
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