Archive for June 2011

John Henry

Jun 9th, 2011 | By
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Mid-Late 19th Century  John Henry, about whom little is known, is a subject of legend and song, and may well have been a real person living in the late 19th century in West Virginia or Alabama. The legend is the best-known black “tall tale,” honoring the achievements of an individual under difficult circumstances. In the
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W. E. B. DuBois

Jun 8th, 2011 | By
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1868 – 1963  William Edward Burghardt DuBois was a preeminent analyst of the roots of racism and the subordination of African Americans. He combined scholarship with activism in a tireless search for ways to improve the lives of all Blacks, everywhere. In the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., “History cannot ignore W.E.B. DuBois….”
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Frederick Douglass

Jun 7th, 2011 | By
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1818 – 1895  Frederick Douglass was the most highly regarded African American speaker, publisher, and author of his time. His tireless efforts to abolish slavery and establish civil rights for Blacks were instrumental to the attainment of those goals in his lifetime. His intelligence and erudition set an example of what could be achieved personally,
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Carter G. Woodson

Jun 6th, 2011 | By
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1875 – 1950  Carter Godwin Woodson applied a ferocious intellect and a passion for truth to create the field of Black history, and endow it with academic rigor. His commitment to preserving and promulgating the social, cultural, and factual record of African American achievement was unswerving throughout a long and distinguished career, which was aptly
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Ida B. Wells

Jun 5th, 2011 | By
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1862 – 1931  Ida B. Wells devoted her life to social justice for Blacks and women. She became a world-famous writer and campaigner in support of these causes, published important treatises on the origins and nature of “mob rule” and the lynching of African Americans in the south, and helped to organize the women’s suffrage
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Paul Robeson

Jun 4th, 2011 | By
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1898-1976  Paul Robeson devoted his enormous talent to working on behalf of those oppressed by circumstances of race and class. After becoming one of the most famous and beloved performers in the world, and then an outspoken advocate for human rights, he was tragically crushed by political forces, a victim of the Cold War. Early
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Clyde McPhatter

Jun 3rd, 2011 | By
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1932-1972  Clyde McPhatter was one of the great lead R&B singers of the 1950s. His emotive high tenor voice led his vocal group, The Drifters, to tremendous popularity. His subsequent solo career brought him pop chart cross-over success, and a career that prefigured the development of both the rock and roll and soul genres. Gospel
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Leadbelly

Jun 2nd, 2011 | By
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1885-1949  Huddie Ledbetter, aka Leadbelly, played a pivotal role in the development of modern music. Interpreting songs and stories from the South, he exerted a powerful influence on musicologists and folk musicians, influencing popular music’s evolution. Music and Violence Leadbelly was born to sharecroppers on a plantation near Mooringsport, Louisiana in 1885. At the age
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Zora Neale Hurston

Jun 1st, 2011 | By
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1891-1960  Zora Neale Hurston combined a talent for fiction with an understanding of African American customs, to produce several famous literary works. In so doing, she was a key contributor to the Harlem Renaissance, a pioneer in capturing the richness of southern black culture, and an early feminist in her insights into the plight of
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