Archive for July 2011

Marian Anderson

Jul 11th, 2011 | By
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1897-1993  Marian Anderson joined a church choir when she was six years old, and never stopped singing. Among the most celebrated classical voices of the 20th century, she enjoyed a luminous international career in which she dazzled audiences throughout America and Europe, broke color barriers, and helped pave the way for the rise of African
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Booker T. Washington

Jul 10th, 2011 | By
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1856-1915  Booker Taliaferro Washington was one of the leading African American figures of his era. Born a slave and initially denied an education, he was ultimately responsible for founding one of the preeminent black educational institutions in the U.S., and was known for his philosophy of hard work, vocational training, and self-reliance as the path
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Wilma Rudolph

Jul 10th, 2011 | By
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1940-1994  Wilma Rudolph overcame polio to become a successful athlete and the first American woman to win three Olympic gold medals. Her groundbreaking success made her a national hero and paved the way for generations of women of color to compete in track and field. Stricken with Polio When Rudolph was born in Bethlehem, Tennessee,
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Allison Davis

Jul 9th, 2011 | By
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1902-1983  William Allison Davis devoted his life to uncovering and correcting unfair bias in the U.S. educational system, and ensuring equal opportunity for all. His landmark studies of caste and class in the south, and the effects of culturally biased tests on underprivileged children, led to dramatic improvements in the use of such tests and
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Percy L. Julian

Jul 7th, 2011 | By
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1899-1975 Percy Lavon Julian, a grandson of slaves, became a world-renowned chemist and research scientist whose discoveries eased the pain and suffering of millions by making affordable treatments for glaucoma, rheumatoid arthritis, and cancer. With graduate degrees from Harvard University and the University of Vienna, he triumphed over institutional and social prejudice to achieve unprecedented
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James Weldon Johnson

Jul 6th, 2011 | By
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1871-1938  James Weldon Johnson was a multitalented and prolifically creative figure in the artistic, political, and civil rights domains of his era. He was responsible for seminal contributions in all of these realms, and was considered one of the primary drivers of both the Harlem Renaissance and the development of the NAACP into an effective
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Charles Chesnutt

Jul 5th, 2011 | By
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1858-1932  Charles Waddell Chesnutt distinguished himself as a prominent writer of short stories, essays, and novels. He addressed issues of race relations and slavery in his work, using irony and humor. Later in his career, he became a social and political activist. A Varied Beginning Chesnutt was born on June 20, 1858, to Andrew Jackson
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Count Basie

Jul 4th, 2011 | By
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1904-1984  William Basie used his training as an accompanist to develop one of the world’s greatest big bands with a “who’s who” of jazz singers, instrumentalists, composers, and arrangers. His precise piano style and swinging rhythm section set the standard for future artists, and attracted audiences and fans for over 50 years. Stranded in Kansas
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Roy Campanella

Jul 3rd, 2011 | By
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1921-1993  Roy Campanella rose through the ranks of baseball’s Minor and Negro Leagues to achieve fame as a Major League catcher for the Brooklyn Dodgers, and in so doing helped to shatter the color barrier that barred black players from the majors. Mexican to Minor League Campanella was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on November 19,
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Dinah Washington

Jul 2nd, 2011 | By
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1924-1963 Dinah Washington was one of the most beloved, versatile, and popular singers of her generation and, indeed, in all of American popular music history. An artistic descendent of classic Blues Age divas such as Bessie Smith and Ma Rainey, she built on her early gospel roots to master a wide range of genres. These
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