Archive for August 2011

Nina Mae McKinney

Aug 20th, 2011 | By
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1912?-1967  Nina Mae McKinney burst onto the popular scene, on stage and screen, at a young age with great talent and promise. But limited by Hollywood’s preconceptions about African American lead actresses, she was frustrated after her initial success and spent much of her short professional life performing in Europe. A Chorus Line McKinney was
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Ron Karenga

Aug 18th, 2011 | By
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1941 -  Ron Karenga’s early work as an activist and Black Nationalist leader grew into a career as an academic specializing in African American studies. His interest in promoting black culture and identity led to his creation of Kwanzaa, a weeklong celebration of African culture and heritage. Farm to City Karenga was born Ronald McKinley
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Josephine Baker

Aug 17th, 2011 | By
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1906-1975  Josephine Baker became wildly popular as an American dancer and singer who brought the essence of the Jazz Age to Paris. Widely known for her daring costumes and exotic cabaret performances, she also was an early civil rights activist and the mother of 12 adopted children known as her “Rainbow Tribe.” A Fleeting Childhood
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Jesse Owens

Aug 16th, 2011 | By
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1913 – 1980  James C. (“Jesse”) Owens overcame physical, economic, and racial barriers to become one of the greatest athletes of all time, and the first world renowned African American sports star. In so doing, he publicly refuted bigoted attitudes toward Blacks, and set an example for personal excellence and achievement in all of his
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Ruby Hurley

Aug 15th, 2011 | By
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1909-1980  Ruby Hurley devoted more than four decades to the struggle for racial justice. She spent most of that time working with the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People in important administrative positions, while also contributing as an investigator in racially motivated crimes, and was affiliated with many of the most salient events
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Anna Julia Cooper

Aug 14th, 2011 | By
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1858?-1964  Anna Julia Haywood Cooper was a pioneer black feminist and educator, whose achievements expressed her faith in the potential of African Americans and the special role of black women. A Gentlemen’s Course Cooper was probably born in 1858 in Raleigh, North Carolina. Her mother, Hannah Stanley Haywood, was a slave whose master, George Washington
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J.R. Clifford

Aug 13th, 2011 | By
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1848-1933  John Robert Clifford published the leading African American newspaper of its era, and as the first black attorney admitted to the West Virginia state bar, he won a trailblazing victory in Williams v. Board of Education that found discriminatory practices in public education illegal. Studies in Chicago Clifford was born in Williamsport, Virginia, in
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Ella Baker

Aug 12th, 2011 | By
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1903-1986  Ella Josephine Baker worked with the leading civil rights activists of her time, and played a critical part in forming the organizational basis for the movement. Although her gender may have kept her from a more visible role, she remained a steadfast proponent of grass roots empowerment and social change. Granddaughter of a Slave
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Clifton R. Wharton, Sr.

Aug 11th, 2011 | By
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1899-1990  Clifton Reginald Wharton was the first African American to enter the U.S. Foreign Service under the State Department’s merit system. In 1958, after decades of service in traditionally black posts such as Liberia and the Canary Islands, he broke the department’s color barrier by becoming the first black diplomat to be named ambassador to
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Hattie McDaniel

Aug 10th, 2011 | By
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1895-1952  Hattie McDaniel was an actress best known for her performance as “Mammy” in Gone with the Wind. During her career, she also became a lightning rod for criticism of the racially stereotyped roles offered in the entertainment industry at the time. Brought up in the Family Business McDaniel was born to Henry and Susan
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