All entries by this author

Alice Childress

Jun 19th, 2014 | By
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1916-1994 Alice Childress was a pioneering writer and actress whose award-winning plays and novels were praised for their insightful, compassionate portrayal of realistic characters in difficult situations. With frank language addressing complicated subjects such as racism, sexism, miscegenation, urban poverty, and drug addiction, Childress’ work raised awareness of social issues and was often controversial. Storytelling
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Alex Haley

Jun 12th, 2014 | By
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1921-1992 Alex Haley, the acclaimed author of the novel Roots, dedicated much of his career to lecturing on African American genealogy. His work encouraged black families to explore the rich histories of their ancestors. A Nomadic Life Haley was born in Ithaca, New York, on August 11, 1921. His father, Simon Haley, was a graduate
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Addison “Old Add” Jones

Jun 9th, 2014 | By
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1845?-1926 Addison Jones was a legendary cowboy and cattleman who earned respect for his skills on the vast ranges of the American southwest. His exploits and expertise were celebrated by his peers in a popular campfire ballad. Texas Horseman Jones was likely born sometime in 1845, either in Texas or Mississippi. There are no documents
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Absalom Jones

Jun 6th, 2014 | By
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1746-1818 Absalom Jones was born into slavery, but purchased his freedom and became the first African American to be ordained an Episcopal minister. He responded to the overt racism prevalent in white churches during the 18th century by pioneering the establishment of African American congregations. A Passion for Reading Jones was born in Sussex, Delaware,
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Aaron Douglas

Jun 3rd, 2014 | By
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1899-1979 Aaron Douglas combined traditional African motifs with cubism and graphic design to create a unique and potent style of illustration during the Harlem Renaissance. He is widely considered to be the father of modern African American art. A Self-Motivated Man Douglas was born in Topeka, Kansas, on May 22, 1899. Both of his parents
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A. Leon Higginbotham, Jr.

May 31st, 2014 | By
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1928-1998 A. Leon Higginbotham, Jr., was an influential judge, legal scholar, and university professor He was a leader in the fight for civil rights and the author of important studies on the sociology of race. Tough Climb Higginbotham was born in Trenton, New Jersey, on February 25, 1928, to Aloysius Leon Higginbotham, Sr., a factory
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Mary McLeod Bethune

May 1st, 2013 | By
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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

Apr 27th, 2013 | By
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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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Bessie Smith

Apr 24th, 2013 | By
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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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Anne Brown

Apr 24th, 2013 | By
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1912-2009 – Anne Brown navigated a difficult path through the segregated music and theater communities of her time to become one of its outstanding soprano singers. She is best known for her performances as Bess in the classic George Gershwin opera of black southern life, Porgy and Bess. Early Promise Brown was born in 1912
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