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Scottsboro boys arrested

The Scottsboro Boys, with attorney Samuel Leibowitz, under guard by the state militia, 1932

The Scottsboro Boys, with attorney Samuel Leibowitz, under guard by the state militia, 1932

The Scottsboro Boys were nine black teenagers accused of rape in Alabama in 1931. The landmark set of legal cases from this incident dealt with racism and the right to a fair trial. The case included a frameup, an all-white jury, rushed trials, an attempted lynching, an angry mob, and is an example of an overall miscarriage of justice.

On March 25, 1931, several people were hoboing on a freight train traveling between Chattanooga and Memphis, Tennessee. Several white teenagers jumped off the train and reported to the sheriff that they had been attacked by a group of black teenagers. The sheriff deputized a posse, stopped and searched the train at Paint Rock, Alabama, arrested the black teenagers, and found two young white women who accused the teenagers of rape.

The case was first heard in Scottsboro, Alabama in three rushed trials, where the defendants received poor legal representation. All but thirteen-year-old Roy Wright were convicted of rape and sentenced to death, the common sentence in Alabama at the time for black men convicted of raping white women. But with help from the American Communist Party, the case was appealed.  Continue reading

Frank Lloyd Wright

Frank Lloyd Wright

Frank Lloyd Wright

Frank Lloyd Wright (born Frank Lincoln Wright) lived from 1867 to 1959. During most of these years, from 1885 to 1959, he was a prolific architect, with close to 500 of his designs built (and hundreds more remaining unbuilt) – a career lasting three quarters of a century, and unequaled in output.

Mr. Wright worked for architects J. Lyman Silsbee and Louis Sullivan, and he later himself trained many architects at his Taliesin School. Frank Lloyd Wright expoused “organic architecture” and is responsible for the Prairie and Usonian residential styles.  Continue reading

Benjamin Banneker

Benjamin Banneker

Benjamin Banneker

Born on November 9, 1731 near Elliott City, Maryland, Benjamin Banneker was one of America’s greatest intellectuals and scientists. Benjamin Banneker was an essayist, inventor, mathematician, and astronomer.

Because of his dark skin and great intellect he was called the “sable genius.” Benjamin Banneker was a self-taught mathematician and astronomer. While still a youth he made a wooden clock which kept accurate time past the date that Banneker died.

This clock is believed to be the first clock wholly made in America. In 1791, he served on a project to make a survey for the District of Columbia, helping to design the layout for our Nation’s capital. Continue reading

Miles Davis

Miles Davis

Miles Davis

What is cool? At its very essence, cool is all about what’s happening next. In popular culture, what’s happening next is a kaleidoscope encompassing past, present and future: that which is about to happen may be cool, and that which happened in the distant past may also be cool. This timeless quality, when it applies to music, allows minimalist debate – with few exceptions, that which has been cool will always be cool.

For nearly six decades, Miles Davis has embodied all that is cool – in his music (and most especially jazz), in his art, fashion, romance, and in his international, if not intergalactic, presence that looms strong as ever today. Continue reading

Benjamin S. Carson, Sr.

Benjamin S. Carson, Sr.

Benjamin S. Carson, Sr.

Dr. Benjamin S. Carson, Sr. is a pioneer in brain surgical techniques; however, he is best known for leading the first surgical team that successfully separated a pair of Siamese twins joined at the head. Despite struggling with school as a child, he won a scholarship to Yale and received a bachelor’s degree.

He became the first black person accepted into the residency program at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore and after spending a year in Australia, Carson was promoted to Director of Pediatric Neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins in 1984. At 31, he was the youngest doctor to hold such a position.

Carson has been the recipient of numerous awards for his pioneering role and development of brain surgery techniques.

Mary Eliza Mahoney

Mary Eliza Mahoney

Mary Eliza Mahoney

Mary Eliza Mahoney was the first African American nurse to study and work professionally in the United States. She was also a co-founder of the National Association of Colored Graduate Nurses (NACGN) with Adah B. Thoms.

Mahoney was born in Dorchester, Massachusetts in 1845 (her exact birthday is unknown), to Charles and Mary Jane Sterwart Mahoney. She grew up with her parents, a sister and one brother in Boston, Massachusetts where her interest in nursing began as a teenager. Continue reading

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