George L. Brown

George L. Brown

George L. Brown

George Leslie Brown (July 1, 1926 – March 31, 2006) was an American politician. He served in the Colorado Senate from 1955 to 1974 and as the 40th Lieutenant Governor of Colorado from 1975 to 1979. He was also a Sr. Vice President with Grumman Corporation. During World War II, he served as a Tuskegee Airman. Together with California’s Mervyn Dymally, he was one of the first two Black lieutenant-governors sinceReconstruction and outside of any southern state.

Growing up on a farm in Kansas, Brown was a star athlete in basketball, football and track before graduating from Lawrence Liberty Memorial High School in 1944. Brown graduated from the University of Kansas in 1950 with a B.S. in journalism. He also did graduate work at Harvard Business School, the University of Colorado and the University of Denver.  Continue reading

Ending Slavery in the District of Columbia

The District of Columbia, which became the nation’s capital in 1791, was by 1862 a city of contrasts: a thriving center for slavery and the slave trade, and a hub of anti-slavery activity among abolitionists of all colors. Members of Congress represented states in which slavery was the backbone of the economy, and those in which slavery was illegal.

One result of the intense struggle over slavery was the DC Compensated Emancipation Act of 1862, passed by the Congress and signed by President Abraham Lincoln. The act ended slavery in Washington, DC, freed 3,100 individuals, reimbursed those who had legally owned them and offered the newly freed women and men money to emigrate. It is this legislation, and the courage and struggle of those who fought to make it a reality, that we commemorate every April 16, DC Emancipation Day.

Though the Compensated Emancipation Act was an important legal and symbolic victory, it was part of a larger struggle over the meaning and practice of freedom and citizenship. These two words continue to be central to what it means to be a participating member of society. We invite you to think about what these concepts have meant in the past and what they mean to you today.

by Mayor Vincent C. Gray

Julian Bond

Julian Bond

HORACE JULIAN BOND (Jan. 14, 1940 – Aug. 15, 2015), U.S. legislator and black civil-rights leader, best known for his fight to take his duly elected seat in the Georgia House of Representatives.  The son of prominent educators, Bond attended Morehouse College in Atlanta (B.A., 1971), where he helped found a civil-rights group and led a sit-in movement intended to desegregate Atlanta lunch counters.

In 1960 Bond joined in creating the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), and he later served as communications director for the group. In 1965 he won a seat in the Georgia state legislature, but his endorsement of a SNCC statement accusing the United States of violating international law in Vietnam prompted the legislature to refuse to admit him.  Continue reading

Clifford Alexander Jr.

Cliffors Alexander Jr. first African American Secretary of the Army

Clifford Alexander Jr. was born and raised in Harlem prior to his education at Fieldstone Ethical Culture, Harvard (1955) and Yale Law School (1958). Early influences were his mother and father. Edith served as the Deputy Director then Executive Director of the Mayor’s Committee on Unity under NYC Mayor LaGuardia. The Mayor’s Committee on Unity was the precursor to the NYC Commission on Human Rights and fought discrimination in employment practices, public accommodations, and housing.

His father was one of several Harlem community leaders who founded the Carver Bank in response to discriminatory lending practices and worked to integrate the Riverton Apartments while serving as its manager. Alexander joined the National Guard after Law School and began working as an attorney in New York. He was asked to come to Washington D.C. in 1963 to join the staff of the National Security Council in the Kennedy administration.  Continue reading

Ralph Bunche

Ralph Bunche

Bunche was the first black person to win the Nobel Peace Prize, awarded in 1950. Born in Detroit, Michigan, Bunche and his sister were orphaned in 1915 and reared by their grandmother in Los Angeles. A brilliant, industrious student, Bunche graduated from Jefferson High School in 1922 as class valedictorian but was barred from the honor society because of his race.

In 1927, Bunche graduated from the University of California at Los Angeles, where he had excelled both in and outside the classroom. He wrote for the school newspaper, won oratorical contests, was sports editor of the yearbook, played guard for three years on the basketball team, and became Phi Beta Kappa. He then entered Harvard University, where in 1934 he became the first African American to earn a Ph.D. in government and international relations.  Continue reading

Upcoming Black History Posts
  • Reuben V. Anderson
  • Montgomery Bus Boycott
  • March On Washingtion – 1963
  • L Douglas Wilder
  • James H. Meredith
  • Andrew J Beard
  • National Negro Medical Association
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