Joe Louis

Joe Louis

JOSEPH LOUIS BARROW, also called THE BROWN BOMBER (b. May 13, 1914, Lafayette, Ala., U.S.–d. April 12, 1981, Las Vegas, Nev.), American boxer who was world heavyweight champion from June 22, 1937, when he knocked out James J. Braddock in eight rounds in Chicago, until March 1, 1949, when he retired undefeated.

During his reign, the longest in the history of the heavyweight division, he successfully defended the title 25 times, scoring 21 knockouts. His service in the U.S. Army during World War II no doubt prevented him from defending his title many more times.  Continue reading

Edward W. Brooke

Edward W. Brooke

Edward W. Brooke’s election to the U.S. Senate in 1966 ended an 85-year absence of African-American Senators.

A Senator from Massachusetts; born in Washington, D.C., October 26, 1919; attended the public schools of Washington, D.C.; graduated from Howard University, Washington, D.C., in 1941; graduated, Boston University Law School 1948; captain, United States Army, infantry, with five years of active service in the European theater of operations; chairman of Finance Commission, city of Boston 1961-1962.

He was elected attorney general of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in 1962; reelected in 1964; elected as a Republican to the United States Senate in 1966; reelected in 1972 and served from January 3, 1967, to January 3, 1979; unsuccessful candidate for reelection in 1978; first African American elected to the Senate by popular vote; lawyer; awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom on June 23, 2004; is a resident of Miami, Fla.

Dr. Frances Jones Bonner

Dr. Frances J. Bonner, (1919-2000) was born in Saint Louis, and grew up in Greensboro, North Carolina, where her father David D. Jones was president of Bennett College, an institution devoted to the education of young Afro-American women.

While a freshman at Bennett College, she led a successful protest and boycott of the local movie theaters in Greensboro North Carolina. (The theaters in North and South Carolina would not show movies where Whites and Afro-Americans were depicted as equals.) After months of picketing their efforts were successful, leading the Carolina Times to conclude that “the step taken by the students in the two Negro schools in Greensboro shows more courage on the part of Negro youth than we have any record of anywhere else in the south.” Continue reading

Angela Davis

Angela Davis

(b. Jan. 26, 1944, Birmingham, Ala., U.S.), militant American black activist who gained an international reputation during her imprisonment and trial on conspiracy charges in 1970-72.  The daughter of Alabama schoolteachers, Angela Davis studied at home and abroad (1961-67) before becoming a doctoral candidate at the University of California, San Diego, under the Marxist professor Herbert Marcuse.

Because of her political opinions and despite an excellent record as an instructor at the university’s Los Angeles campus, the California Board of Regents in 1970 refused to renew her appointment as lecturer in philosophy.  Continue reading

Venice Tipton Spraggs

Chief of the Chicago Defender’s Washington Bureau, in 1947 Spraggs was initiated into Theta Sigma Phi, the national professional and honorary fraternity for women in journalism, the first black member in the 37-year history of the organization.

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