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Stokley Carmichael

Stokley Carmichael

Original name: KWAME TOURE (b. June 29, 1941, Port of Spain, Trinidad–d. Nov. 15, 1998, Conakry, Guinea), West-Indian-born civil-rights activist, leader of black nationalism in the United States in the 1960s and originator of its rallying slogan, “black power.”

Carmichael immigrated to New York City in 1952, attended high school in the Bronx, and enrolled at Howard University in 1960. There he joined the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) and the Nonviolent Action Group. In 1961 Carmichael was one of several Freedom Riders who traveled through the South challenging segregation laws in interstate transportation. For his participation he was arrested and jailed for about 50 days in Jackson, Miss.  Continue reading

Fannie M. Jackson Coppin

Fannie M. Jackson Coppin

Fannie M. Jackson Coppin, was not only the first black woman to graduate from college in the United States, but she was also the first woman to head a coeducation institute of learning in the United States.  She enjoyed a long administration in which she managed to make many positive changes for the students at the Philadelphia Institute for Colored Youth(ICY) later to be known as Cheyney University.

Fannie managed to do away with corporal punishment and she established a dialogue between the school and the parents making them more involved in the schooling of their children.  She initiated monthly report cards that reported not only grade marks but conduct marks as well.  Continue reading

Dr. Patricia E. Bath

Dr. Patricia E. Bath

Dr. Patricia E. Bath is a world-famous ophthalmologist. After excelling in her studies at high school and university and earning plaudits for her investigations in cancer research as early as age sixteen, Dr. Bath embarked on an illustrious medical career.

For over thirty years, Dr. Bath’s research and career objectives have been directed toward the prevention, care and treatment of blindness. Her impressive accomplishments include the invention and subsequent acquisition of a patent for an “apparatus for ablating and removing cataract lenses” named the Laserphaco Probe; introduction of a discipline, community ophthalmology; and co-founding of the American Institute for the Prevention of Blindness. Continue reading

Hallie Quinn Brown

Hallie Quinn Brown

Hallie Quinn Brown was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in 1845, the daughter of two former slaves. Her father, Thomas Arthur Brown, became known as “Mr. Brown, the walking encyclopedia.” Brown’s mother, Frances Jane Scroggins, was also well educated; she was an unofficial advisor and counselor to the students of Wilberforce school, a private, coed, liberal arts college. Both Thomas and Frances were actively involved with the Underground Railroad. Her parents’ commitment to the cause would later influence the organizations Brown founded and participated in.

Brown’s family moved from Pittsburgh to Canada in 1864 and then to Wilberforce, Ohio, in 1870. In Ohio, the author experienced her first all black school at Wilberforce University. Brown graduated in 1873 with a Bachelor of Science degree. After graduation, she began teaching on the Senora Plantation in Mississippi and went on to teach on several plantations during her life.  Continue reading

Amsterdam News

The Amsterdam News was started on December 4, 1909, by James H. Anderson. The paper began production with an initial capital only $10. Being located in the center of Harlem, The Amsterdam News spoke for the largest black population in the nation. The paper placed an emphasis on reporting black society news, such as weddings. At one time it had a circulation of more than 100,000 subscribers. During the 1940’s The Amsterdam News was one of the four leading newspapers in the nation.  Continue reading

Ronald McNair

Ronald McNair

1950-1986 – On February 3, 1984, mission specialist Dr. Ronald McNair and his fellow crew members on space shuttle mission 41-B executed the first runway landing of the Challenger at Kennedy Space Center. McNair, a laser physicist, also played a key role in the mission’s other firsts: activating the Manned Maneuvering Unit; operating the Canadian Arm, which positioned crew members around the Challenger’s payload; and performing numerous mid-deck experiments.

In his “spare” time in space, McNair entertained the other four astronauts with a jazz concert on his saxophonealso a first in space.  Continue reading

Henry O. Flipper

Henry O. Flipper

1856-1940 – Henry Flipper was the first black to graduate from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point (1877) and was the first black to be assigned to a command position in a black unit following the Civil War. However, Flipper became the victim of a controversial court-martial proceedinghe was charged with “conduct unbecoming to an officer and a gentleman” and received a dishonorable discharge.

Despite repeated attempts to vindicate himself, at the time of his death he still had not cleared his record. Years later, however, the sentence was reversed. He was awarded an honorable discharge posthumously, and his remains were reburied with full honors at Arlington Cemetery.  Continue reading

Josh Gibson

Josh Gibson

Elected to Major League Baseball Hall of Fame in 1972.

Among the biggest draws in the Negro Leagues, popular Josh Gibson is generally considered one of the most prodigious power hitters in the history of professional baseball. Josh led the Negro National League in home runs for 10 consecutive years; credited with 75 home runs in 1931.

Belting home runs of more than 500 feet was not unusual for Gibson. One homer in Monessen, Pa., reportedly was measured at 575 feet. The Sporting News of June 3, 1967 credits Gibson with a home run in a Negro League game at Yankee Stadium that struck two feet from the top of the wall circling the center field bleachers, about 580 feet from home plate.

Although it has never been conclusively proven, Chicago American Giants infielder Jack Marshall said Gibson slugged one over the third deck next to the left field bullpen in 1934 for the only fair ball hit out of the House That Ruth Built.  Continue reading