Patience Singleton

She was born in Jacksonville, Florida, but at the age of 12 her family moved to Atlanta, Ga. She received a B.A. (magna cum laude) from Wellesley College, a J.D. from Harvard Law School, and a M.P.P. in business and government policy from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard.

During the Obama Campaign for President, Patience served on the Obama/Biden Metropolitan and Urban Policy Advisory Committee and the Economy, Globalization, and Trade Policy Advisory Committee. In this role, she worked alongside others to provide local information to campaign leads. She downplays her role saying there were several people on the committee but whether there were 5 or 100 members we’re certain Patience contributed greatly.

In addition to working on policy Committees, Patience beat the
pavement locally, working on BWFO4Change phone banks and
volunteering in Virginia evenings and weekends to help elect Senator Barack Obama to the Presidency. When the campaign came to a close, she did not lose steam—she informed the campaign office that she was willing to go anywhere in Virginia to help out on Election Day. She didn’t expect them to say, “Great, we need help in Martinsville, VA.” It is important to note that Martinsville is 300 miles from Washington, DC and only 13 miles from the North Carolina border.

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Otis Boykin

Otis Boykin

1920-1982 – An electronic scientist and inventor, Otis Boykin devised the control unit in artificial heart stimulators, invented a variable resistor device used in many guided missiles, small components such as thick-film resistors used in IBM computers, and many other devices including a burgular-proof cash register and a chemical air filter.

Starting as an assistant in a laboratory testing airplane automatic controls, Boykin was soon developing a type of resistor now used in many computers, radios, television sets and other electronically controlled devices.

Many products made from his discoveries are manufactured in Paris and throughout Western Europe. One of his products was approved for use in military hardware for the Common Market.

Michael Croslin

Michael Croslin held more than 40 patents for medical inventions and established his own company, Medtek Corporation. His inventions include a computerized, digital blood pressure measurement device; a refractometer (used to measure the index of refraction of a substance) that measures levels of urinary sugar and protein; and a pump that measures and dispenses intravenous medications.

Born in 1933 in the U.S. Virgin Islands in Frederiksted, St. Croix, Michael Croslin was abandoned as a baby. A family named Britto gave him a home as a child and named him Miguel (later Anglicized as “Michael”). By the time he was 12, he fled the islands for the mainland United States. He worked odd jobs, living in Georgia for a time, and he obtained a brief education at a Jesuit school. He eventually wound up in Wisconsin, where he was adopted by the Croslin family. He, in turn, adopted their name.

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Thomas J. Martin

Thomas J Martin, a Black inventor, was awarded a patent for the Fire Extinguisher on March 26, 1872. His invention is listed in the U. S. Patent Office in Washington, DC under patent number115,603.

The patent refers to pipe and valves and not the wall hanging type of extinguisher that is normally displayed.

Thomas Andrew Dorsey

Thomas Andrew Dorsey
“the father of black gospel music”

Thomas Andrew Dorsey born in Villa Rica, Georgia. He is known as “the father of black gospel music” and was at one time so closely associated with the field that songs written in the new style were sometimes known as “dorseys.” Earlier in his life he was a leading blues pianist known as Georgia Tom.

As formulated by Dorsey, gospel music combines Christian praise with the rhythms of jazz and the blues. His conception also deviates from what had been, to that time, standard hymnal practice by referring explicitly to the self, and the self’s relation to faith and God, rather than the individual subsumed into the group via belief.

Dorsey was the music director at Pilgrim Baptist Church in Chicago from 1932 until the late 1970s. His best known composition, “Take My Hand, Precious Lord”, was performed by Mahalia Jackson and was a favorite of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., and “Peace in the Valley”, which was a hit for Red Foley in 1951 and has been performed by dozens of other artists, including Queen of Gospel Albertina Walker, Elvis Presley and Johnny Cash.

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Charles Clinton Spaulding

Charles Clinton Spaulding

(b. Aug. 1, 1874, Columbus county, N.C., U.S.–d. Aug. 1, 1952, Durham, N.C.), American business leader who built the North Carolina Mutual Life Insurance Company into the nation’s largest black-owned business by the time of his death, when it was worth about $40 million.

At the age of 20, Spaulding left his father’s farm and moved to Durham, N.C., where in 1898 he completed what was equivalent to a high school education and became the manager of a black-owned grocery store. In 1899 he was hired as a part-time agent by the recently established North Carolina Mutual and Provident Association; the following year he was promoted to full-time general manager, the company’s only full-time position. Spaulding was an early proponent of saturation advertising, inundating local businesses with promotional items bearing his company’s name.

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William Lloyd Garrison

William Lloyd Garrison

William Lloyd Garrison

In the very first issue of his anti-slavery newspaper, the Liberator, William Lloyd Garrison stated, “I do not wish to think, or speak, or write, with moderation. . . . I am in earnest — I will not equivocate — I will not excuse — I will not retreat a single inch — AND I WILL BE HEARD.” And Garrison was heard. For more than three decades, from the first issue of his weekly paper in 1831, until after the end of the Civil War in 1865 when the last issue was published, Garrison spoke out eloquently and passionately against slavery and for the rights of America’s black inhabitants.

The son of a merchant sailing master, William Lloyd Garrison was born in Newburyport, Massachusetts, in 1805. Due in large measure to the Embargo Act, which Congress had passed in 1807, the Garrison family fell on hard times while William was still young. In 1808 William’s father deserted the family, forcing them to scrounge for food from more prosperous families and forcing William to work, selling homemade molasses candy and delivering wood.

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Georgia Blanche Douglas

Georgia Blanche Douglas Camp Johnson

Georgia Blanche Douglas was born September 10, 1880 in Marietta, Georgia. Her father was a wealthy Englishman of whom she knew very little. She attended Atlanta University, Oberlin Conservatory of Music, Cleveland College of Music, and Howard University. After returning from Ohio, she worked as an assistant principal in Atlanta. In the late 1890’s she studied music at Oberlin in Ohio. She was married in 1903 to Henry Lincoln Johnson, an Atlanta attorney and politician.In 1910 the couple moved to Washington, DC where they had two sons.

There, her home, which she called the Half-Way House, was the site of a weekly gathering known as the “S Street Salon” where many prominent writers of the Harlem Renaissance introduced new works. These writers included Mary P. Burrill, Countee Cullen, Jean Toomer, and Langston Hughes, as well as Angelina Weld Grimke. Continue reading