History

Screenwriter, filmmaker, actor, and social critic Carlton Moss was born in Newark, New Jersey, on February 14, 1909. The son of Frederick Douglass Moss, a coachman for an affluent family, and Sarah Vincent Moss, he grew up both in New Jersey and North Carolina. As a child, he was enamored with Black history. He later
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Dr. Guillermo Ameer is the Daniel Hale Williams Professor of Biomedical engineering in the McCormick School of Engineering, Professor of Surgery in the Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University, and the director of the Center for Advanced Regenerative Engineering (CARE). Dr. Ameer joined the Northwestern faculty in 2001, became the department’s first member of
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Afro-Ukrainian champion athlete and politician Zhan Beleniuk was born January 24, 1991 in the capital city of Kyiv (a.k.a. Kiev) to Svitlana Beleniuk, a Ukrainian dressmaker. His father, Vincent Ndagijimana, an ethnic Hutu and former student at Ukraine’s National Aviation University, was killed in a “politically motivated car accident” in his native Rwanda in 1994
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Jacob Hudson Carruthers Jr. was a historian and educator. Carruthers was born on February 15, 1930, to unnamed parents in Dallas, Texas. The family relocated to Houston, Texas, where he attended Phyllis Wheatley High School. After graduating high school, he attended Samuel Huston College in Austin, Texas, receiving his B.A. from that institution in 1950.
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The Institute of the Black World (IBW) was a collective Black intellectual think tank spearheaded by Vincent Harding, chair of History and Sociology at Spelman College, Stephen Henderson, chair of English at Morehouse College, and independent scholar William Strickland from 1969 to 1983. The Institute emerged after the death of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.,
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On August 1, 1974, twenty-six-year-old Ron LeFlore made his Major League Baseball (MLB) debut for the Detroit Tigers. Thirteen months earlier, LeFlore was serving a five-to-fifteen-year sentence for armed robbery. LeFlore’s remarkable trajectory began when he was born in Detroit, Michigan, on June 16, 1948, to John Jr. and Georgia Kincade. When John met Georgia,
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Clémence Botino, born to an Indo-Caribbean mother, Katia Botino, and an Afro-Caribbean father, Oliver Botino, on January 22, 1997, in Baie-Mahault on the French Caribbean island of Guadeloupe, was named Miss France 2020. Her parents encouraged her interest in fashion, dance, music (she plays piano), and art. Fluent in English, upon finishing secondary school in
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Polish freedom fighter, jazz musician, and British citizen August Agboola Browne was born in British-controlled Lagos, Nigeria, on July 22, 1895. He was the son of Jozefina and Wallace Browne, a longshoreman. Browne traveled to London as a young man and found work in a theater troupe that took him to countries in continental Europe.
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Sheila Guyse was an actress, and singer during the 1940s and 1950s. She was born Etta Drucille Guyse, on July 14, 1925, in Forest, Mississippi. Her parents, Wilbert Vincent Guyse and Ethel Williams, separated and divorced shortly after she was born. Guyse was raised by her paternal grandparents, Charity and Fred Guyse and attended the
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Jesuit priest, missionary, diplomat, orator, and theologian Antônio Vieira was born in Lisbon, the capital city of Portugal, on February 6, 1608, the first of the four sons of Maria de Azevedo, a mulatto woman and civil servant Cristóvão Vieira Ravasco. At age six, when his father was given an administrative assignment in the then
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William Raphael Tate was a labor movement leader and a rabbi of the Beth Shalom Congregation in Brooklyn, New York. Born September 9, 1930, and raised in Brooklyn, Tate enlisted in the New York National Guard in the late 1940s and later studied labor relations at Cornell University. He married Jeanette Ruth Gupton in 1948,
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Marie Walker Johnson was a Black Creole civil rights activist in Oakland, California, during the 1960s. A mother of five and a nurse, she also played a crucial role in multiple grassroots groups in the East Bay area. In these organizations, she marched, wrote letters, gave speeches, attended court hearings, and wrote articles for the
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Will Packer is a film producer who was best known for producing the 94th Annual Academy Awards (the Oscars) on March 27, 2022. Packer was born on April 11, 1974, to Birice Paker and William Packer Sr. in St. Petersburg, Florida. He completed high school in St. Petersburg, Florida, graduating in 1991. He then attended
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Major George William Ford was an original member of the 10th Cavalry (Buffalo Soldiers) and later a Major with the Second Battalion of the 23rd Kansas Volunteers during the Spanish American War. Ford was born on November 23, 1847 on the Mount Vernon Plantation in Virginia, the home of George Washington. He was the grandson
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Edwin L. Cooper, an internationally-recognized biologist and immunologist, is credited as the founder of comparative immunology. Cooper was born on December 23, 1936 in Oakland, Texas to Ruthester Porche Cooper and Edwin Ellis Cooper. As a young child, he developed a profound interest in animals and insects. During the summer months, he observed the behaviors
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Gilda Barabino, a biomedical engineer and world-renowned sickle cell researcher, is the first African American and woman president of Olin College of Engineering. She was born on May 28, 1956 in Anchorage, Alaska to Margaret Angus Barnes Barnum and Norman Edward Barnum III. At a very young age, she taught herself how to read and
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Prominent West Virginia newspaper publisher and politician Matthew Thomas Whittico was born near Martinsville, in Henry County, Virginia on September 25, 1866.  His father, Hezekiah J. Whittico, was a farmer and was the son of Thomas and Catherine Whittico. Under a statute of the period, the condition of the colored child followed that of the
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Kay Coles James is a conservative political figure who has served in a variety of government and executive roles. She was most notably the first African American president of the Heritage Foundation, a leading conservative think tank. James was born June 1, 1949, and raised in Richmond, Virginia. She graduated from Hampton University, an HBCU formerly known as Hampton
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Clifford Wayne Houston is a nationally recognized microbiologist and became the first African American president of the American Society of Microbiology. Houston was born in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma on December 3, 1949 to Mae Frances Hanley and Edgar Houston. He attended Gordon Oaks Elementary and John F. Kennedy Junior High School. As a teenager, he
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Christopher Julius “Chris” Rock is an actor and stand-up comedian. Rock, the eldest of seven children, was born on February 7, 1965, to Rosalie and Julius Rock in Andrews, South Carolina. His family moved to New York City, New York when he was a child. Growing up, Rock faced racism and bullying among white students,
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