Black History Month- A. Philip Randolph

  -April 15, 1889- May 16, 1979 -Labor leader and social activist. -The son of a minister, he worked at a variety of jobs while gaining an education in Florida and then at City College of New York. He began his efforts on behalf of African-American laborers when, while working as a waiter on a coastal steamship, he organized a protest against their living conditions. -In World War I he tried to unionize African-American shipyard workers in Virginia and elevator operators in New York City, and founded the Messenger (1917), a ... [read more]

Black History Month- Paul Roberson

  -April 9, 1898- January 23, 1976 -Robeson attended Rutgers University in New Brunswick, N.J., where he was an All-America football player. Upon graduating from Rutgers at the head of his class, he rejected a career as a professional athlete and instead entered Columbia University. - In 1930, he was the first black actor to portray Shakespeare's Othello in an all-white cast. -He obtained a law degree in 1923, but, because of the lack of opportunity for blacks in the legal profession, he drifted to the stage, making a ... [read more]

Black History Month- Dred Scott

-1795- September 17, 1858 -After the death of his original owner, he was sold to another man and spent time as a slave in two free states. Scott tried to buy freedom for himself and his family from their heirs of his second owner after his owner's death but failed. -In the late 1840s, Scott filed suit to gain his freedom with help from two St. Louis attorneys. The basis of his case was that he had been taken from Missouri, a slave state, to Illinois, a free state. The case dragged on for years, finally making its way to the U.S. Supreme ... [read more]

Black History Month- James Baldwin

    -August 2, 1924- December 1, 1987 -Novelist and playwright during the mid-20th century. -While not a marching activist, Baldwin emerged as one of the leading voices in the civil rights movement for his compelling work on race, notably Notes of a Native Son and The Fire Next Time. Baldwin was out about his homosexuality and atheist beliefs. -In addition to writing, he also taught at several universities. -He broke new literary ground with the exploration of racial and social issues in his many works. He was especially well ... [read more]

Black History Month- Adam Clayton Powell, Jr.

  -November 29, 1908- April 4, 1972 -He built a formidable public following in Harlem through his crusades for jobs and housing for the poor. He won election to the New York City Council in 1941, becoming the first black man to serve on that body. In 1945 he won election to the U.S. House of Representatives. There he began a long fight against racial segregation. -Brought up in a middle-class home, he received his B.A. from Colgate University (Hamilton, N.Y.) in 1930 and his M.A. from Columbia University in 1932. He succeeded ... [read more]

Black History Month- Ella Baker

    -December 13, 1903- December 13, 1986 -Civil rights and human rights activist beginning in the 1930s. She was a behind-the-scenes activist whose career spanned over five decades. -As a girl, Baker listened to her grandmother tell stories about slave revolts. As a slave, her grandmother had been whipped for refusing to marry a man chosen for her by the slave owner. -Baker attended Shaw University in Raleigh, North Carolina, graduating as class valedictorian in 1927 at the age of 24. As a student she challenged ... [read more]

Black History Month- Ida B. Wells-Barnett

    -July 16, 1862- March 25, 1931 -She was a journalist who led an antilynching crusade in the United States in the 1890s and went on to found and become integral in groups striving for justice for African Americans. -She was educated at Rust University, a freedmen's school in her native Holly Springs, Mississippi, and at age 14 began teaching in a country school. She continued to teach after moving to Memphis, Tennessee, in 1884 and attended Fisk University in Nashville during several summer sessions. -In 1887 the ... [read more]

Black History Month- Frederick Douglass

  -February 1818- February 20, 1895 -African American who was one of the most eminent human-rights leaders of the 19th century. His oratorical and literary brilliance thrust him into the forefront of the U.S. abolition movement, and he became the first black citizen to hold high rank in the U.S. government. -Separated as an infant from his slave mother (he never knew his white father), Frederick lived with his grandmother on a Maryland plantation until, at age eight, his owner sent him to Baltimore to live as a house servant ... [read more]

Black History Month- W.E.B DuBois

    -February 23, 1868- August 27, 1963 -American sociologist, the most important black protest leader in the United States during the first half of the 20th century. -For more than a decade he devoted himself to sociological investigations of blacks in America, producing 16 research monographs published between 1897 and 1914 at Atlanta (Georgia) University, where he was a professor, as well as The Philadelphia Negro; A Social Study (1899), the first case study of a black community in the United States. -He was ... [read more]

Black History Month- Nat Turner

  -October 2, 1800- November 11, 1831 -Leader of a slave insurrection. -Sold three times in his childhood and hired out to John Travis (1820s), he became a fiery preacher and leader of African-American slaves on Benjamin Turner's plantation and in his Southampton County neighbourhood, claiming that he was chosen by God to lead them from bondage. -Believing in signs and hearing divine voices, Turner was convinced by an eclipse of the Sun (1831) that the time to rise up had come, and he enlisted the help of four other slaves ... [read more]