Frederick Douglass | The Most Photographed American of the 19th Century

Born into slavery as Frederick Douglass in 1818, this renowned lecturer and author would become one of the greatest public speakers of his time. After escaping slavery in 1838,…


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Katherine Johnson

Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient Katherine Johnson is a powerhouse unlike any other. Entering college at the tender age of 15, Johnson’s advanced mathematical skill-set…


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Henrietta Lacks: The Woman with the Immortal Cells

In February 1951, a young African-American woman by the name of Henrietta Lacks was diagnosed with an aggressive form of cervical cancer. Unbeknownst to her, cells from her…


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Ella Baker – ‘The Mother of the Civil Rights Movement’

After graduating from Shaw University, Ella Baker moved to New York City and began her career as a grassroots organizer. Joining the NAACP in 1940, the Virginia native assisted in…


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Black Feminism

Black women and their commitment to freedom and equality has often been minimized in history books. However, with black women standing at the front of each decade, the…


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The Harlem Hellfighters of World War I

After years of requesting an all-black unit in the National Guard, the governor of New York finally put the order into place. In January 1918, the all-black 369th Infantry…


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Black Power

In 1965, one of the last traceable remnants of Jim Crow ideology were thought to be taken off the books with the passage of the Voting Rights Act. Despite the implementation of…


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The Civil Rights Movement

The civil rights movement was an organized effort where African-Americans united and rallied to put black progressiveness at the forefront of a nation that sought to minimize and…


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The Tuskegee Study

In 1932 the United States Public Health Service commissioned a study on the effects of untreated syphilis. 600 poor black men from Alabama were selected to be a part of the study…


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The Harlem Renaissance

With a Jim Crow south alive and well, many black Americans migrated north. This migration resulted in the formation of a creative urban hub in Harlem, New York, and the Harlem…


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Affirmative Action

President Lyndon B. Johnson made it clear that a shift was greatly needed in America. No longer could we preach about a land of opportunity, when minorities didn’t have the same…


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The Birth of Jazz

Born in the heart of New Orleans, Louisiana, jazz made its way onto the scene. With African-Americans at the helm, the red-light district housed this new genre of music and…


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The Double V Campaign of World War II

The Double V Campaign was launched by a prominent black newspaper, the Pittsburgh Courier, in 1942. The campaign came in response to buzz generated from a letter written by a…


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Jesse Jackson’s Run for the Presidency (1984)

In 1983, Reverend Jesse Jackson launched his bid for president of the United States. This announcement sparked excitement from people who had grown to adore the Civil Rights…


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The Birth of the Black Panthers

Electrified by the rhetoric of Malcolm X, founding members Huey P. Newton and Bobby Seale created an organization aimed at protecting the Black community from racism and violence.…


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The L.A. Riots

Despite footage of police officers beating the late Rodney King in 1991, justice, for many in South Central Los Angeles, was not served. The acquittal of four white Los Angeles…


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Martin Luther King Jr. – Was his ‘I Have a Dream’ speech Improvised?

While Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s influence was large, perhaps his greatest legacy came when he delivered his famous “I Have a Dream” speech on August 28, 1963.


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Malcolm X – How Did He Inspire a Movement?

After joining the Nation of Islam, Malcolm X became known as a human rights activist whose teachings led the charge of black progression during the latter parts of the 1960s.


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Booker T. Washington

In 1872, Booker T. Washington traveled 500 miles on foot to the Hampton Institute in Virginia. That journey, in turn, laid the foundation — not only for his own education — but…


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Shirley Chisholm – The First Black Congresswoman

Shirley Chisholm is a political icon who paved the way for politics as we know it today. As an active participant for women’s rights and the Civil Rights Movement, her presence…


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Robert Smalls: A Slave Who Sailed Himself to Freedom….

Robert Smalls was born into slavery and pushed into fighting for the Confederacy during the Civil War. However, at the age of 23, he took a chance to not only free him and his…


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Freedman’s Bank

In 1865, after the north won the Civil War, the government opened the Freedman’s Bank. This institution was geared towards nearly four million, newly freed black people. The…


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Sojourner Truth: ‘Oprah’s No. 1 Black History Heroine’

Isabella Baumfree was born into slavery in the late 18th century. Despite this, she’d go on to prove that enslavement was only a state of mind. She escaped slavery and landed in…


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Harriet Tubman

Harriet Tubman is one of the greatest freedom fighters to exist. Enslaved and enraged, Tubman committed to not only freeing herself, but she created a system that would…


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Ida B. Wells: Fearless Investigative Reporter of Southern Horrors

Born into slavery as Ida B. Wells in 1862, she was a pioneer of modern investigative journalism during the Reconstruction Era. Wells called attention to the horrific treatment of…


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The Tulsa Race Riots | Black Wall Street

Fresh off an oil-boom, the black residents of Greenwood, Okla. built a booming community known as The Negro Wall Street. But in May of 1921, that all changed. Word spread that a…


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The Fisk Jubilee Singers: Perform the Spirituals and Save Their University

Fisk University was founded in Nashville, Tenn. in 1866. As an institution for African-American students, their first years of inception were pivotal. In 1871, while facing…


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Separate But Equal: Homer Plessy and the Case That Upheld the Color Line

In June of 1882, a 30-year-old shoemaker by the name of Homer Plessy of New Orleans led a revolution that aimed to overturn Jim Crow segregation laws.


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Maya Angelou: 20th Century Renaissance Woman

Maya Angelou, who was born Marguerite Annie Johnson; April 4, 1928 – May 28, 2014) was an American poet, singer, memoirist, and civil rights activist.


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Madame C.J. Walker: The First Black Millionairess

One of the pioneers of the hair care industry is an African-American woman named Sarah Breedlove. After becoming a widow at the age of 20, the pressures in her day-to-day life as…


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Convict Leasing

Although the 13th Amendment passed the Senate in 1864 and the House in 1865, the loopholes that exist continue to wreak havoc on the African-American population. To ensure the…


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Reconstruction: The Vote

After the Civil War, the Reconstruction era brought about hope and change in the form of citizenship and equality in America. Black men were given the right to vote, and in 1870,…


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